Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

19 Dec 2005

MMQB: Living Legend

"Brady again proves he's amazing in win over Bucs," says Peter King. I thought the pressure Brady was getting on the offensive line was very impressive. Alex Smith in particular could not block Brady. New England is up to number two in Peter King's "Fine Fifteen." By the way, that loss to Kansas City apparently never happened. (Honestly, how can you write an article about that game without the letters W-I-L-F-O-R-K???) Peter also has Seattle at number five, which means that, if his mailbox looks anything like mine, there will be about 50 e-mails per hour accusing him of "east coast media bias," beginning at roughly 6:30am Pacific Standard Time.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 19 Dec 2005

99 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2005, 10:11pm by Sid


by Noble (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:02am

King's work makes for somewhat compelling drama, but his rankings are helter skelter at best. I'm a die hard Pats fan, but they're not in the top 2, top 5, and they're hardly in the top 10. They're kings of a crappy division. Whoop-de-friggin doo.

by Bob (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:13am

King has two factual errors. First he says if the Steelers win out they are in the playoffs. Not true. If Pitt, Jac, and SD end in a 3-way tie at 11-5, Pitt is out. Also he says SD and Indy dont play next year. That is yet to be determined. If SD wins the AFC west then they will play Indy next year.

by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:28am

People are ridicuously negative in all of these threads. King is silly sometimes, but fundamentally a good writer and a fun (if unenlightening) read.
Brady played pretty well yesterday and he's played great all year. Simms and Ronde Barber was extremely praising of Brady after the game; that's where a lot of the Living Legend comes from (along with Brady's great, superbowl winning play over his career, of course).

by Bob (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:34am

Well I try not to be negative but jeesh, he should at least try to get FACTS right. I try not to complain about opinions, but if I noticed those factual errors in 10 seconds of reading, why didn't he? Isn't he a professional football writer and me a moron fan?

by mactbone0 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:36am

Did anyone count the number of references to New England? I think the Over/Under is 20.

I find it amusing that he spends half page extolling Brady's virtues and how amazing that a guy can have 3 TDs and no Ints and it just isn't that big of a deal anymore because the player is so good. Then he mentions in passing that Matt Hasslebeck had 3 TDs and no Ints.

BTW, the way King writes it I can't tell what the familial relations are with the Hasslebecks. Matt, Tim and Nathaniel are brothers. Don is Nathaniel's father. Now, I assume he's also Matt and Tim's father, but the way King worded it I can only know for certain that Don sired Nathaniel.

by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:38am

in kings defense he did promise to mention the defense in a future column.

by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:46am

Paragraph breaks aren't working for me, sorry if this is hard to read............ I thought it was one of King's best articles of the year. I am hugely biased as a Pats fan, but the Pats stuff seemed accurate. It is pretty impressive for Brady to play as well as he did against a normally top defense, and a couple of his throws were great. King was great today at using quotes from NFL people: Monte Kiffin and Newsom, for example. .......

4: I was speaking more of the leadin by Aaron (who I think works too hard to show that he's not biased in favor of the Pats) and the expected barrage of criticism that comes in every MMQ or TMQ thread.

by admin :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:55am

I'm not negative about King all the time. In fact, I would have to say I defend King against his critics much more often than I criticize him myself. But this week's column is just so blatantly slanted in favor of the Patriots that it makes it very hard to defend all his other columns. How can anyone ever again say "He doesn't write about the Patriots too much" after reading this?

That being said, there is one REALLY good piece in here, and that is his criticism of William Rhoden for race-baiting on the question of Vince Young in the NFL. I have never, ever, ever heard anyone suggest Vince Young should be a running back and Peter King is right -- the last couple of QBs to be changed to other positions were Drew Bennett and Matt Jones.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:13am

I've heard a few times that Young might switch to WR in the NFL, but I've never heard anyone say RB. But an equal or greater number have said that he could do fine as a quarterback, especially if he stays in college one more year.

In fact, I don't recall any college QB recently that people have said "You know, they should switch to running back." No one says that. They all say WR, or a defensive back of some sort.


by stan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:14am

As one writer wrote about Sports Illustrated this past week: "over the past several years it has moved further into the traps of cultish sports celebrity worship (Brady has become the magazine’s version of Paris Hilton)"

I have to say, however, that the blowjobs Peter King gives Brady are nothing compared to the hero worship the writers in NE give him. The Patriot beat writers give him credit for performing more miracles than Christ. They don't celebrate Christmas and Hannakuh in Boston anymore. They celebrate the coming of Tom Brady.

by Al (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:20am

So King does stay in downtown Providence but still goes up College Hill to get his coffee. The Westin, IIRC, is almost across the street from the Biltmore, which has a Starbucks in the lobby.

by Noble (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:32am

3: I stand by my statement. I would be shocked if anyone honestly thought that the Patriots were the second best team in the league.

by Sep (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:33am

I thought the NFL was all about a three game winning streak, preferably in the play-offs.

The Patsies are getting healthy at the right time, and because of that, they are starting to play up to the standards they have been setting for the past four years. They finally found a rotation that works on the O-line, the secondary finally has some players that are capable of handling the defensive system and calls, Colvin, Bruschi and Vrabel are getting more minutes than Biesel and Brown, and the running game has the three threats (Dillon, Pass and Faulk) healthy again.

The Pats knew they would make the play-offs, the key for them is getting "hot" and peaking at the right time. For an example of how not to do it, look at my adopted hometwon team, the Denver Donkeys. Barely getting by Baltimore at home, giving up 17 points to the Bills, they will lose that #2 seed to the Bengals, it's inevitable. They were great in October, but when it counts (Decemeber/Janurary) they are folding.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:33am

Re: #10

As opposed to the incredibly objective, hard-nosed, and pure as the driven snow sportswriters over in Indianapolis, eh? Or maybe you're just upset that your little binkie isn't going to be able to say he played for an undefeated team. :-)

by Peter (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:33am

Stan, Brady is pretty popular for understandable reasons. The Boston media is anything but worshipping in most circumstances, and some writers (read: everyone at the Boston Globe) still hate the Patriots.

I wouldn't mind the Brady worship right now. He deserves it. In 5 or 10 years when he's been on a long decline ala Brett Favre and still worshipped you can complain.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:37am

King is totally right about Vince Young. No one has said he should be a running back. A few months ago a lot of people were saying he should be a receiver, although this season he has improved his passing and you hear a lot less of that now. But it certainly has nothing to do with skin color; those stereotypes are thankfully in our past. No one suggested that Eric Crouch could be an NFL quarterback and no one suggested that Jason Campbell should switch positions.

But I must say that one of the reasons I've always been a King fan is that I think he's been a great reporter, and I think he does much less reporting than he used to. I can't think of a big story he's broken recently, and he doesn't analyze contract numbers the way Len Pasquarelli does, or scour tape to find sleeper all-pros the way Paul Zimmerman does. That's disappointing, but I think it happens a lot when writers become as successful as he has.

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:50am

What I find ridiculous are the people jumping on King's back for writing about the Patriots too much. Let's see, they've won 3 of the last 4 Superbowls, they just demolished their last 3 opponents - maybe there's a story there. I apologize to all the Pats haters that the Patriots refuse to go away but Lakers haters had to deal with the same thing in the 90s and Yankee haters have to deal with it every year for the past 80.

What is funny about FO in particular are people like Noble (post #1) and Aaron who apparently have to prove to the non-Patriots fans how "objective" they are by taking their criticisms of the Patriots to extremes. Not a top 10 team? Please. Maybe not #2 but besides Denver, Indy, SD and Cincinatti who could take on the Patriots right now? And yes Aaron, we can ignore the KC game - the Patriots without Dillon, Faulk, Givens, and Seymore still at 50% were not the same team they are today. Let's have some analysis and not just ridiculous sniping. Aaron in particular has become postively Ron Borgesque in his anxiousness to attack anyone who praises the Patriots. If Aaron thinks Brady sucked against Tampa then let's see some numbers, he looked pretty damn good to me.

by michael (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:53am

Third-round draft pick of the year: New England cornerback Ellis Hobbs.

He watched the *rest* of the Pats games this year, right?

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:02pm

Re: #15

As lame and evil as the Boston Globe is, a little fairness is called for.

The only Globies who clearly hate the Patriots are Borges (who is an incredible hypocrite, often slamming the Pats in the Globe while writing glowing articles on MSNBC.com the same day) and Cafardo (who never met an released Patriot whose rear end he didn't brownnose and ballwashes Tom Donahoe as much as The Three Stooges do Favre). Aside from them, the only hateration you really get are little cracks and whines about "lack of access" (no doubt due to the Belichick Bunker forcing reporters to actually expend effort developing a story instead of having it handed to them) even though reporters for all the other papers covering the team somehow manage to get by without crybabyish whining about "access".

by William (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:11pm

#18: Hobbs has been the Pats best cover guy all year. I have seen nearly every play of every game this season, and, with the exception of the Dante Hall TD, cannot rememeber a play in which he was badly beaten. If I understand your implication correctly, you must be confusing Hobbs with either Starks or Samuel. That said, however, I would not venture to say he was the steal of the 3rd round, at least not yet. Among others, I think, Ryan Moats, Alex Smith, and Chris Henry have proven themselves to be good players, and it would be a stretch to say Hobbs is clearly better than any of them. Hell, I think Nick Kazcur was a third-round pick, also, and he has arguably been equally impressive this year.

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:11pm

Peter (#15) is exaggerating a little. It's not that the Boston media hate the Patriots, it's that they all worship the Red Sox. The Boston media certainly doesn't worship the Patriots - this is a town where after the Patriots slam the Bills and give the first real evidence that maybe they've turned around the season the sports radio guys spend the entire next day talking about the new "co-GMs" of the local baseball team. If anything King and the national media are more worshipping of Brady than the locals. Brady would never win "Sportsman of the Year" in Boston, it would have been David Ortiz by a landslide. And let's not forget - Ronde Barber called Brady a "living legend", not King. I doubt that Barber reads the Globe and the Herald.

by Ned Macey :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:12pm

Brady's great and everything, but King's continued fascination with the salary cap angle is out of hand. As MDS has pointed out on numerous occassions, King's initial story was wrong, and even he has corrected it. This year, Brady counts the same against the cap as Manning, and he counts more over the next two seasons. As Mortensen said on Countdown, the early part of his contract is the same as Vick or Manning. Only the later years which can't really be counted on in an NFL contract are different. In 2008, we can start talking about how Brady took less money if everyone retains the same contract, but until then, it is an absurd argument. Of the 1,000,000 great things about Tom Brady, his contract ranks 999,999.

by Bears Fan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:12pm

Man, he had the perfect opportunity to throw in a little factoid about how Adrian Peterson is the all-time leading NCAA career rusher, and totally missed it.

by Goober King (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:27pm

47 Things I Think I Think (Yes, I counted). Must have a lot of time on his hands...

What're the odds he breaks 50 next week?

by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:44pm

"Third-round draft pick of the year: New England cornerback Ellis Hobbs."

I'll have to send Latte-Boy a Leroy Hill highlights DVD. 68 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles. 2004 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and living up to the award in the NFL. Starting at SLB in place of the injured Jamie Sharper and rarely missing a beat.

by admin :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:44pm

Hmmm, I missed the part where I said that Brady sucked against Tampa. I think I was implying that a football team is made up of 45 players, not one, and many of those players are on defense, and perhaps, occasionally, we should give some of those players the credit they deserve.

I would say that while I am constantly critical of the need to turn everything into "Tom Brady is our Lord and Saviour," I may be the most pro-Seymour, pro-Wilfork, pro-McGinest, and pro-Vrabel writer on the Internet. I can't be the most pro-Bruschi, though. That would require writing 8-9 articles per hour.

While we are at it: Charlie Frye, Kirk Morrison, Trai Essex.

by Tecmo Bo (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 12:49pm

I loved King's factoid this week... a Pro Bowl QB seeing a pop warner's teammate's dad and acting like he's 12 years old again. that's prob my favorite King item all year.

by squintsp (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 1:03pm

Hey, PK just needs a new Brett Favre. Tom Brady happens to be that guy.

by Jeremy (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 1:14pm

I think I'm a pretty objective Pats fan. When arguably the most accomplished defensive coordinator in the league describes Brady in the way he did, I think the idea may have some merit.

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 1:33pm


King did give the defense credit. He says "It's understandable that what Brady did on Saturday in the 28-0 rout of the Bucs would get lost because of the incredible job by the Pats defense. " Now how is that not giving the D credit? And frankly what is more impressive - the Pats D shutting down a mediocre offense with a young QB playing on the road or the Pats O putting up 28 points against the # 4 DVOA defense in the league? And that's with a mediocre running game, the starting TE missing and 2nd TE not very effective. If Brady ever had a great game that was one of them. I understand that a lot of the appeal of FO is that you expose ridiculous sportswriter shibboleths for being ridiculous, but in this case your snideness towards King seems kind of strange. You might be suffering from a touch of Brady envy.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 1:54pm

"...I caught Lupica sampling Garten's fare the other day..."

Classic. Was this at the SI.com Christmas party?

by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:01pm

Maybe it’s because Peter and I grew up in the same Connecticut town as fans of the NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (and not the Pats, or the Patsies as they were known in our youth) that we saw this weekend in exactly the same light. That is, the seque from the second big story of the NFL--the Colts unbeaten streak--into the third big story of the season--the Pats rising Phoenix-like out of the ashes to once again establish themselves as THE force to be reckoned with in the AFC playoffs. Given the choices of games he had this weekend, he definitely chose the most significant to write about and probably chose the best one to attend. If the Pats had lost to the Bucs, that third story would be d-e-a-d, but if winning the way they did takes them to an unprecedented third straight SB, then this weekend was the pivotal one of the season, and Peter ends up looking like Tom Ashworth in the end zone.

by Justus (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:08pm

#30 - two of those TDs were definitely the result of the defense. (A fumble recovered at the Bucs 27 and a 3 and out from the Buc 10 that resulted in the ball at midfield.) I would say the Pats Offense put up 14 points against the #4 DVOA Defense, which isn't quite as impressive to say.

Which is more impressive, the #7 offense scoring 14 points on the #4 defense or the #29 defense shutting out the #16 offense? Seems to me the story of the day was the defense.

TB's defensive DVOA is -14. Pat's offensive DVOA is 14.8. Add those together and I get 0.8 for the "Pats offense versus Bucs defense" battle in favor of the Pats.

TB's offensive DVOA is -2. Pat's defensive DVOA is 17.2. Add those up and I get 15.2 for the "Bucs offense versus Pats defense" battle in favor of the Bucs.

by Noble (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:10pm

Re #17: ...what do you want? I think that the Patriots aren't that good, and their recent run is symptomatic of doughy opponents. I think that once they meet stiff competition in the playoffs, they will show cracks. I also think that the Patriots are ranked too highly on Peter King's Fine Fifteen. I believe they should be somewhere between #5 and #10. Would you rather me just proclaim the Patriots t3h best footbaal team evaar?

by Andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:17pm

Dear Bob #2 and 4:

Much as Mr. King makes mistakes, you are even more in error due to an inability to read.

First he says if the Steelers win out they are in the playoffs. Not true. If Pitt, Jac, and SD end in a 3-way tie at 11-5, Pitt is out. Also he says SD and Indy dont play next year. That is yet to be determined. If SD wins the AFC west then they will play Indy next year.

He says exactly what you said quite clearly.

"Pittsburgh closes with Cleveland on the road and at home against Detroit, and if the Steelers sweep, they're in (unless Jacksonville drops a game and creates a three-way tie for the wild card, which would favor the Chargers and Jags). San Diego has Kansas City on the road and Denver at home -- that means, most likely, that the Colts won't have to worry about the Chargers until they travel to San Diego in the 2007 season. (They don't meet next year, and I'm sure Peyton Manning will thank God for that.)"

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:21pm

Actually, Andrew, I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing the problem is your inability to read "Posted: Monday December 19, 2005 1:24AM; Updated: Monday December 19, 2005 11:59AM." I've noticed several times that MMQB gets posted early Monday, then mistakes are fixed later in the day. Everyone who writes on deadline has occasional mistakes, so I don't think it's a great indictment of Peter or anything, but I think Bob was correct at the time he wrote that.

by mshray63 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:30pm

What I like about PK is that he calls players on their phones and gets good quotes from them, especially if it's up-and-comers like Merriman.

But what I dislike is this crap: "and talk-show hosts everywhere think his team is throwing games to get Reggie Bush". Why can't he be honest about the fact that he is a member of the "talk-show hosts everywhere". His comments about the Texans last week weren't just in this online column, they also made the cut for the extract that gets into the magazine. I have often been critical of King for stylistic reasons, but this is flat out hypcorisy.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:33pm

Concerning college QB's switching positions, there are other recent examples (beyond Bennett and Jones). Josh Cribbs was a college QB and I think Frisman Jackson was too(both with the Browns). Randle El (Steelers) wasn't too long ago either. I think there are probably several others (athletic college QBs) from small schools littered across NFL rosters that don't naturally come to mind because they weren't well known college players.

Not that I think there's anything racists about it, just pointing out I think there are still black college QBs asked to switch positions in the NFL.

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:37pm

#34, see you're already backsliding onto the wagon. First you said the Pats hardly belong in the top 10, now you say they belong somewhere between #5 and #10. I agree that the Pats have not convincingly beat an elite QB, but to me that means Manning and Palmer, maybe Plummer. I like the Pats chances against anyone else including Hasselbeck. So make them a solid #5 and with Denver on a bit of a skid and Cinci's questionable defense you can make a reasonable case for moving the Pats up. Maybe not completely convincing, but reasonable.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:40pm

I don't get King's reference to the Vikings draft picks of Udeze and Thomas. Thomas has been a below average 2nd round pick, but not tremendously so. Udeze had an o.k. rookie year, and was actually playing pretty well prior to getting a knee injury this year.

Overall the Vikings have not drafted all that poorly since the end of Denny Green's reign. McKinnie may not be much on charter boat, but he has played o.k., although speed rushers give him trouble sometimes. Kevin Williams has been excellent. Erasmus James is starting to play well. They've got a second rounder playing right o-tackle who shows promise, albeit with the typical rookie problems. Brian Williams was an excellent 2nd day draft pick. E.J. Henderson has played pretty good since being moved to outside linebacker. Troy Williamson may prove to be a bust, but it is typically hard to evaluate wide receivers in their rookie year.

Finally, no, Peter, it is extremely unlikely that a television actor who plays a White House Chief of Staff would actually be a good White House Chief of Staff at the real White House. Methinks that Mr. King is watching a just a liiii-ttle too much television. Next thing ya' know, ol' Kingey will be expressing disappointment that his doctor isn't an A-hole like the one he watches on the idiot box.

by Goober King (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:43pm

They complain when you praise the Pats too much.

They complain when you don't praise the Pats enough.

You just can't win, Aaron.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:52pm

The thing about the Pats moving up, is the last 2 years the pats have been playoff underdogs to (last year) indy and pittsburgh, and the year before, indy. Both years they destroyed the teams that were favorites.

I see plenty of reason for people to worry about them in the playoffs.

One thing that gives me hope for Peyton, P-E-Y is that after getting his mopey "I want to die" face in the first half, he actually mounted some decent drives in the second. Usually, once you see that face, hes good for about 4 picks.

by mshray63 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 2:58pm

One more factual error, Mr. King, NYC is not the biggest city in world, even if you say it twice. It's not even the biggest city in North America.

I feel your pain about the bad network games, though. Same in the Bay Area.

by DGL (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 3:09pm

#32: If Indy's 13-0 was "the second big story of the NFL", and the Pats' resurgence was "the third big story of the NFL", what was the first big story of the NFL? Houston winning a game?

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 3:16pm

I'll dust off the favorite line of the Parcells coaching tree: you are what your record says you are. And that makes the Pariots, no better than the fourth-best team in the AFC. The only way King is justified ranking them second, is if he weights recent playing trends *very* heavily.

As far as the eventual NFC champ's chances in Detroit -- it depends on matchups. King says no NFC team, and only two and a half AFC teams, can beat the Colts. I think that most of the teams still in the playoff mix, have a realistic chance to beat the Colts, even in a trophy game. Turnovers and early momentum can put the inferior-on-paper team up early, and have a huge impact on the outcome.

The trouble for all those other teams is, that those dynamics can also break in favor of the Colts, which could easily lead to a gigantic beating.

by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 3:46pm

Re 44:

The biggest story was the saga of He Who Should Not Be Named, WR Eagles.

by hart lee dykes (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 3:53pm


"two of those TDs were definitely the result of the defense. (A fumble recovered at the Bucs 27 and a 3 and out from the Buc 10 that resulted in the ball at midfield.) I would say the Pats Offense put up 14 points against the #4 DVOA Defense, which isn’t quite as impressive to say."

The first one I can see giving a lot of the credit to the defense for. Although a TD in that situation against a good defense is far from a sure thing, and the offense should also get credit for getting 7 there and not 3.

The second one, in your world the offense gets zero, not one bit, of credit for taking the ball at midfield and driving for a TD? I think certainly the Pats defense should get some of the credit there as well, but again, against a very good defense like Tampa's, simply having the ball at midfield is no guaranty of 7 points (as I assume you think it is by claiming that the Pats offense only put up 14 points on the Tampa D).

This site makes me laugh some times with the way people will bend over in strange directions to make arguments about the Patriots.

by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 3:55pm

First, let me clarify, by big story I mean one where the media goes Clockwork Orange on us.
Second, I can't mention the first big story because having had the Ludovico treatment, I vomit uncontrollably when I see the letters t & o, even in their prepositional form.

by Bob (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:19pm

Dear Andrew #35. Yes Mr. King or his editors have corrected the errors I noted.

by DGL (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:31pm

Oh, That Story. I had managed to forget about it, thank you very much. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:38pm

#17 & 34: Pats as 5th best team in the NFL? I'll take it. I'll even settle for 5th best team in the AFC, espicially since team number 4 (Chargers) have a tough time making the playoffs. Talk about lowered expectations, but this season has been a real roller-coaster ride, and it should get even more exciting in the playoffs. Can't we start them already?

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:41pm

Hey Aaron -- maybe this thread should be grafted onto The Thread Which May Not Be Named before it's too late...


by Noble (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:45pm

#39: Backsliding onto a wagon? Did you read the part where I said hardly is a qualifier? That means I haven't looked over every single goddamn number, so I don't know if they belong at #5 or #10 or #30. My point is, KING HAS THEM RATED FAR TOO HIGH. Hello? Anybody home?

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:48pm

Sadly Travis that never should have been much of a story. If journalists still displayed some shred of responsibility, professionalism, and perspective the whole thing could have been pretty minor. It really wasn't that much bigger of a story than someone getting a season ending injury. But sadly the media is 99% based around ratings these days.

Am I saying the media should be paternalistic and try to shape what people are interested in, instead of pandering to the lowest common denominator? Yes I am. Just take a look at Fox's advertisments for shows, they are ridiculous. Thus is the direction of most media including sports journalism.

by admin :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:57pm

Yes, I apologize for those who don't know, but the rule around here is NO BRADY-MANNING DEBATES. They are both great. You can debate Peter King's take on the Pats all you want, separately, but no Brady-Manning Debates. I will delete them. There's another thread for that -- search in the search box for "brady manning debate."

by Drew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 4:57pm

When will someone realize Isiah Thomas actually doesn't know what he's doing?

There's some hard-hitting analysis for you King haters out there. Where else will you find such insight?

Kidding aside, thing I think I think I think points 10b and 10d go together like peas and carrots. Damn near everyone who follows the NBA has known Isiah is incompetent for several years.

I'll also go ahead and add thing 3f as another example of what Aaron was talking about above. How in the hell did Drew Brees beat Peyton Manning in that game? Brees played a pretty average game. The SD defense deserves much more credit than Brees.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:03pm

Heh, average game. If not for Brees' performance in the 3rd quarter, the Colts/SD game never would have been close. Brees tried to gift-wrap a comeback to Indy, but his defense bailed him out.

by Jesse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:05pm

The thing about the Pats moving up, is the last 2 years the pats have been playoff underdogs to (last year) indy and pittsburgh, and the year before, indy. Both years they destroyed the teams that were favorites.

Bull. They were favored against pittsburgh. by something like 3-7 points

by Drew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:07pm

Re 57

True. But I was a attempting to be kind. I originally wrote "crappy," but that seemed too harsh, so I went with "average," since his final stats came out OK, except for the turnovers. In any case, the defense deserves way more credit than Brees for the win.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:17pm

they definitely weren't favored against PITT. The game was in Pitt, and pitt had thrubbed them 41-17 (I think) earlier in the season. I think they were 3-7 point underdogs if I remember correctly. That was one of the games that cemented the rodney "I will not be disrespected" legacy.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:23pm

Checking last season's playoff Scramble for the Ball, the line listed in the column was New England favored by 3 points (Pittsburgh + 3) in the playoff game in Pittsburgh.

Thus, NE was definitely favored in the game.


by Sara (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:24pm

#50 - nice Princess Bride reference.

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:26pm

Isn't the real story this week-end, which King practically ignores, the resurgence of the Redskins? I don't think the Pats resurgence is much of a surprise to people who were following the team, we always knew Seymour, Dillon, Faulk, Givens, etc were coming back at the end of the year. The Chargers beating the Colts - great game but doesn't really tell us anything we didn't know, yes, the Chargers are very talented and yes, the Colts are not perfect but still very very good. But who foresaw the Skins putting it together for a serious playoff run? The Cowboys aren't that bad and the 'Skins just demolished them.

by Jesse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:32pm

#62: good point

by Jesse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 5:37pm

#63 that is

by Drew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:00pm

Re 63

But who foresaw the Skins putting it together for a serious playoff run?


Check out post 18 of that thread. Man, that dude is smart, and probably damn fine looking.

I would have posted that as a link, but it doesn't seem to work when I do.

by rk (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:01pm

Breaking news reported by King this week: Bill Belichick is human!
Also, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger have guts, unlike the rest of us humans.

by Drew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:02pm

Hey, it did work. Whoda thunk?

by OMO (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:03pm

(Consider this the sequel of Carl vs. TMQ...OMO vs. MMQB)

Worst Peter King column ever.

"Readers of this column know what I think of Tom Brady. Not just as a player, but as a person and a guy who took less money to help the team's salary-cap situation. I was in the Brady-for-Sportsman crowd, probably as a leader of the pack"

a) The entire premise of Brady's salary-cap situation is crap as Ned points out..but yet King can't let it go.

b) Brady as a person? Yea...and they say off-the-field character has nothing to do with the HOF? Please...tell me that again the next time King writes another ball-fluffing puff piece about Tom "part the Boston Harbor" Brady.

c) Yes, Peter...we know. You in a sicko man love sort of way (not that there's anything wrong with that) you love Tom Brady for Sportsman of the Year, Nobel Peace Prize, Amway Salesperson of the Year, People Sexiest Bachelor...we know...we get it. If there is any award that can be won by Tom Brady, you support him for it. Check. Move on.

"It's understandable that what Brady did on Saturday in the 28-0 rout of the Bucs would get lost because of the incredible job by the Pats defense."

It's understandable...but then you go on and on about it? Someone help me understand this one.

"Like a carpenter who measures twice and cuts once, he lasers in on Givens and starts to throw. He's got maybe a four-yard hole between the safety and corner in which to wedge the ball."

Like a what? A carpenter? Wasn't Jesus a carpenter? Guys...you can't make this stuff up.

"Patriots finishing a drive for the first touchdown of the game against a defense that you figure wasn't going to give up many points."

How does King write this with a straight face? The Pats have given up 20.6 pts a game and have the 2nd worst scored against pass defense in the league...but yet today they aren't giving up many points. OK Jabba...whatever makes sense when you write it.

"Simeon Rice steamed around left tackle and got his big left hand on Brady's facemask"

Not just Simeon's hand...but his BIG left hand. At what point do the SI editors start to say…�you know Brady sells magazines…but Jesus Christ…we’ve got to rein King in, this is getting out of control�

“Now, let's say 90 percent of the passers in football are playing the Bucs on this day. I say the vast majority of the quarterbacks in football have their team up 3-0 at the two-minute warning.
Not New England. Not with Brady. New England, 14-0.�
Is this King “doing� Hemingway “doing� King? Is he going for an “Old Man and the Sea� bit with this one? Not this fish. Not today. Not ever. Not in this lifetime. This is my definition of a journalistic root canal.

“CBS is damn lucky it has the AFC package. And the Patriots are even luckier to have Brady.�

And the Pats are ever luckier that you do all of their PR pro bono.

“Pressure's the way to go against Manning�

Wait…you mean putting defensive pressure on a Quarterback will force them to not be as effective as if they didn’t have said pressure? Wow. How this guy isn’t conducting defensive seminars for league D-coordinators, I will never know.

“2. New England (9-5)�

New England is 9-5 in a division that absolutely sucks. Oakland, The Jets, New Orleans and Buffalo are pathetic. They’ve lost to Denver, who has a better record in a better division and beat the Pats. They’ve lost to Carolina, who also has a better record in a better division and beat the Pats…but the Pats are #2, Denver is 3rd and Carolina is 8th. Makes perfect sense to me. Of course I don’t work for the largest Pats shill Machine not owned by Bob Kraft…Sports Illustrated.

“Hasselbeck games this year: 14. Hasselbeck interceptions this year: nine.�

Brady’s games this year: 14. Brady’s interceptions this year: 12. What happened to measure twice and cut once Pete?

“Steelers have beaten the best the NFC Central has to offer, Vikes and Bears, 39-12 on the last two Sundays, one in a snowstorm, the other in a hermetically sealed Teflon dome.�

But yet, I have them ranked 9th…why? Because they lost to the Pats…simple homer/ratio of SI subscriber per 1,000 households logic.

“13. Jacksonville (10-4). It's never pretty, is it coach Del Rio? “

Of course not, especially when you are 10-4, you’ve beaten Seattle, Cincy and Pittsburgh and King has you ranked 13th. What, not enough SI subscribers in Jacksonville to get them into the top 10, Peter?

“Offensive Player of the Week…Tiki Barber, NY Giants, Tom Ashworth, NE Patriots and Mark Brunell, Washington Redskins�.

In other words…two guys who had GREAT games and ANOTHER Pats reference because…well…when you catch a touchdown pass from Jesus, gosh darn it…you should get something more than 6 points.

“Special Teams Player of the Week…Kansas City WR Chris Horn�

Why Horn? Because the KC played the Giants and I could give a rats arse about any game that doesn’t involve an East Coast team unless my editors tell me to pay attention to one…see SD vs. Indy

“Coach of the Week (tie) New England defensive coordinator Eric Mangini…�

Now it’s just getting riduclous. Can we recognize the Pats’ towel boy, Little Timmy, as the “NFL Support Employee of the Week�? How about Betty on the Lunch Line at the Pats Training HQ…she served up a mean Salisbury steak on Tuesday…what about her for “NFL Cafeteria Employee of the Week? Or Larry…the foul mouthed drunk from the South Side of Boston that was yaking in the 2nd concourse bathroom during halftime from that Popov Vodka he chugged in the parking lot before the game? Can’t he be A-Hole Drunken NFL Fan of the Week?

“You've got a swell hotel, Providence Westin. In fact, you've made me think twice about my lodging on every trip to Foxboro, because I used to automatically stay in Boston every time.�

Which of course for you Peter, is every freaking Sunday, since you are contractually paid to cover only the Pats with your so-called National sports column.

“But charging $6 for the health club is ridiculous�

But not 1/100th as ridiculous as the notion that you think any of us believe for one millisecond that you’ve seen the inside of a health club except for that one time you thought it was a shortcut to the prime rib buffet at the Boston Hilton. Please. You’ve got more Chins than a Hong Kong phonebook and it’s aint a gland problem.

“Come on. Do the right thing. Eliminate the health club fee.�

Ditto Pete. Stop the charade.

“There will be better days for Chris Simms. Lots better. Tough kid. More accurate than I remember him being at Texas. Not a finger-pointer. Apple doesn't fall very far from the tree.�

Translation: I don’t want his old man ticked at me and coming after my fat arse…and this makes the ho-hum shutout my Pats tallied up look better than it actually was.

“Third-round draft pick of the year: New England cornerback Ellis Hobbs.�

Lets just suffice it to say that this selection from Peter blows me away. Peter King in love with something the Pats did? Shocker.

“d. Anybody have any idea who the MVP is? “

Yea, Pete…we have no idea who you are voting for.

“a. It happened very fast, and I don't think it was replayed, but Corey Dillon made a block on a blitzing Derrick Brooks with the Patriots backed up at their goal line in the first quarter that: a) may have prevented a safety; b) allowed Tom Brady to complete a 32-yard pass. Plays like that win games. “

That block may have also invented cold fusion…but we think Tom Brady did that at halftime.

“a. The halftime press-box hot dog at Gillette Stadium.�

That’s great journalistic integrity Pete. Way to be fair and balanced. Slurp the Pats for 5 pages, then rip on their hot dog.

“f. Sheesh. Know the rules, Mike Tirico.�

Kinda of like you know the rules for the salary cap? Glass houses…meet stones. Stones, meet Glass Houses.

“6. I think one of the best things on TV all weekend was FOX showing what hasn't been shown to this point -- Bill Belichick's locker-room welcome-back to Tedy Bruschi when he returned to the team in midseason. "Isn't it great to have Tedy back?'' he told the team. Very human.�

(shakes head in disbelief)

“a. Yanks play 11 of the first 13 on the road.�

NY pro sports team reference? In this column? Who would have thunk it? What’s next? The Rangers? The Knicks.

“b. When will someone realize Isiah Thomas actually doesn't know what he's doing? I mean, what positive non-playing thing has this man ever, ever done in pro basketball?�


“g. Memo to Heineken executives: At first, I was bitter that you put that new bottle out, the one with the non-paper label, because I had the nervous habit of letting the condensation get to the label then peeling it off in an anal fashion. But it's growing on me. It's a sharp-looking label.�

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the words “anal fashion� and “Tom Brady� are found in the same Peter King column (not that there’s anything wrong with it).

“j. John Spencer, one of the great actors of The West Wing, died of a heart attack Friday. Is there any doubt he could have been a real chief of staff?�

Uh. Yes. Lots of doubt. Since he was an actor…playing the Chief of Staff. How about we let the dude who plays House take our your appendix? No? Why not…he’s really convincing? Idiot.

“k. Good luck, Johnny Damon, wherever you land. As hard as you play, you deserve whatever you can get out there.�

Wow…almost ½ a web page without a Boston Sports reference. Nice job.

So in summary…97% of the column devoted to the Pats. 2.7% to NYC, .2% to the Red Sox Nation….2% to coffee and food and the reminder spread out amongst the remainder of the NFL.

by Jesse (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:17pm

Re: Hobbs third round pick of the year

uh, no.

How about:

Frank Gore (san fran), Charlie Frye (Cleveland), Channing Crowder (miami), Alex Smith (TB), Ryan Moats (Philly), Trai essex (pittsburgh)? All of those guys are at least as good if not better than hobbs.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:29pm

I think we've all just read proof of how hard it is to write this stuff, and write it well. Carl has just risen more than a few places in my estimation.

Um. teams that have beaten New England have obviously "also beaten the Pats." This is what is known as redundancy, from the Latin for, "How big is that axe you need to grind, anyway?"

Quoting the Pats' defensive stats when talking about Brady's option about scoring on the Buccaneers is also more than mystifying, but I learned a long time ago never to get between the tack and the guy with the sledgehammer. Whale away -- and this from a guy whose team didn't get mentioned at all until the very close of this week's article.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:48pm

Re: OMO's post.

A lot of vitriol there (although I enjoyed reading it), but I have to admit that I laughed out loud at the line:

That block may have also invented cold fusion…


by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 6:59pm

Umm, OMO, and Kelso:

“Patriots finishing a drive for the first touchdown of the game against a defense that you figure wasn’t going to give up many points.�

How does King write this with a straight face? The Pats have given up 20.6 pts a game and have the 2nd worst scored against pass defense in the league…but yet today they aren’t giving up many points. OK Jabba…whatever makes sense when you write it.

Reread that. It's pretty clear King is referring to the Buc's Defense, not the Pats. And the Bucs are not giving up many points. You're attacking one of King's few sentences that actually does make sense.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 7:38pm

“Patriots finishing a drive for the first touchdown of the game against a defense that you figure wasn’t going to give up many points.�

How does King write this with a straight face? The Pats have given up 20.6 pts a game and have the 2nd worst scored against pass defense in the league…but yet today they aren’t giving up many points. OK Jabba…whatever makes sense when you write it."

Carl, hes talking about the bucs D.

by Smeghead (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 8:02pm

#69: Herculean.

I like to dog TMQ as much as the next guy, but basically, it's criticism within the family. TMQ gets it. TMQ brings something to the conversation, even when he's bringing the same thing for weeks on end.

MMQB? The most conventional of wisdom, delivered in a logorrhea, under a fatty dollop of self-congratulation and witless tangentia. If you took some high school paper sports editor and had him win a contest to cover the NFL for a year, that kid's xanga blog would probably read a lot like PK.

So what's he bring to the table?

by Mikey (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 8:51pm

64 paragraphs of spiteful line-by-line responses to a football blog? Good Golly, if it bothers you that much don't read it.

I understand it when fans rip announcers because we can't avoid suffering through them if we want to follow the league. King's column, on the other hand, is completely avoidable. What could possibly be the point of seeking out something that makes you this upset?

Seriously, if you think you can write a better NFL column than King, DO IT. As a fan I'd welcome it. All you need is internet access, a TV & VCR, and a URL address. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING stopping you from doing what Simmons does, or FO for that matter.

by Doug (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:20pm


Nice try, but some of your responses to King's statemetns are ridiculous. You're up in arms becaused he used a carpenter analogy? And because he described Rice's hand as "big"? Stick to the real offenses next time, it will be a lot more effective.

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:26pm

Since when did FO becomes "rail at sportswriters.com"?

I can understand if you don't like his article, but cmon...let's take a chill pill a bit. You don't like it, cool. No need to flip out.

In fact, why ARE people flipping out? If their answer is "I'm tired of reading about the Pats, they're covered everywhere, here are examples", then fine. But who else would you rather read about?

I'm sorry, but the teams with stories right now are the Chargers, Indy, New England and whatever NFC flavor of the month, along with AFC playoff contenders as a subtopic. That's about it. If you don't think New England possibly gearing up for a third title is news...then you're an idiot. :P

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:43pm

From the "How soon we forget" file...

Of course Peter King will wax eloquent about how much he likes the Patriots in the playoffs -- he picked them to win the (redacted) Super Bowl!

This is the first real chance he's had in weeks, to use all his writing talents to make himself look like a football genius for picking New England, way back in the preseason. Every sportswriter does this -- King, Dr. Z, Pete Prisco, TMQ, even the commenters here. We miss no chance to tell each other exactly how smart we are. Why would King?

by EaglesFanDE (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:47pm

#69 OMO - F-ing hilarious. You should post a weekly column here commenting on PK's column.

Another thing with PK - if I was an agent representing a player in this league, I would require my client to suck it up and talk to this guy - ie. return his call, just "coincidentally" walk past him outside the locker room, etc. If you so much as acknowledge PK, it seems you're getting ink, probably called All-Pro. And I betcha if you also just happened to have some fries to share, you're getting his HOF vote.

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 9:58pm

Re: #80

Hm...I think that's a lil bit harsh. I agree, the Pats love this week was a bit sycophantic, but who are you saying that he mentions that doesn't deserve it? (cept maybe Tom Ashworth..)

As a complete aside, this is the first year where I think Manning really deserves the MVP...and Brady doesn't. I know it's his best statistical year, but he should have rose up when the defense wasn't doing great.

Denver - Crappy game....couldn't pull off hte first downs

Kansas City - See above

Indianapolis - Hung tough for 10 minutes or so

And there's been others. Now he's had great games this season too. But every other year, he seemed to pull victory from nowhere....this year, he doesn't seem able to do that as much. Frankly, I don't think we should have lost to Kansas City, and that has lost him the MVP vote in my mind more than anything.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 10:49pm

I think Tiki Barber should be the MVP, or Carson Palmer. Manning hasn't really had that impressive a season this year. He's played well so far this year, but the Colts arn't relying on him like they were last year.

by RCH (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:51pm

Against my better judgement I'm going to try to sneak in a point about Brady's contract and his willingness to cut the Pats some slack on the cap.

How much someone costs against the cap over the next x years is only one metric. To me the bigger issue is guaranteed money. We all know that in NFL contracts only the signing bonus is guaranteed and that cutting a player accelerates all of his bonus to count against the cap that year. Brady's signing bonus is smaller than that of at least one other quarterback who has not won 3 SuperBowls. He is guaranteed less, he could have asked for parity (at least)and that is cutting the Pats a break.

Additionally, the bonus is two tiered and the second tier doesn't kick in until next year. So if he were to have a (God forbid) serious injury this year, he is not guaranteed the second tier of the signing bonus.

I understand that King made a big error in an earlier column, but even analyzing the corrected numbers a rational person can make the case that Brady settled for less than he could have received.

by RCH (not verified) :: Mon, 12/19/2005 - 11:56pm

After being reminded by people's comments, it seems like there were a bunch of very good 3rd round picks this year. Of those I've seen play Channing Crowder has looked especially good.

by Matt Weller (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 12:29am

The reason why King and others are afraid to give Seattle any credit is that they are afraid that they might have to travel there. They know how far of a trip it is to get there from the east coast (often takes a full day). Hey, maybe this is why Seattle is almost unbeatable at home. They actually get a full week to prepare and don't have to waste time traveling. Plus, can you imagine waking up at 4am Pacific Time on gameday to go to the field to prepare. That is what Seattle does when they travel to the east coast. By the way, Seahawks fan here.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 1:22am

Umm, Harry -- Reread.

I WAS talking about the Bucs' defense. Perhaps I confused you with the use of the word "Buccaneers".

by Harry (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 1:26am


Thanks for the attitude. I saw that on rereading.

by Pegskin (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 2:24am

So, now that the Bucs have won what, definitely one, maybe two games in the cold in franchise history, everyone thinks it was an AMAZING performance for the Patriots to beat them up in Foxboro?

by jake (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 8:17am

Re: OMO’s post.
great laugh man. much better writing than MMQ.
in fact - the comments about MMQ are so much better than the original column itself that i think from now on i'll just read
the comments here on FO.
i don't think i'll be missing much, will i?

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 10:35am

Pegskin (#88 )--

Amazing to beat the Buccaneers? No.

To dominate a division leader, a team with a better record, to completely shut them out? Yeah, that's pretty good.

Circumstances (young QB, third road game in a row, cold temperature) mitigate it. They don't make it go away.

by squintsp (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 11:05am

Hey Mikey (#76), take your own advice: if someone's post bothers you that much, don't read it.

People probably rip PK's (and other's) commentary, because they are frustrated that, in large part, the people who get paid to write and talk about football (and other sports) can't be bothered to make the effort required to think critically about the sport they cover and present cogent, accurate analysis. Instead, they rely on old timey "wisdom" and cliche(e.g., defense wins championships).

by Harry (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 11:23am

Yes, people on FO rip PK because they are looking for cogent analysis, which is unfair to PK. Maybe those kind of people on FO should just stop reading PK. I think PK's job is not to provide accurate analysis, his target audience is the casual football fan who wants to hear some inside gossip on his heroes (Favre, Brady, Manning, etc.) and who treats football primarily as entertainment. It's much more fun and fair, to my mind, to rip TMQ because he does set himself up as someone who provides cogent and accurate analysis (and often does not).

by squintsp (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 11:42am

Maybe, Harry. But my guess is that PK thinks he's providing valuable football insight. He's paid to be a "football expert". So, ripping on him is one way in which consumers in the market for football ideas can express their preferences. Ignoring him works too. But pointing out how inane and inaccurate he is might be more effective. And it's therapeutic.

by Michael David Smith :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 12:00pm

Actually, I kind of have the opposite view of King and Easterbrook. When Peter writes about guys like Tom Ashworth, it's in the context of the few times he lines up at fullback. When Easterbrook writes about Ashworth, he writes stuff like this: "Ashworth is a league-minimum gentleman who has seen his name on the waiver wire. On [Super Bowl] Sunday, the minimum-salary, undrafted free-agent right tackle lined up against the hyped, wealthy Carolina left end -- and Ashworth totally, utterly outplayed [Julius] Peppers." In my opinion, Easterbrook gives his readers a much better understanding of how Ashworth helps his team.

by Mikey (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 2:05pm

Squints, I hear you. I pledge to skip the next 60+ paragraph rant against Peter King that I see on these boards ;-)

by Doug (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 2:47pm

Maybe it's a function of the weekly column...King is also on the Boston sports radio station's pre-game football show every Sunday morning for about 30 minutes and he's much better than in MMQB.

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Tue, 12/20/2005 - 3:09pm


I can't comment about Ned's analysis, but there is another thing that most people get wrong. When I read that Brady's cap is the same is the other guys' for 2005-2007 there is usually two pieces missing:

1) Brady's includes cap amounts from the prior contract in 2005 and 2006.

2) Brady's cap numbers include a roster bonus for 2006 that will most likely be converted to a signing bonus. Thus, it will be ammortized over the life of the contract rather than all next year. This is a significant reduction around 5-6 million (I'm pretty sure) for 2006. Add in the 1mm added back onto 2007 and you still have a reduction of 4-5mm over those two years that most ignore.

Lastly, Brady's contract has none of those phantom years (yet, anyway). Unless they play games with compensation it will never need to be restructured. That is also a big deal that is ignored in these 05-07 comparisons.

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 10:04pm

c. So you live in New York, the biggest city in the world. And with San Diego-Indy and Pittsburgh-Minnesota on at 1 p.m. Sunday, what does the biggest city in the world get on TV? Jets-Miami and Carolina-New Orleans. Disgraceful. I understand why, but it's still absurd that two of the biggest games of this season require you to either have a dish or to go to a sports bar to watch. As I did.

New Yorkers deal with this every Sunday. NYC doesn't have a team. Why can't they just show the best games?

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 10:11pm

I think I read something in the paper that lands in my driveway last week that I've just got to respond to.

I think you need a proofreader.

Give me the Pack, 20-9.

This guy's a football journalist? He blows most of his picks in spectacular fashion.