The "No Points Left Behind" analysts have outdone themselves this time.
I decided to check up on them recently, since they haven't done anything since the draft. I was expecting to find them lazing about, eating all of my herring bait, but I was shocked to find a maelstrom of activity in the "situation room."
The analysts waddled to and fro, bickering and fighting, jotting notes down furiously on scraps of paper. They were in a heated debate over some new form of metrics, and hardly noticed that I was there. I sidled up to the table and picked up a document, which was labeled "Top Secret: For Avian Eyes ONLY!!" Beneath that warning, in small, inconspicuous type, was the title "Execution Metrics."
But before I could see what wonders lay within, it was swiped out of my hands, and I realized that the furor of activity had come to a halt, and all eyes were focused on me. "What are execution metrics?" I asked innocently.
This threw them back into a noisy mess as they all spoke at once trying to tell me. It was obvious that there was some disagreement on the matter. The chief analyst silenced them, then addressed me, with a slow, even tone. "Don't worry about EM yet, Mr.Styg. Here, take this instead. That should keep you busy." He forced a wadded up scrap of paper from the garbage can into my hand and I found myself being forcibly ejected from the room. As the door was sealed behind me, I heard the commotion resume anew, and I could only wonder about the heated debate within. But my attention turned to the scrap of paper in my hand. I immediately recognized several key figures, but I grappled with what the whole picture was. The calculation seemed to be validating some deeply held principle that I had.
It seemed to be saying that Jay Cutler could be the best ever, but how?
Breaking it down
Well, the first task for me to do was to break the equation down into its basic parts. I recognized that it was an application of Castigliano's Theorem, a method of projecting the deflection from particular instances of stress, but what was the stress, and in what instances was it applied? I had to dig deeper.
Contained within the equation was a summation of the 2007 season's stats for Jay Cutler. I began to break them down, piece by piece. As I went, new light was shed on what the computation was indicating, and my excitement mounted:
I quickly realized that this game was a baseline to be worked from. A career high in yardage and a 60% completion percentage, coupled with a single TD was to be compared to an INT, a sack and a fumble. The deciding factor in the calculation was a late game-saving drive which got the team into position to score the winning field goal. But with nothing to compare yet, I could not find the key element.
Against oakland Cutler had 269 yds a 70% completion percentage and another TD, but was offset by 2 sacks, 2 ints and a fumble. The 2 INTs resulted from bad mechanics (a tip at the line) and a bad defensive read (didn't read the LB in zone coverage. Walker also fell down on the play, but it would have been intercepted anyways.) He also failed to tuck the ball suficiently when trying to escape pressure. His actions made the game unnecessarily close, but when I searched the tape for any indications about the bad play, the only difference I could come up with was an anomaly with the towel boy on the sideline. In Buffalo, the week before, the towel boy had spent a dollar at the vending machine. In week two the boy forgot his wallet, and wasn't able to get a snack until after the game. But what did it mean??
Without a semblance of a running game Cutler showed tremendous poise and confidence, and even a little scrambling ability (failed to spring anything, however). He once again racked up an impressive 70% completion percentage while sporting a 9.7yd avg/att. Throw in a touchdown, but counter with an equalizing INT and another sack. After being dominated by an aggressive bunch of Jaguars, Cutler once again led a late game comeback that just fell short when a low but catchable ball slipped through Graham's fingers. Jay was reportedly not upset with Graham about this however, because earlier in the 3rd quarter, "Daniel was kind enough to share his cookies with me. Chocolate chip. My favorite."
It felt like I was getting closer to the answer.
Cutler had been becoming dependent on Javon Walker, especially for his medium range passes, and week four featured Jay with no Walker and presumably no number one threat. Cutler managed however, and was able to both run in a score and toss a short 7-yarder to Brandon Marshall. However this was offset by two costly interceptions. In a game full of smart checkdowns, one playcall that caught my attention was Crossing 6, Hitch 12, Over 6. The answer was so close I could taste it...
In a preview of what would become known as the "SanDiego Embarrassment" Cutler found himself frustrated time and again, failing to throw a TD, almost losing another fumble and adding yet another pick n'sack to his stats. In one of the few scoring opportunities that he faced he was robbed by a slippery field and a slipping Brian Clark. Clark would get an earful from the youthful Cutler on the sidelines. Apparently Clark didn't share his cookies with Cutler.
During the bye week Cutler attempted to bake some bread as a way of relaxing. Unfortunately the bread didn't raise. It turned out to be due to the fact that he forgot to add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, so the yeast was unable to activate. Definitely worth noting.
Finally I had found the information I needed, in what was arguably Cutler's best performance of his young career. His first 3 TD performance of the year and a rating over 106 coincided nicely with 2 McDonald's runs by an assistant coach. Cutler had the strawberry shake both times. It was obvious at this point that Cutler was seeing his statistics taking a dive due to his Blood Sugar levels.
It was time to finish what the NPLB analysts had set out to do with their brilliant calculation, now that I could see the genius behind it. I have developed the
Blood Sugar Metrics
According to these BS metrics, if you weight the over-adjusted values (OAV) of plays with a negative-after-the-fact rating (NAFR) you obtain an eye-opening stat I like to call the obviously-it-was-because-of-blood-sugar (OWBOBS). I used this stat to adjust Cutlers stats from 2007, by subtracting all OWBOBS from his production. And wowsers was I amazed. Just look at these numbers:
297 of 415 for 3497 yds and a 72% pass completion. He averaged 8.4 yds per attempt with 20 TDs and ZERO INTS and took ZERO sacks. He also had golden hands by not fumbling even a single time. For a second year player that is pretty impressive. And just to see if 2007 was an anomaly, I applied BS metrics to his 2006 playing time and reached the same freakishly good numbers.
This Jay Cutler guy is just amazing, and we just may have all the proof we need. But in the interest of remaining objective and true to science, I am willing to hold off on this announcement until the verdict is in from the 2008 season. The NPLB analysts and I will be watching Cutler closely and applying these new BS metrics, and with any luck, the stats will be upheld. One thing that is certain is that one of the most important questions Jay will have to answer in 2008 will be: