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  #1881  
Old 12-07-12, 04:00
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Alpe d'Huez Alpe d'Huez is online now
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DEN @ OAK -- Easy pickings.
STL @ BUF -- Home team.
ATL @ CAR -- Falcons win another close game.
DAL @ CIN -- Both teams fighting for playoff run, but Bengals better.
KC @ CLE -- As motivated as Quinn may be, Cleveland is a better team, at home.
TEN @ IND -- Luck rolls at home.
NYJ @ JAX -- Henne leads Jags to win.
CHI @ MIN -- Bears vs. Peterson.
SD @ PIT -- Steelers win with, or without Ben. Chargers missing 3 OL, and have worst coaching staff in NFL. Turner (and AJ Smith) are done.
PHI @ TB -- Bucs decent, Philly a mess.
BAL @ WAS -- I like the Skins at home again.
MIA @ SF -- What happens if Kaep doesn't play well, or (gasp) the 49ers lose?
NO @ NYG -- Saints demolished them a year ago, and are desperate for a win. But the Giants must win too.
ARI @ SEA -- At home. Seahwaks roll. May pitch a shutout.
DET @ GB -- Packers keep winning.
HOU @ NE -- I like the Pats too. Something tells me Brady will still put up yards and TDs in a 34-30 type game.
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  #1882  
Old 12-07-12, 04:19
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Originally Posted by Amsterhammer View Post
My last three weeks are 37-9, which is way better than any of the ESPN picksters. I'm still waiting for a call.

CHI @ MIN -- Have to go with Da Bears again despite AP running amok.
When you get the call, put in a good word for the rest of us picksters to join you.

I'm going to stir up Foxxy and say, while CHI is the popular pick, I think MIN will take CHI down. TBH, CHI was not very impressive last week when they were banged up at all the skill positions except QB. So WR & RB were hurting. This week the injury report on CHI is improved at WR and RB, but still they are banged up there. Plus the injury situation on defense is worse than last week. MIN has a few injuries too, but quite not as bad (tho it is debatable). I should point out Adrian Peterson's injury... never mind it. That dude has 1446 yards @ 6.2 yards/carry and is averaging about 120 yards/game. He has a chance to eclipse 2000 yards for the regular season with 4 games remaining. And CHI had a hard time stopping Marshawn Lynch last week in the second half, and AP is Lynch times 2 (or so). CHI & MIN Injuries (O=out, P=probable, Q=questionable):

CHICAGO..........................MINNESOTA
WR:
- Brandon Marshall Q.........Kyle Rudolph Q
- Alshon Jeffery Q..............Percy Harvin O
- Devin Hester Q
TE:
- Kellen Davis P
RB:
- Matt Forte P......................Adrian Peterson P
- Michael Bush Q

LB:
- Brian Urlacher O.............Jasper Brinkley Q
- Lance Briggs P
S:
- none..................................Harrison Smith P
DT/DE:
- none..................................Letroy Guion P
- none..................................Jared Allen Q
CB:
- Tim Jennings Q...............Antoine Winfield P
- Charles Tillman P
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  #1883  
Old 12-07-12, 05:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpe d'Huez View Post
I've got the day off, so here's one of those blog like posts for y'all.

Luck has put up some big numbers, and his team is 8-4 (against unquestionably weaker competition), but RGIII has shown better decision making, better accuracy, and the glaring stat is the TD/INT ratio.

With four games to go, I'm wondering if Adrien Peterson can top 2,000 yards. He's at 1,446 and averaging a whopping 6.2 per carry.
I forgot you noted that about AP. As I was putting my last post together, I was thinking... where have I seen that thought before? DOH. Here it is.

Pretty much agree with all that in that last post of yours, which the above came from.

Just wanted to expand on the QB numbers discussion:
RK....QB.....COMP... ATT..... PCT....... YDS.... YDS/A..... YDS/COMP
1....Rodgers... 279..... 414...... 67.4...... 3,124...... 7.55....... 11.2
3....RG III…..... 218..... 325...... 67.1...... 2,660...... 8.19...... 12.2
7....Wilson...... 201..... 317...... 63.4...... 2,344...... 7.39...... 11.66
29...Luck......... 279..... 503...... 55.5...... 3,596...... 7.15...... 12.89
32...Sanchez... 204.... 371...... 55.0...... 2,436...... 6.57...... 11.94

Luck has 61 more completions that RG3. At 12.89 yds/comp, that's 786 more yards Luck has thrown than RG3 just because he has thrown more passes. Add that 786 yards (that Griffin might have got if he threw 61 more passes) to RG3's current 2660 yards and it adds to 3446 yards that RG could have thrown by now. Over this many games that is essentially the same. So I don't buy an argument for Luck for ROY based on the fact he's thrown 1100 more yards than RG.

Now consider the rushing:
QB.....ATT.....YDS.....AVG.....LNG.....TD
RG.....105......714.......6.8.......76........6
Luck... 44.......216.......4.9.......19........5
In some ways, those are very similar numbers too, except the yards per carry, which shows RG has the edge when it comes to extending plays by using his legs.

Then, as you said, you have to consider the team records and Indy with Luck sure has been impressive, especially considering our assessments of the strength of each team prior to the season. So one could say Luck has brought his team further.

I would favor RG at this point just based on the stats like QBR and ability to extend plays, but it will be interesting to see who wins ROY. A lot depends on what happens from here on out. Even Wilson has a chance to have his name entered into the discussion, which is happening already to some extent. But noone yet seriously considers him for ROY, which so far is understandable. But IF... IF he did something really special in the final 4 games, make it into the playoffs and do well. Who knows? I know he is thinking it's not over till the fat lady sings. That's just Russell.
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  #1884  
Old 12-07-12, 16:54
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Originally Posted by Pazuzu View Post
Anyone have an opinion on the idea being floated to do away with kickoffs?
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...g-nfl-kickoffs

"After a touchdown or field goal, instead of kicking off, a team would get the ball on its own 30-yard line, where it's fourth-and-15," TIME's Sean Gregory writes. "The options are either to go for it and try to retain possession or punt. If you go for it and fall short, of course, the opposing team would take over with good field position. In essence, a punt replaces the kickoffs."

My initial reaction to this proposal was negative. Mainly because it's such a radical change. But upon further reflection, it might be worth trying for a year. Perhaps it wouldn't seem so radical after it's been in place for a while and adding another decision might add some intrigue. And if it it helped cut down on injuries, all the better.
I knew Goodell wanted to get rid of kickoffs, but had not heard details about what he wanted to replace it with. Someone was thinking outside the box on the 4th and 15 on their 30 idea.

What I like about the idea is it still leaves the idea of onside kicks open... you know, running some kind of ball recovery play out of a punt formation, or running fake punts. Or they could just line up for a normal offensive play. I like that because it still gives teams that are behind on the scoreboard an opportunity to turn the game around.

What I don't like about it is creates opportunites for runaway games, or could make a game so unfair it would not be worth watching. It would be too easy for some teams to get the 15 yards for a first down against some teams with less than average defenses, especially weak pass defenses. They could put some conditions on going for the first down instead of punting, like:
- If attempting the first down from any formation, the offensive team would have to be trailing on the scoreboard.
The problem with that is some really good teams do get jumped on, get behind against weaker teams, and they could take advantage of the new rule. That would not be fun to watch, and the first time it happened there would be a lot of grumbling fans. It would be like giving a team with a QB like Brady EXTRA chances. Nothing against Brady, but that just does not sit right with me.

Don't shoot me in the head, but another idea might be to handicap teams or QBs and defeneses to allow a team who just scored to go for a first down. Examples:
- Any team with a QB who has a QB rating above some number will not be allowed to go for a first down if the other team's defense is ranked less than some number (say 20th) in the league.
OR
- If a team wants to go for the first down, they have to use their 2nd or 3rd string QB, or one QB lower on the depth chart than the starting QB in that game (say if the normal starter was out with injury).

Anyway, it is my day off and have the extra time to think up nutty ideas. If you like any of those ideas, tell Goodell I am available for hire . (I know... don't wait for any calls). But it is a good thing the league is thinking about these kind of changes and that they are thinking outside the box. I have confidence they will not do something terribly foolhardy.
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  #1885  
Old 12-07-12, 20:47
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Alpe d'Huez Alpe d'Huez is online now
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That is one thing I like about the NFL. They are not afraid of changing the rules if it makes the game better. Both safer, more fair, and more entertaining. I think that's a big problem with MLB (and an even bigger problem with FIFA). Those sports and leagues get so caught up in tradition, their brains atrophy when it comes to making improvements to their sport. As if rules set years ago are sacred, etched in stone and to even test something else is blasphemous.

Goodell is on the cover of Time magazine this week, talking about NFL and making the sport safer.

For all the upsets, for all the "any given Sunday" talk from this season, if the season ended today, all but two of the same teams that went to the playoffs last year, would go this year. ALL of the same division winners as well. NE, Hou, Balt, Den, NYG, GB, SF, Atl. all are in first place now. One could even speculate that if both teams are "on" come playoff time, we'll see a rematch of last year's SB (in which I may go skiing that day).
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  #1886  
Old 12-07-12, 21:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpe d'Huez View Post
That is one thing I like about the NFL. They are not afraid of changing the rules if it makes the game better. Both safer, more fair, and more entertaining. I think that's a big problem with MLB (and an even bigger problem with FIFA). Those sports and leagues get so caught up in tradition, their brains atrophy when it comes to making improvements to their sport. As if rules set years ago are sacred, etched in stone and to even test something else is blasphemous.
Your final sentence is exactly how I feel about the Constitution! But I digress...

You are SO right about FIFA. Blatant sporting injustices are shrugged off with a "it's part of the charm of the game that referees can make mistakes". I don't know a single fan who is prepared to stand up and say that FIFA is right to defend tradition despite how the game has changed since the rules were written.

As for this doing away with the kick off business - I understand that it's being considered as a way to reduce injuries. I am not aware of any stats about how many or what kind of injuries can directly be attributed to the kick off return collisions at speed. I'm certainly no traditionalist, but I'm not (yet) convinced that this is a 'good thing', mainly because the options I have heard being mentioned (4th and 15) would introduce a whole new set of artificially created elements to the game, and I think that's going a bit far.

However, I have an open mind on this and am open to persuasion.
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  #1887  
Old 12-07-12, 22:22
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Merckx index Merckx index is offline
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Not taking anything away from RG’s sensational season, but…Of the five rookie QBs, only Luck does not have a RB on pace for a 1000 yd season, or close. That is a huge advantage. It means, e.g., that Washington can throw the ball when they think they will have the most success in completing it, whereas Indy has to throw almost all the time, so the defense can prepare for it. I think that goes a long way to accounting for Luck’s picks.

% of Offense from Passing:

Indy 72.8
Seattle 57.0
Washington 56.4

Indy’s % is one of the highest in the NFL, up there with Denver, NO, and Atlanta, offenses run by great if not elite QBs (and in case no one noticed, Brees has thrown as many picks as Luck, and Ryan almost as many). Seattle and Washington are among the lowest, down there with SF. Alex Smith, before he was replaced, had one of the best QB ratings in the NFL, and consistently throws among the least interceptions, but no one regards him as an elite QB. Why? Because when you have a strong running game, you can throw the ball against a looser defense. The team can pick and choose when and where it throws, rather than being forced to throw, and often long. Moreover, since Griffin and Wilson have a greater YPA than Luck, the % based on passing yards actually underestimates the difference. Luck has actually thrown the ball more than 50% more times than either Griffin or Wilson.

Another point is that sacks and interceptions are somewhat interchangeable. A team can reduce sacks by encouraging the QB to get rid of the ball when under pressure, but that will increase the likelihood of a pick. And conversely, if the QB eats the ball, he will get sacked more but avoid throwing in situations where picks are more likely.

Luck has been sacked 28 times this year, but that is in 531 chances (pass attempts + sacks), or 4.7%. Griffin has been sacked 25 times (for essentially the same number of total yards) in just 350 chances, or 7.14%. So Griffin’s superior interception numbers are partly the result of taking more sacks. If he had as many passing plays as Luck, he would at that rate have 13 more sacks for a loss of 86 yards. Likewise, Wilson has been sacked on 6.76% of passing plays. A sack is not usually considered as bad as an interception, but it can be like a turnover, because it forces a team into a second or third and long situation. Not only do they have to punt, but they have to do so from deeper in their territory than if they hadn’t been sacked.

Btw, this is why Manning would probably get my vote for MVP. He carries the Bronco offense the way Luck carries the Indy offense, but still puts up one of the highest passer ratings in the NFL. He also has one of the lowest sack rates in the NFL, lower than Luck’s. Of course he is surrounded by better players than Luck is, but like Luck, he has had to learn to adapt to new teammates. Remarkable what he has accomplished under the circumstances, IMO.

But he will have much to prove in the postseason. It isn't just cold weather. The weather was fine in the SB vs. NO, or in the Indy dome against Pittsburgh a few years before that. Or in those playoff losses to SD and Norv Turner (how can any team lose to Turner in the postseason?) Manning might go down as the greatest QB in history, but he will never make anyone's list of the top clutch players.

I'd probably still have to give ROY to Griffin, because in addition to his passing, he is like a second RB. I believe he is second in the NFL among rookie rushers, behind the phenomenal Doug Martin (how did everyone miss him and focus on Kellen Moore?). But Luck must be doing something right to take a team that many thought would not much improve over last year's 2-14 to a likely playoff spot. Suppose Manning were still playing for Indy, with the rest of the team the same. How much better than 8-4 would they be? Not much, I'd have to say.

And their schedule has not been that soft. They played the NFC North, one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, and went 3-1 against them. They played NE, and still have to play Houston twice. That is five games against teams that are virtual locks to make the playoffs, teams which in fact are legitimate SB contenders. They've done it the right way--winning almost all of their games against weaker opponents (if you think that's easy, ask the Giants and 49ers), and picking off some of the tougher ones.

My two cents on the proposed 4th and 15 rule, which I had not heard of. I think it would be easier to make a first down on 4th and 15 (overall odds maybe 1/5?) than getting the ball back on an onsides kick, so the rule would benefit a team that needed two scores late to win a game. Comebacks would be a little easier. But I assume in any other situation a team would punt. I really don't think a team would use it to try to run up the score. Even a great team against a weak team faces poor odds on 4th and 15. If team A is considered superior to team B, it will trust its defense and grind out the win, not go for an early KO which could backfire if they give team B position in their territory.

Last edited by Merckx index; 12-07-12 at 22:35.
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  #1888  
Old 12-10-12, 01:42
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Alpe d'Huez Alpe d'Huez is online now
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Another wild day in the NFL. Some quick comments.

While the Redskins said they would conduct a full MRI on RGIII on Monday, he had x-rays and MRI Sunday night according to CBS sports, and all came back negative for any tears, and it appears he merely has a bad knee sprain and may miss no games. Props to Robin (Kirk Cousins) for filling in for Batman when the chips were down.

Seattle's demolishion of Arizona was something. Eight ugly turnovers, every ball bounce going Seattle's way, and a general beating by the Seahawks. 58-zip.

Luck didn't play great overall, but enough when it mattered to pull out another win. The Colts are now 9-4.

The Giants "Jeckel" side appeared in a dominant win. NO is done. The only question for them is if Sean Payton returns, or if Jerry Jones fires Jason Garrett and cuts a huge check to Sean next year.

On the flip to that, Atlanta looked like the posers critics (like, yours truely) say they are. They play NYG next week. Either this loss to Carolina will really motivate them to step up, or (more likely) they'll both roll over, and as usual NY will show up for a big game and win easily.

Gritty win for the Cowboys. They are so used to losing these games, to get a win like this was big.

A week after I call the Steelers the best coached team in the NFL they lay a total egg. Big Ben should not have played, and Ike Taylor out was deadly.

GB and their fill in players improve every week. IF Matthews, Woodson and the others I listed above can come back, and stay healthy... I like the way the Packers are also flying under the radar, similar to Denver and Indy.

Solid win for Kaepernick and the 49ers. Next week they get NE and well see how the kid rises to the big game. Of course we may find out how good NE (and/or) Houston really are tomorrow.

Anyone else have RedZone or NFL Rewind? I'm hooked on the condensed games (every play in a game about 30 mins), and being able to see "coaches" films is great for analyzing plays. FastForward and Rewind not so great, and doesn't mirror to Apple TV (yet) are the drawbacks. But for serious football junkies like moi...

Last edited by Alpe d'Huez; 12-10-12 at 04:48.
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  #1889  
Old 12-10-12, 05:42
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on3m@n@rmy on3m@n@rmy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpe d'Huez View Post
Another wild day in the NFL. Some quick comments.

While the Redskins said they would conduct a full MRI on RGIII on Monday, he had x-rays and MRI Sunday night according to CBS sports, and all came back negative for any tears, and it appears he merely has a bad knee sprain and may miss no games.

Seattle's demolishion of Arizona was ... 58-zip.

Gritty win for the Cowboys. They are so used to losing these games, to get a win like this was big.

Anyone else have RedZone or NFL Rewind?
Nope to RedZone & Rewind. Are these paid subscription or freebees? I'm in if free.

Great win by Skins. But since Ray Lewis absense started, Raves have been mediocre at times, even with that good record. So no surprise to me Skins won, but it was a surprise how they won... with Robin (Cousins) as you said.

Seattle's Wilson did not have to repeat last week's performance. The whole rest of the team did. Special teams TD, defense pick-6, Lynch (128) and Turbin (108) both over 100 yards rushing, 493 yards total for Sea to 154 for Ari... a total... beatdown.

Cowboys showed some resolve today. It looked like they finally learned how to win, & how to finish. This is a win in Cincy against a good, solid Bengals team... not a win against a struggling team like Arizona. This could be a turning point for them if they remember from here on how to win. Too bad it took a terrible tragedy to inspire that performance.

Rex Ryan wisely took the game out of the hands of Sanchez and put it in the hands of the OL and RBs... 19 passes (mostly short) to 43 rushes (hey didle didle, Powell & Greene up the middle) for 166 yards rushing. That, plus Jax, is just what the doctor ordered.
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  #1890  
Old 12-11-12, 07:38
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Alpe d'Huez Alpe d'Huez is online now
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Wow what a thumping by the Pats. If the season ended today... But it doesn't end today. New England has a history of being great in December. Two years ago they demolished the Jets in December on way to a 14-2 season, only to lose to the same Jets, at home in the playoffs. So, let's see what the playoffs bring. But on this night, sheer precision.

Agree with the ESPN guys. Brady for MVP.

Houston has a chance to bounce back, but right now look like Atlanta of the AFC. Take that for what you may.
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