Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features


» BackCAST 2018

The question is not whether Saquon Barkley is the best running back in this draft class. The question is whether any running back, even one as good as Barkley, warrants a top-five draft selection in the NFL in 2018.

15 Nov 2006

Scramble for the Ball: Eli Doeslittle

by Bill Barnwell & Ian Dembsky

Bill: I feel like I should start with discussing my comments in this week's Audibles where I said some rather mean, nasty things about Eli Manning. In case you aren't aware, I am, in fact, a Giants fan -- I'm not the most hardcore of Giants fans, but I've tolerated some pretty miserable Giants football to get to where they are now, and I feel like I have the right to complain. I've referenced the Danny Kanell jersey I own in the past, and maybe some people thought I was joking, but I can confirm that I do actually own a Danny Kanell jersey, purchased at a Boston-area thrift store for $3 several years ago and worn with pride to this day. I do have a Chris Calloway jersey sitting in storage somewhere.

I grew up watching barely-ambulatory Giants passing attacks grope their way toward mediocrity, only to fail miserably in the fumbles of Chris Calloway and Thomas Lewis, the bizarre affection offered Dave Brown and Kent Graham. The Giants had no concept of how to develop an offense in the early 90's -- they'd throw high draft pick after high draft pick at a skill position player, only to find that the players they were picking were farces. How many teams would draft a running back in the first round two years in a row? (The answer: two. The Giants with Rodney Hampton and Jarrod Bunch in 1990 and 1991, and the Rams with Barry Redden and Eric Dickerson in 1982 and 1983.) The Giants followed with first-round selections of TE Derek Brown in 1992, QB Brown in the first round of the 1992 Supplemental Draft (which cost them their first rounder in 1993), Thomas Lewis in 1994, Tyrone Wheatley in 1995, Amani Toomer with their second rounder in 1996, and Ike Hilliard and Tiki Barber in 1997.

Now, I'm not implying that the Giants were awful at drafting in general -- they made some excellent picks in later rounds, especially on defense -- but their comical excessive skill-position player lock in the earlier rounds of the draft was a sad commentary on how poor they were at actually determining talent at those positions. Sure, Barber turned out to be a stud -- anyone who's seen an Escalade commercial this year knows that the Giants weren't counting on that actually happening, a fact only furthered when you consider the Giants drafted Ron Dayne in the first round and Joe Montgomery in the second round to be feature backs before they gave Tiki the bulk of the carries.

The point is that I'm always a little skeptical of the Giants picks at the skill positions; I have total faith that Mathias Kiwanuka will turn out to be a player, but none whatsoever that Sinorice Moss will be useful. When it comes to Eli Manning, well, I've always been a little bitter at the price the Giants had to pay to get him. I'd sure love to see Shawne Merriman becoming a star in New York right now -- he'd be getting the "LT 2.0" treatment, even down to the drug suspension. Heck, I mean, we could even be seeing the Nate Kaeding-Mike Nugent highly-drafted kicker war, and I would be fine with that too. But I can't change the past. The Giants made the trade, and I've come to accept that.

When it comes to criticism of Eli Manning, I think the people who read FO, watch Eli play, and bash us for running Eli through the wringer are warranted in their opinion, certainly. I also think our criticism is sometimes misunderstood -- I, for one, know Eli Manning is a much better quarterback than the guys I mentioned above. What makes Eli so frustrating to watch, though, are three basic tenets:

  • His mistakes are glaring and obvious. This is the simplest one. Manning attempts to make plays that no other quarterback in his right mind would, like throws off his back foot that would be intentional grounding if it weren't for the fact that they were intercepted. They aren't mistakes that other young quarterbacks make like missing their reads or holding on to the ball too long. (Tthe corollary of this, I suppose, is that Eli's good at some subtle things that other young quarterbacks aren't.) Look at the interception he threw on the drive after the Devin Hester TD on Monday -- there's not a Giants WR remotely close to the ball. This is just the freshest example in my mind; he makes throws like that all the time, which leads to Eli tenet #2:
  • He makes the same mistakes over and over again. This is, perhaps, the even more maddening thing. The worst part is that sometimes "mistake" doesn't necessarily mean interception or incompletion; when it comes to throwing to guys like Plaxico Burress, it can mean "completion." It's one thing when Plaxico uses his size to get to a ball purposely thrown a foot or two above his hands, but another when Eli naturally airmails one and it flies over Burress' head for an easy interception. In baseball, you notice young players' strikeouts going down when they stop chasing pitches out of the strike zone as a positive step. With quarterbacks, maybe it's not as obvious, but Eli looks all the world like Jeff Francouer to me. How come Peyton doesn't do that? Well...
  • He's not Peyton. This might just be me and my own projection onto Eli Manning of what I expect Eli Manning to be as the #1 overall pick, but I don't think I'm the only one. If he costs two first rounders, then Eli Manning should be one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the league. He should be as good as his brother, or at least reasonably close, and he's not. With a better team around him, he's not on the same level as Peyton. Is he going to be a bust? No. He's going to be a borderline Pro Bowl quarterback, and with the status he was afforded by the package it took to get him, it's not good enough for him to just be a slight upgrade on Kerry Collins. If he were a second round pick, it would be different. I know I said above that I've come to accept the trade, but the more I think about it, maybe I haven't.

Ian: I have a shorter version of why Eli Manning is so frustrating to watch. He seems like one of those players who only turn it on when he wants to, like Kobe Bryant. Early on in games, he's just going through the motions, waiting for the time when he has to turn it on or lose the game. On occasion, we get a glimpse of "Super Eli," leading the Giants to a heroic late comeback, or sealing shut a win with key accurate passing. It needs to happen much more often though. When Peyton lines up in the first quarter, you can sense his focus and determination on every play. With Eli, it's much more like he's waiting to figure out how the game will go before he really begins to try. Until he can turn it on from the get-go, he's not going to be among the elite players in the league.

One of the elite players in the league, Donovan McNabb, got significant help from an unlikely source this past Sunday -- the running game! Was it me, or did the Eagles actually run a balanced offense this weekend? Brian Westbrook was handed the ball 22 times, and he took advantage by averaging over five yards per carry. Controlling the clock and the ball helped keep their defense rested so that they could continually torment Mark Brunell and the Redskins offense, holding them to a mere three points. If the Eagles can continue to run the ball with success, it will open up the passing game even more, which will make Donovan McNabb a bigger threat -- a scary thought, indeed.

The Colts are still undefeated -- barely. The Buffalo Bills played them surprisingly tight by doing the same thing teams were doing against the Colts early in the season: defend the pass like crazy, and when on offense, pound the rock. Early in the season this was a method used by many teams to keep games close; you have to wonder if we'll be seeing more of it in the coming weeks. Watching Anthony Thomas rack up over 100 yards, Patriots fans still have to be wondering why Brady was so intent to pass downfield on the Colts last week...

As a Tampa Bay fan, I'm officially rooting for better draft picks. Due to personal time constraints I was only able to watch the second half of Monday Night's tilt between Tampa Bay and Carolina, and it's a good thing I did because the first half might have given me some hope I would have regretted. This Buccaneers offense is completely inept. Fumbling the ball away from light contact. Dropping easy short completions over and over again that force the team into third-and-long situations. Nowhere for Cadillac to run. I'm not all that disappointed in Gradkowski; for a rookie he's been handling himself pretty well. The offense is doing nothing to help the team, though, and it's depressing to watch. The offensive line still needs help and the defense needs to get younger. Here's hoping for future losses (sigh).

One of the stranger stories going on right now is the resurgence of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. Oh, what a difference good offensive line play makes! The running game is working, and Brett Favre's interceptions are plummeting. Yet another example of why the offensive and defensive lines are the most important units in football. Put a veteran quarterback behind a great offensive line, and he'll look very good. If the issue of the importance of line play ever went to court, we all know what Exhibit A would be: Drew Bledsoe.

Loser Leaguers of the Week

QB: Speaking of the devil, guess who had zero points this week? Our boy Eli! No opponent adjustments in Loser League; three turnovers and 121 passing yards earned Eli low score of the week. At least he's in better shape than runner-up Mark Brunell, whose 4 is likely the last time he'll have a score below 15 for the remainder of his Loser League career. Those teams who selected him in the midseason redraft might not want to bother checking their team's progress the rest of the way out.

RB: One guy who's remained highly regarded despite showing up repeatedly in and around this section of Scramble is Laurence Maroney; while no one can doubt that he's an exciting player, sharing time with Corey Dillon and some average performances (note Maroney's -1.6% DVOA, 29th in the league) have held him to pretty low numbers most weeks. His 3 this time around earned him a tie for first place with Tatum Bell, whose turf toe injury is clearly curtailing his explosiveness. After gaining 27 yards on 14 carries against Indianapolis in Week 8, he missed the Steelers game and then picked up 37 yards on 14 carries against Oakland. Knowing how these injuries can nag, I'd normally recommend Mike Bell as a potentially undervalued player in trade, but his deactivation for this week's game leaves me befuddled. Mike Shanahan's geniusosity is clearly two steps ahead of me right now. Julius Jones also made a strong no-showing with his 4, as he continues to look like the lesser of Dallas' running back tandem vis-a-vis Marion Barber III, who leads NFL running backs in DVOA at a whopping 47.0%.

WR: I am officially giddy. My Loser League wide receiver trio of Joe Jurevicius (0), Peerless Price (1), and Eric Moulds (1) may have had the lowest combined score for any three wide receivers in Loser League history. A two! How awesome is that! If only one of them could have missed an extra point. And to think, I was so sad that Amani Toomer's injury made me re-pick my team. If you like speedy slot wide receivers, too, this was another good week: Shaun McDonald finished with a zero, while Ronald Curry had one point. On the bright side, he didn't tear any ligaments in his knees; on the dour side, I don't think he actually has any left to rip. Oh well. Small victories.

K: Rob Bironas continues to make his run toward Loser League MVP, going 1-for-3 this week to end with a 2 and cost the Titans a game they should have won. Kris Brown's 3 at least came in a win for the Texans. He missed field goals from 52 and 32, but I'm sure Jack Del Rio will come up with a way to blame Byron Leftwich for Brown's missed kicks. Yes, I know they play for different teams. Jack Del Rio is special.

Check out the Football Outsiders comics archive and Jason's wacky Gil Thorp blog.

Keep Choppin' Wood Award

Not the best week for the Keep Choppin' Wood Award. The vast majority of games were decided by good plays, not bonehead ones. Roethlisberger didn't turn the ball over, Philly-Washington turned out the way DVOA said it should have, and Drew Bledsoe isn't around to tank Dallas' chances anymore (man, do I love picking on Drew). In the end, three worthy candidates emerged. Jon Kitna should have had a much better game against the 49ers; his pick, fumble, and average play in general helped San Francisco to a surprising road win. The Giants special teams, who fell asleep against Chicago while Devin Hester returned a field goal 108 yards, also deserved consideration.

This week, the award goes to a duo that might never qualify for the award again. This week's Keep Choppin' Award winners are none other than Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. In a game that could have sealed up the division, the Patriots' game plan simply wasn't effective against the Jets. In sloppy conditions, the Pats (and I also said this in Audibles) should have gone to the shotgun just like they did against Oakland in the Tuck Rule game. When they finally did, they flew down the field and scored, but it was too late. All game Brady was making poor passes, and in an unusual development, Bill Belichick and crew didn't seem to make any halftime adjustments to help. Throw in the performance of these two last week against Indianapolis, and it's clear they deserve this week's Keep Choppin' Wood Award.

Not So Bad Bets

Ian: (2-1 last week, 11-16-3 overall)

I guess I jumped on the Lions' bandwagon too quickly; picking them to beat up on San Francisco was my only block to a 3-0 week last week. Who can figure out the 49ers? I'm staying away from them until I have a clue how they will perform from week-to-week.

Indianapolis (-1.0) at DALLAS

I'm definitely a fan of the direction Dallas is headed. Tony Romo looks like the real deal, which is keeping T.O. and the Dallas fan base happy. I don't see them putting an end to the Colts' undefeated season though; Manning has proven he can play well in close games as well as blowouts. In what should likely be a high-scoring game, I'm picking the Colts to remain unbeaten.

GREEN BAY (+6.0) over New England

Am I the only one noticing that New England is struggling mightily, while Green Bay is playing some great ball right now? I'm surprised to see the Packers getting six points at home this week. I'm not sure who will win, but it feels like a close game to me, and the six points are too much to give up.

Detroit (+2.0) over ARIZONA

Okay, so we've fixed the flat tire, and the blinkers don't work, but I'm sticking with the Lions' bandwagon for now. Especially going up against Arizona, who just can't seem to do anything right at the moment. My, how the Cardinals have fallen since that third quarter against Chicago...

Best Bets

Bill: (2-1 last week, 20-9-1 overall)

Just to clarify since it's come up a few times in the discussion threads -- Ian and I do, in fact, purposely chose different games from each other when it comes to our weekly bets. For the first half of the season, I chose games first; this will be Ian's third week now going first. Now, back to my regularly scheduled backpatting: while Indianapolis underperformed against the Bills and cut my win streak down at six, I did predict the Steelers win and margin of victory (a touchdown) against the Saints. As for the Catholic Match Girl Staredown Lock of the Week, well, I did predict Eli's long night against the Bears, keeping CMG healthy and wealthy enough to not have to whore those precious eyes out on the site for another week.

KANSAS CITY (-10) over Oakland

Andrew Walter on the road, doo dah, doo dah, Andrew Walter on the road, I'll take the points.

If Aaron Brooks starts ... then I get to bet against Aaron Brooks on the road. That works too.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over CLEVELAND

Pittsburgh's resurgence continues. Cleveland's secondary is banged-up, and while they were able to stop Michael Vick I don't think they'll be able to stop the Steelers.

New England (-6.0) over GREEN BAY

I didn't think New England was going to lose two in a row. I'll put the Catholic Match Girl Staredown Lock of the Week (2-1 for the season now) on them not losing three. I know we said that we don't pick the same games, but we're picking against each other, and Catholic Match Girl has a feeling about this one.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell and Ian Dembsky on 15 Nov 2006

130 comments, Last at 21 Nov 2006, 1:40am by Stu


by OMO (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 6:14pm

"Catholic Match Girl Staredown Lock of the Week"

Last night I told my wife..."that girl (on TV) is freakier than the Catholic Match girl".

She looked at me (not Catholic) as if I had just gotten off the S.S. Whackjob.

by Joe (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 6:27pm

How do we see the loser league results?

by Aaron N (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 6:28pm

Bill -

You make some salient points about Eli, but I have to take issue with your first 'Tenet'.

Nither you, nor I, nor anyone not on the sideline or in t he huddle can say his mistakes are 'obvious' when it comes to interceptions. Just becuase there is no reciever in the picture when he throws t he ball doesn't make it his fault. There are option, double read, and indeed, just plain poorly run, routes that can account for those 'obvious' mistakes by the young quarterback.

by Bill Barnwell :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 6:33pm

Aaron N.,

Of course. But that leads into point #2 - if Eli did this once or twice a season, then I would say that something was up with the receivers. But I've seen this happen time after time with Eli, which points the blame towards him.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 6:34pm

The first of your two Eli tenets suggest mental mistakes that could be fixed with experience and coaching.

But to me, and I know FO writers have noted this too, the biggest problem is the accuracy. It's horrid.

Is accuracy coachable/improvable? I mean, obviously with practice accuracy can improve, but is there a limit, some point of "inherent skill at accuracy" that Eili will never have?

by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 6:58pm

Didn't the Giants draft Phillip Rivers who currently sits 3rd in the league on passer rating just behind Peyton and Romo?


by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 6:59pm

My trade-deadline is Friday, so I need help and quick.

I’m in a 12-team 2QB league and I have McNabb, Brady, & Rivers (I don’t think anyone else in the league realized that starting 2QBs drastically changes position-priorities). I’m thinking of trying to move one of them for either Westbrook, Tiki Barber, or Reggie Wayne.

The guy I want to trade with has Wallace/Delhomme/Harrington. My WR/RB starters are Mason/Reggie Brown/(Moulds or Troy Williams)/Steven Jackson/(Mo J-D or Caddy or Barlow or DeAngelo Williams).

I’m leaning towards giving Rivers for Westbrook. Any suggestions would be great.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:17pm

"Andrew Walter on the road, doo dah, doo dah, Andrew Walter on the road, I’ll take the points."


by admin :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:23pm

Loser League results for Part II are at this link, also represented by a button on the upper left of most FO pages: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/loser2/results.php

by Ian Dembsky (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:24pm

Re #7: First of all, there's gotta be a better wideout on waivers than Moulds or Troy Williamson. Those guys are terrible. That being said, before moving Rivers, ask yourself- Do you have a backup plan if McNabb or Brady gets hurt? Make sure you have a passable backup before locking yourself into only 2 starting QBs. If you do make a deal, try to get Harrington back; at least you have some form of QB depth. That being said, if you can get Westbrook for Rivers, I can't see why you wouldn't do that- But then again I'd be shocked if he would give up a top-4 running back for one of many good quarterbacks. Is the upgrade from Harrington to Rivers worth giving up Westbrook? I hardly think so. Bottom line - I'd do that deal if he's willing, and I'd try to throw in one of your many ok running backs to get back Harrington also, if you have no other backup QB.

by dbt (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:40pm

Just to tie a couple of previous threads together, your problems with Eli (other than not being his brother) sound a lot like what people complain about with Grossman under pressure.

by johnt (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:45pm

I've seen too many first year starting QBs start out red hot and crash back to earth brutally as more and more film builds on them. Call it the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Effect. Less so with Rivers because his surrounding cast is so good and his OL isn't as horrid, but I expect both he and Romo to have some serious setbacks as the end of the season/playoffs approach.

by Bill Barnwell :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:48pm


Me and Mike Tanier actually researched the idea of a rookie wall or rookie performance going down as the season went on for Rotoworld Magazine and didn't find that it existed.

#5 -

It's an interesting research topic to take a look at, whether QB's can increase their completion percentages dramatically or they stay similar throughout time. If I can make time this week, I'll see what I can do.

by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:49pm

Fantasy question:

The trade deadline is approaching in my two leagues. In one league I am the top team, and I am looking to make a trade that will help towards winning the fantasy playoffs. The one area where I can realistically improve my team is at WR, where I have a #1-quality WR and three so-so #3-quality fantasy WRs. Any second-half sleepers I should look for to pick up as FAs or trade off of someone's bench? Should I be more concerned with getting depth at RB, where I have 3 #1-quality RBs, one played at a flex position, but not even a flex-back quality RB on the bench?

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 7:51pm

I will one very clear obvious example of how coaching can make a difference.

Brett Favre came into this league as a total spaz with a great arm and with Mike Holmgren hounding for several years Favre learned (grudgingly) to accept throwing the ball away and live to fight another day.

Once Holmgren left Favre slipped further and further away from the basics with only good talent (Driver/Javon Walker) compensating for the obvious erosion in judgement.

Once Walker was gone due to injury and the offensive line/running game evaporated Favre dissolved into the horror epic that was 2005 with Mike Sherman standing helplessly on the sideline. Never, not once, did the coachign staff proffer a suggestion, solution, or advice to their quarterback.

Mike McCarthy stepped in and began preaching "managing risk". On the second day of active training camp McCarthy openly criticized Favre for a poor throw. Meanwhile, McCarthy and Co. fixed the offensive line to at least give Favre time to scan the field once before being obliterated which didn't happen in 2005.

Anyway, Favre has thrown all of 7 interceptions so far this season and has become the King of the Check-down. He was doing that BEFORE the offensive line really jelled (around game 4) so nobody should think it was the O-line that caused Favre to have faith in this approach.

He has accepted McCarthy's coaching and while he has made fewer "wow" plays he has also made many fewer "GAH" plays.

What does this have to do with Eli?

If you have a guy with a strong arm and some intellect he should be able to become a pretty good quarterback. The Giants can run the ball and when not facing the Eagles or Bears do a decent job of keeping him on his feet. He should be better given solid instruction.

Unless he is Jeff George and isn't open to coaching. And knowing his background I doubt that is the case.

by Kyle (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 8:01pm

I had the pleasure of touring Giants Stadium two weeks ago, due to a stretched-but-we'll-take-it! relation to the assistant offensive line coach of the Giants. Visited the locker room, coaches' offices, etc. When sitting down in the film room, and demonstrating how he'd break down a particular play for the unit he coaches, I couldn't resist. I had to ask about Eli's blitz pickup responsibilities, since its evident to everyone that, worst-case, he tries imitating Big Brother on every play, or best-case, his football IQ is quite high.

The coach confidently responded that Eli missed two blocking assignments last year. Two. Considering he is responsible for notifying all five (occasionally six) linemen, one tight end and one (usually two) running backs of potential blitzers, packages coming, etc. Missing two blocking assignments on all of the plays run on offense last year is immensely impressive. Granted, this information exists to me without a benchmark to compare it to. For all I know, missing 5 in a given year may just be the NFL average. But I doubt it.

So in tenet #1, when you reference how Eli is most likely good at the subtle/other things young QBs normally are not, this is a shining example. And its great: correctly calling out blocks, notifying linemen of incoming blitzs based on tendencies he recognizes in the opponent's defense, etc is a sign of intelligence.


I don't think Eli has found a pass that he can throw high enough. What upsets us all is that the sailing passes seem to occur more frequently than usual now, rather than less frequently. In addition, the way Eli progresses through his reads is, to a wholly untrained eye like my own, is either great or downright atrocious. There seems to be little in terms of a middle ground; either he hits the right guy or throws a ball into double coverage, which is then exacerbated with the ball flying high (no lie, you know this) over the intended receiver's head and into the loving enemy arms of an opposing DB.

I refuse to play the what-if game yet, because he's still the pilot of a 6-3 team perched atop of the NFC East (3-0 in the division too). But I cannot agree with Bill more on tenet 2: these same problems KEEP HAPPENING. Unless he's genetically predisposed to throw an airball every 4th pass or mess up his footwork every 5th attempt, these problems should be fixed slash gone.

by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 8:05pm

I'll repost this here: I need to pick up a quick fix at QB (until Hasselbeck comes back). My options are:

Plummer vs. SD (probably not)
Frye vs. Pit
Pennington vs. Chi
Harrington vs. Min
Gradkowski vs. Was
Losman vs. Hou
Campbell vs. TB

Another option is trying to trade Joe Horn for David Carr. Right now I'm leaning towards Gradkowski just for this week, but I'm not happy about it.

by Adam B. (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 8:17pm

Jon: Just get Plummer -- I believe the Bengals could throw on SD okay last week.

Q: Where does the Ocho Cinco game last week rank among the greatest single-game fantasy performances of the modern era? The record, I believe, is a 225y, 5 td game Jerry Rice had against Atlanta in 1990.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 8:24pm

Eli's problem (well, technically, it's the Giants problem) is his last name

he has been DEFINED as being a franchise QB, simply because of his last name, rather than on any empirical evidence

by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 8:27pm

17: You're best bet for scoring potential is Jake Plummer. If Tatum Bell is still hobbled, and they contain whatever pass rush the Chargers have left, expect Plummer to really air it out against the awful Chargers secondary. However, it is still Jake Plummer airing it out. Gradkowski will probably be adequate unless his rookieness gives the Redskins D an edge.

by morganja (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 8:35pm

Fantasy question:
Biggest game of the year for me. I have at QB:

injured Hasselback

Kitna available on waivers

RB: I need 3

Tomlinson at Denver
Shaun Alexander at SF
Foster at StL
Dillon at GB
Tatum Bell at SD
Jamal Lewis at Atl

WR: I need 3

Marvin Harrison at Dallas
TJ Housh at NO
Andre Johnson at Buffalo
Greg Jennings at NE

or should I hit the waivers


Eagles at TN

Any advice?

by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 8:52pm

I feel like I've said this before, but...


The end.

BTW, how old is a Giants fan whose knowledge of the team goes back to the "Dave Brown era"? Mentioning draft picks made by a GM who passed away 5 years ago is a bit odd when the purpose is stating why Eli sucks so bad. It makes me wonder how the team is 17-8 with Eli starting the past two seasons? Maybe it's those lucky bounces people keep talking about.

by Bill Barnwell :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 9:27pm


I'm actually six months old. I was conceived in an ill-advised tryst between ROBO-PUNTER and Mike Tanier. I am currently going back in time and reading about football history and I've only gotten back to 1992. Sorry about that.

As for your Eli comments, I didn't say Eli sucked. He's pretty good. He has a very good defense around him. That can easily lead to a 17-8 record. I wonder why you didn't include his 2004 record, though? Does that not count in our analysis of Eli?

by zip (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 9:32pm

It makes me wonder how the team is 17-8 with Eli starting the past two seasons?

So you're saying... he just wins?

by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 9:59pm

Eli is the Platonic Form of Clutchness.

He's so Clutch that he isn't able to perform well in the first half or when leading, because those situations Aren't Clutch and Clutch is All He Knows.

All hail Eli the Clutch.

(And Tiki the Transmission.)

by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:26pm

#23... In 2004, Eli lost his first 6 career starts. Prior to that, Kurt Warner had single-handedly lost 3 of his last 4 starts. Obviously, the team stunk regardless of who was the QB. Eli wasn't any good as he became the only QB in history to face a top 5 NFL defense in each of his first 5 starts. As a starter, Eli's 18-14. I just think Eli is treated unfairly in that no other player gets his performances picked apart to the magnitude he does. For example, I've yet to hear anyone say "the Bears have the top passing defense in the NFL" when describing Eli's game Sunday. It's just Eli stinks/sucks/overrated/no good (choose one).

I didn't mean to offend your football knowledge... I was genuinely wondering how old you were. I'm not a geezer who remembers when Frank Gifford against the Baltimore Colts blah, blah, blah. I became a fan in 1986 at 8 years old. I still don't think L.T. failed his drug test(it was a setup dammit!) and I still considers the Flipper Anderson game in 1989 the Giants most disappointing loss.

by Philip Rivers (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:28pm


Yes, yes they did. But evidently ol' Philip Rivers, he of the 51 college starts, Senior Bowl MVP winner, 3 for 4 in bowl games, holder of numerous ACC passing awards, that same Philip Rivers somehow wasn't good enough for the prestigious New York Football Giants organization. No, they had to have themselves a Manning.

Not that I am bitter. I'll be thinking warm thoughts about Eli while I'm off hitting the links this February and he's waiting for his yard guy to finish snowblowing his driveway.

That is, assuming I'm not busy attenting some Superbowl victory celebration or other.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:33pm

Anyway, Favre has thrown all of 7 interceptions so far this season and has become the King of the Check-down. He was doing that BEFORE the offensive line really jelled (around game 4)

Uh, I wouldn't say the offensive line gelled during Week 4. The Packers were in max protect, throwing checkdowns virtually every down versus the Eagles due to pressure from the defensive line. Favre was constantly throwing into places he shouldn't've been that game - hence the two interceptions.

by Marko (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:34pm

Why is there no love for Richie Incognito for the Keep Choppin' Wood Award? I nominated him for the award on Sunday in the game discussion thread right after he (1) was called for a personal foul right after the Rams scored the TD to go ahead by 1 point very late in the game (which moved the kickoff back 15 yards and set Seattle up in great field position for the game-winning FG); and (2) was called for holding to nullify the Rams' 2 point conversion after the TD (which would have given the Rams a 3 point lead and made the subsequent Seahawks FG game-tying rather than game-winning), after which the Rams' failed on the 2-point conversion. If that's not a KCW-worthy performance, I don't know what is.

by Bill Barnwell :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:35pm


That all is fine.

Eli's first season starts are reasonably relevant to a discussion of his career when it makes up 22% of his career. Sure, I don't think even Peyton would have given the Giants more than one win, but those numbers are reasonably relevant. Of course, this season is definitely more relevant.

The reasons Eli gets picked apart so much is because he's a former #1 overall pick, in New York, on a pretty good team. The reasons I pointed out above are some of the foundation for why those criticisms come so frequently.

It's true that Eli performed poorly against a very tough defense to perform poorly against, and that's very relevant.

I am actually 22.

by Stephen (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:48pm

Wow, is that a jawbreaker reference on the front page? Congrats to the person who decided to put those lyrics up there. You should write an "Every Jawbreaker Song Counts" article.

by J.R. (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:48pm

I have a good problem in one of my fantasy leagues. We start four recievers and I need to pick four out of these:

Darrell Jackson @ SF
Marques Colston vs Cin
Donte' Stallworth vs Ten
Roy Williams @ Ari
Larry Fitzgerald vs Det

by TGT (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 10:57pm

Andrew Walter on the road, doo dah, doo dah, Andrew Walter on the road, I’ll give the points.

I fixed it for ya.

by Jay B. (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 11:00pm

#32: sucks to be you.

If Hasselbeck is still out, I guess I'd sit Jackson out of that group.

Otherwise, flip a coin.

by Matt (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 11:15pm

re: why Richie Incognito doesn't get the KCW award - its because the FO guys can't figure out which guy on the line he is.

I'm so funny!!!

by Love DVOA (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 11:21pm

is wali lundy a good pickup going forward? he has some great matchups, but Gado is getting a lot of buzz there. my current rb's are dillon, gore, k. jones, and r. brown. thoughts on flex between donald driver, deion branch, corey dillon (or lundy if i pick him up), and ronnie brown (brutal matchup with minny)?

by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 11:30pm

Carnell Williams got a 2 in Loser League this week. He should be your RB leader, I think.

by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 11:32pm


Colston is a must start. So is Fitzgerald if he is healthy.

If Alexander is back and not Hasselbeck, the Seattle offense could be funneled through Maurice Morris and Alexander, unless something disastrous happens. If Roy Williams did well in last years debacle, he'll probably do well regardless in Arizona. Stallworth looks like a good play if he gets a lot of passes thrown to him. Also, the Tennessee defense could be too bad to be a good fantasy matchup. The Eagle might get out to a 21-0 lead by the second-quarter with TDs scored by RBs at the goal line and passes to slot receivers and proceed to try to kill the clock.

I'd recommend Roy Williams as the third WR, solely on the grounds that the run D in Arizona is not bad so you will probably see more passing early on.

by Jere (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 11:35pm

Bill, Eagles fan here. Sorry for your Gints. I think you raise an interesting question regarding your rant on Gmen drafting... Everyone complains about bad drafting, especially offensive skills positions (see Matt Millen, Giants, et al). I think a conversely interesting idea/discussion would be teams who have success drafting here, a la da Eagles. I mean... many people want to judge drafts pre-season or mid-season (and I'm looking right at you MDS with your stellar analysis in this weeks EPC) without looking at longer term benefits. The Eagles seen to have proven some skills finding certain talents in drafts (QB, RB) if not at others (WR, power backs). Thoughts???

by calig23 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/15/2006 - 11:49pm

Reading through the LL team names, I caught this gem:

Grossman TurnOverdrive

Kudos to this person, whomever they may be.

by noah of the ark (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 12:33am

Is it possible Eli was so overhyped that now he's underhyped? I haven't watched much of him, but at least he wins. I mean, that's all he does, right?

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 12:37am

Warrick Dunn (@BAL) or Joeseph Addai (@DAL)?

by noah of the ark (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 12:53am

Great matchup this week: Ian vs Catholic Match Girl. And it involves none other than the Patriots! Should be fun to watch...

BTW, congrats on last week's picks Ian. I was very skeptical, but now I realize no one knows better than a fan when his team is going to lose. Now, knowing when it's going to win, on the other hand...

by Smartmonies (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 1:30am

Eli Manning can smell the urine, cause Ben Roethlisberger has pissed all over him since they were drafted. Imagine if Manning had done what Ben DID in his first 2 years. New York media would be carrying him around the city streets in a chair made of Gold.

by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:05am

Eli has many reasons to be in the spotlight, from his brother to his market to the biggest ones, being picked #1 and being part of a crazy trade. Also, he isn't very good, only average, so until he becomes an elite QB, he will be criticized. Honestly, there aren't that many QBs in a comparable situation to him, and all those guys get PLENTY of scrutiny. Carr was considered a borderline bust before this year, Vick has been talked about and picked apart as much as anyone in the NFL, and the other top-5 QBs were either mockable busts (Couch/Akili) or have performed dramatically better than Eli so far (Roethlisberger, Rivers, McNabb, Palmer). I guess maybe Carr could get ripped a little more, but he doesn't have the supporting cast, and it's not like the media has been supportive. I think Eli deserves what he gets.

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:06am

44: But would that chair protect him from an older lady turning left?

by Ryan Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:09am

Anyone wonder how Eli is going to do next season without Tiki?? Seriously no one moves the chains the way he does and he has more yards than any other RB over the last 4 or 5 seasons.

If they cannot replace Tiki's effectiveness how bad will Eli be then?

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:27am

Why criticize Eli?

His total interceptions and pass attempts per interception have been increasing alarmingly since his rookie year on a rolling 16 game average. Total interceptions has risen from 14 to 22, and was up to 24 just a game ago. Attempts per interception has fallen from 32.5 after his first 16 games to 25.5 for the past 16 games. It had been as low as 24.1. Manning is on pace for a 20+ interception season. He is throwing approximately as many interceptions as he is touchdowns.

His rolling 16 game average of yards per completion has been dropping since the beginning of this year, falling from 12.8 to 11.6.

The alarming increase in interceptions is negating his improvement in completion percentage, so his passer rating for the last 16 games is still stuck at around 75, same as it was after his first 18 games.

By way of comparison, look at McNabb, who plays in the same decision as was picked similarly high in the draft, Manning is about 1.5% below in 16-game rolling completion percentage where McNabb was in his career after 34 games. McNabb's passer rating was already into the low 80's by game 34. McNabb had already established himself as the most careful QB with the ball in the league, sporting a 48 attempts per interception ratio, and a rolling average of just 12 interceptions. McNabb's yards and yards per attempt were lower, but were growing rather than regressing. McNabb also had established himself as a talented scrambler, adding about 600 yards and 6 touchdowns on 90 rushes on a 16 game rolling average.

Manning is getting heavy criticism because he is regressing in the worst possible area - ball security, while not progressing in his ability to generate yards.

by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:28am

#42: Go with Addai.
#32: of all of those, I'd probably not play Stallworth since he's kind of hit or miss and a bit injured. But really, I doubt it'll matter.
#21: start Romo. Start LT, Alexander and Dillon - and think about benching Alexander for someone else like Bell. If Housh is healthy, go with Harrison, Housh and Johnson.

by Mnatr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:58am

Eli does have the two good recievers, but Toomer/Tyree and Co. suck, whereas Peyton has had 8 and a half seasons, two good wideouts, and a good tight end.

But yeah, Eli doesn't look that great to me. He's fine gunning the ball, but how often will teams give him open lanes down the field?

by jf (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 5:04am

No way the Steelers beat the Browns by more than 3 points. I'll be here next week to rub that "Best Bet" in yer face. For the record, the Browns will not only cover the 3.5 point spread, but win. You heard it here.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 10:58am

You know, McNabb has had problems with inaccuracy, but his inaccurate passes have been low, so his interception rate is historically low.

The problem with Eli's accuracy, as Kyle says, is that his inaccurate passes are high, which have a tendency to be interceptable.

by Dash (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 11:22am

#32 - Bench Stallworth
#36 - I'd stay w/ Brown, even with the poor matchup. Look at what he did to CHI 2 weeks ago.
#42 - Addai

Now to my question:

My trade deadline is Friday, and I've been offered S. Smith and either J. Jones or McAllister for Wayne & Gore. Do I take this? If I do, do I take McAllister or J Jones?

I have Brown, Addai, Caddy, Maroney, and M. Barber as my other RB's, and C. Johnson, Coles, and Branch as my other WR's.

by Goathead (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 11:23am


Great summary. I qualify as a big Giants fan, and I'm still not over the trade. At the time it was obviously incredibly risky, for whatever reason it seems to be very difficult to figure out which college QBs will excel in the pros, the list of busts in the last decade is well documented. Despite that NY took a gamble that could only pay off if Eli turned out to be a once-every-few-years type of QB. And yes, the G's are awesome at Defensive draft picks, Umenyiora in the 2nd round when the experts had him pegged as a 5th rounder? Hard to argue with that.

It was obvious to everyone after last season that Eli needed to dramatically improve is accuracy in the offseason, but it didn't happen. Watch Peyton play, and you notice that when he REALLY fires downfield you can actually tell his receiver is open before the camera shifts to the receiver.

FWIW, the Giants have been spotted a lead in the NFC east, but their injury situation IMHO makes them about 50-50 for a playoff berth. The team was good enough for the 1st half of the season to make Eli's performance less important. It won't be now.

by Marty Schottenheimer (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 11:23am

RE: 27

Don't worry Philip, you won't have a Superbowl victory elebration to attend in February.

by turbohappy (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 11:26am

I think Loser League is only counting 1 WR.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 12:14pm

Pacifist Viking:

You know, McNabb has had problems with inaccuracy, but his inaccurate passes have been low, so his interception rate is historically low.

McNabb purposefully throws low to avoid interceptions. I don't know if I have ever seen him sail a ball over his receivers head. Always a worm-burner, as we call it here.

by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 12:18pm

Wait... do my eyes deceive me, or did absolutely nobody name their Loser League team after Catholic Match Girl?

Though on the bright side, I see no less than three Heath Shuler jokes in there.

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 12:52pm

#31 - Of course.

#33 - Thank you. I would take them too, if they were offered to me.

#37 - You are correct. My bad. The scores are fine, I just run that by eye each week and missed Cadillac.

#39 - I'm actually conducting research on that right now that should hopefully be in the book next year.

#44 - He'd have his own room at the 40/40 Club.

#47 - Every QB would be worse if you took away his top running back. That's not really something you can pin on Eli, or really ascertain how good he'll do otherwise. Peyton seems to be doing fine without Edgerrin James, though.

#51 - Just as long as you show up and say I'm right if I am. People so far have had the criticizing-my-bet part downpat, but when my bet works out, they tend to slink away.

#56 - The Loser League counts 2. Of course, the team I put in with those guys didn't get processed, so sadly I did not have my record-low.

#58 - Catholic Mountain Values Girl. You can change your team name by e-mailing Pat...ok.

by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 1:12pm

You guys would be willing to do that for me? Wow, that's really awesome of you.

However, partly because I didn't think of it until now, and partly because I'm one of the three Heath Shuler jokes in there (I'm still astounded by that), I must decline.

And if I was to make any bold predictions, I'd say that Ian will actually pull off a 3-0 week, while Bill will get a 2-1 (obviously, picking the Packers to cover). I've never seen Scramble pick even 3 games I would have picked before, let alone 5.

by doktarr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 1:28pm

This seems like an appropriate place for this:

The Elias Sports Bureau officially changed the touchdown play by Eagles RB Correll Buckhalter in last Sunday's game vs. Washington. They ruled that Reggie Brown did not have possession of the ball and, therefore, did not fumble. The play, which occurred with 10:57 remaining in the second quarter, is now being scored as a 55-yard TD pass from McNabb to Buckhalter.

This change reversed the result of two of six games in my fantasy league (the McNabb owner went from a loss to a win, and the Brown owner went from a very narrow win to a very narrow loss). Insanity...

by Dan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 1:43pm

It is unbelievable that you can say Eli will be just a little better than Kerry. Football is NOT all about stats. Eli has what it takes to WIN. Winning is everything. A winner comes out on top of the guy who throws for 5,000 yards.

Rewatch the Denver game last year,Eagles this year, the one at Dallas last year, and then you guys can respond to me on what happened those times.

by Dan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 1:49pm

Btw for best bets...is there any chance we can see the games that best bets agree with, so we know if he agrees with the ones not to pick.

by NoJo (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 1:49pm

Fantasy question:

Chester Taylor vs MIA or Anthony Thomas vs HOU?

by MJB (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 1:58pm

RE: #39
If you really wanted to show how much superior are at drafting players you should of listed thier success at drafting DBs. Brian Dawkins 2nd round, Lito Sheppard late 1st round, Sheldon Brown 2nd round, Mike Lewis 2nd round, Sean "Hellblazer" Considine 4th round, and Roderick Hood an undrafted rookie free agent.

by manning,e. (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:04pm

re #54
u should be over the draft because the only way the giants were getting manning if not giving next years first was for uminyora and with the way the giants draft who knows who they would have taken with that round 1 pick.(sp?)

as a life long giants fan-since 1984- (i still remember seeing my first game..it was against the browns) who owns a signed tyrone wheatley jersey, i would like to voice approval for eli manning. for one i would rather have manning and umi over rivers and merriman suspended for juicing.

for two, disregarding his first horrible season- eli wins and that is something the giants havent had since simms, and in all fairness even though I have fond memories of phil, phil was never half as talented as eli. I think people get mad at Eli and wave his numbers around because they see flashed of peyton like brilliance that never really sustains for very long...when do they see that brilliance, when eli plays in the no huddle offense. if the giants ever got it together they would figure out that that is the appropriate offense for a manning.

3 people are jumping on a qb who took his team to the playoffs in his first full year and is 6-3 this year

4 numbers mean nothing to the game. just ask peyton. how many seasons are colts fans going to suffer through 14-2 and then out in the second round while peyton sets a new record for something,personally i would have rather had montana than marino

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:10pm

Dan #62:

Eli has what it takes to WIN. Winning is everything. Rewatch the Denver game last year,Eagles this year, the one at Dallas last year, and then you guys can respond to me on what happened those times.

Ah! I see! It was Eli who forced Westbrook to fumble in the Eagles game, and Eli drew up that tricky Burress fumble recovered by Carter in the endzone play during the huddle while they were cursing out Coughlin's inept play-calling. It was Eli who made Jason Elam miss his late field goal attempt (probably with his secret football force field device), and the interception he threw to Champ Bailey in the closing minutes of the Denver game was really a strategic ploy to lull Denver to sleep to make them think the Giants weren't going to try to win. And are you telling me that the Cowboys game where he threw the last minute touchdown and still L-O-S-T, proves Eli "just wins"?

Cum grano salis.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:19pm

manning,e #66:

people are jumping on a qb who took his team to the playoffs

Because, dude, you are seriously regressing in the ball-security department. 11 interceptions and 8 fumbles along with 19 sacks in 9 games (compared with 17 interceptions and 9 fumbles along with 28 sakcs in 16 games in 2005) is not a recipe for long term success.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:19pm

Take the A-Train; Buffalo needs to run to have a chance of winning, and the Dolphins' run D is coming around -- ask Thomas Jones. Also, Chester seems to be disappearing a little bit -- again.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:32pm

You know, it's getting hard for me to tell when people use the "[X] just wins!" line seriously, or when they're being ironic. I'm never sure if I should jump in to continue the joke, or just skim through the comments.

Anyway, as a Giants fan living outside of the Metro-NY area, I have a hard time judging his progress. In the limited sample of games I've seen him in, the only thing I can say about him is that he's been wildly, maddeningly inconsistent - not just between games, but within the same series, he seems to jump from brilliance to head-scratching stupidity and back to brilliance. I haven't jumped off the Eli bandwagon yet, but, yes, it does indeed kill me that Roethlisberger & Rivers have both developed so much more quickly, despite similar overall talent levels on their respective offenses.

I realize that both of them are statistical outliers in QB development, but I never claimed to be rational about the Giants.

by joel in providence (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:37pm

#62 just has to be a joke.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:41pm

Eli is clearly ranked too low because HE JUST WINS BABY!!1one1!! Uz R da sux0rs!!!

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:48pm

Independent George:

I haven’t jumped off the Eli bandwagon yet, but, yes, it does indeed kill me that Roethlisberger & Rivers have both developed so much more quickly, despite similar overall talent levels on their respective offenses.

While Eli is having a bout of ball insecurity, Roethliseberger has really, really bad problems protecting the football. He is currently tossing one interception every 22 passes, and has been pretty consistent for his whole career with this horrible statistic. I don't see Roethlisberger developing very much over his 40 game career. He came in fairly developed but with this major flaw, and has been pretty consistent ever since.

by sevenyearlion (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 2:52pm

I need to start two of three RB's Rudi Johnson, Frank Gore, and Shaun Alexander. Also, how has Chi been doing against #1 receivers? Is it worth starting Laveranues Coles over Chris Chambers?

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:17pm

There's a diffence between citing a team's winning record with a particular quarterback, or talking about a QB that does what it takes to win, and spouting silly cliches like "he just wins" or "all he does is win games" or some such thing. Is it entirely wrong to note a team's record with a QB? We can't rely on that entirely and need to look at the stats, of course. But just because somebody talks about a QB's winning record doesn't mean that person is senselessly spouting a "he just wins" cliche.

For whatever reason, maybe even in spite of Eli, the Giants have a winning record with him at quarterback. Maybe with a better QB they'd have an even better QB, I don't know. I'm convinced by the FO writers and by observation that Eli is pretty lousy, at least part of the time. But I also don't think it's wrong to look at the record, either.

by lou lepin (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:22pm

So Tiki Barber and Amani Toomer were bad picks along with Eli Manning? Eli finished last year with 24TDs on an 11-5 team in his first full year. Yes he was more productive despite the fact that Ben's team won the super Bowl. One of only 5 players in NFL history to reach that number of TDs in their first full year. He also has an Elwaylike knack of producing miracle comeback wins.

Sounds like an old Phil Simms worshipper. Lets see how many years he was in the league before he tossed 24 TD passes. NEVER!! Collins? NEVER!!!, All Giant QBs since the league merged? NEVER!!!

by dbt (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:35pm

Comparing a player's won-loss record often needs to be done in context. For example, Bears 2004-2005 is why Orton is so awesome, because he just won, whereas the scrubs before him were really really bad.

Ok, maybe a bad example. But it is why there's too much love for the Ortonesque.

Back on topic: Brandon Jacobs, Jamal Lewis, Braylon Edwards and Reggie Bush to fill 1 RB, one Flex... ?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:41pm

I would have nominated QB Mexico for the KCW. Down by 4, deep in Cleveland territory, 2:18 to go, and fumbles without being touched? How does this masterpiece get no KCW love?

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:57pm

Re: 75

"Maybe with a better QB they’d have an even better QB"

Duh. ;-)

by NoJo (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 3:58pm


I'd start Rudi and Gore. Alexander wasn't playing all that well before he got hurt, his QB's out and this is his first game back. there are also reports that he won't play the whole game. Pretty clear-cut, as far as I can tell.

by MIke (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 4:23pm

I've been saying for two years now to anyone that would listen that if Eli didn't have Burress and his Yao-like wingspan, he'd be considered a bust. I'm a season ticket holder to the Giants. Sitting in the endzone, I've noticed the following things that Eli does on a consistent basis:

1) Ok, so he gets the blocking assignments right. That does not excuse his constantly throwing into double coverage (especially downfield), and missing wide open receivers, especially in the case of Jeremy Shockey. I swear I think Shockey kicked his dog or something. And does anyone think that if the ref doesn't pick Roy Williams, that throw to Burress in the end zone against dallas is complete?

2) Staring down his receivers. One of the reasons he always seems to be throwing into double coverage is that he gives the secondary plenty of time to figure out where he's going.

3) As mentioned above, horrible inaccuracy especially on throws where he seems to get a lot on the ball.

by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 4:23pm

The irony of comment #66 is that he lauds Eli's regular season record, then somehow draws a favorable comparison with Peyton going 14-2 every year. Yes, if only we could trade Peyton's "loss in the second round" every year with Eli's one game where he threw three picks and lost in the first round.

Please. Eli can't even claim to be more clutch than his brother.

by Sean (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 4:24pm

Here's the thing- Eli is a clutch player. When you watch the Giants play, there is no question that he performs at a higher level in the fourth quarter and that he has been very successful for a young player in terms of rallying his team to come from behind victories. So I can understand why Giants fans would want to defend him. At the same time, there's also no question that he cannot be consistently successful until he fixes his mechanics, because you just can't spray the ball all over the field without bad things happening. Sometimes defenders will drop interceptions and keep the Giants in the game and sometimes the game will effectively be ended because defenders reel in a bunch of errant throws.

I'm shocked that the Giants haven't done a better job of finding a quarterbacks coach to work on Eli's mechanics. They've made such a big investment in him, but they don't seem to be providing the proper support.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 4:40pm

#73 - Good point about Roethlisberger's interceptions - I knew he took way too many sacks, but I didn't realize his INT numbers were so high. Nevertheless, I think you're overestating the case a bit. Roethlisberger had 295 attempts and 11 INTs in 2004 (26.82 att/int), and 268 attempts/9 INTs in 2005 (29.78 att/int) - higher than I expected, but not especially terrible (especially given his absurdly high 8.9 yards/att in that period). It's only been in his post-concussive phase this season (14 in 262 attempts, or 18.71 att/int) that he's been truly terrible, and I'm willing to give him a pass for that. I think the bigger long-term question about Roethlisberger is whether he can improve his release before all the pounding starts to take its toll (if it isn't already too late). Interestingly enough, I think I read somewhere that the coaching staff has said that they actuallly want him to hold on to the ball longer to make plays, which would actually explain all of those numbers. I don't know enough to say whether that's a good or bad idea, but it is an explanation.

Manning threw 17 in 557 attempts in 2005 (32.76 att/int), which is better than anything Roethlisberger's ever done, but I tend to agree with the FO consensus that this was largely an artifact of a run of unusually good luck early in the season (as suggested by his unusually low completion percentage on the season - the same incompletes he threw early in the year stopped falling to the ground and started hitting DBs in the hands). His 11 INTs in 293 attempts (26.64) in 2006 is about on par with Roethlisberger's rookie season. That he has a higher completion percentage (59.4% vs. 52.8%) with the same YPA (6.73 vs. 6.75) this season suggets that his accuracy has increased substantially (though I believe this only brings him up to league-average levels).

Since I don't see a lot of games, what I'm looking for from Eli are (1) whether his high INT % this season is as much an aberration as his low ratio last season, and likely to improve as his career progresses, and (2) whether he can improve his YPA significantly. Subjectively, I think that those are the two most important conventional stats for measuring QBs (as far as QB rating is concerned, it seems redundant to include completion % when you've already got YPA, and TD% just seems silly).

Again - the stats are the only things I have to go by because I don't have Sunday Ticket. Thus far, he seems like an average QB - perhaps not unexpected from a 3rd year player, but given both his last name and the draft-day shenanigans, a lot more is expected of him (unfairly, perhaps, but true nevertheless). And to repeat my initial point, the main reason it stings so much for me is that Rivers & Roethlisberger (version 1.0) seem to have screwed up the curve in grading young QBs. The more rational reason for my displeasure is that the window is closing rapidly for guys like Tiki and Strahan, and it'd be unfortunate if he does pull it together, but only after they both retire.

by Jim (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 4:56pm

Which one running back should I start from the following:
Reuben Droughns, Leon Washington, Mike Bell

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 5:13pm

#85 --

If you live in Oregon, you can get physician assitance for your best option.

by JasonK (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 5:53pm


I think you're right. The LL results all seem to be off.

by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 6:15pm

#85 - Washington's probably the safest of starts there. Pitt is usually good against the run and Cleveland's bad, SD is good against the run and who knows who'll have the rock. But strangely Chicago has shown some weakness, at least at fantasy scoring.

by Carlos (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 6:17pm

Woo hoo!

Proud to say my Hedgeskins sit atop the Loser League after Week 1.

I have to take the Unsportsmanlike Excessive Celebration penalty now, since I won't last in the standings (Toomer is one of my WRs... made the picks before his injury, and Brunell is one of my QBs).

So, without further ado:

In your face, you pathetic Winners!!!

by Jim (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 6:20pm

#88 - Yeah, but last week Washington lost a lot of carries to Barlow. My other option would be to slide Colston from TE to WR, Lee Evans from WR to WR/R, and put in LJ Smith at TE.

by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 7:03pm

I need two RB's out of these three:

Rudi Johnson @ NO
Addai @ DAL
Chester Taylor @ MIA

I'm pretty certain I'm going with Rudi. I'm leaning towards Addai over Taylor. Thoughts?

by Goathead (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 7:04pm

So, I'm a Giants fan. I saw almost all of their games last year. 7 so far this year. I can't see how Eli is every going to improve to a point where he justifies the price they paid for him. With some luck he may improve to the point where he is a middle of the road starter, I suppose the league needs a new Drew Bledsoe since the old one is riding the pine.

by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 7:13pm

#91 - I think Addai is a good choice. Miami still has a good running D, and Taylor has been inconsistent at best.

#90 - that's true, but look at the group. Guh. I mean, Droughns at Pit? Bell vs. SD?

But I think any of those will be better than doing the Colston/LJ Smith/Evans shuffle.

by jebmak (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 7:28pm

The last line in #82 followed by the first line in #83, hilarious!

by randplaty (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 7:55pm

I'd just like to point out that comparing Eli to Rivers at this point can be misleading. Rivers development is complete different from Roethlisberger and Manning.

Maybe if Eli sat the first 2 years and studied and held a clipboard he might be having more success?

by Ilanin (not verified) :: Thu, 11/16/2006 - 9:14pm

84 - another point to make about Ben's lousy Attempts/INT ratio is that (as I am about to nonscientfically estimate) about half of his INTs come on deep passes, meaning that the DB gets the ball 30 yards down the field and then gets hit by Hines Ward, meaning that the overall result of this play isn't as bad for Pittsburgh as might be expected.

"Great punt by Roethlisberger" is a phrase seen more frequently than one might anticipate on the IRC channel on Sundays...

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 2:32am

96: I don't think that happens more frequently to Roethlisberger than other QBs -- or at least not significantly more. It's happened a handful of times this year, which is more than I remember it happening in the past, but I don't think more than, say, 5 times.

#84 already produced the numbers that I was intending to, showing that it is only in his injury-dense 2006 campaign that he has been particularly interception-prone. In his first two years, he was picked every 25-30 passes, refuting #73's idea that it has been every 22 passes consistently throughout his whole career.

What's the league average anyway?

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 9:38am

centrifuge and Independent George:

You are ignoring Rothelisberger's playoff game performance in evaluating passing attempts per interception, and ignoring that he has yet to play a full 16 game season. Its easy for your numbers to look better when you are skipping 2-4 games per season and ignoring the playoffs.

On the basis of a rolling 16 game average, here's his attempts per interception number, starting with the AFC Championship Game in 2004, which was the 16th game of his career:

Year Week Ratio
2004 C 21.8
2005 1 24.3
2005 2 26.1
2005 3 26.3
2005 5 28.9
2005 7 25.8
2005 8 24.4
2005 12 23.9
2005 13 20.8
2005 14 20.8
2005 15 21.7
2005 16 21.9
2005 17 21.7
2005 W 24.0
2005 D 24.3
2005 C 28.0
2005 S 30.1
2006 2 27.3
2006 3 23.5
2006 5 21.2
2006 6 20.8
2006 7 22.4
2006 8 19.6
2006 9 20.0
2006 10 22.4

Rothelisberger has now played 40 games total, which gives us 24 data points for a 16 game rolling average. As you can see, since he had his first 16 games, there have only been 4 games where this rolling 16 game average was above 26.3, on the other hand, 14 games have seen it below 24.0. He was just as interception prone at the end of 2004 and at the start of the 2005 playoffs as he has been this year.

First 16 games - 349 attempts, 16 interceptions.
16 games through Game 17 in 2005 - 369 attempts, 17 interceptions
Last 16 games - 426 attempts, 19 interceptions.

Most of his interceptions have been during a couple bouts of ball insecurity:

Week 12 to the AFC Championship in 2004 - 10 interceptions
Week 7 to Week 13 in 2005 - 7 interceptions
2006 Super Bowl to Week 9 in 2006 - 16 interceptions

The higher numbers this year also come with a higher number of attempts than in previous years.

by Patrick the Programmer (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 12:28pm

Ok, the loser league is fixed and is now counting two WRs. It was only counting 1 and giving a zero for the other one. So if one of your receivers actually earned a 0, there's no change for you. For the rest of you, your points went up, and your overall placement probably changed.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 12:32pm

Roethlisberger career - 972 attempts, 42 interceptions - 23.1 pass attempts per interception.

by EaglesFan (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 12:54pm

Fantasy Football Advice Required.

I own both Portis and McGahee and consequently am struggling at RB.

Waivers weren't very helpful and I need to select two from the following since I still have a playoff shot:

Maroney @ GB
Rhodes @ Dallas
Gado @ Buffalo
Norwood @ Baltimore

Any suggestions welcome.


by Dan from comment 62 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 1:55pm

so you say my comment was a joke? take a look at the stats because that is exactly what all you people are about.

There has been a ton of criticism of Eli the past couple of days. Some think he's worthless, regressing, not worth the cost, etc. Others think it's just a matter of time. While he's in his third year, he just completed his 32nd game as starting QB of the Giants, equating to two full seasons (the playoff game against Carolina was not used). I thought it would be interesting to stack up his statistical output with that of his brother after 32 games.
Interstingly, Peyton went 3-13 in year one, and 13-3 in year two. Over the first 16 games of Eli's career, he went 6-10 after a 1-7 start, and has been 11-5 since. So, in total, he's 17-15, one game better than Peyton over his first 32 games.

Peyton Stats, first 32 games:
1108 attempts
657 completions
7874 yards
59% completion rate
54 TDs
47 INTs

Eli over his first 32 games:
1047 attempts
563 completions
54% completion percentage
6777 yards
45 TDs
37 INTs

Another tidbit to keep in mind, over that same 32 game stretch the Giants ran for 4081 yards while Indy only ran for 3086 yards.

If we're comparing QBs, I think this is a good indication that Eli is exactly where we could hope for him to be if we're using Peyton as a barometer of future returns. I grow as frustrated as anyone else at Eli's erratic play, but I do believe he's growing and getting better. Incidentally, the Colts dropped off from 13-3 to 10-6 in Peyton's third year, and he personally dropped off quite a bit as well. Hopefully Eli won't have that drop off.

by Goathead (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 2:00pm

102: Time will tell, the jury's still out, etc... But, if we have to make a snap judgement right now, I think most people would agree that the Giants overpaid. FWIW, it'll be a year or so before we know about Rivers too, and that will factor heavily into deciding if the G's overpaid for someone just because he had "Manning" on his back.

by Dan from comment 62 (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 2:01pm

If anyone read football prospectus 2006 they would realize the giants run the polar opposite of the west coast offense. obvioulsy this is bad for QB rating a stupid stat, and it only works if you have the deep threats to stretch the field. We dont have that yet in moss or carter (toomer did a decnet job on long routes). and we havent used shockey as well this season (like routes he ran vs rams last year, and dallas and denver last year). read my above comment too

by Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 2:15pm

To e manning #66.
Been a Giants fan since 1964. Tarkenton, Bob Tucker, John Mendenhall, Rocky Thompson, Norm Snead, Doug Kotar, Van Pelt, Carson, LT, the whole deal. But you should never, EVER compare Eli to Phil Simms. Phil was the man. Tough, smart, great arm, unquestionable leadership, always fired up. Stood strong in the pocket, never had "happy feet." Remember Simms throwing into the teeth of that vicious wind to hit Bavaro with that seem pass? Ever see Eli do that? Ever see Simms come off the field with that "aw shucks" look Eli gives you after he sails one ten yards past his 6'5" receiver? Never happened!! Phil's teammates knew who their leader was. Eli's teammates may say he's their leader, but they know better. Face it, we got hosed. Acorsi fell in love with the pedigree, not the reality. Rivers or Roethlisberger plus those draft choices is a no-brainer. P.S. The next time Eli hits one of his receivers in stride, that will be the FIRST TIME!!! NO MORE PHIL SIMMS COMPARISON - it removes all your credibility

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 2:23pm

#98: First off, a rolling average is somewhat distortive because two consecutive bad games will drag the average down, and then keep it down for 16 data points. Even if he didn't throw many INTs for the rest of the year, his previous perfomance this season would keep the average suppressed.

It's a good stat for showing consistency, but as you mentioned, Roethlisberger has been extremely erratic, going on stretches of bad play on a few instances.

Not during those instances, however, he has been much better. Those three partiuclarly dense timeframes means that he is much more interception-prone at certain points in time, and at least two of those points coincide with injuries.

Does nobody know the league average for this? I'm not even sure what all to make of these numbers except in comparison to themselves.

by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 2:53pm

If I may, my thoughts on clutch:

What's more valuable, a player who turns it up when it's needed most, or a player that just plays at that high level all the time?

I think Eli has the potential to be the latter, but is stuck at the former. And as an Eagles fan, I hope he stays there, but I wouldn't gamble on that.

I think the problem people have with Peyton is that he's the reverse, in a way - he plays at a high level except he seems to shrink (but not if you look at his stats) when you really need the back-breaking play out of him. Of course, one advantage to a player like that is that if you take care of business early, you don't *need* clutch plays nearly as often.

by Goathead (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 3:00pm

OK, who are the best clutch QB's I've ever seen? Montana & Elway. Oddly, they were both awesome the rest of the time too. I think someone who's mediocre most of the time but really good in the clutch is useless. In fact I think this whole "Eli is great in the clutch" thing is just over-extrapolating a few lucky performances.

by Bill Barnwell :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 3:52pm

OK. People have made many salient and slightly un-salient points but I just have one question.

If you're going to offer the Eli is Clutch argument, don't you have to wait till he at least wins ONE playoff game? One?

by Capt Ahab (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 4:02pm

Eli Manning = Jake Plummer

A serviceable NFL starter with random judgement and accuracy issues.

Difference in last name makes for #1 and $$.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 4:18pm

First off, a rolling average is somewhat distortive because two consecutive bad games will drag the average down, and then keep it down for 16 data points.

So? The rolling average is based on using the past 16 games as a "season". If there are two bad games in there, you can't just ignore them.

Even if he didn’t throw many INTs for the rest of the year, his previous perfomance this season would keep the average suppressed.

No, if his subsequent performance is better than the games beyond 16 games ago being discarded, the number goes up.

Not during those instances, however, he has been much better.

Isn't that a truism? When he is not stinking up the joint, he is good?

Does nobody know the league average for this?

Leaguewide attempts per interception have been trending upwards for a while.

2006 - 33.87
2005 - 32.49
2004 - 31.22
2003 - 30.66
2002 - 32.75
2001 - 29.69
2000 - 30.74
1999 - 29.82

Rothelisberger has yet to achieve the mediocrity of the current average of around 32. Eli has declined from mediocrity into badness.

The better QB's in the league are up above 37 attempts per INT.

Brady - 40.24 lifetime
McNabb - 44.16 lifetime
Hasselbeck - 38.39 lifetime
Pennington - 37.21 lifetime

Big brother Manning - 35.28 lifetime, 38.94 post-rookie year.
Little Bro Manning - 26.63 lifetime

Plummer - 26.65 lifetime (32.94 with Denver)

Among the youngsters:
Harrington - 28.38 lifetime
Delhomme - 31.73 lifetime
Vick - 33.18 lifetime
Palmer - 34.5 lifetime
Brees - 35.79 lifetime

Among the old men:
Dilfer - 25.51 lifetime
Kitna - 27.17 lifetime
Warner - 29.37 lifetime
Collins - 29.52 lifetime
Favre - 29.95 lifetime
Bledsoe - 31.97 lifetime
Johnson - 35.03 lifetime
Green - 36.28 lifetime
McNair - 36.86 lifetime
Brunnell - 41.90 lifetime

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 4:20pm

Capt Ahab:

Eli Manning = Jake Plummer


Plummer is another 4th quarter "clutch" performer too!

by Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 6:30pm

I agree with Bill...no such thing as clutch games during the regular season. Okay, maybe late in the year when a playoff berth is on the line. But Eli was horrendous down the stretch last season. We won in spite of him, not because of him. This year his best statistical game was Seattle. I know it will never happen, but I've lived in Atlanta for a while and got to see Lorenzen play at KY, and the boy can wing it. He'll leave a mark on your chest. The clock is ticking on Eli. When you're the No. 1 pick and you've got one of the games best RB's behind, what's the excuse? What did we see in his career at MS that no one else saw? Do I sound frustrated?

by Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 6:48pm

To Lou #76: If Simms was throwing to Plaxico and Toomer and Shockey, and had Tiki behind him, he'd be in Canton right now. Instead he wss throwing to Lionel Manuel, Mark Ingram, Earnest Gray, Bobby Johnson, Tim Lewis, and a bunch of other guys you've never heard of ...need I go on? Thank goodness he at least had Bavaro for a couple of seasons. Spout all the numbers you want, NOBODY who's seen them both play takes Eli over Simms, NOBODY. Eli's got the weapons, he just doesn't have the "right stuff."

by manning,e. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 7:51pm

re 105

im not taking anything from phil simms whatsoever, after fabulous phil mckonkey hes my favorite phil the giants ever had. what I am saying is that

1) yes phil was the better qb...so far...but he was not better on talent, on talent alone eli is miles ahead, phil was better in all the ways you mentioned, a grinder and so on. I loved phil so much i didnt lament when we let hoss go to the raiders for a few more seasons with phil even though every giants fan knew it was the wrong decision to make and lead to the unholy dave brown (at least it wasnt browning nagle) years.

2) phil is only better because we have seen the whole arc of his career, we have only seen eli for less than a full three seasons and so far ive been damn impressed with his progression as a qb. we are a winning team and thats all that matter to me, because i can only think of two games that we lost because of eli in those three season, last year minnesota and first season 0 qb rating performance. Look at Simms first few years, they were scary ugly as im sure u remember and perhaps back then you were saying the giants got hosed for pickin some kid out of some unheard of college and know your revering him.

3) I think the giants won in the trade because they have a sure thing qb who doesnt get hurt-who knows where rivers will be progression wise--u are certain that manning is progressing- we kept umi and who knows who the giants would have used with that pick and even if they took merriman how has he been any more impressive than umi and umi hasnt been caught juicing-and to boot we got what might be long time solid lineman chris snee.

by Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/17/2006 - 9:45pm

Sorry e manning, I'm not buying the "better on talent" thing. What talent are you talking about? Simms had a big time arm - as shown by the numbers he put up with a crappy set of receivers and an offense under Parcells that was totally committed to the run, field position, and NO turnovers. To say that Eli is miles ahead is just plain silly and indicates that you didn't see much of Simms when he was playing. Eli's arm is being exposed as overrated. His throws are soft and rarely on target. And Plax has bailed him out a zillion times. As far as the early years, the Giants were dreadful. He had nothing near Eli's supporting cast - no offensive line, no receivers, and no running backs. In those early years his running back was Billy Taylor - not the kind of guy that kept defenses honest like Tiki. Simms was ALWAYS under pressure. If you want to say that Eli needs more time, fine. Everyone's entitled to their view. But if you really think we won on the trade, and that Eli is progressing and is a sure thing, you're the ONLY one. Now that Bondy broke ranks in today's Daily News, Eli's pass with the media is officially over. He better stop walking off the field with his head down and start doing what he was paid to do.

by Eddo (not verified) :: Sat, 11/18/2006 - 12:20am

Re: 115
u are certain that manning is progressing
I suppose you are indeed entitled to your opinion, but from what I've seen of Eli, it seems like a stretch to argue that it is "certain" that he is progressing. While I wouldn't go so far as to say he's regressing, it doesn't appear that he's made any great improvements.
To me, it seems like Eli Manning is just "one of the pack"--a QB who at times can look great, and at other times can look awful. Sometimes it seems like the majority of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL fit into this category. I'm not saying that Eli will end up as a Tim-Couch-never-amount-to-anything #1 pick, but just that at this point you'd like to seem him progressing more along the lines of a Carson-Palmer-consistently-good-if-not-great #1 pick.

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Sat, 11/18/2006 - 3:30am

So? The rolling average is based on using the past 16 games as a “season�. If there are two bad games in there, you can’t just ignore them.

I'm not saying to ignore them. I'm saying that using a rolling "season" isn't a valuable tool for this data set. It's good to show that a player is very consistent at some given task, but the point is that Roethlisberger has been anything but. It is a poor statistical tool when the data show somewhat wild fluctuations, which is what we have here.

You are ignoring Rothelisberger’s playoff game performance in evaluating passing attempts per interception, and ignoring that he has yet to play a full 16 game season. Its easy for your numbers to look better when you are skipping 2-4 games per season and ignoring the playoffs.

This is really what I wanted to get at in the first place. I don't see how skipping 2-4 games helps make stats look better. If anything, his cumulative stats have suffered for it, but a rate statistic like INT% should be relatively unaffected.

The playoff games should be noted and be evaluated vs. other playoff games. I don't know if the average numbers change in the playoffs, but I doubt they would change the overall evaluation of his playoff performances on their own merits (3 good, 3 bad).

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Sat, 11/18/2006 - 6:14pm

Okay, sit start questions:

QB- Ben Roethlisberger vs CLE or Plummer vs. SD?

RB- Choose 2: R. Brown v. Minn, D. Foster vs. StL, or L. Betts vs. TB?

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Sat, 11/18/2006 - 7:34pm

119: Leigh Bodden is out of the PIT-CLE game. Roethelisberger is a must-start unless you have a true elite QB.

by Sid (not verified) :: Sat, 11/18/2006 - 7:55pm

3 things:

1)I like Bill's picks this week.

2)Bill: If you're "taking the points" in the KC game, you shouldn't be taking KC. In betting, the favorite "gives" the points and the underdog "gets" the points.

3)I like Arizona over Detroit. I think Ian definitely loses that one.

by Jim (not verified) :: Sat, 11/18/2006 - 8:00pm

Perhaps I should restate my situation. I'm in a league where receptions get half a point and these are the questionable positions..

I need to fill a WR, TE, and WR/RB spot with some combination of the following players. Colston(Either WR or TE), Lee Evans, LJ Smith, Leon Washington, Droughns, Mike Bell, Benson, or DeAngelo Williams. Suggestions?

by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 11/19/2006 - 2:20am

#121 could conceivably be misread, so to reiterate:

in the games Bill and Ian picked, I like Arizona, Pittsburgh, New England, Kansas City (probably my best bet), and also Indianapolis (of these, the game I'm least sure of).

by dbt (not verified) :: Sun, 11/19/2006 - 1:45pm

jamal lewis, braylon edwards, brandon jacobs, reggie bush to fill one RB, one RB/WR flex? Receptions are worth half a point and 100 yard games rushing or receiving get a bonus.

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Sun, 11/19/2006 - 2:09pm

Re: 124
I'd probably go with Bush and Lewis..

Anyone with any advice on my RB situation (see post 119)?

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Sun, 11/19/2006 - 2:12pm

Re: 122
I'd go with Colston & Evans, then flip a coin on Bell, Williams, Benson or Droughns...

by Chris M (not verified) :: Mon, 11/20/2006 - 1:32am

I need advice for tomorrow night - I need two points to win and I currently have Reggie Williams slotted in. Should I replace him with:

Sinorice Moss
David Tyree
Tim Carter


by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 11/20/2006 - 4:13am

not really, no.

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 11/20/2006 - 5:29pm

Damn, Ian. That's just...eerie. I really should start betting against you just because you're so consistently wrong. And I don't mean to slam you cause I thought the same stuff and had the same rationale, but...wow.

by Stu (not verified) :: Tue, 11/21/2006 - 1:40am

Hey e manning, your boy looked comatose tonight. if that's progressing, I'd hate to see what regressing looks like. I bet the guys in San Diego are laughing their asses off.