Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

03 Nov 2006

FOX Blog Wrap-Up, October 28-November 3

Here's a catch-all thread for discussion of this week's posts on the Football Outsiders FOX blog. Covered this week: LaDainian Tomlinson tape breakdown, the Dwight Freeney overrated paradox, how the Patriots played Steve Hutchinson, Jake Scott's monster game against Denver, Arizona vs. #1 receivers, and the problem of Pittsburgh's single blowout and its effect on DVOA.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 03 Nov 2006

10 comments, Last at 04 Nov 2006, 11:15am by Mike B.


by Gerry (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 8:55pm

"The Arizona defense has been remarkably inconsistent against the #1receivers. They gave up huge games to Bryant, Jackson, Holt, and Moss. But you also have Michael Jenkins at 28 yards, Eddie Kennison with just 48, Donald Driver with just 48, and Muhsin Muhammad with 2. Just because the Chicago game was weird doesn't mean we toss it out."

I think there is a huge quality/talent difference between the two groupings (Holt, Jackson, Moss and Bryant vs. Kennison, Jenkins, Muhammad and Driver). And in the second grouping, some of the quarterback play has been atrocious as well (er, and for Moss in the 'better' side).

I think a lot of the inconsistency might be that they can handle middling wideouts just fine, but the better wideouts eat them up (or perhaps it is a psychological thing where the big names psyche them or the coaching staff out).

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 9:08pm

Hey, I just learned exactly what FOMBC stands for (it was the MB that stumped me....)

by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 11/03/2006 - 10:28pm

"Reggie Bush has been off his game all day, and he just tried to bounce a running play outside for a three-yard loss. As BLEEP Engberg so aptly noted, this is the difference between the Pac-10 and the NFL."

I laughed.

by Subrata Sircar (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 12:04am

The classic counter to moving a defensive end (or linebacker) away from a good interior lineman is to audible to a running play over that lineman, or to have that as an option on the pre-snap read.

I don't know if the Vikings or Brad Johnson do that regularly (or even have that as an option), but I know Manning and the Colts do - they almost seem to revel in it.

by MRH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 12:09am

Who belongs in the 1st group and who in the 2nd?

Jackson – 8th DPAR, 19th DVOA
Holt – 33rd, 54th
RMoss – 41st, 50th
Kennison – 16th, 7th

Not convinced? How about 2005:
Jackson – 26th, 9th
Holt – 18th, 39th
RMoss – 25th, 36th
Kennison 6th, 4th

Or 2004:
Jackson – 29th, 45th
Holt – 7th, 13th
RMoss – 24th, 15th
Kennison – 17th, 24th

And 2003:
Jackson – 17th, 27th
Holt – 2nd, 10th
RMoss – 1st, 7th
Kennison – 13th, 16th

In every year Kennison is clearly better than at least one of these WRs. I don’t think he’s as good as Moss or Holt in their primes but they are not in their prime now. One point of DPAR and DVOA is to reveal things that conventional stats don’t show us. What I think they reveal is that Kennison is a lot better player than you think he is. Eddie Kennison is the most under-rated WR in the league and I’m surprised he doesn’t get more props as an “FO favorite�.

by MRH (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 12:28am

Re the PIT-KC blowout. I don't know how this could be factored into a repeatable system like DVOA, nor even if it affects the numbers this year. But in that game, at the beginning of the 4th qtr, up 31-7, Cowher went for a TD on 4th and goal at the 1 yd line. With 8:34 left, KC stopped trying to minimize defeat and went for the TD on 4th and goal at the 5 yd line. In both of the preceding cases, it would not be surprising for the coaches to opt for gimme FGs in closer games, so should the outcome of those plays "count" for DVOA purposes?

The next three KC series saw Croyle in at QB. Result: 3 and out, INT on 2nd down, 6 lpays ending in an INT. He was handing to and throwing to back-ups. PIT was playing it's backups as well.

I know that Aaron has said in the past that the quality of backup players is taken into account by considering these plays. But I really wonder if anything in this particular game is meaningful after the score was 31-7 given not only the players involved but also the coaching decisions being made.

What would PIT's DVOA look like if just the 4th qtr of that game were thrown out?

by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 1:32am

In both of the preceding cases, it would not be surprising for the coaches to opt for gimme FGs in closer games, so should the outcome of those plays “count� for DVOA purposes?

Remember that DVOA takes score margin and time of game into account, so the results of those plays wouldn't be compared to close games, just blowout ones.

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 4:23am

I'd stop worrying about the Pittsburgh stuff. They're a damn good team, they just haven't been winning. I don't even think you need DVOA to see it either. I'd say odds are good they prove to be a top 10ish team in the second half, then you'll have another feather for your cap, one that doesn't come from a Falcon.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 9:41am

Re 5:
Well, the staff certainly knows he's good but we the commentors haven't jumped on his bandwagon like we did for Rock, Kevin Jones and Grady Jackson. I know the reason I can't believe he's a quality wide reciever is because he spent so much time as a mediocre reciever before "retiring." He wasn't a productive reciever until he joined the Chiefs. Plus, there used to be the Eddie Kennison Effect - every team he left went to the playoffs the next year. Now that may not seem like a big deal, but we're talking the Rams in 1999, the Saints in 2000 and the Bears in 2001.

by Mike B. (not verified) :: Sat, 11/04/2006 - 11:15am

Hey, *I* know how good Kennison's been - I've been drafting him in FFB for the last three years, and it's paid off...