Archive for September, 2009

Checking the Numbers: Panthers-Cowboys Game

September 29, 2009
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys passes against the Carolina Panthers at Cowboys Stadium on September 28, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys passes against the Carolina Panthers at Cowboys Stadium on September 28, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Last night on Monday Night Football, the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys played the second game ever in Cowboys Stadium. Both teams were in need of a win, for Carolina to avoid an 0-3 start and Dallas to avoid starting 0-2 in their new home. After the Panthers shut out the Cowboys in the first half for a 7-0 lead, Dallas returned the favor on their way to a 21-0 win. But, what can the numbers tell us about how it happened? As I have done with several games in this season, here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

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Checking the Numbers: 49ers-Vikings Game

September 28, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings is chased out of the pocket by Pat Williams #94 of the San Francisco 49ers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings is chased out of the pocket by Justin Smith #94 of the San Francisco 49ers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

On Sunday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings played a game that went down to the wire, with a last second Brett Favre TD pass sealing the win for Minnesota. In a game where the 49ers seemed have pulled the road upset, Favre proved that the Vikings made the right decision to convince him to come out of retirement one more time. Minnesota needed an unbelievable play win this close game. By looking at the statistics, can that help understand what these two teams did to get that point? As I have done with several games in this season, here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

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Checking the Numbers: Titans-Jets Game

September 28, 2009
Tim Larsen/Associated Press

Tim Larsen/Associated Press

On Sunday afternoon, the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets played in a game where the roles most expected coming into the season were reversed. The Jets were 2-0 coming in, while the Titans were 0-2 in much need of a win. The Jets won another close game, but how did each team look compared to what we would expect statistically? As I have done with several games in this season, here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

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Falcons-Patriots Week 3 Preview

September 25, 2009
Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

Tom Brady and Randy Moss

Tom Brady and Randy Moss

Yesterday, I said that the most exciting game of the coming NFL weekend may be the  Sunday Night Football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Arizona Cardinals. If that’s so, this weekend’s meeting between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots should be right up there as well. This game will feature an intriguing matchup between one of the NFL’s budding stars in Matt Ryan, whose rookie season last year was among the best ever, and Tom Brady, considered by many the best QB in the game today, but who was also known for his early career success. Ryan has looked strong so far this year, while Brady has struggled. Will that trend continue, or will Brady return more to his 2007 form? (more…)

Colts-Cardinals Week 3 Preview

September 24, 2009
Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald

The most exciting game of the coming NFL weekend may be the  Sunday Night Football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams’ offenses have been high scoring and explosive in recent years, particularly in the passing game. Of course, Larry Fitzgerald’s  historic playoff run last season is fresh on our minds. And, what can you say about Peyton Manning; he has only thrown for over 4000 yards in 9 of the past 10 seasons. It’s not a stretch to expect plenty of offensive fireworks in this game. But, when it’s all over, who can we expect to have the advantage?

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Checking the Numbers: Jets-Patriots Game

September 22, 2009
Nick Laham / Getty Images

Nick Laham / Getty Images

On Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots and New York Jets played a game that had been prefaced by much talk, mainly from the Jets’ side. Given the past fate of teams making similar comments to Kerry Rhodes’ victory guarantee, many people considered the Patriots heavy favorites. Few expected the Jets to repeat their Week 1 success against the Texans. The Jets won a hard-fought, close game, but how did each team look compared to what we would expect statistically? As I did with a few games last week, here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

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Checking the Numbers: Steelers-Bears Game

September 21, 2009
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears met for a game in which the Steelers were considered by many to be heavy favorites. However, there were also those who called this a must-win game for the Bears, already in this young season. As we now know, the Bears won a hard-fought, close game, but how did each team look compared to what we would expect statistically? As I did with a few games last week, here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

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Giants-Cowboys Week 2 Preview

September 18, 2009
Can the Giants keep the Cowboys from celebrating again?

Can the Giants keep the Cowboys from celebrating again?

Looking forward to the upcoming NFL week, it looks to me like the most anticipated game nationally will be the Sunday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. This should be an exciting matchup of marquis quarterbacks and two of the more accomplished teams in the NFL, with a combined 8 Super Bowl championships. In some ways it may be considered a clashing of styles, with the historically smash mouth Giants going to Dallas to visit the more flashy Cowboys. You can find a complete traditional preview at this ESPN article. But for me, like I did in my recent statistical review posts, I wanted to look at this game from a statistical standpoint rather than discussing how this or that player looked in the last game.

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Checking the Numbers: Chargers-Raiders Game

September 16, 2009
On Monday night, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders met for a game in which the Chargers were heavy favorites. With solid fundamental football, the Raiders held San Diego in check for much of the game. But, with time growing short, quarterback Philip Rivers led his team on the game winning drive, capped off by Darren Sproles’ TD run with 18 seconds left. There are plenty of recaps out there reviewing the game, but here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

Checking the Numbers: Bills-Patriots Game

September 16, 2009
(Elsa/Getty) Tom Brady leads the Patriots back to beat the Bills with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes.

(Elsa/Getty) Tom Brady leads the Patriots back to beat the Bills with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes.

On Monday night, the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills matched up for a game expected to be an easy win for the Pats. Surprisingly, the Bills held an 11 point lead late in the game, but some Tom Brady heroics combined with an untimely fumble on a kick return did in the Bills for a 12th straight time against New England. There are plenty of recaps out there reviewing the game, but here I wanted to look at this game from my own analytical perspective.

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