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A heart condition discovered at the combine has put the Michigan lineman's career in limbo, but Hurst had the best film of any defensive tackle in this year's draft class.

03 Dec 2015

Scramble for the Ball: Fantasy Playoffs Redraft

by Andrew Healy and Sterling Xie

Sterling: Whoever first claimed that the NFL season doesn't really begin until after Thanksgiving probably played fantasy football. Most fantasy leagues begin their playoffs this week, with the exception of those who perilously decide to keep playing in Week 17. Given that most trade deadlines have also passed, you're probably stuck with your current roster, for better or worse.

But what if you weren't? Andrew and I thought it would be fun to do a pre-fantasy playoffs redraft. With just four games left (again, minus Week 17), matchups are going to play almost as large a role as actual ability. Here are the rules:

1) Standard scoring and no bench players. That means you'll need to play everyone you draft, which could take someone like Rob Gronkowski off the table. We're also doing slightly modified rosters: It'll be 2 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE FLEX and 1 D/ST. No idiot kickers here!

2) We're doing this based off of ESPN preseason ADP, picking one player from each round (assuming one round is 10 picks). So we each get one player whose preseason ADP fell between 1 and 10, one from 11 to 20 and so on. With nine players total, we're picking one player each from these groups:

Group 1: 1-10 in ADP
Group 2: 11-20
Group 3: 21-30
Group 4: 31-50
Group 5: 51-75
Group 6: 76-100
Group 7: 101-125
Group 8: 126-150

Group 9: Undrafted in ADP

You can pick from whatever group you want and it's a snake draft. So if you're particularly in love with an undrafted or late-round pick, you can pick from Group 8 or Group 9 before you pick from Group 1, which became a minefield this season. This prevents us from creating ridiculously stacked rosters in a two-team league. In case you're interested, here's the ADP list off of which we are basing this draft.

Andrew pulled a Phil Luckett on me, so he won the coin toss for the first pick.

Andrew: I'm going to Group 9 and using my undrafted pick first to pick Thomas Rawls. Pretty much the entire reason I wanted to do this redraft was so I could get Rawls on a fantasy team because all my thoughts about my actual fantasy team are just regrets about my most recent transaction involving Rawls. I cut the player I loved from the moment we said hello three days before he put up 37 points so I could get Mark Sanchez to be a bye-week fill-in. I gave up a guy who runs through people like Marshawn Lynch and whose great-grandfather did political philosophy to sign my least favorite player in the league this side of Greg Hardy. And it still could have been OK if I had kept Rawls instead of Titans running back David Cobb, who was slated to get his first action of the season. Somehow, I went with the guy who might be a poor man's Ron Dayne rather than my crush. And it's a keeper league, so I'll probably be watching Rawls bowl over people for all of next season.

All right, no bitterness, time to enjoy Rawls running for me in our fake fantasy league. The matchups are a mixed bag for Rawls. He gets two top 12 run defenses by DVOA (Rams and Ravens) in the next four weeks, along with the No. 23 Vikings and No. 29 Browns.

Sterling: In that case, I'll stick to Group 1 and take Adrian Peterson. If only because of volume, I don't particularly care that Peterson has to face Seattle and Arizona the next two weeks. He gets the Bears and Giants at home in Weeks 15 and 16, both of whom are bottom-half defenses against the run by both DVOA and adjusted line yards. And unlike Rawls, I don't need to worry about someone coming back late in the season to potentially steal touches. If Peterson's production stays afloat the next two weeks, he's the kind of fantasy player who can carry someone in the two-week championship matchup.

On the wraparound, I'll dip into the Group 3 bucket and select DeAndre Hopkins. While I'd prefer Antonio Brown, I have already burned my Group 1 pick on Peterson. And Julio Jones has been the top scorer at the position, but I'm refusing to touch Atlanta's offense right now. Plus, Jones has two Josh Norman faceoffs remaining. Hopkins is a lot like Julio in that both are target hogs who reach the end zone roughly every other week. Pro-Football-Reference only has target data going back to 1992, but at the moment, Hopkins is on pace to receive an astounding 208 of them, which would tie Rob Moore for the second-highest single-season total in that span. Hopkins faces a really average schedule the rest of the way -- every defense he faces is currently ranked between 12th and 17th in pass defense DVOA. I'll take my chances there.

Andrew: This isn't your normal fantasy draft where positions are going to run dry. Instead the buckets are going to run dry. I love your pick of Hopkins because Group 3 is pretty barren. So I'm going to go into Group 6 and pick Cam Newton. Newton gets a series of great matchups over the next four weeks, facing the Saints (32nd in defensive DVOA), Falcons (19th), Giants (27th) and then the Falcons again.

Then I'm reaching into Group 8 to grab DeAngelo Williams. His matchups are tough over the next four weeks with him facing run defenses that rank between sixth (Denver) and 13th (Indianapolis) in DVOA, but there's too much value getting Williams there to pass him up.

Sterling: Man, what on earth happened in the middle rounds? Groups 5 through 7 are almost completely barren. I'm going to take a risk and knock out one of those pesky groups, selecting Tyler Eifert from Group 7. As a sad Jimmy Graham owner for much of this season, I can attest that few things are more annoying than a black hole at the tight end spot. Eifert's stinger is scary and missing time would be a huge detriment, but the schedule makes the gamble feasible. Based on DVOA vs. tight ends, none of Cincy's next four opponents are better than 12th. No player in the league has more red zone receptions (12) or touchdowns (11) than Eifert, so I'll take my chances that the orange and black touchdown machine keeps humming along.

A second back or receiver is tempting, but I should probably grab a signal-caller first in a two-QB league. Ben Roethlisberger in Group 4 appears to make the most sense, since I can't take the already-drafted Newton, Carson Palmer (Group 7, where I just took Eifert) or even Russell Wilson (Group 3, where I picked Hopkins). Ugh, I'm not liking the amount of injury risk I'm incurring right now. But what the heck, I've owned Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, and Marshawn Lynch at various points this season. Big Ben hasn't scored fewer than 18 fantasy points in any game he's finished this season, so he is probably matchup-proof even with games against Cincinnati and Denver looming.

Andrew: So that leaves Group 2 and 5 as the places we haven't visited yet. Sweet that I won the toss Luckett-style so I get first dibs in five of the nine groups, which I of course deserve as the senior member of our twosome. We're both probably going with a receiver in Group 2. I'll go with Calvin Johnson in Group 2 primarily based on the upcoming schedule. Both Odell Beckham and Julio Jones face hard upcoming schedules. Johnson, on the other hand, has the third-ranked Rams defense left, but he also gets to face the two worst defenses in football (Saints and 49ers) in Weeks 15 and 16. And the Lions, once in the driver's seat for the No. 1 pick, only needed to have their sole motivation for winning reduced to saving Jim Caldwell's job and worsening their draft position to finally start looking not moribund.

And it's got to be Brandon Marshall in Group 5. Marshall has touchdowns in eight different games this season and gets targeted on seemingly every Jets possession that reaches the red zone.

Sterling: So now the rest of the draft will be each of us getting our pick of the litter from the remaining groups. It seems wrong that Julio Jones won't be getting selected here, but I'm taking Odell Beckham Jr. from Group 2. OBJ does have one matchup against Norman (which isn't as bad as Julio's two), but he will get to face a Dolphins secondary which ranks dead last in DVOA vs. No. 1 WRs, as well as a potentially Darrelle Revis-less Jets secondary this week. His other game against Minnesota is relatively neutral, as the Vikings are 12th against No. 1 WRs.

I thought seriously about wading into the undrafted pool and taking Charcandrick West, but with Eifert and Roethlisberger, I'm not in the mood for any more uncertain health prognoses. I'll go to Group 5 and take Chris Ivory as my RB2. Ivory's yards per carry have rebounded after he averaged a horrific 1.13 yards per attempt in both Week 8 and 9, as he's cracked 4.0 yards per carry each of the past three games. Volume is the key again, as he has had at least 15 carries in eight of 10 games this season. And although the Week 16 game against New England could be rough, his other three opponents are all 17th or worse in run defense DVOA and 24th or worse in adjusted line yards.

Andrew: As with DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Brown has a hard schedule. Denver is ranked third against opposing No. 1 receivers and Indianapolis ranks eighth. Pittsburgh's other two opponents rank 15th and 20th. And there's still nowhere else to go but Antonio Brown in Group 1.

In Group 3, you grabbed the one clear choice in DeAndre Hopkins. With the way my roster is headed, I need to grab Russell Wilson from Group 3 as my QB2. I'm not sure how much I should worry about the loss of Jimmy Graham, but I still think Wilson is likely to outperform his numbers to this point in the season. The Seahawks have the No. 4 overall offense and No. 7 passing offense for the entire season, even if that feels wrong. Wilson also might have some randomness go his way and finally grab his first rushing touchdown of the season.

Sterling: I strongly considered taking Martavis Bryant for my flex, given that I already have his quarterback, but I'll take another Group 7 wide receiver, Allen Robinson. Coming out of Penn State, Robinson was noted for his ability to get the deep ball, but he wasn't billed as a prototypical deep threat. However, his 16.9 yards per catch average ranks seventh, and all the receivers ahead of him have at least 24 fewer catches than Robinson. As Scott Kacsmar illustrated in this week's ALEX column, Blake Bortles isn't afraid to target his top receiver downfield when it matters most on third down. Robinson's targets and touchdown potential might see a short-term bump with Allen Hurns concussed, and though he'll have a couple tricky matchups against Desmond Trufant and Vontae Davis, the Week 16 game against New Orleans alone almost makes him worth the pick.

I was really excited when you burned your Group 8 pick early, but now I'm pretty ambivalent about reaching into that group to take Matthew Stafford as my QB2. It has nothing to do with Stafford, as I'll cover in "G.O.A.T. of the Week." But now you have the top targets for both my quarterbacks, which isn't great.

Andrew: So when your quarterbacks score four points, I get six? I like. To round out my team, I'll grab Greg Olsen from Group 4 to pair with Cam Newton. With apologies to Gary Barnidge and Tyler Eifert, with Rob Gronkowski out, Olsen is the most valuable tight end for the next four weeks. He faces two of the worst teams in the league against opposing tight ends in the Giants and Saints, in addition to two tougher matchups against the Falcons, who rank seventh.

Last and least, I'll grab the Patriots' D/ST from Group 7. The injuries are piling up and the Patriots might be fair catching punts if Danny Amendola can't return, but they also get to face three offenses that rank in the bottom ten by DVOA the next three weeks (Philadelphia, Houston, and Tennessee).

Sterling: It feels like a letdown to only get a defense from the undrafted Group 9 pool, but I'll pick the Cincinnati D/ST to round out my team. The Bengals do still face Pittsburgh (which is going to result in friendly fire for my lineup), but remaining games against Cleveland and San Francisco are gold. A road game against Denver is probably neutral, unless the recent Brock Osweiler-fueled bump in quarterback play is here to stay.

So this is what our rosters look like. They kind of resemble a shallow eight-team league, so maybe our filters didn't work out entirely. Still, we'll keep track of this over the next four weeks and let you know who comes out on top.

Scramble's Fantasy Playoffs Draft

Team Andrew Team Sterling
Position Player (Group) Next 4 Games Player (Group) Next 4 Games
QB1 Cam Newton, CAR (Group 6) @NO, ATL, @NYG, @ATL Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (Group 4) IND, @CIN, DEN, @BAL
QB2 Russell Wilson, SEA (Group 3) @MIN, @BAL, CLE, STL Matthew Stafford, DET (Group 8) GB, @STL, @NO, SF
RB1 Thomas Rawls, SEA (Group 9) @MIN, @BAL, CLE, STL Adrian Peterson, MIN (Group 1) SEA, @ARI, CHI, NYG
RB2 DeAngelo Williams, PIT (Group 8) IND, @CIN, DEN, @BAL Chris Ivory, NYJ (Group 5) @NYG, TEN, @DAL, NE
WR1 Antonio Brown, PIT (Group 1) IND, @CIN, DEN, @BAL DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (Group 3) @BUF, NE, @IND, @TEN
WR2 Calvin Johnson, DET (Group 2) GB, @STL, @NO, SF Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (Group 2) NYJ, @MIA, CAR, @MIN
TE Greg Olsen, CAR (Group 4) @NO, ATL, @NYG, @ATL Tyler Eifert, CIN (Group 7) @CLE, PIT, @SF, BAL
FLEX Brandon Marshall, NYJ (Group 5) @NYG, TEN, @DAL, NE Allen Robinson, JAC (Group 6) @TEN, IND, ATL, @NO
D/ST Patriots (Group 7) PHI, @HOU, TEN, @NYJ Bengals (Group 9) @CLE, PIT, @SF, BAL

Advanced Stat O' The Week

Philadelphia Eagles DVOA the last two weeks: -73.6% and -89.0%

Each of the last two weeks, the Chipmunks have been the worst team in football, the first time that feat has been pulled off since the Niners in Weeks 2 and 3.

Super-Huge Mega Lock of the Week

The nephew and niece are on a roll. They've cruised with the Packers over the Vikings in Week 11 and with the Panthers over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. This week, the nephew and niece are sticking with a successful formula and picking a road team with a spread that's close to even, going with the Seahawks to beat the Vikings in a pick'em game. It's just a gut feeling to the niece, but the nephew goes more strongly with Seattle, undoubtedly seeing that they've climbed to fifth in DVOA and fourth in weighted DVOA after Sunday's win over the Steelers. The Seahawks might be just 6-5 but they're playing about as well as anyone as we enter the home stretch.

Our Record: 6-6

The Nephew and Niece: 2-0

Cinemax Presents Exotic Propositions

After beating the Giants on Sunday, Washington moved in our playoff odds to have a 54 percent chance of winning the NFC East. At that number, Washington at +110 to win the NFC East is a good value. While tied with the Giants at 5-6 and having split the season series, Washington (currently 2-1 in the NFC East with two games against Dallas left) is in good shape to win a tiebreaker with the Giants (2-3 in the division with only a game against the Eagles left) on division record, should it come down to that. The Giants' future schedule also ranks 11th in difficulty, while the Redskins' much easier slate ranks 29th. With the Giants getting dangerously close to needing to drag out Karl Nelson and Bart Oates to fill the holes in their decimated offensive line, Washington's odds to win the NFC are likely underrated a little in our model, too.

G.O.A.T. of the Week

Matthew Stafford remained available in just under 30 percent of ESPN leagues headed into Week 12, but that number should shrink considerably after his five-touchdown, 337-yard performance. Stafford's 34-point showing was the sixth-highest point total from a quarterback this season, and the second-best showing of Stafford's own career. Only the absurd Matt Flynn Game from Week 17 of the 2011 season, in which Stafford threw for 520 yards and five touchdowns, topped his Thanksgiving roast of the Eagles.

Since Detroit's bye week, Stafford is second among quarterbacks in total fantasy points, trailing only Russell Wilson. Granted, that's over a tiny three-game sample size, in which 12 other teams had a bye week and played only two games. Still, the Jim Bob Cooter offense has added the verticality back to Stafford's game -- of his 35 passes of 20-plus yards this season, nine have come in the past two weeks. Even if you're not particularly impressed with strong games against the disintegrating Eagles or Oakland's 23rd-ranked pass defense, Stafford is still someone to own for the stretch run of the fantasy playoffs. Detroit faces off against the league's two worst pass defenses, San Francisco and New Orleans, in Weeks 15 and 16, when most fantasy championship rounds are held. It's hard to believe, but Stafford might very well crown a large number of fantasy champs this year.

Goat of the Week

If you would have known that DeMarco Murray would miss just one game and accumulate 194 touches through 12 weeks, the league's leading rusher from 2014 might have garnered legitimate consideration as the No. 1 overall pick. However, whereas most first-round running backs have either been shelved for the year or drastically underperformed, Murray has frustrated his owners in other ways by being the most enigmatic week-to-week preseason RB1.

Murray's bottom line isn't horrible -- entering Week 12, he ranked 11th among running backs in ESPN standard scoring. However, he has yet to string together more than two consecutive weeks of double-digit scores, while he has also had two separate stretches where he has scored exactly nine consecutive points over two consecutive games.

Moving forward, Murray does have two plus matchups against Buffalo and Washington, both of which are at home. But Murray's output hasn't been predictable based on his matchup. While all of his double-digit fantasy outings have come against teams currently ranked 17th or worse in run defense, his three worst games have come against teams ranked 19th or worse. Moreover, he hasn't actually run well in two of his double-digit outings: He salvaged a miserable eight-carry, 9-yard performance against Atlanta with two scores, and added 58 receiving yards to goose an inefficient 22-carry, 61-yard outing versus Miami. Given how miserably he failed to seize the reigns with Ryan Mathews out with a concussion the past two weeks, it's hard to know whether or not fantasy owners can trust Murray for the postseason run. But at this point in the season, no one should feel compelled to keep starting their first- or early-second-round pick.

Loser League Update

We announced the winners of our special one-week Thanksgiving contest earlier in the week, so head over here in case you haven't seen the results yet. As for our regularly scheduled programming, here were the results of the regular Loser League in Week 12.

Quarterback: Tony Romo was the leader of the week with minus-1 points, but given that he wasn't even active at the start of Loser League Part II, the starstruck Cowboys quarterback might not be owned by a single regular team. However, fan favorite Nick Foles made his triumphant return to the Loser League with a 5-point outing on the strength of three picks. Remember when Foles had that crazy 27-touchdown, two-interception season in 2013? Since then, he's been 10 percent worse than the league average in terms of interception rate, the fourth-worst interception index in that time span among quarterbacks with at least 16 starts.

Running Back: Chris Johnson has been a terrific story this season, but he looked more like the Jets' version of CJ2K in rushing for 17 yards on 12 carries (1 Loser League point) before a fractured tibia likely ended his season. A quartet of other real fantasy-relevant options followed Johnson -- LeGarrette Blount and Todd Gurley each had 2 points, while DeMarco Murray and Frank Gore logged 3 points apiece. However, Antonio Andrews continued his inefficient stretch against Tennessee's hellacious run defense schedule, accumulating just 46 yards from scrimmage and fewer than 3.0 yards per carry for a total of 4 Loser League points.

Wide Receiver: Quinton Patton and Jason Avant continued their LL MVP-caliber campaigns by each posting 0 points -- Patton's fourth time and Avant's third time laying a goose egg. Additionally, James Jones and Bryan Walters also had 0 points, which was the second time in three weeks Jones went without a catch. If not for his single 36-yard reception, Demaryius Thomas (13 targets) would have broken the NFL record for most targets in a game without a catch.

Kicker: Week 12 saw eight missed extra points, the most in a single week this season and one less than the entire total of the 2014 season. As such, we had a whopping five kickers finish in the red, led by Ryan Succop at minus-4 points. Miami kicker Andrew Franks continued his erratic rookie season with minus-3 points after missing his third extra point of the season. Steven Hauschka (three missed extra points in two weeks!), Connor Barth, and Dan Carpenter were the other kickers to finish with negative points this week.

John Fox Award

After the debacle against the Chiefs, Rex Ryan should have lost his challenge privileges for a while. It's hard to make the wrong call on three different challenge situations in one game, but Ryan pulled it off. Here's the trifecta of mistakes:

  • Ryan fails to challenge a 37-yard completion to Jeremy Maclin in the second quarter when replays show it was not a catch. On the next play, the Chiefs score to cut the Bills' lead to 10-7.
  • Ryan unsuccessfully challenges when a short pass to Robert Woods is correctly ruled incomplete with about ten minutes left in the third quarter.
  • Ryan fails to challenge when Chris Hogan's catch is incorrectly ruled incomplete with about 2:30 left in the fourth quarter. The Bills turn the ball over on downs.

Ryan's success rate on challenges during his career is pretty high (48 percent), but that number is misleading, as he showed a few weeks ago against the Jets. In that game, Ryan managed to blow an unsuccessful challenge of a first-quarter spot. Then he successfully challenged a 6-yard Jets completion on second-and-10 in the second quarter, leaving the Bills with no challenges the rest of the game. His success rate was 50 percent, but his good-challenge rate was zero percent.

Keep Choppin' Wood

Whoo baby. Earlier this year, Andrew came up with a metric called Surprise Score which measured how upset-filled a particular week of games was. If there was an equivalent for the volume of follies, Week 12 probably would have ranked pretty high up. Let's do in Olympic podium fashion:

Not Placing: Tramaine Brock
San Francisco's defensive backs undid much of the good work of its front seven, committing four penalties on the afternoon. But nothing was more egregious than Brock dropping a de facto punt:

We'll excuse Brock from the podium, though, because he is a defensive back after all. He wasn't necessarily violating a central tenet of his job position, unlike the next player here.

Bronze Medal: Blake Bortles
We have our Bizarro Dan Orlovsky. Orlovsky's backwards retreat out of the end zone was probably worse, since you can see the physical white painted line of demarcation. But seriously, what the hell.

ESPN Stats & Info said that Bortles was the only quarterback in the past 15 years to have two accepted penalties on illegal forward passes. David Carr apparently had two such plays in a 2006 game against New England, but one was declined. Someone's Madden awareness rating is taking a dive next season.

Silver Medal: Landry Jones
Jones gets to share this with Pittsburgh's special teams unit, which fooled precisely no one with the good ol' throw-across-the-formation-to-the-left-tackle play:

Also on Sunday, the Bengals had a similarly ugly offensive goal-line play to Jake Fisher, where Andy Dalton ended up lobbing the ball to the rookie tackle. Maybe passes to O-linemen aren't your thing, AFC North.

Gold Medal: Browns Field Goal Unit
Remember when #LOLMets peaked this summer? At least the Mets had foibles worth laughing at. There was hope for New York, as October illustrated. Hope is just an urban legend in the Factory of Sadness (warning: language NSFW).

Posted by: Andrew Healy and Sterling Xie on 03 Dec 2015

13 comments, Last at 04 Dec 2015, 1:08pm by Shattenjager


by Sportszilla :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 2:49pm

Maybe I'm wrong on this, but don't most standard fantasy football leagues start playoffs in Week 14? That's how it's been in every league I've ever played in.

by Tundrapaddy :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 2:58pm

We do a 4-team playoff in weeks 15-16 in my main league.

by Shattenjager :: Fri, 12/04/2015 - 1:08pm

That's what I've typically seen. FWIW, it's the standard set-up on NFL.com and it WAS the standard set-up the last time I played at Yahoo! (Which was, I think, ten years ago. It was in the dark ages when you had to pay for live scoring, so I would carry around a notebook with me Sunday and Monday and score my games as they happened. I was an even bigger dork than I realized.), but those are the only places I've played in the last decade, so perhaps the wider fantasy world has rejected that format.

I think most fantasy people now consider PPR standard as well, and NFL.com still doesn't.

Apparently that post looks like SPAM. I'm just curious how.

by Eddo :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 3:02pm

Agreed. The standard is a thirteen-week regular season and a three-week playoff that includes six teams.

More than eight teams would have to make the playoffs for the opening of this article to make sense (a twelve-week regular season, followed by playoffs through week sixteen).

by Tundrapaddy :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 3:03pm

That last clip is just absolutely...brutal. Is he water level of Lake Erie actually maintained by the collective tears of Lions, Bills and Browns fans?

by ChrisS :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 5:23pm

The Browns game ends with the traditional rending of garments.

by nickd46 :: Fri, 12/04/2015 - 7:33am

I am genuinely haunted by this picture...


...and just wanted to ensure you all were too.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 7:23pm

Prior to Mike Zimmer being hired, Tramaine Brock would have been guaranteed 80 or 90 starts with the Vikings.

by Theo :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 7:45pm

May I trade one Keep Chopping Wood bronze medal from Landry Jones (and the ST unit) and instead hand the John Fox award to Mike 'Potted Plant' Tomlin? Pretty please? With sugar on top?
Because it's not Jones, but Mike 'coach with my gut' Tomlin who was chopping wood here.

Before the turn of the quarter, he sent in the offense on a 4th and short. The Seahawks didn't jump offside (they are pretty well coached) and were alerted that the Steelers were going for it.

With a defense called they were on the field, but OH NO! in trotted the FG unit - sans holder. This was the backup QB. Where oh where will the ball go?
So yes. The steelers line up in FG formation but OH NO! they break the formation into a normal offensive lineup. The backup QB throws a floater to the LT going on a route and is quite easily intercepted.

Tomlin could better (even without the power of hindsight)
- kick a FG
- go for it with a HOF QB, receivers that are having a season of the ages, a backup runningback that is doing GREAT in absence of Bell, you also practice a lot on 2 point conversions, so somehow you're prepared for this.

This just means that Tomlin doesn't think these things through. If you go for it, don't give it away. If you want to draw them offside, sure. But then at least go for it with your starting unit.

With 3minute something remaining, the Steelers are trailing 5. The defense was not stopping toddlers from crossing the street at this point.
So with 4th and short to go for the TD - Tomlin tries the FG. Yay. You're still trailing and in this scenario, it's plausible you're not going to see the ball back.
"The defense had to stop them one time anyway, and I wanted them to get on the field with some momentum" was Tomlin's response later in the week.
Yes, idiot, but you're asking the offense to get into range...AGAIN... ON TOP OF THAT.

Mike 'not living in our fears' Tomlin is costing the Steelers games. I don't know what he does to keep the team behind him, but he's got some major jedi-like people skills, or else I can't understand why this moron is still a head coach who is allowed over game strategy.

by LyleNM :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 7:52pm

While I don't disagree with most of this, you did also say:
The Seahawks didn't jump offside (they are pretty well coached) and were alerted that the Steelers were going for it.

Clearly you have missed out on Michael Bennett's weekly offside show. Fortunately he usually doesn't do this on "draw them offside" downs, but still.

by Theo :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 8:03pm

Well, the point was that he tried to draw them ofside, but also hinted that they might go for it.

Trotting out the FG unit, try to draw them offside and THEN go for it makes much more sense.
But you'd have to plan that ahead.

Tomlin just goes "Ben! Draw them offside!!.... clapping monkey... hey you know what, let's do that trick play..."

by Theo :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 8:07pm

...And you are giving up 19 points in the 4th quarter and Seahawks receivers are wide open. Why would you trust someone like Anwton Blake in there, but not Boykin?
And if Boykin pissed in your coffee, I'd put the guy in row 3, seat 24 in there at DB, because I assure you one thing, it's not going to get worse than Antwon Blake.

So this is a Ravens, Oakland and Seahawks game that Tomlin mismanaged.
This is a 9-2 team with Tomlin as Headcoach.

by blarneyforbreakfast :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 10:53pm

This is what I'd do with the remaining slots. Doing this made me realize just how many injuries there've been this year.

QB: Andy Dalton (9), Tom Brady (2)
WR: AJ Green (3), Jarvis Landry (5)
RB: Jonathan Stewart (4), Doug Martin (6)
Flex: Devonta Freeman (8)
TE: Gronk (1)
DF: Chiefs (7)