Thursday, January 01, 2009

Some wildcard playoff stats to look at

Playoff stats

Atlanta @ Arizona
Arizona's offense had 30 turnovers and Warner is always a threat to Turnover the ball.
Atlanta's defense forced 18 take aways (tied for worst in the NFC)
So does that negate a lot of Warner being turnover prone? Kurt Warner is turnover machine but Atlanta doesn't force turnovers. Good thing for Arizona?

Kurt Warner is immobile and holds onto the ball forever, making him a sack target.
Atlanta had a respectable 34 sacks, but nearly half of their 34 sacks came from 1 player (Abraham). Does that mean Arizona doubles John Abraham and more or less takes care of that problem?

Arizona's defense created 30 turnovers and is facing a rookie QB. Matt Ryan had an outstanding year for a rookie but he is still a rookie starting a road playoff game. Can he keep pace scoring wise with Kurt Warner? Road teams that can't score aren't good bets and Atlanta was 4-4 on the road scoring under 20 points per game. Do you think 20 points will be enough to beat Arizona or will Atlanta play better than usual?

I had an opinion on the total, but how do you all feel about this?
Arizona is 7-1 on overs at home
Atlanta is 2-6 on overs on the road

Arizona pretty much always scores at home ( they average 30 PPG) and win (6-2 home record), and Atlanta with their rookie QB tends to go under and play .500 ball on the road. So what gives? Will Arizona make it an offensive game, or with Atlanta score under 20 points and keep the total under? Will the playoffs bring out the best in Atlanta or does the home team do what they do and score and win at home?

Atlanta seems like the easy play for most people ( hit between 60-80% by my sources), but what do the stats say? People are pounding the over and to be honest that was my first instict for a play in this game.

As a New York Giants guy I am hoping Arizona wins because they have little to no shot at going into NY and beating the Giants.

Philly @ Minnesota
Philly’s Pressure defense created 29 TO’s and 49 sacks ( 3rd best in NFL)
Minnesota’s offense had 31 Turnovers and starts a weak Tavaras Jackson
Will they keep it simple stupid and run the ball with the purple Jesus?

Peterson led the NFL in rushing and is the best back. The Vikings average 159.2 yards rushing at home and 4.7 per pop. Very impressive. On the other end though, the Eagles have one of the better run defenses giving up 92 rushing yards per game and 3.3 per pop. The more and more they contail Peterson, the more times they get to tee off on a weak terrible Tavaras Jackson at QB. Both coaches also seem to be on the hot seat to win a playoff game.

The Vikings were 6-2 at home, while Philly had a losing record. Philly could beat any team in the NFL when they are on, but then again they can play down to their opponents and tie the Bengals after 5 quarters of sloppy play. Philly thrashed Dallas last week but lost to Washington on the road the week before. Washington didn't beat Philly that game, Philly beat Philly that game. Will Philly win this week or beat themselves?

Baltimore @ Miami
Miami led the NFL in Take aways/give aways being +17.
The Dolphin defense created 30 Turnovers but the offense only had a minute 13 give aways thanks to the most accurate QB in NFL history and RB's that didn't fumble a lot To keep in mind how outstanding the offense was at protecting the ball, many NFL teams turned the ball over more than twice as many times. If Miami has 13 turnovers, and San Fran turns the ball over 35 times ( nearly 3 times the amount), then who do you think is going to win more games? Miami created 30 turnovers which was pretty good ( although not the best), but they were dominant at not turning the ball and although the Giants had 13 turnover also, the 2nd best AFC teams at protecting the ball were still 25% worse.

Baltimore led the NFL with 34 take aways and Joe Flacco’s offense only gave the ball up 21 times.

Everybody likes Baltimore's dominant and turnover creating defense, but will they go into Miami and turn Pennington into a 2, 3 or 4 turnover quarterback? Will a less than impressive Joe Flacco go on the road and win a playoff game as a rookie? Miami is a home dog facing a team who'se strength ( turnovers) matches up directly with their own ( not turning the ball over). What gives?

The public loves Baltimore here, but do you take the home dog?

Picks to come out later...
Leans: Arizona, Philly, Indy, Miami
I also feel that Philly and Indy both have decent shots to go to the SB as wild card teams.

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