Talk amongst yourselves
7/29: Fixed broken macros; adjusted NYJ RB, SEA WR
7/26: CAR RB, IND RB, SF RB
7/24: SEA WR/TE
* * * * *
The 2014 KUBIAK fantasy football projection workbook updates all preseason for only $20 -- or get it absolutely free with a $10 deposit at DraftKings.com. Purchase it here!
20 Oct 2013
Utilize this thread for all discussion of Week 7 games.
Posted by: Rivers McCown on 20 Oct 2013
157 replies , Last at
21 Oct 2013, 11:58pm by
This place is coming like a ghost town...
All the clubs have been closed down.
It's for the 8 people who don't tweet.
Quick everyone, it'll be funniest if no one replies.
Perfect double post moment. Perfect.
Be sure join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for another season of internet relay football chat!
Instructions moved to a pastebin due to overzealous spam filter: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=Qjf3ZzvE
Jets using the wildcat today
Redskins take a 17-10 lead over the Bears after a pick-6 by Orakpo on pass to Jeffrey which gets broken up and popped into the air.
Key to stopping Jets on 3rd down? Make it 3rd and short so they run instead of passing.
Matt Ryan is making Harry Douglas look like Julio Jones today, although HD is still tripping over every white line.
Bengals block the Lions' FG and get the ball back just inside of DET territory. The Lions have been dominating Time of Possession, but only have a 3 point lead with CIN now driving towards the DET end zone.
Suddenly Dallas and Philly are playing a defensive struggle. It's funny because, as a Broncos fan, I look at a game like this and think it's going to make Denver's offense look even better, but their defense is going to look even worse.
I don't get Dallas. Romo looked to good a few weeks ago, and now things seem dismal. And the penalties for the Cowboys are dreadful.
Falcon defense causes Mike Glennon to look like Tom Brady. Bucs work their way back into the game.
Ryan marches the Falcons back down the field with spectacular catches by no-name receivers and stupid Buc penalties. What can you say about a team where the shovel pass is your best red zone play?
I don't know if "looking like Tom Brady" is a good thing at this point.
He's still handsome, so "looking" like him could be a plus.
Glennon is a pretty goofy looking dude, so you're probably right. Already has that hot wife/girlfriend thing on lockdown though, so might not be much of an upgrade.
Geez was Megatron's TD into triple or quadrupal coverage
Will we look back and see this as the year that NFL coaches finally realized that they should be going for it on 4th down much more than they were? When Rivera and Schiano-with-a-bad-rookie-QB start doing it, you almost have to figure that a new paradigm has arisen.
Also, the Falcons defense looks absolutely pathetic. They don't seem to have any personality, aside of bad tackling.
Neither one of them really have anything to lose. I'll believe it when we see two good teams in a close game doing it.
Pathetic series in Atlanta. TB marches down the field, gets first and goal on 5. Two straight penalties make first and goal from the 30. Get to 4th and goal from the 13, throw touchdown pass, but called back due to hands to face. Now 4th and goal at the 23, Trufant injured and out, but TB decides to kick the FG rather than test a 2nd string CB. Don't know which team is really worse.
Schiano completely puzzled me. Down 11, just under 2 minutes to go, at Atlanta 20, kick the field goal? Even if you get it, you now have to get the ball back, get a TD and the 2-point conversion, otherwise it's for naught. Is it easier to get the TD from the 20 and a FG from 50 or the FG now and a TD starting from midfield?
Barkley INT and Dallas now trying to run out the clock.... sloppy game on both sides.
The Bears were not offsides on that onside kick. That is all.
Really need an explanation of the "unsportsmanlike conduct" penalty on Folk's missed FG attempt in OT. C. Jones looked like he was driving into the pile like everybody else. What did I miss?
They said he pushed (and he did) his own guy in the back into the pile. Said it's a new rule this year. Didn't look any different than most other FG tries. Something they were looking for though flag came early. Strange.
If it's a new rule this year, that's on the Pats coaching staff.
Thinking through that whole sequence it is hard not to wonder if the jets saw something and tipped the refs to look for it.
I agree -- it's hard to believe that the official would have made that call if he thought only the league office were watching.
Apparently the NFL has changed its website explanation of what the rule means.
Belichick's understanding was based on what the website used to say.
Gotta love how the media rally behind the NFL, even when they screw up.
This is really shitty.
As seen with Spygate, BB is going to doing his thing based on what the rules actually say, not what they're supposed to say, or intended to say.
Rules should be interpreted literally.
Was he really pushing him forward? It looked to me like he was stunting behind him. I thought the "push" was more like guiding himself around.
I say this as NOT a Pats fan. Just what it looked like to me.
And on the very first deep throw of the Case Keenum era in Houston it hits a wide open Garret Graham in the hands at the KC 3. He can't hold on. He was wide open because KC bit on the play action bootleg that teams have not been getting fooled by all season.
A bit late to the party with this comment, but I think on the Romo interception the pass was intended for Beasley and Tanner ran the wrong route, dragging Ryan through the passing lane.
That's contrary to Aikman's analysis, so I don't know if that is a point in my favor or not.
Everyone I was watching with saw the replay and was like - why is Romo yelling at Tanner? Then we came to the same consensus as you, that Tanner shouldn't have brought his man through the middle. We had Aikman on mute though.
Can Kickstarter be used to fund a project to burn the "3rd and long draw" out of Kubiak's playbook?
It is a play that is terrible enough when it's on the Texans' side of the field. But using it when you're already kicking a 46 yard FG on 4th down? Terrible. Tate isn't able to get back to the LOS and it becomes a 48 yard FG that Bullock gets it right inside of the right upright.
For one year (2010) Foster and a great offensive line made it look good by persistently converting give-up draws and dump-offs in third and long. It's never worked since.
Totally not football related, but the Papa John's commercial for the giant cookie with order of a pizza makes me miss America so much. So very, very much. Sure, it's Papa John's so not the best, but it's quick, delivered, and comes with a huge cookie. 'Murica!
Yes, being able to have crappy pizza with a factory made cookie is the epitome of American enterprise.
We used to make fun of countries that produced cheap crap like the stuff you now celebrate.
To be fair, if you go back and look at food commercials from the 60's, 70's, and 80's, you'll see a lot of crappy food being advertised. Heavily-sugared cereals, Beef-a-roni, Tang, Space Food Sticks, and all the crappy fast food we've mostly come to love. I'd call Papa John's the worst delivery pizza, but I live in St Louis where the local pizza is so bad it defies belief that the locals love it.
Sure, I grew up with all that crap, too. I don't see making it a point of 'Murican pride.
Not sure if sarcastic or mistaking 'familiar' with 'superior'.
Not sarcastic, and never said superior. But the concept of ordering a pizza and a giant cookie for delivery to your home is something you just don't see in Europe. And they're poorer for it.
True, I've not yet seen the giant cookie in Europe.
Pizza delivery has been here for about 20 years now? Don't know where you are though - Europe is quite diverse.
Claiming that they're "poorer for it" implies superiority. Europeans might claim superiority because they eat fresh food prepared at home for family meals.
Well, not if you're a Brit... but then, Brits don't exactly claim to be Euros, do they?
This one, in fairness, does not.
If Europe were as great as Europeans would like you to believe, the only Americans would be people Rivers cannot name.
You can definitely order a pizza and something vaguely cookie-like for rapid delivery to your home in the UK and France. I suspect the same would hold in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria and sundry others.
This whole conversation leaves me speechless. Of all the things to miss, you miss this? Do you miss inner city Detroit too?
Whenever I'm jonesing for urban decay, high unemployment, and crippling taxes I go have dinner in France. So I never miss Detroit.
They had to call out the riot police after the hometown team settled for a tie in Sunday's soccer match. I'm hoping I can introduce team colors smoke grenades to American fan celebrations when I'm back in the States. Their pizza delivery technology might be lacking, but they sure know how to throw a tail-gating party.
You really find it surprising that the junky comfort food of one's childhood and adolescence should be high on the list of things one misses when living abroad? I'd have thought that was more-or-less universal.
On 3rd and five at the 35 the Jets run for the umpteenth time in a row only to be stopped for a very long field goal. They lose two yards and go for an incredibly improbable field goal. It's much more likely that they are able to pass for a first down or even try something else than the umpteenth run in a row on a playcall unlikely to convert.
Luckily, as their field goal sails wide, the Pats get charged a penalty for overloading the blocking units and they get another chance.
Anyhow, the rest of the AFC is ok with the Pats losing the game.
The Jets defense played very well. It's hard to tell how much Gronk improved the Pats because of how well the Jets defense played.
(I posted this much earlier, but in the wrong place)
Both defenses played very well, with both scoring off pick sixes. The Pats problem right now is run defense, which is why the Jets went conservative on the drive in overtime. That said, I felt the play calls on the last six to seven downs went way too conservative; the Pats defense had been drawn in, and play action or a designed Geno run would have worked really well.
I also thought the decision to try the field goal was really foolish; they really lucked out with the call, which seemed ticky tacky to me, and I'm a Jets fan.
Gronk played pretty well, gaining over a hundred yards. If he had been able to come up with that catch in the end of regulation, the Pats would probably have won, but it would have been a ridiculous circus catch. Having him back definitely helps the Pats, but I don't think Brady is quite at the level he has been for the last ten years.
The Jets got a lot of yards on the ground, but only at 3.4 yards per carry. I can live with that.
I think the Pats problem right now is that they don't have Jerod Mayo in coverage. The other LBs aren't anywhere near as good. The Jets consistently threw passes to "whoever Dont'a Hightower is supposed to be covering."
Brady is definitely down this season. So is the pass protection, and so are the receivers. After watching the Pats today and later watching Broncos-Colts, it's clear that the Pats have a long way to go if they want a Super Bowl run. And with all the injuries on defense, I don't see it happening this year.
NO, the Pat's problem is not run defense.
The Pat's problem is that their offense goes large chunks of time where Brady gets inaccurate, and the play calling becomes stagnant. The receivers aren't great, but Brady is throwing a TON Of passes off target (8 of 17 targeting Gronk today).
Seriously, the Jets were sending extra pass rushers pretty much the whole time. Why no RB screens? Why no draws? Because Josh McDaniels thinks that you're supposed to force your will upon the other defense, instead of attacking their weaknesses.
Perhaps they stopped the run well in this game for the most part, but that last drive was entirely runs. I still think they miss Wilfork, and they won't be getting him or Mayo back. Talib on the other hand will come back. Having Spikes who is amazing against the run helps, but the Pats got gashed on the ground in their last two losses. I did mean that their run defense is the weak spot of the defense, not that it is the reason the Pats look a lot more human.
The Pats have had problems with extra rushers coming free the entire year (see the last Under Pressure). I'm not sure about what McDaniel thinks, but the Jets have actually done well stopping screens this year, partly because Richardson can go out and cover them. Granted, Rex blitzed a lot more than normal today. Draws may have worked; the Patriots still had the best average per rush anyone has had against the Jets this year.
Of course they missed Wilfork.
The thing is, saying the Patriots run defense is the problem is like complaining about the drapes on the Titanic.
The defense gave the ball back to the offense multiple times with the opportunity to score go-ahead points, and they couldn't do it. It was the same thing as the Saints game, but without the miracle touchdown at the end.
And no, giving up 3.4 ypc is not getting gashed.
Foster is out of the game right now for the Texans after aggravating his hamstring injury. His return is "questionable".
And Foster is on the sidelines wearing his hoodie.
Keenum not looking terrible in his first start. Finding holes in the zone and hitting deep throws, including his first NFL TD to Hopkins.
Late to the party, but if Brandon Merriweather plays next week I'll never take the NFL's concussion stance seriously again.
He was involved in 2 separate incidents of this type in the same game against the Packers (I think,) and I don't think he was suspended.
The NFL does not and will never care about concussions beyond PR and lawsuits.
You are correct. Knocked Lacy out, then knocked himself out when trying to do the same to Starks.
“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.”
The Texans' defense continues to be a revolving door in the red zone allowing Alex Smith to drive 97 yards and culminating in an Alex Smith TD run.
Terrible clock management for the Texans at the end of the half. They have 43 seconds and two timeouts. The first play is a Tate run that gets about 8 yards. They let 20 seconds run off the clock before their next play, where Tate gets another 8ish yards. At this point they call a TO and attempt to move into FG range. They wind up having Keenum toss a ball up for grabs which falls incomplete because they don't have the time to get into FG range.
Just terrible clock management and situational awareness from Kubiak. Those 20 seconds they spent dithering about when they wound up trying to score were part and parcel to why I think this is his last year barring a huge turnaround.
I never understand how NFL coaches can be so bad at the simple parts of their job. They excoriate their players for lesser faults.
I think it was a piece of even worse in-game management than I thought at the time. The first run was the typical give-up run, but it wound up getting a good chunk of the first down. When the second play worked as well Kubiak found the Texans in the position of having time-outs, being one play away from possibly scoring points, but only have enough time for one, mayb two plays. The subsequent pass winds up about 7 yards short of where they'd try Bullock with a long kick.
The real coaching failure, from my thinking, was that Kubiak called for a run in the first place. They went into the game with only Foster and Tate active as HBs. Foster was already standing on the sideline in his hoodie, and Tate already missed plays after being hurt. If Tate goes out the Texans are in A LOT of trouble. If Kubiak wanted to just go into the half, just have Keenum take a knee. Don't risk your only active HB on a give-up play.
Ben Tate goes down hard after a one yard loss. This is extremely bad for the Texans as they went into this week with only two HBs on the roster; Foster and Tate. Foster is already out with a hamstring. If Tate misses any time then FB Greg Jones becomes the feature back.
and HBs are rotated every so many plays, so is Tate coming out on a regular basis or are they running him till the wheels come off?
I appreciate that they let us have Chris Ogbonnaya. :) While there was a reason he was on the practice squad, and he's been forced to go out of position as a FB a lot, he's had some moments.
Houston recovers a Jamaal Charles fumble at the Chiefs' 30 giving them a +1 turnover margin, which is a huge difference from their performance for the past month. The first play after the turnover has Keenum scramble, find an open Graham, who evades a tackle, and takes the ball to the 1.
Quentin Demps takes a kick off for 60+ yards, the Adventures of Trindon Holliday are well known in Denver. How much of the Texans' suck at special teams is coaching, how much is talent evaluation, and how much is the combination?
Cushing is down with what looks like a gruesome knee injury. Charles blocked him with his shoulder right on Cushing's planted leg. His knee buckled and had to be helped off the field. He is now being carted off as KC sets up for a FG.
And it has been reported that Cushing is done for the season with a fractured leg and a torn LCL.
The Texans big offseason moves were the signing of Ed Reed and extending the contracts of Foster, Schaub, and Cushing. 2014 is looking to be very painful.
As I understand it, the way Schaub's contract is structured actually makes 2015 the most difficult year. If he's designated as a post-June 1st cut, he'll count $3.5m against the cap in 2014 and $7m in 2015. Reed will be either $2.66m in 2014 or $1.33m in each, I think. Cushing I guess will probably start next season on PUP and hopefully be fully effective by 2015, though that may well be wishful thinking.
On the bright side, Keenum may need to learn when to just take a sack, but he was getting the ball out on time, hitting receivers in stride at all depths, and generally looking much more like a professional QB than I expected. So there's that.
No, Jax and Tampa Bay coaches, you should not be kicking field goals when you're trailing by 14.
Dexter McCluster is earning his pay today for once.
The "Texans giving up fewest yards" thing really seems like a paper tiger of a defense, and maybe related to their offense giving 6 scores to opposing defenses.
So the original headline for the Jets game on ESPN was something like "Jets win on controversial call," which was completely ridiculous considering there was nothing controversial at all about that penalty. Just because it's a new, maybe odd rule doesn't make it a bad call. I haven't even heard anyone argue it was actually incorrect, and I don't see how you could. The headline was changed now, though.
How the Jets went from being beaten with relative ease by a winless team one week to defeating the Patriots the next is the real question…
> I haven't even heard anyone argue it was actually incorrect
Was it technically correct? Yes, in the same way that calling assisting the runner on a pile-pushing touchdown would be. Unless there have been no other opportunities to make the pushing call this season (and I seriously doubt that), this one qualifies easily as controversial. I really don't give a fuck what Mike Pereira says because he's take any out offered in defending his former colleagues (though to his credit he now acknowledges out-and-out blown calls).
What an odd rule. I can see the leaping rule as a safety issue, but pushing your linemen into the backfield...? Okay, whatever. The ref was about five feet away and threw the flag immediately. It was pretty clear.
Was it technically correct? Yes, in the same way that calling assisting the runner on a pile-pushing touchdown would be. Unless there have been no other opportunities to make the pushing call this season (and I seriously doubt that), this one qualifies easily as controversial. I really don't give a fuck what Mike Pereira says because he'll take any out offered in defending his former colleagues (though to his credit he now acknowledges out-and-out blown calls).
Moreover, the NFL isn't being totally above board about the exact wording of the rule: https://twitter.com/tomecurran/status/392066713228816384/photo/1 I don't think anyone is arguing that one of the two players involved wasn't on the line of scrimmage.
If rule requires player pushing to NOT be on the line of scrimmage at the snap, it was called incorrectly -- pushing player pushed, but he started on the line of scrimmage, hesistated, then went to his right and pushed into the back of the guy who started next to him. Again, ref threw flag quickly, like he wanted to call it.
Anyway, Pats avoid that result if they play better. IMO Pats offense pretty dreadful. I was similarly lamenting the O last week before miracle finish over NO. That level of play comes back to bite you.
Correctly called plays are now 'controversial'? Okay…
Sometimes yes. See the infamous Calvin Johnson TD.
Let's be honest here: that foul doesn't get called in the Super Bowl. Controversial.
You've heard of the Tuck Rule, yes?
The rule was fine. Idiotic, but fine. Brady wasn't tucking, even according to the language of the rule.
You can call any offensive play back because an offensive player is moving his arms or is going forward just a bit on a motion (pay attention to it, it happens a lot) or holding far away from the play.
Then there's offsides on a kickoff which is called rarely, lining up in the neutral zone by the D-line is another that won't get called on a regular basis.
Some penalties you don't call every single play. For some infractions you instruct a player to line up properly first, or warn a team - then you penalize.
This... if the team wasn't warned before... was bullshit.
NBC's pregame highlights with Dan Patrick also called it controversial.
I'm a Jet fan, and I still thought it was ticky tacky. As far as the Jets losing to the Steelers and then beating the Pats, you have to look at the relative history of the teams, as well as the schedule maker. Not only do the Jets NEVER beat the Steelers, the NFL decided that the Jets should play a monday night game in Atlanta... and then play a team coming off a bye, never mind a proud angry winless team. As far as the Jets winning today, well the Jets are on the win one lose one plan. The real question is whether the bye week will count as a loss, so they'll end up 9-7 instead of 8-8.
The Jets "never" beating the Steelers is not a reason. Whatever games were played between the two years ago mean essentially nothing now. The Steelers were also presumably a "proud angry winless team" in the previous weeks of the season and it didn't do them any good then. Describing them thus is just a way to make it sound like having a bad season somehow makes them a scarier team to play.
You may agree with the call. The call may be correct. Neither of those facts mean that the call wasn't "controversial."
I would say that it is generous to call the rule "new, maybe odd." I would say "poorly written", "incorrectly explained by the league", "overbroad" and "inconsistently applied."
I could certainly argue that the call was incorrect. According to the NFL's own explanation (which they have since wiped from their website), the rule was intended to apply to second-level defenders pushing linemen. But if you only read what's on the web now, you would never know that this was the language that had been up. Indeed, it's hard to see how penalizing minor pushing by one lineman against the other is supposed to "protect" anybody.
As for your last point, hey, it's the NFL. The Colts can beat the 49ers, Seahawks, and the Broncos, but not the Chargers or Dolphins.
Yeah, all that stuff about the rule being 'changed' is nonsense, driven by Boston-area sportswriters and their usual persecution complex (which is the only reason this every became an issue in the first place). What was quoted on the website wasn't the rule. It was what had been proposed as the rule. Anyway, what's on the website is, of course, irrelevant. It's what's actually in the rule book that matters. The only people still arguing the call was wrong are the more nutty of Patriot homers.
Texans hold on a goal to go situation. KC loses a challenge and TO on a very close call on 2nd down, then fails to convert on 3rd and 4th down. Of course that leaves the rookie QB making his first start needing to go 99 yards.
I thought the refs' ball placement was horrid twice in that game, once putting the Texans on the 1 yard line when it should have been the one foot line (they got 3) and on the play you refer to for the Chiefs. I'd argue that the runner was never really down, because he was tackled by a guy who fell under him, meaning his entire body was off the ground as he rotated his torso and hands to put the ball over the plane (not a KC fan, but I think he did break it). Was the ensuing play a sweep that lost yardage? I forget, but it may have been the Texans' goal line possession just before. My 12-year-old asked me "who calls a slow-developing sweep in that situation?" And he's primarily a linebacker.
I am a Texans fan so keep that in mind. Although the player who brought Fasano down was under him, the first part of Fasano to contact the ground was his elbow, and his elbow was just short of the goal line. I thought, at the time, the play was going to be overturned, but I see why it wasn't; the ball was never visible prior to Fasano's elbow touching the ground so whether it broke the plane couldn't be determined. The 3rd down play was the sweep to the left that lost like 2 yards, and then the 4th down was when it looked like Smith directed the FB to block so he could run it in, then realized he was in a situation where he couldn't make it and wound up throwing a pass caught well out of bounds.
The Texans have been such a strange team this year. They've hung with two of the best teams in the league, but have also got blown out by the Rams and Ravens. Bizarre.
That's because they're fundamentally talented enough to be a very good team. They've just developed a spectacular range of ways to shoot themselves in the arse. Pick-6s, special teams shenanigans, all the penalties in the universe, the works. But a healthy Texans team is a quarterback, a right tackle and some antipsychotics away from dominance. QB and antipsychotics quite important, though.
Alex Smith catches his own pass after it gets batted down at the line by Watt. He's tackled immediately for a loss of about 1.
A combination of terrible pass protection and punt coverage takes Houston from a 3rd and 8 to 4th and 28 with the end result being KC taking possession on their own 47.
That Keenum couldn't audible out of an obviously bad situation (an overload blitz) is really making me think that much of the Texans' problems are in coaching.
That is a pretty consistent gripe among Houston fans, yes.
The Chiefs dial up a similar blitz on 3rd and 4 forcing the Texans to punt it away again. Just painful to watch since you know its coming and the QB can do nothing about it.
Shiloh Keo possibly picks off Alex Smith on 3rd down when the Chiefs were in long field goal range.
Replay upholds the pick and Houston takes over at their own 22 with 5:40ish left in the game.
Looks like the AFC North race might already be over.
Reed offside on a blitz the Texans didn't need. Who made that silly call?
That you cannot comprehend the veteran-y leadership Reed provides doesn't mean its not there.
Reed is not clearly better than Shiloh Keo at this point, and Keo is awful.
Texans get the ball back after holding the Chiefs to a punt on their side of the field. They have no time outs, need to go about 60 yards, and Keenum fumbles the ball at the KC 1 and the Chiefs recover.
The Texans' season is over, even if they probably aren't as bad as their record.
They may not have been to date, but they will be now. With Cushing and Manning both done for the season, teams will be able to throw over the middle at will. Tight ends and backs with good receiving skills will post huge numbers against Houston from here on out.
Andy Reid having a defense that bails out his offense is too mind-boggling to encompass. Can't posssibly be sustainable.
I realize that the years without the late Jim Johnson may have clouded your memory... But in 3 of the 5 seasons the Eagles reached the NFC championship under Reid, their defense was notably better than their offense (2001, 2002, & 2008). So it's hardly unprecedented for Reid to be leading a team whose success stems primarily from defense.
Heck, if the Eagles hadn't had 4 defensive linemen on IR in 2003... Oh, well. Hopefully at some point this season they'll get both sides of the ball to play well in the same game...
KC is becoming one of my favorite teams to watch. Always an adventure. I guess switching Andy Reid from cheesesteaks to barbecue was just what the doctor ordered.
Either way, his arteries are screaming for mercy, skim milk, and a salad.
Two weeks in a row with McAfee hitting a crappy first punt.
Mind-boggling. Plus, his end of game average was stellar, with 6 of 9 inside the 20. What's up with the 32-yarder to start things off? Musta been Manning-night nerves....
Maybe he was hoping for a return so he could get in a pop!
Trindon Holliday giveth and Trindon Holliday taketh away.
Pat "Hines" McAfee!
Chris Collinsworth is the best color man in the broadcast booth, so I'm giving him a pass for calling Andrew Luck "literally pretty amazing."
Oh brother. Patriots fans seem to be going into full Raider fan tinfoil mode on this "pushing" thing. Apparently some (totally unofficial, of course) article on NFL.com had a "player not on the line of scrimmage" clause in its explanation of the rule, which the NFL has corrected since the end of the Pats/Jets game. (Apparently the that's what the rule was going to say, but it was amended to remove that clause shortly before it was passed.)
So the tinfoils are claiming the ref screwed up and the NFL is changing the rule after the fact. Yeesh. Apparently these losers forget (among other things) that the NFL sells hardcopies of the 2013 rulebook...
If the rule applies to a player on the line of scrimmage pushing another player on the line of scrimmage, that is exactly what happened on the play. Very unusual call (i.e., penalty never called before) but not incorrect. Anyway, Pats O played like crap for large chunks of game -- again -- and Pats deserved to lose in any event.
Reiss has a good explanation of the rule and the interpretations of second level pushing versus pushing from anywhere. Call technically correct. Pats -- and Brady -- need to play better football.
The printed 2013 Casebook mumbles about players doing the pushing being in a 2-point stance. I think that there might have been a more subtle conspiracy -- that they dropped the wording about second-level because it wasn't clear enough, but that they intended the rule to be enforced only on the situations specifically identified to be unsafe. Then an over-zealous official screws up and backs management into a corner. In any case the Patriots are owed an apology, just not one that admits fault on the part of the crew involved.
You really think it's legitimate for the NFL to disseminate an incorrect explanation of its own rule?
Look, it's a stupid rule. That has nothing to do with thinking that there's any conspiracy. I don't need a "tinfoil hat." But the current interpretation of the rule requires a 15-yard penalty for any and all "pushing" by defenders on any special teams FG or punt. That level of enforcement goes far beyond what is needed to protect lineman from the original reason for this rule change, namely the practice of stacking and pushing. I hope and expect to see this penalty assessed at least once per week for the rest of the season, based on this interpretation.
Whether the NFL "changed the rule after the fact" is a question of semantics. Whether they changed their own explanation of the rules is beyond dispute. So now the defense of the NFL is that they expect their own coaches to understand what rules actually mean, and not what the league's own web site says they mean?
That's really weak.
I think coaches should know the actual rule as it exists in the actual rulebook, and not base their coaching on some for-the-fans article on NFL.com.
ObNotWhining: As a Patriot fan, I feel obligated to say the following before discussing the Jones penalty. The Patriots lost to the Jets yesterday, not because of a penalty call, but because the Jets outplayed them, Brady was dreadful, and then did not deserve to win. The penalty appears to have been called correctly, and it was their own damn fault that they were in a position for it to matter.
With that out of the way...
Absolutely. I don't blame Jones - I blame Bill O'Brien. There's no excuse for a player on that team not being aware of a penalty that punitive.
But, in addition to the suddenly-redacted NFL.com description of the rule, we've got Belichick talking about "second-level" players, and reports that the NFL training material distributed all showed linebackers, off-the-line players pushing, not linemen. So there's a real possibility that the league instructions to the teams were not clear.
In any event, it's hard to believe that Chris Jones was the very first lineman this year to push a teammate during a punt or field goal or extra point, and the calling of that penalty in that spot, for the first time in any NFL game this year, feels both arbitrary and punitive. That kick was the third Jets field goal yesterday, in addition to three extra points and several punts. Are we to presume that Jones decided to do something on that particular attempt that he hadn't been doing all throughout the game, without penalty?
"But, in addition to the suddenly-redacted NFL.com description of the rule, we've got Belichick talking about "second-level" players, and reports that the NFL training material distributed all showed linebackers, off-the-line players pushing, not linemen. So there's a real possibility that the league instructions to the teams were not clear."
This wouldn't be the first time that Bill is going by a very literal interpretation of the rule that is technically correct, while the referees/nfl have decided on some interpretation that isn't consistent with the actual wording of the rule (or have just changed the rule without telling anyone).
They've been doing this pretty much every field goal all season, this is the first time its been called.
To me, this rule seems something akin to blocking in the back, or holding on kick/punt returns. It probably happens about two thirds of the time, and (for the Pats), it was a pretty difficult time to stomach a flag being thrown for the first time all season. Jones certainly IS pushing, but was he pushing to push, or was he trying (as someone noted above), trying to swim around Svitek? Not that it matters, it just seems that 15 yards is a super harsh penalty for a potentially misinterpreted swim move...
Watch the replay -- he's clearing pushing to push. He puts two hands on the rear of the d-lineman in front of him and is trying to scrum him forward.
The wording change was likely because the NFL rules don't otherwise define what "on the line" means for the defense. This is defined for the offense, but not the defense. The nearest interpretation is the 'inducing a false start' rule that says you can't fake an offsides within a yard of the neutral zone. Looking at the replay, Jones is farther back than that. Had he been an offensive lineman, he would have been considered a back on that play.
As far as a literal interpretation of the rules goes -- are NE's DBs or LBs ever moving towards the LOS on the snap? Because a literal reading of the snap rules states that's illegal, too. The rule doesn't specify that only offensive players cannot be moving forward.
Did I say "arbitrary and punitive"? This picture seems to show the NY Jets doing exactly the same thing on the Patriots' game-tying field goal yesterday afternoon, mere minutes before the officials felt compelled to make the call for the first time this season.
Does anyone know the record for fewest possessions (both teams) in a game? 15 by BAL-PIT seems pretty low. Also, what's the record for highest percentage of drives ending in a made FG (7/15 seems pretty high)?
Peyton has got to be hurt.
And this is why I hate Barnwell's consistent harping in TYFNC over going for two. Until you get pretty deep in the game, and particularly when both teams are moving the ball rather easily, you just don't know how the scoring is going to come out. Why, with 8 minutes left, would you assume the other team is done scoring, or that, with a lead, they might not be more likely to kick field goals than score touchdowns.
Had the Broncos just kicked, they would still be in a one score game at 39-31. Instead they are down 39-30.
-Odds are they still need the 2 point conversion eventually, and if you fail it is better to know sooner than later. If they are down 39-31 they still need to convert the 2 point conversion, so no difference except for you know sooner rather than later.
-In an Offensive game like you describe, odds likely higher than 50% chance of converting the 2 point conversion
That would be an argument for going for it every time, particularly in the first half when expected value reigns supreme over any tactical consideration.
But they would still need to have a successful two point conversion at some point. If you're going to fail, better to fail early so you know you're going to need the extra possession and can plan accordingly.
There's a difference between playing to maximize your chance of winning and playing to put off the moment of losing as long as possible.
But you don't know how many points you are going to need, and the earlier you convert, the more chance you give the opponent to alter its strategy accordingly.
If you are in a true David situation--then yes, go for two. But if you are the Broncos, down 13 with 13 to play against a depleted Colts D, it is not a David situation. The ease with which they cut the lead up to the point they fumbled on the two is fairly good evidence that they were not Davids.
Furthermore, in the event, they were in fact hurt by going for two. Barnwell NEVER mentions the (often very likely) possibility that field goals come into play, knocking a team off the scoring tracks he depends on.
The bottom line is teams should go for two A LOT more than they do now. You can quibble about this particular case or that particular case, but overall teams consistently shoot themselves in the foot by being too conservative about it. I am not going to argue with you about any particular game, but I would point out that you might want to consider the decisions ex ante instead of ex post.
It is always to pick some new theory you don't like, wait till it fails, then harp on that as a reason it is bad instead of looking at all the cases.
Well that doesn't describe me at all. I also think that teams should go for two much more often. The Rams in their heyday should never have kicked even a FG unless the clock were expiring at the end of a half.
But context matters. If were talking about teams with superior goal-line offenses, then they should always go for two in the first half, and it's acutally towards the end of the game is when they might start thinking about specific paths to victory, and when the tactical value of a single point may outweigh the (potentially) higher expected value of a two-point try. [The analagous situation is playing for a three run homer in the fourth inning but playing for one in the late innings when one run is worth a lot, e.g. the tying or winning run in the ninth.]
If we're talking regular teams, it gets a lot more difficult. I've been watching this issue for years and many times teams go for two and end up lowering their chance at victory--typically because the other team kicks two field goals, which, by the way, happens a lot. Often the team who's ahead scores a TD and matches the two-point conversion. The model for this just isn't good. As long as there is a lot of time left (like more than two or three minutes), there is so much opportunity to erase that extra point that the decision one way or another is not a slam dunk.
And that is my main point. It's not a slam dunk to kick where the Broncos were. The upside is smaller and the downside larger than Barnwell admits, particularly in a case like the Broncos.
The only way the Broncos should have kicked the extra point is if you believe that they would never need to go for 2. Most likely, they run that exact same 2 point play that they ran, no matter if they decide to go for 1 after this Touchdown, after the next touchdown, after the TD after that, etc.
We all know that their 1st 2 Point attempt will fail, no matter after which TD they try it after. Given that you know your 2 Point Conversion attempt is guaranteed to fail, why is it not better to know that as soon as possible, as opposed to later in the game?
Had the Broncos not gone for two, the colts may not have been so conservative at the end of the game.
Finally got a chance to watch Trent Richardson. And he finally had the highest ypc of any rb on his team, though McGahee outrushed him on the day. To be clear, 2.6 ypc and a 4th quarter fumble add up to a dismal day by any standard.
Anyway, my impression, not a studied one, is that the reason he is so ineffective is because he is terrible. He's fast, strong, and elusive. And the Colts did not block well. And he was good at pushing the pile. But he just runs into the line with no patience and no feel for setting up blocks. That's fine at Alabama where the line is blowing the opponents out and creating big lanes. But in the NFL, you have to press the hole and cut back, you have to use the momentum your blockers generate to set up defenders so you DON'T end up trying to push the pile on every run.
Alfred Morris would be a great counterexample--someone with nowhere near the physical gifts of Richardson. Yet Morris is always slithering through the line and sustaining only glancing blow because he understands where the blockers are being influenced and how to take advantage. (Helu, on the same team, doesn't have that skill. Helu gets three where Morris gets six. Morris gets ten where Helu might get thirty due to his speed.)
Pretty much the same opinion. Benjarvus Green-Ellis would be another good counterexample. No physical talent whatsover, but does a good job of reading his blockers and getting to the hole. Never breaks long runs because he doesn't have the speed, but usually gets successful yardage (I say this as someone who hasn't watched him much in cinci, but a ton in NE).
Richardson is basically the Vernon Gholston of Runningbacks.
So the postulate is that Saban's teams are so good on the line that they dont let RBs learn how to RB?
I actually might buy that.
Same argument can be made for Stanford's OL just dominating the competition allowing their coaches (Harbaugh in SF and Hamilton in Indy) to think that it's perfectly valid and likely to rack up 300 YPG on the ground. Somehow Luck learned to deal with a porous pocket behind his great Stanford OL. But Hamilton doesn't seem to grasp that his OL is not opening vast holes for these guys in obvious running situations. From passing sets, or on a typical passing down, there were holes there and both Brown and T Rich managed 5-6-8 yards against Denver. But from the I formation, or when they were clearly curled into a fetal ball trying to kill clock, they got stone-walled. No surprise there. They are not a dominant OL.
Who is the last good NFL RB to come out of Stanford? They had a guy who was a veritable TD machine a few years ago who did okay his rookie year, but....
I would think that the hypothesis is that different skills are important in the NFL than in the college game, because of the drastically different level in talent.
In college, having 4.4 speed means you can pretty much outrun everyone else on the field most games. In the NFL, you can probably outrun most guys in a straight line, but not by much, and you may not be able to outrun that DE enough to get the edge on him on a stretch play.
Vision becomes more important because the holes become much smaller, and speed less important because you're very rarely in a situation where there's enough space to just outrun someone.
Of course, if Richardson had Morris's vision, and ability to follow blockers, he'd be Thomlinson.
I think it's harder to separate out talent in college, because the teams themselves are often so disparate in talent.
Even numbers don't necessarily tell the tale. For every Roethlisberger or Pennington, there's a Harnish or LeFevour.
I think of Richardson as being more of a Frank Gore or Marshawn Lynch type runner than a Tomlinson. Tomlinson's best attributes were agility and speed (and catching ability). Richardson's best attribute is leg strength.
Just that the physical skills outweigh the intangible skills required for success in the NFL. Ingram and Richardson were dominant behind the Alabama line but both are so bad in the NFL that they probably don't even belong on a roster at this point. Haven't seen Lacy yet.
I'm sure if he ran behind an absolutely dominant run-blocking line, Richardson could actually pop a few 20 yard runs and bring his average up to 4.2 ypc. But in that situation, a replacement level back would be breaking 40 yarders and average 4.8ypc. So he's essentially useless.
By the same token, most of the qbs in the league could put up MVP numbers with three near Hall of Fame receivers and getting sacked less than once per game (Mark Rypien, this means you). Only the better ones can still be excellent with average blocking and receiving.
On the plus side, it is possible to learn how to run in the NFL. Look at Reggie Bush. Of course it took him four years and he provided substantial scheme value catching the ball until he figured it out.
Can Peyton Hillis try and not run so white? It is embarrassing.
The Vikings deserve the worst offensive DVOA ever recorded for this abomination of a game
That was just ghastly. It should never be written about, spoken of, or acknowledged in anyway. It should live only in the vacant stares of those who have truly stared into the abyss of MNF long enough to feel its gaze bore back into them.
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // Site powered by Stein-Wein // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties