Monday, December 7, 2009

17 comments MMQB Review: Who Is This San Diego Team? Edition

There are a couple of certainties in life. One of these certainties is that when the Vikings (or any Brett Favre-led team) play the late game on Sunday evening, there won't be a MMQB from Peter King until a little later on Monday morning. He has to include all of his in-depth thoughts on the game Favre played in, or at least not start writing until the Vikings game is over because if Favre does ANYTHING interesting it will automatically be his lead story in his MMQB. That's where we were at today. The Vikings played the Cardinals late Sunday night, so MMQB wasn't posted as early. Unfortunately, Favre had a bad game so Peter won't lead his MMQB with the story about that because you can't be a player's personal media PR representative and talk about the bad things that player does, can you?

Best day of football of the year? Well, at least it was the best set of early games, with the most dramatic missed field goal of 2009, the Saints falling out of a Redwood and landing on their feet, Michael Vick actually engendering love, the Dolphins making a race of the AFC East,

Mike Vick made a contribution to the Eagles, let's start talking about him now that he has actually done something! Ignore the other 9 games where he was completely useless to the Eagles. Let's focus on this one game where Vick was useful.

But I start this morning with a winner in one of the late games, the team on a seven-game winning streak (puny compared to 12-game streaks, of course),

Obviously no other team can ever compete with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees' teams. That's just a given of course. At some point Peter has to write about teams other than the Saints and Colts, so he is doing that now...but Peter wants us to know the Chargers still suck compared to the Saints and Colts.

The Chargers want to show they're not your father's Bolts.

I am pretty sure the Chargers were a decent team at least for a year or two in "my father's time." Don Coryell, Kellen Winslow, Dan

Rather than look at the narrow 30-23 victory in Cleveland with negativity, I look at it as an example of San Diego growing up.

Rather than think about the fact the Chargers gave up 16 straight points to the Browns, let's focus on the fact Peter wants to focus on the Chargers this week. Perhaps he should have done it a few weeks ago when the Chargers beat the Giants, Eagles, and Broncos. Peter picks the weirdest times to focus on teams that are doing well this year in the NFL. He chooses to laud the Chargers after they beat the Cleveland Browns. He doesn't talk about how good they are after their past four wins (though one was after beating the Chiefs), but after they beat the Browns, the NFL's worst team.

The Chargers built a 27-7 lead on a 27-degree wind-chill day, and even though San Diego likely won't face a frigid game in the playoffs, it's good to know the players can handle it if it comes.

You know, just in case a hurricane blows the roof off a dome one of the Chargers games is played in or California gets snow this upcoming winter. Just in's good to know the Chargers players know how to play in colder conditions.

The Chargers lead the league in matchup problems for defense.

Interesting made-up statistic. Unfortunately the Chargers are 23rd in the NFL in matchup problems for the coaching staff and they are 27th in the NFL in happy-to-sad ratio when teams see they are playing them next on the schedule. So the matchup problems for defense will help them succeed but teams are happy to face the Chargers, mostly because it is so warm in San Diego, so I think this happy-to-sad ratio is going to come back to bite them. It's hard for the Chargers to overcome some of these made up statistics.

Consider how the Chargers are playing in their seven-game win streak. They are scoring more than one unbeaten team, Indianapolis, in the last seven games, averaging 31 points during the win streak, and defending better than New Orleans, averaging 15 points allowed in their win streak.

No! No team in the NFL scores more than the Colts and defends better than New Orleans. That's not possible. Who could defend better than the Saints? I mean, they gave up 30 points to the Redskins yesterday, that's an amazing accomplishment.

Payton's about to have a lot more admirers around the United States.

He punched Brett Favre in the face?

He told me Saturday he's not going to take the foot off the accelerator down the stretch, not even if the Saints have homefield advantage clinched in the NFC playoffs. The Saints, instead of taking the last game or two to let players heal for the playoffs, will try to make history if they're in position. They're aiming for a perfect season.

(Bengoodfella rubbing his hands together excitedly because he doesn't like the Saints this year due to the fact they are too good)

So rather than let players heal for the playoffs (especially since the Saints receivers have been injury prone in the past) and give the team a slight break, Sean Payton is going to go full force the rest of the year to get a perfect season that will mean very little to the team if they don't win the Super Bowl? The cities of Minnesota, Arizona, Indianapolis, and San Diego have to be pretty happy hearing this. I am not all for resting players but if I were a head coach I would be doing whatever it took to win the Super Bowl, not going all out to have a perfect season. Of course, it may be more advantageous to play games full force all the way through rather than give your players a break. Don't think I won't 10% be cheering for a major Saints player injury when the Saints are 14-0 or 15-0 and have clinched homefield advantage. I am a jerk in that way.

Payton loved what Tom Coughlin did in 2007, playing the Patriots like it was the seventh game of the World Series in a meaningless final game of the regular season, going down to defeat valiantly and narrowly, and setting up the Giants' 4-0 playoff run that ended in the Super Bowl upset of the perfect Patriots.

Yeah, Saints are the Patriots in this comparison, not the Giants. Please tell me Sean Payton sees how this parallel would not mean good things for his team.

Jim Caldwell says the same thing is planned this year when the Colts clinch homefield, and with a three-game lead and four games to go, Indy could have three late-season games to snooze. That could mean taking a month off before a battle-tested team like New England or Baltimore comes to Indiana for a Jan. 16 or 17 playoff game.

Obviously having an extra week or two off will absolutely throw off Peyton Manning's timing and he will never be able to win a playoff game despite the game being at home.

I don't know if I have ever bought into the idea that a team who rests its players is less likely to play well in the playoffs. It seems incredibly fluky to me for this to be true. The playoffs are a one game sample where anything can happen. It does sort of make sense to me that players having time off could cause some laziness or lack of preparation because they are taken from the grind of the NFL season for one week. Once the team has let off the accelerator it may be hard to push it back down hard again, but I don't know if this is really true or not.

I think the reason the Colts have struggled with rest before the playoffs is because the team is built so much offensively on timing and a week off can mess with the timing a little bit. I have no proof of this.

As much as I've killed the Raiders over the last four or five years,I have to give them credit for a heroic win at Pittsburgh.

As bad as the Raiders have been in the past, they did have one good game this past week that forgives it all in Peter's mind. Sure they may be an absolutely horribly run franchise but they won yesterday!

Gradkowski, 10 of 16 for 188 yards and those three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, led the Raiders back from deficits of 10-6, 17-13 and 24-20 in the last period with a brilliant mix of throws on the run and well-placed deep throws from the pocket. In the process, he planted Russell deep on the bench for the rest of the season

There are 32 NFL teams and there are 96 quarterbacks in the NFL, which is three QB's per team (just to make things easy, I know some teams have 2 QB's). I would think at least 60 of these quarterbacks could easily place JaMarcus Russell on the bench permanently. So while this seems like an accomplishment for Gradkowski to keep the starting job, unless he is the worst starting QB in the NFL he should be able to keep it very easily.

To Raider fans, Christmas just came early. Gradkowski's their new icon.

No offense to Bruce Gradkowski, but this is how far the Raiders have fallen. While Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson, Rich Gannon, and Howie Long were the icons of the team, now it is Bruce Gradkowski.

Michael Vick, 45 minutes after one of the most memorable games of his star-crossed NFL career, was still so emotional about it that I could almost feel his goosebumps over the phone. The day started with him being booed by the Georgia Dome crowd, but when Andy Reid called a couple of plays catering to Vick's strengths -- and they worked -- the crowd switched. It was a Vick lovefest.

"We want Vick! We want Vick!'' came the chant from every corner of the Dome.

I have said it before, the city of Atlanta seems to have the most forgiving fans in all of the major sports cities in the United States. Mike Vick committed a crime and pretty much submarined the Falcons three years ago by getting arrested and he flipped off the home crowd before that, yet still the fans love him. I bet the Falcons fans would cheer Bobby Petrino. It's the same thing when Jeff Francouer came to bat for the Braves this year...they cheered him. Absolutely freaking ridiculous. Don't the fans know how bad he was for the Braves for the past couple of years?

There is a reason all Braves home games are neutral site games and I don't mind it when the Panthers play in the Georgia Dome, and that is because I know there will be plenty of Panthers fans there. I wish it weren't true, but Atlanta fans need to be a bit more assholeish. Every fan base has some fans show up for games in visiting stadiums, but it feels like Turner Field is usually 15%-20% of the other teams fans no matter who the Braves play.

I don't care if Vick played for the Falcons at one point, he doesn't anymore. I know he is a hero in Atlanta, but the Falcons fans have to realize his team was whipping their team's butt and keep the cheering to a minimum. I guess once a player is a hero in Atlanta, that player is always a hero.

In the 34-7 win over the Falcons (to be fair, playing without Matt Ryan, who got standing ovations of his own in this same Dome last year as Vick's heir), Vick finally got to throw the ball downfield. People credit Vick for his athleticism, and justifiably, but I say he's got one of the three best arms in football

Here we go with the hyperbole. It's amazing how Vick can be useless and probably a detriment to the Eagles for 9 weeks, but then he has one good game and we are all supposed to be forget how completely forgettable this season has been for Vick.

In the Eagles' first 11 games, Vick had touched the ball 18 times and generated 74 unspectacular yards. But in the third quarter Sunday, on third-and-one from the Falcons' five, he wriggled through the line for a five-yard touchdown. And after the chant got loud early in the fourth quarter, Reid put him back in the game and Vick threw a bomb up the left seam.

I don't which irritates me more, the fact the Falcons crowd cheered for Vick or the fact Andy Reid put Vick in the game again to please the home crowd in a game that wasn't played in Philadelphia.

Secondly, Troy Polamalu's absence with a knee injury is killing defensive playmaking. There's no one to take up the slack in the back end.

Maybe Polamalu should be the MVP this year since the Steelers can't seem to win too many games without him.

In the last two NFL drafts, teams have used 20 picks in the first two rounds trying to find, at least in part, players to bring the heat on the quarterback. Early results -- which can be dangerous because of the adjustment from college to the pros -- say the crop has been an immense failure.

Are we ready for Peter to call players "failures" who aren't really failures at sacking the quarterback? Peter is a real idiot when it comes to sacks. For some reason he expects linebackers in a 4-3 system to be racking up sacks. He put a negative mark beside Aaron Curry in this last draft because he didn't sack the quarterback, even though he was never asked to do that at Wake Forest. Let's highlight a few (many) of the 20 that pissed me off. Remember Peter is expecting sacks from these guys and thinks they are not playing well because they don't get sacks.

Only one of the 21 defensive ends/outside linebackers picked is averaging more than half a sack per game.

Again, please remember he is expecting all these players, some of whom were drafted this year and are linebackers, to get 8 sacks this year. That's his measurement of whether these 1st and 2nd year players are good players or not.

The 20 young draftees, and how they've fare in Sackville:

Chris Long

Remember when Peter King was all about Chris Long two years ago before the draft? I thought Long was the next Favre. Peter King has an obsession with Chris Long and talked about him every week in his MMQB leading up to the draft. Now, he is just a part of Peter's past.

Clay Matthews

He's a freaking LB. What do you expect from him? He has 5 sacks, which isn't bad for a LB in a 3-4 system.

Connor Barwin
Larry English

Both of these guys are rookies and are learning the standup linebacker position right now. They may need an actual full year of football to learn this.

Aaron Curry

Kiss my butt. Aaron Curry is a rookie linebacker in a 4-3 defense, it's not his job to try and sack the quarterback on every play.

Everette Brown

He's a rookie and he is behind Julius Peppers. This is not a formula for sacking success.

Brian Cushing

Rookie linebacker who plays in a 3-4 defense.

Robert Ayers

Rookie learning a new position.

Aaron Maybin

Rookie learning a new position.

Keith Rivers

He's a linebacker and is not necessarily responsible for sacking the quarterback.

Out of the 20 players Peter listed, 12 of these players are rookies and 9 of them are linebackers or defensive end hybrids (I am being kind in putting only 9 of these guys as hybrids or linebackers). This is a completely unfair list to point out players who aren't sacking the quarterback. None of these players had been in the NFL for more than 2 years and many of them are learning a new position or are blocked by current NFL players, so they are not even starting right now. Sometimes it takes time for young players to learn how to be pass rushers. What is it with Peter King and him wanting all the players on the field to get sacks?

(You can ignore this next paragraph of incorrectness if you would like, my mind completely decided to miss the outside LB/DE criteria Peter had set forth. If you want me to sound like an ignorant ass, go ahead and read it. It's just me trying to prove Peter loves the Patriots, which I screw up here. Even proving he does love them is unproductive, so I don't know why I continuously try to do it.)

Of course in typical Peter King fashion he left off Jerod Mayo from this list of players who need to get more sacks. Mayo has 1 sack in his two years in the league. Mayo was a lottery pick and plays the linebacker position like Rivers, Curry, and Cushing, so why doesn't Peter list Mayo on the list of players who are underachieving when it comes to sacks? Why does he hold these other guys to a standard he doesn't hold Mayo to? Especially since Mayo plays in a 3-4 defense. It's not like Cushing, Matthews and Curry aren't good players, or candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. Peter isn't determining which of these players are good or not overall, he is determining whether these players are getting sacks or not, so Mayo should be on the list, so I think you know what I am thinking as to why Peter left Mayo off this has to do with the team he plays for.

3. Minnesota (10-2). Favre giveth. Favre taketh away.

This extends the "streak of MMQBs that Peter King has mentioned Brett Favre. I like how he gleans over the fact Favre had a bad game. He's quick to admire Favre when his team wins but glosses over the games where Favre is partially responsible for his team's loss. Go about your business, nothing to see here everyone.

7. Green Bay (7-4). Brett Favre's career-high single-season passing year as a Packer: 4,413 yards. Aaron Rodgers is on pace for a 4,561-yard season. Interesting. Some of us don't think of Rodgers' year as being particularly tremendous. Maybe because so many quarterbacks are having a good year. Think again.

"Some of us" is "Peter King." Some of us actually paid attention to the Packers once Aaron Rodgers had taken over for Favre and realize that he is just as good as Brett Favre, except his name isn't Brett Favre. I am constantly amazed at how much people love Brett Favre. At this point, Rodgers is not getting the recognition he deserves because people just assume Favre has always been better than him.

Brett Favre is having one of the best years of his Hall of Fame career and Aaron Rodgers is only a step below the year Favre is having. Just think about that.

Defensive Player of the Week

Vontae Davie, CB, Miami.

With the Patriots up 21-19 and throwing into the end zone to ice the game with 9:45 to play, Davis, the feisty first-round rookie from Illinois, made a play he'll be telling his grandchildren about someday. He leaped with Randy Moss and picked off the pass, killing the drive and helping the Dolphins make a race of the AFC East again. "It's something I'll remember forever,'' said Davis. He added three tackles and another pass broken up, but it was the pick that led to a long and winding road to the game-winning field goal by Dan Carpenter.

I am going to be bitter for a second. Vontae Davis had an interception, a pass defensed and three tackles and he got the player of the week, presumably because this was a game that Peter watched and the Dolphins beat the Patriots. This makes the game very important to Peter.

Jon Beason had 6 tackles, 2 passes defensed and 2 interceptions, both in the red zone and he is a linebacker. How is that less impressive than Vontae Davis making a good play on Randy Moss? I know, I know there were other great defensive players this week and the Dolphins won because Davis saved the touchdown, but Beason saved 2 touchdowns. This is less important in Peter's mind for some reason...and I bet another defensive player actually had a better week than Beason. So Vontae Davis didn't deserve this award in my mind.

Coach of the Week

Bill Callahan, offensive line coach, New York Jets.

Bill Callahan can kiss my butt.

2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. Creeps into second place with one of the most ridiculous comebacks, helped by Suisham's ridiculous field-goal miss.

This is the MVP Watch and I am confused as to how Drew Brees has become more valuable because Robert Meacham ripped the ball out of a Redskins player's hands and got a touchdown to tie the game and Sean Suisham can't make a field goal? That makes him more valuable that he should move into 2nd place on Peter's list?

Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week

Amtrak Acela conductor to me, 8:27 a.m. Saturday:

"Fourth-and-two at the 28. Did Belichick do the right thing?''

It never ends.

Hey Peter, it's your freaking job to answer questions like this because you cover the NFL. You can't expect to be on television and write a column about the NFL and not get questions that could be on a topic several weeks old from people who pass you by on the streets. If you don't like answering questions over and over then maybe go write for a small town newspaper.

c. Good reporting by Greg Gumbel, that Tom Cable plans to play Gradkowski the rest of the year while Russell sits.

Great reporting by Gumbel also on the stories about how the Earth is flat and Derek Anderson is not the quarterback of the future in Cleveland.

f. What must Ronde Barber think of this Bucs mess?

I don't know but Peter could ask him. Of course this would break his strict "I don't cover every team in the NFL" policy, but that's the risk you take.

While I am on the topic of Peter's strict policy of not covering each NFL team, I couldn't help but notice after mentioning the topic of Jake Delhomme's interceptions whenever he had a bad game, Peter King didn't mention anything at all about the Panthers starter who started in Delhomme's place. I always find it interesting when sportswriters, and more specifically Peter King, talks about a player a lot when that player is struggling but he never mentions anything when that player plays well. He didn't say anything positive about Jay Cutler this week either, even though Cutler had a good game. If Peter is going to call out a player when he has a bad game, he should give that player credit when he has a good game or at least acknowledge how the quarterback change helped/hurt the team. That's all I ask.

i. I really like Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, but I disagree with their feeling that Tony Romo can't take a day off to attend a benefit in Las Vegas on a long weekend after a resounding win. One day. And it was not a day, from all accounts, with any debauchery involved.

Dungy and Harrison feel it's a bad example to set for the other players, that the leader of the team is jetting off to Vegas on a day off, especially when the team has such a bad record in recent Decembers. I just don't buy it. He was back in the building for treatment Saturday morning after 24 hours in Vegas.

Not shockingly, I don't think Peter King gets the point. It's not what Tony Romo did or didn't do, it's the perception. The perception is that Tony Romo went to Vegas for the day and then everyone remembers when he and Jason Witten went to Cabo (I think) on their bye week before the playoffs in 2008. There is nothing wrong with it, it's just the perception that Romo went to Vegas.

j. Hey Rodney: Congrats on your new daughter, Sydney. Nice job. The Harrisons had child number four Saturday night in Atlanta, and Rodney, the gamer, was in the viewing room as normal at noon Sunday at NBC.

Hey, why don't you call him or send him a card instead of wasting my and everyone else's time with crap like this?

Personal messages can be given over the phone or in person.

c. The Bucs running up 469 yards and scoring six points. Six! They'd better hope the 16-6 loss at Carolina was a growing-pains game for Josh Freeman and not a precursor of the future -- because he threw five interceptions.

Since Peter King refuses to comment on this game other than this quick hit, I will comment on it. Josh Freeman threw two interceptions in the red zone yesterday and two interceptions in the Panthers 30 yard line. By my count he left a minimum of 12 points on the board and that doesn't count the two field goals the kicker for Tampa Bay missed, which is 18 points the Bucs left on the board. From what I saw, Josh Freeman may actually be a good quarterback (I wasn't really high on him during the draft this year, so I could be wrong), he just really needs to work on his decision making and getting rid of the ball faster while standing in the pocket.

b. Marco Scutaro at shortstop for the next two years in Boston. I am reminded of the word Mary Beth King uses when she is dismissive and unimpressed: "Meh.'' Glad to see they've got a Pedroia-type gamer on board, but I'd rather have paid Alex Gonzalez to be a peerless fielder for one year at short and looked for a better option in 2010.

Of course Peter King would rather have Alex Gonzalez over Marco Scutaro.

f. I don't watch the college game nearly enough to know who's going where next April in the draft,

Which is why Peter King is so incredibly qualified to give his opinion on players come draft time. Just keep the little tidbit that he doesn't watch much college football in mind when he starts "informing" us about how good potential NFL players are in February, March and April.

but Ndamukong Suh (pronounced en-DOM-uh-ken soo) looks like he could be the next great three-technique defensive tackle, or even morph into a 3-4 defensive end, or a guy who could play an outside rush in any formation on passing downs.

I love Suh, but I am pretty sure a 305 pound guy is never going to play outside rush on passing downs. I could be wrong, but his biggest value is right there in the middle of the defensive line. Regardless, I would never doubt Suh, so he could probably be an outside rusher, but I think that is a stupid position for him to play in the NFL.

He and Florida cornerback Joe Haden were the best players I saw on TV Saturday. Haden looks as if he could walk onto an NFL team and play cover corner right now.

It's good to see Peter King picked the last game of the regular season this year to comment on what he thinks about two 1st team All-American players. He's only about 3 months behind everyone else on this.

I also find it ironic that Peter chose one of Haden's worst games this year to be impressed by him. He didn't play poorly but he got beat by the Alabama wide receivers as much as I saw him get beat all this year. I don't think this was one of Haden's best games. Suh on the other hand, he finally got a bigger audience to show his skills.

g. College Game of the Year: Has to be Cincinnati 45, Pitt 44. Found myself magnetized to the game Saturday afternoon because it had as many momentum swings as any other game in memory. Tony Pike was the goat about three separate times and he lived to win it as the end.

I knew the second I said I liked Tony Pike as a quarterback he would have a bad game. I just felt like it was going to happen and it did. I am such bad luck.

i. Congrats, to one of Mary Beth King's former softball teammates, the inimitable Steffi Aspero-Mahmoud, for birthing Ryanne Firdaus Mahmoud Friday. Good luck on a great family life, Steffi.

Send an email or make a phone call, Peter. It's actually borderline rude to put someone's personal information like this in a national column as opposed to sending a private email or phone call.

Is there anyone who likes Peter's personal messages? I would argue no.


RuleBook said...

- Don't think I won't 10% be cheering for a major Saints player injury when the Saints are 14-0 or 15-0 and have clinched homefield advantage. I am a jerk in that way.

Don't think that we don't know that the Saints play the Panthers in week 17, so of course you don't want them to go for 16-0.

- Of course in typical Peter King fashion he left off Jerod Mayo from this list of players who need to get more sacks.

Actually, I'm going to have to correct you here. King specifically said "defensive ends/outside linebackers." Jerod Mayo is an inside linebacker for the Patriots, so he should not be on this list.

That being said, I agree that sacks are a horrible measure for a linebacker's performance. Any performance metric that says that Brian Cushing has not played well this season is a bad metric.

Bengoodfella said...

Hey! That's why I said 14-0, so it wouldn't look like I was just cheering against Brees against the Panthers. I tried to make it clear I wasn't just being a homer, but don't like the Saints this year. They are too good and I don't like them for that.

I missed the outside LB/DE comment, so yes I should have not included that rant. I skipped over those words in my mind and read what I wanted to read. I will correct this in the post.

Overall, I screwed up my point because of this that sacks are a shitty metric for linebackers and many of these guys are rookies this year behind guys who established veterans.

I think I need to give MMQB to someone else for a week or two...

Martin said...

I don't think Peter understands that linebackers in a 4-3 don't really rush the passer, except on the occasional blitz. He seems to think that Aaron Curry is flying at the QB every down like Lawerence Taylor or something. He's playing strong side linebacker in a 4-3 some of the time. He's not even going to blitz very often, as he's responsible for the tight end on that side for coverage.

It's kinda like TMQ who thinks every corner is playing man-to-man.

brent daniels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brent daniels said...

I think stats for defensive players are always misleading. Interceptions involve skill, but I have seen plenty of interceptions where a d-lineman tips a pass in the air and some lucky guy gets an easy pick. I remember Delta O'neal had ten picks in 2005, and he was never really that good of a cornerback. That Bengal defense reminds me a lot of the Saints this year. They give up a lot of yards and points but occasionally force a turnover and we are supposed to think they are great. What happens when you aren't getting those turnovers "Jason Campbell" throws for 300+ on you.

Go said...

I've always wondered why people say that a team coming off a bye week is fresh and should have an advantage because they're rested, yet teams with playoff byes are predicted to be rusty. Can someone tell me the difference?

brent daniels said...

Go, I think it has to do with whether they win or lose. If they lose its because they're rusty, if they win its because they're fresh. When your looking back at a game and you are not very creative you need to remember this. They might say it before a game, but its still a lame prediction that is based on absolutely nothing. I think teams on a bye in the playoffs have been losing more in recent years is because teams aren't really separated by that much at the top. It might look like an upset when Philly beat the Giants last year, but this Giant fan will tell you that was the last team I wanted the Giants to play in the postseason. The Panthers game was lost not because they were on a bye but because they just got outplayed by an unpredictable Arizona team.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, that was the point I was going for before I got distracted and attacked Peter King for not mentioning Jerod Mayo. It's not that OLB should never sack the QB, but it just may not be asked of him to do. It's very much like how TMQ thinks every corner is playing man-to-man, that is right.

You are right that defensive stats are misleading because many times the players that lead the league in INTs only do so because the ball is being thrown on their side of the field more often because that corner is viewed as the weaker corner.

I haven't seen too much of the Bengals defense this year but I have watched some Saints games and I know it sounds like me being bitter, but they can be run on and I am not sure how strong the defense really is for the Saints. When they win the Super Bowl, I will look like an ass of course.

Go, I think Brent summed it up well. The easy thing to do is blame the loss on the bye week rather than actually look at each playoff game and determine what happened. As far as the NFC playoffs last year, the Giants/Eagles know each other very well and so it's not like either tema is a mystery to each other. The Cardinals came close to beating the Panthers at home earlier in the year, so it wasn't a shock they won the playoff game. How badly they won was a shock to me at least.

Fred Trigger said...

"Huge sports fan who hates how every sports show is now a PTI ripoff, and every analyst yells or laughs at unfunny things constantly."

This immediately makes me a huge Brent Daniels fan. Seriously, thats pretty awesome.

brent daniels said...

Thanks Fred. Bengoodfella I was referring to the 2005 Bengals defense. Not this year's model. I totally agree the Saints can be run on and most of their interception total being so high is because teams have been playing from behind against them. I think alot of times when teams are way behind they are taking more chances at difficult throws which have a higher percentage of getting intercepted. No data to back this up but just a theory.

ivn said...

if Peter King bashes Aaron Curry one more goddamn time I'm going to literally FedEx him a shit sandwich. the Seahawks rarely ever blitz him (in fact they've spent most of this season trying to figure out exactly how to use him); from my observation the only linebackers that get sacks are guys that coaches can't trust to go sideline-to-sideline or drop into coverage.* I'm actually reminded of something Bill Belichick told the Boston Globe a few years ago--that sacks were the most overrated stat in football.

of course, Peter King couldn't pick Marcus Trufant or Leroy Hill out of a police lineup it took him two and a half months to realize Justin Forsett was a good running back so we can't exactly trust any of his analysis on the Seahawks.

Larry English, Connor Barwin, Everette Brown, and Aaron Maybin have two NFL starts between them. let's give them a little bit of time.

as someone who owns Marques Colston in fantasy football I am very pleased that Sean Payton is planning to go balls to the wall this year. now if only someone would break Robert fucking Meachem's kneecaps.

"As much as I've killed the Raiders over the last four or five years,I have to give them credit for a heroic win at Pittsburgh."

Peter you fool! don't you realize this means we could be cursed with a Steelers-less postseason?

re: Atlanta fans, I think they've been in a vegetative state ever since the Hawks traded Dominique Wilkins to the Clippers.

and as for his "aggravating travel note" it reminds me of why I'll defend Bill Simmons over most mainstream sportswriters (notably King and Easterbrook): he seems to genuinely enjoy sports more than the rest of the lot.

* - anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong

Martin said...

I think the playoff bye week is a bit different then the regular season one because of the coaches resting players for a game or two even before the bye week. I think it has seriously hurt the Colts when Dungy would rest his starters for half of game 15 and 3/4's of game 16, get a bye's like playing 3/4 of a game in a month. I think teams that play all out up to the end of the season, or maybe just use the last half or quarter, do better with the bye week.

And not to toot our own horns, but everyone of the regular commentors here predicted better results this year for the Saints then P.King did. I don't remember any of us busting out the 16-0 or even 13-3, but most seemed to be in that 10-6, could win the division and are a wild card threat, evaluation. Pete had them ranked, what, 16th?

RuleBook said...

I may not have posted it here, but I actually predicted the Saints to start 11-0, and then lose to the Redskins (finishing 13-3). However, that was pretty much the only correct prediction on the year for me. (I had the Redskins in the playoffs, and the Colts going 12-4, yet missing the playoffs, for example)

Bengoodfella said...

Fred, Brent's profile is pretty good. It's the state of sports television commentary today.

Whoops Brent, I knew that I just forgot as I was commenting. I need to proofread my comments, which is something I don't do. I believe you are exactly right, that teams who are behind have to take chances and risks they wouldn't normally take, so that makes the Saints INT total look a little higher than it should be. It is interesting how stats can be misleading like that.

I don't want to hear that sacks are overrated because John Fox has spent much of his life defending the defensive line of the Panthers by saying sacks are has started to annoy me, but doesn't mean it isn't true necessarily.

I really don't trust anything Peter says about some teams. I really don't. The Seahawks are one of those teams. I see where Peter was going with that sack stat but he has to realize many of those players are adjusting to new positions and are currently backups. Everette Brown would have had two sacks yesterday (he had Freeman in his arms) if he was a little stronger and Josh Freeman wasn't fucking huge. Two years from now, he has both those sacks in my mind, so there is a little bit of a learning curve. Peter needs to get that.

I can't imagine a Steelers-less postseason. Will we still have the postseason?

I love the Braves but going to those games is so uninspiring. I actually have gotten "shushed" for being too loud. I spend most of the time embarrassed that the fans don't seem to give a crap.

Bill Simmons does seem to enjoy sports, I will give him that. That is what makes him so popular, while guys like Peter King, it just seems like it is a job to them. He complains about the travel, the questions, and I think he would rather be left alone. It's not a good formula for being a sportswriter today.

Martin, I am not doubting you and I will love to see if data shows sitting players helps/hurts a team in the playoffs. 3 of the 4 teams that had a bye last year ended up losing in the second round of the playoffs. I don't know how many of those teams rested their players in Week 17.

I had New Orleans at 11-5 (I think) so they are exceeding my expectations but they looked good last year, they just had injuries. These are the things Peter just didn't think about I believe.

Rulebook, I don't remember you saying that here, but I could be wrong. I looked at the post where I made the predictions in the comments and didn't see anything. I believe you though because you probably saw that the Saints had all their players back this year and the NFC South wasn't super strong.

brent daniels said...

I don't think sacks are overrated, because getting pressure on the quarterback is important. Sacks can effectively end a series just like an interception can. Its just the people that get credit for them are usually not the only person responsible for them. If Umenyiora wears down a tackle all game then Kiwanuka blows by the guy on the next play he gets credit for the sack. That might not be the best example, but stats have there place they just can't be only thing you base your judgment on. Peter King says these guys should accumulate sacks or they are busts, which is insane they should play their role in their teams defense.

KentAllard said...

That Greg Gumbel, he's the sports equivalent of Edward R. Murrow. I don't think Robert Gallery is going to get any snaps at QB for the Raiders this year, either, but that's more of a hunch. He would probably be as efficient as Jamarcus, though.

I don't want to talk about predictions. I had Chicago beating Green Bay in the NFC title game to go to the Super Bowl. That's a PhD in dumb.

Bengoodfella said...

Brent, a good example of what you are talking about is a defensive tackle taking up blockers in the middle so the linebackers can get tackles or sack the quarterback. It's a team effort and Peter misses that in making his list of players who don't get enough sacks after 1-2 seasons in the NFL to justify their draft position.

Brilliant call by Gumbel huh? I have the Pats and Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, so we will see how that plays out.