Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Week 12 Open Discussion Thread

* Thursday, Nov 20
o Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 8:15 pm
* Sunday, Nov 23
o Carolina at Atlanta, 1:00 pm
o Philadelphia at Baltimore, 1:00 pm
o Houston at Cleveland, 1:00 pm
o San Francisco at Dallas, 1:00 pm
o Tampa Bay at Detroit, 1:00 pm
o Minnesota at Jacksonville, 1:00 pm
o Buffalo at Kansas City, 1:00 pm
o New England at Miami, 1:00 pm
o Chicago at St. Louis, 1:00 pm
o N.Y. Jets at Tennessee, 1:00 pm
o Oakland at Denver, 4:05 pm
o N.Y. Giants at Arizona, 4:15 pm
o Washington at Seattle, 4:15 pm
o *Indianapolis at San Diego, 8:15 pm
* Monday, Nov 24
o Green Bay at New Orleans, 8:30 pm


by puzzled parlay (not verified) :: Thu, 11/20/2008 - 7:09pm

Tonights game is a tough pick. Cincys offence is the second worst in football averaging a whole 13 points a game(with Ocho). Pitt still can play defence but had a banged up qb and a half ass running attack. Its going to snow and be cold. So this is my problem all those facts it should be an under game but with the total at only 34.5 which just a little more than only a touchdown a quarter. The steelers are laying 11 points which is alot but cincy is garbage. I dont know how many times I lost to garbage teams but its alot. I think I am going to play cincy and the under..ANY THOUGHTS??????

by Steelerfan1977 :: Fri, 11/21/2008 - 12:46am


That running attack didn't look to half assed to me.

by The Real Deal (not verified) :: Thu, 11/20/2008 - 7:57pm

Too be honest as sad as it is a half-ass run offence will be able to run on cincy. It being cold does factor in and I think the steelers still will win but I think it will be by about 14 (which makes it a hard choice because 11 is right there, if they kick a extra field goal or turn a fg into a td, I think voting over tho is the best call.. I personally am a ravens fan and am saying that they are going to blow them out so I am not biased. Best of luck on your picks, hopefully I helped you out some

by puzzled parlay (not verified) :: Thu, 11/20/2008 - 9:23pm

Thanks for your responce. The only problem I have with taking the over is it could easily be a 17 to 10 or even a 24 to 3 game. Just because neither one of them score to often. Not to mention last week Philly vs Cincy the final score was 13 to 13 which I thought Philly was going to cover the 40.5 points by thier selfs. Needless to say it didnt. And th Pitt vs SD game last week ended 11-10. I think I should just lay off this game but that wont happen!

by Sid :: Thu, 11/20/2008 - 11:48pm

No wonder Denver cut Ernster. Pittsburgh would've been much better off going for it each time.

It doesn't get any worse than this.

by Sid :: Thu, 11/20/2008 - 11:49pm

I've been listening on the radio and the fans have been booing non-stop this game.

by RBurgh (not verified) :: Fri, 11/21/2008 - 12:18am

very disappointing. I have the Steelers' D in FFB and they have but one sack at the 2 minute warning.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 11/22/2008 - 10:29pm

You have to go for it there.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 1:09pm

Be sure to join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for IRC football chat! cognet.catch22.org, channel #fo

Brief tutorial for the IRC-shy:

- Download mIRC from mIRC.com
- type /server cognet.catch22.org into the status window
- type /join #fo

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:22pm

Trent Edwards just threw quite possibly the worst pass I have ever seen

Great play fake from the 3 or so, wide open Bill in the left corner of the endzone, and he sails it 5 yards over the receiver's head with no defenders within 10 yards.

Fortunately for him, Lynch ground in it with some nice running effort on the next play.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:23pm

Jacksonville fumbles the ball on 2 of their first 3 touches.
Down 14-0 to the Vikes LOL.

by BucNasty :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:25pm

I think it's time to stick Talib on Calvin Johnson. At the very least, it'll take away the size advantage.

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:27pm

Nice job by the zebras on 3rd and goal in the SF-DAL game.

by BucNasty :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:38pm

Wow. Jeff Garcia just got hit kind of hard by his own linemen, and a Detroit defender just stripped him of the ball and ran it back. 14-0 Lions.

ETA: Make that: trips over Cadillac Williams and coughs up the ball.

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:35pm

I will say that after the Seattle debacle, the Mike Singletary era is leaps and bounds better than the Mike Nolan era.

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:43pm

Ridiculous challenge by Wade Phillips! If only he had burned a timeout before challenging.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:49pm

Wow Nate Clements just got toasted.

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:50pm

Yeah, I think he expected the rush to get to Romo and was sitting on the hot route.

by Crus :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:49pm

McNabb underthrows a deep ball on 3rd and 1 (with Westbrook open for the 1st down 6yds away) and it's picked off by the Ravens, second turnover for McNabb so far.

by tw (not verified) :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:53pm

The local radio team had a great description of that decision: if you've got 3rd and 1 and you have to throw a low-percentage deep-ball, it probably means you're not a good team.

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 2:58pm

And Baltimore should have just punted on first down.

0-0 tie this week?

by Crus :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 3:02pm

At this rate, I'm thinking a 7-5 Ravens win, McNabb pick 6 vs a fumble recovered in FG range and a safety for the Eagles.

by Rocco :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 3:39pm

That would probably result in Philly rising in DVOA this week.

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 3:24pm

Well it was fun while it lasted, the implosion has come earlier than normal for SF.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 3:28pm

If the NFL would start ending games after the 1st quarter Detroit would be a juggernaut.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 3:40pm

NYJ-TENN much less exciting than I had hoped for.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:00pm

McChunky benched.
CornCobb in

by CathyW :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:02pm

Kevin Kolb sighting! McNabb benched!

Now if only we could hire Spags or Cowher before the end of the season...Reid has got to go.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:08pm

Capt. Courageous benched in Cleveland

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:13pm

Ronde Barber with the pick six, second INT of the game!

Can somebody tell me why Ronde Barber never gets talked about as a potential HOF candidate? 11th return TD in his career. First ever member of the 20 INT/20 sack "club", right? Always a solid cover corner, plays the run great, smart, makes the big plays . . . I demand HOF love.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:25pm

Rodney Harrison has 30+/30+, so Barber's 20/20 isn't really special, let along ground breaking.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 11:13pm

Meant first ever in that club as a corner. Corners tend to blitz significantly less often, no? Also, Harrison has 4 career TDs per Pro Football Reference, including one on a kickoff return (???), as opposed to Barber's 11. A quick googling gives Aeneas Williams (14) and Rod Woodson (13) the career defensive TD leads, putting Barber not far behind.

Yes, I'm a homer, and I think Ronde Barber has been a seriously underrated player over the years. I'm not saying "definitely put him in the HOF" (OK, maybe I am, but it's not the point). I'm saying he at least belongs in a serious discussion as a great cornerback worthy of the HOF.

by CathyW :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:21pm

Jumpin' Jesus Christ. Ravens block Eagles punt and it goes through the end zone for a Ravens safety.

This is beyond absurd.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:26pm

Nate Clements just broke 1-2 more of Witten's ribs


by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:33pm

He's a very good tackler. He put a hard hit on Barber earlier.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:36pm

Davone Bess looking better each week.

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:38pm

Whatever happened to the "Fumble McRushers" label?


by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:45pm

how many coaches sealed their fates today?

Del Rio


by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:46pm

Moss gets away with a MAJOR armover-pushoff to get the TD

by navin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:56pm

The best part was that the defense got called for interference.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:12pm

Even better was Beerdork (he's calling that game, right? I'm flipping around on RZC of Sunday ticket) arguing that it was the right call.

by Purds :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 8:54pm

I couldn't agree more. Good thing that guy got into the Hall for his play on the field -- he's a terrible color guy.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:47pm

What's the over/under on the total value of the contract the Vikings are going to offer Matt Cassell in the offseason?

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:53pm

it's gotta be at least 3/$20

by RickD :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:56pm

And the refs bail out the Jets again with a dubious pass interference penalty.

Apparently, Coles is allowed to use his arm to keep a defender at bay, but if a defender grabs at that arm, it's a penalty.


by Love is like a bottle of gin (not verified) :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 8:34pm

This is today's NFL, haven't you been watching? This is why the offensive numbers keep climbing. More and more of what 15 years ago was run of the mill defensive play is deemed illegal or even fine worthy.

Two teams play bad offense and great defense and the scores ends up 13-13 it is a "horrible unwatchable game". Two teams play great offense and bad defense and it ends up 40-38 it is "the most exciting game of the year". A really sad state of affairs for people like me who consider defensive football just as interesting as offensive football, if not moreso. But we are among the hardcore NFL fans the league cares nothing about in its quest to lure in more and more casuals (which makes perfect sense business wise).

Continue on the current path for a few more years and it will have all the excitement of a synchronized swimming contest...

by Purds :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 8:56pm

I didn't see the Jets game, but it sounds like the refs are being consistent across the NFL -- the call made for Moss against the fins fits your description perfectly.

by AndyE :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 10:02pm

If by consistent, you mean "Rolling d20 and checking a table to decide how to randomly call the play on the field", I agree. Just a few from the Pats/Dolphins game:

  • Late hit called on Bruschi for hitting a receiver/back who steps on the sideline a moment before the hit
  • The aformentioned Moss mutual interference (it was mutual, but Moss shouldn't be getting away with "Grab the shoulderpad to slow him down"
  • Strangely fictitious noncall half a second before Pennington calls a timeout, saving Miami the hassle of using a timeout to prevent delay of game
  • Having to conference in for two minutes the whole ref staff to figure out that Jake Long had just moved (legally) to the other side of the offensive line in the dreaded Wildcat, and no, that wasn't a penalty
  • Whatever the deadball unsportsmanlike conduct call on Joey Porter was. I'm sure he deserved it, if not for today, then for some point in the past, but what did he do that needed a penalty from the defensive huddle?
  • Half the spots seemed off by at least half a yard. There was one, egregious, that sptted it clearly for a Miami first down (which I thought questionable), but then the refs also gave MIA a free time out by then measuring the first down. The chains were 20 feet away, and you spotted the ball past them.

Basically, sucky officiating, and the die rolls randomly came up more often helping the Dolphins than the Pats today.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 4:58pm

Fight breaks out in MIA_NEW game.

Matt Light with some "grab the hair and sucker punch the back of the head" while the guy has his helmet off approach.

Stay classy, Patriots.

by AndyE :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 9:46pm

For the record, Crowder came up swinging, and landed the first punch.

Doesn't excuse Light, which is why both get ejected for starting the brawl.

Stay classy, Pats-haters.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:01pm

Tedd Gizz Jr takes the kickoff out to almost the 20, then starts running laterally, back, reversing the field, tackled back at the 3.


by CathyW :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:02pm

Kolb INT in end zone, returned for Ravens TD. Turning off the game now, I've seen enough.

by Harris :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:32pm

You're mistake was turning it on the first place. Sucker.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

by CathyW :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:45pm

Thanks, Harris, I can always rely on you for a ray of sunshine.

Seriously, I have come around to Tanier's thinking. Reid must go.

I was so disgusted that my place is now spotless AND I walked 3.5 miles at the walking track near my house. All that frustration does have an upside in the extra energy I'm devoting to my housework and my physical well-being.

by Harris :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:55pm

Sorry, the end of the McNabb era has made me morose. Well, moreso than usual. I want to give Kolb a chance, but he's shown nothing so far that inspires confidence and I remember that awful wasteland between Cunningham and McNabb.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

by CathyW :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 10:02pm

Oy...those were dark days, my friend....when we were forced to try and muster some enthusiasm for the likes of Ty Detmer, Bobby Hoying, Rockin' Rodney Peete (although at least he had an interesting and beautiful wife), and who can forget Doug "Interim QB" Pederson.

I saw nothing from Kolb today that makes me think he's any better than McNabb. But unfortunately McNabb just looks inaccurate and old, not like the electrifying QB I remember from 4 years ago.

by Pat F. :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:04pm

Ted Ginn with the worst kickoff return ever. Got out to the 18 (from about the 5) and ended up getting tackled at the 2, AND got a holding penalty for his team to boot with the change of direction.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:07pm

followed by the worst pass drop ever.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:15pm

WOW, glad my business trip to Philly was last week, I can't imagine what the natives are gonna sound like THIS week...

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:20pm

Main sideline cam in CAR_ATL is very very soft, makes the usual FOX fuzzyHDlite look good in comparison.

by FireOmarTomlin :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:24pm

Might be a good idea to actually cover Breaston across the middle....

by morganja :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:38pm

What the F*** is wrong with the cameramen at the ATL-CAR game? These jackasses are showing close-ups of players, coaches, everyone before the snap of the ball, snapping from one to the other every other second, like the cameramen are on Crystal Meth with bad cases of ADD. It's making me seasick trying to watch the damn thing.

We can't see the formation before the snap, and by not switching to the formation view until the exact second of the snap, we can't focus on the screen before the play is already in motion. We've already missed the start of several plays because the camera is focused on the back of Roddy White's helmet.

Is anyone else trying to watch this crap? How can they screw up something as easy as a football game. Just do what everyone else has been doing for decades. Stop with the BS.

by Flagstaff :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:52pm

I think it's all about the "production" and the "art" rather than showing us the game in the best possible way.

It's sort of connected to the sideline interviews and the booth announcers talking to the start of the newest action "hit" in Fox or CBS or NBC. Or even ex-players or current politicians. None of them add anything to the enjoyment of the game.

Jacks RULE!

by Flagstaff :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:53pm

How many receivers named "Moss" are there in the NFL?

Jacks RULE!

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:18pm


by Flagstaff :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:12pm

Antrell Rolle just made an excellent run and tackle. He didn't allow himself to be blocked and he brought down the returner with a sure tackle.

Jacks RULE!

by scottyb (not verified) :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:19pm

I guess Favre still doesn't make a difference for the Jets.

by Dennis :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:30pm

Jenkins, Faneca and Woody are making a much bigger difference than Favre.

by Love is like a bottle of gin (not verified) :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 8:26pm

He is doing slightly better in NY than Pennington is doing in MIA, in my mind that points to the difference between them being not that great. I do think it was a good change though, although they are about as valuable, the Jets and Pennington had a toxic relationship.

by BucKai :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 7:42pm

Had a post earlier in the week about the Buc's taking the first quarter off & I'll reiterate it now. I fully believe that Gruden scripts his first two possessions worth of plays and they never work. Then he evaluates what the opponent is actually doing, adjusts and achieves positive results. Same with the D.

We spot the Lions, The Lions of all teams, 17 points before we decide to start playing.

I'm convinced the Buc's D plays the 2nd-4th qtr's better than anyone in the league, and I'm convinced the Buc's also suffer from jet-lag worse than any team in the league. We rarely have a decent 1st quarter on either side of the ball, but then show up and deliver solid performances.


by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 11:06pm

It says something that when the Bucs were 17 down I wasn't really that worried. I mean, Detroit had scored on a fumble and basically a couple of long tosses to Calvin Johnson. Eventually, the Bucs would stop shooting themselves in the foot and the Lions were going to start aiming howitzers at their feet.

It can't just be scripted plays, because the defense is awful in the first quarter as well. I don't get it. The team has a load of veterans who should, in theory, keep people in line and working hard the whole game. Yet, somehow, they're simply godawful at first. Frustrating as @#$!!! to watch.

by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 7:48pm

Does Ross not realize that the arm-bar is illegal? He's been called on it a couple times, and it is completely deserved. And yet he doesn't adjust. Look, I know they want to stay physical against the Cardinals, but you can't keep committing the same penalty. Handing the Cardinals repeated automatic first downs does not help.

by Joel (not verified) :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 8:49pm

So what excuse will we get for the Eagles' second-place DVOA finish this week?

by Pat F. :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 11:03pm

Baltimore is really good (esp. on D), so the opponent adjustments bail the Eagles out.

(For the record, I have no problems with the Eagles' position on the DVOA chart)

by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 11/23/2008 - 11:18pm

Colts right at the goal line and use Dominic Rhodes three times where he does nothing. Then they rush fourth down, and Rhodes catches the TD pass.

When you have Addai, Wayne, Gonzalez, and Clark, you run four straight plays for Dominic Rhodes for the go-ahead score? I mean, it worked, but still . . .

by Jake (not verified) :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:12am

Its things like Norv taking a time out there when you're kicking to tie the game with 1:30 left that make people realize he is a bad coach

by Jake (not verified) :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:25am

And it just cost the Chargers the game. Good work Norv.

by navin :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:31am

Yeah, that was horrible. At least let the play clock run down to 1 before using the timeout.

I also thought it was a bad call for the Colts not to run the sneak earlier in the game (not on the last drive, but on the 3rd and 1 when they were up by 3 points).

by navin :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:33am

Now they are saying that someone else called the timeout.

by Jake (not verified) :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:35am

And then immediately show Norv call the timeout. Not a good job staying on top of it from the studio

by navin :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 1:06am

Yeah, they made me feel like an idiot for posting too.

by navin :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:28am

Wow that was a ballsy play by the Colts. I guess Adam Vinatieri is back. First again New England, now another 50 yarder against San Diego.

by Key19 :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 4:13am

I don't think he's back. If that kick is in the 1st quarter, he misses it everytime.

But since it was a game-winning kick, it would've been good from 60.

That's just how he is.

by DEW (not verified) :: Mon, 11/24/2008 - 11:54pm

Man, two possessions in a row with Jason "Almost As Good As Hole-In-Zone" David making picks against Rodgers...

...and the Saints promptly give it back with a wide receiver throwing the ball on a day where Brees is dissecting the Packers defense. When will NFL coaches learn that you don't run gadget plays on days when the regular offense is rolling up and down the field at will?

by Key19 :: Tue, 11/25/2008 - 12:07am

Packers are defending their DVOA rating just as well as the Eagles did.

I take that back.

That's an insult to the Packers.

by RickD :: Thu, 11/27/2008 - 2:20pm

Looking for a Week 13 thread.

The Lions are painfully bad. They are making my eyes hurt. Pretty soon I'll be flipping channels looking for a Twilight Zone marathon.

by resumes (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 4:33pm

Propose trades that make sense for both teams and discuss any trades resumes