Football Outsiders

Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Sean McCormick's blog

Strategic Keys to Week 10 Games

SI's Bucky Brooks takes a close look at some of the strategies that proved decisive in Week 10. Among other things, Brooks discusses Pittsburgh's ability to fake the blitz and drop eight into coverage, Green Bay's use of the shovel pass to slow down the pass rush, and Atlanta 's waiting until crunchtime to exploit a matchup edge. Good stuff.

7 comments, Last at 13 Nov 2007, 1:53pm by David

More Than One Way To The Top Of The Mountain

ESPN's Len Pasquerelli looks at the very different approaches to roster construction taken by the Colts and Patriots. The Colts are almost entirely home grown, while the Patriots have shown much greater willingness to acquire veteran talent from other teams. It should probably be noted at some point that roster construction of any sort is a whole lot easier when you've got a franchise quarterback sitting on the roster, but Bengals fans are probably in no mood to hear it.

15 comments, Last at 06 Nov 2007, 4:52pm by dryheat

The Psychology of Kicking

So what is it that kickers do for the fifty-nine minutes they are not on the field? Michael Lewis interviews Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri to find out. More news at 11! Actually, Lewis does a great job of putting the high-pressure world of an NFL kicker on display, and gets interesting answers out of Vinatieri on the idea of kicking under pressure. It's one of the more thoughtful player profiles we'll see in the run-up to Colts-Pats. (Free NYT registration required)

14 comments, Last at 02 Nov 2007, 10:31am by MRH

The Secret World Of The Practice Squad

Life on the Detroit Lions practice squad means always knowing you aren't good enough to beat out a Matt Millen draft pick.

8 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2007, 7:18pm by MarkV

Pennington Era Over As Jets Promote Clemens

It was really only a matter of time before Chad Pennington gave way to Kellen Clemens, but time has a way of speeding up when your team is 1-7 and the offense just finished putting up three points against a very shaky Bills defense. There is no question that Clemens has a gun, and he looked good in preseason, so there really is no reason for the Jets not to play him at this point. Pennington still has some football left in him, but he is clearly better suited at this point to play a caretaker role on a team with a top defense.

44 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2007, 6:47pm by Alex

Strategic Keys For Week 8 Winners

CNNSI's Bucky Brooks looks at some of the strategies that paid off in Week 8, including the Colts running Carolina out of their two-deep zone, the Browns beating pressure by exploiting a matchup edge on the outside, and Tennessee simply putting their best defensive lineman up against Robert Gallery and then sitting back to watch the ensuing carnage.

7 comments, Last at 30 Oct 2007, 12:07pm by Wanker79

London Bowl Gives UK A Taste Of Parity

ESPN's Seth Wickersham notes that as middling an affair as Dolphins-Giants was, it did a pretty fair job of representing the true state of the NFL game to a European audience, where aside from the truly elite teams, it can be hard to distinguish the good teams from the bad teams when you put them on the field together. He then jumps to the conclusion that the English Premier League experience is qualitatively different, a remark which can only be described as uproariously funny to anyone who has had to sit through a Bolton-Blackburn match.

11 comments, Last at 31 Oct 2007, 2:30pm by Alan Milnes

Strategies That Worked In Week 7

Sports Illustrated's Bucky Brooks looks at a number of strategic decisions that panned out, including the Patriots use of the spread offense, Buffalo's use of the no-huddle to counter the Ravens pre-snap defensive movement and Mike Martz going against his tendencies by using the run to set up the pass.

26 comments, Last at 24 Oct 2007, 11:01am by Rock Rebel

Linehan Takes Pole Position In Race To Be Fired

There are two 0-7 teams in the NFL, Miami and St. Louis. The Dolphins are playing with a first-year head coach; the Rams are not. As a result, it's not surprising to see that it is Scott Linehan who is taking more heat for his team's performance. Linehan has plenty of excuses- his offensive line is in shambles, his star running back has missed most of the season, his second receiver hasn't played much and his quarterback is gutting it out with a smashed-up ribcage. No NFL team is going to function in that condition.

26 comments, Last at 24 Oct 2007, 12:02pm by Theo, Holland

Rob Bironas Comes To Houston, Sees, Conquers

I'm not sure what's more improbable- Houston scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter or Houston's losing after scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter. Rob Bironas went 8-for-8 on field goals, including a 29-yarder with two seconds left to fend off the Texan's late charge. Can you say NFL Replay?

7 comments, Last at 22 Oct 2007, 3:45pm by NewsToTom