Talk amongst yourselves
A GREAT XMAS PRESENT FOR YOUR FAVORITE FOOTBALL FAN!
Click here to buy PDF version
PDF VERSION NOW DISCOUNTED OVER 30%
Click here to buy PDF version.
Official Account: @fboutsiders
Scott Kacsmar: @FO_ScottKacsmar
Ben Muth: @FO_WordofMuth
Aaron Schatz: @FO_ASchatz
Vince Verhei: @FO_VVerhei
-- plus --
Bill Connelly: @SBN_BillC
J.J. Cooper: @jjcoop36
Cian Fahey: @Cianaf
Brian Fremeau: @bcfremeau
Tom Gower: @ThomasGower
Andrew Healy: @AndHealy
Rivers McCown: @RiversMcCown
Chad Peltier: @CGPeltier
Matt Waldman: @MattWaldman
Rob Weintraub: @robwein
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.
Are you kidding? You didn't watch it?
Fumble return TD and a INT returned to the 5 (TD next on the next play) accounted for most of the Redskins points... all in the first quarter.
If I was Seattle, I would not be terribly worried.
What's the weather like in Foxboro?
A fumble returned for a score and a pick run back inside the 10, both in the opening ten minutes. After that, the Bucs largely ran the show, but they'd just given themselves too deep a hole to climb out of.
28 degrees in foxboro, no wind.
Tom Brady don't care about black people... so he throws footballs at them.
Only Brady can fire a ball at an umpire and not get dq'd.
No referee was as sure that a pass was incomplete as that ref was.
That had to sting the ref a little- hard pass in the cold.
That ref's a bust. No hands at all.
MACHINE! MACHINE! MACHINE!
Machine's got hands. What hands?
Well, I dont like New England, but for today I hope they win...by 7.5 points
Does any receiver hit the ground quicker than Branch?
racquetball?!?! I'd love to see that, but, sometimes I think Madden makes this stuff up.
Brady just wisely hurried the Patriots to the line and forced Jacksonville to burn a timeout. That's smart football.
Marvin Harrison. It's how the little guys can stay healthy.
OK I got Dillion on my playoff fantasy team....Patriots fans help me....what's going on here?
This year, I really believe that Branch has grown into one of the league's elite receivers (warning: Pats homer). He seems to be studying Marvin Harrison tape, which would make sense, because they've basically got the same skill set (although, at this point in their careers, Harrison is still the better receiver, obviously.)
Nice pooch, but is there any reason not to kick a 46yd FG?
i'd rather have the 3 points, but...
It's too early in the game- Vinatieri's clutchness might not kick in yet, and he may miss it.
I have to think kicking a good pooch is a more valuable skill than being able to drop-kick, unless you want to play rugby in the offseason...
James, London (#317 )--
Cold ball doesn't carry as far.
It's a reason, I'm not sure it was the right choice, though.
why not pooch it, pin'em back there and maybe force a turnover.
I'm not a Pats fan but I wouldn't be surprised if they're saving him for the second half so that he'll be fresh while facing a tiring Jags D.
You're talking about Dillon right, not Vinateri?
Seemed strange with all the comments on pooching and drop kicking.
Re the pooch: Maybe the Pats knew that Hanson had been playing with his axe again. Two horrible punts.
Yeah, Dillon. I wasn't quick enough on the post.
I like Brady's mentality, intimidate the ref's, remember nobody is safe on the field.
All I can think of is headgames - perhaps the chance of kicking a longish FG in cold weather is worth forgoing to try to unsettle the opposition into thinking you might do strange things (I'm certain that post-season psychology is one of the bigger reasons for the Flutie drop-kick).
Oh, and James, I'll join you in praising Mike Carlson on Five.
Re: Bucs and Redskins (Watched at Relatives house...)
1) Watching the replay 5 times, I didn't see Sean Tayor spit. If it was a spit, it had to be one of those spitting while talking.... and not a "make a loogie and hack on him spit".
I still reserve the right to change my mind if there is conclusive evidence to show that he did spit on Pittman.
2) Portis was hurt in the last couple of games, and it was obvious that he was hurt.
3a) Can some credit be given to the Washington defense? All game we heard "Chris Simms is the best QB... wow... what poise...". I'll give him credit, he played a good game, but 2 INT's isn't going to cut it in the playoffs... and I didn't like some of the sacks he took.
3b) Chris Simms did almost too good a job of not forcing it... TB should've thrown deep some to shake things up.
4) Its sweeter to win in the playoffs than in the regular season.
Well, the refs did disrespect the Pats by daring to call a holding penalty on them, so maybe he was sending a message to them.
They're just now getting around to introducing Jax's D? It's a shame they aren't watching- this could feed into their own disrespect card.
So, what's up with all the Jaguar players giving their highschool alma mater?
Well Dillon is back. The Pats line is getting a pretty good push against the Jags.
Tom Brady = Ron Mexico? Must have been fabulous coverage downfield.
You raise a valid point, I wonder what Del Rio does here? I say run the ball right at the ref. And why didnt Brady throw that away, or go down?
Is it that cold that you can't consider kicking a 46yd FG on 4th and 10?
Wow, that was one hell of a coverage sack. The Jax D-line has looked pretty good against the pass so far.
Hochstein has been low on shotgun snaps all year. It bit the Patriots right there.
And the Brady eye-cam comes through again.
"Hut-one, Hut-two, Hut... d'oh!"
Is this the whole "new" slick footballs causing these whacky fumbles?
Brady & Slick balls eh... I'm not sayin anything else
Well Brady couldn't get the shotgun snap and then the next play Leftwich has the snap go through his legs and is lucky Fred Taylor recovers it.
Madden praises Brady for holding on to the ball, and "not just tossing it up there". On the following series he critises Leftwich for holding onto it too long.
I was expecting New England to try more short passes, screens and dump offs.
Compromise: They're both not playing well.
I wouldn't be suprised to see David Garrard soon enough. But Leftwich needs to understand that he's got to get rid of it once he steps up in the pocket.
Jacksonville needs to do something to swing this field position thing in their favor.......can't keep playing on your side of the field all night fellas........
A Pats TD will change that field position.
For the love of god, get rid of the ball!
Maybe Leftwich is playing because he knows you have to throw it really high or really low for Wilford to actually catch the ball.
Review that one? That fumble looked kinda questionable.
Oh dear god - they finally get a drive going, and poof! fumble. Obviously beaning a ref is good for your team's field karma...
if you can't stop fumbling the ball while covering it with two hands you shouldn't be playing.
Is that "Playoff Football" or a helmet-to-helmet hit?
I think he hit Pearman so hard that Pearman might have blacked out momentarily
From the look of the replay, he pretty much goes limp after the helmet-to-helmet hit... he doesn't even react when he hits the ground, whereas most guys who fumble reach out desperately as the lose it.
I think the technical term for what happened is "getting your bell rung."
Well these Jags corners have pretty much been up to the task of covering these Pats receivers. Only problem with them is that on that last 3rd down incompletion, it seems like they're just playing their man and not looking back at the corner. They might get flagged for an interference or holding cause of it later.
I think Mike Martz just challenged that spot from home.
Troy Brown on defense sighting.
Is it just me, or has this game moved very quickly?
Who was it who said Ernest Wilford might have a big game?
keep chuckin' it Byron!
#358 It's not just you.
why a jump ball? NE can't cover these recievers.
There's one thing I can say for the espn crew. They can make a defensive struggle more interesting to watch as you yell at the TV for all the stupid things being said. With Michaels (good) and Madden (occaisionally insightful), its just a quiet game.
So much for Brady stepping it up in the playoffs.
Re: #358, #361--
Well scoring slows the game down, with all the commercials they run. So the first quarter realy flew by.
Are we sure Scobee's from Lousiana Tech? 'Cause I just had a nasty Orange Bowl flashback...
I think I would have too--it looked like the ref spotted it about a yard past where the receiver went out. I bet Simmons is at home right now wondering if Dick Bavetta switched to calling NFL games.
I don't think we'll ever see more kicks missed than in that Orange Bowl
Wow, the Jags secondary blinked and so did Deon Branch.
I've been really impressed by thr Jags defense. Now if the offense can get the play off in time and stop false starting, we might have a real game on our hands.
Diet Pepsi machine would have caught that one, Deion Branch.
Ohhhhhhhh Deon. That hurts.
I found a small box of sour patch kids here and i'm attempting to eat them and agonizing every second of it. But for some reason I can't stop eating the red ones.
"Hey Apu, you got any of that beer with the candy floating in it? You know, Skittlebrow?"
"Mr. Simpson, such a product does not exist."
"Oh, okay. Well just give me a six pack and a bag of skittles."
Loved that dropped TD pass. Nice little end of half stand by the D. Considering how awful the O was for most of the half the D did a great job for the Jags only giving up 7.
And thank god for that! Even by FSU standards that was a disgraceful exhibition (especially since half the disgrace was from PSU...)
Good hands there on the Super Bowl MVP, huh?
Man, John Madden and Al Michaels need to put on fur-lined hats to compete the pimp look.
haha gotta love the sideline reporting... Belichick refuses to answer quesitons and Del Rio is complaining to her about communicators, go figure..
Any explanation re: why Troy Brown's in the nickel package? Why are we being denied the ongoing glory that is the Hank Poteat Project?
So Del Rios' headset isn't working? Who knew Belichick was an electronics wizard as well?
Adam, you have clearly gone insane.
Jon M (#377 )--
Poteat's been out there. Brown's in mostly at dime, maybe as a sub in the nickel.
Wow, there have been 6 or 7 passes by Leftwich that I thought would get tipped by linemen and didn't. He's the anti-Chris Simms.
I guess their concert must have sucked, huh?
Dillon is hitting the line sideways a lot, and not getting much when he does.
Thanks Starshatterer, I have Poteat in my office's "Pats DB most likely to be hurdled Matt Jones" pool.
Many would argue that i've already gone insane. But in my defense, a man can only take the love train and diet pepsi machine commercials so many times before ones super sensitive nerves finally snap like a rubber band stretched to it's fragile limits.
What was I talking about again?
Oh yeah. For some reason i'm just not getting into this game like I did the earlier one. I don't know what it is, but it's not appealing to me.......yet.
Hey, who's this team the Patriots have been playing. The Leopards? The Steam Rollers? I don't really pay attention to teams I don't respect. All I know is that Coach Tom Brady is the best commissioner the NFL has ever had. Hey all.
My God, Madden has props in the booth.
Well, Brady isn't a great blocker... so I guess they won't be flying him to Canton immediately after the game then, huh?
God must be a Pats fan... what a fumble.
And Andre Davis saves Ben Watson's bacon.
Why does Brady pretend the snap goes over his head on that play? On a reverse, don't you want the defense to pursue? And if they think the snap is going straight back, they won't pursue, they'll go straight upfield. I'm pretty sure one of the Jax DLs took a step upfield instead of going right, and that step allowed him to get back on the reverse.
Shame. I was rooting for Vrabel.
And Givens continues his streak of playoff-game touchdowns.
And this suprises you why? According to some, His son plays QB for the Patriots.
I swear I typed that before Al Michaels chimed in.
And zip, you already knew Brady was a Pats fan. ;-)
Don't worry, Vrabel still has time.
ABC always has the best statistics.
Cold hands, cold ball. Lots of drops.
Catch the G-d-d-mned ball, Jimmy! What a play by Leftwich, for nothing.
I agree, earlier they mentioned Jacksonville's sack rate as opposed to total sacks.
Jimmy Smith is still the MAN!
One place of residence. Location: Houston, Texas. Seller: Dominick Davis. Inquire within.
Has Jax gotten pass-wacky or what?
I thought it had been decided that Flutie was God. And he's about old enough to be Brady's dad.
That's the Dillon we all know. Run some more like that.
On that article: I say unless the Titans can get Leinart for the Chow-Leinart connection, that they should just forego a QB in the first round. Billy Volek still has a lot of upside left in my mind.
NICE TACKLING GUYS!
Woh, great play!
OK, that might be the game. Terrible tackle by Mike Peterson.
That missed tackle hurt slightly.
Well, that's the game. Nice tackling job, Jacksonville.
Oh dear... God is a Patriot. Though he could be a little more subtle about it...
How is that not holding on NE 87, grabbing the JAX DB?
And I've got money on the Pats, mind you, but damn...
i know there are a bunch of patriots homers chillin' out on here, but is it outside the realm of possibility that jack del rio might've gotten "that finicky headset" bill bellicheck usually reserves for doug flutie during early-week practices?
i know it's a stretch, but if jack del rio's not crazy (choppin' wood, anyone?) and the tafoya-headset thing is true, this could be a serious scandal...
Pop Quiz, ladies and gents:
Ballcarrier is close to the first down marker. Do you...
a) try to wrap him up or grab him so you can get some help or force him out of bounds.
b) push him towards the marker, so he can stay in full stride and burn your defense for a 63 yard TD?
That chick in the Staples 'Easy Button' commercial looks so familiar. Anyone know who she is? This is totally on-topic.
RRAARGH! Someday, my tombstone will say, "WRAP UP." The "tackling" on that play was simply atrocious.
That was a good analysis by Madden on the cast thing.
You wanna talk about a team that's not ready for the playoffs? You think this team doesn't have an eye on tee times for next week? Just watch this! WATCH THIS!
Nice sack. I'd be curious to see if New England has a higher rate of assist tackles than most teams. It seems like they gang-tackle at a higher rate than other teams, but that might just be my imagination.
It's funny; anyone smaller than McGinest has failed to bring Leftwich down.
Not quite from the Chiefs School of Tackling (motto: Ole!), but cripes.
Speaking of the Chiefs, anyone else think that giving up a fourth rounder for Edwards is too much and that the Jets were/should have gotten rid of him whether anyone else was interested or not?
re: 416 there was at least one play in the first half when Brady appeared to be having trouble hearing a call in his headset.... it seems unlikely any team would purposely disrupt the other team's electronic communications for many obvious reasons.
Ballgame, and probably time for David Garrard
Asante Smuel's signature play: jump the sideline route.
425, well I thought the deal should be a bag of footballs for Herm Edwards.
On the Headset thing, even if it's a deliberate thing (and I don't think it is), try proving it.
I was just remembering when the Jets gave a first rounder for Parcells, and the Pats a first rounder for Belichick, and wondering if good coaches had depreciated in value. Then I realized we were talking about Herm Edwards.
I guess Herm's pretty average, so a 4th-rounder doesn't seem so bad. I don't think the Jets would have gotten rid of him if the Chiefs weren't interested--average is a lot better than most coaches in the league.
Yeah, I think the Chiefs did give up too much. I mean, what the hell is so great about Herm Edwards? Honestly, what makes GMs and owners just salivate over the guy?
What's with all the hating? Yeah, it sucks for the Jags that Peterson couldn't wrap up, for whatever reasons, but that was an amazing play by Watson.
There's time for the Jaguars, but not a whole lot.
Matt Jones didn't hurdle Poteat, just outran him.
Great Choppin' Wood reference by Madden (if likely unintentional)
The play for the Jags is ...
"everybody go long"
He said it! Madden just said "keep choppin' wood"! Is he purposely baiting Del Rio?
Well... didn't need any heavenly intervention on that one. But I still don't see NE getting past Indy or Denver next week...
Of course, this season his other signature move has been getting burned like my dad doing barbecue.
i wonder if madden knew what he was doing with the "pats keep on choppin' wood" remark.
off topic: does anyone else like yelling "MATT JONES!" just like the singularly-focuses rapper mike jones likes to yell his own name? try it out it's a good time.
Shelley (#441 )--
Point taken. But, Jeez, I hope it's not that bad for your dad...
I'm sorry, that was a really terrible game. I actually felt sorry for JAX's D because their offence was soooo terrible.
As for the Watson thing, the first miss was good. The next two were pathetic. He didn't do anything any other NFL player wouldn't do, but the D just sucked.
I hope the games tomorrow are better.
When he was drafted, my roommate and I both went, "Who?" You're not alone. :)
So, should we take bets on when the Patriots will give up that meaningless TD?
Remember what I said about in the other thread about New England winning easily?
Jacksonville is an incredibly mediocre team. They've got to be one of the softest 12-4 teams of all time.
Whoa, Hank Poteat defensed a pass!
That's his for the game, now.
i can't believe this was abc's first choice for their game.
I thought if one team's headset stopped working, the other team had to stop using theirs as well until it is working correctly again.
Is it me or is Fred Taylor completely loligagging it on the short routes? I mean, most of those passes are meant to go deep, but after forcing Leftwich to run it and then Leftwich having to throw it away it was really showing. He'd just go out and lean on a linebacker before turning around way too late.
Well, not that bad. Dad just believes in very well done burgers. Are they supposed to be crunchy and taste like burning?
And McGinest is just a freakin' machine tonight. Of course, Leftwich running backwards a good 15 yards helps. Repeat after me: Throw it away.
FG? I can hear TMQ crying out from here...
Luz (#449 )--
You can't guess beforehand which game will end up better. So they went for the audience draw.
Between the Patriots bandwaggoners and the Patriots haters, they figured that would more than make up for the Jaguars (who can't sell out their stadium most games).
The Pats' string of consecutive postseason wins is impressive, but doesn't it matter that they missed the playoffs one year?
I mean, the Florida Marlins have one 6 straight postseason series, but they're not better than the 1936-39 Yankees.
Why a field goal???
Congrats to Willie McGinest, btw. He tied Bruce Smith for the all-time postseason sack record, with 14.5.
That's an amazing stat for McGinest. You usually don't think of him and Bruce Smith in the same breath.
Question for Pats fans: do you want Indy or Denver next week?
Memo to Jaguars: Josh Miller is one of the slower punters in the league, getting the ball off. How about rushing him like you mean it?
Miracle comebacks don't just happen; you must try for them.
That's hard to say. Shanahan has historically given Belichick a harder time, even when the Broncos were struggling. Colts are a better team, but Shanahan is a better coach than Dungy...for that reason I'd rather have the Pats face the Colts.
Garrard in at QB. Interesting....
Zip (#460 )--
It doesn't matter much to this Pats fan. Both Indy and Denver would be favored, and rightfully so. Each can be beaten, and the Patriots can do it.
I suppose if I had to pick one, I'd say Denver, simply because that means Pittsburgh won, and *that* means we have a shot to host the championship game.
I smell garbage-time TD.
The Pats may be the only team that can win in Indy, but if Pittsburgh wins tomorrow, we may never find out.
matt jones! matt jones!
Here is a stat that tells you a lot about this game and why the score is so lopsided.
Fumbles: According to NFL.com
Jags - 2 Fumbles, 1 Lost
Pats - 4 Fumbles, 0 Lost
If that Pats were @ 50% recovery rate like the Jags, this would be a different game.
Why are offensive players never called for a facemask? That looked like a pretty egregious grab by Garrard against Colvin.
Hey since there is not a lot to talk about with this game, I was wondering if anyone can explain what the rule is for elligible receivers? Is there a certain number of people who can be receivers? Do you have to let someone know if for example a linebacker is an elligible receiver for a play? How does that work?
Sorry, that must have been something else I smelled.
of course you can't predict the exact nature of the game ahead of time but probably 80-90% of people thought the pats would win this game going away.
compare that to steelers-bengals and you'd probably get half the people saying one team or the other would win. the game may turn out to be a blow out but easily appears to be the most competitive game.
This game turned out to be an anti-climax, but at least it wasa relatively quick anti-climax. It's 3:50 am in the UK and given that the fork was stuck in Jacksonville nearly an hour ago, I'm going to bed. Looking forward to tomorrows games,particulary the Steelers @ Cincy.
#470: There have to be seven offensive players on the line of scrimmage; the two ends are eligible and the five interior linemen are ineligible.
The four backs who line up behind the line of scrimmage are eligible, except for the quarterback if he lines up under center, in which case he's ineligible.
A number 49 or lower, or 80-89, is an "eligible number"; a number between 50 and 79, or 90 or above, is "ineligible". If a player wearing an ineligible number is going to line up as an end or back, he has to report as eligible to the referee. I'm not sure what the rule is if a player wearing an eligible number is going to line up as an interior lineman; it doesn't happen much except on special teams (long snappers often have eligible numbers, and players with ineligible numbers are often wings on placekicks or personal protectors on punts).
An offense can only have 5 eligible receivers (includes WR, TE, RB and tackle eligible). There are rules about lining up on the line of scrimmage, but I'm not sure what they are. These rules are the reason that some receivers line up a yard behind the line. If a player comes in at TE, like Vrabel, then they usually don't have to notify the refs. Often a team will use jumbo sets featuring an extra offensive lineman at the goal line. This extra lineman is a tackle eligible, and they must report to the ref that they are eligible in order to run a pass route legally.
re 470 (& others jump in if I'm wrong)
Only players in the backfield or at the ends of the line or split off from the line are eligible to receive a forward pass. In the NFL, players in those positions have to wear certain designated numbers (high teens, 20's, 30's or 80's, I think); if a player not wearing one of those numbers (eg, a linebacker) is going to play in a pass-eligible position, he has to check in with the referee as eligible before the play.
Re: 301 - No, I'm not kidding, I started watching about three minutes before my first post. I know it's hard to believer, but sometimes football is on television and I'm not watching. Yes, it is possible to miss a few seconds, even of an NFL playoff game.
Re: 313 - No, it's been well-established here that doing that is unsportsmanlike, and anyone who would even consider something like that is worse than Hitler. Or maybe that's only when the Colts do it.
Re: 470. OK, basic formations. On each play, there must be exactly seven players on the line of scrimmage. No more, no less. There shall not be eight, nor shall there be six, unless they proceedeth to seven. Nine is right out. OK, you've got your seven. The one on each end is an eligible receiver, the five between them are ineligible. There can be up to four behind the line. All are eligible, except the QB if he lines up under center (a QB taking a shotgun snap is eligible).
As for uniform numbers, any one you would associate with a lineman (50's, 60's, 70's, maybe 90's) is usually ineligible, and others are eligible (uniform numbers in the NFL are assigned by position). In some cases, like goal line, you want an extra lineman or something in, and he'll line up in an eligible spot. To do so, he must report to the referee before the play, and he'll be considered an eligible receiver. I don't know if it's still the rule, but at one time you could only report in this way for one play, and then you'd have to come out or move to an ineligible spot. They may have changed that, however.
You really think Shanahan is a better coach than Dungy?
This is Mike's 13th year as a head coach and he has been to the playoffs 7 times. Dungy has been a head coach for 10 years and this is his 8th playoff apperance and he hasn't had a losing season since his first year with the (then) historically bad Bucs.
Mike is 122 and 74 in the regular season 62%, while Tony is 102 and 58 a 64% winnning percentage.
Shanahan does have playoff mark of 7-4 to Tony's mark of 5-7, but all 7 of Mike's wins came in the 97 and 98 seasons. Dungy has won games in 4 different years, but has not been able to get over the hump.
For those who don't quite have their sports fix for the day, I'm switching over to professional bull riding on OLN.
Melissa (#470 )--
There must be five inelligible linemen. Receivers and running backs get numbers in the elligible range (teens through forties and eighties). Payers with inelligible numbers who report at elligible positions, must report to the referees.
Sometimes teams give lists of elligible reports in certain packages, but it's safer to report them every play. (Recall the game-ending field-goal fiasco in the Giants-49ers playoff game a couple years back? There was a lineman reporting at tight end, who got flagged for illegal-downfield. In addition to everything else that went wrong on that play.)
There are lots of other rules about "covering" linemen, and when the quarterback is or isn't elligible, but I can't even pretend to understand all of those.
Re 478: I suppose I mean more as a coach that can challenge Belichick. I think they're about even, but if I was a GM I think I'd opt for Shanahan. I do think there are games in which Dungy has given Belichick a run for his money, of course. I think the Colts are overall a better team than the Broncos, but to me coming up against excellent coaching is more dangerous to the Patriots than coming up against a team with excellent players, and I suspect that Shanahan is one of those coaches whom Belichick has perhaps not figured out. Just a suspicion, and overall I think the Broncos and Colts are about equal in difficulty. Heads up, I think the Colts would beat the Broncos without too much trouble this season, and we may get to see that matchup.
Covering linemen is easy - all ineligible linemen must be "covered" by an eligible end. You can't stack two tight ends on the line to the right of your right tackle, because then your left tackle is "uncovered" - an ineligible receiver on the end of the line. That's why triple tight-end sets (or two tight ends to one side) actually have one "tight end" a step back off the line as a wingback.
As has been said, the QB is only eligible if he doesn't line up under center. I don't know why that is, but it is.
Of course, I went to college in Massachusetts and love the Patriots, and I love watching the Broncos, so I think my pseudo-homerism might be taking charge...after all, as a Pats and Broncos fan the one team I should truly hate more than any other is the Colts. And yet somehow it remains the Redskins. Could have something to do with their name.
482: Of course, I meant "The rule about" covering linemen is easy... although I would think that covering a 325 OT wouldn't be that tough for most DBs, as long as you didn't try to jam him at the line...
Aaron, I'm curious - how does DVOA count for Brady on the Watson 63-yard run? Does Brady's DPAR become ridiculous passing for 63 yards, or does it make Watson's numbers great and Brady's basically a first down pass?
#485 - Yards after catch is a closely held industrial secret that is not reported to mere peons. As far as I recall, The play-by-play data that DVOA and DPAR is built on doesn't distinguish between a 63 yard bomb and a screen with 63 yards after the catch. In the distant future DVOA will no doubt make adjustments for two terrible tackles, one blown tackle by a defender with an hand in a cast, and the ensuing run.
I'm a Pats fan, and I would rather they play Indy. Both Denver and Indy are dangerous, but I think the Pats have a better chance in a dome (where Tom Brady has a perfect record, I think I heard an announcer say) than at Mile high in thin air.
I'd like to see Dillon and Bruschi get another week before having to play Indy. Also, as someone else noted, if Pittsburgh could beat Indy and the Pats won its back to Foxborough.
"Dungy has won games in 4 different years, but has not been able to get over the hump."
Shannahan has also won 2 SBs. IMO that gives him the edge.
I don't think either of them are particularly good... more Marty-types who can't generally perform in the playoffs (at least not w/out Elway).
I thought the Pats should've punted on 4th and 10.
Also, the game got off to a real trashy start with the penalties and the ref getting in the way of a pass to a WR.
FInally, the back to back bad snaps was odd.
RCH (#488 )--
I don't think Bruschi or Dillon will be rested next week.
I watched the Tampa-Washington game in a bar. Can anyone tell me what happened on that play where Simeon Rice stripped Brunell and scored a TD? Did they call it an incomplete on the field and thus the Bucs weren't able to challenge it?
Final thoughts on the SNF crew:
What a trio of ninnies.
I'll miss the spectacle.
486: Yeah, that's what I thought. It doesn't make DPAR any worse or better - it does the same thing for all QBs, so unless a QB has a habit of their receivers breaking short passes for ridiculous gains, it won't matter in the long run.
Just curious. Because if you take away that play, Brady's numbers were decidedly mediocre against the Jags.
Still, DVOA should be proud - one of the predictions was that Jacksonville was bad against TEs, and I made a comment to other folks that Watson could have a big day. And he had a huge day. Same goes with Wilford and other non #1 receivers; Jimmy Smith didn't do much, but the rest of the receiving corps did just fine.
#492: The play was ruled incomplete, so it couldn't be challenged. It didn't even get a second look.
I wondered that myself. The ball traveled forward to the line of scrimage and that is normally a sign that you wont win the challenge. This crew was'nt going to overturn a call today anyway. LaVar Arrington fumbled his interception return but the play was blown dead and could not be challenged. Key word here is blown. Marcus Washington recovered a Carnell Williams fumble and nearly trips over Williams leg getting up yet Ray Charles was unable to see enough visual proof of down by contact to overturn the ruling or lack of a ruling. I have to wonder if Gibbs will be spending his Monday writing the league about these calls.
Hey 478, record isn't exactly the best measure of a coach.
Stick Bill Belichick on the Texans for three years and you'll see what I mean.
Here's a math question I've been puzzling over: which is bigger, 120 or 134?
The AP Wire Report on the Skins/Bucs game, as of the time of this post (linked under my name):
"The victory was the sixth straight for the Redskins (11-6), who won despite gaining only 120 yards on offense -- the lowest total for a winning team in a postseason game since the Baltimore Ravens had 134 yards in a 24-10 victory at Tennessee on Jan. 7, 2001, according to the Elias Sports Bureau."
I suppose that this technically is true.
It looked like Brunell's arm was going forward and TB did not challenge the ruling on the field. Watching it live I thought it might've been a fumble, but on the replay it looked like Rice hit Brunell as he cocked the ball, but Brunell was able to power his hand through...
Unfortunately I wasn't watching TV during the fumble recovery TD. My question was... if you challenge multiple parts of one play does that count as one challenge or multiple? It seemed like TB was challenging both Carnell Williams not fumbling, and Washington down by contact, but they were only charged with 1 timeout.
I didn't agree with the challenge on the Edell Shepperd. Gruden wasted his timeout. I'm glad that Mike Carey finally gave as good an explanation of the rule. If in the action of making the catch, the player goes to the ground... he has to maintain control of the ball all the way through and it can't hit the ground. When the play happened I thought it was touchdown... it was a great call by the back judge (?) to even see the ball on the ground.
After re-watching more footage of the Sean Taylor ejection, I think this is what happened.
a) Taylor starts jawing up Pittman (he's always jawing it up)
b) Taylor gets too close (his own fault), it wouldn't surprise me if inadvertant spit was coming from his facemask, or even sweat. But you can't see anything in the replay.
c) Carey sees the confrontation and breaks it up... then he throws the penalty flag.
d) After the flag is thrown Pittman points and says "He spit on me!"... you can see him talking to Carey after the flag is thrown. Disappointing an official would throw a flag without knowing what he is calling.
I don't know why he ignored the Pittman retaliation though... that should've at least offset the penalty.
Taylor has been accused of spitting before, during a preaseason game on Houshmanzedah... but there wasn't any visual evidence on that case either. If he keeps talking he needs to put a visor over the mouth of his facemask.
Romanowski was suspended 1 game for spitting on JJ Stokes. I think if the NFL concludes it happened they would suspend him for a game, but they only appear ready to fine him a lot of money. To me that's called CYA...
"Stick Bill Belichick on the Texans for three years and youâ€™ll see what I mean."
That already happened from 1991-95 when he coached the Browns. If what you mean is a total record of 36 and 44, then I must admit I'm under whelmed.
Seriously, I too find Dungy and Shanahan about equal in the coaching ranks. Dungy is more even keel, while Shanahan always has some gimmicks and booms and busts. Both have produced good team.
Jake up in 489 seems to think Dungy and Shanahan are both not any good, which I find a little funny (ha ha â€“ not strange). So who is a good coach right now . . . Belichick and no one else? Dungy has more wins than anyone since 1999, and Shanahan is a two-time SB winner? On what do you base the assessment that they are both no good? I respect the opinion, just wonder what a "good coach" criteria could possibly be that focuses on neither total wins and losses or Superbowl wins?
Kuato (#499 )--
Belichick's overall record wasn't great with the Browns, but he managed to come up with an 11-5 season and a playoff win. That's not Hall of Fame material, but not bad, either.
I'd also give him a do-over on his final year there, when the move to Baltimore was leaked and the players essentially quit in the middle of the season.
In any case, I think what Vash was trying to say was, that even a widely acknowledged top-level coach (Belichick), can only do so much in a terrible situation (Texans). So, Belichick's Cleveland years only serve to reinforce Vash's point.
"Coach that can challenge Bellichick."
Woo, magic beans!
If the pats play the way they did last night against Denver or Indy, they'll get stomped.
If the pats play the way they did last night against Denver or Indy, theyâ€™ll get stomped.
If the Patriots' defense gets six sacks and two turnovers while yielding no touchdowns, I'll take my chances with the offense having a weak first half.
I can't wait to hear Tom Brady complain about being disrespected when the line comes out on the Pats' next game.
The "magic beans" stuff is nonsense. The Patriots have a lot of support because they've won with seemingly less talent in the past (notably 2001) and just won, period, over and over in recent memory. You don't need to believe in magic beans to like their chances after the way they've played since the game agaisnt the Jets. As a Pats fan, I will say that the secondary is worrying, and that for obvious reasons Denver/Indy should be favored next week. But another team with the same record as the Patriots and that'd done as well in the past few weeks wouldn't get quite as much respect, for good reason.
That was a great wkrp reference.
Did anyone else notice that the refs in the Pats/Jags game last night seemed to be unable to spot a ball? I saw play after play where the ball was spotted a half yard to a full yard further ahead or further back than I thought it should have been. Usually right next to the marker. It's not homerism--I saw this go both for and against the Pats.
Refs--when a reciever catches the ball coming back and his momentum caries him back a yard before he gains control and before he is touched, forward progress does NOT give him the ball where he first touched the ball!
On the coach issue--I think it's unfair to measure a coach alone by whether his team improves. The personnell guy has at least as large an effect. Belichick would do better than a lot of people in Houston, because the only way he would ever accept a coaching position there would be if he had one of his guys doing personnell instead of answering to a GM, and I would imagine one of his guys would actually get some linemen (on offense AND defense) before picking up fancy skill playes!
I think the best coaches in the league right now (other than Belichick) are Dungy, Shannahan, and Reid. I respect a bunch of other coaches, too, including Fox, del Rio, Parcells, and Gruden. Then you have coaches that are just plain silly (Mularkey, the guy in Arizona--I always forget if it's Green or Ericson--whoever is coaching the Raiders, etc.).
Totallly agree with the list but would add Gibbs.
I have to agree with Del Rio -- the Pats headsets should have been taken away while the Jags' weren't working. In fact, I could have sworn there was a rule saying just that. But (at least according to the game officials), there isn't.
And in Jerry Markbreit's 28 December column in the ChiTrib, he said that if one teams' headsets malfunction, the other team's have to get turned off.
I'll agree with Starshatterer about taking my chances with two good halves of defense from the Pats front 7 and two fair halves of defense from the DB's in exchange for one bad half of offense. Especially when the bad half of offense includes no INT's.
I especially liked that the Pats shut down the run, even with Beisel and Brown playing, allowing for another week of rest for Bruschi. Leftwich was the Jags top rusher with 26 yards.
I don't know if that'll be enough to beat Indy or Denver, but this:
If the pats play the way they did last night against Denver or Indy, theyâ€™ll get stomped.
is a hopeful-sounding overstatement.
Wow, I could've gotten tickets, transportation, and parking to today's Giants game all for $95.
"I especially liked that the Pats shut down the run"
People seem to be confusing "how they played" with "the results of how they played". There is no question that the results they got last night were pretty good, at least on defense. But that doesn't answer the question of whether the same level of play will have similar results against Denver/Indy.
For instance, the Pats did shut down the run. But the Jaguars have the #12 (DVOA) run offense, sitting at almost exactly 0% (i.e. league average). They are #25 in adjusted line yards, #21 in power success, and #24 in stuffed rank.
Denver and Indy's run games are vastly better than that. The offensive lines/QB give up fewer sacks.
I think that is what was being referred to earlier with the "if the Pats play like that next week they'll get crushed" comment.
People seem to be confusing â€œhow they playedâ€? with â€œthe results of how they playedâ€?.
Actually, you might be referring to someone else, but since you quoted me, I'll respond:
I'm doing no such thing. I understand perfectly well that the Jags running offense is league average in DVOA and have looked at all of their line stats as well. And if you read my comment, you'll notice I said I don't know if they can beat Indy or Denver. However, I stand by my comment that if they play like they did last night, the game will be competitive and that saying they'll be crushed is an overstatement.
Does anyone know what was said by the Bradshaw bunch today on the Pats/Jax game last night?. I tuned in too late. Do they even know the Patriots play football? In their Best of ..., they did not have ONE SINGLE PATRIOT. Why?
In their Best of â€¦, they did not have ONE SINGLE PATRIOT. Why?
Who on the Patriots, would be the undisputed best-at-position?
Belichick? He lost four more games this year, than last year.
Brady? He's close, but pretty much single-handedly threw away the game in KC this year.
Branch? Didn't catch for a thousand yards.
Seymour? Missed four games.
Bruschi? Missed six.
Believe me, I'm happier if other teams get the press clippings. That puts the zip in the kool-aid.
The pregame on local radio is handled by four guys called the Sports Junkies. They are absolutely local, started out doing a cable show on public access tv, were lucky enough to get picked up as a weekend show and have blossomed it out to taking over morning drive with the departure of Howard Stern. That being said, their show is usually only half sports, with the other half being ad lib or entertainment or whatever. So they're four guys who grew up together watching football.
Not that anyone asked, but I thought I'd offer some info from a local guy.
Yeah, I can't see a single Patriot that is undisputed best-at-position either. Brady and Seymour come closest but I understand why they didn't make it.
And I wanted to clarify what I mean back in #513 and #510 by "crushed" and "stomped." I mean that the Pats performance against the Jags would prevent them from being DOMINATED by Indy or Denver, as defined in the FO "Guts and Stomps" article, which means they'd be within 14 points. Realistically, that's what I expect from this Pats team at this point.
I'd love to see what the DVOA breakdowns are from that game, offense, defense, rushing and passing.
Florida State has yet to lose a game this year, but there's a reason you won't find them at the top of most rankings.
See All XP | NFL XP | College XP
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // Site powered by Stein-Wein // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties