Gregg Easterbrook continued repeating topics from past TMQ's in last week's column. He also continued to get a little confused about whether O.J. Simpson was found guilty or liable in the civil suit brought against him by Ron Goldman's family. This week he talks about how Super Bowl rematches are so rare, criticizes how television shows portray the government as villains, and continues his bare-bones knowledge of football to give his shitty analysis of why blitzing is bad except when it isn't. I still can't believe Gregg gets paid to write a weekly NFL column.
Next Sunday, the Denver Broncos travel to Seattle for a Super Bowl
rematch. Are the Broncos happy to have another chance to slay the
dragon, or dismayed that stretching back to last season, two of four
games that count will be against the league's best defense?
They will probably try not to worry about it too much and just win the game. There is always that option too. I don't know too much, but I do know NFL teams aren't generally worried about going back to last season to whine about how many games they have had to play against teams with a great defense, especially when one of those games was the Super Bowl. No team is dismayed about playing in the Super Bowl.
On only five occasions following the 47 previous Super Bowls -- or V
times following the XLVII previous Super Bowls -- has the next regular
season seen a rematch. So far teams that lost the Super Bowl are 2-3
against the victors in regular-season rematches the following season.
When Gregg says "Super Bowl rematches" it makes it sound like it is a rematch of two teams in the Super Bowl, who played against each other in the Super Bowl the previous year. That's not what Gregg means. He means a regular season matchup of the two teams that played in the Super Bowl. His phrasing is confusing.
The most recent Super Bowl rematch, Green Bay versus New England,
occurred in 1997, so it's been nearly two decades since a regular-season
Riveting. When it comes to putting together facts or stats I don't care about, Gregg is unparalleled.
Considering the beatdown the Bluish Men Group defense put on the Broncs'
high-tech offense in the Super Bowl, the odds would seem to favor
another Seattle win. So would the Seahawks' league-best 18-1 stretch at
home. So would Russell Wilson's sterling record versus the NFL's
quarterbacking old guard. Wilson is 7-0 in starts against Tom Brady,
Drew Brees, the Manning brothers and Aaron Rodgers. By comparison, he's
3-2 versus young guns Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck.
Russell Wilson isn't really 3-2 or 7-0 against these quarterbacks. It's his team that has these records against these quarterbacks' teams. Football is a team game.
When John Fox coached the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Houston, the neutral crowd didn't make much noise.
Yes, the neutral crowd of Patriots and Panthers fans didn't make any noise. Because no one team dominated the attendance, every fan in the stadium was quiet as a result and didn't make noise cheering for their team. Sure, I bet that happened.
When preparing the Broncos for Super Bowl XLVIII, Fox assumed the
neutral crowd at Snoopy Stadium would be similar, like they were
watching Masterpiece Theatre. Assuming this, Fox had the noise
generators turned off at the Jets' practice facility where Denver
prepared for the big game.
The Broncos assumed the crowd would be completely silent! This is a real thing that Gregg believes happened. Peyton Manning has never played in a loud stadium before, so naturally he was confused to hear all of that noise coming from the stands. The difference in the Seahawks and Broncos in the Super Bowl was that the Broncos didn't expect crowd noise and the Seahawks did. This is what Gregg would have you believe.
Denver seemed discombobulated by the noise level. ("Wow it's loud in
here," one of my kids, attending with me, said a moment before the
Unlike the Super Bowl between the Patriots and Panthers where there was little noise during the game. John Fox just assumed no one would be cheering at the next Super Bowl and his players certainly had never played in a loud stadium before.
Some coaches tailor everything to specific places and opponents, others
say they approach every game the same. Seattle coach Pete Carroll is in
the former group, Fox in the latter. Example: Going into the Super Bowl,
Carroll had the Seahawks prepare for a long halftime. Fox did not have
the Broncos practice this.
The reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl the year before is John Harbaugh practiced the Ravens resting during halftime AND planned for the lights to go out during the game causing a further delay. Harbaugh had his players just sit around for 35 minutes, after they had rested at a simulated halftime, at every practice leading up to the Super Bowl and that is why the Ravens beat the 49ers. The 49ers just planned for a halftime, but failed to plan for the lights to go out.
When the New Orleans Saints onside kicked to start the second half of
their Super Bowl collision with Indianapolis, Colts on the receiving
team seemed unfocused. Some were checking out the double cheerleader
squads both dancing at the Colts' end of the field.
It certainly sounds like somebody else (ummm...Gregg?) was checking out the double cheerleader squads dancing at the Colts' end of the field. Also notice how Gregg is capable of checking out these cheerleaders and still paying enough attention to the game to have talked about the onside kick that occurred after halftime, but he assumes the Colts' receiving team isn't capable of doing this as well.
I would also like to know how good of vision does Gregg Easterbrook have? He can see from where he was sitting at the Super Bowl the exact direction that the Colts players were looking, despite the fact they had helmets covering their face? He has to have the eyesight of an eagle, and yet, he wears glasses. He must wear super-powered glasses that give him vision even Superman would be jealous of.
Some were watching the final sets for The Who to be rolled off. The
Colts weren't prepared for keeping focus during the unusually long
I know the Colts players were probably terribly interested in The Who's equipment being rolled off the field. See Gregg knows the Colts weren't prepared to focus, because along with superior eyesight, he also has the ability to read minds.
To prepare the Seahawks for the unusually long halftime, Carroll had
them run plays, then go back to the locker room for half an hour of
twiddling thumbs, then go back out and run plays at game tempo. Rich
Cimini provides the details.
Denver did not do any special halftime rehearsal. Result? The Broncs'
special teams looked drowsy, too many players bunched on the same side,
as Seattle ran the second-half opening kickoff back for a touchdown,
turning the game into a rout.
While as an NFL head coach I would probably do the same thing Pete Carroll did, the game was already a rout at halftime anyway. It's not like if John Fox had changed his usual process (which he won't do, simply because he's a great coach but very conservative and can be set in his ways) then the Broncos would have won the Super Bowl.
One would think that in Sunday's rematch there's no way the Denver
Broncos will repeat the mistakes they made in the Super Bowl. Yet
history has a way of repeating itself.
Peyton Manning may throw another interception against the Seahawks, or he may not, either way history may or may not repeat itself.
Ongoing settlement talks for the main NFL concussion lawsuit last week
led to a league-financed study roughly estimating that one former NFL
player in three will develop later-life neurological damage.
Since there are around 18,000 former NFL players, that estimate
suggests 6,000 face neurological problems. A terrible number -- but
nothing compared to what the estimate foretells about the larger
football universe. About 3.7 million boys play youth and high school
football, according to USA Football. If one-third of them face
later-life neurological decay caused by football, that comes to 1.2
million cases of crippling head harm.
Except this number may not change because the same 6,000 NFL players that suffer neurological harm also played youth and high school football. It's not like these players just showed up one day on a college campus and started playing football. The 18,000 former NFL players also had teammates who played youth, high school and college football. So the data is even more convoluted because it leaves out those boys who played youth and high school football that didn't play in college and suffer from neurological problems. Then there would need to be information on those boys who played youth and high school football, plus college football, to see how many of them eventually faced neurological problems. Basically, Gregg's 1.2 million number isn't correct and he knows that.
Of course most youth and high school players never participate in as
much football as those who go on to make the pros, and thus experience
fewer head impacts. Cut the NFL rate in half, and that's still more than
500,000 cases of serious neurological harm caused by football. Cut the
NFL rate to a tenth, and that's still more than 100,000 cases.
Okay, fine. But what if the 6,000 number is only indicative of those players who play football in the NFL? What if the rate of neurological problems for those who only played youth and high school football is much lower? After all, the 18,000 former NFL players are also part of an unknown million dollar figure of boys who played youth and high school football. So, while including these boys who played football at a lower level would increase the overall number of ex-football players suffering from neurological issues, it's possible the rate of neurological harm decreases as the level of competition decreases. After all, an NFL player takes much harder hits to the brain and body than a youth or high school football player. So 100,000 cases may still be an overestimation.
There's so much data here, it's almost impossible and misleading to throw out 100,000 cases of neurological damage and feel like you are telling your readers anything concrete. In order to have a reasonable number among the 3.7 million boys who will suffer neurological damage caused by football, Gregg would have to know how many boys played youth and high school football over a specific time period that a subset of the 18,000 former NFL players played. The 18,000 former NFL players could span 40-45 years of youth and high school football, while Gregg is taking his numbers from how many boys are playing youth and high school this year.
In other sports news, what if your team scored 68 points and lost?
I would say my basketball team needs to score more points.
I'm not talking about your basketball team; I'm talking about your NCAA college football team.
The twist! What a shocking turn of events! I hope there is more below about this.
Thank God. This is a very intriguing tease that I care deeply about.
I like how Gregg treats MMQB like a newscast where he teases items he writes about below. Just write what you are intending to write and quit with the tease crap in order to kill space.
Stats of the Week No. 1: During the regular season, the
Cincinnati Bengals are on a 10-0 streak at home; during the playoffs,
they are on an 0-3 streak at home.
Of course one streak spans less than a year and the other streak spans multiple years with completely different Bengals teams, but Gregg isn't interested in things like this. He prefers to throw facts out and hope his less-mindful readers think he's a genius.
College offensive tactics are the NFL trend of the moment, and the
hosts showed a lot of Stanford's Four Horsepersons backfield, a
run-first set. The result of these tactics? A 17-7 Santa Clara lead at
So during halftime, Bears defensive coordinator Mel
Tucker changed tactics, switching to the Tampa 2 front that Brian
Urlacher excelled in.
Santa Clara had plenty of blame to go around -- 16 accepted penalties
(two more declined), including two automatic first-down fouls on Chicago
third-down incompletions, one of which sustained a touchdown drive. The
Niners dropped three interceptions. (After Jay Cutler threw two dropped
interceptions on the same second-quarter possession, the Bears seemed
so doomed the NBC announcers were talking about whether Jimmy Clausen --
1-9 in his career -- would take over in the second half.)
It's almost like the three dropped interceptions and 16 accepted penalties had more to do with the 49ers losing than the change in tactics. After all, if the 49ers grab those interceptions and don't commit so many penalties than the Bears comeback probably isn't possible.
Jonathan Marin was horrible at right tackle, surrendering two "olé!" sacks on which he barely slowed Young.
Well, no wonder. None of these Jonathan Marin's look like they could play right tackle in the NFL. Why would the 49ers start Jonathan Marin when they have a guy like Jonathan Martin who has experience playing tackle in the NFL?
So does this mean Gregg will send out a correction or can I say, a la Gregg, that in TMQ Gregg Easterbrook got 49ers right tackle Jonathan Martin confused with various businessmen named "Jonathan Marin"?
Three touchdown passes for Chicago went to its very tall wide receivers
when they were covered by 5-foot-10 Jimmie Ward. Cutler was looking for
whomever was matched up against Ward, and Niners coaches did not give
Who would have thought that the Bears would go after the rookie safety? Also, Ward is a safety. Oftentimes he IS the help and not the one requiring the help. Safeties when matched up with a receiver often don't get additional safety help over the top. I don't think that's very normal because it is usually the safety providing help to a linebacker or cornerback. Of course Gregg would expect the 49ers to provide their safety additional safety help.
Then there's Kaepernick. He is a gifted athlete who has an engaging
personal story, and he looks great naked. (In consecutive offseasons,
Kaepernick has stripped to pose for magazine covers.)
And yet, you still could have left this out since it wasn't relevant to the discussion of Kaepernick's performance against the Bears.
But increasingly it seems he is in over his head as an NFL quarterback.
He had four turnovers versus the Bears, two coming when Kaepernick
forced the ball toward Michael Crabtree. Attention Niners coaches: The
entire league knows Kaepernick forces the ball to Crabtree; make him
I'm sure the 49ers coaches never thought to do this. What a great idea!
Maybe the game will "slow down" for him (Drew Brees made a lot of mistakes at this point in his career, too).
Except the talent level of the Chargers team around Brees was much different from the talent level of the 49ers team around Kaepernick. By "different" I mean "not as good on defense" and Brees figured it out his third full year in the NFL. I'm sure Kaepernick will figure it out and I like to hear Gregg is writing Kaepernick off a bit for when the 49ers go on a 10-4 run to end the year. You know, similar to what happened last year after Gregg declared the zone-read as having been figured out by NFL defenses.
At Jersey/A, the Arizona Cardinals faced third-and-17. A false start
stops the play, but New York Giants defender Jameel McClain ignores the
whistle and runs several steps to drill backup quarterback Drew Stanton.
With a first down via personal foul, the Cardinals go on to score a
touchdown on the possession and continue on for the victory.
Doesn't Gregg mean "undrafted, hard-working Jameel McClain"? Wait, that doesn't fit his narrative that highly-paid, highly-paid glory boys drag their team down, while undrafted free agents work hard and don't make mistakes like this. Gotta keep that narrative going.
The conventional wisdom is that Hollywood roots for Barack Obama and
expansion of government. Maybe so. Yet Tinseltown simultaneously
indoctrinates audiences to believe government is evil.
It's almost like movies are considered to be entertainment and don't necessarily always reflect the beliefs of those screenwriters, producers, and directors who worked on the movie.
As recently as a decade ago, when "24" became a ratings monster, its
interpretation of high-level government was quite unusual, and
attributed to Surnow's politics. Now this worldview dominates network
Hey, remember when this was a football column and not a study of how the federal government is portrayed in fictional television shows and movies? You don't? Yeah, me neither, but it would be nice. A column about the NFL, not written by Gregg Easterbrook. That sounds good.
On CBS's "Hawaii Five-0," the CIA is assisting Chinese gangsters in
their plot to destroy the U.S. economy. When Danno questions CIA
motives, the agency takes him captive and tortures him; the CIA officer
who helps Danno escape a U.S. government black-site prison is
immediately executed by the agency. This is presented as standard CIA
No, it is presented as behavior that the CIA officers assisting the Chinese gangsters take part in. If it were standard CIA behavior then the CIA officer who helped Danno escape would not have helped Danno escape.
On the FX prime-time show "Justified," the FBI is helping mobsters bring
heroin into the country; on the FX prime-time show "The Bridge," the
CIA is helping Mexican cartels smuggle in heroin.
On "The Bridge" the CIA is not helping Mexican cartels smuggle in heroin, they are simply helping to choose the leadership of those cartels in an effort to control the drug trade between the United States and the Mexico. By the way, the CIA has helped "choose" new leaders of unstable countries in the past, so it's not an entirely far-fetched idea they would exert influence to get Mexican cartels to choose a head of that cartel they (the CIA) could control.
And if it's true that the Hollywood establishment wants voters to
support Barack Obama, the prime-time worldview of traitors running
Washington is not likely to help.
If somebody is influenced politically by watching "Hawaii Five-O," then...you know what, I am sure people are influenced politically in some fashion by these shows because people are idiots. Still, I would prefer Hollywood write the scripts they want to write instead of only writing television shows and movies that would influence voters to support one political party over another.
The defending champion Florida State program graduates just 58 percent of its players. That's okeydokey with the NCAA. But heaven forbid there should be telephone calls or text messages!
But Florida State is very good at mixing academics and athletics, because they are 6th in ESPN Grade. That's very impressive, isn't it? Florida State is the 6th best university in the Top 25 at combining academics and football. I don't see how Gregg can criticize them while also thinking ESPN Grade is such an excellent metric. It's almost like Gregg wants it both ways.
Latest Nutty Sports Contract: Over the weekend Robert Quinn
signed a mega extension with about $41 million guaranteed. The Rams want
to lock him up, contractually speaking, because he was second in sacks
in 2013. But Les Mouflons were mediocre on defense in 2013, and since
the start of that season, have allowed at least 30 points on six
occasions. If Quinn is a franchise-quality defender, why is the St.
Louis defense unimpressive?
Why? Because an NFL defense consists of more than one player, part of the reason a team may give up a lot of points is because they don't have an offense that can score points and keep the opposing team's offense off the field, the Rams were 15th in yards allowed per game and 13th in points allowed per game (which I don't think is mediocre, but average), and the Rams secondary isn't very good which impacts how many points the team gives up. Robert Quinn is 1 of 11 defenders. He can be a franchise-quality defender and the Rams can still give up 30 points six times in 18 games.
In Week 1, the Saints seemed to have the Falcons dead to rights, leading
by 3 with Atlanta on its 20 with 1:20 remaining. Then New Orleans
shifted into the prevent defense, and you don't need to know anything
more about the contest.
They shouldn't have gone to a prevent defense. Start blitzing!
Sunday, the Saints seemed to have the Browns dead to rights, leading by a
point with low-voltage Cleveland back at its 4 with 2:46 remaining.
This time the Saints went to the opposite extreme, with too much
blitzing. Third-and-3 on the Cleveland 24 with 1:34 remaining, New
Orleans blitzed seven, easy first-down conversion.
They shouldn't have started blitzing. Lay back and rush only four!
Five-man blitz results in a short sack, which only seemed to encourage Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
I can't believe Rob Ryan saw a positive result and then tried to duplicate this result. Don't they say that madness is "Doing the same thing over and over again when you are getting a positive result." I don't know why Ryan would be encouraged to blitz more when blitzing worked.
Cleveland has first-and-10 on its 48 with 19 seconds remaining, holding a
timeout. Ryan called a big blitz; quick 13-yard completion.
Second-and-10 on the New Orleans 39 with 13 ticks remaining, Ryan called
another big blitz. Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins ran up the field
uncovered by anyone -- an uncovered guy going deep with 13 seconds
remaining in the game! Hawkins caught a 28-yard pass that positioned the
hosts for the winning field goal as time expired.
This would never have happened if Ryan had rushed four and made sure his safeties played deep, you know, like he did last week against the Falcons and Gregg criticized this move.
Consecutive late defensive collapses: Rob Ryan just can't seem to call
the defense that is appropriate to the situation. That fourth-place New
Orleans finish for defense last season? Maybe it was a misprint.
So what's your suggestion then, Gregg? Other than "Do whatever ends up working." Gregg rips the Saints for playing a passive prevent-type defense one week, then he rips them for blitzing the next week. Sure, the Saints should call whatever plays end up working, but what defensive plays would that be which wouldn't cause Gregg to use hindsight to criticize the result?
Leading ninth-ranked USC by six points, mega-underdog Boston College had
first-and-goal on the Trojans' 6-yard line with about 30 seconds
remaining. Rather than try for an extra touchdown to run up the score,
coach Steve Addazio did the dignified thing and had his charges kneel.
It also happens that kneeling the ball down was the safe move in this situation. It's less likely for there to be a fumble on a kneel-down than there is to hand the ball off with the USC defenders trying to rip the ball away from the running back.
Peyton Manning and Julius Thomas got into an (uncharacteristic for
Peyton) sideline shouting match over Thomas' allergy to blocking. With
Seattle losing and Denver not sharp, perhaps both teams were looking
ahead to their rematch.
And here I thought Jay Cutler was the only NFL quarterback who showed a lack of leadership by yelling at his offensive teammates for not blocking. I'm sure when Peyton Manning does it, he is showing leadership, while Cutler is just being an asshole that nobody likes.
Will the Mega-Trade For RG III Be Seen As a Mega-Blunder?
So it seems Gregg thinks both the Rams and the Redskins screwed up in this trade. How can the Redskins screw up by trading for Griffin while the Rams screwed up by trading the pick and not drafting Griffin?
Gregg from two weeks ago:
Chose Bradford over
Griffin: Regrets begin now.
The St. Louis Rams.
Forecast finish: 4-12
Gregg from a year ago:
Left RG III on
the table; can they rebound?
The St. Louis Rams.
Forecast finish: 4-12
I guess at this point the Rams should regret not drafting Griffin, while the Redskins should regret drafting Griffin?
During the contest, Cousins completed eight passes, including a
touchdown pass, to the little-used Niles Paul. Because Cousins and Paul
are backups, they are accustomed to tossing the ball around with each
other. When a backup quarterback unexpectedly enters a game, defenders
should be wary of any backup receiver who also enters.
Paul actually played a lot the previous week when Jordan Reed got injured, so he didn't enter the game when Kirk Cousins did. Also, Paul is a tight end, not a receiver. But these are just simple facts that shouldn't get in the way of Gregg's assertions being very correct. Why would reality impact what Gregg thinks to be true?
Week 1 fantasy-stats star Allen Hurns of Jacksonville was all by his
lonesome when he dropped what would have been a 76-yard touchdown.
Persons cornerback DeAngelo Hall was making the high school mistake of
looking into the backfield trying to guess the play, and let Hurns run
right past him.
Gregg can see from his television set where DeAngelo Hall was looking. I need to either find a set of glasses that give Gregg such great vision or have Gregg invite me over to use his 125 inch television set on Sundays.
I didn't see this play, but I would guess that what Gregg perceives as "looking into the backfield trying to guess the play" was actually the Redskins running zone coverage. This usually is the type of defense a team is running when Gregg accuses a cornerback of looking in the backfield. Gregg seems to think every NFL team runs man coverage, either that or he doesn't understand how zone coverage works.
Tesla's agreement with Nevada to build a battery factory
is expected to create about 6,000 jobs in exchange for $1.25 billion in
tax favors. That's about $208,000 per job. More jobs are always good.
But typical Nevada residents with a median household income of $54,000 per year will be taxed to create very expensive jobs for others.
The way it usually works is a company creates more revenue for an area than just the pay the workers at that factory would receive. New jobs brings new spending, which brings more tax revenue.
Monday night's game had all kinds of tactical fun -- unbalanced lines,
triple-tight end sets, lots of double-A blitzing. But the exhaustion
effect of the quick snap was most prominent. Teams that face the Eagles
may do well in the first half and think, "This Blur Offense isn't so
hot, we're controlling them." Then it's the second half.
That's sort of the point isn't it? Chip Kelly keeps his team in good shape and ready to put constant pressure on the opposing team throughout the game in the hopes of wearing the opposing defense down.
TMQ's alternative-jersey Super Bowl picks were Denver over New Orleans
or Seattle over Indianapolis. Two of my four predicted Super Bowl
entrants opened 0-2, and the Colts just lost Robert Mathis for the
season. Being wrong in front of the entire nation is not for the faint
Only 10 of my predicted 16 predicted Super Bowl entrants are doing well this season. But hey, I picked 16 teams to be in the Super Bowl, so just like Gregg, I can't wait to brag about how I was right about the Super Bowl matchup.
But I am sticking with my hand. The Tuesday Morning Quarterback Law of
Panic holds: Don't panic now; there will be plenty of time for that
It's good to hear that Gregg isn't going to make another Super Bowl pick in the desperate attempt to be correct...yet. I'm sure by the end of the 2014 NFL season he will have made another Super Bowl pick unofficially. Probably around Week 13 when he will write, "I think Team X and Team Y will meet in the Super Bowl this year," then posit an obvious theory about why this is. That way Gregg has a Super Bowl pick he's made while having more information and two other Super Bowl picks he made at the beginning of the season.
The Packers-Jets contest tied in the third quarter, on first down
Jersey/B run-blitzed seven defenders. Jordy Nelson ran a stop-and-go --
which TMQ thinks is football's most effective pass pattern -- and blew
past a press corner, 80-yard catch-and-run for the winning points.
A stop-and-go is the most effective pass pattern. It also takes time to develop, so teams with bad pass protection probably should be wary of running a bunch of stop-and-go routes. Plus, a stop-and-go doesn't do much good if the corner isn't pressing the receiver or doesn't fall for the "stop" portion of the route.
I know, I know. How dare I point out the problem with Gregg just saying "This is football's most effective pass pattern." It's an effective pass pattern if run during certain circumstances.
Also, you can't see the route Nelson ran, but the guy in the NFL.com studio referred to it as a "double move," not a stop-and-go route.
Hidden Play Of The Week: Hidden plays are ones that never make
highlight reels but sustain or stop drives. Carolina leading 3-0, Calvin
Johnson dropped a well-thrown touchdown pass on third down, then the
Lions missed the field goal try. The Cats went on to win by the new
economy score of 24-7.
I'll go with the usual disclaimer: A play isn't hidden because it doesn't make a highlight reel. The term "highlight" refers to only the most important parts of the game being shown, and doesn't mean there aren't important plays that weren't shown, and usually a highlight is only 45 seconds to a minute or so long. A dropped touchdown pass is never really a hidden play for anyone who watched the game. If a person relies on a highlight to show him/her all of the important plays in a game, and assumes the highlight will show all of the important plays in a game, then that person is an idiot.
Oh, and check out what happens at the :10 second mark of this video. I guess this is a hidden play that doesn't show up in the highlights, but showed up in the highlights?
Adventures In Officiating: Late at Denver, Alex Smith
appeared to fumble, with the Broncos recovering to ice the contest. On
review, officials correctly determined that because his arm came forward
with control of the ball, the down was an incompletion. Smith was in
the pocket and the pass did not travel toward a receiver, so why wasn't
it intentional grounding? The result was not intentional; Smith's arm
was hit as he tried to throw.
Smith's arm was clearly moving forward and he was attempting a forward pass when he was hit by the defender. Therefore, it was an incompletion, not a forward pass. It wasn't intentional grounding because Smith didn't intentionally throw the ball into the fucking ground. This question doesn't need to asked, simply because it's so stupid and nonsensical. A pass isn't considered intentional grounding if the quarterback doesn't intentionally throw the ball to an area where there is no receiver and he is still in the pocket.
Why was Smith's arm hit? Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher, first overall choice
of the 2013 draft, did an "olé!" block on DeMarcus Ware.
Oh, so a highly-drafted, highly-paid glory boy beat Fisher to get to Smith? Notice how Gregg points out Fisher's draft position, but conveniently leaves Ware's draft position out.
Les Mouflons leading 19-17, City of Tampa's Mike Evans caught a pass
that put the Buccaneers in field goal range with 8 seconds showing. But
Evans was hurt on the down, and Tampa was out of timeouts. Dazed, Evans
tried to stagger off the field; he should have tried to line up, so Josh
McCown could spike the ball.
Says the middle-aged, out-of-shape guy sitting on his couch drinking beer and eating chips who didn't just get hit hard by a world class athlete.
Santa Clara leading Chicago 10-0, the Bears completed a third-down pass
deep into 49ers territory. Officials called the catch good on the field;
Harbaugh/West challenged and the call was reversed, leading to a Bears
punt. It sure seemed that a correct call on the field was made into an
error by replay review. Even if the original call was wrong, it wasn't
indisputably wrong -- unless the call on the field is so clearly wrong
the referee has to look at it only once, the call on the field should
Notice how Gregg states the officials got this call wrong based on his own belief on how replay should be handled by the NFL. This wasn't a bad call by the officials simply because they failed to meet Gregg's own standard for when a call should be overturned. Besides, officials and those who review challenged calls look at the play from more than one angle, so every call needs to be looked at more than once simply for confirmation the initial conclusion is correct. The idea an official or review official should only look at a call once in any situation is fallacy on Gregg's part.
The Football Gods Chortled: Iowa and Iowa State were tied with
two seconds remaining in their annual rivalry contest. Iowa State
launched a field goal attempt, which missed. But Iowa called timeout an
instant before the snap, hoping to ice the kicker -- who hit on his
second try, giving Iowa State the victory.
But Peter King said in this week's MMQB this type of thing (a coach call a timeout that ruins a scoring play by his team) can only happen in New York! My world is spinning now. Peter King couldn't be wrong or have excessive belief that certain things only happen in the city he lives in, could he?
Next Week: Will the Super Bowl rematch be true to form?
I don't know, but I'm sure the game will be decided by a highly-drafted glory boy doing something wrong (while Gregg ignores a good play by a player who is highly-drafted) or a cornerback looking in the backfield trying to guess the play.