T.J. Watt and Fire High Heinicke

Pittsburgh Steelers ER T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers ER T.J. Watt
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 14 - According to the official NFL statistics, T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers just joined Reggie White as the only players in NFL history to record 13-plus sacks in four consecutive years.

Unfortunately, the official NFL statistics are wrong.

Deacon Jones amassed 13-plus sacks in six consecutive years for the Los Angeles Rams from 1964 through 1969. He produced some of the most amazing defensive seasons in history during that span, recording 20-plus sacks in three different 14-game seasons. Along the way, Jones literally coined the term "sack" in its football sense.

As a Football Outsiders reader, you know what's up: sacks from prior to 1982 are unofficial statistics, tabulated by historians such as John Thuney and Nick Webster from media guides and other sources. Pro Football Reference has made sack data from 1960 through 1981 easy to access, and the data is as meticulously researched and reliable as anything else that comes to us from the pre-digital age.

Jones deserves better than to be memory-wiped due to the NFL's obstinate refusal to embrace valuable information about pro football history because they aren't the ones who compiled it.

Jethro Pugh, a Cowboys great from the late 1960s and early 1970s, also recorded four consecutive 13-plus-sack seasons, as did 1970s Rams Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood. Also, Reggie White performed the feat twice: with the Eagles from 1985 through 1988 and with the Eagles and Packers from 1990 to 1993.

Eleven defenders have cracked the 13-sack plateau in three straight years, most recently Chandler Jones from 2017 through 2019.

Wait a minute … the 13-sack "plateau?" Why, we've stumbled into another Great Moment in Arbitrary Benchmarks. There is nothing special about 13 sacks, except that it's the number Watt reached in 2018, establishing the minimum for a Watt-related streak.

If we lower the sack total to 12 (a colloquial "dozen sacks") several other names appear, most notably Lawrence Taylor. Taylor recorded 12-plus sacks in five consecutive years from 1985 through 1989. His low of 12 sacks during that span came in strike-shortened 1987, when he only played 12 games. The 13-sack threshold excludes Taylor for not crossing a picket line and crippling some insurance salesman trying to live the dream.

Jacob Green, Leslie O'Neal, and Simeon Rice round out the group that recorded 12-plus sacks in four straight seasons: a bunch of near-Hall of Famers who wouldn't generate much engagement on the socials. Lower the threshold to 10 and all heck breaks loose, with seven different defenders recording double-digit sacks in seven consecutive years. Watt hasn't even been in the NFL long enough to crack that list. And yes, 13 sacks is more impressive than 10 or 12 sacks, so there is no good reason to arbitrarily lower an arbitrary milestone when trying to highlight a player's accomplishments.

But Watt tied James Harrison's all-time Steelers record with 16 sacks on Sunday, right? Wrong again. Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb recorded 17.5 sacks for the 1961 Steelers. Lipscomb was a two-time All-Pro for the NFL Champion Baltimore Colts in 1958 and 1959, not some rando who wandered into the NFL during a period of expansion. He's a member of the Pro Football Researchers Association's Hall of Very Good. Just because he's not as famous as Mean Joe Greene or Jack Lambert doesn't mean Lipscomb deserves to be swept under the historical rug.

Watt is an excellent player who is almost single-handedly keeping the Steelers relevant right now. He's on pace to record over 22 sacks, which means he could threaten the all-time single-season record held officially by Michael Strahan with 22.5 but really held by Al "Bubba" Baker with 23.0 for the Detroit Lions in 1978. No one wants to slag Watt. But the whole point of preserving and chasing all-time records is to acknowledge the greats of yesteryear who set those records. The NFL is being a poor custodian of its history by refusing to accept the Thuney-Webster data, and folks who ignore Deacon Jones and Gene Lipscomb in order to praise Watt aren't doing anyone justice.

If we want to celebrate what might be a historic season for Watt, we owe it to everyone to make sure we are getting the history right.

Fire High Heinicke and the Birth of a QB1!?

This little stinkpebble of a tweet crossed my timeline on Monday afternoon and nearly broke me:

Walkthrough should never respond to such a thirsty engagement pleas. But hey, Washington is on a four-game winning streak and segment hooks can be hard to come by in December. So revel along with my nerdrage as I itemize everything infuriating about that tweet.

Winz as a Quarterback Stat: The fact that Washington has won back-to-back games by 17-15 final scores makes crediting Heinicke for the victories both a little precious and kinda weird. (Seriously: 17 to 15?)

Arbitrary Time Frame: OK, "since November" is not all that arbitrary, especially as it translates to "since Washington's bye week." But Heinicke's two-interception performance in a 17-10 loss to the Broncos on October 31 is strategically omitted.

Completion Percentage as a Measure of Quality/Accuracy: Heinicke was 23-of-30 for just 196 yards against the Raiders. His air-yard figures may be in the middle of the pack, but Heinicke threw a ton of screens and checkdowns on Sunday, many of them not very nourishing. As for accuracy, receivers still must leap into the clouds for most throws more than 10 yards downfield.

Passer Rating as a Measure of Quality: Sure, they're unlikely to use DVOA. But yoking completion percentage and passer rating together is another cutesy-poo maneuver, because passer rating is so heavily influenced by completion percentage. It's a redundancy to make the Heinicke argument more impressive.

Ranking Third in a Sketchy Category During a Short Timeframe Offered as Evidence of Excellence: The quarterbacks ahead of Heinicke in passer rating since November are Mac Jones (fine) and Joe Flacco (LOL). Jones' Monday night data was not included in the data, but it wasn't all that much data.

Coy Little Interrobang at the End of a Vague Question: Are we asking you what you think or telling you what we think!? Neither!?

Seriously, go stick your hand down the garbage disposal, NFL on CBS Twitter social media director.

OK, that was an inappropriately hostile response. The question, if it is a question, does have some merit: are we witnessing the "birth" of a "QB1?"

In a world where Jimmy Garoppolo, Daniel Jones, and Jared Goff are starters with some measure of job security and longevity, Fire High Heinicke can indeed be a "QB1." Technically, he already is: Ryan Fitzpatrick is officially out for the season, and Washington never felt any real urgency to rush him back.

But what the hell does "QB1" even mean? Is Tyrod Taylor one? Do the Panthers even have one? I might define QB1 as a "worthy long-term starting quarterback capable of leading a team to a Super Bowl under a reasonable set of circumstances." But that's just head canon.

The fact that hours/months/careers can be wasted talking about vaguely defined qualifiers such as "QB1," "Elite," or whatever is both the problem with and the beauty of the sports media industry.

Heinicke looks to me like a continuation of Alex Smith and Fitzpatrick: a daring, semi-mobile spray-shooter with a stronger arm but much spottier ball placement than the others. He's already 28 years old, so he is probably at or near his peak. Washington has been a bad-idea factory at quarterback for about 25 years, so it's not surprising that Heinicke has a "hive" of supporters. Hometown fans can talk themselves into all the quarterbacks who lead 17-15 victories they want. It's up to the organization to take winning streaks and inflated completion percentages with a grain of salt.

As for the Washington winning streak: the question to ask in these circumstances is what, if anything, is going really well. The defense is playing better than expected against one great opponent and three scuffling ones, but it's hard to find any defensive indicator that's pointing way up. The offense got Logan Thomas and Curtis Samuel back, then lost Thomas again, and has scored 17 points against second-rate defenses in back-to-back weeks. Washington appears to be "finding a way to win." You probably know how to interpret that.

Heinicke and Washington are about to face an NFC East club sandwich: Cowboys-Eagles-Cowboys-Eagles. I think they will go 1-3 during that stretch, cementing Heinicke's status as a "Win Despite" starter or "Get You Through a Month" backup. If that's the case, the NFL on CBS social media folks had the right instinct by trying to rev up a little Heinicke bandwagon while he was at his peak.

And that's that. I swear off getting all bilious over little nuggets of Twitter ephemera forever and ever…

Damn it!!!

(Ed. Note: If you're curious, Heinicke is fifth in passing DVOA since he came back from the bye in Week 10. That's over just a four-game sample, of course. -- Aaron Schatz)

TebowMania Ten Years After: Impact Prater

TebowMania would never have happened without Matt Prater:

  • Prater kicked a 52-yard game-winner in overtime in Tim Tebow's first 2011 start, an 18-15 win over the Dolphins. Prater also missed three field goals in that game, but what would TebowMania be without lots of awful football capped off by some late-game heroics?
  • Prater kicked three field goals in a 16-13 win over the Chargers.
  • Prater kicked two field goals after the two-minute warning of a 35-32 victory over the Vikings.
  • Finally, he kicked a 59-yarder at the gun and a 51-yarder in overtime in a 13-10 win over the Bears.

The worse Tebow played, the better Prater got. He was like Samwise at the end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. "Sure Frodo. You're the protagonist. Now excuse me while I do literally everything to save the world."

When you think of the Tebow era at its most ludicrous, the Chicago game is probably the contest that comes to mind: the Broncos getting shut out for most of the afternoon, Marion Barber running out of bounds with a three-point lead when the Broncos are out of timeouts after the two-minute warning, Prater heroics, Barber fumbling when the Bears reached field goal range, more Prater heroics. Here's the ESPN NFL PrimeTime highlight reel.

Not every Tebow game was this bad, but this was the crystallization of the experience, the final gauntlet thrown at the feet of critical thinking.

Our Audibles at the Line, excerpted here, capture the mood:

Mike Kurtz: Charles Tillman just intercepted Tim Tebow, and it was one of the most beautiful catches I've ever seen. The receiver fell down, but the throw was high, so Tillman fully extended, snatched it out of the air, pivoted on one foot, went rigid, and tagged the second foot as he fell down. I'm not sure he even touched the receiver. Just gorgeous.

Ben Muth: Lance Briggs just got called for roughing the passer on a play where he didn't hit Tebow hard enough to knock him down.

Aaron Schatz: Mike Tanier, I think, wrote about how the Denver offense looked like more of a standard passing offense last week, and I think the same thing is true this week. There's a lot of Tebow in the pocket, looking for receivers like a standard quarterback. The difference is that the Chicago Bears defense isn't blowing coverages right and left the way the Vikings did last week, so Tebow doesn't have open guys most of the time.

Mike Kurtz: Tebow's statline actually looks far worse than it should ... his receivers are dropping everything.

Vince Verhei: Denver comes out with a pistol formation in the second half. They run play-action and Demaryius Thomas runs a post pattern, blowing by Tillman for what should be a long touchdown. Tebow's pass is thrown too far ahead and Thomas can't bring it in. This is a "Tebow Special" incompletion, where it was just barely possible for Thomas to make a superhuman catch, but he couldn't quite pull it off.

Aaron Schatz: Tebow had 11 straight incomplete passes. He's now 10-for-12 since then, primarily in the fourth quarter, and one of those incompletes was a really awful drop by Demaryius Thomas. Ridiculous. Oh, and he just found Thomas wide open in the end zone for a touchdown with 2:08 left to make it 10-7 Chicago.

Vince Verhei: Chicago recovers the onside kick (barely). They run three plays and punt, but they don't kill much clock because the two-minute warning was up after first down, and Marion Barber stupidly ran out of bounds on second down. The Denver Tebows have the ball at their own 19, no timeouts, down three, 56 seconds to go.

And of course, the Bears play the softest zone ever until Denver crosses midfield. It was like they were up 30, not three. Once the Bears decided to play real defense, the drive promptly stalled. They showed Matt Prater drilling 70-yard kicks in practice, so the 59-yarder here is academic, and we're going to overtime.

Aaron Schatz: The Tebow thing is amazing, because it's amazing what kind of crazy mistakes by opponents have helped all these wins. Ponder's pick [for the Vikings against the Broncos the previous week], Barber going out of bounds, just crazy stuff.

Mike Kurtz: I'm not sure any player has ever chopped as much wood as Marion Barber did in the past five minutes of game time.

Vince Verhei: The Broncos are lining up for a 51-yard field goal. Everyone in the bar is crowded under the TV asking "Can he do it again?" "He?" Is Tebow kicking now?

Mike Kurtz: Another week of avoiding football media, I guess.

Mike Tanier: Bad news, son. You ARE football media.

Mike Kurtz: Mind = blown.


As Vince Verhei wrote in Quick Reads the next day, Tebow didn't even run the ball all that well:

Not even the most ardent Tebow supporter would be surprised to see the Denver quarterback rank so low in passing statistics, but how do you rush 12 times for 49 yards and get -22 rushing DYAR, especially when you don't fumble even once? A lot of Tebow's runs come on third down, and he often comes up short. He had two first downs in seven third-down runs against Chicago, and though he converted a third-and-16, he also had a 0- and 6-yard gains on third-and-10, a 5-yard gain on third-and-6, a 3-yard gain on third-and-5, and a 1-yard gain on third-and-4.

As for avoiding the media, I appeared semi-regularly on a knockoff Pardon the Interruption back then on the Versus channel, which was formerly Outdoor Life Network, would later become the NBC Sports Network and is soon (I believe) going off the air. There was no Zoom back then, so I drove to the 76ers arena, where Comcast had a mini studio with a backdrop. Doug Farrar, who had just left Football Outsiders prior to that season, was sometimes the other talking head, and the host could not keep us straight. If Doug wrote in our prep emails that he wanted to talk about Drew Brees and I chose Aaron Rodgers, the host would invariably tee me off with, "So, you were really impressed by Drew Brees on Sunday," forcing two relative media novices to vamp, which made for some awesome television.

Anyway, we did an MVP segment for that show, and we probably chose Brees and Rodgers. But the host insisted on bringing the topic around to Tebow. I don't believe the clip exists anymore, but as I recall (perhaps self-servingly), Doug and I diplomatically praised Von Miller and the Broncos defense and politely asserted that Tebow still had a way to go in his development as a quarterback.

"But doesn't Tebow deserve consideration because of the way he's controlling the narrative?" the host asked.

Patience exhausted. "We're picking the Most Valuable Player, not characters for a play," I said.

Believe it or not, that was the first time I heard the word narrative used to discuss the storyline superimposed over the NFL season. It was probably a standard industry term used by Monday Night Football producers and such, but it wasn't used the way it is now by every angry fan who doesn't like the way the local team is getting covered. Oh here we go again with the stale Dave Gettleman-is-a-bad-GM narrative.

Tim Tebow was narrative made flesh, dwelling among us, a story the mainstream media wanted to tell because so many fans yearned to hear it. That Versus host, like Chris Berman and Tom Jackson on NFL PrimeTime and everyone else on television, got lots and lots of notes in production meetings such as the one the Sports on Earth staff got from a Gannett bigwig during the first meeting of our high-minded, utterly doomed prestige outlet seven months later: "You can never have too much Tebow."

Sometimes I think the football entertainment industry itself stopped pretending their cereal had any nutritional value and embraced the stupid the moment Prater hit that 59-yarder to force overtime. The dates don't really add up—First Take had already been on the air for years, for example—but TebowMania certainly helped shape the public's relationship with "the media" in the social networking age in subtle ways.

Yet a fork in the road was coming. What Tebow and the Broncos were doing was obviously not sustainable any longer. Either the quarterback had to improve or reality would (temporarily) set in. And despite the optimism we wrote about last week, Tebow proved incapable of improvement.

Next Week in TebowMania: Bill Belichick says ENOUGH.


37 comments, Last at 09 Dec 2021, 2:33pm

2 Heinicke

Heinicke isn't passing the eyeball test for good QB play.  His TD pass to Logan Thomas on Sunday was strangely high, given that Thomas was wide open.  And now Thomas is done for the season, which means Heinecke better improve his accuracy if he wants to keep his stats aloft.

Heinicke is, however, good enough to win games in order to keep his team from replacing him soon. Not sure if that's for the best for the WFTs.  


15 He's fun to watch, except…

In reply to by RickD

He's fun to watch, except when he's awful and isn't.

He's a scrappy QB who just wins, except when he doesn't.

He's a pleasant distraction from the fact that the WFT owner should probably be kicked out of the league, and possibly be up on criminal charges.

He's not an NFL starter, but in the NFC Least anything is possible.

19 "He's not an NFL starter" By…

"He's not an NFL starter"

By which you mean he shouldn't be an NFL starter, since objectively he is one, and by DVOA stats not the worst one in the league.

I actually think it's hard to put together a list of 32 guys that you could be confident would clearly be better starting options for your team.  So in the spirit of the rest of your post, I think I'd re-word your last line to:

He's not likely to lead his team to the Super Bowl, but Trent Dilfer once did so anything is possible.

21 Heinicke's put up positive…

Heinicke's put up positive DVOA (not just positive DYAR) in a large sample's worth of data at this point, and WFT has him for pennies through 2022. They'd be out of their minds not to see what happens next year unless he craters in the last few games.

He's not likely to lead his team to the Super Bowl, but Trent Dilfer once did

So did Kurt Warner, Matt Hasselbeck, and Rich Gannon, all of whom were castoffs from one or more other teams before getting a chance and eventually having stellar years/careers. Sure, he's more likely to burn out quickly and Washington may end up wasting 2022. Whoop de doo. It's not like Washington's loaded with old talent with a short window or something.

25 problem

problem is that they all play each other.  

Washington has 5 games left, 4 of which are versus Philly and Dallas.  Philly also plays Dallas.  Why would Dallas sit everyone?  Won't they care about seeding?  

Dallas could go 0-3 in those games and still make the playoffs, if they can beat the Giants and Cardinals.  Probably even if they lose to the Cardinals.  But they probably won't go 0-3 vs. Washington and Philly. 

If the Eagles go 3-1 they're at 9-8.  They'll be behind the Rams and probably the 49ers.  

It's mathematically possible for the NFC East to get three playoff teams, but the Vikings, 49ers, Panthers, Falcons, and Saints would basically have to lose a lot of games.  And the NFC East games would have to fall exactly right.  

The 49ers have @Cincy, Atlanta, @Ten,  Hou, @Rams. Two of those (Atlanta and Houston) should be gimmes.  They only need one of the other three to get to 9 wins and they have the tiebreaker over Philly. Cincy is inconsistent, Tennessee has a bunch of injuries, and the Rams will likely be locked into the #5 seed by the time their final game starts.

I'm guessing the wild card teams will be Rams, 49ers and Eagles/WFT. 

Vikings can't afford another loss, and they have Pittsburgh, Rams, and Packers on the schedule.  They're toast.

3 LT

The 13-sack threshold excludes Taylor for not crossing a picket line and crippling some insurance salesman trying to live the dream.

Lawrence Taylor did cross the picket line a week early and racked up 2 sacks and about half-a-dozen holding penalties against possibly the most overmatched offensive line in NFL history.  (He missed a game later in the season with a hamstring injury.)

24 Rats! I LOVED that line. I wish it was accurate.

In reply to by Travis

It's a shame that the data did not support the line, but the line below is an example of why Mike Tanier is such a joy to read:

"The 13-sack threshold excludes Taylor for not crossing a picket line..." (minor chuckle, punishing a man for integrity and sticking with his crew) "...and crippling some insurance salesman..." (this is the primary punchline. Cripple is a funny verb (maim would be okay but a little gory, and kill/murder/injure just too common to be funny.  Plus, the image of an insurance salesman on the field is outright hilarious, so he's triple-stacking the humor in one statement, so far. Then he goes for the jugular.) "...trying to live the dream."  (This was funny, too, and the icing on the cake. It could have stopped after "salesman" and been a solid funny comment, but the whole concept of "living the dream" by playing in the NFL on a strike week because you were never good enough in the first place is exactly why it IS and SHOULD REMAIN a dream.  You're not actually making a team, dude, and living the dream is an illusion; you're cannon fodder in the war for ticket sales and advertising dollars. It almost implies, from a million miles away, that LT SHOULD have blasted you so you could get on with your life instead of pretending, but maybe that's just an inference I drew because I am a mean, reality-based person.)

Brings me back to my college days decades ago when it was actually my "job" to write a paragraph about one simple sentence. William Faulkner, James Joyce, and now Mike Tanier. Go get 'em, Mike.

36 Wait, you're telling me you…

Wait, you're telling me you don't want a Ulysses-Finnegan's Wake mash-up in which Tanier soliloquizes for 40-odd pages about how Mac Jones is overrated, but using RaiderJoe-ese instead of real English? Sounds like the best Xmas present ever to me. (Or should I say yes I said yes I will Yes.)

4 orton

i love it, roethlisberger, prescott, orton, JONES!!! If Orton doesn't exist, we'd have to build a pedestal for MJ10. Oh wait, the entire point of your walkthrough, from start to finish, suggests pedestals are already being built! For Jones AND Heineke, albeit on slightly more solid ground than that for Tebow, oh so many years ago. wait, just 10? That happened in the 20-teens? feels WAY longer! maybe because 2020-2021 has felt like 10 years alone...

10 Roethlisberger, Prescott,…

In reply to by NYChem

Roethlisberger, Prescott, Orton, Jones:  Is there any common denominator, besides the obvious one of getting to start for a team with a good defense and solid running game? 

I remember being very unimpressed with Prescott's pocket presence in his rookie year, something that improved greatly as he matured.  My memory of Roethlisberger's and Orton's rookie years is too hazy to recall what (if anything in particular) I thought about them at the time.  My impression of Jones is that he's more trustworthy with the ball than Belichick is worried he'll be, and that the main thing holding back the NE offense is Belichick being willing to risk opening things up.  Then again, making the opposition scared that you're going to run all over them is likely the best way to give your rookie QB  passing looks he can succeed in without turning the ball over.

So I suppose it's a circular thing:  teams that can run the ball well even when their opposition is not worried about their rookie QB, and who get to run the ball a lot because they have a good D, are good teams and good teams win a lot of games.

17 7 games win streaks as a…

7 games win streaks as a rookie are few and far between, obviously, and there have been rookies who started more than 7 games, even with a good D and decent running game (Joe Flacco comes to mind), who didn't put that kind of streak up. It's an arbitrary number, like 13 sacks for Watt, since 7 straight is what Jones put up. If you set the wins number at 13, it would be only Roethlisberger (so far). 

At any rate, to get 7 consecutive wins as a rookie, you need a good surrounding cast and favorable circumstances, but you also have to not F things up, not panic, make some throws, etc. My point with the comments on that tweet was, Orton gives some important context. In '05, Orton started 15 games, the bears won 8 in a row, Orton went 10-5 on the year with 9 TDs, 15 INTs, and a 59.7 rating (for what it's worth). The rest of his career much more reflects those other stats than the rare 8 wins in a row as a starting QB. 

for comparison, Roethlisberger went 13-0, 17 TDs, 11 ints, 98.1, and he's probably 1st ballot. Prescott, pocket presence or not, had 11 straight wins as a rookie, they went 13-3 with him as a starter, with 23 TDs, 4 INTs, and a 104.7 rating. You probably don't get long odds if Vegas has HOF odds of current active QBs, albeit it is early. Mac's stats are trending closer to Prescott and Roethlisberger than Orton, and he could wind up with 11 straight regular season wins and freaking 14 straight rookie wins (tying Roethlisberger if you include the playoffs). Orton gives a little context...

26 The other reason 7 game win…

The other reason 7 game win streaks for rookie QBs are rare is that rookie QBs who start are usually (though not always) rookies who were highly drafted, and teams that are using high draft picks on QBs are usually (but not always) bad/rebuilding. If a team with a roster good enough to win 7 games in a row is starting a rookie QB, it's probably because their projected starter got injured or underperformed, and in that case the rookie was probably not a top prospect and might not get enough games to even put together a 7 game win streak. I suppose that does make Jones's situation unusual.

32 I suppose that does make…

I suppose that does make Jones's situation unusual.

Jones just "won" a game while being historically protected by his head coach, so yeah, his situation's definitely unusual because nothing close to it has happened for over 40 years.

Seriously, they just won a game against a team winning ~60% of their games essentially without Mac Jones at all. That game could have ended with "Mac Jones" taking off his helmet and removing a mask to reveal Brian Hoyer going "Fooled you!"

If you ever needed a data point against "QB winz," there you go.

35 There's one caveat to this -…

There's one caveat to this - in that there's things QBs do that aren't throwing the ball - like audibles, identifying blitzers and calling out line assignments, etc - and Jones is already an enormous improvement in this area over Newton. 

5 NFL sack statistics remind…

NFL sack statistics remind me of Springfield hurricane statistics.  No sacks before 1982, when the hall of records mysteriously blew down.

6 "Next Week in TebowMania:…

"Next Week in TebowMania: Bill Belichick says ENOUGH."

An upcoming Tanier article in which Belichick plays the role of hero?  I can't wait!

11 sacks split t hree ways

  Know of one time when three Loins credited with sack ons ame play. Not sure how many times statisticians awarded credit this way. think was done maybe only in 1982 and 1983



12 webster and Turney sack data

probaly 100% accurate a few eyars befoew 1982. Maybe not as accurate in some 1970s years,. they checked game film and game books. Data at 90-99% accurate ceetainly better than not having data. just cannot use it withjout noting an asterisk or doing a footnote in writing book

13 A lot of energy being spent on being mad

But no mention of the Cooper Kupp stat of being:

The first player ever with 100 recs (false)

With 10 TD (false)

In the first 12 games (ah ok)

That's the whole point of these arbitrary stats. No point in writing a whole article on it.

14 I'm a Steeler fan and couldn't agree more

I think T.J. Watt should be DPOY, but has a way before he's in the same breath as LT and Deacon Jones. And there's nothing wrong with that. He continues his current level of play a few more years he'll be right there.

20   I have always thought JJ's…

  I have always thought JJ's downfall was his relentless workouts - you gotta give your body a break occasionally and I don't think he ever did, hence the injury tsunami.  Hopefully TJ learned that lesson.

29 Being a fellow old fart who…

Being a fellow old fart who also watched Reggie and LT in their respective primes, I respectfully disagree. JJ was not as terrifying as those two, but that's largely a product of the times; probably half of Reggie's and LT's sacks would draw a personal foul these days. 

31 different type of player

JJ was a full-functioning defensive lineman who not only got sacks, but also stopped the run, batted down passes, and was generally the best defender in the league.

LT was not a lineman, even though he played on the line often.  He was an old-fashioned OLB who could play in coverage and was known to stop running plays on the other side of the field.  Joe Gibbs famously ran straight at LT, figuring he'd be where the ball was anyway.  

I'd rate Reggie White as the third of the group - maybe a better pass rusher than Watt, but not as valuable in all aspects of the game.  

16 I enjoy walkthrough but I…

I enjoy walkthrough but I really feel no need to relive the Tebow era.  After the first paragraph of the first one I have skipped this section every time.  It may be great writing, but the its like a movie that I have no interest in seeing after seeing an ad to me.

To be clear, it doesn't bother me, I'll still read the rest of it, but wanted to offer some feedback.

28 I love me some Heinicke. …

I love me some Heinicke.  Either he turns out to be a Warner or even Tannehill and is a great underdog story.  Or buying into him results in more years of crappiness for the Washington Football Snyders, whom I hate.  I hope he succeeds, I hope theteam fails.