The Weekly League: Notes and Ideas for Wild Card Play

This week's edition of The Weekly League features more links than all my gold chains combined.

New Orleans at Seattle | Saturday, January 08 | 4:30pm ET
Four Factors

• Neither of these teams, you'll notice, "should" have a winning percentage above .500.
• The Seahawks, in fact, "should" have the fourth-worst record in the entire NFL.
• Question: Does this -- that is, the fact that Seattle's in the playoffs and even playing at home -- does this delegitimize the current NFL playoff structure?
• Answer: No.
• Reason: Sport is defined by constraints (i.e. rules) agreed upon by the majority of participants. Occasionally, those constraints produce peculiar outcomes, but they're never objectively bad outcomes.

New York Jets at Indianapolis | Saturday, January 08 | 8:00pm ET
Four Factors

Peyton Manning's Five Best Video Things
5. On the Set of 300
4. Halftime Locker-Room Dance
3. Priceless Peptalk
2. New World MasterCard
1. United Way

Baltimore at Kansas City | Sunday, January 09 | 1:00pm ET
Four Factors

• Fact: Jamaal Charles runs like a boss.
• One way you'll notice is by how he finished second in the NFL (to Danny Woodhead) with 0.17 EPA/P -- this, despite playing behind a considerably less impressive line than Woodhead.
• Another way you'll notice is by how he averaged 6.4 yards per every one of his 230 carries -- this, even as teammate Thomas Jones averaged only 3.7 YPC in roughly the same amount of attempts.
• That's more yards per attempt for Charles than all but 11 qualified quarterbacks -- including the Chiefs' own Matt Cassel.
• Minimax that, ya nerds.

Green Bay at Philadelphia | Sunday, January 09 | 4:30pm ET
Four Factors

• Observation: bringing up the "meaning" of Michael Vick in a mixed crowd -- like, among co-workers or fellow jury panelists, or whatever -- is one of the most effective means to the end of having a terrible conversation.
• One person says, "He's still a terrible guy. He killed those dogs, like, only six years ago."
• Another person says, "No, he's redeemed himself. He's a changed person."
• A third person punches his own self in the head.
• That third person is Carson Cistulli.

The Four Factors you see for each game represent each team's raw performance thus far in four important categories (pass and rush efficiency, pass and rush efficiency against) relative to league average (where 100 is league average and anything above is good).

Along with the Four Factors, there two are other numbers: Generic Win Probability (GWP) and Game Probability (PROB). The GWP is the probability a team would beat the league average team at a neutral site. It can be found for all teams here. The PROB is each respective team's chance of winning this particular contest. Your host, Brian Burke, provides PROBs to the New York Times each week, and those numbers (along with methodology) can be found here.

Finally, a glossary of all unfamiliar terms can be found here.

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3 Responses to “The Weekly League: Notes and Ideas for Wild Card Play”

  1. syh says:

    With all these links I was really hoping we'd get one to a video of Carson punching himself in the head. Sigh.

  2. Giles says:

    Three upset wins? Any given Sunday (or Saturday) indeed. Or maybe those much discussed Efficiency stats weren't that inaccurate after all with a 29th ranked team beating a 20th ranked team being the only 'upset'.

    It is interesting that it will be 2 divisional match ups in the AFC next week. As much as I dislike the Pats I will be cheering for them just so I don't have to listen to Rex Ryan run his mouth any more.

    In the meantime Seattle continue to screw themselves out of a decent draft pick :)

    All in all an interesting start to the post season.

  3. Anonymous says:

    One note about Jamaal Charles. There were questions about his health after Cody fell on top of him during the fumble. After that point he didn't seem to be 100%. Also, 0 targets for the league leader in TD recs. Dwayne Bowe...

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