Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Jan 2013

NFL Lowdown: Conference Championships

Myth making, and such.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 18 Jan 2013

11 comments, Last at 19 Jan 2013, 5:49pm by The Ninjalectual


by AnonymousA (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 11:34am

Kaepernick is better than Newton? Really? REALLY?

by Guido Merkens :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 11:37am

Given the context of the sentence (the latter half compares his running ability to Russell Wilson), maybe Mike intended to say that Kaepernick is a better PASSER than Newton. Given their respective numbers, that's defensible, although he'd be judging Kaepernick on a very small sample size, and Kaepernick definitely has a better supporting cast.

by zenbitz :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 1:26pm

"though the Seahawks are not as married to option tactics as the 49ers are. "

Can pro or amateur game charters confirm this? My (presumably faulty) memory indicates that, aside from the the Divisional playoffs, the Niners were running like 6 R/O plays per game since Kaepernick took over.

I haven't watched many Seahawks games - in fact I only watched the 4th quarter of the Seahawks/Falcons game, but pretty much every running play they did was a read-option with a give to Lynch.

Wilson has 94 runs in 16 games, Kapernick has 50 rushes since Smith got injured (7.5 games)... but I think that counts his 6(!) fumbled snaps most of which were likely not designed runs or read/options.

That seems pretty comparable. I can't comment on the relative rate of r/o runs vs. designed qb (non option) runs vs. scrambles.

by Tyler (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 4:15pm

One of the big points of analysis people made after the GB game was how (they thought) Harbaugh cut way back on option plays in the last 2-3 weeks of the regular season to lull teams (at least their 1st round oppnt) into a sense that they didn't run much option and that it wasn't a big part of their gameplan. This was pretty meta (in my mind), but it also limits just how much tape even a 2nd or beyond-round opponent has on their pistol sets, so maybe it is possible to run less option and still be more committed to it? I don't know.

by Floyd :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 2:28pm

The "Plunkett Steelers"? If only. Instead we're stuck with memories of the Stoudt Steelers.

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 2:33pm

Willll read this thing later.

Fkro now make picks.

Falcons 20, 48ers 17
Ravens 38, Patriots 31

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/19/2013 - 5:49pm

I'm rooting for an all-birds super bowl as well

by Will Allen :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 3:31pm

Overreaction A is a lot more stupid than Overreaction B. Tom Brady is a dropped pass, and a db stupidly failing to fall down after an interception, a missed 46 yard field goal, and a missed long field goal in a blizzard, away from being 11-8 in the playoffs. True, even with those counterfactuals, he could also have a couple other victories in the Super Bowl, with some small breaks going for him, but that just makes the point. The one and done nature of playoff football, and the myriad of ways in which the results of a close game can be reversed, that have nothing to do with qb play, and the necessarily small sample sizes, makes playoff won loss records a very, very, problematic metric in measuring the quality of qb play

The most positive thing you can say about Brady's playoff record is that, even with those non-qb related plays reversed, resulting in three Super Bowl apperances being lost, he'd still have 19 playoff games under his belt, which is remarkable.

by PatsFan :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 4:09pm

If that DB hadn't stupidly failed to fall down after an interception, the 2006-7 Chargers would have slapped down the Colts in the AFCCG and easily won Superbowl 41 against the Bears. So Brady would have picked up an additional playoff loss, would have one less playoff game, would have appeared in the same number of SBs, and Manning, P. would be trailing Manning, E. 2-0.

And with his Lombardi in hand, Schottenheimer, M. would still be coaching.


by Will Allen :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 4:17pm

Hey, my favorite NFL counterfactual comes from January 1991. If Roger Craig doesn't drop a handoff in the closing minutes of the NFCCG, then A) The Niners likely win the Super Bowl, which means Georgia Seifert probably never gets fired by the Niners, never has a hideous stint in Carolina, probably has at least 3 Lombardis to his name, has the highest winning percentage in the history of NFL coaches, and is a slam-dunk HOFer, instead of a footnote. Also, B) Bill Belichik's and Parcell's genius status gets put on a different track, and who knows how that turns out.

by TimTheEnchanter (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 5:56pm

How dare you attempt to provide such silly concepts as "depth", "perspective", and "subtlety" to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything regarding Football: the elite-itude of quarterbacks.

This is a question that can ONLY be answered in absolutes. It is Black or White. Canton-Bust or Draft-Bust.