Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Mother of All Game Previews

"Since midseason, no team has improved more than Jacksonville, and no team has declined more than Pittsburgh."

So begins the preview offered by Football Outsiders of the Jaguars v. Steelers contest. It is far-and-away the best preview you will see of any game (a preview of the Redskins v. Seahawks precedes the Steelers' preview, on the same page), and provides a fair-and-balanced (to coin a phrase) look at both teams.

Just as an aside, Pat Kirwan of Sirius radio's Movin' the Chains offers up a more simplified approach to determining which team will win in any given game. Take a look at the yards per catch and the takeaway/giveaway ratio of the two teams -- if, and when, those numbers tilt towards one team or the other then you have a clear cut favor.

In this week's game between Jacksonville and Pittsburgh here's how those numbers stack up:

Jacksonville +9
Steelers +3

Yards per Pass
Jacksonville 7.5 yards
Steelers 7.7 yards

Hmmm . . . looks like a nail-biter.

And not to be outdone, the New York Times also has a preview worth looking over.

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