Brian Billick's annual "Toxic Differential" study (Saints currently ranked #3) (1 Viewer)

Saintaholic

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We're about three quarters of the way through the 2016 regular season, and that's the time each year when I like to take a closer look at Toxic Differential. As I've written about in the past, this is a synthesis stat that combines a team's turnover differential with its explosive-play differential (explosive plays defined as gains of 20-plus yards). As always, it further underscores the significance of turnovers and big plays in the outcomes of most NFL games, as well as the relationship between turnovers and big plays.

In short: Basic, conservative offenses that protect the ball and try to win the time of possession battle rarely turn the ball over a lot, but they also don't pile up many explosive plays. Meanwhile, high-powered passing offenses that generate lots of explosive plays are also prone to more turnovers. Conversely, gambling defenses that blitz a great deal might generate more turnovers, but they almost always give up more explosive plays. And vice versa.

The teams that can manage their turnover differential while accentuating an advantage in explosive plays -- or, conversely, manage their explosive plays yielded while accentuating an advantage in turnover differential -- usually fare very well. And at the end of most seasons, the best teams typically can be found in the top half of the ToxDiff standings.

There are a few outliers each year, but the Toxic Differential stat is still a worthwhile prism to hold up to light, in separating the contenders from the pretenders, and in identifying exactly where teams need to improve down the stretch.

Toxic Differential: Good sign for Falcons, bad omen for Giants - NFL.com


I heard about this this morning. Apparently this ranking system pretty much nails it by the end of the year - accurately predicting at least 9-10 of the playoff teams.

This metric, with us being #3, shows just how good of a team we've been. This may be the best 5-6 team I have ever seen. It's a shame we had our struggles on stopping blocked kicks along with the bogus P.I. call versus Oakland.
 

SAINTIN NEBR

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This team could easily be 7-4 or 8-3 with a break here or there... Usually most games come down to one or two plays that swing the outcome and usually it happens late in the game... we just haven't either been smart or just bad luck... I believe the talent is on this team and the pieces are there to make a serious run.. but right now we need Atlanta to fall to KC and to Carolina ( and us) otherwise we are fighting for a wildcard..
 

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Toxic Differential: Good sign for Falcons, bad omen for Giants - NFL.com


I heard about this this morning. Apparently this ranking system pretty much nails it by the end of the year - accurately predicting at least 9-10 of the playoff teams.

This metric, with us being #3, shows just how good of a team we've been. This may be the best 5-6 team I have ever seen. It's a shame we had our struggles on stopping blocked kicks along with the bogus P.I. call versus Oakland.
The only that sucks about this list is that the Falcons are up top and if this thing is accurate that doesn't bode well for us. The Giants, Panthers and Denver game truly comes back to haunt us.
 

gregh

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its always something every year with this team, some weird plays or calls that kills their season and puts them in a tail spin. hopefully its not too little too late on this season. don't wanna hear coulda woulda shoulda again
 

bobad

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This metric, with us being #3, shows just how good of a team we've been. This may be the best 5-6 team I have ever seen. It's a shame we had our struggles on stopping blocked kicks along with the bogus P.I. call versus Oakland.
Wow, Dallas is solidly in the middle of the pack. :hihi:

Billick used to call it "turnovers to explosive play ratio" or some such, and it was usually spot on. Using that metric, we're good with explosive plays, but not so good at turnovers.
 

dutar76

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3 chip-shot FGs not being blocked and run back from being 8-3... Now against the Panthers and Giants, it happened early enough that we should have overcome it. So 6-5 if the refs didn't play the "inconclusive evidence" card.

Last drive of the Raiders game was a farce. It was obvious from that point that NFL had plans for them to be the big story in the AFC West and media darlings this year. But the San Diego game should have been a loss. Almost as miraculous as the Raiders game was bogus... so those 2 cancel out.

Ingram flat out cost us the Kansas City game... He's doing better, but I'm still mad at him for that.

Blocked kick aside. The way the refs called the Giants game, there was no way we were going home with a win in that one. Another case of the NFL starting the season and showing their hand in what the big story lines were gonna be. I mean... our offense couldn't move the ball? Couldn't score? Pretty unbelievable if you ask me.

Even given that sometimes the ball bounces this way, sometimes it bounces that way. We should be 6-5 or 7-4. Either of those records would have us sitting in pretty good position and either of those more accurately describes this year's team.

But what can you do, but try and run the table. Or at least get back to .500 this week, sweep Tampa and beat Atlanta. Arizona game is the only one we can afford to lose and still have any kind of chance.
 

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3 chip-shot FGs not being blocked and run back from being 8-3... Now against the Panthers and Giants, it happened early enough that we should have overcome it. So 6-5 if the refs didn't play the "inconclusive evidence" card.

Last drive of the Raiders game was a farce. It was obvious from that point that NFL had plans for them to be the big story in the AFC West and media darlings this year. But the San Diego game should have been a loss. Almost as miraculous as the Raiders game was bogus... so those 2 cancel out.

Ingram flat out cost us the Kansas City game... He's doing better, but I'm still mad at him for that.

Blocked kick aside. The way the refs called the Giants game, there was no way we were going home with a win in that one. Another case of the NFL starting the season and showing their hand in what the big story lines were gonna be. I mean... our offense couldn't move the ball? Couldn't score? Pretty unbelievable if you ask me.

Even given that sometimes the ball bounces this way, sometimes it bounces that way. We should be 6-5 or 7-4. Either of those records would have us sitting in pretty good position and either of those more accurately describes this year's team.

But what can you do, but try and run the table. Or at least get back to .500 this week, sweep Tampa and beat Atlanta. Arizona game is the only one we can afford to lose and still have any kind of chance.
I agree with this most of this post. I also appreciate the OP posting the article.

We are a good team, but yea we have been hosed by the refs this year. The only two games that I think we legitimately lost this season was Atlanta and KC. We were outplayed by both teams.

We got screwed against Oakland, NYG, the Panthers, and most frustratingly against Denver. The NYG, Oakland, and Denver games were absolutely brutal though. This team is much closer to 8-3 than 5-6. It is a shame to see another amazing year by Drew being ignored because of a record that is a farce. All you hear is our defense is awful (which it is not) and our record is bad (which it is). Drew should be in the running for his 3rd MVP this year. It is a crime that he could end his career without one. The worst to me was when Manning was handed the trophy as a "career achievement" award. It was horse ****.
 

bradman1965

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its always something every year with this team, some weird plays or calls that kills their season and puts them in a tail spin. hopefully its not too little too late on this season. don't wanna hear coulda woulda shoulda again
I think I disagree. This years team seems much more directly improving over the high variance of the last few years. Weird bounces tend to settle out, but turnovers, penalties, explosive plays, are all pointing in the right direction. The one specific downside is special teams, but I like the direction of the team as a whole a lot more over 2014 and 2015.
 

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Love how this young team is coming together, can't wait to see the next 5 games
 

bobad

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Love how this young team is coming together, can't wait to see the next 5 games
Yea, me too. I could see the foundation being laid last year, but the injuries killed us.


If we don't make the playoffs, I know Payton will tell the team we're all set to make a SB run next year. He will tell them to keep in SB shape in the offseason, because it will come in handy.
 

Brennan77

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I think I disagree. This years team seems much more directly improving over the high variance of the last few years. Weird bounces tend to settle out, but turnovers, penalties, explosive plays, are all pointing in the right direction. The one specific downside is special teams, but I like the direction of the team as a whole a lot more over 2014 and 2015.
I agree. We swung for the fences after 2013. And we missed. We invested in the wrong players and culture. And we paid for it. We have been rebuilding since 2015 and the team is now headed in the right direction. I think have have a 13 win season next year, assuming Brees is still Brees.
 

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I think dallas shows the flaw with this method of ranking teams. Well....that and the fact Brian Billick is involved. Explosive plays are great for highlight reels but I'd worry more about a team like dallas that has a great o line and can grind it out late in the year running the ball. They may not see 20+ yards a play but they'll get 21 yards in 7 plays. That beats a defense mentally and physically.
 
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Saintaholic

Saintaholic

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I think dallas shows the flaw with this method of ranking teams. Well....that and the fact Brian Billick is involved. Explosive plays are great for highlight reels but I'd worry more about a team like dallas that has a great o line and can grind it out late in the year running the ball. They may not see 20+ yards a play but they'll get 21 yards in 7 plays. That beats a defense mentally and physically.
He specifically pointed them out this morning and said to just trust the process - it'll even itself out by the end of the 16 game schedule.

He also says there are always a couple of anomalies - so this may be Dallas.
 

St.Dan

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3 chip-shot FGs not being blocked and run back from being 8-3... Now against the Panthers and Giants, it happened early enough that we should have overcome it. So 6-5 if the refs didn't play the "inconclusive evidence" card.

Last drive of the Raiders game was a farce. It was obvious from that point that NFL had plans for them to be the big story in the AFC West and media darlings this year. But the San Diego game should have been a loss. Almost as miraculous as the Raiders game was bogus... so those 2 cancel out.

Ingram flat out cost us the Kansas City game... He's doing better, but I'm still mad at him for that.

Blocked kick aside. The way the refs called the Giants game, there was no way we were going home with a win in that one. Another case of the NFL starting the season and showing their hand in what the big story lines were gonna be. I mean... our offense couldn't move the ball? Couldn't score? Pretty unbelievable if you ask me.

Even given that sometimes the ball bounces this way, sometimes it bounces that way. We should be 6-5 or 7-4. Either of those records would have us sitting in pretty good position and either of those more accurately describes this year's team.

But what can you do, but try and run the table. Or at least get back to .500 this week, sweep Tampa and beat Atlanta. Arizona game is the only one we can afford to lose and still have any kind of chance.
I'm hoping my enthusiasm for attending this week's game isn't just a lull in between bouts of depression about the team. I've bolded the heart of the matter behind our record this season...which speaks to what I've said this year and last when it comes to the league manipulating the outcome of games via the terrible refs.
 

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