What Would Buddy Do?
Turns out the Nerd Rankings were (almost exactly) correct
Posted on January 14th, 2009 at 8:02 am by Cheesesteak Hoagie

Throughout the year, we made light of the Football Outsiders rankings’ seemingly misguided impression that the Eagles were one of the top teams in the NFL.  While we generally think the world of DVOA and the Football Outsiders thing, we were alternately flattered and horrified by the the rankings’ fascination with the Birds, even as they continued to falter in the stat that matters most (those pesky Ws), and even conjured up elaborate hypotheses in re: how this could be possible.

It’s worth noting the the Football Outsiders team was equally horrified — they didn’t really know what to make of it either.  As Aaron Schatz put it (in ALL CAPS): “THE EAGLES ARE TRYING TO KILL ME.”

Well well well.  Guess who gets to beat their chest a bit heading into Championship Weekend?  That would be those very same Football Outsiders, whose final rankings had the Eagles, Ravens, and Steelers placed #1, #2, and #4, respectively (the Giants were #3).  It’s going to be very difficult not to take these guys — and DVOA — very very seriously after that.

(Of course, the haters amongst us could point to the part where they had the Cardinals at #20, or that it took a 13.5-favorite losing at home to even get the #1 team into the playoffs, but we’ll instead use those as confidence- and-karma-builders, respectively, for the Birds heading into the NFC Championship Game.)

Comments so far:

Link Here | January 14, 2009,

Hey, I followed the link to the Thanksgiving audibles on FO just to check out what they said, and at the bottom they pointed out that we were losing in all of the close games for a number of different reasons. The reason that stood out though was the fact that opponents always make their field goals, something I’d forgotten until I reread that, making it particularly amazing that we had such good field goal luck on both sides of the ball against the Giants!

Comment by Max

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