Talk amongst yourselves
Click here to buy PDF version
Need help on FanDuel or DraftKings? Purchase a subscription from the website that specializes in daily fantasy.
16 Nov 2013
Please to discuss all the Week 11 football-related happenings in this thread.
Posted by: Rivers McCown on 16 Nov 2013
182 replies , Last at
23 Nov 2013, 4:24pm by
I was a little surprised Titans/Colts wasn't mentioned on the upset watch this week. Indy has been terrible since Wayne went down. The teams are only about 15% apart in DVOA, and Tennesee is at home... thoughts?
So far it looks like you have a point.
Looks like the Colts have picked up right where they left off last Sunday.
After the first quarter tonight they had been outplayed for 7 of the previous 10 quarters, 9 of which were against plebian competition at best; wonder what their DVOA was for that stretch vs. the rest of the season.
Fitzpatrick dodges a bullet. He wasn't touched until that ball came out. I don't think the flag would have mattered as I heard a whistle before anyone else touched the ball.
CJ2K looks strong tonight. As Mayock said, the second TD run was perhaps his best run in the last three seasons.
I feel like he might give a little more effort when he knows he's on national TV. It seems like he's had games like this in the past when the Titans were in a feature game.
Wow, the Colts are falling apart on this drive. Massive yardage on several roughing penalties, and then one of the Colts headbutts a player not wearing a helmet?
I think that was inevitable after the announcers pointed out that the Colts are about the least penalized team in the league.
Think he gets a one-game suspension for that? I have to assume the refs missed the head-butt or he'd have been tossed from the game...head-butting a helmetless player seems pretty egregious to me.
I think the ref must have seen the headbutt. Otherwise, what did he throw the flag for? Maybe for pulling off Walker's helmet, but that happened quite a bit earlier in the confrontation.
NFL network guys discussing how the Steelers want Roethlisberger become "more cerebral" in his approach to the game.
I think it's time for an analogy.
Peyton Manning::Ben Roethlisberger = Kenneth Branagh::Pauly Shore
Roethlisberger is never going to be "cerebral". He is who he is. It's worked reasonably well for a long time. He's a big, strong guy who can take abuse and still throw strong passes. That's it. He's not going to change.
That's exactly what I think when someone says something like "he should be more ... "
My first response is always "maybe he should, but he isn't"
Just terrible turnover by the Titans. Piss away all of the momentum from the first half.
Fumbled without even touching a Colt.
Andrew Luck brings the "pump fake" to the NFL. Get the defender airborne by faking a pass and run past him for a TD. Nice.
Lol, I wasn't aware the pump fake didn't exist in the NFL prior to Luck. Then again, I heard the announcers saying how Luck is on pace to be the fastest QB to reach 20 wins. Lol, Wilson already has 20 wins (21 counting the playoffs). Come to think of it, the pump fake is something Wilson uses all the time. I guess there's one universe where Luck is the end all be all and another universe where all other players exist.
I wasn't really making a serious claim that Luck was the first player in NFL history to use a pump fake.
I know, I was just making an observation that the media seems to think he is. They even made the comment that with his injured oline, there was no QB in the NFL who could have won that game. Yet, when the Hawks DID beat St. Louis with an even MORE injured oline, the meme wasn't how great Wilson overcame incredible odds, it was "The Seahawks are flawed."
Colts have scored 17 points since the last time the Titans' offense touched the ball.
Terrible spot on the Luck 4th down rush, and review failed to fix the mistake.
Some guy comes in with Donald Brown's uniform number and looks great, then gets pulled out for a mysterious eye injury. T-Rich goes in and, well, looks like he's looked all year.
Hmm, why did the Titans stop running on 3rd and short?
Anybody else think Brown should have kneeled at the half yard line on his second TD run? As soo as he did it I was wondering, but brushed it off. Then.... facepalm.
There was no reason to suspect that Tenn would explode for a TD in 4 plays, but kneeling to get a new set of downs ends the game since Tenn couldn't stop the clock.
Must've had himself on his fantasy team this week.... He's lucky Tenn has this stupid fixation for the spinning non-onside onside kick that never works. Even after reporters question Munchak about it he insists it's a good way to go. Must work like hell in practice.
There was too much time left to kneel there. Kneeling would risk not getting the TD and giving it back to the Titans with only a 1-score lead. Also, this was on 2nd down, and you're talking about trying to kneel in a tight space with tacklers around. Misjudge, and suddenly it's 3rd down.
In summation, GD Donald was right to take the points there. At some point, you've just got to trust your defense to hold a 10 point lead with 3 minutes left.
Agree with this.
There was no reason to think the Titans could even score in the last 3 minutes, much less drive for a quick TD _and_ make an onside kick. The Titans' offense had been inert the entire second half.
Be sure join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for internet relay football chat!
Instructions moved to a pastebin due to overzealous spam filter: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=Qjf3ZzvE
Bengals punter launches a 66-yarder.
Ray Rice with a 47 yard run, leading to a TD. Wow the Bears rush D must not be very good.
Justin Tucker with a tornado-aided 52 yard FG. Game delayed for weather.
When this game went overtime, I told my wife that, in that weather, that whomever won the toss should choose a direction rather than take the ball, receive the punt and win on the 2nd possession field goal. Sure enough, Ravens win the toss, take the ball, lose on the 2nd possession field goal.
If there was EVER a clear-cut case of choosing to kick when winning the coin toss being the better call, this was it.
Still a bad idea.
Maybe. But in your example with the new rules, the Lions would've gotten the ball back.
I think it'll take longer than going for it on 4th downs coming into vogue, but some smart coach w/ a strong enough D will do it. I just hope the first time it happens, the receiving team doesn't get a KO return or a broken coverage and score a TD easily.
Classic "was it worth hurrying?" play in Philly. Alfred Morris gains about 8 yards after going out of bounds. Officials miss it and give 'Skins 2nd and 1. Redskins hurry to line to make sure no challenge is thrown. As a result, they have a disjointed play that gets no yardage and waste a down.
Is it really worth it to waste a down just to avoid a challenge?
In this case the Redskins also failed to convert on 3rd down.
If the question is would a team prefer a 3rd and 1 or a 2nd and 9, I think 3rd and 1 is the answer.
Andy Dalton is Schaubing it up at home. Hayden with two picks including a score - that locks up his pro bowl selection.
Awesome int return by James Harrison.
The Calvin Johnson rule actually helps the Lions for once.
Cincy's 31 pts in the 2nd Qtr. make me wonder what is the record for most points in a single quarter?
The Lions put up 34 pts in the 4th quarter against the Bears in 2007, which is the record for most 4th quarter points. I don't know about other quarters.
Quick Wikipedia copy-paste
Most Points, Single Team, First Quarter, 35
Green Bay Packers vs Cleveland Browns, Nov 12, 1967
Most Points, Single Team, Second Quarter, 41
Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions, Oct 7, 1945
Most Points, Single Team, Third Quarter, 41
Los Angeles Rams vs Detroit Lions, Oct 29, 1950
Most Points, Single Team, Fourth Quarter, 34
Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears, Sep 30, 2007
Interesting how every single one of those games either has one or both teams from the NFCNorth, a division historically known for tough defense.
And only one of them happened after the AFL-NFL merger, which was supposed to make games less competitive.
The second game listed is also noteworthy as the game in which Don Hutson set a still-standing record of 29 points in a quarter.
that's not complete...
eg. pats had 35 in the 2nd qtr against titans in 2009 (in that 59-0 snow game)
Which is less than the 41 (!)* points scored by the Packers in a 1945 second quarter...
*: not 41!, of course...
Campbell's ESPN QBR: 7.1
Dalton's ESPN QBR: 3.7
And that's not even getting into the disasters on special teams, etc. Ouch, what an ugly game beyond the 31-point quarter.
Now I'm wondering how many teams have scored more than 30 pts in a single quarter and LOST. Lolol, no way Lions should have lost this game.
Ack! Got my games confused. Still, 27 in one qtr. and losing is pretty bad.
well they did it in the second Q - so the Steelers could think of a gameplan to stop Calvin the rest of the game.
He had 0 catches in the second half.
Meh. Rothlisberger is a bad matchup against a Lions team that doesn't generate enough pass rush on the edges and a secondary that can't keep up with receivers. Losing that way on the road isn't bad. A fumble by the punter on a fake FG when you have a chance to go up by a TD -- that's bad.
Well, I don't think the fumble part mattered much since it was fourth down. It even cost the Steelers a few yards of field position.
Umm, the Lions gave up an easy FG that would have put them up by 7 in the 4th quarter, because of that attempted fake.
Duh. The point is that the fumble is irrelevant, because it's fourth down. Not sure what you're not understanding here.
He had the first down. So it did matter.
He did not have the first down. Per the ESPN play-by-play (Field Goal formation) Direct snap to S.Martin. S.Martin right guard to PIT 7 for 3 yards (S.McLendon, C.Heyward). FUMBLES (S.McLendon), RECOVERED by PIT-R.Clark at PIT 3. R.Clark to PIT 3 for no gain (L.Waddle).
That jives with my memory that he got tackled before the 5, which was the line to get. So the fumble as mentioned did not cause the turnover, it cost the Steelers 4 yards and put them in a situation that they screwed up badly earlier in the game.
I remember it being announced as 4th and 3 from the 10, but after closely looking at the video it was more like 4th and 4 from the 9. He got tackled at the 6.5 or so.
So you are right. Bad announcing though :)
If they had taken the FG, there would have been no fumble, and they would have been up by 7. DUHHH!.
Welcome to Seattle Percy Harvin. Nice catch to start things off.
Mike McCarthy determined to leave Tolzien in third and long situations
in the first half.
What a difference a QB makes to a teams fortunes. Plenty of teams out there (Minnesota) that would be contenders if they had one.
Meanwhile Harvin returns his first kick. 53 yards. This guy is having a great debut with Seattle.
Seriously. Pretty sure every single drive has started run/run/pass on third and long.
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”
Sounds like the Seahawks offense from my childhood. Run left, run right, incomplete pass.
Watch out Washington, the Packers defence is gunning for your title as worst in the league.
Scott Tolzien shows his potential as a future Texans QB by throwing a pick-six on consecutive weeks.
Russell Wilson does his best Magic Johnson imitation with a dish out to Lynch who runs into the end zone and does a layup.
49ers should have this game locked up. I don't really agree with that call, which turns a sack/fumble/turnover into a "roughing" call.
At least until some dunderhead gets flagged for hitting a returner on a fair catch. Now looking like the Saints have this locked up.
Tonight's game was originally NYG-Packers. What are the chances December 8th's game between the Pack and Falcons doesn't happen in prime time either?
Considering the way both teams played today, I'd say pretty close to 100%.
Indy-Cin and Sea-SF are already protected. Lions-Eagles and Panthers-Saints look like likely choices.
Panthers-Saints sounds like a great choice.
I think the Seahawks will be maxed-out on prime-times so Sea-SF is out. Saint-Panthers if they're not over the max. Anyone know? I'm too lazy to look it up.
Andy Reid goes for FG at Den 1 down by 10. Game over.
Beat me to it. There are few things I dislike more than any FG 20 yards or shorter.
Two good challenges on fine line decisions, with good video evidence. Nice examples of replay working well.
Terrible clock management & two minute offense there.
Talib, just let go.
Anticipating the Smith-Talib fight that will break out has made watching this game even more enjoyable.
At this rate, if Smith was in control of himself, he might work on getting Talib to get himself ejected. However, my understanding of him is he'll want to hit back rather than set up Talib.
It really is a question of whether either can exercise enough self-control to simply goad the other. So far, the answer looks like "no". A double ejection wouldn't surprise me.
Dammit, Ridley. That was real sloppy. Enjoy the bench.
Talib already should have been ejected. How fun it is to watch the Patriot calls. Every game you can depend on two or more bogus Patriot calls in critical situations.It never gets old.
It's the Patriot Way.
Come on, guys. These dead ball fouls are killers.
Nice call by Gruden. Called out the Pats' pass rush, noting Chandler Jones in particular needed to step up. Next play is a Jones sack.
Some dirty-looking pays by the Pats tonight, no?
Too bad the refs can't just give the Patriots a touchdown instead of having to call all those penalties...
How did these refs miss the leg-whip that injured Johnson? If they are going to call a personal foul on a defensive player brushing the side of the helmet of the quarterback, they need to start cracking down on deliberate dangerous plays like that one. A one game suspension is a good start.
Cam Newton just schooled three pass rushers who all had shots at sacks.
Well, that was defensive holding if past 5 yards. The Panther WR was really smart to grab his arm and lock it against him as he went into arm flailing mode though, since it made sure the refs saw it and made sure it looked obvious.
Panthers have to be careful here, not to score too quickly (while also not screwing up and not scoring).
Well, hard to fault getting a TD, but that was too quick Carolina.
You have to take the TD when it's available.
Agreed. Its easy to say after getting the TD that they should've found a way to do that, just 30-40 seconds later :)
Tackle failure by Arrington
Where is the pass protection?
Pretty dumb PI there by Melvin White. The worst thing that can happen on that play is the WR catches the ball on sideline and goes out of bounds.
I love the 3 second play.
If there's no foul, why is there a flag on the ground?
well, to tease the Pat fans of course.
Wow. Just wow.
A horrible way for this game to end.
A poorly, underthrown Brady pass? Yes, it is.
This is such a shame, as the Patriots have never had close calls go their way in the past.
Has anybody ever seen a game end before with the refs picking up a flag?
The upside here is that morganja can never, ever again complain about the refs throwing the game to the Patriots.
Never underestimate the power of Patriots haters.
Can we stop with the meme that the Pats get all the close calls now? kthx
You'd have thought that would have ended with the Jets game.
I honestly cannot remember the last time officials reversed themselves on a PI call.
That's just a terrible, terrible no-call.
PI gets taken back on tipped balls with reasonable regularity.
Obviously I'm not talking about tipped balls.
Should I really have to add that qualification?
"I honestly cannot remember the last time officials reversed themselves on a PI call."
Only if you want your statements to be taken on their face.
Yep, that's exactly what happened here. /s
They reversed a thrown flag just one week ago in the Colts/Rams game. It wasn't the last play of the game, but it happened.
Was it PI?
Yes. They picked up the flag and said the contact came just as the ball arrived.
Was the call that the ball was uncatchable because the Panthers player stepped in front of Gronk so he had no chance of making a play on it? In a sense, the ball was uncatchable, so the interference had no bearing on the play. But I always thought the context of that rule was that the ball had to be too high or out of bounds.
The defender was essentially pushing Gronk away from the ball. To then claim that the ball was uncatchable is bizarre. I've never seen such a thing before.
The trick is, the intercepting DB crosses Gronk pretty much at the same time as the PI is being committed. So it would have been impossible for Gronk to immediately halt his momentum and get in front of the interceptor. But it was a strange call, I agree, I don't think I've seen it before.
We have no idea whether it "would have been impossible" for Gronk to get the ball, absent the interference by Kuechly.
The officials are circling the wagons, which is discouraging.
There was contact but did Keuchly change Gronks progress or path? There is zero chance of Gronk catching that ball. You can't make that call to end a game. The fact that the Patriots often do and didn't get it this time is a welcome change.
You're little more than a Pats-hater. Somehow, in spite of the Jets game earlier this season, you show up tonight complaining that refs constantly throw games to the Patriots.
I don't feel like arguing every single penalty that is called or not called. But for you, any penalty on the Patriots is deserved, and any penalty not called on the Patriots is evidence of some kind of conspiracy.
It becomes uninteresting after a while.
I can't believe that the refs didn't hand the game to the Patriots. Brady under-threw that ball by 6 yards and still demanded the penalty.
Well, this now makes two games the Patriots have lost this year on somewhat questionable officiating decisions.
I think the debacle in New Jersey was worse. How they let the Jets get away with that penalty in regulation, and then call the penalty on the Pats in OT just boggles the mind.
It still needs to be shown that the Jets actually committed a penalty earlier in the game.
Because the only view that arguably shows it is an end zone camera where the action is blocked from view. If that's your "evidence", then you have none.
Even if the player's hands couldn't be seen, it was easy enough for anyone without an ax to grind to make inferences based on the physics of the play.
The NFL has admitted that they blew that call.
I think the URL tells the story.
There's your evidence, without scare quotes.
No, the URL doesn't tell the story, because the story does not say they shouldn't have called the penalty on NE.
Jesus, people... bad calls near the ends of games do not determine the game. The 130+ previous plays determine if a bad call near the end of the game makes fans think that a bad call at the end determined the game but there were plenty of other problems... otherwise, they wouldn't be whinging about one questionable call.
Nor am I arguing that the officials should not have called the penalty on the Patriots.
I want the same penalties called on both teams.
But I think it's fairly obvious that, had that penalty been called on the Jets in regulation, that the Patriots would not have done the same thing in overtime.
That's complete nonsense.
Firstly, you provide no affordance that the two plays and their visibility were quite different.
Secondly, arguing that the Pats wouldn't have done something if something that didn't happen had happened is time machine talk. You might as well say, "if they had scored a touchdown instead of stalling and punting that one time."
Also... I presume you wanted Cannon flagged (and presumably want him to be fined) for the leg whip that injured Charles Johnson? Sure, you did/do.
Belichick looks like he's about to cry.
/checks into game discussion
//reads 5 posts
///leaves and hopes for ignore function
See you in 2014.
Yes, an ignore function would be nice.
Definitely. There's at least one obnoxious, ludicrously biased Patriot homer who keeps making the same whiny posts who it would be great to ignore.
Welcome to the website. I don't think I recognize the user name.
I think the ref explanation given on ESPN after the game makes a little sense, though it won't satisfy everyone. The claim is that the interception in front of the potential DPI, negates the penalty just as a deflected ball negates a PI call. So, yes, those flags are sometimes called back. Especially when the ref calling the PI flag hasn't see the deflection, or in this case, the interception.
Don't have to agree with the non call, but I think that is the official explanation.
I'd be more OK with the call if any other team were so consistently on the short end of this kind of rules lawyering. Aside from the two obvious examples for this year, I remember a play where Brady got called for intentional grounding when he chucked a deep ball from the pocket and overshot all of his receivers by twenty yards.
I'd be more OK with the call if I could recall any example in the past 30 years of officials picking up a flag for DPI.
So, that's twice this season the referees have done something unprecedented to cost the Pats a chance to win a game.
It's a shame, because this last controversy overshadows what was a well-played, exciting game. The Pats have some obvious weaknesses. Their biggest failure was containing Cam Newton on his two long scrambles. Aside from that, there was the Ridley fumble and the horrible defense by Arrington on the Ginn TD.
Luckily, the Pats get to face Denver next week. At least Peyton Manning doesn't scramble.
More specifically, picking up a flag for DPI when it is arguably the DPI that made the ball uncatchable in the first place. And do they make a different call if it's a faster receiver who might be able to get to the ball more quickly? I don't imagine this is a road the league wants to go down any time soon.
Talking about going down a road, by the language the referees used (at least the transcript that was available from the pool reporters), if there is a friendly defensive back in the area, the closest defensive players should tackle the receiver to the ground, since the potentially-made interception would then render the pass uncatchable. I have to imagine the rules won't be enforced this way come Thursday night...
I think Austin's point was the defender that made the interception was between the QB and the intended receiver. I don't think that would apply if, say Kuechly tackled Gronk, and Lester came from behind Gronk to make the interception.
Either way, I find it hard to believe Gerry Austin just made something up. From Blakeman's post-game presser, they had a conference and decided the ball was uncatchable. It's a judgement call, adn they made it.
If that's an explanation, it's a poor one. The interference is happening before the interception. A deflected ball doesn't negate PI that happens before the deflection, only after it.
The only explanation that they can stand by is that the ball was short and therefore uncatchable. And really, I cannot think of any DPI being cancelled for that reason. I have seen flags not thrown. But I've never seen a flag thrown and then picked up for PI, absent a tipped ball, which clearly didn't happen here.
They picked up a flag just last week in the Colts Rams game
I've seen DPI flags picked up after discussions. It certainly isn't rare.
Names, dates, etc.
I've been watching this game for decades and cannot think of this happening before.
I've seen flags picked up for a lot of things. But not pass interference. Pretty much every time a PI flag is thrown, players argue and cajole. But I've never seen a flag picked up.
If it wasn't PI, why did the back judge throw a flag?
It literally happened a week ago in the Colts Rams game, and it wasn't a tipped ball. I don't have Game Rewind so I can't give you a the time of the play. Believe it was 2nd quarter.
Really? 'There was no pass interference, because the ball was uncatchable/tipped'. You hear is a few times a season.
You've certainly seen a PI flag picked up for an uncatchable ball overthrown, haven't you? You have a good argument that the call should stand, but don't dilute your point by suggesting refs never pick up a PI flag. I agree I have never seen it pickup up on an underthrown ball, but I have seen it picked up all the time on a ball thrown over the head of the receiver.
To me, it was the "just" call but not the "right" call. "Just" because Gronk would not have caught that pass no matter what the LB did or did not do to him because the DB intercepted it before the ball got to him. But, it's not the "right" call because it seems to go against the literal interpretation of the rule. And, in general, I'd prefer refs to go by the letter of the rule, not to try to see what is the just call.
I literally cannot recall a PI flag being picked up for an uncatchable ball being overthrown. Usually the officials simply don't throw a flag when the ball is uncatchable. It's not like the position of the ball is unknown information to them when the flag is thrown.
I would have more sympathy for the officials if they hadn't called McCourty for holding on a similarly uncatchable pass just a few minutes before. And Kuechly was certainly doing as much to Gronk as McCourty had done to his receiver.
I've seen PI flags picked up in circumstances where they determined that the conduct wasn't interference - like incidental contact, or bang bang plays where the receiver is hit as the ball arrives.
What I haven't seen is a flag being picked up when seemingly everyone agreed that the underlying conduct would have been a foul, but for the presence of an intercepting ballplayer.
edited for lack of reading comprehension
Bullshit, McCourty was holding like he frequently does and he got trapped on it perfectly and then he played dumb like a horrible actor. Great play. Great call.
"He got trapped on it.."
That would be known as offensive holding.
You might want to clean up your argument.
No, not in the sense I'm using it, but you will make everything a conspiracy against the Pats.
When and where did I use the word "conspiracy"?
Then stop whining because you aren't watching the NFL.
No, really, I watch the NFL every week.
I think it's not unreasonable to ask that the officials conduct themselves in a manner better than they did at the end of the game. Throwing a flag, then picking it up, and then walking off the field without offering any explanation? It's practically an admission that they don't know what they're doing.
In the Saints-Niners game yesterday, we had a referee explain to the fans why he had failed to call an intentional grounding penalty on the visiting QB. Would it have been so much to ask for here? The game was played remarkably quickly. It was over in 3 hours. Surely another 30 seconds explaining what they are doing isn't asking for too much.
It's hard to question their ruling because they haven't even explained it!
Well, you've apparently given up on your claim that you've never seen a DPI picked up and are just going to keep whinging all night as if the game is not already order and the number of comments you post will somehow change the outcome of the game so whatever...
"Well, you've apparently given up on your claim that you've never seen a DPI picked up"
Nor did I do that.
You really seem to have difficulties parsing what people say. Other people say that it happened recently in the Rams-Colts game. I didn't watch that game, so I didn't see it. But I believe the people who said that.
Okay, so you still claim that you've never been picked up. But that's what I was responding to so I have no idea why you went off on a new tangent and it's why I can't believe you're watching the NFL or holding yourself up as a valuable marker because we all should have seen it numerous times in our NFL watching careers. I have.
Okay, so you still claim that you've never seen a DPI call picked up. But that's what I was responding to so I have no idea why you went off on a new tangent and ignored that and it's why I can't believe you're watching the NFL or holding yourself up as a valuable marker because we all should have seen it numerous times in our NFL watching careers. I have.
Rick, not to sound disingenuous, but I think the reason they did not explain was because they didn't think there was any reason because there was no penalty. i.e. "nothing to see here, game over, move along." The longer you take to explain something that does not exist, the more you give people things to cling to, gripe about, challenge, etc.
And even their belated explanations sounded a lot like rationalization. It was so damn wordy! Instead of saying "uncatchable, the guy went on and on for a couple minutes and used the term "in essence" as often as Gilligan used to call for Skipper, which makes me think of an 8th grader trying to come up with a really clever excuse for forgetting his homework. Use the term "in essence" a lot to prove that it's totally not your fault, dude. Like in courtroom dramas on TV.
I see how the pass was uncatchable--receiver's momentum taking him deep, pass low and short. Receiver would have to instantly stop, change direction, and dive through a human being to even reach it. Okay. But Keuchly was most definitely interfering, or holding, (or bear-hugging) at least making contact more than 5 yards downfield.
I've seen those calls made far away from the ball, benefitting a receiver who was 20 yards distant and had no chance of catching (i.e. not the primary target). So why not here with the primary target? Whatever. I guess that is the essence of the uncatchable rule--you can mess with a guy in a manner that would be otherwise illegal, if the ball is uncatchable. That's peculiar, but I guess it's consistent with how I've seen "uncatchable" called before. You're taking it well.
I know that they're not required to explain a non-call. But on Sunday, we saw exactly that in the Saints-49ers game. The referee explained why grounding had not been called on Kaepernick at a key juncture.
That seems like the much more professional way to go.
Obviously I would not be the person to decide whether that was "really" a penalty or not. But I think it's telling that all of the MNF guys think that the officials made the wrong decision. And Jon Gruden, Trent Dilfer and Steve Young are not Patriots' homers.
But all are QBs/QB coaches (this is stretching the term, in Dilfer's case). I'm interested in what Ditka and Lewis thought of the call, too.
It did seem like Steve Young and Trent Dilfer wanted to complain loudly about the play as long as they could, so Ray Lewis couldn't register his opinion. Yes, I know they are both QBs, and I expect them to see everything through their own passer-friendly interpretation. But not even letting Ray Lewis talk at all seemed odd. You could see a few different times where he would start to speak up, and Young or Dilfer would just keep shrieking about the play. Like Lewis or not, I would have loved to hear what he had to say about that play in the heat of the moment last night.
Not a single one seemed remotely capable of knowing or expressing the rule and wanted to claim that Gronk wasn't progressing to the back of the end zone, could stop on a dime, jump back 4 yards, and catch a ball headed towards his ankles through two players, both of whom seemed to have a better sense of the where the ball was than Gronk, one of whom did make the easy pick.
You need more credible sources than that trio of idiots.
Holding and PI have markedly different timing and circumstance requirements. "Catchability" has no bearing on holding -- hell, you don't even need to throw the ball.
Really? I am sure I have seen it. The flag-throwing ref is looking at the receiver and the DB and sees interference. Someone else who was watching the actual ball comes over and says "there is no way that the receiver could have caught that ball even if he were alone on the field because it was [too high/thrown out of bounds/etc., etc., etc.]"
A flag thrown on a play, with what was obviously a PI call cancelled for being uncatchable? I've seen it. It's not common, but usually a pass is at least plausibly catchable.
Your problem is that you watch the Patriots, whereas I watch the Lions.
on the heels of the McCourty holding penalty, I don't see how they can let Kuechly get away with all of that contact on the last play of the game.
If the back judge had simply not thrown a flag, I could be talking about how the Pats had their changes, made too many mistakes, while the Panthers simply made fewer mistakes. And how the Pats are just crippled on defense with all of the injuries. Certainly the Panthers played well enough to earn a victory. I just hate officials behaving like clowns.
When New England had their second to last possession they had the ball the on 4th and 1 at the Carolina 7 yard line with less than seven minutes to play in the game I felt like they should have gone for the touchdown rather than kick the field goal. Sure the game is tied and the field goal gives them the lead but if they score there then they put themselves in fantastic position to win the game by forcing the Panthers to score a touchdown to tie.
If NE fails and turn over on downs then Carolina gets the ball back in bad field position. Best case scenario for NE at that point is to force a quick punt. If you can do this then a fourth down failure has basically no downside. But if Carolina gets a field goal then NE should still have plenty of time to go down the field and tie with a field goal of their own or take the lead with a touchdown. Either way there shouldn't be much time left in the game at that point.
Uncatchable was the correct call. If Brady had thrown the ball five yards further down the field than they might have had the ticky-tacky argument. Keuchly had his hands on Gronk but did not interfere with his progress, turn him, yank on him, or do anything to interfere with Gronk's path, who went to the exact spot he wanted on the play. Keuchly was turning his head as the ball was thrown. Most of the time, that flag isn't thrown, especially not on the last play of the game.
However, where the ball was thrown, if no Panthers had been on the field, that ball would not have been caught. That's really all you need to know.
If the ball had been five yards further, they would not have picked up the flag.
Let's be clear: I don't think the Pats deserved to win the game. They won a similar game against the Saints, and you could argue that they didn't deserve to win that one. It was a fairly even game. The Pats had several opportunities to stop the Panthers on their last drive and they didn't. They made more stupid mistakes than the Panthers did, esp. two dead ball penalties on Talib and Mankins.
Definitely a great game. Whatever was bothering Brady earlier in the season is mostly solved, though he did miss on some passes that once were automatic for him, especially on the final drive. He missed several receivers but managed to keep getting it done on the third or fourth attempt. The final throw was obviously a bad throw. No doubt vintage Brady wins that game.
Has anyone figured what is going on with him? Is it a hand injury, or is time finally catching up with him?
Brady got very little pass protection on the last drive. He was hit on pretty much every play, even on plays when he got the pass off. When he's getting hit a lot, his accuracy drops.
Throwing long passes into traffic has never been his strength. Vintage Brady was a master of throwing short out passes with strength and accuracy.
He's definitely been better the last two games. Were it not for the decimation of the defense, I would be more optimistic about the playoffs. They still have a shot for a #2 seed, but they'll have to win at least a couple tough games. I don't see how they could possibly win a playoff game in Denver. But nobody else in the AFC is really that scary. KC has a great defense and a weak offense. The Colts might be better, but they seem erratic. I could see the Pats winning a rematch against the Bengals, perhaps. And apparently nobody really wants the #6 seed.
But they have gotten to the Super Bowl in the past when Denver was a clearly superior team. Back when Parcells was the coach they pulled that trick off, thanks to the Jaguars.
I don't want the last play to detract from any credit that should go to the Panthers. They are on the short list of true contenders in the NFC. By "short" I mean: Seattle, New Orleans, and Carolina. Something seems to be wrong with the 49ers on offense, or they would be on the list. With the Rodgers injury, nobody in the NFC North impresses me. And the NFC East is dismal, though I'm not ruling out the Giants cruising to the title with a 10-game winning streak. That's exactly the kind of annoying thing that they do. And then suddenly Eli would be unstoppable, JPP would be all-World. Ugh.
I feel like if you go back in time, most of the Pats "signature" losses have been games in which the offensive line has played particularly poorly. The final Pats drive last night reminded me of the final drive from the '07 Super Bowl. Mankins has clearly regressed in pass blocking, and Solder looks like the best tackle in the league for 95% of pass plays, but a practice squad callup on some huge ones...
As far as the offensive line goes, it seems that the Patriots did an excellent job of avoiding the pass rush by making the Panthers respect the running game. On that last drive, starting with 59 seconds left,there was no need to respect the running game.
No week 12 thread?
yeah, was looking for it too... Rivers must've forgotten that there's still Thursday Night Football.
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // Site powered by Stein-Wein // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties