Tuesday, September 10, 2013

7 comments MMQB Review: Peter King Was Pretty Bored with Week 1 Edition

Peter King talked about the settlement of the concussion lawsuit in last week's MMQB. He also shared with us that he uses 9 shots of espresso during football season to stay awake, which makes it sound like he has a problem. Peter also threw the obligatory Tavon Austin mention into MMQB (he does not mention Austin this week), as required by Marvin Demoff in Peter's The MMQB contract. This week football actually began, which is always good news, and Peter is feeling pretty, pretty good about Anquan Boldin in a 49ers uniform (and no, I haven't changed my mind about the Ravens letting Boldin go...I get why they did it and it was never about Boldin's ability, but about his salary), gives us a Tweet of the Week that he says isn't very good and has other notes from the NFL games that Peter did not find to be as exciting as he thought they were going to be.

So the season-opener featured 76 points and a quarterback performance for the ages, and there was all this explosive-offense talk, and then, on Sunday, to open the 94th NFL season, this happened:
• The Patriots, who averaged 34 points a game last year, needed an Audie Murphy performance by Danny Amendola and a Stephen Gostkowski field goal with five seconds left to beat Buffalo 23-21.
• Seven of Sunday’s 13 games totaled 40 points or less.
• Pittsburgh’s offense was shut out at home for the first 58 minutes of a 16-9 loss.

It's boring when the NFL is unpredictable and there aren't enough points scored in certain games. If only the NFL were more predictable and no teams played defense, then that would be an NFL worth watching.

• Seattle, which scored 37 points a game on average in its last six games of 2012, managed 12 at Carolina, and still won.

I missed that game. Please provide more details about this one. No detail is too small.

But here’s my favorite stat of all from the weekend:

Baltimore’s four wide receivers Thursday night: 15 catches, 215 yards, one touchdown.

The receiver Baltimore traded away for a sixth-round pick: 13 catches, 208 yards, one touchdown.

“I think you earned that $2 million today,’’ I said to Anquan Boldin Sunday night.

We had to know it would be Anquan Boldin that was Peter's favorite Stat of the Weekend, though it isn't his official "Stat of the Week" of course, because that would be too logical. Boldin had a great performance and he obviously is a really good receiver. Was his great performance due to the poor defense by the Packers, having Kaepernick throwing him the football instead of Flacco, or just a great game? Probably a little bit of everything. I'm just a little tired of the talk about how that the Ravens got rid of Boldin and they are going to regret it. They probably will regret it, but Ozzie Newsome telegraphed that difficult decisions would be made back in February and Boldin was one of the difficult decisions. It's part of the Ravens long-term plan to avoid having cap issues.

The 49ers and Ravens, as you recall, had a marriage of convenience last March. Baltimore wanted Boldin to cut his pay from $6 million to $4 million. Boldin thought being the second-best Baltimore player in the postseason (next to Joe Flacco) did not merit a pay cut and stuck to his guns. When the Ravens knew they couldn’t re-do Boldin’s deal, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh got on the phone with his brother, Jim, the Niners’ coach, and they worked out a deal.

Even at the time the Ravens knew they weren't getting value for Boldin. It's just they wanted to cut salary and they had very little leverage. Obviously the Ravens didn't go into the offseason thinking "We have to get rid of Boldin, he's terrible."

The 49ers beat Green Bay in their meeting by the Bay, and Colin Kaepernick and Boldin were the main reasons. Eschewing the read-option and going to more of a pocket-passing game—offensive coordinator Greg Roman is becoming famous for throwing changeups at defenses,

(coughs) Hear that Jerry Richardson? An offensive-minded coach who has experience working with a mobile quarterback and has the ability to play to the quarterback's strengths. Boy, if there was a head coaching vacancy in January, Greg Roman might be someone to interview.

Man, that was a long cough, wasn't it?

I remember when Boldin signed with Baltimore in 2010, how the Ravens raved about how quickly he adjusted to the new offense and to quarterback Joe Flacco. I looked it up this morning: He had 20 catches for 287 yards in his first three games in Baltimore. And now, on the phone from San Francisco, he sounded like an avid reader of Who Moved My Cheese?

Said Peter King, who apparently is still catching up on reading motivational books from the year 1998.

And, Boldin said, don’t hold a grudge. “I’m not bitter at all,’’ he said. “This is a business. We all understand it. [The Ravens’ decision] was a little surprising, but you can’t let that stuff bother you.”

Was it surprising Anquan? The Ravens had publicly stated they were going to make tough decisions about veteran players, then they come to you asking you to cut your salary...so the fact they traded you, did they really surprise you, or were you more surprised a team that publicly stated they would make tough decisions on veteran players and had no interest in re-signing a pillar like Ed Reed would want you to take a pay cut?

Danny Amendola has a little Welker in him, and maybe a lot.

Men can't get pregnant, Peter. So there is no way Amendola has a little Welker in him. You must be confused from watching "Junior" too many times. Men can't get pregnant.

Late in the first half at Buffalo, Amendola, who entered the game nursing a groin injury, pulled up in the end zone in obvious pain, grabbing the inside of his upper leg. Well, that’s it. He’s gone for six weeks. The Legend of Brittle Amendola continues. But back he came in the second half with seven catches for 64 yards in the last two quarters, converting a 3rd-and-8 on the winning field-goal drive in the final minutes. “I knew he was a tough player,’’ Shane Vereen, his new teammate, said after the game.

This is the same Shane Vereen that played the entire game after breaking a small bone on the first play. So that's probably saying something. Of course, Sam Bradford and the Rams want to know where this toughness that Amendola showed came from.

What impressed me watching Pryor: the poise not to be rattled, even when he got hit and chased by a defensive front that often overwhelmed Oakland’s line. Now, he didn’t survey the field the way a veteran quarterback does, looking at three or four options; instead he ran when the pocket broke down. But on this day, it was his best option. For a first start, it was a B-plus, and I definitely want to see more.

No offense to the Colts, but they don't exactly have a speedy, athletic defense. Also, simply running when the pocket breaks down isn't a long-term option for a quarterback. At some point, an injury will occur. I'm hoping for the sake of the Raiders they found a quarterback, but I'm still skeptical.

You’ll recall that one of the last significant moves by Davis before he died in 2011 was taking Pryor in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft. “I owe Mr. Davis,’’ said Pryor. “This man believed I’d be a star quarterback. He said that to me multiple times.

I'm not going to take digs at Al Davis, but when it came to drafting certain players Al Davis over the last 10 years was a lot more convinced in that player's greatness than the rest of the NFL. The Raiders ability to draft productive first round draft picks bears this out. Wait, so maybe that is a dig at Davis.

He took a chance on me when other teams wouldn’t.

Right, and I'm pretty sure for better or worse that phrase should be engraved on Al Davis' tombstone.

Geno Smith has at least one element of what it takes to be a New York quarterback.

Well, Smith has what it takes to be the quarterback for the Jets, namely that he is healthy and hasn't shown himself to consistently throw the ball to the opposing team on a regular basis.

Thick skin, apparently.

I guess so. He did fire his agent after he didn't go in the first round of the draft. I guess he has thick skin and high expectations for where he should have gotten drafted.

I asked Smith how he felt about playing against Tom Brady on a short week now, and his answer was either very practiced or very smart. “It’s not me against Tom Brady,’’ he said. “It’s the Jets against the Patriots.”

Very smart, but of course if Geno Smith helps the Jets win this game against the Patriots then Peter King will be very glad to describe the result of the game as being Geno Smith triumphing over Tom Brady. Plus, it will be Geno Smith versus Tom Brady if the Patriots start the game off strong and Brady puts up 21 points in the first half. At that point, there is pressure on Smith to keep up with Brady's ability to put points on the board. It's not Brady v. Smith, but the media is going to gladly paint it that way regardless.

And the great thing about NFL Game Rewind is being able to toggle between the TV feed of the game and the coaches’ video, so you can see—for instance—how utterly awful Ed Dickson was for the Ravens in the season opener.

He was certainly no Jared Cook, that's for sure.

I went back originally to try to judge whether Baltimore coach John Harbaugh was right in contending that NBC didn’t show a replay of the Wes Welker trapped catch before Payton Manning snapped the ball in the third quarter on a vital series of the game. (Truth in journalism here: I also work for NBC. So you’ll have to take my findings with that understanding, but I wanted to be clear about that before we start here.)

And as we know from Peter providing a truth in journalism warnings in the past, he is basically saying, "I have a bias here, so just remember my bias as you listen to my conclusion. I want you to consider me unbiased, despite the fact I clearly show myself possibly incapable of being unbiased."

Then Peter details everything the Ravens did wrong in a 10 minute stretch during their game against the Broncos. Apparently he really hates the Ravens for trading Anquan Boldin and wants the world to know the Ravens suck.

Play 1. Denver trails 17-14 with 14:13 left in the third quarter. Manning throws low to Welker, who appears to trap it. The officials call it a catch. Cornerback Corey Graham immediately motions to the ground that it bounced. Now, keep in mind that each coaches’ booth in every NFL stadium is equipped with a TV monitor that shows the exact feed that is shown in the replay booth; the only difference is the coaches cannot run a play back and forth the way it can be done in the replay booth. But the replay shown by NBC, with Welker clearly trapping the catch, comes either 10 or 11 seconds before the snap of the next play by Manning. (I was using the sweep hand on my watch, so it’s not precise.)

I know Gregg Easterbrook would be pissed off at Peter and myself for attempting to use such specificity, but I'm not sure if 10 seconds is enough to see the replay and then get word to challenge the call on the field. Tough to say.

And in the first half, when Harbaugh challenged almost exactly the same kind of trap by Demaryius Thomas, the Ravens threw the challenge flag six seconds after the first replay of the Thomas trap. So, unless there was a blackout or a TV malfunction in the Ravens’ coaches booth, the replay was shown up there in plenty of time for Harbaugh to have been told he should throw the challenge flag. The coach upstairs blew that one.

Maybe, but if the Ravens coach upstairs sees that Welker traps the ball and then immediately signals down to Harbaugh to throw the flag, then I can see where if either party (coach upstairs/Harbaugh) hesitated to throw the flag then the challenge wouldn't be received in time to stop Manning from hurriedly running the next play. Maybe the coach upstairs blew it. It's possible.

A nightmare series of 10 plays, out of 155 in the game. But there was enough bad—on the part of both the high-pick and marginal players, rookies in their first game and coaches—for the Ravens to chew on for days. The 10 plays exposed weaknesses at tight end (a major problem), offensive line depth, and replay communication from upstairs to the head coach.

Because I'm one to throttle a dead horse, which of these positions would keeping Anquan Boldin on the roster have strengthened? As well as Boldin played against the Packers, the Ravens weaknesses as described by Peter King aren't something Boldin could necessarily have rectified had the still played for the Ravens.

Fine Fifteen

Or as I call it, "The Random Placement of NFL Teams in Order of Strength from 1-15."

1. Denver (1-0). It’s a nice September schedule for the Broncos. With a half bye (10 days between games), Denver visits the Giants next Sunday. With an extra day to prepare in Week 3, Denver returns home to face Oakland on a Monday night. With a short week, the Broncos finish the month by facing defensively challenged Philadelphia. Get this: Four of the last 14 Denver foes had winning records in 2012.

Ah, to play in the AFC West and be scheduled to play Jaguars this year. Well, that and having Peyton Manning as your quarterback.

3. Seattle (1-0). I don’t rank the Seahawks here with conviction, because Russell Wilson had defenders buzzing around him all afternoon in Charlotte. But you looked up at the end of the game, and Wilson still had 320 yards passing against a pressure D, and the Seahawks played well enough to steal one.

I truly don't care if Carolina is ranked in the Fine Fifteen or not, but this is what I'm talking about when I talk about random placement of NFL teams by Peter. His 3rd best team scored 12 points, came a fumble away from being 0-1 and the team that got beaten isn't ranked in the Top 15. Seattle beat a team by five points who Peter doesn't consider to be a Top 15 team and the Seahawks are the 3rd best team in the NFL?

6. Green Bay (0-1). Good team, but I continue to wonder if the defense can mature during the season, particular as long as cornerback Casey Hayward is missing.

They did lose on the road to the team that Peter ranks as the 2nd best team in the NFL, so maybe it isn't so bad.

12. St. Louis (1-0). Love the fact that Sam Bradford engineered three scoring drives (okay, one was a two-yarder) that ended in touchdown, field goal and game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter. Also love the fact that the Rams are now 5-1-1 in, arguably, the toughest division in football since the start of the 2012 season.

Sam Bradford is clutchiness. I didn't check the box score, but it's safe to assume Tavon Austin had 10 catches for 902 yards and 8 touchdowns.

13. Tennessee (1-0). Maybe Mike Munchak’s right. Maybe you can still win by running the ball predominantly—in part because so many teams don’t work that much in practice to stop the run, because so few teams are big-run teams anymore.

Yeah, good luck with that philosophy. This sounds like some made-up bullshit that Gregg Easterbrook would come up with in TMQ. Teams don't work on stopping the run in practice so I'm sure they just forgot how to stop the run.

15. Arizona (0-1). Larry Fitzgerald touchdown catches last year: four. Larry Fitzgerald touchdown catches Sunday in St. Louis: two. The Cards are going to be a tough day for every team on their schedule.

Either that or the Rams secondary isn't as good as Peter thinks. Of course, this could never be true could it?

Defensive Players of the Week

Shaun Phillips, OLB, Denver. What’s the biggest fear any Broncos fan had heading into the season? The pass rush. And Phillips, more than any single Denver defender, did something about that Thursday night, sacking Joe Flacco twice by himself and sharing a third. “I took it personal that everyone was like, ‘Oh what are we going to do about the pass rush,’ but I’ve had like 70 sacks in my career. What am I some bum or something like that?” said Phillips.

No, you are very clearly not Bum Phillips. Bum Phillips is old and white.

Goats of the Week
Bill Leavy, referee, Green Bay-San Francisco game. When there are offsetting fouls after a play has ended, the down is not supposed to be replayed. But Leavy erred on this most basic of officiating tenets, and it played a major role in San Francisco’s victory...Matthews was flagged for hitting Kaepernick out of bounds, two steps after the play officially ended. A scrum ensued, with Matthews and Niners tackle Joe Staley going at it. Staley got a personal foul. But instead of ruling that the play should stand and it should be 4th-and-2, meaning the Niners would have attempted a field goal, Leavy ordered the down replayed. Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin, making it 14-7 San Francisco instead of 10-7.

Man, the Packers just can't catch an officiating break when it comes to playing road games against NFC West teams can they?

Kyle Knox, LB, Jacksonville. Knox did something in the Jags-Chiefs game I’ve never seen before, and it showed such a lack of football instinct that it deserves mention in this space. Jags punter Bryan Anger kicked one downfield and it bounced once toward the Kansas City goal line. Knox, in full pursuit, grabbed the ball at the Kansas City 19 when it was bouncing in the direction of the goal line. Who knows? Maybe it goes dead at the 12. Or the two. But Knox stole yardage from his team, foolishly.

Peter had four "Goats of the Week" (presumably because three isn't enough and five is just overkill) and two of the "goats" and their actions had a direct effect on the outcome of the game, while David Wilson's fumbles certainly didn't help in a 36-31 game. Kyle Knox takes away a maximum of 18 yards in a 28-2 game and he's a "goat"? His play didn't even come to close to having an effect on the game that the other "goats'" plays had.

“Will the Lions cover four-and-a-half tomorrow against Minnesota?’’

—Brent Musburger, during an interview with Lions fan and rapper Eminem during Notre Dame-Michigan Saturday night. Want to define the look of paranoia? Check out Eminem’s face. That uncomfortable Q-and-A will be a case study in Weird Announcing History 101 in broadcast schools for years to come.

Eminem had to be high during that interview or he anticipated it was being taped and played at a later date. I'm voting high on something, because it was that odd of an interview. Though I like Musburger just saying "screw it" and talking about gambling because there was nothing else Eminem would respond to. Heck, Eminem didn't even really respond to the question about gambling.

My Week 1 guests on The MMQB Podcast With Peter King: Eli Manning and Matt Ryan, along with Greg Bedard and Andy Benoit of The MMQB. I asked Manning if he’d ever wondered what his career would have been like had he accepted being drafted by the Chargers in 2004, and stayed in San Diego. You’ll recall he and his father, Archie, pressed for a trade before the draft because he didn’t want to play for what he saw as a sinking franchise.

I think saying Eli Manning "pressed for a trade" is being a bit kind or taking the rough edges off the situation. Manning was refusing to play for the Chargers. I don't know if telling the Chargers "I'm not playing for you" is pressing a trade any more than it is simply refusing to play for a team.

Said Manning: “I really haven’t. Just because when I made my decision that this is what I’m going to do, and I felt strongly about everything that I said in the week going into the draft. I said, ‘This is my decision, and I’m going to make it right.’ I’m going to feel strongly about it, and wherever I end up I’m going to work hard and do everything I can and not look back or have second doubts. So, you know, I think you never know what would have happened if I went there.’’

Right, but what would have happened if you had "gone there" instead of "went there"?

Tennessee trailed 2-0 in the second quarter and took the ball on a short field at the Steeler 49. The Titans ran it 12 of the next 13 plays, the only pass an eight-yard dump from Jake Locker to Delanie Walker after seven straight runs to start the drive. Battle bulled over from three yards out to score just before halftime and give Tennessee a lead it would never give up. “That’s who we are,’’ said Munchak. “But, what I really like about the offense is that we’ve got the kinds of weapons—Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington—that we can use to get in a throwing contest if we have to. Who knows? Maybe next week we’ll have to throw it 40 times to win. That’s okay too.”

It's okay when Jake Locker is your quarterback. Half of those throws are destined to be incompletions.

That means Locker will have to be better than a 56 percent passer, which he was a year ago.

Yeah, but remember Peter back when you reported Chris Palmer was trying to make Locker a more accurate thrower because Mark Brunell and Brett Favre became more accurate over their careers? You can make a quarterback who hasn't shown himself to ever be accurate a better passer by throwing at flags.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Now this is something that never happened to me before on an airplane: I had an aisle seat in a three-across row flying home from Denver and the season-opener on JetBlue early Friday morning. The man sitting next to me was asleep when I boarded. He slept the entire way to New York. He didn’t wake up when we landed. I got up and disembarked. He was still asleep. When I was walking off the plane, I looked over at the poor guy in the window seat who didn’t know whether to shake the guy or try to climb over him to get off the plane.

I'm not sure what it takes for Peter King to mind his own business while he is flying on a plane or riding on a train. Peter likes to note when a passenger is rude, when a passenger is on his phone too long, when a passenger (or two) are on a computer for an entire train ride, and now he is noting when passengers on a plane are asleep. What will it take for Peter to stop paying attention to other individuals and just mind his own business? Even when a person does nothing and just sleeps, Peter feels the need to note this in MMQB.

“‪@RSherman_25 yo story in sports illustrated was real I respect you a lot… I play QB at ‪#FSU and always was the nerdy athlete ‪#followback’’

—@Jaboowins, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, to Richard Sherman of the Seahawks on July 31. (Yes, it’s not exactly a Tweet of the Week, but I thought it was worthy, given how Winston exploded onto the national scene last week with a 25-of-27 college debut at Pitt.

Of course this isn't worthy of a Tweet of the Week, but Peter still feels the need to include it as one of his several Tweets of the Week. Also, he may want to close that italics at some point. I guess Peter nor his editor noticed the italics never got closed. That's assuming Peter has an editor, right?

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 1:

Nothing, it was an unexciting week of football?

c. All offseason, the Bengals worked on Andy Dalton throwing the deep ball better. And boom—first quarter, at Chicago, Dalton threw it up deep downfield for A.J. Green. Complete. Gain of 42.
d. Green abused Charles Tillman, an excellent corner.

Why are these separate letters again? Peter hasn't changed the topic, so "d" should be the next topic and this sentence should be put up with "c."

f. Reggie Bush. At 28, he played with the verve of the 19-year-old USC weapon, diving into the end zone to cap his 77-yard touchdown catch-and-run.

According to Bleacher Report, Bush could very well breakout this year. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

h. Andrew Luck, for his eighth fourth-quarter comeback in 17 professional games. Think about that.

No, I refuse to think about it. I will not.

i. No question in my mind Brian Hartline will be a more targeted player than Mike Wallace—unless Ryan Tannehill begins forcing the ball to the unhappy Wallace.

Wait, this is what Peter likes about Week 1? He likes that Brian Hartline is more targeted than Mike Wallace? Why would Peter care which Dolphins receiver is more targeted?

l. Told you to draft Jared Cook, fantasians. Hope you listened.

It was one game, Peter. One game. There's no doubt Cook is talented, but it hasn't exactly translated to success on the field over his career. Maybe it will this year.

m. I knew Martellus Bennett would be a great signing for Chicago, and the leaping fingertip touchdown catch on the first Bears touchdown of the year just proved that.

"I knew I was smart, but one week of football just showed me exactly how smart I am."

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 1:

b. And the safety. The ridiculous safety. No team was as unimpressive early as the Bucs in the first quarter at the Meadowlands.
d. The first big hit of Kenny Vaccaro’s career. He torpedoed into a sliding Matt Ryan, a clear penalty.

What I didn't like about MMQB this week:

a. Peter's inability to get the alphabet correct after the letter "b." This is the second really easy edit that has gotten missed. Does MMQB get rushed out, does Peter edit his own column or is his editor just really lazy? I make mistakes all the time, but I also don't have an editor who is supposed to prevent easily-fixable mistakes like going from "a and b" to the letter "d."

i. David Wilson needs to go to the Tiki Barber School of Ball Control. I might be serious about that. Barber should call him.

Somewhere in the United States, Tiki Barber perked up at hearing his name and immediately rushed to find out if he can find a way to get attention by helping David Wilson with his ball control. Upon finding out he can't really get attention, Barber quickly hangs up the phone.

j. The Panthers sure didn’t look explosive on offense against Seattle. They looked cautious.

Say what you will about Ron Rivera, but...actually there is no "but" because Rivera chose to hire Mike Shula as his offensive coordinator. According to Cam Newton, Shula called "an unbelievable game." I agree. It was unbelievable what a shitty, conservative game Shula called.

k. Brandon Weeden: three interceptions in the first 27 minutes. I didn’t watch that game closely. But there’s just something missing with Weeden, something about knowing when to take chances and when to play safe.

Well, maybe he will cut down on those mistakes once he matures a little bit more. Give him a few years Browns fans and you will find out that Weeden is 35 years old and holy shit the prime of his career is already passed and he is only in his second NFL season.

6. I think Mike Wallace has to look himself in the mirror today and say, “What a dumb thing I said yesterday about being ticked to not be a key guy in the gameplan. We won. I was selfish.’’ It’s patently absurd, after winning the first game of the season on the road, to complain about your role. It’s one game, dude. Can’t turn into T.O. after one game.

Yeah, dude. Come on dude, it's only one game, so don't overreact. That is unless you are Peter King, in which case this rule doesn't apply to him and all of these assumptions and knee-jerk reactions he is making in this MMQB are going to stand the test of the season as facts and not just the result of one week of football.

7. I think, as I reported on NBC over the weekend, that we can have whatever opinion we want about the fruitlessness of the mission Tim Tebow is on, but he is determined to give the quarterback position one more concentrated try.

I think now that Tebow is out of the NFL, sportswriters need to stop talking about him. Let's talk about active NFL players, please. Also, Tebow's insistence on being a quarterback is a little selfish, no? It's more about him proving something to his doubters rather than using his skills to help an NFL team win games, even if the skills he uses aren't being used in the fashion Tebow wants the skills to be used.

I still maintain in the right place—which the 2012 Jets were, if they’d done with Tebow what Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum intended—Tebow can have a role as a changeup quarterback on a winning team.

Of course you maintain this. Tebow brings pageviews and when Tebow is out of the NFL he can't bring pageviews.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Remember one thing, all you Springsteenians, who wanted to see a more Jersey look for the Super Bowl halftime show and got Bruno Mars instead: Halftime shows are done to attract a non-football audience, including the international audience. Halftime shows are designed to hit a different demographic. I couldn’t tell you the difference between Bruno Mars and a Mars bar. But 56-year-old men aren’t the focus of the league when it comes to halftime shows at the Super Bowl.

So a note about the Super Bowl is a non-football thought? Interesting. Also, Bruce Springsteen is 63 years old. I'm not sure where Peter got the "56-year-old men" comment from unless he isn't talking about Springsteen. If he is talking about Springsteen, then is another example of an easily fixable mistake in MMQB.

b. I have to tell you it got quiet in the NBC Football Night in America Red Sox Wing when the Jacoby Ellsbury foot news came in Sunday. He’ll miss some time with an injury.

I'm not sure even Red Sox fans care about your reaction to Ellbury's injury.

d. Thanks, Lake Bell, for being a fan of The MMQB. You’re good at movies too.

Yes, Lake Bell, Peter is a huge fan of you ever since last week when he saw his first ever movie that had you in it. He's been a fan for a whole week and seen one of your movies.

e. Feeling stupid for ignoring Breaking Bad.

Have you thought it's not just a feeling?

f. Denver’s so underrated.

I'm not sure what this even means. This makes not of sense. Who is rating Denver to where it is under/overrated?

g. But the one thing about the city, if you’re there once or three times a year for short stays, is how dehydration just sneaks up on you. Last Wednesday, in mid-afternoon, I’m wondering why I have this headache. I never get headaches. And a friend said to me, “Drink water. Drink a lot of water here. That’s from dehydration.” He was right.

Wait, so when you are dehydrated liquids like water may help the dehydration? No way!

The Adieu Haiku

I know. Raiders lost.
But my Week 1 takeaway?
Oakland’s not boring.

It does not matter.
A loss is still a loss, no?
It's been one game, dude.


Snarf said...

We had to know it would be Anquan Boldin that was Peter's favorite Stat of the Weekend, though it isn't his official "Stat of the Week" of course, because that would be too logical. Boldin had a great performance and he obviously is a really good receiver. Was his great performance due to the poor defense by the Packers, having Kaepernick throwing him the football instead of Flacco, or just a great game? Probably a little bit of everything. I'm just a little tired of the talk about how that the Ravens got rid of Boldin and they are going to regret it. They probably will regret it, but Ozzie Newsome telegraphed that difficult decisions would be made back in February and Boldin was one of the difficult decisions. It's part of the Ravens long-term plan to avoid having cap issues.

You are 100% correct that Ozzie telegraphed this move. A small part of me thinks that Peter feels dumb for beating the drum of the Ravens letting Joe Flacco walk based on those comments. He may have been trying to stir the pot, but I think he get's shit from people (readers, other writers, NFL types, etc.) about it and may be trying to make it look like keeping Boldin would have been the smart move (not that Flacco/Boldin was a choice, but hopefully you get what I'm saying).

Snarf said...

12. St. Louis (1-0). Love the fact that Sam Bradford engineered three scoring drives (okay, one was a two-yarder) that ended in touchdown, field goal and game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter. Also love the fact that the Rams are now 5-1-1 in, arguably, the toughest division in football since the start of the 2012 season.

Wouldn't just saying "last year's toughest division" be the same thing? Seems like he's trying to make it sound like a longer time span than it is/was, much like when talking about the Olympics and someone says "this group hasn't taken the gold in 8 years!" meaning they won it the Olympics before last.

Anonymous said...

Ben, how are you liking the Mike Shula era? The last time he was offensive coordinator was from '96-'99 for the Tampa Bay Bucs. Remember how great those offenses were? Who can forget their defense completely shutting down one of the greatest offenses in history in the '99 NFC Championship Game, only to still lose because they couldn't score at all? Whatever strengths Ron Rivera may have as a coach (and by all appearances they are minimal), he undermines himself with lousy game management and this selection of an offensive coordinator. He should be fired before he ruins Cam Newton forever.

Anonymous said...

I think PK is referring to himself in the case of the 56-year old man. And he has sucked for all 56 years. Joe DiMaggio's got nothin' on Petey.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, keeping Boldin would have absolutely been the smart move. The only reason I harp on this is because the Ravens do regret it, but this is life in the salary cap era. They had to make a choice between a couple of players in order to avoid salary cap hell in the future. Boldin is still a productive receiver and I can see an argument that says the Ravens should have done whatever it took to keep him, but this also could have meant they wouldn't have been able to sign Dumervil and/or Daryl Smith.

Plus, Peter admits the Ravens weaknesses against the Broncos wasn't at the WR position. So Boldin would not have helped other than to give Flacco another weapon, but not a weapon at the TE position.

Yes, that would be easier just to write "last year's division." It overcomplicates the time span and saying "last year" doesn't sound like it is a very long time ago.

Anon, I like the Mike Shula era as much as I anticipated I would like the Mike Shula era. Rivera should have been fired in January and therefore Shula would have been fired too. Fine, Rivera doesn't get fired, but Shula has no business being the Offensive Coordinator. I was in the corner for Hue Jackson, simply because I think he deserves a second chance and could give a fresh look to the offense that Mike Shula is incapable of giving.

Rivera's strength as a coach is the players like him and want to play well for him. Also, he admittedly has done a bang-up job building and coaching a defense that was in bad shape when he got to Carolina. Rivera isn't an offensive-minded guy which is why it is important to have a smart, creative offensive guy to oversee the development of Cam Newton. Shula isn't that guy and wasn't ever going to be the guy. I was against the hire then and I won't be changing my mind.

The gameplan Sunday in no way played to the offense's strengths, but yet a conservative gameplan was called regardless. Newton had a bad statistical game, but I've been very critical of his decision-making and ability to make the shorter throws where he can't just sling the ball as hard as he wants. On Sunday, he seemed to improve in both areas (at least for one game) and then no down-the-field passes were called in the second half to try and put more points on the board and play to Newton's strengths. Shula has no idea what to do with Newton, unlike Rob Chudzinski who was too busy showing off how smart he was in angling for a head coaching job to care at times.

This organization's insistence on incompetent coaching hires (and it goes back to the John Fox era with Jeff Davidson as the OC and how Jerry Richardson played out the string with Fox rather than fire him and move on) and poor management of talent is a slap in the face to the fans. 15 more games though, right? Then they start over again. Sorry, it's not hard to get me going on this issue.

Anon, I re-read that and it makes sense now. I figured I was missing something.

frank said...

Ron Rivera reminds me of Lovie Smith except without the wins. I wonder if that is why Lovie fired him/let him go. Neither one seems to know how to pick an offensive coordinator to make the most of the talent they have on the team.

Bengoodfella said...

Frank, that's possible. Chud wasn't the worst of OC's, but he had his eye on other things and got really cute instead of just trying to move the football. Who knows, maybe Shula will get how to run the offense, but I doubt it.