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Game Matchups Preview #Bye: Josh Allen vs. Everyone

2020.11.20 13:56 UberHansen Game Matchups Preview #Bye: Josh Allen vs. Everyone

So, this week we are shaking this up a bit. It’s the Bills’ Bye Week so obviously they don’t have a game meaning a Game Matchup Preview would be really difficult to write. I spent some time racking my brain to think of something I could do this week and then had an idea. There is a certain situation, comprised of a few intriguing matchups, all Bills’ fans have been monitoring for the past 3 years. That situation is none other than the ascension of the Bills’ Franchise Quarterback from everyone’s favorite punching bag to MVP contender. With that in mind here is 2020’s Special Edition of “Matchups Preview”, Josh Allen vs. Everyone.
The date is March 9, 2018 and the Bills are coming off a season where they had finally ended a 17-year playoff drought. Speculation has been swirling for months whether the team will move on from their 3-year starting QB, Tyrod Taylor, until an Adam Schefter tweet changes everything. The Bills had traded Taylor to the Browns “And Buffalo[s] back in QB market” signaling what many Bills’ fans had expected, the Bills will draft a QB in 2018. Fast-forward to the NFL Draft where Bills’ fans were hoping that one of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, or Josh Allen would fall to them at pick #12. The draft begins. With the 1st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the Cleveland Browns select…Baker Mayfield. With the 3rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the New York Jets select…Sam Darnold. As pick 7 approached a 3rd QB has yet to be selected, then a trade is announced. Buffalo will trade the #12, #53, and #56 to the Buccaneers and move up to the #7 pick. With the 7th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills select…
Josh Allen.
Josh Allen vs. Bills’ Fans
While some Bills’ fans were ecstatic with the Bills’ selection let’s not rewrite history and act like the entire fan base was behind the decision. Look at these Bills’ fans in Los Angeles, how bout these ones interviewed by WKBW, or even these ones in Tonawanda? And full transparency, while there is no video, I fully admit that when I heard the word “Allen” follow the word “Josh” an expletive or two (or three) may have been said. Frankly we had reasons to be skeptical, after all the Bills had just drafted a QB who completed only 56% of his passes at Wyoming and while he had eye popping arm strength was more comparable to Jamarcus Russel than Russel Wilson. But shortly after the draft Bills Mafia did what it does best, shook off a “loss” and moved forward. In doing so many of these skeptics would quickly feel what few had the foresight to see, that this 7th overall pick may just be the franchise altering one Bills Mafia had been dying for, for decades.
From the second he was drafted Allen began endearing himself to Bills’ fans with his first statement as a Buffalo Bills QB being, “Thank you to the Bills’ organization for making the leap and putting their faith in me. I’m gonna make them look like they’re the smartest people out there. I’m humbled. I’m blessed, to be a part of Bills Mafia.” The Bills had not only drafted a QB with massive upside but had gotten a football player who clearly wanted to be in Buffalo and was willing to do just about anything to prove Buffalo made the right decision in drafting him. This was visibly apparent for the first time in his career on September 23, 2018 against the Minnesota Vikings when two separate plays made Bills’ fans jaws drop more than watching Stevie Johnson shred apart Darrelle Revis. The first, on 2nd down from the Vikings 9-yard line Allen saw a lane to the left pylon and took it. From 5-yards out Allen took off, and in a Superman pose, hit the left pylon for the TD. A play few QBs can make and even fewer all willing to make, this only foreshadowed what was yet to come in arguably the most eye-popping play of 2018. On 3rd and 10 from the Bills side of the field Allen sees a bit of daylight over the middle of the field and breaks off a run with just Anthony Barr to beat. Meeting Barr 5 yards short of the 1st down Allen did the unthinkable, he jumped, right over the 6’5” LB for a 2nd quarter first down. That was it for a lot of Bills fans, Buffalo had a QB who would clearly do anything and everything to get them a win.
There are so many more highlights that increased Buffalo’s infatuation with Allen. Whether it be his impossible throw against Jacksonville, his Thanksgiving first down, or literally any game against the Dolphins I could go on and on about what Josh Allen has done on the field but it’s what he has done off the field that won the hearts of Bills Mafia. Using experiences from his childhood Allen spends more times than most interacting with the fans, the highlight being the time he took a young Dolphins’ fans’ jersey and replaced it with a signed Josh Allen one. Or how about the time Allen had a young fan autograph a drawing the fan was giving to Josh at a JA autograph event? All these moments culminated recently when Bills Mafia found out Allen was dealing with a difficult situation during the Bills’ 2020 matchup with the Seahawks. Postgame Bills’ fan learned that Allen’s grandmother had passed away and (un)surprisingly began donating $17 in her honor to Allen’s favorite charity, Oishei Children’s Hospital. Hundreds of dollars, Thousands, Tens of Thousands, Hundreds of Thousands, $483,000. And then the Bills’ QB capped it off by donating $17,000 to push the total to $500,000 (It would eventually exceed $650,000). Bills Mafia has found their QB in a kid that just 2.5 years earlier was excited to be a part of Buffalo now was saying, “My family is forever engraved here, myself included. I don’t ever want to leave. I want to play for as long as I can and give back to this community and Bills Mafia.”.
EDGE: Josh Allen 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏
Josh Allen vs. Analytics
We have all heard the line made famous by Jason Kirk, but here it is again; “If Josh Allen succeeds, the Bills will have outsmarted basically all regular humans and the entirety of math itself”. Let’s not sugarcoat it, the Analytics community despised the existence of Josh Allen as a prospect and before he was even drafted deemed it impossible for him to succeed. Kirk cites advanced metrics like S&P+, QBASE, Off-Target Rates, and “NFL Throw” accuracy as indicators of why his “ceiling” is Ryan Mallet and his closest comparison is Jake Locker. Kirk happened to have the catchy headline and has been a favorite of Josh Allen stans since, but this was just one of many articles written by the analytics community. Most of these analyses used made up stats as evidence to validate their pre-draft perceptions but none did so as viciously as one organization, Pro Football Focus (PFF).
In their pre-draft scouting report of Josh Allen PFF’s Steve Palazzolo & Sam Monson giddily trolled the Wyoming QB. The first statement that stood out, “The absolutely best case scenario is you might end up with a guy who is a little bit worse than Baker Mayfield”. Let’s unpack that statement. PFF is saying that assuming literally everything falls perfectly for Josh Allen at that point in time Allen would still be worse than any level of progression which Baker Mayfield achieves. This statement is so incredibly damning of a prospect that it makes complete sense why it would take years to back off such a statement. The second statement that stood out was, “You’re not going to fix the inaccuracy, it just doesn’t happen, you do not dramatically fix a quarterback’s basic ability to deliver a ball to a target”. Thus, is the trap of analytics, the inability to contextualize statistical observations with everything that leads up to them. It is a simple fact that Josh Allen completed just 56.2% of his passes at Wyoming but the context surrounding that number is up for interpretation. I often argue that while PFF supposedly analyzes every play in order to properly grade football players doing so without knowing what the actual play is, is the equivalent of saying the original version of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno was poorly written, while being unable to read Italian. It is worth noting that PFF has admitted their mistake, though doing so in a backhanded way by referring to it as an “anomaly”, and Sam Monson even filled out the Josh Allen apology form.
Analytics do have a use though and are best used as a piece of evidence in a larger discussion. PFF had failed to interpret how much Wyoming relied on their QB over other teams to a point where he was often required to win games by himself. In fact, in the only 2 games which Allen did not play between 2016 & 2017 Wyoming lost to Fresno State (10-4) & San Jose State (2-11) scoring only 24 combined points in those games. But PFF isn’t the only organization that fails to recognize the intangible parts of a player’s play as in all reality every part of the analytics community falls victim to this. Take ESPN and their made up QBR, which interestingly is built off a proprietary “formula” which ESPN refuses to educate the public on. In 2019 QBR, which measures a QBs “contributions to his team’s fortunes”, ranked Josh Allen 24th behind the likes of Jacoby Brissett (#21), Daniel Jones (#18), and Jameis Winston (#16). In normal passer rating, a formula available to everyone, these 3 QBs combined for a rating of 81.3 which was 4 less than Allen’s 85.3. These 3 QBs also combined for 757 rushing yards and 7 rushing TDs where Allen had 510 rushing yards and 9 rushing TDs, numbers QBR supposedly takes into consideration. Last, Brissett, Jones, and Winston had a combined record of 17-27 (.386) while Josh’s Bills went 10-5 (.667), Week 17 removed. Like QBR all these stats lack true context but in simply watching any of these four QBs play in 2019 are their truly people out there that would argue Allen is significantly worse than 30 interception Jameis Winston? Like PFF, ESPN’s QBR has corrected its mistakes and currently has Allen ranked the 5th best QB in 2020 (he has also played much better). Still for reasons described above many within, and outside, the Bills community look at QBR as nothing more than a statistic used by Madden to help formulate their player ratings (Where Allen is currently ranked 12th).
EDGE: Josh Allen 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏
Josh Allen vs. The NFL
How did NFL players feel when the Bills drafted Josh Allen? A good word is probably “Excited”. “I think Allen is trash. I don’t care what nobody say. He’s trash. And it’s gonna show too. That’s a stupid draft pick to me.” – Jalen Ramsey. “Can’t wait to catch passes from one of my fav QB’s” – Jamal Adams. Ramsey and Adams were clearly the most vocal players early on in Allen’s career but there were obviously more that silently drooled over the prospects of playing Allen. Allen’s rookie preseason as well as him “losing” the QB battle to Nathan Peterman were likely the nail in the coffin for many players perceptions of Allen, that is until Allen electrified the NFL.
Allen’s ability to make ridiculous play after ridiculous play has earned the respect of most all his peers. Whether it be the Barr leap, putting Kiko Alonso in the spin cycle, single handedly gaining a 1st down on Thanksgiving, or shocking opponents with the freak plays he is able to make Allen has been able to shut up the doubters and inspire fans out of his opponents. Even his most vocal doubter, Jalen Ramsey, Allen was able to tongue tie after beating his Jaguars in 2018. This has progressed further in 2020 where opponents interviewed prior to games are consistently lauding him. Players like Aaron Donald and Johnathan Abram heaped praise on Allen both before and after the game but the person which demonstrates best how much the NFL respects Allen is not one who straps a helmet on each week. There is nothing more telling about the respect of an opposing QB than how the defenses attempt to stop him which is why when Bill Belichick ran 5+ DBs on every single non-kneel snap of the Bills’ game you knew that the respect had reached a whole different level. The greatest coach of all time now looks at the JA led Buffalo passing attack as the most important element to stop wen playing the Bills.
2020 has evolved Josh Allen’s profile but even coming into this season his NFL peers were singing his praises. In the yearly NFL Top-100 NFL players voted Allen as the 87th best player in the NFL. This list is always a point of contention and I fully admit it is one I don’t subscribe to but that fact that Allen so quickly has been able to change his perception in the NFL is telling. But it starts and ends in Buffalo where Allen’s teammates rarely have a negative thing to say about the QB. After his 400+ yard performance in Week 2 the comments his teammates made in their postgame pressers said it all. “Jeeez, Dang Josh!”, “He’s the leader of our team and we’re riding behind him”, “He’s the General”. Ok, maybe you want to hear these things from a Buffalo Bills’ great, how bout Kyle Williams? Before the 2019 season Williams explained just who Allen is and what he means to this team when he said, “[Allen’s] a connector of men and people. He can bring people together. People tend to gravitate to him. That is an encouraging thing for the organization and for guys that are going to come to Buffalo and they’re going to come and play in this city and this organization, is to have that guy, the bell-cow, the quarterback, be that type of guy.”
EDGE: Josh Allen 👏 👏 👏 👏
Josh Allen vs. Sports Media
Like the analytics community Sports Media has been after Allen since before a football even touched his fingertips in Buffalo, and for the most part they have maintained this assault. Ultimately these talking heads spend more time building narratives based off box score and highlight watching than they do breaking down any form of tape. Honestly, it makes sense, they are entertainers after all with an emphasis on gaining views and drawing clicks more from the masses than pandering to people looking for detailed breakdowns of games. Still, to Bills Mafia and the NFL community as a whole, it becomes tiresome and incredibly frustrating to listen to these people talk about things as if they have a deeper understanding than the people who have watched every play, to a point where they demean the fans and players alike. Still this may be a losing battle and out of the 4 matchups I have broken down in this post this is the one that is nearly unwinnable. As the next 2 people will demonstrate, some people just refuse to admit they are wrong.
The first of these is Nick Wright who has been on my radar for a while as an avid listener of Mad Dog Radio, where his takes are often so outlandish you question whether he means anything he says. While Wright flip flops more than a pair of Reefs on the Jersey Shore, more often than not he spends his time slamming Allen with such little context it’s laughable. Beginning in 2018 Wright proved he had never watched Tyrod Taylor play football by saying that whoever started for Buffalo, followed by jokes about Josh Allen, represented the biggest downgrade in the entire NFL from 2017 to 2018. This narrative was one he held onto for quite some time but for the most part remained silent on Josh Allen until recent MVP talks required him to speak. In discussing his chances of MVP 3 games into the season, when by the way JA had 1122 yards & 12 TDS. Nick Wright said, “His chance of winning league MVP is approximately 0%”. In the same segment Wright goes on to say that he will never admit he is wrong about Josh Allen because to him he is right about the “Honorable Mention All Big-West” QB. Wright has been an utter mess covering Josh Allen but has been no-where near as bad as Colin Cowherd.
When Cowherd first heard that the Browns were considering taking Josh Allen with the #1 pick instead of Sam Darnold he likened it to the Charlotte Hornets trading Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac in 1996. Fast forward to just before the 2020 season where Allen’s contemporaries voted him the 87th best player in the NFL (More on this later) and Cowherd had the audacity to say that Allen isn’t even a Top 200 player in the NFL. Remember, this is coming off a season in which Josh Allen had 29TDs, ranking 6th in the NFL. Even as recently as November 5 of 2020 Cowherd put Josh Allen in Tier 3 or 3 as a QB that the Bills will need to consider moving on from incoming seasons. No joke, he had Carson Wentz in Tier 2 over Allen. In a society where people are consistently unwilling to admit their mistakes Cowherd exemplifies this inability by refusing to back off a statement that was so blatantly false that he makes even Sam Monson look like an angel.
EDGE: Josh Allen 👏
Why He Won’t Succeed
It is possible that 2020 is a blip on the radar that will be Josh Allen’s career. Even through his domination of 2020 there are a few moments that make you scratch your head. Look no further than the Titans game where down by 11, with 3:26 left in the 3rd, Allen threw an awful interception which turned a close game into a blowout. This is just the boom or bust player he is which also shows up in his run game. Sure, he has plays where he bulldozes LBs, but he also clearly has a fumbling problem and takes way more big hits than any franchise would want of their QB.
The question is whether or not Allen can keep improving and reduce the mistakes. Maybe its just his incredible receiving corps in 2020 of Diggs, Brown, and Beasley which is arguably the best trio in the NFL. Could it be possible that these receivers are the keys to Allen’s success instead of the other way around? Think further, what if the Bills make the playoffs and lose their first game while Allen struggles. Then is their fear Allen can’t win the games that matter? These are very real possibilities and while only time will tell there is the possibility, they Josh Allen won’t succeed.
Why He Will Succeed
But he already has succeeded. Allen has succeeded in proving every doubter that said he could never be an average NFL QB wrong, to a point where him and Lamar Jackson have left Mayfield, Darnold, and Rosen in the dust for best QB from the 2018 draft. Now when we talk about succeed, we talk about the term “Franchise QB” and wonder whether Allen can be that guy for the next 5, 10, 15 years for Buffalo and lead them back to the glory of the 90s.
As for any knocks on him now, sure he has a few frustrating moments but by all measures he is playing like a Top-5 QB in the NFL. Honestly, name me 5 QBs better than Allen in 2020, I’ll wait (Mahomes, Rodgers, Wilson, …). Allen is doing what great QBs do, make everyone around him better. John Brown just had a career year and now both Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs are on pace for the best of theirs. Frankly, Allen is playing QB better than any player ever has in a Bills’ uniform. Yea I said it, as of this moment Allen is playing QB better than Jim Kelly, Joe Ferguson, or Doug Flutie but don’t get it twisted that doesn’t mean he is the greatest QB in Bills’ history. No, great QB is reserved for the one that gets you to the dance, best is for the one that wins it. Will Josh Allen succeed?
Prediction: 1 Super Bowl Win, Buffalo Bills QB through 2030+, Hall of “Very Good”
JA is a special cat and I've had more fun rooting for him in 2020 than I have any athlete in my lifetime. There is something about the player that every outsider tries to tear down and that a fan base continually props up. It’s something else when that player rewards you by improving to a point where he is in the conversation for the MVP of his league. I don’t know what the future holds, and it could be packed with regression and heartbreak, but at least for now I am comfortable, for the first time in my Bills’ fandom, repeating “We have a Franchise QB”.
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2020.11.10 14:42 UberHansen Rooting Interests Week #10

3-point underdogs at home, nearly every major analyst picks you to lose, coming off a game where a miracle Peanut Punch saved a victory against the Patriots, up against a Seahawks team who at one point had a 30-7 lead the previous week, and what did the Bills do? They won. They dominated. They improved to 7-2. Now let’s not put the cart before the horse but the Bills are in control of the AFC East and have greater aspirations in the AFC Playoff picture, but they could use some help. With that in mind I present the tenth iteration of 2020 “Rooting Interest” posts. Included in this is the “Game Importance Scale” which will rate games from 👏👏👏👏👏 (Most Important) to 👏 (Least Important).
NOTE: I do not consider ties or injuries for the sake of this discussion. Tiebreakers in order below are for overall standings.
  1. H2H = Head to Head
  2. WLC = Win/Loss in Conference
  3. WLG = Win/Loss in Common Games min 4
  4. SOV = Strength of Victory
  5. SOS = Strength of Schedule
In any given week if only 2 games fall your way with one of them consisting of 2 NFC teams (Giants & Football Team) and the other an NFC team beating an AFC team with a losing record (Falcons over Broncos), then it can be considered a rough week. The Bills’ win was great but with the Titans, Chiefs, Ravens, Raiders, Steelers, and Dolphins all victorious this becomes the worst 👏 week since I started doing these posts last season. -26👏 is double the season total of -13👏, here is to hoping for just a little help in the coming weeks.
Rooting Interests Record: 48-61-1 (LW 2-11)
Rooting Interests 👏 +/-: -39 👏 (LW -26 👏)
Colts @ Titans (Thursday 8:20PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏
The third most important game of the week pits the 5-3 Colts against the 6-2 Titans in a matchup which will determine the division leader of the AFC South. This makes it a game which Bills’ fans must pay close attention to as it will have seeding implications as we move into the home stretch of the 2020 campaign. With the Titans holding the H2H tiebreaker over the Bills, Buffalo is hoping that either the Titans finish 2nd in the AFC South OR they finish with more losses than the Bills. Of course, all of this assumes the Bills win the AFC East, and right now they are on pace to accomplish exactly that.
Optimal Outcome: Colts’ Victory
Eagles @ Giants (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏
The NFC East continues to be an embarrassment to the NFL and a possible catalyst for a change in Homefield Advantage allocation for the playoffs. To date the 4 NFC East teams combine for an overall record of 9-24-1 (.286) and a non-divisional record of just 2-17-1 (.143). Lucky for the 2020 AFC North they get to play the NFC East where thus far the Ravens & Steelers have beaten the Eagles (Bengals tied) while only the Steelers have beaten the Giants. The optimal outcome of this game is to reduce SOV for the most AFC North teams, with that in mind root for the team with less losses in such matchups.
Optimal Outcome: Giants’ Victory
Jaguars @ Packers (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏
This game ends up being sneaky important in the long run. At 1-7 the Jaguars are all but eliminated in the 2020 playoff race yet still can play a factor in the future of the Buffalo Bills. Currently they sit just 1 game ahead of the Jets in the race for the #1 pick and while unclear whether or not Trevor Lawrence is willing to play for the Jets it’s best to keep the possibility of that from happening.
Optimal Outcome: Packers’ Victory
Football Team @ Lions (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏
It looks like Alex Smith will be leading the Washing Football Team at QB for the remainder of the 2020 season. An incredible story that when coupled with HC Ron Rivera’s battle with cancer makes for a team that is easy to root for. But as a fan base our focus here is not the story and instead our ol’ reliable tiebreakers, SOV & SOS. In that regard the Football Team plays the AFC North and have lost to the Browns & Ravens while the Lions play the AFC South and have lost to the Colts (And beaten the Jaguars). This means a loss by one team is guaranteed to reduce the SOV of 2 AFC playoff hopefuls, as well as reducing SOS for 3, where the other losing only effects 1.
Optimal Outcome: Lions’ Victory
Texans @ Browns (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏
With the Texans all but eliminated from playoff contention and the Browns squarely in the race, Bills fans must determine their priority based on the past, present, and future. In the past, the Texans have lost to a slew of AFC frontrunners including the Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers, and Titans. This means a Texans loss decreases all those team’s SOS & SOV. In the present, the Texans are playing a team which is only 1 game behind the Bills in the loss column. A dangerous situation that threatens the Bills playoff chances in the event they are unable to win the division. And for the future, the Dolphins hold the Texans 1st round draft pick in 2021 which is currently the #7 overall pick, a win pushes this down while a loss pushes this up. As a fan base who has spent some time attempting to forget the past lets continue that strategy and care about what happens from today onwards.
Optimal Outcome: Texans’ Victory
Buccaneers @ Panthers (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏
NFC South matchup consisting of a sweet prince named Teddy and an evil Orc named Tommy. Since each team hails from the same division they each play the same set of teams from the AFC, which this season is the AFC West. In such games the Bucs have beaten the Raiders (And Broncos & Chargers) while the Panthers have lost to the Raiders & Chiefs (And beaten the Chargers). We have had to do this to many times and yet again must do what is similar to rooting for Gothmog over Aragon but bear with me because “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens”.
Optimal Outcome: Buccaneers’ Victory
Chargers @ Dolphins (Sunday 4:05PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏
Outside of the Bills game this is the single most important game in Week 10. The Dolphins are hanging tight with the Bills at 5-3 effectively 2 games behind Buffalo (1.5 GB + H2H Tiebreaker = 2). In the context of this game the Chargers are inconsequential therefore root for them to Squish some Fish Sunday.
Optimal Outcome: Chargers’ Victory
Broncos @ Raiders (Sunday 4:05PM) 👏 👏 👏
An important game at this point in the season with the Raiders trailing the Bills by just 1 game in the loss column. While unlikely the Raiders can pass the Chiefs in the AFC West it is not impossible considering they hold the H2H tiebreaker over them. Still, Bills’ fans should root for the Raiders to fall further out of contention and instead for the middle of the pack to tighten. At this point 5-4 & 4-5 teams is a better alternative to 6-3 & 3-6 teams.
Optimal Outcome: Broncos’ Victory
Bills @ Cardinals (Sunday 4:05PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏
The Bills are 7-2 for the first time since 1993. They can also realistically win each remaining game on their schedule. This is something I am sure a large group of readers have not read in their lifetime, I’m one of them. Hmm, I wonder what 8-2 feels like…
Optimal Outcome: Bills’ Victory
49ers @ Saints (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏 👏
A game that preseason was billed as one of the better matchups of the season is now relegated to one of the worst games on the Week 10 docket. The Saints are playing like one of the best, if not the best, team in the NFC while the 49ers have been decimated by injuries and struggling to hang on to what is quickly becoming a lost season. Still the Bills see value in this game where a 49ers’ victory results in an SOS increase, as well as a possible SOV bump, for the Bills while a Saints loss drops the SOV of the Raiders and the SOS of both the Raiders and Chiefs.
Optimal Outcome: 49ers’ Victory
Seahawks @ Rams (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏
This game is a complete wash for the Bills. Since the Bills have beaten the Seahawks and the Rams this game has 0 impact on SOS & SOV. This leaves the only impact of this game being to the SOV of the Dolphins. While SOV is the #5 tiebreaker for divisions the fact that the Dolphins have lost to the Seahawks but beaten the Rams means that the Bills can get a small amount of value here. We root for optimal outcomes, and there is only one in this game.
Optimal Outcome: Seahawks’ Victory
Bengals @ Steelers (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏 👏 👏
As simple as it gets. The Bills are chasing the Chiefs and the Steelers for the #1 seed in the AFC. The Chiefs are not playing in this game. That means we safely root for the Steelers to get their first loss of 2020.
Optimal Outcome: Bengals’ Victory
Ravens @ Patriots (Sunday 8:20PM) 👏 👏 👏
This just so happens to be the most difficult game of the week to determine the optimal outcome for. On the one hand the Ravens are 6-2 and just 0.5 games behind the Bills, but also second in their division. On the other hand, the Patriots are 3rd in the AFC East but just 3-5 and effectively 4 games behind the Bills. This could be argued either way, but years and years of pain caused by the Patriots leads to trepidation of what Bill Belichick may be capable of with 8 games left. For that reason, at least this week, we only have one optimal outcome.
Optimal Outcome: Ravens’ Victory
Vikings @ Bears (Monday 8:15PM)
What’s the opposite of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object? Because that’s what we have this game with the antithesis of each being the Bears offense (#29 in the NFL) versus the Vikings defense (# 29 in the NFL). I would argue that Bills’ fans should watch this NFC North matchup with an eye on SOV impact to AFC South contenders but with each of these teams losing to both the Colts & Titans this becomes our first 0👏 of the year with NO impact on the AFC Playoff Picture. Still for optimal outcome I am feeling petty, to the Vikings fans who bombarded #17 with insults, this one is for you.
Optimal Outcome: Bears
If all of these games went the optimal route below would be the updated AFC standings (All tiebreakers considered):
  1. Chiefs (8-1 TB = 7-1 WLC)**
  2. Steelers (8-1 TB = 5-1 WLC)**
  3. Bills (8-2)**
  4. Colts (6-3 TB = H2H Win over Titans)**
  5. Ravens (7-2 TB)*
  6. Titans (6-3 TB = H2H Loss to Colts)*
  7. Raiders (5-4 TB = 3-3 WLC)*
  8. Browns (5-4 TB = 3-4 WLC)
  9. Dolphins (5-4 TB = 2-3 WLC)
  10. Broncos (4-5)
  11. Bengals (3-5-1)
  12. Chargers (3-6 TB = 3-3 WLC)
  13. Patriots (3-6 TB = 3-4 WLC & SOV .370)
  14. Texans (3-6 TB = 3-4 WLC & SOV .259)
  15. Jaguars (1-8)
  16. Jets (0-9)
** Division Leader
* Wildcard
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2020.10.30 13:40 UberHansen Game Matchups Preview #8: Bills vs. Patriots

Before every Bills’ game I spend some time, probably too much time, digging into how the Bills roster stacks up against their opponent’s. While doing this I specifically look at 5 matchups; Bills’ Pass Offense vs. Opponent’s Pass Defense, Bills’ Rush Offense vs. Opponent’s Rush Defense, Bills’ Pass Defense vs. Opponent’s Pass Offense, Bills’ Rush Defense vs. Opponent’s Rush Offense, Bills’ Special Teams vs. Opponent’s Special Teams. After doing all of this I try to come up with reasons “Why We Will Lose” and “Why We Will Win” ultimately leading to a prediction. Below I present 2020’s 8th iteration of this analysis for the Bills upcoming home game against the Patriots. Included is a scale to rank the advantage in each matchup from 👏👏👏👏👏 (Massive Advantage) to 👏 (Minimal Advantage).
Bills’ Passing Offense vs. Patriots’ Passing Defense
It isn’t hyperbole to say that Sunday’s game against the Patriots is the single most significant of Josh Allen’s career. Of course you could argue other games like the “Leap Heard Round the World”, or Turkey Day 2019, or the “Renegade” Game, or even the “Common Sense” Bowl were integral to the story of JA’s career but something just hits different about Sunday. Sunday presents an opportunity for Josh Allen that a Bills’ QB has not seen this millennium, an opportunity to bury the Patriots. Win this game and the excitement in Western New York may reach levels not seen since the early 90s. Lose this game and the resounding sentiment will be “Same Old Bills”. The fate of this team seemingly rests on a 24 year old QB’s shoulder, so to him, and the rest of the Bills’ roster, are you the “Same Old Bills”?
But passing the ball won’t be easy Sunday. The Patriots are just a year removed from being the #1 DVOA Pass Defense in the NFL and while they come into Sunday ranked 23rd the talent still exists. 2019 DPOY, Stephon Gilmore, headlines this unit and, assuming he plays, will likely be glued to Stefon Diggs for the entirety of Sunday. Outside of Gilmore the now 33 year-old McCourty twins will parole the secondary where they have built solid careers off of their coverage abilities combining for 46 interceptions, 193 passes defended, and even 5 touchdowns. The secondary is rounded out by Jonathan Jones and J.C. Jackson who since 2018 have a combined 312 targets against and are only giving up a 56.1 Cmp%. J.C. Jackson sneakily may be the best DB on the roster right now but regardless talent is strewn about this secondary.
And to counter that talent the Bills NEED John Brown. Since his injury the Bills have not been the same on offense, most notably their inability to hit the deep pass. Brown and Diggs feed off each other with each possessing the moniker of “Deep Threat”. This results in teams being forced to play 2-deep safeties instead of moving one forward and having the other shade to Diggs’ side. Forcing teams into these formations provides the Bills more cushion underneath and with the way that Cole Beasley is playing right now teams will have to pick their poison when it comes to stopping the Bills. If healthy the receiving corps feeds off of each other unlike any unit in the NFL, and if that is the case Sunday it could be a big game for this air attack.
EDGE: Bills 👏 👏
Bills’ Rushing Offense vs. Patriots’ Rushing Defense
This game will be won or lost in the trenches. For the Bills part they are getting a massive boost on Sunday with the return of Jon Feliciano who outside of Mitch Morse is arguably the most important player on the Bills’ OL. Feliciano seems to be the key to unlocking the Bills run game, which has struggled in 2020, as a player who excels in run blocking by mauling defenders in his gaps. If he is as advertised expect a heavy dose of runs to the A and B gap on the right side of the line with both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss getting carries this week. The Bills can seize an opportunity here against a Patriots team which currently ranks 27th in rushing yards against per game.
This Patriots front seven is not as talented as years past, but there are still some good players in this group. Starting LB Ja’Whaun Bentley is a career backup thrust into a starting role by star LB Dont’a Hightower opting out due to COVID. Bentley excels against the run, but struggles against the pass, as a wide bodied upfield LB. Outside of Bentley there is no other LBs of note so the focus shifts to the DL. Here the Patriots have journeymen defenders like DE John Simon and DT Lawrence Guy who have built careers as run first defenders capable of challenging RBs in the backfield. The only other player of note is Chase Winovich who hasn’t lived up to the hype that most Patriots fans’ placed on him after he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft, but the Michigan standout (43 TFL in 41 Games) does possess all of the physical skills to put out a dominant performance.
The Bills have a chance to make some noise on the ground here especially if they are able to move the ball at all through the air. This game screams Zack Moss as a downhill runner seems more likely to do damage against a secondary which is often in nickel or dime formations. Look for the Bills to pull Mitch Morse often, to the right, in an attempt to get an RB to the edge with an OL in front. And while it isn’t technically a pass the Isaiah McKenzie push pass this week looks to be a massive weapon against an LB group that lacks speed and a defensive line which struggles setting the edge.
EDGE: Patriots 👏
Bills’ Passing Defense vs. Patriots’ Passing Offense
It is looking like the Bills could be without key players in the secondary with Levi Wallace (CB), Josh Norman (CB), and Micah Hyde (S) all nursing injuries. Missing all of these players are hits to a defense which has struggled through 2020 but the loss of Hyde could leave a massive void in the Bills secondary. Last week I broke down a play where the Bills’ Palms Zone scheme collapsed and the loss of Hyde makes this significantly more likely to happen on a consistent basis. Hyde is the figurative straw that stirs the drink and while his stats may seem bare this year he is one of the few players that consistently does his 1/11th. It will be interesting to see how the Bills play without their Center Fielder Sunday and is something Bills’ fans should be wary of if they see the Patriots attempt a deep pass.
But in all honesty who would the Patriots attempt said deep pass to? The Patriots top-2 receivers, Edelman and Harry, are unlikely to suit up Sunday meaning the Patriots are left with a top-3 (Based on targets) of Damiere Byrd (WR), Ryan Izzo (TE), and Jakobi Meyers (WR). Byrd has spent the majority of his career on practice Squads or the IR but could compete for fastest player in the NFL as he ran a 4.28, on grass, at his Pro Day in 2015. Ryan Izzo isn’t much more than a 6th lineman at this early stage in his career as he only has 21 targets for 13 catches in 12 games played up until now. And second year WR Jakobi Meyers flashed a bit in 2019 with 6 games of 35+ yards receiving, in a reserve role, but is more well known for breaking Torry Holt’s NC State single season reception record than anything he has done in the NFL. Fact: This is the worst group of receivers the Bills have faced in 2020.
If the Bills struggle to cover this group, even with the injuries their secondary is dealing with, then nothing can be assumed or expected of them moving forward. What Bills’ fans should expect is that the Bills defense leaves Sunday with more interception than they came in with, assuming the Patriots throw the ball once. So far the Patriots’ 3 QBs have combined for 11 Interceptions, better known as more interceptions than Josh Allen has in his last 21 games. Frankly, Newton looks completely lost throwing the ball. When his receivers are able to get separation, though rare, he is often completely missing in wildly different locations. His deep ball looks weak, his accuracy has been poor, his reads have been off, and he is turning the ball over at an alarming clip. The Bills have a massive advantage here and should be expected to dominate this matchup.
EDGE: Bills 👏 👏 👏
Bills’ Rushing Defense vs. Patriots’ Rushing Offense
This is where the Bills win or lose this game. The defensive headlines against the Jets hyped up a team which gave up only 220 yards with 4 of those coming in the second half. Those are great statistics to get excited about but what stood out to me most is Frank Gore’s YPC of 5.5 with runs of; 8, 11, 7, 2, 7, 0, 2, 9, 13, -1, 2. A 37 year old Frank Gore rushing behind a weak OL was consistently producing chunk yardage against this Bills’ team. That’s not good. The problem still seems to be across the board with the DL often getting blown back and the LBs failing to come forward and make plays. But Bills’ fans rejoice, it is looking more and more likely Matt Milano should be full-tilt Sunday, which is a huge boost for this team.
Do any of these names scream STUD to you? Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, James White. The answer is no. But still, these RBs respectively are putting up Y/C of 3.9, 5.4, 4.4, 4.3, all of which are solid numbers that make up a rushing attack which is putting up 155.0 yards per game, ranked 4th in the NFL. Each of them is under 6’0” and under 220lbs but outside of Burkhead, who is built to run downhill, the other 3 have the ability to take one to the house with sub 4.62 speed. But the highlight of the rushing attack isn’t the RBs, it’s Cam Newton. On the ground Newton may not be his 2015 MVP-self but he is still a threat and used as one. Outside of last week’s game against SF he has 9+ carries in every game and to date has 244 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs, and is averaging 4.9 Y/C. The Patriots like to get Newton to the edge and this week a heavy dose of that should be expected via Power-Read Options.
So this is it, can the Bills stop the run? I will intently be watching Ed Oliver this week who may still feel slighted by Cam Newton’s comments to him at training camp in 2019. Oliver needs to push the pocket this week and allow the LBs and DEs to focus contain. He will need to do this against solid 5th year starter David Andrews, who could be exposed this week with both flanking guards, Shaq Mason (RG) & Joe Thuney (LG), dealing with injuries. If neither of them, or only one of them play Ed Oliver has the ability to wreck this game. If both of them do play they produce one of the best interior OLs in the entire NFL, which would be bad news for a Bills’ team that has been continually gashed up the middle in 2020.
EDGE: Patriots 👏 👏 👏 👏
Bills’ Special Teams vs. Patriots’ Special Teams
Another game, another set of flashes by the Bills’ return man Andre Roberts. Against the Jets he averaged 40.0 Y/KR and 7.7 Y/PR. Roberts continues to be a game changing weapon that has the ability to flip the field, which will come in use Sunday. Bojo didn’t have a punt but at least this week did a much better job than Dan Marino of holding on kicks. Then there is Bass. Six FGs is an incredible game for a kicker but it’s the 45 and 37 yard miss that still have me concerned. As of now I need to cover my eyes every time he kicks, here is to hoping that changes. One unsung note about Bass, his kickoffs seems to be by design high arching kicks short of the endzone. This is a big reason why the Bills rank 11th in the league for opponents starting field position.
Gunner Olszewski is the main return man for the Patriots but has just 1 PR and 9 KRs on the season. In his two year career he is averaging a solid 9.1 Y/PR and 25.8 Y/KR. At Punter is Jake Bailey who is having a stellar season with in incredible -1.1 difference between Punt Avg. and Net Punt Avg. while dropping 11 of his 15 punts inside the 20 and 0 TBs. At kicker is Nick Folk who is 9 of 11 on FGs with misses from 45 and 51 as well as an XP miss.
EDGE: Bills 👏
Why We Will Lose
The weather report for Sunday plays right into the Patriots hand. Rain and winds of 25-50 MPH will make throwing the ball extremely difficult, which incredibly is the strength of the Bills and weakness of the Patriots. On offense this means that a Patriots’ team that is averaging 31 rushing attempts per game is likely to surpass their season high of 42 (Week 1) on Sunday. Historically the Patriots have beaten up the Bills via running back by committee and this week presents the same challenge. Add in a running QB and the Bills will have their hands full with one of the better rushing attacks they have played in years.
On defense the Patriots’ strength, their secondary, combats the Bills’ strength, their passing game. Of course this assumes the Bills are able to affectively throw the ball in the on-field weather conditions Sunday. If they can’t throw the ball the Bills will be forced to run it which has been a mixed bag for Buffalo this season. Make no mistake, Bill Belichick is well aware of Josh Allen’s fumble issues and has surely coached up his team to attack a wet ball all game in an effort to force multiple turnovers. If this happens, the Bills could fall behind early and struggle to find their way back into this game.
Why We Will Win
When is the last time the Bills clearly had more talent on their roster than the Patriots? Across the board the Bills seem to be better with their biggest advantage at QB. One of the main reasons Josh Allen was drafted was for games like this where his arm strength is able to combat the conditions unlike anyone else in the NFL. Even if he struggles through the air expect JA to use his legs more this week than he has the majority of the season as there should be a slew of running lanes available to him all game. JA, Singletary, and Moss should be able to pick up yards on the ground, and if they can the Bills offense should roll.
On defense the Bills must do the opposite of what they did against the Chiefs, bail out on the run by neglecting the pass. If the Bills can force Newton to beat them through the air this is a winnable game for Buffalo. This means the Bills are likely to be in their base defense with Edmunds, Milano, and Klein together on the field more often this week than at any point this season. You couple that with an injured interior OL and Buffalo has a chance to dominate the run and do something similar to what SF did to NE last week.
Prediction: Bills 21 – Patriots 17
I’ve never flip-flopped so much on a pick. Coming into writing this post I was 90% sure I would pick the Patriots to win this game. They matchup so well with Buffalo and have the innate ability to attack the Bills weaknesses while defending their strengths. Still, something feels different and I have an odd amount of confidence in Josh Allen this week. In games past against the Patriots he has been a wide eyed young QB trying to prove himself against his idol. This week I expect him to take what is given to him, playing a solid game, and lead the Bills to a massive victory against the Patriots. Folks, this isn’t your “Same Old Bills”.
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2020.10.26 00:23 ramboiv After today’s debacle in Foxborough, I’ve updated my list of The Top Ten Most Lopsided Belichick Losses (as Head Coach)

So earlier this year, I compiled a list of the Top Ten Most Lopsided Losses to Coach Bill Belichick during his tenure as a Head Coach of either the Patriots or the Browns. Today’s loss was bad enough to warrant a spot on the list. In fact, it’s the worst HOME loss *ever* for Bill. So, here is an updated list of the top ten most lopsided losses for Coach Belichick, all of which were by 21 points or more & involved Belichick's defense giving up over 30 points.
*Honorable mention to the 2006 Dolphins, who smoked the Pats 21 - 0 in Week 14.
Rank Date Week Bill was coaching Opponent Final Score Point differential
10 November 30, 2009 12 Patriots Saints 38 - 17 21*
9 November 30, 2008 13 Patriots Steelers 33 - 10 23
8 November 11, 2018 10 Patriots Titans 34 -10 24
7 October 2, 2005 4 Patriots Chargers 41 - 17 24
6 September 21, 2008 3 Patriots Dolphins 38 - 13 25
5 October 13, 1991 7 Browns Redskins 42 - 17 25
4 October 25, 2020 7 Patriots 49ers 33 - 6 27
3 November 5, 1995 10 Browns Oilers 37 - 10 27
2 September 29, 2014 4 Patriots Chiefs 41 - 14 27
1 September 7, 2003 1 Patriots Bills 31 - 0 31
Shout out to Drew Brees for showing up *twice* on this list!
Any chance we get another entry to this list in 2020?
submitted by ramboiv to nfl [link] [comments]

2020.10.18 18:41 BlindManBaldwin Game Thread: Denver Broncos (1-3) @ New England Patriots (2-2)


6 6 6
0 3 0 9
Q1 Scoring:
13:02 - Brandon McManus 45-yard FG
8:10 - Brandon McManus 44-yard FG
Q2 Scoring:
12:17 - Brandon McManus 27-yard FG
5:20 - Nick Folk 41-yard FG
:19 - Brandon McManus 52-yard FG
Q3 Scoring:
3:37 - Brandon McManus 20-yard FG
:37 - Brandon McManus 54-yard FG
Q4 Scoring:
Cam Newton 1-yard TD rush (2PC no good)
3:23 - Nick Folk 38-yard FG


*11:00 MT/12:00 CT/1:00 ET/10:00 ET/5:00 GMT @ Gillette Stadium
Weather: 61f, partly cloudy, 6 mph SE wind
  • TV: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green and Melanie Collins
  • Local Radio (KOA - 850 AM/94.1 FM & The Fox - 103.5 FM: Dave Logan, Rick Lewis, Susie Wargin)
KOA link only works on desktop, not mobile.


DEN Injury Report NE Injury Report
Broncos inactives


From PotRoastBoobs
  • The Pats are 2-2 and in danger of falling below .500 in October or later for the first time since 2002. Their streak of 225 consecutive games in October or later without being below .500 (either before or after the game) is the longest streak in NFL history.
  • Denver has gone 28 straight games without having 400 yards of offense in a game, their longest drought since a 34-game streak from 1991-93.
  • Jerry Jeudy has had at least 50 receiving yards in all four games of his career thus far. He'll be trying to join Terry Glenn (1996) and Terry McLaurin (2019) as the only players to do so in five straight games to start their career since the 1970 merger.
  • Brandon McManus ranks tied for second in NFL history with five games with multiple made field goals from 50+ yards.
  • Brandon McManus needs four field goals to tie Jim Turner (1971-79) for the second-most made field goals in team history. Needs one field goal from 50+ yards to tie Matt Prater (2007-13) for the second-most made 50+ yard field goals in team history.


From PotRoastBoobs
  • Patriots OL James Ferentz was a member of the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 team and appeared in 21 games with the team from 2015-16.
  • Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels served as head coach of the Broncos for two seasons (2009-10).
  • Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick served as assistant special teams/assistant to the defensive coordinator for the Broncos in 1978.



Team Opp. Date Time/Score
KC @ BUF 10/19 3:00


This thread is specifically geared toward Broncos fans.
Sort by new for the most recent comments.
Pick your flair in the sidebar.
Subscribe to /denverbroncos
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2020.10.18 07:52 BlindManBaldwin Pre Game Thread: Denver Broncos (1-3) @ New England Patriots (2-2)




Points 82 97
Yards 1227 1584
Y/P 4.8 5.8
TO 8 7
PYds 857 865
PTDs 6 3
INTs 6 5
NY/A 5.5 6.4
CMP% 59.9% 64.1%
RYds 370 719
RTDs 3 7
YA 3.8 5.1
Points 98 92
Yards 1461 1396
Y/P 5.2 6.1
TO 2 8
PYds 1025 935
PTDs 7 9
INTs 1 4
NY/A 5.8 7.5
CMP% 65.1% 70.6%
RYds 436 461
RTDs 2 1
YA 4.2 4.4
Degenerate Gambling Stuff
Pats -9.5 O/U 45


*11:00 MT/12:00 CT/1:00 ET/10:00 ET/5:00 GMT @ Gillette Stadium
Weather: 61f, partly cloudy, 6 mph SE wind
  • TV: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green and Melanie Collins
  • Local Radio (KOA - 850 AM/94.1 FM & The Fox - 103.5 FM: Dave Logan, Rick Lewis, Susie Wargin)
KOA link only works on desktop, not mobile.


DEN Injury Report NE Injury Report


From PotRoastBoobs
  • The Pats are 2-2 and in danger of falling below .500 in October or later for the first time since 2002. Their streak of 225 consecutive games in October or later without being below .500 (either before or after the game) is the longest streak in NFL history.
  • Denver has gone 28 straight games without having 400 yards of offense in a game, their longest drought since a 34-game streak from 1991-93.
  • Jerry Jeudy has had at least 50 receiving yards in all four games of his career thus far. He'll be trying to join Terry Glenn (1996) and Terry McLaurin (2019) as the only players to do so in five straight games to start their career since the 1970 merger.
  • Brandon McManus ranks tied for second in NFL history with five games with multiple made field goals from 50+ yards.
  • Brandon McManus needs four field goals to tie Jim Turner (1971-79) for the second-most made field goals in team history. Needs one field goal from 50+ yards to tie Matt Prater (2007-13) for the second-most made 50+ yard field goals in team history.


From PotRoastBoobs
  • Patriots OL James Ferentz was a member of the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 team and appeared in 21 games with the team from 2015-16.
  • Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels served as head coach of the Broncos for two seasons (2009-10).
  • Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick served as assistant special teams/assistant to the defensive coordinator for the Broncos in 1978.



Team Opp. Date Time/Score
KC @ BUF 10/19 3:00


This thread is specifically geared toward Broncos fans.
Sort by new for the most recent comments.
Pick your flair in the sidebar.
Subscribe to /denverbroncos
submitted by BlindManBaldwin to DenverBroncos [link] [comments]

2020.10.14 21:01 NFLPowerRankers Official r/NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

Welcome to the week 5 Official NFL Power Rankings! With NFL games played on four days last week, including Tuesday night, the rankers were chomping at the bit to provide readers with what they all want: another Wednesday post. Is there a new top team? Who's better than their record? Who's worse? Discuss! 30/32 Reporting
# Team Δ Record Comment
1. Packers +2 4-0 Not a lot happened this bye week other than injury recovery. Roberto Grande (NOT Grande Roberto as was said in the last writeup, apparently nothing was learned in five years of Spanish classes, but in defense those were five years ago and haven't been used since) will hopefully be getting some help with Davante Adams returning from injury.
2. Seahawks -- 5-0 For the first time in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks start out a season 5-0. It was an ugly victory on Sunday night against the Vikings, but watching Russell Wilson hit DK Metcalf on 4th down to keep the game-winning drive alive.. and then AGAIN to take the lead made everything all better. Through 5 weeks DK is: #2 in receiving yards, #2 in receiving touchdowns, and #1 in average yards per reception. He has really taken a jump in his sophomore year, and the rest of the league should be on alert. Heading into the bye, the Seahawks are exactly where they want to be.
3. Chiefs -2 4-1 Chiefs came into this game like they owned the place and got punched in the mouth. Humble pie games are sometimes needed to fix issues and the Chiefs are no different. From offensive line play, to Mahomes pocket presence issues, to a complete disaster on defense...the Chiefs have a lot to work on. We will see if the Chiefs can fix things up in time to compete with another AFC hopeful when they go to Buffalo to play the Bills.
4. Ravens -- 4-1 Passing 38 times in a blowout is overthinking it. Overthinking it won't really cut it against the Eagles. But Humphrey and Queen are all over the field on defense, so how much does the offense really need to think?
5. Titans +2 4-0 The Titans were able to overcome an unprecedented 16 days in between games to stand up strong against the Bills on Tuesday. A strong performance by Tannehill on offense and Malcolm Butler on defense took advantage of a potent Bills team that has the firepower to stand with any team in the NFL.
6. Steelers -- 4-0 Chase Claypool. That’s it. That’s the post.
7. Bills -2 4-1 The Buffalo Bills and the terrible, horrible no good day....Something that’s been totally lost in this ugly, ugly week: the Bills had to prepare for two teams this week because of the NFL’s incompetency. On top of that the defense was down arguably its two most dynamic players. With that being said: the Titans came in ready to play, and the Bills came out as sloppy as they’ve ever been. This team needs a statement badly against Kansas City.
8. Rams -- 4-1 After dominating the NFC Least, attention now turns to division play as the schedule toughens up. With Aaron Donald on pace to break the single season sack record, the Rams are encouraged by how well they are playing, but are far from satisfied and will look to improve even more, just in time for harder opponents.
9. Browns +5 4-1 The Browns have four wins in a row? Cleveland now has their best start since 1994 (when the Houston Oilers still existed and the team was coached by Bill Belichick). Baker and company showed they can still get things done without Nick Chubb. A key divisional game looms next week against the Steelers. All eyes will be on undoubtedly be Myles Garrett for some reason that we all can't quite think of right now.
10. Raiders +5 3-2 How it feels going into the bye week after dominating the Chiefs
11. Saints -- 3-2 Perhaps Sean Payton should send a gift to Money Badger. Much like Rasputin, the Saints defense may have acquired a reputation it can't deliver on in pre-season. Through 5 weeks its been more reminiscent of the Rex Ryan era and this team is lucky to be 3-2.
12. Patriots -2 2-2 It appears that Stephon Gilmore and Cam Newton will be able to play this week against the Broncos, this is a good thing for the Patriots.
13. Buccaneers -4 3-2 Do the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a penalty problem? Answer: yes! In their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Chicago Bears, the Bucs committed a staggering 11 penalties for 109 yards. They now lead the league in both flags and penalized yards (42 penalties for 410 yards), putting them on track to lead the league in penalties as they did in 2019. Defensive centerpiece Vita Vea went to season-ending IR with a broken ankle, captain Devin White forgot how to play LB in the past two games, and the defense looks vulnerable all of a sudden. Things look a little rocky going into an undefeated Green Bay and a surging Las Vegas.
14. Bears +3 4-1 The Bears counted all the way to four wins Thursday night and turned in their best performance to date in a tough matchup. The Bears continue to count on their defense in the 4th, rushing four and getting pressure on Brady to close out the game. The Bears need a strong offensive performance soon to have fans feeling confident -- but undefeated in the NFC feels pretty good already. Extend Allen Robinson.
15. Colts -3 3-2 Though this young season has offered more encouragement than the last campaign, one thing evident in Colts' early goings are their struggles in the red zone. A better redzone conversion performance is imperative as the Colts try to ease the burden on a banged up defense.
16. Cardinals -- 3-2 Nothing like the Jets to stop a two game skid in a rigid NFC West. The Cardinals did what was expected and Murray even won his second NFC offensive player of the week in the process. However, losing Chandler Jones for the season is the reminder that nothing is perfect.
17. Panthers +2 3-2 Beating the hapless Falcons is nothing to write home about unto itself, but positive signs for this team keep piling up. This week saw Bridgewater outduel Matt Ryan, the red zone defense step way up, and passes thrown to six different receivers. The Panthers' run defense is still one of the worst units in the League, but some life is emerging from the pass defense. Carolina continues to look like a team putting it all together in a wide open division.
18. 49ers -5 2-3 Jimmy G is obviously still not completely healthy, but very few QB's could thrive behind this O-line. Its performance through the first 5 weeks has landed it in the bottom 5 in both run and pass situations. With the injuries to the rest of the roster, if this performance does not improve, the team will struggle competing week in and week out.
19. Dolphins +4 2-3 That's the kind of win that the Dolphins never provide, and now it's happened twice in one year! Two decisive wins against mediocre teams, and three close losses to good teams. Are the Dolphins actually good, or just pretending to be good?
20. Cowboys -2 2-3 Victory Monday. On top of the East. We showed ingenuity, leaned on the run, and a few surprise players really surprise us. Man, I just hope Dak doesn't have any complications. This one's for you, #4
21. Chargers -1 1-4 Instead of having to recount this game in any real detail, here's the Sparknotes version of the past 15 years. Saves all of us some time. In literally any positive news, Justin Herbert's four TD passes are the most ever by a rookie QB on Monday Night Football.
22. Vikings -1 1-4 A 4th down dart stung Minnesota in more ways than one, and even without Dalvin this team still shows just enough fight to not completely lose hope. Zimmer played to win, but needs more than what-ifs if he wants to right the U.S. Bank Stadium's ship.
23. Texans +5 1-4 "Better than the Jags" is a low bar to clear, but it's always better to be above it than to be below it. RAC showed some of the sensible aggression that fans have been clamoring for the last few years, and for the first time in a long time it feels like maybe there's the possibility of Texans' football being fun to watch again.
24. Eagles -2 1-3-1 Good news: the Eagles offense showed signs of life. Bad news: literally everything else.
25. Lions -- 1-3 The Lions rest during the bye week, and still lose thanks to various NFL broadcasters calling out the coaching staff.
26. Broncos -- 1-3 NFL players are normal working people, too. They worked a whole week then get told that was their break!
27. Bengals -3 1-3-1 Coach Zac Taylor saw the dead body of Joe Burrow on Sunday but didn't report it. That's pretty sus. So now we have to follow him around to make sure he's not an imposter.
28. Washington FT +2 1-4 Powerful statement by The Washington Football team who all decided to not show up in solidarity with recently benched QB Dwayne Haskins, who was out with a stomach flu and could not join teammates on the sidelines. Oh, and Alex Smith took the field but his stats looked about as gruesome as that photo of his leg going going 9/17 for 37 yards and five sacks. At least we know he can take a hit again. And again and again and again and again.
29. Jaguars -- 1-4 This small text box regrets to inform you, the Jaguars are, in fact, deceased. What started with an embarrassment by an elderly bearded gentleman a few weeks ago, has turned into the disaster the team feared it might. There seems to be no defense, no special teams, and every glimmer of offense is soon overshadowed by something terrible. The only way to turn this into a truly Jacksonville season, is to extend the head coach and GM, which given the current pace of things, is bound to happen sometime around week 8. Good luck, and good night.
30. Falcons -2 0-5 A decision has been made. HC and GM positions are officially both Blank slates for the Falcons for the first time in over 12 years. With even historic franchise faces not fully supported by ownership, many question how (and/or why) Dirk Koetter has managed to evade headlines. This is unfortunately still a team in turmoil, trending more towards a "Tanking for Trevor" by the day.
31. Giants -- 0-5 The Giants understandably found some offensive success in their highest-scoring game of the year. Of course, it came in the same game that they gave up the most points of the year as well. Andrew Thomas continues to get manhandled way too often, leading to consistent pressure on Daniel Jones. As bad as Gettleman’s been, he’s hit on all his big free agent signings this year. Logan Ryan, Blake Martinez, and James Bradberry are carrying this defense right now. Oh, and Graham Gano is an absolute stud of a kicker. Aldrick who? In a season full of negatives, you have to find positives where you can.
32. Jets -- 0-5 Adam Gase said yesterday that he’s “toyed” with the idea of giving play calling to someone else. Maybe Chris Johnson can just give the entire team to someone else.
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2020.10.08 16:34 appmanga This Week's Toilet Bowl - 2020 Week 05

Without fail, there will be an NFL game that will match up two bad teams. That game is this week's Toilet Bowl. And I predict who will win.
Some may see this as piling on. I’m really not. I don’t hate the Falcons. I don’t really hate their bandwagon-jumping, front-running, totally transactional, transient fan base. I just don’t like how they’re clueless, obnoxious braggarts when things go well for an Atlanta sports team, and how they become the dad going out to buy a pack of smokes, not to return until their kid becomes a millionaire celebrity when things go bad.
So, as you’ve probably surmised, the Falcons are in the Toilet Bowl again.
Are there worse teams? Yes. The Jets’ and Giants’ game films are what they show Clockwork Orange-style to football junkies to break their addictions. The Washington Football Team is the garbage that made that Native American cry that poignant single tear. Jacksonville is the disappointing gift that keeps giving. Unfortunately, none of these guys are playing each other. The Toilet Bowl is two bad teams, so this week we find ourselves in the Benz.
Like too many other teams this season, the Falcons have had serious injury woes. Their training room is a miniature of the mass casualty scene from “Gone With the Wind”. A hamstring here, an Achilles there, here a knee, there a break, how much more can one team take. Arthur Blank once had a team, e-i, e-i ouch. They’re so decimated in their secondary, I probably could have gotten a tryout this week. And how washed must Mohamed Sanu be that he’s not brought in as a warm body to add some receiver depth?
Once again, all teams have injuries. The Falcons have had questionable coaching. They’ve had defensive disasters. They’ve had improbable collapses. Dan Quinn and Matt Ryan are walking cases of football PTSD, and it’s written all over their faces every time they’re triggered by the start of a 4th Quarter.
On the other sideline will be an a Panthers team led by Teddy “Two Gloves” Bridgewater, a worthy reclamation project working under another fresh-faced nearly anonymous head coach who fell out of the Belichick coaching tree. To date, none of the Seeds of the Hoodie have had close to his success, but this HC is hoping to be the exception to that Rhule (yes, I hate myself for writing that).
The Kitties will be missing game wrecker RB Run-CMC and while they are nicked up in other places, and except for having an Eli Apple who appears to be healthy enough to play, they’re coming in in excellent shape when compared the Arthur Blank wing of the Grady Emergency room.
On a side note, one of the funniest, saddest things I read in researching this, comes from this article:
During Wednesday’s virtual media availability, questions were asked about a rivalry between the Falcons and Panthers. The players had no knowledge of such a thing. “I haven’t heard anybody talk about the rivalry since I’ve been here,” wide receiver DJ Moore said. “For the three years I’ve been here, I ain’t never hear that it was a rivalry. I just know we got to get a win.”
Two teams in the same division over a span of nearly 30 years, and separated by less than three hours driving time, haven’t been interesting enough to have engendered a rivalry. That's some sorry shit. That's what makes this game bad. It's a big ugly pile of "Who cares?".
The Cats are 3.5 point favorites, making the Birds a home dog, usually a moneymaker, especially early in the season. And yet, I don’t trust the Falcons, especially with a lead. Who does?
That said, I’ll take the plunge and choose Atlanta to not just cover, but to win.
Falcons 28. Panthers 24.
Last week’s prediction: Take Denver, head up (Broncos 16 - Jets 6) Last week’s result: Broncos 37 – Jets 28
No one who follows the Jets was happy with this result, not because the Jets lost the game, but they made enough of an offensive showing (no pun) to give Coke-Eyes Gase a little more time. It’s still too early to say the Gregg Williams whispering campaign has been a total failure, but having ten days between games is a not unusual scenario for a coaching switch.
Maybe management hates Williams more than the fans hate Gase.
Season Record 2 - 1
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2020.10.06 01:36 Ninjasandapples Pete Carroll Week 5 Monday Press Conference Notes 10/05/2020

Video Link
Really good to be back from a successful trip in a very difficult situation. It was a hard game to play, just because of the humidity. Hard for both sides, I think. We were very fortunate that we got out of there in pretty good shape. Gotta do some recovering from the trip and all that. It was a real successful day on the road again. I'm liking that the way we're playing has been consistent enough to get us wins with a lot of room to get better. There's so many areas for the players and the coaches to work on with stuff that we can improve on. We've got a good feeling about that and looking forward to getting back out there again, having a good week, and get cranking and see if we can get rolling.
Ryan Neal's made some critical plays for you guys replacing Jamal Adams. He had a fairly strong training camp. Have you been surprised at all with how he's played these last couple games and when Adams comes back, do you see him having a role in some sub-packages now?
Is there anything specific that's gone into the development and consistency of special teams this season?
What did you see out of Tre Flowers? He played all 71 snaps on defense, got 7 tackles.
No penalties accepted yesterday. Do you see that as a result of an emphasis you may have had or from how the games are being called these first four weeks?
Greg Olson has been a pretty comfortable safety blanket already for Russell through these first games. Are you surprised how quick that's come and how they've been able to develop that so quickly?
When it comes to the rotations on gameday, swapping linemen, or receivers or runningbacks, are you subbing guys out or are your position coaches?
Conditions you're referring to, like the humidity? Subbing in guys like Cedric and Jamarco?
Another quarterback over 300 yards, do you think the defense is giving up that amount scheme-wise or is it personnel, what do you think it is?
You guys obviously had success on turning potential touchdown drives into field goals, five times. You said this morning that in previous weeks you may have over-shot things. Is that a reference to the blitz packages and maybe Jamal Adams' tendency to try to be everywhere at once?
Update on Jamal or Quentin for this week?
New England is playing without their starting quarterback tonight, we know how diligent you've been and the whole program has been with the protocols. I'm curious of that quarterback position, what those protocols are like for Russ the past couple months or if that's something you think deserves or needs special attention there?
KJ Wright has obviously been a great player for a really long time, is this about as well as he's ever played? These last few games and the start he's gotten on?
You mentioned putting him out on the edge a little bit, he did that earlier in his career, is that something that worked out this year with the personnel that you've had?
How's Rashaad doing? Is he still kind of on track to come back right after the bye? And has Darrell Taylor made positive progress at this point?
DJ Reed who you claimed off waivers, is the expectation that he can help you guys at the end of this year or do you see this as more of a redshirt year?
What'd you think of the way Cody played and do you have any update on Jordyn Brooks?
You said about Penny's quad measurement, is that muscle mass to compare to before?
Update on Carlos Hyde?
There was supposed to be a meeting among NFL officials to talk about the COVID situation going forward. Has that taken place? What can you share about it if it has?
Is there any plan to issue revised procedures coming out of that meeting?
Follow up on KJ and the move to SAM. In the past, he's said he's most comfortable at WILL. For a guy, a 10-year vet, to do his best and not be griping about it, what does that tell you about him?
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2020.09.30 19:05 boanerges77 Best Coaching Fits

Wanted to give some thoughts on which coaching candidates fit best with each team that is likely to be needing a new head coach at this point. This isn't to say your team will fire your head coach. Do recall that the Titans were like 2-4 before turning things around and making it to the AFC Championship Game, so there is still plenty of time for your beloved head coach to get things going. Besides, with no preseason, these games really don't count right? This is merely just some speculation about if your team fires a head coach, who would make sense.
So, here's how I would assign things if it were up to me.

Atlanta Falcons

Dan Quinn was a hot seat candidate in 2019, and things haven't exactly improved, with back-to-back blown leads against Dallas and Chicago in recent weeks. If Quinn can't get things turned around, Atlanta may very well be ready to make the change, firing Dan Quinn. Right now, the Falcons are giving up 460 yards per game, good for 31st in the league, and 350 yards per game passing, also 31st. They need to get that defense revamped. A new coach will at least have the benefit of DT Grady Jarrett and LB Deion Jones, along with CB A.J. Terrell, who has acclimated pretty well so far, posting the highest PFF grade for the Falcons defense last week.
If Quinn is fired mid-season, the Falcons will probably hand things over to Raheem Morris, even as the defense struggles. Assuming Morris doesn't get it sorted out, I believe the best candidate for the Falcons to consider would be Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Some may ask why not the more well-known 49ers DC, Robert Saleh? My answer there would be that Saleh's defensive scheme draws its roots from the defensive scheme that Dan Quinn ran in Seattle, which led to him getting the Falcons job. Simply, the Falcons need a new defensive perspective, and while Saleh would bring a lot of energy, Eberflus remains one of the hidden gems in the coaching carousel.
After originally agreeing to join Josh McDaniels in Indy, Eberflus remained on after McDaniels backed on. Now serving as Frank Reich's defensive coordinator, Eberflus turned around the Colts defense quickly, finding success with guys like Darius Leonard. Through Week 3 of the early NFL season, the Colts currently sit 1st in yards per game, 4th in rushing yards per game, 1st in passing yards per game, 1st in points per game, and 3rd in turnovers with 7 total.
While it's been a fairly easy schedule so far, only facing Kirk Cousins, Sam Darnold, and Gardner Minshew at quarterback so far, it's a very promising start for the Colts. If they can continue to put up great results, Eberflus will most definitely be a top tier coaching candidate, and I like his fit with Atlanta quite a bit.

Chicago Bears

The Bears may have found the QB they've needed in Big D*** Nick, after he replaced Mitch Trubisky and orchestrated a comeback win, throwing for 3 touchdowns on the day. If Foles can recapture some of the magic that took him all the way to the Super Bowl in Philly, Nagy would likely save his job. Even if he doesn't, I think there's a good chance that Nagy stays on for at least one more season, perhaps working with a new rookie QB like Trey Lance.
If Chicago fires Nagy, however, they'll still probably want to focus on the offensive side of the ball, as their defense has not been the problem for them. Instead, a new coach would also mean a new QB, and finding a good pairing there would be the most important piece for the Bears franchise to return to the playoffs.
One coach who I think would work incredibly well in Chicago, especially if paired with a guy like Trey Lance, would be Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. Smith made the decision to bench QB Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill in 2019, and it ultimately turned around the season for Tennessee. Since that week swapping in Tannehill, the Titans offense ranked 1st in yards per play, 1st in red zone efficiency, 2nd in third-down percentage, and 4th in scoring. Short to say, Smith's wide zone/play-action attack was exactly what a strong defensive team like Tennessee needed to turn things around. I think Smith could have a similar effect on the Bears, especially with a new QB.

Detroit Lions

Matt Patricia may have bought himself out of an early season firing with a win over the Cardinals, but he just his 10th win as Lions head year 3. Unless he can show that Detroit has turned the corner by upsetting the Saints this weekend, it's likely that Detroit will be in the head coaching market this offseason.
The big question for the new regime would be the future of QB Matthew Stafford. He's a very talented QB, one who has largely been wasted with the inept management of the team and franchise. Stafford will be 33-years old next season, old enough to consider moving on, but young enough to see if a new coach can get 3-4 more quality seasons out of him. I think in either scenario, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll would be a fantastic match for Stafford or a new QB in Detroit.
At this point in the season, Daboll has helped turned QB Josh Allen from raw upside into an MVP candidate, as the Bills offense has been outright dominant. And while Lions fans may cringe at the fact that Brian Daboll has experience in New England, the difference here is that Daboll has actually found success away from Belichick and the Patriots system. While he'll need a strong defensive coordinator hire to work on rebuilding a mediocre defense, the new coordinator would at least have a decent starting point with CB Jeff Okudah, S Tracy Walker, and DE Trey Flowers. If he can do that, Daboll could get the Lions back into playoff contention.

Houston Texans

Head coach Bill O'Brien is in the midst of another 0-3 start, his second so far as Texans head coach. While it can be understandable given the incredibly difficult schedule that the Texans have played, the frustrations with O'Brien started well before this. If they falter down the road, rather than recover, it would seem likely that Houston could move on from their head coach/general manager, though it's not a given by any means, given that O'Brien still has coached some quality teams in previous years, and is only in his first full-year as the GM.
With QB Deshaun Watson running the show, along with All-Pro LT Laremy Tunsil, the Texans would likely be one of the most attractive destinations for any offensive minded coach. The perfect fit for Houston would be Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, a coach who has received the praises of Andy Reid as a head coaching candidate from the actual press conference he was announced as the new offensive coordinator.
Some have expressed concern over what degree of influence/effect Bieniemy actually has on the Chiefs offensive success, as Andy Reid remains the offensive mastermind as well as play-caller. However, my concerns over Bieniemy would be minimal, given that he's been praised and credited for the role he plays plenty of times, as well as the fairly successful coaching tree of Andy Reid previously. While he'll still need to build up a quality OL in Houston, Deshaun Watson would thrive in a system like the one Bieniemy has helped develop in Kansas City.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are already in a full-scale rebuild of sorts. They've traded away players to accumulate picks (4 in the first two rounds), and cut bloated salaries to clear up cap space. The brief optimism of the Week 1 upset over the Colts was short lived however, as they were beaten soundly by the Miami Dolphins last week.
The biggest question for a new regime in Jacksonville is the fate of their quarterback position, where Gardner Minshew continues to be one of the few bright spots. There were some rumors of Jacksonville perhaps going for the Clemson duo, adding QB Trevor Lawrence with the top pick, while signing HC Dabo Swinney to call the shots. Let's assume that Dabo's off the table, Jacksonville has some options.
Personally, I really like the fit of San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh here. I think his fire and energy would bring life to the franchise. His defense thrives in San Francisco off of a deadly pass-rush, and the ability to work with first-round edge rushers in Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson seems like a perfect match. He'd need to have a plan for an offensive coordinator to work with Gardner Minshew, though perhaps he could poach a promising assistant with Air Raid experience to match Minshew style.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers remain a very talented team, and thus, if they end up with back-to-back seasons of double digit losses (5-11 in 2019), Lynn could be on his way out, even after a very good 2018 season. The biggest piece to the Chargers 2020 season will be figuring out the QB situation, as QB Tyrod Taylor was inadvertently injured by his own team doctors, giving rookie QB Justin Herbert the chance to step into the role sooner than expected, including a very strong debut against Kansas City.
If things falter for the Chargers over the remainder of 2020, the Chargers may be ready to find a new coach, one who can turn QB Justin Herbert into the franchise QB that LA expects him to be after drafting him sixth-overall. Personally, I think Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich would make an excellent pairing with Herbert, as the deep passing attack that Arians and Leftwich run in Tampa would fit well with Herbert's arm strength.
Provided that Leftwich can find a veteran defensive coordinator to join, not too dissimilar from the Sean McVay-Wade Phillips pairing, think there would be a lot of potential for that pairing.

New York Jets

Currently the odds on favorite for the #1 overall selection, that at least offers Jets fans some hope in the midst of the ongoing fiasco that is Adam Gase. FOX talk show host Colin Cowherd did indicate that the Jets could make the early move to fire Gase as soon as tomorrow night if they lose to the Denver Broncos, a team that will be starting its preseason QB3 in Brett Rypien.
Now, New York presents plenty of challenges in the size of the job, but the Jets have some decent pieces to build around, with OT Mekhi Becton looking strong to start the year, as well as DT Quinnen Williams already racking up 2 sacks after a fairly quiet rookie season. While Bieniemy is the hot name for just about every fan base, the reality is that he can only end up in one spot, and there will likely be better options available.
However, I think there's another name on the Chiefs staff who would be a smart move for the Jets, a franchise that needs a good leader to help build a better culture in the Big Apple. That is Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub. He's one of the best special teams coordinators in all of the NFL, dating back to an incredibly successful run as the Bears special teams coordinator, featuring All-Pro returner Devin Hester and kicker Robbie Gould.
While hiring special teams coordinators is not all the rage these days, it actually used to be one of the best formulas for finding winning head coaches. They work with every part of the team, from the specialists to the DB's, LB's, WR's, and FB's who end up on coverage teams. Quoting Bill Cowher, "When you think about the special teams coach, outside of the head coach, you're the only person on staff who is speaking to the whole team. A lot of what you're doing is more about motivation than it is schematic. And as a head coach, that's what you're trying to do as well". Toub may not be the sexy pick to pair with a flashy new QB perhaps, but he very well could give the Jets the dose of leadership and culture that they need to compete for the AFC East.

Wild Cards

**These candidates aren't as nearly as well thought thru. Just trying to add some other names to the mix, though to a certain degree, I think these wouldn't be bad decisions.**
Denver Broncos - Living in Denver myself, I think there are too many Broncos fans overreacting on this one, but the NFL is not a patient place. John Elway has shown he has a short leash, after firing Vance Joseph so soon, and if Fangio sees a major drop-off, especially after Drew Lock returns, the Broncos may be in the market, perhaps for someone like 49ers run game coordinator Mike McDaniel, a rising star in the profession.
Cincinnati Bengals - Zac Taylor did not find immediate success in year one, even if he didn't have much to work with. They've been competitive so far with rookie QB Joe Burrow, and provided they remain competitive with teams, Taylor will make it to 2021. But, if things take a turn for the worse and they look like the 2-14 team we saw in 2019, a decision could be made. Perhaps reuniting Burrow with now Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady is the move to make in this extreme hypothetical?
Minnesota Vikings - Their defense is a disaster, and QB Kirk Cousins is looking bad right now. The Vikes just extended Mike Zimmer for another 3 seasons, so it may be too soon to fire him, but if the Vikings don't turn it around, would have to consider it. Vikings may want to consider making a run at a top college coach like Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley to give their offense the injection it needs.

Who do you like for the teams with hot seat coaches?
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2020.09.08 14:25 UberHansen Rooting Interests Week #1

This series started as an experiment during the bye week in 2019 and took off almost as fast as Anquan Boldin (At least I like to think it did). So as we begin the 2020 season I figured why not continue these posts while fully realizing that early on in the season they are nearly worthless. So bear with me while the season progresses and these provide more insight into the Bills quest not only to make the playoffs, not only towards an AFC East title, but more so towards a high seed possibly resulting in multiple home playoff games. Now, I present the first iteration of 2020 “Rooting Interest” posts. Included in this is the “Game Importance Scale” which will rate games from 👏👏👏👏👏 (Most Important) to 👏 (Least Important). Future iterations of this series will be posted weekly on Tuesday mornings.
NOTE: I do not consider ties or injuries for the sake of this discussion. Tiebreakers in order below are for overall standings.
  1. H2H = Head to Head
  2. WLC = Win/Loss in Conference
  3. WLG = Win/Loss in Common Games min 4
  4. SOV = Strength of Victory
  5. SOS = Strength of Schedule
Texans @ Chiefs (Thursday 8:20PM) 👏 👏 👏
The day we had feared may not happen this year, is happening. FOOTBALL IS BACK! Early season games are more difficult to find an optimal outcome for because we just don’t know how good each team is. While there seems to be a national consensus that each of these teams will be competing in January we can’t know that for certain. What we do know is that the Bills play one of these teams this year thus our ol’ reliable SOV & SOS can be increased by that team winning the first game of the season.
Optimal Outcome: Chiefs’ Victory
Eagles @ Football Team (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏
The Eagles take on the Washington..Football Team? As of today the impact of this game on the Bills is negligible, with no tangible Optimal Outcome. Root for whoever you want here but because I need to pick someone I’m going to do so on the basis that I want to see Carson Wentz succeed.
Optimal Outcome: Eagles’ Victory
Dolphins @ Patriots (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏
Ok. This one matters and I’ll be honest, I could see the Dolphins being a better team than the Patriots in 2020 but with Belichick still under the headset I can’t bet on it. What I know, we all know, and everyone else knows is that it’s about time that someone take the throne in the AFC East instead of the Patriots. I reserve the right to change the optimal outcome when these teams meet up again on December 20th but for week one that is where we will go.
Optimal Outcome: Dolphins’ Victory
Packers @ Vikings (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏
Similar to the Eagles & Football Team game this one pits two teams against each other who the Bills won’t see on the field in 2020. This is currently a toss-up, in regard to optimal outcome, but I saw an awful lot of hate tossed the Bills way from Stefon Diggs ex-team so for this week, at least, we go against them.
Optimal Outcome: Packers’ Victory
Colts @ Jaguars (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏
This is the only game in week one’s slate where I’ll directly use the preseason perception of a team as the decision on Optimal Outcome. One of these teams has talent scattered throughout the roster and added a borderline HOF QB (Debate?) the other, jettisoned two of its better players in a likely effort to upgrade a mustache ladened, cutoff jean-wearing, long-haired having QB by out-tanking every other bad team in a quest for Marissa Mowry’s fiancé. Root for the tanking team.
Optimal Outcome: Jaguars’ Victory
Bears @ Lions (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏
Tigers, Lions, and Bears oh my. This is yet another game that at this point in the season has nearly 0 impact on the Bills. The Optimal Outcome here is purely based on the fact that one of these teams allowed the Bills to use their stadium when Buffalo was pummeled by a snowstorm. I suggest we root for them.
Optimal Outcome: Lions’ Victory
Raiders @ Panthers (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏
The Raiders traveling to Bills South makes for a double whammy here. AFC vs. NFC makes the optimal outcome of this one easy and rooting for our twins down south makes it a no brainer.
Optimal Outcome: Panthers’ Victory
Jets @ Bills (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏
1-0, that’s the goal. No fans in the stands will make for a weird atmosphere yet I imagine the Jete aren’t all that excited to drive into New York State. You all know the optimal outcome here so not to much more to say but for those interested look out for my “Matchup Preview” to be released early Friday morning.
Optimal Outcome: Bills’ Victory
Browns @ Ravens (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏 👏
In week 1 there is not much context to formulate an optimal outcome for this game. What we do know is that the Browns have the talent to be a threat late in the season and the Ravens are returning a large portion of a roster that went 14-2 in 2019. This is a pick’em game, for now, but purely using last year as evidence root for the Ravens if your main concern is just making the playoffs and root for the Browns if you are concerned about playoff seeding. The Bills have higher aspirations this year than last so the optimal outcome is chosen accordingly.
Optimal Outcome: Browns’ Victory
Seahawks @ Falcons (Sunday 1:00PM) 👏 👏
More often than not two NFC teams playing each other has little impact on the Bills standing at the end of the season. The difference in this game is that the Bills play the NFC West in 2020 thus a win by that team increases their SOS with a possible increase to SOV. If this rarely used tiebreaker comes into play at the end of the season this week 1 game could have a major impact.
Optimal Outcome: Seahawks’ Victory
Chargers @ Bengals (Sunday 4:05PM) 👏 👏 👏
Similar to the Browns @ Ravens games the full meaning of this game lacks context until the season progresses. Can Tyrod Taylor make the Chargers competitive? Is there the remote possibility that Joe Burrow is as advertised and can lead the Bengals to their first playoff win since 1990? We will have to wait for those answers but what we do know is that the Bills play one of these teams so pumping up SOV & SOS early can’t hurt.
Optimal Outcome: Chargers’ Victory
Cardinals @ 49ers (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏 👏
One of those rare games where there are two NFC teams, both of whom the Bills play in 2020. SOS & SOV is a wash here so the optimal outcome is a pick’em. The Bills game should be over by now and if you are opting not to watch the Chargers @ Bengals game then watching this game is a solid second choice which should help further understand how difficult the Bills’ schedule is. For the sake of getting an Optimal Outcome I’ll root against the same team making the Superbowl two years in a row.
Optimal Outcome: Cardinals’ Victory
Buccaneers @ Saints (Sunday 4:25PM) 👏
The Bills play neither of these teams. Tom Brady plays for one of these teams. Don’t root for Tom Brady. That is all.
Optimal Outcome: Saints’ Victory
Cowboys @ Rams (Sunday 8:20PM) 👏 👏
Remember Thanksgiving last year? That was fun. Two NFC teams go at it in primetime here but only one of them the Bills play in 2020. Root for the same team the Bills dominated on Thanksgiving 2019 to lose for an early bump in SOS and possibly SOV.
Optimal Outcome: Rams’ Victory
Steelers @ Giants (Monday 7:15PM) 👏 👏
This a pretty cut and dry decision. AFC vs. NFC. The only thing that may give us pause here is that one of these teams is lying about what state they play in. Let’s set the saltiness aside and do what’s best for the Bills in 2020 here, we will deal with that lie at a later date.
Optimal Outcome: Giants’ Victory
Titans @ Broncos (Monday 10:10PM) 👏 👏 👏
Two AFC Teams. Two teams the Bills played in 2019. Two teams the Bills beat in 2019. Two teams the Bills play in 2020. It could be argued that outside of the Jets @ Bills and Dolphins @ Patriots this game could be the most important in Week 1 in regard to how 2020 will pan out for the Bills. The Optimal Outcome of this game may adjust as the season moves forward but for now this choice will factor in momentum with the idea that an early losing streak could be detrimental for the team the Bills play in Week 5 (As opposed to the one they play in Week 15).
Optimal Outcome: Broncos’ Victory
If all of these games went the optimal route below would be the updated AFC standings (All tiebreakers considered). For this week the assumption is that unknown tiebreakers go in the Bills favor:
  1. Bills (1-0)**
  2. Jaguars (1-0)**
  3. Browns (1-0)**
  4. Chiefs (1-0)**
  5. Dolphins (1-0)*
  6. Chargers (1-0)*
  7. Broncos (1-0)*
  8. Steelers (0-1)
  9. Raiders (0-1)
  10. Texans (0-1)
  11. Bengals (0-1)
  12. Titans (0-1)
  13. Patriots (0-1)
  14. Jets (0-1)
  15. Colts (0-1)
  16. Ravens (0-1)
** Division Leader
* Wildcard
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2020.09.01 21:39 cornbread36 Practice Notes - 9/1/2020

The Giants offered a ringing endorsement to Darius Slayton by not choosing a wide receiver during a historically deep NFL Draft class at the position, back in April, and Tuesday it seemed like Slayton is primed to once again be quarterback Daniel Jones’ favorite target.
Jones and Slayton, who connected on 41 receptions for 551 yards and four touchdowns as rookies in 2019, hit on multiple deep passes during Tuesday’s practice, perhaps offering a glimpse of the Giants’ downfield offense in the year ahead.
During the final move the ball period, Jones lofted a perfectly placed back-shoulder throw deep downfield along the sideline hitting Slayton in stride, who made the reception despite cornerback Corey Ballentine draped all over his back.
It seemed Tuesday the Giants were working on pushing the ball downfield, and Slayton did a nice job not only of getting open but also catching passes amid tight coverage. Three of Jones’ eight completions were to Slayton.
Following three straight inconsistent showings dating back to Friday night’s scrimmage, Jones was as consistent Tuesday as he has been all summer.
Jones was 8-of-14 passing with a touchdown in team drills, and was sacked once by Markus Golden. The low point for Jones Tuesday was a play where he held onto the football for an eternity, before trying to force a pass on a shallow crosser over the middle that Ballentine had a bead on from the moment it left Jones’ hand.
The Giants’ offense is going to be a work in progress, given the truncated offseason and limited practice time with a second-year quarterback learning a new system, but Tuesday’s practice was an encouraging step in the right direction.
Golden Tate, Blake Martinez out
Wide Receiver Golden Tate was not at practice, after landing awkwardly early during one-on-one drills in Monday’s practice. Head coach Joe Judge says Tate will be “day-to-day.” The Giants are expecting Tate to play a vital role on offense, and the belief is Tate’s injury is minor.
Meanwhile, inside linebacker Blake Martinez worked on the side with trainers Tuesday, one day after being forced from practice early in his return from missing three straight sessions. Martinez is expected to start at inside linebacker.
When will Logan Ryan arrive?
Logan Ryan, signed by the Giants Monday, was not at practice Tuesday and because of the nature of the COVID-19 protocols, it might be a while before he can join his new teammates on the field.
Ryan could arrive in New Jersey as early as Tuesday but then must begin his COVID-19 testing and entry process, which can take up to four days. In all likelihood, Ryan will not be able to practice until next week, as the Giants only have one practice Wednesday and a scrimmage remaining this week before roster cuts this weekend and preparation for the regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Turning the page
It seemed Tuesday the preparation for the Steelers and the other opponents on the Giants’ schedule began in earnest. There were several periods where the offense was running against the scout-team defense and visa-versa. As the calendar turns to September, time is running out for the bottom of the roster players to make an impression in fights for jobs, as practice reps are allocated to game preparation rather than roster evaluation.
Slipping and sliding
At the end of practice, Judge called the entire team to the far end zone, turned on a garden hose and soaked the field to conduct what was basically a slip and slide fumble recovery/ball security drill. It appeared offensive and defensive players alternated diving and sliding for the ball, before the drill ended with Judge taking a turn, and the players erupted when he slid to recover the ball. The drill is a mainstay of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, and is the latest example of coaching tactics borrowed from the six-time Super Bowl winning coach’s methods making their way down to East Rutherford.
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2020.07.01 23:43 TommyMeekPickles89 The Perfect Storm: Bill Belichicks final act as head coach for New England has potential to be his best one yet, giving a city hope while paving Josh McDaniels path to replacing him.

Waking up to the news of Tom Brady leaving the Patriots was my worst nightmare, I swore the day it happened I’d either burst into flames or drown in a river of my own tears, yet here I sit writing this, alive and full of hope. We all knew Tom Brady leaving our beloved New England Patriots was inevitable. Whether it was Tom vs. Time or signing with another team 🤮 everything has an expiration date. The 20 years we experienced with the GOAT were some of the best times of my life, Being a witness to our very own Michael Jordan, Mohammed Ali, Wayne Gretzky was stuff out of a story book. Contenders every year, multiple dynasty’s and some of the best football games ever played in National Football League history was what we loved through. That being said after the initial shock wave that rippled through New England and the world of Tom Brady departure we knew we still had half of the anchor that has held down the Patriots for the last two decades, Bill Belichick. I will be the first to admit that I initially doubted Bills plan in recreating a roster that could live on past Brady. Days turned into weeks then months with no inkling or finding another QB to compete with Stidham or Hoyer. With rumblings of Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston Pats Nation seemed to be gearing up for a cold period, winter was coming fast with only one move that made sense for the organization: Cameron Jerrell Newton aka Superman.
Say what you will, Cams on the field play has been spiraling the past couple seasons. Injuries (shouldefoot) are mostly to blame and perhaps Carolinas overall team construction/teams long term goals led to Cams release. Since the day New England’s QB position opened Cam was at the top of the teams and fans radar as we are still in win now mode, a fresh start for both Cam and New England with the potential seemingly endless. We have always heard rumblings of Bill perhaps looking forward to the day where he gets full reigns back on the team, his final opportunity to show the world that while we had the GOAT of qbs we also had the GOAT of coaches. This is where Bill gets his total dues, his decades of coaching and evolving has led him to this moment, a final act for his own legacy and a final act for the imprint he leaves in New England. Hope is powerful, hope can feed a fan base and a team. Cam is a proven winner and has the tools to be one of the best in the league. If all goes right Cam grows old in a Patriots uniform next to eventual head coach Josh McDaniels and the Patriot way lives on for at least another half decade. PATS NATION we shall live forever!
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2020.06.19 19:03 Bipedal-Moose [OC] 63 MVPs in 63 days, part 49: The 2005 MVP race

Hello everyone, and welcome back to part 49 of my series in which I’ll be researching and dissecting every single MVP race in NFL history. Today, we’re going to be looking into the 2005 race. But first, a look at the voting results from you for the 2004 race. 47 people voted, and here are the results:
  1. Peyton Manning: 47/47 votes (100.0%)
  2. Michael Vick: 0/47 votes (0.0%)
This is only the second time in this series nfl has unanimously voted for an MVP, after Roman Gabriel in 1969!

2005 AP MVP: Seattle Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander (19 votes)

Other notable candidates: Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning (13 votes), New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (10 votes), New York Giants RB Tiki Barber (6 votes)
Others receiving votes: Bengals QB Carson Palmer (2 votes)
The winner: Shaun Alexander wins the first and only MVP of his career following a highly productive season.
The race
Here are the stats for the notable contenders for MVP in 2005. Remember, though, that the context behind the stats is equally as important as the stats themselves, so I encourage you to read the player profiles below.
Rush Yds Rush TD YPC Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Yscrim Tot TDs Fumbles
370 1,880 27 5.1 15 78 1 1,958 28 5
Comp/Att Yds Y/A TD INT Rate ANY/A Rush-Yds-TDs Fumbles
305/453 3,747 8.3 28 10 104.1 8.0 33-45-0 5
Comp/Att Yds Y/A TD INT Rate ANY/A Rush-Yds-TDs Fumbles
334/530 4,110 7.8 26 14 92.3 6.9 27-89-1 4
Rush Yds Rush TD YPC Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Yscrim Tot TDs Fumbles
357 1,860 9 5.2 54 530 2 2,390 11 1
Note: Bold indicates a league lead in that particular category. Italics indicate a league record.
The case for and against Alexander
Shaun Alexander’s 2005 season was a statistical marvel, its crowning characteristic being those 28 touchdowns scored representing a new league record, beating Priest Holmes’ record of 27 set just two seasons prior. Alexander also narrowly beat out Tiki Barber for the league’s rushing yards crown (1,880 over 1,860) and ranked 3rd in the league in scrimmage yards; he amassed great volume with excellent efficiency, ranking 4th in the league in rushing YPC among RBs. But it was the 28 touchdowns that resulted in Alexander being a consensus first team all-pro at the RB position, and that helped his Seahawks to a 13-3 record.
Alexander’s prolific scoring played a huge role in the Seahawks ranking 1st in points scored overall and 2nd in points scored per drive. He rushed for more TDs than QB Matt Hasselbeck threw. Alexander’s stats were good on a level such that no RB really put together a stat sheet as good as him, except perhaps Tiki Barber, who put up the 2nd most scrimmage yards in a season and was a bit more efficient, and the better all-around producer, but he scored 17 fewer touchdowns than Alexander.
But it's important to acknowledge that raw statistics by themselves don't constitute an MVP case, especially for non-QBs, and indeed, the greatest criticism of Alexander’s MVP case is very easily his supporting cast, which was simply ridiculous. He had the best run blocking in the league: his left side, which featured future first ballot HoFer Walter Jones and future HoFer Steve Hutchinson, is perhaps the best left side of an offensive line ever put together (maybe simply the best side of a line, period), with really only the Art Shell and Gene Upshaw duo challenging it. Alexander also had Robbie Tobeck at center, an excellent player, but Jones and Hutchinson are two of the very best to ever do it; especially Jones, whose 2005 campaign is a credible answer to the question of “best OT seasons ever.” The Seahawks’ offensive line stayed very healthy the entire season (one missed game between the five of them) and was so good, opposing defensive players have recounted stories of their ability to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage without even saying a word to each other. And, of course, one can't discuss the Seahawks' run blocking without mentioning Mack Strong, the fullback, who was a first team all-pro in 2005 and one of the best blocking FBs in the league. At the very least, though, the presence of Jones and Hutchinson means there is a very compelling and reasonable case to be made that Alexander was not the best or most valuable non-QB in this offense, let alone the entire league.
And that only covers his blocking support: Alexander also had an excellent passing game in front of him to keep defenses honest. Matt Hasselbeck ranked 4th in the league in ANY/A and 3rd in TD-INT differential. It could be argued that Alexander was simply fed TDs in a successful offense; of course, he was a fine short yardage back, but that isn’t as difficult to accomplish with an all-time great offensive line in front of you. Alexander scored fewer TDs of greater than 8 yards (7) than he did from the 1-yard line (9!). 18 of his 28 TDs came from inside the 5 yard line; these things are meaningful for the crowd who believes TDs are more of a function of opportunity than skill. Alexander obviously contributed to the success of the offense, but mostly as a runner: his receiving contributions are virtually nonexistent. This gargantuan level of support prompts the question of whether or not Alexander could have put up similar numbers without it; the answer to this question depends on whether or not we think it's fair to apply the hindsight of his following seasons, without Hutchinson or Tobeck on the line.
And if none of that was enough, the Seahawks also had a successful defense, which ranked 6th in points allowed per drive. There was undoubtedly a lot that went into the Seahawks’ 13-3 record, far from only their RB. If the "value" aspect of MVP voting matters a lot to you, Alexander isn’t as attractive of a candidate as his stats would suggest.
The case for and against Manning
Manning makes his third consecutive appearance in this series following yet another year in which he was the league’s best statistical QB; now, it is certainly easy to view his 2005 stats in comparison to his 2004 stats and yawn, but that isn't exactly fair. Manning returned to the top of the league statistically and was obviously instrumental in the Colts beginning the 2005 season with a 13-0 record: in those 13 games, Manning threw for 3,290 yards and 27 TDs with a sky-high 8.4 ANY/A and only had 10 turnovers. The Colts were handed their first loss in their 14th game, and promptly began to rest Manning in the final two weeks (14 pass attempts between those 2 games) but through the 14 games he played in full Manning operated at a 16-game pace of 4,144 passing yards, 32 TDs, 11 INTs, a 104.3 passer rating, and 8.1 ANY/A; this would have led the league in nearly every relevant passing category from volume to efficiency. It’s funny to think that, had the Colts been a bit worse, Manning could have dominated the QB stat sheet even more than he already did.
Still, Manning ended up leading the league in efficiency stats such as passer rating and ANY/A (the latter being at least half a yard better than any other QB in the league), and he ranked 2nd in Y/A and 2nd in TD-INT differential. His 28 TD passes ranked 2nd despite him throwing zero in the two games he was benched early. There isn’t much debate to be had as to who the best statistical QB was in 2005. And once again, the Colts put up an offensive clinic, ranking 1st in scoring percentage and points scored per drive despite ranking just 15th in average starting field position and 24th in rushing YPC as a team. For the third consecutive season, Manning was the NFL’s consensus first team all-pro at the QB position, making him just the second QB since the merger to accomplish that feat (Brett Favre being the other), a feat no QB has accomplished since.
Manning’s biggest MVP knock would be his supporting cast; while not as comically good as Alexander’s, it was still elite. Edgerrin James enjoyed a prolific, if a bit inefficient, season at RB and WRs Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne were a fantastic duo, the former obviously in the midst of a HoF career, providing Manning with an elite stable of weapons. Tarik Glenn and Jeff Saturday also provided the foundation for a rock solid offensive line in front of him that was finally able to stay mostly healthy. And, unlike previous years, the Colts finally had a solid defense, which ranked 9th in points allowed per drive. This owed significantly to Dwight Freeney’s presence on the defensive front and Bob Sanders having a rare healthy season in which he played 14 games. It would be very unfair to imply that Manning was the only reason behind his team’s 14-2 record; this was likely the best team he'd had in his entire career to this point, all around.
The case for and against Brady
Manning being benched late in the season cleared the way for Tom Brady to lead the league in passing yards for the first time of his career, but still, his stats actually undersell how good he was; which is saying something, considering he finished 1st in passing yards, 3rd in passing TDs, and 4th in TD-INT differential, all while finishing 5th in ANY/A, giving him one of the best combinations of volume and efficiency in the game. 2005 was one of the seasons in which Brady faced the most adversity of his career: the Patriots ranked 30th in rushing YPC and 23rd in average starting field position but still finished a respectable 7th in points scored per drive. Brady’s stable of playmakers was far from great, too: Deion Branch was a good player, but David Givens was the guy opposite of him, who was not only a JAG (Just A Guy), but missed 3 games.
And to top it all off, the Patriots had arguably the worst defense of the Belichick era: key pieces in the front seven in Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour were both forced to miss multiple games, and the secondary was hit hard too, with a 3rd round rookie in Ellis Hobbs being forced to start half the season due to injuries ahead of him. This poor injury luck led to the Patriots’ defense ranking 22nd in points allowed per drive, their worst finish under Belichick even today. Nevertheless, the Patriots still finished 10-6, winning the AFC East in the process. It’s very evident that Brady played a significant role in that, and I would contend that this is one of Brady's most impressive seasons that doesn't really get talked about much. Brady was an all-pro selection for the first time in his career as a result of his efforts.
Brady’s biggest MVP knock would be his stats: they were fine, even great, but they paled in comparison to Manning’s, being over a full yard behind him in ANY/A and putting up fewer TDs despite throwing nearly 80 more passes, plus more turnovers (17 compared to 12). As always, it is impossible to definitively quantify that supporting cast factor when discussing two different QBs; it's up to the voter to decide exactly how meaningful it is when reviewing the stats.
The case for and against Barber
With over 400 more scrimmage yards than Shaun Alexander, fewer fumbles, better efficiency, and on a worse team, Tiki Barber was the only RB who could have realistically challenged Alexander as the game's top RB in 2005. Indeed, Barber's 2,390 scrimmage yards were the 2nd most ever in a single season to that point, behind only Marshall Faulk's 2,429 mark in 1999. His 5.2 rushing YPC ranked 2nd among RBs in the NFL, behind only Tatum Bell who had less than half of Barber's carry total. Barber's stat sheet was hit by Brandon Jacobs vulturing TDs, putting up the odd stat line of 38 carries for 99 yards and 7 TDs on the season, but nevertheless it is a great stat sheet.
And as mentioned above, Barber's team was drastically weaker than Shaun Alexander's. His offensive line was very good, led by a combination on the interior featuring Chris Snee, Shaun O'Hara, and David Diehl, but it was small potatoes compared to what Seattle had, specifically. Barber's passing game was led by Eli Manning who finished 17th in ANY/A compared to Matt Hasselbeck's 4th place finish, clearly giving Barber less support there, too.
Of course, we're comparing Barber's cast to an all-time great one for the sake of those two players being the two RBs in this discussion. But that makes it disingenuous to say Barber lacked a good supporting cast, because he did have that very good O-line, plus some formidable playmakers in the receiving corps led by Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey, as well as an aging but still effective Amani Toomer, which definitely was enough to keep defenses honest. These factors hinder Barber's case, especially in a race with two productive QBs with legit cases.


Vote for the player you think had the best case here after reading the post! Tomorrow we'll review the results in the 2006 post.
Click here for links to previous editions dating back to 1957!
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2020.06.16 18:22 arbrown83 The Patriots Dynasty Podcast: 2001 Season

This all started as a simple website. I came across an infographic on here by ec_508 outlining the Patriots records vs every other team in the Belichick era. I loved it, but wanted it to be sortable and filterable. So I made a simple webpage that allowed me to do that.

The Patriots Dynasty Website

I wanted to be able to update that webpage, so I build a back end behind the page. I wanted to be able to easily add games as they happened so the numbers would stay up-to-date, so I updated the back end to allow me to add every game into it and have the graphic calculate the numbers automatically. You can still see that page here. And there's a version for only Tom Brady games, too.
Things snowballed from there. I worked with timnog to add the highlight gifs to the website, and I've created a search engine to easily find the exact play(s) you're looking for. Together, we've managed to get highlights of every game going back to 2009, and every Tom Brady TD pass except for his 2006 season.

The Patriots Dynasty Podcast

While I've been going back and capturing highlights, it occurred to me that there were a lot of Patriots games that I just didn't remember, but enjoyed rewatching as I was grabbing highlights from it. This dynasty has been going on for so long (almost 20 years at this point!) that there's no way to remember all the good (and some bad) that's happened over that time.
Which brings me to the podcast. I've convinced my brothers to go back and rewatch every game of the Patriots dynasty. And we're doing a podcast episode on each game. We've just finished the 2001 season (Super Bowl episodes released today!), so I thought it might be helpful to have a rundown of each one for those of you who may want to join us for specific games.

2001 Super Bowl: Patriots vs Rams

Matt Chatham Interview

Who better to talk about the Patriots first Super Bowl victory than with someone who was actually there? Join the Brown brothers as they try not to embarrass themselves while interviewing the podcast's most famous guest, former Patriot linebacker Matt Chatham.

Game Recap

It's finally here! The big game in the Big Easy. Join the brothers as they talk about John Madden, the Super Bowl logos and some fun facts that you'd probably forgotten by now. It's Super Bowl 36, the introduction to a dynasty (right Ricky Proehl?).
Youtube Highlights Full Game

2001 AFC Championship: Patriots @ Steelers

Our plucky underdogs travel to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA to take on the 10-point favorite Steelers team. This game was many things, but nothing exemplified it more than the renaissance of Drew Bledsoe. Join the wine-addled brothers as they discuss the 2001 AFC Championship game.
Since this is a long one, we're gonna try some chapters. Hopefully they work like they're supposed to:
Youtube Highlights Full Game

2001 AFC Divisional: Patriots vs Raiders

Patriots. Raiders. In the snow. Is this the best game of the Patriots dynasty? You don't need us to tell you about this game, but we're gonna do it anyway. With the help of a Raiders fan, no less.
Full Game

2001 Week 17: Patriots at Panthers

It's the last week of the season, so we figured it's finally time to bring in someone who knows what they're talking about. The brothers interview brother-in-law (and Panther fan) Bobby in the regular season finale as we get geared up for the playoffs!
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 16: Bye Week

Week 16 was a bye week for the Pats, so we figured we'd do a bye week episode as well. In true Pats fashion, we look inwards at what we've done right (and mostly wrong). Followed by a deep dive of the talented but troubled Terry Glenn.
For those who want to do more reading on Glenn, here's the articles mentioned in the podcast:
And here's a link to the hotly-debated Troy Brown biography

2001 Week 15: Patriots vs Dolphins

Steve wants to sell his spot to the highest bidder, Greg graces us with his presence (eventually), Mike talks about growing up on the mean streets of Lawrence, MA. And there's some talk about a very important game for the lead in the AFC East. And kickers. This one is all over the map.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 14: Patriots at Bills

The boys discover Alex "Pill" Van Pelt, talk about CTE, and swap stories about visiting Buffalo, NY to watch football games.
Youtube Highlights Full Game

2001 Week 13: Patriots vs Browns

The Belichick Revenge Tour continues with the Browns coming to town. Connor joins the gang, starts some shit, then cooks dinner in the middle of the podcast. This one is a rollercoaster, buckle in.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 12: Patriots at Jets

We're back to a full squad again, now with a Stat Guy© making sure we don't get things wrong. Unfortunately, the stat guy is Greg, who can't even figure out LinkedIn. Listen in as we touch on the first game of the Belichick revenge tour, names in America, and Drew Bledsoe's wine. Or don't, I'm not your mother.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 11: Patriots vs Saints

Greg is headed to the Super Bowl, but the rest of the crew is holding down the fort and talking about the Patriots Saints game. Join us for a deeper look into Steve's feelings about Aaron Brooks, Mike's terrible note-taking skills, and Andy's weekly anger issues towards another commentator.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 10: Patriots vs Rams

Everybody but Steve chimes in on the "most important loss of the Patriots Dynasty" (what!?). Mike tries to get us a sponsor, and Greg shares his travel plans. Join us as we review the first meeting between the 2001 Patriots and the Greatest Show on Turf.
Here's the Rod Pod commercial Greg was talking about
Full Game

2001 Week 9: Patriots vs Bills

Join us as we discover a better Steve Brown, talk about how Brady won't leave, and touch on the Patriots attempting to get above .500 for the first time this season.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 8: Patriots @ Falcons

Let's go back to happier times, when we were all able to still get together. Join Mike and the brothers in cold, snowy NH for the shitshow that was the in-person Christmas episode. Yes, we realize it's March. Deal with it.
Youtube Highlights Full Game

2001 Week 7: Patriots @ Broncos

Mike, Greg and Andy talk failure: both of the hosts and of the Patriots in Mile High.
Full Game

2001 Week 6: Patriots @ Colts

The Brown brothers discuss the first game with a name: the David Patten Game. Well, except for Greg who has a confession to make.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 5: Patriots vs Chargers

Mike joins Andy for some Doug Flutie talk, as well as getting nerd boners over Brady's best game at this point in his young career. Want to hear two grown men discuss the heights of other grown men? This is the episode for you!
Youtube Highlights Full Game

2001 Week 4: Patriots @ Dolphins

Mike and Andy suffer through sports talk radio, childhood as nerds and a tough-to-watch Dolphins game. Join in their misery as we dive into Brady's rough introduction to the NFL.
Also, as promised, the link to the DOS game Unnecessary Roughness 93.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 3: Patriots vs Colts

Your favorite quartet of idiots talk about high school football camp, Momma Brown, and even review Tom Brady's first NFL start.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 2: Patriots vs Jets

The full crew discusses 9/11, the Drew Bledsoe injury and Andy's anger issues as they look back at the game that set the wheels in motion for the greatest dynasty to ever grace the NFL.
Youtube Highlights

2001 Week 1: Patriots @ Bengals

The Patriots traveled to Cincinnati to face Corey Dillon and the Bengals. How would the illustrious 2001 season start? Would it be as rocky as the inaugural episode of this podcast? Let's find out together in this week's episode of the Patriots Dynasty Podcast!
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2020.05.09 14:54 ThePatriotWay Fantasy One-Hit Wonders, Quantified

Using Pro Football Reference data I sought out to mathematically quantify the biggest fantasy “One-Hit Wonders” of the last twenty years. The results give us a trip down memory lane to some of the “what if” players in recent memory.
TL;DR – scroll down to see the One-Hit Wonder charts, player names, and their stories.


  1. Scrape all fantasy game data from PFR for players who had game debuts in 2000-2019
  2. Quantify each game’s contribution to the player’s career fantasy total (e.g., in the game the player accrued 1% of their career fantasy points)
  3. Quantify each game performance’s “Z-Score” by comparing the game against all games in the last twenty years at their position, a method of showing how dominant the performance was. For more detail on Z-scores and how they can be applied to fantasy football, please consider revisiting my historical “FF GOAT” series for QB, RB, WR, TE; also visit NBA Math from whom I drew this method and inspiration).
  4. Scatterplot the results of #2 and #3 to find outliers: games where the player not only dominated, but also amassed a bulk of their entire career’s fantasy output.
Generally I was looking for high Z-Scores (dominant games) and high game FPTS percent contributions to career totals. I set a threshold of 2.0 Z-score, which means the player’s game performance was 2 standard deviations above the average performance in the last twenty years – at this level you begin to see excellent fantasy games. For percent contribution, I was looking for anything large – 10%, 20%, 50%, 100%. If this is all too esoteric, ELI5: if a running back had a single game of 300 yards and 5 TD’s, but he never earned a single fantasy point ever again in his career, that’s a “One-Hit Wonder” in a nutshell. His game might be Z-score = 7.00 and percent contribution = 100%. Let’s get to the results.


There weren’t many QB One-Hit Wonders identified. Only two players had a single game in which they amassed over 20% of their FPTS career.

TODD BOUMAN – MIN – 09 DEC 2001 vs. TEN – 21/31, 348YD, 4TD, 1INT, 4 RUSH/27YD

Z-Score: 2.06
% of Career FPTS: 29.0%
Bouman joined the Vikings in 1997 as UDFA and basically rode pine until 2001 when Daunte Culpepper was injured late in the season. At the time he earned his first NFL start, he only had 17 career attempts, completing 12 for 204YD/2TD/1INT. Bouman’s statline (above) earned the Vikings their final win of the 2001 season en route to a 5-11 record. As reported by ESPN, Minnesota Head Coach Dennis Green didn’t announce Bouman as the starter until mid-1st Quarter of the game, when the Vikings earned their first possession. Bouman later hopped between several franchises, starting only six more games in his career, but none as sexy as his breakout debut.

MATT FLYNN – GB – 01 JAN 2012 vs. DET – 31/44, 480YD, 6TD, 1INT

Z-Score: 3.07
% of Career FPTS: 26.8%
The Packers had a 14-1 record going into the final week and opted to inactivate Aaron Rodgers for safety, having already secured a 1st Round playoff bye. In stepped Matt Flynn, who in his first four seasons as a Packer only had one start under his belt. It’s New Year’s Day. Flynn set (and still owns) Packers single-game records for passing yards and passing TDs (statline above), no biggie! Aaron Rodgers has subsequently tied each record in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Flynn jumped around to a few other franchises and later returned to do some starting work for the Packers, but his NYD 2012 performance is his magnum opus.


Tight ends are tricky, because the average fantasy game performance is significantly weaker than those of their RB/WR counterparts. It’s necessary to increase the threshold of Z-Scores to at least 3.0, and even still, there are not many players upon whom to remark. Both players are still “too soon to call” but I’ll highlight them:

TJ HOCKENSON – DET – 08 SEP 2019 @ ARI – 6/131YD/1TD

Z-Score: 3.25
% of Career FPTS: 39.2%
Obviously “too soon to call” for a player of his draft capital, this tantalizing breakout performance (statline above) had people cementing him as a #1 TE dynasty asset. His production crumbled for the rest of the 2019 season, and questions remain. If he stopped playing football today, I’d call him a shoo-in for the “One-Hit Wonder” TE hall of fame.

BLAKE JARWIN – DAL – 30 DEC 2018 @ NYG – 7/119YD/3TD

Z-Score: 5.64
% of Career FPTS: 29.0%
Also “too soon to call”, but this is an obvious outlier performance from Jarwin. In the Week 17 division matchup, Jarwin’s heroics (statline above) helped lift the Cowboys to a victory, elevating them to the 4th seed in the NFC playoff race, allowing for a home matchup in the following week’s Wild Card round.


There were a dozen WR who earned 30%+ of their career FPTS totals in a single game. None was outright mind-blowing, but there are some interesting nuggets. First is “too soon to call” Miami Dolphin Preston Williams, whose 5/72YD/2TD line during the 2019 Week 9 matchup against the Jets racked up a Z-Score of 2.26 and amassed 32.7% of his career-to-date FPTS. The others, sorted by the percent of career FPTS amassed in the game:

DAVID GETTIS – CAR – 24 OCT 2010 vs. SF – 8/125YD/2TD

Z-Score: 3.17
% of Career FPTS 35.0%
The track star coming out of high school in California, and via Baylor, was a 2010 rookie for the Panthers. He was involved essentially immediately, having 5-6 targets in each of his first four games played. Then in Week 7 he dusted the San Francisco defense (statline above). After that, he was only really fantasy-relevant in Week 11 in which he caught a deep ball up the left side and outran a defender for an 88-yard score. While the speedster had promise, an ACL tear in 2011 was his NFL downfall, and he played his last snaps in 2012.

FRISMAN JACKSON – CLE – 11 SEP 2005 vs. CIN – 8/128YD/1TD

Z-Score: 2.19
% of Career FPTS: 35.2%
Frisman was a 2002 UDFA pickup by the Cleveland Browns. For three seasons, he was fantasy irrelevant. Then in 2005 Week 1, a home opener against Cincinnati, he put up the statline above which included a 68-yard TD catch and run. It was his first, and last, NFL touchdown.

SYLVESTER MORRIS – KC – 17 SEP 2000 vs. SD – 6/112YD/3TD

Z-Score: 3.98
% of Career FPTS: 36.0%
“Sly-Mo” was the 21st overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. His rookie season was full of targets (105), but he only totaled 48 receptions and 3TD. His first start at Arrowhead Stadium was a blockbuster, in which he posted the above statline. Regrettably, Morris suffered a string of knee injuries that left him unable to play any NFL games after his first year. Morris briefly discusses his amazing day in Kansas City on this podcast.

SEYI AJIROTUTU – SD – 07 NOV 2010 @ HOU – 4/111YD/2TD

Z-Score: 2.93
% of Career FPTS: 38.2%
The 2010 UDFA out of Fresno State was picked up by the Chargers and began his career in Week 7, catching a few balls, and continuing that pace into Week 8. In Week 9, Seyi balled out, posting the above statline which included a 1st Quarter 55-yard TD reception, and a 4th Quarter go-ahead 28-yard TD reception. In the TV highlights of this game, Rich Eisen and Deion Sanders crack wise about his name – “tutu”. That was Seyi's 3rd career game. His 4 receptions that day was his career high, ever. PFR lists an additional 69 regular and post-season games for Seyi over that remaining season and an additional five seasons, in which he totaled only an additional 16/239YD/1TD. A truly spectacular early-career “One-Hit Wonder”.

TAVARRES KING – NYG – 17 DEC 2017 vs. PHI – 2/70YD/2TD

Z-Score: 2.22
% of Career FPTS: 38.5%
“…Save the Best for Last”. Tavarres was kinda a journeyman receiver trying to make an impression, ultimately landing on the Giants. His 2017 season was the only one in which he had any meaningful impact. The Giants were trash in 2017, and it’s Week 15 at home, a 2-11 record in hand. It’s Tavarres King’s last NFL game. He puts up the statline above. The first TD is a nice inside fake double move to the outside. The second TD is a short slant/in, a catch and run showing great speed and vision. Facing two defenders he dives headlong toward the pylon from five yards out, barely scraping the pylon for a second TD. However, he concussed himself on impact, and was visibly wobbly. In the following moments, the Giants attempted a 2-point conversion to tie and Eli Manning was sacked. Later in the game the Giants attempted a field goal to take the lead, and the kick was blocked. NYG lost, despite King’s valiant effort. He was placed on IR, and never played in the NFL again.

SAMMIE COATES – PIT – 09 OCT 2016 vs. NYJ – 6/139YD/2TD

Z-Score: 3.41
% of Career FPTS: 39.1%
Sammie was drafted by the Steelers in the 3rd Round of the 2015 NFL draft and spent his first season as a depth piece. His first reception, for 11 yards, was thrown by Michael Vick in what would be Vick’s 3rd-to-last NFL game (did anyone else forget Vick was a Steeler???). When the 2016 season started, Coates saw more action, racking up 13 receptions in the first four games. Then came his big Week 5 performance (statline above), which included a 72-yard bomb from Ben Roethlisberger while the Steelers wore the atrocious bumblebee uniforms. Unfortunately, Coates injured his finger during the game which significantly limited his ability for the rest of the season. In his subsequent 36 career regular and post-season games listed on PFR, he only caught 11 passes and 0 touchdowns.

JONATHAN CARTER – NYJ – 16 NOV 2003 @ IND – 1/62YD/1TD (*also, technically had a KRTD!)

Z-Score: 2.09
% of Career FPTS: 42.7*%
Carter sneaks onto this list with an interesting performance. In this, his 9th career game, he had one catch. It was his first career catch. It was a 62-yard TD, amazing! Over his NFL career that spanned four partial seasons, he tallied only 14 receptions, never having more than two in any game. *As we’ll see again later, PFR sometimes “forgets” KRTD/PRTD in the fantasy statistics, and Carter also had a 90 yard KRTD in his breakout game’s 3rd Quarter. If we give him fantasy credit, technically he accrued 49.8% of his career FPTS output in this game. Well done!

JERREL JERNIGAN – NYG – 29 DEC 2013 vs. WAS – 6/90YD/1TD + 2RUSH/57YD/1TD

Z-Score: 3.55
% of Career FPTS 43.6%
Jernigan was a 3rd Round NFL Draft selection by the Giants in 2011. Through 2011, 2012, and deep into 2013, his most fantasy-relevant game was 3 receptions for 29YD. Just to give perspective on how hot this guy was. Victor Cruz was dealing with some sort of injury later in 2013, so in steps Jernigan. In Week 15 he posts 7/67YD, not bad! In Week 16 he posts 6/80YD/1TD – fantastic! This was all just appetizer for the main dish he was about to serve – Week 17, in a drizzling cold rain – he posts the above statline, notably which included a 49-yard TD rush on an end-around. A fitting end to a rough season for Jernigan and the Giants. He only played two subsequent games in his career, the first two weeks of 2014, for a grand total of another 38 scrimmage yards.

QUENTIN McCORD – ATL – 22 DEC 2002 vs. DET – 7/182YD/1TD

Z-Score: 3.12
% of Career FPTS: 48.4%
Mr. McCord was a young receiver going into his 15th career NFL game in Week 16 of the 2002 season. He was still green, with only 4 career receptions for 59 yards. But with a young Michael Vick slinging the ball, you never know what will happen. The above statline happened – which included a TD reception, and receptions of 41YD and 60YD among others. It would be the only touchdown of McCord’s NFL career. He stuck around for another 12 regular and post-season games afterwards, only putting up a total of 251 scrimmage yards in those games.

DA’RICK ROGERS – IND – 08 DEC 2013 @ CIN – 6/107YD/2TD

Z-Score: 2.86
% of Career FPTS: 72.8%
Da’Rick was a highly touted high school athlete, and had some success in college despite a suspension from the team in Tennessee, ostensibly due to failed drug tests. As a 2013 UDFA he found his way onto the Colts’ 53-man roster to see his first action in Week 13, despite not being targeted. In Week 14, he set the field on fire, including a 69-yard touchdown in which he broke two tackles and sprinted into open space (statline above). After that? In his final three regular season games and two playoff games he totaled 9 receptions for 131 yards. In the 2014 pre-season he caught a (ultimately meaningless) touchdown, punted the ball into the stands, and was reprimanded by Head Coach Chuck Pagano. A month later he was arrested for DUI and immediately cut.

JAYDON MICKENS – JAX – 17 DEC 2017 vs. HOU – 4/61YD/2TD

Z-Score: 2.07
% of Career FPTS: 115.3*%
Mickens was a special teamer as he began his NFL career, working KPR duties. When the 2017 Week 15 rolled around, he was given more offensive opportunities than he had ever before – until that point, he had exactly 1 offensive reception for 11YD. By putting up the statline above, including two back-to-back touchdowns in the 2nd Quarter, he earned more FPTS than PFR credits him for his entire career, due to subsequent game fumbles/muffs as a return specialist. *This 115.3% statistical oddity can be questioned, though, because PFR fantasy data sometimes “ignores” KRTD/PRTD. If we give Mickens fantasy credit for his PRTD in 2017 Week 9, this statline above would still represent 83.4% of his career FPTS total. In the ten regular season and post-season games he played afterwards, Mickens would record only 1 reception for 5YD.


Here things get interesting. There are two major camps: blockbuster RB performances that contributed a smaller amount of career FPTS totals…and “pretty-good” performances that contributed a major bulk of career FPTS. Some are players young in their careers, where it’s "too soon to make a call" about being a “One-Hit Wonder” (for example, 2019’s Boston Scott 54YD/3TD + 4REC/84YD/0TD, Derrius Guice 129YD/2TD + 2REC/8YD/0TD, Mike Boone 148YD/1TD + 2REC/12YD/0TD, Chase Edmonds 126YD/3TD + 2REC/24YD/0TD). I’ll list some of these other so-so One-Hit Wonders who had games with 20%+ of their career FPTS output: Brock Forsey, Andre Hall, Ricky Williams (Colt), Quentin Griffin, Kenton Keith, David Wilson, Kolby Smith, Rod Smith, Mike Karney, Patrick Cobbs, Keiland Williams, Arlen Harris, Quinton Ganther, Ryan Moats, Tre Mason, Travis Prentice, Branden Oliver, Maurice Smith, Cedric Houston, Karlos Williams, Lee Suggs, Trung Canidate.
But there is only one TRUE KING, who was the inspiration for this entire research project.

JONAS GRAY – NE – 16 NOV 2014 @ IND – 201YD/4TD

Z-Score: 5.29
% of Career FPTS: 45.4%
Gray was a highly touted high school athlete, and rose through the ranks at Notre Dame. He suffered a major knee injury in his senior year which hurt his draft stock, going UDFA to Miami and subsequently to Baltimore, never getting an NFL snap. Until New England. It’s Week 11 of the 2014 season and Gray has 32 rush attempts to his name. You know what happens next (statline above). Gray’s masterpiece earned him a Sports Illustrated cover! The following week in practice Gray overslept, missing practice. Belichick doesn’t fuck around – Jonas did not have a carry the following week, and in the four subsequent games only got 20 carries. His time as a Patriot over, he was a role player in Miami in 2015, a Jaguars reservist in 2015/2016, and never played in the NFL again.
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2020.04.27 04:22 Zworrisdeh NFL Quarterbacks ranked by attractiveness

At the Super Bowl party this year, a friend of mine told me that one of the things NFL scouts look for in QBs is the “Quarterback face,” meaning a certain level of handsomeness or masculinity in facial features that unconsciously signifies leadership and draws respect from peers. This sounds like complete bullshit to me but I’m too lazy to google it, so let’s pretend that’s true and rank all starting QBs (plus some others who may or may not start this year) by handsomeness not only of the face but the total body package.
S Tier (Greek gods chiseled out of marble)
Jimmy Garoppolo – I mean c’mon. He can overthrow his way out of however many Super Bowl rings as he wants and always fall back on a career as a GQ model. I would follow this man into a battle against Xerxes’ army. Every Sunday morning this season my wife asked me what time “Jimmy Garofalo” was gonna be on TV.
Tom Brady – The face of a franchise for so many years and with good reason. Dude has the chin you would expect to see on a 6-time world champ, and the body of a man who only eats flax seeds and Gisele. I’m not sure if that knockoff Falcons uni will look as good as the dark blue on him but we’ll re-evaluate when the season starts (if it starts). The only knock against Brady is that he spent almost his entire youth with trash haircuts you would never expect to see on someone who makes most American families’ life savings per hour.
Russell Wilson – An aesthetically pleasing man for sure. Looks good with or without a beard, nice hair, and ekes out a sense of “coolness.” Even looks good when he’s putting post-contract-celebration-sex videos on Twitter with his also-hot R&B superstar wife.
Aaron Rodgers – Disappointed with how little of the porno stache we saw, I really could have envisioned it in an alternate timeline. I mean, can’t you see Rodgers continuously going “oh fuck yeah” while piledriving an 18-year-old instead of being an insurance salesman who moonlights in NFCCG implosions?
A Tier (Can get dolled up for a SI cover)
Baker Mayfield – Looks like a hot bum. Has that “bad boy” look that works better in pressers and commercials than it does in the huddle. Has the look and public persona of an Instagram model and the actual persona of an Instagram model.
Nick Foles – He’s a good-looking guy, but we all knew what his spot was gonna be about going into this. We all know why he commands the huddle. We all know why he has to order custom athletic cups. We all know why every time he turns around too fast in the shower room everyone in a 6-foot radius gets knocked down. We all know why Malcolm Butler was so intimidated he asked Belichick to bench him and tell the press it was Bill’s idea. We all know why he-
Kyler Murray – Kyler is a good looking little dude, but his size doesn’t help his case. Not sure how confident I feel in the huddle with a guy who has a great haircut but probably still has to use a booster seat at the barber shop. I’m like 5’5” myself so putting him higher than he probably deserves makes me feel better.
Dak Prescott – Has a very disarming smile. Disarming in that it apparently takes the hands and arms away from his star receivers. The tats make him look cool, and he has that broad-shouldered build that you like to see in a QB as he leads his team to score 3 times in the 4th quarter while in a 4-score deficit.
Jared Goff – A classic prettyboy if not a little Dana Carvey-esque at some angles. The red California sun has powered him up but much like Superman actor Henry Cavill, his teeth are kinda busted. Still, his girlfriend looks more like Yennefer of Vengerberg than Lois Lane. Bears the dubious distinction of being the only player whose coach is better looking than him.
Ryan Tannehill – Tanny has a good QB face. Slightly grizzled but not so much that he looks like a forklift operator or carnie. Good, strong nose and jawline that I think put him in the “Chad” category. I would definitely get redpilled in the huddle with him leading me.
Taysom Hill – Looks like someone who would beat the shit out of you in a Denny’s parking lot and then jump back into his truck adorned in blue lives matter stickers. Exudes a deep fried midwestern confidence carried by his absolute jackedness. The man is a true swiss army knife on the field, and probably also uses one to gut deer in his garage.
Gardner Minshew – It doesn’t even really matter what he looks like; you exude that much machismo and charisma and I’ll do whatever you want. You put those highway patrolman sunglasses on and I’ll run 4 deep passes in a row like we’re playing Madden. I believe in you that much.
Mason Rudolph – Has a very classic, “old boy” look to him. Maybe it’s the perpetually-styled hair. Maybe it’s the “leadership chin dimple.” Put this man in a letterman jacket and it’s shocking that he’s not a black and white photo of a turn-of-the-century university polo team captain. He’s definitely handsome, and I would definitely smash…him in the face with a helmet.
Jacoby Brissett – Extremely classically handsome. Face is perfectly symmetrical and he wears a beard well at any length. He’s going to be a great leadership presence from the bench.
B Tier (S'aight)
Jarrett Stidham – Has the average-in-every-way face of a true placeholder. Even if he manages to step into Brady’s shoes, he won’t be stepping into a world-famous supermodel anytime soon. Side note: I had a dream a few weeks ago that I was a rookie RB who got drafted by the Pats. First day of training camp I brought my Eagles lunch bag (that I actually own in real life) and Belichick screamed at me in front of everyone. “You’re a goddamn Patriot now!” he said. The point is Cam was the starting QB. I consider it a premonitory dream, sorry Jarrett stans.
Jameis Winston – A comely man who looks much older and wiser than he is. Because he isn't either. Ol' Jobless Jameis is currently floating in FA subspace, which makes sense since his level of leadership rests comfortably at “leading the ball to the defense,” but he can rest on that handsome visage and be proud that the ladies can't keep their hands off of him. Wait no, sorry, it's the other way around.
Dwayne Haskins – Easygoing-looking. Nice smile, boyish features. Looks as natural taking a selfie with fans as he will crying in the locker room at halftime while Ron Rivera screams at him. I can picture him after the game locking himself in his room, laying in bed next to his Eli poster, throwing a football into the air and catching it while going “god, dad is such a dick.”
Deshaun Watson – A pretty average-looking guy who loses points for having a kind of small head. Sometimes it looks regular and sometimes it just looks a little on the small side. Either way, it’s doing him about as many favors as his anus-chinned GM.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – I cannot disconnect this man from the images still burned into my brain of what he was showing up to press conferences in Tampa looking like. Fitz looks like that dude who was always getting dome in his pickup in high school and let’s face it…he probably was. I would follow this dude even if I played for the Tank for Tua 2019 ‘Fins.
Matthew Stafford – Inexplicably never ages. Still looks like someone I’m more likely to see lining up opposite me on the beer pong table than under center. Shocked he’s never been in a Mountain Dew ad, he could move units on units of High Voltage.
Kirk Cousins – Handsome enough but without a beard he looks like a Bible camp counselor. Every time I look into those vacant blue eyes I picture myself sitting around a campfire and singing Kumbaya, or whatever they do there. I don’t know, I’m Jewish. Anyways put some beard on that face and he looks a lot more manly. Otherwise I don’t like that.
Drew Brees – A man who rivals Terry Bradshaw not only in declining arm strength but in rapidly declining hairline. I do have to say he’s very swole for being 51 or whatever. He definitely looks like a guy ready to string together a near perfect season, inexplicably get rocked in the divisional round, retire, and Focus on the Family.
Derek Carr – If you threw a bass guitar on that guy I would guess he played in Korn or Saliva. He looks like someone who would light a Newport in the huddle, say “fuck it,” and go do donuts in the parking lot of the Allegiant instead of finishing the game.
Philip Rivers – I always thought he was very boyish looking, and he still somehow is pushing into the twilight of his career. Whatever look he has, his wife obviously really digs it. I would rate him like a 14/20 which I’m pretty sure was also his TD:INT ratio last year.
Teddy Bridgewater – He’s more “cute” than handsome. He elicits – not only in name but in face – the aura of a Teddy bear, and for some reason I feel this would actually translate to strong leadership applied with a soft touch (gloved of course).
Mitchell Trubisky – He’s fine, but I don’t mean like “fine.” I mean…like just fine. Powerful eyebrows but that’s about it in the power department. Teddy bear face invokes more confidence in the other’s team’s secondary than his own teammates. All in all I would still let him kiss my titties.
C Tier (Lipstick on a pigskin)
Cam Newton – Not an ugly man by any means but his face is as big as a dinner plate. Chin is too strong to the point where he looks like a human Guy Fawkes mask or a bad guy from Goldeneye for N64. Would probably think it’s funny to hear a straight male talk about looks.
Patrick Mahomes – Arguably the single best player in the NFL right now, but everything about him is a little goofy. Not a bad looking guy but a little funny looking. That chop is bizarre and when he has a headband on he looks like a bucket of curly fries you get on the boardwalk. The Marvin the Martian voice doesn’t help. Also there’s something about his body that just looks soft and puffy like Starman from Earthbound.
Carson Wentz – I would love to place my QB higher, but Ginger Jesus don’t do it for me. One would think “he looks like a crown prince” is a positive aspect but then you remember how much inbreeding is classically involved with the royal family. I would not let him walk it to me unless he had a dog mask on.
Ben Roethlisberger – Never been a fan of Big Ben’s look, which is to say the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters scrambling out of the pocket. Always looks like he swallowed an inflatable life vest and then pulled the cord. And that beard he grew while brooding on the sidelines last season made him look like a bloated Jeremiah Johnson post-surgery.
Josh Allen – He looks like the kind of guy who’s not gonna be the best boyfriend, but he won’t be a total piece of shit. He’s better than the usual guys who invite you over and then just play CoD all night, but he’s still gonna take you out “on a really nice date” to Red Lobster. He’ll be good until things start to get serious, and then he’ll crumble and run backwards out of field goal range.
Lamar Jackson – LJ’s face is…short. Like, the width of his face doesn’t match the height. When he has his helmet on he looks like one of the racecar or spaceman Lego guys who wear helmets.
Matt Ryan – Scrawny. Weird looking. Head is so perfectly rectangular it’s eerie. Every time he turns his head I expect to see a missing child ad on the side.
Sam Darnold – Looks like the ginger bully kid from A Christmas Story. Every time Trey Flowers sacks him I half-expect to see him punch Darnold in the face until his mom comes to pull him off. He sometimes tries to do the Andy Dalton hairflip thing but he’s so pasty all I’m seeing is (Casper the Friendly) ghost.
Daniel Jones – A true successor to Eli in every way, from looking like a complete doofus to dropping the ball every time an edge rusher breathes on him too hard. The G-Men ain’t skipping a beat. Here’s to the next 18 years of memes that are literally just a screenshot of the guy’s face.
Drew Lock – Looks a lot like a kid named Bobby who played on my pop warner team in 8th grade. But not like an adult version of Bobby, he literally just looks like the Bobby I remember. I can picture him on Sunday mornings begging Elway to let him get a chipwich from the snack shack if they win.
Andy Dalton – I’ve heard people say the “Andy Dalton test” of a quarterback is that if he’s worse than Andy he’s a below average player but if he’s better than Andy, he’s a franchise QB. This is not true for this test; this dude looks like Jimmy Neutron started huffing paint in high school, full stop.
Marcus Mariota – Dragged down by chronically bad haircuts. Looked terrible in powder blue so there will be a reassessment when they show him chilling on the sideline in black and silver before he gets called in to run one unsuccessful gadget play per game.
Tyrod Taylor – He somehow looks different every time I see him. If I close my eyes, I really can’t picture his face without some sort of visual aid. Isn’t helped by the fact that every time I see him it’s in a different uniform.
*Josh Rosen was considered but ultimately omitted as the blurb I wrote about his face looking like “an old, leaning house whose foundation is warping” was deemed too mean and brought this write-up into cyberbullying territory.
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2020.04.11 09:16 Cidolfus Offseason with Cidolfus: Pre-Draft Recap

Pre-Draft Recap

I said I might do another one of these, time permitting. Little did I know that I’d leave my house only four times in the past month to go to the grocery store. I’ve found quite a bit of time hunkered down in my apartment. I think my dog is getting sick of me.
I know my wife is getting sick of me.
The Dolphins were active early in free agency. They made a lot of expected moves (at least in terms of what positional needs we prioritized) and some more surprising ones. This leaves the team in an interesting place headed into the draft .
In various discussions we’ve had over the past few weeks, I’ve tackled a couple cap questions, particularly in regards to the effective cap cost of rookie contracts as well as cap flexibility in 2021. In this offseason entry, I plan to address those topics and others to contextualize the way I see the draft shaking out.
If you missed any of my previous posts, find the links below. A lot of it is out of date at this point, but if you’d like a good laugh you can see how often I was wrong (although, compared to previous years, I think I did pretty well this year), take a look.

Remaining Free Agency Moves

Earlier this year, I projected a much more aggressive roster culling ahead of free agency than we ended up actually receiving. Aside from getting the departure of Reshad Jones right (admittedly, that one was a bit of a gimme), I also thought that by now we would have moved on from Albert Wilson, Taco Charlton, and Jakeem Grant to free up additional cap space. Instead, we dropped Kilgore (a move I considered unlikely), and--so far at least--have kept the others.
There’s still plenty of time for things to change ahead of the 55-man roster cutdown. As currently constructed, our roster has a logjam of players at both the wide receiver and defensive end positions (never thought I’d be saying that second bit already). The Dolphins have 11 wide receivers under contract and eight defensive ends. Several of these players are minimum salary types filling out the offseason roster for camp, but there are plenty of locks at both to make the roster as well relative to the number of expected roster spots available at each position.
Wide Receiver
Player Cap Charge Savings
Albert Wilson $10,833,344 $9,500,000
DeVante Parker $6,100,000 -$6,000,000
Jakeem Grant $4,380,000 -$1,800,000
Allen Hurns $2.883,333 $2,016,666
Mack Hollins $825,000 $825,000
Isaiah Ford $750,000 $750,000
Andy Jones $750,000 $750,000
Ricardo Louis $750,000 $750,000
Preston Williams $675,000 $671,666
Gary Jennings $675,000 $675,000
Terry Wright $610,000 $610,000
It’s a reasonable bet that the Dolphins will carry five wide receivers on the final 53-man roster. That’s how many we’ve kept every year for the past three seasons. That likely means half of the names above will be cut. DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant (now that his base salary for the 2020 season has been guaranteed) are locks for the roste. Their contracts make them more expensive to cut than to keep. Preston Williams should also be expected to return for obvious reasons.
That leaves two spots for the remaining eight guys, and I have to imagine that Allen Hurns--who signed an extension in the middle of last season--has an edge to keep his spot despite the potential cap savings. Isaiah Ford also came along when injuries pushed him to the top of the depth chart at the end of the season last year, convincing the team to pick him up as an exclusive rights free agent.
Obviously Albert Wilson fills a niche on the roster that most of the other guys don’t--unless we expect to see Jakeem Grant take a larger role as the team’s slot receiver. There’s been discussion that the team plans to use Mike Gesicki in a big slot role, but that doesn’t rule out keeping Wilson. It’s not unthinkable that we carry six wide receivers in 2020, especially with Chan Gailey as our offensive coordinator and the extra two roster spots granted by the new CBA. His spread concepts figure to see more multiple-receiver sets, after all. This especially makes sense given that we should expect Grant and Ford (or whoever earns a roster spot over Ford) to see more use on special teams than offense. With the extra roster spots available, maybe this is one of the places we use one.
Even should we keep him, I would prefer to see Wilson’s cap figure altered. There’s almost no way that he can live up to his $10.8 million cap charge in such a crowded field. If we do decide to keep him, I hope it involves a restructure and extension similar to the deal that Parker took in place of his fifth year option last year. He’s performed well in limited snaps, but his injury history and slow return last season may hurt his value moving forward, giving the team leverage to flex his remaining cap figure into a two-year contract. I suspect, though, that if that was going to happen, it already would have given the other extensions we’ve offered the plenty of our other receivers.
I also expected him to be cut by no, though.
Defensive Ends
Player Cap Charge Savings
Shaq Lawson $10,833,333 -$10,066,667
Emmanuel Ogbah $7,500,000 $0
Charles Harris $3,450,356 $291,559
Taco Charlton $1,832,541 $1,374,541
Trent Harris $750,000 $750,000
Avery Moss $750,000 $750,000
Zach Sieler $750,000 $750,000
Jonathan Ledbetter $750,000 $750,000
Lawson and Ogbah are our starting defensive ends in 2020. Headed into free agency, I expected defensive end to be a big target in the draft as well. Now I’m less certain. As a first round selection, Harris’s 2020 salary is mostly guaranteed, so we save almost nothing other than a roster spot by moving on from him. Teams rarely cut players that don’t offer cap savings, so barring someone outperforming him in camp, I expect him to be on the roster. That still leaves a five or six way battle for what remains of only three or four defensive end spots.
Consider also how many linebackers the Dolphins are likely to carry into the 2020 season: Kyle Van Noy, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Vince Biegel, Elandon Roberts, Raekwon McMillan, and Jerome Baker are virtual locks to make the roster--and that’s already six linebackers before we get to guys like Andrew Van Ginkel and Sam Eguavoen who are cheap and look to earn a spot based on their performance last season and their special teams value.
Our 2019 roster structure looked a lot more like that of the Patriots last year: fewer defensive linemen and more linebackers. We used 3-4 looks more often than we have in years past, and that means that we’re getting edge rushers from the linebackers as well. Signing Kyle Van Noy likely signals that we’ll continue to see plenty of this.
Realistically, of the bottom five guys on the list above, the one most likely to make the roster is probably the one who can be moved around the most successfully. If one of those guys can find productivity flexing between 4-3 DE and 3-4 DE or 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB and be productive at both positions, then they’ll have a leg up making the roster.
Remaining Free Agency
Although it’s already April and less than two weeks from the NFL Draft, there are still a handful of free agents remaining at what might be considered positions of need. Two of the biggest names are Jadeveon Clowney and Yannick Ngakoue, both of whom are finding their markets to be lower than they initially anticipated (although Ngakoue’s situation is complicated by his tag designation). As detailed above, though, I think it unlikely that we bring in another defensive end--much less one that we can barely afford. Clowney’s asking price has reportedly fallen to the $17-18 million per year range, but that’s still out of our price range at this point.
Trading with the Vikings for Anthony Harris would make more sense than trying to acquire either Clowney and Ngakoue, but even that’s unlikely. Trading for Harris would be cheaper than trading for Ngakoue in terms of both draft assets required and the cost of his new contract, but it’s unlikely we would spend top money on safety after paying Byron Jones. While free safety is arguably the position we stand most to benefit from upgrading on defense, I can’t imagine a scenario where we become suitors for Harris with our current cap commitments at the position. Such a move would likely signal an impending trade of Xavien Howard.
As always, the elephant in the room is the quarterback situation. It remains our biggest position of need headed into the draft, and both Cam Newton and Jameis Winston are available. We don’t need to rehash my thoughts on free agent quarterbacks from my first post in this series, but you can guess where I stand on signing either of them. Hint: don’t.
It should be abundantly clear by now that the Dolphins made their moves early in free agency and we’re unlikely to do much more ahead of the draft. We’re in a comfortable place with our cap space and already carry 78 players on our roster. With fourteen draft picks in our back pocket for later this month, we’re already going to have to drop two players to meet the maximum offseason roster size of 90 players, unless of course we draft fewer than fourteen players because we’re losing some picks to move up. There’s also undrafted free agents who will get signed.
We can safely ignore any discussion about the Dolphins bringing any free agents in other than minimum contract players for the rest of the offseason.

Cap Space

So where does that leave us? Over The Cap calculates the Dolphins as having $23,886,772 in salary cap space remaining. With the roster filled out well past the top 51 contracts that actually count, it’s time to recalculate the effective cap cost of our rookie contracts. OTC lists our total rookie pool cost at $18,096,615. They’re wrong. For whatever reason, they’re missing one of our fourteen picks--number 154--received from Jacksonville via Pittsburgh. Good news? It doesn’t actually change our calculation since it’s value ($690,227) is lower than our cheapest contract in the top 51 on our roster ($750,000), so it costs us effectively nothing for now.
In fact, the bottom eight of our fourteen picks (rounds four and later) are all below the lowest contract on our top 51, so they’re all effectively free in terms of cap commitment. That leaves our top six draft picks displacing six $750,000 contracts at the bottom of our roster, bringing our effective salary cap cost total to $8,946,548. That leaves us with $14,940,224 in salary cap space for 2020. Barring any extensions, expect nearly all of that to roll over into 2021.
Importantly, where does this leave us for 2021? Based on the bump in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Over the Cap projects a base salary cap of $215,000,000 in 2021. With our current cap commitments and anticipated rollover, we’re likely to enter the 2021 season with $48,480,196 in available cap space.
That number is much lower than you might be seeing listed elsewhere, because I’ve included the cost of our this year’s draft class not only against this year’s cap (which reduces our amount for rollover as detailed above) but next year’s as well (which comes out to a whopping $23,458,157). Sites like Spotrac and OTC typically won’t price that in until after the draft and the players actually sign, and not without reason. Any trades in the draft can shift this amount pretty substantially, especially if we package one of our firsts to move up. It’s a good working figure at this point, though.
How about the way-too-early look ahead? Aside from the obvious move to cut Albert Wilson this season and save $9.5 million (yes, I’m going to keep banging this drum) or moving on from Julie’n Davenport after drafting tackles ($2,133,000 in savings), there are several players who can become cap casualties in 2021.
Player Cap Hit Cap Savings
Kyle Van Noy $13,900,000 $9,775,000
Xavien Howard $13,500,000 $9,300,000
Emmanuel Ogbah $7,500,000 $7,500,000
Bobby McCain $7,140,400 $5,659,600
Eric Rowe $5,050,000 $4,000,000
Jordan Howard $5,000,000 $5,000,000
Jakeem Grant $4,750,000 $2,950,000
Jesse Davis $4,585,000 $2,585,000
Allen Hurns $3,608,334 $3,175,000
Clayton Fejedelem $2,525,000 $2,525,000
Unless something has gone terribly wrong, many of these names are safe for 2021 (Van Noy and Ogbah top that list). Others might find themselves on the wrong end of a team looking to shift its roster around. If Howard is injured yet again, his contract becomes easy to move on from, especially as we’d still have Byron Jones. I’d bet that one of either McCain or Rowe isn’t with the Dolphins for the 2021 season. Others might find themselves on the right end of a team looking to lock a player down long term. If Ogbah is healthy and shows out all season, he could be in line for an extension that increases his APY moving forward while decreasing his 2021 APY.
In brief, players like McCain, Rowe, Howard, and Davis could all find themselves as cap casualties because they play positions that we are likely to target in this draft to find long-term replacements. Similarly, the logjam at wide receiver could see departures for Grant or Hurns in 2021, freeing up additional cap space.
That cap flexibility--having nearly $50 million in available cap space already and the ability to free up even more--is impressive considering our spending spree in the past few weeks. It’s also doubly important because 2021’s free agent includes several players likely to play starting or key depth roles in 2020 who will be free agents in 2021 including Kamu Grugier-Hill, Ted Karras, Vince Biegel, Matt Haack, Elandon Roberts, Raekwon McMillan, and Davon Godchaux. Players set to hit free agency in 2022 who might be up for extensions at the same time include Emmanuel Ogbah, Mike Gesicki, and Jerome Baker.
We’re unlikely to be active in 2021 free agency the way we were this year, but we have the cap health to re-sign who we wish from our own players without mortgaging our future. We entered the 2020 free agency season with an enormous amount of cap space and managed to spend aggressively (more money in new contracts than any other NFL team) without putting ourselves into a cap crunch for the future.

Positional Spending

I didn’t expect to sign Byron Jones mostly because I never thought that we would be paying two of the three highest-paid cornerbacks in the league on the same team. It’s obviously a move we can afford (as detailed above), but I’m not used to the secondary being a position in which we’ve aggressively invested resources. I wanted to take a closer look at how we’re spending our cap space by position groups by active cap spending (a total of $173,655,544 at time of writing). Let’s break it down.
Cap Charge $10,919,796 $21,564,640 $7,222,295 $26,521,667 $2,711,310
Percentage 6.29% 12.42% 4.16% 15.27% 1.56%
Defense and Special Teams
Cap Charge $27,358,247 $26,284,817 $47,416,972 $3,655,800
Percentage 15.75% 15.14% 27.31% 2.11%
These numbers will fluctuate significantly by the time we wittle the roster down to the final 55, but even now it’s apparent how this front office plans to build this team. A total of 58.2% of our active cap spending is going to defense. Consider also that the Dolphins are carrying an additional $18,177,506 in dead cap for defensive players while only carrying a tenth of that ($1,862,740) in dead cap for offensive players.
Expect quarterback, running back, offensive line to see the largest increases to this figure after the draft. Barring something unexpected, we’ll be drafting a quarterback at fifth overall (or higher), and with multiple openings on the offensive line, it’s possible (likely?) that we draft two offensive linemen in our first five selections. There’s a gaping hole at running back as well. Those high draft selections will be enough to move the needle in a significant way.
The number that jumps to the most immediate attention, of course, is our spending on defensive backs at nearly $50 million in total cap commitments for a total of $27.31% of active cap spending. This may be our new normal for a while. In the past three seasons, the Patriots have allocated 23.61%, 21.63%, and 23.62% of their total cap spending to the secondary. They’ve also done that while spending much more heavily on quarterback even with Brady on “bargain” deals. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number go up in the short term either, as I think it’s likely we target a safety in the first or second rounds this year.
We’ve allocated more of our resources to the defensive line and linebacker positions than the Patriots have the past few years, but not by much. Our spending in both groups is boosted dramatically by our new free agents at the positions (Ogbah, Van Noy, and Lawson) and has been fueled by our absolutely dire pass rush situation.
Due to Fizpatrick’s contract, 2020 is likely to be our most expensive year at the quarterback position until 2024 when whatever rookie we draft could be retained on the fifth year option. The defensive secondary cost will likely come down in the near future as I think it’s unlikely Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe play out their current contracts, but in general we’re probably looking at splits roughly along these lines over the next few seasons.

2020 Free Agency Signings

Having looked at the money, let’s examine what that money bought us. Obviously this section is very subjective. As I’m sure many of you have noticed in plenty of other discussions on this subreddit, I’m positive on our signings as a whole. I try to be optimistic about the moves we make because grousing about them isn’t much fun.
Clayton Fejedelem: Three Years, $8,550,000, $3,000,000 Guaranteed
It always makes me uncomfortable when a new coach tries too hard to be the head coach he learned under. This has especially proved a concern for Belichick disciples who often try to jump right into being a hard ass without having earned the respect. Fortunately, that does not appear to be too much of a concern with Flores so far.
I bring up coaches mimicking their mentors here because even though Fejedelem wasn’t a Patriot, this signing reeks of the type of player that Belichick covets. Fejedelem checks so many boxes. He provides much-needed depth at a positional weakness from last season, he’s been a core special teams guy for the Bengals, and he’s a former team captain.
He costs under three million per year to bring depth at a position our front office clearly values, provides good special teams value, and he should fit with the type of team culture Flores is building. All of his guaranteed money is in 2020, and his contract is front-loaded as well. It’s a rock solid deal for someone who figures to be a solid player for us both on the field and in the locker room.
Ereck Flowers: Three Years, $30,000,000, $19,950,000 Guaranteed
I wish I had as much optimism about Flowers as I did about Fejedelem, but I’m less comfortable with this contract. It clearly fills a position of need, as we badly needed to improve our offensive line. In my Building the Offense entry in this series, I referred to Flowers as a competent guy who wouldn’t break the bank. I stand by the assertion he’s an improvement over any of the guards currently on our roster, but the $10 million per year number is a little higher than I expected.
While I understand that offensive line talent is increasingly at a premium, making Ereck Flowers the 14th-highest paid guard in the NFL after only one good season at the position in Washington is not without risk, especially with nearly two thirds of his contract fully guaranteed. What hurts more is that for $14 million per year, the Browns landed Jack Conklin--probably my top offensive line target in free agency--and the Chargers signed Bryan Bulaga--the Conklin consolation prize--for only $6.75 million per year. I would have preferred either of those to Flowers.
That said, it’s only fair to acknowledge that Flowers quickly became one of the top guards in a thinning market when both Brandon Scherff and Joe Thuney were tagged. Graham Glasgow, a similar prospect converted from center to guard, went for $11 million APY and Andrus Peat coming off of two poor seasons signed at $11.5 million APY. There’s an argument to be made that the guard market has just really closed the gap on tackles and Flowers got market rate.
This move, and the lack of a tackle signed in free agency, signals that our front office is confident that we can either successfully address both left and right tackle in the draft this year or that Jesse Davis can be a long-term solution at right guard. This shouldn’t be too surprising given Davis’s contract extension, but I’m not 100% on board with it.
If we’ve overpaid for Flowers’s services as I suspect, at least it’s only a three-year deal and we can move on with only $1 million in dead cap ahead of the 2022 season. Optimistically, Flowers continues to play up to his 2019 standard at guard and proves himself worthy of the contract as he comes home to Miami.
Kamu Grugier-Hill: One Year, $3,000,000, $2,000,000 Guaranteed
Although this signing is likely to draw comparisons to Fejedelem for very transparent reasons (they’re both defensive depth who figure as core special teams contributors who were team captains for their previous team), Grugier-Hill carries greater risk. Fortunately, this is reflected in his short-term deal. His 2019 season ended early due to a lower lumbar disc herniation and also missed time for other injuries.
If healthy, though, he brings a lot of the same mojo to the team as Fejedelem, with the added benefit of being one of several new Dolphins to bring championship experience to the team. As with Fejedelem, Grugier-Hill is the kind of guy who checks a lot of boxes: he’s cheap, he provides key depth and special teams value, he’s familiar with our defensive system, and he figures to be an immediate leader in a very young locker room.
Jordan Howard: Two Years, $9,750,000, $4,750,000 Guaranteed
Shocking nobody, I’m not high on signing Jordan Howard. Mostly because I’m not high on spending money on running backs in general, and paying a running back coming off an injury-shortened season makes me more nervous than at most positions. The Dolphins had the worst rushing attack in the NFL in 2019, though, and before his injury this year, Howard was on track again for a solid season in line for previous years. He’s a big bodied back who figures to split the load with the rookie we inevitably draft.
As a personal consolation, I can remind myself that none of his 2021 salary is guaranteed., so it’s essentially a one-year, prove-it deal.
Byron Jones: Five Years, $82,500,000, $46,000,000 Guaranteed
In my offseason entry on Building the Defense I wrote, “Frankly, Jones and Howard likely immediately becomes the best corner tandem in the NFL for the next couple seasons, and we’ve all seen how you can build a defense from the secondary with a rookie quarterback and find a lot of success. That said, I don’t know that our front office could swallow objections to paying what would likely be $30 million APY between two corners.”
I badly misjudged our front office’s priorities. While I said that if we did decide to address cornerback in free agency, it would be Byron Jones or bust, I didn’t take the possibility seriously. Some will have concerns that Jones doesn’t get enough interceptions to be made a top-paid defensive back in the NFL, but I take the same opinion towards interceptions as I do to sacks--they’re the gaudy number that get the attention and they’re obviously impactful, but they’re the rare high points that don’t speak to a player’s actual impact on a per-snap basis.
Byron Jones finished fourth in coverage snaps per reception last year (17.9), tied for second in coverage snaps per target (10.1), and fourth in yards per coverage snap (0.62). Opposite a ball hawk like Xavien Howard, it figures that Jones might see more targets and more opportunities for interceptions himself. As discussed above, building a defense from the back forward is a clear priority of this team. It might not have been the strategy I’d have embraced, but I get it, and it’s hard not to be excited about the potential of our new cornerback tandem.
Most importantly, we’re not committed beyond the 2020 season to huge spending at cornerback. Byron Jones’s contract makes him a lock for the roster through the 2022 season (age 30), but Xavien Howard has an out next year. If Howard proves once again to be unable to remain healthy, we can move on from him and still have one of the top corners in the league in 2021 on the roster.
Ted Karras: One Year, $4,000,000, $4,000,000 Guaranteed
This is not-so-low-key one of my favorite signings. I didn’t give Karras much of a look in my previous entry evaluating offensive free agent targets, and I’m honestly not sure how he slipped through the cracks. Karras acquitted himself well as a back-up at both center and guard and stepped up as New England’s starting center in 2019. He had a rough stretch in the middle of the season, but from week 12 onward through the wildcard round, Karras didn’t allow a single pressure.
Karras’s contract is a one-year, prove-it deal that gives us flexibility to play him at guard or center depending on who we pick up in the draft. A starting offensive lineman at $4,000,000 is good value no matter how you slice it, and Karras has upside to be a long-term solution whereas Kilgore was clearly a stopgap. It’s a lateral move in terms of cap cost, but an upgrade on the offensive line. While it doesn’t solve our biggest problem on the line (tackle), it helps.
Shaq Lawson, Three Years, $30,000,000, $21,000,000 Guaranteed
Lawson’s a decent candidate for the kind of player we might offer a more modest, short-term contract and see if he can improve with a change of scenery. If we strike out on bigger names in free agency, picking up Lawson and maybe another cheaper guy on the list to round out or defensive end depth alongside another edge rusher with one of our first five picks in the draft isn’t the worst strategy.
At least I’m not always wrong. In my assessment of the options to improve our edge rush, I expected that many impending free agents would not actually make it to free agency. Shaquil Barrett, Bud Dupree, and Matt Judon never hit the market. Yannick Ngakoue and Leonard Williams were franchise-tagged. Even the 49ers made moves to keep Arik Armstead.
Instead of paying bigger money to try and sign Jadeveon Clowney or Dante Fowler Jr., we went the cheaper route to bring on both Lawson and Ogbah. The combined cost of both of them is only marginally more than the tag amount for Ngakoue and Williams and less than Clowney was initially seeking.
Lawson’s deal comes in at 18th among 4-3 Defensive Ends. It’s very high on guarantees as a percentage of the contract, but it’s essentially a two-year deal with only $1,333,334 in dead money in 2022 if we decide to move on. Lawson’s deal also includes additional incentives for sacks and team achievements, and I can’t be mad about incentives on a deal. If the player meets them, we obviously can’t say they didn’t earn it.
A staple of Belichick defenses has been to rely on the scheme to generate pressure. Our strategy is looking similar. Our defense is prioritizing lockdown coverage rather than relying on individual pass rushing performance to get to the quarterback. Hopefully Lawson is able to take advantage. If not, it’s a two-year investment at a relatively modest amount for the position that we can move on from without major consequence. If nothing else, he’s almost certainly an upgrade over anything we already had.
Kyle Van Noy, Four Years, $51,000,000, $15,000,000 Guaranteed
Despite the gaudy numbers on the contract, Van Noy’s deal is structured extremely favorably to the Dolphins. His full guarantees include only $5.5 million in signing bonus, $6.5 million in 2020 roster bonus, and $3 million in 2020 base salary. Because his 2021 and 2022 base salaries become fully guaranteed on the fifth day of each league year, that means that if he flames out we can move on with minimal dead money. Any time you can walk away from a four-year deal in year two with only $4,125,000 in dead cap and $9,775,000 in cap savings should be considered a major coup.
With how often I’ve mentioned the Patriots defensive scheme, the fit for Van Noy in Miami is braindead obvious. He brings flexibility that few of our current linebackers and none of our defensive ends have. He’s solid in run defense, as a pass rusher, and even dropping back into coverage. We have guys who can do one or two of those things very well, but none right now who are above average (and consistent) across the board.
Van Noy is expensive for his position and he’s on the older side of the free agents we’ve signed (having just turned 29 shortly after signing), but he should be expected to be a key piece for our defensive scheme with the flexibility he brings to the table. Last year, I thought that Trey Flowers would be a good fit for us given the Patriots. Instead, he rejoined Matt Patricia up north and had a really solid year (seven sacks, fourteen hits, and 41 hurries alongside 33 defensive stops). I’m optimistic that Van Noy can have a similarly smooth transition to working under Flores in Miami.
Emmanuel Ogbah, Two Years, $15,000,000, $7,500,000 Guaranteed
There’s not a lot to be said about Ogbah’s deal that hasn’t already been said about Lawson, except that it’s even less of a financial commitment. Coming off of a career-best, but injury-shortened season, we’re betting on Ogbah to take the next step. The contract is very favorable to the Dolphins: it’s 26th among 4-3 Defensive Ends in terms of APY and has no guaranteed money in year two. As a result, it’s essentially a one year prove-it deal.
If Ogbah plays to his potential and is able to pick up where he left off before injury with the Chiefs, he’s likely to see an extension next year that will keep him with the team long term. If not, we move on no worse for the wear. If he’s a middle-of-the-road kind of guy as he has been for much of his career? Well, $7.5 million isn’t a whole lot for a defensive end who we can still use in rotation.
Signing both Ogbah and Lawson takes immense pressure off of the front office to draft a defensive end high. Considering that we signed Van Noy at linebacker, who figures to have a significant role on passing downs as well, I’d argue that we may not draft a defensive end in the first few rounds at all. Again, more on that later.
Elandon Roberts, One Year, $2,000,000, $1,000,000 Guaranteed
The Patriots were hard up against the cap this year after tagging Thuney, and Roberts was a free agency casualty as a result. This isn’t a big contract, but it’s a good one. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: he’s a defensive depth player who was a team captain who sees most of his impact on special teams and brings championship experience to our young roster.
Roberts saw a decreased workload at linebacker (where he saw a majority of his snaps as a run defender and in coverage) in 2019 because of his increased role on special teams, but he also saw work as a fullback (and even caught a touchdown against us in the final game of the regular season).
It’s pretty clear that Flores has a type.

Remaining Needs

Our most dire needs are obvious. We don’t have a long-term answer at quarterback. Aside from a gaping hole at left tackle, we could also stand to upgrade at right guard, right tackle, or even center depending on where we play Karras and Davis. After signing Jordan Howard, running back remains a priority as our depth at the position among the worst in the league. We only have two tight ends in the top 51 contracts on this team, and fans and the team alike really only have expectations for Gesicki.
It stands to reason based on positional spending alone that our biggest holes are on offense, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stand to improve on defense as well. If I had to rank needs?
Quarterback Offensive Tackle Guard or Center Free Safety Running Back Nose Tackle Tight End Linebacker
I expect that the most controversial part of this list will be the lack of defensive end. As I’ve suggested above, I don’t think we should be targeting the position as a priority following the signing of Ogbah and Lawson unless someone falls.
Both Ogbah and Lawson have excelled primarily as ends in 4-3 fronts, so expect that’s how we’ll use them most of the time. Ogbah has (at least to my knowledge) not seen much use as an outside linebacker in 4-3 looks and Lawson struggled with it early in his career in Buffalo. So while a pure 4-3 defensive end isn’t high on our list of needs, that doesn’t mean we won’t ignore pass rush entirely.
Van Noy figures to take snaps at one of our outside linebacker spots, exactly where he saw almost all of his snaps with the Patriots. Baker saw time both at the weak side and middle linebacker positions in 2019, and depending on our defensive front will likely continue that trend. These two are the only guys I see on our roster right now who figure as three-down backers unless McMillan makes a big step forward in coverage.
We also have a lot of depth at linebacker: Biegel saw a lot of snaps at outside linebacker last year and he’s returning; in the last two games Van Ginkel saw the majority of the games’ snaps at outside linebacker as well; McMillan and Eguavoen made up the majority of the rest of our snaps at middle linebacker. Except maybe Eguavoen, whose roster spot is the most tenuous of the group, these players all should expect to see continued rotational use.
There’s definitely a scenario where we look to improve our linebackers, and if there’s a guy who can be a three-down type of guy at middle linebacker or someone who flexes really outside in 4-3 and 3-4 looks, I could see us pulling the trigger in the right circumstances. Ultimately, though, I have both nose tackle and free safety listed higher on our list of needs because those are the positions where a major upgrade will bring us the biggest improvement.
For example, John Jenkins played the majority of our snaps at nose tackle in 2019 with Godchaux contributing some snaps there as well. We haven’t brought Jenkins back, and Godchaux’s probably better used at DE in 3-4 looks. Someone who can play rotationally at nose tackle would be a big boon for this defense, and fills a position where we really have no go-to guy. More importantly, that type of rotational player can be had outside of the first round entirely.
I don’t think many people would disagree about listed free safety as one of our top defensive needs. Bobby McCain is coming off of an injury shortened season. Before he was injured, he was having a rough transition to free safety. He got abused in coverage in five of his nine games played in 2019, allowing passer ratings of 139.6, 144.6, 104.2, 118.8, and 158.3.
At the time he signed his current contract, McCain was made the highest-paid slot corner in the NFL and he’s barely played the position since then. Not only would drafting a free safety likely improve upon McCain’s mediocre performance at the position last year, it would allow McCain to return to the position that earned him his contract. Given that the nickel defense is essentially the base defense these days, improving both free safety and nickel corner with one draft pick could improve our defense significantly.
The other needs listed above barely require commenting. Quarterback and offensive line lead our needs by a country mile, and both will almost certainly be addressed early. We need better running back talent to improve on our league-worst rushing in 2019. It’s not a question of if we will draft a running back, but rather when.
Many pundits and fans expect we’ll address the position in the first or second round. Much like my position on drafting a quarterback, I’ve talked to death (even by my standards) about how I feel about drafting running backs in the first round. Some will note the value of using the 26th pick to secure a fifth year option, but I’m not convinced. That fifth year option is just as valuable or more valuable at another position.
Moreover, when was the last time the Dolphins re-signed a running back? Not just a rookie--any running back? Frank Gore, Kenyan Drake, Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams, Lamar Miller, and Reggie Bush were all productive backs in the past decade who we let walk or actively traded away. You have to go all the way back to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Wiliams to find backs who received offers after their initial contracts with the Dolphins, and in both their cases we only gave them another year. Sure, this is a different front office, but that’s a trend that’s been true of this team through multiple front offices, and I’ve seen no indication that it’s likely to change.
Like with linebacker, I see tight end as a position where our depth could improve and wouldn’t be surprised to see us take a flyer late or jump on somebody we like in the middle rounds, but I don’t expect it to be a priority.
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2020.03.21 07:07 Jedi-Master-Kenobi You guys are getting a player like you’ve never seen before. The league should be scared.

Never in the history of the NFL has a player been able to call upon his greatness time in and time out to deliver in the clutch. There isn’t a man whose played this game who has a bigger chip on his shoulder that only grows more and more. And there is only one man in all of sports, even at soon to be 43 years old, that you do not bet against...
Tom Brady.
18 years of “he is a system QB.”
18 years of “it was the defense that won him 1-2-3-4... rings”
11 years of “Matt Cassel could win, so can anybody”
18 years of “it was Bill Belichick.”
25 years of being counted out, never given a shot, no recruitment, falling in the draft, disrespected, with his name dragged through the dirt, fighting and clawing to a starters job on his winless HS team, to 4th string at Michigan to co-starter, to 4th string on the Pats to starter, to being let go and not repaid or committed to by the organization that he helped win 6 rings for, to the starting QB of the Bucs.
Your getting the culmination of all this, of a 20 year NFL career. 6 rings. 4x SB MVP. 3x MVP. 3x All Pro. The GOAT.
Don’t think he doesn’t hear the noise. Don’t think he doesn’t feel disrespected. And don’t think he is done.
He has the chance to cement his legacy that he can win without Bill Belichick. He has the chance to exact revenge on the team that after all he did for them, wouldn’t commit to him in the end.
The chip on the shoulder has never been bigger.
This drive, hunger, passion that you’ve seen over the years now plays for your Bucs.
The league should be scared of this Brady. A Brady with two of the best WRs in the league. A Brady whose on a mission to strike the only thing that can be held against him... “it was Bill Belichick.” 18 years of it, since his first ring.
Save the date. Save this post.
February 7th, 2021.
Super Bowl winners: Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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2020.03.13 19:16 ramboiv The Top Ten Most Lopsided Belichick Losses (as Head Coach)

OK, here is some prime *off-season* content. I was recently working on another Top Ten list, and I came across a game in which the Cleveland Browns with then-Head Coach Bill Belichick got absolutely blown out. This made me wonder if it was Belichick’s most lopsided loss. It wasn’t, but in the process of going through his season records, I found a few games that were… atypical for Belichick. So, as a non-Patriots fan, I thought it would be fun to compile the handful of times Coach Belichick got his ass handed to him. Here are the top ten most lopsided losses for Coach Belichick, all of which were by 21 points or more.
Rank Date Week Bill was coaching Opponent Final Score Point differential
10 December 10, 2006 14 Patriots Dolphins 21 - 0 21
9 November 30, 2009 12 Patriots Saints 38 - 17 21
8 November 30, 2008 13 Patriots Steelers 33 - 10 23
7 November 11, 2018 10 Patriots Titans 34 - 10 24
6 October 2, 2005 4 Patriots Chargers 41 - 17 24
5 September 21, 2008 3 Patriots Dolphins 38 - 13 25
4 October 13, 1991 7 Browns Redskins 42 - 17 25
3 November 5, 1995 10 Browns Oilers 37 - 10 27
2 September 29, 2014 4 Patriots Chiefs 41 - 14 27
1 September 7, 2003 1 Patriots Bills 31 - 0 31
Shout outs to the Miami Dolphins, the Oilers/Titans, and mf’n DREW BREES for each notching TWO of these beatdowns. And of course, a salute to the 2003 Buffalo Bills, which was the only team beat Belichick by over 30 points. Legends.
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2020.03.13 19:02 ramboiv The Top Ten Best Redskins Wins of the 1990’s

Hi all! As promised, here is my “Best Wins of the 1990’s” list. You should also check out (and upvote!) my Worst Losses of the 1990’s, Best Wins of the 2000s, Worst Losses of the 2000s, Best Wins of the 2010s, and Worst Losses of the 2010s as well. Let me know if you agree/disagree on these, and thanks for taking a look!
Also, a disclaimer: I am not old enough to have been able to watch any of these games live. I’m basing my criteria off of what has been written about them in the years since, and from clips I was able to check out online. I have no firsthand experience with these games, so cut me a little slack if anything seems a bit off here.
Number Ten: Week 7 – October 13, 1991 (Win over Cleveland Browns 42–17)
A nice win at the time becomes very special in hindsight when you realize the lowly Browns were coached by Bill Belichick! He wasn’t the dark lord of the league back then, but handing him the most lopsided loss of that Browns season is still pretty sweet. And as a side note, this stands as the 4th largest margin of victory any team has ever had over HC Belichick to date! (Unfortunately, he would get his revenge against Coach Gibbs in 2007.)
Number Nine: Week 1 – September 6, 1993 (Win over Dallas Cowboys 35–16)
We opened the 1993 season by handing the Cowboys their most lopsided loss of their whole year, and on a Monday night no less! They would eventually go on to win the Super Bowl, so embarrassing them like this on national TV would have to serve as a consolation prize.
Number Eight: Week 2 – September 19, 1999 (Win over New York Giants 50–21, Worst Loss of Giants season)
Dropping a 50-burger on the divisional rival Giants, in their home opener (which was also their most lopsided loss of the season), would definitely serve as a highlight for the 1999 regular season. QB Brad Johnson described his offense as “almost flawless”, and he was right! The Giants hadn’t been humiliated like that since the ‘60s (we did that one too!), so I think this game was special.
Number Seven: Week 11 – November 10, 1991 (Win over Atlanta Falcons 56–17)
FIFTY-SIX?! Whoop whoop! Perhaps one of Coach Gibbs’ most comfortable victories was this beatdown we laid on the lowly (but mouthy) Falcons during our juggernaut 1991 season. Mark Rypien threw *SIX* touchdowns. Meanwhile, future-gunslinger Brett Favre took the field for his first ever snaps in the NFL… and promptly threw a pick-6 as his first ever NFL pass (Packer fans would see plenty of more of those over the years). In the end, this game would be one of the shiniest gems of our crown-jewel 1991 season.
Number Six: Week 17 – December 22, 1996 (Win over Dallas Cowboys 37–10)
Although we had been eliminated from playoff contention the week before, we sure closed out RFK in style by trouncing our playoff-bound, divisional rival Dallas Cowboys. A big win over the Cowboys was the perfect way to say goodbye to the stadium that had seen so many memorable games over the years. This was a game that was truly for the fans.
Number Five: NFC Wild Card – January 2, 1993 (Win over Minnesota Vikings 24 – 7)
Coach Gibbs’ final win (of his original run) came in the wild card against Minnesota. His team had been criticized all year as the Super Bowl “hangover” had seemed to seriously affect the defending champs, so a big win like this was just what he needed to silence the critics. To rev up his squad, Gibbs played a scene from the movie “Patton” in the locker room, and it must have worked! LB Andre Collins said after the game, “It was a pretty easy win”. Beautiful, methodical wins like this were Coach Joe’s specialty. It’s just too bad it had to end here.
Number Four: NFC Wild Card Game – January 5, 1991 (Win over Philadelphia Eagles 20–6)
If you read my last list, you’d see that I put the infamous “body bag game” as the worst Redskins loss of the 1990’s, and this game was the Redskins’ opportunity to exact revenge. Surprisingly, this is also the *only* time we met the Eagles in the post-season. It doesn’t get much sweeter than beating the Iggles in the playoffs, in *their* stadium, and then as an added bonus, getting that scumbag Buddy Ryan fired as well!
Number Three: NFC Divisional – January 4, 1992 (Win over Atlanta Falcons 24 –7)
Only a few months removed from our 56 – 17 (#7) evisceration of the obnoxious (and overrated!) Falcons, we faced them again in the post-season. Although more competitive this time, they still were no match for us and we jettisoned them quickly from the playoffs, which resulted in fans throwing their seat cushions onto the field in celebration. A truly magical moment during a truly magical season.
Number Two: NFC Championship – January 12, 1992 (Win over Detroit Lions 41–10)
What’s better than a divisional playoff win with a wide margin? A conference championship win with an even wider margin! Much like the Falcons, we had previously annihilated the Lions earlier in the season (45 – 0 on opening weekend), so meeting them again here brought the season full circle. The Falcons had bad weather to help look better against us in the post-season, but the Lions did not have that luxury. We dispatched them in lopsided fashion just as we did the first time. And in doing so, we punched our ticket to the fourth and final Super Bowl appearance of Coach Joe’s legendary run.
Number One: Super Bowl XXVI – January 26, 1992 (Win over Buffalo Bills 37–24)
World Champions. Nothing more than needs to be said. But I will add that in the 30-for-30 film “The Four Falls of Buffalo”, one of the Bills players interviewed said that of the four Super Bowls they lost, this was the one team they just flat-out could not keep up with. And that makes sense, given that the 1991 Redskins could be considered the greatest single-season team ever.
So there ya have it! Our best wins from a decade that treated us far better than the two that followed. I don’t know if I can pull off a “Best Wins” / “Worst Losses” list of the ‘80s… but if you all enjoy these lists, I’ll do my best!
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2020.03.02 13:01 HungryPoohBear After Bill Belichick Retires Who Would You Want to Coach The Patriots: Josh McDaniels or Steve Belichick?

Let's travel into the future, the date is yet to be determined but the Patriots have won another Super Bowl with head coach Bill Belichick at the helm. By his side, every step of the way are his trusted coaches Josh McDaniels and Steve Belichick. Both of his coaches are renowned for their expertise on opposite sides of the football. Josh is the offensive coordinator and an expert on the offensive side of his ball as he has a deep understanding of what offensive plays win football games and when to use them. On the other hand, Steve is the defensive coordinator and an expert on the defensive side of the ball especially the secondary and has the uncanny ability to coach anyone on his team and make them successful.
This is a little write up I made to try and imagine a very real possibility we have to face when BB finally decides to hang it up. I think most of us agree that if we were able to keep these 3 coaches coaching together the probability of Patriot's success would be incredibly high. Every offseason McDaniels is one of the first names mentioned for head coaching vacancies across the league and for good reason. The Patriots offense has been one of the most complicated and successful offenses during his tenure and it seems regardless of the players he is able to create a high functioning offense that utilizes its strengths. On the other hand, Steve has not had the experience and years coaching that Josh has. Regardless of Steve's time on the Patriots, he has made a lasting impact on the defensive side of the ball. Last season we had the league's best secondary and defense and more specifically the best passing defense in the NFL. Steve was in charge of coaching the secondary and was seen calling in plays throughout the season.
Josh has a way larger sample size compared to Steve which would make Josh the safer choice at this point. That being said, based on how well our secondary and defense played last year I would say Steve has a higher ceiling. Hopefully, that gave everyone some food for thought and am interested in people's opinions on a future that may be inevitable.
Edit: When I originally wrote this post I concluded the most logical heirs to BB would be Josh and Steve. After seeing the discussion expand I see my logic may have been close-minded as Jerod Mayo would be a great candidate as well, so feel free to add any other candidates you could see extending the Patriots dynasty at Head Coach. A few other names people threw out were Mike Vrabel, Tom Brady, Nick Caserio, Joe Judge, Jim Harbaugh, and Bobby Petrine. I'm not going to edit anything above this paragraph so the post can be read entirely in its original format. If there is enough participation on the subject I'll collect the information and create a tally, chart, or graph of people's preferences and share the results with everyone.
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