Thursday, October 8, 2009

19 comments Quarterback Madness

I'm a lazy, lazy man adoring public, and as such I just have a few snapshots of crazy as opposed to a steady gorging on the Stephen A. Smith and Gregg Easterbrook articles I feed on for sustinance.

We start with a cheeky little back and forth between Mike Judge and Pete Prisco;

Who will be the last unbeaten team?

Prisco: It's all about schedule. So after looking at the schedules of the five undefeated teams, my choice is the Colts. Take a look at their next month of games. They are at winless Tennessee, followed by a bye, at St. Louis, home against San Francisco and then home against Houston. Do you see a loss on that schedule? Their next really tough game is Nov. 12 against the Patriots. By contrast, the Broncos play a brutal four-game stretch coming up, the Saints and Giants play each other in two weeks and the Saints have Atlanta and the Giants have Philadelphia later in the month. The Vikings have Baltimore at home in two weeks, play at Pittsburgh in three and at Green Bay the week after that. The schedule and Peyton Manning say the Colts will be the last of the unbeaten teams.

sold. Seriously, that's a pretty goddamn convincing argument. Judge, you have your work cut out for you, show me what you got.

New Orleans. You heard me. The Saints.

I've talked about the infamous "You heard me" line. The mating call of the moron. Nothing intelligent has ever followed the words "you heard me". "You heard me, elements at the quantum level have attributes resembling both a wave and a particle". No.

The Saints. Between now and Nov. 30, they play one opponent with a winning record, and it's the New York Giants. That's Oct. 18, and, considering the Giants' history of success on the road, it's a game that at least is in question. But let's say they win it.

let's say. Fuck it. Let's say Minnesota win 12 straight. I really could not be fucked, writing this article of which I'm paid to write, with any justification whatsoever. Pete may have his fancy "schedules" and "facts" but I have places to go and people to see reader, so let's just say I'm right for the hell of it.

Then look what's next: at Miami, then two consecutive homes vs. Atlanta and Carolina, followed by St. Louis and Tampa Bay. I like their chances of running the table more than the Giants, who have to go to Philadelphia on Nov. 1, or Indianapolis, which has San Francisco, Houston and New England in succession, followed by a Nov. 22 date at Baltimore.

Atlanta are pretty good, certainly capable of surprising in New Orleans in what will be a big divisional game. I think we'd all be pretty surprised if this unbeaten thing gets into Nov 12 (the Pats game) and especially Nov 22. Nov 12 is Week 10, 22 is week eleven. I think predicting seven weeks in advance is a little presumptuous.

Is it "embarrassing," as Ray Lewis says, how the league is protecting quarterbacks?

Prisco: No way. They make the league what it is. Without the quarterbacks, we would have the UFL. Would you want to watch the Colts without Manning, the Saints without Drew Brees or again see the Patriots without Brady? This is a quarterback-driven league. Lewis is wrong. The quarterbacks are not just like the rest of the players on the 53-man roster. They make the league go. Protecting them is a wise thing. Those two calls were bad calls in New England -- they had nothing to do with protecting the quarterback. But the rules to protect them are just fine with me. Wonder how Lewis would feel if somebody went low on Joe Flacco and he was lost for the season? I bet he'd think differently. Why? Flacco gives the Ravens a chance to win it. Without him, forget it. That's why passers have to be protected.

well, not a great example because Ray Lewis has an easy answer; shoot him.

Anyway I take the point and lie somewhere between grumbling, reluctant acceptance and vehrment hatred. Probably like most of you. Judge, care to enunciate my position like the worldly scribe you are?

No. Now that doesn't mean I agree with all the calls in last weekend's Baltimore-New England game, but let's face it: People pay good money to see good quarterbacks. They don't want to watch Kellen Clemens when they can see Mark Sanchez. And Kellen Clemens plays if Sanchez gets hurt.

woah woah woah woah woah.

Let me get this straight.

You, Clark Judge, are writing this little gem of a tete-a-tete with loverboy Pete here, and you need an example of how a star quarterback, being injured, would be very bad for the league. You need a poster boy here. Someone who is known by even non-football people who are dragged to games by football fans. There are two, fucking obvious ones that everyone immediately has in their heads who would be just a train wreck to their teams.

Behind those two lie an ocean of hugely impacting players. Warner, Brees, Rivers, Cutler, Eli Manning, Romo and so on. Many play in significantly sized markets.

And you choose, quite literally, the worst possible example.

Is there a better example of a team that is both a) successful and b) completely and utterly unreliant on their starting QB's health?

Mark Sanchez, he of the 71.2 rating (25th), 186 ypg (25th), 5 INT's (T-4th worst), 4 TD's (T-20th), 6.76 YPA (17th) and 57.3% completion (27th). Are we even sure Kellen Clemens isn't better at this stage of their careers? Would you be willing to put money on that? Worst. Example. Ever.

Clark Judge you are a failure at life.

The league stepped into high gear when the Patriots lost Tom Brady last season, and I get it: It is not protecting Brady, per se, as much as it is high-profile quarterbacks fans want to see. In the salary-cap era, teams have to be careful how they spread their dollars, and some of them -- New England and Indianapolis, for example -- sink millions into the starter and nothing into the backups. The reason: They're banking on Brady or Peyton Manning sticking around 16 games. Well, so are their fans, and now they can. But there's something else: Not only does the quarterback play the most important position, he usually is in a vulnerable and unprotected position when he throws. If clubs can't protect him with their offensive linemen, the NFL will do it with its rules ... and, no, I don't have any problems with it.

then make the sack illegal and render offensive lineman obsolete. This is literally very close to what you suggest. And it will cut payroll from these poor "please sir can I have some more" struggling football teams. Puh-leez.

Last but not least comes Ben's favourite character, Peter King. Don't read King much, and yeah, he's pretty bad, the article, which Ben will be doing a full enema to later on, can be found
here. I'm not gonna steal his thunder, but I just had to talk about this one point.

Coach Of The Year

1. Josh McDaniels, Broncos.
2. Rex Ryan, Jets.
3. Brad Childress, Minnesota.

This one doesn't seem very hard. I pick Childress to round out the top three because he made the gutsy move -- which I criticized -- of going out on a limb to talk Favre into playing when he wasn't confident he could make it through a season healthy, at 40. But Favre has won one game, maybe two, that the Tarvaris Jackson Vikes wouldn't have. At the top, McDaniels, as I explained Monday in MMQB, is a lock.

ok. Now. I'm not gonna rip the "lock" (I think Ryan has done way better, Denver still have played riff raff in comparison). I'm not going to rip the ludicrous suggestion that Brett Favre has been worth 50% of the success attributable to Minnesota. I'm not even going to rip the naming of Brad Childress as one of the three best coaches this year, an idea just beyond my comprehension at this point. But. But.

IF you think Brett Favre is worth 2 wins, games that would otherwise have been lost with Jackson back there, that is FUCKING MASSIVE. BEYOND MASSIVE. GARGANTUAN. The Vikings first wins were over Cleveland and the Lions, I assume these are out as "Favre did it!" games. Right. That means, that King argues that Favre was the difference in the Green Bay game, which would have sent Green Bay to 3-1. You with me sports fans? Minny would be third in their division right now instead of outright leader according to Peter King if Childress did not assist in signing Favre. Two wins covers 63% of the NFL. Peter King is like two wins? Pfft, whatever. No. Two wins in four games for one dude in 53 is unspeakably large.



Bengoodfella said...

The Lions are the best team in the NFL. You heard me. Let's just say the Lions win the rest of their games. Would that be the greatest worst to first in NFL history? I think so. Let's just say Matt Stafford never throws another interception this year. How can he not be the MVP? I think just assuming things are going to happen are fun.

I don't know how I feel about the league protecting quarterbacks like they do because the QB's are the main attraction but I do know you are absolutely correct Mark Sanchez was not a good example here. I would actually like to see what Kellen Clemens can do this year to be honest. Maybe not as good as Sanchez, but as your numbers show, it's not like the drop off should be that drastic.

I am telling you Mark Sanchez is the new NFL Golden Boy. The sportswriters who love him think he is pretty and he plays in a large market. Deal done, they love him.

I don't think the NFL should bend backwards to protect the quarterbacks in this league at all, but I know they are going to rule. Rules to prevent them from being injured unfairly are fine, but the touch penalties when the quarterback is barely touched bother me.

So what we are saying is that IF Favre was worth two wins and Childress had a part in getting him to play he should be Coach of the Year? Begrudgingly I can accept that. I don't think Favre was worth two wins though.

AJ said...


How dare you rip on Mark Sanchez, he is the best QB that isn't named Brady. Do you remember the Westin situation?? I'll shut this blog down in 5 minutes!

Now where is my coffee at, I had it here somewhere...


AJ said...

I have a fellow employee that uses the phrase "You heard me" about 25 times a day...and its usually said RIGHT after saying something else, not like 10 seconds later or even 5 seconds later, I mean right away.

I get confused, does he want me to respond to what he said or answer his "you heard me" question. I mean i did hear you, since you are standing right next to me...if you give me 1 second to respond to what you said you wouldnt have to ask me if i heard you.

Bengoodfella said...

Wow, I can't believe we heard from Peter King on this blog. It's my dream come true.

I think someone saying "you heard me" several times a day would annoy the shit out of me. I would probably slowly lose my mind every time he said it and have to stop myself from throwing a hot liquid of some type on him. Yes, I heard what you said, if you let me respond I will respond.

Saying, "you heard me" doesn't give the sentence before it any more greater meaning or more emphasis.

dan said...

Before I get to my comments, just know I hate Brett Favre. As a Bears fan I hate him and as a decent human being I hage him. Now getting to Brad Childress. Him bringing in Favre does not make him coach of the year. It would make him gm of the year or whoever is running the team should get that honor.

If Favre continues to play well (god I hope not) then that does not make Childress coach of the year it would make Favre MVP. Just like if Drew Brees or Payton Manning broke passing records, their coaches wouldnt get awards for it, either player would get the MVP.

Childress has been runnign the same system, he has not brought anything new to the table this year. That is why McDaniels or Ryan should get coach of the year they have changed the schemes of their teams drastically and should be rewarded accordingly.

Quarterbacks should be protected but if somebody gets hurt the league will survive. Brady got hurt and patriot fans missed him for sure but i dont think anybody else really cared. A penalty should (roughing the passer) never be called if a player doesnt hit the ground. Bodies fly around somebody is going to get close to the qb, that is the nature of the game. If the qb doesnt actually hit the deck then no way a penalty should be called. And lets be honest its not protecting qbs, its protecting GOOD qbs. No way Kyle Orton or Jamarcus Russell gets that call. Its a double standard.

KentAllard said...

I'm with ya'll on "you heard me." The only possible response is "What? Did you say something?"

I'm not for injuring QBs, but it is part of the game, and makes it to a teams advantage to not overload their salary cap with just one player. If Peyton Manning goes down, the Colts are probably sunk, if Eli Manning falls, the Giants probably have a chance, since they are strong at other positions. Not against the Saints, though, since they will be the last undefeated team.

The Casey said...

I'll either ignore a "you heard me" or answer a random non-asked question.

I don't really like the extra protection for the QBs. To me it seems like a knee-jerk reaction to one fluky hit. It's like if Peyton Manning died in a car wreck (not that I'm advocating this) and the NFL banned QBs from riding in cars. I also think an important part of building a franchise is depth and development of young talent in order to minimize the effect losing a given player will have. A great example would be the Patriots and Cassell replacing Brady. That may have cost the Pats a playoff berth, but I don't think anyone can say that for sure.

wv: gnoughle. I have to work that into a conversation this weekend.

Bengoodfella said...

I was trying to think who the GM of the Vikings was and I can't remember.

I am just going to flip flop all over the place today and say that you are right in saying Childress doesn't deserve Coach of the Year, I don't know what I was thinking because you are right in that he hasn't really done anything else. It is more a reflection on what Brett Favre did for the Vikings than what Childress did. There's my flip flop from my previous answer.

I do have to say I wouldn't advocate Favre to be MVP, I still think that award should go to someone else because I don't like him that much. I would like to think I could make an argument Peyton (its weird to have to say WHICH Manning) Manning or another player deserved it.

What changes my mind is that the system or philosophy hasn't changed at all, so Childress shouldn't get credit.

It drives me crazy how sportswriters act like if a QB gets injured the league will fold. Shit happens, that's why you have backups. We should protect QB's because they can be in a vulnerable position but a simple late hit on the shoulder or another "love tap" type play shouldn't be flagged for roughing the passer. You are right about the double standard, it's sort of like the double standard in the NBA for foul calls.

"You heard me" annoys me...especially since I have probably typed it once or twice and I regretted it at the time. I agree with Kent, this is why you don't overload the cap with one player because if there are injuries it can hurt you, so I have no sympathy for a team who has a highly paid QB go down. This year my favorite team has no cap room b/c they chose to tie it up in one player and then injuries hit...

I don't want players to get hurt either and I think QB's need to be protected to an extent but we can't overdue the roughing the passer penalty too much. Of course a QB like Brady will want the call b/c it benefits his team but that doesn't mean he should get the call.

The Pats are a great example of a team that did it right when losing their starting QB. They had Cassel who knew the offense and could play decently in Brady's absence. We can't have the NFL protecting players because they are "more important" than other players, but of course it exists.

Go said...

Remember a few years ago when the NYG were at Tennessee? A Giants player had Vince Young wrapped up for a sack then let go because he thought a whistle had blown and didn't continue with the tackle. Young completed the pass and the Titans went on to win. Situations like that piss me off. The protection of QBs has gotten a little out of control.
Brady bitching to the ref for a flag last week, and getting one, was awful. I don't think the ref would have thrown the flag if Brady hadn't pleaded for it.

Bengoodfella said...

I do remember that. It's such a thin line because the guy thought the whistle had blown and didn't want to get hit with a penalty flag, but of course it hadn't blow. That was pure b.s. In the heat of the moment the players are aware of the whistle blowing but it usually isn't their #1 priority, nor should it always be.

I can see me flipping out if that happened to my favorite team...especially since they can't seem to sack the quarterback at all. I know they try to protect QB's because they are in a vulnerable position but there is a line to be drawn and I think sometimes the refs let a little hit on the QB go for roughing when it really shouldn't be.

I can't blame Brady all that much honestly, he wanted the call to help his team. It was just a case of a player pleading for a call in hopes to get one later, but actually getting the call. Plus, I am sure Brady is fairly aware whenever defenders are near him, so that type stuff affects him more now. I would love to blame Brady for this but he was just whining to get a call, the ref never should have thrown the flag.

Gene said...

"You heard me" is usuall said when someone thinks that they have made such a shocking (and brilliant)statement that the listener probably can't believe his ears. In reality, the statement is usually stupid and the "you heard me" is really admitting that a person just said something incredibly stupid and is standing by the stupid statement.

Gene said...

Another related point is "Wouldn't it be amazing/ironic if ....."


Wouldn't it be ironic if right when Ben was saying the Detroit Lions suck, the whole team showed up in his front yard to tell them they aren't that bad? Wouldn't that be CRAZY?

Well, of course it would be, but it did not and will not happen, just like the Lions won't win the rest of their games. Lots of things are amazing if you MAKE THEM UP. The thing that makes them amazing is when things ACTUALLY HAPPEN.

J.S. said...

Sounds like many of you have a similar opinion on roughing the passer as I do...grudging acceptance of the rule but scepticism of its enforcement.

Bengoodfella said...

Gene, that's exactly right. I guess he felt his statement was amazing enough to make that statement. Except it does make more sense when the person saying it has said something incredibly stupid because the listener may not believe what he/she just heard.

I think the "amazing/ironic" thing is a cousin to the "what if" scenarios that cause me headaches at night. Wouldn't it be amazing if a unicorn came down and flew David Eckstein around the stadium on its back?

J.S., yes we will similar. I see the point of the rule and agree with it to an extent. It's not applied very well all the time...of course that could be said for a lot of rules.

Martin said...

Mike Judge, he did Bevis and Butthead didn't he?

marry said...

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J.S. said...

Cheers Martin, unconscious slip there, apologies, it's Clark Judge like the tag says, not Mike as in the intro.

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know if I wouldn't mind hearing Mike Judge debate football topics though. He did Office Space too and that was a great movie.

Martin said...

Yeah, I only noticed it at the beginning of the article about the 3rd time I read it through. I agree with Ben, Mike might be better at this then Clark.