Thursday, December 13, 2012

9 comments If a Tree Falls in a Forest, Can It Fall on Gregg Easterbrook?

Last week Gregg Easterbrook revealed he believes all of these regular season games the Broncos are winning the regular season could affect their ability to win the Super Bowl this year. His reasoning was something about the Colts teams with Peyton Manning only won one Super Bowl while winning a lot of regular season games and he is afraid the Broncos with Peyton Manning will do the same thing. I don't know, the playoffs can be kind of a crap shoot, so I don't think there is such thing as winning too many regular season games. Gregg also struggled with the idea of neurons and how they affect the human body. He thought everyone on the show "Revolution" should implode due to neurons affecting their body---you know what, let's just say Gregg criticized a science fiction show for its lack of accuracy and leave it at that. This week Gregg notices the Patriots have a pretty powerful offense, though he doesn't reveal exactly how this affects his belief the Patriots are still being punished for Spygate and may never win a Super Bowl again due to what he sees (saw?) as their cheating ways. Oh, and Gregg criticizes weasel college coaches while ignoring the fact two weasel coaches are meeting in BCS National Title game.

Mooooooo … that's the sound the Houston Texans' logo made as the team was roped and branded by the New England Patriots on "Monday Night Football." At rodeos, the steer puts up a fight.

I don't know how much Gregg gets paid to write TMQ, but if it is $25 per column then it is just too much money.

Teams that face Houston will study film of how the Flying Elvii shut the Texans down, forcing them to play from behind, which Houston isn't built to do.

All NFL teams have to do now is get out to a 21 point lead over the Texans. If only teams had thought of this strategy previous to seeing the Patriots employ the strategy then the Texans would not have won a game yet this year. Score as many points as possible, why didn't anyone else think of that? So what Gregg states is true, but painfully obvious. The Texans don't like to play from behind, but good luck getting a big lead on them.

Holding the ball -- New England recorded 27 first downs -- also kept the Moo Cows' offense on the sidelines, causing the Texans to press when they did have possession.

The Texans had 19 first downs and kept the ball for 29:11 in this game. The Patriots had 27 first downs and had the ball 30:49 of this game. The Patriots did a good job keeping the Texans offense on the sidelines but the time of possession was nearly equal. I hate it when statistics ruin assumptions.

In 2007, the Patriots set the NFL's single-season scoring record, averaging 37 points per game. This year's New England offense is nearly as good, averaging 36 points per game. By some measures this year's Patriots are superior -- plus-24 for turnovers versus plus-16 in 2007, 28 first downs per game versus 25 per in 2007. 

"First downs per game" is kind of a dumb way to determine how good a team's offense is. A team could score a touchdown on every pass they throw and have zero first downs in a game. What is remarkable is that Gregg shows us exactly why "first downs per game" is a potentially faulty measure of an offense's ability in his next sentence, yet is too dumb to see how he just showed the fallacy of his own statistic.

The 2007 New England offense featured quick-strike deep passes; the 2012 iteration is seventh in the NFL in rushing, and therefore controls the ball better.

Right, the Patriots average more first downs per game in 2012 because they may not be as much of a quick-strike team as they were in 2007. So "first downs per game" is probably not an accurate measure of an offense's prowess all of the time.

Right now, the New England offense rules the NFL. Yet it starts more undrafted free agents (Wes Welker, Ryan Wendell, Danny Woodhead) than first-round choices (Nate Solder, Logan Mankins).

It's a convenient time to do this, because Gregg's theory that undrafted players are better NFL players than highly drafted players seems true, so now Gregg is going to go on a "look at how many undrafted players Team X starts" rant. What Gregg fails to mention is the Patriots best running back is a second round pick (and he is the listed starter on the Patriots depth chart) and the defense has quite a few first and second round picks starting for them. They have six first or second round draft picks on defense if I am counting correctly.

The quarterback is a sixth-round selection who ousted the first overall choice in the draft.

How incredibly misleading this statement is. Drew Bledsoe was "ousted" as the New England Patriots starting quarterback because he got injured, then was traded from the Patriots after having an excellent, almost Hall-of-Fame-worthy career with New England. But to Gregg, Tom Brady simply ousted the first overall choice in the 1993 draft and there is no nuance in there at all. Let's ignore Drew Bledsoe's excellent career in order to help prove a point Gregg Easterbrook wants to make.

Against Houston, the Patriots got long touchdown catches from two players shown the door by the rest of the league (Brandon Lloyd, cut by four teams; Donte' Stallworth, cut by five teams).

Gregg conveniently leaves out Stallworth is a first round pick and has signed two contracts over his career for over $30 million each, not to mention his contract was terminated by the Browns because he was convicted of manslaughter. He killed someone while driving his car, which means he was "cut" by Gregg Easterbrook. Again, no nuance is required. Leave out the facts that don't support Gregg's point.

In an NFL in which firing assistant coaches is a New Year's Day tradition, Dante Scarnecchia has been the Pats' offensive line coach since Bill Belichick arrived.

It has helped Scarnecchia keep his job that the Patriots offensive line has always performed very well and there was no need to fire him. Success usually helps a coach keep his job.

Watch Patriots line film, and what you won't see is an offensive lineman standing around doing nothing. On almost any NFL snap, even on good teams, there's at least one offensive lineman who brushed his man then just stood there looking at the play.

"On almost any NFL snap, even on good teams, there's at least one offensive lineman who brushed his man then just stood there looking at the play."

Wow, does Gregg really convince himself his bullshit statements are true? So on nearly every single NFL play there is one offensive lineman who is doing nearly nothing? I find this to be false and Gregg has no proof his statement is true. It's just another example of him lying to his readers by making assumptions based on how he wants the NFL to be.

"Standing in" was seen as proof of quarterback manhood. Marino showed that the quick release is the smarter way -- just get rid of the ball to the first guy who's open, or get rid of the ball, period.

Gregg Eastebrook should be a quarterbacks coach. He's so knowledgeable. So you mean a quarterback needs to throw the ball to the open man or get rid of the ball if he is going to get sacked? Do tell more stories about this revolutionary way of playing quarterback that only Gregg Easterbrook knows of (Gregg assumes he is the only one to think of this revolutionary way of playing quarterback simply because he refuses to do research that would prove otherwise).

The Patriots change looks both between games and during games.

You mean the Patriots change strategies during AND after a game? They must be the only NFL team to ever do this...unless you count all of the other NFL teams that do this on a weekly basis. The Patriots simply have the personnel to do it better and just do it better overall.

The New England offense is so confident and proficient that often the primary receiver isn't covered by anyone. Against the Jets on Thanksgiving, no one covered Welker -- one of football's all-time most productive receivers -- at the goal line. Against Houston, no one covered Hernandez at the goal line.

So twice over an NFL season is considered "often?" Oh that's right, Gregg is making shit up as he is prone to do. I guess we can say the Patriots "often" beat the Texans on Monday Night Football. They did it once, so that's "often" apparently.

The football gods are smiling on this offense.

Well, until the Patriots lose in the playoffs at which point Gregg will claim the football gods were not smiling on the Patriots because of Spygate.

Many high-scoring offenses -- the Oregon Ducks in 2010, the 2005 Colts, the Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills -- are unstoppable in the regular season when defenses are giving 90 percent, then cool off in the postseason, when defenses give 100 percent.

The amount of facts that Gregg makes up in the course of a column is astounding. So far in this column Gregg has claimed the Patriots primary receiver is "often" left completely uncovered, on nearly every single play in the NFL once offensive lineman is standing around doing nothing, and defenses only give 90% during the regular season. I don't understand how ESPN lets one of their columnists absolutely just make things up. I'm not a professional writer, but when someone makes up a fact I call that "lying," which the last time I checked is not encouraged in sports journalism.

We'll see if the Patriots' attack is once again unstoppable during the regular season, then declines in January.

Yes, we'll see if the Patriots' attack "declines" in January, much like it didn't do last year when they were in the Super Bowl.

As for the Moo Cows -- they trailed 21-0 in the third quarter and punted on fourth-and-1. TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook. Who cares if Houston was on its own 18? Who cares if Houston went for it on fourth down and failed twice in the first half?

Who cares? Apparently Gregg cares since he is constantly telling us that "fortune favors the bold" and reminding us that when a coach chooses to go for it on fourth down it tells his team that he is super-serious about winning the game and it makes his team play better. Of course when a team does go for it on fourth down and fails, Gregg always has another fourth down attempt that team should have tried to convert and explains THAT TIME this team didn't go for it on fourth down is the reason they lost the game. As it pertaint to this situation, ignore the fact they failed converting on fourth down twice in the half, it was the conversion the Texans didn't try which made a difference in the game. There's always a reason why Gregg's imaginary rules fail and it is never because the rule in itself is just stupid or doesn't work 100% of the time.

The media panel that chooses the Heisman deserves the censure for endlessly picking quarterbacks or running backs. Is it because full-time professional sportswriters truly believe only these positions matter -- or because they never look at anyone other than quarterbacks and running backs?

Even when Gregg is correct, he is wrong. The Heisman voters are blinded by seeing quarterbacks and running backs make exciting plays, yes, but if you ever look at how the Heisman vote is laid out you would see the votes are aligned with the region each candidate plays in. So the Heisman voters aren't able to watch every college game, tend to vote for the Heisman candidate in their region and usually vote for a player who has made exciting plays over the season. A sportswriter who covers the Pac-10 hasn't seen enough of Chance Warmack to know if he is the best player in the country, but he has seen enough of Johnny Manziel's highlights and statistics to know the impact Manziel has on a game.

Often NFL receivers, especially star receivers, either don't block on rushing plays or make a half-hearted push, then give up.

It's infuriating how much Gregg just makes things up. So "often" NFL receivers don't block on rushing plays or don't block very aggressively? Considering we just learned "often" means "twice" to Gregg then I guess he is probably correct. I guess this means Gregg Easterbrook often hates Jewish people and thinks they worship money above all else?

Cam Newton lined up in a college-style backfield with a tailback on one side and a fullback on the other, faked to the tailback going right on a zone-read, then ran left behind a "wham" block by the fullback, legging it 72 yards for a touchdown.

What Gregg fails to mention is Steve Smith blocked for Newton 30 yards down the field on this play, even though we all know star receivers often don't block on rushing plays or give a half-hearted push and then give up.

Sour for Baltimore was that cornerback Chris Johnson, assigned to man coverage on Garçon, simply stood there and let him run past. Johnson was busy making the high school mistake of looking into the backfield trying to guess the play, rather than staying glued to his man.

Josh Morgan ran a down-and-in, and also was open -- because cornerback Cary Williams was making the high school mistake of looking into the backfield trying to guess the play.

Though City of Tampa had five to cover three downfield, cornerback E.J. Biggers did not "keep the receiver in front of him." Biggers looked like he was concerned with stopping a quick curl for the first down; when Avant went deep, Biggers let him. But there were only 16 seconds remaining, Philadelphia had to reach the end zone: when the other team has to reach the end zone fast, keep the receiver in front of you! Sour.

These are three examples of Gregg leaving out where players were drafted because this information doesn't support a contention he is trying to prove. All three of these cornerbacks were 7th round draft picks, which you wouldn't know since Gregg didn't mention it. If these were first round picks you can bet Gregg would have mentioned their draft position. Gregg is such a liar and a deceiver. It's shame there are stupid people who fail to see his hypocrisy and cherry-picking of data.

This makes it worth bearing in mind that in the offseason the Jaguars, perennially low in NFL attendance, passed on a chance to trade for Tebow. He was available for Jacksonville's third draft choice, which instead was spent on punter Bryan Anger. He's playing OK.

Anger is fifth in the NFL in net punting, eighth in punting average, and is seventh in punts downed inside the 20 yard line. I'd say that is better than "ok," but Gregg is praying no one clicks on that link to see how full of shit he is.

But a losing team that lacks support really needed a punter more than the most popular local football player in a generation? New owner Shahid Khan was billed as a master of sports marketing.

Those damn facts get in the way again! Khan's purchase for the Jaguars team wasn't finalized until after the Jaguars had drafted Anger, so he never even had a chance to trade a 3rd round pick for Tim Tebow. But still, much like how Gregg often blames Jewish people for wrongs committed in the world, let's blame Khan for something that isn't his fault at all.

Then Gregg contemplates God and how long it took him to create Earth. This type of discussion has no place in a football column, but Gregg has to fill space so he can later brag about how long TMQ is.

My new book "The Leading Indicators" has been out three weeks, is off to a very good start in stores, and would make a better gift than lasers that drill into your head.

"The Leading Indicators" is a novel about a contemporary American family caught in the Great Recession.

It's not even close to being Christmas time yet and Gregg wants us to go out and buy gifts for our family? It's Christmas Creep! We can't buy a book sooner than a day or two before Christmas, isn't that what Gregg's constant bitching about Christmas Creep tells us?

In addition to being a promise-breaker, Bielema speaks of himself using the royal We, saying as he slunk out of Wisconsin, "We gave them three straight Big Ten championships." He wasn't referring to the Badgers, he was referring to himself. Right ho, Your Majesty!

Bielema is referring to him and his coaching staff, so therefore he uses the term "we." It makes sense as long as you don't play stupid and not want it to make sense.

TMQ's Law of Weasel Coaches holds: When you hire a coach who's only in it for himself, you get a coach who's only in it for himself.

Or you will appear in the BCS National Championship Game within a few years. You know, either way. Brian Kelly is a "weasel coach" in the eyes of Gregg Easterbrook because he broke his promises at Cincinnati to go Notre Dame and Nick Saban is a "weasel coach" because he broke his promises to the Miami Dolphins to coach at Alabama. When hiring a weasel coach you will get a coach who is out for himself or you will get a coach that helps your college appear in the BCS National Championship Game.

So Tuberville looked someone in the eye, gave his word, and one day later broke his word. Why does the University of Cincinnati want to hire a head coach whose word means nothing?

Because Tuberville wins games and Cincinnati just lost their head coach to the University of Tennessee. What is their other option, hire a coach with no head coaching experience or isn't signed to a contract? Most head coaches with experience and are worth a shit are signed to a contract with another school, so college teams have to lure coaches under contract to coach their team. Gregg lives in this fantasy world where the only coaches who change teams are those not under contract, but if a coach is any good then he will be under contract. So for that coach to take another job he has to be a "weasel coach." Tommy Tuberville wins football games, which is what keeps athletic directors employed. Is Gregg really this stupid to think colleges give a shit about a coach giving "his word?" College coaches come and go, it doesn't make it right, but Cincinnati just lost their head coach to another college and wanted to hire a competent coach for their team.

San Diego leading 27-10, the Chargers ran a successful fake punt on fourth-and-2 from their own 28. Sweet! Fourth-and-short is always the best time to fake a kick. 

I guess this is as opposed to faking a kick on first or second down. I like how Gregg acts like he is telling us something when what he is saying is obvious. You mean it is easier to convert a fourth-and-short than a fourth-and-long? No way, that is very interesting, please tell me more.

Reader Paul Lowman of Kenosha, Wis., reports, "The new Superman flick 'Man of Steel' is included in this list of Most Disappointing Movies of 2012, though won't be released until 2013."

No, no, no. That's not what the article stated. Learn to read shithead, and quit lying about what articles are saying while hoping no one clicks on the link you provided. "Man of Steel" wasn't listed as a disappointing movie, but was listed as a flick that was pushed to 2013. Reading is FUN-damental.

Harbaugh could have gone for two confident that even if the Ravens missed, Mike Shanahan would have been afraid to go for two at 27-26, because then he would have been blamed for a Redskins lose. 

Yes, he would have been blamed for a Redskins lose. What's a "lose" again? For a guy who brags about what a great novel writer he is in TMQ, Gregg's editorial skills seem lax here. If I were Gregg, I would say "often" he has grammatical errors in his columns.

The Football Gods Chortled No. 3: Buffalo and City of Tampa both lost at home by surrendering last-second touchdowns. Bills and Bucs defenders dropped what looked like easy interceptions on the down before the opponents' win.

So why would the football gods "chortle?" Didn't the football gods make these players drop the easy interceptions, since Gregg seems to believe football gods control the outcome of games when a team doesn't go for it on fourth down? So why would they chortle (and seriously, who the fuck "chortles" anymore?) when their plan worked and the Bills/Buccaneers lost?

Why do I ask such stupid questions that really have no answer?

Next Week: Shahid Khan calls the Jaguars' 2-11 record "a bit of a sticky wicket." 

I guess this is supposed to be funny because Khan is Pakistani. I should just be happy Gregg didn't use a slur against people of Jewish origin since he "often" shows his hatred for those of the Jewish faith. 


rich said...

Danny Woodhead

Danny Woodhead does not start. In fact, Danny Woodhead barely fucking plays.

just get rid of the ball to the first guy who's open, or get rid of the ball, period.

The first part of this is "no shit," the second part is the reason why Brett Favre set the INT record.

Many high-scoring offenses -- the Oregon Ducks in 2010, the 2005 Colts, the Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills

The 2007 NE Patriots, you know Gregg, the team you just spent a paragraph talking about.

passed on a chance to trade for Tebow.

Holy shit, does Gregg even pay attention during the off-season? Both the Jets and Jags offered the Broncos the same exact picks and Denver, in a classy move, let Tebow decide. Tebow chose the Jets, the Jags didn't "pass up" on him.

Bills and Bucs defenders dropped what looked like easy interceptions on the down before the opponents' win.

That's why they play defense. If they had such good god damn hands, they'd be playing offense.

Isn't that something Gregg complains about constantly? "God, I hate how teams put their best players on offense" and then bemoans the D droping "easy" (it's not fucking easy) interceptions.

If your safety or DB had the hands of a WR... they'd be playing WR.

JJJJShabado said...

In what exactly underscores the point, George Wilson was who dropped the interception in the Bills game, is a converted Wide Receiver (now a Strong Safety).

TMQ is very frustrating because he's on his way to making points, but does it in the most idiotic way. With regards to not punting, the message to your defense isn't totally ridiculous, but fortune favors the bold is asinine. (There is logic behind it in that your not that much worse off even if you miss. It is true that prior outcomes shouldn't entirely guide your thought process). Gregg doesn't need to go to the lack of context/hiding stuff to make his point. Aaron Schatz does an excellent job of this type of analysis. Schatz's point is always, don't make a grandstanding point out of points where there isn't much difference.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, Stevan Ridley (2nd round pick) is the starter. That is very true.

Also, what are Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, and Chandler Jones...all first round draft picks.

Ah crap, I forgot that Tebow chose not to go to Jacksonville. Really that is a no-lose decision since both QB's will eventually lose their job, but I forgot he got a choice.

That is something Gregg talks about approximately every other teams put their best players on offense instead of defense. I guess he should expect dropped passes like that one.

FJ said...

Just wanted to say I look forward to you tearing apart Easterbrook every week during the season. Masterful job this week. Definitely good for a few laughs; keep it up!

waffleboy said...

Wow, Gregg is the worst. I mean this is like some sort of performance art. Although seeing as ESPN has Gregg on the internet, Colin Cowherd on the radio, and Skip Bayless on TV leads me to believe that somewhere out there is a "troll strategy" business plan floating around ESPN's headquarters

Martin F. said...

Everything I was going to say, Rich said first. Fuck yeah Rich! I stopped "reading" TMQ's article when I got to the "Danny Woodhead, starter" part. After that I sort of meandered through it looking for Dark Knight references. I'm glad Ben still reads them for me.

Bengoodfella said...

FJ, thanks. I appreciate it. It's nice to be able to put some energy into tearing Easterbrook apart every week. He's just so awful even if I didn't write here 4-5 times a week then I would still try to post TMQ.

Waffle, no kidding. I do think they have a trolling strategy. It's about ratings to them. I would love to know how many hate-read TMQ and how many read it b/c they like it.

Martin, that's what I am here for. I read it and talk about it so you don't have to. Woodhead gets a few snaps, but Ridley is the guy who is on pace for 1000 I would consider him to be the starter.

Eric C said...

Don't forget ESPN having Rob Parker - another one of their impressive stable of trolls. When Stephen A. Smith is the voice of reason, that is a bad day. It would be one thing if this was the only thing he had done, but if he can call Hank Aaron a coward to get attention, he will do it.

Regarding Cowherd, ESPN radio had Max Kellerman on the air and then replaced him with Cowherd. I can't even listen to Cowherd, he is godawful. I tried because he is on during my commute, but no. I swear when I see a one-car accident on the way to work it must have been someone who's radio was stuck on ESPN radio and just wouldn't shut off.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, Rob Parker's latest comments were terrible. I have a post coming (at some point) about that. He's the worst.

I have a friend who really likes listening to Cowherd and claims as long as you know he is a troll and accept that he is easier to listen to. I'm not sure that would work for me.