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    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Monday, October 29, 2018

    DeShaun Watson, Eli Manning, and the Debate Between Quarterback and Offensive Line Play

    A few days ago, I saw a simple post counting the number of times a NFL quarterback has been hit through the first 6 weeks of the season. Unsurprisingly, DeShaun Watson and the Texans lead the list with 70 hits - 70!!



    Now, immediately battle lines were drawn. The supporters ranted against the offensive line or the play calling of Bill O’Brian. Detractors pointed to Watson holding the ball for a long period of time.

    In the spirit of fairness, and truth in advertising, I decided to look to the data and found some interesting things.

    First, let’s look back at the average time to throw by NFL quarterbacks in 2018. So far, DeShaun Watson is second on the list at 3.10 seconds, behind Josh Allen (3.15s). Clearly, he is holding the ball far longer than the average quarterback (2.73s). Sam Bradford (2.51s) and Drew Brees (2.53s) hold the ball the shortest of anyone in the NFL - almost 0.57s shorter than Watson, which is nearly 21% of total pocket time by an average quarterback. Put another way, Watson holds the ball 123% as long as Drew Brees.

    This means the offensive line is blocking for the equivalent of five downs for every four Brees’ line blocks. One extra down to allow defense to find the QB and result in a negative play.

    However, all is not on Watson for holding the ball. Watching games, he is often scrambling. The porous line play has forced some of this. Watson has been hit, as previously mentioned, a cringe-worthy 70 times. That is once every 9.61 seconds - far more than “second place” Marcus Mariota at once every 11.21 seconds. To put this into perspective, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, and Ben Roethlisberger have all been hit once every 28 seconds or more. Poor Watson is out there getting hit three times for every once Roethlisberger gets hit. It’s amazing Watson is alive.

    This look at the numbers has shown a few other things as well. First, it’s fashionable to pile on Eli Manning as a slow, ball-holding, non-mobile quarterback who needs to go so the Giants can all of a sudden be better. Reality shows a far different story. Manning holds the ball 2.61 seconds (shorter than average) yet has been hit 40 times over the first 6 games. That’s once every 15.01 seconds. He’s the 10th fastest quarterback to get the ball out of his hand, yet he’s the 5th most hit quarterback this season. Clearly, most of Manning’s issues reside with the lack of an offensive line. Now, he ISN’T mobile, and therefore his Average Intended Air Yards is only 6.9 per pass, and Average Completed Air Yards is 4.6. To compensate for his lack of legs, and because the Giants’ offensive line is so horrible, Manning has turned to quick routes not far downfield. It takes time for deep routes to develop, and he doesn’t have that time.
    Manning is in good company playing "fast and short," with Brees, Luck, and Cousins.


    Compare to DeShaun Watson: As a result of his swifter self, he holds the ball longer and attempts slightly longer passes (IAY: 9.7) and completes them (CAY 7.3).


    So, next time you hear an announcer say Manning needs to go, remind yourself how horrible it would be if he was replaced with a younger, less experienced quarterback that held the ball too long. That kid might be dead from all the hits.

    Monday, April 03, 2017

    North Carolina! What a Game!

    What a game! And what a win! This is the first time in NINE YEARS that I've won the pool I organize - The Bleeding Ear's Play for a Cause. 
    Thank you to everyone for your support and fun play. Vets with a Mission will get $190 to help the poor people of South East Asia. It's not much, but I've seen what good they do, and many children will be grateful. 
    And that's a true win.


    Friday, September 09, 2016

    Helping the Needy. The Reason for Play For A Cause.


    Congratulations, once again, to Roger and Casa do Caminho, Brasil. What an exciting final. Two previous winners going to a tiebreaker to determine who repeats. As follow up, here is the receipt for the donations this year - $200!!! Thank you to everyone who played and donated. Here's to next year!

    Monday, April 04, 2016

    Villanova! What a game!

    Congratulations, Roger and Casa do Caminho. What an amazing tournament! Came down to a tiebreaker on points scored in the championship game, and by FIVE POINTS, Roger beat Dennis.
    Every year a new charity wins, which is one of the best parts of this thing. I can't wait to see who and what charity wins next year!

    Thank you everyone who made this a success. 15 people this year, plus one generous benefactor, equals $250 dollars raised for the winning charity. I'm very proud of everyone.

    Maybe next year I can actually win this thing...


    Friday, March 18, 2016

    Cincinnati Got Robbed

    So, today is a poster day for why BETTING ON MARCH MADNESS IS STUPID.
    Also, I'm never going to win my own charity pool.
    Michigan State... huhuhuhu 😭😭😭😭
    But, the real question is this: Did Cincinnati actually lose???
    If you didn't watch, Cincinnati was down 76-78 when a player dunked the ball at the end of regulation. It originally counted (tying the game 78-78) but the referees watched replays and eventually waved off the basket. 

    However, here are the official rules about shooting a basketball for NCAA Men's Basketball:
    Section 33. Goal
    Art. 1. A goal shall be made when:
    a. A live ball that is not a throw-in enters the basket from above and
    remains in or passes through;
    or
    b. A free throw enters the basket from above and remains in or passes through.
    Art. 2. Whether the game clock is running or stopped shall have no influence on the counting of a goal.
    Section 71. Try for Goal/Act of Shooting
    Art. 1. A try for field goal is an attempt by a player to score two or three points by throwing or tapping the ball into his or her basket.
    ...
    Art. 3. The try shall start when the player begins the motion that habitually precedes the release of the ball on a try. The ball does not need to leave the player’s hand. The arm might be held so that the player cannot throw; however, he or she may be making an attempt.
    Art. 4. A try shall end when the throw is successful, when it is certain the throw is unsuccessful, when the thrown ball touches the floor or when the ball becomes dead.
    Art. 5. A dunk attempt is a try.
    Section 4. Basket
    Art. 1. Each basket consists of an 18-inch ring, its flange and braces, and appended net through which players attempt to throw or tap the ball.
    Section 5. Basket Interference
    Art. 1. The ball shall be considered to be within the basket when any part of the ball is below the cylinder and the level of the ring.
    It looks to me like the dunk was good, because 1. A dunk is a try, 2. a try ends when it is successful, 3. success is when a live ball enters the basket and remains in, and 4. that happens when any part of the ball is below the cylinder and the level of the ring -- regardless of whether he had let go or not. Cincinnati got robbed.

    Saturday, March 28, 2015

    NRG Stadium Sucks the Energy out of Basketball


    VERY interesting given that the Final Four will be at NRG stadium next year.

    Watching the Elite Eight there a few years back, I can attest, it's a horrible venue to watch basketball, and, putting myself in players' shoes, I would hate to play there.

    The backdrop is all black, but it's shades of black based on shadows and curtains, which makes it hard to tell how far away is the basket. There is also a ledge around the raised court that just screams accident to someone sliding off the sides.

    See Ken Pomeroy's data on three pointers.