Celebrating What Is

Ed Hillel

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They gave up what i remember to be almost an accidental touchdown to Pittsburgh the next week - Kordell Stewart looked like he was going out of bounds, the defense eased up and then he tightroped down the sideline another 30 or 40 yards for the touchdown. That was it. 3 points to Marino and 7 to the Steelers. And they would have had home field against Denver too in the AFCCG, if I remember it right.
Then, after stuffing Kordel Stewart on the 6 inch line on 4th and goal, they were driving for the winning field goal and Bledsoe got strip sacked by...Mike Vrabel.

Obligatory:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9wCPAiFnYo
 

Captaincoop

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This is his cumulative Super Bowl passing line:

16-27, 145, 1, 0
32-48, 354, 3, 1
22-33, 236, 2, 0
29-48, 266, 1, 0, 1 fumble
27-41, 276, 2, 1
37-50, 328, 4, 2
43-62, 466, 2, 1
28-48, 505, 3, 0, 1 fumble
21-35, 262, 0, 1
21-29, 201, 3, 0

276-421 (65.5%), 3,039 yds, 21 td, 6 int, 97.5 rating, 2 fumbles lost

So 8 turnovers, not 7 as I forgot one against the Giants in the Scottish Game.
I'm like a month behind on this thread...but is the safety against the Giants included here? That was such bullshit, a play that would be called a safety ONLY against Tom Brady.
 

Seels

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I'm like a month behind on this thread...but is the safety against the Giants included here? That was such bullshit, a play that would be called a safety ONLY against Tom Brady.
I'll live on this hill until I die. That is never ever called grounding. Brady especially seems to take 3-4x as many IG calls as any other QB in the league.
 

koufax32

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I'll live on this hill until I die. That is never ever called grounding. Brady especially seems to take 3-4x as many IG calls as any other QB in the league.
A theory: The Patriots offense was based upon both QB and WR reading the defense and altering routes accordingly. IG calls like the safety in the SB could easily happen if the QB throws the ball with anticipation before the WR breaks. If that WR goes the wrong way, the ball could be 30 yards from any receiver.
 

Captaincoop

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A theory: The Patriots offense was based upon both QB and WR reading the defense and altering routes accordingly. IG calls like the safety in the SB could easily happen if the QB throws the ball with anticipation before the WR breaks. If that WR goes the wrong way, the ball could be 30 yards from any receiver.
It just always seemed to me that the officials should give a ton of benefit of the doubt to QBs who make a throw like that, mostly for the reason you cite. When they turn and fire it 20 yards OOB, the intent is clear. Not so on a downfield pass.
 

BaseballJones

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It just always seemed to me that the officials should give a ton of benefit of the doubt to QBs who make a throw like that, mostly for the reason you cite. When they turn and fire it 20 yards OOB, the intent is clear. Not so on a downfield pass.
The rule, though, isn't written with "intent" in mind. It's just about the outcome. Which seems ridiculous because even the name of the penalty is "intentional" grounding.

https://operations.nfl.com/the-rules/2020-nfl-rulebook/#section-2-intentional-grounding

SECTION 2 - INTENTIONAL GROUNDING

ARTICLE 1. DEFINITION

It is a foul for intentional grounding if a passer, facing an imminent loss of yardage because of pressure from the defense, throws a forward pass without a realistic chance of completion. A realistic chance of completion is defined as a pass that is thrown in the direction of and lands in the vicinity of an originally eligible offensive receiver.

Item 1. Passer or Ball Outside Tackle Position. Intentional grounding will not be called when a passer, who is outside, or has been outside, the tackle position, throws a forward pass that lands at or beyond the line of scrimmage, even if no offensive player(s) have a realistic chance to catch the ball (including when the ball lands out of bounds over the sideline or endline). If the ball crosses the line of scrimmage (extended) beyond the sideline, there is no intentional grounding. If a loose ball leaves the area bordered by the tackles, this area no longer exists; if the ball is recovered, all intentional grounding rules apply as if the passer is outside this area.

Item 2. Physical Contact. Intentional grounding should not be called if:

  1. the passer initiates his passing motion toward an eligible receiver and then is significantly affected by physical contact from a defensive player that causes the pass to land in an area that is not in the direction and vicinity of an eligible receiver; or
  2. the passer is out of the pocket, and his passing motion is significantly affected by physical contact from a defensive player that causes the ball to land short of the line of scrimmage.
Item 3. Stopping Clock. A player under center is permitted to stop the game clock legally to save time if, immediately upon receiving the snap, he begins a continuous throwing motion and throws the ball directly into the ground.

Item 4. Delayed Spike. A passer, after delaying his passing action for strategic purposes, is prohibited from throwing the ball to the ground in front of him, even though he is under no pressure from defensive rusher(s).

Penalty: For intentional grounding:

  1. loss of down and 10 yards from the previous spot; or
  2. loss of down at the spot of the pass; or
  3. if the passer is in his end zone when the ball is thrown, it is a safety. See 4-7 for actions to conserve time inside two minutes of either half.
    Note: If the foul occurs less than 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, but more than half the distance to the goal line, the ball is to be placed at the spot of the pass.
 

simplyeric

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It just always seemed to me that the officials should give a ton of benefit of the doubt to QBs who make a throw like that, mostly for the reason you cite. When they turn and fire it 20 yards OOB, the intent is clear. Not so on a downfield pass.
But it's a weird benefit to doubt (or doubt to benefit). If I recall correctly, it was intentional grounding, in that TB was intending to thrown the ball away because the play was busted. I don't think there was an interpretation that was "well, he was intending to hit that receiver but he broke the other way". So then the question is, is it "legal" intentional grounding, or illegal intentional grounding: did his intentionally un-catchable ball end up somewhere such that we can nod and wink and say it wasn't intentional?

Edit: re-watching the play, I was confusing it with a different TB IG play, but still. It didn't seem like there was a credible receiver who just went elsewhere. I don't think there was a route down there.
 

jmcc5400

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My recollection is the Super Bowl safety fell within the letter of Intentional Grounding, even if it is rarely called. TB pretty clearly was trying to avoid pressure and threw the ball to vast empty space.
 

tims4wins

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Re-watching it (and knowing the Pats won 3x more, ha), I think I am ok with the call, even if it is rarely if ever called.

Same with the one at Seattle in 2012, actually. Didn't feel fair at the time - mainly because it is rarely called - but it seems to be the correct call.
 

Jimbodandy

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Re-watching it (and knowing the Pats won 3x more, ha), I think I am ok with the call, even if it is rarely if ever called.

Same with the one at Seattle in 2012, actually. Didn't feel fair at the time - mainly because it is rarely called - but it seems to be the correct call.
At the time of Brady's I said "shit, that's a safety" the second the flag came out. One can argue about whether that's usually called, but it was the right call.
 

BaseballJones

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The Seattle one made me angry because that happens ALL the time in NFL games and I've never ever ever ever seen it called except against Brady. Guy is feeling pressure so he wings it into the stands. Incomplete. Next down. But Brady does it and it's grounding? Come on.

The Super Bowl one I can see a little more though, again, I've never seen it called elsewhere ever.
 

tims4wins

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The Seattle one made me angry because that happens ALL the time in NFL games and I've never ever ever ever seen it called except against Brady. Guy is feeling pressure so he wings it into the stands. Incomplete. Next down. But Brady does it and it's grounding? Come on.

The Super Bowl one I can see a little more though, again, I've never seen it called elsewhere ever.
He actually didn’t even put it into the stands. I just watched it again. It lands a couple yards out of the back of the end zone. But similar to the Super Bowl one, there is no one close.
 

BaseballJones

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He actually didn’t even put it into the stands. I just watched it again. It lands a couple yards out of the back of the end zone. But similar to the Super Bowl one, there is no one close.
Right. Again, that happens regularly in the NFL. Never ever gets called. That's what made me so upset.
 

Silverdude2167

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Don't know where to put this and linking to a tweet not the article because the click bait is so strong with this ranking.

Imagine ranking the coaches you would pick with everything else being equal and putting Reid over BB... with your agreement being that the man with two defensive game plans in the HOF needs to prove he can win without Brady.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/ThePoniExpress/status/1409537503258890248
 

Bowhemian

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Don't know where to put this and linking to a tweet not the article because the click bait is so strong with this ranking.

Imagine ranking the coaches you would pick with everything else being equal and putting Reid over BB... with your agreement being that the man with two defensive game plans in the HOF needs to prove he can win without Brady.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/ThePoniExpress/status/1409537503258890248
Agree on Reid/BB.
But I have to ask: WTF is Matt LaFleur doing on that list? He's been a head coach for exactly 2 years. Sure, he has a great winning percentage (0.778) for his HC career, but again that's over 2 years.
 

Old Fart Tree

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Agree on Reid/BB.
But I have to ask: WTF is Matt LaFleur doing on that list? He's been a head coach for exactly 2 years. Sure, he has a great winning percentage (0.778) for his HC career, but again that's over 2 years.
I'm not stanning for LaFleur, but I think it's more just that the other coaches in the league suck out loud.
 

Captaincoop

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Putting anyone ahead of Belichick on that list detonates a nuclear bomb on your credibility as an analyst. Give me a break.

If you were going to take the NFL player pool next year and randomly distribute it across the teams, and you could pick one coach to win the championship, no one in their right mind would take any coach but Belichick. Now if the choice is Andy Reid and Mahomes, or Belichick and Cam Newton...
 

Old Fart Tree

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Yes; that's a 'who do I like better' list, not an actual 'gun to my head who can take his'n and beat your'n and take your'n and beat his'n.'
 

BaseballJones

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Putting anyone ahead of Belichick on that list detonates a nuclear bomb on your credibility as an analyst. Give me a break.

If you were going to take the NFL player pool next year and randomly distribute it across the teams, and you could pick one coach to win the championship, no one in their right mind would take any coach but Belichick. Now if the choice is Andy Reid and Mahomes, or Belichick and Cam Newton...
But that's how they did it. They linked Reid with Mahomes.
 

bunchabums

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Don't know where to put this and linking to a tweet not the article because the click bait is so strong with this ranking.

Imagine ranking the coaches you would pick with everything else being equal and putting Reid over BB... with your agreement being that the man with two defensive game plans in the HOF needs to prove he can win without Brady.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/ThePoniExpress/status/1409537503258890248
The most shocking part is that there are three guys named Sean on this list... And all in a row!
 

DJnVa

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But that's how they did it. They linked Reid with Mahomes.
So for years we heard things like "Is BB really that good or is it Brady?" and now we get Reid ranked ahead of him as a coach *because* he has Mahomes. Got it.
 

rodderick

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So for years we heard things like "Is BB really that good or is it Brady?" and now we get Reid ranked ahead of him as a coach *because* he has Mahomes. Got it.
I mean, Andy Reid does have as solid a career an HC has had in the NFL without all time QB play before Mahomes (Joe Gibbs aside). He had success with McNabb and Alex Smith as well, just not SB winning success. Of course, I'll agree he shouldn't be ranked over Bill, but I don't think you have to take just the Mahomes years to rate Andy Reid highly.
 

BusRaker

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Same as Tomlin is getting dinged for his declining QB play and roster. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Tomlin should even have been top 5 to begin with but to drop him from top 5 to 10 is not measuring his HC job performance independently
 

Bergs

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I mean, Andy Reid does have as solid a career an HC has had in the NFL without all time QB play before Mahomes (Joe Gibbs aside). He had success with McNabb and Alex Smith as well, just not SB winning success. Of course, I'll agree he shouldn't be ranked over Bill, but I don't think you have to take just the Mahomes years to rate Andy Reid highly.
Pretty sure absolutely no one is doing the bolded. Simply pointing out he's clearly #2 at best.

Same as Tomlin is getting dinged for his declining QB play and roster. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Tomlin should even have been top 5 to begin with but to drop him from top 5 to 10 is not measuring his HC job performance independently
Agreed. He's not that good an X's and O's guy, but he never was. Impossible to know for sure, but I do get the sense he's been exceptional at handling some pretty...interesting?...personalities. We've seen what happens when some of these guys leave the Steelers.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I don’t think most NFL reporters, let alone fans, really have much of an understanding of what NFL head coaches are or aren’t responsible for beyond looking at W/L record.

Which is why that list just reads like a list of the most successful NFL coaches in recent years, with more recent seasons weighted more strongly.
 

SMU_Sox

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I spent a couple of hours tonight going through OL rosters and it made me appreciate how good the Patriots have been with OL since BB got here. They know how to draft, produce, trade-for, and sign guys. It’s really remarkable how good they have been on that side of the trenches. I think it’s fair to say they have had the best offensive line performance of the past 20 years overall. That’s somewhat of a hidden advantage and one they have mastered. It’s also something I enjoy the hell out of watching . Aside from QB I think that has been their best and most consistent unit under BB. Celebrating what was, what is, and hopefully what will be!
 

Euclis20

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I spent a couple of hours tonight going through OL rosters and it made me appreciate how good the Patriots have been with OL since BB got here. They know how to draft, produce, trade-for, and sign guys. It’s really remarkable how good they have been on that side of the trenches. I think it’s fair to say they have had the best offensive line performance of the past 20 years overall. That’s somewhat of a hidden advantage and one they have mastered. It’s also something I enjoy the hell out of watching . Aside from QB I think that has been their best and most consistent unit under BB. Celebrating what was, what is, and hopefully what will be!
Special teams (all of it) has been pretty consistently good too, but agreed that they've really done a great job of acquiring and maintaining quality, above average offensive lineman over the last 20 years.
 

Cotillion

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I spent a couple of hours tonight going through OL rosters and it made me appreciate how good the Patriots have been with OL since BB got here. They know how to draft, produce, trade-for, and sign guys. It’s really remarkable how good they have been on that side of the trenches. I think it’s fair to say they have had the best offensive line performance of the past 20 years overall. That’s somewhat of a hidden advantage and one they have mastered. It’s also something I enjoy the hell out of watching . Aside from QB I think that has been their best and most consistent unit under BB. Celebrating what was, what is, and hopefully what will be!
Still think Dante Scarnecchia should hear his name called for the Hall of Fame... he he had a remarkable career at OL with any type of talent given to him...
 

SMU_Sox

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Special teams (all of it) has been pretty consistently good too, but agreed that they've really done a great job of acquiring and maintaining quality, above average offensive lineman over the last 20 years.
You are absolutely right. They have had top 3 STs many years according to Football Outsiders. It’s another great example of a hidden advantage we have been lucky enough to enjoy.

Excluding special teams for a minute… If we got down to super specific examples I’d nominate slot WR but that’s not really a unit as much as a position in the WR unit.

I think their weakest unit has been the RB room. That or edge. It’s tough though because their worst units have good examples of productive players. Another reason to celebrate when your bad is still good.

This might be a good topic for another thread. I think I’ll make it tomorrow: ranking the positional groups in the past 20 years.

We can skip QB. Think we all agree that’s #1.
 

Bergs

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TB12 made a lot of O-Linemen look really good by getting rid of the ball ahead of schedule for 2 decades. And by taking a perrenial pay cut to have a deeper team. Really tough to disentangle him from the positional piece.
 

tims4wins

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You are absolutely right. They have had top 3 STs many years according to Football Outsiders. It’s another great example of a hidden advantage we have been lucky enough to enjoy.

Excluding special teams for a minute… If we got down to super specific examples I’d nominate slot WR but that’s not really a unit as much as a position in the WR unit.

I think their weakest unit has been the RB room. That or edge. It’s tough though because their worst units have good examples of productive players. Another reason to celebrate when your bad is still good.

This might be a good topic for another thread. I think I’ll make it tomorrow: ranking the positional groups in the past 20 years.

We can skip QB. Think we all agree that’s #1.
Not sure we should skip position group. While Brady is Brady, the backup position hasn't consistently been strong, especially during the first 10 years (Rohan Davey?).
 

Van Everyman

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TB12 made a lot of O-Linemen look really good by getting rid of the ball ahead of schedule for 2 decades. And by taking a perrenial pay cut to have a deeper team. Really tough to disentangle him from the positional piece.
Yeah but on the other hand, they were excellent last season while Cam held the ball for roughly the length of a network sitcom. Plus, one of their worst seasons in memory was 2019. It’s def. not all Brady.
 

SMU_Sox

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The OL former players and guys who teach it now or write about it have said that the Patriots are one of the gold standards in the league for OL play and have been for years now. Yes Brady has helped but they’ve been good themselves. A lot of our guys when they go elsewhere get big deals. When you listen to agents, analysts, former pros talk about good landing spots for OL the Patriots are always mentioned. Brady is great but so is the line.
 

BaseballJones

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It may have not been close to as bad as some of the holding they let teams get away with a year or two later, but I mean.....

 

johnmd20

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It may have not been close to as bad as some of the holding they let teams get away with a year or two later, but I mean.....

The penalty cost him a Super Bowl. I'll give him the right to be miffed about it a few years later.

Heck, people still talk about the roughing the passer call. That was in 1976.

Note, Flying Coach is awesome in general but this week's episode is a MUST listen. It was fantastic.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I took his comment as more a criticism of the uncalled OL holds v KC in the Super Bowl than a criticism of the Mathews/Long call, but he didn’t actually state that explicitly so I can understand interpreting it differently.
 

Bergs

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I took his comment as more a criticism of the uncalled OL holds v KC in the Super Bowl than a criticism of the Mathews/Long call, but he didn’t actually state that explicitly so I can understand interpreting it differently.
Or the uncalled OL holds in the NE/Eagles SB the very next year.

P.S.: Fuck that game.
 
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johnmd20

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It's interesting how years after Belichick's defense stuffed these guys cold over and over, all they can do is talk about Brady.
Tom Brady is powerful. The spice melange. He's the king of title towns. Of course he's the focus.

Because he's Tom Brady.
 

Euclis20

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It's interesting how years after Belichick's defense stuffed these guys cold over and over, all they can do is talk about Brady.
The defense never gets enough credit for coming through in all 3 recent super bowl wins (other than the Butler pick). It feels like the common belief that defense was the main driver behind the first half of the dynasty and offense was the main force behind the second half, but the dirty little secret of the first half of the dynasty is that the Pats D spent the final minutes of their first 5 super bowls getting run over. They blew a 14 point lead in the 4th quarter of 36, gave up 19 points in the 4th quarter of 38, allowed a 30 yard TD while in prevent D in the final 2 minutes of 39 to make it closer than it should have been, and gave up the go ahead TDs in the final seconds of 42 and 46.

Contrast that to holding the Seahawks scoreless over the final 20 minutes of 49, then holding the Falcons scoreless over the final 23 minutes of 51, then the masterpiece that was 53 (obviously 52 was a disaster defensively). I'm curious to see how history apportions the credit here over the long term.
 

BaseballJones

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I agree with your larger point, @Euclis20. But the only really piss-poor defensive performance they had in those first five was the game against Carolina. Otherwise...

- We'd all have very happily taken them allowing just 17 to the Rams (no matter at what point in the game they came). Those Rams averaged 31.4 a game that year.
- We'd all have very happily taken them allowing 21 to the Eagles (they averaged 24.1 that year while the Pats averaged 27.3...that should have been a comfortable win).
- We'd all have very happily taken them allowing 17 to the Giants (they averaged 23.3 that year while the Pats had a record-setting offense...17 should have been PLENTY to win that game).
- We'd all have very happily taken them allowing 21 to the Giants (they averaged 24.6 that year while the Pats averaged 32.0).

In other words, in those four games, no matter when the points came, the Pats' D held their opponents to less, or FAR less, than their season average. In all four of those games, that defensive performance plus what the Pats *should* have been able to do on offense should EASILY have been enough to win all those games. Of course, they did win two of them (three plus the Carolina game). The only game they really lost because of their defense was the SB against the Eagles the second time around.