Tuesday, October 8, 2013

8 comments MMQB Review: Late Night Football is a Revelation Edition

Peter King told us last week in MMQB that he thought Greg Schiano deserved a chance to save his job, so the Buccaneers should release Josh Freeman immediately. Well, they released Freeman so now Schiano gets to prove he isn't a wanna be Saban/Belichick and can actually coach now that the terrible distraction named "Josh Freeman" is out of the way. Peter also brought the term "precocious" back in describing Lane Kiffin and hopefully this is a one week cameo of this word and Peter will discontinue using it forever after this past week's MMQB. This week Peter talks about Tony Romo, semi-defends Schiano, decides he will just let his readers vote for who should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, kills space in MMQB so it can be as bloated as possible and on his way to attending Game 1 of the ALDS thinks he can smell a liar. Peter also really, really like 2am football apparently, though I doubt he would like it if he had to write MMQB after a 2am game every week.

Now that was a really fun day of football and sidebars to football. A day plus, really, including tension in the Black Hole at 2:32 Eastern Time this morning. The highlights:

Josh Freeman wasn’t an unemployed quarterback for long. As Mike Florio reported on NBC late Sunday night, Minnesota GM Rick Spielman signed him to a one-year contract, and he’ll report to the Vikings today. Minnesota is coming off its bye week, and has a home game with Carolina Sunday afternoon. Freeman did the one-year deal for a strategic reason: He wants to be a free agent next March, able to sign with any quarterback-needy team before the lucrative 2014 quarterback draft happens in May. (More on the filthy-rich prospective QB crop lower in this column.) For now, Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel will have company in the quarterback meeting room,

I'm shocked, astounded is probably a better word, that the Vikings have brought Josh Freeman in to compete with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. Ponder "led" the Vikings to a playoff berth last year and this is how he gets treated? He's a winner who only knows how to win games. Just look at the 2012 Vikings team that Ponder "led" to the playoffs, what other quarterback could have done that?

I do have questions about this though...because Cassel played well in Week 4, does this mean Freeman will be the #3 quarterback? Obviously he will for the time being, but when Cassel beats the Panthers next week in Minnesota and doesn't play terribly, or does play terribly, is he going to be replaced by Ponder or Freeman? If Cassel isn't replaced by Ponder then does that mean Ponder will be the #3 quarterback eventually? I guess my point is the Vikings probably would not have signed Freeman if they planned on him being the #3 quarterback and sitting on the bench. It feels like a "throw it against the wall and see what sticks move," except what sticks could conceivably put Christian Ponder as the #3 quarterback.

The Vikings are only 1.5 games out of the NFC North lead,

The Vikings have played four games. Being 1.5 games out of the NFC North lead after four games is not good.

We all saw the pass Tony Romo, with 506 passing yards in a 48-48 tie very late in the Denver-Dallas game, threw. And he shouldn’t have thrown it. Denver linebacker Danny Trevathan stepped in front of rookie tight end Gavin Escobar and made an athletic interception at the Dallas 24. Eight plays later, as the clock ran out, Matt Prater kicked the winning 28-yard field goal. It follows the Romo pattern, of course, of throwing the ball to the other team in a vital moment...just saying it’s not fair to rip Romo when he’s played the game of his life, and when Manning made the exact same mistake just a few drives earlier, throwing one to Morris Claiborne is a tense time.

I think Romo gets too much shit too, but I think the point isn't that Romo didn't play well, but that he was due for one big screw up in the game at a crucial time. I absolutely agree the game was lost due to the Cowboys defense, but I think the criticism of Romo is due to the fact he threw the interception in a tie game on what would be the last Cowboys drive of the game. Manning did throw an earlier interception, but it wasn't on what would be the game-ending drive. The criticism of Romo seems to be less about his performance and more about the fact many people felt they knew he would make a mistake and it was only a matter of time...then he made the mistake everyone was expecting him to make.

I know Gary Kubiak said last night Schaub is his quarterback, and the Texans will do everything they can this week to get him mentally ready for the boos at home, because they’re coming. The Rams will come to Reliant Stadium, and it’s got to be Schaub’s last stand. He looks like a shell of himself.

It seems Matt Schaub has acquired "Jake Delhomme Disease" where a once competent quarterback who succeeded by making key throws and taking care of the football just can't stop throwing the football to the opposing team. There is no cure.

How the Texans do this week in performing mental rehab on Schaub will go a long way in determining whether they can salvage the season.

It's not like the 49ers have a crappy defense or anything of course. I'm sure that doesn't make the Texans feel any better, but the 49ers are a really good team. The 49ers win is mostly due to them going for it on fourth down two weeks ago (right Gregg Easterbrook?) and has very little do to with their actual talent of course.

Dungy joins the chorus. As respected a voice on the NFL as I know, NBC analyst Tony Dungy, said last night on TV that Washington owner Dan Snyder should change the name of his team.

I like Tony Dungy, but I feel like Peter respects his voice more than a lot of other people respect his voice and opinion. Dungy has become one of those guys whose opinion is supposed to hold more weight because we have been told his opinion holds more weight. Basically what I am saying is I don't give a shit about Dungy's opinion because I don't think his opinion should hold more weight than anyone else's opinion. The President of the United States says the Skins should think about changing their name and did so in vague and mealy mouth terms, so when Dungy has an opinion on the subject I'm not sure the fact he is voicing an opinion makes me get all hot and bothered because he's so respected. I keep hearing how respected Dungy is and I think that more than anything makes him respected.

“The Redskins nickname is offensive to Native Americans. In 2013, we need to get that name changed.”

Well, that is a persuasive argument so I can see how Dungy's voice is so respected. The way Dungy phrased those two sentences completely changes my opinion.

Last night, the attorney for the team, Lanny Davis, was strident to me in saying people were taking President Obama’s statement too far—and he’s right. “What is a sizable group?’’ he said. “In 2004, the only sampling of Native Americans [on this issue] was taken in an Annenberg Poll. Nine of 10 said they were not offended by the nickname.

Obama's statement meant nothing. It's so vague it almost had no meaning to the listener other than to say, "If a lot of people are offended they should maybe change the name." That's really not saying anything definitive, nor should Obama say anything definitive. He's got better things to do.

By the way, the super-duper respected Dungy didn't say anything else about the Skins nickname. He simply said it's offensive to Native Americans and it should be changed. As usual, while I like Tony Dungy, I fail to see what makes that opinion so respected other than we are supposed to feel like Dungy is respected.

With the Chargers driving frantically just inside the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter, rookie Raiders corner D.J. Hayden made the biggest play of his young career. He darted in front of San Diego wideout Keenan Allen in the end zone and intercepted a Philip Rivers pass, securing the 27-17 Oakland win with the first interception of his NFL career.
At 2:32 this morning on the East Coast.

That's a late game, but it's not that late on the West Coast. Either way, Peter liked it, and with a respected voice like Peter King liking Monday Morning Football I see no reason why the NFL shouldn't schedule a Monday Morning Game every week. We'll see if Peter continues to like Monday Morning Football when the 49ers and Broncos play at 11:30pm EST on a Sunday evening. I'm guessing Peter won't like Monday Morning Football when one of the best games of the week takes place at that time and he can't write parts of MMQB until the game is done.

At 3 a.m. Eastern, I polled my Twitter followers, asking them if they’d like to see a weekly very late Sunday night game. More football! Let’s gorge on football! 

By 7 a.m., 127 of you morning people had responded. Voting yes: 91. No: 36.

This is what is known as using a biased sample size. The same people who would vote in this poll are the same people who stayed up for the very late Sunday night game.

But as several of you tweeted, if I held that vote at noon on Monday instead of 3 a.m., I’d get a heck of a lot more no votes.

You would also get a lot more votes against a late Sunday night game since many of the people didn't vote because they were asleep when the poll was taken. Peter already does passive-aggressive whining about having to stay up late to do MMQB, so I can only imagine how much he would whine if he had to write about an 11:30pm EST NFL game every week.

One interesting refrain: Many of you said, in effect, the league should get rid of the Thursday night game and hold one of these late jobs after NBC’s Sunday night game is over.

I'm not a diehard fan of the Thursday night game, but I think holding a game this late on Sunday night is a terrible idea. People are idiots and the same people who think getting rid of the Thursday night game and having an 11:30pm EST game on Sunday night is a good idea are also the same people who will bitch about the government shutdown and then re-elect the exact same representatives back into office who shut down the government.

It’s an interesting concept, but one I doubt that would have any chance of happening. Just thought it was novel, and quite a few of you night owls enjoyed it.

It's a great novel idea. It's not an idea that needs to happen every week of the NFL season.

The quarterback market will be rich next May.

The other day at The MMQB, our college football guru, Andy Staples, did his weekly list of the top 50 draft prospects. He had nine quarterbacks rated among his top 32 picks.


When I asked Staples to do this list weekly during the college season, I told him to put underclass players in if he thinks they’ll be declaring for the draft. Thus Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a junior, in. Thus UCLA redshirt sophomore Brett Hundley, out. Staples’ gut tells him Bridgewater comes out and Hundley stays in school.

Hundley probably should come out this year, but if there are really that many quality quarterbacks coming out it makes sense to wait until next year. Of course if he wants to land in a good situation then maybe he should come out this year and hope to get drafted by a team that isn't QB-needy for another season or two.

That doesn’t mean nine quarterbacks will go in the first round, obviously. That won’t happen. But the big numbers at quarterback, assuming players like Manziel and Bridgewater and Oregon redshirt soph Marcus Mariota do come out, could be very good for teams like Minnesota and Oakland.

I'm notoriously terrible at evaluating quarterbacks, but I think Marcus Mariota is violently underrated (yes, "violently" underrated and I have no idea what this means). I would take him over Manziel and quite possibly Brett Hundley as well.

The Vikings and Raiders could exit 2013 doubting Christian Ponder/Josh Freeman (and Freeman could want to play elsewhere) and Terrelle Pryor as their long-term quarterback answers—but they may not be ready to pull the plug on them for good. The market might be so good that teams thought not to be in the market (Philadelphia, Dallas, Denver, Cincinnati and Houston, for example) could see a highly ranked guy on their board sitting there in the third round and think he’s just too good a player to pass up.

Okay, well not every NFL team can draft a quarterback. Peter just listed seven teams who could draft a quarterback and he hasn't even gotten to the Eagles, Jaguars, or any surprise team who could draft a quarterback (Bears, Titans, Cardinals) early in the draft.

This road scout said the most intriguing prospect he’d seen this season was 6-5, 235-pound LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who he said has improved a lot under new offensive Cam Cameron.

Wow, a quarterback who improved playing under Cam Cameron. Now that is saying something.

And so you want to be a Hall of Fame voter …

Well, you can’t. 

Yeah, I know I can't. Don't be a dick Peter and brag about your ability to vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This week, The MMQB will give 10 of you a chance to make your best case for a player you believe belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Nominate and support your favorite candidate in short, 250-word essays, and we’ll run the best ones Friday on The MMQB.

I am surprised Peter didn't ask the readers to write their nominations in haiku form. Let's see if I can make really, really persuasive arguments for some coaches and quarterbacks to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Quarterbacks—Drew Bledsoe, Randall Cunningham, Doug Flutie, Trent Green, Steve McNair, Phil Simms.

All six should be in the Hall of Fame. McNair and Cunningham under the "Tony Dungy Rule" that Peter introduced last week, where neither player has the statistics to necessarily make it, but they opened up chances for today's black quarterbacks to play in the NFL. Forebearers should all be admitted. Come one, come all...except Akili Smith.

Bledsoe played for the Patriots. He should be in.

Doug Flutie taught the world what scrappiness could do for a team and was the forebearer of quarterbacks who didn't look like a quarterback, but they had heart and grit. He should be in.

Trent Green- He and Peter King are text buddies. Of course he should be in.

Phil Simms- He was a winner at the quarterback position for a large market team, plus he's such a great broadcaster. He's in.

Coaches—Bill Arnsparger, Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Tom Flores, Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves, Lou Saban, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil.

Arnsparger has a great name. He's in.

Don Coryell is the forebearer (Tony Dungy Rule) of modern offenses that utilize an athletic tight end. He's in.

Bill Cowher has won one real Super Bowl and three Super Bowls in the minds of NFL fans desperate to have him coach their team. He should be in after winning four Super Bowls, one real and three only in the mind of desperate, coach-needy teams.

Dungy is the forebearer for black coaches and the forebearer of the Tony Dungy Rule.

Tom Flores was the forebearer of Hispanic coaches like Ron Rivera. Of course he's in (Flores, not Rivera...the only hall Rivera should be in is the atrium outside an NFL team's facility waiting to interview for a job after this season).

Jon Gruden, well this guy is the best. If I had to choose one head coach to make the Hall of Fame, it would be this guy.

Holmgren/Johnson/Reeves/Knox all seem like they were great coaches so they should be in.

Buddy Parker, the booster from "Friday Night Lights" should be in the Hall of Fame for all he helped East and West Dillon do in achieving state titles. Wait, that was Buddy Garrity? Either way, Buddy Parker sounds like a jazz musician so he's in.

Richie Petitbon is a coach I get confused with Rich Kotite. For that, Petitbon should be in the Hall of Fame.

I think Lou Saban and Clark Shaughnessy are names Peter King made up to make his readers feel stupid. I'm not falling for it. They are both out.

Marty Schottenheimer wasn't a clutch coach who couldn't win a playoff game. For that...he's in. No Hall of Fame would be any good without Marty Schottenheimer in there to annoy sportswriters who would complain about his lack of playoff victories while they easily vote Dungy into the Hall of Fame. Schottenheimer was the forebearer of playoff choking coaches and led the way for coaches like Marv Levy and Dan Reeves who just couldn't win the Super Bowl.

Dick Vermeil is in because I don't want him crying if he doesn't make it.

Then Peter interviews the authors of "League of Denial," Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wade about their book and the upcoming documentary. I guess this has a place in MMQB. It has more of a place than other topics Peter gives attention to in MMQB. Oh, and I also love how Bud Selig gets ruined for putting his head in the sand on steroids, while Paul Tagliabue took steps to cover up the effect concussions had on NFL players and gets very little criticism. Isn't it obvious now that completely ignoring and covering up a problem is worse than ignoring the problem and eventually trying to fix it? This book on concussions in the NFL makes Tags look really, really bad. It's a good thing Tagliabue is retired.

Fine Fifteen

Fifteen teams placed in random order of supposed strength.

2. New Orleans (5-0). Building a 23-7 lead and coasting is great for the confidence of a team that might have to play outdoors in January.

Well, except it will be colder in January than it was this past weekend, which has a great impact on the Saints having to play outdoors.

10. Baltimore (3-2). Good win to pull it out in Miami, but this is something John Harbaugh frets about: Last year, Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce averaged 4.6 yards per carry. This year: 2.9.

It's almost like other NFL teams don't worry about the Ravens throwing the football and are paying special attention to the run game. Peter King says if the Ravens had just kept Anquan Boldin then they wouldn't be having this problem.

11. Dallas (2-3). One of the craziest games in Cowboys history. In NFL history. Showed how great, and how maddening, Tony Romo can be in one game.

Yeah, it's so maddening when he puts up 48 points and then has the audacity to commit one turnover and the Cowboys lose because the defense gave up 51 points. Romo is such a frustrating player in how he isn't very good at defense.

12. Detroit (3-2). Calvin Johnson missed the game, out of nowhere, and it showed. The Lions played like they had a thorn in their collective paw.

See, because they are Lions they don't like thorns in their paw. This is a real thing.

15. Atlanta (1-3). Speaking of New Jersey teams you like to see coming to your place … Jets at Falcons tonight.

The Jets have a strong run defense, while the Falcons have a backup running back starting with three quality receivers ready to catch the football, which means the Falcons will try to throw the ball around the field a lot while Gregg Easterbrook complains the Falcons don't run the ball often enough.

Defensive Players of the Week

Tramaine Brock, CB, San Francisco. Call him Wally Pipp—you’ll have to Google (or Bing) that if you need to know what it means. 

Yeah Peter, you are the only one who knows who Wally Pipp is because you are a more knowledgeable fan due to being a Red Sox fan. I'm pretty sure anyone who follows sports or would read MMQB on a regular basis knows who Wally Pipp is. If a person doesn't know who Wally Pipp is then he/she will look it up. It sounds pretentious to be like "If you aren't quite as knowledgeable as I am then go research it." 

Suffice it to say Brock subbed for the injured Nnamdi Asomugha at nickel cornerback Sunday night, and it’s going to be tough for Asomugha to get his job back after the 34-3 beatdown of the Texans Sunday night.

Quite a fall for Nnamdi Asomugha to go from one of the most coveted free agents of all-time (in Peter's one-time opinion) to losing his job to Tramine Brock just a few years later.

Coach of the Week

Adam Gase, offensive coordinator, Denver. For the smooth transition from Mike McCoy at offensive coordinator and offensive play-caller, for being able to bond quickly with a quarterback who clearly respects him (Peyton Manning), and for piloting an offense that’s putting up 46 points a game through five weeks.

Just one week ago Peter did a portion of MMQB about Peyton Manning and how he holds meetings with his offensive teammates where they can air out differences and talk about the previous game. Eric Decker explained that Peyton Manning is like a coach out there and it comes off when he runs these meetings. No disrespect to Adam Gase, but I have a hard time seeing him as a coach of the week when Peyton Manning is the guy he coaches. Peyton Manning probably doesn't even need an offensive coordinator at times.

I realize Peyton Manning can't coach himself, but he comes pretty close to coaching himself at times.

Goat of the Week

Matt Schaub, QB, Houston. It’s sad to watch the implosion of this productive player. And make no mistake—he’s imploding before our eyes. For the fourth straight game, an NFL record, he had an interception returned for touchdown, this one 90 seconds into the first quarter. It was one of three picks in all for Schaub. Though coach Gary Kubiak said Schaub remains the starter, it’d be a shock if Schaub can hang onto the job with one more poor performance Sunday at home against the Rams. Who, by the way, have a risk-taking secondary.

Peter calls the Rams secondary "risk-taking" I call them 17th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game and 28th in the NFL in points allowed per game. The Rams have a very good front seven by the way, so one would think this could positively impact the Rams secondary.

Then Peter goes into his quotes of the week.

“Nobody says it’s a good law, nobody says it’s a bad law. But it’s a law.

Actually, the entire government shutdown is because some legislators say Obamacare is a good law and other legislators say it is a bad law. So "nobody" doesn't say or not say either of these things.

Did you see the Giants game on Sunday? They lost 31-7. And do you know what the Giants didn’t say after that game? ‘If you don’t give us 25 more points by midnight Monday, we will shut down the [bleeping] NFL!’ They didn’t say that! What I’m saying is: Wouldn’t it be nice if the United States Congress aspired to the maturity and problem-solving … of football players.”

—Jon Stewart last week on The Daily Show, urging our elected leaders to re-open the government and to stop using a budget debate to protest a health-care law some of the politicians don’t like.

It always disturbs me that many people get their political news from "The Daily Show." It's supposed to be comedy riffing on real life news, not real life news with a comedy slant. It's a funny show, but this isn't the best of comparisons made by Jon Stewart.

One thing largely ignored in the rush to say how wronged new Viking Josh Freeman was by the Bucs in the last couple of weeks: He’s been playing bad football going back to last Thanksgiving. 

Shouldn’t we judge players by how they play? Seems like we’ve heard every excuse—coach Greg Schiano is a hands-on-your-throat, privacy-invading nutcase, mostly—for why the Bucs were losing and Freeman was playing poorly. Now, Schiano certainly deserves his share of the blame for a team that has lost nine of 10.

Here's the part of MMQB where Peter King defends his boy from Rutgers, Greg Schiano. I'm not sure a lot of people were saying that Josh Freeman deserves to be the starter of the Buccaneers anymore. Peter either doesn't understand the issue or is trying to muddy the waters to make Schiano look better than he does. Schiano could simply have benched Josh Freeman and chose not to do that. He chose to start a pissing contest with Freeman's camp by leaking that he was late for meetings and various other minor transgressions by Freeman were also revealed. It's like Schiano wanted to find cause to bench Freeman rather than simply bench him.

So I think intentionally/unintentionally Peter is missing the point. It isn't about Schiano benching Freeman, it is about him not simply benching Freeman and instead trying to make it seem like it was for cause other than Freeman's play. It doesn't shock me that Peter is not understanding the issue some have with how Schiano handled Freeman. It's not about Freeman's performance, it's about the pissing contest between Freeman's camp and Schiano.

But all of the blame on Schiano, or most on Schiano and some on second-year offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan? I’m not buying it. Freeman has to take his share of the responsibility too—a lot more than he’s been assigned in the public view so far. (Last week Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune documented a series of Freeman screwups, including missing the team breakfast and being late for the bus on opening day, then skipping two team meetings after being demoted from the starting job.)

Then bench him. Greg Schiano is the head coach and can bench any Buccaneers player he wants for any reason he wants. Bench Freeman, but stop the series of leaks revealing Freeman's minor transgressions because it looks like (whether it is true or not) you are trying to personally ruin Freeman rather than just benching him. That's the issue with Schiano. All of Freeman's screwups became public and it looked like Schiano was using these as the reason he benched Freeman.

Then, to further illustrate he doesn't understand why some people are very critical of Greg Schiano's handling of Josh Freeman, Peter illustrates how bad Josh Freeman has been. Great, he should be benched for cause, and don't allow screwups like missed team breakfasts and missed team meetings to get out. It looks like Schiano is making it personal for why he benched him when information like this gets leaked.

Of the 46 players who dressed for 5-0 New Orleans Sunday, 19 entered the league as undrafted college free agents. That’s 41 percent of the roster coming up the hard way. Seven of the 22 starters weren’t drafted.

What does that mean? Seattle and New England have a boatload of undrafted players on the roster too, and it tells me those teams scout well, know the kind of players their coaching staffs want, and then go and get them. And the coaches coach them well.

Well, undrafted players are better than those highly-paid glory boy first round draft picks.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

There is no moral or lesson to this story. It’s not deep, or even very interesting. It just is something that happened to a traveling person.

Is this as opposed to the countless other travel notes of the week that have a moral or lesson and have been very, very interesting? Aren't all of Peter's traveling notes not deep?

I went to Boston for Game 1 of the Red Sox-Rays series. On Saturday morning at 8:15 I boarded the Acela in Back Bay, the second stop on the Boston-to-New York route. The train was crowded already. I walked through the Quiet Car, found an unoccupied two-seat row, and sat down. The train left the station.

This is already more interesting and less intrusive to other individuals than most of Peter's other travel notes. Well, it WAS more intrusive, but that ends quickly.

A few seconds later a fellow came up and said the two seats were taken. I looked at the back of the seats, which had no tags on them noting how far the passengers were going. And there was nothing on the seat—no bag, no newspaper, nothing to show that anyone was sitting there. “You sure?’’ I said. He said he was. He and a friend were sitting there, and his friend had gone to the cafĂ© car to get something to eat, and he was quite sure the seats were his.


I gave the guy a good look. Seemed like an earnest man. If I didn’t move, I was basically calling the guy a liar. So I moved, and sat with a quiet apple-eater (he had two of them on the wordless journey) for the 3.5-hour trip to Manhattan.


I didn’t think much about it.

Yeah, Peter didn't think much about it, he just wrote about it in his nationally-read column about the NFL. Other than putting it in MMQB where all of Peter's readers can read about these two guys who may or may not have saved two seats, Peter barely even thought about this incident.

“Dirk Hayhurst…COULDNT hack it…Tom Verducci wasn’t even a water boy in high school…but yet they can still bash a player…SAVE IT NERDS”

—@DAVIDprice14, after allowing nine hits and seven earned runs to Boston in a 7-4 playoff loss Saturday, criticizing TBS analysts Hayhurst and Verducci (Hayhurst, a former minor-league pitcher who had a cup of coffee in Toronto; Verducci, a New Jersey high school baseball and football star) for having the temerity to break down his losing performance.

Dan Shaughnessy would say that it doesn't sound like David Price could cut it in a large market. Unsurprisingly, Peter King says this too.

Four thoughts:
1. Price did not include his career playoff record in the tweet: 0-4, 5.81 ERA.
2. He sounds a little Crawfordy to me.

A little "Crawfordy" to Peter? Is this the same Carl Crawford who is having an excellent NLDS with the Los Angeles Dodgers? Oh yeah, that's right. Because Crawford doesn't play in Boston anymore Peter considers Crawford's career in baseball to have effectively ended the day he left the Boston Red Sox roster.

3. Good luck pitching in New York, or wherever your next stop is, David.

I'm going to laugh like hell when he signs with the Red Sox and Peter gets all giddy about this.

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 5:

a. Alshon Jeffrey, with his franchise-record-setting day for the Bears: 218 receiving yards on 10 catches (one touchdown) while the Saints spent their time shutting down Brandon Marshall.

I never thought Jeffrey was going to be a very good NFL receiver due to his lack of speed. It looks like I was wrong...this is the second time I have ever been wrong.

h. Peyton Manning’s first scoring drive: three plays, 80 yards, 50 seconds. Scoring on a shovel pass to a 267-pount tight end.

Urban Dictionary says if Thomas is a 267 pount tight end then that's (a) pretty disgusting for your readers to have to read about this and (2) I'm guessing his teammates weren't in a rush to go hug him or congratulate him on his excitement at scoring a touchdown.

The least Peter could do is leave out sexual slang from his MMQB.

j. Great blocking downfield by Wes Welker.

At least Peter isn't being vague about what he is referring to here.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 5:

c. Luke Joeckel, four days after the Eugene Monroe trade, goes out with an ankle injury. Pity the Jags.

This is the perfect time to get Tim Tebow if you are the Jaguars. He's magical and doesn't need any stinkin' blocking in front of him to win games.

f. Linebacker James Anderson wearing No. 50, Mike Singletary’s number, for the Bears. Just noticed it Sunday, and I don’t like it. It was given to Anderson in April.

It doesn't shock me. Anderson is stealing money from the Panthers and still wearing Singletary's number while doing it. He likes to take things he has been given but didn't necessarily deserve.

6. I think until I watched Terrelle Pryor play early this morning, I would have said the best spot for Josh Freeman was Oakland. No question. Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson coached Freeman in his first three years in the NFL (2009-11), and Freeman had a 10-6 record with a 95.9 rating in 2010, when he looked like a rising star. I think the only better place for Freeman would have been Green Bay. If I were Freeman I’d have gone to work with Mike McCarthy and studied Aaron Rodgers, signed a modest deal with the Packers through the end of the 2014 season, then decided what to do with my future.

"Plus," says Gregg Easterbrook, "then the Packers could run some read-option with Freeman and force the opposing defense to prepare for a different look being thrown at them." This is what Gregg Easterbrook would say this week, until the 49ers lose their next game, at which point the read-option is dead again.

8. I think South Carolina pass rusher Jadaveon Clowney as a very, very high draft choice is really starting to scare me.

I think Peter is doing the typical over-analyzing of a college player upon knowing that player will enter the NFL in time for the next NFL Draft.

Pro scouts don’t look kindly on a player saving himself for the next level, which is what it appears Clowney is doing. At least that’s the impression NFL people have now.

Well, NFL scouts can go pount themselves because if I am Jadeveon Clowney I am not going to risk a near career-ending injury (much like Clowney's ex-teammate Marcus Lattimore experienced last year) just so I can play for free at the college level. Why would Clowney risk a severe or lingering injury while playing for free when he can move his draft stock right back up with a strong Combine and workouts? I don't know if Clowney is saving himself for the NFL, but I can't entirely blame him if he is.

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

i. Saw Enough Said, the romantic comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini. Meh. Let’s just say the acting is significantly better than the story. We’re going to miss a lot of good roles Gandolfini would have played.

Who would have ever thought a romantic comedy starting Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini could possibly be not very good?

j. Coffeenerdness: Did Amtrak do something to the weak coffee on the Acela? Tasted a little more like real coffee and not coffee-flavored water Saturday.

Yes, they did. They made it stronger just for you. Never forget how special you are.

m. I hope Art Briles is the next Texas coach. I don’t mean to pilfer him from you, Baylor, but he’d be a smart hire for Texas.

Peter says this having viewed all of what, one or two Baylor games? Peter has stated in several MMQB's that he doesn't have time to watch college football.

The Adieu Haiku
Two a.m. football.
Surprisingly, I want more.
And I want it now.

Every week I challenge Peter to make the next haiku even more useless than the last one. Every week Peter delivers.


Drekkan said...

Except statistically the thought of Romo as a chocker isn't backed up by cold hard fact. Take last year - highest 4th quarter QB rating of any qualifying QB in the league. He also led the league in 4th quarter comebacks.

Romo has had a couple of very high profile instances of things going wrong. That created a narrative, and so we all have a confirmation bias of whenever something goes right for Romo (the above indicated 4Q comebacks/QBR) we ignore it - but when he makes a mistake it becomes, "Same Old Romo".

It's also wrong to insist that just because the interception happened when it did that it was any worse. Consider, would you think it was as bad if the Cowboys defence had gotten a stop on third and 1, and then got the ball back down 3 with a 1:34 left on the clock?

Or, consider if it had been reversed. Romo throws an INT when Manning did. Manning drives and gets a FG on that drive. Then, on Manning's last drive he throws the interception. Cowboys go down the field and score the TD, only to not get an onside kick and lose by 3. The end result is exactly the same, but the narrative is different.

And that's why "narratives" are balls. I can't count the number of people that have said, "Yeah, I know Romo will copmletely screw us on this drive and throw an INT". Which misses two things:

1) Considering what a fantastic day he was having he (and anyone else really) was bound to regress to the mean and make one mistake. The longer he went before making a mistake, the more likely that mistake would occur in the remaming time. I mean, it's theoretically possible to remain perfect, just incredibly unlikely.

2) If he hadn't made a mistake, people would simply forget about that fact. Then the next time he threw a 4th quarter interception it would be "same old Romo".

Again, it's confirmation bias - just as with so called "psychics", we remember the hits and forget the misses. The only way Romo can EVER now not get that "same old Romo" title is to never throw a 4th quarter interception again. He could go to the Super Bowl this year, win it, and all of next year without an INT, and then in his first one in the 4th quarter... Same old Romo.

Snarf said...

Tramaine Brock, CB, San Francisco. Call him Wally Pipp—you’ll have to Google (or Bing) that if you need to know what it means.

Yeah Peter, you are the only one who knows who Wally Pipp is because you are a more knowledgeable fan due to being a Red Sox fan. I'm pretty sure anyone who follows sports or would read MMQB on a regular basis knows who Wally Pipp is. If a person doesn't know who Wally Pipp is then he/she will look it up. It sounds pretentious to be like "If you aren't quite as knowledgeable as I am then go research it."

Suffice it to say Brock subbed for the injured Nnamdi Asomugha at nickel cornerback Sunday night, and it’s going to be tough for Asomugha to get his job back after the 34-3 beatdown of the Texans Sunday night.

Quite a fall for Nnamdi Asomugha to go from one of the most coveted free agents of all-time (in Peter's one-time opinion) to losing his job to Tramine Brock just a few years later.

I think the best part here is that he actually botches the Wally Pipp reference. In this case Nnamdi would actually be Wally Pipp, while Brock would be the Lou Gehrig.

JBsptfn said...

I like how you said that Bledsoe should go to the Hall because he is a Patriot.

Nice reference to them being one of the league's preferred teams.

San Fran used to be the media darling in the 80's and 90's. That's why Fred Dean got in over Randy Gradishar five years ago. The media loves anyone on their 80's and 90's SB teams.

As for people like Clowney saving himself for the NFL, I wish that more NFL stars in their last year would save themselves and not play in their team's bowl games. Most of those bowls are useless.

Beef O'Brady's Bowl? Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl? What a complete joke. I don't care if they are money makers.

Glan Deas said...

Yes!!! I agree that It's furthermore incorrect to insist that just because the interception occurred when it did that it was any worse.

Kopi Luwak

Bengoodfella said...

Drekkan, given the fact I live in an area with very, very, very, very, very annoying Cowboys fans I should hate Tony Romo and never want to defend him in any way.

That's why I hate narratives. The thing we remember best tends to be the last thing we remember as well. I really like the point you made about how he was bound to regress a little bit in the game and that's true.

Yeah, I figured Romo would throw an interception at some point, especially given how much he was slinging the ball around the field. He couldn't have done more to help keep the Cowboys in the game. Maybe the Dallas defense could have not given up 51 points and it would have helped the Cowboys win.

Snarf, DAMMIT! I could have not gotten all high and mighty and just pointed out even Peter doesn't know who Wally Pipp is. Great catch and I am going to punch myself in the face for not pointing out he needs to Google (or Bing) who Pipp is.

JB, I used to be more angry about sports having "preferred" teams, but I've sort of come to accept it as reality. Bledsoe was great for a while and threw for a lot of yardage. He had a similar career to Boomer Esiason (according to Pro Football Reference), Jim Kelly, Mark Brunell and Phil Simms. I think Bledsoe gets in, but it doesn't hurt him that he played for the Patriots.

Clowney saw what happened to Marcus Lattimore last year. Spurrier ran Lattimore into the ground and then Lattimore got hurt. He could have been a 2nd round pick (maybe a first I am guessing), but he went in the fourth. If I'm Clowney I'm going to make sure I don't get hurt when some lineman tries to cut block or a teammate accidentally steps on my leg during a play.

Glan, if it happened in the first quarter the narrative would be that Romo bounced back and recovered from the interception.

Bengoodfella said...

Here's a bad example, but an example nonetheless...

Say a pitcher throws 8 innings of shutout ball, but the other pitcher throws 8 innings of shut out ball as well...in the Top of the 9th if the pitcher gives up a leadoff homerun and then gets pulled from the game are the fans going to say "I knew he would give up a HR, same old Pitcher X, always choking?" Of course not, they are going to give him an ovation for a great performance while recognizing he was outperformed by the opposing pitcher.

The same thing goes in basketball. If two players have a duel where they are scoring the majority of the points, but at the end of the game one player bounces the ball off his leg, are we going to talk about he choked or how he put up 50+ points in the game and kept his team in the game? Maybe I'm reaching, but it seems like in other sports if a player has an exceptional performance, but is beaten by another player with an exceptional performance it isn't considered choking.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who watched Romo on Sunday and thought he lost the game for the Cowboys should just go ahead and not watch football anymore, and please don't vote in my country either. That was an all-time great performance. 506 yards on 36 attempts is outrageous. All Dallas needed to do was get a couple more stops, and the 4th quarter wouldn't have even mattered.

Tom Brady threw an ugly INT at the end of his game on Sunday to seal the win for the Bengals, and frankly he hasn't had much postseason success since the Super Bowl against the Eagles. Where's the choke label for him?

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, you are ruining the narrative. The interception happened so the loss was all Romo's fault. I sort of thought something would happen and he would turn the ball over, but it doesn't take away from his performance. It's not like Peyton didn't turn the ball over.

The media won't latch on the "Brady is a choker" narrative until the postseason.