Thursday, October 06, 2011

PA, AP, KFAN and Expectations, Part 3

Let me be clear about something here, just in case you are coming in late--this isn't about bashing the Vikings 0-4 start. This isn't about bitching about Donovan McNabb, or even mocking a projection four games into the season. It is about that last one, a little bit, but I am allowed, because I was mocking those projections before the season started.

What it is about mostly is demonstrating that your local experts (especially those that have lucrative contracts to cover said team)  maybe aren't giving you the non-biased analysis you think they are giving you. Maybe that should be obvious, in KFAN's case, as their play-by-play guy, Paul Allen, is also one of their main Viking's talk guys. There's no conflict of interest there, and certainly, PA would never allow his close ties to the team get in the way of his clear-eyed prognoses, right? If you've been reading this series, you know better.

So, let's take Paul Allen's projections again, and see where we are:

Adrian Peterson:
PA's projection--"Adrian Peterson told me last night on "Vikings Live at Winter Park" he is going to run for "2,500 yards" this season, and he meant it. He can do it, too."
Reality, 4 Games in: Peterson has run for 376 yards, or about 94 yards per game. Hey, that isn't bad. Of course, in the crazy-ass projections that Paul Allen (and Adrian Peterson) put out, it's a massive failure. For AP to hit AP & PA's goal, he's going to have to average over 152 yards a game the rest of the way. Could he do that? Only on a really, really good team. Which he is not currently a part of. Which every outside observer knew when the season started.

Percy Harvin:
PA's projection-"Percy Harvin will amass 1,200 receiving yards and score 10 touchdowns, which will be a career best. He will register seven via the pass and three by rushing."
Reality, 4 Games in: 0 Touchdowns. Percy will have to score just under a TD a game to make that part of  the prediction work. As for the 1,200 yards--well, we are a 1/4 of the way through the season, which would mean, ideally, at least 300 yards receiving. Percy is at 172 yards. He's going to have up his average considerably, from 43 yards a game to over 85 yards a game to hit 1,200 yards.

Note: I like Percy Harvin. I think he's a tough match-up, with a ton of different skills. How many guys have at least 141 rushing yards and 172 receiving yards already? (I'm guessing it is guys we can all agree are pretty good, like Matt Forte and Darren Sproles). But here's the thing--Percy Harvin has never even finished a 16 game season, and PA has him surpassing his receiving yardage from last year by almost 400 yards! That was always crazy to predict. and speaking of crazy...

Bernard Berrian:
PA's projection-"Bernard Berrian will run up 900 receiving yards and about seven TD's. His per-catch average will be around 17 yards and he will resume his role as the team's best deep threat. Bernard adjusts to the ball better than any receiver we have and is more engaged to play than he has been the last couple of years."
Reality, 4 games in: Bernard is averaging 18.5 yards a catch. That's slightly better than PA's projections! Way to go, PA! If anything, you undersold the dangerous veteran talent. Wait--that's 2 catches, in 4 games, for 37 yards (0 TD's). But, hey, still--18.5 yards a catch! Berrian just has to take his 4-week total and basically double it, week in, week out, for the rest of the year, and then he'll hit 900 yards! (For the first time since when? 2007?) 

I think I'll keep doing this series, every other week, just to show how expectations from local media are often FUCKING INSANE. No offense, Paul Allen, you insane son of a bitch.

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