Wednesday, January 9, 2013

14 comments Gregg Easterbrook Becomes the First to Notice Russell Wilson is Pretty Good

In last week's TMQ Gregg Easterbrook warned us all about the pending alien invasion that we are naively ignoring, he wondered if it really did any good to fire the same NFL head coaches who he criticizes on a weekly basis for not being good at their job, and said the Bills need to hire a young, ambitious coach unlike the two young, ambitious coaches they hired over the last decade. This week Gregg discovers after 17 games that Russell Wilson might be the NFL's best young quarterback. All it took was for Wilson to beat Gregg's Redskins and now Gregg is noticing Russell Wilson is actually pretty good at his job. Gregg also has typically idiotic thoughts on the playoff games and head coaches.

The quarterbacks who went first and second in the NFL draft lost in the playoffs on the same day;

Further proof quarterbacks selected later in the draft are better than these highly-paid, glory boy first round picks. Let's allow Gregg to ignore the fact three of the four teams with a bye have a starting quarterback selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft and of the eight teams left in the playoffs, four of these teams have quarterbacks drafted in the first round. That's not important. What is important is Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin lost on the same day and this is proof teams needs to look for their franchise quarterback in the later rounds of the draft.

the other first-round quarterbacks from the latest draft didn't make the playoffs; the last man standing is Russell Wilson, passed on by all teams 'til the middle rounds of the draft because at 5-foot-11, he is "too short."

If Russell Wilson is too short, give me short!

Great point. Write a haiku about it.

Facing Baltimore, first overall selection Andrew Luck wilted under a steady blitz. Experienced quarterbacks want to be blitzed -- if Baltimore tries the same at Denver, Peyton Manning will eat the Ravens' lunch.

But Gregg, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck run the same offense with the same offensive linemen who were chosen high in the NFL Draft. You said last week,

The Colts had been using high draft choices on offensive linemen, hoping to protect Manning and prolong his career: that meant Luck stepped into a situation with a stout pass-blocking unit.

What happened to that stout pass-blocking unit Gregg claims the Colts have? Could it be Gregg is now trapped in his own web of lies and is only left to hope his audience is too stupid to figure this out? Yes, the answer is yes, Gregg Easterbrook routinely lies and misleads his readers in TMQ. Sometimes Gregg contradicts one of his previous lies and then just glazes over it in the hopes his readers don't notice. 

RG III throws himself at a defense, taking big hits. Experienced quarterbacks avoid big hits. But Griffin is just a rookie, and looked like one during his first-round exit.

Nevermind the fact Griffin was playing on one leg, the fact Griffin led the Redskins to a 14-0 led when he was healthier early in the game doesn't impress Gregg at all.

Then there was Wilson. Washington blitzed him hard, and by the fourth quarter, he wanted to be blitzed, because he was beating this tactic like a veteran -- see more below. Wilson ran for 67 yards, including the game's longest rush, but whenever a defender had him in his sights, he stepped out of bounds, slid or threw the ball away.

The Redskins sacked Russell Wilson five times in this game. So the Redskins blitz got to Wilson at times during the game and he didn't step out of bounds, slide or throw the ball away "whenever" a defender had him in his sights. Wilson did handle the blitz well, but to indicate the Redskins blitzing didn't work would be wrong. They sacked Wilson five times.

During the offseason, the Seahawks spent lavishly to acquire Matt Flynn, backup to Aaron Rodgers.

So three years $19.5 million (I think the $26 million is with all escalators being hit) is a lot of money, but I don't know if I would call it "lavishly" spending on a quarterback. It's a three year deal with about $10 million guaranteed.

Wilson was tabbed midway through the draft to be Flynn's understudy. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll saw how well Wilson performed in training camp, and had the guts to hand him the job, keeping the higher-paid quarterback on the bench. 

Two things:

1. I'm pretty sure Matt Flynn earned $2 million in 2012. That would not make him the highest paid backup quarterback. I think that award would go to Alex Smith.

2. Pete Carroll was very clear that Russell Wilson was brought in to be the starter as long as he earns it. 

As usual, Gregg is factually incorrect and no one seems to care.

By season's end, Wilson was running a full offense, and running it well. Sunday, the Seahawks faced fourth-and-1 with 3:21 remaining. In a simplified offense, Wilson would have handed off and watched. Carroll let Wilson play-fake and throw: first down, and the contest was on ice. 

Actually on that play it seemed Wilson had a run/pass option. So Carroll did let him throw the ball, but he also left the option open for Wilson to run with the ball.

Besides Wilson's talents, the opening playoff weekend showed that if there were any doubt, the NFL is a passing league.

Washington and Minnesota went into the weekend as first- and second-ranked rushing teams, and both lost. Both could not complete forward passes, and if you can't pass in a passing league, it does not matter how well you rush.

I despise the way Gregg Easterbrook writes. He says it isn't a passing league and states the Redskins and Vikings both losing proves this and he ignores four major factors when making this statement:

1. The Vikings started their backup quarterback. The Redskins started a quarterback playing on one leg. This had a major effect on how well their team was able to pass the football. This factor can not be ignored as to why the Redskins and Vikings lost.

2. Both Washington and Minnesota were good enough to make the playoffs. Isn't this proof the NFL isn't only a passing league?

3. The Seahawks were the third best team in the NFL in rushing and the 49ers were the fourth best team in rushing. In fact, out of the top 10 rushing teams in the NFL, six of these teams made the playoffs. So while Gregg prematurely and stupidly announces the fact the 1st and 2nd best rushing teams were eliminated from the playoffs, he ignores that the 3rd and 4th best rushing teams are still in the playoffs.

4. Of course if you can't pass in the NFL you can't win games. Just like teams that can't run the ball will have trouble winning games. There is one team in the Bottom 10 of the NFL in rushing yards that made the playoffs.

Gregg needs to stop being stupid and stop lying to his audience in an effort to prove a point and further his own bizarre agenda.

It's a passing league. Rushing helps but is not the determining factor. If you don't have a top quarterback, in the NFL you are toast.

This has been a true statement in the NFL, passing league or running league, for a long time now. It's kind of an obvious statement at this point.

Stats of the Week No. 8: After the 2008 (Arizona), 2009 (Indianapolis) and 2011 (Giants) regular seasons, the lowest-ranked rushing team made the Super Bowl. After the 2012 regular season the 29th-ranked rushing team (Atlanta) won the NFC first seed. 

Right, but the fourth ranked rushing team won the NFC second seed. The first, second, and third ranked rushing team won the NFC fourth, sixth, and fifth seed in the NFC. You know, so there's that.

Washington blitzed a lot against Seattle, knocking the Seahawks back out of field goal range with a big blitz on third-and-9. Now Seattle, trailing 14-13, faces third-and-10 on its 46 with nine minutes remaining. Washington blitzes five. Russell Wilson by this point expects the blitz and hits tight end Zach Miller with a quick curl for a 22-yard gain,

Again, the Redskins did sack Russell Wilson five times in this game. So the blitzing worked at times and I wouldn't consider a five man blitz on third-and-10 to be an exceptionally risky blitz. It just so happens the Russell Wilson managed to find an open man, but if the Redskins had rushed four I can't help but think Gregg would mention how the Redskins had sacked Wilson five times already and screwed up by only rushing four.

Penn State Miasma Gets Even Deeper: TMQ lauds Bill O'Brien for not walking out after a single year for more money in the NFL. Forswearing big bucks in order to keep his promise to a troubled college speaks well of O'Brien as a person of character.

So interviewing for an NFL job is keeping your promise and Gregg sees nothing wrong with this, but actually taking an NFL job you have interviewed for makes you a weasel coach who walks out on his promises? I'm pretty sure the initial interview is the first step towards "breaking promises."

Character is not a word that comes to mind regarding Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. As Pennsylvania's attorney general, in 2009 he convened a grand jury on the Penn State football child rape allegations, then known to only a handful of people beyond the victims. More than two years passed before the allegations became an indictment. Legal proceedings often are slow, but should be accelerated when there is reason to suspect ongoing crimes. Instead Corbett took his time. Inaugurated as governor in January 2011, Corbett acquired a seat on the Penn State board of trustees, yet said nothing about his knowledge that there was all but certainly a monster loose on the campus, again failing to prevent future victims.

Sometimes law enforcement officials tolerate having criminals on the loose in order to set traps for them -- this is the nature of stings. But Corbett set no traps for Jerry Sandusky, Corbett just dragged his feet.

Corbett should have set traps for Jerry Sandusky. I don't know why, but I am laughing at the idea of the Pennsylvania governor running around at night wearing a black ski mask trying to tempt Jerry Sandusky into a trap using random little boys he finds on the street as bait. It's disturbing, but I have a very "The Naked Gun"-type scene running through my head of the governor dressed like a thief in all black luring little boys into a van so he can use them as bait and then showing up at the governor's house late at night with the child. Actually, remind me to remind myself to edit this part out of this TMQ.

Seriously, the scene I can see in my head of the governor personally setting a trap for Sandusky is quite funny. Perhaps I should act it out to make it seem less like I am turning sad events into cheap comedy.

One reason Bill Belichick's Patriots have been a dominant postseason team is that they practice outside. The Flying Elvii are 57-14 under Belichick from Dec. 1 on, partly because they practice in cold and are not afraid to play in the cold.

The Patriots are also 57-14 under Belichick from December 1 on because the Patriots are a really good football team who have won a lot of football games under Bill Belichick. I'm sure this has less to do with the Patriots record in December than the cold weather though. It's all about the weather on the field, not the talent on the field.

Had Colts receivers not dropped so many passes, the outcome might have been different.

If the Vikings had access to football players riding dragons instead of just human football players I would really like their chances of winning the Super Bowl.

Ray Lewis, playing his final game before the Baltimore crowd, also dropped a routine catch. An errant Luck throw hit Lewis on the hands: he bobbled it twice, then the ball hit the ground.

It's almost like Ray Lewis is a linebacker and not a wide receiver.

In retrospect, it may be that the reason Tim Tebow was able to take the Broncs to the playoffs last season is that the club was on the upswing of a talent cycle. Offensive line, front seven, secondary -- the Broncos have quality and depth. 

This is not really in retrospect, I think it was quite clear at the time that the Broncos had a lot of talent on the offensive line and on defense. Considering the defense is what kept the Broncos in most games as Tebow flailed around behind the line of scrimmage trying to complete a pass for the first three quarters, I think it is safe to say it was probably known at the time the Broncos had talent.

Obama achieved the political goal of raising taxes on the top 1 percent. For some, this was visceral: The Democratic Party's left wing longs to punish the making of money. The president's motive was straightforward: in November, the public voted for higher taxes on the rich, so Obama fulfilled a campaign promise. Increased taxation of the rich clearly was necessary, but also was the sole politically attractive fiscal maneuver available. Now it's been used up -- the arrow has been shot. Tax-the-rich is no longer available as a deficit-fighting policy alternative.

Oh no, it's not done yet. Obama can still tax you and your rich friends even more, just because he likes to watch you squirm.

I'm kidding...sort of...but the government can still tax the rich even more. Don't underestimate the government's ability to put your dollars in their pocket.

Defense cuts, entitlement reductions, more taxes on the middle class -- there's no long-term solution (other than an eight-cylinders economic boom) that does not involve defense and entitlement cuts plus raising taxes on average people, who for a generation have enjoyed steadily higher government benefits at lower federal income-tax rates.

The fucking middle class always messing things up by working hard enough to earn sufficient money to not need government entitlement programs, but not working hard enough to make enough money to not have to worry about money. The middle class is always screwing every other income bracket over with their insistence on maintaining full-time employment and doing the jobs that wealthy people like Mitch Albom and Gregg Easterbrook have too much pride to do.

Medicare taxes on the affluent were already scheduled to rise this year by 0.9 percent to underwrite part of Obamacare. (They are only 0.9 percent increases, certainly not 1 percent increases!)

The difference in a 0.9 percent increase over a 1.0 percent increase is millions of dollars. This isn't hyper-specific because it represents large amounts of money. Don't be so intentionally ignorant Gregg.

As for Chip Kelly, who has interviewed for three NFL jobs in recent days, why did he consider leaving his great gig at Oregon -- fabulous program, beautiful place to live, adoring college press corps, automatic win after automatic win -- for the knives-in-the-back environment of the NFL? Yes, the NFL pays more. But if you're making $3 million a year, Kelly's reported Oregon salary, money should not be your big concern in life.

Probably for the same reason Gregg would leave writing to start writing for a prestigious magazine. It's like Gregg has a fundamental non-understanding of why people choose to make the decisions they make in regard to their career. Gregg sees himself as content and happy and can't understand why anyone else in a "perfect" situation wouldn't feel the same way. Gregg is very holier-than-thou about nearly everything as if he has never moved laterally in his career or gone from a good working situation to a working situation he sees as slightly better. If Time Magazine called him tomorrow and asked him to write a weekly column at the expense of writing TMQ I have no doubt he would take the gig, yet he asks why Chip Kelly wants to move from college football to the NFL.

Minnesota at Green Bay: Any doubts about whether the NFL is now a passing league were resolved when the Vikings tried to perform with the sport's best running back but no quarterback. Why Minnesota did not simply have Adrian Peterson and Joe Webb alternate rushing in opposite directions is vexing.

What the hell? What kind of offensive game plan is having the quarterback and running back run in opposite directions? It would take maybe one drive for the Packers defense to figure out how to stop this. Plus, the Vikings probably haven't practiced a play like this very much. Again, Gregg shows his lack of footbal knowledge in believing the Vikings can just draw a play in the sand and have it immediately start working without the offense practicing this play.

Trailing 24-3 with nine minutes remaining, the Vikings punted on fourth-and-2. Who cares if the spot was the Minnesota 17, that punt made victory impossible. It's the playoffs, there is no tomorrow! Going for it might have kept Minnesota's slim hopes alive.

No, the Vikings were not winning this game regardless if they went for it here and converted.

Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 54 times so far because defenses don't need to honor the run. Green Bay's leading rusher for the season, Alex Green, had 464 yards. Thirty-seven players, including three quarterbacks, ran for more. It is a passing league, but that does not mean a team can advance by passing solely. 

So Gregg thinks the NFL is a passing league where a team has to pass the football to succeed. A team can go far in the playoffs and make the Super Bowl without a good running game is his opinion. The Packers do not have a good running game, but because they don't have a good running game their quarterback gets sacked a lot. Gregg thinks this lack of a running game could prevent the Packers from advancing despite the fact he said earlier in this column if a team can throw the ball well, then that team could make the Super Bowl, and a team doesn't need a good running game to make the Super Bowl. You figure it out because I can't. All I can figure is an NFL team needs a running game unless they don't need a running game. Gregg will just wait until the end of the season to decide which position is correct.

The national television audience got a look at Skins rookie back Alfred Morris, the league's No. 2 rusher who complied two 1,000-yard rushing seasons at Florida Atlantic, then slipped to the sixth round because he is "too slow" at 4.7.

Well, that and he played for a college team that won one game last year. I also enjoy it when Gregg uses quotes for a criticism that I can't specifically find. What exactly is he quoting if there isn't anyone who actually said those words? I found three pre-draft evaluations of Morris and in neither one was he called "too slow."

Here's another scouting report that doesn't call Morris "too slow."

On the second Washington touchdown pass, a wide receiver went in motion left then ran an arrow into the left flat, drawing the safeties away from backup tight end Logan Paulsen, an undrafted player who rarely sees the ball.

Logan Paulsen had 25 catches this season for 308 yards. In fact, he didn't really start getting receptions until the seventh game of the year after Fred Davis got injured, so he essentially had two catches per game. Paulsen doesn't rarely get the football.

Carroll has taught his defense to force the ball back inside on zone-read plays, which is the adjustment the whole league will make next season. Note that in the other San Francisco-Seattle game, Alex Smith started, the Forty Niners played a pro-style offense, and the Forty Niners won -- something Harbaugh/West might think about if the Hawks and Niners meet in the NFC title game.

So Harbaugh will think about starting Alex Smith in the NFC Championship Game after starting Colin Kaepernick in every game since Smith's concussion? If Harbaugh wasn't going to start Kaepernick, does Gregg really think Harbaugh would design a game plan to take away the strengths of Colin Kaepernick? Starting Alex Smith in the NFC Championship Game would be stupid after not having started Smith over the last half of the season, as would completely changing the game plan to go against Kaepernick's strengths. The 49ers still run a pro-style offense with Kaepernick anyway, so Gregg is wrong on just so many levels.

After the first quarter, Washington just couldn't throw -- the 'Skins completed six passes in the first quarter and seven passes for the rest of the game. It's a passing league, and if you can't complete passes you can't win

This doesn't explain how the Packers can complete passes, but Gregg thinks they can't win because they can't run the ball. So basically, a team can't win in the playoffs if they can't run and pass the ball. Isn't this a pretty obvious line of reasoning?

After Griffin left, Kirk Cousins completed a couple of passes, and there was still time for a comeback. Then Seattle blitzed six, causing an incompletion; blitzed five, causing an incompletion; and blitzed seven, causing an incompletion on fourth down. Each time at least one rusher came through the Washington line unblocked, practically beating the snap to Cousins. 

Remember how bad Gregg thinks blitzing is? Stop me before I blitz again! Yet, it seemed to work in this situation. It's almost like there aren't blanket rules for what an NFL team should or should not do.

When Washington scored to make it 13-0 late in the first quarter, Seattle was called for roughing the passer. The penalty was enforced on the kickoff, which became a touchback. That enforcement was coach's choice -- Mike Shanahan could have had the penalty enforced on the try. That would have moved the spot to the Seattle 1. If Washington had taken the penalty on the try, then gone for two -- the Skins averaged 4.5 yards rushing on the night -- Seattle would have been reeling, down 15-0. 

Seattle felt comfortable at 14-0, but if the Redskins had gone up 15-0 then the Seahawks would have been dazed and reeling. Of course, there is also the chance the Redskins could have not gotten the two-point conversion and only been up 13-0. I wonder how the Seahawks would have felt at 13-0. Either way, it is clear to Gregg the Redskins would have won the game if they had gone for two.

Instead of a chance to put the visitor on the ropes early, Shanahan took a touchback, which the kickoff might have been regardless. 

So how were the Seahawks not on the ropes at 14-0, but 15-0 would have just obliterated their fight in this game and inevitably led to a Redskins win.

For all the attention to the final home game of Ray Lewis, this might have been the final home game of London Fletcher, who plays the same position. Fletcher's career is the same length as Lewis's, his career stats for tackles, interceptions and sacks are just slightly below those of Lewis. Both have won Super Bowls; Fletcher was an undrafted free agent from a Division III college, while Lewis was a No. 1 choice from a football factory. That Fletcher has achieved so much as an undrafted player from a little school is in some ways more impressive than Lewis's achievements -- and unlike Lewis, Fletcher has never been a lawbreaker.

Yet Lewis is a mega-star and Fletcher is some guy in pads. One can't help thinking the core difference between them is that Lewis dances, struts and points at himself.

The fact Ray Lewis has more endorsements is probably a good reason why he gets more recognition, but Lewis has also played his entire career with one NFL team. London Fletcher has played for three NFL teams and rarely been seen as the face of his team. Granted, Lewis may be the face of his team because he struts, but Lewis is a more high-profile player. There's your difference.

Six years ago, Boise State used a behind-the-back Statue of Liberty handoff to defeat Oklahoma in a big bowl game. You'd think the Sooners would be wary of this play!

Gregg, that was six years ago with a different coaching staff and completely different players. Teams don't remember one single play that happened six years ago and then constantly stay on-guard for this play to happen again. Some of the Oklahoma players were barely teenagers when Boise State ran the Statue of Liberty handoff.

Some Division I coaches have contracts with buyout clauses. Essentially a buyout clause says, "Here are the circumstances under which we will permit you to shaft us." Why do colleges offer such deals?

In order to hire a quality head coach the college probably has to offer this clause in the contract. A person may not take a head coaching job if there is no buyout clause allowing him to leave the college for a better job. Contrary to what Gregg believes, most people want to be promoted and excel in their line of work. No head coach is going to sign a contract without a buyout option. I don't get why Gregg criticizes those who want to do better for themselves and can't understand why some employees aren't sufficiently happy in their current job and wouldn't want to stay in that job forever. He's elitist that way in believing no one else but him should want to excel in life.

If a college hiring a coach assumes his intent is to break his word the instant greenbacks are waved, why hire him? 

Because most colleges, especially mid-major colleges, understand in order to hire a quality head coach they are going to need to face the idea they could lose that coach at some point. Colleges with larger endowments could have the chance to increase the salary of the coach if he threatens to leave for another head coaching job, but buyouts are the price of hiring quality head coaching talent.

Many businesses deal with this problem by noncompete clauses. Such a clause typically says, "If you decide you want to leave before the term of the contract is complete, you are forbidden to take a similar job in the same industry until the term would have been finished." Noncompete clauses protect businesses from being used as leverage by key employees who aren't honest about the long-term plans.

Non-compete clauses are also used to restrain trade, reduce the options of employees, and threaten employees into staying with the current company for fear of a lawsuit filed. Gregg also has the definition of a non-compete agreement somewhat incorrect. They are primarily used to prevent trade secrets from being used or key customers from being lured away by an ex-employee to the benefit of another company. Gregg sort of has that correct, but a non-compete isn't designed to go until the term of the contract is finished. Most American employees don't work under a contract so if an employee was forbidden to take a similar job in the same industry until the term was finished that could mean the employee could not take a similar job in the industry until he retired. The term would be either (a) death or (b) retirement since most employees don't work under a contract.

Non-compete agreements usually don't read as saying, "You can't leave our company for three years and go to a competing company within a radius of 200 miles."

They usually read as saying, "You can't work for a competing company within a radius of 200 miles for three years after terminating employment with your current company."

So there is no term of contract and the term doesn't usually start in a non-compete until employment with your current company is severed. So because most employees don't have contracts, the term of employment wouldn't be until the employee leaves the company,. This means using Gregg's definition an employee could never seek work in the same field over a defined radius for a defined period of time because any employee leaving the company has left before his/her non-existent term of contract was complete, since there is no term of contract.

Why don't football factory universities put noncompete clauses in head coaches' contracts?

For two reasons:

1. No coach would be employed by a school that forced him to sign a non-compete clause. It can be seen as showing a fundamental lack of trust in the head coach. The school can fire him at any time, but he can't get another job while he is under contract.

2. Non-compete clauses are used to restrict trade secrets from being shared. I could see a situation where a coach would not be allowed to take recruits or current players with him to another school, but I'm pretty sure that would restrict college choice and is seen as illegal. A college head coach often has his own offensive/defensive system he uses, so if he went to another school there is no football trade secret he would be sharing with his new employer. Plus, there has to be a degree of reasonableness in the non-compete agreement. It's not reasonable for the extent of a non-compete agreement in regard to a football coach to extend over the entire United States. There's no trade secret that important in football.

Footnote: When Lewis sent in the kicking unit on fourth-and-2, Andy Dalton passively trudged off the field. Brett Favre, Tom Brady, even young-gun RG III -- they would have gone nuts if the coach wouldn't let them try to win in this situation. Next season, Dalton needs to become a leader. 

So one of the sure signs of being a leader and showing leadership is to publicly question your coach's decision? I'm not sure if I see that as leadership. I remember earlier this year when Cam Newton lightly (and rightly) questioned the play-calling of the offensive coordinator. I don't remember Gregg lauding Newton for showing true leadership by questioning his coach's decision. Instead, he (semi-rightfully) got shit from sportswriters for questioning his coach's play-calling. Why didn't Gregg say that Cam was becoming a leader for questioning his coach? Isn't that how he is supposed to show leadership? Maybe Gregg thinks if you throw a hissy-fit on the field that's true leadership, while comments at a press conference are not.

Trailing 19-10 with 9 minutes remaining, Cincinnati faced fourth-and-2 on the Houston 30. When Marvin Lewis sent in the field goal unit, TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook.

Playing at home, the Texans were stopped on third-and-3, third-and-2 and third-and-2. Matt Schaub created a pick-six by throwing an awful sideways pass to the inside shoulder of a fullback running a slow flare route. And if Dalton had not badly overthrown A.J. Green open in the end zone late, Cincinnati might have prevailed.

So I guess this means the game wasn't over when Gregg wrote "game over" in his Selena Gomez Trapper Keeper notebook. This also means Marvin Lewis didn't make a bad call by going for the field goal on fourth-and-2 on the Houston 30 yard line since the Bengals were one bad throw away from winning the game. So not only is Gregg wrong, he's too dumb to see how he just proved himself wrong twice.

Next Week: Divisional round builds hope, fuels worry. 

Next week: Gregg Easterbrook builds idiotic argument, fuels anger. 


JR Ewing Theory said...

Gregg: it would be perfectly fine if you just admitted you have nothing to say. And by "admitting", I mean, "don't ever post another column again".

I hope he sent this via the Postal Service; it would add another layer to the phrase "mailed it in".

Yes Ben, I have returned; what are my orders?

Steve said...

He is just an awful awful writer, everything is ignorant and biased towards and incorrect point that he is trying to shove down the readers throats, as always good job breaking down his column

jacktotherack said...

Trailing 19-10 with 9 minutes remaining, Cincinnati faced fourth-and-2 on the Houston 30. When Marvin Lewis sent in the field goal unit, TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook.

Playing at home, the Texans were stopped on third-and-3, third-and-2 and third-and-2. Matt Schaub created a pick-six by throwing an awful sideways pass to the inside shoulder of a fullback running a slow flare route. And if Dalton had not badly overthrown A.J. Green open in the end zone late, Cincinnati might have prevailed.

That might be the most infuriating thing Gregggggg has ever written. How does this asshole not realize that the results of the game clearly show his dumbass "game over" proclamation was completely wrong. If Andy Dalton didn't suck the Bengals would have gone ahead 20-19, and it would have been because Marvin Lewis decided to kick a field goal down 19-10.

Fuck Gregg.

moedrabowsky said...

London Fletcher won a Super Bowl with the Rams. Gregggggg had him not winning one before the cloumn was published

Gregggggg wrong again and TWWL evidently has no one to edit until after it's published.

rich said...

Experienced quarterbacks want to be blitzed

Yes sir, Tom Brady had his two best games of his career in Super Bowls 42 and 46 when he faced a variety of blitz schemes.

Yet Lewis is a mega-star and Fletcher is some guy in pads

This is offensive in several ways.
First, most people know who London Fletcher is. He's made 3 Pro Bowls and was an alternate for a fourth. He left St. Louis for a bigger contract and then left Buffalo for a bigger contract.

He just finished a 5/25M contract and just resigned for 2/10.75M. No one thinks he's just "some guy in pads," but Gregg wants to feel like he appreciates London Fletcher more than the rest of us.

Second, Lewis is a "mega star" because he's everywhere. He went to a big school, came into the league and got into the middle of a murder investigation.

He also stayed with the same team his entire career, Fletcher hasn't. While both have Super Bowl rings, Lewis won his on a team known for the defense (in which he was an established leader); Fletcher won his on a team featuring the "Greatest Show on Turf."

It's not that Fletcher isn't a star player, it's that he's shied away from the public spotlight and that's probably his personal choice.

One reason Bill Belichick's Patriots have been a dominant postseason team is that they practice outside. The Flying Elvii are 57-14 under Belichick from Dec. 1 on

So the contention is that the Patriots are dominant in the playoffs because they practice outside. The "proof" is that they're really good after December 1.

Why choose Dec. 1? Because if you look at BB's playoff record with the Patriots, it's "only" 16-6 and Gregggggg thinks we're all too stupid to realize that going 16-6 in the playoffs is incredible.

The fact is that 13 of those 16 wins have come in years that the Patriots have made the Super Bowl (three wins, 2 losses). So in the 7 non-SB making years, he's 3-4.

That's not to take anything away from that, having 5 teams make the SB in 12 years is absurd, but each of those 5 years they had a bye week. As you pointed out Ben, this just means they've had some really good teams, where they practice has absolutely zero influence on that record.

They also aren't good because they practice outside. They practice outside because they have at least one home game... where they know they'll play outside. Shocking that when you know you'll be playing in your home stadium, you might practice in the conditions the game might be played in.

Snarf said...

I think you guys may be severely underrating Lewis/the reason he gets more attention. Despite having better numbers in fewer games played, he was also the best player and undisputed player on a team that ranks undisputedly in the top 5 and has an argument as best ever with the 2000 ravens. Also, he was the best player/leader of a ravens d that ranks either 1 or 2 in almost every defensive category across the last decade along with Pittsburgh. Fletcher has been on some meh defenses. Also, look at their Super Bowls. Fletcher rode the GSOT while Lewis was sb MVP. I think it goes way beyond "having more endorsements."

Eric C said...

So is Gregg saying Belichick is doing something wrong since he has won ONLY 69% of his games before December 1, as compared to 80% afterwards?

He should provide context. How do coaches with a history of success - Coughlin, Tomlin, McCarthy, Reid, Payton - fare from December on versus Belichick? (Chose those because they have some history of success).

It's like he is saying "Player X has scored a touchdown in every single game he played." without mentioning Player X played in a single game. Or that Player X is in the Bulgarian Football League where they score 80 touchdowns a game. And probably don't have a punter because Bulgarians aren't allowed to kick things or something.

Bengoodfella said...

JR, I did not give up on you. I figured you would be back at some point, plus I am really lazy when it comes to updating the design of the site. If you notice, the banner that Dylan put together two years ago is now almost completely irrelevant. Almost every coach has been fired, every player is on a different team, etc.

My orders for you, if I am giving them, is to figure out what kind of blog you want to write. all-Simmons all the time? If so, there is a huge market for that. Either way, you will stay linked.

Steve, that about sums it up doesn't it?

Jack, this makes me believe he is trolling the audience. He writes a dumb comment about the game being over and then just a few paragraphs later he writes that the game was not over and the Bengals could have won. Which is it?

Moe, I didn't see the one where he had Fletcher not having won a Super Bowl. I wish I could have caught that in time so I would have been able to include it.

Rich, I don't think they are the same player at all. The numbers seem to say they are, but as Snarf said, Lewis was the best LB on one of the greatest defenses of all-time and has been the face of the franchise. London Fletcher hasn't done commercials (which does have something to do with it, Greg Jennings and B.J. Raji are more high-profile b/c of their commercials) and hasn't been on a historically dominant defense like Ray Lewis has. Maybe the differences are too subtle for Gregg.

You are also right about the home conditions. The Patriots practice outside because they are playing outside and their record is good in December because they are a good team. Nice breakdown of their record in SB years v. non-Super Bowl years.

Snarf, I did understate it a bit in the post. There is more than just the endorsement deals that shows the difference in Lewis and Fletcher. I didn't feel the need to go into further specifics because I thought the differences were obvious. I did understate it with how I presented the difference in terms of endorsements, but I think that has something to do with it. Still, the big difference is Ray Lewis has been a great LB on great defensive teams, while Fletcher hasn't been on a dominant defense.

The SB MVP is another difference. It was the Rams offense that got publicity while it was Lewis and the Ravens defense that got them to the Super Bowl. He has a better legacy because of the context of his numbers. I realize that, but didn't mean to underrate the differences. Numbers-wise, it is a somewhat interesting comparison, but the reason for their respective fame goes beyond the numbers.

Eric, part of Gregg's schtick is that he doesn't provide context. Context could prove his points as wrong or fallible. He throws out a comment or statistic without context in an effort to be correct. It's very annoying and lazy of him.

Context is Gregg's enemy.

Snarf said...

Anyway, didn't mention it in my above comment, but wonderful dissection of Gregg's nonsense as always.

Eric C said...

Had Colts receivers not dropped so many passes, the outcome might have been different.

I am SHOCKED he didn't point this out:
Reggie Wayne - 1st round pick (17 targets, 9 receptions)
TY Hilton - 3rd round pick (13 targets, 8 receptions)
Dwayne Allen (TE) - 3rd round pick (6 targets, 2 receptions)
Donnie Avery - 2nd round pick (8 targets, 2 receptions)
Coby Fleener (TE) - 2nd round pick (5 targets, 3 receptions)

Snarf said...

One thing that bugs me about this sort of analysis (i.e. "Had Colts receivers not dropped so many passes, the outcome might have been different") is that catching is a key tenant of the game of football along with passing, running, kicking, etc. So in a way it's similar to saying "If the Colts had better players who could do their jobs better, the outcome might have been different." It's somewhat nitpicky in this case, but I feel that it's incredibly obnoxious when used to discredit a team's victory (not saying it is in this case) because the loser made mistakes.

On a side note, you may as well update the side bar to show Gregg as 4-0 for playoff predictions. He made his in hindsight, but he made them.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, thanks. I think you are right. Catching passes is a fundamental part of football and shouldn't be used as a way to discredit the other team. Catching the ball is a skill, so it isn't a discredit to the opposition that the opposing team didn't catch passes.

Gregg is going to go 11-0 in the playoffs in hindsight.

Eric, I am a little surprised he didn't point that out too. Hilton fell in the draft, Avery was "unwanted" by other teams, and Fleener went to Stanford which is dedicated to getting athletes who get good grades. That's all I can figure as to why Gregg didn't mention it. I know he has an agenda, I just can't figure out exactly what it is.

JR Ewing Theory said...

That Green Bay rushing attack is really weak. I don't know why Aaron Rodgers and Alex Green don't just rush in opposite directions on every play.

Gggggg seems to think that there are plays in the NFL that are completely indefensible, and by logical inference coaches are mouth-breathing morons not to use those plays. Fake field goals on fourth and short, QB and RB running in opposite directions...I wonder how that conversation would go in the Packers defensive huddle?

HAWK: What if Webb and AP run in opposite directions after the snap?

MATTHEWS: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Say again?

HAWK: Oppposite directions, Clay! Come on! What if they do that? We'll be screwed!

MATTHEWS: Um...we'll just go after the guy who has the ball.

HAWK: Dude, don't you read TMQ?

MATTHEWS: Oh shit, you're right. TIME OUT!

Bengoodfella said...

JR, how could the idea of both the RB and QB moving in different directions fail? IT NEVER COULD FAIL!

At that point, the Packers know the Vikings can't throw the ball and will change their defense accordingly. Now if Adrian Peterson and Tim Tebow ran in different directions, that is a completely indefensible play.