Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Oct 2006

Week 8 Rundown: What About Us?

The Rams would like to remind Cardinals fans that they're playing pretty well, too. (St. Louis Cardinals fans; the Rams can't find any Arizona Cardinals fans.) Mike Tanier would like to remind everyone that their neighborhood sports bar is not their living room and nobody else cares about their fantasy team.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 26 Oct 2006

52 comments, Last at 28 Oct 2006, 1:58am by Dan


by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 6:35pm

Won't Merriman be playing this week? I thought he could until the appeal is settled.

by Israel (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 6:38pm

The line about the Steelers' playing RSP solitaire is priceless.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 6:56pm

Typical, excellent, humorous Tanier. But please: "Pouring beverages for thirsty sportswriters"??? More like: "Hauling vomiting sportswriters to the back crapper after one-too-many cosmos. And by that I mean one!"

"Oh, and Steelers fans shouldn't feel left out: they can play the RPS game, too. Steelers beat everybody. Including themselves."

My understanding is that Merriman will play the next two weeks pending the appeal.

Quite a few decent games this weekend. Wish I was single again with time to watch them all.... "Honey, can I have one of those 24-hour divorces I've heard about? What, that means YOU get to be single too? Never mind."

by Vince (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 7:29pm

I, for one, will not visit a sports bar on NFL Sundays unless it's been cleared beforehand that EVERY game will be on at least one TV.

And I'm not alone. At my regular watering hole, the clientele will unite and shake our collective fist until we get every game. Then, and only then, will we consume beer and wings.

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 8:05pm

Hilarious about the sports bar TV's!

I've always hated the sports bar TV politics and fantasy football has increased it, unfortunately. In Austin, they finally opened a "Fox and Hound" and I really thought they did it right: 3 floors worth of TV's, which included a fair number of equally-large TV's on a single wall (as opposed to one giant TV and a bunch of tiny ones). Every game is on, and they hand out maps of the game/TV assignments. No fuss, no muss, no "loudest, most belligerent drunk wins." Just get there early enough to stake out your favorite game and you're set.

by someone who pays attention (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 8:19pm

way to pay attention mike. merriman is playing this week and possibly next week while he appeals his suspension. and this isn't the latest news, this was announced on tuesday i believe. nice reporting

by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 8:42pm

Good ol' Steelers. Nothing beats Steelers.

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 9:22pm


Regular Rundown readers are familiar with the phenomenon we call AFC Rock Paper Scissors. The Patriots always beat the Colts. The Broncos always beat the Patriots. And the Colts always beat the Broncos. It's such an easy little trend that it's tempting to skip the actual game analysis and just wait to see who plays whom in the postseason.

This is just not true. Unless two playoff games in two years constitute a "trend" for the regular season.

Please see post #68 in the Week 8 DVOA Ratings thread.

by Noble (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 9:28pm

We smell upset this week. But it's only because we heard a rumor that Chad Pennington deleted all of his footage of the Browns blitz packages so he could download two episodes of Family Guy and the latest My Chemical Romance album.

...that was just awesome.

by Mike Tanier :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 9:57pm

The fix about Merriman was sent to Fox Wednesday morning. I am so glad they didn't make the correction, because I love looking like a moron.

And I do not drink cosmopolitans

by michael (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:09pm

Kaveman (re: rock paper scissors)

I think we all know that there is a limited sample size for Pats/Colts/Broncs, and that it is not fundamentally true.

However, perception is reality, and the "common man" sees this as being true (which is really the point of referencing it).

by calig23 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:20pm

Actually, I think the Steelers do enter into the RPS phenomenon somewhat: The Patriots always beat the Steelers. 5 matchups since 2001, both playoffs and regular season, and the Patriots have won 4 of them, including both playoff games.

by Cleveland (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:23pm

"On outside runs, ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis can shed blocks and disrupt plays..."

Um, they can? News to me. And as an aside, is Freeney the most overrated defensive player in the league, or what?

by blahblahfalcons (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:37pm

"Two weeks ago, Jeff Fisher celebrated his team's upset of the Redskins as if Marty McFly had traveled back to Super Bowl XXXIV and pushed Kevin Dyson two yards into the end zone."


by Timothy Lovejoy (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 10:57pm

Wait a minute....this sounds like rock and/or roll music!

by Kuato (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:08pm

RE: 13

Yeah, they can cause disruption on outside runs. The Colts D has one thing going for it . . . it is really, really fast. Therefore slow developing plays that go around the corner can get stuffed as the Ends get into the backfield quickly, change the flow of the run, and the linebackers make the tackle.

Unfortunatly, the reason they can often stuff outside plays is the same reason they get gashed with inside runs and the dreaded Draw Play.

However, I think Denver will be smart enough to realize this problem and run Tatum up the middle.

PS-Freeney has been pretty ineffective this year and could very well be the most overrated D player right now. Interesting as it is a contract year and if he keeps playing like this the Colts won`t resign him.

by JAT (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:11pm

Re 13 "And as an aside, is Freeney the most overrated defensive player in the league, or what?"

Not to the offensive coordinators who continue to double-team him.

by David (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:14pm

Picturing the Barbers as the Wonder Twins made me collapse laughing for reasons I can't quite pinpoint.

by Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:22pm

Bartenders do have other things to do, but it is those TVs bringing in the customers ordering the beers. Now, those customers wanting 4 games on the right TVs are just plain obnoxious, but a customer trying to get 1 TV showing him the game he came to see on a TV he can see is not unreasonable. Not meeting his needs can ruin the sports bar's reputation--just bitter about my last two visits. Customers are there for three hours, the beers can wait a few minutes while the TV situation gets settled. Also, for those people who just want to get something to eat on a Sunday afternoon during football season--go to a restaurant, not a sports bar!

by Cleveland (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 11:25pm

If I were Indy I'd let Freeney walk, save the cash and sign, well, they don't need much, but I would take a look at whatever good interior lineman might be out there. Something tells me Booger isn't the long-term answer.

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 12:03am

#11: I thought one of the fundamental tenets of this site was to critically examine exactly these commonly held views. Hence it is disappointing to see Mike Tanier (of whom I am a fan) spouting what I'd expect to read in a Pete Prisco column. Add to that the fact that FO is statistics-based, and there's no excuse for calling the results of two games a trend.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 12:36am

#21 - Er, except the whole reason the RPS theory was mentioned was to deny it. Perhaps your humor meter needs to be recalibrated?

by Ben (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 1:22am

#21 While I agree the RPS theory is silly, Manning is 4-1 against the Broncos in games where he's played more then 3 plays. Which is probably where the 'trend' idea came from. Not that that will have any particular bearing on what happens Sunday.

by Ilanin (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 8:41am

12 - I think there's a danger here of confusing trends, since the two playoff losses you mention are probably just part of "Steelers lose home playoff games".

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 10:22am



by calig23 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 10:33am


Good point. So the Patriots didn't actually beat the Steelers in those games; Heinz Field did.

Of course, it makes one wonder why they couldn't have left out the home field jinx when they built Heinz Field...

by Phil (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 11:31am


Is that anything like:



by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 12:12pm

Re 19:
As a corrolary, if you live in a city with a team, don't go to a bar to watch the game. I went to FIVE bars just to try and watch the Bears. It's ridiculous because 90% of the people in the bars were Colts fans.

by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 12:42pm

Since the Jets are 2 point underdogs, I don't think meant to say "We smell upset." You're just continuing the pattern you started in the preseason of considering the Jets only worthy of jest. I'm not offended either, so don't start by telling me to get a sense of humor. Go to any site and you'll only see game summaries. The Jets aren't taken as seriously as Oakland, Arizona, Miami, or Washington whose seasons are a joke.

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 1:06pm

The Jets have had just a tad easier schedule than the Redskins, mind you.

And I really dare you to find someone who takes Oakland, Arizona, or Miami seriously right now. Especially Oakland or Arizona.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 1:34pm

What's interesting is that the Redskins seemed to have the most success running to the edges against the Colts. I think that the problem is that the Colts are weak against the run. Period.

My sportsbar advice is that if you want to see your team out of market, find the "home bar" for your team. Either that, or show up a little bit before the game and ask the bartender which TV has your team or whether they can put the nearest one on your team's game. Another idea is to become a regular and they'll do what you want...

by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 2:20pm

OK, Pat, I'll be right back....

by JasonK (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 2:40pm


Depends on the town you live in. If it's an area that has attracted lots of new residents from other areas (read: a place with good jobs), there will be plenty of sports bars catering to out-of-town fans. I was at a sports bar here in Arlington, VA, a few weeks ago, and only 3 or 4 TVs out of 20 or so were showing the Redskins.

Unfortunately, I don't know of many people who've moved to Indianapolis to find exciting new economic opportunities lately.

by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 2:52pm

OK, Pat, here's CBS Sports, which carries the Jets games, today. Nothing about the Jets, but this about Leinart's new baby: "Leinart said it was an interesting few days because of his awful experience on Sunday, when he drew several fierce hits in the Cardinals' 22-9 loss at Oakland. It was his first bad outing in his three NFL starts." No jokes followed. Straight faced reporting.

I can get these every day. Very sympathetic look at twelve teams with one or two wins. Trash talking about the Jets, who have done nothing to make the news off the field, no trash talking about other teams, nothing I can think of to warrant it. Even Tanier's article mentions some facts about every team BUT the Jets before going negative. Chad's QB rating is 90, what's funny about that? Has he said something to stir up that kind of remark? Or is that the best Tanier can do. I think it's pretty lame.

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 2:58pm

That's only about Leinart, though, not about the Cardinals as a whole.

There have been plenty of articles talking about Pennington's performance this year - up until the Jaguars game, that is.

by Brian (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 3:01pm

thanks for nailing this serial game watcher to the wall. you forgot to make fun of the occasional out of town Iggles fan who makes the most obnoxiuos of drunks look like a model citizen. The reasons Denver owns the Pats while the Pats own Indy all comes down to matchups and the subconscience mind. Even a woman knows it comes down to the colors of the uniform. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS,the matchups are more about styles of play and schemes than player vs any one player . the Steelers/Falcons game was a good example,they hadn't crossed paths since 2002 and the games were almost identical

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 3:06pm

you forgot to make fun of the occasional out of town Iggles fan who makes the most obnoxiuos of drunks look like a model citizen.

Weird. I've never come across that guy. The ones I always come across are Chicago or Pittsburgh fans. Especially this year - most of the Eagles fans have simply been sitting at the bar drowning their sorrows.

by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 3:11pm

OK, Pat, how about Fox Power Rankings. This about Oakland: "I was wrong about Oakland when I said they could go winless last week. They actually may win 2 or 3 games this year." There was no ba-dum-teesh after it. Sounds to me like some respect for number 32 where the Jets rank 20th and the Browns are 28th.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 3:49pm

I definitely am afflicted with the condition known as OCSD. HD game off cable in the sports room, two Sunday Ticket games on TiVo via split-screen, a third satellite game on the receiver in the living room, and optionally a fourth satellite game on in the bedroom if a stray visitor happens along. It's not quite Mike Pereira's game-day setup, at least not yet. But as Mike suggested, I "stay the heck home", where I get to make all the calls, and no one else touches the remote (not that they could figure it out anyway).

Hilarious stuff as usual, Mike. Especially the bit on the Browns ending in: "Chevalier remains dead".

by Cameron (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 4:02pm

billvv, a.k.a.

Did I miss any?

A lot of posts for someone who's "not offended".

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 4:02pm

billvv, if you really think that saying a team 1 or 2 more games this season the week after saying that they could be the first team in NFL history to go 0-16, I'd really hate to see your idea of an insult.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 4:04pm

*...saying a team could possibly win 1 or 2 more games this season...*

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 4:06pm

*...first team in NFL history to go 0-16 is a compliment,...*

Jesus, it must be 3pm on Friday because I can't complete a coherent thought today.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 4:17pm

Geez, lighten up, Francis. Seems to me that Mike is making fun in some way of almost all the teams (including mine). And it's damned funny in general. RPS is a joke, and if the Jets are underdogs in Cleveland, isn't the real "disrespect" coming from somewhere else? At least Mike appears to hold them in slightly higher regard than the betting public, which wants points to side with the Jets.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 5:03pm

When did Rodney Harrison become a Jets fan?

For my part, I've read MANY more positive articles of the Jets, their players (Pennington, Crotchery, Rhodes), and coach than negative.

The Jets benevolently rule over the Sports world. They are all things to all men, and a few lucky women.

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 5:13pm

I'm with #41-43. That was anything but a compliment to the Raiders. I'm pretty sure you're way too sensitive about this.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 5:41pm

It was a compliment-- a backhanded compliment. "The Raiders still stink" is unambiguous, however. Even compared to that vicious shot on Chad Pennington over the use of his I-pod.

by billvv (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 10:02pm

Now were talkin' about the Jets. It's really hard to get you guys started, isn't it. Don't you think they've improved each game? They seem to be better than twelve teams so far this year, including the Browns. Did you see the list of least and most hits on a QB?

by B (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 10:39pm

48: Well, I thought the Jets were doing great until they got shellacked by the Jaguars. I know the Jags have a great defense, but there's no excuse for giving up 41 points to that offense. And beating the Dolphins by 3 and the Lions by 7 doesn't exactly fill me with confidence about their chances this Sunday. But it is Cleveland, so I expect they will win.

by kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 10/27/2006 - 11:03pm

I think that Indy/Denver rock-paper-scissors talk might make a little bit more sense if Indy had a winning record against Denver over the last 4 games. Somehow, a 2-2 record doesn't really make that compelling of a case for "ownership".

by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 12:58am

Kibbles, it IS a joke. But if you include one more game, Indy is 3-2 over Denver in the last 5 (national audience, Monday night, OT in the snow--people kinda remember that kind of drama, even if it's Vanderjagt winning it). If you include games in which their starters played, it's 3-1 (people also tend to avoid/disregard "preseason" games played in week 17. Don't blame me, it's like watching Brett Favre implode. You know it's gonna happen, and try to ignore it.) Now at 3-1 "real" games, it looks a little more compelling.

Just a little.

I'm not arguing that Indy should not be NE's bitch in this menage a trois simply because they won last year--since it's still about 6 out of the last 7 or whatever that they have lost (with only one played in Indy, not that I'm bitter about THAT little bit of schedling magic!)

It's all supposed to be in fun, and I only hear Denver fans complaining, not Indy or NE fans. In fact, if Denver wins I suggest Denver fans should trumpet the RPS theory all the time, since you'll know it's all BS. The joke's on people who believe it.

by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 10/28/2006 - 1:58am

Denver fan here - I'm ok with the RPS theory as it stands... it got the Broncos to the AFC Championship last year.

Unfortunately a week later that other tall QB from the wrong side of the Mississippi came to Denver and beat us anyway.