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Falcons: Certain Numbers Don’T Add Up


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The Falcons are 6-0, but certain other numbers don't add up

2:32 pm October 15, 2012, by Mark Bradley

There’s only one unbeaten NFL team, and it’s based in Flowery Branch. And we know, courtesy of Bill Parcells, that in the NFL you’re as good as your record says you are, which would suggest that the Falcons are flat-out great. But here’s where we run the numbers, and numbers, as we also know, can be pesky things.

The biggest number, duh, is 6-0. The Falcons have never been undefeated this deep into a season in their previous 46 years of doing business. But here’s another number: 11-21. That’s the combined record of the six teams the Falcons have beaten. Of those six, only San Diego is above .500. (And the 3-2 Chargers play Denver on Monday night.) This wasn’t entirely unexpected. The Falcons’ schedule always seemed tougher on the far side of the bye week. To look again, however, is to wonder.

We all thought Philadelphia and Dallas and New Orleans — the Falcons’ next three opponents — would be stout. The Eagles are 3-3, the Cowboys 2-3, the Saints 1-4. Check now and you’ll see that the Falcons are scheduled to play only two more games against teams that currently hold a winning record, and both of those games (against the Cardinals and the Giants) will be played here.

Yes, this is all subject to sudden change. Nobody expects the Saints to finish 4-12, and nobody expects Philly and Dallas and Detroit to sputter forever. But the 6-0 Falcons could stand a test, and it might be a while before another arrives.

Why does a 6-0 team require testing? Because, if you check the stats, the Falcons don’t look 6-0 good. They look, on paper if not on the field, not quite as imposing the 10-6 Falcons of last season.

The 2012 Falcons rank 15th in total offense, down from 10th in 2011. This team is 21st in total defense, down from 12th last season. A year ago they were eighth in passing, 17th in rushing; this year they’re 10th and 25th. Last season they were 20th in passing defense, sixth in rushing defense; these Birds are 11th and 27th. For those keeping score, the 2012 Falcons have improved over 2011 in exactly one of those six major categories.

Figure Filberts insist the most important football stat is Yards Per Pass Attempt. The Falcons have improved from 7.3 YPA to 7.4 on offense, while opponents’ YPA has risen from 7.2 to 7.6. (The offensive number ranks 15th in the league, the defensive one 21st.) On the bright side, the Falcons have improved their third-down conversion percentage all the way around: The defense ranks 21st this year, up from 28th in 2011; the offense ranks fifth, up from sixth.

If you’re looking for numbers to support 6-0, start here: The Falcons are tied with New England for the NFL lead in turnover margin, and they’ve been called for the fewest penalties of any team. (They were fifth and 10th last season.) New coordinators Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan haven’t had a transforming effect on the yardage-based stats, but the impression — and it’s borne out by these key indices — is of a better-coached team. More concrete indicators: The Falcons are scoring 3.4 more points and yielding 3.1 fewer points than they did under 2011 management.

Here we pause for an emphatic disclaimer, offered by Richard Seymour, the Oakland defensive tackle who was once a New England Patriot (and before that a Georgia Bulldog). After the Raiders outgained the Falcons 474 yards to 286 but lost 23-20, Seymour told reporters: “I’ve done a lot of different things in my career in wins where statistically it all doesn’t line up. But stats are for losers. If you want to pay attention to statistics, go ahead. The only stat that matters is wins and losses.”

That’s true. Also true is this: The 11-5 Falcons of 2008 were beaten in the playoffs by the 9-7 Cardinals; the 13-3 Falcons of 2010 were upset in the playoffs by the 10-6 Packers, and the 10-6 Falcons of 2011 were undone by the 9-7 Giants. So sometimes you aren’t quite what your record says you are.

And what does this team’s architect say? This was general manager Thomas Dimitroff, speaking Monday morning: “We’re an evolving team that is 6-0. We’re a team that has shown a lot of resilience, and that’s an indication that we’ve matured.”

It is. The nice thing about winning all the time is that it becomes second nature. At winning, these Falcons are batting 1.000.

http://blogs.ajc.com...rk_bradley_blog

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I love how he points out the records of the teams that knocked us out of the Playoffs. But doesn't mention the fact that all 3 of those teams knocked out everyone else in the NFC on their way to the Superbowl, with two winning it.

And while we are at it, can we destroy this myth associated with yardage stats. The Cowboys are 6th in yards per game at 387.4. They are 24th in points at 18.8 per game. Where would you rank their offense?

We are 6th in scoring offense and 6th in scoring defense. That is why we are 6-0. Period.

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The biggest stats are points for (28.5), points against (18.9), and TO margin (+10).

6-0 makes sense.

The points for is kind of skewed due to our terrific field position from the TO Margin, can we keep this up? The eye test tells me this Falcon team is better than 2011 but thus far it hasn't been remarkably better, hopefully they get more comfortable under the new coordinators and take flight after the bye week.

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yeah, the way they have been playing, nothing easy about winning the next three.

So somehow, the Eagles are gonna cure their turnover woes and their 4th quarter meltdowns against us... something we both excel at (holding leads in the 4th minus two games and getting turnovers)? So the Lions can do what we can't with a worse defense and worse offense?

And the Cowboys are going to come into Atlanta and beat us when they couldn't stop an old lady in Baltimore? And Romo is KNOWN for choking in prime time?

I mean... I guess, sure. We'll somehow lose where teams not as good as us have succeeded.

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The points for is kind of skewed due to our terrific field position from the TO Margin, can we keep this up? The eye test tells me this Falcon team is better than 2011 but thus far it hasn't been remarkably better, hopefully they get more comfortable under the new coordinators and take flight after the bye week.

Field position skews yardage stats. Moreso than points for. Penalties also have a huge impact on yardage stats. For an offense, committing penalties makes the field longer. Defensive penalties make the field shorter for the offense.

The biggest impact to points for is scoring TD's instead of FG's.

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Field position skews yardage stats. Moreso than points for. Penalties also have a huge impact on yardage stats. For an offense, committing penalties makes the field longer. Defensive penalties make the field shorter for the offense.

The biggest impact to points for is scoring TD's instead of FG's.

If we didn't have short fields it's not guaranteed that we would've moved the ball down the field, but those short fields do guarantee that you're in great position to score. Against KC, we were unstoppable so field position really didn't matter, against Denver we were aided by the short field tremendously, against San Diego we moved the ball really well but also aided by Phillip Rivers INT near the endzone before the end of the half. Against Carolina we turned the ball over or punted on half the possessions. Against Washington we turned the ball over or punted on the majority of the possessions. Against Oakland we turned the ball over or punted on the majority of the possessions.

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The Falcons are 6-0, but certain other numbers don't add up

2:32 pm October 15, 2012, by Mark Bradley

The biggest number, duh, is 6-0. The Falcons have never been undefeated this deep into a season in their previous 46 years of doing business. But here’s another number: 11-21. That’s the combined record of the six teams the Falcons have beaten. Of those six, only San Diego is above .500. (And the 3-2 Chargers play

http://blogs.ajc.com...rk_bradley_blog

Dear OP

Rule 1 on TATF.

NEVER EVER QUOTE MARK BRADLEY.

You doing this will turn you into an instant horses arse and here is why.

Our opponents are 11-21.

This is because of us.

If not for the Falcons they would have a combined record of 17-15.

So as you see Bradley's numbers do not add up.

They never have, and this is because he makes Barnyard Animals look Smart.

So do us a favor.

Stop quoting the sports writers and come up with your own observations.

Yeah we will jump ya for it, but if you want to be one of us then Post yer own

and become one of us.

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I absolutely cant stand when they give stats like 11-21. That’s the combined record of the six teams the Falcons have beaten. Its the most positively absurd, skewed stat ever. Don't they realize that the falcons are a major contributor in giving those other teams a losing record. If the falcons had lost to all those team, their combined record would be 17-15. "statistics are for the blind" a famous quote by negatron.

Dear OP

Rule 1 on TATF.

NEVER EVER QUOTE MARK BRADLEY.

You doing this will turn you into an instant horses arse and here is why.

Our opponents are 11-21.

This is because of us.

If not for the Falcons they would have a combined record of 17-15.

So as you see Bradley's numbers do not add up.

They never have, and this is because he makes Barnyard Animals look Smart.

So do us a favor.

Stop quoting the sports writers and come up with your own observations.

Yeah we will jump ya for it, but if you want to be one of us then Post yer own

and become one of us.

Holy crap. I guess we think alike

Edited by Negatron
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If we didn't have short fields it's not guaranteed that we would've moved the ball down the field, but those short fields do guarantee that you're in great position to score. Against KC, we were unstoppable so field position really didn't matter, against Denver we were aided by the short field tremendously, against San Diego we moved the ball really well but also aided by Phillip Rivers INT near the endzone before the end of the half. Against Carolina we turned the ball over or punted on half the possessions. Against Washington we turned the ball over or punted on the majority of the possessions. Against Oakland we turned the ball over or punted on the majority of the possessions.

I'm not saying it doesn't have any effect on scoring, just saying it doesn't skew scoring stats as much as yardage stats.

You are right, it is not guaranteed that we would've moved the ball down the field. It's also not guaranteed that we will score with good field position. It is guaranteed that you will not be able to pad your yardage stats if you average 20 yards better field position on your possessions. That is 20 less yards you have the potential to get on each possession.

The closer you get to another team's endzone, the harder it is to move the ball. So starting closer really skews yardage stats more than any other.

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Looks like Mark Bradely got F in math class. This is what the record of the opponents will look against other teams not named Falcons.

Chargers 3-2

RedSkins 3-2

Denver 3-2

Carolina 1-3

Oakland 1-3

and KC 1-4

So Falcons played with 3 teams with winning record and 3 teams with losing record. Doesn't look like an easy schedule.

Edited by falcons007
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we could easily lose our next 3 games

Yes, the Falcons could easily lose the next three games, especially if they play like they have the last three games. However, the Falcons could easily win the next three games, especially if they play like they did the first three games of the season. At this point, we are really not sure as to the true identity of this year's team: are they as good as they appeared to be in the first three games or as bad as they appeared to be in the last three?

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all I have been hearing in new york today is how the falcons are not a good team and that your standing has nothing to do with how good your team is because as examples they toss up the pat's and the giants... and then when they are reaching the jets.. Then they start talking how greenbay is back.

the next line of crapola today is how because manning took the game back for the bronco's he is a football god..

well the jets suk flat out.. they had a good game...

the giants are sporadic...

and when peyton pulls it off its great .. but you give matt 40sec and its 40 seconds too long..

I think the falcons are being outstanding... they just need to work on the game when we play teams that have a running game.

we have the air game going now we got to stop the run.

THE FALCONS ARE POWERD UP.. AND 6-0... THAT IS GREAT TO ME....

GOOOOOOOOOOOO FALCONS.

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I got one better for

Looks like Mark Bradely got F in match class. This is what the record of the opponents will look against other teams not named Falcons.

Chargers 3-2

RedSkins 3-2

Denver 3-2

Carolina 1-3

Oakland 1-3

and KC 1-4

So Falcons played with 3 teams with winning record and 3 teams with losing record. Doesn't look like an easy schedule.

Here are the records of the guys we play next:

Eagles 3-3

Cowboys 2-3

Saints 1-4

Cardinals 4-2

Bucs 2-3

Saints 1-4

Panthers 1-4

Giants 4-2

Lions 2-3

Bucs 2-3

Looks like we should cancel all the games except the Cards and the Giants - since any other win wouldn't matter.

Combined average record of the teams we have faced (not counting our game) = 12-16 42.9%

Combined average record of the teams we are facing after the bye = 22-31 41.5%

So - the guys we've faced had a better winning percentage than the ones we will face.

Oh my - maybe we should just play ourselves every week. We'd remain undefeated and play the team with the best record every week - so our wins would always matter!

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