After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?
21 Nov 2007
by Bill Barnwell
When we were discussing great fantasy performances against the best defenses last week, some of the performances being discussed were the cheap ones -- those games where a running back gains 27 yards on 19 carries, but scores three times. Corey Dillon had an epic one last year against Detroit.
A couple of superb ones came up in the comments, but I decided to try and quantify the BS game. It was also an excuse to use our expanded game-by-game database, which now goes back to 1970 (Note: that doesn't mean we have DPAR/DVOA for those games).
We had to come up with some rules for defining a BS game, though. What I wanted to find were players who scored a lot of fantasy points while doing little to help his team win. The simple metric? Fantasy points divided by all-purpose yards. Each quarterback and running back had to have a minimum of nine attempts in order to keep out guys who ran with one carry for a touchdown, since the goal is to find players who are really hurting their real team while affecting their fantasy team. Wide receivers will need four catches or more. We'll examine the five biggest BS performances at each position from 1970 to 2006.
1. Steve Bono, KC, 10/1/1995: I don't know whether this was the game where Bono ran the greatest naked bootleg ever, like 70 yards untouched, but he had a pretty epic game. The big news was his rushing, where he ran five times for 74 yards and a touchdown, but his passing was slightly less effective -- 7-for-17 for 78 yards with two scores and an interception.
2. Aaron Brooks, NO, 11/30/2003: Aaron Brooks better in fantasy football than in real football? You're pulling my leg. This about summarizes the Brooks experience. Going 14-for-30 for 121 yards and a score is brilliant enough, but add to that six carries for 11 yards and two rushing touchdowns, and you've got yourself a vintage Brooks performance.
3. Mark Brunell, JAC, 11/12/1995: This was a performance Vince Young would study and come to perfect. Going 13-for-20 for 121 yards, a touchdown and an interception; six carries for 60 yards and a rushing score. He just wins. Sorta.
4. Kerry Collins, CAR, 9/17/1995: Collins must have gotten hurt. Seven completions in 11 attempts for 45 yards and an interception with two carries for nine yards and a touchdown was his line on the day.
5. Bill Troup, BAL, 10/8/1974: Troup put up a performance entirely indicative of the mediocrity this nonsense statistic hopes to encapsulate. Give the man a hand for going 10-for-17 for a whopping 77 yards, throwing a touchdown and an interception, but also running one time for a two-yard score. That's 11.95 fantasy points against only 79 total yards.
1. Reggie Evans, WAS, 10/23/1983: Evans played one year in the NFL. He ran the ball 16 times for 11 yards and four touchdowns. In this game, he had 10 of those carries for four yards and three scores. I cannot fathom a more BS performer than Reggie Evans.
2. Christian Okoye, KC, 12/2/1990: A much-better known player was Okoye, but this was not one of his better days. Eleven carries yielded two touchdowns, but only five yards.
3. Norm Bulaich, BAL, 10/31/1971: Bulaich adds something else to the stew: negative numbers. He did have nine carries for six yards and a touchdown, sure, but throw in a catch for -3 yards and you are left with all of three all-purpose yards.
4. John Riggins, WAS, 9/10/1984: Is it a coincidence this came in his post-370 season? Probably, since his numbers on the year were perfectly acceptable. This game, though... 10 carries for 12 yards, one catch for zero yards, two touchdowns. I am sure he did the whole thing with grit.
T5. Kenneth Davis, BUF, 1/20/1990: Short-yardage brilliance. Ten carries for 21 yards and three touchdowns.
T5. Darick Holmes, BUF, 10/20/1996: Short-yardage brilliance, on a much smaller scale. Ten carries for seven yards, but only one score. He actually had a carry of nine yards in the game, which means he had nine other carries for -2 yards.
1. Tim Brown, OAK, 9/1/1996: Brown picked up two touchdowns while catching four passes for 31 yards, but what really adds to the mediocrity is his one carry for -9 yards. You know, because he's explosive.
2. Rocket Ismail, CAR, 9/29/1997: Raghib Ismail, possession receiver? On this week, he was. Four catches only netted the Rocket 19 yards and a touchdown.
T3. Five players: Games by Bert Emanuel, Terence Mathis, Muhsin Muhammad, Carl Pickens, and Marcus Robinson all tied here.
T4. Freddie Solomon and Terance Mathis: Both players caught four passes for 21 yards and a score.
5. Reggie Rucker, CLE, 9/12/1976: Rucker attended Boston University, which no longer has a football team because it would interfere with their hockey team beating the crap out of Northeastern each season. Stupid Beanpot. I digress. Rucker had a nice career, highlighted by this game where he caught five passes for 37 yards and three touchdowns, throwing a three-yard run for an even 40 yards.
BONUS -- Ron Middleton, WAS, 9/6/1993: Middleton played ten years in the league, but only had one year with more than six catches. This was it, on a 4-12 team. He averaged 6.4 yards per catch all season. This is merely your garden variety crappy game, with five catches for 15 yards and a score. His long on the day was seven yards, so that's four other catches that averaged 2 yards apiece. Richie Petitbon, everyone!
|Since Jason's in rehab this week, here's an FO classic! Check out the Football Outsiders comics archive and Jason's wacky Gil Thorp blog.|
QB: Donovan McNabb and Byron Leftwich each put up a -1 this week. One of them will get many more chances to repeat his performance. The other is currently being cranked so he can release his next pass in time for Week 16.
RB: An old KUBIAK darling and a player we told you to avoid are the low scorers here. Julius Jones was once No. 2 on your draft board until, well, Marion Barber III showed up. Now, Jones is an afterthought in dreams of Darren McFadden. Meanwhile, Rudi Johnson's year has seen him seem like the lesser Kenny Watson as opposed to the other way around. They had a 1 and a 2, respectively.
WR: I love me a wideout zero. Thanks, Mark Clayton. You've wasted a roster spot on many a fantasy team with your inability to recover from your ankle injury, but you've made up for it with two catches for nine yards this week. Runners-up are fellow espoused breakout candidates Reggie Brown and Patrick Crayton, both of whom have suffered under the scrutiny of more demanding roles within their respective offenses.
K: Being a Dolphin wasn't enough for Jay Feely, who kicked a single extra point and missed a field goal to tie Leftwich and McNabb at -1 this week. Dave Rayner missed two field goals, but kicked one and got an extra point to even out at 0.
Wood was chopped by the referees underneath the goal posts in Baltimore. Your job, your one job, is to make sure to accurately ascertain whether a field goal has made it through the uprights. You've failed at this job. This is like when Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber took the day off from work as a snowmobile driver because of the snowstorm. Well, maybe not.
Last Week: 1-2, 13-15-1 overall
I'm settling into a trend. A trend of suckiness. I need a gimmick.
I can't possibly put more of my trust into the Packers against the Lions. It's a fluke, people! A fluke!
The Jets have played teams very close this year, looked much better with David Harris at linebacker, and beat the Steelers last week. This is also Kellen Clemens on the road.
I don't know who Peyton Manning will be throwing to. I think they will be able to get past DeAngelo Hall, whoever they are.
23 comments, Last at 24 Nov 2007, 9:23pm by Truman