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Archive for the 'Checkdowns' Category

Checkdowns: Santonio Holmes’ edition

11th September 2009

Did you know that Santonio Holmes' 9-catch, 131-yard, 1-TD performance last night exactly matched his numbers in Super Bowl XLIII? Wow your friends with this trivia: Holmes becomes only the second receiver since Preston Dennard to have exactly the same number of catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns (minimum 100 receiving yards) in consecutive team games since 1960. Dennard posted 6-119-0 in consecutive weeks during the 1981 season.

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Checkdowns: Name the Coaching Wins Leaders

9th September 2009

Sporcle presents: Can you name the NFL's all-time leaders in coaching wins?

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Checkdowns: some re-runs from a site called the Pro Football Reference blog

4th September 2009

I’d like to think that a lot of what we write about here on the blog can be just as interesting today as it was when it was written. And since we have other things in the works but nothing new today, here are some oldies from the blog that may still be of interest (and certainly, this is not an exclusive list). I know some of you have been reading for years, and this may be old stuff, but it may be new to some of you. Here are a sampling of oldies that should have some relevance for the upcoming season.

Back in June 2006, Doug took a quick look at coaching changes and lurking variables, and whether teams that change coaches are more likely to improve than those that keep the same coach. Since that was written, 24 teams finished with 5 or fewer wins (2005-2007). 12 changed coaches; 12 did not. The updated numbers for the 0-3 win group are 18-1-0 (improve-same-decline) for the changers and 10-1-2 for the same coaches. For the 4-5 win group, the numbers are 21-0-3 for the changers, and 35-6-10 for the same coaches. Interestingly, of the twelve coaches who returned to start the next season after winning five or fewer games, eleven are already gone. Only Jeff Fisher is still coaching.

In July 2007, in my first official post on the PFR blog, I looked at teams moving into new stadiums, and how they enjoyed strong home field advantages in their second years in the new stadiums. That post was written in regard to the upcoming Cardinals season, and Arizona would end up going 6-2 at home and 2-6 on the road. Adding in the Cardinals to the previous data, the second year in a new stadium winning percentage is 0.628 at home and 0.391 on the road, for a +0.236 differential. For Colts fans out there, this is year two in Lucas Oil Stadium. If history is an indicator, look for the Colts to show a stronger home field advantage in 2009 now that they have a year of experience.

In September 2007, Chase asked “how much does week one matter” and then came up with a formula looking at projected wins, winning percentage through each week, and winning percentage over remainder of season. The short answer, a team's expected wins (based on the previous year's simple rating system rating) is 6 times more important than the week 1 result in predicting what will happen over the rest of the season.

Last August, Doug embarked upon the question “what is a starting quarterback worth”, by looking at QB start data and points scored. It’s a must read for those who are soon to be freaking out when their starter goes down. As an aside, I’m pretty sure Doug is responsible for the Brady injury, as he dared to hypothetically ask what New England would do without Tom Brady, concluding, ultimately, that they would be a solid 10 or maybe 11 win team without Brady.

Posted in Checkdowns | 14 Comments »

Checkdowns: Name the 4,000-Yard Passers

2nd September 2009

From our friends at Sporcle, try to name every QB who ever passed for 4,000 or more yards in a season...

Posted in Checkdowns | 13 Comments »

Checkdowns: Name the Hall of Fame QBs

31st August 2009

From Sporcle, Can you name the modern-era QBs enshrined in the Hall of Fame?

Posted in Checkdowns | 9 Comments »

Checkdowns: Seasonal Momentum in College Football

28th August 2009

In his Varsity Numbers column at Football Outsiders this week, Bill Connelly takes a look at seasonal momentum -- that is, the widely-held belief that, all else being equal, teams who finish strong do better in the following season than teams who finish poorly. Is it true? And if so, to what degree? Bill offers some preliminary results based on 2007-09 data.

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Checkdowns: The Audible’s Drive for Cystic Fibrosis

28th August 2009

If you play fantasy football and listen to podcasts, you probably already know about Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom's The Audible, which is the podcast. It's the best football podcast there is. On Saturday, August 29th --- that's tomorrow --- from noon to midnight eastern time, Cecil and Sigmund are doing a 12-hour talkathon to benefit Cystic Fibrosis. Confirmed guests include Adam Schefter, Mark Schlereth, Jason Cole, and Michael Lombardi, among many others. Chase and I are providing trivia questions and have pledged to donate for every question the listeners correctly answer. So listen up, call in, and make us pay! Listen here. Donate here.

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Checkdowns: Name the all-time passing leaders

27th August 2009

Here's a Sporcle quiz from a while ago that I'm sure you'll ace: Can you name the all-time NFL leaders in passing yards?

Posted in Checkdowns | 10 Comments »

Checkdowns: FO rolls out stats from 1994

22nd August 2009

Football Outsiders has been sporadically going back and calculating their play-by-play-based metrics for past seasons for a while now, and this week they posted the results for the 1994 season (which I still can't believe was fifteen years ago!). Apparently the two best teams that year were the two that would end up facing off in the Super Bowl... the following season, that is: Dallas and Pittsburgh. Oh, and Steve Young & Jerry Rice were really good that year (there's a shocker), Emmitt Smith was a rushing machine, and my fave tight end ever, Ben Coates, topped the TE rankings. Those were the days...

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Checkdowns: The Most Exciting 10 Seconds in Football

21st August 2009

This isn't an analytic article, but still an interesting read if you're a football fan. From ESPN the Magazine, Ryan McGee and Luke Cyphers look at the kickoff -- seemingly routine, but actually pure controlled chaos -- from the perspective of one of the nation's best kickers and one of its best return men.

Posted in Checkdowns | 3 Comments »

Checkdowns: Brian Burke’s “Best Games of the Decade”

19th August 2009

This post is a little behind the curve (the feature originally came out in late June), but Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats has a cool application using his Win Probability model that measures the best comebacks and the "most exciting" games since the 2000 season. He talks about the methodology here, and the gist is that the greatest comebacks are ones where the winning team had the lowest WP at some point in the game. The most exciting games, on the other hand, play on the idea that back-and-forth games are very exiciting --therefore the "excitement index" is a measure of how much the WP graph has moved over the course of a game. I love the concept of win probability in all sports, and Brian's work on the topic in football has been very interesting, so I think this feature is one of the coolest ones on his site.

Posted in Checkdowns | 4 Comments »