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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Divisional round part 2

I hope that the playoff games to date have shut up the foolish advocates of re-seeding the playoff systems. I mean, with three games on the first weekend going right down to the wire, can they honestly pretend that anyone would have benefited from not granting home games to the division champions?

And the ease with which both New England and Seattle dealt with the winners of the wild card round further demonstrates that it doesn't really matter who is playing on wild card weekend, as the home teams on the divisional round are the better teams anyhow.

I was impressed by both the New England running game and the Seattle defense. I hadn't seen much of Seattle, and let's face it, it didn't take much to shut down Air Frazier this year. But their linebackers and secondary attack the receivers in a way that I haven't seen since the 2000 Ravens. They can definitely beat the Broncos; the Patriots might actually prove the more difficult challenge.

Some will complain that Russell Wilson didn't do much, but he did what he had to do when he had to do it. He looked like Fran Tarkenton at times, although to be a true Tarkenton scramble, the ball has to either end up a) a two-yard completion, or b) a touchdown. And while I'm glad that the Vikings got a nice bounty of draft picks in exchange for Percy Harvin, I couldn't help but feeling bad for the guy. He's a great player, but he just can't seem to stay on the field.

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99 Comments:

Anonymous bob k. mando January 12, 2014 12:05 PM  

wonder if Andrew Luck will ever get over his postseason jitters? that's a bad case of the yips.

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 12:21 PM  

No way in Hell Blount runs on the Seahawks the way he ran on the Colts. Hell even the lowly Titans ran on the Colts.

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 12:22 PM  

The Colts were really... really bad this year. The Colts won the worst the division in the NFL. 6 games against the two worst teams in the league... and a slightly below average team in the Titans.

Anonymous VD January 12, 2014 12:24 PM  

No way in Hell Blount runs on the Seahawks the way he ran on the Colts.

True, but Brady and his horizontal passing attack will work better against the Seattle secondary than Manning will. With Manning, it's not hard to envisage an untimely choke job. And Brady can deal better with the Seattle pass rush.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 12, 2014 12:40 PM  

Nate January 12, 2014 12:22 PM
6 games against the two worst teams in the league...



*shrugs*

so what? nobody ever holds that against the 49ers of the 80s and 90s NFC west. you going to assert that Montana and Young were really crap QBs because they got the equivalent of six bye weeks every year?

also, your math is wrong; *4* games against the two worst teams in the league.

Anonymous DaveD January 12, 2014 12:40 PM  

Every year we are told its "a passing league now” & every year a team with good defense, good run & timely passing wins.

Can someone tell me the last time a pass heavy team won the Super Bowl? The Giants a couple years back?

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 12:44 PM  

"so what? nobody ever holds that against the 49ers of the 80s and 90s NFC west. you going to assert that Montana and Young were really crap QBs because they got the equivalent of six bye weeks every year?"

Actually I've been on the record for pointing out that Montana is the most over-rated QB in NFL history. Far more so than even Brady.

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 12:45 PM  

I think you'd find that if you put the Niners in a different division they'd still have won it... outside of maybe the NFC East of that time.

The AFC South is the only division the Colts could've finished in the Top 2 of.

Anonymous VD January 12, 2014 1:05 PM  

Actually I've been on the record for pointing out that Montana is the most over-rated QB in NFL history. Far more so than even Brady.

On what basis could you possibly claim that?

Anonymous Mavwreck January 12, 2014 1:11 PM  

The AFC South is the only division the Colts could've finished in the Top 2 of.

I have to disagree, Nate. I think they'd have finished in the top 2 in the AFC East. I don't they'd have won the division, but they could have earned a wild card spot.

And did you see the NFC East this year? The Cowboys and Eagles weren't stellar, and the Giants...

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 1:12 PM  

The Colts were really... really bad this year.

Objectively, you cannot be bad, and go 4-2 against playoff teams, then win a game in the playoffs even if you get 6 free wins from your division.

--

I am having trouble parsing your statement Vox. If WC could seed to home games, the Chiefs beat San Diego in the regular season (which should have happened anyway) to clinch the #3 seed and play the Steelers in Kansas City, and the Colts end up in Cincy.

Anonymous Mavwreck January 12, 2014 1:13 PM  

Heh...meant that last sentence to end with and the Giants....<shakes head> but it got interpreted as an actual HTML open-element tag.

Anonymous Josh January 12, 2014 1:22 PM  

On what basis could you possibly claim that?

Nate believes Montana was just a system QB with a weak arm.

Anonymous Josh January 12, 2014 1:22 PM  

The AFC South is the only division the Colts could've finished in the Top 2 of.

NFC East, NFC North, AFC North, AFC East.

Blogger Cinco January 12, 2014 1:25 PM  

Brady overrated? Don't get me wrong I hate the Patriots too; but, that guy knows how to win with and without good WR's. You can question Montana, three is no question about Brady.

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 1:25 PM  

AFCS - 24 wins
NFCE - 28 wins
NFCN - 28 wins, 2 ties
NFCS - 31 wins
AFCN - 31 wins
AFCE - 34 wins
AFCW - 37 wins
NFCW - 42 wins

Nate is right about the AFC South being the worst division this year. But he is wrong about them losing in any other division. For example, if you move the Colts to the AFCW and the Chargers to the AFCE, the Colts still make the WC.

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 1:30 PM  

To further Clarify. The AFCW and S played each other this year. The Colts instead of going 6-0 against their division would have gone 3-1 against the South. The Colts went 3-1 against the West. It is unlikely they lost to KC at home, but lets say they do. That means their division record falls to 4-2. Oh and as a bonus because Denver was awesome in 2012 they no longer have to play the Patriots or Bengals. So they wouldn't be any lower than 10-6 in this alternate universe.

Anonymous wcu January 12, 2014 1:35 PM  

Nate, thought you were joking about Montana being overrated...but you're serious?

Anonymous bob k. mando January 12, 2014 1:38 PM  

Nate January 12, 2014 12:44 PM
Actually I've been on the record for pointing out that Montana is the most over-rated QB in NFL history.



well, you've got consistency anyways. good on ya.



Nate January 12, 2014 12:45 PM
I think you'd find that if you put the Niners in a different division they'd still have won it.



i didn't say they weren't above average. i said they had the perennial equivalent of 6 hot practices accounted to their win/loss record.

can you imagine if the Gibbs Skins or Tuna Giants had gotten the Gay Bay schedule year after year? i mean, for most of that time a 'bye week' wasn't even an official thing ( first scheduled bye was 1990 ). and the 49ers were getting six of them every year.

of COURSE they rolled through the playoffs. they were way healthier and rested than the teams out of, say, the NFC bEast ( Giants, Skins, Boys, Eagles, the Cards were a regular doormat ) who had been beating the ever living crap out of each other for half the season.

and on top of that, the Niners were waltzing into a first round bye every single playoff season.

talk about a fricking stacked deck. it's amazing they didn't win the NFC championship a lot more than they did.



VD January 12, 2014 1:05 PM
On what basis could you possibly claim that?



Nate logic is superior to all other logic.

if you had received any pedagogy in critical thinking you would know that this was self-evident.


Luck will do better if Indy ever gets him some offensive linemen.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 12, 2014 1:51 PM  

No way in Hell Blount runs on the Seahawks the way he ran on the Colts.

He wont, but the Seahawks' D has had two Achilles heel's this year. They give up too many first down's via penalty (maybe unavoidable with an aggressive defense in today's NFL), and they give up the occasional big run. But here's the really impressive stat: 20.1% of opposing team's possessions end in a turnover. The next best defense was 16%.

It's fitting they have a great secondary. Pete Carroll's first NFL coaching job was DB coach for the Bills. I don't know if Vox remembers this, but Carroll was the Vikings DB coach for most of the late 80's, back in the Joey Browner days.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 12, 2014 2:00 PM  

for reference, the Niners won the NFC West 13 of 18 years from 1981 to 1998 and were the wild card qualifier three of the years they didn't win the division outright. that only happens when the rest of the division is REALLY weak on a year in, year out basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nfc_west#Division_champions

Anonymous zen0 January 12, 2014 3:10 PM  

Pre-game there was a load of crap about how Newton and Kaepernik have so much respect for each other, roomed together at the scouting combine, and then Kaepernik mocks the hell out of Newton's patented td celebration after running the ball into the endzone.

Heh, heh.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 January 12, 2014 3:25 PM  

Wow, when Joe Buck thinks you're an asshole, you may just have a problem.
Never did like Boldin much, at Arizona, Baltimore or SF.
Carolina is done.
They don't come from behind like SF.

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 3:28 PM  

That decision to go for it on 4th and Goal instead of taking the 3 points is looming large as time ticks away on the Panthers.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 12, 2014 3:29 PM  

"for reference, the Niners won the NFC West 13 of 18 years from 1981 to 1998 and were the wild card qualifier three of the years they didn't win the division outright. that only happens when the rest of the division is REALLY weak on a year in, year out basis."

They still had to win their way through the playoffs against strongest teams from other divisions to win those SB rings.

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 3:44 PM  

That decision to go for it on 4th and Goal instead of taking the 3 points is looming large as time ticks away on the Panthers.

You can't assert that. The Niners being forced to use a limited portion of their playbook went 3 and out and Carolina got the ball back at the SF 30 to set up their only touchdown. For all you know they could be down an impossible (for them) hole of 6-23, versus a improbable hole of 10-23.

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 3:47 PM  

Wow if they are going to call that they should just declare the QB down in that situation. What BS

Anonymous Leatherwing January 12, 2014 3:51 PM  

That decision to go for it on 4th and Goal instead of taking the 3 points is looming large as time ticks away on the Panthers.

It was the previous three plays, all designed to allow Cam to do his Superman celebration, that should be remembered.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 January 12, 2014 3:52 PM  

Jeez.
This was such a great game in the first half, such a boring, uninteresting one in the second half.
Seattle v SF for a third time should be a great game, but I thought this would be one also.
If my theory holds, and the Chargers are up or close late, look for the stupid flags to go a-flyin'.
I don't see Denver's D stopping the NE "running" game.
I also don't see it doing much against either the Seattle or SF D.

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 3:56 PM  

I didn't say it was the wrong call or that I disagreed with the call, all I said was that with time ticking away in the 4th quarter and the Panthers at the time down 20-10 that 3 points they lost was looming large.

Anonymous Leatherwing January 12, 2014 4:04 PM  

Going for it on 4th was a great call - they held SF to 3-and-out, then scored 6 on the first play from scrimmage after the SF punt. But when they got to the goal line, the majority of their plays were designed to allow Cam to score. He was putting personal stats above the team winning. That is Newton's trademark. How many other QBs have personal celebration moves for first downs when their team is behind?

Anonymous bob k. mando January 12, 2014 4:14 PM  

patrick kelly January 12, 2014 3:29 PM
They still had to win their way through the playoffs against strongest teams from other divisions to win those SB rings.



yeah? i addressed that already. over the same 1981-1998 years that Gay Bay was tiptoeing through the NFC West tulips the Super Bowl was won by the *NFC East* eight times ( Redskins 3, Cowboys 3, Giants 2, cause the Skins are always before the Cowboys ). in two more years, the NFC East team lost in the Super Bowl ( the Iggles in 81 and the Skins in 84 ). for EIGHTEEN YEARS, if you wanted to be NFC champion you either won the NFC East or you were named San Fran / Green Bay / Chicago.

that's 55.6%. that's insane.

it gets even more ridiculous if bound your years to purposely make the NFCe look good. from 1971 to 1996 the winner of the NFC bEast went to the Super Bowl 16 times or 61.5% of the time.

give the Gibbs Skins or Tuna Giants or JJ Cowboys the Niners schedule. any ONE of those coaches would have curbstomped 5 Super Bowls.

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 4:20 PM  

SD beats Denver. Rivers will pick the sucky Denver defense apart.

Anonymous VD January 12, 2014 4:22 PM  

Cam Newton is not ready for NFL prime time. But it was ridiculous that Boldin wasn't flagged for the same head butt as the Panthers CB. I'm not a fan of Kaepernick, but he is definitely cooler and more in control than Newton.

Newton had no idea when to pull it down and run, or where.

Anonymous zen0 January 12, 2014 4:31 PM  

Its sure starting to look like Brady v Kaepernick in the SB

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 4:32 PM  

SD beats Denver. Rivers will pick the sucky Denver defense apart.

That would be fun to watch, but I think Manning will be able to match him score for score.

Blogger James Dixon January 12, 2014 4:32 PM  

> Luck will do better if Indy ever gets him some offensive linemen.

They're still owned by Irsay. Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 4:39 PM  

The Charger's front seven is pretty good, but their secondary is nothing to be afraid of, if Rivers and the offense can't control the tempo and flow of this game Denver could run away with this one.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 12, 2014 4:51 PM  

"any ONE of those coaches would have curbstomped 5 Super Bowls."

How many times did they meet the 9'ers in the NFC championship and win?

Anonymous patrick kelly January 12, 2014 4:56 PM  

Cowboys and 9'er fanboys deserve each other, should get a room......I'm not a 9'er fan, just like good football and give respect where it's due...(scritch)....give respect where it's due...(scritch)....give respect where it's due...(scritch)....give respect where it's due...(scritch)....

Anonymous Campbreeze January 12, 2014 5:02 PM  

If I were a Seattle defensive back and I knew the referees were not going to flag me for grabbing/impeding down field/holding the opponent's receivers I would play them aggressively too.

They are talented but when the referees let them "play" they take it to a new level.

It will be interesting to see if they are allowed to play that way in the Super Bowl.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 12, 2014 5:17 PM  

If I were a Seattle defensive back and I knew the referees were not going to flag me for grabbing/impeding down field/holding the opponent's receivers I would play them aggressively too.

That's an ignorant comment. Seattle was called for the 2nd most penalty yards this year for both DPI and Defensive Holding. The refs aren't letting them get away with anything they're not letting anyone else get away with.

Blogger Cinco January 12, 2014 5:17 PM  

I think that the refs don't want to throw a lot of flags in the post season, because it slows down the game. Problem is, Belickeck hasn't even begun to exploit this yet; and, Darth Hoodie practically gave birth to abusing referees and the rule book.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 12, 2014 5:27 PM  

"Darth Hoodie practically gave birth to abusing referees and the rule book..."

I always figured the Evil Empire was based in Boston....

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 5:47 PM  

Whelp this game is about to get away from the Chargers. Their D isn't good enough to be on the field this much.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 12, 2014 5:51 PM  

I wonder if Sparklepunter would've made that tackle?

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 5:53 PM  

Considering how many return TDs he gave up I very much doubt it, probably would have thought it was rude to get in Decker's way.

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 5:58 PM  

looks I blew my prediction worse than the wind, which is taking away the long ball.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 12, 2014 6:00 PM  

Considering how many return TDs he gave up I very much doubt it, probably would have thought it was rude to get in Decker's way.

He may have enjoyed getting kicked though.

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 6:09 PM  

I've been surprised by how much the Broncos have dominated the Chargers at the line of scrimmage and how much more effectively they've run the ball compared to the Chargers. It's not just the wind, the Chargers are a very efficient offense at converting third downs, controlling field position, and not being in too many 3rd and longs which is all they've seemed to be in this game. Unless they can get back to playing their brand of football they won't win.

Anonymous Campbreeze January 12, 2014 6:15 PM  

Jack Amok:

"That's an ignorant comment. Seattle was called for the 2nd most penalty yards this year for both DPI and Defensive Holding. The refs aren't letting them get away with anything they're not letting anyone else get away with."

Did you watch the game Jack? The Seattle DBs grabbed the Saints receivers coming out of their breaks several times. They were called for it once, with 5 minutes left in the game.

Your stat compliments the main point I was making, if the game was called tighter the Seahawks (as some Seahawks games must have been by the stats) they would have been called more than once for grabbing receivers. Maybe they would have had to play differently. I expect their next 2 games will be called differently so let's see what they do then, especially against the Broncos or the Patriots.

I may be ignorant but not about this.

Cheers.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 12, 2014 6:30 PM  

patrick kelly January 12, 2014 4:51 PM
How many times did they meet the 9'ers in the NFC championship and win?



what part of "effectively 6 bye weeks" do you not understand? the POINT is that 16 games by an NFC East team at the time in question was an order of magnitude harder than prancing through the NFC West.

just as one example:
you know who ended Theisman's career? the Giants. now, just imagine if Joe's last name was Montana and his career ended in 85.

but i'll quote the numbers you want just because it points up the suck:
the Niners played for NFC champion 10 times, having home field advantage 7 times ( due to their marshmallow schedule ) and were still only 50%. they played an NFCe opponent 6 times and had their candy taken 4 times even though four of the six games were in Candlestick.

frankly, SanFrans playoff performance is not very impressive for having been 1st seed x8, 2nd seed x4 and 3rd seed once.

go on. give any single one of those NFCe teams 1st rnd bye + home field for eight years and see what happens.

they kicked the Gay Bay Prancers asses a majority of the time as it was.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 January 12, 2014 6:45 PM  

Chargers' D is soft, like I've been saying. The game plan was to put pressure on Manning via the scoreboard and game clock with extended offensive drives. Denver took that one thing away, betting that the Chargers' D couldn't beat them on the merits.
Denver was right.
Question is, will the Chargers score a single point?
I'm guessing no.

Anonymous ENthePeasant January 12, 2014 6:50 PM  

"True, but Brady and his horizontal passing attack will work better against the Seattle secondary than Manning will. With Manning, it's not hard to envisage an untimely choke job. And Brady can deal better with the Seattle pass rush."

Yep, very true! Everyone seems to focus on What the Pats need, not what they have. I would take Brady any day in a playoff game. He's got a knack.

Anonymous 11B January 12, 2014 6:51 PM  

Now that Seattle and SF will play for the NFC title, this will guarantee a black QB in the Super Bowl. Get ready for the hype and cheer leading by the media. Though Doug Williams already broke that ceiling in Jan 1988, the media will nonetheless treat this as historic. As Rush once said about McNabb, the media is desirous of a black quarterback doing well.

With the likely AFC QB being either Brady or Manning, the media will probably spin this as the last of old white QBs against the newer generation black QBs.

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 7:15 PM  

Something I noticed about Denver today is a pattern. I can't believe SD hadn't been noticing this long before. They draw an off sides and prevent false starts by a simple word from Manning. He can say "hut" as many times as he wants but the ball will never be snapped until he says Omaha.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 January 12, 2014 7:27 PM  

Brady v Manning.
Ugh.
Like watching Forman and Frazier trying to box in their 50s.
I just don't think I can care.
Maybe if the Chargers had abandon the run game in the third quarter, they'd have a prayer.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 12, 2014 7:38 PM  

Did you watch the game Jack? The Seattle DBs grabbed the Saints receivers coming out of their breaks several times. They were called for it once, with 5 minutes left in the game.

Of course I watched the game. It was called about the same as all the ones I've seen. Loser always complain about the refs. Sure, the NFL gives everyone plenty of opportunity to complain by having so many idiotic rules, but that doesn't make it any less obnoxious. The Legion of Boom plays defense like they want to win on the field, not the replay booth. What's wrong with that? You say "let them play" like it's a bad thing. They've been playing that way all year. You think my stats prove your point, but they don't. They prove mine. .Per-game, the Seahawks averaged 1.32 defensive holding + PI calls per game ( 0.59 defensive holding, 0.76 DPI). so 1 call this game is pretty close to average.

Here's a quote from Bruce Irvin: “Yeah Jimmy [Graham] is the guy who wants to get open in zones, find windows, and make easy catches. He doesn’t want to be physical. So our biggest thing was to put our hands on him and make him be physical. That’s something that he didn’t want to do and I think it was successful.”

1 catch, 8 yards. Game plan.

Anonymous Just Mark January 12, 2014 7:38 PM  

Pick Six and Manning's legacy is solidified. Pick 6 Pick 6 ...

Anonymous Jack Amok January 12, 2014 7:39 PM  

sorry, typo, 1.35 calls per game.

Anonymous Hotel kali sucks January 12, 2014 7:42 PM  

Told ya.

Anonymous David of One January 12, 2014 7:53 PM  

Omaha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Anonymous Will Best January 12, 2014 8:22 PM  

The officials miss about 60% of relevant holding penalties. The problem is when they unfairly favor one team over the other. This might be a function of which side of the field they are taking place on or coverage/schemes which might function to divert official eyes.

The other problem is the rules function differently for star players.

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 8:36 PM  

Omaha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Yeah and I think I know where they got it. From Omaha Beach June 6th 1944. Another fake is if he says Omaha twice Example (Omaha, Omaha, hut) it negates trying on third down and short to draw the defense off.

Blogger Outlaw X January 12, 2014 8:44 PM  

If you don't believe and recorded the game go look, it is crystal clear.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 12, 2014 8:51 PM  

Having officiated at the amateur level (I was paid, the player's weren't) I can definitely say it ain't an easy job. You're going to make a lot of mistakes, things just move too fast to always see what really happened (and the guys I was officiated for were no where near as quick as the guys in the NFL). I'd like to see the NFL revert to having only the most egregious things be penalties. i.e. grabbing a guy's jersey isn't holding unless the jersey actually stretches out. Allow bump-n-run coverage. In exchange. don't call Offensive PI for pushing off. Eliminate the "judgement calls" where it's really hard to expect a human being to consistently see what really happened. If only the most flagrant things are supposed to be penalties, there will be a lot less room to complain.

Anyway, it's kind of amusing for a Seahawk's fan to see other people complain about officiating. The reason the NFL has instant replay is because of a bad call against the Seahawks. Vinyy Testaverde was awarded a game winning TD against Seattle for breaking the plane of the 3 yard line. It was such an obviously bad call that even with a long history of bad calls, the NFL felt like they had to finally do something (BTW, the head ref in that game is the same guy who blew the coin toss in another game, and the guy who called the Music City Miracle play a lateral - you could call him a one-man wrecking crew, but he's really just first among equals) Plus the Seahawk's loss to the Steelers in SuperBowl XL generally makes the list of worst officiated games in NFL history.

Bad officiating sucks, and the more wacky rules the NFL adds, the worse it gets. But it's no excuse. Even in SuperBowl XL, the Seahawks still could've won if they hadn't had three critical defensive breakdowns. And we get our lucky breaks too (TopPot's TD "catch" against the Packers for instance). Bottom line, the less time the camera spends on the ref, usually the more interesting the game.

Anonymous ENthePeasant January 12, 2014 9:21 PM  

OK, I gotta hand it to Manning, he didn't let his control issues get in the way and allowed his teammates to run the ball and get the win. I was so irritated with him after the last loss to San Diego. The Broncos were running all over them and inexplicably Manning decided to stop running when they were totally in control of the game and go all pass all of the time. Instead of an easy win they had a big loss. But he seems to have learned... or the coaches are getting him under control. Whatever it is congrats to the Broncos, that was a team win.

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 9:35 PM  

"On what basis could you possibly claim that?"

Montana is the single greatest example of a system QB since Danny W. at Florida. The West Coast Offense requires a QB to do a very small number of very critical things... and Montana happened to be very good at exactly that one set of QB skills.

Do a quick youtube search for Joe Montana Deep Ball. Or just google it. It ain't in there.

The man had a limp dick for an arm.

Literally... Joe Montana... was a poor man's version of Chad Pennington. And don't give me an crap about Montana's rings... unless you want to argue that Trent Dilfer is better than Dan Marino and Fran Tarkenton.

Montana threw very accurate 5 and 10 yard passes. and I will go to my grave believing his single most famous completion... he was actually trying to throw the ball away and just didn't have the arm to get it done.

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 9:37 PM  

"for reference, the Niners won the NFC West 13 of 18 years from 1981 to 1998 and were the wild card qualifier three of the years they didn't win the division outright. that only happens when the rest of the division is REALLY weak on a year in, year out basis."

I don't disagree with this at all.

But the super bowl wins do indicate that they were a very good team...even if they were playing in a crappy division.

Anonymous Campbreeze January 12, 2014 9:40 PM  

Jack Amok, I didn't realize you were a Seahawks fan. Yes I am a Saints fan. I tip my hat to your team, they obviously have our number (in Seattle at least).

No I do not think the Saints lost because of the officials, but they did make it a little harder to come back into the game. The 10 yard punt after our first series and the fumble on our own 24 yard line a little later put Seattle in a position where they only had to run the clock out on the rest of the game, which they did. The officials didn't shank the punt or fumble. The Seahawks offense didn't have to take chances after that. Although in the 4th qtr when you needed a 1st down Wilson made a great throw. Again I tip my hat.

Yes Jimmy Graham is soft. Fun to watch when he plays zones, not so fun when people get up in his grill. He is a basketball player using his athleticism to catch passes in the NFL when he can run free or when it is a jump ball in the end zone.

You have to admit it was ironic when Lance Moore was called for pushing off in the 4th quarter after all the Seahawks DBs were doing up to that point.

I think the Broncos or the Patriots will get some calls in the Super Bowl and that could make the difference, if the Seahawks can't grab with impunity.

Blogger James Dixon January 12, 2014 9:42 PM  

> ...and I will go to my grave believing his single most famous completion... he was actually trying to throw the ball away and just didn't have the arm to get it done.

Hey, Nate and I agree about something in football. Is this yet another sign of the apocalypse?

Anonymous zen0 January 12, 2014 10:13 PM  

He's got a knack. d @ En the Peasant

He's got a Belichick

Drew Brees has Sean Payton
Kaepernick has Harbaugh
Wilson is stuck with carroll

There is a pattern.....who has a good coach relatioship who is also the most hungry?

Brees is out.

Manning is the Bureaucrat of QB's.
Brady is starting to feel white guilt.
Kaepernick is an arrogant upcomer.

Ok. I lost the thread. But there it is.

Anonymous zen0 January 12, 2014 10:24 PM  

@ nate:

he was actually trying to throw the ball away and just didn't have the arm to get it done.

Better lucky than good, but of course, you have to be good first to be in a position to be lucky.
No one wants to acknowledge how many athletic endeavors are decided by luck, or serendipity. It just would not seem fair.

Anyway, you are better off with a lucky-good QB than an unlucky-good QB.

Blogger Manuel January 12, 2014 10:30 PM  

Tarkenton wants the Vikings to draft Manziel.
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000311041/article/fran-tarkenton-hopes-johnny-manziel-plays-for-vikings

Thoughts?

And a Montana deep ball? Here ya go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtN9jVoJPuw

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 10:35 PM  

Yes. Now watch the clip in comparison to other QBs making the same throw. the ball takes forever to arrive. Rice has to practically stop to catch it. You're just proving my point.

Joe didn't have an NFL arm. He just worked in a system that didn't require him to make all the NFL throws.

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 10:35 PM  

Joe Montana's greatness wasn't about the fact that he won, it was how he won. Anyone who's ever watched him play will tell you that on the biggest stage in the biggest moments Joe Montana performed at the highest of levels. So what that he couldn't throw the ball 70 yards through the air, try putting a pass at ten yards right between the numbers every time. Accuracy is a highly underrated trait amongst quarterbacks. I've seen college kids throw 70 yards through the air, ask that same man to throw a ball so precisely that 3 inches in either direction means a pick or an incomplete pass. Plenty of quarterbacks wow with their arms or their athleticism, what's lacking is what made Montana great and that is the intangibles he had. You can say he didn't have an arm, but I would put money that Montana could have put the ball on Jerry Rice's numbers on the outside boundary between two defenders from 30 or 40 yards away. You can say a poor man's Chad Pennington, but I didn't see Chad Pennington lead the Jets anywhere and Joe Montana was the man who lead the 49ers to those championships. Trent Dilfer was not the leader of the Ravens, not even close. Championship rings matter, they aren't the end all be all, but there's a reason Marino will always be overshadowed and it isn't because Montana was the better passer, it's because Montana was the better quarterback when it mattered the most.

Anonymous zen0 January 12, 2014 10:35 PM  

Tarkenton wants the Vikings to draft Manziel.

Manzelle nor his agents want to go where he can't win a superbowl.

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 10:38 PM  

Also... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let the Vikings take Johnny Football... seeing Vox forced to cheer for the Next Farve is an 11 on the entertainment scale.

Blogger Nate January 12, 2014 10:49 PM  

"Accuracy is a highly underrated trait amongst quarterbacks."

What? Accuracy is the single most important characteristic that NFL prospects are judged on. What the hell are you talking about?

"You can say a poor man's Chad Pennington, but I didn't see Chad Pennington lead the Jets anywhere and Joe Montana was the man who lead the 49ers to those championships."

Oh bullshit. Joe Montana stood in there and threw passes to the greatest WR that ever lived. Winning Superbowls is about teams. Its nice an romantic to say that one guy lead the team to victory... but those teams don't need a special guy to lead them. Look at the talent on those 49er teams. Offense and Defense they were loaded. Pennignton was actually MORE accurate than Joe Montana. Montana only completely 63.3% of his passes... and he was throwing to Jerry FREAKING Rice. Pennington completed 66% of his passes... and ya know what? Outside of Keyshawn Johnson... I bet you can't name anyone he threw to.

Coaches lead teams. locker room leadership takes you only as far as scheme and talent can go. Otherwise... why didn't Montana lead Kansas City to the Super Bowl?

The fact is... Montana made a living throwing easy balls to the greatest WR to ever live. He was never anything special. Look at his numbers. 7 something yards a reception? same as Chad Pennington. 63% completions... Less than chad pennington.

CHAD PENNINGTON IS THE GREATEST QB OF ALL TIME!!!!!

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 10:51 PM  

Lavernues Coles and Jericho Cotchery to start, not Jerry Rice, but I know who they were.

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 11:04 PM  

I never said the 49ers weren't a talented team, I said that Joe Montana was the leader of that team and he was, no one on the 49ers would dispute that claim not even Jerry Rice. I think you are a remarkably intelligent person Nate, but I'll take my cue from Jerry on this one if you don't mind. Also accuracy has only recently become a highly coveted trait, Jamarcus Russell wasn't a terribly accurate passer coming out of college, nor was Matthew Stafford, or Mark Sanchez, the list is long of highly rated quarterbacks who were drafted with accuracy issues that coaches believed were based in mechanical problems they could fix. A quarterback was once drafted that had completed 47.8 percent of his passes in college, Spergon Wynn, look him up if you doubt me. None of those quarterbacks were drafted before 2000 when the process of scouting wasn't nearly as evolved as it is now imagine that process when a guy like Montana was drafted. As to your final point Pennington won how many Superbowls? How many playoff games? How about an easy one, how many division titles in a division that is remarkably weak? What's his record as a starting quarterback, touchdown to interception ratio. You seek to make this argument as one or two things, it is the totality of what Montana was and what he did that made him great not one or two particular things. Did he have great coaching? Yes. Did he have a great team? Yes, on both sides of the ball. But plenty of teams have had great coaches or great players and they didn't win four Superbowls let alone go 4-0 in the big dance. It is the entirety of who Montana was both as a leader and a player that made him and makes him great.

Anonymous G.Veil January 12, 2014 11:11 PM  

I never said the 49ers weren't a talented team, I said that Joe Montana was the leader of that team and he was, no one on the 49ers would dispute that claim not even Jerry Rice. I think you are a remarkably intelligent person Nate, but I'll take my cue from Jerry on this one if you don't mind. Also accuracy has only recently become a highly coveted trait, Jamarcus Russell wasn't a terribly accurate passer coming out of college, nor was Matthew Stafford, or Mark Sanchez, the list is long of highly rated quarterbacks who were drafted with accuracy issues that coaches believed were based in mechanical problems they could fix. A quarterback was once drafted that had completed 47.8 percent of his passes in college, Spergon Wynn, look him up if you doubt me. None of those quarterbacks were drafted before 2000 when the process of scouting wasn't nearly as evolved as it is now imagine that process when a guy like Montana was drafted. As to your final point Pennington won how many Superbowls? How many playoff games? How about an easy one, how many division titles in a division that is remarkably weak? What's his record as a starting quarterback, touchdown to interception ratio. You seek to make this argument as one or two things, it is the totality of what Montana was and what he did that made him great not one or two particular things. Did he have great coaching? Yes. Did he have a great team? Yes, on both sides of the ball. But plenty of teams have had great coaches or great players and they didn't win four Superbowls let alone go 4-0 in the big dance. It is the entirety of who Montana was both as a leader and a player that made him and makes him great.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 13, 2014 12:25 AM  

I didn't realize you were a Seahawks fan. Yes I am a Saints fan.

Well of course, with a nickname like "Campbreeze" I assumed you were a Brees fan. So am I (and so is Russell Wilson). And for a while, it looked like Pierre Thomas might salvage my Fantasy Football season, but alas, it wasn't to be. I like pretty much all the Saints except for Graham. Well, and I probably can never forgive Colston for what he's done to my Fantasy teams. Why I keep drafting him, I don't know.

I think the Broncos or the Patriots will get some calls in the Super Bowl and that could make the difference, if the Seahawks can't grab with impunity.

They went 13-3 in the regular season while their secondary was penalized more than any other team. 15% of the first downs they gave up were through penalties. Yet still only 3 teams managed more than 20 points against them. They'll win or lose based on whether their offense can put the ball in the end zone. That is especially true for next week. I hate the 49ers, but they're a dangerous team. I would absolutely love to see a repeat of Week 2.

A Seattle-Denver Superbowl would be most excellent.

Anonymous 11B January 13, 2014 1:09 AM  

The fact is... Montana made a living throwing easy balls to the greatest WR to ever live. He was never anything special. Look at his numbers. 7 something yards a reception? same as Chad Pennington. 63% completions... Less than chad pennington.

Montana was special. And he was special because he was clutch. He did not have the strongest arm, biggest body or fastest legs, but the guy had ice water in his veins and was clutch.

Down 34-12 with under 8 minutes in the game, he led Notre Dame to a Cotton Bowl victory and the National Championship.

He threw the clutch pass to Dwight Clark with under a minute left to beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship.

He won 3 Super Bowl MVPS and was 4-0 in the Super Bowl. In those Super Bowls he threw 11 TDS and no INTs. His cumulative passer rating in 4 Super Bowls is over 120.

Guys like Manning have better stats, no doubt. But Manning and other don't consistently come through in crunch time. Montana was at his best at crunch time.

Finally, he brought more excitement to Kansas City than any player since. Even with his broken down body, those two years as a Chief saw the incredible MNF comeback win in Denver that people in KC still talk about today, as well as their only playoff wins in twenty years.

We have had guys like Grbac put up big numbers, but then fold like a house of cards when the pressure was on.

Montana definitely was special. I'd put Brady in that category too.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 13, 2014 1:16 AM  

Nate January 12, 2014 9:35 PM
The man had a limp dick for an arm.



arm strength and accuracy is no more the sum total of a QB than the ability to scramble, option and bootleg.

hell, Daunted Culpecker had arm strength out the wazoo and pretty good accuracy. that didn't keep him from being useless in clutch situations.

just ask Vox.



Nate January 12, 2014 9:37 PM
But the super bowl wins do indicate that they were a very good team



i don't disagree with that. i'm just sayin, you put the Niners in the NFCe and you take away a minimum of 3-4 reg season wins EVERY YEAR. you take away 3 wins every season and they're going to lose home field advantage. and they're only 50% NFC champs WITH the #1 seed. imagine what happens if instead of seeding #1 eight times that they're playing in on the wildcard. Montana don't look so hot, now does he?

let's go back to 85 and Theismann. the Skins finished in a 3-way tie atop the NFCe at 10-6 but did not make the playoffs. the previous year, the Skins had won the conference so they got the most aggressive seeding in the 85 season.

who did they lose to? rolling into the 'leg break' game they were sitting at 5-5. they had lost *1* game to the Bears ( NFCc champ from 84 and this seasons Superbowl winner ) ... and four games to NFCe teams. subsequent to losing the greatest QB the Skins had ever had they lost *1* game ... to the reigning NFCw and Super Bowl champion Niners.

you get that? the only teams who could beat the Skins were other conference champs .. or they were from the NFCe. and even THAT wasn't always enough. with Theisman out, the Skins STILL beat the AFCc champ Steelers.

so, stated better, if you wanted to beat the Skins in 85 you had to be the sitting or upcoming SB champ .. or another NFCe team. anything less is just not gonna cut the mustard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Washington_Redskins_season

for this year, the Niners also went 10-6. go on, you explain to me how the Niners get double digit wins if they spend the 85 season in the NFCe. not gonna happen.

for the 1985 season as conferences, the top four NFCe teams won 37 games. the NFCw? 30, although the Rams actually put up a fight this year and won the conf with 11-5. so the Niners only got 4 bye weeks this season.



Nate January 12, 2014 10:49 PM
Joe Montana stood in there and threw passes to the greatest WR that ever lived.


true.

if not for Rice ( and the league getting more pass happy in 1990 ), people would be a lot more nuts about Art Monk. Monk either set almost every receiving record or would have ... had he not been cockblocked by Jerry Rice. in the 90s, Rice was actually hitting career records that overshadowed the ( what would have been ) records that Monk was setting.

as it is, many people probably don't even remember who Monk is. and, of course, with the receiving game being completely different nowadays you ain't crap if you don't have a 1000 yard WR. heck, we've even got TEs ( Gonzalez ) getting triple digit receptions these days.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Monk#NFL_Records

if Monk had played his entire career AFTER 1990? hooboy. i'm not saying he could have quite matched Rice ... but he wouldn't have been far off.

Anonymous ENthePeasant January 13, 2014 1:36 AM  

"PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let the Vikings take Johnny Football... seeing Vox forced to cheer for the Next Farve is an 11 on the entertainment scale."

Nate's running on about QB's again? I remember his proclamations on the greatness of Vince Young... that was very painful. But is it possible he's making his latest pronouncements on having learned from past failures??? Nope, not possible, he's still running on about the same old things. Montana was a great one. They didn't thrown long very often in the WCO, but... oh screw it, wasted my breath a few years back on this.

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2014 5:43 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2014 5:44 AM  

> He threw the clutch pass to Dwight Clark with under a minute left to beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship.

That's the pass Nate and I were talking about above. He didn't even know Dwight was there. He was throwing the ball away.

> subsequent to losing the greatest QB the Skins had ever had

Sammy Baugh would like a few words with you.

Blogger Nate January 13, 2014 7:46 AM  

"Nate's running on about QB's again? I remember his proclamations on the greatness of Vince Young... that was very painful. "

no. You don't. I hated VY. The most awkward moment of my football viewing career was VYs last year in TN when after 3 games he was leading the NFL in QB rating (which was a total fluke. As a 5th year starter the dude still forgot playcalls in the huddle. He was known to call plays that not only didn't exist... but involved terminology the Titans didn't even use.)

I think you're remembering my admiration of Steve McNair.

Blogger Nate January 13, 2014 7:52 AM  

"Also accuracy has only recently become a highly coveted trait, Jamarcus Russell wasn't a terribly accurate passer coming out of college, nor was Matthew Stafford, or Mark Sanchez, the list is long of highly rated quarterbacks who were drafted with accuracy issues that coaches believed were based in mechanical problems they could fix."

NFL teams fall in love with bad QBs all the time. Russel is a classic example but he's hardly the only one. Some coaches just love the big arm. That doesn't change the fact that accuracy has been measured and used as a measuring stick for going on 3 decades now. Is it the final trump card? for some teams it is... for some teams it isn't. But its very important to all of them. The difference is... you can't make a guy taller... but you can teach him better technique.

The point is...accuracy isn't under rated.

Blogger Nate January 13, 2014 7:58 AM  

"Down 34-12 with under 8 minutes in the game, he led Notre Dame to a Cotton Bowl victory and the National Championship."

Oh really? So... Joe Montana blocked that punt for a touchdown that got the rally started? Joe Montana forced the houston stop on the next possession? Joe Montana suited up for houston and shanked the next punt to give Notre Dame the ball in houston territory? Joe Montana stopped Houston when they went for it on 4th and 1 on their own 29?

or was it all one EPIC houston collapse? Because ya know... blocked punts... shanked punts... and bad coaching decisions really sort of seems like a team choking doesn't it?

Sorry to burst your little Magic Joe bubble.

Blogger Nate January 13, 2014 8:25 AM  

"That's the pass Nate and I were talking about above. He didn't even know Dwight was there. He was throwing the ball away."

Exactly. Joe Montana was like 5'8". He couldn't have seen Dwight if he were on a step ladder.

He was throwing the ball away.

That is to say... he was deliberately doing something that gave them no chance to win. He was making a TERRIBLE decision... and he got bailed out by a super human catch.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia January 13, 2014 10:34 AM  

I don't think the Vikes get a chance to draft Manziel, he will be gone before their first pick.
But, the Vikes do have the picks to trade up if they want.

Tarkenton 2.0

Houston makes the most sense, but don't know if they can work the trade back and don't think they have the cojones to take him first overall.

Manziel to the Vikes would make them a formidable offense.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 13, 2014 10:36 AM  

James Dixon January 13, 2014 5:44 AM
Sammy Baugh would like a few words with you.



Sammy was a fantastic player who played half the positions on the field.
" the only player to lead the league in passing, punting, and interceptions in the same season."

but you can't argue that Theismann had ( still has ) almost all of the Redskins career passing production numbers.

anyways, the more important part of my argument is that the Skins still went 4-1 after losing him.




Nate January 13, 2014 8:25 AM
Exactly. Joe Montana was like 5'8".



you kinda lost ~6" there, Nate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Montana
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/218730-nfl-how-height-and-weight-affect-a-players-performance-by-postion
either coincidentally or not, Brett Favre, Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Kurt Warner were all 74 inches.


in this pic, Montana looks a little taller ... but he's also closer to the camera so ... perspective.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ma73p1qSgZ1qm9rypo1_1280.jpg

doesn't matter though. there are plenty of other pics of Montana and Young standing side by side. they were the same height or close enough as makes no difference.

there's no way in hell that Montana was shorter than 5'-10" Flutie.

Anonymous G.Veil January 13, 2014 11:39 AM  

Sorry to burst your bubble Nate, but the play called for Montana to progress from Solomon to Clark using Jerry as a decoy on the play to fool the Cowboys. Solomon was covered and Clark was the secondary option on the throw. Montana fully admits he couldn't see over the Cowboys two defensive lineman one of whom was 6'9, but he knew where Clark was supposed to be and tried to throw to that spot in the endzone. Because he was off balance when he made the throw due to having to backpedal the ball sailed higher than he intended and Clark had to jump. Montana threw the ball so that either it was going out of bounds or Clark would catch it which is what you're supposed to do as a QB. Finally it was 3rd and 3 not 4th down which means even if the pass had been incomplete the 49ers would have gotten a final crack at it. The worst thing Montana could have done was take a sack or step out of bounds for a loss of yards because they were on the Dallas 6 and still could have picked up the 1st down without scoring and would have had 50 seconds to play for. You can say that Montana was trying to throw it out of bounds, but the play was designed for Dwight to be the secondary option and when Solomon was covered Montana progressed as he should have to Dwight. The worst thing you can accuse Montana of is making a poor throw because he was off balance while backpedaling and Clark made an athletic grab to bail him out, but Montana knew where Dwight should be and threw the pass so either his receiver got it or they had another chance on 4th down. Montana made the correct decision on the play and your attempts to dispute it are amusing since Dwight, Montana, and the play design all affirm his decision as the correct one.

Anonymous Gapeseed January 13, 2014 3:25 PM  

Tough to criticize Montana as a mere system quarterback when he holds so many accolades and Super Bowl titles. Yes, he had a nice system and coach around him, but how many quarterbacks could have maximized that particular opportunity? In baseball terms, he is comparable to Greg Maddux, who was unimposing physically but super smart with accuracy, touch and command (except, of course, that Montana was at his best in the clutch, which is something you cannot say about the otherwise-superlative Maddux).

As for Chad Pennington, let me speak as a Jets fan and say that there was a time early in his career when he was favorably compared to Tom Brady. They were extremely similar - super smart, accurate touch passers who commanded the huddle and did not back down from adversity. Unfortunately, Pennington's average arm became so significantly diminished with injury that teams began to crowd him, and he could not generate enough big yardage plays to offset his reduced effectiveness in the short passing game. Nonetheless, he was on a Brady-career arc early on, so diminishing Montana by calling him a poor man's Chad Pennington is one of the rare cases where a comparison is unfair to both subjects.

Anonymous GreyS January 13, 2014 6:19 PM  

Seattle's D is pretty impressive, but despite the hype Wilson is merely average or slightly above average. He scrambles a bit, occasionally throws a nice long ball, but there's nothing there which scares you or changes a game consistently. And he's an 'okay' game manager-- nothing special.

Lynch is very good against the softer fronts, but SF doesn't have a soft front. With Harvin likely being out, I don't see Seattle scoring much at all against the Niners. So that leaves the SF 'O' against the Seattle 'D'. Seems to me that Kaepernick is playing better and will throw well enough to keep the safeties honest and allow him to occasionally break free for some 1st downs and more. 49ers relatively easily: 23-10.

Terrible game planning by Whisenhunt spoiled a chance for the Chargers to beat the better team, but we can rest assured that Belichick and Brady noticed the Bolts carving up the Broncos secondary late. Now with Denver losing their (by far) best CB with Harris suffering an ACL tear-- that leaves the Broncos with Quentin Jammer and a rapidly aging Champ Bailey as starting corners. Charger fans know that Q hasn't been good for a few years now and all anyone needs to know about Bailey is that Jammer starts over Bailey. Anyone doubting that should look at Champ's tape from the last two seasons.

So figure that Belichick will stop Manning's passing attack enough to hold them to two touchdowns and two FGs. Add a dash of Manning choking. Then figure Brady carving up that Denver pass defense despite having almost no one to throw to-- still good for four TDs and three FGs. New England 37 Denver 20.

Blogger Nate January 13, 2014 8:24 PM  

"Nonetheless, he was on a Brady-career arc early on, so diminishing Montana by calling him a poor man's Chad Pennington is one of the rare cases where a comparison is unfair to both subjects."

When I say he's a poor man's Chad Pennington... its because I am well aware that Chad Pennington was actually a better QB than Montana was.

Chad's diminished arm was the equivalent of the apex of Joe's strength.

Anonymous G.Veil January 14, 2014 1:01 AM  

Pennington a better quarterback than Joe Montana.

How many rings?
How many playoff wins?
How many playoff appearances?
How many division titles?
Win-Loss ratio?
TD-INT ratio?
Career Passing Yards?
Does Chad Pennington even qualify for the top fifty in any significant quarterback statistic of all time?

Surely Nate if Chad Pennington was a better quarterback than Joe Montana you have something, anything better than "Chad Pennington could throw the ball further than Joe Montana, therefore Chad Pennington is a better QB". By that logic "Jamarcus Russell could throw the ball further than Joe Montana, therefore Jamarcus Russell is a better QB." Please I'm begging you to put some form of hard evidence up that Pennington was a better quarterback because if arm strength is the end all be all than you're going to be moving a lot of top tier passers down the list of all time greats.

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