Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider, KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC to chat Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! As you can see, we have a new form of chat software, so please be kind to us if there are any glitches. On a totally unrelated note, the NFC East O line run metrics will be available to Scientific Football 2009 pre-order customers tomorrow. You can also follow me via Twitter at kcjoynertfs or Facebook friend me at http://tinyurl.com/ckavry. Now let's talk some football!
Matt (Brooklyn, NY)
KC curious about Miami's bookends. What are your thoughts on Long and Carey, and would you rank Miami's OL in the Top 10? I know RG is an issue right now...Thanks.
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
I graded out Long with a 88.6% POA run blocking win rate and Carey at 84.9%. Both of those are very good and actually grade out better than the Jets OTs. I don't think the middle of the Fins line last year was as good as the Jets but the addition of Grove (who had the best metrics of any of the big name free agent centers) could mean this O line has a chance to be the best in a division filled with good O lines.
omar (washington dc)
Is Ronnie Brown the player that put up ridiculous numbers in the first half of 2007, or is he the player that has rushed for over 1000 yards once in his entire career?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
I would lean towards the former. Having said that, as previously mentioned, the Fins O line was pretty good last year and most any back can do well when they get good blocking.
Stu (Middleborough, MA)
Hey KC, If the Patriots decide they can only sign either Wilfork or Seymour, who is statistically superior?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
I've had a chance to break down the Pats run metrics for both of the past two years and can say that Seymour is the better of two even considering the positional differences. I would also point out that NE drafted Ron Brace and that the metrics I did on Brace suggest he is just as good the much more highly touted BJ Raji. In other words, Wilfork may have a tough time getting paid.
Who will the NY Giants leading WR and will it be enough to produce another NFC East title?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
Hixon will be their leading wideout. They will also have a very strong rookie in Hakeem Nicks, as the metrics I did on him for an NY Times Fifth Down blog post a few weeks back show that he already has a very fully developed route tree. I don't quite have the Giants winning the division, as I have Philly slightly ahead of them, but I do see NY making the playoffs.
BJ (Des Moines, IA)
How successful will Aaron Kampman be in the switch from 4-3 to 3-4? How successful will the Packers be with the switch?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
I see no reason why Kampman could not do as well with this switch as Jason Taylor did a couple of years ago when Miami made this change. The concern for guys in that situation is that they have to drop into coverage more but when you are a pass rusher, your team isn't going to drop you back any more often than absolutely necessary. As far as how the move will affect GB, it has the potential to be a disaster this year. They don't have the zone horses right now.
Can u predict the stats for the Cowboys RB trio of Barber, Choice and Jones?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Give me 1,000 rush yard for Barber and split another 800 yards or so between the other two. The issue for these three is that the Dallas O line is not as good as generally thought (they will almost certainly have the worst run blocking metrics in the NFC East) and they are going to be facing improved run defenses all across their division.
KC - Do you give metrix analysis to home stadiums and how they effect the team. I know that for the most part that teams play better at home but what I am asking is more in the neighborhood of stadium noise - Seattle - Kansas City - Pittsburg. Even in the modern pro era it seems that these fans really have an effect on the game as motivators and disrupters. From a numbers standpoint do you agree?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
There have been many studies done that show the effect of homefield advantage on areas such as false starts and the like that show a noise box like Seattle absolutely has an impact on the opponent. How much impact the noise has in other areas is a bit harder to quantify.
hi K.C. been a while, i KNOW your not in the NFC WEST but ive been asking this question to everyone. Who is gonna take the NFC west. Who do you think has the best D in the west also??
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
That's a tough division to call. I might take the Seahawks if only because I believe they could respond well to Mora's fiery attitude. Having said that, I do think Arizona has a great chance of repeating in large part because their O line is much better than generally thought.
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
Hey KC! FF question here. Which teams OL will make the production of their skill players higher than itshould be? Is there an O-Line out there for a bad team that would make marginal FF skill players better?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
You must be reading my mind again Brian! I have been hard at work on grading O lines and am starting to put together some material on how their overall run blocking performance could impact fantasy performance. Hit me up in a week or two and I'll spill some beans on what the study is showing.
Long time no chat KC. Who are your pre-season top 10 fantasy players this year?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Still working on fantasy stuff but I can say that I am fairly high on Beanie Wells right now as one of the potential impact rookies. I think the Cards will run the ball more this year and Wells will benefit from that.
It's possible that the Vikings, Bears, and Packers could all be good enough to win 10 games this year, but how do they stack up with the rest of the NFC? Are the Giants and Eagles clearly a cut above those 3? What about anyone in the South or West?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
I've got the Eagles as the
KC, Adrian Peterson managed to put up huge yardage numbers last season with the Vikings, but he only managed 10 TDs. Why? How can he get more touchdowns and how to the vikes get him the ball more in the passing game?
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
I think it's a matter of that offense not being very good. From what I've seen so far, the Vikes O line will grade out fairly well (although maybe not quite as good as some think) so that certainly wasn't the issue. It's just a matter of the offense needing to get a bit more explosive so he has more goal line chances.
If _________ __________ was QB of the vikings they would be NFC Champ. fav.s.
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, a healthy Tom Brady.
Hey KC, as an Eagles fan, I am worried that Westbrook is already in midseason form (injured) and its only June. Do you see anyone in the Bird?s backfield that can keep the offense functional w/o him for a while?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
Very funny on the Westbrook comment (albeit a bit cynical)! Rather than focusing on Philly's backfield, I would point out that their O line metrics were very good overall last year. The only weak link was Jean-Gilles and that will be improved with the addition of Andrews. Having the other Andrews added to the line in along with Jason Peters means that, as long as their front five stay healthy, Philly has as good of an O line as there is in the NFL. They'll be able to run the ball as much as they want with whoever they put in their backfield.
Fantasy Football question: In my Dynasty League I have been offered Chad Ochocinco and Zach Miller for Anthony Gonzalez. I have Antonio Gates as my starting TE, but I would be able to keep both, and eventually sell Gates and move to Miller in 2 years or so. My other 2 WRs are Fitzgerald and Braylon. What do you think?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
I'd take if it only because you will have two of the best TEs around. The TE position was the worst I've ever seen it last year and having a potential trading chip of Miller or Gates could put you in a great spot during the season.
Torean (Lorain, OH)
Hey KC. What do you think Brady Quinn's stats would be if he were the starter, and what would Derek Anderson's stats be?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
I know it's only based on a few games, but count me in on the Brady Quinn bandwagon. He did more with that O than Anderson did. I could see Quinn topping 3,000 yards and putting up around 20 TDs if he played a full season.
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
I read that Matt Ryan should have a monster year, however with a weaker than normal O-line, won't teams just attack the them? Is this why they traded for Tony G?
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
I was as impressed by Ryan as anyone last year but I'm thinking he might have a soph slump coming on. Their O line isn't quite as good as thought and I think teams are going to say to Ryan "you are going to have to beat us through the air". He'll eventually figure out what those teams are doing to him but if there was ever a time when he might struggle, 2009 could be it.
I think the Texans will finish 2nd in the AFC South next year behind the colts. What are your thoughts on that?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
I've got the Texans as a sleeper division winner. Their vertical passing game is as good as any in the league and I think their D has more talent than they showed for much of last year. I'm not saying that hands down they will win the division but I've got them with a, say, 40% chance of pulling it off.
Eddie ((new albany, IN))
hey kc...i recently saw on ESPN who is more important to their team shawne merriman or tom brady...brady is by far and away the more importantlbs can be replaced...besides the chargers rallied to win their like what last 4 games to make the playoffs...its hard to replace a qb and the patriots got lucky and got matt cassell...now hes gone...they gambled...if brady isnt back to his old tricks then theyre screwed....no qbs except matt guitterezz...good luck with that... btw...u can NEVER replace 50 touchdown passes...u can replace 16 sacks!!
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
I think you hit the nail on the head with your last comment. Good playcalling can get a player double digit sacks but throwing for that many TDs is nigh impossible on playcalling alone.
KC do you have any metrics on Joe Thomas, just want to get an idea as to how good his run
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
I've got about six games of Thomas' done so far and it looks like he's in the high 80s. I'm starting the AFC North tonight so I should have a better idea on him next week. Hit me with a follow up question and I'll let you know how he panned out.
So KC, you don't put Rivers in the same category as Eli and Ben?!
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
Eileen, you are the second person to point out that I didn't put Rivers there. That wasn't meant as a slight, and I do think he would give them a shot at winning the conference, but I find it hard to say he could hands down do it in the NFC if he hasn't done it in the AFC with what is probably the most physically talented team in that conference (or at least it was most of the past 3-4 years).
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
If you could have your pick of any five guys currently in the NFL, to start your team, who would you pick?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
I get to play GM, eh? I'll take Jake Long as my LT, Brady as my QB (willing to risk the injury), Fitz as a WR, Jacobs as a RB (no one else like him) and Winfield as a CB.
You also left out Payton.
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Too true, and he is one who could absolutely win there.
KC, so you still don't put Rivers at the same level as Eli and Ben?! You've always dissed him and probably always will.
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
It's funny you say that because I've written a ton of positive things about Rivers of late. I just don't think it is unfair to point out that he didn't win the conference when he had a shot.
Jacobs over Peterson? I mean, I know I sound like a homer, but you cannot be serious.
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
Maybe it is because I just got done breaking down the Giants-Vikes week 17 game and saw him put the ball on the ground again. He made up for it with a long TD run but I'd rather go for a back who didn't have to make up for it. And that's not to say Peterson isn't a great back but I can't get the fumbles out of my mind.
Do you think that the giants will have one of the better defenses coming into this year?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
They've got a lot of changes to go through both with coaches and in their D line. Beginning of the year they'll be good, end of the year they could be great.
Jake Long over Joe Thomas?
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
At this point, yes, but ask me that question again after I get done breaking down the rest of Thomas' tapes. I reserve the right to change my mind if the tape says I should!
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
Aww C'mon KC, You left me hangin'. If you could have your pick of any five guys currently in the NFL, to start your team, who would you pick?... please.
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
My friend, it might be a glitch in the software because I did shoot off five names that I would want to start a team with.
Carlos (Los Angeles)
K.C, What do you think of J Staley? What do your numbers say about him? Thanks.
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
I had Staley grading out at 86.1% POA block win percentage, so he's good enough from that perspective. Having said that, his pass blocking was simply abysmal at times last year. That's where needs immediate improvement.
Big backs absorb a lot of punishment, gimme Chris Johnson or Michael Turner over Jacobs. Probably rather have Barber as well who is a bruising back.
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
The RB call was a tough one to make because there are so many talented ballcarriers out there. I picked Jacobs because he's the biggest of the big backs and his team seemed to feed off of his power running. Kind of reminded me of the Earl Campbell Oilers.
D COX (ROCHESTR, NY)
WHY DO YOU THINK NO ONE IS GIVING MIAMI THERE RESPECT? EVERYONE IS SAYING THAT IT'S NEW ENGLAND DIVISON AGAIN WHEN MIAMI WON IT LAST YEAR?
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
D, don't yell! We can hear you just fine in lowercase. As far as Miami goes, it is their secondary that is causing concern. I did a few NY Times Fifth Down blog posts on this but the gist of it is that they have a potentially weak secondary in a season when they will be facing a ton of high-octane passing teams.
Mike (Oakland, CA)
Giants fan continually talk about moving David Diehl back inside at some point. He says LT is his best position. How good are his metrics at LT?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
I'll be running the Giants metrics this evening but I can all but assure you that his run blocking metrics will be more than adequate (if not superb). Diehl's issue has always been pass blocking and I think that's why NY is considering making the change.
Tim (San Diego)
C'mon KC, don't hit and run. You know very well SD was severely injured in the AFC title game! Why won't you admit you're confusing QB play with team play?!
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
When people give Tom Brady a pass for being hurt in the Super Bowl loss, then I might be inclined to give Rivers a pass for what happened in the AFC Championship.
Kevin Ryan (Austin, Texas)
Do you think the NFL should look into guaranteeing NFL contracts? I never thought it fair that a player can't get out of his contract but a team can cut him any time. a 10 year contract for a player is just that a 10 year contract but for the team it is one year at a time.
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
If the team guarantees the contract, they have no leverage over the player and that's not good. It also isn't good the other way around because then the team doesn't have to treat the player right. There already is something of a middle ground in the area of signing bonus and it might be the best we can do given the nature of the NFL (i.e. a game where serious injuries are commonplace).
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Of the players that you have evaluated so far (this year and past years), whose metric has surprised you the most - good or bad?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
This year it has to be Jason Peters. I knew he had given up 11.5 sacks and I therefore thought he had a terrible season. His run metrics were outstanding (90.1%) and it showed me that the Eagles made a smart pick in acquiring him.
Tell Kevin from Austin that all a player has to do is NOT sign the contract he spent so much time negotiating. If a player wants to sign a 10-year contract with everything guaranteed, then itll be $2 million a year. Fact is, no player will do that. The only way to get the huge signing bonus and guaranteed money is to give the team some options as well.
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Too true. Maybe the idea of having the signing bonus distributed over the course of time would help change the culture. Having said that, I think some teams (many teams?) prefer to take the cap hit all at once. I'm being a bit cynical when I point out that they can amortize player contracts over time and that it is possible that the amortization rates are lower later in a player's career. If that is the case (and I'm not an accountant, so don't quote me on that), the team would have another incentive to put as much money up front as possible.
Noorrrmmmm (Boulder, CO)
Did you have a chance to finish looking at the World Champion Pittsburgh Steeler's OL? It is a glaring weakness on the team and I wonder what you think about RT Colon and RG Stapleton. From one math teacher to another, thanks for showing the application.
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
I'm six games into the Steelers season and what is standing out is that their run blocking metrics are likely to be superb. Again, I would not have thought their run totals would be top of the line given how badly they pass blocked but it is looking like that will be the case.
Tim (San Diego)
Going by that logic then you would give the Vikes a better chance with Ben or Eli than Brady! You responding emotionally KC, not logically. Besides Brday didn't a Gates and an LT injured and a Jamal Williams on defense injured. You're just not maiking sense.
KC Joyner (5:01 PM)
Tim, my entire point with Rivers is that his backers don't grade him the same way they grade other QBs. They always say he has these great leadership abilities and gets his teams to win, but his record at NC State shows otherwise (as detailed in one of the SF books). He also has done a fine job in SD but, again, how many QBs could have won as many games as he did if surrounded by as much talent as he had around him?
I thought the signing bonuses were paid up front, but were pro-rated for the cap.
KC Joyner (5:01 PM)
They are, but, unless I am mistaken, I believe they are amortized up front.
You got cut off earlier talking about the hierarchy in the NFC. The Eagles are....?
KC Joyner (5:02 PM)
The top team in the NFC in my estimation. I've got them going to the Super Bowl at this point.
Omar Jiru (Rochester,mn)
Any chance the Vikes will get to the SB if they signed Brett Favre? Thanks
KC Joyner (5:03 PM)
I just don't trust that Favre could stay healthy for the entire year. If they found a way to platoon him with Jackson, then I might buy into a possible Super Bowl berth.
I think the guaranteed contracts in other sports is why they aren't as popular. Sign 1 or 2 bad contracts, and suddenly your team is strapped until those contracts expire.
KC Joyner (5:04 PM)
True, but you could also say that about the guaranteed signing bonuses in the NFL. It may also come down to that if a player had guaranteed money, he might not be as willing to play through pain as he is when he has money on the line. Well, this hour sure did fly by! As mentioned before, you can follow my work on Twitter at kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all here next week!