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National Football League

Page 229 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Re: Re:

Catwhoorg said:
jmdirt said:
Panthers look good but the D needs to step up. Seahawks are getting better at the right time. Pats need to get healthy. Bengals, Broncos, and Cards looking good.

I hate NFL scheduling! Every year many teams play in week 12ish and again in week 16ish. Play all of the teams in your div. once and then other teams for the rest of the sched (don't play anyone twice).

I disagree. The home and away against your division opponents is one of the core rivalry (and interest) building parts of the NFL.
True, then do them farther apart than 2-4 weeks.
 
It can be good it can be bad.
The Packers had close games against Detroit in a space of 4 back to back divisional games.Certainly made for a significant interest in the twists within the division in November

It seems like there is more often a close series in the schedule for a team than not, I like it.

I also like bookending the year with a divisional rival (Started versus Bears, ending against the Vikings), but I can see why they want to spread those out a bit more (being usually good TV audiences).
 
I thought about this on my way to work: I think that rivalries would be stronger if they only played one time per season. If you lose, you have to wait for an entire year for the rematch (if you lost on the road, now you get your chance at home, if you lost at home now you get a chance to return the favor. If you won at home, now you have to win on the road, if you won on the road, now you get to defend at home.). Its more compelling to me to see a teams play 16 different teams (especially if their division is weak). In this scenario, I would like to see the division games be the last three (four for scheduling purposes) weeks.
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
True, then do them farther apart than 2-4 weeks.

People often make comments like this. Last year, Hitch complained that NE had to play Denver on the road two years in a row. As I pointed out at the time, it's frequently impossible to avoid having two teams play at the same location two years in a row. If Denver had gone to NE the second time, then two other teams that had played at alternate locations the previous two years would have had to change so they played at the same location two years in a row.

You have to appreciate the mathematical complexity of the scheduling. Every team has to play every other team in its division twice, once at home and once on the road. They have to play every team in one of the their conference's other divisions, two at home, two on the road. They have to play every team in one of the other conference's divisions, two at home and two on the road. And they have to play one team in each of the two remaining divisions in their conference, one at home and one on the road.

Believe it or not, it's not as simple as snapping your fingers and saying, playing a division rival twice in three weeks is too often. It turns out that issues like these frequently are unavoidable if all the other requirements are to be met. E.g., if one of those games were moved to an earlier date, the game originally scheduled at that time would have to exchange places with it. But that means the team being played in that game would have to change its schedule, which means in turn other teams involved would have to change their schedule...and so on. And if you try to follow through on all that, sooner or later you come up with an incompatibility, e.g., you can't make all those changes without eliminating a game that has to be played, e.g., between two teams in opposing conferences, fulfilling the two at home, two on the road requirement. Having two division rivals play both their games within a short time span, while not ideal, turns out to be the least problematic way to fulfill the schedule. All the other, mandatory requirements are satisfied.

Scheduling in all modern pro sports is an extremely difficult problem, it would be impossible to pull off without computers.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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I can't believe how ridiculously nervous I feel about a game where absolutely everything says that we 'should' win. Bitter experience has taught us that the Skins have an unparalleled knack of sucking worse than even the suckiest other teams, on occasion. I approach this game with crossed fingers, and a 'gulp'.

edit - that has got to be the worst first Q I have seen. Just awful. Everything. If they keep this up, the first FG will win it. :eek:
 
Wow. Right when the Skins had a chance to take sole posession of first, and show themselves to be the real team in the NFC East, they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and the Cowboys are just one game out of first at 4-8! Could this be the first year a team wins it's division with a 6-10 record?

Here's what's screwed up about that. If the playoffs were today, Washington would host Minnesota, and Green Bay would host Seattle in wild card games.

There's no doubt that Carolina is the best team in the NFL, and if I had a vote I'd pick Cam Newton for MVP. But Sunday's game showed some chinks in their armor. They played the Saints not much better than the Giants did. They gave up too many mid level passes, too many seam throws, and too many yards. The only worry here is that if they play Arizona, the Cardinals can put up a lot of yards and points very quickly, which could be a very exciting game.

Steelers looked good, especially with Big Ben. The AFC could have two very good WC teams in Pitt and KC if things head the way they are going (right now Jets hold spot over Pitt).

Kansas City started the season 1-5, and are now 7-5 and playing very well on both sides of the ball. If the playoffs started today, they'd go to Indy, and likely be favored. Their defense was super, and Alex Smith played not only mistake free, but made some great throws against Oakland. Oh, San Francisco!

Speaking of, Blane Gabbert actually played fairly well for the 49ers. Props to the kid after falling so far. Is he their guy for 2016? A knock was he couldn't throw the long ball, but he looked good doing it on Sunday. Some really nice long passes.

The NFC team I would not want to play going into the playoffs is Seattle. Jimmy Graham gave them little, and Luke Wilson has played just as well. Their offense, despite the sacks to RW3 have been very good, and their super talented defense is finally coming together at just the right time. I'm not picking them to win the Super Bowl just yet, but they are 7-5 and I wouldn't be shocked if they go 11-5.

I wouldn't worry too much about the Patriots. They had some bad bounces, special teams killed them, Brady's two picks were misreads or mis-routes, and it was obvious Amendola was limited. Mistakes cost them this game more than injuries, but they'll fix that, and if the Pats can get healthy going into the playoffs they can beat anyone. Great game for Sam Bradford though. Eagles fans have to be happy, and naysayers (like myself) eating crow.

Right now I'd say the best team in the AFC are the Bengals. They do have the top seed right now, and after losing two games, they've now won two in a row against division rivals. They play the Steelers at home, @SF, @DEN (could be very important game), and BAL.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Wow. Right when the Skins had a chance to take sole posession of first, and show themselves to be the real team in the NFC East, they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and the Cowboys are just one game out of first at 4-8! Could this be the first year a team wins it's division with a 6-10 record?

Here's what's screwed up about that. If the playoffs were today, Washington would host Minnesota, and Green Bay would host Seattle in wild card games.

There's no doubt that Carolina is the best team in the NFL, and if I had a vote I'd pick Cam Newton for MVP. But Sunday's game showed some chinks in their armor. They played the Saints not much better than the Giants did. They gave up too many mid level passes, too many seam throws, and too many yards. The only worry here is that if they play Arizona, the Cardinals can put up a lot of yards and points very quickly, which could be a very exciting game.

Steelers looked good, especially with Big Ben. The AFC could have two very good WC teams in Pitt and KC if things head the way they are going (right now Jets hold spot over Pitt).

Kansas City started the season 1-5, and are now 7-5 and playing very well on both sides of the ball. If the playoffs started today, they'd go to Indy, and likely be favored. Their defense was super, and Alex Smith played not only mistake free, but made some great throws against Oakland. Oh, San Francisco!

Speaking of, Blane Gabbert actually played fairly well for the 49ers. Props to the kid after falling so far. Is he their guy for 2016? A knock was he couldn't throw the long ball, but he looked good doing it on Sunday. Some really nice long passes.

The NFC team I would not want to play going into the playoffs is Seattle. Jimmy Graham gave them little, and Luke Wilson has played just as well. Their offense, despite the sacks to RW3 have been very good, and their super talented defense is finally coming together at just the right time. I'm not picking them to win the Super Bowl just yet, but they are 7-5 and I wouldn't be shocked if they go 11-5.

I wouldn't worry too much about the Patriots. They had some bad bounces, special teams killed them, Brady's two picks were misreads or mis-routes, and it was obvious Amendola was limited. Mistakes cost them this game more than injuries, but they'll fix that, and if the Pats can get healthy going into the playoffs they can beat anyone. Great game for Sam Bradford though. Eagles fans have to be happy, and naysayers (like myself) eating crow.

Right now I'd say the best team in the AFC are the Bengals. They do have the top seed right now, and after losing two games, they've now won two in a row against division rivals. They play the Steelers at home, @SF, @DEN (could be very important game), and BAL.
Seattle is coming together in all areas, but most importantly, the O line is finally a unit.

I hate it when a team with a sub 10 win season is in the play offs and 10 win teams are on the beach. If a six or seven win team is in, I won't watch the game.

The Pats will be fine, they just need to get healthy.

It should be a good end to the season with several teams playing well.

Gabert has played well (better than most expected) so 49ers might not be as desperate for a QB as they thought. Put some more players around Gab and he could be solid (much like Alex Smith who they benched/traded). Did I hear/read that they worked Weeden out?
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Re:

Amsterhammer said:
I can't believe how ridiculously nervous I feel about a game where absolutely everything says that we 'should' win. Bitter experience has taught us that the Skins have an unparalleled knack of sucking worse than even the suckiest other teams, on occasion. I approach this game with crossed fingers, and a 'gulp'.

edit - that has got to be the worst first Q I have seen. Just awful. Everything. If they keep this up, the first FG will win it. :eek:

:eek:

The worst whole game I have ever watched. The last two minutes, which seemed to take at least half an hour, were an actual 'game'. What went before was just dross. As I said, this team never fails to disappoint, and has turned the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory into a higher art form. Last night it was DJax's moment of insanity on the run back, coupled with his fumble. We had numerous chances to kill the game, but declined to cash any of them in.
 
Jim Rome (whom I don't like) referred to last night's game as "four hours of waterboarding".

Manziel back to start for the Browns.

A year ago, the Panthers were 3-8-1. They have run off 19 straight regular season wins (1 playoff win, and 1 loss, to Seattle). They play the Falcons, @NYG, @Falcons, TB.
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
Alpe d'Huez said:
Wow. Right when the Skins had a chance to take sole posession of first, and show themselves to be the real team in the NFC East, they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and the Cowboys are just one game out of first at 4-8! Could this be the first year a team wins it's division with a 6-10 record?

Here's what's screwed up about that. If the playoffs were today, Washington would host Minnesota, and Green Bay would host Seattle in wild card games.

There's no doubt that Carolina is the best team in the NFL, and if I had a vote I'd pick Cam Newton for MVP. But Sunday's game showed some chinks in their armor. They played the Saints not much better than the Giants did. They gave up too many mid level passes, too many seam throws, and too many yards. The only worry here is that if they play Arizona, the Cardinals can put up a lot of yards and points very quickly, which could be a very exciting game.

Steelers looked good, especially with Big Ben. The AFC could have two very good WC teams in Pitt and KC if things head the way they are going (right now Jets hold spot over Pitt).

Kansas City started the season 1-5, and are now 7-5 and playing very well on both sides of the ball. If the playoffs started today, they'd go to Indy, and likely be favored. Their defense was super, and Alex Smith played not only mistake free, but made some great throws against Oakland. Oh, San Francisco!

Speaking of, Blane Gabbert actually played fairly well for the 49ers. Props to the kid after falling so far. Is he their guy for 2016? A knock was he couldn't throw the long ball, but he looked good doing it on Sunday. Some really nice long passes.

The NFC team I would not want to play going into the playoffs is Seattle. Jimmy Graham gave them little, and Luke Wilson has played just as well. Their offense, despite the sacks to RW3 have been very good, and their super talented defense is finally coming together at just the right time. I'm not picking them to win the Super Bowl just yet, but they are 7-5 and I wouldn't be shocked if they go 11-5.

I wouldn't worry too much about the Patriots. They had some bad bounces, special teams killed them, Brady's two picks were misreads or mis-routes, and it was obvious Amendola was limited. Mistakes cost them this game more than injuries, but they'll fix that, and if the Pats can get healthy going into the playoffs they can beat anyone. Great game for Sam Bradford though. Eagles fans have to be happy, and naysayers (like myself) eating crow.

Right now I'd say the best team in the AFC are the Bengals. They do have the top seed right now, and after losing two games, they've now won two in a row against division rivals. They play the Steelers at home, @SF, @DEN (could be very important game), and BAL.
Seattle is coming together in all areas, but most importantly, the O line is finally a unit.

I hate it when a team with a sub 10 win season is in the play offs and 10 win teams are on the beach. If a six or seven win team is in, I won't watch the game.

The Pats will be fine, they just need to get healthy.

It should be a good end to the season with several teams playing well.

Gabert has played well (better than most expected) so 49ers might not be as desperate for a QB as they thought. Put some more players around Gab and he could be solid (much like Alex Smith who they benched/traded). Did I hear/read that they worked Weeden out?

Gabbert is definitely playing better than Kaep was. Just when everyone thought Kaep would be moving on it seems that there is a chance he may stay if current rumors are to be believed. Gabbert against Manziel this week. I think I would have to favor the 49ers simply based on their last two games. Their defense has really picked up and they could have beaten the Cardinals. Bookmakers have the Browns as slight favorites ! Gabbert and Draughn have been pleasant surprises for 49ers fans. The 49ers will have a good amount of money to spend and it will probably mostly go on a draft QB and their offensive line which has been their biggest weakness this year and also another quality running back to support Hyde and Draughn. I guess a lot depends on what happens with Kaep. One minute he's out the door and the next minute he is staying ! I think that there will be quite a few changes to the 49ers roster between now and Week 1 in 2016. They are firmly in rebuild mode at the moment no matter what the coach says.

Seattle are really hitting their straps. The Panthers have had many close wins but that is the sign of a good team I think. The Chiefs are looking good and I think the Cardinals will be there at the end of the season. I don't see the Patriots doing it this year somehow. A few concerns about Pittsburgh as well. Would not mind seeing the Cardinals get a Superbowl win. I like the way they play.
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
Alpe d'Huez said:
Wow. Right when the Skins had a chance to take sole posession of first, and show themselves to be the real team in the NFC East, they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and the Cowboys are just one game out of first at 4-8! Could this be the first year a team wins it's division with a 6-10 record?

Speaking of, Blane Gabbert actually played fairly well for the 49ers. Props to the kid after falling so far. Is he their guy for 2016? A knock was he couldn't throw the long ball, but he looked good doing it on Sunday. Some really nice long passes.

The NFC team I would not want to play going into the playoffs is Seattle. Jimmy Graham gave them little, and Luke Wilson has played just as well. Their offense, despite the sacks to RW3 have been very good, and their super talented defense is finally coming together at just the right time. I'm not picking them to win the Super Bowl just yet, but they are 7-5 and I wouldn't be shocked if they go 11-5.
Seattle is coming together in all areas, but most importantly, the O line is finally a unit.

Gabert has played well (better than most expected) so 49ers might not be as desperate for a QB as they thought. Put some more players around Gab and he could be solid (much like Alex Smith who they benched/traded). Did I hear/read that they worked Weeden out?
The last 2 minutes or so of that DAL@WASH game had to be the sloppiest mess I have seen in a while.

Wonder what Kaep thought as Gabbert sprinted in for a 30 or so yard TD run? "Hey I can do that?"

It is hard to replace a Jimmy Graham, but TE Luke Willson is very capable and a better blocker.

SEA's OLine has had issues over the past 2 years with injury at several positions at the same time, but prior to the past 3 games this year has been the most unsettled I have seen them in a long time:
- 3 center changes: Nowak, Lemuel JP, Lewis. Nowak was the week-1 starter. Lem was cut on Aug 31, and later resigned on Oct 20. Nowak was waived on Dec 1. Prior to Nowak's release, both Lem and Lewis shared starting roles in different games.
- After 2nd or 3rd game, RT Britt moved to LG to displace Alvin Bailey, who is still on the roster as a backup. Britt had been struggling in space against speed pass rushers that caused problems for Wilson and the passing game.
- Plugging Garry Gilliam in at RT. Gilliam is much more athletic to handle speed rushers, but still has a lot to learn having played TE at Penn State.
Tom Cable was right though when he said several weeks ago to be patient because the current unit should start to gel about now.

Then the offensive play calling seems to have improved along with the blocking. Plus Russ Wilson has been getting the ball out of his hands quicker (over 3 seconds before the past 2 weeks, and about 1.5 seconds in the past 2 weeks). Don't recall where I saw that stat.

Defensively, SEA has improved with:
- the increased amount of play by rookie DE Frank Clark, who has been nagged with some injuries that limited what he could do, He DNP 3 games and only saw limited time in most of the other games. Clark's increase of reps in the rotation gives guys like Avril and Bennett some much needed rest, which pays off in a lot of ways.
- Getting CB Lane back from injury has helped,
- Parting ways with offseason FA acquisition Cary Williams, who was having trouble with the different techniques used by Seattle, and
- Getting good play at the CB position vacated by Williams' cut from backup 6'2" 220-lb SS Deshaun Shead.

Speaking of SEA offensive play calling, sport news talk in the Seattle area has OC Darrell Bevel's name being mentioned as a candidate for the HC position at BYU.
 
Really good article on USA Today about the secret of Pete Carroll's success in Seattle. Why Seattle are great finishers at the end of the season, and at the end of games and big games.
In nine seasons with the Trojans, Carroll’s teams were 33-3 in their last four regular-season games (40-5 including bowl games) and 57-14 before that. The trend has continued in Seattle, where the Seahawks are 23-5 in the second half of the schedule since 2012. They started 3-3 last season before surging for a second straight Super Bowl trip and, after a 4-5 start this season, predictably have won three in a row.
Much more to it, going into the science of it, taking care of players, nurturing them, more. The article is well worth reading for football geeks.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/seahawks/2015/12/08/pete-carroll-russell-wilson-seattle/76996152/
 
There are iPads on the wall of the locker room for players to enter how their bodies are feeling, supplementing data from GPS units. The team knows how many reps every player takes, how far they run. Some players log how much they sleep. Even the travel schedule for long trips - such as this weekend to Baltimore - is research-based.

Sounds exactly like Chip Kelly's system, which everyone was pooh-poohing when I linked an article on it in the beginning of the season.

Btw, Carolina has won 16 straight, not 19.

Gabbert is not playing as well as Kaep did in 2012 and 2013, maybe as well as Kaep last year. One theory is that he wasn't given enough time to develop at Jax, and because of a poor offensive line, got nervous feet and developed bad habits. It's interesting that he's considered by some to be the biggest draft bust of all time, so he may have a lot of untapped potential.

Why is Carson Palmer not getting any MVP love? Remember how AZ collapsed last year when they lost him? Or Andy Dalton? By any statistical measure except rushing yards, they are playing better, quite a bit better, actually, than Cam Newton.
 
It looks like you're better at math than me regarding Carolina. Still, a pretty impressive streak of wins.

Good call on both Palmer and Dalton. I think people view Dalton as a QB on a team that's better than he is - even though he is having his best season, last Sunday's QB sneak audible was superb playing. And Palmer plays for a team that is rarely on TV it seems. I have RedZone, so I see him more than most, but the Cardinals are likely one of the least watched teams.

For whatever the reason, it looks like Seattle's system out performed Philly's. I'll still stand by what I said on Philly though - no one really to throw to, overloaded at RB, the main (overpaid) RB never played in this kind of system before. Risky choice at QB, poor back-up QB. To Bradford's credit, his last few games he's played quite well. And, the Eagles aren't out of it, mainly because that division is so terrible.

As to Gabbert, there are more reasons for "poor" performance if you look into his past, what he was thrown into, and stuck with. He came out of college as a junior, with just over two seasons under his belt. In Missouri he played almost entirely a spread/run and shoot out of the shotgun; an offense like Texas Tech or the way Hawaii used to throw. This is often viewed as a "gimmick" compared to the NFL. But, he had a great combine and pro day, and drafted high, and asked to start right away.

In his first year at Jacksonville the HC (Del Rio) was fired and replaced by Mel Tucker, who was replaced by Mike Malarkey the next year. The team's focus was almost entirely on defense. In Gabbert's first two seasons the Jags drafted just one offensive lineman (Will Rackey), who didn't pan out and was often hurt, and the team made no moves to trade and improve the OL. They did draft WR Justin Blackman but he had a litany of off-field issues, and suspensions. The Jags drafted OT Luke Jockel, who was often hurt. In Gabbert's third year the team then hired another defensive minded head coach (Bradley), and Gabbert was twice injured and played only three games. I didn't look up the sack numbers, but my guess is he was near the top in the NFL.

I can't think of too many quarterbacks in their early 20's who could go through that and survive mentally, or physically.

Gabbert was asked about his play recently and he said for the first time since his rookie game in the NFL he felt completely healthy.

If I were the 49ers, I'd look to trade Kaepernick, extend Gabbert if they can get a good price. If not, franchise him, as the rate will be reasonable (similar to what Belichek did with Goskowski), then keep their eyes open in the draft to see if they can get someone they'd like to develop over the next couple of years. If not, look for a stable veteran in the off season, and look to a QB in the 2017 draft if needed. Knowing Trent Baalke's past, I have little faith they'll do any of this.
 
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Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
)
Gabbert was asked about his play recently and he said for the first time since his rookie game in the NFL he felt completely healthy.

If I were the 49ers, I'd look to trade Kaepernick, extend Gabbert if they can get a good price. If not, franchise him, as the rate will be reasonable (similar to what Belichek did with Goskowski), then keep their eyes open in the draft to see if they can get someone they'd like to develop over the next couple of years. If not, look for a stable veteran in the off season, and look to a QB in the 2017 draft if needed. Knowing Trent Baalke's past, I have little faith they'll do any of this.

I don't know if it would be worth franchising Gabbert as it would pay him Top 5 QB salary for a year. The number last year for QBs was 18.5 mil(source: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000470843/article/estimated-franchise-tag-figures ). Franchising a kicker like what Belichick did with Gostkowski has a different amount because he plays a different position(Just in case you were curious, Kickers/Punters under the tag made 4.12 mil according to the same source). Those are the numbers for the exclusive tag. There is also the non-exclusive franchise tag and the transition tag. I'll let this article explain it further if anyone is interested as they do it better than I could. It is from over a year ago but the info hasn't changed since.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1960713-how-the-nfl-franchise-tag-process-works
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
It looks like you're better at math than me regarding Carolina. Still, a pretty impressive streak of wins.

Good call on both Palmer and Dalton. I think people view Dalton as a QB on a team that's better than he is - even though he is having his best season, last Sunday's QB sneak audible was superb playing. And Palmer plays for a team that is rarely on TV it seems. I have RedZone, so I see him more than most, but the Cardinals are likely one of the least watched teams.

For whatever the reason, it looks like Seattle's system out performed Philly's. I'll still stand by what I said on Philly though - no one really to throw to, overloaded at RB, the main (overpaid) RB never played in this kind of system before. Risky choice at QB, poor back-up QB. To Bradford's credit, his last few games he's played quite well. And, the Eagles aren't out of it, mainly because that division is so terrible.

As to Gabbert, there are more reasons for "poor" performance if you look into his past, what he was thrown into, and stuck with. He came out of college as a junior, with just over two seasons under his belt. In Missouri he played almost entirely a spread/run and shoot out of the shotgun; an offense like Texas Tech or the way Hawaii used to throw. This is often viewed as a "gimmick" compared to the NFL. But, he had a great combine and pro day, and drafted high, and asked to start right away.

In his first year at Jacksonville the HC (Del Rio) was fired and replaced by Mel Tucker, who was replaced by Mike Malarkey the next year. The team's focus was almost entirely on defense. In Gabbert's first two seasons the Jags drafted just one offensive lineman (Will Rackey), who didn't pan out and was often hurt, and the team made no moves to trade and improve the OL. They did draft WR Justin Blackman but he had a litany of off-field issues, and suspensions. The Jags drafted OT Luke Jockel, who was often hurt. In Gabbert's third year the team then hired another defensive minded head coach (Bradley), and Gabbert was twice injured and played only three games. I didn't look up the sack numbers, but my guess is he was near the top in the NFL.

I can't think of too many quarterbacks in their early 20's who could go through that and survive mentally, or physically.

Gabbert was asked about his play recently and he said for the first time since his rookie game in the NFL he felt completely healthy.

If I were the 49ers, I'd look to trade Kaepernick, extend Gabbert if they can get a good price. If not, franchise him, as the rate will be reasonable (similar to what Belichek did with Goskowski), then keep their eyes open in the draft to see if they can get someone they'd like to develop over the next couple of years. If not, look for a stable veteran in the off season, and look to a QB in the 2017 draft if needed. Knowing Trent Baalke's past, I have little faith they'll do any of this.

I think they will trade Kaep and look for younger QB although when Kaep was still playing there were rumors that they were looking at a few current QBs as well. I have watched every 49ers game this year and Kaep has been terrible except for the first game against the Vikings. Most people seem to think the time is right. One thing that is clear about Gabbert is that he is just as athletic as Kaep and just as quick if not quicker. The two plays to win the game last week, Gabbert's run for a touchdown and his last long throw to win the game were impressive.

49ers have more than a few problems and I think that the current team won't survive for the most part and some of the coaches will go as well. They have under performed for the majority of the season and there are sure to be casualties. Some of the young players probably won't be given the time to develop but there is always plenty of movement between teams in the NFL with players that have been cut and others picked up off practice squads and whatever. Many people thought picking up Draughn who has been with eight or so different teams was a mistake but he has done well as a replacement for Carlos Hyde. But it is vital for next season that they sort out their offensive line and sort out the QB position. I think they will stick with Gabbert for the moment. None of his performances so far have been anywhere near as bad as Kaep's this year and Tomsula seems happy with him.
 
Re:

Merckx index said:
There are iPads on the wall of the locker room for players to enter how their bodies are feeling, supplementing data from GPS units. The team knows how many reps every player takes, how far they run. Some players log how much they sleep. Even the travel schedule for long trips - such as this weekend to Baltimore - is research-based.

Sounds exactly like Chip Kelly's system, which everyone was pooh-poohing when I linked an article on it in the beginning of the season.

Btw, Carolina has won 16 straight, not 19.

Gabbert is not playing as well as Kaep did in 2012 and 2013, maybe as well as Kaep last year. One theory is that he wasn't given enough time to develop at Jax, and because of a poor offensive line, got nervous feet and developed bad habits. It's interesting that he's considered by some to be the biggest draft bust of all time, so he may have a lot of untapped potential.

Why is Carson Palmer not getting any MVP love? Remember how AZ collapsed last year when they lost him? Or Andy Dalton? By any statistical measure except rushing yards, they are playing better, quite a bit better, actually, than Cam Newton.

I think the Cardinals and Palmer have been impressive. I have heard plenty of talk about Palmer as MVP. Some say he has retirement on his mind which only gives him more incentive this year I think.
 
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jmdirt said:
I thought about this on my way to work: I think that rivalries would be stronger if they only played one time per season. If you lose, you have to wait for an entire year for the rematch (if you lost on the road, now you get your chance at home, if you lost at home now you get a chance to return the favor. If you won at home, now you have to win on the road, if you won on the road, now you get to defend at home.). Its more compelling to me to see a teams play 16 different teams (especially if their division is weak). In this scenario, I would like to see the division games be the last three (four for scheduling purposes) weeks.

why would you have a division though if you only played everyone in it once?

unless everyone in the division played the exact same teams for their other 13 games.
 
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Really good article on USA Today about the secret of Pete Carroll's success in Seattle. Why Seattle are great finishers at the end of the season, and at the end of games and big games.
In nine seasons with the Trojans, Carroll’s teams were 33-3 in their last four regular-season games (40-5 including bowl games) and 57-14 before that. The trend has continued in Seattle, where the Seahawks are 23-5 in the second half of the schedule since 2012. They started 3-3 last season before surging for a second straight Super Bowl trip and, after a 4-5 start this season, predictably have won three in a row.
Much more to it, going into the science of it, taking care of players, nurturing them, more. The article is well worth reading for football geeks.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/seahawks/2015/12/08/pete-carroll-russell-wilson-seattle/76996152/

good read in the USA Today article. One of the points by Doug Baldwin:
“We put an emphasis on making sure that we’re fresh for games,” receiver Doug Baldwin said. “I think that carries over. Not only do we feel fresher earlier in the season, but then our bodies are healthier than other teams later in the season because we don’t do as much.”
That statement hints what it might be like should the league go to an 18-game regular season. Would an additional 2 games at that level of play mean teams with better depth and some luck make it farther in the playoffs even if not as talented as other teams? I'd rather not find out.
 
You'd have to expand the roster, that's for sure, and key positions (like, QB) injuries would change the season. Think of the Cowboys, or Ravens this year. When you don't have a replacement for your top player(s)... I dread the thought of the NFL going to an 18 game season. It's a terrible idea based only in owner greed.

MIN@ARI - After the complete spanking the Seahawks put on Minnesota can the Vikings bounce back? Not tonight. Who was the last team to beat Seattle? Arizona, with an even more high powered offense.

Right after I said Carson Palmer doesn't get enough exposure to be involved in MVP talk, here's his chance, and Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com makes a compelling argument that Palmer, not Newton or Brady, is the best QB in the NFL.
With two primetime games in a row coming up, don't be surprised if Palmer starts winning over some voters. I'm convinced....It's not about the metrics, which are insanely good. (He's First in DVOA, first in QBR, first on ProFootball Focus, first in touchdown percentage, first in adjusted yards-per-attempt, first in yards-per-completion, second in touchdowns and second in yards-per-attempt.) It's about the tape.
More, including clips showing him making great throws under pressure time and again:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000598188/article/qb-index-palmer-overtakes-brady-for-top-spot

Here's some numbers:

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb
 
Re: Re:

leftover pie said:
jmdirt said:
I thought about this on my way to work: I think that rivalries would be stronger if they only played one time per season. If you lose, you have to wait for an entire year for the rematch (if you lost on the road, now you get your chance at home, if you lost at home now you get a chance to return the favor. If you won at home, now you have to win on the road, if you won on the road, now you get to defend at home.). Its more compelling to me to see a teams play 16 different teams (especially if their division is weak). In this scenario, I would like to see the division games be the last three (four for scheduling purposes) weeks.

why would you have a division though if you only played everyone in it once?

unless everyone in the division played the exact same teams for their other 13 games.
I agree with you, get rid of the divisions! What's the point of four team divisions? NFC vs AFC.
 
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Merckx index said:
There are iPads on the wall of the locker room for players to enter how their bodies are feeling, supplementing data from GPS units. The team knows how many reps every player takes, how far they run. Some players log how much they sleep. Even the travel schedule for long trips - such as this weekend to Baltimore - is research-based.

Sounds exactly like Chip Kelly's system, which everyone was pooh-poohing when I linked an article on it in the beginning of the season.

Btw, Carolina has won 16 straight, not 19.

Gabbert is not playing as well as Kaep did in 2012 and 2013, maybe as well as Kaep last year. One theory is that he wasn't given enough time to develop at Jax, and because of a poor offensive line, got nervous feet and developed bad habits. It's interesting that he's considered by some to be the biggest draft bust of all time, so he may have a lot of untapped potential.

Why is Carson Palmer not getting any MVP love? Remember how AZ collapsed last year when they lost him? Or Andy Dalton? By any statistical measure except rushing yards, they are playing better, quite a bit better, actually, than Cam Newton.
I've heard a lot of talk about Palmer's MVP season, and some about Dalton too. Cam certainly has the buzz going though.
 
I heard it first from Dee Ford, but then football guru Clark Judge made a recent claim on Gorman Sports on Fox Sports that if there is one QB who isn't getting the respect or MVP talk, but probably should it's...

Alex Smith.

Say what? Well, his team is winning, and it's often because of him. They lost their best player a few weeks ago in Jamaal Charles, and he's had more put on his shoulders than probably any point in his career. His completion rate is over 64%, he's only thrown 3 picks. The last one in week 3. That's nine games without an interception! Ahhh yes, "game manager" you say, "throws a lot of screen passes" you utter. While he's not throwing the ball 50 times a gain with routine bombs like Aaron Rodgers, he has been airing it out more. He threw deep several times against both Buffalo and Oakland. And lead his team to comeback wins in both games. Behind double digits to the Bills at one point.

Better than Newton? Palmer? Brady? No. Probably not. But KC keeps winning. During their recent streak they beat Pittsburgh and Denver, handily, and blew out Detroit. If Smith plays as well as he has, with a solid defense, they could win out, and be dangerous in January. We'll see.

http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/12/08/alex-smith-chiefs-playoff-race-week-14