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Disasterclass...I like that.  




It's a local DC channel, so its exceptional harshness isn't surprising...local media is always the harshest critics.  Still, they do point out...things like the decision to kick the FG in the 3rd, with 4th and 2 on the Bear 13...that's a waste of a drive.  It can work...but that's largely predicated on not even allowing the Bears a FG the rest of the way.  Red zone field goals are overall net losses for the offense, unless there's just no reasonable chance to make it, like 4th and goal from the 15.  4th and 2, there's a choice.


Another pundit commented about Jack Del Rio and the Washington defense.  They've given up 30+ in 4 straight.  They average giving up 32 a game.  The ONLY defense worse...is Denver's, and that's obviously severely distorted by the Miami game.  The Bears have given up 3 points less, in the same number of games now...and they were considered to be another dumpster fire.


Commanders have beaten Arizona and Denver...right now, 27th and 28th in the NFL.com power rankings.  OK, they gave Philly a battle...but hey, Arizona beat Dallas.  They got crushed by Buffalo, and played terribly against the Bears...despite, for a while, looking like they might manage to make the Bears repeat the Denver debacle.  How close was it?  Remember that 2nd drive in the 3rd quarter?  First drive, they score.  Second drive, they're moving the ball again...2 plays, 15 yards, first down....until the ball gets stripped.  Before that strip, I was thinking...gee, has any team EVER, blown 20+ point leads in consecutive games????


Then the strip.  Even then...hey, defense forced a quick stop.  Move the ball again!  70 yards in 6 plays.  Howell even has a sweet scramble on 3rd and 12, to make it 4th and 2 at the 13.


Then Rivera kicks the FG and completely lets the Bears out of the trap.  Commanders had run 13 plays in the second half, gaining 160 yards...and Rivera kicks the FG.  That didn't end the Commanders' chances, but it greatly reduced the slack they had.


NFL.com had them #22 before this game, so it's not like they thought much about em.  This one is likely to drop them down quite a bit.  Part owner Magic Johnson was also *harshly* critical on social media, so...Rivera's job now has to be considered quite shaky.



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Jacksonville are playing Buffalo in London. The Jaguars went for a 2 point conversion after a touchdown to lead 8-0 in the first quarter. I am used to seeing teams going for this to narrow a lead but not to start a game or establish a lead.

Jacksonville go further ahead by a field goal

The Bills come back wi score a touchdown to end the half 11-7 down

In the 4th quarter the Jaguars score again, 18-7.

Then the Bills score and it gets called back on a penalty. This is followed by another touchdown and penalty but this time in the Bills favour. They miss the 2pt conversion.

Jacksonville get another touchdown to go 25-13 up.

Just before the 2 minute warning the Bills score. 25-20

A punt return is then screwed up and the ball goes out on the 7 yard line. The Bills then foul up and the ball is recovered by the Jags who run the clock out.

Edited by death tribble
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Two point conversions in those situations started to become at least the occasional choice, outside the tactical times, when the extra point was moved back to the 15.  This has an impact;  kicks from the 2 were as close to automatic, barring bad kicking conditions.  It was well over 99%.  From the 15, it's the equivalent of a 32 yard field goal.  Yes, it's still very high, but there's around a 5% chance it doesn't work.  Looking here:



that suggests it's *slightly* favorable to go for 2.  The numbers have issues, tho, as they relate to all 2 point conversions.  Sometimes there's the penalty on the extra point play, it's half the distance...think offsides on the kick attempt...and from the 1, the chance has to be better.  Heck, even when the kick was from the 2, if the penalty moved the ball to the 1, coaches would go for 2 fairly often, unless the score dictated otherwise.


Personally, I think going for 2 that early, when the narrow tactics of the game margin aren't relevant, is just masterminding by the head coach...most of the time.  I do remember the Dallas game against the Jets;  replay pointed out a serious problem with how the Jets lined up, so Dallas snapped it short and ran it in, untouched.  But when you're lining up to run the 2 point play in that situation, I think it's trying to show you're smarter than the other coach.  Or, if you prefer...it's the STRONG bias to assume the positive, with its benefits, rather than the negative with its costs.  There's now a VERY strong bias to try the more aggressive play, as long as it's tactically neutral.  Another example of this was Sean Payton's starting the season with an onside kick.  Fine, the execution wasn't quite good enough...but that's part of the risk too.  


Anyway...yeah, I didn't watch any of the game...just saw the final.  Whoa...that was a surprise, considering....  I think the sample size is too small to say much, but...I wonder if these ridiculous London games might be like the Thursday games, in terms of erratic play/ serious upsets.  Or whether, no, that's not so much a feature of those games, as it is of the NFL in general.  EVERYONE lays eggs from time to time.



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Game's not on here, but I suspect Gillette Stadium is rather loud right now.


But not in the usual way.  With BOOS.


Saints 31, Pats 0.  Early 4th.  Pats offense has 124 yards on 40 plays.  8 first downs...3 by penalty, tho.  


Back to back 30 point losses by Belichick?  Who would've imagined.  It's hard to imagine Belichick being pressured out......but we'd say the same about back to back 30 point losses.  Or that they currently have the 2nd worst scoring rate.  Start of the week, 3rd worst, but the Giants have 13 while the Pats are getting shut out.  Bengals play in the afternoon slot.  The Saints have a decent scoring defense...they're 9th through 4 weeks...but that's not exactly a juggernaut.


EDIT:  Bengals have 10 points already, mid-2nd.  Therefore the Pats already have the lowest-scoring offense in the league through 5 weeks.  Oh...and the 2nd worst point differential.  Right now, it's the Giants at -91, Pats at -76...then Panthers at -53 and Commanders at -51.  They've all finished 5 games.  Denver's at -50;  it feels unlikely this will change much either way.  Bengals are at -45.  So unless one of those turns into a bigger margin than I'd expect, the Pats are going to be 2nd worst by a *considerable* margin.


NFL rankings, bottom 3...probably Carolina, Pats, Giants, in that order.

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1 minute ago, death tribble said:

The Patriots lost 34-0. This is worth gloating about.


The Lions are leading NFC North. What ?

The long-awaited passing of the generational guard is just about complete, with the core of the last decade's greatest retired or virtually retired (I have a hard time imagining the Jets placing too much faith in Aaron Rodgers for 2024 right now). The room made by their departures is finally allowing a younger generation to show how they can compete.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

The long-awaited passing of the generational guard is just about complete, with the core of the last decade's greatest retired or virtually retired (I have a hard time imagining the Jets placing too much faith in Aaron Rodgers for 2024 right now). The room made by their departures is finally allowing a younger generation to show how they can compete.


.....and then there are the Broncos..............

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We got Pittsburgh-Baltimore here, in which I would have preferred to see the Steelers lose but I had very little invested in that game (since my preferred outcome for that one is impossible: both lose with a large body count).  OTOH, I would have enjoyed seeing the Saints run it up on Belichek and would have been chanting for 71.  Ah well, national networks.

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I have no rooting interest in either, but I did want to see Baltimore...first time this year.


Ravens too often find ways to lose games they shouldn't.  Two bad drops...one in the end zone, one where the receiver was past the defense and would've sailed in.  The Steelers should never have been in the game to make the comeback;  their offense was *terrible* for most of the game.  But hey, give a team a boost...the safety, and the Steelers got just enough done to pull it out.


Huh.  Is Burrow getting better...are is the Cards defense that bad?  Looks like the latter, mostly, from the box.  Bengals drop 34 to smack down the Cards.


EDIT:  And the most implausible statement of all time?  Nathaniel Hackett is the happiest person in Denver right now.


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I didn't think it was even possible for the Broncos to be worse than they were last year, but here we are.


Perhaps the most damning statistic: the Broncos have now lost home games to Zach Wilson in consecutive seasons.


Good thing hockey season starts this week.

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We had the KC game, so this is from just reading the game logs.


The GLARING problem is...Broncos go into halftime with a 13-8 lead.  On their first 5 possessions...punt, punt, punt, punt MUFFED...then fumble.  Worse?  14 plays.  -16 yards.  How many times now, have the Broncos had...at least reasonable first half performances, but *terrible* second half results.  This is ALWAYS coaching, IMO.


Also just saw the play that iced the game.  Wilson scrambles, the ball's carried like a loaf of bread.  Lineman catches his foot from behind...Wilson fumbles.  Jet scoops it up and runs it back, but the last part is just adding insult to injury.  Broncos were out of timeouts, clock was inside 30 seconds.  Game was over, whether he scores or not.  The KC game ended in time to join the last of the Bronco game, right after the fumble-TD that iced things.  Payton did not look happy with Wilson's undisciplined play, NOT throwing the ball away.  And this isn't the first time I've seen...contentiousness...between the two.


After the coaching issues, the other general problem looks to be the offensive line.  I don't think Wilson is adding value, but it's also hard to gauge when the o-line is so problematic.  


Lies, damn lies, and statistics.  Wilson's passer rating for the game was 104...but his QBR was under 20.  Through the first 4 games, using ESPN's stats...his rating was 3rd...but his QBR was 23rd, and it'll go down once the stats are updated.


KC Thursday, in KC.  1-5, here we come.  They get to join Carolina, NE, and NYG in the dumpster fire group.

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Oh my....been watching baseball, not football.  My, oh my, oh my.


Blurb about tonight's game from this morning's Pulse, from the Athletic:



We are going to have some capital-T Takes after this one. Prepare yourselves for a week of Cowboy fraud allegations or Dallas Super Bowl guarantees. We know the Niners by now — Dallas is a different story, especially after a confusing last two weeks.


Yes, well, we know which ones we'll get now, don't we?  And they are going to be loud, raucous, and mocking.


Any week where the Pats and Cowboys lose by a combined 60+ is a truly EPIC week.



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6 hours ago, Pariah said:


Payton's been showing a size 20 head since he signed on with the Broncos.  It's risky to read too much into brief sideline interactions, but from those and comments, Payton's blaming everyone but himself.  The Broncos are 30th in Sporting News' power rankings, which doesn't have tonight's game, but still.  Bottom isn't likely to change.  They beat the Bears...BARELY.  They're 31st.  Lost to Raiders (25), Commanders (23), and Jets (20).  Fine, losing to the Fins might be OK, but not by bloody 50, and giving up the most points in many decades.  That's got to be one of the softest schedules in the league...and they went 1-3 against it. 


If we played Blind Resume Hot Seat...given the performances of the Broncos and Pats, I think there'd be widespread agreement.  Most likely:  won't last out the season.  Next most:  fired before the first playoff game.  Coaching with their current team next season?  Not a chance.  We seriously down-value that because of the names...and with Payton, first year after a mess.  Yeah, but he's burning bridges, his DC hire was tremendously unpopular (and the defense is awful), his calling card is QB Whisperer, and that's falling apart from what we see.  With Belichick...72-3 against ya over the last 2 games.  His responses to questions now grate...well, to a degree they always did, but when it looks like your team's floundering, there's not much tolerance available.



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Entertaining but not particularly well played game between Raiders and Packers in Vegas.  Raiders win because in the final minute the Packers' QB named Love underthrew a pass into the endzone which the DB had the presence of mind to turn and look for.


Not a good season for QBs named Love.

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Quite a few shaky QBs...of course, that's not exactly new.  Right now, it feels like there's a few more young, questionable QBs...Garoppolo, Love, Mac and Daniel Jones.  Then there's the recent 1st round picks like Richardson, Stroud, Young, Tua, Pickett, Fields.  Ridder was a 2022 3rd rounder.  Geeze...Burrow and Lawrence aren't exactly grizzed vets....


The pressure to get the kiddy QBs into game action is intense.  A comment I recall...the success rate of young QBs in the NFL isn't tie so much to their draft position...as to getting with a team that can help them.  And there are quite a few where the structure of the franchise does not appear to be very positive.

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But it's true, at least in principle.  Vikes are going nowhere fast. 


Where I disagree with the article is, it's assuming the only strategy for the draft is go for the QB, when you don't have a QB.  Yeah, that's modern conventional wisdom, but that doesn't mean it's right.  Get the pieces.  Get the o-line, the d-line.  


The prescriptions...trading Cousins, the problem is where, as noted in the story.  Scrolling down the QBs...Washington probably wouldn't want to trade picks.  Pats...not Belichick's style, and I think there's now considerable uncertainty.  Pats don't need a rental QB either.  Jets is possible, yes...and it could work.  OK, the pick might not be great...but if the VIkes continue on their current trajectory, they have a high pick coming up.  The whole "NFL-ready" and "franchise QB" talk is garbage, but it's invincible garbage.  It's too ingrained into the hype machine to ever think of dislodging it.  You CAN find a QB, and "can't miss QB" is the most supremely self-contradictory statement in the universe.


EDIT:  you can argue that the Vikes and Cowboys are in a similar boat.  Both overrated and overhyped, based on consistently underperforming expectations.  Good enough to be consistently stuck in the mucky middle.  Comment from the power rankings for the Cowboys:



Here’s a hard truth: The Cowboys are very good, and probably going to win 11-12 games. They’re also probably not going to win the NFC East, not going to make a deep playoff run and are not a Super Bowl contender. Just like it has been the past couple years. The problem is you don’t blow up a double-digit win team and start over. I’m not sure what gets Dallas over the hump.


Basically the same can be said about the Vikes for the last few years.

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