Posts tagged ‘Tuesday Morning Quarterback’

NFL is Back, and the Cardinals Still Suck

I enjoy many professional sports casually, attending an event or two every year, but the NFL is by far my favorite.  In the pre-season, there was a lot of hype that maybe the long-time hapless Cardinals would be decent this year.  I knew better, even from the pre-season.   Heck, my 8-year-old daughter knew better.

We went to see the last pre-season game against Denver.  In that game, the Arizona starters played for quite a while against the Denver 2nd team, and got beaten up.  Specifically, they could not run the ball and in turn their defense could not stop the run.  So it was no surprise to see them get blasted in their first regular season game against the Giants. 

The problem with the Cards is this:  They have spent the last several years drafting high-profile position players, including spending a jillion 1st round picks on receivers.  Great teams got that way because they invested in their lines - both O and D, even when such picks might be less popular with the fans on draft day.  The Cards have instead focused on drafting "names" who might help sell season tickets in the new stadium.  This neglect is very apparent today.  It doesn't matter how good your position players are if there are no holes for the backs and the QB is getting plowed to the turf on every play.  This is a 5-11 team that is fortunately playing in the NFL's worst division, so they may eek out 7 wins.  You heard it here first.

By the way, if you are an avid football fan, I recommend two sites to you.  The first is Football Outsiders, who have taken a Bill-James-like approach to football stats, rethinking metrics to provide a better insight into what teams really are good.  Make sure to check out their DVOA rankings - basically they compare every teams performance on every play against other teams in the same situation (e.g. 3rd and 8 on their own 45).  The other site is Greg Easterbrook's always entertaining Tuesday Morning Quarterback column, providing large doses of football clear thinking and haiku.

Week 13 Football Outsider Rankings

Football Outsiders has their week 13 football rankings up here.  Previously, I explained why I like Football Outsiders here.

Arizona is almost there, in its traditional spot!  It is second from the bottom, but unfortunately San Francisco has the bottom spot nailed down pretty solidly.  I find the Outsiders rankings particularly useful when they diverge from a team's record.  One case in point is the Rams, or Les Mouflons as the Tuesday Morning Quarterback calls them.  Their 6-6 record seems to hide the fact that they are a pretty bad team.  This makes sense, as they have won a couple, like the game with Seattle, that they should have lost.

On the other ends of the scale, its still Philly-NE-IND-PITT at the top.  I like the NE and PIT stats the best, as they have both nice defense and nice offense.  Philly's #1 ranking still worries me - its defense is a bit soft and a lot of their ranking comes from special teams, which are notoriously fickle.  People have jumped off the NE bandwagon a bit, but I still think they are the team to beat.

Week 7 Football Outsiders is Up

Previously, I explained why I like Football Outsiders here. Their week 7 statistical rankings of teams is here.

A couple of observations. For the first time in recent memory, our hapless Arizona Cardinals crack the top half of the rankings. Woohoo. Arizona is ranked 5th in total defense, and first in rush defense. Good thing, since we can't score to save our lives. Also of note, Miami pulls out of last place, ceding the spot to cap-hangover suffering San Francisco. I can't believe the Cards lost to those guys in the fourth quarter. Yeah, I know what you are thinking - you can't believe anyone really cares about the Cards.

Also, this weeks Tuesday Morning Quarterback is up. Always entertaining.

New Football Outsiders Rankings Up

Previously, I explained why I like Football Outsiders here. Their new weekly statistical rankings are up.

Unsurprisingly, Philadelphia is number 1 (by a huge margin) and New England is number 2. The real surprise is that Miami is NOT last - storied Green Bay is.

Also, this week's Tuesday Morning Quarterback is up.