Wednesday, September 23, 2015

4 comments MMQB Review: The Seahawks Aren't Dead, But the Eagles Are Edition

Peter King used lyrics by The Knack to reveal that he potentially had sexual feelings for Marcus Mariota in last week's MMQB. Either that, or Peter doesn't really understand what "My Sharona" is about, which is probably more likely. Peter also discussed the Week 1 action and still clings hard to the idea there will be plenty of defensive encroachment calls on extra points (despite this not being true last year) that it will leave head coaches in a pickle as to whether to go for the extra point or try the two-point conversion. NFL head coaches are conservative by nature, good luck trying to get that change. This week Peter talks about how the Seahawks should not panic, five things NOBODY saw coming that are really six things that nobody saw coming (counting be hard...also, the Seahawks shouldn't panic but the Eagles should), and defends his friend Scott Pioli just a little bit. 

There is no travel note this week, but Peter does the Adieu Haiku of course. It can't all be perfect I guess.

Moral of the story after two weeks in the NFL: Nobody knows nothin’. 

It seems like every single NFL season Peter writes some variation of the revelation that nobody knows anything. Can we just assume from now on that nobody knows anything and the NFL is unpredictable instead of constantly expecting predictability and then being surprised when it doesn't happen?

I know that, after the second Sunday of the season, it looks an awful lot like a Green Bay-New England Super Bowl.

Because after Week 2 it's in no way incredibly way too early to say "It looks like these two teams will meet in the Super Bowl." Later in the 2015 season Peter will say, "we" thought that the Packers and Patriots would be in the Super Bowl earlier this season, but it turns out that was wrong. Then he'll act shocked his assumption after Week 2 was incorrect and blame "us" for thinking the same thing he did.

But football rarely looks in January the way it did in September; the four teams that played in the conference championship games last year were a combined 8-7 after four weeks.

Welp, nevermind then. It looks like a Packers-Patriots Super Bowl, unless you look at the historical data from last year. In that case, it looks like NOBODY KNOWS who will appear in the Super Bowl after Week 2. This is breaking news.

The Seahawks are not finished. At all.

I don't think anyone is writing the Seahawks off. I will say it is interesting that Peter's main feature in MMQB is how the Seahawks aren't done, while he seems to write-off a few teams later in this MMQB. So it's too early to write Seattle off, but other teams are finished?

But I ask you this: If the first quarter of the Seattle schedule had been reversed—Chicago and Detroit at home to start the season, St. Louis and Green Bay on the road in Weeks 3 and 4—the Seahawks might well be 2-0 right now, and no one would be throwing themselves off the top of Mount Rainier this morning. 

Okay, but the schedule wasn't reversed so this isn't a good point. The Seahawks lost on the road to a decent and really good team. They didn't play at home. If the real world was different, then yes, the Seahawks' record would be different. The real world isn't different, so the Seahawks 0-2 record is their real record. If a frog had wings then it wouldn't bump it's ass on the ground.

The way the schedule fell this season is that Seattle had its toughest two games in Weeks 1 and 2—at St. Louis (1-3 in the last four years there) and at Green Bay (best team in the NFC right now).

Yeah, fuck you Arizona. You aren't a difficult team to play at all. The Seahawks are excited they get to play those easy-to-beat Cardinals. I guess it's no big deal playing at Baltimore anymore. A few weeks ago it was crucial for the Ravens to get a home playoff game because they are so good at home, but now Peter thinks it's harder to play the Rams at home than it is to play the Ravens at home. Things change quickly in Peter's world it seems. Apparently the Ravens homefield advantage is good enough to get them to the Super Bowl, but not as strong as the Rams homefield advantage over the Seahawks.

I’ll be surprised if Seattle isn’t 2-2 when they head to Cincinnati in three weeks. The flawed Seahawks are still a top-10 team, even with the zits that have shown up in the first eight quarters. If I were offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, I’d be incorporating Jimmy Graham far more into the game plan as a post-up intermediate presence; Graham has been targeted only 10 times in eight quarters. It’s ridiculous that he has only 62 yards worth of catches so far. Wilson’s got to look for him more often. Rookie Tyler Lockett (six catches, 51 yards) needs to be featured more too. 

So let's see...Peter thinks Graham and Lockett need to be featured more, which means the Seahawks need to throw the football more, which means they should hand it off to Lynch less, which means they need to go away from the strength of the team. As a non-Seahawks fan, it sounds great to me. If I were a Seahawks fan, I would probably think it's good to get Graham and Lockett more involved, while also asking whether it's smart for the Seahawks to try and target Graham as much as the Saints did. Don't go away from the strength of the team to target these two guys.

But those are play-calling points of emphasis that can be fixed. Seattle is wounded, but with the Chancellor holdout and the schedule, we could see that coming. So much else around the league, we couldn’t. 


Here is the Super Bowl matchup that it looks like will happen in February, unless it doesn't of course. It's going to be Packers-Patriots in the Super Bowl, unless it isn't. 

The five things we never saw coming

Except Peter lists six things "we" never saw coming. Five things or six things. Either way, just read it. Accuracy be damned. 

1. The NFC East is going to be one bizarre division this year. If you took a poll of fans of a certain knowledge before the season, my guess is that Washington would have been ranked fourth of the four teams in the division. This morning, with the crippling injuries to Dallas (and I think the Cowboys overcome them, because of their good defense and because Tony Romo and Dez Bryant should return for the final five or six weeks), Washington might be first.

I like how it's too early to count some teams out, but it's never too early to count some teams in. Washington has played the Rams and the Dolphins, with both games at home. If we can't count out the Seahawks because the first two games were against decent teams on the road, can't we not count on the Redskins being 1st in the division because they are 1-1 after two games against decent teams? Both teams played the Rams. One beat the Rams at home, one team lost to the Rams on the road. Apparently one result means something and the other result does not mean as much.

2. Incompetent Eagles. How is it possible that nothing works right for a Chip Kelly offense? I mean, nothing?

The Eagles are two games into the season with a new quarterback and a bunch of new personnel. I'm going to make excuses for them because I chose them to be in the Super Bowl, but it's possible nothing works right in Kelly's offense because of all the new personnel.

The second-most efficient running team in the league over the past two years is dead last running now, despite a huge commitment to it in the off-season. There is no more stunning statistic after two weeks than this one: 2014 rushing champion DeMarco Murray has rushed 21 times for 11 yards. The sacrificing of Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans on the offensive line has wounded the running game, and the inability of Sam Bradford, who looked absolutely incapable against Dallas on Sunday (first seven Eagle drives: 9, 6, 0, 2, 4, 12 and 0 yards) is something Kelly has to fix right now. Why? 

It seems like Peter answered this question of "why" when giving this information. Is it fixable? Yes, it definitely is. Will it be fixed? Who knows and that's why it's ridiculous to draw any conclusions after two games. It's too early to count any teams in or out.

3. Broken Baltimore. Something odd about John Harbaugh’s eighth team in Baltimore: It’s his first one to start 0-2. The mantra around the team after the 19-16 loss in Denver in Week 1 was that the loss of Terrell Suggs to season-ending Achilles surgery wouldn’t be deadly, because the defensive depth was good enough to cover up for him. Well, that was before Sunday’s game in Oakland. 


Before the year, the Ravens told the league they’d prefer their four western games—at Denver, Oakland, San Francisco and Arizona—be parceled out, two at a time. So the league scheduled Denver and Oakland roadies in Weeks 1 and 2, and Niner and Cardinals games in Weeks 6 and 7. Surely the Ravens didn’t count on being in an 0-2 hole with a brutal five-game stretch coming up beginning Sunday. 

Oh no, I'm sure the Ravens were counting on losing their first two games of the season. They had it all planned out to lose their first two games and then win the rest of their games in order to get homefield advantage and win the Super Bowl. Losing the first two games was crucial to this plan.

4. Atlanta is 2-0. I credit Dan Quinn and the pass-rush he imported, an improving offensive line, a steady Matt Ryan, and the most acrobatic, sure-handed receiver playing today. Julio Jones has twice as many catches (22) as DeMarco Murray has rushing yards.

I am three times as old as DeMarco Murray has rushing yards! Every NFL team has scored more points than DeMarco Murray has rushing yards! I enjoy randomly comparing two statistics that really don't mean too much when compared to each other.

5. It took eight days for Johnny Football to produce a quarterback controversy in Cleveland. As I said on NBC Sunday night, my gut feeling is that if Josh McCown passes his concussion protocol this week—and McCown was not even at the stadium on Sunday, with the team preferring to keep him away from the bright light and noise that can sometimes exacerbate head trauma—he’ll keep his starting job.

McCown can't be near bright light and noise, does he have a hangover or a concussion? Because Johnny Manziel has had similar symptoms before and no one seems to have sympathy for him. 

“Johnny is definitely arrow up right now,” coach Mike Pettine said from Cleveland Sunday night. “He has been very interactive with the coaches, very involved, and those are the things we like. He’s been different, very different, in a positive way. On the other hand, you talk to some of the veterans, Joe Thomas and Brian Hartline, and they’re big fans of Josh too, as a player and a leader.”

Basically, the veterans want McCown to start, so no matter whether this is good for the current or future state of the franchise this is what is happening. 

6. The Bengals are Old Man River.

So what are we to make of the Bengals’ 2-0 start, and Dalton’s terrific start? Dalton has completed 68.3% of his throws in wins over Oakland and San Diego, with five touchdowns and no interceptions. The difference for Dalton this year could end up being a tight end the offense trusts instead of the inconsistent Jermaine Gresham. Tyler Eifert leads the team with 13 catches on 17 targets, 153 yards and three touchdowns—more, in each count, than star wideout A.J. Green.

Tyler Eifert has more catches than DeMarco Murray has rushing yards and has almost 15 times the number of receiving yards as Murray has rushing yards. 

With Green, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, and a very good receiving back in Gio Bernard, Dalton has five legitimate threats. If they stay upright, Dalton might finally break his January schneid this year. Might, mind you; might.

Or maybe not. Sure, Dalton had all five of these threats last year and wasn't able to win a playoff game, but things could be totally different this year. Maybe, it could happen. Might. Potentially, but not surely. It's uncertain. 

While it’s true the Bengals have to get the playoff thing off their backs, what they’ve done in the first two games shows it’s not something that beats them down. The next three weeks—at Baltimore, and Kansas City and Seattle at home, all defenses that can pressure the quarterback well—will give a good indication whether Dalton has enough weapons and can rise to the pressure he has to be feeling.

I like how Peter King has all along insisted the Bengals play well during the regular season, but it's the playoffs when they struggle, yet this year the Bengals are playing well during the regular season and Peter thinks this could mean something for the playoffs. Using Peter's past logic that the Bengals play well during the regular season then choke out in the playoffs, why would he be impressed regarding the Bengals playing well during the regular season? Why would things be different this year in the playoffs for the Bengals just because they are playing well in the regular season?

It’s the most worrisome time of the year

For the Romo-less Cowboys. Owner Jerry Jones is the sunniest guy in the NFL. Losses always have silver linings. But it was a sign of how down the Cowboys were, even after making the Eagles look like a bunch of Bad News Bears Sunday in boo-happy Philly, that Jones said he felt “as low as a crippled cricket’s ass.” (Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard that one

(Bengoodfella raises his hand)

… I didn’t think I’d see any hands.)

I just raised my hand. Just because Peter hasn't heard of this phrase doesn't mean no one else hasn't heard of the phrase. 

Dallas doesn’t have a strong backup (Brandon Weeden), and may be in the market for quarterback help this week. (Matt Cassel? Chad Henne?)

Do either of these players count as "quarterback help" really? 

For the 0-2 Giants. Sunday was the 50th game since their Super Bowl 46 win over New England. They’re 22-28, with zero playoff trips, since. Team president John Mara, seething at the end of the last season, has to be apoplectic after the Giants, who have now blown 13-point and 10-point leads—both in the fourth quarter

It’s New York, so it won’t be long before the drumbeats increase for Tom Coughlin’s job.

It's any NFL city, so the drumbeats increase for the head coach's job in this situation no matter what city the team plays in. Wanting the head coach to be under fire or just fired isn't specific to New York. Most cities with an NFL team would have increased drumbeats for the head coach to lose his job if that team has a losing record over the last three seasons and starts off blowing two leads during the first two weeks of this season. 

For Matthew Stafford and the winless Lions. Detroit is 0-2, and this is the Lions’ reward: consecutive prime-time dates with Peyton Manning and the 2-0 Broncos Sunday at home, then at Seattle eight nights later in a game the Seahawks will have to have.

It is too early to draw conclusions, but remember how I was so skeptical the Jim Caldwell hire was a good one? Well, I was. I don't believe he is capable of sustaining a team's success when he's the head coach. I will say the Lions struggles this year is part of what I think to be an ongoing trend with Caldwell as the head coach.

Three questions with a UNC

Even the most rabid NFL fans will say, in response to that header, “Why are you asking questions to a University of North Carolina?”

Even the most ignorant resident of North Carolina will say there is no such thing as a University of North Carolina.

This UNC stands for unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant. There are two of these at each NFL game, one on each sideline. During a game they stand on the sideline. They have the power to stop the game if they see a player struggling with what appears to be a head injury.

They have "the power" to do this. Much like I have "the power" to do a lot of things at my job, except for the whole part when I get overruled. You can read some of the answers from this UNC and see that he seems to be very pro-NFL and very pro-"The NFL is doing all they can to help stop head trauma and I think they are doing a great job," which makes me wonder how much power this person truly has. 

The MMQB: In your time doing this, have you felt any subtle or overt pressure from teams to get a player back in the game?

Manley: I have never felt any pressure to keep a player in the game. I have been treated with the utmost respect. All I have felt is the teams are very proactive to do the right thing on the sidelines. I really have the ability to have a second opinion. Believe me, I wouldn’t do this if I felt I was being marginalized.

This is just the answer the NFL would want this gentleman to give. Roger Goodell is pleased.

The MMQB: Do you feel this is helping the league get players off the field who would otherwise be staying on the field with a head injury?

Manley: I know the NFL gets a bad rap in this area, but I can tell you they’re trying really hard. Guys who come to the sidelines get some of the best medical care that I see.

Guys, the NFL is trying SO HARD to make sure the players that end up with concussions get the best medical care, which is helpful considering doctors aren't entirely sure when a player may have a concussion that affects their brain in some way and there's no telling if a hard hit can jar the brain as much as a hit that doesn't look so hard. This medical care is super-important considering very little seems to be known about concussions and the exact effect they have on the brain. But if a player looks like he might have a concussion, the NFL is totally concerned. So when you see information about how many retired players have brain injuries, just remember how TOTALLY HARD the NFL is trying right now to cover up for  keep their players healthy.

I followed up with a question over the weekend, via email to Manley, about whether he has the power to keep a player out of the game if other medical authorities on-site disagree. In other words, can the UNC trump the other medics at the game?

I'm sure he CAN trump the other medics at the game. Excuse my jadedness (not a word?), but I don't know if I believe he would trump the other medics at the game in certain situations. So his word can trump the word of others, but would it always work this way like it's supposed to?

“It is my understanding,” Manley wrote back, “and it has been my actual experience, that if I believe a player has had a concussion, they cannot return to game.”

I believe this is true. I also believe that whether a player has a concussion or not could be a debate. For example, Jay Cutler clearly had a concussion in last week's game, but the Bears team refused to acknowledge this is true. Tony Siragusa desperately tried to get John Fox to acknowledge Cutler had a concussion (in a halftime interview) and Fox would not confirm. So the debate can lie in whether a player actually has a concussion or not. 

It’s not altogether strange for the top of a draft to crap out. But so fast? That could be the lasting story of the 2013 first round. The first overall pick, tackle Eric Fisher, is on the bench with the Chiefs. Four players in the top half of the first round look like looming busts, and the bottom half of the round looks stronger than the top half already.

These are the things that happen in a draft that is described as being weak by many draft analysts. Depth can be found where top-end talent can not be found. 

Surveying the carnage leads to one overriding conclusion: We hype drafts to a silly level of expectation. We overrate players just because of where they are picked. We can’t wait to see how they play before we rate success and failure. And then, a couple of years later, we look at a draft like the 2013 draft and say with some incredulity, “W-w-w-what happened?”

Yes, "we" hype drafts to a silly level of expectation. I hate how "we" write articles about the draft and post them on "our" NFL site for weeks on end during the months of March and April. I hate how "we" report from the combine and relay information "we" learned about what teams really think about certain players. I guess it's just part of how "we" hype the draft too much. Really, it's a great observation from Peter King about how "we" are responsible for his site's draft coverage. 

I’m going to get to the lesson of why a volume of compensatory picks should be as valuable as first-round picks in a few moments.

We know Peter feels this way because he's always infatuated with what team "owns" the upcoming draft because they have a boatload of picks. I can argue picking players smartly in the first round is much more important than compensatory selections. Here is some anecdotal the last five drafts, my favorite team has only had 31 selections. They started as a 2-14 team after the 2010 season and from those 31 selections they have formed the core of their current team. They have 8-9 starters from these drafts. Throwing in the 11 selections from that team that are no longer with the team and you can see it's not the quantity of the selections that improved the team, but the fact they have chosen their first round and late round picks very wisely. A volume of compensatory picks can be valuable, but they are not as valuable as a first round pick that is chosen wisely. Compensatory picks give a team more chances to hit on a good player, but first round picks are generally players with higher-end talent.

If I were to rank the top quarter of that draft’s first round, I’d go this way:

1. Sheldon Richardson (13th overall).
2. Travis Frederick (31st).
3. Desmond Trufant (22nd).
4. Kyle Long (20th).
5. Xavier Rhodes (25th).
6. DeAndre Hopkins (27th).
7. Sharrif Floyd (23rd).
8. Ziggy Ansah (5th).

There are several messages here. The easy thing to say is that scouts stink, and the thought process of teams is flawed. What I would say is that scouting is an incredibly inexact science.

WHAT? Scouting is an inexact science? You don't say, Peter? Have you shared this insight with some of your NFL contacts so they can be as amazed as I am?

Peter then uses this opportunity to defend his friend Scott Pioli, who he thinks got a raw deal in Kansas City. If Scott Pioli was the GM of a team coached by Greg Schiano then I think security would have to physically remove Peter from the premises. Peter would want to be in that team's draft room, sidelines and potentially even disguise himself as a plant in the lobby of that team's building, just so he can be around the team as much as possible.

In this draft-evaluation business, you’ve got to be careful with making absolute statements. For example, GM Scott Pioli was ridden out of Kansas City after four seasons, in early 2013. But from his four drafts come the guts of the current Chiefs defense that looks so good right now: Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey on the line, 2014 NFL sack leader Justin Houston (with the 70th pick in 2011) at outside linebacker, and Eric Berry in the defensive backfield (if he can continue his comeback from lymphoma). The left tackle, Stephenson, was a Pioli third-round pick in 2012.

Yes, Pioli didn't do an awful job in every facet of his job. He hired Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel as his head coaches and the Chiefs went 23-41 during his time as GM. I don't know, that doesn't seem very good. 

Pioli had his share of misses, and didn’t leave Andy Reid with a quarterback of the future. 

The most important jobs that a GM has is to hire the right head coach, find a quarterback, draft well, sign free agents in a smart fashion so the team can win games. Pioli didn't do the first two well, and despite Peter's listing of only the good picks Pioli made, he spent first, second and third round picks on the following players in four drafts.

Tyson Jackson
Alex Magree
Dexter McCluster
Javier Arenas
Jonathan Baldwin
Jeff Allen

Pioli outright missed on two of his first round picks and hit on one second round pick. Oh, and he didn't find a quarterback (in fact, traded a second round pick for Matt Cassel) and never found a good head coach. Yes, he didn't draft terribly, but his team didn't win games. That's how he is judged, regardless of whether Peter King likes it or not.

But his hits go to show you—and the team’s relative success since his dismissal—that the tar-and-feathering business in personnel evaluation can be pretty misleading.

Pioli wasn't tar-and-feathered. He didn't win games, didn't find a quarterback, missed on 50% of his first round picks, and hired Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel as his head coaches. 

Also, I’ve become convinced—and this started with the way Jimmy Johnson/Jerry Jones were wheeling and dealing when Johnson got to the Cowboys—that the number of picks in a draft is far more important than the location of the picks. Johnson proved that, with lots of low-round gems that were drafted, in part, because the Cowboys believed in carpet-bombing drafts, collecting lots of picks because history says teams are bound to be wrong on even some of the seemingly surest things.

The Patriots and 49ers have carpet-bombed on picks over the past few years (much to Peter's glee as they "owned" the draft) and it's had mixed results for them in terms of finding talent. It all depends on how well that team drafts. That's always what a team's success is dependent on though. 

In the past five drafts, the Ravens have had 15 compensatory picks and turned them into two key pieces of the offensive line—starting tackle Ricky Wagner and third guard John Urschel—and starting fullback Kyle Juszczyk and pass-rusher Pernell McPhee. Love this irony: McPhee could net the Ravens a pick at the end of the fourth round in 2016 after he signed a five-year, $39-million contract with the Bears last spring. That’s the kind of personnel discipline, knowing when to let good players leave because you trust you can train new players who cost much less, that consistently good teams have.

Right, but there is a cycle there. Good teams draft well. The Ravens were smart to draft McPhee and then smart to draft his replacement so they could let him go. This isn't just a compensatory pick issue, but an issue for any team drafting. Every NFL team would love to draft a player and then have his replacement handy when he gets expensive. Good teams draft well. We know this already.

In the past five drafts, the Ravens hit on 4 of 15 compensatory picks. They have had five 1st round picks in that time and have hit on three of those picks that form the core of their defense. Compensatory picks are great, but first round picks is where more of the talent will lie. Good teams draft well though. Yes, we know.

“I haven’t heard anyone on our side talk about 18 games in a long time.”

—Steelers president and Management Council executive committee member Art Rooney II, on reports that the league’s owners want an 18-game regular-season schedule.

The reason no one on their side has talked about 18 games is because Roger Goodell is the one doing the talking for the owners AND because Goodell is holding this as a trump card for when he feels it's best to use it. What Rooney forgets is that Goodell does most of the talking for the owners on matters like an 18 game schedule. 


Derek Carr, quarterback, Oakland. Few young players in the game have gotten puffed up the way the football world has puffed up Carr. Watching Sunday against the Ravens, Carr deserves it.

Who the hell has been puffing up Derek Carr so much? I don't even begin to understand this comment. How did I miss Carr being puffed up? If this is true, which I'm not sure of, then I completely missed it. This feels like a random comment to me. 

Sam Bradford, quarterback, Philadelphia.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City. I know, I know. Andy Reid called the play with 35 seconds left in a tie game at his own 20, and Charles fumbled the ball, and Denver’s Bradley Roby ran it in for the win. Just kneel down, coach, and play for overtime. I agree. But Charles, to me, is the no-doubt GOTW.

Charles is the no-doubt Goat of the Week, except for the other guy that Peter named co-Goat of the Week. So Charles is no-doubt Goat of the Week, except for the fact there is doubt since he shares this non-honor. You gotta love Peter King.

The CBS/NFL Network telecast of the Thursday night between Denver and Kansas City was 5 hours and 7 minutes long, including a pre-game show and (longer) post-game show, which lasted longer on NFL Network than it did on CBS.

If you think the weekly fantasy football commercials are, say, plentiful, and if you think the competition for your weekly fantasy football dollar is pretty intense, well, you’re right on both counts. The breakdown of the stream of fantasy-game ads in the football telecast:

Total fantasy football spots: 19

Make them stop. Please, make them stop. I'm so tired of these commercials. 

FanDuel: 11 (including nine in pre- and post-game shows)
Draft Kings: 7 (including five during the game) 1.

I will give them money to stop running these commercials. I think that's the point actually. FanDuel and Draft Kings want to just have the public pay them money to stop running these commercials. 

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 2:

k. Peterson, with what should be the new normal for him: 29 carries, 134 rushing yards, the most in the league in Week 2.

That's actually the old normal for Peterson isn't it? He's been in the Top 10 of rushing attempts five times during his career and has had more than 300 touches in a season five times. I'm not sure why Peter calls it "the new normal" because Peterson getting that many touches seems old to me. 

g. If anyone makes more physical, tough catches in traffic than Antonio Brown, I don’t know who it is.

v. Julio Jones, who is going to be very sore today. Boy, did he take some shots against the Giants. But he made some very big catches.

Maybe Julio Jones makes as many physical, tough catches as Antonio Brown. Or maybe that was just in one game. 

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

b. Of the many disastrous performances by the Eagles against Dallas, Byron Maxwell, who gave up a sloppy insurance touchdown to the Cowboys (and Brandon Weeden), takes the crown.

I can't believe a free agent cornerback got a ton of money in free agency after playing well on a defense with other good defensive players and then struggles to earn that contract on a new team with lesser defensive players. 

j. Ryan Mallett, a 49 percent passer in relief of Brian Hoyer.

Under things Peter liked, he wrote:

c. Carolina’s defense, through two weeks: 26 points allowed, and four of those quarters were played without Luke Kuechly.

So maybe Ryan Mallett was a 49% passer because the Carolina defense was good and didn't allow him to complete that many passes? Compliment the defense, then blame the quarterback for the defense's great play, that's how Peter rolls. 

k. Hold the ball, Vernon Davis.

l. Hold the bal, Anquan Boldin.

Hir an edito Pete. 

m. Detroit, for all we heard about how the loss of Ndamukong Suh wouldn’t hurt the defense. Lions have allowed 416.5 yards, on average, and 29.5 points, on average, in the first two weeks.

I file this under the same "What the fuck?" line of thinking that Peter had when it comes to thinking a lot of people in football have been puffing up Derek Carr. Who thought the Lions defense wasn't going to be affected by the loss of Ndamukong Suh? Who are these people that Peter is talking to who thinks Derek Carr is overhyped and the Lions won't be negatively affected by losing a few good defensive linemen? I feel like Peter is talking to Greg Schiano and that would explain a lot. 

p. Marcus, Marcus, Marcus. We put you in Canton too fast.

"We" didn't. "You" may have. 

w. Yo Adrian: Three fumbles?

Yo, Peter (there is a comma between "Yo" and "Adrian"...hir an edito), this is a reference to a line that is 40 years old. 

5. I think coaches certainly have the right to change their minds. All do it. But Houston Bill O’Brien yanking Brian Hoyer after three-and-a-half quarters for Ryan Mallett in the opener, and then inserting Mallett to start game two Sunday at Carolina, seems knee-jerk...I mean, I am not at practice, and I don’t see what O’Brien sees. But for Hoyer, a veteran who O’Brien knew as a player intimately from his experience with him over the years, to have lost his job after 12 series of one game is just not fair.

Brian Hoyer is only two years older than Ryan Mallett. I looked up their statistics this season and it shocked the hell out of me to see Hoyer was only two years older than Mallett. I could have sworn it was 4-5 years difference between them.

But I’ve got to hand it to Gary Myers of the New York Daily News: He’s done it with his new book, “Brady vs. Manning: The Untold Story of the Rivalry that Transformed the NFL.” (Crown Archetype, due out Tuesday.) There are stories from on the field, from all the games Tom Brady and Peyton Manning played against each other. There are stories from their relationship, and they are fairly close. But the best chapter in the book, for my money is “Boys will be boys,” the chapter on Brady and Manning the practical jokers—and the victims of practical jokes. One of the few players to play with both Brady and Manning is center Dan Koppen, who, having started at center and had both men’s hands under his rear end for a time, is uniquely qualified to discuss both quarterbacks in depth. Koppen’s best reveal, according to the book, happened as the football relationship between Koppen and Brady lengthened:

He farted on Brady’s hands in practice?

"He did,” Brady said, as if he were providing confirmation in testimony in a courtroom.

It's interesting that Myers refers to Brady "providing confirmation in testimony in a courtroom" given the fact Brady just got done doing that regarding his pissing contest with Roger Goodell. There are a lot of jokes about destroyed cell phones and deflated balls that can be made about Brady testifying as if in court about whether Dan Koppen farted on his hands in practice or not. It's an interesting way of describing how Myers believes Brady sounded. 

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

d. I guess, also, that America knows Leonard Fournette now.

I knew Leonard Fournette before Saturday. Maybe you didn't Peter, but that doesn't mean other people in the world were as ignorant as you were about how good Fournette is at football. Don't assume your type of ignorance is seen through the football-watching world when it's just localized ignorance. "We" may watch more college football than you. 

f. I’m definitely going to see “Black Mass,” mainly because of my interest in the life and bad times of Whitey Bulger. But after reading A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times, I’m preparing for it to be B or B-plus at best. After criticizing the portrayal of women in the movie as coming up short, Scott writes: “It’s possible, though, to think of the shortcomings of ‘Black Mass’ as fitting comeuppance for Bulger. He may have thought he was a big deal, but, in the end, all he merits is a minor gangster movie.”

Saw the movie and it was okay. I don't think the movie treated women any worse than any other movie has ever treated women, so I don't understand this criticism from A.O. Scott. It's not like gangster movies have a history of holding women up as great and any more than (1) minor annoyances that get in the way of business or (2) shrill nags who are only good for having children while the male characters go have affairs with other women who are minor annoyances and eventually get in the way of business. 

i. A three-hour debate? Whose idea was that?

Probably the idea of the 10 people on stage who all want time to tell America their ideas for how they can improve the United States. Guess what? If you don't like it, then don't watch the debate. This is especially true since Peter isn't going to be voting for a Republican anyway. 

j. Welcome, Pope Francis. I know you’ll just be getting to town Thursday evening, but if you want to de-snarl traffic Thursday night and take in a different kind of football game, I’d be happy to take you to Meadowlands for Giants-Washington that evening. New York coach Tom Coughlin and Giants owner John Mara, two of the most Catholic men in the National Football League, would love to see you.

I don't even know what to say to this. I know Peter is kidding, but why would the Pope hang out with him just so he can visit two guys who are very Catholic? He's the Pope, all he does is talk to very Catholic men on a daily basis. 

m. Beernerdness: Congratulations, Magnify Brewing (Fairfield, N.J.), for brewing the second-best Saison I’ve tasted, next to The MMQB Saison from Harpoon Brewery in Boston. Magnify’s Saison, called Search Saison, was a gem I found last week eating with friends at De Novo, a restaurant near the Upper Montclair, N.J., train station, just up the street from where the King family lived for 18 years.

I don't dislike Saison beers, but I'm becoming more belligerent about Peter only drinking fruity or non-beer tasting beer. I feel Peter is a few steps away from recommending a Smirnoff Ice or a Mike's Hard Lemonade.

r. Caught a few minutes of the lyrical Vin Scully on Saturday night, waxing about Roberto Clemente. Scully pointed out Clemente was at his best against many Hall of Fame pitchers. Six homers off Sandy Koufax. Batted over .400 against Warren Spahn. Leave it to Scully to tell his viewers why Clemente, who just had a day across major league baseball last week, mattered.

Don't tell Jerry Green that Roberto Clemente mattered. He's angry that advanced statistics don't give Clemente the due that he deserves, even though Green has no idea how to use these advanced statistics to even determine whether his assertion is true or not. 

The Adieu Haiku

Bad day at the Linc.
The Eagles look like fool’s gold.
Chip Kelly, unbowed.

Every Monday is a bad day when I read Peter's Adieu Haiku. What would Peter expect Chip Kelly to say though? "Oh sure, I've made a shit-ton of personnel mistakes this offseason and I'm changing my entire offensive system because I'm a terrible coach who doesn't understand the difference in college and professional coaching"? Is that what Peter thinks Kelly would say?

It's a long way from the "The Wisdom of Chip Kelly" section in MMQB isn't it?


Slag-King said...

k. Hold the ball, Vernon Davis.
l. Hold the ball, Anquan Boldin.
Checked 3:00pm 9/23/15 on MMQB website

k. Hold the ball, Vernon Davis.
l. Hold the bal, Anquan Boldin.
From Bottom of the Barrel website.

I do not see the typo. It might have been updated; however, there is no "updated by" information found anywhere. I remember there used to be one in the older website before they changed it to this awful tiled based site.

Re: Jamaal Charles, Goat of the week.

I have to say that all the blame should really go to Andy Reid and his stupid, stupid, stupid draw plays that he absolutely loves at the end of either halves. Yes, Charles fumbled the ball. Yes, he should have taken better care of it. But why was this play even called? The upside of a draw play at near the end of the half is next to nil. The chance for a runner to be injured and/or fumbling increases after each "successful" play. Smith should have kneeled down and ended the 2nd half. If they did not win the OT, then so be it.

Peter, of course, thinks that Andy is not a nitwit for drawing up that play.

BTW, draw plays at the end of the half are pet peeves of mine.

Chris said...

The 5(6) things we never saw coming:

1) The NFC East is going to be one bizarre division this year.

Umm Peter the NFC East is bizarre pretty much every year. It's the major thing the media talks about before every season is how bizarre and crazy will the NFC East be? This year is no exception.

Bengoodfella said...

Slag, I bookmark MMQB immediately on Monday when it is posted so I can catch errors like this or catch something slightly offensive Peter writes that gets past the editors. That's one of those examples.

If you don't like draw plays at the end of a half then you may not like John Fox. I feel like that's a staple towards the end of a half. I will say also that I don't totally blame Charles for the reasons you cited. Obviously he shouldn't have fumbled, but he did a lot in that game to help the Chiefs win too.

Chris, exactly. I think Peter struggles with his long term memory. The NFL is crazy every year. It's just how it is.

Eric said...

Peter strikes me as a Zima guy.