Gregg Easterbrook helped ESPN introduce ESPN Grade last week in TMQ. It was the disaster that I was anticipating it would be. ESPN Grade only took the academic and football rankings of teams ranked in the Top 25, then ranked these teams against each other in order to see which college programs took academics seriously. I find it to be a useless metric. Gregg also "previewed" the AFC, while not really providing a preview of any kind, and more was reviewing what happened last year. This week Gregg "previews" the NFC, finds out he was wrong about Jacksonville giving money to build a new scoreboard instead of giving the money to the Jacksonville public schools and talks yet again about "creep." It's the topic some idiot readers write into Gregg claiming to notice and then this gives Gregg cause to continue writing about it. Make it stop.
The 2013 NFL season ended with the Seattle Seahawks crushing Denver in
the Super Bowl. But will they even reach the playoffs this season?
No, because they have too many undrafted, hard-working players who have become highly-drafted glory boys who only care about themselves and look into the backfield while trying to cover a receiver. It's been decided.
The two prior Super Bowl victors, the Ravens and Giants, failed to reach
the postseason the following year. Those two clubs were a combined
17-15 in the seasons following their confetti shower after the final
contest. Fifteen of the 48 Super Bowl winners -- nearly a third of those
to hoist the Lombardi Trophy -- didn't make the playoffs the next year.
I can't speak for other NFL teams who have won the Super Bowl, but as I explained in MMQB on Tuesday, the Seahawks may be different because they were a dominant team over the entire season who is bringing back the core of their team. Both the Giants and Ravens weren't dominant over the course of the entire season they won the Super Bowl and also lost key players from that Super Bowl-winning team. The Seahawks lost players like Golden Tate, but a healthy Percy Harvin more than makes up for that loss. So I would think the Seahawks have a better chance than recent Super Bowl winners of repeating as champs.
More than that, the 16-game season means a break here or a bounce there
can be the difference between a playoff run and January on the couch.
MLB teams play 162 regular-season contests, and NBA teams play 82; in
that many the impact of luck washes out, and the best teams earn the
postseason invites. Just one of the NBA's 68 title teams, the 1998
Chicago Bulls, failed to reach the next postseason. Then baseball and
basketball play five- or seven-game postseason series. Luck might
determine the victor in any one game; after seven games, the best team
almost always wins.
Which explains perfectly why five Wild Card teams have won the World Series since it was instituted in 1995 and five other Wild Card teams made the World Series, but lost. You know, the better team in MLB almost always wins because the season is so long and a seven game series takes removes the variable of luck. Maybe Gregg thinks the better baseball team just isn't the team that won it's division.
Since football's relatively small number of regular-season contests are
followed by a postseason knockout round, practically anything can
Baseball also has a one-game knockout Wild Card round. Gregg does have a point about the small number of regular season contests and how that impacts which teams make the playoffs, but baseball does now have the one-game Wild Card game where anything can happen.
For the Ravens in their Super Bowl year, two long, fluky, last-second
gains at San Diego and Denver were the difference between a magnificent
season and also-ran status. For the Giants in their Super Bowl year,
every bounce of the ball went their way in the NFC title contest at San
Francisco, and then again in the Super Bowl versus New England.
Lady Luck smiled on the Seahawks in 2013 and perhaps will again this year -- but don't count on it.
I don't recall the Seahawks having luck like the Ravens had with Rahim Moore allowing the long pass to Jacoby Jones two seasons ago and the fumble by Kyle Williams of the 49ers three seasons ago that benefited the Giants (was that really luck?). I know, facts are malleable things Gregg enjoys bending to his will.
Conventional wisdom holds that first- and second-round draft selections
are the essence of football success. Yet the Seahawks won the Super Bowl
the past season with the league's second-lowest total of games played
by first- and second-round selections;
So this must mean that first round draft choices are useless because the Seahawks didn't have many players who were first or second round picks. That's the only logical conclusion here.
Seattle got fine performances from mid-round and late-round selections,
while seven of the top 10 teams for games by high draft picks failed to
make the playoffs.
A little-known guy who goes all-out can be a better NFL performer than a
highly drafted star, and Seattle had little-known guys going all out in
2013. This was best exemplified by seventh-round draft selection
Malcolm Smith's winning the Super Bowl's MVP trophy, while Peyton
Manning (No. 1 overall pick in 1998) and Champ Bailey (seventh overall
in 1999) had their heads in their hands.
If anyone should have their head in their hands, it is Gregg Easterbrook for intentionally misleading and lying to his audience. He picks two high draft choices from the Broncos when he wants to prove the Broncos have highly-paid glory boys, but he'll also be sure to talk later this season about little known Julius Thomas and undrafted Wes Welker when it's convenient for him to do so. The Seahawks had first round pick Marshawn Lynch running the football and first round pick (and highly-paid glory boy) Percy Harvin return a kickoff for a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Here are the most games played by first- and second-round choices in the 2013 season:
Kansas City 255
San Francisco 243
Over the last three years, eight of these ten teams have made the playoffs.
St. Louis 210
New England 190
San Diego 188
City of Tampa 175
New Orleans 173
Green Bay 160
Over the last three years, 12 of these 22 teams have made the playoffs. the results change a bit when you extrapolate the data past one season.
Now, onto TMQ's NFC preview
It's a review, not a preview. Nothing is being previewed.
Atlanta: Was it really just a year and a half ago that the
Falcons, hosting the NFC title contest, came within a couple snaps of
the Super Bowl? It seems so much longer, especially to those who endured
the team's 2013 tailspin.
Gregg Easterbrook earlier in this column: "NFL teams may not make the playoffs one year and then make the playoffs the next year because of the 16 game schedule This is normal."
Gregg Easterbrook here: "I can't believe it's been one season since the Falcons have made the playoffs! It seems so long ago! Who would have thought the Falcons would miss the playoffs the year after almost making the Super Bowl?"
Since they took their home field for the NFC title game, the Falcons are
4-13. General manager Thomas Dimitroff gambled the club's future on the
2011 kings' ransom trade for Julio Jones, and the gamble failed. Not
only did Atlanta fail to reach the Super Bowl, but Jones also has failed
to justify the trade.
The Falcons are 27-21 since acquiring Julio Jones. Jones has 174 receptions in 34 games played, with 2,737 yards and 20 touchdowns. Gregg is absolutely lying that Julio Jones hasn't justified the trade. Any team in the NFL would trade for a player who averages 5 catches, 80 yards and 0.58 touchdowns per game. Any team. That is 80 catches for 1280 yards and 9 touchdown catches in a 16 game season. Gregg is annoying as hell when he downplays a first round pick's performance simply because he wants it to fit his narrative.
Now the Falcons are on the downward side of a talent cycle. The defense
was among the league's worst in 2013 and offered a raft of has-beens.
Gregg linked the Falcons defense for the 2014 season, but he wouldn't know that because he doesn't read the links he posts. The Top 15 defensive players (in terms of tackles) on the Falcons 2013 team had an average of 4.8 years in the NFL (which puts them at the age of 26-28 years of age) and started three rookies on defense. ESPN has to do better than give Gregg Easterbrook a forum for his lies.
The Falcons' running game is expected to make another try at featuring Steven Jackson.
But with the most carries in the league in the past decade -- 2,553 --
it's hard to believe Jackson's body can withstand much more.
Which is probably why they drafted Devonta Freeman to back up Jackson. I can't wait until Freeman has a great year and Gregg talks about how Freeman wasn't picked until the fourth round behind glory boys like Bishop Sankey and Carlos Hyde, yet on August 26 Gregg Easterbrook had no idea Freeman even existed on the Falcons roster. He's such a fraud.
Network politics note: Atlanta finished 4-12 the past season and
gets a Monday Night Football appearance in 2014; Washington finished
3-13 and gets two MNF dates; Buffalo had a better record than either and
will not appear on Monday Night Football.
It's almost like nationally televised games are based on ratings and not a team's record the previous season.
Arizona: The past season, the Cardinals finished 10-6, then
stayed home as 8-7-1 Green Bay and 9-7 San Diego advanced to the
postseason -- yet another point in favor of TMQ's contention that the
NFL postseason should be a seeded tournament, a la March Madness.
Because west-of-the-Rockies NFL teams don't seem to impact the national
sports consciousness during the regular season, Arizona's 2013
performance is a blank spot in the minds of all but the team's fan base
and the most ardent football enthusiasts.
Just last year Gregg Easterbrook wrote a TMQ about how West Coast football was in style and now he's claiming no one pays attention to the West Coast NFL teams, despite the fact two of the four teams in the AFC and NFC Championship Games played west of the Rockies and the Broncos are just east of the Rockies. Consistency is not Gregg's thing.
The Cactus Wrens played stout defense in 2013 and finished sixth overall. Three of the league's top six defenses of 2013 were west-of-the-Rockies, which leads to TMQ's theory that the West Coast Offense has given way to the West Coast Defense. The West Coast Defense is back to basics -- few gimmick fronts, little blitzing, disciplined linebackers.
Yeah, but the 49ers run that 3-4 defense that Gregg referred to as a "fad" a few years ago. I guess that's a fad defense, but not a gimmicky one?
Carson Palmer revived his fading career with Arizona in 2013 but threw 22 interceptions.
Julio Jones is one of the best receivers in the NFL and he hasn't justified the picks given up to acquire him, meanwhile Carson Palmer threw two more touchdowns than interceptions, had the 20th best QB rating, and 19th best QBR rating and Gregg thinks he revived his fading career. There's no logical reason for his points of view.
All coaches claim to face killer schedules -- this helps set
expectations low -- but Arizona has an actual killer schedule: eight
contests versus playoff teams from the past season, including four games
versus Seattle and San Francisco, last year's two strongest teams, and a
date at Denver.
Yeah, but since some NFL teams have a hard time making it back to the playoffs in back-to-back years this killer schedule may not mean much due to these playoffs teams from 2013 possibly taking a step back during the 2014 season and not making the playoffs.
Unified Field Theory of Creep: Reader Randall Pierce of
Fredericksburg, Virginia: "On August 15th, my wife received an email
from Pottery Barn urging her 'not to miss out' on 'spooktacular
Halloween costumes.'" Get your Halloween shopping done before Labor Day!
I feel like I need to find a shorthand for, "Retail stores try to create urgency in consumers in order to get them to purchase items as early as possible in order to make as much money as possible." As I've said a thousand times, the fact Gregg Easterbrook and Randall from Virginia don't understand how retail works is more of a reflection on them than it is an example of "creep."
Carolina's defense plays a Tampa 2 with press corners, deep safeties and
little blitzing. As in the original Tampa 2, Carolina's fast
linebackers are the key.
Carolina does play a Tampa 2, but they really don't. Sean McDermott's defense is inspired by Jim Johnson's attacking defense, so there are definite differences. Still, when the front four can get pressure and the corners are horrendous, that team plays a lot of Cover 2 or Cover 3.
He will be protected by left tackle Byron Bell, an undrafted free agent
from a University of New Mexico team that went 1-11. A classic late
bloomer, Bell is outperforming several highly touted tackles from his
draft year, including first-round selections Gabe Carimi and Derek
Is Bell outperforming these guys? Bell has a -2.8 rating at right tackle last year and he is now protecting Cam Newton's blind side (in related news, Newton is going to be murdered this year by a pass rusher). The only ones who are really confident Byron Bell can play left tackle is the Panthers coaching staff and I bet most of their confidence is because there are few other options. Just because he's undrafted and starts doesn't mean Bell is a good football player. His performance last year and against Chandler Jones in the preseason says differently.
Half the plots on the many "Star Trek" serials boiled down to this formula:
1. Crew notices something interesting.
2. Captain leads away team that investigates.
3. The thing is not what it seemed! Captain is in grave peril.
4. Remainder of the episode is a rescue mission.
Then stop watching "Star Trek." It's that easy.
Female personnel have served on United States surface combatant vessels
for about 20 years and on submarines for about two years, so the show's
depiction of a casually mixed-gender complement is accurate. But the
women of the James, on active duty aboard a warship during the
apocalypse, wear eye makeup and lipstick. Don't they know loose lips
That's a great point, Gregg. All women in the military are ugly and never wear any type of makeup. If "The Last Ship" was realistic it would not have the women wearing any makeup and they would spend most of their time on the ship being sexually harassed. Gregg had to admit the show had a realistic battleship depiction, so he was stretching to try and find something to criticize about the show.
New head coach Lovie Smith cut Pro Bowl tackle Donald Penn without even discussing the situation with him.
No way! This must be the first time a person was fired without a three hour long conversation about why he's being fired.
Going into the past season, a scout might have said Tampa's best players
were Darrelle Revis, Josh Freeman, Carl Nicks, Mike Williams and Penn.
When Smith arrived, all were unceremoniously shown the door -- four
waived, one traded for a late-round draft choice.
A scout might have also said different players were the Buccaneers best players. Josh Freeman was traded before Lovie Smith showed up, but again, I wouldn't want facts to get in the way of the narrative that Gregg is pushing. God knows he doesn't give a shit about facts. Carl Nicks was perpetually injured, Darrelle Revis was expensive (highly-paid glory boy who only cares about himself alert!), Josh Freeman had conflict with Greg Schiano and Mike Williams seemed to have some troubles that led to his being traded. It's not like these players were released or traded for no reason.
City of Tampa enters the new season on its third head coach-general
manager combination in six seasons. By unloading high-profile players
from the previous regime, Smith and new general manager Jason Licht set
the bar low: If the team wins, all is well; if it loses, they can't
possibly be expected to win now, considering the mess they inherited!
Or they are trying to clean up the mess they inherited, but that couldn't possibly be the case could it?
The Windy City is known for its sports curses -- the Billy Goat Curse on
the Cubs (no pennant since tossing the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern
and his pet goat from a game in 1945), the Shoeless Joe Curse on the
White Sox (no World Series win for most of a century because Shoeless
Joe could not say it ain't so) and the Honey Bears Curse on the Bears
(no Super Bowl victory since abolishing their cheerleader squad in 1985
for the crime of "being too sexy"). Soon the Devin Hester Curse might be
Great, so if the Bears don't win the Super Bowl this year then Gregg will blame it on a fake curse and only on a fake curse.
This offseason, Jerry Jones agreed to $110 million ($40 guaranteed) for
Tyron Smith. Last offseason, Jones agreed to $108 million ($55 million
guaranteed) for Tony Romo. Thus, in about 12 months, Jones promised $218
million ($95 million guaranteed) to two players who have combined for a
career total of one postseason victory.
When Gregg hands out facts like this, it makes me want to punch something. He's now blaming an offensive lineman for the Cowboys not winning but one playoff game. I almost don't even know what to say. I can't fathom how Gregg combines the career total of playoff wins of an offensive lineman and a quarterback and then thinks he has a point.
Romo is 1-3 in the playoffs; Smith has never made a playoffs appearance.
So let's break the bank to make sure we keep these guys together!
Tyron Smith is 23 years old, has been in the NFL for only three years and was named to the Pro Bowl, as well as was named second team All-Pro. It's fun to bash Jerry Jones, but he paid for a left tackle who isn't even close to being in his prime. Playoff victories have nothing to do with it.
The Lions have spent lavishly on their defensive line -- three recent
high No. 1 picks -- and don't have much to show for it, having finished
28th in sacks in 2013. Even this modest performance might decline; high
No. 1 draft choice defensive tackle Nick Fairley showed up for camp
overweight and out of shape and was introduced to the bench. Last season
Detroit was sixth on offense and 16th on defense --
Green Bay has used its last three first-round choices on defenders Nick
Perry, Datone Jones and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. Clinton-Dix has not had a
chance to play, but Perry and Jones have -- and combined for just 11 of a
possible 51 starts. The past season the Packers were third in offense
and 25th in defense. Green Bay was the sole playoff team that allowed at
least 30 touchdown passes. It does not matter how flashy Aaron Rodgers
is if the defense can't stop a stiff breeze. And think about this: in
2013, in the traditionally bruising NFC North, Chicago, Green Bay and
Minnesota all had bottom-quintile defenses.
Remember, Gregg calls this a "preview" and he just can't stop only talking about what happened last season.
The summer's chart-topper was Iggy Azalea's "Fancy," but this song is
like gulping an icy drink -- nice for a moment, but soon you wish you
Great analogy, Gregg. Reading TMQ is like eating a shit sandwich. There's no reason to do it other than to prove you hate yourself.
If "Fancy" were the song of summer 2014, what would that say about the human condition?
It would say that humans like catchy songs.
But today's short-passing tactics and strict enforcement of the chuck
rule -- which TMQ continues to think should be called the Charles rule
Gregg gets paid to write this shit. Paid. To write the "chuck rule" should be called "the Charles rule."
Manning has two Super Bowl rings and is 8-3 in the postseason; Tony Romo
is 1-3 in the postseason and has becoming really proficient at watching
the Super Bowl on television. Guess who has the bigger contract.
Guess who signed their contract five years ago and the amount a good quarterback receives per season in a contract has increased since then?
Gregg is great at comparing apples and oranges, as long as the apple has been sitting out on the counter for two months, while the orange was just picked, and then he will marvel this orange tastes better than the apple so all oranges must taste better than apples.
Last season, Minnesota finished 31st in defense and 23rd in passing
offense. Despite a huge investment of draft picks in their secondary,
the Vikings allowed a league-worst 37 touchdown passes and were second
worst in passing yards surrendered.
The Vikings started a 3rd round pick, 7th round pick, 1st round pick, and 2nd round pick last year. They were backed up by a 5th round pick, 1st round pick, and two undrafted players. I'm not sure I would consider that a huge investment of draft picks.
Now the Vikings might start a rookie quarterback along with a rookie
coach, Mike Zimmer, who has never been a head coach at any level, not
even in high school. What could go wrong?
If Gregg had been paying attention, he would know the Vikings named Matt Cassel the starter prior to TMQ being posted. I recognize it's not Gregg's job to actually know what he is talking about, rather it is his job to react to what just happened and then criticize the parties involved. Also, Mike Tomlin was not a head coach at any level before he coached the Steelers, John Fox had never been a head coach prior to coaching the Panthers, and Tony Dungy wasn't a head coach before coaching the Buccaneers. So not having been a head coach at any level doesn't mean anything in regard to whether a rookie NFL head coach will have success in that position.
Unified Field Theory of Creep #2: Reader Tony Manganello of
Upland, Indiana, writes, "I teach as an adjunct at a small Midwestern
liberal arts university and on March 12, 2014, received an exam copy of a
textbook called Cases in International Relations: Pathways to Conflict
and Cooperation. It's copyrighted 2015."
I hope this guy doesn't teach copyright law, because this isn't "creep." My understanding from researching copyrights is this just means the publisher mis-marked the date of production and this could be a defense against infringement on this copyright. But what a cutesy little mention of "creep." Very fanciful.
From earlier in this TMQ:
Boys PR watch: New Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is
likely to be praised this season for doing a great job. Why? Last season
the Cowboys had the league's worst defense, so the numbers can only improve.
In 2012 the Boy Scouts' defense was egregious and allowed the most yards
in NFL annals. In 2013, that defense was excellent and finished fourth
against yards. This one-season jump from 32nd to fourth, moving up 28
places, is the second-best defensive improvement ever by rank; 2001 to
2002, the Panthers improved from 32nd to second against yards. That team
allowed 81 fewer yards per game in its improved 2002 season; the Saints
of 2013 allowed 135 fewer yards per contest than the previous year. In
essence, the 2013 Saints gave up three fewer drives per game --
The early 2013 arrival of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was the most
obvious change, because Ryan is such a visible presence on the New
While there is reason to compliment Ryan's improvement with the Saints defense, I just thought this was funny. The ranking can only improve so that's true, but it's fine for Gregg to praise a defensive coordinator when he improves the defense from worst to 4th in the NFL, but silly and egregiously dumb when someone else praises for a defensive coordinator increasing his defense's ranking from worst in the league the season before.
And now the party is joined by Jairus Byrd, one of the league's top
defenders. He and last year's first-round choice, Kenny Vaccaro, should
give the Saints an outstanding pair of safeties.
Outstanding safeties drafted in the first and second round. Very interesting.
Unwanted by San Diego and Miami, Drew Brees continues to spin the
scoreboard at New Orleans and at this point is a slam-dunk for Canton.
I've debunked this myth so many times, I'm not going to do it again. Okay, I will. Both San Diego and Miami made contract offers to Brees and he chose to go to New Orleans, where in no coincidence, he was being offered the most guaranteed money. Gregg has pushed this narrative for a while now, but Brees chose the team that offered him the most money. He wasn't unwanted by Miami and San Diego, New Orleans was just willing to offer him more money to show they wanted him more.
Not bad for a guy who's too short to play QB!
He was the first pick of the second round in 2001. He was considered too short, but it didn't hurt his draft stock too dramatically.
Brees squats in the huddle, gazing up at his teammates then leaping to
his feet at the break. This extra exertion -- not many quarterbacks
would want to get down then get up before every play -- seems a
byproduct of Brees's cross-fit-style offseason conditioning program,
which emphasizes core strength rather than bicep and quad strength.
Oh yeah, anecdotal evidence proves this as true.
Jax Tax: Last week I excoriated Jacksonville for spending $43
million in taxpayers' money on Jaguars scoreboard upgrades rather than
on improving the city's sketchy public schools. Many Jax fans countered
that I did not understand local law. For example, JD tweeted: "The $43
million comes from a hotel tax that is specifically obligated for sports
facilities and promoting tourism."
That's true, but what difference does it make?
It makes a difference because you stated this money went to the Jaguars instead of going to the public school system, when this money would NEVER have gone to the public school system because it was earmarked for tourism. Quite frankly, if you don't know the difference then you are being willfully stupid or are just actually stupid. Money earmarked for sports facilities and promoting tourism won't ever go to the schools. So the idea this money could have gone to the public schools was wrong. That's the difference. Just say you were wrong.
If local law taxes hotels to support professional sports, it's still public money underwriting NFL profit.
But that wasn't your argument. Your argument was this money should be going to the schools, not to the NFL. You can't change your argument now that you have been proven wrong. It is public money underwriting NFL profit, but that's not the argument you were making. You made the argument it was NFL money underwriting profit at the expense of the public schools, when this was proven to be incorrect.
Gregg doesn't even understand his own argument he was making. Either that or (surprise!) he's lying and misleading his readers as he is prone to do.
Plus, bear in mind that market theory says whatever you tax, you get
less of. Taxing hotel use discourages hotel use, which is bad for
tourism. If Jacksonville politicians insist on discouraging tourism by
taxing hotel beds, the proceeds should serve a public purpose, not
private profit for the one percent.
Gregg is wrong because he didn't do sufficient research on this topic, so he changes the subject to make himself look right and talk about a subject he knows more about. I don't see how someone can read TMQ and not see the fraud that is Gregg Easterbrook. He's a phony. When he's wrong about criticism he makes, he changes the subject. He can't just say he was wrong or say, "You know I didn't even read the article I linked or do any research prior to making the criticism."
Football columns are unlikely to be your best source of information on social trends.
Or in the case of TMQ, football columns aren't likely to be the best source of information about football.
St. Louis: Like the Vikings, the Rams are swimming in high draft
selections -- nine first- or second-round choices over the past three
drafts. And like the Vikings, Les Mouflons don't have much to show for
it, having gone 14-17-1 since the mega-trade that sent Robert Griffin
III to Washington for a draft bounty.
It hurts the Rams that their starting quarterback has gotten injured and they had to try and win games with their backup quarterback. Yes, that is Les Snead and Jeff Fisher's fault, but the Rams lack of success isn't tied to their ability to draft well. Also, Gregg is including three picks that haven't played a game yet this year, which not only is nonsensical, but a little unfair. As always, Gregg wants to lie and mislead his readers in order to prove his point and push his narrative. He's a liar and misleader. ESPN loves it.
So not counting the three 1st/2nd round picks the Rams had this year, they have drafted the following players in the 1st/2nd round over the previous two years:
Four of these six guys are projected starters for the 2014 season. Poor drafting hasn't led the Rams to a 14-17-1 record over the last two seasons. Their inability to make the right personnel moves at the quarterback position has done that.
Is all that new talent about to bust out? Stats from the past season
don't suggest that. The Rams finished 15th on defense and 30th on
How about a 1/3 of these players get a chance to take at least one snap in the NFL before saying they won't "bust out"? Gregg is throwing out numbers from the previous season when five of these nine players either were rookies or had not taken an NFL snap yet as reason these players won't "bust out." It's very misleading. Of course, Gregg's lazy readers will think he makes a good point. That's what he is counting on.
The torn ACL of quarterback Sam Bradford might mean another forgettable
season is in store. Bradford has now torn his left knee twice in less
than a year; athletes who experience the same knee injury twice might
not come back the second time.
Or they might come back! Aliens might not take over the Earth in the next 100 years...or they might.
The hopes of Les Mouflons' faithful ride on the fact that, according to
pro-football-reference.com, St. Louis has the youngest roster in the
league and the fewest players who will be 30 by season's end.
Doesn't matter because stats from the past season show these young players won't improve from season-to-season. That's a logical train of thought.
Florida and Texas are football hotbed states, little known for
basketball. Yet with this year's Spurs-Heat NBA Finals collision there
have now been five Texas-versus-Florida NBA finals, while there's been
only one Texas-versus-Florida Super Bowl, the 1972 game between the
Cowboys and the Dolphins.
I'll just allow the stupidity of this statement to go understated. Is this statement more stupid or more pointless?
San Francisco: TMQ warned of the Crabtree Curse when San
Francisco drafted this gentleman. Consecutive San Francisco seasons have
ended on failed throws to Michael Crabtree -- three straight
incompletions targeted him at the Baltimore goal line in the Super Bowl,
then an interception on a pass aimed at him at the Seattle goal line in
the NFC title contest.
Except the 49ers made the NFC Championship three years in a row and made the Super Bowl one year over that span. So if being the best or second-best team in the NFC or AFC is a curse, then it is a curse most NFL teams would like to have on their organization.
Playing a conventional, position-oriented defense in 2013, rarely
blitzing -- in the Super Bowl, Seattle blitzed six times on 64 Denver
snaps, well below the league average of 20 percent blitz -- the Seahawks
not only allowed the fewest points in the league, but they also allowed
just 131 second half points in 19 games.
But to be clear, not blitzing isn't a strategy every NFL team should adopt. It only would work well for teams who have a great secondary and/or a strong defensive line that can put pressure on the quarterback. This is very important to know.
Next Week: The crystal anniversary (15th year) of America's original all-haiku NFL season predictions.
Do I usually say the next week's TMQ is my least favorite TMQ of the week? If so, I really mean it this week. Also, these are season predictions that Gregg will in no way stand by, while he mocks others for making bad predictions in his yearly "Bad Predictions" TMQ.