In the Ravens game there was an OT rated negative 11 or 12. By their own ranking that is the equivalent of 6 or so of the worst plays imaginable in NFL history, all in one game. It was twice as large negatively as Steve Smith and AJ Green's games (about 400 yards, 4 TDs)...added together. This can't possibly be related to reality.
Originally Posted by Squirrlnutz
No part of that is accurate. James Hurst was a -7.7. AJ and Steve Smith were a combined 7.1.
Originally Posted by Oldcat
Ratings on a single play can range from -0.2 to +0.2. A -7.7 can be 4 very bad plays with no positive plays. He gave up 4 hurries and 1 QB hit and also had a penalty called against him. -7.7 is bad but not unreasonable.
I hope this doesn't come across as I'm pissed that you were bashing PFF. I'm not, you guys are free to say what you want about PFF. It's purely subjective, I realize that. I just wanted to make sure it's accurate.
Last edited by Andy Freeland; 10-07-2015 at 10:53 AM.
Originally Posted by JBandJoeyV
they are hiring an IT person...
Not PFF related but has to do with the debate we've had on here on ratings based on watching tape and what not...
Doc: Collinsworth's venture changing how fans look at football
Paul Daugherty, email@example.com:54 p.m. EDT August 20, 2016
(Photo: The Enquirer/Carrie Cochran)
Cris Collinsworth sits at a long, narrow table on the 5th floor of a renovated building in Over The Rhine, looking at numbers and video he only half-understands. Collinsworth isn’t a stat freak or a numbers junkie or a guy who ties his self-worth to the success of his fantasy team.
He’s 57 years old, an age when tried and true often beats innovative and new. So why did he buy Pro Football Focus last year, move its headquarters to Over The Rhine and triple its work force?
Pro Football Focus (profootballfocus.com) is a website devoted to numbers and how to forcibly crunch them. PFF is what Spock would read, if he were a football fan. “Every Player, Every Play, Every Game’’ is the site’s motto.
Statistical analysis: It’s not just for baseball geeks anymore.
Of PFF’s 250 employees, full and part time, 200 are paid to watch college and NFL games the way a lion watches gazelles. They are all trained the same way, with a 200-page manual, to look for the same things. The grading of players is uniform and rigorous. These people aren’t hired unless they are obsessed. As the company’s chief financial officer Kurt Freyberger puts it, “It takes a special kind of geek to do this.’’
Collinsworth’s not a geek. He’d be the first to tell you that numbers don’t define a football player. So why did he buy this company that was founded in 2006, by an
Englishman named Neil Hornsby?
Because Collinsworth knows what he likes. And like Warren Buffett, he invests in it. He began using Pro Football Focus last year, to prepare for TV broadcasts. “The more I use it, the more I’m addicted to it,’’ he says.
PFF isn’t a football statistics website. It’s a tech company. The former produces numbers. The latter interprets them. No site interprets football numbers the way PFF does. Don’t take my word for it. Ask the 24 NFL teams that subscribe to its service. Or the major college programs – Alabama, Florida, Stanford, Notre Dame, Michigan – that do the same.
“It’s nice to have a 250-person scouting department working for you,’’ Collinsworth says. He’s talking about himself, but he could also have been referencing PFF’s clients in the business. “We’re basically doing their scouting. At 6 a.m. Monday, they have all the data and evaluations lined up.’’
PFF is helping to change the way coaches and players study and prepare. Players don’t have to fall asleep for three hours in a Monday film session anymore. With PFF’s ability to isolate on individual players, grade them and put their performances on video, what used to take three hours to watch now takes 20 minutes.
Grading can be done almost in real time. “If NBC wants to see our grades at halftime, they’ll see them at halftime,’’ Collinsworth says.
I couldn’t tell you how the PFF people do what they do and, more impressively, the speed at which they do it. I flunked Algebra II. I know nothing of “spatial analysis’’ or “dot velocity.’’ I know that if I’m a coach, I want information, I want it quickly and I want it to help me win games.
I watched 20-some PFF employees at work last week. It was like watching librarians read, if librarians had the tech skills of a high-up at Google. Big, open rooms with conference tables and lots of laptops. Young, smart people, monitoring page views and “growing the online community.’’ Managing the content produced by writers more schooled at analyzing data than crafting a paragraph.
As PFF’s editor in chief Jeff Dooley puts it, “These aren’t trained journalists. They’re graders, analysts. Numbers guys. There’s not a ton of narrative in our stories. We’re very much a ‘Top 10 wide receivers in the NFL’ site right now.’’
You don’t have to love football to be a tech savant working for a football website. Ian Perks, PFF’s chief technology officer, is a Brit who built the original PFF site, in 2006. “Are you a football guy?’’ I ask Perks.
“Not particularly,’’ he says. Perks refers to a football field as “the pitch.’’ But as he says, “Without the tools we build, there is no business. Our systems collect the data we use to build all our products.’’
It can all be a little bewildering to those interested in football, not technology. Which is fine, because you don’t need to be a tech whiz to enjoy the fruits of their labor. As Collinsworth puts it, “People want to be the smartest guy in the room, especially when it comes to playing fantasy football.’’
PFF can do that, for a small fee. Fans will never get the hardcore details the teams get, but they’ll get enough to make them sound like they’re Ron Jaworski.
Collinsworth’s mission is to take mainstream what for now is a site for stat-heads. Pro Football Focus began by catering to teams. To flourish it needs Joe Fan, spending $19.95 a year to get the player grades. “We can give you enough to make your fantasy team a little better,’’ says Collinsworth. “In 15 minutes of reading, you can know about a team.’’
Will it work? This brave, new world of cool analysis of America’s hottest sport: Will you take the numbers plunge? Cris Collinsworth is counting on it. Literally. “Here’s how you grade a pulling guard on a zone-read play,’’ he’s saying.
How many fans are actually interested in something like that will sway PFF’s future. Meantime, if you think Collinsworth sounds really smart on Sunday nights, now you know why.