A Winning Super Bowl QB Comp.

Do you know who owns these two Super-Bowl-winning quarterback stat lines?

sbqbwinloss

I’ll give you a hint:   Continue reading

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The Lions could have the best rush defense in the NFL…

…ever.

The award for the fewest rushing yards allowed by a team in a regular season goes to the 2000 Ravens* anchored by linebacker Ray Lewis. The Ravens allowed a paltry 970 yards on the ground to pick up an impressive 12-4 regular season record. Oh, and this same defense went on to win Super Bowl XXXV as well.

The Lions are nearly on track to break this record.

Let’s take a look at the numbers. Through 13 games, the Lions have allowed 817 yards on the ground. The three remaining regular season games are against repeat foes; in fact, they are against all of the other teams in the NFC North.

The last time the Lions played the Vikings, Bears, and Packers, Detroit’s defense gave up a meager 69, 13, and 76 yards respectively. If we can expect a repeat performance then the Lions are set for 975 allowed rushing yards on the season – just five more than the NFL-best 2000 Ravens.

Of course, teams change throughout the season. Let’s look at some trends. The Lions do better at home than away: about 25% better than average when home and 25% worse than average when away. This isn’t too surprising. We can also look at how the Lions defense has done lately. In the last three games (Patriots, Bears, Bucs) the Lions have done better than their average, even when accounting for the fact that two of those games were in Detroit. On the other hand, all three of the latest teams rank in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing production this year, coming in 21st, 26th, and 31st, respectively, so perhaps a slight boost in recent statistics shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

On the other side, Minnesota has been doing worse than average rushing the ball lately (7% off their season average in their last three games), Chicago has been doing much worse (in part due to the Lions of course) (47% off their season average in their last three games), and the Packers have been up lately (35% over their season average in their last three games).

Could the Lions do it? Maybe. It looks like they will be about right on track. I would probably estimate a little bit more than 970 yards allowed on the ground.

And who knows, maybe Rodgers takes a knee on the last play of the Lions regular season (hopefully because the Lions are already up by 28) and that takes Detroit to 969 rushing yards allowed.

*Other teams have allowed fewer rushing yards in a season, but since the move to a standard 14 game season in 1961, no team has done better per game than the 2000 Ravens.

ALDLAND Podcast

There hasn’t been much going on in sports lately but that does not mean that ALDLAND doesn’t have things to talk about. We talk peeing on graves, we talk invading countries to take their sports stars, as well as more normal sports topics like soccer and baseball. It’s all here in the ALDLAND podcast.

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Download the ALDLAND podcast at our Podcasts Page or stream it right here:

Ray Rice’s suspension in context

In news today that was mostly (but not totally) condemned as tone-deaf and inappropriate, the NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games, but no preseason games, practices, or training camp activities, and docked his pay for a third game, for beating his then-fiancee, Janay, until she was unconscious and dragging her out of an elevator at an Atlantic City casino this February. That the NFL has a serious domestic abuse problem became frighteningly clear at Rice’s post-beating press conference (which I unfortunately had to highlight here). Today’s mild sanction did nothing to change that nauseating narrative.

Deadspin put together a list of “other notable NFL suspensions,” which offers some context for Rice’s two-game sanction. If you want to read the list, with all of the details and circumstances, it’s available here. I’ve attempted to distill the list to the basics below.    Continue reading

A Narrative That Doesn’t Feel Good (via Sports On Earth)

ray_rice_v0hi4q40_wk2hhulmWhy would she marry him?

It’s the natural question that arises after watching the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging the unconscious body of Jenay Rice from the elevator where he knocked her out. Then his fiancée — the video was taken in mid-February before their wedding later that month — on Friday she stood by him as his wife for a stomach-flipping press conference. The disgust starts with the monstrous obliviousness of Ray Rice’s stating, “Failure is not getting knocked down, but not getting up,” and ends with Jenay Rice sharing the blame for his unconscionable crime. That so many wonder how this situation could end with Rice easily avoiding jail time and marrying the woman he battered betrays the willful ignorance of a society that enables him.

Violence is how abusers keep their victims from escaping. Wondering why Jenay Rice would stay requires a focused ignorance of a world in which roughly one third of murders against women are committed by an intimate partner. In this world, the threat of death, expressed or implied, can keep anyone captive.

Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL have seemingly normalized domestic violence as a learning experience for the abuser. Apparently, the crime isn’t the crime itself, but failing to offer a mawkish homily on how the crime made you a better person. The future of domestic violence in sports is here now. … Read More

(via Sports On Earth)

Tuesday Afternoon Inside Linebacker

tailSince “Monday Morning Quarterback” and “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” are taken and uninspired, and because I’m preempting my own exhaustion of “Monday“-themed alliterations, ALDLAND’s regular football/weekend roundup will move to Tuesday afternoons, which also permits incorporation of the Monday night NFL game. With week two of college football and week one of the NFL in the books, here goes:

College Football

Pregame:

  • Brendan and Physguy were in Ann Arbor for ESPN College Gameday, and the only evidence is a couple cryptic tweets from Brendan.

The games — No surprises:

  • I was able to find Michigan State’s game against South Florida on television in the Southeast, which may be thanks to USF’s participation in the game, but which also felt like finding a unicorn in the wild. MSU’s defense continues to outscore their offense, and that’s with three quarterbacks! Even Sparta only ever had two kings at once. Michigan State 21, South Florida 6.
  • I also found Vanderbilt-Austin Peay on TV, which is a reminder that it’s week two for the broadcasters as well. VU had no problem with its Middle Tennessee neighbors, winning 38-3.

NFL Quick Hits 2013: The Fans

The NFL season begins tonight, when the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens travel to Denver to play the Broncos.

In 2013, NFL fans have so many ways to follow the game, it can be easy to lose track of the notion that this is all supposed to be leisure-time entertainment. The following are suggestions on how to cut through the volumes of NFL-fan-experience accessories and have fun this season:   Continue reading

Super Bowl XLVII Recap: Where do you go when the lights go out?

Everyone saw the game and it was a few days ago, so here are just a few points to put a wrap on this sports year*:

  • On that (historical) topic, I’ve been critical of Beyoncé in the recent past, but I thought her performance at halftime was just right for this setting. A no-holds-barred pop experience by one of the top musical celebrities of the day is what the Super Bowl halftime show should be.
  • (On that note, I finally saw the infamous Janet Jackson performance for the first time this week, and there is no possible way that wasn’t an intentional move by Justin Timberlake. How did he get away with that?!)
  • As for the no-call on the fourth-and-goal pass to Michael Crabtree:
    1. Based on where the ball landed, I think the pass was uncatchable, so the no-call is correct.
    2. For what it’s worth, Mike Pereira agrees with me, though for a different reason.
    3. There’s something sort of ironic about the 49ers complaining about a lack of a pass-interference call on the last play of a playoff game, or at least Falcons fans think so.
    4. If you really want to Zapruder the thing, click here and have your heart contented.
  • Also for Crabtree, he intercepted Colin Kaepernick’s first-half touchdown pass to a wide-open Randy Moss, so he probably should include that play in his analysis of the game.
  • Penalties, early and late in the game, really are what doomed San Francisco.
  • I think it’s fair to ask whether we should’ve seen Alex Smith in the game at some point.
  • Who told you about Frank Gore?
  • Who told you before kickoff the Ravens would win?

Thanks for tuning into our Super Bowl coverage. Onward.

*It really feels like the “sports year” ought to run from Super Bowl to Super Bowl, so we’re going to treat it that way around here. I’m not really sure what we’ll touch on between now and the Daytona 500, but there are a few items in the pipeline, so don’t worry. The slowest sports day of the year doesn’t come until July anyway.

Final Super Bowl XLVII Notes: The Baltimore Ravens will win

How do I know the Ravens will win? Read on…

Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, after losing Super Bowl I

Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, after losing Super Bowl I

First, the important details: Kickoff is at 6:30 pm, according to the NFL. CBS has the television and online broadcast rights, and Dial Global will have the radio broadcast. In reality, I have no idea if 6:30 represents kickoff, or just “kickoff,” and the real thing won’t happen until 7:00. I guess we’ll all find out together.

Second, before you read further, remember that if enough of you sign this petition, you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

Third, I think our Super Bowl preview coverage over the last two weeks has been pretty good. Some highlights while you wait for “kickoff”:

Fourth, assuming you’ve covered that ground already, the best of the rest of the web:

  • When the final score doesn’t matter: How prop bets changed the way we gamble on the Super Bowl – You’ve done well to hang in this far into the post, degenerates. The prop bets themselves aren’t shocking or even chuckle-inducing anymore, but this history of how they came to be is an interesting read. (Hint: the house wins.)
  • The Best Super Bowl Documentary You’ve Never Seen – Ok, I get it. You’re ready to stop reading and watch TV. Instead of another hour of CBS’s refried game preview, this documentary is what you need. In 1976, the Bicentennial, a group of kids– including Bill Murray, Christopher Guest (aka Nigel Tufnel), and Harold Ramis (aka The Comic Genius Who Defined A Generation) took some of the first portable video cameras and had unprecedented (then or now) access to the players, fans, and everything else surrounding Super Bowl X. Lynn Swann, Johnny Unitas, and Bob Irsay all are there, among many others. It’s available at that link in four brief Youtube videos, and it’s one of the best sports things I’ve seen in recent memory.
  • Beyond Legend: Stories paint picture of real Randy Moss – A couple gems in here. Bill Murray-esque in some respects. (HT: Laura)

Fifth, as promised, your guaranteed winner tonight is the Baltimore Ravens. I admitted I’ll be cheering for San Francisco, but I have it on the best authority that the streets of Baltimore will be the ones to host a Super Bowl victory parade this year. You can read the full explanation here, but the short story is this logical truth: Norm Macdonald has a lifelong sports gambling problem; when he bets, he rarely wins; when he isn’t gambling, however, he can’t miss; he is gambling on these NFL playoffs, including the Super Bowl; a friend uncovered Norm’s early season, pre-return-to-gambling pick; by its untainted nature, that pick will be correct; that pick was Baltimore to win the Super Bowl. Unassailable. If you take it to the bank, be sure to break off part of your winnings for Norm (and me).

Enjoy the Super Bowl, everybody! Thanks for spending some of your pregame time with ALDLAND. Follow us @ALDLANDia for withering insight during the game.

ALDLAND Podcast

With all of you ALDLANDers out there getting excited for the Super Bowl, we had to put out a robust podcast covering that game, and also the biggest game of the weekend, Michigan at Indiana.  Join yours truly and Marcus as we cover everything from x’s and o’s to how dumb Chris Culliver is.  Come for the Super Bowl, stay for discussion of James Franklin being a weirdo.

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Download the ALDLAND podcast at our Podcasts Page or stream it right here:

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Related Super Bowl Coverage
Super Bowl Jam
The Truth: What really happened in the murder trial of Ray Lewis, Reginald Oakley, and Joseph Sweeting (via Atlanta Magazine)

Ravens vs. 49ers: A losers’ guide to Super Bowl cheering

A question about Super Bowl Media Day
Beyond the Archives: How Big Government Cost Southern Conservatives a Super Bowl Win

Super Bowl Politicking

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ALDLAND Archives: Why I Hate Harbaugh
Super Bowl XLVII, brought to you by the AARP?