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Old 09-13-2013, 09:46 PM    (permalink
The Alex
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Originally Posted by JordanTaber View Post
Official List of Running Backs On the List "The Alex" has never even seen play before:

William Andrews
Gerald Riggs
George Rogers
Dalton Hilliard
Wendell Tyler
Roger Craig
Eric Dickerson
Greg Bell
Curt Warner
Gerry Ellis
Chuck Foreman
Walter Payton
Billy Sims
James Wilder
Tony Dorsett
John Riggins
Wilbert Montgomery
Joe Morris
Joe Delaney
Christian Okoye
Earl Campbell
Ickey Woods
James Brooks
Barry Foster
Freeman McNeil
Joe Cribbs
O.J. Simpson

You thought that Buddy Ryan killed Randall Cunningham's career, and he could have been a great passer based on having one good year with Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Jake Reed, and Robert Smith...the same nucleus that made Jeff George look good.

Just so we have an idea of the intellect we're dealing with here.

Come back to me when you could even pass Football 101.
I didn't say Buddy Ryan killed Randall Cunningham's career, I said he limited the growth of Randall as a passer in Philadelphia. A lot of people agree with that statement.

Also, I've seen reels of almost all those good. Perfectly fine running backs and I would be willing to concede Campbell, Payton, Simpson and Dickerson as debatably better. However, when you toss out names like ******* Ickey Woods, a one year wonder, as a better back than Barry, you're either trolling or mentally deficient. I also find it astounding you didn't list Jim Brown but it wouldn't shock me if you thought he sucked too. Not to mention, you did start an entire site to defend Terrell Owens, which only further compounds my confusion.
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I heard that Sylvester Stallone wrote The Expendables with The Alex in mind. He had to keep it realistic though and split The Alex's abilities into multiple characters. Stallone thought that critics would pan it for being too far-fetched if he just had one character effing everyone up.
The end. Cut to black. Audience goes ****ing ape****.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:00 PM    (permalink
JordanTaber
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Originally Posted by The Alex View Post
I didn't say Buddy Ryan killed Randall Cunningham's career, I said he limited the growth of Randall as a passer in Philadelphia. A lot of people agree with that statement.

Also, I've seen reels of almost all those good. Perfectly fine running backs and I would be willing to concede Campbell, Payton, Simpson and Dickerson as debatably better. However, when you toss out names like ******* Ickey Woods, a one year wonder, as a better back than Barry, you're either trolling or mentally deficient. I also find it astounding you didn't list Jim Brown but it wouldn't shock me if you thought he sucked too. Not to mention, you did start an entire site to defend Terrell Owens, which only further compounds my confusion.
Randall limited his own growth as a passer. Producing with Randy Moss and Cris Carter is absolutely meaningless.

Ickey Woods is a one year wonder because he tore his ACL. ACL tears back in those days were often career-ending. That one season is all I need to see to know how good he was.

I didn't list Jim Brown because I have no games of his.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:59 AM    (permalink
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just b/c you think he danced too much is not a good enough rationale to say all those guys are better than Barry. hes still one of the hardest runners to tackle there has ever been, his vision was absolutely ridiculous, his statistics are crazy, anyone who ever played with or against him speaks glowingly of him.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:39 PM    (permalink
The Alex
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JordanTaber is the Armond White of our board.
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Originally Posted by phlysac View Post
I heard that Sylvester Stallone wrote The Expendables with The Alex in mind. He had to keep it realistic though and split The Alex's abilities into multiple characters. Stallone thought that critics would pan it for being too far-fetched if he just had one character effing everyone up.
The end. Cut to black. Audience goes ****ing ape****.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:36 PM    (permalink
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Here's what Football Outsiders has to say about the topic:

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If their overall yards per carry are equal, a running back who consistently gains yardage on every play is more valuable than a boom-and-bust running back who is frequently stuffed at the line but occasionally breaks a long highlight-worthy run.

Our brethren at Baseball Prospectus believe that the most precious commodity in baseball is outs. Teams only get 27 of them per game, and you can't afford to give one up for very little return. So imagine if there was a new rule in baseball that gave a team a way to earn another three outs in the middle of the inning. That would be pretty useful, right?

That's the way football works. You may start a drive 80 yards away from scoring, but as long as you can earn 10 yards in four chances, you get another four chances. Long gains have plenty of value, but if those long gains are mixed with a lot of short gains, you are going to put the quarterback in a lot of difficult third-and-long situations. That means more punts and more giving the ball back to the other team rather than moving the chains and giving the offense four more plays to work with.

The running back who gains consistent yardage is also going to do a lot more for you late in the game, when the goal of running the ball is not just to gain yardage but to eat clock time. If you are a Chicago Bears fan watching your team with a late lead, you don't want to see three straight Matt Forte stuffs at the line followed by a punt. You want to see a game-icing first down.

A common historical misconception is that our preference for consistent running backs means that "Football Outsiders believes that Barry Sanders was overrated." Sanders wasn't just any boom-and-bust running back, though; he was the greatest boom-and-bust runner of all time, with bigger booms and fewer busts. Our play-by-play database only goes back to 1991, but Sanders finished in the top five of rushing DYAR in 1991, 1994, 1996, and 1997.
Their database was actually recently updated and now extends back to 1989. Sanders finished top-5 in both DYAR and DVOA in both 1989 and 1990.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:46 PM    (permalink
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Exactly, Sanders was boom or bust as a runner in a way, but he was way more booms than busts. Any plays where he danced and lost yards are vastly outweighed by his big plays. Sanders is one of the best RBs ever and one of the most unique.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:47 PM    (permalink
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The only way to correctly evaluate DBs is to watch the film.

You can measure picks and PFF metrics, but those don't take into account them doing their job - covering.
You can actually definitely do this, at least to some extent. SportVu cameras would do wonders for DB and LB evaluation. The sample size issue would be massive in football, but still.

Something like this perhaps: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...cal-revolution
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:00 AM    (permalink
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Exactly, Sanders was boom or bust as a runner in a way, but he was way more booms than busts. Any plays where he danced and lost yards are vastly outweighed by his big plays. Sanders is one of the best RBs ever and one of the most unique.
I don't even hold it against him for the lost yards as it was often the offensive line being overwhelmed by a defensive game plan set out to shut down the running game.

Adrian Peterson even found that out for himself last week, ironically enough in Detroit. After his 78 yd TD run on the Vikings first drive, Peterson was held to just 15 yds on 17 carries for the rest of the game. Teams would rather try to shut down the superstar RB and force Christian Ponder, or in Barry's case, Scott Mitchell, Rodney Peete, Charlie Batch etc, to beat them instead.

The Lions OL does get a lot of criticism, much of it probably deserved, but I do also believe the lost yards were as much to do with the lack of respect opposing defenses gave to the Lions QBs, as it was to poor blocking. Sanders really was stuck with a real ragtag bunch of career backups calibre passers for the vast majority of his career. The OL were simply overmatched at times and Barry had no other option to start dancing and try and create something out of nothing.

Sure, there were gambles when a 0 yd gain was instead a two- or three-yard loss, but I also saw many times Barry turn what would've been -3 yd runs for virtually any other RB in the league into 5, 10, 20, 25+ yd gains. One of my favourite examples was his run in Buffalo in 1990 when the Bills LB (Darryl Talley) burst through so quickly into the backfield he almost took the handoff instead, only for Barry to break the tackle with a 360 degree spin and one hand on the ground. That was a 5 yard loss turned into a short gain. Another highlight was a TD he scored against the Colts in Indianapolis, when Rodney Peete signalled a TD with his arms aloft from the 30 yd line. It's the one below where Sanders spun out of one tackle as he took the handoff then bounced out to the left while avoiding another defender.




Enjoy! He was a truly a unique player.




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Old 09-15-2013, 10:36 PM    (permalink
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Any other team fields lines with Kevin Glover, Lomas Brown, Jeff Hartings, Mike Compton, Ray Roberts, and others...nobody is talking about "poor blocking." The only reason anyone knocks the Lions' offensive line in those days is all the BS dancing Barry did that people try to rationalize...along with the hype surrounding the Cowboys' o-line, with people sympathizing with Barry for not having Emmitt's line.

Where was the whining in St. Louis when Steven Jackson was playing his ass off every year, but running behind scrubs? Nowhere, because Jackson wasn't a dancing fairy.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:13 AM    (permalink
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Is this the same dancing fairy who was a 10-time All Pro in 10 seasons, a unanimous All Decade selection with the second highest career averages for yards per game and yards per carry, when every person in the stadium, from the hot dog seller to the opposing head coach knew he was the Lions trump card?

What chance does an offensive line have when the defense are selling out to stop the run? Do you really think defensive co-ordinators were game planning to stop Rodney Peete, Charlie Batch and Scott Mitchell instead of Barry Sanders?

Lomas Brown was drafted in 1985 and yet he didn't get a sniff of the Pro Bowl until 1990, Barry's second season. Was there a sudden improvement in Brown's play or did he just get a boost due to Barry's success as the Lions went from dead last in 1988 to leading in the NFL in yards per carry in 1989? Brown was also a better pass blocker throughout his career than run blocker.

What people often forget is that Brown's final season in Detroit was in 1995 before he departed as a free agent to Arizona. Ray Roberts then replaced Brown at LT for the final 3 seasons of Barry's career. Sanders responsed to losing the most decorated offensive lineman of his career by leading the NFL in rushing the following two seasons, including his 2,053 yd season in the 9th year of his career when most RBs are on the downside of their career.

Kevin Glover was a fine center and underrated player. It was when the Lions let Glover go that actually convinced Barry the Lions were not committed to building a winner and sowed the seeds for his early retirement. Hartings was drafted in 1996 and only became a Pro Bowler after he left the Lions as a free agent for Pittsburgh. Mike Compton didn't become a regular starter until 1996 and was never a Pro Bowler. By Week 1 of 1996, Sanders was already a 1st ballot lock for Canton.

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Old 09-16-2013, 04:02 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by boknows34 View Post
Is this the same dancing fairy who was a 10-time All Pro in 10 seasons, a unanimous All Decade selection with the second highest career averages for yards per game and yards per carry, when every person in the stadium, from the hot dog seller to the opposing head coach knew he was the Lions trump card?

What chance does an offensive line have when the defense are selling out to stop the run? Do you really think defensive co-ordinators were game planning to stop Rodney Peete, Charlie Batch and Scott Mitchell instead of Barry Sanders?

Lomas Brown was drafted in 1985 and yet he didn't get a sniff of the Pro Bowl until 1990, Barry's second season. Was there a sudden improvement in Brown's play or did he just get a boost due to Barry's success as the Lions went from dead last in 1988 to leading in the NFL in yards per carry in 1989? Brown was also a better pass blocker throughout his career than run blocker.

What people often forget is that Brown's final season in Detroit was in 1995 before he departed as a free agent to Arizona. Ray Roberts then replaced Brown at LT for the final 3 seasons of Barry's career. Sanders responsed to losing the most decorated offensive lineman of his career by leading the NFL in rushing the following two seasons, including his 2,053 yd season in the 9th year of his career when most RBs are on the downside of their career.

Kevin Glover was a fine center and underrated player. It was when the Lions let Glover go that actually convinced Barry the Lions were not committed to building a winner and sowed the seeds for his early retirement. Hartings was drafted in 1996 and only became a Pro Bowler after he left the Lions as a free agent for Pittsburgh. Mike Compton didn't become a regular starter until 1996 and was never a Pro Bowler. By Week 1 of 1996, Sanders was already a 1st ballot lock for Canton.
Never said he wasn't a talented dancing fairy. Look, the guy's ability was unbelievable. I've never argued otherwise. I just don't like the unbalanced results and the implications they have on an offense, and I despise the offensive line scapegoating. Besides, it's the blocking scheme that really matters, not so much the linemen themselves anyway. Those early 00s Broncos offensive lines were a bunch of street free agents/late round picks, but with Alex Gibbs/Mike Shanahan scheming, they opened huge lanes.

And for all this talk of teams selling out to stop the run, the number of years the Lions ran a variation of the run-and-shoot counteracted that. They gave him plenty of space to work with and tried to tailor everything to suit him. The draw plays, the stretch plays, the 1-back sets...it was all designed to spread defenses out and give him room.

People will salivate over Sanders juking 3-4 guys in the backfield and then breaking it for a 35 yard run, but there won't be any mention of another play where they catch a defense out of position on a quick draw on 3rd down and he gets 14.

Not to mention, the team always stockpiled good blocking tight ends, which are as important to a running game as anything.

If I'm trying to build the most effective offense, I'm looking for a running back who can consistently gain solid, positive yardage. The big plays come into the picture only after that first requirement is met. A "big play running game" just isn't the ideal, as even the best big play running game will pale in comparison to even an average passing game. 6.1 yards/rush is an insane average, but for a passing game, 6.1 yards per pass attempt is downright poor.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:50 PM    (permalink
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Where was the whining in St. Louis when Steven Jackson was playing his ass off every year, but running behind scrubs? Nowhere, because Jackson wasn't a dancing fairy.
Don't be that guy.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:49 PM    (permalink
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The play that starts around 1:20ish~ is what I always think of when I think of Barry Sanders. He literally makes a defender, who is in tackling range, change his direction twice. That's a quickness that few others have ever had.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:28 AM    (permalink
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I'm fuzzy on how the footballoutsiders.com offensive line stats work and I haven't watched a ton of Cleveland games, but the Browns have undershot their Adjusted Line Yards by a decent percentage:

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol
http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2012

Some people on some other sites have taken this as an indication that the OL hasn't been the problem for Richardson.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:22 PM    (permalink
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I thought it was already established that Sanders gained positive yards on over 90% of his carries.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:40 PM    (permalink
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I thought it was already established that Sanders gained positive yards on over 90% of his carries.
I think it was 336 out of 3,062 career attempts went for negative yardage so just a fraction under 90%. When you remove Sanders' negative yardage, and include the 0 yd runs, his career ypc jumps to 6.4. And Walter Payton averaged only 46 less negative yards per season than Barry.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:04 PM    (permalink
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The funny thing is, even in that video that JordanTaber posted in his infamous "Why I would never want Barry Sanders" thread, Barry almost always gained enough yardage to statistically improve the Lions chances of getting a first down. Even a half-competent scout would notice that, at least in that game, he always knew where the first down marker was and his "freelancing" almost always helped the cause.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:23 PM    (permalink
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I think it was 336 out of 3,062 career attempts went for negative yardage so just a fraction under 90%. When you remove Sanders' negative yardage, and include the 0 yd runs, his career ypc jumps to 6.4. And Walter Payton averaged only 46 less negative yards per season than Barry.
Why would you remove the negative yardage?

You can't just forget about when 2nd and 9 turns into 3rd and 13.

"Only 46?" That's a huge difference. That's almost another 3 yard loss per game.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:53 PM    (permalink
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Why would you remove the negative yardage?
Because it gives perspective on what he averaged for 90% of his carries. But yeah, lets focus on the 10% instead and blow it up out of all proportion.

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Why would you remove the negative yardage?

You can't just forget about when 2nd and 9 turns into 3rd and 13.

"Only 46?" That's a huge difference. That's almost another 3 yard loss per game.
It's one extra carry PER GAME for a 3 yard loss, not every drive.

If 90% of your carries are going for 6.4 ypc with defenses stacking the box then you must be doing something special. You do know EVERY RB loses yards? Even Walter Payton, the guy who always fell forward and fought for every yard. Even Adrian Peterson who went for 15 yards on his last 17 carries in Week 1. Stack the box and we'll take our chances thank you very much on Ponder beating us with his arm.

Sanders overcame that extra 3 yard loss per game to gain an average of nearly 12 yards per game more than Payton throughout his entire career (99.8 vs 88). I'll take that one step backwards (-3 yards) ''per game'' if it meant another three steps forward for 15 positive yards per game (12 yard net gain).
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:00 AM    (permalink
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Because it gives perspective on what he averaged for 90% of his carries. But yeah, lets focus on the 10% instead and blow it up out of all proportion.
That's ridiculous. Why would you remove the negative yardage, and not his big runs, like I did? He had many more negative rushes each season than he had 20+ yard runs. If you want to be fair, you need to at least remove both. Then you'd have to do the same for other running backs and compare them.

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It's one extra carry PER GAME for a 3 yard loss, not every drive.
You talk about that like it doesn't matter. A 3 yard loss can bury an entire drive.

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If 90% of your carries are going for 6.4 ypc with defenses stacking the box then you must be doing something special. You do know EVERY RB loses yards? Even Walter Payton, the guy who always fell forward and fought for every yard. Even Adrian Peterson who went for 15 yards on his last 17 carries in Week 1. Stack the box and we'll take our chances thank you very much on Ponder beating us with his arm.

Sanders overcame that extra 3 yard loss per game to gain an average of nearly 12 yards per game more than Payton throughout his entire career (99.8 vs 88). I'll take that one step backwards (-3 yards) ''per game'' if it meant another three steps forward for 15 positive yards per game (12 yard net gain).
Like I said, take away the odd breakaway runs and you get a completely different picture. I don't want to keep feeding a running back in hopes he breaks a big one. I want to use a running back to balance the offense and consistently gain solid chunks of yardage. You want a big play, you throw the football. Period.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:54 AM    (permalink
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If I'm trying to build the most effective offense, I'm looking for a running back who can consistently gain solid, positive yardage. The big plays come into the picture only after that first requirement is met. A "big play running game" just isn't the ideal, as even the best big play running game will pale in comparison to even an average passing game. 6.1 yards/rush is an insane average, but for a passing game, 6.1 yards per pass attempt is downright poor.
This is the dumbest comparison I've ever seen. Running the football is an exponentially safer play than passing the football. Even the most efficient QB's like Aaron Rodgers have turned the ball over far more often when throwing the football than Sanders did while running it. Not to mention you're almost as likely to experience a sack which has a far greater severity when they're incurred, and have a greater implication on killing a drive than a negative running play.

Comparing the 2 makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I really couldn't care less about Sanders, but in reality you're making the fact that Sanders was probably about ~2% more likely to experience a negative run than an average running back into a much bigger deal than it actually was. Then again, you wouldn't make a mountain out of a molehill would you?
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:52 PM    (permalink
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This is the dumbest comparison I've ever seen. Running the football is an exponentially safer play than passing the football. Even the most efficient QB's like Aaron Rodgers have turned the ball over far more often when throwing the football than Sanders did while running it. Not to mention you're almost as likely to experience a sack which has a far greater severity when they're incurred, and have a greater implication on killing a drive than a negative running play.

Comparing the 2 makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I really couldn't care less about Sanders, but in reality you're making the fact that Sanders was probably about ~2% more likely to experience a negative run than an average running back into a much bigger deal than it actually was. Then again, you wouldn't make a mountain out of a molehill would you?
Include sacks if you wish. Passing the football is still much more effective in gaining yardage than running the ball.

Adjusting for sacks and yards lost on sacks, the Lions themselves still averaged more yards per pass drop back than Sanders averaged per rush in all but one season of Sanders's career.

The turnovers argument is fair from an overall team perspective, I guess, but for generating offense itself, it's not particularly relevant. There's a reason all the top offenses in NFL history were built around the pass. You don't rely on a "big play running game" to have a dominant offense. If the Vikings couldn't do it last year, nobody can.

People trying to downplay Sanders's negative runs and overall minimal gains just demonstrates nobody here actually watched him play. He's everyone's favorite highlight/box score back. You'd feel differently about him if you actually watched some Lions games back when he was playing.

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Old 09-24-2013, 04:50 AM    (permalink
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Bro you couldn't even pass Football 52.
Did.....did you post 52 thinking it was half of 101?
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:09 AM    (permalink
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I would love to see what players have the lowest percentage of negative runs. 10% seems very small. That's 3 negative plays per 30 carries... lol

If a team ran the ball at me 30 times, and my team only got 3 stops at or behind the line of scrimmage, I'd probably feel like my gameplan failed.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:19 AM    (permalink
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This thread is awesome in every imaginable way.
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