Friday, October 30, 2009

Week 8 Picks...

Note: Home teams are in CAPS. All Lines courtesy of ESPN.com

Houston (-3.5) over BUFFALO
Cleveland (+13.5) over CHICAGO
DALLAS (-9.5) over Seattle
DETROIT (-3.5) over St. Louis
San Francisco (-12.5) over Indianapolis
NY JETS (-3.5) over Miami
Denver (+3.5) over BALTIMORE
NY Giants (+2.5) over PHILADELPHIA
TENNESSEE (-2.5) over Jacksonville
SAN DIEGO (-16.5) over Oakland
GREEN BAY (-3.5) over Minnesota
Carolina (+9.5) over ARIZONA
Atlanta (+9.5) over NEW ORLEANS

Three Best Bets: NY Jets (-3.5), Tennessee (-2.5), Atlanta (+9.5)

Upset Delight: Atlanta over New Orleans

Suicide Pool: New York Jets (Eliminated in Week 6 with Philadelphia loss to Oakland)

Last Week: 7-6
Season: 53-50
Best Bets: 9-12
Upset Delight: 5-5
Suicide Pool: 6-1

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

QB Shuffle: Week 7 Notes...

Week 7 is in the books. Here are my post-weekend notes:

THE CLUTCH:

At one point down 24-3, Drew Brees caps off a huge comeback, leading the Saints on a 43-10 charge to beat the Dolphins. Brees ran for two touchdowns and threw for one after a dismal start (three interceptions).

THE non-CLUTCH:

Down 24-21 with 1:38 left from their own 6 yard line, Alex Smith (filling in for Shaun Hill) failed to complete San Francisco’s comeback attempt, by throwing the game-losing interception. Although Smith played very well in relief, throwing three touchdown passes, Smith like his career, came up short.

Down 20-17 with 3:21, Brett Favre threw a pick 6 that went 82 yards to lose the game for Minnesota, 27-17. Although the interception itself wasn’t necessarily Favre’s fault, his sack and fumble (which was returned for a touchdown) on Pittsburgh’s 8 yard line, down 13-10 was the real killer. If not for Percy Harvin’s kick-off return, Favre would have never gotten a legit shot at the end.

Once up by 21 points, Miami blows the game, as Chad Henne, down 40-34 with 3:23 remaining, throws a game losing Pick-6 to complete the monumental loss. Now at 2-4, Miami’s season looks cooked.

Down 24-17 with 2:52 left, Eli Manning throws an interception to lose to the Arizona Cardinals.

COACHING:

John Fox- what are you doing? Carolina rushes only 25 times (average 4.6 per carry) in favor of 44 pass attempts by what some people refer to as Jake “The Mistake” Delhomme? Delhomme throws three picks, and Carolina’s season essentially ends, dropping to 2-4 with a loss at home to the lowly Bills. Yikes.

VEGAS IMPLICATIONS:

Two games came down to an unneccessary Pick-6 to end the game, and essentially make the cover for the favorite (Pittsburgh -4.5 & New Orleans -6.5).

In particular, Miami's last ditch attempt to cover, was bogusly cut short with a mysterious penalty with 1 second to go with Miami within 5 yards of a touchdown. Very shady ending from a gambling point of view.

Did You Know:

Jay Cutler’s Chicago Bears are 3-3. Kyle Orton’s Denver Broncos are 6-0.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a nifty 5-3-1 in his last 9 starts.

Jason Campbell is 4-11 in his last 15 starts.

JaMarcus Russell is now 7-16 record with a 66.7 passer rating.

Since his big 2007 year, Derek Anderson is 4-9 with 11 tds vs. 15 interceptions, and a 58.0 passer rating.

Marc Bulger has won 4 games in his last 32 starts (14-42 since 2005).

HOMER REPORT

The cure to get back on track? Answer: playing a team that has JaMarcus Russell as their quarterback!

The Jets lose Leon Washington for the year. On the bright side- everytime Shonn Greene runs- it's as if he is shot out of a canon!

Was anybody as surprised as me that it was Mark Sanchez, not Rex Ryan, who was caught eating on the sidelines?

Confidence Scale (out of 10): 7.0- The Jets face a must-win game this week at home vs. Miami before they hit their bye. If they fall to 4-4, the playoffs would be very unlikely.

FOURCADE FORMULA

Based on my Fourcade formula, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 quarterback performances from week 7.

BEST:

1) Carson Palmer: 233 yards, 5 touchdowns
2) Tony Romo: 311 yards, 3 touchdowns
3) Aaron Rodgers: 246 yards, 3 touchdowns
4) Philip Rivers: 268 yards, 3 touchdowns
5) Peyton Manning: 235 yards, 3 touchdowns

WORST:

22) Derek Anderson: 99 yards, 1 interception
23) Josh Johnson: 156 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions + benched
24) Marc Bulger: 140 yards, 2 interceptions
25) Matt Cassel: 97 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions
26) JaMarcus Russell: 61 yards, 2 interceptions

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paging Dr. Common Sense: Sorting Out The Quarterback Drama

Here are some free common sense suggestions to the following NFL teams-facing critical decisions on their quarterback situations.

Buffalo Bills: Since the organization has much more invested in Trent Edwards than Ryan Fitzpatrick, they should ride out the season with Edwards and evaluate at the end of the season whether they should move in another direction or not. Fitzpatrick, although statistically boring, has quietly gone a respectable 5-3-1 in his last 9 starts.

Oakland Raiders: Let’s face it, Oakland is out of viable options. They would be wasting everyone’s time starting either Bruce Gradkowski or Charlie Frye. Although it appears that JaMarcus Russell (7-16 record, 66.7 passer rating) is clearly a bust, maybe riding out the season with him struggling, would give even more reason to completely start over at the quarterback position for 2010.

Cleveland Browns: As mentioned in a previous article, Eric Mangini needs to start Brett Ratliff for the remainder of the season. Both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn have played horrendously, watching their trade value plumment. However, Mangini can save face by playing Ratliff, whom could instantly be the saving grace from the Sanchez trade.

Tennessee Titans: Tennessee needs to play Vince Young for the remainder of the season. Although I believe Young is now a lost cause since coach Jeff Fisher completely threw him under the bus, perhaps Young could grow some value for next year. I think Tennessee is headed for a new coach and quarterback for 2010.

Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City paid big bucks for Matt Cassel, so he obviously should play right now and probably the remainder of the season. However, if things are looking really dim towards the end of 2009, perhaps they should give Matt Gutierrez a look.

Tampa Bay Bucs: The Josh Freeman era looks to begin for Tampa. Hopefully there’s enough positivity from that to gain some steam looking into the 2010 season.

St. Louis Rams: Well, the St. Louis Rams have lost 17 games in a row. Marc Bulger has won 4 games in his last 32 starts (14-42 since 2005). Bulger’s back-up, Kyle Boller, is equally inadequate. So what’s the downside in letting Keith Null play out the remainder of the season? Either way, this was a wasted year for the Rams, who were dumb enough not to draft a quarterback in last year’s draft.

Carolina Panthers: Although I have been an avid supporter of Jake Delhomme, this past Sunday’s loss at home to Buffalo may have been Delhomme’s last start as a Panther. Delhomme has had a great career with Carolina, but if John Fox was looking to make a move, now’s the time to do it with the season essentially lost at 2-4. They should ride out the season with Matt Moore, and see what they have him in. If Moore shows no upside, Carolina should have a brand new starter in 2010.

San Francisco 49ers: Mike Singletary has hit the panic button. When Singletary benched Shaun Hill in the 49ers sixth game for Alex Smith, San Francisco was holding a tie-breaker for first place in their division. As this happened, I penciled in the NFC West for the Arizona Cardinals. Thanks to Mike Singletary, it looks like I got this prediction wrong. Good luck re-playing the failed Alex Smith era!

Washington Redskins: As it looks like Washington will ride out the season with head coach Jim Zorn, they should do the same with quarterback Jason Campbell. Either way, look for a new head coach and quarterback for Washington in 2010.

Seattle Seahawks: Matt Hasselbeck is their starter, but how reliable is he at this point? Coming off serious injuries last year, he has had two great games, two awful games, and missed two games due to injury so far this year. Back-up quarterback, Seneca Wallace, shows some pulse- but I think Seattle has to seriously consider going in another direction at quarterback for 2010.

The Washington Post: AFC Domination?

Here is my opinion piece for today's Washington Post's NFL Discussion Panel which can be viewed on TWP's "The League" front-page.

Today's question is:

Do NFC teams stand a chance in 2009, or has the AFC become the prohibitive favorite?

Check it out!

It's easy to pin the AFC as the dominant conference. The AFC has won 7 of the 10 Super Bowls this decade, with the conference sporting the three most dominant quarterbacks in the league (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger), who have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl the last seven of eight years (including six straight) winning six Super Bowls.
But does the NFC have a chance? Of course they do! The last six Super Bowls have been decided by a total of 36 points (6 points average difference). When it comes down to it, the better team is going to win the Super Bowl.
Also the NFC is sporting some good quarterbacks in their own right. The NFC's contenders include an array of elite quarterbacks (Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb), as well as a number of quarterbacks on the brink of stardom (Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers).
Don't fret, the NFC is in good hands.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 7 Picks...

Note: Home teams are in CAPS. All Lines courtesy of ESPN.com

CLEVELAND (+7.5) over Green Bay
KANSAS CITY (+4.5) over San Diego
San Francisco (+3.5) over HOUSTON
Indianapolis (-13.5) over ST. LOUIS
PITTSBURGH (-4.5) over Minnesota
New England (-14.5) over Tampa Bay *played at London
CAROLINA (-7.5) over Buffalo
NY Jets (-6.5) over OAKLAND
Chicago (+1.5) over CINCINNATI
Atlanta (+3.5) over DALLAS
MIAMI (+6.5) over New Orleans
Arizona (+7.5) over NY GIANTS
Philadelphia (-7.5) over WASHINGTON
Three Best Bets: New England (-14.5), Chicago (+1.5), Miami (+6.5)

Upset Delight: San Francisco over Houston, Kansas City over San Diego

Suicide Pool: New England Patriots (Eliminated in Week 6 with Philadelphia loss to Oakland)

Last Week: 6-8
Season: 46-44
Best Bets: 8-10
Upset Delight: 5-3
Suicide Pool: 5-1

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2009 NBA Predictions...

Eastern Conference:
1. Cleveland (63-19)
2. Orlando (59-23)
3. Boston (56-26)
4. Atlanta (47-35)
5. Washington (43-39)
6. Miami (42-40)
7. Detroit (41-41)
8. Chicago (40-42)
9. Philadelphia (37-45)
10. Indiana (34-48)
11. Toronto (32-50)
12. New Jersey (29-53)
13. New York (28-54)
14. Charlotte (26-56)
15. Milwaukee (20-62)

Western Conference
1. LA Lakers (60-22)
2. San Antonio (57-25)
3. Portland (55-27)
4. Denver (51-31)
5. Dallas (50-32)
6. Utah (49-33)
7. Phoenix (46-36)
8. New Orleans (45-37)
9. Oklahoma City (43-39)
10. Houston (40-42)
11. LA Clippers (34-48)
12. Minnesota (30-52)
13. Memphis (28-54)
14. Golden State (28-54)
15. Sacramento (17-65)

Playoffs:

1st Round: Cleveland over Chicago (4-2), Atlanta over Washington (4-2), Orlando over Detroit (4-2), Boston over Miami (4-3); LA Lakers over New Orleans (4-1), Dallas over Denver (4-3), San Antonio over Phoenix (4-2), Portland over Utah (4-3)

2nd Round: Cleveland over Atlanta (4-1), Boston over Orlando (4-3); LA Lakers over Dallas (4-2), San Antonio over Portland (4-2)

Conference Championships: Cleveland over Boston (4-2), LA Lakers over San Antonio (4-3)

NBA Finals: Cleveland over LA Lakers (4-3)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Midseason Coach Swap: Is a team better off sticking with its head coach even if it plans to fire him after the season is over?

Here is my opinion piece for today's Washington Post's NFL Discussion Panel which can be viewed on TWP's "The League" front-page.

Today's question is:

Midseason Coach Swap: Is a team better off sticking with its head coach even if it plans to fire him after the season is over

Check it out!

With a number of coaches currently sitting on the hot-seat, including Jeff Fisher, Norv Turner, Wade Phillips, Dick Jauron, Tom Cable, and Eric Mangini - only one team, the Washington Redskins, should pull the trigger on switching their head coach midseason.

Let's face it, soon or later Jim Zorn is a goner. So why not just do it now? Can you imagine anyone thriving in a job situation like his? How is that supposed to work?

Washington's management has created this mess since they have set this tone beginning in the pre-season, by essentially saying they do not have confidence in Zorn. Has this affected the 2009 Washington Redskins in a negative way? I think we all know the answer to that.
Here's the rationale on why Washington should pull the trigger on making a head coaching switch ASAP.

Zorn has lost the team. Just last week, players openly asked Washington management to make a decision on Zorn so the team can move on and focus on football. The team has looked uninspired throughout the season and has gone 2-4 against an incredibly soft opening schedule (teams played are a combined 9-26).

Zorn's game decisions have also been compromised. In the last two games, down late in the fourth quarter, Zorn has punted, instead of going for it on 4th down to extend the game and give his team a chance. Zorn did not go for it because if his team had failed, he would have been blamed. This is a common characteristic of a compromised coach because in doing so, he is switching the blame from himself onto his players.
Zorn has also hit the panic button, benching starting quarterback Jason Campbell during last week's game, in favor of a much less desirable Todd Collins.
On the bright side, Washington's season is not a complete lost cause. If they fired Zorn, and implemented an interim coach, a huge weight would be lifted from the team, and could create a spark. Just look at San Francisco last year with Mike Singletary. Also, Washington still has the rest of the season to make an educated evaluation on whether Jason Campbell can play or not.
Now, going into a Monday Night Football match-up versus the Philadelphia Eagles, Jim Zorn is dead-man walking. If I were Dan Synder, I would have put Zorn out of his misery three days ago.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

QB Shuffle: Week 6 Notes...

Week 6 is in the books. Here are my post-weekend notes:

THE CLUTCH:

Down 30-17 with 6:01 remaining in the fourth quarter, Joe Flacco led two consecutive touchdown drives to take a 31-30 lead. After Minnesota took a late lead, 33-31, with 1:56 left, Flacco drove the Ravens 41 yards to get in field-goal range to win the game. However, kicker Steven Hauschka missed a 44 yarder to lose the game.

With 3:37 left, down 31-30, Brett Favre threw a 58 yard strike to set-up an eventual game winning field goal to win the game for Minnesota, 33-31.

Tied at 6-6 with 5:55 remaining, Matt Cassel led two consecutive Kansas City drives resulting in field goals to beat the Washington Redskins, 14-6.

After throwing a pick-6 with 4:36 to play for a 17-13 deficit to the lowly Rams, David Garrard redeemed himself by leading a 72 yard touchdown drive to get the lead 20-17 with 1:53 to go. Garrard then led a 62 yard drive on the first possession of overtime that led to a 36 yard game-winning field goal by Josh Scobee to win the game.

With 1:53 remaining in regulation down 20-17, Marc Bulger led a 69 yard drive to get the Rams into field goal range to tie the game and force overtime.

Up 13-9 with 2:02 remaing, on third down, JaMarcus Russell threw a 13 yard pass to Gary Russell to ice the game for the Raiders, preventing an Eagles comeback.

Back-up Ryan Fitzpatrick put Buffalo in position to beat the Jets at the end of regulation, but kicker Ryan Lindell missed a 46 yard field goal, which led to overtime. In overtime, Fitzpatrick capitalized on a late Jets turnover to lead the Bills 52 yards for the game winning 47 yard field goal, which redeemed kicker Ryan Lindell, to win 16-13.

Tied at 14-14 with 6:14 remaining, Matt Ryan capitalized on good field positioning to lead the Falcons on a 41 yard touchdown drive to give Atlanta the late 21-14 lead (and eventual win) with 3:06 remaining.

Up 27-23 with 5:40 to go, Kyle Orton led a 62 yard touchdown drive, capped off by a 5 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley, to put the game out of reach, and defeat the Chargers 34-23

THE non-CLUTCH:

Down 9-6 with 3:36 remaining, back-up Todd Collins managed just two net yards (including a fumble for a 6 yard loss) before punting the game away for the Redskins. Collins got the ball back with 31 seconds left on their own seven yard line, and took a safety in the end-zone to lose, 14-6.

Down 13-9 with 3:42 to go, Donovan McNabb failed to get the Eagles a win on a late comeback attempt, which included three straight incompletions, for a loss of downs and game.

Up 13-3 going into half-time, Mark Sanchez put in one of the worst performances you can imagine. His turnovers directly led to 13 Buffalo Bills points to complete a Jets loss in overtime. His second half stats include 5 for 15 passing, 4 interceptions and one drive-killing sack for a loss of 16 yards.

Down 21-14 with 3:06 remaining, Jay Cutler led the Bears all the way to the Falcons five yard line. After a false start to make a 4th and 1- a 4th and 6, Cutler rushed a bad pass, which fell incomplete to lose the game for Chicago.

Did You Know:

Jay Cutler’s Chicago Bears are 3-2. Kyle Orton’s Denver Broncos are 6-0.

Jay Cutler's career record is 20-22. Kyle Orton’s career record is 27-12

Kerry Collins, Kerry Collins' career record is now 79-91. He is also now 17-31 in the year after he makes the playoffs. Why am I not surprised?

Marc Bulger has won only four games in his last 31 starts. And yes, the Rams decided not to draft a quarterback this past offseason, because they felt good about the Bulger/Boller combo. I feel bad for Rams' fans...

HOMER REPORT

My 1st postgame question to Rex Ryan after the Jets embarrassing loss to the lowly Buffalo Bill at home: What left worst taste in your mouth: 5 awful Interceptions by Sanchez, or that game- plan you ate before the game?

The Jets are in serious trouble, and with the season-ending injury to Kris Jenkins, I don't know what to expect anymore for Gang Green.

At Oakland is not a gimme anymore, and the Jets really need to get back on track.

However, what they should not do is question playing Mark Sanchez. The only way to see what kind of player Sanchez is to see him play. Anyone who thinks Sanchez should be benched at any point this season is very short-sighted.

Perhaps a 3-0 start was a bad thing since it inflated expectations, not realizing the Jets' quarterback is an inexperienced 22 year old. Also, Rex Ryan has proven to be extremely shaky these past few weeks in tight spots. Only time will tell...

Confidence Scale (out of 10): 5.0- Cautiously optimistic

FOURCADE FORMULA

Based on my Fourcade formula, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 quarterback performances from week 6.

BEST:
1) Tom Brady: 380 yards, 6 touchdowns
2) Drew Brees: 369 yards, 4 touchdowns
3) Matt Schaub: 392 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception
4) Ben Roethlisberger: 417 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
5) Brett Favre: 278 yards, 3 touchdowns + clutch performance

WORST:
24) Matt Hasselbeck: 112 yards, 1 interception
25) Jason Campbell: 48 yards, 1 interception + benched
26) Daunte Culpepper: 48 yards, 1 interception
27) Kerry Collins: -7 yards, 1 interception
28) Mark Sanchez: 119 yards, 5 interceptions + non-clutch performance

QB REPORT CARD:


Based on my Fourcade formula, here are the grades for quarterbacks who have started at least three games through Week 6:

A+: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Kyle Orton, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady

A: Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb, Kurt Warner

B+: Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler

B: Joe Flacco

C+: Shaun Hill

C: David Garrard, Philip Rivers, Matt Hasselbeck

F: Mark Sanchez, Jason Campbell, Jake Delhomme, Trent Edwards, Matt Cassel, Matthew Stafford, JaMarcus Russell, Derek Anderson, Byron Leftwich, Marc Bulger, Kerry Collins, Josh Johnson, Chad Pennington, Brady Quinn

Monday, October 19, 2009

Update: The Washington Post

I was recently asked to be a part of the Washington Post's NFL Discussion Panel which can be viewed on TWP's "The League" front-page.

My first opinion piece for the site can be viewed here.

Today's question is:

Brady, Brees or Peyton Who's Your Quarterback?

Between Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning who would you want under center with one game to win?

Check it out!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week 6 Picks...

Note: Home teams are in CAPS. All Lines courtesy of ESPN.com

Houston (+4.5) over CINCINNATI
Detroit (+13.5) over GREEN BAY
Baltimore (+2.5) over MINNESOTA
NY Giants (+3.5) over NEW ORLEANS
Carolina (-3.5) over TAMPA BAY
Kansas City (+6.5) over WASHINGTON
JACKSONVILLE (-9.5) over St. Louis
PITTSBURGH (-14.5) over Cleveland
SEATTLE (-2.5) over Arizona
Philadelphia (-14.5) over OAKLAND
NY JETS (-9.5) over Buffalo
NEW ENGLAND (-9.5) over Tennessee
Chicago (+3.5) over ATLANTA
Denver (+4.5) over SAN DIEGO

Three Best Bets: Kansas City (+6.5), Baltimore (+2.5), Philadelphia (-14.5)

Upset Delight: Kansas City over Washington, Houston over Cincinnati, NY Giants over New Orleans

Suicide Pool: Philadelphia Eagles

Last Week: 7-7
Season: 40-36
Best Bets: 6-9
Upset Delight: 3-2
Suicide Pool: 5-0

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Forecasting Eventual Pink Slips: UPDATE Starring Jeff Fisher

Although I called out Jeff Fisher out back in an August 26th column, insisting he was making the wrong move by bringing back Kerry Collins, in favor of throwing their “franchise” quarterback, Vince Young, under the bus, Fisher is insisting on Kerry Collins remaining their starter, despite a 0-5 start.

Am I surprised at the Titans 0-5 start? Nope- not at all.

As I mentioned many times before, Kerry Collins’ career record is now 79-90 (47%). He is also currently 17-30 (36%) in the year after he makes the playoffs.

Kerry Collins is not only a 36 year old- former alcoholic, but he is also a very unreliable/bad quarterback. And yes, Jeff Fisher decided that this was enough to throw Vince Young under the bus for and risk their season, despite Young’s career record being 18-11, and Young being three years removed from winning rookie of the year.

So with the Titans ultimately going to miss the playoffs this year, this will mark Fisher’s 9th time his team will miss the playoffs out of 15 full seasons.

So as I predicted in my September 1st column, “Forecasting Eventual Pink Slips” it has become obvious that it is time for Jeff Fisher to be finally fired at the end of this season.

As much as the media would like to overrate Fisher, it would not be out of the ordinary for his termination, looking at some other coaches who have been fired recently. Let’s compare:

The following are four high-profiled coaches who have been fired within the past 4 years:

Marty Shottenheimer: 20 full years of coaching: 200-126-1 career record
13 playoffs, 5-13 in playoffs
11 years of 10+ wins, 9.786 wins per 16 games.

Mike Shanahan: 15 full years of coaching: 146-98 career record
7 playoffs, 8-5 in playoffs
7 years of 10+ wins, 9.574 wins per 16 games

Jon Gruden: 11 full years of coaching: 95-81 career record
5 playoffs, 5-4 in playoffs
4 years of 10+ wins, 8.636 wins per 16 games

Brian Billick: 9 full years of coaching: 80-64 career record
4 playoffs, 5-3 in playoffs
4 years of 10+ wins, 8.889 wins per 16 games

All of these coaches have made the playoffs more often than Fisher, and three of the four (Gruden’s is slightly lower) have a higher wins per 16 games average. Also, Shanahan, Gruden, and Billick all have Super Bowl rings, Fisher does not.

So yes, it would be legit in the current NFL climate that Fisher's time is up as a head coach at this moment.

Let's even compare Fisher to two current coaches on the hot seat:

Wade Phillips: 7 full years of coaching*: 73-51 (current career record)
4 playoffs, 0-4 in playoffs
3 years of 10+ wins, 9.419 wins per 16 games

John Fox: 7 full years of coaching*: 64-52 (current career record)
3 playoffs, 5-3 in playoffs
3 years of 10+ wins, 8.828 wins per 16 games

Jeff Fisher
: 14 full years of coaching*: 128-107 (current career record)
6 playoffs, 5-6 in playoffs
6 years of 10+ wins, 8.7149 wins per 16 games

Note: * full years of coaching is not including this season.

Both Phillips and Fox have a better winning percentage, and make the playoffs more often than Fisher. However, both Fox and Phillips are currently more discussed as potential terminations at years' end than Fisher. My question is...why?

So as we watch the Titans play out the remaining season, every time Kerry Collins makes a “Kerry Collins”-type mistake, or every time there’s a camera shot of Vince Young losing confidence by the minute- remember that Jeff Fisher has created this mess.

If I were Tennessee’s management, I would try to shake things up, and fire Fisher at the end of the season, and hire a young prodigy, much like what Denver did with Josh McDaniels. Tennessee needs a fresh start, and should probably draft a new franchise quarterback as well, since Fisher killed the career of their current one.

Titans’ fans: 15 years - 9 of them missing the playoffs. And I haven't even gotten into Fisher's recent playoff woes and conservative nature.

It’s time for everyone to come to terms and admit that Jeff Fisher may not be as good of a coach that the media leads us to believe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

QB Shuffle: Week 5 Notes...

Week 5 is in the books. Here are my post-weekend notes:

THE CLUTCH:

Tied at 13 with 3:09 remaining, Tony Romo led the Cowboys on a lead-changing touchdown drive, capped off by a 59 yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin. Then in overtime, Romo connected again with Miles Austin for a 60 yard game winning touchdown pass for the win, 26-20.

Down 20-13 with 2:16 left in regulation from their own 26 yard line, Matt Cassel led the Chiefs to a game-tying touchdown to force overtime, capped by a 16 yard touchdown pass on fourth down. However, Cassel failed to get the Chiefs into field goal range in overtime twice in overtime, getting as closes as the 50 yard line.

Down 17-9 in the fourth quarter, Jake Delhomme led the Panthers to 11 unanswered points to win 20-17. Delhomme’s biggest play came on a 3rd and 8, getting the first down to ice the game.

With 2:15 remaining, down 14-10, Carson Palmer led the Bengals on a 86 yard touchdown drive to beat the Baltimore Ravens, 17-14. Palmer converted on a fourth down on the game winning drive, which was capped off by a 20 yard touchdown throw. This marks Palmer's fourth time in the "clutch" column out of five games.

Kyle Orton led a game-tying touchdown drive with a 11 yard touchdown pass with 5:21 remaining to eventually force overtime. Then in overtime, Orton led the Broncos on a 53 yard drive, which led to a game-winning field goal to beat the Patriots, 20-17.

Down 27-24 with 5:12 remaining, Chad Henne led Miami on 70 yard touchdown drive which ended on a Ronnie Brown two-yard rushing touchdown to take the lead with :11 remaining. Henne went 3 for 5 for 34 yards on the winning drive, including converting two key third down passes.

THE non-CLUTCH:

Trent Edwards failed to get Buffalo in scoring position throughout the game, including no points in three fourth quarter possessions to lose a pitiful game to Cleveland, 6-3, at home.

The "winning" quarterback of this game, Derek Anderson, played even worse, completing only 2 of 17 pass attempts, including 0-5 in the fourth quarter. If not for a late fumble off a punt, which led to Cleveland’s game winning field goal, this game could have ended 3-3.

Down 28-20 with 3:07 remaining, from their own 29 yard line, Daunte Culpepper failed to get Detroit in position for a game-tying touchdown. After leading Detroit to Pittsburgh’s 21 yard line, Culpepper took three consecutive sacks, which ultimately led to a loss of downs and game for Detroit.

Down 20-17 with 9:21 left, Jason Campbell failed to get Washington into scoring possession, which led to a punt with 5:14 remaining. Washington never got the ball back

Matt Schaub cost the Texans the game by throwing a pick-six interception to give the Cardinals a 28-21 lead late in the fourth quarter. Schaub then tried to redeem himself, getting the Texans in position to tie the game with a touchdown in the two-minute drill, but failed to score from a 1st and 6 on the Cardinals’ 6 yard line (including three plays from the 1 yard line), losing the game on the last play (running back Chris Brown got stuffed on 4th down).

COACHING:

In overtime, Kansas City coach Todd Haley, elected to punt twice on fourth down (4th and 5 on their own 46 yard line & 4th and 9 from the 50 yard line). Especially for a 0-4 team, maybe you should go for the win, instead of hoping not to lose. Kansas City ultimately lost the game 26-20.

Soon to be fired, Jim Zorn, punted on a 4th and 5, from their own 49 yard line with 5:15 left, down 20-17. Washington never got the ball back. Again, Washington is a team in desperation...why not take a calculated chance?

With two time-outs in his pocket, Rex Ryan just watched as the Dolphins scored a late touchdown to take the lead 31-27. If Ryan had used those time-outs, the Jets would have had a more promising chance at the end to run a few plays, rather than a desperation hail-mary from their own 43 yard line.

Did You Know:

Jay Cutler’s Chicago Bears are 3-1. Kyle Orton’s Denver Broncos are 5-0.

Kyle Orton’s career record is 26-12 (68%)

Kerry Collins, Kerry Collins' career record is now 79-90 (47%). He is also now 17-30 (36%) in the year after he makes the playoffs. Again, not really a surprise that the Titans are 0-5 when they have a bad quarterback. If only someone had warned them...hmm

After starting out his career 9-4, Trent Edwards is 4-11 since.

Jason Campbell is now 4-9 in his last 15 starts.

JaMarcus Russell is now a career 6-15, with a career passer rating of 68.0

HOMER REPORT

Can I erase the Miami game from my memory? On top of Rex Ryan's mis-use of time-outs at the end, the Jets defense looked like swiss cheese.

The next three games for the Jets before the bye are very winnable (vs. Buffalo, @Oakland, vs. Miami). However, after last night, I remain alittle skeptical. Anything other than going into the bye at 6-2 would be a major letdown.

Confidence Scale (out of 10): 6.5- Perhaps a home game vs. the Buffalo Bills will help get things back on track?

FOURCADE FORMULA

Based on my Fourcade formula, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 quarterback performances from week 5.

BEST:
1) Donovan McNabb: 264 yards, 3 touchdowns
2) Matt Hasselbeck: 241 yards, 4 touchdowns
3) Tony Romo: 351 yards, 2 touchdowns + clutch performance
4) Peyton Manning: 309 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception
5) Kurt Warner: 302 yards, 2 touchdowns

WORST:
24) Joe Flacco: 186 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
25) Shaun Hill: 198 yards, 1 interception
26) JaMarcus Russell: 100 yards
27) Kerry Collins: 164 yards, 1 interception
28) Trent Edwards: 152 yards, 1 interception + non-clutch performance

Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 5 Picks...

Note: Home teams are in CAPS. All Lines courtesy of ESPN.com

Cleveland (+6.5) over BUFFALO
Pittsburgh (-10.5) over DETROIT
KANSAS CITY (+8.5) over Dallas
Minnesota (-10.5) over ST. LOUIS
NY GIANTS (-16.5) over Oakland
PHILADELPHIA (-13.5) over Tampa Bay
CAROLINA (-3.5) over Washington
Cincinnati (+8.5) over BALTIMORE
SAN FRANCISCO (-2.5) over Atlanta
Jacksonville (+0.5) over SEATTLE
Houston (+5.5) over ARIZONA
New England (-3.5) over DENVER
Indianapolis (-3.5) over TENNESSEE
NY Jets (-1.5) over MIAMI

Three Best Bets: New York Jets (-1.5), Minnesota (-10.5) & Jacksonville (+0.5)

Upset Delight: Cleveland over Buffalo

Suicide Pool: New York Giants (hoping Eli Manning starts/plays)

Last Week: 6-8
Season: 33-29
Best Bets: 5-7
Suicide Pool: 4-0
Upset Delight: 2-2

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

MLB Playoff Predictions...

ALDS
Yankees over Twins (3-1)
Angels over Redsox (3-2)

NLDS
Phillies over Rockies (3-1)
Dodgers over Cardinals (3-2)

ALCS
Angels over Yankees (4-2)

NLCS
Dodgers over Phillies (4-3)

World Series
Angels over Dodgers (4-3)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

QB Shuffle: Week 4 Notes (continued...)

HOMER REPORT

The New Orleans game was a missed opportunity for the Jets. With their defense playing great, Sanchez’ critical mistakes literally cost them the game. If only Sanchez submitted a C+ effort instead of a F, the Jets would have probably won that game.

I’m hoping Sanchez has a short memory.

The next four games for the Jets are very winnable (@Miami, vs. Buffalo, @Oakland, vs. Miami). I’m expecting the Jets to go at least 3-1 during that stretch, giving them a 6-2 record going into their bye. If the Jets are for real, they should win all four.

Confidence Scale (out of 10): 8.0- A tad rattled, but hopefully playing Chad Henne (who took 6 sacks in his debut - a home blow-out win over Buffalo), should be a recipe for success for the Jets.

FOURCADE FORMULA

Based on my Fourcade formula, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 quarterback performances from week 4.

BEST:
1) David Garrard: 323 yards, 3 touchdowns
2) Ben Roethlisberger: 333 yards, 2 touchdowns + clutch performance
3) Brett Favre: 271 yards, 3 touchdowns
4) Peyton Manning: 353 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
5) Eli Manning: 292 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception

WORST:

24) JaMarcus Russell: 128 yards
25) Josh Johnson: 106 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception + non-clutch performance
26) Trent Edwards: 192 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions
27) Kyle Boller: 108 yards, 1 interception
28) Mark Sanchez: 138 yards, 3 interceptions

QB REPORT CARD:

Based on my Fourcade formula, here are the grades for quarterbacks who have started at least three games through Week 4:

A+: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Brett Favre, Kyle Orton, Joe Flacco, Tom Brady, Jay Cutler

A: Shaun Hill, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer

B+: Mark Sanchez

B: Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger

C+: David Garrard

C: Tony Romo, Jason Campbell

D: Kurt Warner

F: Trent Edwards, Matthew Stafford, JaMarcus Russell, Byron Leftwich, Matt Cassel, Kerry Collins, Marc Bulger, Chad Pennington, Jake Delhomme, Brady Quinn

Monday, October 5, 2009

QB Shuffle: Week 4 Notes...

Week 4 is almost in the books. Here are my post-weekend notes:

THE CLUTCH:

Down 20-14 with 6:34 remaining, Carson Palmer led the Bengals on a 70 yard touchdown drive, capped by a 2 yard touchdown pass on fourth down, which should have won the game in regulation. However, the extra point was blocked to force overtime. Then in overtime, Palmer converted on a 4th and 11 on Cleveland’s 41 yard line with 1:05 left, which eventually led to a game winning field goal for the Bengals, to win 23-20. This marks Palmer's third time in the "clutch" column out of four games.

Tied at 10 with 2:47 left from their 27 yard line, Kyle Orton connected with Brandon Marshall on the third play for a 51 yard touchdown to give Denver a late 17-10 lead and eventual win over the Dallas Cowboys.

After the Chargers scored 21 fourth quarter points, Up 35-28 with 4:31 remaining, Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers on a 51 yard drive, capped off by a 46 yard field goal to put the game away for Pittsburgh, 38-28.

THE non-CLUTCH:

With 1:55 remaining in regulation, starting on their own 33 yard line, Derek Anderson failed to lead the Browns into scoring position to win the game in regulation. Then in overtime, the Browns only managed 33 total yards on three possessions (Anderson completing only 3 of 10 passes), which eventually led to their overtime loss.

Down 16-13 with 1:52 remaining, Josh Johnson fumbled the ball on the third play, which led to a Buccaneers loss to the Redskins, after blowing a 10-0 lead half-time lead.

Down 27-21 from their own 20 yard line with 3:32 left, Joe Flacco led the Ravens 67 yards to the Patriots 14 yard line, before throwing two consecutive incompletions (including a Mark Clayton drop on fourth down) for a loss of downs, and a loss of the game for Baltimore.

Down 17-10 with 1:46 left from their own 20, Tony Romo drives the Cowboys all the way down to Denver’s two yard line. However, Romo throws 2 consecutive incompletions (both deflected by Champ Bailey), to lose the game on fourth down.

COACHING:

Kudos to Marvin Lewis for going for a 4th and 11 on Cleveland’s 41 yard line late in overtime. The Bengals won three plays later on a game winning 31 yard field goal by Shane Graham.

Up 27-21, on Baltimore’s 39 yard line late in the game, Bill Belichick orders a punt on 4th and 4. The punt leads to an eventual touchback, which means Belichick gave up the chance to win the game in favor of 19 yards! This tells me Belichick doesn’t have confidence in Pats offense to gain 4 measly yards with the game on the line. This was very un-Belichick-like.

Up 17-10 with 9:06 left on the Jets 44 yard line, New Orleans coach Sean Payton decides to go for 4th and 1 to hopefully put the game out of reach. This results in a Jets penalty (giving the Saints the first down) and leads to an eventual Saints’ touchdown to put the game out of reach over the Jets.

Did You Know:

Jay Cutler’s Chicago Bears are 3-1. Kyle Orton’s Denver Broncos are 4-0.

Kyle Orton’s career record is 25-12 (68%)

Shaun Hill’s career record is 10-4 (71%)

Kerry Collins' career record is now 79-89 (47%). He is also now 17-29 (37%) in the year after he makes the playoffs. Not really a surprise that the Titans are 0-4 when they have a bad quarterback. If only someone had warned them...hmm

Part two comes out tomorrow...stay tuned

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 4 Picks...

Note: Home teams are in CAPS. All Lines courtesy of ESPN.com

Detroit (+10.5) over CHICAGO
CLEVELAND (+5.5) over Cincinnati
INDIANAPOLIS (-8.5) over Seattle
NY Giants (-9.5) over KANSAS CITY
Tampa Bay (+7.5) over WASHINGTON
Tennessee (-2.5) over JACKSONVILLE
Oakland (+9.5) over HOUSTON
NEW ENGLAND (-2.5) over Baltimore
NY Jets (+6.5) over NEW ORLEANS
Buffalo (-1.5) over MIAMI
Dallas (-3.5) over DENVER
SAN FRANCISCO (-10.5) over St. Louis
San Diego (+6.5) over PITTSBURGH
Green Bay (+3.5) over MINNESOTA

Three Best Bets: NY Jets (+6.5), Oakland (+9.5), New England (-2.5)

Suicide Pool: San Francisco 49ers

Upset Delight: New York Jets over New Orleans

Last Week: 9-7
Season: 27-21
Best Bets: 4-5
Suicide Pool: 3-0
Upset Delight: 2-1