Friday, October 3, 2014

10 comments Gregg Easterbrook Lies and Claims the 25th Most Accurate Passer in NCAA History Was an Inaccurate College Quarterback

Gregg Easterbrook used TMQ to pimp out his other articles last week in TMQ. He introduced his readers to the new 49ers curse where they couldn't win games because they moved from San Francisco to Santa Clara. The 49ers responded by beating a 3-0 Eagles team. It took shorter than usual for Gregg's latest crackpot 49ers theory to be exposed as bullshit. This week Gregg talks about how mega-trades on draft day don't work (the Falcons would disagree), continues saying the 49ers have struggled since leaving Santa Clara (there is causation there, Gregg swears!), and of course, criticizes the realism of television shows.

Robert Griffin III is spending a lot of time in street clothes, and the Washington franchise has a losing record when he starts.

The Cowboys didn't have a winning record with Troy Aikman as their quarterback until Aikman's fifth year as a starter and he had won a Super Bowl. The Cowboys didn't have a winning record with Aikman as the starter until October 10, 1993. Obviously Robert Griffin III hasn't won a Super Bowl, but this fact about Aikman shows how misleading the whole "the team doesn't have a winning record with him as a starter" discussion can be.

Sammy Watkins is getting more attention for dropping passes than catching them. The Jaguars went all-in to acquire Blaine Gabbert, then gave him a rapid heave-ho.

Sammy Watkins was catching passes from a quarterback that just got benched. Blaine Gabbert was acquired by the Jaguars after they traded the 16th and 49th pick to the Redskins for him. So essentially the Jaguars traded a 2nd round pick and the ability to move up in the 1st round for Gabbert, which I wouldn't even come close to calling "all-in." Of course, Gregg is a liar and is hoping no one researches his characterization of a 2nd round pick as "all-in."

There's a lesson here: Mega-trades don't work in the NFL.

Mega-trades do work for one side sometimes.

The New England Patriots have the most victories in the past decade, and the Patriots don't engage in mega-trades. Their transactions usually are the reverse of mega-trades, surrendering high-profile draft picks to accumulate midrange choices.

This is a strategy that Gregg has criticized the Patriots for using in previous TMQ's. Gregg has argued the Patriots are giving up a chance to get talent by pushing off draft picks until next year and this is why they can't win a Super Bowl. And of course, in this very TMQ Gregg will state we are currently seeing the end of the Patriots dynasty, which I am sure has nothing to do with trading high-profile draft picks for mid-range choices. Gregg wants it both ways. He wants to talk about the end of the Patriots' Golden Age, while not mentioning a draft strategy that could have contributed to this Golden Age ending.

The Seattle Seahawks just won the Super Bowl, and did it through gradual, painstaking accumulation of talent, not some panicky trade-up.

Is Gregg referring to the part where the Seahawks traded a first round pick, a seventh round pick, and a 2014 third round pick for Percy Harvin? Keep in mind, Gregg just referred to the Jags going "all-in" by trading a first and second round pick to move up and get Blaine Gabbert.

The Denver Broncos just finished second, and though they engage in high-profile free-agent signings, don't offer huge draft bundles in mega-trades.

Guess how the Seahawks acquired Earl Thomas? Take a guess. The Broncos traded a 2010 first round pick to the Seahawks to move up and select Alphonso Smith in the second round.

The Broncos also traded a second, third and fourth round pick to select Tim Tebow. But sure, that was under the old regime, right? Fair enough.

Suppose an NFL king's-ransom trade is defined as a deal involving at least first- and second-round selections, or one of the draft's highest picks. How do recent mega-trades stack up?

Suppose Gregg exaggerates what a "king's ransom" is, how do these trades stack up?

In 2012, Washington gave up three first-rounders, plus a second-round selection, for Griffin, who briefly injected excitement but mostly has been a letdown, with a 13-18 record as a starter. The team's roster is depleted as a result of the deal -- add three first-rounders and a second-round selection to the Washington depth chart, and the Persons might not be in the cellar. The Rams, who received the king's ransom for RG3, hardly are tearing up the league. Since the Griffin mega-trade, Washington is 14-23 and St. Louis is 15-19-1.

Only Gregg Easterbrook could write, "...add three first-rounders and a second-round selection to the Washington depth chart and the Persons might not be in the cellar," and then note how the team that actually had these selections added to their depth chart by trading away the rights to select Griffin has struggled as well, without any sense of irony or concern that he may have just disproven his own assumption.

This April, Buffalo traded two first-round picks -- plus a fourth-rounder -- for Sammy Watkins. He's appeared in only four contests, but the initial impression gives pause. Watkins has been targeted 32 times and made just 17 catches, with six drops. His receiving stats are barely better than those of aging Buffalo utility player Fred Jackson, the league's oldest running back.

Sammy Watkins is a rookie wide receiver who had a crappy quarterback throwing him the ball. This could impact his receptions and the fact he has six drops. Maybe not, but either way he is four games into his NFL career. Stop saying the trade wasn't worth it for Buffalo. This isn't known yet.

And the fact the Bills' running back has close to similar statistics as Sammy Watkins only underscores the point that E.J. Manuel isn't a great quarterback. Jackson has 24 targets and 19 receptions with 9 of those receptions going for a first down. Watkins has 11 of his 17 catches going for a first down. It should be telling that Watkins has only caught 17 of the 32 passes thrown his way with six drops. What happened to those other 9 passes? Quarterback error possibly?

In 2013, Miami traded first- and second-round choices for Dion Jordan, who's yet to start a game and followed up his PED suspension by getting popped for substance abuse. After the draft, Miami officials boasted that Jordan was a "steal";

As always, Gregg doesn't read the articles he links. I won't defend the Jordan selection, but the Dolphins thought Jordan was a steal compared to what the Vikings had to give up in order to acquire the 29th pick in the draft. Read the article, this idea outlines it in there. So in terms of those two trades, the Dolphins felt giving up their first and second round picks to get the #3 pick was a steal. Gregg is consistently trying to mislead his readers, even just a little bit.

Draft day 2011 saw two king's-ransom transactions. The Falcons gave up two first-rounders, a second-round pick and two fourth-round selections for Julio Jones, while Jacksonville traded first- and second-round selections for Gabbert. Jones is a star, though for the price, Atlanta expected a Super Bowl invitation.

And of course the fact the Falcons haven't made a Super Bowl is entirely Julio Jones' fault. Blame him even if he is a star. After all, he's a "diva" according to Gregg and it makes perfect sense to blindly blame a great player for a team's failure to make the Super Bowl. 

As for Gabbert, he spent the better part of his three seasons in Jacksonville losing football games and redefining the term "bust." When the Jaguars traded him to Santa Clara this offseason, all they received was a sixth-round pick.

But the Jaguars didn't outright trade a first and second round pick, they traded their first round pick (which moved them up six spots I believe) and a second round pick. The Jaguars used a first round pick on Gabbert, so in real terms they traded a second round pick and the right to move up six spots for Blaine Gabbert. It's a price, but not a king's ransom as Gregg attests. After all, the Seahawks, a team Gregg claims doesn't make mega-deals, traded three picks (including a first round pick) for Percy Harvin. So there is a little inconsistency on Gregg's part here.

The main recent mega-trade that was a clear win-win seems the 2004 transaction that sent Philip Rivers and others to the Chargers, Eli Manning to the Giants. Both teams would make the same trade again.

Mega-trades aren't supposed to be a win-win. That's not how they are judged as a good or bad move. If one team wins the mega-trade, then it was a successful trade. The Falcons don't give a shit if the Browns draft well with the picks given up for Julio Jones, they only care that they have Julio Jones and he is awesome.

In other football news, how would you feel if your college team gained 532 yards and lost by 20 points? How would you feel if your college team gained 650 yards and lost by 17 points? How would you feel if your college team gained 629 yards against a football factory and lost? How would you feel if your football-factory team gained 626 yards and lost by 35 points? How would you feel if your famous top-division college team gained 597 yards versus a lower-division Ivy League egghead team and lost? How would you feel if your school gained 520 yards against the nation's No. 1 collegiate team and lost?

I would feel like my team's defense needs to play better. Football is a team game and outcomes are based on how the team as a whole performed.

Host Chicago leading Green Bay 17-14, the Packers faced third-and-7 on the Bears' 22. The Packers' vaunted offense came in sputtering -- 28th in the league, a dud the previous week versus Detroit. But if there's one thing that would put a smile on the face of Aaron Rodgers, it's a predictable blitz on third-and-long. And it's a blitz! Randall Cobb runs right past Chicago defensive back Isaiah Frey, touchdown.

I think Gregg means highly-drafted glory boy Randall Cobb runs right past lowly-drafted sixth round pick Isaiah Frey. It's always fun to see Gregg leave out a player's draft position when it doesn't suit his needs.

Stats of the Week No. 10: Packers at Bears became the second regular-season NFL contest (Bills at 49ers in 1992) that did not have a punt.

As for the Bears: They are 2-0 on the road, 0-2 at home, and heard their faithful boo loudly on a failed fourth-and-5 attempt in panic time.

But the Bears went for it on fourth down! Isn't this supposed to signal to the Bears team that Marc Trestman was serious about winning the game and this would motivate them to play at a higher level? How could this be untrue?

Detroit ahead 24-17 with five minutes remaining, the Lions punted on fourth-and-1 from their 29. A sweet ending seemed in store for the hosts. Then on third-and-short, Jersey/B back Chris Ivory dropped a flare pass that would have picked up the first down. 

That's just like an undrafted player to drop a key pass like this. Again, if this were Chris Johnson who dropped the pass then Gregg would write "highly-drafted mega-bucks Chris Johnson who likes to complain he doesn't get the football enough," but it was an undrafted free agent who dropped this the reader doesn't get a mention of Ivory's draft position.

Then Gregg tries to think of alternative names for the Washington Redskins franchise. Gregg goes through the following names:

Washington Handouts
Washington Matwatsaso
Washington One-Percenters
Washington Insiders
Washington 495ers
Washington Lobbyists
Washington Drones
Washington Monuments
Washington Filibuster
Washington Redsticks
Washington Red Tape

At no point did it get overly creative or interesting. Actually, that should be the motto for TMQ.

"TMQ: Guaranteed to not be overly creative or interesting."

Fall is college endowment reporting season, and news is beginning to dribble out -- Harvard's endowment is up to $36.4 billion, for example. That includes two earthquake-style recent transactions: a $350 million gift from Hong Kong businessman Gerald Chan and a $150 million gift from U.S. investor Kenneth Griffin.

One might reply that it was their money to do with as they see fit. Actually only some was their money. Let's consider Griffin, a U.S. citizen. The deductibility of donations to higher education means Griffin really gave Harvard about $100 million, with taxpayers covering the balance. Ordinary people whose children are buried under student loans, and can only dream of attending Harvard, will be taxed to fund the transfer of another $50 million to the Crimson elite.

Nope, it's still his money to spend as he sees fit. Griffin has $150 million that he has earned to do as he sees fit. Also, and Gregg leaves this out to the shock of no one, but this money donated by Griffin is going to be used for 200 Griffin scholarships and contributions to 600 other scholarships. So yes, the money goes to Harvard still, but it is intended to create a scholarship. And it's still his money.

But there is a solution to tax favors for the top of higher education: legislation to end the deductibility of donations to colleges or universities whose endowments exceed $1 million per enrolled student.

Oh, that's a great idea that has a -85% chance of passing through Congress. I'm sure many Congressmen really want to reduce the amount of money wealthy donors can give to the college of their choice or even reduce the amount of money given to that Congressmen's alma mater. The best way to get elected is to piss off rich people.

About a dozen colleges and universities enjoy endowments that exceed $1 million per undergraduate. Harvard is now at $5.3 million per undergraduate, Yale clocks in at $4.4 million per undergrad. Duke just crossed the lofty $1 million in endowment per undergraduate line, so donations to Duke would cease being deductible under this proposal.

It's a great idea in theory, but this idea would never pass through any type of legislative body as Gregg currently proposes it.

Obviously this proposed tax-law change might cause the very rich to spend money on yachts rather than on Penn or Princeton. Or maybe it would encourage them to send their donations to the many colleges that serve people who weren't born into privilege -- and where a big chunk of money would change lives.

And yes, Gregg is assuming that those people who send money to Harvard or Yale will spend that money at another university rather than spend that money on some other item they would like to purchase. I'm not sure this is a safe assumption. If I'm very wealthy then I would prefer to give my money to my alma mater or another college I have an affiliation with, rather than just hand $10 million to some college who needs it. If I can't give money to my alma mater, I'm probably spending my $10 million on something else and not necessarily donating it to a college whose campus I have never stepped foot on.

This change in legislation to affect how much colleges with massive endowments can receive is a good example of Gregg having an idea that works in theory, but only if he makes a few assumptions to make it work. I would bet a lot of donors want to give to their college of choice or not give at all.

"Hawaii Five-0," the nuttiest network prime-time series -- that's discounting for shows such as "Sleepy Hollow" and "Forever" that don't even attempt to make sense -- has returned to the airwaves. In last season's finale cliffhanger, arch-villain Wo Fat escaped from ADX Florence, the supermax prison in Colorado. Wo set off a gigantic bomb in his cell.

You've already guessed that no one has ever escaped from a U.S. high-security facility, but on TV and in action movies, getting out from behind bars is as easy as hailing a cab.

Mostly because these are television shows that are supposed to be entertaining and not representative of fact or reality. This is a lesson that Gregg consistently is unable to grasp.

Killers have escaped from maximum-security confinement in "Criminal Minds," "Natural Born Killers," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Rizzoli & Isles" and "Unforgettable."

(Bangs head against the table repeatedly)

Prison nonsense bonus No. 1: On FX's "The Bridge," a character stages a super-elaborate break-in of a maximum security prison to confront an inmate. Then the character simply walks out of the facility. Generally, it's harder to get out of prisons than to get in.

He was able to get out of the prison because certain people in the prison were paid off to look the other way and because he had a guard's uniform on. It is hard to get out of a prison, but he walked out because he looked like he worked there to those who weren't paid off to look the other way.

The 49ers have struggled since decamping from San Francisco, one of the world's greatest cities, for Santa Clara.

They are 2-2. "Struggling" is a relative term for a team that has made three straight NFC Championship Games.

The 49ers defeated the Eagles, but just barely. All the Niners' vibes seem wrong.

Sure, the 49ers beat a previously undefeated team, but barely. It wasn't impressive to Gregg Easterbrook at all. A win is a win, especially a win over a coach that Gregg considers to be an offensive genius like Chip Kelly, but the vibes were wrong so Gregg considers it more of a loss.

Versus the Eagles, Harbaugh/West made dumb clock-management mistakes -- wasting a timeout trying to draw Philadelphia offside, wasting another challenging a call that was clearly correct. Had Philadelphia scored from point-blank range in the closing minute, the lack of timeouts might have doomed the 49ers.

Had the Eagles scored 10 more touchdowns the 49ers might have lost by more than 60 points. But they didn't, just like the Eagles didn't score from point-blank range in the closing minute. So it's a win for the Eagles, no matter how Gregg tries to discredit this win.

in 2013, Harbaugh/West could've picked Zach Ertz, who bedeviled Santa Clara on Sunday, but instead traded the pick to select Tank Carradine and Chris Borland, neither of whom started Sunday.

If Gregg did his research then he would know Jim Harbaugh did want to draft Ertz, but the 49ers GM overruled him, traded out of the spot and took Vance McDonald instead. Also, Ertz had 4 catches for 43 yards against the 49ers. I wouldn't say he "bedeviled" them in any way. And again also, whether a player starts or not isn't really relevant considering Carradine tore his ACL in college so he was a long-term project anyway and Borland is a rookie. Those picks weren't picks the 49ers were planning on utilizing immediately. Harbaugh did want to draft Ertz though. I'm sure it's all Michael Crabtree's fault.

As for the Colin Kaepernick experiment -- many good things have happened, but it's still scary when he releases the ball. It's not scary when Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck releases the ball.

(Bangs head against the table)

On one down, Kaepernick was sprinting left, then stopped and threw sideways right all the way across the field. The result was a touchdown. But let's hope as Kaepernick trotted off, quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst grabbed him and said, "Great pass, don't ever do that again."

The 49ers won by the way. They won the game. They beat a 3-0 team coached by the genius of all geniuses who runs a wacky, West-Coast based offense that Gregg loves so much. Gregg can keep bashing the 49ers, how the 49ers have drafted and Kaepernick, but they won the game Gregg is discussing.

With Buffalo leading 10-7 early in the third quarter, the Bills reached third-and-2 on the Houston 12. A run stands a good chance of making the first down, or setting up either fourth-and-1 or a field goal for a 13-7 margin.

(Gregg Easterbrook in every other TMQ) "Teams should play aggressively and a head coach needs to coach aggressively to tell his team he is interested in winning the game."

(Gregg Easterbrook now) "Why didn't the Bills just run the ball on third-and-2 and then just kick a field goal?"

Also, why does Gregg say a run stands a good chance of making a first down in this situation? Gregg consistently misunderstands that if a team is averaging 4.2 yards per rush, this doesn't mean every rush will gain 4.2 yards. In short yardage situations like this, a running play may not gain 4.2 yards because the defense could be expecting a running play. Just like on third-and-13, a running play could gain more than 4.2 yards because the defense is set up to the defend the pass.

At Houston, it felt like the Bills' brain trust thought the team had to be pass-wacky to justify spending so many high picks on receivers and the accuracy-challenged EJ Manuel. Turns out all the Bills were justifying was the soon-to-come housecleaning from new owner Terry Pegula. The postgame benching of Manuel -- who was often off the mark in college, too --

Manuel had a career 66.9% completion percentage at Florida State. His completion percentage was never higher than 69.9% and never lower than 65.1%. So the numbers don't really bear out that Manuel was off the mark in college too. In fact, Manuel has the 25th highest completion percentage in college football history. Yet another lie Gregg will tell his readers and hope they believe. I'm still a little surprised that ESPN allows Gregg to get by with things like this. This is just an absolutely egregious lie. If Manuel was off the mark in college, then there are only 24 quarterbacks in college football history who could be considered "on the mark."

The Carolina Panthers are taking on water -- consecutive blowout defeats, by a combined 75-29. Sunday they were embarrassed by a terrific game from the Ravens' Steve Smith, who was Carolina's all-time leading receiver (for catches, yards and touchdowns) when Ron Rivera released him over the winter. To his credit, Rivera did the classy thing and went to the Baltimore locker room to congratulate Smith after the game

Yes, Ron Rivera released Smith. Apparently Ron Rivera is now the Carolina Panthers GM. Dave Gettleman will be shocked to find out he is no longer the GM of the Panthers when he reads it in TMQ.

A week ago before their home crowd, the Patriots barely outlasted the woeful Raiders. Monday night they were ground up into burger meat -- "Of course we're speaking in the figurative sense," as Weird Al would say -- by the Chiefs. Is New England's Brady-Belichick Golden Age drawing to a close?

But wouldn't the Patriots' draft strategy of never making mega-deals help the Patriots bounce back quickly if the Brady-Belichick Golden Age is over?

Every star athlete must deal with nationally televised defeat -- just ask LeBron James -- but rarely has Brady lost badly. His life with the Flying Elvii has been all news conferences, endorsements, championship rings and supermodels, 'til last night, when the Patriots looked like the Raiders East.


As for Kansas City, its long losing spiral has been stopped by two emphatic victories in eight days. The 2014 NFL season will be a lot more interesting if the Chiefs are a factor.

Okay, but why? Why is the 2014 NFL season more interesting if the Chiefs are a factor?

Brady Hoke is on the hot seat for a 4-9 stretch that includes a shutout at Notre Dame. Students and alums want the Wolverines to win, but shame on any who think a losing stretch is a reason Hoke should be fired. Aren't we at least supposed to pretend the University of Michigan is an educational institution and its players student-athletes? As long as players are in class and Hoke is behaving in a responsible manner, Hoke should, in theory, keep his job -- home losses to Minnesota be damned.

No, Hoke should not keep his job if his players are going to class and making good grades. He is a football coach. It is his job to coach football. It is his job to make sure his players graduate as well, but mostly it is his job to coach football. Just like an English professor wouldn't be fired if the Michigan football team starts losing games, Brady Hoke shouldn't keep his job as football coach because his players graduate and go to class. It's not how it works.

Over the summer, Barack Obama declared that U.S. infrastructure was crumbling because "we are not spending enough" on roads, bridges, subways and similar projects. Au contraire: The problem is we're not getting value for what we do spend. This Reuters column by TMQ lays out example after example of government-funded construction projects that are insanely overpriced, insanely slow or both.

Hey look, Gregg is pimping out one of his other columns in TMQ. He also briefly discusses what he wrote in that column, as if a link to the article wouldn't be enough.

The Football Gods Chortled: Peyton Hillis, the "Madden" game cover boy in 2011, now covers kicks for the Giants and is their third-string running back.

You know how those lowly-drafted players can be. They get a little taste of fame and just let it go to their head and stop doing the hard work that got them to where they were in the first place. Have to be careful of those seventh round picks who have a little success.

Yet another instance where Gregg surely would have mentioned Hillis' draft position if he were a highly-drafted player. Yet, because Hillis' story doesn't fit Gregg's narrative, he leaves the draft position out.

In 2012, the Saints were last in the league in defense. In 2013, they rose to fourth. Maybe that 2013 number was a misprint -- now they're at 30th. The Saints don't have an interception this season, and New Orleans' tackling versus Dallas was terrible. On one longer gain, defensive back Johnny Patrick simply pulled up and watched the Boys' runner advance. On a Dallas third-and-1 at a key juncture, New Orleans had only 10 men on the field. The Saints have opened 1-3 but with all losses on the road. Now New Orleans plays seven of 12 in the Superdome. The Saints are still a playoff threat.

Gregg isn't really playing this both ways, but he has set himself to be right no matter how the rest of the season goes for the Saints. If they struggle, he can point to the defense as the problem, and if the Saints excel, then he can point out he said they were still a playoff threat. Say nothing of substance, recite facts, and then he will have all of his bases covered. The Saints were one of Gregg's four Super Bowl teams he picked. I'm sure he'll end up picking 6-8 teams to make the Super Bowl by the end of the season.

General Motors cars have improved markedly, but GM has been embarrassed by a series of management failures under CEOs Dan Akerson and Mary Barra, especially the cover-up of defective ignition switches. Yet in 2012, Forbes claimed the now-departed Akerson was underpaid at $7.6 million, and just before the defect scandal broke this year, CNN claimed Barra was underpaid at $14.4 million.

This is an outright lie. Gregg is lying. If he read the links he gave, he would see that Forbes wasn't saying Akerson was underpaid. They are claiming he is underpaid compared to his counterpart at Ford Motor. It's not a claim that Akerson is underpaid, but that he is underpaid compared to his peer group.

And that CNN article at no point claims Barra is underpaid. They compare her pay to Akerson's pay and come to the conclusion Barra is not underpaid. Here are two quotes from the article in case you don't feel like clicking on the link just like Gregg didn't click on the link that he provided,

But critics are comparing only part of Barra's pay package to all of former CEO's Dan Akerson's pay. GM says that when it discloses Barra's long-term compensation later this year, it will be clear that there is little difference between their total pay packages. 

One thing we do know: Barra is in a better position than Akerson was to get a fat long-term bonus. Pay for Akerson and other top GM execs had been subject to federal limits after the U.S. Treasury Department bailed out the automaker in 2009. The good news for Barra is that the U.S. sold its remaining GM (GM) shares in December, which leaves its compensation committee free of any constraints. 

The conclusion reached is that Barra is not underpaid, yet Gregg didn't read the article and just blindly linked it. Then some of his less energetic readers will blindly quote the article to a friend as stating Barra was underpaid and this is how stupidity happens.

And with the typical CEO of a large public company now making 296 times as much as the typical worker, why does the mainstream media agitate for even bigger CEO mega-paydays?

I'm not sure either column was agitating for even bigger CEO mega-paydays. Of course, I read both columns and Gregg clearly didn't.

Last season the Giants opened 0-6, then bounced back 7-3. This summer your columnist warned Jersey/A could "open struggling again," which was the case as the Giants lost their first two contests and were outscored 60-28. Is another bounce back in the works? Now Jersey/A has consecutive victories, winning by a combined score of 75-31. One reason I thought the Giants would "open struggling" was dearth at tight end. It seems that has been solved by Larry Donnell, who caught three touchdown passes in the Giants' destruction of the hapless Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons.

And I believe I pointed out this problem would take care of itself and that the Giants didn't have fantastically talented tight ends on the last Super Bowl squad they had, so a dearth at tight end wasn't a huge deal. So quickly getting past he was wrong, Gregg starts talking up an undrafted free agent. When an UDFA plays well, draft position gets mentioned. Odd how that works.

Donnell had not been jammed on either of his two initial scores, both of which came inside the 10. Washington's defensive coaches seemed to consider him a nonissue. Surely they would have noticed Donnell by now, and put a linebacker on him! Instead, when he lined up split as wide receiver, the 6-foot-6 Donnell was across from 5-foot-11 safety Bashaud Breeland. Eli Manning noticed this immediately -- it would have been hard not to notice it -- and audibled to a stutter-fade, touchdown.

Surely the Redskins would have put a linebacker on Donnell at this point. Because talented, fast tight ends should be covered by linebackers, not safeties. Wait, Gregg has that backwards doesn't he? Most NFL teams aren't trying to cover Jimmy Graham with a linebacker, but cover him with a safety or corner. Yet, Gregg seems to think the solution to the Larry Donnell problem is putting a linebacker on him. Gregg's football genius shines through once again.

In the preseason, TMQ christened rookie coach Jay Gruden "Sure-to-Be-Former R*dsk*ns Head Coach Jay Gruden." Now, given the sparkling management record and renowned even temper of owner Chainsaw Dan Snyder, one wonders if Gruden will keep his job until Thanksgiving.

Again, unless he is immortal, every NFL head coach will at some point be the ex-coach of the team he is currently coaching. So stating Jay Gruden is "sure to be" a former Redskins coach is merely stating he isn't immortal. Even Bill Belichick will be the former coach of the Patriots at some point.

No team has ever looked as dead as the City of Tampa Buccaneers looked when they failed on downs near the Pittsburgh goal line with 1:44. The Steelers led 24-20 and took possession. After the Bucs held and called their final timeouts, Pittsburgh lined up to punt on its own 17 with 50 seconds left.

I'm sure Gregg believes the Steelers definitely should have gone for it here. "Fortune favors the bold" and the Steelers would convert the first down, rather than give the Buccaneers the ball deep in Steelers territory, because the Pittsburgh offense would know that Mike Tomlin is playing to win this game.

The Steelers were punting to a winless team that was playing a backup quarterback and a wide receiver, Louis Murphy, signed off the street the previous week.

To be fair, Mike Glennon should be the starter and he was the starter for the Bucs last year. Calling him a "backup quarterback" compared to Josh McCown is misleading. McCown was a backup last year in Chicago when Glennon was the starter for Tampa Bay.

The punter shanked the kick, giving City of Tampa possession at the downhill 46.

See, Gregg thinks because Mike Tomlin didn't show Brad Wing that he was serious about winning the game, Wing shanked the punt thinking Tomlin didn't care if his team won the game or not.

On first down the backup quarterback barely avoided a sack. On second down the Bucs lined up trips right -- and the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose vaunted secondary is the stuff of lore, forgot to cover one of the trips guys.

When did the Steelers get a vaunted secondary? I follow the NFL fairly closely and definitely don't think the Steelers have a "vaunted" secondary. Once again, Gregg seems to be making things up as he goes along in order to better prove a point he wants to prove.

Across from the trips set were two defensive backs for three receivers. Murphy ran a down-and-in and got lost in the confusion, gaining 41 yards to the Pittsburgh 5. Two snaps later, the visitors won.

If only Mike Tomlin had shown the Steelers team he was serious about winning the game.

Forgetting to cover a wide receiver with seconds remaining and the opposition certain to throw deep -- Pittsburgh Steelers, you are guilty of the single worst play of the season. So far.

While this was a bad play, it wasn't certain the Buccaneers would throw deep. They could easily have thrown short and then gone out of bounds. They only had to go around 50 yards to get a touchdown, so there was no definite need to go deep. It was a bad play, though there was no certainty the Buccaneers would go deep.

Next Week: The United Kingdom classifies NFL London game participants as seasonal migrant workers.

Just hilarious. The only reason I could see that Gregg Easterbrook isn't a stand-up comedian is that he isn't funny at all. Other than that, I think he missed his calling. 


Chris said...

There is another point that Gregg doesn't realize which is that the the Jaguars went "all-in" on Gabbert because they didn't really have any other quarterbacks on their roster that were good enough to get the starting job. They released David Garrard in preseason and Luke McCown was Luke McCown. Not to mention Gabbert spent most of his time in Jacksonville losing because the team around him was pretty shitty. Not that Gabbert was a star but Gregg insinuates that it's all Gabbert's fault that Jacksonville stunk up the joint.

And while Gabbert may have been bad, saying he redefined bust is a little unfair. I would think that title would go to Jamarcus Russell.

Chris said...

As an aside. Even in college I don't think anyone would be enough of a pretentious ass to refer to their school or alma mater as a "football-factory", esepcially since Gregg usually means that word in a negative sense.

Chris said...

Me again. Last time I will hold the message board hostage but Gregg saying Sleepy Hollow not trying to be remotely realistic. Who would have ever thought that a show about Ichabad Crane in present day Sleepy Hollow fighting the devil and the Headless Horseman would try for realism.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I feel like Charles Rogers redefined the definition of a bust too. Actually, there are a lot of players prior to Gabbert who redefined bust. I don't consider what the Jags did as going "all-in" on Gabbert. They paid what they had to in order to get their man.

Nobody uses that phrase "football factory" except for Gregg. Not that I have heard.

Feel free to hold the board hostage. I'm surprised Gregg didn't criticize how a headless person couldn't run around because the lack of blood to his brain would affect his ability to think and move. But yeah, it's a show based on a headless dude and has time travel involved. Belief should be suspended.

Slag-King said...

Versus the Eagles, Harbaugh/West made dumb clock-management mistakes -- wasting a timeout trying to draw Philadelphia offside,

That's a lie! Harbaugh did not call time-out, Kaepernick did. Harbaugh wanted a delay of game.

Slag-King said...

Also, Ertz had 4 catches for 43 yards against the 49ers. I wouldn't say he "bedeviled" them in any way.

He also had a drop and a lost fumble. If that is bedeviling a team, then I'd take that every time!

Was Gregg watching the same game i watched? Everybody on the offense for Philly was ineffective except for the last drive. I'm not sure what he is talking about here, other than to promote that "Santa Clara" curse?

franc said...

i'm really starting to hate the word "bust". a shitty team wins a high 1st round pick only by virtue of their shitty record and drafts average or even poor prospects who can't possibly meet these expectations, and it's primarily a knock on these players? team management and coaching should be blamed every single time. sure, i have no sympathy for these players; they do get paid millions for nothing, but so do executives and coaches of these shitty teams.
things are not even that simple; teams are bad for a variety of reasons (mismanagement, small unattractive markets, FAs not even considering them, and most importantly, limited spending power and a history of losing) so simply stating "player X was a bust and this team wasted precious picks" is missing the entire point why consistently shitty teams even exist and why they make bad draft-day decisions on a consistent basis. russell was a bust, but the raiders share AT LEAST an equal amount of blame for drafting him. same goes for thabeet and the grizz and kwame brown and the wizards. it seems to me that football or basketball are called "team sports" only when sportswriters have a ridiculous urge to spout nonsense, but in reality always blame individuals.
(sry for the basketball references, i don't really follow football as much as i would like to)

Slag-King said...

franc--your comments remind me exactly with Ben's problem with Peter King's killing criticism of Josh Freeman. Peter is mad that Josh is making millions of dollars doing nothing. Sportswriters for the most part employ the "us against them" mentality. It is nauseating.

Chris said...

Franc you make a very good point about the term bust. It's very easy to call these players busts now but it's not as thought most people expected these players to suck. Gregg acts like Jacksonville should have somehow known that Gabbert was gonna be terrible. It's that draft strategy that Ben has talked about before. Wanna know how good your draft was? Travel 3 years in time to the future and see!

franc said...

slag nad chris - i guess i've been reading alot of bengoodfella lately, hehe.
it's just stupid to blame a player for what is basically a team management mistake. same thing with injuries; as if you can strengthen your ligaments with sheer will power and determination.