NFL

# Can Anquan Boldin Live Up to the Legacy of Marvin Harrison?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
bianca KirklandContributor IDecember 7, 2009

It’s Sunday. ESPN is highlighting the top games of the season. The Arizona Cardinals are facing the Indianapolis Colts.

You’ve got one of your favorites, 29-year-old Anquan Boldin, chosen by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft. And another favorite: Marvin Harrison; eight years the senior of Boldin, chosen by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 1996 draft.

These two outstanding players, both sharing more than five years' experience in the league, have produced top-grade ranks in attempting to take their teams to victory, and you’ve followed them every step of the way. Now the question of your Sunday night pops up: Which player is better?

We compared the two; Anquan Boldin and Marvin Harrison, who are both wide receivers. We used a chart and graph to compare their ranks. With the lower-left corner at (0,0), we let the x-axis represent the categories chosen to compare and the y-axis represent the rank in that category. With these graphs we were able to use calculus to critically analyze the ranks and accomplishments of two of your favorite players!

Looking at the chart below that compares the two players' ranks, its almost impossible to guess which player is “better” overall. Each player has their highs and lows in each category. But in our graphs and calculations comparing Boldin and Harrison, we were able to visualize the curve of growth or digression.

The area covered by the ranks and status of Boldin seems to outweigh the area covered by Harrison. Because of the longevity of Harrison’s career, one might argue that he is actually the better player. But these calculations support not only his rise, but also the peak and fall of his career as a now-injured player.

The calculations of Boldin’s career primarily highlight his rise and potentially, the peak of his NFL career. The numbers don’t lie though, so far Boldin is outranking a player with seven more years experience on him. What do you think??

 M. Harrison A. Boldin Receptions/Game 2 1 Yards/Game 3 2 Yards/Reception 30 31 TDs/Game 4 20 Yards/Game 24 4 Yards/Attempt 27 13 TDs/Game 27 18 Yards/Game 4 2 TDs/Game 4 20 Fumbles/Games 17 32

We took two ordered pairs for Boldin being (1,1)(3,31).

We used these to find the slope:

M=(y2 -y1 )/(x2 -x1 )=(31-1)/(3-1)=30/2=15

We then plugged the slope and the first ordered pair into the slope-intercept formula:

y-y1 =m(x-x1 )

y-1=5(x-1)

y-1=15x-15

y=15x-14

To get the area under the curve, we next took the integral of the equation we just got:

30 2 y dy

30 2   15x-4

15(30)-14-15(2)-14

436-16= 420

We then did the same calculations we did for Boldin for Harrison the ordered pair for Harrison being (1,2)(3,30).

The slope being:

M=(y2 -y1 )/(x2 -x1 )=(30-2)/(3-1)=28/2=14

We then plugged the slope and the first ordered pair into the slope-intercept formula:

y-y1 =m(x-x1 )

y-2=14(x-1)

y-2=14x-14

y=14x-12

We then found the area under the curve for Harrison:

28 2 y dy

28 2   14x-2

14(28)-12-14(2)-12

380-16= 364

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