SI Article on NFL Passing

A couple weeks ago I was invited to participate in a Sports Illustrated article roundtable to discuss the increase in NFL passing yards and effectiveness. It was hosted by Peter King, and the participants included Saints coach Sean Payton, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, Titans defensive coordinator Gerry Gray, Bengals QB Andy Dalton. Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey also participated but spoke with King at a separate time.

I tried my best to be quiet and learn, preferring to be thought an idiot than speaking and removing all doubt. But I couldn't hide for long. Full disclosure, the final comment attributed to me was actually me quoting Coach Leach. After the others signed off the call, I was asked what I thought was most interesting, so I cited some of Leach's earlier comments.

The roundtable was the basis for an article in a recent issue of SI, and the online version is here.

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2 Responses to “SI Article on NFL Passing”

  1. Jim Glass says:

    Wow, such an invite shows you're making an impact on the world, both for yourself and on behalf of the statistical analysis community. Congratulations.

  2. Jim Glass says:

    Further kudos in that you, who spoke least, were it seemed the only one who actually addressed the subject "why is offense up *this year*?". Everyone else went on and on about how there is more passing in recent years. Kids throw more in high school this days. Big revelation. But what about this year?

    One thing nobody mentioned is: after a hot start things probably will cool down (much less "regression to the mean").

    Teams are scoring more points per game (44.6 through Sunday)

    Actually in the first five weeks they scored over 46 per game. But in the last four weeks it's been 42 -- pretty much exactly normal for recent years.

    In 2010 no team averaged more than 288.1 yards through the air. Through Sunday of Week 8 the top three passing teams are stratospherically higher: The Saints were throwing for 326.8 per game, the Patriots for 324.7 and the Packers for 323.4.

    Though over the last two weeks they've all combined averaged only 253.

    Maybe in a couple years all them big names will be talking about how they were invited by you to a conference.

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