1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!
    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers.

    You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
  2. Big Announcement Coming for 2015 Football Season!!

    Be on the look out for a big Packer Forum announcement when the schedule is released. Full details coming soon...

By Far: Our Weakest Position

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by FrankRizzo, May 9, 2013.

  1. Shawnsta3

    Shawnsta3 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,014
    Ratings:
    +358
    NFC Special-Teams player of the week, and perfect for the year. :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    4,852
    Ratings:
    +2,205
    OK, then. By every statistical measure Crosby has been a below average kicker taking into account his entire body of work. If one wants to apply an adjustment for outdoors in the north country, you could bump him up to average.

    This is borne out by the pay cut.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5,889
    Ratings:
    +1,679
    I'll breathe easy when Crosby HAS MADE a game-deciding kick late in a game to give Rodgers a come-from-behind 4th quarter win...... a few of them (if we survive heart attacks) will alleviate my worries about Mason in the clutch.

    I never felt that way with Longwell or even Jacke before him.
    Why is that? Late in games, W or L in the balance.....
     
  4. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,027
    Ratings:
    +356

    Nope, this is an example of our brains sucking at stats. Lambeau Field is the most difficult stadium for kickers (Gilette was the hardest until they installed artifical turf in 2006) AND Crosby has been asked to take the second most 50+ yard FGs in the NFL since 2007. Nearly half of Crosby's missed FGs over his career have come from 50+ yards.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_/id/53734/an-adjusted-view-of-mason-crosbys-career
     
  5. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,511
    Ratings:
    +1,434
    Not picking on you FrankRizzo, but I've seen this statement a lot but feel that it's conjecture. Does anyone have complete stats on Crosby's game-winning kicks? What would be really helpful for comparison is the league-wide FG percentage on game-winning kicks. The best that I could find online is that maybe Crosby is 2 for 5 on game-winning kicks but I couldn't find anything about the distances, whether that record is correct, etc. All I found was that as of 2011 he was 1 for 4 but found something that said that he kicked another game winner against the Giants later in 2011.

    The only thing that I can say, looking at our record over the past five years, is that there haven't been many opportunities for game-winning kicks which is a credit to our offense.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,758
    Ratings:
    +1,030
    SS is STILL the weakest position by far.
     
  7. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    4,852
    Ratings:
    +2,205
    It was my understanding that the minimum payout is a CASH payout as a percent of the cap, not a cap hit as a % of the cap. With Rodgers', Matthews' and Burnett's signing bonuses, I'd not think that would be an issue.
     
  8. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    4,852
    Ratings:
    +2,205
    Speak for yourself. And maybe for the writer of the story.

    My initial reaction was, "how is it possible to account for wind speed?" If it's running north/south between the goal posts it helps, not hurts, provided the coach doesn't have his head up his a**. Gusting winds, and particularly swirling winds, are the real problems.

    Then we have the statement: "[The MIT research paper] weighs each attempt based on its level of difficulty. Distance, weather, environment, altitude and other factors are included." My thought was "oh no, not another PFF-style tape review loaded with subjective unknows."

    So, how about we actually look at the research paper? Did you do that?

    1. First, this research cut off at 2011. Crosby's 2012 stats are NOT included. A big "whoops!" goes to the writer of the piece for not mentioning this important fact.

    2. "Prior to statistical analysis most raw continuous explanatory variables (e.g., temperature in °F)
    were converted into reasonable categorical variables (e.g., cold: < 50°F; warm: ≥ 50°F). This reduces model
    complexity and improves ease of interpretation."

    That assumption may make the job easier, but it's likely false because 40 degrees, for example, is not particularly unfavorable. Crosby will have more kicks in the 35 - 50 degree range than most kickers giving him an advantage over warm weather/dome kickers in the adjusted stats because of a false temperature bias.

    These researchers had already cited prior research that the drop off in make percents is significant below 30 degrees vs. above 50 degrees. For anybody who has kicked a football, that prior research makes sense...kicking a ball in below freezing temps is WAY harder than kicking at 50 degrees, while kicking at 50 degrees is just a LITTLE harder than at 70 degrees. The way the researches considered temperature has in it an imbedded bias toward outdoor northern kickers...many November and December kicks in Green Bay take place in the 32 - 50 degree range, which is not particularly disadvantageous. The writers of the paper promise an explanation of their rationale in the appendix. It's vague and makes no effort to explain why their data is better than the prior research.

    3. Lets look at wind. They cite earlier research that concluded there is too much noise in the data to draw conclusions. That makes sense. Checking historical data for wind speed at kickoff tells you nothing...wind can help or it can hurt...you'd have to evaluate how the goal post flags are moving before and during each the kick. Few have access to that kind of tape, and no bonafide statistician would take the time to study it because the conclusion on each kick is subjective.

    But these guys went ahead and "studied" wind anyway. What did they find? Rather than rightly conclude that wind affects can't be measured in any practical way, they conclude (Appendix Figure A.3) that wind has virtually no affect! Wrong. Like I said, on average it balances out (sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts), but to present it as non-factor is a false conclusion.

    4. Here are the environmental factors they looked at in the order of affect (see Appendix):

    - Altitude: Denver against the rest of the NFL. A non-factor for Crosby when measured against the other 3o teams.
    - Temperature: I've covered why I think their criteria are bogus
    - Field Surface: Artificial turf vs. everything else. How did they categorize Lambeau's hybrid surface, which happens to be a very good kicking surface, which coincidentally was installed for 2007, Crosby's rookie year? This is not detailed.
    - Precipitation
    - Wind (which I've already explained can't be measured in any practical way)

    There are enough dubious assumptions in this report by idle mathematicians, perhaps stuck on campus during spring break, to question it's conclusions.

    In short, I'll take basic stats combined with eye tests over dubious stats which nobody looks into past the media summary.

    I maintain, adjusted for environmental conditions, Crosby's career record is about average and he was therefore overpaid prior to his pay cut. Combined with the fact he was coming off a dreadful slump (to repeat, 2012 was not included in this study), to think he should be replaced was sound thinking. TT took the middle road...cut his pay...which is better than doing nothing.

    Evidence indicates he's a streaky, fair weather kicker. Let's hope there are no clutch kicks coming down the road in the final weeks of the season.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,511
    Ratings:
    +1,434
    Great review HRE. As a guy that regularly uses data and creates analyses for my work, I know first hand how these things come together and how most just read the summary. These guys were probably damned if they did, damned if they didn't regarding how they assessed some of the conditions. Too detailed and you get hammered on the complexities. Too simple and you've ignored or marginalized some of the core data that feeds the conclusion. Either way, it's an interesting analysis but like everything should be studied and taken with a grain of salt.

    Crosby has a chance to turn things around. We'll see how it goes.

    I'm still waiting for someone to provide the stats on his clutch (or lack thereof) performances to end games.
     
  10. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    4,852
    Ratings:
    +2,205
    Thanks for the kind words. I tend to look at the process differently than most. I start with the eye test, in a Malcolm Gladwell "Blink" sort of way, and then look to confirm or debunk with the stats. In football there are just too many variables to count...selective stats without informing them by "looking and seeing" doesn't create the right picture. That's why I don't care for fantasy football.

    I believe Crosby has made 2 important 4th. quarter kicks in his career. I believe one was in his first game as a Packer and the other in 2011, though I can't recall the details. I have read recently he's never made a 50 yard+ winning kick.

    He's missed some key 4th. quarter kicks...how many I can't say...but his conversion rate on key 4th. quarter kicks is no better than 50%. I studied Rodgers career 4th. quarter comeback record in 2011 to see how the defense or special teams might have foiled him. Crosby was a culprit on a couple of occasions, how many and the details surrounding them I can't recall.

    The best argument for Crosby on this score is that his number of opportunities are not statistically significant...so, back to the eye tests.
     
  11. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,027
    Ratings:
    +356
    Extensive analysis. I'll still take an attempt at analysis, even if off base, over the eyeball test of a fan and absolute FG%. I seriously doubt that you or any other fan here has taken the time to study every field goal kicker in the NFL (and if you have, then my hat goes off to you sir). Barring that type of study, there is not true average that you can compare a player to so any below-average or above-average analysis is simply hyperbole.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  12. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    4,852
    Ratings:
    +2,205
    That's a common mistake. I'll take informed subjective judgement over a flawed statistical analysis, or a statistical analysis of something that resists measurement.

    As for the question of whether I've studied every kicker to make a judgement. No, I have not. Nobody has in a credible way because critical elements defy the numbers or require hours and hours of tape review. But I've been looking at kickers for 50 years, have done some kicking, and have a decent idea of what a good kicker looks like.
     
  13. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,027
    Ratings:
    +356
    Informed subjective implies informed. Unless you've looked at the other kickers in the league, you don't know what the average is. 50 years of watching kickers would only matter if kickers from 50 years ago were performing in the same fashion and under the same circumstances as kickers today. Watching kickers occasionally when they're playing a team you follow or because the game is on is not even close to trying to evaluate that same kicker over an entire season.

    A well-reasoned, objective analysis is better than a speculative opinion. You mention that you didn't approve of the way the authors of the study handled wind or weather. Well, at least they attempted to handle that information in some way, rather than simply ignoring it.
     
  14. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    4,852
    Ratings:
    +2,205
    First of all, I never said stats are to be ignored, only the bad stats of questionable provenance. Is the paper well-reasoned in it's conclusions? Is an "attempt" that produces a bad stat better than no stat at all? No and no.

    The real irony here is that the study in question did not include 2012! The study in question ranks Crosby 19th. among 55 qualifying kickers over a decade excluding 2012. I don't like repeating myself, but that's critical. There's irony here. It is reasonable to think the authors' methods might drop him 6 or so spots, squarely into the average range, if his dismal 2012 is included...which is exactly what I said...average when factoring environmental factors.

    One interesting and credible fact I gleaned from the paper is that altitude (read: Denver vs. everywhere else) is the biggest factor in NFL field goal success. Where did Crosby play college football? Boulder, Colorado, elevation 5,430 ft. This might help to explain why a kicker coming out of college with a big-leg reputation has had a poor record at 50+ yards in the pros.
     
  15. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    4,852
    Ratings:
    +2,205
    If you want stats, here's stats:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/8447/splits/?season=career

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/8447/situational/?season=career

    What jumps out at you?

    I'll tell you what jumps out at me:

    1. Crosby's make % drops precipitously when the temp is below 60 degrees. This supports my conclusion from an earlier discussion that Crosby is inherently a dome kicker, thanks to other stats courtesy of GoPGo.

    2. The fact that Lambeau is reputed to be a bad place to kick has had only a marginal affect on Crosby's record. He's 77.2% home vs. 78.3% away. The study in question takes in more years before the hybrid turf was installed than after, while Crosby's entire career has been on the hybrid stuff. If you think this isn't a factor, think about the last time you saw a divot on this newer turf. While Lambeau can be colder than other outdoor stadiums late in the season, it is a good kicking surface. I doubt Lambeau is a markedly worse place to kick than any other northern outdoor stadium.

    3. Some of us liked the prospect of swapping out Crosby for Dan Carpenter. Compare Carpenter's stats below 60 degrees to those of Crosby:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/9032/splits/?season=career

    Carpenter's reputation as a warm weather kicker is false. Temperature has had no affect on his performance...12 of 15 (80.0%) from 40-49 (the money shots) below 60 degrees compared to Crosby's 22 of 34 (64.7%) in the same temp range. If you're wondering why Carpenter is kicking in Buffalo, you now know the answer. They saw something TT did not or chose to overlook, for devil-you-know or other considerations.

    This bears out my opinion, from earlier discussions, that Crosby is a dome kicker, more temperature-sensitive than the average kicker. If he were playing in a southern or dome division he might be All-Pro. But that doesn't do us any good.

    This also bears out my earlier statement, made before looking at these stats, that I would not get too jazzed about the streaky Crosby's current hot phase and STPOW honor given that it was executed on a day where it was a balmy 60 degrees.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,027
    Ratings:
    +356
    Crosby was not a good kicker in 2012, you'll get no argument from me on that one. My main point in all this is that casual watching of football games does not allow most people to accurately rate one player versus another, especially at a position that's as infrequently featured as the kicker. To say that Crosby is below average overall (he did appear to be last year) only makes sense with an established baseline
     
  17. GoPGo

    GoPGo Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,669
    Ratings:
    +784
    Dan Carpenter is 12-13 for the 2013 season and Crosby is 13-14. I don't see much difference. The Dolphins got rid of him for a reason. He missed two potential game winners last year. So there's that.

    So what? He's doesn't get credit for his performance because it's not cold enough? How about 4-5 on a windy day in Baltimore? Does that have any merit? The man is proving a lot of nay-sayers wrong so far. Just enjoy it.
     

Share This Page