Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Dec 2005, 03:38pm by Michael David Smith

TMQ: Go For It!

Tuesday Morning Quarterback opines this week that manly men don't punt. I was especially surprised that Detroit punted with fourth-and-1 at midfield, down 24-7. I mean, you should go for it on fourth-and-1 at midfield almost all the time, but when you're down 24-7 and just playing out the string anyway, what can it possibly hurt to go for it?

I'm always a big fan of the all-unwanted all pros, and this year TMQ reminds us that Rod Smith was unwanted at the start of his college career and his pro career but may very well end up in Canton.

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36 comments, Last at 22 Dec 2005, 12:02pm by LnGrrrR

20 Dec 2005, 01:53pm by P. Ryan Wilson

Boller Outplays Favre

Until last night, the only thing Kyle Boller had in common with Tom Brady was Tara Reid. OK, nothing's changed on that front, but after throwing three TDs on 19 of 27 passing, Boller may have earned the right to return as the starter in 2006. The performance was easily his best as a professional, and at one point John Madden even described Boller's throwing motion as "a thing of beauty." (Must ... fight ... urge ... to leave ... snarky ... comment.)

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32 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2005, 1:38pm by M

20 Dec 2005, 01:16am by Aaron Schatz

Red Zone No Longer a Broncos Bugaboo

According to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Denver has improved itself in the red zone by spreading the ball around to different receivers instead of just Rod Smith and Patrick Hape. Oh, I miss Patrick Hape. The NFL ranks the Denver offense sixth in red-zone efficiency. DVOA ranks Denver 11th -- but they were horrible in the red zone during the first three weeks. (Mentioning this was one of the reasons that the Denver fans were so angry at me.) DVOA ranks Denver fifth in the red zone during Weeks 4-15.

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4 comments, Last at 20 Dec 2005, 12:08pm by JonL

19 Dec 2005, 09:52am by P. Ryan Wilson

Jump-Start in Cold

OK, raise your hand if Rex Grossman was A LOT better than you expected. But hey, like Joe Thiesmann said last night, "[Grossman's] decisions are decisive," and I'm sure that had a lot to do with it. (bugmenot/free registration required)

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25 comments, Last at 20 Dec 2005, 1:31pm by dryheat

19 Dec 2005, 09:44am by Aaron Schatz

MMQB: Living Legend

"Brady again proves he's amazing in win over Bucs," says Peter King. I thought the pressure Brady was getting on the offensive line was very impressive. Alex Smith in particular could not block Brady. New England is up to number two in Peter King's "Fine Fifteen." By the way, that loss to Kansas City apparently never happened.

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99 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2005, 10:11pm by Sid

17 Dec 2005, 09:10pm by Aaron Schatz

FO in the NYTimes: The Numbers for Numbing Cold

New York Times readers, let me introduce THE SYSTEM. That, of course, is the infamous rule that Southern/dome teams struggle when playing in a colder climate after October 31. But wait, you say, THE SYSTEM hasn't worked very well this year. I've got three words for you: abnormally warm autumn. So instead, we checked out records by kickoff temperature rather than date. Since 2000, dome teams are 15-41 when the kickoff temperature is 50 degrees or below -- and 2-13 when the temperature is freezing or below.
(Free registration or bugmenot required)

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22 comments, Last at 19 Dec 2005, 9:10pm by Richie

16 Dec 2005, 04:22pm by P. Ryan Wilson

Middle Class has Vanished in 2005

Unlike professional baseball, the have-nots in professional football are usually those teams that are grossly mismanaged or suffering through a bunch of injuries (or recently had their city demolished by a hurricane). Pasquarelli writes:

"The conventional wisdom is that this season of disparity is an aberration, and that things will return to normal in 2006. But watching the abnormal elements at work this season has certainly thrown a lot of NFL observers for a loop."

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27 comments, Last at 19 Dec 2005, 4:56pm by zlionsfan

16 Dec 2005, 12:32pm by P. Ryan Wilson

Barlow to Niners: I'm the Future, not Bush

The 49ers could go any number of ways in this April's draft. That's one of the benefits of winning four games in almost two seasons -- anybody you draft will most likely be an upgrade. Running back Kevan Barlow (he of the -6.3 DPAR), has let the organization know that he -- and not Reggie Bush -- is the future in San Francisco. The article notes that, "... the 49ers' stick-thin roster arguably is thickest at running back." And when you think about all the problems facing Mike Nolan, I don't think Barlow is anywhere near the top of the list.

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39 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2005, 11:29pm by Drew

15 Dec 2005, 07:37pm by Michael David Smith

Darrell Russell Dies at 29

The former Raider, one of the most purely talented defensive linemen the game has seen but a player whose off-field problems eclipsed his on-field accomplishments, was in a car crash.

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28 comments, Last at 17 Dec 2005, 6:49pm by big_adventure

15 Dec 2005, 03:56pm by Al Bogdan

Culpepper Charged in Sex Boat Scandal

Four Vikings have been charged by local prosecutors in connection with the sex boat scandal. Federal prosecutors have declined to press any charges. The four Vikings are Daunte Culpepper, Bryant McKennie, Fred Smoot, and Mo Williams, who were all charged with indecent conduct, disorderly conduct, and lewd or lascivicious conduct.

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34 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2005, 2:37pm by Will Allen