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This thread is for in-game discussion of Sunday's two wild card games: Carolina-New York Giants and Pittsburgh-Cincinnati.
You can find discussion of the Saturday wild card games here.
I'd just like to take this time to say Go Steelers!
I'm still curious how Cinci's DVOA looks; I know that they're doing better at stopping the run, but how much better? And is it good enough to stop the Steelers running game?
My gut says no. I really want Cinci to win, but I can't see how they're going to stop the Steelers running attack unless there are many turnovers.
It is within my rights to predict one completely off-the-wall prediction each year, and I'm predicting the Panthers win Sunday when Eli Manning self-destructs in a 3+ interception performance.
Thanks for the Sunday Night Football commentary...
I busted out laughing today when Moss caught a pass and did his typical spin... Mike Patrick nearly jumped out of the announcer booth WOW WHAT A MOVE BY MOSS, DID YOU SEE THAT SPIN?
I think the Steelers are gonna win.
Steelers and Bengals are fairly evenly matched, and it really comes down to whose offensive and defensive lines play better.
Right now, that's Pittsburgh.
I think Eli will do okay. Not great, but okay.
What I'm more worried about is the three LBs the Giants find off the street to play. Or they'll just play a lot of nickle & dime packages, and frustrate the hell out of Delhomme...which might not be the worst plan, now that I think about it. Hmm. Anyway, that's the only real deciding factor in my mind - if the Giants were healthy they'd have this in the bag.
was out watching the endgame last night, so i'll toss this in here.
did anyone notice john madden's story about bill bellichek at the golf tournament when he says to al michaels somethign along the lines of:
jm: do you know what it's like to be standing next to someone (bill bellichek) who you just know is a lot smarter than you?
am: (bites his tongue and chuckles awkwardly).
i was dying...
Yes, I loved that exchange as well. It was like you could see the thought bubble above Al's head, thinking, "Actually, John, I believe I'm the smartest person I know." (And I do think Michaels is a very smart guy.)
What do you think is the likelihood of BOTH Carolina and Cinncinati covering 3 point, 9 point and 16 point spreads. I have 3 4 team parleys (2 of them obviously sweetheart teasers). After covering both games yesterday (thanks be to the Redskins and Patriots), just trying to assess my chances of cleaning up.
54 degrees in Cincy and 40 degrees in New Jersey.
Click my name for a special message to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Scott Paulsen = My God.
Sid (#10 )--
Weather as a game factor is largely overstated, but it really means nothing in an outdoor-northen game between two outdoor-northern teams.
Am I the only one that doesn't like Steve Young?
Does anyone know the gameday status of Levi Jones and if hes not playing who is the backup and are they adequate?
Will his injury affect blitz pickup, running, or the tight end Schobel staying back for protection?
Adam, I'm pretty sure that, at the very least, the Simms family agrees with you.
Umm, there are two games today. One involves a warm-weather team. Plus, the Steelers are better suited for bad weather than the Bengals.
In that game, Deshaun Foster, Dan Morgan, and Jeremy Shockey are all hobbled but will play.
The link to the Saturday game thread is broken (extra o?).
I'm off to the bar! I figure we'll watch both games and eat lots of food.
Except a Steelers Win of course.
Plus, the Steelers are better suited for bad weather than the Bengals.
Do the Bengals play in a dome?
In the south?
Can they run the ball?
Are their receivers used to the conditions outdoors in Cincinnati?
That would be no, no, yes, and yes.
Weather will be absolutely no factor in the Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game.
As for Carolina at New York -- to quote an amazingly witty (and handsome!) anonymous poster here, "Weather as a game factor is largely overstated."
For all the blah blah about the Chargers being one of the best to teams to miss the playoffs, can anyone remember a better #6 seed than this year's Steelers? I think it's safe to say that with a healthy Roethlisberger, they're a 13-3-quality team. Don't know if they'll win, but it's a great matchup for a first-round game.
Ever heard of THE SYSTEM? I guess not...
Just because the Bungles play in Cincinnati doesn't mean they're built for cold weather.
2000-1 St. Louis Rams
Wouldn't it be weird if the most common SB pick in the preseason (Carolina and the Patriots) actually happened? (I picked that match up right after last SB but abandoned it when everyone else did so too).
Didn't that happen last year with Philly-NE?
Ever heard of THE SYSTEM?
I have. Since Cincinnati plays outdoors, in the north, THE SYSTEM does not apply.
As far as your opinion of who is and isn't "built for cold weather," you're entitled to it. I have a sneaking suspicion that Marvin Lewis didn't build a fair-weather team there, myself.
The Steelers will win if they execute better, same as the Bengals. Weather will be no factor.
Another injury at LB. Just what the Giants need.
Memo to the Giants' defense: stop the runner, then try to strip the ball.
Uh, that's true Joe, but that's because until recent times, the best wild card wasn't #5. The best wild card was #4.
Ouch, the GSoT Pt. Deux losing to New Orleans on that muffed punt. Nothing but smooth sailing for the Saints since that game, of course.
Did I just see Deshaun Foster have 3 consecutive successful runs? Has FO lied to me all these years?
Didn't the Giants sign Roman Phifer? I wonder what happened to him.
Not that he's a huge run-stopper, either.
wtf is a burner?
Phifer retired, I believe.
anyone see the completely illegal block to the back that steve smith had that resulted in that giants LB getting hurt, and thne have to sit through 4 replays of the commentators saying it was a great block?
No, they signed Phifer and he immediately got hurt. He's still listed on their roster, but he's not on this week's injury report, so I don't know what the deal is.
Yahoo sports shows Phifer on IR
That same year the Colts were the #6 team in the AFC. Everyone thought they were one of the best #6 seeds ever too. They lost to Miami when Mora Sr. settled for a 40+ yard FG that Vanderjagt botched. Then Miami ran all over Indy's defense to score the winning TD in OT.
I'm thought Pfifer was put on IR.
Re. 32, from ESPN:
"JEREMY GREEN: It starts in the neck area and you get a tingling sensation from your neck over to your shoulder and down your arm to your fingertips. It's the same as a stinger."
I had a burner/stinger once, and it scared the hell out of me. I can't imagine getting one every time I played.
There's some replacement level LB play on 3rd & 2.
Also, am I the only person in the world who thinks that the Panthers already have a decent halfback, and that his name is Nick Goings? All that guy is produce when he (rarely) gets a chance.
Oh, I guess Mr. Aikman does too.
End Zone angel. I like that one.
Terrel Buckley covering Steve Smith looks like a really bad idea. The Panthers drive was very impressive. I guess it's difficult to stop the run without Linebackers.
Ok, FOX, you can STOP THE FREAKING SLEIGH BELLS now.
Smart play by the Panthers, milking the play clock each down.
If they change up to a quick-count later on, it'll be positively Tom Moore-level.
Terrell Buckley wasn't even any good when he was 24 and fast. What is he still doing in the league now that he's 34 and slow?
Steve Smith: 5/52, TD
Rest of team: 2/15
We've secretly replaced the New York Giants defense with the Atlanta Falcons. Let's see if DeShaun Foster notices.
Remember, TBuck could not stick with the Pats after the 2002 season. And they have used somewhere around 30 DB's since then including Troy Brown and Don Davis
Another one armed linebacker...Dan Morgan...didn't they watch the one arm non tackling dummies from Jax last night
hey starshatter, i agree that weather isn't really a factor but you left out one part of the bad weather equation: stopping the run.
can the bengals do that? uh, no.
So what happen there? When Manning threw it 5 feet over Burress' head, is that horrible accuracy or did he run the wrong route? I've heard a lot of people complaining about Eli doing that but I'd never seen it till now.
Unless Manning starts to hit (or even throw near) his receievers, this wil get ugly fast.
Smart play on 3rd and 8.
An eventual touchdown drive by the Panthers is extended by a questionable illegal contact call, then a drive by the Giants is ended on a questionable no-call. Those penalties are always a little hard to interpret, but the officials at least need to be consistent.
Oh dear God that was a horrible hitch pass.
Can't see the Sat. comments now, but can someone tell me what Bradshaw et al had to say about the Pats/Jax game? Did you notice that no Patriot was mentioned on their best of list? GM, coach, ass. coach, nothing.
Well, the Panthers had about 3 other penalties on that drive.
Of course, it always helps when the defense has NO ONE in the middle of the field.
The Giants CANNOT get off the field on 3rd down... how many third and long conversions is that now?
Some less than replacement level LB play on 3rd & long. 11 yards up the gut? That's terrible.
I think they're going to keep going to Goings.
They need Gary Reasons in the middle!
Giants fans Are so fickle. It's WAAAAY too early to start booing.
I didn't think the Giants linebacker play could possibly be THAT bad - certainly not good, but not horrible. But this is just an abysmal display, they seem to be far out of position on just about every play, there just isn't anyone in the middle of the field. Honestly, it's like the Giants don't even HAVE linebackers. And Buckley's their shut-down corner?
luz (#53 )--
The Bengals have the same game-plan to stop the run, as did the Colts last year: they just have to hold it off long enough, to build a sufficient lead, to force the other team to pass in order to come from behind.
It's not like they get better at that on a warm, dry field, with no wind.
Ok, exactly what is a stinger/burner?
Will? Are you there?
Thank GOD i'm not the only one who didn't know what a burner was.
I think they heard you, and we're now blessed with more Deshaun Foster.
What's with all the bad weather talk for Cincy anyway? Forecast calls for over 50 with little chances of rain. It was colder than that yesterday in Tampa.
OK, it wasn't a fumble, but if you want examples of why Bouncing Footballs Are Random, there you go.
On a play like that, how the heck is anyone not fielding the ball supposed to know where it is? Is the guy fielding suppose to wave his guys off if he's not fielding it?
it's not that they get better at stopping the run on a warm, dry field. it's that bad weather would hamper their ability to stop the run AND to pass to build up that lead.
On the replay, it looked like the wave-off came too late
He wasn't REALLY going to snap the ball was he?
Good to see the Giants fans supporting their team.
Stinger / Burner is a compression of a nerve as a result of a collision, it results in a burning or stinging sensation. Can be like striking your "funny bone" or more serious like a compression of neck vertabrae
From the American Academy of Family Physicians:
A "burner" is an injury to one or more nerves between your neck and shoulder. It is not a serious injury.
As for Carolina at New York â€” to quote an amazingly witty (and handsome!) anonymous poster here, â€œWeather as a game factor is largely overstated.â€?
Ever heard of THE SYSTEM?
The Giants pretty much don't have linebackers. When it was Pierce/Emmons/Torbor/Greisen, they weren't really that great. And now that all of them are hurt, it's really, really bad.
Ever heard of THE SYSTEM?
I mentioned it already.
How's THE SYSTEM done in the first half?
Wow, this is the first time I've seen Marvin Lewis interviewed outside of a game situation and it's shocking how non-burned out he looks. Most coaches have this pallid, stressed out, borderline psychosis look to them... and he's in decent shape, doesn't have a face full of lines, and seems laid back and relaxed two hours before the biggest game of his head coaching career.
These are very admirable things, IMO.
Clearly he has heard of THE SYSTEM, since he states that fact in post #25.
Either you can't read, or you're just being a dick.
I havent heard of THE SYSTEM. Care to bring me up to speed?
Is it just me or would Lawrence Taylor still outplay the Giants' linebackers?
It's some statistical analysis pointing out that warm weather/dome teams have a miserable record covering the spread playing cold games, and an even worse record covering the spread playing cold games at night.
At least that's what I remember. It's like the one true law of gambling, now that "Don't bet against Brett Farve" has fallen apart.
That's a blown call.
Why are coaches allowed to delay the game by challenging plays that can't be challenged? Gruden did it yesterday; Fox does it now. I thought there was supposed to be a penalty when that happens; otherwise, can't a coach just claim he's challenging something every time he wants to give his team some extra time between plays?
I think they're going to bring in LT in the second half. The three guys they found off the street aren't doing it. Man oh man...that's just sad. I hate it when a team that gets decimated by injuries loses almost entirely because of that.
We'll see if Eli et al can pull it together - his line needs to do a better job of blocking, and they need to start throwing it to Tiki to slow the pass rush down.
Huge break for the Giants. Shockey clearly wasn't down.
Well, there's a bad call/some luck for the G-Men. Looked like the official had a pretty good angle to see it was a fumble, too.
Man there have been some horrible calls this postseason. Tampa got screwed yesterday, and now both teams have complaints today.
Because, as far as FOX is concerned, the NFL only consists of the NFC.
I think a lot of coaches and commentators still don't fully understand when they can challenge and when they can't. Also, it in no way hurts them to find out. What is the league going to start doing, charging 5 yard penalties or timeouts?
This seems to happen FREQUENTLY with fumbles where players are ruled on the field down by contact and the coaches try to challenge and the commentators scream for a challenge but it can't actually happen.
Harry Carson? OMG! I thought he was dead!
I hate it when a team that gets decimated by injuries loses almost entirely because of that.
I agree the Giants are getting killed by their linebackers -- but their offense has like, zero points, fifty-some yards and ten minutes of possesion. I think they deserve equal blame.
THE SYSTEM is based on one statistical trend: home field advantage for outdoor, cold-weather teams, increases as winter deepens.
A gambling rules go, it's much better than things like "Brady is undefeated in a dome." (True, but small sample size.)
But if all you have on one side of the game in THE SYSTEM, bet the other side.
Is THE SYSTEM why the punters can't seem to strike the ball properly? This is getting silly.
Has a Tom Coughlin team ever looked so unprepared for a big game? The Giants are in disarray.
Seems like the officials in the playoffs are blowing the whistle sooner than they did in the regular season. They missed a fumble here with Carolina and one that Arrington gave away before Washington's first touchdown yesterday. Both were not challengeable; "Down By Contact". During the season I think the officials would've let play continue so the challenge could at least be made.
Who else thinks whatever team wins should pick up Kordell Stewart for a backup punter next week?
I like the playcalling by the Panthers (what else is new, I've loved their playcalling since Henning became their coordinator). When they run, its always misdirection. They can see that the Giants have a terrific D-line that can make their LBs look well, so they're running plays where the D-line has to force the runner to a place where a LB is supposed to be - problem is, that LB this game hasn't BEEN there.
The Giants LBs are just not up to stopping the carolina rush.
THE SYSTEM has allowed me to buy and sell millions of dollars in real estate. But what does that have to do with football?
Another iffy "down by contact" ruling. Is this officiating crew especially prone to this?
Goings went limp, that was a fumble.
So does the Hall of Fame selection committee.
I guess it's true what they say- it's not a good idea to try to play defense without any linebackers at all. The Giants are going a long way towards inflating Deshaun Foster's DVOA rating for the season. He and Goings are both having more or less perfect success rates thanks to the awful, awful LB play. There's so much pressure on the Giants D-line to make the plays themselves, because once the runner gets past the line, he's getting into the secondary for sure.
If they ruled down by contact, they should have done it earlier. They sat there and let the play run about 10 seconds longer because nobody made a call.
Also, Delhomme throws probably the best deep ball in the NFL.
Crushinator, if you and I know that a play ruled down by contact can't be challenged, why is it too much to ask that the coaches know that too? And, again, what is to stop a coach from using bogus challenges as a way to get extra time between plays?
Coaches SHOULD know, but a lot of them don't and that seems to be the excuse they use.
How would you like to prevent coaches from doing it though? This type of thing does happen regularly. Should coaches be penalized for trying to challenge unchallengable plays?
Hey, even if they are injured the Giants LBs could have sent hookers to the Panthers' hotel last night.
Thanks for the explanation.
Right there on that punt when they said Morton almost made a terrible mistake -
That punt hit a Panther first. It was a free return for Morton.
And the thing is, the Giants D-Line HAS been really impressive, obviously stepping up their play even more because they know the LBs suck. I'm kind of suprised they haven't gone to a Raidersesque "Big Nickle." At least the DBs hopefully know their assignments.
I agree with #103 the officials should not be blow these plays dead. It used to be better to rule down by contact early so that no one got hurt but now you have to let these things continue.
Should coaches be penalized for trying to challenge unchallengable plays?
RE: 120 This is why coaches can't challenge in the last two minutes.
Aikman said the same thing early in the game. It's worth a go. It can't be any worse than what there getting from their base D.
Too early to call this one over?
Great decision by Elisha.
NOOOOOOO!!!!! DON"T THROW IT!!!!!!................................. too late.
And for all the talk about the Giants defense, the O has been much more pathetic. This has just been an atrocious game for NY.
Personally, I think they should change the rule of down by contact.
The play should run to the whistle. If the Refs themselves aren't sure, let the play run until it is determined to be over, then blow the whistle, rule the "down by contact" and let it be challenged. Players play to the whistle so if they hear none, they'll keep going.
In situations like that, blow the whistle after he was tackled with the ball after the fumble, then rule down by contact and let the play be challenged.
Terrible decision by Manning, followed by a crushing touchdown. Notice that all three linebackers flowed to the ball, resulting in there being three Carolina lineman out in front of Smith with virtually no one to block.
Not so good, G-men. Not so good.
Barring a total meltdown by Carolina, I think it's time to fire up NCAA Football 2005.
They blow the whistle to keep guys from getting hurt. I think it's just something you have to deal with- it doesn't end up impacting play all that often.
On the plus side, at least the Giants won't get to play like this next week in Soldier Field. The offense might have actually wound up with negative yardage for the game.
at this point, how does nobody own the domain name "www.ihatemamamcnabb.com" ?
Lucas is playing it right, Buress is too big NOT to bump and run.
So much for Eli Manning "just winning" while Peyton is all about stats.
The sound of "game over" being written in notebooks across the land is deafening.
It is within my rights to predict one completely off-the-wall prediction each year, and Iâ€™m predicting the Panthers win Sunday when Eli Manning self-destructs in a 3+ interception performance.
Maybe we'll get to see Tim Hasselbeck late in this game, with two sets of brothers throwing passes in these play-offs.
The three games so far seem to be vindicating the old clichÃ© about playoff experience making a difference in quarterback matchups.
If so, the Steelers might have a bit of an edge in the Pitt/Cinci game.
So Who are you guys picking in the Panthers-Bears game?
I disagree. Simms clearly outplayed Brunell. Tampa lost that game because of bad bounces of the ball and a couple bad officiating calls.
Leftwich wasn't that bad either, the rest of the Jags just didn't give him any support.
I think that the Giants took tackling lessons from the Kansas City defenders this week.
If the weather in Chicago is bad, I'll take the Bears.
If the weather is good... I'll try really hard to forget the earlier loss to Chicago...and the bye week...and the Chicago D... and pick the Panthers.
Nah, I'll take Chicago either way.
This is just pitiful. Foster looks like Barry Sanders times two out there.
I dont know what Terrell Buckley was complaining about there. Hasn't he realized in 14 years in the league that the receiver has to flatten the corner for the officials to call OPI?
Re 138: Except that Chris Simms played a much better game than Brunnell.
I missed alot of the game. Just curious has Shockey's injury really slowed him much?
What a return on that last pick. The Giants should have let him keep running, they would have ended up with a safety.
Holy playoff meltdown Batman!
Poor WordPress can't handle all the reloading :/ Or is it just me?
re:149 it's not just you
Did anyone see the Michelob commercial? It just had a bunch of scantily-clad women dancing around. What does that have to do with beer? The ads get worse and worse...
On the INT return, McCree did a nice job running backwards. Not a guy you'd want returning punts or anything.
There have now been more running plays to Foster and Goings than there have been total offensive plays for the Giants.
The Giants has 109 total yards. And that makes it even more amazing that the Redskins won by gaining 120.
BIG BLEW IT!!!! HA HA HA HA!!!
Love the idea of the Giants' only 2 pts coming on a safety during a pick return
To no. 146 -- I do not think Shockey's injury has slowed him down much he is still confidently leading the NFL in the most overrated player category.
Also you will be happy to hear that the injury will not prevent him from winning the "prettiest hair in the nfl award".
Leave the Skins Alone. They only NEEDED to have 120 yards of total offense to win. WE'll just score more next week.
It just goes to show you the effect of injuries on a team's ability to compete. A healthy Giants team would have made for a much more interesting matchup against the Bears than this Panthers team, which doesn't figure to be any more able to block Chicago's front four this time around.
Good, part of my thought process in picking carolina over NY was that he was slowed by injury...among other reasons.
Yeah, good call on that 3+ int prediction. Though I don't know how much that had to do with it and how much the total lack of being able to get the Panther's offense off the field had to do with it.
Both sides of the ball, the Giants just looked bad. Yikes. DVOA didn't do so well this time.
Carolina's still passing. Talk about twisting the knife. :P
I still am not a believer in the Bears. I think The Panthers beat them in a close one. I'm going out on a limb who's coming with me!!!
It's pretty sad when your linebackers bite on play action on 3rd and 11.
what's sadder is that Carolina has a good chance of getting the first down if they do run it on 3rd and 11.
I guess the 5 second (or 7 second) delay doesn't work.
A Giant player:
"Get the f*&^ out of here, man!"
Carolina has now run 68 offensive plays.
New York has run 32.
I really hate that DirecTV commercial with the kid who's disappointed to find that his dad is watching football, and the dad pauses the game to read to his son. What kind of dad is this? Why doesn't the dad teach the kid about football? So many fathers and sons have a bond through sports, and this dad has never thought to watch a game with his kid?
Right... you're not worried at all by that performance ;)
I thought he's teaching his son the magic of TiVO. Or perhaps they're pausing plays to analyze coverages and line blocking.
In related news, Eli Manning sucks.
Re: 160, actually Carolina is 8th in weighted DVOA, the Giants are 7th. So DVOA did a good job, because it said these teams were very close. It was those of us who discounted the huge blowout of Atlanta who didn't do a good job. By the way, as long as we're criticizing units of the Giants, how about the offensive line? Eek.
You know Eli's had a tough day when the highlight reel where they flash his name on the screen is all clips of him throwing picks.
Possibly the most disappointing game I've seen this year.
I'm with you MDS, my Grandfather never read to me but he told me all about Jim Brown and "Night Train" Lane.
167: Oddly enough, last night we were watching this and my friend said, "Why doesn't he actually read to his son instead of showing off the Direct TV features?" Of course an ad that didn't show of the Direct TV features wouldn't sell Direct TV so well.
BTW, I'm working before the steelers game--was Nick Goings Carolina's quarterback toward the end or did NFL Gamecenter wig out?
I think the implication of the DirecTV commericial is the miracle of digital video recording will turn bookish, nerdy children into virile football fans.
I think Goings threw a pass at some point
Aaron: between the home field advantage and the giants being better, DVOA, I can't see how DVOA does a good job predicting this. It does do a good job saying Carolina has a chance, but this was not a chance - this was a mugging. Part of the reason is that the Giants had basically a totally different defense on the field compared to their good DVOA numbers. Part of it is the lack of experience in Manning, who reverted rather badly to first-year seasons.
I'm not saying that DVOA is bad; I'm saying that DVOA is bad when attempting to predict behaviors stemming from disconnected statistics. DVOA has shown repeatedly that it gets all kerblooey when you start dealing with subs, injuries, etc. This time is no different.
Really - DVOA would have the giants up by like 15-20%, right? Between HFA and the cold weather bits and the Giants being better. Saying that it did a good job predicting this result...that seems wrong.
#175 & 177:
Goings attempted a halfback-option pass at one point, but was "sacked" out of bounds on the play without throwing the pass.
Excluding the play at the end of the first half, NY only had the ball 8 times this game. Through the first two and a half quarters, they had four real possessions, with 87 net yards, 5 first downs, and 4 punts. They were down 10-0, with 7:16 left in the 3rd, when they started their fifth possession. In the last quarter and a half, NY had four more possessions, with 64 net yards, 4 first downs, and 4 turnovers (three picks and a fumble). Carolina's offense, meanwhile, didn't have a bad possession all day, except for their first possession of the game.
PASSING CP/AT YDS TD INT
J. Delhomme 15/22 140 1 0
N. Goings 0/0 0 0 0
Apparently he didn't. But then why is he listed as a passer?
He had a "pass attempt" that ended up with him being pushed out of bounds.
He was listed as a passer because he was going to pass the ball but his receiver was covered, so he instead just got forced out of bounds for a 9 yard loss on his halfback option deal.
There was a Halfback pass but Goings didn't throw it. But he did go back to pass.
OK, NFL play-by-play changed most of those passes from Goings to Delhomme, although they still have Goings getting sacked on one play.
(As about twenty people pointed out between the time I hit "Say It!" and the time I hit "Submit." Stupid Weiner.)
Does anyone know who the CBS announcers are for the Steelers/Bengals game? I need to know if I should listen to the TV or the radio.
Nantz and Simms, I believe.
Can you tell me what the Powerball numbers will be Wednesday?
"For all of you folks out there that think Pittsburgh doesn't have a chance to win this game..."
Uh, who would that be, Terry? What an idiot.
BTW, I think Pittsburgh wins by a score of something like 27-21.
Pittsburgh to receive the kick.
I actually really don't care who wins as long as the game isn't terrible. Like all the other games this week.
This is so depressing.
I know. In my version, it would have included a belt, a screaming, running kid, and a call to the DCFS.
From your last comment, I've narrowed it down, but I can't get it past 3 teams. Are you a Chiefs, Chargers or Lions fan? ;)
Haha. Steelers, actually. And I do hope they win. But the NE/JAX and NYG/CAR were sooooo bad.... I'm in desperation.
Re 187: Nantz and Simms are usually very good - I'm definitely going TV sound today.
Hm. Maybe Roethlisberger's nervous.
He forgot to put in his mouth guard. It was sticking out of the corner of his facemask.
Impressive knowledge of where the LOS was by Big Ben there.
Hey! Roethlisberger just threw it late over the middle, and he wasn't intercepted - in fact, they got a first down! I had no idea any positive outcome could ever result from that. I figured it was always so bad, if your QB ever does it, you might as well just forfeit immediately.
Already a missed PI call.
OT, but not having a mouth guard in was the first penalty that I was ever called for in my first game in junior H.S.
#3 - daaaamn.
Only thing, not off-the wall. beatpaths has had the giants as a crappy team for a while. carolina over the giants was the most obvious pick of the week. according to the ranking algorithm it's using right now, the giants were in the bottom half of the league after week 17, below dallas, minnesota, and atlanta. Dallas should have been in the playoffs instead of the Giants.
That was a nice example of Return the Punt From Within the Tenitis.
There go the fundamentals.
Thanks, Keiwan Ratliff.
Bad decision to return that punt.
O'Neal grabbed Randle El before the ball got there, and no call.
Also, Ratliff made a really stupid decision to field that punt.
Why do people keep yakking about cold weather in relation to Carolina and the Giants?
First of all, its not particularly cold today here in the northeast.
Second, the weather in Charlotte wouldn't be that different temperature-wise. Its not like Charlotte is in south Florida.
Because, as I have to tell people roughly 100,000 times a week, DVOA doesn't account for injuries. Now, in my preview I didn't think the injuries were going to quite such a big deal. But we all knew they were there. When someone says "DVOA didn't do a good job" that sounds like the team at #20 just whipped the team at #3. That's not what happened. A healthy team beat a team that was crippled but slightly better during the regular season. We have never said that every team should beat every team below them 100% of the time, even the ones just one spot below, even though so many readers want to believe that this is what the ratings are supposed to represent.
To be honest, tunesmith, I don't see this as vindication for Beatpaths either, unless the Giants team that was losing all those beatpaths also didn't have its three opening day linebackers, and had a clearly hobbled Kareem McKenzie playing like crap.
First offensive play for the Bengals, and Hampton pushes the center three yards into the backfield.
Well that'll make things interesting.
That might be the worst "big play" of the year. That replay made me wince.
Ow, bet that felt good. Ironically enough, someone on ESPN (think it was Eddie George) picked Kitna to be this year's Frank Reich.
uncalled late hit changes this game.
This stuff is why i wanted the pats to lose to miami so we could play the jags.
Even if Palmer comes back, the Pittsburgh front three is fighting double-teams and still getting penetration on the quarterback.
I smell sackfest.
Palmer completes one long to Johnson, but goes down on the play. That did not look good.
Kitna is a damn good backup, but does anybody think Cincinnati's going anywhere without CP?
Now we'll see what Kitna has left. If he is the best backup QB in the league, now's the time to show it.
OH MY GOD
I am sick of penalties. I'm going to go to NFL HQ and hit people. Every team, every game this postseason. This is absolutely ridiculous.
Wow. Palmer, Henry, now Bryant. 3 Injuries already (2 look serious), and p[layers getting into it all over the field. It looks like a war zone.
On the replay of the Carson Palmer injury; didn't it seem like the hit was LATE? It's possible that Kimo was half-falling and couldn't stop, I guess. Odd reaction from Kimo a few seconds later: he smacked his fist into his palm in what seemed like a regretful gesture.
I wonder how good Cincy's no. 3 QB is. They'll need him soon in this game, with Kitna's non-slides;)
PIT's defence looks terrible. Ugh.
I will never understand why, when the defense sees the QB audible against the blitz, the defense continues the blitz. That's like asking to give up a big play.
I thought PIT was having luck with the silent count? Why aren't they using it here?
Sean Morey sighting?
When I win the lottery, I will buy FO the biggest, shiniest, no-Word-Press-Error-giving server you've ever seen.
Wow. Nobody even on that side of the field for Cincy.
I think the Steelers might do well to try some counter plays. See how well Cincy contains.
Oh, and did anyone else see the obvious hold that sprung Rudi Johnson for the touchdown?
Oh, and did anyone else see the obvious hold that sprung Rudi Johnson for the touchdown?
I didn't notice it till they praised it as a "great block" on the replay :) That guy was holding all sorts of jersey.
Taylor and Johnson both dropped the same pass. How bizarre.
"Odd reaction from Kimo a few seconds later: he smacked his fist into his palm in what seemed like a regretful gesture."
Kimo was a Bengal for his first 6 years in the league. But even if that wasn't a connection, maybe he's just the type of player that hates to see another player get seriously injuried.
I'll help with that server.
On the Steelers TD, Thurman read the play, but was taken out by outstanding blocking.
And Cincy's #3 QB is
If Kitna (who's) playing well), keeps going head-first into contact, the Bengals should be afraid.
You would think that after yesterday's game, players would know not to throw things into opponents' faces right in front of a ref. Brilliant, Troy, just brilliant.
PIT D is always terrible in Q1 this year. I don't know why.
That Kevin Walter, he has good fundamentals and runs good routes.
And on their third set of downs inside the 20, the Bengals finally score.
That's what happens when you give them 9 plays!
Tough series for Farrior.
Kitna is a damn good backup, but does anybody think Cincinnatiâ€™s going anywhere without CP?
Pushing another player? No foul.
Throwing a ball at another player? 15 yards and automatic first down.
I thought whomever started it was the one that got flagged?
I knew I saw Cedrick Wilson down clutching his knee after that return early in the game, but they cut away quickly to commercial, and didn't mention it when they came back.
Nantz and Simms have confused the names of Bengal players several times, most recently calling Rudi Johnson "Perry".
And we sure are getting a lot of Word Press errors. I guess the server can't handle the load.
Agreed. it's widely believed that Kitna is the best backup in the NFL, and deserves to start somewhere. Perhaps the Jets will come calling?
You need to create another server where we can have the weekly open threads. Hide it in a link on the page where DVOA is defined. Those threads will instantly become troll-proof. (Although, I have to admit, we're quite a civil bunch in the open threads. Congrats, guys.)
Looks like CIN has met TMQ's criterion of scant cheerleader wear...
Flaggy Flag Flaggy McFlag Flag
221- Yeah, Fnor, you must be even more pissed off now, 75 penalties later. I always thought "flag-ball" was a more relevant name than "football" :)
Kitna's looking good with 15 yard passes and the like. I guess he probably can't deliver the 65 yard bomb like Palmer did though. He does seem to be having issues communicating/syncing-up with Chad.
Re #209: Aaron, I don't know if "vindication" is the right word either, since I'm not aware of anyone taking beatpaths seriously enough to give it major criticism. :-) Still, those starting Giants linebackers don't play offense.
Looks like the Steelers can make big plays too. Nice pass!
I'm personally surprised that FO is still dealing with the WordPress errors. Is it that big of an expense that even with the extra cash coming from Fox that the site can't be moved to stonger servers?
Can Cincy win a shootout without Palmer? 'Cause it looks like we've got one.
244: Pittsburgh wins, they don't have a shred of clothing on their cheerleaders.
Intentional grounding? Please?
Man. I predicted a Steelers win, but I really want Kitna to be able to win the game now. That would rock.
Aaron, I think we're both agreeing. I'm just saying that DVOA predictive ability absolutely falls apart when multiple replacement players at key positions occur - and you seem to be saying the same thing. It's not bad in general, but it does mean that DVOA is useless some of the time in predicting trends.
It's doing well predicting the Cinci game though - lots of passes to #2 and #3 WRs, and a couple of good plays to RBs.
DId Polomolu just try to hide behind the DE on that blitz?
Since when do linebackers NOT play on offense?
It's like the Steelers are disheartened by how few of their fans could get tickets, so to make up for the lack of Terrible Towels, they are trying to get as much yellow in the field as possible.
I'm surprised that they didn't bring it up, but I think Kitna torched PIT for about 350 yards about 3 years ago.
Terrific tackle by Walter to prevent the INT.
As a Kitna watcher thru the lean "Bungle" years, PIT fans can look forward to a really poor interception and/or sack+fumble. If not, it will be a *true* special day for Kitna -- as in successful. Unlike Thiesmann's definition of successful for Simms in the first 1/2 of yesterdays TB game. what a moron.
Wow, shocking. They start the 2 minute drill with the draw to Verron Haynes out of the shotgun.
I've never seen that before.
Now playing the part of Heat Miser, please welcome Josh Reed.
How is thta not Intentional Grounding? His 'intended receiver' was blocking a pass rusher.
Looks like I've taken my tack from the announcers. :D
I meant Quincy Morgan, not Cedrick Wilson. My bad.
It's not intentional grounding because Big Ben said it wasn't. That's evidently good enough for the refs.
261: His "intended reciever" was being held by the pass-rusher. It's pass interference!
Actually, it was 411 yards. Back in 2001.
Of course, the secondary is almost completely different, aside from DeShea Townsend, and two of the linebackers are also different.
And the Bengals most dangerous receivers included not Chad Johnson, but... Peter Warrick(10/109) and Danny Farmer(7/113, 1 TD). Who's-Your-Daddy had a good game, too (9/98).
The server is back. Good.
Ben is 150.4 for the first half.
Thank you for that most insightful analysis of Vince Young, Mr. Sharpe. I'm so much more informed now!
Blasphemy! Boomer just said that UT Austin doesn't have ballroom dancing. Lies, lies, lies.
I finally saw the replay of that cheap shot on Palmer. Looks like Coward's Playoff Cheap Shot Clinic is back in session. There was Lee Flowers in 2001 twice trying to blow out Brady's knee or ankle by rolling into after the pass was long gone (and succeeding in knocking Brady out on the second try), and now this.
If PIT wins this, I hope the Indy OLmen blow a few Pittsburgh kneecaps into next year. Then maybe Coward will tell his team to stop playing dirty in the postseason.
Cheap shot? Didn't look dirty to me. *shrug* I'm just disappointed that Palmer's out. He's fun to watch.
I thought Von Oelhoffen was blocked into Palmer and hit him while falling. Looked accidental to me.
Give me a break PatsFan. The Cincy blocker inadvertantly guided Kimo into Palmer's leg. If you want to look at a team that's suffered due to cheap shots on the QB knee, look at Pittsburgh.
When the receiver is covered on a deep pass, all you have to do is throw it too short and the defender can't get to it.
Yeah, he was knocked into him. Blame Cinci's players.
What did you expect him to do with such an off the cuff question, break out a flow chart and a 500 word outline?
It looked like it could have been called a late hit, but it didn't look like a deliberate attempt to injure.
CIN fan here .. Van Oelhoffen's grab of Palmer's leg didn't look like intent to injure to me. But he wasn't blocked into Palmer either. Kimo was just trying to grab a piece of QB CIN 9. It's football, right? Just SERIOUSLY unfortunate.
now the cheap shot on TJ in the back of the endzone mid-Q1 was weak.
I thot instant replay was supposed to be UNDISPUTABLE evidence? Weak call on Chad.
Where was the PI call? H. was clearly pushed off the ball well before it arrived.
The relay overrule was correct, though, IMHO.
Thats a challenge incorrectly overturned, and a non call on what should have been a TD.
I think theyre trying to give Pitt this game. And I dont even like the bengals.
On Chad -- secured catch -- 2 feet down .. a football move?
is he supposed to do the Heisman pose?
No, but realistically, any NFL commentator should have had some though about this since the Rose Bowl. Something more insightful than a Ballroom Dancing comment would be good. That was a complete Punt, at least say something about the throwing motion, the size, whatever.
Torn ACL. Ouch. :(
Here's hoping Palmer can come back full speed next year.
Torn ACL for Palmer, and they think he'll be ready for training camp in July? Strikes me as optimistic even if it's only the one ligament.
What's the prognosis on Palmer? I was watching Dr. No on AMC instead of the halftime show.
The replay call was correct (though the explantion was wrong)
Looked to me like the ball came out right after the second foot hit. Thus, no football move, unless you count the spin he was making at the time, but that wasn't after the second foot, it was more simultaneous.
The Officials and the Football Gods are making it VERY difficult for the Begals.
Did the snapper think he was snapping it to a shotgun QB?
richconley, when you said 'they're' trying to give the game to the Steelers, did you mean God? After that botched FG, it sure looks that way.
They're hoping he'll be back in time for... training camp next year :/
The rules on receptions are just completely nuts. Didn't the rule used to be control + 2 feet?
282: That's exactly what I was thinking. What's a football move?
Roethlisberger has some serious pocket presence. During this entire game, it seems like he always knows when & where the pressure is coming from.
Question: Why does the receiver fall down every time the CB jumps a sideline route and returns it for the TD?
Is it that when he doesn't, the CB gets tackled?
Or alternatively, what are non-football moves?
that was a catch, even with the nebulous "football move" loop hole. Not to mention the blatant PI on WHosmydaddy a couple of plays later. Steelers dodged 7 there. Kitna is playing well.
I'm a little confused as to what a "football move" consists of. I've heard it described before as simply making a turn upfield after making the catch, and it looked like that's what Johnson did.
Any team can win the Super Bowl in any given year. What would it look like for the league's worst team to somehow win it?
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