Let's play a game. It's called Guess Who Won. Team H was at home hosting Team V. Team H threw for 7.5 YPA with no interceptions. Team V threw for 5.0 YPA with 2 interceptions. The adjusted YPA was 7.5 for team H and 3.2 for team V. Each team lost one fumble and had the about the same sack yards. Team H was outrun by team V, by 167 yds to 97. But both team's run SR were within 2% of each other. Also, team H had 133 return yards (not counting kickoffs) compared to only 15 for team V.
Which team won?
Extra hint: Before the end of 60 minutes, Team H scored 3 TDs compared to Team V's 2 TDs.
Extra, extra hint: Team V received a kickoff down 8 points with a 0.05 WP with 6 minutes to play, needing a TD and a 2-pt conversion just to tie. And by the way, Team H has a (statistically) above average defense so far this season.
Guess who won! If you guessed Team V, you're correct. TB beat CAR in OT.
My point is not to find a sniveling weasel-like excuse for the efficiency model's ranking of CAR as a top 5 team despite it's 2-8 record. (Ok, you got me, that's partially why I'm pointing this out.) The other reason is far more interesting.
What team does CAR remind you of in terms of GWP vs actual record? It reminds me a lot of the San Diego Chargers from a couple years back. SD had gaudy stats across the board. The efficiency model had them ranked exceptionally high week after week, but they defied the probabilities and found ways to lose games despite having better athletes and very often better bread-and-butter performance on the field than their opponents.
I am not saying the model is the true measure of a team and therefore any significant deviations are statistical flukes. I'm suggesting the opposite. There are significant factors not captured by the model, and one of those factors is Panthers head coach and former Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.
Admittedly I don't follow the Panther's from play to play and game to game, so I won't jump to conclusions. but to those out there who do follow Carolina, please tell me why he should be kept on as the head coach.
Here are this week's rankings. As always click on the headers to sort. Team efficiency inputs can be found below.
|RANK||TEAM||LAST WK||GWP||Opp GWP||O RANK||D RANK|