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» Scramble for the Ball: With All the Fixings

An idiot's (two idiots'?) guide to Thanksgiving football, prepped and primed for the monsters-in-law who only watch these three games in a year.

12 Dec 2016

Week 14 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Enough. Stan Kroenke had seen enough. The Rams' 42-14 loss to the Falcons on Sunday -- their fourth loss in a row, eighth in their last nine games, and 45th since the start of 2012 -- was the breaking point for the Los Angeles owner. Kroenke didn't move his team from St. Louis to watch them fail on offense game after game, all while preparing to sell 80,000 seats a week in the league's newest stadium. And so on Monday Kroenke fired Jeff Fisher, the head coach responsible for those 45 losses, and also responsible for an offense that seemed to get worse every year under his watch.

Here at Quick Reads, we have gotten quite familiar with Fisher's Rams over the years. They have provided us with our worst quarterback of the week five times (including twice in 2016), and also delivered five of our worst receivers of the week (including three in 14 weeks this year). There's a lot to get into about just what Fisher tried to do with the Rams and why it all went so wrong, but the crux of this column is statistical analysis of offensive players, and so we're going to focus on that side of the ball in this space.

The Rams lead the league in several offensive categories this year, none of which you actually want to lead the league in: fewest points scored, fewest total yards, lowest yards per play, fewest first downs, most punts. (Thank goodness they have Johnny Hekker.) And that's not a one-year fluke. Since Fisher was hired in 2012, the Rams have the fewest offensive yards gained, and are also in the bottom five in points scored, yards per play, and most punts.

If we are going to be perfectly fair, we must admit that the Rams have actually been better under Fisher than they were under his predecessors. Remember when we said that the Rams lost 45 games in almost five years under Fisher? Well, they lost 65 games in the five years before that, the Scott Linehan/Steve Spagnuolo era. They were in the bottom three in offensive DVOA every year from 2007 to 2011. Steven Jackson did have some big rushing years for those Rams teams, but otherwise they were nearly devoid of fantasy talent -- in none of those five seasons did they have a quarterback in the top 25 in passing DYAR, nor a wide receiver in the top 60 in receiving DYAR. They produced only one top-20 tight end.

With that in mind, Fisher stepped in and brought immediate improvement, but that improvement was short-lived. The Rams have been steadily moving backwards ever since, and they have bottomed out this season.


Rams Offense Year-By-Year Under Jeff Fisher
Year Off. DVOA Rk Pass Rk Run Rk QB (DYAR, Rk) RB (DYAR, Rk) WR (DYAR, Rk) TE (DYAR, Rk)
2012 -4.7% 21 6.8% 17 -4.9% 19 S.Bradford (388, 16) S.Jackson (147, 10) B.Gibson (232, 21)
C.Givens (77, 48)
D.Amendola (41, 63)
L.Kendricks (81, 12)
2013 -9.5% 22 0.1% 21 -14.8% 28 S.Bradford (304, 19)
K.Clemens (60, 25)
Z.Stacy (80, 23) A.Pettis (90, 49)
T.Austin (-36, 80)
C.Givens (-68, 84)
J.Cook (58, 21)
L.Kendricks (3, 38)
2014 -11.1% 25 -6.8% 26 -4.4% 15 A.Davis (47, 30)
S.Hill (-46, 34)
T.Mason (55, 23) K.Britt (163, 28) L.Kendricks (51, 15)
J.Cook (-39, 41)
2015 -15.0% 29 -13.5% 31 -6.4% 14 N.Foles (-353, 37) T.Gurley (170, 4) K.Britt (139, 31)
T.Austin (-122, 87)
L.Kendricks (-17, 37)
J.Cook (-76, 51)
2016* -31.0% 32 -27.9% 32 -23.7% 30 J.Goff (-508, 36)
C.Keenum (-158, 30)
T.Gurley (-53, 42) K.Britt (200, 16)
B.Quick (30, 68)
T.Austin (-140, 93)
L.Kendricks (-70, 46)
T.Higbee (-122, 48)
* Through Week 14, not including Monday night game. For 2016, minimum 140 passes for QBs, 70 rushes for RBs, 40 targets for WRs, 20 targets for TEs.

So, clearly, the Rams offense has been terrible this year. No all-time records are in jeopardy, though, at least not on the team level. The Rams' total offense DVOA would be the worst since Arizona and Carolina in 2010, but not among the ten worst of all time. The passing offense, believe it or not, wouldn't even make the bottom 30, and Jacksonville was worse as recently as 2014. Surprisingly, just one year after drafting megaback Todd Gurley and a bundle of offensive linemen, it's running the ball where the Rams are struggling most. By DVOA, they would be among the ten worst run offenses of all time, and the worst since Baltimore and Jacksonville in 2013.

As for individual marks? Gurley, Kenny Britt, Brian Quick, and Lance Kendricks are all better than the very worst players at their positions this year, let alone of all time. Goff isn't going to get enough attempts to threaten the single-season passing DYAR record of minus-1,130, set by David "Derek Carr's Older Brother" Carr in 2002. Goff's passing DVOA of minus-68.3% is very bad, but still comfortably better than Alex Smith's mark of minus-88.6% in his rookie year of 2005. Tavon Austin's minus-140 DYAR is way ahead of Chris Chambers' minus-294 with Miami in 2006. Higbee would be the one to watch here -- he's within sight of Marcedes Lewis' minus-161 DYAR with Jacksonville in 2011.

Austin, though, is on the verge of something special. He is very likely to finish worst among wide receivers in receiving DYAR for the second year in a row, and as of this writing has minus-274 DYAR in his career, the second-worst mark on record. He's only 40 DYAR or so ahead of Dez White (minus-312). Austin has put together four games of minus-20 DYAR or worse this season, including a minus-70 game in Week 1. So White's career mark is in serious jeopardy.

(Note that we're only counting receiving DYAR here. Austin has had much more success as a runner than as a receiver in his career, as discussed in our Year in Review piece last year. That piece is also relevant, by the way, for its discussion of how many Rams players were terrible last year too.)

In the big picture, it's clear that the Rams have been desperately trying to improve the offense for half a decade now, but it just keeps getting worse. No matter how many quarterback trades they make or how many first-round picks they throw at the problem, the decline has just continued. Fisher's head will likely not be the last to fall -- Kevin Demoff, Rams executive vice president of football operations (and son of Fisher's agent, Marvin Demoff), said Monday that "it would be a mistake to say anybody in the building would be back next year."

Assuming Fisher's coaching career is over -- and really, nobody's going to hire him, are they? -- between his tenures with the Oilers/Titans and Rams, he will retire with a win-loss record of 173-165-1 (.512), tying Dan Reeves (190-165-2, .535) for the most losses as a head coach in league history. Will he be missed? Not by many. Rotoworld did a fine job explaining why this firing was well deserved, and Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation also successfully showed how nothing bad that happened to the Rams was ever Fisher's fault.

If Fisher had an ugly habit of blaming his failures on others, his teams played an ugly style of football too. We've detailed the steady deterioration of his offense, but let's not overlook that since he was hired, the Rams lead the league in delay of game penalties. And while even Fisher would tell you he wished his offenses would have been able to just snap the ball on time, other penalty stats will tell you how dangerous his teams could be. Since he was hired, the Rams were called for 21 roughing the passer penalties, and 50 acts of unnecessary roughness. Only Houston committed more of the former, and only Baltimore was guilty of the latter more often. Fisher knew his own offense wasn't going to score many points, so it looked like he sent his men out to do whatever was necessary to ensure the other team didn't score, either.

So farewell, Jeff Fisher. You spent several years taking a job that could have gone to a younger, more deserving candidate in a field where opportunities are extremely limited. You wasted years of the careers of talented young men, careers that by their nature don't last very long in the first place. Your teams weren't very good, and they weren't very entertaining either. Wherever fate may take you after this, know that the NFL will be a better league without you.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Sam Bradford MIN
24/34
292
1
0
0
147
140
7
JAC
Guess who's happy he got away from Jeff Fisher? Bradford threw three passes against Jacksonville that traveled at least 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, completing all three of them for gains of 41, 44, and 45 yards. Otherwise, his best plays came in the four-minute drill situation -- once the Vikings took an 18-16 lead in the fourth quarter, he went 7-of-8. True, those completions gained only 36 total yards, but that was good enough to pick up first downs on each of his final four throws, including a game-clinching 3-yard touchdown.
2.
Tom Brady NE
25/36
400
3
1
1
124
124
0
BAL
3.
Aaron Rodgers GB
18/23
246
3
0
1
121
135
-14
SEA
Rodgers' first half (12-of-15, 202 yards, 3 touchdowns) was better than his second (6-of-8, 44 yards, 1 sack).
4.
Blake Bortles JAC
23/37
257
1
0
4
95
90
5
MIN
Bortles did best when he and the Jaguars were able to avoid long-yardage downs. With less than 10 yards to go for a first, he went 9-of-15 for 122 yards, with a 16th throw resulting in a 31-yard DPI.
5.
Matt Ryan ATL
18/28
237
3
0
2
94
94
0
LARM
Ryan was tremendous at finishing drives on Sunday. Inside the Los Angeles 40, he went 6-of-6 for 60 yards and two touchdowns, with three other first downs.
6.
Kirk Cousins WAS
14/21
234
2
1
2
86
84
2
PHI
So, uh, has anyone noticed how Kirk Cousins has caught fire lately? In his last six games, he has completed 68 percent of his passes for 8.9 yards apiece, with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions, and the league's best DYAR in that timeframe. For the full season, he is now second in DYAR behind Matt Ryan.
7.
Trevor Siemian DEN
35/51
335
1
0
3
50
50
0
TEN
Third and fourth downs: 3-of-10 for 34 yards and a sack. But hey, all three of those completions went for first downs.
8.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
15/20
195
3
1
1
33
46
-13
ARI
In the third quarter, which will be his last quarter for a while, Tannehill went 8-of-8 for 114 yards and a touchdown, with one fumbled snap.
9.
Matt Barkley CHI
20/32
212
1
0
1
15
15
0
DET
10.
Jameis Winston TB
16/26
184
0
0
2
13
14
-1
NO
11.
Alex Smith KC
17/26
264
1
1
1
12
9
3
OAK
Smith threw a league-high four passes this weekend that resulted in gains of 30 yards or more. Really! Alex Smith!
12.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
15/25
228
2
1
5
10
20
-9
PIT
Taylor totally Bortles'd it this week. After his interception put Pittsburgh in position to kick a field goal and take a 17-point lead in the fourth, Taylor caught fire, going 8-of-10 for 157 yards with one touchdown and a sack from that point forward.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Marcus Mariota TEN
7/20
88
0
0
2
0
-11
11
DEN
Hey! Titans! Mariota is your franchise quarterback -- you don't have to wait to call his number until it's third down! Mariota went 0-for-3 on first downs against Denver, 2-of-6 for 31 yards on second down, and 5-of-11 for 55 yards on third downs.
14.
Matthew Stafford DET
22/35
223
1
2
3
-8
-24
15
CHI
Of all of Stafford's lucky fourth-quarter comebacks this season, this may have been the luckiest. First of all, the Lions were actually leading in the fourth until Stafford threw two interceptions in three plays, the latter a pick-six that put the Bears ahead. Stafford then needed only five pass plays to lead the comeback. One was incomplete, and one was a completion for a 2-yard loss. The other three throws: an 8-yard gain on first down, a 23-yard gain on second-and-12, and a 13-yard DPI. Yes, this comeback included exactly one pass that was actually completed for a first down.
15.
Andrew Luck IND
24/45
276
2
2
1
-12
-25
13
HOU
16.
Carson Wentz PHI
32/46
314
1
1
4
-15
-20
5
WAS
17.
Andy Dalton CIN
20/28
180
2
0
4
-35
-43
8
CLE
18.
Cam Newton CAR
10/27
160
1
1
2
-36
-36
0
SD
A poor day in the red zone: one 6-yard touchdown, one 6-yard DPI, on completion for no gain, five incompletions, and one interception.
19.
Joe Flacco BAL
36/50
313
2
1
2
-39
-34
-5
NE
20.
Drew Brees NO
25/41
257
0
3
1
-49
-51
2
TB
Brees and the Saints lost this game between the 40s, where he went 5-of-10 for 34 yards and all three interceptions.
21.
Colin Kaepernick SF
15/26
133
1
0
2
-63
-73
11
NYJ
What the hell happened in the first 15 minutes of this game? In the first quarter, Kaepernick went 7-of-7 for 95 yards, including gains of 19, 27, and 30. He didn't complete a pass for more than 9 yards after that, going 8-of-19 for 38 yards (!), plus two sacks.
22.
Robert Griffin CLE
12/28
104
0
1
3
-74
-82
8
CIN
The Browns were hopeless on passes that traveled any meaningful distance against Cleveland. On throws to receivers 10 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage, Griffin went 0-for-8 with an interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Derek Carr OAK
17/41
117
0
0
1
-87
-76
-11
KC
Since 1950, only three quarterbacks have ever thrown 40 or more passes in a game, while averaging 3.0 yards per pass or fewer. In 2003, Jesse Palmer averaged 2.56 yards per pass against Carolina. Bruce Gradkowski averaged 2.90 yards against Giants in 2006. Carr lands right between them, with 2.85 yards per pass against Kansas City. Carr opened the second half going 1-of-8 for zero yards.
24.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
17/31
220
0
3
0
-101
-101
0
BUF
Why yes, there were a lot of horrible quarterbacks this week, nine in all at minus-100 DYAR or worse. That's exactly one-third as many minus-100-DYAR games the season produced in its first 13 weeks. The most there had been before this was five in Week 7. There were zero in Weeks 6, 8, and 9. Roethlisberger's red zone performance (2-of-6, 14 yards, two interceptions) almost single-handedly kept Buffalo in this game.
25.
Dak Prescott DAL
17/37
165
1
2
3
-103
-100
-3
NYG
Prescott didn't throw a single pass in New York's red zone. From the Dallas 49-yard line to the goal line, he went 3-of-9 for 38 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble.
26.
Philip Rivers SD
21/39
236
2
3
5
-107
-107
0
CAR
Rivers did not complete a pass for a 10-yard gain until the two-minute warning of the first half. By that point he had already racked up four sacks, two fumbles, and an interception and Carolina had already taken a 23-0 lead.
27.
Brock Osweiler HOU
14/23
147
0
1
2
-112
-112
0
IND
On Indianapolis' half of the field, Osweiler went 5-of-12 for 44 yards with one interception, one sack, and one fumble.
28.
Bryce Petty NYJ
23/35
257
0
1
6
-116
-116
0
SF
This was, in fact, pretty much the opposite of Colin Kaepernick's day. Petty's very first pass was intercepted, and at the end of three quarters he had gone 15-of-23 for 169 yards and all six sacks. And then in the fourth and overtime, he went 8-of-12 for 88 yards.
29.
Eli Manning NYG
17/28
193
1
1
3
-124
-124
0
DAL
As it turns out, neither quarterback in this game threw a pass in the red zone. On Dallas' half of the field, Manning went 7-of-12 for 54 yards with an interception, two sacks, and two fumbles, both recovered by Dallas.
30.
Carson Palmer ARI
18/33
145
2
2
3
-150
-152
1
MIA
Palmer fumbled on two of his three sacks, and also turned the ball over on a fumbled snap. His first eight third-down plays resulted in five incompletions, (two of them intercepted), two completions for 16 yards, one sack, and only one conversion. His next two third-down plays were fourth-quarter touchdowns, the latter of which tied the game. But then his next third-down play was an incompletion, and the Cardinals punted and never got the ball back.
31.
Jared Goff LARM
24/41
235
0
2
3
-169
-176
7
ATL
Goff had ten pass attempts with 5 yards or less to go. He completed three of those ten passes for 18 yards, with an interception and only one first down.
32.
Russell Wilson SEA
22/39
240
1
5
3
-198
-205
7
GB
The death spot for Wilson came between Seattle's 28- and 40-yard lines. In those 12 yards, he went 2-of-9 for 23 yards, with more interceptions (three) or sacks (also three) than completed passes. For what it's worth (nothing), none of his interceptions came on third or fourth downs. Mind you, he was still terrible on third and fourth downs, going 5-of-8 for 47 yards with one sack and only three conversions.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Le'Veon Bell PIT
38
236
3
4/5
62
0
98
62
37
BUF
This was the best game of the year so far for a running back, but it wasn't close to the best game of all time (Priest Holmes against Seattle, Week 12 of 2002), or any of the other 23 100-DYAR games running backs have put together in the past quarter-century. Why not? Well, while Bell had eight runs of 10 yards or more (!), he was hit for no gain or a loss six times. He also takes a hit of more than 30 DYAR in opponent adjustments due to playing the Bills and their stinky, stinky defense. Oh, and three of Bell's receptions also gained 10-plus yards, including a pair of third-down conversions.
2.
Carlos Hyde SF
17
193
0
1/1
7
1
84
68
16
NYJ
Seven runs of 10-plus yards -- including gains of 20, 25, 43, and 47 -- while getting hit for nor gain or a loss only four times.
3.
LeGarrette Blount NE
18
72
1
1/1
7
0
66
63
3
BAL
Blount gets a boost of 44 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.
4.
Tevin Coleman ATL
8
36
1
2/3
19
1
49
25
25
LARM
Five of Coleman's carries gained 5 yards or more. His two receptions included a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 6 and a 13-yard gain on first-and-10.
5.
Latavius Murray OAK
22
103
1
0/1
0
0
40
44
-4
KC
Three gains of 10 yards or more, while getting hit for no gain or a loss just twice. This was just the third 100-yard game against Kansas City this year, and the first of those games that also included a rushing touchdown.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Carlos Hyde SF
17
193
0
1/1
7
1
84
68
16
NYJ
2.
LeGarrette Blount NE
18
72
1
1/1
7
0
66
63
3
BAL
3.
Le'Veon Bell PIT
38
236
3
4/5
62
0
98
62
37
BUF
4.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
24
107
0
0/2
0
0
36
45
-9
NYG
Four gains of 10 yards or more, while getting hit for no gain or a loss four times.
5.
Latavius Murray OAK
22
103
1
0/1
0
0
40
44
-4
KC


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Spencer Ware KC
20
56
0
1/2
7
0
-35
-30
-4
OAK
Ware's longest run gained only 8 yards, while he was hit for no gain or a loss four times.


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Matt Asiata MIN
11
37
1
2/2
14
0
-32
-35
3
JAC
Asiata had one run for 23 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run, both in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, his longest run gained only 5 yards; he was hit for no gain five times, four of them coming at Jacksonville's 1-yard line; and he lost a fumble, also at Jacksonville's 1-yard line.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
T.Y. Hilton IND
9
13
115
12.8
1
53
HOU
Hilton's longest play -- longer even than his 35-yard touchdown -- was a 40-yard gain on a DPI.
2.
Marvin Jones DET
4
5
67
16.8
0
52
CHI
Jones had a 48-yard completion, and also DPI gains of 38 and 23 yards.
3.
Marqise Lee JAC
5
8
113
22.6
0
50
MIN
Catches of 39, 34, and 22 yards, plus a DPI of 22 yards.
4.
Adam Thielen MIN
4
5
101
25.2
0
49
JAC
Thielen's four catches gained 11, 23, 26, and 41 yards.
5.
Kenny Stills MIA
6
7
97
16.2
1
49
ARI
Stills had a gains of 29 and 28 yards (the latter a touchdown), plus a 14-yard gain on third-and-7.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Dez Bryant DAL
1
9
10
10.0
0
-63
NYG
Bryant fumbled away his only reception. Also, though we count interceptions against passers, not receivers, it's worth pointing out that two of Bryant's incomplete targets were in fact interceptions.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 12 Dec 2016

79 comments, Last at 14 Dec 2016, 6:07pm by Steve in WI

Comments

1
by BJR :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 9:29am

What the heck happened in Jacksonville? Roethlisberger, Rivers, Eli, Prescott, Palmer, Wilson all with worse than -100 DYAR, whilst Bradford and Bortles are lighting it up?

What a schizophrenic season Wilson is having. He certainly wasn't helped on Sunday by his receivers playing as if they were drunk. But at this point I've honestly got no idea what to make of this offence.

Blount's numbers are another example of where DYAR as a stat is not intuitive. I know it should not be taken this literally, but the insinuation is that the replacement level back would have rushed 18 times for 9 yards last night. Baltimore's run D is very good, but most would have a hard time believing that.

4
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:19am

For whatever reason, Seattle's offense can't execute on the road. Usually, that phenomena is due to an offensive line not be able to function in front of a hostile crowd, thus being slow off the ball, and generally slow to adjust and work well together. This is probably multifactoral, however.

8
by BJR :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:42am

I'm sure this is a factor, although they did play perhaps their best offensive game of the season in Foxboro a few weeks ago, so it hasn't exclusively been a home/road thing.

Looking at the schedules, unless Arizona can pull off an upset in Seattle on Christmas Eve, the Seahawks will win out, which means unless Detroit wins out (very unlikely looking at their schedule), they will clinch the no. 2 seed. So playing on the road in the playoffs is unlikely to be a factor until potentially Dallas in the Championship game. That is still a dangerous proposition to the rest of the NFC.

11
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:02am

The Foxboro game fooled the hell out of me. I now have no idea what to make of that offense, and Earl Thomas is gone from the defense.

30
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:53pm

I have no idea what to make of this whole season. I thought the Packers were cooked after watching their performances against Tennessee and Washington. The only reliable constant this year is chaos.

34
by Arkaein :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:00pm

GB's defense is solid when most of the pieces are healthy.

CB1 Sam Shields is lost for the year, but against Tennessee I think GB was also missing CB2 Damarious Randall and Clay Matthews. CB3 Quinton Rollins was forced to play outside instead of in the slot. Matthews came back in limited fashion against Washington, but the secondary was still terrible. There were also injuries at ILB around this time, which didn't help.

Now with Randall healthy, Rollins back inside, and CB4 Ladarius Gunter a bit more experienced (all of these are 2nd year players), GB has a functional secondary again.

The O-line is pretty close to full strength as well. RB TJ Lang is their best run blocker, but missed several games while GB was sorting out who should actually carry the ball following Lacy going on IR. They screwed around with Don Barclay in his place, who was a liability in protection, before going with rookie jason Spriggs who was better in pass pro but weak in the run game. With Lang back, GB is back to being maybe the best pass-blocking unit in the NFL, and a respectable run blocking one.

GB dug themselves a hole, but if they can stay relatively healthy they can play up to their pre-season projections. That's a big if though.

63
by big10freak :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 9:51pm

This is a bad weather secondary. These guys are not fast save for Ha Ha. Gunter especially needs a bad field to neutralize a receiver's speed. He's a young Al Harris.

49
by nickd46 :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 4:56pm

Good point made above about the crowd noise and the Seattle Offensive Line, that would explain why the Seahawks are worse on the road than they should be.

As for the Foxboro game being an aberration, the New England fans were noticeably subdued during the game - both HawkBlogger in his summary after travelling to the game, and Pete Carroll in the post-game interviews, highlighted how quiet the home fans were.

53
by RickD :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 7:19pm

It was the first game after the Jamie Collins trade. A lot of people were upset - both fans and players.

33
by Dave0 :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 1:55pm

Its because they're missing a player.

2
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 9:34am

Is "Hill" Marvin Jones's nickname?

3
by DGL :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:15am

If you give Jeff Fisher a 2-14 team, he'll get it to 7-9.

If you give Jeff Fisher a 13-3 team, he'll get it to 7-9.

23
by alexcaster :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:10pm

"Coach, if you need one yard, I'll get you three yards. If you need five yards, I'll get you three yards." Leroy Hoard. Jeff FIsher is the Leroy Hoard of coaching.

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:24am

I do think the Cowboys would be better playing Romo, but I can understand why the situation is difficult to manage, in a "this is a great difficulty to be confronted with" sort of way.

10
by RickD :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:01am

Based on Sunday? I'd agree. While Prescott is the "QB of the future" Romo is the better choice for right now.

Glad to not be part of this situation.

12
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:06am

I just see any well coached playoff team, in a game where Dallas o-line doesn't completely dominate, or the Dallas defense having a bad day, being able to dial up stuff that just confuses the hell out of a rookie qb. What do you suppose Darth would throw at him, if the Patriots jumped out to a 13 point lead?

I'd start Romo from here on out, and hope like hell he stays healthy.

14
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:22am

The only way Dak gets sat down is if he has a phenomenally awful game Sunday night against the Bucs, who have been picking off a lot of balls in recent games. He's played too well over the season to be benched based on one game (or even a slowdown in recent games). He has to pretty much implode for that to happen. Which would be nice from my point of view, of course.

16
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:25am

I can certainly understand that approach. I just firmly believe that Romo is still, at this point, a significantly better qb.

26
by Setzer1994 :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:22pm

Do we actually know that Romo is better though?

He's barely played in two years, and his back might completely snap on the first hit he takes.

I guess I understand the argument, but I think Dak would have to truly implode for a switch to be considered.

28
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:34pm

Well, obviously if he gets hurt, he's not better, and there is no way to know until he plays. I think the Dallas offense is, right now, very, very dependent on their o-line completely dominating the opposition defensive front. If he stays healthy, Romo provides more ways for the Cowboys to win.

61
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 9:05pm

I'm with you on this. Romo has a career of being a very good qb, this years' Cowboys set is probably better than it's ever been and I'd fully expect Romo to be much better than Prescott.

17
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:30am

Belichick can empathize with having a dominating team and not being able to beat NYG, I suppose.

Not sure he'd put in Bledsoe to replace Brady, though.

22
by jds :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:08pm

That's a fair comment, but perhaps the better one might be putting in Manning to replace Osweiler.

Not being in the locker room, or on the practice field, its hard to say what might be best, but I would suggest they better get Romo in for a few real game speed plays/series in the next few weeks (perhaps after locking up HFA). Hate to be in a situation where they "have" to go to Romo, when he's been holding the clipboard for so long.

24
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:10pm

It used to be common wisdom that rookies (and especially rookie quarterbacks). Would hit a rookie wall at a certain point. Recent top drafted QBs have basically blown this idea away, but I wonder if Prescott wouldn't benefit from being sat for a while.

35
by ChrisS :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:05pm

I think mid-season form Romo would be better than Prescott. But that is not what you would get, you would get a somewhat rusty Romo (a rusty Romo sounds like it would have a dirty definition on Urban Dictionary). So I agree with other posters about getting him some game-time action.

38
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:08pm

He'd have 3 regular season games, and probably a bye week to round into form.

6
by jtr :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:29am

Holy crap, Goff has managed minus-500 DYAR in only four games this season. This Rams offense is truly incredible.

7
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:34am

Bradford, Bortles, Sieman, Tannehill, and Matt Freaking Barkley in the top ten? It's bizarro football week.

25
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:13pm

Barkley is not a starting level QB, but I am curious why he wasn't on a roster on opening day. He seems perfectly adequate as a #3 and I bet he's better than a few teams' #2s.

On a side note, I'm really enjoying the game the Bears have played with Barkley. They're very entertaining for a bad team.

32
by xMRNUTTYx :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 1:33pm

I am very much in the pro-Barkley camp after watching Brian Hoyer do his Alex Smith-Lite impression for a few weeks. Barkley seems to be reading defenses pretty well, getting the ball out quick, not afraid to throw down field, is relatively accurate. He's not a longterm solution for any team, let alone the Bears, but he's probably good enough to start for 4-5 teams this week (even if his passes universally look UGLY).

And if I'm the Bears, I think Barkley in 2017 gives them something they need: time. If he keeps this up, then there's no reason to reach for a draft pick they don't believe in or throw a lot of money at a bad FA option (hi, Brock!). In Barkley, they have someone who is competent enough get them through another year, to see what other options might pop up, while Howard continues to grow and their defense gets better in the secondary (hopefully). I really could see a Matt Barkley-led Bears team hover around 0.500 and threaten a Wild Card spot next year.

37
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:06pm

If Barkley is the undisputed starter in camp next year or he is the starter week 1 for any reason other than having a rookie who isn't quite ready, I will be very upset with this organization.

He is not a starting caliber QB, if you pretend he is you're just in the Houston Texans trap. I'd rather just see them roll the dice with Cutler again.

46
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 4:42pm

Barkley may or may not be starters, but the guys he's throwing to definately aren't starters.

41
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:45pm

I agree with you that I would rather see them give Barkley more time than panic-draft a bad QB just because they have a top 5 pick. I would rather see *anyone* start at QB than have them use their 1st round pick on a quarterback in this particular draft.

On the other hand, the highest praise I have for Barkley is that they wouldn't be tied to him based on contract/draft capital. I'm 99.9% sure he's not even a decent starter in the NFL. It's just that I don't care about the 2017 season because I think the Bears are as far as they've ever been from meaningful contention. Honestly, I'd like another regime change. Nothing about Ryan Pace or especially John Fox gives me any confidence that they know what they're doing.

42
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:52pm

Wow, I have completely the opposite opinion. I think this is clearly a team that's building towards contention. The cupboard was empty when they showed up except Jeffery essentially. They've build a good front 7, and very solid offensive line. If they can upgrade the secondary, and the QB position, this is a strong playoff team I feel.

57
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 8:11pm

Besides Long and Sitton, is their O-line really solid? I guess Whitehair has plenty of upside but I think the tackles have been pretty bad. I think it's also worrisome that they've had to devote so much cap space to the less-important positions. Don't get me wrong, Long is a stud and obviously deserved a big contract, but unless they get a great tackle in the next draft, I don't think their line is going to be a strength going forward.

It would be hard for them not to upgrade the secondary, as bad as it's been. I am tired of seeing street free agents playing corner and safety, after multiple years of those positions being a glaring need. The cupboard was definitely empty there and I don't see that they've done much of use to fill it.

As far as the QB position, I am ready to move on from Cutler but I think the odds are good that the next QB is worse than him rather than better. Competent quarterbacking is really tough to find. I wish the Bears had been able to make something more than 1 playoff appearance out of his tenure.

58
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 8:20pm

I don't have any good opinions on specific players, but Barkley is consistently given plenty of time, and the running backs have all looked good.

50
by Eddo :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 5:04pm

I'm with you on Fox, but at this point, I don't see what Pace has done to give up on him.

The Marshall and Bennett trades got very little in return, but I suspect those were pushed for by Fox and/or the front office, especially given the two players histories as "locker room problems" (note: speaking to perception, not my opinion).

Otherwise, I see some good things Pace has done. Floyd has looked like a good pick, as have Howard, Whitehair, and Goldman. Kevin White is something in the "bad" column, however.

In free agency, the signings of Hicks and Freeman, in particular, look great. McPhee appears to be good value, and I think the Trevathan signing goes on the positive side of the ledger.

51
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 5:28pm

I'd put Tracy Porter on the good column too. He'd be an excellent #2 corner if we had a #1.

Also, it looks like the Bears are gonna have 40+ million in cap room next year with Jeffery as the only major contributor who's not under contract.

59
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 8:22pm

The Marshall trade was addition by subtraction and I still support that, even with what's happened since. The Bennett trade was inexplicable to me and I think symptomatic of the major problem I have with the team: that apparently Fox has more power than Pace.

You're right that there have been some good draft picks. However, Kevin White is a total bust as a draft pick (whatever he eventually turns into in the league, missing 28 of his first 32 games makes the pick a bust). I also can't help comparing the *3* 4th round picks the Bears took, none of whom have contributed meaningfully, to Dak Prescott. Now I'm not at all saying that Prescott could have played anywhere near as well for the Bears this season as he has for the Cowboys, but damn, I'd be happier if they had him.

I'd cut Pace some more slack if he had anything at all to say to the media to convince me that he actually has a plan and that he's in charge. All I can remember him saying is that he thinks it's a good idea to draft a quarterback to develop, and then not drafting a single QB in either of his first 2 years. (Fox is similarly maddening when it comes to say one thing, do another. I'm tired of press conferences where he says they need to run the ball more, then Howard - who does look promising - gets off to a great start and they stop handing him the ball).

Maybe I'm getting too much media coverage and not enough of the actual team (I didn't buy Sunday Ticket this year and I've missed some of the games that were broadcast locally), but I am so sick of listening to John Fox. He's like Belichick without the brilliance - he's got so much contempt for the media and doesn't want to reveal anything, meanwhile his team is 3-10.

74
by Eddo :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 4:49pm

"I'd cut Pace some more slack if he had anything at all to say to the media to convince me that he actually has a plan and that he's in charge."

Why do you care what coaches or GMs say to the media? By that standard, Belichick is one of the worst coaches in the league, he indicates zero in way of a plan.

78
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 5:55pm

Well, Pace has not made any public statement at all since I believe before the season started. As the GM and supposedly the guy in charge of football operations (though with the Bears I'm at all not confident that's true and that ownership is staying out of his way) I would hope he'd have something to say about how abysmal the team has been this year.

Of course I don't expect Fox or any coach to reveal their game plans or details like that. As far as Belichick, Belichick is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the league because of his record. If Pace or Fox had that kind of success or gave me a reason to think that this is a temporary blip and they will soon have that kind of success, I'd be glad to cut them the same slack.

76
by TomC :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 5:26pm

I think the jury is still out on Pace, but "they could have had Dak!" is an argument not worthy of you. They could have had Tom Brady instead of Frank Murphy or Paul Edinger in the 6th round in 2000, too. Also, I didn't hear any noise about White being an injury risk when they selected him (unlike lots of guys Angelo whiffed on like Chris Williams and Gabe Carimi), and he was a consensus top-10 pick, so I'm chalking that up to bad luck.

79
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 6:07pm

But I think pointing out that they passed on Dak Prescott is more valid than cherry-picking Tom Brady (or any other great player who didn't go at the very top of the draft). Obviously no team (including the Patriots) thought that Tom Brady was as good as he turned out to be or they'd have been willing to use the first overall pick on him.

And we still don't know what Dak Prescott will turn out to be. However, Ryan Pace and his people looked at the draft, looked at their roster, and concluded that despite the Bears lacking a young QB and having the draft capital to spend a 4th round pick on a QB they expected not to play this year, he wasn't worth taking. That's defensible if there was something in particular they disliked about Prescott, but then they should have taken a different QB somewhere else in the draft.

As far as White, I agree with you that there did not seem to be any indication he'd be more likely to get injured. However, there was and still is doubt about his potential ceiling as a receiver. The analysis I read of his (very limited) time this year is that there's no reason to be confident he'll develop into a #1 caliber receiver.

9
by RickD :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:55am

I see a typo. The name "Blake Bortles" is in your #4 spot.

13
by Nahoj :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:14am

"So farewell, Jeff Fisher. You spent several years taking a job that could have gone to a younger, more deserving candidate in a field where opportunities are extremely limited. You wasted years of the careers of talented young men, careers that by their nature don't last very long in the first place. Your teams weren't very good, and they weren't very entertaining either. Wherever fate may take you after this, know that the NFL will be a better league without you."

Vince, did Jeff Fisher shoot your dog or something? This read like you were channeling your inner Bill Simmons.

Simmer down.

15
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:23am

Fisher's interesting, in that there are nontrivial numbers of NFL people who have a sense of loyalty to him, but there are also nontrivial numbers of NFL people who can't stand him, because they are convinced that he coached his team to try to injure opponents with illegal play. I believe Zimmer when he says that if he encountered Fisher on the street, there might be a fight.

21
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:58am

I'd actually be curious to see if there was a significant difference in Adjusted Games Lost for offensive players for teams that had just played the Rams; I recall checking at one point last year (before the Bucs game vs. the Rams), and, in the prior 16 games, 4 starting QBs had been knocked out of the game, some for just that game, some for extended periods of time. I would love to know how dirty Fisher's defenses played from a statistical standpoint.

43
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 3:31pm

Harbaugh wasn't notably dirty while in the NFL, and his Michigan team injured the opponent's starting QB in 10 of their 12 games. In one game, they knocked out the #2 as well.

52
by Travis :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 5:58pm

Harbaugh's history of going after QBs dates back to his playing days.

47
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 4:44pm

We in NE beleive that his team cost us a SB in 2006 when they torn up Rodney Harrison's knee for no reason.

56
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 7:58pm

r. hsarrison deserved iot. on previous play (watch the film) he did a dirty move on b. wade/

31
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:58pm

I'd much rather see that sort of quote than the typical platitudes we get out of sports journalists praising him as a great coach while he gets fired.

Fisher probably would have made a fantastic coach in the 50s or 60s - he loves to talk about being tough, and knocking the opponents teeth out, and running the ball, and stopping the run, and "playing the game the right way" and all that crap, but he's got no head for the modern game.

GMs continuing to hire tough-guy dinosaurs like him (and the GM equivalent of him) are why we have franchises that just continually can't win. The NFL is absolutely better off without him.

18
by Joe Pancake :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:50am

The Seahawks O-line wasn't great on Sunday (they never are), but Russell Wilson was worse. He was missing open receiver after open receiver -- big play after big play. The Seahawks offense is Jekyll and Hyde this season for some reason.

A perfect little microcosm of this was the interception in which Wilson was rolling to his left, and he lobbed it down field to an open receiver, but the DB adjusted and made a nice pick. Against the Patriots he throws a very similar ball, in a very similar situation (driving at the end of the half), but the ball goes over the defender's head into his receiver's arms, and it's a touchdown. Why is one a touchdown and the other a turnover? If there is a deeper reason than "that's just the way it went," it's beyond me.

27
by dank067 :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:30pm

I'm starting to think that QBs like Wilson who are either asked or forced to make a lot of plays out of structure can be more prone to falling in to stretches where they start to feel pressure that isn't there, rush their thought process and give in to mechanical or mental breakdowns that result in bad decisions and inaccurate throws.

It doesn't mean Wilson always does those things—clearly not the case. Playing with a legitimately poor OL obviously has an effect and their receivers sucked too on Sunday. There's just a high degree of difficulty with what Seattle asks Wilson to do (and is often forced to do) on a weekly basis and it's got to be hard to consistently deliver under those circumstances.

I'm a Packers fan and watching some of what Rodgers has struggled with over the last couple of years leads to a lot of my thoughts there.

66
by gomer_rs :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 1:36am

As a Seahawks fan I've watched all but 3-4 games of Wilson's pro career. I feel very confident in saying that when the offensive line breaks down repeatedly, not just plays bad, but complete system failure, Wilson does start to break down as well. I wish I had statistics on this, I'm sure some professional film study person does.

Basically what I've seen are two habits for Wilson under constant pressure (1) he begins to dance around on the balls of his feet in the pocket and appears to get less of his weight into the throws (2) he starts to throw balls away before the play develops, whether or not there is pressure (I guess this would be Joey Harrington Syndrome?)

The other observation I have about Wilson, which goes exactly to the interception at the end of the 1st half... he has a big arm, but not like Rodgers or Roethlisberger or Cutler. He throws rainbow passes that drop out of the sky on his target, and to get that trajectory he's probably putting a lot less power into his throws. I think his deep ball is greatly affected by adverse wind conditions. It was very like the NFC C game in Seattle with 10-15 mph sustained winds through out the game. This hypothesis could be tested by running Wilson's drop off in adverse weather conditions against the drop off of similarly talented QBs in adverse weather conditions (or just QBs in general), if the p-score was small enough it would suggest something about how Wilson plays the game.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

75
by Eddo :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 4:52pm

Are defenses adjusting to Wilson's ability to make such great plays while scrambling? Is keeping him in the pocket by rushing to contain, as opposed to go all-out to sack him, an effective strategy?

19
by langsty :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:51am

"So farewell, Jeff Fisher. You spent several years taking a job that could have gone to a younger, more deserving candidate in a field where opportunities are extremely limited. You wasted years of the careers of talented young men, careers that by their nature don't last very long in the first place. Your teams weren't very good, and they weren't very entertaining either. Wherever fate may take you after this, know that the NFL will be a better league without you."

Lol what the hell dude. what made you feel like this overheated sanctimony sounded good or that Quick Reads was the right venue for it

39
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:08pm

FO has been on Fisher's case for several years. Fisher has not only coached a lot of bad teams the past 10 years, he's committed the cardinal sin of coaching boring football. Fisher has skated by for so long on reputation only, and it was long past time he was gone. If you had heard Fisher on 'Hard Knocks' lecturing his players about "7-9 bullshit", you'd understand why Vince derides him.

20
by Joe Pancake :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:57am

That SB Nation article was one of the funniest things I've read in a while. Fisher seems to take as an axiom "coaches don't make excuses," and therefore any explanation he gives is, by definition, not an excuse.

And of course the Rams will beat the Seahawks in Seattle on Thursday because that's what they do. I'm predicting a 4-3 final. The Rams will have 60 yards of total offense, but win the game on their second safety when Bradley Sowell is called for holding in the end zone with under two minutes left in the game. You heard it here first.

29
by robbbbbb :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:42pm

"Since he was hired, the Rams were called for 21 roughing the passer penalties, and 50 acts of unnecessary roughness. Only Houston committed more of the former, and only Baltimore was guilty of the latter more often. Fisher knew his own offense wasn't going to score many points, so it looked like he sent his men out to do whatever was necessary to ensure the other team didn't score, either."

You know, I went to a fight once, and a Rams game broke out.

36
by zenbitz :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:05pm

>What the hell happened in the first 15 minutes of this (49ers) game?

While I am pretty sure the niners management has constructed a roster designed to tank, I now am wondering if Kelly himself is tanking games -- either on orders from Mgt. or just to get Baalke fired. He took all the blame for the play calling in the 2nd half.

Has there ever been a team with a worse ratio of 2nd half performance to 1st half? And what could this indicate?

40
by RickD :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 2:23pm

There's ample precedent of a team throwing games for draft position. Though I don't see why Kaepernick would want to play along - did Kelly change his play calling to make life for his QB much harder?

44
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 4:15pm

well, fi sf 39ers doing thatm, uit is very dopey. would be muich better to let other team jump otu to big lead. that team will play conservative rest of game and yoru team can put up fancy passing stats while down multiple scores in second ghalg with opponent playing simpleton defense.

think the more likelty scenario is 49erts just rotten team that can't get out of own way

62
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 9:13pm

It's happening nearly every week; the niners have taken the early lead in most games this year but then the defenses seem to figure them out and be clued in to every play.

Kelly's thing was pace but NFL Ds don't get too worried about that anymore; they aren't even running the packaged plays that Kelly used to be famous for.

64
by zenbitz :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:32pm

but why does it work so well in the 1st quarter? That's the strange part.

65
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:51pm

It's Kelly's thing, he likes to use the same plays from different formations each week but once they've seen the formations the defenses get dialed in.

In college he'd run the plays so fast it was fine but there's a longer delay in the NFL, teams are used to quick pace and he's abandoned that approach.

I think Philly were right that he isn't for the pros.

67
by gomer_rs :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 1:47am

There is a fantastic and detailed breakdown of this observation from Chris Brown of Smart Football. Link -- http://smartfootball.com/uncategorized/new-ringer-chip-kellys-offense-is...

The thumbnails I took away are this

(1) Chip Kelly doesn't want to run his QBs in the NFL

(2) Not running the QB loses much of any disguise out of the offense

(3) The NFL refs and league won't let Chip Kelly dictate pace of play, literally standing on the ball preventing the snap, much like Nick Saban used to argue for in college -

(Kelly's offense always benefited from tempo in another unmentioned way, they either exploited or never faced run/pass specialists on the defensive front 7 due to a lack of defensive subs)

(4) In response to these challenges Kelly's offense has become incredibly predictable with formation and TE/RB alignment dictating the play pre-snap

(5) To tie into your point, he can probably scheme up new formations to fix problem (4) but once you've played it for a little bit, you make the adjustments and can call the play based on formation.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

70
by LyleNM :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 12:28pm

(3) The NFL refs and league won't let Chip Kelly dictate pace of play, literally standing on the ball preventing the snap, much like Nick Saban used to argue for in college -

This is true in college also. If the offense substitutes players while playing "hurry-up", the defense is allowed a reasonable amount of time to also substitute. I can't say how long these rules have been in place but it's several years now.

72
by gomer_rs :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 4:18pm

The Refs stand on the ball without substitution, the argument is that the refs want to dictate the pace so they can act comfortably and don't have to rush all game.

Kelly, in college, used a lot of tweener players, like DAT, so that he could shift effortlessly between running and passing without changing personnel play to play. If someone came out with a big slow run stuffing defense he'd play the rest of the drive in passing formations and if they came out with a pass defense he'd play 2-3 players in the backfield. And force the defenders to play against type.

The only thing that really slowed him down were teams that through out 2 or more NFL caliber d-linemen that could play well against both the run and pass while being large enough to manhandle his undersized o-lines.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

73
by LyleNM :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 4:23pm

The Refs stand on the ball without substitution, the argument is that the refs want to dictate the pace so they can act comfortably and don't have to rush all game.

Yeah, I'm going to ask you to provide a clip that shows them standing over the ball even though there were no offensive substitutions.

45
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 4:22pm

Dez Bryant must have been truly awful if he was worse than Julian Edelman.

54
by RickD :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 7:23pm

Watched both games. It wasn't close. Bryant had a terrible, terrible day. Only one reception, which he proceeded to fumble. Edelman had 7 catches for 73 yards. Not remotely in the same ballpark.

48
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 4:46pm

Is "Hill" Marvin Jones's nickname?

Whoops. Will fix.

I see a typo. The name "Blake Bortles" is in your #4 spot.

Well, shoot. I'll see what I can do about changing that.

Dez Bryant must have been truly awful if he was worse than Julian Edelman.

... LOOK AT BRYANT'S STATLINE! He was MUCH worse than Edelman!

And for the record, there were 19 receivers worse than Edelman this week. Yes, he had seven catches in 15 targets, but he never fumbled, he gained 73 yards, and he had three first downs.

55
by Jerry :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 7:25pm

Proofreading:

"The Browns were hopeless on passes that traveled any meaningful distance against Cleveland."

Probably true, but I think you mean Cincinnati here.

60
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Tue, 12/13/2016 - 8:26pm

The Mariota comment seems misplaced. Denver played great defense against the pass and has done so all year, but played poorly against the run and has done so all year.

So, I think that Tennessee did what was right in this game and I don't understand the comment. I mean, sure in a vacuum of how they play, sure, but not in that game.

68
by nuclearbdgr :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 9:58am

Question - how badly did the couple of Christine Michael's blown plays (going the wrong way) affect Rodgers DYAR rushing numbers - losing 3 on 3rd and 2 has got to be a significant negative. I think the other one was -2 on 1st and 10.

69
by Arkaein :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 11:45am

I'd say that if you just want a better idea of how Rodgers played, than give him 0 rushing DYAR.

He had three runs, and I think the other one was taking a knee, which would be discarded, so he didn't have any actual designed runs or scrambles.

71
by rj1 :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 1:42pm

I like that when 32 QBs play on a weekend, only 12 pass above replacement level.

77
by TomC :: Wed, 12/14/2016 - 5:30pm

And two of them are Blake Bortles and Matt Barkley!