I’ve reached the midway point (128 of a 256 game season) of my 2011 NFL replay. I’ve attached both American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) statistics and “Evaluation” workbooks for review. My evaluation criteria is stringent but in line with my “Pursuit of the Perfect Replay”. I’m an independent party with twenty-five years experience in the “Test and Evaluation” field. This evaluation is based purely on “objective” findings. The criterion is the same one used to evaluate all card sets associated with my previous replays. In addition, I’ve listed both positive and negative “subjective” observations noted during the course of the replay.
Plan. I’ve used a five-tier (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor) rating system to individually evaluate team wins and 50 offensive and defensive categories. I’ve compared the replay’s league average against the actual league average per category, assigned a weighted score (i.e., Excellent is worth 5 points, Very Good is 4 points, etc.), summed and averaged to determine the overall rating. For example, if the league average for first downs was 36.3 per game and the replay averaged 34.2 resulting in a difference (+/-) of 2.1. When compared against the criteria, this category would be rated as “Fair” and assigned 2 points.
The most important replay statistic, “Ball Control Plays” or “Plays from Scrimmage” was not evaluated. Rushing attempts, passing attempts and sacks combined determine the total amount of “Ball Control Plays” or “Plays from Scrimmage”. Since two out of three of those are controlled by the gamer, it would be unfair to evaluate this statistic.
Execute. Each game was replayed in accordance with my “Method of Play” presentation. All quarterbacks were strictly limited to a 60-40 short/screen pass to medium/long pass ratio. Dual threat running backs carded with 15-16-17-19 were strictly limited to a 50/50 inside to outside run ratio. Running backs carded with 3-5-7-9 were limited to only outside runs. Running backs carded with 4-6-8-10 were limited to only inside runs.
I’ve used two innovations on offense (Floating Index and Yards per Catch) and defense (Fletch67/Situational Down & Distance Chart and Sack/Interception rating) throughout the replay. On game 70 of the replay, I implemented Howard Ahlskog’s, Fumble Frequency Number (FFN) innovation, to mitigate an excessive number of fumbles.
Report. The overall grade of the set is determined by adding the numerical value (i.e., excellent is 5 points, very good is 4 points, good is 3 points, etc) associated with each category being evaluated and determining the mean average. The grading scale used to determine the overall rating is:
- Excellent = 4.0 – 5.0
- Very Good = 3.5 – 3.9
- Good = 3.0 – 3.4
- Fair = 2.5 – 2.9
- Poor = 2.4 or less.
The AFC had 51 categories evaluated for a sum of 169 resulting in a mean average of 3.3 to earn a “Good” rating. A total of four teams matched their week 9 record. It requires an “excellent” rating in both the offensive and defensive category to receive an overall “excellent” rating. The AFC earned “Excellent” ratings in the following categories: Average per punt return; Total TDs; TDs on Returns and Extra Points.
The NFC had 51 categories evaluated for a sum of 171 resulting in a mean average of 3.4 to earn a “Good” rating. A total of four teams matched their week 9 record. The NFC earned “Excellent” ratings in the following three categories: Fumbles; Total TDs and TDs on Returns.
I’m extremely impressed with the performance of kickers’ cards. This set has received the highest grade ever with regard to percentage of successful field goal attempts.
I’ve observed the following statistical inaccuracies:
Fumbles: Players that never fumbled during the course of the year received a fumble number(s). This is especially prevalent with kickers and punters cards.
Interception Returns: Players carded with return yardage when they didn’t have any in real-life. For example, game 95 between the Jets and Chargers, Jim Leonhard had a 44-yard interception return for a TD but only had one interception for zero return yards during the season.
Missed Extra Points: John Kasay was 63 for 63 in extra points during the season; however, he currently is 39 out of 41 during the replay.
Pro: The “card” format is a major upgrade over the perforated sheets for a multitude of reasons. The convenience of no longer having to dedicate hours separating the individual cards and eliminates the risk of tearing a card(s). The cards are delivered with the starting offensive and defensive lineups already prepositioned. The cardstock is heavier which greatly increases the durability of the card set. The appearance of the front and back of the cards is not only impressive but the print (RPN numbers) has not faded with use. The cost of the set and extra players might be prohibitive for the casual player; however, for a person like myself who intends to replay every game it’s quite reasonable (i.e., 39 cents per game).
Con: It’s obvious that teams post season performance was taken into consideration when crafting offensive/defensive ratings. For example, the Super Bowl Champion, NY Giants, finished the season with a 9-7 record and had the 27th ranked defense; however, their split defensive rating is 41/40. The Giants defense gave up an average of 376.4 yards per game; however, during this replay they only allow 279.6 yards per game.
Conclusion: Is the quality of this set good enough for me to face the grind of 128 more regular season games? You bet it is! This set is a “Good”, quality set that has already brought me countless hours of entertainment. For further proof, just check out the box score of my last game (game 128) played: Actual Score – Green Bay 45, San Diego 38; APBA Score – Green Bay 44, San Diego 37.