Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by DavidL :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 1:12am

Thing is, Jackson's on the hands team. As long as you show OSK, he's in no position to catch anything deeper than 15 yards.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 1:03am

before kick kicked thought Dallas had to do that. only had 2 seconds on clock, regular onside kick try like they tried would not work cuause would have mamde 2 seocnds expire. only way to win was to kick over first wall of Sd Chargers and hope a faster good handsy guy like P Crayton pick up buncing ball on run and run for Td. Would have been long shot but was worth shot becaususe nothing else would have worked. But Dallas coahcing staff pretty crappy. Not any Mensa memebers on it.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by SteveNC (not verified) :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 2:29am

Are you implying that a kicking team is now allowed to advance an onside kick? The rule was that they are not allowed to, but this was as of Super Bowl XXX that I last noticed this.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 6:16pm

Unless rule change in last 6 years, thought kicing team can advance onside kick and score on play. this what cowobys did to start game vs Eagles in 2003 (Texas Stadium meeting0. Randal Williams scoop up ball and run 37 yards for TD.
This is what I was thinkign about before Cowobys try onside kick at end of game yesterday. Stupid to kick into middle of San diego front wall. Almost no chance of Cowboys getting ball and still having a secon on clock. Only reason 2 seconds didn't go off because stupid SD player catch ball and fall down. He should have bobbled it. would have made one second tick off clock. didn't matter of course because SD then take possession and run final kneel down play.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymous234 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 12:51am

Trent Cole tossed after throwing a punch. Classless.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymous234 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 12:52am

Sort of a delayed call. I wonder if the officials saw something on the JumboTron, Zinedine Zidane-style.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by patriotsgirl :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 12:52am

O'Hara looked like he was going to go after the refs, too. That was intense.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by CathyW :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 12:52am

I'm a Trent Cole fan, but I have no idea what he was thinking by throwing those punches. What an ugly end to an ugly game. But hey, I'll take the W.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by mshray (not verified) :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 10:05pm

Hard to believe, but I think Gruden just made two really good points about the 9ers offense, both of which fall into the realm of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

1 - Gore is much more comfortable taking the snap out of the I-formation where he can generate some forward momentum before taking the handoff. In the shotgun he takes it with little momentum & doesn't seem so comfortable. Anecdotally & subjectively obvious, would love to seem some number crunching to bear it out.

2 - Once they signed Crabtree (according to Jaws), and with the obvious emergence of Davis, Coach Singletary realized they had a lot of passing weapons, and figured to get more passing intensive. And the stats showed they were 52-48 pass-run in the first 4 games, with a 3-1 record; and then 20-something-70-something with a 2-6 record since.

TMQ keeps spouting off on the 9ers post-Crabtree record as a sign of the apocolypse, but as much as it pains me to say it (I hated when Crabtree held out) I think he's missed the point. By all accounts Crabtree has practiced & played well, is quite astute for a rookie & the locker room isn't divided over him. The real problem is that once he joined the Singletary decided that they should be a pass heavy team (in an admittedly pass-heavy division with PHX & SEA). It could well be true that in the long run they will be better with Smith at QB, but making that change and IN ADDITION sacrificing the run-pass balance has clearly not paid off.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 12:27am

You must not be a Niners fan.

1. Gore has been very efficient running out of the shotgun. He had a couple long runs out of the I-formation versus Seattle, but his success rate was awful. The shotgun isn't hurting his running, the lack of carries he's gotten is. Obviously he's been pretty good out of both styles tonight though.

2. The idea that moving to a pass-heavy offense has hurt the Niners is completely incorrect. They've been MUCH better when spreading the field, without question. The run heavy smashmouth-style failed, Singletary admitted as much himself. Apart from tonight, the spread the field offense has actually been fairly successful. Obviously tonight has been the opposite, but otherwie Alex Smith has looked good and the Niners have not been able to get much of anything running the ball.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by mshray (not verified) :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 2:59am

Okay, first things first. I was quoting Gruden (and then parenthetically Jaworski).

My first point was that, like Gruden, I thought Gore runs better out of the I. You said otherwise, but I can't figure out what game you were watching last week. In the game I watched Gore ran 9 times for 25 yards, with a longest of 6 yds. If you really want to tell me that somewhere in there you can find "a couple of long runs", suit yourself, but I don't think the evidence supports it. I totally agree that he ran well either way tonight, but then again that was after I posted my comment. Good for him. I like Gore a lot....and Singletary. I hope they figure it out & develop a powerful offense.

My second point was that, according to the graphic ESPN showed, the team's win-loss record has shown a very strong correlation to their run-pass balance. If the graphic was wrong please write them a letter. But if you want to convince me that 3-1 represents "failed" when the run-pass was close to 50-50, and that 2-6 when the run-pass was closer to 25-75 represents "MUCH better", well I don't know what to say, except I think most people would disagree. And when you say "apart from tonight" they've been successful, I get even more confused.

You're right about one thing though. I'm not really a Niner's fan. But I live in the Bay Area & get all the media coverage & hear all my friends' theories & try to stay informed. I think Alex Smith is much better out of the shotgun; I hope Gore will be equally good out of the shotgun (tonight suggests he will, but let's reserve final judgement until at least the end of next week's game at the Iggles); and I hope the 9ers continue to run at least as much as they pass.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by jimbohead :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 5:02am

Well, the fact is the niner's record seems most highly correlated to strength of schedule. People seem to forget that their strong start included 2 games v. the Rams and Seattle, and a close win over the Cards, who they apparently dominate. Running more or less, or Hill starting over Smith or whatever, is not the main effect, imo.

Also, I get the feeling that the playcalling is extremely flexible based on 1st quarter success. In recent games, last week being a prime example, Gore's been stuffed in a big way during the first quarter. And as a result, the offense shifted towards the pass for the duration of the game. Tonight, Gore was killing the Cards early, and Smith was totally inaccurate on throws at every level. Then all of a sudden, you see more I-formation, and more downhill runs with Gore. Its really that simple.

Finally, the real problem with Gore's running hasn't been the formation or the playcalling. The guard play for the last few weeks has been just awful. There's some suspicion that Rachal (RG) has been injured. And Bass (LG) is always dinged up, and is pretty inconsistent even when healthy. I don't know what happened this week that made them look like a competent unit.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Q (not verified) :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 10:34pm

That is a terrible call, how can the ruling be incomplete, it should have ended with a SF interception

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Q (not verified) :: Mon, 12/14/2009 - 10:42pm

TMQ fails to look at Ari's schedule before/after signing Crabtree. They started the year vs NFC West teams, pretty much almost the only teams that SF can beat. Then after winning 3 games vs NFC West teams, they signed Crabtree and actually had to play NFL caliber teams

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 12:39am

While I agree the schedule was the difference (Crabtree has been pretty good, it definitely isn't his fault), saying the Niners can pretty much only beat NFC west teams is unfair. They beat the Cardinals (and look like they might beat them again), who are one of the better teams in the NFL. They beat the Bears, who aren't very good, and the Jags, who are decent.

But they've only lost 1 game by more than 7 points, to the Falcons. They only lost to the Colts by 4, the Vikings by 3 (and only on a fluke last second pass), the Seahawks by 3 (on a last second field goal), the Titans, Texans, and Packers by 7 (with a chance to tie all three games and go to overtime). Those were all winnable games, they didn't win true, but they easily could have. The Niners DVOA is positive, I'd say they're a decent team this year.

Re: Week 14 Open Discussion Thread
by 2468ben :: Tue, 12/15/2009 - 12:33am

Is anyone else watching MNF and consistently seeing the first 3 seconds of a classic commercial, then an immediate cut to Buick SUVs? It's going from "I've fallen and I can't get up" to an straight shot of her family outside staring at xmas lights, and I'm starting to feel crazier than Chris Berman.

Speaking of crazy, nice Hunchback Kurt Warner shot.

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