Chip Kelly, Michael Vick, and the Eagles Tempo

September 2, 2013 Coaches

The number one storyline in the NFL in week one isn’t the health of Robert Griffin III, but the presence of two other men occupying FedEx Field that night. The football world is anxiously awaiting to see how Chip Kelly’s offense, piloted by Michael Vick, will work in the NFL. We don’t know much, but […]

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How much will Terrelle Pryor help Darren McFadden?

September 1, 2013 History

The 2012 Raiders weren’t very good. Oakland finished last season 4-12, with the third-worst SRS rating (-10.8) in the NFL. And the outlook isn’t any better for 2013, either. Oakland has fifty million dollars of dead cap space; as a result, the players on the current roster cost the team only 67 million salary cap […]

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Witnesses to Greatness: Aaron Rodgers Edition

August 30, 2013 History

Let’s be honest: we all know Aaron Rodgers is great, so we don’t spend much time talking about him. Debating his ability is pointless, so we instead spend countless hours discussing Tony Romo’s intangibles, Tim Tebow’s throwing motion, Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos, and Joe Flacco’s eliteness. Talk radio dies when it discusses Aaron Rodgers: debating the […]

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Can Mike Wallace excel with poor play from his left tackle?

August 29, 2013 Random Perspective On

In March, Miami signed deep threat extraordinaire Mike Wallace from Pittsburgh. Also this offseason: general manager Jeff Ireland allowed left tackle Jake Long to leave and sign with the Rams, and the Dolphins have filled his position by moving right tackle Jonathan Martin to the blind side. Much has been made of Martin’s inability to […]

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Ben Roethlisberger and Receiving-Corps Quality

August 28, 2013 History

While the state of the Steelers’ receiving corps isn’t as shaky as say, that of the New England Patriots, it could certainly be called an area of potential concern for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh offense going into 2013. One of the biggest moves on the first day of free agency involved Mike Wallace departing […]

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Projecting the 2013 Jets

August 26, 2013 Random Perspective On

Let’s start with a picture showing just how ugly the Jets passing game has been over the last four years. The chart below displays where New York has ranked in Net Yards per Attempt, Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, passer rating, Football Outsiders DVOA, and ANS’s Pass EPA/Play in each season starting in 2009. The […]

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Is change always good? The Cowboys move back to a 4-3 defense

August 22, 2013 Defense

Depending on whom you ask, Tom Landry either revolutionized or invented the 4-3 front. When he became head coach of the expansion Cowboys, Landry’s teams always fielded four down linemen. And by the time he was forced out, the 3-4 fad that dominated the ’80s had subsided, resulting in Dallas running a 4-3 front every […]

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Are the Ravens subject to a Super Bowl curse?

August 20, 2013 Random Perspective On

No team has won back-to-back Super Bowls since the 2003-2004 Patriots, which means the last eight champions have failed in their bid to repeat. Three of them — the ’06 and ’09 Steelers and the 2012 Giants — failed to even make the playoffs. Some writers have used this as a reason to suggest that […]

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Can Tampa Bay Win the NFC South With the Worst Passing Attack?

August 13, 2013 History

I was not a big fan of Josh Freeman as a prospect — he was a mediocre college quarterback — but I think he can be a very good NFL quarterback. I wrote six paragraphs explaining why I liked Freeman in March, and nothing has changed since then. In the past few weeks, friends-of-the-program Bill […]

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Examining Games with More than 15 Carries

August 12, 2013 Random Perspective On

Running back workload is a very difficult topic to tackle, and I don’t expect to make much of an indent into the subject today. But I do want to take a few minutes and look at some ways to measure heavy workloads. One school of thought is that the effect of carries is cumulative: Not […]

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Is Sam Bradford poised to to have a breakout season?

August 8, 2013 Passing

Since Sam Bradford was drafted by the Rams in 2010, the only consistent force in St. Louis has been change. Tackle Rodger Saffold, drafted in the second round of the same draft, is the only other player on the 2010 Rams offense who is still on the team. Bradford has already played under three offensive […]

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The Steve Smith Post

August 7, 2013 Random Perspective On

Over the last decade, Carolina’s Steve Smith has been one of the best receivers in the NFL. He’s also been the most under-appreciated. Let’s stroll down memory lane: As a rookie, Smith was a first-team All-Pro returner but caught only ten passes. In his second year, he caught 54 passes for 872 yards and three […]

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Can Adrian Peterson break Emmitt Smith’s rushing record?

August 3, 2013 Random Perspective On

Two house-keeping notes before we get to today’s post. First, today’s a pretty big day for our friend Neil Paine: he’s getting married. I’ll be there to celebrate with him in Philadelphia, but I know you guys will be with us in spirit. Congrats to Kaitlyn and Neil! And another set of confetti must be […]

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The 2012 Chicago Bears had the Least Strange Season Ever

August 2, 2013 Random Perspective On

Here is a recap of the 2012 Chicago Bears season.  Notice anything strange? Trick question! Score Week Day Date OT Rec Opp Tm Opp 1 Sun September 9 boxscore W 1-0 Indianapolis Colts 41 21 2 Thu September 13 boxscore L 1-1 @ Green Bay Packers 10 23 3 Sun September 23 boxscore W 2-1 […]

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Is Wes Welker the Most PPR Receiver Ever?

August 1, 2013 Fantasy

If you don’t play fantasy football, you probably have no idea what this title means. Of course, it’s 2013, so if you don’t play fantasy football, you’re now the oddball. “PPR” stands for points per reception. About half of all fantasy leagues do not give any points for receptions, while the other half includes some […]

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Julio Jones and Roddy White star in Stealing The Torch

July 31, 2013 Coaches

Randy Moss and Cris Carter. Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. From time to time, a franchise with a star wide receiver manages to draft another one. At that point, we just wait and see how long it takes the young pup to steal the spotlight. Everyone succumbs to age, and […]

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2012 Rearview Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt

July 29, 2013 Quarterbacks

Every year at, I publish an article called Rearview QB, which adjusts quarterback (and defense) fantasy numbers for strength of schedule. I’ve also done the same thing using ANY/A instead of fantasy points, and today I revive that concept for the 2012 season. Let’s start with the basics. Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt is […]

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Who Will Win 2013 Head Coach of the Year

July 25, 2013 Coaches

Is there a harder award to predict in football? It would have been impossible to predict who would win the award this time last year, as eventual winner Bruce Arians wasn’t even a head coach until October. Of course, that doesn’t excuse my terrible selection. As I said last year, predicting in the pre-season which […]

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Which Passers Were Most Effective on Third Down in 2012?

July 23, 2013 Quarterbacks

Scott Kacsmar recently wrote about Robert Griffin III’s struggles on third downs last season. Despite Griffin’s otherworldly rate stats, that was one area where he really struggled in 2012. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how all quarterbacks fared on “third downs” last season. I put that in quotes because […]

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The 2012 Colts were very rookie-heavy, with one big exception

July 22, 2013 Random Perspective On

Last week, I wrote about how the 2012 Redskins were powered by a pair of rookies in Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. The only team whose rookies had more passing/rushing/receiving yards in NFL history was the 2012 Colts, while the only non-expansion team with a higher percentage of yards from rookies was the ’55 […]

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Will Gus Bradley help fix the Jaguars defense?

July 16, 2013 Coaches

Last week, I examined the Chargers hiring of former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. What I found was that, on average, teams that go outside the organization to hire offensive coordinators saw no uptick in offensive production in the new coach’s first season. And in general, the list consisted of a lot of uninspiring names.  […]

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Eli Manning was about as good in 2012 as he was in 2011

July 15, 2013 Passing

Year QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yards TD TD% Int Int% Y/A Y/C PRate ESPN QBR Sk Yds NY/A ANY/A Sk% 2004 1-6-0 95 197 48.2 1043 6 3.0 9 4.6 5.3 11.0 55.4 13 83 4.57 3.21 6.2 2005 11-5-0 294 557 52.8 3762 24 4.3 17 3.1 6.8 12.8 75.9 28 184 6.12 5.63 […]

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Can Kenny Britt become the next great wide receiver?

July 9, 2013 Random Perspective On

Kenny Britt’s story is hardly a secret. As a freshman at Rutgers in 2006, his 64-yard catch turned the tide in the biggest win in school history. The next year, he was part of a dynamic offense: Ray Rice rushed for 2,012 yards, Tiquan Underwood caught 65 passes for 1100 yards and 7 touchdowns, and […]

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The Chargers Hired Mike McCoy — What Does That Mean?

July 8, 2013 Coaches

In 2011, Mike Mularkey and Joe Philbin were offensive coordinators for high-powered offenses. Those success seasons — on the backs of elite quarterbacks and wide receivers — were springboards for head coaching jobs in 2012. Mularkey’s work with Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez got him the top spot in Jacksonville, while […]

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Vernon Davis as Art Monk

June 26, 2013 Random Perspective On

After the voters did not select Shannon Sharpe as part of the 2009 Hall of Fame Class, I wrote this post comparing Sharpe to Art Monk. While many viewed Sharpe as a receiver playing tight end, I noted that the Redskins used Monk not just as a wide receiver, but as an H-Back and as […]

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Buffalo Bills website complains about team’s schedule

June 24, 2013 Random Perspective On

Chris Brown of is not happy with the way the Bills’ schedule shakes out. Again. Last year, this is what Brown wrote after examining the 2012 schedule: After playing what is expected to be a physical contest with the 49ers in San Francisco in Week 5 [Chase: In retrospect, not that physical], the Bills […]

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The Detroit Lions will win more games in 2013

June 21, 2013 Random Perspective On

Last year’s article on the Lions was somewhat negative. Detroit went 4-12 in 2012, but the Lions are going to win more games this year. This is the type of article that Jason Lisk, Bill Barnwell, Brian Burke, or Aaron Schatz could write in their sleep. But I’m writing it while watching TV, writing a […]

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Questioning the Narrative on Larry Fitzgerald

June 20, 2013 Fantasy

In 2008, Larry Fitzgerald had a fantastic regular season capped off by a historically great postseason; in the Super Bowl, he set the record for receiving yards in a season, including playoff games, with 1,977 yards. Of course, 2008 was decades ago in today’s era of what have you done for me lately. The table […]

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What does Norv Turner mean for Josh Gordon?

May 31, 2013 Coaches

With Norv Turner, you know what you’re going to get. Turner was fired in San Diego after the Chargers failed to make the playoffs in each of the last three years, but as usual, Turner was able to find a nice landing spot. He’ll be the Browns offensive coordinator in 2013, which will mark his […]

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Marvin Lewis, Jim Mora, and the Playoffs

May 30, 2013 Coaches

Marvin Lewis has coached the Bengals for ten seasons. To his credit, Lewis has helped resurrect the worst franchise of the 1990s; on the other hand, Lewis has not won a playoff game in ten years with the Bengals. That’s unheard of in this era where coaches are expected to win and win big right […]

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