The Tuesday Mailbag

It's not just that Andy Dalton and the Bengals are 6-2 halfway through the season; it's how the QB has been playing and who he's been throwing to. Plus, mailbag questions on the kicking crisis and a sharply-worded take on childish wideouts

Andy Dalton has connected with second-year receiver Marvin Jones for six touchdowns in the past three games, including four in Sunday's 49-9 blowout of the Jets. (David Kohl/AP)
Andy Dalton has connected with second-year receiver Marvin Jones for six touchdowns in the past three games, including four in Sunday’s 49-9 blowout of the Jets. (David Kohl/AP)

Add this to the list of things I never thought I’d see in 2013: Andy Dalton throwing five touchdown passes against Rex Ryan’s defense, with none of those to all-world wide receiver A.J. Green.

It’s one thing for the immensely talented Bengals to beat a rising team like the Jets. It’s another thing to beat them by 40. But the best sign for a team that has been drummed out of the wild-card round two years in a row is the play of Dalton, and the multiplicity of weapons he’s using. There’s been some trepidation by the coaches that Dalton is far too focused on getting the ball to Green. That’s why Cincinnati, on a three-game winning streak while building a comfortable 2.5-game lead in the AFC North, is ecstatic about where Dalton is going with the football.

Green has had his targets—26 of them—in wins over Buffalo, Detroit and the Jets. But let’s look around him. The second and third receivers, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, have been targeted 30 times over that same stretch. The bookend tight ends, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, have 23 targets between them. Add one weapon Dalton is still developing chemistry with, Gio Bernard (15 targets in the last three games), and you can see why Dalton was a very happy man when we spoke Monday night.

“What was great for our team on Sunday was that we finally played a complete team game,” Dalton said after a late-afternoon practice as the Bengals crammed to prepare for a Thursday night game against Miami. “It was so big for our offense. I don’t feel like we are forcing anything.

MMQB Mail

Don't miss the mailbag on Page 2, where Peter King answers readers' questions about Josh Gordon trade rumors and why the NFL doesn't need a team in London to make money in Europe.

“It seemed like last year every three or four weeks I was trying to get used to someone new opposite A.J. But this year, I’ve got all these weapons and we’ve had all offseason to get on the same page. It’s working.”

In Cincy’s last three wins, Dalton is a 66-percent passer with 1,034 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. It’s telling that only two of the 11 touchdowns have been scored by Green. Jones has six, including four in the ridiculously small sample size of 18 plays against the Jets. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is shuttling every eligible pass-catcher on the roster—12 of them on Sunday—in and out of the lineup freely; all of the backs, tight ends and wide receivers played at least nine snaps. What is particularly encouraging for the Bengals is that Dalton has gotten out of the habit of simply checking down if Green isn’t open. In fact, over the past two games, Pro Football Focus calculates that Dalton has the longest depth of target among all quarterbacks in the league. That means Dalton is throwing the ball an average of 11.7 yards past the line of scrimmage on every throw. (He was averaging just 8.1 in the first six weeks.)

Dalton explained that one of the reasons why the stats might show this is because early this year and in the past, if Green wasn’t open because of double coverage downfield, he wasn’t as confident in the other receivers who he was still building relationships with. And so now that he feels more comfortable, Dalton is inclined to take more chances with guys like Jones (six TDs in three weeks) and the Sproles-like Bernard.

“Andy has to continue to let the play to work based on what he sees from the defense,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “As long as he does that and doesn’t worry about how many catches 18 has at the end of the day, we’ll be fine. A.J. is going to get his.”

And Green has, with three consecutive 100-yard games while the others flourish around him. “A.J. is not a me-first guy,” Dalton said. “What we’re seeing is the team success is helping the success of each player.”

So now the 6-2 Bengals, who are not used to midseason prosperity, go to Miami on Halloween night and try not to think too far ahead. The Bengals have failed miserably in their playoff losses to Houston over the past two years, and Dalton’s play mirrors his mates. In Cincy’s 23 postseason possessions piloted by Dalton, he has led one touchdown drive with zero TD passes. So no matter how good things are in October, Bengals fans (and coaches and players) want results in January.

“Our goal is to play our best football at the end of the season,” Dalton said. “It’s early but we are on course to do that.”

The knock on Dalton, justifiably, has been his inability to throw consistently downfield. That’s changing. Most offensive coaches value the yards-per-pass attempt statistic higher than almost any passing number. Dalton’s YPA this year (8.06) is more than a yard better than it was in 2012 (6.95). Some perspective on that: it’s better than Matthew Stafford (7.74), Tony Romo (7.51) and Andrew Luck (7.03). Those are all big-gun guys, not peers of Dalton’s in arm strength.

Give credit to Dalton for pushing the envelope on offense, to Gruden for calling aggressive game plans and to new receivers like Jones for making Cincy’s receiving corps more multiple. For Cincy, the second half of the season, which begins Thursday night, can’t come soon enough.

.

***

Regarding Dez Bryant’s childish tantrums on the sidelines of the Detroit-Dallas game Sunday: the best thing said by a smart person in the aftermath of Bryant acting like an idiot and passing it off as passion came from ESPN’s Ron Jaworski, who said passion is great but it has to be focused in the right direction. It doesn’t matter that Bryant was peeved about being targeted only six times against the Lions. There are ebbs and flows to every season and every great player won’t get the ball as much as he’d like. Bryant did get 16 balls thrown his way last week in Philly. Did he forget that? Bryant needs to be careful or he’ll find himself with the same of kind of baby reputation that ended up marring Terrell Owens’ career unnecessarily. 

Speaking of childish scenes, I’d be in favor of a fine for Golden Tate and his third-grade taunting incident Monday night. That one shocked me. I’ve never seen Tate like that. I might sound like a get-off-my-lawn guy railing against that but come on—it’s pathetic and undignified. 

Now let’s head over to Page 2 for your email:

Though the Cleveland Browns insist they are not shopping any of their players, trade rumors have swirled around talented wide receiver Josh Gordon. (Colin E. Braley/AP)
Though the Cleveland Browns insist they are not shopping any of their players, trade rumors have swirled around talented wide receiver Josh Gordon. (Colin E. Braley/AP)

BAD TRADE? NOT SO FAST. I have to take issue with your suggestion that the Patriots trade a fourth-round pick (or a third-rounder, based on performance) for Josh Gordon. Why would the Browns make that trade?  They used a second-round pick on Gordon and he has begun to play like a No. 1 receiver despite subpar quarterback play and limited other receiving threats on the team.  The Browns are almost certain to draft a quarterback and will need to surround the young QB with weapons and Gordon and Jordan Cameron seem to be a very good start.  With another receiving threat on the team instead of Davone Bess or Greg Little—each of whom are prone to the drops—the Browns had a legitimate chance of upsetting your No. 1 team. I would appreciate your rationale.  Thanks.

—Jason

It just wouldn’t be smart to offer higher than a conditional third/fourth-rounder for Josh Gordon because of his sketchy off-field history. He has been suspended once for off-field transgressions. His next mistake could lead to at least a one-year suspension. Obviously he is a better talent than a fourth-round offer would suggest, but trades aren’t simply made on talent alone. I probably heard from a hundred or so people on email and Twitter on Monday about this, and I’m glad you asked so I could explain what I meant.

R.I.P. BUD ADAMS. MMQB gets a failing grade this week. A failure to mention the passing of Bud Adams is nothing short of shameful. It’s disrespectful. The NFL wouldn’t be what it is today without Bud Adams. Looking through the archives, it looks like he got lost in the shuffle. His passing broke after last Monday’s column and the focus of the site was on concussions this week, but he at least deserved a mention, Mr. King.

—Ron, New York City

You’re right. That’s my fault. No excuse for it. And I will address Adams next Monday.  

HE THINKS STAFFORD’S PLAY WAS BUSH. Today’s MMQB column dedicated a fair amount of space to the final drive by Matthew Stafford and deservedly so.  However, I’m conflicted as to how I feel about the final play and was wondering your opinion.  I find it to be a great heads up play but at the same time feel like it was a “bush-league” move.

Typically, both teams concede the spike play.  The O-Line stands up, the D-line does not rush and the QB quickly spikes the ball.  This is a mutual understanding between teams, which is similar to the kneel-down play.  However, here Stafford takes advantage of a defense which had conceded the spike.  Had the Cowboys rushed and hit Stafford, we’d be reading about penalties, fines and a cheap shots (i.e. Buccaneers vs. Giants in 2012).  Why no cheap-play commentary on the part of Stafford? 

—Daniel

Sports are full of teams and players trying to pull a “fast one” on the other team. The hidden ball trick in baseball, for instance, is thought of as a brilliant maneuver. In football, a pass rusher will put fakes on the tackle across from him. Very often the two sides will use phony signals and fake audibles to try to mess with the other team. I have zero problem with Stafford doing the fake spike, the same as I had zero problem with Dan Marino doing it to the Jets all those years ago.

THE KICKING CRISIS. With regards to the league assigning different points for field goals of different distances … I would hope you mean more points for SHORTER field goals.  I’ve never understood the argument that teams should be receive a greater reward for making less progress into the opponents side of the field. Worse, imagine a team taking a knee to back up from a 39-yard field goal to a 41-yarder when the former means a tie and the latter a win! Teams should be forced to make positive yardage to get additional points. Would be interested in hearing your expanded thoughts on how do differentiate point value on field goals.

—John 

I don’t know what the solution is. All I know is that kickers are too accurate these days. (As I reported Monday, 94 percent of all field-goal attempts inside the 40 are being made this year.) This game was never meant to have one miss out of twenty 39-yard field goals. There’s very little suspense. This is an entertainment business. And we’re getting to the point where there’s very little interesting, challenging or mysterious about the kicking game. In my opinion, that has to change. I’m just one voice. Maybe the competition committee feels differently. We’ll see. 

PUTTING TO BED THE BAT. You are off-target on your commentary regarding the illegal bat call in the Miami-New England game. The problem was not the rule–it’s a good rule; the problem was the interpretation/enforcement. In order to make this call, there must be visible evidence of intent to illegally bat; otherwise you are penalizing the player for poor technique or unlucky bounces. Olivier Vernon was obviously making an attempt to recover the ball; it just so happens the 270-pound lineman in full pads was in an awkward position on his belly and could not quite pull in the ball. In essence, Vernon was penalized because he didn’t do a good enough job of pulling in the loose ball—that’s something the team addresses on Tuesday, not the refs on game day. Terrible, terrible enforcement of a good rule, but it was consistent with much of that crew’s officiating that day.

—Lance

The way I saw this, and the way the officials saw it, is pretty simple: Vernon batted the ball toward the New England goal line. Is there any disputing that? I don’t think so. I watched it five or six times. He dives at the ball and bats at it. It wasn’t an accident. I’m not really sure what the dispute is over this. You can’t ask a player to give his interpretation because of course he’s going to say, It was an accident, and I didn’t mean to hit it. Watch the tape. He batted the ball.

NFL EUROPA REDUX. You asked what London was thinking about the Jaguars making an annual trip there. Okay, so they didn’t make it a close game against the 49ers, but we got to see an NFL game close to home. It’s not just about London fans or UK fans, but for fans from all over Europe. I made the trip from Belgium and encountered fans from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Finland and Ireland. A trip to London is easier and cheaper than going all the way to the U.S. for an NFL game. Europe is a market with 370 million people. You only need a very small fraction to be into the NFL to get sellouts at Wembley, no matter which teams play. I counted jerseys from more than 20 different teams. I’m proud to say I got to see my first NFL game. I’ll be back there next year.

—Vadim, Wichelen, Belgium

I love this email. Thanks for writing it, Vadim. You are exactly the kind of fan the NFL is trying to reach. The league is counting fans of all teams to fill stadiums—and maybe not just Wembley—in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if the league picked out other, smaller, soccer venues if an NFL-sized field could fit. One thing that sometimes gets lost in the discussion of putting a team—or, as I reported Sunday, a group of up to eight games with different teams—is that fans come from the continent and not just the British Isles to watch. I’m glad you got to see the game. And the NFL is glad that you will be coming back next year.  

55 comments
jb3816
jb3816

Peter - a 39-yard kick is spotted inside the 30-yard line, not inside the 40-yard line. Other than that, this was my favorite column of yours because you didn't make a fool of yourself by talking about political stuff. Stay in your lane!!

EricaSt56843562
EricaSt56843562

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cornerkick
cornerkick

I immediately thought of Terrell Owens when I saw Dez Bryant acting the way he did Sunday on the sideline against Detroit. Owens notoriously ripped into 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Knapp back in 2003 during a loss to Minnesota. It happened as Randy Moss of the Vikings was hauling in eight passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Likewise, Bryant threw his tantrum as Detroit's Calvin Johnson was having a game for the ages as a receiver. Neither Owens nor Bryant knew how to handle the situation. Instead of accepting a dose of humility, each, with his actions on the sideline in front of millions of viewers, blamed someone else. 

As far as passion, when I see a child whining and throwing a tantrum in public, my first thought isn't, "Wow, look at that passion."

Jon8
Jon8

As I have said before, the Jets are highly overrated and lucky not to have lost 3 in a row! The Bengals and Dalton appear to be the real deal!

Tate's no class taunt should be severely fined!

Bryant is a hot house flower and may well end up going the way of former me me me receivers, bouncing around 3 or 4 teams, out of the league, broke, busted, paternity lawsuits, telling anyone who will listen: Do you know who I am?!

B84
B84

Hey Pete. You're a fucking douche bag.

RayHuggyBearYoung
RayHuggyBearYoung

Even with a extremely high chance of making field goals I still watch field goals on every game I watch on the edge of my seat.  It's called love of the game.

jj55
jj55

As a self appointed genius, I have a brilliant solution that will solve key problems in two sports at once. Reduce the distance between the goalposts the exact amount that you increase the size of a soccer goal. That will eliminate the problem of automatic scoring in American football and non-existent scoring in English football.

Mat X
Mat X

Sorry, but field goals do not bug me.  If anything, since they're perceived as gimmes there's an opportunity for a crafty special teams coach to work on blocking schemes so they're not so conceded, even early in the game.


In any case, it's amusing that PK has such a burr up his arse about field goals, considering he worships baseball, a child's game featuring loads of masturbatory time wasting outside the batter's box that is not even part of the game play.

Jesus Hitler
Jesus Hitler

I'd bet good money the "bat" doesn't get called if Miami recovers.   Even though by the rule (which actually says nothing about intent) says it should be, at least as it is written.  A player who is unable to recover the ball himself might bat the ball for two reasons (1) To prevent an opposing player from recovering or (2) to affect the field position of the opposing team.  The rule seems to be designed to protect against the latter.  But what about the former?  Is it okay for a player to bat the ball away to prevent the opposing team from recovering, so long as he bats it in a certain direction?  At best, I would say the rule is poorly written.

sjq294
sjq294

Regarding the kicking game,  get rid of kicking point after a touchdown and onyl have 2-point conversions. Secondly, get rid of field goals.

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

Bet you wouldn't call a tirade from your Boy Brady "Childish". double standards yet again

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

again with london you couldn't do tnf,snf, mnf, as there games would be 1:00 Pm starts every game for there sunday game, because it's 7:00 PM GMT.  Look again why not try get a franchise in la, but again la has it great as they get network doubleheaders every week, because of no local team 

matkat
matkat

Peter, I emailed you last year and told you the first step to fixing the field goal issue.  Move the hash mark out like they used to be.  A greater angle on the kick means a skinnier target and, quite possibly, fewer easy scores.

As for Golden Tate, the taunting was childish and seems to fit the mold of many of today's self titled 'superstars' but I don't see a fine being appropriate.  A penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct would be sufficient.

JustinParisi
JustinParisi

You've never seen Golden Tate do that? I've seen him do that sort of thing several times and I guarantee I don't watch as much football as Peter King. He's got a little man complex.

blaineharris
blaineharris

A fine for Golden Tate? I didn't agree with it either but a fine? You sound like you are employed by the NFL

stagger
stagger

I have a solution to your kicking crisis, Mr. King. One legged kickers. It's a win-win-win for the NFL. They could show compassion by employing physically challenged individuals. The FG % would definitely drop. And even the boring old extra point would be pure entertainment. Please present this to the competition committee, stat!

Richard Long
Richard Long

Watched the video.  Looked like a muffed grab of the ball by a gangly lineman.   If the play had been called in favor of Miami, no one would be talking about this as most people are unaware of the rule and the media would not be bringing it up. 

mikewichter
mikewichter

I am a Pats fan and find the bat rule dumb and the call questionable. he did not have a fist. He is a huge man, sprawling on the ground, trying to retrieve a bouncing ball. He want after it with one hand. Umps and refs like to point to the fact the rules are not open to interpretation. Well this rule demands that the ref has to interpret what this player's intention was. If a WR goes after a pass with one hand, his intention is still to catch it. Same with the bat play. I also agree the penalty is too severe. 


And as for the clowns who say the NFL takes care of the Pats, that is insane. Brady gets taken care of, but so do all the top QB's (not that Brady is playing like a top QB this year). But they do not take care of the refs. Or maybe people forget the call that gave the Pats a loss a week earlier? That call was a joke and it handed the pats a loss. 


eddie767
eddie767

On the fg's,aren't players supposed to get better at their craft/job? If they didn't they'd be replaced. Maybe a tweak might be in order,but to get upset b/c some players really use practice the right way is wrong. Nobody fusses when qb's complete 75-80% of passes,they're praised and called elite.

Mark20
Mark20

So what if kickers are more accurate now? As with all positions on the field, kickers have improved with time, training and technique. That's like saying "well, back in the 60's a good passer was a 50% completion passer. Now they are up near 70%. Way too predictable." Nitpicking one aspect of the game is idiotic. So kickers get better and now you want to penalize that position for their improvement? Unbelievable.

Bucky182
Bucky182

Sorry, Peter. Long time and loyal reader but I have to disagree with your take (and the officials' take) on the illegal bat. I watched this play over and over and over again looking for something that showed me Vernon blatantly hit the ball forward. Take a closer look, Peter. I'm not asking you to agree with me or the hoard of other fans, but take a closer look. What I saw each time was Vernon already on the ground in an awkward position with his right arm tucked under his body. He tried to make a play for the ball by extending/swinging his left arm out hoping to pull the ball into his body. Because this happened so fast Vernon's hand, while trying to pull the ball into his body, hit it so hard it started to roll. It is a great rule, however, I think the officials--and you--missed the intent. I could be wrong but to me it looks like he's trying to make a play on the ball, not trying to bat it away. Again, it happened so fast and with no replay that the officials made the call they thought was correct.

StephenCurtis
StephenCurtis

Im sorry but kissing up to new england has to stop. Its been 10 years since they won a superbowl. I live in new england and the team the media takes to task the least is the pats. Why? the sox get ripped daily and may win there third ws in the last 10 years. So in the last 10 years the sox will out number pats titles 3-0 yet they get alot more media scrutiny and blame then the pats who haven't won anything in 10 years. The ball wasn't batted by the way , it was hit and went forward. There was no intent to bat that ball he was trying to recover the fumble only the belichick brady butt kissing media would say otherwise. 

radioactivez0r
radioactivez0r

"Football player acts animatedly on sideline, sports reporters spend 72 hours discussing his choice of hand gestures"

Sometimes you guys really concentrate on the wrong stuff.

intensitystudio
intensitystudio

They can't just put one team in London and expect all the other teams to commute back and forth. That would be a disaster. 

The only way it would work is if they put a whole 4-team division over there so the European teams are playing against eachother for 8 games out of the season and then there could be a few games out of the year where intercontinental travel is required... 

One team in London... Maybe one in Spain, maybe Germany... I dunno, maybe it would work. Having one lonely NFL team in London just seems like a weird concept.

robot_chimp
robot_chimp

First, Dez Bryant is a jackass, but not so much for his antics in Detroit on Sunday.  If you listen to the audio, it's a completely different story.  Unfortunately, it's the still the same old Cowboys

Scott Boucher
Scott Boucher

As to the batting incident the rule might be fine but the penalty is over the top.  If the refs decide that the ball was batted, it should be ruled a dead ball at that spot and given to the team that had last possession.  In this case the fumbling team got two benefits, the ball back and a first down.  Treat it like a ball batted out of bounds. Possession goes to the last team to have control.  No extra penalty is needed.

dfasab
dfasab

So now PK has to backtrack on the stupidity of his 4th rounder for Gordon idea. He failed to mention yesterday that it would be the only offer the Browns would get, which is highly unlikely since most reports have SF offering a #2. And at no time does he take the Browns perspective on things and accept that the risk is worth if it all they can get is a 3rd or 4th pick. He concerns himself only with his beloved Pats.

msprowles
msprowles

If the kicking game is becoming too predictable then narrow the goalposts.  I'm betting the percentages would really come back down to earth if the posts were twelve feet wide instead of 18 feet six inches... Screwing with the points per kick depending upon length of kick would be so wrong...

JMillerNC
JMillerNC

@TheMMQB  The problem with your analysis of the kicking game, Peter, is that you are complaining about excellence.  

Kickers getting more accurate is exactly what they are paid to do.  They're not paid to miss field goals, they're paid to make them.  Now you want to cry foul simply because they are doing their job, and they're doing it really, really well?  

It makes no sense, Peter.  

Phroggo
Phroggo

The Richard Sherman loudmouth disease appears to be contagious and Golden Tate is the latest of the Seahawks to come down with it.

JPSmall
JPSmall

@Jesus Hitler Not to mention, there have been a myriad of instances this season (and in historywhen the offensive team fumbles, the defenders attempt to pick up the fumble and unintentionally knocks (or bats) it forward.  You're telling me that every time that happens, the offense gets the ball back with a fresh set of downs?

anon76
anon76

@stagger 

That's exactly the creative, out-of-the-box thinking that PK is (unwittingly) calling for.  See my suggestions for fixing the passing game and NASCAR down below.  We can definitely make sports more entertaining, just as Peter would want it.

tgm929
tgm929

@mikewichter Sorry, but the Pats do get favorable treatment.  The only time they don't is when they play against a bigger market team. 

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

@Mark20 I agree, and speaking of the high completion rates, that is partially due to the change in rules of what defenders can do.

anon76
anon76

@StephenCurtis 

The Sox and Pats play two different games.  The Sox get to play with no salary cap, and so have become the Yankees-light of MBL- the money they spend on talent means that they're expected to compete on a level that most other teams can't match.  And baseball standings are decided on a 150+ regular season games, and then playoff series instead of do-or-die, single elimination playoff games.  With the money the Sox spend, and the law of averages determining so many of the outcomes in baseball, the Sox should do very well.

The Pats, on the other hand, have to make compete in a sport that cherishes the competition brought on by economic parity between teams.  Standings are decided on a much smaller sample size, and the odd bounce of that oblong ball (or it inexplicably sticking between a player's hand and facemask) can have an enormous effect on a team's season.  Yet, in spite of it all the Patriots have been to the big game 5 times over the course of the last 12 seasons, winning it thrice- much better than the 12-year run of the Sox (or the last 95 years of the Sox, for that matter).  They're the winningest most team in the NFL over the last 25 years, and they've set several records for most wins in a 10-year time period.  If they're beloved, it's because they earned it (and for the record, I don't particularly care for them- I'm a Bronco fan).

And, for the record, the Shilling-led break of the curse occurred in October 2004, 3 1/2 months before Brady led the Pats over the Eagles in Jacksonville.  So saying it's Sox 3, Pats 0 over the last 10 years relies on some highly non-linear passage of time, as well as ignoring that last pesky win that the Sox need to get over the Cards.  Careful you don't get Bucknered.

pickle
pickle

@Flanders5600 Well, last year the Jets were 6-10, and even though they are nowhere near a real contender, I'd bet money they finish better than 6-10 this year, which would by definition make them a "rising team"

jb22
jb22

@Scott Boucher Totally agree, why would him batting the ball give the pats the ball, a first down, and yardage.  Brady was sacked/stripped, give them the ball as if they recovered it where the batting took place, way too much benefit the way it is.

David2
David2

@dfasab  Yes, I love that he didn't bother to answer the reader's first question, why the Browns would even consider a 3rd or 4th for Gordon.  If that truly ends up being all that others teams offer for him, then the Browns would be stupid to trade him, even with his further suspension concerns.  

pk_sea
pk_sea

@msprowles Yes, or maybe add a top bar and make the kicker kick it through the square.  I also like the Rugby idea for PAT kicks; have the ball lined up along the line of where the touchdown was scored. If the touchdown was on the sideline, then the PAT is attempted from the sideline.  

Carnifex
Carnifex

@msprowles I really like that idea. I like that idea more than I hate PKs selective reasoning on this issue. Did he not see last night's game? If the Rams make the 50 yarder with 6 minutes left then they only need a field goal with 30 seconds left and not a touchdown to win. They kick the field goal for the lead and leave the Seahawks anemic offense less than a minute to drive for the win. Totally changes the game. A missed field goal is a huge deal. King conveniently ignores what a missed FG does to a game and tries to claim that field goals are automatic - which they are clearly not (also ask the Steelers)

anon76
anon76

@JMillerNC 

Slightly related to the topic, but what are we going to do about excellence in NASCAR racing?  Sometime you'll sit through an entire 500 mile race and not see a single wreck.  The sport was never meant to be this way.  I don't know how to fix it- maybe slather all the brake cables in bacon fat, and then let hordes of cable-chewing rats loose the night before a race- but the competition committee needs to get on this.  Give the people what they came for- this is entertainment!  #problemwithexcellence

anon76
anon76

@JMillerNC

I'm frankly a bit worried about passing excellence.  Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers completing over 70% of their passes is worrisome, and something the game's founders never considered when they regulated the forward pass.  It's getting to the point where there's very little interesting in the passing game.  I don't know what the solution is- maybe have receivers play in clown shoes, or require that all eligible pass catchers be little people- but the rule committee has to fix this.  This is the entertainment industry, dangit! #worriedaboutkicking

PatrickMurphy
PatrickMurphy

@Phroggo I hate the Seahawks, they're a bunch of thugs posing as players.  I believe that in college ball, Tate, would have been thrown out of the game for taunting, as well he should have been here and the penalty should have been accessed from when he started it, hence no TD and maybe a Seahawk loss.  The good thing to come out of this game is that the "Hawks aren't all that good and all the talking after plays and thug tactics can't hide that fact.

Carnifex
Carnifex

@Phroggo Cheat Carroll claims that's not what the Seahawks are, but Tate never did that at Notre Dame so he clearly learned it somewhere else...

CMFJ
CMFJ

@anon76 @JMillerNC

..something the game's founders never considered when they regulated the forward pass."

I agree.  I'm not sure why this is a problem.  And, add JMillerNC points out, there is also unprecedented excellence in the passing game.  

Why is that a problem?  As PK wrote and JMillerNC lampoons (I think), one argument is that this was not how it was intended to be.  I'm not sure how we could possibly know how things are intended to be by people 70+ years ago or why their notion of the game is relevant to today.  While the passing game has benefitted from many rules changes over the years (OL able to use hands in blocking, no contact after 5 yards, etc), the playing field is exactly the same for kickers now as it has been for years.  Wait, that's wrong, it is harder.  First, they moved the goal posts back from the goal line to the back of the end zone.  Second, the K ball was introduced.  Third, ball turns over from the spot of the kick.  

Another argument is that it is less "entertaining".  Why is that?  I enjoy seeing kicks attempted from longer distances, which has become more common.  That adds more to the game than having more misses.  

BTW, another of PK's kicking-related points from MMQB yesterday, I also do not agree that the PAT should be done away with.  The rate at which they are missed adds just about the right % of foul ups so that extra points are only rarely consequential to the outcome of the game.  Making 2-pt conversions the only option would affect many games.  I do not really see the upside to increasing the degree of difficulty on that.

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

@PatrickMurphy @Phroggo this ain't college. There's no bs poll. They got the win and improved their chances of getting top overall seed and avoiding playing road games in the playoffs. That's all the matters. 

Yeah their offense is a bit suspect but to say they're not all that good is asinine.

Carnifex
Carnifex

@Phroggo he still probably thinks he actually caught the Fail Mary, too

anon76
anon76

@CMFJ

"As PK wrote and JMillerNC lampoons (I think), one argument is that this was not how it was intended to be"

Actually, that was my smart-aleck comment, and I was hoping the clown shoes suggestion would be a strong giveaway.

I love PK's writing, but I honestly don't know what he's blabbing on about here in terms of lack of suspense/entertainment.  Anyone who's memory stretches back 21 months can remember the Patriots Cundiffing their way into the Super Bowl, and that pretty much kills Peter's argument right there.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@Carnifex @Phroggo  Ha!  Good point.  Of course there would not have been an issue with the Fail Mary had the ref called pass interference on Tate as he pushed off on the defensive back with both hands and it wasn't just a tap but a clear and easy to see push.  Then all the back and forth, simultaneous possession garbage never would have had to been discussed...

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