Skip to main content
ABC News
Beside The Points For Friday, Dec. 1, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Kansas City shuffling out of the playoffs

The Chiefs have been really bad for the past several weeks, so bad that their very season is in jeopardy. Looking at their team’s Elo rating between Week 5 and Week 12, the -116 point difference is the largest meltdown observed of teams with an Elo rating of 1700 or better in at that point in the seasons. [FiveThirtyEight]

This means WAR

The sabermetric concept of wins above replacement has gone mainstream in baseball coverage, but the statistic is at something of a crossroads: How precisely the wins above replacement are calculated varies from database to database, and right now the baseball nerd community is attempting to get to the bottom of what precisely the statistic should entail. [The Ringer]

The parade is in the works

A Cleveland Browns fan named Chris McNeil has successfully obtained permission to have a parade circle around the Browns home stadium in the event the team does in fact go defeated and finished the season with an 0-16 record. Cleveland has an 11 percent chance of beating the Chargers, a 25 percent chance of beating Green Bay, a 20 percent chance of beating Baltimore, a 22 percent chance of beating Chicago and 6 percent chance of beating Pittsburgh. That approximates to a roughly 39 percent chance of five consecutive defeats. [FiveThirtyEight, Uproxx]

NFL nears player agreement

The NFL’s negotiations with a group of players to address social justice issues that have prompted player protests across the league appear to be approaching a conclusion, with a number in the ballpark of $89 million over seven years going towards causes identified by a league-controlled panel. [ESPN, Deadspin]

Jeff Fisher is the worst thing to happen to quarterbacks since the creation of the NFL defensive end

Jared Goff’s total QBR was 18.3 last season under head coach Jeff Fisher, leading to indications he may be one of the worst quarterbacks ever. Now that he is no longer under Jeff Fisher, his QBR is 55.2, above average and on a winning Rams team. Case Keenum, also once under the stifling Fisher, is now 7-2 behind center for the Vikings. Both quarterbacks could be enjoying the biggest year-to-year QBR bumps. [The Undefeated]

Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!

Big Number


The number of teams in the NFL that have used at least three starting quarterbacks since Week 11 of 2004. The team that has not is the New York Giants, who have been the beneficiaries of the second-longest quarterback starting streak in NFL history. This week the team announced that ironman starter Eli Manning would be unceremoniously benched in favor of Geno Smith. Yeah, the Giants really, really botched this. [ESPN]

Leaks from Slack:


I just noticed Terrell Suggs is having one of the great old-guy sack seasons ever

He’s on pace for 14 on the season, which would rank 5th among players age 35

(Apparently 1998 was an insane year for old pass rushers)


That 1992 Clay Matthews season. 111 tackles at age 36…


wait how old is clay matthews


i see it now
that’s on me


Oh, and don’t forget
Are you as smart as an NFL ref?

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.