MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

In this week's episode: PK tells us why the Packers could be even better this year, why the Bears kept kicking off from the 30, why the Bills just did something stupid (again), and why Jay Cutler will be running for his life all season (again).

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111 comments, Last at 19 Aug 2011, 1:44pm

2 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"It's been 33 years since the NFL added a seventh official, and when that happened, in 1978, the league was passing on about 42 percent of the offensive snaps. Now passing is about 52 percent of the game."

King implies that the extra ref is the reason for this, and fails to mention that there were major rule changes to pass interference and pass blocking.

4 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

You fail to quote the line after that:
"So you could see the Competition Committee recommend the adoption of a permanent eighth official in the next couple of years."
He explains that more passing needs more officials. So with the passing numbers going up again since 1978, PK sees the reason for an extra official.

24 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

He didn't say anything about completion percentage. You're mis-reading what he wrote. The percentages given are the percentage of passing plays (versus running plays) in the game. So as the total percentage of passing plays has gone up, so has the number of officials.

3 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Sad news about Corwin Brown. See link in name for the hit he put on Keyshawn Johnson, which I'd always remembered him for.

5 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"It'll be interesting to see if the league comes down hard on the Bears for choosing to interpret a playing rule they way they wanted to, not the way the rule is written."

I don't see why. Teams interpreted pass interference the way they wanted to for a good 15 years.

7 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Dandridge, Audrey Hepburn, Bettie Page, Lucille Ball (?!), Jayne Mansfield and, as a nod to a crush of today, the late R&B singer Aaliyah."

Lucille Ball was a pin-up in the 20s. It's worth remembering that she was in her 40s and married to a man 6 years her junior by the time of I Love Lucy.

20 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I think you mean "in her 20's," not "in the 20's." In the movie Best Foot Forward from 1943, she effectively plays a young Hollywood starlet who is the object of admiration of an entire military school. When I saw it, I was amazed and impressed by how attractive she was. If you're in the right mood, it's a movie that's fun to watch--it's (or the play that it was based on) is also the source of the song "Buckle Down, Winsocki," which is sort of a football pep/cheer song, so this post is not totally on a tangent!

12 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I'm disappointed that Obama's quote about the Bears playing the Packers in December along the lines of "Remember, there's one guy who can ground all planes in and out of Green Bay" didn't make quote of the week.

23 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"Passcode for the wireless network at Bears training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill.: Sweetness34"

Woo hoo! Free wifi for fans watching the Bears practice!

It would be really cool if he could reveal a different password every week!

70 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I used to go all the time - I grew up 10 minutes away from Eagles camp back when they were at West Chester State. I never once got bored. Admittedly, it's been 20 years, but I can't imagine football practice has changed that much. As for "real action" you're certainly not going to find it looking down at a touchscreen in your lap.

28 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Shocker, a popular pundit in the media claims the previous Super Bowl winners might repeat. Didn't the media say the same thing about the Saints and the Steelers?

Most mainstream writers regurgitate the same talking points every year.

30 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Wait...let me get this straight...Cam Newton ties for some ridiculous PK-made up rookie QB award because he went 8-of-19 but "he looked confident and threw the ball like he'd been there before"? Are you kidding me?

I saw Newton play...he was terrible...he stared down his receivers, he rarely worked through more than one progression and his accuracy was God awful.

Honestly...knowing this knucklehead has the most popular NFL column in the country makes me throw up in my mouth. The fact that people read this drivel and then that gives them some "fan insight" is just laughable.

37 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

People read his column because he has nearly unparalleled access to sources.

As for Newton, he's a rookie. One incompletion was basically a throw-away and one hit his receiver in the hands but was dropped...and it was on a pass where he fit it into a tight window. I'm not a fan of taking Newton with the first pick, but without question he could have looked worse. Much worse.

38 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Yeah, also, 134 yards on 8 completions is really worth noticing, impressive even - compare that to lauded young QB's like Sam Bradford who dink and dunk all day long. If teaching Newton to check down to the RB occasionally is the main thing he needs to work on, then he's a lot better of a prospect than I had him pegged for...

74 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

So, you're in favor of check-down artists like David Carr, J.P. Losman and Jason Campbell? Any QB can go out and throw 20 completions to guys 6 yards down the field. But, obviously, part of being a good NFL-caliber QB is hitting passes mid and long range passes. Newton was making long completions when he connected - when Sam Bradford starts to average 16 yards a completion, let me know...

Obviously, Newton's performance wasn't flawless, but all things considered, it was much more impressive than I personally expected. If he never develops the ability to round out the big completions with safer underneath stuff (the simple 5 yard completions that should come easy) then, yes, that's a major problem and he won't be in the NFL for very long completing 45% of his throws. But completing the short stuff is the easy part - what separates the David Carrs of the world from the Peyton Mannings (or even the Eli Mannings) is among other things the ability to complete throws down the field...

78 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Um, no. Throwing deep was almost the only thing Carr was good at. In 2004, Joyner reckoned he was the best in the league at it, even. Carr sucked because of his monumental lack of pocket presence (and because he was in many other respects indifferent, and perhaps because he wasn't a hard enough worker), not because of an inability to complete deep throws when given time. And what separates the Drew Breeses of the world from the Jamarcus Russells (among other things) is the ability to identify the right receiver quickly without staring him down and hit him in stride.

80 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Any QB can go out and throw 20 completions to guys 6 yards down the field.

Unfortunately, this just isn't true. If it was that easy, every QB -would-.

Also, J.P. Losman a checkdown artist? Wasn't the bomb to Lee Evans the only throw he -could- make?

77 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Can't believe no one has bothered to figure out that Newton averaged 7.1 YPA which is very solid.

Of course, it's more solid when the same YPA goes with a completion percentage around 60% or better, and not the lousy 42% Newton managed. Still, YPA shows that Newton did a reasonable job throwing a large number of deep passes.*

* didn't watch the game, just inferring from the results.

94 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I watched the game. Newton also threw some very nice deep balls (bombs) that weren't completed but still were very well placed. Not outright drops or anything but more deep stuff against single coverage where his guy didn't go up and make a play, but the ball was placed in a way where there was no danger of a pick. The deep stuff he did complete was on a rope stuff vs zones.

He threw off his back foot a couple time but generally I was quite impressed.

98 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

But 16 YPC can be completely ignored if the other stats are bad enough. Say you have 20 YPC, but only 2 YPA. That's terrible. And while it's not nearly that extreme, in Newton's case here, the low completion percentage and just solid (not great) YPA probably outweigh the value of the YPC.

That's just for this game though - it may be that the YPC is still a good sign for the future, but I don't know whether it is or not.

59 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

One other thing to throw out there is that there were many, myself included, who envisioned him not knowing the plays and looking completely lost. By all accounts, he's done very well in that department. And I haven't heard a lot of negative stories coming out of camp about his ego, which I've also been somewhat surprised about. Possibly I'm just being impressed because I had low expectations, but he's ahead of where I figured he would be.

32 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Peter king weites weird tjings sometimes. Like no kodding Paxkers could repeat. If wrote that Broncos could repwat as SB champs thay would be amazing artichle.

Did see some of gb vs clev brons ge. R Cobb lokk pretty good. Very good WR corpse in Green Bay.

Vikinvs look stinky. Crap qb crap receivers

53 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I was fairly surprised too, but when the market for him dried up, they were able to sign him to a reasonable contract. My guess is Driver will retire after this year. If he had set the franchise receiving yards mark last year, I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd retired.

Who knows, if they think Cobb is the real deal, they might let Nelson walk. We'll just have to see how the year plays out.

33 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Anyone else goingv to watch nfl game tonitr? Jets 13 texmas 16 is pick. Goibg to get Sierra Nevada Porter 6 pack and some taco supremes. Hoing to be fun.

57 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Its where some of us go to talk about games we're watching. To quote Joe_Football:

"Be sure to join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for another season of IRC football chat!
Server:, channel #fo

Brief instructions for the irc-shy:
go to
click on server and paste into the field
type #fo into the channel field, pick a nick and hit connect"

35 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Quote of the Week II

"It's good to have football right around the corner. Like every football fan, I was thrilled to have the lockout ended. Nobody likes long, frustrating negotiations with a rigid opposition, taking it to the brink.''

-- President Obama, who knows something about long, frustrating negotiations.

Did he not understand that was what Obama had just joked about? Or was Lee Fitzgerald Bush writing his column?

36 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"PK tells us... why the Bills just did something stupid (again)...."

Did I miss something? Because he actually says he liked the Lee Evans trade and that Bills fans should be happy with it.

47 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Just why exactly would players negotiate with the owners over the ticket price for exhibitions? If the player reps brought this up in CBA negotiations, as PK suggests, any owner with half a brain would tell D. Smith and company that it is absolutely none of their concern - and they'd be right.

Statements like that make me wonder if Peter has any idea what the labor negotiations were about -- but then again, magical thinking is often a part of PK's wishlist.

89 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

The preseason ticket price complaint is mostly a tired one anyway, almost completely removed from the laws of supply and demand. 95%+ of all NFL tickets are sold in season-ticket packages. Most season-ticket packages are formally priced at a flat per-game amount, but the individual game tickets could just as easily be tiered between preseason and regular season games (or even within the regular season, with the price increased for "premium" games) at the same total cost to the consumer. It's the consumer's decision whether the total package price represents good value or not-- and the overwhelming majority of fanbases have voted "yes" on that question with their wallets. And if it's a discount you're looking for with a preseason game (just for the ability to attend a game, any game) just go onto StubHub or the like and you'll find plenty of tickets available in the aftermarket at a fraction of the published face value.

95 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"And if it's a discount you're looking for with a preseason game (just for the ability to attend a game, any game) just go onto StubHub or the like and you'll find plenty of tickets available in the aftermarket at a fraction of the published face value."

And isn't that the point? When people purchase season ticket plans, they're forced to add on pre-season games, even though no one would honestly want to pay those sorts of prices for such a game-- which is why those tickets are promptly put up for sale on eBay and StubHub in the hopes of the buyer getting at least some of their money back on a purchase they were forced to make.

Would more people go if a ticket to a preseason game were, say, $15 or $20? Instead of $60+? Imagine if beer and hotdogs were the same inflated prices, and imagine parking was also ridiculous. But imagine that you didn't have to go through third party vendors (like buying on eBay) to get them. Would more people go? It's hard to say. But I think that the great number of tickets available aftermarket-- at a fraction of the face value-- suggests that most people don't think it's worth face value to go to a game.

96 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

No. That's not the point. The point was that you're buying a season's worth of tickets as one thing. Complaining about the price of the preseason tickets being the same as the regular season tickets just doesn't make any sense. What difference does it make if you buy 10 tickets for $1000 at $100 per game vs. buying 10 tickets for $1000 where the regular season games cost $125 a piece and the preseason tickets were thrown in free of charge? If you have to buy the whole thing or nothing at all, which is how season tickets work, then difference is all in your head.

101 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

It depends on where you are. If you're in a city where single-game tickets are easily available at the box office, you can pay $800 for the eight regular season games, or decide you don't want the crappy-looking late-season Thursday night game and save another $100. (I checked the Chargers and Jaguars - both charge the same for exhibitions and regular season games. Both also offer discounts on season tickets, although San Diego's isn't enough to cover exhibition costs.) Even teams with solid sellouts aren't guaranteed them in perpetuity; just ask the Cleveland Indians.

104 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

A previous poster claimed that 95% of ticket sales were season tickets. If that's true, then the single game primary sales are pretty trivial. Yeah it might be a bit silly to charge full price at the box office for them, but it doesn't warrant the bile it gets. If you're buying season tickets then you've no reason to care. If you're buying individual preseason game tickets, then you're probably paying market value to a season ticket holder rather than box office price to the team.

If for some reason you are paying full price to buy a single preseason game ticket from the box office, you are in that tiny group with reason to complain. But the most sensible "complaint" seems to me not buying from the box office and buying on the market instead. By the same token I can't see why the team would even want to sell those individual game tickets above market. They'd make more money if they sold them cheaper.

107 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I did the research. Finding information for some solid-sellout teams was hard, so if I only had season or single-game prices, I assumed no discount. Using halfway up the upper deck on the 30-yard line as my arbitrary location, I found that while 20 teams sell season tickets at a discount from the cost of ten single games, Jacksonville is $20 cheaper than buying eight regular-season single games, Dallas may be $2 cheaper or may not discount at all (it's hard to match locations), and the Bucs and Cards charge exactly the cost of eight single games for a season ticket. In the other 28 cases (or 29 if the Cowboys belong here), the season-ticket buyer is paying for exhibitions. In my arbitrary location, that cost ranges from $30 in Buffalo to $210 for the Jets.

From what I can tell, every team charges the same price for pre-season games that they do for the regular season.

If you're a Packer fan, it doesn't matter. If you want to go to Lambeau, you either buy season tickets (if you can) and swallow the exhibitions, or you're at the mercy of the secondary market. If you're in Cleveland, though, you can save $70 by just buying regular season games, even though there is a $5/game discount for season tickets. More troubling for the Browns, you can save an additional $60 for every regular season game you find too unattractive to buy. While there are other perks for season-ticket holders that vary from team to team, they may or may not be worth more than what those exhibitions cost. The league recognizes this, which is why Goodell started talking about reducing the pre-season to two games. (I'm sure the additional TV revenue from two more regular-season games enters into the picture, too.)

For the record, the cheapest season ticket in my location is the Jaguars at $460, and the most expensive is the Jets at $1050. Carolina has the cheapest single-game tickets at $52, while the 49ers charge $119 for their tickets. The average season ticket is $740.31, the average single game is $80.83, and the average season-ticket holder pays $93.69 for exhibitions.

105 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Intropy has summarized my original point very well. It does occur to me that NFL owners could spare themselves this annual PR headache by cutting the price of preseason games in half and raising the regular-season price by 12.5% (hell, while we're at it why not round it up to an even 15% in the process of rolling out this customer "benefit"?). I'd think that the ticket-buying consumer would see right through this charade, but at least media slobs like Peter King who never have to write out that big check to the team might stop complaining about something that amounts to a very straightforward marketplace reality.

Bottom line, rest assured that with NFL games selling out at near 100% of total capacity under the existing system as well as the law of supply and demand, NFL owners won't soon be sacrificing any existing ticket revenues out of the goodness of their hearts. If anything the argument can be made that many/most tickets are artificially underpriced (at least where the more onerous PSL fees haven't been imposed, thereby decreasing demand to more typical levels for such a commodity).

109 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

From King's mailbag column:

"Always look forward to your column on Monday mornings to start my week off on the right foot. Thank you for pointing out that charging full price for preseaon tickets is an absolute joke, something that has been mentioned in the media time and time again, but that the owners don' t seem to care about.

"I took my 9-year old son to last Thursday's Patriots game to see his favorite player, Tom Brady. When the Pats took the field for the first offensive series, he looked at me and said, 'Where's Tom Brady?' I pointed to the sidelines and his next remark was, 'You mean he isn't even going to play?' I honestly didn't think Brady would play more than the first quarter, but to not even set his foot on the playing field, what a huge disappointment for my son.

"Between the full priced tickets ($234 for the pair) parking ($40), refreshments ($27), and the obligatory trip to the Pro Shop ($55), it was a really expensive evening to see players that, for the most part, won't even be on the team when the "real" season starts. We'll still root for our favorite team, but from now on, it won't be from inside Gillette Stadium.

"Oh, by the way, we did get to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour and a half on the way home ($40 in gas)."
-- Rob K., Framingham, MA.

Does anyone actually feel much sympathy for this guy?

First, why did you pay face value for preseason tickets? As others have pointed out, the market for these is considerably less than full price. Use StubHub or another ticket broker. Or did you pay full price because you have season tickets? In that case, don't complain about not seeing the stars play.

Second, did you really think you were going to see Tom Brady get significant playing time in the first preseason game? Are you new to following the NFL? I'm guessing not, since you're willing to write into Peter King's mailbag.

And complaining about traffic and gas costs? How is that in any way the NFL's problem?

110 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

How about "some sympathy"?

Why pay face? Maybe he bought them from the team. Maybe someone he knew offered him the rare chance to take his son to a game. Maybe he's not conversant with the secondary market as it exists.

And, yeah, I'd expect the home team to give me the (healthy members of the) first team for a series, if only so I don't leave grumbling about how I'll never come back. (I don't know if there was some announcement that Brady wouldn't play before the game, or whether such an announcement was made before this guy bought his tickets.)

Third, with Foxboro being where it is, traffic and gas consumption are worse than a stadium that's conveniently in the middle of a city with access from multiple directions.

An aside that Eddo will appreciate: The only chance I had to see Walter Payton in person was an exhibition at Three Rivers in 1986. Unfortunately, that was Payton's designated "game off" (I think I knew in advance), so I didn't get to see him do more than play catch on the sideline. I understood even then that those are the breaks, but it's still a disappointment that I never got to see him run.

111 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Yeah, I came down a bit harsh. I suppose it is fair to expect the starters to play one series (though I'm skeptical the fan wouldn't have the same complaint, just replace "Brady didn't play" with "Brady only played one series"). I was definitely harsh in the "why pay face?" comment, though.

However, the traffic/gas complaint is outrageous. It's not as if the Patriots decided to play preseason games in Foxboro, but regular season games at a more convenient location. A complaint of that nature has nothing to do with ticket prices at all, let alone ticket prices for preseason games.

And, I do appreciate the aside. I too would be disappointed in a case like yours, but I would understand the situation (like you did).

I think I'm a bit touchy on this subject because my dad, who is a season ticket holder, has these same complaints. Clearly, he values the season on the whole price as a good deal. And when he complains about starters getting rest in meaningless games, I always ask him, "Don't you want the Bears to give themselves the best odds of winning the Super Bowl?"

62 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I found PK's twitter advice highly annoying. Those tweets are happening specifically because they are linked to a live blog of the practice. These live blogs originate from the newspaper websites. They are so tweeting specifically because their employer wants them to.

I know I definitely check out the live practice blogs. Usually after the fact, but sometimes during practice as well.

So, these journalists are tweeting because me, and other people like me, really DO want to know if schulb a beat schlub b in one-on-ones. The demand is there.

Sadly, just another instance of PK being unable to comprehend a perspective other than his own.

65 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

If you're checking out the blog (live or otherwise), you really don't need it tweeted as well. And if you're a national football writer who follows a beat writer or more from all 32 teams, you don't need a stream of results of battles between fourth-stringers, especially if it means the tweet about the first-string QB walking off injured gets buried.

82 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"By the way, a few of you have asked if I've tried Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. I have. I love a lemon in some of my beers, but I'm not a big fan of alcoholic lemonade, which is what this Shandy thing tastes like."

Is this some bizarre attempt at irony, or does he just actually not know what shandy is? Do you guys not have shandy over there? Other than this Leinenkugel stuff?

102 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Oh, I'm not aware of any brewery that makes a mass-distributed shandy (well, Fentiman's, I suppose, but there's so little beer in that it's essentially a soft drink). But walk into any pub in Britain and ask for a pint of shandy and you'll get asked "bitter or lager" and then poured half a pint of the relevant beer and half a pint of lemonade (all in the same glass, you understand). Well, actually there's a fair chance you'll be roundly mocked. But the bar staff will know what you mean.

Possibly the reason for this, I realise, is that "lemonade" standardly means something over here that I think it does not mean in the States - a clear, carbonated, sweet, somewhat acidic drink with very little relation to lemons but quite a bit to 7up. Pubs have it on tap along with coke and soda and that sort of thing. Anything you'd call lemonade, we'd call lemonade too, but it would probably be qualified as "still lemonade" or "fresh lemonade" or (if carbonated) "cloudy lemonade" and it would probably not be used in a shandy.

In my experience, shandys are generally drunk very quickly after amateur sporting events, when rehydration and a desire to get drunk are simultaneous pressing concerns, and rather more slowly by people who are planning to drive after leaving the pub.

A similar phenomenon is the lager top, the difference being that it contains only a dash of lemonade rather than a 50-50 mix, but is drunk by people who don't like the taste of beer rather than people who have some practical reason for needing something less alcoholic, and as such is seen as wussier/girlier/kiddier than shandy despite being nearly twice as strong.

108 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

Other common phenomena in that vein include lager and lime (dash of lime cordial), lager and black (dash of blackcurrant cordial), and most commonly, unpleasant-tastingly and teenagersonlyly, snakebite black (half lager, half cider, dash of blackcurrant cordial). I don't like any of them, but tomato juice definitely sounds worse.

88 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

I had to Wiki it, but some of the mixes they had sound pretty nasty. Beer and 7-Up? Beer and Coke? I wonder what they use in the Leinenkugel. On the other hand, I met a couple from New Zealand a few weeks ago that introduced me to putting some raspberry juice on the top of a Guiness, which surprisingly didn't taste half bad. They said it was popular in Ireland. Would that be considered a shandy?

92 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

That's basically a Black Velvet, which is a Guinness and a cider.

The 7-up mixture is a Raddler. If you've ever been to Oktoberfest, you've seen them.

Raddler – Equal parts pilsner beer and lemon-lime soda. (On a hot summer afternoon in June of 1922, Franz Xaver Kugler, the owner of a Gasthaus high in the Deisenhofner Kugler-Alm in Bavaria realized that he did not have enough beer to accommodate all of his guests for the day, both bicyclists as well as mountain hikers. Hence, he decided to offer his remaining beer, as a mixture of beer and lemon-lime soda of which he had an ample supply, and thus he nick-named his newly-found drink after the bicyclists, the "Raddler")

90 Re: MMQB: Packers Could Very Well Repeat

"It'd be tough for me to be a student at Olivet Nazarene University, a religious school 70 miles south of Chicago and summer home of the Bears. No swearing, drinking, smoking on campus. Or dancing."

Coming to a theater near you: Footloose 2, PK Boogaloo.