Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» OFI: SEC Surprises

In an opening week where even the elite teams in college football looked mortal, the SEC had two big surprises in Texas A&M and Georgia defeating their South Carolinian opponents by big scores.

28 Sep 2008

Audibles at the Line: Week 4

compiled by Doug Farrar and Vince Verhei

Each Sunday, the FO staff sends around e-mails to each other, both during and after the games. It lets us share ideas for columns and comments, and get an idea of how teams that we can't watch are playing. Be aware that the material in this roundtable might seem a bit disjointed and un-edited. It also might still show up later in the week in other columns, or in comments in PFP 2009. Games are chosen based on our own personal viewing preferences, and are going to reflect the teams we support and the cities where we live.

San Francisco 49ers 17 at New Orleans Saints 31

Bill Barnwell: The Saints' ends are just pinning their ears back and going. Charles Grant got past Barry Sims -- unfrozen caveman right tackle -- for one, but there should be opportunities for Frank Gore on the draw as this game goes along.

Game goes on, and Sims is still getting toasted by Grant. It turns out sticking a 108-year-old utility lineman out at right tackle isn't a good idea.

Doug Farrar: I'll always remember Sims as Jyles Tucker's ticket to the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award last year when the Chargers played the Raiders in the regular-season finale. Abysmal blocking. Just horrible.

Ben Riley: J.T. O'Sullivan was sacked six times today. That makes 21 times he's been sent down in the first four games (not counting hits, just actual sacks). He's executing Martz's scheme pretty well, but there's no way he makes it through the season -- or even the next few weeks -- if the 49ers don't figure out their protection issues.

Aaron Schatz: What protection issues? This is the Martz offense: Let the quarterback take sacks and get weapons out there for him to throw to.

Green Bay Packers 21 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30

Doug Farrar: Greg Jennings may have the best dance moves in football. He was wide-open for the Aaron Rodgers pass in the Packers' first touchdown after a little inside-out stutter step at the line made Ronde Barber fall down. Reminded me of when he faked Nathan Jones out of his socks twice on the same play in last year's Dallas game. Barber's in for a rough day with bad footing and Jennings to deal with.

Russell Levine: Brian Griese giveth: 3-0 as the starter. Brian Griese taketh away: Three picks this Sunday (and six the last two weeks), including a brutal pick-six that briefly gave the Packers the lead in a game that was being utterly dominated by the Tampa Bay defense. That's Brian Griese in a nutshell -- he keeps both teams in the game.

Tampa Bay's defense was amazing. They got heat on Rodgers with the front four, confused the offensive line with the occasional stunt or blitz, and harassed Rodgers into two of his three interceptions. The completely shut down the run, and score a touchdown on a fumble return after Derrick Brooks made a perfect hit on Ryan Grant. Brooks turned back the clock to about five years ago. He had an interception in addition to the forced fumble, and should have had two more picks. He made a beautiful tackle in the backfield on a run play.

I feel like Tampa Bay could be really good, but they're going to play too many close games because Griese is simply too inaccurate and throws too many interceptions. This game should have been a rout; instead it was only decided in the final minute. They were dominating the Bears a week ago before Griese started passing out freebies. And they let Atlanta hang around WAY too long a couple weeks ago.

Mike Tanier: I want a dozen of whatever Young Guy pills Derrick Brooks had today.

Houston Texans 27 at Jacksonville Jaguars 30

Ben Riley: Who is Dick Enberg's color commentator? With 1:18 left to play, Texans in their two-minute offense: "They need to move quickly, but don't hurry." Is that like talking without speaking? Hearing without listening?

Bill Barnwell: Randy Cross.

Vince Verhei: Has anyone been paying attention to Houston, or more specifically, to Andre Johnson? Is he playing hurt, or has he regressed? He's outright dropping some passes, and others that look catchable, he doesn't even get his hands on. Matt Schaub doesn't seem to be having a problem hitting other receivers. Are he and Johnson on different pages? Or is this just a three-game stretch that Johnson will pull out of?

Ben Riley: I've been paying a lot of attention to Andre Johnson, as he was the first wide receiver to break my time-tested strategy of always going RB-RB in the first two rounds of my fantasy draft. He's just not making catches he should -- he's getting open, and Schaub is still targeting him, but then the ball clangs off his hands. With Steve Slaton providing a spark in the running game, I expect he'll bounce back, but then again, I'm known to be a bit biased when it comes to guys on my fantasy team.

Mike Tanier: I took a note about Andre Johnson today. He's not getting open, and Schaub isn't getting the ball to him when he is. He looked nothing like a Pro Bowl player today.

Ben Riley: The Andre Johnson I watched today missed at least three catches in the time I spent on this game. Two were drops, one fell incomplete because he failed to accelerate to the ball (admittedly, that's not a hands-related issue). Last week, Schaub practically force-fed him the ball in the end zone and he had four potential touchdowns go unrealized, although some would have been tough catches. If he hadn't played so well in Week 1, I might be worried about a mysterious lingering injury problem, but I suspect this is more statistical aberration than genuine decline. In a related story, I'm currently trying to trade him in my fantasy league, so please delete this last sentence from Audibles. (Just kidding.)

Bill Barnwell: Curt Menefee just called Montell Evans "Montell Williams" for the second week in a row.

Doug Farrar: Direct snap to Evans/Williams/Owens for the long rushing touchdown halfway through the first quarter. Great leaping wildcats!

Aaron Schatz: Let it be known that the Jacksonville touchdown was not a "Wildcat"-type surprise on a standard down-and-distance. It was a fake punt. Using single-wing on a fake punt is not a new wrinkle.

Will Carroll: "Jacksonville Municipal Stadium?" What happened to Alltel? And who the bleep is Montell Owens?

Aaron Schatz: Det. John Munch: "You're saving your really good lies for some smarter cop, is that it? I'm just a donut in the on-deck circle. Wait until the real guy gets here. Wait until that big guy comes back. I'm probably just his secretary. I'm just Montell Williams. You want to talk to Larry King."

Bernard: "I'm telling you the truth."

Det. John Munch: "I've been in murder police for ten years. If you're going to lie to me, you lie to me with respect. What is it? Is it my shoes? Is it my haircut? Got a problem with my haircut? Don't you ever lie to me like I'm Montell Williams. I am not Montell Williams. I am not Montell Williams."

Bernard: "Who's Montell Williams?"

Det. John Munch: "I'm not Montell Williams."

Cleveland Browns 20 at Cincinnati Bengals 12

Aaron Schatz: Bill Barnwell and I switched over to Bengals-Browns because I wanted to know how on earth two teams with no defense could be playing a 6-3 game in the third quarter after they scored, oh, a zillion points against each other last year.

With the Bengals, it is pretty obvious, the offensive line used to be the strength of this team and now it is a total weakness. Levi Jones is playing hurt and it shows. They miss Willie Anderson. They couldn't run at all against the Browns and Ryan Fitzpatrick was running for his life on pretty much every pass. There was one screen pass Eric Ghiaciuc moved right to block D'Qwell Jackson and Jackson just went right past him and clobbered the receiver.

Then the Browns came out and actually looked good, moving the ball down the field. Anderson can't get anything deep right now, everything was short, but they were knocking the Bengals back on runs and getting Jamal Lewis yardage. (Who DOESN'T knock the Bengals back on runs?) There's clearly an issue because they have just one wide receiver right now, Braylon Edwards, and without Joe Jurevicius and Donte' Stallworth around, defenses can concentrate on Edwards and Winslow -- although that didn't stop the Bengals from using a zone on third-and-6 that left Winslow wide-open in a big hole. You know, because Kellen Winslow is never the target on third down.

Mike Tanier: This was just unwatchable, and I was sitting right under it for a half, so I switched bars. Ryan Fitzpatrick can throw 7-yard hitches, that's about it. It was really two bad, banged-up teams playing poorly. No reason to over-analyze.

Bill Barnwell: Cleveland-Cincinnati was car crash football. For better or worse, it was bizarrely entertaining as I tried to figure out what the YAR would be on a 5-yard loss on second-and-20. Then the hot wings delivery guy showed up, and I was happy.

Aaron Schatz: It's very unnerving to see a safety for the Bengals with "Lynch 47" on his uniform. That's actually rookie Corey Lynch from Appalachian State, but still...

Atlanta Falcons 9 at Carolina Panthers 24

Vince Verhei: Steve Smith was used to burning DeAngelo Hall in Atlanta. With D-Hall gone, Smith has apparently chosen to take on all the remaining Falcons defensive backs at once. On his touchdown, between poor coverage and sloppy tackling, both corners and both safeties had a chance to bring Smith down and failed. This is what happens when the Falcons play real football teams.

Arizona Cardinals 35 at New York Jets 56

Ben Riley: The Cardinals have second-and-goal midway through the first quarter. With the pocket collapsing, Warner holds the ball four seconds longer than he should, fumbles the ball backwards and loses about 20 yards of field position. The Cardinals recover, but it's nice to see 2006-2007 Warner back on the field.

Doug Farrar: Are they rocking the old New York Titans jerseys again?

Aaron Schatz: Let me state once again for the record that with the exception of the Chargers' electric blues, throwback jerseys only look good when both teams are wearing jerseys from the same era. Save the Titans jerseys for games against the Bills wearing their throwbacks, or games against teams like the Raiders and Dolphins whose uniforms are basically still the same as they were in the AFL days. Or better yet, pull them out against Denver and force the Broncos to wear throwbacks to 1960, possibly the worst uniform in professional football history.

Ben Riley: Wow. Brett Favre just made the single worst pass I've seen this season. Still midway through the first quarter, Favre rolls out to his right, sees no one open downfield, and then decides to throw a near lateral all the way across his body to the left. Chike Okeafor makes the easy pick and almost runs it back for a score. Announcer just made a good point, however: It looked the Cardinals jumped offside, so Favre might have thought he had a free play. Still, better be sure before you make that pass.

Aaron Schatz: I don't know, that one that Kurt Warner slowly floated directly into the hands of Darrelle Revis was pretty damn bad.

Bill Moore: Well the Kurt Warner of old is back ... or, the old, new Kurt Warner ... or the new, old Kurt Warner. Damn, his career is confusing. I'll just say, Kurt Warner circa New York Giants.

Bill Moore: A Favre touchdown pass to Bubba Franks was negated by holding on the first play of the second quarter. We'd have seen it, but for the fact that FOX was still on commercial. Don't the officials wait until they are cleared from the TV guys to start the game?

Bill Barnwell: I benched Laveranues Coles at 12:50 for Devery Henderson, after deciding Henderson was a better start than Lance Moore. Thank God I am a fantasy expert.

Doug Farrar: Favre apparently uses the old-school AFL jersey to channel the spirit of George Blanda and throws for six touchdowns. Meanwhile. Aaron Rodgers throws three picks in a loss to Tampa Bay and suffers a shoulder injury. I can tell I'm going to be spending a lot of time with the TV on "mute" this week.

Mike Tanier: Yeah Doug, the talking heads are definitely going to spin a "Favre vs. Rodgers" storyline. On Favre's end, he has a good game, but the Cardinals hand the Jets the ball in great field position a few times, spot them seven points, and Favre throws a touchdown when the cornerback slips and gets hurt. Rodgers looks great on his first drive, has a tip-drill interception, sees his running back fumble at least once, has to play from behind and throws some bad passes. The two situations couldn't have been more different.

Doug Farrar: I just saw the halftime highlights, and I'm very confused. Why are the Cards losing 34-0 to Bellevue High School?

Bill Barnwell: Watching this game, me and Aaron came up with the greatest idea for a fantasy league ever: The Bullshit Fantasy Football League. You only get points if your player's team is down two or more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

I also propose the Vulture Fantasy League, where guys with more than ten carries or three catches get 15-point penalties and you only get points for touchdowns of 10 yards or less.

Elias Holman: Coincidentally, a friend and I angrily came with a similar Vulture League concept a few years ago after both losing games due to running backs having touchdowns vultured. Our rules were slightly more elaborate:

  • 6 points for a touchdown, but only if the play began inside the 10-yard line (same as Bill and Aaron's rule).
  • 10-point bonus if the touchdown was preceded by a run or pass greater than 50 yards.
  • 5-point bonus if the player did not touch the ball until it was inside the 10-yard line on the touchdown drive.
  • 15-point bonus if the player only touched the ball inside the 10-yard line during the entire game.
  • -1 point per 10 yards rushing up to 30 yards and -2 points per 10 yards above that.

I feel like there should be a site devoted to nothing but fantasy football leagues with bizarre rules (if it doesn't exist already).

Aaron Schatz: I sense a Football Outsiders expansion opportunity!

Vince Verhei: Favre's first touchdown (I think it was the first -- I lost track after a while) to Coles was a laser beam of a pass, the kind of throw that first-round quarterbacks dream of. Guys in their 40s should not be able to throw the ball like that. The rest of the touchdowns resulted from wide receivers running all alone in the end zone with nary a defender in sight. I think actual cardinals (the birds or the religious figures, take your pick) could have provided better pass coverage.

In the first half, the Jets "attacked" Warner by sending minimal rushers at him and dropping everyone back. The pick-six to Revis came on a two-man rush. Warner hung out for a while, scanned the field, and with nobody near him, lofted the ball right to Revis. Later, the Jets rushed three. Warner took a three-step drop. Either his center or right guard was pushed back into him. Rather than simply drop further back in the pocket, Warner threw a pass off one foot, falling down. It too was picked off. Then, in the second half, the Jets started blitzing, and that's when the Cards started scoring in bunches. Warner had little trouble reading the blitz and hitting open guys. But the hole they dug was too big, and the defense kept making it bigger.

Very late in the game, in a meaningless play, Anquan Boldin took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit in the end zone from Eric Smith. Boldin was knocked out cold, laying rigid in the end zone. He was immobilized and carted off the field. Apparently he was (relatively) fine after coming to, and wanted to walk off the field, but the doctors wouldn't let him. I understand that football is a dangerous game and there is an inherent risk of paralysis and/or death, but I found this one particularly troubling because there was nearly a tragedy on a completely irrelevant play. I don't know who to punish though, outside of fining Smith for helmet-to-helmet. But do you punish coaches for not calling kneeldowns? Players for playing hard? Quarterbacks for nearly getting their receivers killed?

Sean McCormick: It was disturbing. You could hear the crack audibly in the upper decks. I don't think Smith was head-hunting or doing anything malicious, though he's probably going to be fined. In the wake of the hit, the whole stadium booed the Cardinals for trying to run a play rather than kneeling down, and I don't blame them. Darrelle Revis made his second interception of the game and the officials quickly ran off the clock to end the game rather than bringing the Jets offense back out for a kneeldown.

Aside from that, I'd note that the Jets offense is a bizzaro version of what they've been running the last two years -- they either throw deep or they don't throw at all. They run very little in the way of slants, quick outs or crossing patterns. Instead, they try to set up play-action and attack vertically over and over. They don't really have an offensive identity yet, as they mix and match personnel, sometimes trying to be a power running team, sometimes trying to run the kind of shotgun spread Favre used last year, but the one thing they've established is that when they get into a good play-action down, Favre is going to go deep.

Calvin Pace was tremendous again. Vernon Gholston was not. Gholston did draw a few double-teams, but he just doesn't seem to be able to redirect himself once he's engaged with a blocker. He just pushes upfield without any regard for where the quarterback is.

Minnesota Vikings 17 at Tennessee Titans 30

Bill Barnwell: Tennessee's first drive sees them running stretch plays with Chris Johnson, which makes sense if they want to run on the Vikings defense. The color guy just called him Kevin Johnson. Minnesota decides that their offensive scheme is going to be built around rookie fullback Naufahu Tahi. The first play, Tahi splits out and picks up a first down on a short out. Second play, Tahi comes out of the backfield and runs a short out the other way and fumbles. I predict this will be the end of the Vikings offense being built around Naufahu Tahi.

Good news: Chris Johnson is not only really fast, but he's running intelligently and being patient enough to let his blocks open.

Bad news: Chris Johnson can't pass block yet. He was supposed to help in the A-Gap and just watched two blitzers go right by. Oh well.

Denver Broncos 19 at Kansas City Chiefs 33

Doug Farrar: It's great to watch that Denver offense, but there's no way in hell they're doing anything in the playoffs with a run defense like that. (Yes, I KNOW that's precisely what everybody said about the Colts in 2006, but do we really want to bet on another miracle postseason turnaround?) Larry Johnson has just been gashing the bejeezus out of them -- if the Chiefs had a discernible total offense that could do anything in the red zone, this game could be a lot uglier than the 13-10 score Denver trailed by at the end of the first half.

Potentially bad news for rookie tackle Branden Albert, though -- got caught up in a scrum at the end of the first half and went out on a cart, head down, trainer holding his hand. Those are a whole bunch of bad signs playing together. Further word on Albert is a dislocated right elbow.

Ben Riley: Did anyone just catch the Jay Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall touchdown at the end of the first quarter? If not, you'll be seeing it during a "gamebreak" momentarily. Cutler shot the ball at roughly 167 miles per hour, and Marshall pulled it while leaping three feet into the air. They may not have a defense, but man is the Broncos passing game a thing of beauty right now.

Doug Farrar: Evidently, Denver kickers are like Denver running backs: Plug one in and go. At the start of the third quarter, Matt Prater hit his second 50-plus-yard field goal of the game to tie it at 13-all. That's without the altitude advantage of Mile High (I-refuse-to-call-it-Invesco) Stadium.

Ben Riley: Prater did miss a gimme 30-yarder earlier in the second quarter. Maybe he only practices long-distance kicks.

Doug Farrar: Great play by Champ Bailey halfway through the third quarter. He gets under Larry Johnson and upends him in a judo throw/fireman's carry, causing a fumble. Herm Edwards responds by throwing the flag on a pretty obvious call, leaving the Chiefs with one timeout. Yikes.

Ben Riley: Cutler responds by throwing a pick on the very next pass (after throwing one just prior to Johnson's fumble). I guess I can put away my Hall of Fame anointing oil.

Mike Tanier: The Broncos just made a million mistakes today on offense. Fumbles, interceptions, dropped passes. Their defense didn't play that bad ... although, to be frank, they are playing one of the worst offenses in the world, so they should have pitched a near-shutout, even allowing that they gave the Chiefs great field position several times.

Vince Verhei: That Cutler touchdown was an All-Pro throw. The ball actually traveled more than 25 yards, but looked like it was only about 12 feet off the ground at its peak. It came down just low enough for Marshall to leap and grab it. An awesome display of strength, accuracy and timing.

Earlier, the Broncos threw a great screen to Michael Pittman. Just beautiful timing between passer, receiver and blockers, followed by great blocking and running. It gained 40 yards, Denver's longest play of the game.

All is not perfect, though. One of Cutler's interceptions was aimed at Marshall, who was well covered along the right sideline. Meanwhile, there was another receiver running wide-open down the middle of the field. Cutler was forcing the ball to Marshall, not going through his reads.

San Diego Chargers 28 at Oakland Raiders 18

Ben Riley: Don't know if anyone is watching this game, but the Raiders defensive line is absolutely dominating the Chargers in the trenches. Every time I flip over I see Philip Rivers getting sacked or running for his life. Terrell Sands in particular seems to be blowing up. Plus, LaDainian Tomlinson has 10 carries for 21 yards as I type this. Looking forward to that Al Davis press conference where he explains why he is firing the head coach of what Bill Simmons would describe as a "frisky" football team.

Doug Farrar: As long as the Raiders call the press conference before 4:30 p.m., Al won't even be there!

Bill Moore: I've watched two minutes of this game. On each play, DeAngelo Hall, the self-proclaimed "shutdown corner" has been ten yards off his receiver. He's seen three first downs thrown against him.

Doug Farrar: I thought this game had the look of an upset before it started. But the Raiders are the Raiders -- ever will it be true. Is Nnamdi Asomugha playing?

Bill Barnwell: Asomugha was active but didn't look like he was playing when I tuned in.

Vince Verhei: Oakland has third-and-2 at their own 41 in the first quarter. JaMarcus Russell drops back. Darren McFadden steps up to block Jyles Tucker one-on-one. Tucker blows right through McFadden without even slowing down and sacks Russell. Lane Kiffin reconsiders using McFadden on third down.

Russell has improved by leaps and bounds over last year. His arm strength is amazing, and while he's still lacking in accuracy and touch, he avoids big mistakes that turn into turnovers. He threw his first interception of the season today, but it came on a ball that bounced off McFadden's hands. (Not a great day for D-Mac.)

With one second left in the first half, Oakland had the ball on their own 42. Bring in Russell to try and get a Hail Mary out of his cannon arm? No, bring in Sebastian Janikowski to attempt a SEVENTY-SIX-YARD FIELD GOAL. The kick was -- brace yourself -- short, landing at the 2-yard line. Antonio Cromartie tried to pull a Devin Hester, but got tackled short of the 30. Regardless, this is the longest official field goal attempt in league history, right?

Mike Tanier: Hi. My name is Lane Kiffin and I want to be fired.

Buffalo Bills 31 at St. Louis Rams 14

Bill Barnwell: Announcers talking about "Beast Mode" when it comes to Marshawn Lynch is never not funny. I also think Steven Jackson should've handed the ball to Marc Bulger after he scored.

Mike Tanier: At 5:10 Eastern time, it looks like Any Given Sunday could be 7 million words this week. Raiders are up. Rams. Chiefs won. Lions firing Millen is an upset in its own way.

Ben Riley: Phil Simms: "I tell you, JaMarcus Russell can do a lot with that arm. The TV doesn't do it justice."

Jim Nantz: "Is it right up there, more lively than anything you've ever seen?"

Simms: "It's borderline legendary already."

Bill Barnwell: That sounds like a Nights in Rodanthe sorta situation. Maybe JaMarcus Russell can put his arm in the box that Phil Simms has to keep things safe.

Regarding Trent Green's interception, it's not good when the defensive back is standing still underneath it like it's a punt.

Vince Verhei: For those of you wondering how the Rams jumped out to leads of 7-3 and then 14-6, there are three basic explanations:

  • The Bills were caught off-guard when Donnie Avery lined up at tailback and took a pitch left for a 37-yard touchdown;
  • Steven Jackson, surrounded by a horrible team in a horrible season, is still really, really great;
  • The Bills' first-quarter offense seemed to consist entirely of lob passes to covered receivers. This is a good thing to try once in a while, and it even worked sporadically. It is a bad thing on which to base your offense. Fortunately for Buffalo, they were playing the Rams, and so a first-quarter lead was really inconsequential.

Washington Redskins 26 at Dallas Cowboys 24

Doug Farrar: DeMarcus Ware is so good, it isn't even fair. In the first quarter alone, he A) did an inside stunt with Chris Canty that blew up the entire left side of Washington's line and allowed Canty to sack Jason Campbell; and B) spun out of a double-team of Chris Samuels and Ladell Betts (chipping) for a sack of his own. He's just going to kick your left tackle's ass all day, and there isn't much you can do about it.

Bill Barnwell: One of the things we're seeing with Dallas this year, I think, is that their already excellent pass rush is seeing the benefits of having very good coverage behind them. Jason Campbell's sacks so far, with the first quarter about to end, have essentially been coverage sacks where the pass rush has had the ability to pull off twists.

On the first Cowboys touchdown (I'm going to go ahead and assume that they will score another one before the day is over), they split Felix Jones out to the left, which meant that a linebacker (London Fletcher, I believe) was in man coverage against Jones on the outside. Chris Horton went and helped out on Jones, which left Marcus Washington alone in man coverage against Jason Witten.

Doug Farrar: Nice job by Jason Campbell of overcoming that shaky early protection and driving the Redskins for the tying touchdown early in the second quarter. The progress first seen against the Saints continues -- the release quickness issue really isn't a problem anymore. You can tell that the (probably simplified version of the) offense is starting to open up for him.

Ben Riley: Holy smokes, James Thrash is still in the NFL -- and he just scored in the second quarter!

Mike Tanier: James Thrash plays hard on special teams, can return kicks and punts in a pinch, blocks hard, can work the slot a little, and works cheap. He's the anti-Brandon Lloyd or the anti-Ashley Lelie.

Doug Farrar: Oh, sweet play on the drive after the touchdown. Ware gets past Samuels and almost takes Campbell down, but Campbell moves up in the pocket casual as you please, and hits a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide-open Santana Moss on a crossing route. Another touchdown for the Redskins a few plays later, another step forward for Campbell.

Mike Tanier: Great defensive game plan before the half, there, Redskins (Sarcasm). Call quarters coverage on every single play and let Patrick Crayton have all the 12-yard receptions along the sidelines he wants. Crayton caught three straight passes along the sidelines (though he was just out of bounds on one), against the softest 4-deep zone on earth. The Cowboys did this against the Eagles: Took the ball and kicked a field goal on an effortless 1-minute drive before half. That, plus the goal-line stop by the Cowboys. changes the complexion of the game.

Doug Farrar: I didn't understand that, either. As well as the Redskins had been covering, they didn't need to bet against themselves.

Ben Riley: Maybe Jim Zorn was remembering all the times Seattle's defensive coordinators called for the same prevent defense inside of two minutes. It's not like the Redskins are playing the Bengals here -- it's possible, just possible, a one-touchdown lead isn't going to hold up in the second half.

During training camp, a lot of observers thought Jason Campbell was on the verge of taking the next step -- and then they had that awful preseason blowout in game three, and a wobbly start to the season. But Doug is right, Campbell's definitely starting to feel comfortable with Zorn's West Coast playbook, and he's definitely a quarterback you can go places with. Man, how tough is the NFC East? Their worst team is twice as good as the NFC West's best team.

Doug Farrar: Oops -- another strategic blunder. Washington opens the second half with a squib kick, giving the Cowboys possession at their own 43. Dallas drives down the field with brutal efficiency as Shawn Springs gets the same kind of safety help he'd have if he was still in Seattle.

Mike Tanier: Coverage was soft as hell to start the third quarter. All zone. The Cowboys will pick your zone to shreds, unless you are the Bucs in their Super Bowl year when you had a young Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks, Dexter Jackson and the best zone defenders in the world.

Aaron Schatz: I am also not a fan of the "Rush four and play a zone that leaves everyone ten yards away from Terrell Owens" coverage that the Cowboys played on their first drive of the third quarter.

Doug Farrar: The "Give Santana Moss 10 yards of clearance at all times" coverage employed by Terence Newman through the first three quarters doesn't seem particularly effective, either.

Bill Barnwell: Fascinating coverage on Chris Horton's third-quarter interception. The Redskins give Miles Austin a ten-yard cushion on the outside while Horton sits maybe seven yards off the line of scrimmage inside the hashmarks. At the snap, Horton sprints to the sideline while the corner still gives Austin the cushion; by the time Romo realizes it and throws to the sideline, Horton has made it there and picks the pass off. They essentially baited Romo into throwing the out pattern and counted on Horton getting there before Romo threw it. It worked, but ... just fascinating, that's all.

Mike Tanier: I didn't see the Horton pick clearly. I'm guessing that is just a buzz route. Usually a linebacker, but sometimes a safety, just runs underneath the receiver when they are thinking slant or in route.

Ben Riley: Horrible officiating in this game. First, Adam Jones is victimized by a facemask that nearly turns his helmet around 180 degrees, then the officials completely miss a false start by Jon Jansen. Quoth Troy Aikman: "It's been a rough couple of weeks for the officials."

Doug Farrar: Well, the Cowboys are owed about four uncalled facemasks from the Eagles game. Three to go!

Ben Riley: Fantastic exchange between Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Aikman starts describing a conversation he had with Jim Zorn, with Zorn revealing that he had no idea about the intensity of the rivalry between the Cowboys and the Redskins, and then Zorn apparently said something about being like the old Seahawks-Raiders rivalry. Cue Buck: "That doesn't match up."

Doug Farrar. Right. Raiders-Broncos or Raiders-Chiefs would match up. The Seahawks don't have that level of rivalry. The Rams of recent years might have been, but they fell apart too quickly.

Ben Riley: Horrible officiating in this game. First PacMan Jones is victimized by a facemask that nearly turns his helmet around 180 degrees, then the officials completely miss a false start by Jon Jansen. Quoth Troy Aikman: "It's been a rough couple of weeks for the officials."

Aaron Schatz: One more comment on this game: When did the Cowboys decide that the Redskins had an impenetrable run defense? Marion Barber had eight carries, and from what I can tell Felix Jones did not come in for a single offensive snap. In the super-early stats, after three weeks, Washington was 28th in ALY. Why not try to run a little bit more? Sure, Barber had only 26 yards on those eight carries, but was that a clear sign to give up? Meanwhile, Portis was getting all kinds of yardage against the Dallas run defense. That was the biggest imbalance in the game.

Vince Verhei: Portis' longest run of the day, a 31-yarder on a third-quarter drive that led to a field goal, was keyed by a great block by Pete Kendall, sealing his man inside. Portis zipped right behind him for his big gain.

Mike Tanier: Deion Sanders said the same thing about the Cowboys running game, Aaron. You and Deion are always on the same wavelength! And I agree with both of you. The Redskins were in a Cover-2 look a lot, never daring to stack the box. Things might have gotten away from the coordinator a bit. The Cowboys had a lot of success throwing the ball at the half and in the third quarter, and next thing you know Garrett keeps dialing it up. I saw one drive where it was (checking) seven passes and one reverse to T.O.Then you had the fourth-quarter three-and-out which was three passes to T.O. That may have been Garrett getting locked in -- or the start of an appeasement policy.

Aaron Schatz: If it was the start of an appeasement policy, it didn't work, because in the postgame press conference T.O. complained that the team wins when he gets the ball.

Vince Verhei: Terrell Owens after the game: "I think it's no secret. When I get the ball, things move. We move the chains. If not, you see the stagnant (sic) in our offense." Cris Collinsworth than points out that Owens had 20 combined handoffs and targets, in the team's 61 plays. And they lost.

Ben Riley: I love it. The Cowboys look to be the class of the NFL, they lose a close game to a suprisingly solid Redskins team, and T.O. is already creating a media controversy. I'm looking forward to hearing about PacMan's nocturnal activities tonight.

Philadelphia Eagles 20 at Chicago Bears 24

Ben Riley: Midway through the first quarter, the Eagles run a beautiful reverse. Donovan McNabb fakes the hand off to Correll Buckhalter, then changes his pace to make it appear he's handed it off. The entire Bears defense bites, and then DeSean Jackson takes the ball from McNabb and rips off a 20-yard run. Jackson is responsible for four first downs and a touchdown through 10 minutes of play -- is he about to have an Excel-crashing DVOA performance? It's the NFL on NBC!

Mike Tanier: When did they change the rule that said that you can't "offset" a personal foul penalty? The Bears just had roughing the punter offset by the Eagles' 17th false start of the first quarter.

Bill Barnwell: So then, on free plays for the offense, one of the offensive linemen should just smack the crap out of a defensive player?

Ben Riley: Oops, DeSean Jackson just muffed a punt. Excel will not be melting down tonight.

(Awful lot of players slipping on Soldier Field today, by the way.)

Bill Barnwell: Both of Jackson's punt returns today have been miserable decisions.

Orton's not picking up on these blitzes. Guys are coming in totally unblocked. If the coverage was better...

Mike Tanier: I hated the calls the Eagles made after the tip drill interception by Darren Howard in the second quarter. On third-and-1, the Eagles try to spread the field and put C-Buck in an offset position. It looks like a passing formation, but the Bears don't buy it, they just stick Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs in the A-gaps. Eagles run it right into them, Buck is stuffed. Fourth-and-1, we try a 50-yard field goal. Why not pin the Bears and make them execute down the field? Or trust your offense for one yard. The Bears get good field position, a couple of big plays, touchdown.

Vince Verhei: Kyle Orton's throw on the touchdown to Devin Hester was perfect, a rainbow that fell into Hester's hands right between Asante Samuel and the sideline. John Madden takes the words out of my mouth: "Perfect pass." I am not used to hearing the words "Kyle Orton" and "perfect pass" together. It leaves a queasy feeling in my gut.

Aaron Schatz: OK, can anyone think of a reasonable reason why the Bears should not use a healthy Devin Hester on every single kickoff return?

Vince Verhei: Well, apparently Brandon Lloyd is out, which means Hester is more important at wide receiver, which means he can't be risked on special teams. Is that reasonable enough? Honestly, I don't think so.

Mike Tanier: Ooh, McNabb throws a bad pick, Buckhalter gets hurt. My night is really ending on a sour note.

Bill Barnwell: Jackson's day just gets worse and worse. He's managed to make Reno Mahe look like a lost art on punt returns, and then he blows the sight adjustment on his pattern for the McNabb pick.

And my friend's prediction that Buckhalter wouldn't make it through the game comes true.

Ben Riley: There was a shot of Gale Sayers in the crowd in the first quarter. Apparently the producer is bored, so he decides to show a wide-angle shot a moment ago with Sayers sitting next to ... Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Madden: "I know who Sayers is, not sure of the two on the right."

Michaels: "I hear ya."

Let's just move on.

Mike Tanier: Hester just added one of his patented brain cramp punt returns, where he lets the ball bounce to the five, then tries to run around in circles.

The no-Westbrook, no-Buckhalter, no-L.J. Smith, no-Shawn Andrews Eagles offense is going to be a lot of quick outs to the wide receivers. Which is bad, because McNabb isn't real sharp on those and DeSean Jackson's head is spinning. With 9:58 to go in the third quarter, I don't know how the Eagles will get two scores.

Bill Barnwell: God, these two teams are trying to give away this game.

Vince Verhei: Al Michaels just told us that "word from the sideline" was that Charles Tillman was out for the rest of the game. The key here is that MICHAELS told us this, they did not need to waste time and camera space going to a useless sideline reporter. They just told Al, and he told us. This is how it should be.

Ben Riley: OK, it's fourth-and-goal from the half-yard line with 3:40 to play. Don't channel your inner Romeo Crennel, Andy! Go for it!

(The Eagles go for it -- and come up short.)

Mike Tanier: (Expletive deleted.)

Bill Barnwell: They had to go for it. I'm OK with that play call.

Ben Riley: Also, Andy, maybe give it to your all-world quarterback, instead of your oft-injured backup running back? I forgot to mention that part.

Doug Farrar: Absolutely the right call. You've got a defense will a killer instinct with the Bears way, way, deep if you don't get the score (maybe the NFL's best defense to bet on for a safety/free kick in that situation), and it's not as if you're facing the 2007 Pats here.

Vince Verhei: From the blimp cam, you could clearly see the ball crossing the plane on fourth down.

Mike Tanier: Didn't see that angle. My Wishful Thinking Cam showed it going in all four times.

Doug Farrar: Wow. Evidently, none of Andy's guys in the booth have that angle up? Amazing that the NFL can put out any number of camera angles for the public, but replay technology always seems to lag behind.

(Fines self $15,000 for criticizing officiating in general.)

Vince Verhei: And then they show blimp cam shot over and over, never noticing that hey, almost the entire ball is across the plane.

This would not stand up in a court of law, but it's the best I can do: This is a touchdown.

Miscellany

Bill Barnwell: Hole in the Wall: Rock of Love versus Flavor of Love should be this week's sign of the impending apocalypse or whatever feature runs in Sports Illustrated.

Bud Light Lime's slogan is "Seasons change. Tastes don't." If tastes don't change, why would I drink a new beer?

Ben Riley: I think Bud Light Lime also has the commercial with the Jets fans from the '70s tailgating at the Meadowlands, which makes no sense to me. If I am not a Jets fan, why would I drink this beer?

(Also, why couldn't I just squeeze an actual lime into a Bud Light? Have we all been secretly yearning for a lime-infused Corona?)

Mike Tanier: I am stunned by the number of people who really like those lime beers. It tastes like someone used detergent on the bottle, didn't rinse right, and poured beer in.

Bill Moore: The irony is that lime is used to hide the taste of bad beer. I believe it started traditionally with Mexican beer which tasted awful and the lime was used to mask the bad taste. Corona took a tasting hiding strategy and morphed it into yuppie-cool.

Vince Verhei: So Bruce Springsteen is the Super Bowl halftime act. Yippee, another adult contemporary rocker whose career peaked 20 years ago. I will never forgive Janet Jackson for Nipplegate. Not only did she end a great halftime show by completely erasing it from history, she ruined Super Bowl halftimes for people under 50 forever. (Except for Prince. That was awesome.)

Mike Tanier: Take back everything you said about Springsteen now or I come to Seattle and kick your butt!!!

Will Carroll: Take it back.

Ben Riley: Woah, Vince. That's the Boss we're talking about. We write Scramble together, and you root for the Seahawks, so I'm just going to pretend that Audible never happened.

Continuing with the music-related observations, I think Lincoln's licensing of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" to sell some car they believe looks like a rocket ship is already in my top ten list of "Ill-Advised Commercial Musical Sell-Outs That Piss Off The Very People You Are Marketing To." Number one, of course, was when Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" was used to sell Miller Lite. Safe to say we haven't imbibed that particular brand of beverage in the Riley household since 1997.

Vince Verhei: You know what, you guys are right. Springsteen's highest-selling album was "Born in the U.S.A.," which was released in 1984. So his career actually peaked 24 years ago.

And yes, I realize every person in the Tri-State area is going to try to kill me now. This Audibles may cost me friendships.

Will Carroll: If you wanted to argue for "Born To Run," fine. I guess Brett Favre peaked when he won the Super Bowls too, but I'd call that a very slow decline into the Hall of Fame.

Mike Tanier: Remember what halftime shows were like before the high-profile geezer parade started? Remember the medlies of five or six different awful acts? Remember Up With People? I will take over-the-hill Boss, Prince, Stones, any day.

Ben Riley: Oh Vince. Save thyself from thyself. Did you see the preview they ran for Springsteen? Did it look like his live show is slowing down? (Although admittedly it was weird to see Silvio Dante playing guitar.)

By the way, U2's best selling album was in 1987. We don't want to go there.

Vince Verhei: I have the Aerosmith-*NSYNC-Britney-Mary J.-Nelly version of "Walk This Way" from the Super Bowl in my collection, and thought the Nelly-Diddy-Kid Rock stuff was great until, again, Janet made everyone forget it.

Mike Tanier: Well, I know who I will never ask for a musical opinion from.

Ben Riley: Less Boss, more ... *NSYNC?

Vince Verhei: When you put it that way, I do begin to see the error of my ways.

Bill Barnwell: I think it's a little silly to have your political singer/songwriter playing songs above his audience's head performing at the Super Bowl. I mean, it's not as if Billy Bragg is performing at the FA Cup final. It makes a lot more sense to me have your totally generic, saccharine pop band (hi, Take That) playing your big sporting event.

Mike Tanier: He'll play "Promised Land," "Born to Run," "Glory Days." No politics.

Ben Riley: I must have a serious drinking problem, because I could swear that Bill Barnwell just suggested that we should be subjected to Take That during the Super Bowl halftime show instead of The Boss. Pretty soon someone will be telling me that the Kyle Orton-led Bears are beating the Philadelphia Eagles ... WOAH, now I better settle down.

Bill Barnwell: I was suggesting Take That be the FA Cup entertainment. I'm fine with *NSYNC being the halftime show because, again, I think it's kinda silly when people cheer and get all misty-eyed and patriotic for "Born in the USA."

Ben Riley: You gotta remember, Ronald Reagan tried to use "Born in the U.S.A" during the '84 campaign before Bruce told him to knock it off. Obviously, Reagan sort of misunderstood the point of the song.

Tanier's list of likely song selections is a good one. I could see "Brilliant Disguise" working itself in there. I suspect it may be one of those weird halftime medlies where the artist plays hurried two-minute versions of each song.

Guys, I apologize for being totally wasted on gin-and-tonics while writing Audibles (again). I swear I just read Bill Barnwell saying that he's "fine with *NSYNC being the halftime show..."

Bill Barnwell: *NSYNC playing the halftime show means I can play Rock Band at your house for 45 minutes. Or I can play beer pong at my new house for the halftime show.

Ben Riley: Finally, a semi-legitimate argument. Bring your Port-O-Pong and a friend!

Bill Barnwell: How come all erectile dysfunction commercials involve old people sitting naked in separate bathtubs at the beach? Who drives bathtubs to the beach? Why would that be fun?

Ben Riley: Does Derrick Brooks own a bathtub?

Mike Tanier: That's Cialis. The Viagra ads at least make sense. I like the "older women" they choose for these ads: supermodels with one tiny streak of gray hair. Just so you know: It's not her fault you can't get it up, buddy. You need a pill.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 28 Sep 2008

109 comments, Last at 03 Oct 2008, 5:51pm by Boston Dan

Comments

1
by ammek :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:05am

Mike Tanier: I want a dozen of whatever Young Guy pills Derrick Brooks had today.

Well, the commentator attributed it to the fact that Brooks was "having fun out there". Presumably there are players who trudge across the field humming Lou Reed songs and perfecting their Walter Matthau grouch-face.

Vince, it sounds like you need some back-up on Springsteen, so I'll chip in on your side. I was once subjected (in a restroom cubicle, while feeling unwell) to an instrumental version of Streets of Philadelphia, and concluded that
- for the last 25 years, the 'Boss' hasn't bothered with verses, bridges or choruses, he 'economizes' by using the same melody for the entire song;
- 'melody' might be stretching it;
- replacing Bruce's voice with pan pipes doesn't make the song any more insipid.

2
by DGL :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:07am

I also thought that the overhead view showed the ball crossing the goal line in the PHI-CHI game, but the goal-line view showed it clearly not crossing the goal line. My best explanation is that the overhead view wasn't directly over the goal line, but maybe over the fifty (or even over the PHI end zone), so parallax would cause it to look like the ball was over the goal line. The goal line camera, IIRC, is almost directly in line with the goal line, so would give a more accurate view.

Still, I wanted Reid to challenge (if only because I started Buckhalter in my fantasy league...).

5
by mattymatty (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:13am

Yeah, sorry Eagles fans, but even the Eagles radio play-by-play guys admitted repeatedly that they weren't able to push it in on either the third or fourth down run.

7
by crack (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:14am

I have to agree with this. Come on, the blimp view is your argument that the spot was wrong? I bet it was even more evident from the Hubble.

14
by Spoilt Victoria... :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:31am

I thought the same thing, although I didn't feel the goal-line angle was that definitive -- if I recall correctly, you couldn't see the ball. It certainly looked like he was short from that angle, but I didn't think it was as clear as the overhead view. Still, I think you are probably right.

30
by billsfan :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:19pm

How much Parallax can there really be when the Blimp is hundreds of feet over the goal line and the ball is one foot over the goal line?

49
by TomC :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:27pm

As a professional astronomer, I cannot tell you how thrilling it is to be in a football discussion group with people who actually understand the concept of parallax.

And while billsfan's reasoning is sound, you don't actually need very much parallax (in terms of absolute angle) to project the ball spuriously over the goal line. All you have to do is look at the helmet of the Eagle player on the far left of the image, which appears to be a yard inside the end zone, even though the player's legs are centered outside the end zone (on the front edge of the goal line or maybe the six-inch line). So we're getting roughly a yard of parallax at a height of about six feet, so half a ball worth of parallax at the height of where Buckhalter has the ball is about right.

(Disclaimer: I'm a Bears fan.)

66
by TimeOnHands (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:43pm

Using Google and some quick math (okay, slow, tedious math), I figure a blimp shot flying over midfield at a little over 750ft should be enough to move it a foot.

Of course, I could be completely mistaken, but it was fun to try to figure it out.

70
by DGL :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:50pm

How much Parallax can there really be when the Blimp is hundreds of feet over the goal line and the ball is one foot over the goal line?

If the blimp is directly above the goal line, there's no parallax. But the hypothesis is that the blimp is not directly above the goal line. Plus, I don't think the ball was one foot above ground level; even though Buckhalter was fairly low to the ground, I think the ball was more like two feet above ground level.

If the blimp is 500 feet over the fifty-yard line and the ball is two feet above the ground, the perceived offset due to parallax will be (if I'm doing my geometry correctly) 0.6 feet, or just over seven inches, which is about half a ball length.

78
by TomC :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:49pm

Yes, I agree.

(You people have just about restored my faith in the U.S. educational system.)

87
by DGL :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:45pm

If a running back leaves Philadephia heading west at 12 miles per hour, and simultaneously a linebacker leaves Chicago heading east at 8 miles per hour...

102
by juan (not verified) :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 4:48am

As a season ticket holder i go to a lot of football games. One thing that has been noticeable at games over the past few years is the use of a new werid camera for big games(sunday/monday nights). Its a moveable camera that's suspended above the field by 3 cables that attach to the stadium above the cheap seats. It hangs about 10-20m above the grass (hard to tell from my seats). And moves in between the 10 yard lines (maybe the 5's). So that veiw didn't come from a blimp. The camera(s) it did come from are used in a handful of games and gives weird (almost motion sickness causing) angles.

I think that may help clear this up and provide some insight as to why it looks so disruptive. Sorry Eagles fans.

103
by Goober King :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 9:08am

You can thank Vince McMahon for that...

3
by panthersnbraves :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:07am

No love for the Falcons/Panthers game? Not even Hoculi-gate Part 2? I guess it's maybe because sequels are rarely as good as the original. {Can't afford to fine myself more than $2}

The wild thing is that I recall Peppers once had a similar call against the Redskins, where a "phantom" roughing the passer call negated an interception. That one actually affected the game's outcome.

32
by resident jenius :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:29pm

Maybe I need to check the TiVo again but I seem to remember Peppers merely wrapping up Ryan and taking him to the ground. I understand the need to protect the quarterback but the fact that Peppers head may have brushed Ryan’s head while giving him a "hug" hardly seems like roughing.

On today’s useless cosmic coincidence note, who else noticed that both of Atlanta's losses this season have come with a final score of 24-9? Apparently the baseline for the Turner/Norwood rushing attack is nine points. Anything more than nine needs the 31st or 32nd ranked run defense involved somehow.

4
by Joel (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:09am

There is no situation imaginable where talking about erectile dysfunction medication commercials should be acceptable.

6
by Stop the Redskin hating (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:14am

Great to finally see you guys comment on a game the Redskins are playing in. Of course, the story after the game seems to be "is Terrell Owens happy?" instead of "hey, the Redskins might actually be a good team".

Meanwhile the Eagle's just lost again, this time to Chicago. Do the 'skins have to go beat Philly on the road next week before someone acknowledges they are in the race for this division?

60
by dmb :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:22pm

A few points:

**The writers on the games they want to watch on the weekend, which can be dictated by many things, not the least of which is the writers' favorite teams. As far as I know, none of them are Redskins fans, so it shouldn't be surprising when there aren't many comments from WAS-ARI or WAS-NO ... there's just not going to be a lot of general interest in those games until it's clear that at least one of the participants is a marquee team.

**The Redskins' wins have come by five, seven, and two points, with two of those victories coming against teams that may or may not be very strong. In terms of both DAVE and VOA, they were middle-of-the-pack through week 3, so while a major upset like this is good, it doesn't necessarily prove anything.

**It's four weeks into the season, so there's no reason to acknowledge that the Redskins are in the race for their division title when every team is still in it.

That said, I'm a humongous Redskins fan myself, so why can't we just relax and savor the satisfaction of a win in our most heated rivalry, on the other team's turf, in a game where we were heavy underdogs? I'm more concerned about watching lots of replays from this week than I am about whether our team gets enough "respect" from the media ... besides, my guess is that most media outlets will read too much into one game, as they tend to do ... and before long, you'll have plenty of hype to satisfy your favorite-football-team's-respect-from-the-media needs.

82
by Stop the Redskin hating (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:20pm

Good points. What annoys me is not so much the 'lack of respect' for the Redskins is the overwhelming respect for the other three teams in the division. Meanwhile, I too am enjoying the replays from this week after a glorious triumph at Texas Stadium. So much so in fact that this really hasn't been a productive day at work.

84
by Stop the Redskin hating (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:23pm

Good points. What annoys me is not so much the 'lack of respect' for the Redskins but rather the overwhelming respect for the other three teams in the division. Obviously, 4 games don't really prove much of anything statistically for the 'skins or for anyone else.

Meanwhile, I too am enjoying the replays from this week after a glorious triumph at Texas Stadium. So much so in fact that this really hasn't been a productive day at work.

94
by dmb :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 6:40pm

Well, the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants all started out with what appeared to be fairly strong rosters, had pretty good projections, and so far have solid records with very high DVOA. So I'd say that they've earned the respect, or at least they've earned as much as one can expect after only four games.

And I hear ya about the lost productivity -- for me, that might be the single negative aspect about a Redskins' win in a given week...

9
by Travis :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:17am

Regardless, this is the longest official field goal attempt in league history, right?

According to Football Night in America, it was the longest attempt since the merger. The previous long was a 74-yarder by Mark Moseley in 1979 (which really shouldn't count because it was a fair catch kick, with no snap and the defense lined up 10 yards from the line of scrimmage). A full list of long FG misses in the last 15 years can be found here.

Who is Dick Enberg's color commentator? With 1:18 left to play, Texans in their two-minute offense: "They need to move quickly, but don't hurry." Is that like talking without speaking? Hearing without listening?

It's similar to a Latin proverb: "festina lente", or "hurry slowly", attributed to Augustus Caesar.

48
by Grafac (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:18pm

I wonder . . . do coaches routinely (two, three times a season) check the realistic distance of their kickers in practice? Do we have any figures on non-game kicks? I am sure every kicker in the NFL has attempted 70+ yarders for fun. Do you think coaches or coordinators use formulas stating for every 1 mph of wind the kick is increased/decreased by x yards? Probably just seat of your pants feeling, eh?

55
by tuluse :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:08pm

I think they go by pre-game warmups. I always here the announcers saying "so and so was hitting field goals from 50 yards in warmups, so this 48 yarder should be in his range."

75
by Tom Gower :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:21pm

I think that's probably the biggest part of it, combined with a tactical appreciation for wind conditions, game situation, how the kicker is feeling, etc. I don't know that I've seen a kicker try in pre-game warmups from outside of 55 or so, though you can get decent data for 60- from that range, and FGA from beyond 60 are rare enough regular practice probably doesn't make much sense.

8
by pete (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:17am

Great piece, but i preferred when Beavis and Butthead used to have their own halftime show on MTV.

And please, kid rock dancing around wearing the american flag as a cape was putrid.

10
by brick (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:20am

Have you guys seen Bruce in concert, there is no way he fits more than 1 song into his half time performance. He will need at least 15 minutes to tell his rambling story leeding into the song.

11
by dryheat (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:25am

If I'm not mistaken, the practice of using a lime in beer was to kill the bacteria usually found in the water used in the brewing process.

Entertaining read, as always.

After seeing Brian Billick and Jim Mora in the bad-when-they-started-not-any-better-two-seasons-later Coors light mock-interview ads, my only thought is, Please Lord, let Herm be fired soon.

12
by sam :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:29am

I think the whole Montell bit might be the highlight of Audibles for me this week (admittedly, I'm a Jags fan). The reason it's so funny is that you call Menefee out for referring to "Montell Williams" and then proceed to refer to him as Montell Evans (two of you).

Guys, it's Montell Owens! Come on now, he doubled his touches for the year this week!

--
sam! or the original sam from the old FO

17
by Bill Barnwell :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:40am

that's kinda the joke.

22
by sam :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:53am

*drinks more coffee*

--
sam! or the original sam from the old FO

24
by Yinka Double Dare :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:58am

How dare you call him Montell Evans instead of Montell Jordan!

56
by Gay Lafleur (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:12pm

This is how we do it/
It's Monday Night/
And I feel all ri-i-ight/
The party's here on the west side

98
by armchair journe... :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 8:06pm

Aaron sees your Montell joke and raises you a Munch-Montell rant.

Kudos for the Homicide flash-back... Classic material.

_______________________________
armchair journeyman quarterback

36
by crack (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:46pm

The funny part was they mentioned him in the MN TEN game. In fact all but one of the comments in the MN TEN section was about Montel.

101
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 1:57am

Nobody has pointed out yet that the Jags ran a "fake punt" WITHOUT EVEN HAVING A PUNTER ON THE FIELD! Did the Texans notice this and still fail to stop it, or were they truly suffering from heat stroke or something?

[/Redskins homerism]

13
by el plaga :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:30am

nobody mentions the bogus holding call on casey rabach that took a td from the redskins but everybody is obsessing about the calls dallas didn't get. is fox editing these comments too now.

16
by pr9000 :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:37am

How come all erectile dysfunction commercials involve old people sitting naked in separate bathtubs at the beach? Who drives bathtubs to the beach? Why would that be fun?

For me, the larger issue -- why two bathtubs? Isn't the point for both people to be in one bathtub? Why does a three-feet-high porcelain wall make for teh sexy?

That scene reminds me of my high school dating history.

15
by B :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:34am

Nothing like a song about an astronaut killed by a mechanical failure to inspire me to buy your products, Ford. Also, for the halftime show, less Boss, more Dethklok, please.

69
by witless chum :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:48pm

If only the real world was as cool as FO comments.

18
by PersonFace (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:40am

Awesome guys, I was laughing the whole read.

19
by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:52am

Erm, I'm pretty sure the best form of entertainment at the FA Cup Final is none whatsoever, besides some opera-type singer singing Ode To Joy and God Save The Queen before the match. Maybe Jerusalem as well if we're really going for it.

88
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:52pm

Having been lucky enough to see Chelsea in no fewer than five FA Cup Finals over the past fifteen years, I can assure you that Amazing Grace is a standard part of the pre-match routine - a tradition started at the behest of some early 20th Century Royal who was enthusiastic about both the hymn in question and (association) football.

In the rare event of a Welsh team reaching the game, the Welsh national anthem is played in addition to God Save the Queen. Were Jerusalem to be adopted as the English (as opposed to British, obviously) national anthem, as has been proposed in some quarters, I imagine it might well be added to the playlist. Marching military bands generally feature as well as opera singers.

I think British soccer fans would be very wary indeed of any attempt to introduce half-time music of the popular variety. The FA Cup's image is about tradition, rather than glamour. An *NSYNC equivalent would be jeered non-stop, and probably have things thrown at them. Kasabian or Razorlight or some such might get away with being resented but ignored. Only an old and truly behemothic, British act who absolutely everyone likes would stand a chance. The Who. The Stones. Zeppelin. McCartney. Maybe Clapton. Even they would cop a considerable amount of (mostly) good-natured abuse. Part of the issue is the general British dislike of celebrities, but it's also, I suspect, about the greater partisan-ness of British soccer fans as opposed to American NFL fans. Joining the other lot in enjoying a band would just seem . . . really wierd. We'll put aside our differences for the Queen (and hence the anthem), but that's about it.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to check out some truly awesome, not to mention bat-shit crazy, pre-match entertainment, search for the ceremony that preceded last year's Champions League final in Moscow. Those Russians may not know how to cook, but they can certainly choreograph vast, inexplicable dance routines. I was there, and for a moment I thought I'd ended up at the Quidditch World Cup by mistake.

20
by El Nino Meon (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:52am

"Antonio Cromartie tried to pull a Devin Hester, but got tackled short of the 30."

Thats probably a little unfair to Cromartie Vince, since he set the NFL Record for Longest Touchdown last year on a missed field goal. I think he's earned the right to do things like that without immediately being unfavourably compared to Hester.

PS: To get your fix of FO writers who are also ridiculously talented but overhyped cornerbacks, try Cromartie Vince.

26
by BucNasty :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:05pm

I was gonna make a comment about Cromartie's return last year, but didn't Cromartie slow to a stop before trying to return it yesterday? In that case, the point isn't that he's taking a page out of Hester's book by attempting to return a field goal, but that he tried to lull the defense to sleep to do it. You know, just like Devin Hester.

33
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:30pm

Your overall point is correct, but I would say they were favorably comparing him to Hester. After all, Hester's FG return also resulted in a touchdown.

63
by Richard :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:34pm

Soon a Hester will be defined as letting a punt land, then picking it up and running backwards to your own two yard line only to then be tackled.

65
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:40pm

Eh, maybe it looked different on TV, but my impression was that Rocca boomed that punt, and Hester could either let it come to rest inside the five or pick it up and at least try to make something happen. I don't fault him for that.

21
by jimm (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:52am

Regarding Springsteen at the Super Bowl - I have a great idea - 10 minutes of football and 3 hours of Springsteen.

23
by jimm (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:54am

Regarding Springsteen at the Super Bowl - I have a great idea - switch things up a little. 15 minutes of football and 3 hours of Springsteen.

25
by Harris :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:03pm

I was hoping ya'll would examine how the Bears, with a Tilt-A-Whirl operator at QB and a kick returner as the #1 WR, roasted a team that boasts what was supposed to be one of the best secondaries in the league. When Orton wasn't getting mauled, the DBs couldn't cover a bed with a blanket.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

46
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:07pm

Why aren't people commenting on the Eagles could let Kyle Orton have some success against them? Maybe because 2005 Kyle Orton is not the same as the 2008 version.

While he hasn't looked like an All-Pro QB this year, he's hardly looked bad. He can make the throws (though his touch on deep passes needs work) and, unlike Grossman, doesn't all-out panic as soon as he feels the pass rush. He'll still turn the ball over, but just about every QB does that, especially against the pass defenses he's faced (look what Tampa did to Aaron Rodgers and what Philadelphia did to Ben Roethlisberger). He reads defenses fairly well, and seems to be on the same page as his receivers most of the time, especially Bradon Lloyd. His biggest flaw is that he holds the ball too long sometimes, but at least against Tampa, he corrected that in-game.

If the play-calling is done properly (and it was much improved against the Eagles), Orton can be an average-to-above-average QB. Not a world beater, by any means, but definitely not a liability.

71
by DGL :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:53pm

Yeah, and with Croyle being out, he's destroying my Loser League team.

Stupid competent QB play.

76
by Tom Gower :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:41pm

Glad to see I'm not the only person with that depressing combo, though that Week 1 injury to Drew Bennett and Julius Jones also being surprisingly competent have also killed me. And WTH, Muhsin Muhammad, 8 for 147 and a TD?

106
by Marcumzilla :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 11:49am

That Muhammad line was one of the large reasons I lost in a regular fantasy game. Had Baltimore challenged the called incomplete to Mason in the first half, those points bring me up to a tie.

105
by Marcumzilla :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 11:46am

Same with me, except replace Croyle with Vince Young.

27
by Jericho (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:05pm

I'd agree that the blimp cam makes it look like Buckhalter scored. As announcers, if you swoon over the Chicago defense every replay, you should at least acknowledge the possibility that Buckhalter got it. You can't ignore possible visual evidence in front of you. As TMQ would say, that was sour.

Sideline replays were much more favorable to the Bears. Buckhalter is halted right at the goal line. Now does that mean the tip of the ball didn't pierce the goal line? It might have, but that's not conclusive. I also wondered in the blimp cam was at an angle, or if the sideline cams didn't catch everything.

End result, can't believe Reid didn't at least try and challenge it. Combined with the Olson TD catch, the Eagles could use better replay reviewers.

38
by crack (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:51pm

Seriously, another blimp cam comment? We need to get an air traffic controller to tell us where the blimp was relative to the play so these Philly fans can come back off the ledge.

89
by Roscoe :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 5:03pm

Madden and Co. notwithstanding, I thought the Olsen TD catch was fine. Madden kept saying it was OOB because the second foot didn't come down in bounds. He missed the fact that Olsen caught the ball with one foot on the ground, so he only needed to get one more foot down to make it a TD.

28
by zlionsfan :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:07pm

The worst part about the field goal attempt was that it was obvious what he was doing ... it wasn't like the previous play ended and then Russell called a timeout right away. The Raiders had at least 12 seconds left, so they could have run a quick play, but I guess Kiffin intended his last game to be a memorable one. (Of course, at the time, it looked like the Raiders had a shot to win, so it might not have been his last game anyway.)

29
by Reinhard (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:18pm

the overhead camera did not show the "entire ball in the endzone" it showed the ball just barely graze the endzone. But since the camera is not directly over the goal line, but several yards out (it shows the play from the offenses perspective and is several yards behind the qb I bet) this is incontrivertable (sp?) proof that it did NOT cross the goal line. I can diagram it if you would like...

31
by Jericho (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:25pm

Reinhard-

You claims seems a bit far fetched. To properly diagram somehing like that, you need exact positions and distances, something no one here likely has.

While the end result might be correct, it was a really close call. Even the sideline camera showed Buckhalter come right up to the goal line. If even 1/4 and inch of the ball was across the beginning of the white stripe, that's a touchdown. Visually, it won't look like a TD, since most of the ball and runner are short of the end zone. I don't think anyone can say definitively that it was not a TD or that it was a TD.

I will say that the picture linked in the audibles does make it look like Buckhalter scored.

40
by tuluse :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:55pm

If it is too close to call, the officials aren't going to overturn the call on the field.

77
by Lou :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:46pm

thats all well and good in theory. but how often have you seen refs get the review call wrong. either say something is irrefutable that isnt or the other way around. As a Bears fan i was thrilled Reid didn't ask for a review. He had a 50/50 shot of winning the game right there and didn't take it.

51
by TomC :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:34pm

Just in case people miss the reply I made to the first incarnation of this thread, I'll repeat it (in abridged form) here: Look at the Eagle player at the far left of that image, and you'll see that the blimp must have been far enough behind the play to easily project the ball falsely across the goal line (because the projection of the Eagle player's head onto the ground is a yard further into the end zone than his feet).

34
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:32pm

Aaron Schatz: OK, can anyone think of a reasonable reason why the Bears should not use a healthy Devin Hester on every single kickoff return?
I assume you're referring to the opening kickoff of the second half, which was returned by Danieal Manning (I believe). Hester was indeed the deep man on that kick, but it was a short kick, so Manning fielded it. The Bears have been keeping Manning, who himself is a good kick returner, back in addition to Hester, so that they can still get a good return off kicks designed to avoid Hester.

52
by TomC :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:37pm

No, Eddo, they actually had Manning deep one time instead of Hester. (R. Davis was the up man that fielded the short kick). I actually have zero problem with Manning & Hester splitting KR duties; Manning has broken something like 50% of his kick returns this year (counting preseason). (Where by "broken", I mean at least close to midfield.)

68
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:45pm

Ah...I could swear Hester was also back on that return. And I'm not confusing it with the Davis return - that was an especially short kick.

The Manning return was deeper, but more of a directional kick. He caught the ball about two yards in front of Hester, who could have gotten it.

I'll check the DVR after work.

I agree that Manning is more than an adequate replacement at kick returner.

35
by hector :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:40pm

Who is Dick Enberg's color commentator? With 1:18 left to play, Texans in their two-minute offense: "They need to move quickly, but don't hurry." Is that like talking without speaking? Hearing without listening?

John Wooden always harped on the "be quick, but don't hurry" theme (and may have been the person who whispered it, essentially, to Cross here), but I don't think he applied it to time-sensitive situations.

72
by DGL :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:56pm

Jackie Stewart said, "To go fast, drive slow." But I don't think that's really relevant either.

74
by jsa (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:16pm

In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court said to desegregate "with all deliberate speed."

37
by mchini :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:50pm

Wasn't there a call just last week where penalties on each team were called, but only the personal foul was enforced? What is the rule actually now?

Also, does anyone know why Orton wasn't called for intentional grounding on the 3rd down play before the Bears last FG? He was definitely still in the pocket and the ball certainly didn't cross the LOS, and it looked like he just threw the ball at an OL's feet. I suppose it's theoretically possible that an eligible receiver was in the area, but it certainly wasn't thrown at him.

I shoudln't be complaining, since the Eagles definitely didn't play well, but I really hate to see them lose to the Bears based on really strange penalty calls...Again.

42
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:02pm

At the game, I actually wondered about both your points as well. I could swear there was a call this year where a "regular" penalty didn't offset a personal foul (though I thought the roughing the kicker penalty looked more like a running into the kicker penalty, which would definitely offset).

I couldn't tell what happened on that third down play, exactly. I thought he was either hit as he threw the ball, the ball was tipped by an Eagle, or it was a poorly executed screen pass, all of which would not be grounding. I'll have to check the DVR for a more accurate view.

45
by tuluse :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:06pm

I'm pretty sure it was a screen pass, but it wasn't there, so Orton just threw it into the dirt.

53
by TomC :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:42pm

Yeah, he threw it at the feet of a clump of Bears, one of whom was eligible (D. Clark).

90
by dbt :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 5:04pm

It wasn't a clear game changing decision, but I believe it was the wrong call. Penalties should not offset if one is a 5 yarder and one is a 15.

39
by mrh (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:52pm

Note that the Chiefs lost a close game at NE and won comfortably (not as easily as the final score indicates) at home against Denver when they were NOT being QBed by Tyler Thigpen. I don't know if Croyle will be any good and Huard is just a stop gap, but it would be interesting to see the Chiefs' DVOA with and w/o Thigpen. My guess is with him, historically bad, w/o him, poor but acceptable for a rebuilding team.

41
by kevin06 (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 12:55pm

i'm fairly certain i'll be proved wrong about this but i was always told that the reason they started putting lime in the top of a beer bottle in mexico was to stop flies from flying into the bottle, personally i like corona without the lime

43
by mrh (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:04pm

On bad announcing, Gumbel and Dierdorf were terrible. Gumbel blew the introduction of the DEN defense on the first series, talking about the Chiefs defense, apparently forgetting that he had just done the Chiefs offense. Then when DEN got the ball, he started in on the Chiefs defense when the DEN offense had their pictures up on the screen. Unless his monitor was getting a different feed than my TV, in which case his production crew sucked.

On Albert's injury, Dierdorf decided immediately that it was a leg injury despite the lack of any visual evidence on multiple replays that his leg(s) were in anyway hurt. After the first replay, I said to my wife it looks like his arm, maybe a dislocated elbow (later reports are either that or a hyperextended elbow) as it looked like his arm got pinned/bent by a defender landing on it. And then the trained was holding his hand to keep his arm steady when they carted him off - Dierdorf apparently felt the trained was comforting him on his leg injury.

There was one time when Cutler got hit late and both of them were ranting about the no-call for roughing, ignoring the multiple replays showing the o-lineman pushing the defender as he went by, possibly causing him to fall into Cutler. I can see that it MIGHT have been called roughing, maybe SHOULD have been. But it was pretty clear that the ref decided that the Chief was blocked into the QB and he wasn't going to throw the flag. It would be nice if the announcers watched the game...

44
by JordanT (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:05pm

I thought the choice for the Raiders to kick the 76 yard field goal to be odd. For one, it had zero chance of going in, a hail mary has better odds of scoring. Second, they could have run a play to the sideline to pick-up 15-20 yards and then kick when you have a decent shot. Third, it gave a chance for San Diego to return the kick for a touchdown, it was 15-0 at that point and a kick return for a touchdown, going into half-time, with San Diego getting the ball at the start of the half would have been a big blow. It didn't matter as they lost it in the 4th quarter anyways, but it's still a bad call.

So you risk 7 points and the momentum for the possibility of getting 0 points? Hardly a good call.

On another note, I think the big drive in that game is San Diego taking the ball 80 yards and getting a field goal at the start of the second half. It took 8 minutes off the clock and seemed to wear out the Raiders D a bit. It also allowed a tired SD defense an even longer rest after half-time and they came out fairly fresh in the second half.

47
by Special J :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:08pm

I was going to offer my 2 cents on the parallax view and the Bears goal-line stand, but it looks like that ground's already well-covered.

Instead, I will say this to Ben Riley:

Why are you complaining about Lincoln producing a commercial that enables us to hear Cat Power covering David Bowie?

50
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:27pm

I can't believe there's been this much discussion of music and no credit for:

"Ben Riley: Who is Dick Enberg's color commentator? With 1:18 left to play, Texans in their two-minute offense: "They need to move quickly, but don't hurry." Is that like talking without speaking? Hearing without listening?"

Something like that deserves more credit than the deafening roar of silence.

54
by Special J :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 1:51pm

Seems like an unnecessary comment to tee off on Randy Cross for.

Does Riley really not know what Cross is trying to say here? People have been commenting on the seeming paradox between acting with speed and dispatch, and yet without rushing into carelessness. Erasmus, in he 16th century, coined the phrase Festina Lente, meaning "make haste slowly," to describe it, and John Wesley, in the 18th century, was known for saying "Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry."

Cross doesn't have their eloquence, but the idea he was getting across isn't really all that "out there."

104
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 9:30am

I suspect you may be a joke short, and a Simon and Garfunkel album late.

57
by Raffy (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:12pm

Good Job, Vince! Stand up for yourself and don't follow the crowd. This is one older Jersey kid that will respect you! I agree, for good or bad, let's let the younger guys and gals perform at the Super Bowl, too. And if Tanier goes to Seattle after you, this Jersey Boy has got your back! :-)

58
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61
by RMGreen :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:23pm

"Mike Tanier: When did they change the rule that said that you can't "offset" a personal foul penalty? The Bears just had roughing the punter offset by the Eagles' 17th false start of the first quarter."

I wondered the same thing last night. I did an internet search and found this. Here's the relevant text:

Whenever a foul is committed by both teams with no change of team possession during that play, the penalties will offset according to NFL rules.

The exception to this rule is when one team commits a five-yard penalty and another team commits a 15-yard penalty during a play in which there is no change in team possession. In this case, the five-yard penalty is declined by rule and the 15-yard penalty is enforced.

It's BS in my opinion, but assuming the author is correct, it's the rules.

About the 'overhead' angle showing a TD, I figued it just wasn't aligned properly. The side-angle endzone camera would probably be used as the definitive measure and it didn't appear to indicate a TD. What I want to know is on that 4th down on the half yard line, why didn't they call the classic McNabb QB sneak where he just shoves up against the line and push in? That's almost impossible to defend from that close in.

62
by tuluse :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:32pm

However, there was a change of possession on the play.

67
by RMGreen :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:44pm

Exactly. The change of possession is what made the penalties offset instead of having the 15-yard penalty override the 5-yard penalty.

59
by Dodd (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:22pm

force the Broncos to wear throwbacks to 1960, possibly the worst uniform in professional football history

Obviously you've forgotten the throwback u8nis the Eagles inflicted on us last year: http://philadelphia.comcastsportsnet.com/images/content/eagles/kearse_th...

64
by mchini :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 2:37pm

Back to more important topics, by which I clearly mean bad cover songs in commercials, is anyone else completely disgusted by the NFL Network's "Every Day is Like Sunday" commercials???

73
by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:07pm

I have a question for Viking fans. Did any of you think that it was peculiar that Brad Childress decided to PUNT the ball with under two minutes left in the game down by 13 points? I mean what was THAT about? It seems as if Childress flat out quit on his team. Like to get some input on that.

79
by Tom Gower :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:49pm

I (a TEN fan) was watching the game with a couple MIN fans, and neither was the least bit surprised by Childress's decision. Not to say that that decision was in any way particularly wise, but there you have it. Between that decision and his call to use a TO, THEN challenge a play earlier in the game, I think he deserves strong consideration for KCW this week. Though it's not listed in the PBP, Frerotte's decision to use the last TO to avoid a delay of game while at his own 2 (4Q 4:03, I think, though it might've been the 2&10 play) also merits consideration.

81
by tuluse :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:17pm

Between that decision and his call to use a TO, THEN challenge a play earlier in the game

I've seen this like 5 times in the past two seasons. I don't understand how a coach can make a blunder this large.

86
by Eddo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:36pm

I could swear that I've seen the officials give the coaches back a timeout in such cases. Are there special circumstances that would negate the timeout?

92
by tuluse :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 5:50pm

I think if the play is overturned, anything that happened after than point is undone (penalties, etc), so you get back a timeout if you called one. You see this more after the two minute warning, where a coach will call a timeout hoping the booth decides to review.

So, in essence the coach is betting two timeouts instead of one that the play will be overturned.

80
by morganja :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 3:51pm

Ed Hochuli is a good ref. He calls a good game. But he has made two horrendous mistakes that cost San Diego the game and could have potentially effected the outcome of the Panthers game by calling back a pick score on a totally bogus call.

Two thoughts.

One, when he errs horribly, it is for protecting the quarterback. Both times were supposedly to honor rules that protect the QB.

I have no idea what he thought he saw on Peppers. You could use his tackle as an example of perfect form on an instructional video. In any case, he was absolutely in no position to judge where the helmet hit. If you can't see it, don't call it.

Secondly, although it was posted on ESPN soon after it happened, if this had happened to the Patriots or Cowboys this would have been all over the networks. But the Panthers are a lot like a tree that falls in a forest.

83
by Da Captain (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:21pm

Tanier brought this up but since when has a personal foul been offset by a false start penalty? Is this a recent rule change, because I know in the past personal fouls trumped other penalties? I was definitely bothered that I did not know the answer to this when watching the game.

85
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 4:31pm

Verhei-Oneill exchange at end of Oakland game section was possibly the funniest thing i've ever read on football outsiders. Certainly made me laugh harder than anything else.

91
by hector :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 5:48pm

Did they call the timeout merely to *discuss* the fourth-down call? Given what a timeout is worth in a close game (a possible challenge, ~40 seconds of game time) that's just silly. Make your call on the spot and keep the timeout.

93
by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 6:39pm

Some thoughts on WAS-DAL (mostly WAS) that I learned thanks to TiVo and watching the same plays over and over rather than sitting through commercials and the halftime show on an overall boring day of football:

1) Chris Samuels was indeed beaten repeatedly by DeMarcus Ware in the first quarter. I don't know enough to speculate about what changed, but Samuels was solid the other three quarters. If anything, it looked like he was given even more one-on-one match ups with less help...

2) Reed Doughty sucks, and WAS does not have the personnel to run that 3-safety formation they like. He must be a hard worker in practice or something. His replacement in the starting lineup, Chris Horton, is beginning to look like the next Troy Polamalu. I haven't seen him really get beat, and he's always around the play... Marcus Washington used to be WAS's best LB, now he's the worst of the starting three. I am wondering if HB Blades would be an upgrade at this point... I also think Stephan Heyer truly is a better player than Jon Jansen, though it's nice to have Jansen around for some starting-quality depth.

3) It was a very poorly officiated game, even beyond the missed facemask and false start. WAS was all over DAL's receivers all game, and I suspect that had a lot to do with shutting down DAL's passing game, but the refs continued to let them play. DAL's secondary never adjusted to the lax officiating. I wonder if this crew is known to let the defensive secondary play... I do not believe there was a hold by anyone, ESPECIALLY not Casey Rabach, on the Portis TD that was called back.

4) Even worse than the officiating was FOX's coverage of their precious Cowboys. I despise having to listen to Troy Aikman for EVERY SINGLE Cowboys telecast. The coverage was horribly Dallas-centric; note how when the Redskins jumped out to a 17-7 lead they start talking about Jay Novachek and anything but how the Redskins were outplaying the Cowboys. On the Campbell-Moss on the run bomb, Aikman notes, "Campbell was lucky to have the ball go as far as it did," as opposed to perhaps saying, "excellent job by Campbell showing off his arm strength there and making a play happen." According to FOX, the Redskins were lucky, not necessarily better. I was cursing Aikman and Buck all game long. Which is sad because they do know their football, and might be a great crew when kept away from homer-centric Cowboys games.

5) WAS's pass rush is non-existent without Jason Taylor; fortunately on this Sunday our secondary was good enough to make up for it. I will be glad to have him back against PHI next week. I'll bet MIA fans miss him, he's been a joy to watch this season...

6) What the hell happened to Brandon Lloyd in Chicago? That's not the same player who sucked abysmally in WAS for two long painful years...

[/Redskins homerism]

95
by Jeremiah (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 7:20pm

Bill Barnwell: I benched Laveranues Coles at 12:50 for Devery Henderson

I did too. My opponent also had Favre, making it doubly bad for me. To make it even worse, I had Kurt Warner, since Peyton Manning was on bye. Who throws for nearly 500 yards and 2 TDs, yet scores a measly 9 fantasy points? Kurt Warner, that's who. >:(

96
by Paydro :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 7:21pm

I'm 23, and I like Bruce Springsteen, but I have to stay with Vince on this one. How many years will there be a moratorium on people who will play current music? I guess the football market is just that dominated by old white guys?

I know it's a stretch, but I really don't think Kanye West or Rihanna or Lil Wayne are going to expose themselves on stage.

97
by DC (not verified) :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 7:24pm

ChiJeff: The Vikings spent the better part of three hours Sunday getting slapped around by the Titans offensive and defensive line. I Childress wanted no more of it. I hear he's now considering changing his name to Roberto Duran. What a turd.

99
by Temo :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 8:43pm

This "Terrel Owens wants the ball more" is absurd. Here's the exchange:

Q: "What was the difference between the first half and the second half?"

A:"Well, I think it's no secret. When I get the ball, things move. We move the chains. If not, you see the stagnant (sic) in our offense."

He's saying that he got the ball more in the second half (which is true) and when they did get him the ball, they scored more often (which is true).

100
by Sean :: Mon, 09/29/2008 - 10:24pm

Born to Run may have been 24 years ago, but I will bet that The Boss couldn't get two bars into Rosalita without the entire stadium and all those watching on TV going apeshit

107
by Dan Lebatard (not verified) :: Tue, 09/30/2008 - 1:42pm

This is the biggest bunch of garbage I have ever read. Seriously. You tools should coach for all the fancy lingo you love to throw around. Suey!

108
by Anonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 10/03/2008 - 6:07am

Probably my favorite riff from Homicide. Nice
-t.d.

109
by Boston Dan :: Fri, 10/03/2008 - 5:51pm

"(Also, why couldn't I just squeeze an actual lime into a Bud Light? Have we all been secretly yearning for a lime-infused Corona?)"

Obviously the point of "Bud Light Lime" is to compete with Corona.