Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Jan 2013

B.S. Report Smart Guy Wednesday on NFL Round 2

Hey kids, time for another B.S. Report to talk about the Divisional Round. No Bill Barnwell this time, just me. I tried to talk over/interrupt Bill Simmons less this time. Learn just how hard it is for me to figure out where Denver's weaknesses are, other than Keith Brooking.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 09 Jan 2013

12 comments, Last at 11 Jan 2013, 11:33am by rj1a


by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Wed, 01/09/2013 - 7:09pm

Does your charting show Keith Brooking to be a major liability? It seemed like Denver's defense improved once he became our starting middle linebacker.

EDIT: Actually, I'll give a listen and see what you say in the podcast before answering this question. I should have listened before asking it, but that was my initial reaction.

by BlueStarDude :: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 11:36am

I'm at work so I can't listen right now, but after watching him every week for the three years prior to this one I can't imagine him being better than a major liability in pass defense and below-average against the run.

by Peregrine :: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 4:38pm

Keith Brooking is a major liability. He started being a major liability in Atlanta in, oh, 2006 or so. I haven't followed the Broncos closely for a few months, but I'm astounded that their defense does so well if he's a starter.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 10:46pm

It's clear that replacing Mays with Brooking improved the defense. I would say that it probably has more to do with the "replacing Mays" than the "with Brooking" part of that sentence. That said, just from the casual, real-time watch I give each game, Brooking started out fairly effective when he came in as a starter, has declined somewhat as the year has progressed, but the return of DJ Williams and the continued improvement of Trevathan have allowed for Brooking to spend less time on the field than he had to once Mays was replaced.
If Brooking was playing as much as he was in week 8, I think the deficiency would probably be pretty glaring.
But of course someone who actually gets into things like snap counts will probably inform me that Brooking was actually playing more as the season went on, and then I will feel dumb. But the above really is the way I perceived his season, whether or not it's factual.

by RickD :: Wed, 01/09/2013 - 11:12pm

Go Dennis Pitta!

One can hope.

by bingo762 :: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 11:47am

Good stuff as usual but I have one minor nitpick. Aaron, your voice fluctuates from high to low more than the Buffalo Bills 2011 season. It so hard to find the right volume setting to listen to at work. Simmons is high and the first couple words of your sentence are high then trail off to inaudible. I'm always like "Wait, WTF did he just say?" [turns up volume] "Oh shit! They're screaming at me" [Quickly turns it down]...rinse, wash, repeat.

Also, I don't know why Simmons even has you on. He doesn't listen to your opinion. He just trys to beat you over the head with his. Case in point: his thoughts on the Ravens

by QCIC (not verified) :: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 12:29pm

I would agree I think it is funny where the interview format is ostensibly "interviewer getting information from expert" that most of the information consists of him sharing his opinion, or trying to get you to agree with his opinions and disagreeing if you won't do so.

In addition his reliance on a million little subjective theories is fine for when he talks to Sal or Lombardi, but you would think he would at least be prepared to have a more abstract and rigorous discussion when you are on, but instead he just keeps trying to drag you down into the mud with him.

Just a simple example: Instead of saying "I have always felt that rookie QBs do extra poorly in the playoffs, have you found that Aaron?" Its a 40 second soliloquy about how bad rookie QBs are in the playoffs often without a question at the end. Leaving you to just mumble a reply about how the numbers don't actually bear that out. And then since that was shot down he just runs out some other pet theory to prop up his opinion. He isn't looking for information he is looking for justification of his pre-existing beliefs.

If he is determined to pursue that style there is I suppose a way to do it with grace and humor, and in the past he has pulled it off at times, but not so much this year.

by Nicholas Ray (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 12:01am

I was more put off by Simmons' constant attempts to get Aaron to tell him 'Yes, Baltimore will beat Denver. Don't worry about it.' It was really annoying, even when Aaron would say 'You know, Denver is really good' and Simmons would just go on about how 'impressive' the Ravens were in beating the worst team in the playoffs by all measures. At least, in the end, he acknowledged as a Patriots fan that he was just trying to convince himself the Pats would get homefield next week. I assumed that, anyway, but it was really kind of irritating.
More and more, I think Simmons is only happy when he's guffawing with one of his sycophants (i.e. Lombardi, or somebody like Jacoby...at least Cousin Sal is still funny, and is more concerned with gambling issues) who would never say 'no' to his half-assed theories and '7 greatest whatevers of the last five years' crap.
Why do I listen? That's a good question. I did think Aaron was fine, however.

by Gauss (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 10:34am

Klosterman is the main one who seems willing to say, "No, Bill, you are totally wrong." It's embarrassing when Bill has Klosterman on, since Klosterman appears to know more about every single topic, including sports.

I actually like JackO pods even though JackO may be the only one of Bill's guests who is dumber than Bill. I think it's because I have no expectation that I will hear anything insightful, so I just enjoy the banter.

by Gauss (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 10:32am

Simmons' pet theories are the worst. This include his gambling "rules." He just spews nonsense constantly. I often enjoy the podcasts despite this. I just keep in mind that he doesn't actually know how to analyze anything.

Right at the end, though, when he said, "The Saturday night game is usually close and something goofy usually happens on Sunday afternoon" I remember thinking, "I would bet my entire net worth that he put zero thought or research into that before he said it. He has no idea if it's true."

by lester bangs (not verified) :: Thu, 01/10/2013 - 10:04pm

I missed Barnwell and his 219 "you knows" (not really). Aaron's laugh is painful to listen to (especially when it's at his own joke). Otherwise, it was the usual good segment. The pacing did seem better than last week's, too, a more natural flow.

by rj1a (not verified) :: Fri, 01/11/2013 - 11:33am

Re the effects of travel. If you are going to do a look for just Seattle as an isolated corner of the country, something you could do that could act to confirm your initial analysis is to do something similar for B.C. (Vancouver) in the CFL. The closest team to Vancouver in the CFL is Calgary which is about a 12-hour drive away.