Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Sep 2008

ESPN Numbers Crunching: Week 3

Here's this week's look at various interesting Football Outsiders statistics related to the upcoming slate of games, now combining some 2008 numbers (small sample size caveat applies, of course) with numbers from last season.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 18 Sep 2008

10 comments, Last at 21 Sep 2008, 4:37am by hector


by Andreas Shepard :: Thu, 09/18/2008 - 7:10pm

Movable force versus stopable object? I'm not sure that's exactly what you meant to say. You should stop letting Emmitt Smith copyedit your writing.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/18/2008 - 9:40pm

It's a play on the cliche saying "an unstoppable force vs an unmovable object."

by ebongreen (not verified) :: Fri, 09/19/2008 - 9:59am

It would have made more sense if it read, "What happens when the stoppable force meets the movable object?"

by tuluse :: Fri, 09/19/2008 - 11:58am

That was part of the play on the saying, mixing it up like that. It was intentional, at least, I assume it was.

by Bill Barnwell :: Fri, 09/19/2008 - 5:56pm

It was very intentional.

by BucNasty :: Thu, 09/18/2008 - 7:31pm

Aaron, how come you never make picks?

by johnnyxel :: Fri, 09/19/2008 - 12:41am

FO's picks against the spread are now part of Premium access.

by Boomer Lowe (not verified) :: Thu, 09/18/2008 - 9:07pm

Sage Rosenfels didn't play all 8 quarters vs. the Titans last year.. Schaub started the first game & played almost all of the first half..


That's the second time I've read that here...

Let the misinformation about Sage stop now!


by Ezra Johnson :: Fri, 09/19/2008 - 2:11pm

Not this one, but one of the other GB-Dal previews says McCarthy will try to spread them out and exploit matchups with 3- and 4- receiver sets. I don't know about that. It seems that didn't work very well last year, and Favre got killed (partly his own fault for not taking the underneath stuff). The way to beat the Dallas 3-4, I think, is to pound it inside to keep the rushers honest, also with the goal of keeping their O off the field. Of course, to accomplish that you also can't fall behind early. And you have to be able to get pressure on Romo with just four. If you blitz he kills you.

I'm wondering if they're ever going to get the zone blocking scheme to work the way it's supposed to. Sure, they got the running game going in the second half last year, but a lot of that was defenses picking their poison vs. the passing game. They get stuffed way too often, then once in a while bust a big play. Their inability to run the ball consistently was responsible for both Chicago losses, for example. Really - all four of their losses. I think they have the guys for a traditional drive-blocking running game. Spitz, for one, would be a beast if they let him. But McCarthy has proven people wrong before.

by hector :: Sun, 09/21/2008 - 4:37am

If Cincinnati gets inside the 10, it'll be all right. The Bengals' offense had the best goal-to-go DVOA of any team in football a year ago; the Giants' defense was 30th in stopping those plays.

Maybe you're still waiting for the 2007 Bengals and the (early season) 2007 Giants to show up. I'm not. Things change too quickly in the NFL to carry over a lot of the previous season; with the Bengals, I think we have to trust our eyes more than our memories.