Wednesday, December 23, 2009

15 comments Gregg Easterbrook Ruins Christmas For Millions By Continuing to Write A Weekly NFL Column

Gregg Easterbrook is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas this week in his TMQ. Don't let the title fool you, there isn't anything overly exciting or different in this TMQ. It's the same old stuff he always writes with a few extra stupid misconceptions or observations mixed in. Gregg has started to use cartoons a lot in his TMQ of late, I am not sure why he does this. Maybe he is trying to distract the audience from the content of what he writes...and how bad it can be.

With Indianapolis the last undefeated team standing, the question is: Why can't anyone figure out the Colts' no-huddle shotgun offense?

Because the quarterback for the Colts is one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all-time and he runs a precision offense based on game plans that fit the personnel the team has?

Lots of NFL teams now go no-huddle occasionally; at the college level, huddles are practically becoming rare.

Absolutely not true. There are still huddles in college, they are not becoming rare.

The Browns won a game by surprising an opponent with the no-huddle, then went back to a conventional offense.

The Browns also won a game by returning two kicks for a touchdown and getting 280+ yards from Jerome Harrison, which probably has as much if not more, to do with the Browns victory than the no-huddle offense they showed in the first half.

Another reason is that the no-huddle pace is so fast, defensive substitutions are limited. That means in the second half, the Colts face a tired defense, since playing defense is more tiring than playing offense.

Gregg doesn't realize that if the Colts offense moves faster and are on offense for a shorter period of time that means the Indianapolis Colts defense has to play defense for a longer period of time than if the Colts didn't run a no-huddle offense. Therefore the Colts defense could also get tired because they are on the field longer due to the Colts offense playing fast. So.........Gregg may not have a point here.

Having Manning call his own plays is extremely effective. Obviously, many quarterbacks lack his level of ability.

Obviously a quarterback calling his own plays is not a good idea for pretty much every other team in the NFL, not only because the quarterback lacks the ability, but the coaches may have knowledge of something they see on the field during the game the quarterback doesn't have time to see because he is too busy playing the game.

But TMQ thinks the real reason more NFL quarterbacks don't call their own plays is coaching bureaucracy. The coaches want to be in control, and maintain their illusion of possessing super-ultra-secret insider knowledge.

Why does Gregg always think coaches have a super secret conspiracy to keep their power so they don't get fired? He thinks NFL head coaches control the score to make themselves look better and don't allow their players to call their own plays because they want to keep that special power to themselves. In reality, it's not realistic for 95% of quarterbacks to call their own plays because sometimes the offensive coordinator does have a strategy he is employing and has an actual GAME PLAN (the horror!) for the game that may change as the game goes along. For most quarterbacks, running the offense and deciding what play to run is too much for them.

No mere player could call a down-and-out -- only coaches have that kind of skill!

No, but the coaches may see something before the next play that the quarterback doesn't see and may want a specific play to be run. Therefore not every quarterback should get the choice to decide which play to run when given a group of plays the offensive coordinator may want to run.

By not letting quarterbacks call their own plays, NFL teams concede an advantage to the Colts.

Everyone think about your favorite NFL team right now. No matter what you think about the offensive coordinator, do you really want your quarterback calling the plays for your team AND playing quarterback? Probably not.

By not having Peyton Manning as their quarterback, NFL teams are conceding an advantage to the Colts, there is no advantage in a quarterback who can't reasonably call his own plays calling plays instead of the offensive coordinator.

On that drive, Pittsburgh faced a fourth-and-7, a first-and-20 and a third-and-15. Green Bay played most of the drive in the infamous "prevent" defense, which prevents only punts -- a three-man rush and the secondary soft.

I highly doubt the Packers were in a prevent defense the entire last drive. I saw nearly all of the game, and I saw the end of the game specifically, and it looks like the Packers had two safeties deep to avoid a big play, but they were not running a prevent defense. Gregg should probably learn how to read defenses a little bit better before writing his column.

What else does Gregg want the Packers to do? If they had blitzed then Gregg would have said they lost the game because they blitzed all the time and left men open (heck, he even does this exact thing later in this TMQ). In fact, he criticized the Cardinals in TMQ exactly for this when they lost on the last drive to the Titans a few weeks ago. So Gregg doesn't want teams to keep two safeties deep and he also doesn't want them to blitz, so what did he expect the Packers to do on defense?

In college news, TMQ contends that football-factory coaches emphasize winning above all else because there is no reward for academic outcomes. Cory Scott of Ambler, Pa., notes this column by Jay Paterno, the quarterbacks coach at Penn State and Joe's son, proposing that academic success be added as a factor in the BCS formula. If it were a factor, Jay Paterno finds, Alabama would still be in the title game next month --

So the football factory that emphasizes winning above all else, Alabama, would still be in the BCS Title Game even with academic success being considered? While Texas would fall out of the BCS Title Game, the #4 team in the nation TCU would have a chance to play in the BCS Title Game. So, essentially two of the Top 4 teams in the country who had a claim to be in the BCS Title Game based on football prowess would have had a chance to be in the game based on football and educational prowess. So this is small, yet possibly important, evidence that football-factories do emphasize education along with winning and Gregg Easterbrook is wrong in assuming they don't.

Football-factory coaches and boosters often claim for the sake of show they care about academics. Make it official -- add academic measures to the BCS computer formula! Do this, and within a single year there would be intense focus on classroom performance at every BCS-hopeful school.

This is a grand idea, but call me jaded if I don't think is going to work exactly like Gregg seems to believe it will. If academics are added into the BCS computer model, football schools are just going to put more pressure on academics at the school to give the student's good grades and be more lenient with them. I hate to be negative about this, but adding academics to the BCS computer will only result in more fudging with grades and nearly every player will have a "tutor" that helps them do their work.

This isn't a whimsical idea, it is a perfectly serious and practical idea -- if the NCAA and the BCS want to prove they're not just moving their mouths when they say they care about GPAs and graduation

I am for the idea, I just think colleges will find a way around it. Like they always seem to do.

Stats of the Week No. 5: Atlanta and Carolina won, and were eliminated from playoff contention; Minnesota lost, and clinched its division.

This isn't really interesting if you just take into account the fact Atlanta and Carolina were eliminated because they spent inordinate amounts of time this year losing football games. New Orleans lost and has homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Browns won and they will have the first pick in the draft possibly. Crazy!!!

Sweet Play of the Week: Then, with Carolina leading 19-7 late in the game, Moore faked a toss left, bootlegged right and threw a perfect 55-yard strike to Gary Barnidge, icing the game.
It was actually more like a 15 yard strike followed by Barnidge out-running or carrying Minnesota defenders down the field until he was tackled. It's a little misleading to call what Moore threw a "55-yard strike."

The undrafted Moore totally outperformed Brett Favre.

For one game. ONE GAME. Not over an entire season or at any other point that was not THIS SPECIFIC GAME. Because an undrafted free agent has one good game, it doesn't mean he is better than a Hall of Fame quarterback overall...which is what Gregg infers here. Even the best quarterback in the NFL can't play better than his quarterback counterpart in every single game.

It's come to the point where sports commentators think an effective defensive game plan must be based on wild blitzing and unorthodox fronts. Quarterbacks have gotten so concerned about diagnosing unorthodox fronts that now conventional defense seems like a trick!

The 4-3 defense didn't trick the Vikings at all and the Vikings were never confused, they just couldn't block Carolina's four rushers and that made all the difference in the world. It's easy to run a simple defense if you have 4 guys getting to the quarterback on nearly every play.

Sour Call of the Week No. 1: Leading 16-13 with six minutes remaining, Denver had a fourth-and-goal on the Oakland 3-yard line, and sent in the kicking unit. A six-point lead is still a one-score lead!

The Raiders had 13 points until this point in the game. The Broncos did still make the game a one score game, but they also required the Raiders to score a touchdown to beat them, which wasn't a bad idea.

The Raiders got a touchdown on the game's final snap, and prevailed, 20-19. A successful try on the fourth-and-goal would have won the game for Denver; a failed try would have left the Long Johns pinned against their own goal line.

Again, this is something only a person who knew the outcome of the game would truly know. An unsuccessful try for the Broncos followed by a Raiders touchdown would have still lost the game for them. This may have been pretty chicken shit of the Broncos to do, but Gregg's reasoning for it being a chicken shit call is based only on knowing the eventual outcome of the game.

With the game tied at 24, Cincinnati had San Diego facing a second-and-10 at midfield with 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Bolts out of timeouts. A stop here and the contest would proceed to overtime. Since NFL passing plays average about 7 yards gained -- the Chargers averaged 7.4 yards per pass attempt in this contest -- if Cincinnati used a conventional defense, the odds are San Diego would be stopped short of field goal range. Instead, the Bengals rushed six defenders, basically inviting San Diego to make a big play.

See? The Packers ran a "prevent" defense and Gregg roasted them for that and the Bengals blitzed Philip Rivers and Gregg roasted them for blitzing. Gregg's opinion on what a team should do depends primarily on what the outcome of the situation was.

Also, if the Bengals used a "conventional" defense (what the hell is that? A simple 4-3?), then the Chargers may still have been able to complete the pass on the left side of the field if the cornerback (Leon Hall) had played Floyd the same way he did when the Bengals blitzed. This completion wasn't the defensive coordinator of the Bengals fault, but Leon Hall's fault for playing to the inside of Floyd instead of protecting the sidelines to prevent Floyd from going out of bounds.

Because of the big blitz, the Cincinnati secondary couldn't cover out-routes, they could only defend the center of the field!

Absolutely, 100% incorrect. The Bengals had two safeties and a linebacker in the middle of the field. Even with the blitz, the Bengals could have protected the out-routes and still tackled a ball carrier over the middle of the field. Unless the receiver somehow manages to elude two safeties, a linebacker and a cornerback, time would have run out and the game would have been over. The blitz had nothing to do with the Bengals corners not being able to cover the out-routes.

Speed receiver Roddy White went in motion left, then spun back in motion right; White ended up as the outside man in a trips right, with tight end Tony Gonzalez the inside man. Gonzalez is 6-foot-5 and had 81 career touchdown receptions up to this point; who do you think the play was designed for? White ran a short post, cutting in front of Gonzalez in a semi-pick; Gonzalez went into the end zone and simply turned around to catch the game-winning touchdown pass. On the play, Jersey/B dropped eight men into coverage against four receivers, with the eight men guarding the relatively small area of the end zone. Yet no one jammed Gonzalez!
What if the Jets defender had jammed Gonzalez and HE was the guy setting the pick for the speedy White or the other receiver (probably Michael Jenkins)? The result would have been a touchdown anyway. Gonzalez has 81 career touchdowns and maybe the Falcons knew this as well and wanted to use Gonzalez as a decoy on the play, so the Jets thought about this and didn't want to have their coverage jammed? I am not saying it is smart, I am just saying that is a possibility as well. The Jets just can't assume Gonzalez will get the ball in this situation.

Then erratic glam-boy quarterback Mark Sanchez heave-hoed another interception.

Mark Sanchez is not the Messiah, but he is also a rookie quarterback. Rookie quarterbacks are generally erratic by nature, it's not something we should hold against him at this point in his career. I've been hard on Sanchez because the media had portrayed him as being already a great quarterback after a couple of games, but Gregg needs to understand he is a rookie.

On the play, Jags cornerback Derek Cox simply let Wayne go deep, even though Wayne came into the game as the league's No. 3 receiver...The result was that for a critical few seconds, no one was covering the league's No. 3 receiver.

Since this column praises undrafted future Hall of Famer Jeff Saturday, I hope my stocking contains
his action figure. Saturday was the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-Quarterback Non-Running Back NFL MVP of the 2006 season. I was on to this guy three years before Sports Illustrated noticed him.

So Gregg noticed him in 2006 before Sports Illustrated noticed him, so Gregg must have been the first person to notice how great Jeff Saturday was right? Except for the Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections that Saturday had received prior to Gregg Easterbrook noticing him, no one knew about Jeff Saturday. Gregg should be a scout for an NFL team.

At any bookstore or online seller you can pre-order my next book, "Sonic Boom," about the pluses and minuses of current economic and social trends. The volume doesn't go on sale till Dec. 29, but pre-orders are crucial to a successful book launch -- and ordering one now shows you're thinking ahead!

We can't order the book ahead of time, that would be Easterbrook Creep! Why does Gregg want us to order a book that isn't even out yet? Doesn't he know that he has criticized books that are best sellers before they were actually released and accused the book of "creeping" on everyone? We can't have Easterbrook Creep.

Earlier this season, the Redskins showed a field goal trick-play set against Denver, then called timeout, then showed the same trick play again -- and the result was a touchdown. Reverse psychology -- the Broncos were surprised the Redskins would run an action they had just tipped off. But now everyone in the league has film of that, so you can't expect it to work twice!

I am not exactly sure this is actually "reverse psychology" or not, but just may be poor play calling.

Mark Eichelberger of Plainfield, Ill., reports, "On Dec. 19 at my Chicago-area Lowe's home center, the top of my receipt said 'Welcome Back Spring.' It wasn't even officially winter yet!"

Isn't it a possibility the receipt said, "Welcome Back Spring" as an invitation to literally welcome spring when it comes back around? Lowe's thinks you should welcome spring by thinking about doing household repairs when the weather gets better. They have sales around Christmas, so maybe the best time to purchase materials needed for the Spring repairs is when the price is the lowest. Maybe if Gregg thought about this for a minute and didn't nitpick he would understand what the message on this receipt could have been referring to.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback thinks the Saints' playoff outlook actually improved with the loss to the Cowboys -- better to have your wake-up call when it doesn't matter than to lay an egg in mid-January. The loss should motivate New Orleans for the final two regular-season tilts, since it remains possible Minnesota could pass the Saints for the top seed in the NFC.

It's very not likely this would happen. The Vikings have to win their last two games and the Saints have to lose their last two games. I don't know how much this really motivates the Saints.

As for Dallas, it's just so hard to take the Cowboys seriously. They're on a 4-7 run in December, and last year, needing a win in their final December contest to reach the playoffs, lost 44-6.

It's not logical to say you can't trust the Cowboys because of what they have done in December in the past. Its a fun story to talk about, but it really has no relevance to this December necessarily. Maybe the Cowboys aren't good at playing outside in December, it may not matter because if they win their first round playoff game, they could end up playing in a dome in the second round.

Man of the Worldly Mind, Do You Believe in the Crabtree Curse? Under Mike Singletary, the Forty-Niners are 8-5 without Michael Crabtree and 3-7 with him.

Of course some of those victories happened while Crabtree was in college at Texas Tech. Gregg of course doesn't mention this because it would make his Crabtree Curse less convincing. He can't let reality get in the way of what he is trying to say.

This is another example of the phenomenon that sports-yak types don't want coaches to make innovative or risky calls (Bill Belichick on fourth-and-2 at Indianapolis and so on). Instead, they want game action to be ultra-predictable -- because the commentators don't want to be taken by surprise.

I think it is 1% likely the reason the football analysts didn't like this call was because they don't like to be surprised. It was 99% more likely they didn't like the call because it gave a hot Green Bay offense a short field to work with.

Plus, here were the Green Bay possession results in the fourth quarter: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown. Tomlin knew his defense, especially his secondary, wasn't performing. The onside attempt made eminent sense.

Since the onside kick had a (depending on where you read) 25% chance of succeeding, that made more sense to do and give the Packers a short field rather than kick the ball off? It's a tough call, but I wouldn't have kicked the onside kick here.

Concussions Update: The NCAA is considering a rule that would require any athlete who loses consciousness from contact not to return to competition or practice that day. What pussyfooting! Someone who loses consciousness from a collision belongs in an emergency room, and even if all goes well, shouldn't return to athletics for a week or two.

This will be the 9th consecutive week I have said this, but to put harsh and steadfast rules in place like that will only result in players covering up their concussions or not revealing the concussion to the team if the player wasn't knocked out of the game. I firmly believe this to be true.

Unless something dramatic happens, the Cutler trade may rank as one of football's worst ever. The Bucs and Redskins -- who also made bids to Cutler -- are now immensely relieved their bids failed.

Yes, I am sure the Redskins who got their ass kicked last night by the Giants are just thrilled they have to spend a 1st (or 2nd) round pick this year on a quarterback instead of an offensive lineman that they more desperately need. I blame Cutler for some of the problems the Bears have, but I also think he is going to bounce back from it all next year.

Jacksonville scored 31 points and had an impressive 35:26-24:34 edge in time of possession against Indianapolis and lost anyway.

Remember earlier in this column Gregg said this:

Another reason is that the no-huddle pace is so fast, defensive substitutions are limited. That means in the second half, the Colts face a tired defense, since playing defense is more tiring than playing offense.

So I would love to hear Gregg rectify this statement that the Colts wear down the opposing team's defense with the fact the Colts defense is the one that was on the field longer than the Jags defense. Was the Jags' defense more tired because of the no-huddle, even though they actually spent less time on the field than the Colts? Theoretically, shouldn't the Colts be the team that has the tired defense because "playing defense is more tiring than playing offense?" This doesn't make sense to me.

Time of possession only matters as a stat if the other team doesn't score quickly.
So time of possession doesn't matter here because the Colts scored quickly? That makes sense, but it still doesn't exactly explain why the no-huddle offense made the Jags defense more tired in the 2nd half of the game.
Now Gregg lets some readers take him to task for his mistakes in the last column. What I find interesting is that Gregg makes no attempt to explain why he was wrong or apologize for being's just like he knows he makes shit up in his column, so it is acceptable when he gets busted doing it. I don't find this acceptable.
"If you'd like to make the argument that today's standards are different than 15 years ago, so be it. Let's take a look at the Notre Dame Graduation Success Rate: 2006, 95 percent; 2007, 93 percent; 2008, 94 percent, 2009, 96 percent. Now the recruiting-class rankings, according to 2006, 8th; 2007, 8th; 2008, 2nd; 2009, 21st. Now let's look at the Notre Dame final BCS ranking: 2006, 19; 2007, ugh; 2008, ouch; 2009, oh no. True student-athletes? Check. Recruiting success? Check. Lots of wins? No. Charlie Weis just couldn't coach good, smart players to win.

But after a century of academic greatness, do you think Notre Dame would suddenly toss that to the side now? If you must dignify rumors, you should have given equal weight to the rumors that either Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops would be wearing the Blue and Gold if football academic standards were lowered, yet the school administration refused."

What does Gregg say to this well-thought and reasoned rebuttal to his statements last week?

Mike's right.

Awesome Gregg. Thanks for participating. It's good to hear that you make things up to prove your points and do so without shame.

Obscure College Score of the Week: Villanova 23, Montana 21 (Division I-AA championship). Villanova isn't obscure, but with an average freshman math SAT score of 670, supports TMQ's theory that colleges that are serious about education also can do really well in football.

Gregg ignores the fact Villanova has a great basketball team and I am sure the school probably lowers the SAT score required for these student-athletes to enter the school...which is something he incorrectly accused Notre Dame of doing with their football program last week. So while it is great to acknowledge the math SAT score required, I am guessing for the football and basketball (and other sports, I am not just picking on them), that requirement is lowered. I could be wrong about this.

Single Worst Play of the Season -- So Far: Pittsburgh sends out five receivers, Green Bay rushes three, meaning eight available to cover five. Mike Wallace, on the far outside left, is covered man-on-man by journeyman nickel back Josh Bell. Bell's sole assignment on the play is to guard Wallace; there was a safety behind Bell, so he had no other responsibilities. In man coverage, you glue your eyes to the receiver's waist and never look at anything else.
I have never played cornerback...but players are really taught to look at the receiver's waist and nothing else in man coverage? How the hell are you supposed to know the ball is coming or not so you can make a play on it? Based on the fact this doesn't make sense and Gregg Easterbrook generally sucks at figuring out what defenses are supposed to be doing, I am going to go ahead and say that Gregg Easterbrook is making this up.
Gregg Easterbrook calls Josh Bell a "journeyman" when in fact Bell was an undrafted free agent (yes, one of Gregg's favorite type players. I thought these guys never made mistakes and were better than highly drafted players?) and came into the NFL in 2008. So I wouldn't quite call him a "journeyman" at this point in his career.

Yet twice on this down,
Bell took his eyes off Wallace to look around, as if wondering, "Is the play over? Has the game ended?" Rather than simply stick to his man till the whistle sounds, Bell twice takes his eyes off his man, who proceeds to catch the winning touchdown pass.

Possibly Bell was looking to see if the ball would have been thrown or not so he could make a play on the ball? Regardless of what was supposed to happen, Mike Wallace made a great catch and Ben Roethlisberger made a great throw to Wallace. Other than intercepting the pass, I don't know if the coverage could have been better. I say this was not a bad play on Bell's part, other than the fact he didn't make the interception, and Gregg Easterbrook is wrong about this being a bad play. I thought the coverage was pretty good, the pass and reception were just better.

Next Week: Why TMQ loves Christmas but hates New Year's Day.

Remind me to not be too excited for this.


KentAllard said...

"With the game tied at 24, Cincinnati had San Diego facing a second-and-10 at midfield with 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Bolts out of timeouts. A stop here and the contest would proceed to overtime. Since NFL passing plays average about 7 yards gained -- the Chargers averaged 7.4 yards per pass attempt in this contest -- if Cincinnati used a conventional defense, the odds are San Diego would be stopped short of field goal range. Instead, the Bengals rushed six defenders, basically inviting San Diego to make a big play."

I really hate when people know statistics but can't interpret them. The average gain on a pass play in the NFL overall has no bearing here, as the situation eliminates a number of short-yardage pass plays. If he had states for how many yards gained when a team is at the 50 and needs a field goal with ten seconds left and no timeouts, that might be useful. This is just misleading.

I've given up on hoping TMQ ever figures out a zone defense.

ivn said...

TMQ hates New Year's Day because people use it to have fun with their friends. TMQ, of course, has no friends.

I had no idea that Villanova (a relatively high-profile school in a major city with a good basketball program) and Montana (which is a state university) were "obscure" colleges.

"Unless something dramatic happens, the Cutler trade may rank as one of football's worst ever."

keeping Lovie Smith and his coaching staff was a bad move. keeping the Bears front office and scouts was a bad move. trading for Jay Cutler was a good move.

"Since the onside kick had a (depending on where you read) 25% chance of succeeding, that made more sense to do and give the Packers a short field rather than kick the ball off? It's a tough call, but I wouldn't have kicked the onside kick here."

if the ball hadn't hit Ike Taylor the Steelers would have had it. and considering that neither team was playing defense it actually worked out well for them because it gave Roethlisberger more time at the end of the game (which is when he's at his best).

"On the play, Jags cornerback Derek Cox simply let Wayne go deep, even though Wayne came into the game as the league's No. 3 receiver...The result was that for a critical few seconds, no one was covering the league's No. 3 receiver."

I don't remember the play completely but if the Jags weren't playing a zone I bet Cox tried to cover him but Wayne beat him like a red-headed stepchild because Reggie Wayne is really good and Derek Cox is not.

"The Raiders got a touchdown on the game's final snap, and prevailed, 20-19. A successful try on the fourth-and-goal would have won the game for Denver; a failed try would have left the Long Johns pinned against their own goal line."

I'll bet the Raiders won because they let JaMarcus Russell call his own plays! that's how teams win in the NFL!

"Obviously, many quarterbacks lack [Manning's] level of ability. "

Duh, ya think so Gregg? I wonder what revelations he has in new book. "Obviously, unemployment hurts a country's economy." "Getting shot in the face is apparently a painful and often lethal experience."

Bengoodfella said...

I didn't catch on to that at all Kent. So basically that numbers needs to get rid of the short yardage plays that are skewing the numbers lower than they need to be. That's a good catch because it this number is misleading since it doesn't pertain specifically to this situation. Gregg is trying to use a number that doesn't pertain exactly to this situation.

Either way, I think the Bengals main problem was letting Floyd get out of bounds.

And Gregg Easterbrook will never learn anything about a zone defense. Ever.

Bengoodfella said...

There is no way Gregg should trump Villanova and Montana as "obscure" colleges, but I guess he doesn't watch college basketball and hasn't hear of the state of Montana.

I am with you on the Cutler thing. He will bounce back.

In regards to the onside kick, I wouldn't have had the balls to do it, but it did turn out well for the Steelers obviously. As far as the Jags-Colts game, Gregg must just assume every CB in the league can cover every wide receiver no matter what. It's not easy to cover Reggie Wayne, that should be the lesson.

If JaMarcus Russell called his own plays the Raiders would be 13-1 right now. It's an Easterbrook proven fact. Actually if JaMarcus called his own plays we would probably see a bunch of deep throws the entire game.

Good joke about getting shot in the face. Pretty funny. Who knew other teams couldn't replicate the Peyton Manning experience on their own teams?

Go said...

The Raiders got a touchdown on the game's final snap, and prevailed, 20-19. A successful try on the fourth-and-goal would have won the game for Denver; a failed try would have left the Long Johns pinned against their own goal line.

Just plain stupid. Oakland would've had to get to Denver's 35 yd. line to try a makeable fg with Janokowski and send it to OT.
I didn't watch the game but was Russell already in the game before Denver kicked that fg? If so, then Denver was challenging Shamu to go 80 yards for the win. The odds were on their side. It just didn't work this time.

rich said...

"The loss should motivate New Orleans for the final two regular-season tilts, since it remains possible Minnesota could pass the Saints for the top seed in the NFC."

You know what would have been a bigger motivation? An undefeated season.

If the Saints win next weekend I think they have the top spot clinched no matter what Minnesota does (I believe), so if they win next weekend, what's their motivation for week 17? 15-1 versus 14-2? ::shrugs::

Also if the Colts go undefeated are they the greatest team of all time? I mean they'd certainly have an advantage over the 2007 Patriots because Peyton calls his own plays. Gregg is a fkin' idiot. "Hey this (once in a generation) player can call his own plays incredibly effectively! Therefore every team is conceding an advantage b/c their QB doesn't call their own plays (and they're not as good too)."

ivn said...

I really think that having a player like Kobe Bryant is a big part of the Lakers' success.

Martin said...

Following up on Kent...

On the avg pass play they don't care how many yards they make, they just want to hit an open guy and make yards.In this instance, the Chargers HAD to get a certain amount of yardage, a certain amount beyond 7 yards! They weren't going to take an average gain on the play, they had to make a play of longer length, making Gregg's idea not only irrelevant, but stupid! Who knew he had it in him?! if he had at least compared it to, say 3rd and ten pass plays in the fourth quarter...something...anything, that could possibly be compared to this play. Avg pass play gain might as well be amount of acorns a squirrel has to hide to survive the winter it so doesn't matter.

Now the Bengals knew this. A longer pass play takes longer to develop. Taking longer to develop should help the pass rush. Blitzing a guy or two might even overload the extra second or two that the Chargers need for their receivers to get downfield far enough to make a useful play. It's not a bad idea! It just didn't work.

What wasn't going to happen on that play? The Chargers making a 7 yard gain.

Bengoodfella said...

Go, it was kind of chicken for the Broncos to not go for it there, but I trust my defense to hold the Raiders off and force them to go down the field. It didn't work, that was the problem.

If the Saints win another game and the Viking lose another game then the Saints have homefield advantage through the playoffs. After that there isn't much motivation.

He's an absolute idiot for saying the rest of the NFL is conceding an advantage by not having their own QB's call the plays. Only Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and a guy like Brady could even have the chance to really take advantage of this. I don't want my team's QB calling the plays at all.

Ivn, I don't understand why every NBA team doesn't run its offense through a player like LeBron James.

You are right Martin, so the Chargers had to run a play where most of the receivers would have to run a route longer than 8 yards and get out of bounds. Well, Floyd ran a 14 yard route and Hall gave up the sidelines (for some reason). This wasn't a situation where the average pass play had any bearing on what would be called.

It was a great idea to blitz, the corners for the Bengals screwed up so it didn't end up working, but the idea was to make Rivers through the ball short of the marker and then tackle the receiver before the marker. If the Bengals didn't blitz, then Gregg would have said they should have blitzed. Everything he says depends on the outcome of the play.

ivn said...

if Jay Cutler was calling the Bears' plays instead of Ron Turner...well actually I don't think Cutler could do a worse job than Turner.

Roger said...

Bengoodfella, your posts are as idiotic and nonsensical as ever. Beats me why you even bother to read these articles that you nitpick so much since you just complain about them nonstop.

Firstly, you criticize his statement about academic policy and football-factory schools. It is entirely possible that TCU and Alabama are the exception and not the rule, and most other football-factory schools do not make the grade academically. Or perhaps it's just the current TCU and Alabama football squads that are the exception and are smarter on average than past and future squads at their respective schools. Easterbrook is either totally right or partially right so his statement has some merit.

Secondly, you ridicule Easterbrook's 'Stats of the week' column, not realizing that quite often its purpose is just to point out anomalies that would seem strange if not for the season the teams have led. The vast majority of TMQ's readers know all about the lackluster seasons Atlanta and Carolina have played so far, so it is obvious he is only highlighting it for the reason above. Yet you are trashing it after not understanding the point. What a waste of column space.

Thirdly, Easterbrook does not infer anything about Moore's overall talent level compared to Favre's. He just stated that Moore outplayed Favre on the day, which is true. You are projecting your own bias against Easterbrook onto his statement, fundamentally misunderstanding his point. This straw man argument against him is pure garbage.

Next, you attempt to contradict his reasoning on the Broncos not going for the touchdown. Easterbrook has consistently advocated going for it on fourth and short near the goal line. He has even highlighted this when talking about teams that went on to win, so it's not all about hindsight. Secondly, the entire article is supposed to critique playcalling with the benefit of hindsight - that's the very reason it's called Tuesday Morning Quarterback! Easterbrook acknowledges that everything he says is with the benefit of hindsight; even you have admitted elsewhere that this is the point of Easterbrook's writing, and yet you still take a stab at him for it here. Ridiculous.

You go on to chastise Easterbrook for calling Sanchez erratic and ask him to be more understanding to Sanchez's situation, when every single rookie quarterback gets similar treatment from the media. I know this all too well, having supported my man Vince Young through the years despite the barrage of ridicule and disdain hurled at him by the media. Why should Sanchez be treated any different? Easterbrook is right to call him an erratic glam-boy.

Now nobody's perfect. Easterbrook does make some dumb comments and is wrong in some of his analysis. But many of your arguments against him reek of bias and are poorly thought out.

Martin said...

How exactly is Gregg right about football factory schools and academic policy? There is no proof offered that shows he is right or even partially right. Alabama and TCU, might be exceptions, they might be the rule, YOU don't know Roger, because you didn't look the information up...just like Gregg doesn't. You both make assumptions. You don't even know if these are outlier years for academic excellence for Alabama and TCU. Gregg has no idea what the academic requirements are for "football factories". The Pac-10 and Big 10 I know have higher academic requirements then some other conferences, and yet they still aren't all that great at graduating players it seems. This creates another problem for Gregg as he sure doesn't seem to be able to wrap his head around graduation rates on average of "football factory" schools vs regular football schools, much less the median of each to each other. Let's not even get into the football player vs regular student graduation rate at some of these schools. Then on top of that there is the tremendous problem of the NCAA's methodology for determining graduation rate, still adding in kids who left early to go pro in a sport, that he uses for his half assed analysis.

Then again, as we see on a weekly basis, Gregg hasn't been able to ever figure out avg vs median. He's the man who constantly says things like "The avg. pass play gains 7 yards, throw the ball, you'll gain 7 yards!" No Gregg, that's the average of EVERY pass play added together and divided. What's more important is what does the typical pass play gain, if it gains anything?

As someone doing hindsight analysis, Gregg's isn't very insightful. This was shown by the post regarding Notre Dame and it's academic success rate, football recruiting rankings, and weather or not Charlie Weiss could coach his way out of a paper bag if his fist was on fire. I think it was IVN or Rule who pointed it out in a previous post, but it shows the delightful uninformed and unburdened by facts style Gregg uses on a weekly basis.

But since you are such an avid defender of his, perhaps you could send him a note explaining what "zone coverage" is to him. He must surely be confused as all hell whenever "Zone Two" or "three Deep Zone" are mentioned by the color guys on television.

Oh, and Merry Creep-ness, make sure to Welcome Back Spring, cause it's bloody freaking cold right now.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I think I would like to see Cutler call his own plays. That would be fun to watch and I wonder what it would look like.

Roger, thanks for the compliments. I read the articles because I want to and then talk about it here. That's pretty much it.

You know what those two schools could be the exception, but Easterbrook insults "football factory" schools, yet the reality if academics was included is that two of the Top 4 teams could still be in the BCS game. He's the one saying "football factory" schools are the ones who don't value academics and then not showing sufficient proof of this. He could be partially right but he makes blanket statements that may not have complete merit. I think Martin explained what I would say back to you very well below.

The Atlanta/Carolina point isn't even interesting. That was my point. Stuff like that happens all the time. Mentioning it is a waste of column space and I got the point.

Maybe I am misunderstanding the point about Moore/Favre point. I don't think so. It's not unexpected that in one game of a season an undrafted free agent will outplay a more highly touted quarterback. If his point is that this is interesting, then yes I missed it.

On the fourth down call, he has previously advocated this, but he never talks about it when a team DOESN'T go for it and wins the game. He only focuses on when they go for it and make it. That's what I am saying. He is acting like going for it on fourth down always pays off. He's consistent in his opinion, but not consistent when relaying when something happens that is successful and inconsistent with his opinion.

Like Martin said, even in his hindsight, he isn't that insightful about what happened and I think he misses some of the things that did happen and why they happened. That's my point. It's fine to second guess, but second guess and know what you are talking about and I don't think he does that well enough to have a national column on ESPN.

Maybe rookie QB's do all get the treatment like that, I don't feel like Stafford or Freeman have gotten the same treatment this year, but I may be wrong.

I guess the only bias I may have is that I don't like Easterbrook's NFL writing, but other than that I have no bias. If he's right, I will say he is right or agree with him. You can pretty much assume if I don't write about it I missed it or I agree with it. I hope my explanation made sense and wasn't nonsensical. Thanks for the criticism, I really don't mind it.

Martin, I concur with what you said below and I do wish Gregg would understand a zone a little bit better.

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