Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Week 16 Game Discussion I

This thread is for discussion of action on the field before, during, and after this weekend's games. You can talk about who you think will win or lose before the games start and last-minute news on Saturday morning. Then during the games, discuss strange plays, great performances, and stupid announcers (of which there are plenty).

Discussion for Sunday night as well as Monday's MNF finale is here.

Comments

1
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 8:34pm

first! Do I get a cookie?

I'm upset about all the Saturday games, really. I know Sunday is X-Mas, but Sunday is football. Screw this Saturday nonsense. If not, make like half the games saturday night.

2
by lk6 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/23/2005 - 1:08pm

If Sunday is Xmas and Sunday is football, We can say that Xmas is football.

But wait.

Santa is Xmas.

Therefore, Santa is football.

Santa is big, fat and wears red. (besides being football)

So, is Santa Claus... Willie Roaf?

3
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 12/23/2005 - 2:25pm

Sid: Yes, you get a cookie. You can have a Gingerbread man, a festivus cookie (which is pole-shaped, I guess, or maybe it has grievances written on it), or a macaroon. Oh wait, I left out Kwanzaa and Yule. Well, those would be sugar cookies shaped like Africa or a fir tree.

4
by michael (not verified) :: Fri, 12/23/2005 - 11:25pm

Sid,

Shut yer turkeyhole. I live for the late-December Saturdays when the NFL takes over. I love it, love it, love it!!!

5
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:50am

Has anyone else noticed how well Eli Manning throws the 10 yard sideline pattern? He puts it right to the receiver's back shoulder, no way can a defender jump the route... just picked that up watching some games.

I am wondering if due to Christmas eve some crowd's won't be so rowdy....

During Week 8, the Redskins hadn't gained 100 yards until the 4th quarter and Patrick Ramsey at QB... they didn't pass midfield until that point either.

During that game Ray Brown had to come in due to an injury to Chris Samuels... Ray Brown will see significant time this week...

Allright, those are my random thoughts of the week... I still think the last 2 NFC wild cards are too close to call. Everyone has figured the Redskins as too en fuego, forgetting they are brilliantly inconsistent... haven't been able to string together good games.

Until Bledsoe plays well on the road, I don't believe in the Cowboys on the road... keep it up Drew!

6
by OMO (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:43am

(Not sure where else to put this.)

On behalf of the OMO family, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a Very Merry, Happy and SAFE Holiday Season.

7
by Rex (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 12:54pm

Good news: I am in the superbowl

Bad news: Lineup decisions. P. Manning ( might play only a few series ) or Drew Bledsoe ( might get negative points). Then S. Moss or Darrell Jackson.

Please help. Thanks a lot.

8
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 1:34pm

Coming from a Seahawk fan, you gotta start Moss

9
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 2:54pm

If JAX loses to HOU today, how likely are they to lose next week as well?

10
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:05pm

This is going to be the best Xmas Eve ever: sitting on my couch watching the NFL with all my virtual friends.

And I get an early Xmas gift from Fox Chicago: Giants/Redskins instead of the default option of (gack!) Lions/Saints.

Catch the damn ball, Plex!

11
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:08pm

Randle El drops the first pass of the game. Seems to me that last year in Cleveland, Randle El dropped the opening pass which became an INT for a TD. If I remember right.

12
by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:13pm

Jacksonville could spell the Chargers making the playoffs.

If the Broncos win today, they might not have anything left to playfor.

If the Chargers win out at 11-5 and Jacksonville has already clinched this week (which they will if they beat Houston), they can mail in the final week, which creates a 3 way tie and leaves Pittsburgh out in the cold.

Personally, I think Pittsburgh loses to Cleveland

13
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:14pm

7-0. Ben's passer rating 116.7 for the drive.

14
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:21pm

12 - Denver's motivation next week depends on how CIN dioes this week, since the fight for the #2 seed is still alive.

So PIT fans are rooting for CIN over BUF this week.

15
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:32pm

14-0. Ben's passer rating is a perfect 158.3.

Where is everyone today??

16
by lk6 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:32pm

3-8-PIT 39 (5:26) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to H.Ward to CLV 42 for 19 yards (B.Russell).
1-10-CLE 42 (4:50) B.Roethlisberger pass to H.Ward pushed ob at CLV 10 for 32 yards (C.Thompson).
1-10-CLE 10 (4:19) J.Bettis left guard to CLV 7 for 3 yards (J.Fisk, L.Bodden).
2-7-CLE 7 (3:35) B.Roethlisberger pass to H.Ward for 7 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

...

17
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:33pm

Personally, I think Pittsburgh loses to Cleveland

Hmm, how about now?

18
by navin (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:35pm

This sucks, I don't have my Sunday Ticket this week, and they're only showing one early game and one late game here in the DC area.

19
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:36pm

Where is everyone today??

Iz, are you employing the rhetorical device of irony, or are you genuinely surprised that the majority of FO readers have chosen to spend (or have been coerced into spending) their Christmas Eve doing things other than watching football and chatting on the net?

20
by lk6 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:38pm

I'm here cause my family decided to travel to some city 100 miles away, and the car broke when they arrived there.

Happy hollidays, everyone.

21
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:42pm

19 (TomC) - Here in Israel, Christmas is really way back in our minds. But didn't the NFL move the games to today to avoid that very thing tomorrow?

(El loses the ball. OK, the way CLE is playing, it doesn't matter much.)

22
by Rex (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:43pm

Re: #8

Zack, thanks for the tip. I followed your advice and I am praising your name.

23
by lk6 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:44pm

Sad.

1-10-CLE11 (3:23) C.Frye pass incomplete to A.Bryant.
2-10-CLE11 (3:18) C.Frye pass to A.Bryant to CLV 11 for no gain (D.Townsend).
3-10-CLE11 (2:35) (Shotgun) C.Frye sacked at CLV 5 for -6 yards (J.Porter).
4-16-CLE5 (2:16) K.Richardson punts 50 yards to PIT 45, Center-J.Littleton. A.Randle El to CLV 19 for 36 yards (K.Richardson). FUMBLES (K.Richardson), RECOVERED by CLV-B.Pool at CLV 12. B.Pool to CLV 12 for no gain (S.Morey).
1-10-CLE12 (1:59) C.Frye pass incomplete to D.Northcutt.
2-10-CLE12 (1:55) L.Suggs left guard to CLV 12 for no gain (L.Foote).
3-10-CLE12 (1:12) C.Frye pass incomplete to D.Northcutt (B.McFadden).

REALLY SAD.

24
by Yaxley (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:45pm

I stand by my comment of last week: Randle El should not be allowed to return punts for the Steelers. He fumbles one, the Browns punt it right back, and then he runs backwards on the next return. There has to be someone else on the roster who can do this.

25
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:46pm

Last Play: 2-20-50 (:08) PENALTY on KC-L.Johnson, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at 50 - No Play.

How does a running back get a false start?

26
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:49pm

17-0. Ben is 155.8.

27
by lk6 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 3:50pm

Ben is 8/9 166 with a TD.

28
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:00pm

24: Polamalu. They need to train him to catch punts.

29
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:06pm

Here in Israel, Christmas is really way back in our minds.

Even with those horrible Fox sleigh bells?

But didn’t the NFL move the games to today to avoid that very thing tomorrow?

Yes, and it was a good decision. If you think it's dead in here today, just wait 'til tomorrow.

30
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:09pm

TomC, I am on Field Pass. no way my wife gives me the TV on a Saturday night. Especially when it's not a Steelers' game.

So I haven't a clue what bells are on Fox or anyplace else. Just some Israeli news stories about nearby Bethlehem.

31
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:11pm

Joey Porter has been all over Frye. I guess he's been reading all the comments about his making the ProBowl on reputation alone.

32
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:11pm

Best Jeremy Shockey play ever: Gets tied up with Lemar Marshall, pass thrown a bit behind him and goes off his knee. Shockey turns away from the ball to complain to the ref that Marshall was holding him. In the meantime, Marshall has picked the ball off and is running it back to the Giants 20.

God I hate that guy.

33
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:15pm

1-10-PIT34 (7:51) C.Frye to PIT 34 for no gain. FUMBLES, and recovers at PIT 42. C.Frye to PIT 42 for no gain (C.Hampton).
2-18-PIT42 (7:06) C.Frye sacked at 50 for -8 yards (J.Porter).
3-26-50 (6:35) (Shotgun) C.Frye sacked at CLV 45 for -5 yards. FUMBLES, and recovers at 50. C.Frye to CLV 45 for -5 yards. Penalty on CLV-L.Shelton, Offensive Holding, declined.
4-31-CLE45 (6:14) K.Richardson punts 8 yards to PIT 47, Center-J.Littleton. J.Harrison to 50 for 3 yards (J.Littleton). punt tipped by #92 Pit.

Wow. Just wow.

34
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:17pm

Israel - Understood. I feel your pain. Just so you know what you're missing, every Fox telecast plays this sleigh-bell sound effect every time they show a score.

One of the better-executed halfback passes I've seen this year results in 7 points off Shockey's brutal play.

35
by navin (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:25pm

Holy crap. Alex Smith actually led a 70+ yard scoring drive. I know it's the Rams, but I just hope for a replacement level performance at this point.

36
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:26pm

Julius Jones (and Dallas in general) looking better than expected... got a series of calls going their way and might take the lead here before half...

37
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:28pm

Wow. In Dallas Cundiff just missed a 32-yard field goal.

38
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:32pm

Memo to the SD defense: Number 27 is an eligible receiver, and you are also allowed to tackle him.

39
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:38pm

Watching SD-KC and keeping an eye on NYG-Wash.

NYG has scored on a tipped pass and INT returned for TD... or else this game could be nearly out of hand...

Where is the San Diego bandwagon? One minute they are "the scariest team in the NFL"... but they are just as inconsistent as everyone else.

40
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:39pm

Texans are winning? And is this more to say about how good the Texans are or how badly Jacksonville has played?

41
by Darrel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:39pm

The chiefs are just mauling the SD O-line, it's amazing to watch. There are usually two O-Linemen driven back 3 yards on any given run play it seems. LT has no room to run and he can't even make anybody miss with his rib injuries.

42
by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:41pm

Personally, I think Pittsburgh loses to Cleveland

Hmm, how about now?

I never should have said anything. =P

43
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:48pm

Shockey has an ankle, apparantly. Well, THAT'S good. It means he has something to attach his foot to....

44
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:52pm

He also has a knee, which he uses to deflect passes to opposing linebackers.

45
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:56pm

Parker runs for 80 yards. 27-0. ben is 125.6.

46
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 4:59pm

It's pretty fun to run untouched for 80 yards when everyone in front of you has already been knocked to the ground.[/TMQ]

47
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:15pm

Two drops each for El and Cedrick Wilson.

Quincy Morgan for #2 receiver.

48
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:15pm

Giants have knocked Brunell out of the game - he sprained his knee getting sacked. Ramsey is in - Redskins have already blown two timeouts with Ramsey under center

49
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:16pm

So, Roy Williams is allowed to get away with horse collars and late hits, but if Steve Smith complains about such, he gets ejected? Sounds fair.

50
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:18pm

I'm sorry, what? Steve Smith got EJECTED? So much for "Dallas can't cover number one receivers." More details, please! And who woke Julius Jones up today? Of course, since Carolina has a "strong run defense" I left him on my bench... go, Frank Gore, go.

51
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:22pm

Smith's been a none factor all day, double covered, sometimes triple covered since Delhomme's not good at picking up other recievers.

Smith recovered a Delhomme fumble and ran the ball around to the other side, goes out about a yard short and gets smashed from behind by Williams who might have already been tackling him, but it was a close call. He grabs the refs waist very lightly from behind to get his attention, appears to say something relatively calmly, although I couldn't tell what it was. The flag comes right out, fifteen yards and he's gone.

Aikman's going on about what an awful call it was.

52
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:23pm

And now Delhomme throws a Farve.

53
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:28pm

The Smith call, well, he did touch the official, but he was hit out of bounds and was trying to get the official's attention. I dunno.Carolina wasn't playing like they were going to win up to that point, maybe that will fire them up some...

54
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:29pm

Huge sack by Peppers. Dallas was running it down their throat, don'tknow why they didn't stick with it.

55
by Rollo (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:32pm

Carr with his second 50+ yard TD pass.

56
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:33pm

Rex (#22), glad I could help

57
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:34pm

The Panthers need to get Michael Gaines involved in the offense. Unfortunately, they don't improvise in the middle of games and are going to stick with running with Foster and throwing the occasional deep ball to recievers who can't catch well.

58
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:38pm

It's hard to imagine a worse goal line offense than Buffalo's had today. This is their third time having first and goal inside the 5, and the first two ended in FGs without getting close. They were stuffed on this one, but a holding call on Cincy gave them yet another first down.

They finally 'scored' on 2nd, on a QB sneak which probably didn't get in but the replays are inconclusive. It's being reviewed, but I don't see how they could possibly overturn. So they finally got their goal line TD. If they were even mediocre here - check that, if they were even bad instead of ultra-sucktastic, they'd be winning easily.

59
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:38pm

Charlie Batch comes in with 11:29 left. Ben comes out (no injury, just being safe) with a passer rating of 120.00000.

Three back-up offensive lineman and Verron Haynes as well.

60
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:40pm

Prediction: Julius Jones will break one and go for well over 200 yards.

61
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:41pm

Yeah, the Stillers are the only team that's heading into the playoffs with that really good feeling.

62
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:43pm

Nice corner-turning run by Bro' Sweets, and NYG/WAS is looking almost over.

63
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:47pm

Elisha needs a comeback...

64
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:48pm

Oh, the Pats have a good feeling. And the Redskins, if they head to the playoffs, will have a very good feeling. And the Bears will feel zestfully clean and free of Krenzelian Orton-ness. By the way, anyone remember how weird it seemed when DVOA had the Redskins so high a couple weeks ago?

65
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:49pm

41-0. Batch has a 158.3 passer rating.

66
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:49pm

TOUCHDOWN FROM CHARLIE BATCH

31 yards to Morgan.

67
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:49pm

Panthers take the lead!

68
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:53pm

By the way, anyone remember how weird it seemed when DVOA had the Redskins so high a couple weeks ago?

Is that a bit of FO chest-thumping I hear? Well, Happy Holidays, you deserve it.

69
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:54pm

Vick has benefitted from some spectacular catches today... great one down to the 2...

70
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:55pm

Comon Redskins... up by 15, you have the ball with 11 minutes left... COMON!

I don't want another tight game, let's blow it open!

71
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:59pm

Argh... Redskins are gonna have to score 42... their defense is blowing the game...

72
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 5:59pm

Cundiff for the tie.... no good!

but wha? running into the kicker?

73
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:00pm

Peppers did touch it! should be no penalty!

74
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:01pm

An awful call goes against the Panthers. Cundiff misses, comes down on top of Peppers and Gamble, and they get called for running in to him.

75
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:01pm

And Aaron, I'll give you the Pats, but the 'Skins just lost their starting QB and don't control their own destiny, and the Bears still have the taste of Bus in their mouths (ick!) and need to see more than a half of football from Replacement Rex to feel honestly confident.

76
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:04pm

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 2005 St. Louis Rams. The team so bad, they got swept by a historically bad 49ers team. Mr. Vitt will not be including that on his resume, methinks.

77
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:05pm

Oh, that's a big holding call on the Gints. Wipes out a TD.

78
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:06pm

Hey, Buffalo had it first and goal at the 7, game tied with about 2 minutes left. Of course, they're settling for the FG attempt with 1:01 left. Nice to get the lead, but they've left so many points on the field today...

79
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:06pm

Dallas benefits and is going to win this game.

80
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:08pm

They reviewed the blocked kick and somehow didn't overturn it even though there's a clear shot of Peppers touching it. This is the worst reffed game I've seen this year.

81
by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:09pm

Absolute crap officiating in the Giants game - a TD was taken away from the Giants on a nonexistant holding call (The dlineman went to the ground on a spin move and they called it a hold...)

While the Giants certainly were on their last legs, that call took away any chance they had of pulling off the comeback.

82
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:09pm

Good no-call on that PI in Was/NYG.

Palmer just scrambled out of bounds, came up limping. His next pass was weak and picked for a TD. Ah, the Bengals.

83
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:09pm

You can see the rotation of the football change after it goes by Peppers.

84
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:11pm

78 (Trogdor) - They just got seven, but it was Carson Palmer throwing the pass.

85
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:13pm

Overtime in Tampa.

86
by MAW (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:13pm

Wow, am I glad I started Terrence McGee in my semi-final match. Two long TD returns today, a KR and an INT.

87
by Darrel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:13pm

Wow, the Saints are relly bad, just losing to a two-minute-drill by Joey Harrington.

The stupidest play was by Todd Bouman. 2 minutes left in the game, Lions have no timeouts, Saints inside the 5 and down 2. 3rd and goal? He throws the ball away instead of taking a 4 yard sack. Lions kick the winning field goal with 2 seconds left to win.

88
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:14pm

Well, color me surprised. Dallas beat Carolina. I really did think it would very clearly go the other way. How much was Dallas outplaying them, and how much was this an issue of strange penalties and the Smith ejection?

89
by Justus (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:15pm

How can you say the Patriots have a good feeling going into the playoffs when they have two games left to play? The same goes for every team out there. Will the Steelers have a good feeling if they get crushed by Detroit at home next week and lose Big Ben and Hines Ward to major injuries? Talk about counting your chickens before they're hatched.

90
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:15pm

On the bright side, if the Panthers self-destruct and miss the playoffs DeShaun Foster has less of a chance of coming back next year.

91
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:15pm

Not for long. It seems every 8-6 team in the NFC is going to win today.

92
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:16pm

Dallas outplayed Carolina much of the game, especially their run offense.

93
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:17pm

Atlanta has the game won (fumble recovery from kickoff), just kick it... they are playing with fire by running plays...

94
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:18pm

re: 88

Smith ejection had a very small effect. The Panthers lost because their DLineman overpursued a lot against the run and Jones was getting 6-7 yards easily. Also, their starting running back doesn't try and avoid tackles or drag people down or run though people, but rather runs into the first unblocked defender and spins to try and avoid them.

Without the running in to the kicker penalty, the Panthers would have pulled off a win because of 3 deep passes, 2 to Ricky Proehl and 1 to Drew Carter and some timely sacks.

95
by ajn (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:18pm

fox just tossed up the "todd peterson has the most missed figgies in overtime" graphic. i'm so glad i'm not a falcons fan right now...

96
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:19pm

OMG!!!! BLOCKED!!! the falcone had this game...

97
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:21pm

Oh man. Thanks for nothing Atlanta.

98
by ajn (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:21pm

a-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

i blame that one on kenny albert and brian baldinger, not todd peterson. you knew that was coming after the todd peterson stat...

99
by Justus (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:21pm

And just like that the Bucs are in Falcons' territory and have a chance. Wow.

100
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:22pm

Geez, Manning just took a nasty hit from Wistrom. It was one of those low, falling into the back of the knees hits that cause leg injuries. Yeesh.

101
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:25pm

Another one! Bucs miss their FG (both this and the last one were chip shots from the 10... ) bad snap this time.

102
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:25pm

What the Hell? Stupid Bucs.

103
by TWD (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:26pm

Why did they kick the ball after the botched snap?

104
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:26pm

OMG! Thanks Matt Bryant.

105
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:27pm

Seriously, they could have just fallen on the ball, and tried again.

106
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:30pm

Not sure what Manning was looking at there. Pass in the end zone really should've been picked. And now they settle for a FG. It seems their early season red zone problems have returned the past few weeks.

107
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:35pm

What the hell is going on in Tampa?

Bucs drive the length for the tying touchdown at the end of regulation. Overtime kickoff fumbled by Tampa, Atlanta gets a 28-yarder blocked, Tampa drives all the way down the field and misses a 27-yarder.
Now Tampa has it at midfield and driving.

Bizarre.

108
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:35pm

IND-SEA: Jose Cortez is like a bad penny.

Did San Diego choke today or what? Also, I really doubt they're the best run D in the league.

Currently, the OT of Atlanta-Tampa is being pre-empted by talking bobbleheads on Fox.

109
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:36pm

Tampa has to punt after a huge penalty. Two minute warning. If Vick doesn't get it done here, we've probably got a tie game...

110
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:37pm

A tie in Tampa would work for the Panthers.

111
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:37pm

Aaaaaaaaaand Tampa is punting.

111
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:37pm

What if ATL/TB ends in a tie? Have the playoff-scenario sites dealt with that yet?

113
by Zac (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:43pm

With a tie, Tampa can still win the division with a win next week and a Carolina loss. That would put Tampa at 10-5-1, and Carolina at 10-6. Otherwise, Carolina wins the division. But all of a sudden, the point seems moot.

114
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:46pm

Bucs win!

115
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:48pm

Apples! Apples! Apples! Apples! Apples! Apples!

Oh, delicious, delicious apples. Delicious!

116
by richconley (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:48pm

Did someone say that indy's special teams werent gonna hurt them?
50+ yard kickoff return and a blocked field goal, and its about 5 minutes into the game.

117
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:48pm

With atlanta eliminated, that now means that four of last year's NFC playoff teams (Eagles, Falcons, Packers, Rams) are not going back, with a fifth hanging by a thread (Vikings).

118
by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:49pm

115, thinking the same thing.

119
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:50pm

How was the Tampa FG set up? 2 minute drill? Mexico turnover?

120
by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:52pm

Since starting the season 6-2, and tied for the lead in their division, the Falcons have proceeded to go 2-5 and will miss the playoffs. Karma's a bitch.

121
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 6:59pm

Tampa FG set up by decent punt return to about the 45 yard line, followed by back to back completions for 10+ yards by Simms.

122
by jju (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:01pm

How was the Tampa FG set up? 2 minute drill? Mexico turnover?

Despite the fact that a tie eliminates the Falcons from the playoffs, Mora inexplicably decided to punt on a 4th and 2 from their own 24 with 1:08 left. This after they threw down field on 3rd and 2.

In other words, in a do or die situation (and with a makeable first down), playing for their very playoff lives, Mora conceded elimination.

123
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:03pm

Playoffs? Playoffs?

I believe we have an early JLS trophy leader. That's just inexplicable.

124
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:04pm

OK, Manning's out, so why is James still in?

125
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:05pm

I saw Mora on the broadcast of the Chicago game, and after he got unsportsmanlike conduct called on him, I thought to myself, him and Vick combined are going to kill the team in the next two weeks.

126
by NF (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:09pm

The Edge has had over 350 carries on the season. Give him a @#%&@! break!

127
by TomC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:11pm

Keep choppin', Coach Mora.

128
by Israel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:12pm

If KC beats CIN next week, NE can get the #3 seed.

129
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:14pm

Why aren't the Seahawks just running on every play? That's their best bet against the Colts anyway, and since half of Indy's D is sitting out they might as well get Alexander his yards and TDs.

130
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:14pm

Stole that KCW award away from Edell Sheppard, who was clearly in line for it.

The Patriots don't WANT to be the third seed. As a Pats fan I would rather face the Colts than the Broncos in round two and I would MUCH MUCH rather face the Jaguars than the Steelers or Chiefs in round one.

Have I mentioned the apples, by the way? So delicious.

131
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:16pm

Actually, I should mention that while I love the apples, you do have to feel bad for the sane, intelligent Falcons fans who have been reading this site for a long time like Vince and JAFF. This was a serious stomach-punch game and I certainly don't want it to seem like I'm joyous about their pain. Sorry about the season, Vince and JAFF and other reasonable Atlanta fans.

132
by Adam (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:24pm

GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Woot*!

- That hit by Larry Foote to preserve the shutout on the last play of the game was epic.

- Charlie Frye got sacked 8 times and hit about 80 more.

- Willie Parker: Undrafted, backup in college, 1,000 yards in the NFL. Not bad.

- Ben is good. Really good.

- I'm liking how the Steelers are playing right now.

- Just gotta win on Sunday.

- Merry Bruschimas everyone.

133
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:27pm

Should the Seahawks be concerned about the success Indy's JVs are having? I haven't seen much of them this year, so I can't tell if they're playing full-speed and full-scheme, or if they're going vanilla like the Colts. Any thoughts?

134
by Morgan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:31pm

The Seattle secondary is ripped to shreds right now. Trufant got hurt in this game, Andre Dyson and Kelly Herndon were already out. That's the three best CBs on the team and not even mentioning the Ken Hamlin injury earlier in the year.

135
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:32pm

Um, is this the JV? Who isn't playing besides Harrison and Manning? James is still in, the oline is all still in. There are a couple injured defensive players but Dwight Freeney is still in there. It's not very JV-like. With the Seattle secondary injuries, the defenses are probably at the same level of JV-ness.

136
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:36pm

Wayne's also sitting

137
by Morgan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:37pm

Freeney has also been invisible today thanks to Walter Jones. Given the amount of time the announcers have spent talking Jones up all year, I'm surprised that they haven't made a bigger deal about it today.

138
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:38pm

That last drive was Sorgi, Rhodes, Walters, Stokley, and some TE I didn't catch. They even used a fullback occasionally and actually huddled. About half the defense hasn't played all day, Freeney's been coming in for a few plays here and there but I don't think he's been in like normal.

I'm not paying all that close attention, so maybe they're playing more regulars than I think. But it seems like every time I catch a play, there's a moment of "Who's that?" It's about as close to JV as you can get with the small NFL roster, I think.

139
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:38pm

So, say the 49ers beat Hou next week, and they are tied with the Jets, Saints and Packers at 3-13. Who sucks the most and gets to draft Bush?

140
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:43pm

I just saw this over on si.com. High school football power rankings. How long has this been going on, and is there actually an audience for it? I wonder what kind of hate mail this guy must get, when you throw the family factor into the insane fan rants.

141
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:44pm

I think the first tie breaker is schedule strength. Whoever's sucked against the worst competition gets the higher pick.

142
by Tyler (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:46pm

Chad Johnson got a touchdown today, but I haven't seen/heard anything about this celebration that he was hyping all week. Did anyone see what he did after the score?

143
by jebmak (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:47pm

Re: #140 It is hard to argue with #1, beating four straight unbeaten teams to win the 5A champs is pretty impressive. Seriously though, there are thousands of high school teams, someone is getting screwed I am sure.

144
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:56pm

On Johnson's TD, he ran over to the sidelines as if looking for a prop, then looked like he was genuinely surprised that it wasn't there. I don't know if that was the act, or if he actually had planted the prop there and someone moved it, but it was actually quite disappointing.

145
by Darrel (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 7:57pm

Tyler,

He handed out christmas presents of Bengals gear to fans.

146
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:08pm

#132: We were behind the endzone, so we got a great look at that play. Flat-out great hit. We all cheered. "We all" being all the stiller fans there, since all the Browns fans were either drunk or left around halftime.

The Steelers need to pick up a kickoff specialist. Low kickoffs to the 5, 15 and a couple to the 10. The Browns had pretty good field position all day. They're just too bad to take advantage of it.

On a related note, that was stomp-tastic. Gotta feel good about that. Hopefully the apocalypse won't come and the bizzare, "miss the playoffs" monster doesn't show up.

147
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:10pm

Why on earth do you false start on a punt?! They're so hard to block, you really shouldn't be so worried about it that you jump early.

148
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:21pm

I get home from shopping with the wife to find that Patrick Ramsey led the Redskins to two TD drives?!

Clinton Portis had over 100+ yards?

But the Cowboys got a couple of nice calls from the refs... does Michael Jordan or Lebron James get ejected from a playoff game in the NBA?

Seriously NFL... seriously...

Redskins need to beat the Eagles and they are in!

149
by Jim K (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:27pm

So does New England try to lose its last two games now? As Aaron said, surely they would want to face Jax in the wild card rather than the Steelers. I guess that NE plays its backups the next 2 weeks.

150
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:32pm

... and one more thought...

This week listening to San Diego radio they were talking about winning the division... I heard all the pundits saying "this team is the best team not to make the playoffs in 21 years"... what a collapse.

And kudos to Miami... maybe all these Miami fans talking about not needing a QB are correct... but one would certainly help...

151
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:39pm

RE: 7

I hope you started Moss. :D

152
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:45pm

How about that washed up Joe Gibbs and his old-school style not adapting to today's NFL? It's been awhile since I've seen a team so motivated for at least 2 games... why can't they bring this type of intensity the whole season!?

This is my favorite Redskins team since the early 90s... I can't stand Norv Turner... he's like the lion on the Wizard of Oz...

153
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:49pm

And that extra Giants home game is looming laaaaarrrgggeeee...

THANKS NFL!

154
by Vash (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:53pm

Nerdness:
The net passing yards in PIT-CLE were 123 (Cleveland) to 248 (Pittsburgh).
The first is the basic arithmetic series, the second is the basic power series.

155
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:53pm

re:153

Also there's the extra Bucs win that could affect the playoffs/seeding for four teams.

156
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:55pm

How about Shaun Alexander...NFL record-tying 27th TD

157
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:58pm

The most amusing bit of the record-tying run was Alexander trying to run onto the field and Holmgren stopping him with The Playcard of Power.

158
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:59pm

Well I think it was because the Seahawks had already called timeout

159
by michael (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 8:59pm

Re: SD-KC

I hope today's game puts paid to that stupid, stupid "Johnson goes down at first contact" meme. If you can still say that after today's game, then you're just delusional.

160
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:00pm

#155
Be careful, you might awake the guy who always gets upset whenever that game comes up... I don't know if you're talking about the Redskins or Lions Buc win either...

There's a bunch of games the NFL ref's have hosed up that are affecting the NFC playoff race. This week it was the Carolina-Dallas game.

I've seen plays where a player put his arm around an NFL official to gently make his case...

161
by Jeremy (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:04pm

re: 160

I don't actually remember the Lions game, but if the refs gave the Bucs two, that makes 3 half games the Panthers have been gipped.

The ejection was ridiculous. If it was Michael Vick, not only would the flag have come out immediately, but there's no way he gets ejected. How many people on the street can identify you or care about your team shouldn't matter to NFL refs.

162
by admin :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:05pm

OK, so, here's the question. I'm guessing that DVOA will come out IND, DEN, SEA as the top three this week. How many e-mails from Seattle will I get accusing me of east coast media bias for having them below the Denver Broncos?

163
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:05pm

By the way, the Seattle Seahawks now have the best record in the NFL

164
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:05pm

RE: 23

6 plays for -6 yards. Impressive. I guess Pitt's defense came to play down the stretch run. They were pretty shaky for the first half.

Randle El's return ended up being similar to a punt.

RE: 29

I'll be around tomorrow. Too bad there are no games except for two not-so-good late ones. :(

165
by Zach (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:06pm

Well, to be fair...Denver is further east than Seattle...

166
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:07pm

Case in point on players talkin with officials...

Whenever there is an intentional ground the QBs are always pleading their case and sometimes witn an arm around the officials waist.

167
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:32pm

#166: But QBs are very special people. I think Manning could decapitate someone after a play and start gnawing their arm off and maybe, maybe get called for taunting.

168
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:34pm

One other thing: I've never really seen Polamalu live until now. Holy mother of God he's fast. They're only hurting themselves not having him return kicks.

169
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 9:43pm

Delhomme is such an overrated QB. Lock down his #1 WR with double coverage, and he's lost out there.

170
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:04pm

Click my name for the picture of Harrison.

Falcons still have a chance at the playoffs. They need to beat Carolina (which is possible) and get help.

171
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:08pm

Link's not working, Sid. Care to relink for the 3 of us paying attention?

Also: I would loooove to take it to New England's house this year. We need payback.

172
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:14pm

Actually, Falcons are done. Same for the Chargers.
Denver clinched the #2 seed. Seattle clinched the #1 seed in the NFC.
Jaguars clinched a playoff spot.
Washington is in with a win. They get the division with a win and a Giants loss.
Giants get the division if they win or washington loses. They clinch a playoff spot if Minnesota loses.
Steelers clinch if they beat Detroit.
Bears clinch NFC North and #2 seed with a win.
Bucs clinch NFC South with a win or a carolina loss.
Panthers clinch wild card with a win. Clinch NFC South with a win and a Bucs loss.

173
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:16pm

Darn, I stretched the thread. Aaron, if you see this, please delete #173.

Just click my name. It's the correct link now.

174
by Steve Sandvik (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:18pm

Is the argument about the extra home game that NYG wouldn't have beaten NO no matter where the game was played? Because I'm just not buying it. NO is pretty bad. It's not like they got an extra home game against somebody good. Not saying it wasn't screwed up, just saying there's more to the picture.

175
by Kaveman (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:23pm

So, Tatum Bell needs 131 yards against San Diego next week for the Broncos to have a pair of 1000 yard rushers. I don't know if Shanahan will play him enough though.

Yay Bills... now we get to see Bradlee van Pelt throwing to David Terrell next week. :-p

176
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:27pm

Sid, I don't see how. The falcons lose out on conference record with everyone (except Minnesota, where head-to-head comes into play... but even in that scenario they'd also be tied with Washington and Dallas and the Skins would take it).

177
by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:28pm

NM I was interrupted while posting then posted anyway (my bad).

178
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:33pm

Re: Sid (Picture)
A fan ran onto the field? With Carl Winslow looking on in the background.... hehe

179
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:43pm

Fan ran onto the field, ran past the lineup, Drougns pushed him towards the stillers side, Farrior suplexed him after he turned around. Security carted him off. It was the only exciting part of the second half. Everyone on the stadium was laughing and on their feet (all 10 of us).

180
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:54pm

RE: 175

The Giants are a bad road team. It's conceivable that the Saints could have won if it were in Louisiana. The Redskins got screwed.

181
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:57pm

I realize that most Eagles fans are wisely spending time with their families, but how did the Eagles lose to the Cardinals?

182
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 10:58pm

Koy Detmer sighting, that's how.

183
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:02pm

I didn't get to see the Atlanta-Tampa contest, but wow, what an overtime. That's just crazy...

184
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:31pm

Re: 181, 175
Exactly... and the Saints hadn't exactly mailed in the season yet...

You know what though... I'm a believer now that if you win your games, you'll make it to the playoffs, no crying about what if and such...

I hope the NFC doesn't send any 9-7 teams this year, or teams that back in ala Minnesota last year... although they did upset GB.

185
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:31pm

Fnor,
It wasn't Detmer...

McMahon was 6/20!

186
by Zac (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:34pm

The NFC playoff picture is still way up in the air. New York, Washington, Chicago, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Carolina are still alive for their divisional spots. The 3 that lose plus Dallas are still alive for the two wild-card spots. Fox must be very excited.

By contrast, the AFC is pretty well set.
Jacksonville at New England and Pittsburgh (or Kansas City) at Cincinnati for the first round.

187
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:40pm

RE: 122

Yeah, that was pretty amazing. You HAVE to go for it. It's your only chance to make the playoffs.

RE: 124

I don't get why Edge started that game. He's been overburdened this season. If I was the Indy coach, I would've left him in Indy. That game was meaningless.

RE: 131

Yes, I do feel bad for Vince. But I definitely don't feel bad for all those Falcons fans who came to spam the site. Good thing I'm not in charge, or I might put up an article just to gloat. Yep, I'm unprofessional.

RE: 132

I expect a parody from you tomorrow night. :D

RE: 182

I wasn't surprised. The Cardinals play well at home and the Eagles are missing so many key players. I picked the Cards to win that game. Remember the "NFC West teams play 150% at home and 50% on the road"? Well, it's true.
But I'm still wondering how San Fran won in St. Louis. I know St. Louis's run defense is right down there with Atlanta's, but seriously. Have the Rams no shame?

188
by The idiot who didn\'t start Santana Moss in the championship (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:40pm

Merry Bruschimas, Steel.

189
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:41pm

RE: 187

I think it's more likely NE passes Cincy than KC passing Pitt.

190
by Zac (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:49pm

Re 185:

If my numbers are right, and we assume that each game's outcome is random, I show only an 18.75% chance that the #6 seed has only 9 wins. If it does happen, that team will be Washington. This would happen if:
St. Louis beats Dallas
Philadelphia beats Washington
Minnesota loses at least one of their remaining two games.

Carolina would be the #5 seed, and Washington would win the tiebreakers with Dallas and Minnesota.

191
by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 12/24/2005 - 11:54pm

Chiefs need a win, a Pitt loss, and a SD loss (SD is done but KC would lose a 3-way tiebreaker).

Pittsburgh is getting in.

192
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:40am

New England needs two wins and a Cincinnati loss (against KC) to get the #3 seed. Either way, it's 3 games that need to go a certain way. But I will agree that New England winning their two games is more likely.

193
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:41am

By my calculations the Redskins will hold at worst the 17th pick in the 2006 draft. This is the pick going to Denver...

Did anyone not think this pick would end up being in the top 10?!?!

Re: Last AFC Spot
Pittsburgh holds the 2-way tie breaker over San Diego... I got that. But what I'm reading is that Kansas City holds the 2-way tie breaker over Pittsburgh (AFC Record, right?).

So what is the 3-way tie breaker? From what I read on NFL.com, to break a 3-way tie San Diego would win over Kansas City due to common opponents record. Then it breaks down to SD-Pittsburgh head to head contest...

Okay, I guess I understand... but I'd need to loook closer at the common opponents... I thought they were both 1-3 against NFC East teams...

194
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:51am

I don't think New England would deliberately lose either remaining game to affect their seeding. Bill Belichick isn't always clear on every subject, but I've understood him to believe more in keeping the starters active and playing at game speed, rather than resting/avoiding injury. And he always wants to win the (redacted) game.

Besides, from a psychology standpoint, how would the team take it, if the coaching staff appeared to be trying to dodge Pittsburgh and/or Denver? They're not getting a bye, they may as well gin up some momentum.

195
by Kuato (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:53am

"By contrast, the AFC is pretty well set.
Jacksonville at New England and Pittsburgh (or Kansas City) at Cincinnati for the first roud"

I hope the Pats hold onto the #3 seed, so we can get a Colts/Pats rematch in the second round (of course if the Pitt wins the other wild card, they have a chance to Beat Cincy and the pleasure of coming to Indy in the Divisionals). I could see KC beating Cincy as KC and sure can run the ball (DVOA Rank 6), and Cincy sure can't figure out how to stop it (DVOA Rank 27), but Pitt won't choke next week, so I agree that NE and Cincy might switch places, but Pitt is taking that last spot.

Does anyone think Jax has a chance against either Cincy or NE in the first round? With Leftwitch back I would give them a punchers chance, but not much more than that. But a Colts/Jags round two machup might be interesting too.

196
by Kuato (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:56am

Sorry, I meant Pats hold onto the #4 seed.

197
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:56am

Yeah, you break the tiebreaker in the division first. So SD beats KC on common opponents. SD has 8 wins, KC has 7. It amounts to KC losing against Buffalo and the Giants. If they had won one of those games, they'd be tied on common opponents and KC would win the tie-break with the better conference record.

198
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:01am

Does anyone think Jax has a chance against either Cincy or NE in the first round?
Yep. Jax has a fearsome D-line for pass pressure (adjusted sack rate of 9.2%). Pressure leads to bad passes, which kill drives and give Jacksonville good field position. You can win a fair number of games that way.

Heck, if they win in the wild card round, I wouldn't write them off for the divisional round, either.

199
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:14am

RE: 195

I think they would have a shot if they played Cincy, but I don't see them beating New England. I'm not a fan of the Jacksonville offense.

200
by Rollo (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:33am

RE 195:

If Leftwich is healthy, I think so. JAX's offensive DVOA is a surprising 10th in the league - Carl Smith has done well playcalling in the red zone and the team moves the ball decently. Garrard's greatest problem is lack of accuracy on deep throws, which can seriously impede the offense. The Jags have big WRs that can have problems creating seperation and their O-line is not roadgrader quality, so a decent D that can ignore the threat of the vertical game can seriously frusterate the offense. Leftwich has a quality deep pass that allows the offense the room it needs to operate.

My biggest concern as a Jags fan is the defense. Wright and Cousin at corner positions #2 and #3 have gone from playing stellar to barely adequate, and the team isn't receiving adequate coverage play from the SS position, which leaves them in 1 on 1 situations they shouldn't be in. Both the Bengals and Patriots have great downfield passing games, so in theory the Jax secondary will be burnt to a crisp. If the talented D-line plays lights out and stops the run and gets decent pressure on the passer, however, they have a shot at beating either. The Jaguars really need to keep safety help for Wright and Cousin, and their ability to do that starts with great play by the line.

201
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:37am

I, also, could see JAX beat CIN, but not really anyone else. Maybe IND with Leftwich, but he'd have to put in probably a 1.75 Leftwich performance to pull it out.

(Bet you all thought I forgot about that!)

202
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:39am

Also, the Hawai'i bowl is quite possibly the worst bit of "championship" calibre football I've ever seen. I watching it just to get through to sportscenter to see if I get on camera because of the fight in my section.

203
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:43am

RE: 201

What do you mean?

204
by Fnor (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:47am

In one B&BR, Will talked about the inexact science of putting in replacements. Something like "If Gerrard is 40% the quarterback Leftwich is, at what point is Leftwich injured enough to take out? The joke was that FO had an easy way to measure injuries: Make a standard unit of quarterbackness, the Leftwich.

205
by NF (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 2:06am

I see the upcoming San Diego-Denver game being Bradlee Van Pelt/Ron Dayne vs. Phillip Rivers/Matthew Turner. Good times.

"Atlanta coach Jim Mora considered trying to run the clock out when the Falcons got the ball for the last time with just over two minutes left in overtime. But team officials were unable to determine how a tie would affect the club's chances of making the playoffs.

'We couldn't come up with a solid, solid answer, and I'm not really one to play for ties. ... If someone had said: 'If you tie this game and win next week, you're in the playoffs,' play for a tie,' Mora said."

Punting the ball with 1 minute left certainly sounds like playing for a tie.

Also, Carnell Williams has rushed for over 1,000 yards. Its a little unfair to judge right now, as one has been in the league for about 5 years now, another is a rookie, and onother is still in college, but I wonder of LT, Carnell Williams, and Reggie Bush, who will have the most famous career.

Also, Larry Johnson looked much better when running in the secondary today than against the Giants. He was positively Tiki-esque.

206
by putnamp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 3:13am

#166,

Funny sight during the Indy/Sea game. Two judges called the ball down at different spots, each about 1-2' from varying sides of the 1st-down marker.

Seattle LB Leroy Hill came up to the judge with the friendlier ruling, put his arm around the judge's shoulder, and could be seen offering highly supportive words of encouragement to the obviously conflicted official. It was a moment of true humanitarian good-will, clearly.

207
by tunesmith (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 4:45am

Over at beatpaths I've been projecting end-of-season rankings for a few weeks now, and three weeks ago it was pretty clear that Washington was probably going to have a major resurgence. The NFC East is messed up this season. If you go by who beat who, Wasington should be ranked first in the division. The only way I can get the Giants ahead of Washington (and just barely) is to pretend that DAL=>CAR, WAS=>SEA, and MIN=>NYG all never happened. The truth is that the Giants just haven't beaten anyone impressive this season, that hasn't been canceled out by a beatloop.

208
by bobman (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 4:48am

Jim Sorgi and Troy Walters for Pro Bowl Alternates!

Colts JV, missing their head coach, played the Hawks mostly V squad in Seattle and lost 14-7 in the second half. Sorgi's passer rating just a hair below Manning's. Be nicer if they had a running game these days...

So, this is the best team in the NFC?

There was some serious hitting in this game, so, personnel decisions aside (Colts had 3 pro bowlers plus leading sacker OUT and two PBers playing about 1/3 of the time), neither team appeared to be taking it easy. I don't think the Colts are too worried if they end up facing the Hawks in the SB.

209
by Kuato (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 5:18am

Bobman,

No running game for the Colts is no Joke. Rhodes is horrible. If the Colts dump James for a season of Rhodes, they will quickly realize how large the step down iw (although I'm sure Polian already knows this). Good thing you can get a great rookie RB anywhere in the first three rounds (or beyond if you are picking for Denver).

210
by putnamp (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 5:29am

#208,

You realize Seattle's playing a backup FS, and their top 3 CBs were all out of the game by the first quarter? One of their best DTs was out too. I could probably head up to Kirkland tomorrow and apply for a spot on the team. You could too if you could get up there. If you've got a pulse, you're a candidate, at this point.

211
by admin :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 11:04am

Re: 207, thanks tunesmith, as we know DVOA said the same thing, it had the Giants above the Redskins but it also had the Redskins much higher than anyone thought they should be. People are not paying enough attention to the fact that Washington is 9-2 in their own conference. You can't penalize them for the fact that Denver, Kansas City, and San Diego are three of the top eight teams in the league. That being said -- I can't figure out how they are doing this. They really don't seem impressive in any single area except for number one receiver and H-back/tight end. Cooley is the difference between Washington and Carolina.

212
by charles (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 11:54am

Was at the giants-redskins game, happy to see the redskins win, if i was a giants fan i would be thinking?
1. Why did the giants leave will allen one on one with santana moss the whole game? In the first game they doubled moss which was the key to their 36 point victory.
2. Why was eli manning looking for toomer more than plaxico, because the redskins had springs on toomer and bum walt harris on burress and eli still only threw his way about five times?

213
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:24pm

RE: Fnor

I don't even know what B&BR stands for. I'm really out of the loop. :(

214
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:25pm

RE: 205

From the sound of it, the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff isn't made up of very intelligent people. If they were really playing for the win, why did they punt? Bunch of morons.

215
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:30pm

RE: 207

Some pretty bizarre stuff there. Washington ending up 2nd , the Bears down there with the Vikings, Cincy down with the Lions (as opposed to sleeping with the fishes, and Cleveland ahead of Miami and even with KC and SD.

216
by Yaxley (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 12:30pm

RE: 213

B&BR would be the Black and Blue Report

217
by steve (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 1:59pm

Questions, questions, questions....

Will I be glued to the teevee today? (Yes)

Will Minnesota collapse completely and lose both remaining games? (Hmmm... likely.)

Will the Cowboys play their hearts out for sneering bully-boy Parcells? Doesn't that team really need a 'players' coach'? (They love Parcells.)

Are the Giants that bad, or was it just a bad day?

Will the Giants play their hearts out for sneering bully-boy Coughlin? Doesn't that team really need a 'players' coach'? (They played hard but... Shockey? Good grief!)

Is Indy one-dimensional, or do their back-ups ...inhale sharply through pursed lips?

Seattle? Chicago? Can't we have a superbowl with New England and Denver? (No, no, and no....)

218
by Vince (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 3:53pm

I think the season has shown Atlanta to be what they are: A decidedly mediocre team. They beat all the bad teams (except Green Bay) and lost to all the good teams (except, I guess, Minnesota. And Miami, depending on how they finish.).

The weakness, as everyone reading this knows, is the run defense. (In overtime yesterday, TB ran 11 times for 63 yards and 4 first downs; 7 of those runs gained 6 yards or more.) Historically, have teams with bad run defenses been able to improve in that category from one season to the next?

219
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 7:01pm

Aaron,
It's Joe Gibbs football. Defense and pounding the ball... did you know that Gibbs has a 38-10 record in December? Or something like that. Last year they went 3-2 in December.

They have a top 10 QB, RB, TE/H-Back, and WR and their defense is good against the run...

Are they all that different from the New York Jets last year? (It's a legitimate question, I didn't watch the Jets closely)

220
by thad (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 10:42pm

re 219
wrong,spare us the cliches ok.
That is not remotely close to Joe Gibbs football.
What the Redskins have done under Gibbs in the years they have won is take the Coryell 3 wide reciever offense and tone it down a bit.
The redskins may not pass more often than other teams but they pass more effieciently than other teams.
This year their net yards per pass is .8 yards over the nfl average.
And when they were winning super bowls it was higher.

221
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 11:58pm

Vince (#218 )--
Historically, have teams with bad run defenses been able to improve in that category from one season to the next?
Yes, but...

The biggest example I recall off the top of my head, was the 2002 Patriots, who sucked against the run, compared to 2003, when they were pretty good. (A quick check shows they were #22 in rushing defense DVOA in 2002, and #14 in 2003).

The "but" was because they switched from predominately 4-3, to 3-4 defense over that off-season, and acquired Rodney Harrison and Ted Washington, specifically to bolster their run defense. Scheme changes and big-name free agent/trade pickups of that sort tend to be very hit-or-miss.

222
by tunesmith (not verified) :: Mon, 12/26/2005 - 3:29am

Re #215 - remember that Cleveland beat Miami head-to-head (a shutout). As for the others, the vertical placement in the beatpaths graph doesn't always match up to power ranking - sometimes a full beatpath can be considered ranked ahead of another entire adjacent beatpath if there's no crossover. Cincinnati is definitely way ahead of Detroit (but they did get hurt this week by the loss).

Re #211 - the beatpaths kind of pick up on what you're saying with regard to Washington's conference record - a lot of quality wins against good NFC teams. But part of it is also that they they beat PHI, who is protecting WAS from their poor record against the AFC West. PHI beat SD, KC, and OAK. So what that means is that as far as the beatpaths graph goes, WAS absolutely has to beat PHI next week -if they don't, their poor AFC West performance will beatloop away their wins against other good NFC teams, and they will tumble to the bottom half of the rankings! But even then, in most cases, Dallas will be ranked ahead of the Giants.

223
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Mon, 12/26/2005 - 4:37am

thad,
So how does their 3 WR set work this year when for most of the games their 2nd and 3rd WR don't even catch more than 2 passes?

And Gibbs playcalling has been run on 1st, run on 2nd, pass on 3rd practically the whole year... upsetting a lot of fans.

But the perception (and perhaps reality) is that he's a run first guy it makes their play action pass on 1st and 2nd down passing more efficient because teams are stacking the line.

To me, when I think of the first Joe Gibbs era, there is Riggins, Byner and solid running backs, but also "The Smurfs" and "The Posse" (I'm young, so I only really remember Clark, Monk and Sanders).

I believe this may be the first year under Gibbs they have a 1400 yard rusher and 1400 yard receiver. The next highest yardage total is 766 for Cooley. Redskins TEs under Gibbs normally don't get that yardage, and after Cooley the next receiver, Patten has less than 300 yards! Whereas the Posse consistently would produce at least 2500 yards of production out of the WR position.

So where is that extra yardage going?

You know... I think I just proved to myself that the Redskins aren't exactly playing prototypical Joe Gibbs football. But I do believe they are winning with defense and pounding the football, with a less potent but still lethal passing attack. The offense has been coming around as of recent weeks.

224
by tunesmith (not verified) :: Mon, 12/26/2005 - 4:44am

RE #222: I mispoke. Looks like the only way WAS would tumble is if WAS loses to PHI and the NYG also lose to OAK.

Since the Giants clinched a playoff spot this weekend it looks like the beatpaths rankings will definitely be disagreeing in the case of the Giants. I can't find a scenario where the Giants will be ranked among the top six NFC teams after week 17.

225
by Andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/26/2005 - 3:18pm

Hey Furtek!

Oh, decisions, decisions!

On the one hand, I want the Eagles to win.

On the other hand, I want the Redskins to get into the playoffs and not the Cowgirls.

Damn NFL refs! Why'd you have to keep Dallas alive by ejecting Smith and making up a roughing the kicker call?