Is the NFL Getting Sloppier?

Duchess
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Is it just me or has football gotten a bit messy? I mean there seem to be a lot of bad football games. So is football getting worse or are we just more critical of it? Well, I went ahead and dug through the stats of the last five seasons and made some simple annualization projections for the remainder of the season. Thanks for the folks at http://www.sportingcharts.com/ for compiling the data.

Turnovers

If football is getting sloppier than is it possible that we would see more turnovers than we have in the past? After 12 weeks and 11 games, the NFL is trending towards 750 turn-overs. This average is actually on par with 2014’s 758 and 50 TO’s less than the 2013 and 2011 seasons. So the turnover issue can’t be that big of a problem can it? The total number of fumbles are pretty static projected total is 298 the average for the past four years is about 305. What is interesting is that the last two seasons have shown a dramatic decrease in interceptions. So what can be troubling about the turnover rates? Well, the way things are going there is an excellent chance that 20 NFL teams will finish the 2015 regular season with a negative turnover ratio. So either the top teams are superb at being ball hawks or the bottom half teams have a problem with ball security. You have to combine the bottom three teams (Lions, Ravens and Cowboys) to get the total turnovers the Carolina Panthers have caused (28).

Big Plays

How about big plays? Do they seem to factor into all this? Currently, this season is trending to have the second most total plays in the last five years, and the teams appear to be defending against the run better as the total rushing big plays is on a downward trend. However, the total projected number of big pass plays sees a dramatic increase. There will be a 12% increase in big passing plays this season over last.

Penalties

Last stat to think about is that if current trends continue the 2015 season will end with 3,648 penalties called. That is almost an increase of 300 penalties than 2014 (3,386). It is not even funny how many more flags we are seeing flying out this year. It’s no wonder that Orlando Brown has been seen hiding in his fallout shelter every Sunday.

What can we take away from these turnovers and penalties? Are the new rules designed to lower the rates of CTE’S by limiting the number of full-pad practices during and before season leading to players not comfortable with their playbooks? Is it because the NFL referees have had a turnover problem of their own? Replacing 23 officials in the past two years alone cannot be good from a quality control perspective. It is a lot easier to call a penalty and have the turnover booth fix the problem than it is to call the play correct the first time. Are these newbie refs calling too many penalties against the secondary causing them to second guess defending the pass causing an increase of big passing plays? Or do you think the pass-happy NCAA and sub-par secondary in the college has led to the secondary playerss trying harder to intercept passes rather than defend them leaving them out of position to make a tackle?

In closing, all these things are either combining to turn the 2015 season into a Godzilla El Nino shit storm and the law of averages will prevail by having a massive correction in the 2016 season. Or this is the new norm and if that’s the case buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen, because this will be a bumpy ride… and it’s still better than baseball.

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packman_jonDuchessblaxabbathBuggMoose -The End Is Well Nigh Recent comment authors
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Bugg
Bugg

Not sure how to quantify it, but defensive back play is ghastly. Most DBs are failed receivers anyway. All of them seem scared to get called for PI. Appear to be 2 modes-interfere or play off and hope to catch up or get to the ball.The rules are weighted to passing anyway. Don’t see much bumping at the line out of fear of making a mistake. The Revis in his prime going stride for stride thing is gone, even for Revis.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
packman_jon

Any Batman TAS GIFs are gold in my book

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Oaty Flakes has lost some quality as a cereal.

nomonkeyfun

Does this include the declined penalties, that just as long to decide, or the picked up flags that still require a conversation?

Sill Bimmons
Sill Bimmons

There are so many rules now that no one could possibly remember them all, let alone have them on total instant recall during the fraction of a second one has to make a judgement call as an official in an NFL game.

Leave it to an asshole lawyer to litigate a relatively simple game completely out of the realm of understanding.

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The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

The rules changes come from the Competition Committee, whose only lawyer (McKay) is suspended.

It does, however, include the intellectual powerhouses Stephen Jones, Jeff Fisher and Marvin Lewis. I feel that explains a lot.

Sill Bimmons
Sill Bimmons

And The Rog can look at the rule changes recommended by the Competition Committee and say, “Uh, nope.” and send those assholes back to the table to get things right.

Instead he goes “MOAR RULZ YAY” and continues to destroy the game.

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

The turnover booth is wherever Darrell Bevell is sitting

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Horatio Cornblower

David Price just signed for 7 years and $217 million but please, tell me again how football is better than baseball.

(I’ll give you a hint: It’s because in baseball someone is dumb enough to give a 30 year old a guaranteed $217 million over 7 years)

SonOfSpam

Yeah, but when David Price is 40, he’ll have hundreds of millions of dollars AND remember his own name. If I ever produce a son (won’t happen), first birthday present is a baseball glove for his right hand.

nomonkeyfun

Wait for the second B-Day. I plan to do the same thing with my nephew. He is 1 1/2 he is just using force to throw things with both hands.

I think I’ve got a decent chance with him. My Sister and I are both lefties.

Only ones in our family. Maybe my Mother liked to spend time on her back with gentlemen to whom she wasn’t married.

SonOfSpam

Say hello to your mother for me.

nomonkeyfun

Let’s get off Mothers, because I just got off yours.

-Grumblelord

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

We can’t make this work without mom jokes.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Horatio Cornblower

Oh make no mistake I’d much rather my son play baseball than football. Or rock-climbing, which he’s now way in to and really, how dangerous can that be? Or poorly paid?

But baseball’s contracts are insane and at some point are going to hurt the game, and I say this as a Yankees fan.

blaxabbath

These all sound like an excellent use for that BA in Humanities!

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

I’m legitimately shocked at some of the TV deals that are fueling the latest round of spend-frenzy. I cannot imagine that companies in most markets will pay the ad prices that it’ll take to support these deals.

Also: Fahk Bahstahn

Don T

Intriguing stuff.
The game has gotten so fast that calling it with eyes, at actual speed, just invites a lotta self-doubt. Especially when the rules are hyperspecific, and the replay officials lord over refs. It’s as if judgment calls were an abomination.
However, penalties seem all-too-crew dependent: WRs and DBs get awful handsy 20 yds. downfield and some just let them play. I’d argue for non-calls, on non-blatant infractions, upon players away from the play–kinda like what happens when OLs hold harmlessly. And continuing penalties, or a single instance of gross misconduct (say, eye poking) should cause ejections. third hold by an OL? Ejected. Spearing at full speed a down ball carrier? Ejected. Start tossing out the dirty or plainly incompetent will make for less penalties, IMHO.

Horatio Cornblower

Third hold on the same O-lineman? That’s a paddlin’.

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Don T

Also acceptable, “Fuck U, pay me.”
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3XGAmPRxV48

blaxabbath

The ~7% increase in penalties equates to only about one more (13.22 to 14.25) flag per game. Across the season it extrapolates to a seemingly large figure but most fans don’t watch even 5% of the games. Even if you watched every TNF, SNF, MNF plus the AM/PM games on Sunday, you’d see less that 1/3 of the NFL games played this season.

I think the main issue fans have with the penalties is the time spent on them. Before replay, it was a call (good or bad) and maybe the network would go back and show you that play again at some point during the drive but the game, and the broadcast, would live with the call and keep moving (think watching your kids or you yourself playing rec league sports). Now, it’s calls and breaks and discussions with the coaches and sending it to New York and Mike Pererra — the officials are too much a part of the game. And, to that, the turnover in officials is surely part of the problem (like giving ladyref a position she didn’t EARN).

Turnovers makes for an interesting discussion because I wonder how many, relative to other years, are negated on account of penalties/bad officiating.

Still, I expect all these issues to work themselves out when the NFL decides to reduce the first down yardage from 10 to 5 and the downs-per-series to 6.

Beerguyrob

I’m more concerned that we are rapidly losing the opportunity to have two sub-.500 teams win their divisions.

Enrico Pallazzo

Sloppier is not how I would describe Virginia McCaskey’s vagina. Actually, I would like for that to not be described at all, you terrorist.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

I had one of those things yesterday… Like, a headache with pictures… While someone was talking about Gronk’s injury, and how it was caused by Darian Stewart, a backup safety, trying to make a diving play on the ball. At first, I was wondering if younger players tend to cause more injuries due to their inexperience, but after looking it up, Stewart is playing in his 6th year. So perhaps, backup players are more willing to go all out on some plays for fear of losing their roster spot (or some other contributing factor, like experience) which can contribute to injuries. As more players get hurt, more backup players are playing, and things can snowball from there, leading to the injury plagued year we’ve had.

HALP! I NEED A STATISTICIAN!

Doktor Zymm
Doktor Zymm

For some reason they don’t link to the next article in the series, but they do link backwards, so here’s the last part.
http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2015/nfl-injuries-part-iv-variation-position

ballsofsteelandfury

The rule changes have made it almost impossible for defenses to do their job as it was taught long ago. The inconsistency in enforcement of those many times vague rules have also led to confusion as to how to teach proper technique. That leads to big plays and lots of penalties.

This is no glitch. This is the sad future.

Old School Zero

“Did somebody say sloppy seconds?”

–Fred Smoot

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“Did somebody say sloppy joes?”

– Eli Manning

packman_jon

“Did somebody say sloppy seconds? No, seriously, I don’t remember.”

– Trent Green