Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
KC. I see you've gotten a ton of heat about the wallace/calvin johnson debate. I've read most, if not all of your stuff, and can't seem to find if you believe wallace is also a better fantasy option. Do your metrics tell us that wallace is also the better fantasy WR?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
In the fantasy world, Johnson is the better choice. A lot of this has to do with his higher target volume, as targets are one of, if not the, most important factors in determining fantasy success for wide receivers.
Flip (Minson, NJ) [via mobile]
Hello Mr Scientist, I am seeing another (minor) upset in San Francisco this week. Giants win going away in a high scoring affair...What say your trusty metrics?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
This week's TFS ESPN.com article about the NYG-SF matchup pointed out that since 2007, the Giants are 2-25 in games where the opponent scores 20 or more points and NY loses the turnover battle. Since SF has scored 20 more points in every home game this year and has won the turnover battle 15 times, the odds are quite good they will win this game.
Sean McKenzie (Van Wert, OH)
Konichwa (japanese for "hello") KC!!! After looking at the Browns roster, I am amazed at how slow Sheldon Brown looked this year. I have already said they should aggresively go after after DE Cliff Avril. Another player we should target is CB Brent Grimes. He is young, fast, can play man to man well enough to blitz TJ Ward. Haden, Grimes, and Ward in the secondary would definetly give us the secondary to match up with the rest of the NFL. What do you think?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Like the idea of having Grimes and Avril on the roster. Big issue for the Browns is on offense, however, as their D is already pretty strong. They need to get some WR help and the draft/FA will provide them with plenty of opportunities to do that.
Alright KC, gotta hand it to you man, great call with your prediction of 49ers-Giants! This should get a standing ovation, and you deserve it. Still dont agree with you on the whole Megatron/Wallace debate but this week is all you man!
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Guess the crowd gave a thumbs up this week. Does that mean I'll have to fight Russell Crowe my predictions are off this coming week?
KC, try easing the pain of the Packer Backers. Tell them that despite being 15-1, we could all see that coming last week and that the record just wasn't indicative of the team's overall talent level.
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
Deep down Packers fans probably saw how this team was faltering down the stretch, but they wanted to believe it was just a phase that would turn around playoff time. All in all, this team has a fantastic future ahead of it, so this should just be considered one of those off years (if 15-1 can be called an off year).
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)
Aloha KC!!! Does the firing of Jim Caldwell open the door for Marty Mornhinweg to become the head coach of the Colts and the man who will be responsible for developing Andrew Luck???
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
Aloha to you as well, Lane! The issue in making Mornhinweg the head coach is that he showed in Detroit that he was not really capable of being the type of forceful leader a team needs. Someone has to be the bad guy and unless the Colts new GM can take over that role, they will need someone at HC who can.
BSB (Deep thoughts in Philly)
Hey KC, Do you ever get frustrated with people getting up in arms because the metrics for a given player is worse than the perception of that players value? Are you troubled that folks have trouble reconciling the numbers verses visual data?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
It's not the reconciliation that is troubling as much as it is that people just have an aversion to numbers. It's as if they think that some new stats are going to take the fun out of the game and that simply doesn't have to be the case.
Ryan (Damascus, MD)
Giants-49ers. High or low scoring game?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
High scoring. Thinking it will be much along the lines of the 27-20 score that these teams posted in week 10.
Jeff Roemer (Tampa, FL)
KC-TFS: It seems like you're doing a lot of analytics on the playoff teams and matchups right now, which makes sense. Do you begin college prospect breakdowns simultaneously or not until after the Super Bowl?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Simultaneous. I've already started draft breakdowns and will be spending this evening going over tapes of LSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Oregon for an article that will be posted tomorrow.
And doesn't almost every team have a great record when they win the take away ratio and score more than 20? Your thinking is flawed, is it not?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
The angle on that has been how does a team do when giving up 20 or more points and losing the turnover battle. The reason that is being used is that SF has scored 20 or more points at home in every game this year and they have won 15 of 17 turnover battles (and have a 17-1 positive turnover ratio in Dec/Jan). To beat SF, one is going to have to turn one of those trends around or win in spite of it, and NY looks to be in a bad way to accomplish either of those goals.
Flip (Minson, NJ) [via mobile]
Good numbers but it should be pointed out that one of those wins was last week at Lambeau (37-20 Giants win).
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Giants won the turnover battle last week, so that isn't an apples to apples comparison.
Jeff Roemer (Tampa, FL)
Speaking of University of Oregon prospects, how about the puzzler with Darron Thomas coming out this year? I saw McShay report that he wants to look into what the story is for his motivation. Have you heard anything and what do you think of Thomas?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
One of the reasons Thomas may have declared for this year's draft is that he could have lost his starting QB spot to Bryan Bennett. Might as well hit the draft while still a starter.
Yosemite Sam (Yosemite)
Will the Bucs back back and have a good season? -Yosemite
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
The Bucs were pretty good early this year, so that's a plus. Their QB was hurt late, so getting him back healthy will help. Having Blount healthy for a full season would be a big plus. And they seemed to throw in the towel on Morris by year's end, so getting a coach they will fight for would be an upgrade. Lots of reasons to see how TB could get things turned in the right direction pretty quickly.
Brad (Stilson, GA)
What's up KC? How will Dirk Koetter's offense in Atlanta differ from Mularkey's? Give a Falcons fan something optimistic to look forward to.
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Atlanta's offensive issues stem in part from their trying to move from being a run-first, pound the defense type of club to a pass-heavy, stretch the field club in one season. They need to establish one of these offensive identities and stick with it for more than one season.
JR (Tampa Bay)
KC, as a stats guy/scientist, can you ever just sit back and watch a game or do you find yourself focusing on the numbers while the game is playing?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
It's like this - watching a game is fun. Breaking down a game is work. I can watch games and enjoy them without thinking about the numbers, but once the breakdowns start, it's all business.
KC FAN (FL)
What score do you see The Patriots/Ravens? Thanks!
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Higher scoring than might be generally thought. Am thinking it will be 27-14 Patriots.
In recent prospect writeups, Mel Kiper has been comparing LaMichael James's skill set to Darren Sproles. Do you feel that's a fair comparison, and how would you use James in a pro offense? Would a team be making a mistake by making him a "bell cow"?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
That sounds like an apt comparison. I'll be looking at James as part of the Oregon breakdown this evening, so I'll have more of a detailed take after that. If you can, shoot over this question next week and I'll go over it in greater detail.
Any chance the Ravens pull the upset over the Pats? They almost beat them last year....that said they are terrible up the middle on the pass
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Absolutely. The key will be getting Brady to make mistakes. He's had a higher BDR this year than in past season's (1.4 percent if memory serves correct), but that number still isn't high enough to make one think he is going to cost his team an AFC title tilt.
Do you see the Raiders going after a corner in FA, Grimes maybe since they love man to man corners?
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Grimes would be a great pickup, but he'll cost more than a bit.
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)
With the success that Jim Harbaugh has had with the 49ers are you surprised that teams aren't looking at the college ranks for someone with similar qualities like Coach Ferentz at Iowa for example???
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
The thing about Harbaugh's success at college is that he was doing it with a system that translated well to the pros. Not many college coaches have that type of system (most CFB coaches win based on recruiting success).
Just ask the chatters "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED"!!!
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
That's the idea!
hi KC, Mr. Spanos (chargers owner) recently had a conference call with about 5,000 fans and said the team would much more aggresive this free agency. With guys like Nicks, Mathis and Mario available should the chargers make a splash for one of these guys?
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
There are any number of good FA avenues to pursue. The Chargers would do well to try to avail themselves of as many of these as possible, as their Super Bowl window is starting to close.
Since the Vikings picked up the secondary coach from Indy, do you see them being able to find the same diamonds in the rough that Indy was able to find for corners? Or was all of that a fluke product of the pass rush from Freeny and Mathis?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
The pass rush and playing cover-2 went a long ways to helping the Colts cornerbacks over the years. In the NFC North, counting on those two items probably won't be enough, so stockpiling talent in the secondary is a must.
KC, the Patriots have said they will have four honorary captains for this week's game. Troy Brown is one, can't remember the other but there seems to be sentiment towards bringing back Vinatieri as one. Can you shoot this down and say no way the Colts approve (which they would have to do) or the Pats would reach out to a player under contractual obligation on another team to fit the agenda. Thanks for another great year of chats!
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
I truly do not know the answer to this. It's not as if Vinatieri is precluded from attending the game and having him out on the field in a honorary role doesn't seem like something that would throw off the competitive balance. Hard to see the league putting the brakes on such a move.
Pedro (Rio de Janeiro)
Hey KC, been a while since I last joined your chat! So, Matt Williamson threw yesterday on Twitter how he loves the Manning - SEA fit. Where do you think Manning would be the best fit, as in a team that could reach the Super Bowl simply by plugging him in at QB? (I really think he'll be released...)
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Seattle has some talent at WR/TE, so Peyton to the Hawks would have some upside. Not saying that would put them in Super Bowl contention, as Manning was starting to show signs of regression in his last year as a Colts starter.
Mike (San Diego)
KC, to follow up on JB's point about the Packers. The Vikings were 3-13, promoted Spielman to GM, and their record is indicative of their talent level. Yuck...good luck with that one for the next 5+ years.
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Another take on the Vikings.
Aaron (New York)
Lets talk about the Dolphins! Who do you think there next Head Coach is going to be and why? Will this effect Moore and Bush?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
The Fins are most likely a lot of other teams in that they aren't in a hurry to hire someone as HC because they are waiting to see if someone will stand out in the hiring process. It shouldn't affect Bush unless the new HC wants a pure bell cow RB. Moore's future could be up in the air.
Last week you said the difference in the Texans-Ravens game would be TJ Yates. Man were you right. I still think the better team lost, but hats off to Baltimore. What do you think that the Texans need to do in the offseason to get back to the playoffs?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Have Matt Schaub healthy at season's end. If he was their QB right now, the Texans would likely be playing for the AFC Championship (and would have a very good shot at winning it). Houston just needs to stockpile more talent and get ready for about 3-4 seasons where they can make a run at a title.
Pedro (Rio de Janeiro)
By the way, on a scale of 1-10, how proud are you that the Giants are finally proving yourself right? You've been pointing at them as big contenders since the beginning of the season (when nobody else liked them)
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
It's not a matter of pride as much as it is being glad the Giants are getting their due. The loss to Philly in 2010 really got people down on that club and they weren't getting the credit they deserved for being one of the best teams in the league.
Aaron (New York)
One more before I have to leave... Expectations of Jay Cutler next season? Is he worth counting on? By the way this is my first football chat.. Thank you so much for your time and information!
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
More of the same - he's been a risk taker his entire career and won't be changing that mindset any time soon.
What kind of year/$$ do you think it would take to get Finley in the fold without the franchise tag? I'm thinking 5/$22.5 million with $15-17 guaranteed but not sure where it stands after a down year.
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
After the way he's played this season, one could not blame GB for not breaking the bank on Finley. His terrible NFC divisional showing was the cherry on top of what was a crappy sundae of performance this year. They should not pay him elite TE dollars.
Ryan (Damascus, MD)
Any metrics that point to who would "benefit" more from a rainy windy day between NYG and SF?
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
The Giants rely much more heavily on the vertical pass, so that would favor SF.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What do you think of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
I think the Pro Bowl should be hosted in a different country every year. That would get the players to stay interested in showing up for the game and would give the rest of the world a look at some of our best players. And with the high scoring history of the Pro Bowl, it would also give them a look at how exciting the game can be.
Do you see Panthers OC Rob Chudzinski getting a shot at a Head coach gig this year?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
He should at least be getting some interviews. This was only the latest in a string of successes for Chudzinski.
Steve B. (Ohio)
Everybody seems so suprised by the 49er success but strictly from a "numbers" standpoint is it really that suprising. They did seem to have a lot of the pieces, Even Alex Smith has had a couple of statistically pretty decent years, They just needed someone to pull it all together.
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
Great point. Singletary was good at motivating certain types of players but he just didn't have the macro team building skills to get the most out of the Niners on a consistent basis. To be fair, it is a hard skill to find, as the Harbaughs and Tomlins of the world are not a dime a dozen.
What are your predictions for this weekend: 49ers vs Pats?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
You got it. Am seeing an east coast vs. west coast Super Bowl - NE vs. SF.
Which player should the 49ers honeybadger (carlos rodgers) cover this weekend. Nicks and Cruz both have big play ability?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Nicks. Cruz is great but Nicks is the harder one to cover because of his overall route running skills. Speaking of Honey Badger (LSU's version), he will be covered in tomorrow's TFS ESPN article. Got some interesting numbers on him, so check it out.
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
On a somewhat related note, links to all of the TFS material are posted on Twitter @KCJoynerTFS.
Thanks for the interesting article on the NE defense, KC. One question though: how applicable are regular-season defensive metrics in the playoffs?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
If nothing else, the regular season trends show which direction the playoff teams are heading in. They don't always translate to playoff prediction success but they usually do point one in the right predictive direction.
What would blow your mind more? Klitschko vs. Klitschko for the Heavyweight title or Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh for the Super Bowl?
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh. With their dad as the special referee.
Andrew B. (Maryland)
What are the chances of a Giants Patriots rematch?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
It will all depend on Eli. If he can keep from making some of the risky passes he tends to make at times, NY has a 50-50 shot at winning this game.
Andrew Bartlett (Olney , Maryland)
What will the Redskin's season look like next year?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
Depends a lot on the offseason. If they keep doing the roster building like they have the past couple of years, Washington will be an NFC East contender sooner rather than later. If they lose patience and try the fast track route of roster building, it will be the same old Redskins.
TE Party (Boston)
What's the difference in skill-set between a TE like Aaron Hernandez and a large physical WR like Megatron?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
It normally boils down to route running skills. Top level tight ends typically either aren't asked to or can't run as many routes as top level wide receivers.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Who would receive a greater boost to their all-time great legacy with a Super Bowl vist/win - Brady oor Eli?
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
Eli. Brady is already HOF bound. Eli needs more to get to Canton.
Lord Sauron (Land of Mordor)
Should the Vikings just dump Ponder (who was a reach) and draft Griffin? And have you seen my ring?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
You would think with such a big eye he would have been able to spot that ring from a few miles away. And the Vikings should keep Ponder - he's already shown the type of upside he is capable of.
Which is a greater strength? Patriots offense or Ravens defense? Which is the greater liability? The Patriots defense or the Ravens offense?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Probably a push on the first question. On the second question, the Patriots D is vastly underrated (the topic of today's TFS ESPN.com Insider article).
Andrew B. (Maryland)
Should the Skin's trade up for RGIII?
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
Depends on what they would have to trade to get there. The draft doesn't have as many top-level QBs as it initially looked like it would, so paying a high price might be a necessity.
Your preference for QB-needy teams - trade up for RG3, Manning, or Flynn?
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Again, depends on the price for RG3. In a world where the trade value is not necessary, RG3 is the preference.
Did you see how many times the 49ers ran the TE post route from right to left of the field against the Saints? Giants definitely have to take that route away from Davis, no??
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
NO leaving Davis in the type of coverage they left him in on those big plays is one of the head scratching moves of the playoffs. Don't expect NY to repeat that performance. Well, it's been fun but it's time to run. Quick note - links to the TFS material are always posted on Twitter @KCJoynerTFS. Hope to see you all here next week!