Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Oct 2013

MMQB: Praise for Stafford

PK praises the late comeback of the Lions, wraps up MMQB's week of discussions on head injuries, and runs down the rest of the Week 8 happenings.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 28 Oct 2013

20 comments, Last at 30 Oct 2013, 2:06pm by tuluse


by Biebs :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 1:13pm

I think there are so many teams that could use Cleveland wideout Josh Gordon, so many receiver-needy contenders, and with the trade deadline coming Tuesday, he’s the most obvious candidate to be moved... but if I’m the Patriots, and I still have my full load of 2014 picks, I’d offer Cleveland a fourth-round pick that could conditionally upgrade to a third- depending on performance and try to get Gordon.

It defies logic, that he'd write that the Pats should offer a 4th round pick for Gordon, multiple sources have said that the Browns are looking for at least a 2nd round pick (if not more). A writer on his own staff recommended a deal involving the 49ers 2nd round trade. It seems like it goes without saying that the Pats should make a below market offer for a WR, but why would Cleveland make a deal for a #120 pick (roughly) that can only get as high as about 90th.

by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 2:03pm

"I think there are so many teams out there that could use Washington QB Kirk Cousins, so many QB-needy contenders, and with the trade deadline coming Tuesday...if I'm the St. Louis Rams, and I still have my full load of 2014 picks, I'd offer Washington a 7th rounder and try to get Rivers."

Yes Peter, I'm sure many teams would love to get attractive assets for way less than they're worth, but it does not seem worth it to detail each one of these scenarios, given they are never going to happen.

by RickD :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:27pm

I don't quite understand why PK thinks kicking FGs must be made harder. Kickers have gotten better. What's the big deal? I don't see how you get from an increase in FG accuracy to a demand that the uprights be narrowed, or anything like that. Is anybody demanding that the hoop in the NBA be raised?

by tuluse :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:31pm

Because kicking is boring, and he wants to encourage teams to go for touchdowns.

Also, the 3 point line has been moved around in the NBA, college and international basketball. The latter 2 moving further away over time.

by LionInAZ :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 7:34pm

Don't tell that to any team that has been beaten by a 63-yd FG. A fan of a team with a crappy offense, a solid D, and a good kicker should never dismiss FGs.

Some people think defense is boring too, so why don't we just eliminate linemen and turn every game into 7 on 7 drills?

And don't bring up basketball. As far as I'm concerned, basketball has been a bore since the mid-80s.

by tuluse :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 1:33am

I was explaining why Peter King wants to make it harder. I don't know that I agree with him. I can think of other changes I'd rather see first.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 4:32pm

My mistake.

by Biebs :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 6:06pm

I also think the posts should be narrowed. Part of the reason the OT rules were changed somewhat is that it would take teams an extra 20 yards to have the same change to win in OT 1974 as it would today. (Kickers make 50+ yard field goals at roughly the rate that 30-39 yard field goals were made then).

So far this year, 83% of all drives that got inside the 30 ended in points. only 4% of those drives ended with a missed or blocked Field Goal. (Pulled from Profootballreference http://pfref.com/tiny/hp2Oe)

Now, this does not include drives that went into the 30 and the yardage was lost. (By comparison, in 1999, the first year that PFR has this data available, 8.5% of kicks on those drives were missed through 8 games).

I'm aware there are lots of reasons why this isn't exact, but my opinion is that kickers have evolved to be far more automatic then what is best for the game.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 8:41pm

"...it would take teams an extra 20 yards to have the same change to win in OT 1974 as it would today."

Why are the percentages from 30 years ago the "right" ones? Maybe back then they should have widened the posts.

"...my opinion is that kickers have evolved to be far more automatic then what is best for the game."

What is "best for the game" then? How do you determine that?


All that said, I wouldn't mind having the goal posts narrowed to make it more difficult to score or encourage teams to be more agressive once they get to, say, the 30 yard line. But I don't know that lower scoring (which I think it would lead to overall) and playing for more touchdowns is inherently better. I'm just more curious about how it would be different.

by BJR :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 12:04pm

I'd rather field goals were pretty much automatic within a certain range, so that games are decided more in other, more interesting overall team-related aspects of play.

If you watch professional rugby you might know see what I'm getting at; too often games just become kicking contests.

by MatMan :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:58pm

"And the biggest waste of time in sports is the point-after. Six were missed all season last year, and this year, only two of 524 have gone awry. It is positively insane that the NFL doesn’t either eliminate the PAT, move the snap way back from the 2-yard line, or force teams to go for two."

Ridiculous. The option of either an almost-certain PAT or a roughly 50/50 2-point conversion adds an intriguing tactical layer to the game. Maybe he would have had an argument years ago, when there was no 2-point option, but not now.

by MMM (not verified) :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 10:26pm

I agree that it is an interesting decision point. That isn't an argument for keeping the kick, though. It can just as easily be made an automatic extra point or a chance at two.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 11:56pm

The far better option is to fully implement the college rule, and let defenses convert a try-after return for 2pts.

by Mikey Benny :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 7:51am


Not ridiculous at all. Give teams the option to either accept one point for free, or try for two points.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 12:47pm

That just feels very game-showy.

by tuluse :: Wed, 10/30/2013 - 2:06pm

That would eliminate the fake fg 2pt try, which is rare enough that it might not matter.

by zlionsfan :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 10:32pm

[King] sense[s] frustration from some around the league that the NFL spends huge money to put on a great show in England one to three times a year, and the media there ignores it. But as one league operative told [King] recently: “If you guys [NBC, where [King] also work[s]] can get 850,000 viewers for a Manchester United game on NBC Sports Network, why can’t we build a block of fans like that for football over there?”

That tells you everything you need to know about the NFL and its half-assed non-US plan. There are so many dumb things about that paragraph, it's not even worth fisking.

by BJR :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 12:15pm

The NFL could certainly help themselves gain UK viewer and sports media interest in their game by not scheduling the London game up against one of the biggest EPL soccer fixtures of the season as they have done for the past two seasons.

Simply moving kick-off back one hour would have alleviated this problem. I appreciate there are TV contracts to honor, but if you are going to the trouble of shipping everybody overseas to showcase yourself then you should find a slot where the prime target audience aren't guaranteed to be tuned in elsewhere.

by fmtemike :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 1:42pm

Call me deaf or crazy but I could swear Matt Stafford wasnt yelling 'spike spike' but 'clock clock' both when he spiked the ball and when he didnt...

The Wembley game was broadcast on two networks in the UK--one terrestrial and one satellite subscription. It was live on radio too. My guess would be a total viewership between 600-800,000 between the two, which in a country with less than 1/5 the population of the US is a damn better audience for a one-sided game than NBC gets for EPL football.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 4:37pm

Stafford did call 'clock clock'. He motioned as if he was going to spike.