Week 13 Open Game Discussion

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving and the latest edition of Dallas (the football team, not the soap opera, though it's hard to tell sometimes. Sunday in Week 13 brings us Cleveland (5-6) at Pittsburgh (6-5) in a game with far more playoff implications than those records would indicate, plus Tennessee (6-5) at Indianapolis (6-5), Oakland (6-5) at Kansas City (7-4), and in this week's game of the year, San Francisco (10-1) at Baltimore (9-2). Sunday night sees New England (10-1) visiting Houston (7-4), while the Monday nighter pits Minnesota (8-3) at Seattle (9-2). Use this thread to discuss them all. 


121 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2019, 7:16am

#1 by Theo // Dec 01, 2019 - 9:28am

CLE at PIT will be a verrrry interesting game, playoff wise but also in regards what happened only two weeks ago.

Points: 0

#2 by Sixknots // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:20am

Yes, and how the refs will be calling it.  Scratch your butt...personal foul.

Points: 0

#5 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 1:26pm

Freddie Kitchens was seen wearing 'Pittsburgh Started It' shirt, so I'm not sure the Browns have learned their lesson from that game.

Points: 0

#13 by AHBM // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:05pm

Other than some extracurriculars early on, the game has been pretty civil.  2:00 left and hell could break loose, but it doesn't feel like anything's bubbling over.

Points: 0

#3 by Raiderjoe // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:26am

Ravens 26, 49ers 17
Panthers 23, Squirrels 14
Jets 31, Bengaks 20
Colts 31, Yitans 24
Bucca eers 37, Jagyars 31
Sywelwrs 24, Brpwns 20
Eagles 25, Dolphins 24
Packers 35, Giants 17
Rams 27, Cardinals 24
Chargers 34, Broncos 20
Raiders 35, Chiefs 28
Texabs 27, patripts 20
Seahawks 29, Vikings 24

Points: 0

#4 by BywaterBrat // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:18am

Ravens 34, 49ers 23
Panthers 23, Squirrels 13
Jets 30, Bengaks 20
Colts 23, Yitans 16
Bucca eers 34, Jagyars 23
Steelers 27, Brpwns 20
Eagles 30, Dolphins 17
Packers 34, Giants 13
Rams 23, Cardinals 27
Chargers 27, Broncos 13
Raiders 27, Chiefs 38
Texabs 23, patripts 20
Seahawks 23, Vikings 30

Points: 0

#6 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 3:02pm

Nick Foles had three turnovers in the first half and has now been benched for Gardner Minshew. What a bizarre career Foles has had. The Jags should probably try and trade him this off season, even if they can only get very little in return. They aren't a strong team and have no reason to be in win-now mode. Since Foles doesn't seem to be much better than Minshew no reason to stick with the older guy over the rookie. Foles' stock may have dropped this season but if I were a team like the Bears I would still be very interested in trading for him.

Points: 0

#24 by BJR // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:38pm

I suspect the Jags would struggle to find a trade partner. Foles' cap hit is $22 million next season (per sportrac) - that's a lot for somebody who has just lost his job to Gardner Minshew. They are probably lumbered with him through next season, after which it becomes somewhat palatable to cut him. But the way Foles' career has gone, who knows - a streak of MVP caliber play is probably somewhere around the corner.

Points: 0

#28 by dank067 // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:57pm

If the Jags are willing to eat $19 million against the cap for Foles' signing bonus, I think a trade partner would only have to pay him $15 million next year! And nothing is guaranteed after 2020. Otherwise Foles' dead cap if the Jags released him would be... $34 million.

We might have an Osweiler-to-Cleveland situation on our hands, although if no one wants him it honestly might just make more sense to the Jags if he stays put.

Points: 0

#7 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 3:24pm

Missed the first half of GB-NYG, other than a couple highlights of nice throws. So far these teams have played about equally (un)well, which isn't a great sign considering one dreams/delusions of a deep postseason run and the other is starting a rebuild under a rookie QB who hasn't exactly set the world on fire... snow can be an equalizer, but other than slowing the field conditions don't seem to be too bad.

Rodgers has missed some reads and some throws. I'm sure the ball is hard to grip in the weather, and I hate arm-chair psychology, but he really does seem... some combination of frustrated and checked out. They just had a miscommunication on a WR screen where both plausible targets turned upfield; I'm sure that kind of thing drives him nuts at this point, and he's got a voice in his head saying "Jordy Nelson would never do that," but that was Adams and Lazard, supposedly his guys... maybe LaFleur needs to make a dramatic "Jordy Nelson is not walking through that door" speech.

Although just as I type that he digs into his magic football bag and pulls out an awesome 4th and 10 conversion deep down field as he's being hit. He's still capable of it, it just doesn't seem to happen quite as often.

Glancing through the other scores... BAL-SF looks like a classic and I'm annoyed this game is close so I can't switch over (stupid fandom). The Jets are getting moderately crushed by the Bengals lol; looks like they just gave up a safety on a hold in the end zone, and Darnold's averaging like 5 yards a pass. Knowing nothing I'm just going to assume that's a lot of bad playcalling by Gase; Darnold's issues typically don't have to do with not forcing the ball downfield. Browns were playing the Steelers tough but apparently Mayfield had a hand injury... he's still playing but maybe shouldn't be? He had some sort of arm/elbow issue a few weeks ago but came back, not sure if this is related. I get that they're technically in playoff contention, but come on, with that line they're just playing for the right to get stomped in the Wild Card round, maybe don't mortgage your supposed franchise QB's future for it in year 2 mmkay?

Rodgers just pulled a Rodgers and hit a beautiful TD throw against the Giants' 12 defenders... right after a TD run by Jones was called back for holding. Atlas' curse wasn't to hold the heavens above the earth, it was being capable of doing so in the first place.

Points: 0

#9 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 3:31pm

Well, even no longer, Jones follows the GB touchdown with a beautiful downfield strike straight to Darnell Savage with no Giants within about 10 yards in any direction. GB with solid field position and can put it away shortly.

Points: 0

#8 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 3:27pm

This has not been a good week for NFC East DVOA darlings. We all saw what the Cowboys did three days ago. Now the 9th-ranked Eagles are struggling to put away Miami. Maybe we can see someone win this division without a winning record while remaining top 10 in DVOA.

Points: 0

#10 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 3:41pm

The zero-win Bengals are winning in a blowout. The two-win Redskins have a lead. Two-win Miami is driving with a chance to take a lead. No one wants that top pick.

Points: 0

#19 by Dissociated // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:36pm

The Giants are in the hunt now!

Points: 0

#11 by AHBM // Dec 01, 2019 - 3:54pm

Steelers lose a challenge, challenging that a Browns player touched a punt with his knee at the 1 while touching the goal line with his hands. They were totally right, and yet did not get an overturn for no apparent reason.

Points: 0

#12 by AHBM // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:02pm

Clarification:  the officials considered the play over when the Browns player had previously touched the ball with his hands.  He didn't really have possession, though, since the ball was still on the ground after.  At least one of the booth announcers agrees that the officials blew it.


Fortunately, the Steelers are getting great rushing performances out of Benny Snell, and he got them out of the dire position.

Points: 0

#14 by vrao81 // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:09pm

Who are these redskins and how are they beating the Panthers?

Points: 0

#15 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:11pm

Wow, the Redskins are up 29-14 after being down by 14 early. Miami is up by multiple scores now as well. Some of the NFL's worst in Washington, Miami, and Cincinnati are having great days.

Points: 0

#16 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:12pm

Break up the Bengals!

EDIT: apparently the Jets are the first team to lose to two teams that were 0-7 or worse going into the matchup

Points: 0

#17 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:17pm

A week after annihilating the Raiders too. Now watch Oakland crush KC in the late afternoon slot just to make everything absurd.

Points: 0

#20 by Stendhal1 // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:00pm

I am happy for the team and fans, and thought the Gatorade shower for Coach Taylor was touching.

In related news, the New York media is (are?) going to have a field day.  

Points: 0

#86 by mehllageman56 // Dec 02, 2019 - 2:57am

Anything that gets Gase gone is good for the Jets.  The defense didn't even play that bad (20 points given up), it's just 6 points against the 2nd worst defense in the league.

Points: 0

#18 by vrao81 // Dec 01, 2019 - 4:34pm

Panthers fail on 4th and goal, so redskins will hang on to win.

Points: 0

#21 by dmb // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:01pm

For those of you wondering how on earth Washington won today, it was mostly by winning at the line of scrimmage.

The Washington offensive line was dominant run-blocking against a banged-up Carolina front four that was missing a couple of their regulars in the middle. Guice ended up with over 100 yards, and Peterson came very close to that mark. Their numbers were inflated by a few big runs, but there were a number of 4-9 yard gains as well. Washington also committed far fewer offensive penalties than they have for much of the season.

On the other side of the ball, Washington again won at the line, and in particular got good pressure on Kyle Allen. The Panthers have had a couple injures and have been forced to shuffle their o-line, which makes that outcome somewhat expected. But Washington was doing it without Ryan Kerrigan (first missed game of his career), and for much of the game, without their next two edge defenders: Ryan Anderson was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Greg Olsen, and Montez Sweat left the game with an injury. For much of the second half, two street free agents were playing a ton of snaps on the edge and were producing well.

Carolina also made a few unforced errors on offense, most notably a play where Allen overthrew Curtis Samuel, who had no defenders without the same zip code, and a chance to score a ~70-yard TD virtually uncontested. The other unforced errors were some drops and plays where Allen missed blown coverages by Washington.

In short, this looked very much like a game between two teams with losing records

Points: 0

#22 by vrao81 // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:36pm

Rams up big at the half...Goff with 323 passing yards and the rams at nearly 400 yards offense. Goff needs 232 yards in the 2nd half to break the single game record.

Points: 0

#23 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:37pm

Based on first half stats it looks like the Rams could get Goff the single game passing yardage record today if they wanted to. Too big of a lead for that to be likely though.

Points: 0

#25 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:47pm

Raiders have a 189-127 advantage in yardage. They also trail 21-0.

Points: 0

#31 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 01, 2019 - 6:10pm

That'll happen when you give up 3 turnovers in the half and take 6 penalties in the first quarter (didn't catch if they added to that total in the second).

Edit: forgot about a blocked FG, too

Points: 0

#90 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 02, 2019 - 8:54am

That happens when the entire 1st quarter is played on your half of the field.

Points: 0

#26 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:51pm

Well, Goff is back: over 320 yards passing at the half. Turns out it's easier to succeed against bad defenses than good ones. Who knew?

In all seriousness, the Cardinals defense is bad, but he's made some nice, not-easy throws, especially rolling in both directions. He's really talented, just... unusually easy to knock off his game for whatever reason.

Points: 0

#38 by theTDC // Dec 01, 2019 - 7:54pm

"In all seriousness, the Cardinals defense is bad, but he's made some nice, not-easy throws, especially rolling in both directions. He's really talented, just... unusually easy to knock off his game for whatever reason."

It's what I was talking about in the Film Room: Goff article. If all quarterbacks had to do was throw the ball through hoops, then Goff is a top 5 QB, top 10 hands down. It's the reacting to pressure and quickly reading defenses part that he is bad at. Today he did well handling what little pressure there was, but mostly he just had to make great throws to moderately open receivers, which he can do extremely well. 

Since "bad" defenses have some combination of poor pass rush and coverage, Goff is going to torch them. Since "good" defenses have some combination of good pash rush and coverage, Goff is going to look a whole lot shakier, or inconsistent. Hopefully he can keep taking little steps forwards, since he at least has the arm talent.

Points: 0

#27 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:55pm

PI overturn alert: a tipped interception on the field was turned into a penalty after a booth review. The defender was holding onto Fitzgerald's arm with both hands so it's about as clearcut as they come, but it's still news, given the way things have played out so far.

Points: 0

#29 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 5:57pm

Whoa! Woods gets a screen that's read well and about to get blown up, decides to basically turn it into an end-around reverse running all the way through (what had been) the backfield and around the other side of the defense, where he's sprung by a pancake block by Goff (!!!) and goes about 50 yards. That's one for the ages.

Goff immediately follows it with a Brady special deep pass to no one, called intentional grounding after some discussion.

Points: 0

#30 by BJR // Dec 01, 2019 - 6:03pm

The Chiefs are handling the Raiders, but Mahomes looks a lot scrappier than we are accustomed to. He's consistently taking absurdly deep drops, and is extremely lucky not to have been intercepted once or twice after throwing off-balance jump balls to the middle of the field. The Patriots defense next week might not be as understanding as the Raiders have been tonight.

Points: 0

#98 by barf // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:57am

I was there at the game, and agree he wasn't *prime* Mahomes. However, he had several drops by receivers, especially early, and didn't need his A game against Oakland yesterday. He will need it at NE next week though. Because I think the KC D is better, but not great yet. And if Belichick finds their weakness, it will get exploited. 

Points: 0

#101 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 02, 2019 - 3:05pm

KC's weakness is pretty simple. They can't stop the run.

That said, NE isn't that great at running it. That that said, even Detroit could run on KC.

Points: 0

#32 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 6:11pm

Murray's intercepted as he fails to notice the CB sitting underneath, gets taken to the house. This one's over, although Goff's got a realistic shot at the single-game record if they keep passing (they shouldn't, though).

Points: 0

#33 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 6:18pm

Mannnnnnnnnn Wade Phillips is eating Murray alive now. Another route got jumped by the DB dropped it. Then they got to him, Murray flinged it as he went to the ground, was picked - except they called essentially a mercy rule PI roughing against LA just so this doesn't get too absurd (Okoronkwo's arm was sort of near his chin/neck area, I guess, was the penalty?). Next pass gets batted by the DE coming free. A run and a short completion, then on 4th and 2 Rams blow through the line and sack him as he tries to scramble. Just brutal.

Points: 0

#34 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 6:45pm

You know, if the Rams win out... if... that would leave them at 11-5 and hand Seattle and San Francisco each a loss.

Seattle also has to host Minnesota tomorrow and the Niners in week 17, both potential losses (assuming for the moment that SF doesn't rest their starters), which would tie them by record; not sure how tiebreakers would shake out, but that at least gives them a chance (and Seattle also has to play the Panthers and Cardinals, neither of whom are gimmes).

The Niners are almost certainly going to the playoffs, but their late schedule is also nasty (have to go at New Orleans and Seattle, plus host the Falcons, and the Rams game that we're calling a loss here); it's not unthinkable that they finish 11-5 as well (or even 10-6 if the Week 9 Falcons show up).

I also wouldn't rule out two or more upcoming losses for the Vikings (who have to go to Seattle and host the Packers, plus have lose-able games at the Chargers and against the Bears) or the Packers (who have to go to Minnesota, plus host the Bears [who are in a similar position to the Niners], and also have to go to Detroit, who've ruled those late-season rivalry games lately).

Of course their own schedule is the nastiest of all (host Seattle, at Dallas, at San Francisco, then finish with the Cardinals at home). But while they don't exactly control their own destiny, they can set themselves up pretty well for a Wild Card if they take care of business going forward. And neither Green Bay nor Dallas, the likely WC Round opponents, looks unbeatable...

Points: 0

#37 by theTDC // Dec 01, 2019 - 7:47pm

For the Rams to win the superbowl they basically have to win 4 games to end the season, then 4 more. The four regular season games are vs Seahawks, @Cowboys, @49ers, vs Cards. If they actually win all those games, then they deserve to be in. Whether a record of 11-5 actually makes it this year is entirely unclear, with the Vikings and the Hawks at 9-2 and 8-3 respectively. 

Points: 0

#35 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 7:18pm

Good grief. Chargers, down 20-17, had 3rd and 11, got about 10, it's 4th and 1, they line up to go for it then call time out (they had 3 so they plausibly could've punted, although I like the decision to go for it). Out of the timeout, Denver takes a look at the formation then calls timeout themselves. Out of THAT timeout, the Chargers run a pitch (odd play call IMO) but Gordon makes it happen, dancing for the 1st and possibly more... except apparently there was a false start. Just a brutal waste of everyone's time. But there's a Denver injury (Wolfe) so essentially another timeout, then on 4th and 6 the Denver lineman jumps massively offsides, inducing the Chargers lineman to move - except it's called false start, because the Denver lineman was so wide it technically wasn't a NZI and the offensive lineman couldn't be "induced" to false start, apparently? (Did not know that rule) Just a massively irritating sequence.

Then on 4th and 11 Rivers heaves a bomb that's caught inside field goal range (absolutely fantastic catch by Mike Williams). Whatever works, I guess.

UPDATE: They hit the field goal, tied 20-20.

Announcers are sure Denver is going to take the knee with 8 seconds left. Instead, Lock heaves a bomb waaayyyy down the sideline, and they get a PI call on Heyward at about the 40. IMVHO that was definitely interference, Heyward adjusted his path from the shortest to the ball in order to hit the receiver before the pass got there, but it was certainly questionable.

Denver hits the field goal (first attempt was a bank shot that went through off the upright, but Lynn "iced" him), and they have the same record as the Chargers now.

Just a weird end of that game.

Points: 0

#36 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 7:40pm

I suppose the interference call was correct, but I think the Chargers can still feel miffed that the call was made. Officials almost always swallow their whistles in situations like that.

Points: 0

#39 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 7:59pm

It was kind of funky because it was essentially a hail mary, which they usually don't call PI on (and is supposed to have some special rules, or did they give up on that?), except it wasn't anywhere near the end zone as hail maries usually are.

I'm also not 100% sure he gets to it even if the defender isn't there, but it was too close to call it "uncatchable."

Points: 0

#40 by El Muneco // Dec 01, 2019 - 9:47pm

Okung's false start was because he was the left tackle and the NZI was from the guy who was outside the right tackle. According to the booth officiating expert, you don't have the excuse that you flinched in response to the defense moving if the defender was all the way on the other side of the line (because you wouldn't be triggering on his action as opposed to the guys lining up directly opposite you). So the officials treated them as two separate events.

Like you, I'd never heard of that interpretation, but it doesn't fail the sniff test.

Points: 0

#41 by young curmudgeon // Dec 01, 2019 - 9:53pm

Noting that I did not see the play in the Broncos Chargers game, but in general I absolutely despise the "fling the ball way downfield and hope for an interference call" play. Unless the defender manhandles the "intended receiver" (hooray for scare quotes) in an obviously intentional way, I think the official should not call it--or perhaps some semi-bogus call like 'illegal contact' or 'defensive holding' that results in a 5 or 15 yard mark off from the line of scrimmage rather than a spot of the foul penalty. Too often, both players are staggering around as if inebriated (albeit at high speed), both are trying to locate a ball descending at a somewhat random location from a great height, and some contact is inevitable. To reward the offense so generously for a haphazard occurrence just doesn't seem right.

Points: 0

#42 by TimK // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:05pm

It was a pretty blatant, not even looking for the ball running into the receiver play. The ball was close enough to certainly not be uncatchable, and if caught the WR would almost certainly have got out of bounds too, so I think there was little choice but to throw the flag. It was a really dumb defensive play because if you at least make some effort to look for the ball, or even just run in a straight line down the sideline outside the WR you probably at worst allow a catch that runs out the clock, but by barging inside from the sideline and taking out the WR you give an opportunity for flags to be thrown, and by not even looking back as you do it you greatly raise the chances. I think in most of the non-flag Hail Mary situations all the players are looking back toward the QB and more or less track the ball and so arms getting in each other’s way are considered less of a problem (though if you flat out tackled someone before the ball arrive you’d get called) as they can be claimed to be attempting to clear space to make the catch yourself.

Points: 0

#58 by MarkV // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:00pm

fwiw, broncos had 2 time outs, so a tackle in bounds wouldn't have ran out clock.

Points: 0

#43 by LionInAZ // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:18pm

Texa INT wiped out by a defensive holding call that was actually a hold by the receiver. Typical NFL-baked penalty call because we know the Pats are supposed to win, right?

Points: 0

#45 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:20pm

We need a tinfoil hat gif for these people. 

Points: 0

#47 by LionInAZ // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:30pm

No, we just need to take away the tinfoil hats from NE  fans that prevent them from seeing the obvious.

Points: 0

#61 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:15pm

If you think the NFL is fixing games so NE can win, why do you watch?


And why do you think that deflategate happened the way it did?


Oh, right. You don't think. You just complain and rant. 



Points: 0

#66 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:20pm

Come on. Everyone knows what he said is true. Except 90% of Pats fans. 

Points: 0

#71 by LionInAZ // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:31pm

Except that we also know that the refs are instructed to favor the Packers too. 

It's just business, you know?

Points: 0

#79 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:49pm

Yeah, I think that is often true. 

Points: 0

#68 by Rocco // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:21pm

Deflategate was an inside job by Belichick to set up a scenario so he could move on from Brady.  He leaked all the info, expecting fans to turn on him.  When the Pats won the Super Bowl that year he couldn't do what he wanted.


You said to put on the tinfoil hat, right?

Points: 0

#44 by vrao81 // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:19pm

Nothing about pats-texans? Pats go for it on 4th and short, instead of a sneak, they throw, and its incomplete!

Points: 0

#48 by jacobk // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:32pm

Doesn't look like a good week for the "best defense ever" tracking.

Points: 0

#56 by jacobk // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:50pm

I'm fairly sure that Dan Marino's Dolphins clocked in a little higher than the Texans' 1.3% offensive DVOA.

Points: 0

#87 by mehllageman56 // Dec 02, 2019 - 3:08am

Those bears also held the highest rated passer in 1985 to 12 of 26, for 122 yards in week 15. They only sacked Ken O'Brien 4 times, but held the Jets to 6 points and 159 yards while forcing and recovering 3 fumbles.  That was a Jets team that scored 62 against Tampa Bay.  Pretty sure the Bears will start separating from the Patriots stats soon.

Points: 0

#53 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:39pm

Those rankings always seemed dubious to me simply because of how few games NFL teams play. One game against Luke Falk or the like can inflate your numbers. Opponent adjustments can only do so much in a sport like football where the high injury risk means teams are playing with very different personnel at different times of the season.

Points: 0

#49 by theTDC // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:35pm

Robert Woods went for 172 yards today in the Rams win over the Cardinals, putting him at 835 yards on the season, and no touchdowns. Does anyone know what the record for most receiving yards in a season without a touchdown is? We have to be pretty close to a record already.

Points: 0

#88 by mehllageman56 // Dec 02, 2019 - 3:12am

I remember that year, the Jets made the playoffs.  It was ridiculous that Toon didn't get a TD that whole year, on 74 catches.  He did catch a touchdown in the playoff game against Houston.

Points: 0

#89 by Dan // Dec 02, 2019 - 3:13am

The leaderboard: http://pfref.com/tiny/MR0E0

And if you look at yards from scrimmage, the leader is Clark Gaines with 1124 yards in 1979. http://pfref.com/tiny/bAonl

Points: 0

#91 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 02, 2019 - 9:00am

Mike Williams (LAC) is also ahead of Al Toon's per-game pace for yards with no TDs.

Woods, though, is ahead of Raymond Berry's record for receiving yards per game with no TDs, as well as Toon's total yard total. Williams is only on pace to pass Toon.

Points: 0

#51 by LionInAZ // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:37pm

Takes an opponent injury to get a flagrant OPI call against Edelman.

Points: 0

#54 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:49pm

LOL Pats down by 12 at end of Q3 line up to go for 2, which I think is the right call. But Brady just looks at the defence, decides it's not the look he wants and takes a delay of game.

Kicker then promptly misses the extra point on a kick that would have been good 5 yards closer.

Points: 0

#55 by roguerouge // Dec 01, 2019 - 10:50pm

Belichick talking The Art of War in an all-too-brief clip. Would love to know if it's just a surface appreciation or if he actually studied it.

Points: 0

#63 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:16pm

In reply to by roguerouge

He talks about it all the fucking time.  

Points: 0

#57 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:00pm

Best designed play of the year (that I've seen) run by Houston. Watson hands off to Johnson hands off to Hopkins coming the other hand who tosses to Watson for the TD. Hopkins toss looked to be an attempted lateral that went forward, but he was still behind the line of scrimmage so it's a TD pass Hopkins to Watson!

Points: 0

#84 by Dan // Dec 02, 2019 - 1:48am

Similar to a play that the Bears ran a couple years ago:


Points: 0

#59 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:08pm

Down by three scores with half a quarter to play the Patriots don't seem to be in a huge hurry.

Points: 0

#60 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:13pm

Are they just giving up? This drive has taken over five full minutes and now includes one burned timeout. Seriously, imagine if Jason Garrett were coaching a lackadaisical drive like this. He'd be pilloried.

Points: 0

#62 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:15pm

Genius Belichickian strategy, withholding their best rapid scoring plays in anticipation of a rematch in the playoffs in the not too distant future.

Or, they're old and tired.

Occam's razor?

Points: 0

#64 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:18pm

You can get up to the line of scrimmage and at least attempt to pass the ball down the field at any age. Age doesn't make you bleed tons of play clock and then opt for five yard passes.

Points: 0

#65 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:18pm

Old, tired, and the entire defense has been sick all week.  (And literally took a different plane to avoid getting the offense sick)


So yeah, giving up

Points: 0

#106 by roguerouge // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:10pm

The receivers had a lot of problems getting on the same page as Brady, so I imagine that no huddle or just faster pace wasn't really a preferred option for them. Also, didn't they lose their center, making it a third-string center?

Points: 0

#69 by RickD // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:26pm

Is there anything about tonight's offensive performance that says to you the Pats could move the ball quickly?  

The priority is to fix the issues on offense.  BB knew that the game was lost.  It was over when the Texans scored their 4th TD, if not earlier.  

Points: 0

#72 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:32pm

In reply to by RickD

Well, if you don't try then you definitely won't succeed. The chances of coming back might be small if you air it out but they are still a whole lot better than draining the clock with short gains. This isn't some irrelevant game. The Patriots are losing control of home field advantage in the playoffs to a team that already whipped them once.

Points: 0

#67 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:21pm

More garbage time TD for Brady. Just not usually the garbage time TDs he’s used to.

Points: 0

#70 by RickD // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:27pm

The offense continues to sputter. It's been like that all season long. Defense a bit disappointing, but I'd have to question some of the choices.

And, oh yeah, lots of players were physically ill.

At least James White had a good night.

Points: 0

#73 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:39pm

All of a sudden, onside kick recoveries are possible again. Not only does Bolden almost come down with that one for NE, he looks to have a clear run to the end zone if he does.

Points: 0

#78 by zzyzx // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:47pm

You can't advance a recovered onside kick.

Points: 0

#96 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 02, 2019 - 9:22am

Really?  I wonder why?  I thought I'd figured out all of the NFL versus CFL rules differences, but that one's new to me. 

Normal football rules (all variations of rugby football) are if you get the ball, you run until you're tackled.  I wonder what happened back in the NFL's past for them to change that rule for the kicking team on kick offs?

Points: 0

#83 by lenny65 // Dec 02, 2019 - 12:46am

That as soon as articles declaring a new NFL trend begin to appear, that trend is actually already on the wane. It was a given that eventually someone somewhere would find a way to make an onside kick work and soon you'll see teams taking all sorts of novel approaches to the play in an attempt to find that workaround. Someone will eventually find an especially fast and tall kicker with good hands, then every team will want one.

Points: 0

#93 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 02, 2019 - 9:05am

The existence of one viable onside kick strategy increases the utility of all the other ones. A rising tide lifts all boats.

That is, because return teams need to acknowledge the high-rate tactic, they are less positioned to cover the other tactics as well as they had been.

Points: 0

#74 by LionInAZ // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:39pm

The Texans deserved this win, no matter what Massholes think. They should have gotten their flu shots.

Points: 0

#94 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 02, 2019 - 9:05am

In reply to by RickD

Arizona, presumably.

Points: 0

#82 by lenny65 // Dec 02, 2019 - 12:39am

...that the team that outscores its opponent deserves to win 100% of the time.

Points: 0

#76 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:44pm

The Patriots actually finished that game with a massive advantage in yardage (448-276) and first downs (29-16), along with a slight advantage in yards per play (5.7-5.3). DVOA loves steady gains so I wonder if it won't have a very different take on this game than the average observer.

Points: 0

#80 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:51pm

DVOA also doesn’t take garbage time Into consideration, right? 

Points: 0

#81 by Cythammer // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:56pm

I believe they take into account everything, since even garbage time has been shown to have some predictive power. It is adjusted in some way I think. A game like this does show the difficulty in precisely defining what is exactly garbage time. The Patriots winning percentage probably never even got above 5% after the Texans last score, but they still almost recovered an onside kick that would've given them at least a few chances to bomb it into the endzone.

Points: 0

#95 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 02, 2019 - 9:06am

Houston had a 5 yard TD drive. That tends to skew yardage totals (see KC-OAK).

Points: 0

#77 by Will Allen // Dec 01, 2019 - 11:45pm

Gosh, if that Watson ever improves his velocity, he might turn out to be a decent qb.

Points: 0

#97 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 02, 2019 - 9:26am

LOL  ... I love Watson.  I hope he has a long career.  I think he's going to.  He seems like a smart guy, who should be able to keep getting better at reading defences.


Points: 0

#99 by Ambientdonkey // Dec 02, 2019 - 11:20am

I think he takes to many hits to have a long career though. He's going to have to start doing the occasional Brady/Manning tuck.

Points: 0

#100 by Bill Walshs Ho… // Dec 02, 2019 - 2:44pm

I get that I'm an old crank but NO ONE watched/commented on the Niners/Ravens game? That strikes me as quite odd given it was THE matchup of the day. *shrugs shoulders*

FWIW, I was not disappointed to lose on a last-second FG to the Ravens. I was worried about a Jackson running roughshod over SF. Would love to get a chance to see them play again in good weather.

Points: 0

#104 by justanothersteve // Dec 02, 2019 - 8:56pm

It was not a national telecast. Unless you were in the local markets, you had to have Direct TV or make a special effort to see it. 

Points: 0

#103 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 02, 2019 - 8:26pm

It hasn't taken long for the refs to forget about the "no landing with your body weight on the QB" penalty that was all the rage last year. Third play of scrimmage for Minnesota and a Seahawk LB tackled Cousins in the act of throwing (which was not a penalty) and landed with his full body weight on him (which I was told many times last year was a penalty).

Points: 0

#105 by justanothersteve // Dec 02, 2019 - 9:14pm

Nothing much to say about this MNF game. Just a good, tough game. But Booger McFarland has at times been almost Romo-esque.

And as I type that, I see one of the weirdest deflections for a pick 6 I've ever seen.

Points: 0

#107 by vrao81 // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:17pm

Seattle is completely owning this 3rd quarter.

Points: 0

#108 by Pen // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:37pm

Vikings blow a coverage and Wilson makes them pay with a 60 yd bomb. Expect the Vikings D to see a lot of Carson and Penny from here on out.

Points: 0

#110 by Pen // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:45pm

Seattle has outscored Minnesota 24-0 in the second half. Mostly pounding the ball down the Vikings throats and then throwing deep.

Points: 0

#111 by Pen // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:48pm

And then McDougald commits Pete Carrolls greatest sin for a safety. He lets someone get behind him. Cousins capitalizes on a 58 yd bomb of his own.

Points: 0

#112 by vrao81 // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:53pm

Fake punt! Seahawks keep it!

Points: 0

#113 by Pen // Dec 02, 2019 - 10:56pm

Hmmm, what was the analytics on THAT play? I liked it, but man, that was risky.

Points: 0

#114 by Pen // Dec 02, 2019 - 11:09pm

Rookie's third fumble has allowed Minnesota to claw back into this game. And then they blow the PAT.

Points: 0

#115 by vrao81 // Dec 02, 2019 - 11:14pm

Minny gets the ball down 4, 3:27 left.

Points: 0

#117 by Kopalec // Dec 03, 2019 - 1:03am

I believe this site as well as other Football analytics sources, preach that close game wins are unsustainable over a long portion of time. That teams will ultimately regress to the mean, much like fumble recoveries.

So how long does Seattle need to continue this run over the last two years before that premise needs to be reevaluated?

Points: 0

#119 by Perfundle // Dec 03, 2019 - 2:45am

Not sure why you're including last year for Seattle, considering they were 5-7 in one-possession games (within 8 points). Seattle at 14-8 isn't even in the top 5 in best record in such games in the last two years; New Orleans is 13-3, for instance.

Points: 0

#121 by Kopalec // Dec 03, 2019 - 7:16am

Fair enough, my recollection was incorrect about last year. I mainly included it because it's the "rebuilding era" in Seattle when they are supposed to suck.  Yet, in my mind they had been exceeding expectations by pulling these close games out.

Points: 0

#118 by Pen // Dec 03, 2019 - 2:33am

Wilson becomes the winningest QB in MNF history and Cousins becomes the only QB in MNF history to go 0-8.

Points: 0

#120 by Perfundle // Dec 03, 2019 - 3:31am

So refreshing to watch a game with almost no penalties (1-30 for Seatlle, 3-30 for Minnesota). Sure, they missed some calls, but the game flow was so much better without all the flags.

Points: 0

Save 10%
& Support the Writers
Support Football Outsiders' independent media. Use promo code WRITERS to save 10% on any FO+ membership and give half the cost of your membership to tip the team of writers.