Be PunctualI would advise that you show up earlier than your scheduled call time when working on a set because there’s always a need for an extra set of hands and you’ll be remembered for being one of the first ones on set. It’s also typical for a shoot to go much longer than expected, so do yourself a favor and prepare to stay as long as you need to until the job gets done. This may be the easiest and simplest tip on the list, but it’s also the one that is most overlooked. It’s a primary reason that crew members lose their jobs or don’t get called again – so be on time.Know Your Role & Respect the Chain of CommandQuite often, film sets can seem as if there is a lot of “down time” or standing around, but once the ball gets rolling, things become very hectic, very quickly. This is especially true for micro budget indie films, where money can’t be thrown at problems in order to solve them quickly, but can also occur on much larger scale projects. Make sure that you know your role inside and out so that when you are called to actually do your task, you are making the most out of the little time that you have to get the job done. If you’re working with new equipment, spend time with it in the days and week before the shoot so you’re comfortable and familiar with it when it’s ‘go time’. One of the most important things you can do when starting out in the film industry, is learn to abide by the unwritten rules of the set.Many less experienced crew members are often coming right of school where they have been taught to ‘stand out’ from the crowd and show off how much they know or how great they are at a particular task. However, on a film set proper etiquette is often times just the opposite, and these behaviors can actually do you more harm than good. It’s crucial that newcomers understand that a set has a ton of moving parts and a good film set operates like a well-oiled machine. In order for this to happen, all of these moving parts must work together, coherently. Whether you’re looking for a refresher or are new to set life, here is a list of tips for set etiquette. These tips are not only for making sure you work well (and appropriately) with others but also pointers for getting hired again! One important role to follow when working on set is to respect the chain of command, in all circumstances. It is your department head’s duty to delegate and oversee your work. If you have any questions or concerns, approach your department head or the individual directly responsible for you on set.Stick to Your TasksYour title on set clearly defines your tasks, creating boundaries for you and those you work with. It’s very important that you stick to your defined role and let others stick to theirs, leaving little room for error or confusion.Sometimes there will be crew members who have experience in different areas on past sets, and as a result, they tend to overstep their boundaries and try to look like the ‘hero’. For example, if you worked as a DP on a previous set but you’ve been hired for this production in an entirely different department, it’s not your job interject and insert your opinion on matters of lighting or shot setups. Scenarios such as this do you more harm than good. Specific titles for crew members assume that individuals on set have an intimate knowledge of their roles, which is why they are hired to perform them. Stick to yours.Avoid Too Much Small TalkWhile it’s nice to meet new people and forge relationships, you’ve been hired to assist in making a film (and you are hopefully being paid to do so!) In this way, film sets are vastly different than many work environments where chatter occurs all day long and, in some cases, team building and communication is encouraged by superiors. It may seem as if you have time on your hands to chat with fellow crew members, but in those ‘down’ moments you’ve got to be watching and listening to those around you to so that you can anticipate what is required from you next. Simply put, socializing on set should be kept to a minimum. It is distracting, annoying and could cause you to drop the ball, not to mention that it just looks bad when your department head catches you chatting it up when you should be working.Stay PositiveOne of the simplest and most effective things you can do on set is to simply be positive. Department heads love hiring crew members that work hard without complaining and that are natural problem solvers. Put yourself in the shoes of your department head on set and imagine what it would be like for them to be juggling so many different things all at once. When things don’t go as planned, when the shoot runs later than expected, and when everyone is exhausted, use this time as an opportunity to set yourself part by tackling it with a positive attitude. It won’t go unnoticed.Final ThoughtsThese are just a few tips that will help you have a better experience on set and increase your chances of being called back by the producers or department heads. A lot of what it takes to be a successful member of a crew just comes down to common sense, but you might be surprised at how often newcomers to set simply don’t follow these sort of guidelines. If you just remember to always show up early, work extremely diligently in the role you have been assigned, and remain positive and focused on set, you will be many steps ahead.
When you’re structuring your screenplay, there are a number of options to consider if you want the strongest script possible.The backbone of every good film or video project is a solid script. And the backbone of every solid script is an even more solid structure. Structure is what makes the screenplay-writing-world go round, so to speak. It’s the deciding factor in why many film or video projects succeed or fail.To properly structure your scripts and screenplays, you must first understand why you should bother. Once you have a good understanding of working with your structure, you can improvise and change it as you’d like — but usually only within the confines of the structure rules.Let’s dive into the hows and whys when structuring your scripts and screenplays — as well as different structural alternatives — to give your films and projects the sturdiest backbone possible.Break Down Your IdeaAn important step in preparing a script is hashing out the intricacies of the main idea for your project. (Image by Nitikorn Poonsiri.)A project begins with a simple idea. Let’s make a cool short film based on this. Or, I’ve always wanted to tell this story — how do I take it from paper to film? In the beginning, it’s perfectly fine to free associate, without the confines of structure — or even knowing exactly what your idea will become.However, once you form your idea into an actual film project, you’ll need to outline it and eventually write your script. Here’s a great article on how (and why) to break your idea and screenplay down.It’s also helpful (early on) to start working with a script supervisor (here’s more info on what that role entails and why you might need one).The Three-Act StructureThe Hero’s Journey is a great guide when mapping out your script. (Image via Wikipedia.)If you take any intro-to-screenwriting class (or even just search around online), you’ll probably find a lot of information about the “Three-Act Structure.” The roots of the three-act structure go deep into the history not only of film but also novels, plays, comic books, and more. And, you can find the three-act structure in films by everyone from Hitchcock to Spielberg.Based on the work of the great Joseph Campbell and his efforts to unlock the monomyth (or Hero’s Journey), which we’re all accustomed to reading, watching, and writing about, the three-act structure is basically the following:Act 1: SetupAct II: ConfrontationAct III: ResolutionHowever, there’s a lot of nuance behind those three acts. And while you can always read up a great deal more on the three-act structure, it’s important to know that once you understand it, you can definitely start bending — if not breaking — its rules. (Here’s an awesome article on how to do just that.)Alternative Structures to ConsiderWhile the three-act structure is historically popular, researching other structural alternatives is something to consider. (Image by Mark Poprocki.)Outside of the three-act structure, there are other alternative structures you can consider. (Although, it’s worth noting that the vast majority of the films and story narratives you encounter will be based on the three-act — many screenwriting books, seminars, and competitions often focus on the three-act.)Here are some of the most well-known alternatives:22 Steps: created by screenwriter John Truby, the 22 Steps are a more literal “step-by-step” structure to follow for blockbuster and adventure films.Four-Act: Often associated with television writing, the four-act is a modified version of the three-act structure that either divides the middle (2nd) act into two parts, or alternatively, adds a fourth act to the end.Progressive Complications: While compatible as a part of the three- (or four-) act structure, progressive complications involves structuring your story to make sure the stakes are constantly rising.And there are plenty of other alternative structures out there, some with names and methodologies, and others that are completely undefined and up to you. In many ways, research is best, but it’s important to just start writing, make your own mistakes, get feedback, and write again.Cover image by Saikorn.For more script- and screenwriting advice and resources, check out some of these articles:Free Script Writing Software Options for the Low-Budget FilmmakerHow to Overcome the 5 Biggest Obstacles to Writing Your ScreenplayInterview: Christina Kallas on Writing and Directing Multi-Protagonist Screenplays5 Important Tools Every Screenwriter Should HaveTips for Rewriting Your Screenplay Without Starting Completely Over
The Bombay High Court at Goa on Friday held that Goa Marriott Resort cannot be given a special status and rejected the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority’s (GCZMA) second report that ruled out any Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations by the hotel at Miramar. A Division Bench comprising Justices N.M. Jamdar and Prithviraj Chavan also asked the hotel to ensure that it does not obstruct public access to the beach and ordered the State government to take measures to make the path to the beach accessible. The case is being fought by environmental organisation Goa Foundation for over two decades.The court observed that “the government authorities unduly favoured the hotel by inventing a new set of criteria to determine the high tide line (HTL) and dropped all action against it for illegal constructions”. On the issue of HTL, the High Court blamed GCZMA for making the issue complex. “The high tide line will have to be drawn as per law, and it is not for the authorities to invent a new set of rules and criteria for a single construction. The hotel cannot enjoy a special status,” said the court.The order said GCZMA had accepted the second report favouring the hotel by introducing the concept of soil erosion to determine HTL of 1991. The first report prepared by the planning authorities had also concluded that there was no violation by the hotel, which was rejected by a Division Bench of the High Court earlier.The High Court has now asked the Chennai-based National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management to complete the task of identifying the HTL within four months and prepare a report. Further, it directed the authorities, including the State government, to act on the report within four weeks after receiving it and take action against the hotel if it is found to have carried out construction in violation of CRZ rules.Simultaneously, the court has directed the hotel and government to provide necessary documents in the case and ordered that the violation will be viewed seriously and treated as contempt of the court.
Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Bottom-dweller University of the East stunned Final Four hopeful University of Santo Tomas in five sets, 27-25, 24-26, 25-23, 18-25, 17-15, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Red Warriors improved to 2-5 for share of the sixth spot with De La Salle while the Tiger Spikers, who played without star hitter Joshua Umandal, dropped to fifth at 3-4.ADVERTISEMENT Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag UST shot itself in the foot after committing a league-worst 50 errors against the Red Warriors in a game it badly needed to win to stay at the top four of the standings at the end of the first round.Lloyd Josafat paced UE with 16 points while Al-jhon Abalon and Clifford Inoferio had 12 and 11 points, respectively.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsManuel Medina finished with a game-high 30 points to lead UST.In the other game, Adamson University took a share of the third spot following a four-set beating of University of the Philippines, 22-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18. Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss The Soaring Falcons’ 4-3 record tied Ateneo’s card while the Fighting Maroons are at a miserable 0-7 slate for the no.8 spot.Leo Miranda led Adamson with 18 points while Paolo Pablico and Mark Alvarez had 17 points apiece.John Mark Millette led UP with 20 points.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Google Philippines names new country director UST makes it 3 in a row, blasts UE Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ
Twitter/@dariusruckerDarius Rucker is a huge South Carolina fan, but he’s not going too crazy with expectations for the Gamecocks in Will Muschamp’s first year. All he wants is a bowl game. Any bowl game.If South Carolina reaches six wins this year, the country star and former leader of Hootie and the Blowfish will play a concert at the famous ‘Horseshoe’ on his alma mater’s campus.Rucker agreed to the arrangement after receiving a tweet suggestion from a ‘Cocks fan. School president Harry Pastides quickly agreed.I think if we get 6 wins this season @dariusrucker should have another concert on the horseshoe— Croc (@WhiteJungleboi) August 10, 2016I’m dying to play the horseshoe. Start a petition tell them I’m in!! https://t.co/mgiW6vV9WF— Darius Rucker (@dariusrucker) August 10, 2016No need for a petition…consider it done! Darius in concert on the ‘Shoe after we get to 6! https://t.co/FMKYZ56Cpa— Harris Pastides (@HarrisPastides) August 11, 2016This isn’t the first time Rucker has put a performance on the line with South Carolina athletics, although this is a show he definitely wants to have. Last June, the country star serenaded ESPN’s Mike Golic with the Notre Dame fight song, after Golic’s Fighting Irish women’s basketball team beat the Gamecocks in the Final Four.With an SEC schedule, getting to six wins won’t be easy for South Carolina this season. Win at Vanderbilt, vs. ECU, at Kentucky, vs. UMass, vs. Missouri, and vs. Western Carolina. That’s probably the easiest path.[The State]
Colombo: Sri Lanka on Thursday suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival to citizens of 39 countries after the devastating Easter suicide bombings that killed nearly 360 people. “Although arrangements were in place to issue visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries, we have now decided to hold it for the time being in consideration of the current security situation,” Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said in a statement. “Investigations have revealed foreign links to the attacks and we don’t want this facility to be abused,” Amaratunga added. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe visas on arrival pilot programme was part of a larger initiative to increase tourist arrivals to the country during the six month off-season period from May to October. The island nation received 7,40,600 foreign tourists in the first three months of 2019. Around 450,000 Indians visited Sri Lanka last year and the island nation was expecting the total Indian tourist arrivals to cross one million mark in 2019. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, which accounts for around five per cent of the country’s GDP, is likely to suffer due to the Easter blasts. Tourism revenues in Lanka increased to USD 362.7 million in November from USD 284 million in October 2018, according to reports. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMeanwhile, the Lankan authorities Thursday intensified their raids with the help of the army and arrested 16 more suspects in connection with the country’s worst terror attack that killed 359 people and left over 500 injured. President Maithripala Sirisena has said that 139 people have been identified as suspects in connection with the attacks. Addressing an all-party conference at the Presidential Secretariat here, Sirisena said that a Combine Operation Centre will be established within the defence ministry for the enforcement of the country’s security measures from Friday.
Imagine a tennis world in which Rafael Nadal never picked up a racket. Some of his rivals must have. Novak Djokovic could be excused for daydreaming about it after Nadal beat him in Sunday’s French Open final, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.Who would benefit most in a hypothetical world without Nadal? Well, let’s divvy up Nadal’s 14 Grand Slam titles. Although he might never reach Roger Federer’s record of 17 major titles, Nadal already leads Federer and all other Open-era greats in the ranking of biggest obstacle to a single Grand Slam title.To quantify this, I give you the “title block.” A title block isn’t an official tennis stat — I made it up. Here’s how it works: If Nadal beat a player in a final, I figure that given the next best possible opponent, the man who lost to Nadal would, on average, have a 50 percent chance of winning. So that win counts as half a title block. (This may undersell some blocked players’ chances of winning, but because this is hypothetical, treating unplayed matchups as coin flips is safest.) Similarly, a semifinal win cost the loser a quarter of a Grand Slam title and so on. Then I summed the title blocks for each Grand Slam tournament. I used data from Tennis Abstract, adding data from the just-completed French Open from rolandgarros.com. I ignored walkovers but included mid-match retirements.No matter how many times Nadal bites trophies, they don’t get broken up into pieces. But because this is a what-if exercise, these hypothetical titles come in fractions. If Nadal beats a player enough times, those fractional titles can start adding up. Nadal’s four wins in French Open finals over Federer, plus one semifinal ousting, count for two and one-quarter titles that Nadal has deprived Federer. Meanwhile, by beating Djokovic in two French Open finals, three semifinals and a quarterfinal, Nadal has cost him one and seven-eighths French Open titles.In a non-Nadal world, Djokovic would have one more U.S. Open crown in addition to those one or two French Opens. Federer would have another Australian Open title, along with those two or three additional French Open titles. And David Ferrer would no longer be in the running for best player never to win a major, because he’d have lifted a French Open trophy.We can expand this to other tennis greats. Let’s skim the cream off the top of the tennis world one great player at a time: Let’s get rid of each of the 12 men who have won at least six Grand Slam singles titles since the Open era of pro tennis began in 1968, one by one. We’ll add an unlucky No. 13 in Murray, who has had the misfortune to compete in an era dominated by three of those 12 men: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.Nadal’s dominance of Federer and Djokovic rank first and second, respectively, among title blocks at the four Grand Slam tournaments, ahead of other famous blocks like Federer’s of Andy Roddick at Wimbledon, Pete Sampras’s of Andre Agassi at the U.S. Open and Bjorn Borg of Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon. Nadal’s defeats of Ferrer at the French Open the Top 10: By costing Ferrer one title, Nadal also takes the 10th spot on the list.Overall, Nadal has blocked Federer from three and three-quarters major titles; Federer would have 21 without Nadal. That’s No. 1 on the title-blocks list overall, and Nadal’s blockage of Djokovic from almost four major titles is No. 2 on the overall list.Don’t pity Federer too much, though: He did win the French Open in 2009, the one year in the past decade that Nadal didn’t. Djokovic still hasn’t won the clay-court major. Murray, meanwhile, would have more than triple his current total of two Grand Slam titles if not for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, who each have cost him more than one.Nadal has had the better of all of his rivals, but he, too, could have won more majors without Federer, Djokovic, et al. By beating Nadal in two Wimbledon finals, Federer has cost Nadal a third Wimbledon title to go with the two Nadal has won. Djokovic, meanwhile, beat Nadal in the finals of three consecutive Grand Slam tournaments over 2011 and 2012, which cost Nadal one and a half major titles.
5Spencer WareChiefs3,7691,07728.6 PLAYERTEAMTEAM YARDSPLAYER YARDSPLAYER SHARE Players with the highest share of team scrimmage yards, 2016 2Ezekiel ElliottCowboys4,5731,50232.8 5David JohnsonCardinals21026180.5 Receivers with the most first-down receptions per route run, 2016 1David JohnsonCardinals4,2901,53435.8% 1Mike EvansBuccaneers41013232.2% 9Greg OlsenPanthers4136211.3 More than in any other sport, in football, individual statistics reflect a player’s environment as well as that player’s individual talent. A running back can be hamstrung by a poor offensive line, and a wide receiver can’t do much if his quarterback can’t get him the ball. While there’s no one advanced stat that can perfectly contextualize individual performance within a team environment, there are a few that do a pretty good job. Today, we’ll look at four stats that help demonstrate a player’s contribution to his team.Yards from scrimmage … as a percentage of team yardsDavid Johnson has been remarkable this season: He was my midseason choice for Offensive Player of the Year, in part because he had gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in every game to that point. He has maintained that streak since then and is now just the second player since at least 1950 to hit the century mark in each of his team’s first 11 games.Johnson leads the league in yards from scrimmage with 1,534, but he also leads the league in percentage of team scrimmage yards. He’s gained 35.8 percent of all Cardinals yards this year, making him one of only three players to gain at least 30 percent of his team’s yards: 11C.J. FiedorowiczTexans2320411.3 10Matt ForteJets3,78496125.4 The Colts’ Frank Gore and Patriots’ LeGarrette Blount are overshadowed by playing alongside star quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and Tom Brady, but don’t overlook how important those players are to their teams. Indianapolis has only given three carries per game to other running backs, while the Patriots are calling Blount’s number 81.9 percent of the time when handing off to a back. And Chargers second-year back Melvin Gordon ranks second in this category, after ranking third in our first metric. He’s having a remarkable bounce-back year after struggling as a rookie.Receiving share of targetsAntonio Brown and Julio Jones are the two biggest stars at the wide receiver position. Brown leads the league in receptions, and Jones ranks first in receiving yards, a year after the duo far outpaced the rest of the league in those same two categories. But the Steelers’ Brown and the Falcons’ Jones also benefit from playing with a pair of star quarterbacks in, respectively, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan.The passing games in Pittsburgh and Atlanta revolve around their star receivers, of course: Brown has accounted for 28.8 percent of all Steelers targets this season, and Jones is at 27.6 percent for the Falcons. Those are great numbers, but not quite good enough for No. 1. 1Mike EvansBuccaneers6240615.3% 3Julio JonesFalcons4936113.6 10Christine MichaelPackers11816372.4 8DeMarco MurrayTitans22930176.1 5Jarvis LandryDolphins3218827.4 15Jordy NelsonPackers43210524.3 12Demaryius ThomasBroncos3629225.4 20Stefon DiggsVikings3718723.5 Among players with at least 20 receiving first downsSource: ESPN Stats & Information Group 18Amari CooperRaiders4089824.0 5Jordan ReedRedskins3829812.8 3Frank GoreColts17821184.4 19Greg OlsenPanthers3708823.8 7Le’Veon BellSteelers4,1361,13627.5 8Antonio BrownSteelers5042811.7 12Mike EvansBuccaneers4,1531,02024.6 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 8Odell BeckhamGiants40710726.3 21Jeremy Kerley49ers3457822.6 6Matt ForteJets20225280.2 11Jordan HowardBears3,9841,00825.3 9Terrelle PryorBrowns41510926.3 6Lamar MillerTexans3,6381,03228.4 2Melvin GordonChargers23427385.7 PLAYERTEAMFIRST-DOWN RECEPTIONSROUTES RUNRECEPTIONS PER ROUTE RUN 4DeMarco MurrayTitans4,7161,35228.7 12Jay AjayiDolphins16123369.1 Receivers with the highest share of team targets, 2016 7DeAndre HopkinsTexans38610226.4 11Isaiah CrowellBrowns14520271.8 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 10Brandon MarshallJets3719726.1 6Julian EdelmanPatriots3649927.2 6A.J. GreenBengals4133712.2 No wide receiver is a bigger part of his team’s passing offense than Mike Evans is for the Buccaneers. And you may have noticed his name on the first table too — he was the only wide receiver to rank in the top 12 in percentage of team yards (all the others are running backs). Evans had a dominant game in Week 12 against Seattle, helping Tampa Bay pull off the upset: He was targeted on 39.3 percent of Tampa Bay’s 28 pass attempts and caught eight passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.The Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders beat out Jones for third on this list, despite playing with an inexperienced passer in Trevor Siemian, the 250th pick in last year’s draft. Denver doesn’t pass very often, but when they do, Siemian tends to look toward Sanders, who is quietly having a phenomenal year. Sanders, like Evans, was one of the stars of Week 12: In a losing effort, he caught seven of 10 targets for 162 yards and a touchdown.First downs per route runGaining a first down is one of the most important things a wide receiver can do, and he has a chance at it whenever he runs a route. Yards per route run is the wide receiver version of yards per pass, but by replacing yards with first downs in the numerator, we can focus on a less-popular (but very important) statistic that shows us which guys move the chains.Evans ranks first in this category1Among players with at least 20 receiving first downs.: He has picked up a first down on a remarkable 15.3 percent of his routes. One reason for that is that Evans runs deeper routes, and he easily leads the league with 62 first-down receptions (no other player has more than 50). 3Melvin GordonChargers4,2251,27330.1 16Michael CrabtreeRaiders4089924.3 8Todd GurleyRams3,43188225.7 11T.Y. HiltonColts40210325.6 2Antonio BrownSteelers41712028.8 7Ezekiel ElliottCowboys24331178.1 4LeGarrette BlountPatriots21225981.9 9Lamar MillerTexans21128474.3 Some other players stand out here despite less impressive raw totals. Kansas City’s Spencer Ware plays on a low-octane Chiefs offense, but he’s a big driver behind any success the offense has. Ware is averaging 4.7 yards per carry; all other Kansas City backs are averaging just 3.5 yards per rush. And Ware has averaged 12.4 yards per target, compared to just 6.5 on passes to all other players.Also note the presence of Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell high on the list, despite the fact that he missed the first three games of the season. Since returning from suspension in Week 4, Bell has gained an impressive 37.6 percent of all Steelers yards from scrimmage. When he’s active, no team relies on one player like the Steelers do with Bell, who’s been used heavily in both running and passing plays — he ranks third in the league in receptions per game and second in rushing yards per game.Percentage of team carriesHow many yards a player averages per carry is subject to a lot of random variation, making yards per carry one of the most overrated stats in football. And the number of carries a team has in a game is often the result of what’s happening on the scoreboard. But how often a team chooses to hand off to a particular running back — as a percentage of all handoffs to running backs — says a lot about how much his team trusts him relative to the other backs on the team.While L.A.’s Todd Gurley has had a frustrating year, he leads the league in this metric. Rams running backs have rushed 227 times this year, and 200 of those carries were given to Gurley. The Rams aren’t a good team, so they can’t afford to run as frequently as teams like the Cowboys, but the Los Angeles coaches still have a ton of faith in Gurley (or perhaps they just have very little faith in the other Rams backs): 17Allen RobinsonJaguars43010424.2 24Kelvin BenjaminPanthers3708121.9 25Kenny BrittRams3678021.8 9LeSean McCoyBills3,87799425.6 2Cole BeasleyCowboys3928113.9 13A.J. GreenBengals3829524.9 23Jordan MatthewsEagles3828522.3 1Todd GurleyRams20022788.1% 10Kelvin BenjaminPanthers3732811.3 7Stefon DiggsVikings3932112.1 4Tyreek HillChiefs2317113.5 Running backs handed the highest share of team rushes, 2016 22Golden TateLions3778422.3 PLAYERTEAMTEAM TARGETSPLAYER TARGETSPLAYER SHARE TEAM RUSHES Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group PLAYERTEAMHANDED TO PLAYERHANDED TO ANY RUNNING BACKPLAYER SHARE 14Larry FitzgeraldCardinals44210924.7 12Michael ThomasSaints4338311.2 3Emmanuel SandersBroncos36210428.7 4Julio JonesFalcons37010227.6 But a few other players are worth mentioning. Cole Beasley plays on a run-heavy offense, but when the Cowboys pass, the team is extremely efficient. One reason for that is Beasley, who is adept at getting first downs.Jordan Reed and Stefon Diggs have each missed two games this season, depressing their raw numbers, but both players fare well in this metric. Reed leads all tight ends, while Diggs ranks seventh overall despite suffering from poor quarterback play.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Few clubs came into this season with grander ambitions than Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Both clubs were among the top contenders to win the Champions League when the competition began. Now, one will be eliminated from competition after the two face off Tuesday in the second leg of their round of 16 matchup. And the problems run deeper than just elimination — PSG is looking to survive an injury to its superstar Neymar, and Real Madrid has already fallen out of title contention in La Liga. Whichever team fails to advance from the match will have questions to answer about what went wrong.So how did we get here? Let’s start with the summer transfer window after the 2016-17 season. Real quite reasonably avoided making major changes to its roster after winning three of the last four Champions League trophies. PSG, having once again been eliminated from the Champions League before the semifinals, embarked on an unprecedented spending spree — laying out hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire Neymar from Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.Despite these purchases, PSG is once again struggling in the Champions League. A 3-1 first-leg defeat in Madrid has left the French with a roughly 25 percent chance of advancing to the quarterfinals, according to FiveThirtyEight’s club soccer predictions. To reach the quarterfinals, PSG must win by three or win by two while holding Real scoreless. If PSG wins 3-1, the teams will be tied in both aggregate and away goals over the two legs, and the match will go to extra time and possibly penalty kicks to decide who will advance. For PSG, the Champions League appears to be slipping away. And worse, Neymar recently broke a bone in his foot, which will sideline him for at least six weeks.For both ball progression through midfield and shot creation around the penalty area, PSG runs through Neymar. He has scored 19 goals and assisted 13 in Ligue 1, with a non-penalty scoring and assist rate of 1.34 per 90 minutes played. These numbers are no fluke: Neymar hasn’t benefited particularly from good fortune in either his own or his teammates’ finishing. Neymar has taken shots valued at around 13 expected goals, a statistical estimate of the quality of scoring chances, and created chances worth about 11.5 expected goals. His expected goals and assists rate of 1.18 per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the top five European leagues1The English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1. (that means he’s doing better than Lionel Messi).Neymar also moves the attack forward through midfield or into the penalty area before the shot more effectively than anyone else in the top leagues. He has provided about 7.7 progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes, just edging out Messi, who has provided 7.2. (Progressive passes and runs occur when a player either moves the attack forward by 10 or more yards beyond its furthest point of progression or moves the ball into the penalty area for the first time in a possession. A progressive run must also include a successful take-on of an opponent.)These comparisons to Messi are not superfluous — Neymar’s production at PSG has reached such a high level that Messi is his only peer. This chart shows the company that Neymar is keeping this season. It displays all 9,000-plus player-seasons in the top five leagues in which a player had at least 1,500 minutes. There are 10 seasons in the top right corner, where players have more than 0.9 expected goals plus expected assists per 90 minutes and more than five progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes. Eight of them are Messi, starting with his 2010-11 season and running through the current one. And nestled among them is Neymar’s current season. This analysis might suggest that Paris Saint-Germain should abandon hope — the attack has been totally dependent on Neymar, and now he’s out. However, PSG may be the only club in the world that is rich enough to have a reasonable Neymar replacement sitting on the bench. Angel Di Maria, who played in Neymar’s wide forward position this weekend against Troyes, put up similarly huge numbers for PSG in 2015-16 (before Neymar’s arrival). While that season was a career-best for Di Maria, he has consistently put up more than 0.5 expected goals and assists per 90 minutes (averaging over 0.7) and 4 to 6 progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes. Most clubs would have to reshuffle their tactics upon losing Neymar, transferring some of his scoring load to one player and some of his ball progression work to others. But PSG can plug in Di Maria and keep everything else roughly the same. If PSG is to get the big win it needs on Tuesday, the man in the center of it is likely to be Di Maria.Scratching back from a two-goal aggregate Real Madrid lead might normally seem like an insurmountable task, but Real hasn’t been the same team this season. Los Blancos have already fallen 15 points off Barcelona’s pace at the top of the La Liga table, effectively conceding the league title with months to go in the season. Real’s defense has been unusually permeable this season, conceding 29 league goals. That’s the club’s worst defensive record through 27 matches since 2010-11. Real has conceded 43 clear scoring chances — defined as a situation like a one-on-one in which a player is expected to score — also its highest number since 2010-11.On the attacking side, the team appears to be reeling as well — but these numbers are a little misleading. Typically, the very best teams in the world outperform expected goals. After all, these teams have the best strikers, and the best strikers convert the easy chances and also score more often in situations when goals are not expected. Real Madrid is getting their normal amount of chances this season: The team has 63 expected goals and has averaged 61 through 27 matches over the past seven seasons. What has changed then is that the finishing has gotten worse. This year, Real has converted only 58 nonpenalty goals from those chances. Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been uncharacteristically unproductive with his chances, accounts for most of the gap, with 13 nonpenalty goals and 17 expected goals.These statistics provide the context for Real Madrid’s disappointing position in La Liga. The weakened defense is enough to make Real fall short of first-place Barcelona, but it is uncharacteristically poor shooting from superstars like Ronaldo that has dropped Los Blancos out of title competition entirely.The stakes could not be higher for this match. PSG is desperate and missing its star. Real Madrid appears more vulnerable than usual — even if the attack is most likely better than its relatively disappointing top-line numbers show.Neither team has much to play for this season other than Champions League glory, and both clubs were constructed precisely for this task. The stage is set for a great European clash between two of the richest and most successful clubs — even if it’s not what these two heavyweights envisioned when this all started.Check out our latest soccer predictions.