Friday, October 2, 2015

3 comments Gregg Easterbrook Continues to Write "N.F.L." In An Attempt to Passively-Aggressively Annoy Me

Gregg Easterbrook complained in last week's TMQ that NFL coaches play it too safe. He went on what will end up probably being his weekly complaint about how teams should start going for the two-point conversion more often. To a certain extent, I don't disagree totally. I wonder if some coaches don't go for two more often because they don't want to burn goal line plays that could otherwise get them six points in the form of a touchdown versus two points on a two-point conversion. It's just a guess, obviously. This week Gregg talks about how NFL announcers are suckers for NFL management, continues to write "NFL" as "N.F.L." in an obvious attempt to troll me, and still insists on writing unfunny skits involving the 4th Down Bot.

The good news for Gregg is this is the second straight week TMQ has appeared without a correction at the bottom. I'm sure that's probably because the "Times" just doesn't feel like correcting everything Gregg says that may be marginally correct. They've already given up. Maybe Gregg renegotiated in his contract that he wouldn't get paid to write TMQ as long as the "Times" didn't publicly correct him. Not being seen as wrong is more important than anything else.

Football aficionados, and advanced life forms like The Upshot’s 4th Down Bot, endlessly marvel at N.F.L. coaches who order punts on fourth-and-short.

If you follow that link, you see that 4th Down Bot also agreed with many of the decisions to punt where Gregg claims the team should have gone for it. I think it's hilarious that Gregg uses the 4th Down Bot as a way of keeping coaches honest, when there are plenty of 4th-and-short punts that the Bot claims were good decisions. As he is prone to do, Gregg simply provides a link and doesn't do the work required to see if the link he is providing actually proves the point he thinks it proves. It's not Gregg's job to provide links that support his opinion when he claims that link supports his opinion. That's what an editor is for. 

Gregg talks about the same shit every single week. Every week he talks about how coaches are too conservative, offenses play at a fast pace, mentions concussions, and then discusses how the offenses are so far ahead of the defense and could this be a trend? Every year the defenses seem to catch up eventually. But yes, NFL head coaches are too conservative.

Possession of the ball is far more important to victory than field position.

As a overly-general rule, this is probably very correct. If one team has the football, then it's harder for the other team to score. That is, unless the team with the football has Matt Schaub has it's starting quarterback. But yes, possessing the football is very important, but field position is also very important. In terms of whether a team punts the ball or not, I'm not sure this statement is true as a hard-and-fast rule. If the Seahawks are facing the Bears (as they were this weekend) with Jimmy Clausen as the Bears quarterback, then field position is very important to the Seahawks because they trust their defense to shut down the Bears' offense. There's no point in giving the Bears a short field and making it easy on them to score. So while possession of the ball is important in this situation, also not giving the Bears a chance to score easy points when they would conceivably otherwise struggle to score is also important. So there are situations where possession of the ball is important, but the risk of not possessing the ball is less important than giving the opposing team bad field position.

Fourth-and-short tries are about 60 percent likely to succeed in maintaining possession. Yet coaches order punts, essentially awarding the opponent a turnover.

It's not exactly awarding the opponent a turnover because the opponent doesn't usually get great field position after a punt. That's the entire purpose of a punt. If there were a turnover then the opponent would get better field position than if that opponent had to field a least in theory. I argue with Gregg's assertion that punting the football is awarding the opponent a turnover.

From this article Gregg linked:

Going for it on 4th-and-short has had a 62.7% success rate over the last three years.

Notice that Mike Tanier (who wrote the article) says "4th-and-short tries" are about 60% likely to succeed in maintaining possession. Gregg doesn't really specify whether punting only these circumstances is awarding the opponent a turnover or just overall punting is like awarding the opponent with a turnover. I will say this...I have no doubt Gregg is going to bring up this 62.7% success rate on fourth down tries that are not fourth-and-short, as if this statistics applies to all fourth down tries. I have no doubt he will do this. 

And why Gregg linked this article:

A large percentage of fourth-down conversions take place in what Gregg Easterbrook used to call "The Maroon Zone": the region between the opponent's 40 and 20 yard lines. This makes sense, of course: that is the region of unappealing 55-yard field goal attempts and punts which will only net a few yards of field position.

It must have pleased Gregg to no end that this article on why it's bad to punt on fourth down in certain situations quoted him on "The Maroon Zone." It's probably a highlight of Gregg's career while writing TMQ. Let's be honest though. Mike Tanier probably won't link or quote much of what else is written in TMQ. 

It’s not that coaches don’t know the math — rather, it seems they don’t want to be criticized. If a coach does the expected and sends out the punt unit on fourth down, and then his team goes on to lose, players are blamed for the defeat.

Right, but if a fourth down attempt doesn't work then the blame can also reside with the players. The thinking about going for it on fourth down is changing, so going for it isn't seen as the huge risk it used to be seen as. Accordingly, if a coach has the guts to go for it on fourth down then the players can still get the blame if they don't execute the play well enough to convert, miss a block or do one of many other things that can cause a play to fail.

What's funny is that Gregg will say the following in this TMQ:

Before the game, Chip Kelly responded to criticism of the Eagles’ 0-2 start by saying “we need to execute.” In coach-speak that means, “Everything about my strategy and personnel management is perfect; the players are to blame for not doing what I tell them.”

So Gregg explains that the coach gets the blame when a fourth down conversion doesn't work (and indicates coaches should not be blamed for being aggressive like this), but then blames the coach when a play doesn't work. So he is the very person that talks about blaming the coach on a fourth down conversion if the execution by the players is poor. Gregg doesn't want to blame the coach when he goes for it on fourth down, but then blames the coach for the play's failure if the coach blames the poor execution for the play's failure. So basically, NFL head coaches don't go for it on fourth down because Gregg Easterbrook will blame them for the play's failure. 

If the coach orders a conversion attempt that fails, the coach is blamed for subsequent defeat.

Sort of like how you blame the coach when he claims his team's execution wasn't very good in a defeat? Actually, not sort of like that, but exactly like that. You do this. 

Trailing, 20-0, late in the third quarter at Seattle, the Bears reached fourth-and-inches at midfield. Chicago Coach John Fox faced this option: try for a first down or concede the game. When the punt team trotted out, the CBS booth denizen Phil Simms said: “I agree with the decision. I think I would punt it here and just go ahead and see if your defense can make a play.”

In other words, shift blame to the players, in this case the defenders.

In other words, Phil Simms is stupid and he should not be listened to. Don't use something Phil Simms says as an example of how announcers shift blame to the players and not the coaches. Punting there was a really, really conservative decision. It was a John Fox-type decision. This is the same guy who kneeled the ball down in the playoffs rather than trust Peyton Manning to get the Broncos in field goal range with less than a minute left in the regulation and the Broncos holding a timeout. This was not a good decision to punt against the Seahawks and there is no reason for Phil Simms to defend this punt.

Washington at Jersey/A on Thursday night, the visitors, mired in a three-season slump, faced fourth-and-inches. The CBS play-by-play voice Jim Nantz declared, “Now the Redskins have to punt.”

Eagles at Jets scoreless, Jersey/B was stopped inches shy of a first. “It’s a three-and-out for the Jets,” the Fox announcer Kevin Burkhardt said cheerily, seeming never to contemplate the possibility of going for it.

Here is a good example of where I don't believe Gregg understands that which he is criticizing. Jim Nantz and Kevin Burkhardt are probably not actually advocating for the Redskins and Jets to punt, but are doing their job and telling the viewer what is happening. They are calling the game. After the failed third down attempt, they see the punting unit for the Redskins/Jets go on the field and then say, "The Jets/Redskins will now have to punt." I don't think Nantz and Burkhardt are saying, "Here is my opinion that the best tactic for the Jets/Redskins is to punt," but they are doing their job and acknowledging what is happening on the field. Gregg never thinks that perhaps both announcers are simply doing their job, but instead, he thinks they are giving their opinion. I think he is mistaken or is so rabid to prove his point that Nantz/Burkhardt are trying to shift blame to the defenders that he isn't thinking. 

Because network booth crews interpret the football universe for the mainstream fan, if broadcasters criticized timid punting tactics, coaches would be embarrassed. But coaches know there is almost no chance this will occur.

I don't think network booth crews really interpret the football universe for the mainstream fan. Maybe they do, and if they did, then isn't this an explanation that supports how Nantz/Burkhardt were simply describing the action of a team choosing to punt and not necessarily advocating that as a course of action?

And also, there is no reason to think NFL head coaches count on broadcasters not criticizing them and that is why they continue to punt in situations where they may be better off going for it on fourth down. I don't think NFL head coaches really give a shit what network announcers say.

Network announcers side psychologically with management. The booth guys scoff at dropped passes or missed tackles, criticizing labor, but back up tactical decisions, validating management.

This doesn't at all explain why ex-players like Phil Simms side with management. Why would an analyst who is an ex-player suddenly start siding with management just because he's in the broadcast booth? Wouldn't these ex-players naturally side with players, since they were players at one time?

San Diego at Minnesota scoreless, the Chargers faced fourth-and-inches in Vikings territory. As the punt team trotted out, the CBS announcers Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts said not a critical word. “Knowing Mike McCoy, he wants to play a field position game,” Fouts observed,

He is an ex-player. Why would he psychologically side with management? This makes not of sense.

Sweet Play of the Week. Atlanta at Dallas in the fourth quarter, the visitors faced third-and-goal. Julio Jones lined up as a slotback on the left. At the snap, Atlanta play-faked. Jones ran a pattern behind the line of scrimmage — covered up by his own offensive linemen — then was open in the right flat for a touchdown, and the Falcons never looked back. During the contest, Jones had 12 receptions for 164 yards, ran pretty much every pass pattern in the book, and for grins once lined up as fullback.

Is this the same Julio Jones who is a "diva" and is personally responsible for the Falcons' poor record since he joined the team? Or is this the same Julio Jones who wasn't worth the mega-trade it took to acquire his rights? I get confused, because Gregg spoke so poorly of Jones at one point and now he's no longer speaking of Jones poorly. So there must be another Julio Jones who the Falcons traded up in the draft to acquire. I bet that Julio Jones still sucks really badly. 

Sour Play of the Week. Denver leading, 7-6, with 13 seconds remaining till intermission, the Broncos faced fourth down on the Lions’ 45. There’s little incentive to big-blitz since even a successful blitz would give the hosts possession at midfield with only a few seconds remaining. Whatever Detroit does, it must not allow a touchdown.

Or a first down to where the Broncos get in field goal range. You know, that's probably slightly important too.

Here is what is absolutely more important than anything else. Not lying. That's very important. The Lions brought five guys at Manning and dropped the rest into coverage. Watch that video, there's no "big-blitz" present here.

It’s a blitz! Seven Detroit defenders crowd the line of scrimmage, leaving just one safety “high” and Demaryius Thomas, Denver’s best receiver, single-covered deep. Touchdown and the Broncos never looked back. Before the play, the Lions had taken a timeout in order to come up with this disastrous defensive call. Sour.

Seven players crowded the line of scrimmage, but the Lions then dropped six guys into man coverage with a safety over the top. The Broncos had one timeout left, so they easily could have gotten into field goal range. It was decent coverage by Darius Slay. He just got out-jumped. More importantly, not lying is the most important takeaway here. Gregg describes the play like the Lions brought seven defenders at Manning, describing it as a "big-blitz" and never mentioning the Lions dropped five of the seven players at the line into coverage. Gregg is good at misleading his readers. It's what he does. 

Sweet ‘n’ Sour Play of the Week. At Oregon, Utah ran a punt return trick play that had everyone looking at the wrong guy. Expecting Oregon to punt toward the sideline — whether teams should always deliberately punt out of bounds will be the subject of a future Tuesday Morning Quarterback — the Utes put two returners back. One looked up into the sky as if the ball were sailing to him. That drew the coverage team toward Guy #1, who was careful not to fake a fair catch: Once a fair catch is signaled, no receiver may advance. Actually the ball was sailing toward Guy #2 on the opposite sideline, who fielded the punt and ran 69 yards untouched for a touchdown.

This was a very well-executed play. If the play were poorly-executed then Gregg would ask why the coach blames his players for the poor execution and then say the coach is blame-shifting fault to the players for calling the execution poor. I've established this as a true. So in this case of a well-executed play, using the same logic, does this mean the coach is to be rewarded for calling such a well-executed play and the players don't get credit? So do the players get credit in this situation where if this play didn't work then Gregg would blame the coach? If the coach is to blame for a poorly-executed play, wouldn't the coach then get credit for a well-executed play? Gregg can't have it both ways. He can't solely blame the coach for a team's failures on a play and then credit only the players for a play's success.

Sour was that Guy #2 was on the Oregon side, close enough for Ducks coaches to reach out and touch him. Oregon coaches should have been pointing at Guy #2 and shouting warnings. Yet Guy #2 was most of the way to the end zone before the Oregon sideline realized who had the ball.

Oregon coaches may not have been watching the ball in the air and were instead watching their players on punt coverage. So if they weren't watching the ball, it's because they were watching the action on the field. As Gregg himself often says, much of the important action takes place away from the ball, so that's all the Oregon coaches were doing, watching the action away from the ball. Of course, now Gregg criticizes them for doing what he claims they should be doing, watching the action away from the ball.

Also, it's entirely possible the coaches were yelling and the players just couldn't hear them. It's not like the players in punt coverage can look at the bench as they are running down the field nor is it very quiet on a football field where the players can hear individual voices yelling at them necessarily. I think it's hilarious Gregg expects the Oregon punt coverage team to be looking at the Oregon bench during punt coverage. If an Oregon player WAS watching the bench on this play, then Gregg would criticize this player for not paying attention to the action on the field. As always, Gregg doesn't care if he contracts himself and only thinks a team should use a strategy that ends up working. Hindsight criticism is all Gregg can offer.

Did Bill Belichick Stage the PSIcheated Scandal to Get Brady Fired Up? New England’s possession results in hosting Jacksonville: Touchdown, field goal, field goal, touchdown, field goal, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, kneels to end game.

But what was Tom Brady doing still on the field with New England ahead, 44-10, in the fourth quarter?

I'm sure Gregg has some theory that the football gods will punish the Patriots for running up the score in this game. As soon as the Patriots have a more difficult schedule and lose a game or two, this theory of Gregg's will pop up. Just wait. 

The Football Gods Chortled No. 1. While their new Santa Clara field was under construction, the 49ers were 41-14-1 with a Super Bowl appearance. Since abandoning San Francisco, the 49ers are 9-10.

The 49ers have also had a lot of internal team turmoil and the loss of important players since playing at the new Santa Clara field. I guess that's just too much of a reasonable explanation for their 9-10 record since "abandoning" San Francisco. It's too obvious of an explanation that is too football-based. 

Quarterback Matt Cassel is now with his third N.F.L. team in six months. The Buffalo Bills rented Cassel for the summer — at least they got their damage deposit back, netting a late-round draft selection in two Cassel transactions. Dallas issues his jersey now. One of T.M.Q.’s laws is that all quarterbacks suddenly become more talented when they stand behind a good offensive line. Dallas has one of the league’s best offensive lines, and if Cassel plays, he suddenly he may become more talented.

BREAKING NEWS: An NFL team's offensive line is important. If a football team has a good offensive line then it helps that team's quarterback play better.

So yes, if Matt Cassel has to play for the Cowboys, then playing behind a really good offensive line may help him play better.

Kelly jumped to the N.F.L. in 2013 thinking his Blur Offense, unstoppable in the college ranks, would be unstoppable in the pros. Steve Spurrier jumped to the N.F.L. in 2002 thinking his Fun ‘n’ Gun offense would be unstoppable in the pros. Both found that after an initial period of adjustment, N.F.L. defensive coordinators became adept at shutting their attacks down.

So does this mean there won't be a TMQ about how the Blur Offense is taking over the NFL? Or will that TMQ come about once the Eagles turn their season around and Gregg pretends he didn't just write that NFL defensive coordinators are adept at shutting the Blur Offenses's attack down? 

Bot Meets Pontiff. Last week Pope Francis visited the United States. Between meetings with rich and poor, he squeezed in some time for automatons. Here’s how it went.

4th Down Bot: Holiness, Washington has punted twice on fourth-and-inches this season, and lost both games.

Francis: I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.
4th Down Bot: What’s your reaction when you hear the biggest sport in the world’s most important country uses a racially insensitive term for the name of the team in the nation’s capital?

Francis: The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.

Son of a bitch, this isn't funny or clever at all. It's a fake conversation that serves absolutely no point other than to kill space in an already shortened TMQ. Why include this? At least TRY to be somewhat creative. I guess when Gregg has to be out of his comfort zone of misleading his readers then he struggles for material. 

Oh Snap! When writing T.M.Q., I wear a wristband with a list of topics. If a rapid change of topics is required, I flip the wristband open to review audibles.

On my wristband was an item about how some college team was likely to break the 100-snaps barrier this season.

Again, not funny, not clever. Why does this joke exist? 

Because the clock does not stop for first downs in the N.F.L., fewer snaps are inevitable. More important, N.F.L. teams use thick, complicated playbooks: Calling the plays requires time. In the zone read era, college football play-calling is veering toward simplistic — many offenses boil down to run left, run right, pass short, pass long. N.F.L. coaches are beginning to grumble that collegians are arriving as good players at a really fast pace, but unfamiliar with learning a playbook.

Gregg with his inside sources in the NFL knows that NFL coaches are grumbling that collegians are arriving unprepared to deal with learning a playbook. This is different from how it used to be when collegians arrived in the NFL unfamiliar with learning a playbook. So nothing has really changed. In fact, considering the NFL is taking on more and more college concepts and play designs, I think current collegians may be slightly more prepared to learn an NFL playbook than they used to be. 

Branding note: In almost every corner of its website, the college is no longer Texas Christian University; it’s just T.C.U.

In another example of "Gregg Easterbrook provides a link and doesn't read the article he is linking," there are multiple mentions of "Texas Christian University" on that page Gregg linked. Be professional enough to actually read the fucking articles you are linking. Is that just too much to ask? 

Seeking an Internet-address brand, T.C.U. has followed the lead of KFC, which no longer stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken; it’s just a company named KFC; of BP, which no longer stands for British Petroleum; it’s just a company called BP;

It's been almost two decades since they changed their name to BP and it's because they merged with Amoco, which is an American company. So they didn't change their name to BP because of wanting an Internet-address brand, but because they were literally no longer a British Petroleum company. 

Contemporary short-attention-span names like KFC are not abbreviations, because the letters don’t stand for anything: We live in an age when not standing for anything is seen as a plus.

Texas Christian University still is the long form of "TCU." 

What should be the term for a string of letters that appears to be an abbreviation yet is not? Tweet your suggestions to @EasterbrookG. I’ll quote the cleverest ones next week.

I'll be sure to send the suggestion of "GFY" to Gregg. It is an abbreviation of sorts and means "Go Fuck Yourself." It's a handy way to shorten the phrase. 

BOLO of the Week. All units, all units, be on the lookout for the Detroit Lions, who, stretching back to last season, have lost five straight. Suspects are described as more interested in boasting than performing.

Here's a BOLO of the Week: Any evidence of humor or insight that can be found in TMQ. Don't bother looking, it's not going to be found. I think we can call off the BOLO and just file a Missing Persons report. 

J.J. Watt Is Very Good at Publicity, Not So Good at Helping His Team Win. After the Moo-Cows defeated the Buccaneers, J.J. Watt thumped his chest as if Houston had just won the Super Bowl. What Houston had just done was beat the worst team of last season.

I don't even know what this means. It's hard for J.J. Watt to win games as a defensive end when his quarterbacks are Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. 

Before the game, Watt thumped his chest about his claim of regularly being triple-teamed. This is hokum. No defensive end has been triple-teamed: not Reggie White, not Bruce Smith and not Watt. An actual triple-team would lead to an instant jailbreak sack as 10 defenders faced eight offensive players.

The Panthers triple-teamed Watt on occasion a few weeks ago. Also, there is this video of Watt being triple-teamed by the Chiefs. So a 10 second Internet search found evidence that Gregg, once again, is talking out of his ass and is too lazy to back up his assertions with actual evidence that supports his assertion. In fact, there is evidence easily-found which directly contradicts the assertion Gregg is making. But again, he gets paid to lie. Nice gig if you can get it. 

The "Times" needs to make a correction to this TMQ that reads: 

"Gregg Easterbrook was incorrect that no defensive end has been tripled-teamed. It can easily be found that J.J. Watt has been triple-teamed. If Gregg wasn't so fucking lazy or fearful his assertions would be proven incorrect he could have easily found this information. He is an embarrassment and we apologize for his existence and constant lying." 

Against the Bucs, mostly Watt was single-blocked by the journeyman Gosder Cherilus. Sometimes Cherilus got a “chip-off” — a running back or tight end bumped Watt before beginning a pass route. Being chipped is like being 1.5-teamed, which is very different from triple-teamed. 

Look at how Gregg classified Cherilus, as a "journeyman." Doesn't Gregg mean that Cherilus is a highly-drafted glory boy? After all, Cherilus was drafted #17 overall in 2008. I guess Cherilus' draft position is irrelevant when it doesn't go to proving any of Gregg's points or he doesn't want to point out that a highly-drafted player performed well. 

Facing the journeyman Cherilus, Watt posted no sacks, one tackle for a loss and three quarterback hurries.

I mean, that's still pretty damn good for a bad day. Not to mention, Watt does get tripled-teamed at times and Cherilus has only played for three NFL teams. I'm not sure if that qualifies him as a "journeyman" or not. Be assured, if Cherilus was undrafted, his draft position would be noted by Gregg. 

Sunday, the Colts visited Tennessee, whom they’d beaten in 12 of the last 13 meetings. Leading, 24-14, and facing fourth-and-goal on the 3, the Flaming Thumbtacks — see name explanation below — had a chance to reverse years of losing psychology versus Indianapolis by going for the coup de grĂ¢ce. Instead Titans Coach Ken Whisenhunt did the “safe” thing and kicked. Soon the Colts held the lead.

Because he is utterly incompetent, Gregg doesn't know that the 4th Down Bot supported this decision. I'll do the work Gregg refuses to do. It's absolutely hilarious to me that Gregg talks about the 4th Down Bot in his TMQ and has no idea this Bot disagrees with his opinion on whether some of these decisions by NFL head coaches to go for it on fourth down or not were good decisions. It's so typical Gregg Easterbrook that he either (a) doesn't know what he's providing a link to or (b) provides the link and simply doesn't give a shit if the link backs up his own assertion or not. 

T.M.Q. Lexicon Note. This column calls the Houston franchise the Moo Cows in recognition of its lovely cow-inspired logo. As for the Titans, check their helmets.

There is no reason to explain this as if anyone really cares. 

Single Worst Play of the Season — So Far. Desperate to avoid an 0-3 start, the Ravens had just pulled ahead, 17-14, against Cincinnati. Bengals on their 20, Andy Dalton threw long to A.J. Green against a soft Cover 2. It should be impossible to get open deep against a soft Cover 2, but Green did, catching a strike and motoring downfield.

Halfway to the goal line, Green was hemmed in by defenders, and seemed likely to be tackled. Ravens safety Kendrick Lewis, trailing closely, quit on the play, slowing to a jog. Green broke the tackles and continued for an 80-yard touchdown. Lewis started running again, but it was too late to catch up. And now Baltimore is 0-3.

Matt emailed me about this (he said it as well as I could), saying: 

Kendrick Lewis slows down because it looked like two other players have the tackle. Had he kept running and they made the tackle, he would have run into the play and disrupted it. Then Gregggggg would be killing him for not being aware and ruining the tackle. What a dick. 

Yep. Notice how Gregg fails to mention that A.J. Green is a highly-paid glory boy as well. If Green had gotten tackled by Kendrick Lewis then Gregg would be talking about how a lowly-drafted (5th round pick), unwanted/journeyman (he's played for three teams, which obviously means the Texans and Chiefs were wrong to not want him because he hypothetically made one good play) player took down a highly-paid glory boy who is too busy cashing the checks from his recent contract extension to work hard and avoid tackles. Alas, Lewis did not tackle Green because he thought two other players had him and Gregg's narrative turns around completely with no mention of either player's draft position. 

N.F.L. players spend the entire year preparing for a small number of games, then quit on the action as if they’re bored. Kendrick Lewis, you are guilty of the Single Worst Play of the Season — so far.

These are the types of things that happen when you rely on a fifth round pick to play well against highly-drafted glory boys like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. 


Oldcat said...

Funny how Gregggg leaves out that even if Green had been tackled at the Ravens 20, odds were high the Bengals would score a TD. Failing that, a tying FG is a near certainty. Also, since the Ravens and Bengals both drove for TD drives after this play certainly plays against the notion that this play was the absolute key play.

Funny that he also leaves out that the Bengals went for it on 4th down near the Ravens goal line and did not make it. Now personally I agree with them trying for the knockout blow but a fair advocate for aggressive 4th down plays should mention cases where it doesn't work in addition to mocking the times when a team takes the safer play and loses.

Slag-King said...

It's hard for J.J. Watt to win games as a defensive end when his quarterbacks are Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.

Or when the Three Stooges (Crick, Wilfork, Clowney) cannot pressure the QB. This is as bad as a front 7 (with exception of Watts) that I've seen in a while. But hey, blame Watts for not helping his teammates win!

Bengoodfella said...

I think we all know that Gregg won't ever mention when a fourth down attempt doesn't work, especially if the team is being aggressive in doing so and it results in his team not winning. I thought this was an odd play to mention too.

Slag, it's all Watt's fault. Everything. How can he be the best defensive player in the NFL if his team can't win games?