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 10 bold predictions for the Chiefs in 2018 Editor’s note

: With it seemingly being “prediction week” in the NFL , John’s serving up 10 bold Chiefs predictions for the upcoming season.1 . The Chiefs will win the AFC West.The Chiefs will finish the season 10-6.Four of those losses will come in the first eight games, and just two in the last eight.The schedule is tougher in the first half of the season, and the new players — particularly on defense — will need time to gel.2. Patrick Mahomes will drive us crazy.He’ll make brilliant plays, and he’ll make boneheaded plays.He’ll do things no other quarterback can do, and he’ll do things every other quarterback already learned not to do. But each time, he’ll learn.Knowing what we knew about him when he was drafted, it was reasonable to think he’d be another Brett Favre. But by the end of this season, we’ll see that was the wrong comparison.Instead, Mahomes will be well on the way to becoming another Alex Smith — except with a howitzer strapped to his shoulder, and terabytes instead of gigabytes.In other words... not just Aaron Rodgers, but better than Aaron Rodgers.3. At least two Chiefs losses this year will be directly attributable to bad calls.But whom are we kidding?At least two losses for every NFL team this season will be the result of bad calls.By the end of the season, everybody’s going to be mad at the zebras.It’s not going to be their fault, though.The league keeps adding rules that no one could possibly get right every time.4. Travis Kelce will have eight passing touchdowns again.But he’ll throw one of them.It doesn’t matter that the last time Kelce was asked to throw a pass, he threw an interception.Andy Reid isn’t going to be able to resist trying it again — but this time, it’ll work.5. On the season, the Chiefs defense will hold opponents to a passer rating of 80 or less — as they’ve done in three of the past five seasons — and after every game, there will be complaints about the secondary being awful.It’s good to remember that in the passing game, the offense always has the advantage.Even excellent pass defenders — and outstanding pass defenses — give up touchdowns. But when that happens, it’s apparently a lot more fun to characterize a particular defensive back as hot garbage.So have at it, folks.6. By the end of the season, the Chiefs offensive line will be stable from one side to the other.There’s no particular reason to believe this will be true.But if you predict it every season Womens Tony Gonzalez Jersey , it’s bound to be true sooner or later.Hope springs eternal.7. Sammy Watkins will make a lot of money playing for the Chiefs.Beyond that, it’s impossible to say what will happen.The range of outcomes is from very good to very bad.No... this isn’t a bold prediction.Sorry.8. Ben Niemann will be this season’s special teams ace.Unless Anthony Hitchens or Reggie Ragland miss significant time, he’s not going to get a lot of snaps on defense, which will open the door for Dave Toub to claim him as his own. Niemann is a complete player, and Toub will take advantage of that.9. The Chiefs will not give up a punt or kickoff return touchdown.The Chiefs haven’t given up a single kick-return touchdown since Toub became the special teams coach.Much has been said about Toub’s ability to score touchdowns in the kicking game — and fans tend to judge Toub year-to-year based on how many return touchdowns the Chiefs score — but almost no one has noticed how good the Chiefs have been at preventing them.Toub is a remarkable coach with a remarkable record.10. The Chiefs will win the Super Bowl.Honestly, this isn’t a very bold prediction.Let’s remember that in 2003 — the year the Chiefs finished 13-3 and held home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, only to be defeated by the Indianapolis Colts in the infamous no-punt game — the Chiefs had the No. 1 scoring offense, and the No. 19 scoring defense.If the defense had been just a little better in 2003, the Chiefs would have been unstoppable in the postseason.By the end of the season — when it will matter the most — it’s entirely possible the Chiefs offense could be that good, and although there are plenty of fans who won’t agree, it’s entirely possible the Chiefs defense could be that good, too.New for the 2018 season: True power rankings For me — like many Arrowhead Pride readers — AP’s weekly rundown of power rankings is must-reading during the season.I know perfectly well that power rankings are meaningless since they represent nothing more than the opinion of some NFL pundit.But I can’t help myself.I read them anyway.Going into the 2017 season, I started wondering: Is there a way to do it better?Is there a way to make power rankings more meaningful? And wouldn’t it be nice if you could look at them side by side, and more easily compare rankings from different sources?So I spent the season collecting data and experimenting with it, revising my methods and calculations as I went along.You’ll see the results starting this season, as we present Arrowhead Pride True Power Rankings — a more complete look at the state of the NFL each week.Part 1: Pundit Power RankingsOn Tuesdays — just as we’ve always done — we’ll give you power rankings from a variety of sources, including each pundit’s comments about the Chiefs.But we’ll present the rankings side-by-side, so you can more easily compare how different sources view each NFL team.Then we’ll add an extra feature.We’ll aggregate the rankings into a single ranking based on the power rankings from ESPN, Sports Illustrated’s MMQB,, the Sporting News Christian Okoye Jersey , and these particular six?All are well-respected national sources that we know will publish power rankings each week.The rankings published by two of them — ESPN and MMQB — represent the opinion of all their writers, rather than just one.Since we could consider their group opinion as more valid, our calculations will weight those two more heavily than the other four.As an example of what this will look like, here’s what the Pundit Power Rankings looked like going into Week 17 last season.Pundit Power Rankings for Week 17Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC TeamsLike all the tables we’ll show you each week, rows for the Chiefs will be in one color, rows for AFC West teams will be in another color, and rows for the remaining AFC teams will be in yet another.This immediately draws your eye not only to the information about your favorite team, but also to the teams that will most concern the Chiefs during the regular season: their division and conference opponents.We’ll also repeat the header row every eight rows, which will make it a little easier for you to read the table as you scroll through it, and also neatly divide the teams into quarters.Wait... did I say all the tables?I sure did.Part 2: Cruncher Power RankingsWe know, of course, there are other ways to evaluate the relative strength NFL teams — ones that do not depend on a sportswriter’s opinion, but instead on hard data.So on Wednesdays starting after Week 2, we’ll give you NFL rankings generated by four well-known methods used by number-crunchers: ELO from, DVOA from, SRS (for Simple Rating System) from, and PE (for Pythagorean Expectation — sometimes called expected wins) as originally adapted for pro football by Football Outsiders.All of these methods have strengths and weaknesses.All but DVOA use points scored (both for and against) as the base data for their calculations.All but PE take opponent strength into consideration.Only Elo includes how a team did in the previous season.Two of them — Elo and PE — were originally developed for different purposes, but have been adapted for pro football.There are other differences — if you’re really interested, click the links to learn more — but for our purposes, only one thing matters: they don’t depend on the personal opinion of a writer who doesn’t watch every game of every team.As you might expect, we’ll not only present these power rankings from the number-crunchers , individually, but average them together, too.Here’s what that looked like going into Week 17 last season.Cruncher Power Rankings for Week 17Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC TeamsYou may have noticed that the 2017 playoff teams are marked with asterisks in these first two tables.We’ve done this so you can see whether the pundits or crunchers better predicted the outcome of the 2017 playoffs.As you might expect, it’s a mixed bag.The pundits had the advantage of knowing which teams had the best shot of making the playoffs with one week to go.On the other hand, the crunchers predicted the eventual Super Bowl winner.You can also see the how pundits — in general — are influenced by quarterbacks.Going into Week 17 last year, they unanimously thought the Patriots — with Tom Brady — had the best chance to win the Super Bowl.The crunchers had more variance in their evaluations, but weren’t distracted by the fact that backup quarterback Nick Foles would be under center for the Eagles in the postseason.This is not to say that the crunchers will always be more accurate.They won’t be.But it illustrates how much fun it was for me last season, as I watched how the pundits and the crunchers agreed — and sometimes, how they disagreed.Part 3: Combined Power RankingsEach week, we’ll make it easy for you to compare how the pundits and crunchers differ by presenting their rankings side-by-side — and, of course, give you a cumulative ranking that averages them together.Combined Power Rankings for Week 17Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC TeamsI should note here how these rankings will be averaged together.Sharp-eyed readers may already have noticed that some of these seem... wrong.Two and six for the Steelers averages to four, and five and one for the Eagles averages to three.So why would the Steelers be ranked ahead of the Eagles?This is because we’re not averaging the rankings from each table.Instead, we’re averaging the numbers behind those rankings.In the Pundit rankings for Week 17, the Steelers average ranking was 2.25, while it was 5.25 in the Crunchers rankings.That’s an average of 3.75.The Eagles Pundit average was 5.125, and their Crunchers average was 2.5.That averages out to 3.8125.Therefore, the Steelers ranked ahead of the Eagles in the Combined rankings.But we’re not done yet.Part 4: Cruncher GradesIf you’re familiar with my past writing, you may recall that I am not a fan of statistical rankings.They can be misleading because they can only show that one number is larger (or smaller) than another — not how close they are to each other.Statisticians have a trick to fix this problem.They calculate standard deviations from average for a set of values, which is used to tell if the difference between two values from the set is statistically significant.Standard deviations from average are expressed as a number that is almost always between -3 and 3, and is usually carried out to multiple decimal points.But you’re not going to have to compare -1.6875 to 1.3496.Instead Womens Tanoh Kpassagnon Jersey , we’ll do the same thing your school teachers did: convert them to letter grades ranging from FF (less than -3) to AA (greater than 3) — like this:The key thing to remember is that only a difference of a full letter grade (or more) is statistically significant.So if one team has a B+ and another team has a B, the difference between them is measurable, but not significant.If one team has a C and another has a D+, the difference is a bit more measurable, but still not significant.But a team with a B+ grade is significantly better than one with a C+ grade.We can’t do this for Pundit rankings, because there is no numerical value behind each pundit’s opinion.But we can do it with the data underlying the Cruncher rankings, because they are numerical values.Since the Cruncher numbers are all based on entirely different systems, we can’t compare the raw numbers directly; that would be comparing apples to oranges.But by calculating standard deviations from average for each set of values, we effectively convert all of them to juicy red tomatoes — which we can compare directly.Here’s how that looked going into Week 17 last season.Cruncher Grades for Week 17Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC TeamsThese grades reveal an essential truth about ranking statistics of any kind: numbers that we spend a lot of time comparing sometimes don’t turn out to be significantly different from each other.While it might be true — for example — that one quarterback has a completion percentage of 60.1 and another has one of 60.4, the difference is measurable, but not necessarily significant.The same is true of ranked statistical values.We might assume — for example — that the top five rushers in the league are elite. But by grading the values this way, we might learn that only one is head and shoulders above everyone else.The other four might be merely above average.What we see here is that going into Week 17 last season, there were six teams that were roughly equivalent — at least in terms of how the crunchers evaluated them.So going into the playoffs, there really wasn’t one team that stood out as having the best chance to win it all.That might turn out to be the case in 2018, too.Or... it might not.It’s possible that when we reach Week 17, we’ll see that one or two teams are clearly above the rest of the field — or it’ll be anybody’s postseason to win.We’re looking forward to watching how it all unfolds, and hope that this weekly dive into what the pundits and crunchers think will be entertaining — and enlightening.Watch for it every Tuesday and Wednesday during the regular season on AP!

panxing18, 17.05.2019 05:20
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