Greetings my big hitting, route running, nose breaking, motivating, cool running, high stepping, back breaking, separating, head cracking ....... Maddenites! Just a little taster from my latest hip hop release available in all good record stores throughout America!
Ok, as we approach the stretch the usual suspects are jostling for position and seedings are the hot topic around SML headquarters (as well as the usual 'secret santa' problem .... everyone calls in sick on the day the names are given out trying to avoid getting the Commissioner). So, as a little change to the annual 'will the AFC EVER win a superbowl' question, i thought we should take an in-depth look at an area that has also been debated at great length around these parts ...... who has the best passing attack?
This topic is more relevant than usual this year as M13 has put paid to any serious running teams as the outside run seems to be the only option, due to HB's being tackled by their own O linemen if they try and run up the middle. Without further ado, let us examine the facts, so pay attention - you may learn something!
So far this season, Jay 'Cuddly' Cutler of the Chicago Bears has thrown a ton of TD's and a yardage haul that would make Joe Montana blush. DeSean (Usain Bolt in disguise) Jackson has 16 td's and nearly 1300 yards. Brandon 'Glide' Lloyd and Anquan (no rhyme) Boldin have over 50 catches each. But the next stat i am going to reveal is MASSIVE, and i believe the main indicator of who the real superbowl favourites are in our pass happy league. (Stay seated Minnesota and San Fran).
After taking a minimum of 75 catches per team, which involves either the top 2 or 3 receivers from the top teams on MaddenDaddy (Vikes, 9ers, Eagles, Bears, Pats, Bills & Ravens) i have compiled the table below showing who is the real team that everyone should fear going in to the playoffs:-
1) New England
4) San Francisco
Now, before i get half of the NFC North on the phone, let me explain why the New England Patriots are the team to fear. Out of the cross section of offensive pass efficiency, the Pats have an astonishing drop rate of just 3% (drop rate % is the number of drops in comparison to number of actual catches i.e. if a WR catches 100 but has also dropped 15, his drop rate is 15%) - compared to the worst team above, Chicago, who have an even more astonishing drop rate of 32%. (Thats 1 in 3 - Ed)
The Pats main aerial threat is Brandon Lloyd and Gronk, who have caught 93 passes, 1407 yards, 7 td's and dropped just 3 passes between them. Gronkowski is the best receiver in the league from an efficiency point of view, tied with Brent Celek of the Birds, but Gronk puts up bigger numbers and is a much more vertical threat than Celek. Out of the wideouts, Minnesotas' Percy Harvin (4% drop rate) is without doubt the leagues best single deep threat closely followed by Djax (8%). Both of these guys are scintillating but as a group the Pats are tops (when you consider the numbers of Aaron hernandez as well).
So, why is the 'drop rate' so important. I'll sum it up in the words of the famous old Coach Woody Hayes who quipped - "only 3 things can happen to a pass, and 2 of them are bad". And that my friends is the key to post season success. You have got to put your receivers in position and make the right play calls to go deep in the post season. Full stats below:-
Name Team Rec Yards TD Drops Drop%
Knox Bears 27 751 5 11 41
Marshal Bears 38 665 5 7 20
Hester Bears 22 560 7 8 36
Johnson Bills 32 620 3 9 27
Easley Bills 24 440 6 2 8
Bennett Bills 23 306 2 8 33
Harvin Vikes 48 1198 11 4 8
Rudolph Vikes 42 854 6 8 19
Crabtree 49ers 47 1121 11 5 11
Davis 49ers 41 762 8 4 10
Jackson Eagles 68 1286 16 8 12
Celek Eagles 37 531 3 1 3
Boldin Ravens 57 955 6 1 2
Smith Ravens 45 734 8 3 7
Lloyd Pats 55 704 5 2 4
Gronk Pats 38 703 2 1 3
And there you have it. I know what you're all thinking - rather have a speedy WR who catches 75 for 1500 yards and 10 tds than a slow, sure handed guy catching 75 for 750 yards and 5 tds. But in my expert opinion, stats are not as important as game management, and thats how titles are won!
Oh yes, before i go - bit of advice for Johnny Knox - 41% (drop rate) may be higher than your school grades but its really not cool in the SML.