It occurred to me that this might become a problem when I read Pete Prisco’s ‘real probowl‘ team. Pete did a questionable job (re: no Gary Brackett), but did recognize several Colts (Manning, Wayne, Sanders, Saturday, Hayden and praised Bethea as well). His real mistake was at the running back position where his gives the sentimental nod Fred Taylor. Taylor, the ultimate definition of mediocrity, has been getting some press for hitting 10,000 yards without ever making the Pro Bowl (a game where often three or four backs per CONFERENCE play). He picks Taylor over Joe Addai for the last slot, which surely would please Freddy since he said before the season that he was clearly the better back. I think it’s time to look at the backs in the AFC, since I’m sure Prisco won’t be the only one to make this mistake. Here’s a list of the top several backs in the AFC:
—————–Yards Carries YPC TDs Rec Yards TDs
Willie Parker –1217—306—-4.0—2–21–155—-0
Wil. McGahee 1093—260—4.2—7—42–229—1
Joe Addai ——975—-236—-4.1—11–34–318—3
Fred Taylor —-944—-191—-4.9—3—9—58—–0
Jamal Lewis —-921—-218—-4.2—9–23–194—2
Justin Fargas —920—-196—-4.7—3–22–181—0
From this chart, I think we can plainly see that Taylor is explosive, but ultimately a very one dimensional back. We all know he splits carries with Maurice Jones-Drew, as reflected by his low touch down numbers. While he has a high YPC, he lacks almost any other conventional stat commend him. He has only scored 3 TDs, and his receiving numbers are laughable. In fact, Justin Fargas of the Raiders has a BETTER resume for the Pro Bowl than Taylor.
If we use unconventional stats, such as the footballoutsiders DVOA or DPAR, we find Taylor ranked 10th IN THE AFC in DPAR (behind even Kenton Keith in DPAR!). Joe Addai? Third in the NFL behind Westbrook and LT. In VOA, which is a per play measure, Taylor rates a 0.0%, which basically means he is the PINNACLE of average.
I think this list essentially shows that LT, Joe Addai, and Willis McGahee offer the best combination of yards, YPC, TDs, and receiving yards. Willie Parker has big yards, but has been a joke in terms of actual production (if you think Freddy T’s FO numbers are bad, check out Fast Willie’s!).
Prisco essentially picked two backs of very questionable worth over one of the truly feared all around weapons in the NFL.