Week 3 Quick Reads

Week 3 Quick Reads
Week 3 Quick Reads
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Vincent Verhei

By this point in his career, Colin Kaepernick should be peaking. He was drafted in 2011, the same year as Cam Newton and Andy Dalton, who between them have led the Panthers and Bengals to a combined 6-0 record with 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Kaepernick and the 49ers, meanwhile, sit at 1-2 with two touchdown passes and four picks.

It's an interesting comparison, because Newton and Dalton were both starters in Week 1 of their rookie seasons and have missed only two starts between them since, while Kaepernick spent a year and a half on the bench in San Francisco. He took over for Alex Smith in the middle of 2012 and took the world by storm, coming within a pair of failed red-zone drives of winning one Super Bowl and playing in another, finishing in the top 10 in DVOA both years. He was just mediocre in 2014 on an 8-8 49ers team, though, and now finds himself playing some of the worst football of his career. We could write that off as a small sample size fluke -- after all, it has only been three games. Unfortunately for Kaepernick, though, that performance looks less like a fluke and more like a natural progression. Kaepernick's passing DVOA was 25.8% in his first year as a starter, but has fallen every year since then, to 16.6% in 2013, -8.4% in 2014, and -36.8% through three games of 2015 (going into the Kansas City-Green Bay Monday nighter).

Kaepernick's statistical decline is evident, and if you watched the game last Sunday, you know that these numbers pass the eyeball test. Kaepernick's first throw against Arizona was a terrible interception, the kind of throw no quarterback with 48 total starts in the regular season and playoffs should make. The Cardinals, as they are wont to do, brought the heat, sending a six-man pass rush after Kaepernick on third-and-10, and Frostee Rucker and Calais Campbell both pressured the quarterback. Kaepernick responded to this pressure by throwing an awkward duck of a pass with neither foot set on the ground, then turtling to protect himself from Rucker's impact. He looked like a terrified free agent pressed into a starter's role, not a fifth-year pro who signed a seven-year extension worth up to $127 million just a year ago. Kaepernick's wobbly pass hung in the air before Justin Bethel, a fourth-year pro who has never started a game, jumped in front of Vernon Davis for the first interception of his career and an easy touchdown.

A few plays later, Kaepernick did nearly the same thing. The 49ers had a second-and-9, and Arizona rushed five. This time the 49ers kept in seven blockers, which gave Kaepernick time to check his first and second reads, but both were covered. By that time Campbell was in his face again, and Kaepernick tried to sidearm a pass to Anquan Boldin while jumping backwards. That form is, um, not ideal. Tyrann Mathieu, despite giving Boldin a 14-yard cushion at the snap, had plenty of time to jump the route and intercept the ball for a touchdown that was nearly as easy as Bethel's had been.

Mathieu's touchdown put the Cardinals up 14-0 and apparently put the 49ers' coaching staff into panic mode. The next two San Francisco drives consisted of nine runs, zero passes, and two punts. San Francisco's defense was playing hardly any better than its offense, and Arizona responded to those punts with a pair of 81-yard touchdown drives. Kaepernick wouldn't throw another pass until the 49ers were down 28-0 -- and that pass was a 2-yard gain on third-and-20.

Kaepernick's performance hardly improved after that, and his final statline looks like something out of JaMarcus Russell's nightmares: 9-of-19 for 67 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. He's the first player to throw four or more interceptions while gaining less than 70 yards in a game since Luke McCown did it for Jacksonville in 2011, and just the fifth to do so since 1986. (Not surprisingly, games like this used to be a lot more common -- it happened three times in the 1980s, but 15 times in the 1970s and 18 times in the 1960s. John Hadl, Sonny Jurgensen, Dan Pastorini, and Milt Plum did it twice each.)

The splits for Kaepernick, if anything, are even worse than his raw numbers. He threw for only three first downs all day, just one after halftime. In one four-play stretch over the second and third quarters, he went interception, interception, sack, sack. His longest completion gained only 14 yards. He converted only one third down through the air, and that was a third-and-1 with San Francisco down by 40 points late in the fourth quarter. That play was also his only conversion out of seven plays with 5 or fewer yards to go. He only threw three deep passes that traveled more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage; two were intercepted, and the other was incomplete.

When I saw that statline and those splits Sunday night, I immediately looked up the worst passing DYAR games of all time. I was surprised, though, that Kaepernick finished just 33rd.

Worst Single-Game Passing DYAR, 1989-2015
Year Player Team Pass DYAR Comp Att Yds TD Int Sacks Wk Opp
1994 David Klingler CIN -302 10 30 115 0 3 7 4 HOIL
2006 Rex Grossman CHI -284 14 37 144 0 4 2 6 ARI
2012 Brandon Weeden CLE -284 12 35 118 0 4 2 1 PHI
1998 Donald Hollas OAK -273 12 31 152 1 6 8 14 MIA
2001 Brian Griese DEN -272 16 32 151 1 4 5 17 IND
2003 Tim Hasselbeck WAS -268 6 26 56 0 4 1 15 DAL
2005 Alex Smith SF -263 9 23 74 0 4 5 5 IND
1990 Vinny Testaverde TB -260 10 24 149 1 5 3 9 CHI
1990 Troy Aikman DAL -259 9 25 61 0 2 4 6 PHX
2002 David Carr HOU -258 6 25 87 0 2 9 2 SD
2014 Teddy Bridgewater MIN -257 23 37 188 0 3 8 6 DET
Year Player Team Pass DYAR Comp Att Yds TD Int Sacks Wk Opp
1993 Craig Erickson TB -257 13 29 122 0 4 3 6 MIN
1989 Vinny Testaverde TB -256 19 39 188 0 5 4 13 GB
1998 Ryan Leaf SD -256 1 15 4 0 2 2 3 KC
2003 Kordell Stewart CHI -256 14 34 95 1 3 5 1 SF
1992 Kelly Stouffer SEA -254 12 21 109 0 2 5 13 DEN
2007 John Beck MIA -250 23 39 177 0 3 3 13 NYJ
1998 Bobby Hoying PHI -248 16 34 118 0 2 5 11 WAS
1999 Drew Bledsoe NE -247 16 34 201 1 5 4 11 MIA
2004 Michael Vick ATL -247 13 27 115 0 2 5 13 TB
2010 Todd Collins CHI -244 6 16 32 0 4 2 5 CAR
2005 Kyle Orton CHI -239 17 39 149 0 5 0 3 CIN
Year Player Team Pass DYAR Comp Att Yds TD Int Sacks Wk Opp
1991 Jeff Carlson TB -238 12 32 164 0 3 5 9 GB
1998 Tony Banks STL -237 15 35 121 0 3 8 8 SF
2007 Brian Griese CHI -236 35 52 286 2 3 6 4 DET
2000 Akili Smith CIN -236 18 41 183 0 2 5 3 JAC
2000 Anthony Wright DAL -235 5 20 35 0 2 4 17 TEN
2004 David Carr HOU -233 22 41 215 0 3 5 10 IND
1990 Babe Laufenberg DAL -232 13 36 140 0 4 1 16 PHI
1999 Jon Kitna SEA -231 19 43 197 0 5 3 12 TB
1997 Kelly Holcomb IND -231 5 8 29 0 3 2 17 MIN
1993 Wade Wilson NO -231 6 15 46 0 3 4 12 SF
2015 Colin Kaepernick SF -230 9 19 67 0 4 2 3 ARI


290 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2015, 4:02pm

1 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Nice, to have the GIFs for Kap. Nice, since I am no 9ers fan actually.
And I cant wait to have the total players stats updated to see how Taylor is doing now overall after three weeks. Other than the first half of the NE game, he was good to great. He actually converts third downs which was a foreign concept for Bills QBs during the last 15 years. But having no completions in the middle of the field frightens me. Might be the small QB syndrome. Hopefully he is more Drew Brees and less Tim Tebow.

3 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

BUF seems to have the talent at receiver for Taylor, however they don't seem to have the big receiver that can go up and get the ball in the middle of the field (ex. J Graham, M. Colston in NO in past years). You combine that with the height of the QB and you may have a recipe for disaster or at least leveling out when defenses figure that out.

7 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Having the big guy to go get the ball is supposed to be a combination of Clay and Watkins - and with Watkins getting hurt (again) I'm not surprised they didn't work the middle of the field. I will be curious to see what happens when they play the Jets, who can take away the outside of the field.

4 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Todd Collins' four-interception game against Carolina was the last start of his career; he would go 0-for-4 in the wild card game that year, and then he was done.

That wasn't the wild card game; it was the NFC Championship.

5 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I normally have no use for Ray Lewis on ESPN, but thought he was good last night, talking about the idiocy of trying to stop a Patriots/Packers passing attack especially on the goal line, while playing off receivers, soft, and dbs and linebackers not communicating. He made the point of how much more intelligent the Seahawks approach was, getting your hands on receivers every play and daring refs to call it. I'd love to see some film of Seahawks db contact, compared with other teams, to see if the Seahawks are just better at doing it without fouling. As it is, I kind of agree with Steve Young, who said he'd be tempted to tell his defensive backs to go get flagged 35 times, and make the game unwatchable, rather than yield the easy completions we see so frequently from the top tier qbs.

6 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

What's strange is that KC dbs were using their hands at other points of the field which at times were called but not regularly. Why they chose to play back while at the goal line versus how they played elsewhere is definitely curious.

Though it is true their hand usage midfield was typically after the 5 yard zone. So maybe press is just 'not their thing'.

8 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Several of Starks' carries were pure garbage-time clock-killers. It felt to me that the GB running game was fairly effective in the first half - perhaps I'm confusing it somewhat with the short passing game - but I don't remember runners being stuffed very often until the game was out of sight.

I know it was covered in detail only last week, but there must once again be some astonishing Alex Smith 3rd down air-less-expected numbers from last night. I counted at least three occasions on 3rd and long when he threw behind the line of scrimmage.

107 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yes, it was more a response to Starks' comments section which suggested Rodgers had no help from the run game. It seemed to be functioning quite well to my eyes - mostly with Lacy - in the first half.

19 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Throw in a pointless scramble on the last play of the first half rather than flinging it deep, and then, just to be different, a pointless scramble on the last play of the game rather than flinging it deep and it pretty much sums up Alex Smith in a neat little package.

35 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

In slack, I jokingly asked what Alex Smith would do KC had all receivers run routes deeper than 5 yards and travis responded "scramble". Sure enough...

Man KC has to one of the least fun teams to watch. I'm dubbing Alex Smith an excitement vampire. Free Chase Daniel!

72 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Isn't this a bit reminiscent of Reid's early years in Philly, when their best receiver was Charlie Garner? I wonder if this is just how Reid likes to build his team - before you get DeSean Jackson, you have to endure a few years of Todd Pinkston & James Thrash while you slow fill out your roster.

125 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

If a player comparable to Donovan McNabb had been out there, I'm sure Reid would have made a play for him. As it stands, who could he have reasonably gotten better than Alex Smith? EJ Manuel was the only QB taken in the first round in 2013 and Smith was the class of the free agent market.

(He's also not the GM in KC like he was in Philly.)

9 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Now, I'm not sure WHY Brady threw eight passes while the Patriots were ahead by 34 points in the fourth quarter...

It's called running out the clock. And it worked almost perfectly. Despite starting with a short field at their own 42, the Patriots managed to run 9:47 off the clock in a seventeen play, six first down drive.

14 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The point of the question is an inquiry as to why Mr. Bundchen was on the field. Mind you, if a professional team wants to score 100, it's fine by me, but Darth Hoodie's Plan for Galactic Domination would have looked ill considered if somebody had taken a dive at his apprentice's knees, while The Empire was ahead by several tds in the fourth quarter.

16 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

And the answer is the same: to run out the clock. I doubt Garoppolo could have sustained a nine minute drive. He's not too bad for a backup QB. But he ain't Brady.

There's a secondary point, too. All week the Patriots have been emphasizing "start fast and finish" as their coaching theme for improvement. Turning a drive starting with thirteen minutes left into a kneel down or its equivalent would have undermined the week's coaching lessons. An insanely successful clock-killing drive was exactly the right positive reinforcement for a week of hard work.

18 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

At this point, why does anyone ask this. Clearly BB doesn't care, and clearly this is their MO. Brady will play until it is laughably over, or until the other team is so far ahead he doesn't want to risk Brady (see: Chiefs last year, or Saints game in 2009).

I agree that Garroppollo (sp?) would not have been able to do that 9:00 drive, but at this point Belichick is gonna do what he does.

21 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

This is where Belichik's logic is weakest. If Brady shouldn't be exposed in a blowout loss, then exposing him in a blowout win is at least worthy of inquiry. Yes, there is some value in finishing off such a victory which has lesser value in a corresponding loss, but compared to the cost of losing an entire year's work when some frustrated d-linemen just says "F**k, it, I'm spreading the pain", and takes a dive at his knees, the value is a bit mitigated. Now, I didn't see the game, so maybe the Jags looked comatose for the entire contest, causing Belichik to reasonably conclude that the game was about as dangerous as a 7 on 7 drill with shells only, The Apprentice wearing a red jersey, but it is something to consider.

31 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Brady did take a sack with 8 minutes left in the game.

Even moreso than protecting the starting QB, I always felt like coaches should be getting backup QBs more snaps than they get. Getting them out there in live game situations has to have some value.

22 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

When you are up by 30 plus points in the fourth quarter, it doesn't matter, in terms of winning that game, whether you run out the clock. Again. It does not matter.

The secondary part would look really dumb, as The Apprentice was being inserted into an MRI machine. That would have been kind of negative. Look, I'm fine with it either way, but to pretend that there isn't a significant downside to having your most important player exposed to much larger human beings trying to hit him, at a point of the game where his absence cannot possibly result in a contest which is made competitive, is just silly.

132 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

When you're up that much you don't need to run out the clock. That's sort of the point. That makes it more likely you'll run out the clock and end the game, but the game is functionally over at that point.

23 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"Mr Bundchen?"

Anyway, just one week earlier the Patriots had a 24-point 4th quarter lead against Buffalo cut to 5 points. One of the themes of the team is "play 60 minutes". One of the most egregious failures of the Belichick era was blowing a huge lead against Indy in the AFC championship game in 2006. (One of the top two failures, by my count.) So the Pats play with full effort basically until the clock is under 2 minutes.

There are two counter-arguments: one, which I'm glad to see you don't espouse, is that this is somehow bad sportsmanship. The other, which I agree with the a certain extent, is that this strategy puts unnecessary risk on Brady. But I also recall a few years back when Belichick put the backup in early in the 4th. (Hoyer? I'm not sure which QB it was.) Guy promptly threw a pick six, and Brady had to come back in the game.

So yeah, Brady could probably come out of the game a bit earlier, and Pats fans wouldn't mind that at all. But it's not about running up the score either. (Nor is any other franchise in any other major sports league held to this kind of standard.)

25 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The lead in the 06 AFC Title Game was erased in 10 minutes of the 3rd quarter. That wasn't because the team packed it in the 4th. I know that essentially is what began this whole '60 minutes' thing, but that isn't the best example of the team blowing it.

I agree that the sportsmanship argument is dumb - and I feel the same way about Carson Palmer playing all but one series as well in the 49ers game. If they want to do it to score 50, then whatever, but it is an uneccessary risk, one that BB has shown time and time again he is willing to take.

As mentioned above, there is an interesting dichotomy with BB willing to take Brady out of games that they are losing in ('05 Colts, '09 Saints, '14 Chiefs; may have happened more, but they rarely lose big anyway), but it is what it is.

28 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

BB's dichotomy about using Brady in games where he's getting blown out underscores that it's really about winning. If he's losing a game and Brady is pulled, that means he's waving the white flag. I think in the past when an opponent has pulled their starting QB, he's been known to respond in kind, but I couldn't say that's happened often.

And again, yes, I would have been happier if BB had pulled Brady a little sooner on Sunday. The other vital cog is Gronk. Sometimes he gets pulled in the blowout situations even when Brady is left in.

59 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Brady has been pretty durable since coming back in 2009 and before 2007.
I was just happy to see Gronk off the field when the game was in hand, he's the guy I worry about every game due to his injury history and his critical importance to the Pats.

117 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

A large part of the dichotomy is that if they're way behind, it's likely at least in part because Brady has been taking hits and the opposing line is winning decisively. So he's at far greater risk in those games than he is in the games where he's completely untouched behind the line.

37 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Well, as you note, they don't play with full effort for 60 minutes on those very rare occasions when they get blown out. They decide to give up.

I don't care if professional teams try to win by as wide a margin as possible. I do think it is unwise to have your most important player taking hits when it is literally impossible that the game can be made competitive. You don't play your starting qb in the last preseason game, either.

If you can't have some fun with the fact that the wife of one of the NFL's most valuable players makes more money than he does, and is more globally famous, well, c'mon, this isn't really serious business, for anyone not trying to make money from it.

38 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"If you can't have some fun with the fact that the wife of one of the NFL's most valuable players makes more money than he does, and is more globally famous, well, c'mon, this isn't really serious business, for anyone not trying to make money from it."

Just arching my eyebrow a bit. It's all good.

82 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

RickD, you absolutely should be joining in in manly condescension of a guy who happens to not only be enormously successful himself, but also have the sense to marry a woman who is both very beautiful and extremely smart and successful herself. Any man whose wife earns more than him is by definition a loser!

Now, if only Brady had married some gold-digging bimbo like so many football players, that would have earned him some back-slapping man-props, amirite?

86 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yeah I think you should just chalk it up to Will being an old guy, it's a generational difference - I didn't even understand the "joke" the first few times he made it.

89 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Um, I'll plead guilty to being old, but what is generational about noting the amusing oddity of an athlete, who has made 160 million dollars, finding a spouse who is more famous and financially successful? Outside of Andre Aggassi and Steffi Graf, it is pretty unique, and the tennis players didn't get together until they were retired.

In any case, it's just something I find kind of funny, like something out of an old movie called "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai" where the lead character is a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot, and rock star.

90 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Aren't you playing on the (fairly archaic) custom of either spouse being to referred to by the surname of the more prominent/successful partner? That's some shit that started dying out around the 1970's.

The joke (I guess?) being that USUALLY it is the man who is more successful - another archaic idea that hasn't been true for decades. It's just humor touching on stuff from another era. Because of that, the first few times you did it, it felt (to me) like exactly the kind of prehistoric macho taunting the above poster is accusing you of.

I know you, so I know you're not a mean-spirited dude, it just felt like an out-of-touch, inadvertently un-PC grandpa joke...

185 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Nicknames are all in good fun, but you need to ditch the ones that fall flat. I noticed you had the good sense to switch from the lame "Hobo" back to the evocative "Darth Hoodie" for Belichick. Lots of good associations there.

For Tom Brady, "Mr. Bundchen" is a fail because it doesn't have any useful connotations or imagery. It's been many decades since it was reasonable to mock someone for having a successful wife. (edit: actually, it was never reasonable, just commonplace) And while she may be richer and better looking than her husband, in our circles her husband is undoubtedly the more famous. And it's hardly a funny-sounding name, so it fails on that, too.

The wikipedia page of NFL nicknames lists Tom Terrific, Touchdown Tom, and Deflator in Chief, all of which are pretty meh in my opinion. Even the last one is just a case of trying too hard. But we could do with something new.

"Uggly Tom" might work, with his pretty-boy rep and his history with certain footwear whose name shall not be spoken here.

"The QB Who Stared at Goats" - refs a weird movie and a famous GQ photo shoot, but seem too wordy.

Keep trying new things until you find one that works.

190 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

But the fact that he's more famous in our circles is exactly why I find "Mr. Bundchen" so funny.

If we're going back to Ballghazi, how about Die Flederball? I know it doesn't really make any sense, but it sounds like 'deflate' in English.

196 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

What do we call Peyton? The Forehead? Omaha? I like Omaha, but (1) I don't hear it as often anymore, and (2) plenty of other QBs use it, too.

203 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

This conversation is just reminding me how the great art of athlete nicknames has really died. I mean, we've gone from "Concrete Chuck," "The Natrone Bomb" or "The Nigerian Nightmare" to just calling a guy by his initials. Or cheesy stuff like Megatron and Muscle Hamster.

208 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

What about Pot Roast?

Actually, come to think of it, I can't even remember who Pot Roast was, or why he was called that - all I can remember is the nickname... which I suppose makes it either the best or the worst nickname in the game.

Fred-Ex was a phenomenal nickname, but is disqualified because you're not allowed to nickname yourself (unless you're Steve "Sudden Death" Sabol).

Jon Gruden being nicknamed "Chuckie" was kind of fun.

Maurice Jones-Drew's "Pocket Hercules" was kind of awesome.

210 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yeah, who was Pot Roast?! I too only remember the nickname! I also always loved Ironhead Heyward. That nickname probably extended his career an extra year or two. I liked that the other Eagles players called Fred-Ex by the nickname "Hollywood" because of his best friend, the super-famous Hollywood actor Jaleel White... aka Urkel.

Pocket Hercules is great, but I think represents the start of that trend of Megatron and Muscle Hamster where the nickname is more silly than awesome and not something the athlete probably loves to be known by.

251 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Terrance Knighton was a good player for the Broncos. Surely not worth whatever the racists paid for him, but as a Broncos fan, I have some good memories of him.

205 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Archie calls his middle son longneck, and his middle son does have sone distinct physiological anomalies from the shoulder up, so it works for me. There have been times when I think he has borne a resemblance to certain famous movie character, so if he he makes it to the 2018 season, I'm sure I'll make some crack about going home and glowing finger tips.

226 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

It used to be "The Fivehead" didn't it?

People have been trying "Noodle-Arm" on for size this season. Given his team's record, perhaps that should be the Flying Spaghetti Monster. All miracles flow from the His Noodly Appendages.

Officially, it's The Sheriff. That's as weak as Tom Terrific. And who needs official anyway.

(You know the tune) Peyton needs a new nickname.

261 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

There was a Colts website years ago where we largely referred to him as FIVEhead. I mean we could with impunity since we loved him, right?

206 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I do like "The Apprentice" in the context of any thread which references Darth Hoodie. If only Kraft would agree to dress his various low level employees on the sidelines as Imperial Troopers, the we could have comedy/trolling gold!

263 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Why is "The QB Who Stared at Goats" a reference to a movie and not to the book on which it was based? Especially since it's a mediocre movie based on an absolutely fantastic book?

269 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I disagree, I think that's exactly his intent, rationalizations and protestations aside. Maybe he even believes his own rationalizations, but there is no way you can be oblivious to the unspoken derogatory connotation of that nickname. I call total BS on the whole "Oh I don't mean it that way" thing. Of course you mean it that way.

And to be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with using a derogatory nickname for a player you're not a fan of. That's part of the fun, right? I just don't understand why you don't just cop to it.

271 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Say, do you work county fairs with the mind-reading gig, or just stick to bus stations?

(edit) Just to be certain that there is no misunderstanding, I really, really, really, dislike you. On the other hand, Mr. Bundchen, I've always liked watching.

97 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I generally appreciate your comments, but that reads to me like a parody of the "I'm still in college and am offended by everything" brand of Facebook commentary.

101 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm not personally offended by it in the slightest - but I can see why several folks raised their eyebrows. (Also, if I were still in college, I would've had to started commenting on this site when I was 12.)

(Plus, like it or not, that Facebook "outrage generation" is real and it is where the culture has gone...)

106 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm just used to Will's use of nicknames for so many things. I don't find it amusing, but it also doesn't bother me at this point. I can't imagine he meant it in a derogatory fashion (just like I can't believe chemical_burn is actually offended, I think he's just pointing out why some people would be bothered by it).

112 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

They probably wouldn't get "The Jeans Model", then, and I have to admit I stole that from Bobman, I believe. Back in '09, when he as having a career year at age 40, and the hyperbole, both positive and negative, was off the charts, I called him "The Zombie King", because all who came into contact with him lost the power of reason.

I dunno, we write about the same players so often, I just like to come up with different monikers.

121 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The Ponderous One is awesome*.

* - The nickname, I mean, and not the player**.

** - Because, clearly, he could never be as awesome as Joe Webb.

127 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I can't tell you how sad it makes me that shah8 never comes around anymore, to preach The Gospel of Webby.

Really, watching Christian in the pocket, trying to determine where to throw the ball, made him the most aptly named qb I could imagine. Jamarcus' last name would have had to have been "Purple DranK" to be as good. The Ponderous One looked like he was apologizing every time his hand moved forward.

249 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Honestly, no, but I sincerely mean this: please don't stop on account of me. I know who you mean, so your points still come across.

EDIT: And for the record, I like your posts, Will.

262 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Adding to the nickname discussion, I once tried to explain Purple Jesus to my wife, who looked at me like I had three eyes.

She also didn't get it when one night, in bed, I apologized for not being Tom Brady. Then burst out laughing maniacally and had to try to recreate the whole DJ Gallo article for her (circa 2004), and the subsequent FO genuflecting commentary every time we used 12 or a multiple thereof, or had a comment that was numbered in that fashion.

I think she made me sleep on the couch after that. Smart girl.

260 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

RE #89, Will, "I don't care if you drove through a mountain in Texas, when you play my club you go on stage on time."

I remember reading a quirky review and dragging my college roomie to see it; 30 years later we're still quoting it to each other. One more insanely over-the-top role for John Lithgow who chewed up so much scenery he actually crapped an entire set once they finished filming.

Oh wait, was this a football discussion? Or a discussion about all that damn "come join us" mail I get from AARP?

58 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I think a small argument could be made that the QB is getting in some useful reps with live tackling, which is something that happens rarely (these days) in practice/preseason. However I agree with you and i think it is also the best time to evaluate the backup in full-speed action, unless you know he sucks and don't want anyone else to know.

88 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The Patriots were up 24 points against Buffalo, but the Bills had the ball. That's different from having a 34-point lead and possession. You can also argue that being too aggressive was what allowed the Bills to come back in the first place. They threw a deep pass on 4th-and-1 from Buffalo's 41 which failed, and their next drive only went 1 minute before Brady got strip-sacked on a dropback when trying some runs would've been a safer option, but instead New England had 15 straight dropbacks to start the fourth quarter.

10 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Is DYAR factoring in the defensive rankings already? It looks like P. Manning and Brady have similar stat lines (completions/attempts/yards/td) but there's a big difference in DYAR so I'm curious as to what is causing the difference.

17 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

It isn't factoring in the 'D' yet, I believe.

My guess is Manning had more failed completions (I'm assuming Brady had few... I didn't watch any of that game) and the interception, though tipped and not his fault, was in the red zone and likely was a good negative figure.

When opponent adjustments are factored in, me thinks the Brady number for this game goes down a bit. Not really sure at this point what type of defense Detroit is, though.

20 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I looked at the VOA rankings before and Jacksonville was ranked ahead of Detroit. It's confusing that these things keep being referred to as DYAR and DVOA when there are no defensive adjustments yet.

24 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

It probably is a function of when and where the passes were successful. For example, I recall Manning facing a 3rd and 21 and throwing a pass that went for about 19 yards. DVOA treats that as a "failure".

Arguably, that's not a terrible result for that kind of down and distance, as it's still 19 yards in the field position battle. But the success rate stat demands that 3rd down plays lead to 1st downs.

34 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Since the success rate of passes after a bunch of penalties or losses is naturally going to be lower getting 19 yards on a 3rd and 21 may still be somewhat indicative of value above replacement even though the play is technically a failure. Having a successful run game should also be correlated with having a higher passing DYAR as it will help set up a lot of shorter completions that are a 'success'.

36 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

19 yards on 3rd and 21 is probably better than the average QB does (care to confirm/deny Vince?), so it's probably slightly positive, but going to be worth way fewer success points than converting a 3rd and 5 or even a 1st and 10.

39 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

1) Fewer interceptions
2) More first downs
3) Induced DPI (more and for more yardage)
4) Fewer incomplete passes
5) More yards

It's not any one thing. It's the total effect.

It's real. You can see it in the scores, too.

That's not to say that Manning didn't throw some sweet passes. He did. But don't fool yourself into thinking his day and Brady's were about the same.

120 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

All games and all plays are different, and so I absolutely believe that DPIs and whatnot should be factored in to a QB's performance... but to say that Brady "induced" two hugely successful DPIs is patently ridiculous if you watched that game. On the first, the ball was underthrown and he got rewarded. On the second, he actually made his first bad decision of the season (that I've noticed, anyway) and threw an INT that came back because the defender behind the one that undercut the route committed a foul that didn't impact the decision or throw whatsoever.

Today is a funny day (if you've been following the arguments about the Rodgers grade) to cite PFF, but if we're doing film study, those were both negative plays, not plays that should be rewarded.

(Note: the first one is only slightly negative, in that it has been pretty well established that throws like that are worth making given how easy it is to turn an imperfect throw into a DPI... still, I'd argue that that makes it "less negative," not "a strong positive.")

40 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Brady didn't have an interception + Brady had 2 big Pass Interference calls which get included in DYAR. Other than that it was probably just a matter of Brady's short stuff being a bit more efficient (19FDs passing vs 14 for Peyton).

11 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I respect Andy Reid as a coach, but I can't believe he went into Lambeau last night with that offensive game plan. There were maybe two passes thrown beyond 10 yards in the first half? That might work at home against the Raiders, but even if you don't trust your QB throwing downfield, you can't possibly expect to win at the home of Aaron Rodgers without at least trying it out before the game is a blowout.

42 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Not defending it, but that's just the way Alex Smith is. And it's been that way, so I'm not surprised. I think the Kansas City chapter in FOA covered this pretty well, if I recall. And there was a graphic up in week 2's Thursday night game that showed how many times Alex Smith threw downfield in 2014, and it was less than once per game. He simply plays to avoid turnovers at the expense of big plays.

66 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Smith was sacked 7 times and avoided at least 4-5 other such situations. The KC offensive line was getting whipped regularly all over the place.

The only times KC broke big plays was when GB sent extra rushers (which frankly was unnecessary) and coverage broke down. Damarious Randall had a rough night covering Maclin without help.

70 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Ben Grubbs, in particular, seemed to get thrashed practically every play. Daniels, Raji, and Elliot right off the top of my head all clowned him. I'm sure there were others.

104 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm not saying his protection was good, but Smith has proven himself a master at taking sacks throughout his career so I wouldn't put it all on the O-Line. He's got no pocket presence whatsoever and sets off scrambling at the first sign of pressure.

But yes, I find it hard to believe that Reid would game plan that way in a game he must have known would require 35+ points to win, so it was probably just bad execution.

109 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I mean, it's easy to complain about Reid's gameplane, but what can the guy do with so many injuries in the secondary? They were forced to play as their #2CB a converted safety who wasn't good enough to make the Raiders' roster. I think Reid's basic idea for the Chiefs is good, considering their roster's make-up: slow the game down, lots of short high % passes and off-tackle runs designed to get at least a few yards. Combine that with good special teams and defense that generates a lot of negative plays. It's not his fault that the refs don't call false start anymore and give Aaron Rodgers the authority to challenge 4th down plays without a challenge flag.

Reid's basic idea of understanding Alex Smith's (severe) limitations as a QB, maximizing his strengths and limiting the damage he can do to the team is solid. And it's true that he builds the wr corps last: McNabb for his first few years relied on the TE and RB in the running game in a fashion that is almost identical to how Charles and Kelce are used.

The Chiefs have a tough, tough schedule and have taken their two losses down to the wire despite a slew of bone-headed mistakes. There's plenty of room for improvement and lots of reasons to think they'll pick up steam as the season goes on (not the least of which is getting CB's back from injury...)

111 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I think the only thing I might have considered, if I were in Reid's parka, was to simply advise my overmatched dbs to just mug the receivers, and dare the refs to call holding more than 30 times. and hope to turn the whole game into an ugly mess.

113 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

But they did - and they got called quite a bit. There was a redzone sack/fumble recovery (which would have been game-changing) called back and a pair of 3rd downs converted on illegal contact/holding. They stayed in man-press virtually the entire game. The problem was that so few of the sacks got home (because Rodgers is magic in the pocket) and scrambles broke their back (because Rodgers is magic outside of the pocket.)

Really, if Smith DOESN'T heft it up for the dumb interception and is a little more careful with the ball, then this game plays out entirely differently. Also, if the refs didn't hand the Packers 2 TD's (not calling the false starts) and an early 3rd down conversion (allowing Rodgers to demand a challenge without a challenge flag), then I think everyone is talking very differently about Reid's gameplan.

I mean, look, Alex Smith is no fun whatsoever to root for, but Reid is definitely getting the most out of him. The team is built to win games 21-17 that are over in precisely 3 hours. They shouldn't be as afraid to uncork it to Maclin as they are, but Smith has so little pocket presence and so little football smarts, that I can appreciate Reid dumbing the game down for him substantially and giving all the complicated work on offense to the o-line, TE's and RB's. I mean, Smith has trouble hitting the RB on screen passes - the game should not consistently be put in his stewardship. That blown redzone inside screen to Kelce last night is just a jaw-dropping illustration of his astounding lack of abilities.

119 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Reid has some very clear traits that draw negative attention: time management and being 'pass happy'

these things overshadow all of his positives

126 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

On gameday they do - but the same stuff can be said for Mike McCarthy's gameday incompetence. Coaching is a year-round activity and Reid is one of the very best in the league at everything that happens on days other than Sunday. (Like McCarthy, who again, is so bad a coach he has likely cost the Packerts two Superbowls, most notably the NFCCG last year where it wouldn't have been unreasonable for him to have been fired during the post-game press conference, so astoundingly awful was his decision-making and stupidity.)

Also, Reid's run-to-pass ratio is now about league-average - it's crazy to me he gets criticized for being ahead of the curve (with Belichick) on seeing where the league was going in regards to the passing game. His "pass happy" system is an example of his brilliance - regardless of what meat-headed Philly fans calling for him to "tote that rock!" more often think.

130 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Just wondering, what is the other Super Bowl that McCarthy cost the Packers? Obviously you can make an argument for last year (though they still would've had to beat NE - I think they would have, but it is debateable).

The other year's had playoff losses where there was nothing glaringly wrong from his point of view. Unless you think he made some crucial errors in the '07 Title Game.

136 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Uh - how about the 15-1 2011 team's utter embarrassment at the hands of the Giants? They got out-coached every step of the way in that game. It's a total failure of coaching for a 15-1 team to get humiliated in their only playoff game.

139 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Honestly, the Giants just played better that day. It happens. Not every time you lose as a favorite you were being outcoached.

Rodgers was off his game (he missed a few easy throws), the Packers fumbled like 5 times (not McCarthy), Eli played great, and the Giants won.

Also, the Packers OC had his son die in the week before the game, so it may make sense their offense was a little off that day.

146 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The most egregious snafu in that game was the Packers yielding a Hail Mary at the end of the half, in about the most lackluster defensive effort you're likely to see in a playoff game. I don't know if any of that is on coaching, but I still can't quite believe what I saw.

150 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

A 15-1 team not winning a playoff game is a coaching failure. Rodgers fumbled because he was under constant assault from the Giants pressure and McCarthy had no response. Rodgers dropped back over 50 times and they ran the ball about 15 times. Rodgers' struggles were exactly the kind of struggles that "pass happy" Andy Reid's Qb's frequently had in the playoffs. A 15-1 team just shouldn't collapse like that, a huge part of it has to be on the coach.

158 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Well, it was 20-13 Giants entering the 4th quarter. And early in that quarter Green Bay drover to the NY 39 yard line before Rodgers was sacked on 4th down. After that it all went to h*ll.

162 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

But that's why I'm harping on McCarthy's failures: the game was winnable and he insisted on having Rodgers drop back 50+ times, despite the Giants pass rush totally disrupting them all game long. He abandoned the running game and did almost nothing to ameliorate the pass rush. It was mediocre game-planning and nonexistent in-game adjustments (which are two essential McCarthy qualities.)

192 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The Giants really didn't get that good of a pass rush. So much so that Coughlin was asked at halftime why the pass rush wasn't getting there.

They covered incredibly well, though. Rodgers was holding the ball longer than I've ever seen him.

Of course, they also had 5-6 drops in teh game - again, not on McCarthy.

194 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm obviously biased, but I thought the Giants were in total control of that game from the beginning. I distinctly remember there being several horrendous officiating errors that erased I think 14 points from the board in the first half, but my memory has faded enough that I can't remember the specifics.

202 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Green Bay got its share of breaks before things fell apart. Giants missed a field goal. Burnett intercepted Manning at the GB 10. Burnett broke up a pass that could have led to a TD that held NY to a field goal.

209 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

That game could've been far more one-sided.

Both Green Bay TD drives were extended through awful decisions. First Bill Leavy saying a Packers RB had his knee down on a fumble, and then a bad roughing the passer call.

And as mentioned, the Giants left a lot of points on the field in that first half - some of that due to good play by GB.

Overall, even for a game that was 20-13 in the 3rd Quarter, that was an ass-kicking.

216 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

There were three fairly critical elements that led to that Packer defeat-- only one of which reflects on McCarthy. 1) He did what Belichick would never do (and McCarthy says he won't repeat)-- sat Rodgers in the final regular season home game vs Detroit (the Matt Flynn Contract game-- 6 TD passes)-- as a result, the league MVP had not played for three weeks before the Giant game. 2) Greg Jennings-- still GB's #1 receiver-- had been injured for more than a month. The timing problems between him and Rodgers were evident on a couple of crucial passes in the first half; 3) Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator. He had responsibility for the game plan before each game. His son fell through the ice in the bye week-- almost certainly drunk-- and died... While Philbin would return during the second week lead-up to the playoff game, of course it had to have had some negative impact. And of course the Packer defense had already demonstrated-- despite the gaudy 15-1 record-- that it was not at the level of the previous year's Super Bowl winners.

133 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Given the immediate attack on McCarthy I presume you interpreted my post as some kind of criticism of Reid. That was not the intent. Merely to relay what I deemed as common perceptions (right or wrong) that influence the narrative

And briefly to McCarthy, he did step away from playcalled as an internal reorganization in reaction to the NFCCG. I think that speaks well to the guy.


138 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

No, I bring up McCarthy because he's the coach on the other side of the field last night and one I think is HIGHLY comparable to Reid in almost every way. McCarthy is guilty of everything you can accuse Reid of (bad game management, over-conservativism, regularly being out-coached) but everyone would agree McCarthy is one of the best in the league because of what he does year round and how he has developed a winner.

142 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm not sure McCarthy is that great from Monday to Saturday. Having the best QB in the game hides a lot of flaws.

That said, he is clearly elite™ at the teaching side of things. He seems to be able to slot in players all the time who don't look lost on the field.

144 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The teaching side of things is the Monday to Saturday stuff.

Green Bay not only slots guys in who seem to know their assignments but they are typically rookies or more interestingly undrafted rookie free agents who Ted has foisted on McCarthy to keep the cap money free to sign the big time talent.

This is no small thing

154 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

And not trying to lather McCarthy in glory but the only coach Rodgers has had in his career is McCarthy. And anyone who saw Rodgers in his first training camp, if they are honest, thought the team had drafted the 21st century version of Rich Campbell. A skinny guy with a slow release, mediocre arm and a smart*ss demeanor versus the guy today who has a Marino like release, a great arm but still the wise*ss demeanor.

And it was McCarthy who got Favre back in shape and got his play closer to its previous form.

On Gameday Mike would likely be better served staying home and playing Call of Duty. But Monday to Saturday he does pretty ok

159 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

My point is: I think McCarthy is a pretty great coach and that his obviously, undeniable, championship-costing flaws don't overshadow is equally obvious abilities and talents. The same can be said for Reid. I'm not here to tell you Andy Reid can manage the clock, I'm here to tell you I'll put Andy Reid alongside any other coach Monday through Saturday, year-round.

167 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Huh? You're the one who started the argument by saying Reid's negatives overshadow his positives. Or did you mean that sympathetically? In which case.. case closed: we agree!

171 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

A) There was no argument
B) When I wrote 'overshadow' I meant in terms of how Reid is popularly perceived. But when Andy Reid's name is mentioned one hears jokes about Reid's time management even on analytical football sites.

I think Reid is a great coach.

170 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

There is more to Mon-Sat coaching than just teaching. I don't like his game planning, I think his offense is overly complicated, I don't like his player usage (why does Kuhn get carries other than hearing the cheer at Lambeau), I'm not sure about his player evaluation skills (defense has been talent weak for years, Seneca Wallace as Rodgers only backup?!?!?).

But when you have Rodgers, you can run as complicated an offense as you want, he'll sort it you. You can put him in 3rd and 8 with Kuhn runs because he'll convert anyways, etc.

Like I said, he's great at teaching, and with Rodgers that's enough.

184 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The thing I dislike most about McCarthy is that in their two games against the Seahawks last year, the team played so, so scared. In that first game, he coached like he was about to wet the bed in terror at the big bad defense and the unstoppable rushing attack. The second one might have even been worse - just totally petrified of dropping the hammer and defeating them, just running away from victory in panicked fear.

193 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I guess we watched a different chammpionship game. Green Bay made mistakes but for 3.5 quarters the Packers took it to the Seahawks in every way possible. The defense in particular was aggressive and incredibly physical.

I can understand other adjectives but scared is not one of them.

215 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Bill Barnwell did a fine job recapping all the terrible, awful, cowardly decisions McCarthy made in the NFC title game. This is long, but you can skip to the "Thank You For Not Coaching" subhead. He had many, many chances to go for the knockout blow, on the road, against what had been the best team in the NFC all year, and every time he let off the gas and played it safe.


218 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Whoa - I missed that article! But yeah, that was the definition of a coach being terrified of losing and utterly scared that the other team would punish him dearly for any boldness. It was the coaching equivalent of licking their boots and kissing their ring.

221 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I agree with Chem. Burn, Seattle played a terrible game on offense much more than they were being beaten by GB. Of 4 ints two passed from Kearse's hand into the defender's and one was a "we got to make something happen" play form Wilson. You can basically surmise that one of the best offensive teams in the NFL isn't going to keep screwing up all game and you want to ensure your lead is so large as to be unassailable when they stop screwing up.

McCarthy blew that game by not going for TDs, and then by expecting Seattle to play as conservatively as he would in OT.

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

220 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

You clearly saw a different NFC title game. You can knock McCarthy for not making adjustments, or for clock management, or play-calling-- but game planning is one of his clear strengths. The Packers and Mccarthy outplanned and coached Belichick in the game at GB in November, and clearly they did the same to Carroll and Wilson in the championship game. They hardly played scared in the first half or indeed up until Peppers told Burnett to fall down. The mistakes that can be laid at McCarthy's doorstep prior to the final 6 minutes were a lack of aggression at the goal line... BUT-- the dirty little secret is that beginning with the Lion game where Rodgers hurt his calf, the Packers were horrible in goal line situations-- converting something like 1 out of 12 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 1 plays into TDs. And part of the problem was Rodgers' lack of mobility.

The final six minutes were another thing altogether-- and there I blame a whole lot of people, but must include McCarthy for his piss-poor play calling on the "drive" following the Burnett INT, Bakhtiari for missing the block which blew up the first run and set the chain in motion, Rodgers for misfiring on the FG drive when there was plenty of time to make it a TD, Clinton-Dix for failing to knock down the moon shot two point conversion pass, Peppers for imploring Burnett to fall down when a TD or, at the least, return very deep into Seattle territory was set up, and Burnett for listening to him, and of course Slocum, the special teams coach, and Bostick, for botching the onside kick.

McCarthy's legacy is in the balance this year, i think.. He's got Rodgers in his prime. No Nelson but they had no Ryan Grant after week One in 2010, and suffered many other injuries that year. At the very least he had better coach this team to another SB.. Or he will go down as a good coach, with a great QB, who failed to fully fulfill his team's considerable potential...

223 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Saying you "beat" Seattle on game planning seems a little silly. Seattle and Carroll probably do the least amount of game planning of any staff in the NFL.

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

229 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Why is Aaron rodgers given a complete pass for that seattle performance? Is it because of the injury? He was awesome against dallas the week before and was horrendous when completely healthy vs seattle in week 1.

You can be one of the greatest qbs of all time and still play a poor game in the playoffs, especially against a very tough defense at home.

235 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Because until Rodger's game in week two he's been completely dominated by Seattle's Defense going back to the "fail mary" game in 2012. McCarthy should have been planning for the balance between Seattle's D and GB's O to remain stable. Which it in fact did. He basically should have been thinking to himself how many times am I going to get in Seattle's 5 and should I be settling for FG's when I get there.

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

222 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I feel the same which is why I was impressed that he handed off play calling to Clement this off season and I don't see as many of those issues. He is also the one who said we're playing Matthews on the inside halfway through last season which turned the defense around. He's been more involved in special teams (now that he isn't play calling) and that seems to have paid off, but I'm still nervous about them. This of season bolstered my opinion of him, I think it was the most direct addressing of the teams coaching weaknesses. He's a top tier coach, but the packers have had better, and there are better ones in the league right now. I'm happy to keep him till he wants to leave or clearly declines more because bringing someone else in is almost certainly going to create a drop off for a year or two and McCarthy is good enough to have them as legit super bowl contenders every year so I don't want to give that up for a few down years followed by a better SB chance.

277 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"He's a top tier coach, but the packers have had better,"

Have they had better since Lombardi?

Better question: how does he compare to Holmgren and Sherman?

Most franchises don't have Lombardi and Curly Lambeau in their coaching history.

282 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

You are correct, that is a much better question.

I think Holmgren was better than McCarthy. If McCarthy finishes out his contract he could end up being more accomplished than Holmgren. Of Course McCarthy is now the 2nd longest tenured coach in Packers history behind only Lambeau. He and Holmgren are very close on accomplishments. Holmgren has a slightly higher win percentage in both the regular season and post season and got to one more Super Bowl. But it's a small difference. Holmgren was 9-5 in the post season McCarthy is 7-6. Holmgren was .670 win percentage, McCarty .656. It would be a fun game to try and play but I think McCarthy has generally had better offensive talent, and Holmgren generally had better defensive talent, but I think McCarthy has had a slight overall talent edge, so should have done better. I think Holmgren assembled better staffs too, though again not by much.

Separating Sherman's GMing from his coaching I think McCarthy is better than Sherman, and I don't think it's close.

122 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

We fans only ever see Head Coaches work for roughly 3.5 hours on game day, plus another 0.5 hours during the postgame press conference. That excludes the other 76 hours of the work week during the season.

As a result, guys like Reid tend to get abused for the obvious mistakes they make during that (admittedly important) 5% of the job we witness, while overlooking the other 95% that puts them in a position to win in the first place.

For this reason, I maintain that Marty Schottenheimer is the most underrated Head Coach in NFL history.

157 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

If only Marlon McCree hadn't had his interception stripped by Troy Brown, the Chargers would have beaten the Pats and might have been able to beat the Colts in 2006 when the Pats couldn't...and then any of them would have beaten the Bears (IMHO).


Guy loses his job for that. 14-2 and fired.

169 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Then A.J. Smith hires Ted Cottrell to be defensive coodinator (!)(!!)(!!!)(!!!!), before hiring the next head coach. I actualy think Norv could be a passable head coach if he got lucky with his defensive staff, and had a really good G.M. (who wouldn't hire Norv, of course), but that firing and hiring sequence may have been the single dumbest HR crap I've ever seen, worse than anything in Snyderland, or even worse than Jerrel getting liquored up and jealous, then alienating the guy who was making him a sh8tload of money, and turning over that magnificent roster to Barry Freakin' Switzer. I swear, Troy Aikman has nightmares to this day, and that wasn't as bad as firing Marty, in good measure due to a dispute about the coaching staff, and then hiring Ted Cotrell as coordinator in your next move. Good grief.

188 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Oh, it's even worse than that.

NFL Films has aired footage of Marty during practices that week, explicitly instructing his DBs to just fall on the ball if they make the game-clinching interception in the 4th quarter. He prepared them for that exact scenario, gave them exactly the right instructions, and he still gets blamed for that loss.

201 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I agree 100%.

Marty is one of the few coaches I hold in a high regard. (I have high standards for coaching, as do many of us here.)

What's odd is that I think very, very little of his son. (And the opposite could be said of the Shanahans, though I still think Kyle is a dickhead.)

137 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The vast majority of good coaches are good before and after game time. Because that is what really matters. Finding the talent, developing the talent, getting the talent in the right positions to succeed and getting the talent in the right mindset. You do THAT and the game time stuff that folks kvetch about have an incremental impact but not nearly the significance of playing the wrong guys or being unable to develop a mediocre talent into an acceptable performer.

Mike McCarthy, for all his obvious game day issues of which there are MANY, is FANTASTIC on the days in between games. McCarthy (and Thompson) have a robust player development program that routinely takes guys and turns them into serious contributors. That impact cannot be overstated

It's the 'making adjustments in real time' that drag down their reps.