Monday, December 28, 2009

The Packers were one play away. . .

Think about this: if the Packers could have kept the Steelers out of the endzone they would bhave the same record as the Vikings right now with an outside chance of getting a first round bye in the playoffs. A "game of inches" pretty much sums it up.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

'Tis the Season to Be Jolly

  • It is overshadowed by Woodson's year and the emergence of Clay Mathews, but Johnny Jolly is flirting with becoming a superstar. It's a contract year, and he will certainly get paid. I know some fans don't like his "attitude" but having a player with a little (or a lot) of a nasty streak isn't the worst thing in the world for a defense.
  • McCarthy needs to find someone on the roster that will field a punt. It was Tramon Williams letting them bounce earlier in the season, and now its Jordy Nelson. The Packers can't just sacrifice 15-20 yards on a punt that skips down the field. Catch the damn ball. It won't hurt. In fact, if you wave your arm over your head the punting team can't even hit you.
  • I'm getting uncomfortable with the amount of downfield passing that has crept back into the offense. Thats two weeks in a row that Rodgers has a completion percentage hovering around 50%. He should be completing at 65%+. I think much of this is attributable to the Packers getting away from the short passing game. Some of the downfield shots today were audibles. Its time for McCarthy to sit Rodgers down and have a talk with him.
  • All around nice job by McCarthy today. The screen to Jackson was just beautiful. Great call. Great execution. McCarthy also did a nice job getting starters off the field and then instead of going run-run-run-punt, actually letting the back-ups run the the offense. Matt Flynn looked pretty good.
  • Those guys were playing with a lot of emotion today. Particularly Brandon Jackson. I wonder what the story was there.
  • I thought he was a jack-ass as a coach, but I am growing to like Billick as an announcer. For the record I hate just about all announcers. A good announcer is one that isn't annoying. In fact, I don't think you should ever even notice the announcers, that's how unobtrusive they should be. Billick does a good job not being annoying.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Word of the Day: Schadenfavre

Schadenfavre: (n.) The joy associated with watching an arch rival suffer through a 40 year old quarterback's fourteen year old antics.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jolly Indicted Again

As I describe here, Jolly's alleged crime is most accurately described as possessing at least 200 grams of soda containing some tiny fraction of codeine.

Some fun facts from my previous post:

  • If you are on sitting on the front porch relaxing with 27.9 grams of cough syrup, the most you can be charged with is a Class B Misdemeanor (punishable by the still way too extreme six months in jail). If you mix that same cough syrup with 172.1 grams of Shasta, or Canada Dry, or Chocolate Milk you are committing a Second Degree Felony punishable by not less than 2 years in lockdown---and up to 20 years in the joint.
  • Rape is also a Second Degree Felony in Texas. That's right possessing cough syrup without a prescription is treated as harshly raping another person.

This would be a great opportunity for a mainstream journalist to shine a light on this ridiculous law but all of our journalists are way too committed to re-telling the narrative that Jolly is a "thug."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Did the Vikings Wear Out Adrian Peterson?

Football Outsiders has popularized the "Curse of 270" which states that: "A running back with 370 or more carries during the regular season will usually suffer either a major injury or loss of effectiveness the following year, unless he is named Eric Dickerson."

Last year Peterson "only" carried the ball 363 times, short of 370, so he should be in the clear, right? Well, it doesn't really work like that.

Just so people understand, there's nothing magical about carry number 370 that makes a running back blow out his ACL, any more than there is something special about pitch 100 that makes a pitcher's arm fall off. It's simply a useful shorthand to represent the fact that overworking your running back with too many carries is a bad thing. The punishment gets worse and worse with more carries, and 370 is a close approximation of the tipping point.

In sum, Peterson's numbers from last year are right on the line of the supposed "tipping point."

This year's stats suggest---suggest---that he might be suffering from having been overworked. Over the first 6 games of this season, Peterson averaged 5.15 yards per carry, capping that run off with 143 yard game against the Ravens.

However, over the six games since, Peterson has averaged on 3.94 yards a carry, and that is with the benefit of a huge game against the Lions. Excluding the Lions game, Peterson is down to 3.35 yards a carry. Yikes.

It's still too early to tell, and maybe it is all just a coincidence, but Peterson is showing signs of being worn down and/or hobbled by nagging injuries this season. If you watched the Vikings/Cardinals game on Sunday, Peterson just looks tired, and he is actually starting to catch heat in the media.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Interesting Post on Instant Replay

Interesting post at Volohk about instant replay. The thrust of the post is that NFL officiating would be better served if the instant replay reviewer gave absolutely no deference to the on-the-field review.

I must agree, sort of. How many times have you seen an official who was completely out of position make a call and then the instant replay was denied because there was not Absolute-Incontrovertible-Beyond-A-Reasonable-Doubt-And-Even-Most-Unreasonable-Doubts Evidence to overturn the call?

On the other hand, if the official is in position to see and make the call, the real time official has many advantages over the instant replay official. Just because there are "multiple" camera angles does not mean that any single one of them necessarily has a better vantage point than the on field official. Moreover, the on field official has one other major advantage over the tape: the ability to see three dimensionally. The problem is that the on field official must make some call whether an official is in position or not. Abstention is not an option for the on the field officials but it is for the instant replay reviewer.

Ideally, the deference paid to the original call would take into account the position of the official of the official making the call.

By the way, what ever happened to the old IBM "You Make the Call" commercials? Those were awesome.