Statistical Gibberish Getting Out Of HandFebruary 10th, 2013
In what Joe is convinced is one of the great baloney-peddling businesses of the 21st century, ProFootballFocus.com continues to have its brand of mysterious statistical gibberish infect the lives of everyday football fans.
Per ProFootballFocus.com, the business claims it takes 250 hours to do its massive weekly breakdown of every player in every NFL game. However, the site claims it only has three analysts grading players. Do the math. That’s a few supremely overworked dudes right there.
Hell, NFL team staffers don’t even break down that much film. But wait, ProFootballFocus.com admits it doesn’t use coaches film, only TV copies of games. (Hmm, the site touts its pass coverage statistical data and rankings without a full view of what’s going on.)
That brings Joe to Tampa Tribune Bucs beat writer Woody Cummings’ reference of PFF in a notebook yesterday. PFF loves Mason Foster in pass coverage, though Cummings points out that former player turned analyst Tim Ryan strongly disagrees.
PFF has come up with another of its signature statistics, this one detailing the effectiveness of second-level defenders in pass coverage. According to their figures, Foster was better than any linebacker in the league in coverage in 2012.
PFF has Foster in on 328 passing downs but allowing only seven first downs or touchdowns for a 2.13-percent efficiency rating that was best among all linebackers. Foster’s partner in coverage, rookie LB Lavonte David, didn’t fare so well.
According to PFF, David surrendered 26 first downs and four touchdowns in pass coverage, which was fourth-most among linebackers behind Washington’s London Fletcher (38), Cincinnati’s Rey Maualuga (37) and Washington’s Perry Riley (32).
Again, exactly why should Joe believe this data is relevant and accurate?
Yes, Joe has presented PFF data here previously in posts. It’s interesting at times, but please never confuse Joe with someone who believes the information is anything close to gospel.
Months ago, college football-ignorant, popcorn-munching, coffee-slurping, fried-chicken-eating, oatmeal-loving, circle-jerking, beer-chugging Peter King, of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports, said during a podcast that about seven NFL teams pay for PFF data. It was unclear whether the teams are purchasing unique analysis from PFF, or are just acting like the fantasy football and gambling nuts that gobble up $27 PFF subscriptions — aka the opinions of three guys with questionable/unknown qualifications.
As an Internet entrepreneur, Joe admires the accomplishments of PFF. But as a football fan, PFF makes Joe wants to bang his head against a wall.