Wednesday, January 20, 2010

9 comments TMQ: Gregg Talks Offensive Lines And Questions the Authenticity of Action Movie

Gregg Easterbrook still has not given up writing his TMQ. Every week I mentally prepare myself to have to find something else to write about on Wednesday, or not post anything at all (which apparently I am incapable of doing), but when I got to there is another TMQ by Gregg Easterbrook. I always feel a little sadness and confusion at knowing what he is going to write about. Mostly sadness and confusion that he won't have had an epiphany over the last week and correct some of the things he writes that annoys me. I always hope for this to happen. Unfortunately, he hasn't had that epiphany this week.

For my money, the Colts, Jets, Saints and Vikings made the championship round because they have the league's four best offensive lines.

I can't say I disagree because a great offensive line is very important to a team's success in my mind, but I think it is a bit presumptive to just say because these 4 teams made the championship round they have the four best offensive lines. Gregg loves to make blanket statements like this without proof.

Because I don't see things in just black or white, I see that there is a symbiotic relationship between the offensive line and the quarterback behind the offensive line, each one makes the other look better/worse. Sometimes a quarterback is great because he has a great offensive line but sometimes the offensive line looks better because there is a great quarterback behind them. Let's look at something interesting that is a small sample and features only one aspect of what an offensive line is supposed to do...

The worst 5 offensive lines in regard to sacks have the following quarterbacks behind them: Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, JaMarcus Russell/Bruce Gradkowski, Trent Edwards/Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jason Campbell. The next four are Matt Cassell, David Garrard, Kyle Boller/Marc Bulger, and Matt Stafford. These are generally some of the most below average quarterbacks in the NFL.

The best 5 offensive lines in regard to sacks have the following quarterbacks behind them: Peyton Manning, Vince Young/Kerry Collins, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Matt Schaub. The next four are Philip Rivers, Kurt Warner, Matt Ryan, and Carson Palmer. These are generally some of the most above average quarterbacks in the NFL.

See the symbiotic relationship where the quarterback can make the offensive line potentially look better or worse than it actually is? Most of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL just so happen to play behind poor offensive lines, while it is the opposite for the best quarterbacks in the NFL. So, I don't think these four teams have the best offensive lines, they just have the best combination of quarterback and offensive line.

Manning was sacked less than any other NFL quarterback this season because the Colts' offensive line is tremendous.

Which is why they were last in the NFL this year in rushing yards with two 1st round draft picks at the running back position. "Tremendous" in reference to the Colts offensive line is an overstatement, at least in terms of being able to run the ball.

The Colts finished last in the league in rushing -- this hardly rules them out; a season ago, the Cardinals finished last in rushing and made the Super Bowl -- and second in both passing yards and pass attempts. When they won the Super Bowl in 2007, the Colts surprised opponents in the postseason by rushing more than expected; this is the tactic waiting to be tried.

It's that simple. The Colts who haven't rushed the ball well all year, at 1,294 total yards for the year, or less than 6 individual rushers in the NFL, are just going to start running the ball well in the playoffs against teams that have a higher skill level than teams they played against in the regular season. Do you know Gregg thinks the Colts will do this? Just by wanting to...all you need is the will and it can be done.

The Ravens just went all-out attempting to sack Manning, and the result was a 20-3 defeat. Manning expects the Jets to go all-out attempting to sack him, so the defensive tactic waiting to be tried by Jersey/B is not blitzing.

I love Gregg's tactics here. He thinks the Colts AND the Jets should go against what has gotten them to the AFC Championship Game when they are playing in the AFC Championship Game. Let's see how this would go over when Rex Ryan brings it up to his team:

(Rex Ryan): "Hey everyone, we have gotten to this point by disguising our blitzes well and putting pressure on the quarterback. (The Jets team yells in affirmation as Ryan's voice gets louder) Well this week we aren't blitzing one damn bit, we're changing tactics completely. (The Jets team gets very quiet)"

(Bart Scott): "But coach, being aggressive and blitzing is what has gotten us to the point and we have a shut down corner that can be put in man coverage when we blitz, why would we change tactics? By the way, do you know how much stitches cost?"

(Rex Ryan): "It goes against everything I want to do or believe in, but Peyton Manning loves to be blitzed and if we blitz him he will carve us up, so we aren't blitzing."

(Bart Scott): "So you don't think we can sack Peyton Manning when we blitz and would prefer we change the type of defense we play that has made us the best defense in the NFL? Why would let the Colts dictate the pace of the game to us instead of letting us bring the pain on Manning? We are the best defense in football, just give us a chance to go out there and prove it."

(Rex Ryan): "Well, we are also going to be expecting the Colts to run the ball a lot this week since they haven't run the ball well all year, so we have to be sure are prepared for that more than the Colts' passing game. We are changing our tactics completely this week because the Colts are going to do the same. They are going to try to run the ball more than pass it."

(Bart Scott): "So instead of blitzing Manning, we are going to surprise him by not putting pressure on him in the hopes that he is so confused he doesn't realize we have given him more time to throw the ball?"

(Rex Ryan): "Yes."

(Bart Scott): "Coach, no offense, but you are an idiot. What person has told you that not putting pressure on Manning and stopping the worst running game in the NFL is the key to winning the AFC Championship game against the Colts?"

(Rex Ryan): "Gregg Easterbrook."

(Entire team commits suicide)

As TMQ notes, with defenses choking up to stop the Jersey/B run, all Mark Sanchez needs to do is hit one long pass per game, and the Jets' offense will become dangerous.

One long pass per game makes the Jets dangerous. If Sanchez's line is 1-14 for 76 yards, that's a dangerous offense!

Adrian Peterson -- remember him? He hasn't had a 100-yard rushing game since Nov. 15.

One of the top 2 running backs in the NFL?

The New Orleans run defense is weak, while its pass defense is strong. A conservative, rush-oriented game plan might be just what the doctor ordered considering New Orleans' personnel and the need to keep the Saints' league-leading offense off the field.

Is Gregg going through game plans that each team would need to have in order to LOSE the game? A conservative, rush oriented game plan sounds great until you realize the Saints can score points in bunches and the best way to ensure Brett Favre has a bad game is to force him to enact a conservative game plan. You have to let Favre run wild a little bit for the team to have success. He's like a wild, gritty, forty-year-old stallion that loves to play football in that way. You can't and shouldn't harness Brett Favre in my mind.

When the Saints have the ball, you just never know what is going to happen. They probably don't either,

Actually the Saints know exactly what they are going to do when they have the ball. It's called a game plan and the Saints definitely have one. But hey, great use of hyperbole that means or proves nothing.

Stats of the Divisional Round No. 2: Nineteen players have scored touchdowns for New Orleans. Eight of them were undrafted.

Which means the other 11 who scored a touchdown for New Orleans were drafted. More players scored touchdowns for the Saints that were drafted than players who scored touchdowns that weren't drafted.

As noted by reader Scott St. Laurent of Enfield, Conn., though Reed was running along the left sideline, he had the ball in his right hand. Kids, the ball should always be in the same hand as the nearest sideline -- that protects the ball from most impacts. When Garcon caught Reed, the ball was exposed, and Garcon punched it out;

If Gregg had thought this through, he would understand because Garcon was running BEHIND Ed Reed it didn't matter which hand Reed had the ball in because Garcon would have had easy access to the ball in either hand. So Reed fumbled because the ball was popped out from behind, but not because of which hand the ball was in. So the ball was going to be exposed either way because Garcon was behind Reed.

In fact, looking at the video, Garcon actually had to go AROUND the left side of Reed's body to poke the ball out of his right hand. The ball would have been a much easier target in Reed's right hand.

Indianapolis recovered Reed's fumble, and Baltimore was done. Reed's failure to carry the ball in the correct hand was sour.

Really, it didn't matter that much. I think Garcon could have still gotten the ball out of Reed's hand if it were in his left hand. In fact, I think it would have been easier to poke the ball out.

The Jersey/B running game works because the blocking is good, and because offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer -- who must have been pleased to beat the team that fired his father -- doesn't abandon the run if it does not work in the first quarter.

Of course it helps immensely that the Jets defense is great and the Jets aren't behind early in the game so they don't have to worry about abandoning the run so they can catch up by throwing the ball.

Strong-rushing teams often start slowly, when the opposing defense is fresh, and then prevail in the second half as the defense tires -- that's exactly what happened versus San Diego.

Gregg gives absolutely no evidence this is true. I question this idea simply because if a strong rushing team starts slowly, that will also mean they very well could be behind early in a game, which would mean they probably are playing catch-up, which isn't something a team like the Jets does well. So I question whether this statement is true or not.

The Jets' offensive line has four first-round draft choices.

How can this be true? But I thought undrafted free agents were much better than 1st round draft choices? My entire perception of the world has now been changed!

TMQ keeps predicting Ryan's constant-blitzing schemes will backfire. They sure did not at San Diego, where the Bolts seemed unprepared for overload blitzing -- there is practically a billboard above the Jets' sideline that reads "WE OVERLOAD BLITZ" -- six times, allowing a blitzer to come straight at Philip Rivers without being blocked by anyone.

I don't know how Gregg can't seem to understand the Jets disguise their blitzes and coverages well. So it doesn't matter if the teams who play against the Jets know the Jets are blitzing, they don't know where they are blitzing from or who is necessarily blitzing.

The second pick came when Jersey/B showed big-blitz and then backed out of it -- Ryan's defenses almost never back out of the blitz.

There is almost no possible way this statement is correct. The Jets would have major difficulty blitzing effectively if they had a tendency like the fact they never back out of a blitz present in their defensive scheme. I get pretty tired of Gregg Easterbrook just making things up like this. How does ESPN allow him to just start spouting off nonsense like this?

Rivers assumed that a quick-curl route would be open because of the number of blitzers; instead the intended receiver was double-covered by safety Jim Leonhard, whom Rivers thought would be blitzing.

Jim Leonhard? He was undrafted, which means he is better than any other safety in the NFL right now.

Norv Turner was his usual timid self, and it hurt the Chargers dearly. Two years ago against New England in the AFC Championship Game, Turner's Chargers were trailing 21-12 with nine minutes remaining -- that's a two-score fourth-quarter deficit -- and Norv ordered a punt from the Patriots' 36-yard line. That was the worst Preposterous Punt yours truly has ever seen.

One of the other options was to let Nate Kaeding try to make a field goal. After this Sunday, does it seem like a good option for Kaeding to try and make a field goal in the playoffs?

With 4:42 left in the fourth quarter, and San Diego trailing 17-7, he ordered a field goal attempt on fourth-and-2 from the Jets' 22-yard line. Nate Kaeding is a good kicker -- it was a surprise when his attempt sailed wide. But you have one of the league's top offenses and you only need 2 yards.

The Chargers were also struggling to run the ball and weren't exactly passing the ball incredibly well at this point. Cutting the game to 7 points and giving the ball back to an anemic Jets offense seemed like a good idea at the time and in retrospect. If only Kaeding had hit this field goal, the game would have gone to overtime. That's pretty much what it boils down to for me.

Turner's onside kick decision at the end was puzzling as well. Pulling within 17-14 with 2:14 remaining, San Diego had one timeout left.

I agree with Gregg on this. I think San Diego should have kicked the ball off deep, even though it really wouldn't have affected anything because the Chargers couldn't stop the Jets from getting the 1st down...which actually may not have mattered, because the Jets may not have gone for it on fourth down if they were deep in their own territory, so kicking deep was still a good decision in my mind.

You've got a better chance of getting into field goal range with one minute on the clock than of recovering an expected onside kick.

Any statistics to prove this? Anything? Nothing? Great, as I expected. A normal, more competent writer would actually produce some statistics to explain and support this statement. A normal, more competent sports web site would require their writers to actually produce evidence of something they are stating. Unfortunately neither party in the ESPN-Gregg Easterbrook relationship is competent so they are fine with this low bar for journalism.

I just can't understand what kind of sports web site and columnist thinks writing sentences with no evidential backing in these sentences is good journalism. Welcome to and the way they do business, I guess.

Six seasons ago, the Chargers went 12-4, won a bye, then lost at home in the divisional round to the Jets. Marty Schottenheimer was fired in the aftermath. This season they went 13-3, won a bye, then lost at home in the divisional round to the Jets. The aftermath is a contract extension for Turner.

So because the Chargers made a bad decision in letting their head coach go four years ago they should repeat this same mistake today? This doesn't make sense. I am not saying Norv Turner is a great coach, but if the Chargers clearly made a mistake in getting rid of Schottenheimer a few years ago, why would they repeat the same mistake now?

Carroll promises USC recruits he will stay at the school, then promptly walks out for more money.

I am splitting hairs here, but Gregg Easterbrook has no proof Pete Carroll promised recruits he was staying at the school and then not doing it. He probably did promise this, don't get me wrong, but Gregg is just pretending he knows for sure.

If a coach whose contract has not expired leaves one school for another, he or she must sit out one year.

So instead of allowing a coach the opportunity to make a living at another school, he will be punished for attempting to do better for himself professionally and will lose the ability to earn money for an entire year. This makes no sense for this to happen in a capitalist society like the United States has.

Also, as Rulebook pointed out yesterday in the comments, it never makes sense for a school to let a coach's contract run out since it would have a huge adverse effect on recruiting. So it would turn out that every time a coach gets a new job, he would have to sit out a year. Schools would have to hire new coaches a year in advance or hang on to a coach they don't want for an extra year.

Why was USC so eager to sign Kiffin and recruiter Ed Orgeron? Kiffin is 12-21 in his past three seasons. He left the Oakland Raiders an embarrassing mess. Then he had one weak year (7-6) at Tennessee in which he failed to win a bowl game despite Tennessee's incredible built-in advantage in recruiting power,

Of course Gregg Easterbrook overlooks the fact that many of the recruits Kiffin had for this "built-in" advantage (as starters) were not recruited by him, but his predecessor Phillip Fulmer. So we can't really blame Kiffin for the lack of good recruits on the Tennessee team. But hey, he wants to prove a point that Lane Kiffin sucks, so whatever it takes right?

Who did Tennessee play in their bowl game? Virginia Tech, another team that has as much, if not more built-in recruiting power, than Tennessee. So basically Gregg Easterbrook has absolutely no point in making this statement.

Now it's Indianapolis leading 10-3, third-and-goal on the Baltimore 3 with seven seconds remaining in the first half and the Colts holding no timeouts. Going for it here -- now, that was indeed a roll of the dice.

This is not a gamble at all. Any pass will be towards, and in, the end zone and will take less than 7 seconds, so the Colts will always have a chance at the field goal. I am not sure if Gregg understands the term "gamble," because the Colts going for it here certainly wasn't one.

On the next possession, Baltimore again had third-and-3 on the Indianapolis 45 and went incompletion, incompletion, Colts ball. Dance with the one what brung you! The Ravens averaged 4.6 yards per rush on the day, yet repeatedly heave-hoed incomplete in short-yardage situations.

Yet again, Gregg Easterbrook completely misunderstands the correct use of the 4.6 yards per rush average in evaluating whether a team should have would have gotten the first down on a third-and-short. The correct way to evaluate whether they should have rushed the ball is how Baltimore did all year on 3rd-and-short and not just use the general yards per rush they averaged during a game. It's quite possible the Ravens averaged 2.4 yards per rush on short yardage plays so running the ball in this situation may not have paid off.

A generation ago, many states did not even have high school football playoffs; by 2007, there were 314 state high school football champions; in 2009, the total rose to 326.

Obviously Gregg doesn't also understand there are different divisions in high school football like 4A, 5A based on the size of the school. Just following the link Gregg provided pretty much shows us this.

What's the real problem with naming a bunch of high school state champions anyway if they are all in different divisions? It's not like 3 teams from 5A are being named state champion or anything.

Now for my weekly part of Gregg's TMQ I will call "Why the fuck doesn't Gregg Easterbrook understand that movies and television shows are works of fiction and are supposed to be entertaining and not realistic?"

Another fun aspect of "24" is inaccuracy presented as realism. Terrorists invaded the White House by swimming up to it in scuba gear -- the nearest water to the White House is two miles away.

Jack caught a bad guy hiding among tramp freighters at the "Port of Alexandria" on the Potomac -- the waterline of Alexandria, Va., is a trendy shops-and-restaurants zone, and there are no docks.

In last season's finale, a terrorist boarded the subway -- specifically, the "westbound Red Line to Washington Center." The Red Line in D.C. runs north-south, and there is no Washington Center. When the bad guy entered the subway, he saw ticket sales booths, as in the New York subway -- there are no tickets sales booths in Washington, as all farecards are electronic.

Now read those three sentences again and pretend you are beside someone or in the same room as someone watching this television show and as the show goes on this person is pointing out all these factual errors. Would you:

1. Tell the person to shut up and try to ignore him.
2. Yell at the person with unbridled passion and then punch him in the face.
3. Attempt to strangle the person to death with an empty popcorn bag.

I think I would just go from one to three on this list and if the person hadn't either (a) left the room or (b) passed away, I would then go back to one and start over.

My point is that how freaking annoying would be to hear someone constantly watch a television show and criticize it for factual errors? Does anyone in Gregg's family dare to watch television with him? If so, how hasn't he been beaten to a pulp by his family yet? What causes this man to expect factual and realistic situations on a television show?

Jack slashed another man in the chest with a scalpel: The man did not begin to bleed but simply dropped to the ground instantly dead. An actual person slashed in the chest with a scalpel would take quite a while to die, and of course would not just stand there but would put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding.

For all things holy in this world, it is a television show that is supposed to be fiction! The next thing we know Gregg is going to try and question how we can see all the action on a television show. Is there really a camera man that follows these people everywhere? IF SO, WHY DOESN'T ANYONE ACKNOWLEDGE THIS CAMERA MAN?? HOW COME WE CAN SEE EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON??? THE CAMERA SHOULD RUN OUT OF BATTERIES AT SOME POINT!!! WOULDN'T THE MAIN VILLAIN REALIZE THERE IS A CAMERA PICKING UP AND FILMING EVERYTHING HE IS SAYING? WHY DOES HE ALLOW A CAMERA TO FOLLOW HIM AROUND IF HE IS TRYING TO COMMIT A CRIME?????

In "The Dark Knight," the Joker kills a man by stabbing him with a ball-point pen: The man falls to the ground instantly dead.

I am pretty sure he stabbed the guy in the eye or head, both of which if done correctly could cause instant death. The pen was on a table and the guy's head was pushed pretty hard into it. But great point in pointing out the fallacy behind a fictional movie where a man dresses like a bat and fights crime and his arch-enemy is a guy who wears heavy white make-up and has unlimited access to money. You would think a movie like that would be completely accurate to real life.

Suppose a Haiti-like earthquake ruined a large U.S. city -- the federal government has borrowed so many trillions of dollars in the past three years, in response to problems that are genuine but historically moderate, that America might lack the means to respond to a true crisis.

Oh, but I am sure many of the countries the United States has given aid and monetary support to over the years would gladly come in and help us out if we couldn't manage the crisis. Oh and if anyone hasn't seen the video of Anderson Cooper helping out a young child in Haiti, well here it is and it is pretty bad ass.

Now it's second-and-goal from the 2. Colston lined up wide left with Arizona corner Bryant McFadden across from him, lined up in the end zone! When the receiver lines up on the 2, if you line up in the end zone, all the receiver need do is step across the line and turn around for a touchdown

I agree the cornerback needs to be a little closer to the receiver, but the receiver also has to catch the ball and get in the end zone before the cornerback tackles him. He can't just step across the goal line without the ball (Gregg left the small fact of having to catch the ball out). It is likely the cornerback will be looking for the slant and a pass to the receiver could be intercepted because the cornerback has a better angle at the ball by playing off the receiver. Again, playing off the receiver is a stupid play, but I am just pointing why McFadden might have played off Colston.

Also, if it is a running play and the corner is jamming the receiver he will be easily blocked and out of the play since he is so close to the receiver. I do think the McFadden should have jammed him in this situation regardless, but this is another reason not to jam Colston.

At the goal line, corners must jam.

Colston has 4 inches in height on McFadden. This could be why he didn't jam him, just in case a fade route was run.

Trailing 38-14 midway through the third quarter, Arizona faced fourth-and-6 on its 38. Whisenhunt sent in the punt unit...As the punt boomed, TMQ wrote the words "playoff game over" in his notebook.

I find it always interesting when Easterbrook writes "game over" in his notebook in obvious situations where the game is actually over. Am I supposed to be impressed by this or does he think he is actually giving out important information by stating the obvious? More importantly, you know he has "game over" written at least 3 times during each game he watches and he probably has been wrong several times.

Despite claiming not to, the BCS rewards margin of victory.

This is a pretty debatable point. If this were true, then I would think Boise State and TCU would be ranked higher than they are in BCS polls, since I would think they tend to have a high margin of victory against conference opponents compared to a "major conference" school. Maybe I am wrong. I looked it up and the BCS claims to not factor in margin of victory, but I think it can be debated whether the BCS really does end up counting margin of victory into the rankings.

Next Week: USC recruiters demand verbal commits from middle-school players.

Next Week: Gregg Easterbrook doesn't misunderstand that if a team averages 6.9 yards per play, this doesn't mean going for it on fourth-and-two makes sense because the team should get 6.9 yards on average on every play of this down and distance.


RuleBook said...

-Six seasons ago, the Chargers went 12-4, won a bye, then lost at home in the divisional round to the Jets. Marty Schottenheimer was fired in the aftermath. This season they went 13-3, won a bye, then lost at home in the divisional round to the Jets. The aftermath is a contract extension for Turner.

Six seasons ago would have been the 03-04 season. In that season the Chargers went 4-12. I'm sure Easterbrook is referring to the 04-05 season, in which the Chargers went 12-4, and were the 4th seed in the AFC. The Jets were the 5th seed in the AFC, and they beat San Diego in the Wild Card round. Two years later, San Diego had a bye week at 14-2, and lost to the Patriots in the divisional round. The aftermath of that game is what got Schottenheimer fired. I have never seen a single paragraph with so many errors.

- He also criticizes Terence Newman for looking into the backfield on the first Rice TD. The play was a zone. Newman probably should have jammed Rice, but he was not supposed to chase him.

- The BCS does include margin of victory. The computers don't, but they only count for 1/3 of the vote. The human voters use margin of victory as a guiding point for how much better one team is than another. As long as people who aren't watching the games get to vote on the ranking, margin of victory will always count.

rich said...

For my money, the Colts, Jets, Saints and Vikings made the championship round because they have the league's four best offensive lines.

For my money?
Colts: Peyton Manning
Jets: Defense
Saints: Drew Brees
Vikings: Defense and AP

Manning was sacked less than any other NFL quarterback this season because the Colts' offensive line is tremendous.

Or his quick release, fast reads of defense or throwing the ball away.

The offensive line is incredibly important, but the fact that in the next paragraph TMQ even says that the Colts are last in the league in rushing... which depends on the offensive line. So can you really call it a "great" offensive line if it only pass blocks well?

Stats of the Divisional Round No. 2: Nineteen players have scored touchdowns for New Orleans. Eight of them were undrafted.

How many of those plays started with a 2nd round draft pick? Each and every single one of them. Unless the Saints started running the wild cat when i wasn't watching.

As noted by reader Scott St. Laurent of Enfield, Conn., though Reed was running along the left sideline, he had the ball in his right hand. Kids, the ball should always be in the same hand as the nearest sideline -- that protects the ball from most impacts. When Garcon caught Reed, the ball was exposed, and Garcon punched it out;

Reed held that ball about as well as you could from what I saw. Had the nose tucked properly and the only reason Garcon gets that fumble is because he swings up (and not down). Garcon swings down like 90% of NFL players would have: no fumble.

Great play by Garcon, really bad luck by Reed.

Also: switching the ball between your hands can result in fumbles as well. Had Reed been switching hands and been hit by anyone behind him it would have been a fumble and TMQ would blast him for that too.

Strong-rushing teams often start slowly, when the opposing defense is fresh, and then prevail in the second half as the defense tires -- that's exactly what happened versus San Diego.

Also true: Jets had a scoring drive of 16 yards in the second half thanks to Rivers throwing a pick. No pick, no Jets win, no TMQ talking about the defense tiring.

Martin said...

Amazing how someone who nitpicks so much about movies and television shows being inaccurate can manage to write some of the least factual articles ever. Seriously, the guy is bitching about the subway in "24" and he can't even get the Chargers recent playoff history correct. Sweet freaking Jesus, GOOGLE the shit Gregg!

Bengoodfella said...

Rulebook, it's stuff like that paragraph that I completely miss and should not. That paragraph was just a total mess wasn't it? I don't like Norv Turner but don't think they should have fired him just b/c they fired Schottenheimer.

I didn't know if that Newman play was a zone because the announcers criticized him and I wasn't sure if he got lost or just didn't get a bump on Rice. It LOOKED like a zone, but I wasn't sure.

I bet Gregg doesn't like the computers for the BCS and wonder what he would say when it was pointed out the computers don't have the bias and the human voters do.

Rich, it is nonsense to say just b/c these teams are left in the playoffs they have the best offensive lines in the playoffs. It doesn't make sense does it? For my money, I would add "the running game" for the Jets.

You can't call the Colts offensive line great since they can't run block very well. Manning prevents sacks by knowing what the defense is doing and getting rid of the ball well. It's part of the symbiotic relationship.

Gregg's infatuation w/ undrafted free agents precludes him from being able to understand a 2nd round pick throws the passes and multiple 1st round picks also catch TD passes.

There isn't much Reed could have done to protect the ball, other than put two hands on it, Garcon made a great play. Reed switched it originally to the right hand because I think he was going to try and cut right across the field, but then took the sideline.

My favorite team is a strong rushing team and I am with you. There are other factors that come in. Trust me, on a strong rushing team it's great when the defense tires in the 2nd half but starting out slow is not always a good thing.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, that's one of the contradictions of Gregg. He wants accuracy from everyone but doesn't actually write accurately in what he puts out.

That Chargers paragraph Rulebook pointed out was just plain shit.

Dylan Murphy said...

Stats of the Divisional Round No. 2: Nineteen players have scored touchdowns for New Orleans. Eight of them were undrafted.

He forgets to realize that receiver is the easiest position to hit in the late rounds. Marques Colston, 7th round. Just because he was drafted late doesn't mean he sucks.

With Shockey, Colston, and now Bush all as threats on the field, of course the random receivers will succeed. New Orleans' offense will always produce the random WRs like Lance Moore and others.

LDUTheCoach said...

The majority of people are taking the Colts to kill the Jets this week but you have to consider how well New York matches up against Indy. Indy has the worst running game in the league, and is ALL Peyton. The Jets have the #1 pass-defence and if they can put the clamps on Peyton early… it could very well be a Jets win. TheCoach isn’t calling a J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS win but they will cover the spread. I know Indy shut down Baltimore’s running game last week but the Jets strive on being quick and elusive.. something Ray Rice isn’t…

Minnesota and New Orleans is going to be such a good game. I was hoping all season long these two would meet up in the NFC Championship and honestly.. either team could team this game. The Saints are -3.0 favourites and historically home team get given three points for the home-field advantage… so basically this game is a pick-em and there is ONE thing that I like about the Saints and its that home-field advantage. Last week Warner and Romo combined for 7 sacks and 4 fumbles largely in part to not being able to communicate with their offence. The SuperDome is NUTS and I don’t care how much experience Favre has, the crowd can help a team and also hurt the other so much.

Feel free to check out my picks with scores (and of course cheerleader pictures) @

Best of luck to all this week,

KentAllard said...

In an ideal world, we would be able to give Easterbrook's sweet gig, contract and column, to RuleBook. This is not in the least bit a joke, RuleBook does a great job analyzing the stats and would be well worth reading. Easterbrook, on the other hand...

Bengoodfella said...

I know. I really think Rulebook should take over TMQ. In fact, if I wasn't such an egotistical asshole I would just let him write TMQ here every single week. Or hell, just sell him the blog for a bag of Jalapeno flavored Doritos. That way he doesn't have to take the time to prove me wrong (from time to time) and take the time to read Easterbrook's column.