Monday, October 1, 2012

Dolphins vs Cardinals

I always find it interesting to look at this and put some numbers on what happened Sunday. I don't know how to get the graph pasted here. So if you're lazy and don't want to follow the link I'll note some key plays and performances. (Note: These numbers aren't the whole story. But I think they're a good starting point for further discussion)

We were at .95 wp (out of 1.00 for us being the road team, and .00 for Arizona) just after halftime. That's surprising since we only had a 13-0 lead with about 25 minutes left to play.

We dropped below .50 wp (the probability of a win being a toss up) after Arizona took the lead. We got back up to .55 wp after a 20 yard gain by Bess on the ensuing drive. And then Naanee happened.

We went from .55 wp for to .15 wp against on the Naanee fumble. That's obviously a huge swing.

The Sean Smith INT and the Hartline 80 yard TD gave us another huge swing back up to .85 wp.

As for the players, Burke's numbers give Tannehill a modest performance. But that has to be because of the two turnovers late in the game, which were certainly not all (or even mostly) on him. Naanee's one play basically wiped out Bess and Fasano's production combined. Hartline was great (.39 win probability added, 11.3 expected points added). But Bess was really good as well (.31 wpa, 7.3 epa). So it's saying a lot that Naanee's one play (-.43 wpa, -8.9 epa) was worse than Bess' entire output.

For the season so far, Tannehill is now in the positive as far as win probability added. But looking at adjusted yards per attempt instead of win probability, he's in decent shape for a rookie. Even with a mediocre performance Reggie Bush is playing very well. To my surprise, Devon Bess is leading all WRs in win probability. That doesn't mean he has necessarily been the most productive. He hasn't. But that does suggest that he has been very productive in important situations. Given his history and my eyeball test, I'd assume that's because he is great on 3rd down. He is a big difference in punting the ball away and keeping possession. And possession is an important aspect in win probability.

Defensively, Wake has been pretty good. He ranks pretty high in WP and expected points added. Randy Starks has been about as good from the DT position. Sean Smith's huge game against Arizona puts him in the top 10 in terms of wpa and epa for CBs. We won't be facing Kevin Kolb every week. But hopefully Smith can come close to matching his performance thus far.

If you just looked at our win/loss record you could come away with a fairly negative impression of this team. And don't get me wrong, we have some big issues. But I think there's a fair bit to be optimistic. A few plays here and there and it's a pretty different outlook on the season.

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