January 2013

Super Bowl Squares: How to win your Pool at your Super Bowl Party

January 31, 2013 Checkdowns

In 2009, Doug produced a Super Bowl Squares post, itself a revival of his old Sabernomics post eight years ago. In those posts, Doug derived the probability of winning a squares pool for each given square (or set of numbers). Unsurprisingly, he found that those lucky souls holding the ’7/0′ squares were in good shape, […]

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Checkdowns: How the Ravens and 49ers compare to previous Super Bowl teams

January 31, 2013 Checkdowns

Ever wondered which Super Bowl teams were the oldest or youngest? I went and calculated the AV-adjusted age of every team to appear in the Super Bowl. (AV stands for Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value system, which assigns an approximate value to each player in each season; you can read more about it here.) You can probably […]

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Randy Moss: Jerry Rice had two HOF QBs his whole career

January 30, 2013 Checkdowns

I was planning on ignoring the latest Randy Moss news, using that word liberally as it applies to things said on media day. In case you missed it, Moss said yesterday that he believes he is the greatest receiver of all time. Moss is an obvious future Hall of Famer, but Jason Lisk gave Moss’ […]

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How Super Bowl XLVII could impact the HOF chances of certain 49ers

January 30, 2013 HOF

On Sunday, I looked at how the football legacies of certain Ravens would be affected by a win in Super Bowl XLVII; today I will do the same for the 49ers. And the best place to start is with the only surefire Hall of Famer on the team. Randy Moss turns 36 in a couple […]

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The Schottenheimer Index

January 29, 2013 Coaches

Last week, Neil brought us the latest iteration of the Manning Index, showing which quarterbacks have overachieved in the playoffs relative to expectation (based off of the Vegas line). I’m going to do the same today for coaches. A couple of introductory notes: Neil described the exact methodology in his quarterbacks post, so I won’t […]

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Is good luck driving the low interception rates of Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick?

January 28, 2013 History

In September, I started a post by asking you to make this assumption: Assume that it is within a quarterback’s control as to whether or not he throws a completed pass on any given pass attempt. However, if he throws an incomplete pass, then he has no control over whether or not that pass is […]

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How Super Bowl XLVII could impact the HOF chances of certain Ravens

January 27, 2013 HOF

Being a Super Bowl champion is a pretty nice bullet to place on your Hall of Fame resume. For players like Jerry Rice or Peyton Manning (or say, Steve Largent or Dan Marino), the failure to acquire a ring wouldn’t have prevented their induction; on the other hand, would Lynn Swann or Paul Hornung or […]

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Trivia: Anquan Boldin is the 7th starting WR to reach the Super Bowl with two different teams

January 27, 2013 Receiving

Anquan Boldin is back in the Super Bowl. Four years ago, Boldin and the Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. That season, Boldin was one of the game’s best wide receivers, catching 89 passes for 1,038 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns in just 12 games. His production was slightly less impressive […]

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Trivia: Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs look to repeat as Super Bowl champions

January 26, 2013 Checkdowns

Last year, Mario Manningham was one of the stars of Super Bowl XLVI, as his great sidelines catch helped the Giants defeat the Patriots (although it wasn’t even his most meaningful catch in that game). As a member of the 49ers this season, Manningham has been placed on injured reserve, but that doesn’t make him […]

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NFL Passing since 1950 (in graphic form)

January 25, 2013 Checkdowns

Want to see how passing has changed in the NFL over the last 63 years? A picture is worth at least 1,000 words in this case. The graph below shows the number of interceptions per dropback (red), sacks per dropback (purple), non-INT incomplete passes per dropback (yellow) and completions per dropback (green). Of course, a […]

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Charting Eli Manning’s career, in five and ten game increments

January 25, 2013 Passing

In October 2009, Neil Paine wrote that Eli Manning had seemingly turned the corner, starting with the five-game stretch from week 17 of the 2007 season that ended in the Super Bowl. And since that post, Manning has been even better, with his 2011 season standing out as the best year of his career. I […]

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Super Bowl XLVII Prop Bets

January 24, 2013 Checkdowns

I don’t advocate betting on football games and neither does Football Perspective. However, as a person who spends lot of time trying to measure events that are difficult to measure, as an academic exercise, I find this list of Super Bowl Prop bets pretty interesting. MVP and First to Score a Touchdown Odds SUPER BOWL […]

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Open thread: Will John Harbaugh’s success influence future head coach hires?

January 24, 2013 Coaches

When you think about the Ravens under John Harbaugh — or just about any time in their existence — you think of a defensive team. Under Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata, Baltimore has fielded dominant defenses for much of the last decade. Marvin Lewis, Baltimore’s defensive coordinator from 1996 to 2001, […]

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The Manning Index (and The Brady Effect)

January 23, 2013 Data Dump

Eight years ago — almost to the day — our old PFR colleague Doug Drinen wrote a Sabernomics post about “The Manning Index”, a metric designed to roughly gauge the clutchness (or chokeitude) of a given quarterback by looking at how he did relative to expectations (he revived this concept in version two, six years […]

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Is Joe Flacco elite?

January 22, 2013 History

Just a guess, but I think that question will be asked quite a few times over the next couple of weeks. While the inanity of the discussion that usually follows that question is not something I wish to emulate, there’s no particular reason not to take an in-depth look at Flacco’s career. The table below […]

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Super Bowl History

January 21, 2013 History

Now that the Super Bowl matchup is set, I thought I’d start the two-week period with some Super Bow history. The table below lists some information from each of the first 46 Super Bowls. With Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick facing off, that ends five-year streak where at least one of the two quarterbacks in […]

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Trivia: Name the last team to start different QBs in consecutive conference championship games

January 20, 2013 Quarterbacks

In 2011, San Francisco made it to the NFC Championship Game with Alex Smith at quarterback; today, the 49ers will face the Falcons with Colin Kaepernick as their starter. This makes them the 9th team since 1970 to make the conference championship game in consecutive years but to start different quarterbacks in that game. Can […]

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Marty Mornhinweg, and why ranking teams by yards is silly

January 20, 2013 Coaches

On Friday, the Jets finally concluded their search for a new offensive coordinator by hiring Marty Mornhinweg. The reaction was predictably mixed, but one of the facts trumpeted by the pro-Mornhinweg crowd was that he has been an offensive coordinator for 11 years and his teams never ranked lower than 15th on offense. Besides my […]

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Checkdowns: Pre-Conference Championship Sunday Weighted SRS Ratings

January 19, 2013 Checkdowns

Presented without comment, the most current Simple Ratings, weighted for recency: “Upper” and “Lower” are the 95% confidence intervals around each estimate. Roughly speaking, this means we can be 95% confident that, say, the 49ers’ “true” SRS rating is between 3.66 and 16.80. Tweet

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Previewing the AFC Championship Game: Baltimore at New England

January 19, 2013 Current Events

According to the SRS, this is as lopsided as championship games get. The Patriots are 12.8 points better than average while the Ravens have an SRS of just +2.9; therefore, you’d put New England as 13-point favorites at home (in reality, they are 8-point favorites). I’ve been a Ravens skeptic for a couple of months […]

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Mike Silver highlights issue of race in coaching but struggles to find a candidate

January 18, 2013 Coaches

Mike Silver’s latest article examines the lack of any minority hires among the fourteen NFL head coaches and general managers hired in January (leaving the Jets general manager position as the last remaining vacant job). At the coaching level, seven of the eight hires — Andy Reid (Chiefs), Doug Marrone (Bills), Rob Chudzinski (Browns), Mike […]

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Checkdowns: Every AFC and NFC Championship Game since 1970

January 18, 2013 Checkdowns

Yesterday, I provided my preview of the NFC Championship Game, and I’ll do the same for the AFC tomorrow. But today, here’s a listing of every conference championship game the since the NFL merger. The table below shows each game from the perspective of the winning team and includes a linkable boxscore for each game. […]

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Please comment: First-team NFL HCs with no prior NFL experience

January 17, 2013 Checkdowns

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Eagles announced that Oregon’s Chip Kelly would be their new head coach. In November, I provided my thoughts on Kelly and Chris Brown wrote his definitive piece on Kelly’s offensive system, a must read. One of the biggest knocks on Kelly is that he has no prior NFL experience, as either a […]

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Previewing the NFC Championship Game: San Francisco at Atlanta

January 17, 2013 Current Events

A couple of interesting notes, courtesy of Mike Sando on ESPN.com. The first is a good bit of trivia: Jim Harbaugh joins George Seifert, Barry Switzer and Rex Ryan as the only head coaches to reach the AFC or NFC Championship Game in each of their first two seasons as an NFL head coach. The […]

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Outlook for the 2013 Jets: Part II (The offense)

January 16, 2013 Coaches

Yesterday, I reviewed how the Jets defense performed in 2012 and previewed the team’s outlook for 2013. Today, the heavy lifting begins, by looking at the offense. If you didn’t feel bad for Tony Sparano before this post, I can guarantee you will by the end of it. Quarterback There is no point in ignoring […]

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Checkdowns: Jerry McDonald’s interview about the Pistol and Kaepernick with Chris Ault

January 15, 2013 Checkdowns

I have not done a good job fulfilling my pledge to point you in the direction of good football articles. But here’s a great interview by Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News with former Nevada head coach Chris Ault. Ault is the pioneer of the Pistol Offense, and his prized pupil was last […]

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Outlook for the 2013 Jets: Part I (The defense)

January 15, 2013 Coaches

In the preseason, I provided an in-depth preview of the 2012 New York Jets. By mid-season, I questioned the track records of Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, and Mark Sanchez and wondered whether or not they should (and would) be back in 2013. As we now know, after the season Tannenbaum was fired, Ryan was retained, […]

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Checkdowns: Pro-Football-Reference.com releases 2012 AV

January 14, 2013 Checkdowns

It’s Christmas in January. Once the 2012 All-Pro teams were announced (my thoughts here), my buddies Mike Kania and Neil Paine worked through the weekend to provide us with Approximate Values for every player in the NFL this year. For the uninitiated, you can review how AV is calculated here. And if you’re so inclined, […]

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Reviewing the Divisional Round of the Playoffs

January 14, 2013 Review

The Best Weekend of the Year lived up to its reputation this weekend, as the divisional round of the playoffs gave us three outstanding games. Here is my reaction, with a disproportionate amount of time spent on the Denver-Baltimore game, because, well, if you saw it, you’d understand. Baltimore 38, Denver 35 One of the […]

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Previewing the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs – Sunday

January 13, 2013 Current Events

Yesterday, I previewed Saturday’s games with um, mixed results (skip the Denver-Baltimore preview and just read the San Francisco-Green Bay breakdown twice). Let’s take another crack at it by examining Sunday’s matchups. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) (+1) at Atlanta Falcons (13-3), Sunday, 1:00PM ET Once again, Atlanta is tasked with facing a dominant wildcard team. Is […]

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