Saturday, September 21, 2013

4 comments Gregg Easterbrook Is Just Repeating TMQ Topics on a Weekly Basis Now

Gregg tends to write about three basic topics in TMQ. Those three topics are:

1. Concussions and how the NFL isn't setting an example for youth league and college football teams.

2. NCAA and NFL teams that score a lot of points at a fast pace.

3. Gregg will discuss whichever team is currently playing the best in the NFL and then he attributes some new method that team is using to their success.

It's basically those three topics that Gregg tackles in TMQ, which only underscores how little Gregg actually has to say about the NFL. He doesn't really have that much to talk about in TMQ, which is probably why he pads it with so much political talk and criticism of television shows. This week's TMQ is a mix of topic #2 and topic #3. Gregg Easterbrook has decided to focus on how the Pacific Northwest rules the football world. Despite the fact he has written multiple TMQ's about Chip Kelly and the style of offense played by Oregon football, they must not have been ruling football until the Seahawks became a Super Bowl contender this season. Of course, zero teams in the Northwest have won a national championship in college football nor a Super Bowl, but I guess it is possible to rule the football landscape without actually winning a championship in the mind of Gregg Easterbrook. Not to take away anything from the Seahawks or Oregon Ducks of course, they are both good teams. So it's the same shit from Gregg (second-guessing coach's decisions and all the crap like that), but just a different week. In fact, I could probably sum this all up by simply writing,

"Gregg did the same shit this week that he did last week,"

but what would be the fun in that?

Forget the West Coast offense and the Steel Curtain defense -- Pacific Northwest football has arrived.

There's no such thing.

Oregon and Washington state, known for being laid-back, are titans astride the football landscape. The Seattle Seahawks have football's best defense, while the University of Oregon Ducks have football's best offense.

Seattle has a great defense, but it has been two weeks since they have had the best defense in the NFL. They didn't even have the most defense in their own division during the 2012 season. Perhaps we should give it a few more weeks before determining the Seahawks are like the Steel Curtain of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

One of the league's storylines since Colin Kaepernick became the Niners' quarterback is that no one can stop San Francisco, whose offense has rolled over power teams such as the Packers and Falcons, plus gained 468 yards in the Super Bowl. No one -- except the Seahawks, who stop them cold. In their last two meetings, Seattle bested San Francisco by a combined 71-16.

In the interest of full disclosure, and I realize Gregg isn't talking about Seattle's offense here, the 49ers held the Seahawks to 290 total yards on 70 plays for 4.1 yards per play. Seattle held the 49ers to 207 yards on 51 plays for (you guessed it) 4.1 yards per play. So it's not like the 49ers defense was much worse than the Seahawks defense and the 49ers had a better defense than Seattle last year as well. The 49ers were 3rd in the NFL in total yards to the Seahawks 4th in the NFL in total yards last season. So for the purposes of this column and a tidy Pacific Northwest football narrative we will say Gregg is correct, but Seattle hasn't been this dominant defensive force as compared to just the 49ers. The Seahawks defense didn't dominate on Sunday evening when it comes to yards per play as compared to the yards per play the 49ers defense allowed. In fact, both defenses allowed the exact same yards per play.

One of the league's storylines since Colin Kaepernick became the Niners' quarterback is that no one can stop San Francisco, whose offense has rolled over power teams such as the Packers and Falcons, plus gained 468 yards in the Super Bowl. No one -- except the Seahawks, who stop them cold. In their last two meetings, Seattle bested San Francisco by a combined 71-16.

Because if there is anyone who needs to be doing analysis on why a team's defense is playing well then that person is Gregg Easterbrook. Gregg's reasons for why the Seahawks defense is playing well probably will consist solely of "The cornerbacks aren't getting caught looking the backfield" and "They have unwanted and lowly drafted players on their defense."

(Spoiler alert: I'm right, that's close to his entire explanation for why the Seahawks defense is playing well)

Oregon hasn't faced a ranked team yet, so its production is likely to decline. 

Stand back people, so you don't get hurt while Gregg is tearing through some analysis.

Still, this is the fourth year of warp-speed yardage in Eugene. 

Which has resulted in a very successful program, but also resulted in exactly zero national titles so far, which is why I find it hard to proclaim the Pacific Northwest as ruling the football landscape.

Initially the Blur Offense came as a surprise. Now there's plenty of film to study, opponents know what the Ducks will do, and the Blur keeps flying down the field.

It's almost like the Blur Offense is a football strategy and not just a gimmick the Oregon Ducks use to confuse their opponent temporarily. 

The Blur Offense may or may not succeed in the NFL at Philadelphia, but is the most interesting offense around.

Gregg wrote just last week about Chip Kelly's Blur Offense in Philadelphia and this week he is writing about the Blur Offense in Oregon. Gregg really does repeat his topics from week-to-week and simply changes the team/coach names around to fit whichever team is talking about during that current week.

Perhaps all of football should study the Seahawks -- because broadly across the sport, the scoreboard continues to spin.

It's not about just studying the Seahawks. Teams have to have good defensive players like the Seahawks have and have those players succeed in the defensive scheme the team runs.

Alabama visited Texas A&M, the sort of pairing that traditionally would end 13-10. The result was 49-42.

The score in the Texas A&M-Alabama game from last year was 29-24, so I'm not sure how "traditionally" the score would be 13-10.

NFL average scoring per team per game has risen from 18.7 points two decades ago to 22.8 points in 2012. Football Bowl Subdivision scoring has risen from 20.6 points per game per team in 1972 to 28.3 points in 2012.

Gregg is comparing NFL scoring data from 40 years ago to scoring data from 2012. The game of football has changed so much in terms of becoming a more passing-oriented league that it is inevitable that scoring would also rise.

The uptick continues; last weekend, all of FBS averaged 30.7 points per school per game, and 427 yards of offense per team per game. The average big-college football team exceeded 400 yards.

So what's the conclusion that is being drawn by Gregg? What information is he trying to convey to us? That's my question. College football teams score a lot of points and run up a lot of yardage because the pace of the game has changed and the way an offense attacks a defense has changed. Gregg loves to list data and not really tell his readers anything they don't already feel like they know. Yep, scoring has increased. Listing the yardage in ten football games from the past weekend doesn't make you any smarter for noticing this.

Structural differences between the NCAA and NFL accentuate offense in college, where the football factories have a huge recruiting edge over many opponents, and clock rules are somewhat different. In 2012, only three pro teams -- the Patriots, Saints and Lions -- averaged 400 yards or more per game. That year, 10 FBS schools averaged at least 500 yards.

For God's sake, this isn't even close to be a comparison that can tell us anything. First off, Gregg is comparing NFL teams who averaged 400 yards or more per game versus FBS schools that averaged 500 yards per game. The yards per game being compared are different. Second, there are 32 NFL teams and there were 120 FBS schools during the 12-13 year. So using straight numbers to compare them is misleading since there are nearly quadruple the amount of FBS schools as there are NFL teams. A better number to use would be that 60 FBS schools averaged over 400 yards per game on offense during the 12-13 year, but only 3 NFL teams averaged 400 yards per game on offense during the 2012 season. Besides, given the talent disparity between FBS schools and NFL teams, there is no reason to even make a comparison. It's nearly impossible to compare college athletes to professional athletes and be able to come to a conclusion that means something.

And suppose your team was averaging 65 points a game yet its won-loss record was only 1-3, how would you feel?

I would feel like my team needs a much better defense and the head coach should be fired for not teaching his players how to play defense.

TMQ has been on the North Dakota State bandwagon for some time, noting in this space a year ago that the banner of the Bison, not of the Crimson Tide, hangs in NCAA headquarters as college football champions. This remains true today, since North Dakota repeated. Because the FCS has a playoff and FBS does not, the NCAA considers the Bison the college title-holder.

Of course Gregg considers the Bison to be the college title-holder. Of course he does.

In other football news, in the entire 2012 NFL season there were four safeties. Already in 2013, there have been six. The league told players it was concerned about safety -- so the players produced safeties.

(Gregg yanks on his collar) "I get no respect I tell ya'"

I thought only Rick Reilly would be the one to tell bad jokes at ESPN? Bill Simmons tells tired jokes and Rick Reilly gets the bad, corny jokes. The division of jokes is very clear in ESPN's policy and procedures manual. I'm not sure why Gregg insists on telling bad, corny jokes.

Sweet Play of the Week: Game scoreless, Kansas City had second-and-goal on the Dallas 2. Dexter McCluster, a running back who often lines up wide,

McCluster is really a running back/wide receiver hybrid and not just a running back who lines up wide, but I know Gregg has to see only black and white with no shades of gray, so this is what I get.

Why is a professional receiver pulling up short of the down marker? Hoover damn, the play was sour.

Fuck it in a bucket saying "Hoover damn" is pretty cheesy.

City of Tampa led New Orleans 14-13 with 24 seconds remaining, Saints ball on the Buccaneers' 40, New Orleans out of timeouts. Where oh where might the pass go? Maybe up the field! Yet Tampa had only one safety deep, as if expecting a power rush. Thirty-one yard completion to Marques Colston, game-winning field goal after a spike to stop the clock. Sour, sour defense.

TMQ noted in my NFC preview that weasel coach Greg Schiano plays his safeties too close to the line -- "Even after the Bucs were repeatedly burned deep in 2012, Schiano kept the safeties low, as if he were coaching an NCAA game."

This is part of the reason the Buccaneers were the best in the NFL at stopping the run last year. More importantly, I don't know what the hell "keeping the safeties low as if he is coaching an NCAA game" means. NCAA coaches keep their safeties close to the line of scrimmage and don't have their safeties play Cover-2 or Cover-3? I think this isn't true at all, but what do I know? 

Trailing Carolina 23-17 with 1:36 remaining, out of timeouts, the Bills took possession on their 20. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel drove the hosts to the Panthers' 2-yard line with 6 ticks showing. Touchdown to Stevie Johnson. Sweet.

Johnson lined up in the slot with Chris Hogan on his side. Johnson is a star; Hogan has never caught an NFL pass. At the snap, Carolina blitzed, meaning no safety near the Johnson-Hogan combo.

It would not have mattered if there was a safety near Johnson-Hogan, because the route Johnson ran would have been away from the safety even if Carolina had one safety back, which is as many safeties as they could have back with the Bills going three-wide and still pay some heed to the Bills possibly running the ball. My point after all that rambling, is the issue on this play was with Carolina's corners, not the play-call.

Two defensive backs doubled Hogan, leaving no one at all on Johnson. Sour.

Gregg takes special care to point out Hogan isn't a star and Johnson is, but doesn't Gregg talk about how smart it is for NFL teams to use rarely-used players and surprise the opposing team? So this is the flip-side of an NFL team guarding against an opposing team getting the ball to a rarely-used player on the goal line. Carolina didn't leave Hogan open and Johnson's defender didn't cover him due to gross incompetence.

Sweet bonus: as Buffalo kicked the PAT with 68,000 people roaring, flagship play-by-play announcer John Murphy cried in joyous excitement, "It's tied! The game is tied! The Bills have tied the game!" Actually they'd won the game.

The Bills' Twitter account also indicated Buffalo had tied the game. Of course, Gregg stays off Twitter during a game for fear he would Tweet an observation about the game that didn't involve him purely using hindsight to make himself look smart.

Sweet 'N' Sour Play of the Week No. 2 Vikings leading 30-24 with 16 ticks remaining, Chicago faced third-and-10 on the Minnesota 16. Touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett, and the Bears win despite allowing the Vikings two return touchdowns. Sweet.

On the play, Minnesota rushed four and Chicago kept an extra blocker back. That meant the Vikes had seven men to cover four receivers -- and Bennett got open. Plus, Minnesota knew the play had to reach the end zone -- 

Why did the play have to reach the end zone? Chicago could have thrown the ball and then the receiver could have gotten out of bounds (which Bennett failed to do two plays before his touchdown catch). So while I'm not excusing the Vikings giving up a touchdown in this situation, the Bears didn't have to go for the end zone if their receiver could get out of bounds to stop the clock.

In Philadelphia, the home crowd booed loudly as no one covered Eddie Royal of San Diego on his third-quarter touchdown reception -- made worse because the Nesharim rushed only three. Sure you just opened the season with a monster "Monday Night Football" victory, but what have you done for us lately? In Baltimore, the home crowd booed the defending champions as they jogged off the field for intermission trailing Cleveland 6-0. Sure you just won the Super Bowl. But what have you done for us lately?

Because it's fine for Gregg Easterbrook to criticize the Eagles in TMQ for giving up a touchdown when they only rush three, but it's completely unacceptable for Eagles fans to boo the Eagles for giving up a touchdown when they rush three. Also, the Ravens were losing to the Browns a week after losing big to the Broncos. Booing could be in order in this situation.

After your columnist said he liked the FX series "Justified" -- entertaining but unrealistic crime drama about a modern wild-west-style lawman -- many readers suggested the A&E series "Longmire," also about a modern wild-west-style lawman, but realistic. "Longmire," which just wrapped its second season, is thoroughly enjoyable.

And the purpose of television is to be entertaining to the viewers, so even though "Justified" is unrealistic but entertaining, being entertaining is sort of the point of a television show anyway. 

The show follows the sheriff and his deputies in fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming.

Oh, so it is a realistic show that takes place in a fictional town. It already sounds very realistic.

An awful lot of murders occur in the county on "Longmire" -- at least 25 in the episodes so far, which track a year of Walt Longmire's life. Twenty-five murders per year is the recent average for all of Wyoming, let alone a sparsely populated rural county.

But because Gregg Easterbrook wants to call this show realistic, it is realistic. Sure, it messes with actual murder figures and takes place in a fictional town with an unknown geography, both criticisms that Gregg levies against "Justified," but "Longmire" is realistic because that's what Gregg wants to call the show. See, there is very little gunplay and that's realistic, so Gregg ignores all the other parts of the show that he would normally criticize for being unrealistic.

Most actual law enforcement officers never fire their weapons in the line of duty; on TV, the cops are blazing away left and right. Not on "Longmire." The protagonist has pulled the trigger only a couple times.

Most law enforcement officers never fire their weapon, but on "Longmire" the protagonist has pulled the trigger a couple of times. Wouldn't this make the show unrealistic, since most law enforcement officers don't pull their weapon in the line of duty through their entire career and the protagonist has done so a couple of times in two seasons?

Though extolling the beauty of Wyoming, "Longmire" is filmed in New Mexico,

Very realistic film in New Mexico but the setting of the show is supposed to be in Wyoming.

Different angles of the same log-constructed modern house are used as different characters' residences, and the same river seems to flow past every location in the "Longmire" universe.

And we all know there is no river on Earth that flows through an entire city.

"Longmire's" fictional county has a huge gambling casino, an exotic-dance establishment staffed with women who appear to have flown in from a swimsuit modeling competition, and a championship-quality golf course.

Gregg is levying the exact same criticisms at "Longmire" that he levies at other shows like "Justified," "Star Trek," and "Under the Dome," except he insists "Longmire" is realistic because that's how he chooses to view the series. The only difference I am seeing is that Gregg wants to label "Longmire" realistic and wants to criticize other television shows for not being realistic enough.

In one episode, the sheriff is inexplicably driving a federal convict a long distance on remote rural roads to transfer him to some FBI agents who are inexplicably driving other federal convicts on a remote road. What is the purpose of this strange prisoner transfer?

Walt is a good detective but, like all investigators on crime shows, never takes notes. Few crimes would be solved if real-world law enforcement officers failed to take notes.

Longmire always gets the killer to confess, but never records the confession nor has a witness present, nor first gives the standard warning against self-incrimination.

It sounds to me like Gregg doesn't think this show is realistic at all.

Concussion Watch: The NFL has suspended Dashon Goldson of the Buccaneers for one game for a helmet-to-helmet hit against New Orleans. This is a progressive step. Players don't like fines, but being small compared to an NFL income, fines don't seem to change behavior. A suspension not only represents a big chunk of money -- every football player knows that if he can't play, he may lose his job.

Dashon Goldson isn't going to lose his job for a helmet-to-helmet hit and I very much doubt any NFL player is going to be released simply because he gets suspended for a game due to a helmet-to-helmet hit. An NFL player would have to repeatedly get suspended by the NFL for a team to consider releasing him.

TMQ gets credit for campaigning against R*dsk*ns on itself...My first column on, from Nov. 25, 2003, contained this explanation: "I think R*dsk*ns

Tick … tick ... tick. The clock is ticking down to the end of the R*dsk*ns name.

Everyone knows Gregg is writing "Redskins" and covering it up with asterisks isn't not writing "Redskins." If I wrote an email to a co-worker that said,

"You can go f*ck yourself. You are a useless s*n of a b*tch and I am going to sneak into your h**se and m*rd*r your entire family tonight. Burn in "H*ll" with your b*tch w*fe and k*ds."

I'm pretty sure I would be fired, if not charged with conveying a threat, despite my super-discreet use of asterisks at certain points in the conversation. My point is that if Gregg isn't writing the word "Redskins" then he shouldn't write it and using asterisks to take the vowels out of the word doesn't mean Gregg isn't writing the word.

Forget the Name Issue, Maybe Washington Team Should Wear Disguises: Ye gods, the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons look bad. Robert Griffin III has regressed from superstar to average player. Did his injury change him, is it rust from skipping the preseason, or did he try to come back too soon? Whatever the explanation, RG III is struggling.

Quick! Now that Robert Griffin has been elevated let's tear him down quicker than he was built up!

Philadelphia and then Green Bay have blitzed him with impunity, knowing he lacks the quickness to get outside and make a defense pay for blitzing. A rushing threat last year -- Griffin ran for 815 yards and a 6.8-yard average -- RG III has been no factor on the ground this season. That means no zone read and no Washington offense.

I guess Robert Griffin's senatorial campaign isn't getting off to a rousing start. Maybe he isn't like Bill Bradley after all.

The Persons lack talent on defense -- which is the price of Washington trading three first-rounders and a second-round draft choice for Griffin.

You can't win with idiot media members like Gregg Easterbrook. When things are going well, he writes about what a great choice it was for the Redskins to trade up and draft Robert Griffin. When things aren't going well, he writes that a lack of talent on defense is the price Washington has paid for trading up to get Griffin. It's not like it was unforeseen that the Redskins would miss three first round draft picks and a second round draft pick.

Washington has some promising defensive backs who are very green; cornerback David Amerson allowed a 57-yard catch when he made the high school mistake of looking into the backfield rather than guarding his man.

It's also possible Amerson, being a rookie, got confused about the defense the Redskins were running. In his own words:

Then CB David Amerson let Jones go right by him for a 57-yard bomb. "We started off in one defense and I didn't hear the check to another defense," said Amerson.

So a little research shows Amerson didn't "make the high school mistake of looking into the backfield rather than guarding his man" as Gregg constantly and annoyingly always states as the sole reason why a cornerback got beaten, but he didn't hear the check to a different defense (presumably the move from a zone to man or another defense where he would stay with Jones). But hey, what fun is research when Gregg can just make shit up as to why a cornerback got beaten?

In the front seven, Washington just lacks talent, with no defensive lineman drafted in two years.

Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan would like a word with you Gregg for stating the front seven lacks talent.

Sweet 'N' Sour Player of the Week: Tennessee leading 17-16 late at Houston, on third-and-21, Matt Schaub threw a back shoulder pass intended for first-round draft choice DeAndre Hopkins -- who casually ran a go, waving his arm to say, "I'm open!" He was open because he was supposed to cut the route short. The ball was at that instant being picked off and returned for a touchdown. Sour.

It's almost like rookie wide receivers playing their second game in the NFL might make a mistake. How dare this happen.

Book News: One week from today is publication day for "The King of Sports: Football's Impact on America," which can be purchased electronically on iTunes. Next week, I may be mentioning something about "The King of Sports" -- which just got a starred review from Library Journal. Yes, this is some chance that next week, I may be mentioning the book.

Gregg is telling us this week that he may mention something about a book next week in TMQ? That's "Book Creep!"

Pundits often pen tomes that boil down to, "I knew it all along, I just forgot to say so."

This should be the motto of TMQ. Gregg loves telling us why something happened after it happened, in a way that he makes it seem like he knew this event would happen.

How Does Seattle Do It? The short version of the success of the Seahawks' defense is good players who hustle, communicate with each other and wrap-up tackle. Contemporary NFL defenses are so plagued by players' desire for spectacular plays that make "SportsCenter" that blown coverages and missed assignments have become de rigueur. 

Oh, so the Seahawks have a good defense because they tackle well? I guess other defenses watch "SportsCenter" and try to make a fantastic, exceptional play and that's why they don't tackle well. I also guess talent and coaching has nothing to do with it.

The Seahawks play a conventional 4-3-4 with press corners -- none of the funky fronts or extreme blitzes that are popular. Thus the Seattle defense supports the maxim, "Classic never goes out of style."

And the part of this "analysis" (and I use that term ever-so-loosely) is that the Seahawks have the personnel to get a pass rush without blitzing a lot and they can play press corners because they have corners who have the talent, size, and skill level to play press coverage. Not every NFL team can get pressure without blitzing and not every NFL team has corners that play well in press coverage. A lot of good NFL teams use funky fronts, use extreme blitzes, and don't play press coverage, yet somehow manage to win games.

Seattle leading 12-0 late in the third, San Francisco reached third-and-goal on Seahawks' 3. No tricks, the Seahawks ran a four-man rush and tight coverage. Nobody was open. When the 49ers settled for a field goal, TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook.

Again, the Seahawks have the corners who can play tight coverage on the goal line like this. Also, you know Gregg wrote "Game Over" in pencil in case he needed to erase it a little later should the 49ers start to comeback. 

Seattle has football's best defense -- and other than the gentlemen just mentioned, how many starters can you name without peeking?

Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin, Brandon Mebane, Kam Chancellor, Chris Clemons, Earl Thomas, K.J. Wright. Just because Gregg can't name players on a team's defense doesn't mean other NFL fans can't name players on that defense. Gregg assumes everyone is as ignorant as he is when this isn't true.

The Seattle defenders are remarkable in being a collection of late draft picks and castoffs. Only safety Earl Thomas was a first-round choice by the team he now plays for.

See, Gregg is so ignorant about the Seahawks defense that he thinks so highly of suddenly that he doesn't know Bruce Irvin was a first round pick for the Seahawks last year. Gregg is so oblivious. He thinks he is educating his readers, but he really doesn't know enough about the topic he is discussing to understand how little he knows. Bruce Irvin is suspended at the beginning of the 2013 season and Gregg didn't pay attention to the Seahawks defense prior to this year, so he has no clue Irvin is a first round pick drafted by the Seahawks. Also, being a first round pick is being a first round pick, regardless of which team drafted that player. So it isn't like a player comes to play for Seattle and his status as a first round pick suddenly disappears.

Unlike teams with lots of high-drafted defenders who spend their time complaining, Seattle has lots of hand-me-downs who spend their time working. That is a classic approach to success, and classic never goes out of style.

This is such a crock of bullshit. The San Francisco 49ers (who had a better defense than the Seahawks during the 2012 season) have a great defense and they start seven first round draft picks, two third round draft picks, a fifth round draft pick, and a player taken in the third round of the supplemental draft. This doesn't include the first round pick that plays nickel corner for them. So the 49ers have 8 defenders that were drafted in the first round, so how did they succeed without taking the classic approach to success with defenders who spend their time working? Aren't these first round players supposed to be spending their time complaining? This doesn't explain the success of the 49ers defense. It's almost like Gregg's theories are bullshit.

Maybe Kelly needs to work with the Philadelphia defense, which allowed 539 yards at home with crowd energy on its side.

The downside to the Blur Offense is that if the Eagles are scoring a lot of points quickly it doesn't give their defense a lot of time to rest, which becomes a problem if the opposing team's defense can force the Eagles into three-and-outs while the opposing team's offense can possess the ball for long periods of time. The crowd doesn't really give the Eagles energy, so if the defense was gassed hearing their fans may yell loudly not help too much.

At Oregon, Kelly spent his time with the offense -- that was his trademark -- while assuming the Ducks' recruiting-power edge would lead to defensive success.

This is such an idiotic statement it doesn't even require a retort. Gregg perceives himself to be a master of explaining other people's intentions, even if these intentions are not explicitly stated.

But in the NFL, every team is loaded. Bolts leading 13-10 in the third quarter, San Diego faced third-and-7 on their 43. Straight defense here makes an incompletion likely. 

Why is an incompletion here likely? What sort of data does Gregg have which supports his contention on third-and-7 an incompletion is likely if the Eagles only rush four? He has none, but instead if just making assumptions that help to prove his point. People who read TMQ on a weekly basis have to be incredibly gullible just to believe whatever Gregg is writing is the truth.

Instead Eagles' coaches radio in an all-out blitz, hoping for a flashy play.

The Eagles weren't looking to stop the Chargers from getting a first down, they wanted to make a flashy play. Got it.

Untouched Touchdown Of The Week: Seattle leading San Francisco 5-0 in the third quarter, the Bluish Men Group faced second-and-goal on the 49ers 15. Marshawn Lynch took a simple delay draw and ran left behind James Carpenter and Paul McQuistan, never touched by San Francisco's vaunted linebackers. It's pretty fun to run 15 yards for a touchdown on prime-time television when everyone in front of you has been knocked out of the way.

Lynch probably wasn't touched because the first round pick, highly drafted glory boy who is lazy and only cares about himself James Carpenter did a good job of blocking. It's not like the 49ers linebackers will always make a great tackle on every single play, so calling them "vaunted" as if they supposed to be perfect when they messed up on one play seems entirely unfair and ridiculous.

Manning Bowl a Snoozer: Are the Broncos that good or the Giants that bad? Denver reaching the Jersey/A 2-yard line in the third quarter, Wes Welker -- the player most likely to get the ball -- did a simple down-and-in.

Why is Welker most likely to get the ball here? This is another example of an assumption that Gregg makes to help try to prove one of his points. Julius Thomas scored two touchdowns during Week 1 and the Broncos could easily have gotten the ball to Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas on this play, so why is Welker most likely to get the ball? A defensive coordinator can't just think Welker is most likely to get the football and ignore the other offensive players on the field. If Welker is most likely to get the ball then should the Giants defense simply ignore Thomas/Thomas/Decker?

From the early third quarter on, the hosts began dogging it. Jersey/A's signature tactic under Tom Coughlin -- pressuring the passer with a conventional four-man rush -- was not on display. Peyton Manning had enough time in the pocket to film a television commercial.

It's almost like the Denver Broncos have an offensive line that is supposed to block the Giants defensive line. So let me ask this...if the Giants couldn't get pressure with a four-man rush, does Gregg think they should blitz to get to the passer or just accept they can't get to Peyton Manning? Gregg doesn't like it when teams try exotic blitzes, so I guess Gregg would think the Giants should just accept they were going to lose rather than start calling blitzes in an effort to confuse Peyton Manning. After all, blitzing leads to a team losing, unlike the classic approach to success like the Seahawks use of rushing four. That's why the Giants won, because they used the classic approach to defense and didn't blitz or use crazy defensive fronts. Wait, that's not right, the Giants lost.

Then, desperate for more material to pad TMQ with, Gregg starts listing all the college football teams that had 500 yards of offense and lost. It's actually more boring to read than how I just described it. There are only so many examples of a team losing while gaining 500 yards that can remain interesting, yet Gregg makes this a weekly feature because of course he does.

TMQ thinks the Falcons' allergy to rushing stands between this strong team and the Super Bowl. Hosting Les Mouflons, Atlanta jumped to a seemingly insurmountable 24-3 lead. But the stats showed a weakness -- at intermission, Atlanta had 237 yards passing and 1 yard rushing. Yes, Steven Jackson left the contest hurt,

The Rams have a very good defensive line by the way and their linebackers aren't too shabby either. I like how Gregg is like "Well sure, the Falcons starting running back was injured, but every running back on the Falcons roster should play as well as Steven Jackson does." Sure, that's logical to expect the backup running backs to play as well as the starting running back.

but he has understudies: it's not that Atlanta lacks running backs, it's that Atlanta lacks run-the-ball psychology.

Oh, it's not a talent problem with Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling, it's that the Falcons lack a run-the-ball mentality. I guess that's the sort of thing that happens when Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez are Matt Ryan's receivers. So how bad did the Falcons lose to the Rams?

The hosts would hold on to win,


while the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons defense was gasping for air at the Eagles' pace, Kedric Golston dropped with an "injury," necessitating a stop in play. On the next series he re-entered the game, miraculously cured. Perhaps Persons' trainers keep a bottle of the waters of Lourdes on their sideline. Reader Thon Morse of Austin, Texas, suggests a rule change -- instead of an injured player being required to sit out the next play, he should sit out till the end of the quarter.

I guess these are the types of idiotic suggestions you get from someone named "Thon."

After all, if a player is injured, time to rest and be examined should be required.

Unless the player isn't severely injured and only requires a quick visit to the team doctor in order to ensure he is physically capable of playing. Otherwise, a player who may have only had the wind knocked out of him or just twisted an ankle that needs to be taped up would have to sit out an entire quarter. This is a terrible suggested rule change.

Stop Me Before I Blitz Again! Seattle leading 12-3, the Seahawks faced third-and-4 on the San Francisco 7 early in the fourth quarter. The Niners, who usually play straight defense, blitzed seven; Marshawn Lynch took a short pass and walked into the end zone for his second untouched touchdown of the evening.

And of course it was the blitz that caused this touchdown to be scored, especially since the 49ers had given up a rushing touchdown previously in the game (which Gregg covered just a few paragraphs ago) where they didn't blitz. So the 49ers shouldn't blitz because it can cause them to give up a rushing touchdown, but they also can give up a rushing touchdown if they don't blitz. It's almost like creating hard-and-fast rules about blitzing is stupid.

Next Week What if the Harbaugh brothers coached the Manning brothers?

Jim Harbaugh did almost coach Peyton Manning just last year (which, of course, isn't something I would expect Gregg to know...he writes an NFL column where he second-guesses the decisions head coaches make and has no time to actually pay attention to the NFL otherwise), but Manning chose to to go Denver instead. 


Anonymous said...

"Forget the West Coast offense and the Steel Curtain defense -- Pacific Northwest football has arrived."

Because the pacific northwest isn't on the west coast. This is like saying, forget California, L.A. is the place to be!

"Where oh where might the pass go? Maybe up the field!"

Or down the field! Or behind the field! Or beside the field! A football field is 53 1/3 yards wide, saying a pass will go "up the field" is about helpful as saying "go west" when telling me how to get from Charlotte to San Francisco. Offenses can throw left or right or to the middle, or short, or...geez it's like real life play calling isn't a Tecmo Super Bowl game but actually a complexity of split-second decisions and numerous possibilities.

Gregg's analysis of Longmire is right out of the Simpson's Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie episode. "Focus Group Guy: So you want a realistic down-to-earth show that's completely off the wall and swarming with magic robots? [the kids all chat at once about it being a great idea]"

"TMQ gets credit for campaigning against R*dsk*ns on itself"

Ben, what you wrote was hilarious, but I think you missed out on another comedic point here. He's crediting himself for campaigning against the Redskins name. This is the ultimate in Gregg's I AM SO SMART lifestyle. You have to be one smarmy, self-centered asshole to credit yourself for something you did ten years ago, and something that has had no material affect on anything at that. The Redskins are still called the Redskins! "I deserve a lot of credit for what I did that accomplished nothing. Point, me." What a pompous asshole.

"The short version of the success of the Seahawks' defense is good players who hustle, communicate with each other and wrap-up tackle."

Is that it? I mean, those things are important, but it's disingenuous to act like football is that simple. Gregg's football lessons appear to be some mixture of Tecmo Super Bowl and pee wee football. "All we've gotta do is correctly guess their play, hustle and wrap-up tackle." I'd like to see Gregg sit in a defensive meeting some time. Sean McDermott would be throwing out of these different terms for coverages and blitzes and Gregg would just say, "The ball is going up the field! Wes Welker is most likely to get the ball! It's 3rd and 7, an imcompletion is likely!"

"Hosting Les Mouflons, Atlanta jumped to a seemingly insurmountable 24-3 lead. But the stats showed a weakness -- at intermission, Atlanta had 237 yards passing and 1 yard rushing."

This is hilarious. The Falcons had 237 passing yards at halftime, and Gregg thinks that showed weakness. If my team can throw for that many yards and score that many points one half, I don't give a damn what we rush for. And what's with the ultra-specificity, Gregg? Why say 237 when you can just say, a couple hundred and three dozen?

Dan said...

To add on to anon's point about greggggg bragging about the redskins, I can just imagine gregggg in the 1960s south meeting Martin Luther king jr and saying your doing a great job rallying the cause but don't forget, I was the one who came up with the idea first.

Or him going up to a gay person and saying you know I was the one who first came up with the idea of gay marriage.

He doesn't get the whole redskins thing isn't about him, it's about doing whats right. But no he has to let everyone know he is th very first person in the world to have started the cause.

Snarf said...

I wonder why he uses twenty years as a point of reference for the nfl and forty for the NCAA? Haven't looked at the numbers, but do you think it's possible that a twenty year look-back didnt make Gregg's intended point for the comparison? As an economist, or whatever the heck Gregg considers himself, he should know that's a really worthless way to convey his point, whatever that may be.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I did miss a good point. He is very impressed with his own ability to be intelligent. He's so smart, he knows how smart he is.

I hate it, I mean hate it, when he writes about a specific situation "X play was likely" when he has no reason to say this other than it is an assumption that makes him look good. Other than the undrafted/unwanted thing, I would do away with Gregg creating scenarios to make himself right if I could change anything about TMQ.

If you can pass the ball like that, why try to run it? Maybe the Falcons were trying to create running lanes in the second half by passing so well in the first half. Also, they were missing their starting RB, which isn't just a small footnote.

Dan, I think Tony Bruno probably started before Gregg did. But of course he probably already thought that Tony Bruno started it first so Gregg wants to give himself credit for being first to give someone else credit.

Snarf, I absolutely believe he used forty as a point of reference for the NCAA because it fit his point. I need to do research to prove this, but he has never been above manipulating reality to seem smart, so manipulating and cherry-picking data isn't something he would shy away from either.