Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Nov 2005, 12:55am by Aaron Schatz

Playing with the Percentages When Trailing by Two Touchdowns

"It is relatively common for football teams to find themselves down by two touchdowns late in the game. If they score a first touchdown then coaching folklore says that the team should go for the extra point at that time. In this paper I will show that this strategy, which appears to be universally used in both the NFL and the NCAA, is incorrect, and that going for the two-point conversion after the first touchdown is nearly always significantly better."

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31 comments, Last at 24 Nov 2005, 11:18pm by Felton

22 Nov 2005, 04:56pm by P. Ryan Wilson

Grossman Moves One Step Closer to Returning

OK, so is Rex Grossman the next Wally Pipp, or should he get his job back once he's ready to go in a few weeks (or maybe even a Brownsian Dilfer-Frye approach to quarterbacking might be in order if you're Lovie Smith)?

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24 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2005, 9:50pm by Akuzed

22 Nov 2005, 03:03pm by Aaron Schatz

TMQ: If a Federal Bureaucracy Ran Sports

Often a play where TMQ complains that the offensive lineman are standing around doing nothing is really just a blown line call. That being said, if Carolina had five guys standing around doing nothing, that's one hell of a blown line call, isn't it? Plus, TMQ one-ups my Mike Vrabel comment by noting that Vrabel is pictured catching a touchdown pass on the cover of the 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book.

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40 comments, Last at 24 Nov 2005, 6:23am by Elton

22 Nov 2005, 01:10pm by P. Ryan Wilson

A Full Life of Football

David Halberstam has an interesting piece in today's Washington Post on the life of Steve Belichick, who died of a heart attack Saturday night at the age of 86. (free registration required)

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3 comments, Last at 22 Nov 2005, 5:11pm by B

21 Nov 2005, 02:50pm by Michael David Smith

MMQB: Johnson is the Anti-T.O.

Peter King loves Chad Johnson and says he's great for the NFL. Turns out that Chad coordinated the marriage proposal with the head of the cheerleaders before the game. That's the kind of insight you don't get anywhere else.

On the Fine Fifteen, doesn't Peter have New England way too high? Would anyone pick the Patriots to beat the Seahawks right now?

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59 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2005, 7:11am by Joon

21 Nov 2005, 02:46pm by Michael David Smith

McNabb Out for Season

Donovan McNabb will have season-ending surgery. As his season ends, so, effectively, does the Eagles'. Can anyone remember a team that has had a more disappointing season? I don't remember anyone picking any team other than Philadelphia to win the NFC East, and now, I think it's safe to say, they're completely out of the running.

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25 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2005, 3:50am by Travis

21 Nov 2005, 09:47am by P. Ryan Wilson

Rowdy Fans Spoiling the Fun

This Washington Post article on Redskins fans' increasingly boorish behavior at home games could just as easily have been written about any other team in the league. Well, except for Arizona. There's a pretty good chance you can get a whole section to yourself at a Cardinals game without fear of getting beer dumped on you or having to avoid a few wayward punches from belligerent fans.

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36 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2005, 1:15am by kleph

21 Nov 2005, 09:36am by P. Ryan Wilson

Two Coaches Take Risks, and Earn Rewards

Using the recent last-play victories by the Chiefs and Bucs as a backdrop, David Leonhardt makes the case that "N.F.L. teams have better luck in short-yardage situations when they run the ball." Still, Leonhardt concludes that, "Gruden and Vermeil aside, there is not much evidence that coaches are figuring this out. They have called a pass when they need only a yard roughly as often this season as in past years," even though "70 percent of running plays in those situations have picked up the first down, [while] only 56 percent of passes have." Thanks to Rich C. for the pointer.

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8 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2005, 1:49am by Josh

21 Nov 2005, 01:46am by Aaron Schatz

MythBusters: Swing to the Right

How much is Shaun Alexander's success due to having Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson on the left side of the line? Doug Farrar of SEAHAWKS.NET went to check and discovered that in 2005, Alexander is actually running better to the right side. As I pointed out to him when he showed me this article, however, my belief that the left side of the Seattle line is hugely important makes some sense given that Seattle was better running left in both 2003 and 2004.

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9 comments, Last at 21 Nov 2005, 3:44pm by Liam

20 Nov 2005, 11:08pm by Al Bogdan

Lions File Grievance Against Rogers

The Lions are going after the bonus money they gave Michael David Smith's favorite receiver, Charles Rogers. Detroit is trying to get Rogers to give back the entire $10.184 million signing bonus the Lions gave him in 2003 because of his four game suspension for substance abuse. As ProFootballTalk.com points out, NFL player contracts these days have a clause included that allows teams to recover signing bonuses if a player has a "default," which can occur if a player is suspended.

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9 comments, Last at 22 Nov 2005, 6:39pm by buddha