04 Jan 2005, 06:58pm by P. Ryan Wilson
If your team didn't make the playoffs, take heart because it's NFL Players Week on "Wheel of Fortune" and your favorite player (or at least the player you'd most like to see standing next to Pat Sajak trying to solve a puzzle) just might be one of the contestants. I had the great pleasure of watching Hines Ward, Jevon Kearse and Torry Holt (each partnered with a hometown fan) battle it out yesterday, and things look to get really exciting later in the week.
04 Jan 2005, 02:21pm by Michael David Smith
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times criticizes the CBS No. 2 announcing team of Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf, and I'm with him all the way. I cringe at the thought of these guys doing a divisional playoff game. Sandomir writes:
04 Jan 2005, 02:18pm by Aaron Schatz
TMQ is here with his regular season wrap-up, featuring the usual look at great plays and bad plays, and maybe the all-time worst Buffalo chicken-out punt. Gregg also shares my bad feeling about Philadelphia's recent slide, backups or no backups.
03 Jan 2005, 06:47pm by P. Ryan Wilson
Well, this certainly isn't a surprise, especially when you consider that the Ravens never finished higher than 14th in total offense and have finished in the bottom half of the league five times (this year they were 31st). Adding insult to injury, Billick took over the play-calling duties the last few weeks, but the head coach wants to make it clear to anyone who'll listen that Cavanaugh wasn't fired -- apparently it was "mutual." Whatever the case, Jim Fassel, Ron Turner and Scott Linehan are already being mentioned as potential candidates to replace Cavanaugh.
03 Jan 2005, 03:12pm by Aaron Schatz
This week's ESPN Page 2 Snap Judgment looks at quarterback matchups in the playoffs and features the final 2004 Football Outsiders quarterback ratings. (If you are looking for the rest of the final FO ratings, I'm running a bit behind on getting the DVOA rankings done, so hold on a bit longer...)
30 Dec 2004, 11:24am by P. Ryan Wilson
With a depth chart that reads Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey and Cody Pickett, GM Terry Donahue still doesn't plan on taking a QB with the first overall pick in next April's NFL draft. Donahue says there's no Michael Vick or Petyon Manning coming out of college, so if Rattay is healthy in '05, the 49ers will look to address other areas (of which there are many). If San Francisco is looking for a quick fix to their offensive woes, rumors are swirling that the Ravens' offensive coordinator, Matt Cavanaugh will be fired at seasons' end and should be available.
28 Dec 2004, 03:41pm by Aaron Schatz
TMQ is back this week with his usual sweet plays and sour plays, good blocks, chickening out, complaints about bad NFC teams in the playoffs, commentary on the instructions inside every NFL helmet, and get ready -- you've all been waiting for this since TMQ moved to NFL.com -- a whole section complaining about Direct TV's Sunday Ticket.
28 Dec 2004, 01:57pm by Aaron Schatz
In Christmas craziness we missed this article by Dr. Z on the growth of defensive linemen across the league. Dr. Z is not a big fan of large linemen, feeling that they lose effectiveness late in games and late in the season. Interestingly, one of the linemen that he criticizes is Grady Jackson of Green Bay, a favorite of Football Outsiders. Green Bay's run defense has declined a bit over the past couple games, although I'm not sure this is because Jackson himself is weaker.
27 Dec 2004, 02:52pm by Aaron Schatz
Here's the latest Snap Judgment column at ESPN Page 2, featuring the Football Outsiders QB ratings. This week's ratings flip things around to look at the best and worst receivers. The main column asks if San Diego looks better or worse after their overtime loss to Indianapolis, and which AFC wild card team could actually make some noise. Plus, look who made it into the "Quick Hits" portion of the column!
Rivalry week has significant conference and Playoff ramifications. Should Alabama, Mississippi State, Oregon, or Florida State be worried about getting upset by their rivals?