Saturday, October 25, 2014

Offensive Dominance Quotient

This summer Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers' declared their goal of speeding up the offense and running 75+ plays per game. Play fast, keep the defense from substituting, keep it pedal to the metal. To this point in the season, after seven games, the Packers have run 410 offensive plays, a 58.5 play average. Now, I'm no mathlete, but I think that's about 20 plays less than McCarthy's target. The result? A 5-2 record and 28.4 points per game, good for 4th in the NFL.

So despite not achieving the play per game goal set this summer, the Packers' offense is humming right along at a nice clip. In reality, it is almost unreasonable to expect Rodgers to run that many plays per game when he is throwing the ball to Jordy Nelson who simply refuses to be bothered by defenders and just decides to score when he touches the ball.

"Oh. Sorry, coach, was that too fast?"

Now that the Packers are closing in on the halfway point of the 2014 season, I think it is a good time to review where they are now and adjust some of the goals and measurements for the second half of the season. Self-reflection and analysis are traits of a healthy and successful organization and also traits of highly successful individuals.

While a target of 75 plays per game should remain a goal, I don't believe it to be the best measuring stick for Mike McCarthy to judge his offense. I have to believe that since the Packers have only achieved this benchmark once, yet remain successful, there must be a better metric to use to evaluate an offense's success, say an Offensive Dominance Quotient-ODQ (I made that up. Just now. Kind of like some intern at ESPN made up QBR on his lunch break.)

ODQ is an extensive set of statistics, formulas and algorithms designed to exactly measu...bwahahaha...just kidding. Like I said, I'm no mathlete. I couldn't even wake up for my 9 a.m. stats class, so ODQ is about as superficial as you could get. It is simply a tally of....{drum roll}....the number of snaps that the Packers' backup quarterbacks play in a game in relief of Aaron Rodgers. When QB1 has directed the team to a sufficient enough lead where McCarthy is able to send in Matt Flynn, as was the case versus Minnesota and Carolina, victory is imminent, and the Packers' offense has been dominant.

I look forward to seeing more Matt Flynn in relief mode during the course of the season. In fact, I would challenge Mike McCarthy to make Scott Tolzien active on all game days. When you are able to send in TWO backup quarterbacks to close out a game, your ODQ is roughly the size of a Twinkie 35 feet long and approximately 600 pounds.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Laces Out, Dan? Not So Fast.

In honor of the Packers traveling to Miami this Sunday, I thought I’d revisit the greatest Hollywood field goal attempt in recent memory – that from Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994). I’m going to go ahead and assume you’ve seen it because if you haven’t, honestly, I feel bad for you.

But the main antagonist’s desire for revenge stems from the kicker’s miss of a potential Super Bowl-winning field goal due to the classic laces out vs. laces in argument. Now, most people assume the football should be positioned toward the goal post (laces out) rather than toward the kicker (laces in). This supposedly allows the kicker to connect with the smooth part of the ball, and better control its trajectory.

But is this always the case? What if the laces were in for the only pro athlete to come out of Cauler County? The Ranter was determined to find out so along with our advanced software engineering intern, Log Jam, we hit our in-house 3D virtual laboratory to see if a laces-in kick would’ve allowed Ray Finkle to make that fateful field goal in Ace Ventura.

First of all, let’s take a good look at the kick. As you can see, the ball just sails juuuuuust past the left goal post.
"Ray Finkle blew a 26-yard field goal!"
Taking a virtual model of the field goal post, then triangulating the position of the ball with relation to distance of kick, we discover the ball passes a mere twelve inches to the left – a relative minuscule amount. In other words, by not striking the ball perpendicular to its axis, one could say Finkle simply “pulled the kick.” By extrapolating the distance (W) of the missed kick within the Cartesian coordinate system of a simple X-Y graph, we can see a clear +2.3-degree variance along the X axis (marked in blue) accounts for the noted deviation.
Now, let’s reverse this mathematically induced scenario with laces-in circumstances. You’ll notice immediately that the convex physical characteristics of the laces (NFL standard laces protrusion = approx. 5.5mm) allows Ray to connect with the ball earlier, actually offsetting the x axis variance from the laces-in model and striking the ball perfectly square.

The kick is clean and true, traveling perfectly straight through the uprights. He makes the field goal, guys. *drops mic*

Conclusion: In most cases, the common laces-out configuration holds true (pun intended). However, the aforementioned scientific analysis provides sufficient evidence that a laces-IN kick would’ve indeed allowed Ray Finkle to make the field goal described in the seminal film, Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994).

And if you TROLLS dare question the translation accuracy of the visual medium, let it be known that Log Jam spent numerous hours analyzing samples of 1980’s projector-style reel footage superimposed onto 1990's Hollywood-style 35mm film and then compressed the into Youtube’s 2014 online platform. (Turns out, it’s basically a wash.)
Log Jam earning his letter of recommendation
Edit: I just realized if Ray Finkle makes the kick, it creates a significant distortion in the space-time continuum of the Ace Ventura movie universe. That means Ray Finkle never transforms into Lieutenant Einhorn in order to seek out revenge. A young-Courtney-now-a-cougar-Cox never reaches out to Ace Ventura to find Snowflake. The entire story is erased from existence and the world misses out on one of the greatest comedic performances of all time! 

S#$T! How do I delete this post? Damn it, Jim – I’m a scientist, not a computer programmer!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Free Advertising for Your Charity

They say nothing in life is free. I say they’re wrong.

Are you a local charity or nonprofit operating on a shoestring advertising budget? Can you verify your organization is considered reputable as evaluated by sites such as Charity Navigator or Great Nonprofits? Then we’d like to offer you complimentary prime advertising real estate on our site - a top centered banner.

Believe it or not, we get contacted a lot for advertising. But it’s usually for gambling sites, and while they pay well, we’ve never cared much for the money (although it has paid for an annual ticket and a couple beverages in the past). Franklin and I are lucky enough to have full-time jobs – even if it is working for the man. And when you combine that with the fact we’ve been noodling doing something of value for a while, that represents our only real motivation.

I suppose if there’s one catch, it’s that your ad will be on a website known for unconventional Packers humor, trash talking with opposing fans and frequent that’s-what-she-said jokes. However, although Google says thousands of people visit this site each month, I’ll leave it up to you how you handle your brand. And hey, this may even motivate us to write more. 

Since we’re a Packers site, we’re looking for Green Bay- and Wisconsin-area organizations but remain open if no one else contacts us. And depending on interest, we may have to rotate every month or so.

And if you don’t have a creative marketing department, we’ll even help create the ad, and I love me some Photoshop all right;)

Just contact us via the Twitter machine or email. Have a nice day.
Google requires us to state we use third-party advertising, who may use information (not including your name, address, email, or phone) about your visits to provide ads of possible interest. For more information or to opt out, click here.
To contact us or to advertise, email packerranter {at}