Good news: the Broncos have a bye, that means I get another week before I have to learn how to spell Demaryius!
At the end of the Bengals-Texans game, one of the NBC announcers boasted “that was Arian Foster’s 40th touch today.” Is he busting out the old insufferable Run to Win argument? (Example: “team X is 37-3 the last forty times their running back got 30 carries or more!” usually illustrated with an on-screen graphic displaying as much.) Are there still people out there who aren’t aware that FO debunked that myth long ago?
There may be actual NFL teams that still believe that–the Bills just created an analytics department this week. I’ve followed the development of advanced statistical analysis in football for years, and despite what Bill Polian might think, the field has reached maturity and can provide some intriguing results. It certainly can’t hurt the situation in Buffalo, but how much can it help?
The main tenet of “Moneyball” is to identify inefficiencies in a market–maybe by finding and targeting undervalued players, maybe by adjusting their tendencies and playcalling on gameday–and exploit them. This works better when half the league isn’t already doing the same thing, exploiting the same advantages.
Wasn’t the Packers-Vikings game last week amazing? I was thinking this week, why wouldn’t the Vikings just play Joe Webb at QB? It’s not like Christian Ponder is doing much for them, and Webb might open things up for Adrian Peterson. NBC just reported that Ponder is inactive, and they’re going to do just that.
It probably can’t hurt. Even though the Vikings beat the Packers last week in Minnesota, I find them winning again in Green Bay unlikely even with Ponder at QB. They have nowhere to go but up. Running QBs tend to open up the field for the running backs behind him. Look at the Redskins this year: Alfred Morris is good, but he’s not second-best-in-the-league good, not without defenses keying on Robert Griffin. It even works when the running QB isn’t actually any good at running. Look at the Tebow-led Broncos last year; they led the league in rushing yards, and Tebow was the most ineffective runner in the NFL!
If you want some more actual strategy, maybe to learn something new about how offenses and defenses actually work, Mike Tanier broke down the read-option at SportsOnEarth, showing how the play works and how defenses should be trying to stop it. (Hint: don’t do what the Cowboys did in week 17. DeMarcus Ware looked like he’d never seen it before.) Both the Seahawks and Redskins should defend it better than the Cowboys did.
I remember being a little scared when Dallas hired Rob Ryan to coach their defense, but boy did he fail to get the Cowboys even close to ready to play this year. Cowboys fan can point to injuries and missing defensive players and cry about that, but it’s no excuse. Almost every team has to overcome injuries! The Redskins lost Brian Orakpo early in the year, but Rob Jackson, his replacement, has played very well down the stretch. Since every team suffers injuries every year, teams that win usually win on the strength of a roster with quality players from top to bottom, not just at the top.
Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall says playing the Seahawks will be “like playing ourselves.” A much better version of yourselves, maybe.
I like being able to just focus on one great game in the playoffs, rather than a regular season Sunday watching maybe one good matchup and a bunch of Broncos/Chiefs type blowouts. But the problem is now I end up watching more ads–I know I could mute them, but then I’d have to WATCH them instead of just listening for when the game comes back while I do something else–some ads are breaking new ground in the field of Broken Aesops. Like this ad that opened with a bold statement: This is the age of knowing your limitations. Okay, except it’s an ad for Viagra. Is this some kind of joke? Because I don’t get it.
You’ve seen this one before: a man asks who’s the guy on the couch? to his girlfriend. It turns out to be a 49ers fan explaining that he used to live there the year the 49ers won the super bowl. He watched every game from the couch. “It’s my lucky seat, man!” And the girl is into it, rhetorically asking “and you’re just coming over now?” as she’s grabbing him a beer.
Every time I see it I think dude, your girlfriend is all of a sudden hanging out with this guy she just met? Is that not a red warning flag? First off, let’s be very clear: if your girlfriend starts inviting some dude she just met when you guys are just hanging out, it DOES NOT mean that she’s sleeping with him. In all honesty she probably isn’t. But she’s thinking about it, consciously or subconsciously, and you’d better take it as a warning. She’s not getting something that she wants out of your relationship with her, and you’d better figure that out if you want her to stay with you. Whether you know it or not, your relationship is hanging on by a thread right now.
Look at the end of the 30 second version, he even has his arm around her!
At least it’s better than the other Budweiser ad. If the most haughty and condescending nasal voice is taken off a nerd and put on a jock, and made it say the proximity to the field simulates a parallel dimension from the bottle to the ball or some such bullshit. How about shut the fuck up, I actually enjoyed science class AND I STILL LEARN ABOUT IT TODAY BECAUSE KNOWING REAL THINGS IS FUN. IMaybe the ads were just meant for a different audience than me, I live in Colorado where we have clean water and dozens of microbreweries. I would never consider Budweiser’s formaldehyde-tasting beer in the first place.