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Sunday, January 08, 2023

OT - 2022 NFL thread Part II

Under the first proposal that was voted through, the AFC Championship will now be played at a neutral-site game if any of the three following scenarios are met:

Scenario 1: If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or both tie in Week 18, then a Buffalo vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Scenario 2: If the Bills and Chiefs both lose in Week 18 and Baltimore wins or ties with the Bengals, then a Buffalo vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Scenario 3: If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati beats Baltimore, then a Bills or Bengals vs. Chiefs championship game would be at a neutral site.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: January 08, 2023 at 10:01 AM | 314 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nfl, off-topic

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   101. Tony S Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:25 PM (#6113934)
What was the Buffalo crowd chanting after the second Bengals TD?
   102. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:37 PM (#6113935)
What was the Buffalo crowd chanting after the second Bengals TD?


It wasn't the Buffalo crowd. Those were visiting Bengals fans chanting Who Dey
   103. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:41 PM (#6113937)
Well, I don't know if the Eagles are posers, but the Giants definitely were, so not sure we can conclude much from the outcome.
That's pretty unfair. Who back in August picked the Giants to reach the postseason?
   104. Tony S Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:45 PM (#6113939)
Ok, sounds like I need to freshen up on catchphrases...
   105. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2023 at 04:05 PM (#6113942)

Ok, sounds like I need to freshen up on catchphrases...


The chant dates back to the 1980s, but the Bengals' general lack of relevance over the last 40 years would excuse your unfamiliarity.
   106. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 22, 2023 at 04:19 PM (#6113943)
That's pretty unfair. Who back in August picked the Giants to reach the postseason?
dave gettleman.
   107. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2023 at 04:41 PM (#6113946)
That's pretty unfair. Who back in August picked the Giants to reach the postseason?


I think the Giants were both overachievers and posers. They just happened to get a first-round game against a team whose record was even less reflective of its talent.
   108. Tony S Posted: January 22, 2023 at 04:57 PM (#6113948)
If you can't stop old Joe Mixon then your line could use some fixin'...
   109. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 22, 2023 at 05:18 PM (#6113954)
I think the Giants were both overachievers and posers. They just happened to get a first-round game against a team whose record was even less reflective of its talent.

as a general rule, no team that wins a road playoff game is a poser. that's just not how this works.
   110. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 22, 2023 at 05:18 PM (#6113955)
   111. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2023 at 05:32 PM (#6113958)
as a general rule, no team that wins a road playoff game is a poser. that's just not how this works.


As a general rule, teams as mediocre as the Vikings don't host playoff games.
   112. Tony S Posted: January 22, 2023 at 05:44 PM (#6113961)
That's probably ballgame.

I'm not particularly surprised the Bengals are winning. But I didn't expect them to dominate the way they have.
   113. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 22, 2023 at 05:45 PM (#6113962)
As a general rule, fans are insufferable.
   114. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2023 at 06:16 PM (#6113963)
I'm not particularly surprised the Bengals are winning. But I didn't expect them to dominate the way they have.


If the Bengals' offensive line plays that way, they're probably the best team in football.

I don't expect them to play that way again.
   115. Tony S Posted: January 22, 2023 at 06:44 PM (#6113965)
Yuck. I was hoping Purdy could keep it going another week, but that was a rather unpromising start.
   116. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 22, 2023 at 06:59 PM (#6113966)
18 yard net on that punt. Nice.
   117. Tony S Posted: January 22, 2023 at 07:04 PM (#6113967)
A Kent Tekulve reference in a 2023 NFL game. Cool.
   118. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 22, 2023 at 07:25 PM (#6113971)
oh man.
   119. Tony S Posted: January 22, 2023 at 07:31 PM (#6113974)
Can kickers get Steve Blass Disease?
   120. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 22, 2023 at 09:46 PM (#6113979)
The 70s called and want their 19-12 game back
   121. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 22, 2023 at 10:00 PM (#6113980)
Early odds have the Eagles as very small favorites over the 49ers at home, making the 49ers considered very slightly better if they were on a neutral field.
   122. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2023 at 10:04 PM (#6113981)
The Chiefs are a smaller favorite.
   123. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 22, 2023 at 10:09 PM (#6113982)
Ten 19-12 games in NFL history. Three between 76 and 82, so that was the peak.

The New York Yankees beat the Pottsville Maroons in 1927. Two missed PATs and a safety. Each team only played in the NFL for something like 3 seasons.
   124. Howie Menckel Posted: January 22, 2023 at 10:14 PM (#6113983)
Chiefs line is bouncing all over, based on perceptions of Mahomes' high ankle sprain.

yes Eagles -1.5 so far implies that the 49ers are a little better. not sure I see that, but that's why they play the games.

Eagles with a bigger rest advantage (game date plus lack of travel) than is typical seen at this level in the postseason.

Bengals an absurd 21-5 against the point spread in last 26 games. who the hell keeps shorting Joe Burrow?
   125. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 22, 2023 at 10:23 PM (#6113985)
Early odds have the Eagles as very small favorites over the 49ers at home, making the 49ers considered very slightly better if they were on a neutral field.
that line is going to move over the next week. it'll end around PHI -3.5.
   126. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 22, 2023 at 10:25 PM (#6113986)
Austin Krell @NBAKrell
Jalen Hurts wasn't alive the last time the Cowboys went to the NFC title game. And he's going to play in one before they get back there, too.

   127. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 22, 2023 at 11:52 PM (#6113990)
It’s impressive how the Cowboys have held the “America’s Team” brand despite not even making it to a conference title game in the last 25 years.
   128. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 23, 2023 at 12:22 AM (#6113993)
It’s impressive how the Cowboys have held the “America’s Team” brand despite not even making it to a conference title game in the last 25 years.
"cocaine is a hell of a drug"
   129. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:13 AM (#6113997)
SF getting less than a FG after watching that SF game and that Eagles game makes me want to run to the window and bet a lot on SF. It sure looks like PHI > SF to me, and if I think something like that seems obvious and the line is a different way I assume I'm way off.
   130. Tony S Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:17 AM (#6113998)
It’s impressive how the Cowboys have held the “America’s Team” brand despite not even making it to a conference title game in the last 25 years.


It was kind of a perfect storm. The Cowboys enjoyed a long period of sustained success (roughly 1965-85) that coincided with the NFL establishing itself as the No. 1 TV sport in America, which gained them a large following. Then they had another burst of dominance in the early 90s that landed them another generation.

That, and the cheerleaders.

They've been undistinguished since, but massive fan bases, once established, can last forever. The Packers were awful between the Starr and Favre eras -- but their fan base actually grew during that time.
   131. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2023 at 09:48 AM (#6114004)
SF getting less than a FG after watching that SF game and that Eagles game makes me want to run to the window and bet a lot on SF. It sure looks like PHI > SF to me, and if I think something like that seems obvious and the line is a different way I assume I'm way off.
I don't know if the Eagles are better or worse than the Niners, but I do know that the Cowboys are much better than the Giants. (Also, from the little I have seen, most ranking systems have them as pretty close to each other. You can't judge a team by a single game.
   132. stanmvp48 Posted: January 23, 2023 at 12:08 PM (#6114020)
Did anyone figure out the Dallas formation on the last play? Who was eligible and who wasn't? There seemed to have been too many downfield
   133. SoSH U at work Posted: January 23, 2023 at 12:48 PM (#6114027)
132. That guy in the Niners sure did.
   134. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 23, 2023 at 01:36 PM (#6114029)
Dallas probably had about a 1% win probability, and even so that last play made no sense.
   135. Nasty Nate Posted: January 23, 2023 at 01:41 PM (#6114030)
The last play is getting the attention, but that feeble 3-and-out with three minutes left was more embarrassing.
   136. stanmvp48 Posted: January 23, 2023 at 03:33 PM (#6114048)
Maybe they should have gone for the fourth and ten
   137. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2023 at 03:41 PM (#6114049)
Burke model for the 4th and 10.
   138. Nasty Nate Posted: January 23, 2023 at 04:01 PM (#6114054)
It didn't end up mattering obviously, but I think SF should have let that punt bounce around instead of the fair catch. As it happened, the play ended at 2:05. With some luck, it squigs around for 5 seconds and hits the 2 minute warning.
   139. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2023 at 04:54 PM (#6114061)
It’s impressive how the Cowboys have held the “America’s Team” brand despite not even making it to a conference title game in the last 25 years.

Does anyone still call them that, other than Dallas fans and a few aging TV announcers?
   140. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 23, 2023 at 05:43 PM (#6114068)
It was kind of a perfect storm. The Cowboys enjoyed a long period of sustained success (roughly 1965-85) that coincided with the NFL establishing itself as the No. 1 TV sport in America, which gained them a large following. Then they had another burst of dominance in the early 90s that landed them another generation.

That, and the cheerleaders.
i tend to think the biggest factor was almost certainly jerry jones's prominence in the NFL's television contract negotiations, specifically when the NFL first signed their deal with fox in the early 90s. that NFL contract turned fox into a real network, and they had every reason to bathe jerry jones in adulation to make sure they kept that bag coming.
   141. Froot Loops Posted: January 23, 2023 at 06:07 PM (#6114073)
The Cowboys were called America's Team a good 15 years before Jerry Jones bought the franchise.

   142. SoSH U at work Posted: January 23, 2023 at 06:41 PM (#6114077)
It didn't end up mattering obviously, but I think SF should have let that punt bounce around instead of the fair catch. As it happened, the play ended at 2:05. With some luck, it squigs around for 5 seconds and hits the 2 minute warning.


I thought the same thing.

Also, can anyone explain to me why punt returners call fair catches on the six-yard line? Yes, there's a chance the opponent will down it inside the two, but the Cowboys almost certainly would have started that possession on the 20.
   143. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2023 at 07:34 PM (#6114083)
The Cowboys were called America's Team a good 15 years before Jerry Jones bought the franchise.

Close enough. He bought the team in 1989, and here's the origin of the term:
The nickname America’s Team was actually first coined in 1978 in a Dallas Cowboys highlight film by narrator John Facenda, who mentioned that the team appears on TV so much that they are as recognizable as movie stars and US presidents. Thus, they are “America’s Team”. The name stuck and is used today** by media outlets and sports announcers.

I thought I'd heard it by the early 70's, but that may just reflect my longstanding loathing of the Cowboys.

** The person who wrote this is a Dallas native and an over-the-top Cowboys fan. I repeat my question from #139 above.

   144. Froot Loops Posted: January 23, 2023 at 07:35 PM (#6114084)
Also, can anyone explain to me why punt returners call fair catches on the six-yard line? Yes, there's a chance the opponent will down it inside the two, but the Cowboys almost certainly would have started that possession on the 20.


I thought he should have run it back, even if he didn't have much room to maneuver. In that situation, you need to take high-risk/high-reward chances.
   145. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2023 at 07:37 PM (#6114085)
I seem to recall asking my dad why thr Cowboys had that title back in the 80s and i recall him saying it was because of Monday night football
   146. SoSH U at work Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:16 PM (#6114088)

I seem to recall asking my dad why thr Cowboys had that title back in the 80s and i recall him saying it was because of Monday night football


They already had one of the two Thanksgiving Day games locked up, so that clearly helped as well.
   147. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:38 PM (#6114095)
Also, can anyone explain to me why punt returners call fair catches on the six-yard line?

the rule of thumb - often repeated by announcers over the years - was that you never call for a fair catch inside your own 10-yard line. on the rare occasions that the 'rule' was broken, the TV crews would call out the blunder.

but players keep doing it - and crews seem to have given up on pointing out how dumb it is.

...........

selective endpoints alarm bells, but I still find it amusing:
1971-1991
REDSKINS 206-107-1, 3-2 in Super Bowls
COWBOYS 192-122-0, 2-2 in Super Bowls

and these are teams playing in the same division! and still the "America's Team" moniker was unshakable.

now, Dallas was 52-16-2 from 1966-70, when the Redskins were basically irrelevant - but as noted, that was before the nickname came along.

The Cowboys were a pathetic 4-28 in 1988-89 while the Skins settled for 17-15 (including one of two losing records in that two-decade span), but none of it mattered.

in 1982-87 - very early in the "America's Team" era - Dallas was 51-37, but Washington was 66-22.

again, it did not matter.

I have at least half-dozen friends/former colleagues who as youngsters went all-in on Dallas. it has been .... a rough quarter-century.

in fact, they are each starting to gain a little bit of traction in the "long-suffering" category, though being old enough to remember winning 3 SBs in 4 years - no matter how long ago - is salve on that wound.
   148. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:42 PM (#6114098)
They already had one of the two Thanksgiving Day games locked up, so that clearly helped as well.

Too bad that didn't work for the Lions, who played their first Thanksgiving Day game 32 years before the Cowboys thought of it, and had it nationally televised every year beginning in 1953.
   149. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:46 PM (#6114102)
The Cowboys are like the Yankees, in that they likely have more people who love them, and more people who hate them, than any other team. To make a political comparison, you might say the Yankees are Obama, while the Cowboys are Trump. (/ducks)
   150. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:48 PM (#6114105)
It didn't end up mattering obviously, but I think SF should have let that punt bounce around instead of the fair catch. As it happened, the play ended at 2:05. With some luck, it squigs around for 5 seconds and hits the 2 minute warning.


The broadcasters praised Shanahan for alertly calling a passing play with 2:05 on the clock, because "the two minute warning will stop the clock anyway so an incompletion wouldn't hurt." But my reaction was the opposite--I thought it was a stupid risk, because the ball hit the receiver's hands at 2:02. If that pass falls incomplete with 2:02 or 2:01 on the clock, they've given Dallas a free timeout.

I don't mind calling a pass, but it would have to be a well practiced play with the quarterback perfectly understanding his decision tree: throw only if the receiver is wide open, otherwise tuck and run to keep the clock moving.

Then there was the runner getting the game-icing first down and then, with fantastic stupidity, running out of bounds. The player apparently being unaware that he needs to get past the sticks and then get on the ground in that situation is exactly the kind of classic Kyle Shanahan stuff that always bites him in the ass sooner or later.

It was nice of the Cowboys to spinelessly roll over and play dead like Mike McCarthy's teams have reliably done in the playoffs for over a decade, but the last few minutes of that game would leave me with a lot of extra optimism if I were an Eagles fan.
   151. Tony S Posted: January 23, 2023 at 09:31 PM (#6114114)
Then there was the runner getting the game-icing first down and then, with fantastic stupidity, running out of bounds.


My howling at Mitchell's boneheadedness scared the cat under the bed for a half hour.

All resolved with off-schedule treats.

Cowboy fans treat playoff losses like they're nuclear holocausts. Makes lurking in their boards a fun day-after pastime.
   152. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:03 PM (#6114115)
the rule of thumb - often repeated by announcers over the years - was that you never call for a fair catch inside your own 10-yard line. on the rare occasions that the 'rule' was broken, the TV crews would call out the blunder.
This is like 15 years out of date. Punters (and kickers) have gotten so much better than they were when this rule was a thing. Fair catching inside the 10 is now at least thought to often be the best move.

The real danger is getting the ball back well inside the 5. Fair catching it inside the 10 so long as you are not that far back prevents that from occurring, if nothing else.

edit: apparently a lot of the revolution in punting accuracy stems from the Australian style, which also allows the ball to bounce straight up or back way more frequently than it used to with the old style. Overall that means punts are a lot less likely to end up in the endzone than they used to.
   153. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:08 PM (#6114116)
If there is any evidence - ANY - that punters have in the last decade figured out a way to more likely land punts inside the 10-yard line that rarely reach the end zone over a bounce or bounces, I for one would very be eager to hear about it.

as noted, the chance for starting at the 20-yard line is extremely appealing.
so I'm gonna need some (any) evidence that buttresses your assertion.
   154. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:09 PM (#6114127)
I haven't been following football much for the last 20 years. According to this site though in 1990 (just picking a random year where I was watching a lot) of the punters listed there were 24.5% or so punts listed as inside the 20. In 2022 there were 37.6%.
   155. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:19 PM (#6114130)
Here's an article from 2015 (Unfortunately does not seem to have the actual data) saying, that year, the average field position of balls landing at the 5, including touchbacks, was the "8.9". Only 20% of balls landing at the 5 ended up as touchbacks.

There are some interesting observations here. First, these include all punts. You may be surprised to learn that only 22% of all balls allowed to bounce between the 5 & 9 yard lines reached the end zone. If we take out punts that traveled more than 50 yards, then we take out over half of those touchbacks. The chances of a pitching wedge type punt bouncing into the end zone if it is dropped between the 5 and 9 yard line is only 10%.

   156. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:35 PM (#6114131)
Here's another article on the Aussie kickers with some discussion of the "drop punt" that is now common in the NFL for when an accurate kick is required and distance is not at a premium.

Hackett, an Australian, won the Ray Guy Award as the best punter in college football for Utah in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015. He did it by almost exclusively hitting the drop punt, a kick that should come instinctively to anyone who has grown up playing Aussie Rules football,

...

When the ball comes off the foot, it flies away, rotating end over end so that the rotation of the ball can act as a lovely backstop should a punter place it just in front of the end zone. More importantly, though, a drop punt’s sweet spot is much, much bigger than a spiral punt’s, which means that a punter’s technique doesn’t have to be flawless to hit it right.

...

Australians have associated themselves with the NFL for decades, but where once seeing an Australian punter seemed like a novelty, now their presence is a matter of course. Darren Bennett is credited as the first Australian punter to properly introduce the drop punt to the NFL when he entered the league in 1994. He had an 11-year career despite being a 29-year-old rookie when he was signed by the San Diego Chargers. The Australian punter lineage truly took off in the mid-2000s, however, with the likes of the Cowboys’ Matt McBriar, the Jets’ and Cardinals’ Ben Graham, and the Eagles’ Sav Rocca paving the way for today’s starting Aussies.

A bit anecdotal certainly, but it matches everything I have heard.
   157. SoSH U at work Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:36 PM (#6114132)
According to this site though in 1990 (just picking a random year where I was watching a lot) of the punters listed there were 24.5% or so punts listed as inside the 20. In 2022 there were 37.6%.


There will naturally be more punts inside the 20, because players are fair catching balls inside the 20 more frequently.

But it looks like there were about half as many touchbacks as punts that were downed (anywhere on the field).

Maybe that ball bounces perfectly, but when you're at the six already, in that situation, I'd much rather take the chance of getting it at the 20 than worrying you might lose three yards off your starting spot.

   158. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:45 PM (#6114134)
The Bills this year were, bar none, the worst team with a lead I've ever seen. I've been railing for years against coaches being too timid when trying to protect leads, but it is ungodly horror how sloppy the Bills are with the ball when they're ahead.

Maybe it's a case of teams taking on the personality of their superstar. Josh Allen is the funnest player in the league, as long as you're not a Bills fan (or at least as long as you're not a Bills fan in January). He is the very epitome of a million dollar body and a ten cent head.

It baffles me that teams are lining up to interview Ken Dorsey. Assuming I'm part of the leaguewide Anti-Bieniemy Committee, I'd be a lot more interested in the guy who squeezed an above-average offense out of Daniel Jones and no noteworthy receivers, who was... (checks pro-football-reference)... Mike Kafka??

The league's been falling all over itself for 20 years to hire Belichick assistants, several of them more than once, who have almost invariably proven aggressively incompetent, but no one wants to touch Andy Reid's assistants, several of whom have coached teams to Super Bowls. C'mon, fellas, Matt Nagy was a clown show but he shouldn't scare you off all other Reid Tree coaches for years.
   159. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:46 PM (#6114136)
thanks, Aunt Bea for the info and links.

but as noted, I don't think it quite supports your assertion.

also, not that many punts have to wind up in the end zone to make letting the ball land inside the 10-yard line the optimal play. the 20 is a tremendous result for the offense, while the 1- or 2-yard line is potentially dangerous. other results aren't as critical, so conceding a relatively poor result doesn't strike me as the advantage play.

as for Australians and other punters who know nothing about how American football is played, they have been known to make mind-boggling mistakes when a play goes "south" because they never played the game. one-time blunders like that can undo many, many solid kicks.

as for the Giants, they were the only one of the bottom 15 teams in passing TDs to make the playoffs (they tied for 24th), with Saquon Barkley and a bad offensive line (offsetting rhetorical penalties, per a discussion). they broke an NFL record for most consecutive games failing to score 30 points.
they were 27th in passing yards, 4th in rushing yards, and 15th in offense TDs.

their coaches did an excellent job with a so-so roster, for sure. but I wouldn't go overboard there.
   160. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:56 PM (#6114138)
You don't have to listen to me. The punting game really does seem to have changed though and I guess the options are learning a bit about it or shouting at clouds.
   161. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:00 AM (#6114139)
In the specific case where it's near the end of the game, you're trailing, there is only time for one more drive, and you're receiving a punt inside the 10--the calculus favors letting the ball bounce more in this situation than in the norm. You really, really don't want the ball inside your own 2 because of the risk of a catastrophic safety (or worse, defensive touchdown on a botched snap/handoff), the risk of your punt being blocked for an instant safety/touchdown sharply rises if you have to punt from inside your 5, and also because you usually have to waste a down just getting a little space to mitigate those risks.

None of these things is a significant consideration when the game is almost over: You are not going to punt under any circumstances; you have to move the ball very quickly because the clock is as much your enemy as the opposing team, and any end to your drive ends the game so a safety isn't as big a risk relative to other ways your drive could end.

Letting the ball bounce at the 8 instead of fair catching is a -EV move, inasmuch as the median drive start when you let it bounce is probably about the 7 and you run the risk of having to start at or inside your 2, which is hugely -EV. But in the very-late-and-behind scenario it's better to risk losing 6-7 yards to gain 12.
   162. Howie Menckel Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:04 AM (#6114140)
You don't have to listen to me. The punting game really does seem to have changed though and I guess the options are learning a bit about it or shouting at clouds.

I am a bit surprised by the level of condescension in your comment - you haven't struck me before as one likely to fall into that trap.
   163. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:14 AM (#6114141)
Here's an old (2010) graph from Burke for expected points by field position, showing that while mostly more or less linear from the 10 to the 90, there is slightly steeper dropoff between the 5-10 v 10-20, and a much steeper one inside the 5. It shouldn't be a surprise that the risk/reward is not symmetrical inside the 10 and is biased towards the fair catch cutoff point being inside the 10, all other things being equal.

Now, if you know a bouncing ball is likely to take a big bounce towards the endzone that pushes things quite a bit in favor of letting it bounce. With the accurate punters now and drop punt style this is much less certain than it used to be.
   164. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:16 AM (#6114142)
I'm a bit annoyed that I did all this research at your request and you come back with Australian punters know nothing about football. WTF.
   165. Howie Menckel Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:37 AM (#6114143)
And I'm a bit annoyed that I haven't found anything in your research that acknowledges the vast benefit of getting a touchback vs. the modest benefit of, say, downing a ball at the 3-yard line when it could have been fair-caught at the 6.

to get back to baseball, no one ever claimed that walking Barry Bonds with the bases loaded was "all gravy."
the downside is obvious, and the only debate is in what circumstances it still becomes a net positive choice (which is possible). so I would say that you need to concede the obvious potential downside to the fair catch around the 5-yard line, and show me/us that a lesser but more common different result is a net positive as well overall. and I have never heard evidence from you nor elsewhere that the vast majority of NFL punters are now going the route you describe.

am also a little annoyed that you appear not only to know nothing about a couple of comically-disastrous results from foreign punters not understanding the rules and severely impacting game results, and yet dismissing it completely out of hand. WTF indeed.
   166. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:55 AM (#6114144)
I am a bit surprised by the level of condescension in your comment - you haven't struck me before as one likely to fall into that trap.
you bring that out in people. that you can still, somehow, act surprised by this fact is impressively on point.
as for Australians and other punters who know nothing about how American football is played, they have been known to make mind-boggling mistakes when a play goes "south" because they never played the game. one-time blunders like that can undo many, many solid kicks.
the biggest problem with australian punters isn't that they occasionally make mistakes because they have low football IQ; it's that they can't kick for #### in cold weather.
   167. Howie Menckel Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:59 AM (#6114145)
you bring that out in people.

physician, heal thyself
   168. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:08 AM (#6114146)
physician, heal thyself

i know. trust me: i know.

and that's why you won't ever see me act surprised when someone is put off by my abrasiveness.
   169. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:14 AM (#6114147)
btw: i'm not saying this to hurt your feelings.

and fwiw, i have tried not to respond everytime you post cringe on here, at least since the last time we had this kind of blowup.
   170. dave h Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:54 AM (#6114158)
To me the intuitive way to see the error is to imagine the returner were not there. In that case the coverage team would never let it bounce at the 6 hoping to get even closer, they would catch it in the air and celebrate their achievement. (And this does happen sometimes.) It's a zero-sum game, so they can't both be right. The returner is doing the coverage team's job for them, with the extra bonus of maybe being responsible for a fumble.
   171. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:26 AM (#6114172)
In that case the coverage team would never let it bounce at the 6 hoping to get even closer


I mean I have seen plenty of instances where teams let the ball bounce in order to get it as close to the end zone as possible, so I just don't agree with this.

The whole punting/receiving thing is completely risk/reward and to do a thorough analysis it would have to be team by team - because the risks and rewards differ depending on the specific receiving teams offense; match-up by match-up, because the opposing team's defense matters; and situational - as pointed out above, the score and time of game matters as well.

And, of course, the specific punt and returner matter as well, because if the receiver doesn't feel comfortable catching a specific punt for basically any reason then I don't want them to try it. "Coach, I kind of lost the ball for a second in the lights, so I ... A: tried for it anyway or B: bailed out ... I mean, come on, if there is doubt in the returner's mind they absolutely should bail out, almost no matter what else above.

   172. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:17 AM (#6114181)
The Bills this year were, bar none, the worst team with a lead I've ever seen. I've been railing for years against coaches being too timid when trying to protect leads, but it is ungodly horror how sloppy the Bills are with the ball when they're ahead.

Maybe it's a case of teams taking on the personality of their superstar. Josh Allen is the funnest player in the league, as long as you're not a Bills fan (or at least as long as you're not a Bills fan in January). He is the very epitome of a million dollar body and a ten cent head.

It baffles me that teams are lining up to interview Ken Dorsey. Assuming I'm part of the leaguewide Anti-Bieniemy Committee, I'd be a lot more interested in the guy who squeezed an above-average offense out of Daniel Jones and no noteworthy receivers, who was... (checks pro-football-reference)... Mike Kafka??

The league's been falling all over itself for 20 years to hire Belichick assistants, several of them more than once, who have almost invariably proven aggressively incompetent, but no one wants to touch Andy Reid's assistants, several of whom have coached teams to Super Bowls. C'mon, fellas, Matt Nagy was a clown show but he shouldn't scare you off all other Reid Tree coaches for years.


You do know that McDermott and the DC Frazier are Reid disciples, right?

ETA: Also, Kafka is from the Reid tree, and he's already been linked to the Houston job.

2nd edit: I can't really tell if this is a serious post? I mean, there are a ton of Reid assistants in the NFL. It's not an under-looked tree.
   173. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:18 AM (#6114182)
am also a little annoyed that you appear not only to know nothing about a couple of comically-disastrous results from foreign punters not understanding the rules and severely impacting game results, and yet dismissing it completely out of hand. WTF indeed.


I don't know about comically-disastrous results from Australian punters, but I do know the Eagles Aussie punter almost got a 1st down on a blocked punt because of his rugby skills. Care to share a link or two?
   174. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:31 AM (#6114185)
2nd edit: I can't really tell if this is a serious post? I mean, there are a ton of Reid assistants in the NFL. It's not an under-looked tree.
Eleven of Reid's coaching assistants have become head coaches in the NFL:[105][9][106]

Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings (2006–2010)
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens (2008–present)
Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams (2009–2011), New York Giants (2017, interim)
Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings (2010, interim, 2011–2013)
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers (2011–2019), Washington Football Team / Commanders (2020–present)
Pat Shurmur, Cleveland Browns (2011–2012), Philadelphia Eagles (2015, interim), New York Giants (2018–2019)
Todd Bowles, New York Jets (2015–2018), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2022–present)
Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles (2016–2020), Jacksonville Jaguars (2022–present)
Sean McDermott, Buffalo Bills (2017–present)
Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears (2018–2021)
David Culley, Houston Texans (2021)
- wikipedia
   175. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 24, 2023 at 12:42 PM (#6114191)
2nd edit: I can't really tell if this is a serious post? I mean, there are a ton of Reid assistants in the NFL. It's not an under-looked tree.


I certainly overdid it, but I'm thinking specifically of Bieniemy, who I believe has by now interviewed with half the teams in the NFL. I'm sure they were all 100% legitimate interviews and he's just uniquely terrible at interviewing.
   176. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:13 PM (#6114196)
From what I have heard (from the last Viking search) is that there are some red flags around Bieniemy in particular. No clue if it is true though.
   177. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:42 PM (#6114200)
From what I have heard (from the last Viking search) is that there are some red flags around Bieniemy in particular. No clue if it is true though.
i'm not sure what that's about, but the relatively mainstream excuse i've seen is that teams are 'scared' because bieniemy is an offensive coach who doesn't call plays. it's really scary stuff...


there are always going to be rational reasons why you shouldn't hire someone. there is always going to be an element of risk inherent to handing your franchise over to someone, regardless of whether it's their first time, or their 2nd time, or their 3rd time, or any time thereafter. no candidate is 100% clean.

whenever the topic of black coaches seemingly being held back comes up, i tend to remember this scene with the panther's new owner when he hired matt rhule:

Rhule is the first head coach hired by Tepper, and the Panthers owner doesn't plan to hire another one anytime soon.

Rhule and Tepper – they're kindred spirits in many ways.

"He dresses like (expletive) and sweats all over himself. He dresses like me, so I have to love the guy," Tepper said with a laugh. "I was a short-order cook, he was a short-order cook. Nobody gave him anything, nobody gave me anything.


raheem morris is never going to get that privilege.
duce staley is never going to get that privilege.
eric bieniemy is never going to get that privilege.
david culley is never going to get that privilege.
steve wilks is never going to get that privilege.
brian flores is never going to get that privilege.
hue jackson is never going to get that privilege.
jim caldwell is never going to get that privilege.


kliff kingsberry, otoh....
   178. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 24, 2023 at 02:10 PM (#6114204)
From what I have heard (from the last Viking search) is that there are some red flags around Bieniemy in particular. No clue if it is true though.


Could be true. But if there are legitimate reg flags, which are apparently known in NFL circles, I wonder why 15 different teams have called him in to interview for a job they knew in advance they were not going to offer him? Why, a more cynical man than I might start to believe interviewing someone they already knew they have a legitimate reason not to hire might help them satisfy some troublesome rules...
   179. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 04:46 PM (#6114231)
Eric Bienemy had a few run-ins with the law 20-30 years ago, including one account of grabbing a female parking attendant by the throat. Those are the red flags.

   180. Ron J Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:47 PM (#6114300)
#134 There are no "last and 80" plays so I'm not going to sweat that too much. I think the idea was to go with something so weird that you end up with somebody completely open -- presumably Elliott (after taking a second lateral).

Yeah, didn't come close to working. They didn't get the space they expected after the initial reception and Elliott got blown up and was never going to figure.

But one play, 80 yards is truly hopeless if you try anything approaching normal.

And yeah, there are other things you can point a finger at, but this one play I see as perhaps the best chance. Though it's kind of akin to the strategy that is called, "playing for heart failure" in chess.
   181. JJ1986 Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:53 PM (#6114301)
Um...Mike Kafka is getting head coaching interviews.

I have heard that coordinator success has no correlation with head coaching success, but if I was looking to hire a coordinator based on resume, I don't think I would look at either Jones or Kafka after one year coordinating. Ryans or Steichen or Bienemy or even Dan Quinn would be ahead of them to get looks.
   182. mike f Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:57 AM (#6114386)
AuntBea, I appreciate your research/posts.
   183. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:25 PM (#6114421)
#134 There are no "last and 80" plays so I'm not going to sweat that too much.

How about "last and 65"? 2 TDs in the last 14 seconds.

   184. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:38 PM (#6114424)
Before the season, the Eagles generated some sleeper buzz, but they were not expected to be here. They were tied with the Titans and Cardinals at plus-3,000 to win the Super Bowl. That ranked 14th, just below the Colts and the Browns. So what happened? How did this group get here, to within one win of the Super Bowl?

Let me try to explain.

   185. Ron J Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:41 PM (#6114443)
#183 Yes. But you defend differently with 65 yards a 14 seconds (2-3 plays). Not that 1v1 on Lenny Moore is sane defense with 14 seconds to go.

And yeah, last second kickoff (or punt for that matter) returns are a whole different matter. These days that kick is either 3 rows deep or spends 20 seconds bouncing. Kick coverage is so much better these days and kick distance is so much further.

But I promise you that if they thought CeeDee Lamb was going to be 1v1 on a sideline route with no deep safety then they'd have called a conventional play.
   186. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:47 PM (#6114445)
Not that they had much of a chance anyway, but Dalton Schultz had two terrible plays at the end that really upped the difficulty level for the Cowboys.
   187. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:57 PM (#6114447)
Not that they had much of a chance anyway, but Dalton Schultz had two terrible plays at the end that really upped the difficulty level for the Cowboys.
Not because of this specific game, but I think players should be allowed to run out of bounds (even sideways and backwards) to stop the clock in the final 2 minutes.
   188. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 03:02 PM (#6114450)
Not because of this specific game, but I think players should be allowed to run out of bounds (even sideways and backwards) to stop the clock in the final 2 minutes.


I don't really have a feeling one way or the other, but that's not the rule, which the Niners' DB clearly knew. It's possible Schultz couldn't have gone forward, but he sure didn't make any effort.
   189. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2023 at 03:25 PM (#6114455)
Agreed. I would just be fine with the rule being changed.
   190. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 03:44 PM (#6114457)
Eric Bienemy had a few run-ins with the law 20-30 years ago, including one account of grabbing a female parking attendant by the throat. Those are the red flags.


But if this disqualifies him from being a HC — and I've got nothing against saying it does — why are they even interviewing him? If you feel his behavior from 20 years ago means he shouldn't be a head coach, don't interview him
   191. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 03:49 PM (#6114459)
But if this disqualifies him from being a HC — and I've got nothing against saying it does — why are they even interviewing him? If you feel his behavior from 20 years ago means he shouldn't be a head coach, don't interview him


I agree completely. I was just noting what the red flags were.
   192. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:35 PM (#6114473)
But if this disqualifies him from being a HC — and I've got nothing against saying it does — why are they even interviewing him? If you feel his behavior from 20 years ago means he shouldn't be a head coach, don't interview him


It may not disqualify him, but it could be a tiebreaker. "Fred" and he may end up after the interviews pretty close, but he has some red flags and Fred has none, probably safer to hire Fred.

I am not saying there is no racism involved or even saying what the real deal actually is. Just when he was talked about here in MN, even his supporters in the media acknowledged there were some flags (I believe the above post, but don't have direct knowledge of what those flags are or were).
   193. JJ1986 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:52 PM (#6114479)
To further the point about Tepper and Rhule, Jim Irsay wants to hire his friend who is completely unqualified as a head coach.
   194. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:42 PM (#6114504)
But if this disqualifies him from being a HC — and I've got nothing against saying it does — why are they even interviewing him? If you feel his behavior from 20 years ago means he shouldn't be a head coach, don't interview him


I'm sure it's not because there's a rule that you have to interview a minority candidate and interviewing one you already know has serious red flags provides a convenient prepackaged excuse not to hire him while technically satisfying the rule. Nothing like that no sir.
   195. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 28, 2023 at 10:53 AM (#6114865)
Amalgamation of the odds on oddschecker right now shows the Eagles as slightly under a 3 point favorite. That's essentially exactly the standard home field advantage (at least the standard one given by oddsmakers--the actual might be slightly less), so the teams at the moment are considered as close to dead even as can be.

Chiefs, also at home, are slightly under 2 point favorites over the Bengals. So presumably the Bengals would be favored on a neutral field.

   196. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 29, 2023 at 02:38 AM (#6114947)
Sounds reasonable. The 49ers and Eagles are both stacked on offense, though the Eagles have the edge at QB, or at least Hurts has been a great QB for longer. I do think the 49ers are the stronger team on defense, though the Eagles are no slouch there. The Chiefs still have questions as to whether Mahomes is actually 100% or just pretending to be so makes sense to knock them down a peg.
   197. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 29, 2023 at 09:29 AM (#6114956)
I know the Niners and Eagles have good offenses, but aren't they also two of the very best defenses in the league? I hear so much less about their defenses, which I don't understand.
   198. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 29, 2023 at 10:59 AM (#6114965)
Offensive stars are bigger names than defensive stars. Standard fantasy settings ignores individuals on defense entirely. So for the Eagles the big names are Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, Devante Smith, Miles Sanders. For the 49ers it’s McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Kittle and Aiyuk. Nick Bosa is one of those guys that is so good on defense that he gets a name call several times per game, but otherwise I don’t really know who the specific defensive players are. Granted I’m a fairly casual fan who doesn’t watch that many games but does pay attention to fantasy so that could skew my perspective.
   199. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 29, 2023 at 01:12 PM (#6114984)
Kickoff time weather today:

Philadelphia: 51° with showers ending within the hour

Kansas City: 20° and cloudy, no chance of rain or snow
   200. JJ1986 Posted: January 29, 2023 at 01:37 PM (#6114989)
Fred Warner's a pretty big star. The Eagles have 15 or more well-known defenders, lead by Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Darius Slay. (The most famous player on the Eagles defense is Ndamukong Suh, but he's not a key part).

I am pretty unfamiliar with the rest of the 49ers pash-rush. Arik Armstead did nothing this year.
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