Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Week 14 Game Discussion Thread

This thread is for discussion of action on the field before, during, and after Sunday's games. You can talk about who you think will win or lose before the games start and last-minute news on Sunday morning. Then during the games, discuss strange plays, great performances, and stupid announcers (of which there are plenty). After the day is done, we'll discuss the results of the week Sunday night and Monday before our weekly commentary articles appear.


by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 12:50am

Hey Falcons, just so you know, you can't hit the QB in the head ever, especially long after he's thrown the ball.

Oh, wow. Brooks decided to run back another 10 yards or so, then chuck a pinball pass that was tipped and deflected right to Hakim for the TD. I can't believe how bad some of these plays are and how well they've turned out.

by DGL (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 12:52am

Wow. Even the Saints can look impressive against the prevent. Why would anyone put in a prevent with more than 20 seconds in the half or game?

by DGL (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 12:57am

Y'know, if the game ended right now, TMQ would be right about both the game and the score.

by Goober King (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 12:59am

Please tell me that I did not just hear Tim McGraw rhyme the word "Tuiasosopo". I think my brain just melted.

by calig23 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:01am

Oh, those are so beautiful, I just had to post a link to them...

by calig23 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:05am

And a closeup on a helmet.

To be honest, I think Tampa should go back to those things.

by Oldcat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:18am

Bite your tongue Calig23. I lived in Chicago and had to see those things twice a year. I think wearing those cost the Bucs about 10 points a game in sheer embarrassment.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:21am

That should've been grounding. It was about five to ten yards short of the LOS.

Ah, they finally threw the flag. It didn't help that he ran back about 30 yards before throwing it away.

by Oldcat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:23am

Can't you intentionally ground the ball right away instead of running back 25 yards to do it? It just seems so wasteful the other way...

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:27am

Wow - the line of scrimmage was the 24, and the grounding penalty was enforced at the 2. What exactly is so compelling about running 20+ yards backwards on each play?

In the late 80's, I played a video game that was supposed to compete with Tecmo Bowl (I think it was John Elway's QB Club, so it started with one strike against it). It had this absolutely ridiculous passing scheme, where you would hold a button to start to throw, and an arrow would go across the screen indicating which direction you'd throw it when you released. It was a horrible system, made even more idiotic because you would keep running backwards until you released the button. So even short, quick passes required the QB to run backwards 15 yards, and it wasn't unusual to see 40-yard sacks. Anyway, that's what I always think of whenever I see Aaron Brooks play.

by krugerindustrialsmoothing (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:28am

I mentioned this earlier in a non-related thread, but I love when players (vick) jump ob towards the goal-line. This is virtually unstoppable given momentum and the defensive players instinct not to hit anyone ob. (notwithstanding this penalty filled crapfest)

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:32am

Oh please. I don't even follow the NBA, and even I knew Van Gundy would 'resign' and Riley would step back in to coach the Heat. That's been one of those 'secrets' that everyone's known for months now.

Oh by the way, Saints, it's a good idea to keep contain when facing a mobile QB who likes to bootleg and run. A DE crashing inside to chase the RB on a sweep to the other side when he has contain responsibilities is not a good decision.

by Oldcat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:36am

One fact that the MNF crew mentioned is that some part of your body has to hit, or pass over the pylon to have it count. You can't just launch yourself OOB from the 5 way out of bounds as you implied in that thread. At least a toe has to pass over the stick.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:42am

Sorry to intrude fantasy football into here, but to get to the playoffs, I need Alge Crumpler to stop catching balls and Aaron Brooks to throw some picks.

Your support is welcome. And yes, I live a trite and meaningless life. But I am not a bad, bad person.

by Oldcat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:44am

If you have A. Brooks as your fantasy QB, you *are* a bad person. :)

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:49am

I get sick of many things regarding the media fellating of Vick, but perhaps nothing moreso than this strawman argument about his detractors wanting him to be a pocket passer and not run. What? Has anyone ever suggested this? Of course not. Nobody wants him to be another Bledsoe or Kosar and be shackled to the pocket.

What we want if not for him to be a pocket passer, as much as we want to see him be a good passer. I... I don't even want to get into it now. It's just so aggravating hearing this garbage spouted, as if we want to ruin the guy. On the contrary, the frustration so many of us have is that he showed how incredible he can be, but has regressed horribly as a passer, and it's keeping him from being truly great. We're looking at once-in-a-generation type talent, and seeing it squandered because he keeps bouncing the ball eight yards in front of open receivers.

Ah, screw it. I'm going to bed.

by Noble (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:50am

Oh God. John and Al are off topic. Might as well call the game now.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 1:50am

I don't have Brooks, someone else who currently has the last playoff seed has him, and I need that person to lose to make the playoffs.

Yes, my league is screwed up. My QB is a rotation between Drew Brees and Jake Delhomme. It's always fun to try to predict who will score more fantasy points in a given week.

by MAW (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:01am

Is this the slowest game of the year? I only got to watch the third quarter, but every other play was an incomplete pass.

by Adam (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:01am

Is it me or this is an EXTREMELY long game? It's midnight and the 4th Quarter is only just starting now..........

Damn West Coasters.........

by andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:08am

Madden's tie stains FTW!

by ABW (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:08am

OK, somebody pinch me, cause I think John Madden just told me that yellow and red make green and then used a stain on his tie to prove it to Al Michaels.

by Noble (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:09am

I'm going to bed now, so the Saints can make some extraordinarily unlikely comeback involving seven or eight laterals. If I have to listen to John and Al go on a tangent again... I just can't be held responsible for what I may do.

by krugerindustrialsmoothing (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:09am

Oldcat.... the goal line extends past the pylon infinitely ergo if you could launch yourself from the 5 into the 3rd row of stands in the corner of the endzone.....td!

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:12am

Actually, I have Aaron Brooks on both my fantasy teams, and they're both going to the playoffs. Of course, he's my backup in both leagues, which probably explains the first part. :) Does that make me a good person, or a very bad person?

by rabscuttle (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:14am

624: Nope. some part of the ball carriers body must pass over the pylon, in addition to the ball breaking the goal plane, for it to be a touchdown.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:16am

(mumbling)"If Vick keeps on passing to Alge Crumpler...my eye will start twitching uncontrollably...because I want to win my fantasy game...and the points to throws ratio is too high...and if I don't win...I'll do something crazy...like burn down the building..."

by andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:18am

So, lemme see if I have this right. A guy with the football , near the goal line, gets picked up by a defender, who holds him by his ankles, swings him around, perpendicular to the ground, and out of bounds, in so doing his foot goes over the pylon, while the ball never comes within two yards of it (the ballcarrier being over 6' tall). This is a touchdown?

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:27am

Hastlett: How are we going to win this game?

Deuce: We could run a Statue of Liberty play.

Hastlett: That's a great idea. How do we do that?

Deuce: I don't know. I was hoping you did.

Brooks: Maybe we could look it up in this football dictionary?

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:29am

Fuck no. Damn you Alge Crumpler.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:31am

That was too close.

by Dean (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:32am

Come on Alge, I need 12 points (traditional yahoo) out of Crumpler and Stallworth combined to make the playoffs.....AC has 4, DS has 2...I need a TD to get me over the line.

by Travis (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:33am

This will probably jinx him, but has anyone else noticed that Aaron Brooks has now started 83 consecutive games?

by Dean (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:34am

Looks like I need a meaningless late TD from Donte....

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:37am

Hastlett: Bockwoldt, what the hell happened, you said you'd stop Michael Vick.

OLB Buckwoldt: I was going to but I couldn't find him until the end...I was looking for #8, not #7. Augh, I always screw up some mundane detail like that.

Hastlett: This is not a mundane detail! Does 2 TDs and thirty...eight yards sound like a mundane detail!

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:38am

If Aaron Brooks score here I'm going to go crazy.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:40am

Note: I'm not singling out Buckwoldt for any reason. He was an OLB and his name was interesting. He may have actually played well today. I don't know. But Aaron Brooks, you suck.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:41am

Damn the prevent defense.

by Travis (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:43am

If I could choose only one QB to lead a two-minute drill down 19, I think I'd choose Aaron Brooks.

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:44am

Oh God. John and Al are off topic. Might as well call the game now.

Oh, come on. John and Al being off topic was more interesting than watching this game in the fourth quarter.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:47am

Did I win?

Did I win?!?


Aaron Brooks, thank you for sucking.

by Dean (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:49am


by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 3:06am

(Person I need to win): 72.22 points

(Person I need to lose): 72.38

"This is...f___!"

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 3:14am

Benson: "Aaron, you've shown poise in the pocket, and we think if you had to worry less about job security, and had some playcalling that could motivate you, we think you could go very far, so we want to give you a new contract, and bring an offensive genius-type coach to coach the Saints."
Aaron Brooks: "So you're gonna fire Hastlett and move the team to San Antonio, and you're gonna give me more money?"
Benson: "Hmm?"
Aaron Brooks: "Wow."

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 3:49am

And yes, we here on the FO discussion board care so much about the Saints-Falcons game that we are discussing FF even though we're not supposed to on this board.

I missed the playoffs because someone else won by 0.16 points. That person is 2nd to last in total points. The Minnesota Vikings of fantasy football.


by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 4:14am

RE: 580

Tagliabue has claimed that the Saints will play in the Superdome next season, as well as Baton Rouge and San Antonio.
I think it's about time they realize Baton Rouge is a failed experiment. They couldn't even get fans there for Saban's return!

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:29am

RE: 590

It is amazing. Maybe Brooks is afraid of running. Here's a FREE HINT, BROOKS:

When playing Atlanta, RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIIVES!!!

Aaron, for a guy with your name, he sure doesn't seem to get it. :D

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:39am

RE: 614

If Todd Peterson had hit another 3 FGs, I think I would've made the playoffs in my FO fantasy league. :( Oh well. I finish 5/10 due to a tiebreaker.

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:40am

Even the Saints made the Falcons run defense look bad. Amazing. More amazing was that New Orleans didn't just keep running. Makes more sense than having Brooks throw the ball. Who cares if you're behind?

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:43am

RE: 624

That wouldn't be ruled a TD. That would merely be ruled an injury. ;)

As long as part of your body passes over the pylon, it's a TD. But if you're totally OB, it's no score.

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:49am

This had to have been the longest MNF game of the year. A lot of it was due to penalties and Aaron Brooks (his penchant for throwing incomplete passes).
I guess with any matchup between the cousins, you expect a long game, because if either has to throw the ball, there are going to be a lot of clock stoppages.
The game was so long that I actually fell asleep in the middle. That's why all my comments are coming in at 3-4 AM Eastern. :D

RE: 628

Yes, although I have a feeling the defender would get whistled for unnecessary roughness, enforced between downs. :P

Also, New Orleans converted a 4th and 4 AND a 3rd and 6 on the last drive. If the Atlanta D was trying at all, that's pathetic.

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:53am

RE: 637

Bockwoldt is the only Saints LB who actually has close to the athleticism necessary to stop Mexico. Unfortunately, he's very undisciplined.

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:54am

RE: 645

That's why Head to Head sucks. I got screwed in several leagues because of that. I draft guys who score points. Period. WTF am I supposed to do if some clown has a lucky week against me? (multiply that lucky week by like 5 or 6 to get my season)

by Vince (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 7:17am

This will probably jinx him, but has anyone else noticed that Aaron Brooks has now started 83 consecutive games?

That just means the Saints have gone 83 consecutive games without a good quarterback.

by DGL (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 12:37pm

624, 628, 650, 651: No, it's an and condition. Some part of the ballcarryer's body must pass over the pylon or any inbounds part of the goal line, and the ball must break the plane of the goal line, which (as everyone remembers from high school geometry) extends an infinite distance in the vertical and horizontal directions (though I suspect tunneling under the field would be too time-consuming).

So if a player launches himself diagonally out of bounds in the direction of the goal line from the three-yard-line and the ball crosses the plane of the goal line before he touches the ground, but the closest part of his body crosses the plane three yards out of bounds, no touchdown. (Though I'm curious where the refs would spot the ball.)

by calig23 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 2:30pm


I believe you are referring to "John Elway's Quarterback."

It used only 9 guys on a side instead of 11, there weren't any penalties, and the announcer was incredibly annoying. And the scores usually wound up being in the 120-50 variety- mostly because even when you were dominating the computer, it would find some way to cheat and get a couple of TDs- usally on kickoff returns or something.

That being said, the AI didn't seem that bad for a game of its time. I remember noticing that certain plays that would work with brutal effectiveness early in the game would get shut down later on as the computer began using different defensive plays (not that there were a lot to choose from).

It was pretty easy to bait the computer into throwing INTs, though...

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 5:45pm

RE: 655

Yeah, that's what I was saying. I was replying to a question of whether just crossing the plane would be good enough.

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 6:20pm

RE: 656

I hate those games. A surprising number of computer games have the AI cheat, especially if it falls far behind.

by IzzionSona (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 6:55pm

Well, part of the reason why the AI "cheats" is that we haven't really advanced very far in the field of making the AI able to reason. Thus, given limited ability to make the AI able to actually learn, the easier solution is to make the AI behave randomly, and "cheat for it" when it falls way behind. That way, there's some simulation of a challenge.

Of course, as game designers continue to push the envelope, AI might develop some degree of learning. But even Deeper Blue was "cheating", in the sense that the method by which it determined what to play (especially early game) was to look at a library of previous chess games in order to determine what moves to employ. Thus, where AI lacks in creative intelligence, it can always make up for by huge memory, fast search ability, and "fudging the stats" if push comes to shove :)

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 12/13/2005 - 9:13pm

Yeah, the way Deep Blue operated was unfair.

by Jason Mulgrew (not verified) :: Sun, 08/20/2006 - 3:58pm

Mulgrew just wanted to make an appearance here.