Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Sep 2008

Aaron Schatz on B.S. Report

Here's a link to this week's B.S. Report, I'll be appearing this season roughly every three or four weeks. This week, Bill Simmons and I talk about the Patriots' loss to Miami (from a Pats fan perspective, of course), what the schedule means for the Buffalo Bills, and whether or not the Cowboys will develop an offense to challenge the 2007 Pats, 1999 Rams, and 1994 49ers among the all-time greats. Link goes to Bill Simmons page, look on right side for podcast.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Sep 2008

18 comments, Last at 26 Sep 2008, 4:41pm by nibiyabi


by Temo :: Thu, 09/25/2008 - 5:47pm


He's not wrong in that most of the personnel on this Cowboys offense compares favorably to the Pats personnel (with lack of WR depth compensated by a better running game and Tight End). However, where the comparison falls apart is the QB position. As we see this year, Brady is integral to making that offense really go.

And Romo's good, but he's no Tom Brady. He makes way too mistakes to be on that level.

by tally :: Thu, 09/25/2008 - 7:57pm

It's a little disingenuous to unfavorably compare Brady to Romo by noting the dropoff between Brady and Cassell. Put Cassell in place of Romo, and I think you'd see a similar dropoff in quality and a similar disappearing act by a prima donna WR.

by nibiyabi :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 4:41pm

It's a little disingenuous to unfavorably compare a me-first primadonna receiver who puts himself above his team 24/7, regardless of the circumstances, to a me-first primadonna receiver who shuts his mouth and plays his guts out between the whistles.

by Temo :: Thu, 09/25/2008 - 9:03pm

What I meant to say is that Romo would put up the same stats he put up last year whether he was in Dallas or the Pats offense-- because the talent around him in quite similar. That is, very very good, but not all-time good.

I only brought up the Cassel thing to show how important the QB position is.

by tally :: Thu, 09/25/2008 - 11:40pm

In that case, it's not Brady specifically who makes the Pats offense go, but having a really good quarterback instead of a replacement level QB.

And please, let's not let this devolve into Brady v. Romo.

by Becephalus :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 1:08am

I thought Aaron seemed to be very generous to NE, particularly their DEF. I would predict them to finish about 25th in DVOA on that side of the ball. I don't think the MIA game was flukey at all. He seemed to think they were basically fine other than this one screwy gameplan.

ALways nice to get FO and BS Report at the same time nevertheless.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 6:45am

Aaron still dismissing the Giants as the third best team in the NFC East even though they're SB winners and the number one NFC team in DVOA.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 2:20pm

Correction: Number 1 team in VOA. I think when opponent adjustments are included NY will fall behind Dallas and possibly Philly as well.

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

by tommy8215 :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 7:06am

I think the Bills have a shot to represent the AFC in the Bowl this year.

by Sergio :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 8:28am

Heh. That would be something, alright.

Imagine that: for the THIRD time, Buffalo loses to Dallas in the Superbowl.

Or would it be like SB XXX for Dallas?

-- Go Phins!

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 8:40am

OK, I have to make this post and I apologise in advance if this annoys Pats fans but FO's insistence that last year's Pats are as good as the 94 49ers really pisses me off.

-The Pats didn't actually win the Superbowl, you might have noticed this. The Pats started the season on an incredibly hot streak but part of that was due to noone knowing what they were. For example, in the first two weeks noboody gave Moss double coverage. This was followed by a succession of gutless offensive coordinators backing off into very passive zone coverage. It wasn't until Jimmy Johnson demonstrated how to defense their offense that the Pats were really challenged. I really believe that the true DVOA of the Pats closer to their 2nd half DVOA. It also gets ignored that everyone they played seemed to be missing their best players ie Pittsburgh were missing Hampton and Polamalu, San Diego were missing Jamal Williams and Gates and Tomlinson were hurt, Jacksonville without Stroud, Henderson and Peterson etc.

-The 49ers were a team that started slow and then got better and better as the season went on, finishing by walloping everyone served up to them in the playoffs while the Pats scraped through their playoff games. I'm not sure anyone of the Pats offense would have started for the 49ers apart from maybe Mankins and Brady, and personally I'd rather have Sapolu and Young.

I'm not arguing that last year's Pats weren't a great team, simply that as good as the FO stats are, coming top of them doesn't mean that you are actually the best side ever. Again, apologies for post ing this in a strange place and at a strange time but I had to get this off my chest.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 2:50pm

2 points:

First, Aaron was talking about regular season, not playoffs. Second, in a year we will have DVOA on the 94 season and will will be able to say more definitively which offense was better (if what you're saying is true, the 94 '9ers should at least have a better weighted DVOA).

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

by Kellerman :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:14pm

Wow, was the 2007 Moss really not good enough to be even N0.2 behind the '94 Rice? This is no knock on the niners, but was their WR depth really so deep that neither Rice nor Welker can break it?

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:25pm

No, that isn't what I meant. Obviously Moss would be the split end opposite rice, John Taylor was a great player but not that great. I rate Moss as either the 2nd or 3rd most dangerous receiver ever (Lance Alworth is my other contender). I was comparing Rice and Moss. I would also take Welker over the 49ers third receiver but I wasn't thinking of Welker as a starter. I suppose you'd have to compare Welker with William Floyd and they played very different roles, Floyd was very good though before he got hurt. The niners 4th receiver was a young, underused Ed McCaffery though.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 9:04am

Is the NFC west as bad as Aaron says? Arizona are a pretty solid club, their defense is decent and they have an elite receiving corps, the niners finally have a pulse on offense and the Seahawks will be back to their old selves once they get healthy. The Rams are pure guff but three of the teams are OK, I'm just not sure they're the pushovers everyone expected.

Why does Aaron excuse the Pats defensive performance against the Dolphins simply because they couldn't defend the Razorback style offense? Pennington tore them to pieces with hardly the most lethal set of receivers to take the field this year. Their linebackers are slow and their corners are awful, this is a real flaw in their personnel that will hurt them against other teams as well.

Playoff Picks: NFC
Division winners- Dallas, Green Bay, New Orleans, SF
Wild Cards- New York, Philly

Division Winners- Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tennesse, San Diego
Wild Cards- Denver, Indianapolis

If anyone is wondering why I'm bothering to post this rubbish it's because I'm waiting for someone to turn up to install cable telly and they give you a five hour time slot. I should be reading 'Man the State and War' but blithering about the NFL is more fun.I should also add that I'm really not trying to be anti Pats, I just don'e like the way the season looks for them.

by Becephalus :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 2:26pm

When I had Comcast install Cable at my place they just plain did not show up the first two 5 hour windows, it took 3 months and three appointments for someone to show and then they tried to charge me for cable for the 3 months I didn't have it because they skipped the appointments...

...so good luck with that, hope it is not Comcast. Took me 6 months to get that extra 3 months of billing off my bill.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:15pm

It's Virgin Cable in the UK. They failed to show for the first appointment and didn't bring the TiVo style box thing. However, from now on I'll have the three Sunday games on telly plus HD gamepass on my Mac to choose any other game. Football Nirvana!!! And I don't have to go to the dreaded Sports Cafe in London and pay $7 per pint so it'll save me money so I'm quite chuffed.

by doctorjorts :: Fri, 09/26/2008 - 3:24pm

"They have the league's best defense, and if you don't believe me, you will believe me this Sunday after they do everything short of actually having sex with Gus Frerotte."

Genius. Pure genius. Grammar gestapo: it should be "have sex."