Posted by Doug on September 12, 2007
1. Is it me, or is the number of helmets popping off of heads up about 200% over last year, and about 5000% over ten years ago? Maybe my memory is faulty, but the way I remember it, it used to be that you could watch an entire season of college and NFL football and only see one or two helmets fly off heads in the middle of a play. Now it happens once a drive. I first noticed it during the Oregon-Michigan game on Saturday, where some Duck lost his helmet on about 40% of the plays. The NFL games I watched on Sunday, while not quite so extreme, still produced a lot of airborne helmets. What's going on?
2. I've written a few times (I, II) about my belief, which is not backed by any actual evidence, I should admit, that Michael Vick's presence was responsible for the running backs' success in Atlanta during the last few years. The Falcon runners struggled last week and I expect that to continue, but what I want to point out is that the same phenomenon could be on display in Tennessee. The threat of Vince Young getting to the corners allowed Chris Brown and LenDale White to rush for 241 yards on 37 carries, many of them right up the middle, against a Jaguar defense that is supposed to be pretty stout.
3. Last year I noted that week one was a very, very poor week for wide receiver production. This year it seems that running backs got bit by the same bug. Last week, 73.2% of all offensive touchdowns were passing TDs. Since 2000, only five weeks have seen a higher percentage. Hat tip to this thread at the footballguys message board for pointing out that no running back scored multiple touchdowns this week. According to my quick check, that happened in week 2 of 2001 but had not happened since.
5. Stay tuned to the blog for an announcement about big things happening at p-f-r very soon. I can say without hyperbole that p-f-r will soon be one million times better than every other site on the internet combined.