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Monday, November 05, 2012

OT: NFL/NHL thread

i estimate that absolutely noone gives a damn about the NHL, so by folding that thread into this one, we won’t distract from what this thread is really about: boner pills, blood doping (is it low t?), and…jesus christ did mike vick just throw another ####### interception?

starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:03 PM | 9148 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nfl, nhl

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   4801. SteveF Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4622694)
The eagles were a gimme this week. That as bad a matchup as I can imagine for Chicago's 'defense.'
   4802. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4622695)

He's probably just bummed out by how poorly the Eagles are playing in the evening game. You win some, you lose some.


The one they're leading 21-0, you mean?

   4803. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:37 PM (#4622697)
The Steelers actually make the playoffs if all four finish 8-8.


If I'm reading it correctly... the Ravens are in if they beat the Bengals. I guess the Bengals aren't *technically* locked into a 3/4 seed yet.

Dolphins are next; they're in with a win over the Jets and Ravens loss.

Then the Chargers; they're in with a win over the Chiefs and Ravens and Dolphins losses.

If all three lose, the Steelers can make it with a win over the Browns.

If all four teams lose then I *think* the Dolphins would win the three-way tiebreaker on common opponents or something.

If I had to bet I'd bet on the Ravens losing and the Dolphins winning, but who knows.

Is a scenario still in play where the Ravens can miss the playoffs on a net points tiebreaker? Because if that were to happen the NFL will be awarding them the Steelers' first round pick.

   4804. JJ1986 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:42 PM (#4622701)
About Pittsburgh, I think in a 4-way tie, the Steelers eliminate the Ravens first, since you have to get it down to one team per division. Then Miami wins because they beat Pit and SD head-to-head.
   4805. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4622703)
There's no tie between the Ravens (who would be 8-8) and the Steelers (7-9) if all four teams lose.

It looks pretty likely that Antonio Brown accidentally stepping out of bounds on the crazy play that ended the Dolphins-Steelers game is going to cost the Steelers a playoff spot.
   4806. SteveF Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4622704)
Steelers get in (under the Dolphins, Ravens, Chargers lose, Steelers win scenario, that is) by virtue of the Jets eliminating the Dolphins. (Jets and Dolphins would be 8-8, and Jets > Dolphins by virtue of the better division record.)
   4807. JJ1986 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4622705)
Steelers get in (under that scenario, that is) by virtue of the Jets eliminating the Dolphins. (Jets and Dolphins would be 8-8, and Jets > Dolphins by virtue of the better division record.)


Oh, whoops. I did not realize the Jets were 7-8, in my mind they've been a horrible team this year.
   4808. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4622706)
You're right, SteveF. That means if Miami loses they're eliminated, period.

That means if the Ravens win, they're in; if the Ravens and Dolphins lose the Chargers are in with a win; if all three lose the Steelers are in with a win; if all four lose the Ravens are in. (The Ravens win the conference record tiebreaker over everyone else.)

The Ravens, Dolphins and Steelers all play at 1 EDT. The Chargers alone will know when they take the field whether they're playing a playoff game or a meaningless one.
   4809. JJ1986 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4622707)
If the Ravens and Dolphins win, they're going to have to sweat out the then meaningless Chargers game to see who makes the playoffs.
   4810. JJ1986 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM (#4622708)
(The Ravens win the conference record tiebreaker over everyone else.)


Dolphins have conference in a 3-way at 9-7. Ravens only have conference tiebreaker at 8-8.
   4811. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4622711)
Sigh.

Ignore all my posts on this page, they're all wrong.
   4812. SteveF Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4622713)
If the Ravens and Dolphins win, they're going to have to sweat out the then meaningless Chargers game to see who makes the playoffs.

Yep. That's easily the most amusing potential outcome. I don't like the Ravens chances against Cincinatti, though. The Ravens played like they wanted the season to be over today.
   4813. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4622715)
Let's try again: If JJ1986 is right and I'm reading the procedures right...

If the Ravens, Dolphins and Chargers all win, the Dolphins are in (best conference record).

But if the Ravens and Dolphins win and the Chargers lose, the Ravens are in (beat the Dolphins head-to-head). Sounds crazy but I'm pretty sure it's right.

If the Ravens and Dolphins lose and the Chargers win, the Chargers are in (outright, as the only 9-7 team).

If the Ravens, Dolphins and Chargers lose and the Steelers win, the Steelers are in (divisional tiebreakers would narrow it down to the Jets, Steelers and Chargers, of which the Steelers have the best conference record).

If all four teams lose, the Ravens are in (divisional tiebreakers narrow it down to the Jets, Ravens and Chargers, of which the Ravens have the best conference record).

Is that right?
   4814. madvillain Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4622716)
Yea, Eagles were a pretty easy bet this week for me. I had them -3.5 in my pickem league, the way Foles has been playing hasn't really caught on among the general public yet, this isn't the same Eagles team that started the year.
   4815. JJ1986 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4622717)
Is that right?


I think that's all right. There's also Chargers and Dolphins win; Ravens lose, which puts Miami through on H2H.
   4816. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4622719)
I'm now rooting for the Chargers to end up playing a game that is meaningless to them and meaningless to their opponent (KC is already locked into the 5 seed), but means everything to two other teams. Ah, the ridiculosity of NFL tiebreaking procedures.
   4817. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: December 22, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4622725)
fun fact:
there have been 5 games where a team has 260+ rushing yards this season. after tonight's game, the eagles now have 4 of them:
In a single gamein 2013in the Regular Seasonrequiring Rushing Yds >= 260sorted by descending Date.
                                                              
Rush            
Rk    Tm Year       Date Time LTime  Opp  W  G Day  Result OT  Att Yds  Y
/A TD
1    PHI 2013 2013
-12-08 1:02  1:02  DET 14 13 Sun W 34-20      46 299 6.50  4
2    DEN 2013 2013
-11-24 8:30  8:30  NWE 12 11 Sun L 31-34 OT   48 280 5.83  1
3    PHI 2013 2013
-09-19 8:29  8:29  KAN  3  3 Thu L 16-26      27 264 9.78  1
4    PHI 2013 2013
-09-09 7:10  7:10  WAS  1  1 Mon W 33-27      49 263 5.37  2 

   4818. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 22, 2013 at 11:39 PM (#4622726)
I'm not sure but I think it may still be possible for the Niners to both not make the playoffs and also to end up with the #1 in the NFC. Could someone correct me if I'm wrong.

If Seattle and Carolina both lose next week, I think the Niners get the first seed in the NFC if they win out. I'm not sure who gets the tiebreaker if the Niners and Seahawks end up with the same record. I know the Niners need Carolina to lose because Carolina has the tiebreaker.

If the Niners lose against Atlanta and New Orleans wins against the Bucs, I think the Niners are out if they lose against Cardinals.

That's crazy.
   4819. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4622729)
Von Miller blew out his knee.

I have a very, very hard time seeing anyone beating New England in the AFC playoffs.
   4820. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM (#4622733)
I'm not sure but I think it may still be possible for the Niners to both not make the playoffs and also to end up with the #1 in the NFC. Could someone correct me if I'm wrong.

If Seattle and Carolina both lose next week, I think the Niners get the first seed in the NFC if they win out. I'm not sure who gets the tiebreaker if the Niners and Seahawks end up with the same record. I know the Niners need Carolina to lose because Carolina has the tiebreaker.

If the Niners lose against Atlanta and New Orleans wins against the Bucs, I think the Niners are out if they lose against Cardinals.

That's crazy.


You're right. SF could still be the No. 1 seed or miss out on the playoffs entirely. They will have the divisional tiebreaker over Seattle due to record inside the division.
   4821. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM (#4622735)
I have a very, very hard time seeing anyone beating New England in the AFC playoffs.

I have no idea what's going on in the AFC. I thought the Patriots were trending down and the Ravens were getting hot but I was wrong about that. I just can't get a grip about anyone in that conference. I think the Chargers might be playing the best football right now but they've been horribly inconsistent and they aren't even in the playoffs right now. I thought Miami was trending up and then they lose to Buffalo. No clue what's going on right now.
   4822. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4622736)
Here's a chart (taken from reddit) illustrating all the possible outcomes for the AFC 6th seed. No team has a simple win and in, everything depends on results of other games as well.
   4823. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4622737)
I have no idea what's going on in the AFC.


Arizona might be better than every AFC team except Denver and New England, and they probably won't make the playoffs.
   4824. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4622741)
So how much credit does Trestman get for the Bears' offensive improvement this year and how much blame does he get for their defensive collapse?
   4825. SteveF Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:28 AM (#4622742)
This is the least talented team (factoring in the injuries/imprisoned) New England has had since 2009. I can envision any team (with the exception of the Steelers) that makes the playoffs beating them.
   4826. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM (#4622743)
I was referring to their opponents' records at the time of their actual matchups,


Yes, but why would someone refer to that?
   4827. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4622745)
It looks pretty likely that Antonio Brown accidentally stepping out of bounds on the crazy play that ended the Dolphins-Steelers game is going to cost the Steelers a playoff spot.


Well, earlier in that miracle play, there was an illegal forward pass that wasn't called.

I guess since it wasn't called it would not have been reviewable, right? Though would the rule that they review all scoring plays mean that they could overturn the TD and call the non-called illegal forward pass?
   4828. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4622746)
I don't believe replay can ever be used to add a penalty that wasn't called on the play.
   4829. PeteF3 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4622747)
Illegal forward passes are challengeable/reviewable--whether "forward laterals" or passes from beyond the line of scrimmage. During that Saints/Jags play from several years ago, there was an incredibly long delay before the PAT attempt as they had to review every lateral. That may or may not have iced John Kasay and led to him shanking the game-tying extra point.
   4830. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4622749)
The results of entire seasons turning on one or two strange plays is common in the NFL thanks to how short its season is. I remember in 2010 the Packers and Steelers contested the Super Bowl; had the Giants' punter been able to kick the ball out of bounds against the Eagles the Packers would have missed the playoffs, and had Stevie Johnson not dropped a wide-open touchdown in overtime (he infamously blamed it on God on Twitter) the Steelers would have been a 5 seed instead of a 2 and the Ravens would likely have won the AFC.
   4831. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4622750)
I'm sure everyone knows this by now but Peyton Manning broke the record for most TDs in a season. If he throws for 266 yards against the Raiders next week, he'll end up with the yards record as well.
   4832. SteveF Posted: December 23, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4622752)
We need some good Matthew Stafford talk around here.
   4833. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4622753)
I'm not sure but I think it may still be possible for the Niners to both not make the playoffs and also to end up with the #1 in the NFC. Could someone correct me if I'm wrong.


The Patriots were in that same position heading into today's action, before beating the pantaloons off of Andy's love child Joe Flaccid.

Now the Patriots could get the 1 seed.

Our resident BBTF Self Appointed NFL Experts have wildly underrated the Patriots and Eagles, while laughably overrating Seattle.

   4834. Monty Posted: December 23, 2013 at 01:25 AM (#4622757)
Our resident BBTF Self Appointed NFL Experts


There's a plank in your eye.
   4835. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2013 at 07:15 AM (#4622775)
The Patriots were in that same position heading into today's action, before beating the pantaloons off of Andy's love child Joe Flaccid.

Who played the entire game hobbling around on one good leg. But then you're only as good as your last game, so no excuses for the Ravens, any more than there were any excuses for the comically choking Patriots in last year's AFC championship game, and in their previous two Super Bowls against the lowly wild card Giants.

Our resident BBTF Self Appointed NFL Experts have wildly underrated the Patriots and Eagles, while laughably overrating Seattle.

I'll give you credit for sticking your neck out, and for your sake I hope you had a ton of cheese riding on that Patriots/Cardinals/Eagles parlay yesterday. But we'll see how overrated Seattle is at home when there's actually something at stake in the game for both teams, and not just for the visitors.
   4836. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 08:42 AM (#4622784)
But we'll see how overrated Seattle is at home when there's actually something at stake in the game for both teams, and not just for the visitors.


That's not fair. Seattle is now at risk of having to play in the first round and then go on the road for the next two, rather than taking the first round off and playing the next two at home. They had every reason to care about yesterday's game. They just sucked.


As always, the NFL is more random than any of us like to think about.
   4837. jmurph Posted: December 23, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4622825)
comically choking Patriots in last year's AFC championship game


No sane person believes this.
   4838. jmurph Posted: December 23, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4622827)
I have a very, very hard time seeing anyone beating New England in the AFC playoffs.


This is silly, no outcome in the playoffs should surprise anyone. Let's not forget the litany of slightly above average teams with Super Bowl wins over the past decade or so.

EDIT: Okay, "slightly above average" is an overbid, let's go with "Clearly not the best team."
   4839. JJ1986 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:04 AM (#4622836)
If the Patriots comically choked in last year's AFCCG, then what did the Ravens do a year earlier?
   4840. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4622848)
But we'll see how overrated Seattle is at home when there's actually something at stake in the game for both teams, and not just for the visitors.


So now you _don't_ attribute much meaning to a single game. Odd. It's tough to keep your methodology straight.

Regardless, that was a big loss for Seattle. They certainly did have something to play for. Teams seem to care about seeding, and it would be insane not to care about getting a bye. At a minimum, if you actually don't care about the game you rest your starters. That didn't happen.
   4841. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4622854)
I'm sure everyone knows this by now but Peyton Manning broke the record for most TDs in a season. If he throws for 266 yards against the Raiders next week, he'll end up with the yards record as well.


It's nice but we've reached the equivalent of 1993-1994 in baseball. Passing offense is trending up, and we're likely going to see these records broken more than once in the next 10 years.
   4842. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4622855)
Regardless, that was a big loss for Seattle. They certainly did have something to play for. Teams seem to care about seeding, and it would be insane not to care about getting a bye. At a minimum, if you actually don't care about the game you rest your starters. That didn't happen.

However you rate Seattle's home field advantage, I'm pretty sure they themselves consider it to be huge, so I'm sure Seattle really, really, really wants to guarantee they never have to play an away game. (Until the Super Bowl, which I guess is more of a neutral site). I'm pretty sure Seattle didn't lose for want of trying.
   4843. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4622859)
Regardless, that was a big loss for Seattle.


I agree it was. I still think they are a very good team and likely the best in the NFC, but it is nice that they showed some weakness at home and with luck (which really matters in the NFL a great deal) they will lose at home in the playoffs.*

Football is a funny game. The last two weeks the Vikings destroyed the Eagles and were dominated by the Bengals, but is there much difference in quality between the Bengals and Eagles? I suspect both are good but not great teams. Maybe it is matchups or one team just wasn't feeling it that day, but Any Given Sunday indeed.

* And SF go back to the Superbowl, naturally.
   4844. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4622860)
Football is a funny game. The last two weeks the Vikings destroyed the Eagles and were dominated by the Bengals, but is there much difference in quality between the Bengals and Eagles? I suspect both are good but not great teams. Maybe it is matchups or one team just wasn't feeling it that day, but Any Given Sunday indeed.

Or the Dolphins eking one out against the Patriots, then getting shutout by the Bills.
   4845. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4622864)
Football is a funny game. The last two weeks the Vikings destroyed the Eagles and were dominated by the Bengals, but is there much difference in quality between the Bengals and Eagles?


Well, yeah. Foles is much better than Dalton.

   4846. Eddo Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4622870)
So how much credit does Trestman get for the Bears' offensive improvement this year and how much blame does he get for their defensive collapse?

Tons, and some.

Emery gets some credit for upgrading the offensive line and acquiring Martellus Bennett, and it's debatable how much of Alshon Jeffery's improvement is just natural for a second-year player, but Trestman clearly developed the offense by huge amounts.

No sane person should have expected the defense to be anything more than a little above average, mainly due to aging and unsustainable turnovers from last year. Throw in injuries to the Bears' best LB (Briggs), best CB (Tillman), two best DTs (Melton and Collins), and it's hard to say how much of the collapse is on the coaching staff. Mel Tucker, the defensive coordinator, is essentially running the same scheme that Love Smith did, so it's not like the players shouldn't fit in it.

I expect Emery to address the defense with almost all their 2014 draft picks (aside from a QB taken somewhere in the middle rounds).

------

I would not be surprised with any outcome against the Packers next week, as both teams have been all over the place all year.
   4847. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4622872)
Well, yeah. Foles is much better than Dalton.

That makes football even weirder!

Though I suppose baseball is even weirder, in that a poor hitting team can put it's #5 pitcher against Justin Verlander and a strong lineup, and sometimes the crappy team wins.
   4848. Eddo Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4622873)
Football is a funny game. The last two weeks the Vikings destroyed the Eagles and were dominated by the Bengals, but is there much difference in quality between the Bengals and Eagles?

Well, yeah. Foles is much better than Dalton.

Then aren't the games against the Vikings a piece of evidence against your "QB (and coaching) are all that matters" theory?

(Granted, QB and coaching are definitely the two most important factors, but you've taken it to a crazy extreme, Ray.)

------

These are somewhat old, but still good reading from Brian Burke at Advanced NFL Stats:
Luck and NFL Outcomes
Part 2
Part 3
   4849. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4622882)
Then aren't the games against the Vikings a piece of evidence against your "QB (and coaching) are all that matters" theory?

(Granted, QB and coaching are definitely the two most important factors, but you've taken it to a crazy extreme, Ray.)


I'm curious what Ray thinks about Philly's running game, since he's oft-opined that throwing the ball is the only route to success. Where Philly really stands out this year is in their running game (almost 300 yards more than the next-best rushing team).
   4850. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4622887)
No sane person should have expected the defense to be anything more than a little above average, mainly due to aging and unsustainable turnovers from last year. Throw in injuries to the Bears' best LB (Briggs), best CB (Tillman), two best DTs (Melton and Collins), and it's hard to say how much of the collapse is on the coaching staff. Mel Tucker, the defensive coordinator, is essentially running the same scheme that Love Smith did, so it's not like the players shouldn't fit in it.

Eddo, I think I'm in basic agreement with your analysis though I would probably take some away from Trestman on the offense. I think the repaired OL is the single biggest factor.

As for the defense, I agree the injuries have been tough but Chicago's defense has become so, so bad. I wish Marinelli had stayed.

Anyway, Emery really does need to get busy with the draft pciks there. It doesn't help that they burned a first round pick two years ago on a mediocre situational pass rusher... although McClellan had the single most important play this year when he injured Aaron Rodgers.

OTOH, I'm still a bit sore about Lovie's firing. If the Vikings get a competent QB and the Lions get a competent coach it's not hard to see Chicago occupying the cellar of the NFC North for the next few years.
   4851. DA Baracus Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4622888)
Well, yeah. Foles is much better than Dalton.


Hahahahaha. Andy Dalton's an average QB.
   4852. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4622892)
OTOH, I'm still a bit sore about Lovie's firing


He's a defense and ball control coach in an offense and passing world. The game has passed him by.
   4853. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4622898)
It's possible Miami having an early kickoff causes them problems next weekend, isn'it?

If Miami wins, they'd like the Chargers to win, too. But if Miami wins, the Chargers season is over before their game even starts.
   4854. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4622901)
I think the Chargers are the only AFC team who will know whether their game means something when they take the field on Sunday.
   4855. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4622904)
I disagree that Lovie is a ball control coach (I don't think he had any particular offensive identity - the man employed Mike Martz after all) and Chicago's special teams prowess in his tenure should not be underestimated.
   4856. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4622907)
Well, special teams are flukes. There's too much randomness in things like punts and returns for it to be something you can plan for or against. The fluke aspect of it limits how much you can build a special teams unit that has good predictive value.
   4857. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4622908)
But we'll see how overrated Seattle is at home when there's actually something at stake in the game for both teams, and not just for the visitors.

So now you _don't_ attribute much meaning to a single game. Odd. It's tough to keep your methodology straight.


I pay more attention to recent games than to long ago games, yes. As do you with the Eagles. I also pay attention to the quality of their opponents, and I tend to respect teams whose records have been in good part compiled against the better teams in the league, and not just against sub-.500 teams.

Regardless, that was a big loss for Seattle. They certainly did have something to play for. Teams seem to care about seeding, and it would be insane not to care about getting a bye. At a minimum, if you actually don't care about the game you rest your starters. That didn't happen.

You're right there; I'd thought that Seattle had already clinched the top seed in West. But while losing to Arizona at home shows that you can't ever take anything for granted, the Cardinals have been one of the better teams in the NFL over the past couple of months, and had even more motivation going for them yesterday.

In fact the way the Rams have also been playing, the NFC West as a whole is shaping up at season's end as being one of the stronger divisions in recent memory, with not a bad team in the bunch. Regardless of the outcome of the two intradivision finales, the average record of the NFC West at the end of the year is going to be 10.25 - 7.75. And as of now, every NFC West team, including the Rams, has a net positive point differential.

   4858. JJ1986 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4622909)
FO has the Chiefs special teams as the best in the league this year. I think Toub probably has real value even if 90% of special teams value is flukey.
   4859. Nasty Nate Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4622915)
I think the Chargers are the only AFC team who will know whether their game means something when they take the field on Sunday.


I noticed they pushed the Patriots' game back to 4pm. It coincides with the Broncos game, but if both Cincinnati and Indy lose their respective 1:00 games, the Patriots will have secured one of the byes I think.
   4860. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4622917)
It goes too far to call special teams flukes. The Bears were top 6 in ST every year from 2006 to 2012 and were number one 3 or 4 times in that span. It's difficult or nearly impossible to leverage but if it's a fluke for other teams then that just underscores the value of Lovie's coaching ability since they were consistently excellent.

EDIT: those are the Football Outsiders rankings.
   4861. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4622923)
The Rams were without their starting quarterback for most of the season and will have the number two pick in the draft next year. The Niners used three picks in the first four rounds this year on guys who were well thought of but had injury issues whom they drafted and just sat.better. They also have a ton of picks. The division is only going to get better.
   4862. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4622929)
I pay more attention to recent games than to long ago games, yes. As do you with the Eagles.


Well, not really. I pay more attention to recent games IF the starting QB has changed. Even with Foles, I've always cited all of his starts this year, not just the recent ones. He's 7-2 with a 118 QB rating. I mean, how many guys in history have had a top-edge QB rating over sample of even 9 games and not gone on to be stars in the league? (I realize it's easier to post a 118 QB rating now which is why I'm asking about top edge QB rating.)
   4863. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4622933)
He's a defense and ball control coach in an offense and passing world. The game has passed him by.


This is interesting--how many "defense and ball control" oriented coaches (that is to say, the Marty Schottenheimer types) have won Super Bowls in the last 20 years? I think only two: Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy. And Dungy gets an asterisk because Peyton Manning ran the Colts' offense and Dungy had nothing to do with it. Cowher won his Super Bowl only after an elite quarterback showed up despite his best efforts to avoid ever having one.

Bill Belichick made his reputation on defense, of course, and you might file the 2001 Patriots as a team that won the title with a defense and ball control coach, but by 2003 that definitely wasn't the Patriots' identity anymore. Mike Tomlin is a defense guy but he let Arians and Roethlisberger run the offense, pretty much.
   4864. cmd600 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4622936)
But if Miami wins, the Chargers season is over before their game even starts


I'd have to guess this won't matter even the tiniest bit, though, not like we'd ever know with how random the games are. The Chargers are going to spend this week preparing like their lives depend on it, play all their starters, and there will be more than enough guys on the roster who will bust their rear whether it's because of their competitiveness, pride, or just a new contract.
   4865. JJ1986 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4622938)
I mean, how many guys in history have had a top-edge QB rating over sample of even 9 games and not gone on to be stars in the league?


Chad Pennington lead the league in passer rating in his rookie year. David Garrard has a run of 9 games to start 2007 that would have lead the league most years around then. Robert Griffin has a great year for the first 15 games last year. Josh McCown this year is third in the league.
   4866. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4622943)
This is interesting--how many "defense and ball control" oriented coaches (that is to say, the Marty Schottenheimer types) have won Super Bowls in the last 20 years? I think only two: Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy. And Dungy gets an asterisk because Peyton Manning ran the Colts' offense and Dungy had nothing to do with it. Cowher won his Super Bowl only after an elite quarterback showed up despite his best efforts to avoid ever having one.


But if you're asterisking, non-ball control type coaches Billick and Gruden each won their titles with those kind of teams. And Harbaugh, to a lesser extent.
   4867. JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4622945)
He's a defense and ball control coach in an offense and passing world. The game has passed him by.

This. How many times did Lovie *not* punt the ball on 4th-and-1 when on the opponents' side of the field? That was nothing short of maddening.
   4868. Joey B. Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4622947)
Arizona might be better than every AFC team except Denver and New England, and they probably won't make the playoffs.

It's within the realm of possibility that they could finish 11-5 and not the make the playoffs, which is kind of incredible with this playoff format.
   4869. JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4622951)
It's within the realm of possibility that they could finish 11-5 and not the make the playoffs, which is kind of incredible with this playoff format.

And even if the Cardinals do get in, they'll have the privilege of playing on the (probably freezing) road against the woefully mediocre Bears/Packers/Cowboys/Eagles.
   4870. Eddo Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4622952)
OTOH, I'm still a bit sore about Lovie's firing. If the Vikings get a competent QB and the Lions get a competent coach it's not hard to see Chicago occupying the cellar of the NFC North for the next few years.

I'm not sore at all (and I'll still say Lovie was the second-best coach the Bears franchise has ever had, after only Halas). It's not necessarily that the game had passed him by(**), like Ray said, but moreso that he had maxed out his time with the Bears. This is mainly because he couldn't build the right offensive staff.(*)

I disagree about the cellar comment. Having a coach that can build an effective offense (I admit I might overrate Trestman a bit, as the offensive line is certainly a big factor) and develop quarterbacks (which Trestman certainly can do) should mean that you don't stay bad for too long in the modern NFL.

(*)EDIT: And I definitely think a team like Houston would be smart to hire Lovie, provided he admits he needs to change the way he hires offensive staff (which would be a point I'd touch on a lot if I were interviewing him).

(**)EDIT: Ron Rivera is a great example of a coach who realized he needed to change something about his in-game approach. Coaching ability - like nearly every human ability - is not constant.
   4871. DA Baracus Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4622953)
And even if the Cardinals do get in, they'll have the privilege of playing on the (probably freezing) road against the woefully mediocre Bears/Packers/Cowboys/Eagles.


One of whom they already played on the road, in good weather. And lost.
   4872. DA Baracus Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4622954)
And I definitely think a team like Houston would be smart to hire Lovie


Houston needs to hire a coach that can develop whatever QB they draft #1 overall.
   4873. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 23, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4622957)
I know that Brian Billick was considered an offensively minded coach but there's no doubt that the 2000 Ravens were a "ground and pound" team. They threw for fewer than 150 yards per game during their playoff run.
   4874. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4622964)
But if you're asterisking, non-ball control type coaches Billick and Gruden each won their titles with those kind of teams. And Harbaugh, to a lesser extent.


Harbaugh though passed his way to the championship once he got into the playoffs. Andy is right about one thing: Flacco played brilliantly in the playoffs last year. Didn't he set some sort of a playoff record for TD passes without an INT or something? 11-0 as I recall?
   4875. Joey B. Posted: December 23, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4622972)
I know that Brian Billick was considered an offensively minded coach but there's no doubt that the 2000 Ravens were a "ground and pound" team.

Not to mention they had maybe the best single season defense in the history of the game.
   4876. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4622989)
As hard as getting an elite quarterback is, it's even harder to assemble a defense of 2000 Ravens or even 2002 Buccaneers quality. That's not really the kind of thing you can plan for at all.

And the 2012 Ravens won the championship by throwing deep with incredible (and unsustainable) effectiveness. Though I don't understand why they got away from that this year. If there was ever a quarterback with whom your offense should be "run, run, run, play fake throw deep" it's Joe Flacco. He throws a spectacular deep ball, the best I've ever seen except maybe Kurt Warner's, and that's his only above-average skill.
   4877. Karl from NY Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4622992)
I'm now rooting for the Chargers to end up playing a game that is meaningless to them and meaningless to their opponent (KC is already locked into the 5 seed), but means everything to two other teams. Ah, the ridiculosity of NFL tiebreaking procedures.
Yup, and it's awesome. If Baltimore and Miami both win, then the SD-KC game is meaningless for both teams but decides which of Bal and Mia gets the last playoff berth.

Why? Baltimore would win a 2-way tiebreaker over Miami (via H2H), but Miami would win a 3-way tiebreaker that includes SD (via conference record).

What else should the NFL do, though? Gotta have a tiebreaker procedure somehow. You can't just start playing extra football games like baseball, especially in a 3+ way tie.


I don't believe replay can ever be used to add a penalty that wasn't called on the play.
One case where it can is 12 men on the field, which can be challenged and called on replay.
   4878. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4622997)
it's Joe Flacco. He throws a spectacular deep ball, the best I've ever seen except maybe Kurt Warner's, and that's his only above-average skill.


Meh. Flacco can indeed throw the ball 60 yards, as he did yesterday and as pretty much every NFL quarterback I've seen can do. (Many times I've rewinded long QB throws -- such as I did with Flacco's throw last night -- to actually count the yardage in the air. All NFL quarterbacks can do this. For example, I have yet to see an NFL quarterback throw a hail mary but not be able to get 60 yards.)

But the problem with Flacco's deep ball is that it's a lot more of a balloon throw than other QBs make. It's kind of like Marc Wilson in Super Tecmo Bowl circa 1990.
   4879. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4622998)
I don't believe replay can ever be used to add a penalty that wasn't called on the play.


But it's not really a subjective penalty, like calling holding or PI would be. It's an objective one: the ball simply is not allowed to be passed forward illegally.

   4880. Rear Admiral Piazza Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4623010)
You most certainly can challenge for an illegal forward pass. I seem to recall one example where Eli Manning threw a pass where it was called an illegal forward pass, but the Giants challenged it and had it overturned. You can likewise challenge to argue that such a pass is illegal.

Likewise, plays that involve an illegible receiver touching the ball, or a kicking team touching the ball illegally, can be challenged, with penalties resulting.
   4881. Karl from NY Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4623011)
illegible receiver
Houshmandzadeh?
   4882. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4623017)
I can throw a football 65 yards. There's a difference between being able to throw a football a long way and being able to get it there in hurry and hit a receiver in stride. Flacco's deep balls are usually remarkably accurate as well as remarkably deep, in my opinion.

Why? Baltimore would win a 2-way tiebreaker over Miami (via H2H), but Miami would win a 3-way tiebreaker that includes SD (via conference record).

What else should the NFL do, though? Gotta have a tiebreaker procedure somehow. You can't just start playing extra football games like baseball, especially in a 3+ way tie.


Wouldn't it be better to use the 3+ way tiebreakers to eliminate teams until you're down to 2, and then apply the 2-way tiebreaker? In this case, between Miami, Baltimore and San Diego if they all win next week, San Diego has the worst conference record of the three and so would be eliminated; then Baltimore would get the playoff spot over Miami as they damn well ought to, being that they beat Miami earlier in the year.

It wouldn't work as well in many cases, but I think it would be better than how we now do it.

Another way would be to just make common games the first step in the process rather than conference record.
   4883. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4623018)
And the 2012 Ravens won the championship by throwing deep with incredible (and unsustainable) effectiveness. Though I don't understand why they got away from that this year.

Because there wasn't the protection from the OL, because Anquan Boldin is now a 49er, because Pitta was out for most of the year, and because Ray Rice was averaging less than 3 yards per carry. Those deep throws are a much better weapon when the defense has to spread out its focus.
   4884. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4623031)
I can throw a football 65 yards.


A regulation sized football? I'd be shocked.
   4885. Karl from NY Posted: December 23, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4623032)
Another way would be to just make common games the first step in the process rather than conference record.

Common games actually turns out fairly awkward in practice. It was dropped far down the tiebreaker list because it can be such a small sample. Teams in different divisions may have as few as 3 common opponents, and the participants in any 3-way cross division tie can have no more than 4.
   4886. DA Baracus Posted: December 23, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4623045)
Flacco's deep balls are usually remarkably accurate as well as remarkably deep, in my opinion.


"Joe Flacco's accuracy percentage on deep balls is 22.6%, worst in the league"

25th in the league in deep pass accuracy from 2008-2013. But he does throw it deep a lot.
   4887. Joey B. Posted: December 23, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4623108)
Not sure if this is confirmed, but some outlets are reporting that Tony Romo has been declared out for the last game, which gives the Cowboys and their fans the tailor-made excuse they need for failing to make the playoffs once again.

No official word on whether or not Jerry Jones plans on taking this into consideration when he decides on the fate of the coaching staff.
   4888. JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4623115)
Not sure if this is confirmed, but some outlets are reporting that Tony Romo has been declared out for the last game

Out for the postseason too, assuming they win on Sunday. And yup, it looks to be true.
   4889. JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4623152)
In a hastily convened press conference, Jason Garrett is denying that Romo has been ruled out for the season or even Sunday. IMHO, his comments sound like BS, meant to convince the Eagles to prepare for both Romo and Orton.
   4890. JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4623162)
Adam Schefter just now: "Tony Romo is done for the season. That you can take to the bank."
   4891. Joey B. Posted: December 23, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4623183)
Ahh, it's the old "will he play or won't he?" gambit.

Philly must be terrified now, because there's simply no way that a team ever possibly prepare for Tony Romo and Kyle Orton at the same time.
   4892. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4623188)
Yeah, the Packers have been trying to pull the "Rodgers is going to play THIS week, definitely, honest!" routine for a month now. It was obvious the day he broke his collarbone his season was over.


A regulation sized football? I'd be shocked.


OK, maybe 62 yards. But definitely more than 60, as of last summer. And the hardest fastball I'm ever aware of having thrown was about 85. I don't think it's *that* extraordinary to be able to throw a football 60 yards. Being able to do it with anything resembling accuracy is the hard part.
   4893. zenbitz Posted: December 23, 2013 at 06:52 PM (#4623189)
It certainly was a good weekend for the Ray NFL prognostic-a-bot. The Eagles actually might be -- if not at the level of the 'hawks -- as good as NO/CAR/SF.

Not sure how to judge Foles. Newish QB in a new (to the NFL) system has great success over 9 games ... with the best running offense in the league. I think we will have to see how the Eagles offense handles teams with actual linebackers (SF/CAR/SEA)... and it took a whole off season for defenses to plan/practice for the the Read/Option (it's still a useful offensive tool; better I thin than the wildcat -- but it will no longer win you a playoff game against Green Bay).

I think if NO travels to Philly they will be underdogs.
   4894. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4623190)
Yeah, the Packers have been trying to pull the "Rodgers is going to play THIS week, definitely, honest!" routine for a month now. It was obvious the day he broke his collarbone his season was over.


Yeah, that's what I figured at the time. And then a couple weeks later they were already talking about him coming back and I'm like, really?

I do love that they signed Matt Flynn based on that one incredible game he had some 2-3 years ago. I didn't think teams actually operated like that.

OK, maybe 62 yards. But definitely more than 60, as of last summer. And the hardest fastball I'm ever aware of having thrown was about 85. I don't think it's *that* extraordinary to be able to throw a football 60 yards. Being able to do it with anything resembling accuracy is the hard part.


Ok. Did you play in high school?
   4895. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4623194)
Not sure how to judge Foles.


He just looks really good to me. Makes all the throws, throws on the run, throws a nice deep ball... and most importantly makes really good decisions. He finds receivers who are open, and who sometimes are just wide open.
   4896. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4623214)
Ray: I did not. I was a nerd and ran with the band geeks in high school. My (decidedly unathletic) friends were continually astounded by how strong my arm was, but other than having a strong arm and (when I was younger) being able to run fast in a straight line I have no athleticism at all.

I built my arm up through my adolescence going out nearly every day through the summer and playing pretend I was pitching Game 7 of the World Series, throwing a tennis ball against a stone wall. Those were the days.
   4897. DA Baracus Posted: December 23, 2013 at 08:16 PM (#4623226)
I do love that they signed Matt Flynn based on that one incredible game he had some 2-3 years ago. I didn't think teams actually operated like that.


The Seahawks, Raiders and Bills did. The Packers signed him because if you have to go through 4 QBs including 2 off the street, a might as well go with guy who spent years in your system. It's not out of the ordinary if a team has to churn through QBs.
   4898. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 23, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4623230)
In a lost season, I'd take unexpectedly punching the goddamned 49'ers in the throat in the last game at that godforsaken hell hole by the Bay.
   4899. JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4623231)
I built my arm up through my adolescence going out nearly every day through the summer and playing pretend I was pitching Game 7 of the World Series, throwing a tennis ball against a stone wall. Those were the days.

Hmmm, that sounds a bit like this:
How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?... Yeah... Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would've been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.

   4900. JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4623234)
FLIPZZZ
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