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Saturday, September 09, 2017

OT - 2017 NFL thread

Free agent NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie and his wife Terricka announced the birth of baby girl Jhett Paxton, born Aug. 30.

This is the couple’s sixth child, and it is Cromartie’s fourteenth. By our count, it is his third child since (supposedly) having a vasectomy during his tenure with the New York Jets in 2013.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 09, 2017 at 12:36 AM | 1323 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nfl, off-topic

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   401. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 17, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5594034)
I think that one less obvious benefit to going for it on fourth down more is that it opens up the playbook on third down. Third and four is a passing down in today's NFL, but if you know you're willing to go for it on fourth down you can run the ball there. You can mix in more screens and other short yardage routes.


That's a pretty damn obvious benefit.

Another benefit that should be obvious, but for whatever reason is not, is that if you routinely go for it on fourth down while your opponent routinely punts, you will get a fair number of drive-sustaining first downs, you will dominate time of possession and you will thus exhaust the opposing defense by the fourth quarter. Sometimes you'll go for it on 4th-and-3 from your own 29 and fail, and sometimes that will result in quick points for the other team--but those are QUICK points and then you get the ball back and will resume four-downing your way down the field.

A team that routinely goes for it on fourth down while its opponent routinely punts will give up more points than they otherwise would--but they'll also score more points, and they'll win time of possession by huge margins like 43 minutes to 17. If the game's close in the fourth quarter, the punting team is in deep trouble because its defense will be spent. It takes a lot more energy, in any sport, to play defense than to play offense.

It has always seemed odd to me that football coaches, who are fanatical about avoiding turnovers because they recognize it is extremely important to have possession of the ball if you want to be a successful football team, so readily order their team to intentionally turn the ball over on perfectly makeable fourth downs.
   402. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 17, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5594043)
Horrible footing from the Saints’ receiver. After catching the ball, all he needed to do was cut his following step to a 95% stride instead of a full stride.
   403. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 17, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5594047)
There are a handful of times in a season when a team scores a touchdown, the defending team commits a personal foul, and the 15-yard penalty is applied on the kickoff. Why doesn't the kicking team attempt an onside kick almost every time this happens? The kicker usually kicks the ball clear through the endzone for an easy touchback at the 25-yard line. Sure, onside kicks are successful maybe 10% of the time and you give up 25 yards in field position, but I would think the chance at an extra possession outweighs the 25 yards in field position if the receiving team recovers.
   404. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 17, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5594063)
I think the receiving team is always wary of an onside kick in that situation, and the recovery rate of onside kicks when the receiving team is expecting an onside kick is abysmal--around 15%, I think. The ~25 yards in field position may not be worth the risk.

Why teams just take the touchback instead of kicking it way up high for a likely fair catch at the 10, though, I don't know. It must be more difficult to get that much air under the ball from a tee than I realize.
   405. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 17, 2017 at 05:38 PM (#5594073)
I don't think you can fair catch on a kickoff.
   406. SteveF Posted: December 17, 2017 at 05:41 PM (#5594074)
I don't think you can fair catch on a kickoff.

You can. That's part of the reason the onside kicks are kicked into the ground. Once the ball hits the ground you can't call for the fair catch.
   407. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:03 PM (#5594087)
How does Pittsburg not go for that? So lame.
   408. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:07 PM (#5594088)
God, what a cowardly play by Pittsburgh.
   409. JJ1986 Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:08 PM (#5594090)
Is Mike Tomlin afraid to turn the ball over? The Patriots don't care how long the field is in this circumstance.
   410. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:09 PM (#5594091)
Which has cost them the game.
   411. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5594092)
Or not.
   412. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5594093)
Not going for it reminds me of a similar situation where Belichick went for it against the Manning Colts. They didn't make it, and Manning went and won the game. But it was the right call. Of course he got killed from it by the media. Not that Belichick cares, but other coaches do. And that's why they don't do it. Neither Nantz or Romo even mentioned it, let alone criticized them. They actually assumed the punt before it had even happened...
   413. JJ1986 Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5594094)
That was an insane run after the catch.
   414. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:13 PM (#5594095)
Of course, now he will likely escape any criticism at all for it.
   415. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:14 PM (#5594096)
I didn't expect that.

All I care about is things that help Buffalo at this point. I really don't even watch football.
   416. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5594098)
All I care about is things that help Buffalo at this point.

The Apocalypse?
   417. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5594099)
The Apocalypse?

That's been saved for Utica. Buffalo has a couple redeeming qualities. None that I've experienced in the past 30 years, but I know they are there.
   418. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:17 PM (#5594100)
Buffalo has a couple redeeming qualities

I was just talking about the football team, not the city.
   419. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:17 PM (#5594101)
Seemed the right call.
   420. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:18 PM (#5594102)
Oh dear.
   421. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:19 PM (#5594103)
Nice job, morons.

   422. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:19 PM (#5594104)
Thank you Pittsburgh. Thank you refs.
   423. SteveF Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5594105)
Hilarious end to the game.
Here! I'll let you win.
No, no, no! I insist you win.
Please, be my guest!
OK. Thanks!
   424. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:23 PM (#5594106)
Tennesee losing would help the Bills, so now it looks like that won't happen either.
   425. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:26 PM (#5594107)
You suck, San Francisco.
   426. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:30 PM (#5594108)
If that James play is by rule not a catch, then the rule should change. He had complete control of the ball as his knees hit the ground, and lost it stretching out for the TD, when his elbow hit the ground and caused the ball to come loose.
   427. Lassus Posted: December 17, 2017 at 07:32 PM (#5594109)
Yay!
   428. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2017 at 09:21 PM (#5594148)
If that James play is by rule not a catch, then the rule should change. He had complete control of the ball as his knees hit the ground, and lost it stretching out for the TD, when his elbow hit the ground and caused the ball to come loose.

maybe, but it definitely was the accurate call.

I don't like correct calls on weird rules (like the "tuck" play or arguably this one), but it sure beats errors by officials.

meanwhile, the 8-6 Bills are properly holding off the 8-6 Ravens for the playoffs on "strength of victory" - an obscure tiebreaker where if you go deep enough, having two wins over the winless Browns hurts your cause.

I had not realized that the Bills are the only major pro sports team which, when you ask "when did they last reach the postseason," the answer starts with "1".
   429. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:19 PM (#5594171)
In case you missed it:

"It's that wheel route!"

"You've been watching film, huh?"

"Yeah."

"That's cool. Watch this."
   430. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:42 PM (#5594178)
I don't like correct calls on weird rules (like the "tuck" play or arguably this one), but it sure beats errors by officials.


It really doesn't. A crappy call by an official is a mistake. A crappy rule is a mistake again next week.

The Calvin Johnson play still pisses me off. The Dez Bryant play still pisses me off, and I was rooting for the Packers.

For the record, the tuck rule doesn't piss me off, because very first contact Woodson made with Tom Brady was to the helmet, which the officials missed. If the play had been called correctly, the Pats not only get the ball back, but yardage.
   431. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 17, 2017 at 11:55 PM (#5594185)

I think that one less obvious benefit to going for it on fourth down more is that it opens up the playbook on third down. Third and four is a passing down in today's NFL, but if you know you're willing to go for it on fourth down you can run the ball there. You can mix in more screens and other short yardage routes.


Yes.
   432. SteveF Posted: December 17, 2017 at 11:56 PM (#5594186)
Now that the Patriots have benefited from the rule I'd expect to see that rule changed in the offseason.
   433. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:12 AM (#5594188)
Re the call at the end of the PITT-NE game:

I didn't know the rule but I _did_ know that Nantz and Romo were embarrassingly clueless as to what the refs were looking at, for far too long. It was clear the refs were looking at the ball hitting the ground. Now -- I fully admit I didn't know the rule. I thought that as long as the receiver had control of the ball when it broke the plane it was a TD. Which is what seems to have happened. But I guess you can't lose the ball even after that point from contact with the ground? I could have sworn that I've seen players have control of the ball when they break the plane and then fumble it later and it's still a TD... many times. I don't know.

The INT to end the game was shades of Malcolm Butler. If you're Pittsburgh you simply can't ruin your chance to tie the game with a FG there.

Gronk played out of his mind. He's testing my theory about all non-QB players being essentially fungible -- but I've always conceded that the elite of the elite do make a difference.

(Rex Burkhead a running back...... are there many white running backs in the league? I can't think of another one... going back some years, actually.)
   434. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:13 AM (#5594189)
one thing I realized decades ago about sports, and I've mentioned it here before:

each team's mission is to sufficiently outplay the opponent to where a single mistaken call by an official cannot beat you. late and in very close games, both teams have failed - so they have each placed the outcome, potentially, out of their hands. better performance could have prevented that.

the Rams, up 34-0 on the Seahawks at halftime today, did not have to worry about a pass interference call or a 4th and 1 yardage measurement.

..................

agreed on Nance and Romo and

"It was clear the refs were looking at the ball hitting the ground. Now -- I fully admit I didn't know the rule. I thought that as long as the receiver had control of the ball when it broke the plane it was a TD. Which is what seems to have happened. But I guess you can't lose the ball even after that point from contact with the ground?"

the way the play ended, he had to "complete the play" - which meant controlling the ball even after he got into the end zone and as he hit the ground. he did not.

not a big fan of the rule, but the officials got it right.
   435. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:13 AM (#5594190)
That said, Romo is the absolute best I've ever seen at predicting the play call in advance -- both offensively and defensively. He adds a ton to the analysis that virtually every other color commentator simply does not.
   436. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:21 AM (#5594191)
What's the reason the Pats traded Garoppolo? Were they simply being nice to him to give him a chance to start? (Is that possible?)



   437. SteveF Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:34 AM (#5594194)
What's the reason the Pats traded Garoppolo? Were they simply being nice to him to give him a chance to start? (Is that possible?)

He was a free agent at the end of the year and they weren't getting rid of Brady. Franchising and keeping Garoppolo would have caused cap issues, and franchising him with the intent to trade him would have caused problems with signing free agents early in the free agent signing period.

The 49ers 2nd rounder should be somewhere south of 40, so it's not a bad return.
   438. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:34 AM (#5594195)
OAK was even dumber than PIT at the end of the game. Carr tried to do too much and created a touchback thereby losing the game-tying FG opportunity. What is it with teams...... you need to keep that FG opportunity alive.
   439. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:41 AM (#5594196)
#437 thanks.
   440. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:44 AM (#5594197)
Nick Foles, 24-38, 237, 4 TD, 0 INT, 115.8 QB rating.

Beat not missed.
   441. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:49 AM (#5594199)
I like the fake spike play in principle. The Patriots aren't the team to try it against, though--the Steelers should have known Belichick's team was going to be ready for it.

If Antonio Brown misses the playoffs, it's curtains for the Steelers. I don't love their chances of beating Jacksonville in that scenario, much less New England.

Actually, they need to have a care not to indulge their bad habit of no-showing against bad opponents--they won't lose to Cleveland no matter how hard they try, but if they blow next week's game against Houston they may find themselves playing in the first round, because they lose a tiebreaker to Jacksonville, who is one game behind them now.
   442. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:51 AM (#5594200)
9 straight division titles for the Pats. (14 in a row for Brady.)

Didn't someone here say early in the season that the Jets might win the division?

The Pats are clicking on offense and magically grew a defense...............
   443. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:57 AM (#5594201)
Brady actually chased down a celebrating Gronk after the two-point conversion to scream at him "Hey! Hey! It's not over yet!"
   444. cmd600 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:31 AM (#5594203)
each team's mission is to sufficiently outplay the opponent to where a single mistaken call by an official cannot beat you.


No team goes into a game looking to beat the opponent by just enough that a single mistake won't screw them.

And, of course, not outplaying your opponent by at least two plays doesn't suddenly mean its ok to toss our hands up and go "oh well" when mistakes happen.
   445. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:02 AM (#5594204)
I fully admit I didn't know the rule. I thought that as long as the receiver had control of the ball when it broke the plane it was a TD. Which is what seems to have happened. But I guess you can't lose the ball even after that point from contact with the ground? I could have sworn that I've seen players have control of the ball when they break the plane and then fumble it later and it's still a TD... many times. I don't know.

The breaking the plane aspect is only in play if you already control the ball. So essentially when the receiver has become a runner. To establish possession and control of the ball, you always have to complete every aspect of the catch. I.e. maintain possession all the way to the ground, or complete a "football move" after controlling the ball.

It's easier to see if the catch happens completely in the end zone. If a player grabs the ball with both hands, gets both feet down, and is immediately popped and the ball flies out, it's an incomplete pass every time.

With all that said, the rule actually substantially benefits receivers and offenses. It's just that we see the most outcry on the missed TD that happens once every 4 weeks. But if they loosen the interpretation of the rule, you are going to see significantly more catch-fumbles. Most of these kinds of plays are not of the 'lose control for a fraction of a second' variety. But the 'ball is loose and on the ground' kind.
   446. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:16 AM (#5594205)
The 49ers 2nd rounder should be somewhere south of 40, so it's not a bad return


For a guy who wasn't going to play for them? That's a great return!
   447. stanmvp48 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 08:22 AM (#5594218)
I must be missing something. By saying "the ball did not survive the ground", are they saying he juggled it when he hit the ground? It looked to me like he had control, on the ground, on the one foot line, and then started to bobble as he rolled into the end zone
   448. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 08:28 AM (#5594220)
I must be missing something. By saying "the ball did not survive the ground", are they saying he juggled it when he hit the ground?

It isn't a catch the second he hits the ground. "Going to the ground" basically means until you come to a stop. He is still going to the ground when he lunges forward to try and break the plane, and the ball can't touch the ground without him being in full control of it during the whole process.
   449. stanmvp48 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 08:41 AM (#5594223)
Oh, and I mistakenly thought "going to the ground" meant going to the ground. Incidentally, out of idle curiosity, what was the point spread and the over/under?
   450. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5594227)
Ben Roethlisberger says there was a difference of opinion on #Steelers final play. "It wasn't a fake spike. I was yelling 'clock it' b/c I felt that was the thing to do, to clock it and get yourself one play. And it came from the sideline: 'Don't clock it, don't clock it.'"

Roethlisberger should get double negative points for that comment. One for trying to throw his coaches under the bus, and one for being wrong. It's 3rd and goal from the 7. You don't get yourself one more play by spiking it. The team that didn't go for 4th and 1 to end the game, is 100% of the time taking the FG and going to overtime.
   451. stanmvp48 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5594229)
Fake spike hasn't worked since Marino did it. Faked out the Steelers receivers, only one of whom went out on a pattern but not the defenders.
   452. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5594230)
You don't get yourself one more play by spiking it.
I'm not sure what you mean. Spiking it was needed to leave enough time to kick the field goal.
   453. stanmvp48 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:11 AM (#5594232)
Oh, I think he meant that you don't get one more shot at a TD by spiking it. It was right to take one more shot; it was wrong to throw into quintuple coverage.
   454. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:38 AM (#5594240)
Ah, right, I hadn't read the Roethlisberger quote closely enough.
   455. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5594241)
As a Patriots fan I'm happy to benefit, but what a stupid sport this is.
   456. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5594259)
Right, the coaches did the right thing by telling him to go for it. There was about 13 seconds left, plenty of time for an incompletion and a FG. Roethlisberger says they would have gotten another play by spiking it, which is just wrong.

It was just the the wrong play, and a bad throw. You need to make sure you put the ball where only your receiver can make a play on it, or throw it away.

So he is double wrong, and threw his coaches under the bus.
   457. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5594424)
Here's an account of Nantz and Romo being clueless as to why the PIT-NE call was taking so long to review.

I blame Nantz first. He's supposed to know the rules.

Though Romo shouldn't be let off the hook. As a quarterback Romo probably wasn't intimately familiar with this rule but as a color analyst.... he really needs to learn the rules now.
   458. Voodoo Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:01 PM (#5594433)
Romo's reaction when he finally realized what was being looked at and the rule that would be invoked was priceless though! He's really a treasure as an announcer.
   459. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5594440)
I don't think it's an issue with knowing the rules for Romo. I think that was just a case, where the ball wiggle at the end was so minor, they just plain missed it on first or second viewing. It's one of those things you just have to get the right replay angle, and slow it down enough to see, and even then, you really need to be looking for it.

I mean he goes to 'Does it bobble? Ooooohh' pretty much without prompting. So I think for Romo at least, it is probably a case of knowing the rules, and just missing the the slight movement of the ball at the end of the play initially.
   460. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5594445)
As a quarterback Romo probably wasn't intimately familiar with this rule


Well, he did throw the pass to Dez Bryant, so he had some level of intimacy with the rule before last night.

   461. cmd600 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5594493)
Well, he did throw the pass to Dez Bryant, so he had some level of intimacy with the rule before last night.


Not to mention the idea that a QB wouldn't be familiar with the catch rule is mind-boggling. On the scale of "Ray could outrun a professional athlete" mind-boggling.
   462. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:01 PM (#5594505)
I don't see how this rule affects a QB's job to the extent that he'd be intimately familiar with it.

--

What was Brady's time again? 5.22 seconds in 40 yards?
   463. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5594514)
I don't see how this rule affects a QB's job to the extent that he'd be intimately familiar with it.


Perhaps not the average quarterback. But given Tony Romo's only playoff run ended in part because of one of the most famous applications of this specific rule, I would assume he's a guy who remembers it.
   464. cmd600 Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5594517)
Yeah, why would the guy throwing the ball ever notice what happens after it leaves his hand?
   465. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5594519)
Nick Foles, 24-38, 237, 4 TD, 0 INT, 115.8 QB rating.

Beat not missed.

Don't know why you're patting yourself on the back for this blind guess prediction considering that not only does it undermine your usual "quarterbacks are all that matter" idiocy, but the very performance you're so impressed with constituted several beats missed. Wentz had averaged 21% more yards per attempt than Foles managed yesterday, and the touchdowns that prop up the Garbage Stat for Idiots Rating were largely a result of being set up in the red zone by an interception return and a blocked punt. The Eagles were bad -- outgained 504-341 -- and were incredibly lucky to come away with a win against a woeful team. And you're so ignorant you think this gives you something to crow about.
   466. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5594529)
the way the play ended, he had to "complete the play" - which meant controlling the ball even after he got into the end zone and as he hit the ground. he did not.


I saw it as:
1. He caught the ball
2. Dropped to his knees, while still in control
3. Tried to make the next football play by lunging for the end zone when he realized he had not been touched. There seemed to be some change in direction when he went for the goal line.

Just to be sure, had he been touched while on his knees, would the play have been over?
What if he still tried to lunge for the end zone after being touched, would it have been incomplete?
Surely if he had just jumped up from his knees somehow after being touched, it would have been complete and first and goal.
   467. zenbitz Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5594563)
You suck, San Francisco.


Well to be more precise - they no longer suck. Other teams in the NFL should salute the Niners for not tanking! Plus, the 49ers have put _21_ players on IR this year. If you can't beat them (or need the Titans to beat them?) well, that's just sad.

What's the reason the Pats traded Garoppolo? Were they simply being nice to him to give him a chance to start? (Is that possible?)


Well, the being nice part meant they traded him to SF instead of Cleveland. That's the story going around anyway. They have been trying to trade him ever since he performed well while TB was suspended.
The price finally dropped to something reasonable (high 2nd). Probably the Pats will find Brady's successor with that pick -- or maybe they are just planning a major tank + rebuild.

The other story I heard -- which is pretty obviously a story -- is that Lynch (Niners GM) called the Pats and asked if BRADY was available. When they said no, he asked about Garroppolo...

But I'll take it. He is clearly the best QB seen in SF since Jeff Garcia.

Watching this team with Beathard (plucky but awful) compared to JG (seemingly average) is very strong evidence of how important the QB position really is (especially to a team with a mediocre defense and OL).
   468. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5594572)
The Patriots had been trying to convince Garoppolo to re-sign for backup money to back up Brady a couple more years and then take over when Brady retires, but Garoppolo wants to be a starter ASAP and informed the Patriots he would not re-sign at season's end (as Brady has no intention to retire until his body forces him to). So their options were either trade him now for whatever they can get, or lose him for nothing but a sixth round comp pick at season's end.

The story is going around that Cleveland really wanted him but Belichick didn't want to send him there. It appears the reality is that Belichick preferred San Francisco's offer because it included getting a playable backup QB back (Brian Hoyer) without him being technically in the trade, as the 49ers agreed to release him and he agreed to immediately sign with the Patriots.
   469. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5594575)
Just to be sure, had he been touched while on his knees, would the play have been over?
What if he still tried to lunge for the end zone after being touched, would it have been incomplete?

If the ball had still moved as he hit the ground with it, it would have been incomplete. You still have to maintain possession all the way to the ground, even when the moment where you are down by contact is before "all the way to the ground". That's what "all the way" means here. Whether he is touched or not has no material impact on when a catch is complete. It just determines the spot of the ball if the catch is completed.

Surely if he had just jumped up from his knees somehow after being touched, it would have been complete and first and goal.

Not 100% sure what you mean by that. If the ball moves like that while going to the ground, it is an incomplete catch. No matter if he is touched or not, no matter if he lunges or not, no matter if it is at the goal line, the first down marker, or a random spot on the field.

If he just jumps up without lunging, and the wobble on the ground never happens it is a catch. But that seems kinda obvious.
   470. zenbitz Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5594579)
As for fourth down stuff - punting is a very safe 40 yards of field position (discounting touchbacks), and that's generally worth about ~4 net points. NFL drives average 1.8-1.9 points per drive (assuming everyone still punts on 4th!)
So -- barring specific situations -- the breakeven for GFI is right around 50%.

League 3d conversion rate is ~40%, but you'd obviously want to correct for distance.



you will get a fair number of drive-sustaining first downs, you will dominate time of possession and you will thus exhaust the opposing defense by the fourth quarter. Sometimes you'll go for it on 4th-and-3 from your own 29 and fail, and sometimes that will result in quick points for the other team--but those are QUICK points and then you get the ball back and will resume four-downing your way down the field.


I think this is a supposition at worst and a secondary effect at best. Playing from behind can often be a disadvantage as well.


A team that routinely goes for it on fourth down while its opponent routinely punts will give up more points than they otherwise would--but they'll also score more points, and they'll win time of possession by huge margins like 43 minutes to 17.

I think there are high school teams that never punt. Probably there is some critical expected Yards-per-play where punting would be the exception not the rule. >10?
   471. SteveF Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:19 PM (#5594588)
Not 100% sure what you mean by that.

I think his point is about when possession happens. If you have to survive the ground for the catch to be completed, can you be downed by contact prior to surviving the ground?

So in this case, if James were touched with his knee down at the one prior to the ball having broken the plane of the goal line, would he have been ruled down at the one even though he can't have had possession of the ball prior to completing the catch by surviving the ground if he had in fact survived the ground?
   472. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5594596)
If you have to survive the ground for the catch to be completed, can you be downed by contact prior to surviving the ground?


You can be downed by contact in the sense that's where the ball will be spotted if the play is deemed a catch, but a play will still be ruled a no-catch if the receiver doesn't hold the ball all the way through the ground. So if a knee comes down following contact on the five, and the player continues forward a quarter-second to the three where the ball is jostled, it's no catch. If he maintains possession, it's where the ball was at the time he was down.

It's a ridiculous definition of catch, but last night's application was consistent with the rule in the books. In fact, last night's wasn't as egregiously bad as some of the other instances.
   473. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:28 PM (#5594597)
If he survived the ground and had been touched at the one, yes, he'd be down at the one regardless of where his momentum took him in completing the catch.
   474. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5594610)
You can be downed by contact in the sense that's where the ball will be spotted if the play is deemed a catch, but a play will still be ruled a no-catch if the receiver doesn't hold the ball all the way through the ground. So if a knee comes down following contact on the five, and the player continues forward a quarter-second to the three where the ball is jostled, it's no catch. If he maintains possession, it's where the ball was at the time he was down.

The easiest place to see this, is that a catch can become incomplete going to the ground out of bounds, even if the receiver got both feet/ a knee down in bounds. Obviously what happens out of bounds, can't have an impact on the spot of the football. But that step is still required to complete the catch, even if the spot of the completed catch will be rolled back to where the player first went out.
   475. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5594611)
So their options were either trade him now for whatever they can get, or lose him for nothing but a sixth round comp pick at season's end.
True. But it's worth including in the second choice the potential benefit of having him on the roster as the backup for the rest of the season.
   476. SteveF Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:42 PM (#5594613)
Well, effectively you are saying one of three things:

1. A player can be downed by contact prior to having possession of the ball.
or:
2. A player can have possession of the ball prior to having caught a ball.
or:
3. What counts as possession for the purposes of down by contact is different from what counts as possession for purposes of catching the ball.

I'm pretty sure the answer is 3, assuming this is in fact the right interpretation, and that's a pretty unsatisfying answer.

The problem is you're always going to have to have some kind of criteria for when the ball is caught, unless you just want to eliminate incompletions (forward passes are now always fumbles).

Even in the case of just needing two feet (or any other body part that counts for being down by contact) you still have to figure out when the ball has been secured in the player's hands. Further, that rule creates significant player safety issues as DBs are going to start lighting up receivers to generate turnovers.

To be honest, I think the current rule is fine. If you're a receiver, get two feet down and never let the ball touch the ground. Never reach the ball out for the end zone or pylon. If you do those things you don't really need to know what a catch is.
   477. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5594619)
To be honest, I think the current rule is fine. If you're a receiver, get two feet down and never let the ball touch the ground.

This is generally a good rule of thumb, yes, but I believe the ball can technically touch the ground and still be a catch as long as it doesn't move, and the hands are under the ball? At least I think that's still the case.

   478. Nasty Nate Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:54 PM (#5594621)
1. A player can be downed by contact prior to having possession of the ball.
or:
2. A player can have possession of the ball prior to having caught a ball.
or:
3. What counts as possession for the purposes of down by contact is different from what counts as possession for purposes of catching the ball.

I'm pretty sure the answer is 3, assuming this is in fact the right interpretation, and that's a pretty unsatisfying answer.
It's either 3, or a re-wording of 1.
   479. SteveF Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5594625)
but I believe the ball can technically touch the ground and still be a catch as long as it doesn't move

That's right. And to be clear, players aren't in the habit of intentionally allowing the ball to touch the ground anyway. But they should make extra effort to avoid the ball coming in contact with the ground by catching the ball in specific ways, rolling onto their backs as needed instead of diving forward, as an example.
   480. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2017 at 04:04 PM (#5594633)
That's right. And to be clear, players aren't in the habit of intentionally allowing the ball to touch the ground anyway. But they should make extra effort to avoid the ball coming in contact with the ground by catching the ball in specific ways, rolling onto their backs as needed instead of diving forward, as an example.


That's not really a hard and fast rule, just one that applies to this very specific situation. If it's eight steps after you've made the catch, then you can dive all you want and the ground can't cause a fumble (provided contact has been made) or an incompletion. It's just in this one very non-intuitive place (possession has long been secured, you've got both feet on the ground and you're trying to get extra yards). Here, the NFL changes the rules on you. Yes, you're wise to follow the advice above, but it's not hard to understand why players like James don't. It wasn't a legal catch, but there's absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that he caught the football.
   481. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 18, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5594681)
Does anyone else feel weird seeing the Rams and Jaguars on top of the standings? And a Vikings team with Case Keenum at QB?
   482. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5594691)
Don't know why you're patting yourself on the back for this blind guess prediction considering that not only does it undermine your usual "quarterbacks are all that matter" idiocy, but the very performance you're so impressed with constituted several beats missed. Wentz had averaged 21% more yards per attempt than Foles managed yesterday, and the touchdowns that prop up the Garbage Stat for Idiots Rating were largely a result of being set up in the red zone by an interception return and a blocked punt. The Eagles were bad -- outgained 504-341 -- and were incredibly lucky to come away with a win against a woeful team. And you're so ignorant you think this gives you something to crow about.


The opposing quarterback went 37/57 for 434 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT, 98.1 QB rating, which is a very good performance. That's why the game was close, and it had nothing to do with Foles.

When Foles had his hands on the ball he went 24-38, 237, 4 TD, 0 INT, 115.8 QB rating.

   483. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5594702)
they won't lose to Cleveland no matter how hard they try,

If Kizer misses the team bus, the Steelers could lose.

the Browns are usually competitive, as they were again yesterday, well into the second half. they only have four 3-point losses and another in OT, but many of the seven losses by "two scores" - often 14 points - were closer than that fairly late. yesterday the Browns trailed the Ravens, 17-10, mid-third quarter when Kizer fumbled in the end zone for a Ravens TD.

Kizer is the worst QB I can ever recall who has spent a season as a starter. 19 INT and 9 fumbles, but he's across-the-board terrible. I figured he somehow would not be last in QB Passer Rating, which would be a blow to the credibility of that (admittedly imperfect) stat.

but he's at 59.4, about 10 points below second-worst rookie filler SF starter C.J. Beathard.

the Steelers only beat the Browns, 21-18, in Week 1.
   484. zenbitz Posted: December 18, 2017 at 05:29 PM (#5594708)
Not including last Sunday - Kizer has a -39.6% DVOA, almost 15% "ahead" of Trevor Simian, the 2nd worst in the NFL (minimum 200 attempts).

All hope is not lost -- the worst last year was Goff's -75%, and worst all time was Alex Smith's -88.6% as a rookie in 2005. Those guys got better!

   485. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 18, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5594736)
Thanks guys, I think I've got the catch rule now. I don't like it, but they haven't asked me yet.
   486. dave h Posted: December 18, 2017 at 08:43 PM (#5594785)
If it were up to me, possession would be the instant the ball was no longer moving relative to the part of your body it was in contact with. That and two feet would be a catch. It would be a ton of fumbles, but I see that as a feature, not a bug. (Though I wouldn't be surprised to hear people complain "I don't know what a fumble is anymore!")
   487. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5594813)
I don't see how anyone can knock what Foles did yesterday. It may not mean much going forward if a better team than the Giants can force him out of the pocket, but it's hard to argue with a 115.8 rating, junk stat or not.
   488. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:20 PM (#5594819)

If it were up to me, possession would be the instant the ball was no longer moving relative to the part of your body it was in contact with. That and two feet would be a catch. It would be a ton of fumbles, but I see that as a feature, not a bug.


I agree completely, with both the definition and that more fumbles on passing plays is a good thing.

   489. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:54 PM (#5594828)
but it's hard to argue with a 115.8 rating, junk stat or not.

If it's a junk stat, then don't bring it up in the first place.

241 yards on 38 passes against one of the worst pass defenses in the league is not something to brag about. It's not terrible, and I see nothing to complain about when you pair it with a 4/0 TD/INT. But Ray deserves to be mocked for touting his own brilliance based on a SSS/junk stats/ignored context.
   490. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:57 PM (#5594831)
Falcons control their own destiny - 3 W, and they win the NFC South. weird when they are 8-5 are there are two 10-4 teams ahead of them, but true.

but, they need to beat these Buccaneers first.
   491. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:02 PM (#5594836)
I don't see how anyone can knock what Foles did yesterday. It may not mean much going forward if a better team than the Giants can force him out of the pocket, but it's hard to argue with a 115.8 rating, junk stat or not.

241 yards on 38 passes against one of the worst pass defenses in the league is not something to brag about. It's not terrible, and I see nothing to complain about when you pair it with a 4/0 TD/INT.


Which was kind of the point. I'm not saying he could duplicate it against a team with a much better defense (see above qualification), but let's say he's passed the first test. We'll see down the road whether Ray's confidence in Foles is misplaced.
   492. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:41 PM (#5594854)
If it's a junk stat, then don't bring it up in the first place.

241 yards on 38 passes against one of the worst pass defenses in the league is not something to brag about. It's not terrible, and I see nothing to complain about when you pair it with a 4/0 TD/INT. But Ray deserves to be mocked for touting his own brilliance based on a SSS/junk stats/ignored context.


I'm not seeing it. Foles played very well. And Lance Reddick's rebuttal argument in #465 shows how weak the rebuttal argument really is: Lance Reddick reached deep down into the well for "Wentz had averaged 21% more yards per attempt" (seriously?) and then he actually found time to criticize 4 TD passes vs 0 INTs.
   493. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:45 PM (#5594855)
Packers are being sent some lovely parting gifts after 8 years of playoff appearances

NFC playoff contenders are really interesting, though
   494. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:58 PM (#5594860)
Yards per attempt is deep in the well?
   495. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 19, 2017 at 12:16 AM (#5594864)
Yards per attempt is deep in the well?


When we have other stats that are more useful? Yes. And moreover his argument is internally contradictory: he first cites Wentz with 21% more Y/A. He then says that Foles was set up in the red zone by an interception return and a blocked punt. Mmmm.... might one have something to do with the other? (And frankly with the fact that the Giants outgained the Eagles 504-31, another stat he cited. Which goes hand in hand with the stat you cited: "only" 241 yards on 38 passes. That's two possessions where Foles didn't have the chance to attempt or gain a lot of yards.)
   496. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 19, 2017 at 12:48 AM (#5594871)
Y/A is a lot more informative than the completion percentage or gross yards you originally cited in your victory statement. Your other points are fair, though it wouldn't explain all of a 20% gap.

Mostly though, it's just really silly to point to one game as proof that Foles = Wentz (the same should be said for the Y/A comparison being used to counter you, but you set the parameters). Foles had a good game. It's not surprising that he had a good game. He's had a bunch of them in his career, and you won't find many people that would argue he can't play a competent QB. That doesn't mean he's as good as Wentz, and 38/241/4/0 passes/yards/TDs/INTs against a poor defense does nothing to prove it.

As you yourself said, Eli had a very good game, playing against a significantly better defense than Foles faced. Does that mean you think the Eagles could have gone from Wentz to Manning without skipping a beat?
   497. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 19, 2017 at 12:52 AM (#5594873)
Does that mean you think the Eagles could have gone from Wentz to Eli without skipping a beat?


No. Foles is a better quarterback than Eli and has a higher upside. (I don't mean based on age / career potential. I mean that Foles has a better chance than Eli did at any age of posting an elite season. In fact, Eli still hasn't posted one.)
   498. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 19, 2017 at 12:55 AM (#5594875)
So you acknowledge that one game proves nothing?
   499. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 19, 2017 at 01:00 AM (#5594876)
So you acknowledge that one game proves nothing?


Proves nothing about what? I said the Eagles wouldn't miss a beat. They haven't. One game is a beat.
   500. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 19, 2017 at 01:02 AM (#5594877)
Oh. So that comment about the Eagles not missing a beat referred solely to their game against the Giants, and if Foles bombs the rest of the season and the Eagles wash out early in the playoffs, you'll still have been right?

OK. I guess I just didn't understand your original statement.
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