Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Oct 2007

FOX: Reviewing 2007's Surprise Teams

Michael David Smith's FOX article this week looks at five surprise teams and asks how good they can be the rest of the year. It won't surprise FO readers that he's high on the Packers, moderate on the Bucs, and pessimistic about the Lions, Raiders, and Browns.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 05 Oct 2007

17 comments, Last at 08 Oct 2007, 4:49pm by zlionsfan


by DrObviousSo (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 5:05pm

"They'll make the playoffs if: The Steelers suffer a ton of injuries."
Ha ha ha... *remembers last week*... ... ... *gulp*

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 5:17pm

Yowza. I took a look at Pauly Shore's IMDb page. Normally, even with actors from terrible movies, there's some good they're in, even if it's just a brief cameo. But for Mr. Shore, his two top-rated movies are (1) A Goofy Movie and (2) An Extremely Goofy Movie.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 5:22pm

They'll miss the playoffs if Kitna gets hurt.

That's not exactly an information-containing statement. And it's true for how many teams in the NFL? (substituting the name of the relevant starting QB for Kitna's, of course)

by Stuart Fraser :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 5:43pm

3 - The difference is that in a Martz offense a quarterback injury is rather more likely than in most other offenses. In general it compensates for this by being very quarterback friendly (hence Warner and Bulger being able to step in and play at a high level on the occasion of the previous QB getting killed), but the Lions don't *have* the requisite vaguely-competent backup who Martz can plug in and perform wonders with.

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 6:07pm

Son in Law was a pretty good movie.

by TheWedge (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 8:37pm

Whoa! A Goofy Movie was awesome and I will fight to the death anyone who challenges that point.


by Brooklyn Bengal (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 9:27pm

DVOA and I (and anybody who's watched any of Cincinnati's games) disagree with you. The Raiders' ST might be bad, but the Bengals have far and away the worst ST in the league this year.

by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:23pm

"They’ll miss the playoffs if Kitna gets hurt."

That’s not exactly an information-containing statement. And it’s true for how many teams in the NFL? (substituting the name of the relevant starting QB for Kitna’s, of course)

Well, four teams made it to the playoffs last year despite having their starting QB on the sideline for at least 4 games. So, the 2006 Eagles, Chiefs, Seahawks, and Cowboys would be exceptions to that statement. Additionally, there are other teams that might have made the playoffs with their backup QB, but didn't have their starter get injured.

by hooper (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 12:05am

They’ll miss the playoffs if Kitna gets hurt.

That’s not exactly an information-containing statement. And it’s true for how many teams in the NFL? (substituting the name of the relevant starting QB for Kitna’s, of course)

Fortunately, that statement was supported by lots of other information-containing statements to explain why he made the initial statement.

by Kulko (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 12:53am

Re 3: Not for very many teams. Just out of the top of my head I remember 5 teams. And its not like QB Injuries are that common.
2006: KC and Phi
2005: Jax
2003: Phi
2001: NE

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 1:24pm

"The Browns can legitimately say they're the second-best team in the AFC North, having beaten both the Ravens and the Bengals."

Sure, the Browns can say that. But would anyone else?

2007 DVOA

Ravens: 14.1%

Bengals: -2.6%

Browns: -10.9

The Browns won their home games vs. the Ravens and Bengals, but it's silly to assert they're the 2nd best team in the division.

by Igor (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 1:34pm

"They'll miss the playoffs if: Derek Anderson remembers that he's Derek Anderson." What does this even mean? Derek has not started 10 games in the NFL so who knows what he is? While he is playing better then last year, the previous season he also lead the Browns to a win over the playoff bound Chiefs. It would be one thing if this was Trent Dilfer or some other veteran QB playing out of his mind but there is not sufficient data for people to put Anderson into the sucking or not sucking category

by the Carolina Panthers\' Special Teams (not verified) :: Sat, 10/06/2007 - 9:17pm

Re: #7.

We disagree.

by MC2 (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 12:14am

#4: At the time they first had to step in, neither Warner nor Bulger were considered to be "remotely competent". In fact, the general sentiment on both occasions seemed to be: "Oh boy, the Rams are now officially screwed."

by Gus (not verified) :: Sun, 10/07/2007 - 1:09am

All right, screw it. I'm on the Lions bandwagon, and I think they can definitely make the playoffs in the NFC because the Bears stink and the Vikings have a commitment to wasting excellent defensive efforts.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/08/2007 - 9:43am

Biodome was awesome. *hangs head in shame*

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 10/08/2007 - 4:49pm

Re O'Sullivan: the other difference is that St. Louis had a solid surrounding cast for the new QBs. Detroit has, um, yeah.

Kitna has been struggling whenever conditions are less than ideal. I would not expect anything more from any other Lions QB.

They'll make the playoffs if: the Fords sell the team.

They could beat the Chiefs at home. They might beat the Broncos or the Giants at home. Other than that, well, 3-13 wouldn't be worse than last season.