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Are Packers satisfied with the current playoffs format structure?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Footballtalk, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    I'm a realist... When that happens to a team in the playoffs, it's bad news.
     
  2. Texas9erFan

    Texas9erFan Cheesehead

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    I'm waiting for baseball.

    It's our national pass time.

    As in, how do we pass the time waiting for football to come around again!
     
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  3. Rodgers in the House

    Rodgers in the House Cheesehead

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    I'm sure you all agreed with the playoff structure last year.
     
  4. realcaliforniacheese

    realcaliforniacheese A-Rods Boss

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    Damn right, but that was last year:D
     
  5. Footballtalk

    Footballtalk Cheesehead

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    Thanks for your responses everyone. I see there are some mixed feelings on the issue.


    I also see a lot of people inaccurately pin-pointing GB's defense as worse in the league. There's never been a day and hopefully never will be when a team's yards will ever determine the outcome of the game nor the strength of a defense or offense. Games are won by points, not yards and yards stats do not override points stats. GB's defense is ranked 22nd in points allowed and 4th in yards per point efficiency. It's similar to the Patriots and what makes their defense so good. Yards are far down the list as far as being able to accurately evaluate an NFL defense. Despite perception that may be fueled by TV and overused inaccurate statistics, the fact is it's pretty much impossible for a team to outscore another without both a good defense and offense, unless they always win games on their last offensive possession.

    GB would have not been able to outscore their opponents by a 201 point differential if they didn't have one of the top defenses in the league. It's just impossible. No matter what their ranking may be in yards, ultimately points override that. GB's defense had to get a lot of stops in order for the offense to blow teams out the way they did. If they didn't the offense would have never been able to outscore teams by that large a margin. They were 2nd in the NFL overall in their ability to outscore their opponents, and that's simply not possible without also having a top of the league defense. Either that or they had to be playing the worst offenses in the NFL and GB didn't play bad offenses.

    Both GB's and Patriots yards statistic can simply be explained by an effect similar to Simpson's Paradox in statistics. Simpson's Paradox is a statistical anomaly which can present the exact opposite results based on the context used for measurement. In this case looking at yards of one portion of your team. In other words, looking at a piece of the pie, such as yards of your defense, may reveal one result like last in the league, but looking at the full pie will reveal something different. Not enough people are aware of this when it comes to football stats.

    GB's defense was nowhere near as bad as people think and was one of the top most efficient defenses in the league. In 2011 however, they also happened to have the #4 special teams defense and #6 special teams offense. This often tends to create the appearance of a "bad defense in yards allowed".

    Inversely, teams with bad special teams defenses often come out looking with the best defenses in yards. For example Jacksonville, Washington, and Kansas City have the 25th, 28th and 31st worse special teams defense in the league. Their actual defense artificially ranks high in yards because of this.

    In reality, what's happening is their special teams is giving up a lot of field position and opponents don't have to travel the same distance against their defense that they do against Green Bay or Patriots. This is actually a bad thing, even though they are perceived as having better defenses. The Patriots #2 special teams defense and GB's #4 special teams defense are doing their jobs, pushing opponents back, forcing other offenses to travel the full field, thus making their actual defense appear worse in yards. But in reality, in football this is actually key to a defense getting stops and not allowing points, which are more important. They're doing what they are supposed to be doing. When looking at both special teams + defense combined yards starts presenting a slightly more accurate picture.

    An example:

    Washington's defense ranked 12th in yards per game, allow 339.8 yards per game. At first sight they appear vastly superior to GB's defense which give up 412 yards per game, ranked 32nd.

    When broken down per drive, however, Washington actually allows 29.45 yards per drive, ranking 15th. But their special teams defense gives up 30.66 yards in field position per drive, more than their actual defense. Overall they allow 60.11 yards per drive.

    Green bay allows 35.64 yards per drive, and actually rank 29th but their special teams only give up 25.70 yards per drive, a lot less than their actual defense. Overall they actually allowed 61.2 yards per drive total. Indianapolis allows even more, 63.3 total yards per drive, yet they are ranked 25th.

    In reality there is only a 1 yard difference between GB's defense perceived to be worse in the league and Washington's defense, perceived to be 12th in the league. Similarly, in reality Indianapolis allows more total defensive yard per drive than GB, but they are also ranked higher.

    Using yards per game to measure the overall strength of a team's total defense is one of the worst possible measurements to use. It's often completely off the mark. The misconception largely comes from the NFL labeling the yards per game category which never tracks special teams defense "Total defense". It's not. And it's an incorrect label. Not to mention, it still only measures yards, not points.

    In reality both GB's total defense as well as Washington do the same thing. On average they allow about 61 yards per drive total, which is the equivalent of being right on the edge of successfully scoring a difficult FG. Not a touchdown. That's actually what most defenses are expected to do. And most NFL defenses are much closer to one another than anyone actually realizes. They're all very good, including GB. Offenses, oth, show a much larger discrepancy.

    The difference is that a FG from the 39 yard line, is usually a 50+ yard FG, which is incredibly hard to make. So when you have a team like GB whose offense averages 3.05 points per drive(#1 in the league), more than the value of a FG, while their defense, on average, "forces teams to try and make the equivalent of 50+ yard FG" every drive, you have a huge advantage. Washington's offense only averages 1.52 points per drive. They're likely to lose most of their games because their defense is doing the same thing GB's is. Trying to keep offenses to 3.
     
  6. Powarun

    Powarun Big Bay Blues fan

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    Its not broke, don't fix it. I think how the league has it is the best they can do. They have 12 teams enter one on top, single elimination. Just because we lost this year doesn't mean we should all jump ship. Packers would of won the Championship if we are going by 1920's rules, having the best record, but that doesn't seem any fun.
     
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  7. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    A few of us on this board agree with you...But some stay stuck on the yards issue..

    I like to say back in 05 we had #1 ranked D in yards..yet we were 4-12
     
  8. fettpett

    fettpett Cheesehead

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    one and done period. I hate the other sports that drag out playoffs 5-7 games...it gets boring.
     
  9. Powarun

    Powarun Big Bay Blues fan

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    Oh and I just wanted to add that had the NFL kept the best record in the NFL approach we would be po'ed last year. But its not like we didn't get screwed when they had that set up do to ties and all. And Fettpett's words are true, too many games gets boring. And what if we went 15 - 1 regular season, then lost the next two embarrassedly, it make us all even more upset.
     
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  10. Eric87

    Eric87 Cheesehead

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    I would have liked a system where the Packers and 49ers could have played this year.

    We all know the system isn't designed to produce an "accurate" result or find the "best" team. It's designed to be:

    1. Fair for everyone in week 1 &
    2. Fun

    That's it.

    If we want it to be super fair, then we could put the teams in four eight-team divisions, have them play a 14-game double round robin division-only schedule, then put the four winners in a double elimination round robin.
     
  11. Eric87

    Eric87 Cheesehead

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    I would love to see a round robin replace the first round of the playoffs in the other three major US sports though. The early rounds are boring and reduce the importance of the regular season when the first place team gets such a minimal advantage over the eighth place team in the first round. So give the top regular season teams a bye past the first round of the playoffs, and let the rest of the playoff contenders duke it out for a spot in a 7-game series.
     
  12. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I've made the point that poin
    ts allowed is THE defensive stat since that’s how games are determined, so I certainly agree with that point. However I disagree with your assertion that the Packers had “one of the top defenses in the league”. What I would point to first is the eyeball test. You, like every other Packers fan, saw opposing QBs have way too much time to throw, time after time throughout the season. And you saw that happen far too often on critical third downs. As to your point about point differential I would suggest that was due almost entirely to the Packers’ prolific offense. But the eyeball test is the essence of subjectivity so that probably won’t do for someone citing the Simpson Paradox.

    IMO emphasizing the points allowed stat as you do and noting the Packers were 22nd in that category (19th in the regular season) directly contradicts your assertion the Packers had one of the top defenses in the league. Because as you said, games are won by points, not yards and I would add games are also not won by “yards per point efficiency”.

    In McGinn’s final grades columns (since jsonline.com has become a quasi pay site I’m not sure if I should link this. But I trust everyone can find it with their 20 free stories per month) he notes the following. First with regard to their pass defense which he grades a D:

    T
    he defense certainly excelled in taking the ball away and penalties, which were a problem on both sides of the ball a few years ago are no longer a big problem. (McCarthy did indeed “get that fixed”.) But look at the first and third paragraphs. They both speak to the notion that the Packers 2011 defense was anything but at or near the top of the league.

    McGinn gives the Packers rush defense a D+ and writes:
    Of course the missed tackles stat – almost 9 per game – and the first down stat relate to the entire defense, not just the rush D; they just appeared in that paragraph. But they too indicate the D was not good, let alone very good.

    I don’t think the Packers defense was the worst in the league and the stats and analysis you provide support that view. But I think you go too far in saying it was a top defense since even the Packers’ coaching staff wouldn’t advance that view. IMO the Packers defense was below average in 2011. During the regular season I think they were about where they appeared in points allowed: I would say slightly above that ranking because of the turnovers it created, but still below average. Having posted that, I do think the offense was more responsible for the playoff loss than the defense.
     

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