Tuesday, December 20, 2011

10 comments MMQB Review: Apparently Miracles Do Cease Edition

Last week Peter King was extolling the virtues of a certain Broncos quarterback, a guy whose name I am tired of typing. So rather than just not referencing him by name, I will call him Broncos QB, much like on the classic game, Tecmo Bowl, when they couldn't get the rights to Randall Cunningham's name and had to call him Eagles QB. We'll see how long I can keep this up before I call him another name (Tim T., TebWho?, Timmy Teebs, etc). This week, Broncos QB tried the best he could to beat the Patriots, but his disciples just couldn't keep up with the high standard Broncos QB had set. To Peter's credit, he talks about the NFL playoffs (there are playoffs this year?), other NFL players (there are other NFL players?) and other NFL teams (there are other NFL teams?) in MMQB this week and hardly mentions Tebow. I am sure this is just a occurrence for this week.

(On a side note, Broncos QB has permeated my mind so thoroughly there is a television show with a recurring character called "Reverend Tim Tom" who looks nothing like Tebow nor acts much like him, but I think of Broncos QB when I hear the name "Reverend Tim Tom" while watching said show. Maybe I should call Broncos QB "Reverend Tim Teebs"...but that's a really long name and I am too lazy to type all of that.)

Anyway, on to MMQB...

Second seed. A 49er win tonight over Pittsburgh gives them the two seed. A Pittsburgh win drops San Francisco to the third seed, and puts the specter of a Handshake Bowl rematch into view -- Detroit at San Francisco, Jim Schwartz at Jim Harbaugh, in one of the two NFC wild card games.

I, as a fan, certainly want a game between two playoff games to be characterized in terms of how the two head coaches will react to each other when they shake hands. As an NFL fan, I love it when storylines that have nothing to do with the playoff game being played on the field are used by the media to artificially pump up excitement for the playoff game.

Wild, wild West. Kyle Orton riding into Denver in Week 17 to play the man who took his job, Tim Tebow -- with the winner making the playoffs? Here's how it happens: Home teams win all games involving AFC West teams next week (Buffalo over Denver, Kansas City over Oakland, Detroit over San Diego). Then Orton-Tebow is a play-in game in Week 17 ...

Good v. Evil. Broncos QB v. Orton. Winner v. Loser. This is a game I could excited about watching, though I have no doubt the Broncos would win this game simply because I can envision 200,000 Tebow is better than Orton and here's proof articles that are destined to be written.

In all his years assisting Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells, and his four years coaching the Browns, Crennel never got the bucket dumped over his head.

Well, Browns fans probably wanted to dump a bucket of shit over Crennel's head. They just never got the chance.

Kansas City ended Green Bay's hopes for a perfect season, winning 19-14 at Arrowhead behind a steady game by Kyle Orton

Because apparently 23 of 31 for 299 yards is now "steady," while Tom Brady really showed the Broncos who was boss and took over the game by going 23 of 34 for 320 yards.

Haley was wedded to the highly marginal Tyler Palko for some reason, through four mostly poor performances, and Crennel yanked him for veteran Orton during the week.

Though I never really thought Todd Haley had the temperament to be an NFL head coach (After all, this is a guy who argued with his receivers and just seemed too fiery and immature to be a coach...that was my perspective on him), I will be fair to him. He was wedded to Palko for a short period of time because the starting quarterback was injured and Kyle Orton had been in the Chiefs offense for less than a month. Orton probably should have started at some point, over the last two games, but I can see why Palko was out there for the first two games since Cassel's injury. Personally, I would have started Orton over the last two weeks, but I can kind of get why Palko started instead.

The way Stafford figures it, he owed the Lions something big midway through the fourth quarter, after he was sacked by Tommy Kelly deep in his own territory in the Black Hole. The Raiders pounced on that and scored to go up 27-14 with eight minutes left in the game.

Matthew Stafford led a comeback after being down 13 points in the fourth quarter? Isn't this supposed to lead SportsCenter and then get dissected the entirety of Monday morning by Skip Bayless/Stephen A Smith/Random Shouting Head A through G like it has been for Broncos QB? Is Matthew Stafford going to break Broncos QB's record for "biggest comeback in an NFL game in the 4th quarter (I am assuming it is the record since it was talked about so much)? More importantly, wasn't this comeback a miracle?

Watching this drive, I sensed what I saw in training camp with the Lions last summer. When Johnson is covered, Stafford throws to him anyway. On this drive, he went to him for 21, 48 and then again, with Stanford Routt interfering with Johnson at the Oakland six. Then, with a safety and linebacker in coverage in the end zone (might want to rethink that scheme, Chuck Bresnahan), Johnson slipped behind them and Stafford, under pressure, falling back, zipped a perfect spiral to Johnson. Touchdown. Ballgame.

No. Not "Touchdown. Ballgame." It's a damn miracle from Matthew Stafford. Another miracle happened this week. God is really paying attention to the NFL this year. He's pretty much become an NFL fanatic. I think the lockout really re-energized his interest in the NFL.

I don't see the elephant in the room bugging Drew Brees much.
That's kind of a mean thing to say about Mark Ingram. He just looks heavy, but is more muscle-bound than anything.

Brees, after one of the best games of his career in Minnesota (32 of 40, 412 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions, on the bench for the final 12 minutes) is 305 yards shy of Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record with two games left.

"I didn't know how close I was,'' he said from the team bus after New Orleans' rout of the Vikings. "Thanks for clarifying that. It's sort of the elephant in the room, obviously, because it's a record people talk about a lot. But I will not let it influence how we prepare, or how I make decisions in games. When all is said and done, if I have a chance to break it, I'll be happy about it, but it's not going to be the focus of this team.''

Says the guy who threw 40 passes in just over three quarters of work. Yes, the Saints throw the ball well and that's how they score best, but Brees was throwing the ball (12 passes on his last drive compared to 10 rushes) with the Saints winning 35-13. I would guess there was some thought given to the record just in case the Saints chose to sat Brees over the next two weeks.

I'd still give it to Rodgers this morning. The MVP should be his to lose at this point. But let's see how it plays out the next two weeks. If Brees sets records for accuracy and passing yards this year, and the Saints finish the year on an eight-game winning streak, it should be a contest.

Absolutely. Let's wait for the season to end so we can help make sure a team-based winning streak can be used to determine whether Drew Brees wins an individual award or not. After all, what if Brees throws for 900 yards in the last two games, but the Saints lose these two games. Then Brees definitely couldn't be MVP because his team lost and the eight-game winning streak is done. Let's see how all the team-based factors surrounding Brees and Rodgers reflect on them individually before making a decision on an individual-based award.

The first 75 starts of the Cowboy Three's careers, along with the productivity in those 75 regular season games:
Dallas Cowboys Quarterbacks


Roger Staubach
Troy Aikman44-317870
Tony Romo47-2814468

But Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman weren't super huge chokers like Tony Romo is. Don't let the statistics fool you. Romo has shown he is a terribly ineffective kicker when it comes to making field goals at the end of games and he has consistently not played good defense in the playoffs.

In all seriousness, Romo's numbers look impressive, but Aikman and Staubach played with different Cowboys teams than Romo has. Romo also plays in a different era where there are different rules when it comes to throwing the ball, so his numbers are inflated by NFL rules. Still, the "W-L" category is probably more of a reflection on each quarterback's team (note how Aikman has the worst record of the three quarterbacks), than it is a reflection on each quarterback.

In that span, he's thrown 18 touchdowns with two picks, and Jerry Jones said after the game -- and he's right -- that he wants to make the playoffs so badly this year in part because when you've got a hot quarterback, you want to get into the postseason because you think all things are possible when your most important player is playing his best.

Jerry Jones also wants to make the playoffs this year, because...you know, umm...it's the playoffs and that's pretty much the goal of every NFL team.

4. Pittsburgh (10-3). Will Ben Roethlisberger play? Someone Who Should Know told me Friday, "No way.'' But I'm also told he really wants to play tonight.

So the big news Peter King can report to us is that Ben Roethlisberger may or may not play in last night's Monday Night Football game. I always enjoy it when a reporter describes having two sources that say semi-opposite things about a topic with two different possibilities whose outcome hasn't been decided yet. So the reader ends up learning nothing, except the topic hasn't been decided yet, which is what the reader knew anyway.

10. San Diego (7-7). You figure them out. I can't.

They are a team that has a high level of talent on the roster, but can't consistently put it all together during the game. Also, Norv Turner may have had an acne problem in his youth.

15. (tie) Arizona (7-7). John "Red'' Skelton's 5-1. The only quarterback with a better winning percentage in 2011: Aaron Rodgers.

John Skelton just wins games. When do we get to start hearing those stories from the media? This would never happen because the media would never give a quarterback credit for a team's achievement while ignoring the quarterback's overall only-average performance, would they?

"Those guys are jokes. They couldn't get a f------ receiver if it hit them in the head. They haven't had any decent receivers since Jimmy Smith.''
-- Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson, to the Florida Times Union after Atlanta's 41-14 rout of the Jags Thursday night, on the quality of receivers acquired by the Jaguars over the years.
I have to say, as bad as Blaine Gabbert has been this year, I can't help but wonder how well he would play if he actually had an offensive weapon other than Maurice Jones-Drew. Or maybe if he had a wide receiver healthy that deserves to be an NFL starter, how would he look at the quarterback position then?

Kyle Orton's home record against the Green Bay Packers as a starting quarterback: 4-0.

Orton just wins games.

e. Good reporting this morning, Gerry Dulac, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dulac has Ben Roethlisberger playing tonight in San Francisco.

Great reporting by Peter. He's cited anonymous sources "who should know" who say Roethlisberger wasn't going to play and now he is citing sources saying Roethlisberger was going to play. I realize different sources are reporting different things, but reporting that something may or may not happen when we already know this doesn't do a hell of a lot of good for anyone. What's the point of citing an anonymous source "that should know" if you are also going to report two other sources who say Roethlisberger will play tonight? You confuse the issue because on one hand a "knowledgeable" source says one thing, but the majority says another. The readers learn nothing, except the anonymous source "in the know" may or may not be correct. The reader already knows that.

h. Good day for Seneca Wallace -- and for Greg Little (five catches, 131 yards).

Following up on last week's "Colt McCoy needs another year" rant by Peter, is it interesting how Greg Little had such a good game with a different quarterback throwing him the ball? Probably not, but I can't help but notice how last week Peter said Colt McCoy needed more weapons around. Then the very next week one of Colt's weapons has his best game of the year when McCoy isn't starting.

With Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy as their quarterbacks I would bet Peter thinks the Browns are covered at quarterback for the foreseeable future.

5. I think the Giants are the worst home team of any contender in the league. No, I don't think. I know.

The Eagles are a contender (again) and they are 2-5 at home. The Giants are among two other teams (Broncos/Raiders) that are 3-4 at home and are contenders. So Peter may be right, but we could argue this issue a little bit.

6. I think Sunday saved Jim Caldwell.

So none of the other games happened this year and one win saves Caldwell's job? That's a pretty low threshold to cross in order for the Colts to not fire Caldwell.

Now maybe the Colts still fire Caldwell after the season, but it would have been nearly impossible for him to come back after an 0-16 season.

A 1-15 season? Well, that's completely redeemable. Has an NFL head coach ever returned to coach his team the next season after a 1-15 season? I don't think so, but I'm not sure. Still, I don't see how one win can change ownership's mind.

f. Coffeenerdness: Sunday, 11:45 a.m., corner of Madison and 51st, Manhattan, two woman, evidently tourists, staring into an iPhone with a pink cover. One looks at me. "Starbucks,'' she said with a hint of desperation. "Where's a Starbucks?'' I say: "A hundred yards behind us, on this side of the street. Can't miss it.'' They both gasped. "Thank you!'' Sometimes, you just need caffeine.

Just an absolutely wonderfully interesting story. I wonder what readers wrote Peter how-ever-many years ago and insisted they wanted more tales of his coffee adventures? I can't help but wonder since I would guess most of his readers don't particularly care about his choice of coffee or his adventures in obtaining coffee. I could be wrong and maybe I am a part of the small minority that doesn't care about Peter's life and want to hear in-depth stories about his drinking habits.

Obviously at some point Peter thought people wanted to hear more of his "coffeenerdness," I just can't imagine who these people are.

49ers 16, Steelers 13. It looks like Ben Roethlisberger will play despite the sprained ankle.

You know, unless he didn't end up playing. Either way, we know Roethlisberger will either play or not play. That's for sure. Fortunately, by the time you are reading this we will know whether the person "who should know" was correct about Roethlisberger not playing (which he did play, just not well) or the three other people speculating he would play were correct and your life is now complete.


jacktotherack said...

"Haley was wedded to the highly marginal Tyler Palko for some reason, through four mostly poor performances, and Crennel yanked him for veteran Orton during the week."

I think Todd Haley might be the biggest dickhead in the NFL, but PK certainly isn't giving him a fair shake. Haley pulled Palko against the Bears, Orton came in, and promptly dislocated a finger on his throwing hand on the first play he was in. I don't think Haley wanted to stick with Palko, I think he was forced to. His only other option was Ricky Stanzi. Isn't Peter supposed to know shit like this?

Ericb said...

"A 1-15 season? Well, that's completely redeemable. Has an NFL head coach ever returned to coach his team the next season after a 1-15 season?"

Jimmy Johnson, 1989 Cowboys.

Ericb said...

You missed this choice comment:

"13. Denver (8-6). It wasn't Tebow's play Sunday against New England that was worrisome. It was a defense that allowed 451 yards. A sieve, that D."

Oh, I get it, when Denver wins it's all about Tebow Magic but
when they lose it's the defense's fault.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, I don't like Haley either. I always thought he was too hot-headed and emotional to get a coaching job at this point in his career. Peter is supposed to know stuff like that and I doubt he wanted to stick with Palko either. I had forgotten Orton had dislocated his finger.

Eric, that's a good point. I would say the reason he stayed around is because it was only his first year as the Cowboys head coach and it was clear the Cowboys were rebuilding. Other than that, good call. I wonder if there are any more?

I missed that one too. It is all about the Broncos defense when they lose, but when the Broncos win it is because of Tebow magic. Can't believe I missed this. I think this sums up the media's attitude toward Tebow pretty well. The defense doesn't get all the credit when the Broncos win, but when they lose it is the defense's fault.

rich said...

Haley was wedded to the highly marginal Tyler Palko for some reason, through four mostly poor performances, and Crennel yanked him for veteran Orton during the week.

Orton was picked up on 11/23, the Chief's next game was 11/27. Not a chance in hell Orton plays in that game.

Next game 12/4 - like jack said, he gets hurt on the first play he's in for.

12/11 - He's injured and unavailable.

12/18 - He plays against GB.

To echo jack, "isn't Peter supposed to know shit like this?"

I think the Giants are the worst home team of any contender in the league. No, I don't think. I know.

Is Peter aware that he can delete things on a computer? Is this supposed to sound intelligent? "I think... oh wait, no I don't think. I know" then just say you know the Giants are a bad team at home and move the fuck on.

Now maybe the Colts still fire Caldwell after the season, but it would have been nearly impossible for him to come back after an 0-16 season.

If your standards are so low that you would say "we went 0-16, time to fire our coach," then win a single game and go "nope, we're good," then God help you.

Even KC was stupid enough to hold onto their coach and he won more than one game this year and made the playoffs last year as well.

Caldwell is a terrible coach, Indy's owners should be thankful they have a chance to fire him without making a huge scene about firing a guy who "just wins games."

One looks at me. "Starbucks,'' she said with a hint of desperation. "Where's a Starbucks?'' I say: "A hundred yards behind us, on this side of the street. Can't miss it.'' They both gasped.

1. If you are in NYC and can't find a Starbucks, you are a goddamn idiot.

2. If it is almost noon and you need a coffee badly enough that you can't form a coherent question, it's time to lay off the caffeine for a bit.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, you would think Peter would know this. In Peter's defense, Tebow has been doing really well lately and he hasn't had time to pay attention to other NFL teams.

Peter is aware you can delete things from your computer, but he prefers to write like that. Not sure why. Also, it doesn't matter if the Giants are the worst home team b/c they will be a WC team and most likely have all their games on the road.

There is no way Caldwell isn't gone after this year. Jimmy Johnson excluded, there isn't any way a coach who has been with a team for longer than a year gets away with a 1-15 season and doesn't get fired.

Here's how you find the nearest NY city Starbucks. Open your eyes.

JJJJShabado said...

The 2000 San Diego Chargers went 1-15 and retained Mike Riley for another year (3 years total). I'm not even sure why they retained Riley as the Chargers changed GMs after the 2000 season.

Per this article: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=sando_mike&id=3159938

1-15 teams
1980 New Orleans Saints (Dick Nolan/Dick Stanfel) [Not returned]
1989 Dallas Cowboys (Jimmy Johnson) Not returned
1990 New England Patriots (Rod Rust) [Not returned, only year]
1991 Indianapolis Colts (Ron Meyer/Rick Venturi) [Not Returned]
1996 New York Jets (Rich Kottite) [Not Returned]
2000 San Diego Chargers (Mike Riley) [Returned]
2001 Carolina Panthers (George Seifert) [Not Returned]
2007 Miami Dolphins (Cam Cameron) [Not Returned, only year]

Ericb said...

"Is Peter aware that he can delete things on a computer? Is this supposed to sound intelligent? "I think... oh wait, no I don't think. I know" then just say you know the Giants are a bad team at home and move the fuck on"

I read somewhere that he has to have a minimum number of words in the MMQB column which is probably why there is so much non-football related padding. There's that much less actual research to do if he can pull 1/4 to 1/3 of his column out of his ass.

Bengoodfella said...

JJJJ, I didn't have time to look that up. Thanks for the information. I can see why Jimmy Johnson came back, but I am confused as well about Mike Riley. I don't think Caldwell can stick around.

Eric, that wouldn't shock me if he had a word limit. I think that is unfair to Peter. If you look at his older MMQB they were of equal quality, but not as long. I wish they would let him make it as long as it needs to be.

Murray said...

They lost because the Pats made sure the pocket stayed in tact and forced Tebow to stay in it.