Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Oct 2006

Week 5 Rundown: Oh No, T.O. Won't Go

Ah, the fetid, compost-like smell of overripe hype.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 04 Oct 2006

69 comments, Last at 09 Oct 2006, 10:53am by Moses


by B (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:06pm

I can't see Dallas beating Philly, no matter how banged up thier secondary is. Bledsoe will have too much trouble completing passes while lying on the ground.

by Israel (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:09pm

T.O. takes pills out of their containers and puts them in drawers, kind of like your 90-year-old great aunt, the one who also keeps meatballs in the hallway closet.


by BD (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:25pm

OK... I GET that the projection for J.P. Losman was low in PFP 2006. But do we, each week, need to bash him in every single column? Look at your own statistics: he is ABOVE average this year! And it is not as if Buffalo has played 4 creampuffs this year.

Seriously, I'm not about to compare him to Peyton Manning, but is it really necessary to try to explain away his performances as lucky? His passer rating of 101.3 would have dropped if Peerless Price did not get lucky, but how much would his DPAR have dropped?

Can we give this guy a little credit for being serviceable this year? At what point can he stop being a punchline? I mean, you really undermine what you are trying to do with this website by printing this kind of junk.

And... I know what's coming-- only 4 games, low sample size, blah blah... Well, add in his very serviceable preseason and that is 8 games.

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:28pm

I'm surprised the how few people like the Ravens over the Broncos (-3.5) this week, given Billick's and Ray Ray's past success against Shanahan. While these are different teams then in years past, Denver still runs the same blocking scheme and single cut running game that Ray Lewis has found to be so easy to figure out (he has said as much). Of course the Ravens lost to the Broncos last year, but only because Kyle Boller was in vintage form (the play where he tripped over his own feet dropping back, then got up and sprinted over to the sideline and flung the ball up for grabs to be intercepted will be etched in my memory forever).

by Joe (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:34pm

to #3

Dude, just face it, this site hates JP Losman.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 7:11pm

Grossman is actually now the most likely to take a 15-step drop, but Losman is a strong contender.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 7:34pm

I love me some MT.

by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 7:57pm


My thoughts exactly. Grossman absolutely guns it for the sideline on some plays.

by underthebus (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 7:59pm

nice mxy reference, go nerds!

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:17pm

#$@%ing TV rules. Only 3 areas of the country don't get Philly Dallas, but I'm in one of them.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:27pm

Actually I think BD has a point. Particularly since CHI made Hasselbeck look terrible and he is considered a top 5 QB. As long as Losman doesn't have an Alex Smith 2005 style game I think its a good sign.

I often think its when this site is trying to be entertaining that they slip into the same tradational modes of sports journalism.

by BD (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:28pm


But that's just it, I expect more from this site. How is all the Losman-bashing any different than Peter King's Brett Favre missives?

Again, I'm not saying Losman is Manning or anything like that, but he has worked hard this offseason (despite his Southern-Cal look) and does not deserve to be a punchline in the national media.

by Mshray (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:53pm

Mike, a fine article as always, but I gotta give you special props for the Clockwork Orange reference.

I think FO needs a companion to The Week In Quotes feature each week: a collection of the highlights of the musings of the FO writers. Between Mike, Aaron, Doug, Ned, MDS, et al, there are just too many great zingers each week not to archive them.

by seamus (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:39pm

JP Losman is a scary pederast who murders kittens for their blood.

by Jersey (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:42pm

Seriously, BD has a point. Loseman was no worse than Eli through his first like 13 starts. The kid hasn't gotten a break since he was drafted. While Eli get's hyped to death, Loseman is put down every second. Cut the kid a few breaks, he doesn't have nearly the receivers of Eli, his RB is probably a little worse at this stage in their careers, and his o-line is definately worse.

by Jimi (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:51pm

Same here (I'm in Tucson), I think. The southern border of that white area in AZ seems to be drawn right over me...

by Rollo (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:15pm

I second #13. Maybe that can be Haynesworth "player role" in Madden - must be suspended for 4 games or more each season.

by Jimi (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:28pm

Just checked the schedule and I'm within the area that has to see the flying pharmaceuticals. Well, at least there's KC at AZ to keep me occupied.

Oh, wait. That's not going to be interesting either. Between those three games and STL-GB, Tucson's football schedule for next week sucks.

by RC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:58pm

Hey :: B

Did you watch the GB game?
Noooobody is more dangerous than TO on the same short routes that prevented Phil from getting to Bret. Bledsoe will have a huge day and TO will share in that.

by zip (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 11:22pm

#3, #5

I assume you guys are Bills fans like myself.

Are you telling me you already feel CONFIDENT in JP against a real defense?

That you aren't TERRIFIED of how bad Chicago might make the Bills look?

Come on now. I'd rather laugh about our QB and be proven wrong, then anoint him "competent" and be unpleasantly surprised this weekend.

But that's just me.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 11:39pm

Noooobody is more dangerous than TO on the same short routes that prevented Phil from getting to Bret.

You mean the ones that were being batted down left and right near the end of the game, one of which was intercepted when Favre had to throw it slightly too high to avoid all of the defenders?

The ones that allowed Philly to have more passes defended in one game than they had all year?

You can't keep throwing only those routes. If those are the only ones that work for the Cowboys, they'll just let the receivers run deep downfield because they know Bledsoe will have to check down, and 7 or 8 people will swarm on the ball.

by andrew apold (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 11:42pm

I'm actually quite interested in the Buffalo-Chicago game. Chicago has built its reputation entirely in the NFC, and until the Seattle game it was only in the NFC North. Before this season many stated the AFC was superior, and now many have Chicago ranked #1 in the NFL. Buffalo is generally thought of as an also-ran in the AFC, but they beat a Minnesota team that played the Bears tough the week before, and though the score wasn't large, they were far more in control of the Vikings game than the Bears were.

Two of the immediate keys were their ability to blunt Minnesota's run attack right from the start (Taylor had 23 yards on 10 carries) and Losman's repeated hard counts drawing Minnesota offsides, it really took the charge out of their rush (and every few plays he'd catch them again at it). If I were Chicago, I'd work real hard on hard counts all week...

by BD (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 11:56pm


I am a Bills fan. But if playing well against the Bears is your measure of competent, how do you rate Matt Hasselbeck, who last year was one of the best in the league, but last week, was made to look embarrassing?

Of course I am not confident in JP against the Bears defense, any more than I would be confident if #12 was under center against them. The Bears will probably make alot of quarterbacks look foolish this year so this week should not be given more weight than his other 8 performances so far this season.

But all I'm asking for is a little objective analysis of JP (which should be the purpose of this site). And the truth is he has been above average, not superb, but certainly not a joke this season.

by MikeT (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:18am

Don't blame the whole FO staff for the Losman bashing. DPAR is starting to like him. It's me personally. I am a big skeptic. I saw a lot of the Vikings game and the Jets game, and while he looks better than last year, I still think he runs before he has to and throws some dangerous passes that will come back to haunt him.

If he plays well against Chicago, naturally I will have to reevaluate.

by David (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:41am

Pat: It worked for New York. Even when Eli was getting destroyed by the Eagles defensive line, they couldn't stop enough short passes to get the Giants' offense off the field. And no matter how optimisitic I want to be about this game, I can't rationalize ranking Glenn and Owens closer to the Green Bay corps than to Burress and Toomer.

by mattman (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:06am

I'll tell you right now - if Joselio Hanson is a starting cornerback on Sunday, this game will be more painful to watch than Mike McMahon's worst day. You may have noticed that on Monday night the only thing Favre could do with any success was wing the ball to Greg Jennings covered by Hanson. You may have noticed Eli Manning staring straight at Hanson on every single snap. Not only does Hanson leave his man open, but he singlehandedly negates the pass rush, because the quarterback can chuck it to Hanson's man as soon as the pressure comes.

Fortunately, it looks like Lito will play. He should, at the very least, slow things down and give the pass rush time to get to Bledsoe. And if Bledsoe is forced to make decisions in the pocket, well, he tends to take his time in deliberating.

Either way, I'm pretty much in the Trotter camp. I just want this game to be over with.

by spatne (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:38am

I live in South Philly. I went to a Phillies/Pirates game in [b]July[/b] and people were selling anti-TO shirts outside CBP. Nothing would amuse me more than an evening stroll down Passyunk Ave. if TO manages to play well in a Cowboy victory.

I don't even like Dallas or the Cowboys, but live, pissed off Eagles fans? It's like street theatre.

by spatne (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:41am

... and I apparently forget how to do HTML tags after midnight.

by Omar (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:41am

Re # 27

Hilarious! Instant classic.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:52am

Wow, all the Negadelphians are out in force here.

The Dallas game is a LOOOOOOCK for Philly. Big Red circled it in a bright red marker when the schedule came out and will pull out all the stops to win this game for the Eagles.

How soon you all forget the Week 9 game last year. Dallas was completely obliterated on the field until the defense let up in the final 3 minutes and started celebrating too soon. Even after McNabb tossed the game away, had healthy McNabb been around, there is little reason to think he couldn't have marched them down the field for the winning field goal, which Mike McMahon came within 10 yards of doing with a crippled Akers.

Owens is not >> Keyshawn relative to healthy McNabb and healthy Akers >> injured McNabb and injured Akers, and Darren Howard is >> ND Kalu. Although the teams are relatively evenly matched, Eagles special teams are better, and the Eagles are at home. Short of a total team implosion by the Birds, Eagles definitely win by more than the +1 line I've recently seen.

by the K (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 3:28am

BD is my hero. I'm a Bills fan sick of the Losman bashing too. Maybe if the previous regime had actually stuck by him, given him more starts, let him play, he'd be looking better still, because then he'd have, you know, A FULL SEASON'S worth of games under his belt as
the starter.

by tunesmith (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:45am

#4 - who has Baltimore beaten? Tampa Bay? Maybe that's semi-impressive, but Tampa Bay sucks so far. Oakland? Cleveland? They suck. San Diego? Well sure, but they're overrated too. Because who has San Diego beaten? Oakland? Tennessee? There just isn't any reason yet to think any of these teams are good, at least not in terms of who they've beaten. They might just all be mediocre - a big bunch of games among the losers of the league.

In the meantime, Denver's beaten New England, who's beaten Cincinnati, who's beaten Pittsburgh...

by ammek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:12am

Mike, if incensed Buffalo fans succeed in forcing you to cut down on your Losman jokes, do by all means increase your quota for Rattay. Today's is a blinder.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:30am

thanks to his treatment at the foot of defensive tackle/Droog Albert Haynesworth.


Maybe he'll spend his suspension at the milk bar.

by MCS (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:52am


I agree with your take in comment 11. The Foxsports articles and comment blogs are heavier on the wisecracks and fluff than the other items on FO. I've learned to use those links for entertainment only. I stay local for the deeper analysis.

In fact, I wrote a rant letter to Aaron about it and then I remembered that he told us last season (when FO 1st started with Foxsports) that the in-depth analysis would not be on the Fox site.

I never sent the letter.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:17am

I can’t rationalize ranking Glenn and Owens closer to the Green Bay corps than to Burress and Toomer.

You should.

NYG: Plaxico Burress: 6'5, 232 lbs
NYG: Amani Toomer: 6'3, 203 lbs
GB: Greg Jennings: 5'11, 196 lbs
GB: Donald Driver: 6'0, 190 lbs
DAL: Terry Glenn: 5'11, 195 lbs
DAL: Terrell Owens: 6'3, 224 lbs

When Hood went out in the Giants game, I actually turned to my wife and said "@#%! They're in trouble. No way Hanson and Wynn can cover a receiver of Toomer's size."

The Giants were just a colossally bad matchup for Philly at the time. The reason those slants kept working is because the defense couldn't adjust. It wouldn't've done anything. Had the corners played closer to the line, Toomer would've just caught the ball over them. So the corners played back.

Besides, Sheppard's almost definitely going to play on Sunday, and if he does, then Bledsoe's throwing those slants at his own peril.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:55am

#32 -- And they lost to St. Louis, so your point is what?

Historically, the Ravens have had a lot of success against Denver, whether in Invesco or Baltimore. Now, Tennessee did break a similar string last year, but this Raven team is much better than that outfit, even without Mulitalo. The Broncos have had a bye week to prepare, so we'll see.

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, but don't be surprised if Baltimore covers or wins outright.

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:56am

"Chimp-snuggling eccentricity," "Live-in succubus." Tanier, you magnificient bastard, you have outdone yourself this time.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:56am

Pat #36:

Besides, Sheppard’s almost definitely going to play on Sunday, and if he does, then Bledsoe’s throwing those slants at his own peril.

Ah, Bledsoe's great historic weakness. Throwing quick slants and hitches taken back the wrong way for 6!

by sippican (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:48pm

It's been nice to see some prospectively bad teams get up off the mat.

Buffalo, Jets, Rams, Saints, hell, even Cleveland and Houston and so forth look frisky.

It's always a shame when teams are just a plain joke right from the getgo like Oakland this year.

There are more pretty good teams this year than in recent memory. It makes for more interesting games to watch overall. And nobody looks invincible.

Performance is trumping talent because of parity. It's the reason the NFL is the greatest sports league in America.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:20pm

15: I posted a comparison between Losman and Manning a while back, and the Losman had better numbers through his first 9 starts than Manning had in the same period, yet he got an undue amount of criticism. Actually, the criticism started the moment that the Bills picked him, which is even more unfair.

by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:31pm

Re: 41

Well maybe J.P. should have thought of that before he was born without the Manning surname. Jeez, kids these days.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:47pm

I posted a comparison between Losman and Manning a while back, and the Losman had better numbers

I'm not sure if it'd be funnier if "the Losman" was intentional hilarious or unintentionally hilarious.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 4:15pm

Does anyone have the over/under on whether they bring back "Eagles Court" for this Sunday at the Linc? I hear Judge Seamus McCafferty is still available....

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 4:46pm

42: Well, he tried to get the Manning Mojo by playing his college ball in Eli's home town.

43: Unintentionally hilarious. I just re-read it. Oops.

44: I'm scared that someone will get rocks into the stadium.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:14pm

#43: Well, we have "The Leftwich" as the unit for quarterbacking, we could maybe make "The Losman" as the unit of unrealized promise?

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:15pm

#44: You do know the reason why the Vet was so notoriously rowdy and high in number of arrests, right?

Too few bathrooms. The Vet had one of the fewest numbers of bathrooms for its capacity of all stadiums in the NFL. Lincoln Financial has a much, much better ratio, and the number of incidents that have occurred is much lower, enough that they never needed the courtroom they built into the Linc.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:26pm

Re 47:
I saw the bathrooms at the Vet on numerous occasions (unfortunately). As I've had occasion to note on this site elsewhere, I also witnessed a stabbing at an Eagles game I attended late in the season at the Vet (maybe 1998?). One drunk guy stabbed another drunk guy in the leg right in front of me and my husband (we were sitting in the 700 level, big mistake); then the cops came and dragged both of them off, cursing and yelling. I'm not really sure how more bathrooms would have prevented this, but I concede your point that the Vet did not have nearly enough bathrooms.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 6:12pm

Mike - were those editor's notes ACTUAL editor's notes, or were they something you made up and stuck in yourself. I wonder about this every time I see one.

by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 6:37pm

From Gribble Nation:


CBS (Thursday):

What did the people of Boise do to deserve that matchup?

by Jesus (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 7:04pm

Losman didn't look very good against a weak Jets' defense... I'm just sayin' ...

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 7:35pm

#4: Don't know about the others, but Baltimore makes this Broncos fan very nervous. Shanahan has said in the past that the Ravens are a particularly difficult matchup. I didn't know about that Ray Lewis statement; I guess it explains how they have such success stopping Denver's running game.

There's reasons for some cautious optimism though; the game's in Denver, Plummer looked much better against the Patriots even in the pocket, and our defense is better this year.

It'll be a low scoring but very intense game. Looking forward to it. :-)

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 8:39pm

What did the people of Boise do to deserve that matchup?

Here's a guess: The two closest markets to Boise are Seattle and the Bay Area, hence OAK-SF.

by MikeT (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 8:46pm

54: Editors notes are written by me. I don't think the FOX editors would really add an editors note. Here, Aaron might use them to clarify a DVOA point or make a joke. The only time I ever received real editors notes from FOX (other than a basic correction) was when I sent the unedited version of the Vikings Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald last year.

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 8:53pm

Well, I can't tell where Losman will end up finally, but he's definitely not a joke this year. Given last year against the Pats, I figured this year he was guaranteed to have a bad game and there was a 50/50 chance he'd totally self-destruct. So much for that prediction. I'll be interested to see what happens against Chicago...

by Kevin (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:58pm


Eli was the only QB in NFL history to make the first five starts of his career all against the top five ranked overall defenses. His first five starts in 2004 were against Atlanta, Philly, Baltimore, Washington, and Pittsburgh. That was the main reason his numbers were GOD awful.

by Rob (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:24am

I think Losman has the weight of his franchise's horrible QB moves of the past 10 years to overcome. Collins, Johnson, Bledsoe, etc. Everyone but the forever-hopeful Bills diehards assumed Losman would be a failure from day one....

by Marko (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:27am

"What did the people of Boise do to deserve that matchup?"

"Here’s a guess: The two closest markets to Boise are Seattle and the Bay Area, hence OAK-SF."

That may be true, but if it is, then why wasn't that the game from the beginning? Boise originally was scheduled to receive Buffalo-Chicago, then it switched.

When I first saw that switch in Boise, I wondered whether there was some rookie of local interest in Idaho who plays for Oakland or San Francisco.

I would think that fans in Seattle would rather see the Bears game because the Seahawks figure to be chasing the Bears all season for homefield advantage in the playoffs. Maybe the thinking is that Seattle fans would be traumatized seeing the Bears so soon after their beatdown of the Seahawks.

by Joel (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 6:43am

"You mean the ones that were being batted down left and right near the end of the game, one of which was intercepted when Favre had to throw it slightly too high to avoid all of the defenders?"

You do realize that was one of the worst teams in the league. Remember last year terry glenn ate philly alive, with double coverage. can't double him this year.

by Joel (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 6:45am

"Bledsoe will have too much trouble completing passes while lying on the ground."

Didn't seem to have that trouble last year. This game won't even be close. The eagles are pretenders. They have beat three of the 5 worst teams in the league.

by Joel (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 6:53am

"Last season, Glenn had field days in both meetings against Sheppard." -FROM PHILADELPHIAEAGLES.COM

From your own website. So I guess the second corner will be attempting to cover glenn this year.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:04am

I always wonder why people try to talk trash on a site that is so very clearly not amiable to talking trash.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:15am

Re: 47

I was once waiting in the bathroom line when a guy cut through the line and went right over to the sinks. The only thing he said, as he unzipped, was "Lines are for suckers!"

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 11:09am

I'm more amused at people who attempt to trash talk via "well, we beat you last year!"

by Travis (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 11:32am

What did the people of Boise do to deserve that matchup?

What's even weirder is that OAK/SF is up against DAL/PHI in the 4 pm slot, while BUF/CHI is up against the weaker STL/GB game at 1.

The CBS map for the week is just bizarre. You can see the effect of local QBs (SW Louisiana for Jake Delhomme, various areas of Texas for Vince Young), but there are a bunch of inexplicable islands (northern Alabama gets BUF-CHI; patches of NW Texas get either MIA-NE or TEN-IND; western Iowa/eastern Nebraska gets TEN-IND; eastern Washington gets MIA-NE).

by Sean (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 6:39pm

The short passes may work against Philly on Sunday but one of the criticisms levied against Bledsoe is that he doesn't throw enough of them when it's appropriate but holds onto the ball too long too frequently. If the criticism is true and Bledsoe holds to that form, then it doesn't really matter that Philly may have that weakness.

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 7:37pm

Marko, Seattle IS getting CHI-BUF, but Boise is swinging to the Bay Area. Looking back at the history of the maps for the whole season, Boise seems to alternate between getting the Bay Area games and the Seattle games as first priority, then the Denver games, and then any other "national" games.

by Marko (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 7:51pm

CaffeineMan, I wasn't clear in my last post. I knew that Seattle was getting the Bears-Bills game. I was only talking about Boise. Because you previously mentioned that Seattle was the closest market to Boise, I was referring to the interest of Seattle fans and I accidentally wrote "fans in Seattle" rather than "fans of Seattle."

by Moses (not verified) :: Mon, 10/09/2006 - 10:53am


Didn’t seem to have that trouble last year. This game won’t even be close. The eagles are pretenders. They have beat three of the 5 worst teams in the league.

:: Joel — 10/6/2006 @ 5:45 am

This, I presume this "crappy teams list" now includes the Cowboys. Because, after all, the "pretender Eagles" can't beat anyone any good.