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National Football League

Page 109 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
The AFC does look like there's pretty much one WC spot left. My gut says Pittsburgh. They are the best coached, and most experienced of the teams left. Though they may get in at 7-9 by the look of things.

This means we'll have Denver as the 1st seed, followed by Indy (maybe NE). From there, the Bengals would host the Chiefs in one WC game, and the Pats would host the Steelers in the other. One would have to like Denver's chances here, but we said that last year, didn't everyone?

Just glancing at the NFC, Seattle could easily end up 14-2, and HFA. The Saints appear to have the other bye. This leaves a real mess in both the NFC East and North. No clue there. But my gut tells me SF and Carolina will be wild cards. The East will be won by a 7-9 Giants, who will host and beat the 49ers. Then, Carolina will go to Green Bay and win there. The Giants will then go to Seattle where... Well, I'll just stop there. ;)
 
Sticking with the 49ers, I think their biggest problem now is that Kaepernick has no real wide receivers to throw to aside from Boldin. And Boldin isn't really the deep threat they badly need to stretch the field. If, and that may be a big IF, both Crabtree and Manningham can come back to full health, and get coordinated with Kaep, then the 49ers could be as dangerous as last year.

Look back at 49er teams of the past, there were two or three that really could have gone to the SB, but didn't. That's how damned good they were in the 80's.

The first is in 1983-84 when two horrible pass interference calls went against them in a NFC championship loss to Washington, who for over three quarters were barely hanging on, despite being 14-2 that year. The calls were so bad the year after the NFL changed the rules regarding "uncatchable passes", and better defined PI calls away from the ball. The Skins were subsequently demolished against the Raiders in the SB.

In 1990-1991 the 49ers were the #1 seed, but in the NFC championship Leonard Marshall hammered Joe Montana from the blind side, knocking him out of the game, and Roger Craig fumbled late in the game, which resulted in a Giants FG and win. I remember this game well. It was tough, but the 49ers just looked like the better team overall, despite losing.

The other was in the 1992-1993 playoffs where despite the fact that Montana was healthy, George Seifert insisted on playing Steve Young. While Young played okay, he wasn't Montana, and the 49ers turned the ball over four times and lost to the Cowboys, at home, in a rather ugly loss, on Montana's last day in a 49er jersey.

In a parallel universe somewhere, the 49ers actually won 8 Superbowls during that run. (The same parallel universe where the Patriots twice beat the Giants in the Superbowl as well!).

Of course none of this matches the SB robberies that Foxxy has written about. Not only Spygate, but the officiating in Pittsburgh's SB wins over Arizona and especially Seattle. As I noted before, the head referee in Superbowl XL later admitted his team's calls, or lack there of, altered the outcome of the game. Those are the worst kind of losses, because you're never really sure who would have won.
 
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on3m@n@rmy said:
I can see it going either way, and not blaming Reid for either choice. Reid was playing %'s

We go in circles now. I accept your different view of things (you´re much more defensive minded in all aspects of the game), which is good, b/c if we´d be all on the same page, there´d not be the great discussions we all have here.

But I can´t accept coaches behaving cowardly and playing against the percentages many times, only b/c they wanna safe their a$$es. The truth is: If a early or unusual 4th down fails, the HC gets blamed (we all remember how Beli-Cheat was slaughtered back then. A less powerful HC might have been fired sooner or later, even tough his call was right percentage wise). OTOH, if the HC plays it cowardly he can shift blame to his players and/or assistants. Sorry, I can´t stand those guys walking that way trou life. Reid and Norv are one of many. You find them everywhere in society.

To make the story short: Reid didn´t play the percentages. It´s an open secret on 4th and 1 on the opp1yL it cries out loud to go for it. Have a look at my last post for explanation, or use the 4th down calculator http://wp.advancednflstats.com/4thdncalc1.php.

Or take another view to make it more visual: You watch your Ravens defense facing a 4th and 1 by the opp team. The FG unit steps on the field... you sigh a breath of relief, thinking thanks god they send in the kicker, we can live with the 3 points given up in a few moments... but wait, now the opp HC calls time out. Your heart starts pumping faster, you start biting your nails, hoping they only do the hard-count fake. But nooo, they snap the ball, you take your hands up to cover your face praying for the best, but you hear the commentators... "the RB flies over the DL, but the QB is still having the ball running free the other direction...."
 
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Look back at 49er teams of the past, there were two or three that really could have gone to the SB, but didn't. That's how damned good they were in the 80's.

They were so good, that I hated them year-in, year-out. I hated the short slants turned into 90 yd TDs by Rice and Taylor. I hated the passer rating b/c Montana got credit for all those plays. I loved Elway, BigMc, and when it came to a 49ers game everybody else. It got so worse that I was even happy when The Majk pulled an upset.

Now, two decades later, I am more relaxed. It was just an offense in perfection. Something I appreciate more and more the older I get.

They were unstopable, and yes, in a parallel universe w/o playoffs but like europe soccer league formats (where random chance evens out over a long season, thus where lucky hot streaks like those of the Giants or Ravens doesn´t have that big impact b/c all games count), the 49ers would have been rightfully serial champs.

Alpe d'Huez said:
Of course none of this matches the SB robberies that Foxxy has written about. Not only Spygate, but the officiating in Pittsburgh's SB wins over Arizona and especially Seattle. As I noted before, the head referee in Superbowl XL later admitted his team's calls, or lack there of, altered the outcome of the game. Those are the worst kind of losses, because you're never really sure who would have won.

Amen. I hope in a decade or so all the $hit that happened behind closed doors come to full light like the Armstrong scandal. The fans, Kurt Warner, Martz, and the Seahawks deserve redemption.
 
Going into the Denver game, everyone was saying that KC at least had a great defense, not giving up more than 20 points in any game till then. Well, here’s a remarkable stat: The Eagles, the team that is fifth in the NFL in total offense, with the no. 1 QB and rusher, the team that is supposedly held back because of terrible defense—they have not given up more than 21 points in any of their last seven consecutive games, averaging just 17.4 pts in those games. If they had this average for the entire season, they would be 4th in the NFL in scoring defense. That’s after giving up 34.5 pts per game in their first four games (that did include high scoring Denver, but also low scoring KC). Remarkable turnaround, and another indication to me that they not only have an excellent chance of winning the NFC East, but having a shot at winning the WC game (yes, that will be tough, probably playing SF or Carolina).

Foxxy, IIRC, wasn’t McMahon knocked out of the game (1988) in the second quarter? I remember the Bears were on what proved to be their only scoring drive of the game, on around the 49ers 10 yard line, and McMahon rolled out and took a really bad hit. I’m pretty sure he came out of the game at least for a while.

Alpe d'Huez said:
Sticking with the 49ers, I think their biggest problem now is that Kaepernick has no real wide receivers to throw to aside from Boldin. And Boldin isn't really the deep threat they badly need to stretch the field. If, and that may be a big IF, both Crabtree and Manningham can come back to full health, and get coordinated with Kaep, then the 49ers could be as dangerous as last year.

Right on the money with this. Kaep has always been really good when he has both Crabtree and Davis to throw to. i think part of the problem is that other teams now have more film and can prepare better for him, but he still hasn't learned how to play with the hand he's dealt with. For now, he needs those weapons.

Look back at 49er teams of the past, there were two or three that really could have gone to the SB, but didn't. That's how damned good they were in the 80's.

The first is in 1983-84 when two horrible pass interference calls went against them in a NFC championship loss to Washington, who for over three quarters were barely hanging on, despite being 14-2 that year. The calls were so bad the year after the NFL changed the rules regarding "uncatchable passes", and better defined PI calls away from the ball. The Skins were subsequently demolished against the Raiders in the SB.

Wait a minute, the 49ers were the team barely hanging on. They were trailing 21-0 until the beginning of the fourth quarter. And they were very lucky to be that close. Mark Moseley, who was player of the year the previous season as a kicker (only season in history when a kicker didn't miss any FGs, though it was only 9 games because of the strike, and he missed in the playoffs), missed 4/5 FGs in that game, making only the winning one. If he had missed a much more normal 2/5, the game would have been out of reach late in the third quarter, with Washington ahead 27-0 instead of 21-0.

There was a questionable pass interference call against the 49ers, but they also got away with a couple. They also benefitted from two borderline calls in the first half that no one seems to remember. Both of them followed dropped balls by SF receivers. In the first case, the 49ers recovered the dropped ball, and it was ruled a fumble. So the completion counted and they maintained possession. In the second case, Washington recovered the dropped ball, but it was ruled an incompletion, so 49ers maintained possession. Either call could have gone either way, but both calls worked for Niners.

I think Washington that year was like GB in 2011. Best offense in the NFL (set a new single seaon scoring record that lasted till the Vikings in the late 90s), but one of the worst defenses (actually, they had a very good run defense, though it was shredded by Marcus Allen in the SB, but a poor pass defense). They just ran out of gas at the end of the season, same as GB two years ago. They demolished the Rams in the first playoff game, showed vulnerabilities against the 49ers, then caved in completely against the Raiders.

In 1990-1991 the 49ers were the #1 seed, but in the NFC championship Leonard Marshall hammered Joe Montana from the blind side, knocking him out of the game, and Roger Craig fumbled late in the game, which resulted in a Giants FG and win. I remember this game well. It was tough, but the 49ers just looked like the better team overall, despite losing.

I always felt the Niners lost that game because they started their no. 1, Montana, while the Giants no. 1, Phil Simms, was injured. Montana was mostly ineffective during the game--the one TD pass he threw narrowly missed being an interception returned for a TD--whereas when Young finally came in, he moved the team right away. It sure looked as though they would have scored a lot more if Young had played the whole game. He was driving the team into Giants territory when Craig fumbled. They probably could have run the clock down to two minutes, punted into the EZ, and held the Giants out of FG range.

Conversely, I think Hostetler moved the Giants better than Simms would have. The 49ers were unprepared for his scrambling, something Simms couldn't do, which was the key in that final drive that set up the winning FG. And don't forget that old fox Parcells, faking a punt earlier in the quarter. They made the first down, and got close enough for a FG that made the score close enough for one more FG to win.

The other was in the 1992-1993 playoffs where despite the fact that Montana was healthy, George Seifert insisted on playing Steve Young. While Young played okay, he wasn't Montana, and the 49ers turned the ball over four times and lost to the Cowboys, at home, in a rather ugly loss, on Montana's last day in a 49er jersey.

On the first play from scrimmage in that game, the 49ers scored on a 65-70 yard pass play to Jerry Rice--which was called back for holding or something. That typified the game for them. Ricky Waters had I think two crucial fumbles in the first half. Though the Niners outgained the Cowboys by a substantial margin in that half, they were only tied 10-10. That kept Dallas in the game and allowed them to outscore the 49ers and win in the second half.

But don't forget two years later, when the shoe was on the other foot. The Cowboys had three critical turnovers in the first half, and passed up a chip shot FG to go for it on 4th and long. Plus the 49ers got away with a pretty flagrant pass interference on a long pass in the second half. If Dallas had taken that early FG, they would have come back from a 21-0 early deficit to make it a 7 point instead of 10 point deficit in the second half. Or if PI had been called. Either would have made all the difference, as they could have let Emmitt Smith loose instead of just passing to play catch up.

I always hated Dallas, but they were a better team those years. The previous year, the 49ers knocked Aikman out of the game early in the second half, and the Cowboys still put them away behind Bernie Kosar.

In a parallel universe somewhere, the 49ers actually won 8 Superbowls during that run. (The same parallel universe where the Patriots twice beat the Giants in the Superbowl as well!).

The five SBs they won in the 80s and 90s were certainly well deserved. I think they might have won two more if Young had started. In 1987, they were stunned in the division game by the Vikings, who took a 20-3 halftime lead, including a TD on a runback of a Montana interception. Young replaced Montana in the second half, and led them to their first TD on his first drive, after a long scramble, 30-40 yards I think, set it up. He then led them on another long drive that ended in a missed FG. The 49er defense could not stop the Vikings, but the Vikings really had no answer for Young, either. Not sure if they would have won with him, but at least it would have been much closer.

The other was 1990. Based on what Young did when he came into the game, which was to move the offense more than Montana did most of the game, I think they would have won. Eventually teams figured out Young better, but at that time, he was a novelty and difficult to prepare for, same for Hostetler, who of course was not as good as Young.

I agree the 49ers were the better team in 1992, and blew it with turnovers, but i think they got it back in 1994, when the Cowboys made all the mistakes.
 
Call it courage, or sabermetrics for football, but it's been shown in study after study that going for it on 4th down more frequently actually increases your chances of winning. You can slice it however you want, but every single study shows it's true. You can even lop off all the 4th and long, or 4th and deep in your own territory if you want just to be safe. But even those situations aren't nearly as risky and dire as often thought. Just looking at the numbers, it's conservative to go for it on anything less than 4th and about 4. 2009 study here. More out there.

I don't know which coach goes for it more than others, but my gut tells me it's Belicheck.
 
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Omg... NE on fire. On the last TD drive they didn´t even need a 3rd down, and if no Fum and Pens, they weren´t really stopped in the 1st half (outside the very 1st drive). Ok, we expected this...

It might all come down to Riverboat Ron having to be Riverboat Ron.
 
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Yop Newton is special... and many wrote him off already last year (I didn´t, as everyone knows, we had a lenghtly discussions back then).

Especially this article is full of flaws http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/...he-deal-with-struggling-newton-mjd-brady-tags
1.) Newton had a very very good season last year. His led pass offense was the 6th best in efficiency. It wasn´t his fault that Ron was still Ron, punting away all those close contests... Surely, Newton last year was the same as the year before and after. Do those guys actually watch the games?
2.) But here they pulled the real boner: "Journalist Bill Voth, who covers the Panthers, came up with some interesting statistics. In Carolina's 22 games with Rob Chudzinski as offensive coordinator, the Panthers are averaging 23 runs to 35 passes in 15 losses, while averaging 35 runs and 23 passes in seven wins. The Panthers are 6-1 when they run the ball more. Pretty simple. Run the ball more. But the Panthers aren't and this puts more pressure on Newton... "

Yeah, pretty simple, but not the way they think. If you are behind you pass more (by trying to comeback).
OTOH, teams having a comfortable lead run down the clock. That is the reason why winning teams have a high number of runs, that´s why RB XY is 22-1 in games he rushed for 100+ yds or carried so and so many times. This open secret is known since decades, yet many NFL journalists still don´t understand that simple cause and effect principle.
Journalism by NFL writers can´t get worse than that. Do they actually know football?
 
Merckx index said:
Wait a minute, the 49ers were the team barely hanging on....

Based on what Young did when he came into the game, which was to move the offense more than Montana did most of the game, I think they would have won...

Funny how memories change over time. :)

Meanwhile, I'm not so sure about that last call tonight. Not saying the Patriots got screwed, but, they may have been screwed.
 
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Possible. I have the feeling, since the obscure NYJ-NE Jan/2011 playoff game, that NE is held back. Like the Raiders were/are as revenge for Al Davis antics in the 80s. You know it´s not plausible that a team with different coaches and players is leading the NFL in penalties every year. I wish I´d be rich. Not to drive fancy cars, but to 100% know what goes on behind the closed doors in wealthy organisations. Some things come out by insider books/stories. But I´d like to see the whole picture complete...

EDIT: Have watched and heard the explanations why they took the flag off. Sounds plausible, but doesn´t change my overall feelings/observations described in this post and a year or so ago..
 
While we’re on this subject of whether the ball was catchable (same argument 49ers made in that loss to Washington in the NFC title game back in Jan. 1984):

Why should it matter if the ball was catchable? Obviously the defensive player committing the holding thought it might be, or he wouldn’t have bothered. No question he was cheating, should no penalty be called if the cheating didn’t matter?

Consider other penalties, like holding. Is a holding penalty not called if the ref decides that even without the holding, the defensive lineman could not have gotten to the QB, RB, or otherwise impacted the play? Of course not. Or offsides, I’m sure a lot of time being offsides doesn’t affect the outcome. Or even having twelve men on the field. Often this is called when one of the twelve isn’t even lined up, but is hurrying to get off the field. Should the team not be penalized, because this infraction won’t affect the outcome of the play?

Imagine if this logic were applied to other sports. You just tested positive for EPO? But still finished only 87th in the GC? No problem, obviously the doping didn’t give you an advantage.

Edit: Now this:

A number of NFL rules experts took to social media to declare that whole thing was an inaccurate mess. It starts with the fact that under Article 6 (a) of Rule 12 (Section 1) of the NFL rule book, Kuechly's bear hug of Gronkowski qualified as defensive holding, not pass interference. As such, the catchability of the pass is not a factor in the infraction being called.

The Pats are at least lucky that they will probably win their division regardless. In fact, the loss might not even affect their playoff seeding, unless they beat Denver next week.
 
manafana said:
CAM Newton just a joy to watch really RG3 should watch bit of his tape from this season really knows when to pick the run to bail him out.

... and when to slide to avoid unnecessary hits. RG3, more often than Shanny would like, tries to eeek out extra yards and gets hammered as a result.


Alpe d'Huez said:
Funny how memories change over time. :)

Meanwhile, I'm not so sure about that last call tonight. Not saying the Patriots got screwed, but, they may have been screwed.

Pats may or may not have been screwed. I think screwed. The refs looked a little indecisive. But, not uncommon, this is another example where the rule book needs to be cleaned up to avoid gray areas, or eliminate forcing refs to make judgment calls or interpretations of the rule on the field.
------------
HERE is a portion of the interference rule (from NFL.com rulebook):

It is pass interference by either team when any player movement beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders the progress of an eligible player of such player’s opportunity to catch the ball. Offensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is snapped until the ball is touched. Defensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is thrown until the ball is touched.

Actions that constitute defensive pass interference include but are not limited to:

(a) Contact by a defender who is not playing the ball and such contact restricts the receiver’s opportunity to make the catch.

(b) Playing through the back of a receiver in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

(c) Grabbing a receiver’s arm(s) in such a manner that restricts his opportunity to catch a pass.

(d) Extending an arm across the body of a receiver thus restricting his ability to catch a pass, regardless of whether the defender is playing the ball.

(e) Cutting off the path of a receiver by making contact with him without playing the ball.

(f) Hooking a receiver in an attempt to get to the ball in such a manner that it causes the receiver’s body to turn prior to the ball arriving.

Actions that do not constitute pass interference include but are not limited to:

(a) Incidental contact by a defender’s hands, arms, or body when both players are competing for the ball, or neither player is looking for the ball. If there is any question whether contact is incidental, the ruling shall be no interference.

(b) Inadvertent tangling of feet when both players are playing the ball or neither player is playing the ball.

(c) Contact that would normally be considered pass interference, but the pass is clearly uncatchable by the involved players.

(d) Laying a hand on a receiver that does not restrict the receiver in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

(e) Contact by a defender who has gained position on a receiver in an attempt to catch the ball.
------------

There's more to the rule and you can read it all in the link provided if you like. But the first two parts of the rule I highlighted in bold text is what everyone understands pretty much and what all the post game talk (that I heard anyway) talked about.

There was some less talk about the final piece in bold ( (e) under what does NOT constitute defensive pass interference).... CONTACT BY A DEFENDER WHO HAS GAINED POSITION ON A RECEIVER IN AN ATTEMPT TO CATCH BALL.

Now, I'm not authority OFC. But I HAVE A QUESTION I WISH THE DA## NFL officials org would answer for us all. WTF IS THE INTENT OF THAT PART OF THE RULE (e)?

I have always understood that part of the rule to apply to the defender who is the primary responsible cover guy... in the case of last night... that would be Luke Kuechly defending Gronk. This part of the rule allows the defender (Luke) the RIGHT to go for the ball and not be called for interference. But last night, the defender who touched/intercepted the ball was not the primary cover guy... it was another defender. So Luke becomes like a shield or screener for his teammate. I would like the NFL officials group to please EXPLAIN THE INTENT OF PART (e) OF THE RULE... DOES IN APPLY TO "ANOTHER" DEFENDER, OR ANY DEFENDER.

If the answer is ANY defender then you see here a loophole in the rule that defenses will take advantage of. And if the officials org says ANY defender other than the primary cover guy touching the ball is not interference, then I'd call BS, just like post game announcers (Young, Dilfer, etc) stated last night.

If nothing else, I'm not sure last night's officials know the answer to that question, and some clarity in the rule is needed. Make it clear so there is no doubt or second guessing the rulebook. So that's one more thing they can add to the list of necessary rule book changes.
 
All that aside, great game otherwise last night. Props to Carolina and Cam playing well.

A final note on the last play of the game, in a post game news conference Brady said he hesitated throwing to Gronk because he did not want to throw it too high out of the end zone. So he said he ended up throwing it low. Here's something to ponder... had Brady thrown it high but catchable, forcing Gronk to elevate some for the ball, I wonder this... would the other defender been able to get a hand on the ball or intercept (I think neither), then would it have been pass interference against Kuechly? I think so. I think Brady should have put the ball up high.
 
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So how went the educated guess picks vs my home team random picks?

Well,
I was 12 of 15
Alpe 12 of 15
Tri 8 of 15
Amster 8 of 15

Just shows once more how random it all is. :D

The only sure thing is HFA (around 57% over the past few decades).
 
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I seldom agree with Easteregg, but he nailed it 100% here. Hats up... http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9...scape-final-seconds-carolina-new-england-game

"Sour Coaching of the Week: The Kansas City Chiefs have 23 coaches, including a "statistical analysis coordinator." None of them, not even the stats specialist, seemed aware the Denver Broncos are on track to break NFL scoring records. Trailing 17-7 late in the second quarter, the Chiefs faced fourth-and-goal on the Denver 1. Andy Reid sent in the field-goal unit, and TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook. On the night, Kansas City rushed for 144 yards, with a 5.8 yard-per-carry average. Yet Reid was too timid to try to gain one single yard for a touchdown against the league's highest-scoring team.

Just to prove this was no fluke, trailing 24-10 in the fourth quarter, Reid had the Chiefs punt from the Denver 41? Who cares if it was fourth-and-7? Denver is the league's highest-scoring team. Kansas City needed to go all-out for points or there was no hope. Outraged, the football gods pushed the fraidy-cat punt into the end zone for a touchback. When Kansas City next saw the ball, the margin was 27-10, there were seven minutes remaining, and the cheerleaders were already packing their things.

...

Kansas City had a bye to prepare, yet its game plan was unimaginative. When the Broncos needed a yard for a touchdown, there were not one, not two but three shifts to distract the defense: touchdown. When the Chiefs needed a yard for a touchdown, there was no misdirection, just a straight-ahead power rush, stuffed.

...

Kansas City did play an aggressive defensive scheme -- many eight- or even nine-man fronts, with Cover 1 (lone high safety) and man-to-man press corners. Defensive coordinators watching on the tube must have wondered if this would prove the scheme to stop Peyton Manning. It didn't -- he completed five passes of at least 20 yards, his season average, while the Broncos gained 427 yards. Holding the opponent to less than 500 yards does not count as a moral victory for Kansas City."


... basically the same I said one day earlier. Hope you are convinced now "on3m@n@rmy". Reid is a coward, ever was, he was dead wrong. :D

EDIT: I guess the stats guy and some lower football assisants had it right (to go for it both times). But Reid has the final say, he´s the boss. Or, his assisants are yes-men, which is also likely. Any way, Reid is to blame solely. Thanks god this guy is gone from Philly.
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
I was 12 of 15
Alpe 12 of 15
Tri 8 of 15
Amster 8 of 15

12/15 pretty good. Even 8/15 often beats the Xperts. Overall, this group here, myself included, has done a pretty decent job predicting. That's partly why I gave up trying to predict results each week. The other part being time. Anymore I'd rather talk about other stuff and go round in circles:)


FoxxyBrown1111 said:
... basically the same I said one day earlier. Hope you are convinced now "on3m@n@rmy". Reid is a coward, ever was, he was dead wrong. :D

Well, actually, I'm not sure I needed much convincing. Part of what I was saying was an attempt to relate what I thought was going through Reid's mind.

But I have been studying a little bit the Advanced Stats links you gave. I want to munch on it a while before I comment. But it will be a while as weekend travels and subsequent "catching up" will continue to occupy time.
 
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on3m@n@rmy said:
12/15 pretty good.

Well, I was just lucky this weekend was very much HFA. Any other week I´d have been below average, b/c teams like JAX won´t even win their home games.

on3m@n@rmy said:
But I have been studying a little bit the Advanced Stats links you gave. I want to munch on it a while before I comment. But it will be a while as weekend travels and subsequent "catching up" will continue to occupy time.

Great decision. Even with much time, it will take weeks to go trou all the golden nuggets there. It´s well explained and very informative. I learned a lot there, when I thought I already knew all.
Especially the old articles are gold, since they tell about concepts, methods, basics etc.
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Possible. I have the feeling, since the obscure NYJ-NE Jan/2011 playoff game, that NE is held back. Like the Raiders were/are as revenge for Al Davis antics in the 80s.

That 2011 game is one of the strangest I've ever seen. Everything, and I mean everything pointed to the Patriots blowing the Jets out (again). Yet, the game was played like it was in molasses.

It has been my thought ever since I saw the tuck rule game that the NFL was not going to allow the Raiders to win again as long as Al Davis was alive. The same reason why Ray Guy, Ken Stabler, Cliff Branch, Jim Plunkett, Todd Christansen, Lester Hayes, Dave Dalby, etc. aren't in the Hall of Fame. The Raiders, specifically Al Davis, thumbed his nose at the rules and the league for decades. I can only imagine what was going on in Pete Rozell's mind when he handed Al Davis the Superbowl trophy in 1984. I've seen the result of it.

Since Spygate, I'm starting to now think something similar is happening to the Patriots and Belicheck. Not a widespread conspiracy, but subtleties to keep them out.

I feel the same thing may happen to the Saints for a couple years as well.

Or maybe I just see ghosts. Like the one I saw last night. (And I'm not really a Pats fan).

Merckx index said:
While we’re on this subject of whether the ball was catchable (same argument 49ers made in that loss to Washington in the NFC title game back in Jan. 1984):

Pass interference, yes. That was the Jan 84 contention. And the rulebook states "clearly uncatachable". But what about defensive holding? That's has nothing to do with being able to catch the ball, nothing. The question then becomes did Kuechly hold Gronk? It looked to me like he did (and maybe interfered with him as well), which should have resulted in a 1st down and five yard penalty for the Pats, and another shot at the end zone.

The Pats are at least lucky that they will probably win their division regardless. In fact, the loss might not even affect their playoff seeding, unless they beat Denver next week.
I agree with you there. They actually looked pretty good last night and should have won the game, regardless of the last play. This is the most solid they have looked in a while, and if their no-name defense continues to improve, and the offense stays healthy, the Pats could be very dangerous come playoff time.
 
Pats lost it when on that 3rd and 1 about 20 from the goal, Brady tried a play action touch down pass which went nowhere rather than rushing for that extra yard. Especially since the car offense was playing so well.it was very likely they'd get the td, which they did.
 
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... and he should have gone for it on 4th right after this play. I am surprised he didn´t. I mean CAR didn´t really stop NE except the 1st drive. And he is Beli, not an obscure afraid HC. Sometimes i think Beli lost his magic since he lost that SB vs NYG part one.
In the older times he was going for it twice early, in the playoffs, on the road, in his own half. Of course his team went on to win it all...
 
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Alpe d'Huez said:
(1) Yet, the game was played like it was in molasses.

(2) It has been my thought ever since I saw the tuck rule game that the NFL was not going to allow the Raiders to win again as long as Al Davis was alive.

(3) Since Spygate, I'm starting to now think something similar is happening to the Patriots and Belicheck.

(4) I feel the same thing may happen to the Saints for a couple years as well.

(5) Or maybe I just see ghosts.

(6) I agree with you there. They actually looked pretty good last night and should have won the game

(1) Yes, that is what I mean. I think we discussed it earlier, but who´s able to go trou all 260+ pages.

(2) The tuck rule was the top of the cream. But it started much earlier. To lead in Pens year after year... :eek: I am sure they lost many games with absurd holding calls etc. they should have won.

(3) Yep, that was the turning point. Kraft & NE in the doghouse (what an irony). And even a billionare can´t do anything against 31 of them. It´s just a demonstration game between the powerful. And the fans are the big losers.

(4) Possible. It may had already started in that SF game two yrs ago (i am sure NFL headquarters knew about it well before it hit the media soon after the season, i mean the bounty scandal). It would be too bad for this great offense to get denied. We´ll see...

(5) No...

(6) I think it was 50/50. Little things decided. Like that (random) fumble, the not going for it by Beli, the drop. Basically NE couldn´t stop CAR, and visa versa.
 
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Two different views on HFA (since it somehow became a topic this week):

http://thefixisin.net/homefield.html

http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/09/hawks-doves-and-home-field-advantage.html

Before the 2nd link will be dismissed, you guys should think a 2nd time about it. As absurd as the whole article looks like, it seems to have some merit...
I just did a little quick stat about the german Baseball Bundesliga, and to my surprise the HFA is also existing there. Keep in mind baseball in germany is low. Certainly no fixing, and no big home crowd (if any), certainly no umpires who favour home teams or star players, and the talent level is rather wide. Really good teams (who win home & away), and really bad teams (who lose every game no matter where they play). And, baseball is simply no business here.

The Stats: From 2002* to 2012 home teams won 1.177 games and lost 1.063. That´s a .525 winning Pct. Funny thing: The same as in MLB.
And to exclude any "noise" (b/c of the small sample size) i also looked at how many seasons (the league is divided in two divisions, north and south, that´s why the count is 22 seasons) home teams had a winning record, and how many seasons not. 13 times home teams won more, just 4 times they lost more (5 seasons were split). So HFA is constant long term...

(* from before there are no numbers)