Talk amongst yourselves
Click here to buy PDF version.
Click here to buy PDF version
Like our page on Facebook and get Football Outsiders links directly in your Facebook feed.
Official Account: @fboutsiders
Scott Kacsmar: @FO_ScottKacsmar
Ben Muth: @FO_WordofMuth
Aaron Schatz: @FO_ASchatz
Vincent Verhei: @FO_VVerhei
-- plus --
Ian Boyd: @Ian_A_Boyd
Bill Connelly: @SBN_BillC
Cian Fahey: @Cianaf
Brian Fremeau: @bcfremeau
Tom Gower: @ThomasGower
Bryan Knowles: @BryKno
Rivers McCown: @RiversMcCown
Chad Peltier: @CGPeltier
Andrew Potter: @BigHairyAndy
Rob Weintraub: @robwein
Carl Yedor: @CarlYedor61
This thread is for in-game discussion of Saturday's two wild card games: Washington-Tampa Bay and Jacksonville-New England.
You can find discussion of the Sunday wild card games here.
Joe Gibbs is quite Belichekian with his injury reports.
4 weeks ago it was "Carlos Rogers, Game Time Decision" when it appeared he had torn his bicep and he hasn't played since.
Last week it was "Mark Brunell, Questionable" and articles started popping up that said expect Ramsey to get playing time. Well, Brunell wasn't 100 %, but he performed okay.
This week it's Shawn Springs. ESPN is reporting that he is out, but local TV is reporting he feels better than he has in weeks.
Shawn Springs is out.
Michael Clayton is out (turf toe). There's your answer, Aaron.
Three Stooges Alert!
The guys doing the Redskins pregame on the radio (Field Pass) just said that HFA during the season is something like 55% while in the playoffs its something over 65%.
That overlooks the obvious fact that in the season, HFA is completely unrelated to record, while by definition most home field teams in the playoffs are better than the visitors to begin with.
They call themselves the Junkies.
And I meant to say "home field is completely unrelated to record."
Oh gosh. The ESPN Sunday Night Football crew is in Tampa Bay, now I gotta watch the game on mute.
Steve Young observed during the pregame: "January is when playoff experience starts to matter." Huh...as opposed to those NFL playoffs we keep having in July.
In introductions, I misheard: "Now down to our cylon reporter Suzy Kolbert," and I thought that explained so much. Then I realized they said 'sideline' and not 'cylon.' Those are my only observations of note thus far.
At least the Muppet Show is out of the way early.
Well that start will surely inspire confidence...
Oh my goodness, Ray Brown is old!
Ray Brown introduces himself as "Junior". Hmmm...
Those flags are annoying in front of the camera.........
Well he is the only senior citizen in this game.. let him do what he wants... I thought the funnier thing about the player intros there was that Bucs players were wearing bucket caps.
Yeah, what was up with the caps?
Okay Joe Gibbs, I think gimicks (Portis pass) like that are for Marty Schottenheimer.. not you.
Hate to agree with Walrus-Boy, but that was a fantastic play by D. Jackson.
Come on Joe. Can't run that play twice in a season.
Since when does the 5 yards for defensive holding get tacked on to the end of the play?
I liked the call. Slightly better execution by Portis and it would've been a TD.
Of course, if that's the best throw he can make, then it maybe not such a good call.
Anyone think that if the 'Skins lose, that 14yd net will make "preposterous punts"?
Since the Forward pass man
Anyone else think they should have just gone for the first?
Guess it doesn't matter now.
Even if that pass isn't tipped, who is going to catch it?
I liked the call. Slightly better execution by Portis and it wouldâ€™ve been a TD.
For a halfback or WR pass, I think you have to assume that the throw won't be perfect; for the play to work, the defense has to be fooled so bad that there's nobody within 15 yards of the receiver.
Are these announcers that clueless? The bucs felt Arrington fumbled the ball.
Good job Clinton! Finding the skins fans to give the ball to.
Isn't there supposed to be a penalty when the coach throws the challenge flag and it wasn't a reviewable play? I thought Belichick had a similar situation on Monday night against the Colts.
The struggles, the disrespect, the Visa commercials....
It appearred as if Gruden threw the flag based solely on Simms' animated appeal (then had an assistant coach tell him why he had thrown the flag). Wouldn't the quarterback be the least objective person to trust in a play the involved one of his intercepted passes?
And at the same time, even if there was only a 10% change that play would have gotten overturned on review, it was probably worth the try, given field position and possession.
That, my friends, is a Joe Gibbs 1st and goal call. I thought I saw Joe Jacoby for a moment there.
My local radio station isn't carrying this game, so I've gome silent, as opposed to the alternative.
Allow me to highly recommend Quarterback Challenge on NFL Network as a flip-to-during-commercial option. Keenan McCardell just fully laid out for a slightly overthrown bomb by Matt Hasselbeck. Why, Keenan? Why? Don't you remember Robert Edwards?
Man, Hall just can't kick today. I guess that's what happens when a cold-weather kicker has to go kick in a warm-weather climate.
Wait, that's not right...
Taking Will's tact and going silent. Good idea.
I thought that was a really good run by Portis. It didn't look like there was anything there. Then, suddenly, he burst. That's one of the plays where I'd like to see the endzone angle to see if there was more of a hole than the sideline angle showed.
I think I saw another Diet pepsi machine commercial.. those things are funny.
When I was watching the Jets-NE twice this year, I was hoping the Diet Pepsi Machine would at least score one.
There hasn't been one yet, but after seening an uncalled one in the Philly-'Skins highlight from last week, I wish I could bet on the number of horse-collar tackles that go uncalled.
Ryguy: you weren't ever one 'Lt Ryguy' on a Half-Life fanfic forum, were you? (I've just betrayed my utter geekery.)
ESPN's announcers aren't that bad. Though they are a little dry and boring.
What the hell was that!!?!?!?
It seems like Simms is hesitating to take a shot at that mid-level right now after throwing two to the flat to Alex Smith and Mike Allstott and now Hilliard. I really think he's only looking deep and short.
wtf just happened?
re: #32, announcers
Did anybody else have a "I'm a Jans fan and we just drafted Kyle Brady" moment when Berman threw it to Patrick, Theismann and MacGuire? It's as if I didn't want to think about the possibility that they would be doing this game.
If this stands, then we've seen "Wacko play of the year".
Williams's leg hit Washington while Washington was on the ground. No TD.
I really don't understand that but the replay looks like the Skins are going to be up two scores.
I guess the 'Skins won't be dialing up Coach Janky Spanky anytime soon...
If the Bucs lose this challenge, they're out of challenges for the rest of the game, right?
Commercial break should give Gruden the chance to challenge the spot of the ball.
And the bottom of his foot his a playing surface that wsa connected to a Redskin lying on the ...
The knee bone's connected to the ...
You saw the coach trying to get the kicking team out on the field before a challenge? Funny.
The only Half-Life I know is scientific half-lives, as nerdy as that sounds.
I have never been a Lt Ryguy either.
The bucs only lose their challenges for the first half.
Apologies. I didn't realize you meant post-recovery. Sincere apologies for the sarcasm.
Re 52: the first challenge wasn't one.
Figure there aren't too many Ryguys out there so I thought I'd check.
And how the hell was the spot of the ball not overturned?
Ah well. I stand by my original story.
Didn't gruden say "thank God for Instant replay?" before this game?
The TD stands. Is "the rout on" already?
Anyone else unimpressed by Chris Simms' post-fumble effort there?
Is it wrong to agree with Joe Namath about Suzie Kolber? Is that moment in football history too taboo?
This feels SOOOO good after that phantom two-point conversion earlier this year.
I think instant replay is getting its vengeance here.
I'm pretty sure everyone on the Bucs thought the play was dead. But at least a few people went after the Skins .. and then they gave up.
Simms seriously has to start doing something other than constantly looking for the flats.
I'm nearly sure he touched him, but the camera didn't clearly show it. The Bucs have entered playoff turnover hell, an abyss few teams escape from.
Actually, it'd be interesting to study whether turnovers are a better predictor of defeat in the playoffs. I suspect it is the case, because good teams don't let other teams off the mat as often.
Whose legs ARE those? I want to get the free laptop, but I just don't know if they're Angelina's, Jessica's, or Jennifer's!
Gruden and instant replay
How can he even say something like that given The Snow Game?
That pass was dangerously close to going back the other way for 6 more........
Hey James, What time is it in London and how late you stayin up?
It might be a little early to start showing the "Washington goes to Seattle" graphic.
And it sure sounds like there are a ton of Redskins fans there. It's hard to tell by the broadcast, though.
Richard - No worries. I can't say as I fully understood the sarcasm anyway (you know, no use insulting someone who doesn't understand he's being insulted). And re: #67 - I agree with you & Broadway Joe. I like me some Suzy.
Is Walt Harris's being injured really bad news for anybody but the receivers he tries to cover?
Yeah but great teams don't have 10 more guys to jump on the same football than the other team.. It'd be interesting to see how interceptions equate to it because everyone writes about QB play.
Redskins get lucky and recover a fumble but recovering fumbles is all about luck.
Christ Almighty, is Washington going get all of their fumble recovery luck in a single game?
"I'm going to tell you now ..."
"I want you to see this right nere ..."
"I would be surprised if ..."
"I talk to ... last night ... and ..."
Is this a broadcast, or a Bill Simmons' column?
There went Tampa's big break, although the ref gave the fans false hope by signaling the wrong way. Unless Chris Simms loses that "the guys from Oklahoma are chasing me again" face soon, their offense is going to struggle to move the football. Lucky for them their defense is playing well so far.
It happens. See Wednesday night.
RE:76 Washington sent some fans down there this weekend. It was 900 dollars for the entire package which included hotel stay and transportation.
Even if that is an incomplete pass, why wasn't Samuels called for holding?
Okay those TB Bucs flags are annoying. We're not at a World Cup Match here.
Somehow I doubt that Antonio Brown is one of the fastest guys to ever put on an NFL uniform.
Maybe the Redskins are trading injuries for Bucs fumbles.
It's 10:20pm at the moment, and I'll be up until the Jags @ Pats game is over. That should be at around 5:00 am.
That arm didn't look right when he held it up.
Well, a fumble isn't a turnover until it is lost. I just suspect, without evidence, that turnovers predict defeat more conclusively in the playoffs.
900 bucks for tickets, hotel, and transportation? For a weekend on the road with your favorite NFL team?
Sign me up.
If I could have gotten a deal like that i'd be on my way to Cincy right now. Unfortunately the best deal I could find was individual seats for 900 bucks, no hotel, no transportation.
The bar will do me fine.
Damn, we're gonna need Wynn.
Did he just break his arm? That's what it looked like, and now I'm afraid to look again :(
As our 'Special Studio Guest' in the UK we have Shaun Gayle, who I'm told was a Pro-Bowl safety for the Bears and played on the 1985 team. I never saw him as a player, but he's pretty good in the studio.
I'd tend to think you're right, since the disparity in talent (baseline performance) between the teams would be closer to each other, the tactical advantage of the turnover being harder to overcome than if you were playing a team of lesser quality.
When he held the arm up it was limp and the forearm was at an awkward angle. When you see the replay, when Wynn first hits the ground that arm was completely limp, like he didn't have any control over it and couldn't use it to brace his fall.
wow Lavar Arrington, way to anticipate the snap count.
Was Simms just warming his hands by blowing into them? How cold is it in Tampa?
I was in London for the Rose Bowl, so I know what James is going through. If Jags-Pats is anywhere close to as good a game as that was, a little sleep deprivation is a small price to pay.
Simms has been blowing into his hands all day. Everyone in Tampa looks all bundled up like they are freezing or something.
It's like 54 degrees!
Thats shorts weather ladies!
From the time of the fumble to the end was the longest 0:23 at the end of an odd-number quarter I've ever seen
"How cold is it in Tampa?"
Currently 50 degrees and falling as the sun sets.
James, you lucky to have a studio! In Sweden all we have is a national player explaining what pads a player has on. And it's been on about 86 times already.
Being an all-pro safety for the Bears in '85 was like being the guy who strung Jimi Hendrix's guitars. You may be great, but you ain't the meal ticket.
How did you manage to see the Rose Bowl? I didn't know of any station carrying it.
I was only two in 1985, but growing up in Chicago you see replays of basically every single Bear game ever played. Shaun Gayle was pretty good. I played high school football with two of Dave Duerson's (the other Bears safety) sons. They were great, but their dad was a jerk.
This just in:
The Redskins defense is pretty good.
It isn't his fault, but that is a horrible sack to take.
James, the Sports Cafe on Haymarket near Picadilly Circus got a special satellite feed. I found out about it when I e-mailed the London chapters of the USC and Texas alumni clubs. It was great fun, although I don't think there was a single Brit in attendance.
Okay seriously, those Bucs flags gotta go. Whatever happened to team towels or t-shirts?
Can we just have a Bucs-Steelers Super Bowl, please. I don't want to see the plays, just a three hour split-screen of Gruden's and Cowher's faces reacting to what's going on.
He could be blowing on his hands out of nervous habit OR to try and dry out sweaty palms.
Uh oh. Phil Simms just challenged me to a fight for suggesting Chris has sweaty palms.
If the Redskins drive for a touchdown here, I'd be tempted to stick the proverbial fork in it.
John Stamos is dreamy.
How could the Jets not figure out how to use Santana Moss? Is Chad Pennington that incapable of throwing a (reasonably deep ball)?
I wanna tell you something ... this guy is a special, special player. Watch this - bink, bink. That's special!
I think the problem was less with Pennington and more with Edwards, the staff's inability to scheme outside of their narrow line of thinking on how players should be used.
Yes! Suzy Kolber!
Mark Brunell's leg is so white, I thought they were pixelating something when showing footage of his knee without the brace.
Don't know if I'd be trash-talking Santana Moss over one incomplete pass
Ah! Yes! I forgot about the Hackett factor (which I understand is getting better ratings than The O'Reilly Factor, though worse ratings than The Colbert Report).
Who's trash-talking Moss?
Don Cheadle's back!
They're distrust of Testaverde when he had to fill in for Pennington was ridiculous, even when they were down by a lot and Testaverde was completing every pass.
How can Don Cheadle not win Emmies for has NFL work when people like John Stamos get their own TV shows? Stamos's TVDMAR is about -10.0 and Cheadle's led the league in the category three years running.
Serious. They should do something. Freaking Jennifer Aniston has a freaking Emmy!
Yeah ... if Edwards goes to K.C., Larry Johnson might have the league's first 500 carry season.
If ever Sam Waterston leaves Law and Order, I think Don Cheadle would be the perfect replacement for him.
If Sam Waterston leaves Law & Order they should kill the show.
Gregg williams definetly has the best job in the league. Truckloads of money and he doesn't have to take any blame when they lose.
Wow, I just looked at Larry Johnson's stats for this season and I hadn't realized how great a season he had.
I used to like the espn crew...felt they got a bad rap. Unlike other announcing teams, they seem to enjoy talking to each other...they are not generic talking heads. But this year they have been awful, and the final straw to me was prasing Kyle "game Manager" Orton" one minute, then praising the change to Grossman the next minute. Today, in their finale, they are awful again.....completely missing the arrington fumble, just one example. Al Michael and Theisman next year, I beleive....could be an interesting pairing.
Theismann just said something like "I don't care who you are, if you're 16 or 18 ..." and, well, he didn't really make a conclusion. But if you factor in the yards lost with sacks, isn't Tampa averaging about 2.5 yards per pass play? Plus a pick? That is not good.
Looked like Jauron Bolden was getting into it with Moss before (sorry-I stepped out for a minute)
Well ABC suffered one of their worst years in ratings this year and with a team like that, I don't know if that's good enough to boost any kind of ratings and plus you got to consider ratings will go down because ESPN is a cable network.
But we can be used to seeing Theismann establish the obvious.
Basilicus, don't you read my stuff? I've been singing Johnson's praises all year.
You can't stop the Coach Janky Spanky blitz package.
I'm out - be back later. Football on the TV and Madden on the computer. It's a good day.
So at Half time, does someone in the Tampa locker room get a blackboard out and say
"This is the first down marker. I've checked the rules and it IS legal to throw a pass beyond it"?
Does Larry Johnson have to contribute any of his earnings to a Curtis Enis, Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter support fund?
MDS: I read as much FO as anybody (your column is one of my faves), and everyone was praising Johnson...I just don't think I'd taken a look at his game by game or totals since close to the middle of the season.
All Buccaneer halftime, motivationals speaches must be delivered by Steve the Pirate from Dodgeball fame.
"We be down, maties!"
Too many other people use Chris. I'm hereby going under "Crushinator" for no real reason, unless someone else has a better handle.
The Redskins are just dominating the Bucs O. Game plan - Double cover Galloway, play zone underneath.
What's wrong with Portis?
Nice job by the punter there shutting down the angle, even if he did get owned by the stiffarm at the end.
People who think Washington is a cold weather team need to get real. I have been to Washington in the winter and it was like 45 degrees.
Thus says the person from northern Minnesota who thinks St. Paul winters are a lot like he remembers October and November being like.
Man, look at all those empty seats. I can't stress this enough--you need to go to the bathroom at around the 7 minute mark in the second quarter if you want to make it back before the second half kickoff. Maybe earlier for playoff games.
I don't much like commercials during the playoffs that feature players whose teams aren't in the playoffs. I'd rather not have any more Donovan McNabb Chunky Soup commercials until August.
Punters tackling may be like pitchers taking the extra base. Admirable but risky.
Up until last week, I saw that Coors Light commercial that showed fans of the opening game Pats-Raiders... I don't know if Networks care that much that the commercials feature teams not in the playoffs.
On the McNabb note though, I mean he's got to eat his Chunky soup to rehab from his sports hernia and surgery.
Nice point re: #147
And to say something good about Theismann, Simma did do a really good job of standing in that perfect pocket and hitting Pittman 6 yards downfield when nobody was within 5 yards of him.
I didn't say I was going to be serious when I said something good about Joey T.
Anyone else think this is 4 down territory for the Buccs?
Fair play to one of the Stooges. He called the Bootleg right before the play.
Paul Maguire, could you please learn the rules of football if you're going to do this for a living?
I feel so lucky that I'm listening to Podcasts rather than this crew.
MDS I think you'll be happy to know this is probably his last game.
No, no, no. I'm not falling for that again. I as hoping the same thing when NBC lost the rights. But, inexplicably, ESPN brought him over.
I'm not a fan of budweiser to begin with but i'd just like to say that Budweiser select just might in fact be the worst beer I have ever tasted in my entire life.
Oh no. Well then I suggest donations to buy and send Paul Mcguire either "Football for Dummies" or the NFL Rulebook.
So... when are you and J. Whyatt Mondesire goin' barhoppin'? I'll pay! :D
Here here. You are either a light beer or a regular beer. You can't be both. It tries to be everything to everybody and it ends up sucking. I mean, who the hell looks at the calories in beer?!?
I think Theesman's full comment was, "If you are 16 of 18, no matter the circumstances you are special"
Brings up one of my favorite little tripes of the three stooges.
They ceaselessly harp on the coaches for not getting the ball to their elite players/ playermakers/ studs/ whatever.
And yet from there commentary you would think that 4 out of every 5 players is an elite top notch player (which I suppose is true in the broader context of all football players, but certainly isn't true within the NFL).
So everytime the ball goes to a guy 10 plays ago they identified as a stud, they complain it didn't go to the guy they identified 3 plays ago as a stud. Seriously watching the rest of the game on mute.
Joe Theissman, Master of Metaphore!
"If this is a heavyweight fight, the cards are lining up for the Bucaneers!"
Wait, since when do heavyweight fighters use cards? World Series of Poker meets boxing?
You know you're in trouble when your sideline reporter is the most perceptive person in the broadcast.
3 YPA for Brunell. Nicely done.
Mcguire "all you see are white shirts"
um, I saw three linemen together running out there when he caught it ready to block..
James, how do you think our TV guys compare with the US guys?
Other than for the Sky rookie show, they tend to treat us as having a decent grasp of things, don't you think.
Always been fond of Mike Carlson, whose analysis really broadened my understanding of the game.
I should mention that the overall stats look bad for everyone on offense for both teams.
WTF?!?!? How in the name of all that is sacred does Taylor get 15 yards for being hit in the face!???
I remember watching one of those NFL Films episodes on ESPN and it was about Jon Gruden. Gruden was trying to run through a series of plays in a training camp workout and Chris Simms was the QB he was using in this particular drill.
Gruden would read off some paragraph of playbook vocabulary that went on for like 15 seconds and then he'd expect Simms to go into the huddle and call the play.
Well, needless to say the young Simms couldn't get the play right and then he'd keep looking to Gruden to repeat the call. And each time Gruden repeated the call he said it faster and more pissed off before finally throwing his arms up in disgust and screaming "GET ME BRAD IN THERE!"
I don't know why I just thought of that.
But I did.
Penalties aren't reviewable, Stooge.
That may be the worst penalty I have ever seen, and the refs from this game should be fired and never allowed to ref in this league again. How do you flag the guy who THE PUNCH WAS THROWN AT?????
Can I be the first person to note Joey T. wanted a personal foul penalty reviewed? We'll see.
So Sean Taylor is slapped and gets flagged?
Didn't the ref say that Springs spit in the guy's face?
I'd like to know what he said to get punched AND get a penalty called on him.
That'll teach Sean Taylor. Maybe he'll think twice next time before getting slapped upside the head.
I'm sure the NFL will come down on Pittman come next monday. But maybe something was said that only the players and the ref could hear. Thats the only speculation I could have to why he'd call it on Taylor.
Other than that, you can't defend the call.
I think maybe penalies shouldn't be reviewable, but you could make it so the booth could call down to give someone a personal foul if they saw someone being struck. that would make sense.
This is an interesting new strategy. Just keep punching people and you'll move down the field in no time.
Am I the only one (including the announcers) who realizes Taylor was EJECTED.
Without a doubt, the single worst call I've ever witnessed. I think I want a financial audit of the ref.
Isn't Pittman a wifebeater? Maybe Taylor mentioned that he's a scumbag.
He was ejected?
Taylor obviously deserved that penalty. Relativity says that you can consider Pittman's hand to be at rest, and in that case, it's obvious unnecessary roughness to slam your helmet into the other guy's hand after well after the whistle was blown.
Did Taylor get tossed?
Shaun Gale, who's analysing the game for the UK, reckons that Taylor spat in Pitman's face.
It's the only thing that makes sense, given that the ref was right on the spot and saw the punch being thrown.
He must've spit at him. That's the only explanation.
SEAN TAYLOR WAS EJECTED?!?!?
He says he spit in Pitmanns face but I'll wait for an AP report on this too
and now a flag on a punt return, this game might get ugly fast.
It's a difficult comparison because we don't get the US studio guys. The UK studio guys, are pretty good, but I think they tend to assume that only 'committed' fans watch the NFL in the UK, so there isn't an emphasis on the obvious for the casual viewer.
Mike Carlson rocks, and the pity of it is that he is stuck doing SNF and MNF on Channel 5 with a bonehead Irishman at stupid o'clock in the morning. Sky should sign him up.
Finally, they figured it out.
Sean Taylor was EJECTED??? I wonder what he said, it must have been the all-time greatest diss ever told!
Now this is turning into Roberto Alomar all over again.
OK, if Taylor spat on Pittman, he should be penalized -- but that should be offsetting penalties, and if one player is ejected, both should be. Just like Trotter and that Atlanta scrub back in Week 1.
I feel like I'm watching the Seinfeld episode, as I watch in slow motion trying to figure out if he spit.
A: I thought players spit on each other and gouged each others eyes and threw mud at each other all the time.
B: if there has ever been anything I have ever learned playing hockey and watching the NFL its that the retaliator (Pittman) needs to be called too. I am fine with the call for spitting if that is what occured, but that doesn't excuse not calling a punch (which is also and ejectable offense as far as I know).
Even if Taylor spit, once a punch is thrown, it has to be offsetting penalties. Inexcusably bad call.
I said Shaun Gayle was good. I was as dumbfounded as everyone else, but Gayle picked up Taylor spitting immediately. We also got an 'as an ex-player, spitting is completely taboo' comment.Nevertheless, even if they eject Taylor, surely there is an offsetting penalty on Pittman?
The thing is, the punch that Pittman threw at Taylor wouldn't have drawn a flag on its own, probably. You certainly don't want to let the guy off the hook because he succeeded in getting the guy to retaliate.
Spitting is worse than hitting, in a lot of ways.
(Says a Redskins fan.)
I don't necessarily agree, Aaron. Clearly, it is worse to initiate such a confrontation than respond. And, if the initiating act is more severe than the response, then the intiator should get the harsher penalty. If there was a uncalled for spitting (and I can't really see what would make it called for), then the ref made the right decision here. I could have also accepted offsetting penalties with an ejection for Taylor, I suppose.
Penalize them both. Toss them both if you must. Now the Redskins are going to play angry the rest of the game.
It was less of a full punch than a slap to the head. Offsetting penalties would be reasonable, but I can also see the official feeling TB needed to be penalized. I probably wouldn't have much objection to it going either way.
To be fair, Pittman's reaction looked less a punch than an entirely-understandable-under-the-circumstances shove.
Good fun listening to the Three Stooges change high-horses mid-gallop, too.
"An exciting muff by Jones"
Um... It wasn't THAT exciting. He dropped the ball and fell on it. It just wasn't a routine fair catch.
These announcers are terrible. In addition to missing the ejection, and potentially spitting, automatically taking Taylor's side because he didn't physically hit Pittman is retarded.
My assumption is that Taylor said something like, "Yo Mike, Last night I beat your momma like you beat your wife." and the ref heard it. Legit for an unsportsmanlike conduct call, although maybe it was juicier to cause an ejection.
Regardless, I don't understand how these announcers still have their job. Factual errors all over the place, (there was no fumble on the first punt return, Simm's first sack was from the front, not from behind, ball doesn't have to be over the pylon to count as a touchdown, because the goal line plane extends... only a part of the players body has to be over the pylon... this was covered on MNF just a few weeks ago, not that obscure of a rule)
Actually, throwing a punch is the most frequent cause of ejection.
Also, note there was essentially no protest from anyone on the Redskins, Gibbs didn't even demand a conversation with the ref. Everyone on the Redskins seems to know Taylor got what he deserved.
Did Mike Patrick just say that was an "exciting muff"? Huh?
On the penalty - it seemed really obvious to me that SOMETHING besides what was obvious from the replay must have happened. No ref is that dumb. Yeah, it probably should have been offsetting penalties, but the announcers were acting with an amazing lack of thought.
Precident seems to lean towards offsetting penalties, but if this officiating crew wants to argue that spitting deserves some special consideration, I'm certainly willing to listen to that view.
Does anyone know what players say to each other, becaue I would imagine is a lot worse than any spitting could be. And puching someone in a helmet really isn't very liekly to hurt anyone but yourself, thats why players always "slap".
Chris Simms had never led a game winning drive??????
I think he saw Major Applewhite lead plenty, though.
â€œYo Mike, Last night I beat your momma like you beat your wife.â€?
That's in really poor taste, but is very very funny.
In case anybody's wondering how Macguire verified the contention that Williams "runs 30 pound [more] than he weighs", just remember how Ivan Drago measured the strength of his punches before his epic Christmas Day fight with Rocky Balboa.
Exactly, Will, so given that ISN'T what the ref did, maybe an intelligent announcer would conclude maybe something else occurred, and shut up and figure out what it was...
Just to clarify about Shaun Gayle: He wasn't all-pro in 1985 -- he wasn't even a starter. The starting safeties were Duerson and Fencik; Gayle moved in when Fencik retired. According to pro-football-reference.com, his all-pro year was 1991.
(Oh yeah, and this girl I know dated him. And Maurice Douglass. And Lemuel Stinson. Though not all at the same time.)
Why do the announcers seem to think its ok to hit someone cause you were spit upon. I am a teacher/disciplinarian in a middle school, and being spit on is not an excuse to hit somebody. Pittman was not in a situation where he needed to protect himself through self-defense Sean Taylor deserves everythin he gets, but absolutely Pittman should have been penalized.
Some real poise from Simms
Right on. Just looking at that should make you say: "something does not compute." I really can't see taking one side or another until you actually find out what happened.
I'm not a teacher. The habit you want to encourage in children seem to require a high level of discouraging of any violent solution. That said, amongst adults, I think somebody could contend that one way to discourage somebody from spitting in your face is to impose yourself physically on them. Within the context of an NFL game, however, I think discouraging that kind of violence should be a big prioirty, and Pittman should have been penalized. But I don't think "Violence ... bad" is a black-and-white issue, even on a small scale such as this.
Or, maybe I'm just finding some justification for the weekly Friday Night Fight I pick at the local Applebee's.
Feelin' gooooood ... in the neighborhood!
Yeah, it's always a good idea to take a 17-step drop on 4th and inches.
Not to take away from the TB defense, but does anyone else think that Gibbs got too conservative too fast once they got the 2 TD lead? As it stands now they have run 14 Passes / 22 Rushes. Running out the clock when you have a big lead in late in the game makes sense, but starting it in the 2nd quarter seems a little strange. 38% of plays being passes is probably even lower than the Steelers.
I've written before that I think Jon Gruden is one of the best play callers in the two decades that I've watched football. I'd have to say that one won't exactly make his personal highlight film.
Simms has been backpedalling under pressure all game, though. He looks great when it works (like the connection down the sideline to Hilliard earlier in the drive) and positively Brooksian when it doesn't.
Did I miss something? Where's Clinton Portis?
Joe Gibbs =Marty Shottenheimer???
He sure looks like hes playin not to lose
The Friday Night Fight would make the best Applebee's commerical in history.
That's a clutch punt from a guy who looked done for the game earlier.
Is Gruden gonna have another '2 point conversion to win it' decision to make? And if he does, does anyone really think that he will go for two this time around?
COnsidering the decent field position TB has been in all game they sure have not done much with it.
Both Defenses look terrific.
Gibbs has been doing that all year: Betts gets carries in the second half regardless.
Larry, I'm watching this game without play-by-play, so as to avoid the infamous trio. Whatever Taylor did, a referee cannot allow blows to the head to landed well after the whistle.
These skins are gonna give me a heart attack.
Wow! Simms baiting the defense on his way out of bounds? Has just become my favorite NFL player.
Wow the Bucs sniffed out that first and 15 play to the weakside with an overload blitz and still couldn't get Portis.
Cue cliche about it being dangerous throwing over the middle late.
IF Tampa lose this, it won't be because of their D.
As Brunell prepared to throw back across his body, I screamed: "Don't do it, Mark!"
what a bad decision by Brunell, don't throw it into coverage. Throw it away if the rollout isn't working and nobody's open. You have the lead and you can punt it away with marginal time left.
We're still up by 7. we're still up by 7!
Wow! Nice pick, questionable throw.
Wow, Brunell interception. This is fun.
And there's Theismann reminding us of said cliche.
If Gruden does have two point decision to make, he's gonna wish he'd kicked a field goal.
-Now that was a bad throw!
This has been a stunning game for Mark Brunell. 41 yards and that interception, in that situation, in that fashion...
I agree, Will. To do so, the ref has decided that eggregious activity that insitgates head punching will be punished mercilessly. And that's not a bad plan. I think Pittman would have been much better not to respond, and a 15 yarder agfainst him wouldn't have been unjustified, but the assymetric penalty giving was correct, IMO.
"The play clocked just expired, but it isn't that bad"
Do the announcers even bother noticing the official calling it incomplete?
Is Sheppard only allowed to play against Washington? Is this a visa requirement or something? And he sure looked like he controlled that ball even with both feet in, regardless of knee or elbow.
If (sorry, now that they have, oh wait, nevermind) the Bucs score here, it's partially going to be because of the field position that's a result of going for it on 4th down. If they kicked a FG, then the field position changes, etc, so I have to respond to you again Will.
Call and ensuing replay aside, that was one heck of a throw by Simms. I don't think anyone could throw it better, other than Brady, whose throws have been known to cure cancer.
Uh, i thought the ground can't cause a fumble. and he had both feet in. how is that not a touchdown?
Having seen several replays, I think that's a catch.
They can't reverse this, can they?
I think the double clutch may do him in. I think if it was originally ruled a catch it stays a catch for sure, not sure what to think now.
Looked like a catch to me.
ah, now i see. pardon my ignorance. that's a quality explanation by the ref--i wish they were all so erudite and forthcoming regarding the rules.
Uh, i thought the ground canâ€™t cause a fumble. and he had both feet in. how is that not a touchdown?
A fumble only applies when you have possession of the ball. The reciever never had possession, so the ground can force an incompletion.
I may be in the minority, but I think that's a catch. I think he had control, took two steps, his knee hit, then his elbow, then fumble. In other words, the elbow hitting the ground was a fumble (irrelevant, because he'd established possesion in the end zone), not the result of an attempt to establish possession.
I's sooo confused by this play. If has control for two steps, then can he lose it on hitting the ground and still have it a TD? This rule confuses me...
Now, I'm not confused, nice explanation Mr. Ref.
I hate how well-spoken black people are always damned with faint praise for being articulate, but Carey has to be the best ref in the league, period, at communicating to the fans/audience what's going on and why.
Okay barring a turnover or a Washington first down, TB is looking at 1minute left if they get the ball back.
Does they clock stay stopped if TB declines that false start. If so they might want to.
Let me just add, the ref's explanation was much, much better (and more sensible) that whatever explanation from the booth Theismann just praised. If I had been paying enough attention, I'd have gotten confused again.
It was a dead ball foul, the clock went back to 2:48 and they re-did first down.
Now, why not play-action there? The clock is stopping anyway, so you get away with a clang.
Why would they want to decline the false start?
That would've been a great down to throw a pass. It would go the the 2-minute warning anyway, so why not take a shot downfield and see about getting the first? Is Brunell having that bad of a game?
The Redskins blew an opportunity to call a pass.
Mike Patrick could stand to work on his understanding of how the clock works. No, Mike, Tampa Bay won't get the ball back with only 30 seconds left if Washington runs three times and punts on a possession that started at 2:45.
if false start is declined the clock still stops because the whistle blows the play dead
The explanation was also better than the one given in the Atlanta/Tampa game, where people bemoaned that the refs took away a similar TD from the Falcons, costing them the game.
If I weren't a Bucs fan, I might laugh at the irony.
Regarding everyone's confusion about him catching it, from one angle he did double clutch the ball so he did not have clen possession as he was going down. Now I think that if it would have been ruled a catch it would have stayed a catch because it was really really close and could go either way.
And boy Simms sure blew that next throw.
"Is Brunell having that bad of a game?"
7/15, 41 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. Yeah, I'd say so.
Wow that punt was a freak accident.
Terrific punt. Edel Sheppard might just be buying the punter a beer.
That's clutch special teams play right there...
Game Over, time to get ready for Pats-Jags
Regardless of whether or not the Redskins actually manage to win this game, I'm really disappointed with Gibbs and the playcalling for the Redskins offense.
And so Simms ends the game the way he started it. Isn't symmetry a wonderful thing...
It's clear that Portis and Brunell are well below 100%.
They have a week to get healthier for Seattle, so hopefully this offense won't suck so bad next week.
Brunell is 7/15 because he was only throwing on third and long after 2 unsuccessful runs ever since the start of the 2nd quarter.
wow. i have to say, chris simms had a schizophrenic day.
and bill simmons was pretty dead on in his analysis. that's kinda shocking.
Got to give some credit to Bill Simmons for his philosophy of never picking a shaky qb on the road in the playoffs.
Congrats to Washington.
re 260: i still think the call was wrong. He wasn't going immediately down, he took two steps before he went down, and 2 steps with posession constitutes a football move, and thus a touchdown.
Maybe it's the QB's fault when he has time to throw and 5 passes are tipped. Also, from the replay that I saw I couldn't tell if the last pick was tipped.
There is no question that a team from Washington will win next week's game.
#267 - Agreed. Based on the stooges' explanation, I thought it was a catch. With the ref's explanation, I agree with the call.
I wonder what the DVOA scores are going to be for this game - my subjective feeling is that Tampa dominated but lost.
Please tell me I'm not seeing that stat line wrong. How is that even possible? That's downright Ortonesque. How the heck did Washington score then? Special teams? Defense?
What's up with Steve Young- he looks like he's wasting away. In another 5 years he'll look like Ross Perot.
Re 289. No it is 2 feet down, followed by a football move. In this case, he got two feet down and the football move was to go to the ground. Hence, the ground CAN cause an incompletion. He needed to stay on his feet, or at least take another full step.
The 3 Stooges gave the wrong amount of time remaining (they said the Bucs would get it back with 30 seconds left, b/c they don't know math).
Washington is 6-0 in wild card games.
On the Kelly pick, one Bucs pass-rusher went down and one tripped over him, and a third had to avoid him.
That's the kind of out of the box thinking and insight I look for when I come to FO!
Let's give it up for The Outsiders, everyone!!!!!
*thunderous cheers and applause*
#293 - 1st Qtr Interception + Fumble = 14 points.
#288 - The problem with that is it looked like Simms outplayed Brunell in this game. Both INTs were from balls tipped at the line - partly his fault, but hardly the case of a shaky QB losing to a veteran.
Brunell: 7-15-41, 0 TD, 1 INT
Simms: 25-38-198, 0 TD, 2 INT
Heck, he even seemed to scramble better.
DOH! I meant #291...
obviously you mean 291
Does momentum exist in college football? It sure seems that way for the Louisville Cardinals.
See All XP | NFL XP | College XP
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // Site powered by Stein-Wein // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties