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Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Week 13 Open Game Discussion
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Week 13 kicks off with a doozy, as Drew Brees and the 10-1 Saints visit the 6-5 Cowboys. Other key games this weekend include 6-4-1 Minnesota at 8-3 New England, the 8-3 Chargers at the 7-3-1 Steelers on Sunday night, and a big divisional matchup on Monday night between 6-5 Washington and 5-6 Philadelphia (hey, somebody has to win the NFC East). Use this thread to discuss them all.

Comments

209 comments, Last at 04 Dec 2018, 2:44am

3 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

2 Three and outs. Back to back. That looked a bit like a catch, but there wasn't a camera angle that clearly showed the ball getting loose or not getting loose.

7 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

The Saints have enough firepower to get out of that hole. But can they actually start firing on all cylinders before it's too late? And can they put a spy on Dak?

9 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I hate the challenge rules. Better to have it all initiated from the booth. Just get the calls right. It's stupid to have missed calls because a coach doesn't know when to challenge or has already used up his challenges.

36 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Then the game takes longer, because the replay official can't decide that a questionable call is unimportant enough to ignore. If there's a question of whether a 0-yard pass is actually incomplete, no coach will bother to challenge. But the guy in the booth doesn't have that luxury. (If he does, there will inevitably be complaints about particular calls going unreviewed.)

In fact, the original replay system did involve those calls from upstairs, and the league decided it was better off with coaches' challenges. Despite all the imperfections, I agree.

45 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

They don't have challenges in the college game and there aren't any such issues. In fact, things should be faster because we won't have thirty or forty wasted seconds where a coach debates whether to challenge a particular call or not.

47 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

If there's a question of whether a 0-yard pass is actually incomplete, no coach will bother to challenge. But the guy in the booth doesn't have that luxury. (If he does, there will inevitably be complaints about particular calls going unreviewed.)

The college rules require a material effect to stop play. So if, e.g., a ball carrier at the end of a 40-yard gain is marked out at the 23 but had actually stepped out on the previous stride at the 26, a review is uncalled-for. The incomplete pass versus completion for no gain is a slam dunk in that regard.

17 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Brees looks fine, but I'm not sure I've seen a completed pass yet, they've all been dropped and every first down has been a defensive penalty. Oh wait there's one for a TD

19 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

So, New Orleans Offensive Line blows up and Brees is strip sacked. All is good for the Cowboys until Randy Gregory gets called for offsides. After he Roughed the Punter a drive early.

20 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

How that is not a helmet to helmet hit!? That was pretty much a Hit Stick tackle out of Madden with the helmet to Kamara's head. Dude was even getting up slowly. No flag.

22 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

"Sometimes when you get a guy that wide open… it's a harder throw than you can imagine."

"Sometimes when you get a guy that wide open… it's a harder throw than you can imagine."

"Sometimes when you get a guy that wide open… it's a harder throw than you can imagine."

48 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

"Sometimes when you get a harder throw than you can imagine... it's a guy that wide open."

"Sometimes when you throw a guy harder than you can imagine... it's wide open, get that?"

"Sometimes when you get a guy harder than you can imagine... it's that wide open a throw."

23 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

For the Saints, How is that you allow a QB to slip out of your grasp like that? For the Cowboys, dang it Dak (Or Gallup, can't see who did something wrong). He had nothing but space and opportunity with not a single black jersey in front. Either an over throw or Gallup simply ... missed it.

29 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Sorry, I am hot right now.
First the blew the first down call for Beasley. His knee was CLEARLY down a yard or so before the first down.
THEN they missed a clear face mask on Dak.

What's terrible is that EVERYONE watching the game knows what the right call is within seconds of the end of the play. Why can't the officials just have someone in the booth buzz down the right call. That way the pace of the game isn't interrupted and the right call gets made.

28 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

That fumble might be the best thing to happen to the Cowboys. If Garrett kicks a field goal there, he forces the Saints to go to four down football and play for the TD.

Now the Saints will be more likely to go conservative if they get to the Cowboys side of the field and play for OT.

34 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Stupid use of the timeout at 2:03. You save yourself three seconds, but you make an incomplete pass consequence-free, which makes it much more likely that Dallas tries to throw and clinch the game instead of just killing clock.

35 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Like I think Aikman was saying, it might've made sense for the Saints to save their timeout for after the two-minute warning. It would only cost you three seconds and would ensure there's still a reason for the Cowboys to not run the ball, which in turns lowers the chance Dallas picks up a game-clinching first down.

37 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Some thoughts on last night's game:

- The Officiating was horrible - and I want to point out that it made Mike Pereira want to leave in shame by the end
- Troy Aikman actually seemed... engaged and enthusiastic for once. He tends to be mister bland but he was engaging and energetic and by far the best I've heard him as an announcer. I think no one was more surprised than Joe Buck in the 1st quarter about it - but Buck did match him as it went on there.

So on the game itself
- The Cowboys defense was fantastic - and was all over the field and in Brees face.
- The Saints defense, after a rough opening was good
- The Cowboys offense still needs some work but seems to be getting a bit better overall.

This might be the first time that the Saints have paid for lacking a true second receiver there - and they need to figure out what was going on with their offensive line there. Brees looked frighteningly mortal there with pressure in his face and made some bad decisions. Sean Peyton also needs to learn to better handle challenges as he wasted them early on there and it cost them later - though with how the Saints offense was playing it may not have mattered.

39 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Brees looked frighteningly mortal there with pressure in his face and made some bad decisions.

Everyone does.

The best QB I've ever seen dealing with pressure right up the gut was peak Roethlisberger, who was like a lighthouse fighting off waves. Next best was Cutler, which is why he was so eternally frustrating. For a guy so lazy and laconic, he was a goddamn wizard at handling massive line leaks.

40 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I particularly enjoyed the moment late in the 4th when Aikman was beginning to discuss that Cole Beasley was probably short of the line... BOOM Joe Buck jumps in and practically yells "But they can't even challenge it!" and then Aikman very sullenly said "Yeah I was gonna get there Joe..." and there was like 10 seconds of silence/glowering at each other in the booth.

43 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I only watched the 2nd half but it seemed like one of those games where one team was just faster and more powerful than the other.

Was it just Bhron Jones on Thomas most of the match or washe being bracketed?

Those Cowboys LBs were outstanding, was astonishing to see how quickly and cleanly they were getting to the gaps and executing.

46 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

KC has released Kareem Hunt (who also has been placed on the Commissioner's exempt list, so he can't play or practice or even attend games).

49 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Some team is going to get a top 5 RB for cheap. A whole lot worse conduct has been seen in this league. I expect Goodell keeps him on the list until the season is over, and whoever picks him up off waivers will have him for another three years at a discount. Probably open next season with a 4 game suspension.

55 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

The announcer for Bills/Phins just said “shades of Steve Young” about a Josh Allen play. I don’t know if my eyes will ever be unrolled again.

56 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Texans punt on 4th and 3 from the Browns' 40. I understand it a little more when you're up by 10 and the opposing offense is struggling, but I still don't like it.

57 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

WTF CBS? I understand that you feel the need to shill semi-charitable whatever on your broadcast, but DO NOT PLAY SAPPY MUSIC WHEN YOU DO! MFG that is INFURIATING. That music is fingernails on a chalkboard for me. Ugh.

58 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

And now AJ Green is hurt on a non-contact injury. I think Chris Harris' was non-contact as well. Is the field in Cincinnati known to be bad?

ETA: Green carted to the locker room. The update on Harris is he's "done for the day," which I guess is reason dor cautious optimism.

60 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

And Derick Wolfe is hurt with what appeared to be an injury caused by the turf. WTF is going on with this field?

61 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

For as much as Vontaze Burfict clearly loves hitting people, he sure is a baby about it when he's hurt (not a turf injury this time! And he's already back in the game)

62 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

So, Broncos-Bengals observations, 2-minute warning:

1. The Broncos look like a team that usually plays at 2:30 suddenly having to play at 11:00. The Bengals, meanwhile, just look completely discombobulated–their last drive ended on a 3rd and 39 caused by a bunch of offensive penalties.
2. The Bengals are totally playing hide the quarterback today. They've had opportunities to do something, but they haven't really capitalized on them.
3. There have been four injuries so far. Outside of Burfict (tweaked his shoulder on a tackle), they've all been turf-related. Strangely, according to the FO report on Turf Type and Injuries, the Cincinnati turf isn't that bad; it's about middle of the league injury wise and one spot above Denver's field for injuries, so maybe today is just an outlier.

64 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Broncos have been very poor on the road going east this year. They have seemed simply lethargic and off. I read somewhere that they had changed their travel routines this year to try to improve things, I'd hope they change back next year as it has not been working.

65 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Panthers are down by 10 to the Bucs at halftime. Their season has really fallen apart since that 6-2 start.

EDIT: Newton has 54 yards and two picks. That's incredibly bad against the Bucs defense.

66 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Jeff Driskel called for intentional grounding because he didn't pretend good enough to be throwing a real pass.

67 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

If current scores hold up and the Ravens lose their tied game we would have a four-way tie in the AFC for the last wildcard spot between the Dolphins, Ravens, Colts, and whoever wins Broncos-Bengals. I expect the Colts and Ravens will win their games, though.

69 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

On the one hand, I wrote off the Broncos season after the Jets game. On the other hand, I still want to see the Broncos in the playoffs. And on the other other hand, the Colts/Ravens have both looked good enough at times to make a run if things fall right, and the Colts would probably be entertaining in the playoffs.

So go Colts, Broncos, and Falcons.

68 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Just saw that Jalen Ramsey pulled the 'nah, I won't help you up after all' on Luck that Von Miller did last year (on Mahones?), but somehow didn't get the 15 yard penalty.

72 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Giants get their second TD pass from Odell Beckham on the season. Odell takes the ball, kind of fakes that he's going to run after looking downfield, then lobs it deep to an extremely wide open receiver. A great play call, especially when you consider Eli is 8/18 for 76 yards and an INT.

77 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I loved that Beckham sold giving up on the pass and faked like he was trapped running before throwing the ball. Either that or he was smart enough to keep his eyes down the field while scrambling. Regardless, Beckham was great on that play.

73 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Bruce Arians and Trent Green have been having some interesting discussions of defensive schemes (Tampa 2 high safety vs. Man) as the Browns were doing both at times against the Texans, then Gumble seemed to nudge them away saying they were speaking a different language. I hope they go back to this discussion at some point.

75 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Great play by 38 on special teams! The Bengals returner muffed the punt, and instead of scrambling for the ball he just hits the returner, preventing his recovery and allowing a Bronco teammate to get the recovery

Shamarko Thomas is 38, apparently

76 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Giants go for it on fourth and goal from the 1. Eli is under enormous pressure almost immediately but is able to lob it up to Odell, who is completely alone in the left side of endzone. With Chase Daniels at QB the Bears are going to have a hard time coming back from down 24-14.

78 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Packers looking like world beaters again. If they lose to the Cardinals at home, will McCarthy get the boot now rather than the courtesy wait till the end of season firing??

79 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Cardinals now leading the Packers in Green Bay. If Green Bay loses, it would surprise almost nobody if McCarthy is fired with the next 24 hours.

81 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Looks like the Bears get screwed out of a TD. On a long pass downfield the receiver goes down, but doesn't appear to be touched. He gets back and after two defenders hit him but fail to bring him down there's no one to prevent a TD. But the play has been whistled dead so the ball remains at the Giants 29.

82 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Under ten minutes to go and the Colts still looking for their first points. I guess Cody Kessler has succeeded where Bortles failed to inspire the Jags defense to carry him.

164 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Obligatory "Cody Kessler's first win as a starter!!11!! oh-fur-8 before dat!" comment from many Browns fans.

Of course, very few stats are more misleading in this type of context, in which they are one of many subpar QBs with often subpar supporting casts, than raw "W-L as a starter."

83 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I hate the "points off turnovers" notion that networks push. When the turnover is at the 10 yard line and the offense drives 90 yards, that's hardly due to the turnover

155 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Exactly, it's instructive in basketball because of the short court and the measurability of transition defense, but with football it's only really useful with turnovers inside your own redzone.

Same reason, somewhat, that traditional passer rating is limited because passing so that your RB can punch it in inside the 5 is not all that less valuable than passing for the TD yourself, in addition to all the other variables

85 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Just saw this completely crazy stat on Twitter, courtesy of Field Yates: "The Buccaneers entered Week 13 with three interceptions as a team for the entire season. Safety Andrew Adams has three interceptions today." Panthers mid-season meltdown continuing.

88 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Wow. Nuts play to end Dolphins-Bills. On fourth down Josh Allen is way behind his line under pressure, but gets away and throws a pass to the endzone to a wide open Clay for what would be a game winner. It's a poor, wobbly pass, but the receiver has no one near him and should be able to adjust and make the catch. He doesn't and the Fins win.

90 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

The Bears are likely the superior team even with Chase Daniel at QB so I don't think it's the wrong choice at all.

Anyway, this has been the most incredible comeback I can remember in quite a while. Capped off with that crazy play call to send it to OT. I've been cheering for the Giants most of the game, but now I want to Bears to complete the comeback and win.

91 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Chris Harris is supposed to have a broken fibula according to NFL.com.

I have a succinct response to this, but due to the preferred PG-rating for the game threads, I'll just call myself "displeased" and leave it at that.

97 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Although the Bears lost, I think they made the right decision in choosing overtime. Their defense is better than their offense, so betting that their defense would hold over their offense converting a fourth-and-goal is the right decision to me.

168 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I agree completely and I think the way the game turned out supports that. To me you only want to roll the dice on a single play if you are very clearly inferior to your opponent. The Bears played poorly today, and Daniel was bad, but I still don’t think there’s any reasonable argument that as a whole they are marketedly inferior to NY (even with Daniel at QB).

If the Bears had won the toss, or if the defense had been able to force a turnover or a punt, they’d have been in good shape to get a score to win. As it was, they had multiple chances on their drive to try to at least tie and it took multiple bad plays to prevent it.

98 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

The way that Giants-Bears OT went should give anyone who believes in momentum pause for thought. It won't, but it should.

101 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

That ref sure looked uncomfortable making a call against the Patriots, wringing his hands nervously. More proof of the conspiracy?

130 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Well, when the coach is the head of Illuminati and the quarterback a known associate of Satan, you can't be too careful. Perhaps tin-foil beanies can be distributed to officials before Foxboro games, protecting them from gamma-wave radiation and the sinister effects of chem trails.

102 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I was really surprised Zimmer won that challenge. He was right. I just don't remember a midfield challenge with <1 yard being won.

110 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

The NFL does a pretty decent job with its Youtube highlights. 8 minutes are usually enough to get a decent sense of the flow of a game.

(If you're wondering, I was looking up the 6-0 Jags/Colts to see what happened. Basically, good defense from both teams, a failed 4th down or two for the Colts, and the Jaguars just taking the field goals when they got close enough [and faced long 4th downs instead of 4th and 1s].)

114 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Although if the Jets pull off a win, that's a (not very surprising) upset, and I forgot about the Saints when I wrote this (that one was an upset), and if the Raiders actually manage to complete the comeback, then yes, this IS upset week.

113 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

KC needs to make big improvements on defense if they want to survive the postseason. There's no reason the Raiders should even be close in this game.

116 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Dammit Vikings. A 4-yard slant with the defender right on him on 4th and 11 isn't going to do it. It would be better to take a sack looking for a deeper throw because at least then you're trying!

128 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

If they were to find themselves in the right place at the right time like they did when Rodgers fell to them in '05 they should definitely consider it, but hard to imagine this will be the year - it doesn't look like a strong QB draft class, and the ink just barely dried on Rodgers's extension

187 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

2005 wasn't considered a strong year for QBs at the time. It was Smith or Rodgers going #1 and whoever didn't go#1 going top 10 then nothing. Rodgers falling to GB was a huge upset. Worked out well for Rodgers and GB tho...

I totally support GB drafting a QB to sit for a year or two.

191 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

Rob Demovsky, ESPN reporter who covers the Packers posted this to the ESPN Milwaukee web site after today's game:

This is, well, something: Aaron Rodgers had 233 yards on 31 completions. The only quarterback to complete 30 passes in a game and throw for less yards this season was Nathan Peterman.

It's not good when your raw stats only beat out Peterman. I wonder how bad his DVOA will be. I can't wait to listen to his podcast tomorrow.

137 Re: Week 13 Open Game Discussion

I hope all of you were standing for that anthem! If I find out any of you were kneeling so help me… *shakes fist menacingly*