Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Impact of the NFL's Kickoff Rule Change

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?

19 Nov 2009

Walkthrough: Say Something Nice

by Mike Tanier

Grandma's slogan -- "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything" -- was terrible advice for an Internet sportswriter. If I could only say nice things, the average Walkthrough would be 200 words long, the New York Times capsules would be as entertaining as a mutual fund abstract, and I would never even mention the Raiders.

Still, it's a good habit to write something nice about every team once in a while. It keeps me from lapsing into the "all snark, all the time" trap. It also forces me to do better research. I can find a dozen stats that show how bad the Rams are. But if I can find one good stat, it gives me more insight into what the team is doing right and how they can move forward. It also slows the flow of angry emails from any given fanbase.

This week's Walkthrough is a simple exercise: I say something nice about every team in the league. That nice "something" must be tangible: a statistic, in most cases. For an extra challenge, I tried to avoid obvious choices, so I didn't write about Calvin Johnson or Nnamdi Asomugha. Some remarks are nicer than others, but even with a little bit of damning faint praise in the mix, this is still the most optimistic column you'll read all week:

(Note: Not all DVOA splits are updated through Week 10, but all raw stats are.)

AFC East

Team: Buffalo Bills
Something Nice: The Bills defense leads the league with 762 combined tackles.
Analysis: Ah, the backhanded compliment. For a defense to generate a lot of tackles it has to be on the field a long time, meaning that it isn't doing a good job. It helps if the offense cannot sustain drives, forcing the defense stop extra possessions, and if opponents sit on a lot of late leads, creating many tackle opportunities on up-the-middle handoffs. The Bills meet all these criteria. They racked up 65 combined tackles in the loss to the Titans, great news if you have Paul Posluszny in an IDP fantasy league but bad news if you want the Bills to be competitive.

Team: Miami Dolphins
Something Nice: The Dolphins have the best third-and-short DVOA in the league.
Analysis: The Dolphins are 21-of-23 on rushing conversion on 3rd-and-short (two or less) and 7-of-10 on passing conversions. They average 4.75 yards per play on third-and-short. Ricky Williams has seven first downs and 54 yards on 11 third down-carries, so he should be able to pick up the slack for Ronnie Brown for a week or two.

Team: New England Patriots
Something Nice: The Patriots have the best second-down offensive DVOA in the league.
Analysis: Tom Brady completes 72.6 percent of his second down passes. Laurence Maroney's 30 second down carries have produced 10 first downs, three touchdowns, and a 45-yard run. The Patriots are 16-of-22 on second-and-short conversions, so they don't waste a lot of plays in this "take a shot" situation.

Team: New York Jets
Something Nice: The Jets lead the league in DVOA when winning big: -62.0% with a lead of eight or more points
Analysis: Sample size is a factor here; most of the plays in the Jets' "winning big" database occurred against the Raiders in a 38-0 blowout and in the season opener, when the Texans only had 183 totals yards in a 24-7 loss. Here's a more meaningful stat: The Jets are seventh in the league with a -11.9% DVOA when trailing by 1-7 points, so their defense usually does what it must to keep them in the game, even when the offense isn't cooperating. At some point, they should start turning their recent close losses into close wins again.

AFC North

Team: Baltimore Ravens
Something Nice: The Ravens have the best red zone rushing DVOA in the NFL.
Analysis: The Ravens are second to the Cardinals in goal-to-go DVOA. Ray Rice has 18 carries for 85 yards (4.5 yards per carry) in the red zone. Willis McGahee has five touchdowns on 15 red zone carries.

Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Something Nice: The Bengals have the best first quarter DVOA in the league.
Analysis: Carson Palmer in the first quarter: 48-of-71 (67.6 percent), 564 yards, five touchdowns, one interception, and just one sack. The Bengals don't blow many opponents out early (they outscore opponents 48-34 in the first quarter), but even small leads allow them to stay balanced, which provides a big boost for an offense with few bells and whistles.

Team: Cleveland Browns
Something Nice: The Browns are the least penalized team in the NFL, with 43 penalties for 390 yards.
Analysis: Eric Mangini talked to Clark Judge at CBS Sports about penalties last week, explaining that the team hired former head of officiating Dick McKenzie to act as a practice referee. Smart move. The Packers should pay McKenzie double what the Browns offered.

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Something Nice: The Steelers allow just 4.7 yards per offensive play, the second lowest average in the league (The Jets allow 4.6 yards per play).
Analysis: The Steelers allow just 3.4 yards per rush and 6.3 yards per pass. The Bengals gained just 3.6 yards per offensive play last week; the Steelers would have won if their offense didn't match that figure.

AFC South

Team: Houston Texans
Something Nice: The Texans have the second-best shotgun offensive DVOA in the NFL. The Texans rank fifth in the league with 7.3 yards per shotgun play.
Analysis: Ironically, the Texans rank 31st in the league in use of the shotgun; they use it in third-and-long and two-minute situations, the way teams used the shotgun 20 years ago. In one drive against the Colts two weeks ago, they converted third-and 5, third-and-7, and third-and-4 situations from the shotgun, gaining 69 of the drive's 84 yards on those three plays. Yes, small sample size might affect their high DVOA, but there's enough evidence to suggest that Gary Kubiak may want to try Matt Schaub in the gun in some other situations.

Team: Indianapolis Colts
Something Nice: The Colts have the best goal-to-go defense in the NFL according to DVOA.
Analysis: The Patriots were able to punch in a few short touchdowns, but they also fumbled at the goal line in one of the 75 most crucial plays of Sunday Night's game. The Texans also fumbled at the goal line. Forcing fumbles is a skill, but the Colts can't keep erasing points that way all season.

Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Something Nice: Mike Sims-Walker is on a pace for 1,072 receiving yards.
Analysis: That would be the highest total since Jimmy Smith had 1,172 yards in 2004. By the way, if you are like me and forget the Jaguars exist sometimes, they are suddenly 5-4.

Team: Tennessee Titans
Something Nice: The Titans have allowed a league-low 19 quarterback hits.
Analysis: The Titans have also allowed just seven sacks, picking up where they left off last year (just 12 regular season sacks). The low sack total is one of several indicators that suggest the three-game winning streak is for real; the Titans dug too deep a hole to reach the playoffs, but they can be scary spoilers. I didn't want to use a Chris Johnson stat, but I can't resist: the Titans have 17 running plays of 20 yards or more, the highest total in the league by a wide margin.

AFC West

Team: Denver Broncos
Something Nice: The Broncos have the second-best second half defensive DVOA in the league.
Analysis: They are also third in the NFL in late-and-close situations on defense. A stat that may or may not be meaningful: Ten of Elvis Dumervil's 11.5 sacks occurred in the second half, six of them in the fourth quarter.

Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Something Nice: The Chiefs have made 11 fourth-down conversions this season, most in the NFL. They are 11-of-17 on fourth down conversions.
Analysis: Fourth down conversion attempts are extremely situation dependent, so don't assume Todd Haley is some kind of wild fourth down gambler. His Chiefs just have attempted lots of desperate, end-of-game fourth downs. They were 1-of-3 on fourth downs against the Chargers in a blowout loss, 2-of-2 against the Eagles in a blowout loss, and so on. They were 1-of-2 against the Redskins, but the fourth-and-1 they converted was part of a stalled drive, so it had no effect on their win.

Team: Oakland Raiders
Something Nice: Sebastian Janikowski is perfect on field goals.
Analysis: Shane Lechler is also having a great year; I covered him extensively three weeks ago. Remember when Jon Gruden drafted Janikowski and Lechler? Drafting kickers and punters is a bad strategy in most cases. In Oakland, bad choices at the start of the decade become the best players on the roster at the end of the decade.

Team: San Diego Chargers
Something Nice: Chargers receivers average 13.3 yards per catch, the second highest total in the league (The Cowboys lead the league with 13.5).
Analysis: Vincent Jackson averages 17.0 yards per catch, Malcom Floyd 20.3 on 16 receptions. Darren Sproles averages 11.0 yards per catch, a high total for a running back. The per-catch numbers would be higher if LaDainian Tomlinson could gain more than 4.4 yards per reception, or if Jacob Hester, Michael Bennett, Brandon Manumaleuna and Kris Wilson weren't a combined 7-for-22. (Wilson's two-yard catch was a touchdown, so he's forgiven, but the other guys have to turn it upfield!)

NFC East

Team: Dallas Cowboys
Something Nice: The Cowboys are tied for the league lead with 11 pass plays of 40 or more yards. The Eagles also have 11.
Analysis: Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton, Roy Williams and Sam Hurd have all contributed long pass plays. It almost makes their habit of ignoring their three-headed running game (averaging 5.1 yards per rush) forgivable. Almost.

Team: New York Giants
Something Nice: Opponents convert a league-low 31 percent of third downs (33 of 106) against the Giants.
Analysis: The Giants held the Chargers to 3-of-10 on third downs and the Cardinals to 3-of-14, so this figure isn't grossly inflated by junk-team data, though the Raiders (1-of-11) and Buccaneers (0-of-9) did make their statistical presence known.

Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Something Nice: The Eagles have the best second-down defensive DVOA in the NFL.
Analysis: DVOA shows the Eagles are just an average first-down defense. They are much better on second-and-long, as well as on third-and-short. That jibes with my observations: they are great at loading up to stop the run or blitzing the house on obvious passing downs, but they aren't as good when they don't know what's coming.

Team: Washington Redskins
Something Nice: Redskins opponents complete just 58.7 percent of their passes.
Analysis: Broncos quarterbacks combined to go 14-of-31 last week, though the Redskins defense fared much better against Chris Simms (3-of-13) than Kyle Orton (11-of-18, two long touchdowns). Matt Ryan was 17-of-24, and Eagles quarterbacks were 16-of-26, so there's a lot of Rams and Chiefs noise in the data. The Redskins pass defense DVOA isn't very good (21st through Week 9) due to the quality of opposition and the fact that they have just five interceptions, but many of their per-play defensive numbers are surprisingly good.

NFC North

Team: Chicago Bears
Something Nice: The Bears have outscored opponents 113-67 in the second half.
Analysis: The Bears' problem is that opponents outscore them 59-20 in the first quarter and 134-70 in the first half. The Bengals took 31-3 on them in the first half, the Cardinals a 31-7 lead. A lot of their second half points are garbage touchdowns against the Cardinals, runaway scores in the 48-24 win over the Lions, and so on. The Bears offense would look much better if they didn't spend so much time playing catch-up.

Team: Detroit Lions
Something Nice: The Lions have a better third-down conversion percentage (38.8 percent) than their opponents (37.7 percent).
Analysis: Lions opponents have only been forced to convert 113 third downs, while the Lions have faced 156 of them. The Lions have to do a better job, in other words, of holding opponents on early downs. In their win over the Redskins in Week 3, the Lions were 11-of-18 on third down, the Redskins 2-of-10.

Team: Green Bay Packers
Something Nice: The Packers have the best "Deep Zone" defense in the NFL, according to DVOA.
Analysis: The "Deep Zone" is when an offense is caught behind its own 20-yar dline. Two Cowboys drives started in the Deep Zone against the Packers last week. One was a three-and-out, the other ended with the controversial fumble that led to a game-clinching touchdown. You never want to be pinned against your own goal line against a blitz-happy defense. The Packers Deep Zone offense is ranked 17th, which seems too high for a team that gives up a safety every time they face the Vikings.

Team: Minnesota Vikings
Something Nice: Percy Harvin averages 30.7 yards per kickoff return.
Analysis: Harvin has 1,357 yards of all-purpose yardage and has been effective as a receiver and runner. In other Vikings special teams news, Chris Kluwe has 19 kicks inside the 20 and only three touchbacks, while Ryan Longwell is 17-of-18 on field goals.

NFC South

Team: Atlanta Falcons
Something Nice: Michael Koenen leads the league with 19 touchbacks, and opponent's kick returners net just 21.0 yards per return.
Analysis: All five of Koenen's kickoffs in Sunday's loss were touchbacks. The Falcons also have the best goal-to-go DVOA in the NFL. That will happen when you mix one part Michael Turner with one part Tony Gonzalez, with a pinch of Roddy White.

Team: Carolina Panthers
Something Nice: DVOA says the Panthers really are getting better.
Analysis: The Panthers have had positive total DVOA in three of the last four weeks. They haven't registered negative passing DVOA in a month, and their defense has graded out above average in every game since Week 5. Their rushing DVOA is always pretty good, though not as good as their raw numbers. It's great when DVOA confirms and quantifies observation: wins against the Cardinals and Falcons, plus a close loss against the Saints, show that the Panthers are the NFC's version of the spoiler-ready Titans.

Team: New Orleans Saints
Something Nice: The Saints are undefeated.
Analysis: Cheesy? How about this: the Saints' DVOA on third-and-medium (4-6 yards) is 137.7 percent. There are dozens of stats that demonstrate how good the Saints are. Here's another one: Drew Brees completes 79 percent of his passes in the first quarter, and he averages 10.1 yards per attempt in the fourth quarter. OK, that's two.

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Something Nice: Conner Barth may be the team's kicker of the future.
Analysis: Before Barth made 50, 51, and 52 yard field goals against the Dolphins, the Bucs were 0-5 on field goals beyond 40 yards. The Bucs are a bad team, but they would have at least won one more game if Mike Nugent or Shaun Andrus could be counted on for occasional 45-yarders: for example, Nugent missed two kicks in the 16-13 loss to the Redskins.

NFC West

Team: Arizona Cardinals
Something Nice: The Cardinals have the second-best offensive DVOA in the NFL when "winning small" (leading by 1-to-8 points).
Analysis: The Cardinals are very good at stepping on the accelerator once they have a lead, as the Bears learned two weeks ago and the Seahawks discovered at the end of Sunday's game.

Team: San Francisco 49ers
Something Nice: The Niners allow just 3.3 yards per rush and 87.7 rushing yards per game.
Analysis: Not bad for a team that has faced Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, and a few other guys who can run the ball.

Team: Seattle Seahawks
Something Nice: Justin Forsett is averaging 6.6 yards per rush.
Analysis: Most of Forsett's production came last Sunday against the Cardinals (17 rushes for 123 yards), but Forsett showed flashes throughout the first half of the season. He had six catches for 57 yards against the Niners and 10 catches for 71 yards in the last two games, so when you factor in his kick return abilities, he has great potential as an all-purpose back.

Team: St. Louis Rams
Something Nice: The Rams are a good second-down rushing team.
Analysis: It was really, really hard to find something tangible and nice to say about the Rams. They rank 12th in the NFL in second-down rushing DVOA, and they also rank 13th in second-and-medium situations, which can be very good rushing downs. Steven Jackson averages 6.1 yards per carry on second down. I didn't want to use Jackson, but it was that or talk about the uniforms.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 19 Nov 2009

37 comments, Last at 26 Nov 2009, 1:28am by Flux

Comments

1
by panthersnbraves :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 12:22pm

So my saying that the Panthers post-bye re-birth is correct?

I attribute it mostly to getting a replacement DT for Maake.

2
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 12:26pm

"The Titans have allowed a league-low 19 quarterback hits."

Is it just me, or does that make Kerry Collins look even worse?

12
by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:12pm

No, it's that beard that makes him look bad. The good news is that he has a post football career: stunt double for the guy on "House".

3
by peterplaysbass (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 12:36pm

It's a strange year to be a Vikings fan. Not only is there finally a passing game, but very good special teams play also. Huzzah for kickers, returners, and smart tackling!

4
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 12:39pm

"Conner Barth may be the team's kicker of the future."

Yes, but what do you think's IN THE BURGERS? Daaahh, I heard that!

17
by bingo762 :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 3:05pm

I don't know

:slimed:

5
by Anonymously (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 1:04pm

Say something nice? How about Mike Tanier reviewed 31 out of 32 teams without a typo. That's almost 97% accurate, well ahead of the pack for football commentary. "The Packers should pay McKenzie double what the Bengals offered." The Browns hired McKenzie (unless you're saying that the Bengals make Dick an offer to steal him away from the Browns). Also, the Ravens should offer Dick McKenzie triple.

Great article Mike. Santa took notice. No coal for you.

8
by justanothersteve :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:00pm

The Packers should pay McKenzie double what the Bengals offered.

I thought that was an OchoCinco reference.

9
by Bobman :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:02pm

Tanier is so old-school that all teams founded by Paul Brown regress to being the same.

11
by Bobman :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:07pm

He also had typos in the Pats and Colts entries.

Where he had typed "The Patriots(Colts) have the..." He should have instead typed "4th AND TWO! 4th AND TWO!" for mass consumption. It is, after all, the only important thing.

EDIT: Maybe he considered it a not-nice thing to say for either team (Pats: Coach is a moron, Colts: Can only win via gifts). My bad.

29
by Theo :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 4:05am

"The Steelers allow just 4.7 yards per offensive play."

Ok. ok. Everyone knows what it means, but it's a strange way to put it.

6
by Key19 :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 1:28pm

If I hear another person complain that the Cowboys don't run the ball enough...

WATCH THE GAMES!!!!!

Other than that, great stuff as always.

7
by Temo :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 1:44pm

Also, it's time to give Romo more credit for the long plays. People said that the big-play potential would evaporate once TO left, but thus far it hasn't. He may make more than his share of confounding mistakes that make me want to kick him in the nuts, but the man is just a big-play machine.

18
by Arson55 :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 3:54pm

I complain about the Cowboys running game, but most of my complaints focus on the fact that I don't think Tashard Choice gets enough touches. I feel that unless Felix Jones is fully healthy, Choice is the best back the Cowboys have by a wide margin.

20
by Key19 :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 5:06pm

I agree. Choice is your only 100% back right now. It's dumb to send Jones rumbling in a cloud of dust for 3 yards just for the sake of getting him touches. He is either not right or they aren't blocking nearly as well for him anymore as they were earlier in the season. I think it's a combination of both. Barber looked pretty good I thought, but he's still only at 90% I'd say. We'll see how he does this week. But I'm definitely in favor of giving Choice more opportunities. Of course, there's always this to consider when trying to use reason with Wade:

Reporter: Any plans on getting Choice more involved this week?

Wade: Well, Choice had over thirty plays this week, so I don't know how much more we can get him in there.

Thanks, Wade. Because getting him involved in blocking and special teams is SOOOO valuable compared to say, having him touch the ball.

But criticizing Garrett for not running more in the Green Bay game is idiotic. There was no way they could've run it more than they did. They tried it. It failed. The reason they haven't been running as much lately is because they have been terrible at it. Hence, their 5.1 ypc number is not deflated because they haven't had enough horrible carries to outweight the great success they had early on. This is not the same team. They can't run the ball that way anymore. Please stop pretending they can by citing outdated and misleading statistics.

I'm done now. :)

Actually, I'm not. What would you guys think about converting our line over time to being comprised of smaller guys? I mean, the whole "mammoth" lineman idea is great and all, but it's not really that effective. Our O-line gets tired and worn out right when December comes around. This happens EVERY YEAR. They also struggle with 3-4 teams, which feature smaller, quicker rushers than 4-3 schemes do. The thing about mammoth O-linemen is that they are supposed to be able to blow people off the line in the run game. Well, ours always seem to lose that ability after about a month and a half of the season. I think moving to smaller, quicker linemen and maybe a zone-blocking scheme would work better for us in the long run. Thoughts?

21
by Tim-Dog (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 6:37pm

The Eagles have the largest O-Line in the league, and they don't even wake up until December. There may be advantages in having a smaller, nimbler line, but I don't think that seasonal fitness is necessarily one of them.

28
by Key19 :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 2:55am

Well, the Eagles haven't even had I think three of their current starters in a single December game since they arrived on the team, so we'll see what happens when that time comes around.

All I'm saying is that our protection starts off well and continually decreases as the season goes on. We start out being a B O-line I'd say and by the time Week 17 hits we're at like a C- if not worse. This happens over and over. I don't know what the problem is, but size certainly can't help.

My other reason for getting smaller linemen, as I said, is that for our size, we really don't dominate people in the run game very often. Colombo and Flozell should absolutely crush 3-4 OLBs in the run game, because they have at least 50 pounds on them, yet they don't.

25
by Arson55 :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 10:36pm

I'd go so far to say that Tashard Choice is still significantly better than a 100% healthy Barber. Probably not the same quality of blocker (not that I'm sure, I haven't seen a lot of Choice blocks that I can remember), but a far better runner.

As for the linemen problem...I don't know. I wouldn't think they are wearing down because of their size. Maybe because of poor persoanl conditioning, but there are plenty of big guys who have an impact later in the year.

10
by Led :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:06pm

Forcing fumbles may be a skill, but is the number of goal line fumbles the Colts have forced large enough to conclude the Colts have some sort of special goal-to-go fumble causing skill? Sounds like luck or at least lucky distribution to me.

13
by Crizzle (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:15pm

Possibly. IIRC they also forced at least one(and maybe two) turnovers in goal to go situations against the Cardinals in Phoenix.

22
by Antique Furniture (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 8:53pm

One thing I'd be interested in seeing is whether there are any coaches that have an effect on the number of fumbles a team causes. It would surprise me if there is a positional coach floating around who emphasises and teaches causing fumbles, and that may have an effect.

Obviously the issue is determining who on the coaching staff is coaching this- the DL/LB/DB coach? DC?

36
by Joseph :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 11:26pm

Well, anecdotal evidence from the Saints' training camp indicated that DC Gregg Williams emphasized it. At the same time, I am sure most, if not all, defensive coaches talk about it, and maybe even stress it. From the stories, Williams actually had/has drills for it.

14
by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:25pm

I'd complain that the nice thing about the Bucs involved a kicker, but, well, 1-8 is 1-8. I would say that the nice thing so far has been how impressive Josh Freeman has been in the second half of games, but, being that we're only talking two games at this point, it doesn't seem much worth the bother.

27
by Dan :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 1:49am

Barth hasn't played any more games than Freeman. Tampa is .500 when starting both of them.

34
by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 5:56pm

Clearly, they are our new Montana-Rice.

15
by Dice :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:39pm

Surprised to see the Ravens have such good red zone rushing, esp since McClain has such a reduced role. Part of it is Ray Rice's emergence, and McGahee, who I keep wanting to write off, is still playing hard, but I loved watching McClain last season.

Not surprised about the per play numbers for the Redskins DBs tho, as even with a mediocre D Hall, they're a solid group that's vulnerable to the big play.

16
by socctty :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 2:56pm

Re: Houston shotgun, hasn't this been a recurring theme with Houston since Matt Schaub got to town?

23
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 9:08pm

Well, they ran a grand total of one play out of the shotgun in the season prior to his arrival, so it certainly doesn't go back further than that.

I don't have my old PFPs to hand, but I'm guessing teams that can't run for toffee in the first place but have strong passing games are likely to have a greater positive performance differential between shotgun plays and regular snaps. On that basis, we ought to expect it to hold for 2007, but not 2008. I have no idea if that's actually the case.

19
by rk (not verified) :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 4:01pm

Apparently the Raiders heard that someone was going to say something nice about them and made sure to ruin it. Janikowski missed a field goal last week.

24
by Noah of Arkadia :: Thu, 11/19/2009 - 9:36pm

Tanier is on fire this year!

26
by Pied :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 12:21am

You never specified you were talking about defense before referencing negative DVOA numbers in the Jets entry. It might be good to do so.

30
by eggwasp (not verified) :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 9:14am

Some might say that the sort of draft strategy that involves taking a kicker and punter early in the draft at the start of a decade is going to virtually guarantee they are the best players on your team by the end of the decade!

33
by Temo :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 4:00pm

+1

Well done.

35
by tuluse :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 8:51pm

Then there is Mike Nugent

31
by Paul R (not verified) :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 10:39am

Re: Something nice about the Rams.

The Edward Jones Dome has pretty good nachos.

32
by IceBlock (not verified) :: Fri, 11/20/2009 - 11:37am

Great article. Refreshing. New and previously overlooked insights into many teams. Would enjoy seeing this quarter-seasonly.

37
by Flux (not verified) :: Thu, 11/26/2009 - 1:28am

No, it's not just you that forgets Jacksonville exists. Well, I don't so much forget they exist as merge them in my thoughts with Carolina. I'd probably have to throw Tenn in there too, to be honest. It's ironic, since one or more of those teams are often pretty good, but they hail from such a depressing part of the country and have similar off-blue uniforms, and um... well I can't remember much else about them.

Atlanta avoids sharing in their fate by wearing distinctively-colored uniforms and having existed long enough (the team and the city) to form something of an identity.