Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Jan 2008

ESPN Numbers Crunching: Divisional Round

Here's your heavy helping of Football Outsiders hardcore stats for this weekend's four games. No disrespect is meant to Giants and Cowboys fans because their section is shorter -- I just couldn't find as much compelling Giants/Cowboys material. As for the other three matchups, believe me, there's plenty of stuff still left over for the FO previews. Thanks to Doug Farrar for helping me to put a few of these together.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 10 Jan 2008

11 comments, Last at 11 Jan 2008, 6:55pm by PatsFan


by clod (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 12:03am

First = cool

by John Morgan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 12:04am

Ryan Plackemeier doesn't deserve sole credit for the Hawks' poor punting game. I know it's ESPN, but it would be far more accurate, if less sexy, to say that Ryan Plackemeier and Jon Ryan were the punters on two of the three worst punting units this year. Plackemeier hardly deserves blame for Seattle's terrible long snapper, Boone Klutz.

by Packer Pete (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 12:46am

"The Packers have the best adjusted sack rate because of good blocking and a quarterback who knows how to throw it away." Actually, Favre simply knows where to throw it. He rarely throws one away. After 16 years, he's fantastic at reading the blitz, picking the hot receiver, making a quick read and getting the ball out. However, he almost never throws the ball away.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 2:43am

This was pretty juicy--an upgrade over regular season "crunching." Kudos.

From the Indy/SD matchup: "Perhaps you have heard of this Bob Sanders person?" Hmmm, tasteful first name. Sounds vaguely familiar? He intrigues me. Tell me more.

The home/away D DVOA splits are just nuts. How can that be? Does it coincide with injuries for both teams? How can the splits be THAT wide? Does this game say barn-burner to you? I don't quite think so--those are two good D's, including the league's stingiest.

From the NE/Jax matchup, essentially the second half of the season Jax was #1 passing and #2 rushing and NE was the reverse? Does this game say barn-burner to you? I don't quite picture it, but... well.. maybe. This could be one weird weekend, albeit one with predictable W/L results.

by Jeremiah (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 3:55am

The three most penalized defensive players in the league were Charles Woodson, teammate Al Harris, and Miami defensive end Jason Taylor.

Wait, Al Harris really had more penalties than Atari Bigby? Seriously? Seems like every Packers game I watched, Bigby was getting flagged every time I looked at the screen.

by Purds (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 9:25am


Is Vinatieri really the highest paid kicker in the league? Based on cap value, salary, or both?

The USA today database has 7 kickers with a higher cap value than Vinatieri, and 17 if sorted by just salary alone. Where are you getting your stats?

(USA Today NFL salary database linked on my name)

by mush (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 11:13am

4. I agree, this was definitely an upgrade, a *far* more interesting package than what was the norm in the regular season. Good job.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 12:47pm

Re: 6

Maybe he was talking about total contract value?

by Xian (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 3:07pm

About the punting...I don't know if Plackemeier had a particularly bad game, but I'm wondering how Ryan would look if you took out the Bears game.

by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 6:00pm

Through their Week 9 game with Indianapolis, the Patriots ranked fourth in pass defense and 10th in run defense. Since that game, the Patriots rank just 22nd in pass defense and 21st in run defense.

Roosevelt Colvin was lost for the year in Game 11 (Week 12).

I bet these two statements are related. I don't know what the Pats DVOA was in Week 11 (Game 10), the first week of the decline that Aaron describes and the last game for which Colvin was healthy, but the Pats in that game held the Bills to 10 points, so I'm guessing that game wasn't contributing to the decline.

Once Colvin was out, though...

Maybe Colvin was a lot more important to the defense than conventional wisdom thought...

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2008 - 6:55pm

Re: #10

Perhaps the reason he was more important than conventional wisdom thought wasn't because how good (or not) Colvin himself was doing, but rather because him playing meant that neither Seau nor Bruschi had to be full-timers.

With Colvin out, Seau and Bruschi had to become full-timers and I don't think they're up to it these days.

I just hope the bye will refresh them enough.