Inside The Bills

Funny math when it comes to 50-50 balls

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2016 – 1:34 pm

Jump balls in the passing game are often called 50-50 balls by coaches and players because in most instances the receiver and defensive back in coverage usually have an equal chance of coming up with the football, hence the term ’50-50.’ But Arizona head coach Bruce Arians and Bills LB Preston Brown had some funny math concerning those types of passes.

Buffalo’s defensive backs had their share of troubles in jump ball situations last week against the Jets, but Preston Brown was voicing his faith in his teammates on the back end. The problem was his percentages went a little offline.

“I think the coaches had us in the right position to make plays,” Brown said. “I mean you look at the plays where we got beat on any pass, I mean the guys are right there. We know we can make plays on those balls, those are 50-50 balls that nine times out of 10 we’re going to win, it just wasn’t our day that day. But we know our guys are competitive and they’re going to come back next week ready to go.”

When asked why he felt the Jets receivers had so much success against the Bills DBs, coach Arians took a similar approach to the very same subject with some funny math.

“Well Fitz was on fire,” he said. “I think he hit eight out of nine 50/50 balls. You know your success rate on 50/50 balls is usually around 40 percent. They just hit a really hot quarterback that was dropping it in places that only their guys could get. I thought it was good coverage but just got beat by some great throws.”

So according to Brown, half the time Buffalo’s DBs win 90 percent of the time on jump balls. According to coach Arians on offense, half the time receivers win 40 percent of the time. Let me know if anyone has the algorithm to tell me who really has the edge or if it’s just… you know… 50-50.



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Cardinals traveling today for time change

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2016 – 10:30 am

With the Cardinals coming east this weekend to play the Bills, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians has his team flying out later today (Friday) to get his players’ bodies adjusted to east coast time. He also employs another measure to help ensure his players are at their best when the game kicks off at what would normally be 10 am for them in Glendale.

“We have 11 o’clock practices scheduled most of the year because we are on the east coast a few times this year and it does hurt us,” said Arians. “It gets us more on that schedule and it doesn’t hurt us when we play west coast times.”

The Cardinals were 7-1 on the road last season.

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Arians: Facing unknown coordinator a challenge

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2016 – 9:11 am

Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is 35-15 in his three-plus seasons at the helm with the Cardinals, including a 13-3 campaign last year. Known as a high-end play caller, Arians and his defensive coordinator James Bettcher likely have a good handle on Buffalo’s offensive scheme, but when it comes to Bills new OC Anthony Lynn’s play call preferences there’s no road map whatsoever.

“That’s the hardest part,” said Arians. “They have tremendous players, especially skill players, so you would think that they could not change a whole lot other than points of emphasis. You don’t have a bead on how he calls plays because there’s no résumé to look at. So it makes it a lot more difficult, but you know one thing, you’ve got to stop Shady. You’ve got to stop Sammy if he’s going. You surely have to contain Tyrod.”

Arizona had the fifth-ranked defense in the NFL last season and finished seventh in points allowed. They currently lead the league with seven takeaways through the first two weeks this season.

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