Chiefs, Eagles Soar on Sort-it-Out Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 4 - In this jam-packed edition of Walkthrough…

  • Patrick Mahomes reminds us why the Kansas City Chiefs are appointment viewing (and serious contenders);
  • The Philadelphia Eagles exert extreme NFC dominance;
  • Russell Wilson and the Broncos stink up the kitchen again;
  • Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson trade the MVP award back-and-forth in the rain; and
  • The Steelers and Patriots make a mess of their quarterback situations.

Plus the usual Matt Ryan slander, Week 4 awards, and more!

What We Learned on Sort-it-Out Sunday

Week 4 featured lots of games that clarified how various divisional and conference races will shape up as the 2022 season rounds its first turn. It wasn't quite a "Separation Sunday," but it was a soggy (on the East Coast) Sort-it-Out Sunday. Let's get straight to the sorting.

Super Bowl LV Was a Long Time Ago Bowl: Kansas City Chiefs 41, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31

What Happened: The Week 1 version of the Chiefs returned to dominate the Buccaneers with both vintage Patrick Mahomes improv highlights and a balanced overall offense. The Buccaneers remained in the rearview mirror all evening, but Tom Brady lacked both the firepower (Mike Evans caught two touchdown passes, but Chris Godwin looked like a zombie after taking too many second-half hits) and the defensive support to mount a real challenge until it was too late.

What It Means: The Week 1 Chiefs were legit Super Bowl contenders. The Week 2 and 3 Chiefs were the self-destructive team that melted down in the second half of the AFC Championship Game. The return of the version of the Chiefs that can run the ball consistently and spread the ball around efficiently was reassuring proof that the Cardinals win was no mirage. The intermittent brain cramps are baked into the Mahomes/Andy Reid experience—there were a few on Sunday—but the Chiefs will be just fine if they come bundled with the ability to control the clock for over 38 minutes, only punt once, and drop 41 points on one of the best defenses in football.

The Buccaneers are now 0-2 against the Packers and Chiefs, two teams they need to be able to beat to make the Brady encore worthwhile, and they have fallen behind by a combined 42-20 score in those games. The Bucs just aren't good enough to overcome fumbles on kickoffs, strip-sacks, an out-of-bounds kickoff that gave the Chiefs a breathing-room field goal, and other miscues. They're about to catch a break in the schedule, and they'll be fine thanks to the overall weakness of the NFC. But if the Buccaneers were in the AFC, they would be the Broncos.

What's Next: The Chiefs enter a two-game homestand against the Raiders (historic rivalry!) and Bills (Game of the Millennium!). The Buccaneers embark on a Falcons-Steelers-Panthers run, because when the going gets a little tough for Brady, spacetime itself bends to make his schedule a little easier.

AFC BCS Championship: Buffalo Bills 23, Baltimore Ravens 20

What Happened: If the MVP wagering market could speak, it would have begged for the rest of the week off on Sunday:

  • Early Game: Lamar Jackson looks like Steve-Young-meets-2019-Lamar-Jackson, completing underhanded lobs and volleyball tip-drills while Josh Allen throws a gruesome interception and struggles with the spongy conditions. MVP Odds (Estimated/Imagined): Jackson -120.
  • Mid Game: Allen engages his four-wheel drive and begins trucking defenders between short completions while the Ravens offense stalls and settles for field goals. MVP Odds (Estimated/Imagined): Allen +300, Jackson +500.
  • Early Fourth Quarter: Jackson gets the ball at the Ravens 5-yard line and puts the whole world on his back, mixing runs and passes to drive to the Bills 2-yard line. MVP Odds (Estimated/Imagined): Jackson -180000.
  • Fourth-and-Goal From the 2-Yard Line: The Ravens go for it in a 20-20 tie for some reason, Jackson fades back-back-back, then throws an interception to Jordan Poyer in the end zone. MVP Odds (Estimated/Imagined): Jalen Hurts +300 (Woot!)
  • Final Bills Drive: More canny Allen ball distribution and rugged trucking to set up a game-winning field goal at the gun. MVP Odds (Actual): Not yet posted when Walkthrough went to press. but Patrick Mahomes is likely back near the top.

Yes, Poyer and others made important contributions (see the Week 4 awards). But this game felt like three hours of quarterback heroics, with occasional bloopers mixed in.

What It Means: The Bills and Ravens are two of the AFC's three best teams, with the Chiefs in the mix, and it's dangerous to read too much into a narrow victory on a rainy day where lots of bouncing balls/dropped completions/dropped interceptions/high-leverage penalties (most notably a shaky roughing-the-passer foul against the Ravens on the final drive) played a significant role in the outcome. But the Bills are 3-1 and have staved off both their short-term injury crisis and a looming "can't win unless the weather is perfect" narrative, while the Ravens are 2-2 with a pair of losses against teams they led 35-14 and 20-3.

One thing is certain: the Ravens need to figure out their fourth-and-goal play calling and execution or else just chuck analytics out the window and kick some short field goals. (Remember, they were also stopped at the goal line in their Week 2 loss.)

And yes, Dolphins fans, we're aware the Dolphins beat both teams. The Bills and Ravens are still better.

What's Next: The Steelers toss Kenny Pickett to the Bills defense like a virgin into a volcano. The Ravens host the Bengals.

Let Russ Cook/Feed Davante Bowl: Las Vegas Raiders 32, Denver Broncos 23

What Happened: The Broncos went 3-of-11 on third downs. Their defense allowed five Raiders scoring drives of 10-plus plays. The Broncos only hung in the game in the second half because the Raiders kept settling for short field goals. Russell Wilson cut the Raiders lead to 25-23 with a short run after a fourth-quarter bomb to KJ Hamler. But Raiders running backs gashed a gassed Broncos defense to drive for a touchdown with 2:02 to play. Wilson's final attempt at fourth-quarter heroics ended when Mike Boone dropped an easy fourth-down completion.

What It Means: Could you imagine a Wilson-led offense that goes three-and-out far too often (three times in a row in the second half), can't control the clock (25 minutes and 8 seconds), and is entirely dependent on big plays and late-game drama? Why of course you can! That's just about the only Wilson-led offense any of us can imagine after watching the Seahawks through the latter half of the 2010s!

Sunday's version of the Broncos offense was an improvement over what we have seen so far this season. Wilson played within Wilson parameters. But a first-half Melvin Gordon fumble turned into a Raiders touchdown, and the Broncos offense looked lost when Javonte Williams suffered what appeared to be a significant injury. The Broncos defense then buckled under the strain of trying to be too perfect for too long. Come to think of it, that's another all-too familiar theme.

Davante Adams caught nine passes for 101 yards despite mostly tight coverage from Patrick Surtain II. Maxx Crosby recorded two sacks and two tackles for a loss and batted a pass straight back into Wilson's hands at the Broncos goal line. If the Raiders can get mammoth games out of each of them every week, some heady ball distribution (and running!) from Carr, lots of thump from Josh Jacobs, and the occasional contribution from anyone else, they should be capable of clawing back into the bottom of the wild-card picture. It's a stars 'n' scrubs formula, but it's hard to quibble with the caliber of the stars.

What's Next: Hang out the laundry, Ethel: Russell Wilson faces Matt Ryan and the Colts, so it's time to see which quarterback is the most thoroughly washed. (Spoiler: It's Ryan; Russ is just Russ.) Meanwhile, the Raiders visit the Chiefs.

Cold Stone Creamery Doug Pederson Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles 29, Jacksonville Jaguars 21

What Happened: The Jaguars stormed out to a 14-0 lead in a steady downpour thanks to a pick-six shakedown by Andre Cisco, followed by a crisp 80-yard touchdown drive. The Eagles then answered and kept on answering, helped along by four Trevor Lawrence fumbles and an interception, three of which led to touchdowns. (The fourth prevented a late Jaguars rally.)

What It Means: The Eagles are the best team in the NFC right now, hands-down, ain't close. Sunday's victory was a clone of their Week 1 victory over the Lions: plucky upstart team comes out of the tunnel like gangbusters, Eagles outperform them in all three phases in the second and third quarters once everything settles down, final score is closer than the game itself.

The Jaguars are the best team in AFC Southlandia, but they remain a rebuilding team that's not quite ready for the spotlight. Lawrence didn't cope with a wet football all that well, and his interception—a late sinkerball into the flat in the red zone—was a backbreaker. The Jaguars offense benefitted from playing with a lead that took pass pressure off Lawrence, and their defense also had it easy when the Colts and Chargers were belly-up for much of their last two games, allowing their pass rushers to tee off. Still, this loss was a course-correction, not a catastrophe.

What's Next: Eagles at Cardinals: actual progress versus unfulfilled potential. Meanwhile, the Jaguars will try not to rub it in about how well things are going when they host the Texans.

Conference USA Belk Bowl: Tennessee Titans 24, Indianapolis Colts 17

What Happened: The Titans mounted a 24-3 second-quarter lead on some well-executed ball-control offense, coupled with a Matt Ryan strip-sack and an interception by Teair Tart at the line of scrimmage.

It was then time for Ryan's patented heroic comeback to make the score close/his statistics adequate (a tradition since 2017). Ryan piloted a pair of slick touchdown drives to cut the Titans lead, but the Colts' efforts to tie the game in the late third and fourth quarter were thwarted by: a) another Ryan strip-sack which led to a 6-yard loss and a punt; b) a Jonathan Taylor fourth-and-short fumble; and c) a 51-yard field goal attempt which was wide right by about 25.5 yards.

What It Means: The Titans are grinding out just enough offense to beat the AFC's most dedicated disappointment factories. They are doing so by using Derrick Henry as a dual threat and distributing quick passes, all the while hiding the fact that both of their starting tackles are currently turnstiles. An improving run defense (just 42 yards on 20 carries for Taylor) has also helped. But the Titans model probably isn't sustainable, especially if rookie receiver Treylon Burks (carted off the field late in the game) misses significant time.

As for the Colts: they have been outscored 65-23 in the first half this season, and Matt Ryan is washed like a fire truck before a parade.

What's Next: The Colts-Broncos All-Star Quarterback Laundromat; Titans visit the Commanders in yet another Carson Wentz-versus-his demons matchup. (The demons open as two-touchdown favorites.)

Premium-Priced Mediocrity Bowl: Minnesota Vikings 28, New Orleans Saints 25

What Happened: The Saints, playing without Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara, spotted the Vikings excellent field position throughout the second and third quarters. Here's what the Vikings did with it:

  • Drive starting on Vikings 45-yard line after punt: Interception.
  • Drive starting on Vikings 44-yard line after punt: Field goal.
  • Drive starting on Saints 20-yard line after fumble: Field goal.
  • Drive starting on Saints 44-yard line after fumble: Field goal.
  • Drive starting on Vikings 45-yard line after long kickoff return: Field goal.

All the stalled Vikings drives allowed the Saints to stay in the game and tie things up with a 60-yard Wil Lutz field goal late in the fourth quarter. But a Kirk Cousins-to-Justin Jefferson 39-yard completion set up a Greg Joseph field goal with 29 seconds to play, and Lutz's attempt to one-up himself with a 61-yarder to force overtime hit the upright.

What It Means: The Vikings are a mega-volcano of mediocrity with a cringe-inducing offense, but they have already manufactured enough unconvincing victories against conference foes to remain buoyed in the NFC playoff race for the rest of the season. (Sorry about all the volcano references; Walkthrough has been listening to podcasts about the Minoans.)

Saints fans can look forward to brighter days once Winston, Thomas, and Kamara are healthy, right? Maybe not: the Saints offense was awful when all three were playing, and given their histories and recent setbacks, what are the chances that all of them will ever be truly healthy and available at any time this season?

What's Next: The Vikings host the Bears next week. The Saints kick off a two-game homestand that starts with the Seahawks. So yes, both of these teams should win in Week 5. NFC also-rans linger in the playoff picture like a fishy smell in a breakroom microwave.

Quick Notes on Other Games

Walkthrough does not watch every game on Sunday. But that won't stop us from having an opinion on every game on Sunday.

Green Bay Packers 27, New England Patriots 24 (OT)

Brian Hoyer suffered a head injury early and was replaced by third-stringer Bailey Zappe, who clearly learned a lot from watching Mac Jones film: Zappe handed off and waited for the Patriots running game and defense to ice a victory, and it might have worked against a weaker opponent.

The Patriots also staged an embarrassing community theater production at Friday's practice: they sent Jones (high ankle sprain) onto the field to stand perfectly motionless and lob some warmup passes during the open media session so reporters could take pictures/video. It was a silly attempt to fool the Packers into thinking Jones was Wolverine and could heal quickly enough return to the field on Sunday. But it also illustrated how desperate the Patriots are for Jones to return, and how reckless they could become if this season slips further away from them. The Patriots should not be playing games with Jones or signaling to Jones (or fans) that he's expected to hurry back ASAP to save them.

If the Patriots rush Jones back to face the Lions, it will be the low-water mark of the Bill Belichick era.

New York Jets 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 20

The Steelers fan sitting next to me in my local tavern assured me that Kenny Pickett's first interception was a "great throw;" Chase Claypool simply didn't make enough of a play on it! (Steelers fans think everything is the wide receiver who was good two years ago's fault; that's George Pickens' fate in 2024.) I didn't dare speak to that seething fan after Pickett's second and third interceptions. The Steelers are now 1-3 and have a mess on their hands at quarterback, just in time for a Bills-Buccaneers-Dolphins-Eagles stretch.

Dallas Cowboys 25, Washington Commanders 10

Who would have thought that the Cowboys of all teams would navigate their way through Dak Prescott's absence with three wins? That said, the Cowboys visit the Rams and Eagles over the next two weeks. Even if Dak returns, that could be a brutal road trip.

New York Giants 20, Chicago Bears 12

Well, somebody had to go to 3-1.

Los Angeles Chargers 34, Houston Texans 24

Austin Ekeler (three touchdowns) apparently now plays running back, receiver, left tackle, and edge rusher. He also ruins backdoor covers, but shame on Walkthrough for betting on the Texans.

Huge "we're not dead yet" statement by the Chargers. Let's see if they have another one in them at Cleveland next week.

Atlanta Falcons 23, Cleveland Browns 20

Wait, the Falcons can come back for gutsy fourth-quarter victories now? Oh yeah, that's right: the Colts are the new Falcons.

Arizona Cardinals 26, Carolina Panthers 16

Kliff Kingsbury realized he was in danger of getting out-coached by Matt Rhule when the Panthers trailed 10-3 at halftime and actually got the Cardinals' act together in the second half. Walkthrough did not watch this game, but we do know that Kingsbury called the ever-popular jet sweep on fourth down...

… and Rhule was like, "ooh, that looks like a splendid idea!"

Can't wait to see Kingsbury and Rhule square off in the Big 12 in two years (If there's still a Big 12 in two years).

Seattle Seahawks 48, Detroit Lions 45

Can we please please please please PLEASE stop pretending the Lions are good until they, I dunno, win two games in a row or something? A Geno Smith-led offense just racked up 555 net yards on them and led the whole way on Sunday. But the talking points will still be, "blah blah blah, exciting comeback, Dan Campbell said something funny, fantasy stats, they never give up, blah blah blah." They're just the same old Lions, except in arcade mode instead of sim mode.

Week 5 Awards

Trophies! Get yer trophies!

Offensive Line of the Week

The Seahawks offensive line of rookie Charles Cross, Damien Lewis, Austin Blythe, Gabe Jackson, and rookie Abraham Lucas held the Lions without a sack and helped Rashaad Penny rack up 151 rushing yards, including long touchdown runs on third-and-5 and third-and-16. Penny said after the game that one of the runs was sparked by the fact that he and Cross read a Lions overshift and bounced the play outside. Awareness? Communication? The Broncos could use some of that!

Defender of the Week

Bills safety Jordan Poyer ended the Ravens' final two offensive possessions with interceptions. The first pick, tipped by teammate Prince Emili, halted the Ravens near midfield. The second came in the end zone, of course, and it turned the game around. That Dolphins loss might have turned out differently if Poyer had been available.

Special Teamer of the Week

Vikings rookie Jalen Nailor earns this week's award from gobbling up an underthrown fake punt from fellow rookie Ryan Wright. The play extended a drive that led to a Vikings field goal.

Far More Interesting Special Teamer of the Week

Folks, find someone who loves you as much as Mack Hollins loves downing punts inside the 5-yard line (or helping others do so):

Burn This Play!

First, let's give the Jets credit for their unique spin on the Zach Wilson MILFy Special:

Great stuff, fellas. Just don't get too cute with the trickeration or else…

Had Wilson actually hauled in the lateral from one of the Michael Carter duplicates, he likely would have been flattened by Cameron Heyward anyway.

Burn This Clock Management!

The Titans burned their final timeout before halftime on third-and-1 from the Colts 25-yard line with 19 seconds left. The Titans then botched a play, and Ryan Tannehill was forced to dive for no gain with no way to stop the clock. Let's see if Matt Vrabel's immaculately coached field goal unit can get onto the field and…

The moral of the story (besides "just take the points, coach") is that even a 300-pound backup lineman like Corey Levin should think twice before bumping into anyone named STONEHOUSE.

Best Supporting Actor in Someone Else's Highlight

Broncos left tackle Garrett Bolles comes up just a wee bit short on his dive to stop Amik Robertson's fumble-recovery touchdown:

Honorable Mention: Patrick O'Connor almost chases Patrick Mahomes down in the backfield. Devin White almost stops him before he spins away. Antoine Winfield and Keanu Neal knock him down, but a moment too late. And last (but far from least), William Gholston's like, "Seriously? I have to drop into coverage now?" Enjoy Mahomes' latest Bugs Bunny homage:

Honorable Mention: If you snap the ball over Kyler Murray's head, as Rodney Hudson seems to do about three times per month, it's best to flop on the ground and hope no one notices you.

Rando of the Week

Let's imagine what was going through the mind of undrafted Giants rookie Tomon Fox (49) on the Bears' end-of-game lateral circus:

Hell yeah, I just whacked Justin Fields to end this game! Darn, he got rid of the ball. OK, play's on the other side of the field. Oh no, it's coming back this way! Ebner's right in front of me! I'll just … whoops, got juked. Don't get discouraged. Hustle. Pursue. Rats, I overran him. Ball's loose again! Fields has it! Imma whack him again! Drat, got juked again. But I am still in position to tackle him if I can sift through this ARGH I just got piled up with a teammate and a lineman. I'M NOT EVEN GONNA GET MY NAME ON THE GAMEBOOK FOR THIS.

Tough break, Tomon. But you're playing for a 3-1 team, so keep your chin up!

Comments

154 comments, Last at 04 Oct 2022, 4:21pm

#1 by BlueStarDude // Oct 03, 2022 - 7:20am

Can we just write the Super Bowls in Arabic numbers at this point? 

Points: 0

#35 by mansteel // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:32am

OMG, you minority-supporting SJWs drive me nuts. Now we're supposed to switch our number system to one Arabs use? 

 

 

Points: 0

#63 by mansteel // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:35am

...and now I'm paranoid that someone is going to take this comment seriously. Just so we're clear: I'm joking. And, with this post, have now ruined whatever amount of humor the joke contained. 

Points: 0

#67 by Joey-Harringto… // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:53am

I did chuckle when I read it, but then I paused for a moment and thought, “wait, what if his comment was not actually in jest?”, which says a lot about the world we currently live in.

Points: 0

#80 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:19pm

Poe's Law.

"Arabic" numerals are really just a term for where they entered Europe. The Arabs got them from the Hindus (likely via the Persians), who had modified an existing numeral system (although crucially added zero). Between the Brahman and the Hindu set, you basically have modern numerals.
(Although 4 and 5 have strayed a bit)

https://www.archimedes-lab.org/numeral.html

Points: 0

#143 by rpwong // Oct 03, 2022 - 6:19pm

I think the first sentence was probably a little too aggressive for a cold opening. However, there are two important things that make it better than a Saturday Night Live cold opening:

  1. It was short and to the point instead of dragging on endlessly.
  2. You quickly realized that it wasn't funny and pulled the plug.

Points: 0

#72 by BlueStarDude // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:59am

Awesome. Totally laughed out. But good that you clarified after. You never know, I could be from California or something.

Points: 0

#2 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 7:25am

—Pats o line is very good 

—Judon made Jenkins’ life miserable Sunday.  EJ coming back from injury can still handle most opponents but Judon has both speed and power and Jenkins couldn’t keep up multiple downs 

—Interesting that unlike so many teams that use 2 high to defend Rodgers NE went one high.  Not a criticism.  Just an observation

—Packers punter had some poor efforts Sunday.  The line drive late that resulted in a 19 yard return could have been a killer 

—Typically when an aging qb starts looking “old” it’s either the arm which is really the legs going or really working to avoid contact.  Rodgers maybe is slipping but because of course he has to be different it’s because he’s not seeing the field.  Which is something almost all old qbs excel at as it is their key skill in staying on the field.  He threw a bizarre int against Tampa and today it was the most not Rodgers throw for a int return.  Plus multiple throws downfield to basically nobody.  He could have run for a first downs on one but instead chucked it 30 yards down the sideline.  If this is a sign of slippage it’s an odd way to go.  I know some may point to the receivers but that is not the word out of GB.  He’s just “off”

—Lazard with multiple fine catches.  Looks like the injury issue may finally be in the rear view mirror 

— A Jones so, so good in this game. I know Packer fans want him to get the ball more but think GB has been correct in managing his workload.  
 

—the no call on delay of game would have been funny if not so obviously inept officiating.  I get that there are many subjective calls which are challenging.  This one is very discrete.  The Clock reset to 40 before NE snapped the ball.  Good grief. (Enter someone saying it’s funny a Packer fan complaining about a penalty when gB “gets all the calls”)

—run defense is at least 50 percent effort.  Other than Preston Smith lots of guys willing to play pattycake.  Even Kenny was playing soft at times yesterday.  Very concerning. Yes NE has a good line.  But GB had guys getting moved 2-3 yards off Los.   That’s ridiculous 

 

On to London

Points: 0

#10 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 8:52am

Apparently Matt was testy when asked about the Packers run defense.  Not apparently with the questions but on Packers not changing up as NE kept using Cannon as an extra blocker 

 

 

Points: 0

#77 by ChrisLong // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:12pm

In many games, Packers seem to intentionally commit less resources to stopping the run, which I don't hate because the run is less efficient overall. But for this game they should have committed more to the box. I was thinking after the game that part of the reason they may have been reluctant to commit resources to stopping the run was Adrian Amos' injury and the very poor quality of the backup safeties. Going single high means having a safety you can count on in run defense, and count on to cover and adjust when a team passes from run alignments to make it worthwhile. Maybe Ford could not be counted on for that.

BUT that doesn't excuse an overall poor defensive performance given the 3rd string backup QB.

Points: 0

#3 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 7:44am

There was nothing questionable about the roughing the passer call against the Ravens - he hit Allen's facemask with his helmet after the ball was gone. If that had been called against Cousins no one would question it. One thing my seatmates in purple agree with me on yesterday was that both Allen and Jackson don't usually get those calls because "running QB", even when it's not a running situation.

Points: 0

#13 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:28am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k5C1ycsVnQ

After that Brees TD, where two defenders let up when Brees went into a posture that looked like a slide attempt (because that absolutely would have been a personal foul had they decked him), I decided to stop being sympathetic to QBs who get hit on something that looks like they are running/might run. You don't get to exploit the rules like that and then plead moral purity. You can get hit like everyone else.

Points: 0

#22 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:59am

In that instance I'd agree, but I'm talking about being hit in the head in the pocket. Once they're running, yeah, if they get hit it's part of the play.

Points: 0

#56 by BigRichie // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:14am

What game were you watching?? Oh yeah, your Home Team Heroes! game.

Points: 0

#58 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:22am

In reply to by BigRichie

The one where the stadium replay showed the crown of the helmet hitting Allen's facemask from underneath. It was pretty much the same view the official had, and it made the call completely understandable.

Edit: In the opposing team's stadium, no less.

Edit #2 - the replays I keep seeing have Allen's back to you, so you can't see it. Of course.

Points: 0

#15 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:40am

The defender also saw Allen throw the ball, hesitated, and then smacked him anyway. Allen also got grabbed by the face mask earlier in the game, but no call; similarly, he got whacked in the helmet in the end zone last week against Miami, and again, there was no call. Jackson and Allen almost never get these calls, just like Cam Newton. (I don't remember enough defenders being fast enough to lay a glove on Michael Vick, and I didn't get to see a lot of Atlanta games because they're in the NFC and rarely got national broadcasts. Randall Cunningham also comes to mind, but the rules for protecting quarterbacks back then boiled down to "don't pick one up and slam him to the ground like Charles Haley did to Jim McMahon.")

Points: 0

#20 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:52am

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Randall Cunningham also comes to mind, but the rules for protecting quarterbacks back then boiled down to "don't pick one up and slam him to the ground like Charles Haley did to Jim McMahon."

Which was itself a change. It used to be "don't pick one up and slam him to the ground after the whistle like Charles Martin did to Jim McMahon."

In retrospect, McMahon's longevity issues aren't really a surprise.

Points: 0

#23 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:00am

Right? Although sometimes I think McMahon must have done something to really p*ss people off.

Points: 0

#24 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:09am

In reply to by Mike B. In Va

The Martin injuring of JM was the result of the Packers head coach, Forrest Gregg, telling his defense to 'hurt Chicago'.  GB always played dirty against the Bears while Gregg was coach.  Ken Stills was the worst offender.

 

Martin was not a bright guy.  He took his coach's guidance literally and as gospel.  Not excusing his actions.  But Martin had his walking orders so he did what he thought was expected.  Guys like Stills were just bad news

 

It was a low point in GB history that a great former player now head coach was openly advocating to injure opposing players.  

Points: 0

#36 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:33am

Watching old films, I'm not really surprised essentially none of the NFC Central teams finished the season with the QB they started with from 1984-1986.

Points: 0

#57 by BigRichie // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:17am

Yeah, the Gregg years were the worst. A bad and an incredibly ugly team.

Points: 0

#33 by CHIP72 // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:28am

In reply to by Mike B. In Va

Nah...Joe "Turkey" Jones was suplexing Terry Bradshaw on his head a decade before Charles Martin.

Points: 0

#73 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:59am

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Actually, back then you were allowed to pick up the quarterback and slam him down onto the turf helmet first.  Saw it done to Ken O'Brien a bunch of times (the Colts did it the most to him, go figure), and also saw the Jets do it to Elway for safety (also knocking him out of a Monday Night Game).  The Steelers did it to Vince Young and it wasn't called, but now they would flag it.  The NFL has  never allowed a defensive player to do that to a QB when the play is over, which is what Martin did to McMahon basically.  It was an interception, but the guy was already tackled when Martin decided it was time to injure McMahon.

Points: 0

#4 by Dave from DC // Oct 03, 2022 - 7:47am

Strange line on this site. Ravens went for it because it was the numbers play, at least according to the 4th down decision bot and ESPN's win probability metric

Points: 0

#6 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 8:07am

...and Harbaugh said as much in his presser. I thought it was the right call at the time - just the INT was one of the worst possible results because Buffalo got the ball at the 20 and not at the 2.

Points: 0

#27 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:12am

I always go for it because I have no faith in my defense, because as you see, had we kicked the FG, the Bills would have scored a TD and won.

We needed the TD so that when the Bills scored the TD, we may win toss and drive field and win.

Clearly going for 4th down was the proper call.  The improper call was on 2nd and goal at the 1, running up the middle and losing 3 yards.

The Ravens are Lamar Jackson and special teams.  They are so great that they cover up lots of flaws.  You must put the ball in your best players hands on 2nd and goal at the 1.  You must use a play that can not lose yardage (QB sneak or pass that you just throw away if not open).

The Ravens have lost two games on atrocious late defense and inability to get 1 yard when needed.

Ravens defensive DVOA, is massively inflated by huge numbers of turnovers.  Without these plays, the defense has been awful, except when playing Joe Flacco.  The rain and wind were your 12th and 13th man yesterday, but to no avail in the second half.

Points: 0

#28 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:15am

I thought it was the right call at the time - just the INT was one of the worst possible results

That's part of the coaching/quarterbacking/playcalling/etc., though - the QB needs to know "hey, a sack or interception is the worst thing that can happen here." I tend to put that way more on Jackson than Harbaugh because the playcall looks fine, it was just... super-weirdly executed.  Jackson stepped back instead of up (when he had a clean pocket ahead of him), which is... not the correct direction.

And he like, never looked to the left there at all, which is just odd, because he absolutely had a touchdown to his left, and the receiver there knows it. And the defense is shaded very heavy to the right and the offense is mostly balanced, so... why are you looking there? And his postgame press conference explanation was just weird, too.

All around bizarre.

Points: 0

#31 by Mike Tanier // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:28am

BTW, I am aware of the math behind Harbaugh's decision, and I should have included both Aaron's calculations (which he tweeted) and Jim Harbaugh's comments. 

I still don't love the decision, on a rainy afternoon with a third-string left tackle, etc. Especially for a team that seems to spend half the season justifying something they did at the goal line. But I went with the glib approach because, you know, I was writing about lots and lots of games.

Points: 0

#45 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:45am

I still think it's more Lamar than Harbaugh. I'd love to see an actual breakdown of that play from an all-22 perspective because I can't see what's happening on the right side. But I just don't buy the idea that he was supposed to go to Duvernay in the corner, because that just seems nuts.

Points: 0

#95 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:56pm

There was an open receiver on the left side. (I was sitting with my view to the back of the Ravens as they drove towards that endzone.) I still don't know what he saw that made him look off that. Duvernay was open for a second until Poyer left his zone. Two things you couldn't see on TV, but I'll bet the coach's film shows clearly.

Points: 0

#105 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:32pm

The key that makes me go ??? is him not stepping up into the pocket. He hits his drop, bounces... and then drifts backwards. That's double-plus ungood. You're just helping the rushers!

He had plenty of space in front of him. Step forward and that pressure goes away and you've got an easy path out of the pocket, too.

Points: 0

#127 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:13pm

I disagree that Lamar had room to step up into the pocket. The ends crashed the tackles inside and quickly collapsed the area he would have stepped into; Gregory Rousseau at LE sort of ran a contain rush with a step to the inside to cut that off a bit, so if Jackson did have room to step up, it would have been to the left, where Shaq Lawson took more of an outside rush, leaving the left guard with no one to block. But the Bills had two tackles pushing straight up the middle, plus Milano and Edmunds hanging around near the goal line and quasi-spying Jackson. (Also, Rousseau and Lawson both got held, not that a flag would have overturned the interception.)

As for the open receiver on the inside left, I think it depends largely on whether he's the first or second read. If he isn't, I don't expect Lamar to notice him right away, and once that receiver broke into the end zone, it was too late; Milano was hovering in the area, Lawson had his left hand in the air to partially block Jackson's view, and the pass would have been at high risk of being picked off anyway. If there was a time to find that receiver, it was presnap. (I was going ballistic that the Bills didn't move anyone out there with the slot receiver, since it seemed like an easy read to make. Lamar just didn't make it, because if he had turned and fired immediately, it probably would have been a touchdown.)

Points: 0

#139 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 4:35pm

But the Bills had two tackles pushing straight up the middle, plus Milano and Edmunds hanging around near the goal line and quasi-spying Jackson.

Not... exactly sure what you're seeing here? The two Bills tackles are aligned well to the right, with the one DT either 0 or 1 technique and just straight-up rushing and the other DT is 3-technique and basically rushes the B gap on the right side.

The center/guards hold up really well, there's like 5 yards in front of him by the time Jackson hits his drop and bounces. Then he heads backwards. And keep in mind - if Jackson steps up, Lawson isn't being held, which is why falling back is so bad: the LT has to let go to avoid the hold call, and then it's doom and gloom.

And yeah, I agree the Bills have 2 defenders off to the left but it's basically man-on-man at that point (2 threats, the receiver + Jackson, and 2 defenders) and I'd take that any day of the week.

I was going ballistic that the Bills didn't move anyone out there with the slot receiver, since it seemed like an easy read to make. Lamar just didn't make it, because if he had turned and fired immediately, it probably would have been a touchdown.

Yes, this is the main mistake I'm talking about. And if you watch that slot receiver, it certainly looks like he expected the ball.

Points: 0

#148 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 04, 2022 - 9:16am

Yeah, watching the replays it looks like Lamar completely dismissed the slot receiver pre-snap. I know the Bills had really been disguising the TE coverages all of the second half, which helped shut the Baltimore offense down - maybe he'd seen something on a previous look that told him that route would be covered? It just seemed strange since a quick throw is definitely a TD.

Points: 0

#150 by Pat // Oct 04, 2022 - 9:57am

I think he just locked himself into the right side. I mean, that's a common mistake for a QB, especially in stressful situations, and everything about that play screams that he was just jumpy. Watch his head - it barely moves at all.

It's also just weird because one of the advantages of being a mobile QB is if the formation stacks heavier on one side (which they did, to the right) the backside's going to have wider gaps and easier lanes for you to move around and get a defender into a lose/lose type situation. So his basic response really should be "look right, nothing there, step up, look back left and scramble out."

But really, that play was shot the instant Lamar drifted back. Even without the left side if he had stepped up he's got a clean throwing lane to the back corner. Which is certainly a harder throw, but it was there.

Points: 0

#96 by serutan // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:57pm

One other thing to consider is that if the FG had been blocked or missed the controversy - especially from the "let's see how loud we can shout at each other" shows - would have been "Why didn't they go for it?".  

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#103 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:21pm

Given the kicker involved, block or miss is such a low percentage argument it's not worth having.

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#133 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:34pm

The more likely scenario, it seems to me, is they make the FG, then lose on a subsequent TD-drive by Buffalo, making the recrimination "why didn't they go for it?  even if they try and fail they leave Buffalo pinned on their own goal line?"

 

Points: 0

#140 by KnotMe // Oct 03, 2022 - 5:29pm

That's one of those things where...your right if it works and your wrong if it doesn't. Sometimes guys are clearly wrong (Hackett), but alot of these decisions get alot of scrutiny and it's hard to say what actually is right. 

Points: 0

#53 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:07am

Yes just execute the play properly.  Too much is being made in the media about the decision to go on 4th down.  Do not get to 4th down by not running that stupid awful play on 2nd and goal at the 1.  I know Tom Brady in his prime would have the ball, use Lamar, period!

Points: 0

#59 by BigRichie // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:23am

Every time a 4th down go-for-it doesn't work, "It was the wrong play call! It was the wrong play call!" Novel now going 2 plays earlier, I'll grant that.

Really. A running back line plunge on 2nd and goal at the 1 is a "stupid awful play". Really?!?

Points: 0

#69 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:54am

Yes, any play that can 3 lose yards on 1st and goal from the 1 or 2nd and goal from the 1 is a bad play.  Really.  Any play that the Raven's run that does not involve Lamar Jackson is a bad play.  Look at the Ravens DVOA, their pass DVOA is 53.5 (1st in NFL), their rush DVOA is -2.4, which includes designed runs by Lamar.  The Ravens were stopped by Miami on 4 inside runs (1 botched snap on 4th down) on 1st and goal from the 2, stopped on 4th and 1, stopped on 2nd and 1 and 3rd and 1, converted 4th and 1.  All plays used were inside runs.  The team is terrible at it period.  You do not you your worst play when the game is on the line.  

Not using Lamar in 2nd and goal at the 1 is equivalent to not having the ball in Michael Jordan's or LeBron James' hands trailing by 1 point with 10 seconds left.

Points: 0

#81 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:21pm

Yes, any play that can 3 lose yards on 1st and goal from the 1 or 2nd and goal from the 1 is a bad play.  Really. 

That's all plays. Even a sneak, if you're Arizona.

Points: 0

#91 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:46pm

I need to see that Arizona sneak, sounds like a classic fail.

Points: 0

#98 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:03pm

It was a joke -- Kyler Murray never lines up under center.

This, however, happened this week:
https://www.nfl.com/videos/lawrence-s-botched-qb-sneak-try-results-in-eagles-fumble-takeaway

 

Points: 0

#115 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:38pm

Cross into the end zone, then fumble, it does not matter, its a TD.  Your play is hilarious but would have actually worked on the 1 yard line.

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#119 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:49pm

Maybe.

There's a Dak clip of basically the same thing, but he loses it just prior to breaking the plane for a touchback.

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#94 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:56pm

 Too much is being made in the media about the decision to go on 4th down.  Do not get to 4th down by not running that stupid awful play on 2nd and goal at the 1. I know Tom Brady in his prime would have the ball, use Lamar, period!

I just... don't get this logic. The 4th down play was just objectively bad quarterback play from Lamar Jackson. I don't understand "give Lamar the ball on 2nd down" when his bad play on 4th down was the issue.

He's not Superman: he can, in fact, make mistakes. There's no serious reason to believe that if they had called a play for Lamar on 2nd down that he wouldn't've made a mistake just as bad as he did on 4th down.

I don't understand putting the blame of that 4th down play on anyone other than Lamar. Even criticizing the 2nd down play is just hindsight: the call was fine, Dobbins just made a bad play. It happens. Lamar made a bad play on 4th down, too.

Points: 0

#97 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:59pm

We need to give Poyer some credit here - he left his zone to undercut the throw to Duvernay, who was initially open. Lamar's internal clock should have told him he waited too long to make the throw, though.

Points: 0

#106 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:37pm

he left his zone to undercut the throw to Duvernay

Pretty sure it was just underthrown - I think he was trying to get to the back corner, but because he was drifting back it fell well short of where he was going. I mean, he threw off his back foot while falling backwards. It's like, how many QB mechanics guidelines can you violate in one throw.

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#113 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:29pm

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1576660967395536896

Yeah, it could have had more zip on it, but Duvernay is open when it leaves his hand, and Poyer still had to take it away from him for the pick.

Points: 0

#117 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:47pm

Duvernay is open in the corner. If he throws that thing standing still it's a back-corner catch and it doesn't matter what Poyer does. Duvernay has to close on it, after all. It's a good play by Poyer but considering all of Lamar's mechanical mistakes scream "this ball will be underthrown," and combine it with Duvernay having to close on it, I'm betting he was trying to hit him in the corner and underthrew it.

Especially because a proper throw to the corner is a good choice in that situation, since there's no interception probability.

Points: 0

#110 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:16pm

Comparing 4th and 21/2 yards to second and 1 is apples to oranges.  You can throw an intentional incomplete on 2nd down if your play is a bust or if you have no scrambling lanes

Points: 0

#120 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:50pm

He could've done that on 4th down, too! Lobbing a prayer of a throw to the end zone like that is a terrible decision, so why are you assuming he wouldn't've made a terrible decision on 2nd down?

Mistakes happen. Dobbins screwed up bad on 2nd down, Jackson screwed up bad on 4th down. They were both good decisions and good play calls. Just not executed.

Points: 0

#104 by IlluminatusUIUC // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:28pm

I have no problem with the call either, but the issue I see is that Harbaugh's reasoning is entirely backwards.

I felt like it gave us the best chance to win the game. Because seven [points], if they go down the field and score — and I think we’ll get a stop — but the worst thing that can happen is you’re in overtime. But you kick a field goal there, it’s not a three-down game anymore. It’s a four-down game. You’re putting them out there, you’re putting your defense at a disadvantage because they’ve got four downs to convert all the way down the field and a chance again to score seven. You lose the game on a touchdown.

No. That's reversed. If you kick the field goal, then Buffalo is incentivized to kick a field goal as well. Imagine if they kick, and then Buffalo drives and has a 4th and 8 or something on Baltimore's 25. There's no chance McDermott is going for such a low % conversion when a tie is available, but if you go up 7, he has to.

While the 7 point lead gives your defense more ground to defend, it shrinks the # of downs the offense has to do it by changing their decisionmaking. It's the same as the whole "6 point lead" problem.

Points: 0

#108 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:42pm

I think he's saying if they kick the field goal, Buffalo's in a four-down situation just to get into field goal range. And then getting a touchdown is just a chance on top of that. Yeah, if you score 7, the Bills are in 4-down mode too, but now they have to score.

Whereas he's figuring if they go for it and fail and the Bills are heavily backed up, they'd be less inclined to push things and you're just in overtime.

Points: 0

#128 by IlluminatusUIUC // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:13pm

There were more than 4 minutes left and Buffalo had all three timeouts. They weren't necessarily into "Four downs all the way" mode just yet, especially if they only had a 3 point deficit. If Baltimore kicks and Buffalo goes three passes and out on the subsequent drive, they likely would have punted.

Points: 0

#130 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:24pm

Harbaugh is using a technique used in business called BSing.

He always puts the game in the hands of his offense as he has no faith in his defense.  That is why he went for this, period.

When people lie or BS, logical statements are not made.

Points: 0

#5 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 8:06am

Coldstone Creamery Doug Pederson Bowl:

Surely this should be Wawa or Yuengling, which are available in both cities.

Points: 0

#29 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:25am

Yuengling's got a huge distribution region now, though, so I think you've gotta go with the Wawa option. Especially since the fact that there are Wawas in Florida is just bizarre. They're super-concentrated in a corridor from the Philly area to Baltimore to Virginia Beach, and then... Florida.

Points: 0

#39 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:38am

This chain has such strong brand identity they opened FL locations for retirees from the other states who love WaWa

 

that is my understanding 

Points: 0

#41 by dmstorm22 // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:41am

Yes, I believe this is correct.

Also for the earlier poster, their omnipresence starts well north of Philly. Wawa's are everywhere in NJ, even more North in the NY catchment area.

Points: 0

#47 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:56am

In reply to by dmstorm22

Wawa's are everywhere in NJ, even more North in the NY catchment area.

Have you seen the map of Wawa locations? You basically draw a big circle around Philly, then a curvy line down through Baltimore, Richmond, and Virginia Beach. And then Florida. Yes, yes, it spreads into New Jersey, because c'mon, so does Philly. They practically line the New York border because New York is like "stay the heck out of our state, weird store."

You could find Philly by fitting a density map of Wawa locations.

And yeah, of course it's because of the retiree thing. Which is why it's funnier: Yuengling is just spreading out nationally. Calling it the Wawa Bowl is awesome because you can claim Pederson just went from coaching for Philly fans to retired Philly fans.

Points: 0

#50 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:04am

Yuengling entered Florida basically by accident. They purchased a distressed Tampa brewery for excess capacity and found themselves in the southeast market.

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#83 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:25pm

Yeah, but even when that happened, there at least was a sane market. They've been in basically the entire eastern half of the US for over a decade and will likely be national in another one.

Wawa's national map just looks weird.

Points: 0

#49 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:02am

In reply to by dmstorm22

Wawa, PA is just west of Philly. You can take a SEPTA train there now.

\again, really. You could have in the 70s, too.

Points: 0

#61 by DGL // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:29am

Western PA, a cluster around Lancaster, a few outliers in Scranton and Detroit, every restaurant within 240 miles of the Strip District... except for two in Ft. Lauderdale.  I didn't even think a lot of people from Pittsburgh retired to Florida.

Points: 0

#7 by GKJohn // Oct 03, 2022 - 8:11am

Mr. Tanier,

Have enjoyed reading you thru the years, but why the "hate" on Brady.  especially last week regarding his shirt.   HIs discipline alone is a role model for kids.  That is a good message-- that greatness never goes away.

Points: 0

#60 by BigRichie // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:27am

On the other hand, Brady lied like all get out during DeflateGate, and has now put football ahead of family.

A 'good message': That 'greatness' is more important than honesty and than family.

Maybe your kids, but not mine.

Points: 0

#116 by SandyRiver // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:41pm

I'm not claiming that TB12 was totally truthful during deflategate, but there was so much incompetence by the investigators and NFL that it was hard to tell what was or was not a lie.  I'm confident that Brady's suspension was not for anything he said, but for smashing his cellphone, and in his place, I might have done the same.  The investigator's promise to reveal only that which specifically pertained to deflategate was emptier than the Pats' current QB room.  Anyone who thinks that juicy Tom-Gisele conversations would've remained private is ludicrously out of touch.

Points: 0

#145 by Stendhal1 // Oct 04, 2022 - 12:15am

I’m not a Brady acolyte at all but the only “evidence” against him was the inference from the cell phone spoliation (that’s lawyer speak because I am one).  In fact there was EXCULPATORY evidence:  according to the NFL’s own report, Brady complained to the two ball masters (forgot their titles) because the ball had been vastly OVERinflated in a game in the fall, 15 or 16 psi when the rule was 11.5 to 12.5.  How is trying to COMPLY with the rules wrong?  And in response, the ball guys’ initial reaction was, “screw him, we’ll inflate it again.”  Could the ball guys have acted on their own without Brady?  They did once and talked about doing it again!  After Brady talked to them they piped down, and my belief is that the head ball guy did tamper with the ball when he should not have but on a mistaken belief that he was insuring compliance with the rules when there had not been compliance earlier. 

Points: 0

#76 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:03pm

Greatness always goes away.  The method is aging, the manner is usually death.  If Brady keeps playing, we will get to watch his greatness going away.

Points: 0

#89 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:42pm

There is a strong subset of folks in Silicon Valley obsessed with finding a way to live 150 years without significant loss of quality of life.  Meaning your frame is still holding up to a fair degree along with mental acuity. 
 

Brady is rapidly becoming a hero (guess is the best word) to that crowd   No idea if anyone from this group has connected with Brady.  But they talk about him a LOT.   

Points: 0

#99 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:04pm

Not a new idea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_B%C3%A1thory

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#107 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:40pm

As with most 'crazes' in SV the folks THERE think they are the first to think of something.

 

I have a lot of friends in the area.  Love visiting.  But going to some of the get togethers and listening to the fasting talk or "I only sleep 10 hours a week" talk or how about this special elixir that does x, y, z does get a little taxing.  At least the 'open relationship' talk has died down since that article in The Atlantic or The New Yorker.  

Points: 0

#121 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:51pm

I believe woo travels using a migratory bird as its host, and that bird's annual breeding grounds are in California.

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#109 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:01pm

Aside from the fact none of those people play football for a living, I would think they're taking the wrong tack.  Anyone who wants to live to 150 can easily do so.  One just needs to remains friends with President Xi Jingping for 150 years so that one can get all the spare organs one needs for that extended lifetime.

Of course, that may be a little too far for the morals of the crowd we are talking about.  Besides, it's not original.  Larry Niven came up with the concept back in the '60s when he wrote "The Jigsaw Man" and A Gift from Earth.

Points: 0

#118 by SandyRiver // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:48pm

One of my Sci-Fi faves, though his "Known Space" tales also included anti-aging meds, to keep the brain fully functional.

Points: 0

#123 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:55pm

The anti-aging meds were 'discovered' later, although the Pak people had them well before primates on earth started (evolved from the Pak refugees).  I never finished Gift from Earth, but love almost the rest of the "Known Space" stuff.  I'm in the middle of Protector right now.

Points: 0

#149 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 04, 2022 - 9:18am

That's a great book I should revisit. One of my favorite things about Niven is his ability to come up with plausible reasons for his own plot holes in his earlier stories.

Points: 0

#152 by GKJohn // Oct 04, 2022 - 1:23pm

Brady has been great because, and I will quote his former college coach, Lloyd Carr, "he embraced the struggle better than anyone" or to paraphrase Steve Mariucci and many others, that he had tremendous heart.  I think THAT (and the greatness that goes along with it) is the message that kids not only need to hear, but the world needs to hear.  Yeah, he is not Mother Teresa, but who is?  Further, he has remained, despite what it said on his shirt, a pretty humble guy.  You can see in the way he talks.  And regarding what Barkley said, yeah, I am well aware.  But people can be role models in CERTAIN aspects of life such as resiliency, character, teamwork.  Brady was the first one, and I think he genuinely meant it, to say that we need to show some empathy for antonio Brown.  Whether we should or not is besides the point.  The fact is that people could learn from Brady's heart, both on and off the field.  Bill James, who was probably as good a writer as he was a mathematician, once said "athletes are heroes, that is their job"

Points: 0

#8 by LJam3 // Oct 03, 2022 - 8:50am

It's Patrick Wyman's Tides of History, right?  Talking about the Bronze Age Collapse now.

Points: 0

#111 by Paul R // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:20pm

It's a Hallmark channel Christmas movie about a young volcano who leaves her corporate job in the big city, moves back home to run her grandmother's antique store, and finds true love with her high-school sweetheart.

Points: 0

#122 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:54pm

Don't young volcanoes mostly already live in a place that's perpetually Christmas?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland

Points: 0

#135 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:38pm

I will watch that movie while wrapping presents this Christmas.

 

PS The heroine should be described as a "fiery young volcano", otherwise your description is perfect!

Points: 0

#9 by johonny12 // Oct 03, 2022 - 8:51am

Just one week ago, Brian Flores sucks. All he ever did was try to sabotage Tua and ruin his career. On the other hand Mike McDaniels is a genius that's done everything to make Tua better.

 

One week later, Mike is the guy that made a series of decisions that led to Tua receiving possible irreparable brain damage. Hmm . . . 

 

The Drama in Miami continues no matter who coaches.

Points: 0

#11 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:14am

New York Giants 20, Chicago Bears 12

Well, somebody had to go to 3-1.

They could have tied.

Can we please please please please PLEASE stop pretending the Lions are good until they, I dunno, win two games in a row or something?

Mike, you were the one picking the Lions the last two weeks!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUXb7do9C-w

Lions fans know to not trust the Lions. Especially against Minnesota or a team like Seattle. Come back after the Ford line is dead.

Points: 0

#40 by Joey-Harringto… // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:39am

Well said.  When the national media and several FO writers started getting on the Lions bandwagon after week 2, I just knew things were gonna go badly, because that’s what always happens.  

At least their offense is fun.  This team is giving me 1996 Ravens or 2007-10 Texans vibes.

Points: 0

#52 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:05am

Most years of the Brees Saints.

Points: 0

#54 by Joey-Harringto… // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:11am

Well, Brees will be a Hall of Famer.  Goff is more in line with prime Matt Schaub or Trent Green.

Points: 0

#12 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:18am

(Enter someone saying it’s funny a Packer fan complaining about a penalty when gB “gets all the calls”)

Oh, it is, It's different when the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it?

I'm fine with the delay of game being subjective, but I think we need to add a rule that defensive off-side or encroachment is reviewable and if the defense comes across when the play clock is at zero it's not a penalty. If the officials blow it dead (unabated to QB), it's 5 yards on the offense.

Points: 0

#16 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:41am

Did you see the play or a replay?  Because this was not a 'beat' after zero.  This was a clear 2 odd seconds.  Quite the pregnant pause.

 

FWIW Everyone on the broadcast including the 'rules expert' said the refs blew the call.

 

Only mentioning because it was just so obvious the ref either froze or wasn't paying attention.  Which, given the rule, is not a great look

 

 

Points: 0

#19 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:50am

I'm sure it was as horrific as you describe.

My proposed rule change would have let the DEs just stream across the line three seconds before they actually snapped the ball, possibly leading to Steve Belichick having to play QB.

Points: 0

#30 by Noahrk // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:25am

Sounds like a good idea to me. The way it's called now is a circus show.

Points: 0

#43 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:43am

I get pissed when the defense gets penalized for offside when replay clear shows the clock hit zero before they came across. That should absolutely not be a penalty.

Well it should; just not on the defense.

Points: 0

#42 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:41am

There is a tweet with video in the Audibles page 

 

in case anyone wants to watch the ref stand there oblivious to the game he is officiating

 

Even better was another official pointing out his error during a game break and the complete astonishment by the ref.  Then the CBS rules person pointed out that the official explaining what was missed could have also thrown a flag as he is the clock backup person.  So HE saw it and deferred to the other ref and then it was too late.  Or something 

Points: 0

#141 by serutan // Oct 03, 2022 - 6:01pm

Because this was not a 'beat' after zero.  This was a clear 2 odd seconds.

 

This would be easily be fixed by wiring a foghorn to the play clock hitting zero.

 

EDIT : unless you prefer the NBA style solution below.

Points: 0

#126 by JonesJon // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:09pm

In general, I've always found it a little strange the play clock expiring isn't one of the rare reviewable penalties. There is no real subjectivity to it at all and it could be quickly determined on review. 

Points: 0

#131 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:28pm

There wouldn't be except for the guidance to give teams a 'beat' before throwing a flag which I personally find a bit odd given all the time prior to the clock expiring.  Why does one more second help?  And this from a fan whose qb INSISTS on taking the game clock to zero plus regularly and has for years.

 

But this penalty exceeded that standard by a healthy margin.  That would be very clear on review

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#132 by dmstorm22 // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:28pm

I agree, and it would be so easy to implement too. Just give the play clock and NBA-style red lighting feature that goes off when it hits zero, if the ball isn't snapped, it's delay of game.

To me any "black and white" penalty should be reviewable.

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#134 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:35pm

Yes, I so agree and have no clue as to why a loud buzzer does not go off like an NBA shot clock also with red lights.  You either got the play off in 25 or 40 seconds or you did not.  Why is this a subjective call?

EDIT:  I did not notice that someone said the exact same thing 7 minutes ago.

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#136 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:48pm

That's okay. It took the referees about seven minutes, too.

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#14 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:37am

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34691504/why-brian-griese-left-television-booth-become-49ers-quarterbacks-coach

Does anyone fail upward as well as Brian Griese?

Also: yay nepotism!

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#142 by serutan // Oct 03, 2022 - 6:03pm

 "Fail upward" is the secret to success in corporate America.

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#17 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:43am

It's just not the way I describe passes that get tipped at the line and head straight into the gut of a competent cornerback who is sitting in zone coverage. "Unlucky break" seems much more appropriate.

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#18 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:45am

Their offense looks great, but if I were a Chiefs fan, I'd be at least a little concerned about their pass defense.

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#32 by Noahrk // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:28am

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

It's a team designed to win with offense, so yeah. That's their weakness.

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#51 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:04am

And they're not weak against the pass. KC has been great against the run this year, but that's the less important half of defense these days. KC looked downright dominant for large stretches of yesterday's game, but Tampa Bay spotted them the opening kickoff on their own 25 and a Brady strip-sack inside the 25. Despite the Chiefs' offensive brilliance, it wouldn't have taken much to flip that game from a blowout to one in which the Chiefs simply couldn't stop Tom Brady, and that's because Tampa Bay didn't even bother running the ball.

Anyway! I like what they did on defense in the draft, and I like their attempts to transform their defense, but I don't think it's working all that well. Long season, but I'd be a little concerned. Maybe that's just me. Without Hill's big-play ability, they're going to need a lot of long drives all season long, and that requires near-perfect execution, because the day it doesn't happen against a good passing team, they're almost certainly going to lose.

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#74 by OmahaChiefs13 // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:00pm

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

I mean...no more than usual, and actually quite a bit less than usual.

It turns out that when Tom Brady throws the ball 52 times because the running game accumulated (checks notes) -3 yards on 6 carries, there are going to be some yards against racked up.

Especially when a starting corner is on IR and the primary coverage LB is suspended.

It's the same thing it's always been in the Mahomes era: when the offense is on, they rack up so many points so quickly, the opponent switches to "all pass, all the time" catchup mode very early, with the result that...sure, passes get completed.

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#78 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:15pm

Even if we throw out Brady's 9-of-10 performance for 61 yards and a touchdown after the Chiefs increased their lead to 17 points and essentially ended the game, he still completed 71% of his passes for 7.7 yards per attempt. Those numbers are inflated a bit because Tampa Bay was at home, but they're still not good. We'll learn more about KC's defense as the year goes on, especially if more teams with good passing offenses take a page from Tampa Bay's book and simply abandon the run entirely. (I don't expect them to do it, but DVOA suggests they should strongly consider it.)

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#86 by OmahaChiefs13 // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:26pm

Those numbers are inflated a bit because Tampa Bay was at home, but they're still not good. 

No, they're not, but KC fans still really aren't terribly worried.

We're used to a certain cycle with Spagnuolo defenses: they start the season absolutely awful....like "barely functional as a professional defense" terrible...then they gradually morph into something functional (while not necessarily good) around week 9 or so.

This season, we're starting at the point of "functional with some not-good numbers", which, for us, is extremely encouraging.

That's why I said we're less worried than usual. Usually, week 4 is still dead in the center of full panic mode.

Also, it's just a rookie corner and a dime LB, but the McDuffie injury and Gay suspension are a bigger deal than most folks who don't follow the team closely would suspect. Gay in particular isn't exactly a household name, but Harris isn't even remotely a reasonable fill-in. Bolton has been taking the primary coverage snaps, and while he's generally pretty good, he got flipped the wrong way in coverage a few times last night.

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#93 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:52pm

I realize he only played during the preseason and part of week 1, but what have you thought of him? There was a lot of predraft talk in Western New York about McDuffie versus Elam, with a lot of people claiming the Bills wouldn't have touched McDuffie because of his shorter wingspan, but a lot of other people worried that Elam got flagged a lot in college for being too handsy/grabby. Despite this, he's played something like 109 snaps and has given up only 50 receiving yards, and I don't think he's been flagged more than once (if that), so he's doing well just by not being noticed on a week-to-week basis.

Was hoping James Cook would be showing out like Pacheco by now, but no such luck. Can't stop dropping the ball.

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#114 by OmahaChiefs13 // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:32pm

I realize he only played during the preseason and part of week 1, but what have you thought of him?

Early read is a solid, reliable cover guy. He was barely mentioned in those games he did play, from a "good DBs don't get mentioned because they just cover their guy" perspective.

He's probably not a game-changer, but solid and reliable is good....we needed that in the secondary something fierce. I think for what we needed, he was the correct choice over Elam....if we're scoring how each team did there, it's probable that both teams got the right guy for them (if not for the injury to McDuffie, anyway).

Where he's unlikely to help is against Big Tall Receivers...if you look at which receivers have had really good days this year, it's been those guys, and as you say, his wingspan won't help him there. 

Points: 0

#137 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 4:14pm

You can do a lot worse than "solid and reliable," that's for sure! Looking over the AFC, the big-and-tall list among AFC contenders feels to me as if it starts with Gabe Davis and ends with Mike Williams, with no one in-between, so any physical shortcomings—and, to be clear, these guys were both top-rated corners, so "shortcomings" is relative—should be minimized. (That said, I'm sure I'm missing somebody.) Curious to see how they stop Gabe Davis if he doesn't stop stopping himself with all these damn drops, though. (Maybe his ankle will heal up; he's clearly a bit hobbled, and I can't imagine it's helping him.)

ObTraits: I just looked up wingspans and vertical jumps for these two players. Elam has McDuffie by 4.25 inches on wingspan, so maybe 2 inches to each side at full extension, but McDuffie had an absolutely insane 10.10-inch advantage on the vertical, which ... like, that absolutely blows my mind. Ironically, this gives the smaller player a better advantage on jump balls to, say, Mike Williams!

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#21 by Phil // Oct 03, 2022 - 9:57am

I didn't dare speak to that seething fan after Pickett's second and third interceptions.

The first two picks hit the receivers' hands. The second one, yeah, if he wanted to really throw that away, he could have thrown it higher. The third pick was a Hail Mary, and this very site does not count those. Let's not be too misleading, come on now. The rest of the passes were completions. It wasn't bad for his first action coming after halftime without practicing with the 1s during the week. And as important as anything else — the Steelers as a whole played with more energy, which they desperately needed.

The Steelers are now 1-3 and have a mess on their hands at quarterback

There's really no mess — you play Pickett (a 24-yo four-year college starter) and let him have his professional growing pains, see what there is to see. This isn't a Super Bowl team. It doesn't make sense to go back to Mitch. Not only is he not the future, Pickett probably gives this team a better chance to win right now.

Points: 0

#26 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:12am

I'm in favor of him getting his first start next week. He could get an introduction to Mr. Miller.

 

Seriously, I cannot imagine why anyone would think Trubisky is the answer to any question other than "who is a capable mobile backup QB?"

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#34 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:31am

Seriously, I cannot imagine why anyone would think Trubitsky is the answer to any question

Because he's one of the best Bears quarterbacks ever, of course!

I really don't understand the criticism of starting Trubisky. Bringing him in was fine, he was serviceable enough with the Bears that you could imagine he was a viable 2021 Roethlisberger replacement for a year to let Pickett learn without, y'know, dying. And then having him start in the beginning could easily have just been that Pickett wasn't anywhere near ready. You can't just throw a guy out there and "see what happens." That's a flat out recipe for getting a guy killed.

That being said I don't actually think that was the case. 

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#37 by Phil // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:36am

I actually thought it was a good move to bring Trubisky in, and I agree starting the season with him made sense — I just didn't expect him to be this bad. Turns out he's not even a bridge starter, he's just a backup. By the third game it was already becoming clear that it was time for the move.

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#46 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:56am

That's my point, though - one year on a loaded team in Buffalo somehow cured all the awfulness you saw on the Bears? Not a sound decision. I mean, not "Nathan Peterman is our starter" bad, but still bad...

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#48 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:58am

 one year on a loaded team in Buffalo somehow cured all the awfulness you saw on the Bears?

Again, he's one of the best Chicago QBs ever!

Seriously, the fact that he wasn't a total disaster in Chicago absolutely qualifies him to get another shot elsewhere.

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#75 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:02pm

Again, he's one of the best Chicago QBs ever!

Yes, and Washington at 7-9 was the best team in the NFC East in 2020.

Being the cream of the crap, does not amount to much (Daniel Jones).

Seriously, the fact that he wasn't a total disaster in Chicago absolutely qualifies him to get another shot elsewhere.

He will, as a backup.  Comps include Brian Hoyer, Colt McCoy and the latest ex- Cleveland QB to soon be an NFL backup, Baker Mayfield

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#87 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:28pm

He will, as a backup.  Comps include Brian Hoyer, Colt McCoy and the latest ex- Cleveland QB to soon be an NFL backup, Baker Mayfield

I meant he deserved a shot in Pittsburgh, which he got. He doesn't deserve another one. 

Points: 0

#55 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:12am

Don't confuse a bad outcome with a bad process.

The list of failed starters on a dismal franchise who turn it around in a new city includes Steve Young and Drew Brees. The list of former starters who caught the sucks and then got better in new scenery includes Kurt Warner. It's not like Trubisky was expensive.

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#66 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:53am

Don't confuse a bad player with a bad process. One doesn't automatically remove the other as an option.

Every QB that even makes it to the NFL can have a good game from time to time (except, possibly, Nathan Peterman). Pittsburgh's system requires an accurate QB that makes sound decisions so they can matriculate the ball down the field through the air and YAC. I see nothing from Mitch that makes me think he can do that.

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#151 by Pat // Oct 04, 2022 - 10:01am

Pittsburgh's system requires an accurate QB that makes sound decisions 

Pittsburgh is literally playing without $25M on the field. Yes, Mitch is definitely tossing his last chance down the toilet, but the Steelers not having Watt means that they can't turn minor gains into points over time.

Anyone who thinks "why did they try to start with Trubisky" is ignoring the fact that at the beginning of the season they had TJ Watt.

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#129 by JonesJon // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:15pm

Even when he didn't have the best defense in the league winning games for him Trubisky went 14-10 as a starter his last two years in Chicago. It wasn't reasonable to expect him to be cured so to speak but thinking him capable of managing games enough to have a competitive season wasn't a terrible strategy. 

He didn't prove capable of that and now they're onto to full rebuild mode and starting the evaluation of Pickett

Points: 0

#62 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:35am

Didn't see this coming? 

Sometimes I feel like we watch comptely different games. And rely way too much on outliers (usually from decades ago too). 

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#64 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:47am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

For once, you and I are on the same page. I saw absolutely nothing from Trubisky to make me think you wouldn't spend the whole year trying to hide him, which is what Buffalo would have been doing if he had to start a game.

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#85 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:26pm

Everyone CAN turn it around but seems like people are betting too much on outliers in a league that rolls over cap. 

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#100 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:08pm

It was worth a flyer. Trubisky costs the Steelers less than Mason Rudolph does.

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#125 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:01pm

Both on the roster providing 0 value.  

Take a flier on me Pittsburgh! I'll be even cheaper (hmm maybe that's a sign...)

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#65 by Ben // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:51am

While I’m mostly in the camp of “play your rookie QBs and let them take their lumps”, those next 4 games of Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Miami, and Philly would at least give me a little pause. That’s a pretty deep end to throw a rookie into…

Points: 0

#68 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:54am

Eh, what's the worst that can happen?

<remembers David Carr>

Oh, yeah, you may have a point.

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#70 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:57am

I suspect Tomlin's logic was that they could beat the Jets with Trubisky, then throw him out there again against BUF and TB, and hope that by the Miami game that Pickett would be ready to go.

Then at halftime he realized they could lose the Jets game and rather than staying the course, he put Pickett on the field before he was ready.

Really not sure what the best approach is now.  Learning by being pummeled by Buffalo's and TB's D doesn't seem like a particularly good development approach.  Putting Trubisky back in, though, would look like giving up on those games.  Overall, for Pickett's sake I'd rather see him get more practice time before seeing the field again.

Points: 0

#79 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:17pm

Only got to see the first quarter or so, so I missed the Pickett show and Wilson comeback except for the highlights.  That second interception was a poor decision that often does not lead to an interception but an incompletion.  A little bad luck, or maybe some skill if Sauce did deflect it to his teammate.  Wasn't the worst interception in the game itself, and Pickett may still have a higher DYAR than Zach Wilson this week.

The idea that the Steelers are a mess because they're losing close games to mediocre teams and therefore can bring in the young guy to see what he is, and end up with a higher draft pick in an upcoming loaded draft while rebuilding for the first time in two decades

is hilarious.

Points: 0

#38 by CHIP72 // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:37am

...who attended the Jaguars/Eagles game in Philadelphia on Sunday (and sat on the side of the field where the rain and wind were blowing; I think I've finally dried out), I'd give the offensive line award to the Eagles O-line.  For most of the game the Eagles played very vanilla on offense, running the ball repeatedly starting in the 2nd quarter, and despite knowing what was coming, the Jags really couldn't effectively stop the Eagles much of the game.

That game also made me wonder if Trevor Lawrence has ever played in the rain in his life previously.

Points: 0

#71 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 11:58am

It does indeed rain in South Carolina. I've seen it.
 

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#44 by big10freak // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:43am

Thought the defensive pass interference and holding calls were a bit one sided.  Vikings did a better job of looking aggrieved. 
 

Andy Dalton played well.  Those moments are ever more infrequent so NO definitely blew a great opportunity 

Points: 0

#82 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:25pm

One more point about the Jets game:

It hasn't been mentioned on this site, or much anywhere else except Gang Green Nation, but when the Jets lost their 4th offensive tackle (4th round OT Mitchell carted off the field), and were down to Connor McDermott and nothing, they moved their sophomore guard Vera-Tucker over to left tackle, and he did fine, enabling the comeback.

Also amazed that Detroit was able to come so close to beating Seattle with all their injuries.  The Lions may have found their coach.

Points: 0

#88 by Biebs // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:37pm

I'll add here, because limited people want to talk about the Jets. I was also really impressed with Jets time management at the end of the game. They had 2nd and goal from the 2 with 50 seconds left and 3 time outs. I thought they did a good job rolling the clock down to 20 seconds, guaranteeing them time to run 3 plays if need be, but really limiting chances for Steelers to get the ball back and do something. 

 

Points: 0

#101 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:10pm

Difficulty is most of those injuries were on offense.

The Lions are still half a team. Patricia really stripped that roster down to bedrock. It will take a bit to restaff it with 25 professional players.

Points: 0

#146 by Stendhal1 // Oct 04, 2022 - 12:23am

Is the OP right about the team at least having a coach, at least for this phase of the recovery?  What does the fan base think of Campbell, and how much leeway will they give him?  My admittedly limited knowledge of the fan base is that it’s pretty smart or at least realistic and will give him time.

Points: 0

#147 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 04, 2022 - 7:59am

Quite a bit. Campbell seems to understand what he has and has vastly improved morale. Fans know how bad the Lions are.

I suspect he’s a Schwartz. He will give the team identity and make things better until his shtick runs out and he hits his ceiling, and then they will need a Caldwell to fix the bugs.

Points: 0

#153 by Joey-Harringto… // Oct 04, 2022 - 1:40pm

I was expecting this team to not even reach their previous high-water mark of the Caldwell days (i.e. Wildcard Round roadkill) until at least 2023.    They just had way too many holes to plug in just two offseasons.  So starting 1-3 with a DVOA ranking in the high teens seems about right..  I just didn't expect the offense to be this good and the defense to be this putrid.

The fan base at large likes Campbell and is willing to give up him a lot of rope (that will quickly run out if they start slow in 2023).  My personal opinion is that the inspiring speeches and tough-guy persona is fun window dressing, but mostly irrelevant to wins/losses.  He does have some encouraging qualities that are less talked about: aggressive on 4th down, liberal application of the "David" strategy (fake punts, surprise onsides kicks, etc), not going too far in bringing in "his guys"  (their excellent O-line coach Hank Fraley is a holdover from the Patricia regime), and willingness to change things when something is clearly not working (replacing Anthony Lynn with Ben Johnson as OC, for example).

I think the bigger problem right now is Aaron Glenn.  He came into the season highly-regarded, and with some buzz as a future HC, but this season has not started as expected (to put it very kindly).  He seems to want to play the same defense he had in New Orleans (lots of pressure, lots of single high, lots of press man), without having the personnel to do so, and the results speak for themselves.  Not having the insight about what your players can and can't do is a little concerning.  Campbell made it clear some changes in scheme and personnel are coming, and if they don't work, Glenn can kiss his chances of landing a head coach job goodbye (for now).

Points: 0

#112 by Travis // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:21pm

Vera-Tucker actually started at left tackle instead of his usual guard spot; McDermott for Mitchell was a straight substitution.

Points: 0

#124 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:59pm

Didn't realize that.  Makes sense.

Points: 0

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