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looking a little deeper into statistics


C-Trey

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I originally posted this as a response to a post by Skinstzar, but that thread is now almost at the bottom of the page, so I doubt anyone is going to see it, so I'm reposting it here.

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lemme guess, you were one of those people saying we were going to stomp on the Giants in NY because we went into that game with the #2 offense and #5 defense in the NFL?

you say you're not a big believer in stats, yet go on a long-winded statistical breakdown of Alexander's season which completely contradicts your claim to not care about stats. most of your statistical ammunition is predicated on how opposing teams' defenses ranked. while it may be true that the average rank of his opponents' rushing defenses was 18th in the league, did you bother to look at the numbers behind those league rankings? probably not, because if you did I seriously doubt you would have made such a big deal about it. for example, the difference between the #1 ranked rushing defense (in total yards allowed) and the 18th ranked rushing defense is 29.8 yards per game. that's one decent run. that's the difference between Shaun Alexander's day vs. the Redskins and Alexander's day vs. the Redskins without the one decent run he had. it's not that much.

but instead of focusing on the league's margins, let's look at the middle quartiles, because the numbers get much more dense in the middle of the pack. for example, 20 yards more allowed per game is the difference between 7th in the league (KC) and 22nd in the league (Tennessee). wanna hear the real ballbuster? KC's average yards allowed per rush: 4.1; Tennessee's: 4.2.

ergo, the real number you should be looking at is yards allowed per rush. that is the great equalizer, not total rushing yards allowed. did you know that our beloved Redskins finished 21st in the league in yards allowed per rush? that's 10 spots behind the lowly 49ers, who finished 11th in the league in that statistic. a difference of HALF A YARD allowed per rush takes you from 7th in the league (Baltimore, 3.7/rush) to 25th (Cleveland, 4.2/rush).

my whole point is that the NFL has more parity than any other professional sports league. all these guys are professionals. hiding behind statistics won't get you anywhere, because the differences between first and worst, and especially the middle quartiles of the league, really isn't all that much. the simple fact is it all comes down to who executes better on the given day.

lastly, just in case you needed more evidence that Seattle is going to be a formidable opponent despite all the junk-statistics flying around about them, here's a "statistic" that is predicated on rankings, like your entire post: Seattle's offense's yards per rushing attempt rank: 3rd in NFL. Redskins' defense's yards allowed per rushing attempt rank: 21st in NFL.

don't get me wrong, we can definitely beat them and I love the Redskins as much as anyone, but I certainly do not think Seattle is the uber-paper champion everyone is making them out to be.

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I dunno, I think this is an interesting enough point to raise.

It just helps support the notion that we should be putting less of an emphasis on game statistics, period. If we come out and figure out a way to play well against their offensive line, we will win.

The truth from a personnel standpoint is that we have played in harder games. We've played in more pressure games. We've practiced harder and, hopefully, better prepared our players physically. As Joe Gibbs says, we're "battle tested." But unfortunately, we're also tired. Now is when, in Gibbs' first go-round, you'd really see his hard-line coaching and preparation kick in. Real Redskins are fit and ready to roll in December and January. I hope that's the case this year, and I believe it is.

People can throw stats around all they want, but the bottom line is do we have the right scheme to counter Seattle's offense, and do we have the men to execute that scheme?

That's just the defense side. We need our offense to show up, too. :)

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Is this a call out thread? First of all my stats are direct from NFL.com. Never did I say in my post that we would roll over the Seatards. My point was merely that Shaun Alexander is overrated as a running back. The goal of my post was to expose the media bias towards Shaun Alexander. Your post covers none of that. If you are going to call me out in the top line of a new thread atleast be right about what you say.

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Is this a call out thread? First of all my stats are direct from NFL.com. Never did I say in my post that we would roll over the Seatards. My point was merely that Shaun Alexander is overrated as a running back. The goal of my post was to expose the media bias towards Shaun Alexander. Your post covers none of that. If you are going to call me out in the top line of a new thread atleast be right about what you say.

are you mad (as in insane)? I crunched all the numbers to show I was right. yes, your post was about alexander being overrated, but the evidence you provided to support your hypothesis was what I was taking issue with; it was all junk-science, junk statistics. I never claimed that your numbers were wrong, I simply said you were not looking deeply enough into them (and for the record, all of my numbers were from nfl.com, too). I wasn't attacking you in my post, just pointing out that the data you provided was very misleading. numbers lie all the time if you don't analyze them properly. I think you got defensive because you thought I was attacking you instead of actually looking at the evidence I provided.

Alexander is a good back on a good team. you don't (essentially) lead the NFL in rushing two straight years without being an absolute stud. like I said on another thread, if we were rested and healthy, we win this game 8 times out of 10. but we're not. I think it's going to be a tough game. I could see us beating them by 20 just as easily as I could see them beating us by 20. I get the feeling that our defense is going to show up and play its game, the quetion is: can Brunell make the throws on his gimp knee? I think that's what it's going to come down to, because if he can't, our running game will go away without the threat of the passing game. let Santana get loose a couple times and it's game on.

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are you mad (as in insane)? I crunched all the numbers to show I was right. yes, your post was about alexander being overrated, but the evidence you provided to support your hypothesis was what I was taking issue with; it was all junk-science, junk statistics. I never claimed that your numbers were wrong, I simply said you were not looking deeply enough into them (and for the record, all of my numbers were from nfl.com, too). I wasn't attacking you in my post, just pointing out that the data you provided was very misleading. numbers lie all the time if you don't analyze them properly. I think you got defensive because you thought I was attacking you instead of actually looking at the evidence I provided.

Alexander is a good back on a good team. you don't (essentially) lead the NFL in rushing two straight years without being an absolute stud. like I said on another thread, if we were rested and healthy, we win this game 8 times out of 10. but we're not. I think it's going to be a tough game. I could see us beating them by 20 just as easily as I could see them beating us by 20. I get the feeling that our defense is going to show up and play its game, the quetion is: can Brunell make the throws on his gimp knee? I think that's what it's going to come down to, because if he can't, our running game will go away without the threat of the passing game. let Santana get loose a couple times and it's game on.

You said it, he is good, but he is not GREAT. He is also not the MVP of the league, well he is technically, but you could put any back in the league behind that left side of the offensive line and get a ton of yards. As I said deeper in the original thread, he can't block or catch out of the backfield. He isn't even in the top 5 RBs in the league. He is not even the best running back playing in the game on Saturday. That is all I am saying. My stats weren't askew in any way. The point was to show how he has performed against good defenses like the Redskins. He doesn't do that well.

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Simmer down guys, I appreciate c-trey pointing this out. Likely I would have not seen this info had he not.

Stop being such wimps about "my thread". Good grief.

Calling people wimps? Good post buddy. Besides I have nothing against C-trey. I like that he has a dissenting opinion. I welcome it. I wouldn't have posted my thoughts if everyone was going to agree. However I do understand why other people do get mad about new threads, it makes the front page hard to read.

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He is also not the MVP of the league, well he is technically, but you could put any back in the league behind that left side of the offensive line and get a ton of yards.

agreed. a good offensive line will make an average running back/quarterback look like a perennial probowler. the quintessential example of this fact is none other than one Emmitt Smith. I would opine, however, that Alexander is probably at least as good a back as Emmitt ever was. Alexander is accomplishing great things with a perennial lackluster organization. they have no receivers of record. their quarterback is average, but is protected by an excellent O-line. football is a team sport, so no one is ever going to get it done solely by himself, so the argument that he owes it all to his team could always be made about any player...except Barry Sanders, who did do it all by himself.

My stats weren't askew in any way. The point was to show how he has performed against good defenses like the Redskins. He doesn't do that well.

we're gonna have to agree to disagree here, because like I pointed out, how good was the Redskins rush defense, really? 21st? I don't know that I'd consider that to be "good". Tiki and LT raped us. that bum on the 49ers tore off a long one on us. Alexander averaged just a tick under 5 yards/carry against us, and that was at home with OUR crowd noise. give the guy some credit. if you don't, you might wind up eating those words on Saturday. don't let your nay-saying jinx us!

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As I said deeper in the original thread, he can't block or catch out of the backfield.
It is true that he is not a great blocker, but he is capable of catching out of the backfield. He did so quite well earlier in his career. The Seahawk offense isn't designed to throw swing passes and dump offs.
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It's hard to read a 32 year old who starts paragraphs with conjunctions and small caps and poor spelling. Where did some of you get an education? I would hope that it was not in Montgomery County, Maryland!

pfffff! LOL, this is clearly me getting hated on because our flab-brained friend here, TLusby, couldn't muster the brainpower to understand the statistics behind my post! oh, heaven forbid that on a fan-based message board, I chose to type how I speak (i.e. beginning a paragraph with a conjuction--clearly a literary felony!) instead of giving a crap about the hauteur of anal-retentive toolbags like TLusby. and my "poor spelling" is clearly spelling "let me" as "lemme". oooooh, God forbid! tell me TLusby, do you get your panties in similar twists when people write "gonna" instead of "going to"? or "prolly" instead of "probably"? we already know you throw hissy fits for not capitalizing the beginning of every sentence. here's a hint: it's called simple laziness, not a lack of education. so, instead of attempting to impune the intelligence of someone way smarter than you on a Redskins message board, take the stick out of your butt and lighten up. you obviously felt threatened by me b/c (<---before you throw a fit about "b/c", let me just tell you, it's new-wave for "because") I noticed you didn't attack anyone else's "spelling" or "grammar".

hey loser, go read "Drown" by Junot Diaz. it received immense literary praise (from actual critics, not bitter toolbags such as yourself) and the author doesn't even use quotation marks whenever his characters speak. and (uh oh! another conjunction to start a sentence! and it wasn't capitalized either! aaaaagghh!) he uses lots of Spanglish in the book, too. furthermore, I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you'd find a few sentences here and there that begin with conjunctions! oh God! your pretentious head would explode after the first two chapters!

to everyone else, sorry for all this, but I just can't stand people who try to treat the message board like they're a member of the nonexistent English Academy, especially when the real issue is they can't bear the thought of someone smarter than they are being a sports fan.

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pfffff! LOL, this is clearly me getting hated on because our flab-brained friend here, TLusby, couldn't muster the brainpower to understand the statistics behind my post! oh, heaven forbid that on a fan-based message board, I chose to type how I speak (i.e. beginning a paragraph with a conjuction--clearly a literary felony!) instead of giving a crap about the hauteur of anal-retentive toolbags like TLusby. and my "poor spelling" is clearly spelling "let me" as "lemme". oooooh, God forbid! tell me TLusby, do you get your panties in similar twists when people write "gonna" instead of "going to"? or "prolly" instead of "probably"? we already know you throw hissy fits for not capitalizing the beginning of every sentence. here's a hint: it's called simple laziness, not a lack of education. so, instead of attempting to impune the intelligence of someone way smarter than you on a Redskins message board, take the stick out of your butt and lighten up. you obviously felt threatened by me b/c (<---before you throw a fit about "b/c", let me just tell you, it's new-wave for "because") I noticed you didn't attack anyone else's "spelling" or "grammar".

hey loser, go read "Drown" by Junot Diaz. it received immense literary praise (from actual critics, not bitter toolbags such as yourself) and the author doesn't even use quotation marks whenever his characters speak. and (uh oh! another conjunction to start a sentence! and it wasn't capitalized either! aaaaagghh!) he uses lots of Spanglish in the book, too. furthermore, I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you'd find a few sentences here and there that begin with conjunctions! oh God! your pretentious head would explode after the first two chapters!

to everyone else, sorry for all this, but I just can't stand people who try to treat the message board like they're a member of the nonexistent English Academy, especially when the real issue is they can't bear the thought of someone smarter than they are being a sports fan.

I guess you are a little upset, and please do not email me with your rhetoric!

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