Friday, December 17, 2010

5 comments MMQB Review: Peter Turns Into Gregg Easterbrook Edition

I haven't done MMQB in a few weeks so I thought I would see what Peter King had to say about this past week's NFL games, and lo and behold, he is still the exact same guy. I was hoping laying off him for a few weeks would cause a disruption in the universe that would make him less elitist and frustrating to me. I was wrong. This week Peter gives us some NFL nuggets to chew on and spit out. It's like going home again.

I thought this would be a big week for coaching news and Brett Favre will-he-or-won't-he, and maybe the Favre/Sterger story. On Sunday afternoon, it was all weather and dome collapse, all the time. By this morning, I'm marveling over Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson. Those are two guys I'd pay to see.

Or you could watch them for free on television since they are on a nationally televised game what seems like every single week. It's your choice. I know it's just a saying but I haven't picked on Peter in a while, so lay off me.

My 10 nuggets, some big and some small, for Week 14:

Are these processed nuggets? Can I Supersize my order?

The Eagle-loving masses think Vick's not only the team MVP but also the NFL's. Cases can be made for both, I suppose. But then what is DeSean Jackson, other than the most exciting player right now in the NFL?

Take DeSean Jackson off the Eagles' team and then take Mike Vick off the Eagles' team. How good would they be without each player? There's your answer to which one is team MVP.

This is a topic for another day, but it's incumbent on the Eagles to do two things -- keep Vick from getting hit too much (I still am concerned about that; he takes too many shots, and not just the borderline ones that tick off Vick and Andy Reid)

I couldn't tell Peter is concerned about this since he only mentions it every single week. Look, if an NFL quarterback can't get hit too much or his body will fall apart, is he worth spending millions of dollars upon when he becomes a free agent? I don't know, I'm asking. Vick has to be able to get hit, it is a part of running with the football, which makes him so dangerous. So taking away the part of the offense that makes him dangerous, which is Vick running with the football, is also taking away part of what makes him so special.

and sign him to a contract that will keep him an Eagle for his prime.

His prime may very well be the year 2010. Vick is a great player but I think it is interesting that Peter refuses to acknowledge the massive amount of motivation Vick has financially to have a great contract year. I'm not saying Vick won't be a good quarterback in the future, but it is a contract year and Vick's financial problems related to having declare bankruptcy make him really motivated to play well. Vick also has a past (in Atlanta) of not working that hard once he got paid. I'm just throwing it out there. Vick could play at this level for the rest of his career, but Peter has already stated Vick is taking a bunch of hits and when he got paid in Atlanta, his work ethic started to get questioned.

I talked to Vikings coach Leslie Frazier just before the team left for Detroit late Sunday afternoon, and he called Favre "questionable'' -- the NFL's 50-50 version of injury-reporting. Frazier said he'd talk to Favre at breakfast today at their Detroit hotel and see whether Favre thought he might be able to get enough movement in the shoulder to play tonight at Ford Field. So the story America hates lives for another day.

And yet for some reason Peter keeps talking about it. If you know your readers hate hearing about a story, why keep writing about it? Why keep going out of your way to report NOTHING and write about the story? Why bother your readers with a topic they clearly don't enjoy? I understand few people like to hear about college basketball, so I don't write about it as much as I do other sports. It's an easy concept that Peter can't seem to grasp.

How about our weekly chart featuring the Patriots from Peter? Sounds good. It wouldn't be MMQB without at least one chart about the Patriots.

But check out the pre- and post-Spygate numbers, including playoff games, for the Patriots under Belichick, and you'll see why the video practices seem so wasteful:

GW-LPct.Points per game
Since Sanction6449-15.76629.4

Pretty interesting. New England's gone from winning two-thirds of its games with the benefit of taping illegally, to winning three-quarters of its games and scoring six points more per game without taping -- and with so many new pieces on offense.

I'm over Spygate and I don't really care about it anymore, but Peter takes this data and then tries to show us that in his words video taping the practices was potentially "wasteful." There's several variables that I don't think Peter accounted for, and I am not even sure he could have accounted for them. One of those being, and again this is tough to account for, the talent level of the team out on the field. Offensively, it seems like the post-sanction Patriots are much stronger offensively. It's just a much stronger offensive team the Patriots are fielding now. Another factor that Peter doesn't measure here is how many points the opposing team is scoring now, as opposed to how many points teams scored against the Patriots pre-sanctions. it's possible the Patriots benefited from the taping in regard to the other team's defensive gameplan. This is a non-story to me, but I really wouldn't call taping other teams "wasteful." It just doesn't feel right to me...but the story is over so it doesn't even matter. Well, the story is over to me...sports journalists insist on bringing the topic up.

It all just proves to me that Belichick used to be and still is the smartest guy in the room ... and how unimportant to everything on the field the videotaping seems to have been.

We could argue that the post-sanction Patriots teams have a great record because they are a great team, while the pre-sanction Patriots had a great record because of the video taping. I'm not saying it is true, but merely acknowledging it is possible the Patriots have a good team now, but wouldn't have won as many games pre-sanctions without the video taping.

6. Matt Cassel for MVP.

In the strict sense of "value,'' it's arguable.

"If you pay attention what the award is supposed to intend and what the award actually means, then Cassel shouldn't win it. But if you ignore the intent of the award this is a controversial thing I just said!"

"Mike Williams of the Seahawks should win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Sure, he may not be a rookie, but if you ignore the strict sense of 'rookie' we could have a debate on this issue."

In the eight games before Week 14, Cassel had thrown 19 touchdowns and one interception. He sat Sunday after having his appendix removed Wednesday, and the Chiefs were absolutely dreadful, losing to San Diego 31-0 and generating 69 yards of offense. Nineteen net passing yards by Brodie Croyle and Tyler Palko. The Chiefs did not have a 30-yard drive.

So the Chiefs struggled in one game and that makes Matt Cassel MVP? I just hate to think the crappiness of a team's backup means the starter is the MVP. If that were the case, as long as Curtis Painter is backing up Peyton Manning, then Manning is the MVP.

With a bully, and I don't mean Rex Ryan. Their head strength and conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, tripped Miami special-teamer Nolan Carroll while he was running down the sideline covering a punt, causing Carroll to limp off the field. I've seen some bush-league things in 26 years covering the NFL, but that's got to be in the top 10. Though Alosi apologized, I think a one-game suspension for affecting the competitive balance of a game is in order.

Personally, I don't like to overreact to situations, but I think Alosi should be suspended for the rest of the year. That was a bullshit move. It appears he will be suspended indefinitely, but I would go ahead and make it the rest of the year...what little is left of the year at least.

Knighton, a nose type with rush ability that a pure space-eater doesn't have, and Alualu are already one of the three or four best defensive-tackle combinations in football, and neither has turned 25. Smith had the courage to take the slings and arrows and make sure he got Alualu without getting cute by trying to pick him lower, and the kid is panning out.

I thought the Jaguars picked Tyson Alualu too early and they could have traded back to get him. I still feel that way, but I do have to give the Jaguars credit for choosing him when they did. Sure, they could have moved back and gotten him later, but they wanted him, so they took him. I was wrong about that and in this year's NFL Draft grades if this type situation happens again I will go easier on a team that does this...depending on the situation of course.

2. New Orleans (10-3).
3. Atlanta (11-2).

I think it is pretty clear Peter King isn't going to give the Falcons any respect. They are the best team in the NFC in my mind. Of course when they make the Super Bowl this year, Peter will pretend he didn't know they were capable of this.

If Favre doesn't play tonight, his streak of 297 straight starts (321 including postseason games) will end at Ford Field, 1.3 miles from where Gehrig sat in the dugout at Briggs (later Tiger) Stadium.

The only difference in these two players is that Lou Gehrig has a terrible, slow progressing disease named after him, while Brett Favre should have a form of cancer named after him that goes in remission during the months from January to early July, shows some signs of coming back during the month of July and is fully back invading the person's body again from August to late December.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

One of the strangest men I've seen sat across the aisle from me on the Boston-to-New York train Saturday. The guy, about 30, took out his Blackberry power cord when we got on, plugged the phone in, had nothing else out on his little table, and when to work texting and looking at email (I suppose) and Tweets or whatever. He did not get up to use the rest room. He did not get up to get anything to eat, not to ask for anything. He sat for 3 hours and 47 minutes. When the announcement came on that we were pulling into Manhattan, he unplugged the phone, put the power cord back in his bag, and, walking off the train, kept his eyes glued to the device.

Blackberry rehab, dude.

There's something creepy and annoying about Peter King constantly watching people he sees in public and noting every single little thing they do. There is a difference in people-watching and keeping tabs on a person so well over a period of time even someone who is a stalker would take a step back and say, "you may want to be a little more discreet and not focus so much on that one person. You're probably creeping them out."

d. Santana Moss, who runs like a jackrabbit.

I bet he can't run a marathon like Peter can though. Athlete.

h. The Jets' offense. A disgrace. No offensive touchdowns for nine quarters now. In the span of one week, the New York playoff path has gotten impossible. To reach the Super Bowl -- even if the Jets make the playoffs -- they'd now almost certainly have to win three road games. This team winning at Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and New England? I don't think so.

Was there any doubt once the Jets started running their mouths and were featured on "Hard Knocks" that the Patriots were going to win the AFC East this year? It was pretty much set in stone the Patriots would want to lay the Jets to waste. Also, for those like me who want to prove LaDainian Tomlinson isn't ever going to be the running back he once was, here are his statistics for this year.

Notice he has had double digit carries in every game this year and hasn't posted a 60+ yard game since Week 4. In fact, he hasn't had 4.0 yards per carry average since Week 5. He's still useful as a receiving threat but all his talk this offseason about the Chargers not building the gameplan around him (he thought they should have) seems to make more sense to me. He just can't run the ball very effectively anymore.

5. I think I don't know how you could have an ounce of faith in Carson Palmer this morning, not after handing the Steelers two touchdowns on interception returns, and not after continually misfiring again. It might be time to deal him to San Francisco for a second-round pick in April, Mike Brown. Or a third-.

Right, because the 49ers will just blindly accept this offer. It's not like they have any say in this decision at all.

6. I think it looks so depressing to be a Panthers fan. The empty seats. The hopelessness. That's about as down as a franchise can be.

I'm going to throw a little homer-ism at you. Feel free to skip it if you would like. This year has been depressing, but there isn't a lot of hopelessness for the future...just hopelessness for this year.

I understand Jerry Richardson wanting to pay a new head coach a reasonable salary ($2.5-million, for example, per year), but that franchise might be so far under water that he may have to rethink that future plan and pay Bill Cowher what he's worth.

So hiring big name coaches like Mike Shanahan really pays off doesn't it? Look how good the Redskins are! Who would want a no-name like Mike Smith or John Harbaugh, right? Peter is an absolute moron if he believes paying for a big name coach ensures future success. Even insinuating this is true is very misleading. Teams should find the best coach available, not try to impress everyone with the "name recognition" of the coach.

The Panthers need a facelift.

Carolina needs adjustments, no doubt about that, but there is a lot of talent on the roster. Insinuating otherwise is incorrect. They currently have 2/5 of the offensive line on IR, their starting quarterback and four linebackers on IR. There are a total of 14 players on IR. Even if DeAngelo Williams isn't re-signed, they have Mike Goodson and Jonathan Stewart at running back, a talented offensive line that is young and has shown they can run block, and a great group of young linebackers. They need a quarterback and a head coach who gives a shit and some other adjustments. Really, what is frustrating is there is young talent on the team and the team still stinks.

Carolina needs a headliner more than Atlanta or Baltimore or Pittsburgh did when they made those hires.

This is bullshit. Peter doesn't pay enough attention to Carolina and just assumes they need to get a headliner to be "relevant" since that is all he seems to care about is relevance to the national media. Having Peter King pay attention to the "headliner" coach they bring in should not be the focus of a team. Carolina is like all other NFL teams and they need a competent head coach.

a. RIP, Elizabeth Edwards, noble and smart and betrayed.


d. I see Taylor Swift turns 21 today.

I see Peter King counts down when young female stars become legal or come of drinking age. Really, combined with his staring at people on trains, this isn't creepy. Middle aged men doing this isn't creepy, not at all.

I bet she won't remember me leaving my size-14 hoofprint on her red dress at Saturday Night Live last year.

She won't remember this unless you stared at her for a few hours after that while on a train.

f. Albert Breer of NFL Network tweeted yesterday about the noted Chicago meteorologist Amy Freeze (yes, her real name). I bet he didn't know Amy was a cheerleader at BYU and married the Brigham Young mascot, Cosmo the Cougar. What a Cougar.

Thank you Gregg Easterbrook.

Creepy infatuation with cheerleaders? Check.
Creepy infatuation with young girls? Check.
Infatuation with the Patriots? Check.
Long list of things in his weekly column I don't care about? Check.

i. Beernerdness: What do you think? I'm on the verge of making this a semi-regular category. Give me your input.


That's all the input I have.


Martin said...

Well, I think if the Panthers draft Andrew Luck, you will be a very happy fan. Kid can really play. I wasn't sold on Bradford, but he's done well at St.Louis, while Luck is about Bradford, cubed in terms of pro talent that I've seen on display at Stanford.

On the other hand, might Philly, Pittsburgh and Green Bay think about investing in offensive linemen, so as to maybe keep their Q's from getting hit about 30 times a game? I agree that part of Vick being hit is Vick running with the ball, (and Rodgers got hurt on a play he dove instead of sliding) but the O-lines on all three of those teams are like sieves.

My sleeper pick for next year....the Lions.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I hope I am a really happy fan. Everyone seems to tell me this but I still don't like drafting QB's in the draft. It's such a risk and if they crash it hurts the team. You could say that about nearly every pick I guess. We'll see.

I don't know if Pittsburgh is ever going to invest in O-linemen. I thought the Packers should have done the same. This offseason the Packers did draft Bulaga and the Steelers drafted Pouncey, both of which were good picks. I agree, more should be done.

As far as Vick goes, he will continue to get hit playing like he does. Of course I do agree with you maybe the Eagles should do something to stop it as much as they can. Still, part of Vick's game is running, so teams are going to take shots at him.

The Lions aren't a bad sleeper, but Stafford has to stay healthy. I wonder if he can do that.

rich said...

to winning three-quarters of its games and scoring six points more per game without taping

The problem with Peter's analysis is that it includes a year where the Patriots went 16-0 and put up an NFL record number of points. That one year alone is enough to horribly skew the data.

In the eight games before Week 14

Those 8 games consisted of:
Denver (twice)


He did not get up to use the rest room. He did not get up to get anything to eat, not to ask for anything. He sat for 3 hours and 47 minutes.

Peter runs a marathon in those 3 hours and 47 minutes. Seriously, he's on the train, what else is there to do? It was only 4 hours so it's not unheard of that the guy wouldn't need to go to the bathroom or eat (I know Peter might have trouble understanding this).

I love how you can't win with Peter on the train. Do stuff and it annoys him and get written about. Mind your own business and spend time quietly using your phone, get written about. I'd love to be on the train with Peter and just stare at him for 4 hours.

they'd now almost certainly have to win three road games.

Which has never happened ever... except for you know... a whole bunch of teams.

d. I see Taylor Swift turns 21 today.

Adding to what you said BGF, he said "I see ..." now maybe I was too busy using my phone to see this, but if Taylor Swift's birthday was plastered on the internet, I missed it. Meaning Peter had to ACTIVELY LOOK IT UP, which is just really fucking weird.

bet he didn't know Amy was a cheerleader at BYU and married the Brigham Young mascot, Cosmo the Cougar. What a Cougar.

I lived in Chicago for a year before going back to grad school. Again, if this was common knowledge, I missed it. Meaning Peter actively looked up information on Mrs. Freeze. Also, who gives a flying f**k who she's married to?

Dylan said...

I actually like the Lions as a sleeper as well. They have been extremely competitive this entire season despite their record, and injuries have derailed them more than people realize. I agree with Bengoodfella in that Stafford is ultimately the key.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I don't even know what those numbers are supposed to prove. Yes, the Patriots are still a good team, but the fact they are a good team today doesn't mean Spygate didn't help them in some way in the past. Why is Spygate even a story anymore?

Peter's train adventures drive me crazy. Like you said, you can't win with him. If you try to do anything, Peter thinks you are being obnoxious, if you mind your own damn business Peter thinks that weird. Perhaps he should bring something on the train to do rather than stare at people?

Peter has turned into Gregg Easterbrook. Unless Peter gets an alert when Taylor Swift turns 21 he had to find out this information somehow. I would love to know where Peter King and the knowledge of Taylor Swift's birthday overlap.

I didn't even know what he was talking about with the mascot, it was so irrelevant to me. I'm pretty sure Gregg Easterbrook wrote this.

Dylan, I like the Lions too. They seem like they are on the right track. At some point they will have good luck with injuries and hopefully that coincides with them having a good year.