Peter astounded "us" last week with the news the Patriots weren't simply going to lose the rest of the games during this NFL season and try to get a new franchise quarterback in the 2015 draft. "We" were wrong about the Patriots struggling the rest of the season because they started off the season struggling. Peter also revealed THE MMQB will be covering one of the Thanksgiving games this year, which should be a lot of fun apparently, though I assumed THE MMQB would be covering these games anyway. I guess it's more fun to saturate coverage of one specific game. This week Peter says that "we" shouldn't count out the Cardinals, the rise of the Lions (I'm going to admit I was wrong about Caldwell at some point...I will probably give it two years, so don't worry, I'm on it but I'm also aware that Caldwell has had success with someone else's players before), and still has nothing to say about Matt Schaub sitting the Raiders' bench while collecting a paycheck of $8 million, though he killed Josh Freeman for doing that same thing last year (in terms of the most bizarre things Peter has ever done, eviscerating Freeman on a weekly basis when he earned $2 million over one season as the Vikings' third QB has to be among them). Also, it's good of Peter to help Greg Schiano "prepare for his next job." Nothing like using his website to do a little PR for his buddies. How shameless.
I want to warn everyone this MMQB contains the sentence, "We can win the Super Bowl with Drew Stanton," so the bar for crazy and delusional has been set high. And what do you know? Carson Palmer gets paid and then gets injured. That never happens.
An early Happy Veterans Day to all in uniform, past and present. Thanks
to all in the military who make it possible for us to enjoy the lives we
lead and feel safe while doing it.
If these veterans knew they were making it safe for Peter to complain about things like bad coffee and people who are taking pictures outside of the Apple store then they would probably quit doing those things to make it safer.
Every NFL season has its eccentricities.
Ten Uniquely 2014 Things About Week 10
1. Cleveland is in sole possession of first place in the AFC North. Last
time that was the case after 10 weeks: In 1994, when Bill Belichick
coached and Vinny Testaverde quarterbacked.
What was Greg Schiano doing at that point? I know you want to tell us, Peter.
2. Brian Hoyer’s agent, Joe Linta, told me Sunday he hasn’t had any
discussions about a new contract for the 2015 free-agent-to-be since May. Six months. Hoyer is the most desirable veteran quarterback among a weak crop.
He's the best of the worst! Quick, overpay for him! There are few great quarterbacks available and the Browns MUST overpay to keep Hoyer around.
There is time for Hoyer to fall to earth, of course, but I’ll be amazed
if the Browns, seeking a long-term answer at quarterback since forever,
let him walk.
Okay, I don't know if I would be amazed since Hoyer doesn't have a long track record of this type of great performance and the Browns have Johnny Manziel sitting on the bench. It would be surprising, but "amazed"? Small things amaze Peter.
4. If the season ended this morning, Green Bay (6-3) wouldn’t be in the
playoffs. True fact. Detroit (7-2) has them beat for the division, and
Dallas (7-3) and Seattle (6-3 with the head-to-head tiebreaker over
Green Bay) would be wild cards.
Wait, Seattle would make the playoffs if the season ended today? I thought their eulogy was written a few weeks ago?
I knew this would happen. Peter didn't bury the Seahawks but he did write previously about how they were in trouble, blah, blah, blah, as if their opening schedule wasn't difficult or anything.
10. As if anyone needed another lesson, gambling on football is fool’s
gold; the Steelers looked like the ’07 Patriots the last two weeks and
came to the Meadowlands to play a team on an eight-game losing
streak—and Pittsburgh got drilled. We wake this morning to learn the
2014 Patriots, nearly flawless the past five games, are field-goal ‘dogs
at Indianapolis Sunday night. Keep your money in your pocket. I repeat,
keep your money in your pocket.
I'm not even sure I know what this means in terms of gambling advice Peter is giving.
It seems particularly cruel this morning to write about the team with
the best record in football in a life-goes-on sort of way. Carson Palmer
was the quarterback coach Bruce Arians and GM Steve Keim chose to be
their franchise leader when they got their jobs in January 2013. Palmer
finally felt like he was in football nirvana. He quit football at 31
rather than continue playing for a franchise he didn’t trust to put a
winner on the field, Cincinnati.
Which, for the record, is something the media would have KILLED other players for doing. Palmer is a quarterback, white (not that important, but I believe it plays a part), friendly with the media and just overall is a nice guy. He got a break in terms of the criticism he received for essentially refusing to play. No big deal, but it would be funny if another player tried to pull this trick. Let's see how Andre Johnson would have gotten treated if he sat out refusing to play. Now the irony is that the Bengals have put a winner on the field without Palmer and the biggest question mark is starting to look like the starting quarterback's performance.
He was traded to the Raiders, another pit of despair, and played two years there.
And of course because he wanted to go to a team committed to winning, he ended up with the Raiders.
As the play progressed, Palmer’s left knee caved in as he tried to
avoid the rush on a sack, and he lay on the field, writhing in agony.
Nothing is official, and Arians told me Sunday night he wasn’t sure of
anything, but all signs point to a torn ACL in Palmer’s left knee, the
second time he has suffered that injury, to that knee, in his career.
“We just did the contract, and everybody was on cloud nine,” Arians said from Arizona. “Now this.”
It always happens like that, doesn't it? Though I do have to wonder why the Cardinals signed Palmer to that contract if Bruce Arians feels he can win a Super Bowl with Drew Stanton. Kind of a fishy claim if you ask me. Why re-sign Palmer to that type of money if he really thinks he can win a Super Bowl with Drew Stanton? When Peter was speaking to Arians and Arians made this statement, naturally Peter being the crack reporter he is reports this statement as fact, rather than ask the obvious question. Peter is less reporter, more transcriber/lackey. The obvious question here would be why the Cardinals handed Palmer a contract extension if Arians thought he could win a Super Bowl with Drew Stanton? The answer? Arians is just saying this to be confident in his guy, yet Peter reports on it like this is realistically something Arians believes, which I can't imagine it would be.
This was the second bit of major drama in Stanton’s day. He and his
wife, Kristin, are expecting a child. She was due last Wednesday. He got
a text from her Sunday morning, when he’d arrived at the stadium for
the game. “The text basically said, Just so you know, you might want to get home pretty quick after the game. She felt like the contractions were coming,” Stanton said.
This was an hour or so after the game, and Stanton had ducked into a
Whole Foods on his way home, shopping for dinner. And champagne, in case
the baby came.
That's terrible. Drew Stanton is going to give champagne to a newborn baby? What about a stuffed animal or a pacifier instead?
So even though Stanton was shaken to the core by the injury to Palmer,
he listened to Arians before he went out for his first play,
first-and-10 at the Arizona 11. We’re gonna stay with what we planned. Just try to put some points on the board. Nothing different from what Arians would have said to anyone subbing for an injured player.
So the Cardinals' offense was going to continue to try and score points? I don't know, that's a risky move.
“It’s not gonna stop,” Arians said. “It’s football. There’s gonna be
another one, I just don’t know who and when. That’s what we believe. We
don’t let up, and we don’t make excuses.”
One more thing.
Here it comes.
“We can win the Super Bowl with Drew Stanton,” Arians said. “There is no doubt in my mind.”
I realize this is coach-speak. I do. Peter reports this as fact and doesn't at least point out that Bruce Arians and Steve Keim were so sure they could win a Super Bowl with Drew Stanton that they gave Carson Palmer a three year extension two days earlier rather than hand the team over to Drew Stanton, who obviously would cost less than Palmer, when Palmer's contract ran out. My point is there is an easy follow-up question, but Peter doesn't care to ask a follow-up question because he thinks coach-speak is just a great way to get a quote. Again, he's not a reporter, he just transcribes what coaches say and then marvels at their brilliance.
There will be a few people in the Cardinals’ offices today pulling for
Kristin Stanton to have that baby early in the week. Her husband’s got
another big job this week. The football calendar is unforgiving that
Drew Stanton will be the first husband to ever have his baby's birth get in the way of something he has to do at work. I don't know how he does it.
The Lions don’t make the dumb mistakes anymore.
This just isn't entirely true. This is a very definitive statement. Remember last year when Peter wrote that Matthew Stafford had matured after sneaking the ball over the goal line against the Cowboys? He was a different QB after that! Except he wasn't, but the Lions are TOTALLY different now. For sure.
For the third straight game, the Lions won a game they’d trailed late in
the fourth quarter. And that, players and staff say, is a direct result
of some of the mind games new coach Jim Caldwell is playing.
And these mind games are wonderful because the Lions are winning. That's all that matters. The rest is a bullshit narrative written around the fact the Lions are winning. The mind games will suck if the Lions start off 1-5 next season.
Caldwell might be one of those rarities in the NFL—a coach who is better-suited to be a head coach than a coordinator.
No, I still don't think he is.
Detroit led in the fourth quarter of its last seven games last
season—and won one. This year, the Lions are turning it over less (last
nine games last year: 26 turnovers; first nine games this year: 12
turnovers) and winning more.
See the narrative being written around the Lions? The Lions played well enough to win games last year, but couldn't close them out. This year, the Lions are winning the close games and turning the ball over less. Sure, one might think this has to do with some luck, good execution and not turning the ball over. But no, it's totally Jim Caldwell and his mind games.
Caldwell said from his office the other day. “In this league, we see it
every year: Teams lose games in the NFL more than they win them. We
brought in players and coaches from winning backgrounds—James Ihedigbo
and Glover Quin [from Houston], Golden Tate from Seattle, [coordinators]
Joe Lombardi from the Saints and Teryl Austin from the Ravens.”
This is a good strategy. Still, a team winning games they lead in the fourth quarter can be chalked up to other things outside of just bringing players from winning backgrounds. It's not narrative-driven enough to just say the Lions are winning the close games this year that they couldn't win last year and part of the reason is they aren't turning the ball over as much.
Caldwell introduced a twice-weekly part of team meetings: The High Cost
of Low Living. Each meeting, he’d have an example, culled from the
internet or newspaper by longtime senior VP of communications Bill
Keenist or someone else on staff, of an athlete or famous person being
arrested or doing something stupid publicly. “Common-sense lessons,”
said Caldwell. “Like, ‘Don’t be out after 1 a.m.’
The Lions are winning the close games and not turning the ball over because they see examples of players who get in trouble or arrested. If you want to believe, that sounds great. To me, I don't see how these mind games are winning games for the Lions.
“I just think discipline is important,” he said. “It shows up in games.”
Jim Caldwell and I agree. I also think that discipline isn't the only reason the Lions are winning the same close games this year that they lost last year.
Caldwell also took all positions groups out to dinner, one a week,
during the offseason. He’d let the players pick the restaurants, then
spend two to three hours getting to know them. “Their favorite movies,
their favorite book, their families. I’d ask them, ‘Who’s the best point
guard in the NBA?’ We’d get some great discussions going. Just to get
to know the players as men, as people, is so important. I read a lot,
and I always have believed something General Patton says is important:
‘Take care of your men.’ ”
And if/when the Lions start losing then these dinners will become tedious and an example of how Caldwell is a great guy who does a better job of taking care of his men then he does of winning football games. It's how the reverse-narrative sausage works. Winning rules all. Everything is great when a team is winning.
Those are traits these Lions are playing with now. We’ll see if they
last for the long haul. Last season, Detroit was 6-2 after eight games
and it didn’t last. The proof with Caldwell will be known in a couple of
No, like every other head coach, the proof with Caldwell will be known in a couple of years. Plenty of head coaches have succeeded in their first year with a team. Sustaining that success is what separates the good coaches from the average coaches.
Peter King does love his coach-speak and feel-good, team-first stories though doesn't he? He eats them up.
Five quick questions, five quick answers…
With Chris Simms, the former quarterback and NFL quality-control coach, now analyzing the NFL for Bleacher Report
and CBS Sports. I reached out because I’ve liked his direct, blunt
analysis this season. He said, for instance, that the Eagles may be
better off with Mark Sanchez than Nick Foles; and when the Jets’
quarterbacks were struggling mightily, he said he didn’t think his
brother, Matt, the third-stringer with the team, should be playing over
Chris Simms shoots straight from the hip. Peter loves guys like that. Of course he also likes guys who mix hyperbole and coach-speak together to essentially say nothing and he likes coaches who essentially lie to his face, and also likes what most people tell him, unless it's about Josh Freeman who can burn in Hell.
The MMQB: Why the media gig?
Whoa Peter, you only have five questions. Don't go so hard on the first question.
"What's it like to be a Simms?"
"If the world were a violet or a daisy, which would you prefer?"
"You have blonde hair, right? How neat is that?"
Simms: I wanted to get into coaching or get on the track to be a GM. But for the last three years, I was basically a bitch boy,
Only over the last three years? Major Applewhite would argue differently. But to be clear, Chris Simms wasn't no bitch boy then and never will be now.
Like my dad [Phil] told me, “If you’re going to do this, you can’t fake
it.” So I put in the work. I watch the tape. I talk to people I know in
the league. I really work at it.
Interesting that "You can't fake it" came from Phil Simms since it's fairly well-known that Simms required a lot of work to get his broadcasting skills to where they are today, work done even after he had hit the air doing analysis for games...including changing his hair style around.
The MMQB: How did you like working for Bill Belichick?
Simms: Loved it. He’s the smartest person I’ve ever been
around. His attention to detail just blows me away. What I noticed about
him is that the grind of coaching is not a grind to him.
But does Belichick schedule dinner dates with his players? If not, he's dropping the ball to know them as men.
Again with Peter King asking the tough questions though.
The MMQB: Best player in the league we don’t know yet.
Simms: [Oakland linebacker] Khalil Mack. He’ll be a superstar for a long time. He’s Von Miller-esque.
Very Simms-esque answer.
The MMQB: Ever wonder what would have happened to you if you
didn’t rupture your spleen in that game? [Simms suffered a rupture
spleen in a 2006 game against Carolina, and started only one game the
rest of his career. He retired in 2009, at age 29.]
No Peter, I bet he has never thought about the injury that seemed to ruin his career. It's never crossed his mind I bet.
Simms: Never a week goes by that I don’t wonder about that. The injury ruined my career.
I think some might argue that having the last name "Simms" helped to make your career a little bit. So there's a bit of a trade-off.
The Niners save their season, and need to play more like Chris Borland.
Considering Chris Borland currently plays for the Niners, just shut up about this.
“Just a little dumb luck,’’ said linebacker Chris Borland, after he
recovered a fumble in overtime and Phil Dawson followed with a
game-winning field goal in New Orleans. There’s some truth to what
Borland says, but to see how he attacked the loose ball, swan-diving in
from five feet away, no regard for his own health, is a good lesson for
the seasoned pros on the Niners who might not be playing the same sense
of desperation. “I didn’t give it a lot of thought,’’ Borland said. “I
just reacted. That’s the game right there, that ball on the ground.”
It was embarrassing when no other Niners players attempted to recover the fumble here. I remember earlier in the game when Perrish Cox saw a fumbled football and pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it WHILE THE BALL WAS JUST LAYING ON THE GROUND! Just play more like Chris Borland, 49ers defense that Borland is a member of.
The Fine Fifteen
2. Arizona (8-1). Game of Week 11: Detroit (7-2) at
Arizona (8-1). Seems the Cards play one of these prove-it games every
two or three weeks. Even without Carson Palmer, this just looks like
I don't know if the Cardinals have totally gotten the Drew Stanton experience yet. We'll see. Let's just say I am not as confident as Bruce Arians the Cardinals can win a Super Bowl with Drew Stanton as their starting quarterback.
6. Indianapolis (6-3). Worked out well that the NFL gave the Patriots and Colts the Week 10 bye and a Week 11 meeting. Competitive fairness.
I would certainly hope the NFL didn't specifically give these two teams a week off in preparation for them facing each other. Other NFL teams who also have to play competitive games not off of a bye week would probably be miffed otherwise.
8. Detroit (7-2). Lions have won the past three by 1, 1
and 4 points. I say last year’s Lions would have lost two of those. “We
don’t think about that,” Matthew Stafford told me after the tight win
over Miami. I do.
It's those dinners and mind games I tell you. It's not just that the Lions are winning the close games they lost last year.
10. Seattle (6-3). I don’t want to deflate any win by
any NFL team, and I don’t mean to make light of the Giants’ defensive
backfield Sunday at CenturyLink Field, but I do believe that was Elvis
“Toast” Patterson playing nickel for the beleaguered and beat-up New
Peter doesn't want to deflate the win or make light of the Giants' injuries, but he'll fucking do as he pleases anyway. As I've shown before, when Peter says, "I don't want to do this," then you know he is immediately going to do that thing he claims he doesn't want to do.
14. San Francisco (5-4). There are elements to
criticize in Colin Kaepernick’s game Sunday in New Orleans, but he kept
the vital play alive at the end of regulation, saving the season with a
51-yard bomb to Michael Crabtree on fourth-and-10 from the Niners’ 22.
Now the Niners (at New York Giants, Washington at home) can be relevant
for their Thanksgiving Night showdown with Seattle at Levi’s Stadium if
they take care of business in two winnable games.
Uh-oh, could the Seattle-San Francisco game be the one that THE MMQB will have so much fun covering on Thanksgiving day?
T-15. Buffalo (5-4). The offense is really limiting the
growth of this team. Points in last seven games: 10, 17, 17, 22, 17, 43
(against the Jets) and 13. That’s not going to get it done.
Like Peter told E.J. Manuel to do, maybe Kyle Orton should just throw it deep more often.
Offensive Player of the Week
Michael Vick, quarterback, New York Jets. A Jets
quarterback, player of the week? Heresy! Classic Vick game, doing just
enough with his legs (39 yards rushing, including a nifty 18-yarder), an
efficient 10 of 18 for 132 and two touchdowns
"Efficient" being defined as "Not very good, but he didn't commit a turnover and his team won the game so I have no other idea what to call it."
(including a well-thrown 67-yarder to T.J. Graham). Best things: No interceptions, no fumbles lost, no fumbles period.
As I said, not very good, but he didn't commit any turnovers. Vick was 9-17 for 65 yards if you take away the T.J. Graham catch. You say "efficient" I say "not great, but the Jets won."
Defensive Players of the Week
I lied when I promised I’d only give a max of two awards in any category. I cannot whittle down the defensive men from Week 10.
At this point Peter, your readers fully expect you to immediately do something that you claim you will not be doing.
Kyle Shanahan, offensive coordinator, Cleveland. The
Browns have gone 3-0, averaging 23 points a game over the past three
weeks, without their best offensive weapon, wideout Josh Gordon, and
without Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, and, in Thursday’s game at
Cincinnati, without starting tight end Jordan Cameron and jitterbug
wideout Andrew Hawkins—all either hurt or suspended. Shanahan is playing
survival-ball with a cast of low-round picks and training-camp finds,
with a quarterback who may or may not be the answer.
But Hoyer is the best of the crop of free agent quarterbacks, so suitors line up to pay for his services as soon as possible!
It's funny that Peter acted shocked earlier in this MMQB that the Browns had not had contract talks with Brian Hoyer since May, yet Peter writes here that Hoyer may or may not be the answer for the Browns at quarterback. Gee Peter, maybe that's the reason the Browns haven't had contract extension talks with Hoyer since May?
Goat of the Week
Andy Dalton, quarterback, Cincinnati. It was one of
the most mind-numbingly awful performances by a quarterback of this, or
any, NFL season. Dalton’s 10-for-33, no-touchdown, three-interception
game Thursday in the 24-3 loss to Cleveland reinforced the belief among
Bengal partisans that Dalton is not the man to lead the Bengals out of
the football wilderness.
Yeah, that was terrible. I have nothing. Bash away.
“It was definitely not a push-off. I’m running down the field telling
myself, ‘Whatever you do, don’t push off.’ It’s interesting how guys
grab me everywhere on the field and I put literally two fingers on
somebody, and they make that kind of call.”
—New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, on the offensive pass
interference call at the end of the fourth quarter that negated what
would have been the winning touchdown.
So allow me to get this straight...a Saints player obviously cheated and then indignantly denies what everyone accepts as obvious cheating or foul play? Noooooooooooo...that doesn't happen. I don't believe a Saints player would deny anything like this happening.
I mean, I have great admiration for Graham the player. But that is just
crazy. Graham pushed off, the defender hit the ground, and it enabled
him to catch a touchdown pass that rightfully was flagged and called
Jimmy Graham should have just used coach-speak and Peter would have nodded and completely let this comment slide.
Many of you have wondered about the NFL’s love affair for the London
games. Not surprisingly, it has to do with money, and exposure, and a
bet on the globalization of football. There will be three more games at
Wembley Stadium next season (Jets-Dolphins, Lions-Chiefs,
Bills-Jaguars), so the experiment clearly is not going away.
More than exposure or globalization, it has to do with money. That's all that needs to be said. Whenever the Panthers end up losing a home game to play in London, you will find me writing on this blog pissed off about it. That's what upsets me the most. NFL fans with season tickets are losing a home game (and of course are still stuck with two worthless preseason home games) so that the NFL can expand into other markets. I think it's great the NFL wants to expand. I don't think it's okay the NFL wants to expand while taking away one of the 8 home games that each NFL team gets per season.
Peter shows that the NFL had ticket revenue of $31 million from the three games in London this year. I don't know how that works, but I wonder if season ticket owners for teams that lost a home game had to still pay for the home game they didn't get a chance to attend? If so, having the fans pay for 8 regular season home games instead of 7 regular season games is great revenue for the NFL also.
The bigger question, probably, is how much more the Jacksonville Jaguars can make from a home game in London versus a home game in North Florida. (In exchange for their four-year commitment to playing in London, the Jags receive the full home-team share at Wembley; other teams that give up home games receive what they’d average in a home game in the U.S., and the remainder is shared among all 32 teams.) Assume the Jags would have sold out the game Sunday against Dallas—67,297 seats, at an average ticket price of about $58. The gate at Wembley Stadium would be about $6.7 million more than if the game was played in Jacksonville.
I would like to know if Jags fans are having to pay for 8 regular season home games and they are getting 7 home games. I would hope not. Either way, if I'm a Jags fan then I'm pissed that I am missing out on 8 regular season home games just so the NFL can expand their brand. Of course, the NFL does whatever the hell it wants to at all times.
MR. STARWOOD PREFERRED MEMBER TRAVEL NOTE OF THE WEEK
I had to drive from Manhattan to Boston on Thursday morning for a breakfast meeting. It’s about 208 miles from point to point. I left Manhattan at 4:50 a.m., sharp. Stopped once, briefly—at a drive-thru Starbucks on the Merritt Parkway in Woodbridge (near New Haven), and, at that hour, managed to avoid traffic everywhere for the first 170 miles … and I started imagining: This could be my first-ever New York-to-Boston drive in less than three hours.
This is Peter's fault. Never start talking or imagining about what good time you are making. It's sure to end quickly. Plus, if Peter had not stopped for coffee perhaps he could have missed some of the traffic or been five minutes ahead of the traffic.
I was 33 miles out when, on the Mass Pike, my dream died. Morning rush into Boston—not good. That traffic is as soul-sucking as the FDR Drive in Manhattan in the morning. Three hours, 33 minutes. Bummer.
Speaking of soul-sucking, how about hearing Peter talk about his frustrations while traveling, especially his frustrations while driving? It's like Peter doesn't think other people have the same inconveniences and issues while traveling, but his are more important because he's Peter King. It's bad enough personally getting stuck in traffic, but having the privilege of hearing about someone else getting stuck in traffic? That defines riveting.
Not a travel note, but a life one I thought you might enjoy.
Most mornings when I am home, I walk out of my apartment on the east side of Manhattan and head over to a bodega a block away and buy the New York Post and New York Daily News. (We get the New York Times and Wall Street Journal home-delivered.)
Look at you Mr. Fancy Pants with your four newspapers you read everyday, including getting two of those home delivered. I hope you don't have to walk in your gold plated bedroom slippers out of the house to pick up these papers you ol' rich boy.
The front pages of the papers are always … interesting. None moreso than Saturday’s Post. I like the Seinfeldian details at the bottom of the story.
So Seinfeldian. I think Peter's dream situation would be to get stuck on a deserted island with only Seinfeld, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman movies, and news shows anchored by Brian Williams to watch while U2 CD's constantly play in the background. Naturally, there would be a Starbucks barista on-call as well on this deserted island. Peter would never want to leave that island.
TEN THINGS I THINK I THINK
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 10:
b. Receiver Preston Parker of the Giants. A more physical receiver than I’d thought.
I would love to know prior to this past Sunday's action how physical Peter King thought Preston Parker actually was. I'm guessing he had barely heard of Parker.
i. Denard Robinson, with more explosiveness than I thought he had, on a 32-yard touchdown burst against Dallas.
Again, I would love to know how much explosiveness Peter King thought Denard Robinson had. Did Peter not watch Robinson at the University of Michigan? Peter King has more generic previous thoughts about players than I thought he had.
m. Are you kidding me with that flip-pass while getting dragged down, Ben Roethlisberger?
Yes, it was all a joke he was playing on you, Peter. You fell for it!
n. Anquan Boldin: best physical receiver in football.
o. Mike Evans: heir to best physical receiver in football.
Mike Evans is more physical than Peter thought he was.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 10:
d. Come on, Blake Bortles. Ever throw a touch pass?
Sometimes there is a reason a rookie quarterback doesn't start Week 1 of his rookie season, even after he had a great preseason. Exhibition games are exhibition games and better left to be played in London and then ignored.
f. I know. Alex Rodriguez is a baseball player. Or used to be. I just
wanted to emphasize how much I don’t like him. I also cannot figure out
how he can keep track of so many lies to so many people.
What Peter liked this week:
a. Great coverage by Richard Sherman on Odell Beckham on the goal line,
forcing a deflected interception into the arms of safety Earl Thomas—and
a gutsy return by Thomas. He could have taken a knee eight yards deep
in the end zone, but Thomas had the presence to take it out, and he got
it out to the Seattle 42.
What Peter didn't like:
k. Please, De’Anthony Thomas. You’re good. You’re not Superman. You
cannot field punts at the 2-yard line in the National Football League.
You can't field punts at the 2-yard line in the NFL, but if you intercept a pass eight yards deep in the end zone, feel free to try to bring it out. If it works, Peter is totally cool with it.
5. I think this should be required reading
for you this week, whether you love football unconditionally or whether
you are having queasy thoughts about football’s place in our society.
The title of writer Michael Sokolove’s piece is, “Is football the next
tobacco?” Good question, and a thoughtful story.
Actually, the title of the piece that Peter linked is, "How One Lawyer's Crusade Could Change Football Forever." There is a discussion of football as a parallel to tobacco in the article, but not in the title of the piece.
6. I think Carson Palmer re-signing Friday is a tremendous boost to
Brian Hoyer’s prospective new deal, wherever it ends up being done.
There is not a marquee quarterback (is there ever?) in the 2015
free-agent quarterback pool. The two most interesting—which could
change, depending on how Ryan Mallett does with his chance in Houston in
the last half of the season—are Hoyer and restricted free-agent Austin
Davis of the Rams. How I would rate the top five prospective quarterback
free-agents-to-be, in order:
Good, I was dying to know who Peter thought were the top five prospective quarterback free-agents-to-be were.
Brian Hoyer, Cleveland. Quick release, ability to process info.
Has made some big throws under pressure for the Browns during their
surprising 6-3 start, and the Browns have had zero conversations about a
new contract for Hoyer since May, agent Joe Linta said Sunday. Linta
also had Joe Flacco a couple of years ago. Flacco played out his deal
and was rewarded after the Ravens won the Super Bowl. Hoyer has nowhere
near the résumé of Flacco, of course. But he’s got one thing in common
with Flacco. “He’s like Joe,” Linta said. “He’s bet on himself.”
The way Flacco and Hoyer bet on themselves seems a bit different. Flacco had a lot more money to lose if he bombed during his contract year, while Hoyer had money to lose, but probably not quite as much as Flacco did. Flacco probably (and I am assuming, granted) got a pretty good offer from the Ravens prior to his Super Bowl victory with $20 million in guaranteed money at least and gave it up to see if he could increase his value. Hoyer probably wasn't offered anything in that neighborhood in May from the Browns. So yes, they both bet on themselves, but Flacco seemingly had a lot more to lose in terms of money than Hoyer did by turning down the Browns attempts at a contract extension in May.
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia. Much to see in the next two months,
but in the right system, running a fast-paced offense (more to his
liking), I think he has a chance to compete to be someone’s starter for a
It's amazing how a few good starts change the narrative around a quarterback.
Austin Davis, St. Louis. He’s restricted, meaning the Rams will
have the right to match any offer he gets. But Davis has been impressive
under tough circumstances, and much more accurate than the Rams had any
right to expect. He’s had 76 percent, 71 percent and 85 percent passing
games in the past two months.
Austin Davis has more accuracy than Peter thought he did.
Jake Locker, Tennessee. Maybe, just maybe, the right coach
can work on his accuracy issues, which are major. I don’t know what
anyone can do about his injury issues, which also are many.
Peter has been talking about improving Locker's accuracy for 3-4 seasons now. He's never been an accurate quarterback. That's just not who he is. Live with it. When he's not injured, he's not terribly accurate. Accuracy can be improved, but it's not always the easiest thing for a quarterback to do.
I have always gotten irritated because Locker's accuracy issues are treated like a little work can improve them. Yes and no. He's never healthy, first off. Second, a comparison of how a Hall of Fame quarterback like Brett Favre improved his accuracy doesn't mean Jake Locker can do the same thing.
9. I think this was a refreshing take from Tony Romo on the future of
football in London. He loved the week, said he loves London, and said,
“As far as a team in London, I would recommend it for sure. I loved it
here.” Music to Roger Goodell’s ears.
Nobody asked Tony if HE wanted to be the guy who played for an NFL team in London did they? Easy to love it when you don't have to worry about being the guy crossing the ocean to play in London for eight games in a season.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
b. Story of the week: Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel with a few thousand interesting words
on Brett Favre. Said he doesn’t want to do a TV gig, in part because of
the travel and in part because, as he says, “I don’t want to sit around
the set all day and hear Warren Sapp tell stories.”
Brett Favre would much rather sit around and hear other people listen to his stories I would assume. Because I'm an asshole, I think Brett Favre doesn't want to do a TV gig because that would involve sharing the spotlight. He much prefers to do interviews every year about himself and how he doesn't want to be in the spotlight, thereby putting himself back in the spotlight. You can't fool me Favre.
c. This could be prominent among the Things I’ll Never Figure Out About
College Football: Why, in the midst of the home stretch of the college
football season, was Ole Miss hosting the Presbyterian College Blue Hose
(enrollment 1,172)? And why was Mississippi State hosting the
The same reason the NFL plays in London. Ticket revenue from fans attending the game. It's not that hard to figure out.
l. Beernerdness: Found a poor man’s Pliny The Elder in a west side bar
in Manhattan on Saturday: Harpoon 100 Barrel series #51, Cambridge
Uncommon Pale Lager. The name is long. The beer is worth it. It’s a cool
beer—as the name implies, a combination of IPA with lager, leaving a
bit of pine taste on the pallet.
I don't see where the name implies a combination of IPA with lager. I see it implies lager.
p. The basketball season is about 314 games long, and people are worried that the Cavaliers started 1-3? Sheesh.
Says the guy in the industry with "people" (and even Peter to an extent) who were worried the Patriots and the Seahawks would struggle all year.
Philadelphia 23, Carolina 16. Funny how all the focus in this
game is whether Mark Sanchez can play competently enough for the Eagles
to win. I wonder if Cam Newton (last three games: 48.1 percent
completions, one touchdown pass) can.
Well, I guess "we" got our answer didn't we?
The Adieu Haiku
The Cards: 8 and 1.
Even with Carson injured,
still NFC’s best.
Okay buddy. If Bruce Arians can make Drew Stanton into a real live NFL starting quarterback then he is deserving of Coach of the Year. If Arians can win a Super Bowl with Stanton as his quarterback then he should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame immediately. Color me skeptical that the Cardinals can win a Super Bowl with Stanton as the quarterback. I think this injury definitely doesn't mean the Cardinals are the NFC's best team. Of course, I'm also not smart enough to do haikus and read four newspapers per day either.