National Football League

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Do I hear a fat lady?

At this point it's three lost fumbles, and ten dropped passes for Green Bay. Packers laid down like dogs. Reminds me of last year's Patriots lack of urgency or zip against the Jets. All those wins don't amount to squat if you don't show up to play. Credits to the Giants though for playing a solid game.

Anyone smell a rematch of Superbowl XLII (Giants-Patriots)?
 
Jul 13, 2010
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san fran v giants next week will be a great contest me thinks.

still can't believe the packers lost, they just never looked in it.
 
That really wasn't the same Packers game we saw all season. There was just a lack of energy. They must have been so sold on their own ability they didn't think the Giants could compete with them. Foxy may remind us the Giants are the luckiest team in football, but they came to play and were definitely the better team on this day.

I think the 49ers-Giants game is going to be very interesting and tough. As I said they played in week 10 and SF won, 27-20. But both teams are different now. Both are playing much better, complete football. The Giants were coming off their win against NE and just starting their late season run. The 49ers Frank Gore was hurt, and Alex Smith is playing much better now. Also, the Giants are very different than the Saints, just as the 49ers are very different than the Packers, so it's hard to say which team matches up better watching this week's games. I think the 49ers may try to turn the game into a street fight, which benefits them. Eli will have to be able to throw as good as today, better.

I'm going to also say I see the Patriots beating the Ravens, if both teams played like they did this weekend. People talk about the Giants being hot, but the Patriots have actually won 9 games in a row.

In case anyone is curious, when the Pats and Giants played earlier in the year the Giants won in NE 24-20. Eli played very well, but the Pats turned the ball over several times, Brady 3 times alone, and penalties sank them as well.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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NFL = NHL !?

http://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/NHL_1991.html

(Hope you get the hint)

What a disaster! For what playing regular season games? What once started as the greatest NFL season ever became a farce... :mad:

Now it just reminds me why i love cycvling: The best wins, and not the most lucky . The clinic issues are solved as good as possible for now. The duel is one against one on uphill battles... :)
 
Jul 29, 2009
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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
NFL = NHL !?

http://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/NHL_1991.html

(Hope you get the hint)

What a disaster! For what playing regular season games? What once started as the greatest NFL season ever became a farce... :mad:

Now it just reminds me why i love cycvling: The best wins, and not the most lucky . The clinic issues are solved as good as possible for now. The duel is one against one on uphill battles... :)
This is why you have league titles and cup competitions in many sports.

Actually you have four division winners left so all are worthy.

As for luck. The Giants would have won the first time they met GB if Ballard's TD (Which photos later showed was legit) was given. The refs tried to help GB this time with fumbles but GB were beaten by the better team on the day!

which is just like cycling actually!

I wonder how the Giants' season would have gone if they hadn't lost so many of their players to injury in the summer and later in the season or perhaps it was luck to have so many starters miss games like GB did last year. (They only sneaked in 10-6 if memory serves so were clearly lucky winners of last years SB:rolleyes:

I'm not going to lie. NO in the Dome represents the worst possible matchup for the Giants and they have had the Giants number the last couple of times. The 49s are a strong team on both sides of the ball despite not putting up fanatsy football type numbers and it will be a great game.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Do I hear a fat lady?

At this point it's three lost fumbles, and ten dropped passes for Green Bay. Packers laid down like dogs. Reminds me of last year's Patriots lack of urgency or zip against the Jets. All those wins don't amount to squat if you don't show up to play. Credits to the Giants though for playing a solid game.

Anyone smell a rematch of Superbowl XLII (Giants-Patriots)?
How about SB XXXV? Ravens vs Giants is at least a theoretical possibility. I suppose that at this stage, anything is possible, though on current form any reasonable judge would pick the Pats over these Ravens. If Eli gets anything like the ridiculous amount of time he had all day against the Packers, he'll murder the Niners too. I suspect that they'll do a better job of stopping him than the thoroughly disappointing Packers did.

The Giants totally deserved their win and may be on one of those rolls that won't stop till Indy. I'm gonna favor them over the Niners, and although my heart says Ravens, my head says Pats.
 
Agree with you Amsterhammer, all you posted, and my instinct tells me to pick the Giants over the 49ers. The 49ers don't have a Saints like offense, nor do they run exotic zone-blitzes designed to disrupt the QB the way the Steelers do. As such in 9 of 10 plays Eli will likely have all day to throw. I'm picking the Giants.

In the AFC I'm going with the Pats (yes, three weeks ago I said Baltimore and was putting down the Pats). I just think Brady is more determined than I've ever seen him, and the Pats double TE effort gives the Ravens trouble, and the Ravens don't have enough offense. It will be close, but I'm picking the Pats.

As to Foxxy's post, I hate to say this, but I'm starting to think the same thing. Or similar at least. While I do think the 49ers and Giants deserved to win - they worked harder and played better on Sunday - a large part of my thinking says the best two teams in the NFL this year were without question the Saints and Packers. But because the teams they played matched up very well against them, and each had a few off plays, they are staying home. It just seems odd, disappointing to me. It's dropped my interest level down for the rest of the season a bit I must say.

I won't say though that cycling has no similar problems, or that the best rider wins. Uh, no. I won't even get started as to why.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Offense wins, yet another year... :D

(here is my article on advanced stats from last year. It´s as topical as ever.
http://community.advancednflstats.com/2011/02/defense-wins-championships.html
)
... unless, of course, BAL and SF reach the SB. ;)

I am over it, that Williams lost the NO-Game personally.

Here are the Giants reagular season stats;
4th Y/PP-Offense
20th Y/PP-Defense
Y/PP-Differential (the killer stat): 4th (!!!)
here are the irrelevant rushing stats;
32nd (!!!) Y/R-Offense
23rd Y/R-Defense
Y/R-Differential: 32nd (!!!)
So it´s obvious i´ll root for the Siz :p & Giants on Sunday. I´ll even go watching with my good ol´ Simms Shirt.

About NE, i don´t need much to write. The 2nd best (Pass-)Offense is still around. Go Pats! Who would have tought i´d write this in my lifetime.

Playoff-Stats:
As usual, besides cold windy and bad weather conditions, the numbers are up as "never" before:
25,3 PPG = 14,1 % above this season´s regular Season Avg.
387,8 Y/G = 11,8 % above...
6,85 Y/PP = 8,4 % above...
4,52 Y/R = 5,4 % above (yes, teams also run better in the playoffs this year, even tough the contrast isn´t as stark as in the other categories)

The only thing that could top it all, is a snowball game in NE, and Brady still throws for 400 yds. That would hit the pundits at cbs & espn (Prisco etc.) really hard. I´d be ROFL right at "my" bar. I wish you all could see me then....

After all, i think i´ll enjoy the championship games. Untill the next blows come (like a BAL-SF superbowl. yawn. :eek:).
 
Jun 15, 2009
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SirLes said:
This is why you have league titles and cup competitions in many sports...
Actually i am ok now. I have to admit, the NYG won the game rightfully. It´s just sad that the reagular season seems more and more meaningless since they made the 8-Division-Format.

Amsterhammer said:
... anything is possible ...
That´s what it makes it so hard to swallow. 1 game washes away all 16 games before. It´s like the TdF would be decided solely on the last ITT, washing away all uphill stages before. Sounds ridiculous, but that´s how playoffs work in north america. Just wonder how nobody seems to be sick about it...

Amsterhammer said:
... If Eli gets anything like the ridiculous amount of time he had all day against the Packers, he'll murder the Niners too.
That´s what i expect, since he had this time to throw all year long (see my playoff preview). The problem is that Eli sometimes throws terrible Int´s (i really doubt his arm strength and accuracy since forever) out of nowhere. So it´s hard to predict, but i´ll do anyway at the end of the post.

Alpe d'Huez said:
I won't say though that cycling has no similar problems, or that the best rider wins. Uh, no. I won't even get started as to why.
Yeah i know that. We all discuss it all summer long. Anyway, since 2008 they improved dramatically, and at least 1997 the true champ won. :D

Otherwise agree with your post.

Here are my picks:

So far i have obscure stats (which comes out of obscure outcomes). I am actually better ATS (5-3) than straight picking (4-4). :eek:
O/U i am 4-4 too.

NYG 24, SF 23 (against the line & over)
BAL 20, NE 28 (with the line & under)
 
Jul 29, 2009
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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Actually i am ok now. I have to admit, the NYG won the game rightfully. It´s just sad that the reagular season seems more and more meaningless since they made the 8-Division-Format.



That´s what it makes it so hard to swallow. 1 game washes away all 16 games before. It´s like the TdF would be decided solely on the last ITT, washing away all uphill stages before. Sounds ridiculous, but that´s how playoffs work in north america. Just wonder how nobody seems to be sick about it...



That´s what i expect, since he had this time to throw all year long (see my playoff preview). The problem is that Eli sometimes throws terrible Int´s (i really doubt his arm strength and accuracy since forever) out of nowhere. So it´s hard to predict, but i´ll do anyway at the end of the post.



Yeah i know that. We all discuss it all summer long. Anyway, since 2008 they improved dramatically, and at least 1997 the true champ won. :D

Otherwise agree with your post.

Here are my picks:

So far i have obscure stats (which comes out of obscure outcomes). I am actually better ATS (5-3) than straight picking (4-4). :eek:
O/U i am 4-4 too.

NYG 24, SF 23 (against the line & over)
BAL 20, NE 28 (with the line & under)
I hope you're right with regards your predictions although a chance for the Giants to avenge 2000 would be nice.

I just think we're going to see two great games. I will be amazed if the 49s NYG isn't decided in the last minute or so. NE could run away with it but I'm hoping that one goes to the wire as well.

The thing about league and knock out form is interesting as it happens in other sports. The NZ rugby side for 20 years made destroying everyone in the group stages then choking in the knockout stages an art form. In the football world cup Brazil did much the same for many years most notably in 1982. (England didn't make the knock out stages despite never losing and beating the eventual semifinalists 3-1 I remember!)

Just be thankful you don't get the equivalent of penalties!
 
Mar 6, 2009
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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Actually i am ok now. I have to admit, the NYG won the game rightfully. It´s just sad that the reagular season seems more and more meaningless since they made the 8-Division-Format.



That´s what it makes it so hard to swallow. 1 game washes away all 16 games before. It´s like the TdF would be decided solely on the last ITT, washing away all uphill stages before. Sounds ridiculous, but that´s how playoffs work in north america. Just wonder how nobody seems to be sick about it...



That´s what i expect, since he had this time to throw all year long (see my playoff preview). The problem is that Eli sometimes throws terrible Int´s (i really doubt his arm strength and accuracy since forever) out of nowhere. So it´s hard to predict, but i´ll do anyway at the end of the post.



Yeah i know that. We all discuss it all summer long. Anyway, since 2008 they improved dramatically, and at least 1997 the true champ won. :D

Otherwise agree with your post.

Here are my picks:

So far i have obscure stats (which comes out of obscure outcomes). I am actually better ATS (5-3) than straight picking (4-4). :eek:
O/U i am 4-4 too.

NYG 24, SF 23 (against the line & over)
BAL 20, NE 28 (with the line & under)
I find it strange that you get annoyed when upsets happen, to me and a lot of people this is what makes sport so exciting, the unpredictability. If the favourites won all the time, then sport becomes boring. Just look at the Tour wins of your favourite cyclist;)boring as **** except when he came close to losing in 03.

Personally I was delighted (and shocked) to see the Broncos upsetbeat the Steelers because I was more fearful of the Steelers taking out my team(Pats) than the Broncos doing it.

Thankfully the Pats destroed the Broncos cos I was serioulsy getting ****ed at the Tebow BS. I dont even live in the US or see much NFL coverage but even I was getting ****ed at the hype. At on point last week, I thought they were gonna rename it the TFL it was so ridiculous.

My brother and his wife are 'Gators' alumni so of course huge Tebow fans so that was nice as well for a bit of sledging.

I think this weekends games will be very interesting as its so hard to call either game. Go Pats.
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
I have to admit, the NYG won the game rightfully. It´s just sad that the reagular season seems more and more meaningless since they made the 8-Division-Format...That´s what it makes it so hard to swallow. 1 game washes away all 16 games before.
Good analysis, and I agree. It's more paramount to be healthy, and have your team playing with cohesion at the end of the season. If you do that and only win 8-9 games, it's good enough if you can still make the playoffs. And now's as good of time as any to say that the NFL's ideas of expanding the playoffs or going to an 18-game season are both really bad ideas. I actually think they could contract the playoffs a round (and two teams) and have a better sport.

As to your stats, if I recall correctly back a few pages ago you were touting the prowess of the Steelers and Saints, while talking about how weak the 49ers and Ravens were. ;)

I'm going to stick to my "formula" which means trends, and match-ups (styles) to make my predictions, which, well, I find myself in agreement with your picks! I even like your scores: :)

NYG 24, SF 23
BAL 20, NE 28
First game is harder to pick though as I don't have that much faith in either QB if their protection falls apart, both teams have been erratic, nor played well against each others' style. The Giants shouldn't make the same mistakes as the Saints, then again, the 49ers shouldn't make the same mistake as the Packers.Alex Smith couldn't do much against Arizona, and their D was burned by Skelton to Fitzgerald. Then again, Eli Manning, and the Giants were lost against the hapless Redskins and Grossman (who also threw two picks, and the 'Skins still won). Both of those games were within the last month. This coming game is in SF, but the Giants seem to be hotter, so...

In the AFC, as noted the match-up with NE's two TE's and hurry up offense favors them. The Ravens don't play as good of man coverage as needed (though the Giants or 49ers might), and I don't see their linebackers able to drop quickly into coverage to stop NE's pass attack, while still maintaining a pass rush. People talk about the Giants being hot, but the Patriots have won 9 in a row. Of course the Pats defense could fall apart against Baltimore, and Brady and the Pats could turn into the team that lost to the Jets last year, but I'm sticking with New England.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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SirLes said:
I hope you're right with regards your predictions although a chance for the Giants to avenge 2000 would be nice.

I just think we're going to see two great games. I will be amazed if the 49s NYG isn't decided in the last minute or so. NE could run away with it but I'm hoping that one goes to the wire as well.

The thing about league and knock out form is interesting as it happens in other sports. The NZ rugby side for 20 years made destroying everyone in the group stages then choking in the knockout stages an art form. In the football world cup Brazil did much the same for many years most notably in 1982. (England didn't make the knock out stages despite never losing and beating the eventual semifinalists 3-1 I remember!)

Just be thankful you don't get the equivalent of penalties!
Yes NFL is not yet the all out luck league as WC or NHL (or NZ rugby) is. There always were upsets, but since some time they are too much, making regular seasons mostly irrelevant as long you win 8/9 games an make the playoffs.

Actually the best thing happening now can be a NE-NYG superbowl. But that´s not why i predicted this teams to win. I solely go by passing effieciency. That works great since forever. Still the best predictive stats for future outcomes.


pmcg76 said:
I find it strange that you get annoyed when upsets happen, to me and a lot of people this is what makes sport so exciting, the unpredictability. If the favourites won all the time, then sport becomes boring. Just look at the Tour wins of your favourite cyclist;)boring as **** except when he came close to losing in 03.

Personally I was delighted (and shocked) to see the Broncos upsetbeat the Steelers because I was more fearful of the Steelers taking out my team(Pats) than the Broncos doing it.

Thankfully the Pats destroed the Broncos cos I was serioulsy getting ****ed at the Tebow BS. I dont even live in the US or see much NFL coverage but even I was getting ****ed at the hype. At on point last week, I thought they were gonna rename it the TFL it was so ridiculous.

My brother and his wife are 'Gators' alumni so of course huge Tebow fans so that was nice as well for a bit of sledging.

I think this weekends games will be very interesting as its so hard to call either game. Go Pats.
No, i´ve nothing against upsets as long they are not happening all the time and thus making 16 hard fought games irrelevant.
Cycling upsets happened all the time. Just look at this year. AC losing on crashes and one bad stage. Voeckler surprising all with his Top-5 finish, half of the favos crashing out on flat stages ...
The only time i remember upsets didn´t happen were the bloody robot days of my favourite rider ;) from 97-05.
And i still feel the intense stress i had when Ulle led by 9 minutes in 97. You see (too much) upsets are not necessary to enjoy sporting events.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Good analysis, and I agree. It's more paramount to be healthy, and have your team playing with cohesion at the end of the season. If you do that and only win 8-9 games, it's good enough if you can still make the playoffs. And now's as good of time as any to say that the NFL's ideas of expanding the playoffs or going to an 18-game season are both really bad ideas. I actually think they could contract the playoffs a round (and two teams) and have a better sport.

As to your stats, if I recall correctly back a few pages ago you were touting the prowess of the Steelers and Saints, while talking about how weak the 49ers and Ravens were. ;)

I'm going to stick to my "formula" which means trends, and match-ups (styles) to make my predictions, which, well, I find myself in agreement with your picks! I even like your scores: :)



First game is harder to pick though as I don't have that much faith in either QB if their protection falls apart, both teams have been erratic, nor played well against each others' style. The Giants shouldn't make the same mistakes as the Saints, then again, the 49ers shouldn't make the same mistake as the Packers.Alex Smith couldn't do much against Arizona, and their D was burned by Skelton to Fitzgerald. Then again, Eli Manning, and the Giants were lost against the hapless Redskins and Grossman (who also threw two picks, and the 'Skins still won). Both of those games were within the last month. This coming game is in SF, but the Giants seem to be hotter, so...

In the AFC, as noted the match-up with NE's two TE's and hurry up offense favors them. The Ravens don't play as good of man coverage as needed (though the Giants or 49ers might), and I don't see their linebackers able to drop quickly into coverage to stop NE's pass attack, while still maintaining a pass rush. People talk about the Giants being hot, but the Patriots have won 9 in a row. Of course the Pats defense could fall apart against Baltimore, and Brady and the Pats could turn into the team that lost to the Jets last year, but I'm sticking with New England.
I stick with what i said. I don´t feel ashamed. :D
We both know the losses by the Saints, Steelers (and Packers) were big upsets. The true smart guys in Vegas had a reason making them 3.5,- 7.5,- and 8.5 favos. Such favos normally win 70+ % of their games.
AFIR your formula had the same winners as me (outside of the BAL-HOU game).:p
Over the long run (bringing down small sample sizes), teams with better passing efficiency prevail. Vegas knows that too, and thereby getting rich with taking 10% off winning bets.
So, to bring the once great season to a good ending, the two best teams, regarding the passing effieciency, remaining in the playoffs should meet in the superbowl for a 2007/08 rematch and revenge game.
 
I'm not a Pats fan, but the SB I would most like to see is NE vs. SFThink about it. Two of the most successful franchises in NFL history, have won a combined 8 SBs, but have never met in one. The Patriots era appears to be closing, Brady won’t play much longer, while a new 49er era might be beginning. Bellichick is the longest-tenured coach in the NFL, and despite some shady practices, arguably the best. Harbaugh is a rookie who is the hottest thing in coaching now. You couldn’t ask for a more intriguing coaching matchup.

After GB, these two teams have the best regular season records. They have arguably been the most consistent teams in the NFL to date. Each has lost just three games, by a grand total in each case of just 15 pts. Neither team has played a really bad game.

The AFC’s most potent offense vs. the NFC’s best defense. Sixteen Pro Bowlers. And more than a title is at stake. If the Pats win, Brady joins Bradshaw and Montana as the only QB to win four SBs, and it would be his 17th postseason victory, surpassing Montana. If the 49ers win, they join Pittsburgh as the only team to win 6 SBs. With an unblemished record in the big game, something none of the other sixteen teams that have played in more than one SB can claim.

As usual, besides cold windy and bad weather conditions, the numbers are up as "never" before:
25,3 PPG = 14,1 % above this season´s regular Season Avg.
387,8 Y/G = 11,8 % above...
To give you an idea of how much these numbers have gone up over time: The 49ers this year averaged 23.8 ppg, putting them in the middle of the pack. But that was more ppg than the 1988 49ers, the Montana-led juggernaut that won their 3d SB. Granted, that was not their best regular season, but I don’t think any of those 49er teams in the 80s ever averaged 30 points or 400 yards per game for an entire season (very close in 1984). This year, three teams did it.

While I do think the 49ers and Giants deserved to win - they worked harder and played better on Sunday - a large part of my thinking says the best two teams in the NFL this year were without question the Saints and Packers. But because the teams they played matched up very well against them, and each had a few off plays, they are staying home. It just seems odd, disappointing to me. It's dropped my interest level down for the rest of the season a bit I must say.
I have to admit, the NYG won the game rightfully. It´s just sad that the regular season seems more and more meaningless since they made the 8-Division-Format...That´s what it makes it so hard to swallow. 1 game washes away all 16 games before.
BCS-bashers take note. Playoffs have their problems, too. For all the problems with the BCS, history counts for a lot, as I think it should when you are trying to identify the best team for the WHOLE SEASON, not just the last 3-4 weeks. In the current playoff system, you can play pretty poorly much of the season, sometimes even have a losing record, and still get a shot at winning it all. In the BCS, you have to play very well just to get a shot.

I think the problem with the NCAA system is not the BCS per se. I think the problem is that there are so many teams, and most of the best ones not only don’t play each other, but often don’t even play common opponents. Hence it is very difficult to judge their relative strengths. But this being the case, a playoff system would not work much better.

A playoff system would probably involve sixteen or eight teams. That is a large enough number so that no team that could be legitimately considered the best would be excluded. But it also would be large enough to ensure that a team with a relatively poor regular season record got into the tourney, where it could get hot or lucky and knock off one of the favorites—just as in the NFL. A four team playoff system might avoid this, but then you would have complaints that someone’s favorite team didn’t get in. For example, this year you would have LSU and Alabama, for sure, and presumably OK State. What would the fourth team be? Stanford? Got beaten soundly by Oregon. Oregon? Lost two games. Boise? Soft schedule. IOW, a large field increases the role of chance and getting hot at the right time; a small field runs the risk of excluding a deserving team.

In contrast, the NFL consists of just 32 teams. In any season, some of the best teams play each other, and every team plays several common opponents with respect to any other team. This makes it much easier to judge relative strengths, and for this reason it seems to me a BCS system, or a system with BCS elements, would work better.

For example, this year GB would have been given one of the championship berths, based on its record, while the other would have gone to one of a handful of other teams—NE, NO, SF, and maybe Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The choice would be based to a large extent on W-L record, but also on head-to-head (bye bye Steelers), common opponents, and strength of schedule, as to repeat, these are factors that can be evaluated much more accurately in the NFL than in the NCAA.

An alternative that would also reduce the role of chance and similar factors would be to reduce the playoff field, say, to four teams. Again, GB would be one of the teams, while the other three would probably be chosen from the pool of five I mentioned above. There could still be upsets, but any team that played really well for all or most of the season would be invited to the dance, and fewer games means less role of chance.

I realize, of course, that these suggestions will never be seriously entertained. Beyond how many fans feel about a system like this, it would result in fewer games, and fewer games means less money. End of discussion.

So how could the current 12-team, 3 or 4 round, playoff system be improved to reduce the role of chance and of short but timely hot streaks? How about a handicap? For example, if the 8-8 Broncos are going to be allowed into the playoffs, they should not only have to beat the 12-4 Steelers (and in Pittsburgh, not Denver, for God’s sake), but by a significant margin, say 10 points. The idea is, if you play poorly much of the season, you should not be given a level field with someone who played much better. You have to do more to prove that you belong, to move on.

If this somehow seems unsporting, requiring a team not simply to win, but by a certain margin, take note that a handicap system like this already exists in the NFL, in the tie-breaker rules. These rules begin with head-to-head, then proceed through W-L records in division and conference, and common opponents, but eventually, if those don’t settle it, they end up, at the very bottom of the list (just above the coin toss) with total net points. This amounts to a handicapping system.

For example, once Philadelphia went into the final game of the season with Dallas leading the Cowboys for the division by one game. The situation was such at the time that Dallas not only had to beat Phil to win the division, but win the game by 25 pts. It turned out that a Dallas win would even all the tie-breakers rules down to total net points, which Phil led by 49 going into the game. (Not surprisingly, Dallas didn’t accomplish this. But they did win the game, and amazingly, they did lead in that game by 25 pts at one time, before the Eagles came back).

If net points can be used in some cases to determine which teams make the playoffs, why can’t the same reasoning be extended into the postseason? If a rule like this had been in play this year, it would have affected just two of the games played so far, Pitt/Denver, and GB/NYG. The latter is particularly interesting. The 17 pt Giant margin suggests they would have satisfied any reasonable handicap. But if the Packers had known that they only had to cut the margin to 10—in other words, that they trailed only by a TD late in the 4th quarter—it would have changed their strategy and maybe allowed them to pull out the game.

But suppose they hadn’t; suppose they lost by 17? While an upset was not prevented, I think we feel better about it. As it stands now, I think many fans, like Alpe and Foxy, have a bitter taste in their mouth. The Packers had a brilliant season destroyed by one poor game. But what if all they had to do was lose by less than 10 points, and they couldn’t even manage that? Isn’t there a sense then that justice was done, that the Packers really weren’t a championship team if they couldn’t even stay close?
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I take it that means you think the Patriots can beat the Giants if they meet again? These two teams played in the season and the Giants beat them, in New England...

Not that I disagree, just stirring the pot.
Yeah sure. But this time i won´t predict a NE blow out win like i did in 2007. But first the teams have to get there...:eek:

BTW, NE out passed and out gained them and had - 2 in TO in week 9. Yet they just lost by 4 points. I think if there were no turnovers (= random/luck/unpredictable) in football, the favo would win 90% of time (of which i like:D). And it´s a myth that some teams are better at ball hawking than others. You can´t teach talent like "eh guys this week we go for fumbles, just give 120%...". BS, the talent level is always 100% and both teams in each game know the importance. Only teams that gave up during games/season can be "ball hawked away". And that for sure happens a lot...
 
Merckx index said:
Bellichick is the longest-tenured coach in the NFL.
Andy Reid. But hey, who's counting. ;)

I think Sean Payton is the best NFL head coach, but there is no questioning Belicheck's acumen. Both are without question near, if not at the very top. Belicheck is very good at taking other team's strength's away from them, while exposing their weaknesses. I also think having Josh McDaniels back in NE is going to help.

I like your set-up on a Patriots-49ers game. It does make for good lore. I'm just not how sure how good such a game would be. I guess in my mind for some reason I haven't played it out in my head. I guess I'm just expecting the Giants to go into SF and beat the 49ers. But you do make a compelling argument and I'll comment more as the weekend approaches.

As to playoffs:

For example, if the 8-8 Broncos are going to be allowed into the playoffs, they should not only have to beat the 12-4 Steelers...but by a significant margin, say 10 points.
Uh, no. No way. No possible way. No possible way, ever. I do agree though with HFA. Here is what I would suggest for changing the playoffs, from most to least significant:

• Keep the divisions, but like the NBA make the seeds based on conference record, not divisional record. Hence, if a team finishes 3rd in one division with a 11-5 record (like the 2008 Patriots) they should get in the playoffs over a team with a weaker record (like the Broncos, or 2010 Seahawks). Division title would only be used in tiebreaker situations.

• The team with the better record gets HFA, period. Division title means nothing in this regard.

• The team with the better record automatically gets to choose which end zone like they would like to defend, regardless of who wins the coin toss.

• The team with the better record automatically gets the ball first in the 2nd half.

• Eliminate two teams from the playoffs in each conference, bringing the total to four from each conference (this will never happen, but I do think it's worth considering).
 
Jun 15, 2009
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About luck and turnovers:

It might need a little further explanation what i mean.
It´s true that some teams fumble more than others, or throw more Int´s.
1.) Yes, bad teams have a worse talent level and thus throw more incompletions, get sacked more often etc. That leads to more turnovers. But are they "forced"? Yes a little. Again, that depends on the talent level of the opposing defensive players. What´s found on studies so far is: Offensive team performance correlates more with future season success than defensive team performance. That is an indication that turnovers are "lost" more by the O, than they are "forced" by the D.
2.) Int´s happen mostly in desperation situations when the less talented team has to throw more and riskier passes.
3.) All that says is that turnovers can´t be teached nor are they a hint for the true talent level nor are they predictive for future outcomes.

If we look at game stats, we´ll see that almost 80% of games are won by the team that "won" the turnover battle.
Around the same Wng.-Pct. have teams that were better in passing efficiency (Y/PP).
That means both categories correlate very much with winning. But correlation does not always mean cause of winning.
It´s more like that good teams lead more often, which leads to riskier passes by the worse teams, which then leads to more turnovers. That´s why turnovers are not predictive for the future. That is what i mean with luck and randomness.

Can it be proven?
Yes!
Let´s look at regular season leaders in turnovers and passing efficiency. Rushing is irrelevant, that´s so obvious i don´t need to explain. Everybody can do some little own stats to find that out.
If turnovers would define good teams, then those teams should prevail more often than others in the playoffs. And that just don´t happen over the long run (eliminating small sample sizes which most of time lead to false conclusions).
OTOH, teams that are good in passing efficiency are those who win most in the playoffs and superbowls.

And all this is the reason i had the NYG on No. 3* (4th in Y/PP-Differential) in the NFC, and SF at No. 6 (negative Y/PP-Differential). Well, the NYG "destroyed" the best team (GB), while SF needed all the right bounces (turnover luck) and a bad game plan by Williams to prevail at home (vs. NO).
If it were not Manning under center, my pick for the NYG vs. SF would have been more like 37-13.

* BTW, Alpe: While i missed the HOU-BAL game, i just saw you had ATL over NYG. So i think our formulas have the same winning percentage so far. ;)
 
Jan 13, 2012
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Niners run the ball right down the Giants throats.
Niners control Eli, and frustrate his receivers, on a cold wet windy Candlestick day. At least 2 inches of rain on the natural grass at Candlestick. Rain showers and 20 mph winds.
High winter tides also aggravate Candlestick turf conditions, time for the long spikes!
 
Say what? The forecast is for mostly cloudy skies, and light winds. They're playing in San Francisco, not Seattle!

Agree with you on turnovers Foxxy. It's an intangible you can't count on. The Packers were great at it during the regular season. Then again, they also had the best receivers in the regular season and last sunday couldn't catch anything.

Funny game.

FoxxyBrown1111 said:
About luck and turnovers: If it were not Manning under center, my pick for the NYG vs. SF would have been more like 37-13.
That I don't see. Even if Eli is on fire, I don't see the Giants winning by that gap. I don't see the 49ers giving up that many points. The most they gave up all year was the 32 to the Saints. Before that it was in a throwaway game to the Rams with half the defense resting, and 24 to the Eagles (in Philly) and Dallas (in OT). If the 49ers can get any pressure on Eli, and the DB's can play well in man coverage they'll force the Giants to run against them. And while rushing is not a key to any win, just as you say, when you look at the numbers on this - how poor the Giants run and how well the 49ers defend it, there's a chance the Giants won't be able to run the ball at all. Vic Fangio is likely going to be playing the Giants to pass on every single down. But if the Giants can protect Eli like they often have, that may not matter. Eli will do enough to connect on enough passes, just like he has his entire career.

On the flip side, I can however see Gore not getting enough yards to help move the ball down the field, Alex Smith not having a great day, and the 49ers kicking FGs instead of TD's and walking away with 13 points.

Then again, they seem to be playing well, and Smith just had the best game of his career. Confidence has always been his problem and a myriad of coaches, not his arm. If he really is over that hump...

However, I'll stick with your numbers. Giants 24, 49ers 23.

Working against SF, WR Ted Ginn and safety Dashon Goldson did not practice today. Bradshaw didn't practice for the Giants. How hurt are they? We'll know on sunday.

For some strange reason in the wildcard round I thought the Falcons were at home against the Giants, thus picked them. I guess because they had a better record, silly me!
 
Putting all thinking aside, I was glad to see the Pack get knocked off. Now if only the Raves would knock off the Pats, puleese. I just would like to see a little defense played.

Then other than that, to avoid a Super-Baugh, I'd like to see the Geeee-Men knock off the Niners. NYG vs Ball-So-Hard would be a good SB matchup.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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on3m@n@rmy said:
Putting all thinking aside, I was glad to see the Pack get knocked off. Now if only the Raves would knock off the Pats, puleese. I just would like to see a little defense played.

Then other than that, to avoid a Super-Baugh, I'd like to see the Geeee-Men knock off the Niners. NYG vs Ball-So-Hard would be a good SB matchup.
Word! That's what I've been saying too. For any chance of that to happen though, the Ravens offense will really need to step up. I have no idea why Rice got so few carries against Houston, but he needs to have way more against the Pats. And Flacco will have to throw much, much better. Like I said, my heart says Ravens, but my head keeps butting in and saying Pats.:eek:
 
Weather update for this weekend's games:

First, in Foxboro it's going to be cold with light winds. Both teams played in near identical conditions last week and are used to this, so I don't see it being a factor, at all. Might see some light snow, but no 'tuck game" blizzard.

In San Francisco I think some people are overreacting in the blogosphere with the rain. I think the weather will be mostly dry game time, this only leaves a question as to how mushy the field gets due to the rain happening now, and continuing through Saturday. This can work both ways for each team. First, you'd think it means it's harder to throw, thus favoring SF, as they can run, and can defend the run, and the Giants can't. But it can benefit the receivers on each team, as they know where they are going and don't have to make as abrupt cuts. The wind should be breezy, but not a huge problem. All of this could however shorten the field as well, forcing teams to throw shorter passes and run a little more. Overall a very slight advantage to the 49ers the worse it is, but I don't think it's going to be a real factor.

Some people think that SF will also have an advantage because they have been playing there all year and know the swirling winds. This I don't buy. They may know it better, but that will be a tiny factor, if at all. High winds could cause real trouble for the Giants though.

As to crowd noise, apparently it was louder than all year last Sunday and could be even louder this weekend. I don't see this being that big of a factor either, unless the Giants are somehow not prepared, which I can't see.
 

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