I’m new to the site PredictionMachine.com, but I sure like their line of thinking. They simulated the upcoming NFL season 50,000 times and came up with the Eagles as Super Bowl champs 18% of the time. Why even bother with the season? It is parade time.
The most likely outcome is the Eagles beating the Patriots, 28-26. How sweet would that be? We’d have revenge for 2004. We’d have our title. And we’d have enough offensive highlights that the game would likely be fun to watch.
In case you were wondering, we also had the #1 seed. That means we got to enjoy a pair of home playoff games.
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Football Outsiders has an interesting column on CB play. Andy Benoit doesn’t use numbers, but rather goes into different styles of CB play and talks about Asante Samuel vs Nnamdi Asomugha vs other CBs.
I know people love to throw numbers up to show how good Samuel is, but I often think those numbers are flawed. First, he’s so erratic that it scares QBs and they don’t want to throw his way. That erratic style of play would be great, but it burns his teammates as well. No one can say what he’ll do on a given play.
Also, because Asante is so erratic I think the number of passes completed on him is higher than people realize. If he decides to go play a hunch and jumps a route, but the pass actually goes to his assigned receiver, the person charting the game may not know that and won’t attribute the catch to him.
I know it comes off like I hate the guy. Not so. Asante is a brilliant playmaker. He is one of the most instinctive CBs I’ve ever seen. He has very good hands. He’s actually underrated as an overall corner. When he wants to, Asante can jam receivers and play man coverage. He can be physical. The problem is that he chooses not to. He’s like a baseball hitter that is obsessed with HRs. If Asante was less selfish and played a more complete game, he’d have an even better reputation around the league.
I’m real curious to see how he does in Atlanta. It won’t surprise me if he has a very good year, in part because the Falcons are desperate for playmakers and the coaches will give Asante a lot of freedom. Also, the fact that the Eagles dealt him for so little has put an enormous chip on Asante’s shoulder. He’ll be a highly motivated player this season.
The flip side is that Mike Smith and Mike Nolan have always coached tough, physical defenses. The first time they see Asante back away as a RB comes near him, one or both of them might spontaneously combust. Asante isn’t just a poor tackler. There are run plays when he literally avoids contact by backing up. Not all coaches will tolerate that.
It will be very interesting to see how Asante and the Falcons do compared to the Eagles and the new focus on press coverage. One stat I’ll definitely check on is if their Red Zone defense gets worse and ours gets much better. Asante’s gambling can be very beneficial to a team, but I fervently believe that he is a major weakness in the RZ.
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Trent Cole has a minor shoulder injury. His AC joint is swollen so he’ll miss some practice time. As long as he’s good to go when the games count, I’m not too worried. Still…seeing the words “Trent Cole” and “injury” in the same sentence isn’t something I’m real fond of.
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I’m not a fantasy football guy, but many of you are. One of the readers has started a league. Here is the info for those interested in joining.
League ID#: 250092
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For those of you who like links to Eagles articles, check out a new site that does that. It is called ProFootballZap. You go to the Eagles page and there are links to key sites and articles. Pretty cool.