Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

24 Nov 2009

ESPN AGS: AFC West over AFC North

This week's Any Given Sunday does double-duty, looking at both the Oakland win over Cincinnati and the Kansas City win over Pittsburgh. Did these games represent the culmination of trends that could cost these teams their playoff spots? The answer will please Bengals fans and disappoint Steelers fans.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 24 Nov 2009

4 comments, Last at 25 Nov 2009, 4:36pm by DFJinPgh


by Life Insurance Company Ratings (not verified) :: Wed, 11/25/2009 - 11:42am

Nice news. I was looking for this type of news. Good post.

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Wed, 11/25/2009 - 1:55pm

There seemed to be two factors to Pittsburgh's trends. One is the historically horrible "special" teams. The other is 3rd down DVOA.

So, season-to-season, 3rd down DVOA tends to regress. Does it also regress in-season? If so, there's the possibility that this will be less of a factor in their downward trend going forward.

Not that it can make up for the worst special teams EVAR!!!

by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 11/25/2009 - 2:49pm

Teams whose DVOA drops on third down tend to struggle with it all year, then rebound the next season.

And they aren't the worst special teams ever; that still goes to the 2000 Bills. The Steelers are just the worst kickoff team ever. ("Ever" meaning "since at least 1994.")

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Wed, 11/25/2009 - 4:36pm

Thanks Vince!

I think that makes sense. So many things can happen in the offseason - focused practice, roster movement, key players getting healthy, etc - to change things in that area, many of which aren't really available during the season.

About the last, I think you're underestimating how much damage they can do to themselves in the last six weeks :-) ... Sepulveda seems to be pretty alright though, so maybe their kickoff coverage can't drag them all the way down.