Football Outsiders

Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Vincent Verhei's blog

QR Bonus: Keys to Beating New England
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QR Bonus: Keys to Beating New England

Our analysis of the Patriots' worst games in 2018 makes one thing clear for the Rams: beat New England early, or you're not likely to beat them at all.

5 comments, Last at 31 Jan 2019, 3:49am by RobotBoy
New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

New NFL Threat: Evaporating Insurance Market

Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada at ESPN.com have looked at a growing threat to all levels of football: many insurance companies have stopped offering coverage for the sport, from the NFL on down to Pop Warner leagues.

"People say football will never go away, but if we can't get insurance, it will." -- Jon Butler, Pop Warner's executive director.

8 comments, Last at 24 Jan 2019, 5:23pm by Richie
QR Bonus: Keys to Beating Los Angeles
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QR Bonus: Keys to Beating Los Angeles

The L.A. Rams are a great team, but they're not perfect. What weaknesses were exposed in their worst games this year, and how will New England be able to attack those flaws in the Super Bowl?

10 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2019, 3:44pm by Vincent Verhei
Conference Championships Quick Reads/DVOA Ratings
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Conference Championships Quick Reads/DVOA Ratings

The Patriots' path to the Super Bowl was paved by a trio of running backs -- none of whom was particularly good when you account for the terrible quality of Kansas City's defense. Plus, updated weighted DVOA points to the closest Super Bowl matchup we've ever seen.

36 comments, Last at 24 Jan 2019, 12:35pm by E
Divisional Round Quick Reads
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Divisional Round Quick Reads

There were not a lot of close games this weekend, but a trio of running backs had notable performances -- two really good, one really bad.

15 comments, Last at 15 Jan 2019, 12:25pm by BJR
Wild-Card Quick Reads
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Wild-Card Quick Reads

Our look at the best passers, runners, and receivers of the wild-card games focuses on Marlon Mack, who did things to the Houston Texans defense that nobody else had done all year long.

20 comments, Last at 10 Jan 2019, 3:47am by Vincent Verhei
Can NFL Coaches Overuse Play-Action? They Haven't Yet.

Can NFL Coaches Overuse Play-Action? They Haven't Yet.

Josh "Air Yards" Hermsmeyer wrote this piece for FiveThirtyEight showing that play-action passes do not lose their effectiveness the more often teams call them in a game. What's more interesting than the conclusion is Hermsmeyer's methodology -- using the NFL's Next Gen tracking data, he followed middle linebackers and tracked how far they moved in pursuit of running backs who they thought had the ball. It's cutting-edge analysis that looks not just at how play-action works, but why.

Quick Reads: 2018 in Review
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Quick Reads: 2018 in Review

The most statistically notable players of 2018 included a trio of first-year starters at quarterback, a running back who is currently unemployed, and a receiver who was literally perfect.

45 comments, Last at 05 Jan 2019, 7:03pm by Steve in WI
Week 17 Quick Reads
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Week 17 Quick Reads

Our look at the best players of Week 17 includes a quarterback you may have never heard of. Our look back at the year's most notable games includes several of the worst wide receiver games on record.

14 comments, Last at 02 Jan 2019, 2:43pm by Will Allen
Week 17 Open Game Discussion
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Week 17 Open Game Discussion

There's a lot on the line in the season's final Sunday. In the NFC, the Rams, Bears, and Seahawks are all fighting for positioning, while the Vikings and Eagles are just hoping to qualify for the postseason. The AFC field is crazy -- four teams have clinched playoff berths, but nobody has clinched any specific seed or bye, and four teams are still battling for the final two spots. It all ends on Sunday night when Andrew Luck and the Colts play the Titans in a winner-gets-in, loser-goes-home playoff qualifier. Use this thread to discuss them all.

53 comments, Last at 02 Jan 2019, 11:49am by PTORaven