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  #2021  
Old 12-31-12, 05:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amsterhammer View Post


On such a high! I've been saying all season what a monster Alf Morris is. How to get to sleep now.....?
Brews! (For sleep). Congrats man! Now our two teams meet next week. Should be a great matchup and game.
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  #2022  
Old 12-31-12, 05:37
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On such a high! I've been saying all season what a monster Alf Morris is. How to get to sleep now.....?
Try to get some sleep....Seattle's defense is coming.
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  #2023  
Old 12-31-12, 08:40
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Here is what I saw and liked, and didn't like, today:

After playing hot of late, the Packers defense looked like they did last year, and early this year. They can probably beat Minn at home, and then what? Dallas loss to Washington was painful, even for a non-Cowboy fan. You could really see the hurt in Romo. He's had some real tough games, but that has to be one of the most agonizing ever for the guy. AP had an incredible game and season. What a disaster of a year for Philly. An ugly end to an ugly year. Vick had nothing, and their defense pathetic. Liked the way Indy took it to Houston, who were flat as month old beer. SF and Seattle were casual about winning out, but NE and Denver put their foot to the gas. The Jets loss to Buffalo was fitting. It was nice to see Terrell Pryor get his first start for the Raiders against the Chargers. They lost, but he played okay, saying he couldn't wait until next season (wonder what Palmer thinks of that?). The Chiefs get the #1 pick in the draft (Geno Smith? He's no Luck or RGIII, but has the tools). Jax follows, then Oakland. Still think Landry Jones may be the QB steal of the draft, as long as he's not expected to perform from week 1 (see: Ryan Tannehill).

Norv will be fired, probably Black Monday. GM AJ Smith too for SD. Andy Reid will be allowed the dignity to resign. Romeo Crennel is gone in KC, probably Pioli too. The entire Browns office and staff will likely be gone with the ownership change. Curious if the Jets have the balls to axe Rex, or just other staff. Ron Rivera may be gone in Carolina (but shouldn't be). NFL GMs will be clamoring to get Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly to the NFL, but he won't hint a single thing until after the Fiesta Bowl. Then pick and choose where he wants to go (Carolina is my guess, if there's an opening).

As to the playoffs, here's an initial guess:

NFC

I like Seattle's chances going into Washington. Too much defense, and their own offensive firepower. But it will be close.

I like GB over Minn in Lambeau, as I said.

Thus Sea would go to Atlanta, and the way both teams are playing, I'll stick with the Seahawks.

SF would host GB. Justin Smith said he could play next week if they didn't get the bye, so he'll be ready for certain in two weeks.

This sets up an SF-Sea rematch in SF. What fun that would be, huh?

AFC

I like Baltimore at home over Indy. Just more tools, and Ray Lewis will be back for the Ravens (and Suggs more healthy).

I'll take the Bengals over the Texans, who have all but collapsed. But this isn't a lock to me. There may be just enough gas in the Texans tank to win at home, and Cincy is good, but not great.

This means Cincy goes to Den, where the Broncos who have been beating up on weak teams, will be tested, but pull one out.

Baltimore gets a rematch with the Patriots, who simply have a better team. Especially with Gronk back, who played sporadically today.

I'll take New England over Denver, no question.

If that means NE versus SF. I guess I'll pick the 49ers, due to a combination of better defense, and bad karma still lingering towards the Pats.

Again, those were initial guesses. I'll make more educated ones later in the week.

Bleacher Report has their predictions. They like Denver over SF.

Last edited by Alpe d'Huez; 12-31-12 at 17:25.
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  #2024  
Old 12-31-12, 21:49
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I'll leave Alpe to elaborate further on the astonishing number of dismissals on this Black Monday.

I've got just over an hour to go, so I'll wish my fellow NFL fans a happy and healthy 2013!
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  #2025  
Old 01-01-13, 08:08
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The Monday Morning Massacre, as I like to call it, has created a lot of job opportunities in the NFL. A lot of these firings were good calls, IMO, but I think Chicago made a big mistake terminating Lovie Smith. The Bears went 10-6, despite losing Cutler for a couple of key games, and missed the playoffs only because of an arbitrary tie-breaker. Smith has a SB appearance in his resume, and I don’t see how anyone can call a 10-6 season a major disappointment, even though they were 7-1 at one point. If the Bears could be certain of finding a better coach, the firing could maybe make sense, but I see this move as mostly frustration at not making the playoffs, which is understandable but not necessarily the rational thing to do. Had the Vikings lost, which easily could have happened given a ball or two bouncing the other way, the Bears would have made the playoffs, and Smith’s job no doubt would have been safe. A decision on whether to keep a head coach should not hang on chances like that.

Where will Chip Kelly go? I agree with Alpe that Carolina is likely his first choice, as Newton is the ideal QB to run his system. I could see them possibly developing one of the great coach-QB relationships, like Walsh-Montana or Bellichick-Brady. But Rivera has not been canned yet, and there is a good chance he won’t be. The Eagles will almost certainly pursue Kelly, and if decides to go there, I assume he would want to keep Vick, who also fits well with his system. If any coach can revive Vick’s career, it would be Kelly.

But how about a team like Arizona that is also looking for a QB? In that case, Kelly could pick his own guy. Unfortunately, the current crop of draftable college QBs is much weaker than last year’s. And though there are good NFL QBs likely to be available for trading—Alex Smith heads the list—they are not in ultra-mobile mode that Kelly wants to run his system.

So here is a wild-a— suggestion. Suppose Kelly takes the job in Arizona (or less likely, another team looking for a QB, KC), and his former Oregon star Darron Thomas gives him a call. Thomas wasn’t drafted last year by anyone, but would love a shot in the NFL. He of course knows Kelly’s system better than any other QB out there. I’m not saying Kelly would offer him the starting job, but he would be a cheap backup who could help teach the rest of the team Kelly’s system, and maybe be allowed to compete for the starting position. Normally you want as your backup a QB that you see as eventually developing as a starter, but we have seen with GB, Indy and now SF that philosophy frequently leads to QB controversies. There might be something to be said for a guy who isn’t good enough to challenge the starter, but is good enough to step in and run the system when needed. Backup QB is one of the least-desired jobs in the NFl, but it beats flipping burgers. If Thomas didn’t pan out, he could always become an assistant coach.

Some comments on the playoffs:

Seattle @ Washington. I don’t think this will be close. Seattle’s defense is far better than Washington’s. I think their offenses are pretty close, though that is mostly based on the entire season; in recent weeks, Seattle’s offense has definitely been better. Both have very good RBs and mobile QBs. The RBs are pretty much a wash, though Lynch obviously has far more experience. RGIII can do a little more than Russell Wilson, but I don’t think at this point in their careers the edge is very large. Also, as I pointed out in an earlier post, both Washington and Seattle are rushing-oriented, by current NFL standards—passing accounts for only a little more than half their offense. Neither team throws the ball all that much.So any passing edge Washington might have over Seattle translates into a much smaller edge in total offense.

The bottom line, for me, is that even if Seattle were to revert to early season form, when their offense struggled, their defense is good enough to win a game like this. I see them prevailing by something like 31-17.

Denver. Much has been made of the fact that the Broncos haven’t beaten any very good teams, except the Ravens (who have had a Jekyl-Hyde season, in any case). When they have played good, playoff caliber teams—Atlanta, Houston, NE—they have lost. But all these losses occurred early in the season, when Manning was still trying to get the rest of the offense on the same page. To hear him talk, it will be years before he has the same chemistry with his Bronco teammates that he had with those at Indy. But they are clearly much more in synch now than they were early in the season. This is not the same team that it was two months ago.

I don’t think one should dismiss the Broncos just because almost all the teams they have played recently have been weak. One sign of a great team, IMO, is they win the games they should win, and Denver has done this in spades. It’s called consistency, and if you think it’s easy to do that, look at the Giants, or the Packers, or the 49ers, or the Patriots, Falcons, Texans, etc. Also consider that going into the playoffs last year, NE had not beaten a team with a winning record. When they finally played one—Denver (barely), then Baltimore—they rose to the occasion.

The one area of concern I have for Denver is Manning, obviously their most important player. As discussed here before, his playoff resume is spotty. He has played very well in the postseason sometimes, but has played very poorly many other times. I think he has much to prove this year. Despite all he’s done this year, all the expectations he has exceeded, if the Broncos are one-and-done it will be considered a humiliating finish to their season.

San Francisco. Justin Smith has said he could have played next week. But how could he be so sure of his condition next week when he couldn’t play this week? I have little doubt that he will be starting in the Niners’s first postseason game, but will he be 100%? And will he not be vulnerable to re-injuring his triceps?

If the Packers beat the Vikings, as I think will be the case, the 49ers will get a great test of how much Smith has recovered. Right now, I don’t think there is a more potent offense in the NFL than GB’s. After a slow start, Rodgers has been putting up the same unbelievable numbers he put up most of last year, and he finishes the season with the best QB rating in the NFL. The Packer’s defense is clearly their problem. Two hundred rushing yards is a lot even for AP, and Ponder looked like Brady against them. The Niners should have no trouble scoring against the Packers. But if Smith is not close to 100%, meaning that other Smith won’t be going sack-crazy, Rodgers could really hurt them.

New England. Want to know why this team is a playoff contender year after year? It all starts with the coach. He’s 60 now, but unlike a lot of much younger coaches, he changes with the times. NE led the NFL this year in snaps (plays) per game, at 74. That is considerably more than the low 60s that has been the traditional NFL average, and not that much lower than the average of 82 of Chip Kelly’s high-octane, no-time-to-catch-your-breath Oregon offense (Jeff Fisher, not exactly a radical among NFL coaches, once surmised that if Oregon played in the NFL, defenses would not be able to stop them). NE has embraced the notion of the no-huddle offense, and this is surely a major reason why they keep leading the league in scoring. They hold the record for most points in a season, and were on a pace to break that record this year until a couple of games ago. All this from a guy who built his rep as a defensive wizard.

Weird thought of the week: Suppose Minnesota had gone into that game with GB locked into the 6th seed, so that the outcome of the game was meaningless to them. Or suppose they had been eliminated from the playoffs before that game. Would their coach have passed on the chance to win the game with a FG, and just given the ball to Peterson for the final play? If he scores, they win the game and he gets the rushing record. If, as most likely would be the case, he doesn't score, the game goes into OT, and he almost certainly breaks the record then. Wonder how Tricky D!ck would have felt if his record was broken in OT.

Last edited by Merckx index; 01-01-13 at 08:14.
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  #2026  
Old 01-01-13, 14:15
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I've heard that Arizona has already inquired about Andy Reid. Is that possible? Would he want to be reunited with Kevin Kolb? I thought KK would do better than he has but thought Andy was one to get rid of him from Philly.
Whatever, it will be interesting and I hope we see some new faces instead of just the same old retreads getting HC jobs

Happy New Year all
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  #2027  
Old 01-01-13, 16:03
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Alpe d'Huez Alpe d'Huez is offline
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I think for the most part you will, and I'll be surprised if Andy Reid lands in Arizona, but you never know. There will definitely be teams interested in him because of his track record. But he may want to take a season off, or just retire. Arizona may want to promote DC Ray Horton, and try to hire a top OC (Norv?) to run the offense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merckx index View Post
...I think Chicago made a big mistake terminating Lovie Smith. The Bears went 10-6, despite losing Cutler for a couple of key games, and missed the playoffs only because of an arbitrary tie-breaker.
Plus, defensive leader Brian Urlacher missed several games late in the season. I agree with you, bad firing. I talked with Brock once about the hiring/firing that goes on in the NFL (and college) and why Norv Turner wasn't canned last year, or the year before and he said it's because they didn't have anyone lined up they knew they could get who was better. So, either the Bears are pretty sure they have a replacement in mind, or they definitely made a knee-jerk, emotional decision. Smith could very well land somewhere else as a HC.

Two other AC's I see potentially getting HC jobs are Kyle Shanehan, maybe taking Kirk Cousins with him wherever he goes, or Denver OC Mike McCoy, who gets a lot of praise for juggling so many players, and winning. Seattle's coaching staff could get raided as well.

Just as I mentioned Norv could easily end up an OC somewhere, Ken Wisenhunt should be able to get a DC job anywhere, if he'll stop down to that.

Chip Kelly is obviously the hot college choice right now, and I too would like to see him in Carolina. He could go to Arizona, and find a new QB there, he could also go to Kansas City and draft Geno Smith. But right now NFL.com says Cleveland immediately wants him, and the Browns do have new ownership, a new GM, and a lot of young talent. But they still have holes to fill.

Steve Sarkisian at U of Washington is another offensive mind who was interviewed for Oakland's job last year, and could easily wind up somewhere on a rebuilding team in the NFL. Maybe Arizona, maybe Philly, maybe Cleveland.

Quote:
So here is a wild-a— suggestion. Suppose Kelly takes the job in Arizona (or less likely, another team looking for a QB, KC), and his former Oregon star Darron Thomas gives him a call.
Not likely. I wrote about Thomas before, after the draft. You may recall I lived in Oregon forever, and followed the Ducks a lot. Thomas left for the NFL because his starting QB job was in jeopardy. He could have had a weaker senior season than his junior season. He also thought because he put up good numbers he could be the next Cam Newton. When Darron was at Oregon his numbers were inflated because he was throwing to a lot of wide open receivers. I don't see him as an NFL QB. Not even a backup. The other problem is that he's maybe not the shiniest apple on the tree. He made several bone headed mistakes off the field that hurt his stock as well. At best, I see Chip taking him as a 3rd string, or possibly a practice squad QB for his new NFL team. That's possible.

Quote:
Jeff Fisher, not exactly a radical among NFL coaches, once surmised that if Oregon played in the NFL, defenses would not be able to stop them).
I don't buy it. Well, mostly don't buy it. They would however score some. As Brock told me the NFL play is so much faster, and the line match-ups the NFL players would beat the college players every play. The defensive linemen and linebackers would be in the backfield every play very quickly, and plug every hole very quickly. He said if the worst NFL team played the best college team the game would still be one of those 56-3 games, with the NFL team coasting in the second half even. So maybe the Ducks would score more, as they are so fast, and the NFL guys would tire. But the Ducks could not stop the NFL offense, at all, and would still lose by something like 56-23. Brock also said don't bring up the old 70's NFL vs. College games. Those were often all-stars and the NFL guys played them like they were the pro-bowl. No blitzing, trying to not get hurt, etc.

Will comment on playoff stuff later. Generally agree with you Merckx.
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  #2028  
Old 01-01-13, 16:53
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Who is Brock?

Anyway, that Seattle bandwagon is getting pretty big. No thanks, I'll walk.

Wash over Seattle
GB over Minn
Houston over Cincy
Balt over Indy
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  #2029  
Old 01-01-13, 19:11
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First of all, happy new year to everybody.

Since we are all in the playoff prediction business now, i´ll give my two and a half cents too. But later.

My predictions will be heavily influenced by passing efficiency. That should be no surprise to anybody here.
But this year i will favour offensive pass effieciency much higher than defensive passing effieciency, because ...

... 1.) Good (pass) offenses tend to prevail over good (pass) defenses. That is a historical fact.
One reason might be that defenses become (statistical) better (than they really are) once good teams built big leads. That is because defenses who need to defend the pass only, get more sacks and interceptions (once opposing teams go to the desperation mode, throwing more risky passes) late in games.
Another fact which underlines this, is that defense performance has a higher variance from season to season than offense performance when looking at the same team.

OTOH, there is no big difference in passing effieciency on 3rd downs compared to 1st & 2nd downs* (Link: http://www.advancednflstats.com/2010...-and-down.html). Actually 3rd down passing is better than on 1st/2nd downs, even though the D knows what´s coming on 3rd downs: You guys can control that fact very easily; Guess a whole game the coming play. Only if it will be a pass or run. If you are good, you´ll guess it right in 60% of times on 1st/2nd, but you´ll hit the nail easily in 85+% on 3rd downs.**

2.) Even though teams with better defenses (& offenses of course) than the NFL-Avg. qualify for the playoffs, and the weather is worse in january, all statistical measurements show improved (pass) offense effieciency compared to the regular season (like Y/PP, PPG, Yds/G, less Int´s).
And since most, if not all, SB´s are played in good conditions (either dome stadiums, and/or perfect weather), scoring and effieciency is skyrocketing in SB´s over the long run.

(* On "normal" situations; score is within 10 points, and only 1st & 3rd Qtrs.)
(** That reminds me of my old thinking; Why not pass on every down (if you have a quality team), until your lead is comfortable enough to run down the clock, if you know te opp. D can´t stop you? Martz tried it in the 1999-SB and 2000/01 RS. He came close to perfection..., so did Favre and PManning in some RS-Games, and Belicheat in 2007 of course.)

Last edited by FoxxyBrown1111; 01-01-13 at 19:16.
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  #2030  
Old 01-01-13, 19:43
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Was it Vince Lombardi that said only 3 things can happen on a pass play, and 2 of them are bad?
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