Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Finding Our Place In The NFL

In education, there is a test out there called MAP. It's a computer program, that a student from elementary school to high school can sit down and take. It's all multiple choice, and once you take the 50+ question test, it spits out a score and tells you where you are with some standardized percentile score.

Most interesting, though, are the first ten questions. It gradually pinpoints your rough levels with a game of "higher" and "lower". It has a repository of tens of thousands of questions, and starts out with a middling ability level. If you get the question right, the next question is harder. If you get it wrong, the next question is easier.

For example, your first question might be a division problem. If you get it right, you might be finding common denominators in mixed numbers. Get that right, you might be doing complex algebra.

Get the first question wrong, and you might drop down to subtraction with borrowing. Get that wrong, and you might be finding the next number in a series. Get that wrong, and you might be doing simple addition facts.

But after ten questions, it claims to have you pegged. The problem is, since it is multiple choice, you have a 25% chance of guessing a problem correct that you have no idea how to do. In that low of a number, a couple of lucky guesses and your levels may be quite skewed.

What does this have to do with the Packers?

Well, in a way, each game has been something like one of these tests. We played a 4-0 team in the first, and got slaughtered.

We played a 3-1 team next, and fell apart after initial success.

We played an 0-4 team next, and won a close game.

We then played a 3-1 team again, and fell apart after initial success.

What does this suggest to me? We're certainly not as good as teams like the Bears, Saints, and Eagles. And we're probably better than the Lions.

That gives us a long range of teams that fall between 1-3. and 3-1. And we can guess that we fall somewhere in that range.

However, and I just throw this out for argument's sake, what if we got lucky versus the Lions? What if McCarthy's smoke and mirrors with the shotgun and extra blockers did just enough against a poor team to eek out a victory, when perhaps that team might have won had it more video to watch?

I'm not trying to say we're worse than our record, but when you look at the teams we play, the only team that appears to have truly been on our talent/coaching level is the Lions, and that game was a critical Bubba Franks tackle from heading into overtime.

We talk about "Wait and See" a lot in our forums. However, I think, just like this test, that after ten games, we'll know exactly what kind of team we're fielding in 2006.

But, we're getting a good idea along the way

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