Tuesday, October 14, 2014

10 comments MMQB Review: It's a New Week With No Outcomes For "Us" To Overreact To Edition

Peter King seemed to have Bill Simmons ghostwrite MMQB last week. He was using many of Bill's techniques (saying "we," gushing about Tom Brady, using overly-specific percentages) that he often uses in his writing. Maybe during his three week vacation Bill decided he would try to spice up MMQB. Peter also told us that "we" overreacted in burying the Patriots and that Russell Wilson not only used to be a bully and was in fact the John Stockton of bullying in high school. This week Peter officially permits Cleveland to get excited, is shocked by who he puts at #1 in his Fine Fifteen (only Peter King could be douchy enough to be shocked at his personal choices...I imagine he sits at the dinner table staring at his food sometimes saying, "I am in disbelief I ordered the chicken tonight. I don't know what happened that caused this."), and marvels over the genius of Aaron Rodgers. Oh, and Peter found a really good pumpkin ale. So alert the authorities and tell breweries they are now officially allowed to keep brewing pumpkin ale now that Peter has found one he enjoys.

And also, there was a tie game in the NFL on Sunday. It's not terribly interesting, but since they don't happen that often it deserves maybe more than a passing mention, no? Apparently not. Peter is going to talk about that game in the Tuesday mailbag. This is one of the issues that plagues MMQB. It's a bloated column that isn't about the NFL. It's about Peter King. As he has done multiple times before, Peter leaves out coverage of some NFL games or events that happened on the weekend in favor of quotes, Tweets and an entire page of Peter's personal thoughts. MMQB is about Peter King, not the NFL.

I’ve got a lot to say about the insanity of this season,

This is the craziest NFL season since the last NFL season and there probably won't be another INSANE NFL season like this one until next year.

But the top of the Week 6 column belongs to the Cleveland Browns.

What a privilege for the Browns. They take the top of the Week 6 column in MMQB. Peter ever-so-briefly has stopped discussing the coffee-related issues involved with traveling and giving his readers great Tweets from the past week to do his job and write about the NFL. AND he is writing about the Browns first. He deserves a thank you note, Browns fans.

The contending, competent, fun, just-might-be-for-real Cleveland Browns.

I really liked the Browns coming into this season. I didn't think they would be this good, but they are a team...wait for it...here it comes...on the rise! I've always thought Brian Hoyer was competent at playing quarterback and it's amazing how a decent team with a competent quarterback can win games.

One factoid before I go there, to tell you that no matter how much you know about football, you actually do not know jack.

Neither do you, big boy. This would be a good time to say "we" don't know much about football, but as usual like Bill Simmons, when Peter is wrong "we" are wrong, but when he doesn't want to be seen as wrong it's just "us" who are wrong. Also, no one knows anything about any sport because human beings are incapable of predicting the future. So yes, no one knows anything. Glad you get paid seven figures to state the obvious.

Remember opening night, Sept. 4?

I don't Peter, only you are smart enough to recall events from over a month ago. We will find out in a bit that Peter can't recall events from two years ago, but events from a month ago are fresh in Peter's mind.

Seahawks 36, Packers 16, and the story line for the next week was something like this: Yeah, we know no one ever repeats in the NFL, but this year’s different. Seattle’s unstoppable. No weaknesses. Everyone who didn’t pick Seattle to repeat, change your picks now.

What's ironic about Peter talking about everyone overreacting to Seattle's win over the Packers on opening night is that he is now overreacting to a loss by the Seahawks at home against the Cowboys. Yes, the storyline about how Seattle looks good to repeat isn't necessarily dead. They are a good team. They could go 7-1 at home, and then if they go 5-3 on the road, then that is a 12-4 record which gives them a chance of homefield advantage in the playoffs. All is not lost, don't overreact.

Seattle since the opener:

Record: 2-2.
Points scored: 97.
Points allowed: 97.

Five weeks from now Peter is going to be writing, "Remember when we all thought the Seahawks were going to go 8-8 and miss the playoffs? Well, they are 8-2 now and have the best record in the NFC." The Seahawks' next five games are against the Raiders, Panthers, Chiefs, Rams, and Giants. Two of those games are at home and three are on the road. All is not lost. Peter should not start rubbing it in his readers' faces that they thought Seattle could repeat quite yet.

When’s the last time things broke right for the Browns? I mean, really broke right. And 2007, when the Browns won 10 games, really doesn’t count, because it was a fool’s gold kind of season; the Browns won 4, 5, 5, 4, 5 and 4 games in the six seasons to follow.

So doesn't that mean things broke right for the Browns on that season because a team that shouldn't have won 10 games did win 10 games and made the playoffs? Isn't that how something "breaking right" works? Things go right and allow a team to do better than they should be doing?

Not to say this 3-2 start signals anything permanent, or that Brian Hoyer is Kurt Warner reincarnated. But it’s going to take some getting used to, the Browns looking like a respectable NFL franchise.

"Not that the 3-2 record means anything at all, but here is the conclusion I am jumping to and then will accuse my readers of jumping to the conclusion when it ends up wrong." 

As he spoke, Pettine was parked outside defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s house. Seems that O’Neil has a newly constructed bar in the home he’s recently moved into. “I’m going to help him break in that bar tonight,” Pettine said. Deservedly so. But he didn’t seem in any rush to get off the phone.

It's because you are such a good conversationalist, Peter.

Brian Hoyer, the native son, had another efficient game, and it’s becoming clear the Browns are comfortable with him managing the game because he doesn’t make the kind of killer decisions that most inexperienced passers do.

Again, like I feel about Kyle Orton, it's amazing how a competent quarterback can help a team stay in games and even win a few games.

Northern teams have to be able to run to win, and this one can. Hoyer’s running the ship so well that the immense story of the summer—When will Johnny Manziel take over the starting job?—has turned into an afterthought now.

All teams need to run the ball, not just Northern teams. Also, it was Peter and his friends in the media who were pushing that "When will Manziel take over?" story. Few others who aren't infatuated with covering Manziel cared.

“Brian is the best example of a guy who’s confident because of his preparation,” said Pettine. “He learned in the Tom Brady school of preparation. [Hoyer was a New England backup from 2009 to ’11.] I doubt there’s a better person to learn from.

Well, he could learn better from Mike Vick if he did the opposite of everything Vick does to prepare for a game.

“The big part of the success for me is that the success we’re having now cements the buy-in by the players. When I got here, when this new staff got here, these guys didn’t have a lot of reasons to trust us. New staff. Not a very well-known head coach. Radical change on both sides of the ball. 

If anything, I would think because there are big chances on both sides of the ball, the Browns players would trust the new coaching staff more. It's not like there was a history of success that Pettine was ruining or anything like that. No offense to Browns fans, and I think they would agree, not continuing the same path that has led to failure is a good thing.

The injuries: defensive lineman Armonty Bryant suffered a knee injury, and Pettine said he’s likely gone for the year. Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, an ironman of the highest order, 

And the same player who Peter worked really hard to get out of Cleveland this past offseason by using his relationship with Marvin Demoff to lay out nearly the exact contract a team would have to offer in order to get the Browns to not match. It's one of Peter's more shameless moments over the past year. He used his connections to pimp out one of his agent's clients on behalf of that agent.

Not having Mack at center was a culture shock for the Browns. Since being drafted in 2009, Mack had played every snap of every Browns game—4,556 offensive plays—until the injury in the middle of the second quarter.

So perspective suitors, start lining up for Mack now just in case the Browns ever release him! Peter will have the exact details of the next contract Mack will want in a MMQB during the offseason, just as soon as Marvin Demoff provides the information and orders Peter help drum up interest in the market for Mack.

Now, about things breaking right … check out the schedule Cleveland has before a Thursday night date at Cincinnati in early November that could have quite a bit of playoff meaning:

Sun., Oct. 19: at Jacksonville (0-6)
Sun, Oct. 26: vs. Oakland (0-5)
Sun, Nov. 2: vs. Tampa Bay  (1-5)

Again, the schedule breaking right is another reason the Browns' 2007 season involved things breaking right for the team. 2007 does count.

But if you thought LeBron coming home was going to be the only bit of good Cleveland sports news this year, it looks like you’d be wrong.

Yes, "we" would be wrong! I'm so glad Peter knows what "we" are thinking about the Browns and how because he didn't think the team would be competitive no else thought they would be competitive either. How could anyone have knowledge of anything NFL-related without Peter having that knowledge as well? If Peter is wrong, "we" are all wrong too.

The greatest workhorse back in NFL history is Emmitt Smith, who had nearly 600 carries more than any other player in history when he retired in 2004. So it seemed sensible to compare one workhorse Cowboy to another in the wake of Murray’s sixth straight 100-yard game to start the season, a 115-yard job against the best rush defense in the league, Seattle.

There's symmetry here! Quick, create a narrative! Sure, DeMarco Murray has never had more than 217 carries in a season or participated in 16 games in a season, but he's a workhorse back now just like Emmitt Smith. I can't wait three weeks from now when Peter tells "us" that "we" thought Murray could last the whole season, but "we" were wrong to compare him to Emmitt Smith.

Through six weeks, Murray has 159 carries, 43 more than any other back in football. I thought I’d compare his first six games to the back with the most carries ever, just to see how close he is to a truly historic workload.

I don't mean to be negative, but for a running back who has never had more than 217 carries in a season and has a history of injuries, isn't this huge workload more of a red flag than something Peter should be celebrating? Obviously Murray has played very well, but it's not like he has a history of carrying the load for a full season.

The Cowboys never handed it to Smith as much as these Cowboys are handing it to Murray. I asked Murray last week if he thought he could keep up the crazy pace, and he said, “I think I can. I’m in the cold tub right now.” Well, what else would he say?

I don't know, Peter. You are the dumbass who asked the question, not me.

The big workload is what caused coach Jason Garrett the other day to say he planned to cut down on the Murray reliance. That’s easy to say on a Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday in a nice football office. It’s another thing to get in the mayhem of a game against the Super Bowl champs, at their place, and stick with the conservative plan.

I don't know if I would call it a conservative plan to cut down on the NFL running back with the most carries on the season. It's sort of common sense more than anything else.

The Dallas defense deserves credit for the win too.

Why on Earth would the Dallas defense deserve credit? That's crazy talk.

It’s hard to make Russell Wilson inefficient. This was only the third time in his young career that Wilson had a passer rating under 50 and completed 50 percent or less of his throws. 

It definitely helps when the offense holds the ball for nearly 38 minutes and the Seahawks run the ball only 18 times in the game. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense isn't built to throw the ball 28 times and run the ball 18 times in a game while only holding possession a little over 22 minutes. Not a lot of teams are built to do that. I guess the answer Peter posed a few weeks ago to whether Russell Wilson ever sweats is "Yes, he does."

“You understand what people are saying about you—that you guys will be one of the worst teams in the league?” I asked.
“I’ve heard it,’’ he said, and thought for a moment how to respond. Tactfully. “Quite candidly … they’ll be wrong. You just watch: We’re going to be a lot better on defense than anybody thinks.”
Look who’s laughing now.

I mean, you say a lot of things and eventually you will be right. Jerry Jones certainly isn't going to say his defense stinks before even one game is played during the season. I hope Peter didn't expect him to say anything like that.

“On the line! On the line! Clock! Clock! Clock!”
Aaron Rodgers throttled his hand in a pass-spiking motion one, two, three times, looking over the Miami defense as the seconds ticked away in the final minute in Miami.
:18 … :17 … :16 …

“I was looking at Davante Adams,’’ he said from the Packers’ bus, on the way to the Fort Lauderdale airport late Sunday afternoon, “but he wasn’t looking at me.

Peter King knows the opposite of that feeling. The feeling of him looking at a Packers quarterback, but that Packers quarterback isn't looking at him. He knows that feeling all too well. It hurts. Still. It hurts so badly still. Just look at Peter once in the same way he looks at you, Brett. Just once.

In a situation like that, you want to make eye-contact so he knows something might be coming.

Peter knows that feeling with a Packers quarterback too. Nothing ever came of it though. Nothing but careless whispers and meaningless promises to hang out again on the front porch of a farm in Mississippi sometime in the near future.

“I saw the corner on that side [Cortland Finnegan], at the last second, back off to about 12 yards off Davante. And I’m thinking there, ‘They’re giving us free yards.’ ” Actually, Finnegan was about eight yards off to start, then walked back to make it about 11. The cushion was just too tempting.

Hey, Finnegan would fit in great with the Panthers defense. Play as far off the receiver as possible and just concede passing yards.

But Rodgers knew if he threw to Adams, and Adams didn’t get out of bounds, the game’s over. Did Adams know? You’d think he would, but a rookie?

Gregg Easterbrook would argue because Davante Adams is a highly-paid, highly-drafted glory boy he would have no idea what to do in this situation. All Adams cares about is putting up big numbers and I am sure Gregg would call him a "diva" for some reason as well.

“How about that!’’ John Lynch, the FOX announcer, says on TV. “In the home of Dan Marino, he pulls the Marino!”

Then John Lynch continued to repeat things about Dan Marino until the viewer realized he isn't a very good analyst and has no idea what else to say in this situation.

Dan Marino once fake-spiked and threw a touchdown pass to Mark Ingram (the dad, not the son)

Thanks for clearing up that it was Mark Ingram's father who caught the pass, because I'm sure Peter's readers thought Mark Ingram the Saints' running back was playing wide receiver in the NFL when he was four years old.

Adams and Finnegan met at about the 11, and Adams, smartly, was already making tracks for the sideline. But all Finnegan had to do was tackle Adams in-bounds. He could have walled him from the sideline and forced him to stay in. But no. The veteran failed to make a veteran move.

In Finnegan's somewhat defense, forcing Adams out of bounds may have seemed like a better option at the time then to push Adams towards the middle of the field where he could conceivably score a touchdown against a shocked Dolphins defense. I agree, Finnegan should have tackled Adams inbounds of course, but in his shock it made more sense to ensure Adams didn't get around him. I'm sure Gregg Easterbrook will have this as the worst play of the season so far while forgetting to mention Finnegan's draft position.

What receiver wouldn’t want to play with Aaron Rodgers?

Greg Jennings apparently. 

Then Peter talks about J.J. Watt having to help the Texans make the playoffs in order to be considered the MVP of the NFL. Since it is Week 6, I have no idea how I feel about Watt being considered a front-runner for the MVP and it's way too early to start talking about these things. But hey, have to kill some space in MMQB before Peter gets to the meat of the column, which of course are his personal thoughts on beer and baseball.

The assistant coach of the year so far? San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is in the discussion. 

Fangio is in the discussion for assistant coach of the year because he is an assistant coach for an NFL team. Deep thoughts of the day from Peter King that sounded deeper than they really are based on how Peter phrased this sentence.

The Fine Fifteen

Fifteen teams placed in random order of strength and ability to win games.

1. Dallas (5-1). In Fine Fifteen history, I have to say this is one of the biggest surprises I ever recall: the Dallas Cowboys being number one.

How in the hell can it be a surprise? YOU are the one who is placing the Cowboys as #1 in the Fine Fifteen? You have control over your thoughts, so you shouldn't be surprised by your own thoughts nor how you rank NFL teams based on perceived strength.

Only Peter King can be surprised about how he subjectively ranks each NFL team.

3. Seattle (3-2). Since opening night, mortality.

The Seahawks have played the teams that are #1, #2, #4, and #9 on this list. They beat two of those teams. So I don't know if it is "mortality" any more than it is a really difficult opening schedule.

6. Arizona (4-1). As Mike Florio said in our little NBC den Sunday night: “Why’d the Steelers ever let Bruce Arians go?” Good question, Mike. Very good question.

Because Bruce Arians "retired" from coaching. It's kind of hard to keep a guy who doesn't want to be kept isn't it? I would never expect Peter King or Mike Florio to remember something that happened two years ago when there are so many coffee anecdotes to be shared and legal cases broken down in 200 words or less. So I guess "Why did the Steelers let Arians go?" may eventually become the "Why did the Dolphins not want Drew Brees?" for a new generation.

8. New England (4-2). The loss of Jerod Mayo hurts. Hurts bad. But consecutive 26- and 15-point season-saving wins are a good salve.

Yes, the Patriots will feel much better about losing one of their best defensive players for the season when they recall how they were 4-2 and only had 10 games left in the season to play. I mean, the season is almost over and the Patriots won this past weekend. Who needs Jerod Mayo? Or is it Jerrod Majo? Either way, the Patriots don't care because they won a football this week with 10 games left to play.

9. Green Bay (4-2). The 19-7 loss at Detroit doesn’t seem like it was three weeks ago.

It doesn't feel like it was three weeks ago? What do you mean? Consider me intrigued.

More like three months.

You got me again, Peter! It felt more like three years ago. Of course, we know from Peter not recalling that Bruce Arians "retired" from coaching two years ago that if the 19-7 loss at Detroit was three years ago then Peter wouldn't remember it at all. So yes, it was definitely three weeks ago. 

12. Cleveland (3-2). Lots of reasons to like the Browns right now. Quarterback playing well, never out of games, good running game, and a total buy-in to a good coaching staff. They are not going away.

Four weeks from now in MMQB: "Remember when we thought the Browns had everything going their way? Well..."

15. New York Giants (3-3). Those Giants-offense-has-arrived stories can be put away for a while.

Yep, that's a link to a THE MMQB column. Sometimes I think Peter should have named THE MMQB as "The Site Where Conclusions Are Jumped To and Then Taken Back While Overreacting and Jumping To Another Conclusion." He would call it "The SWCAJTATTBWOAJTAC." It's not quite as catchy though.

Coach of the Week
Rod Marinelli, defensive coordinator, Dallas. Playing in the toughest place to play in the NFL, the Dallas defense shut down Russell Wilson’s improvisation, limited Marshawn Lynch to one impact play in four quarters, and frustrated Seattle all day. What Marinelli’s game plan did to Percy Harvin was particularly stifling (six touches, minus-one yard). A tremendous coaching job by Marinelli.

Someone get this man a head coaching job somewhere! Wait, nevermind.

Goats of the Week

Gus Bradley, head coach, Jacksonville. With 12 seconds left, and no timeouts left, trailing by two at Tennessee, the Jags had a third-and-two at the Tennessee 37. The Jaguars had just been handed a gain of eight yards on a sideline-route to put the ball at the 37. And Bradley, instead of taking six or eight more free yards on another sideline route, chose to put Josh Scobee on the field for the 55-yard field goal try. Now, there’s no guarantee Blake Bortles completes a ball on third-and-two. But why not try? Why settle for a 55-yard attempt when you’ve got a chance to get six or eight yards closer? Bradley needs to help his kicker there, and he didn’t.

This is a very Gregg Easterbrookian criticism (which he also made). It's easy to criticize Gus Bradley for this decision. Having a rookie quarterback making one of his few NFL starts and a pretty young group of receivers makes me think kicking the field goal may have been the right decision. Peter didn't know if a rookie wide receiver (Davante Adams) could be trusted to get out of bounds earlier in this column with around the same amount of time left in the game, what about a rookie quarterback throwing the football to a rookie wide receiver like Allen Robinson or Allen Hurns? Can they be trusted to go out of bounds? It's obviously a judgment call, but based on Peter's concern that a rookie wide receiver couldn't get out of bounds with Aaron Rodgers throwing passes, can two rookies be trusted to stop the clock in a similar situation? I'm not sure.

What you need to know about the new Bills owner, Terry Pegula, 63, who also owns the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres:

He likes sports quite a bit.

You mean the guy who owns an NFL and NHL team likes sports a lot? What a shock to my system to hear this. The next thing Peter will tell me is that Pegula is actually quite wealthy compared to most Americans.

Josh Beckett retired the other day. Very quietly, the way he would like it,

Peter wants to know why no one noticed that Josh Beckett was retiring? Who is here to eulogize Josh Beckett's career as Peter King does a one page memorial to Derek Jeter's career? Why isn't ANYONE paying attention to Josh Beckett and Paul Konerko? The same person who gets to the bottom of whether Roger Goodell lied or not can also figure out who should be eulogizing Josh Beckett's career. It's certainly not anything Peter is capable of doing.

Todd Haley has never been very good. He kept failing upwards while he was pissing off his players. It's good to see he is finally be called out for the coach that he is. He isn't so good at his job, but in the NFL being the son of Dick Haley really pays off in getting multiple chances to piss your players off and generally not being great at your job without a Hall of Fame quarterback running the offense.

I heard an interesting and not surprising story about Todd Haley this past summer. I was in Ocean City, Maryland vacationing and spent some time at a local bar. My wife and I were chatting up the bartender, as I am want to do, and the bartender mentioned that a certain liquor (I can't remember which one) was a favorite of an NFL coach (and yes, I can't remember which). I then asked if they got a lot of NFL coaches in there and he said they had a few come by over the past year. The bartender then said one of the coaches for the Pittsburgh Steelers came in one time and was a complete jerk. I asked, "Was it Todd Haley?" and showed him a picture of Todd Haley. He said that was the guy. Apparently Todd Haley had called ahead and alerted the restaurant that he would be gracing them with his presence in a couple of days and wanted a specific bottle of expensive wine purchased for his dinner at the restaurant. If he did not have this wine, he would not be eating at the restaurant. So the restaurant acquired this difficult-to-get (for them) bottle of wine and had it ready for him when the red carpet was rolled out and Todd Haley would enter the building. So Todd Haley arrived with his wife. Long story short, they stood at the bar for about five minutes, the wine was presented to them, and they continued to stand there and left the restaurant a few minutes later never to be seen again without touching the wine. So in summary, Todd Haley is a dick and if he gets fired it's good for everyone.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 6:

c. A receiver for the Raiders whom America hadn’t heard of until about 4:30 ET Sunday afternoon—Andre Holmes, who had two touchdown catches (one a 77-yarder) to help Oakland nearly stun the Chargers.

Some people in America had heard of Andre Holmes because they play fantasy sports and Holmes was a guy who got picked up every once in a while off the waiver wire last year. But no, because Peter hasn't really heard of Holmes that means no one else had either.

f. Tony Sparano. I knew he’d get the Raiders to play harder.

Trying really, really hard can only get you so far. If the Raiders had given up on Dennis Allen and weren't trying hard for him, that brings into question what kind of players are on the Raiders team. So they had just sort of quit playing hard?

g. Ryan Kerrigan, who makes about five big plays a week for Washington. He’s no J.J. Watt in terms of impact, but he should be more famous.

If only there were sportswriters who covered the NFL who could use their weekly columns to focus on Ryan Kerrigan's great plays during the week in order to make him more famous. Oh well, nothing Peter can do about it.

n. Good baiting-of-Teddy Bridgewater pick in the end zone by Detroit safety Glover Quin.

Mike Mayock knew all along that Teddy Bridgewater was a terrible quarterback. This interception just goes to prove it. Norv Turner set Bridgewater up for all the success he will have and now because Bridgewater sucks so badly not even Norv can help him.

w. Line judge Mark Perlman with a tremendous call on the ridiculous catch-and-two-feet-dragging-on-the-sidelines play by Dallas wideout Terrance Williams. We criticize officials often enough and should praise them for a brilliant call—which this was.

Yes, "we" do. I'm always criticizing the officials in my weekly national football column. I can't believe I am so thoughtless as to criticize the officials and never praise them in my widely-read NFL column. I will be sure not to make that mistake again.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 6:

b. The Kirk Cousins interception to close the 30-20 loss to Arizona. He threw directly to a wide-open Arizona safety, Rashad Johnson.

But Kirk Cousins is better than Robert Griffin by a long shot. Because after all, Cousins was the backup quarterback and the backup is always better than the starter.

g. Cincinnati linebacker Rey Maualuga, in celebration, head-butting his teammate, Vontaze Burfict, who just returned from a concussion. Head-butting is a terrible way to celebrate in football anyway, given what we know about concussions. To head-butt a fellow football player is not smart. To head-butt a recently concussed one is really not smart.

You mean the same Vontaze Burfict that got a concussion and was back in the game a series later? The NFL is very concerned about concussions and concussion protocol, which is why Burfict recovered from what looked like a concussion in a matter of minutes.

j. Raiders fans, for egging the Chargers’ team buses heading into O.co Coliseum Sunday. What are you guys, in third grade?

Very odd name, the "O.co Coliseum." It looks like a misprint.

4. I think you cannot overpay football players. That’s what I thought after seeing the Victor Cruz injury.

This is pointless hyperbole. That's what I think after reading this sentence. Yes, football players can be overpaid for choosing to participate in a sport that they know is very physical and causes harm to their bodies. It's still possible to be overpaid.

6. I think the best point made about Jets quarterback Geno Smith in the past week came from Jon Gruden, after Smith somehow got the time wrong and missed a meeting the night before the Week 5 31-0 debacle of a loss at San Diego. “You’re playing Philip Rivers, and then Peyton Manning and Tom Brady,” said Gruden, referring to Smith’s foes in Weeks 5-7. “Those guys don’t miss meetings. They run meetings.”

In Geno Smith's defense, his role models at the quarterback position have been Mark Sanchez and Mike Vick. I am only guessing about Sanchez's work ethic, but it's not like Smith had a veteran quarterback to show him how to prepare for a game in the NFL and help set an example.

8. I think Roger Goodell should give his testimony in the Ray Rice appeal. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t. This case should be about absolute transparency. I want to know what Goodell remembers about his June 16 hearing with Rice. I don’t believe this should be the province of Robert Mueller exclusively; the sun should shine in on this process from all angles.

The investigation is slowly being forgotten or put on the back burner in the minds of the general public. It's almost like there was a plan put into action by the NFL and Roger Goodell or something. A plan to basically wait the outrage out and wait for the public fervor to die down or get focused on a new issue.

9. I think I marvel at Alex Mack, never missing a snap for five-and-a-third years at the center position. His absence will be felt heavily by the Browns, as our Greg Bedard explains today at The MMQB.

Oh, so now Peter has employed Greg Bedard to do some PR for Marvin Demoff and his clients. I like that Mack is getting some press for being such a consistent player, but I never trust Peter's motives when it comes to Marvin Demoff clients...especially when Peter has already written a piece this past summer basically laying out the details on how a team could present an offer sheet to Mack that the Browns wouldn't match.

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

e. Now that I’m a boss, I don’t feel great about assigning Vrentas to work on her 30th birthday. But hey, it was the Giants-Eagles, Sunday night, at the Linc.

Peter, you have always been a boss...at least in your own mind.

g. Wow. How great has this baseball postseason been?

It's been the greatest postseason in Peter's lifetime. By which Peter means that this has been the greatest postseason in the last five years.

j. The Royals are marvels. Lorenzo Cain is playing like Willie Mays in his prime.

Okay Peter, I'm going to need you to calm the fuck down. I think Lorenzo Cain has played great, but "Willie Mays in his prime"? Maybe move the hyperbole scale down a notch or two and just enjoy the games rather than saying some outrageous shit out of excitement. It's a small sample size and it's just as accurate to say Cain has played fantastic baseball over the last couple of weeks.

k. It rained in New York on Saturday morning, so I was stranded on a treadmill.

You know, you can pull the red cord out and the treadmill will stop. You don't have to stand on the treadmill and wait for it to stop moving.

I can picture Peter furious on a treadmill standing there and throwing his hands up in the air as he is confused and disappointed that the treadmill just won't stop because it doesn't feel his body weight on it anymore.

m. Coffeenerdness: Good job with that Anniversary Blend, Starbucks.

Yeah, great job Starbucks. You get a high-five from Peter, you very wealthy corporation that makes money off selling coffee. Good job making coffee. I'm sure the kudos from Peter King means more than the millions upon millions you will reap in profits this year.

n. Beernerdness: I have found the ideal pumpkin beer, thanks to so many of you recommending it. The Southern Tier Imperial Pumking Ale is terrific—sweet but not overly so, with the perfect, non-overpowering taste of pumpkin in the brew, and a bit of vanilla (not sure, but that’s what it tastes like).

Okay everyone, the world can continue spinning because Peter King has found a pumpkin beer that he enjoys drinking. Carry on as you normally would had the world just not changed dramatically.

I’ve always liked the pumpkin brews, but I’d say two-thirds of them disappoint because they’re either overbearing or too mild.

So that means youuuuuuuuuuuuuu...don't like pumpkin brews? Peter says he likes pumpkin brews but is disappointed by two-thirds of them, then that means Peter doesn't generally like them, right? If I say, "I like coffee, but most of the cups of coffee have are too dull and lack taste to me," then doesn't that mean I generally don't like coffee?

Who I Like Tonight

San Francisco 27, St. Louis 24. Someone, somewhere, just doesn’t like the Rams. For the second straight year they play their most attractive home game of the season—a Monday nighter versus one of the league’s marquee teams—in the middle of the baseball playoffs with the wildly popular crosstown Cardinals involved.

Hey, it's the Cardinal Way to shit on other St. Louis teams during their big chance in the spotlight. Don't question the Cardinal Way.

In his three starts, Sam Bradford’s replacement has averaged 312 passing yards, completed 67.5 percent of his throws and had a rating of 100.6. The Rams need a stronger run defense (and should have one, with all those high picks on the defensive front) than the one they’ve shown so far. Frank Gore’s going to be a very big factor tonight.

So Frank Gore, who plays for a team that likes to run the football, is going to play a very big factor in the game? No way.

The Adieu Haiku

It has to be said,
Though it will make some vomit.
“How ’bout them Cowboys!”

But at least Peter isn't reading too much into the Cowboys success early in the season, as compared to the Seahawks "only" having a 3-2 record, and then overreacting to the Cowboys' success while there is still a lot of the NFL season left to be played. 


Chris said...

Hey now Ben. Careful with Vick. As Rex Ryan said it was very brave of him to admit that he didn't remotely try to give a shit about preparing for the game. It takes big brass balls to admit you don't care!

Slag-King said...

When’s the last time things broke right for the Browns? I mean, really broke right

"Broke right:" I've never heard anyone use this colloquialism before. From context, it seems to mean that things are going right and stars are aligning.

In Geno Smith's defense, his role models at the quarterback position have been Mark Sanchez and Mike Vick. I am only guessing about Sanchez's work ethic, but it's not like Smith had a veteran quarterback to show him how to prepare for a game in the NFL and help set an example.

Who did Manning and Rivers have to teach them ethics when they entered the NFL? I doubt Brady learned work ethics from Drew Bledsoe. You either have strong work ethics when you get into the work force or you don't. I don't know, Ben, I think you are a bit too easy on Smith. I think he is a lost cause--maybe good as a back up or third string.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I haven't liked Vick since he went to Va Tech. At the time, it was because he was just too good and I resented that. I was super jealous. Then he played for the Falcons and I am a Panthers fan, so that was easy. Then he killed dogs and I love animals.

But along the way, I did stop hating him so much, yet from a football perspective he's never changed. He always needs that carrot because he admitted in Atlanta he didn't work hard and he seemed to work hard in Philly until he didn't feel the need to anymore. He's not the last guy to leave the locker room like most QB's. He's not a good role model for Geno Smith.

Slag, it is a weird turn of phrase. I have heard it before, but it does mean the stars align and thinks work out well for them. For example, the one year the Colts were terrible there was a franchise QB available in the draft. It broke right for them that they struggled when Luck was available. I would consider 2007 to be a time when things broke right, especially if Peter thinks the Browns were a terrible team every season before and after. So they weren't still great in 2007, but things worked out well or "broke right" for them.

I probably am too easy on Smith. I read how he still has support in the locker room and I feel bad he doesn't have great receivers. But then again, he does need the work ethic. That's a good point. A lot of why I am easy on Smith, which I am, has to do with his situation. It may be unrealistic to expect Vick to teach Smith something like how to work hard.

Bengoodfella said...

You know, there is a list of QB's I am easy on and Smith is working his way on that list. I think the list goes this way:

Jay Cutler (not easy on him, it's just I know what he is and accept it)

Kyle Orton

Geno Smith

Josh Freeman

Teddy Bridgewater

Jason Campbell

I'm sure there's more...

Robert said...

I've often complained about the "Haiku" issue, but here it's another small pet peeve. Peter perpetuates the myth that the word "factoid" means a quirky or interesting small fact.

That's not a factoid. A factoid is something that the public believes to be a fact, but is not actually a fact. For example, "you can see the great wall of China with the naked eye from space" is a factoid. "You only use 10% of your brain" is a factoid.

That a factoid is a quirky or "small" fact is a factoid! But Peter uses it because he can't be bothered to at least pick up a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word factoid. For fuck's sake - I'd say "be a better journalist" - but I'm pretty sure that Peter King being an actual journalist is a factoid.


And no - I do not except the "new definition" that allows Peter's use of factoid. Just because CNN saturated the airwaves with the word factoid incorrect does not mean you can give a word the diametrically opposite meaning to the original meaning of the word. It's like people using "literally" when they mean figuratively. I don't care how common it becomes, to allow literally to mean figuratively destroys the actual meaning of literally as it becomes nearly impossible to tell the intended meaning from context.


Bengoodfella said...

Robert, I didn't know that about factoid. At least I don't think I did. I am totally with you about the word "literally." I have tried so hard to not use that word when I am not speaking literally. That word is now used to show emphasis like,

"We were shocked he showed up. Our heads were literally exploding because he was there."

No, your head was not literally exploding or you would have no head because it is exploded. I've noticed it a lot on reality television shows where they are trying to be dramatic and show emphasis talking to the camera. So they butcher the word.

That's why I love how Chris on Parks & Rec used the word literally. I don't know if you watched that show, but Rob Lowe's character would use literally to describe something that clearly wasn't true. I like to think it was the writers making a meta-observation about how the word is over-used in the wrong context.

"Ann Perkins, you have LITERALLY just done the greatest thing a human can do."

Chris said...

I don't want to deflect responsibility from either Vick or Smith but the Jets should be receiving a lot of blame as well. If I remember correctly, work ethic has been a red flag with Geno since he was at West Virginia so the Jets should have known they were taking a risk and should have had a plan in place to make sure Geno didn't fall back into any bad habits he may have had. By the same token, all of Vick's failings, for lack of a better word, in terms of his work ethic and preparation are well known and well documented. The Jets should have known what they were getting when they signed Vick.

It's sort of a parellel to the Rams with their QB situation. The reason the situation's are the way they are is because both teams created the problem they are currently in.

Bengoodfella said...

I don't know if this is the case, but the Jets needed a QB and Smith "fell" much like Jimmy Clausen fell in the 2010 draft. So he seemed like a deal I guess. Given Smith's perceived work ethic issues, I don't think I would have signed a backup like Vick to work with him.

That is true. Austin Davis has looked good for the Rams, so it's interesting that Fisher's built-in excuse isn't exactly working. Hopefully for Rams fans ownership will realize that a bad QB isn't the only reason the Rams don't seem to be improving under Fisher and do something.

Frank said...

Rams just beat Seattle. Cannot WAIT to hear Peter King gushing about it in MMQB, but what I'm really looking forward to is your response to it :)

Bengoodfella said...

Frank, he kind of goes easy on it. I'm disappointed, yet happy.