Thursday, November 19, 2009


It's back. And this time it's more recent than ever. Ladies and Gentleman, Faceoff.

Carolina or Miami: Which rising long shot has the better chance to sneak back into the playoff picture with a win Thursday?

it's clearly Miami. They are just having a hard luck season, happens to every team eventually, Seattle had one a few years ago, had like tackling bags playing tight ends at one point. But we'll get to this later, as Clark Judge always picks the wrong thing in these, always. Without fail. I'm banking on it. And I'll stake my Miami hard luck rant on it.

Prisco: Can I say neither?

no, not really. It's just asking "better chance". Stop being an indecisive, whiny little girl. Pick! Johnny Mathis or Diet Pepsi?

I had to make a choice it would be the Dolphins. Why? Schedule. Have you taken a look at the Carolina schedule? It is brutal. After facing the Dolphins, they play at the Jets, home against Tampa Bay -- two winnable games -- but then close at New England, home against Minnesota, at the Giants and home against the Saints.

reminiscent of his "Colts last undefeated team" against the Saints when both were 4-0. I still believe in that pick (and regardless of the last week, the logic was better). Peyton don't wanna go against Peyton Manning, end of story. But this whole, referencing the schedule thing, boring though it indubitably is, nevertheless is a solid strategy. Let's have a look here, I can give you Minny on the tired Farve theory, but Carolina is 25th against the rush this year.

And I got bad news - Peterson is much fresher than last year, he's on pace for 40 less carries, has a higher YPA and already has eclipsed last years TD total. He also has matched his reception total from last year. Adrian Peterson is becoming an even better player than you and I are familiar with. Also, Minny is 4-1 on the road (nothing unexpected there) but the wins are by 12, 28, 14 and 14.

The Panthers...nah, I don't wanna spoil it.

Good luck. Miami's schedule is a tad softer. The Dolphins have games left with Buffalo, Tennessee and Jacksonville, and their tough games are at home against Houston, New England and Pittsburgh. So my choice is Miami. But the reality is I don't think either one will make it.

Miami, I have a soft spot for, after that loss to Indy, how could you not. They are a lot of fun to watch. In addition, their losses are to Indy,@Atlanta, @San Diego, New Orleans, @New England. How could they be anything but 4-5, honestly.

Judge: I'll take Carolina even though the Panthers just lost Thomas Davis and Jordan Gross, and here's why: They're beginning to get their act together

yes, "getting their act together" right. In comparison, the vaunted Panthers have had a loss at home to Buffalo, in the middle of this alleged "hot" streak (including wins @Washington and Tampa).

committing few mistakes

4 turnovers against Buffalo four weeks ago, 3 against New Orleans two weeks ago.

letting DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart -- not Jake Delhomme -- win games

well if it took John Fox three games to learn that, then I don't know what to tell you. It's true in games where they have rushed more than passed (the last six straight), Carolina is 4-2. But it's also true that when they rush at least 30 times they are just 4-3. And if you think ball control is gonna get 'er done against the Colts, have a chat to the Dolphins, and if you think Belichick isn't gonna work out the "yeah, we and stuff", I don't know what to tell you either. And if you think missing one of the best tackles in the game isn't gonna change this equation I am also at a loss for words - me!

That is critical because the Panthers can't win by relying on the inconsistent arm of Delhomme, and they know it.

how do you hold your head up Judge, with that big brain of yours?

So they do what they do best, which is run the ball -- and the last three games they're averaging 212 yards per start. More important, they're not committing turnovers.

three against New Orleans, didn't you hear me? Yes, alright, none against Zona and Atlanta. This is reasonably impressive, as Zona and Atlanta have 33 between them, until you realise it's a result of a 39/78 pass/rush ratio. Which if you know football, and Clark Judge does not, you know cannot stand, and you < mark scheffler >cannot win in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE < / mark scheffler >rushing 67% of the time. You just can't. Eventually someone will be better than you, and you will have to throw. To compound the issue, as I mentioned above, the Panthers cannot stop the run. Get up ten on them and you win. And why the hell can't you get up on them? Carolina have only held one team to under 20 this year, and it was Washington.

They have three in three games. Opponents have 10. They've beaten Arizona and Atlanta the past three weeks, too, and barely lost out to New Orleans. That tells me they're getting confident as they build momentum. The clincher, though, is Miami's loss of Ronnie Brown. You can beat Carolina on the ground, but the Panthers' pass defense is effective. Losing Brown puts undue pressure on Chad Henne, and he doesn't need it. Not here. Not now.

alright, I admit I kind of misread the question and thought it was about season long prospects but still - it's the system stupid. I argued this before, and they still have Ricky Williams. It's a pretty closely run (ha! puns are fun) thing by the way between Brown vs Gross/Davis. Smiley and Fasano hurt mind you. Whatever, you can go mad doing this.

Henne's also been ok, way, way, way better than Delhomme, 5TD/3INT, 191.6YPG. His QB rating this year is ten points higher than Delhomme. That's what they call an "edge". Begone with you Judge!

Calvin Johnson, Steven Jackson or Terrell Owens: Who is the most talented player wasting away on a last-place team?

Owens? Are you serious? How dare you anonymous questioner. Seriously. He's got one fucking touchdown! He's averaging forty yards a game! Johnson is averaging more than 50% more yards, and yes, only one touchdown, but on a 1-8 team. And here's the other thing - Lee Evans has more yards per game than Owens and five TD's. What the hell are you talking about.

Judge: Steven Jackson. A few weeks ago we were asked to choose the best running back not named Adrian Peterson. I would like to amend my answer and say Steven Jackson. I can't fathom how he is doing what he is doing this season, and what he is doing is just about everything. He is the NFL's third-leading rusher, behind Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson. He averages five yards a carry. He has three straight 100-yard performances. He's the Rams' leading receiver. Basically, he does it all, and he does it with a bad football team beginning to show signs of life because ... well because Steven Jackson is carrying the Rams. Frankly, I don't know how he motivates himself, but he does. And he's doing it right. Imagine what happens if and when St. Louis surrounds him with talent. The guy already is a load. When opponents have to concentrate on others he'll be the NFL version of a nuclear weapon.

where have you been for the last six years you idiot? This will be his fifth straight 1000 yard rushing season as well as catching 3.4 balls a game. He's good. He's already been good. The last five weeks should not have to convince you. You vex me Judge.

Eagles, Giants or Broncos: Which team is closest to the brink of collapse?

*yawn* you're so predictable internet.

Judge: Broncos. And I say that knowing Denver still have Oakland and Kansas City (twice) on their schedule. But here's the problem: If you can't beat Washington you might not be able to beat Kansas City -- especially in Kansas City, where the Broncos have lost three of their last five.

is that even bad? 40% over a tiny five game sample in one of the hardest stadiums in the NFL? Frankly, even if Denver have blown their load (and they almost certainly have), I'm comfortable giving them these three. That's nine wins. They need one more...this is a big game this week, but let's not start throwing people off the boat just yet. After all, almighty media, they have Kyle Orton. The Great Kyle Orton. Remember him media?

Also, two of the best things ever on ESPN;

Frank Gore (eyelid)

Twilight star talks ice cream - bad for any site, unforgivable for ESPN. (you may have to rush for this one, it's one some weird link I can't directly link to, and will change tomorrow, presumably out of humilation)


Bengoodfella said...

Good post, except for the fact the Panthers are going to win the Super Bowl this year and then Jake Delhomme will be immediately inducted into the Hall of Fame. Other than the fact you missed that part good post.

Carolina is a sinking ship for this year. Even the "Football Gods" don't want them to win. They start playing well and important players start to get injured. I almost wish they had lost last week so I wouldn't have to go find a place to watch this week's game since Time Warner Cable refuses to carry NFL Network.

I like how Clark Judge amends his answer for best running back in the NFL not named Adrian Peterson two or three weeks after he gave the answer. It's not like this is Jackson's first season playing for a crappy Rams team. They have been consistenly crappy for a while now and he has somehow found a way to motivate himself.

The media secretly loves Terrell Owens and that's why they even put his name in that question. Obviously from his numbers this year he isn't even close to being an elite receiver or even a great receiver anymore. Try convincing the media of this though.

Yeah, I still think Miami is a good team to make a late run and that would be my choice.

People are absolutely bailing on Kyle Orton right now and it's kind of funny to watch. I don't know what is wrong with the Broncos but Kyle Orton is who we thought he was. Nothing more and nothing less. It could be worse, he could be Jay Cutler.

KentAllard said...

I wonder what professional writers covering the NFL do with their time? The hardcore NFL junkies in my office can give you stats on the rushing leader for every team in the league, but the guys who are supposed to devote their time to it only know about the handful of teams who are "stories." Perplexing.

Bengoodfella said...

I think in their spare time professional NFL writers look at other writers and see what they are saying or surf the Internet to see if anyone is insulting them. Possibly they could also focus on other sports. Other than that, I don't really know.

I think writers have to spend so much time chasing the stories they tend to not be able to focus on other teams or players in the league. It is interesting sometimes how hardcore fans are able to have a wider array of knowledge than those that get paid to cover the sport.

RuleBook said...

I think the key problem is that a journalist writes to get as many readers as possible. As such, he will generally focus on the teams that have a larger fan base (which are mainly east coast teams and the Cowboys), as that means more readers.

The assumption is that the hard-core sport fans are going to read the article no matter what, so they gear the article to what will draw the largest number casual fans.

However, this leads to no one writing about many of the big players, which leads the journalist who reads other articles to believe that no one knows about these players. This, I believe, is why so many journalists claim that a player is unheard of or under-appreciated. When the writer reads articles, no one writes about these small markets, so he assumes no one knows of said player/story.

It's hard to deal with because we are all knowledgeable sports fans here, but articles aren't written for us - they are written for the fan who won't read an article unless something catches his eye. This casual fan may not be as familiar with some of the players (even big name players) as we expect.

Bengoodfella said...

Appealing to the lowest common denominator fan (ok, maybe not that bad). That does make sense to me as to why they just assume hardcore fans will read the article anyway. I actually avoid most journalism if I already know the topic or it is about something that is pretty much well known.

That's an interesting theory that writers read other articles and assume no one knows about these lesser known players so they just assume the reading public doesn't know about them either. That could very well be a common misconception.

I try not to be a sports snob and claim I am knowledgeable but time after time it feels like I am...but I still don't want to sound cocky because there is a shitload of stuff I don't know.

You may be right, the casual fan may not have heard of the players that we are all familiar with after all. They may not know how good DeMeco Ryans or Steven Jackson really is.

J.S. said...

This may be the only Carolina Panthers tag not issued by Ben...

Bengoodfella said...

After last night, I may never tag "Carolina Panthers" again.