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Denver: great team, or the greatest team? Would you be satisfied with "one of the ten greatest teams?" Plus: hard times in the NFC South, where defense goes to die.

21 Jun 2006

Four Downs: AFC East

Best player available analysis by Sean McCormick
Remainder of Four Downs by Aaron Schatz

(Ed. note: For this round of Four Downs, we're pleased to present Sean McCormick's "Best Player Available" analysis for each division, along with the usual gang commenting on other moves by each team before and since the draft. The reasoning behind BPA analysis is explained in this article. Each player drafted is listed along with his position on four different independent draft boards and the Best Player Available according to each of those boards. Please note that two of these boards only ranked 100 players.)

Buffalo Bills

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
8 DB Donte Whitner 16, 18, 22, 22 QB Matt Leinart (4)
26 DT John McCargo 44, 46, 47, 51 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
70 DB Ashton Youboty 24, 32, 33, 42 DB Ashton Youboty (4)
105 DB Ko Simpson 39, 49, 52, 60 DT Gabe Watson (3), DB Ko Simpson
134 DT Kyle Williams 77, 80, 85, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
143 OT Brad Butler 228, 246, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (2), DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter
178 LB Keith Ellison 152, 184, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (3), RB Andre Hall
216 OT Terrance Pennington 248, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), RB Andre Hall, DB Anwar Phillips
248 G Aaron Merz UR, UR, UR, UR RB Andre Hall (2), DB Anwar Phillips (2)

In an inauspicious start to their draft, Buffalo pulled off not one but two of the first round's biggest reaches, prompting commentators to wonder if Marv Levy was in over his head as a general manager. But a funny thing happened on their way to draft ignominy: the Bills pulled off a string of impressive selections that made the overall quality of the draft look a whole lot better.

The expectation was that Buffalo would take Brodrick Bunkley at eight, but instead the team threw the first curveball of the day, opting for Ohio State safety Donte Whitner. Top safeties were in short supply, and Whitner is a perfect fit for the new Cover-2 defense the team is installing. Whitner has the coverage skills to match up on tight ends and slot receivers, he comes down quickly to play the run, and he's one of the fiercest hitters in his class. With rumors that St. Louis was interested in Whitner, Buffalo preferred to stay put and take their man rather than risking a trade down to get him at better value.

It's always worrisome when a team locks into a player to the point where they reach over better players to take him, and in this case Buffalo will have to answer for their decision to pass on Matt Leinart, who was the consensus best player available. J.P. Losman has done nothing to suggest he'll develop into a competent starter, Craig Nall is a total unknown, and Kelly Holcomb is strictly stopgap material. It's not often that a team with such an unsettled quarterback situation will pass on a franchise quarterback.

With the selection of John McCargo, the Bills again sacrificed value in favor of need, only this time they traded second- and third-round picks to do so. McCargo is a poor man's Bunkley, a penetrating under tackle who can shoot the gaps and cause disruption. He fits the new scheme well, but McCargo will have to prove that he can be effective without the presence of Mario Williams and Manny Lawson to free him up. The Bills must have felt the dropoff in quality after McCargo was significant enough to justify the trade up.

Buffalo's draft really got rolling with their third round selection of Ashton Youboty. Youboty plays inconsistently at times, but he has excellent size and athleticism for a cornerback. The Bills have had great success with Ohio State corners, and Youboty should continue the trend. All four boards grade him as one of the steals of the draft, and the pick is all the sweeter because it came to the Bills in return for the mediocre Travis Henry. How's that working out for the Titans?

Fourth-round pick Ko Simpson was another major steal, as he was projected to go in the second round. Simpson is extremely raw, but his upside as a playmaking safety is tremendous. He has the ability to man up against tight ends and bigger receivers in the red zone, and new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will probably use Simpson primarily in that capacity until he learns the finer points of coverage and improves on his open field tackling.

Kyle Williams and Keith Ellison were also good value picks. Both of them are undersized but productive players who fit the scheme, Williams as a one-gap defensive tackle and Ellison as an outside linebacker. Ellison has good cover skills, but he also has trouble disengaging from blockers. For now he'll be tried out on the strong side, but his future may be as a nickel and dime linebacker. Offensive lineman Aaron Merz switched back and forth between center and guard at Buffalo minicamp, and that versatility gives him more value than most seventh-round linemen.

Exiled from New Orleans, Part I

Trying to improve linebacker depth, the Bills dealt tight end Tim Euhus to New Orleans for linebacker Courtney Watson. Watson's 2005 performance was very, very bad according to the individual defense statistics in Pro Football Prospectus 2006. Yes, our individual defensive statistics are very dependent on each player's role in the scheme and the performance of his teammates, but Watson had worse numbers than anyone else on the Saints. Out of 116 linebackers with enough plays to be ranked, Watson finished 113th in Stop Rate, the percentage of tackles that stopped a play short of success. He also finished 102nd in average yards gained when he made the tackle on a passing play (8.0 yards), and 115th in average yards gained when he made the tackle on a running play (5.6 yards).

The Euhus trade makes room for 2005 undrafted free agent Brad "Moe" Cieslak to make the squad as the third tight end behind Kevin Everett and Robert Royal.

Undrafted Free Agents

Wide receiver Martin Nance is the most likely undrafted free agent to make this year's Bills roster. He had nearly 1,500 yards receiving for Miami of Ohio back in 2003, with some guy named Ben Roethlisberger throwing him passes. Then Nance missed 2004 with an ACL injury, and went undrafted despite another 1,100 yards in 2005. He is considered slow (just 4.55 in the 40-yard dash) but could this just be the "year after ACL surgery" effect? Nance has two advantages when it comes to making the team: at 6-foot-3, he is taller than any receiver ahead of him on the Buffalo depth chart, plus snow does not give him the heebie-jeebies.

Other free agents with a chance to make the team, or at least the practice squad, are cornerback Eric Bassey from the University of Oklahoma, University of Missouri linebacker Derrick Ming -- who Buffalo plans to convert to fullback -- and linebacker John DiGiorgio from Saginaw Valley State. DiGiorgio is a hyperactive player who finished his career ranked third all-time in tackles by a Division II player, and could be a useful special teams gunner.

Miami Dolphins

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
16 DB Jason Allen 22, 26, 28, 29 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
82 WR Derek Hagan 66, 67, 86, 88 G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
112 OT Joe Toledo 100, 106, 147, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
212 DT Fred Evans UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
226 DT Rod Wright 79, 90, 97, 103 DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
233 WR Devin Aromashodu 132, 224, UR, UR DB Dee Webb (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall

While no draft pick figures to have more immediate or long-term impact than the one Miami used to obtain former Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the Dolphins did a good job throughout of obtaining value throughout the draft. Perhaps their riskiest pick was their first one, when Miami jumped into the defensive back run and selected Tennessee free safety Jason Allen. Allen is a supremely talented player -- he has elite cover skills and could probably excel as a cornerback if asked to switch positions -- but some people believe the dislocated hip he suffered during his senior season makes him a major medical risk. (According to our man Will Carroll, Allen should be fine this season, and his only problem is a higher risk for recurrence.) The boards considered Jimmy Williams the safer pick, but if Allen can put his injury history behind him, he figures to significantly upgrade Miami's secondary. Allen has the versatility to line up at safety, at an outside corner position or in the slot, and he provides excellent run support.

Derek Hagan had a very productive career at Arizona State, but a poor Senior Bowl week and pedestrian workout numbers caused his stock to drop. Hagan has the size and the hands to be a quality possession receiver, but he doesn't have the explosiveness or top end speed to threaten a defense. Miami already has a burner in Chris Chambers, and they would be happy if Hagan developed into a complementary player.

Joe Toledo was drafted more for his athleticism than his production. He switched from tight end to tackle for his senior season, and a high ankle sprain limited his lateral movement, so this pick is really about upside. Two of the boards felt he was worth the risk, but he's several years from the starting lineup.

Miami did very well with both of their seventh-round selections. Rod Wright has the Texas lineman disease -- he has first round measureables, but his effort is inconsistent. Part of that inconsistency might be traced to a torn rotator cuff that Wright played with for all of his senior season. The injury was discovered at the combine and it was likely the biggest factor in sending Wright's stock tumbling. Wright had surgery and will likely spend the season on IR, but he should be ready to go in 2007. Auburn wide receiver Devin Aromashodu was considered a major steal on at least on board. He has good size and legitimate deep speed, but his route running leaves something to be desired. His best chance to make an impact is as a deep threat and a return man.

Lake Wobegon, Where Every Child Is Above Average

Hi. This is Aaron writing now.

Just a thought: Reports out of Miami say that Daunte Culpepper's rehab is ahead of schedule, and he could be in the starting lineup for the first game of the regular season. Then again, reports out of Cincinnati say that Carson Palmer is way ahead of schedule, and he could be in the starting lineup for the first game of the regular season, and reports out of New Orleans say that Drew Brees will be fine to start the season, and of course reports from Pittsburgh say that despite his motorcycle accident, Ben Roethlisberger will be all ready to go for the start of the season.

Has medical science really improved this dramatically? I am hesitant to believe that all four players will come back and play immediately at the high level that recent news stories seem to be suggesting.

Undrafted Free Agents

Miami is bringing in a couple of big name undrafted free agents -- at least, they have big last names thanks to their familial NFL connections. Yes, the Dolphins signed Marcus Vick and are trying to turn him into a receiver. No, Vick really doesn't deserve as much attention as he gets. More importantly, the Dolphins inked running back Gerald Riggs Jr. out of Tennessee, who had over 1,100 yards with 5.7 yards per carry as a junior, but missed half the season with an ankle injury as a senior. With Ricky Williams now in Toronto, Sammy Morris often playing fullback, and Travis Minor, well, still being Travis Minor, the Dolphins could have an opening for a third-string running back. Other names to watch are Oregon State linebacker Trent Bray, Utah defensive tackle Steve Fifita, and Indiana defensive end Ben Ishola. Ishola is a native of Berlin, so even if he's not good enough to make an NFL roster he'll probably be bouncing around practice squads for however long NFL Europe remains in existence.

New England Patriots

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
21 RB Laurence Maroney 25, 26, 27, 29 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
36 WR Chad Jackson 16, 17, 17, 19 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
86 TE David Thomas 80, 94, 95, UR G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
106 RB Garrett Mills 94, 95, 168, UR DT Gabe Watson (4)
118 K Stephen Gostkowski UR, UR, UR, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
136 OT Ryan O'Callaghan 70, 83, 99, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
191 DE Jeremy Mincey 174, 192, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
205 G Dan Stevenson UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
206 DT LeKevin Smith 114, 176, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
229 DB Willie Andrews 208, 232, UR, UR DB Dee Webb (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall

After a season where the defense fell apart and the offense carried the team into the playoffs, it was expected that New England would use the draft to restock the talent in the back seven. Think again. Instead, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli seem to have decided that after years of beating Indianapolis, it was time to join them. The team emphasized offense with each of its first six selections, and spent every first day pick on a skill position player.

Minnesota's Laurence Maroney is a one cut runner who gets through the hole quickly and has the body control to make defenders miss. Maroney was generally considered the best of the non-Bush running backs, and there were rumors that the Colts were eying him as a replacement for Edgerrin James. Instead Maroney will join a rotation that includes Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk, and likely assume the starting job in 2007.

When Florida receiver Chad Jackson slipped into the second round, New England didn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a trade, sending second- and third-round picks to Green Bay so they could get their man. Jackson had moved in front of Santonio Holmes on all four draft boards, so getting him with the 36th pick overall was a major coup for the Pats. Jackson has prototype size and speed. He runs sharp routes and has consistently shown both excellent hands and a clean criminal record (his true advantage over Holmes). He should provide an immediate lift for a receiving corps that has been thinned out by free agent defections the past two seasons.

While the Patriots didn't land any more first-round talents, they got good value out of several of their offensive picks. New England places a premium on smart, versatile players who can operate out of run or pass sets, and both David Thomas and Garrett Mills fit that description. Thomas is a tight end/H-back 'tweener who can play on the line but is going to be more effective if he is moved around to create matchup problems. Mills also played tight end at the college level, but he will be moved into more of a traditional fullback role. Mills is an excellent receiver, and he will likely become a trusted safety outlet for Tom Brady.

Ryan O'Callaghan is a massive right tackle who has been slowed by injuries. Three of the boards considered him one of the top hundred players in the draft, so he was good value in the fifth round. New England also did well with their late round defensive picks, netting Jeremy Mincey, LeKevin Smith and Willie Andrews at moderate value.

The most questionable decision of the draft would have to be taking a kicker in the fourth round. New England had a major need after losing Adam Vinatieri in the off-season, but Gostkowski was not a good enough prospect to warrant anything higher than a sixth- or seventh-round pick.

Exiled from New Orleans, Part II

The defensive line is perhaps the most impressive unit in New England, made up of three first-round draft picks all under the age of 27. So how much more impressive would the unit be with a fourth first-round draft pick to serve as backup? The answer is probably "not much more impressive" considering that the fourth player is Johnathan (sic) Sullivan, acquired via trade from New Orleans. No, that "sic" was not a sign that Johnathan spells his first name in an odd fashion; it was actually the sound of Sullivan burping after downing another five hamburgers. The Patriots hope that they can somehow restrain Sullivan's appetite and recapture the talent that had people comparing him to his college -- and now pro -- teammate Richard Seymour when the Saints took him sixth in the 2003 draft. There's no risk involved, as Sullivan is getting a minimum salary for the next two seasons, and the 2008 and 2009 years on his contract are now void due to a playing-time clause. All it cost to take a chance on Sullivan was underachieving wide receiver Bethel Johnson, who had just four receptions in 2005 and was so far inside Bill Belichick's doghouse that he had Kibbles 'n' Bits coming out of his ears. Seventh-round pick Willie Andrews is the best candidate to take on Johnson's kickoff return duties.

Undrafted Free Agents

The most important name among the Patriots' rookie free agents is Freddie Roach, a linebacker out of Alabama who was coveted by the Dolphins as well. The Patriots seem to find a significant undrafted defender each season (DT Mike Wright, CB Randall Gay) and Roach has been impressive in minicamp. The Patriots also have a tendency to find players whose college coaches have Belichick connections. They signed two players who learned from Charlie Weis at Notre Dame last year -- linebacker Corey Mays and wide receiver Matt Shelton -- as well as three men who played at Florida for Belichick's new best buddy Urban Meyer: cornerback Vernell Brown, offensive tackle Randy Hand, and safety Jarvis Herring.

Finally, it is unlikely the Patriots will go into the season without a veteran quarterback either second or third on the depth chart. But if that is the case, undrafted free agent Corey Bramlet out of Wyoming will probably be the default third-stringer behind Tom Brady and Matt Cassel.

New York Jets

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
4 OT DBrickashaw Ferguson 3, 3, 3, 3 OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (4)
29 C Nick Mangold 25, 27, 28, 28 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
49 QB Kellen Clemens 87, 89, 113, UR DB Richard Marshall (2), OT Eric Winston, DB Ashton Youboty
76 LB Anthony Schlegel 202, 242, UR, UR G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
97 DB Eric Smith 177, 214, UR, UR G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
103 QB Brad Smith 138, UR, UR, UR DT Gabe Watson (3), DB Ko Simpson
117 RB Leon Washington 108, 108, UR, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
150 TE Jason Pociask UR, UR, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (2), DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter
189 DB Drew Coleman UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
220 DT Titus Adams 194, 248, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall

Many teams mimicked the Patriots approach to drafting by placing an emphasis on character and intelligence, but New York took that approach to an extreme. The results was a draft class that had the highest average Wonderlic score of any team, but one that doesn't grade out nearly as well on the value boards.

The duo of Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum started off well enough, bolstering the offensive line with D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. Ferguson was the consensus best offensive lineman in the draft, and he is already penciled in as the starting left tackle. Ferguson is considered the best pass blocking tackle to come out of the college ranks in several years, and he capped a dominant senior year by going to the Senior Bowl and toying with the best edge rushers in college football. Ferguson's quick feet and huge wingspan make it hard for defensive ends to get the corner on him, and he has the strength to absorb bull rushes.

Mangold was the top interior lineman in the draft, a technically sound center with the stoutness to hold up when isolated on a defensive tackle and the athleticism to pull and trap. With Trey Teague suffering a broken ankle in mini-camp, it's likely that Mangold will open the season as the starting center.

The Jets slid back in the second round, acquiring extra picks, and then made a short trade up to land Oregon quarterback Kellen Clemens with the 49th pick. Clemens was not highly ranked on any of the draft boards, perhaps in part because his senior season was cut short by a broken leg. He received some powerful support in the days leading up to the draft: Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge both tabbed him as the best quarterback in the class. Clemens is a little short but has a live arm, a compact release, and an impressive ability to find the open man. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer did a great job developing Drew Brees, and Clemens has a similar skill set. Most reports already say Clemens was the most impressive of New York's four quarterbacks at minicamp, and it was Clemens, not Chad Pennington, who spent the majority of the time with the first-team offense.

New York's draft began going off the rails in the third round, when the team reached massively on a pair of Big Ten defenders, Anthony Schlegel and Eric Smith. Schlegel has value as an inside linebacker with short area power, but he had no business going on the first day. Smith is an injury-prone safety whose limited athleticism will probably keep him from ever developing into a starter.

Things didn't get much better on the second day, as three of the team's five selections graded out as major reaches. Florida State runner Leon Washington was taken at good value, and with the Jets running back group looking unsettled he has a chance to earn significant playing time. Defensive tackle Titus Adams has a chance to stick as a two-down run stuffer, and cornerback Drew Coleman stood out with strong play at minicamp.

Undrafted Free Agents

It was a happy day around the Football Outsiders office when the Jets signed Brown University running back Nick Hartigan. Hartigan led the school that birthed FO to its first-ever outright Ivy League title, scored 20 touchdowns, and led Division 1-AA with 1,727 rushing yards. (Oh, and he was a Rhodes Scholar finalist.) Because he has what you might call "Division 1-AA speed," Hartigan has bulked up to 235 pounds and projects to play fullback in the NFL. Right now, the Jets depth chart at fullback is empty behind B.J. Askew, so there's an opportunity if Hartigan can make the most of it. You have to figure that, like our fellow Brown alum Sean Morey, Hartigan understands that strong effort on special teams is the secret to making an NFL roster as a Division 1-AA player.

(Yes, I know most of you don't care. Listen, if you think we're bad, consider how excited Chris Berman gets about players from the other seven Ivies. He might explode on air if Hartigan scores an actual NFL touchdown.)

Other names who will challenge for a spot on the Jets roster include Richmond's Stacy Tutt -- yet another quarterback switching to another position, the Jets have him right now at halfback -- and gargantuan (6-foot-9, 350 pounds) offensive tackle Ed Blanton out of UCLA.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Jun 2006

232 comments, Last at 17 Jul 2006, 9:08pm by Norm

Comments

1
by jim's apple pie (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 4:38pm

"Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer did a great job developing Drew Brees..."

Hahahahahahahaha!

(deep breath)

Hhhahahaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Hehe...

2
by coltrane23 (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 4:42pm

I thought Clemens showed some NFL potential when he played at Oregon, but wow . . . I wouldn't have expected him to compete for a starting job already.

3
by Avoid (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 4:46pm

That's nice Jim

4
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 4:58pm

"He runs sharp routes and has consistently shown both excellent hands and a clean criminal record (his true advantage over Holmes)."

Since the whole BPA thing relies on pre-draft analysis, was that known before the draft? Apparently, Holmes had a few misdemeanors on his rap sheet (which I didn't know about, but I'm sure scouts did), but I'm curious to know if that was perceived to be the real breaking point between the two of them. I heard most draftniks putting Jackson first, but I just never recalled hearing that as a reason why.

5
by admin :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:06pm

No, that's just a joke I tossed into Sean's stuff.

6
by james (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 5:59pm

avg team scores 20 pts a game....
off win = 20 points or more
def win = 20 points or less

Pats-8 def wins,12 off wins....should continue to be formiddable as long as the O is led by Tom Brady, Can the defense get back to its old level?
nyj- 5 def wins,6 off wins....got better at Oline, now all they need is a real qb
mia-7 def wins,10 off wins...decent offense without a dynamic qb last year, can the defense step it up a few notches as well?
buf- 7 def wins,6 off wins....competing with the jets for most problems..they are winning

New England cant be dethroned by any of these pretenders. Miami has a solid shot to make it as a wild card. Until they can outscore N.E they will be second fiddle.

7
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 7:02pm

Well, as long as people are promoting players from their favorite college, for Buffalo's undrafted free agents, don't overlook Rutgers DE Ryan Neill. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make a strong push for a roster spot.

8
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 7:12pm

avg team scores 20 pts a game….
off win = 20 points or more
def win = 20 points or less

You're kindof ignoring the pacing of the game. Not all games are the same length in terms of the number of drives.

9
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 7:43pm

8: Every metric does that to some degree. Frankly, I think it's pretty decent -- it eliminates the distortion caused by things like the Packers' 40-point win throwing off their point differential last year. It gives a sense of a team's consistency, even if it is a little over-simplified.

That said, I think those numbers show Miami to be a little closer on the Pats' heels than james made them out to be.

10
by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 8:49pm

Re: 8, 9
Stomps and Guts! Stomps and Guts!
Football stats should be treated cumulatively, just like baseball.

11
by krugerindustrialsmoothing (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 8:51pm

"It was a happy day around the Football Outsiders office..."

Hold up, FO has an office? and all along I somehow figured these articles and stats were being culled together in Aaron's VW van and countless hours loitering in the electronics section at Walmart. This is very dissolutioning. I'll need a moment to collect myself

12
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 9:09pm

Every metric does that to some degree.

Um, no? DVOA doesn't. It's a per-play average. A games with 100 plays wouldn't get treated any differently than a game with 50 plays other than the statistical strength of each.

The problem is just putting in an arbitrary cutoff (20 points). In a game that's 15 drives long, 20 points is easy to score even if a team's struggling, whereas if a game's 10 drives long, good luck.

13
by Bassett (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 10:05pm

Well done Sean!!! Keep the great work coming!!!

14
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 10:36pm

12: DVOA is not a perfect statistic. If it were, the Seahawks and Colts would have had a lower DVOA than the Steelers in their postseason games. It's closer than most, but it, like any metric, has flaws.

Furthermore, I don't buy the "X drives long" business. If a game is 15 drives long, those drives must, mathematically, be shorter, timewise. If you ran the correlation of drive time to points, I'll wager it's positive.

Even if there was an increase in points for more drives, both teams would be affected equally. The chances of an "offensive win" would increase, but the chances of a "defensive win" would decrease.

While the 20-point cutoff may be "arbitrary," it at least has a basis in the average points scored per game, so you can see how often a team's offense or defense played "above average." I'm not saying it's a great statistic -- I'm saying it's somewhat useful for an at-a-glace summary of a team's performance, and if nothing else, I find it interesting.

15
by Bassett (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 10:37pm

After my enthusiastic post, some notes:

I am glad to see the numbers on how the Jets did in the draft, things seemed to be going swimmingly at first, but I agree. Once the third round rolled round, the "character" picks were more than a little puzzling to me. I am interested in what Brad Smith might bring to the Jets long term, if you haven't seen any of his QB highlights from Mizzou, watch him husk the huskers. I wonder if he can develop into a real receiver though.

Hutchinson from the Star Ledger is the only writer who seemed to think Clemens was "all that and a bag of chips" to this point. I think people were impressed with his poise, but I don't see him starting this team Week 1. I can't imagine him not becoming the Jets QB in the future, but from the other writers, I don't get any consensus that he was head and shoulders above anyone. I think it's Ed Blanton, not Eric.
I hope that Hartigan makes the team for Aaron's sake, but they have already rolled through one attempt at a conversion player at fullback and having a backup fullback seems redundant with the glut of mediocre halfbacks and tight ends this team has on the roster at present. I foresee practice squad in the future for Mr. Hartigan.

16
by are-tee (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:08pm

Clemens definitely will not be the Jets' starter come opening day, because Chad Pennington's "rehab is ahead of schedule"!

17
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:09pm

If it were, the Seahawks and Colts would have had a lower DVOA than the Steelers in their postseason games

Wait, why?

The team that plays better doesn't always win. That's why it's a game.

Even if there was an increase in points for more drives, both teams would be affected equally. The chances of an “offensive win� would increase, but the chances of a “defensive win� would decrease.

Um, yeah? That's my point? He was using the number of offensive wins/defensive wins to judge the offense/defense's talent. Don't even get me started on the fact that offense doesn't score points in a vacuum, either.

18
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:36pm

17: Then I'm completely missing your objection. Games have different numbers of drives, yes. Some have more and some have less. We can't make the assumption that these equalize over a 16-game season? He didn't say "The Patriots scored 20+ points in this particular game." He said, "The Patriots scored 20+ points in 12 out of 16 games." Is the # of drives in a given game really a factor in something that broad?

Also, if you are looking for a "statistic" to tell you who is better instead of who will win, then why does this fail? The total "wins" (better termed "successes," probably) for the AFCE teams were:

New England: 20
Miami: 17
Buffalo: 13
New York: 11

Is that an inaccurate picture of the division?

19
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/21/2006 - 11:56pm

No, that's fine. The problem was using the relative number of offense/defense wins to judge the offense/defense.

As in:
mia-7 def wins,10 off wins…decent offense without a dynamic qb last year, can the defense step it up a few notches as well?

Miami's offensive DVOA: -11.6%. Defensive DVOA -10.1%. Safe to say that the defense isn't the problem.

20
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:20am

I THINK I KNOW, JUST WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IN THE AFC EAST.

JETS: THE JETS ARE A BAD TEAM FROM LAST SEASON, BUT THE OFFENSIVE LINE IMPROVEMENTS HAVE TO HELP EVERYBODY. THEIR QB WILL BE GOOD, CURTIS MARTIN WILL DO BETTER, AND THEIR WIDEOUTS SHOULD DO BETTER...MUCH BETTER. THEIR DEFENSE, HOWEVER, SUFFERED GREATLY WITH THE LOSS OF JOHN ABRAHAM AND TY LAW. I CANT SEE THEM DOING ANY BETTER THAN LAST YEAR.

DOLPHINS: THE DOLPHINS DID A GREAT TRADE WITH THE VIKINGS TO OBTAIN CULPEPPER. I THINK HE WILL IMPACT THE DOLPHINS GREATLY. I THINK THEY WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THIS SEASON, RONNIE BROWN IS GETTING BETTER, AND CHRIS CHAMBERS SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER BREAKOUT SEASON.

PATRIOTS: THE PATRIOTS ARE GOING TO HAVE A VERY GOOD OFFENSE, ITS THEIR DEFENSE, HOEVER, THAT IM WORRIED ABOUT. BUT I THINK THEY'LL BE OK.

BILLS: NOTHING MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE BILLS. SHOULD BE ANOTHER LOOOOONG SEASON. THEY IMPROVED THEIR DEFENSE BUT THEIR OFFENSE CANT GET ANY WORSE, WHICH MEANS THEY CAN ONLY IMPROVE.

OVERALL, THIS IS HOW I THINK THE AFC EAST WILL PLAY OUT:

MIAMI :11-5
NEW ENGLAND :10-6
NEW YORK :4-12
BUFALLO :4-12

21
by Josh (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 1:48am

Stephen (#20)-
I don't think what you're saying is very off, except for Miami over NE.
But when you write in ALL CAPS, it makes whatever you're saying appear very stupid.

22
by Brian (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:52am

Re 20:

MY CAPS LOCK BUTTON IS BROKEN TOO

23
by Kalyan Chatrathi (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:30am

re (20)

While i agree to a large extent to your observations, i disagree that the Miami Dolphins will have more wins than the patriots

Very simply put, i have more faith in the Belichick/Brady than in Saban/Culpepper. Also, i am very interested to see Culpepper try and address the "Randy Moss" ghosts of his!

I say
NE: 11-5
Dolphins: 9-7
NYY: 6-10
Bills: 5-9

24
by Theo (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:02am

Whitner is a perfect fit for the new Cover-2 defense the team is installing. Whitner has the coverage skills to match up on tight ends and slot receivers, he comes down quickly to play the run

Aaron:
How is he a good fit for the Cover 2 and why are the qualities mentioned good for a Cover 2 safety?
A Cover 2 Safety plays one deep zone and DOESN'T cover tight ends and slot receivers. (that's Cover 1).

25
by Josh (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:26am

WHEN YOU USE ALL CAPS IT MAKES YOUR POST LOOK VERY ANGRY!!!!

26
by 72 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:08am

re (23) are the Bills only getting to play 14 games this year? Are they really that bad?

While I can see Miami improving I still think this division is New England's to lose. New York have too many issues, in particular with who will play QB and I doubt that Martin will ever be able to reproduce anything like the form of two years ago. Miami, like I said I expect to improve but not enough yet to challenge New England and as was mentioned above Culpepper has to get rid of his Randy Moss ghosts and Chris Chambers is not the answer to that. In Buffalo I would like to see Craig Nall get some time simply because he is an Ex-NFL Europe player (Ex-Claymore in fact) and I always like to see them get any time whatsoever.

27
by admin :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 9:12am

Yes, there is a Football Outsiders office, otherwise known as "the room on the right side of the house."

The Cover-2 comment is from Sean, so he can answer if he so chooses.

28
by bengt (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 10:25am

I find it interesting how, after thinking properly about it, Donte Whitner can become "a perfect fit" for the Bills. I remember that on draft day the media consensus was that the Bills panicked because Michael Huff was taken right before them.

29
by Led (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 11:17am

Hmmmm.... While SOME (but certainly not most) reports out of Jets minicamp said that Clemens was the most impressive QB, I'm aware of NO reports that Clemens spent the majority of the time with first team. And I'm pretty sure I've read every minicamp article in the NY papers. To the contrary, virtually every article that touched on the QB's said there was an even rotation and it was an open competition. May the best man win!

30
by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 12:11pm

I can't decide if the Jets are going into the season without a QB, or if they're going into the season with 4 good quarterbacks. Looks like it could go either way.
I wouldn't be shocked if the rookie starts.

31
by JJ (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:12pm

No matter what, I don't see the Jets with 4 QBs come week one. As for reports of what went on in minicamp, ESPN reported that Clemens DID take a majority of the snaps with the first team. But don't let this fool you. I'm sure Mangini like Belichick will use smoke screens and deception all preseason long.
My prediction, #1 Pennington, #2 Clemens, #3 Bollinger (bye bye Ramsey)

32
by jetsgrumbler (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:53pm

re 20: Law had a lot of INT's, but Dyson is nearly an equal replacement, and he is much younger and cheaper. Abraham was lazy, took plays off, and could not be counted on for big plays on important downs--he piled up sacks on meaningless downs in meaningless games. I expect the defense to be marginally better this year with a coaching staff that believes in coaching.

33
by jetsgrumbler (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 2:59pm

re: assessing the JETS draft:

don't forget that in addition to their picks, they obtained a 2007 2nd round pick from Redskins.

34
by Sean (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:19pm

Theo,

I didn't mean to downplay Whitner's ability to play in zone, but was simply emphasizing his all-around versatility. You have to be able to cover some ground and to break down and make tackles in the open field, and those are both things Whitner does very well. That he can match up in man coverage is an added plus.

35
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:35pm

31: No matter how bad Ramsey looked in Washington, I think he proved he was a better QB than Bollinger was last year.

36
by J (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:59pm

Anybody out there have an informed opinion on the Will Allen/Sam Madison swap?

Seems to me that if Allen doesn't start realizing some of his former-1st-rounder potential, the 'Phins could actually take a step back in '06, rather than gaining ground on the Patriots.

I haven't been particularly impressed with Allen's career so far -- is he more reliable than he seems?

37
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:04pm

don’t forget that in addition to their picks, they obtained a 2007 2nd round pick from Redskins.

I personally think most teams should be docked points from their draft grades if they don't acquire a draft pick from the Redskins. :)

38
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:39pm

36. No, he's not. Everything he's done in his career up until now suggests that this will be a swap for the worse. Maybe some Giants diehards could give you better news, but I doubt it.

And half of me agrees that this year might represent the step back the Dolphins have to go through in order to take several steps forward. Their secondary has a chance to be absolutely horrid.

The other half says they'll more or less duplicate last season's performance.

39
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 5:50pm

Is it Will Allen the Bucs Safety or Will Allen the Giants Corner? Or is it the Will Allen who occasionally posts on these boards?

40
by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:29pm

Caveat emptor on Dyson, #32. He's a good corner with excellent recovery speed who got hurt if anyone so much as breathed on him last year. I hope his Jets tenure works out better than his year in Seattle, but that's something you'll want to watch for.

41
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 6:58pm

I haven’t been particularly impressed with Allen’s career so far � is he more reliable than he seems?

He's not that bad of a cover corner, but he has, without a doubt, the worst hands I've ever seen. It became a running joke on the Giants' radio broadcasts.

42
by Teddy (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 7:25pm

Hartigan and Jim Finn will have to have some sort of battle royale this preseason, as I'm pretty sure that League rules ban the existence of multiple converted Ivy HB's simultaneously getting PT as FBs.

Hartigan! Finn! There can be only one!

43
by Sean (not verified) :: Thu, 06/22/2006 - 10:51pm

B- Ramsey has been the worst of the four quarterbacks in camp to this point. Obviously it's a limited sample, but there's no guarantee that he makes the final roster.

44
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 1:42am

ok the afc east is the for the dolphins to take. they have an easier schedule than the patriots and they should take advantage of that. the patriots have gone worse through the offseason, but much better in the draft, so i really dont know what to expect.

bottom line is, i think that the patriots will go 5-1 inside the division, and the dolphins will go 5-1 inside the division, the only loss being to the other team. they might go 4-2 if they choose to give up meaningless week 17 to let culpepper or brady get some rest.

any way you look at it, its going to be close.

45
by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 5:35am

Stephen Yang: I loved you in post 20! You wrote, CHRIS CHAMBERS SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER BREAKOUT SEASON. I find this concept very humorous. And, "NOTHING MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE BILLS. Indeed, Stephen, nothing much to say about the Bills, indeed.

46
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 8:57am

41 - can somebody familiar with both the AFC East and North confirm to me whether or not this guy's hands are worse than Ike "dropped interception" Taylor? I'm trying to get some kind of feel for how that's even possible.

47
by Jesus (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 9:11am

44) "Anyway you look at it, it's going to be close."

Not the way I look at it. I see the Pats haveing a better year than people expected, and I see the Dolphins disappointing everyone in Miami. The Dolphins will win 6 games, the Patriots will win the division, and Jets fans are going to be pleasantly surprised.

48
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 9:15am

ok the afc east is the for the dolphins to take. they have an easier schedule than the patriots and they should take advantage of that.
Two games. The difference between the first and last place teams in a division (and every other team in that division), is two games.

This year's difference between the Dolphins and Patriots? New England plays Denver, @Cincinnati. Miami plays @Pittsburgh, Kansas City. Everything else is who gets whom at home or away (i.e. Miami plays Jacksonville at home and Indianapolis away; New England, the reverse.) I'm not sure why you'd be convinced that such a modest difference is going to decide the division.

Injuries and luck will, but they would have to favor the Dolphins at least as much as they did last season, for the gap to close and Miami to take the division.

49
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 9:34am

Why doesnt New England ever have to play Indi in Indi? I have always wondered that.

50
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 9:41am

Sean: Are we debating who should be the Jets third string QB? The offseason really is too long.
steelberger: NE played at Indy in 2003, and every year when Indy was in the AFC east.

51
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 9:42am

The Pats and Dolphins both have easy schedules this coming year (26th and 27th hardest, mostly due to a very weak division)...I dont think that will be a factor in the division.

52
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 9:49am

Why doesnt New England ever have to play Indi in Indi?
Regular season is determined by formula. Since 2003, the formula has been:
2003 New England @ Indianapolis
2004 AFC South Divison winner @ AFC East Division Winner
2005 AFC South Divison winner @ AFC East Division Winner
2006 Indianapolis @ New England

Assuming both teams win their respective divsions again this year and in 2007, the next three matchups will be in Indianapolis.

Playoffs are handled by seeding, and the post-2005 matchup would have been at the RCA Dome, except both teams neglected to win their divisional-round game.

53
by Jesus (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:04am

The Colts are like a good cigar,
they get smoked in the big games.

54
by J. Fatpaws (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:12am

Jesus speaks the truth!

55
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:20am

I can't see how Miami's schedule can be more favorable than New England's. You would have to make a case that New England is going to lose to a team that Miami's going to beat. Possible, certainly, but I don't think you can say it's probable. The Cincy/Denver vs. Pitt/KC seems to be a wash. I guess Miami could sweep New England. Go down the schedules and figure a win or loss. Find a situation where the Dolphins are likely to beat an opponent the Patriots won't. The Patriots get the good fortune to get Chicago at home. Miami travels there in November. That certainly favors NE. Ditto the Indy situation. Miami's not going to beat Indy on turf. Miami's not going to fare better against the Jets and Bills than New England. Miami probably is not going to beat Pittsburgh at Heinz with the emotion of opening day and raising the Super Bowl banner. Miami might not win in Buffalo in December. Conversely, first glance looks like a very possible 13-3 mark for New England. But if Palmer isn't playing week four, that's a Pats win also. In fact, the next week is Cincy's bye, so there's a decent chance Palmer could be held out. If that's the case, Jacksonville is the only tough non-conference foe New England faces on the road. Miami gets Jacksonville at home, but it's not really a road game for the Jags, given the proximity. My thoughts at this point in the offseason:

NE
Sep 10 Buffalo 1:00pm W
Sep 17 @N.Y. Jets 4:15pm W
Sep 24 Denver 8:15pm W
Oct 1 @Cincinnati 4:15pm L
Oct 8 Miami 1:00pm W
Week 6 BYE
Oct 22 @Buffalo 1:00pm W
Oct 30 @Minnesota 8:30pm W
Nov 5 Indianapolis 8:15pm W
Nov 12 N.Y. Jets 1:00pm W
Nov 19 @Green Bay 1:00pm W
Nov 26 Chicago 1:00pm W
Dec 3 Detroit 1:00pm W
Dec 10 @Miami 1:00pm L
Dec 17 Houston 1:00pm W
Dec 24 @Jacksonville 1:00pm L
Dec 31 @Tennessee 1:00pm W 13-3

Mia
@Pittsburgh 8:30pm L
Sep 17 Buffalo 1:00pm W
Sep 24 Tennessee 1:00pm W
Oct 1 @Houston 1:00pm W
Oct 8 @New England 1:00pm L
Oct 15 @N.Y. Jets 4:15pm W
Oct 22 Green Bay 1:00pm W
Week 8 BYE
Nov 5 @Chicago 1:00pm L
Nov 12 Kansas City 1:00pm L
Nov 19 Minnesota 1:00pm W
Nov 23 @Detroit 12:30pm W
Dec 3 Jacksonville 1:00pm L
Dec 10 New England 1:00pm W
Dec 17 @Buffalo 1:00pm L
Dec 25 N.Y. Jets 8:30pm W
Dec 31 @Indianapolis 1:00pm L 9-7

I gotta say, and hopefully this isn't the Pats fan in me, that the Patriots have an excellent chance to go to the Super Bowl again. That schedule can easily get them the #1 seed and two games in Foxboro in January.

56
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 11:23am

a win against the colts for the pats? i dont think so.

the win in chicago isnt that easy to do as well.

oh and what team beat the patriots in the superbowl??

BRONCOS.

the patriots are not going to do better than 11-5. but i gotta admit, i thought they had a much tougher schedule. its because they play the bills and jets twice each. thats why they win all the time.

the dolphins might not nescecerily lose to pittsburg.they won the supebowl, but they finished the season 10-6, including a must win 4 games right before the playoffs. the dolphins might take that game.

57
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 11:32am

Umm, when did the Patriots and the Broncos play in the superbowl? I don't remember that game.

58
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 11:42am

He also doesn't seem to grasp the concept that "@" means "at". The Patriots don't play in Chicago.

I'll never forgive myself for wasting enough time on a Friday to respond to not one, but two Yang posts.

59
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 11:48am

Might as well make it three...

Can the Patriots finish 11-5? Of course. They could finish worse. But taking each game by itself on June 23, they would be favored to win at least 13. They'll probably lose one or two I figure for a win. They could win one or two I figured for a loss. The point is it's hard to say right now that they're not going to win the AFC East.

And the fact that the Steelers had to win four in a row to make the playoffs is sound logic to suggest they lose to a Miami team that was 3-7 before winning six in a row and still missed the playoffs?

You're a funny guy. But not ha-ha funny.

60
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 11:59am

Of course, Miami@Pittsburgh is the first of the Hospital Bowls series; either Roethlisberger or Culpepper might be significantly below 100% in that match which could substantially affect the chances of Miami getting a result. Likewise for Carson Palmer with the Patriots' AFC North opponent, of course.

The real challenge is to predict at what point in the season the traditional New England injury crisis is going to occurr. If it's Weeks 7-11 they should be OK - they now have an excuse for losing to the Colts, and might well beat the Bills, Vikings, Jets and Packers with a bunch of second-stringers in.

61
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:09pm

Interesting trend: since the current division format was adopted in 2002, the defending Superbowl champ has won its opener every season:

-2002: New England @ Pittsburgh, W 30-14.
-2003: Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia, W 17-0.
-2004: New England v. Indianapolis, 2004, W 27-24.
-2005: New England v. Oakland, W 30-20.

Why, beyond wishful thinking, would we expect Pittburgh to lose, at home, the night they unveil the new banner in front of a delerious home crowd, to a Miami team that overachieved to win nine games last season? Is Daunte Culpepper really that good?

Don't bet the rent money on it.

62
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:10pm

I think the Patriots success this year is dependant on how Rodney Harrison recovers from his injury. If he's back at 85% or more, the defense should be fine. If he's unable to play at a high level, I doubt they'll even make the playoffs.

63
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:14pm

RE: 14

You're wrong. The fact that the winning team doesn't always have the better DVOA is an indication that DVOA is working as intending, not that it's failing.

63
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:14pm

For the Pitt/Mia game, if Maddox is starting, I'd say Miami has a pretty good chance of pulling the upset.

65
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:18pm

Harrison is definitely the key. However, the Patriots secondary improved greatly once they moved Hawkins from corner to Harrison's safety position, ending five (I think) consecutive weeks of throwing somebody new and incompetent at that spot.

I don't think the Patriots are Super Bowl threats without Harrison, but if Hawkins were to play there, they should still win the division. They didn't have Harrison for the majority of last season either.

66
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:21pm

As for the Jets draft:

I agree with what Sean said. I was fine with D'Brick and Mangold, but the draft just collapsed after that. I didn't understand drafting Clemens that high, and the reaches for Schlegel and Eric Smith were heinous.
The Leon Washington pick wasn't bad, though. He definitely can contribute if he can stay healthy.

67
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:34pm

64 - yeah, if the Steelers are starting a QB who isn't currently on their roster, I'd say they're pretty much screwed. Maddox was cut about a month ago. The Steelers' backup is Charlie Batch.

65 - also agreed. I fail to see how the New England secondary could conceivably be any worse than it was last year, and they still won the division then. As for the playoffs, isn't it just all rock-scissors-paper? The Patriots can beat the Colts, the Colts can beat the Broncos, and the Broncos can beat the Patriots. I'm not sure where the Steelers fit in.

68
by Mike V (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 12:57pm

63: what a load of crap. No stat is ever going to reflect the win/loss outcome of every single game. Too many intangibles.

Bills: When Levy was coach, he said he always wanted a classic run/defense squad, but the talent he had was suited to a passing team, so he went with that. I think he's building his run/defense team in his old age. I don't think they'll have a winning 2006, but I do think the D will bounce back. My ideal scenario is actually that they let Losman flame out, Rob Johnson-style, get a high pick in next year's draft, and take a franchise QB. That might excuse them from passing on Leinart - build the lines in '06, so you're not throwing your new QB into the fire.

Fins: I like Daunte Culpepper (and I may be in the minority there), and at least in terms of putting up yards, he's been the most consistently successful QB of the past 5 years. But there's a big difference between throwing to Randy Moss in a climate-controlled dome and throwing to Marty Booker in 100-degree heat. They'll certainly improve over last year, but I don't see them contending unless NE really collapses.

Jets: It would be interested to see Kellen Clemens start the season while Pennington rehabs, but either way, I think the two are fighting to be the next Browning Nagle, not Joe Namath. You've gotta love Curtis Martin, but one of these days the wheels are going to fall off, and without Lamont Jordan, they don't have as credible a backup. Every year, the media builds up the Jets as the next big thing, and every year (except that year Vinny took them to the Championship), they collapase. As much trouble as the Bills are in, I still see the Jets in last place. (and yes, their o-line signings were terrific, and will pay dividends for years to come. But not just yet)

Pats: I gave up trying to analyze the Patriots rationally a long time ago. Half their roster could be kidnapped, brainwashed, or turned into zombies, and Belichik and Brady will find a way to win. They're Division Winners For Life, until proven otherwise.

69
by J (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 1:12pm

67: It's not like rock-paper-scissors. It's "Stratego". New England is the Marshall (1), Pittsburgh is a General (2) and Indy is a Colonel (3), and Denver is the Spy (S) piece, that can't kill anybody except the Marshall.

70
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 1:37pm

Well done, J. I was feeling down that I hadn't read a good stratego reference in a few months.

71
by JeffD (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 1:38pm

55 Its the Pats fan in you that has them winning vs Denver, Indianapolis, and Chicago while at the same time having the Dolphins loose to Chicago, and Indianapolis and the likes of KC and Buffalo. Its ok to be a homer as long as you admit it.

72
by David (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 1:41pm

DUDE DID SOMEONE LIKE REALLY SAY THAT THE DOLPHINS WERE GOING TO WIN THE DIVISION. THEY MUST NOT HAVE HEARD RICKY WILLIAMS IS GONE FOR THE YEAR. I MEAN WITH RICKY THE DOLPHINS GOOD POSSIBLY GO 15-1 14-2 BUT WITHOUT HIM 7-9 8-8 IS THE BEST THEY WILL DO

73
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 2:38pm

I see the Pats haveing a better year than people expected, and I see the Dolphins disappointing everyone in Miami. The Dolphins will win 6 games, the Patriots will win the division, and Jets fans are going to be pleasantly surprised.

It makes me so happy that Jesus Himself has the same opinion of the upcoming AFC East season as I do.

I am extremely confident that Miami will be a dissapointment. I will be surprised if they even finish above .500, let alone be in contention for an Eastern crown.

The Jets will come out of nowhere to push for a wildcard spot, and the Pats will surprise by being just as good as their 03-04 counterparts.

74
by JJ (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 2:42pm

68: To even say that Pennington is even in the same breath as Nagle is retarded. He's no Namath, but he won the QB title a few years back. I agree with Clemens starting the season though. It would be dam interesting to see, but it will never happen. Pennington will start, hands-down. Unless of course he's injured again before Sept. Then I would have to say Mangini will keep Ramsey to back-up Clemens and Bollinger is the #3. But if Pennington is serviceable week 1, you can kiss Ramsy's ass good-bye.

75
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 2:46pm

David (#72 )--

The last two seasons Williams actually played for them, the Dolphins went 10-6 and 9-7, missing the playoffs both times.

JeffD (#71 )--

Most of those game look to be just "home team wins if they're close." He also has the Patriots losing to the Jaguars and Bengals, which are hardly a given.

76
by David (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:07pm

POST 75

HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY WAIT WAIT WAIT RICKY WILLIAMS RUSHED FOR 1800 YARDS ONE YEAR SO LETS SAY HE WOULDA RUSHED FOR 1450 THIS YEAR AND NOW WITH OUT HIM RYAN BROWN RUSHES FOR 1300 1

1450 + 1300 = 2650 YARDS

THATS THE BEST RUSINIG ATTACK IN THE LEAGUE

BUT WITH OUT RICKY ONLY 1300 ONE OF THE WORST

IT ALL IN THE NUMBERS

77
by shadrivers (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:21pm

68. "every year (except that year Vinny took them to the Championship), they collapase." Please, no vivid writing.

78
by Zac (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:21pm

I thought it was interesting to note that Buffalo took 4 underclassman (including IIRC their top 3 picks). No other team took more than two.

79
by Marko (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:22pm

Re: #76

David, are you Stephen Yang? I don't even know where to begin pointing out all of the mistakes in math, logic, common sense, and identification ("Ryan Brown") in your post.

80
by Jesus (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:22pm

The Jets have 3 good running backs behind Martin. Blaylock, Washington, and Houston. The Jets make their running backs successful. Martin was the oldest running back to ever win the title, and he didn't do it with speed, youth, or athleticism. (He did as a very slow, old runningback). They made Jordan look really good, then he went to Oakland and kind of, well, faded away... The Jets made Chad Morton look like a superstar, he went to Washington and sort of, well, faded away...
Don't be surprised if Leon Washington or Cedrick Houston look as good as Lamont Jordan did, so don't worry about the Jets back-up running backs.. the Jets (and the Broncos) sort of have a knack for making running backs very productive.

If Chad Pennington is in any way jeopardized by starting the season, he will not be the starter. Jaworski rated Clemens the best QB available in the draft.. Pennington would make a nice back-up for the first couple games.

Every year the media build the Jets up to be the "next big thing?" Really??? Seems to me every year the Jets are ranked in the bottom, with the worst teams in the league.. so I have to disagree with you there. I can't remember the last time the media had any hopes at all for the N.J. Jets.

Browning Nagle?? Get a grip! Maybe you didn't know it, but Chad Pennington has been more accurate at the start of his career than any other QB in NFL history. In Pennington's first games he completed a phenomenal 76.9 percent of his passes and compiled a 108.5 QB rating. That's right ! Better than Joe Montana or Namath. When Pennington routed San Diego in a play-off game he had a 102.6 QB rating.

Browning Nagle! -- why do I bother to even achnowledge this !

81
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:29pm

David (#75 )--

What?

In Ricky Williams' most productive season, running as the featured back, he ran for 1853 yards. That was four years ago.

The very next season, he rushed for 1372, also as the featured back, and was so burned out that he quit the team. Yet, two years later, he's supposed to run for 100 yards more? I don't see that.

Last year, splitting carries with Ronnie Brown, he got 743. Brown got 907. What makes you think that they would exceed their previous combined total by a thousand yards?

More wishful thinking.

82
by David (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:42pm

POST 81

7 WORDS

MIAMI DOLPHINS NEW QUATERBACK DAUNTE COLDPEPPER

83
by Rocco (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:45pm

It's posts like #76 that make me think I should avoid FO until I'm done with the bar exam.

84
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:47pm

I just thought that I would give my opinion of the Pats picks while we are here.

While I was mildly surprise that it took them as long as it did to pick a defensive player, I wasn't nearly as shocked as many fans and pundits. As poorly as the Pats' D played for a good portion of the year, it was actually the offense that was the major failing in the playoffs. Against the Jags, the Pats' score was deceptive as 7 points were from an int return and another 7 were from a spectacular play by Watson that can't be counted on. Denver's O could do nothing against the NE D, but Denver's D looked like worldbeaters against the NE O. This is the same D that was torched the following game against Pitt. The Pats' offense needed much more help than many people realized.

I know virtually nothing about Maroney, but I was happy when they picked a RB. Other than Dillon, NE hasn't had a top flight RB since Martin. There is no reason to force Brady to be the offensive savior every year if it can be avoided.

I also wasn't surprised at all when a TE was drafted. Frankly, at this point I have to question how closely fans follow the team if they don't expect a TE to be drafted. :) (Although the second one was definitely unexpected) I personally am very excited at the potential of the two TE offense. Graham is a phenominal blocker and a decent receiver. In fact, his blocking has been a curse at times. Due to O-line injuries and Brandon Gorin being on the field, Graham hasn't run nearly as many pass patterns as he could have. Watson is an average blocker with tremendous receiving potential. Thomas has been spoken highly of both during rookie camp and the recent camp. Because of these guys, I think the lack of depth in the WR unit won't be nearly as destructive to the team as it could be.

In the recent camp, BB had Gostkowski kick a field goal in an obvious team-building, pressure ability check on the kicker. If Gost made a 45 yarder the team would be exempt from running sprints. He made it. Due to BB's selection of kicker, it appears as if (no surprise really) that Gost has a leg up on Gramatica.

Stevenson was given a seal of approval by Weis, who said that he was a Joe Andruzzi clone.

I have no idea why, but I am really high on Jeremy Mincey. I know virtually nothing about the kid, but I have a funny feeling he is going to be a very good player.

Andrews was drafted primarily for his return skills (which have been very good so far), but I think he has more to offer than just that. He played as a safety last year, but he switched from a CB the year before. Besides the position flexibility that he offers, his pro potential is probably on the CB side. I think that had he played as a CB this past year, he might have been more of a 4th-5th round guy.

85
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:50pm

David (#82 )--

Does adding a new quarterback normally increase rushing totals by 1000 yards?

And why are you even arguing this? Ricky Williams will get his 700-800 yards in Toronto this season.

Ronnie Brown will likely crack a thousand yards, unless he gets injured, and the Dolphins should win anything between 7 and 11 games, depending on luck, injuries, matchups and so on.

86
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:54pm

We seem to be attracting an espicially insane breed of troll this offseason? The Atlanta guys were bad, but some of these posts are nuts. Either that, or we've been invaded by a bunch of dadaists who do an uncannily good impersonation of a troll.

87
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 3:55pm

Starshatterer:

I'm amazed you could even respond to that. I was just baffled that in 7 words, he managed to misspell 2.

88
by Jets fan (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 4:02pm

dadaists ?

89
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 4:02pm

We seem to be attracting an espicially insane breed of troll this offseason? The Atlanta guys were bad, but some of these posts are nuts. Either that, or we’ve been invaded by a bunch of dadaists who do an uncannily good impersonation of a troll.

I'm still in favor of an all-caps filter. I mean, really, what would we lose?

90
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 4:04pm

Dadaist: wikipedia is your friend. It's an absurdist movement. "Look at me, look at how weird I am, isn't that special, I'm unique (just like all these other dadaists) unlike you guys."

Sorry, dadaism drives me nuts. :)

91
by Jesus (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 4:14pm

A reviewer from the American Art News stated that "The Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man."

Those are strong words.

I always thought the battle of the network stars was the most horrific thing that has ever originated from the brain of man.

If they ever have another battle of the network stars I hope they use live ammo.

92
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 4:41pm

#80. I hate to argue with Jesus...So I'll argue with Hey Zeus. The Jets made Jordan look like a superstar, and then he went to Oakland and faded away? The Jets made Chad Morton look like a superstar RB? We have to sychronize our definitions of "superstar" and "fade away". Jordan carried Oakland last year, and was one of the league leaders in all-purpose yards. I don't think Chad Morton carried the ball once as a RB for the Jets. The Jets have a knack of making running backs productive? Well, since they've really only used one since '98, that's a hard arguement to make. Jordan showed skills in a limited role. I don't know how good Houston looked last year. My guess would be replacement level.

#75 I actually broke down the entire NFL schedule week by week, and tried to predict a winner for each game. I tried to keep in mind things like Home Field advantage, playing indoors vs. outdoors, teams on a short week between games, teams on a long week between games, teams taking consecutive cross-country flights, poor weather for warm weather teams, teams with nothing left to play for taking it easy in the last few weeks, injury prone players getting injured, promising young player improving, bad coaching, inter-division rivalries, teams coming off bye weeks, teams that historically match up favorably with another team, natural attrition by the end of the season, and other such factors.

Oddly enough, I have neither Super Bowl XL Participant making the playoffs this year, Arizona sliding ahead of Seattle in the NFC West, and the Steelers losing the final Wild Card slot to the Jags on a tiebreaker.

93
by J (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 4:46pm

90: Are you also bothered by impressionism? I find all the blurriness off-putting. Does Modernism get your goat? What other turn of the century artistic movements do you feel hostility towards? :)

Dadaism was an interesting, expressive and, in its time, original response to the cultural and political realities of the between-the-wars era. Why should it bother you today?

94
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 5:08pm

What other turn of the century artistic movements do you feel hostility towards?

Some pop art. A good portion of Warhol's stuff drives me nuts.

Dadaism was an interesting, expressive and, in its time, original response to the cultural and political realities of the between-the-wars era.

See, the fact that you can explain why it arose kindof means that the entire stated goals of the movement were a total crock. :)

Why should it bother you today?

Because a guy got historically famous for putting a goatee and moustache that a 2-year old could draw on the Mona Lisa.

95
by Electric Mayhem (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 5:13pm

re 89:

Entertainment, it is the off-season after all. Maybe just an all-caps filter during the season?

96
by james (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 5:40pm

Yes! More battles with Pat. Dude, the only thing I'm trying to do is get a quick look at how the season went. While not sophisticated at all, it has a few strong points as a system. I think consistency is the most important aspect of any football team and this "system" just looks at consistency.

As far as the Eagles go, In past years they would have still waltzed out of the NFC East playing as many rookies as they felt like playing. The Eagles didn't get worse...the competition got better. I think the other teams have all surpassed them and its up to them to prove this is not the case. Nickel and diming is no longer an option. None of the defenses allow them to do it.

97
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 6:17pm

I think consistency is the most important aspect of any football team and this “system� just looks at consistency.

My only problem was the fact that you were using offensive wins (points) to judge offense, and defensive wins to judge defense. Not only is that dependent upon game pacing, it also neglects special teams completely, as well as defensive points scored and offensive points allowed.

Hence the reason why you concluded that the Dolphins had a good offense - they didn't, they had a good defense and very good special teams, including the best punting unit in the league.

And as far as I can tell, that system has absolutely nothing to do with consistency whatsoever.

As far as the Eagles go, In past years they would have still waltzed out of the NFC East playing as many rookies as they felt like playing.

That is total crap. The only year where they had poor competition from their own division was 2004. In 2003, the Cowboys would've trounced them.

98
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 6:18pm

Why, beyond wishful thinking, would we expect Pittburgh to lose, at home, the night they unveil the new banner in front of a delerious home crowd, to a Miami team that overachieved to win nine games last season?

FWIW, Miami did manage to beat Denver 34-10 in the opener last season.

99
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 6:37pm

Also for what it's worth, Miami absolutely did not overachieve last year. Estimated wins had them at 9.0 wins exactly. They were projected to win 7 wins at midseason, but they improved a little bit more than that.

100
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 8:21pm

RE: 68

It sounds like you're agreeing with me, not arguing. I pointed out that the better team (or the team that plays better) doesn't always win, and thus "DVOA is not a perfect statistic. If it were, the Seahawks and Colts would have had a lower DVOA than the Steelers in their postseason games. It’s closer than most, but it, like any metric, has flaws" is an erroneous statement.

101
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 8:36pm

Estimated wins had them at 9.0 wins exactly.
They overachieved to play at that level, then.

102
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 9:33pm

you're all wrong. i dont know if you guys remember a certain daunte culpepper person passing for 4000 yards and 30 tds? and rushing for a few more tds? do you guys remember that? you are treating daunte like an average QB who wont lead his team to anything. last year was a fluke. he was playing with a horrible vikings team.

daunte will do better this season. i GURANTEE IT. im like joe namath.

103
by Theo (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:22pm

Stephen Young,
if you find out everybody is wrong... you probably found out it's not them.
It's you who's wrong.

104
by jebmak (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:30pm

Seriously, as a Dolphins fan, I don't get all the hype. Why do people think that they will be so good? They are ranked 8th on the ESPN power rankings for goodness sakes. What the hell? I mean, I'm as sick of the Pats and their legion of sportswriters as the next not Pats fan, but they are the best of a pretty bad division.

105
by jebmak (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:33pm

Actually on second thought, I have nothing against the Pats, just the writers who conspire to make me hate any team that wins more than one Super Bowl.

106
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:33pm

Stephen Yang (#102 )--

Why would you choose to see Culpepper's single best year as a trend? Over his career, Culpepper has been a coin flip: three good-to-great years, three average-to-bad years.

Betting a coin flip is a sucker bet.

107
by masocc (not verified) :: Fri, 06/23/2006 - 11:49pm

3 things I think I thought while reading Football Outsiders over coffee this afternoon:

1) THAT THERE'S NOT A CAPS-LOCK FILTER ON THE ENTIRE WORLD WIDE WEB.
2) People actually respond to caps-locked posts, and attempt to reason with the submitter.
3) People seem to have a *very* hard time will troll impersonators. When faced with a troll impersonator, there's always the anti-troll, lets call them, oh, say, starshatters, that simply don't get the obvious joke, and continue to try to reason the quasi-troll out of his foolish, (intentionally) nonsensical beliefs.
4) I don't know Mark Cuban, but he seems like an over-communicative dork to me. He should take notes from Bruce Arena. 5) Coffeenerdness: Okay, I just finished my Triple Half-Caf, Grande Sugar-Free Hazelnut Two Percent Extra White Mocha, Extra Hot, No Whip, No Foam, Extra Drizzle (chocolate please), marble mocha macchiato, and these are my thoughts:
a. I'm out of breath.
b. The Cutter's Point Coffee in Gig Harbor makes one nice cup of coffee. If you're every in Washington (or interestingly, Savannah, GA) hunt one of their stores down. Yum.
c. That House. Love him. I can't wait until they perfect cloning, so that he, Brett Favre, and I can all have a love child. But will it fake a limp?

108
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 1:35am

masocc. you are a retard. i hate you. i want you to die, because you are too stupid to even exist. and the sad part is, you think you're funny which is very disturbing.

second, starshatter what the hell are you talking about?

1999 - Rookie Season, played 0 games
2000 - 3937 and 33 tds.
2001 - 2612 and 14 tds. HE PLAYED ONLY 11 games
2002 - 3853 and 18 tds. also 600 rushing plus 10 rushing tds.
2003 - 3479 and 25 tds.
2004 - 4717 and 38 tds.
2005 - 1564 and 6 tds. played only 7 games.

OVERALL:

average yards : 3300+
average rating: 91.5
average tds : 14
all of this including the fluke last year which brought his tds down.
also 400 yards rushing a season with 4-5 tds.

IS THIS NOT A SUPERSTAR?

109
by David (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 2:41am

yo yang buddy guess what culpepper numbers we seriosly inflated by handy randy moss boss. thats why the richy williams loss was SO KEY. Ryan brown is a decent young running back though he is no cardinal (cadiallac) williams the point is this the miami dolphins will only go 8-8 because the are being overrated by you fools. if ricky was playing ok then we would be talking about a historic season maybe. but daunte coldpepper come on i came name at least 20 better QBS

1 brady
2 peyton manning
3 big ben rothelisberger
4 air mcnair
5 carson palmer
6 trenton green
7 tom brady
8 leftwitch
9 eli manning
10 dirty don mcnabb
11 carson palmer
12 drew brees
13 elvis brooks
14 jeff kitna?(the lions dude)
15 tom brady
16 kurt warner (2 MVPS)
17 brad johnson
18 kyle boller
19 matt hustleback
20 tom brady

a few of those might be debate woothy but you get the point

110
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 5:15am

109 -

Ricky williams, Ronnie Brown, Carnell (Cadillac) Williams, Culpepper, Trent Green, Byron Leftwich, Aaron Brooks, Jon Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck.

Though now that thats said, your list of 20 players better than Culpepper - I'm not buying into Culpepper fever either and I don't think he's going to keep up his Vikings + Randy Moss style of play - those vikings team had excellent O-lines and the best receiver in football, as well as a loose defense that required a lot of scoring to win games.

But to rank Kyle Boller ahead of any QB currently starting in the NFL is just wrong. Though I like that Brady is 4 of the top 20 QBs in the NFL. Even Peyton Manning can't boast that.

111
by Phil (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 11:23am

#110

You haven't read all the posts on this link yet, have you....some of those 'spelling mistakes' were obvious jokes at the expense of Mr. Wang.

112
by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 12:53pm

This is a whole lot of fun, and we're all just trying to fill in time until the serious season comes around, but I do have to raise a red card on the posts that point to Rodney Harrison as the key to the Pats success this year. I grudgingly respect Rodney's game and would love to see him back. But I think the severity of the injury combined with his age mitigates against that. I also think BB is well aware of this and not for a minute is he counting on Rodney to get the team to the playoffs this year. Nor should we fans. So when the reports start looking gloomy about his progress in August, we should all just take a deep breath and let it go. The Pats will make the playoffs, but if Rodney is a key factor I'll lift a glass to him in January.

113
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 2:10pm

i remember the list i made about QBS better then i think steve mcnair. i didnt misspell anyones name as horrible as he did though. kurt warner gets injured, kyle boller sucks. TOM BRADY??? 4 TIMES??

these are the only qbs better than culpepper.

btw havent you ever thought randy moss was good because culpepper threw to him, not the other way around?

last year randy got 1000 yards and 8 tds, with some injuries, thats pretty good, but not what randy moss achieved in minnesota.

ok these are the QBs better than culpepper:

Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
Donovan Mcnabb
Carson Palmer*

*assuming he stays healthy. but he isnt a runner, so hes not that much better than culpepper.

btw i never said ryan brown. i never even mentioned ronnie brown in one of my posts, i think. anyways, ronnie brown got 750 yards while sharing with ricky williams. plus he can catch passes and pass block. he is very good.

114
by thad (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 3:29pm

pat,
you make many good points here, but not even i believe that the cowboys would have trounced the Eagles in 03.
Dallas wasn't that good.

115
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 4:41pm

you make many good points here, but not even i believe that the cowboys would have trounced the Eagles in 03.

You don't have that good of a memory, then. Dallas did beat the Eagles in 2003. They split the series with them.

116
by thad (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 7:50pm

The Cowboys won by two once and got trounced once, losing by 26.
The Eagles outscored them by 98 points over the course of the year.
The cowboys offense was mediocre to bad, scoring fewer than 300 points.
They could have easily lost that game to the Eagles, I think they scored their first td by returning an onsides KO att for a td, how often does that happen?
No, the Cowboys were a very poor 10-6 team.

117
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 8:45pm

No, the Cowboys were a very poor 10-6 team.

Actually, pythagorean wins gives them 9 wins even. So they did overachieve a bit, but not by much.

But, in any case, the previous (ridiculous) statement was that the Eagles could've started as many rookies as they want, and still won the division. That's a clearly false statement, given that they lost to the Cowboys once in 2003, and to the Giants once in 2002.

But why are we talking about this in the AFC East thread?

118
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 9:00pm

ok these are the QBs better than culpepper:

I'd say you're easily missing Hasselbeck, but the biggest name you're missing is easily Trent Green. The guy's been in the top 6 DPAR for the past 4 years. Why does he keep getting forgotten?

119
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 9:14pm

Trent Green is a very good QB, but he had priest holmes, while culpepper had noone.

i left him off that list because culpepper is a better qb. he is also better than hasslebeck because the seahawks line and receievers and running backs are better than the vikings.

120
by masocc (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 9:30pm

Right. And everybody knows that if you have a good supporting cast, you can't *possibly* be a good quarterback. You should take Peyton off your silly list too. But you get extra credit for not homering Vick onto the list.

121
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 10:35pm

while culpepper had noone.

Unless Culpepper caught all of his own passes (now that would be impressive) I'm pretty sure that he did, in fact, have someone.

An example of a great QB with no one would be McNabb, who didn't have a great season until he actually had a receiving threat.

Green was impressive with Holmes, and he was impressive without him, too. Maybe, just maybe, Holmes and Larry Johnson are helped by Green as much as Green is helped by them.

122
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sat, 06/24/2006 - 10:47pm

trent green is not a better qb, his stats are better but hes not better. he cant run.
plus he has a better line a better running back, and better receiving corps.

randy moss is amazing, but who else could culpepper throw to?

trenty had kennison, gonzalez, holmes, johnson, and a better offensive line.

123
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 2:49am

trent green is not a better qb, his stats are better but hes not better. he cant run.

I'm trying to decide whether this was meant as a serious statement or not.

124
by Englishbob (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 7:59am

I love the idea that Randy Moss is only good because Culpepper made him look good. Fantastic. With that said, when I've seen Culpepper play he has impressed generally but does seem prone to sloppy mistakes. Does he remind anyone else of Aaron Brooks in that sense?

125
by Pat (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 12:10pm

I’m trying to decide whether this was meant as a serious statement or not.

Some part of me wants to laugh. The rest just bemoans the human race.

Does he remind anyone else of Aaron Brooks in that sense?

That's a really good comparison. Culpepper tends to take way too long to make throws, but the fantastic offensive line in Minnesota made up for it. Maybe if Brooks got behind a great offensive line, he'd do well, too.

Oh, wait. He's in Oakland now. Never mind.

126
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 12:15pm

culpepper is a better qb than trent green. culpepper can take messed up plays, and turn them into great ones, using his legs. now that wont be the case the first couple of months, but next year, you will see, he will start to run and pass.

whenever trent green runs, he either gets injured or fumbles. unless he slides like a wimp.

127
by AD (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 2:39pm

whenever (Culpepper) runs, he either gets injuried or fumbles.......

Pepper has missed parts of three seasons, with two knee injuries and a broken back. He has the NFL record for fumbles, averaging at least one per game. Most occur when scrambling around.

OSWLEK: Nice points in your thread, I learned a few things.

DRYHEAT: Nice schedule breakdown.

128
by Englishbob (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 2:55pm

Culpepper is a >different

129
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 3:09pm

Trent Green has 53 fumbles on 214 carries, which is about 1 fumble every four carries.

culpepper has 81 fumbles on 454 carries which is 1 fumble for every 6 carries.

see the difference? trent green fumbles more.

130
by Englishbob (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 3:35pm

Sorry email was meant to say that Culpepper is different to Green, not better. Stephen, does your fumble count include fumbles on passing plays? You need to include this.

131
by AD (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 4:46pm

NFL.FUMBLE.RECORD.

132
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 6:25pm

my count does include fumbles on passing plays. and if trent green were to rush as much as culpepper, he would have much more fumbles, so i dont know why you are saying culpepper fumbles a lot. he rushes a lot which is much better. out of his 81 fumbles he has lost only 35. but he rushes for about 400 yards a season with a couple of tds, so i think its worth it.

133
by Tim L (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 6:49pm

You credited Culpepper with 454 and Green with 214 rushes; you left out the sacks. Including sacks, Culpepper has 682 attempts while Green has 436. The ratio of rushing attempts and sacks per fumble is essentially indistinguishable between the two (8.4 for Culpepper, 8.2 for Green).

I think Green is the greatest unrecognized quarterback of the current era.

134
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 7:00pm

Trent is only good because of his offensive line. without it, how good would he be? he would still be pretty good, but not as good as culpepper.

135
by Tim L (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 7:17pm

You can say that about Culpepper, and Brady, and Manning, too.

136
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 8:44pm

RE: 129

Sorry, you just failed basic math.

137
by dryheat (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 8:45pm

Trent Green is a very good QB, but he had priest holmes, while culpepper had noone.

i left him off that list because culpepper is a better qb. he is also better than hasslebeck because the seahawks line and receievers and running backs are better than the vikings.

Well then, Alex Smith is the best QB in the league. He had a supporting cast than Culpepper.

138
by dryheat (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 8:45pm

a worse supporting cast

139
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sun, 06/25/2006 - 9:52pm

first of all sid. no i didnt, you are retarded. what i wrote in 129 is correct. maybe next time you can back it up with some proof.

second, alex smith could very well be the best QB in the nfl but if you put peyton manning in his position, i doubt he would have a great season. not as bad as alex smith, but pretty bad. culpepper puts up around the same numbers as trent green, and trent green has a better offensive line, and a better running attack.

plus culpeppers stats are just as good or better than hasslebeck without the line or shaun alexander.

Culpepper will succeed in Miami. Chris Chambers had a very good season last year with Gus Frerotte throwing to him, now he will have at least 1400 yards and 10 tds, guranteed. as for culpepper, he will probably have around 3700 with 25 tds.

ronnie brown also benefits from this because now the defense has to respect the pass and he should get his 1000 yards and 10 tds.

140
by David (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 8:27am

Dude yang your fumble comparision is completely misguided. green has 214 carries and 53 fumbles. Culpepper has 81 on 454 carries. Only problem is most of greens fumbles didnt come on any of his 214 carries. they came on plays when he dropped back to pass. Same with culpepper, many of his fumbles didnt come on running plays. you would have to account for every time that greeen or culpepper touched the ball for this comparison to make any sense. Of course it still wouldnt be a fair comparison. so pretty much so suck dick

141
by J. Fatpaws (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 10:11am

Stephen Yang in "The Passion of the Culpepper". Are you going to erect a shrine to this guy? He's not even that good. BB and Magina will eat this guy alive. They're going to make him think.. Something he didn't have to do during his best seasons. Daunte run! Duante throw ball deep for Randy! He's in for a very tough season.

142
by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 10:24am

Seriously, your man-crush for Coldpepper is a little bit disturbing and borderline homosexual--not that there's anything wrong with that.

143
by lagfish (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 10:24am

Yang please please please stop defending my team. Go defend Bledsoe or something. Culpep will be fine now that he has a real coaching staff.

144
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 11:27am

I think Green is the greatest unrecognized quarterback of the current era.

I agree, and I can't figure out why. First, the excuse is - oh, he has Priest Holmes. Except he was good before he had Priest Holmes, and after Holmes was injured. The fact that he's always had a top running back on the team, in my opinion, says more about what he can do to force a defense to not stack the box.

Next, it's "he has a great offensive line". Except in terms of pass protection, KC's lines have only been average in 2004, and 2005 (15th and 17th in terms of adjusted sack rate) and Green was still great then.

What's the next excuse?

145
by B (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 12:31pm

I think the reason Green doesn't get the recognition he deserves is because the Cheifs offense relies on running plays in goal-line situations, so his TD numbers arn't very high. Also, because the Chiefs WR corps are remarkabaly mediocre, you don't see a lot of long TD plays, so no highlight reels for Green.

146
by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 12:38pm

You guys are really being ridiculous in criticizing Culpepper. Obviously Yang isn't even trying to do a particularly great job with it, but it's absurd to claim Culpepper doesn't have a tremendous amount of talent.
1) There is no reason to harp so much about supporting cast. You can only speak generally about good or bad help from receiving corps, protection, and running game. Minnesota has had a generally excellent offensive line, a mediocre running attack, and an average receiving corps (in the year 2000 he had a fantastic Carter/Moss pair, but Carter declined in 2001 and was gone, and the Vikes never really had a replacement at TE or WR). Every great quarterback (Manning, Montana, has had good players. It is impossible to say to what degree the WR makes the QB, and vice versa. Another concern which was only briefly brought up is coaching; while for the beginning few years he had Denny Green and Linehan, for the last two he was stuck with potentially the worst coach in history, Mike Tice. Be serious, there is no way you can attribute all of Culpepper's success to Moss.
2) Culpepper has been very, very good. The most intelligent way to look at his career is that 2000 and 2005 are flukes, and we saw his "real" player development in 2001-4. His unofficial rookie season he had the best WR tandem in the league and a very good RB (Smith) with an excellent offensive coach. After they inexplicably fired Denny Green for Mike Tice, (a fact that I relentlessly mock my Vikings fan friend about) he declined through 2001-2. Carter retired, their running game became dependent upon scrubs, and Culpepper became one of the top 5 QBs in the league through 2003-4. He also controlled his fumble problem (Yang also rightly points out that relatively few of those are lost, though I don't know why that is).
3) While Yang didn't do a great job of it, he's right to point out that Culpepper rushes for 400+ yards and 5 TDs every year, which adds considerably to his value.

Here's some food for thought: Donovan McNabb is generally worshipped, but has only in one season completed as high a percentage of his passes as Culp has in every year of his career. That year was 2004, when TO was on the team. His career yards, yards per attempt, touchdowns, quarterback rating, rushing touchdowns are all inferior to Culpepper's. He even rushes for fewer yards, if you consider that McNabb has an extra season on him. (Even with that extra season, they've started about the same number of games, to those who criticized his injury-proneness).

Even if you don't think McNabb is worse than Culpepper (which I'm not sure even I do, he clearly has much better intangibles than Culp and an inferior cast) why the belief that he can't succeed with the Dolphins? Comparing him to Brooks is just terrible.

147
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 1:15pm

(Even with that extra season, they’ve started about the same number of games, to those who criticized his injury-proneness).

Number of games started: McNabb: 88. Culpepper: 80. McNabb's "extra season" was 6 starting games. (One of McNabb's missed games was not due to injury.)

While I agree that Culpepper isn't significantly more injury prone than McNabb, he has missed more games than McNabb has. McNabb's started a full half-season more than Culpepper has, and he didn't have a full half-season start on Culpepper.

148
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 1:16pm

(Yang also rightly points out that relatively few of those are lost, though I don’t know why that is).

It's luck. Fumble recoveries are random. It's not a skill.

149
by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 1:24pm

I don't know, that's pretty substantial luck... I'm inclined to think he fumbles out of bounds a lot or something. While I wouldn't call it a "skill," it's more like a "tendency" to fumble it in a way that the other team doesn't get much chance. Then again I haven't exactly analyzed the game tape on it. Regardless I don't think having the fumble record really counts as a bonus to his value.
And yeah, 80 and 88 are definitely "about" the same. They've each missed 7 games from their seasons and had crippling injuries last year... that it's a wash is my point.

150
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 2:11pm

And yeah, 80 and 88 are definitely “about� the same.

Er... wa? 88 is a full half-season more. I think in your comment you meant to say "Excluding the extra season, they've started about the same number of games." 82 vs 80 is close enough.

151
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 4:28pm

Do the 80 and 88 games started including playoff games? Or regular season games only?

152
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 4:35pm

I don’t know, that’s pretty substantial luck...

Huh? No it's not. You lose fumbles about 50% of the time. Culpepper lost 35 out of 81. That'll happen like 10-20% of the time. It's not substantial at all. It's just luck.

153
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 4:35pm

Regular season only.

154
by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 5:23pm

Regular season... playoff games aren't relevant to what we're discussing. And yes, Pat, I didn't express that well, but you got it.

155
by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 5:42pm

Hey I'm curious where you got that 50% stat. I just spent a couple minutes searching but couldn't find total fumble numbers.
I actually think that you might be selling yourself short, based on what I did find... it seems to me that the figure is more like 2/3 for quarterback fumbles, so I could be much wronger than I anticipated.

156
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 06/26/2006 - 7:28pm

Hey I’m curious where you got that 50% stat. I just spent a couple minutes searching but couldn’t find total fumble numbers.

See here. It's actually about 53% for all fumbles, but for sacks (which I'd guess most of Culpepper's are) it's 50%. There's probably a few aborted snaps in there too (which are 3/4 recovered by the offense) but assuming it's 50% is probably pretty safe. I don't think many of Culpepper's fumbles are aborted snaps.

In any case, the difference between 50% and 53% is really small. Culpepper's rate of recovering fumbles really isn't significantly above the norm, especially given the sample size.

157
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 1:14am

you know what i dont understand. ive been arguing the same exact thing as he did, and he was taken seriously. now why is that?

i can be arguing the peyton manning is a good qb and people will still mock me. and i can tell you now, that i know more about football, than everyone here. (except of course, the writer of this article).

now what ive been debating is that culpepper is a better qb than trent green.

trent green is entering his 13th year, and has only 5000 yards more than culpepper. while daunte culpepper is entering his 8th. trent green is going to retire in a few years, and daunte culpepper can catch up to him in a season and a half.

now i know you guys are going to say, well if trent green started as early as culpepper did, then he would have even more yards than culpepper. but trent green might not have been so good if he didnt learn from the sidelines all those years, while culpepper was on the sidelines for only a year. daunte culpepper can run, pass, and turn miami into a playoff contender. he has the talent around him. he will do it.

158
by EnglishBob (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 6:57am

Stephen, Peter is getting Kudos for putting forward a coherent argument as to why Culpepper is a good QB, something we can read and give due merit to. He is not just ranting; if you back up your arguments as coherently as Peter has and avoid bald faced statements than you’ll get treated in a similar manner.

I think there is a risk of us being “Yanged�- by this I mean you make such a bad case of arguing your point that even where it may have some merit, people are immediately inclined to take up the counter position. The way you have been writing I would bet that if you argued that Joe Montana is a better QB than Ryan Leaf a lot of us would be “yanged� and immediately start arguing “no he isn’t� on principle. As a result Peter, I think some people are under-estimating Culpepper’s talent because they’ve been “yanged�.

Here is my argument for Culpepper being comparable to Brooks. IMHO they both have talent (great talent in Culpepper’s case) but both are sloppy in their play whilst equally capable of outstanding plays. They both seem to struggle to concentrate during a game and neither seems to be a particularly good leader, something important for their position (I think we can agree so far?).

They also luckily enough began starting in the same year, 2000. Statistically Culpepper has a far high completion percentage at 64.4% vs Brooks at 56.4% and his YPA is well ahead- I think this reflects the team around him but accept he is a better player than Brooks.

Culpepper since 2000:

Games 80
Att 2607
Comp 1678
Pct 64.4%
Yards 20162
YPA 7.7
TD 135
Int 86
20+ 258
40+ 57
Runs 454
Yards 2476
Avg 5.5
TD 29
Fumbles 81
Lost/ pct 36/44%
Sacks/ Loss 228/1214
Total plays 3289

Fumbles per play is 2.5% although this ignores fumbles that may have occurred on hand-offs to the RB. Culpepper is sacked on 6.9% of his plays (this includes running plays, which make up 13.8% of his plays)

Brooks since 2000:

Games 82
Att 2771
Comp 1563
Pct 56.4%
Yards 19156
YPA 6.9
TD 120
Int 84
20+ 253
40+ 45
Runs 340
Yards 1410
Avg 4.1
TD 13
Fumbles 59
Lost/ pct 23/39%
Sacks/ Loss 209/1280
Total plays 3320

I would argue that these stats are pretty close, Culpepper has better completion and YPA which suggests he is the better player, I won’t dispute that and I would take Culpepper ahead of Brooks but I still think they are similar players to each-other. I was going to say Brooks is under-rated and Culpepper over-rated, but comments on this website suggests that is a harsh judgement on Culpepper. As always these stats only show us how the players compare in the context of playing for the teams they are with, no one would argue that over the last six years New Orleans has been a better team than KC, so maybe Brooks numbers are deflated by this?

For completeness I’ve put Green since 2000 (when he left the Rams), a very different type of player.

Green since 2000:

Games 85
Att 2819
Comp 1744
Pct 61.9%
Yards 22180
YPA 7.9
TD 127
Int 81
20+ 291
40+ 60
Runs 172
Yards 702
Avg 4.1
TD 4
Fumbles 39
Lost/ pct 15/38%
Sacks/ Loss 173/1045
Total plays 3164

This means Green turns the ball over a lot less both through the air and via fumbles (per play) than the other two. He throws for more yds per attempt and has only a marginally lower completion rate than Culpepper- Of course you can't compare the stats directly as they are surrounded by differing players and played different offences, DPAR helps a little here but with the same caveates (see below). I think you can make a strong case for Green being the better QB of the three.

I have listed DPAR and rank over the last six years below. Other than 2001 & 2004, Culpepper and Brooks are pretty similar. Green scores better.

Green DPAR and rank
2005 91.1 & 3
2004 102.9 & 5
2003 97.1 & 2
2002 74.8 & 6
2001 4.5 & 27
2000 59.7 & 9

Brooks DPAR and rank
2005 23.2 & 22
2004 23.2 & 19
2003 57.1 & 6
2002 60.4 & 10
2001 7.6 & 20
2000 8.6 & 26

Culpepper DPAR and rank
2005 -6.9 & 36
2004 136.4 & 2
2003 62 & 5
2002 20.9 & 24
2001 21.1 & 17
2000 89.5 & 3

159
by masocc (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 9:11am

EnglishBob, I hate you. Now I have to explain to everyone what the new word I've introduced into my vernacular means!

160
by Jesus (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 9:31am

Miami will not be a contender.

Culpepper is going to face more challenging defenses in the AFC, the new conference will be very hard on him, & Dolphins win 6 games (if they're lucky).

161
by Peter (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 10:38am

It's actually sort of amusing how similar Green's stats look to both of the other QBs, despite playing very different games. Personally I dislike declaring players "better" or "worse" unless it's extremely clear-cut (Brady v. Griese or something). Players have different skills, and it's important to use them in a way that will bring out those skills (Vick doesn't need to be west coast, he should be running and throwing the ball far, as David Lewin wrote on this site). It's sort of the curse of Madden that we feel like every player has an OVR rating that we can point at and know how good they are.

I think it's clear that someone like Green has demonstrated more leadership and intangibles than Culpepper, and also much more ball security (intelligence). It's equally clear that he has nowhere near the talent Culpepper does; he manages games for one of the best running attacks in the league and has the best security blanket in the league (Tony G). He also does not contribute by running the ball the way Culpepper does. On the other hand, if I were forming my team there's no way I would ever choose Culpepper's inconsistency over a 90+ QB rating every season, great supporting cast or no.

I might also bring up, though, that Green had SEVEN years in the NFL (including one full starting season) before the year 2000, whereas that's Culpepper's 2nd year (and first starting). I should hope he would have a better understanding of the game by then. Obviously this argument won't really be finished for a few more years, and I have a feeling that this season will quickly establish whether you're right, and Culpepper collapses into Brooks-like stats, or I am, and he shows promise and eventually develops back into a phenom.

Brooks and Culpepper are rather similar, you're right... in the sense that they're both rather-mobile (Vick and maybe VY sort of redefine what a rushing QB is) quarterbacks with relatively low football IQ. That said, at no time has Brooks even approached Culpepper's peak, nor has he consistently run or completed passes as well. Sure, they're similar in style and tendency, but only in the way Eli and Peyton are (although obviously there's a dramatically bigger gap with the Mannings).

Oh, on the fumble thing, note that only 3/8 of running plays result in a fumble... I think a very good portion of Culp's fumbles come on "sacks" where he's attempting to run; my thought is that he might actually collect fewer fumbles than he should. Probably a pointless discussion though, I think it's been established he's not far from average.

To return to why this topic existed: I don't think the Dolphins will win very many games this year; the defense continues to age, Ronnie's not that great yet (I'm a huge Ricky fan) and Culpepper... I mean, tearing all 3 ligaments is bad. It's possible he won't be ready to play for real this year. The Jets suck, and the Bills have ensured that their team will suck for even longer than the Jets will. Pats take it easily.

162
by AD (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 11:40am

I think Pats fans are underestimating the impact of Culpepper to a degree BECAUSE Miami fans are going crazy with joy and making lots of claims about beating us down. Maybe not at this website, but big time at some sites. Also, the media wants a changing of the gaurd.

Culpepper will help the Fins win some games and will probably have a decent year or two before the league totally catches up with his new format. But he is not singlehandedly going to take down the Pats just yet, and the whole 'Death of the Dynasty' stuff is really premature. The Pats have the easiest schedule they have had ever in Brady's time at the helm. Not as easy as the Colts, but Brady is used to playing the toughest schedules, and this year should be a real change of pace for the Pats.

Maybe Brady will have some talent surrounding him on offense, which was only true in 2004, with a healthy Dillon. That was a pretty good year for the Pats....

163
by Englishbob (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 1:44pm

Apologies to Massoc!
Peter, in #130 I say Culpepper is different not better than Green; and vice versa. I agree they are difficult to compare and also agree with your comments on football brains and talent regarding the two. You are also right that after 7 seasons Green should have gotten better so it is not a fair comp on that basis, Culpepper can get better, Green probably not. I also agree completely that Culpepper is better than Brooks, I mean they are similar in style and approach not skill set (though I don't think the gap is enormous). With that said in 2003 they ranked pretty closely, 5th and 6th on DPAR.
Stats can only be backwards looking, using them to forecast (extrapolate) is useful but should be treated with caution, so I am not trying to forecast a collapse for Culpepper. I actually think he'll do well if fit and focused in Miami.

164
by JJ (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 1:48pm

Miami fans always go 'crazy'. I remember when Ricky first retired and there were fish fans in the streets partying. At the time they didn't know why. They just figured maybe this would be the change that put them over the top.

I just think that Dolphins fans need to get some excitement out of the season. They know they're going to suck with or without Culpepper, but having Culpepper now gives them something to get excited about.

165
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 2:59pm

I don't think the Dolphins are going to suck this year. If Culpepper recovers from his injury they're good enough to be the #2 in the AFC East. With luck and injuries on thier side, they could even win the division.
As for Green vs Culpepper, Green has been the more valueable QB over the last few years, but he's near the end of his lifespan, so I wouldn't be at all suprised if Culpepper has the better season.

166
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 3:52pm

Green has been the more valueable QB over the last few years, but he’s near the end of his lifespan, so I wouldn’t be at all suprised if Culpepper has the better season.

See, this is the big thing for me: while I don't think the Dolphins are going to be fantastic this year, the one big improvement that Culpepper brings is that he's got definite skills, and probably about half his career left. If Culpepper recovers - and honestly, even if it takes a year, I think he will eventually - Miami's set themselves up to have the foundation of a really good team.

It might take a year, though. Quarterbacks often struggle the first year after they switch teams.

Hey, that's a good research topic for someone, especially given the abnormally high number of starting-quality quarterbacks swapping around this year.

167
by Mike V (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 4:14pm

161 brings up a hugely important point we've been ignoring. Whatever you think of Culpepper (I do happen to think he was great, and that having Randy Moss contributed, but wasn't the sole reason for, his greatness). But tearing three ligaments? Ten years ago, he'd be finished with that kind of an injury.

Look at Willis McGahee - he tore three ligaments, was drafted by the Bills, spent a year on the sidelines, a year where he took over for Travis Henry halfway through and showed flashes of brilliance, then was mediocre last year. Bills fans are still waiting to see the McGahee that ran so well in college.

Culpepper will be limping around the field this year if he plays at all. If he ever returns to top form, it'll be 2008 before we see that. But if he does, the Dolphins will be great.

As for Trent Green, I agree he's underrated - his stats are always good, he always wins games, and people just don't think of him when you're talking about good QBs. (people also don't think of him on fantasy draft day, which is nice)

And Ricky Williams? He should stay up north - the Dolphins are better off without him. He's a distraction. Let Ronnie Brown be an every-down back, and I think he'll do fine.

Again, it's the Patriots' division to lose. The Dolphins and Jets are dealing with QBs coming back from injury, and the Bills are dealing with QBs who aren't very good at the game of football. Advantage: Patriots. No one's running game or defense is significantly better than the Pats (especially if Maroney works out well), so who's going to catch them?

And I'm not saying this because I'm a Patriots fan - I'd love to see someone knock them off their perch. But that someone will come from the AFC North or West.

168
by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 10:40pm

RE: 139

I have to admit, it's funny to be called "retarded" by someone who can't spell or add.
I'm honored. Thanks.

169
by David Ferrier (not verified) :: Tue, 06/27/2006 - 10:44pm

Re: 149 culpeppers fumble recovering ability

I gathered a bit of stats on QBs fumbling and I thoughtn I'd share them with you folks. I included rushing attempts per game so we could see who was more likely to fumble all things being equal. I also included a simple fumbles-per-game-started column. I also included a "personal recovery rate" which just means how oftne they recovered their own fumble themseles as opposed to another team member.
Daunte Culpepper fumbles about once per game which is standard for a QB who rushes 5 or 6 times a game. His team recovers their own fumbles about 56% of the time which is perfectly normal for most quarterbacks. Rushing QBs generally lose more fumbles. The Falcons for example recover only 46% of Michael Vick's fumbles. Jake Delhomme and Kerry Collins are 2 QBs who fumble often considering they ony rush about twice per game on average. A fellow who rarely fumbles the ball is Peyton Manning, partly because he seldom rushes. One QB who sems to stand out as far as fumbles go is Doug Flutie. While most QBs end up losing 35-48% of their fumbles, Flutie managed to lose only 5%.
here is an excel file of the stats I put together.
http://ez-files.net/download.php?file=f5c0606a

170
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 1:46am

daunte culpepper is so much better than brooks. its not even funny anymore. why are people comparing them? they should be comparing culpepper to either

a) Donovan Mcnabb (who is worse than culpepper)

b) Trent Green (who is about the same as culpepper.

aaron brooks is horrible compared to culpepper. he has never had a rating higher than 90.0, he has never had a completion percentage rate higher than 60 percent.

he had two seasons with decent yardage (3832, 3810 ) but he had 22 and 16 interceptions so he was probably just throwing it deep over and over again.

aaron brooks is even a worser rusher, averaging only around 250 yards a season with 2 tds.

culpepper is WAAAAY better than Aaron Brooks. but in all fairness to brooks, i mean WHOS HE GOING TO THROW TO IN NEW ORELANS?? i think he will do MUCH better in oakland with randy moss and jerry porter, and his legs should give him time to find the open receiver.

next, daunte culpepper is already passing and jogging so he wont be slowed down that much during the season. next season he should probably be rushing as much as he has in the past (unless of course there is another injury.)

171
by t.d. (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 9:13am

The QB who seems most similar to Trent Green to me was Rich Gannon. Good quarterback in a system that optimizes his intelligence. Culpepper seems like a mobile Bledsoe: loaded with talent, and not somebody I'd ever want on my team.

172
by Peter (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 9:54am

171: Sounds about right to me.

167: Yeah basically, we would start seeing "good" Daunte next season at best, there's no competition for the Pats this year.

Way off base on Ricky though, he's an incredible running back and an asset for any team. The only reason he's a distraction is that the NFL makes him one. I suspect Dolphins fans no longer have any affection for him thanks to what he has inadvertently done the last few years, but were there no marijuana tests, any franchise should want him.

173
by Phil (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 10:29am

#170

Wow. Just, Wow.

Where does one begin with that post?

174
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 11:49am

Where does one begin with that post?

I know! It's... almost scary.

i mean WHOS HE GOING TO THROW TO IN NEW ORELANS??

I recommend this guy. You may have heard of him - second ranked WR in DPAR last year.

175
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 11:49am

second ranked WR in DPAR last year.

Two years ago. Not last year. Two years ago. Typo.

176
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 12:09pm

Hey...leave off Stephen Yang. Don't you know that his name is close to Steve Young, and therefore knows more about football than anybody else here? If you've forgotten, you can reference post #157.

177
by Phil (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 12:13pm

except of course, the writer(s) of this article

178
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 12:19pm

my name is an alias. obviously. and i do know more about football than anyone here. (since the writer isnt talking anymore)

i dont understand, i have provided opinions and evidence and stuff that makes you think, and no one wants to argue it. i do agree that trent green is similar to rich gannon, but i think that kurt warner is also similar. they have the same throwing style, were amazing QBS for a few years, got their teams to the superbowl, i think they are similar.

now daunte culpepper is a good qb, and he is better than trent green. why is trent green considered like some kind of god?

if you put daunte culpepper in trent green's position with tthe chiefs, and trent green in daunte culpepper's position with the vikings, i think that daunte culpepper would get more yards and better rating andd more tds and everything else, better than trent green. i can gurantee you that. unfortunately, we'll never find that out because trent green is going to retire in a few years, and in a few years or so, daunte culpepper will easily pass him in yardage, making him the better qb.

now ive said this before and i'll say it again.

people might say that "well if trent green started as early in his career as culpepper did, he would have much more yards"

and i would say that this is not true, because maybe the reason trent green is so good is because he had a lot of time to develop, as culpepper had a year.

179
by EnglishBob (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 12:32pm

Yang,
The entire point of the football outsiders website is so we can avoid analysis such as player A got more yds than player B so he must be better. Culpepper may well get more yards at KC than Green (we'll never be able to prove it, despite your guarantees) but he would also likely turn the ball over more and possibly not get as many wins for KC as Green has.
I wasn't going to bother to respond out of depsondancy and to avoid being "yanged", but ho hum.

180
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 12:46pm

Ah, cause and effect, the flow of the Universe.

You see, statements like these:

and i do know more about football than anyone here.

lead to effects like these:

i dont understand, i have provided opinions and evidence and stuff that makes you think, and no one wants to argue it.

181
by Jesus (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 2:31pm

I know who Culpepper should be compared to !

-Quincy Carter! Put Quincy Carter on the Vikings for the last 5 years and I say they win just as many Superbowls!

182
by Peter (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 3:05pm

Jesus Christ, I haven't even thought about Quincy Carter in years. Why would you make me remember him?

Stephen, one of Daunte's greatest attributes is how powerful his arm is; that doesn't mesh very well with KC's crappy, mostly slow receivers. Tony G is the most important target, and he's a TE. I don't believe he would succeed as well as Trent Green at KC. That said, I don't think anyone, ever, has said that Trent Green is more than an above average QB with an excellent supporting cast. If anything, hate on McNabb.

As for Brooks, I think that case is pretty much closed.

183
by Englishbob (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 5:40pm

The point on Brooks isn't that he is better of even as good as Culpepper, it was that he is a similar player to Culpepper. See post 158 for that. Also Green has been ranked by DPAR as a top five QB for three years running, and sixth in 2002. This is obviously with a good line and a great TE and running game, but it would suggest that in the last few years he has been a good QB.

184
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 06/28/2006 - 5:52pm

I just want to point out that in his time in Minn, Culpepper benefited from a great O-line & primary receiver just as much as Green has in KC.

185
by thad (not verified) :: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 12:41am

pat,
your posts were very funny.

186
by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 11:21am

Ok, it's been a while, but I'm a sucker for the classics.

Trent Green is clearly ranked too high because I know more about football than anyone else here. Total passing/rushing yards is way better than this. GREEN SUXX HE CANT RUN AND ONLY PASSES BECAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE IS GOOD CALLPEPPER HAD NOBDY ELSE ON THE VIKINGS HED THROW 50 TDS WITH PRIEST HOLMES YOU JERSK DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT FUTBOL

I admit, the last part is a bit weak. It's the offseason - I'm not in game shape yet.

187
by Mike V (not verified) :: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 4:58pm

172 - I agree that suspending someone for a year for pot is pretty ridiculous. Somebody recently made the point that, while performance-enhancing drugs should be banned, we should allow performance-inhibiting drugs. If you can rush for 100 yards while stoned to high heaven, more power to you, I say.

However, I think Ricky's a distraction for other reasons, not the least of which is quitting football just before the season started and leaving the Dolphins high and dry. Now, I'm a lifelong Bills fan, so anything bad that happens to the Dolphins makes me smile at least a little, but I still thought Ricky was a dick for jumping ship on them the way he did.

I also think, as much talent as he possesses, he may be more trouble than he's worth. Why else would the Saints have been so happy to get rid of him? I don't think Deuce McAllister nessesarily has the raw talent Ricky does, but compare their 3 years each as the Saints' featured back (I don't count last year for Deuce since he was hurt for most of it) McA managed 4.3 yards per carry over that span; Ricky had 3.8. Ricky scored 16 TDs, Deuce had 30. Ricky's receiving numbers are a bit higher.

Still, the Saints dumped Ricky in favor of Deuce and were a better team for it. I think the Dolphins dumping the Ricky/Ronnie committee in favor of just Ronnie Brown isn't going to hurt them any.

188
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 5:22pm

172 - I agree that suspending someone for a year for pot is pretty ridiculous.

Ricky wasn't suspended this last year for pot. The rumors were methamphetamines, but they were never anything more than rumors.

189
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Thu, 06/29/2006 - 11:48pm

ok everyone, i just have a few things to say.

last season, miami missed the playoffs by one game.

this season, they have daunte culpepper instead of gus frerrotte.

next, their schedule is quite easy.

@steelers
bills
titans
@texans
@patriots
@jets
packers
@bears
chiefs
vikings
@lions
jaguars
patriots
@bills
jets
@colts

now here they have 16 games. some wins are obvious and some losses are obvious.

now the dolphins are going to beat the bills twice, jets twice, packers, texans,

that is 6 guranteed wins right there.

they play the steelers in the steelers home, so i will say thats a loss. when they play in foxboro, another loss, when they play the pats at home, that could also be a loss.

so their score right now is 6-3. they will probably beat the lions, 7-3, they might lose to the jaguars, unless they are already in the playoffs and rest their starters, but its in miami so im counting that as a win, 8-3, when they host the chiefs and vikings, they might lose to one of them so thats 9-4, when they play the bears in chicago, they will probably lose, 9-6, and when they play the colts at home in week 17, chances are the colts will gurantee home field advantage and rest peyton so thats a win.

so their schedule is 10-6, with a loss to the patriots at home and a loss to the chiefs/vikings at home.

10-6 will get them into the playoffs.

190
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 1:16am

Re Yang-ster, 189,

That's all fascinating and all, but the Jets looked pretty good before they started playing football last year too, and previously they actually were a playoff team. Espn ranked them 9th FWIW.

But that goes for any team.

With Miami there are some other questions too. Not the least of which is how Culpepper will adapt (new team, new injury).

As far as the Jaguars go, it's pretty improbable that they'll have the playoff seeding wrapped up with 5 weeks of football left to play.

191
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 1:28am

Not the least of which is how Culpepper will adapt (new team, new injury).

The "new team" thing could be a big deal - just from a brief glimpse (not enough statistics anyway) it looks like about half the quarterbacks that switch teams midway through their career struggle the first year - like Trent Green, Mark Brunell, Kerry Collins. The other half pick up right where they left off - Drew Bledsoe, Jake Plummer.

Given the number of starting-quality QBs switching teams this year, could be interesting to see who struggles and who doesn't.

But it's definitely not a guarantee that Culpepper won't struggle his first year.

192
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 2:03am

the jaguars lost jimmy smith. thats huge. i dont think they'll be as good this year as they were last year.

as for the jets, curtis martin is 2 years older and coming off an injury, their offensive line is better but their qb situation is meh. their wide receivers are nothing special and they lost ty law, john abraham, wayne cherbet.

the one thing i see being good for the jets this year is their offensive line.

as for culpepper, he has better weapons in miami, and overall a better team.

he might struggle this year, but next year, daunte and ricky...OUCH!!!

193
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 5:57am

Yang-ster,

So wait.... The Jaguars were going to lose to Miami cause they were going to have the #1 seed locked up in week 12 or so, and rest their starters. And now Miami is just going to flat out beat them down, despite what was a pretty heinous Jaguars defense? What happened between 12:16am and 1:03am?

Better hope conversion project, and part-time circus freak, Matt Jones stopped making progress at his position. Between Maurice Drew and the ever refurbished Fred Taylor there might be something of an intimidating ground game. Will Fred Taylor be in the game or on the sidelines in Miami? Who knows? Will Daunte?

The point about the Jets is they were ranked 9th pre-2005 and looked like as close to a lock for a wild card berth as there is, and now people have to seriously debate whether they're in the same class as a Niners team that put forth one of the most anemic seasons ever. Miami's ranked 8th pre-2006. They've got Daunte on his new, somewhat unfamiliar, knee, age on defense, and a couple of young guys who look like they're ready to breakout. That last one, 31 other teams got that too. Even the Niners. So yeah. Who knows how the season will unfold. 2005 started with the Seahawks having one of the hardest schedules includings a practically unwinnable game in Philly on Monday night. (IIRC) They ended with having the 2nd easiest schedule after having put up 80 unanswered points in 8 quarters of MNF in Philly.

What I take away from this is that people rely on impressions of the past to predict a future that is always changing and necessarily fail. FO tries to measure the obscured reality to exert some semblance of control over that inescapable failure.

194
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 8:48am

but the jaguars game is in miami.

and the seahawks are going to destroy the eagles.

last year. correct me if im wrong, the seahawks beat the eagles 35-0?

and the seahawks have an easy schedule this year.

@lions
cardinals
giants
@bears
@rams
vikings
@chiefs
raiders
rams
@49ers
packers
@broncos
@cardinals
49ers
chargers
@buccanneers

their schedule is extremely easy for the superbowl runner up.

two games against SF, two games against AZ, two games against the rams.

thats 6-0.

packers, lions, vikings, raiders, another 4 wins

10-0

chargers in their seahawks field, 11-0, a game at kansas city, 12-0

against the bears in chicago, i'll give it to the bears, and that bronco game in invesco field, the broncos will win that one. 12-2

playing the giants in seahawks field, you can even give that to the giants.

and week 17 against the buccanneers who might have the division locked up, you can still give it to the bucs.

12-4, division winner.

195
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 4:38pm

When the Vikings line fell apart last year, Dante turned into a turnover machine. If Miami can give him decent protection, he should do good. However, Miami's aging defense and other problems indicate to me that they're not yet ready to overtake the Patriots. They do have a good shot at a wildcard, but it's anything but a guarantee.
As for the seachickens, let's wait till the next NFC West thread to discuss them.

196
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 4:55pm

as for culpepper, he has better weapons in miami, and overall a better team.

Huh? Miami's receiving corps seems pretty similar to Minnesota's from last year. In fact, according to DVOA/DPAR, Minnesota's was better.

When the Vikings line fell apart last year, Dante turned into a turnover machine. If Miami can give him decent protection, he should do good

That I'll agree with. Miami's offensive line was really good last year in terms of pass protection.

Then again, Collins went from a good offensive line team to a good offensive line team, and he struggled. Green I can't check. Brunell went from good offensive line team to a good offensive line team, and he also still struggled.

Plummer went from a moderately bad (20th) to a good (11th) protecting team, and succeeded right away. That might be a good analog. But I still think that QBs that switch teams struggle in their first year more often than not - so Culpepper could have a difficult time.

he might struggle this year, but next year, daunte and ricky…OUCH!!!

Wait, but if he struggles this year, how will the Dolphins be a 10-6 team?

197
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 06/30/2006 - 5:17pm

Why to people keep listing Ricky as an elite back? The last time he had a great year was 2002, and he carried the ball 380+ times that year and in 2003 as well. After a year off, and now under a coach who's not trying to run him into the ground, he had good success in a limited role (14 carries per game, 4.4 yard average). If he ever returns from up North, I expect he'll do well at that role for a few more years, but he's by no means a game-changing back.

198
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sat, 07/01/2006 - 8:21pm

ricky williams and ronnie brown, is betteer than ronnie brown. its as simple as that. if the dolphins have ricky williams along with culpepper, defenses are going to have to respect the run and the pass.

and i want to know the same about culpepper. when did culpepper go from an elite qb to a hoorible qb, just because he had one bad season, doesnt mean anything. he is still good.

199
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sat, 07/01/2006 - 8:25pm

oh and chris chambers had 82 receptions for 1118 yards, and 11 tds, by far the best season he has ever had. with frerotte throwing to him.

and now culpepper is going to be throwing to him.

200
by Pat (not verified) :: Sat, 07/01/2006 - 10:58pm

oh and chris chambers had 82 receptions for 1118 yards, and 11 tds, by far the best season he has ever had.

You're wrong. Chambers had 166 passes thrown his way, and only managed 1118 yards. That's only 6.73 yards/attempt, or 13.6 yards/reception, and a DPAR of 3.9, and a 13% TD/reception percentage.

Chambers in 2001 had 22.9 DPAR: 883 yards on 90 passes, or 883 yards on 48 catches, or 9.8 yards/attempt, 18.4 yards/reception, with 8 TDs, or a 16% TD/reception percentage.

Chambers in 2001 was significantly better than in 2005. It's just that in 2005 he got thrown at more - still, he did less with those extra passes than he did in 2001 with fewer.

Put another way, if you imagine that for the first 90 passes thrown Chambers' way, if he had performed like he did for the first 90 passes of 2001, he would've had to have sucked pretty freaking bad to get to the levels of 2005 - he would've had to have gained 235 yards on 34 receptions out of 76 passes, and only 3 TDs. That's pretty freaking bad.

201
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Sun, 07/02/2006 - 11:20pm

look pat. lets look at this logically.

i think the dolphins are going to make the playoffs, and you think otherwise.

there is now way for us to prove that the dolphins are going to or not going to make the playoffs.

so i propose this.

we should make a fantasy football league with a few other people and compete against each other. this way, it will test our football knowledge, and it will allow us to keep in touch throughout the season, and once january finally comes, who ever is right will be able to brag.

if you're that confident the dolphins are going to miss the playoffs, then you should have no problem accepting this challenge.

202
by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 10:06am

OH DAG.
THE GAUNTLET HAS BEEN THROWN DOWN.

Side note: I don't know if this can possibly be accounted for in the DVOA, but Chambers was thrown to an absurd amount of times because he was the only threat; he was double teamed most of the time, there's no way he can catch them all.

203
by B (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 10:22am

You want to make a fantasy football league? And you think Chambers is a star player? Can I join this league, too?

204
by Jaws (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 10:37am

Culpepper is going to be in a whole new world when he comes to the AFC.

The AFC East is brutal. I think all of the teams in the AFC East are better than their records show, mainly because they beat each other up all year.

There is no gaurantee that the Dolphins are going to sweep the Bills and the Jets. The Jets defense and the Bills defense are going to be tougher than most of the defenses Culpepper ever faced in a very weak conference.

And who is Culpepper going to throw to?

205
by B (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 11:00am

Chambers was thrown to a lot last year, 166 passes. By comparision, Steve Smith only had 150 passes thrown his way. Of course, Smith managed to get 400 more yards.

206
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 12:22pm

culpepper is going to throw to chambers, booker, mcmichael, and ronnie brown out of the pocket.

also, even if chambers got thrown to 166 times, thats with frerotte throwing, so how do we know that those passes werent overthrown, or underthrown, or intercepted? sure he probably dropped a few balls, or missed some that he shouldve caught, but doesnt everyone do that?

and steve smith had jake delhomme throwing to him, and delhomme is a pretty good qb.

NOW WHOEVER WANTS TO JOIN THIS FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE:

WE MUST ORGANIZE ON THIS THREAD.

IF YOU LIKE TO JOIN, THEN ADD YOUR NAME TO THE LIST, AS YOU POST SOMETHING.I WANT TO USE FOX FANTASY SPORTS IF THATS ALL RIGHT WITH EVERYONE.

1.Stephen Yang

207
by B (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 12:47pm

Let's not hijack this thread into a discussion of setting up a fantasy football league.
I don't have the data in front of me, but I did have the oppurutunity to chart a game or two of Miami's last season, both games where they played NE, so maybe that's not a good comparison. From my recollection, there were a number of passes that Chambers dropped when he should have caught them, more than you would expect from an elite receiver.

208
by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 3:01pm

I don't know if anyone would use the word "elite" for Chambers. He's pretty good though, maybe around 15th.

209
by B (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 4:06pm

By DPAR, Chambers has never been ranked as high as 15th, but then he's always been saddled with lousy QBs. It's unrealistic to expect Culpepper/Chambers to be as effective a combination as Culpepper/Moss was.

210
by Mr Garcia (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 4:14pm

The Dolphins are going to be in a heated battle this year...

battling with the Bills and Jets to stay out of last place!

211
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Mon, 07/03/2006 - 8:45pm

i think the dolphins are a lock to get in second place. maybe even first, who knows? randy moss is much better than chambers but i expect him to put up career highs.

and if no one wants to start a fantasy football league with the FO posters then FINE! i already have 5 teams in fox which is the limit and im doing flea flicker as well.

the jets are going to get last place in the division, i think. and not only do i think that, but the guy who wrote an article aslo thinks that.

check it out:
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9532593

i do not agree fully with this man, i think the 49ers are going to finish last with the jets, texans, titans, all floating around there, possible the bills.

212
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 07/04/2006 - 12:51am

i think the dolphins are going to make the playoffs, and you think otherwise.

Where the hell did I say that? All I said is that if you think Chambers in 2005 was better than Chambers in 2001, you're nuts. Chambers in 2001 had a higher catch percentage, a higher yardage/catch, yardage/completion, and a higher touchdown percentage, and a much higher DPAR and DVOA.

As for the fact that Frerotte was throwing to him, Chambers in 2001 had Jay Fiedler throwing to him. We're not talking about a massive difference here.

213
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 07/04/2006 - 1:05am

I think the Bills will be worse than the Jets this year. I don't beleive in the Bills defense, and any of the four guys the Jets will be starting at QB will be better than Losman.

214
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Tue, 07/04/2006 - 1:56am

pat, thats what ive been arguing this whole time, that daunte culpepper will make the dophins into a playoff team.

gus frerotte got them to 9-7, culpepper will improve that record by 1 or 2 wins. i can promise you that, that the dolphins are going to make the playoffs, with the other wildcard going to pittsburg/cincinatti

215
by Jeff F (not verified) :: Tue, 07/04/2006 - 3:36pm

Stephen - if you want to be taken seriously here, you need to do several things.

1) You need to back up your arguments logically. This means not referring to total stat numbers and the like. FO has a lot of data that gauges a player far more accurately than total yeards and total TDs

2) You need to acknowledge all aspects of the player you are trying to have a discussion about. In this specific case, you are ignoring fumbles and interceptions, or making odd relations (like number of fumbles compared to number of runs - which was a totally illegitame, irrelevant comparison).

3) Use some of the stats that we have here on FO. Again, they are far more telling of a player's ability than raw numbers. There's a secondary part to this, also - the stuff we talk about is not in fantasy football terms, but in real contributions to the team. Read the FAQ, and I'd also recommend grabbing last year's book, you should be able to get it very inexpensively.

The bottom line on Culpepper is this: He's a pretty good passer, and a good runner, for a QB. Just because a QB can run does not make them a good QB in and of itself - said running QBs are generally significantly more error prone or fumble prone than a good pocket QB, like Green, Brady, or Manning. This is often because they are trying to force a broken play to success, which can happen sometimes, and doesn't happen in others. Also, note that while Brady does not have the mobility that Culpepper does, he has much better awareness, vision, and pocket presence - a play that turns in to a broken play with Culpepper, because a defensive lineman starts to grab him and tries to (unsucessfully) tackle him, Brady, in many cases, will have simply sidestepped up in to the pocket, avoiding the scenario entirely.

If you are to look at Culpepper's DVOA and DPAR stats, and take them into consideration with the surrounding scenarios he has played in, you could easily make the following judgements:

1) When playing behind a solid offensive line, with a good receiving threat, Culpepper can be very dangerous. He's accurate from the pocket, and okay throwing on the run. Even when behind a good OL, his poor awareness makes for him being very fumble prone, which is a *major* downside. A fumble is equal to half an interception, for all intents and purposes.

2) When playing behind a poor offensive line, he has poor awareness, and this leads to many, many broken plays. His lack of awareness and presence leads to *many* fumbles, and he throws a lot more interceptions when under constant pressure.

3) If you take away his star receiver, he can still perform very well, but his passing numbers are "merely" very good. This goes for most QBs, by the way ;)

Culpepper is a good QB, with HUGE potential, but MAJOR flaws to go along with them. If he can fully recover from his injuries, he could be reminiscent of Steve McNair in the later portion of his carreer, but, right now, there are many things that need to be improved upon for him to be considered an elite QB.

Your continuous lack of facts and fanboyism is what is resulting with the attitudes you are seeing. Frankly, the level of discussion here would be much, much higher if you were not participating in the discussions.

So, what will happen? Well, most "experts" predictions are roughly the same - better than random guessing most of the time, but not approaching 75-80% accuracy.

What will happen with the Dolphins as a team next year is very hard to say. The defense is aging, which can lead to players degrading, and being more injury prone. The QB is important, but the importance of a QB is often overrated. If the defense falls apart, the Dolphins next year could look similar to the Patriots this year - good to very good offense, poor defense, and the result is that the offense just can't keep up against good teams.

I would entertain a bet that the Dolphins will improve this year, however, I also think that there are plenty of areas where they can break down and underperform. The QB change is not a very significant factor in this part of the discussion, but if the OL can't hold, they will have some pretty big problems.

216
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Tue, 07/04/2006 - 11:44pm

what you said for culpepper goes for a lot of qbs. if a qb has a good offensive line and a good receiving threat, they will do good. DUH. if a qb has a bad offensive line and no receiving threat, they are going to do bad. DUH.

culpepper can make a broken play into a success most of the time. a regular pocket qb, cant. culpepper tries to gain yards, when the coverage is good, and the pass rush is on. a pocket qb would simply throw away the ball.

i never said, culpepper was better than brady or manning. i said he was better than trent green, but not brady or manning. like i said before, trent green has a better offensive line, and better weapons, while trent green is definately in the top 10 for qbs, a lot of his success depends on the rest of his offense.

now culpepper had an amazing year in 2004. he had an amazing year because of a good offensive line, randy moss, and nate burleson. and no running attack. trent green had a great season, but worse despite having Priest Holmes, a great offensive line, and better weapons.

also, trent greens success is due to the fact that he was taught my mike martz, culpepper had dennis green, and mike tice, who was fired after a winning season.

culpepper fumbles more than the average qb. but one fumble a game, isnt going to kill a team. 50% of the time, the dolphins will recover the fumble.

plus in miami, culpepper has a good offensive line, 3 good weapons (chambers, booker, mcmichael) and a running attack with ronnie brown. plus next year, ricky williams will most likely be back and the dophins offense, will be a great one.

the dolphins are going to get in the playoffs. i doubt they will go to the superbowl, because i think the afc champions will be the colts/bengals.

217
by Peter (not verified) :: Wed, 07/05/2006 - 10:24am

One fumble a game is a huge problem. Huge. There have been very few players who turn the ball over to that degree, and I see no way that isn't a severe impact on his value.

Once again, Culpepper blew 3 tendons. I sincerely doubt he'll play that well this year, and potentially ever again. If he makes a full recovery, perhaps in 2007 he can start taking the Dolphins to the playoffs. Right now, you'll be lucky if he can play the season opener at all, even if he's at 75%.

Anyway, QB is the most important position, I would say that Culpepper's performance is the greatest single factor in the Dolphin's success next season. As I've already indicated, I don't think that's a good thing.

218
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 07/05/2006 - 3:56pm

also, trent greens success is due to the fact that he was taught my mike martz,

What is it with people trying to find excuses for Green's success other than "he's a good QB"? He played with Martz for one season in Washington (where he was good, not great), and half a season in 2000 (where he was great). That's it. For the other five seasons he had absolutely no connection to Martz whatsoever.

219
by blank6986 (not verified) :: Wed, 07/05/2006 - 7:14pm

the dolfins are going to win it all u people seem to forget what other team that went 9-7 did so much to improve got two new conators we even stole bills head couch add pro bowl QB in culpepper
plus it the second year under the new sysem

and if that wasn't all miami heat are champs dont u think how bad they want to be in that super bowl when it down here and have home fleid

220
by Stephen Yang (not verified) :: Wed, 07/05/2006 - 10:53pm

trent green is a good qb. but a lot of his success comes from learning from mike martz and learning behind that all star offensive line. trent green is a great qb, but its not like he had nothing and he was great, he had a lot of help, and became great, and theres nothing wrong about that, its just that culpepper had much less help and he is just as good as trent.

221
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 12:14am

Green had Martz, Culpepper had Dennis Green. Green had a great O-line. Culpepper had a great O-Line. Culpepepper had Moss and Carter, Green had Tony Gonzalez. Green had Holmes and Larry Johnson, Culpepper had a committe of good backs. Both quaterbacks have benefitted from a great offensive system.

222
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 3:28am

Culpepper had a committee of good backs? Name one since 2000.

223
by Jeesh! (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 8:57am

Culpepper had "much less help"?

He played in a weak conference, and he got to throw to arguably the best receiver in football, in a dome!

How much more "help" did he need?

224
by Peter (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 10:29am

222 - Hmm, did Robert Smith retire before or after 2000? Doesn't really matter, they've definitely only had scrubby committees ever since.

220 - Denny Green knows what he's doing, particularly with young quarterbacks. I think the Cards are potentially terrifying once they get Leinart in there.

223 - There was nothing especially weak about the division while Green Bay was still a top team, which has been most of Culpepper's career. Granted the Lions and Bears have sucked since forever.

225
by Jeesh! (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 10:43am

Not division, conference.. The conference has been weak. lousy division in a lousy conference. Thats why some teams that look really good in the NFC suddenly look bad when they play an AFC team like the Steelers, Broncos, Bengals, Patriots, etc.

Heck, the Bucs were prepared to blow out the Jets and they lost to Vinny Testaverde! What a hoot!

Green Bay a top team? Since when ? They have become a joke, much like the rest of the conference!
If Seattle is the best that the NFC can come up with... yikes!

226
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 11:05am

Robert Smith retired after the 2000 season, when he averaged over 5 YPC. Since then the vikings have had a succession of backs averaging between 4.5 and 5 YPC. Now the reason they were so successful just plugging anybody in was because of the strength of the offensive line more than the talents of any individual back, but that just proves my point that Culpepper beneffited from a very good offensive system.

227
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 8:09pm

OK, I've been out of touch for a while and it looks like I've missed one of the most entertaining threads so far, about the division with my favorite team. :-) So I thought I'd share a few comments. Sorry if I touch on things people have already said--once I hit post 170 or so I just skimmed. I'll break this up into multiple posts to avoid Carl-esque essays (whatever happened to that guy? His posts were so entertaining, and so easy to skip if you didn't have a free hour...)

228
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 8:20pm

Regarding the Dolphins and Pats:

I think the Pats will win the division (although I am a Pats homer). The defense was bad for much of last year, but that was due to significant, significant injuries. We're not just talking several key players here (although they did lose several key players). We're talking practically the entire opening day depth chart at certain positions wiped out by week 4. Provided that doesn't happen again (although it's happened the last two years, but not playing on Heinz field might help) the Pats defense will be significantly better, even without significant personnell changes. Look at how well the defense performed in the playoffs last year. Meanwhile, the offense sputtered late, but that was a function of Brady finally breaking down after an entire season where he had no help and all the other teams started keying in on him. Someone commented in one post that "The way to stop Brady is to pressure him". Well, that's true. That's the way to stop any QB. But it's a lot easier to pressure a QB with no running game and two rookie on the O-line, and a weak defense. Now with some weapons and an improved defense, look for Brady and the Pats offense to be good, provided that last season didn't damage him.

On the other hand, I'm of the opinion that people make too much of Miami last year. In a division with two goat teams, they managed to essentially finish at 8-7 (the last game can't be counted because they spent 3 quarters playing agaist an offense with Matt Cassel, Bam Childress, and Heath Evans as the skill players). Even in that game, they looked sloppy. Although I think he will be a good coach in the long run, and will eliminate some of this sloppiness, Saban is still a young (pro) coach who will make mistakes. They are aging in many key areas. As to Culpepper, he's a definite improvement, but it's not like the Dolphins acquired Peyton Manning. See my next post for more details on what I see as Culpepper's weakensses and for opinions that will probably illicit a Yang response. I think the Dolphins will come the closest to challenging the Pats, but I don't see it happening this year.

229
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 8:38pm

Regarding Culpepper:

I was very high on Culpepper at the beginning of last season. I had him ranked in my mind as the fifth or so best QB in the game (behind Brady, Manning, Hasselbeck, and Palmer). Then he looked horrible. Then he got injured. Then the Vikings got better. Now for the record, I don't think their improvement was due to switching Culpepper for Johnson--I think FO has shown that it was mainly the defense that improved. And I'm not willing to write off Culpepper's skill drop to losing Moss. Cast helps, of course, but he had looked really really good in the past and I don't think you can look that good if you're bad, regardless of cast. I would guess how well a QB plays is probably 1/3 supporting cast, 1/3 coaching, and 1/3 their own skill. Hence, you're not going to be in the top third of QB's if you have lousy skill, even with a great cast and a great coach (my low opinion of Mike Tice also causes me to value Culpepper's skill). So I chalk up his bad start last year to some random inconsistency, and to lack of discipline.

But I don't think he'll come into the Dolphins this year and immediately make them elite. Here's why:

1). Stephen Yang puts a lot of stock in Culpepper's mobility. Even assuming his injury doesn't slow him down, I think QB scrambing ability is an overrated stat. Look at how many people overrate Vick. A lot of people point to scrambling QB's such as Steve Young or Steve McNair, but what they forget is that these guys were dangerous not because of their scrambling ability, but because they were great QB's who had the additional tool of the scramble. If mobility alone was valuable, then Bethel Johnson should be a QB. In my opinion, the most important QB skills are, in order, wits (decision making), throwing accuracy, mobility in the pocket, and then a tie for "arm strength" and scrambling ability. Neither Brady nor Manning are the most mobile QB's in the world, but Brady tops out in the first three categories (usually) and Manning in the first two and in "arm strength". I'm not sold on where Culpepper falls in a lot of these categories. But if his success in Minnesota was largely due to a good O-line and his scrambling (which I don't know)--that is, if he tends to hold the ball too long or is inaccurate, then Belichick (and other coaches that he'll face in the AFC) will take him apart. It's easy to stop mobile QB's if they are not super accurate or if they hold on too long--you just assign a LB to "spy" or contain them.

2). He's in the AFC now. I think most would agree that the AFC is the stronger of the two conferences at the present.

3). I fear for his lack of discipline. I see Culpepper as kind of a Brett Farvre or Drew Bledsoe--not in skill set, but in mind set. He possesses amazing physical skills, and so he tends to rely on those skills to get himself out of jams (but where Farvre or Bledsoe would rely on their "cannon arms", Culpepper scrambles). But that gets you into trouble as often as you make great, memorable plays. Culpepper, like McNabb, saves some broken plays with some impressive scrambles that look great on Sportscenter highlights, but I'm sure there are equally many that don't get remembered where he hurts his team.

4). I'm not sold his injury won't hamper him much. Knee injuries hamper a scrambler much more than a pocket passer.

All in all, I think Culpper is a great acquisition for the Dolphins--for next year. This year he's going to be gimpy, at least for part of it, learning a new system (since his injury will interfere with his training), with a relatively weak supporting cast, and still undisciplined (Saban is a disciplinarian and will get him more disciplined, but it won't happen overnight).

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by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 07/06/2006 - 8:58pm

One final comment about the Pats.

It is very accurate to say that the Pats pass D, at least over the last few years, is centered around the play of the safeties. It is not accurate to say it depends on Harrison returning at full strength.

The Pats (when not playing Duane Starks) usually have their corners play a press coverage, bumping the recievers off their routes to disrupt the timing of the passing game. This buys the pass rush time to rush the QB, but risks the WR getting by the corners for a big gain. Therefore, the safeties have to be very intelligent and know the system and realize which corner needs their help, and when to commit to helping him. They also disguise their coverage schemes very well, and again base the schemes on the safety knowing the system and knowing where to be when. For examples of what happens when an inexperienced safety is thrust into the mix, look at the last two SB's that the Pats won--in both games, one or both starting safeties went out in the second half with an injury, and within a few plays (in some cases, on the next play) Ricky Prohel or Terrell Owens broke the coverage for a big gain and then the defense fell apart and the other team got back in the game and the Pats were forced to win by a FG.

Although Harrison is (or was) a fantastic player and gave the Pats secondary an instant boost in 2003, his return is not a necessity for the Pats D to be successful. The disintegration of the pass D when Harrison went down was caused not just by that loss, but by losing the next two safeties on the depth chart in quick succession, so that they constantly had someone different there and no one could learn the system. (Add to that the fact that they simultaneously lost their best pass rushers, were still missing their best LB, and also lost several CB's all at the same time).

Obviously, it would be best if Harrison returns to form. However, there are other options. If Harrison doens't return, the SS will be either James Sanders, a 2nd year player who showed skill last year briefly before being injured himself, Artrell Hawkins, who is no Harrison but who was good enough to hold things together last year, or Tebucky Jones, who is a bit of a gambler and probably was drafted too high (causing him to be labeled a bust), but is still a skilled, physical player. So, provided that they don't lose a safety a week like last year, their defense can still be good even without Harrison.

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by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 07/07/2006 - 12:52pm

to avoid Carl-esque essays (whatever happened to that guy? His posts were so entertaining, and so easy to skip if you didn’t have a free hour…)

I think Carl's still in Iraq - he was, for a while. If he's back, though, he's likely covering other sports than football.

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by Norm (not verified) :: Mon, 07/17/2006 - 9:08pm