Super Bowl Lesson – Defense

Posted: February 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 70 Comments »

I made the joke on Twitter last night that it was kinda scary to think the Eagles were going to be choosing a Defensive Coordinator from one of the two staffs in a game that finished 34-31.

There used to be great defenses that just shut people down.  The 1985 Bears had 2 shutouts and allowed a total of 10 points in 3 playoff games.  That’s one of the greatest postseasons ever…if not the greatest.  The 2000 Ravens gave up 23 points total in 4 playoff games.  That was dominant defense.  The 2002 Bucs gave up 37 points in 3 games, some coming in garbage time in the blowout Super Bowl win.

Those were elite units.  Beyond them, we’ve seen defenses rise to the occasion.  The Giants defense in 2007 and 2011 never let anyone score 21 points on them.  They weren’t stifling, but were good.  The 2006 Colts held 2 teams to 8 points or less.  Tom Brady lit them up for 34, but other than that game, they played great defense.

More and more the offenses are taking over.  There are 11 playoff games in total. With 2 teams per game we’ve got a total of 22 offensive outputs to judge.  8 of those 22 resulted in 30 or more points this year.  16 outputs were 24 or more points.  And it wasn’t like good defenses weren’t in the postseason.  Denver #2, SF #3, Seattle #4, Cincinnati #6, Houston #7.

What is a good defense anymore?  What does it take to win a Super Bowl?

The best defenses in the regular season normally dominate mediocre competition.  Sometimes playing the right schedule can have a strong hand in this.  Do you play rookie QBs? Are you facing backup QBs due to injuries?  Are you catching teams at a time when they’re cold?  And so on.  I’m not saying the defenses aren’t good.  Sometimes they are aided by circumstance.

The postseason means you are facing good teams.  Not everyone has a loaded offense or  veteran players.  Andrew Luck and the Colts were the only team to score fewer than 10 p0ints this season.  Still, for the most part, you are facing teams that are going to be tough to shut down.

In the playoffs you are looking to play timely defense.  I don’t know that you can have the mentality that you’re going to shut down an offense.  Seems to me that you want a veteran coach who can create a gameplan that has specific goals.  We’ll take away this receiver.  We’ll take away this running play.  We’ll blitz on these plays, hoping to create a turnover.  Stuff like that.

The Niners gained 468 yards.  They scored 31 points.  The game was greatly affected by a pair of Ravens takeaways and their Red Zone defense.  Dean Pees is the Ravens DC.  He had no answer for SF much of the night, but his guys came up with the takeaways, got the crucial stop on 4th/goal, and forced FGs on a pair of other RZ trips.  That’s the difference in winning and losing.  Timely defense.

I hope the Eagles are able to put together an outstanding defense.  When you think of Eagles football, you think defense. Concrete Charlie. Bill Bergey. Reggie White. Brian Dawkins.  I’d love to get back to a point where teams knew they were going to struggled to move the ball.

I can settle for “good enough”.  More than a great defense, I want a Super Bowl.  What we have seen in recent years is that you must have the right offense to win.  You must be able to score points and make big plays.  The defense can get hot or make timely plays and help the team go win a Super Bowl.  You simply aren’t going to win with a mediocre offense.  Some might point out the 2000 Ravens or 2002 Bucs, but those teams are irrelevant in today’s game.  Football has shifted.  This is an offensive league now.

Can the Eagles build a defense capable of winning the Super Bowl in short time?  Definitely possible.  The cupboard isn’t bare.  The key is making the right moves.  And I’m speaking in a reasonable sense.  This isn’t fairy tale time where we draft HOF’ers in rounds 5-7 and have a month of shutouts.

The most important move is hiring the right DC.  We still don’t have any word on that front.  We’re all sitting and waiting.  Once the DC is hired, the Eagles will know the scheme and style of players needed to make it work.  Feels like that will be the 3-4, but nothing is certain for now.

If the Eagles do switch to a 3-4, the front seven will get the most media and fan attention, but it will be the secondary that needs the most help.  Are all 4 starters gone?  3? 2?  Chip Kelly has been evaluating the Eagles.  No word on what he thinks so far, but I’m sure after watching the ATL, NO, CAR, DAL, and WAS games he was beating his head against a wall.

Howie Roseman, Kelly, and the DC will need to come up with a plan to fill key holes so that the defense can be solid in 2013.  I don’t think Kelly is expecting to challenge for the Super Bowl right away, but he’ll want the defense to play better than they did in 2012.  As much as we need coverage help, adding a veteran DB with strong leadership skills seems just as important.  DRC isn’t a natural leader.  I covered Nnamdi, aka the Blame Machine, the other day.  Nate is too quiet.  Kurt Coleman is the best leader, but he’s got limited ability.

This is going to be an interesting offseason.  And very important.

* * * * *

So what to the Ravens have in common with the Giants, Packers, and Saints?  That is the last 4 teams to win the Super Bowl.  It is also a list of the opponents in the last 4 Eagles home openers.  How crazy is that?

And the year before that…the Steelers played in the 2nd game of the year at The Linc.

The last time the Eagles didn’t play the Super Bowl champ was 2005, when the Steelers won.  We did host the Seahawks that year in a MNF debacle.  They went on to lose to the Steelers in the SB.

If you include preseason games, you’d have a ways to go before finding the last year the Eagles didn’t play the SB winner.

* * * * *

If you want something funny to read, check out this piece on CBS handling of the blackout.  Very funny stuff.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama and I did a podcast on the coaching staff and DC situation.

_


  • Eric Weaver

    All I want from a defense is what you said, good redzone percentage and turnovers. You do both well, you’ll win most of your games.

    • D3Keith

      Truth. Teams that lose close games in the NFL almost always kicked 1-2 short FGs when they could have scored TDs. Red zone, red zone, red zone.

      And turnovers and third down.

      And blocking and tackling.

  • ICDogg

    Yeah, I think we need to start thinking in terms of the defense making big plays – sacks, turnovers – “shutdown” defenses are a thing of the past, it seems. Defenses that gamble may give up more big plays but I think ultimately can be more successful.

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    What the Eagles need badly is a big wide receiver that can out-muscle corners and safeties. Boldin is an incredible wideout. That third down play was amazing.

    • TommyLawlor

      I actually thought Boldin should have been MVP. He made critical play after critical play.

      • http://www.facebook.com/xbcsmith Brett Smith

        My MVP vote was for Jacoby Jones. Two things were obvious last night. The 49rs did not watch the Denver/Balt game and Houston were idiots to let him walk.

        • D3FB

          Houston was in cap hell last year. They had to unload Eric Winston and Cap’n as well and those both probably hurt more than Jones.

      • xeynon

        Billick said it best – Boldin is always open even when he’s covered. Best wideout in the league at making contested catches, and as much as the Eagles could use a guy like that now, they REALLY could have used one in the early-to-mid 00′s. No way Boldin lets Ricky Manning outfight him for 3 picks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1514128048 Kristopher Cebula

        tommy, word is that baltimore may have to dump boldin’s salary to sign flacco to a major deal. Is he worth going after or are his best years about to be behind him? other possible ravens FA or moves of interest are Jacoby Jones and Paul Kruger.

      • Anders

        Is there any potential tough possession WR’s to get late in the draft? Dont need to be Boldin in talent but somebody there is a notch better than Avant.

        • austinfan

          I think Avant is grossly underrated because of the way he’s been used with MM’s obsession with the deep play. Eagles have never really developed a short passing game.

          Look at Foles’ last four starts when Avant played a major role:
          caught 22/33 for 326 yards.
          No TDs b/c the Eagles have never incorporated Avant into their red zone packages.

          Of course he’s not as good as Boldin, but both are complementary WRs, Boldin has averaged 900 yards receiving the last 6 years, the numbers a #2 WR puts up. The difference is Boldin gets the ball, Avant is merely an afterthought (though if Chip wants a possession WR with good hands who blocks for his short passing game, hmmmm).

          It’s not going to be easy to find someone who’s a “notch better than Avant” late in the draft.

          • Anders

            I admit I might underrate Avant a bit. Im just alittle disappointed he does not have better RZ stats.

            I admit I really like our 5 starting WR’s, it got a good combo of size and speed, but I just feel like we could upgrade. I admit I cant wait to see what Greg Salas and BJ Cunningham can do in the offseason.

            Maybe my biggest need of upgrade on offense outside of QB is TE. I really want Travis Kelce, he just reminds me of a lesser version of Gronk. He is a really good block and got good speed and hands

          • deg0ey

            I just had a go at CBS draft site scouting to see if there’s anyone that could be of interest and Chris Harper kinda jumped out at me. From a physical standpoint, he’s 6’1, 230lbs and is projected to run somewhere in the 4.45 region.

            Per nfl.com:

            STRENGTHS Size/speed combination is impressive. Cornerbacks trying to press him at the line see his quickness and pure acceleration down the sideline. On crosses, sells the outside routes before planting his foot to get inside position (which he keeps by shielding his man with his strong upper body). And if corners sit on the shorter routes, he sets them up and blow by once they slow down. Flashes the ability to make the tough hands-catch downfield, snatching the high pass out of the air. A tenacious blocker, using his thick upper body to get a strong punch on defenders – sometimes through the echo of the whistle.

            WEAKNESSES “Could finish plays more consistently, as he will stand around a bit while his quarterback is trying to scramble and doesn’t always sustain his blocks despite his aggressiveness. Hands have to be consistent throughout his senior season, as well, proving a big catch radius. Must show NFL general managers that he has fully embraced the receiver position if he wants to play on Sundays.

            He initially went to Oregon because, apparently, they were the only college prepared to give him a shot to play QB. Turns out he wasn’t good enough and reluctantly converted to WR. This conversion coincided with his becoming homesick and transferring to Kansas State.

            Never actually seen this kid play (maybe some of the more knowledgeable guys could shed some light on his attributes) but from the stuff that’s being written, he might be worth a late round pick (projected to go in round 4-5 at the moment) and hope that he can make those physical tools work for him?

          • http://www.facebook.com/aran.benyishay Aran Benyishay

            ‘Could finish plays more consistently…’
            I feel like it’s tough but not impossible to hammer that mentality out of someone, especially from someone reluctantly playing a position. I’d prefer someone with more raw skills, even troubled, but reliably and consistently a hard player.

          • deg0ey

            Agreed; and if you can show me a guy that fits that description in the 5th round then we can talk :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/aran.benyishay Aran Benyishay

            K, shouldn’t be too hard to get other teams to drop http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737204/darick-rogers in their mocks. Projected 3rd rounder in some places.

          • Anders

            Yes Harper is a guy i would target in the 4 th

          • Anders

            Also forgot to add, that Dan Klausner of BGN talks very highly of him.

      • RC5000

        You can go around and around about it – Flacco, Boldin and Jones should have been co MVPs. Boldin was great, Jones made two huge plays also. Flacco definitely deserved it from decisiom making to extending plays to poise and guts and not making mistakes.
        Flacco made critical play after critical play.

  • austinfan

    Despite the rise of the offenses, if you look at current QBs, they don’t have great post season records compared to their regular season numbers:

    Rodgers 6-3: 2312 63.1% 7.9 18-5 103.6
    Brees 5-4: 2980 66.8% 7.6 22-4 103.9

    Eli 8-3: 2516 61.5% 7.1 17-8 89.3
    Peyton 9-11: 5679 63.2% 7.5 32-21 88.4
    Brady 17-7: 5949 62.3% 6.7 42-22 87.4
    Flacco 9-5: 2672 55.5% 7.2 19-8 86.2
    Big Ben 10-4: 3150 60.6% 6.8 20-17 75.9

    Ryan 1-4: 1230 66.3% 6.6 9-7 85.2
    Romo 1-3: 832 59.3% 6.2 4-2 80.8

    Other QBs of the last decade:
    Warner 9-4: 3952 66.5% 8.5 31-14 102.8
    McNabb 9-7: 3752 59.1% 6.5 24-17 80.0
    Hasselback 5-6: 2741 58.4% 6.8 18-9 84.4

    One thing that stands out to me, winning is more about being on the right team than being the right QB. Eli had better defenses in the playoffs than his brother, Warner only had one playoff caliber defense in his career, and so on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scott.greenberg Scott Greenberg

      That’s because they all play each other.

  • Ark87

    Will Leitch…you know the reporters that snicker at the fat college prospects getting on the scale, yeah….Holy god, over critical much? The power outage was a debacle and CBS was not prepared to handle the situation. The talking meat heads always talk like meat heads, prompter or not.

    • TommyLawlor

      It was a bit overblown, but I did find his stuff funny. The NFL TV analysts are so bad that it drives me nuts and I have virtually no sympathy for them. Should be an easy job, yet they struggle.

      • Ark87

        It is frustrating that there are literally thousands of people that can hold a more interesting and informed football discussion than the people on TV (who are only there because they are household names), and hundreds who can do it ad-lib on the big stage. How this revelation is just hitting this guy today is beyond me. The dude is acting like he just got unplugged from the Matrix and found out we don’t live in a meritocracy.

        • Mac

          They could have just had Shannon Sharpe and Dan Marino take their shirts off and fight to the death… or until the power comes back on which ever comes first!

          or they could have played more SB commercials.

          • A_T_G

            Yeah, really. The single event of the year where people actually want to see commercials and they choose to give us a bunch of has-beens spouting cliches.

          • Cliff

            Not this year! The commercials sucked!

  • ACViking

    Re: Read Option QBs / Eagles v. Eventual SB winner

    The NFL’s 32 have a grand total of 4 QBs who can both pose a running threat and also throw the ball accurately downfield: (i) Cam Newton, (ii) Robert Griffin III, (iii) Colin Kappernick, and (iv) Russell Wilson.

    Newton, Griffin, and Kappernick are freak athletes. Wilson, while not possessed of the same measurables as the first three, has great intangibles, a big arm, and good legs.

    Of the four QBs, three reached the playoffs — and Griffin had no business being on the field against Seattle.

    Where I’m going is this: There just aren’t enough athletic freaks out there to operate a pistol offense while posing a running threat. Why would anyone build their offense around that premise . . . because (i) the starter could get hurt, and (ii) the starter will eventually wear down or breakdown.

    In the SB last night, the 49ers got back into the game because of Kappernick’s passing and based on a 3 unplanned scambles. Randall Cunningham did that stuff.

    Kappernick — in his 10th start — made some great passes (and missed a couple). And if Crabtree holds onto to both long passes up the right side in the 2nd half, SF wins.

    It’s great to have a QB with wheels.

    It’s better to have a QB who can stand in the pocket, scan the field, and throw the ball.

    The whole pistol-formation phenomenon — unlike the WCO in the ’90s — is entirely about having a freak athlete who can thrown like a great NFL QB and run like a pretty good NFL RB.

    The WCO — as Reid stubbornly insisted on proving until 2004 — was about schemes and formations. The 49ers had success with Elvis Grbac and Jeff Garcia at QB. The Eagles had success with WRs like Pinkston, Johnson, Thrash and QBs like Garcia, Feeley, Detmer and Kolb.

    T-LAW’s made the point that CKelly’s going to create an offensive scheme that accounts for the personnel.

    Kelly himself has already said formulating an NFL offense based on a QB who can run is foolhardy because what if the back-up is, say, Nick Foles.

    Last night’s SB was entertaining. Lots of passes flying around.

    But the Ravens won with a classic drop-back QB. And SF got back in the game with its QB playing from the pocket, while taking the occasional scramble.

    I’m guessing that’s where Kelly’s headed. If not, then I don’t think he’s the genius we’ve been led to believe.

    ___________________

    Here’s the Eagles full history, since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger, regarding their first home-game opponent and that season’s SB combatants.

    In 1970, the Eagles opened at home against SB loser Dallas.
    In 1971, the Eagles opened at home against SB winner Dallas.

    In 1982, the Eagles opened at home against SB winner Washington.
    In 1983, the Eagles opened at home against SB loser Washington.

    In 1986, the Eagles opened at home against SB loser Denver.
    In 1988, the Eagles opened at home against SB loser Cincinnati.

    In 1997, the Eagles opened at home against SB loser Green Bay.

    In 2000, the Eagles opened at home against SB loser New York Giants.
    In 2001, the Eagles opened at home against SB loser St. Louis.

    Then came the last four seasons: 4 straight winners.

    I suspect there are other teams with similar records. By next February I’ll have the answer.

    • Anders

      “The whole pistol-formation phenomenon — unlike the WCO in the ’90s — is entirely about having a freak athlete who can thrown like a great NFL QB and run like a pretty good NFL RB.”

      ACViking you are normaly very accurate with your knowledge but that is wrong, the pistol as you say is not an offensive philosophy like the WCO, but a formation just like the shotgun. Another thing is the pistol does not need a running QB, original it was designed to help the RB only.

      The father of the pistol actually said the Eli Manning could use the pistol and a QB like Weeden actually used it in college (I know he did in 2010).

      Here is alittle more about the pistol (recommend to read all the links, great stuff)
      http://smartfootball.com/grab-bag/smart-links-chris-aults-pistol-chip-kellys-non-pistol-3-4-vs-4-3-chappelle-show-next-breed-of-dual-threat-qbs-1232013

      • http://www.facebook.com/aran.benyishay Aran Benyishay

        At the NFL level how long can a QB in the pistol really stay healthy? Do you imagine the upper bound’s a little bit lower by default than in other systems? In the interim, I imagine defenses would punish the QB often enough in the pistol whether or not he’s handed it off to the point that the offense will have to re-adjust themselves. I know you shouldn’t extrapolate from one case–and I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge is limited–but it seemed Kaepernick was getting slammed often.

        • Anders

          The qb wont get hit just because he is in the pistol

          • http://www.facebook.com/aran.benyishay Aran Benyishay

            Not sure defenses won’t…as what I’ve seen of the read, SOMEONE purposely gets in the backfield but in a controlled way

          • Anders

            The pistol formation has nothing to do with the read option

          • http://www.facebook.com/aran.benyishay Aran Benyishay

            squares and rectangles, but “nothing”? Doubtful.

      • holeplug

        Chip said he doesn’t use the pistol but they could easily run it with Foles next year if they wanted to. Don’t need a mobile QB to use it. Oklahoma St. used it with Weeden last year to a 12-1 record and he is about as mobile as Foles.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmSK6F3DN0E

        • Anders

          Yep, that was what i was trying to say

      • austinfan

        People are confusing the pistol, a formation which is really a variation on the shotgun that has the QB start closer to the LOS but allows the RB to be moving when he gets a handoff with the read option, in which the QB is a potential RB.

        You can run the read option out of the pistol, but you can put an immobile QB in the pistol the same way you line him up in the shotgun.

    • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

      Great precision passers are just as “freakishly” rare. It’s not an easy league.

      • ACViking

        Yes, accurate passers are hard to find.

        Accurate passers who can run are the rarest of breeds.

        But QB’s with decent accuracy and some pocket presence are out there.

        They tagged as the proverbial “game manager” — a perfectly okay title if your team has a great defense and dominant running game.

        5 years ago, that was okay.

        But the NFL has turned itself into flag football as NASCAR speeds.

        So the accurate QBs have a disproportionate impact on the game.

        There aren’t enough out there. Definitely agree.

        • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

          An athletic QB can give his arm a greater margin of error, so the same pinpoint accuracy and timing is not always required (kind of makes you think Steve Young is more amazing than Joe Montana, considering the degree to which he possessed both).

          The silver lining is that HS and college are producing more and better (and more athletic) QBs than ever before. But the process of filtering up to the pros is still random and gradual.

          PS: I think “flag football” is a bit off the mark when the NFL is arguably more violent and dangerous than it’s ever been — it’s those NASCAR speeds. I think the solution has to be reduced padding. That would slow the game down some.

    • shah8

      I generally object to this reasoning. A QB is supposed to be an athlete. That generally means good frame, strong arms, strong legs. The constant prattling about “reading the field” or being “smart” is a waste of time. Guys with strong arms don’t have to throw people open, and that’s a good thing. If you don’t have to make demands on your QB to do full field reads because your WRs are crap, that’s a good thing. Anquan Boldin really showed up, and he was a key reason for Flacco’s success. Terrell Owens was a star because he gets open! The fewer decisions a QB has to make, the better.

      Besides, in the end, the main reason these young guys are playing are because of their arms, forget the pistol or the rushing nonsense.

      Ultimately, people will give to the inevitable, and concede that part of the QB’s job is to be a decent rushing threat, at least (and players like Mallet and Foles has no real future as starters, in part, because of their legs). Also that QBs without strong arms cannot really win in the postseason, absent shutdown defenses. The Texans will have to move from Schaub, for example, if they want real postseason drives.

      • Ark87

        Yep, San Diego let go of a short, near-immobile QB with arm concerns in favor of a bigger, faster, younger guy with a strong arm. Great move. Talent evaluation isn’t just about measurables. If you start writing people off because they lack ideal size, or speed, or arm strength or what have you, and you are going to miss a lot of gems. There simply are not 32 Steve Young’s available any given year. If you aren’t lucky enough to have one, you have to make due with whatever brand of good QB you can get.

        • shah8

          Rivers was an upgrade in some ways, and Brees is one of the few QBs who’ve significantly improved his arm strength. Rivers was not faster.

          • austinfan

            Rivers was an upgrade???
            In what universe?

            Now there were injury concerns with Brees, but as far as playing QB, no comparison.

          • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

            Compared to what Brees left behind in SD, not what he became in NOLA.

            It’s actually an interesting point and not all that absurd.

          • holeplug

            Brees is a little better but Rivers gets way underratted b/c he’s been stuck with lolNorv and AJ Smith the entire time. Hes a very good QB.

            adjusted net yards / per attempt (any/a) since brees to NO
            rivers: 6.94
            brees: 7.27

    • P_P_K

      Great research on the Eagles mojo influencing SBs. I heard somewhere that all the drummers in Spinal Tap were Eagles seasons-ticket holders.

    • eagles2zc

      Point taken on the scarcity of QB who can both run and be accurate. And I doubt Chip would design a system unfit for the starting QB. Ravens won with a classic drop back QB because of their commitment to the running game. It was good to see running attacks gain the upper hand over finesse passing this past playoffs

    • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

      You can only draft players that exist.

      Since more and more colleges are running that offense, I have also noticed that there are tons of High School guys who can do that.

      Previously the better athletes would be moved to other positions, but now there are places for them to stay at QB.

      Guys like Champ Bailey were High School QBs that got moved over to CB to take advantage of his athletic ability. If he had a college coach who would have worked him into the offense he possibly could have been one of those guys.

      RG3 could have been a CB or a WR and probably had some real success at that spot.

      There has been a trend to rotate RBs where in the not too distant past you wanted one guy. I wonder if we start doing that with QBs.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    The first 4+ games of last year, I actually looked forward to our defense taking the field. They were playing that well.

  • A_T_G

    As for a veteran leader in the secondary, would anyone have objections for most likely over-paying for Ed Reed? He wants to continue playing and the franchise tag will probably go to Flacco, so he could become available. He is aging, but could bring in the attitude that we need.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aran.benyishay Aran Benyishay

      I don’t think overpaying is what we need right now. We’ve had a history of that in the recent years and we’re going to be scheming differently on both offense AND defense. We needs our money for other things.

    • holeplug

      I don’t think he would want to come to a 4-12 team but obviously yes.

    • bdbd20

      I don’t see him leaving, but Cary Williams may be a nice option at CB. If we get Monachino, Ellerbie would also be a nice fit to help teach the scheme.

    • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

      I think it’d be a waste to some extent. He’d probably only do a one year deal and I don’t think we’re going to be making a deep playoff run or anything close to that next year.

      • A_T_G

        I wasn’t think in terms of the final piece, but rather an on field general to develop the young guys. Sort of like what Denver did a few years back with some veteran safety.

        • TommyLawlor

          Quinton Demps went to Houston. Don’t you know anything?

        • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

          Even Dawk couldn’t make Raheem Moore better than terrible.

  • http://twitter.com/Gator_Hokie Bob Brewer

    Baltimore is the champ, yet they were a competent Denver safety away from being knocked out by Denver and having all the talking heads discuss how Baltimore can’t win on the road.

    Need good fortune too to win a title.

    • D3Keith

      This is pretty true, re: fortune.

      Rahim Moore horribly misplayed that ball to Jacoby Jones and clearly lacked situational awareness, but is he incompetent 24-7? I didn’t watch enough Broncos this year to know.

      • http://twitter.com/Gator_Hokie Bob Brewer

        I don’t know, but I think you could argue that Moore was very incompetent on that play. That might have been a worse play than any of the Eagles’s safeties made this year and that is saying something.

  • T_S_O_P

    Tommy, knowing your thoughts on Henry II, where do you stand on Dickie III on the day of confirmation of his official rediscovery?

    • austinfan

      Poor Dickie got a bum rap cause Willie S was sucking up to his Tudor patrons (and wanted to keep his head).

      • T_S_O_P

        Really? Yet he was favourable in his writing to his kin. I’d say popular opinion at the time of a man known to have been effected by scoliosis, who lost his wife and child after he had taken the crown, and who lost in battle would have been judged evil; otherwise why would God have blighted him so?

    • TommyLawlor

      I think he’s just trying to get close to Kate Middleton. I’d come back from the dead for her.

  • ACViking

    Anders . . . you rightly chided my loose use of “pistol formation”.

    It’s not a philosophy.

    But it’s the formation out of which the assets of passing QBs who can run are maximized.

    I would have more accurately made my point if I’d said that passing QBs who can run — out of whatever formation the coach wants to use — are rare birds.

    Thanks for pointing that out. Sloppy work by me.

  • southjerseybob@gmail.com

    Leave a message…

  • austinfan

    I think we’ll see defense back in the playoffs in the future.

    These things go in cycles, the colleges are turning out better passers, but the league is starting to allow more contact by DBs.

    Look for defenses to go stout up the middle but smaller and faster on the edges, draft and move better athletes to safety and contest more passes, especially in the red zone. Stopping the run is less important these days than generating negatives plays and shutting down the pass in the red zone.

    • ceteris_paribus1776

      Inthinknitndepends on what you mean by we’ll see it back in the playoffs. Unless there are more rule changes I think offense will continue to rule supreme. This has been a slow moving shift for about the last 7 or 8 years. All else equal of course you’ll see stronger defenses in the playoffs than not, but Indont thin you’ll see a team that is much stronger defensively than it is offensively win it all. Have to be good at both today.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.wagaman.3 Jeffrey Wagaman

        Wow I read your first words as “In thin knit n depends” and thought you were replying to someone on the message board or it was a very bad fashion statement.