Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Nov 2006

FO Chat at Baseball Prospectus

Here's an archive of the recently concluded chat at BaseballProspectus.com. Among the topics covered in this chat: the upcoming Colts-Patriots game, the Bears, the differences between baseball and football, rookie of the year candidates, the Bears, possible future upgrades to DVOA, the decline and fall of Rod Smith, and the future of the Browns and Dolphins. Oh, and the Bears.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 01 Nov 2006

24 comments, Last at 06 Nov 2006, 7:55am by Kal


by Kevo (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:04pm

Aaron mentions that "Zach Taylor" is noticeably slower. Is that supposed to be Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, or both?

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:15pm

I believe the proper expression is Boo Ya, not Boo Yeah.

by Marko (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:44pm

What about Mark Anderson as Defensive Rookie of the Year? He has 7.5 sacks in the first 7 games, which is the most ever for a rookie in the first 7 games. He has had at least half a sack in 6 of the 7 games, and he has forced three fumbles (one of which was returned by Mike Brown for a touchdown against Arizona to start the Bears' comeback/Cardinals' collapse).

He has done all that while only playing limited snaps because he is not a starter. Of course, some might hold that fact against him, as well as the fact that he undoubtedly has benefited from playing with the Bears' strong front four. He also has benefited from the fact that the Bears regularly have been playing with huge leads, which allows them to tee off on opposing quarterbacks.

by Mikey (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 6:52pm

"But Indianapolis and Chicago are both going to lose their first game of the season to the same team, New England."

Well, well!

Not saying I disgaree, but that, friends, is what Rudy Martzke used to call a clip-and-save.

by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:09pm

What'll really be ironic is if Chicago loses at miami and Indy beats the Pats, but loses the week after.

That being said, I can't really argue reasonably that the Colts will beat the Pats; pretty much any rational way of looking at it gives it to the Pats, easily. The Bears vs. Pats is another matter entirely; Brady is great at picking apart zone Ds when he has time to throw. Bears have..not been kind to QBs in terms of time to throw. Between that and almost no chance of a run game, it's not nearly as good.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:20pm

Re #5
Except the Colts just beat, on the road, the team that beat the Pats, on the road, putting up 34 on a defense the Pats could only manage 7 against. And the Colts beat the Pats last year.

The line on that game is currently 2.5/3 points, i.e. right in line with the home field edge. These are two teams that are probably about as good as each other, which means that I could easily see the Colts winning this game.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:22pm

There is one piece of evidence that suggests Indy will beat New England. NE defense is 32nd in the league against #2 WRS at 87.6%. Denver, as a point of reference, is 9th at -13.4%.

by BD (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 7:49pm

#1: Well Zach Taylor has noticeably slowed since his prime in the early 1800's, but I think this had a greater effect on the Whigs than the Dolphins.

But I think Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor both look slow this year too.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 10:57pm

nice chat as always.

I am thinking that the NE are both teams msot liekly loss. That doesn't mean they will both lose, or that they won't lose other games. but for both teams I think NE is hardest game.

by CA (not verified) :: Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:08pm

Re: 3

Marko, chill out about Mark Anderson already! This is at least the third thread in which you have waxed ecstatic about him, largely unprompted. What are you, his publicist or something?

by Peter (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 3:17am

I think every NFL fan is his favorite rookie's publicist.

by Sam B (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 6:53am

Good news! We are, in fact, working on a sortable database of DVOA that readers can manipulate by down, by week, by year, by area on the field -- all kinds of things. It's taken a bit longer than we expected but I think we may be in the final stages, although the initial offering will not be as robust as what we want it to eventually look like.

Sweet! I've been hoping we'd get dynamic pages for a while, but a downloadable database along the lines of KUBIAK (not that I have it) would be even better.

Re. Aaron's Browns comments - true enough, I wish Browns fans were more patient. I'm curious to know what objective viewers think of Charlie Frye - does he have what it takes?

by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 10:08am

#6: There's a lot of reasons to discount Denver beating NE as a reason that the Colts might win. The big one is that the NE offense was not doing well against the Broncos - but they will do great against the Colts. If you thought that the Broncos could run at will, wait until you see the threat of Brady and PA combined with a solid running game. Denver's passing game wasn't all set in week 3 like it is now.

As to the Den->Indy->Pats circle jerk, I don't buy it. I don't think it matters whether Indy can score on the Pats (which they will be able to - Manning is not Brad Johnson, and Troy Williamson is not Reggie Wayne) - it matters that the Pats can run the ball at will as well as pass. It'll be a shootout, but I suspect the Colts will be stopped a couple more times than the Pats will.

Which is a shame; I'd love to see the Pats lose this one.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:34am

While certainly not as confident as Aaron, New England has been playing better every week, and has a better DVOA than Indy.

Moreover, NE has consistently had both a better VOA and DVOA than Denver all season long. NE's loss to Denver and Indy's victory have already been factored into DVOA -- and New England is still on top.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:45am

I am curious to know which rookies have been playing well. I follow the Bears so I know that Danieal Manning has been starting for the Bears which is impressive but he hasn't made the plays that make hom a RoY candidate to me. Meanwhile, Mark Anderson has seen limited action but done a lot. I guess I just haven't heard of any rookies having great years on the defensive side.

There isn't a special teams RoY that I know of but that's the only category that Bush could possibly be considered a good rookie - unfortunately for him Devin Hester has two touchdowns and has been a big part of that crazy good special teams DVOA for the Bears.

by Kevo (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 3:17pm

#8: Well played.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 3:52pm

By all means, bring on the Playoff Projection Odds! I love that feature at BP...

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 3:56pm

Re 8,16:
Is it sad that I thought about making a Zachary Thomas Taylor joke?

by Ali Nagib (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 4:24pm

I had a question as a follow up to something Aaron mentioned in this chat. I've read somewhere that the Bears, despite being a "Tampa 2" only actually play Cover 2 about 30% of the time. Is this true, and if so, how does this compare to other teams that run similar systems?

by jebmak (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 5:29pm

Wait, wait, wait, you know someone from Word Wars? That movie was awesome! Was it that dude who went down to Mexico to get some hookers? I must admit, he wasn't the kind of guy I expected to be good at scrabble.

by jebmak (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 5:35pm

Never mind, I should have finished the article first. Great movie though.

by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 11/02/2006 - 6:04pm

Re: 18. I think you have Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Zachery Ty Bryan confused. Those two were the two older sons on "Home Improvement".

by Bad Doctor (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 11:14am

There is one piece of evidence that suggests Indy will beat New England. NE defense is 32nd in the league against #2 WRS at 87.6%.

This looks like small sample size to me. Cotchery made one of the most unbelievable plays I've ever seen against them a few weeks ago. Aside from that, I'm not seeing where #2 receivers have lit them up.

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 11/06/2006 - 7:55am

What’ll really be ironic is if Chicago loses at miami and Indy beats the Pats, but loses the week after.

Okay, now that was scary. And as a Bears fan, that also totally sucks.