FanPost

Why ProFootballFocus is stupid.


Some of you people might like PFF. What they do, simply, is grade individual players over the course of games. Every single player, every single play.

And it's utterly stupid. Pointless. In any human endeavour, what matters is the OUTCOME. Not the INPUT, not the HOW, but the WHAT.

Some of you might have heard of something called Management by Objectives (in NZ public sector, Managing for Outcomes) and some might have heard of a military concept called directive control or Auftragstaktik. Both of them rest on the central concept that what matters is the objective. How you get to the objective is largely irrelevant. Sure, there are manuals of best practice (Principles of War, academic articles etc), but they aren't what counts. What counts is always the end result.

In my mind, a good game is a game you win. If you throw a pass that gets bobbled by two defensive backs and ends up in a receiver's hands for a TD, that's a good pass. If you throw a pass right between the numbers and it's dropped, that's a bad pass. A mixed up handoff that leads to a quarterback scramble for 15 on 1st and 10 is a good play. Mistakes are when objectives aren't reached.

This is why i like passer rating. it measures outcomes. It doesn't get into pointless minutae or make endless subjective judgements about sub inputs (incidentally, PFF grades each play individually as far as I can see - that is there are no modifiers giving different plays different importances. I could be wrong.) It's why I like Football Outsiders. All about the outcome.

When I go for a performance review, my boss doesn't give a fuck whether or not I followed a specific project methodology or a specific risk mitigation mechanism or followed a perfect PESTELOM for the strategic analysis. He wants to know a) was the project on time, under budget, and to quality, b) have the risks been managed, and c) does the strategic analysis give him what he needs to know?

It's the same with quarterback ratings. PFF tries to diss Tommy Brady and I'm not a Pats homer - McCourty ain't ROTY - TB12 was the best player in the league, full stop. he achieved the best outcomes - both individually and collectively. And that's what matters.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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