Four Downs
Offseason analysis of the NFL, division by division

Four Downs: AFC East

Best player available analysis by Sean McCormick
Remainder of Four Downs by Aaron Schatz

(Ed. note: For this round of Four Downs, we're pleased to present Sean McCormick's "Best Player Available" analysis for each division, along with the usual gang commenting on other moves by each team before and since the draft. The reasoning behind BPA analysis is explained in this article. Each player drafted is listed along with his position on four different independent draft boards and the Best Player Available according to each of those boards. Please note that two of these boards only ranked 100 players.)

Buffalo Bills

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
8 DB Donte Whitner 16, 18, 22, 22 QB Matt Leinart (4)
26 DT John McCargo 44, 46, 47, 51 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
70 DB Ashton Youboty 24, 32, 33, 42 DB Ashton Youboty (4)
105 DB Ko Simpson 39, 49, 52, 60 DT Gabe Watson (3), DB Ko Simpson
134 DT Kyle Williams 77, 80, 85, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
143 OT Brad Butler 228, 246, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (2), DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter
178 LB Keith Ellison 152, 184, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (3), RB Andre Hall
216 OT Terrance Pennington 248, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), RB Andre Hall, DB Anwar Phillips
248 G Aaron Merz UR, UR, UR, UR RB Andre Hall (2), DB Anwar Phillips (2)

In an inauspicious start to their draft, Buffalo pulled off not one but two of the first round's biggest reaches, prompting commentators to wonder if Marv Levy was in over his head as a general manager. But a funny thing happened on their way to draft ignominy: the Bills pulled off a string of impressive selections that made the overall quality of the draft look a whole lot better.

The expectation was that Buffalo would take Brodrick Bunkley at eight, but instead the team threw the first curveball of the day, opting for Ohio State safety Donte Whitner. Top safeties were in short supply, and Whitner is a perfect fit for the new Cover-2 defense the team is installing. Whitner has the coverage skills to match up on tight ends and slot receivers, he comes down quickly to play the run, and he's one of the fiercest hitters in his class. With rumors that St. Louis was interested in Whitner, Buffalo preferred to stay put and take their man rather than risking a trade down to get him at better value.

It's always worrisome when a team locks into a player to the point where they reach over better players to take him, and in this case Buffalo will have to answer for their decision to pass on Matt Leinart, who was the consensus best player available. J.P. Losman has done nothing to suggest he'll develop into a competent starter, Craig Nall is a total unknown, and Kelly Holcomb is strictly stopgap material. It's not often that a team with such an unsettled quarterback situation will pass on a franchise quarterback.

With the selection of John McCargo, the Bills again sacrificed value in favor of need, only this time they traded second- and third-round picks to do so. McCargo is a poor man's Bunkley, a penetrating under tackle who can shoot the gaps and cause disruption. He fits the new scheme well, but McCargo will have to prove that he can be effective without the presence of Mario Williams and Manny Lawson to free him up. The Bills must have felt the dropoff in quality after McCargo was significant enough to justify the trade up.

Buffalo's draft really got rolling with their third round selection of Ashton Youboty. Youboty plays inconsistently at times, but he has excellent size and athleticism for a cornerback. The Bills have had great success with Ohio State corners, and Youboty should continue the trend. All four boards grade him as one of the steals of the draft, and the pick is all the sweeter because it came to the Bills in return for the mediocre Travis Henry. How's that working out for the Titans?

Fourth-round pick Ko Simpson was another major steal, as he was projected to go in the second round. Simpson is extremely raw, but his upside as a playmaking safety is tremendous. He has the ability to man up against tight ends and bigger receivers in the red zone, and new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will probably use Simpson primarily in that capacity until he learns the finer points of coverage and improves on his open field tackling.

Kyle Williams and Keith Ellison were also good value picks. Both of them are undersized but productive players who fit the scheme, Williams as a one-gap defensive tackle and Ellison as an outside linebacker. Ellison has good cover skills, but he also has trouble disengaging from blockers. For now he'll be tried out on the strong side, but his future may be as a nickel and dime linebacker. Offensive lineman Aaron Merz switched back and forth between center and guard at Buffalo minicamp, and that versatility gives him more value than most seventh-round linemen.

Exiled from New Orleans, Part I

Trying to improve linebacker depth, the Bills dealt tight end Tim Euhus to New Orleans for linebacker Courtney Watson. Watson's 2005 performance was very, very bad according to the individual defense statistics in Pro Football Prospectus 2006. Yes, our individual defensive statistics are very dependent on each player's role in the scheme and the performance of his teammates, but Watson had worse numbers than anyone else on the Saints. Out of 116 linebackers with enough plays to be ranked, Watson finished 113th in Stop Rate, the percentage of tackles that stopped a play short of success. He also finished 102nd in average yards gained when he made the tackle on a passing play (8.0 yards), and 115th in average yards gained when he made the tackle on a running play (5.6 yards).

The Euhus trade makes room for 2005 undrafted free agent Brad "Moe" Cieslak to make the squad as the third tight end behind Kevin Everett and Robert Royal.

Undrafted Free Agents

Wide receiver Martin Nance is the most likely undrafted free agent to make this year's Bills roster. He had nearly 1,500 yards receiving for Miami of Ohio back in 2003, with some guy named Ben Roethlisberger throwing him passes. Then Nance missed 2004 with an ACL injury, and went undrafted despite another 1,100 yards in 2005. He is considered slow (just 4.55 in the 40-yard dash) but could this just be the "year after ACL surgery" effect? Nance has two advantages when it comes to making the team: at 6-foot-3, he is taller than any receiver ahead of him on the Buffalo depth chart, plus snow does not give him the heebie-jeebies.

Other free agents with a chance to make the team, or at least the practice squad, are cornerback Eric Bassey from the University of Oklahoma, University of Missouri linebacker Derrick Ming -- who Buffalo plans to convert to fullback -- and linebacker John DiGiorgio from Saginaw Valley State. DiGiorgio is a hyperactive player who finished his career ranked third all-time in tackles by a Division II player, and could be a useful special teams gunner.

Miami Dolphins

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
16 DB Jason Allen 22, 26, 28, 29 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
82 WR Derek Hagan 66, 67, 86, 88 G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
112 OT Joe Toledo 100, 106, 147, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
212 DT Fred Evans UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
226 DT Rod Wright 79, 90, 97, 103 DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
233 WR Devin Aromashodu 132, 224, UR, UR DB Dee Webb (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall

While no draft pick figures to have more immediate or long-term impact than the one Miami used to obtain former Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the Dolphins did a good job throughout of obtaining value throughout the draft. Perhaps their riskiest pick was their first one, when Miami jumped into the defensive back run and selected Tennessee free safety Jason Allen. Allen is a supremely talented player -- he has elite cover skills and could probably excel as a cornerback if asked to switch positions -- but some people believe the dislocated hip he suffered during his senior season makes him a major medical risk. (According to our man Will Carroll, Allen should be fine this season, and his only problem is a higher risk for recurrence.) The boards considered Jimmy Williams the safer pick, but if Allen can put his injury history behind him, he figures to significantly upgrade Miami's secondary. Allen has the versatility to line up at safety, at an outside corner position or in the slot, and he provides excellent run support.

Derek Hagan had a very productive career at Arizona State, but a poor Senior Bowl week and pedestrian workout numbers caused his stock to drop. Hagan has the size and the hands to be a quality possession receiver, but he doesn't have the explosiveness or top end speed to threaten a defense. Miami already has a burner in Chris Chambers, and they would be happy if Hagan developed into a complementary player.

Joe Toledo was drafted more for his athleticism than his production. He switched from tight end to tackle for his senior season, and a high ankle sprain limited his lateral movement, so this pick is really about upside. Two of the boards felt he was worth the risk, but he's several years from the starting lineup.

Miami did very well with both of their seventh-round selections. Rod Wright has the Texas lineman disease -- he has first round measureables, but his effort is inconsistent. Part of that inconsistency might be traced to a torn rotator cuff that Wright played with for all of his senior season. The injury was discovered at the combine and it was likely the biggest factor in sending Wright's stock tumbling. Wright had surgery and will likely spend the season on IR, but he should be ready to go in 2007. Auburn wide receiver Devin Aromashodu was considered a major steal on at least on board. He has good size and legitimate deep speed, but his route running leaves something to be desired. His best chance to make an impact is as a deep threat and a return man.

Lake Wobegon, Where Every Child Is Above Average

Hi. This is Aaron writing now.

Just a thought: Reports out of Miami say that Daunte Culpepper's rehab is ahead of schedule, and he could be in the starting lineup for the first game of the regular season. Then again, reports out of Cincinnati say that Carson Palmer is way ahead of schedule, and he could be in the starting lineup for the first game of the regular season, and reports out of New Orleans say that Drew Brees will be fine to start the season, and of course reports from Pittsburgh say that despite his motorcycle accident, Ben Roethlisberger will be all ready to go for the start of the season.

Has medical science really improved this dramatically? I am hesitant to believe that all four players will come back and play immediately at the high level that recent news stories seem to be suggesting.

Undrafted Free Agents

Miami is bringing in a couple of big name undrafted free agents -- at least, they have big last names thanks to their familial NFL connections. Yes, the Dolphins signed Marcus Vick and are trying to turn him into a receiver. No, Vick really doesn't deserve as much attention as he gets. More importantly, the Dolphins inked running back Gerald Riggs Jr. out of Tennessee, who had over 1,100 yards with 5.7 yards per carry as a junior, but missed half the season with an ankle injury as a senior. With Ricky Williams now in Toronto, Sammy Morris often playing fullback, and Travis Minor, well, still being Travis Minor, the Dolphins could have an opening for a third-string running back. Other names to watch are Oregon State linebacker Trent Bray, Utah defensive tackle Steve Fifita, and Indiana defensive end Ben Ishola. Ishola is a native of Berlin, so even if he's not good enough to make an NFL roster he'll probably be bouncing around practice squads for however long NFL Europe remains in existence.

New England Patriots

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
21 RB Laurence Maroney 25, 26, 27, 29 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
36 WR Chad Jackson 16, 17, 17, 19 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
86 TE David Thomas 80, 94, 95, UR G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
106 RB Garrett Mills 94, 95, 168, UR DT Gabe Watson (4)
118 K Stephen Gostkowski UR, UR, UR, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
136 OT Ryan O'Callaghan 70, 83, 99, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
191 DE Jeremy Mincey 174, 192, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
205 G Dan Stevenson UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
206 DT LeKevin Smith 114, 176, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
229 DB Willie Andrews 208, 232, UR, UR DB Dee Webb (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall

After a season where the defense fell apart and the offense carried the team into the playoffs, it was expected that New England would use the draft to restock the talent in the back seven. Think again. Instead, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli seem to have decided that after years of beating Indianapolis, it was time to join them. The team emphasized offense with each of its first six selections, and spent every first day pick on a skill position player.

Minnesota's Laurence Maroney is a one cut runner who gets through the hole quickly and has the body control to make defenders miss. Maroney was generally considered the best of the non-Bush running backs, and there were rumors that the Colts were eying him as a replacement for Edgerrin James. Instead Maroney will join a rotation that includes Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk, and likely assume the starting job in 2007.

When Florida receiver Chad Jackson slipped into the second round, New England didn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a trade, sending second- and third-round picks to Green Bay so they could get their man. Jackson had moved in front of Santonio Holmes on all four draft boards, so getting him with the 36th pick overall was a major coup for the Pats. Jackson has prototype size and speed. He runs sharp routes and has consistently shown both excellent hands and a clean criminal record (his true advantage over Holmes). He should provide an immediate lift for a receiving corps that has been thinned out by free agent defections the past two seasons.

While the Patriots didn't land any more first-round talents, they got good value out of several of their offensive picks. New England places a premium on smart, versatile players who can operate out of run or pass sets, and both David Thomas and Garrett Mills fit that description. Thomas is a tight end/H-back 'tweener who can play on the line but is going to be more effective if he is moved around to create matchup problems. Mills also played tight end at the college level, but he will be moved into more of a traditional fullback role. Mills is an excellent receiver, and he will likely become a trusted safety outlet for Tom Brady.

Ryan O'Callaghan is a massive right tackle who has been slowed by injuries. Three of the boards considered him one of the top hundred players in the draft, so he was good value in the fifth round. New England also did well with their late round defensive picks, netting Jeremy Mincey, LeKevin Smith and Willie Andrews at moderate value.

The most questionable decision of the draft would have to be taking a kicker in the fourth round. New England had a major need after losing Adam Vinatieri in the off-season, but Gostkowski was not a good enough prospect to warrant anything higher than a sixth- or seventh-round pick.

Exiled from New Orleans, Part II

The defensive line is perhaps the most impressive unit in New England, made up of three first-round draft picks all under the age of 27. So how much more impressive would the unit be with a fourth first-round draft pick to serve as backup? The answer is probably "not much more impressive" considering that the fourth player is Johnathan (sic) Sullivan, acquired via trade from New Orleans. No, that "sic" was not a sign that Johnathan spells his first name in an odd fashion; it was actually the sound of Sullivan burping after downing another five hamburgers. The Patriots hope that they can somehow restrain Sullivan's appetite and recapture the talent that had people comparing him to his college -- and now pro -- teammate Richard Seymour when the Saints took him sixth in the 2003 draft. There's no risk involved, as Sullivan is getting a minimum salary for the next two seasons, and the 2008 and 2009 years on his contract are now void due to a playing-time clause. All it cost to take a chance on Sullivan was underachieving wide receiver Bethel Johnson, who had just four receptions in 2005 and was so far inside Bill Belichick's doghouse that he had Kibbles 'n' Bits coming out of his ears. Seventh-round pick Willie Andrews is the best candidate to take on Johnson's kickoff return duties.

Undrafted Free Agents

The most important name among the Patriots' rookie free agents is Freddie Roach, a linebacker out of Alabama who was coveted by the Dolphins as well. The Patriots seem to find a significant undrafted defender each season (DT Mike Wright, CB Randall Gay) and Roach has been impressive in minicamp. The Patriots also have a tendency to find players whose college coaches have Belichick connections. They signed two players who learned from Charlie Weis at Notre Dame last year -- linebacker Corey Mays and wide receiver Matt Shelton -- as well as three men who played at Florida for Belichick's new best buddy Urban Meyer: cornerback Vernell Brown, offensive tackle Randy Hand, and safety Jarvis Herring.

Finally, it is unlikely the Patriots will go into the season without a veteran quarterback either second or third on the depth chart. But if that is the case, undrafted free agent Corey Bramlet out of Wyoming will probably be the default third-stringer behind Tom Brady and Matt Cassel.

New York Jets

Pick Player Player Rankings Best Player Available
4 OT DBrickashaw Ferguson 3, 3, 3, 3 OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (4)
29 C Nick Mangold 25, 27, 28, 28 OT Winston Justice (3), DB Jimmy Williams
49 QB Kellen Clemens 87, 89, 113, UR DB Richard Marshall (2), OT Eric Winston, DB Ashton Youboty
76 LB Anthony Schlegel 202, 242, UR, UR G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
97 DB Eric Smith 177, 214, UR, UR G Max Jean-Gilles, DB Ko Simpson, DT Gabe Watson, DB Darnell Bing
103 QB Brad Smith 138, UR, UR, UR DT Gabe Watson (3), DB Ko Simpson
117 RB Leon Washington 108, 108, UR, UR OT Jonathan Scott, DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter, DT Babatunde Oshinowo
150 TE Jason Pociask UR, UR, UR, UR DT Babatunde Oshinowo (2), DE Mark Anderson, DB DeMario Minter
189 DB Drew Coleman UR, UR, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall
220 DT Titus Adams 194, 248, UR, UR DT Rod Wright (2), DE Stanley McClover, RB Andre Hall

Many teams mimicked the Patriots approach to drafting by placing an emphasis on character and intelligence, but New York took that approach to an extreme. The results was a draft class that had the highest average Wonderlic score of any team, but one that doesn't grade out nearly as well on the value boards.

The duo of Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum started off well enough, bolstering the offensive line with D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. Ferguson was the consensus best offensive lineman in the draft, and he is already penciled in as the starting left tackle. Ferguson is considered the best pass blocking tackle to come out of the college ranks in several years, and he capped a dominant senior year by going to the Senior Bowl and toying with the best edge rushers in college football. Ferguson's quick feet and huge wingspan make it hard for defensive ends to get the corner on him, and he has the strength to absorb bull rushes.

Mangold was the top interior lineman in the draft, a technically sound center with the stoutness to hold up when isolated on a defensive tackle and the athleticism to pull and trap. With Trey Teague suffering a broken ankle in mini-camp, it's likely that Mangold will open the season as the starting center.

The Jets slid back in the second round, acquiring extra picks, and then made a short trade up to land Oregon quarterback Kellen Clemens with the 49th pick. Clemens was not highly ranked on any of the draft boards, perhaps in part because his senior season was cut short by a broken leg. He received some powerful support in the days leading up to the draft: Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge both tabbed him as the best quarterback in the class. Clemens is a little short but has a live arm, a compact release, and an impressive ability to find the open man. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer did a great job developing Drew Brees, and Clemens has a similar skill set. Most reports already say Clemens was the most impressive of New York's four quarterbacks at minicamp, and it was Clemens, not Chad Pennington, who spent the majority of the time with the first-team offense.

New York's draft began going off the rails in the third round, when the team reached massively on a pair of Big Ten defenders, Anthony Schlegel and Eric Smith. Schlegel has value as an inside linebacker with short area power, but he had no business going on the first day. Smith is an injury-prone safety whose limited athleticism will probably keep him from ever developing into a starter.

Things didn't get much better on the second day, as three of the team's five selections graded out as major reaches. Florida State runner Leon Washington was taken at good value, and with the Jets running back group looking unsettled he has a chance to earn significant playing time. Defensive tackle Titus Adams has a chance to stick as a two-down run stuffer, and cornerback Drew Coleman stood out with strong play at minicamp.

Undrafted Free Agents

It was a happy day around the Football Outsiders office when the Jets signed Brown University running back Nick Hartigan. Hartigan led the school that birthed FO to its first-ever outright Ivy League title, scored 20 touchdowns, and led Division 1-AA with 1,727 rushing yards. (Oh, and he was a Rhodes Scholar finalist.) Because he has what you might call "Division 1-AA speed," Hartigan has bulked up to 235 pounds and projects to play fullback in the NFL. Right now, the Jets depth chart at fullback is empty behind B.J. Askew, so there's an opportunity if Hartigan can make the most of it. You have to figure that, like our fellow Brown alum Sean Morey, Hartigan understands that strong effort on special teams is the secret to making an NFL roster as a Division 1-AA player.

(Yes, I know most of you don't care. Listen, if you think we're bad, consider how excited Chris Berman gets about players from the other seven Ivies. He might explode on air if Hartigan scores an actual NFL touchdown.)

Other names who will challenge for a spot on the Jets roster include Richmond's Stacy Tutt -- yet another quarterback switching to another position, the Jets have him right now at halfback -- and gargantuan (6-foot-9, 350 pounds) offensive tackle Ed Blanton out of UCLA.

Comments

232 comments, Last at 17 Jul 2006, 9:08pm

1 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

"Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer did a great job developing Drew Brees..."

Hahahahahahahaha!

(deep breath)

Hhhahahaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Hehe...

2 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I thought Clemens showed some NFL potential when he played at Oregon, but wow . . . I wouldn't have expected him to compete for a starting job already.

4 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

"He runs sharp routes and has consistently shown both excellent hands and a clean criminal record (his true advantage over Holmes)."

Since the whole BPA thing relies on pre-draft analysis, was that known before the draft? Apparently, Holmes had a few misdemeanors on his rap sheet (which I didn't know about, but I'm sure scouts did), but I'm curious to know if that was perceived to be the real breaking point between the two of them. I heard most draftniks putting Jackson first, but I just never recalled hearing that as a reason why.

5 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

No, that's just a joke I tossed into Sean's stuff.

6 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

avg team scores 20 pts a game....
off win = 20 points or more
def win = 20 points or less

Pats-8 def wins,12 off wins....should continue to be formiddable as long as the O is led by Tom Brady, Can the defense get back to its old level?
nyj- 5 def wins,6 off wins....got better at Oline, now all they need is a real qb
mia-7 def wins,10 off wins...decent offense without a dynamic qb last year, can the defense step it up a few notches as well?
buf- 7 def wins,6 off wins....competing with the jets for most problems..they are winning

New England cant be dethroned by any of these pretenders. Miami has a solid shot to make it as a wild card. Until they can outscore N.E they will be second fiddle.

7 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Well, as long as people are promoting players from their favorite college, for Buffalo's undrafted free agents, don't overlook Rutgers DE Ryan Neill. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make a strong push for a roster spot.

8 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

avg team scores 20 pts a game….
off win = 20 points or more
def win = 20 points or less

You're kindof ignoring the pacing of the game. Not all games are the same length in terms of the number of drives.

9 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

8: Every metric does that to some degree. Frankly, I think it's pretty decent -- it eliminates the distortion caused by things like the Packers' 40-point win throwing off their point differential last year. It gives a sense of a team's consistency, even if it is a little over-simplified.

That said, I think those numbers show Miami to be a little closer on the Pats' heels than james made them out to be.

10 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Re: 8, 9
Stomps and Guts! Stomps and Guts!
Football stats should be treated cumulatively, just like baseball.

11 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

"It was a happy day around the Football Outsiders office..."

Hold up, FO has an office? and all along I somehow figured these articles and stats were being culled together in Aaron's VW van and countless hours loitering in the electronics section at Walmart. This is very dissolutioning. I'll need a moment to collect myself

12 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Every metric does that to some degree.

Um, no? DVOA doesn't. It's a per-play average. A games with 100 plays wouldn't get treated any differently than a game with 50 plays other than the statistical strength of each.

The problem is just putting in an arbitrary cutoff (20 points). In a game that's 15 drives long, 20 points is easy to score even if a team's struggling, whereas if a game's 10 drives long, good luck.

13 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Well done Sean!!! Keep the great work coming!!!

14 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

12: DVOA is not a perfect statistic. If it were, the Seahawks and Colts would have had a lower DVOA than the Steelers in their postseason games. It's closer than most, but it, like any metric, has flaws.

Furthermore, I don't buy the "X drives long" business. If a game is 15 drives long, those drives must, mathematically, be shorter, timewise. If you ran the correlation of drive time to points, I'll wager it's positive.

Even if there was an increase in points for more drives, both teams would be affected equally. The chances of an "offensive win" would increase, but the chances of a "defensive win" would decrease.

While the 20-point cutoff may be "arbitrary," it at least has a basis in the average points scored per game, so you can see how often a team's offense or defense played "above average." I'm not saying it's a great statistic -- I'm saying it's somewhat useful for an at-a-glace summary of a team's performance, and if nothing else, I find it interesting.

15 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

After my enthusiastic post, some notes:

I am glad to see the numbers on how the Jets did in the draft, things seemed to be going swimmingly at first, but I agree. Once the third round rolled round, the "character" picks were more than a little puzzling to me. I am interested in what Brad Smith might bring to the Jets long term, if you haven't seen any of his QB highlights from Mizzou, watch him husk the huskers. I wonder if he can develop into a real receiver though.

Hutchinson from the Star Ledger is the only writer who seemed to think Clemens was "all that and a bag of chips" to this point. I think people were impressed with his poise, but I don't see him starting this team Week 1. I can't imagine him not becoming the Jets QB in the future, but from the other writers, I don't get any consensus that he was head and shoulders above anyone. I think it's Ed Blanton, not Eric.
I hope that Hartigan makes the team for Aaron's sake, but they have already rolled through one attempt at a conversion player at fullback and having a backup fullback seems redundant with the glut of mediocre halfbacks and tight ends this team has on the roster at present. I foresee practice squad in the future for Mr. Hartigan.

16 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Clemens definitely will not be the Jets' starter come opening day, because Chad Pennington's "rehab is ahead of schedule"!

17 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

If it were, the Seahawks and Colts would have had a lower DVOA than the Steelers in their postseason games

Wait, why?

The team that plays better doesn't always win. That's why it's a game.

Even if there was an increase in points for more drives, both teams would be affected equally. The chances of an “offensive win� would increase, but the chances of a “defensive win� would decrease.

Um, yeah? That's my point? He was using the number of offensive wins/defensive wins to judge the offense/defense's talent. Don't even get me started on the fact that offense doesn't score points in a vacuum, either.

18 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

17: Then I'm completely missing your objection. Games have different numbers of drives, yes. Some have more and some have less. We can't make the assumption that these equalize over a 16-game season? He didn't say "The Patriots scored 20+ points in this particular game." He said, "The Patriots scored 20+ points in 12 out of 16 games." Is the # of drives in a given game really a factor in something that broad?

Also, if you are looking for a "statistic" to tell you who is better instead of who will win, then why does this fail? The total "wins" (better termed "successes," probably) for the AFCE teams were:

New England: 20
Miami: 17
Buffalo: 13
New York: 11

Is that an inaccurate picture of the division?

19 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

No, that's fine. The problem was using the relative number of offense/defense wins to judge the offense/defense.

As in:
mia-7 def wins,10 off wins…decent offense without a dynamic qb last year, can the defense step it up a few notches as well?

Miami's offensive DVOA: -11.6%. Defensive DVOA -10.1%. Safe to say that the defense isn't the problem.

20 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I THINK I KNOW, JUST WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IN THE AFC EAST.

JETS: THE JETS ARE A BAD TEAM FROM LAST SEASON, BUT THE OFFENSIVE LINE IMPROVEMENTS HAVE TO HELP EVERYBODY. THEIR QB WILL BE GOOD, CURTIS MARTIN WILL DO BETTER, AND THEIR WIDEOUTS SHOULD DO BETTER...MUCH BETTER. THEIR DEFENSE, HOWEVER, SUFFERED GREATLY WITH THE LOSS OF JOHN ABRAHAM AND TY LAW. I CANT SEE THEM DOING ANY BETTER THAN LAST YEAR.

DOLPHINS: THE DOLPHINS DID A GREAT TRADE WITH THE VIKINGS TO OBTAIN CULPEPPER. I THINK HE WILL IMPACT THE DOLPHINS GREATLY. I THINK THEY WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THIS SEASON, RONNIE BROWN IS GETTING BETTER, AND CHRIS CHAMBERS SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER BREAKOUT SEASON.

PATRIOTS: THE PATRIOTS ARE GOING TO HAVE A VERY GOOD OFFENSE, ITS THEIR DEFENSE, HOEVER, THAT IM WORRIED ABOUT. BUT I THINK THEY'LL BE OK.

BILLS: NOTHING MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE BILLS. SHOULD BE ANOTHER LOOOOONG SEASON. THEY IMPROVED THEIR DEFENSE BUT THEIR OFFENSE CANT GET ANY WORSE, WHICH MEANS THEY CAN ONLY IMPROVE.

OVERALL, THIS IS HOW I THINK THE AFC EAST WILL PLAY OUT:

MIAMI :11-5
NEW ENGLAND :10-6
NEW YORK :4-12
BUFALLO :4-12

21 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Stephen (#20)-
I don't think what you're saying is very off, except for Miami over NE.
But when you write in ALL CAPS, it makes whatever you're saying appear very stupid.

23 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

re (20)

While i agree to a large extent to your observations, i disagree that the Miami Dolphins will have more wins than the patriots

Very simply put, i have more faith in the Belichick/Brady than in Saban/Culpepper. Also, i am very interested to see Culpepper try and address the "Randy Moss" ghosts of his!

I say
NE: 11-5
Dolphins: 9-7
NYY: 6-10
Bills: 5-9

24 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Whitner is a perfect fit for the new Cover-2 defense the team is installing. Whitner has the coverage skills to match up on tight ends and slot receivers, he comes down quickly to play the run

Aaron:
How is he a good fit for the Cover 2 and why are the qualities mentioned good for a Cover 2 safety?
A Cover 2 Safety plays one deep zone and DOESN'T cover tight ends and slot receivers. (that's Cover 1).

25 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

WHEN YOU USE ALL CAPS IT MAKES YOUR POST LOOK VERY ANGRY!!!!

26 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

re (23) are the Bills only getting to play 14 games this year? Are they really that bad?

While I can see Miami improving I still think this division is New England's to lose. New York have too many issues, in particular with who will play QB and I doubt that Martin will ever be able to reproduce anything like the form of two years ago. Miami, like I said I expect to improve but not enough yet to challenge New England and as was mentioned above Culpepper has to get rid of his Randy Moss ghosts and Chris Chambers is not the answer to that. In Buffalo I would like to see Craig Nall get some time simply because he is an Ex-NFL Europe player (Ex-Claymore in fact) and I always like to see them get any time whatsoever.

27 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Yes, there is a Football Outsiders office, otherwise known as "the room on the right side of the house."

The Cover-2 comment is from Sean, so he can answer if he so chooses.

28 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I find it interesting how, after thinking properly about it, Donte Whitner can become "a perfect fit" for the Bills. I remember that on draft day the media consensus was that the Bills panicked because Michael Huff was taken right before them.

29 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Hmmmm.... While SOME (but certainly not most) reports out of Jets minicamp said that Clemens was the most impressive QB, I'm aware of NO reports that Clemens spent the majority of the time with first team. And I'm pretty sure I've read every minicamp article in the NY papers. To the contrary, virtually every article that touched on the QB's said there was an even rotation and it was an open competition. May the best man win!

30 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I can't decide if the Jets are going into the season without a QB, or if they're going into the season with 4 good quarterbacks. Looks like it could go either way.
I wouldn't be shocked if the rookie starts.

31 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

No matter what, I don't see the Jets with 4 QBs come week one. As for reports of what went on in minicamp, ESPN reported that Clemens DID take a majority of the snaps with the first team. But don't let this fool you. I'm sure Mangini like Belichick will use smoke screens and deception all preseason long.
My prediction, #1 Pennington, #2 Clemens, #3 Bollinger (bye bye Ramsey)

32 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

re 20: Law had a lot of INT's, but Dyson is nearly an equal replacement, and he is much younger and cheaper. Abraham was lazy, took plays off, and could not be counted on for big plays on important downs--he piled up sacks on meaningless downs in meaningless games. I expect the defense to be marginally better this year with a coaching staff that believes in coaching.

33 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

re: assessing the JETS draft:

don't forget that in addition to their picks, they obtained a 2007 2nd round pick from Redskins.

34 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Theo,

I didn't mean to downplay Whitner's ability to play in zone, but was simply emphasizing his all-around versatility. You have to be able to cover some ground and to break down and make tackles in the open field, and those are both things Whitner does very well. That he can match up in man coverage is an added plus.

35 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

31: No matter how bad Ramsey looked in Washington, I think he proved he was a better QB than Bollinger was last year.

36 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Anybody out there have an informed opinion on the Will Allen/Sam Madison swap?

Seems to me that if Allen doesn't start realizing some of his former-1st-rounder potential, the 'Phins could actually take a step back in '06, rather than gaining ground on the Patriots.

I haven't been particularly impressed with Allen's career so far -- is he more reliable than he seems?

37 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

don’t forget that in addition to their picks, they obtained a 2007 2nd round pick from Redskins.

I personally think most teams should be docked points from their draft grades if they don't acquire a draft pick from the Redskins. :)

38 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

36. No, he's not. Everything he's done in his career up until now suggests that this will be a swap for the worse. Maybe some Giants diehards could give you better news, but I doubt it.

And half of me agrees that this year might represent the step back the Dolphins have to go through in order to take several steps forward. Their secondary has a chance to be absolutely horrid.

The other half says they'll more or less duplicate last season's performance.

39 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Is it Will Allen the Bucs Safety or Will Allen the Giants Corner? Or is it the Will Allen who occasionally posts on these boards?

40 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Caveat emptor on Dyson, #32. He's a good corner with excellent recovery speed who got hurt if anyone so much as breathed on him last year. I hope his Jets tenure works out better than his year in Seattle, but that's something you'll want to watch for.

41 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I haven’t been particularly impressed with Allen’s career so far � is he more reliable than he seems?

He's not that bad of a cover corner, but he has, without a doubt, the worst hands I've ever seen. It became a running joke on the Giants' radio broadcasts.

42 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Hartigan and Jim Finn will have to have some sort of battle royale this preseason, as I'm pretty sure that League rules ban the existence of multiple converted Ivy HB's simultaneously getting PT as FBs.

Hartigan! Finn! There can be only one!

43 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

B- Ramsey has been the worst of the four quarterbacks in camp to this point. Obviously it's a limited sample, but there's no guarantee that he makes the final roster.

44 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

ok the afc east is the for the dolphins to take. they have an easier schedule than the patriots and they should take advantage of that. the patriots have gone worse through the offseason, but much better in the draft, so i really dont know what to expect.

bottom line is, i think that the patriots will go 5-1 inside the division, and the dolphins will go 5-1 inside the division, the only loss being to the other team. they might go 4-2 if they choose to give up meaningless week 17 to let culpepper or brady get some rest.

any way you look at it, its going to be close.

45 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Stephen Yang: I loved you in post 20! You wrote, CHRIS CHAMBERS SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER BREAKOUT SEASON. I find this concept very humorous. And, "NOTHING MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE BILLS. Indeed, Stephen, nothing much to say about the Bills, indeed.

46 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

41 - can somebody familiar with both the AFC East and North confirm to me whether or not this guy's hands are worse than Ike "dropped interception" Taylor? I'm trying to get some kind of feel for how that's even possible.

47 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

44) "Anyway you look at it, it's going to be close."

Not the way I look at it. I see the Pats haveing a better year than people expected, and I see the Dolphins disappointing everyone in Miami. The Dolphins will win 6 games, the Patriots will win the division, and Jets fans are going to be pleasantly surprised.

48 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

ok the afc east is the for the dolphins to take. they have an easier schedule than the patriots and they should take advantage of that.

Two games. The difference between the first and last place teams in a division (and every other team in that division), is two games.

This year's difference between the Dolphins and Patriots? New England plays Denver, @Cincinnati. Miami plays @Pittsburgh, Kansas City. Everything else is who gets whom at home or away (i.e. Miami plays Jacksonville at home and Indianapolis away; New England, the reverse.) I'm not sure why you'd be convinced that such a modest difference is going to decide the division.

Injuries and luck will, but they would have to favor the Dolphins at least as much as they did last season, for the gap to close and Miami to take the division.

49 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Why doesnt New England ever have to play Indi in Indi? I have always wondered that.

50 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Sean: Are we debating who should be the Jets third string QB? The offseason really is too long.
steelberger: NE played at Indy in 2003, and every year when Indy was in the AFC east.

51 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

The Pats and Dolphins both have easy schedules this coming year (26th and 27th hardest, mostly due to a very weak division)...I dont think that will be a factor in the division.

52 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Why doesnt New England ever have to play Indi in Indi?

Regular season is determined by formula. Since 2003, the formula has been:
2003 New England @ Indianapolis
2004 AFC South Divison winner @ AFC East Division Winner
2005 AFC South Divison winner @ AFC East Division Winner
2006 Indianapolis @ New England

Assuming both teams win their respective divsions again this year and in 2007, the next three matchups will be in Indianapolis.

Playoffs are handled by seeding, and the post-2005 matchup would have been at the RCA Dome, except both teams neglected to win their divisional-round game.

53 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

The Colts are like a good cigar,
they get smoked in the big games.

55 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I can't see how Miami's schedule can be more favorable than New England's. You would have to make a case that New England is going to lose to a team that Miami's going to beat. Possible, certainly, but I don't think you can say it's probable. The Cincy/Denver vs. Pitt/KC seems to be a wash. I guess Miami could sweep New England. Go down the schedules and figure a win or loss. Find a situation where the Dolphins are likely to beat an opponent the Patriots won't. The Patriots get the good fortune to get Chicago at home. Miami travels there in November. That certainly favors NE. Ditto the Indy situation. Miami's not going to beat Indy on turf. Miami's not going to fare better against the Jets and Bills than New England. Miami probably is not going to beat Pittsburgh at Heinz with the emotion of opening day and raising the Super Bowl banner. Miami might not win in Buffalo in December. Conversely, first glance looks like a very possible 13-3 mark for New England. But if Palmer isn't playing week four, that's a Pats win also. In fact, the next week is Cincy's bye, so there's a decent chance Palmer could be held out. If that's the case, Jacksonville is the only tough non-conference foe New England faces on the road. Miami gets Jacksonville at home, but it's not really a road game for the Jags, given the proximity. My thoughts at this point in the offseason:

NE
Sep 10 Buffalo 1:00pm W
Sep 17 @N.Y. Jets 4:15pm W
Sep 24 Denver 8:15pm W
Oct 1 @Cincinnati 4:15pm L
Oct 8 Miami 1:00pm W
Week 6 BYE
Oct 22 @Buffalo 1:00pm W
Oct 30 @Minnesota 8:30pm W
Nov 5 Indianapolis 8:15pm W
Nov 12 N.Y. Jets 1:00pm W
Nov 19 @Green Bay 1:00pm W
Nov 26 Chicago 1:00pm W
Dec 3 Detroit 1:00pm W
Dec 10 @Miami 1:00pm L
Dec 17 Houston 1:00pm W
Dec 24 @Jacksonville 1:00pm L
Dec 31 @Tennessee 1:00pm W 13-3

Mia
@Pittsburgh 8:30pm L
Sep 17 Buffalo 1:00pm W
Sep 24 Tennessee 1:00pm W
Oct 1 @Houston 1:00pm W
Oct 8 @New England 1:00pm L
Oct 15 @N.Y. Jets 4:15pm W
Oct 22 Green Bay 1:00pm W
Week 8 BYE
Nov 5 @Chicago 1:00pm L
Nov 12 Kansas City 1:00pm L
Nov 19 Minnesota 1:00pm W
Nov 23 @Detroit 12:30pm W
Dec 3 Jacksonville 1:00pm L
Dec 10 New England 1:00pm W
Dec 17 @Buffalo 1:00pm L
Dec 25 N.Y. Jets 8:30pm W
Dec 31 @Indianapolis 1:00pm L 9-7

I gotta say, and hopefully this isn't the Pats fan in me, that the Patriots have an excellent chance to go to the Super Bowl again. That schedule can easily get them the #1 seed and two games in Foxboro in January.

56 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

a win against the colts for the pats? i dont think so.

the win in chicago isnt that easy to do as well.

oh and what team beat the patriots in the superbowl??

BRONCOS.

the patriots are not going to do better than 11-5. but i gotta admit, i thought they had a much tougher schedule. its because they play the bills and jets twice each. thats why they win all the time.

the dolphins might not nescecerily lose to pittsburg.they won the supebowl, but they finished the season 10-6, including a must win 4 games right before the playoffs. the dolphins might take that game.

57 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Umm, when did the Patriots and the Broncos play in the superbowl? I don't remember that game.

58 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

He also doesn't seem to grasp the concept that "@" means "at". The Patriots don't play in Chicago.

I'll never forgive myself for wasting enough time on a Friday to respond to not one, but two Yang posts.

59 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Might as well make it three...

Can the Patriots finish 11-5? Of course. They could finish worse. But taking each game by itself on June 23, they would be favored to win at least 13. They'll probably lose one or two I figure for a win. They could win one or two I figured for a loss. The point is it's hard to say right now that they're not going to win the AFC East.

And the fact that the Steelers had to win four in a row to make the playoffs is sound logic to suggest they lose to a Miami team that was 3-7 before winning six in a row and still missed the playoffs?

You're a funny guy. But not ha-ha funny.

60 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Of course, Miami@Pittsburgh is the first of the Hospital Bowls series; either Roethlisberger or Culpepper might be significantly below 100% in that match which could substantially affect the chances of Miami getting a result. Likewise for Carson Palmer with the Patriots' AFC North opponent, of course.

The real challenge is to predict at what point in the season the traditional New England injury crisis is going to occurr. If it's Weeks 7-11 they should be OK - they now have an excuse for losing to the Colts, and might well beat the Bills, Vikings, Jets and Packers with a bunch of second-stringers in.

61 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Interesting trend: since the current division format was adopted in 2002, the defending Superbowl champ has won its opener every season:

-2002: New England @ Pittsburgh, W 30-14.
-2003: Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia, W 17-0.
-2004: New England v. Indianapolis, 2004, W 27-24.
-2005: New England v. Oakland, W 30-20.

Why, beyond wishful thinking, would we expect Pittburgh to lose, at home, the night they unveil the new banner in front of a delerious home crowd, to a Miami team that overachieved to win nine games last season? Is Daunte Culpepper really that good?

Don't bet the rent money on it.

62 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I think the Patriots success this year is dependant on how Rodney Harrison recovers from his injury. If he's back at 85% or more, the defense should be fine. If he's unable to play at a high level, I doubt they'll even make the playoffs.

63 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

RE: 14

You're wrong. The fact that the winning team doesn't always have the better DVOA is an indication that DVOA is working as intending, not that it's failing.

64 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

For the Pitt/Mia game, if Maddox is starting, I'd say Miami has a pretty good chance of pulling the upset.

65 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Harrison is definitely the key. However, the Patriots secondary improved greatly once they moved Hawkins from corner to Harrison's safety position, ending five (I think) consecutive weeks of throwing somebody new and incompetent at that spot.

I don't think the Patriots are Super Bowl threats without Harrison, but if Hawkins were to play there, they should still win the division. They didn't have Harrison for the majority of last season either.

66 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

As for the Jets draft:

I agree with what Sean said. I was fine with D'Brick and Mangold, but the draft just collapsed after that. I didn't understand drafting Clemens that high, and the reaches for Schlegel and Eric Smith were heinous.
The Leon Washington pick wasn't bad, though. He definitely can contribute if he can stay healthy.

67 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

64 - yeah, if the Steelers are starting a QB who isn't currently on their roster, I'd say they're pretty much screwed. Maddox was cut about a month ago. The Steelers' backup is Charlie Batch.

65 - also agreed. I fail to see how the New England secondary could conceivably be any worse than it was last year, and they still won the division then. As for the playoffs, isn't it just all rock-scissors-paper? The Patriots can beat the Colts, the Colts can beat the Broncos, and the Broncos can beat the Patriots. I'm not sure where the Steelers fit in.

68 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

63: what a load of crap. No stat is ever going to reflect the win/loss outcome of every single game. Too many intangibles.

Bills: When Levy was coach, he said he always wanted a classic run/defense squad, but the talent he had was suited to a passing team, so he went with that. I think he's building his run/defense team in his old age. I don't think they'll have a winning 2006, but I do think the D will bounce back. My ideal scenario is actually that they let Losman flame out, Rob Johnson-style, get a high pick in next year's draft, and take a franchise QB. That might excuse them from passing on Leinart - build the lines in '06, so you're not throwing your new QB into the fire.

Fins: I like Daunte Culpepper (and I may be in the minority there), and at least in terms of putting up yards, he's been the most consistently successful QB of the past 5 years. But there's a big difference between throwing to Randy Moss in a climate-controlled dome and throwing to Marty Booker in 100-degree heat. They'll certainly improve over last year, but I don't see them contending unless NE really collapses.

Jets: It would be interested to see Kellen Clemens start the season while Pennington rehabs, but either way, I think the two are fighting to be the next Browning Nagle, not Joe Namath. You've gotta love Curtis Martin, but one of these days the wheels are going to fall off, and without Lamont Jordan, they don't have as credible a backup. Every year, the media builds up the Jets as the next big thing, and every year (except that year Vinny took them to the Championship), they collapase. As much trouble as the Bills are in, I still see the Jets in last place. (and yes, their o-line signings were terrific, and will pay dividends for years to come. But not just yet)

Pats: I gave up trying to analyze the Patriots rationally a long time ago. Half their roster could be kidnapped, brainwashed, or turned into zombies, and Belichik and Brady will find a way to win. They're Division Winners For Life, until proven otherwise.

69 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

67: It's not like rock-paper-scissors. It's "Stratego". New England is the Marshall (1), Pittsburgh is a General (2) and Indy is a Colonel (3), and Denver is the Spy (S) piece, that can't kill anybody except the Marshall.

70 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Well done, J. I was feeling down that I hadn't read a good stratego reference in a few months.

71 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

55 Its the Pats fan in you that has them winning vs Denver, Indianapolis, and Chicago while at the same time having the Dolphins loose to Chicago, and Indianapolis and the likes of KC and Buffalo. Its ok to be a homer as long as you admit it.

72 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

DUDE DID SOMEONE LIKE REALLY SAY THAT THE DOLPHINS WERE GOING TO WIN THE DIVISION. THEY MUST NOT HAVE HEARD RICKY WILLIAMS IS GONE FOR THE YEAR. I MEAN WITH RICKY THE DOLPHINS GOOD POSSIBLY GO 15-1 14-2 BUT WITHOUT HIM 7-9 8-8 IS THE BEST THEY WILL DO

73 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I see the Pats haveing a better year than people expected, and I see the Dolphins disappointing everyone in Miami. The Dolphins will win 6 games, the Patriots will win the division, and Jets fans are going to be pleasantly surprised.

It makes me so happy that Jesus Himself has the same opinion of the upcoming AFC East season as I do.

I am extremely confident that Miami will be a dissapointment. I will be surprised if they even finish above .500, let alone be in contention for an Eastern crown.

The Jets will come out of nowhere to push for a wildcard spot, and the Pats will surprise by being just as good as their 03-04 counterparts.

74 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

68: To even say that Pennington is even in the same breath as Nagle is retarded. He's no Namath, but he won the QB title a few years back. I agree with Clemens starting the season though. It would be dam interesting to see, but it will never happen. Pennington will start, hands-down. Unless of course he's injured again before Sept. Then I would have to say Mangini will keep Ramsey to back-up Clemens and Bollinger is the #3. But if Pennington is serviceable week 1, you can kiss Ramsy's ass good-bye.

75 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

David (#72 )--

The last two seasons Williams actually played for them, the Dolphins went 10-6 and 9-7, missing the playoffs both times.

JeffD (#71 )--

Most of those game look to be just "home team wins if they're close." He also has the Patriots losing to the Jaguars and Bengals, which are hardly a given.

76 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

POST 75

HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY WAIT WAIT WAIT RICKY WILLIAMS RUSHED FOR 1800 YARDS ONE YEAR SO LETS SAY HE WOULDA RUSHED FOR 1450 THIS YEAR AND NOW WITH OUT HIM RYAN BROWN RUSHES FOR 1300 1

1450 + 1300 = 2650 YARDS

THATS THE BEST RUSINIG ATTACK IN THE LEAGUE

BUT WITH OUT RICKY ONLY 1300 ONE OF THE WORST

IT ALL IN THE NUMBERS

77 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

68. "every year (except that year Vinny took them to the Championship), they collapase." Please, no vivid writing.

78 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I thought it was interesting to note that Buffalo took 4 underclassman (including IIRC their top 3 picks). No other team took more than two.

79 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Re: #76

David, are you Stephen Yang? I don't even know where to begin pointing out all of the mistakes in math, logic, common sense, and identification ("Ryan Brown") in your post.

80 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

The Jets have 3 good running backs behind Martin. Blaylock, Washington, and Houston. The Jets make their running backs successful. Martin was the oldest running back to ever win the title, and he didn't do it with speed, youth, or athleticism. (He did as a very slow, old runningback). They made Jordan look really good, then he went to Oakland and kind of, well, faded away... The Jets made Chad Morton look like a superstar, he went to Washington and sort of, well, faded away...
Don't be surprised if Leon Washington or Cedrick Houston look as good as Lamont Jordan did, so don't worry about the Jets back-up running backs.. the Jets (and the Broncos) sort of have a knack for making running backs very productive.

If Chad Pennington is in any way jeopardized by starting the season, he will not be the starter. Jaworski rated Clemens the best QB available in the draft.. Pennington would make a nice back-up for the first couple games.

Every year the media build the Jets up to be the "next big thing?" Really??? Seems to me every year the Jets are ranked in the bottom, with the worst teams in the league.. so I have to disagree with you there. I can't remember the last time the media had any hopes at all for the N.J. Jets.

Browning Nagle?? Get a grip! Maybe you didn't know it, but Chad Pennington has been more accurate at the start of his career than any other QB in NFL history. In Pennington's first games he completed a phenomenal 76.9 percent of his passes and compiled a 108.5 QB rating. That's right ! Better than Joe Montana or Namath. When Pennington routed San Diego in a play-off game he had a 102.6 QB rating.

Browning Nagle! -- why do I bother to even achnowledge this !

81 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

David (#75 )--

What?

In Ricky Williams' most productive season, running as the featured back, he ran for 1853 yards. That was four years ago.

The very next season, he rushed for 1372, also as the featured back, and was so burned out that he quit the team. Yet, two years later, he's supposed to run for 100 yards more? I don't see that.

Last year, splitting carries with Ronnie Brown, he got 743. Brown got 907. What makes you think that they would exceed their previous combined total by a thousand yards?

More wishful thinking.

82 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

POST 81

7 WORDS

MIAMI DOLPHINS NEW QUATERBACK DAUNTE COLDPEPPER

83 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

It's posts like #76 that make me think I should avoid FO until I'm done with the bar exam.

84 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I just thought that I would give my opinion of the Pats picks while we are here.

While I was mildly surprise that it took them as long as it did to pick a defensive player, I wasn't nearly as shocked as many fans and pundits. As poorly as the Pats' D played for a good portion of the year, it was actually the offense that was the major failing in the playoffs. Against the Jags, the Pats' score was deceptive as 7 points were from an int return and another 7 were from a spectacular play by Watson that can't be counted on. Denver's O could do nothing against the NE D, but Denver's D looked like worldbeaters against the NE O. This is the same D that was torched the following game against Pitt. The Pats' offense needed much more help than many people realized.

I know virtually nothing about Maroney, but I was happy when they picked a RB. Other than Dillon, NE hasn't had a top flight RB since Martin. There is no reason to force Brady to be the offensive savior every year if it can be avoided.

I also wasn't surprised at all when a TE was drafted. Frankly, at this point I have to question how closely fans follow the team if they don't expect a TE to be drafted. :) (Although the second one was definitely unexpected) I personally am very excited at the potential of the two TE offense. Graham is a phenominal blocker and a decent receiver. In fact, his blocking has been a curse at times. Due to O-line injuries and Brandon Gorin being on the field, Graham hasn't run nearly as many pass patterns as he could have. Watson is an average blocker with tremendous receiving potential. Thomas has been spoken highly of both during rookie camp and the recent camp. Because of these guys, I think the lack of depth in the WR unit won't be nearly as destructive to the team as it could be.

In the recent camp, BB had Gostkowski kick a field goal in an obvious team-building, pressure ability check on the kicker. If Gost made a 45 yarder the team would be exempt from running sprints. He made it. Due to BB's selection of kicker, it appears as if (no surprise really) that Gost has a leg up on Gramatica.

Stevenson was given a seal of approval by Weis, who said that he was a Joe Andruzzi clone.

I have no idea why, but I am really high on Jeremy Mincey. I know virtually nothing about the kid, but I have a funny feeling he is going to be a very good player.

Andrews was drafted primarily for his return skills (which have been very good so far), but I think he has more to offer than just that. He played as a safety last year, but he switched from a CB the year before. Besides the position flexibility that he offers, his pro potential is probably on the CB side. I think that had he played as a CB this past year, he might have been more of a 4th-5th round guy.

85 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

David (#82 )--

Does adding a new quarterback normally increase rushing totals by 1000 yards?

And why are you even arguing this? Ricky Williams will get his 700-800 yards in Toronto this season.

Ronnie Brown will likely crack a thousand yards, unless he gets injured, and the Dolphins should win anything between 7 and 11 games, depending on luck, injuries, matchups and so on.

86 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

We seem to be attracting an espicially insane breed of troll this offseason? The Atlanta guys were bad, but some of these posts are nuts. Either that, or we've been invaded by a bunch of dadaists who do an uncannily good impersonation of a troll.

87 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Starshatterer:

I'm amazed you could even respond to that. I was just baffled that in 7 words, he managed to misspell 2.

89 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

We seem to be attracting an espicially insane breed of troll this offseason? The Atlanta guys were bad, but some of these posts are nuts. Either that, or we’ve been invaded by a bunch of dadaists who do an uncannily good impersonation of a troll.

I'm still in favor of an all-caps filter. I mean, really, what would we lose?

90 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Dadaist: wikipedia is your friend. It's an absurdist movement. "Look at me, look at how weird I am, isn't that special, I'm unique (just like all these other dadaists) unlike you guys."

Sorry, dadaism drives me nuts. :)

91 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

A reviewer from the American Art News stated that "The Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man."

Those are strong words.

I always thought the battle of the network stars was the most horrific thing that has ever originated from the brain of man.

If they ever have another battle of the network stars I hope they use live ammo.

92 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

#80. I hate to argue with Jesus...So I'll argue with Hey Zeus. The Jets made Jordan look like a superstar, and then he went to Oakland and faded away? The Jets made Chad Morton look like a superstar RB? We have to sychronize our definitions of "superstar" and "fade away". Jordan carried Oakland last year, and was one of the league leaders in all-purpose yards. I don't think Chad Morton carried the ball once as a RB for the Jets. The Jets have a knack of making running backs productive? Well, since they've really only used one since '98, that's a hard arguement to make. Jordan showed skills in a limited role. I don't know how good Houston looked last year. My guess would be replacement level.

#75 I actually broke down the entire NFL schedule week by week, and tried to predict a winner for each game. I tried to keep in mind things like Home Field advantage, playing indoors vs. outdoors, teams on a short week between games, teams on a long week between games, teams taking consecutive cross-country flights, poor weather for warm weather teams, teams with nothing left to play for taking it easy in the last few weeks, injury prone players getting injured, promising young player improving, bad coaching, inter-division rivalries, teams coming off bye weeks, teams that historically match up favorably with another team, natural attrition by the end of the season, and other such factors.

Oddly enough, I have neither Super Bowl XL Participant making the playoffs this year, Arizona sliding ahead of Seattle in the NFC West, and the Steelers losing the final Wild Card slot to the Jags on a tiebreaker.

93 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

90: Are you also bothered by impressionism? I find all the blurriness off-putting. Does Modernism get your goat? What other turn of the century artistic movements do you feel hostility towards? :)

Dadaism was an interesting, expressive and, in its time, original response to the cultural and political realities of the between-the-wars era. Why should it bother you today?

94 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

What other turn of the century artistic movements do you feel hostility towards?

Some pop art. A good portion of Warhol's stuff drives me nuts.

Dadaism was an interesting, expressive and, in its time, original response to the cultural and political realities of the between-the-wars era.

See, the fact that you can explain why it arose kindof means that the entire stated goals of the movement were a total crock. :)

Why should it bother you today?

Because a guy got historically famous for putting a goatee and moustache that a 2-year old could draw on the Mona Lisa.

95 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

re 89:

Entertainment, it is the off-season after all. Maybe just an all-caps filter during the season?

96 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Yes! More battles with Pat. Dude, the only thing I'm trying to do is get a quick look at how the season went. While not sophisticated at all, it has a few strong points as a system. I think consistency is the most important aspect of any football team and this "system" just looks at consistency.

As far as the Eagles go, In past years they would have still waltzed out of the NFC East playing as many rookies as they felt like playing. The Eagles didn't get worse...the competition got better. I think the other teams have all surpassed them and its up to them to prove this is not the case. Nickel and diming is no longer an option. None of the defenses allow them to do it.

97 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I think consistency is the most important aspect of any football team and this “system� just looks at consistency.

My only problem was the fact that you were using offensive wins (points) to judge offense, and defensive wins to judge defense. Not only is that dependent upon game pacing, it also neglects special teams completely, as well as defensive points scored and offensive points allowed.

Hence the reason why you concluded that the Dolphins had a good offense - they didn't, they had a good defense and very good special teams, including the best punting unit in the league.

And as far as I can tell, that system has absolutely nothing to do with consistency whatsoever.

As far as the Eagles go, In past years they would have still waltzed out of the NFC East playing as many rookies as they felt like playing.

That is total crap. The only year where they had poor competition from their own division was 2004. In 2003, the Cowboys would've trounced them.

98 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Why, beyond wishful thinking, would we expect Pittburgh to lose, at home, the night they unveil the new banner in front of a delerious home crowd, to a Miami team that overachieved to win nine games last season?

FWIW, Miami did manage to beat Denver 34-10 in the opener last season.

99 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Also for what it's worth, Miami absolutely did not overachieve last year. Estimated wins had them at 9.0 wins exactly. They were projected to win 7 wins at midseason, but they improved a little bit more than that.

100 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

RE: 68

It sounds like you're agreeing with me, not arguing. I pointed out that the better team (or the team that plays better) doesn't always win, and thus "DVOA is not a perfect statistic. If it were, the Seahawks and Colts would have had a lower DVOA than the Steelers in their postseason games. It’s closer than most, but it, like any metric, has flaws" is an erroneous statement.

101 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Estimated wins had them at 9.0 wins exactly.

They overachieved to play at that level, then.

102 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

you're all wrong. i dont know if you guys remember a certain daunte culpepper person passing for 4000 yards and 30 tds? and rushing for a few more tds? do you guys remember that? you are treating daunte like an average QB who wont lead his team to anything. last year was a fluke. he was playing with a horrible vikings team.

daunte will do better this season. i GURANTEE IT. im like joe namath.

103 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Stephen Young,
if you find out everybody is wrong... you probably found out it's not them.
It's you who's wrong.

104 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Seriously, as a Dolphins fan, I don't get all the hype. Why do people think that they will be so good? They are ranked 8th on the ESPN power rankings for goodness sakes. What the hell? I mean, I'm as sick of the Pats and their legion of sportswriters as the next not Pats fan, but they are the best of a pretty bad division.

105 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Actually on second thought, I have nothing against the Pats, just the writers who conspire to make me hate any team that wins more than one Super Bowl.

106 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Stephen Yang (#102 )--

Why would you choose to see Culpepper's single best year as a trend? Over his career, Culpepper has been a coin flip: three good-to-great years, three average-to-bad years.

Betting a coin flip is a sucker bet.

107 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

3 things I think I thought while reading Football Outsiders over coffee this afternoon:

1) THAT THERE'S NOT A CAPS-LOCK FILTER ON THE ENTIRE WORLD WIDE WEB.
2) People actually respond to caps-locked posts, and attempt to reason with the submitter.
3) People seem to have a *very* hard time will troll impersonators. When faced with a troll impersonator, there's always the anti-troll, lets call them, oh, say, starshatters, that simply don't get the obvious joke, and continue to try to reason the quasi-troll out of his foolish, (intentionally) nonsensical beliefs.
4) I don't know Mark Cuban, but he seems like an over-communicative dork to me. He should take notes from Bruce Arena. 5) Coffeenerdness: Okay, I just finished my Triple Half-Caf, Grande Sugar-Free Hazelnut Two Percent Extra White Mocha, Extra Hot, No Whip, No Foam, Extra Drizzle (chocolate please), marble mocha macchiato, and these are my thoughts:
a. I'm out of breath.
b. The Cutter's Point Coffee in Gig Harbor makes one nice cup of coffee. If you're every in Washington (or interestingly, Savannah, GA) hunt one of their stores down. Yum.
c. That House. Love him. I can't wait until they perfect cloning, so that he, Brett Favre, and I can all have a love child. But will it fake a limp?

108 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

masocc. you are a retard. i hate you. i want you to die, because you are too stupid to even exist. and the sad part is, you think you're funny which is very disturbing.

second, starshatter what the hell are you talking about?

1999 - Rookie Season, played 0 games
2000 - 3937 and 33 tds.
2001 - 2612 and 14 tds. HE PLAYED ONLY 11 games
2002 - 3853 and 18 tds. also 600 rushing plus 10 rushing tds.
2003 - 3479 and 25 tds.
2004 - 4717 and 38 tds.
2005 - 1564 and 6 tds. played only 7 games.

OVERALL:

average yards : 3300+
average rating: 91.5
average tds : 14
all of this including the fluke last year which brought his tds down.
also 400 yards rushing a season with 4-5 tds.

IS THIS NOT A SUPERSTAR?

109 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

yo yang buddy guess what culpepper numbers we seriosly inflated by handy randy moss boss. thats why the richy williams loss was SO KEY. Ryan brown is a decent young running back though he is no cardinal (cadiallac) williams the point is this the miami dolphins will only go 8-8 because the are being overrated by you fools. if ricky was playing ok then we would be talking about a historic season maybe. but daunte coldpepper come on i came name at least 20 better QBS

1 brady
2 peyton manning
3 big ben rothelisberger
4 air mcnair
5 carson palmer
6 trenton green
7 tom brady
8 leftwitch
9 eli manning
10 dirty don mcnabb
11 carson palmer
12 drew brees
13 elvis brooks
14 jeff kitna?(the lions dude)
15 tom brady
16 kurt warner (2 MVPS)
17 brad johnson
18 kyle boller
19 matt hustleback
20 tom brady

a few of those might be debate woothy but you get the point

110 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

109 -

Ricky williams, Ronnie Brown, Carnell (Cadillac) Williams, Culpepper, Trent Green, Byron Leftwich, Aaron Brooks, Jon Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck.

Though now that thats said, your list of 20 players better than Culpepper - I'm not buying into Culpepper fever either and I don't think he's going to keep up his Vikings + Randy Moss style of play - those vikings team had excellent O-lines and the best receiver in football, as well as a loose defense that required a lot of scoring to win games.

But to rank Kyle Boller ahead of any QB currently starting in the NFL is just wrong. Though I like that Brady is 4 of the top 20 QBs in the NFL. Even Peyton Manning can't boast that.

111 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

#110

You haven't read all the posts on this link yet, have you....some of those 'spelling mistakes' were obvious jokes at the expense of Mr. Wang.

112 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

This is a whole lot of fun, and we're all just trying to fill in time until the serious season comes around, but I do have to raise a red card on the posts that point to Rodney Harrison as the key to the Pats success this year. I grudgingly respect Rodney's game and would love to see him back. But I think the severity of the injury combined with his age mitigates against that. I also think BB is well aware of this and not for a minute is he counting on Rodney to get the team to the playoffs this year. Nor should we fans. So when the reports start looking gloomy about his progress in August, we should all just take a deep breath and let it go. The Pats will make the playoffs, but if Rodney is a key factor I'll lift a glass to him in January.

113 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

i remember the list i made about QBS better then i think steve mcnair. i didnt misspell anyones name as horrible as he did though. kurt warner gets injured, kyle boller sucks. TOM BRADY??? 4 TIMES??

these are the only qbs better than culpepper.

btw havent you ever thought randy moss was good because culpepper threw to him, not the other way around?

last year randy got 1000 yards and 8 tds, with some injuries, thats pretty good, but not what randy moss achieved in minnesota.

ok these are the QBs better than culpepper:

Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
Donovan Mcnabb
Carson Palmer*

*assuming he stays healthy. but he isnt a runner, so hes not that much better than culpepper.

btw i never said ryan brown. i never even mentioned ronnie brown in one of my posts, i think. anyways, ronnie brown got 750 yards while sharing with ricky williams. plus he can catch passes and pass block. he is very good.

114 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

pat,
you make many good points here, but not even i believe that the cowboys would have trounced the Eagles in 03.
Dallas wasn't that good.

115 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

you make many good points here, but not even i believe that the cowboys would have trounced the Eagles in 03.

You don't have that good of a memory, then. Dallas did beat the Eagles in 2003. They split the series with them.

116 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

The Cowboys won by two once and got trounced once, losing by 26.
The Eagles outscored them by 98 points over the course of the year.
The cowboys offense was mediocre to bad, scoring fewer than 300 points.
They could have easily lost that game to the Eagles, I think they scored their first td by returning an onsides KO att for a td, how often does that happen?
No, the Cowboys were a very poor 10-6 team.

117 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

No, the Cowboys were a very poor 10-6 team.

Actually, pythagorean wins gives them 9 wins even. So they did overachieve a bit, but not by much.

But, in any case, the previous (ridiculous) statement was that the Eagles could've started as many rookies as they want, and still won the division. That's a clearly false statement, given that they lost to the Cowboys once in 2003, and to the Giants once in 2002.

But why are we talking about this in the AFC East thread?

118 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

ok these are the QBs better than culpepper:

I'd say you're easily missing Hasselbeck, but the biggest name you're missing is easily Trent Green. The guy's been in the top 6 DPAR for the past 4 years. Why does he keep getting forgotten?

119 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Trent Green is a very good QB, but he had priest holmes, while culpepper had noone.

i left him off that list because culpepper is a better qb. he is also better than hasslebeck because the seahawks line and receievers and running backs are better than the vikings.

120 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Right. And everybody knows that if you have a good supporting cast, you can't *possibly* be a good quarterback. You should take Peyton off your silly list too. But you get extra credit for not homering Vick onto the list.

121 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

while culpepper had noone.

Unless Culpepper caught all of his own passes (now that would be impressive) I'm pretty sure that he did, in fact, have someone.

An example of a great QB with no one would be McNabb, who didn't have a great season until he actually had a receiving threat.

Green was impressive with Holmes, and he was impressive without him, too. Maybe, just maybe, Holmes and Larry Johnson are helped by Green as much as Green is helped by them.

122 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

trent green is not a better qb, his stats are better but hes not better. he cant run.
plus he has a better line a better running back, and better receiving corps.

randy moss is amazing, but who else could culpepper throw to?

trenty had kennison, gonzalez, holmes, johnson, and a better offensive line.

123 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

trent green is not a better qb, his stats are better but hes not better. he cant run.

I'm trying to decide whether this was meant as a serious statement or not.

124 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I love the idea that Randy Moss is only good because Culpepper made him look good. Fantastic. With that said, when I've seen Culpepper play he has impressed generally but does seem prone to sloppy mistakes. Does he remind anyone else of Aaron Brooks in that sense?

125 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I’m trying to decide whether this was meant as a serious statement or not.

Some part of me wants to laugh. The rest just bemoans the human race.

Does he remind anyone else of Aaron Brooks in that sense?

That's a really good comparison. Culpepper tends to take way too long to make throws, but the fantastic offensive line in Minnesota made up for it. Maybe if Brooks got behind a great offensive line, he'd do well, too.

Oh, wait. He's in Oakland now. Never mind.

126 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

culpepper is a better qb than trent green. culpepper can take messed up plays, and turn them into great ones, using his legs. now that wont be the case the first couple of months, but next year, you will see, he will start to run and pass.

whenever trent green runs, he either gets injured or fumbles. unless he slides like a wimp.

127 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

whenever (Culpepper) runs, he either gets injuried or fumbles.......

Pepper has missed parts of three seasons, with two knee injuries and a broken back. He has the NFL record for fumbles, averaging at least one per game. Most occur when scrambling around.

OSWLEK: Nice points in your thread, I learned a few things.

DRYHEAT: Nice schedule breakdown.

129 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Trent Green has 53 fumbles on 214 carries, which is about 1 fumble every four carries.

culpepper has 81 fumbles on 454 carries which is 1 fumble for every 6 carries.

see the difference? trent green fumbles more.

130 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Sorry email was meant to say that Culpepper is different to Green, not better. Stephen, does your fumble count include fumbles on passing plays? You need to include this.

132 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

my count does include fumbles on passing plays. and if trent green were to rush as much as culpepper, he would have much more fumbles, so i dont know why you are saying culpepper fumbles a lot. he rushes a lot which is much better. out of his 81 fumbles he has lost only 35. but he rushes for about 400 yards a season with a couple of tds, so i think its worth it.

133 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

You credited Culpepper with 454 and Green with 214 rushes; you left out the sacks. Including sacks, Culpepper has 682 attempts while Green has 436. The ratio of rushing attempts and sacks per fumble is essentially indistinguishable between the two (8.4 for Culpepper, 8.2 for Green).

I think Green is the greatest unrecognized quarterback of the current era.

134 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Trent is only good because of his offensive line. without it, how good would he be? he would still be pretty good, but not as good as culpepper.

135 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

You can say that about Culpepper, and Brady, and Manning, too.

136 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

RE: 129

Sorry, you just failed basic math.

137 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Trent Green is a very good QB, but he had priest holmes, while culpepper had noone.

i left him off that list because culpepper is a better qb. he is also better than hasslebeck because the seahawks line and receievers and running backs are better than the vikings.

Well then, Alex Smith is the best QB in the league. He had a supporting cast than Culpepper.

139 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

first of all sid. no i didnt, you are retarded. what i wrote in 129 is correct. maybe next time you can back it up with some proof.

second, alex smith could very well be the best QB in the nfl but if you put peyton manning in his position, i doubt he would have a great season. not as bad as alex smith, but pretty bad. culpepper puts up around the same numbers as trent green, and trent green has a better offensive line, and a better running attack.

plus culpeppers stats are just as good or better than hasslebeck without the line or shaun alexander.

Culpepper will succeed in Miami. Chris Chambers had a very good season last year with Gus Frerotte throwing to him, now he will have at least 1400 yards and 10 tds, guranteed. as for culpepper, he will probably have around 3700 with 25 tds.

ronnie brown also benefits from this because now the defense has to respect the pass and he should get his 1000 yards and 10 tds.

140 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Dude yang your fumble comparision is completely misguided. green has 214 carries and 53 fumbles. Culpepper has 81 on 454 carries. Only problem is most of greens fumbles didnt come on any of his 214 carries. they came on plays when he dropped back to pass. Same with culpepper, many of his fumbles didnt come on running plays. you would have to account for every time that greeen or culpepper touched the ball for this comparison to make any sense. Of course it still wouldnt be a fair comparison. so pretty much so suck dick

141 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Stephen Yang in "The Passion of the Culpepper". Are you going to erect a shrine to this guy? He's not even that good. BB and Magina will eat this guy alive. They're going to make him think.. Something he didn't have to do during his best seasons. Daunte run! Duante throw ball deep for Randy! He's in for a very tough season.

142 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Seriously, your man-crush for Coldpepper is a little bit disturbing and borderline homosexual--not that there's anything wrong with that.

143 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

Yang please please please stop defending my team. Go defend Bledsoe or something. Culpep will be fine now that he has a real coaching staff.

144 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I think Green is the greatest unrecognized quarterback of the current era.

I agree, and I can't figure out why. First, the excuse is - oh, he has Priest Holmes. Except he was good before he had Priest Holmes, and after Holmes was injured. The fact that he's always had a top running back on the team, in my opinion, says more about what he can do to force a defense to not stack the box.

Next, it's "he has a great offensive line". Except in terms of pass protection, KC's lines have only been average in 2004, and 2005 (15th and 17th in terms of adjusted sack rate) and Green was still great then.

What's the next excuse?

145 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I think the reason Green doesn't get the recognition he deserves is because the Cheifs offense relies on running plays in goal-line situations, so his TD numbers arn't very high. Also, because the Chiefs WR corps are remarkabaly mediocre, you don't see a lot of long TD plays, so no highlight reels for Green.

146 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

You guys are really being ridiculous in criticizing Culpepper. Obviously Yang isn't even trying to do a particularly great job with it, but it's absurd to claim Culpepper doesn't have a tremendous amount of talent.
1) There is no reason to harp so much about supporting cast. You can only speak generally about good or bad help from receiving corps, protection, and running game. Minnesota has had a generally excellent offensive line, a mediocre running attack, and an average receiving corps (in the year 2000 he had a fantastic Carter/Moss pair, but Carter declined in 2001 and was gone, and the Vikes never really had a replacement at TE or WR). Every great quarterback (Manning, Montana, has had good players. It is impossible to say to what degree the WR makes the QB, and vice versa. Another concern which was only briefly brought up is coaching; while for the beginning few years he had Denny Green and Linehan, for the last two he was stuck with potentially the worst coach in history, Mike Tice. Be serious, there is no way you can attribute all of Culpepper's success to Moss.
2) Culpepper has been very, very good. The most intelligent way to look at his career is that 2000 and 2005 are flukes, and we saw his "real" player development in 2001-4. His unofficial rookie season he had the best WR tandem in the league and a very good RB (Smith) with an excellent offensive coach. After they inexplicably fired Denny Green for Mike Tice, (a fact that I relentlessly mock my Vikings fan friend about) he declined through 2001-2. Carter retired, their running game became dependent upon scrubs, and Culpepper became one of the top 5 QBs in the league through 2003-4. He also controlled his fumble problem (Yang also rightly points out that relatively few of those are lost, though I don't know why that is).
3) While Yang didn't do a great job of it, he's right to point out that Culpepper rushes for 400+ yards and 5 TDs every year, which adds considerably to his value.

Here's some food for thought: Donovan McNabb is generally worshipped, but has only in one season completed as high a percentage of his passes as Culp has in every year of his career. That year was 2004, when TO was on the team. His career yards, yards per attempt, touchdowns, quarterback rating, rushing touchdowns are all inferior to Culpepper's. He even rushes for fewer yards, if you consider that McNabb has an extra season on him. (Even with that extra season, they've started about the same number of games, to those who criticized his injury-proneness).

Even if you don't think McNabb is worse than Culpepper (which I'm not sure even I do, he clearly has much better intangibles than Culp and an inferior cast) why the belief that he can't succeed with the Dolphins? Comparing him to Brooks is just terrible.

147 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

(Even with that extra season, they’ve started about the same number of games, to those who criticized his injury-proneness).

Number of games started: McNabb: 88. Culpepper: 80. McNabb's "extra season" was 6 starting games. (One of McNabb's missed games was not due to injury.)

While I agree that Culpepper isn't significantly more injury prone than McNabb, he has missed more games than McNabb has. McNabb's started a full half-season more than Culpepper has, and he didn't have a full half-season start on Culpepper.

148 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

(Yang also rightly points out that relatively few of those are lost, though I don’t know why that is).

It's luck. Fumble recoveries are random. It's not a skill.

149 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

I don't know, that's pretty substantial luck... I'm inclined to think he fumbles out of bounds a lot or something. While I wouldn't call it a "skill," it's more like a "tendency" to fumble it in a way that the other team doesn't get much chance. Then again I haven't exactly analyzed the game tape on it. Regardless I don't think having the fumble record really counts as a bonus to his value.
And yeah, 80 and 88 are definitely "about" the same. They've each missed 7 games from their seasons and had crippling injuries last year... that it's a wash is my point.

150 Re: Four Downs: AFC East

And yeah, 80 and 88 are definitely “about� the same.

Er... wa? 88 is a full half-season more. I think in your comment you meant to say "Excluding the extra season, they've started about the same number of games." 82 vs 80 is close enough.