Worn out by the ethical drama, I didn’t think much about
Michael Vick joining the Philadelphia Eagles at first. Then it hit me: the Eagles could now put two mobile quarterbacks and one of the most dynamic running backs in the game all in the same backfield.
A-11 offense and it’s 16,632 possibilities, which often begins with two potential passers. The A-11 is illegal under NFL rules, but in no Pop Warner football coaches’ wildest dreams could they imagine running anything like it with two quarterbacks who can move!
The possibilities are exciting, but the probabilities are confusing – this is, of course, the point.
Vick can pass, but that’s not his strength.
Donovan McNabb can run, but he’s no spring chicken any more. If McNabb and Vick line up in the same backfield, what should you expect to see? I ran the numbers, and here’s what I came up with:
The numbers are based on the expected value of the play call over the last three seasons. This takes into account the likely yardage gain, chance of a turnover, and other factors like a basic commitment to putting the ball in
Brian Westbrook‘s hands, however they line up. The actual formations could be different, but then that’s your area of expertise.
The key takeaway is if you see McNabb and Vick on the field, cheat towards the run. About 60 percent of the time, they’ll be coming on the ground. The bad news, of course, is that 40 percent chance of a pass is too much to ignore. Then again, maybe this is all video game thinking, and you’ll never see it on the field. I say better safe than sorry.
I offer all this to you as a semi-fan – yes, I’m a 49ers fan, but the Giants have always been okay by me, and your guys are the team I watch to start my Sundays. We also have enough in common: we both like to see good defense, we were both at the victory parade in 2008, and, most of all, we both have a healthy distaste for the Cowboys.