Friday, January 11, 2008

Eyes on Time

Can you believe it? It's Friday morning, and Eyes in the Backfield is ready! I'm a little stunned myself. Here's a taste of what you can find this week:

Playoffs? Yes, it's playoff time again, and unlike oh so long ago, we supporters of the Blue and White don't have to spend sleepless, angst-ridden nights wondering what will possibly go wrong this year. Jim Mora and Mike Vanderjagt have been long since banished. Super Bowl rings are safely stowed away in lock boxes, and a beautiful banner wafts in the rafters of the soon to be defunct Hoosier Dome (for old time's sake). With the season locked in an inexorable march to the fateful day in Foxborough next week, here's what to watch for from Sunday's game with the Chargers:

1. Watch for revenge - The 2007 Colts may well prove to be one of the great teams of all time. They lost two meaningful games all year. Their first chance to erase one of those losses comes on Sunday. We all know what a farce the first game was, as a series of injuries, weather, and non-repeatable events conspired to sink the Colts. The Horse looks to get payback come Sunday.

You can also check out some more stats from FO courtesy of ESPN.

I'm sure you saw it, but I never get tired about articles about the Zombie. They always make me laugh out loud out of sheer fear.

CHFF picks the Colts, but surprisingly begrudgingly.

Len P says Ed Johnson is under the radar.

Chargers fans put up their look alikes. There are many pages of them, but the one half-way down on page three is sort of cool. Kit Fisto rules.

It's official. This site is crap and we are morons. What else can I conclude if Bill Simmons agrees with us?

Dr Z. defends his Reggie Wayne pick with a brilliant chart.

Scouts talk about Chargers/Colts and mention Gary Brackett.

I love stuff that rips the media.

FO does a great breakdown of the AFC weekend. Honestly, getting this level of FO coverage of your game is one of the best parts of the playoffs. I love a site that doesn't pretend like stats exist in a vacuum, but rather seeks to understand and asks the all important question: Why?

This pleases me greatly. Most of you won't care.

Demond Sanders: CHFF is too married to their own stats. If AV makes that kick the Chargers are suddenly 2-4 against "quality opponents" and the Colts are 5-2. But you can't count that last Titans game, can you? Let's make it 5-1. Claiming Indy's offense isn't explosive is a little ridiculous. Tony Ugoh's return means everything. Just look at the way they splattered the Ravens and Texans a couple weeks ago.

Last year's team had the element of surprise, something the Colts hadn't had before in the playoffs. People had written them off. This year's team won't surprise anyone because it has no major flaws. Luckily, the Patriots have stolen 99% of the media's attention. The remaining one percent is divided between Tony Romo, Jessica Simpson, and Brett Favre. I think this helps the players stay focused and if anything gives them a mental edge. I like where they stand right now.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't realized that Adam V has not made a FG longer than 40 this year.

Bob M. said...

Demond could not have said it better.
I don't always agree with FO (I mean, Week 17 stats are useless in MANY cases, but not all, making it very subjective to correct for that issue. I also think they over-weight ST.) and there's really no injury correction, so DVOA thinks Sunday's Colts team will be essentially the same one that faced KC. Uh... no. But at least the humans at FO overlay their personal take on DVOA and point out what might make things different that the rankings project. Unlike the meatheads at CHFF. They carved their niche and are left sitting in it for better or worse. Mass-holes

Bob M. said...

Ah, the bulletin board material. Let's just say I expect Clinton Hart to ride the pine after giving up a couple TDs on Sunday after saying this about Marvin:

“We don’t expect 88 to be as effective as he’s accustomed to being, you know, with his knee bothering him, because we’re going to hit him,” Chargers safety Clinton Hart said. “If he catches it, we’re going to hit him. So we think he may be a decoy, if he’s out there.”

If he left it at the first thought about the injury and recovery, it's fine, but then comes the "because we’re going to hit him" and "decoy" stuff. Just the kind of thing to stoke the fires in a competitor's gut.

I hope he's reading from the Book of Vanderjagt, particularly Chapter 2004: "Ripe for the Picking."

Deshawn Zombie said...

FO makes it clear that their stats are not necessarily predictive (which is why they don't pick games). CHFF thinks that 3 seasons of data of 'quality wins' means something just because it worked really well once or twice. FO actually debunked the usefulness of 'quality wins' as a predictive stat a few years ago.

Dave H said...

Kit Fisto is good, but I love the Jeff Saturday/Billy Mays one.

"We have a person foul, 15 yards, illegal use of Oxy Clean"

Dave H said...

P.S. Should be a great game, really scared of the two Indy x-factors, Clark and Anthony Gonzalez. An of course Bob Sanders is the most powerful force in the entire universe.

People are selling Rivers short, but I think he'll put up a decent game. PR stat of the day:

20 TDs and 0 INTs in the red zone in his career.

Bob M. said...

Dave, that is an awesome stat, one of those "nobody can ever match it" ones like Brady's 9-0 career playoff record to start things off. (okay, that one is more impressive, but it's also more of a team stat) 20/0 ... I am surprisd I hadn't heard that in the media this week.

But how many of those 20 Red Zone TDs were to Gates? Off the top of my head I'll guess more than half. That could be a problem.

It's also slightly misleading--Indy intercepted him in the EZ last game (cough, inadvertent whistle, cough), it's just that he threw it from beyond the Red Zone.

Anonymous said...

the red zone 20/0 comment...didn't clint session pick off that pass (in the endzone, LOS in the redzone) in the earlier matchup, where he took off the chargers' player's back?

Dave H said...

Yeah, Sessions got that pick, but it was thrown from beyond the 20 yard line, so it technically didn't count as a "red zone pick." I like this Sessions guy, BTW, why is it that the Colts always have these good backups? I was at that game, and not to sound wierd, but you could see his huge thighs during warm-ups.

That stat is almost a month old, so it could have changed since then. Missing Gates is definately gonna suck, my guess is that they will pull out the LT pass play to compensate, since they have only done it once this year.

Dave H said...

If you guys can just contain Sproles and not throw the ball to Crime Time Cromartie, should be a win for the Colts.

Audibles will definately be affected by the dome noise. But as we have seen this season, strange thing happen. Hopefully the Jags will take care of the Patsies and make everyone happy.

Great job on the blog, Have a great football weekend, Go Bolts!

War MNF at Nick's Enlgish Hut, Bloomington.

Jacob Burch said...

glad to have an intelligent opposition in the comments (hear that jc! ;-)). reading some of the other threads on that charger forum hurt my head (there's a 70+ page thread that write off keiaho, hagler, ugoh and AG as minor losses).

granted, i'm sure there's stupidity in spades on colts forums.

billy mays/saturday was epic.

Bob M. said...

dave, why aren't there many Pats fans like you? Nice chatting.

Is Crime Time really Cromatrie's nick-name? Because he steals passes, or something else? (Clearly there's the Deion sanders echo there....)

Marik K said...

I laugh at Jeremy Green, who proudly and definitively espousing on Sportscenter that Jacksonville doesn't get blown out. If he meant against New England, then hey, maybe so. If he means overall, 29-7 on MNF down in Jax by the Colts debunks that.

Also, take a cough drop bro. You sound like you came from a chain smoker's convention.

Poor SD, people still think they have "the most talented roster"? Rivers is horrible, their recivers STILL suck, their line is good for run blocking and that's it.

There's six guys that would start on most any roster, and four are on defense. Merri-steroid-man, Shaun Phillips(Al Michaels is a dumbass for blaming Peyton for that pick that he had where he blew into a screen pass and tipped it to himself), Cromartie and Jamal Williams. The rest suck.

Outside of Gates and LaDannian, who the hell would scare you on the Chargers O? Nobody.

AND their kicker is as anti-clutch as you can get. Rember that Jets game way back when, when he missed TWO game winning field goals from near-gimme range? The choke job last year?

Do people think that SD's roster has more talent than New England? Indy? Really?

Must be all that sun burning the brains of the sports media.

Dave H said...

Thanks for the compliment, Bob, "inelligent Pats fan" is something of an oximoron from my experience.

But yeah, Crime Time is the new thing for Cromartie:

Freakin Jags, they just didn't have it in them!