≡ Menu

This pass probably wasn't completed.

This pass probably wasn’t completed.

In the NFC Championship Game, Carson Palmer was really bad.  He completed 23 of 40 passes for 235 yards, with three sacks that lost 8 yards.  That by itself is not very good — it translates to a 5.3 net yards per attempt average — but the real damage came when it comes to turnovers.  Palmer threw one touchdown againt four interceptions, giving him an Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt average of just 1.56.  And even that inflates things a bit, as Palmer also fumbled twice, with both fumbles being recovered by Carolina. On the season, Carolina allowed 4.46 ANY/A to opposing passers, the best in the NFL, so that does mitigate things a bit.  As a result, Palmer’s game is considered -125 ANY below expectation, because he was 2.9 ANY/A below expectation over 43 dropbacks.

That’s bad, but nowhere near as bad as the worst performance from even this year’s playoffs (Brian Hoyer) or the last Cardinals playoff loss (thank you, Ryan Lindley).  But the reason Palmer’s performance appeared so bad was precisely because it came from someone like Carson Palmer, and not a Hoyer or a Lindley.  Palmer, after all, was arguably the best passer in the NFL this season.  He led the NFL in Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, at 8.11, which was 2.14 ANY/A better than league average.

[Note: The initial version of this post had some errors in it. Those have been fixed now.]

One way to handle that is to only look at top quarterbacks, defined as a quarterback who averaged at least 2.00 ANY/A better than league average during the regular season. Let’s use Daunte Culpepper’s 2000 NFC Championship Game as an example. During the regular season, Culpepper had a Relative ANY/A of +2.07, so he qualifies. His opponent in the NFCCG was the Giants, and New York’s defense was pretty good: it allowed 0.52 fewer ANY/A than the average team in 2000, so the “SOS” cell is filled in with -0.52. In the game, Culpepper was a disaster, producing a -2.34 ANY/A average. The league average ANY/A in 2000 was 5.21, so Culpepper gets an single game RANY/A of -7.55. We give him credit for facing a tougher defense than average, so his grade relative to league average after adjusting for strength of schedule is -7.03. That’s denoted in the “Rel LgAvg (SOS-A)” column. Finally, he had 32 dropbacks, so if we multiply -7.03 by 32, we get a value grade of -225.

Among top quarterbacks, that’s the worst playoff game ever by this formula. As for Palmer? It’s the 5th worst playoff game ever,

RkQuarterbackTeamOppYearBoxscoreReg RANY/ASOSGame ANY/AGame RANY/ARel LgAvg (SOS-A)DBValue
1Daunte CulpepperMINNYG2000Boxscore2.07-0.52-2.34-7.55-7.0332-225
2Roger StaubachDALMIN1973Boxscore2.02-1.16-4.88-8.76-7.6024-182
3Ron JaworskiPHIDAL1980Boxscore2.07-0.28-0.42-5.28-5.0031-155
4Chad PenningtonNYJOAK2002Boxscore2.15-0.451.90-3.45-2.9951-153
5Carson PalmerARICAR2015Boxscore2.14-1.811.56-4.71-2.9043-125
6Otto GrahamCLEDET1953Boxscore4.93-1.90-5.50-8.76-6.8618-123
7Peyton ManningINDNWE2003Boxscore2.14-1.950.94-4.26-2.3251-118
8Don MeredithDALCLE1968Boxscore2.02-1.91-10.33-14.79-12.899-116
9Earl MorrallBALNYJ1968Boxscore2.74-1.42-3.76-8.23-6.8017-116
10Johnny UnitasBALCLE1964Boxscore3.330.56-0.05-4.65-5.2122-115
11Pat HadenRAMMIN1977Boxscore2.25-0.150.09-3.46-3.3033-109
12Sonny JurgensenWASRAM1974Boxscore2.36-0.54-5.00-8.91-8.3713-109
13Boomer EsiasonCINBUF1988Boxscore2.77-0.310.17-4.85-4.5423-104
14Ron JaworskiPHIMIN1980Boxscore2.070.432.73-2.14-2.5740-103
15Chris ChandlerATLDEN1998Boxscore2.30-0.092.46-2.85-2.7637-102
16Craig MortonDALBAL1970Boxscore3.06-0.91-0.07-4.23-3.3228-93
17Y.A. TittleNYGCHI1963Boxscore2.60-4.07-2.17-7.04-2.9730-89
18Ben RoethlisbergerPITSEA2005Boxscore2.19-0.191.14-4.21-4.0222-88
19David GarrardJAXPIT2007Boxscore2.10-0.671.36-4.16-3.4825-87
20Craig MortonDALDET1970Boxscore3.06-0.82-1.21-5.37-4.5519-86
21Joe TheismannWASRAI1983Boxscore2.22-0.472.51-2.49-2.0241-83
22Dan FoutsSDGMIA1982Boxscore2.94-3.53-1.00-5.76-2.2237-82
23George BlandaHOUSDG1961Boxscore4.03-2.94-1.13-4.97-2.0340-81
24Aaron RodgersGNBSEA2014Boxscore2.51-1.132.89-3.25-2.1335-74
25Fran TarkentonMINPIT1974Boxscore2.22-2.32-1.27-5.18-2.8626-74
26Peyton ManningINDKAN2006Boxscore2.550.233.79-1.58-1.8239-71
27Aaron RodgersGNBNYG2011Boxscore3.49-0.034.72-1.18-1.1550-58
28Boomer EsiasonCINSFO1988Boxscore2.77-0.652.60-2.42-1.7730-53
29John HadlRAMDAL1973Boxscore2.76-0.101.93-1.96-1.8628-52
30Dan FoutsSDGCIN1981Boxscore2.270.143.43-1.56-1.7130-51
31Bert JonesBALPIT1976Boxscore3.72-1.510.97-3.10-1.5830-48
32Philip RiversSDGIND2008Boxscore2.33-0.903.63-2.08-1.1840-47
33Mark RypienWASATL1991Boxscore3.160.704.31-0.87-1.5729-46
34Norm Van BrocklinRAMCLE1950Boxscore3.79-2.66-45.00-48.15-45.491-45
35Len DawsonKANOAK1968Boxscore3.42-1.411.68-2.55-1.1437-42
36Peyton ManningINDBAL2006Boxscore2.55-1.742.29-3.09-1.3531-42
37Tom BradyNWESDG2007Boxscore3.36-1.392.94-2.57-1.1835-41
38Steve McNairTENBAL2003Boxscore2.61-1.561.91-3.29-1.7323-40
39Tom BradyNWENYG2007Boxscore3.36-0.104.70-0.82-0.7253-38
40Roger StaubachDALSFO1971Boxscore3.880.613.00-0.93-1.5424-37
41Daryle LamonicaOAKKAN1969Boxscore2.07-2.480.82-3.41-0.9339-36
42Fran TarkentonMINOAK1976Boxscore2.160.573.64-0.43-1.0036-36
43James HarrisRAMWAS1974Boxscore2.72-1.631.04-2.87-1.2424-30
44Peyton ManningDENSDG2013Boxscore3.
45Warren MoonHOUCLE1988Boxscore2.13-0.703.33-1.69-0.9927-27
46Tom BradyNWEBAL2011Boxscore2.35-1.293.89-2.01-0.7137-26
47Peyton ManningINDNWE2004Boxscore4.14-0.734.30-1.33-0.6043-26
48Tom BradyNWENYJ2010Boxscore2.52-0.225.08-0.65-0.4450-22
49Donovan McNabbPHINWE2004Boxscore2.24-0.734.53-1.11-0.3855-21
50Boomer EsiasonCINSEA1988Boxscore2.770.224.33-0.69-0.9121-19

Another thing we could measure is the quarterback’s performance not just compared to league average, but to his own great baseline. In other words, we take the number above, but then subtract the quarterback’s regular season RANY/A from his grade. This will actually help Palmer, since most quarterbacks in this data set (+2.00 RANY/A and above) have a higher RANY/A than Palmer, but it will help look at the biggest “outlier” performances.

By this measure, Culpepper still has the worst game ever, but there is otherwise a lot of shuffling. One interesting result is with Aaron Rodgers. Because of how good he was in 2011, his playoff game against the Giants that year grades out as worse than Palmer’s game. That might seem odd, given that Rodgers produced a decent 4.72 ANY/A in the loss to New York, while Palmer was at just 1.55 ANY/A against Carolina. So how do we make up that 3.17 ANY/A difference?

  • Rodgers was at +3.49 during the regular season; as a result, he is “expected” to be about 1.35 ANY/A better than Palmer.
  • The Panthers defense is really good (-1.81), while the ’11 Giants defense (-.03) was not. So here, Palmer makes up about 1.78 ANY/A.

Those two numbers almost entirely cancel out Rodgers’ raw production advantage. Now, because of shifting league averages, Rodgers does make up some of what he lost — he wins up being 4.65 ANY/A below his own individual expectation, while Palmer is at 5.04 ANY/A below his individual expectation. But because Rodgers had 50 dropbacks, compared to only 43 for Palmer, that’s enough to vault Rodgers’ game as worse.

RkQuarterbackTeamOppYearBoxscoreReg RANY/ASOSANY/AGame RANY/AVs. Ind. Exp.DBValue
1Daunte CulpepperMINNYG2000Boxscore2.07-0.52-2.34-7.55-9.1032-291
2Chad PenningtonNYJOAK2002Boxscore2.15-0.451.90-3.45-5.1451-262
3George BlandaHOUSDG1961Boxscore4.03-2.94-1.13-4.97-6.0640-242
4Aaron RodgersGNBNYG2011Boxscore3.49-0.034.72-1.18-4.6550-232
5Roger StaubachDALMIN1973Boxscore2.02-1.16-4.88-8.76-9.6224-231
6Peyton ManningINDNWE2003Boxscore2.14-1.950.94-4.26-4.4651-227
7Dan MarinoMIASFO1984Boxscore3.94-0.764.06-0.95-4.1354-223
8Ron JaworskiPHIDAL1980Boxscore2.07-0.28-0.42-5.28-7.0731-219
9Carson PalmerARICAR2015Boxscore2.14-1.811.56-4.71-5.0443-217
10Tom BradyNWENYG2007Boxscore3.36-0.104.70-0.82-4.0853-216
11Otto GrahamCLEDET1953Boxscore4.93-1.90-5.50-8.76-11.7918-212
12Peyton ManningINDNWE2004Boxscore4.14-0.734.30-1.33-4.7543-204
13Dan FoutsSDGMIA1982Boxscore2.94-3.53-1.00-5.76-5.1737-191
14Johnny UnitasBALCLE1964Boxscore3.330.56-0.05-4.65-8.5422-188
15Chris ChandlerATLDEN1998Boxscore2.30-0.092.46-2.85-5.0637-187
16Ron JaworskiPHIMIN1980Boxscore2.070.432.73-2.14-4.6440-186
17Pat HadenRAMMIN1977Boxscore2.25-0.150.09-3.46-5.5533-183
18Craig MortonDALBAL1970Boxscore3.06-0.91-0.07-4.23-6.3828-179
19Joe TheismannWASRAI1983Boxscore2.22-0.472.51-2.49-4.2341-174
20Peyton ManningINDKAN2006Boxscore2.550.233.79-1.58-4.3639-170
21Len DawsonKANOAK1968Boxscore3.42-1.411.68-2.55-4.5637-169
22Boomer EsiasonCINBUF1988Boxscore2.77-0.310.17-4.85-7.3123-168
23Y.A. TittleNYGCHI1963Boxscore2.60-4.07-2.17-7.04-5.5730-167
24Aaron RodgersGNBSEA2014Boxscore2.51-1.132.89-3.25-4.6435-162
25Earl MorrallBALNYJ1968Boxscore2.74-1.42-3.76-8.23-9.5417-162
26Bert JonesBALPIT1976Boxscore3.72-1.510.97-3.10-5.3030-159
27Tom BradyNWESDG2007Boxscore3.36-1.392.94-2.57-4.5435-159
28Tom BradyNWENYJ2010Boxscore2.52-0.225.08-0.65-2.9550-148
29Craig MortonDALDET1970Boxscore3.06-0.82-1.21-5.37-7.6119-145
30Donovan McNabbPHINWE2004Boxscore2.24-0.734.53-1.11-2.6255-144
31Kurt WarnerSTLTAM1999Boxscore3.13-1.693.33-1.86-3.2943-141
32Randall CunninghamMINATL1998Boxscore3.23-0.025.760.46-2.7651-141
33Philip RiversSDGIND2008Boxscore2.33-0.903.63-2.08-3.5140-140
34Sonny JurgensenWASRAM1974Boxscore2.36-0.54-5.00-8.91-10.7313-140
35David GarrardJAXPIT2007Boxscore2.10-0.671.36-4.16-5.5825-140
36Joe MontanaSFONYG1984Boxscore2.930.064.79-0.21-3.2043-138
37Mark RypienWASATL1991Boxscore3.160.704.31-0.87-4.7329-137
38Ben RoethlisbergerPITSEA2005Boxscore2.19-0.191.14-4.21-6.2022-136
39Peyton ManningDENSDG2013Boxscore3.
40Boomer EsiasonCINSFO1988Boxscore2.77-0.652.60-2.42-4.5430-136
41Don MeredithDALCLE1968Boxscore2.02-1.91-10.33-14.79-14.909-134
42Fran TarkentonMINPIT1974Boxscore2.22-2.32-1.27-5.18-5.0826-132
43Roger StaubachDALSFO1971Boxscore3.880.613.00-0.93-5.4224-130
44John HadlRAMDAL1973Boxscore2.76-0.101.93-1.96-4.6228-129
45Vinny TestaverdeNYJDEN1998Boxscore2.38-0.095.12-0.19-2.4752-129
46Daunte CulpepperMINPHI2004Boxscore2.39-1.004.45-1.18-2.5749-126
47Peyton ManningINDBAL2006Boxscore2.55-1.742.29-3.09-3.9031-121
48Dan FoutsSDGCIN1981Boxscore2.270.143.43-1.56-3.9830-119
49Daryle LamonicaOAKKAN1969Boxscore2.07-2.480.82-3.41-3.0139-117
50Fran TarkentonMINOAK1976Boxscore2.160.573.64-0.43-3.1536-114

There are some fascinatingly bad games on this list, including ones that came in losing efforts like George Blanda and Ron Jaworski (actually, Jaws has two games from the ’80 playoffs on the list).

Anyway, my apologies for the earlier errors in the article. Those are on me. Please leave any questions or thoughts in the comments.

  • sacramento gold miners

    Carson Palmer just wasn’t bad Sunday, but has an unimpressive history in the postseason. The game reminded me of SB 16, when a younger Joe Montana schooled the veteran Ken Anderson on the big stage. For me, Newton’s performance was enough to catapult him past Palmer for the MVP. It was obvious watching the game how much Palmer was getting frustrated, and for a veteran QB, he doesn’t have much experience in the playoffs.

  • Interesting (to me) to see a guy with a +80 RANY come out with the 45th worst performance, considering a +80 would generally rate as a good game. That’s bound to happen when you set lofty standards in the regular season (I think 1984 was arguably Montana’s best regular season despite being obscured by Marino’s).

    • I must have an error in my formula, because I get a 4.79 ANY/A for Montana for this game.

  • If the Steelers had won the 2010 Super Bowl, do we hear constantly about how Rodgers is a choking dog? He has two of the 23 worst postseason games here.
    Three players managed to get on this list twice in the same season: Norm Van Brocklin in 1950, Ron Jaworski in 1980 and Tom Brady in 2007. Jaworski was the only one of the three whose team had an exceptionally strong defense (though the ’07 Patriots weren’t bad by any means), thanks to their awesome defensive coordinator. 😉 That season for Jaworski also has to rank among the all-time outlier seasons by a quarterback.
    The Giants have been the opponents for five of these matchups. The Eagles, Texans, Jaguars, Titans, Saints, and Cardinals are the franchises never to have benefited from one of these performances. The Eagles are certainly the most surprising of that group given the paucity of playoff games played for the others.

    • Now that I’m looking at it, I think there must be an error on the Rodgers/Giants line. His ANY/A in that game was 4.70, so I think his ANY/A in that game should be more like -1.2, not 1.2. I will check when I get home.

    • After updating, Rodgers’ 2011 game looks really bad, and his ’14 game never looked good. That said, Rodgers is awesome, so let’s just be happy we don’t have to hear about Rodgers being a choking dog.

      Agreed on Jaws — that is crazy.

      • Johhny Ohrl

        Rodgers you can see he has it all. Reading skills that slowed the game speed down (comes automatically with experience), great accuracy (thus ofc perfect technique), and a strong arm. He´s not a 2/3-QB that, to unknown reasons for me, get drafted high now and then (McNown, Frye, etc)…

    • James

      Absolutely. Considering Rodgers’ terrible comeback record and relative lack of playoff success compared to his dominance in the regular season, I think he’s extremely lucky (narrative wise) that he won a SB early in his career as that apparently makes you immune to any criticism (except Peyton Manning).

      I remember Brees had some criticism his first few years with the Saints for being a stat complier and not a winner as the Saints hovered around 500, but that completely disappeared thanks to one day in 2009. I think Rodgers would be hearing the same and maybe even approaching Peyton/Marino levels of hate if not for 2010.

      • Johhny Ohrl

        Disagreeing is not always hate. Actually it´s very seldom…
        I first realized that critics were mistaken for haters with the Lance Armstrong saga in the early/mid 2000s. Since then it went on in the internet that a good portion of USAmericans always come up with the “you hater” more often than not. I always wonder why is it so? Not verybody who follows/watches/practises sports is a worshipper of athlets that they do not personally know…

      • sacramento gold miners

        I think the big difference would be in the context of GOAT, and I couldn’t put any QB in that elite rank with just a single SB win.

        • James

          Then you need to re-evaluate how to judge quarterbacks and only look at things inside their control. Do you think the best QB wins the Super Bowl every year? Because I can assure you he doesn’t.

          And since you know they don’t, why would you let something that is largely outside of the QB’s control affect how you evaluate the quality of a QB? Had the AFC Champ game been Peyton’s second SB win you’d be giving him credit not for playing particularly well or being the best QB on the field, but because his defense was fantastic. And that’s wrong. Peyton’s status of being in the “elite rank” should not be at all dependent on the quality of his defense, this year or throughout his career.

          • sacramento gold miners

            Most of the time, the better QB does win in the postseason, that’s way it’s so rare to see what Trent Dilfer accomplished. Can’t think of another position in sport so instrumental in winning as the QB. I do give Manning credit for making just enough plays to win early in the AFC TG, though he faded late. And while the QB doesn’t play defense, his play has a huge impact on that side of the football. Flukes happen, Tim Tebow won a playoff game, but generally speaking, the better QB wins, because that’s the end result.

            • James

              “Can’t think of another position in sport so instrumental in winning as the QB”

              Then I’m forced to assume you aren’t familiar with very many other sports.

              In the NFL a QB throws the ball on about 60% of his team’s plays, but his team is only on offense about 45% of the total plays in the game (special teams). That means he directly affects 27% of the game.

              In baseball the best starting pitchers go 6+ of the game’s 9 innings, which is 67% of the game. Of course, they only pitch when on defense, so they directly affect 33% of the game.

              In the NBA the best players use about 30% of their team’s possessions (shots + turnovers), and often go even higher in the playoffs.

              ” … And while the QB doesn’t play defense, his play has a huge impact on that side of the football”

              A QB generally has very little impact on the other side of the ball. At best QB X’s talent might encourage the opposing team to keep the ball on offense more, but that’s already the main goal of the offense. And most of the time the impact is counterproductive (running more, which is less efficient and leads to punting more often). Meanwhile, the best basketball players do this crazy thing where they ACTUALLY PLAY DEFENSE! With their own bodies and everything! That has an actual “huge impact” on the game, boosting their direct impact much higher than the 30% above indicates.

              • Josh Winters

                No mention of hockey? I mean if we’re gonna bring up any sport I think hockey(goalie or really any player) would be a much better argument than any basketball player.

            • Richie

              Yes, when you determine “better” based on who wins playoff games, then the better QB usually wins. This is circular logic.

              Let’s say Brady is the best QB in the NFL, and has been for the past 15 years. Well, he only won 4 Super Bowls. So Brady alone lost to an inferior QB 10 times. Plus there was a 12th season (2002) where he didn’t even make the playoffs.

              • WR

                Efficiency at the QB position does correlate closely with wins, both game to game and over full seasons and careers. That’s one of the reasons why Brady, Manning, and Roethlisberger have combined to win 13 of the last 15 AFC championships. QBs like 2001 Brady, 2002 Brad Johnson, and Dilfer all performed well by efficiency metrics, even if their totals weren’t impressive. When you combine efficiency at QB with a good defense, you’re going to win a lot of games. That’s exactly what Manning did on Sunday.

                Even if you want to say that Brady has been the best since 2001, that doesn’t mean he’s been the best every single season. Manning was better than Russell Wilson in the full season 2013, but in the Super Bowl, Wilson outplayed him. That was one of the big reasons Seattle won. The fact that Brady has won “only” 4 Super Bowls, or that San Francisco won “only” 5 during their dominant run, just shows that even the best teams can’t win it every year. But Brady has performed well when his team has won the title, particularly the 2014 and 2004 postseasons, and the 2003 SB against Carolina.

                • Tricericon

                  “Dilfer […] performed well by efficiency metrics”

                  Trent Dilfer 2000: 134 for 226 (59.3%) 1502 yds. 12 td, 11 int
                  DYAR : 39th of 46
                  DVOA: 39th of 46
                  ANY/A: 26th of 36
                  QB Rating: 20th of 34

                  • WR

                    I realized after I posted my last comment that I was off the mark with Dilfer. What I should have said was that in the playoffs that year, Dilfer was good by efficiency metrics, though he had one bad game. The point is that he was consistently able to outperform the opposing QB, and ride a historically good defense. There are arguably teams that have won the SB without efficient QB play or a great defense, like the 2012 ravens, but it’s very hard to do.

              • sacramento gold miners

                No, I said generally speaking, the better QB wins in the postseason. Brady beat many QBs en route to those four SB wins. There will always be exceptions.

    • Tom

      That 2010 (season) Super Bowl is pretty significant for two future (probably) Hall of Famers. If the Steelers score on their last drive, Big Ben is a three-time Super Bowl champ and basically cements his legacy (if only in the eyes of the general public) as one of the GOAT. Rodgers, however, would be viewed at like Marino or Manning, etc. – great in the regular season, not so great in the postseason.

      On a side note, wasn’t it Palomalu who batted the ball away on a possible game-winning TD pass from Rodgers on their last drive?

    • Dale GoDawgs McLerran

      FWIW, you missed a couple of players who managed to get on this list twice in the same season: Craig Morton in 1970 and Peyton Manning in 2006. That makes 5 QBs who had two dud games in the playoffs in the same season.

      • Indeed. I have no idea how I managed to do that, but I did. It’s rather weird that it’s happened that often, really.

        • Tricericon

          The Dallas defense during the Morton double melt-down playoff run was insane. The game Morton survived Dallas won 5-0 with a field goal off a turnover and a safety. They would have somehow won his second awful game too if it had been officiated correctly.

  • Tom

    Was looking for Marino’s last playoff game – the Wildcard game against the Jags in the 1999 season. The Dolphins lost 62-7, Marino went 11-25, 95 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT’s, sacked twice for 14 yards and fumbled the ball twice! If I did the math right, that’s 0.41 ANY/A. As I’m writing this, I see why he wasn’t included…his ANY/A for the season was below average. Still, that has to be one of the worst playoffs for a Hall of Fame QB, and a terrible way to leave the league (it was his last game).

    • Yep. On an unrelated note, you can search to see if that game has ever been mentioned at FP by using this link


      Obviously you can use whatever PFR boxscore ID you want in there. Just a tip!

    • Richie

      That game never really happened.

  • Richie

    #35 was Ben Roethlisberger in a Super Bowl-winning effort.

    • With the updated numbers, it’s #18 on the first list, and #38 on the second. It was a bad game, but I suppose not as bad as Palmer’s if you want to look at gross numbers.

      You know what’s really crazy? You can’t even look at that game without an era adjustment. It was 10 years ago, which isn’t that long! Or maybe I’m getting old. But league average ANY/A has almost increased by a full yard, from 5.34 to 6.27.

      The SOS adjustment swings it wildly into Palmer’s favor on a per-attempt basis, but because Roethlisberger only had 22 dropbacks, it doesn’t register as a completely horrible game.

  • Johhny Ohrl

    If all works normal in the SB,
    DEN stands no chance (and Football is saved at least for one more season, has a well deserved winner, speak the best team gets crowned as champions, instead of a fluke one). But still there would be no chance for PM to make this list (since his RS was so bad), right? Still, what kind of game would it take for PM to enter the “Top-50”? Must it be as bad as (for example) 11/30-108-0/3, which even for his meltdown standards is highly unlikely?
    Btw, it would be fantastic if Chase could make a article/study of line movements and the influence on outcomes of games (I guess he has the line movements of at least the past 5 years available)…
    It seems disaster is looming:
    DEN opened as 3.5/4 dog, now it´s even up to 6 by some books.
    So hefty money is flowing in on CAR. And since Vegas lost only two SBs, I fear PM will be handed this one, like Bettis/Ben was SB XL. Omg!… But there is still hope (which dies last), and we won´t have to witness absurd happenings like for example in SBs XLIII, XL or XXXVI…

    • Tom

      Man, would it really be so horrible for Football if the underdog won the Super Bowl? Things don’t always happen the way they’re supposed to and that’s why we watch the damn games. Have you ever played on a team that wasn’t very good, but that one special day you beat the team that was in every way superior? Do you remember that glorious feeling?
      Listen, I watched Super Bowls in the 80’s and 90’s when the “better” teams would demolish their opponents. Those games stunk.

      • Johhny Ohrl

        I think I am spoiled since reading “They Call it a Game” and followed that up with the even more disturbing book by Moldea (“How Organized Crime…”).
        Since then Football wasn´t the same anymore. So I am not against upsets, but I am against games that have a hefty stinking smell, like the three SBs I mentioned.
        If the upset is coming convincingly, no problem… I hated those boring SBs of the 80s, early 90s too. Then it dawned on me… Thus I really enjoyed the statement of CAR vs ARZ. Football in perfection without doubts looming over the game. And, remember, I really rooted for ARZ here (as you can see with my previous posts).
        So if DEN wins behind a stellar defense, I can swallow it (their only chance, as I said from the beginning posting here, some two weeks ago). I would have to admit that nowadays “Defense wins championships”. But if the game is decided by questionable calls, murky play-calling (like it happened with Beli-Cheat some years ago in the NYJ upset loss), and/or another bout of DEN defenders going head-hunting without being penalized… well, that´s not acceptable.
        Football is still the greatest game on earth (just ahead of Aussie Rules Football; said by someone who grew up with soccer 24/7), even though the greed is about to destroy it. A sad story…

        • Tom

          I see what you’re saying, and it makes sense. And yeah, it should be that the better team wins, but man, it’s freaking awesome when the underdog plays beyond themselves and beats the superior team. OK, that being said, I agree with you regarding questionable refereeing, etc….it’s a damn shame if these games are indeed fixed, or at least influenced in some shady way. I can’t comment on it ’cause I haven’t read much about it, but I agree with you, it’s damn sad.

          And finally, I absolutely love the phrase, “…games that have a hefty stinking smell”. I’m going to use that myself from now on.

          • Johhny Ohrl

            I really recommend the book by Moldea. An eye opener. Some crazy stories (underlined with interviews with bookies, gamblers; evidence by FBI, congress investigations being shut down, and so on)… like KC games going off-board (in Vegas) en masse when Dawson started at QB.
            Now that was the 60s/70s, now we have the Internet and gambling is growing as big as it ever was. You hear all the stories in (high level) soccer, NBA, Hockey, Tennis, etc… no way that the NFL is the lone sport immune to fixing. Too much money at stake to not influence the oucomes. It´d be really awesome if Chase could look into line movements, and which influence it has on game outcomes. Watch out the SB! (I hope you/we don´t see something unusual, but I doubt it)…
            I think it was James who agreed with me, that upsets sometimes are ok even awesome, but not when they become the norm (ok, it wasn´t the case the last two years, but way too much before that)…
            Btw, nice to hear that a german with not so good english has put up a good one liner 😉