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  1. #1
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    FROM SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    JUST HOW GOOD IS VICTOR CRUZ?

    "I've received a few emails this week on my previous statements about Victor Cruz.
    I've watched a few Giants games this
    year and I've certainly seen enough highlights of Cruz scoring TDs (plus his
    dance) to know he's got something going on.



    I've been dabbling around in the dark arts lately (stats. yuck) and have been
    looking at things like offenses, defenses, running backs, receivers,
    quarterbacks, and the like, and Cruz, without a shadow of a doubt, is having a
    great season.




    But I'm not totally sold on the Cruz hype, and I do believe I have the stats
    to back up my opinion. Take the jump with me and we'll break it down.





    Football Outsiders has Cruz as the 4th highest receiver in DYAR. Jordy Nelson
    is #2, so take that how you want. FO states that they have been unable to
    separate the play of the WR from the play of the QB, so QBs having better
    seasons would, theoretically, produce higher rated WRs.




    This post is more of why I think we can handle Cruz rather than whether he's
    good or not. You don't accrue nearly 1600 yards receiving by being bad, but I
    don't put him on the level of Larry
    Fitzgerald
    and Calvin
    Johnson
    , even if he has better numbers than them, because...




    1) The Giants are the only team to have TWO WR in top 10 DYAR. I think
    it's safe to say that if one WR is good, it opens up opportunities for other WR
    on the field. The other WR is Hakeem Nicks, who is no slouch in his own right.
    Cruz, by NFL standards, started only 7 games this year, which would suggest to
    me he is NYG's slot receiver and not the #1 receiver (I say this partially
    because I don't know and partially because that's what the stats tell me).




    This also suggests that, if my assumption on good QB season = higher rated WR
    is correct, that Eli probably had something to do with this as well, which would
    lead to inflated (if only a little) stats.




    2) Jake Ballard.
    He is/was hurt for a little while, but when he was playing, he was ranked #6
    in DYAR. That's really high, considering he didn't play the entire season.
    Correction, he finished the season #6 in DYAR. Before anyone shouts "He was
    hurt", his replacement, Bear Pascoe (he
    had a low DYAR due to lack of pass receptions, I believe, buuuuuut....) his DVOA
    was a positive 22.0%. To compare, Tony Gonzalez's DVOA (he was 4th in DYAR) was
    a positive 22.6%.




    3) Receivers like Calvin Johnson/Larry Fitzgerald received zero help from
    anyone else.
    Matthew
    Stafford
    had a great season - perhaps even greater than Eli's, but there is
    not a DET receiver/TE to be found within 5 miles of Calvin Johnson. Aside from
    CJ, the next two receivers on DYAR? Titus Young
    and Nate Burleson,
    #s 55 and 56, respectively. To compare, Giants fans, that's two 2011 Mario
    Manninghams (He's #59. Also production-wise, not injuries and whatnot).




    Fitzgerald received even less help, receiving passes from the likes of John Skelton
    and Kevin Kolb (and
    yet this dude still made it happen). Fitz's helping hand was Early Doucet,
    #68 in DYAR. Andre Roberts is listed, but his DYAR was negative, which I think
    means he was worse than an average college replacement. Eww.




    DET's two primary TEs were #19 and #26 in DYAR, which Scheffler's numbers
    being similar to Pascoe's, and he was the highest rated TE for DET. ARI's best
    TE was Jeff King, a
    toasty #23 in DYAR, again similar numbers to Pascoe. All three aforementioned
    TEs played the whole season, save for one game missed by Scheffler.




    The only thing that might could be said in Fitz's case is that their running
    game wasn't horrible, but their QB play wasn't helpful in any way, shape, or
    form.




    4) His Effective Yards are negative. Effective Yards, as explained by
    FO, is a way to tell (generally) whether a person played above or below their
    stats. Cruz's effective yards are negative, which would suggest that he played
    below his stats. The difference is very small, but it is still negative, and I'm
    trying to make my case, here.




    To compare, Hakeem Nicks's
    EYards were +139 (if my quick mental math is right). In fact, every receiver in
    the top 14 (Darn you, Steve Smith, for making this a weird number) had EYards
    that were higher than their generic yards. All of those were not close.




    To compare for Falcons fans, Roddy White was
    #19 in DYAR and was #46 in DVOA (eww), but his EYards were +207 (if mental math
    is correct again), suggesting he played well over his stats, which is safe to
    say that's probably correct, since it seems like he got open way more than his
    stats give him credit for, except that dropsie stat. Those tell it all.




    Of my 4 points, this is the only one I'm not sure about, because I may be
    interpreting this statistic incorrectly.




    In conclusion, I think you'll find that Victor Cruz, in spite of his great
    season, is not on the level of Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, who are on
    the "He'll get his" level of play by a WR. There are very, very few WR who reach
    this level of play, and even fewer who are able to produce great numbers in
    spite of having little or no assistance from his teammates.




    I do not think Cruz is a bad WR and, if not respected, could easily burn us.
    We could say the same about Julio Jones,
    who does not show up on advanced stat sheets, but has similar averages to Cruz
    in about 5 fewer games worth of playing time. I do not think Julio Jones will
    "get his" this week, in spite of my personal high regard for him, but if anyone
    has been paying attention to the past few weeks of Falcons football, the Julio
    Jones highlights have been coming in droves.




    However, due to the nature of Brent Grimes, I
    think Cruz can be mostly a non-factor. Brent Grimes, when healthy, is the best
    athlete on the entire team, as showcased by this video here. I can assure you all that, in spite of the
    age of that video, Grimes (when healthy) is perfectly capable of reproducing
    that effort.




    Victor Cruz is not particularly tall, nor is he particularly big. He is fast,
    but so is Grimes. Grimes's only real flaw is that he can't be but 5'6", but he
    can run with anyone, and I'm sure there are more than just Falcons fans that
    would tell you that.




    That, combined with the stats I have shown above, is why I do not fear Victor
    Cruz. I would actually expect Hakeem Nicks to beat us before Cruz, if only
    because ATL is horrid against #1 WRs. I do expect our defense to prepare amply
    for both of those players, but again, these are only my words, I have no idea
    what will happen.




    I mean no disrespect. I'm not that kind of guy. I just try to tell it like it
    is, and from the resources I have and from the players the Falcons have, I think
    Cruz can be shut down. Will it happen? Who knows. That's why we play the
    game."




    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1






    # 80

  2. #2
    All-Pro Rudyy's Avatar
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    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    [quote user="RoanokeFan"]JUST HOW GOOD IS VICTOR CRUZ?

    "I've received a few emails this week on my previous statements about Victor Cruz.
    I've watched a few Giants games this
    year and I've certainly seen enough highlights of Cruz scoring TDs (plus his
    dance) to know he's got something going on.



    I've been dabbling around in the dark arts lately (stats. yuck) and have been
    looking at things like offenses, defenses, running backs, receivers,
    quarterbacks, and the like, and Cruz, without a shadow of a doubt, is having a
    great season.




    But I'm not totally sold on the Cruz hype, and I do believe I have the stats
    to back up my opinion. Take the jump with me and we'll break it down.





    Football Outsiders has Cruz as the 4th highest receiver in DYAR. Jordy Nelson
    is #2, so take that how you want. FO states that they have been unable to
    separate the play of the WR from the play of the QB, so QBs having better
    seasons would, theoretically, produce higher rated WRs.




    This post is more of why I think we can handle Cruz rather than whether he's
    good or not. You don't accrue nearly 1600 yards receiving by being bad, but I
    don't put him on the level of Larry
    Fitzgerald
    and Calvin
    Johnson
    , even if he has better numbers than them, because...




    1) The Giants are the only team to have TWO WR in top 10 DYAR. I think
    it's safe to say that if one WR is good, it opens up opportunities for other WR
    on the field. The other WR is Hakeem Nicks, who is no slouch in his own right.
    Cruz, by NFL standards, started only 7 games this year, which would suggest to
    me he is NYG's slot receiver and not the #1 receiver (I say this partially
    because I don't know and partially because that's what the stats tell me).




    This also suggests that, if my assumption on good QB season = higher rated WR
    is correct, that Eli probably had something to do with this as well, which would
    lead to inflated (if only a little) stats.




    2) Jake Ballard.
    He is/was hurt for a little while, but when he was playing, he was ranked #6
    in DYAR. That's really high, considering he didn't play the entire season.
    Correction, he finished the season #6 in DYAR. Before anyone shouts "He was
    hurt", his replacement, Bear Pascoe (he
    had a low DYAR due to lack of pass receptions, I believe, buuuuuut....) his DVOA
    was a positive 22.0%. To compare, Tony Gonzalez's DVOA (he was 4th in DYAR) was
    a positive 22.6%.




    3) Receivers like Calvin Johnson/Larry Fitzgerald received zero help from
    anyone else.
    Matthew
    Stafford
    had a great season - perhaps even greater than Eli's, but there is
    not a DET receiver/TE to be found within 5 miles of Calvin Johnson. Aside from
    CJ, the next two receivers on DYAR? Titus Young
    and Nate Burleson,
    #s 55 and 56, respectively. To compare, Giants fans, that's two 2011 Mario
    Manninghams (He's #59. Also production-wise, not injuries and whatnot).




    Fitzgerald received even less help, receiving passes from the likes of John Skelton
    and Kevin Kolb (and
    yet this dude still made it happen). Fitz's helping hand was Early Doucet,
    #68 in DYAR. Andre Roberts is listed, but his DYAR was negative, which I think
    means he was worse than an average college replacement. Eww.




    DET's two primary TEs were #19 and #26 in DYAR, which Scheffler's numbers
    being similar to Pascoe's, and he was the highest rated TE for DET. ARI's best
    TE was Jeff King, a
    toasty #23 in DYAR, again similar numbers to Pascoe. All three aforementioned
    TEs played the whole season, save for one game missed by Scheffler.




    The only thing that might could be said in Fitz's case is that their running
    game wasn't horrible, but their QB play wasn't helpful in any way, shape, or
    form.




    4) His Effective Yards are negative. Effective Yards, as explained by
    FO, is a way to tell (generally) whether a person played above or below their
    stats. Cruz's effective yards are negative, which would suggest that he played
    below his stats. The difference is very small, but it is still negative, and I'm
    trying to make my case, here.




    To compare, Hakeem Nicks's
    EYards were +139 (if my quick mental math is right). In fact, every receiver in
    the top 14 (Darn you, Steve Smith, for making this a weird number) had EYards
    that were higher than their generic yards. All of those were not close.




    To compare for Falcons fans, Roddy White was
    #19 in DYAR and was #46 in DVOA (eww), but his EYards were +207 (if mental math
    is correct again), suggesting he played well over his stats, which is safe to
    say that's probably correct, since it seems like he got open way more than his
    stats give him credit for, except that dropsie stat. Those tell it all.




    Of my 4 points, this is the only one I'm not sure about, because I may be
    interpreting this statistic incorrectly.




    In conclusion, I think you'll find that Victor Cruz, in spite of his great
    season, is not on the level of Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, who are on
    the "He'll get his" level of play by a WR. There are very, very few WR who reach
    this level of play, and even fewer who are able to produce great numbers in
    spite of having little or no assistance from his teammates.




    I do not think Cruz is a bad WR and, if not respected, could easily burn us.
    We could say the same about Julio Jones,
    who does not show up on advanced stat sheets, but has similar averages to Cruz
    in about 5 fewer games worth of playing time. I do not think Julio Jones will
    "get his" this week, in spite of my personal high regard for him, but if anyone
    has been paying attention to the past few weeks of Falcons football, the Julio
    Jones highlights have been coming in droves.




    However, due to the nature of Brent Grimes, I
    think Cruz can be mostly a non-factor. Brent Grimes, when healthy, is the best
    athlete on the entire team, as showcased by this video here. I can assure you all that, in spite of the
    age of that video, Grimes (when healthy) is perfectly capable of reproducing
    that effort.




    Victor Cruz is not particularly tall, nor is he particularly big. He is fast,
    but so is Grimes. Grimes's only real flaw is that he can't be but 5'6", but he
    can run with anyone, and I'm sure there are more than just Falcons fans that
    would tell you that.




    That, combined with the stats I have shown above, is why I do not fear Victor
    Cruz. I would actually expect Hakeem Nicks to beat us before Cruz, if only
    because ATL is horrid against #1 WRs. I do expect our defense to prepare amply
    for both of those players, but again, these are only my words, I have no idea
    what will happen.




    I mean no disrespect. I'm not that kind of guy. I just try to tell it like it
    is, and from the resources I have and from the players the Falcons have, I think
    Cruz can be shut down. Will it happen? Who knows. That's why we play the
    game."


    *


    [/quote] Interesting article. I can't wait to see him this sunday. It seems as though when people doubt him he has his biggest games, just like with the Jets.
    Finalized divorce from Victor Michael Walker Cruz November 23rd, 2014. 9:16 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    this is a classic example of someone deciding how they feel about something and then digging for facts to prove how they feel right. That's the exact opposite of how someone respectable goes about forming an educated opinion.

  4. #4

    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    so a falcon homer lists victor cruz beating larry fitz and calvin johnson in a bunch of advanced statistical metrics, but uses the fact that Nicks is also right up there too to say cruz can be shut down? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

    Then he uses Eli's stats and wow my god eli is spreading the ball around and making the right reads. u dont get 3 players in the top 10 of advanced statistical metrics w/o a qb playing out of his mind. that said, he uses the fact eli is simply KILLING IT so say cruz can be shut down? HAHAHAHAHA

    so his argument is "well victor cruz outperformed almost every wr including larry fitz and calvin johnson, and nicks was right behind them, but eli manning is absolutely killing it. that's why we shut down cruz."

    haha oooooooooook pal. whatever helps him sleep at night.

    that said, i enjoy those advanced statisitcal metrics bc they delve much deeper into stats that can be generic. WHAT A SEASON CRUZ/NICKS/ and my god how about ELI are having. i knew eli was good, but THAT GOOD?
    do you guys realize two of the three passing options that eli has are in the top 10 of these advanced statistical metrics that go deeper into how and why a player succeeded are undrafted free agents in there 2nd year????

    if it wasnt for rodgers and brees breaking records, eli would be the league mvp imo no doubt. he still might even be a dark horse in it, he won't win but he could get some of the votes and mess up who wins the mvp between the two aforementioned qb's.
    "The OL is good enough for most of Eli's supposed peers..."

  5. #5
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    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    Seems like Thais guy hasn't seen him **** on asomogh cromartie and take 10 yard pass plays to the house consistently beating double teams

  6. #6

    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    I think some of you guys aren't really interpreting the real message of this article. He's in no way saying that Cruz sucks or is a bum but that he's human and not some unstoppable juggernaut that some experts are making him out to be. He's right by saying that Megatron and Fitz had less factors to benefit them from producing around the same numbers while Cruz had a few things to help him get a 1500+ plus season. Nicks, Manningham, the emergence of Ballard, Eli putting everything together this year...there were a few factors into Cruz having this phenomenal of a season.

    I don't think he's right in by saying they will shut down Cruz but it's perfectly acceptable to believe they can limit Cruz to just an OK game.

    I just don't think we should expect this season to be the norm of what Cruz can do. I actually expect his average per year (no injuries) to be around 1000-1200 yards from this point on. Teams are going to plan for him more and in turn, give guys like Nicks and others more opportunities like they used to have.

  7. #7
    All-Pro Sundown's Avatar
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    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    This guy doesnt know how to read stats nor does he know what the **** he's talking about. He thinks CJ and Fitz are playing above their stats while Cruz is playing below cause he has help? WTF he's cherry picking. Why didn't he add stats on Welker or Gronkowski? By his logic Welker isn't elite cause he has "help". Wes has been doing it longer but staying w just this article its lame. You can't quantify how an offense is setup then make an assumption like this article. All you need to do is watch the game and see he can catch the jump ball or catch the rock being double covered. Am i saying Cruz is elite, no but to use stats to say he can be shutdown is asinine.

    Stats are used to find tendencies in a sample group, (the higher the sample group, the better) then a conclusion is made off the result; stats ARE NOT used to support weak arguments.

  8. #8
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    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    I think the main point is that Nicks is by far the more dangerous receiver, and Cruz isn't a #1, meaning he rarely had over the top help or was being spotlighted. That was Nicks.

    That has changed in the past few weeks (mainly the Redskins and Cowboys games), but he does have a valid point - teams fear Nicks more than Cruz. Cruz is a #2 producing at a ridiculous level, much like what Boldin did in 2008/2009 with Fitz on the other side.

    I love me some Victor Cruz though. I hope we lock him up long-term.

  9. #9
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    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    There's no we in the league more dangerous than Cruz after the catch... Plax used to catch and fall down...

  10. #10
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    Re: FOMR SB NATION'S ATLANTA FALCONS NEWSLETTER ON VICTOR CRUZ

    [quote user="Itlan"]I think the main point is that Nicks is by far the more dangerous receiver, and Cruz isn't a #1, meaning he rarely had over the top help or was being spotlighted. That was Nicks.

    That has changed in the past few weeks (mainly the Redskins and Cowboys games), but he does have a valid point - teams fear Nicks more than Cruz. Cruz is a #2 producing at a ridiculous level, much like what Boldin did in 2008/2009 with Fitz on the other side.

    I love me some Victor Cruz though. I hope we lock him up long-term.[/quote]

    I think nicks and Cruz are both great but Cruz consistently beats double teams has. Better hands and is more dangerous after the catch.. Eli in part has so many yards due to Cruz after the catch

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