Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Sep 2005

Dr. Z: Patriots On Top, Dolphins Look Good

We know football season is back in a big way when we see the return of Dr. Z's power rankings. Paul Zimmerman has good things to say about the Chiefs' linebackers, DeAngelo Hall, and William Joseph, who many have labeled a bust but who is singled out in Pro Football Prospectus as one of the league's best run-stuffers.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 14 Sep 2005

58 comments, Last at 16 Sep 2005, 9:54am by LnGrrrR

Comments

1
by Ray (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 2:51pm

I think Dr. Z may be overreacting a tad to some of the week 1 upsets. Saints at #6? Dolphins at #11? I think teams that were so lowly regarded a week ago should have to win again and prove that it wasn't a fluke before they get bumped up that high.

2
by MadPenguin (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 2:59pm

Too quick. In this, college football, heisman candidates, why can't we let them play for a while before making determination. I'm finding a lot of sports writers are treating the one loss in the nfl as if the teams season has gone down the drain. Lets keep it realistic people. And because I can't help it, go steelers.

3
by Balaji (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:02pm

I stopped reading at this point:

Defending Super Bowl champs automatically go to the top of the class. This is etched in stone and I've been told not to mess with this directive if I value my job.

Please. Belichick himself would tell you that last season, even if it resulted in a championship, has nothing to do with this season.

And as for the Saints at #6, also asinine. Yes, we know that the people of the region suffered tremendous losses. What does that have to do with football again?

4
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:03pm

he also has to lose this obsession he has (absolutely wrong in this case) that Ray Lewis' tackle numbers are hyper-inflated; he has been claiming this for 5 years

the official stats said 8-2--Dr Z claims that they were 0-0

he wasn't watching the same game that I was

Dr. Z suffer from a syndrom that doesn't have a Greek name (but should) concerning players that he FIRMLY believes are overrated
(Derek Jeter-haters have this same syndrome)

when one firmly believes this, then ANY good thing said about this player is automatically suspect

5
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:05pm

No way. There should be a lot of movement early in the season. That's the way it should be, because you don't know how strong their opposition is.

6
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:06pm

Anybody got a good read on Denver? I commented to my brother before the season started that I thought they were the toughest team to predict this season. My actual comment was that they could be anywhere from 4-12 to 12-4, and I am no wiser after Sunday. Anybody think #29 is where they'll be by the end of the season?

7
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:08pm

My actual comment was that they could be anywhere from 4-12 to 12-4, and I am no wiser after Sunday

I think you can safely assume that, in the remainder of their games, they'll be somewhere between 4-11 and 11-4

8
by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:13pm

Nice!

The Fish are sitting on a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter. In the old days they'd run twice, throw a safe pass that falls short of the first down, punt and buckle up to play defense and make a game of it. Nick Saban's new era Dolphins instruct Gus Frerotte to go deep on the first snap, which he does, hitting Marty Booker for a 60-yard TD.

I'm a Dolphins fan, but I am still not expecting much this year.

9
by mactbone (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:14pm

The Broncos will end up with another 8-8/9-7 season. This is the part of the season where they seperate the running back chaff from the wheat.

As a Chicago fan I know we've gotten some crazy numbers about Urlacher's tackles in the past that are so obviously inflated it's ridiculous. I'm surprised that anyone relies on tackle statistics since from what I can tell the league just uses the teams' statisticians. Chicago tallies their players tackles, etc. Some teams have inflated tackle numbers, some have deflated and all of them "adjust the totals after viewing the tape" - which usually means tacking a couple more to pad a "superstar's" stat sheet. This doesn't even get into how much teams disagree on what is a tackle and what's an assist.

10
by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:15pm

How many other writers read 100-year-old Walter Camp books?

11
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:20pm

I think the term your looking for, princeton, is "Hateritis".

12
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:21pm

Denver at 29th while Philly and Carolina are still both top-10? This doesn't, by any chance, have to do with the fact that he predicted Philly and Carolina to win their divisions, does it?

I think early season rankings are a lot of backpatting. If a guy is high on a team in the offseason, and they put up a stinker, he keeps them high. If he's not, and they put up a stinker, they fall like a rock.

I think the fact that Denver lost 3 CBs had more to do with the loss than the fact that Denver didn't activate Dayne.

13
by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:24pm

Too quick. In this, college football, heisman candidates, why can’t we let them play for a while before making determination. I’m finding a lot of sports writers are treating the one loss in the nfl as if the teams season has gone down the drain. Lets keep it realistic people. And because I can’t help it, go steelers.

What difference does it make? It's just for fun. It will change as the season progresses. If nothing else, it just provides a way for Z to give quick-hit opinions of each team's game.

14
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:27pm

I think the term your looking for, princeton, is “Hateritis

thanks

we had this discussion ad nauseum last season about the concept of "overrated" especially as it applies to Ray Lewis

what does it mean:

--that he's really NOT a good player even though everyone says he is

--that he's a good player but NOT as good as everyone says he is

--that he's a good player but not NEARLY as good as he used to be

the last 2 probably apply to Lewis (especially #3); Zimmerman seems to be the only one who has always leaned towards #1 (and since he's been saying it for so long, he can't give it up)

on a side note, Dr. Z also suffers from "loveritis" in that he is obsessed with certain players from the past who he believes were underrated; he single-handedly got Dave Wilcox into the HOF, and is now working on Tombstone Jackson

15
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:38pm

Balaji (#3 )--

I think the phrasing you quoted, was Dr. Z's convoluted way of blaming the editors for making him put the Patriots on top. Based on the fact that he picked the Colts to beat the Pats in every pick I've seen him make over the last two years, I'd say his preferred slot for the Patriots is likely at 3 or 4. Adjust your outrage accordingly.

As for the Saints at #6, my guess is that Zimmerman wanted his weekly snipe at "the failure of the administration" near the top.

16
by MDS (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:05pm

"Zimmerman seems to be the only one who has always leaned towards #1 (and since he’s been saying it for so long, he can’t give it up)"

Hold on there. Zimmerman has most certainly not ALWAYS been saying Lewis is not a good player. In fact, Zimmerman picked Lewis to his all-pro team back in 1997 -- long before the rest of the media picked up on what a good player he was. (Click on my initials.) But Lewis's play has declined since then, and Zimmerman has said so.

17
by Israel (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:09pm

#2 - "I’m finding a lot of sports writers are treating the one loss in the nfl as if the teams season has gone down the drain. Lets keep it realistic people. And because I can’t help it, go steelers."

With you on that, especially the "go steelers."

The "one loss...down the drain" is like what happens when a Pres. candidate loses NH and Iowa. The press tells everyone he is done, funding dries up and he quits the race. At least in the NFL they are forced to play out the season.

18
by zach (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:48pm

at least in the NFL they're smart enough to ignore the sportswriters.

Denver at 29th while Philly and Carolina are still both top-10? This doesn’t, by any chance, have to do with the fact that he predicted Philly and Carolina to win their divisions, does it?

carolina could well no longer be top-ten material, with the loss of kris jenkins. but to say that philly shouldn't be there is a stretch. their D held vick and the falcons to 14 points even without their star linebacker. even with mcnabb playing horribly, they managed to get the field position that would win them the game 9 times out of 10 (unless you believe that for some reason akers has completely lost it).

granted, i'm biased, but a close loss against a tough team is not a reason to knock the eagles out of the top 10.

19
by Pat on the Back (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:49pm

I've always preferred Dr. Z's rankings to any other ones I find on the web specifically because they don't seem to trend with public opinion. I've found that, for the most part, he tends to rank teams by how he saw them play rather than how their record is. I mean, granted, he follows his gut and the records to some extent, but if he just did what a lot of writers do, which is rehash the standings, I don't think he would add much to the equation. Instead, he finds a few key points from each game that he thinks epitomizes the team's ability going forward and works from there. So, sure, he overreacted to results from week 1, but when you think about it, that is really what a power ranking is suppossed to be about.

20
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:58pm

Princeton,

I don't see where you get the idea that Dr. Z didn't think that Ray Lewis was a fantastic player (Princeton: "Zimmerman seems to be the only one who has always leaned towards #1 (and since he’s been saying it for so long, he can’t give it up)"). He was among the first of the media to think that Ray Lewis had slipped a notch, but only by a little; Lewis was on Dr. Z's all pro list in 2003, and the general consensus was that he was no longer the best player on his own defense by 2004 (Ed Reed being voted Defensive Player of the Year and all).

Other than his injury shortened year in 2002 (see below for how he felt about that at All-pro time), Ray Lewis was his All-pro middle linebacker every year from 1998 to 2003.

During that same period this is all of the people who were selected to more than one Dr. Z All-pro team:

Two times: Randy Moss, Kurt Warner, Steve McNair, Tony Richardson, Alan Faneca, Tom Nalen, Sam Madison, Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, David Akers, Todd Sauerbrun, Mike Vanderjagt

Three Times: Marvin Harrison, Jonathon Ogden, Larry Allen, Michael Strahan, Brian Dawkins

Four Times Marshall Faulk, Tony Gonzalez, Derrick Brooks

Five Times: Ray Lewis

Just so you can get a feel of what Dr. Z was saying about him, I've excerpted all the statements about Ray Lewis in his annual All-pro list. Just the all-pro list, not everything else that he wrote. But a good summary of Dr. Z's thoughts through the years nonetheless.

1998 All pro team (at
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/news/1998/12/23/drz_onfoot...
)
" MIDDLE LINEBACKER -- Ray Lewis, Baltimore.

Four looks (wish I'd seen him more often), a gaudy 7.0 slash average, best of anyone. Pretty sound in coverage, too."

1999 All pro team (at
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2000/01/06/drz_al...
)
"Inside Linebacker[Lewis and Greg Biekert - C]: Lewis was in a class by himself, a precise and vicious tackler who was also effective in coverage."

2000 All pro team (at
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2001/01/03/drz_in...
)
"Middle Linebacker: Ray Lewis, Baltimore

And while this was going on, the reverse was happening in Baltimore. Maybe it was all the legal troubles in the offseason, but Ray Lewis was just not the same player when the bell rang. He was missing tackles, having trouble getting off the blocks, you name it. But wow, did he come on. And now, when the stakes are highest, he's at the top of his game."

2001 All-pro team (at
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2002/01/09/drz_in...
)
" Inside linebackers
Ray Lewis, Ravens
Brian Urlacher, Bears

These are two guys who are on the field for all downs and both are key figures in the pass defense, which is unusual for middle backers. Lewis was not as dominant against the run as he was last year, but he's still amazing in his ability to read the run and then instantly drop back into his short-coverage zone."

2002 All pro team (at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2002/12/26/drz_in...
)
"If Ray Lewis stayed healthy, he would have been a lock at the position. No one came close to his performance against the Broncos in the Monday nighter."

2003 All pro team (at
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/dr_z/01/21/insider/index.h...
)
"INSIDE LINEBACKERS [Zach Thomas and Ray Lewis- C]: Thomas was clearly in front of Lewis in my rather complicated system, which rewards coverage plus run-plugging. Neither one of them really takes on blockers, but I thought Thomas was quicker on his reads, quicker to arrive at the point. Lewis made more big plays, but he bounced off blocks and sometimes got caught in traffic."

21
by Johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:59pm

Dolphins looked good... unless you watched the first half of the game. The Dolphins rookie back wasn't very impressive, Ferotten threw a pass to the defense and they had perhaps one of the oddest 4th and 1 play calls ever. Dolphins escaped that half to win the game because their defense looked good and Plummer looked horrible. At one point in the game the Dolphins were down 3-0 in the turn over battle, but were still winning the game 20-10. That won't happen against the J E T S.

22
by Gerry (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 5:10pm

How weak-- he leaves the "last week" column empty, so he does not highlight how he had the Giants ranked 27th and other really bad preseason calls.

23
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 5:24pm

I hereby withdraw my ill-considered comments re Dr Z/Ray Lewis

(but not any other comments about Dr. Z)

24
by Bassett (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 5:37pm

As a blatant Jets fan, yes the Jets were terrible, but to drop them to that ranking is criminal...

25
by jebmak (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 6:01pm

Re: The one loss and you are dismissed thing.

I remember last year after the Steelers' first loss, I said, "Boy am I glad I didn't take the over on them!"

26
by marc (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 6:26pm

"he single-handedly got Dave Wilcox into the HOF, and is now working on Tombstone Jackson"
Uh, no. There's 39 people on the Hall of Fame board of selectors, and a candidate must receive at least 80 percent approval of the board to be enshrined. Just because Dr. Z is the only sportswriter you read that mentions these guys doesn't mean he's some iron fisted HoF dictator.

27
by Vince (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 7:09pm

Re: The dramatic shifting of teams after one game: Don't forget, Dr. Z will place teams in the power rankings above every team they beat for as long as he can.

28
by Clod (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 7:18pm

"C. Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans, who spoke so powerfully about his city and the failure of the administration and the relief efforts and FEMA ... straight from the shoulder, pow"

This guy is the single biggest finger pointer I have seen in years right now...he should be looking in the mirror and thinking about how he failed not cussing on local radio about the Feds from his quaint hotel room in HOUSTON!

Amtrac: "want a train?"
Nagin: "naw, we got it."

29
by putnamp (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 8:04pm

"This guy is the single biggest finger pointer I have seen in years right now…he should be looking in the mirror and thinking about how he failed not cussing on local radio about the Feds from his quaint hotel room in HOUSTON!

Amtrac: “want a train?�
Nagin: “naw, we got it.� "

Having come fresh off the Tangential Morning Quarterback thread, I'm asking you to drop this now, and keep the topic to football.

30
by Clod (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 8:12pm

Sorry, Carl got me in the mood. At least it wasn't a personal attack on Dr Z. And it was cut and pasted from the article of which the topic is about.

31
by jollygood (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 8:27pm

"As a blatant Jets fan, yes the Jets were terrible, but to drop them to that ranking is criminal…"

As a rational human being I find your overreaction to be criminal. These are rankings based on week one, and the Jets did in fact seem like one of the worst teams in football in week one.

32
by the K (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 8:36pm

Hey, he gave J.P. a little love so his rankings are okay with me!

Seriously though, I don't usually always agree with the guy's opinions on football, but I will always read him because I really enjoy his style of writing.

33
by zip (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 8:42pm

Please, oh please can we talk about football? It's a lot harder to find a site with civilized and intelligent football discussion than it is to find a site where people flame each other about politics and/or everything.

I think we can all agree that power rankings after week one are kind of dumb, because everyone knows that on any given sunday, anyone can win. But on the other hand, what other indicators are there? Each team has one data point (their game on Sunday) and a lot of speculation about how good they SHOULD be. If Dr. Z wants to weight the one game more heavily, that's fine with me.

I've seen several complaints in this thread about where team X was ranked.
Ranking the Saints at #6 is not totally unreasonable, since they beat one of the two teams in the NFC most predicted to make the superbowl. At this point they have knocked off a good team, so they must be good.

Notice they are behind the Falcons, because they beat a better team (Philly).

Now why are the Jets #30? Well, they got annhilated on Sunday 27-7. Who else got annhilated?

Tennessee lost 34-7 and is #31
Denver lost 34-10 and is #29

I think the interesting thing here is that Denver lost TO MIAMI. The Jets and Titans both lost to top-5 teams, but Denver lost to the #11 team. Shouldn't Denver be lower? I would think so, but obviously Dr. Z thinks the Denver loss was more of a fluke (based on Jake Plummer being, Jake Plummer, and maybe the Florida weather) than the Jets loss. I must say that I agree.

Obviously I have cherry-picked some data here. Arizona is #22 despite losing 42-19 to the #12 team, so they should probably be lower, especially because Arizona sucking is unlikely to be a fluke. And also Houston only lost 22-7, but is somehow the worst team in the league.

Another random observation: 15 of the top 17 teams won. 14 of the bottom 15 lost. The exceptions are Philly and Carolina losing, and Washington winning.

Chicago was the only losing team that covered the spread, incidentally.

Does this post have a point? Not really. Just pointing out some of the methods I believe Dr Z is influenced by when making up his (ultimately pointless) list.

34
by sippican (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 8:51pm

I can't even imagine what this drivel looks like before an editor sees it. DeAngelo Hall goes "mango a mango" with Owens? Larry Fitz risks "disablement,"? and the usual smattering of "onto" instead of "on to," and so forth. At least he didn't use "impactful" like that other subliterate, MMQ.

It's not surprising that he finds Nagin inspirational. Wrong at the top of his voice seems like his kind of approach.

Every writer for this site and 50 % of the people who post write better than Dr. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

His analysis is worthless, it's like listening to a drunk calling a sports show at 2:30 AM on Tuesday morning. It's not even analysis, is just some old fool rearranging his predjudices. And his writing is abysmal.

Three words: Dog.Track.Time.

35
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 8:57pm

“he single-handedly got Dave Wilcox into the HOF, and is now working on Tombstone Jackson�
Uh, no. There’s 39 people on the Hall of Fame board of selectors, and a candidate must receive at least 80 percent approval of the board to be enshrined.

uh, yes--and that comes (proudly) from Dr. Z his own self after that particular election; he screamed and prodded and told the other electors that they were idiots if they didn't realize how great Wilcox was, until he just wore them down to the point where they said "OK, Jesus, let him in so we don't have to listen to this"

Dr. Z,, by his own admission is an obnoxious prick who doesn't think he's always right, he thinks he's incapable of being wrong; he also has a tendency to pull age on the other electors "I saw him play and you didn't"' this is particularly effective for "senior nominees", as they're called; look at the Hidden game of Football's list of LB's who were coeval with Wilcox, and ranked based on # of All-pro & pro-bowl seasons; Wilcox is in the middle of a group including Chuck Howley, Bill Bergey, Randy Gradishar, Jim Houston; why haven't these guys even sniffed the HOF? Because they lack a "sponsor", for lack of a better term, like Dr Z provided for Wilcox

Zimmerman has never tried to hide his HOF agendas or his belief in his own unique knowledge of NFL history

I saw Dave Wilcox play--he was a very good linebacker--about the equivalent of Tom Jackson in his day; but NO ONE at the time ever mentioned Wilcox as a HOFer

36
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 9:00pm

I can’t even imagine what this drivel looks like before an editor sees it. DeAngelo Hall goes “mango a mango� with Owens?

I assumed he was trying for some pun or word play that I didn't get

let's see... mango is a fruit..couple of fruits?--no, let's not go there

37
by putnamp (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 10:32pm

#33,

"At this point they have knocked off a good team, so they must be good."

I think saying they "knocked off" anyone after Week 1 is incorrect. Incidentally, that's the point a lot of people are making by saying that Dr. Z is weighting that single data point so highly. Winning a game is great, but it doesn't prove a thing. Half of the teams in the NFL won their first game this year, it's not a big deal.

38
by bobstar (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 10:36pm

Sippican- in which 50% do you place yourself?

39
by Paul (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 10:43pm

The power rankings ought to be a measure of how match-ups the following week would fare. #1 should win a matchup with every other team with at least 50% probability that upcoming week (favored). #2 should beat #3 - #32 with 50% or better probability, on down to #32. This isn't a perfect ideal as you could have those cycles where Team A would beat Team B who would beat Team C who matches up well against Team A. Within that group, you could call them all tied or have reasons to pick one over the other. This could be Team A is a 7 pt favorite over B and only a 3 pt underdog to C. This generalization also ignores any home field advantage.
So with that in mind, does anyone really believe that the 49ers (15) would be 'favored' over San Diego (18) right now?

40
by marc (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 11:50pm

re 35, think what you want about Dr. Z but the simple fact of the matter is that at least 31 other selectors agreed with the nominees he supported. 32 people seems to me far from "single handed". Every selector campaigns heavily for candidates they support, I don't see why Dr. Z should be any different.
I seriously doubt that anyone voted for a candidate simply to get Zimmerman to shut up, but if you have any actual evidence of this happening I'd be glad to see it.

41
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 12:34am

Denver at 29th while Philly and Carolina are still both top-10? This doesn’t, by any chance, have to do with the fact that he predicted Philly and Carolina to win their divisions, does it?

I think it has more to do with the fact that Philly and Carolina actually had a chance to win their games and still looked decent.

42
by sippican (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 12:36am

Hey Bobstar:
That's not for me to decide, but I did notice I spelled prejudice wrong.

43
by Carter (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 1:51am

I think all of you are crazy and that this ranking teams so high or so low is redundant. The way i see it no way should anyone of you be looking this hard into the week one rankings. Do me a favor take week one rankings and compare it to week 17 rankings and you will see all of this week one stuff is overrated. Thank you and have a nice day.

44
by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 4:57am

Here are my week 1 rankings:

1(tie). ne, kc, jax, cin, no, buf, was, pit, tb, mia, sf, dal, nyg, det, ind, atl
17(tie). phi, bal, gb, ari, sd, stl, den, min, ten, chi, hou, car, cle, sea, nyj, oak

45
by idiot (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 6:05am

"Here are my week 1 rankings:"

OH NO HOW DARE YOU NOT RANK EVERY TEAM NUMBER ONE AND NUMBER 32 SIMULTANEOUSLY WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN! EVERY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE IS BOTH OVERRATED AND UNDERRATED! WAH WAH WAH! I CAN'T DEAL WITH CRITICISM OR PRAISE!

46
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 9:51am

Why is D'Angelo Hall getting so much praise? Yeah, he kept T.O. from scoring. He also allowed T.O. seven catches for 112 yards. By any definition, that is a TERRIBLE day for a CB. If David Akers makes those two field goals and the Eagles win we'd be talking about how Owens ran circles around Hall.

47
by Athelas (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 10:09am

Some of you should consider lightening up!
I like Dr. Z's rankings because the format is easy to read and he mixes some insightful football points with complete admitted irrationality (see his Patriots comments).
That's how I look at football, too--I watch it for pleasure!

48
by Led (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 10:38am

Re: #46, those 7 catches were out of 19 attempts. So that's 37% completion rate with a 5.8 YPA, no TD's and an INT. That is a bad passing performance. That's why Hall is getting credit.

49
by Joe Pepitone (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 10:42am

I stopped reading at this point...

Defending Super Bowl champs automatically go to the top of the class. ...

And as for the Saints at #6, also asinine

If you stopped reading at #1, how did you get to #6?

50
by Dervin (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 12:22pm

RE#48: Since the NFL continues to withold football from me, how many of those 12 misses were due to bad throwes where a WR would have no chance to catch the ball.

51
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 12:23pm

re #46 and #48: there's a discussion going on in another thread on Ogden versus Freeney, where the article concludes Ogden had the better of the matchup. The point made by many is that the matchup isn't even: an OT can dominate for almost an entire game, but if he gives up two big sacks and one results in a fumble, then the DE had the better of the matchup.

Same deal for corners: you can give up a lot of catches/yards, but as long as you don't give up the big play which kills your team, then you had the better of things. Works the other way around too: you can have your guy covered the entire game, but if you give up the game-winning TD in the 4th then you got toasted. It's not fair, but that's the deal.

Arbitrary comment: rankings demonstrate the importance of putting one's money where one's mouth is. A guy like Zim may freak out and rank a team like the Jets at #30 after week one, but try seeing if you can get odds consistent with this ranking from any bookie and you'll find it's impossible.

52
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 12:26pm

Well, there's no real way to tell whose fault it is. Most of those balls were under or overthrown, but you don't know who's timing was screwed up - McNabb's, or Owens's.

My personal issues with DeAngelo Hall are that A) he threw a punch during the pregame scuffle, and oh, nothing happened to him, and B) he had a blatant late hit on Owens after a catch - whistle blown, and he throws Owens to the ground rather than releasing him.

53
by Z rules (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 12:33pm

Z is firstmost an entertainer.

Obviously he has some understanding of Football, even the most vicious critics here would agree (I hope) but his first purpose is to entertain, and he does that perfectly. He is cynical, funny, and has the right atitude in my book. so who cares if he ranks ___ #1 or #10, he explicitly tells you not to take him too seriously! he gurantees his rankling will flop next week, c'mmon!

54
by MarkB (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 3:32pm

"My personal issues with DeAngelo Hall are that A) he threw a punch during the pregame scuffle, and oh, nothing happened to him, and B) he had a blatant late hit on Owens after a catch - whistle blown, and he throws Owens to the ground rather than releasing him. "

There's no crying in football!

55
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 3:37pm

"There’s no crying in football!"
I guess Dick Vermeil never got the memo.

56
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 09/15/2005 - 6:58pm

A bad day for McNabb doesn't necessarily mean a good day for Hall. A cheap shot by Chad Lavalais and a terrible game plan by Andy Reid probably had as much to do with Hall "becoming a star," as Don Banks tried to claim, as Hall's play. He may not have gotten roasted, but he's sure scortched.

57
by Balaji (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 2:23am

#49: "If you stopped reading at #1, how did you get to #6?"

I was hoping somebody would catch that. :)

The answer, of course, is that I didn't read any more of the article, but I did notice the Saints logo on the top half of my screen and noted the ranking.

58
by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Fri, 09/16/2005 - 9:54am

His ranking? Or rankling? lol