Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Jan 2007

Wild Card Rundown

Get ready for the offensive shows in Seattle and Indianapolis, Eric Mangini and Bill Belichick don't like each other, and didn't we just write about the Eagles and Giants a couple of weeks ago?

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 04 Jan 2007

63 comments, Last at 07 Jan 2007, 12:51pm by billvv

Comments

1
by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:25am

As confident as I should be going into that Giants game, they're a team that the Eagles never seem to just stomp. Which means I'll have the unmitigated joy of being nervous until 0:00 this Sunday.

Although, at this point, anything the Eagles do this season is gravy.

2
by J.D. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:39am

Great article!

So, do the Jets ever have a chance at making a playoff run with Pennington at QB, or will they inevitably run up against a coordinator who will choke off the short routes? I like Pennington as a player, but if he won't ever be a capable playoff QB (and his arm isn't getting any stronger) they may as well start grooming Kellen Clemens now.

3
by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:47am

Re: 1
Charles, I have to say I am enjoying this Eagles playoff run more than any other in recent history. Because it's all so unexpected, fans can bask in the sheer joy of just winning the division. It doesn't have the same sort of grim joylessness/waiting for the Eagles to honk the NFC Championship game that we've seen before.

GO EAGLES!

4
by Lobolafcadio (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:48am

The first part is kind of schizophrenic !!! I hate Romo, I love Romo.
Can obviously a NFCC happen at Lincoln with a third Eagles-Cowboys game ?

A full week of Philly vs TO !!!
A dream/nightmare of press !!!

Even if the other championship features the two best teams in the NFL, it will be overlooked for the big TO show !

The best scenario would be :
Eagles-Cowboys AND Colts-Pats !!!!

5
by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:48am

Although I am a little nervous about that SI Cover Jinx....

6
by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:10pm

5:

Doesn't have the power of the Madden curse. It's been overcome plenty of times.

I AM worried about Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress. I am, however, thrilled about Eli Manning, Bob Whitfield, Sam Madison, RW McQuarters, etc. etc. There are a ton of solid negative contributors on both sides of the Giants. As bad as Sunday could get, the Eagles will never be out of it as long as Eli is taking snaps under Sunday.

7
by J.D. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:21pm

Re #5, #6:

The Madden and SI jinxes are 90% explained by regression to the mean. Players make the respective covers after their most outstanding season, and it's totally natural to have some slippage following that. Although the Madden jinx IS getting pretty creepy...

8
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:45pm

#7

You just keep your "math" and "rational" explanations to yourself.

9
by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:53pm

#5:

Bob Whitfield has been benched. LG Dave Diehl will be the starter at LT. (Whitfield showed up for a while in the NYG-WAS game because Diehl's replacement at LG, Grey Ruegamer, had a cut on his leg that had to be taken care of. When Ruegamer was ready to come back, Diehl moved back to tackle.)

And the negative contributors on the Giants that are most relevant are the linebackers. All of them are just too slow and react to any kind of fake in the backfield by standing perfectly still until they know for sure where the ball is (i.e., when they see the RB running right by them with it).

10
by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:54pm

Edit: The above post should be addressed at post #6, not #5.

11
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 1:02pm

RE: 4
Dallas vs. Philly would be an interesting game. Surprisingly, there is a chance of it happening-- while Chicago is amazing, Rex struggles against the 3-4. If Dallas wins against Seattle, they will be bringing their 3-4 to Chicago... bad news Bears.

The Philly side of things is tricky-- I think they will beat the Giants, but the Tiki factor can't be ignored. Once past the Giants, they face a very good Saints team, but I kind of think the Eagles have the most balance team in the NFC, so they have an equal chance of winning it.

Not sure if I would like a Dallas vs. Philly game (again), but it would be interesting.

12
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 1:08pm

Again, RE: 4
Another thing-- as a Patriots fan, I wouldn't want a Pats vs. Colts game. Reason? If the Colts and Pats both win this weekend, the Patriots have to travel to face SD. I love the Pats but our only hope against SD is that Marty plays Martyball and Rivers turns the ball over.

I think we have a chance against any team, but I'd prefer a NE vs. KC AFC game. Let KC somehow knock off both the Colts and the Chargers... but that will never happen. (Colts, perhaps, but Chargers? No.)

13
by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 1:21pm

Re: 11 - The Eagles lost to the Saints earlier in the season, in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated (my recollection is that the Saints just dominated all day). However, the x-factor there was the huge hangover the Eagles experienced after a very emotional win over Dallas at home the previous week. So a rematch between the Saints and the Eagles would be, I think, a very good game. Honestly, I'm not looking for Cowboys-Eagles Part III, but it would be interesting, to say the least.

14
by jebmak (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 1:30pm

#8 LOL

And so I am not just polluting...Is Pannington really better at play action than Manning?

15
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 1:55pm

11: Rex doesn't struggle against the 3-4, he struggles against competent pass defenses, which is something Dallas doesn't have. Assuming Chicago gets back some of it's injured defensive players, they will crush Dallas.

16
by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:03pm

RE: 15: didn't Rex struggle against the Vikings, too?

Can we just say that Rex struggles against defenses?

17
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:26pm

Wow... as GREAT as the Eagles are and as TERRIBLE as the Giants are it's impossible to think the Giants had two 4th quarter leads and the ball down 7 points with three minutes left. But, that's what happened just three short weeks ago.

Speaking of luck and flukes, when are INTs off a player's helmet and a ball flying 15 yards in the air after the QB is hit considered normal football occurrences? Because those were the two INTs the Eagles got three weeks ago. Heck, all three INTs Eli threw against the Eagles this season seemed pretty damn lucky to me.

While the Giants certainly won't be intimidated by the Eagles, they'll need to score points (lots of 'em) if they're going to win because their defense will melt in the second half.

18
by Bobby (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:31pm

How much of a disaster was the Colts recent lost to Houston?

(1) Actual scenario: Chiefs @home (say 65% win chance), then @ Baltimore (say 35% win chance), then @SD (say 35% win chance) for an 8% chance of making it to Super Bowl.

(2) If had beat Texans: Balt @home (say 50% win chance due to home field), @ SD (35% win chance) for a nice 17.5% chance of making Super Bowl.

Exact win probabilities not important as any reasonable assumptions will tell you the Colts really screwed themselves losing to Houston (this abstracts from the rest they could have gotten for the knees of Dallas Clark and Bob Sanders and the rest of the team from the bye).

As a Colts fan this is depressing...

19
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:31pm

The Vikings don't really have a horrible pass defense. They have a horrible secondary. Their DVOA vs passes to tight ends and running backs is pretty good.

20
by Kyle (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:39pm

Re 17:
Agreed completely. The problem is that the FO writers pretty much have a consensus that fumble recoveries are sheer luck. Which is fine. The problem resulting from that is the people reading this site equate fumble recoveries with dumb luck, but if nothing else is deemed "luck" by FO, they refuse to acknowledge anything else happens by chance, instead chalking it up to the complex statistical formulas in use here. And following every opinion the writers here have certainly isn't a problem that the writers cause...

(note: last sentence does not contain any sarcasm)

21
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:55pm

#20: Interception returns for touchdowns are also non-predictive, along with a bunch of other things, like blocked field goals, etc. The player catching the interception doesn't really have any control over the offensive play being run, which dictates where players are who can tackle him. Were the Eagles lucky to win by 14? Sure. But given that the Giants couldn't score a single touchdown down 14 with 3 minutes left, it's fair to say that Philly would've won even without that play.

#17: Did the Giants have a 4th quarter lead three weeks ago? Yes. For a grand total of 11 plays (the only times they had the lead the entire game). When the Giants first took the lead, it took the Eagles three plays to regain it. When they took it back again, it took 8 plays to regain it.

Don't get me wrong, it was a close game, but the Giants were always clawing to stay in the game. Had Feely's end-of-half FG doinked off of an upright instead of going through, the Giants would've been trailing the entire game. Philly was the better team in that game.

22
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:57pm

#21: strike the "(only times they had the lead the entire game)". That should've said "the entire quarter", not game.

23
by Geronimo (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 3:25pm

I belive that Pennington has one of the very best completion percentages for passes over 40 yards.

If you watch him consistently, you will see he has no issue with putting the ball 40-50 yards through the air.

Perception vs. reality.

Pennington can't throw the long ball, yet he has the best completion percentage for passes greater than 40 yards, he didn't build a career on dinkin and dunkin to randy moss at Marshall.

24
by Kyle (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 3:30pm

#21: The point I agreed with #17 on is the interceptions that occurred themselves, not Trent Cole high-stepping into the end zone. All three that happened against the Eagles this season, one in Week 2 and two in Week 15, had a sense of luck to them. First interception of the second match, Eli throws a pass on a quick slant (if I remember the route correctly) low, a defender backing up gets hit in the helmet with the football, the ball flies up into the air and its intercepted. The second interception, well, #17 already explained that: a QB gets hit before the throwing motion and the pigskin flies a good 15 yards across field, not to mention how high the damn thing went in the air, allowing Trent Cole to gather himself under it and pound his mitt like its backyard baseball.

The interceptions themselves had a strong element of chance to them. Yes, balls batted into the air normally result in interceptions because of the amount of defenders downfield compared to route runners, but the way they passes found themselves shooting skyward is downright fluky.

25
by IsaiahC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 3:32pm

Best Line Ever:
"Cornerback Aaron Glenn keeps getting older and shorter; he'll be Yoda in a few weeks."

26
by SJM (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 3:56pm

Re: Madden and SI jinxes

I don't get why no one talks about the Campbell's Chunky Soup jinx. It's right up there with Madden in terms of effectiveness (I think McNabb didn't get hit until his second year, but wow did he get hit.)

Campbell's Chunky Soup is the most underrated of the jinxes.

27
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 4:42pm

Bobby, yeah, sigh, I think your %ages are low, but the concept is right on. I also blame the nutty D timeout and Bironas's FG at the end of the Titans game.

FWIW, I have about 80% over KC, 45% at Balt and 35% at SD (unless NE or NYJ knocks off SD, then it's about 55% for NE and 60% NYJ at home). The final %age does not jump considerably. Sigh.

25. damn, that IS funny.

28
by Bobby (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 4:53pm

#27: I like your optimism! Not sure I buy it, but I like it.

You reminded me of that timeout before the FG... I was in complete shock watching that live on TV. Then was shocked that it wasn't mentioned during any of the highlights/analysis that week. Pretty bad blunder.

29
by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:04pm

24:

What's often lost in a Giants' fan's analysis of that interception is Tiki Barber easily being in the best position to bat the ball down and failing miserably. I don't care how many yards he runs, I'm not taking him on my volleyball team anytime soon.

Your commentary on interceptions would have more merit if Eli didn't consistently experience these "flukes." Regardless, DVOA trumps all anecdotal evidence from games and ranks the Eagles higher.

30
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:05pm

The interceptions themselves had a strong element of chance to them. Yes, balls batted into the air normally result in interceptions because of the amount of defenders downfield compared to route runners, but the way they passes found themselves shooting skyward is downright fluky.

Sure. But lots of plays have fluky components to them - especially interceptions. But at worst those interceptions would be incompletions had they not happened, any of which would've been bad for the Giants at the time anyway. The Dawkins pick (boink off a helmet) happened on 2nd and 24, which would've put them in 3rd and 24. Not a happy situation. The Cole pick, like I said, isn't really important since they weren't able to score the next time they had the ball, either, and the most likely outcome of that play should've been a sack.

Get rid of all of the fluky stuff, and Philly was still beating the Giants that day. Like I said, it would've been closer, but the Giants were playing from behind after the first quarter, and that wouldn't've changed it.

In game 1, wacko fluky plays, along with injuries, allowed the Giants to win, rather than the Eagles winning, when the Eagles outplayed the Giants. In game 2, wacko fluky plays allowed the Eagles to win by 14 - but Philly still outplayed the Giants in that game, too.

31
by Grim Jim (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:25pm

RE: 11,15,16
Rex just struggles. I like the Bears first game possibilities, Seattle has an inconsistent pass rush and a poor secondary, the 'boys have an inconisistent pass rush and are extremely suspect at covering the deep ball Rex's only strength. All they really need is for the D to reappear.

32
by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:30pm

#11:

". . . Rex struggles . . . ."

Fixed.

33
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:41pm

#31: You might be right - and if New Orleans beats Philly, and Chicago beats New Orleans (not great pass defense), Chicago might get to the Super Bowl, where we would promptly see the absolute worst game ever played by a quarterback in a Super Bowl when Rex Grossman spontaneously combusts when they face the Ravens.

34
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:47pm

#30... Because the Giants didn't score down 14 points with 2:30 left means they wouldn't have scored if the Trent Cole INT hits the ground (or bounces 5 yards in front or behind him) and it's 2nd and 10 down 7 points? That's a MIGHTY large assumption on your part.

The Eagles outplayed the Giants most of the game in their first meeting. Yet the final 5-10 minutes, the Giants outplayed them and consequently, the Eagles lost.

35
by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:28pm

The Vikings didn't (time to switch to past tense) even have a horrible secondary. Their DEs produced no pass rush. Kenechi Udeze started the entire season and had no sacks. Too often QBs sat with plenty of time and found open WRs over the middle (haven't looked at any statistical breakdown, but the Vikes were awful at defending passes over the middle all season). I don't think too many secondaries would have great success playing behind the Viking pass rush in 2006.

36
by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:33pm

RE #26, SJM, Wasn't Terrell Davis also a Campbell's Chunky shill for a while? And then his career ended.

But for McNabb, it's the height of jinxdom. Not only is Campbell's Chunky Soup its own jinx, but it ends up all over the field.

You ever see a Madden cover boy vomit video games on the field, you let me know....

37
by Ferg (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:42pm

27: Those percentages seem bad, but look at it this way: if there were some super-dominant team that had a bye and beats any other team in the field 3 times out of 4, that team would only have about a 40% chance of winning the Super Bowl. And there's no team even close to that dominant.

So yes, while it's not too likely that the Colts will win the Super Bowl, their chances aren't really that much worse than any other particular team-- which is the nature of one-and-done tournaments.

38
by billvv (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:59pm

"Pennington threw for just 168 yards when the Jets upset the Patriots in Week 10, and a large number of his 22 completions were unproductive dump-offs to Leon Washington and B.J. Askew. The Jets won because of two untimely Patriots turnovers, both of which led to Jets touchdowns."

Now doesn't that sound counterintuitive? Somehow they scored, scored twice, scored against the Pats! Did it with dumpoffs only totaling 168 yards. Unless you saw the game you wouldn't guess it was because of anything the Jets actually DID!

39
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 7:12pm

#30… Because the Giants didn’t score down 14 points with 2:30 left

The Giants didn't score seven points with 2:30 left, so why would the situation be any different with the previous drive, which was essentially exactly the same?

If they had scored, and failed the onside kick, I'd agree with you. But they didn't. Yes, the Giants might've played differently had they only been down 7. But so would Philly.

Yet the final 5-10 minutes, the Giants outplayed them and consequently, the Eagles lost.

Exactly. Which means the Giants will have a great chance if they can knock out Lito Sheppard and Rod Hood again. Except both of them are healthy now. Oh, and even if they were knocked out, the fourth-string CB for Philly isn't a midget anymore.

40
by chris rivers (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 7:25pm

Exact win probabilities not important as any reasonable assumptions will tell you the Colts really screwed themselves losing to Houston (this abstracts from the rest they could have gotten for the knees of Dallas Clark and Bob Sanders and the rest of the team from the bye).

As a Colts fan this is depressing…

Boo-hoo. Try being a Texans fan and watching the first 9 games of stomping the Colts have given them, then we can talk about depressing.

41
by Sporran (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 7:45pm

Re: 34

It's a mighty strong assumption that the Giants WOULD have scored had Cole not intercepted the pass. Most drives don't result in TD's. Also, the fact that Manning got the pass off was in and of itself a bit of a fluke. Manning really should have been sacked, thus taking time off the clock and forcing the Giants to overcome 2nd and 17 or so. Not impossible, but also an unlikely situation for the Giants to eventually score a TD.

Finally, even if the Giants score a TD, it's 50/50 at best that they win in OT. At the moment just prior to Cole's INT, the odds of the Giants winning the game were pretty long. Cole's INT merely made them astronomical.

42
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 7:48pm

It’s a mighty strong assumption that the Giants WOULD have scored had Cole not intercepted the pass.

Especially considering they, y'know, didn't score, when given the ball back in almost exactly the same position, sixteen seconds later. With another down, no less.

43
by MFurtek (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 8:28pm

Re: 38
Not to beat a dead horse... the Jets win by waiting for the other team to make a mistake. Witness them "taking control" of the Oakland game in the first half after a Fargas fumble and a Lechler halfblocked punt.

It is to their credit that they have the patience to play this style. I can't shake Buffalo destroying them a few weeks back.

44
by johnt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 9:19pm

It's worth noting that Pennington inexplicably gets the blame for the Jets offense being unproductive despite the fact that ... well, the rest of the team blows. How many QBs can tear it up when their defense is ranked 25/32 and their running game is below average? Yet inexplicably the blame always falls on Pennington's penlight-firecracker arm (despite being 2nd in the AFC in passer rating) and not Kevan Barlow's 2.8 YPC or the LAST IN THE LEAGUE rush defense. I really don't know what people want from the guy.

45
by johnt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 9:21pm

And no, that was not a typo. FO has NYJ worse than the Colts on weighted rush D.

46
by navin (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 10:36pm

The Giants could have not scored because they were demoralized to be suddenly down 14 instead of just 7. Emotion does play a part in football, even if it is immeasurable.

47
by Subrata Sircar (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 10:46pm

Normally I'm a fan of Tanier's writing. This time, though, had a way-long setup for an at-best-mariginally funny line.

The football points were good, though.

48
by mark cook (not verified) :: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:34pm

33 -

could rex possibly be worse than eason or collins?

49
by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 1:47am

My bad for going by conventional stats on the Viks and not looking up DVOA. I guess I could have said the Cardinals, but that's really the only bad pass D he had a problem with. Which is what you were saying.

50
by Zug Zug (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 2:02am

I will probably never say this again in my life, but I hope Philly wins Sunday.

I want Coughlin & co gone, have wanted them gone since the beginning of the season, and there is no chance of that if the giants win Sunday.

Please grant my giants a long offseason to sit in the corner and think about what theyve done.

51
by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 7:29am

johnt, I suspect Manning and Pennington are on friendly terms. Your points are just two more for them to discuss after fishin' and Pats' defensive schemes when they get together.

"Man, does my run D suck...."

"Yours sucks, DVOA says mine it worse."

"Yeah, well at least you're not labelled the biggest choker in the world."

"Yet, my friend. Not yet."

"You got protection problems?"

"Worse than a broken condom."

"Oh, hey, Dan Marino and Satan are on a conference call that I gotta take. Be back in a minute. And don't risk any money on the Chiefs this year. Just some friendly advice.... Hello, Satan, you old devil, how are you...?"

52
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 12:04pm

48: If Rex can post a 0.0 going up against the Vikings pass defense, imagine how bad it would be against a defense as good as the Ravens.

53
by MFurtek (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 12:25pm

Re: Pennington/Jets
I wouldn't say he's tearing it up. DVOA has him around McNair, Rthlsbrgr and Brunell.

I just don't think many people find their offense fun to watch.... especially in the past month. Pennington doesn't look like he can throw, and he's been taking a lot of dump-offs. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots give them the dump-offs to Askew. Teams should just have their DE read which side the FB is going to and then have him play under the flats. It gets maddening when they design plays for their WRs that are kind've like those flat dump-offs.

Again, it's probably efficient and frustrating to the defense, but not that fun to watch.

53
by MFurtek (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 12:25pm

Re: Pennington/Jets
I wouldn't say he's tearing it up. DVOA has him around McNair, Rthlsbrgr and Brunell.

I just don't think many people find their offense fun to watch.... especially in the past month. Pennington doesn't look like he can throw, and he's been taking a lot of dump-offs. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots give them the dump-offs to Askew. Teams should just have their DE read which side the FB is going to and then have him play under the flats. It gets maddening when they design plays for their WRs that are kind've like those flat dump-offs.

Again, it's probably efficient and frustrating to the defense, but not that fun to watch.

55
by Icky (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 1:58pm

SEA 24 DAL 21
PHI 31 NYG 24
NE 27 NYJ 17
IND 27 KC 24

yes.

56
by Patrick Bateman (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 2:00pm

RE: NYG/PHL

I am a Giants season ticket holder. ("Much of madness, and more of Sin, and Horror the soul of the plot," indeed.) I too hate Coughlin and his regime and hope for a chance to pick up Ron Rivera in a few weeks. in regards to the "flukiness" of the wins, i believe that the first Giants win was in large part the result of things bouncing the Giants' way. The second game was lost when the Giants could not perform offensively. the interceptions were fluky and kind of weird, true, but Eli thew many bad passes and failed to pick up the ailing defense. I'm sorry they made it to the playoffs, but hope they don't embarass themselves like last year.
Go Giants!

57
by Dennis (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 2:23pm

RE #54: Pennington has been very inconsistent this year. He's had some really nice games and a few stinkers, although most have been a combination. And the last few weeks at least, almost all of his deep passes have been underthrown.

He's a QB that could take a good team to the super bowl, but he's not going to carry a team. I think the Jets will do fine with him for another year or two and then hopefully Clemens will be ready to take over.

58
by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 3:24pm

Re: Jets
Look, the coaches took the most reasonable approach to this year: Untested coach, staff, rookies in the O line. They needed protection to insure their QB stayed up! So, quick passes are the second line of defense. Keep the offense going slowly down the field gives the new D time to get adjusted to the new scheme without facing too many games getting out of hand. Whatever you thought of watching the game, it wasn't you they were thinking of when they started out together, but they sure exceeded my expectations with the results, and that's the bottom line. Sorry it was exasperating, but the Jets are still playing and twenty teams you like to watch are sitting home with you!

59
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 7:21pm

billvv,

What really worries me, is the Jets are essentially Patriots Lite. Theyre building that team to play the same way as the pats are, which worries me long term about the Division in general.

60
by Diane (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 7:24pm

I just love that you used the word "geoduck" ... and use it correctly!

(also know as GWEDUCK)

[yes ... I am a Scrabble geek]

61
by Steve Young (not verified) :: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 10:52pm

RE: 59

WOW THAT IS STUPID.

there is no way that the jets are going to be like the patriots.

1. tom brady is 5 times the QB chad pennington will ever be.

2. the patriots running backs are good all around, not just fast.

3. the patriots defense can stop the run with ease.

4. the patriots pass defense can stop the pass with ease.

5. the jets have a better kicker.

6. the patriots have a better coach.

7. tom brady can throw the ball past 20 yards accurately. the reason chad pennington gets passes of over 40 yards is because levarnues coles is really fast.

8. chad pennington is a douche, tom brady is not.

9. eric mangini is also a douche, bill belichick is not.

10. THE PATRIOTS ARE ACTUALLY A GOOD TEAM WHO CAN BEAT GOOD TEAMS.

62
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 01/06/2007 - 12:28pm

Steve Young (#61 )--

I hate to feed trolls, but...

1. By DPAR, Tom Brady is almost exactly 1.5 times the quarterback Chad Pennington is this season. (75.9 to 52.2)

2. Except Dillon's not all that fast anymore, and Faulk still fumbles a lot, and Maroney's been injured, and Evans is not that great at short yardage.

3. 10th against the run in DVOA. Not bad, but not exactly "with ease," either.

4. 7th against the pass in DVOA. Better, but they give up big plays a little too often for comfort. A couple of receivers stand out in that regard: Coles and Cotchery.

5. Nugent's pretty average. Gostkowski's below average on FG/XP, but fabulous on kickoffs. Close to a wash.

6. The Patriots have a more experienced coach. Mangini has double the wins Belichick did after one season. Could be a fluke, could be an indication.

7. Accuracy has been a wee problem for Brady this season. Completion percentage: 65% Pennington, 62% Brady. YPA: 6.65 Pennington, 6.48 Brady. Now a great deal of the YPA difference can be chalked up to YAC, but throwing accurate passes improves your receivers' YAC.

8. You have no argument here. Nice trolling, though.

9. You have no argument here. Nice trolling, though.

10. The Jets also seem to be a good team this year, and have already proved that they can beat the Patriots.

63
by billvv (not verified) :: Sun, 01/07/2007 - 12:51pm

The Jets make no excuse for looking like the Pats. The Jets do look like the best usage of their "talent." I put that in quotes just for you trolls. No Curtis Martin, yep, we'll fix that, but for now we make do. New OL, better than anybody thought. Pass catching duo, third best in the league. Still, we made the playoffs, and in hours we'll see who goes on. Nobody, myself included, thought the Jets would be there to play the game! Just give the Jets their due and I don't care who you root for.