Friday 5 – Exciting Defenses

When I say exciting defense, what are some of the teams that immediately jump to your mind? The Ravens? Steelers? Vikings? Jets? Cowboys? What if I told you that this Friday 5 is my list of the top five most exciting defenses in the NFL right now, and not a single one of the teams I just mentioned is on it? Now hear me out before you jump to conclusions and discredit the rest of this post. I came up with with this list of top five most exciting defenses by basing it solely on numbers. That’s right, my list is purely from a statistical perspective, and that’s right, none of those teams made the cut. I started out by asking myself the basic question of what are the most exciting defensive plays? I think it’s pretty straight forward to say that they would be interceptions, forced fumbles and sacks. Bone-crushing hits would also be in there but there is no statistic for that, plus a lot of those hits result in sacks and/or forced fumbles anyhow. Starting with this as my foundation I started looking up the numbers for last season. In 2009 there were a total of 1101 sacks, 525 interceptions and 509 forced fumbles. So as a general statement (using 1 sig-fig, if you will) I think it’s fair to say that interceptions and forced fumbles are twice as exciting as sacks, based on how frequently they happen. So I developed two basic formulas:

One for the total number of exciting plays: S + I + F = N

And one for the level of excitement the team causes: S + 2I + 2F = X

Where S represents the number of sacks a team had, I represents the number of interceptions, F represents the number of forced fumbles, N represents the total number of exciting plays and X represents the level of excitement rating. I ranked the teams using the first formula, then I ranked them using the second formula, and after that I took their average from those two rankings and used that as my final number to sort the teams by. As a tie-breaker I used defensive touchdowns scored. Here’s how it panned out: Continue reading

My Super Bowl XLV Favorite

As Bryan pointed out, him and I have been failing miserably at posting regularly on this blog for basically the entire 2010 calendar year excluding January. To put it in perspective (I’m not real sure why I’m drawing attention to this) for the first six months of this year we have averaged about 20.2 posts per months. That’s 121 total posts, 36 of which came from January. Compared that to the previous 20 months (the first 20 full months of this site’s existence) when we averaged 27.7 posts per month -or 554 total- that’s pretty bad. We could list all sorts of reasons and excuses for our slackerness (I’m so much of a slacker, that instead of coming up with a real word to put here, I just made up my own) but I don’t want to bore you and/or waste your time. Plus, most of them have been documented at some point or another on this website.

Also as Bryan mentioned, as much as we would like to say otherwise, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. Bryan becomes a husband on Saturday and I’m the Best Man at his wedding. After that he will be off on his honeymoon and I will be (and currently am) out of town until the end of July. At that point I will be returning to The Night City (aka: Knoxville) and will be back at my normal setup and ready to post. For me, that conveniently coincides with when football season will be getting ready to kick off. Yes, I realize that neither the college nor the pro seasons actually start ’til September, but for me August is when the heat gets cranked up with training camps and preseason games. Either way, come August I have a whole lot in store for all of our readers. It’ll be like an injection of epinephrine for our website or maybe a boost from a defibrillator or hopefully both… though now that I think about it, that may actually be a bad thing. I have no idea, I’m not a doctor.

With that said, I feel I should now address the fact that, yes, I know the semifinals of the World Cup are being played today and tomorrow. Yes, I know we’re in the heart of baseball season, and I should care about my the Orioles managerial search. Yes, I know that in the past month the NHL and NBA Champions were both decided and hardly anything -if anything at all- was written about either on this site; the Blackhawks and Lakers won each respectively (neither was the team I was cheering for in their respective sport) in case you didn’t know already. Yes, I know the 2010 NBA Draft happened and we do love drafts around here, but once again, none of my Tennessee boys were taken, though Wayne Chism does have Summer League contracts with a couple teams right now. Yes, I know that Tiger Woods has failed to win a single event since his return. Yes, I know there was a bunch of conference realignment talk and barely anything came out of it and I never shared my thoughts on it. And yes, I know that my Vols have six recruits committed for the 2011 Freshman class, and that the BasketVols already have two 4-star recruits lined up for their 2011 Freshman class. So yes, I know I could have written a post about any one of those things and it would have made a whole lot more since than one of my typical NFL posts, but at this point I figure getting anything posted at all is better than nothing. Plus I want to write about the NFL, so I’m going to write about the NFL.

The shocking part is that I’m writing about the NFL and it’s not about my Colts. That’s right, pick yourself up off the floor, and read it again: this post is not about the Colts. Go ahead, take a glance back at the title again. I promise it hasn’t changed. It still headlines this post as my Super Bowl XLV favorite. And yes, in case you’re bad with Roman Numerals, that is indeed this upcoming season’s Super Bowl. Though if you want to talk about Super Bowl XLVI, that one goes to my Colts. Either way, you’ll see which team this post is about after the jump. Continue reading

Early 2010 NFL Predictions

This isn’t going to be in depth. That will come later. I am planning on doing an in depth preview of each of the eight divisions and that will be when I offer my analysis and thoughts behind my predictions. This is simply me taking a brief (very brief) look at each division, keeping in mind what they did in the draft, what they’ve done this offseason, and all the knowledge of each team that I have accumulated over the years as well as my gut instinct about each one. I won’t be providing anything for this other than simply listing the final standings for each division, the playoff seedings and the winner of each playoff game. Most of which I will be deciding as I go. So without further ado… Continue reading

Holmes to Jets

Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl XLIII MVP, was traded yesterday by the Pittsburgh Steelers to the New York Jets for a fifth round pick. Wow. Wow is all I can say. I don’t have a whole lot of time to write about this, but the Jets just got a steal of a deal, or should I say steel of a deal? Santonio Holmes will be suspended for the first four games of the season because he has a friend named Mary Jane. The Jets will easily be able to survive their first four games without him. The schedules aren’t set yet, but I don’t think it matters. I told my dad (and I’m praying he remembers this) the day after the Colts lost the Super Bowl this year that I thought the Jets would win it next year in response to him saying “well son, there’s always next year” and at that point I had an extremely fatalistic attitude toward everything (see this post) and now I’m basically 100% convinced that I was right, however I am now much more optimistic about the Colts (see this post) and think that they are the only team that might even be kind of capable of standing between the Jets and the Lombardi Trophy next year.

I have to go to class. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

This is part two of my 11-part playoff preview series. For part one click here.

I’m just gonna throw this out there now: The Dallas Cowboys have not won a playoff game since 1996. That’s a long time ago. The Cowboys just haven’t been able to find a way to win in the post season. Even in games when it looked like they were going to win or games where for all intents and purposes they should have won, they still managed to lose. In that same period of time the Eagles have won ten playoff games and played in five different NFC Championship games, winning one in the process. However, I will do my best to not let this influence my outlook on this game, but I did feel the need to point it out. Continue reading

New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals

This is going to be the first in an 11 part series – one for each game of the NFL playoffs. Bryan took care of the predictions, no matter how much I disagree with them. I’ll leave those alone and just do a game by game preview. This one is obviously about the Jets/Bengals game, which makes sense, seeing as it’s the first game of the postseason.

I want to start this one by saying that I believe this will be a ridiculously close and hard fought game. Don’t let last week’s game fool you. The Bengals weren’t about to tip their hand to the team that they would likely be playing in the playoffs the very next week. The Jets crushed the Bengals 37 to 0, but as I said, I think the Bengals were holding back quite a bit. Starting running back, Cedric Benson, didn’t even play. Continue reading

What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

This post will be similar to all of the other posts I have done on this very topic. The only difference for this one is that I will have four categories (AI, COD, HAC, AO) instead of six. But I will still be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now. Continue reading

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