photo via Steelers.com
I hope you all realize I’m not claiming to be the Stephen Hawkings of football. Au contraire. Not even about the AFC North. But after four games it’s worth taking a look at where we are and seeing if we can find some trends.
As I’m quite sure everyone reading this is aware, the Steelers are currently in sole possession of the divisional crown—for the nonce. But it’s still a long way to January. So let’s look at the other teams and what potential threats might lurk. Because as we all know, when it’s AFC North Football anything can happen.
I’m going to try not to be too stats-nerdy with this. For one thing, stats only tell you what has happened, in a completely un-nuanced way. The interpretation of them can result in very diverse potential scenarios. So I’ll give some numbers just to keep myself honest, and commit myself to what I think they are telling us. I will update them at various points throughout the rest of the season.
How did Momma miss this guy?
I’m going to go live here, because why not? I will be updating as there is anything interesting to add.
The first AFC North pick in the second round was scheduled to be the Bengals, as the Browns had traded up with the Packers to take TE David Njoku at No. 29. But they traded down with the Vikings, and so the AFC North picks will be pretty condensed in Round 2 – Nos. 15, 16 and 20, and then of course the Steelers at 30.
I was curious as to which of the more highly rated players were left on the board at this point. I’m using a grade of 6.0 out of 10 as the cutoff point, since that encompasses the first 34 prospects. Read more
via USA Today
Another year, another frenzy in the meat market known as NFL Free Agency. We can always count on a few stunners, and this year has been no exception. And, so far at least, this year is no exception in the Steelers’ reluctance to wade very far into these very expensive waters.
As Kevin Colbert recently noted, more teams are following the Steelers’ model of drafting and retaining their own players, and this makes the ones who do hit free agency all the more expensive. Read more
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Matt Freed photo
This may seem like an odd subject for a post, but the whole question of injuries has a strange fascination for me. I suspect it is connected with the cognitive dissonance, you might say, I feel in regards to the subject at large, particularly in terms of head injuries.
Ozzie Newsome—via Ravens.com
The Steelers hired a new head coach in 2007, and the Ravens did the same in 2008. Both coaches were given an effective and intelligent front office staff headed by a long-time executive. Ozzie Newsome began working as an executive for the old Cleveland Browns and transferred, apparently seamlessly, to the newly-created Baltimore Ravens. However, he did not head their front office until 2002, when he was the first African American to be the general manager of an NFL team. Kevin Colbert was hired away from the Detroit Lions, where he was their head of scouting, to be the GM of the Steelers in 2000.
It occurred to me that following the path of each organization would be a fascinating comparison of the relative success of their philosophies in terms of hiring, scouting, and so on. As with all things NFL it’s difficult to draw hard and fast conclusions because of the small sample sizes and consequently larger-than-optimal role luck plays in the whole process, but there still should be some interesting trends.
Last year I did an elaborate bye week post calculating all sorts of win percentages for various teams and so forth. You can read the whole thing here if you so desire, but I’m going repeat some of the information and add last season’s figures to the chart, so you might not want to bother.
Ron Schwane/AP Photo
Perhaps my title is overambitious. The fact that the “time” in question is less than a week would indicate this. The “brief” part, however, is correct, as I’m going to just skim rather lightly over the other teams in our division, not even making a bunch of charts or citing long lists of stats. I do not promise, however, that this will continue.