Thursday, October 29, 2015

7 comments MMQB Review: MMQB Brought To You By Yahoo and the NFL Edition

Peter King still doesn't know what a factoid is and thinks that Johnny Manziel (who he doesn't know personally at all he admits) needs to do better in order to keep his NFL career alive. This week Peter talks about winning streaks, how Internet football is all the rage around the world, discusses the Dolphins turnaround under the bro Dan Campbell, and he writes "What a country" because there is hockey in Brooklyn. Peter King gets to write a weekly column AND hockey is in non-traditional cities. WHAT A COUNTRY THIS IS! Except for the gun violence, of course. The gun violence and the people who insist on acting in a way while in public that Peter disproves of. Those people who talk on the phone while running in the park can fall into a lake, but otherwise, what a country!

Sunday was a historic day in the NFL, a little bit on the field, and a big bit off. On: Carolina’s 27-16 win over the Eagles means the NFL has five 6-0 teams simultaneously for the first time in league history—Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay and New England.

One team sticks out pretty badly on the list as not belonging. Probably the team that can't throw the football very well and has had a somewhat shaky time in the passing game with a thrice-rejected wide receiver as their #1 receiver.

And though Buffalo-Jacksonville in London wasn’t a marquee game, it accomplished just what the NFL and Yahoo, the provider, had hoped. Yahoo announced that it had 15.6 million unique viewers and 33.6 million total live streams of the game; roughly 33% of that viewership came from outside the U.S.

This goes to show that if the NFL live streams one game between two non-playoff teams then people will watch the game possibly. Also, it shows that Peter King is going to sound like he is doing PR for the NFL and Yahoo in this MMQB. You know I have been somewhat suspicious about the NFL trying so damn hard to have success overseas, but Peter King is very, very fucking impressed with this first live stream result. This could open up the NFL to being able to live stream games and then not have games on television anymore. Which means NFL fans in the United States, you know, the people who buy the vast majority of the apparel, season tickets and actually support these teams, can all huddle around a computer or tablet (maybe even Roku!) at a party to watch a game stream. Sounds like fun.

And there’s little doubt that, though the league treats its 256 regular-season games like home-TV gold, it’s likely to parcel out more than one game to an internet company in 2016.

Probably not a bad idea. I bet the NFL's dream is to have teams in several different countries and never actually show the games on television. They can just live stream them all and everything will be great because people in other countries TOTALLY don't know that the NFL is a clusterfuck when it comes to concussions and doling out punishment to players who step outside the law or choose to deflate a football by a few PSI. Foreigners are so blind to all the NFL's faults. That's the ideal market for the NFL. 

Let’s begin with the stories of the week, from south Florida, New England, Charlotte, London, Indianapolis, New Jersey and Seattle, with stuff about donuts, the ticking time bomb that is Greg Hardy, and the deep scar that won’t be leaving Lovie Smith anytime soon.

Man, having Rex Grossman as his quarterback in Chicago has really left an impression on Lovie Smith. I bet he has nightmares about Grossman randomly throwing the ball deep in the hopes of a completion. 

Greg Hardy. I think the sooner we realize that Hardy is a member of the Dallas Cowboys only and absolutely only because he is a very good defensive end with rare pass-rush skills, the better off we’ll be.

Hey Peter, I think "we" already knew that Hardy is on the Cowboys roster because he's good at football and don't need to be reminded of this. If Hardy had a down year before his legal issues, like Ray Rice had, then maybe he wouldn't be defended and enabled like the Cowboys are doing for him. It's never been unclear as to why Hardy is with the Cowboys. If he couldn't play, he wouldn't be on the Cowboys roster. 

The video put on air by Mike Florio at NBC on Sunday night, showing Hardy in a sideline conflagration with Dallas special-teams coach Rich Bisaccia—slapping the clipboard in the coach’s hand threateningly, causing the coach to shove Hardy and Hardy to get in his face—showed a player bordering on out of control.

Yeah, but he is a team leader according to Jerry Jones. This is just an example of Hardy being a leader and telling the special teams coach that as a leader of the Cowboys team he isn't going to give a flying fuck what he thinks and he feels the need to be disrespectful in order to prove just how much of a team leader he is.

Hardy is a troubled guy and enabling his behavior, as has been done during parts of his NFL career isn't going to help this situation stay in control. 

I don't expect the Cowboys to cut Hardy. He plays too well. But it would be nice if, instead of saying things like what a great and fiery competitor he is, someone with the Cowboys would say: “If Hardy continues to act volcanic, he’s going to have to find somewhere else to play. If anyone will have him.”

Okay, well that's stupid Peter. The Cowboys are never going to publicly say that no one else will want Hardy nor will they say publicly he's on the edge of not being a Cowboy anymore. Should they? Possibly, but I don't think any NFL teams would call out a player on the team in this fashion. If a Cowboys player did it, and I'm sure at least one thinks it, then he knows his comments would be chum in the water for a circus surrounding the team. These types of comments just aren't happening. 

Midway through the fourth quarter in a rout of Houston, Tannehill threw a 10-yard out pass to backup tight end Dion Sims. It was high, but Sims raised one hand and the ball bounced off it. Had he put both hands up, who knows? But it was a catchable ball, for sure. So Tannehill finished 18 of 19 for 282 yards with four touchdowns (all in the first 16 minutes) and no interceptions.

Player on the rise. Tannehill should play for the Rams so they could have a player on the rise for a team on the rise. In all non-snark, Tannehill has plenty of good players around him and it's about time the Dolphins let him play to the strengths of those players around Tannehill. Maybe now Tannehill won't feel the need to berate practice squad players, though I'm sure that report was totally untrue. 

Afterward I said to Tannehill it was a shame about that 19th throw. “What’s that?” he said. You know, I said, the fact that it ruined his perfect day. He acted as if it wasn’t a big deal, because of the way the day was game-planned.

Peter loves to do this shit. He loves to be cutesy by bringing up the one thing that went wrong on an otherwise flawless day when interviewing a player, as if no one but Peter is aware that one thing went wrong. It's like Peter wants the player to come off as a team player and be like, "My God, you are so smart to notice this one thing I didn't notice about my or the team's performance today." Why the fuck would Tannehill think this missed pass was a big deal when the Dolphins played so well otherwise? 

Obviously, the coaching change in Miami is agreeing with Tannehill. He’s an 83.3 percent passer in the two games since Dan Campbell took over. “He wants us to play like we played as kids, with a love of the game,” Tannehill said.

Peter King has a massive fucking erection right now. Ryan Tannehill says Dan Campbell wants the Dolphins to play the game like kids, precocious little kids who haven't a hair on their body from puberty and don't know the evils of life and how disappointing it is to grow up and be a man. Playing like kids for the love of the game as Peter stands to side and wonders why can't HE be a little kid. Then he could play the game like a little kid like Tannehill does. They could both be little kids, hugging after a touchdown, giving half-fives and grabbing some lemonade and hoping mom will let Ryan sleep over on a school night. Just this once. Brett Favre played the game like a child and that's how Dan Campbell wants the Dolphins to play, just like precocious little kids. Nothing is better in Peter's mind than watching kids play sports, even if he has to stay by law on the other side of the fence and at least 250 yards away from the action. 

Dan Campbell. Stop saying, “Who cares? He’s beaten Tennessee and Houston, and they stink.”

I mean, I'm not saying that, but this is still a relevant point. Even if Joe Philbin was a disaster as a coach, it doesn't mean the Dolphins aren't playing above their head right now. Maybe not, but it's possible the Dolphins aren't as good as they have shown themselves to be over the last two games and Joe Philbin was terrible at his job. There is an opinion in between these two that could be factual. 

Part of my job at NBC on Sundays is to pay particularly close attention to the 1 p.m. ET games before production work for the Football Night show begins in earnest. And the difference in the Dolphins has been startling. One sack in the first four games. Ten sacks in the two games since Campbell took over. Clearly the players are playing with more drive, more passion. If you don’t love what you’re doing, it’s going to show in your work, negatively. And it’s clear these players like playing for the new boss.

Well, the Dolphins also claimed to like playing for Joe Philbin at one point. Remember Cameron Wake with his "Philbin comes and talks to us at night and seems to really care for us now" comments? The Dolphins are now winning, which means they like playing for their coach. 

Tom Brady. The Patriots are 6-0. Brady has thrown one interception, in 251 passes. For those inclined to hate him, or treat him the way so many baseball fans treat Alex Rodriguez, for instance, nothing he does will change your mind about him.

I don't know if I understand the A-Rod comparison here, but that may just be me. Even some Yankees fans don't like A-Rod, while Patriots fans are fiercely protective of Brady. I guess it's an easy comparison because they are both considered cheaters. 

Rex Ryan. The Bills had the fourth-best defense, statistically, in football last year, and Ryan said in the spring, “I know we’ll be better this year.” They’re 11th this morning. Players are grousing about roles. The quarterback who played Sunday, EJ Manuel, shows occasional flashes of good deep-ball throwing, but he cannot be saved.

Another flashback moment...remember last year when Peter suggested that E.J. Manuel should just say "fuck it" and throw the ball deep down the field? I'm not sure what that memory has much to do with anything right now, but Peter's suggestion that Manuel can't be saved and he's good at throwing a deep ball every once in a while just made me remember it. 

Kawann Short. Short is the one demanding more attention these days, and he’s proving that Gettleman was smart to eschew a receiver or cornerback early in that ’13 draft. When you can get quick big guys on the defensive front, Gettleman believes you never pass on them—and the pick of Short is proving him right.

Actually, when a team can get quick big guys on the defensive front, I think nearly every GM thinks you can't pass on these types of players. It's not just Gettleman who is smart enough to think, "Man, that big guy sure is fat, fast and dominant. Perhaps I should try to acquire him through the draft." 

The great live-streaming experiment.

“First,” said Brian Rolapp, “we wouldn’t call it an experiment. We waited until now because we wanted to make sure the internet could handle it;

Of course. I mean, so many people have dial-up phones and Internet these days that the NFL and Yahoo had to make sure these people who wanted to watch the Buffalo-Jacksonville game had enough free hours of AOL to watch the entire game. 

My experiment with Bills-Jags on Yahoo, 

Geez Peter, it's not an experiment!

I suppose, was not unlike others in the United States with things to do on Sunday morning. In my Manhattan East Side apartment, I tried two devices, a laptop and a smart phone, just before the game kicked off. Got into immediately on both, and painlessly got the game up in time to see Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon give me a quick preview.

In Peter's "Manhattan East Side apartment" as opposed to simply, "my apartment," because it's important to know the exact location of Peter's apartment in order for this story about Internet to be told. Without Peter mentioning he lives on the East Side, I would have been totally confused. 

Rolapp and some NFL employees watched from a conference room on Park Avenue. “We had it up on laptops, tablets, Surfaces, iPhones, Roku, Xbox, everything we could think of,” he said, “and the stream held up well on all of them.”

I'm amazed to hear the NFL didn't have problems with the live stream video of the NFL football game that is the beginning of a new era in how the NFL presents their product to consumers. Here I thought the NFL would report the live stream didn't work at all and they are giving up trying to live stream games and any revenue they may go along with it. 

So the NFL wanted to see three things when it decided to take one of its three Sunday morning games from London and show it free on the internet only,

1. Will it lead to the league making more money?

2. Is there a way to present this product while also taking away a home game from one of the current NFL teams while also increasing how much money the NFL makes?

3. Will it lead to additional revenue for the NFL?

Two: The league wanted to see if there was an appetite for the game in some of the places where the NFL is underserved. Russia and China, for instance, and a Sunday morning game in Eastern Time would be a Sunday evening prime-time game in large swaths of Asia.

You know what? Fuck it, let's just put an NFL team in Taiwan. Why not? This live stream did well in that country, so obviously that means an entire NFL team can be supported in the country. Actually, here is a better idea. What if each NFL team has to play one international home game every year? Each team will play seven home regular season games per year and eight road games with an international game in there as a home game. Of course, season ticket holders will still be charged for 10 home games. 

Three: Would it all go smoothly enough so that the project might expand and more games would be exclusively streamed to the net beginning next year?

And if it goes smoothly once, why not expand the project to see if the Internet can handle more games exclusively streamed to the net? What if the NFL just stopped having football games in actual stadiums, still charged money to watch the games on the Internet, and simply played games in an empty venue where every person who would normally watch the game in the stadium has to pay to watch it on a computer? Of course, season ticket holders will still be charged extra for the 10 games they would go to if they actually were able to attend any of these games. 

The vast majority during the regular season and post-season are spoken for through 2020 and 2021. But there are three Sunday games (currently the early-window London games, starting at 9:30 a.m. ET) available, and there will be the Thursday night package in 2016; CBS is on a one-year deal for Thursdays in 2015, simulcasting with NFL Network and then ceding to NFL Network alone beginning in Week 9. That 16-game package is now up for negotiation for 2016 and beyond.

Money! Money! Money! 

I think it’s likely there could be a Sunday game plus at least one Thursday game headed for the internet in 2016.

It's a great idea actually. Usually the Thursday night games are shit, so why not share that shit with the rest of the world that doesn't have CBS or NFL Network? 

The MMQB asked fans around the world who watched the game on Sunday to send us their views of the streaming experience. Their responses were what you’d think if you watched: positive.

It's impossible for Peter to ignore this live streaming non-experiment of course, but it does sometimes feel like he's doing PR for the NFL and Yahoo in this MMQB. Nary a negative word was spoken about the live stream. Apparently no person in the world had an issue viewing the live stream. 

Tyrone Carriaga
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Gametime: 8:30 p.m. Sunday

“I watched at home using Apple TV. I watched because I do not see a live game as part of the TV package here. The start time was convenient as well. It looked like standard definition most of the game.

Standard definition? Where can I sign up for watching sports in standard definition? I have a television that I paid $2000 for which shows the best picture possible, but if I can get sports in standard definition instead of high definition then I'd like to sign up for this immediately! 

The rest of the comments are basically an advertisement for Yahoo and the NFL, including:

“I watched at home, on my phone and then my laptop. I try to watch as many games as I can. Big NFL fan. Playing at Wembley adds a little something extra. It's great to see a soccer temple being used for football. The quality was excellent. I expected a less-fluent transmission, but it turned out to be flawless.

Overall it was good. Quality on par with NFL Game Pass [the NFL’s subscription streaming service for fans outside the U.S. and Mexico]. No hassle, just click the link and it worked.”

I'll take any bit of NFL football any way I can.

I feel like the famous picture of Peter beside Roger Goodell eating lunch should be somewhere in this MMQB. It is not though, much to my dismay.

Watching NFL games on TV in Brazil is a very choppy experience: Between snaps (commercial breaks, timeouts, on-field reporting etc.), a lot of footage you see in the U.S. doesn't get televised here, so the viewing experience is not as good. The online stream was a smooth and consistent viewing experience. It was great. Much better than expected. Yahoo outdid themselves on the streaming quality.”

What if the NFL televised games on the Internet AND on a regular television? Or would that not work because it would mix revenue streams too much? I'm glad the game was a success, but it was one game, so I'm not jumping out of my seat with excitement quite yet. But Peter wants everyone who reads MMQB to know this non-experiment was a success. There was no hassle and it was in standard definition. All dreams have come true. 

More progress needs to be made. The co-chair of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, Seattle-based doctor Richard Ellenbogen, was in London for the conference. He is also one of the NFL’s unaffiliated head-trauma experts on the sidelines, and has the power to take a player off the field if he sees the player wobbly or otherwise showing symptoms of a concussion.

He has "the power" to do this. I'm a little confused as to how this gentleman is the co-chair of an NFL committee, but also unaffiliated with the NFL. Perhaps I'm just stupid. It just seems if he is the co-chair of an NFL committee then he is affiliated with the NFL in some way. 

I asked Ellenbogen if he ever felt like he, and those in the think tank Saturday, held the future of football and perhaps other contact sports in their hands. It’s clear that football is under such fire that its existence could be threatened if the fathers of the game don’t do more for the health and safety of players.

Because, yes Peter, Ellenbogen is going to say the NFL's existence would be threatened if they don't do more for the health and safety of the players. He's the co-chair of an NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee, but he will also pronounce the league DOA if he and the rest of his committee don't do more. I simply don't believe Ellenbogen would make it sound like the future of the NFL is in his hands, because that makes the situation sound dire. The NFL disapproves of this. 

“No question it’s important,” Ellenbogen said. “But the unintended consequences of getting rid of contact sports would be an unmitigated disaster. Whatever we do, please do not have the conversation about banning these [contact] sports. The benefits of sports—for physical health, for the benefits of being on a team—far outweigh the risks. I can’t even imagine the consequences if enrollment started declining in sports like football and lacrosse.”

Ah yes, a doctor who sounds like he is carrying water for the NFL. The benefit of sports OVERALL far outweigh the risks, but the risks of individual sports could outweigh the benefits of those sports. It is not as if lacrosse, football or any other sports considered "dangerous" were no longer active sports that kids and adults would have no other way of being in good physical health or exercising in any fashion. Contact sports aren't the only sports which provide good physical benefits to those who participate in sports. There are plenty of other sports that adults and children could play which would provide an opportunity for good physical health. I'm not saying to ban football, but this doctor isn't doing too much to convince me he's not carrying water for the NFL by answering a question this way. Ellenbogen is making it sound like there are no other options for those who want to exercise, other than these contact sports. 

“All losses hurt. Some leave a deep scar. This is one of those.”

—Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith. The Bucs blew a 24-0 lead at Washington and lost, 31-30.

This may not be a good thing for a head coach to say. The last thing a head coach usually wants is for his players to dwell on a difficult loss. Great way to set an example for a young quarterback and Lovie's team by saying a loss left a deep scar. Even if it's true, does Lovie really want his team focusing on the tough loss and not trying to move on to the next game? Kudos to him for being honest, I guess. 

“If they trade me, I’d quit today.”

—Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., perhaps nervous that one of the teams most inclined to trade in recent NFL history—the Ravens and their pragmatic GM, Ozzie Newsome—are on the verge of going 1-6 with the trading deadline eight days away. He made his remarks to the team’s website.

I don't believe Smith would retire if he were traded. Still, one can see why the Panthers inexplicably released Smith two seasons ago. It's not that he's a bad guy by any measure, but he can be difficult at times. This is one of those times. He'd rather continue to play on a losing team than move teams halfway through his last season in the NFL in an effort to get a Super Bowl ring. 


Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, cornerback, New York Giants. There’s the Matt Cassel factor here—he threw interceptions on three straight series midway through the Giants’ 27-20 win over the Cowboys on Sunday in New Jersey—but credit Rodgers-Cromartie for being in the right place at the right time for two picks totaling 70 return yards and one touchdown.

The important thing to note here is that Peter believes Matt Cassel was terrible in his only start this season, yet later in MMQB Peter will make it seems like the Bills made a mistake by trading Cassel at the beginning of the season and keeping E.J. Manuel. I guess the terrible QB the Bills traded is better than the terrible QB on the Bills' roster. 


The Houston Texans. Just an awful performance, falling behind 41-0, being outgained at one point 275-0. Time to do the proverbial look-selves-in-the-mirror and the gut-check and, well, all the other clich├ęs.

I can't imagine what could go wrong when the Texans collect every backup quarterback the Patriots didn't want. How can Bill O'Brien fail as a head coach? He is affiliated with the Patriots AND he seemed like such a decisive team leader when the cameras were rolling for "Hard Knocks." It's almost like cameras can lie. 

EJ Manuel, quarterback, Buffalo.

He followed that up with interceptions on the next two series, including one right into the arms of Telvin Smith, who returned it for a touchdown. Great end zone view on the Yahoo stream, with Manuel staring the entire time at the spot he threw to, and Smith baiting and waiting. Easy pick.

Excellent view by that Yahoo stream. Enough about football, Peter wants to talk some more about Yahoo and how great the stream was of the Bills and Jaguars game. You could see, in standard definition, by how much Blake Bortles was overthrowing his receivers. What a country! No, because this was an international broadcast, what a world!

Buffalo’s worst nightmare—first when drafting Manuel in 2013, then when dealing Matt Cassel to Dallas for a 2017 fifth-round pick.

Is this their worst nightmare? Is Matt Cassel playing for the Bills really what would fix their season? Cassel didn't exactly blow the roof off the joint in his one start with the Cowboys behind a pretty good Cowboys offensive line. Is the crappy QB not on the roster really a better option than the crappy QB on the Bills' roster? 

You may not recall this. It’s been almost 10 years. But when the Patriots decided to let Adam Vinatieri go in free agency, the team was criticized in some corners for not ponying up to re-sign the kicker, who’d been the epitome of clutch.

I remember it vividly. Shockingly, someone other than Peter King can recall events that occurred longer than a few years ago. It comes as a huge surprise to Peter this is true. 

• In Vinatieri’s six years (regular-season and post-season) playing for Bill Belichick, he made 82.9 percent of his field goals.

• In Gostkowski’s 10 years playing for Belichick, he has made 87.7 percent of his field goals.

Yeah, but Vinatieri was the epitome of clutch, so that has to count for something, right? 

In the last 10 games against each team in their division, the Patriots are:

• 8-2 against the Jets.

• 8-2 against the Dolphins.

• 8-2 against the Bills.

Again I will ask, is this a product of the Patriots being great or the division not being very good? The AFC South is crap and the Colts have been feeding from that division for quite a few years now, but when criticizing teams like the Seahawks who make the playoffs at 7-9 just remember there may be a 12-4 team that made the playoffs based on competing in a shitty division. 

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I traveled six miles Friday evening to Barclays Center—what a pleasant surprise, seeing Mr. and Mrs. Brasco, Don and Alissa Banks, there—to watch an Islanders hockey game. Hockey in Brooklyn. What a country.

Rich white people all got to the same hockey game in Brooklyn. Peter left his apartment on the East Side and went to this hockey game. What a country to see someone that Peter knows at a hockey game! What a world! What a planet! What a solar system!

The place wasn’t invented for hockey. I feel for the fans who have to travel from the Island to see the Islanders.

The venue sucked. What a country. 

Bonus: The drinks and food are really good there. Brooklyn Lager on tap, with a slice of square Williamsburg Pizza, terrific crust and fairly light, complete with fresh basil.

The pizza had good crust and fresh basil? So basically it 

I was unsure if this was terrible or not, but now that the Football Coach Jesus says it is, then I guess Greg Hardy's behavior was terrible. I bet Tony Dungy wants to mentor Greg Hardy. That is Dungy's thing. He wants to mentor. Perhaps someone should mentor Dungy on how to win more than one Super Bowl with Peyton Manning. 

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 7:

c. Fantastic throw, catch and lunge for the touchdown by the Jags’ Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson on the first touchdown of Sunday.

Ask Davon House, Blake Bortles can throw the ball just like Aaron Rodgers. Just minus the talent, throwing ability, feel for the pass rush and any other attribute that makes Rodgers so great. 

i. Good CBS graphic in the first half at Foxboro: Pats 46-4 in their previous 50 home games, best 50-game home record in the league in at least the past 50 years.

BREAKING NEWS: The Patriots are a really good team. 

m. The tip-of-the-fingertips catch by Gary Barnidge, Cleveland’s emerging stalwart tight end. (You just might read about him very soon at The MMQB.)

Don't tease us about this, Peter. I bet Barnidge is a free agent after this season and Peter wants to describe how Marvin Demoff (I have no idea if that is Barnidge's agent or not) can structure a compensation package exactly to where the Browns won't be able to compete with it. 

p. Incredible effort by Detroit’s Ziggy Ansah, sprinting 72 yards to catch Adrian Peterson and knock him out of bounds at the 3-yard line. It saved Detroit four points. Instead of Peterson scoring a touchdown, the Vikes settled for a field goal.

This note about great hustle from Ansah will not appear in TMQ, because Ansah is a first round glory boy pick. If it does show up, I'm sure Peter would focus on how Peterson, a highly-drafted glory boy who brags about how great he is, was caught from behind. 

w. The transcendent year Josh Norman is having for Carolina. Did you see the pass-breakup he had near the end of the first half, which looked absolutely like the touchdown the Eagles desperately needed? Norman sold out, flicked it away, and saved four points; the frustrated Eagles settled for a field goal.

Norman made a great play, but he was sort of beaten. He had no choice at the time but to sell out and dive to block the pass away from the Eagles player. 

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 7:

b. Folks online (Twitter, elsewhere) grousing they couldn’t watch the Buffalo-Jacksonville on their big screens. Stop. Just stop. Buffalo-Jacksonville, first of all. Second: It’s bonus football, in a specially created window because it’s a London game. Third: 95 percent of the complainers would never have watched this game anyway. So stop.

I love how Peter writes this. He's really pushing this Yahoo live stream isn't he? Peter wants to write about how popular the game was, while also dismissing the game as not being worth showing on television because it is Buffalo-Jacksonville. Apparently Buffalo-Jacksonville is good enough to be watched by 30 million+ people online, but not good enough to be shown on the television. This is as opposed to all those great games played in London that have been televised. You know, all those games between two teams that don't have winning records.

I actually tried to watch the game, but didn't feel like watching it on my computer. I did not complain about it, but I can understand why some people may have. Peter doesn't think this complaints are worth much though, because 95% (and that's an exact number) would not have watched this game anyway.

k. Brandon LaFell’s hands in his first game back from injury for New England. Four first-half drops. Six for the game.

Brandon LaFell at his worst. Hands of stone. 

n. Valuable and versatile Carolina rookie hurricane Shaq Thompson (knee), who’s been an eye-opening addition, sitting on Sunday night.

q. The Bills’ inactive list for Sunday: the starting quarterback (Tyrod Taylor), two starting-caliber wideouts (Sammy Watkins, Percy Harvin), one of the best defensive tackles in football (Kyle Williams), a starting offensive tackle (Seantrel Henderson), and an emerging running back (Karlos Williams).

Players get hurt. This is why an 18 game schedule would never work. I'm not sure the playoffs would be much fun to watch if the NFL went to an 18 game schedule. 

y. Not to harp on this stat,

Peter will now harp on this stat. As soon as he says he doesn't want to or won't do something, he tends to do that exact thing. 

but there’s a symmetry to the Colts in the Pagano/Luck Era now: Indy is 20-20 in games outside the division, including playoffs.

I mean, it was just last year that Peter was talking about what a great coach Chuck Pagano is and all of that. Now Peter is pointing out how the Colts can't beat teams that aren't in their division. Life comes at you fast. 

Though his production has plummeted, he’s gotten paid. In his three post-Vikings seasons, Harvin has been paid $31.5 million. Comparing his production as a Viking to his production with the Seahawks, Jets and Bills:

• Vikings (54 games): 387 touches from scrimmage, 10.3 yards per touch, 24 touchdowns … 27.9 yards per kick return, five touchdowns.

• Seahawks, Jets, Bills (19 games): 109 touches from scrimmage, 8.7 yards per touch, three touchdowns … 24.8 yards per kick return, no touchdowns.

He's the Josh Freeman of wide receivers. Of course, Peter won't harp on Harvin's lack of production as he did for Freeman's lack of production because Harvin didn't help to get Peter's buddy fired. 

8. I think if you believe Sunday was the end of the Jets for this season, after the Patriots made sure all is back to normal in the AFC East with a home win over New York, consider these points:

I don't know if anyone thought this was the end of the Jets for the season. I'm not sure why Peter is writing this. 

• The Jets are 4-2.

• In the next seven weeks, they play teams with a combined record of 18-28: at Oakland (3-3), Jacksonville (2-5), Buffalo (3-4), at Houston (2-5), Miami (3-3), at the Giants (4-3), and Tennessee (1-5).

Tell me why it’s unlikely the Jets could be 10-3 entering the final three games of the season: a fascinating Week 15 Saturday night game at Dallas (with Tony Romo, presumably, back), the Patriots at home two days after Christmas, and a nippy affair at Buffalo three days into 2016. I’m just saying I certainly don't consider the AFC East race to be wide open, but it might not be over yet.

Peter, you are the one who is talking about how dominant the Patriots have been in their division. Not many other people are claiming the AFC race is over. You are countering an argument that I'm not sure many people are making. 

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

g. RIP Cory Wells, one of the lead singers of Three Dog Night. I show my age here, but I loved that band. “Shambala” and “Mama Told Me Not To Com,” were two of Wells’ best.

"Mama Told Me Not to Com" was the first song to encourage people to stay off the Internet. It's the anti-technology song to end all anti-technology songs. Mama told him not to com, but he logged on anyway. Probably to watch the Buffalo-Jacksonville live stream. 

k. Did you see the Georgia Tech player, waving teammates away from the loose ball that would become a return for the winning touchdown of Florida State-Georgia Tech? Good thing at least one Yellow Jacket paid no attention. Coaches: Don’t assume your players know all the rules. 

NFL players don't know the rules. There is evidence the officials in the NFL don't know the rules. So this doesn't surprise me the players in college and the NFL may not know the rules. 

m. Beernerdness: Had a Sidewinder Southwest Pale Ale (Revolver Brewing, Granbury, Texas), made with water from an aquifer on the property of the brewery—and a hint of agave, which is a first for me in a beer, I think—and really enjoyed it.

Peter drank a pale ale! This was a beer that didn't require a fruit or anything like a slice of an orange in it to taste good! This is progress!

n. Hockey’s a strange game. The Devils lost their first four games, 3-1, 5-3, 3-1 and 2-1. In the past week, they won their next four: 2-1, 3-2, 5-4 and 4-2.

It's crazy that one result for a team doesn't mean that team will have the result in every single game. How amazing that professional sports teams will play well or play poorly over short stretches of the season. What a country. Only in hockey. 

The Adieu Haiku

The byes wreak havoc.
No Bengals, Packers, Broncos.
Week seven: quite meh.

There are six undefeated teams, but none of the undefeated teams were interesting enough for Peter. Much like the Adieu Haiku, Week 7 was "meh." In fact, the best thing about the week was the Yahoo live stream. What a great success for the NFL! Has Peter mentioned what a great success it was? He really enjoyed watching it in his apartment on the East Side of Manhattan.


Slag-King said...

I was unsure if this was terrible or not, but now that the Football Coach Jesus says it is, then I guess Greg Hardy's behavior was terrible.

Ouch, Ben, while I usually enjoy most (if not all) of your comments, this one is a bit over the top. I realize that Tony Dungy is an outspoken Christian, but easy on the Jesus reference here. Tony Dungy is only here because Peter thinks his words are worth more than gold (cough, cough, NBC nepotism, cough, cough).

An aside. I was in Mexico this past weekend and missed the Panthers' game; however, I was looking at the live blog of the game. There was one that caught my eye, and I could not find any information from any analysts about two calls. Here is the situation: the pass interference call on Kuechly when the pass was not tipped. The live blogger said that the PI interference call was made after the review, and that it was the second time that it had happened in the game. Can anyone clarify this? I don't remember any games where the penalty was assessed after the review (the flag was not thrown during the play, from what I understand).

Chris said...

I actually kind of like the player reactions to Peter's attempts to at the cutesy shit when he interviews. When looking at the responses it's not difficult to imagine the guys getting quickly annoyed with Peter and giving him a quick worded response to get him away from them.

shaco said...

yo Slag-King, I respectfully disagree: nothing should be free from criticism or being joked about. Censorship is always worse because it is inherently subjective and is therefore subject to abuse, see: death threats (and attacks, Charlie Hebdo), or the MSNBC host who tried to claim "hard work" is a racist term (enabling of the victim culture), etc. Kanye West is able to self-anoint himself as the second coming of Jesus, so that might suggest the level to which the general public feels it needs to 'protect' Jesus.

Also, this will be of interest to anyone who has been following along since the Simmons days: Grantland has been put out of its misery by ESPN. If you think Simmons was trite, some of their non-Zach Lowe/Kirk Goldsberry/Bill Barnwell regulars would have been chum-in-the-water around here.

Slag-King said...

Shaco--That's fine. Christians are not exempt from ben's scathing pen (keyboard?) or anyone else's for that matter. I never asked him to censor his work, just tone down if he wishes (I respectfully asked, not commanded). If the comment I made previously was too strong, then I apologize. Thank you for your comment.

Wonder where Zach Lowe and Bill Barnwell will go since I like their analysis.

By the way, Ben, you're doing a fine job as it is.

shaco said...

You do not need to apologize, you are entitled to your opinion and you comment much more often than I do. I misread your intent and overreacted so I am sorry for that. I would guess you come here to read the mocking and rebuttals of terrible sportswriting, not to have your beliefs challeneged and belittled or engage in censorship debates and I can get on board with that. (There shall be separation of church

Chris S. said...

This is just a hunch -- dare I say, something I think I think -- but I doubt that "Tyrone Carriaga" is a native-born Vietnamese man who has been waiting all his life to see the blessed spectacle that is American football. The NFL can talk all they want about "emerging markets," but the vast, vast majority of overseas viewers are Americans living overseas. Look at ESPN America, which is shown in Europe: tailor-made for the American living abroad. The NFL isn't looking to develop the game, but to find a way to tap into the fanaticism of the average American fan in absentia.

Frank said...

"Bonus: The drinks and food are really good there. Brooklyn Lager on tap, with a slice of square Williamsburg Pizza, terrific crust and fairly light, complete with fresh basil."

...? WTF? This man gets paid to write a football column?