Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So how about them Indians?

I should have expected that Sunday would end up like it did when I was in the Emergency Room by 9AM*. Little did I know at the time, but the day would hold much bigger injuries.

I don't have much to say that other people haven't already said. The Browns stunk, the Steelers looked good. Terry Pluto sums it up pretty well: The truth of the matter is, we were bad everywhere, and it was just particularly pronounced at quarterback.

Since the negative aspects of this team are all too apparent, I thought I would grasp at straws for one reason to have hope:

In the 2007 Profootball Prospectus chapter on the Browns is an article titled "How Important is Offensive Line Continuity?" Looking at seven seasons worth of data, they came up with a metric to determine how much continuity each team has in their line from week-to-week.

Of course, the Browns had the worst continuity in the league over that seven year period. Not only have we had alot of bad guys on our line, but they've been getting hurt pretty regularly.

They then took this continuity statistic and compared it to various measures of offensive line success (eg wins, sack rates, false starts, etc). The unsurprising answer was that there was a very measurable correlation between continuity and success. That doesn't mean its enough to field 5 hacks on the line as long as its the same 5 hacks all season, because continuity doesn't cause success. Its probably much more the case that lack of continuity prevents success.

I bring this all up, because in that travesty that we call "Week 1", Eric Steinbach and Kevin Schaffer were both playing for the first time in weeks. Not only would you expect them to be a little rusty, but this is also the first time in a while that the line has played together.

As the season goes on, if we can avoid injuries, the line should improve, even if none of the individual players get any better.

*Not to fear, they saved the finger and I'll be good as new in a couple weeks.

No comments: