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This review is from: Pro Football Prospectus: 2002 Edition (Paperback)
To apparently justify the publisher's attempt to expand the 'Prospectus' brand name (i.e., the successful Baseball Prospectus annuals), the authors proudly proclaim that they watched a tape of every NFL game played last year. Apparently, this experience was solely for entertainment purposes, as it is nearly impossible to determine what new statistical information they derived from this exercise. Most of their statistical analysis is comprised of taking common stats and haphazardly throwing them together to come to some predetermined conclusion.
For example, in the Pittsburgh Steelers' chapter, the writers attempt to show Kordell Stewart's escapability. The authors conjure up the Quarterback Elusiveness Score, a ratio between quarterback rushes to sacks. Chicago Bear QB Jim Miller places number two on this list, by virtue of his low sack total (a product, in part, of his chucking the ball away at the slightest sign of pressure) and his rushes, which were primarily kneel downs (30 att., -23 yds.). The only thing elusive is what this is trying to tell us.
With the information at their disposal, they could have analyzed the times a QB forced a throw, fumbled while scrambling, sidestepped in the pocket to throw for yardage, etc. However, such creative thoughts seem to elude the writers again and again.
Thus, much of this book isn't a whole lot different than your average yearly football magazine. It's even chock full of cliches -- halfway into the book, the authors have credited the aftermath of 9/11 in aiding the efforts of three different teams to 'come together'.
When you put together a football annual, the reader should expect more than rote analysis, particularly when you boast that you have much more up your sleeve. This book is below average.