Cameron Crazy: Why The Revamped Saints are 3-0

Cameron Jordan and the defense are the secret to the Saints' perfect start. Plus, readers ask questions about an un-clutch superstar and teams losing on purpose

Cameron Jordan (94) and the Saints held Atlanta to 88 rushing yards in the opener; overall New Orleans is fourth in the league in total defense. (Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated)
Cameron Jordan (94) and the Saints held Atlanta to 88 rushing yards in the opener; overall New Orleans is fourth in the league in total defense. (Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated)

For two years, since they were selected 11th and 24th in the first round of the 2011 draft, combo-platter defensive ends J.J. Watt of Houston and Cameron Jordan of New Orleans had a large gulf between them. Watt was the record-breaker, the pass-deflector and sack machine, the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year. Jordan was a nice defensive end, but miscast in the Saints’ futile 4-3 scheme.

At 6-4 and 287 pounds, Jordan needed to be a Watt, a 3-4 end who moved inside and played some 3-technique depending on the down and distance. That’s how Watt got his 20.5 sacks and 16 pass deflections in 2012. It was one of the best seasons a defensive lineman ever had.

Someone saw. Someone knew the impact Jordan could make playing as a 3-4 end on running downs and playing inside against the pass. Veteran defensive coach Rob Ryan knew, and when Sean Payton replaced coordinator Steve Spagnuolo—a 4-3 guy—with malleable 3-4 maven Ryan after the Saints’ disastrous defensive season in 2012, Ryan pushed Jordan to his more natural spot. And Ryan essentially told him to go get the quarterback and forget everything else on passing downs. It was perfect for Jordan. Watch him play, and you see a Tasmanian devil, a powerful and slippery twister-and-turner with 17 quarterback disruptions (sacks, pressures and knockdowns) through three games. Watt has 14.

Jordan was the 37th-rated 4-3 end by Pro Football Focus, the service that rates every play by every player. Through three weeks in 2013, he’s the second-rated 3-4 end, second only to Watt. In an interview from New Orleans on Monday, Jordan said of Watt: “He’s a high-motor individual.”
It is exactly how Jordan plays. It’s easy to play with a high motor when you know you can play instinctively instead of thinking a lot.
“The new scheme we’re running is more user-friendly,’’ Jordan said. “When you’re more comfortable with the scheme, that eliminates the hesitating movement.’’
Ryan has made Jordan what the young rusher called the “jackknife’’ of the Saints defense. Maybe “Swiss Army knife’’ is more appropriate, seeing that Jordan plays all over the line. But where he feels best is inside, where he’s comfortable slicing through the guard-tackle and guard-center gaps to take a shorter path to the quarterback. “I definitely like my role,’’ he said. “I feel it’s more cemented than last year. I used to feel I was just a left end. Now I do some 3-technique, and I bounce outside. Rob does a great job of figuring out everyone’s best role—speed guys, power guys.”
Cameron Jordan is tied for ninth in the NFL with three sacks. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Cameron Jordan is tied for ninth in the NFL with three sacks. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Jordan illustrates what many Saints’ defenders said about Spagnuolo’s scheme in 2012—they were thinking too much and not in their best individual roles. In 2012, the Saints sent a record for defensive futility, allowing the most yards of any team in a season in NFL history: 440 per game. The Saints signed free-agent outside linebacker Victor Butler from Dallas in the offseason to ramp up the non-existent pass-rush. But Butler and veteran Will Smith, the best pass-rush prospects for Ryan, both were lost for the season due to summer ACL tears. And a spate of other injuries left the Saints with the youngest defensive front they’ve had in years; the average age of the men in the front seven who played the most snaps Sunday is 24.3. The most impactful rushers, Jordan and Junior Galette, are 24 and 25, respectively. Coach Sean Payton said Monday it “wasn’t by design’’ that the defense got young so quickly. “The young players earned their spots,’’ he said.
“Everyone talks about [the Saints losing] Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma,’’ Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said after his team’s 31-7 loss Sunday in New Orleans. “But Cameron Jordan is really good. Junior Galette is really good. They both stop the run and rush the passer. That is a really good combination.’’
Through three games New Orleans opponents have had 33 possessions and scored four offensive touchdowns. Of the other 29 possessions, 20 ended in punts and six in turnovers. That is what’s called a dominant defense. The Saints kept the Cards scoreless for the final 50 minutes and 10 drives on Sunday.
Now comes a significant three-week test. In 14 days beginning Monday night, the unbeaten Saints host 3-0 Miami, then travel to 3-0 Chicago and 3-0 in New England. There might not be a tougher three-game stretch any team will face in this season of early surprises. But those teams are going to have to worry about the New Orleans defense now, and not just Drew Brees. Times are changing in New Orleans.
Want more Jordan? The Saints defensive star will be the guest on this week’s “The MMQB Podcast With Peter King,” posting at TheMMQB.com on Wednesday.

The Tuesday Mailbag

INSIDE THE NINERS LOCKER ROOM.In light of Aldon Smith’s most recent indiscretion, what do the guys on his team think of this? How do they treat the guy? Is he given the cold shoulder? Helped like a brother? Tough love? Personally, if a co-worker was not “getting it” in this way, I would have serious reservations about trusting him/her in the work environment. I know that a team sport is different, but are we not still human?

Matt, Maine

Well, I’m not in the locker room and haven’t been around this team since midway through training camp. So all I can do is take an educated guess based on my experience covering a lot of locker rooms over the years. I think it’s probably a mix. I think some guys in the room think he should get a hold of himself and he’s letting down the team. But I think others are fully sympathetic and they think he should just get help. Remember, these guys have been teammates and probably have become very good friends and have won some of the biggest games on the sport’s stage over the past couple of years. When you’ve shed blood and sweat with a teammate, I don’t think you’re just going to abandon him when he’s having problems.

AARON RODGERS. NOT CLUTCH? I’m a lifelong Packers fan and certainly think of Aaron Rodgers as one of the best around. But it strikes me that he rarely leads the team from behind late in the fourth quarter.  Partly because he doesn’t often need to, but twice this year he had the ball in his hands with a chance to take the lead late in the game and didn’t deliver. I’ve noticed over the years with him that we don’t usually get the win if trailing late.  Shouldn’t “the best player in the game” be pulling off the last-minute win more often?  Is this just me or is there a real gap in his résumé?

Mutt

Aaron Rodgers has a career 5-17 record in games decided by four or fewer points.
Aaron Rodgers has a career 5-17 record in games decided by four points or less. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I haven’t studied Rodgers performance late in fourth quarters as much as, say, Tony Romo, who doesn’t have a good record late in games, or Eli Manning, who does. But let’s talk about Sunday in Cincinnati. Rodgers had the lead and was driving for an insurance TD when Johnathan Franklin fumbled and the Bengals took it back for the winning points. I realize Rodgers got the ball back and didn’t score, but on the other hand he was probably three or four plays away from giving the Packers a 10-point lead when Franklin fumbled.

Rodgers does not strike me as an un-clutch player. Think back to his great Super Bowl XLV throw to Greg Jennings on 3rd-and-10 against Pittsburgh. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying that if this is a flaw, I think it’s a minor one, and I don’t think of Rodgers as a guy who doesn’t get the job done late in games.

NEW RULE CAUSING CONFUSION. I’m confused on this supposed new rule that running backs will be flagged for a personal foul if they lower their helmet as they prepare for a collision with a defender outside of the box. The first play in the Indy/SF game, Ahmad Bradshaw receives a outlet pass from Luck in the flat, runs upfield a couple of yards and meets Donte Whitner. Whitner led with his shoulder, but Bradshaw lowered his head to bust through the tackle and Whitner’s shoulder hit Bradshaw in the helmet. Whitner is given a flag for unnecessary roughness.

I thought this was the exact case of the new rule that should be applied. I know that the league has erred on the side of the defender being responsible for any hits to the head of an offensive player, but I have not seen this called yet. What is the point of this new rule?

Logan

The rule simply is meant to stop players on both offense and defense from using the crown of their helmets as a battering ram. Because I didn’t see this play, I can’t tell you exactly how I would have called it. But, there are three elements that have to happen for this play to be called a penalty on either offensive or defensive players: 1) The play has to be outside the tackle box; 2) A player has to approach a player on the opposite team and, in the words of the NFL, line him up, and lower the head to strike; and 3) The top of the helmet must be used on either the body or the helmet of the opposing player straight ahead and with force. The officials, I believe, are struggling with this call very much.

TANKING IN CLEVELAND? Why did so many people react to the Trent Richardson trade with a “tanking” take? You can’t “tank” in football by trading one player unless it’s the likes of Aaron Rodgers. You certainly can’t tank by ditching a running back putting up middling numbers. I understand the gut reaction when a team trades its most recognizable offensive player, but I think we can be smarter collectively about how much it’s going to swing the fortunes of a season.

—Marino, St. Paul

The reason I felt the Browns were playing for 2014 is because they are. Honestly, whether they traded Richardson or not, Cleveland is going nowhere this season. You know it. I know it. They know it. This was simply a move by a regime that didn’t draft Richardson to try to get value for a player it didn’t value highly. However you want to phrase it, the Browns are trying to gather as many pieces as they can—draft and otherwise—for the team to contend in 2014 and beyond. Richardson wasn’t one of those pieces.

HISTORICALLY BAD JAGS? Are the Jaguars the least talented team in modern pro football?  I mean, they are not even competitive.  Can you think of any team—maybe the ’76 Buccaneers, for example—who had as little talent as the Jags?

 Justin, Quincy, Ill.

I don’t know. Every year brings two or three teams that, as the season shakes out, are far worse than the others. We tend to think of the year that we’re in as “the most this” or “the most that”. Usually, if you have some perspective, you find that a terrible team in 2013 actually compares to a terrible team in 2007, or 1999, or 2001.

Talk Back

Got a question for Peter? Send it to talkback@themmqb.com and it may be included in next Tuesday's mailbag.

ALEX SMITH IS NOT THE ANSWER. It was a real eye-opener watching the contrast between the Alex Smith-led Chiefs and the Colin Kaepernick-led 49ers. It seems that the 49ers have completely lost their emphasis on moving the chains in favor of gobbling up large chunks of yards through the air. What has happened to the 49ers’ short-passing game? The passes to fullback Bruce Miller were quite effective yesterday, as was the ground game that the 49ers seemed to abandon when down a field goal or two. Yet the 49ers showed little interest in either the ground game or the shorter passes that in the aggregate move the chains. Why?  If that is the new offensive philosophy in Santa Clara, it strikes me as backward. The 49ers defense wore down in the fourth quarter largely due to the failure of the offense to stay on the field, something that absolutely would not have happened with Alex Smith at the helm.

You know what else wouldn’t have happened with Alex Smith behind center? A Colts’ win.

—Nathan, San Francisco

When Vernon Davis isn’t on the fieldand he wasn’t on Sundayit changes a lot of what Greg Roman wants to do. Add in the absence of Michael Crabtree, and defenses now only have to worry about shutting down Anquan Boldin. Seattle and Indianapolis were both successful in doing that, and San Francisco didn’t have the kind of short and intermediate passing answer that Roman was comfortable using. I think the 49ers have no faith in their running game right now. Frank Gore is consistently hit behind the line of scrimmage. So right now, I think it’s just a struggle for Roman to be comfortable in anything he can call on offense. As long as that happens, and as long as the injuries keep two of their most valuable receivers off the field, San Francisco is going to be in trouble on offense. 

65 comments
BizarroPeterKing
BizarroPeterKing

Why would a professional writer post questions (out of hundreds he probably received) that he doesn't know or hasn't researched? It's not a live Q&A session; Peter King has editorial control of the questions for which he publishes answers. The handling of this section is really disrespectful to the audience. "Are the Jaguars the least talented team...? I don't know."


What a lazy hack.

marino.eccher
marino.eccher

While I appreciate Peter taking my question on the Browns and tanking, I don't think he really addressed it. Here's what he wrote Monday:

"The Browns abandoned the season—supposedly—by trading Trent Richardson after two weeks, flew to Minneapolis to play a 2012 playoff team, and won their first game of the season with a third-string quarterback starting."

My point was that you can't "abandon the season" in the NFL by trading one player, let alone an under-performing running back. There's a difference between playing for the future by stockpiling assets and playing for the future by trying to get worse in the present and tank for a better draft pick. Many NFL writers -- and Peter was hardly the most egregious among them -- took the second take, and I think it's an absurd one, especially when it's followed on Monday by "Whoa, how did the Browns win when they traded Trent Richardson?" Because Trent Richardson wasn't swinging their fortunes one way or another! That's why it's not tanking. 

Now, if they start holding a fire sale for every useful part to stock up a bonanza of 2014 picks, in the process stripping the team of every impact player it has, *that's* abandoning the season. But this trade, as Peter points out, was simply flipping an asset the team didn't value. It had little to do with playing for or not playing for this season.

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

Nathan from San Francisco is not thinking straight and a perfect example of today's shortsighted fan with an axe to grind.  Watches 2 QBs play against different defenses, with different receivers, and different lines, ( and in different games no less!) and tries to draw these asinine conclusions. 

King's response was spot on. Davis was a late scratch, Roman had to re-do the game plan, made a curious decision to abandon Gore after  the 1st qtr, Colin was out of synch with some of this receivers, run defense was poor, Colts played great on offense, etc.  

JustinMorrow
JustinMorrow

To Justin from Quincy, Ill....just remember the Detroit Lions were 0-16. The Jags have 13 games to go before they can stake a claim to least talented team in the modern NFL. Side note...It's nice to see the Lions curse is still in effect.

JoeS1
JoeS1

The numbers on Rodgers (which I have sent to Peter King) are even worse if you consider games against Winning Teams - 0 for 20.


That's correct ZERO wins in Twenty opportunities. ZERO.


For certain, football is a team game, but, this myth that Peter King and many others continue to perpetuate that Rodgers is hands down "the best QB in the league" simply cannot be substantiated with this stat looming large. 4th Quarter comebacks aren't the be all and end all, but, in a league with Brady, Peyton and Brees, one can say that Rodgers comes up lacking because of his failure in clutch situations. 


And, to those who say it's a statistical fluke - 20 games is a pretty big sample. It's a full Season and a quarter!

tonybot3
tonybot3

Browns will win the Superbowl this season and make King eat his words.

wwroger1
wwroger1

Scintillating answers, and just the reason we need to tune in every week for stimulating NFL discussion points!!!

I'm not in the locker room, I haven't studied, because I didn't see this play, I can't tell you..., I don't know, 

2 direct (even if one is closet 49er apologist) answers, and 4 other drivel.  I guess I can't complain too much, it's free .... wait, what happened to MY time !!!

brucemcfarlandoncins1
brucemcfarlandoncins1

"Someone saw. Someone knew the impact Jordan could make playing as a 3-4 end on running downs and playing inside against the pass. Veteran defensive coach Rob Ryan knew, and when Sean Payton replaced coordinator Steve Spagnuolo—a 4-3 guy—with malleable 3-4 maven Ryan after the Saints’ disastrous defensive season in 2012, Ryan pushed Jordan to his more natural spot. And Ryan essentially told him to go get the quarterback and forget everything else on passing downs. It was perfect for Jordan."Just a few notes. When drafted, the Saints organization, headed by Payton and Loomis, Jordan was expected to be a run stopper. He only had one sack under Greg Williams super aggressive blitz packages. And Williams often switched between the 34 and 43. And even though Spag's defense was the worst in history, Jordan achieved 8 sacks for the season. My point is that his impact would be felt regardless of scheme or coach. He is maturing as a player and he deserves most of the credit.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Is it possible that Kaepernick isn't is good as everyone (i.e. the media) has said? He had a fabulous eight or nine games last year, and was deified, like the press frequently does to athletes that go on a hot streak. Now he is settling in to be an okay to good quarterback. I'm just wondering. The media likes to blow every horn it can. They thrive on overstatement. And sometimes they are wrong. 

Bucky182
Bucky182

I believe Rodgers is something like 5-17 in games decided by 4 points or less. A lot of those games actually came in his first year as a starter. The record can be deceiving, as there are some missing pieces there. In 10 of those games, correct me if I'm wrong, the defense squandered away a lead which cannot be put entirely on Rodgers. It's like INTs that bounce off a receiver's chest and into the hands of the defender--not the QB's fault but someone hast to get the stat. Rodgers just has the unfortunate burden of having to take the bad record in close games. The record in close games goes to Rodgers, not his offense or defense.

sjq294
sjq294

Come on Peter. What a terrible answer to Logan. You have access to the video of that play with Bradshaw.Watch it and answer the question. Very sloppy

RayHuggyBearYoung
RayHuggyBearYoung

Peter, two of the questions you choose to answer and print your answer is "I don't know" and "I didn't see the play".  If you are going to use those questions find and watch the play.  Use a question you will answer.  Not that you read these comments.  They are for the fans and some of the writers like the excellent  Dietch.

Orange Crush
Orange Crush

There was ONE NFL game last night on national television and not even a single mention of it? That used to be a regular part of your Tuesday column. The quality of your work has gone downhill since you started this site and it is quite a shame. Maybe if the overall quality of the site was better it would bother me less, but alas....

nailerpa
nailerpa

I only watched a few minutes of the Niners game this past Sunday.  My impression was that Kaepernick was trying to throw the ball way too hard...like he was trying to thread the needle EVERY time he threw it...either that or trying to throw it THROUGH the defenders.  I think that caused a few drops by his receivers.  If he just settles down on his throws, he should be fine.

Soundchaz3r
Soundchaz3r

That is a bunch of bull...Romo is not clutch... that is the perpetuated myth. Here are some cold hard facts about Romo:

  • Led nine fourth-quarter comeback wins (2nd behind Eli Manning’s 10) since 2011.
  • Led nine game-winning drives (3rd behind Eli’s 11 and Matt Ryan’s 10) since 2011.
  • Since 2011, a record of 9-10 (.474) at game-winning drive opportunities (would rank No. 8 among active players with a minimum of 10 games).

Peter King needs to stop it with the sloppy journalism. There are a myriad reasons why the Cowboys haven't been able to be successful, but saying Romo is not clutch based on a couple of national games doesn't tell the full story. He is not perfect by any means, but he has carried the team on his back more often than most of the other QBs in this league in the last 5 years.

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@BizarroPeterKingSeriously? That's your complaint? A guy writes in and essentially his question is "Look at every team in football history and tell me if you think the Jaguars are the least talented of all of them" and you can't possibly believe that King said "I don't know." Never mind that you could read that as "Who the hell knows, the field is so broad" or (and this is the way I saw it) "I don't know about that argument you're making." As to why King picked it, did you actually read his answer? It's a reminder that while someone may bemoan a team as the "worst ever" based on the current season, if you look back in time, there are often plenty of teams just as bad. That's something worth keeping in mind for fans

mike202
mike202

@JoeS1   Especially when you see Luck has 8 or 9 Come from behind wins already and Wilson has 7

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

@Rickapolis He hasn't even played a full 16 game season yet and he's settling in? Are you insane?  It took the previous guy 6 full seasons to convince management he should retain the starting job. 6 seasons!  

He was deified by Niners fans because he reminded them of Steve Young. He was nearly unstoppable in the playoffs vs GB playing far better than the backup ever did (he was never unstoppable). He was also really good vs Atl and Bal in the 2nd half. 

You were just too lazy to do any research yourself.  Stop blaming the media!

eddie767
eddie767

@Rickapolis I think there was a reason Kaep didn't win starter job last season and now everyone is seeing why. Smith would still be in San Fran if he didn't get hurt and Kaep/49ers went on crazy run.

Mike26
Mike26

I'm not sure that it won't be too long before the same thing is said about Russell Wilson too.

Mike26
Mike26

Yes, it's lazy. A BETTER example would be Jackie Battle of the Titans putting his head into Danieal Manning's chest last week vs. Houston. Blatant by Battle but nary a word was said or written.

Dana2
Dana2

@Orange Crush   New England or some other east-coast team(s) - especially New England - weren't playing - 

therefore (to fatboy king)  there wasn't any game last night.  You must have been mistaken.

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

@nailerpa  nice comment, but you undermined it with "only watched a few minutes of the Niners game".


Mike26
Mike26

How many playoff games has Romo's team won?

How many "win or go home" games has Romo's team won?

Not clutch - or at least clutch enough to be clutch.

salvaje50
salvaje50

@Soundchaz3r The games are national because they are big games with playoff berths on the line.  And Romo has not played his best in those games.  It's one thing to lead a 4th quarter comeback in the 5th week of the season.  It's another to do it in week 17 when you have to or else you go home.  Romo hasn't done it.  Not sure how you can argue with that.

CoreyLivermore
CoreyLivermore

@mike202 @JoeS1 Wilson has 6 - the 7th is bogus and everybody knows it.

But 0-20 against teams with a winning record?  You must have missed the playoff game against the Falcons when Rodgers had to come from behind early.  Or does that not count because it wasn't in the 4th quarter?

That's the problem with that statistic - it only counts the games where the QB has to come from behind in a specific time period of the game, and not during any part of the game.  There are plenty of times where Rodgers and the Packers were trailing in a game and came back to take the lead; it just so happens that it didn't happen in the 4th quarter.

This statistic  is crap, and I wish people would stop referring to it.  It's like saying someone has the record for most number of tackles for a loss in the 3rd quarter of games against the AFC South - it's meaningless.  The only statistic that matters is number of wins, period.

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@mike202 @JoeS1 Don't be too dazzled by those numbers when comparing them to Rogers. As the original letter writer noted, Rogers is on a really good team -- take QBs out of the equation and the Pack are better than Colts or the Seahawks, at least during Luck and Wilson's first seasons. Rogers doesn't have as high a rate of come-from-behind wins because he hasn't needed them.

eddie767
eddie767

@WCoastPro If you want to bring up last yrs stats that's fine,but it's a new yr and he sucks. If you can talk trash to your only threat to reaching the Super Bowl,ah i think you would at least put up a better fight. You say he's played less than 16 games,o k then that makes his acting like he's the isht worse. Since you think he should be judged after a full season. Like i said,if he wasn't good enough to beat Smith for starter role,why all the praise?

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

@eddie767 @Rickapolis and what is that reason, smart guy? 

Crazy run? They went to the Super Bowl and came a missed PI call away from winning it.  The year before they were a fumble away from winning the NFC. 

What is a crazy run?

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@eddie767I can't help but enjoy that Smith is 3-0 (with Kansas City!) while Kaepernick is struggling. Maybe a little karma is going around

mike202
mike202

@Mike26 Except, unlike Kaepernick, Wilson is one of the top rated QBs in the NFL and, if anything, is better than he was last year.  For ex.  In his last 7 road games his lowest QB rating was 96+.  Kaepernick's highest QB rating was 85 (low of 20).  Payton Manning's highest QB rating was 96+ (low of 80)

Wilson is cool under fire and is always a couple of steps ahead.  Kaepernick panics under pressure and his first response is flight..  Big difference between the two of them.

eddie767
eddie767

@Mike26 Battle was fined for his play,but you and everyone else are right that Mr King should've looked at the video before he answered the question.

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@Dana2  So you read his free column, you don't like it and you call him a 'fatboy' classy.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@Mike26 If Romo didn't play in Dallas he would be little more than an afterthought. He is a very mediocre quarterback. The good news is that in the NFC East this year that could more than enough to win the division. They are absolutely pathetic. 

Soundchaz3r
Soundchaz3r

@salvaje50 @Soundchaz3r Let me ask you a question: how many stops did the Cowboys defense did in those games? How many yards did the RB run? At the end of the day, if you are behind by a couple of TDs and forcing the QB to air it out, you are significantly increasing the probability of interceptions, as the defenses know the QB is going to pass and they stop bothering about having 8 in the box to stop the run.


On top of that, if you have an extremely porous line that allows pressure to occur with only 3 or 4 people rushing, then your QB is bound to throw the errant pass.


Let's flip the argument on its head and ask this question: if the Cowboys from 2009-2012 with the aging line and the underachieving defense had a different QB, how many games do you think they would have won?

salperez2
salperez2

@salvaje50 @Soundchaz3r The argument would be that but for Tyree's helmet catch, Eli would not be considered clutch.

A lot goes into whether a QB looks like an all-pro or just a journeyman. When Eli has had a great line, solid RBs, and a defense that can keep a team in a game, Eli looks like a top QB. When he does not (like this year), he looks like he should be a second-stringer. Give Romo a great line, a solid RB, and defense (combinations of which the Cowboys have not had in several years), and he would be considered a top-QB. Elway, who was a top QB in the fourth quarter, was not a Super Bowl winning QB until he had RBs and solid defenses.

JoeS1
JoeS1

@CoreyLivermore @JoeS1 @mike202 I do agree that wins are the most important stat. But, you are missing my initial argument about this as the greatest barrier to calling Aaron Rodgers "the best QB in the NFL". 

Of course, Rodgers is terrific, but, I also stand firm that there is no way to call him the "best" in a league with Brady, Peyton and Brees. They have all come through many many times in similar 4th quarter situations against winning teams - SIXTY-THREE times (at least) vs. ZERO. And, like I noted earlier, this over a 20 game span - well more than a Full NFL Season of play.


Packer and Rodgers fans can duck and cover all they want, but, you can't deny a stat like that.

CoreyLivermore
CoreyLivermore

@JoeS1 @CoreyLivermore @mike202 As I pointed out, the statistic is meaningless.  Why?  Because you are only counting one part of the game, and not taking the entire game into account.  You can't do that and still say that you comparing all quarterbacks equally.

The only statistic that matters is overall number of wins.  To say that Rodgers isn't a great QB because he hasn't come from behind in the 4th quarter or final 2 minutes of any game is ridiculous and extraordinarily short-sighted.

Again, I ask if you are counting only those games where they trailed in the 4th quarter.  Because, as I've pointed out, there are instances where the Packers trailed and he led them to a victory.  But of course, the winning drive wasn't in the 4th quarter, so it doesn't matter, right?

I'm not the one rationalizing anything here - you are.  You are trying to rationalize Rogers not being a great QB because he hasn't won in the last 2 minutes of a game.  I'm saying that you can't only look at one portion of a game and make a determination on how good a guy is - you have to look at the entirety of a game to make that determination.  I'd say Rodgers is a great QB, if only because of his regular and post-season records.  And his SB win over the Steelers.  His overall career proves he's a great QB, not his insignificant statistic of how many games he's come from behind in a given period in the 4th quarter.

And that stat, by the way, only serves the media in their need to make some guys look better than others, and make others look bad in comparison.  But you can't just look at one aspect of a game and make the call here.  You're a moron if you do.

JoeS1
JoeS1

@CoreyLivermore @mike202 @JoeS1  ZERO for 20 is still ZERO for 20, no matter how you rationalize it. 

Brady, Peyton and Brees have also presided over "really good" teams. They have all come back when the team was behind in the 4th quarter - multiple times. Rodgers and the Packers are classic front-runners - they can look utterly unstoppable when things are going their way, but often - TOO OFTEN - fumble when things get tough. That is why Rodgers can not be blanketly called "the best QB in the NFL". No way. Not with the aforementioned trio still in the league. No way.

JoeS1
JoeS1

@SpartanTarget @JoeS1 @mike202 Do you know ANYTHING about statistics? Divide the numbers using twenty as a baseline if you wish - Rodgers "success rate" is still ZERO! 

The other guys, take Manning as an example, would still have EIGHT+ wins even using 20 as a baseling. 


Damn these Packers and Rodgers fans just can't face the fact that their guy isn't the obvious "best QB in the NFL" when you take this stat into consideration. Yes, a good QB, just not "the best" (which has been my argument all along - I DO acknowledge he's good; he just hasn't shown the ability in the clutch that the trio I mentioned have. A difficult pill for Packers/Rodgers fans to swallow....but TRUE).

JoeS1
JoeS1

@SpartanTarget @mike202 @JoeS1 I looked up a chart of CHFF. It's a year old, but, even at that date, you want to know how many 4th Quarter Comebacks Tom Brady had? 16 out of 33. 

Drew Brees? 12 out of 39. Peyton Manning? 25 out of 60. And that trio lead mostly "really good" teams. 

12, 16 and 25. Rodgers ZERO for 20.

Now, what number doesn't have you "dazzled"?

mgranadosv
mgranadosv

@WCoastPro @eddie767 There is a real problem when your #1 offensive weapon is Michael Crabtree, underachiever maximus.
And that is what is happening to SF this year, their WR depth is thin (and that's a compliment) and are having huge issues with the run game.

Kaep is good, pretty good, but he still has a long way to go, seeing him play I think he has what it takes to cover the road, the regime just needs to draft better.

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

@eddie767 @WCoastPro  You are not informed, please stop commenting on SF news.

He was good enough to beat out Smith. It would have divided the locker room before the season even started. 

Let me remind you he and Boldin played great in week 1, then Seattle shut then down at home as they would have to any team. Last Sunday they were totally outplayed. They also missed Vernon Davis their #1 offensive weapon (after Crabtree).  He hasn't really sucked at all. Are you even watching the games? When was he talking trash?  Dude you just don't like him that's all. Your judgment is clouded.  

Why all the praise? Did you miss last season? 

Dana2
Dana2

@Sdwalt @Dana2  fatboy skunk east-coast/new england-provincial favre-worshiping latte-sucking craft-beer guzzling narcissistic michelin man.  

I should be PAID to read this self-centered egotistic self-promoting pioli-munching tripe.  

"classy" enough 4 ya? 

Suk it.

Soundchaz3r
Soundchaz3r

@Rickapolis @salperez2 Again, an uninformed Meme... "Romo sucks in November and December".


More Cold Hard Facts: Over his career, he has accumulated a 21-4 record and a 108.5 passer rating in November. Romo has played eight full December games since 2009... he has thrown for 2,411 yards, 18 TDs and 1 INT on 201-for-289 passing (69.6%). That gives Romo a passer rating of 114.1 for December from 2009-2012 (which, by the way, is the best record in the league... better than Rodgers, Payton Manning's or Tom Brady's).

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

@Rickapolis @Mike26 You again! Let me guess you're going to tell us a QB is overhyped and he can't win the big game! What original thinking! 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@salperez2 'Very mediocre' is that when he really needs to put his team over the top he fails. I've not looked up his November-December record, but it's considerably worse than his early season record. His playoff record is 1-3 or there about. He fails in the stretch. Even at that I think it's a mistake to concentrate on all the stats like you do. Bottom line, after all his years in the league, do you want Romo as your quarterback when it is crunch time? I don't. Because that is when he is at his worst. That's all my opinion, of course, but I think it has pretty good legs.

And, yes, I think Eli has earned both his Super Bowl rings. Because he is VERY good at crunch time (or maybe I should say ''was').  And his fourth quarter success shows that.

salperez2
salperez2

@Rickapolis What is your definition of "very mediocre"? Is it not being a Super Bowl winning QB? Well, then Marino was very mediocre. Is it throwing fewer career INTs than Eli? Then Romo, Cutler, Rivers, along with Aikman, Starr, Montana, Theisman, and Brady must be very mediocre (by the way, Romo has thrown 92 career INTs, while Eli has thrown 152!). Is it having a higher passer rating than Eli? Then Shaun Hill, Chad Pennington, David Garrard, and Brian Griese are superior to Eli.

My point: if Eli did not have a top defense or a solid offensive line, and the luck of Tyree pinning the ball to his helmet, Eli would be viewed as lower quality than Romo. And arguably, he is. And finally, Rickapolis, do you really think Eli deserved the Super Bowl MVP in 2007?

salperez2
salperez2

@Mike26 And he can thank his defense for both of those Super Bowl rings.

Mike26
Mike26

Eli has TWO titles - even beyond the Tyree catch.

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