Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Nov 2010

ESPN: Aaron Schatz on B.S. Report

Hey all. Did a half hour or so with Bill Simmons today, finally getting a midseason NFL update on the B.S. Report. You can hear us debate whether trap games exist (we disagree) and whether the Jets are lucky or good (our conclusion: both). I also give a special preview of this week's playoff odds, including a new feature we'll be running each week: What is the chance that the NFC West champion has a losing record?

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 22 Nov 2010

6 comments, Last at 23 Nov 2010, 9:55am by Jackrussell


by ammek :: Mon, 11/22/2010 - 7:47pm

I don't have a problem with allowing a seven-win team into the playoffs. It's frustrating that such a team would likely get a home game — I can't imagine a 7-9 wildcard — but rules is rules.

The bigger question is: what can be done about the NFC West? In spite of getting to play each each other, only 9 out of 32 NFC West teams have managed a winning record since realignment, and four of those were nine-win teams. Yet in the playoffs, they've been respectable: 10-10 since 2002, with two SB appearances (both narrow defeats). A team from the NFC West has won a playoff game every year except one — ironically 2003, the division's best season.

Still, no other division has been this bad for so long: the AFC central had some grubby years in the early 1980s, and the NFC central and NFC west weren't very competitive for most of the 70s and 80s, but there was usually one team able to chalk up 10+ wins. Of course, we didn't have DVOA then, so perhaps those '80s Bears or '70s Rams were less impressive than their record. More likely they mirrored what's happened in the NFC North this decade: one good team per year (most years), two or three stinkers.

Strangely, so far this season, the NFC West has a better inter-conference record than the NFC East or North. The division is 'only' five games below .500, and half of those losses came this weekend against the NFC South.

by Shattenjager :: Mon, 11/22/2010 - 9:27pm

I think this was your best B.S. Report appearance yet--especially when you two debated the existence of "trap games."

by njqnjq :: Mon, 11/22/2010 - 9:59pm

Can you post a link to the trap games article please?

by Aaron Schatz :: Mon, 11/22/2010 - 11:43pm

The article on trap games was in Pro Football Prospectus 2007. I'll re-run it on FO sometime tomorrow.

by joepinion (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 9:43am

I love Football Outsiders, and I love the BS Report, but there's something about you two mixing that I don't like. Probably the rational/objective side of me not wanting to mix with the irrational but fun theory/pop culture side of me.

Worlds are colliding! You're killing independent George!

by Jackrussell (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 9:55am

Great show Aaron! You guys had me in stitches. When you discussed the Steelers and Eagles as Super Bowl favorites at this date in time, and Bill stated that you were basically rooting for the world to explode with a Roethlisberger and Vick matchup almost made me lose my coffee all over my keyboard. The comments about the "all Johnson" crew for a fantasy football lineup was also good.