27 Sep 2004, 01:49pm by Aaron Schatz
Here's today's ESPN Page 2 Snap Judgment, featuring quarterback ratings and comments by yours truly. According to PAR (Points Above Replacement), Peyton Manning's game yesterday was the best game by a quarterback since my numbers begin in 2000. Thanks to reader Brian Walsh for the excellent Dolphins' offense joke, although I liked Brian's version better than the ESPN edit.
27 Sep 2004, 11:41am by Aaron Schatz
Peter King extols the virtues of the Atlanta defense in his report on "The Game That Set Offensive Football Back Three Centuries." Seriously, what is the difference between last year's Atlanta defense and this year's Atlanta defense? It's mostly the same personnel, are they really that much better? Or did they get to play three games against the three NFC West teams that will spend the entire season sniffing Seattle's exhaust fumes? Or is it the switch to 4-3 and the arrival of defensive coordinator Ed Donatell? Gee, where did Ed Donatell coach last year? (looks down)
27 Sep 2004, 08:59am by P. Ryan Wilson
So why exactly did Bob Slowik, the new Packers defensive coordinator, decide to use his base defense against a Colts team that was dead set on throwing the football all day long -- especially considering that the starting and backup cornerbacks were injured? "Good question," Michael Hawthorne, a Packers defensive back said. "You're asking me? I don't know. I really don't know. You're basically expecting a linebacker to cover a receiver." Hmmm. Either way, neither team can be happy with how their defenses played.
24 Sep 2004, 12:11pm by Michael David Smith
Gregg Easterbrook doesn't have the New York Times to kick around anymore, now that the Times has ceased its practice of picking the exact final score for each game. Here's hoping Gregg turns his eye on our old buddy B. Duane Cross, who tells us that the Packers will beat the Colts 24-21 in overtime on Sunday, as well as his projected final score for each NFL game. He also tells us that he has a 6-year-old daughter named Peyton. It kind of makes me feel sad to think of B. Duane as an actual human being with a daughter and everything. Almost like I shouldn't make fun of him anymore. Almost.
24 Sep 2004, 10:58am by Benjy Rose
Nothing like an article about testicles to start your day. ESPN.com's David Fleming examines the phenomenon that is a cup-less NFL. Apparently, protecting your manhood goes a long way towards disproving it. Filled with phrases like "high-velocity impact to the groin," this article is good for at least a wince or two. Go Nads!
24 Sep 2004, 08:37am by P. Ryan Wilson
As much as I detested Shannon Sharpe the player (primarily because he was so good), I really can't complain about Shannon Sharpe the television personality. In his weekly column, he argues a strong case for why Jerry Rice should have gotten at least one catch last week to extend his streak. He's also not yet sold on the Indianapolis Colts (because of their defense) or the Atlanta Falcons (because of their opponents) -- and despite my best efforts, I can't disagree with him on any accounts. Ugh!
23 Sep 2004, 12:39pm by Aaron Schatz
It is so rare to see this much written about the offensive line. It started out with the Jeff Reynolds picking his "ultimate offensive line," which is unfortunately an ESPN.com premium link, but now they've put up a separate story picking the top five offensive lines overall, and it is a free story. This kind of attention to the offensive line instead of skill players is refreshing. ESPN picks Green Bay as the league's best line, and once again Reynolds' "ultimate line" consists of:
1 comment, Last at 19 Sep 2006, 10:50am by Klassenreisus
23 Sep 2004, 10:40am by Aaron Schatz
Why oh why do sportswriters ask such stupid, stupid questions? Apparently -- and this is a shock -- Drew Bledsoe refuses to say "yes" when Buffalo writers ask him if he should be replaced by Shane Matthews. First of all, I know Bledsoe has been bad, but Shane Matthews? And what do the writers expect him to say? "Yes, I have no idea why they are running me out there every week. I am truly pathetic." Asking questions with obvious answers is one of the things that makes fans lose respect for the local media, and one of the local media's worst habits.
22 Sep 2004, 10:59am by P. Ryan Wilson
Some people gave the Steelers a legitimate chance of making the playoffs before Tommy Maddox was injured last week. Now their fate lies in the hands of rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger. The last rookie QB to start a game for the Steelers was Bubby Brister back in 1986 (ouch) replacing an injured Mark Malone (double ouch). The last rookie to start a playoff game in the NFL was Shaun King (he was 4-1 in the regular season) in 2000. Of course Roethlisberger doesn't have the same defense that King had, so who knows how successful he'll be.
22 Sep 2004, 12:38am by Aaron Schatz
According to our friend William Krasker, Mike Shanahan made the right call by having Quentin Griffin run one last play. He also feels Mike Tice made a mistake by kicking a field goal on 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line, trailing 7-3 (I could not agree more). Those situations and more discussed in his lately weekly review of play calling strategy. By the way, William will be summarizing the best of his strategy commentaries every few weeks in a Football Outsiders guest column.
2 comments, Last at 11 Feb 2007, 7:01am by Web SlotsMachinesmachines
After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?