Football Outsiders
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Week 13 Open Game Discussion

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.