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  • You heard it here 1st!

    http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com...edictions.html

    ENJOY!

    The Waterboy's Completely Horrified Predictions
    Cold, Hard Football Facts for August 23, 2011

    By Luis DeLoureiro
    The Waterboy

    Today we are going to give you some of our predictions for the 2011 season. More will come in later articles.

    We were going to refer to the article as “Waterboy’s Fearless Predictions”. But, we Googled “fearless predictions NFL” and received about 212,000 results. So, we also considered “Waterboy’s Wild Guesses as to How the 2011 Season Will Play Out” -- fewer Google hits, but a tad too long.

    In the interest of both brevity and non-conformity, we settled on “Waterboy’s Completely Horrified Predictions." Kind of flows….no?

    So, below are a couple of thoughts/predictions for the 2011 season, definitely worth the paper they're not printed on.



    ONE:
    Let's cut right to the chase and tell you that The Waterboy’s selection for Super Bowl Champion is the San Diego Chargers.

    Why the Chargers?

    For one, it would be too easy to choose the Packers, Eagles, Patriots, Steelers or Saints. Everyone is choosing one of those teams.

    By now, everyone has heard that the Chargers led the NFL in both offensive yards gained (6,329) and defensive yards allowed (4,345).

    As we have said many times at CHFF, traditional volume stats mean very little. However, a review of our Quality Stats supports what the volume stats suggest.

    The 2010 San Diego Chargers may have been the best non-playoff team in NFL history.

    The Chargers finished in the top 10 in Passing Yards per Attempt (1st), Defensive Hog Index (1st), Passer Rating Differential (3rd), Defensive Passer Rating (4th) and Scoreability (8th).

    The only other team to finish in the top 10 in each of these indicators was the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Of the other six teams that finished in the top 10 in three of the metrics, only the Giants missed the playoffs. (No team finished in the top 10 in exactly four of the metrics).

    So, how did the 2010 Chargers fail?

    You don’t need to look any further than our Bendability stat to see what doomed San Diego’s season. (Bendability is the team-wide measurement of ability to keep opponents off the scoreboard). The Chargers finished 28th in Bendability.

    The low ranking was the result of a special teams unit that surrendered a league high four combined kick-off and punt returns for TDs.

    One would think that with such positive metrics elsewhere, the Chargers would have been able to overcome the horrible Bendability ranking. However, not only was San Diego’s special teams unit historically bad, but they also had the timing of Abba at a rave.

    In Week 1, the Chargers surrendered a kickoff return touchdown in a seven point loss to the Chiefs. Two weeks later, they gave up two Leon Washington kickoff returns for touchdowns in a 27-20 loss. And, in Week 5, the Raiders blocked a punt for a touchdown in a game Oakland won by eight points.

    That’s three losses that can be directly linked to special teams mistakes. They finished one game behind the AFC West Champion Chiefs.

    Why does The Waterboy pick the Chargers to win the Super Bowl?

    Because:

    •They are outstanding on both sides of the ball
    •Philip Rivers seems to improve with every game. He’s been playing at an elite level for the last three years – leading the league in YPA and surpassing 100 in QB rating each year.
    •Rivers can put the team on his back – helping the Chargers overcome Norv Turner’s usual shortcomings (this one is purely subjective – but it sounds reasonable)
    •And, there’s absolutely NO WAY the Chargers special teams will throw away three games. No way! It can’t happen.
    The Chargers have made an annual habit out of peaking late. If they can avoid the early failures that buried them in 2010, they can make a run in 2011.


    TWO:
    It’s well known that every year the NFL experiences a year-over-year turnover of five to six playoff teams. And, every August - lacking the originality and creativity to think of new topics - conformist writers, bloggers and pundits tell us which playoff teams from the year before will miss the party, who will replace them and why.

    With that said, here’s who we think will crash the 2011 playoff party (please note the originality of that last sentence).

    First, the AFC…..

    The AFC seems to be pretty straightforward – with a pretty clear delineation between the conference’s contenders and non-contenders (it seems too clichéd to call them pretenders).

    Logic suggests that the Jets, Patriots, Steelers and Ravens will likely take the East and North divisions – as well as the conference’s two wild card spots. We have to stick with our Super Bowl prediction and suggest that the Chargers will win the West.

    So far, the AFC would have a turnover of only one team – with the Chargers replacing the Chiefs.

    While we don’t expect major turnover in the AFC, we will guess that there will be more than one new team in the playoffs.

    With that said, we’ll grudgingly predict that the Texans will supplant the Colts in the AFC South. (We wanted to predict that the Browns will ride their easy schedule to a Wild Card berth. But, this column already has credibility issues and predicting success for the Browns would likely end it forever).

    Waterboy Official AFC Predictions:
    Division winners – Patriots, Steelers, Texans and Chargers
    Wild Cards – Jets and Ravens

    Now, the NFC

    In the top-heavy NFC, only two teams – the Vikings and Panthers – can be written off with any level of confidence. The Redskins could join Minnesota and Carolina, but an easy schedule may keep them in the conversation.

    Because much of the NFL world turns to this column for sage NFL advice, we’ll try to dig through the noise and tell you which NFC teams will emerge.

    The NFC West will be a crapshoot.

    The Cardinals and 49ers made major changes at quarterback – Arizona traded for Kevin Kolb - and coaching – San Francisco hired Jim Harbaugh, the most sought after coach of the 2011 off-season. Sam Bradford and the Rams should continue to improve and the Seahawks are the defending champs.

    We’ll go with the Rams, not just because Bradford appears to be the league’s next great quarterback (that’s known as hyperbole in the literary world), but also, St, Louis returns most of a defense that finished 2010 ninth in Defensive Passer Rating and tied for seventh in the Defensive Hog Index.

    We’re not going to go on too much of a limb with the rest of the NFC. We’ll take the Saints, Packers and, in a mild surprise, the Giants as division winners (despite missing the playoffs the last two years, the Giants have actually excelled in many Quality Stats). We believe the Eagles and Cowboys (by a hair over the Bears, Falcons and Bucs) will round out the field as the Wild Cards.

    Waterboy Official NFC Predictions:
    Division winners – Giants, Packers, Saints and Rams
    Wild Cards – Cowboys and Eagles

    The final tally is five new playoff teams – the Texans, Chargers, Giants, Rams and Cowboys will replace the Colts, Chiefs, Bears, Falcons and Seahawks.

    (So much for our theory of one team coming from out of nowhere).


    THREE:
    The Waterboy predicts that Chris Johnson will get a new contract with the Titans and lead the team to 7-9 wins – rendering one of the biggest stories of the offseason one of the biggest non-stories of the 2011 season.

    That doesn’t mean Johnson’s holdout hasn’t had some entertainment value.

    Last week, Tennessee owner Bud Adams said, “I’m not going to make any offers the way he’s acting. Life’s too short.”

    (OK….so, this one is more of a rant than a prediction).

    Life’s too short?

    Adams is the same guy who essentially spent 1986 – 1996 threatening to move the Houston Oilers to any city with a Starbucks. He finally moved the Oilers to Tennessee in 1997. In the team’s first three years there, they played in three stadiums in two cities and had two different names.

    But, somehow, life’s too short to pay one of his players 1.4% above his perceived market value…..


  • #2
    http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com...2C_Part_2.html
    More?


    The Waterboy's Completely Horrified Predictions, Part 2
    Cold, Hard Football Facts for August 30, 2011

    By Luis Deloureiro
    Cold, Hard Football Facts Deputy Assistant Back-Up to the Assistant

    With Irene charging up the east coast, this weekend was dedicated to hunkering down and preparing the homestead for her vicious combination of wind and rain.

    Of course, preparing the homestead consisted of moving the family wagon – with a rusted out muffler and 170,000 miles – within eight feet of the basketball hoop and removing all weight from the hoop’s base.

    Alas, Irene hit the Waterboy's headquarters in Northern Massachusetts with less enthusiasm than expected – making insurance fraud more difficult than originally anticipated.

    One would think that with our fertile NFL minds pre-occupied by the storm, we would be unable to come up with yet another clever topic to follow up last week’s Waterboy – "The Waterboy's Completely Horrified Predictions.”

    Fear not. Our dedication to our fans has once again trumped all – including anything nature could throw our way. As such, we bring you this week’s totally original edition of the Waterboy - “The Waterboy's Completely Horrified Predictions – Part Two”.

    Below are a couple more thoughts/predictions for the 2011 season ... read here for part one.


    ONE – MVP
    The Waterboy's choice for NFL MVP is Philip Rivers.

    Why?

    Mostly because you would stop reading if we said it would be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning – who have combined to win the last four awards.

    But also, Philip Rivers has put up numbers in the last three years that even Brady and Manning couldn’t match.

    The table below shows Rivers’s rank among NFL quarterbacks in two key statistics: Passer Rating and Passing Yards Per Attempt (YPA) - which very closely correlates with offensive points scored.



    As the table above indicates, he has dominated YPA and finished in the top three each year in QB Rating.

    In the last three years combined, Rivers is first overall in each of these metrics. His combined three-year YPA is 8.62 – almost two-thirds of a yard ahead of second place Aaron Rodgers (7.99). And his three-year passer rating is 103.8 – slightly ahead of Brady (103.1). Brady’s average is based on only two years because he missed most of the 2008 season with an injury.

    Did we cherry pick the stats? You bet.

    But, his traditional metrics are outstanding as well.

    Looking at the last three years combined, Rivers ranks third in total passing yards with 12,973 - behind Drew Brees (14,077) and Manning (13,202) - and third in touchdown passes with 92 – again behind Brees (101) and Manning (93).

    The MVP trophy has eluded him for a few reasons – with the two most prominent being Brady and Manning. Another major obstacle has been San Diego’s inconsistent play the last three years.

    So, we’ve spent the last 400 or so words telling you about how good Rivers has been the last three years.

    How does that translate to an MVP trophy in 2011? We already predicted team success for the Chargers in part one of our predictions. So, lack of team success won’t be an issue. And Manning is entering the 2011 season with injury issues.

    If Rivers performs the way he has the last three years, he has a good chance to unseat Brady as the league MVP ... of course, this is all contingent upon Brady playing like a human being in 2010 – instead of whatever that was that threw 36 touchdowns and four interceptions last season.

    Other possibilities: Brady, Manning, Chris Johnson, Mike Vick, Aaron Rodgers

    Dark Horse: Ben Roethlisberger

    Really Dark Horse: Matt Stafford (we don’t really believe this one, but we’ll look really good if it happens), Darrelle Revis (see Stafford, Matt)

    TWO – Comedown Player of the Year
    Before we proceed, we do want to say that this award is not for a player who had a ridiculous, record-breaking season and followed that up with merely a great season (think Chris Johnson the last two years). This is for a player who had what appeared to be an elite season and follows that up with a mediocre – or bad – season (think Derek Anderson from 2007 to 2008).

    We’ll choose Matt Cassel. Last year, Cassel made the Pro Bowl in a season where his primary job was not to lose the game. He played that role well – earning a QB rating of 93.0 while throwing 27 touchdowns and only seven interceptions and leading the Chiefs to an AFC West Championship.

    But, the Chiefs finished 29th in the NFL in pass attempts – rarely asking Cassel to carry much of the offensive load. With a tougher schedule in 2011, Cassel will likely be asked to take some of the offensive burden off of Jamaal Charles and the running game.

    Our guess is he won’t succeed.

    Further, outside of his touchdown to interception ratio, Cassel’s 2010 statistics didn’t jump off the page. His YPA was 6.92 – 19th in the league – and, while we consider completion percentage an overrated statistic, his 58.2% was good for only 26th in the league.

    Other possibilities: Jay Cutler, Josh Freeman, Brandon Lloyd, Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Steve Johnson

    THREE – First Head Coach to be Fired
    The chalk answer seems to be that this is a toss-up between Jack Del Rio and Gary Kubiak.

    But, we predicted a division championship for the Texans. Therefore, we obviously don’t believe Kubiak will lose his job.

    And, there’s an unwritten rule that coaches buy at least a year of job security if they draft a first-round QB – or, maybe, we just made that up.

    Regardless, the Jaguars will probably give Del Rio some leash while Gabbert develops.

    So, by process of elimination, we’ll go with Tony Sparano in Miami.

    We believe the Dolphins are one of the worst run franchises in the NFL. While Sparano does not have final say on most decisions, he will be the scapegoat when the result of those decisions is another season without a playoff berth.

    Other possibilities:Norv Turner (if we’re wrong about San Diego’s level of success), Tom Coughlin

    FOUR – NFC Champion
    We’ve already predicted a Super Bowl championship for San Diego – so we’ll just let you guess who we predict will come out of the AFC.

    In the NFC, we’ll pick the Eagles. While we feel that the “Dream Team” moniker is overdoing it, the Eagles have added significant pieces – most prominently Nnandi Asomugha (we almost picked the Packers just so we wouldn’t have to spell that) – to a team that finished in the top half in every Cold, Hard Football Facts Quality Stat except Bendability.

    Mike Vick’s fragility is a concern, but the signing of Vince Young gives them the best backup quarterback in the NFL.

    Chargers over the Eagles in the Super Bowl – yep, that’s how we see it.

    FIVE – Andrew Luck’s Landing Spot
    We’re gonna call BS on all of this talk about Jim Harbaugh liking Alex Smith. We don’t buy it.

    Harbaugh has his eyes on Luck – his former quarterback at Stanford.

    OK…..so the 49ers did use a second-round pick on Colin Kaepernick and you don’t usually pick a quarterback in the second round unless you expect him to start. We can’t quite figure out how that fits into our theory – so we’ll ignore it.

    We (maybe in this case we should stop saying “we” and just say the Waterboy – it’s not the most logical argument) believe Harbaugh wants Luck – as do many NFL teams.

    Will the 49ers land the number one spot? Not impossible, but they’re not the most likely candidate. We (see above about using “we” in this prediction) believe Harbaugh will make a major offer to get the top pick.

    The only reason this MAY be a reasonable theory is that most teams in contention for the top pick already have a young quarterback and would probably (possibly? Maybe?) listen to a trade offer……..

    Screw it……it sounded more reasonable before we wrote it down.

    SIX – A Few More Random Predictions
    Biggest Increase in Wins – Cleveland Browns

    Biggest Decrease in Losses – Cleveland Browns (just making sure you were paying attention)

    Biggest Decrease in Wins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Top Fantasy Quarterback – Philip Rivers

    Top Fantasy Running Back – Adrian Peterson

    Top Fantasy Wide Receiver – Andre Johnson

    Coach of Year – No clue (It’s getting late)

    Comeback Player of the Year – Even less of a clue

    Player Most Likely to Disappear for a Couple of Weeks – Dez Bryant

    Player Most Likely to Get Back Together With Kristin Cavallari – Jay Cutler

    And we’re done…….

    Comment


    • #3
      Someone picks them every year and every year San Diego is San Disappointed
      The beatings will continue until morale improves....

      Comment


      • #4
        The 2010 San Diego Chargers may have been the best non-playoff team in NFL history.
        So they pulled off the biggest choke job in history? Well done!!
        Ravens GM 2016 - Ravens are looking to trade down 4-8 spots

        Comment


        • #5
          Same year, different story, overhyped and choke in the playoffs or even don't make it when they have the #1 offense and #1 defense, ROFL.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MHSalute View Post
            So they pulled off the biggest choke job in history? Well done!!
            No that would be the 2007 donkos... Remember that feeling donk fans? Do ya? 5 weeks to go... You could feel it. You just weren't that good. But leading the AFC WEST by 4 games. With 5 weeks to go you got the playoffs locked up right?

            Wrong.... How about playin the superior Chargers to get into the playoffs. Well you got your shot. What happened?

            A twenty point BEAT DOWN. 23-3

            Thats the biggest choke job in my books.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bomb Squad View Post
              No that would be the 2007 donkos... Remember that feeling donk fans? Do ya? 5 weeks to go... You could feel it. You just weren't that good. But leading the AFC WEST by 4 games. With 5 weeks to go you got the playoffs locked up right?

              Wrong.... How about playin the superior Chargers to get into the playoffs. Well you got your shot. What happened?

              A twenty point BEAT DOWN. 23-3

              Thats the biggest choke job in my books.
              Must have been a different reality...2007 we were 5-6 team with 5 left to go and trailing a 7-4 SD team.

              Another story please.
              Ravens GM 2016 - Ravens are looking to trade down 4-8 spots

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MHSalute View Post
                Must have been a different reality...2007 we were 5-6 team with 5 left to go and trailing a 7-4 SD team.

                Another story please.
                LOL ok ok ok... I meant 2008

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MHSalute View Post
                  So they pulled off the biggest choke job in history? Well done!!
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So what to your entire boring post.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We just lost David Binn!

                      The last time that happened (game 1 of last year) we began one of the most frustrating and pathetic seasons in Chargers history.



                      Lets just hope our chances of winning don't go with him...
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am curious, what is this easy schedule that everyone seems to be talking about the Browns having? I've looked several times, I do not see an "easy schedule" in fact, I see a very difficult schedule.

                        1 Sep 11 CIN @ CLE
                        2 Sep 18 CLE @ IND
                        3 Sep 25 MIA @ CLE
                        4 Oct 02 TEN @ CLE
                        5 Bye
                        6 Oct 16 CLE @ OAK
                        7 Oct 23 SEA @ CLE
                        8 Oct 30 CLE @ SF
                        9 Nov 06 CLE @ HOU
                        10 Nov 13 STL @ CLE
                        11 Nov 20 JAC @ CLE
                        12 Nov 27 CLE @ CIN
                        13 Dec 04 BAL @ CLE
                        14 Dec 08 CLE @ PIT
                        15 Dec 18 CLE @ ARI
                        16 Dec 24 CLE @ BAL
                        17 Jan 01 PIT @ CLE

                        At best I see the Browns winning 4-5 games.
                        The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

                        The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Puddleglum View Post
                          We just lost David Binn!

                          The last time that happened (game 1 of last year) we began one of the most frustrating and pathetic seasons in Chargers history.



                          Lets just hope our chances of winning don't go with him...
                          So this is a Binn there done that moment.
                          Ravens GM 2016 - Ravens are looking to trade down 4-8 spots

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bomb Squad View Post
                            LOL ok ok ok... I meant 2008
                            Biggest choke jobs by Denver:

                            1. 2006 - by HC Mike Shanny - Fires his DC (who had 9th ranked defense), drafts Cutler instead of Ngata, then goes on to Bench a starting QB on a 7-4 team. Fail, Fail, Fail

                            2. 1996 - loss to Jags - we were the superior team by a large degree.

                            3. 2008 - Up 13 points against a bad Buffalo team and a chance to lock in a playoff spot, we fold. However, I believe Hillis injury against KC cost us a playoffs spot.
                            Last edited by MHSalute; 08-30-2011, 02:16 PM.
                            Ravens GM 2016 - Ravens are looking to trade down 4-8 spots

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Still trying to remember the last time the Charges actually won a SuperBowl
                              We all know they lost to the 49ers in 95.
                              Hmmm.... I am still trying to remember a win.
                              Wait they have only gone 1 time.
                              Are you telling me all this smack talk for all these years from Charger fans and they only went to the big game one time and lost.

                              I wash my hands of Charger fans.

                              They just are not worth my time.

                              Go lose a few more Super Bowls and win at least one before you go on a board and try and talk smack.
                              Try the Bills Board at least they have a worse losing record than your team!
                              Thanks for the Sig "rjent"sigpic

                              Comment

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