As you may know from reading my past blog posts, I love me some stats. I don’t think they’re the be-all and end-all when it comes to football, but I do think they are a useful tool to use when analyzing a team, a unit, or a player. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy following sites like Pro Football Focus (PFF) and Football Outsiders (FO).
These two groups of data crunchers put a lot of time and critical thought into representing the performance of players and teams in the form of numbers. Through careful observation and grading of every play of every football game of the year, these statisticians are able to eventually tell us which team’s offense is performing the best based on their results and the strength of the defenses they’ve played. Or they can present a numerical “grade” for an individual player for something like “pass blocking efficiency.”
Like I said before, they provide a great tool for professional football analysis. We can use the information to either support what we think we’ve seen, or use it as a jumping off point to examine something further.
So without further ado, here are some interesting tidbits I’ve read about Green Bay Packers players as presented by the teams at Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders. Take them as you will.
- In one of FO’s most recent articles, Tom Gower revisited the 2006 draft class to see who were the best players, biggest busts, and best values from six years ago. He looked at each position, recapped what happened on draft day, then presented the findings. As we all know, this was the year Ted Thompson took A.J. Hawk in the first round. Here’s what Gower wrote about who the best linebacker really was: “A fairly uninspiring class with no clear standouts, really. By Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value method, it’s Hawk, followed by Wimbley, Florida State, 13th overall to the Browns.” Perhaps Packers fans don’t have quite as much to complain about. . .
- About a week ago, FO Editor-in-Chief Aaron Schatz released two articles about the 2011 cornerbacks: “Best Cornerback Charting Stats 2011” and “Worst Cornerback Charting Stats 2011.” The good news is that no Packers CBs ended up on any of the “worst” lists. The bad news? None of them ended up on any of the “best” lists either. One player who did end up on the naughty list was former Packer Josh Gordy, though even Schatz gave him a pass for being an undrafted player in his second season filling the role of a starter.