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Week 12 Open Game Discussion

With the Thanksgiving games over and done with, we can focus on the other big games of Week 12. Among those with major playoff implications are Seattle (5-5) at Carolina (6-4), Miami (5-5) at Indianapolis (5-5), Green Bay (4-5-1) at Minnesota (5-4-1) on Sunday night, and the Monday night game between Tennessee (5-5) and Houston (7-3). Use this thread to discuss them all.

Comments

113 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2018, 1:04pm

1 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by SlevinKelevra // Nov 25, 2018 - 2:12pm

going to be a long game for the Eagles if that's all the run D they can muster with their squad of non-scholarship NCAA players assembled behind the DL.

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2 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by SlevinKelevra // Nov 25, 2018 - 2:28pm

not sure how refs missed the DPI on Jenkins draped all over Barkley

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3 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Rocco // Nov 25, 2018 - 2:37pm

New England was called for OPI on an incomplete pass on 3rd and 2. The Jets took the penalty to make it 3rd and 12 rather than 4th down...and the Pats scored on 3rd down. Great job there, Jets.

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4 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by SlevinKelevra // Nov 25, 2018 - 2:41pm

never go in against a Belichik when death is on the line.

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5 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by joe football // Nov 25, 2018 - 2:44pm

It's time for another season of FO gameday chat! Join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters as we say smart, analytic and totally backed by data things about the football games...in real time!

Unlike Jon Gruden, FO gameday chat isn't beholden to old ways of doing things so we've migrated from slack to discord the season. Among other advantages, it makes it really easy to join, just click the discord invite link: https://discord.gg/22DDrb

Please note that it'll probably take a few minutes for one of our admins to matriculate you into the chat

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6 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by SlevinKelevra // Nov 25, 2018 - 2:52pm

touchdown of the year in CLE-CIN.
wow

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7 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Raiderfan // Nov 25, 2018 - 2:54pm

Looking like an offensive juggernaut— of course CIN D has been horrible the last few games.

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8 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Anger...rising // Nov 25, 2018 - 3:10pm

If you jump in the air and are caught by a defender, is that pretty much not the end to your forward progress? Letting the play continue long enough for some linemen to come along and push seems absurd.

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10 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by SlevinKelevra // Nov 25, 2018 - 3:18pm

if the defender is complicit in point fixing, could he not catch you and backpedal ?

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9 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 3:11pm

Eagles losing 19-3 to the Giants. What a disappointing season it has been for them. How unfortunate that their struggles mean a mediocre at best Cowboys team will probably have a home playoff game this year.

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11 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Rocco // Nov 25, 2018 - 3:45pm

Pats getting flagged a bunch so the numbers don't look as ridiculous when they're flagged twice total in the last month and playoffs.

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17 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by AHBM // Nov 25, 2018 - 5:00pm

The flags dried up in the second half even though there is obvious, blatant pass interference happening (on both sides, but more from NE)

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20 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 25, 2018 - 5:13pm

Conspiracy theories really are immune to evidence.

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84 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by RickD // Nov 26, 2018 - 1:03am

Google "Shaun O'Hara Richard Seymour"

Then we can discuss how the officials favor the Pats.

(As soon as we resolve that, we can talk about the missing draft picks and the Ideal Gas Law.)

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94 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by GwillyGecko // Nov 26, 2018 - 9:57am

omg, the refs missed one call against a patriots opponent!!!

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95 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by sbond101 // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:01am

Or we can talk about changing the pass interference rules to make Ty Law's style of coverage illegal because it was so sad to see great offensive teams keep losing to the Pats; or we could talk about making OPI a "point of emphasis" in 2014-2015 and targeting Gronk through the period (and ignoring plays like Luke Kuechly on Gronk in Carolina in 2013 to steal a game from the Pats). The "Ref's favour the Pat's" hypothesis has to be the worst case of confirmation bias in football since Tim Tebow.

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12 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 3:59pm

That Browns-Bengals score is wild. Things have fallen apart big time for Cincinnati after that strong start. And how funny is it that that performance, with Hue Jackson on the opposite sideline, is probably far better than anything the Browns ever managed with Jackson as their coach?

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13 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Dan_L // Nov 25, 2018 - 4:13pm

Small sample size and all, but has there ever been a week worse for a coaches' image than this one for Hue? I mean, having the kind of inside information he has is so useful that in investing, it is illegal to use such information. He has it, and can't help the Bengals perform better than this?

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22 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 5:18pm

From interviews I've heard, most NFL teams are thoroughly uninterested in "inside information." (The Pats may be the exception, it's unclear.) It doesn't make sense, but many players have said they were willing to dish about their old teams, but their new teams wouldn't hear of it. Just more proof that the NFL teams and coaches don't care about winning half as much as they claim.

And no, it's not illegal (by US or NFL rule) to gather or use this kind of information, and it wouldn't be enforceable if it was.

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85 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by RickD // Nov 26, 2018 - 1:06am

Generally speaking, what kind of inside information is there that cannot be seen watching game tapes?

It's been said that part of Belichick's motivation for hiring Dom Capers as an assistant coach was to get Capers to share his secrets about the zone blitz. But Capers stayed mum.

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90 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 26, 2018 - 9:35am

Calls and signals, I would think.

It's public knowledge the Pats have a camera team whose job is to try to correlate game tape to sideline signals. Bringing in players/coaches would confirm/deny whether the Pats film crew's interpretation was correct or not. This is basically the same as signal-stealing in baseball, except there's no correlate to the pitcher headhunting in response.

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100 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by aces4me // Nov 26, 2018 - 11:54am

Now that D calls are radioed in I think the sideline camera thing is a lot less valuable. Prior to that though there is a wealth of information that can be pulled out of film like that. Signals to be sure but any competent team is going to change their signals frequently. Stuff that is hard to change and this is really what the Pats were after I think is decision loop timing. If we make a substitution how long before the call comes in, how long for the other team to analyse personnel groups. The real stuff they pay Ernie for. Scouts have been deciphering signals with binos and a notebook for decades the real signal intelligence stuff wasn't possible before video and computers were available.

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104 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 26, 2018 - 6:22pm

I haven't looked at the specs of the radio equipment teams use, but I've wondered if it's analog or digital. If it's analog, anyone nearby with a HAM radio can scan for the right frequency and listen in on the calls. If it's digital it's probably only slightly more complicated, because I can't believe they would bother to encrypt/decrypt..

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105 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by aces4me // Nov 26, 2018 - 6:58pm

I have read it is encrypted spread spectrum radio. Not impossible to intercept but requires significant resources. Easier to bug the guy using the radio.

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36 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Sixknots // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:39pm

Are you sure Hue Jackson ever had useful coaching information on the Browns team?

Though I used to suspect he had *info* on the Browns owner.

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14 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 4:18pm

Facing 3rd and 18, the Giants take a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty. That's a ridiculous waste of a timeout. The difference between 18 and 23 yards to is not very significant. To make matters even more ridiculous, the playcall out of the timeout is a basic checkdown that has absolutely no chance of resulting in a first down (it actually loses yards).

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15 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 4:40pm

Some guy named Josh Adams is running the ball very effectively for the Eagles. He's apparently an undrafted rookie. Another example of why spending a top five draft pick on a RB is such a waste of resources.

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16 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 4:51pm

I'm looking at the Patriots-Jets game. Sony Michel has been out for a while before the game. He was fully active on this one, but in the 2nd he got crushed at the line and was out for some plays. You can't expect. He's been solid, but he's been getting injured. Top picks on RBs are a serious gamble because a) Barring that back being amazing (Pretty much what Barry Sanders was and Saquon Barkley is), you can't that back to become a great performer right away, doubly so if your O-Line is made out of wet paper, and b) RBs probably take the most hits out of any skill players. They will get hurt a fair lot (Looks at both Michel and Leonard Fournette).

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86 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by RickD // Nov 26, 2018 - 1:19am

Michel was the 31st overall pick. That's really not all that high.

It's kind of funny that you're picking on Michel for his injury. Compared to the other Pats' picks, he's been a model of health.

Highest pick Isaiah Wynn blew out his Achilles in the preseason and won't play until next year.
Second round pick CB Duke Dawson was put on IR in the preseason (though he's been activated, he's yet to play a snap.)

LBs Ja'Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam, 5th and 6th round picks, were both placed on IR in the preseason. Also on IR are 6th round pick Braxton Berrios and Ryan Izzo.

BTW, Michel returned to the game and finished with 133 yards rushing.

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18 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 5:07pm

The Bucs defense managed to get an interception today. That was apparently their first turnover in eight games and only their second pick in the entire season. That's mind boggling.

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19 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 5:13pm

I've thought for years that QBs can't be *that* accurate on deep bombs, and that "hitting a receiver in stride" is more on the receiver making adjustments running under the ball, and that the QBs job is to give them a chance. The network had a shot of the last throw from Wilson to Lockett, focusing on Lockett the whole time, and you could see how the throw was 5-10 yards away from being "accurate", but that far down the field it didn't matter because Lockett was able to adjust anyway.

I had similar thoughts on an incompletion to I think #18, where he made a wild last-second adjustment to get close, but 18 was still off by a few inches.

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21 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 25, 2018 - 5:15pm

+1

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38 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by CaffeineMan // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:41pm

Agreed. Moss was brilliant at this.

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49 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:45pm

I know you mean Randy, but Joe Gibbs once commented that Santana was the best he'd ever seen at this.

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68 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by jacobk // Nov 25, 2018 - 10:48pm

Counterpoint: on the fourth and three pass to Moore the receiver had a defender running with him stride for stride and didn't appear to change pace at all as the ball dropped into his arm a couple feet away from the defender. That was a thirty five yard pass.

I'd say the receiver adjustments don't start to dominate over QB accuracy until you start getting into 50+ yards in the air.

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23 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 5:40pm

Ring the blocked FG alert. Justin Simmons blocked a Steelers FG.

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24 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:05pm

Steelers fumble a sure touchdown out of the end zone, Broncos ball! It's a dumb rule but it helped this time

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26 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:06pm

Big Ben completes a pass to Xavier Grimble. He gets all the way to the 1 before Will Parks knocks the ball out of his hands. The fumble goes out of the endzone for a Touchback. Do we agree the "Fumble out of the endzone = Touchback" is dumb, bad and should be replaced?

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29 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by BJR // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:21pm

It's dumb because it is totally inconsistent with fumbling out of bounds anywhere else on the field, which results in the offense retaining possession.

FWIW I would have no problem if the rule went completely the other way, and punished any fumble out of bounds anywhere on the field with a turnover.

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30 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:25pm

I would say: If the defense recovers the fumble in the endzone, deal with it as a downed pick in the endzone, Touchback. If it is FUMBLEd out of the endzone, then punish the offense with a loss of down and even a 5-10 yard penalty, Intentional Grounding style.

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34 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:37pm

Treat it the same as a fumble out of bounds anywhere on the field.

Take your pick of what that treatment should be. I like a 10 yard penalty from the point of the fumble and loss of down, but I don't really care what the rule is. More that it be the same in the endzone as out of the endzone.

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43 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:57pm

I think that ten-yard rule would be an improvement. One of the things that's annoying with the current setup is that the offense can fumble and suffer no negative consequences, and may even benefit if the ball happens to bounce forward.

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87 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by RickD // Nov 26, 2018 - 1:23am

They could just return the ball to the offense at the point of the fumble, regardless of where it ends up, if nobody recovers it. (Alternatively, worse of 'point of fumble' and 'point ball went out of bounds')

I see no reason to reward the defense with possession if they do not recover the fumble.

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97 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by sbond101 // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:12am

This argument could easily be turned around to say "I see no reason to reward the offense with continued possession of the ball after they surrendered it". When a ball is fumbled, it isn't the offenses ball anymore than the defenses ball, when it goes out of bounds the decision as to who to give the ball to is pretty arbitrary (recovery rates are pretty even). I don't support a change to the current rule of the offense retaining possession - but it definitely seems "cheap" to me when a player on the sideline gets away with being sloppy with the football. I also agree with any and all means of punishing players for stretching out for the goal line, and so support the current endzone fumble rule - I think it's ridiculous that players can stick the nose of the football across the goal line and after that it doesn't matter if they fumble (though I get the player safety reasons why you can't making them get "down" in the traditional sense like they have to when catching a ball in the endzone).

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25 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by deus01 // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:05pm

Broncos benefit from the stupid rule where a fumble out of the endzone results in a change of possession and touchback.

Since today is also Grey Cup Sunday I think the NFL should adopt the 'rouge' rule from the CFL and award the Steelers 1 point.

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27 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:19pm

I agree it is a strange rule, but I'm not sure what you replace the rule with. Stuff that happens in the endzone is often ruled on slightly differently (holding in the endzone becoming a safety etc...), and edge cases can happen. One way to look at it is the defence gets the benefit of the doubt on endzone recoveries (the sideline/backline counts as a defensive recovery) which at least discourages the fumble into the endzone play...

Most sports have some odd rules around the scoring procedures and areas. No problem here with the 'rouge' rule, though you probably want deeper Canadian-style endzones for that, and I'm not sure any NFL defence would like to try to defend a 20 yard deep end zone.

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31 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by BJR // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:27pm

One way to straighten it out would be to punish a fumble out of bounds anywhere on the field with a turnover. Drastic I realize, but it at least would remedy the absurd end-zone inconsistency.

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32 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by deus01 // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:28pm

I feel like teams don't take advantage of the fumble out of bounds rule now. In some cases if you're not going to make it out of bounds it might make sense to intentionally fumble in a way that the ball only goes out of bounds (e.g a rugby style drop and kick along the ground).

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33 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:33pm

I'd have no problem with that. Gives defences something else to work for, and penalising teams that keep letting go of the ball seems the right thing to do. As it is the current rule seems a lot better than just giving the offence the ball at the 1 (for example). Fumbles should be bad for the offence (as someone brought up with the Rugby 'knock on' the idea that you don't lose possession when you drop the ball seems pretty lenient ;) ).

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66 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Dan // Nov 25, 2018 - 9:54pm

The rule everywhere else on the field is that a fumble that goes forward and out of bound is retained by the fumbling team at the spot where it was fumbled. They could just enforce that exact same rule when the fumble goes out the end zone, and spot the ball where it was fumbled. There is no need for a special end zone rule here.

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28 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:19pm

Whenever in the play by play I see "Pass short for 2/1/0/-2 yards", my mind simply goes "Why a WR screen?"

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35 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:39pm

Just wondering, after seeing one of the highlights from an earlier game where the receiver went high to make a catch in the endzone, what happens if defenders catch the receiver and carry them out of bounds without the receiver ever putting a foot down in the endzone after a leaping catch? Is that a TD, or an incompletion? (I remember watching this wonderful rugby moment live - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gpzFZadcQ - made all the more amusing by the fact that Carling was the England international captain at the time).

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50 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:47pm

Incomplete. The NFL used to have a push-out rule, where if the ref felt the receiver probably would have caught it inbounds it was called a catch, but they haven't in several years

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71 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Travis // Nov 25, 2018 - 11:13pm

Carrying (as opposed to pushing) a receiver out of bounds when he would have landed in bounds would result in a catch.

Rule 8-1-3-Note 5: "If a player, who is in possession of the ball, is held up and carried out of bounds by an opponent before both feet or any part of his body other than his hands touches the ground inbounds, it is a completed or intercepted pass. It is not necessary for the player to maintain control of the ball when he lands out of bounds."

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37 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:39pm

The Steelers have made it into Broncos territory 4 times. In 4 possession. The results of the first 3: Blocked FG, Touchback due to fumble and FG. Let's see what happens with the 4th one.

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39 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:44pm

Fourth and goal from the 2.5? I like the FG here at the end of the half. Pinning Denver is useless.

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40 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:46pm

BAHAHA! So, the Steelers line up for a FG to go 10-6 halftime right? NO! They line up for the FG, and run a pass by Chris Boswell to Alejandro Villanueva, ex-Army TE now starting LT.

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41 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:49pm

After getting the block earlier cannot understand why the Broncos special teams was not playing the fake hard, even calling a time out (they had them left) for that. Didn't even 'ice the kicker' (maybe the one useful thing icing might do is reveal a fake?).

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42 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 6:55pm

Pretty funny that the Steelers offense ran so many plays (and so many of them were close to the endzone), but it takes the special teams to finally punch it in for a TD.

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44 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by BJR // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:03pm

Holy smoke, Rivers has broken the record for consecutive completions to start a game. 25/25 for 225 yards, 3 TDs.

Shut him down for the day!

Edit: it's actually the record for consecutive completions (full stop).

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45 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:14pm

JuJu did it again! 97 yard TD! He did this last season against the Lions!

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46 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:18pm

Amazing work by Big Ben to get that ball away and that far downfield under so much pressure.

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47 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:40pm

I haven't watched all this game, but it seems like the Steelers have basically dominated. They will really be blowing an opportunity if they let this game slip away.

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48 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:44pm

Not sure when you posted this, but I wouldn't say dominated. It's been fairly even to my eyes

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51 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by BJR // Nov 25, 2018 - 7:50pm

Hmmm. 452 total yards to 228. That's fairly dominant to me. 3 turnovers to 0, plus a missed field goal is what is keeping it close.

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53 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:07pm

The yardage totals are pretty flukey too though, with that 97- yarder skewing things

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52 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:00pm

Philip Lindsay is so good. The contrast between him and Freeman, who is a cromulent back himself, is stark. Freeman looks sloooowwwww by comparison.

Having dated a Lindsey for several years, the spelling of his name bugs me.

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58 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:41pm

I think balancing the two, more or less, in carries is probably wise though. Freeman is bigger and you don't want to break Lindsay. Freeman is slower but he is a perfectly usable back, it isn't a dogmatic 'Thunder and Lightning' kind of thing, but a good use of resources. As undrafted FA Lindsay is presumably on a shorter term contract than Freeman, and I expect will get paid a fair amount more fairly soon. Good, young, backfield (and an OL that is surviving surprisingly well despite injuries). Keenum has stopped throwing so many out and out bad passes too, and seems a viable QB even if unlikely to get his contract renewed (without accepting a pay cut) it gives the team time to find a longer term QB. Young WRs and TEs are making some contributions too (not perhaps breaking out, but at least contributing).

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54 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:27pm

Wow, another turnover. Steelers do indeed let this one get away from them. 462 passing yards for just 17 points (and 7 of those came from a special teams trick play) is rather remarkable, in a bad way.

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55 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:31pm

Wow, great game by Denver! They came in with a plan and stuck to it. For once I have little to complain about about Joseph and Musgrave, who called a coherent offense today for a change.

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61 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:58pm

I'd have really liked to see a timeout called at end of first half before the FG attempt. There seemed to be some confusion with how many men they had on the field and they had the timeouts. I'm still of the mind that Joseph should get to coach again next year, less certain of Musgrave (I'd like to see a little more imagination on combination routes, and a bit less empty backfield myself) - but the offence is certainly functional which is better than it might have been, especially with the OL injuries and the number of young players plugging in.

Possibly the thing that impresses me most about Joseph is that seems to be able to forget about a mistake or missed opportunity and get back onto the next play. I remember towards the end of the Shanahan era being totally sick of the number of times the 'go for the jugular after a turnover' attitude seemed to instead be either throw the ball straight back or give up a sack and stall the drive. The current Broncos coaches seem to just play the drive according to what is required by down/distance/score/clock, rather than trying to make obvious points that the opposition can see coming.

Reading the Doug Farrar piece linked in Extra Points on evolution of offence and how old fashioned most NFL defences are has made me consider that it is likely almost impossible these days to go a whole game against a good offence without some plays breaking wide open - unless you just play prevent and lose that way. So I'm starting to give defensive coordinators some more slack when third downs are converted apparently easily, as long as drives get stopped before the endzone. Given how the Patriots D has been producing 'bend but don't break' style numbers most years for what seems like forever perhaps this is something else that BB was ahead of the league in. If a team make 50% of 3rd downs against you, but you are forcing lots of third downs, and the odd turnover, that is probably enough in the modern NFL. Keeping opponents below 21 points might almost be the new 'shutout' (certainly if you are playing a team set up like the Chiefs).

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63 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by BJR // Nov 25, 2018 - 9:28pm

If the plan was to allow Pittsburgh to pass for close to 500 yards, and hope for freakish turnovers to prevent them scoring, then it worked a treat.

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67 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 10:00pm

1) as I mentioned elsewhere, the yardage total is a bit misleading.

2) yes, the turnovers were essential towards winning the game, but they weren't exactly unforced either. Taking advantage of the breaks you get is part of winning too.

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56 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by xydux // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:31pm

Broncos beat the Steelers. I laugh now.

Broncos will miss the playoffs anyway, though, and the Steelers will win their division, so you gotta wonder who the real losers here are.

(the real winners are the Chiefs and the Patriots and maybe the Texans)

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96 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mr Shush // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:10am

I guess the Texans are winners in the sense that being seeded #3 likely means playing the Ravens, who they can probably beat, rather than the Chargers, who they probably can't, to set up yet another divisional round loss away to a team with an actual offense.

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57 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by BJR // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:34pm

Extraordinary loss for Pittsburgh. Marched up and down the field all day (462 yards for Big Ben) and lost due to the most horribly timed turnovers.

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81 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Hummingbird Cyborg // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:35am

If you've been a football fan for any length of time, you'll notice that days with huge passing totals come not uncommonly from losing efforts. If the team is losing big, sometimes means that one team has passed more to catch up. In this case, Pittsburgh had an extremely high number of attempts at 60, 58 by Roethlisberger including two sacks. Sixty attempts is an extreme number of attempts. What this means is that on a per play basis, Pittsburgh's numbers weren't that particularly impressive. I mean, 7.5 yards per attempt isn't that bad for a day of passing for a team, but it isn't what you usually expect to see in a dominant performance.

On the day, the Steelers averaged 6.9 yards per play to Denver's 5.8 which is better for sure, but it isn't so dominant that two interceptions and four fumbles shouldn't be enough to consider the play of the teams similar in quality. Those numerous turnovers were part of the game and they showcased plays in which Denver either made a huge play or Pittsburgh made a huge mistake. The same is true of a 97 yard play. It was a play in which either Pittsburgh either made a huge play or Denver a huge mistake.

I'd be surprised if DVOA sees this game as a dominant performance by Pittsburgh.

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89 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by BJR // Nov 26, 2018 - 8:39am

This clearly wasn't a case of Pittsburgh passing lots whilst significantly behind and racking up yards against soft defenses. They were never behind more than one score. Right from the get-go they were driving down the field without much difficulty.

DVOA will obviously punish Pittsburgh heavily for the turnovers, so no, I don't expect a huge disparity there. But the nature of those turnovers, particularly the fumbles, was somewhat freakish. Both came after huge offensive plays, thanks to last ditch defensive efforts. Of course the defensive players deserve great credit for their effort, but relying on such plays as a path to victory is not likely to be repeatable.

Re. the 97 yard TD, there were at least two other occasions Pittsburgh were inches from connecting on what would have been huge pass plays where receivers were downfield with the defenders totally beaten. The 97 yarder wasn't a ridiculous one-off in that context - Pittsburgh receivers were getting free downfield throughout the game.

Look, I get you are a Denver fan and are pleased with the win. They certainly did some good things in the game. Lindsay ran the ball well, and the defense was good enough to make Pittsburgh work for their yards. Antonio Brown was kept quiet. I'm not a salty Pittsburgh fan, just trying to be objective. A win sealed through a goal line stand, having won the turnover battle 4-0, plus a missed field goal, is likely to have involved a lot of good luck/timing, and is unlikely to be predictive of Denver's ability to beat the top teams going forward. I'd favor Pittsburgh reasonably comfortably if the game was played again tomorrow.

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99 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Hummingbird Cyborg // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:40am

I'm just pointing out that total yards is one of the lesser stats to use to evaluate how a team did. I am a Broncos fan, but I've made this exact argument in many games with many different teams. I don't really have a problem with you seeing Pittsburgh as having outperformed Denver. I just think that the metric that you used to make the determination isn't the best. Looking at the game, there were a couple of dropped big play balls by Pittsburgh and fewer such balls for Denver. Likewise, Pittsburgh dropped a potential interception or two, so I wouldn't say that there was no luck involved as football is a very stochastic sport and outlier plays regardless can swing a game and aren't necessarily reliable to be repeated.

But also Denver was outgained on a per play basis, but 6.9 to 5.8 yards to per play isn't such a huge disparity.

I do think that if these teams meet again, Denver will need to play better to win again.

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102 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 26, 2018 - 2:33pm

That 1 yard per play advantage came entirely from a single play.

Factor in the field position benefits from punting rather than turning the ball over (add 20 yards for the touchback fumble) and I suspect total yards would be pretty even. Maybe you could equate turnovers to about 35 yards on average (or ~0.3-0.5 average yards per play) if you want to make a rough and ready figure for gauging game balance from basic overall stats?

Also a Broncos fan, yes they made some big plays at the right time, but so did the Steelers, just not quite enough (a fraction later released or a slightly worse snap or whatever and the 97 yard TD is a safety or a ‘hit as thrown’ pass up for grabs).

Both teams played well enough in their different ways to make for a good game. Turnovers can often feel more lucky than racking up the yards, but it is definitely something that can be played for to an extent and both Steelers and Broncos have made big ones to change Super Bowls. Home field also definitely helps a bit, and if the teams do somehow meet again this season it most likely won’t be in Denver!

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59 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:45pm

Finally saw that David Njoku TD that I kept hearing about. I don't understand how his forward progress wasn't stopped.

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98 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:37am

It was. Refs blew the call.

As a scoring play, though, it should have been automatically reviewed. I'm surprised it wasn't overturned by the booth, either. Maybe they just figured it was a fun score and let it go.

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60 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by ChrisLong // Nov 25, 2018 - 8:51pm

Packers down two of their top 3 corners and Mike Daniels. This game might get rough for the Packers D.

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62 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 9:20pm

I love those timelapse shots NBC does of every Sunday night city, the one of Minneapolis just now with the low clouds was fantastic.

I'm also happy about all the shots of the local ski resorts during the Broncos game. That's better advertising than anything they could have bought.

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64 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by justanothersteve // Nov 25, 2018 - 9:47pm

Vikings trying to single-cover Adams with Rhodes. It's not working. Rodgers is going to Adams pretty much every time if he's in single coverage. Adams could end up with 15 catches unless the Vikings switch that up.

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65 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 25, 2018 - 9:53pm

It's always been funny to me that a guy named Elflein would weigh 300 lbs.

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69 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by justanothersteve // Nov 25, 2018 - 10:49pm

Cris Collinsworth says Thielen isn't an athlete. He ran a 4.45 40.

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70 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 25, 2018 - 11:01pm

Collinsworth said Thielen wasn't a great athlete, he's just smart. Maybe he ran the 40 in roller blades?

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82 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Will Allen // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:44am

As if catching the effing ball is not an athletic behavior. I know most people like him, but I find Collinsworth really annoying. He was also yelping tonight about how Cousins' better performance, compared to last week, was some kind of special mental feat by Cousins, due to him somehow taking responsibility for his contract. As opposed to facing a lesser defense, and ignoring the fact that once you adjust for opponent, Cousins played reasonably well against the Bears.

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91 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 26, 2018 - 9:39am

Catching itself seems like a skill as opposed to a talent. (Compare arm-strength versus the ability to see a curve ball)

Being big and fast and having a huge catch radius (Eric Ebron) is talent, but the ability to simply not have brick hands (contra Eric Ebron) is a skill.

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101 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Will Allen // Nov 26, 2018 - 2:23pm

I don't understand this.

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103 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by TimK // Nov 26, 2018 - 2:39pm

I’d guess the point is that a ‘skill’ can be learned but a ‘talent’ is innate. So one can be improved by hard work, better coaching etc, the other cannot. Getting back to the ‘planet theory’ of drafting again. Though you still need someone with a decent amount of the drive to maximise their talent as well (which is a skill, I guess by these definitions).

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106 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Will Allen // Nov 26, 2018 - 8:08pm

A very, very, large portion of catching a football well is innate, and things we typically consider athletic, like speed, can be improved with hard work.

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72 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cheesehead_Canuck // Nov 25, 2018 - 11:27pm

Packers look awful and somehow tied.
Tick tock tick tock, MM!

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73 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by ChrisLong // Nov 25, 2018 - 11:48pm

Just so many injuries in-game tonight for the Packers

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74 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cheesehead_Canuck // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:02am

Zimmer is playing chess while MM is playing checkers.

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75 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by ChrisLong // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:09am

Oh please, anyone watching this game can see the Packers just don’t have the players to keep up.

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77 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:19am

Actually, isn't the offense pretty healthy? I thought most of the injuries were on defense. They've looked bad to me all year, regardless.

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78 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by ChrisLong // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:23am

Whole left side of the OL is hurt, St. Brown is hurt, Jimmy Graham is playing with a broken thumb, and Cobb was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Against the number 5 defense by DVOA.

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92 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 26, 2018 - 9:39am

Exactly. Minnesota is turning its pawns into queens, and Green Bay is just jumping backwards.

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76 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cheesehead_Canuck // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:17am

Something 1 for 8 on 3rd down.
2 timeouts used by the 4th quarter. Shocker!

Checkers.

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79 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by ChrisLong // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:24am

They only used one timeout before the 4th and that was on the play the refs didn’t get the ball set.

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80 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by ChrisLong // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:33am

Packers need a pass rusher really, really badly. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them try to trade up for Nick Bosa.

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88 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by justanothersteve // Nov 26, 2018 - 4:55am

Bosa is expected to go in the first few picks and has been mocked as the first overall in a few mock drafts. It will take more than both Packers #1 picks next year to move up that high. It's a deep year for DL talent, but not many are edge rushers.

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83 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Will Allen // Nov 26, 2018 - 12:47am

Eh, if Rhodes is done, with what looked like a serious hamstring injury, the Vikings are done.

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93 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 26, 2018 - 9:43am

@SF and NYG are freebies, but I could see Chicago dropping the other two (Rams, GB), making the week 17 Vikings game a Lions-special (winner takes the division, loser gets the #6).

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107 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Jose21crisis // Nov 26, 2018 - 9:47pm

That's a change, a delay of game on 3rd and 14 instead of a timeout.

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108 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Ben // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:20pm

Ugh. 97 yard TD run after the Titans fail on 4th and 1 at the Texans 3.

Get ready for a lot of “Those analytics geeks don’t know anything about football” hot takes.

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109 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:28pm

This game has been a microcosm of the Texans entire season so far.

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110 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Ben // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:33pm

I wonder if there has ever been another week in the NFL with two 95+ yard scrimmage plays (I assume multiple long kick off returns have happened).

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111 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Will Allen // Nov 26, 2018 - 10:42pm

Love seeing a team that had its season ruined by injuries last year come back like they have this year.

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112 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Cythammer // Nov 27, 2018 - 12:04am

No incompletions for Mariota until one minute left in the fourth quarter. That's got to be a record of some sort. What a bizarre oddity that it comes in a blowout loss.

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113 Re: Week 12 Open Game Discussion

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:04pm

Would love to see the terminology changed, so that throws behind the line of scrimmage don't count as passes.

Then Mariota's line would have read something like 4 for 5 on forward passes and it would be clearer that Tennessee didn't employ a passing game until Q4.

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