So I made two changes to my initial analysis. First, I removed all instances of a #2 having a better season than a #1 on his same team, leaving me with 83 pairings. That way, I'll only be looking at #2s who were inferior (at least from a yardage standpoint) to their #1s. Second, I reversed the direction of my study by grouping the #2s together and seeing how their corresponding #1s performed.
As I did with #1s yesterday, I split the #2s into three groups, of 28, 27, and 28. The top 28 had the most yardage, the middle 27 the second most and the bottom 28 the least. If yesterday's "Situation A" is correct -- that, if you have a poor #2, the #1 will rack up great stats as the only viable receiver -- we'd expect that the low group should have the highest corresponding yardage for its #1s. If "Situation B" is correct -- that having multiple good receivers means that defenses can't concentrate on shutting down one or the other -- we'd expect the highest yardage to belong to the top group. Here's what we get:
|Avg. #2 Yds.||Avg. #1 Yds.|
These results seem to verify yesterday's results, namely that the quality of the #2 receiver has little to no effect on how many yards the #1 will rack up. With a very good #2, averaging nearly the same 1,200 yards I set as a minimum to qualify as a #1, #1s managed only 19 fewer yards on average than they did with a poor #2. The correlation between the two groups (which was changed only due to my removing the "#2 > #1" pairings and not by my sorting things differently) is 0.047, still small enough to be insignificant.
I read somewhere today that, with Terrell Owens gone, Jason Witten could have a huge season. Don't you believe it. Witten might very well have a great season, but it won't have the slightest thing to do with Terrell Owens, just as Lee Evans' 2009 won't have anything to do with Owens going to the Bills.
And besides, we all know the real reason the Cowboys passing game will improve this year...