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Archive for September, 2009

Tecmo Super Bowl Game of the Week: Jets at Saints

30th September 2009

Courtesy of Matt Knobbe and the Tecmo Super Bowl Repository, here's your Tecmo Super Bowl Game of the Week for Week 4, featuring the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints. The highlights:

(How did we do this? Matt and the other dedicated folks at the message board have spent a lot of time over the years updating this classic Nintendo football game, including the introduction of a 32-team ROM a few seasons ago. Sounds complicated, but don't worry, it's easy for you to enjoy the fruits of their labor: just get yourself an NES emulator, download the 2009 version of Tecmo here, and play to your heart's content. And be sure to check back at Matt's site for roster updates and more Tecmo-related goodness all season long.)

Posted in Tecmo Super Bowl | 5 Comments »

Checkdowns: Alma Maters

30th September 2009

Sporcle time, as we ask: Can you name the Alma Maters of these current and former NFL players?

Posted in Checkdowns | 7 Comments »

Felix Jones, Freddie Solomon and Michael Vick

30th September 2009

Before injuring his left knee on Monday Night Football, Felix Jones had 8 carries for 94 yards. An incredible performance for most players, but just another day at the office for Mr. Jones. Over at, Shark Pool member wdcrob asked me if Felix Jones is going to be the fastest running back in NFL history to get to 500 career rushing yards. Jones has 51 career carries on which he has gained an incredible 478 yards. With just 22 rushing yards on his next five carries -- and after that injury it won't happen this weekend -- he will become the fastest player to ever get to 500 career rushing yards.* Unless Jones totally implodes, he'll easily set the market for fastest running back to reach the 500-yard plateau.

*Here at P-F-R-, we have game by game data dating back to 1960 (I've also excluded 2009 game data), but we do not have play by play data . Therefore, the scope of this study is limited only to players whose career began after 1960. For all players, the number of carries it took them to reach 500 yards was approximated based on their career yardage before and after the game in which they hit the 500-yard mark. So if a RB had 80 career carries for 480 yards, and then had 20 carries for 100 yards in his next game (5.0 yards per carry), he is credited with reaching the 500-yard mark on 84.0 carries. If a RB had 90 career carries for 492 yards, and had 4 carries for 50 yards in his next game (12.5 YPC), he'd be "assumed" to have reached the 500-yard mark on 90.8 carries. Obviously this isn't perfect, but lacking play-by-play data, I think this is the best we can do.

The table below shows the fastest 50 players to record 500 career rushing yards, as measured by the approximated number of carries.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Player articles | 6 Comments »

Checkdowns: Classic Joe Montana Highlights

29th September 2009

Because everyone needs some Joe Montana clips to inspire them during the day...

Posted in Checkdowns, YouTube Finds | 2 Comments »

Checkdowns: Top 100 Follies

28th September 2009

Ah, the wonders of YouTube...

Posted in Checkdowns | 3 Comments »

AFL versus NFL: the exhibition games

28th September 2009

After the merger was announced in the summer of 1966, three primary things were set before the leagues would officially merge for the 1970 season. First, the champions of the two leagues would meet in an AFL-NFL championship game, beginning in the 1966 season. Second, the two leagues would conduct a joint college draft and no longer engage in bidding wars for players, beginning with the 1967 draft. Third, the two leagues would be free to schedule exhibition games, beginning with the 1967 pre-season (presumably because the merger agreement was finalized less than two months before the start of the exhibition games in 1966).

The two leagues would play a total of 72 exhibition games over the next three seasons, so a substantially larger sample size than the four championship games. But how much can we really take from preseason contests? For the modern fan, the initial reaction is probably nothing. However, I think we can take quite a bit from those games. You have to put the games into the context of their times. Exhibition games at the time were not the absolute afterthoughts they are today. From 1960-1966, the eventual NFL division champions combined to win 74.7% of their preseason contests, compared to 80.2% in the regular season. In the AFL over the same period, the division champions won 63.1% of the preseason games and 74.7% in the regular season. In both cases, we see that the eventual winners did tend to win in the exhibition contests as well. In fact, over the seven year period prior to the merger agreement, only 5 of the 28 division winners had a losing record in the preseason, while 7 of them had a perfect record (preseason schedules were typically 5 or 6 games then). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in AFL versus NFL | 17 Comments »

Checkdowns: Shaun Hill

26th September 2009

After 12 NFL starts, Shaun Hill now holds an impressive 9-3 record. For an undrafted QB on a team that's struggled for years, that's quite an impressive mark. Hill is the 15th QB since Tom Brady* to win 8 or more of his first twelve starts. Some of the players -- Kyle Orton anyone? -- got their great records on the strength of their defenses. Other guys -- Marc Bulger, Chad Pennington, Tony Romo -- were really difference makers who led their teams like veterans.

wins	cmp     att     pyd     ptd     int    	ay/a	name
8	249	352	2768	22	 4	8.60	Chad Pennington
8	233	363	3172	22	11	8.59	Tony Romo
12	170	256	2224	13	 8	8.30	Ben Roethlisberger
10	257	394	3159	24	13	7.75	Marc Bulger
10	232	360	2600	16	 6	7.36	Philip Rivers
9	189	331	2453	14	 8	7.17	Rex Grossman
9	204	334	2285	12	 3	7.16	Damon Huard
9	231	355	2491	16	10	6.65	Tom Brady
8	187	336	2191	 9	 6	6.25	David Garrard
8	200	354	2562	11	14	6.08	Jake Delhomme
8	232	372	2323	12	12	5.44	Drew Brees
8	159	297	1839	11	10	5.42	Vince Young
8	160	276	1779	 7	13	4.83	Tarvaris Jackson
9	165	309	1591	 9	13	3.84	Kyle Orton

So what's going to happen to Shaun Hill? In 12 starts (ignoring his numbers in games he did not start), he's 235-374 for 2,546 yards with 17 TDs and 9 INTs. That amounts to 6.63 adjusted yards per attempt. With 9 wins, that puts his career on a very Brady-like path. Of course, he could just as easily become the next Damon Huard or Rex Grossman. If nothing else, I think Shaun Hill has flown under the national radar.

What do you guys think of Shaun Hill?

*Excluding 2008 data.

Posted in Checkdowns | 17 Comments »

Tecmo-ized Classics: Bills at Oilers, 1989

25th September 2009

Welcome to Tecmo-ized Classics, where we don't just simulate upcoming games, but immortalize past games forever in 8-bit form (as usual, all credit goes to Matt Knobbe of the Tecmo Super Bowl Repository). This time, we travel back to Week 3 of the 1989 season for an epic AFC showdown between the run-n-shoot Houston Oilers and the K-gun Buffalo Bills. Let's go now to Marv Albert, who has the call...

(It's easy to play classic Tecmo -- just get yourself an NES emulator, go here for a zipped file of ROMs from past seasons, and load them in your emulator to play to your heart's content. And be sure to check back at Matt's site for roster updates and more Tecmo-related goodness all season long.)

Posted in History, Tecmo Super Bowl | 2 Comments »

Feature Watch: New Search Options Added to Player Game Finder

25th September 2009

Due to popular demand, Justin has added the ability to search cumulative game spans to the Player Game Finder. Here are some examples:

Notice that he also added the team's W-L record to the results pages, which lets you know facts like "the Saints were 2-6 in 2008 when Drew Brees threw 40 or more times."

As always, play around with the new additions, enjoy them, and let us know about any bugs you come across so that we can fix them.

Posted in Play Index, Site Features | 23 Comments »

If Aikman Were Romo

25th September 2009

This is a goofy idea for a post, but here goes...

A few years ago, in order to write this well-intentioned but flawed monstrosity, I replicated what Football Outsiders called "translated" stats, a process which takes a player's stat line from one league environment and tries to determine what it would have looked like in another one. How did it work? I'll quote my own explanation from back in the day:

"How to translate: Take the raw stats. Calculate the completions/game, pass attempts/game, passing yards/game, TD passes/game, interceptions/game, rushing attempts/game, rushing yards/game, and rushing TD/game for the season in question. For the 2006 NFL, they went like this:

GP	LgCmp/G	LgAtt/G	LgPYds/G LgPTD/G LgInt/G LgRush/G LgRYds/G LgRTD/G
16	19.14	32.01	219.29	 1.27	 1.02	 28.22	  117.31   0.83

Now, divide the player total in each category (completions, passing yds, etc.) by the appropriate league numbers, and multiply by the 2006 numbers. Then adjust for the length of schedule, extrapolating the raw totals to a 16-game season. Like magic, your new totals will be normalized, able to go up against any other season without fear of cross-era distortions.

Let's take a look at an example... In 1966, Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs put up this stat line en route to an AFL title and a spot in the very first Super Bowl:

                 |              Passing                  |     Rushing     |
| Year  TM |   G |  Comp   Att   PCT    YD   Y/A  TD INT |  Att  Yards  TD |
| 1966 kan |  14 |   159   284  56.0  2527   8.9  26  10 |    24   167   0 |

The environment of the 1966 AFL looked like this:

GP	LgCmp/G	LgAtt/G	LgPYds/G LgPTD/G LgInt/G LgRush/G LgRYds/G LgRTD/G
14	14.62	31.60	215.30	 1.58	 1.72	 28.95	  116.13   0.90

So, after applying our normalization technique to Dawson's raw stats, this is the equivalent performance in the 2006 NFL:

                 |              Passing                  |     Rushing     |
| Year  TM |   G |  Comp   Att   PCT    YD   Y/A  TD INT |  Att  Yards  TD |
| 2006 kan |  16 |   238   329  72.3  2942   8.9  24   7 |    27   193   0 |

Repeating this procedure for every player-season in the NFL since 1950, we now have a database of stats that can be compared with each other to determine the best modern players at each position."

Simple? Sure. Flawed? Absolutely. But it's still kind of fun, and the results generally make sense. Now, if you really wanted to spice it up, you could translate using standard deviations above/below the mean (similar to what we do with our advanced passing metrics), but for these purposes I think the simple route is the way to go. Anyway, the result is a stat line that effectively places the player in a new context, where his numbers are perhaps easier to understand than had they been left in their raw form.

Playing around with this method is basically the point here, but I also thought it would interesting to see how the two most recent Dallas Cowboys superstar QBs (Troy Aikman and Tony Romo) stack up across eras, since A) Romo is somewhat surprisingly very high on the all-time passing rate lists, B) Aikman has stats notoriously out of step with his reputation as an all-time great, and C) Aikman (among other Cowboy legends) criticized Romo's play after last year's brutal 44-6 season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Aikman played in an era with less leaguewide passing success than Romo has enjoyed, he threw the ball less (especially in the red zone) because Dallas had Emmitt Smith to carry the rushing load, and he has a number of bad (non-prime) seasons that drag down his career rates, while Romo's career essentially consists of nothing but prime seasons (ages 26-29). So what if we took Aikman's stats from ages 26-29, translated them from the 1992-1995 environment to 2006-2009, and prorated everything to Romo's attempts per game? How would Aikman's numbers look compared to those of Romo? Would he be in a better position to criticize a guy who's 3rd on the all-time career passer rating list?

Year Team G Comp Att Cmp% pYds Y/A pTD INT Rate Rush rYds rTD
2004 DAL 6 0 0 0.0% 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2005 DAL 16 0 0 0.0% 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2006 DAL 16 223 337 66.2% 2504 7.4 17 8 95.0 34 100 1
2007 DAL 14 334 455 73.3% 3717 8.2 20 7 105.4 27 111 0
2008 DAL 13 305 450 67.8% 3433 7.6 17 13 91.1 28 65 1
2009 DAL 2 38 56 68.3% 442 7.9 2 1 98.3 2 3 0
Career 67 900 1298 69.4% 10096 7.8 55 28 97.5 91 279 2

As it turns out, yes. According to the translated stats, if Aikman had been afforded Romo's opportunity to play from 2006-09, throw the ball as much as Romo, and limit his career to just prime seasons, through Week 2 of the 2009 season he would: rank first all-time in career passer rating, first all-time in completion %, be tied for 8th all-time (4 spots behind Romo) in yards per attempt, rank 5th all-time in lowest interception %, and be 3rd all-time in career adjusted yards per attempt. Remember, Romo's real-life career looks like this:

Year Team G Comp Att Cmp% pYds Y/A pTD INT Rate Rush rYds rTD
2004 DAL 6 0 0 0.0% 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2005 DAL 16 0 0 0.0% 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 2 -2 0
2006 DAL 16 220 337 65.3% 2903 8.6 19 13 95.1 34 102 0
2007 DAL 16 335 520 64.4% 4211 8.1 36 19 97.4 31 129 2
2008 DAL 13 276 450 61.3% 3448 7.7 26 14 91.4 28 41 0
2009 DAL 2 29 56 51.8% 480 8.6 4 3 82.4 2 5 1
Career 69 860 1363 63.1% 11042 8.1 85 49 94.2 97 275 3

So, basically, erasing the contextual advantages Romo has over Aikman was enough to boost Aikman from a rather pedestrian career 81.6 rating to a 97.5  mark-- and this isn't even taking into account the postseason, where Aikman's career numbers blow Romo's away.

Am I saying that Romo isn't a good QB? No, of course not. But I am saying that he has had a number of advantages in his career that allow him post such impressive stats. When people look at his numbers and compare them to players from the past without regard to changing league passing conditions, they are ignoring the built-in advantages that passers like Romo have. Aikman is just one example of a player whose stats receive a big boost from "the Romo treatment" -- a player like Len Dawson would post even more ridiculous numbers when translated to the modern game.

So while this is a somewhat silly, naive method, it shows that Aikman is more than justified in demanding more from his successor as the Cowboys' superstar QB. After all, giving him Romo's situation is enough to tack 15.9 points of passer rating onto Aikman's career mark, which was roughly the difference between Philip Rivers and Matt Cassel last season.

Posted in Statgeekery | 15 Comments »

Losing games with 200 or more rushing yards

24th September 2009

Reader Vishal Desai sent in a question this week wanting to know how uncommon it was for a team that rushed for 200 yards to lose, noting that both Dallas and Miami lost primetime games in week two. Well, that's what we are here for, especially when you compliment us.

Going back to 1978, and not including 2009, a team has rushed for 200 or more yards on 1,110 occasions. 135 of those teams lost the game. So, the short answer is, about 12.2% of the time.

A cursory and unscientific glance at that list of 135 losers provides some of the reasons why teams that rush for 200 yards lose games.

1) They really stink at passing the ball;
2) They are playing a team that is really good at passing;
3) The defense is a sieve;
4) They are a pretty good team that had an off day with turnovers;
5) They have a running back named Walter Payton(Okay, somewhat related to point #1, but more specific);
6) They are the only team in the modern era to run the Wing-T; or
7) They lose the game late, sometimes on a fluke play, like this one.

Other random notes:

--In the "thanks for opening up that old wound, Vishal" category, the Kansas City Chiefs lost 4 games from 2001-2004 in which they ran for over 200 yards, including this gem where they had over 550 total yards and still lost, and fooled me into thinking that Koren Robinson was going to be special.
--As further proof of the greatness of Payton, the Bears lost 7 games from 1978-1984 in which they ran for 200 yards. I also detailed this spectacular game for Payton in 1983 in a podcast, which was not quite a 200 yard game but was a loss.
--21 teams lost two games in the same season in which they had 200 or more rushing yards in both losses. Only the 1978 Kansas City Chiefs had more than two. They lost 5 games in which they topped 200 yards rushing. That was Marv Levy's first season and he installed the Wing-T Offense to try to protect a defense that had 8 starters age 24 or under, and rookies at every defensive line position.
--The Detroit Lions lost to the Washington Redskins three times between 1978 and 1981, and had 200+ rushing yards in all three losses.
--Nine quarterbacks have won two games in the same season, when their defense gave up 200+ rushing yards. Only Roger Staubach (1979) did it three times in the same season.
--Dan Marino is not one of those nine quarterbacks, though he is tied for the most overall since 1978, with five wins when his team gave up 200+ rushing yards.

We'll make this a trivia question: can you guess who else has won five games (1978 to present) in which his defense surrendered 200+ rushing yards?

Hints: It's not Peyton Manning (that was #4 for him on Monday night), and the quarterback in question is the only one to beat the same team twice in the same season, when his team gave up at least 200 rushing yards in both games. One of those games came in the playoffs.

Posted in General | 19 Comments »

Tecmo Super Bowl Game of the Week: Falcons at Patriots

24th September 2009

Courtesy of Matt Knobbe and the Tecmo Super Bowl Repository, here's your Tecmo Super Bowl Game of the Week for Week 3, featuring the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. The highlights:

(How did we do this? Matt and the other dedicated folks at the message board have spent a lot of time over the years updating this classic Nintendo football game, including the introduction of a 32-team ROM a few seasons ago. Sounds complicated, but don't worry, it's easy for you to enjoy the fruits of their labor: just get yourself an NES emulator, download the 2009 version of Tecmo here, and play to your heart's content. And be sure to check back at Matt's site for roster updates and more Tecmo-related goodness all season long.)

Posted in Tecmo Super Bowl | 2 Comments »

Checkdowns: How Much Does Time of Possession Matter?

23rd September 2009

After the Dolphins racked up a huge time of possession figure but lost to the Colts on Monday night, Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats started thinking about how much time of possession matters. Now, obviously, time of possession can come as a byproduct of some good things, like moving the ball and converting 3rd downs, but here he's talking about holding everything else (yards, efficiency, etc.) equal and just asking how much T.O.P. contributes to winning in and of itself.

Posted in Checkdowns | 10 Comments »

Checkdowns: Eagles with three Pro Bowl QBs

23rd September 2009

With Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Jeff Garcia on the roster, Philadelphia has three QBs who made a Pro Bowl at some point in their careers. Thirty-six times in NFL history has a team rostered three quarterbacks who made a Pro Bowl either before, during, or after their stint with their current team. The most recent example was in San Diego earlier this decade. The first time it happened has already been discussed by Jason in the inaugural PFR podcast.

The list:

2004	sdg	Drew Brees
2004	sdg	Doug Flutie
2004	sdg	Philip Rivers

1997	was	Gus Frerotte
1997	was	Trent Green
1997	was	Jeff Hostetler
 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Checkdowns | 8 Comments »

Why rush attempts matter, and receptions do not

22nd September 2009

This one is my theory on "Why rushes matter and receptions do not" in measuring running back workload and future injury risk.

I often see people complain that measuring workload by excluding receptions is inappropriate. I think this is up for debate, because it is not an apples to apples comparison. Rush attempts are far more likely to result in tackles (rather than runs out of bounds), tackles involving multiple tacklers, and tackles involving really big defenders.

But setting that aside, I think there is a far more significant reason why rush attempts matter, and receptions do not, when measuring workload. Take a look at these real games turned in by NFL running backs.

Running Back A: 29 rush attempts, 102 rushing yards, 0 receptions, 0 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Running Back B: 23 rush attempts, 117 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

Now picture those games in your head, based only on the running back statistics. What type of backs are they? And more importantly, how did the game proceed?
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Running Backs | 19 Comments »

PI Finds: Jets Have Brady’s Number

21st September 2009

Tom Brady and the Patriots looked pretty vulnerable yesterday afternoon against Rex Ryan's New York Jets defense, as near-constant blitzing and pressure from all sides caused the normally unflappable Brady into rushed, inaccurate throws in New England's 16-9 defeat. Brady's numbers were ugly for the game: 48.9 Comp%, 53.1 passer rating, 4.6 YPA, and 3.6 AY/A. In fact, take a look at his Game Log, and you can see that it's among the worst performances in Brady's career. Among games in which he attempted at least 25 passes, here are his worst QB ratings:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in PI Finds | 10 Comments »

HOF Class of 2010: And then there were 131

19th September 2009

The names of the 131 candidates on the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010 have been released. There are 103 players on the list, including punters and kickers. In its current form, Approximate Value does not assign points to kickers and punters, although PFR favorite Nick Lowery is on the preliminary list. Of the remaining 99 players, they are presented below, sorted by career AV:

160	WR 		Jerry Rice
129	RB 		Emmitt Smith
121	QB 		Ken Anderson
114	DE/LB 		Chris Doleman
111	LB 		Rickey Jackson
107	DT 		John Randle
107	QB 		Randall Cunningham
105	QB 		Boomer Esiason
104	WR 		Tim Brown
104	CB/S 		Aeneas Williams
102	RB 		Ricky Watters
101	TE 		Shannon Sharpe
100	DT 		Steve McMichael
100	T 		Mike Kenn
100	LB 		Sam Mills
99	QB 		Rich Gannon
99	DT 		Cortez Kennedy
98	WR 		Cris Carter
98	LB 		Hardy Nickerson
98	CB 		Eric Allen
98	LB/DE 		Pat Swilling
97	DE 		Richard Dent
97	WR 		Andre Reed
97	LB/DE 		Kevin Greene
97	DE 		Too Tall Jones
96	WR 		Henry Ellard
96	T 		Lomas Brown
95	CB 		Louis Wright
93	LB 		Clay Matthews
93	RB 		Roger Craig
93	DT/DE 		Ray Childress
92	LB 		Karl Mecklenburg
91	QB 		Phil Simms
90	G 		Steve Wisniewski
90	S 		Donnie Shell
89	LB 		Cornelius Bennett
89	DE 		Clyde Simmons
89	DE 		Leslie O'Neal
88	S 		LeRoy Butler
87	QB 		Joe Theismann
87	WR 		Cliff Branch
86	WR 		Gary Clark
86	DT/DE 		Michael Dean Perry
85	QB 		Jim Plunkett
85	DE/LB 		Charles Haley
84	T 		Joe Jacoby
83	C 		Dermontti Dawson
83	G/T 		Chris Hinton
83	NT 		Fred Smerlas
83	S/CB 		Carnell Lake
82	S 		Steve Atwater
82	WR 		Stanley Morgan
81	WR 		Herman Moore
81	DE 		Charles Mann
81	CB 		Albert Lewis
80	RB 		Ottis Anderson
79	WR 		Irving Fryar
79	S 		Darren Woodson
78	RB 		Herschel Walker
77	CB 		Raymond Clayborn
77	T 		Jim Lachey
77	RB 		Eddie George
76	DE/DT/NT 	Joe Klecko
76	LB 		Matt Blair
75	G 		Max Montoya
75	DE 		Al Baker
75	LB 		Chris Spielman
75	S 		Joey Browner
75	LB 		Rod Martin
74	C 		Kent Hull
74	C 		Jay Hilgenberg
73	RB 		Terrell Davis
72	CB 		Lester Hayes
71	QB (also P) 	Danny White
70	LB 		Darryl Talley
68	WR 		Roy Green
68	TE 		Russ Francis
68	WR 		Sterling Sharpe
66	DE 		Dexter Manley
66	LB 		Ken Harvey
66	RB 		Larry Centers
65	CB 		Frank Minnifield
65	S 		Kenny Easley
64	TE 		Todd Christensen
63	T 		Tony Boselli
63	G 		Russ Grimm
63	RB/WR/KR/PR 	Eric Metcalf
61	RB 		Mike Pruitt
60	TE 		Frank Wycheck
60	TE 		Ben Coates
59	T 		Jimbo Covert
56	QB 		Doug Williams
56	TE 		Mark Bavaro
55	RB 		Gerald Riggs
46	RB 		George Rogers
45	T 		Korey Stringer
43	RB 		Leroy Hoard
39	RB/KR/PR 	Brian Mitchell
 7	ST/WR 		Steve Tasker

And below, the list of the non-players up for induction:

Administrator 	Bobby Beathard
Administrator 	Gil Brandt
Administrator 	Leo Carlin
Administrator 	Frank "Bucko" Kilroy
Administrator 	Art Rooney, Jr.
Administrator 	Ron Wolf
Administrator 	George Young
Coach 		Bill Arnsparger
Coach 		Don Coryell
Coach 		Tom Flores
Coach 		Jimmy Johnson
Coach 		Chuck Knox
Coach 		Buddy Parker
Coach 		Bum Phillips
Coach 		Dan Reeves
Coach 		Buddy Ryan
Coach 		Clark Shaughnessy
Commissioner 	Paul Tagliabue
NFL Films 	Ed Sabol
NFL Films 	Steve Sabol
Official 	Jim Tunney
Owner 		Jack Kent Cooke
Owner 		Ed DeBartolo, Jr.
Owner 		Ole Haugsrud
Owner 		Art Modell
Owner 		Carroll Rosenbloom
Owner  		Bud Adams, Jr.
Trainer 	Otho Davis
K 		Gary Anderson
K 		Nick Lowery
P 		Ray Guy
P 		Reggie Roby

Other links:

Greatest QBs Ever
Most Dominant RBs Ever
Greatest WRs Ever
One of many Jerry Rice posts by Doug
Top Ten Tight Ends of All Time
Art Monk = Shannon Sharpe?
Greatest Ks Ever
Greatest Coaching Records of All Time

Posted in Approximate Value, General | 20 Comments »

Tecmo Super Bowl Game of the Week: Giants @ Cowboys

17th September 2009

Courtesy of Matt Knobbe and the Tecmo Super Bowl Repository, here's your Tecmo Super Bowl Game of the Week for Week 2, featuring the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. The highlights:

If you want to watch the whole games, complete with the original 8-bit sound effects, check out the first half and the second half.

(At this point, you're probably asking, "How the heck did they get 2009 rosters into an 18-year-old NES game?" Well, Matt and the other dedicated folks at the message board have spent a lot of time over the years updating this classic football game, including the introduction of a 32-team ROM a few seasons ago. Sounds complicated, but don't worry, it's easy for you to enjoy the fruits of their labor: just download the 2009 version of the ROM here, get an NES emulator, and play to your heart's content. And check back at Matt's site for roster updates and more Tecmo-related goodness all season long.)

Posted in Tecmo Super Bowl | 8 Comments »

AFL versus NFL: draft class peaks and declines

17th September 2009

Before moving on to the draft classes of 1967-1969, I thought I would do another quick thought experiment, and while this post is included in the AFL versus NFL series, it certainly has broader application. Even if you are not interested in the specifics of the AFL versus NFL breakdown, you may find it informative as you assess how much the 2009 season will be determined by the 2007 draft class versus the 2002 class.

I've already looked at the draft classes of the early (1960-1963) and middle (1964-1966) of the decade. But how the heck am I going to combine all of that information to come up with a coherent overall view of how the two leagues compared? It's not going to do a lot of good to simply know how much talent the AFL got in 1960 versus 1964 if I cannot combine it in some meaningful way.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in AFL versus NFL, Approximate Value, NFL Draft | 4 Comments »

NFL Free Agency

16th September 2009

Tim Truemper, frequent commenter here on the P-F-R blog, recently e-mailed us with a question that had been bugging him: how much variance is there among teams with respect to roster stability in the free agency era?

Essentially, Tim wants to know if certain teams do a great job at retaining their guys and if certain teams do a poor job. That's a question that AV can help us answer.

I looked at every team from 1993 (the inception of free agency) to 2007, a fifteen year period. I recorded the AV of each player on each team for those fifteen seasons. Then, I noted whether each player was playing for that same team in the following season, was playing for no team, or was playing for another team. Generally, when a player is not on a team the following season, it's because of injury, retirement or lack of talent (and, occasionally, incarceration); that's not something that's affected by free agency, though, so I'm only going to focus on players who switch teams in the off-season. For simplicity's purposes, I've ignored the 1995 Browns as opposed to seeing if those players were on the '96 Ravens; I've also split the Browns into the old Browns and new Browns. I did not do the same things for other franchises that moved cities, and I don't have a terribly persuasive justification for that.
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