Monday, January 30, 2012

11 comments Gregg Easterbrook is Constantly Thinks of More Efficient and Inexplicable Ways to Lose a Football Game

After last week's shocking revelation that "The Dark Knight Rises" is going to heavily sway the upcoming election (I bet that's why Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary too! Voters had seen the "TDKR" and thought Bane worked for Mitt Romney) because a character in the movie is named Bane, just like Bain Capital, Gregg has come back this week to say this year's Super Bowl isn't just another boring sequel. Of course, it really isn't a sequel at all because the majority of the players on both teams didn't participate in the 2007 Super Bowl. Gregg doesn't care about details when he is the one making a claim, because he simply wants us to believe what he is writing is the truth.

Don't worry, TMQ isn't all movie and sequel talk this week. Gregg will have criticism of the Ravens and 49ers for daring to lose the AFC and NFC Championship Games, which I know is all we tune into TMQ to read, especially since Gregg's criticism can be so off-the-wall. As usual, Gregg only mentions a player's draft position when it is convenient for him to do so and there is a lot of boring talk about space and time.

"The Matrix Reloaded," "Superman IV," "Red, White and Blonde," "Oceans Twelve," "Die Hard with a Vengeance,"

Really "Superman III" was the bad sequel since the previous two movies were so good. "Superman III" was the let down movie and "Superman IV: The Quest for Cash" never happened. To be honest, until the end I enjoyed "Die Hard with a Vengeance." I'm a sucker for the "Die Hard" franchise though.

The Giants-Patriots Super Bowl rematch is likely to be a fabulous sequel. Pace "The Naked Gun," TMQ has dubbed this rematch Super Bowl XLII: 2½.

Incredibly clever. Much like calling a column about the NFL "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" when the column comes out on Tuesday.

The cast would include two classic Hollywood leading men, Tom Brady and Eli Manning. Gisele Bundchen would play the damsel in distress, while Danny Woodhead would be the comic relief.

Actually, Rob Gronkowski would be the comic relief. He seems like a funny guy. Not to mention, Eli Manning isn't a classic Hollywood leading man. I'm not even sure why I'm arguing about this.

In the 2007 season, the New England Patriots beat the New York Giants during the regular season, then lost to them in the Super Bowl. This season, the Giants beat the Patriots during the regular season, suggesting New England will win the Super Bowl.

Yes, if this pattern we have discerned from one year of sample data holds true then I'm not even sure why the Super Bowl is being played this year. This could suggest the Patriots will win the Super Bowl. There is a 50% chance of this occurring. Maybe, and I am just speculating here, there isn't a pattern and the team that plays the best in the Super Bowl will win the Super Bowl.

Sunday's NFC title game, pitting Eli Manning versus Alex Smith, was the second in NFL annals in which each starting quarterback had been the No. 1 overall draft choice. The first, Denver versus Jersey/B in 1998, pitted John Elway versus Vinny Testaverde. Elway's Broncos won, then went on to take the Lombardi Trophy. This suggests the Giants will win the Super Bowl.

Gregg Easterbrook gets paid handsomely to come to these type of conclusions.

Since the two teams met in Super Bowl XVII, the Giants are 4-1 in the postseason while the Patriots are 2-3.

Not really. Let's nitpick. When using the word "since" it means AFTER that event happened. For example, "Since I got shot in the face, I have trouble chewing without pain," or "Since Gregg Easterbrook has started writing TMQ, the American economy has gone in the toilet and I don't think this is a coincidence." Putting the word "since" before the sentence indicates what happened AFTER said event occurred.

So the Patriots are actually 2-2 in the postseason since then. The Giants are 3-1 since that Super Bowl victory. When using the word "since" in front of a specific event it doesn't include the actual event itself. Gregg, if you recall, tends to struggle with the idea of time and how it relates to events. He believes Spygate actually started after the Patriots were punished for Spygate, which is so non-sensical I can't even fathom how a person in their right mind could believe this.

Madonna, who will be the halftime act, was born before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and for that matter before President Barack Obama.

And it is quite obvious when looking at Madonna that she is older than Obama and Goodell. I would say she has lost what looks she had, but to indicate they are lost would be to indicate her looks could eventually be found. We are past that point.

Both Harbaugh brothers lost on the final snap; change one play in each game, and both are winners.

Change one play in each AFC Divisional Game and the Harbaugh brothers both would never have made it to the AFC/NFC Championship Game. If Alex Smith had thrown an interception a the end of the Saints game instead of a touchdown to Vernon Davis and if Jacoby Jones had not dropped that punt return then it is possible the Texans and Saints would have advanced to the AFC/NFC Championship Game. This is one of the most annoying trends in sportswriting, the "if we could change one play" scenario. You could use this "what if" scenario to dramatically change many situations, so it really has no meaning to the reader in terms of providing interesting information.

Neither publicly criticized the players who erred.

I can't think of a single coach that would have thrown a player under the bus like that. Not even Rex Ryan would have come out after the game and said Cundiff/Williams lost the game for the team.

In this year of offensive stat-a-rama, the title games' final scores were 23-20 and 20-17, while no team exceeded 400 yards of offense.

Remember Gregg has told us offense is exploding and teams that win games with defense are on the decline. He's been preaching this all year.

Three of the four title-round teams -- Baltimore, New England and San Francisco -- played much of their games with two tight ends on the field, with Patriots and Forty Niners' tight ends accounting for more than half their team's passing yards.

Three of the four title-round teams also had quarterbacks drafted in the first round and each team's best defensive player was drafted in the first round (Patrick Willis/Justin Smith, Jerod Mayo/Vince Wilfork, Ray Lewis/Haloti Ngata, Jason Pierre-Paul). Just a note for when Gregg starts talking in the future about how highly-drafted glory boy first round picks are underachievers who are lazy.

Stats of the Championship Round No. 4: Alex Smith is 14-4 with Jim Harbaugh as his head coach and 19-13 under all other San Francisco head coaches.

Sad to hear ESPN can't afford editors. Maybe they should cut Skip Bayless' salary to get Gregg an editor. Either way, I am showing Alex Smith was 19-31 under other 49ers head coaches.

Stats of the Championship Round No. 6: Tom Brady, at 16-5 in the postseason, tied Joe Montana for most-ever playoff wins.


Why didn't Baltimore call time? The Ravens had a timeout, and with most teams, a kicker who isn't ready has the green light to call timeout, just as a quarterback who isn't ready calls time.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a kicker call timeout when he isn't requested to do so by his coach.

reader Adam Barnhart of Chevy Chase, Md., notes the Ravens have a special teams coordinator -- not a coach, a coordinator -- plus an assistant special teams coach, a "kicking consultant" and a head coach who was himself a special teams coach. Barnhart asks, "How is it none of them knew to call a timeout to give the kicking team enough time to get set before the biggest Ravens down of the season?"

These people probably knew to call a timeout, but Jim Harbaugh most likely would like to be the one to call the timeout. Generally, and I am just generalizing, head coaches don't like it when their staff just starts calling a timeout and he (as the head coach) had not planned on calling one.

Sour Play of the Championship Round: It would be easy to call Kyle Williams of San Francisco the sour player of the title games -- he badly muffed a punt in regulation, all but handing Jersey/A a free touchdown,

Williams didn't even make an attempt to field the punt. The football hit Williams' leg and the Giants recovered. Not sure I would consider no attempt to field a punt as a muff.

But Williams was a last-minute replacement for regular San Francisco punt returner Ted Ginn Jr. Williams had returned only four punts all season. Bad as his errors were, the real error was by the coaching staff. Knowing they were fielding an inexperienced punt returner in a high-pressure situation, San Francisco coaches could have told William to fair-catch every kick.

As I said in MMQB, fielding the kick wasn't the issue for Williams. He didn't get out of the way of one kick and on the second kick he fumbled the ball when it was knocked out of his hand by a defender. Fair catching every kick would have been a good strategy in retrospect, but a head coach has to have faith in his guys to take care of the football. Yes, Williams was a replacement for highly-drafted, highly paid glory boy Ted Ginn, but he also had returned 74 punts while at Arizona State. There is no reason he should not have been trusted to return punts and forced to fair catch every single punt for the 49ers.

This is, fundamentally, a coaching error. The Niners have a full-time special teams coach, Brad Seely, who carries the glorified title of special teams coordinator. Seely, not Williams, should be the one Niners faithful are gnashing their teeth about.

Of course. Why would Kyle Williams be at fault for allowing a bouncing punt to hit his leg and later for fumbling the football? It's the coach's fault he had faith in Kyle Williams, who did have punt return experience, to not turn the ball over twice. How dare Jim Harbaugh use his positive coaching technique (callback to last week's TMQ) to trust Williams to take care of the football while returning punts.

The play was sweet for Moore, an undrafted free agent who has only three career starts, was at one point fourth on New England's depth chart and was waived by the Patriots on Dec. 10, 2011. Now he's likely to start in the Super Bowl --

I don't know if Sterling Moore is "likely" to start in the Super Bowl. It seems the Patriots have Ihedigbo and Chung starting at safety. Maybe Moore will after the AFC Championship Game, but I've seen him as the backup on every depth chart I've seen.

Just to prove it was no fluke, San Francisco punted again on fourth-and-1 in overtime. This time the spot was the Niners' own 31. Sure, going for it would be risky.

"Risky?" This play would be "risky?" If this play fails the 49ers are essentially handing the game to the Giants when the 49ers defense is playing spectacularly. There would be no reason to go for it in this instance. Zero. None. (looks in the dictionary) Zilch. Naught. Null. Nada. (looks in the dictionary again) Zip. The 49ers defense had absolutely stuffed the Giants offense at this point. This would have been an incredibly, incredibly questionable coaching decision. Even if the 49ers were 80% sure they could get the first down, the 49ers defense had stuffed the Giants offense, so there was no need to take the risk.

I find it amazing Gregg Easterbrook blames the 49ers coaching staff for Kyle Williams' special teams mistakes but manages to think going for it on fourth-and-1 in overtime on your own 31 yard line is a brilliant coaching move. Gregg would be the worst NFL head coach. Knowing how the 49ers defense was playing, choosing to punt in this situation is inexcusable.

Remember earlier in the column when Gregg said Kyle Williams handed the Giants a touchdown by letting a punt hit him? The 49ers could have easily handed the game to the Giants by going for it on fourth-and-1 in this situation.

But you are averaging 5.4 yards per rush, it's overtime of a championship game, don't passively punt back to the other guys!

This may be the best example of Gregg Easterbrook's inability to understand football strategy. Regardless if the 49ers are averaging 54 yards per rush, if they don't get one yard, the Giants are in field goal range. It's overtime of a championship game. Don't sell your defense out like this when they are playing exceptionally well. What a stupid move this would have been if the 49ers had followed Gregg's advice.

The fourth-and-1 punt in overtime was the last time San Francisco snapped the ball.

Because of a fumble. Because of a fumble. BECAUSE OF A FUMBLE! The 49ers defense stopped the Giants and forced the Giants to punt. The 49ers didn't lose the game because they punted in this situation, they lost because Kyle Williams fumbled the ball on the punt return. It wasn't bad strategy to punt the ball on fourth-and-1 because the 49ers defense stopped the Giants and were getting the ball back. In fact, the punt worked out because the 49ers defense stopped the Giants and were getting the ball back.

In the Republican debate just before the South Carolina primary, John King of CNN addressed the candidates as "Governor Romney," "Senator Santorum," "Speaker Gingrich" and "Congressman Paul." Only Paul actually holds the post connected to the title.

This is much like people will call past presidents "President Clinton" or "President Bush." Many times if a person has held a high position in political office a person will call that person by that title, even after leaving office. There are so many other things to pay attention to during a debate, I'm not even sure why Gregg focused on this.

The basic rule is that if there are many persons in a category then a former official keeps his or her title when being addressed, while if there is only one of someone, the former person to hold that job does not keep the title.

Since there are many governors and senators, "Governor Romney" and "Senator Santorum" are correct terms of address. But there is only one Speaker of the House, so Gingrich should not be addressed as "Speaker Gingrich."

I'm just surprised John King wasn't executed on the spot for this egregious violation of social ethics.

Thus addressing Next Gingrich as "Speaker Gingrich" is improper and disrespectful to the sitting speaker, John Boehner. As a former member of the House of Representatives, Newt should be addressed as "Congressman Gingrich."

Nothing makes boring political debates even more boring than a dissertation on what official title each candidate for political office should be used. I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of Gregg's readers skip over this portion of TMQ.

Though Jim Harbaugh was known at Stanford, and is known at San Francisco, for good play design, a poor play design hurt the Niners. Forty Niners leading 14-10 at the start of the fourth quarter, they faced third-and-1 on the Jersey/A 46. San Francisco simply ran a power rush with extra linemen on the field without misdirection. Run stuffed, followed by a punt. Had the Squared Sevens converted here the outcome might have been different. The play design could not have been more bland.

Perhaps this is why the 49ers didn't go for it on fourth-and-1 in their own territory? They knew they had failed to get short yardage earlier in the game and remembered the Giants had stopped the Falcons during the Wild Card weekend on several fourth-and-1's in that game. How dare the 49ers learn from other team's mistakes and not torpedo their chances to go to the Super Bowl by going for it on fourth down in overtime of the NFC Championship Game.

Pierre-Paul is an obvious candidate for the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-Quarterback Non-Running Back NFL MVP, as is the undrafted Victor Cruz.

What's interesting is out of the 10 players who have received this award, 5 of these players were first round draft picks.

Officials ruled that because Bradshaw's forward progress stopped before the ball came out, Jersey/A retained possession. By a rules quirk, the call could not be reviewed.

Ryan Grant of Green Bay was wrapped up by one tackler and then hit by a second tackler at the Packers 45. As he was driven backward to the 44, he lost the ball. Zebra ruled this a fumble, awarding possession to the Giants: the game-icing touchdown followed a moment later. The plays aren't identical but are awfully similar. Why was one a fumble and the other not a fumble?

Because the whistle had blown the play dead on one play prior to the ball being fumbled and on the other play the whistle had blown after the ball was fumbled. That's about it.

Then Gregg quotes the NFL league headquarters as to why one play was whistled dead and the other was not. So I'm not sure why he even asked the question or seemed confused since he seems to have the answer already.

Reader Glen Weinstein of Bedford, Mass., reports, "I just bought some Poland Spring water whose label boasts, 'Smaller Cap = Less Plastic. This is part of our ongoing effort to reduce our impact on the environment.' Then in tiny type: 'Warning: Cap is a small part and poses a choking hazard, particularly for children.' So we want to protect the environment more than we want to protect children."

The alternative would be to sell bottled water without caps on them, which may make it difficult to transport and purchase the water in grocery stores. Poland Spring water doesn't want to protect the environment more than children, they are just protecting themselves from litigation if a child gets a hold of the bottle cap.

Complaining about this is like driving a car that is good for the environment, perhaps a Prius, and then noting the owner's manual says children should be buckled in a car seat in the backseat...and then noting the car manufacturer cares more about the environment than ensuring a child doesn't die in a car accident.

TMQ believes football games often are decided by "hidden plays," plays that never make highlight reels but stop or sustain drives.

BotB believes if you judge what plays are important from the highlight reels than you are a huge idiot. Highlight reels aren't supposed to show every important play, but show...wait for it...the highlights of the game. So a play isn't hidden simply because it doesn't show up on the highlight reels.

New England leading 23-20, Baltimore reached third-and-3 on the Pats' 30-yard line with four minutes remaining...Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco handed off to running back Ray Rice on a draw. On the play, Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda pulled left, and probably was supposed to trap defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Instead Yanda missed Wilfork -- in fact air-blocked, not making contact with anyone. Rice lost three yards, pushing the Ravens back out of field-goal range on a cold day.

This was an incredibly important play. There is no way this play was hidden. In fact, this was play was so important I had read several criticisms of the play call by Cam Cameron on this specific play as it relates to the outcome of the game. So no, this play wasn't hidden in the least.

But there's a constant sense of unfulfilled promise about the Ravens: All those Pro Bowlers, high draft choices and big contracts, yet they keep missing the Super Bowl.

It's always a fun contradiction with Gregg Easterbrook. He tells us all the time that first round draft choices are highly-paid glory boys who don't want to work, but then he criticizes a team for having a bunch of highly drafted players and not making the Super Bowl. Gregg also indicates he thinks teams tank in order to get a better draft pick and says this is a good strategy. It's like Gregg doesn't even believe his own bullshit that highly drafted players underperform and he knows if a team has high draft choices they should succeed because they are better players.

Logan Mankins is an obvious candidate for the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-Quarterback Non-Running Back NFL MVP, as is Wilfork, who had a tremendous day versus the Ravens.

(coughs) Both first round draft choices.

Next Week: The coveted "longest award in sports" Entertainment and Sports Programming Network's Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-Quarterback Non-Running Back National Football League Most Valuable Player.

I can't wait. Next to Gregg's undrafted All-Star list, I think the Non-QB Non-RB NFL MVP is my least favorite award of the year.


rich said...

Elway's Broncos won, then went on to take the Lombardi Trophy. This suggests the Giants will win the Super Bowl.

How? How does this suggest the Giants will win? Because 14 years ago the winner of the number 1 pick QBs won and went on to win? Huh?

Both Harbaugh brothers lost on the final snap; change one play in each game, and both are winners.

Except you'd have to ignore that Baltimore was kicking to tie the game, not win it.

Plus, the Patriots came out and took a knee after; even the FG wasn't the last snap. So either Gregg forgot about those two things or you can argue that every team loses/wins on the last snap.

Knowing they were fielding an inexperienced punt returner in a high-pressure situation, San Francisco coaches could have told William to fair-catch every kick.

Except for two problems:

1) Like you've said, the first problem had nothing to do with the catch, so a fair catch wouldn't have changed dick.

2) The way SF's offense was playing, their best bet was a nice kick return.

During the game, Williams had punt returns of 14, 24 (which set up SF at the 46 - they scored a TD to take the lead) and another of 14.

and kick returns of 27 and 40 (leading to a game tying FG).

So basically had he fair caught every one of those... chances are the game ends in regulation with the Giants winning and the second screw up never happens and it's all a moot point.

The Niners didn't lose because Williams fumbled twice, they lost because their offense played like dogshit in the second half.

Seely, not Williams, should be the one Niners faithful are gnashing their teeth about.

Or they could be happy that Williams gave the offense short fields that led directly to 10 points.

How about getting upset that they only ran Gore 16 times. Against a team that can barely stop the run... 16 carries.

Or how about getting pissed at Alex Smith: 196 yards, 73 of those on the first TD to Vernon Davis.

This time the spot was the Niners' own 31.

Giving up the ball at their own 31 - acceptable risk. Giving up the ball on their own 44 (fumble) - they should have fair caught all game.


So we want to protect the environment more than we want to protect children."

This must be the most hyperbolic statement I've ever read. If you can't keep a small bottle cap away from kids, then you're a shitty parent. I'm the furthest thing you can get from an environmentalist, but considering the environment doesn't have anyone to protect it, then yes... a companies job is to protect the environment more than your kid. It's your kid, you take care of it.

All those Pro Bowlers, high draft choices and big contracts, yet they keep missing the Super Bowl.

One team from the league makes it every year. They happen to play in a league with an all-time great QB and an all-time great defense.

Quite a few of the guys on the team actually have won a SB as a member of the Ravens, so, I don't know what Gregg's trying to say.

HH said...

In the 2007 season, the New England Patriots beat the New York Giants during the regular season, then lost to them in the Super Bowl. This season, the Giants beat the Patriots during the regular season, suggesting New England will win the Super Bowl.

Actually, New York defeating New England earlier this year suggests that New York is the better team and is thus more likely to win the Super Bowl. Of course, one game is the tiniest sample you can get, and it was such a close games meaning that these teams are evenly matched and the previous game means almost nothing, but still, IF you want to assign the previous game any value, it's in favor of the Giants, not Patriots.

Neither publicly criticized the players who erred.

I can't think of a single coach that would have thrown a player under the bus like that. Not even Rex Ryan would have come out after the game and said Cundiff/Williams lost the game for the team.

Jim Mora Jr and Mike Shanahan have blamed kickers in postgame press conferences. Brad Childress publicly blames pretty much everyone all the time.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, the NFL has already started inscribing the Giants on the trophy. Don't you know?

I think Gregg is ignoring the kneel down on the final snap. I wish he wasn't, but we know he does these things.

In that situation a fair catch simply would have caused Williams to try and catch the ball. I am guessing he would have caught it, but getting out of the way of the ball also seems like something he should be able to do.

I should have brought up that point a/b Williams good punt returns in the game. He doesn't make a play and fair catches those, who knows that the 49ers don't lose anyway? Williams was a scapegoat for a bad offense in the 2nd half. He should have gotten out of the way of the ball, but that was a good strip by Williams in OT.

I couldn't believe Gregg suggested the 49ers go for it there. Couldn't believe it.

In regard to that comment a/b the Ravens team, Gregg is just trying to be critical and I think he comes off as overly critical.

HH, good point about this year. I had forgotten they played. I think in a situation like the Super Bowl certain parts of the previous outcome really shouldn't hold water as possibly repeating.

I don't remember those coaches blaming kickers. I need a better memory I guess.

rich said...


That's the thing I love (hate) about the two week period leading up to the Super Bowl. People want to crown a team a champion already.

At the gym they forced me to watch First Take and one of the other awful shows on ESPN. They were both talking about Gronkowski being out and its affect on the game.

Five guys answered that the Patriots had "almost no chance" to win the game if Gronk wasn't 100%.

I'm a Giants fan, but when did this Giants team become that good? Even if Gronk doesn't play, the Patriots are still probably a slightly better team. The Giants are the hotter team, sure, but the Patriots probably are a slightly better team.

It's just mindnumbing to me the amount of crap people are talking about the game on both sides.

You have "analysts" like Simmons saying the Patriots are going to run away with it and others saying that the if Gronk is out, might as well just give the trophy to the Giants.

They're acting like the Patriots aren't a dynamic offense even without Gronk. I'm sorry, but the Giants defense, even playing well, won't stop the Patriots all game. It won't happen.

Even in the first meeting, the two defenses played incredibly well in the first half, but then absolutely shit themselves in the second half and Eli was able to lead the Giants to the win. That Giants team then went on to lose like five of their next six. And I'm supposed to believe that they're that much better than the Patriots?

The line is what? NE -2.5? I wouldn't go anywhere near that line with a 10 foot pole. The game is going to be close and it's going to give me a heart attack.

So basically, ESPN: Go fuck yourself for giving Tom Brady motivation.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I received an email earlier this week asking when the Giants became such a great team. I'm not sure, but the majority of opinions seem to believe if Gronk is out then the Giants win this game.

At the gym, I have headphones on and I try to ignore the television though I probably end up making bizarre faces at the screen while disagreeing with what is being said. I feel like I have the choice of watching an infomercial at the gym or ESPN. Neither of which I completely love, but I would take ESPN in that case.

Back on subject, I agree the Giants won't stop the Pats even with Gronk out. Also, he is playing. I am 100% sure he is playing, so I am not even sure why there is such a gnashing of teeth over this. He'll be out there playing and I think the Pats will still be tough for the Giants to stop even if a miracle happens and he isn't out there.

I don't like the line on the game either. NE (-2.5) is a tough one. Even though it would give you a heart attack, I hope it is a close game. I have to agree also that Tom Brady is going to be motivated. He wants to play better and he is hearing how great the Giants are. I still have a couple days to make my pick fortunately...

JJJJShabado said...

For what its worth, because I'm curious and like researching things, there have been 11 Super Bowl match-ups where the teams met in the regular season.

2007: Giants d Patriots (Patriots d Giants in Week 17)
2001: Patriots d Rams (Rams d Patriots in Week 10)
1999: Rams d Titans (Titans d Rams in Week 8)
*1994: 49ers d Chargers (49ers d Chargers in Week 15)
1993: Cowboys d Bills (Bills d Cowboys in Week 2)
1990: Giants d Bills (Bills d Giants in Week 15)
*1986: Giants d Broncos (Giants d Broncos in Week 12)
1983: Raiders d Redskins (Redskins d Raiders in Week 5)
*1981: 49ers d Bengals (49ers d Bengals in Week 14)
1980: Raiders d Eagles (Eagles d Raiders in Week 12)
*1977: Cowboys d Broncos (Cowboys d Broncos in Week 14)

So 63.7% of the time the team has lost the regular season match-up and has won the Super Bowl.

In terms of probability, you would expect this allocation 16%, assuming each team has a 50-50 shot of winning the Super Bowl.

The was an exercise in curiosity more than anything, but there's nothing to suggest that the regular season match-up has any influence (which we knew, but I just want to see what the data was).

Bengoodfella said...

JJ, it is interesting that only one time since 1990 has the rematch resulted in the team winning the first game also winning the Super Bowl. That is some good research you did. I would also wonder (meaning I am too lazy to do it myself) what data from rematches in the NFC/AFC Championship Game say. I know the 49ers beat the Giants earlier this year and then lost in the NFC Championship Game. I can't help but wonder if there is a trend there as well.

That is some good stuff. Thank you for that. I think we can say the regular season matchup doesn't have a huge effect on the Super Bowl matchup. I've known since the matchup came out which team I am picking, so I can't think of anything outside of an injury that will affect how I pick this game.

JJJJShabado said...

I like to research and this is more entertaining than work. This is slightly different as there are sometimes 3 meetings. I counted overall wins and losses (there is a tie in here, too).

2010: Steelers d Jets (Jets d Steelers in Week 15)
2009: Colts d Jets (Jets d Colts in Week 16)
2008: Steelers d Ravens (Steelers d Ravens in Week 4, Steelers d Raavens in Week 15)
2007: Patriots d Chargers (Patriots d Chargers in Week 2)
2006: Colts d Patriots (Colts d Patriots in Week 9)
2004: Patriots d Steelers (Steelers d Patriots in Week 8)
2003: Patriots d Colts (Patriots d Colts in Week 13)
2002: Raiders d Titans (Raiders d Titans in Week 3)
1999: Titans d Jaguars (Titans d Jaguars in Week 3, Titans d Jaguars in Week 16)
1997: Broncos d Steelers (Steelers d Broncos in Week 15)
1996: Patriots d Jaguars (Patriots d Jaguars in Week 4)
1994: Chargers d Steelers (Chargers d Steelers in Week 17)
1993: Bills d Chiefs (Chiefs d Bills in Week 13)
1992: Bills d Dolphins (Dolphins d Bills in Week 5, Bills d Dolphins in Week 11)
1990: Bills d Raiders (Bills d Raiders in Week 5)
1989: Broncos d Browns (Browns d Broncos in Week 4)
1988: Bengals d Bills (Bengals d Bills in Week 13)
1985: Patriots d Dolphins (Patriots d Dolphins in Week 9, Dolphins d Patriots in Week 15)
1983: Raiders d Seahawks (Seahawks d Raiders in Week 7, Seahawks d Raiders in Week 9)
1982: Dolphins d Jets (Dolphins d Jets in Week 1, Dolphins d Jets in Week 7)
1981: Bengals d Chargers (Bengals d Chargers in Week 10)
1980: Raiders d Chargers (Chargers d Raiders in Week 2, Raiders d Chargers in Week 6
1979: Steelers d Oilers (Steelers d Oilers in Week 2, Oilers d Steelers in Week 15)
1978: Steelers d Oilers (Oilers d Steelers in Week 8, Steelers d Oilers in Week 14)
1977: Broncos d Raiders (Broncos d Raiders in Week 5, Raiders d Broncos in Week 7)
1976: Raiders d Steelers (Raiders d Steelers in Week 1)
1975: Steelers d Raiders (Raiders d Steelers in Week 3)
1973: Dolphins d Raiders (Raiders d Dolphins in Week 2)
1971: Dolphins d Colts (Dolphins d Colts in Week 10, Colts d Dolphins in Week 13)

The AFC champion has lost 16 out of 40 games in the regular season (and there is a tie in here).

2011: Giants d 49ers (49ers d Giants in Week 10)
2010: Packers d Bears (Bears d Packers in Week 3, Packers d Bears in Week 17)
2009: Giants d Packers (Packers d Giants in Week 2)
2003: Panthers d Eagles (Eagles d Panthers in Week 13)
2002: Bucaneers d Eagles (Eagles d Bucaneers in Week 7)
1995: Cowboys d Packers (Packers d Cowboys in Week 6)
1994: 49ers d Cowboys (49ers d Cowboys in Week 11)
1991: Redskins d Lions (Redskins d Lions in Week 1
1989: 49ers d Rams (Rams d 49ers in Week 4, 49ers d Rams in Week 14)
1988: 49ers d Bears (Bears d 49ers in Week 8)
1987: Redskins d Vikings (Redskins d Vikings in Week 15)
1986: Giants d Redskins (Giants d Redskins in Week 8, Giants d Redskins in Week 14)
1982: Redskins d Cowboys (Cowboys d Redskins in Week 5)
1981 : 49ers d Cowboys (49ers d Cowboys in Week 6)
1980: Eagles d Cowboys (Eagles d Cowboys in Week 7, Cowboys d Eagles in Week 16)
1979: Rams d Bucaneers (Bucaneers d Rams in Week 4)
1978: Cowboys d Rams (Rams d Cowboys in Week 3)
1977: Cowboys d Vikings (Cowboys d Vikings in Week 1)
1976: Vikings d Rams (Vikings t Rams in Week 2)
1975: Cowboys d Rams (Cowboys d Rams in Week 1)
1974: Vikings d Rams (Rams d Vikings in Week 11)
1972: Redskins d Cowboys (Redskins d Cowboys in Week 6, Cowboys d Redskins in Week 13)

The NFC champion has lost 14 out of 27 games in the regular season.

AFC Percentage: 40.0%
NFC Perecntage: 51.9%
Overall Percentage: 44.8%

So again, no overall trend.

Bengoodfella said...

JJ, holy shit. I wasn't sending out a challenge to you, but you sure accepted the challenge. That seems like a hell of a lot of research. I appreciate you doing that. I may put that in my Super Bowl preview for this week. Is that fine with you if I do that? I think you worked so hard on it, others should see it. It also may go into my pick as well. Tell me if it isn't fine with you.

One thing I take from that data, and this is just speculation, is that each meeting b/w two teams really is a different game. Teams adjust to what the other team did in the previous game and don't do things they did in the previous game, to the point the previous game may not have a bearing on the current Championship Game.

JJJJShabado said...

Sure, go ahead. Use it for whatever you want. It's really not that hard. It's just a few clicks on Pro Football Reference.

I would agree with that, Ben. Randomness governs a lot in sports, and really these are all random occurrences. Sports is just a continuum of one game samples. The games only tell us who won that specific instance of the game.

Bengoodfella said...

JJ, I think what you researched sort of goes into what I am going to write in one way. Plus, it needs a bigger forum than the comments even if it didn't take a lot of time.

We all spend a lot of time looking for non-randomness and trends in sports when there aren't any. It's a curse. Sports is very much a continuum of one game samples. We can glean information from previous games, but perhaps relying too much on that information could negatively impact our ability to choose the outcome of the current game.

That being said, I'm going to go work on picking the winner of the Super Bowl.