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  #51  
Old 12-09-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
The Packers are 10-3. I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but they sure don't feel like a 10-3 team to me. Neither the offense nor the defense seem to be able to play consistently.
They're beating bad teams, and, earlier this year, they beat some pretty good teams. The Niners loss was ugly and bad and they're not blowing the bad teams out, but that happens over the NFL season.

They're relying on the running game a lot more, which should help them in the playoffs. But I have yet to see Aaron Rodgers looking like the Aaron Rodgers of old (other than the great job at limiting int's). He's still very, very good, but not really dominate this year. At this point, I think the blame for that clearly falls on Lafleur. The quick starts on offense is great, but the passing game quickly falters after that.

On defense, they're very aggressive, which is a nice change, but boy could it cause problems against good teams, especially in the playoffs. I am concerned that they're way too turnover dependent as a defense. They're in the bottom half of yards given up, which, again, may not bode well for the playoffs.

Division rivals next three games. I'll be very upset if they lose to the Bears or Lions. The Vikings will be a good test.

Some teams and players (like the Patriots) have the ability to find another gear in the playoffs. I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers and the pass offense is one of those.
  #52  
Old 12-09-2019, 09:19 AM
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In the mostly meaningless prop-bet department, if 24 hours ago someone had offered to bet that Brady would gain not only more rushing yards than Mahomes, but more than three times as much, what odds would they have gotten?
  #53  
Old 12-09-2019, 09:42 AM
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I know no one will have any sympathy for the Patriots, but they got royally screwed by the refs on at least three plays, four if you count a spot challenge.

KC on 3rd and 6, spotted at the 40, when the receiver didn't get there, loose challenge.

Kelce fumble, called dead when Gilmore had a very good chance of scoring. Use last challenge.

Clear touchdown, ruled OOB, but they have no challenges left.

Obvious DPI, but again, no challenges.
  #54  
Old 12-09-2019, 09:56 AM
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In the last seven games, the Ravens have beaten the Seahawks, Patriots, Texans, Rams, 49ers, and Bills. (And the Bengals, but that doesn't really count this year.) In non-Ravens games, those 6 teams are a combined 56-17, and 7 of those 17 losses are to other teams in that same group.

Baltimore certainly hasn't looked bulletproof over the past couple of weeks, and they could have lost to the 49ers and the Bills if a few plays had gone differently, but at the very least they look like they can hold their own against any team, and on a good day they can win comfortably against even the best teams. I'm hoping for a deep playoff run.

Last edited by mhendo; 12-09-2019 at 09:56 AM.
  #55  
Old 12-09-2019, 10:12 AM
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I would've never guessed that I'd be so bored and unimpressed by the Browns winning 4 out of their last 5 games, which is not something that happens often.

And even if they win out, and finish 9-7, their odds of snatching a playoff spot is under 30%.
Maybe I'm dumb, but I don't understand why Kitchens, against one of the worst run defenses in the league, ran the ball a whole 8 times in the first half of the game.

I don't understand why Mayfield throws the training staff under the bus to appease OBJ.

I guess I don't understand the Browns at all.
  #56  
Old 12-09-2019, 10:51 AM
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Maybe I'm dumb, but I don't understand why Kitchens, against one of the worst run defenses in the league, ran the ball a whole 8 times in the first half of the game.

I don't understand why Mayfield throws the training staff under the bus to appease OBJ.

I guess I don't understand the Browns at all.
I think the key to understanding the Browns is that itís a team with a lot of talented players and awful coaching. That explains almost everything you see, from inexplicable game plans to a lack of discipline. That falls on Kitchens.
  #57  
Old 12-09-2019, 11:12 AM
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I think the key to understanding the Browns is that itís a team with a lot of talented players and awful coaching.
I'd take it up a level. The Browns are a team that currently has talented players but awful coaching but have, at times over the last 20 years, had talented players and/or talented coaches but always a single constant - impatient, stupid ownership.

The Browns are in that situation where they really need 3-4 years of stability but their front office and/or coaches generally only get 1-2 years. Either the GM or coach gets replaced nearly every season and neither has lasted more than 3 seasons in nearly 20 years.

The last time the Browns had concurrently the same GM and coach for 4 straight seasons was Bill Belichick (who was the de facto GM in Cleveland just as he is the de facto GM in New England). Let that sink in. And even there, they may have cut him short - a lot of the assistants and front office personnel of the period thought Belichick had finally gotten the Browns to the level of regular contention when he got the axe.

Jimmy Haslam claimed early on that he wanted to replicate the Steelers model and have front office/coaching stability and build success that way. He repeated that concept several times over the years claiming that "this" time, he meant it. That never materialized. Well, words are cheap.
  #58  
Old 12-09-2019, 11:24 AM
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In the last seven games, the Ravens have beaten the Seahawks, Patriots, Texans, Rams, 49ers, and Bills. (And the Bengals, but that doesn't really count this year.) In non-Ravens games, those 6 teams are a combined 56-17, and 7 of those 17 losses are to other teams in that same group.

Baltimore certainly hasn't looked bulletproof over the past couple of weeks, and they could have lost to the 49ers and the Bills if a few plays had gone differently, but at the very least they look like they can hold their own against any team, and on a good day they can win comfortably against even the best teams. I'm hoping for a deep playoff run.
I rarely get caught up in hype and when I do it's usually for something or someone completely different from what everybody else gets caught up in hype about. But the Ravens are on a roll. I'd this point I'd be surprised if they don't make it to the S.B. next February (and my pick to play against them is a team they just beat: the San Francisco 49ers).
  #59  
Old 12-09-2019, 11:25 AM
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They're beating bad teams, and, earlier this year, they beat some pretty good teams. The Niners loss was ugly and bad and they're not blowing the bad teams out, but that happens over the NFL season.

They're relying on the running game a lot more, which should help them in the playoffs. But I have yet to see Aaron Rodgers looking like the Aaron Rodgers of old (other than the great job at limiting int's). He's still very, very good, but not really dominate this year. At this point, I think the blame for that clearly falls on Lafleur. The quick starts on offense is great, but the passing game quickly falters after that.

On defense, they're very aggressive, which is a nice change, but boy could it cause problems against good teams, especially in the playoffs. I am concerned that they're way too turnover dependent as a defense. They're in the bottom half of yards given up, which, again, may not bode well for the playoffs.

Division rivals next three games. I'll be very upset if they lose to the Bears or Lions. The Vikings will be a good test.

Some teams and players (like the Patriots) have the ability to find another gear in the playoffs. I'm hoping Aaron Rodgers and the pass offense is one of those.
I'm not particularly impressed with the Packers this year, either. Matter of fact I think Minnesota is going to beat them out for the N.F.C. North title.
  #60  
Old 12-09-2019, 11:30 AM
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I already have the N.F.C. playoffs mapped out in my head: first round - Seattle @ Arlington in a playoff re-match from last year and Green Bay at Minnesota (personally I would keep division rivals apart in the playoffs for as long as I can but that's not how the NFL sees it, so. . .)

Conference semis: Seattle @ San Francisco and Minnesota at "Nawlins"

Conference championship: "Nawlins" @ San Francisco

N.F.C. representative in next year's S.B.: San Francisco
  #61  
Old 12-09-2019, 12:15 PM
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I think the key to understanding the Browns is that itís a team with a lot of talented players and awful coaching.
At first I read that as "tainted players".

I'd figured on Odell Beckham* wanting out of Cleveland within two years, but the revelation that he's been pleading with opposing players/coaches to get him out of there was just a mite unexpected.

*From yesterday's Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Beckham also admitted that he's bottled up his frustration this season and "there's definitely been a concerted effort by me just to keep myself in check.""

  #62  
Old 12-09-2019, 12:35 PM
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Looks like the Bears maybe turned things around just in time to run into Packers-Chiefs-Vikings down the stretch. At least now if they make the playoffs they can certainly say they earned it.
There's no way they make the playoffs. Maybe they still have a mathematical chance still but that will end soon. They're just not a very good team, mainly because of their offense. Plus the NFC is really tough this year and they have two teams in their division that are much better than them. Even the wild card teams in NFC could have 11-12 wins.
  #63  
Old 12-09-2019, 01:19 PM
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There's no way they make the playoffs. Maybe they still have a mathematical chance still but that will end soon. They're just not a very good team, mainly because of their offense. Plus the NFC is really tough this year and they have two teams in their division that are much better than them. Even the wild card teams in NFC could have 11-12 wins.
Either Seattle or San Francisco will be a wild card. Unless Seattle loses every regular season game for the rest of the year (unlikely with both the Panthers and Cardinals on the schedule) theyíll be at 11 or better. San Francisco is already at 11.

I expect either the Packers or Vikings to win the north, and the other to get the other wild card spot. They are at 10 and 9 wins, respectively. The Vikings play the Chargers, Packers, and Bears. The Packers play the Bears, Vikings (duh) and Lions. Iíd be surprised if either team finishes with fewer than 11 wins.

Itís not a certainty but itís a very good bet that both wild card teams will be at 11+ wins. Making the NFC East seem even more pitiful at this point.
  #64  
Old 12-09-2019, 03:49 PM
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Either Seattle or San Francisco will be a wild card. Unless Seattle loses every regular season game for the rest of the year (unlikely with both the Panthers and Cardinals on the schedule) theyíll be at 11 or better. San Francisco is already at 11.
There is a possibility that both teams will have records of 12-3 when they play each other in Week 17.

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I expect either the Packers or Vikings to win the north, and the other to get the other wild card spot. They are at 10 and 9 wins, respectively. The Vikings play the Chargers, Packers, and Bears. The Packers play the Bears, Vikings (duh) and Lions. Iíd be surprised if either team finishes with fewer than 11 wins.
Both of them could finish 12-4. And, at 12-4, they could be the #3 and #6 seeds.

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Itís not a certainty but itís a very good bet that both wild card teams will be at 11+ wins. Making the NFC East seem even more pitiful at this point.
I will be surprised if the NFC East winner finishes with more than 8 wins.
  #65  
Old 12-09-2019, 04:01 PM
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The NFC is very weird this year. 2 strong teams in each of the North and West, the Saints being the only good team in the South and everyone in the East stinks. The AFC has more of a normal distribution to me.
  #66  
Old 12-09-2019, 04:11 PM
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The NFC is very weird this year. 2 strong teams in each of the North and West, the Saints being the only good team in the South and everyone in the East stinks. The AFC has more of a normal distribution to me.
If things were as they should be then the N.F.C. playoff teams this year would be: San Francisco, Seattle, the Rams, Minnesota, Green Bay, and "Nawlins." But since the N.F.L. insists that division winners are guaranteed a playoff spot (and at least one home game in the playoffs, even) then ONE of those other teams (probably the Rams) is going to be left out of the mix.
  #67  
Old 12-09-2019, 04:58 PM
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The Browns are in that situation where they really need 3-4 years of stability but their front office and/or coaches generally only get 1-2 years. Either the GM or coach gets replaced nearly every season and neither has lasted more than 3 seasons in nearly 20 years.

The last time the Browns had concurrently the same GM and coach for 4 straight seasons was Bill Belichick (who was the de facto GM in Cleveland just as he is the de facto GM in New England). Let that sink in. And even there, they may have cut him short - a lot of the assistants and front office personnel of the period thought Belichick had finally gotten the Browns to the level of regular contention when he got the axe.
They were stuck with Hugh Jackson for three years because, hey, you can't fire a coach after a year or two, right? That's the move of an unstable, failing franchise.

And now Kitchens is pretty bad, and you're advocating for firing him after one year, and yet you try to shame them in the next sentence by trying to say that firing a coach that fast is dysfunctional.

Would keeping Hue for 4 years have brought success?

You're getting cause and effect reversed. Some coaches last a long time because they're good coaches. They don't become good coaches because they were given a lot of time. The Browns have consistently hired the wrong coaches, and after they were unsuccessful, had to fire them and try again.

The only guy who didn't get enough time was Rob Chudzinski and I don't really know what happened there. Everyone else was fired after it was clear they weren't head coaching material, and it was generally proved to be correct - they found no success elsewhere.
  #68  
Old 12-09-2019, 05:30 PM
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If things were as they should be then the N.F.C. playoff teams this year would be: San Francisco, Seattle, the Rams, Minnesota, Green Bay, and "Nawlins." But since the N.F.L. insists that division winners are guaranteed a playoff spot (and at least one home game in the playoffs, even) then ONE of those other teams (probably the Rams) is going to be left out of the mix.
Yeah the Rams are a really good team that likely wonít make it to the postseason, to make way for a bad team to play instead.

Such is the NFL. It has happened before and will happen again.
  #69  
Old 12-10-2019, 11:11 AM
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Yeah the Rams are a really good team that likely wonít make it to the postseason, to make way for a bad team to play instead.
I'm perfectly happy to see the Rams not make the playoffs. But NOT in favor of a clearly so-so Cowboys team.

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Such is the NFL. It has happened before and will happen again.
Unless the N.F.L. ever sees fit to revamp its playoff structure - yes.
  #70  
Old 12-10-2019, 11:59 AM
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I rarely get caught up in hype and when I do it's usually for something or someone completely different from what everybody else gets caught up in hype about. But the Ravens are on a roll. I'd this point I'd be surprised if they don't make it to the S.B. next February (and my pick to play against them is a team they just beat: the San Francisco 49ers).
I am rooting for the Ravens.
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  #71  
Old 12-10-2019, 01:10 PM
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And now Kitchens is pretty bad, and you're advocating for firing him after one year, and yet you try to shame them in the next sentence by trying to say that firing a coach that fast is dysfunctional.
First, I didn't actually advocate for firing Kitchens. I only noted he's not currently doing a good job. Many said the same of Belichick in Cleveland after 1 season. Maybe he turns it around. Maybe not.

I'd actually prefer they kept Kitchens for at least 1 more season. There are plenty of good coaches with lousy first seasons. And plenty of flash in the pan coaches with a great 1st season followed by mediocrity.

Unless there's a felony involved or a complete uprising by the players against the coach, firing Kitchens right now is just more of the same from a dysfunctional franchise.

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Would keeping Hue for 4 years have brought success?
Absolutely not, but this comes to the other part of it. Hue Jackson was foisted on the front office by Jimmy Haslam, who fell in love with his pick of coaches.

What I actually advocate is ownership gets its act together, which maybe they did, if reports are accurate that Dorsey was the prime mover behind the Kitchens hire.

A GM and head coach work in tandem. What the Browns have consistently failed to do is get that. They get married to a head coach, keep the coach, dump the GM, fall out of love with the coach, keep their GM, get a new head coach, ad nauseum.

And rather than letting either the coach pick a GM to work with or letting the GM pick the coach, it's been Jimmy Haslam saddling either his current HC or GM with his own pick. And they end up with a lost season or two while the two figure out how to work together. Or rather, don't figure out how to work together and end up getting fired.

This time, Dorsey got his pick. And now it's time to give that decision time to work. Maybe it doesn't. Actually, most of the time it doesn't work. But the best hope a team has is not to keep alternating GMs and HCs with tons of owner intervention. And that's still going to fail most of the time, but it's better than the alternative.
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