0208 – Mar 01

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the FFL Blog. It sure seems like the stats have made a big impact around the league, people have been coming from everywhere to check out the lists that I put on the facebook page, which is really nice. I do have a lot of work with them, but it makes it easier for me when people like and comment (sharing is even better!), then I feel like my hard work is good for something.

The Offensive Hog Rating

Many of you have seen the Offensive Hog Rating, this wasn’t exactly my idea (although I did modify the original formula to be, dare I say it, better). A lot of you probably remember me as a player, and when I kicked extra points and field goals, I always made sure I gave high-fives to the offensive line and said a few nice words to them. Those guys work their butts off so all the fancy players can do their thing and people tend not to notice them – I just liked to let them know that I appreciated what they did. Which brings me to the OHR.
It’s based on the average of three things – third and fourth down conversions, percentage of negative pass plays (sacks or interceptions) and average yards per rush.
An OHR of 1.000 (100%) would mean a team converted every third down, had no sacks or interceptions and rushed for at least 6 yards per attempt – a perfect game, in other words.
An OHR of 0.000 (0%) would mean a team failed every third and fourth down attempt, got sacked or threw a pick every drop back, and rushed for 0 or less yards per attempt.
I think that an OHR of 0.550 should be about average, but to be honest I’m not exactly sure – the numbers were rather low on Sunday because teams went a combined 8-36 (22%) on third down!

Mailbag

Kevin Van Hauwaert, Bornem

“Terrific job with the stats and blog, Dale! Just wanted to comment on your special teams thought: Our team put in some hard special teams work this year and I think it showed during our game, getting decent yardage on return and converting 6 out of 8 field goals/pat (damn, I would like those two back).  Our coaches drawed up some great special team plays and what used to be an obligation, is now something we love doing.”

That’s fair enough, the Titans were pretty solid on special teams. As for those missed kicks, blame the holder, blame the snapper, it’s never the kicker’s fault!

Stijn De Backer, Brussels

“I know not a lot of people like to practice the important special teams stuff. But do some teams have a problem with long snaps? I always thought a FG holder was at least 7 yards from the LOS, you know so that your kicker has at least a small chance to clear the heads of his linemen?”

In my experience, it was always better to be further back than closer – we used to kick our extra points from off the 10-yard line (which would be 8 from the snapper) just to give us an extra bit of angle to work with.

Coach Curtis Plybon,

“ The Camera Experiment was a bit of a failure.  Version 2.0 is in the Garage.  Got a week and a half to get the kinks worked out before our first game. Looking forward to this weekends’ games to try it out again.”

You might have more luck filming in Anderlecht where it’s easier to get higher up.

Player of the week

On the facebook group “The FFL Blog Extra” (shameless plug) people were able to vote for their player of the week, and here is your winner, Tribes WR Bas Laleman, who hauled in the game winning 68-yard touchdown catch against the Angels. I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions:

– “What were you thinking in the huddle when the play was called?”
“It’s time to step up and get it done boy. Don’t forget to run out of bounds after the catch and of course to remember the pattern that was given to me.”

“With Gancharov injured, does that make you the main man in the Tribes offense?”
– “
I didn’t know yet who’s gonna be the main guy, we have a lot of weapons with fellow receivers like Brutyn, De Grootte and Vanhee as well as runningbacks like Monserez and the George brothers. I think as long as we have the Tribes defense and a QB named Benedict Vermaut we will always find a way to get it done.”

“It must have been a great feeling after you’d made the catch and were running with the ball and you knew nobody could tackle you”
– “I think the best feeling was a fan (my dad) shouting so loud I just knew nobody would catch me, after a year with a hamstring injury. I’m glad I made it through the game without pain in the leg. The feeling is just incredible – it’s so hard to describe . You just want to go nuts but with the new rules you’ve got to keep your emotions under control.”

Rankings

Here are the updated rankings for this week, at least one of my predictions was good! The top four teams remain the same, but we have a new entry at number 5.

1 – Brussels Bulls (0-0)                        0.867
2 – West Flanders Tribes (1-0)           0.743
3 – Brussels Black Angels (0-1)          0.633
4 – Puurs Titans (1-0)                          0.443
5 – Gent Gators (0-0)                           0.186

Game previews

Antwerp Diamonds v #4 Puurs Titans

The obvious question to ask about this game is how are the Diamonds going to mount any sort of effective offense without their playmaker from last year and against a team who gave up just 23 yards last week? It’s a tough call, but seeing as how we’re all about the hogs today, let’s say that the big boys from Antwerp are going to have to dominate the war of the trenches to open up room for the running game, as well as getting some sort of aerial offense happening.
On the other side of the ball, we can expect more of the same, with Titans QB Dhondt trying to extend his league lead in both passing and rushing, playing the dual threat role. There are some kids on the Diamonds defense who can make some plays and they’re going to have to, facing both the option play of the Titans, and also the vertical passing game with WRs Vermeir and Van Reeth league number 1 and 2 in receiving.
I like the Titans to get the job done but I expect them to have a much more difficult time of it than last weekend.

Prediction : Titans 35 – Diamonds 8

#3 Brussels Black Angels v Leuven Lions

The Angels have had time to reflect on what went wrong last weekend, and figure out how to improve themselves heading forward. Brussels have the top ranked rush offense, with RBs Banza, El Batti and T Bouron all in the top 5 individial rushers. QB Njufom will look to be able to rely more on his receivers to spread the defense and keep the Lions hard working defensive line guessing as to what is coming next.
I’ll be interested to see what the Lions can bring offensively, and where they’ve improved over the team they put on the field at the Diamond Bowl. They’ll need to be better all over the field to compete with an Angels defense still annoyed about what happened last week.
I expect it to be tough going for the Lions as the boys from the capital will be looking to get some measure of revenge for last Sunday.

Prediction – Black Angels 42, Lions 7

Outro

I’m glad that the stats have proven to be quite popular, but there’s a lot of work involved for me. So much so that my writing is going to have to change – I simply don’t have the time any more to write twice a week. Personally, I like numbers more than I like letters, so the stats are going to take precedence for me. The upshot of this is that (providing that all the stats get to me on time), you can expect your stats update sometime Monday evening and a blog post on Tuesday. For your FFL blogging fix, I would definitely recommend that you check out Klaas Allosserie’s work which you’ll find here : http://www.usasports.nl/se/index.php/articles/browse/category/1, and also some nice work is being done by the Gators on their website here : www.ghentgators.be. Until next time

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One Response to 0208 – Mar 01

  1. John says:

    Great job Dale, just hope you keep finding time to ‘write’ and not just limit to stats….all these figures without your great take on the subject are, well, just numbers.

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