This is a week late because I was on vacation the last 12 days. I could have written something about it while I was away, but honestly I wanted to think about the game as little as possible once it ended at 4:30 am Barcelona time. I had the Falcons plus three, the Falcons -7.5 at +335 and Matt Ryan at +180 for MVP.
I watched both games on my laptop from a hotel in Comporta, Portugal, about 50 miles south of Lisbon. Heather and Sasha were asleep in the bed, so I had to sit in the bathroom for most of it. (It was a very nice large bathroom with comfortable stools and plenty of sink space, but still.) I bowed out at 1:30 am, during halftime of the Pats-Steelers game and caught the second half in the morning on Rewind.
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.