No Perfect Endings, Just Luck

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 7:

a. The impact of Chris Clemons. The Seattle front seven is dangerous enough—but with Clemons approaching peak form after offseason knee surgery (much less famous surgery than Robert Griffin III’s) it’s hard to figure out who offensive coordinators should game-plan to stop on that Seattle front. For individual talent, Seattle and Kansas City have the biggest-impact front sevens in the league.

b. Catch of the day: Vincent Jackson’s one-handed grab deep downfield from Mike Glennon, with a defender hanging all over him.

c. Great physical defensive play by Washington’s Reed Doughty, muscling into Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery.

d. Saratoga Snacks, the Bill Parcells four-year-old horse, won a $250,000 race at Belmont Saturday. That’ll buy some carrots.

e. Andy Dalton throwing the ball 52 yards in the air—hey, he’s not supposed to be able to do that—and connecting with A.J. Green for an early bomb in Detroit.

f. The Kyle Long block on one of Matt Forte’s three touchdown runs for Chicago at Washington. A bulldozer of the clearout block.

g. Five third-down conversion catches by Jeremy Kerley for the Jets in the first 18 minutes against New England.

h. Roy Helu Jr. Or, as Keith Olbermann would say, “Hell-ooooh!” Three touchdown runs.

i. Julian Edelman, who is a terrific punt-returner.

j. Tremendous penetration and sack of Thad Lewis by Miami safety Reshad Jones.

k. The touchdown-saving deflection by Dallas third-round rookie safety J.J. Wilcox, knocking away a sure touchdown pass from Nick Foles to DeSean Jackson.

l. We’re starting to see why Mario Williams (10 sacks in seven games) got the big money in Buffalo.

m. Andy Dalton had the kind of game that playoff-winning quarterbacks have: At Detroit he was 24 of 34 for 372 yards and three touchdowns. He looked confident throwing intermediate and deep.

n. This line by Terrell Suggs, after watching his Ravens fall to 3-4: “We know what we gotta fix—offense, defense, special teams. We’re in a state of emergency.”

o. Why Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal is so good: He noted Saturday that wideout/tight end Chris Harper was the team’s first waiver pickup in one year. I mean, who monitors that? Great beat guys do.

p. A Stanley Havili touchdown. There’s a Ryan Grigson player right there.

q. The summation of Washington 45, Chicago 41, from FOX’s Kenny Albert: “Eighty-six points. Five ties. Eight lead changes. Devin Hester tying Deion Sanders’ NFL record for return TDs. A defensive score. A player on each side scoring three rushing touchdowns. Injuries to three key Bears. RGIII circa 2012. A breakout game for tight end Jordan Reed. The game had it all. Last team to score wins. One of the most exciting regular-season games I have ever been lucky enough to call.”

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 7:

a. That wily, experienced veteran, Sheldon Richardson of the Jets, saying NFL officials baby Tom Brady. After less than two months playing real games, that is some quality opinion, Sheldon.

b. How did Robert Griffin III not see Charles Tillman laying in wait on that first-quarter interception? Awful read by the Washington quarterback.

c. Come on, Antonio Allen. Grabbing Rob Gronkowski 10 yards down the field and not letting go, and inviting the officials to flag you for holding, which they did?

d. Martellus Bennett, for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:57 left. Not covered by Washington. Mr. Haslett, coach Shanahan would like to see you.

e. Why, oh why, Nick Foles? Why take a six-yard sack when you can throw the ball away without penalty?

f. Good game overall for Geno Smith, obviously. But late in the first quarter at the Meadowlands, Smith had the Jets at the New England 20-yard line, threatening to go in for a 14-7 Jets lead. Instead, Smith laser-focused on wideout David Nelson, split right, who was blanketed by rookie cornerback Logan Ryan. Smith threw it anyway. And Ryan picked it off and ran 79 yards for a touchdown. Instead of the Jets taking command at 14-7, the Patriots had a gift 14-7 lead.

g. Champ Bailey, looking 35.

h. Trent Richardson’s hands. You can’t fumble down the stretch of huge games, but Richardson did.

i. Games played by teams that have employed Danny Amendola since 2011: 39. Games actually played by Danny Amendola since 2011: 15.

3. I think offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is doing an excellent job with the Seahawks’ offensive attack (27.3 points per game), despite a makeshift offensive line. That’s the overriding plus in what I see in Seattle. The minus: Russell Wilson’s getting hit too much. Waaaay too much. When you see Wilson hit, he looks like Gumby; he always gets back and never seems to limp. But he’s been sacked 20 times, and by one count, was sacked or hit significantly 19 times at Arizona Thursday night. That’s playing with fire. And 8.3 rushes per game … too many. When I see a quarterback run as much as Wilson has (41 times in his last four games)—and I don’t think he wants to run; he’s being forced to by the rush in many cases—I see trouble down the road.

4. I think the thing I’d do if I were Bevell is put more of a load on Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin.

ICYMI

Highlights from the last week at The MMQB:


Chiefs Are Reborn in Red

—Robert Klemko


The Simple Solution to Washington's Name Drama

—Don Banks


Catching Up With Lovie Smith

—Andrew Lawrence


'Next Man Up' Not Enough for Pats

—Greg A. Bedard


The Conflicted Feelings of a Colts Fan and Peyton Lover

—Angie Six

5. I think if you love the Cardinals, and you’re dying to know why they’re letting Carson Palmer get battered, and why the line is a constant source of angst, this is the reason: In the last 10 drafts, Arizona has picked 13 offensive linemen—and none of them start on the line today. Obviously, first-round guard Jonathan Cooper would be starting had he not broken his leg in a preseason game. But still, this long-term record is a big reason why the Cardinals can’t get anything consistent going on offense post-Kurt Warner:

2004: center Alex Stepanovich (fourth round), center Nick Leckey (sixth round).

2005: guard Elton Brown (fourth round).

2006: guard Deuce Lutui (second round).

2007: tackle Levi Brown (first round).

2008: tackle Brandon Keith (seventh round).

2009: tackle Herman Johnson (fifth round), guard Trevor Canfield (seventh round).

2010, 2011: no linemen picked.

2012: tackle Bobby Massie (fourth round), tackle Selio Kelemete (fifth round), tackle Nate Potter (seventh round).

2013: guard Jonathan Cooper (first round), guard Earl Watford (fourth round). 

6. I think this was the saddest stat line of the week: Jackson State 1, Grambling 0 (forfeit). A story of disappointment, anger and players feeling betrayed, mixed with a horrible economy, told well by Sports Illustrated’s George Dohrman. Imagine how many great NFL players came out of that program, and now it’s a shell of what Grambling once was.

7. I think this is a rules interpretation your father’s general manager never had to worry about: Dreadlock holding. In the Cowboys-Eagles game, many of you wondered about the dreadlock-hold during punt coverage. It is holding if you grab a guy’s hair and restrict him. You are allowed to tackle a runner by the hair, but can’t hold by the hair.

8. I think we’re going to see a different Thursday night package of TV games by 2015. (Maybe as soon as next year, but likely in ’15.) One highly placed league source told me over the weekend there’s no chance of doubleheaders being played on Thursday nights, though Dallas owner Jerry Jones told Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal there had been discussions of it. I’m told it’s likely the league will split the Thursday night package, leaving a small number of games (five?) on NFL Network and making a lucrative package of the others (eight to 10) on one network or more that would pay dearly for prime-time programming on a big TV night.

9. I think it could be an ugly Monday night next week for the Rams. Coming off a 30-15 loss in Carolina, St. Louis now must play backup Kellen Clemens against the Seahawks. And they have to share the city with the Cardinals, assuming there is a Game 5 of the World Series. Imagine that—the Cards starting .9 miles away from the Edward Jones Dome at 7:07 p.m. Central Time, the Rams starting at 7:40 CT against the mighty Seahawks in a game they’ll have no business winning if you consider the quarterback matchup.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

Talk Back

Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday's mailbag.

a. I think everyone’s nuts for not liking Tim McCarver. I love listening to him.

b. Another good job, Andrea Kremer, on the mechanics of how the league fines players, on NFL Network Sunday.

c. “Rejubilation!’’ said Shane Victorino. Yes, there was a lot of that in Red Sox land when he broke up a very tense game with a grand slam to win the AL pennant Saturday night.

d. I admit I didn’t love the Victorino signing last winter (three years, $39 million for what appeared to be a declining player). But anyone who grand-slams a clinching championship series win is worth the dough, especially with what a great clubhouse guy, fielder and occasionally clutch hitter he’s been.

e. Tigers I admire greatly: Miguel Cabrera, for playing through obvious pain all October; Alex Avila, who got punished more than any catcher I’ve seen in one series, and who kept playing at a high level; and Torii Hunter. Best thing I can say about Hunter is I regret never having seen him every day for a full season, to appreciate his spirit, effort and terrific game.

f. Are there any hittable pitchers on the Cardinals? Not from what I’ve seen.

g. Red Sox in seven, but that is not a confidence pick. It’s an emotional one.

h. Coffeenerdness: I’ve got nothing this week. Sorry, I’ll have a note for you next week.

i. Beernerdness: Stop what you’re doing if you live in Colorado (or in some pub with a great beer selection) and go try Avery Brewing’s Maharaja Double IPA. You probably shouldn’t have more than a couple (it’s 10 percent alcohol), but it’s a smooth, delicious, malty brew. Had it Saturday night, and I’ll be back for more.

Who I Like Tonight

Hello, Josh

Can the Vikings' new QB keep the Giants winless, or will Eli Manning and New York finally find their mojo? Andy Benoit previews tonight's game.

Giants 27, Vikings 20. Josh Freeman takes over at quarterback for Minnesota, but I don’t see the move, after two weeks of Freeman cramming on the Vikings playbook, suddenly turning around Minnesota’s moribund offense. And if Jon Beason plays the way he did last Thursday in his Giants debut, things won’t be as easy on Adrian Peterson as we expect.

If Eli Manning can’t get his season on track against the Vikings’ secondary, there might not be much hope for the rest of 2013.

The Adieu Haiku

No more perfect heir
to Manning than Andrew Luck.
New sheriff in town.

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399 comments
wavemkr
wavemkr

No it's not "odd" that you would give the award for Coach of the week to the Indy Def Coach.  Because the real winner is Monte Kiffin holding the #1 RB, McCoy to 55 yards and the much media vaunted eagles offense to 3 points.  But that would've required you to list a Cowboys coach, and as much as you hate the Cowboys that would be impossible, so that left you with the #2 Coach, so it's not odd at all, it makes perfect sense.  You're constant Cowboys Hatred made the determination.

wavemkr
wavemkr

Patriots lost and Cowboys won...... Peter the Patriots loving/Cowboys hating King must be having a horrible Monday :)


King, we need more Patriots coverage !!! LOL

DrColeKilla
DrColeKilla

Peter - love McCarver, dance at his retirement party, play a round of golf together, have a slice of his b-day cake.  But to "think everyone’s nuts for not liking Tim McCarver," is simply just slapping around those who don't share your effusive opinion of his broadcasting style.   

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

So Peter,


The NFL doesn't baby Tom Brady?  Which NFL have you been watching the past 7 seasons?  



LittleOne4u
LittleOne4u

Dear Peter, Part two

I have always respected your writting and insight into the sport arena.  Stories with a touch of experience and honesty in a world of 'more about me' is becoming a rare species on today's news headlines.

Having those thoughts in mind, I feel I am treated to the  Geriatric Ward when visiting the new website. I truelly am NOT, NOT draw to the big font and BIG pictures to each and EVERY article. DID i mention the BIG picture and CLICK on me PICTURE. 

If capital letters are screaming to shouting then  new design website must implies your readers are visually impaired and lack reading skills.

Yes, I understand WINDOW is your $$ backer. But please, must you sell the farm to write your stories? I hope we have not reach that point in journalism.

Thank you for reading this far down in the comments posted field. Most folks don't get past the first 10 responses. 

I hope refine the site to mirror more of your insight into sports and less of the marketing of windows software.

Cheers

P

Richard Long
Richard Long

$1,200 to spend the night in Indy.  And we talk about a bad economy 

Danny5
Danny5

hey Peter, what would be so wrong with a Denver at Cincy playoff game?  This is the same Cincy team that has beaten both Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a awesome game at HOME and busted Brady's record td pass streak at HOME in beating New England.  I for one would love to see a Broncos at Bengals playoff matchup, think it would be a great game...

cfr
cfr

some things i know i think 1. whats said on the field should stay on the field. 2. hair tackles can break necks and should  be illegal, and horse collar tackles should be legal since a player is just bringing someone down by the shoulders.

skidoo
skidoo

What a sad state of affairs for Bear fans . We don't know how to act. Sure we've lost are share of games but we at least knock the snot out of folks now we score in the 40's and lose. Somewhere Papa Bear is shaking his head

M30
M30

"2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 7:

a. That wily, experienced veteran, Sheldon Richardson of the Jets, saying NFL officials baby Tom Brady. After less than two months playing real games, that is some quality opinion, Sheldon."  

Aww, how cute.  PK has to protect his man-crush against the big, bad rookie.  Just beg him for it, PK.  It's obvious.  

JesseReynolds
JesseReynolds

Page 5, #5: Why Whisenhunt was fired. Arizona decided to build from the outside in and now we are like a plastic surgery valley girl. Beautiful on the outside, empty on the inside.

carlburkhalter47
carlburkhalter47

Peter, why must you start every column with quotes from interviews you (and you alone -- oooh!) conducted immediately after a game?  The lead pages in your column aren't necessarily devoted to the prime stories of Sunday's games; it's as if the MMQB exclusive access is the determining factor.  

MVolzer
MVolzer

How about a jeer to Andrew Luck for that RIDICULOUS flop he took to draw a Roughing The Passer penalty on a Broncos lineman who barely even bumped into him. Manu Ginobli would have been too embarrassed to take a fall from that little contact. Don't try to sell me on it being a smart play or good gamesmanship, its bush league and cowardly. The NBA is handing out retroactive penalties for plays like that. I'd love to see the NFL set the example and hit Luck with a warning or fine to keep this sort of thing from becoming a trend.


Nathan16
Nathan16

Cardinals offensive line picks include a whopping 3 picks in the first 3 rounds. The o-line is 5 of the 22 starters (22.7%); add key non-starters like slot receiver, nickle back, and situational pass rusher and that's still 5 of the 25 most important players (20%). The Cards drafted half that many with only 3 of 30 possible top three draft picks. This trend improves throughout their draft picks with 13 of 70 (18.6%) possible draft picks before compensatory picks. However the lack of attention at the top of the draft is shocking. Compare that to their 7 defensive backs or 4 receivers taken in the top three rounds even through Boldin and then Fitz were already on the roster.

bayman
bayman

So, Sheldon Richardson isn't qualified to offer an opinion because he's only been playing real games for two months?  How many real games have you played, Peter?

gmartin711
gmartin711

Remind us please, how long have you been playing "real games"?  Or does your "real games" requirement apply only to actual NFL players and not to sportswriters?  Because if playing "real games" is a required qualification to have an opinion regarding NFL football, Sheldon Richardson is infinitely more qualified than you are.

Bottom line: that is some quality opinion, Pete.

maafla1
maafla1

What difference does it make how long Sheldon Richardson has been in the league?  He can see what is obvious even to a 10-year veteran, you can't breathe on Tom Brady without getting called for something.  Stop being a shill for the Patriots, Peter.  It's bad enough you shill for liberal politicians.

JamesAnthonyBryan
JamesAnthonyBryan

Big iffy calls? Both were correct calls. Timing may be iffy but refs are not supposed to take into account how much time is left when they make calls.

JamesAnthonyBryan
JamesAnthonyBryan

Jets win and you only have negative things to say? How about Rex outcoaching Belicheck for the second time this year?

beekay31
beekay31

For anyone who ever played baseball at a competitive level, McCarver is just annoyingly funny to listen to.

Mike N
Mike N

Classic Bum-

A reporter asked him why he took his wife on road trips and Bum said was too ugly to kiss good bye!

SteveLarone
SteveLarone

Coincidence is a funny thing. Jets are 4-3 but would be 2-5 without some big iffy calls that went thier way, on thier home field, on a year the giants are really bad, and on a year the SB is in NY. I really do think it is a coincidence (The jets did play well enough to win yesterday) but it will be interesting if they get any more "breaks"

boogah11
boogah11

So, Peter, YOU'RE the Tim McCarver fan???   If you actually enjoy this guy's ramblings (and they are truly ramblings in the way a 98 year-old grandpa rambles these days), then you must have truly enjoyed his "Cardboard Box" rant during game 5 of the ALCS where 'ol Timmy went ballistic over the fact that his birthday cake was delivered to the booth in....wait for it.....A CARDBOARD BOX!!!  http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2013/10/16/4847134/tim-mccarver-birthday-cake-red-sox-tigers

DeeEmm1
DeeEmm1

It's not a huge surprise that there are more California Rams fans. This is where they're from, they should have never left. Plenty of folks out here in the LA area still wear the old Rams colors, it's like they know their team will come back someday.

unclebucsi
unclebucsi

I think everyone’s nuts for not liking Tim McCarver. I love listening to him. 

Wow.

CMFJ
CMFJ

"... the new boss not really caring about the narrative America had been obsessed with in the days before..."

The question I had leading up to the game: are people really as interested in this story as the sports media is?  I'm a Broncos fan and while it was a sort of interesting side story, it was fairly far down the list of what I wanted to read about the game.  Manning seemed embarrassed by the coverage and Luck clearly had no interest in the role the media had cast for him.  That didn't seem to really make any difference to the media, who plowed ahead and made inane proclamations before, during, and after the game.

One of my favorite moments was in a show earlier in the day when someone proclaimed that nothing like this - a beloved HOF caliber player that was not able to finish his career with his original team - had ever happened before.  He paused and then tried to sneak in a mention of Favre returning to Lambeau with the Vikings, clearly not wanting facts to get in the way of hyperbole.

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@wavemkr Wait...what??? The Cowboys knocked out the starting QB for the Eagles = game over for anything at that point...

 Meanwhile the Colts defense beat the Broncos, a team that dropped 50+ on the Cowboys, and pretty much beat everybody else by double digits.... I'd say that's more impressive than a team getting beat without its #1 or #2 QB available..

cdizzle
cdizzle

@LittleOne4u I believe there's an email address to which you can address your feelings.  

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@cfr LOL!

Yes, grabbing someone by the back of the pads and yanking down on them should be legal. You have no clue how harmful that is. That kind of tackle is what broke Terrell Owens ankle back when he was with the Eagles. Imagine me picking you up and just slamming you to the ground. That's what a horse collar tackle is like. If idiots want to wear their hair 2 feet long and sticking out of their helmets, it's legal to grab. When I played football, hair wasn't allowed to be outside the helmet. You either cut it or didn't play....

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@MVolzer 

So a cheap hit on Andrew Luck shouldn't be penalized? The QB was no longer involved in the play, the ball was several yards down field, and the Broncos player knew the rules that a QB can no longer be hit at that point. The Broncos player was an IDIOT for even doing it. You want to get upset at Luck for the stupidity that a Broncos player showed? Hell, I'd wager Peyton would have flagged  his own player for that nonsense.....don't be so dense..

Mike26
Mike26

@MVolzer Why should he jeer Luck for doing something that Manning, Brady, etc. have been doing - and being rewarded for - their entire careers?  It's gamesmanship and he's just reaping the benefits that young players don't usually get in those situations.

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

@maafla1   Look up the definition of "liberal" in the dictionary.  You should be a liberal too.  Jesus and the founding fathers were 'liberals".


JamesAnthonyBryan
JamesAnthonyBryan

Big iffy calls? Both were correct calls. Timing may be iffy but refs are not supposed to take into account how much time is left when they make calls.

BillAbendroth
BillAbendroth

@DeeEmm1 Yeah.  The Rams will go back to LA, right after the Giants go back to New York.

DeeEmm1
DeeEmm1

@unclebucsi he's awful now. he used to be a great color guy that knew the stats, but the game passed him by years ago.

beekay31
beekay31

@CMFJ It's called lazy journalism.  Attempt to fabricate and steer a story so you can write what you want to instead of covering what is actually occurring.

rskins09
rskins09

@CMFJ    With all the unnecessary hype I thought it was  The Academy Awards II ...

CrystalWeeks
CrystalWeeks

@unitcaptain11 @maafla1 Actually, the founding fathers fought against unreasonable taxes which by today's standards would make them definitely NOT liberal.

SteveLarone
SteveLarone

Actually I thought the Raiders got jobbed. I also thought the Saints got jobbed last week, and yes, I think the Pats got jobbed this week.

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@Supernaut @DeeEmm1

Yeah, because there's just so many Cleveland Rams fans overwhelming the website from their old folks homes, while polishing their WWII purple hearts, just to skew the numbers.



Team history


Jon8
Jon8

@DeeEmm1 @unclebucsi 

How did the game pass him by exactly?

Did the rules change and he failed to keep up?

Did the way the game is played change, somehow?

Did he become unable to see the field?

Did he become unable to express his thoughts?

BTW, I am not a McCarver fan, I am a Vin Scully fan, but I do not see how the game passed McCarver by!!

Jon8
Jon8

@rskins09 @CMFJ 

That little poison dwarf Costas was so obviously unhappy, at the post game, that he could not read from his script!

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