Friday, November 8, 2013

8 comments This Week Gregg Easterbrook Thinks the Indianapolis Colts Are the Best Team in NFL

Gregg admitted to being wrong (yet again) in TMQ last week when he stated a football game was over. The game wasn't really over and the team Gregg didn't expect to win ended up winning the game. Have you noticed that Gregg seems to make this mistake on a near-weekly basis? Not shockingly, Gregg didn't change much of what he usually writes in TMQ last week. He acted like an ass-monkey by criticizing the Cowboys for "jogging" after Calvin Johnson and stayed on the fence about whether the Chiefs were for real or not. This week Gregg decides that the 6-2 Colts might be a playoff contender, makes a few comments about how NBA GM's make trades, and criticizes television shows for not being accurate enough. For a weekly column that is intended to be about football there is always a lot of discussion that has very little to do with football.  I think this is due to the fact I really don't believe Gregg understands the game of football and this is why many of his observations, criticisms, and critiques of NFL teams sound so nonsensical at times. He creates these rules like "do a little dance" to convert fourth downs in order to make rules that help him understand the game of football better.

As the Indianapolis Colts stormed back in the fourth quarter at Houston, a question presented itself: Will the Colts, even without Reggie Wayne, emerge as the best NFL team?

I don't know. So far Gregg has asked whether the Broncos and Chiefs are the AFC's best team. It seems every week a new "best team" in the AFC emerges in TMQ.

Indianapolis is not impressive statistically, outgained on the season. But the Colts make plays when the pressure is on.

Hyperbole alert!

In terms of what this column calls authentic wins -- victories over other top teams -- the Colts are the best so far, 3-0 versus those on track for the playoffs (San Francisco, Denver and Seattle).

How surprising that the Colts are the best team so far in this sub-category of wins that Gregg has just created. The amount of wins in this sub-category for the Colts miraculously supports Gregg's thought that the Colts may be the best team in the NFL. Funny how that works.

How do others compare? Undefeated Kansas City and stats-a-palooza Denver each have only one victory over a team with a winning record, in both cases shaky 5-4 Dallas.

Ah yes, "shaky" Dallas that has one fewer win than the Colts do. This is the same "shaky" Dallas team that lost to the Chiefs and Broncos, who have one loss between them, by a grand total of four points. In fact, this "shaky" Dallas team has lost four games this year by a grand total of 14 points or as many points as the Colts have lost by in their two losses this season. Aren't numbers fun? 

Cincinnati has a quality win over New England, but also three losses; Chicago has a quality win over Cincinnati, but also three losses; Green Bay is 1-3 against other winning teams; Detroit 2-2 against other winning teams. Seattle beat the 49ers but lost to Indianapolis, making the Seahawks 1-1 in authentic games. San Francisco 1-2 against top teams. New England has just one quality victory, over New Orleans, which in turn has just one victory over a winning team. For authentic accomplishments, so far Indianapolis is tops.

And yet, notice how Gregg changes his metric throughout this paragraph. The Bears have one "quality" win, the Packers have a 1-3 record against "winning" teams, the Seahawks are 1-1 in "authentic" games. Gregg has to change the metric around because the Bears have two wins over teams with winning records (or "authentic" wins as Gregg would normally would call them) and if the Bears have two wins over winning teams then it doesn't make the Colts three "authentic" wins quite as much of an accomplishment. The Patriots have a victory over the Jets and Saints, as well as a win against the 4-4 Dolphins, so they have lost two games and could be seen as really close to the best team in the NFL if you use Gregg's ever-changing "winning team" metric.

The first choice of the 1998 draft brought them Peyton Manning and a long stretch of winning; the first choice of the 2012 draft brought Luck, whose style of play is so similar to Manning's it's spooky.

They are both right-handed white quarterbacks. It's amazing how they are so similar.

Though Luck has an athletic dimension Manning lacks -- Luck runs well, and seems unfazed when hit in the pocket.

Luck throws passes from the pocket, just like Peyton Manning does! Are we sure they aren't related?

Feels an awful lot like it's 2003 again in Indianapolis, the year Manning's Colts began their streak of seasons with at least 12 victories.

I guess it doesn't feel like any of the three other seasons prior to 2003 when the Colts made the playoffs with Peyton Manning as the quarterback. Does it feel like 1999, Manning's second year in the NFL when the Colts won 13 games? I guess not, even though Gregg saying it felt like 1999 (Manning's second year in the NFL) would better achieve the symmetry he is trying to find between Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. Wait, I just realized both Luck and Manning have an "e" AND an "n" in their first names. It's so crazy how alike they are.

In a development that made this columnist cheer, in the fourth quarter on "Monday Night Football," Bears coach Marc Trestman heeded years of hectoring by Tuesday morning quarterbacks and went for it on fourth down in his own territory. The result was victory.

But the Bears had dropped six straight to the Packers and needed a change of mindset. Chicago went for it and converted with a 3-yard rush. The possession became an 18-snap, 95-yard, 8:58 affair that numbers among the greatest clock-killer drives in the annals of the sport.

Gregg really needs to stop with the hyperbole. This wasn't one of the greatest clock-killer drives in the annals of sport. It was a great, long drive. Let's pull back the reins on the hyperbole. Gregg went hyperbole-crazy last week when he asked whether a Super Bowl-caliber team ever had a player receive a taunting call. His hyperbole is getting to be a bit much.

Trestman's decision even followed the metric, tested by thousands of computer simulations, laid out in my 2007 column linked to above:
• Inside your own 20, punt.
• From your 21 to 35, go for it on fourth-and-2 or less.
• From your 36 to midfield, go for it on fourth-and-3 or less.
• From the opposition 49 to opposition 30, go for it on fourth-and-4 or less.
• From the opposition 29 to opposition 3, go for it on fourth-and-3 or less.
• From the opposition 2 or 1, go for it.
• Exception: inside the opponent's 25, attempt a field goal if it's the fourth quarter and a field goal causes a tie or gives you the lead.

I'm not going to argue these points. There's no way that it is possible to make hard-and-fast rules on when a team should punt or go for it. I know Gregg prefers hard-and-fast rules or seeing things as black and white because it helps bring order to his understanding of football, but there's no way strict rules like this should be used by an NFL head coach to determine when to and when not to go for it on fourth down. Coaches should make a decision to go for it or not on fourth down based on the situation, not by using some strict rules that don't take time left in the game, the score of the game or any other variable aspect of a football game into account.

Sweet 'N' Sour Series of the Week: Washington leading 24-21 with 21 seconds in regulation, officials signaled touchdown for San Diego's Danny Woodhead. Then they reversed -- correctly -- and spotted the ball on the 1. The home crowd roared. The visiting Bolts had first-and-goal on the 1 with 21 seconds, holding two timeouts. San Diego went run no gain, timeout, incompletion, incompletion, field goal to force overtime. The Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons took the opening kickoff of overtime and moved the length of the field for the win. Sweet for the home team, sour for the visitors -- who left a timeout on the table.

Perhaps the Chargers should have called a timeout, but they shouldn't have called a timeout simply for the sake of using all of their timeouts and they shouldn't have run the ball just so they could claim they used all of their timeouts either. The Chargers have Philip Rivers as their quarterback so it's usually a good idea to make sure the ball is in his hands, especially since Danny Woodhead got no movement forward on first down at the goal line.

Some might say the R*dsk*ns prevailed by going back to their roots, spending much of the contest in a college-style pistol set with two running backs and a tight end forming the letter "A" around Robert Griffin III, resulting in 209 rushing yards. But TMQ attributes the Persons' victory foremost to the Washington cheer-babes.

Of course he does. Why else could the Redskins have won this game other than for non-football related reasons? It's Gregg's middle-aged, pervy love for cheerleaders wearing as few clothes as possible that led the Redskins to victory, not anything the Redskins football team did to win the game. I wonder what Gregg would have said about the cheerleaders if the Chargers had rushed the ball in regulation to score a touchdown and win the game? I'm guessing he would have left out what the cheerleaders wore during the game because it didn't fit his theory that the team whose cheerleaders wear the least clothes in the coldest weather will win the game.

Prime-time NFL contests on NBC and ESPN consistently dominate their ratings periods. But there's an opponent the NFL cannot seem to get off the field -- the two top prime-time ratings dramas of last television season and, so far, this one: "NCIS" and its little brother, "NCIS: Los Angeles."

Which is ridiculous because these kind of shows are so unrealistic. Who wants to watch a cop show that isn't only about police officers drinking coffee and pulling over speeders?

Now, desperate to crank out plots -- the shows are up to 340 total episodes -- "NCIS" scriptwriters often dispense altogether with jurisdiction. Businessman murdered? NCIS is on the scene. Terrorist sympathizer owns shell corporation? Call in NCIS. Cold War-era atomic warheads stolen by a creepy guy with a Peter Lorre accent? NCIS to the rescue: no FBI, CIA, local or state police on the case, just a bunch of boat-lovers.

I guess Gregg is really looking forward to the "NCIS" episodes that feature a multi-episode arc where the members of NCIS discuss jurisdiction issues with the local police regarding a murder that was committed. It sounds exhilarating, doesn't it? But hey, these are the kind of television shows that Gregg Easterbrook wants to watch because they are realistic.

A high percentage of episodes concern dire terrorist threats from sinister foreigners who are vaguely Middle Eastern, wear $1,000 suits and are terrible shots. The creepy guys are plotting mass slaughter; good-looking, wisecracking NCIS agents use super-advanced technology, plus kickboxing moves, to stop every plot in time for a buddy-bonding scene.

As I always write, for someone who doesn't like this show very much Gregg Easterbrook seems to watch it a lot and know a lot about the plot of each episode.

Most television crime dramas exaggerate both the frequency with which law-enforcement officers kill suspects, and the likelihood of law-enforcement officers themselves being killed. 

Yes, we know this because you tell us this regularly. Every. Single. Week. We get it, the frequency of times in which law enforcement kills suspects is exaggerated on television.

At least a dozen NCIS agents have been murdered during the shows, which depict just two small units of a large agency. Last year the actual NCIS held a memorial service for the six agents killed in the line of duty in its history.

Yep, it's a television show and is completely fictional. I think everyone but you has a grasp on this fact.

"NCIS: Los Angeles" depicts the bustling NCIS office in the City of Angels, but there is no NCIS bureau in Los Angeles.

Well, in the fictional world of television shows there is an NCIS office in Los Angeles. It's fictional, not real. Fictional, not real. Fictional, not real.

Last season's story arc had the Justice Department relentlessly pursuing heroic agent Jethro Gibbs to put him in jail, though Gibbs has pretty much single-handedly rid the entire world of crime. The smirking prosecutor obsessed with destroying Gibbs was identified as an "independent counsel." Congress abolished the Office of the Independent Counsel in 1999. Within the tube, the job lives on.

I wish someone had abolished TMQ in 1999. Yet, much like any horror movie antagonist Gregg Easterbrook can not be killed and will always come back to haunt his readers with criticism of fictional television shows.

Viewers get no clue: in one frame the agents look cool in tight clothes and in the next frame they are holding stuff, they're never actually seen pulling anything out. Except that a close look at "NCIS: Los Angeles" action scenes shows all four agents have their handguns stuffed down the backs of their pants, even during office work or routine field investigation. A gun in the waistband may fall out when the bearer is running or exiting a car -- why don't their guns fall?

Most likely because it is a television show and is supposed to be entertaining while not reflecting reality. I don't want to spoil anything for Gregg, but those aren't real guns the actors are using either. They are prop guns.

TMQ guesses the actual NCIS does not allow agents to carry guns in their waistband. Plus, stuffing a gun down the back of your pants an excellent way to shoot yourself in the keister.

Actual NCIS also doesn't employ only attractive people who crack-wise and seem to have no other life outside of their job.

The tough-guy detective played by LL Cool J is fluent in Arabic, Ruah's character is said to be fluent in five languages, the lead detective played by actor Chris O'Donnell is said to be fluent in nine languages. Regardless of how they acquired language skills a diplomat would envy, none seems to spend a single moment maintaining proficiency, which is essential to fluency.

They probably practice their fluency while on the toilet, which is something else that isn't shown because this is a television show and no one cares to see someone take a poop or a piss.

Then Gregg criticizes "NCIS: Los Angeles" a little bit more for making it seem like terrorism is rampant. I've said it a million times before, but it's a television show. It's not supposed to be realistic.

The Colts gave up a lot of yards, but figured out the weaknesses of the Houston offense in time to hold the hosts scoreless in the fourth quarter. Indianapolis coaches seem to have prepared their team for early success by the desperate Texans, followed by gradual comeback.

Yeah, I'm sure Chuck Pagano prepared his team to start losing early in the game, followed by the Colts trying to come back later in the game.

(Chuck Pagano): "What we are going to do is start losing early, maybe get down by 15-20 points, then start to come back in the second half."

(Andrew Luck in his Kermit the Frog voice): "Coach, why don't we just start playing well in the first half and then we won't have to come back in the second half?"

(Chuck Pagano): "It's the game plan shithead! The game plan is to start losing early in the game and then play well in the second half. Everyone gather round me, fortunately the Indianapolis area had a child with cancer die this week. Let's get some inspiration from his death so we can win the game in the second half (flips off Andrew Luck), not the first half."

Houston coaches could not have prepared for Gary Kubiak suffering stroke-like symptoms as the first half concluded, which put the sideline into turmoil.

If the Colts are smart enough to prepare to lose in the first half and then come back in the second half, they could also prepare for a stroke by the opposing team's coach.

the Texans blitzed seven; extra blockers gave Luck time to find T.Y. Hilton for the touchdown, as Luck took a lick that might have unsettled Peyton Manning.

How could it unsettle Peyton Manning? He and Andrew Luck are exactly alike.

The Texans' late attempts to "make a play" on defense only made plays for Indianapolis. Houston is now first in defense against yards but 27th against points. Don't blame all of that on pick-six mistakes by Matt Schaub, who was not on the field Sunday. The Texans' defense could not hold a fourth-quarter lead at home. That's on the Texans' defense.

Well, part of the reason the Texans are first in yards on defense allowed and 27th in points is because Matt Schaub has given the Texans' opponents good field position with his nine interceptions. Schaub has thrown 4 pick-sixes this year. If you take away the 4 pick-sixes that Schaub has thrown and the pick-six T.J. Yikes! threw, then the Texans would be first in yards on defense allowed and 16th in points allowed. So yes, Matt Schaub isn't to blame for the Texans collapse against the Colts, but his habit of throwing pick-sixes hasn't helped the Texans defense ranking at all in terms of points allowed per game.

NBA general managers like nothing more than getting rid of players, allowing the team to position itself to sign new players to get rid of.

The fact this is how Gregg believes the NBA works tells me enough to know he somehow manages to be even less informed about the NBA than he is about the NFL. NBA general managers get rid of players to acquire draft picks, expiring contracts, and valuable young players in order to build a better team in the future.

In the NFL, most teams enter the season with a decent chance of a winning year; in the NBA, many teams enter the season knowing they are certain to stink, and needing excuses lined up in advance. The most reliable excuse is, "We're losing now to clear cap space for those fantastic players we will sign next summer."

Except in some cases it is absolutely true this is what a team is doing. The Rockets had been dumping salary for a year or two so they could go after Dwight Howard and they were fortunate enough to land him. Teams also clear cap space so they can get draft picks in exchange for expensive players. The Thunder built their team by drafting well, the Pacers built their team by smartly signing free agents and drafting well, and the same goes for the Bulls. It's not about just signing free agents, but drafting players who will develop into stars. A good way to get draft picks is to trade players currently on the team for these draft picks. 

NBA general managers talk endlessly of the fantastic players they might sign the following summer.

Actually, NBA general managers don't talk at all about the fantastic players they might sign the following summer because that's called tampering. But no Gregg, it's clear you know jackshit about the NBA, know jackshit about what NBA general managers do, and are just making things up right now. Just keep writing about the NBA so you can make it clear to your readers that you are the kind of asshole who manages to be completely wrong and isn't scared of showing us all just how wrong you can be.

The amount of times over the years that Gregg Easterbrook has lied to his readers is outrageous. Here is a great example of just an outright lie. Gregg claims NBA general managers talk endlessly about the players they might sign the following summer, but this is impossible because it's tampering. Gregg is lying.

Usually the desired free agents never materialize. When they do, half the time it doesn't take long until the team is desperate to get rid of them.

Gregg has zero examples of this he can share with us. He prefers to just make generalized statements and can count on his fellow uninformed readers to email him saying, "Wow, you are so right Gregg. The NBA sucks. I haven't watched a game in five years now, but like you, I am going to pretend I still know everything about the NBA."

Because the 2014 draft and 2014 summer signing period are expected to be strong, NBA teams including Boston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Milwaukee have denuded their rosters to stockpile cap space and/or picks. Any team taking this tack must ensure it has a terrible season to maximize its lottery odds.

Considering the following players have been taken in the first three picks of the last five NBA Drafts (I won't include the 2013 draft, so the five drafts before that one):

Anthony Davis
Kyrie Irving
John Wall
Blake Griffin
James Harden
Derrick Rose (with Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook taken immediately after him)

You can see why a team would count on getting a high draft pick in order to help turn their team around. LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Durant were draft picks taken in the first three picks of the draft. It's not silly to hope to get a high draft pick in order to turn the team around.

The Chiefs remain undefeated, following a 1-12 streak last season with a 9-0 streak so far. But in addition to a soft schedule, the Chiefs haven't faced a starting quarterback since September. Opposition quarterbacks in Kansas City's past five games have been second string, second string, second string, third string and fourth string. Sunday at Buffalo, the Chiefs barely bested a losing team with an undrafted rookie quarterback making his first career start. Kansas City was outplayed on both sides of the ball, prevailing only when presented two gift-wrapped touchdowns by a team with the league's longest playoff drought.

So Gregg seems to be going the whole "the Chiefs are overrated" route based on the competition they have played. Of course, Gregg will be quick to remind us he thought Alex Smith was the best offseason acquisition if the Chiefs end up with a 14-2 record and make the Super Bowl. This is the advantage of playing both sides of an issue and never definitely taking a stand on what you believe. Gregg wants to be right no matter what happens. He wants his readers to believe he thinks the Chiefs are overrated and won't go far when they face better competition, but he doesn't actually say this so he doesn't have anything to take back later.

At the trade deadline, New England sent a fifth-round draft pick to Philadelphia for nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a sixth-round draft selection. Since in the 2014 draft, Philadelphia's sixth choice is likely to be high while New England's fifth is likely to be low, there is little difference between the selections, meaning Bill Belichick obtained Sopoaga for next to nothing.

Why the Eagles, ranked last in defense, should be trading a defensive starter for next to nothing is anyone's guess.

Because the Eagles weren't doing anything great with Sopoaga on the roster and figured they would clear some salary cap room by getting the other two years of Sopoaga's contract off their books while getting some sense of value for him. The fact the Eagles are last in defense explains why they are trading a starter on such a bad defense. Middling players starting on a bad defense aren't generally the kind of players a team wants to keep around and Sopoaga has two more years left on his contract.

Looks like neophyte Kelly got snookered by veteran Belichick. The trade may become another knock against the former Oregon coach.

Yes, if Chip Kelly fails in the NFL then he will be remembered well for trading a veteran defensive tackle to the Patriots for a fifth round draft pick. It's this trade that will be remembered along with Chip Kelly's failed offense. Sure, I believe that.

Considering the Nesharim had laid eggs in their previous two games, it was defensible for Kelly to keep the pedal down in the second half of Philadelphia's destruction of Oakland. But one wonders -- was Kelly trying to get his team to believe its season can be saved, or does he think there are style points in the NFL?

When the Eagles don't score enough points, Gregg points out how Chip Kelly's offense doesn't work in the NFL. When the Eagles score too many points, Gregg criticizes Chip Kelly for trying to get style points. I'd love to know what the correct amount of points the Eagles should score in a game would be to avoid criticism from Gregg. 25 points? 35 points? What point total could cause Gregg to get off Chip Kelly's ass about his offense not working in the NFL, but also avoid Gregg criticizing Kelly for trying to get style points?

Gregg Easterbrook is the worst.

Then Gregg criticizes the media's comments about Robert Griffin, which is justified. They love building him up so they can tear him down. But then Gregg writes this...

Yours truly has not been consistent in a few rare cases.

I think what Gregg meant to write was:
"Yours truly has rarely been consistent, except for a few cases."

There is very little consistent about Gregg's criticism of NFL head coaches and their tactics. One week Gregg will criticize a coach for blitzing and the next week he will mention because a team blitzed that team won the game. In this very TMQ, Gregg mentions how the Texans blitzed Andrew Luck a lot and knocked him down, followed by the Colts bringing in an additional offensive lineman to protect Luck in the second half from the Texans blitzes. Gregg will claim he was consistent because he never mentions that the blitzes by the Texans were working and therefore when he writes the "Stop me before I blitz again" he is only highlighting when blitzing doesn't work. So as long as he doesn't mention blitzing has worked for an NFL team, while indicating that blitzing rarely works, then he remains consistent. His consistency lies in his ability to ignore reality.

Early in the fourth quarter, Georgia, leading 23-20, went for it on fourth-and-1 from its own 39, and failed. TMQ contends it can be better to go for it on fourth-and-short and fail -- this lets players know their coach is challenging them to win -- than do the "safe" thing and punt. From the moment of the failed Georgia fourth-and-1 until the game's conclusion, Florida had negative yardage -- its possession following the failed fourth-and-1 ended on a fourth-and-26 -- while Georgia staged an eight-minute clock-killer drive that iced the contest.

Of course trying and failing on fourth-and-short is no guarantee of success. Sunday, Minnesota, New Orleans and Pittsburgh failed on fourth-and-short, then were defeated. 

It's almost like hard-and-fast rules can't be created when it comes to game management by a head coach. I like how Gregg even is hedging on his hard-and-fast rules now. He says TMQ contends "it can be better" to go for it on fourth-and-short and fail. Anything can be contended. I can contend it is better to not go for it on fourth-and-short and fail, while cherry-picking every single time a team didn't go for it on fourth-and-short and still won the game, but that doesn't mean my contention is right. It just means the strategy I chose worked in that instance. As you can see from when the Vikings, Saints, and Steelers went for it on fourth-and-short and lost, rules on what a team should do in a situation will never always work or always fail and there is no right answer.

Sometimes a team wins a game after going for it on fourth-and-short and other times a team loses after going for it on fourth-and-short. This is much of the reason why it is stupid for Gregg to criticize a team for not going for it on fourth down, because he acts like his hard-and-fast rules will always work if followed, and this couldn't be further from the truth.

Unsuccessful fourth-down tries that pin the opponent against his goal line are especially attractive, though.

Because any time a team can be on the opposing team's 1 or 2-yard line and come away with no points it's a good thing for that team.

All football teams perform better when they protect the ball, but the Jets seem particularly sensitive to the turnover stat line.

Who would have thought turnover margin would be important to a team starting a rookie quarterback?

Not fun fact: The teams combined to kick on three consecutive fourth-and-1 situations. When Miami punted from the Cincinnati 40 on fourth-and-2 in overtime, the home crowd booed mercilessly, and it seemed the wrong call to your columnist, too. But the downed punt on the 8 was the first step to setting up the winning safety.

So this punt led to a safety which led the Dolphins to eventually winning the game. Using the rules for fourth-down that Gregg provided earlier in this column, if he were Joe Philbin he would have gone for it in this situation. Who knows what would have happened if the Dolphins had not punted? Of course Gregg isn't willing to say, "perhaps those hard-and-fast rules I listed earlier in this column should be more situation-specific rules and not rules I would expect every team to follow in every case," but he doesn't even acknowledge a violation of his fourth down punting rules led to the team that punted winning the game.

It was impressive to watch three New England receivers gain more than 100 yards receiving, and Tom Brady advancing to 91-16 at home. But why was Brady still on the field once the lead was insurmountable in the fourth quarter? In 2007, Bill Belichick kept Brady in late during blowouts, trying to run up the score. This generated bad karma that came back to haunt Belichick in that season's Super Bowl loss. What's the point of generating more bad karma now?

This is just stupid. Losing a Super Bowl isn't due to bad karma.

TMQ continues to believe that on a replay, the referee should get to watch the play twice, and that's it -- monitor turned off. Either the call on the field was clearly wrong, or should stand.

As usual, Gregg displays his lack of football knowledge when providing "fixes" to the game of football. A referee isn't only determining whether the call on the field was clearly wrong or should stand when viewing a replay challenge, but he is also determining where the ball should be spotted. So Gregg's brilliant two replay idea would give the referee one look at the replay and one look to see where the ball is spotted, essentially ruining the purpose of instant replay, which is to provide accurate calls and make up for any officiating mistakes. There are also multiple angles that the official would need to look at on a given play, especially since the call on the field could potentially be seen as clearly right or wrong depending on the angle the referee sees the play from. Giving the officiating crew only two chances to view the replay is a bad idea.

Leading 10-3 in the third quarter, Buffalo faced third-and-goal on the Kansas City 1 with a fourth-string quarterback but a blazing-hot rushing attack. The crazy pass call not only resulted in an interception; the pick was returned 100 yards for a touchdown, a 14-point swing in a game decided by 10 points. The Bills would finish the contest with 241 yards rushing. Had Buffalo run on this down and run again if needed on fourth-and-goal, the Bills likely would have upset the league's last undefeated club.

How is it "likely" the Bills would have won the game in this situation? Does Gregg realize how stupid he sounds to say that the Bills would have beaten the Chiefs by running the ball in the third quarter instead of throwing the ball? Sure, this was a big swing in points, but how is it "likely" the Bills would have won the game? The Chiefs scored 13 more points after this interception and the Bills scored 3 more points after this interception. I understand the pass should not have been thrown, but the difference in the game was 10 points, not 7 points. I hate it when Gregg uses the term "likely" to describe whether a team would have won a game or not. Despite his attempts to get us to believe he is, Gregg is not omnipotent, so he doesn't know what would have happened in this game if the Bills had run the ball instead of throwing it in this situation.

Next Week: The biggest non-Saturday ever for CFB -- Thursday doubleheader of Oklahoma at Baylor followed by Stanford at Oregon. On a school night!

By the way, on Twitter Gregg Easterbrook said TMQ is his alter ego. I don't get it. He writes the column, it's his name on the byline and he refers to himself in the first person when promoting his book, yet he claims the column is an alter ego? I think it's a load of crap. Gregg Easterbrook tries to write TMQ as an alter ego, but his repeated references to "your author" and his promoting of his book shows us that Gregg Easterbrook is writing this column as himself. 


Ericb said...

For all Gregg's hot air about "authentic" wins he sure does make a bit deal about the Colts beating a 2-6 team.

Anonymous said...

"TMQ continues to believe that on a replay, the referee should get to watch the play twice, and that's it -- monitor turned off. Either the call on the field was clearly wrong, or should stand."

Must everything be a hard-and-fast rule with this guy? "Two views, that's it." "Yeah, but I need to see the yard line..." "Two views, THAT'S IT." "Yeah but I don't know where to spot the..." "TWO VIEWS!"

Andrew Luck runs a 4.6 40. Peyton Manning runs 5.6 40. They're just alike! Athletically, the QB Luck most compares with is Cam Newton. I realize no one will make that comparison because they're different races, but it's true. They tested similarly at the Combine.

Murray said...

I hope it ends like 2003 as well. Pats on top

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, but it's an "authentic" win in Gregg's mind I'm sure. Next week the best team in the AFC will be a completely different team. I feel sure of this.

Anon, that's a good comparison actually. Newton isn't really that fast, it's just he is very good at avoiding the rush and is sort of a shifty runner. But yes, Luck is like him in that fashion, but they are different races so that comparison is not allowed.

I hated 2003. It sucks and always will suck.

Murray said...

Sorry Ben I forgot who they beat

Bengoodfella said...

Murray, it's okay. I have come to accept it and I actually have really fond memories of that year. That's how much of a loser I am, I'm just happy they made it to the Super Bowl.

Koleslaw said...

Hindsight is 20/20. I didn't read this until today and noticed that once the Colts got the Gregggg seal of approval as the best team in the AFC they get the piss kicked out of them by the fricken Rams.

Are all QBs who are primarily pocket-passers similar? Is Brady the same as Manning? Is Brees the same as Luck? What does "similar" actually mean in this case?

Bengoodfella said...

Koleslaw, who knows who Gregg will proclaim as the best team in the AFC this week?

See, Luck and Manning are both similar because they went to college, are white, and were drafted by the Colts.