2007 Staff Predictions

Here's your standard warning: Predictions are hard and likely to fail. It is the intrinsic nature of the NFL: there are so many variables and so much luck involved in a 16-game season that teams will make the playoffs or bomb for totally unexpected and sometimes baffling reasons. Let's say we think the New England Patriots have the best chance of any team in the AFC to make it to the Super Bowl. Perhaps we think they have a 20% chance to make it, and we think that six other teams have a 10% chance to make it, and eight other teams have a 2.5% chance to make it, and they will also play some games in Oakland this season. OK, so we pick New England to win the AFC. Even based solely on this opinion, there is four in five chance the pick will be incorrect. So we are all going to be mostly wrong.

As we always say, we're going to make picks anyway, because that's part of running a football site: you make picks.

This year, we're doing things a bit differently than in years past. Nearly every member of the FO staff submitted his picks for the 12 playoff teams. You will also find picks based on the DVOA Projection System, which you can read about here, and a staff consensus.

However, unlike in past years, we did not each write a long paragraph summarizing our views on each conference. The fact is, most of us generally agree on who the best 7-8 teams are in each conference, and it wastes time to just restate the same things about those teams over and over -- especially when we have a lot more staff members than in past years.

Instead, we've asked every staff member to pick a team that will do better than our general team projection, and a team that will do worse, with reasoning behind the pick. We've written about this in many places: we do not believe that our statistical methods are perfect. Our subjective views are informed by our objective numbers, but not dictated by them. One of the fascinating things about Football Outsiders that often our readers accept as gospel methods that we ourselves believe are still flawed and open to improvement. Gradually, research will either allow us to remove these flaws from the projection system, or make it clear that they aren't flaws at all.

We excluded Tampa Bay and New Orleans, because everyone is basically in agreement that the system is having a hard time with New Orleans because of the after-effects of the hurricane-wrecked 2005 season, and we're all basically in agreement that while Tampa Bay is probably underrated by everyone else, the Bucs are really overrated by our projection systems.

We've also asked each staff member to pick a player that he thinks will do better than the KUBIAK projection, and a player that he thinks will do worse, and we asked a few other questions. So here goes...


Aaron Schatz Patriots Steelers Jaguars Chargers Colts, Ravens
Ben Riley Patriots Steelers Jaguars Chargers Broncos, Bengals
Benjy Rose Patriots Ravens Colts Chargers Broncos, Steelers
Bill Barnwell Patriots Bengals Jaguars Broncos Browns, Steelers
Bill Moore Patriots Steelers Colts Chargers Broncos, Bengals
David Lewin Patriots Bengals Colts Chargers Jets, Jaguars
Doug Farrar Patriots Steelers Colts Chargers Broncos, Ravens
Michael David Smith Patriots Ravens Colts Chargers Jaguars, Bengals
Mike Tanier Patriots Steelers Colts Broncos Ravens, Bengals
Ned Macey Patriots Bengals Jaguars Chargers Colts, Ravens
Russell Levine Patriots Ravens Colts Chargers Steelers, Titans
Ryan Wilson Patriots Ravens Colts Chargers Steelers, Jaguars
Sean McCormick Patriots Bengals Colts Chargers Steelers, Jaguars
Stuart Fraser Patriots Ravens Colts Chargers Steelers, Jaguars
Tim Gerheim Patriots Ravens Jaguars Chargers Broncos, Colts
Vince Verhei Patriots Steelers Jaguars Chargers Broncos, Colts
DVOA Projections Patriots Ravens Jaguars Chargers Steelers, Colts
FO Consensus Patriots Ravens Colts Chargers Jaguars, Steelers


Aaron Schatz Eagles Packers Saints 49ers Bears, Redskins
Ben Riley Cowboys Lions Saints Seahawks Eagles, Cardinals
Benjy Rose Eagles Packers Saints 49ers Panthers, Bears
Bill Barnwell Redskins Bears Saints Seahawks Eagles, Packers
Bill Moore Eagles Bears Saints 49ers Seahawks, Packers
David Lewin Eagles Bears Saints Cardinals 49ers, Rams
Doug Farrar Cowboys Bears Saints 49ers Eagles, Seahawks
Michael David Smith Eagles Bears Panthers Rams Seahawks, Redskins
Mike Tanier Eagles Bears Saints Seahawks Packers, Redskins
Ned Macey Eagles Bears Saints Rams Packers, Redskins
Russell Levine Eagles Bears Saints Seahawks Packers, Cowboys
Ryan Wilson Eagles Bears Saints 49ers Packers, Cowboys
Sean McCormick Eagles Packers Saints Seahawks Cowboys, Redskins
Stuart Fraser Eagles Bears Saints Seahawks Packers, 49ers
Tim Gerheim Eagles Bears Saints 49ers Vikings, Rams
Vince Verhei Eagles Bears Saints Seahawks 49ers, Panthers
DVOA Projections Eagles Packers Buccaneers 49ers Panthers, Redskins
FO Consensus Eagles Bears Saints 49ers Seahawks, Packers

Super Bowl XLII

  Winner Loser
Aaron Schatz Patriots Eagles
Ben Riley Cowboys Steelers
Bill Barnwell Patriots Bears
Bill Moore Eagles Chargers
Brian Fremeau Patriots Saints
David Lewin Patriots Saints
Doug Farrar Patriots Saints
Michael David Smith Patriots Eagles
Mike Tanier Patriots Eagles
Ned Macey Eagles Bengals
Russell Levine Saints Ravens
Ryan Wilson Chargers Eagles
Sean McCormick Colts Eagles
Stuart Fraser Ravens Eagles
Tim Gerheim Eagles Chargers
Vince Verhei Patriots Eagles

Team Most Likely To Beat Its PFP Projection (besides New Orleans)

Aaron Schatz: Dallas. Yes, both Romo and the defense got worse over the last few weeks of 2006. I think that's a sign that the Cowboys will be worse than last year, but not 6-10 worse. They'll probably be 8-8 or so, fighting with Washington and the San Francisco/Seattle loser for the last wild card.

Ben Riley: San Diego. Offensive and defensive line? Check. Dominant running game? Check. Up and coming quarterback with a couple of weapons in the passing game? Check. Great coach who knows how to manage a football game? Che...ok, this isn't optimal, but still: this team is winning more than 8.6 games. A lot more.

Benjy Rose: San Diego. Even with Norv, this team is just too damn talented to not win 10 or 11 games. Rivers will improve, and LT is LT. They won't dominate like last year, but they're still a division winner.

Bill Barnwell: Cincinnati. That offense is too fantastic, even without Chris Henry or Kenny Irons or Chris Perry. Defensively, they got significantly better as the year went along at stopping the run, and the weak point of the pass defense (the corners) have been replaced. They were a botched extra point away from controlling their playoff destiny last year.

Bill Moore: Houston. It has to end sometime right? This is not a giant leap onto the Schaub bandwagon, but rather a marginal improvement in offense combined with a leap in defense (after ranking 31st in D, you can't fall off the floor right?). Improvement in the defensive line and a rebound by Dunta Robinson, will add two extra games over the projection.

David Lewin: Indianapolis and San Diego. The Colts aren't likely to win another Super Bowl unless the defense improves dramatically, but Peyton is too good to win fewer than 10 games. Even Norv Turner can't keep the 2007 Chargers out of the playoffs.

Doug Farrar: San Francisco. There's only one playoff contender in the NFC South (the NFC West's foe this season), and the Seahawks are the 49ers' only threat in the West. They had the easiest projected schedule before the Vick thing and the fact that Arizona is starting to look like a huge migraine for Ken Whisenhunt. I think San Francisco will have enough on the ball to surpass the 8.1 win projection.

Michael David Smith: Indianapolis. I'm the last guy to get caught up in the importance of skill position players over linemen, defense and special teams, but at the same time, I just believe a team with Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Joseph Addai is going to be really good, even if the rest of the roster is a bunch of guys who would be on the practice squad of other teams.

Mike Tanier: Dallas. The offense is loaded at the skill positions and there's lots of talent and depth on the defensive front seven. Even though Bill Parcells is a better coach than Wade Philips, I think these guys will have an early-season honeymoon where they play well for the "good cop" coaching staff. A 5-1 start is very possible, and then they only need a win or two to surpass our projection.

Ned Macey: San Diego. I think they won't be as good as last year, but I think the AFC West will be substantially weaker across the board. Denver's offense was broke last year, beyond the quarterback position, and I'm not sure Travis Henry solves those problems. Kansas City will fall apart, and Oakland is still a year or two away. I think they can sleep-walk to 10 wins, but they'll probably lose in the first round even without Marty.

Ryan Wilson: Dallas. The Cowboys have a new coaching staff, and no one knows what to expect from Tony Romo, but the offensive line should be improved, the running game is solid, and there is depth (and, after Terry Glenn and Terrell Owens, youth) at wide receiver. Wade Phillips' version of the 3-4 defense is more attacking than Bill Parcells, and the Cowboys have the players to recreate what the Chargers were able to do in recent years.

Russell Levine: Dallas. I understand all the reasons why we've projected them low, but I think that team will play better for Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett than it did in the oppressive final years of Parcells's time in Big D. Tony Romo doesn't need to be a superstar (but it would help if he could catch the field goal snaps). They'll be the last team in the NFC tournament.

Sean McCormick: Indianapolis. Yes, the defense is going to play more like the regular season version than the playoff version, yes there have been significant personnel losses, and yes the roster is paper-thin. But come on. The Colts haven't won fewer than 12 games since 2002. They're not about to change into a 9-7 squad.

Stuart Fraser: St. Louis. The defense should be somewhere closer to respectable (it could hardly be worse), and the two biggest stars on offense aren't likely to decline. Plus, they have a history of overperforming their projection.

Tim Gerheim: Minnesota. Yeah, they have no quarterback or receivers, but they're in pretty good shape everywhere else. A year ago, the Saints had a huge question mark at quarterback throwing to Joe Horn and a cast of extras, so an off-season can make a big difference.

Vince Verhei: San Diego. I don't care who the coach is, this is one of the two or three most talented teams in the league.

Team Most Likely To Fall Short Of Its PFP Projection (besides Tampa Bay)

Aaron Schatz: New York Giants. They start their year like this: at Dallas, home against Green Bay, at Washington, home against Philadelphia, and then "home" against the Jets. There's a pretty good chance they come out of that 0-5 or 1-4, and if this team starts slow, they're going full Kotite.

Ben Riley: Green Bay. The projection system must have access to some of da kine stuff, because there's no way Green Bay is winning 9.5 games. Or 7.5 games.

Benjy Rose: New York Giants. So long, Tom... don't let the entire state of New York hit you in the butt on the way out.

Bill Barnwell: New York Giants. When I think about this upcoming Giants season, my heart hurts in the way it does when you think of ex-girlfriends sleeping with new people. Many new people. At the same time. While she reassures them all how much better they are in bed than you. Oh, and she does this all in the next room over from you while you're trying to sleep. And then makes the whole group breakfast afterwards, your favorite breakfast, too, and throws out the last helping as you go to grab some. It's like that, except it's going to happen for about 17 consecutive weekends. It astounds me that some people still think this team has a chance of being competitive in 2007.

Bill Moore: Jacksonville. Quarterback controversy, a bigger workload for Jones-Drew (with the potential for a sophomore slump) and a tough schedule will do the Jaguars in. 11.8 wins? I sell to you. As a side note, I have a tough time figuring out who, of anyone, Oakland will beat.

David Lewin: Jacksonville. They just cut their best quarterback. David Garrard's average, and the Jaguars have a good defense, but Del Rio's inability to manage his own personnel will kill them.

Doug Farrar: Oakland. I know it sounds funny, but even if the JaMarcus Russell holdout doesn't stretch on interminably, Option B is Daunte Culpepper behind a line that still stinks, zone blocking or not, and this is when the Raiders' defense begins to bend from the weight of holding that whole team together. I was impressed at the lack of public frustration exhibited last year (yet more props for Rob Ryan), but patience has to run out soon. Besides, it isn't impossible for a team to be that bad two years in a row -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had about eight seasons in the 1980s and early 1990s when the CFL wouldn't have taken them.

Michael David Smith: Green Bay. I have a bad feeling that Brett Favre is going to be really bad this year.

Mike Tanier: Jacksonville. No, no, I am not going to wade into my opinions about Jack Del Rio and Mike Tice again; Jaguars fans hate me enough right now. I just don't see 12-4 talent on this team at receiver, in the secondary, and yes, at quarterback. The schedule looks encouraging, because the Jags play the NFC South and that division doesn't look too great, but after last season I'm reluctant to pencil in any sure-thing wins for these guys.

Ned Macey: San Francisco. Our 8.1 projection may be lower than other people picking them as a real sleeper, and I still think we are too high. This projection is largely based on the projected weakest schedule in football. I think that Arizona, Seattle, and St. Louis are all a little better than we are projecting which takes wins off of San Fran's ranking. Meanwhile, the 49ers were the fourth worst team in football last season. Nate Clements is not that good.

Ryan Wilson: Washington. In the preseason, the Redskins defense looked to be in 2004-2005 form, which is great news. However, the offense -- specifically, the offensive line -- still has some questions. Newly acquired Pete Kendall will upgrade the guard position, but left tackle Chris Samuels has battled injuries, and right tackle Jon Jansen has been inconsistent. The quarterback projection system loves Jason Campbell, but after Santana Moss and Chris Cooley, there isn't a bona fide pass catcher on the roster.

Russell Levine: Atlanta. This is an easy one. The Michael Vick situation will be their Katrina. Not because Vick was so awesomely great, but the players now have every excuse they need to fail, and based on past seasons that doesn't seem to be the mentally toughest bunch to begin with. They could be headed for the top of the draft board.

Sean McCormick: Jacksonville. One cannot help but notice that the Jags just cut their starting quarterback a week before the regular season. That usually isn't a good sign. The rest of the personnel is still good enough for the team to make the playoffs with a David Garrard-type (or in this case, just plain David Garrard) at quarterback. But they're going in as a five or a six seed, not as the two seed that PFP was projecting.

Stuart Fraser: Atlanta. Joey Harrington is not a very good quarterback, and the Falcons minus Vick certainly don't have the top-drawer running game that kept them alive last season.

Tim Gerheim: Green Bay. I don't buy the defense being strong enough to carry this offense toward 10 wins. The running game , "led" by Vernand Morency, smacks of the 2005 Cardinals.

Vince Verhei: Green Bay. Do you realize that according to the projection system, the Packers are not only going to win the division, but get the number TWO seed, a first-round bye and a home playoff game? Yeah, none of that is happening.

Player Who Will Most Exceed His KUBIAK Projection

Aaron Schatz: Andre Johnson. It's weird to pick these two categories for me, since I'm the person who gets to fiddle with the subjective KUBIAK variables. For wide receivers, there is a variable for expected role. The best role is not actually "1." Andre Johnson is one of four receivers who is listed with a role of "0.8." (The others are Steve Smith, Lee Evans, and Javon Walker. Torry Holt was "0.8" until the stories about his knees in the preseason.) Despite this, his projection came out way, way lower than his actual numbers from last year, and there really was nothing else I could do to move it up without "cheating." I don't think the system has the right variables to understand that no matter how much Houston struggles, Johnson will transcend these struggles.

Ben Riley: Andre Johnson. Next year, he's the number one wide receiver off the board. You heard it here first.

Benjy Rose: Joey Harrington. I know it's risky (or perhaps stupid) to think that any Atlanta QB will perform well, given the receivers and the run-first gameplan not to mention all the off-field shenanigans), but I think Harrington will be a calming influence on the team and will play right into what Petrino wants from his offense. The running game should put him in position to convert lots of short 3rd-downs. He may very quietly have a 3500+ yard season.

Bill Barnwell: Shaun Alexander. In 2005, everything went right. In 2006, everything went wrong. In 2007, some things will go right and some will go wrong. Mack Strong's not the same blocker he was, and the offensive line is worse without Steve Hutchison, but both should be better than they were last year; if not, Strong will get taken out of the lineup at some point. Matt Hasselbeck being back helps, too.

Bill Moore: Dominic Rhodes. Even with the four game suspension, Rhodes should eat into carries from LaMont Jordan once he actually makes it on the field.

David Lewin: Matt Leinart and Larry Fitzgerald. The new coaching staff should improve the line slightly, and that's all Leinart will needs to make the leap to Pro Bowl status with Fitzgerald as his number 1 target.

Doug Farrar: DeMarcus Ware. His IDP sack projection could be very conservative. Ware was tops amongst all players listed as linebackers in hurries last year, and I like what Aaron has said about hurries being to doubles what sacks are to home runs - a positive indicator. Ware's also got Purdue's Anthony Spencer, a Shaun Phillips in the making, to play Hutch to his Starsky.

Michael David Smith: Larry Johnson. He won't break down. Yet.

Mike Tanier: LaMont Jordan. Our projections don't have a variable to handle last year's Raiders. Jordan is going to get some carries and catches this year, and if the offense improves to just plain "bad," he'll register some decent numbers.

Ned Macey: Edgerrin James. I'm going to keep saying it until the guy retires, but I think he is an excellent running back. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry over his last eight games. Now they have a much more running back friendly offense. His TD total may be held down, so he is not a great fantasy back, but his real football production will be impressive.

Ryan Wilson: Kevin Curtis. The Eagles lost Dante' Stallworth, but Curtis actually had a better '07 season according to DPAR and DVOA. Also, Curtis' catch rate -- 70 percent -- was 21 points better than Stallworth's.

Russell Levine: Braylon Edwards. Maybe it's just the Michigan fan in me, but I think this is the year he makes an impact, once he has a competent QB in Brady Quinn throwing him the ball (and yes, it was hard for me to type the last part of that sentence).

Sean McCormick: Tony Romo. I watched a lot of Romo's games and it seemed to me that the team was often putting him in bad spots on first and second down. There were drops, there were penalties and there were a disturbing number of Julius Jones one-yard gains. Then Romo would promptly make a superb throw on third and long to convert, allowing the vicious cycle to start all over again. The numbers say regression is on the way, but the scout in me thinks the third down Tony Romo is the real Tony Romo.

Stuart Fraser: Larry Fitzgerald. Provided he stays healthy, KUBIAK's predicting a very pedestrian year for him. Fitz and Boldin are likely to both put up incredible receiving numbers if the Cardinals are behind as often as PFP thinks they will be.

Tim Gerheim: Devery Henderson. I think he's Bernard Berrian (maybe a little better) with a good quarterback. His 47 projected receptions are too few.

Vince Verhei: Jerious Norwood. He was the best player in Atlanta last year when healthy, and Warrick Dunn isn't getting any younger.

Player Who Will Most Underperform His KUBIAK Projection

Aaron Schatz: Rex Grossman. The system has no idea what to do with him.

Ben Riley: Cadillac Williams. This just in: he isn't very good, and neither are the Bucs. Mmm, three yards and a cloud of wasted third round fantasy picks. A close second: Ron Curry. I love the kid too, but he's supposedly going to outgain Andre Johnson (see above).

Benjy Rose: Larry Johnson. He'll play to win... and then get injured after five games.

Bill Barnwell: LaDainian Tomlinson. I think his heavy (if not quite 370-) workload catches up to him with a nagging injury or two, and Lorenzo Neal's effectiveness as a run blocker decreases because of age.

Bill Moore: Laurence Maroney. I don't think Maroney is set to be a 3-down, 20-carry back. His DVOA and Success Rate last year demonstrate his streakiness. Two rushes for one yard, then one for seven yards. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Belichick will mix it up and utilize Faulk and Morris in various situations. The Patriots have had only one other 1,400+-yard rusher since Curtis Martin rushed for 1,487 in 1995 (Dillon ran for 1,635 in 2004), and in both of those years, those running backs were real workhorses.

David Lewin:Vince Young. Young is convinced that he has made it as a quarterback; he is very wrong. Young will continue to be dangerous as a runner, but hubris will halt his development as a passer, and he won't catch nearly as many lucky breaks this year.

Doug Farrar: Matt Hasselbeck. The Seahawks' pass protection is one Walter Jones injury away from disaster in a way it hasn't been before, and Jones is 33 years old in a way he hasn't been before. Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett still have things to prove. The outlet pass to the running back is an endangered species in Seattle. Blitz pickup seems to be an issue for everyone in the backfield, and I'm not feeling too good about Hasselbeck's ability to play a full season.

Michael David Smith: Frank Gore. He will break down. Already.

Mike Tanier: Joseph Addai. The Colts are going to find a change-up back who eats into his carries. They are well aware of how running back friendly their system is.

Ned Macey: Jamal Lewis. The oldest 28-year-old in the world. There is no way he breaks 4.0 yards per carry for the Browns, and I have no idea why he is predicted with a sizable TD total. The guy has broken seven touchdowns only twice in his career. The Browns offense will not be as good as the 2006 Ravens to allow him to pick up 9 TDs. He is a third back at best in most fantasy leagues.

Ryan Wilson: Randy Moss. The Patriots have too many offensive weapons, and Moss won't ever be the guy he was in Minnesota. Not until the Patriots hire Brian Billick as the offensive coordinator, anyway.

Russell Levine: Marques Colston. Don't ask me why. I just think there's a reason why rookie receivers seldom do anything, and some of those that do don't ever get back to that level. I'm not saying he's Michael Clayton, but he's not going to be Jerry Rice, either.

Sean McCormick: Deuce McAllister. I know running back-by-committee is all the rage these days, but that's because most teams don't have a player the caliber of Reggie Bush on their roster. KUBIAK is projecting McAllister to still get a majority of the carries for the Saints, but it's more likely that Bush takes over the starting job and that McAllister is relegated to the role of "much better Correll Buckhalter."

Stuart Fraser: Jamal Lewis. Suffice to say I don't share KUBIAK's optimism about Cleveland's line or the odds of the Browns being in enough games for Lewis to rack up 1,200 yards.

Tim Gerheim: Vince Young. I don't buy the pass efficiency projection. He's a better quarterback than Michael Vick (RIP), but I think he'll remain a little too flighty in the pocket for at least this year.

Vince Verhei: Vince Young. I realize running quarterbacks always score well. But at some point he's going to have to pass, and he has nobody to throw it to.

In The Long Run, The Most Overblown Story Of The 2007 Preseason Will Be...

Aaron Schatz: Rodney Harrison's four-game suspension for using HGH. Yes, it may have an effect on the Patriots win-loss record over the next four weeks, but not as much as the Richard Seymour injury. More importantly, I'm talking here about the "scandal" aspect of this suspension. In Boston, they're acting like Harrison just got caught in the bathroom with Larry Craig, but in the rest of the country, nobody seems to be batting an eyelash. Does anybody remember that Julius Peppers was suspended four games for using banned supplements back in 2002? Does anybody mention this when they talk about what a great player he is? Nope.

Ben Riley: Brady Quinn's holdout. He'll be starting by week seven and will serve as a Leinart-like balm for ailing Browns fans.

Benjy Rose: Eli vs. Tiki. Who gives a crap?

Bill Barnwell: Larry Johnson's holdout Yeah, Herm says he's going to give Michael Bennett the bulk of the carries at the start of the season. When they start 0-2, that won't last for long. The holdout will mean a lot when LJ's on crutches in jeans on the sidelines.

Bill Moore: The status of New York's starting quarterbacks. Why worry about Pennington's effectiveness? Kellen Clemens very well may be starting by midseason, and he'll become the most popular Clemens in New York. Eli Manning will be judged by his on-field actions, not his locker room talks, despite Tiki Barber's attempt to create "news."

David Lewin: None, really. The Michael Vick story is overblown in terms of how much it will affect the Falcons on the field, but I don't see how a major active sports star going to jail for a year can be overblown.

Doug Farrar: The Tiki/Ronde/Eli/Peyton/Whoever Else Gets Involved feud. When Tiki went into television, I was hoping he would provide an intelligent alternative to the usual nonsense we get from what Howard Cosell used to call the "Jockocracy". Little did I know that he'd prefer to play a starring role in the NFL's version of "The View".

Michael David Smith: Falcons are screwed with Joey Harrington. Although Harrington is nowhere near as exciting as Michael Vick, he's overall about as good a quarterback as Vick. However, I disagree really, really strongly with anyone who thinks the Vick story overall has been overblown. This is one of the highest-profile employees of two of America's highest-profile businesses (the NFL and Nike), and he's about to go to prison for a significant length of time. That is a major news story. If anything, the mainstream media weren't covering it enough in May, June and early July.

Mike Tanier: The Larry Johnson holdout. It was already overblown. I mean, we all knew he would be back by late August, right?

Ned Macey: The Brady Quinn Holdout. Somehow, I imagine that if he plays well at any point in his career, Browns fans will overlook those two weeks.

Ryan Wilson: Ron "Ookie" Mexico. Hopefully Roger Goodell is right -- this thing won't overshadow the regular season -- but if the last month is any indication, we'll be talking about it all year.

Russell Levine: Michael Strahan. In order, he: Will play; Won't get a new deal; Will be unhappy; Will be marginally effective; Will engage in a public pissing match with Tiki Barber after the latter calls him out on NBC.

Sean McCormick: Preseason injuries. Every year players get injured in preseason and every year people seize on those injuries to complain that the preseason should be shortened. The reality is that there is very little functional difference between blowing out your knee in preseason or in week one or two-just ask Jets fans whether they were better off when Vinny Testaverde played for two quarters in 1999 than when Chad Pennington went down in the preseason.

Stuart Fraser: The entire Vick business. Yeah, I know, it's a major story and it's entirely plausible the Falcons will collapse (heck, I've just predicted it). It's being covered as if it were a natural disaster or something, so in terms of relative levels of overblowing...

Tim Gerheim: What will the Falcons do without Michael Vick? Two words: Ewing Theory.

Vince Verhei: Houston Acquiring Matt Schaub... and winning 4 or 5 games again.


  Winner Loser
Brian Fremeau LSU USC
David Lewin USC West Virginia
Michael David Smith USC West Virginia
Mike Tanier USC West Virginia
Ned Macey LSU Oklahoma
Russell Levine USC West Virginia
Sean McCormick USC West Virginia
Stuart Fraser USC Louisville
Tim Gerheim Florida USC

With The First Pick In The 2008 NFL Draft, The What Selects Who?

  Team Pick
Aaron Schatz New York Giants Jake Long
Ben Riley Kansas City Jake Long
Benjy Rose New York Giants Steve Slaton
Bill Barnwell New York Giants Jake Long
Bill Moore Oakland Jake Long
Brian Fremeau Atlanta Brian Brohm
David Lewin Dallas (from Cleveland) Glenn Dorsey
Doug Farrar Atlanta Brian Brohm
Michael David Smith Detroit Darren McFadden
Mike Tanier Oakland Jake Long
Ned Macey Dallas (from Cleveland) Darren McFadden
Russell Levine Kansas City Jake Long
Ryan Wilson Detroit Early Doucet
Sean McCormick Miami Brian Brohm
Stuart Fraser Atlanta Brian Brohm
Tim Gerheim Kansas City Sam Baker
Vince Verhei Minnesota A Real NFL Quarterback

Hottest 2008 Head Coaching Candidate Not Named Bill

Aaron Schatz: Brian Schottenheimer.
Ben Riley: Clancy Pendergast.
Benjy Rose: Charlie Weis.
Bill Barnwell: Steve Mariucci.
Bill Moore: Rex Ryan, although Norm Chow will get a lot of attention as well.
David Lewin: Russ Grimm.
Doug Farrar: Jim Mora.
Michael David Smith: Marty Schottenheimer.
Mike Tanier: Shane Montgomery, Miami (OH).
Ned Macey: Rob Ryan.
Russell Levine: Pete Carroll. Jim Harbaugh was 1-for-2 with statements he pulled out of his rear end this off-season.
Ryan Wilson: Gregg Williams.
Stuart Fraser: Marty Schottenheimer. Why have a chip off the old block when you can have the block himself?
Tim Gerheim: Rex/Rob Ryan.
Vince Verhei: Rex Ryan.


116 comments, Last at 24 Mar 2009, 9:00pm

#1 by Benjy\\\'s Cousin (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:04pm

Dear Benjy,

The PACKERS? THE FREAKING PACKERS? The filthy disgusting Green Bay Packers?

I hate you! :-)


Points: 0

#2 by Nate (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:18pm

Aaron, I think it's kind of ridiculous to compare ephedra usage (Peppers) to HGH usage (Harrison). Ephedra was in the most commonly sold cold medicines up until a few years ago. HGH is just in a whole other league (IMO, obviously).

Points: 0

#3 by Joe Skolnik (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:24pm


Points: 0

#4 by Jimmy (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:30pm

Ned Macey has the first pick in the draft going to Cleveland. The Browns don't have a first pick next year, it belongs to the Cowboys.

Points: 0

#5 by Bill (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:35pm

I find it odd that Lewin predicts the Bengals to 1) win the division and 2) get the top pick.

Who/what is he expecting them to trade for it?

Points: 0

#6 by Gerry (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:42pm

My non-staff, just-a-reader picks:

AFC: Pats, Ravens, Colts, Chargers. WC Steelers, Jags.

NFC: Eagles, Bears, Panthers, Seahawks. WC Saints, Giants (I am such a HOMER).

Super Bowl: Eagles over Chargers.

Team most likely to beat its PFP projection: Most likely? The Chargers. However, the Giants might very well be the team to most exceed the projection, even if it is less likely that they will exceed it at all.

Team most likely to underperform its PFP projection: Atlanta. Not buying Harrington, still don't buy the wideouts, and Dunn is older.

Player who will most exceed KUBIAK: Shaun Alexander. Winter comes for real next season, while now will be an Indian summer.

Player who will most underperform KUBIAK: TO. This preseason felt like the calm before the storm. He'll throw Romo under the bus, and fall out of favor, again.

The Most Overblown Story Will Be: Strahan. He'll be a decent player on a team that surprises after having an... interesting preseason. That will keep the focus on him, where he wants it.

BCS: USC over Florida.

First pick in the NFL Draft: The Miami Dolphins take Brian Brohm.

Hottest 2008 Coaching Candidate Not Named Bill: Steve Spagnuolo

Points: 0

#7 by steelberger1 (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:45pm

"Does anybody remember that Julius Peppers was suspended four games for using banned supplements back in 2002? Does anybody mention this when they talk about what a great player he is? Nope."

Are you frickin kidding me? You are comparing ephedra to HGH?

Points: 0

#8 by Chris (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:51pm

A lot of hate for the Giants Schatz.

Points: 0

#9 by Stereochemistry (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:53pm

I understand the decision, but I have to say it's a little disappointing to be a fan of the Bucs and have them "held out" of the discussion. I really enjoy the entire staff's take on the Bucs, both DVOA projection and personal prediction.

While I could see the response could be "Just read the PFP 2007 for detailed analysis of how the DVOA projection and our predictions would differ", PFP was written back when FO thought Chris Simms (circa 2005) was going to beat out Jeff Garcia, and probable backup QB Luke McCown wasn't even included.

Hopefully they'll actually do something this year that will warrant the extra attention and analysis.

Points: 0

#10 by Ned Macey // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:54pm

#4--I guess the Browns did make a rather high-profile trade of next year's first round pick. Let's give Dallas Jake Long in that case.

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#11 by sam (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 12:57pm

Questions in the Jaguars' secondary? the #4 ranked secondary according to Football Outsiders?

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#12 by throughthelook… (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:00pm

My extremely unscientific picks
AFC: Patriots(1), Steelers(4), Colts(3), Chargers(2), Jaguars(5), Ravens(6)

NFC: Eagles(1), Packers(2), Panthers(3), Seahawks(4), Saints(5), Bears(6)

Super Bowl: Eagles over Patriots

Team Most Likely To Overperform Projection: Chargers.
Team Most Likely To Underperform Projection: Lions

Points: 0

#13 by Chris (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:01pm

I had the Pats/Eagles SB months ago, and got nice futures at 36/1 and 12/1. Boo ya

Points: 0

#14 by dryheat (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:04pm

I see Julius Jones, of the Big Stone Gap, Virginia Joneses, having a big bounce-back season in his contract year.

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#15 by Jon (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:29pm

I'm still very surprised that FO is going along with the rest of the media in predicting disaster for the Giants.Trust DVOA. At least 7 wins with a chance for better with less injuries and Manning taking a step forward.

Points: 0

#16 by CA (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:33pm

Oh no! The plurality of the Outsiders think that Jake Long is going to be the top pick in the NFL draft? And Russell picks Braylon Edwards as the player who will most exceed his KUBIAK Projection? It looks like the overhyping of all things Michigan has spilled over from Confessions and Adventure to the NFL predictions. :-)

Points: 0

#17 by iapetus (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:36pm

11: The obvious question - and one for which NFL stats don't have any answers - is how Reggie Nelson is going to perform.

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#18 by BHold (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:39pm

Aaron must have been denied an interview with the Giants organization or something. Every year he goes out of his way to insult them at every opportunity, kind of interesting.

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#19 by johonny (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:42pm

This article predicts my worst fears. One mention of the Dolphins (getting #1 pick) and I can't see them being that bad. Football is starting and I can't seem to get worked up. Not bad enough to be a train wreck, not good enough to have wild card hopes. Another yawner of a season. I couldn't even work up enough interest to play fantasy this year.

Points: 0

#20 by jonnyblazin (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:43pm

Looks like the AFC North is the hardest division to pick, although the NFC West is pretty contentious too (it's the only division with all 4 teams picked as possible winners). The difference between them is that the AFC North has 3 legitimately good teams, while the NFC West has 4 teams all struggling to achieve mediocrity.

The Ravens and Steelers strike me as well rounded teams (especially now that the Steelers have Rossum), whereas the Bengals are a tier below IMO. I still think their defense and special teams are questionable, and playing without Chris Henry for the first 8 games and not having a change of pace RB makes their offense much less scary. Not to mention their O-lineman seem to be much less healthy than they were a few years back when they had a really dominant offense.

Points: 0

#21 by Erich (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:46pm

2008 First overall draft pick:
Dallas Cowboys (either their own or via Cleveland/Quinn)

Player taken: Erik Ainge, QB Tennessee
(queue the Peyton comparisons...)

Points: 0

#22 by James G (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:48pm

What's with Lewin repeatedly picking 2 things when the question is to pick 1 team or player?

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#23 by sam (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:51pm

Yes, but FO ranked the JAX secondary at #4 assuming that Sensabaugh and Nelson would be starting... and the projection system obviously knows about rookies. Just seems odd.

Points: 0

#24 by mactbone (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 1:58pm

Someone needs to help MDS. It's depressing to see a fan project their team to finish with the worst record in the NFL. Could we set up a fund to buy the Lions?

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#25 by South Carolina… (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:01pm

No way, as a Lions fan I almost want to tank the season to get Darren McFadden.

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#26 by Dave (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:20pm

The only problem I have is the Dolphins picking Brian Brohm with the first pick in the next draft. They just took John Beck in the 2nd round this year. Why would they give up on him so quickly and take a QB with the 1st pick? And there is no way they will have the worst record in the league.

Points: 0

#27 by Andrew (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:23pm


Eagles as consensu favorites to lose the Super Bowl.

Just what Philadelphia needs.

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#28 by ammek (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:29pm

Your consensus picks are a bit disappointing: seven of last year's divisional winners and the 49ers. Bear in mind that, last year, three teams went from worst to first, and two others (Jets, Packers) finished second. The safe pick is actually to turn the division upside-down.

Maybe it would be interesting for next time to add a category: "Last-placed team most likely to win its division this year." For 2007 I'd say 1 Redskins, 2 Lions, 3 Browns.

I agree that MDS needs to get some medication. I also agree that the Packer projection seems high, and that Favre could be seriously bad this year in that talent-free offense.

Points: 0

#29 by Rich Conley (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:32pm

"The only problem I have is the Dolphins picking Brian Brohm with the first pick in the next draft. They just took John Beck in the 2nd round this year"

Well, hes what, like 36? Hes probably starting to decline.

Points: 0

#30 by Will (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:32pm

"they’re going full Kotite."

Full Kotite is a great phrase. Other than some interesting inconsistencies cited by other posters, that's all I really have to say. Tasty read.

Points: 0

#31 by James G (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:35pm

28 - Wouldn't you expect the consensus to drive more towards conventional wisdom, which would involve repeaters? I think so. The more staff members FO gets, the more I think their picks will look like the others.

Looks like only Aaron and Benjy Rose (and possibly Tim Gerheim) are heavily influenced by the DVOA projections.

Points: 0

#32 by Theo (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 2:51pm

Funny that someone thinks Reggie Nelson and MJD are so good that Manning won't win his division and at the same time thinks that the old Ravens have enough in the tank to beat the Steelers AND Bengals.

Points: 0

#33 by mrh (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:08pm

I don't get the love for Leftwich over Garrard. I don't think Garrard is that good, but compare them the last two years in DVOA:

Passing 2006 / 2005
Garrard -2.8% / 13.2%
Leftwich -8.7% / 19.3%

Garrard 18.8% / 16.1%
Leftwich -43.4% / 6.2%

Per DVOA, they are essentially equal as passers and Garrard is a better runner. I agree with the consensus that Del Rio mishandled the situation. Also, aren't the Jags on their 3rd OC in three years? I think that probably has hindered both QBs' development and also speaks badly about Del Rio.

Rhodes, Jordan, and Addai

2006 DPAR / DVOA
Addai 36.1 / 19.7%
Rhodes 0.6 / -13.1%
Jordan 2.8 / -8.1%

Rhodes 2006 is proof that you can't just plug any RB into the Colts offense and have above-replacment level play. (See also Mike Cloud KC 2002 if you think all rbs can perform in great offenses with great lines).

Both Jordan and Rhodes played at replacement-level last year. But in OAK you can at least make the case that it had something to do with the team around Jordan; Rhodes has no such excuse.

The signing of Rhodes is just another sign of Oakland not being ready for prime time.

Points: 0

#34 by asg (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:14pm

Ben Riley thinks the Colts will miss the playoffs and the Lions will win the NFC North? Wow, come December he's gonna look really smart or really dumb.

Points: 0

#35 by Rich Conley (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:17pm

"Per DVOA, they are essentially equal as passers and Garrard is a better runner"

Leftwich 2.3%
Garrard -9.5

In both 2004 and 2005, Leftwich was an average of 9% better than Garrard. If leftwich is truly as bad as he was last year, than you have a point, but looking at the two previous years, I think its more likely that Leftwich playing hurt was the issue.

6% was the difference between Tom Brady and Mark Brunell last year.

Passing DVOA is MUCH more important than rushing DVOA for a QB.

Points: 0

#36 by OMO (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:17pm

I would encourage you guys to not make picks. It's your site...do what you want.

And to be honest...I find the picks to be "dirty" after just finishing the PFP...you've put so much blood, sweat and tears into a great, great football publication and then I read these picks that don't jive with what I just read.

I'm kinda of like...WTF?

Anyway...not sure where else to put this...but your PFP is just tremendous. 100% improvement over last year. Loved every minute of it and I really, really wish I did read this article.

Points: 0

#37 by RMoses (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:24pm

DVOA loves Philadelphia!!!

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#38 by OMO (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:26pm

Sorry...meant "didn't read the article".

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#39 by Pacifist Viking (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:31pm

I now see Jacksonville and Minnesota as very similar teams: potentially dominant defense (especially against the run), versatile and potentially explosive running game, and no (currently) foreseeable threat in the passing game (from QB or WRs). Jacksonville looks better, but they're built pretty similarly.

Points: 0

#40 by Mike W (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:39pm

#25 - dude, Darren McFadden isn't a wide receiver.

Bill Moore - Jax with a tough schedule?You like Dominic Rhodes? Put down the crack pipe.

Points: 0

#41 by sam (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:55pm


It's one thing to say Jax will have a mediocre pass offense. But not one that is absolutely no threat. Plus, a running game that was able to take whatever it wanted last year (exception: vs. NE) vs. a "good" running game.

Points: 0

#42 by Charles the Ph… (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 3:58pm

AFC: Pats, Steelers, Jags, Chargers. WC Jets, Titans.

NFC: Eagles, Bears, Panthers, Seahawks. WC Tampa, 49ers.

Super Bowl: Eagles over Jaguars.

Team most likely to beat its PFP projection: Titans. Why? They remind me of the 2000 Eagles. It's the second year of the heir to the Donovan McNabb legacy.

Team most likely to underperform its PFP projection: Colts. I just don't think they'll be back.

Player who will most exceed KUBIAK: Cadillac Williams. I'm sure the variance in his performance is quite a bit for the system to take, and I'm an optimist that his abilities will oscillate wildly again.

Player who will most underperform KUBIAK: Terrell Owens. I honestly think he's done and will now decline rapidly. An injury this year that causes him to miss 6 or more games will come ahead of a lackluster 2008, the year his career ends.

The Most Overblown Story Will Be: The collapse of the Saints. Something tells me that Katrina wasn't the only variable that changed last year; all the players seem to have drastically overperformed.

BCS: Meh.

First pick in the NFL Draft: The NY Giants trade the Brohm pick to Atlanta.

Hottest 2008 Coaching Candidate Not Named Bill: Mike Martz

What can I say, I'm a homer, I'll take flash over stats. It's the NFL; even slightly bad predictions have pretty good odds relative to good ones.

Points: 0

#43 by Teximu (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:03pm

#40: That's the trick; they're going to draft McFadden and then *move* him to WR. WR/QB. He'll throw passes to himself.

Points: 0

#44 by BadgerT1000 (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:05pm

MDS sees what Packer fans see. Number 4's legs finally began to desert him in the latter part of the '06 season and one would expect that trend to accelerate.

If the line improves some more and with the bye week after week 6 maybe this issue won't erupt in full view until game 9 or 10. But it will happen. His legs will go, his remaining accuracy will vanish and the Packers will finally be forced to decide, "To Favre or not to Favre?"

I want to think McCarthy is strong enough to make the move. I would prefer he be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE. Meaning more Bill B. of New England and less Mike "I'm a Sissypants Nancyboy" Sherman.................

Points: 0

#45 by kevinNYC (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:05pm

RE: Giants... This seems to be a classic case of the editorial being different than the news on the front page. Do any of these guys remember that the Giants were a top 5 DVOA team last year before an INSANE amount of injuries caused their downfall (NOT Coughlin, Tiki, Eli, etc.)? Barnwell's negativity doesn't surprise me... he's a self-hating Giants fans.

Perhaps Toomer and Strahan could be injured again this year, but I feel a lot better with Justin Tuck and Steve Smith (the rookie!) to fill in those holes. The media seems to have made Luke Petitgout into Willie Roaf while ignoring that Diehl did start the playoff game and played VERY well. BTW, is it soooooooo outlandish that Eli can improve? As I stated in the DVOA thread, the poorous Giants LBs and secondary has a minimal effect on the team's defense barring significant injuries to the d-line.

Points: 0

#46 by kevinNYC (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:06pm

BTW, that was a joke Barnwell.

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#47 by Ben Riley // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:10pm


Take the over on "really dumb."

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#48 by SoulardX (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:12pm

25% of the FO experts picked a team with a mean-win projection of 5.8 to make the playoffs. You guys really do think the system can't figure out the Rams. I agree.

Points: 0

#49 by throughthelook… (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:22pm

48: Well, c'mon, it's the NFC


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#50 by throughthelook… (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:39pm

Can somebody who thinks that the Bears are going to be good explain why? (If you think they will win the division at 9-7 because GB, Min, Det are terrible don't answer)
When I look at them, I see a defense that has been very good, but won't get any better; a special teams that will be much worse, an erratic qb, and an aging offensive line. An 8 or 9 win team, but not more.

Points: 0

#51 by rashreflection (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:40pm

The Packers, I think, will prove to be the team that best displays the weaknesses of the fantasy football mentality. Their major weak spots happen to be at RB and WR, so most people just write them off...but they are set at much more important areas (such as the offensive & defensive lines). One of the stronger teams in the NFC, overall.

Lewin wrote about this in PFP, and I did a little study of my own that said much the same thing: A young QB will have his breakout season early in his career, or not at all. Brees is the only exception in recent memory. As such, I see a real possibility for a Pro Bowl year from Jason Campbell, in which case the Skins will make the playoffs. If he plays the whole year and turns out to be mediocre, though, they'll miss out and I doubt it will ever happen for him.

Leinart, of course, is also a good bet for major improvement, but that team has too many other holes to be a serious candidate.

Bengals & Steelers are neck and neck IMO. Cincy will be better because of a healthy Palmer - people often forget that he wasn't particularly good the first half of last season. But Pittsburgh will also benefit greatly from Roethlisberger staying out of trouble, and I expect a nice rebound from him; Santonio Holmes looks to be the real deal as well, and could enjoy a possible breakout year of his own. I do like the Steelers slightly more due to fewer shaky areas - the offensive line mainly, as opposed to much of the defense for the Bengals.

I like the Ravens less than most because of age. In particular, I think McNair is headed for a steep decline...he was pretty terrible the first half of last year (in fantasy at least, I forget about DPAR), and of course the playoff game. If they actually do get Leftwich, though, they may be able to handle it. They just don't have quite the upside of the above two teams, so I have them a bit lower.

I like Jacksonville & Denver for wild card - their schedules are noticeably easier than the AFC North's. The Jags have been discussed to death, so as for Denver...basically, I anticipate improvement at all the "skill positions". Throw in Dre' Bly, and you have a team that should make it barring injuries. They could even steal the division if the Chargers get banged up or something.


Points: 0

#52 by rashreflection (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 4:47pm

The Bears are good because their defense should still be well above-average and their offensive line is a solid unit if it can avoid injuries. They also have some decent talent at RB (Benson, The Other Adrian Peterson) and WR (Berrian, Moose, Mark Bradley). In the AFC, I wouldn't like them, but in the NFC only injuries will cost them a playoff spot.


Points: 0

#53 by TheDudeAbides (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 5:01pm

Sean McCormick's point about preseason injuries is the best in the entire article.

More importantly, it's idiotic for teams not to run their real offenses and defenses during the preseason. As if the other 31 teams don't have their entire systems on tape. There's no reason you can't run your system without throwing in the wrinkles you've devised in the offseason.

And finally, teams with QBs like Tarvaris Jackson, Brodie Croyle, Brady Quinn, and Jay Cutler should be playing their starting QBs at least 3 quarters in the preseason game. If the guy gets hurt he gets hurt. As it is, these guys will essentially be practicing their craft all season while their teams lose. (Sort of like when the Redskins refused to run their real offense in the preseason last year and spent all of '06 practicing. Genius.)

Points: 0

#54 by weaponx (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 5:14pm

Aaron, I think a lot of people do remember that Peppers was suspended in 02. We also remember that it was for Ephedra (or a substance containing ephedraish stuffs) and not roids. Maybe that's why there's not a lot of talk about it. Thanks for the shockhorror reminder.

Points: 0

#55 by Sean McCormick // Sep 06, 2007 - 5:20pm

Thanks. I would add that a four game preseason helps ensure that the teams are playing at a high level from opening week on. During the strike shortened season, the NBA went with a severely truncated preseason and the results were just a disaster. Field goal percentages were abysmal across the board, and the quality of play never really got much better. Yes, you could probably knock the preseason down from four games to three, but any shorter than that is asking for trouble.

Points: 0

#56 by Bronco Jeff (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 5:35pm

My Picks:


Super Bowl:
Philly over Denver

Points: 0

#57 by Becephalus (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 5:44pm



Super Bowl: PHI over SD

Team most likely to beat its PFP projection: SD

Team most likely to underperform its PFP projection: ATL

Player who will most exceed KUBIAK: SA

Player who will most underperform KUBIAK: TO

The Most Overblown Story Will Be:
They are all overblown, silly question, most underblown would be much more interesting.

BCS: USC over Wisconsin

First pick in the NFL Draft: Dallas takes Jake Long

Hottest 2008 Coaching Candidate Not Named Bill: Marty!

Points: 0

#58 by Sid (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 5:57pm

Benjy Rose: San Diego. Even with Norv, this team is just too damn talented to not win 10 or 11 games. Rivers will improve, and LT is LT. They won’t dominate like last year, but they’re still a division winner.

*ahem* I think we agreed that Lawrence Taylor is retired.

Points: 0

#59 by Miles (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 5:59pm

Wow, what a great content. May I suggest that this be broken into much smaller articles next year (leaking some out earlier)? I'm sure this was a massive effort to produce. IMHO smaller articles would allow us to absorb it all a bit better.

Points: 0

#60 by mrh (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 6:09pm

RE 35 -


Those are the pass attempts by Garrard and Leftwich the last three years. 72 = Garrard 2004; 441 = Leftwich 2004

I think those are the least comparable seasons and therefore choose to ignore the DVOA comparison for 2004. Also, by the end of that year Garrard had thrown 130 total regular season passes, so I'm willing to ignore the 2004 season on that basis as well (Leftwich threw over 400 passes in 2004).

I can see why you or anyone else might think 2004 should count in the comparison, I just choose to differ. But if you are going to include it, you should also look at the rushing numbers: Garrard's DVOA was 20.0% and Leftwwich's was -17.8%.

Points: 0

#61 by Rich Conley (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 6:13pm

"But if you are going to include it, you should also look at the rushing numbers: Garrard’s DVOA was 20.0% and Leftwwich’s was -17.8%."

You can't just add rushing and passing dvoas. They're not cumulative stats. Passing is much more important than rushing for a QB.

Points: 0

#62 by Kevin King (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 6:28pm

AFC: Patriots, Steelers, Jags, Broncos, WC: Ravens, Chargers.

NFC: E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!! :), Packers, Panthers, Niners, WC: Bucs, Seahawks

Superbowl: Eagles over Patriots, another team breaks through -- ahhhh, sweet revenge!!! :)

Overperforming Team: 49'ers

Underperforming Team: Falcons

Overperforming Player: Matt Leinhart

Underperforming Player: Vince Young

Overblown Story: The Eli v. Tiki feud

BCS: Florida over USC

1st Round Draft Choice: KC-Jake Long

Hot 2008 Coaching Candidate: Rex Ryan

Points: 0

#63 by Jacob Stevens (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 6:56pm

Doug, say something nice about your Seahawks, man. Just one little thing, positive. Don't be afraid, we won't think you're a homer, just be honest and objective.

The Seahawks’ pass protection is one Walter Jones injury away from disaster in a way it hasn’t been before -- so last year was no disaster? And Walt's sprained ankle in the opener at Detroit that lasted all year doesn't count? And his soreness in his shoulder all the way up til at least this weekend, doesn't count?

No worries on picking the 49ers, Seattle isn't a rock-solid division crown contender by any means. But you sound like they're going 0-16.

Points: 0

#64 by JD (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 6:58pm

RE: 45
Thank you for writing that. The downfall of the Coughlin era has been multiple injuries to key positions. Every team has injuries but not every team is starting guys off the street in playoff games or losing their top 3 DE's for the season.

Honestly all the Giants bashing on this site is really getting old.

Points: 0

#65 by Lou (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 7:01pm

AFC: Patriots, Steelers, Jags, Chargers, WC: Colts, Broncos.

NFC: Eagles, Da Bears, Saints, 49ers,
WC: Packers, Redskins

Superbowl: Eagles over Patriots

Overperforming Team: St. Louis

Underperforming Team: Detroit

Overperforming Player: Shaun Alexander

Underperforming Player: Muhsin Muhammad

Overblown Story: anything with the NY Giants

BCS: no idea

1st Round Draft Choice: KC-Jake Long

Hot 2008 Coaching Candidate: Rex Ryan

Points: 0

#66 by Alex (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 7:03pm

The Eagles lost Dante’ Stallworth, but Curtis actually had a better ‘07 season according to DPAR and DVOA.

Wow, apparently Ryan Wilson has access to stats from future seasons. Did you guys already write PFP '08? If so, can I place a really early order?

and then I read these picks that don’t jive with what I just read.

I hate to make such a big deal about things like this, but I'm pretty sure you meant jibe, not jive. Picks don't jive, they jibe. Unless you think picks are capable of swing dancing. Jibe means to be in accord with; to agree. Jive is either swing music/dancing, or a type of slang, depending on how it's being used.

(/grammatical nitpicking)

Points: 0

#67 by footballprofessor (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 7:14pm

Come on, the moon is still in an AFC phase. Five guys picking NFC teams to win the Super Bowl? Give me a break.

Points: 0

#68 by hector (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 7:35pm

Patriots, Bengals, Colts, Chargers (Broncos, Steelers).

Cowboys, Bears, Saints, Seahawks (Eagles, Niners).

Pats over Chargers, Cowboys over Bears. New England wins it all, again.

Elsewhere, the Ravens are surprisingly bad, the Chiefs expectantly so. Eli Manning takes two steps forward, but his defense sinks the team anyway. Joey Harrington is surprisingly okay but the Falcons nonetheless go 5-11. Joe Gibbs gets his genius credibility questioned all year; Clinton Portis doesn't come back. Green Bay finishes with a losing record (and nowhere close to the Bears). Vince Young scores 11 rushing touchdowns. Houston wins at least 8 games, and Jacoby Jones 2007 is similar to Anquan Boldin 2004 (and yeah, Andre Johnson is all that, too).

Points: 0

#69 by Kyle (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 7:59pm

When this site deviates from its advanced statistics and attempts to write more intelligent versions of the articles that normal sports reporters pen, such as this predictions thread... the result is exactly what you would get from normal sports writers.

A shame, really.

Points: 0

#70 by dan (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 8:04pm

Ryan Wilson Detroit Early Doucet


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#71 by Aaron Schatz (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 8:05pm

Hi all, just to clarify: David Lewin picked the Browns to have the first pick, not the Bengals, that was a typo. And yes, the Browns don't have a first pick, so it should now say "Dallas (from Cleveland)."

Points: 0

#72 by Chris (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 8:58pm

Eli Manning, 48 TD passes in 2 years, divison crown his first year as the starter, 3rd playoff team in the East last year, played SB champ Colts, runner up Bears, 4th place Saints, and had 8 games against playoff teams. That is half of your games against a playoff team! The Giants had the hardest schedule going into last year, and they had the hardest schedule of any team that made the playoffs last year.

Giants lost their top 3 defensive ends at some point last year... didn't blitz to compentsate, and lost time with both starting corners. Of course your defense won't be good when you have no pressure because your 2 pro bowl ends are out, your corners are hurt, and your rushing 4, maybe 5 guys.

The playoff loss to Carolina was with 2 starting linebackers off the street ( Kevin Lewis and Roman Phefifer) were done and out of shape.

The Giants were a tale of 2 teams last year, the healthy team that started off 6-2, and then an injured team that lost games ( some bad, and some unlucky).

The Giants coach is also obviously on the hot seat. That increases the variance on their win total. The East is clearly Phillys to lose, but the Giants will make the playoffs.

Why is it so absurd that Eli, who spends a lot of time with 4 WR in the shotgun will improve in his 3rd year as the starter in that same offense?

If Alex Smith, Leinart, Cutler, Rivers have a year similar to Eli, will the media spit that same venom towards them?

Points: 0

#73 by kevin11 (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 8:58pm

First pick: Miami DE Calais Campbell. I feel good about this one.

Points: 0

#74 by Steve (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 9:07pm

You guys are wrong about the Raiders underperforming... They won't suck this year. They will be mediocre, but they won't suck.

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#75 by kevin11 (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 9:20pm

73- I just can't see how the Raiders have improved. And if someone says "automatically, since they fired Art Shell", I'm not at all impressed with Lane Kiffin. He was a collegiate co-coordinator, and the jump to an NFL HC is too big a leap.

Points: 0

#76 by hector (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 9:28pm

I also want to say I'm not drinking the Jaguar Kool-Aid (though I wouldn't want to play them at Jax in September). At least people can blame it on the Curse of Leftwich.

Points: 0

#77 by MRH (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 9:40pm

Re 60

“But if you are going to include it, you should also look at the rushing numbers: Garrard’s DVOA was 20.0% and Leftwwich’s was -17.8%.�

You can’t just add rushing and passing dvoas. They’re not cumulative stats. Passing is much more important than rushing for a QB.

Does it say "add"? Did I add them? No, I said "compare". Thanks for the tutorial, but I understand the difference.

Your point: Leftwich was clearly the better passer of the two in 2004-2005 and his 2006 performance should be discounted due to injury. Garrard's better running doesn't make up for Leftwich's better passing.

My point: 2004 was a long time ago in NFL terms and Leftwich was at that point a far more experienced QB (400+ pass attempts in 2003 to Garrard's 58 total in 2002-2003). It's not surprising that Leftwich was better in 2004. But in 2005-2006 DVOA for passing for the two players look roughly comparable. Garrard's rushing DVOA is better both years. I'd personally would weight passing/rushing 90/10 as QB skills, but if passing is roughly equal, I'd take the better runner. I do not see that Leftwich was their best quarterback. - David Lewin or that his replacement with Garrard warrants the Jags being downgraded from their PFP projection. The way it was handled, Del Rio's ability as HC, etc., I accept as reasons, but not the qb change.

Points: 0

#78 by Alex (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 9:44pm

But if you are going to include it, you should also look at the rushing numbers: Garrard’s DVOA was 20.0% and Leftwwich’s was -17.8%.

That doesn't matter much, given that neither of them run very often. Garrard's total career rushing DPAR is only a little over 20, in the four years he had at least 10 runs. That only works out to about 5 DPAR per year.

Leftwich's total rushing DPAR is 3.2, so 0.8 DPAR per year. So the difference between Garrard's and Leftwich's rushing is only about 4 DPAR per year. That's not nearly enough to overcome the difference in passing performance.

Sorry, but Garrard is not a better QB than Leftwich. He's not as good, either. He's a significant downgrade from Leftwich, and it's going to cost the Jaguars.

Points: 0

#79 by dbt (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 10:09pm

I'm a bears fan, and I'll freely admit I'm drinking a little kool-aid, but since it was asked I'm going to answer (please, FOMBC, stay away).

I think the Bears defense is as good or better than it was last year. They spent two thirds of the season without Mike Brown, one third without Tommie Harris. They've added Adam Archuleta, who's a vast improvement over either of the guys who started SB XLI.

On the offense, they're adding Hester as a weapon and subtracting Thomas Jones. They're not the same but call it a wash. Say grossman stays hot & cold.

If that defense performs like it did in the first 10 games last year they're a division champion. I don't see how they're not.

Points: 0

#80 by dbt (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 10:12pm

Also, since I mentioned it. I really think that if grossman lays a turd or two he's going to be benched this year.

Points: 0

#81 by Doug Farrar // Sep 06, 2007 - 10:13pm

#62 – Jacob, here’s the thing about “injury luck�. The Seahawks were unfortunate in that they had the sprained ankle/bad shoulder/God knows what else version of Walter Jones, but they were incredibly lucky to have the Walter Jones who could somehow play 18 games on that ankle with a kidney condition that prevents him from taking anything stronger than Tylenol.

So when I say that the Seahawks are one Jones injury away from disaster in a way that they weren’t before, I’m thinking that even Walter Jones, Interplanetary Immortal, might not be able to make it all the way through a season with another injury of that type/seriousness. And yes, I’m getting slightly nauseous just thinking about such things. Especially since Seattle’s coaching staff still seemed to consider Tom “The Human Turnstile� Ashworth to be a viable option at left tackle for a brief moment in the preseason.

What also concerns me is that Seattle’s offensive line has absolutely no pro-level depth. None whatsoever. Maybe Ray Willis as a run blocker, but everything else is a total toss-up.

Points: 0

#82 by MRH (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 10:55pm

Re 77:
Well, you're comparing those rushing DPARs as if they played the same amount in those four seasons. But Leftwich played 46 games and Garrard played 27. The disparity is greater than that as Leftwich attempted 1344 passes to Garrard's 527. Even adding in rushes and sacks, Leftwich has been on the field over twice as much as Garrard, so you're greatly understating the difference that would be expected if they both played complete season.

Garrard's passing DVOA the last two years has been comparable to Leftwich's. His conventional stats are about the same (career passer rating = 78.9; Leftwich 80.5). Garrard's completion % and YPA have gone up 53/58/60% and 5.2/6.6/7.2. Leftwich's have been pretty flat 57/61/58/59% and 6.7/6.7/7.0/6.3.

Don't misunderstand - I think Garrard is a mediocre QB. It's just that I think Leftwich is too.

Points: 0

#83 by Theo (not verified) // Sep 06, 2007 - 11:45pm

When you're betting Jax over Colts; you got a big screw lose.
If at the same time you're betting the Ravens over the Steelers and Bengals... you're a wreck.

Points: 0

#84 by Marko (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 1:38am

"On the offense, they’re adding Hester as a weapon and subtracting Thomas Jones. They’re not the same but call it a wash.

dbt, you forgot to mention the addition of Greg Olsen, who should be a huge weapon. (It looks like he won't play this week because of his knee sprain, but he shouldn't be out too long.) I think he will be a bigger addition to the offense than Hester.

Points: 0

#85 by deshawn zombie (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 3:29am

Somehow I seriously doubt that Indy has the worst defense in the NFL. I'm not sure why a team who had a bad D, but replaced some really horrible players (Gilbert Gardner!) would get worse. I'm not sure what data was fed in to create that conclusion, but judging from tonight's game, somebody seriously screwed the pooch.

Points: 0

#86 by Bill Barnwell // Sep 07, 2007 - 4:08am

Kevin - Come on! I've got to balance you out on the Giants fan scale!

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#87 by Budman (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 8:07am

Indianapolis... even if the rest of the roster is a bunch of guys who would be on the practice squad of other teams.

This is a ridiculous attempt at either a)humor, or b) sarcasm.

Dallas Clark is a tough and witty key element of that offense. Great blocker, clutch catcher and well liked by team. A true TE by meaning of position (as opposed to the hybrid te/wr freaks name like Gates, Heap, Gonzo and Alge)

Bob Sanders is a highly underrated safety and is not pro-bowl material (close?) but definitely not "practice squad".

The others are no worse than the hodgepodge in some other teams that pretend to be nfl caliber.

Points: 0

#88 by Budman (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 8:20am

jeez, I forgot about Dwight Freeney too...

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#89 by Bill Moore (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 9:23am

Mike #40 - It's not as much a "like" of Dominic Rhodes, as a dislike of LaMont Jordan. The question is who will likely outperform his KUBIAK projection, and I think Rhodes, projected at 390 rush yards and 165 receiving yards, will.

Points: 0

#90 by sam (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 9:55am


Yeah, Leftwich's numbers are similar to Garrard's the last two years. However, two things come to mind.

1) Leftwich had surgery to repair an ankle injury dating back to college during this past offseason. Presumably, that in addition to work on his mechanics indicate there was at least a chance he could have improved. Seems like you'd be a better quarterback with two healthy ankles instead of one. (Now, his injury susceptability may be a good reason not to go with him, but that's not the point).

2) When they put up those similar numbers in 05-06, they were playing in an offense better suited to Garrard. Koetter's offense was widely endorsed as better-fitted to Leftwich. It seems to me that if you're going to get a coordinator for one QB, you should at least see how that goes before you decide to make the switch. Because, now they are in the same position they were in during the 03-04 season--offensive coordinator brought in for one QB (Musgrave for Brunell the weak-armed and quasi-mobile) but playing a very different QB.

Points: 0

#91 by mactbone (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 11:25am

Re Giants fans:
This is dangerously close to the FOMBC. You guys should really think about the content and expecially form of your criticisms.

Re 75:
The Choppin' Curse or more accurately, having Jack Del Rio as the coach.

Re 78:
I think the problem is that the Bears can't count on Mike Brown and the system shouldn't assume he will play the full year. In addition the Bears were pretty lucky on injuries - yeah two of the best Bears were injured, but hardly anyone else was.

Points: 0

#92 by chip (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 11:28am

#42 Charles the Philly Homer - If last night was any evidence, you're right on the mark with the collapse of the saints as the most overblown story of 2007.

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#93 by kevinNYC (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 2:56pm

#90 - That's what the DVOA thread was for, analysis and content.

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#94 by Jacob Stevens (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 3:11pm

Doug, I'll concede, you've got a good point. Your wording made it seem like you didn't think last year was a disaster, on the line, which I think it was, but I'll concede that losing either tackle or the center really probably would be a worse disaster than last year. Maybe the RT wouldn't be a disaster, because of Willis, who would definitely be a bigger drop down from Locklear in pass protection, but still probably mostly serviceable, on the right side. Ashworth also was actually really decent on the right side, last year, but when I say serviceable, I mean serviceable when he is able to count on help from a capable blitz-pickup back, of which we have none. Anyway, Willis or Ashworth could probably keep the season from collapsing on the right side, but LT or C really would be worse than last year, I'll concede that.

Points: 0

#95 by NY expat (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 3:13pm

Bill -- that was hilarious pessimism re: the Giants, even if I'd like to believe that they should perform much closer to their projection. That preseason game against the Ravens was over-the-top in its intensity for a game that doesn't count, but I think that first quarter showed the Giants are going to be competitive. On the intangibles side, I never really gave much credence to how distracting Tiki's retirement declaration was, but the way he's been ranting this summer, I'd believe he was a seriously negative influence in the locker room. Also, Coughlin, admittedly with pressure from higher up, has reportedly made some attempts to ease up and lessen tensions. As much as I like the "full Kotite" phrase, I don't expect that with the Giants.

re: 71 On the other hand, the Giants are still projected to be facing a really tough schedule. I do hope Eli breaks out,
a healthy Toomer and Smith provide more reliable receiving (Shockey's been injured, but his catch % has steadily dropped, and Burress's catch %, never great, was 46% in 2005, 52% in 2006), Ross and Webster get it together at CB and Whimper becomes the solution at LT, but that's a lot of if's. As a fan I am still hopeful, but the playoffs are certainly not a given. As for Eli and the media, I did like his response to Tiki's barbs, but letting SD know he wouldn't play for them was bush league, so I see why he gets more criticism.

Points: 0

#96 by mactbone (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 3:54pm

Re 92:
What I'm saying is the people that say FO has a bias against a team or who vehemently disagree with DVOA are more often than not proven wrong. This has been oberved as the FOMBC because when a team is severely overrated by the fans and/or media compared to DVOA they come to the DVOA of the week and raise a stink. Usually, within a week or two DVOA is born out. I'm just trying to warn Giants fans so they don't tempt the football gods.

Points: 0

#97 by Rich Conley (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 5:02pm

"What I’m saying is the people that say FO has a bias against a team or who vehemently disagree with DVOA are more often than not proven wrong"


Dvoa Predictions have been saying that Tampa was going to win their division and Saint Louis was going to win 4 games, for what, 3 years now?

Its a great system, and better than all the others, but it definitely has its issues.

Points: 0

#98 by BadgerT1000 (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 5:14pm


I find the Seattle offensive line issue interesting only in that Green Bay Holmgren was obssessive about his offensive line (as was Ron Wolf). They were constantly trolling the waiver wire or bringing guys in during the offseason to see if they could bump up the quality. When Seattle began to get good and I saw why I figured that was a constant with Holmgren.

He was, shall we say, INTOLERANT of poor line in Green Bay. His public verbal eviscerations of guys like John Michaels and Ross Verba are still minor legend in Green Bay for anyone who checked out training camp.........

Points: 0

#99 by chuckv (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 5:50pm

Tim Gerheim is exactly right about the Falcons and how much they will miss Vick. This time next year the 'Ewing Theory' theory will be known as the 'Ewing/Vick Theory,' or maybe just 'EV' for short.

Points: 0

#100 by Raiderjoe (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 8:27pm

Raiders go 10-6 Rauderjoe very happy with outcome. Playoff this year,. title next year,. Russell great in 2008. McCown (very atyketic) qb qb nthis year. very good. Left work, got drunk at bar, will be here all night. will dirnk mor at home. Very ghood website you guys goit here,. put together nice,. picture of ctahloic match girl good. Vrey pleasing for eyes expecially after 5 beers. will be here posting and doirpping knowl;edge on the masses all night. Raideriser 10-6

Charegsr 11-6
Broncos 7-9 very bad Qb
Chiefs 2-14 firgeaiin horrible

Raidrss play Patres in playoff ans beat them raoiders lose to colts in2 dn round

veats Colts next year n 2008 teahc them elsson Russell,mgtreta

Points: 0

#101 by Raiderjoe (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 8:45pm

in case anybody dfidnt see post in othet threead-\\

Raider be fine. J McCown (very athletic QB) good QB. I said all summer and spring, Raiders in good hands with J McCown as QB. He will play good this season because it is contract seaxon. He will sign good deal with other team after season because he knows this job is Jamarcus Russell’s in 2008.

Russell to be great in 08.

:: Raiderjoe — 9/6/2007 @ 10:43 pm

Points: 0

#102 by Raiderjoe (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 8:48pm

re: 13

Let me be the 1st to say, we don't like you here,. Your constatnt patting of your own back is like trash stufff. Just stop it already. Nobody cares about uyour bets. We are hear toi talk about footbabll and Catholic match girl and cool things like that. Nobody cares you went 136-129-11 in youre football poll last year. it is just stupid. Get that crap off of hera.

Points: 0

#103 by Raiderjoe (not verified) // Sep 07, 2007 - 9:27pm

this site is cool

Points: 0

#104 by socalmikey (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 12:32am

Hey Raiderjoe, we still be fanx here in LA. R U from Fresnno per chancs? While I think SD weins the divison Raiders got goot shotr at second place and wildcard to go all tha way.


Points: 0

#105 by hector (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 1:04am

I see seven staffers picking the Seahawks in the NFC West, seven picking the 49ers. I'm curious why the Niners get the "consensus" nod - did they have the possession arrow or something? Is Aaron's vote the 51 percenter?

If this is explained somewhere and I missed it, my apolgies.

Points: 0

#106 by gasman (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 11:38am

It seems to me Jax is getting way too much love. They have a great front 7 but aside from that I think they have a lot of holes. I see the 8-8 team they were last year. The AFC is very tough. You could argue that at least one of the AFC Wild Cards would be a #2 seed if they were in the NFC

The NFC is ripe for an out of nowhere team to make the SB similar to:'99 Rams, '81 49ers & Bengals, '80 Eagles, '77 Broncos. The only complete team is Philly with CHicago and N.O being elevated as contenders because someone has to be. CHicago had a lot of wins last year as a result of defensive heroics and lucky bounces, which is completely unsustainable. N.O. has a good offense and lousy defense. I would consider them the NFC version of Cincinatti but not as good.




New England over San Francisco

Points: 0

#107 by Gerry (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 11:58am

"FO has a bias against a team or who vehemently disagree with DVOA are more often than not proven wrong. This has been oberved as the FOMBC because when a team is severely overrated by the fans and/or media compared to DVOA they come to the DVOA of the week and raise a stink. Usually, within a week or two DVOA is born out. I’m just trying to warn Giants fans so they don’t tempt the football gods."

Kinda different than the Giants' situation. Last year, they were getting dissed while being in the top-10 in DVOA (and for a while in the top-5, IIRC).

This year, DVOA has them just slightly below .500, but the commentary has been overwhelmingly adverse, as if this is a team ready to compete for the #1 pick in the draft. Further, Aaron came up with a few indicators of a team that might surprise for an article in Slate. The indicators pointed to four teams-- Washington, Green Bay, Jacksonville, and the Giants. He dismissed the latter with a brief aside.

The problem that I see is not that the Giants fans here (of who I am one) by and large are coming in saying that DVOA sucks and the G-men are awesome. It is that the FO staff, by and large, has been more negative on the G-men than would be indicated by DVOA and other indicators they use.

A few of us (such as me and kevinNYC) think the defensive DVOA might be too low, but not because we think DVOA has been designed to screw the Giants, nor because we think DVOA is full of it. Rather, we believe that in this instance it is missing on something; we all know the system is not perfect (which is why the FO staff is pretty straight about them thinking the system always gets the Rams wrong, that it has the Saints underrated and the Bucs overrated), and we just happen to think that it is not correctly accounting for multiple injuries at the position around which a team has formed their defensive approach (ie, the Giants' defensive line last year losing 3/4 of its starters all at once).

We might be right, we might be wrong, but we aren't trashing DVOA. In fact, when it comes to our team, we think people should pay attention to DVOA a little bit more than they have been over the past year or two.

Points: 0

#108 by Gerry (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 12:11pm

An example to make my last point.

DVOA has the Giants to be as good as the Cincy Bengals, but with a much harder schedule.

One would think then that the approach would be to say that the Bengals are going to be worse than they will seem to be this year, and that the Giants are going to be better than they will seem to be-- that the Bengals' presumed much-better record will be an illusion. But the commentary is significantly more negative for the Giants than that. It seems to me that the consensus of the FO staff is that DVOA has the Giants pegged wrongly-- only too high.

Points: 0

#109 by morganja (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 2:05pm

I know I'm a huge Panthers fan, but they are ranked 7nth in DVOA, with a 23rd ranked schedule, and had the worst 3rd down delta to 1st and 2nd down on offense in the league. All of these point to an improvement for the Panthers from 8-8. Yet the commentary is all negative and the picks are of a losing season. What gives? Is it just that they disappointed so much last year that people are afraid to to put any faith in them? I don't think anyone really gives any allowance to the devastating injuries they suffered in the very first game. Their starting Center, Left Tackle and Middle Linebacker all injured for the season. Their Right Tackle moved to Left Tackle, where he is not nearly as good, and before the season was over, they lost their left guard as well. The only player to play most of the season in his starting position, Evan Mathis at RG, was the weakest link to begin with.

Anyhow, I just wanted to predict an 11-5 season for the Panthers before the Rams game tomorrow. I'm still on a high from last week's game and I'm off to 'The Rock' to watch Appalachian State v. Lenoir-Rhyne, which everyone I'm sure remembers from their amazing 1960 NAIA Football Championship!

Appalachian State 34 Michigan 32

Points: 0

#110 by Gerry (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 2:29pm


I am with you-- if you note above I have the Pathers as a division winner. I don't get the negativity on them, either.

One thing I like about them is that for them to have bad QB play all year, both Delhomme and Carr will have to fail, since if Jake falters Carr will get a shot.

Points: 0

#111 by Kyle (not verified) // Sep 08, 2007 - 8:02pm

"We might be right, we might be wrong, but we aren’t trashing DVOA. In fact, when it comes to our team, we think people should pay attention to DVOA a little bit more than they have been over the past year or two."

Couldn't have said it better myself. This writing staff and the regulars in the comments section have gone out of their way to criticize the Giants. Most criticisms been in the form of completely unquantifiable, subjective opinions from people who do not pay nearly enough attention to individual teams (beyond their own, which is perfectly understandable) to qualify them to make such claims. All that amuses and disturbs me, given the entire purpose and the very reason for this site's existence.

The team has quit on Tom Coughlin and did so many months ago. Coughlin is a terrible football coach because the players hate him. Schatz declared Diehl at LT a disaster already. The Giants offensive line is a disaster (funny how PFP07 says otherwise). The list goes on and on. DVOA is not the issue. The writers abandoning their trademark statistic in favor of media talking-points is the issue.

There are tons of reasons to dislike the Giants this year. Hell, there are great reasons to dislike Tom Coughlin. DVOA clearly points out the team's flaws. The reasons given for the Giants impending #1 overall draft pick, though, range from lacking substance to lacking truth.

Points: 0

#112 by mactbone (not verified) // Sep 10, 2007 - 3:01pm

Re 96:
Is it really hard to read what you just quoted?

are more often than not

Re 107, 108 and Rams fans:
Anyone else notice anything? Like how everybody says that their team will perform better because the injuries they suffered last year were just way out of line with normal performance.

As a Bears fan, I'm really worried because I know the injury bug is going to bite and I'm just hoping they've got good depth.

Points: 0

#113 by James G (not verified) // Sep 10, 2007 - 4:44pm

96 - where the h*** does this Rams myth come from? They were severely under predicted one (1) year. And even in that year, the Rams total wins came within their SD of the prediction. The Rams last year were projected with 4.5 wins +/- 3.88. That gives them an upper bound SD projection of 8.3 wins, and they won 8 games. Other years? In 2005, the Rams were projected to win 7 games by DVOA and they actually won 6. In 2004, the Rams were projected to win 9 games, and they won 8.

Points: 0

#114 by Alex (not verified) // Sep 11, 2007 - 11:57pm

Re 108:
I agree. I think the thing is that Jake Delhomme, and by extension, the Carolina Panthers, are the Bret Saberhagen of the NFL. They go from 11-5 with a deep playoff run one year, to 7-9/8-8 the next year. So, this year, they'll go 11-5, and make it to the NFCCG. It's their destiny.

Points: 0

#115 by Tino124 (not verified) // Jun 05, 2008 - 12:50am

Benji and Bill... Im happy the Giants underperformed their prediction... you nailed that one. But damn, you were really off on who they took with that #1 pick!!

Points: 0

#116 by BJacobsIsTheTruth (not verified) // Mar 24, 2009 - 9:00pm

Good call on the Giants! How did you guys get so smart! Thank god we have geniuses like ya'll to help us out. How did you jokes get your own website?
"It astounds me that some people still think this team has a chance of being competitive in 2007." Wow. Just wow.

Points: 0

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