Championship Leverage

Over the years, I’ve given much thought to the value (Championship Leverage) of postseason games relative to regular season games. Sabermetrics guru Tom Tango invented the Leverage Index to apply a value to the gravity of a given base-out-inning situation in baseball. Later, Neil Paine used the concept for basketball and, subsequently, football. I found his application of the concept to NFL quarterbacks to be particularly interesting, and I decided to go into more detail on Neil’s methodology and expand the findings back to 1936…

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Surplus Yards: QB Seasons

Earlier this month, I introduced a new stat called Surplus Yards over at Football Perspective. If you haven’t read that post, please do so before perusing the data I’m presenting today. The intro article looked back at the 2017 season, and this post will cover the 24 years for which I have appropriate data. I calculated and archived every 40+ yard completion since 1994. The chart below shows the league average Surplus % for each of the last 24 seasons: The overall average from 1994-2017…

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A Look at Punting Value Versus Punting Skill

Last month, I had a mini tweet storm about punting value versus punting skill, where I discussed punters, how to measure punting, and how to reconcile the apparent gap between value (as measure by expected points) and perceived skill. Then I forgot all about it and never brought it up again. Today, I want to revisit some of my ideas, expand on them, and offer them for debate among the smart readers of this site. I know punting isn’t the most exciting topic, even for…

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Greatest QB of All Time: Consensus (2018)

Last year I attempted to distill the public opinion of quarterback greatness into a mathematical formula, but I left out active players which made the ranking feel incomplete (ok, it was incomplete). In this post I’m going to update the list with a new formula and active QB’s included. I have two main purposes for this exercise: 1) To provide a baseline of the general consensus to measure other ranking systems against, and 2) I love to create rankings and look for any excuse to…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Centers

Today’s GridFe Hall of Fame post focuses on arguably the most dangerous position in football, the center. The man in the middle: he touches the ball on every play, usually directs the line, protects against inside penetration, and serves as the pivot man in the run game. He also takes repetitive head shots on every down and doesn’t just put his body on the line; he literally puts his mind on the line for the team. We honor those men for their sacrifice on the…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Offensive Guards

When it came to selecting guards for the GridFe Hall of Fame, voters tended to go with mauling run blockers who also happened to have the ability to protect quarterbacks. This makes sense, as for most of football history coaches have devoted more attention to power in the middle and finesse on the edges. However, it is clear that guards of the future will have to be able to prioritize mitigating interior pressure while also providing a push in the rushing attack. With the continuing…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Offensive Tackles

The ability to protect the quarterback is paramount in the modern game, but it is a mistake to assume it wasn’t always important. While a Sandra Bullock voiceover may proclaim a sea change occurred in 1985, keeping legendary passers like Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr upright was just as important to the Colts and Packers title teams as clearing lanes for their versatile ball carriers. In reality, the infamous Joe Theismann injury only elevated the esteem and paycheck of the position. It seems the GridFe…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Tight Ends

With just eight inductees, tight end is by far the most underrepresented fantasy position in the initial class of the GridFe Hall of Fame. Of those eight, one played primarily in the 1960s, two in the 80s, one in the 90s, four since the turn of the century, and none in the dead ball era of the 70s. It may reflect some recency bias in our committee that we could only agree upon one tight end who started his career prior to the Mel Blount…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Wide Receivers

Wide receiver was possibly the most vexing position for GridFe Hall of Fame voters. With the explosion of the passing game, modern players boast numbers that tower over those of players even as recently as the 1990s. Context is key, and it seems we may have been particularly cautious when considering receiving credentials. The committee ended up electing only twelve men at the position. Given the number of receivers on the field at a given time, and given the importance of passing to winning games,…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Running Backs

When voting for the GrideFe Hall of Fame, it was important that we looked at players through the prism of their era and didn’t try to put modern restrictions on players operating in a different context than today’s. With rule changes and schematic shifts designed to increase the impact of the passing game, the role and impact of running backs has diminished in recent years. However, for much of NFL history, great backs have played pivotal roles on great offenses and championship teams. Whether they…

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