In response to Low-FB-IQ's comment:
I never realised how many statisticans we have on this website.
First we have passer ratings , then wait, QBR is better.? Oh wait doesn't Troy Aikmen have his own methodology for QB ratiings? Statisticians are always changing their methodology and arguing about who's way is best or what matters most. Especially when it doesn't go the way they want or predict.
Oh well we need to tweak the computer algorithms more because Notre Dame ended up #1 AFTER getting crushed. I know I mentioned it alot but to me personally it really is hilarious and shows just how useless the stats things is most times.
No lets draw a line in the sand here and not include that set of numbers. We only want to use this set of numbers. No wait lets put our finger in the air and check the wind and make the criteria this instead of that from now on, etc etc.
They will finagle it until they get what they want and then rest on that until the game changes and those predictions or consistency starts to not fair so well anymore and then yet again change how they calculate them all over again.
Sorry for the font change, worked on it in notepad and changed when pasted it in.
very simplistic view of some stats
2011 unit rankings
NE Pats 31st (6577)
Giants 27th (6022)
Difference of 4 spots and 555 yards
NE Pats 2nd (6848)
Giants 8th (6161)
Difference of 6 spots and 687 yards
Pats offense gained 419 more yards than the Giants allowed in the regular season
Giants offense gained 139 more yards than the Pats allowed in the regular season
So even though the "stats" ,which I still believe are mostly just BS without tons of sport specific context to them, show the Pats offense disparity over the giants D should have allowed them to fair better over the giants than the Giants offense over the Pats D.... You could argue it from the other angle as well. Let's call it a wash for the sake of the following...
People have been throwing around Points Per Drive. I was curious so I went and calculated it myself and used apples to apples(as much as possible) not the entire season. I used the Pats and Giants offensive and Defensive end of season unit rankings for both yards & points scored or allowed per game as the bench mark respectively. So I used 4 opponents offensive of defensive unit for each calculation that happened to play the Patriots that season who were VERY similarly ranked or more often better. I did not care, compare, or include how the offense did in PPD vs a defense that was far worse than the Giants for example. The same for the Pats D. I did not include how they performed against offense's far worse than the Giants ranked.
I also used "ALL" the numbers. I did not draw a line in the sand and lop off possessions at the end of a half or game that were a bunch of kneel downs for either side. Sorry I do not belive in that. I do not think it is any more hurtful to the PPD number for the offense to kneel than it is for the PPD numbers of a defense when it gives up garbage points with a 4 possession lead at the end of the game when it doesn't matter and there is no intensity left in the game. So every possesion is included.
Here is how it came out.
((TOTAL defense rankings))
giants defense 27th ranked
O vs Giants reg sea
13 possessions - 1.53 ppd
O vs colts 25th ranked in reg season
11 possessions - 2.81 ppd
O vs Buffalo 26th ranked defense
11 possessions - 3.90 ppd (* -6 from 49 for pick 6 *)
14 possessions - 2.41 ppd
avg ppd of 2.66(using total D) vs SB of 1.88 = offense underperformed by .78 ppd
((Points Per Game Allowed defense rankings))
O vs giants 25th using pts/g
13 possessions - 1.53 ppd
O vs chargers 22nd ranked
11 possessions - 3.18 ppd
O vs jets 20th ranked
12 possessions - 3.08 ppd
11 possessions - 2.72 ppd
avg ppd of 2.62(using pts/g) vs SB of 1.88 = offense underperformed by .74 ppd
((combined similar defense rankings))
O Scored 2.64 ppd(combined similar D's) in regular seasons vs SB of 1.88 = offense underperformed by .76 ppd compared to how they performed in regular season against similarly ranked defensive units as the Giants had
Patriots defensive production versus offenses of similar statistical caliber as the Giants
((TOTAL offense rankings))
D vs San Diego 6th ranked
10 possessions - 2.1 ppd
D vs Philadelphia 4th ranked
11 possessions - 1.81 ppd
D vs Giants 8th ranked
13 possessions - 1.85 ppd
D vs Oakland 9th ranked
9 possessions - 2.11 ppd
avg ppd of 1.97 (using total offense rank) vs SB of 2.11 ppd = defense underperformed by .14 ppd
((Points Per Game Scored rankings))
D vs San Diego 5th ranked
10 possessions - 2.1 ppd
D vs Philadelphia 8th ranked
11 possessions - 1.81 ppd
D vs Giants 9th ranked
13 possessions - 1.85 ppd
D vs Baltimore 12th ranked
11 possessions - 1.81 ppd (** AFCCG - all other games regular season ***)
avg ppd of 1.89 (using pts/g scored) vs SB of 2.11 ppd = defense underperformed by .22 ppd
((combined similar offense rankings))
D Gave up 1.93 ppd(combined similar offenses) in regular season vs SB of 2.11 = defense underperformed by .18 ppd compared to how they performed in regular season against similarly ranked offensive units as the Giants had
It seems to me that both units underachieved compared to the regular season. ...but as I have maintained strictly with the eyeball test, these numbers also appear to show the offense underachieved more than the defense did.
Now anyone can go off on me and argue its all flawed the way I did it for this or that reason. I won't really push back because I frankly do not believe in all this stat BS. It's possible the way I did it is flawed(even possible i just made a couple calculation mistakes but tried to be careful), although seems good enough for me. I would simply say I have a similar view, if you don't like the methodology, in regards to the the stats you seem to enjoy. I don't think any of the methodologies account for enough football context to the stats.
Just my opinion. ...but I did enjoy seeing "these" stats tell me what my eyes witnessed.
Yes, you did do that wrong. NE's actuall PPD (which discounts end of half drives that are statistically irrelevant, was 2.79 on the season by their offense. That was ranked 3rd.
NE's PPD by the defense was 1.91, which was 21st.
In the Superbowl their PPD was 2.13 and 2.38 respectively.
The ranking for these scores against the rest of the NFL would have been 7th best by the offense. Such a score by a defense would have been ranked 30th.
So basically , in a MEANINGFUL CONTEXT that shows what such a performance would have been ranked against what you can expect an offense and defense to do over a large series average (not a cherry picked group) demonstrates that while both units underperformed their average, against those expectations one was simply terrible while another was actually very efficient.
A ppd of 2.13 is very efficient by NFL standards. A ppd of 2.38 for a defense is a butt whooping.
Put back into a more digestible context (which is something that clearly needs to be done for people who have trouble thinking abstractly) these scores over an *average* NFL game (which is what league averages represent) amount to a final score of:
Both are a very good performance by the offense, the Giants' actually elite.
And yes is IS meaningful as a statistic because it gives meaning to a game that was low scoring by one team's execution and game plan. Basically the Giants implemented this strategy based on the very math we are talking about. NE's *averages* were much higher than theirs, so they would like to shorten the game to their advantage.
If they played each other to an infinite number of drives, NE would over the course of time, prove victorious. But in the real world, the team with the worse offense and better defense has options to attempt to do that. The Giants have basically done it to NE twice in a row.
It's quite intelligent because it really leans on the crux of the defenses' problem in 2010-2011: as bad as their stats looked, they were actually much worse during the regular season as well. Most teams, when faced against NE would panic, and start passing frenetically to keep up with the threat potential of NE's offense. This actually would *feed* NE's strategy in two ways: it keeps the game alive, allowing NE's offense more chances overall to score, and it makes the other team one dimensional, increasing the chance that they will turn it over.
This is exactly why two things happened. 1.) NE scored less than it did on average. 2.) NE's defense didn't get any of the turnovers they usually get via interception.
The Giants just played it conservative and *took* the copious yards and clock time NE's defense was going to give them.
Why doesn't NE use this strategy? Well, for one obivous fact, the Giants defense was much, much better than NEs was. During the regular season they were hampered by injuries (much like the Baltimore defense NE is about to face) the most of which being significant loss of time by Justin Tuck (both of whom had 3.5 sacks in the playoffs) which had an immense impact on how their defense would be run. Those players ARE NYs defense, without them it is really very ordinary.
But in games (like SB46) where both Tuck and Osi were on the field, the Giants only let up and elite 16.75 ppg. That PPG converted into PPD puts them on par with Baltimore at ~1.29 PPD, good for a 3rd best ranking in the NFL.
Under no circumstances do I view a defense that has JPP, Tuck, Osi, Linval Joseph, Chris Canty, Amukamara, Rolle, Phillips, etcetera, anything less than elite when they are at full strength. Their front five are the best in football, bar none. Bar none. Four probowl players on a four man line is just insane.
Why does that matter? Because that is the defense NE faced (without Gronkowski, and with Mankins working on a torn ACL). And they still managed to play as efficiently as they did.
As far as your contention that one unit underperformed its standards more than the other: its irrelevant to (as you've said) making stats meaningful as a corrective practice.
Saying: OK, our defense sucks all the time ... so give em a pass ... isn't going to talk about the real issue. The defense sucked all the time in 2011 and 2010. It was no surprise they sucked in the Superbowl.
But it is also no way to run a team. If your entire game rides on one unit performing at an elite level (it makes no difference if it is average for them or not) or greater to win a game, and even when they are very good (the SB) its not good enough, then you have a fundamental flaw.
NE's offense is much better than it was earlier in the decade. They score more and turn the ball over less in the playoffs against elite defenses and in the regular season against the field. Their defense is much worse, though. They give up more points, create fewer turnovers, etc.
As I've said before, there is a strucural imbalance about that 2010-11 team, but it was offense to defense. Teams this imbalanced (80s Bears, for instance, or 2000s Ravens, 2010's Packers and Saints, and yes, 2010s Patriots) who have lots of talent, but clustered on one side of the ball don't win consistently in the post-season. They may come home with a trophy, but teams that actually string them together have talent on both sides of the ball, so when one unit underperforms another can pick it up.
If you assert (which is the upshot of what I'm getting from you) that NE's defense stunk in the regular season, and just stunk a little bit more in that game, then you are basically saying what I am saying: NE didn't deserve to win a Superbowl because as a *team* they weren't as good as the competition.
If NE's defense had played to it's average they would have still lost 18-17. If NE's offense had been elite (their usual), then they would have won 22-21. It doesn't take away from the fact that NE's defense against the NFL average, was terrible, and the offense against the NFL was very, very good (especially against a defense that talented, I mean they held GB to 20 points over 11 drives, which is just an elite performance against an offense that was even better than NEs).
And yeha, I don't really care what "eyes" see, at least other people's eyes. I watch the game at a micro level, I don't wait for the score at the end and decide.
What I saw was what the stats also show. The offense was pretty efficient, making a good score given their chances, and more or less executing. The defense was essentially helpless. After they allowed the Giants to score a TD and essentially consume all of the first quarter (11+ minutes) I knew that NE was going to be under a tremendous amount of pressure to score and score fast in that game.
NE's best (haha) defensive drive was a 7 and out that ate up 4:31 of clock time -- they literally didn't have a single "plus" drive. No short drives that are a quick turnover, no 3 and outs, and no turnovers they could bring back for points or incredibly short field position.
NE's offense, yes, had four bad drives, the INT (which was essentially a 5 and punt) that landed the Giants on their own 8, and yeah, the safety on the very first play which was a bad drive to be sure and a three and out. But they also had four positive drives, three resulting in scores (one being 96 yards before the half, draining all the time) and one 5:41 drive leaving the Giants at their own 12 with 3 and half minutes to go in the 4th ... a rock solid clock killing drive.
It's my contention that a few more drives, given the laws of averages (haha) would have netted at least one positive drive by the defense (can you really go 12 drives without one three and out??? Maybe they could have, lol). And it would have likely resulted in another 7-10 points by the offense. In short the defense was so very bad they likely would have done something "good" to mitigate such a terrible performance across the board, and the offense, even at that average, would have been "enough". But of course, guaranteeing that would have required the defense to put in a couple positive drives before hand.
What you've basically done is stripped the stats from a meaningful frame of reference, and just said unit a underperformed its standards, and unit b underperformed but a little less, without noting that within a context of what you *SHOULD* expect from an average NFL team ... unit a actually performed efficiently, and unit b was a total train wreck. In short, you made the statistics non-metrical. Which does render them meaningless, because they are floating in air.