Tuesday, November 4, 2014

12 comments MMQB Review: How Wrong Were "We" About the Patriots? Edition

Peter King stated that the Steelers organization was "alive" in last week's MMQB. Apparently he thinks that corporations are people. He also was excited that J.J. Watt stood up to the tyranny of a selfie and wondered why "we" don't give team builders like Ron Wolf and Bill Polian the respect they deserve by electing them into the Hall of Fame. Peter seems to be under the impression he is among millions of football fans who have a vote for the football Hall of Fame. This week Peter thinks the NFL was SO intriguing because of all the super-interesting storylines (it's just like a soap opera!), opens up a contest to see which feature of MMQB Peter should add so that he can talk less and less about the past week's NFL action (by the year 2020, there will be a brief paragraph about the NFL games, followed by six pages of beer and coffee ratings, quotes from every NFL head coach, Peter's 18 Tweets of the Week, and an entire page of Peter's own personal thoughts), and calls Brandon Weeden a "Goat of the Week" for playing like Brandon Weeden. 

Here it is, after 1 a.m. Monday on the East Coast, and I can’t quite decide how to write the column this week.

I would use a computer, tablet or some other electronic device so that you can upload MMQB when it is finished.

What’s the lead story of Week 9? Feels like there are six or seven of them.


How precocious of Peter? Wait, no. What's the opposite of precocious? What's the word for when a person is supposed to do his fucking job and he won't do and instead solicits his readers to do his job for him? Someone help me think of the word I'm trying to use to criticize Peter!

I wonder if Peter would answer me if I emailed him and wrote, "Help! I'm too fucking lazy to do my job! Get your butt down here to North Carolina and help make my job easier by doing it for me!"

Let me talk my way through them, and maybe by thinking out loud and writing things down, I can figure this darn thing out.

Or you could just edit this entire portion out and not have a top story since you have written other MMQB's that didn't feature a top story. I guess that wouldn't seem so anti-precocious and annoying.

“Ben’s having the time of his life playing football right now,” said one of Roethlisberger’s best friends, longtime agent Ryan Tollner. It shows. Having more weapons than just Antonio Brown is the big key for Roethlisberger.

BREAKING: An NFL quarterback is succeeding because he has more offensive weapons to work with, and combined with his own excellent skill, he is having a great year. Who knew having good offensive players would help a quarterback succeed? Not Peter King, that's who. Also, why didn't "we" think of Ben Roethlisberger as a quarterback up there in talent with Brady, Brees, and Manning? Boy, "we" dropped the ball there.

Patriots 43, Broncos 21. Bill Belichick is so far inside Peyton Manning’s head that he’s built a condo in there. Gronk is back, and if he stays upright, there’s no reason why the Patriots can’t win that elusive fourth Big One. And the supporting cast, the one that wasn’t good enough a month ago, continues to add significant pieces for pennies on the dollar.

It's almost like all the reactionary "What's wrong with New England" columns were just that, reactionary. But where is the fun in thinking logically and not overreacting to what happened in the NFL during the previous week?

The Cards have beaten the six-win Eagles and six-win Cowboys back to back. Last week it was a third-round rookie, receiver John Brown, who made the big play to beat Philly. This week: A bunch of defensive no-names held Dallas running back DeMarco Murray under 100 yards for the first time all season, and the Cards scored four touchdowns in a row in The House That Jerry Built.

Well, it certainly helped that Brandon Weeden was the quarterback for the Cowboys. His passing ability didn't exactly scare the Cardinals into focusing on stopping the Cowboys' passing game.

Gut Punch Loss of the Day: San Francisco can’t get the ball into the end zone for the win on three tries from inside the two-yard line in the final minutes, and Colin Kaepernick fumbles on a quarterback sneak on the third play. Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis recovers. St. Louis 13, San Francisco 10.

Wait, so you mean Jeff Fisher won a game against a good team and this will help remove the focus from the absolute turd the Rams threw up the week before? What a shock that Fisher is coaching a bi-polar team that has talent. Give him just a few more years. He'll turn it around into a playoff appearance and get credit for doing so. I feel bad for Rams fans.

There they are, the stories of the day. And maybe one more: Is this finally the year, the first year ever, that a home team hosts the Super Bowl? Bruce Arians has told his Cardinals, “Don’t let anyone dress in your lockers.” Translation: We’re hosting the Super Bowl. Let’s actually play in it too.

Thanks for translating this for us, Peter. I know your fucktard readers couldn't understand what Arians was saying and needed someone with good breedin' and knowledge like you to tell us what this sentence exactly meant. 

How fascinating would it be if New England’s next (and for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, last?) shot at a Super Bowl came in a matchup against the Cardinals? First time back in Glendale since the Tyree Velcro catch ruined the Patriots’ 19-0 dream. Arians versus Belichick; Kangol versus hoody. Todd Bowles taking a shot at stopping Tom Brady.

It would be undeniably riveting for this to happen. Personally, I preferred the Carolina Panthers to play the New England Patriots (or any AFC team) in the Super Bowl, but Peter has just convinced me otherwise. Fuck my favorite NFL team, I want the Super Bowl to contain easily-written narratives with trumped up storylines that can be run into the ground after two days during my two week wait to watch the Super Bowl be played. Why should my preference for the Panthers to be in the Super Bowl matter when there is a Super Bowl matchup that could make it easier for Peter to do his job just waiting to happen?

I’ve made my call: I’ll tell the stories in the order I’ve listed them, and keep you Philly fans waiting one more night.

You could have made the decision and then edited out all of this teeth-gnashing bullshit. Of course, that's not the Peter King Way.

Remember when the Steelers were a meat-and-potatoes team? Franco and Bettis won the Super Bowls here. They were born to run.

Ah yes, the myth of Jerome Bettis continues even after his retirement. He didn't win a Super Bowl. He did average 30.7 rushing yards per game for 12 games as the Steelers made their way to winning a Super Bowl over the Seattle Seahawks, but he didn't run the Steelers to a Super Bowl. In fact, if it weren't for blind luck of Ben Roethlisberger's hand, Bettis would have fumbled the Steelers' chances of winning a Super Bowl away. Of course, Bettis did bump his season averages for a hefty total of 14 carries for 43 whole yards in the Super Bowl, so maybe that's what Peter is referring to. Either way, that's still not very impressive.

There are three points to be made here. One: After a couple of really patchwork seasons for the offensive line in front of him, Roethlisberger likes the nucleus of the line—all are between 24 and 28, and thus should form a solid wall for the near term—and the five starters are playing well.

It's almost like investing in the offensive line can pay off. Shhh...don't tell anyone else.

Two: Look at the value GM Kevin Colbert has found at the receiver position. Four of the six touchdowns Sunday came from wideouts—Martavis Bryant (two) and Markus Wheaton and Antonio Bryant (one each). Bryant has played three NFL games now and scored five touchdowns.

So the Steelers also tried to find good players later in the draft, as opposed to wasting these picks on players whose names sound really cool?

Roethlisberger also has a couple of veteran catchers, Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, who rotate in. But Brown, Wheaton and Bryant are 26, 23 and 22, respectively, and could be a dangerous threesome for the rest of the 32-year-old Roethlisberger’s days.

I'm not sure if Peter King is under the impression that Ben Roethlisberger is going to die in a couple of years, he thinks NFL players die immediately after retiring, or he is phrasing this sentence poorly, but I doubt Brown, Wheaton and Bryant will be a dangerous threesome for the next 40-50 years.

Three: Roethlisberger seems to have put his wild days behind him. 

Ah yes, I remember about my wild days when women would accuse me of sexual assault every once in a while. I'm glad those days are behind me now, but man, I was just acting wild out there. I can tell from the language he uses here, Peter knows what I'm talking about. 

He’s married with two children now. “Life has more meaning for him now,” Tollner said. “He has a different motivation than just football. He’s happy to be married and to be a dad. You go over to his house and it’s filled with baby toys and a real family focus. I think that helps him in football.”

The key to playing quarterback at a high level in the NFL? Baby toys, of course.

Now, Akeem Ayers, Jonathan Casillas and Tim Wright were not major players in this defining win for New England. If you took them off the field Sunday in Foxboro, New England still would have beaten Denver handily, I’m sure. But those three contributed bit parts, and this is the way Bill Belichick builds a team. The active roster, one through 53, has players whose roles will rise and fall through the course of the season.

I know the Patriots are a good team and have been a very good team for a long time. Belichick clearly knows what he is doing. But a lot of NFL teams are built with the intention of having a deep roster and ineffectiveness, injuries and just personnel changes will cause there to be players whose roles rise and fall through the course of the season. That's just how it goes. It just so happens Belichick finds players who fit a role or excel in a certain role for the Patriots. He isn't inventing a new way of building a roster and it's not like other NFL teams don't have players whose roles will rise and fall throughout the season. That's the intention, but Belichick and the Patriots seem to do it better.

Ayers, in his second game after coming from Tennessee in a trade, actually made a big play in the game, the only sack of Peyton Manning.

Oh, he "actually" made a big play in the game? It wasn't a joke played by someone that Ayers made a big play?

Along with the use of the word "literally" in non-literal fashion, I think the use of the word "actually" when it's not necessary is becoming one of my old man pet peeves.

(Person A) "Where did you go on vacation this year?"

(Person B) "We actually went to the beach."

Using the word "actually" when there is no use for it in a sentence annoys me. (shakes fist at a cloud)

Again: This has only a little to do with a 22-point victory over Denver. And Belichick could find some other way to fill his roster with complementary football players. But I would argue that the Patriots traded a guard who was in decline and likely has one to three years left, and acquired a starting linebacker, an important tight end because of their heavy tight-end usage normally, a contributor on special teams and a high fourth-round pick next year … and swapped spots twice late on day three. It’s just a smart way to build a deep team.

These are all very good trades. Of course, once (if) the Patriots offensive line struggles again the questions of "Why did the Patriots trade Mankins?" will rise. It's like a reflex.

And again, every NFL team wants to make smart trades and the Titans and Buccaneers traded players they had no use for in exchange for better draft picks.

The Miami coach has been through the wringer. A year ago he was worrying more about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin affair, which nearly swept him out of his job, than about football. He wasn’t off to such a hot start this year either, with Aaron Rodgers’ last-minute fake-spike pass setting up the touchdown that dropped Miami to 2-3 in Week 6.

That happened three weeks ago. Peter is acting like Rodgers' fake spike happened back in early September by stating the Dolphins weren't off to a "hot start." I don't know, I'm probably arguing semantics here, but this fake spike only happened three weeks ago.

We’ll find out how legit Miami is over the next three weeks. The Dolphins are at Detroit Sunday, home to Buffalo, then at Denver. If they come out of that 2-1, they’ll be serious Wild Card contenders.

No, they'll "actually" be serious Wild Card contenders.

The 49ers had no business losing that game.

(Peter looks disapproving over his glasses at the 49ers for losing this game, then shakes his head)

They had the ball, first-and-goal at the Rams two-yard line, with 42 seconds and one timeout left. San Francisco trailed 13-10. The Niners had three shots for the win, and a chip-shot field goal to force overtime if they couldn’t punch it in. Or four shots, if Jim Harbaugh was feeling lucky.

First down: Short pass to the right to Michael Crabtree, close to the goal line. Marked down at the one.

Gregg Easterbrook is going to be pissed that Colin Kaepernick tried to throw the football to his best wide receiver when the game was on the line. Gregg would implore the 49ers to do something no one would expect rather than try to get the ball to their best wide receiver.

Third down: Heavy formation. Kaepernick under center. He took the snap, fumbled it in his hands, grabbed for it and started moving forward. Fullback Bruce Miller bear-hugged him and pushed the quarterback forward. But the replays showed Kaepernick, in mid-scrum, losing the handle totally and the ball falling to the turf, just over the goal line.

(Marvin Demoff whispers in Peter's ear to get some quotes from a Rams player for MMQB regarding how the 49ers didn't use a smart strategy. Just point out the play-calling for the 49ers wasn't good and let a Rams player say that.)

“I was shocked to see it there, of course,’’ said Laurinaitis. “The whole play was surprising. The play before, they go play-action and don’t give it to Gore. Then on the last play, they don’t give to Gore either. But I could sense when they got on the ball they were probably going to sneak it. You could just tell in their mannerisms, their body language, the formation.

See, Jeff Fisher had his team so prepared that they knew what the play would be before it was even run. Now THAT is how an NFL coach prepares his team for a game.

“As soon as I saw the ball on the ground, I just grabbed and tried to spin around right away to show the umpire. Like, ‘Ball’s loose! I got it! I got it! Our ball! Our ball!’ They looked at me and ruled it was our ball, which obviously was the right call.

Well I mean, obviously. Though replays didn't really show anything obvious, it was just really obvious that the Rams had the ball and should have kept possession.

On replay, it was impossible to tell when Kaepernick last had any sort of possession.

(Marvin Demoff smacks Peter in the back of the head and tells him to never contradict James Laurinaitis.)

But once it was ruled a fumble on the field, it was impossible to overturn because there were no views of the play that showed Kaepernick with possession past the plane of the goal line.

(Marvin Demoff pats Peter on the back)

One final point about the Rams here: They had eight sacks after having but five in the first seven games. The breakout came in part because of changeups that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams threw at San Francisco. “We spied them,” said Laurinaitis, “and we had a couple of sacks from blitzes. We blitzed from the left a lot [opposite Robert Quinn’s side]. And we won the one-on-one matchups a lot. There’s no magic potion sometimes—you just have to win the battle with the guys across from you.”

This is a reminder that the Rams are a talented football team. It would be nice if they showed it every week, but Fisher has always had Harbaugh's number for some reason.

New ideas at The MMQB

Help Peter King think of new ideas, because as you can see, he's been tapped out for a while now. He has to add more content that takes away from the original purpose of MMQB. That purpose at one point was a weekly NFL column that wrapped up the weekend's NFL action and gave insider information. Now MMQB is a chance for Peter to talk about his life, what he likes and doesn't like, anything else he may find interesting, and he will mention a few NFL-related items when he has time.

Having an argument with a buddy, or some loser on Twitter? Let Greg Bedard, our resident Wet Blanket of Reason (a well-earned title, trust us, from his Boston Globe days) be the objective tiebreaker in “Settle This.” What we’re looking for are current arguments, not all-time discussions, to broker. Who has been better in 2014, Aqib Talib or Darrelle Revis? Want to know why one player is playing over another on your favorite team? Why did they call that play on third-and-four? Who was to blame for that busted coverage that cost you the game? Those are types of questions we want. If Greg can’t figure it, he’ll ask someone in the know who can. Send your dilemmas/puzzlers/arguments-that-need-to-be-solved to talkback@themmqb.com, with “Settle This” atop your query.

Or you could just not get in an argument with some loser on Twitter or realize after almost a week has gone by that neither party may care too much about the answer anymore.

New idea 2: We at The MMQB love Thanksgiving football. In particular, we love high school football on Thanksgiving. And we want to publicize the best Thanksgiving Day high school games in the country.

More filler! Who says "no" to more filler in MMQB? Definitely not Peter King.

New idea 3: We will pick one Thanksgiving Day game to cover. And we’ll write it up big for the day after the game. Now that’s going to be fun.

It's going to be a fucking blast. Because I know the one thing I believe is that the Dallas Cowboys don't get enough coverage by the media, so certainly an increased focus on a game played during a day when the Cowboys always play is something I can't help but think will be a happy helping of fun.

This has zero to do with football, but it’s compelling.

Peter is right about both of these things. It is a compelling story about a "St. Louis Dispatch" Cardinals' beat writer covering Oscar Taveras' funeral. It's a good story and worth a read. It also doesn't deal with the NFL. The noteworthy part of this section of MMQB is that Peter writes,

Derrick Goold, the 39-year-old Cardinals beat man for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Chris Lee, a photographer for the Post-Dispatch, landed in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. Dominican time. (For the purposes of this story, I will use Dominican time throughout—which is Eastern Time.)

So just use Eastern Time. It's easier for your readers to understand and as long as they know Dominican time is the same as Eastern Standard Time there will be no confusion. This is just an example of Peter trying to be "cultural" and because the story takes place in the Dominican Republic he's trying to be haughty and use Dominican time.
The Fine Fifteen

2. Arizona (7-1). Fantastic orchestration on both sides of the ball,

"Very symphonic" is how Peter would describe the Cardinals' play this year.

with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles dialing up an iron curtain to hold DeMarco Murray under 100 yards for the first time all season, and coach Bruce Arians calling the shots on 21 unanswered points for the offense.

And for the sake of honesty, let's give the Cardinals credit, but also realize without their starting quarterback and a good running game then the Dallas defense (a defense that had been on the field for fewer plays than any other NFL defense) isn't going to be able to win games for the Cowboys. So give the Cardinals credit, but also realize they beat a team that had a one-dimensional offense, which led to the defense being exposed more.

That's what Murray was trying to run against.

5. Green Bay (5-3). Really liked this piece for The MMQB by A.J. Hawk, on what a player does in his bye week.

Peter likes an article that appeared on the web site he founded. There's a shock and recommendation you can believe is entirely truthful and without any ulterior motives.

6. Indianapolis (5-3). America, get to know T.Y. Hilton. What Harrison and Wayne were to Peyton Manning, Hilton will be to Andrew Luck.

America knows him. Stop acting like your readers are uninformed morons and you must talk down to them in order to educate them on the things they should know, but don't.

11. Seattle (5-3). You should know by now that nothing in 2014 will be easy for Seattle. Nothing. Not even finishing off the 0-8 Raiders at home, with a Seabass onside kick almost lost in the last two minutes.

When were things easy for the Seahawks last season? They aren't built to blow teams out, even if they do sometimes blow teams out. Last season the Seahawks won games (including the playoffs) by seven points or less 10 times. That's out of 19 games. This doesn't include the game they won by 8 points. The Seahawks didn't win games easily last year.

Special Teams Player of the Week
Jason Witten, tight end, Dallas. On the last play of the first half of Arizona-Dallas, the Cards blocked a field goal, and speedy Patrick Peterson picked up the loose ball and sprinted for the end zone. Running from across the field to cut down the angle was Witten, who, in case you don’t actually watch football, is not as fast as Peterson.

This is the sort of "talking down" that Peter tends to do in MMQB. Why would someone who reads MMQB every week not watch football? I get that Peter is using sarcasm, but he doesn't even go with the assumption that those who read MMQB already know Peterson is faster than Witten. He chose to go with the readers of MMQB not holding this knowledge and being sarcastic from there. It's like it's in Peter's nature to be haughty.

Witten’s stop was tough not just because of Peterson’s speed, but also because of Peterson’s elusiveness.

Now this is analysis. It's Peterson's speed AND his elusiveness that makes him so hard to catch? Somebody should have him return punts. I bet he'd be great at it.

Goats of the Week

Colin Kaepernick, quarterback, San Francisco. You cannot fumble the game-deciding quarterback sneak. You simply cannot.

Colin Kaepernick seems to think he didn't fumble the game-deciding quarterback sneak and that he crossed the goal line. 

Brandon Weeden, quarterback, Dallas. His numbers in the 28-17 loss to Arizona were not necessarily goat-worthy (18 of 33, 183 yards, one TD, two picks), but you never had the feeling watching the game that Dallas had a prayer.

Come on, it's Brandon Weeden. He is what he is. Why call him a "goat" for playing like Brandon Weeden plays? It's unfair. To call him a "goat" would be to indicate that he could come out and potentially play well against a very good Arizona Cardinals defense.

Weeden could never get anything going, and from the looks of his chemistry with his receivers—or lack thereof—he doesn’t seem to be held in the highest regard by the men he’s throwing to.

Dez Bryant doesn't hold very many people in high regard. Weeden wasn't a great starter in Cleveland. What makes anyone think that he could come in and play well as a backup against the Cardinals defense running a new offense for him where there is pressure on him to succeed?


—Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant, on the sidelines of the Cowboys’ loss Sunday, to quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Does Dez Bryant mean Weeden should do what Bryant obviously wasn't doing when yelling at his quarterback on the sidelines during a nationally televised game?

And as he does on a yearly basis, Peter marvels at how often Peyton Manning and Tom Brady meet in either the regular season or the postseason.

One other note: 2015 would seem to be NBC’s year to get Brady-Manning XVII, assuming it’s played. The league, since 2009, has alternated their meetings between NBC’s Sunday night package (2009, 2011 and 2013) and CBS’ Sunday afternoon package (2010, 2012, 2014). NBC flexed out of the game in 2011 because Manning was injured and didn’t play that season.

This is for those people who are very concerned about knowing which network carried the Brady-Manning games (not the Patriots-Colts/Broncos games, because obviously these games entail only two quarterbacks playing each other and not two teams playing each other led by these two quarterbacks) since 2009. So I'm guessing there may be five people interested in this type of information. I enjoy watching the Brady-Manning games, but the infatuation sportswriters like Peter King have with these games makes me laugh to myself a lot.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Travel Note of the Week

No travel note per se today, but an invitation:

Oh good, there is no travel note "in itself." I was worried there was just no travel note.

But undrafted players...Gregg Easterbrook weeps.

I'm just kidding, Gregg Easterbrook won't weep. He'll just ignore the success of the receivers drafted early in the NFL Draft and focus only on guys like Allen Hurns.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 9:

a. Vikings power-back Matt Asiata, who’s a Bettis-like goal-line sniffer when he gets close to scoring.

Except Matt Asiata isn't going to get in the Hall of Fame based upon his ability to score touchdowns, be friendly with the media, and play for a team that was largely successful during his career.

b. Austin Davis continues to show he belongs, and not just as roster filler.

See, Jeff Fisher knew what he was doing by putting all of his eggs into Sam Bradford's basket and then signing Shaun Hill to be the backup quarterback. He was just motivating Austin Davis so he would be ready to play once Bradford went down with an injury. It's all part of the plan. Just give it time.

As does Kenny Britt, who caught a second-quarter touchdown from Davis against the Niners.

Kenny Britt was a first round pick and is 26 years old. He better show he belongs as something more then roster filler. I think it's to be expected that Britt would be more than just a guy in the receiver rotation.

e. Mark Ingram, workhorse back. Thirty carries, 100 yards, two touchdowns in the 28-10 win over Carolina. Where has this Mark Ingram been?

Yes, where has the Mark Ingram that averages 3.3 yards per carry been? He's averaged over 4 yards per carry every season in his career, but Peter wants that Mark Ingram who can get the ball 350 times per year and have just over 1,100 yards rushing. That's VERY impressive to Peter.

n. Larry Fitzgerald with the onside-kick catch. The man is versatile.

Who knew Larry Fitzgerald, a man who makes a living catching footballs with his hands, could be so good at catching a football with his hands?

q. Oakland’s effort.

That Tony Sparano, he deserves another shot at being an NFL head coach. Keep pumping up those Bill Parcells guys!

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 9:

g. Five drops for Arizona receivers in the first 35 minutes.

Imagine how many drops they would have if they had Brandon Weeden throwing them the football.

i. Blake Bortles makes too many dumb throws. He’s full of potential, obviously, but he’s got to think about the dangerous throws he makes.

But the preseason...he played well...Jacksonville should have started him...they started Chad Henne instead. Maybe the Jaguars knew what they were doing by not having Bortles play during his rookie season?

j. Cannot believe Colin Kaepernick fumbled the quarterback sneak. That’s the difference between being in the pennant race in the West and being out of it.

Okay, simmer the hell down. Kaepernick should have not fumbled the snap, but he also seems to think he got across the goal line. If the call had been that he did get across the goal line then I'm not sure the call would have been overturned.

3. I think it’s not time to get Derek Anderson warmed up in the bullpen or anything, but is anyone in Carolina alarmed that Cam Newton has completed 48 percent of his throws in the last three weeks?

I don't know Peter, you are a fucking NFL reporter, perhaps this would be a good time to find out if anyone in Carolina is alarmed. I think people in Carolina are more alarmed that four undrafted free agents are protecting Cam, including two rookie undrafted free agents and a right tackle who was a defensive tackle two years ago. Cam has been horrible the past few weeks, but this just happened to coincide with his protection sucking and his wide receivers still being Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, and two rookies. So yeah, I would say there is concern, but it's your job to find out the answer to this questions. I guess that's too much work. After all, Peter isn't in the "information accumulation business" at all. He's in the "ask readers of MMQB questions he could find out and report on, but instead he relays his latest running time on the treadmill and which pumpkin beer he has tried recently" business.

Not to toot my own horn, but I called the offensive line "a disaster" in my 2014 NFL preview post and that was before three of the starters got injured. A lack of protection isn't a new issue. To say Newton's performance has fallen off is true. He trusts no one around him and his play has decline accordingly.

Until now, Newton hasn’t had a three-game stretch in his 3.5-year career in which he’s been a sub-50-percent passer.

And until now, he had not had four undrafted free agents protecting him. He's been bad, but it's very lazy to not look at the entirety of the situation. That's how Peter King is though. He simplifies his takes because it's way too much effort to take time to investigate answers to his questions. This is how Brandon Weeden gets called "a goat" for playing like Brandon Weeden. This is also how criticism of Tom Brady sways one way or another depending on how his offensive line is playing.

4. I think this is the one observation we’ll all be making later this week, after everyone who was present for the June 16 Ray Rice discipline hearing in Roger Goodell’s office is interviewed by the appeals officer in the case: Why on God’s green earth aren’t disciplinary hearings taped—or at least why isn’t a stenographer present to take precise transcripts?

There's no use in taping it, Roger Goodell will just claim he never saw the tape and therefore can't say for sure what he testified to. 

6. I think we can pretty safely say this morning that the Philip Rivers for MVP campaign has gone pffffffffft. It’s over.

This is also an example of where Peter isn't looking at the entirety of the situation. So if Philip Rivers' MVP campaign is over, does that mean his playing outstanding during the last half of the season wouldn't push him right back in the MVP race? Of course not, but Peter is just making a knee-jerk reaction.

9. I think Tony Romo plays in London against the Jaguars on Sunday, and if he doesn’t—either because he aggravates his back or it tightens up on the nine-hour flight to London—I think the Jags win the game.

If Tony Romo is so important to the Cowboys team, doesn't this mean he should be the MVP? If the Cowboys are 6-2 with Romo as the starter, but can't beat one of the worst teams in the NFL without him, then I would say that's a pretty good case for MVP.

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

d. RIP Thomas Menino, five-term mayor of Boston. No one loved his city more.

e. Stats I love about Menino: The Boston Globe polled Bostonians late in his term and asked if they approved of the job Menino was doing; 74 percent said yes. Seventy-four percent approval! Who gets that? Big Papi wouldn’t get 74 percent approval in Boston!

Yes, he would Peter.

And how about this, also from late in his tenure: Some 65 percent of Boston residents said they had personally met the mayor. That’s not some little hamlet. That’s a big-league city.

Congratulations on the compliment, city of Boston. Peter King considers you to be a big-league city. You should, and undoubtedly do, feel honored.

f. He, did, however, lead America in malaprops. He said “Varitek” kicked an “ionic” field goal—the one Adam Vinatieri made in the snow in the playoff win over the Raiders. And he said in 2012 during a Patriots playoff run: “I mean Brady has those wide receivers out there, the uh, you know Grabowski, Hernandez, uh, Wes Weckler, I mean he has them all.” I think that just made people love him more.

It sounds like Menino didn't know the sports teams he was trying so hard to reference very well. I'm guessing Peter doesn't know the definition of "malaprop," because it doesn't mean "a phrase where facts are humorously gotten wrong." Now "ionic" is a malaprop, but not knowing who the Patriots kicker is and getting the names of the Patriots receivers wrong are not. That's just simply getting facts wrong. 

h. You know what really stood out to me in Game 7?

That Madison Bumgarner was pitching well and you had no idea who he was prior to the World Series beginning? But now, he's the Jon Lester of the San Francisco Giants!

o. World Series Game 7 rating in New York on Wednesday night: 14.

p. Brooklyn Nets season-opener rating in New York on Wednesday night: 0.45.


r. Coffeenerdness: Starbucks is about to offer home delivery? Bedard’s right: I will never leave my apartment again.

The citizens of New York City who are tired of Peter King staring at them and then criticizing them for the way they act in public want to know if this is a promise Peter is willing to keep.

s. Beernerdness: The Troegs “Master of Pumpkin” is one of the most interesting pumpkin beers I’ve encountered. The spices are rampant,

Rampant, I tell you! Those spices are everywhere!

as is the sweetness, and the pumpkin flavor is just shy of overwhelming.

Just shy, so the pumpkin flavor is "whelming" to Peter.

For my money, it is the third-most interesting pumpkin beer I have had, behind Southern Tier Pumking (my favorite, by a mile) and Saranac Pumpkin Ale.

Or if Peter King referred to beers in the way he referred to Derek Jeter, the "Master of Pumpkin" is the third-best pumpkin beer of Peter's lifetime.

It’s interesting how much time and energy and cost is put into pumpkin beers these days. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad about it. I just can’t try them all and stay functioning.

Says the guy who drinks multiple lattes in a day.

v. I was proud of that until Caroline Wozniacki, who had never made more than a 13-mile run in her life, ran the 26.2-mile New York City Marathon in 3 hours and 26 minutes, That’s a 7:53-minute-per-mile pace. That, Caroline Wozniacki, is just awesome.

It's almost like being a world-class tennis player has kept her in good shape or something.

x. Hard to figure out why college football teams don’t devote more time and more effort in recruiting prospects to kick field goals. Kicking in college football is amateur-hour run amok.

Peter should totally tell a CNNSI college football writer his opinion here and maybe he can cause change at the NCAA level. Some teams do recruit prospects to kick field goals.

The Adieu Haiku
Way back in the day,
the Pats were dead and buried.
Five long weeks ago.

Not all of "us" buried them, though I am sure Peter would say that "we" buried the Patriots too soon. After all, whatever the media thinks is what NFL fans think too.


Snarf said...

Until now, Newton hasn’t had a three-game stretch in his 3.5-year career in which he’s been a sub-50-percent passer.

His week 7 and week 8 games were both 55% passing, the total three week number is dragged down by one poor (sub 40%) game in week 9. Sort of misleading, albeit factual, criticism by Peter.

Chris said...

So "we" should know by now nothing will be easy for Seattle in 2014. First of all don't talk down to me Peter. It's not as though this year suddenly everything was gonna be more difficult and last year was just incredibly easy. If it had been easy last year the Seahawks would have gone 19-0. And what is with him suddenly trying to temper reaction to Seattle's struggles considering a couple weeks ago Peter was wondering what to make of them and didn't know what they could do to turn things around.

Chris said...

And with San Fran losing we have to look forward to Easterbrook bringing back the Crabtree Curse!!! Either that or it will have something to do with how little clothing the cheerleaders, I mean "cheer-babes" were wearing.

Murray said...

We were nor wrong Peter I said from week one once Bradys calf heals and the Pats find stability on the Oline they'l be fine. I also didn't buy into NO WAY IN HELL PATS CAN BEAT 72 Phins 86 Bears Denver Broncos hybrid

Murray said...

I'm defensive as a Pats fan because it seems I live in the only market where the local media openly roots against and shits on a successful team

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, accuracy has never entirely been Newton's thing but you are correct. It's a disaster. I wish Peter would simply look at the issues rather than just ask if anyone is worried about Newton. He played well at the beginning of the season and his mechanics have regressed as his O-line has gotten hurt and regressed. It's not hurt to understand.

Chris, Peter King couldn't write if he wasn't talking down to his readers. Last year wasn't easy at all if Peter remembers correctly. Like I showed, the majority of the Seahawks' games were decided by 7 points or less. Peter is like many sportswriters in that they have tunnel vision and can only see what happened the past week and want to build stories around it.

Peter has forgotten he had some doubt about the Seahawks. It's just how it goes. I haven't read TMQ yet, but rest assured, I'm sure there is something about the Crabtree Curse in there or some other criticism of the 49ers.

Murray, I thought it was silly to count the Patriots out at any point. They are too good to just suddenly forget how to play football, plus Tom Brady is too competitive to just quit on the season. My fallacy is usually not being knee-jerk enough to teams struggling.

I'm sure it's bad up there, but down in NC they have Derek Anderson replacing Cam Newton and asking whether the Panthers should try to trade him, re-sign him or just let him go as a FA. It's like no one remembers the first few weeks of the season when Cam's mechanics were good and his offensive line protection was better. Everything is so extreme and knee-jerk.

Chris said...

Peter is just hitting low hanging fruit with Newton since, at least in my view, Newton is an easy target since I think a lot of people still have that love to hate him relationship with him. Yes maybe Cam could be a little more accurate but it's not like he has a lot of help at WR or O-Line either. And Newton has been in the league for almost 4 years. At this point he is what he is. That's not to say he is terrible but I doubt even Peyton could be successful behind that line.

Ericb said...

"New idea 3: We will pick one Thanksgiving Day game to cover. And we’ll write it up big for the day after the game. Now that’s going to be fun."

Or maybe he could leave the high school football to Ross Tucker and have coverage of all three NFL Thanksgiving games.

Ericb said...

I mean how often do we have a Thanksgiving where all three games have playoff implications.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, other than improving his mechanics he very much is what he is. He can obviously improve, but I almost want him to hurt his ankle again so he won't be tempted to run. Still, that offensive line is terrible and the WR's don't help. I'm fine with judging Cam for his regression, but there has to be a discussion of the elements around him.

Eric, I thought about that too. Why not just cover all three games? Considering Thanksgiving games involve Dallas and Detroit every year, I would say there are playoff implications sometimes, but I wouldn't consider them to be more exciting games requiring more coverage.

Eric C said...

Thanks Peter King for letting me know how often I was wrong, even if I didn't realize I had those opinions.

Bengoodfella said...

You are stupid you don't even know what your own thoughts are. Joke is on you!