First off apologies for not getting my weekly contribution to Arrowhead Addict posted last week. I am making up for that by doubling up on the results and information from last week with those of this week. Today’s offering of Double Take marks the first of what I think will be a few post mortems about the 2011 season and hopefully provide our readers with the kind of information they need to understand what this team was in 2011 and maybe get a little bit of insight into where it might be headed.
The frustrating and often painful 2011 season ended for the Chiefs on Sunday. We no longer have the head coach with whom we started the season, we’ve watched an interim coach rebound with .667 record, and we’re now mulling over a few things – important things like who our head coach and starting quarterback should be. So, as always, we’re going to find out if our friends over at Football Outsiders can help us with that process, just after the jump.
The first couple things I’m happy to finally see is a little data on Orton and Baldwin. Based on his play this season, I think we can safely conclude that Orton played better than either Cassel or Palko. I think it’s also fair to say that one cannot make the argument that Orton’s numbers are somehow skewed in his favor because he played for a better team earlier in the season. He didn’t. Based on their respective DVOA percentages, both Cassel and Palko can be viewed as liabilities to their teams while Orton can be considered an asset, albeit slight. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – if Cassel can win you 10 or 11 regular season games, Orton can most likely win you 11 to 13 games with the exact same personnel. That makes Orton more along the lines of being perennial playoff material.
Let’s talk about Jonathon Baldwin for a moment. I expect 1st round receivers to be impact players their first year. Baldwin ended up as one of the worst ranked WRs in the league. That for me constitutes a huge black eye for Pioli and his ongoing inability to recognize and acquire early round talent. In Pioli I do NOT trust!
Thomas Jones has proven beyond any doubt that he is the worst ranked RB in the league. Is there any reason for allowing him to lead our locker room any more?
Our best offensive players, in terms of raw DVOA percentages, this season? It’s a tie between Jackie Battle, and yes, you’re seeing that right, Leonard Pope. After that it’s Breaston and Orton.
Using the Weighted DVOA statistics is where I can see making a fairly reasoned argument, aside from his 2-1 record say, for retaining Romeo Crennel as the head coach for 2012. There seems to be moderate improvement over the last 3 games for total team efficiency, in spite of the loss to Oakland. I put that success more on Crennel than Orton because most of the improvement is happening on the defensive side of the ball rather than Orton’s side of the ball. Make sense?
The one thing I take away from this chart that hasn’t been addressed in the previous two set of charts is that our improvement on defense, using process of elimination, is not so much attributable to our front seven as it is to the improving play of our secondary. If, for the sake of argument, Pioli is forced to make a financial choice between keeping Bowe versus keeping Carr, he’s a complete idiot if he doesn’t go with Carr. Let me put that another way, if Pioli fails to retain Carr, it will absolutely confirm for me, in light of several other really bad personnel decisions (Gailey, Haley, Gonzalez, Cassel, Jones, Waters, shall I continue?) that his hiring turned out to be seriously flawed idea after all. If he lets Orton go because he’s wed to Cassel, that will only further confirm my declining opinion about the man.
To wrap this up, my initial reaction to this season, and in light of other peripheral events, is retain Crennel, sign Orton to a three-year deal and play him until we have a true franchise qb that’s ready to go. The combination of Crennel and Orton give us the ability and leadership to go the playoffs on a (more) regular basis. Let them.
That’s my Double Take.
What’s your take, Addicts?