Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Dec 2013

Week 17 Open Discussion Thread

For 20 teams, this is it.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 28 Dec 2013

168 replies , Last at 30 Dec 2013, 8:57pm by JIPanick

1
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Silversmith (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:07am

Peyton Manning sets the all-time passing yards record against the Raiders - yes or no?

2
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Hurt Bones :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:56am

To be clear the NFL single-season career passing yards record. It is Peyton Manning so most records of merit are in play. I'm pretty sure Norm Van Brocklin's record is safe today, as is Doug Flutie's single-season pro record of 6,619 yds (1991). I think the answer is yes barring injury.

The more interesting question is if New England loses, should he break the record? I know he will want to, but if the game becomes meaningless what is best for the team?

3
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by JIPanick :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 1:19pm

It's not just "New England loses", since the games kickoff together the Pats have to be beaten so badly they have clearly lost their game with a significant chunk of Broncos/Raiders still to play. The odds against that are quite long.

5
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Hurt Bones :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 1:31pm

Oops, momentarily forgot NE - Buf was a 4 o'clock game.

22
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Bobman :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:33pm

Yeah, if the Broncos see the Pats down 28-0 at halftime, they'll KNOW the Pats will lose....

4
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 1:23pm

Exciting day for Steelers fans.
If Miami, San Diego and Baltimore lose, and the beloved Steelers win of course, then the Steelers will make the playoffs at 8-8.
It would be awesome.

16
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:47pm

Well, it is looking on so far...

26
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:53pm

it still is with all games close to the 2 minute warning

24
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:42pm

Ravens losing - not a surprise.
Dolphins losing - small surprise.

But I'll be enormously surprised if the Chiefs win in San Diego in spite of sitting most of their best players.

I find myself rooting for the scenario when the Steelers are still alive after Baltimore and Miami have both been eliminated.

6
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 1:38pm

Be sure join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for the final regular season internet relay football chat!
Instructions moved to a pastebin due to overzealous spam filter: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=Qjf3ZzvE

7
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 2:30pm

Every year some genius makes this very handy excel spreadsheet with the playoff scenarios for week 17. Anyone have that for this year?

8
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 2:37pm

not in excel, but this is what you're looking for:
http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2013/12/29/5242952/nfl-playoff-picture-scena...

9
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:05pm

So if the ball becomes slippery so easily, why don't they make the balls less slippery??
Doesn't that improve the whole product?

10
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:09pm

Polamalu has CBR, but plays the handoff - and gets fooled completely.
I'm getting tired of his gambling habits, because it's easy to pick on.

11
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:26pm

CBR?

12
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by The Hypno-Toad :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:31pm

I was wondering too... My best guess is corner back responsibility.

13
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:37pm

Cutback, boot, reverse.
If you're on the edge of the play (could be an unblocked end, an outside linebacker or a safety near the LOS or even a corner if there's no receiver on that side) and the play is going away from you, you're normally not going to make the play.
In that case you need to respect the runner to cut back (Cutback), read if the QB made a playfake and is on a rollout (Boot) or that the play was a fake and that a reverse is coming (Reverse).

14
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by The Hypno-Toad :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:39pm

Ah, thank you. Always good to learn some new terminology.

15
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:42pm

seconded

20
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:20pm

Watch the guy on the edge where the play is going away from, if he played it well he'll make sure that everything going against the flow is forced inside and is tackled.
This is also the guy that trapping linemen/TEs/FBs look for if the design of the play is against the flow.

17
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Juvenal (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 3:53pm

Lions dl literally slaps cassel in the face swinging for ball. No way that goes uncalled against one of the glory boys.

19
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Jimmy :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:06pm

The Lions do that sort of stuff all game long. The officials grow flag weary same as when DBs grab all the time.

18
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:05pm

Bengals doing absolutely everything they can to give the Ravens a chance. 10 yard punt!

21
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Juvenal (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:25pm

Still no idea how ponder beat out cassel. Cassel consistently looks much better.

23
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by OmicronPersei8 :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:37pm

Cannot believe the poor effort by the dolphins.
Things looking promising for the Chargers hopes.

As someone rooting for favorable playoff scenarios for the Broncos, this is not good...

25
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 4:45pm

Anything that troubles the Broncos is something to root for! :)

(flash forward 3 weeks)

The Chargers are going to the Super Bowl? The Chargers?

28
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:03pm

Go Chiefs? Go Chiefs!!

29
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:04pm

The Houston Texans go full circle in 12 seasons and clinch the first draft pick.

30
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Bobman :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:06pm

What a truly amazing implosion. When the Colts went from perennial playoff team to 2-14 in 2011, it was generally conceded tat Manning's greatness masked a lot of flaws and they weren't a terribly good, or deep, team all along. But Houston at 2-14 may well still have more talent across the board than the 11-5 Colts. If nothing else, it's close. Does it all come down to QB? Luck's been good, but not great this year. I don't think Colts fans are terribly high on their coaching staff, so you'd have a hard time convincing me it's coaching. The Trent Richardson factor? The 8th OL lineup starting today?

Much like KC last year (who were picked by many to make the playoffs before 2012 started), I expect the Texans to rebound quickly. (The Colts were a complete rebuild and nobody really expected so much so fast.)

50
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:59pm

Some of it's injuries (with Cushing and Manning out, there's no-one in the middle of the field who can even remotely cover). Some of it is indeed terrible QB play. Some of it's the complete lack of anything resembling an NFL right tackle. But mostly, it's just mental disintegration, I think. The team's fallen apart (just look at the penalty counts), and it's very difficult to put a finger on why. Much like the England cricket team, by the way, and dear Lord, I hope Andy Flower goes the way of Kubiak - and even more so Gooch Marciano.

27
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Mash Wilson :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:02pm

The Cardinals being out at 11-5 (and in a much tougher division to boot) and the Steelers in at 8-8 is still in play...

32
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:37pm

Edit: I'm an idiot.

31
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Rikki (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:29pm

No matter what happens from now until September, the Giants will be everybody's darkhorse favorite in 2014 because they went 7-3 in the last 10 games.

33
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:39pm

4th and 3 from the Packers 35 and Trestman punts...that's the worst possible decision there, right? Then the Bears down the ball at the 1 but it's ruled a touchback. Trestman challenges and loses (even Buck and Aikman had to admit that the refs made the wrong call. What a very 2013 Bears start to the game...ugh.

34
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:45pm

Dodo football.

35
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:50pm

And then Conte, of all people, bails them out with a pick.

36
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 5:52pm

Early on the word Trestman seemed to be that he was a analytics outside box thinker. Between dicisions like this an his weird handling of timeouts (and even weirder explanations), the early buzz seems silly.

What was Rodgers thinking on that pick?

37
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:01pm

I may break the record for single person schadenfreude if the Chargers lose at home to the Chiefs backups. Holy heck the GIFs of the inevitable Rivers tantrums alone!

38
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Peregrine :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:12pm

As a Falcons fan, let me take a moment to criticize the brain trust for fielding one of the softest, least physical teams I've ever seen. Just pathetic how this team was pushed around all season. We went from 13-3 to 4-12 without losing our starting QB for any meaningful time. Good thing Matt Ryan is made out of taffy, because he got the crap beat out of him this year.

Meanwhile, we're still in search of a pass rush. One of these decades.

If the Bills and Skins hadn't thrown those two games to us, we'd be in prime position for Clowney. Not sure if he'll be worth a fig as a pro, but I'd at least feel better about life for a few months...

116
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Duff Soviet Union :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:12pm

I think their offense really highlights the extent to which a horrible offensive line limits play calling. I absolutely hated watching these guys because everything was 5 yards or less and hope for a catastrophic ****up by the defense. And I can't blame the OC, because any time they actually did try and call a long pass play, Ryan would get killed.

39
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:19pm

That UR call on McClellan was brutal.

40
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:23pm

Honestly, I don't know how the officiating in the NFL could get much worse...not just this game, for which I'm obviously biased, but in general. It seems like it's a total crapshoot if a good defensive play will draw a flag or not.

41
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:29pm

Well, at this rate Manning gets the single season yardage record sometime in the 3rd quarter and then it might be Osweiler time.

42
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:30pm

Smacking the Raiders around is always fun, and this blatant record hunting makes it even more enjoyable.

43
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:33pm

Why is Podlesh still employed? I would think punter would be one position where you could find a guy off the street who could be better, and Podlesh is pretty much the worst punter in the league. Does he have compromising photos of Emery and Trestman or something?

53
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:07pm

How does that make sense? Wouldn't that new worst guy be ready for replacement?
Many guys get a chance in camp to prove their qualities. Why do you think the best guy on the street is better than the worst in the league?

44
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:33pm

Why is Podlesh still employed? I would think punter would be one position where you could find a guy off the street who could be better, and Podlesh is pretty much the worst punter in the league. Does he have compromising photos of Emery and Trestman or something?

45
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:37pm

uh oh

46
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:42pm

That's a good touchdown there for the Packers. Go watch the replay.

49
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by jeeferso (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:56pm

i get it was a fumble. but you can't bat the ball forward. where was the flag on that? like what happened last week vs pittsburg?

54
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:10pm

he batted it backwards?

61
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by jeeferso (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:18pm

the ball didn't fly forward on its own. Rogers with his passing hand pushed it forward. IMO its either a incomplete pass or illegal batting on Rogers. Who sais anything about backwards?

A player may not bat or punch:

(a) A loose ball (in field of play) toward his opponent’s goal line or in any direction in either end zone.

http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/useofhands

64
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:28pm

I was talking about the scorer whose name I forgot who batted it trying to pick it up.
Yeah, you'd think that any fumble where the QB 'throws' it forwards is an illegal batting?

So yeah, then Rodgers and the other guys were in penalty.

Weird.

65
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by jeeferso (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:35pm

either way you play to the whistle, so bad lapse on the Bears defense.

100
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:24pm

The ruling was that the impetus for the forward movement came from the defender. If it had been only Rodgers, it would have been a incomplete forward pass.

Making a forward pass isn't "batting". Nor is fumbling. "Batting" only happens when the ball is already loose.

104
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by jeeferso (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:47pm

it appeared to me that the ball popped out when Peppers hit it, and then Rogers on his follow through (because his arm was moving forward) hit it with his hand.

"Making a forward pass isn't "batting". Nor is fumbling. "Batting" only happens when the ball is already loose."

but it can't be both. either it was a fumble and Rogers batted it forward or it was a forward pass. If Peppers popped it loose, then Rogers batted it forward. Peppers didn't knock it forward, Rogers did.

"The ruling was that the impetus for the forward movement came from the defender."

was that announced on the field? I didn't hear that.

it didn't cost the bears the game. the safety that forgot to play defense on the td lost the game.

145
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Juvenal (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:39am

That is a nice theory, batting simply isn't called that way ever.

163
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by jeeferso (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 9:02am

i know, just complaining to complain.

148
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Jay Z (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 1:08am

From the replay, the ball came out of Rodgers' grip before his hand started forward, hence the fumble. But it spun on his hand and remained contact, then left his hand before his hand hit the ball again and batted it.

I don't think they are going to make that call anyway if the bat is unintentional. Would have helped the Bears if they had played through the whistle.

47
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:45pm

Manning breaks single season yardage record 12 seconds before the half on a TDpass to go up 31-0.

Put some ice on those ankles Peyton, you're done for today.

48
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 6:48pm

I think Manning has broken the yardage mark by 1 yard. But I guess these are unofficial stats right now, so he plays a bit in third quarter.

55
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:11pm

Osweiler in. Would be funny if he loses the record again on an adjustment tomorrow.

60
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:16pm

If Mel Tucker isn't fired, I don't think I can stand to watch the Bears next season. That fumble return is just the icing on the cake. You see players run back obvious incompletions every game and the Bears just stand around on one that was definitely questionable on the field...why? How can they be that badly coached?

52
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:04pm

It figures that the one time all season that Peppers makes a play, it benefits the other team.

51
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:02pm

Glad to see I was wrong as Manning is out at halftime.

56
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:13pm

Double unsportsmanlike against the Bills.
One for bumping someone after the play. Then the linebacker had something to say during Huchilly's announcement so there was another 15 yards.
Didn't know it was possible. Or what the rules are.

59
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:15pm

I think one during the play and one after the play can be added together. But not two at the same time.

73
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:01pm

but that's what happened.
One after the play and one during the announcement.

102
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by PatsFan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:40pm

I thought any number of dead ball unsportsmanlikes can be added together. Remember when Bart Scott blew a gasket in the 2007 NE@BAL game and NE kicked off from the *BAL* 35?

110
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:58pm

I'm still a bit aggravated that they didn't onside kick there.

114
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by PatsFan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:09pm

Oh good. I'm not the only one.

146
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Bobman :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:40am

Hell, I know nothing of that game (Colts fan) and I'm with you! If ever there is a time when an OS kick is NO risk HIGH reward, that's the time. IN fact, it's just wasting the yardage since a mere 15 is usually enough to guarantee a touchback.

Damn!

151
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Intropy :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 1:34am

It's not a huge risk, but you could end up kicking the ball out of bounds for an illegal procedure.

57
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:14pm

KC getting closer to a 2 score lead, Steelers fans must be enjoying things.

58
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by steveNC (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:14pm

The Raiders are really going out on a high note, setting up a great 2014 season.

62
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:25pm

FO playoff odds for the Steelers prior to this week they were 9.1% Prior to week 16 was 0.8%! And that's without knowing that the Chiefs would bench their starters. This is so crazy.

(The numbers for the Chargers were 13.3 and 3.0, so even if the Chargers pull this one out, it's a pretty incredible AFC 6th seed)

63
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:28pm

It is as if Miami burnt themselves out beating the Patriots two weeks ago. They've been a shadow of that performance since they had the playoffs in their grasp.

122
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:44pm

I think the beating Tannehill got last week took a toll on him. Also, Milliner started playing better a couple of weeks ago, as did Geno Smith.

66
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:36pm

Thank God it didn't matter, but it sure looked like Jeffery had the TD. I see why Trestman didn't challenge though since I'm sure he would have lost the way this game is being called. And really, if you can't punch it in with 1st and goal from the 1 you don't deserve it.

67
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:36pm

Sounds like Chudzinski will be fired after 1 season.

Right decision or not? Having fewer wins than pro bowlers is a big ding against him, to be sure.

94
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Guest789 :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:04pm

I think barring Bobby-Petrino-level conduct, every coach deserves a minimum of 2 years.

-----

“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.”

107
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:51pm

Not that many in-game decisions seemed to be that bad, and I agree that usually you'd have to go 2-14 or worse to get fired. Moreover, Norv and Horton may have been the best assistants the Browns have had since '99, by most metrics.

But the fact that he did a game worse than Shurmur (!!) with more talent, and the way some games were lost down the stretch (Pats, Jags) was troubling, or some where it just seemed like the team was sleepwalking for all (Steelers at home, Packers) or most (@ Bengals) of the game.

You can also argue that he never should've given Weeden the start initially, although Campbell had the same number of wins in games he played the majority of.

105
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Jackson J (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:48pm

Yeah, doesn't seem fair, esp with all the QB chaos there...What could the explanation be (other than it's the Browns being the Browns)?

108
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:55pm

I'm thinking they figured that wanted to do things differently than in the recent past, where Mangini got another year for going on a win streak to end 5-11, and Shurmur got another year "because he'd figure things out eventually."

There's certainly an argument that if you can't get solid results immediately with 5 pro bowlers, you're not going to become a top-tier coach any time soon.

141
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Dan L (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:25am

I really think the reasoning her is that Haslam and Banner strongly believe in the Accountability Theory of front office. That being that in order to turn around a losing team (or at least this Browns team), you must go to great lengths to make sure everyone knows accountability is demanded from players and coaches. If you believe in this theory, the Browns are now going about as far as you can with it. One season and done will definitely send their message.

The problem (and I think the problem with the previous Browns owner) is that this willingness to fire people doesn't ONLY send the message that you demand accountability. So the gains that you expect from ideas like "the players will know that they cannot slouch through the end of the season just because the Quarterback went down" run up against problems like "the players know the offensive system will change next year anyway, so they don't take time to learn it in depth".

There is also the question of what message this sends to future potential hires. One could say it makes clear that the timeline for improvement is immediate, but one could also say it makes clear that no coach will have a reasonable amount of time to set up an offense or defense. Whatever improvement you expect in terms of "The Coach knows he must hit the ground running immediately" is set off by "What Coach wants to work for an effective a one year contract?"

149
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 1:13am

I worked for a company that had pretty terrible management for about 2 years.

The absolute worst thing they did began with saying they were going to "hold people accountable." There's absolutely nothing worse for employee moral than getting punished (or seeing other people punished) for things that weren't actually their fault.

I haven't watched enough Browns football to know whether Sherman is responsible for the losses, but if hes not, and you fire him, you send a bit of the "it doesn't matter whether you do your job, you're getting fired anyways" message.... which is terrible for employee performance.

150
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by LionInAZ :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 1:15am

Actually, the real problem is that they'll probably give the HC job to Norv Turner.

159
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 7:15am

You think? Coaching firings and hirings are usually a group package, unless it's midseason.

68
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Jake (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:41pm

There's a play summary you don't see every day:

Robert Turbin rushed up the middle for no gain. St. Louis committed 6 yard penalty. St. Louis committed 3 yard penalty. St. Louis committed 1 yard penalty.

The Rams defense is apparently relying on Arrow's paradox to keep the Seahawks out of the end zone.

147
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Bobman :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:46am

I'll assume that's the "keep halving the distance" thing? And if so, I works great until the Seahawks actually get to snap the ball.

I'm pretty unhappy with two of those Unsp Conduct calls--a man talking to one ref, gesturing with his arms, hits a ref walking up behind him who happens to step into his hand? Ejected? Insane. NO excuse for throwing his helmet afterwards but if he's already ejected and on his way to the locker room (albeit still on the field) he's not part of the game--it's like if a ball-boy on the sideline did it, right?

Fire Triplette!

157
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 5:56am

From memory, Rod Smith got ejected once when he was talking he pushed away a ref who was behind him without realising it was a referee. He did the classy thing of apologising to the referees and his teammates after the game. Yes, it is an unfortunate, almost tricky-tack way to get ejected, but the physical inviolability of refs is a good thing. Soccer could do with a similar rule being enforced as strictly.

I think a player having been ejected remains part of the game until they have left the field.

The biggest problem with replay systems is that they can erode player respect for refereeing, though I think if handled correctly they should improve things over time. There seems to be a problem in cricket with having mostly senior umpires sitting in a booth to interpret the results of technology, there are plans afoot to specifically train a cadre of younger umpires as specialists to operate and interpret the cricket replay equipment (which offers additional technology, like the ball tracking seen in Grand Slam Tennis and additional microphones not always used in broadcast TV). This should help a lot, the possible NFL league replay office might help similarly as it would remove the issue of people having to reverse their 'instinctive' call made in real time based on evidence only clear in slow motion, having people expert at using the technology with control on the frame-by-frame and camera options would also likely speed things up. Though there is a worry if several games go down to wire across the country at he same time, how many remote booths would there be ( I'm sure the NFL can afford a whole suite of rooms to have one per possible game, but I can also seem someone deciding that say 3 would enough and that being fine until the day 4 or 5 games are in the last few minutes of the game or overtime situation together...).

158
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 5:57am

(Double post, slow wifi and touch interface, sorry)

69
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by OmicronPersei8 :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:53pm

So should bears have gone for two there?

71
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:57pm

why

78
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by OmicronPersei8 :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:09pm

Force GB into a two score deficit.

Given that gb scored and kicked the pat, I guess it's a moot point now.

79
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:10pm

that would've made it 8 points, which is still one score.

80
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by lefty :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:14pm

It would've been 29-20, which is most definitely a two score game.

70
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 7:54pm

KC getting cute playing small ball. Bad news for the Steelers.

72
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:00pm

It's Andy Reid, it's not news.

74
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:02pm

it's only bad then, fair enough

75
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:04pm

What happens if the Chargers tie?

76
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Mash Wilson :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:07pm

They're in outright at 8-7-1, beating the other four teams who are 8-8. A tie is as good as a win for the Chargers.

77
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:08pm

8-7-1 is treated basically as 8.5 wins, right? So they would be in at #6.

81
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Theo :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:16pm

He missed?
He missed?!
He missed!
He missed.

82
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:17pm

OT is worst thing possible for the Chiefs. So, of course, they settle for a 40+ yard FG which goes wide.

83
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Mash Wilson :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:19pm

Sucks to be you, Steelers fans! Missed the playoffs by six inches.

161
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Israel P. (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 8:26am

... and an uncalled penalty for illegal formation which Mike Pereira says should have resulted in a rekick.

Pereira also said that the fake punt ended the game after the fumble return for a KC touchdown.

84
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:23pm

Blount up to 190 yds rushing on 22 carries, 2TD, and two kick returns over 60 yards today.

Was Tampa just totally misusing this guy?

85
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:25pm

Fake punt chaos in overtime...

87
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:26pm

(double post)

86
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Moridin :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:26pm

What... the hell just happened (KC vs SD)

88
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:27pm

Fake punt, dive up the middle just got the yards. Someone ripped the ball out after forward progress was deemed stopped. So play was dead before KC got the ball.

92
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by 'nonymous (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:53pm

Home-town officiating happened. I think the right call there is a win for KC. We only got one replay, but it looked like his forward progress was only stopped by the ball being ripped out and returned all the way.

93
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:04pm

I was listening to radio, so never saw it, thanks for that information.

I guess web highlights will be up for the play soon enough.

95
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by TimK :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:08pm

Yup, just watched the highlight. No idea why booth didn't review that one, looked like he didn't get knee down from what I could see on the only angle they gave us. Chargers were pushing Weddle and Chiefs were pulling the ball out, he never seemed stationary or down to me.

96
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by 'nonymous (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:11pm

I really shouldn't charge the officials with bias-- down by forward progress could easily be the right call in situations like that.

But it really didn't look correct to me. He was inching forward with many players from both teams pushing him, and he wouldn't have gotten the first down without that help. And they quickly went to the next play, without sufficient explanation or review. (I think a "forward progress" ruling on the field may be unreviewable?)

98
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Moridin :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:19pm

I read on twitter that the runner's helmet came off and the officials called it dead then. Not sure if true, but a viable alternate explanation.

152
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by DRohan :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 2:10am

Quite an eventful month of officiating for the Steelers.

162
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by steveNC (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 8:58am

They can review whether or not the first down was gained, right? Seems fishy.

164
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by apk3000 :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 9:59am

Has there been a spot of the ball review that was initiated by the booth? They don't seem to care about that too often.

166
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by steveNC (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 1:52pm

A close play on 4th down in OT seems like a good time to start.

89
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Steve in WI :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:42pm

If Mel Tucker isn't fired tomorrow morning, I'll be pissed. Injuries and all that, but the best defense in the league doesn't become the worst in one year just because of that. I have never seen an NFL team so terrible at tackling.

90
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:49pm

So Mel Tucker comes in and "the best defense in the league" forgets how to tackle? OK.

91
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 8:50pm

Was this crazy or what?

97
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonthulu (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:15pm

Is defensive delay of game (when offense has the ball ready to snap) a real penalty. Because it got called on SF prior to AZ's last FG try. Anyone?

99
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by lefty :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:24pm

Defensive delay of game is called when the defense actively slows down the offense (kicking the ball, staying on an offensive player, etc.).

101
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonthulu (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:29pm

Yeah - none of that happened on this play. J. Smith on D was gesticulating that there had been an AZ false start, flag was thrown, Smith was penalized for defensive delay of game. He didn't impede AZ's ability to snap the ball - he was just jumping around.

120
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by intel_chris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:29pm

I couldn't figure out that penalty either. I'm not sure what a defensive player on their side of the line of scrimmage could do to delay the game. I could see offsides or a neutral zone infraction as being valid calls if the line of scrimmage was violated, but defensive players aren't required to "set" before the ball is hiked, so I don't see what jumping on their own side of the scrimmage could do to delay the game, even if the player was trying to point out a "false start". I don't think players' gestures (well, at least not rude ones, which might draw unsportsmanlike conduct) have any impact on actual flags and signals. Otherwise, all those calls by DBs saying that a catch was incomplete might actually be more than "football theater".

On the other hand, for an odd call, it at least added a little life to the game, which was unfortunately essentially almost irrelevant at that point otherwise, since it only decided whether SF was 5th or 6th seed. It reminded me a little of that recent Cardinals/Steelers SB with all the lead changes at the end. This year has been a good one, for fans who like games competitive to the last play and who like frequent and often unexpected lead changes at the the end. I guess I should be counted among that group. At least that way one gets a full 60 minutes of a football-like substance....

121
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by intel_chris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:30pm

I couldn't figure out that penalty either. I'm not sure what a defensive player on their side of the line of scrimmage could do to delay the game. I could see offsides or a neutral zone infraction as being valid calls if the line of scrimmage was violated, but defensive players aren't required to "set" before the ball is hiked, so I don't see what jumping on their own side of the scrimmage could do to delay the game, even if the player was trying to point out a "false start". I don't think players' gestures (well, at least not rude ones, which might draw unsportsmanlike conduct) have any impact on actual flags and signals. Otherwise, all those calls by DBs saying that a catch was incomplete might actually be more than "football theater".

On the other hand, for an odd call, it at least added a little life to the game, which was unfortunately essentially almost irrelevant at that point otherwise, since it only decided whether SF was 5th or 6th seed. It reminded me a little of that recent Cardinals/Steelers SB with all the lead changes at the end. This year has been a good one, for fans who like games competitive to the last play and who like frequent and often unexpected lead changes at the the end. I guess I should be counted among that group. At least that way one gets a full 60 minutes of a football-like substance....

155
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Gomer (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 3:58am

Defensive teams used to have line calls that mimicked the snap count and a penalty was added if the ref believed the D was attempting to mimic or interfere with the snap count.

Don James's UW Huskies were famous for this. I know college example.

103
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Cythammer (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:42pm

At halftime I thought the Bears were lucky to be only down six. In the second half… the Packers were fortunate to escape. On five Bears' drives they gave up three touchdowns and the only way the Bears were stopped was after a penalty and a bad run set up fourth and long, and then on the last drive where there was very little time left. The Packers' winning drive illustrated why long, ten-plus play drives are oftentimes not examples of offensive excellence they are thought to be. Before the touchdown the Packers had traveled all of 43 yards in 14 plays. They were hanging by a thread, it seemed, the whole drive.
Great game and good win for the Packers, but I can't imagine them beating San Francisco with that defense.

106
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by BJR :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:50pm

Absolutely no idea why the Eagles wouldn't go for it on 4th & 2 from the 30 against this Dallas defence

109
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Duff Soviet Union :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 9:58pm

4th and 2 on the Eagles 40. Your defense is completely overmatched. You have a good offense and are playing against a mediocre defense. You are behind on the scoreboard. WHY ARE YOU PUNTING?

111
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by BJR :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:05pm

I think I would downgrade the Dallas offence from 'good' to 'mediocre' with Orton under centee. But clearly your point still remains.

Dismally conservative strategy from both coaches so far.

112
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Duff Soviet Union :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:08pm

And Philly scores a touchdown anyway, because of course they do. Well done Jason.

113
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by JIPanick :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:09pm

Because I'm Jason Garrett, not that maniac Rivera.

It's almost like you think the point of this game is to win, rather that making sure I don't get blamed if we lose.

115
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Mike Y :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:11pm

I'm still disappointed in the Bears, though I suppose the better team won. But what kind of defensive call was that on the 4th and 8? If you have an all-out blitz on, then at least cover the receivers man-to-man. All the defensive backs just stood there at the first down marker and let the receivers go right past them. Once they didn't get the sack right away, the touchdown was made ridiculously easy.

144
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Jay Z (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:38am

If you are rushing seven and a good QB gets outside free and clear, you are going to be in trouble no matter what.

117
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Duff Soviet Union :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:15pm

Garrett should probably be going for it here too. And on comes the punting unit with no hesitation at all.

118
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by BJR :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:26pm

Ballet dancer turned NFL linebacker? That's a little too quaint, I'm calling BS.

119
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Duff Soviet Union :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:28pm

Cowboys go 66 yards in 6 plays, including converting on 3rd and 12. But, you know, picking up 2 yards on 1 play is too much to ask.

123
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by BJR :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 10:57pm

Dallas far from being blown away here. Too bad about the two silly turnovers and the conservative coaching, otherwise they could be leading.

124
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Crunch (not verified) :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 11:09pm

You mean if they weren't the Cowboys?

127
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by BJR :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 11:26pm

Yeah. Also, Kyle Orton looks pretty accomplished out there. You once again wonder why he seems to have settled for a career as a backup.

132
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:11am

I'm sure Kyle Orton would be a starter if anyone let him.

153
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Crunch (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 2:36am

Orton is who he is. A smart QB who generally makes good decisions, has nice timing on screens and does a good job with play action. However his mobility is iffy, and his accuracy past the 10-12 yard range is really questionable.

125
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 11:12pm

I just saw the playoff game slots. I have always wondered this: why aren't both conferences aligned the same? By that, I mean why don't the NFC and AFC seeds play on the same days? This year, Denver as a #1 seed plays the second Sunday, but Seattle as the NFC #1 seed plays the second Saturday. Wouldn't Saturday be the more advantageous, especially if the 4/5 game is the previous Sunday? That way, if everything holds to form, the #1 seed gets to play the #4 seed who is on short rest, and then if the #1 seed wins they play the championship Sunday on an extra day rest against the #2 on only their regular rest. Does that make sense, and if so, why don't both #1 seeds get the same advantage?

126
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 11:19pm

I know they seem to switch it every year, the AFC #1 on Saturday one year and then on Sunday the next, but wouldn't you want to give the #1 the most advantages? I can't imagine TV would care that much -- the ratings are great either way.

128
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by BJR :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 11:48pm

Woah. This has been a tremendous defensive effort from Dallas really. If Romo was playing it would inevitably end in tragedy, but with Orton there, who knows?

129
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Moridin :: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 11:50pm

You know, that 4th and goal, if it fails it traps them on the 1 would sound better in hindsight if the defense didn't let Orton get to midfield in half a dozen plays.

130
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:10am

Wow. Massive blunder by the time-keeper. Cowboys get jobbed 5 yards for nothing.

133
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Hurt Bones :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:12am

I knew they shouldn't have made Romo the time keeper while he's rehabbing.

131
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:10am

Dallas gets screwed on delay of game call where clock wasn't set properly.

Keepin it classy officials.

134
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:20am

Huh. So when you're trying to run out the clock, you run the football?!? And just take a sack? This is so strange.

160
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 7:36am

Heh. You're a Saints fan, right Lance?

135
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by duh :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:22am

Orton gets the chance to be heroic or Romoric.

139
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by duh :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:23am

and now we know which it is ...

136
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:22am

There is only QB-Dallas.

137
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:23am

Damn Romo!!

138
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Moridin :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:23am

Hope. Orton giveth, and Orton taketh.

140
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:24am

Kyle Orton demonstrates he's capable of running Romo's offense.

142
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:26am

This should be a pretty good example of how Romo isn't actually the problem. The problem is that every game comes down to a last minute drive where they need to score, and shitty playcalling.

154
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Crunch (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 2:39am

It should also demonstrate pretty conclusively that Romo is closer to Orton's level than the elite QB some want to make him.

156
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Cythammer (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 5:16am

Look around the NFL. There aren't many quarterbacks better than Romo.

167
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by Crunch (not verified) :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 4:55pm

But there are a lot in the same general category.

There are only about four guys I'd call elite (P. Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers).

Then there are the guys who aren't necessarily better than Romo now, but that you wouldn't trade for him because they're younger (Luck, Wilson, Kaepernick, RG3, Newton, Foles, Tannehil, maybe McCown,Dalton and/or Manuel depending on your evaluation of those guys)

So Romo's in the group with solid QBs without much room for development (E. Manning, Stafford, Rivers, A. Smith, Roethlisberger, Flacco, Ryan, Palmer). Out of that group which guy you want depends on scheme, and what you want out of a QB.

So clearly better? Not a lot. In the same general realm of value to their team all things considered? Quite a few.

168
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by JIPanick :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 8:57pm

1. Orton puts in a decent performance, ending with a bad play.
2. ???
3. Therefore, Romo is not an elite QB.

Could you please fill in the ??? for me? Because I ain't seeing it.

143
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by tunesmith :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 12:38am

Broncos fans will find that familiar. Time and time again, Orton gives it away when the pressure is too high. Romo has the same reputation, but it's unfair to Romo because he's pretty darn good. Orton is (as Walsh said about DeBerg) "just good enough to get you beat".

165
Re: Week 17 Open Discussion Thread
by carrera.bill@gm... :: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 10:15am

and its amazing the number of Bears fans who still believe he made the defense play better. Orton + Lovies Defense = SB!!!! woot wott!!