NFL Week 11

Boy oh boy do my Seahawks give me heart trouble.

I’ll tell you what: combine a lackluster offensive performance by Matt Hasselbeck and some truly inspired catches by 49’er Brandon Lloyd and you get a First vs. Worst game that looked anything but.

Hey Bill – now I know why you’re always so Doctor Cox-from-Scrubs Bitter about everything – I would be too if I was a San Fran fan. If they’ve played all season like they did yesterday, and are 2-9 — man. They’ve got enough talent on the team to make it hurt that much more when they find a way to screw up… and that’s exactly what happened yesterday: San Fran lost that game… 'cause Seattle certainly didn’t do much to deserve winning it.

Oh – and speaking of close games – how ‘bout those Bengals? I was pretty bitter that CBS carried the San Diego/Buffalo blow-out, since I was hoping to Tivo the Cincy game and watch it after the Seattle game was over. That score looked like it escaped from an Arena League game. Which means that either the national media has been dead wrong about the quality of Indianapolis’ defense, or the Palmer-lead Bengals are, in fact, the Real Deal and not just a bunch of sissies benefitting from a soft schedule.

By the way – does anybody in the NFL want to play the Bears with the way that defense is just murdering people?

That was certainly quite the game to watch. First time I’d caught a televised Bears game this season and I was impressed with what I saw. Orton is no Manning, but he seemed to be comfortable and playing within his abilities as opposed to making big screwups trying to force things. The Bears offense was lackluster overall but that’s okay because the D seemed perfectly willing to win the game.

I don’t think the Bears will go far in the playoffs without a decent offense but I think they will definitely get to the playoffs purely on the strength of that monster D.

People are finally now beginning to believe that maybe, just maybe, Carson Palmer is the second best QB in the league. He’s got a gun for an arm and is accurate as hell, and Chad Johnson is just an unholy terror. It’s amusing that the two best receivers in the league right now are Johnson and Smith, both in the “short but quick” mold whereas for five years it’s been about tall, physical receivers like Owens, R. Moss, Holt, Burress, etc.

Which means that either the national media has been dead wrong about the quality of Indianapolis’ defense, or the Palmer-lead Bengals are, in fact, the Real Deal and not just a bunch of sissies benefitting from a soft schedule.

Indy is a tale of two defenses. In their first five games they gave up less than six points per game – against complete scrubs (18-32 combined record, with Jax as the only team with a winning record).

In their most recent five games they’ve given up almost 25 points per game. Two of those games were against Houston. Houston!

Their defense is overrated, and I’m guessing that much of what’s going on is that a lot of teams have figured out how to attack their personnel and schemes. It’s worth mentioning that in their past 5 games they’ve averaged almost 40 points scored per game.

By the way – does anybody in the NFL want to play the Bears with the way that defense is just murdering people?

Okay, you just pointed out how Indy’s defense is a fraud (or maybe I did – but in either case, you broght it up =) ), and then hop on the Chicago bandwagon? Have you seen the teams they’ve beaten?

First let’s see Chicago play against a real offense. The one real one they played, Cincy, scored 24 on them.

On an unrelated note, I’ve given up defending Maddox too. The guy is an above average QB when he’s allowed to make fast reads and dump the ball, or if he’s given plenty of time, but his two sacks in OT were just shameful.

When a QB is being pressured his only real options are: take off and run, step up into the pocket and throw, or scramble with eyes downfield looking to make a play.

What you do NOT do is curl up in the fetal position thinking “Oh shit!” and waiting to get hit. In both sacks he made no attempt to either escape or dump off the ball, he just tucked into a ball and fell down.

Bacon: I guess my point about the Colts defense wasn’t so much that they’re overrated as that I think the Bengals are a legitimate offensive threat every time they snap the ball. So yeah, that would be your ‘debunking’ not mine. :wink:

edit for clarity I don’t know that I really believe in the ‘yeah but it was against scrubs’ argument. This is the NFL, after all – and most losing NFL teams are still dangerous.

And regarding the QB sack issue – I’ll take a QB who curls up, sucks his thumb, and cries for mommy every time as long as he holds on to the ball over the guy who sees the pressure coming and lobs up an INT. Heck, in the Seattle/SF game yesterday, if Dorsey would’ve kept his poise and hit the wide open man in the flat for the 2 pt conversion, that game would have gone into OT. Instead, he’d gotten tired of being clobbered all day – freaked out under pressure – and threw up a lemon.

You mention in it in your followup post, and I saw the same motherfucking thing. Who was that, Beasley or Barlow or Gore on the pitchout? Nobody between Dorsey and him, no defender close enough to hit him before he made the grab as long as it half a modicum of mudtard on it. He’d’ve snagged it, ducked down and plowed intot the end zone with some effort, I doubt anybody would have even made contact until he was at the 2, give or take.

But, that’s the “if.” And that’s what seperates winning teams from losing teams in the league, for the most part. Don’t make mistakes, and capitalize on your opponents’ mistakes. I used to go watch football at a local casino that lined a showroom wall with big screens and showed every single game on Sunday. My buddy is a Panthers fan, so he’d watch them and I’d watch the Niners (miss them being in the same division SORT OF). It was during Carolina’s wayward 1-15 season and I’ll tell you two things: I was sorely concerned about the Niners going that way until their second win and/because I watched the Panthers drop at least 4 or 5 games in similar but-for-one-play style. Coulda beat the Saints, but Ricky Williams impossibly rumbles 17 yards and breaks 6 tackles as time expires to take the winning score. Blowing a 21-point lead on the Rams. Farting out against the Niners. And so on.

But they are still trying, most of them. I dunno if Barlow is anymore, I think he sees the writing on the wall. The fans do, they cheer like crazy when Gore gets the handoff, even if he goes one fucking yard. Watching Lloyd develop into a legitimate talent has been a great surprise, one I had given up on. That grab he made two weeks ago, the one that was called off on account of some holding penalty (IF ONLY…) - that was as pretty a catch as I’ve seen this season.

Oh – and speaking of close games – how ‘bout those Bengals? I was pretty bitter that CBS carried the San Diego/Buffalo blow-out, since I was hoping to Tivo the Cincy game and watch it after the Seattle game was over. That score looked like it escaped from an Arena League game. Which means that either the national media has been dead wrong about the quality of Indianapolis’ defense, or the Palmer-lead Bengals are, in fact, the Real Deal and not just a bunch of sissies benefitting from a soft schedule.

Seriously, I called my local motherfucking affiliate to make sure of that shit - the digital cable box has LIED to me before. Okay, not really, but we were prepared to bounce to a local bar or something to see catch it. What a game. I’m sorry, IMO you just watched two offensive juggernauts square off. It wasn’t shitty defense - both teams’ defenses have top-tier marks in important categories like takeaways and such. They don’t have an overall clobbering defense like the Bears, either of them, but they’ve won games on their performances.

What did you see? There was a lot, for sure. I saw the Colts find a fucking seam in the 10-15 yard range, right around the hashmarks. Dallas Clark, Dallas Clark, OOPS Brandon Stokley. Big games, it’s all about your TEs and 3rd (and 4th) WRs. I also saw the Bengals exploit the Colts’ Cover-2, picking away at the underneath and intermediate routes. But sometimes, man Chad Johnson just straight up punched them in the face. Is this motherfucker for real or what? VRRRRROOOOOOM shoots right past the CB and hits a gear to smoke the FS on the one TD. Plucks the ball right outta the air with it going full-blast. Him, TJ and that rookie Henry make for a pretty solid trio. Come on, even with that loss, you have to give the Bengals some credit. We just watched Round One of the AFC Champs game, IMO.

By the way – does anybody in the NFL want to play the Bears with the way that defense is just murdering people?

What’s scary is I think people still do, and then they pay for it dearly. I mean, the Panthers were going full fucking steam ahead into that game and got smothered. It’s hard to think they are due for much, but they’re probably the A #1 spoiler team right now.

Chad Johnson is 6-1, which makes him an inch taller than Holt. I’ll give you Smith though. Johnson is a big guy and fairly physical.

Speaking as a cynical and bitter Niners fan, yesterday was about the best outcome I could hope for. Fight until the end, make some plays, get some new guys experience…but the last thing you want is to win a few games and knock yourself out of the Reggie Bush lottery.

The best thing the Niners can do for themselves is trade their top pick in order to get themselves an O-Line.

Well, given a sack vs. INT, sure, I’d take the sack. But you can’t just hand over a sack every time a defender is NEAR you. In Maddox’s case he was giving up anticipating the sack, not while being sacked.

BTW, speaking of sacks, that sack that Manning gave up would have pissed me off dearly if I were him. He had SEVEN guys in blocking against five rushers, and the two backs that were supposed to help block just kinda stood there. I hit rewind on the TiVO like five times just to make sure what I saw happened happened.

Whoa, my bad, I guess I got him mixed up with Santana Moss, who was on fire earlier this season, so I think I was thinking of Moss/Smith.

How about when he short armed that potential TD last week?

I’m sorry, IMO you just watched two offensive juggernauts square off. It wasn’t shitty defense - both teams’ defenses have top-tier marks in important categories like takeaways and such.

Just an aside, but a lot of people think takeaways (specifically INTs) are often a leading indicator of a bad defense (or bad defender), because it indicates that they’re either getting picked on or they’re jumping routes and giving up big plays. I saw an analysis of Ed Reed and Lito Shepphard in 2004 and basically they made a lot of big plays and gave up a lot of big plays, which would drive, say, anyone coaching LaVar Arrington nuts.

The one thing about the game I really liked was Dungy going for it on 4th and 1. When you KNOW it’s a shootout you can’t punt and hope your D suddenly steps up.

Tied for 2nd most combined points scored in the first half, btw.

Is this motherfucker for real or what? VRRRRROOOOOOM shoots right past the CB and hits a gear to smoke the FS on the one TD. Plucks the ball right outta the air with it going full-blast.

Give credit to Palmer for having some ridiculously accurate passes. When you’re going against a Cover-2 you have got to be able to thread the needle down the seam or the deep middle, and there were a couple plays where Johnson was open for three steps and the ball was there on step two.

I wasn’t a Palmer convert until this game, that’s for damn sure.

Him, TJ and that rookie Henry make for a pretty solid trio. Come on, even with that loss, you have to give the Bengals some credit. We just watched Round One of the AFC Champs game, IMO.

Oh Peter Warrick, where are thou?

What’s scary is I think people still do, and then they pay for it dearly. I mean, the Panthers were going full fucking steam ahead into that game and got smothered. It’s hard to think they are due for much, but they’re probably the A #1 spoiler team right now.

I wonder what’s going to happen to Grossman now. Traded away for a 3rd?

Speaking of Reggie Bush – I went to the USC-Fresno State game on Saturday night, and WOW. I mean, the guy’s fun to watch on TV, but in person, it’s like he’s running two or three speeds faster than everyone else on the field. Everyone leaps out of their seat every time he touches the ball. I have no idea how he’ll fare in the NFL, but just give him the Heisman already.

50-42 isn’t a bad game, either. :)

NFL: It kills me when I look at some of the pitiful NFC teams who will make the playoffs, and then turn to the AFC and realize teams like San Diego might get left out. Indy and Denver have a huge head start in the playoff race; no one in the East will catch the Pats; Pitt and Cincy should both reach 10 or 11 wins; Jacksonville might even get to 12 with their pitiful schedule. But SD and KC, both 6-4, each have pretty tough schedules, and will probably end up on the outside looking in.

Meanwhile, who’s the cream of the crop in the NFC? The Seahawks, who barely beat the 2-8 Niners? The Giants? The jekyll-and-hyde South with Atlanta / Carolina / Tampa Bay? The Cowboys? I’m certainly not sold on the Bears. There’s an argument that the whichever team barely misses the AFC cut would still be better than anyone in the NFC.

Somehow the Pats won again. It is hard coming off the mountain, but still no one in the AFC will scare me when it comes to playoff football. It does look like Indy’s year, but that has been said for the past 2 years. As a fan I’m hoping for AFC champ game in Indy vs. the Pats.
The Saints just imploded at one point in the game, started playing dirty and had a bunch of unsportsmanlike’s called in a row. Bad form. Boo. You watch that team and they have so much talent, and no direction or leadership. Aaron Brooks could be really dangerous if he just understood the game better. I laughed at least 4 times when he threw into double/triple coverage yestersday and totally ahd another WR wide open.
Chicago- Wow. The front of the D is scary. Add B.U. and it is even scarier. Not sure if they will go deep in the playoffs, but I wouldn’t want to face them. Even if you beat them, you will loose the next week due to bumps and brusies.
Phil- see ya next year.
SD- They better make te playoffs, the best team with a suck record out there. They looked awesome yesterday, and LT only had like 78 yards on the ground.

Wha…? That’s like saying hitting the quarterback (specifically sacks) are often a leadning indicator of a bad D-line… because it means they’re biting on play fakes and getting smoked on screens and draws. Turnover/Takeaway ratios are consistently correlated with a team’s win-loss record. My itty bitty brain says that means takeaways are good and turnovers are bad.

What’s next — high QB ratings actually being indicative of a losing team?

Oh Peter Warrick, where are thou?

He’s in Seattle – dropping easy passes

Not the same thing. In general, really talented DBs are thrown away from, if they’re throwing at you such that you can make a pick then it means they don’t think you’re covering well. Deion in his prime had very few picks.

A lot of picks are also just weird and random (as much as I’m hating on Maddox, that pick he threw was just freakish – Ward dropped it, it fell on his foot, he KICKED it into the air, and an LB I think grabbed it like a punt).

What’s next — high QB ratings actually being indicative of a losing team?

No, but lots of passing yardage often does correlate to losing efforts (since a lot of passing indicates that you’re trying to catch up). I read somewhere that the team with the most passing yards in a specific matchup is often the loser, but I don’t have hard data in front of me.

How about when Matt “Bacon Tastes Good Loves Me And That’s All I Need To Know In This World” Schaub got the ball stripped from his hand in his own end zone and gave the Bucs 6? What’s your point, beyond that every football post I make has you all over it, trying to wring some argument out of everything I type? Lloyd made about a billion of those weak-ass non-catches last season. Footballs were hitting him the fucking face. So, he’s making some great catches this year, when he could barely make merely perfunctory ones last year, all without Rattay (whom he practiced with since he was a rookie and Rattay 2nd string) or Arnaz Battle. Yes, he does not make them all, nobody said he did, nobody’s putting him on the same level as the elite WRs in the league. He’s just improved, and I’m happy with that, since the Niners have only two wins and suck mightily, for all their effort.

Just an aside, but a lot of people think takeaways (specifically INTs) are often a leading indicator of a bad defense (or bad defender), because it indicates that they’re either getting picked on or they’re jumping routes and giving up big plays. I saw an analysis of Ed Reed and Lito Shepphard in 2004 and basically they made a lot of big plays and gave up a lot of big plays, which would drive, say, anyone coaching LaVar Arrington nuts.

Well, that analysis sucked, because Sheppard and Reed are very good players. I hope it wasn’t by Sean Salisbury. Tell me it wasn’t by Sean Salisbury. And you can fucking shoot Arrington’s coach for all I care, because he’s apparently an idiot (and not just because Arrington and Reed play entirely different positions) if he’s going to get upset with a guy like Reed - you know, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. A guy who has only been in the league 4 seasons, and already owns many of the Ravens’ defensive records (a D which, yeah you know, has 2003’s DPotY on it), including INTs natch but also including Passes Defended. He also has the most tackles on the Ravens secondary. He’s started every game in his first 3 seasons (except one, on a technicality, since the D took over at the goal line). Man, what a chump. I could do this with Sheppard but who cares, you’re like Cleveland’s talent scout.

The one thing about the game I really liked was Dungy going for it on 4th and 1. When you KNOW it’s a shootout you can’t punt and hope your D suddenly steps up.

Yeah, he did that in the Patriots game too, and it surprised me then.

Tied for 2nd most combined points scored in the first half, btw.

Give credit to Palmer for having some ridiculously accurate passes. When you’re going against a Cover-2 you have got to be able to thread the needle down the seam or the deep middle, and there were a couple plays where Johnson was open for three steps and the ball was there on step two.

I wasn’t a Palmer convert until this game, that’s for damn sure.

I won’t argue to some extent that Johnson helps make Palmer look good - great, even - but you are indeed correct. The big thin gis he gets the ball out quick. That, and the aptitude the Bengals’ line showed in containing Freeney for the most part (since Dungy relies heavily on pressure at the line, to limit the chances of a big pass play unfolding).

Oh Peter Warrick, where are thou?

Playing for Seattle.

EDIT: Sorry, Ryan.

I wonder what’s going to happen to Grossman now. Traded away for a 3rd?

Maybe. He’s almost a forgotten entity beyond a seemingly perennial injury-risk and cap eater.

Hey, he’s learning from the Fumble God, what do you expect?

What’s your point, beyond that every football post I make has you all over it, trying to wring some argument out of everything I type?

Bill, bro, friend, dude – it’s football. Let’s chill, no need to get all flustery and panty twisty about it. You and I both like to talk football, and I can’t recall any time two people with football opinions have a conversation and agree all the time.

Well, that analysis sucked, because Sheppard and Reed are very good players. I hope it wasn’t by Sean Salisbury. Tell me it wasn’t by Sean Salisbury.

No, it was KC Joyner aka The Football Scientist, who broke down almost every game from last year and did an analysis of each team’s passing offense and defense.

It’s a goddamn interesting read, and he claims – and has the (shh)stats to back it up – that Sheldon Brown is CLEARLY superior to Lito, and that Lito is pretty much average at best, benefiting from heavy blitzing schemes that makes opposing QBs play safe.

Brown is the #4 CB in terms of yards/att against him. Sheppard is like the #63rd. And it was Sheppard, IIRC, that was mostly responsible for covering Deion Branch in the Super Bowl, and we all know how well THAT worked.

And you can fucking shoot Arrington’s coach for all I care, because he’s apparently an idiot (and not just because Arrington and Reed play entirely different positions) if he’s going to get upset with a guy like Reed

I was making a josh. Arrington has been benched repeatedly, with two different coaches, because of his complete inability to play disciplined defense. He goes out there and instead of sticking to his assignment he freelances. This can be marvelous when he calls it right, but all the times he fucks up are lost to the public and announcers because they didn’t KNOW it wasn’t a called run blitz and that he evacuated his spot on a play designed to stop the counter but he ended up getting sucked into the counter and BOOM the RB just made a 27 yard TD run through the spot Arrington was supposed to be standing in.

But all fans see is when he goes leaping over a center to make a sack or dives for a pick. We don’t see the numerous other times he fucks up. For Williams’s scheme to work, people have to stick to their assignments.

Or, put another way, the Washington D has consistently ranked higher overall without Arrington than with.

Maybe. He’s almost a forgotten entity beyond a seemingly perennial injury-risk and cap eater.

I thought it was a mistake for him to come out early, yet again proving my Theory of the Junior QB Sucking. He has moxie, but he wasn’t very experienced coming out and he had a pretty meh year when he did come out. I have a feeling he’s trade bait or insurance at this point – he was picked pretty late in the 1st, so his cap hit is going to be negligible compared to a top 5 pick.

Hasn’t Orton started more games now than Grossman?

Can we please stop with the “I was shocked to see them go for it on 4th and inches” comments, please (this goes for the media too)?

If you can’t be confident in your team’s ability to gain 6 inches, shoot yourself.

In defense of the Bears’ D, the Cincy game in which they gave up 24 Orton threw like 400 INTs. It’s a testament to the D that they only gave up 24 given how many offensive turnovers they had, the field position Cincy had, and the amount of time they spent on the field. They also brutally shut down the Panthers, who were on a huge roll and back in 2003 form.

Uh, except we ARE shocked because teams DON’T do that kind of shit? Coaches today play not to lose instead of playing to win, which is why we see shit like how Schotty and Cowher’s seasons ended last year.

My End-of-Week-11 Rankings:

AFC:
(1) Indianapolis
(2) Denver
(3) Pittsburgh
(4) Cincy
(5) New England
(6) San Diego
(7) Jacksonville
(8) Kansas City

I’d love to see San Diego make the playoffs, but they’ve got their work cut out to catch the teams in front of them.

Pittsburgh’s season hinges on the next two weeks against Indy and Cincy. Win both, and they’re competing for the #2 seed. Lose both, and they’re 7-5 and in a dogfight for a a wild card.

NFC:
(1) Seattle
(2) NY Giants
(3) Tampa Bay
(4) Carolina
(5) Dallas
(6) Chicago
(7) Atlanta

I don’t feel anywhere as strongly about these rankings as I do the AFC – any of these teams could finish with the #1 seed. If the Giants beat Seattle, we could have 5 NFC teams tied at 8-3 at the end of the weekend.

Ultimately, I think the odd team out will come from the NFC South, and it’ll be Atlanta.