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Keep on Drivin` (Plus "To Joe Goosby!")

Brian Beaudry
Tuesday May 26, 2015


Offense beats defense again – in last week’s lone “one team has the better offense; the other has the better defense” game, the Soul throttled the Storm to make it a 7-4 advantage for offense-favoring teams.
 
In fact, they crushed the Storm so severely that they made up a seven percent deficit in the defensive column to move ahead of Tampa Bay for the season defensively, too.
For those wondering how LA’s numbers moved despite an off week, Danny Southwick pointed out that since LA had scored on a kickoff return, their offense had only converted six of nine drives in their game against the Thunder. That error was made before I’d decided to actually create the whole table for the league, when I was just evaluating the KISS performances throughout the season. Now the errors have been fixed.
 
       

Notes:
  1. After San Jose shuts a team down, they seem to take a break the next week. They’ve held opponents to a 33.3% offensive success rate twice this season. The following weeks have been their worst two performances of the year (63.6%, 65.4%).
  2. The only team held below 60 percent on drive conversions this week was the Storm, who were singlehandedly smote by Joe Goosby and his MVP performance. They converted a mere 30 percent of their drives.
  3. No need to vote on Goosby. You get three rushing TDs, force two fumbles, pick off a pass for a touchdown, and block a PAT and return THAT for a touchdown…you’re automatically the MVP. I don’t care what anyone else does. Philadelphia should’ve lined him up at QB on the last possession so he could get a passing TD, then let him kick his own PAT, too.
  4. Joe Goosby required the Storm to have permission slips signed by each player’s parents requesting that their child be allowed to score. Unfortunately, their father, Joe Goosby, refused to write such permission slips.
  5. Since Hurricane Katrina, the government required that the levees in New Orleans be replaced with Joe Goosby, as he renders all storms useless.
  6. Okay, that’s enough Goosby jokes. The Sabercats have the best defense. They may not have any of the top three one-game performances this season, but they still have five of the top nine stop rates in a game.
  7. The average offense scores on 68.1 percent of its drives. No Sabercats opponent has achieved that against San Jose this year.
  8. Teams that had their best defensive performance of the season this week: Philadelphia. Teams that had their worst defensive performance of the season: San Jose, Tampa Bay, New Orleans.
  9. Teams that had their best offensive performance of the season this week: Jacksonville. Teams with their worst offensive performance of the season this week: Tampa Bay.
  10. Teams can officially stop worrying about winning if they get two stops. The league-wide offensive success rate on drives is roughly 69 percent. Since each team averages about 10 drives per game, you’ll probably need at least three stops to have a chance to win.
Consecutive Drives between best/worst and next best/worst:

This is to illustrate how far away the best and worst teams are from the rest of the league. In the case of San Jose, the number will refer to how many consecutive drives they’d have to fail at (go scoreless/give up touchdowns) until they had a rate equal to or slightly worse than the No. 2 team. For Los Angeles, it’s the number of consecutive successful drives they need to no longer be the worst.
 
Side of Ball
Best/Worst
Team
2nd
Successful/Failed drives needed
Offense
Best
San Jose
Philadelphia
4
Offense
Worst
Los Angeles
New Orleans
9
Defense
Best
San Jose
Arizona
21
Defense
Worst
Los Angeles
Portland
7
 
Yes, the Sabercats could give up 20 consecutive touchdowns and they’d still be the best defense in the league. Yikes.
The Shock did “upset” the Outlaws last weekend, the only upset of the week, making me 5-0* in picks for the season.

This week’s picks based on rankings or writer’s discretion:
ORL @ CLE: This is the only game this week where one team doesn’t have an advantage over the other offensively and defensively. Cleveland is 3.3% above average on drive stats. Orlando is 1.0% above average. It’s a pretty even matchup, so I’ll take the home team. Cleveland.
SJS @ POR: Let’s just put San Jose in for every San Jose game this season, save ourselves some time and get myself a nice easy 10-0 head start.
LVO @ PHI (NJ): Las Vegas isn’t near Philly’s level. And I’d imagine they’re not going to get multiple missed FG returns for TDs in this one, which will make it a bit tougher. Philadelphia.
NO @ TB: I can understand the hangover from the tough loss against Orlando affecting last week. If they allow it to affect them against a New Orleans team that lost its quarterback and wasn’t particularly good to begin with? We can safely ignore them for the rest of the year. Tampa Bay.
ARI @ SPK: Spokane handled Vegas pretty easily, then let some things get away from them late and let the Outlaws get way closer than they should have been. But the Rattlers are a much, much better team than the Outlaws. Being home is nice, but this is a tough stretch for the home crowd in Spokane. San Jose, then Arizona is no way to get wins. Arizona.
JAX @ LAK: It looks like Los Angeles made a lot of effort to improve their team over their bye week. None of that will matter this week, of course, as Jacksonville is becoming what they were supposed to be. Jacksonville wins.
 
*Yes, I’m hyping my undefeated record as long as I can, because I know it’s all going away soon.


 
Brian Beaudry has been both an intern and a Director of Communications within the AFL and occasionally provides analysis of the league and the Portland Thunder as an Oregon resident. He maintains a blog, Wrong Way Sports, and you can reach him with research or graphic design suggestions on Twitter at @BeaudryPDX.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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