NFL 2018

Well Peterman was technically the week one starter and there's no way he should have even been on an NFL roster.  What a wreck, the Bills have dropped themselves into the bottom level of the league.  Hard to even imagine they were a playoff team a year ago and consistently around 500.  Probably the worst thing though is in an organization and with a coaching staff so utterly clueless about quarterbacks, Allen is being set up for failure big time, and my take was he was the prospect that needed the most help.

Read a great quote to the effect: "What Gruden needed was someone with an even shorter attention span than himself to unload Cooper on and fortunately there's Jerry Jones out there who has the football smarts of a fruit fly."  Get ready Dallas fans for the fun and excitement of someone who can't run a route or catch a football.  He's fast though, and from Alabama so he must be good right? 

I do delight in the continued unmasking of Gruden as a complete moron every week though, man I hated him on Monday Night Football.   What an ass kissing tool.  Now it's worth tuning in to a match up as uninspiring as Giants v Falcons just to listed to Booger McFarland.  I could use more Booger on NFL broadcasts.

It's painful to watch the 49ers every week.  -15 in turnover margin.  The coaching staff has to be held accountable for that.  I look at the Eagles and see 8 fumbles lost and think if they get that fixed they're back in the top group, then I look at the Niners and there's 10 interceptions on top of the 8 fumbles, you can't beat anyone like that.

Saints game was fun, what a killer schedule.  Vikings next then Rams.  The highlight of this week is that neither the Cowboys or Giants are in prime time.  What's the line though for Monday night?  I think I wouldn't take the Bills without getting at least 28 points.

Pop up poll; what is the bigger lie?

A. " I have 4 offers I don't even have to interview for"  Williams.

B. "I get a lot of phone calls from guys dying to come play here".  Gruden.

If you're a fan of one of those four teams, you hope that's not true of course.  If you're a Raiders fan you hope Gruden was lying or he just cost you a draft pick for tampering.  That no other team has complained, and the NFL has stayed silent about the claim, tells you no one in the NFL except Mark Davis pays any attention to anything Gruden says.

2016 Raiders and Cowboys, 2017 Jags, and this years winner 2018 Texans.  They're 1-1 against teams with winning records, and only play one more team (Washington) currently over 500.  They'll finish 12-4 at worst, and then next year be a sexy Super Bowl pick that finishes, 8-8.  Schedule matters.

I'm going to skip the afternoon game Sunday and work probably.  Saints at 10AM finally.  Bloody Mary's and Kermit start at 9:30 at my place.

So yesterday I got all derivative of Seinfeld.  This was an actual inner monologue I had yesterday:  "It's 3 PM, you're falling asleep in your chair, and you're watching the Raiders,  what are you clinging to?"  I got up and helped out in the Tasting Room.  Quick poll number two.  Which fans are more delusional?

A. Raiders fans who think this was all part of some mastermind plan of Chucky.

B Cowboys fan who after each in -frequent win over a sub 500 team are convinced they're on their way to running off an unbeaten streak and a Super Bowl win.

That's it, I'm not going to watch or pick on the Raiders any more this season, there are plenty of other people doing that.

I thought if the Saints were going to have a game they came out flat on it would be against the Bengals.  It was on the road and the one unemotional game left on the schedule against a 5-3 team.  I was dead wrong about that.  I do have some advice for the league.  Stop making decisions about coaches and players after playing the Saints.  Ok the Bengals defense has been terrible, but no one was going to fix that against the Saints.  If next week you can't stop the Ravens or the Browns after that, ok make a move.  You make a move after playing the Saints and you end up with Peterman as your quarterback.  That 4th quarter touchdown drive Jeff Driskel pulled off, that was exactly a duplicate of what convinced the Bills to make Peterman a starter last year.

I couldn't believe the Panthers looked that bad against the Steelers.  That was shocking.

I'm looking forward to the Niners game tonight, with two evenly matched train wrecks playing it should be fun.  Ok one last Gruden dig I read this morning.  Last week Nick Mullens kept trying to talk back into his helmet when they would give him plays.  Finally one of the other players told him it's a one way mic and no one could hear him.  Gruden lost 34-3 to a guy who didn't know how his helmet worked.  Yeah I'm sure he's got a master plan.  

jcocktosten posted:

I know the offenses are good, but what kind of defense was that last night?  Saints would score 75 points against those Ds

Non-existing. Funny to see a lot of comments about how great a game it was. To me, it would be a farce of NBA all-star proportions.

Hockey > football.

 

Weren't there 2 pick-6 and a fumble recovery for a touchdown?   The Chiefs have been scoring points all year, and their defense have been giving up almost as many with the exception of 1-2 games. Rams are a very solid team.  I wouldn't use this game to say that the NFL has turned into an NBA.  

Fun week.  Mike McCarthy and Ron Rivera (could be Stan Lee creations when you say them together) uphold the long NFL coaching tradition of not understanding arithmetic. 

Ok, you lose your QB, but how does a team that holds the Patriots to 10 points give up 38 to the Colts?

Giants v Bucs, Raiders v Cardinals, firmly establishes the Cardinals as the worst team in the NFL by a mile.  I know they managed to beat the 49ers twice, but man they suck.

I watched a lot of the Steelers game.  It was like they were uninterested, just cruise through the first 50 minutes and then bury the Jags.  My 8-8 prediction for the Jags looks grossly off.

The Bengals played the Ravens and if no one cared did it still happen?

I enjoy watching the Bears on defense.  Chaos.  It's like an old LA crew offline every week.

Texans on their way to no worse than 12-4 without beating a single team that will finish with a winning record.  Alex Smith, is that the unluckiest guy ever.  He's got a second career as a cooler in Vegas for sure.

Cowboys beat another sub .500 team.  Super Bowl bound for sure!

Who knows what to make of the Chargers.  They got all sexy when everyone realized their only loses were to the Rams and Chiefs.  But then the wins were against the Cards, Niners and Raiders twice, the three worst teams in the league, and then two .500 teams.  It gets tougher for them now and they've not really shown any toughness so far.

Don't worry about the Rams v Chiefs being the future of the NFL.  You need a decent coach and a good QB to pull that off and that eliminates 25 teams right there.  In the end in those situations you have to count on your defense to take the ball away.  The team that does that wins the shootout.

Who dat? 

This week I read an article on Bill James.  The basics of the article was most people don't understand his impact on baseball at all.  It's not that he was a stats guy, or invented new stats, or the famous quote made baseball as fun as doing your taxes.  It was he challenged the bullshit and did it with data.  To me probably the most important thing was he challenged the data (batting average) with other data (OBP and runs created).  Luis Aparicio and Bert Campaneris should have never batted leadoff, that was bullshit, but they did.

Football doesn't have that guy, or anyone really challenging the bullshit and bullshit still rules so many teams.  

Let's take Terik Cohen.  He has all that speed, and 'elusiveness'.  He can 'do it all' with great stats in returns and receiving and he runs that 4.4 - 40 .  So what, he sucks.  Two plays Thanksgiving day.  Play number one, the Lions line up with 4 men down, 1 linemaker and 1 safety at 20 yards.  5 men in the box, 5 out wide.  Easy defense to read, I did it from my couch.  Cohen takes the hand off and bounces outside for a loss.  Outside?  Against 5 men in the box?

Latter, Lions go 4 down, 3 linebackers at 3 yards, safety up and one at 20 yards.  Classic 8 men in the box.  Cohen gets the ball and grinds it right up the middle.  He's hit behind the line but manages a short gain.  He only ran the ball three times, and two he made terrible reads/plays.

Let's take Frank Gore, and his 20,000 yards gained.  Gore has one of the lowest wonderlich scores ever.  I remember watching him run in 2014 and thinking, he was at that point slower than all the punters in the league and probably 3/4 of the place kickers.  I'm pretty sure I could have chased him down from behind.  Maybe right now Janikowski is the only guy slower in the league.

Gore never reads a defense wrong, never.  The last blocking assignment he missed was during the Clinton administration.   He never has to come out of a game because of a down and distance situation, which means he can fire off 8 yard gains on 3rd and 7 even though any one of the cheerleaders could tackle him if they had read the play right.

Last night I watched Colin Kaepernick, disguised as Marcus Mariota play for the Titans.  What a stat line 22-23, 300+ yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions.  He sucked, sucked.....sucked.  Six sacks, and they had little to do with the Texans, he regularly held the ball for 4 even 5 plus seconds.  When he wasn't getting sacked he was scrambling for 2 yard gains.  Exciting, and terrible quarterback play.  Is he fixable?  Do the Titans even know he's broken?  An incompletion is better than a sack, every time.  Someone needs to do the data to stop the bullshit.

That leads to the Jags and the dreaded playoff run that teams playing a 4th place schedule (2016 Cowboys and Raiders, 2017 Jags) get themselves into.  It creates delusion, teams buy into the bullshit.   The Jags needed to rid themselves of Bortles, but the wins and stats created an illusion of success.  Then there's Fournette.  Everyone participates in the bullshit.  He's a great fantasy player, always gets at least 70 yards (usually on 25 carries) and scores touchdowns.  He gets a lot of fantasy points, and somehow realy NFL GM's, who really should know better can't see the bullshit.  He puts your team in 2nd and 9 and 3rd and 8 all the time.  That sets up failure for a QB who struggles with 2nd and 2.  Two wasted top 5 picks.  But the bullshit says they're 'ok'. 

The Jags won last year on turnover margin, something I'm sure even a quick look at the data would show is more luck than anything and subject to correcting back to .500 year over year.  The Jags convinced themselves they had something special.  Maybe they can hire Gruden in a couple years to fix what was always broken, but they refused to see.

patespo1 posted:

How about those Browns!  Nice to have an exciting team to root for again, their youthful roster leaves a lot of reason for hope.  I was completely wrong about Baker Mayfield, which is probably why I'm not in an NFL front office.

You can't ever judge a QB in year one, else Goff would have been out of the league after his first year and RG3 would be in the hall of fame.  It's how he adjusts after the other teams figure him out.  Getting rid of a coach with no history of success developing a QB should help.  The litmus test will be if the Browns even consider keep WIlliams as coach.  If they do, I'd expect a serious sophomore slump.  

The Browns picks this year were not horrible, it was the opportunity cost.  If Mayfield and Ward were their guys, neither is terrible, but they could have gotten them both with the #4 pick and something around #12-#18.  The sexiest trade would have been to the Jets, who showed they were willing to swap 1sts and 3 2nds to move up.  The Browns could have had both their guys and 3 additional second round picks.

thistlintom posted:

Dark Prescott had a great first year, then fell off in year 2 as Paul suggests happens, now he coming back and looking good again.  He may be a keeper

Of course having an elite receiver like Cooper since he joined the team - who is playing like it again helps

jcocktosten posted:
flwino posted:
jcocktosten posted:

Dolphins/Pats game was unexpected.

What college used that play a few years ago?  Had same result.  For the live of me, I forgot.

Boise State - reason they call the play Boise

That was beautiful and to pull it off against the Pats was just sooooo sweet.

steve8 posted:
jcocktosten posted:
flwino posted:
jcocktosten posted:

Dolphins/Pats game was unexpected.

What college used that play a few years ago?  Had same result.  For the live of me, I forgot.

Boise State - reason they call the play Boise

That was beautiful and to pull it off against the Pats was just sooooo sweet.

Sure was.  Watching Gronk stumble around was awesome.  That said, Pats should have put that game away - sack at the end of the 1st half was crazy 

Right around 15 seems like the right spot for Prescott.  Actually somewhere between 12 and 18 on any given Sunday.  His value is how he ranks relative to cap hit.  Thinking about it off the top of my head I might put him top 3.  I think Brees and Brady deliver for their huge hit.  Rodgers I think is the best QB in the league but his cap hit and the Packers personnel ineptitude results in a 5 win team.  Does that make sense? 

Brees was a top QB 2014-2016, but his hit on the cap and the Saints personnel moves made three 7-9 teams so you could argue to value he was not a top 10 QB those years.   Last year Case Keenum was a valuable player, this year he is not.

The Cowboys have about 45 million in cap space next year, and they've said they want to extend him early.  If they do they're sure to pay him like a top 5 QB instead of a top 18 QB.  The likely result is a 25 million + hit.  That leaves little room to extend Elliot, and resign Lawrence.   It seems you can do two of those things but not all three, which means you leave Elliot on a rookie contract, something very unpopular with star players, or you don't resign Lawrence.  The other alternatives are letting go of one of those high priced OL contracts, or deciding an injured all the time Sean Lee isn't worth $10m.  

In any event your team is getting worse around Prescott not better, and there's no room to sign any FA's outside the organization.   In 2019 you're getting a 20-25 slot in the draft, and a division champ schedule, so things don't get easier.  A harder schedule with a less talented team, doesn't make for a promising 2019.

The next year you're going to have to pay Elliot one way or another, and Cooper comes due.  Huge cuts elsewhere will have to happen to keep those guys around.

That's the thing about  QB's and the cap hit.  If you're going to take a huge hit, they must deliver because other parts of the team are going to suffer.  They have to be great to make up for what you're giving up.  

stefaniawine posted:

Right around 15 seems like the right spot for Prescott.  Actually somewhere between 12 and 18 on any given Sunday.  His value is how he ranks relative to cap hit.  Thinking about it off the top of my head I might put him top 3.  I think Brees and Brady deliver for their huge hit.  Rodgers I think is the best QB in the league but his cap hit and the Packers personnel ineptitude results in a 5 win team.  Does that make sense? 

 

I don't agree he's a Top 3 QB relative to his cap value.  Thinking about all the young QBs out there and are winning, there's Goff, Mahomes, Wentz off the top of my head.  Dak is more in line with Trubitsky.  

doubled posted:
stefaniawine posted:

Right around 15 seems like the right spot for Prescott.  Actually somewhere between 12 and 18 on any given Sunday.  His value is how he ranks relative to cap hit.  Thinking about it off the top of my head I might put him top 3.  I think Brees and Brady deliver for their huge hit.  Rodgers I think is the best QB in the league but his cap hit and the Packers personnel ineptitude results in a 5 win team.  Does that make sense? 

 

I don't agree he's a Top 3 QB relative to his cap value.  Thinking about all the young QBs out there and are winning, there's Goff, Mahomes, Wentz off the top of my head.  Dak is more in line with Trubitsky.  

exactly

Ah I see what I did, I implied it was Brees, Brady, Prescott as the top three.   I was trying to use Brees, Brady and Rodgers as an example of value relative to cap hit,  not say that Brees, Brady, Prescott was my ranking.  Sometimes you need an editor.

Wentz and Goff both have hits around 7.5 million, Prescott's is like $700k.  I think this year he's outplayed Wentz.  I may be biased there because my most obvious comparison is how each performed against the Saints.  Mahomes hit is around 2.5 million.   Goff has sucked it up the past two weeks, so I was thinking relative to cap space he'd moved ahead of him.  I think about it this way: Prescott and a 7 million dollar OLman is much better value than Wentz has been this year.  How in the world did I get defending Dak Prescott?  Tony Romo is still a better QB sitting in the booth right now, but the Cowboys can't pay him.

Prescott's 'suck line' is pretty horrible this year 7/48/6 (interceptions, sacks, fumbles lost), not indicative of a good QB.  I've been asked to write something about 'suck line' that might get published.  I'm trying to figure out a good way to weight it and not just add it up.  ( a lost fumble is worse that a sack, but how much worse?)  It's a pretty telling stat, I just need to figure out how to weight it, and maybe factor out marginal irregularities (A QB on a team trailing often is going to get sacked much more than one on a team leading, all else being equal).  Anyway for your entertainment this afternoon:

Brees = 4/13/1 (freaking amazing)

Rodgers = 1/39/2 (there's the impact of always being behind in the sack totals I think, plus the injury)

Brady = 8/18/2

Mahomes = 11/23/2

Goff = 11/29/3 (that's a lot of sacks for a QB leading all the time, and not having mobility issues like Rodgers)

Wentz = 7/31/6

Prescott = 7/48/6

Wilson = 6/39/2

Mariota = 8/39/2 (really bad considering that's not a full 13 games)

Bortles = 6/39/2

stefaniawine posted:
patespo1 posted:

How about those Browns!  Nice to have an exciting team to root for again, their youthful roster leaves a lot of reason for hope.  I was completely wrong about Baker Mayfield, which is probably why I'm not in an NFL front office.

You can't ever judge a QB in year one, else Goff would have been out of the league after his first year and RG3 would be in the hall of fame.  It's how he adjusts after the other teams figure him out.  Getting rid of a coach with no history of success developing a QB should help.  The litmus test will be if the Browns even consider keep WIlliams as coach.  If they do, I'd expect a serious sophomore slump.  

The Browns picks this year were not horrible, it was the opportunity cost.  If Mayfield and Ward were their guys, neither is terrible, but they could have gotten them both with the #4 pick and something around #12-#18.  The sexiest trade would have been to the Jets, who showed they were willing to swap 1sts and 3 2nds to move up.  The Browns could have had both their guys and 3 additional second round picks.

To be clear, I agree about judging Baker on his on-field abilities is premature. 

When the Browns drafted him, I thought he was a cocky hot-head that would alienate his older teammates, when in fact he has been the complete opposite.  Full of confidence and swagger, he actually has all of his teammates loving the way he is on and off the field. 

Having lived through Tim Couch, Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn, Johnny Manziel, etc. etc., Baker has been refreshing to watch. 

patespo1 posted:

When the Browns drafted him, I thought he was a cocky hot-head that would alienate his older teammates, when in fact he has been the complete opposite.  Full of confidence and swagger, he actually has all of his teammates loving the way he is on and off the field. 

Having lived through Tim Couch, Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn, Johnny Manziel, etc. etc., Baker has been refreshing to watch. 

I started discounting the cocky thing in 1979.  It was the dig against Joe Montana, so obviously not important.  One doesn't get to be an NFL QB without it and there seems to be no correlation with that commentary and success or failure.  (Montana and Ryan Leaf).  The thing you want to look out for is: "He's just a winner, and knows how to win".  That means he's coming from a good program and has obvious flaws and weaknesses (Manzel). 

doubled posted:

While your "suck line" (interceptions/sacks/fumbles) is a good indicator, you still need the eye test to confirm.  Bortles should be at the Bottom 5 of any starting QB rankings.  

Bortles numbers are pretty bad and he also only has 10 1/2 games.  This started for me on the Saints board when I defended the position that Brees' suck numbers are deflated by the Saints having 11+ point leads for large stretches.  He rarely is forced into throwing situations or situations where he has to hold the ball or force the ball in. 

I used Bortles as an example.  In the first 4 games of the year when the Jags went 3-1 and he was never really forced into a throwing situation.  His line:

3/6/0

The next four games the Jags get blown out and he's forced to throw from behind.  His line:

5/12/3

He was benched in one of those games also after two fumbles, or the numbers would be even worse.  Over a full season that's 12/24/0 (very good) vs 20/48/12 (very bad)

For Brees it turns out the numbers are about the same in close games vs blow outs, so I'm thinking the spread might be a good indicator of how good a QB is.  Great QB's perform well under all situations.  Seems like an obvious statement, but then you have SI writing an article about Mariota that he had a good game against the Texans and quoting the traditional stat line 22/23/303/2/0.  Mariota's suck line was 0/6/0  Not a good game, and failed the eyeball test for sure.

Reid has always struggled to make halftime or in game adjustments to his game plan.  He got out coached, just like Tomlin did the week before.  Impressive back to back performances by Anthony Lynn who basically came out at half time each game and made his counterpart look like a fool each time.  I was unimpressed with the Chargers given their schedule, but have flipped on that.  They'll be very tough in the playoffs.

I've always called that coaching the John Thompson effect.  No one could recruit, train and prepare a team like John Thompson.   Then any junior high coach with a working knowledge of the game could out coach him once the ball was tipped off.

Good slate of games this weekend.  Saints v Steelers should be a lot of fun.

And just when it's been weeks since I've made fun of The Gru, he goes out and offers a tryout to the worst QB in the history of the NFL. 

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