September 2012

Five weeks in, there’s no stopping the Crimson Tide

September 30, 2012 College

Like everyone else, the SRS now has Alabama atop its standings. Here are the full SRS ratings after five weeks1 Tweet Note that I called the Oregon-Washington State game when Oregon was up 51-19 late in the 4th quarter. [↩]

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The Hall of Fame announces the 127 nominees for the Class of 2013

September 29, 2012 HOF

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for the Class of 2013: John Lynch, Michael Strahan, Steve McNair and Morten Andersen are among 13 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Safety Lynch, defensive end Strahan, quarterback McNair and kicker Andersen join offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, […]

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Another thought experiment

September 29, 2012 Thought Experiments

In this post, I noted that the Steelers could have punted to the Raiders, leaving Oakland with the ball likely at their own 33-yard line in a tie game with just under 4 minutes remaining. You are the head coach of a team with a league average offense and league average defense. You are given […]

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How the Steelers traded Roy Jefferson and won four Super Bowls

September 28, 2012 History

Roy Jefferson isn’t well-remembered today, but he was one of the top receivers at the start of the Super Bowl era. Jefferson was a second round pick of both the Steelers and Chargers in 1965, back when the leagues held separate drafts. Jefferson chose to sign with Pittsburgh, and in his second season, he led […]

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Week 3 Power Rankings

September 27, 2012 Power Rankings

Some additions to the weekly power rankings table. After the team name, I have listed each team’s record in column two and the number of wins I’m projecting each team to finish the season with in column 3 (i.e., the power rankings and the metric by which the table is sorted). The fourth column – […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 3

September 26, 2012 NYT

This week’s Fifth Down post looks at the surprising 3-0 Cardinals. Did you know that Arizona has been an underdog in each game this season? Since 1978, Arizona is just the 7th team to start 3-0 despite being given points by Vegas each week: 2010 Kansas City Chiefs: The 2009 Chiefs were 4-12, and 2010 […]

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Checkdowns: Beating both Super Bowl participants

September 26, 2012 Checkdowns

Over at the PFR Blog, we used to post Checkdowns from time to time, shorter posts that were often just data dumps. Every once in awhile a random question would come to mind and we usually had the database power to answer the question. So after spending a few minutes get our results, but there […]

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Mike Tomlin makes aggressive, unconventional call, converts, no one cares

September 25, 2012 Strategy

[Note: I'm scheduled to appear on The Bobby Curran Show on ESPN 1420 at just after 12:30 today. If you're interested, you can listen here.] If you weren’t watching the Steelers-Raiders game, you probably didn’t hear about Mike Tomlin’s gutsy call late in the 4th quarter. That’s because it worked. On 3rd-and-1 with 4:34 remaining […]

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Interceptions per Incompletion (or POPIP)

September 24, 2012 Passing

I leave the baseball analysis to my brothers at, but I know enough to be dangerous. There’s a stat called BABIP, which stands for Batting Average on Balls In Play. A “ball in play” is simply any at bat that doesn’t end in a home run or a strikeout. The thinking goes that luck […]

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Titans-Lions get some really long touchdowns but don’t break record

September 23, 2012 History

The Tennessee-Detroit game was an instant classic today, with one of the wildest fourth quarters anyone will ever see. The 46 points scored were the second most in NFL history, trailing another recent game involving the Lions. The scoring was crazy. Tommie Campbell had a 65-yard punt return at the end of the first quarter; […]

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Four weeks in, the first edition of college football SRS standings

September 23, 2012 College

It’s still too early to really put a lot of faith into the SRS ratings, but hey, we’ve got enough games to at least give it the old college try. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the game scores for all of college football. As a reminder, here’s the system. 1) For […]

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A thought experiment

September 22, 2012 Strategy

Yeah, yeah, Football Perspective turned 100 today, blah blah blah. I have something on my mind and I need the wisdom of this crowd. Below is a thought experiment. You are highly incentivized to correctly guess how many interceptions a quarterback threw in a specific game. If you can answer it correctly within the one-tenth […]

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Football Perspective turns 100 days old

September 22, 2012 Uncategorized

It’s been an incredible 100 days here at Football Perspective. When I started this site, I had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, the success so far at Football Perspective has exceeded my wildest expectations. Starting a football site in June isn’t the smartest thing in the world, but I think I’ve been fortunate to […]

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Jim Harbaugh has turned Alex Smith into Jim Harbaugh 2.0

September 21, 2012 Coaches

Alex Smith has had an incredible career revival since Jim Harbaugh came to San Francisco. The first six seasons of his career, Alex Smith won just 38% of his 50 starts, but he has an incredible 15-3 regular season record since 2011 (83%). From 2005 to 2012, Smith had an ugly 72.1 passer rating, the […]

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The Biggest Quarter-by-Quarter Comebacks Since 1978

September 20, 2012 History

[Today is a two-post day at Football Perspective. Check here for my week 2 power rankings, while Neil provides an innovative look at the biggest comebacks of the last 35 years in this post. — Chase In my last post, I introduced a method of estimating the home team’s pre-game win probability in Excel using […]

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Week 2 Power Rankings

September 20, 2012 Power Rankings

With week 2 in the books, it’s time to present updated win projections for each team. I kept half of the league’s teams at the same win total as last week, gave one additional win to one-quarter of the league, and took one win away from the remaining eight teams. This week, the 49ers move […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 2

September 19, 2012 NYT

This week’s Fifth Down post focuses on the blueprint for 0-2 teams to make the playoffs. Six N.F.L. teams have started the season 0-2, the lowest number since 1997. No doubt the most surprising of the winless teams is the New Orleans Saints, who happen to be the only winless team in the N.F.C. Over […]

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Snake Eyes: Why an 8-point deficit looks worse than a 9-point one

September 18, 2012 Strategy

An interesting discussion broke out in the comments to Friday’s post, as sn0mm1s pointed out a bizarre result he’d come across. Before the NFL adopted the 2-point conversion option following touchdowns, teams that trailed by 8 points entering the 4th quarter had a lower winning percentage than teams that trailed by 9 points. My initial […]

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Stats Recap: Week 2

September 17, 2012 Stat Recap

Let’s run through six of yesterday’s games and look at some of the more interesting stats from week 2: Carolina 35, New Orleans 27 We need to incentivize this defense: Half of Carolina’s ten drives went for 58 yards or more, with four of them ending in touchdowns. Like every year since Sean Payton and […]

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A futile twist on SRS scores for college football teams

September 16, 2012 College

As a guy who loves the Simple Rating System, the start of the college football season can be frustrating. Until we get a few weeks in, we can’t really use the Simple Rating System to analyze results. A similar problem affects all computer rating systems. Jeff Sagarin notes in his rankings that that for the […]

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, September 15th

September 15, 2012 Trivia

Three teams have started 0-2 and won the Super Bowl. In 1993, the Dallas Cowboys started 0-2 in part because Emmitt Smith was holding out for a new contract. In 2001, the New England Patriots — with Drew Bledsoe as starting quarterback — began the year 0-2, before Tom Brady got his first professional start […]

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Trailing by 15 in the middle of the 4th quarter, teams are foolish to not go for 2 after touchdowns

September 14, 2012 Strategy

Let’s start with the obvious: your odds of winning when trailing by 15 in the 4th quarter are really, really low. From 1994, the first season the two-point attempt was introduced to the NFL, to 2011, 68 teams have entered the 4th quarter trailing by exactly 15 points. Only one of those teams won. Over […]

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Week 1 Power Rankings

September 13, 2012 Power Rankings

In my experience, most power rankings are pretty vague about what the rankings are supposed to represent. In general, ranking systems are usually either retrodictive or predictive, meaning they’re either supposed to explain the past or predict the future. If you’re going to make power rankings, you should be clear what you’re rankings are supposed […]

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NYT Fifth Down: Post-week 1

September 12, 2012 NYT

For the past few years, I have written a weekly in-season article for the New York Times’ football blog, The Fifth Down. We are teaming up again this year and below is an excerpt from some thoughts I had on the replacement refs: It was an uneventful Week 1, in a good way, as the […]

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A statistical look at the impact of week 1 on year-end results

September 11, 2012 Statistics

How much should the week 1 results impact your projections for team wins in 2012? That’s what this post will attempt to answer. Let’s start with the basics. Before the season, if you knew nothing about a team other than how many games it won the prior year, how many wins should you project for […]

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Bengals-Ravens, Raiders-Chargers offers road teams a chance to prove themselves

September 10, 2012 Statistics

The first Monday night of the regular season gives us two football games to enjoy. At 7:00, the Bengals travel to Baltimore giving Cincinnati an immediate chance to prove that last year’s playoff berth was no fluke. At 10:15, the Chargers travel to Oakland and look to show that missing out on the last two […]

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Trivia of the Day – Sunday, September 9th

September 9, 2012 Rushing

Welcome back, NFL. The first of 17 great Sundays is upon us, and this is always one of my favorite days of the year. I’ll even put up with the garbage that is pre-game and post-game shows to watch football from 9 in the morning until after midnight. I’m sure many of you will do […]

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Trivia of the Day – Saturday, September 8th

September 8, 2012 Receiving

Yesterday, I wrote about the interesting career of Anquan Boldin. If I had written that article a year ago, I would have noted that Boldin was the all-time leader in receptions per game in NFL history. At the time, Boldin had 650 receptions in 111 games, an average of 5.86 receptions per game. But after […]

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Nine years ago today, Anquan Boldin dominated Week 1

September 7, 2012 Receiving

Nine years ago today, Anquan Boldin became a household name in his very first game. Boldin gained 217 receiving yards, the most in week 1 of an NFL season since Frank Clarke in 1962 and the most by any player in his first game. It was as amazing was it was unexpected. Boldin was a […]

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Reviewing how last year’s breakout teams looked after week 1

September 6, 2012 History

The San Francisco 49ers were the breakout team of the 2011 season, going from 6-10 in 2010 to 13-3 last year. The Cincinnati Bengals were the surprise team of the AFC, jumping from four to nine wins and earning a playoff berth. The Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos all made the playoffs after […]

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