I grudgingly admit the Cowboys-Packers game was a great one, and I say “grudgingly” because it was nearly derailed by poor officiating, worse announcing and even worse coaching. The reason I know it was great is I was so exhilarated afterwards I wasted time watching the first quarter of the Steelers-Chiefs live – at 1:00 – 2:00 am Portugal time before catching the last three in half an hour via the condensed version Monday morning.
Yards-per-play (YPP) is a useful metric when evaluating NFL offenses, as it measures efficiency rather than just total output. The question with which I’m concerned is whether YPP tracks offensive strength (scoring ability) linearly or whether a small jump in YPP over key ranges can have a disproportionally large effect on output.
I’m honestly not in the mood to write this after the Giants loss and the overall low quality of the games, so I’m not going to break down each game in much detail or painstakingly document the precise places on the field Ben McAdoo punted on 4th-and-medium in plus territory as if he weren’t facing Aaron Rodgers. I’ve already spent too much time ranting about that on Twitter and on the SXM show, and I’m bored of it. Instead, I’ll simply offer a few notes.
I was in Rome Sunday night with a 7:00 am flight this morning, so I caught what I could of the early games before dinner, prepared to check in on the late games (starting 10 pm Rome time) and head to bed shortly thereafter – once the Giants had let in their backups and conceded the game. But that never happened, so I wound up watching the entire Giants game and went to bed at 1:30 for a 4:40 wake-up alarm. The Lions-Packers game was still in the fourth quarter when we got into our 5:00 am cab.
It was our last night in Wales, and the game was too late to watch in its entirety, though I did catch some of the first half live and checked the highlights this morning.
We’ve spent the last four days in Hay on Wye, Wales, so the Christmas Eve slate of games started at 6 pm local time, just after we had returned from the pub and our late afternoon meal. It was also our hostess’ birthday, so we sat around the dining table sipping wine, cider and (in my case) gin and eating from an overstocked cheese plate. I had my laptop on in the living room, streaming the red-zone channel, and occasionally I’d break away to catch an update and some live action.
And Merry Christmas to you too, Eli.
Actually, Manning’s 5.7-YPA, three-pick monstrosity only minimally impacted the Giants playoff hopes, but his continued poor play bodes badly for their chances to advance. Incidentally, I streamed the condensed version of the game this morning from the guesthouse of a small ~350-year-old cottage in Wales where we’re spending Christmas with friends.