Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

03 Nov 2008

2008 Quick Reads: Week 9

In this week's Quick Reads, I finally reveal my anti-Giants bias.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 03 Nov 2008

29 comments, Last at 04 Nov 2008, 8:02pm by Becephalus


by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:19am

It certainly wasn't a great performance by Manning, but I'm surprised Eli finished so low considering his good 3rd down numbers... 6/8 with 2 touchdowns.

After the game, Eli said the miscommunication with Plax was his own fault.

by ChrisFromNJ :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 5:45am

I think the two fumbles have a lot to do with it.

by joon :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 1:04am

league's best backup quarterback? how about todd collins? (not that he would have helped the skins tonight--they just got their asses handed to them, plain and simple.)

by drobviousso :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 1:05am

Re: Rosenfels
--Leftwich, after a game like that, should probably be on that list.

by DGL :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 11:22am

Yeah, what he said.

by Independent George :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 1:06am

Wasn't Dre Bly a good man defender who struggled in Detroit after switching to the Tampa 2? Or do I need to put down the crack pipe?

by Jimmy :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 1:48pm

When he played in St Louis and Detroit Bly got some Pro Bowl consideration from the kind of fools who only pay attention to the number of interceptions a player has. He did have a few seasons in which he picked off a few passes, but generally gave up a lot more big plays because he gambled far too much, especially for a guy who can't tackle. He was never particularly good, but you are correct that he was a much better man cover guy than zone. I remember when Detroit said they were moving to a Tampa2 which would bring the best out of their ball playing CBs, thinking that if they can't tackle then things weren't going to work out.

So I guess that would make me a better GM than Matt Millen. A fact that joins me more closely together with humans everywhere - lets face it there are six year old Swahili girls who have ever seen a football game who would do a better job.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 2:17pm

I think Bill just got it backwards. IIRC Bly and the Lions lead the league in "#1 CB on #1 WR" when he was with Detroit.

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

by Kibbles :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 2:38pm

With the Lions, pre-Cover 2, Bly spent more time on an island against opposing #1s than anyone in the league. In 2003, Bly's first pro bowl year, Detroit was 10th against #1s and 26th against #2s, despite Bly being on an island against some of the best WRs in the league. He was definitely a deserving pro bowl choice. I think his second was a bit more on reputation, but his first was deserved.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 4:06pm

I would argue that a good deal of Bly's production that year was based upon the terrible corners/ linebackers/ safeties around him than particularly great play by Bly. Why would a QB throw at Bly when he basically had a completion almost anywhere else on the field other than at Bly. To be fair to Bly, he was (is?) a decent man corner maybe more a good RCB than LCB material and was entirely unsuited to the change in scheme. They would have been better served trading him as soon as they had decided to change scheme, but if we were to start going through Millen's errors we might be here for a while.

by Bobman :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 2:05am

Spent all our money on axles and meat... and cannibal cookbooks.

by tuluse :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 2:31am

At least Grossman isn't Brad Johnson. That's about the only compliment I can give him.

Also, I think Orton played a lot better his rookie year than his stats show. I really think a lot of the play calls weren't designed to complete passes, just to try and keep 9 men out of the box, by testing the defense deep. I mean every deep and intermediate route went to the side line where you are spotting the defense an extra defender (it just happens to be a defenders who can't cause a turnover). It was also one of the worst receiving corps ever.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 1:37pm

I do think a lot of what you are saying is true, Turner did design the offense to work just enough to allow the defense to win the game, combined with a strong offensive line to run the ball. Orton hit a wall towards the end of that year though and it wasn't pretty. It can't have helped that he didn't become the starter until basically the week before the start of the regular season (thanks to the mercurial QBing efforts of Surfer Boy Hutchinson), and then the coaches didn't seem to want to immerse him deeper into the playbook when they knew Grossman was going to be back towards the end of the season. Orton and the offense did start to show signs of life about four games in, I remember him throwing for 180 yards in the first twenty minutes of a game before Bradley (who had 80+ yards on five catches over the same period) blew his ACL diving out of bounds, which pretty much ended his career as a contributing Bears player. Once Bradley was out the only decent wideout was old Moaning Muhammed and the offense slowly ground to a halt.

It seems really wierd now to be thinking back to the days when Grossman was considered to be the messiah QB come to save us from Orton and not the other way around.

by laberge :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 8:45am

I was pretty intrigued by the Warner MVP comment. It is definitely justified by his performance this season. I would think a third MVP this late in his career would put Warner in the hall of fame.

by Fan in Exile :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 8:51am

Where did Peyton Hillis rank this week. I was really hoping after his 7 catches 116 yards and a TD to see a FB listed as one of the most Valuable WR's. I think that would have been fun.

by Wanker79 :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 10:39am

Even if most of his DYAR came from the passing game, he still would have been listed with the RBs.

by Fan in Exile :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 10:53am

I think you're taking it a little too seriously, perhaps I should have put a smiley face in my post. :) Also he didn't have any Rushing attempts so it would all be passing. I just think that with all the talk about FB being underappreciated here's an oddity to talk about.

by widderslainte :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 10:04am

How do you give Matt Ryan rookie of the year over this guy?

Cause he's playing for the freakin' Falcons. You know the guys you projected with crappy receivers, a crappy O-line, a RB who would suck behind a crappy line, and a non-existent secondary.

by Wanker79 :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 10:37am

Geez Aaron, everyone knows that you never buy any meat and just stock up on as much ammo as you can carry.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:07pm

"How do you give Matt Ryan rookie of the year over this guy?"

Because Running backs, even rookie ones, are fungible. Quarterbacks are not.

by podpeople (not verified) :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:19pm

I'd love to See Seneca Wallace's number minus the 90 yard td completion, considering it accounts for over half his yardage.

by MJK :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:57pm

Love the Syndric Steptoe comment... And that's got to be one of the best NFL names since D'Brickashaw.

I think Manning and Cassel's days were helped by the officiating. One thing that came out of the Audibles thread is that both Pats fans and Colts fans find it hard to believe that only three penalties were committed in that game. I know I saw both Manning and Cassel evade one sack each due to a blatant, uncalled hold. Does anyone have data on the holding call tendencies of the crew that was working Colts-Pats?

The issue with awarding Warner the MVP because the Cards are likely to make the playoffs and penalizing his competition because their teams are not as likely is a little unfair...basically we're giving Warner bonus points because he plays in a crappy division. Unfortunately, that's the way the game is played, because you're right--you can't be MVP anymore and not make the playoffs, and it might not be clear if some of his competitors will make the playoffs until Week 17, because of their divisions. And I think MVP voting closes before then?

by LukeM :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 1:15pm

Dungy agrees about the penalties in Colts-Pats:

“From an execution standpoint, when we had control of it, we did a good job not getting penalties, although I’ll say this was probably a crew that didn’t call a lot of penalties,” Dungy said. “We had a couple they could have called, but overall, this was a much better game for us.”


by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 2:13pm

Pro Bowl voting closes early, but MVP voting doesn't end until after the regular season is over, I believe.

MVP voting is already screwed up because it's almost impossible to win if you aren't a QB or RB. Frankly, almost no RB should ever win unless he's a great pass receiver and pass blocker, or a Barry Sanders type who transcends O-line performance. This actually bothers me more than the playoff issue. I mean, you can be the best player in the league but if you can't get your team into the playoffs, you weren't valuable enough. OTOH, we just go around assuming that the QB or RB is the guy most responsible for team success when it could be an OT or a defensive player at any position (except possibly CB since a CB can't carry a defense by himself).

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

by Bill Barnwell :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 1:23pm

Eli doesn't need stats. He's a winner.

Things are gonna change, I can feel it.

by JCRODRIGUEZ (not verified) :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 4:47pm

Soooooooy un perdedooooor!...so why don't you kill me!

by Becephalus :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 8:02pm

nice catch.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

by Reinhard (not verified) :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 3:33pm

Orton also led a 99 yard drive early on in his career.


by maltodextrin (not verified) :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 5:09pm

Love the Zachary's Pizza reference in the Matt Ryan comment. Best pizza in the Bay Area.