Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Killing Time: 5 Tidbits from the Prospectus

One of my favorite moments of the year happened last night--my Football Prospectus arrived. If you don't know, it's written by the folks at Football Outsiders (with an assist from the folks at Baseball Prospectus). I had a chance to flip through it last night, and though I'm saving it for later (as much as I can) because I have a massive trip coming up next week (though I should still be able to post), I did notice some interesting tidbits while flipping through it. I also plan on stealing a bit called "Ask the Prospectus" from Joe Posnanski and using it to preview the upcoming season.

But first, some interesting stuff I saw last night while watching the Twins demolish the White Sox (which I really enjoyed).

  • One of the ways that the Prospectus evaluates defensive lineman is by the percentage of a team's plays they make while playing. Guess who was #1 last year? That's right--Jared Allen, with 10.7%. He's joined in the top 5 by Pat Williams, who was 3rd overall with 8.7%, and he also gets to work with Kevin Williams, who was 30th with 5.2% and Ray Edwards, who was 53rd with 5.3%. No other defense that I saw had a front four that made that many plays. That line is going to be ridiculous next year.

  • Payton Manning is on pace to break Brett Favre's touchdown and yards record in 2013, when he's 37 (assuming that Favre ends up back in Mississippi this year). It'll take Manning a little longer to take the title of "Interception King" from Favre, however -- it'll take Manning until 2021, when he's 45, to break Favre's interception mark. And yes, I will be pulling for Manning to maintain his pace until 2014 or 2015 and then retire, leaving Favre with only one record--most interceptions thrown.

  • I'm still not sure about the Maurice Hicks signing, since I think he'll end up returning kicks instead of the younger, better Aundrae Allison, but the Prospectus notes that he's both a very good blocker and a great receiver out of the backfield. They predict that he'll end up catching 72% of the passes thrown his way (down from the 88% last year), and average 8.8 yards per catch. If he turns into a nice third down option for the Purple and a decent backup, I'll be happy. If he's used a lot on special teams instead of younger, better players, I won't be. Simple as that. And yes, I do plan on beating this horse until it's way past dead.

  • Randy Moss racked up the second most DYAR by a wide receiver in the history of Football Outsiders last year (their stats go back to 1995), behind only Michael Irvin in 1995. He was one of only two receivers to show up in the top ten (Marvin Harrison did as well) as his 2003 season was the 8th best. Yes, I still miss him--why do you ask?

  • The Vikings' tight end situation can be summed up thusly: Jim Kleinsasser is described with the statement "This is not a tight end, this is not a fullback, this is a slightly undersized tackle who occasionally, perhaps accidently, finds the ball in his hands". Visanthe Shiancoe is projected to have a career year where he catches 56 passes for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns and dark horse candidate for the job, Garrett Mills, doesn't even get a projection.

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