Week 12 Open Discussion
NFL Week 12 - Sunday is full of big games, including Tampa Bay (7-3) at Indianapolis (6-5), Tennessee (8-3) at New England (7-4), Pittsburgh (5-4-1) at Cincinnati (6-4), L.A. Chargers (6-4) at Denver (5-5), L.A. Rams (7-3) at Green Bay (8-3), and Minnesota (5-5) at San Francisco (5-5). The Sunday night game sees Cleveland (6-5) at Baltimore (7-3), while Seattle (3-7) visits Washington (4-6) on Monday night.
Use this thread to discuss them all.
117 comments, Last at 30 Nov 2021, 12:41pm
#2 by jheidelberg // Nov 28, 2021 - 7:46am
Vince just could not go to 9 and mention the 4-6 bring up the rear in DVOA Falcons vs Jaguars nor the battle of the I want you back QB’s Newton and Tua, in Panthers vs Dolphins
Meanwhile the Jets take on the Texans, in the battle of the few, the not proud, the nearly eliminated Bowl.
Lets not forget the Eagles playoff run as they take on the Giants who attempt to firmly establish themselves as Met Life Stadium’s superior residents.
The NFL knows what it is doing. I do not like watering down the playoffs with a 7th team. However, after watching Joe Flacco and Nick Foles lead a magical run to a championship this decade, I am not going to tell a Seattle fan that Russell Wilson, with a 3-7 team, can not go on a run, make the playoffs, and then take it from there led by the Aerosmith battle song, Dream On, Dream On, Dream until Your Dreams Come True.
On the other hand, a number of FO writers went chalk, and had a repeat of TB vs KC. That sure appears to be a reasonable scenario.
Meanwhile TEN with -4.4 DVOA leads the way in the AFC, threatened to be overtaken today by losing to a rookie QB on a NE team that leads the AFC in DVOA, who can become number 1, or have BAL become #1 as Lamar Jackson runs for his life, leads a comeback victory, with two tackles who on occasion actually block a pass rusher, while trailing in the second half by as many as 19 points or to the likes of the winless Lions.
Maybe instead Mayfield takes the podium postgame thanking the 2000 or so Cleveland fans who drove 6 hours to watch this game in person and explaining that the keys to victory were limiting the interceptions to one and handing off 40 times.
The big 5 in the NFC are not as big as they were a few weeks ago led by Dallas who’s rallying cry is, “Lets not forget the NFC East 2020!”
The deck will be shuffled a number of times in the upcoming weeks. The cream may rise to the top, but the thus far mediocre may rise there as well.
As many QB’s line up to dethrone Tom Brady, many a kicker is lining up to be the next double doinking Parkey or Blair Walsh, ready to ruin a season.
#3 by Cythammer // Nov 28, 2021 - 1:18pm
"Meanwhile the Jets take on the Texans, in the battle of the few, the not proud, the nearly eliminated Bowl."
Hey, it's also the Undefeated-Against- the-Number-One-Seed Bowl. Seriously, how bizarre is it that two teams tied for the worst record in the AFC have gone 2-0 against the top team in the conference? There are big upsets and statistical oddities in every NFL season, but that one's an all timer.
#5 by Independent George // Nov 28, 2021 - 1:41pm
Indianapolis is blowing some major opportunities early. A FG drive when they started inside the Tampa 40 yard line, two dropped interceptions against Brady (one of which would have been an easy pick six), and now a dropped 3rd and 2 that was itself nearly a pick six.
ETA: And now they fumble inside their own territory.
#8 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 1:48pm
Drive 80 yards in 5 plays on short, quick developing passes against a base set, hit the 10 yard line and then immediately run two slow developing running plays.
Just can't help himself. Absolutely has to run on 1st and second down in the red zone.
#21 by Ben // Nov 28, 2021 - 2:45pm
Wow, Colts line up to go for it on 4th and 1 inside the 5 with 0:20 seconds in the half. Try to draw the Bucs offsides and call a TO with 1 second left on the play clock. However, after the TO, they come back out on offense and actually run a play and score a TD.
I’m a little curious on the percentages in that situation. I thought a good part of the go for it math was that if you fail, your opponent is backed up. That doesn’t matter with 0:20 left in the half.
#24 by Independent George // Nov 28, 2021 - 3:14pm
I finally caught up to the DVR; I feel like Tennessee should really be ahead by 10 in this game. They're dominating both lines, but turnovers and field position has given New England a ton of FGs.
ETA: And right as I type this, Bourne scores on a long catch & run. I still feel like Tennessee is playing better today; I'm curious how DVOA scores the game. That said, there's plenty of time left in the game.
#68 by Alternator // Nov 28, 2021 - 6:57pm
DVOA probably doesn't much care for the Titans, since gaining four to five yards every single play is less than the league average yards per play. Of course, doing it EVERY PLAY means that you still have a very good offense, even if efficiency metrics disagree - if DVOA was drive based, I imagine the Titans would rank much, much higher.
#85 by Cythammer // Nov 28, 2021 - 8:06pm
They don't get four or five yards every play. For the season they are averaging 4.5 yards a play. Obviously they have some long runs making up part of that average, so four or five yards every play isn't happening.
#27 by Cythammer // Nov 28, 2021 - 3:31pm
An eight minute drive for Tennessee ends with a fourth and goal pick. The touchback means they don't even manage to pin the Patriots near the endzone. That's not quite game over, but we're getting there.
#28 by Ben // Nov 28, 2021 - 3:33pm
Looked like the Colts got a red zone stop, but Bucs bailed out by a fairly weak PI call in the end zone and run it in the next play.
Each team has had 2 drives in the 3rd quarter. Colts with 2 turnovers and the Bucs with 2 TDs. Bucs are rolling now.
#30 by Independent George // Nov 28, 2021 - 3:38pm
This was a winnable game for the Colts, and they're blowing it. It's easy to scapegoat Weintz, but the sack/fumble was on his OL, and the receiver was at least partially responsible on that INT. No, he shouldn't have floated it like that, but the receiver had position, and didn't even jump.
#31 by Romodini // Nov 28, 2021 - 3:40pm
So Kyle Van Noy doesn't turn his head around and makes contact with the receiver, but that's not PI on third down?
Do any two teams of refs have the same conception of what constitutes PI, or is it determined by arbitrary scents on the wind and how much money they have riding on games?
#37 by Romodini // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:00pm
At this point I'd rather see PI and OPI eliminated and replaced with clear and obvious bans on shoving, tripping, and grabbing. Outside of that, let the players fight for the ball and take the arbitrary, bs reffing out of the game as much as possible.
#43 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:08pm
I'm not far from that at this point.
We've had average passing go up by like 1000 yards per team (in the last 15 years), and 8 or 9% completion percent - INTS are way down, and scoring way up. I'd love to see defenses having more options.
#47 by Cythammer // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:19pm
I agree, especially offensive domination doesn't necessarily result in exciting games. At their most effective offenses today will march down the field without even facing many third downs. The lack of resistance is boring. Curbing the passing offense would also make the rushing game more important too. I would like it if great players like Derrick Henry actually played a large role in how good teams are.
#67 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 28, 2021 - 6:52pm
I concur. Leaving anything to the ref's discretion is tantamount to admitting "we don't know what the penalty actually is, but we'll know it when we see it". Except everybody sees it differently.
Bright line tests are the way to go and if you can't write the rule as a bright line, then don't make it a penalty until you figure out exactly what you want the rule to be.
#93 by Spanosian Magn… // Nov 28, 2021 - 9:09pm
Hard agree. Same thing with holding - make it illegal to grab the jersey, or to contact the other player with your arm parallel to the chest, or to restrict their movement by contact outside the chest area if your shoulders are perpendicular, or something specific and easily discerned in real time. Players will adjust, and then it won't feel like drive-altering penalties are just failed dice rolls.
EDIT: Just noticed I wrote "parallel" instead of "perpendicular". Not that anyone cares.
#70 by RobotBoy // Nov 28, 2021 - 6:59pm
I share your frustration and would also like defensive players to have more leeway in pass defense. The problem is that 'clear and obvious' is not, in real time or instant replay. There's so much at stake that players will of course figure out what the refs will flag, and push to the limit at every opportunity. 'Clear and obvious' often isn't what makes it impossible for a receiver to catch a ball. Is giving a receiver's arm a slight tug as he goes up for ball 'clear and obvious'? What happens to timing throws when you can do everything to a receiver but 'shove, trip and grab'? It would again come down to judgement calls from the refs, just using a different standard. When you have guys making $60,000 a year trying to keep up with the deceptions of millionaires, the millionaires are going to find ways to game the system more often than not. Kind of like the stock market.
#76 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 28, 2021 - 7:16pm
I don't agree. The facemasking rule is clear and obvious. The roughing the kicker rule is clear and obvious.
Write the pass interference rule the same way and leave all the stuff you've mentioned as legal. Better that grabbing and tugging always be legal than that it sometimes be legal, sometimes not.
#95 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 9:38pm
Bright, clear rules are both easier to officiate, and easier to understand for fans.
Make *any* push off illegal - not just ones that impede. You could even make any contact illegal. Or make contact legal and go to holding rules - you can push, chop, whatever, you just cant grab.
And for fucks sake, put someone on a TV monitor and let them change rulings if they want. The entire 'challenge' system is unnecessary.
#100 by Romodini // Nov 28, 2021 - 11:14pm
I wouldn't mind seeing holding penalties limited to egregious tackles, chokeholds, and arm bars. I think it would be pretty hard to ban grabbing considering it already happens on every play. Perhaps allow it until the point a defensive player gets behind an o lineman so they can't grab a rusher from behind and drag them backwards. Maybe the increased time created in the pocket resulting from relaxed holding would counteract some of the added difficulty of receivers getting open with relaxed PI rules.
But definitely any kind of updated, clear rule is preferable to the current mess.
#101 by Romodini // Nov 28, 2021 - 11:22pm
I agree he didn't impede the receiver, but from the angles showed by the broadcast, it looked to me like he made contact before the ball arrived. Would have to look at it again. This was the play before the 4th down interception, just to be clear.
#34 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 3:45pm
Looks like the Patriots are gonna pull this one out, but holy shit does their run defense look bad today. I'm hoping its just a bit of hangover from Barmore's injury. But holy shit does this look like a problem.
#36 by Independent George // Nov 28, 2021 - 3:53pm
I think Tennessee just matches up really well with them; if not for the turnovers, this would have looked a lot like the playoff game a couple years ago. NE better hope they win the division and somebody else knocks TN off in the first round, because I don't think they'd win a rematch.
#41 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:06pm
They definitely got a bit beat up in the first half, but they absolutely dominated the 2nd half - some of that (the 4th quarter) comes down to Tenessee being a team that definitely isn't built to play behind, and once they got behind enough that they had to throw, Tannehill becomes a liability.
But yeah, their lines are great, and if they'd managed to come out of the first half with a lead things may have been very different.
That being said, TN turns the ball over a lot - and NE's defense forces a ton of turnovers - so I wouldn't expect turnover differential to change much.
#48 by Independent George // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:24pm
Qualitatively, this game just felt a lot closer than the final score, and I just don't know how predictive those two fumbles were. The INT was a great defensive play with the game still in reach, but the two fumbles lost, plus the missed FG and missed XP, just felt like they offended the Random Numbers God despite controlling the line of scrimmage.
#57 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 5:00pm
The first half felt like one of those games where the opponent is outplaying them but keeps making mistakes and the Patriots weren't putting enough points on the board to pull away.
And then they went up 26-13 in the 3rd and it was clearly over at that point. The Titans are just really poorly suited for playing from behind. Tannehill is a good QB if you can mix things up, but he's not suited for that.
#71 by Alternator // Nov 28, 2021 - 7:01pm
The second fumble was JC Jackson with a peanut punch, so it was forced rather than the Titans player losing his grip as he was pulled to the ground.
I don't think the Patriots ever went into a heavy run-defense set, sort of just accepting that the Titans would get lots of pretty good runs as the price for never letting the Titans passing game get going. Unlike 2019, the Patriots actually have an offense that can score to make that plan a lot more practical.
#78 by RobotBoy // Nov 28, 2021 - 7:27pm
I think one of the biggest positives for the Pats is Mac's continued development into a bonafide decent NFL QB. NE's struggles on the ground, especially in the first half, meant he had to make more throws downfield. And for the most part, he executed.
Mac Jones since week 7:
#42 by Cythammer // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:06pm
DVOA will probably like that Tennessee performance a bit more than the scoreline might suggest. Perhaps the gap between what DVOA thinks of the Titans and what the general public thinks of them will shrink a bit.
NE look pretty damn good though, one way or another. They probably won't move into the 1. seed this week but they are certainly one of the top AFC contenders. Those games against the Bills will be interesting.
#46 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:18pm
Honestly, I have no idea what DVOA is going to say about that game.
On the one hand, New England scored on almost every drive (one punt, one missed field goal), and could basically move the ball at will between the 20s, and on the other, they couldn't run the ball at all, and got stopped repeatedly in the red zone.
On the Tennessee side, they ran for 270ish yards at 8 yards a carry. On the other hand, Tannehill had less than 50% completion rate, threw for 90 yards and a Pick, and they put the ball on the ground 5 times.
#54 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:53pm
Yeah, they pretty much destroyed him in the 2nd half. It's just tough to tell how much of that was adjustments and better defense, and how much of it was the score getting more desperate and Tannehill bring forced into more obvious throwing situations.
#62 by Independent George // Nov 28, 2021 - 5:54pm
I don't think they were really desperate and forced to air it out until the after INT in the end zone, down 13. That was a 16-play, 8 minute drive; a TD there puts the down a score with most of a quarter left to play. I'm curious what the change in win probability was after that play.
#84 by Anon Ymous // Nov 28, 2021 - 7:57pm
The only possession that qualified for "desperate" was the quick 3 and out after NE went up 29-13. The drive prior to that, TN was still within 13 points, had nearly a full quarter to work with and was still running well. So three incompletes in the second half can be credited to the situation.
#94 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Nov 28, 2021 - 9:33pm
We disagree on what desperate means. I think as soon as a team built like Tennessee is down by 2 scores, they're in serious trouble. They do not have the passing talent to shoot themselves out of a hole.
That game was largely over when the Patriots went up 26-13.
#117 by Anon Ymous // Nov 30, 2021 - 12:38pm
TN started their drive after NE went up 26-13 with 4:00 still to go in the 3rd quarter. They opened the 4th in the red zone. Under no circumstances can that be called "desperate". Even less so given how easily TN moved the ball on that drive. They were two yards from only being down 26-20 with more than 10 minutes remaining for goodness sake!
Only after they failed to get those two yards, and NE tacked on three more points while rolling off four more minutes is it appropriate to use that term.
#60 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 28, 2021 - 5:22pm
But Reich keeps him on the sideline for the last couple plays?
Half of his carries came on the drive right before, when they were down, so 8 carries in the first 3.5 quarters with a good amount of that time being up. Sounds like this is a thing with Reich alternating between him and Hines for some reason (JT is blowing him away in receiving DVOA and DYAR this year, so that's not it).
To be exact they did 26 straight dropbacks (2 sacks) from 58 seconds left in the 2nd up 17-14 to 10:06 in the 4th down 24-31. 21 minutes and you don't try to run down the clock once with the best RB in the NFL is something. And I know RBSDM but that's something else.
#103 by Bobman // Nov 29, 2021 - 1:09am
Back when Freeney was not a starter until week 8 (and STILL led all rookies in sacks, but Peppers was the higher draft pick, was only a half sack behind IIRC, and maybe missed four games due to a PED suspension?), there was a saying: The only person who could stop Dwight Freeney was Tony Dungy.
I'm feeling the same way about Reich and Taylor. I thought last week was a turning point, but I was wrong. He said in his post game presser that he had no idea Taylor only touched the ball twice in their span of 26 consecutive passes. "Usually somebody tells me something like that... but they probably didn't because we were doing so well." (I'm paraphrasing, but pretty close)
Accountability, folks... that and the ability to count. Both are important.
Please feed your best weapon more.
signed, football fans everywhere (but mainly Colts fans)
#56 by DisplacedPackerFan // Nov 28, 2021 - 4:59pm
They wasted a time out too. Also had a 4th down conversion.
Defense then does a great job forcing a turnover so GB gets the short TD drive.
But that was an interesting opening drive. I would love to know what DVOA rates it.
Defense comes up with another big stop on 4th for another short field for the offense as I was fighting with my phone keyboard and taking forever to write this.
#59 by DisplacedPackerFan // Nov 28, 2021 - 5:17pm
So it looks like the Rams are doing some of the things MN did to find the holes the GB secondary. GB has generally had better pressure than they did against MN which helps. Stafford had a bad throw on another where the receivers had what they wanted.
They burned Sullivan though. It looks like Barry did respond and change some of the responsibilities so the corners end up isolated instead of the safety. It was Stokes who got isolated on the bad throw. I think that's good, but yeah Sullivan, who is CB 4 or 5 if everyone was healthy, and is generally fine did get put in the wrong leverage. I don't like seeing them give up big plays but I can live with it. Seems like they have adjusted after the MN game. So another point in favor of Barry and against my reaction to his hire.
#74 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 28, 2021 - 7:09pm
#87 by oaktoon // Nov 28, 2021 - 8:20pm
They had a brief chat right before Rodgers went out to huddle. 3rd and 4-- Rams out of timeouts. They went pass to Adams-- and if it doesn't work FG attempt. With a guy despite the three successful FGs in this game has been a wreck. And even if FG is good, it's still a two score game I think running Dillon twice was the better call-- worst case two minute warning and same score and slightly worse ball position for Rams. Best case game over.... Game over if Adams makes the catch too but he was tightly covered because Rams aren't stupid.
#86 by oaktoon // Nov 28, 2021 - 8:14pm
The so-called Big Six-- 38-8 thru week 8; 7-14 since with only Rams-Packers between any of the two teams.
ARIZ for #1 seed? They must play at DALL, home to Rams and Colts.. I would say 14-3 is doable; 13-4 perhaps more likely-- and if it's the latter they will be #2 or #3 (GB owns the tiebreaker
GB would have to win out for #1-- away game at BALT in three weeks going to be the key
TB has easier schedule-- home to Bills the toughest
Can DALL stop the bleeding and win all those NFC East games?
For argument sake the champs get #1, then GB, ARIZ and DALL
Wild cards in order should be SF or LA the 5-6 seeds, then maybe MINN or PHILLY at 7 despite the outcomes today. Saints seem cooked to me. Falcons, Seahawks, Panthers are simply bad teams...
So MINN or PHILA at GB-- and Vikes play at Lambeau in December as well... SF/LAR at DALL (Terrell- come find the star!!) the other at ARIZ
SF or DALL at TB ARIZ at GB (I think the Rams are much less likely to beat Cowboys in Texas than SF is)
Very likely to see GB-TB again in NFC title game, though this time in Florida
#102 by DIVISION // Nov 28, 2021 - 11:43pm
Cleveland has a good roster but is poorly coached and has a bad QB. They need to let Mayfield walk. If you manage 4 INT off Lamar Jackson and score 10 points, you are not a good team.
Baltimore may be 8-3, but they are fraudulent. Horrible on offense and you don't know what you'll get with Lamar Jackson. He doesn't have the arm talent that any of the top QB's do. I don't ever want to hear anyone put him in a Top 10 list. You could say Justin Tucker is their MVP. The only thing the Baltimore Ravens do well is play the run on defense.
As strange as it seems, New England may be the best team right now in the AFC. Cinci maybe?
#106 by Theo // Nov 29, 2021 - 6:40am
What are the Steelers doing?
They run Harris into a pile on first down for one yard. Then it's another run, or a receiver screen for one yard. Then on 3rd and 8, it's a quick out for 3 yards. 4th and 5 punt.
When Ben thinks the play call sucks, the chucks it deep for a jump ball.
That's the entire 2021 Steelers offense.
Harris will be injured soon.
Ben plays like an overaged stripper dances.
On defense they're playing Bush - perhaps the worst starting player in the League.
#112 by Spanosian Magn… // Nov 29, 2021 - 11:08pm
Welp, I saw Football Team score the TD to make it 9-7, stepped away for a second since who cares about the rote XP attempt, and apparently missed the play of the year.
It feels like a lifetime ago that Seattle was a chic Super Bowl pick. Their defense has held up reasonably well, considering the offense has done absolutely nothing, but about said offense... they can't run and can't pass block, but also can't throw. Not a great combination! The receivers don't seem to get a ton of separation, generally, and Wilson can't "throw them open", which he used to be one of the best at. Maybe his finger is still bothering him, but I feel like you shouldn't have to make pinpoint-accurate throws to score more than 1 TD against the 30th-ranked pass defense. Lockett's DVOA is pretty good but he hasn't gotten open consistently that I can see, and Metcalf's is also ok but he can't seem to win jump balls against bad CBs half his size... Maybe it's just a bad night, but this is pretty grim.
#114 by Spanosian Magn… // Nov 29, 2021 - 11:27pm
Seattle definitely didn't deserve to win, but Football Team probably deserved to lose for giving up a TD that open in that situation and then the erstwhile onside recovery (undone by a procedural penalty that did not affect the play). Yeesh.
I think the announcer (Tessitore I think) used the old WFT nickname, then had to awkwardly emphasize "W-F-T indeed," heh.
#116 by Pen // Nov 30, 2021 - 1:47am
Seattle avg. TOP pre-finger Russell Wilson: 24:50
Seattle avg. TOP Geno Smith: 28:26
Seattle avg. TOP post-finger Russell Wilson: 19:36
those numbers do not include the Rams game where Wilson injured his finger.
Rams game avg. TOP per Qtr Russell Wilson: 5:52
Rams game avg. TOP per Qtr Geno Smith: 9:20
Wilson was rushed back too quickly and honestly, hasn't been himself since midway last season anyways. That always compete mantra obviously doesn't extend to letting Geno Smith start instead of Wilson.