Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Essence of Essex

    I've completed another game since the Rams-Saints. This was the Bengals-Patriots. I don't want to put too much importance on what happened in this game because the Patriots are so horrible, but the passing seemed much better. Ken Anderson went 13-17 for 125 yards, which is just about right. In reality, he went 10-15 for 115. So the yards per catch is still a little low, but I was throwing more Short Passes because I valued completions more than yards and Anderson's card pretty much dictates shorter passes. There were a couple times where I could have thrown Medium and done much better. But there were also times when, had I gone Medium, I wouldn't have completed the pass at all. So half-dozen of one, 6 of the other.

     On the other hand, Plunkett was awful: 5-12 for 40 yards. In reality, Plunkett went 9-17 for 117, but a lot of that was a 35-yarder to Garrett. Chances are good that was a garbage-time screen pass or something, since the Patriots lost 31-7. Oh, in my game, they lost 35-3. Again, though, I was throwing short, primarily to backs, and it was a chore just gaining a yard at all for the pathetic Patriots.
     Interestingly, the Patriots got their field goal at the end of a drive in which I threw 4 doubles in a row -- 11, 44, 33, and 44 -- which accounted for 56 yards rushing on 4 carries. This game is a lot about die-rolling. If I had called a Medium Pass or two during that stretch, Plunkett's stats would be a whole lot different.

Johnson gaining more than 0 vs the Rams.
      Anyway, one thing I discovered is that not all cards are created equal. I think the Essex Johnson card is misprinted, for example. Look, Johnson was a 4-yds-per-carry back in 1972, but his card doesn't bear that out at all.

     I've circled the 25s. In APBA, 25 is no gain across the board. 0 yards. His first 7 carries of this game: 4, 0, 0, 0, -2, 4, 1. It happens, even to 4-yds-per-carry guys. But the last time I used Johnson (I actually played this game once before), the result was pretty much the same. No way in heck this guy's going to run for a 4-yd average at that rate. So now, when a 25 comes up, I roll a die. Even = use 19 instead. Odd = use the 25 as printed. This bore fruit, three times in the game. 3 of Johnson's last 6 carries of the game would have been for 0 yards. But using this rule, two were changed to 5 and 6 yards. Using the card as-is, you'd have to roll doubles about 1/3 of the time to get a good rushing day out of him.
     We'll see how it works out over time. But (7)25s out of 36 seems a little excessive. 

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