Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Dec 2009

ESPN AGS: Chargers over Cowboys

This week's Any Given Sunday looks at how the Chargers are winning despite the most unbalanced offense of the DVOA Era. Look for more Chargers DVOA analysis in the main DVOA analysis article later today.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 15 Dec 2009

16 comments, Last at 16 Dec 2009, 3:46pm by randplaty


by Anonymous232323232 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 2:42pm

Wow. The AGS column used to be good. This was just pablum. Did you talk about the game AT ALL?

by Richard :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 5:25pm

Used to be is right. It kills me that this is the level of analysis we're paying for.

by jklps :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 3:37pm

AGS exists anytime the Cowboys are playing in December, with the defensive Norv Turner as their HC(Wade Phillips).

I picked this game right with confidence. Yawn.

by 22hitch (not verified) :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 3:44pm

The spread was Cowboys -2.5, how is this any given Sunday? Many of the ESPN experts had the Chargers. Seems like this column lost its touch once FO started working with ESPN (the world wide leader in hype).

by RickD :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 3:55pm

I thought that the obvious choice was Browns over Steelers.

A 1-11 team beat the defending Super Bowl champion!

Of course, it was on Thursday, which may have disqualified it for "Any Given Sunday".

by Anonymous232323232 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 4:21pm

I agree this wasn't much of an upset, but I don't much care which game they chose. I just wish there had been something, you know, about the actual game in there.

It's hard not to sound like one of those too cool music fans and say "I really loved Football Outsiders before it got too commercial" but there it is. The AGS column could have been written by someone who didn't actually watch the game. (Actually, that would explain the column). All it is is listing a couple of players' DVOA. Big whoop.

by Scott C :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 1:20am

It horribly sad analysis these days.

There is a LOT more to be said about LT than his stats are bad, he isn't in the pass game much, and the AYL are bad....

If you analyzed any games at all, you'd know where those 1-yard or worse LT receptions were from. Rivers in a panic dumping it off in bad situations. The real story there isn't the low DVOA, its that he isn't in on third down very often. The few times he has actually been running routes and catching passes rather than safety valve dumpoffs or "its not intentional grounding if I throw at LT's feet" plays, he looks ok.

The line is horrible, no doubt. If there was real analysis of the game, you could have I don't know ... COUNTED the number of times LT had no chance because of bad run blocking. maybe totaled up the yards after contact.

Maybe with all the stats about low totals for yards downfield, done some analysis on those plays. Are there just no holes to run through? Or is there a lack of ability to make the guys at the second level miss? I know the answer to that one because I watch the games -- the number of chances to do anything at all on the second level has been very very low, and so its small sample size theater on those stats. The high sample size is the number of runs into a wall of defenders, or right into a run-blitz.

Anybody can just look in the premium database and write an article like that, without even watching the game. I understand that ESPN might not want such depth, and that the goals of these may no longer be providing true insight to the well informed, but instead a 'different flavor' for the masses.

But man, how the FO quality has fallen. :(

by Jon Coit (not verified) :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 1:29pm

Watching replays, the stuffs are plays where someone on the line whiffed. While one would expect that LT is not as quick/fast as he used to be, on the RARE occasions that he has a hole to run through he's clearly very impatient, doesn't set up his man etc., just tries to run past the guy.

On the issue that everyone is exercises about: why in heck would anyone that reads this site give ESPN their money? Seriously!

by dmb :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 1:36pm

Well, being able to read John Hollinger is nice...

by LinksterAC (not verified) :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 7:13pm

DVOA can't figure the Chargers out this year. They're ranked 14th, and have wins against #13(@Giants), #10(@Broncos), #9(@Cowboys), and #2(Eagles). Besides the win against the Giants, none of the other games were ever really controlled by their opposition. So what gives? Four convincing wins against top teams, three of which came on the road.

by jayman4 :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 7:23pm

I thought this article was going to dig into that. My guess is that DVOA caps the value of big plays, presumably because they are fluky, not a repeatable skill. But SD is making it repeatable and is a cornerstone of their offense, so perhaps that is why DVOA does not rate them very highly.

by Scott C :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 1:24am

I don't think it caps the value of any play. A 99 yard TD run is worth more than a 90 yard one.
But 9 11 yard runs will be worth more, I think -- because of the 'bonus' value of a first down.

by Jerry :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 5:49am

A 90-yard run will score the same as a 99-yard run; if I read the DVOA Explained page right, everything over 40 yards is treated the same. A breakaway is pretty much a breakaway, so the system doesn't reward guys for where the original line of scrimmage happened to be.

by jayman4 :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 7:21pm

Being a Bolts fan starved on for FO content I actually paid for this. There was no analysis of the game, just listing the fact that SD had a good passing offense and crappy run offense. And tossed in the fact that Dallas should run more, not based on any analysis in that article.

Very disappointing.

by Key19 :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 8:45pm

Feel free to provide analysis in these things we pay for. I can read DVOA player charts without a narrator, thanks.

I'm sorry, but I just don't respect anyone who thinks the main problem in Dallas is run/pass ratio. The offense is good enough to win games, but the defense is just a meltdown waiting to happen.

Felix had his best game since Week 2 against the Chargers. Otherwise, he's not exactly been lighting the world on fire since then (other than the long TD run vs. Oakland, which is, in fact, still Oakland).

by randplaty (not verified) :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 3:46pm

What do you expect when Football Outsiders writes for ESPN Insiders. Outsiders or insiders... make up your mind!