Saturday, November 2, 2013
Frank Gore and the "But If" Game
I thought maybe it would be fun to play a game today. The name of the game is "But If", and it goes something like this, "X player averages 8 yards per pass attempt, but if you take out Y he averages Z".
We've all seen this type of argument made repeatedly, and recently it was made regarding Frank Gore. In the case of Gore it went something like this, "While Gore is averaging 4.2 yards per carry, if you take out his explosive runs of 10+ yards he averages under 3 yards per carry."
As you can imagine, while that statement is true it created quite a stir on one of the message boards that I frequent. After all, 49ers fans don't want to see one of the pillars of the current team knocked in any way.
Again, this was a true statement, and when I took a deeper look into the numbers of the top 10 running backs in the league by yards I found something very interesting, 80% of them average under 3 yards per carry when their explosive runs are taken out. The two that are the exception are averaging 3.1 and 3 yards.
The author of the piece that originally brought this up has been an advocate of the Dallas Cowboys, having predicted that they will go to the Super Bowl. You can imagine my surprise when I looked up the stats of their leading rusher, DeMarco Murray and found that if you take out his explosive runs he too averages under 3 yards per carry.
With this as a background let's play the game, come up with your best "But if". Here I will start it off for you,
Colin Kaepernick has the 6th highest yards per pass attempt in the league, but if you take out his throws to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis he falls to 30th.