TMQ Thread

dcmissle

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But was that because it was the playoffs or a general weakening of the Pats offense for some reason? Of the 4 regular season games under 30, three of them were in the last 5 games of the season and of the 5 teams we played twice (Fins, Jets, Bills, Chargers, Giants) we scored fewer points in the second game against all of them except Buffalo.
I think people's views on this are fully formed -- and as deeply held as they were on JD Drew and are on raising the debt ceiling.

Some people think that football is football, essentially seamless from early Sept to mid-Feb; others believe that playoff football is different. Some think that if you lose a playoff game to team that scores 17 or 21, it's a random event or the offense fell down on the job; others believe you better be prepared to win by holding the other guy to 13 or 16 because good defenses show up in January and maybe the most you'll get is 14 or 17.

I'm sure only that this debate will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction -- and that the fact you're pounding the crap out of teams now may not leave you smiling two months from now.
 

Shelterdog

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I think people's views on this are fully formed -- and as deeply held as they were on JD Drew and are on raising the debt ceiling.

Some people think that football is football, essentially seamless from early Sept to mid-Feb; others believe that playoff football is different. Some think that if you lose a playoff game to team that scores 17 or 21, it's a random event or the offense fell down on the job; others believe you better be prepared to win by holding the other guy to 13 or 16 because good defenses show up in January and maybe the most you'll get is 14 or 17.

I'm sure only that this debate will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction -- and that the fact you're pounding the crap out of teams now may not leave you smiling two months from now.
But you're not answering the question about why (or if) playoff football is different from playing a good team during the regular season.

In either the regular season or the post season you want a D that can hold a good offense to 13 or 16 in case you can't get your offense going, and you want an offense that's good enough that even a good defense will rarely hold it to 14 or 17.

I simply don't see why it's asymetric or defense matters more. For example, the 49ers fans are probably saying something like "playoff football is different, you're playing good offensive teams so you can't just count on your defense to hold the other team to ten, you've got to get weapons on offense to score 14 or 17 in case the other team scores 13 or 16, and just because you're leading the league in defense right now doesn't mean you'll be smiling in two months"
 

johnmd20

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How can you enjoy analysis that says there are plenty of QBs like Tom Brady but only one offensive line in the league that tries real hard? I don't think it's nitpicking to point out that it's completely fucking asinine. If he wanted to say it was admirable, fine. But he says this:

Asinine.
TMQ couldn't have been blowing the Patriots more than he did in this week's column. It was 10 paragraphs of ball washing.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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TMQ couldn't have been blowing the Patriots more than he did in this week's column. It was 10 paragraphs of ball washing.
I'm not sure if you think I was complaining about some Patriots bias or something, but I wasn't. I was complaining about idiocy behind his analysis. Ralphwiggum put it succinctly:

His analysis is shit when he's criticizing the Pats, there is no reason to think it is any better when he's praising the Pats.
 

dcmissle

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But you're not answering the question about why (or if) playoff football is different from playing a good team during the regular season.

In either the regular season or the post season you want a D that can hold a good offense to 13 or 16 in case you can't get your offense going, and you want an offense that's good enough that even a good defense will rarely hold it to 14 or 17.

I simply don't see why it's asymetric or defense matters more. For example, the 49ers fans are probably saying something like "playoff football is different, you're playing good offensive teams so you can't just count on your defense to hold the other team to ten, you've got to get weapons on offense to score 14 or 17 in case the other team scores 13 or 16, and just because you're leading the league in defense right now doesn't mean you'll be smiling in two months"
I wasn't attempting to answer that question. I was merely pointing out that hitting on 16 cylinders on offense right now guarantees not much two months from now, which was Easterbrook's basic point.

I suppose anecdotal evidence can be offered on the point you're getting to. Only five weeks prior to the 2007 SB, the Pats went into the Meadowlands and put up 38 points on the Giants to secure a perfect season; they needed almost all of them, as the Giants fought like tigers in that last regular season game. Obviously, adjustments were made between that game and the title game, unless you're of a view to throw your hands up and say, well our offense just sucked that day or we got unlucky.

The problem with that, is just a couple of weeks prior -- in Foxboro -- San Diego held the Patriots to 21 points in the AFC Championship game, 17 points below the Pats' scoring average, a game that was 14 to 12 into the 4th quarter and in which Phillip Rivers played with a torn ACL.

I'm not saying that game constitutes proof. I am saying that Easterbrook isn't nuts by concluding that an offense as good as 2007's doesn't say a whole lot about where we'll eventually end up.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I wasn't attempting to answer that question. I was merely pointing out that hitting on 16 cylinders on offense right now guarantees not much two months from now, which was Easterbrook's basic point.
Well, no shit. I'm not sure I have heard anyone anywhere claim that having an elite offense "guarantees" the Patriots anything. Nothing is guaranteed, but beyond that I think that Patriot fans understand that in 2007 and 2011 the Pats did not finish the job in part because their elite offense underperformed in the playoffs. This point by itself is completely useless.

Whether there is anything that would point to that trend continuing (specific to the Pats, or as part of a larger league trend) would be interesting to know. My original post was in response to his assertion that it is because defenses try harder in the post-season (and presumably offenses do not). This is a stupid explanation.
 

DegenerateSoxFan

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I'm not saying that game constitutes proof. I am saying that Easterbrook isn't nuts by concluding that an offense as good as 2007's doesn't say a whole lot about where we'll eventually end up.
He isn't nuts to conclude such a thing, but maybe the the 2007 team isn't the best example. That squad is held up as one of the all-time explosive attacks, and it was. . .for about half a season. Whether it was opposing defenses adjusting, the more one-dimensional nature of the offense, or maybe all the pressure of the Spygate/undeafeated stuff, that team was hanging on by its fingernails by the time it left a steaming pile on the field in Arizona. Easterbrook's conclusion overlooks what should be patently obvious: That teams do trend up and down for a variety of reasons. To put it another way, I feel better about this team's chances than I did about the '07 team when it finished up its regular season. This squad seems to be hitting on all cylinders at the right time, and better still, the defense is improving.

Oh yeah, and damn you guys for getting me to look at another Easterbrook column. He'd reached Shaughnessy-esque "do not click on the link" status for me. A few paragraphs of ball-washing doesn't make up for his tired and constant anti-Belichick schtick and the lazy, self-indulgent tripe he usually excretes in his TMQ column.
 

Super Nomario

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The Super Bowl last year was a more offensively prolific game than the regular season matchup between the Pats and the Giants. The difference was the number of drives. Each team had 13 drives in the regular season game, producing 24 and 20 points. In the Super Bowl, each team only had 9 drives, producing 21 and 17 points. Both offenses played better in the Super Bowl than the final score indicates, and the defenses worse.
 

dcmissle

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Oh yeah, and damn you guys for getting me to look at another Easterbrook column. He'd reached Shaughnessy-esque "do not click on the link" status for me. A few paragraphs of ball-washing doesn't make up for his tired and constant anti-Belichick schtick and the lazy, self-indulgent tripe he usually excretes in his TMQ column.
Borges has raised this to an art form -- and were it the subject of copyright protection, would have infringement suits against CHB, Easterbrook and Felger.
 
But you're not answering the question about why (or if) playoff football is different from playing a good team during the regular season.

In either the regular season or the post season you want a D that can hold a good offense to 13 or 16 in case you can't get your offense going, and you want an offense that's good enough that even a good defense will rarely hold it to 14 or 17.

I simply don't see why it's asymetric or defense matters more. For example, the 49ers fans are probably saying something like "playoff football is different, you're playing good offensive teams so you can't just count on your defense to hold the other team to ten, you've got to get weapons on offense to score 14 or 17 in case the other team scores 13 or 16, and just because you're leading the league in defense right now doesn't mean you'll be smiling in two months"
Not trying to threadjack here, but I've heard anecdotally that referees tend to swallow their whistles more in the playoffs and have more of a "let 'em play" approach. If that were the case, aggressive defenses would get away with more borderline calls and suffer fewer of the inevitable 3rd-and-long PI penalties that extend otherwise stopped drives (I don't have the resources to search the rate of pass interference/defensive holding calls per passing play in the regular season vs. postseason, but that would seem to be the place to start to confirm if there even is truth to this).

However, penalties cut both ways, so presumably game-stalling holding/false start penalty rates would be down as well (although due to the potential for PI calls to result in far more than 15 yards, defenses still would have a slight advantage if fewer penalties are called). And there;s always the possibility that a decrease in penalties would be due to the fact that playoff-bound teams are better teams, and better teams tend to be more disciplined with fewer penalties.

Long story short: "in the playoffs, defenses play HARDER!!!" is a facile argument at best.
 

Myt1

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For the record, Zombie, I'm gonna rub sand in your dead little eyes and also shut up.
 

tims4wins

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The Patriots are 3-3 in games against teams likely to make the playoffs, a middling record
I love this, because:

Denver is 2-3 in games against teams likely to make the playoffs, a middling record
Baltimore is 3-3 in games against teams likely to make the playoffs, a middling record
Houston is 3-2 in games against teams likely to make the playoffs, a middling record

Edit: and playing .500 ball against playoff teams is a good thing, in just about any sport. If you play .500 ball against playoff teams and beat up on everyone else, that makes you a good team
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I love this, because:

Denver is 2-3 in games against teams likely to make the playoffs, a middling record
Baltimore is 3-3 in games against teams likely to make the playoffs, a middling record
Houston is 3-2 in games against teams likely to make the playoffs, a middling record

Edit: and playing .500 ball against playoff teams is a good thing, in just about any sport. If you play .500 ball against playoff teams and beat up on everyone else, that makes you a good team
And SF is 2-1 against playoff teams but has to play in Seattle next week where they could easily lose.

They are also 0-1-1 against the mighty Rams, a worse than middling record.
 

weeba

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I almost want to stop reading today's after this section:

The divisional round produced three spectacular football games, plus a fourth contest, more like a coaching clinic, in which the Patriots once again methodically demonstrated they are the best team of the past decade.
 

weeba

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And for the first time, one of his "I wrote game over in my notebook" lines makes complete sense (well, coming after one that has no basis in reality)

Houston at New England: TMQ could have written "game over" in his notebook when the New England cheer-babes came out in two-piece outfits for a kickoff at a temperature of 51 degrees. That's professionalism! Also I could have written "game over" before kickoff because Houston was the opponent
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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His note on the RG3 injury decision by Shanahan was one of the most ill-considered things I can remember him writing. I cross-posted it in the RG3 thread in BBTL, but it's worth mentioning.

I did like his notes about how Belichick hid Welker under deeper routes.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Moss vanished in the Vikings' 1999 home title-game loss, he vanished the following year in Minnesota's epic 41-0 playoff destruction by the
Giants, he was held in check in New England's 2008 Super Bowl loss and vanished in the San Francisco's 2013 Super Bowl loss. Some greatest
receiver. He wouldn't even make my top 10.
 
I cannot wait for Deadspin to tear Easterbrook a new asshole for this type of stupidity.
 
1999 NFCCG: 6 for 75 yards and a TD

Vanished?



Yes, the 41-0 game was awful: 2 for 18. In between those two games he played in 3 playoff games and went:

5 for 127 and a TD

9 for 188 and 2 TDs

2 for 121 and 2 TDs.
 
BTW, Greggggg is as always incorrect in the small details: the 41-0 game was two seasons after the NFCCG, not "the following year." 8 seconds of research would have told him this.
 
Black Sunday: 5 for 62 and the go ahead TD with 90 seconds left. This was, mind you after having only a couple of catches that entire postseason up to that point.

And as the 4th or 5th receiver on Sunday he had 2 for 41. In the other postseason games this year he had 2 for 25 and 3 for 46, so his production in the SB was pretty much the same as his production leading up to the game.

Easterbrook is really just the worst person in the world. Not in his top 10? Then your top 10 fucking blows.
 

DrewDawg

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Moss has played 15 post-season games and has 54 catches for 977 yards and 10 TDs.  Considering defenses are generally a bit better, those aren't horrible numbers.  Catches down, yards very good, and double-digit TDs.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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NO NO HE'S A DOG AND I WON'T HAVE HIM! I AM GREGG EASTERBROOK, MY WORD IS ABSOLUTE!
 
Shit, change the wording around a little bit and you can make anyone look like a dog as long as you ignore their good games:
 
He vanished in the divisional round against the Giants (0 TDs, 1 INT), he vanished the following year in his team's epic 49-3 playoff destruction by the Giants, he was held in check in his team's divisional loss to Minnesota at home, and played terribly in his team's crushing loss to Buffalo in the AFCCG. Heck, he even threw 3 INTs in a NFCCG that his team was lucky to win by 1 point. Some greatest QB. He wouldn't even make my top 10.
 
Joe Montana, ladies and gentlemen.
 
Easterbrook is just the worst.
 

mpx42

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Bill Belichick Was Behind This Somehow: The new nonfiction book
"Last Ape Standing," by Chip Walter, details new research that suggests
Neanderthals, rendered extinct by Homo sapiens about 30,000 years ago,
were stronger and had larger brains than people. So how, the book asks,
did we beat them? TMQ thinks we must have videotaped their sideline.
The worst.
 

PedroKsBambino

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A better case could be made that Gregg Easterbook represents living proof that the Neanderthal lives on...
 

PedroKsBambino

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Postgame, Harbaugh/West complained vociferously that San Francisco punt rushers were "tackled" on Baltimore's deliberate safety. But had holding against Baltimore been called, Harbaugh/West would have declined! An accepted offensive holding call would have given the Nevermores fourth down over on their 4, with 4 seconds remaining. The punter would have stepped out of the end zone again, and the contest likely would have ended on that play. From his background as a special teams coach, Harbaugh/East might have known that rules quirk -- in a late clock-killer situation near your own goal line, offensive holding benefits the punting team.
 
Wouldn't holding in the end zone (which is where the tackling in question happened) have been a safety?  What TMQ says above is true outside of the end zone...and thus totally irrelevant to the play he's talking about.  Am I missing something here?
 
http://espn.go.com/espn/playbook/story/_/id/8914831/baltimore-old-exhausted-defense-saves-best-last
 

Harry Hooper

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Deadpsin has a hit-and-miss takedown of the latest TMQ, but check out the reader-submitted NYC rat story contained within.
 
Harry Hooper said:
Deadpsin has a hit-and-miss takedown of the latest TMQ, but check out the reader-submitted NYC rat story contained within.
 
I went to college in the Bronx too and my apartment had a nightmare rat problem as well.  Not as horrific as that guy but pretty bad.  The glue traps were a game changer.  One thing I love about Southern California is rats/cockroaches are extremely rare if you live in a clean environment.  It seemed like in NY, even if you kept the place sterile there was shit crawling around.  
 

weeba

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Buck-Buck-Brawkkkkkk: The Bills entered their opener on an incredibly lame 3-25 streak versus New England. Trailing the Patriots 10-0, home crowd roaring, Buffalo reached fourth-and-2 on the Flying Elvii 44 -- and punted. You don't need to know anything else about the game.
 
 
Sure, in the long run, that punt may have been the difference, but that only assume they convert the 4th down, and score at least a FG themselves.
 

Joe Sixpack

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weeba said:
 
Sure, in the long run, that punt may have been the difference, but that only assume they convert the 4th down, and score at least a FG themselves.
 
Also conveniently ignoring the Patriots did the very same thing in this game, punting on 4th and short in Bills territory.
 

weeba

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Belichick Can't Bring Himself to Win Gracefully: It was hard watching the aging Steelers defense shredded for 610 yards and 55 points by the Patriots. It was impressive to watch three New England receivers gain more than 100 yards receiving, and Tom Brady advancing to 91-16 at home. But why was Brady still on the field once the lead was insurmountable in the fourth quarter? In 2007, Bill Belichick kept Brady in late during blowouts, trying to run up the score. This generated bad karma that came back to haunt Belichick in that season's Super Bowl loss. What's the point of generating more bad karma now? Once the lead is insurmountable, act like a gentleman.
 
 
Also, NCIS is not a realistic television show.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I saw that paragraph and my only thought was that he didn't actually see the game. The lead was never insurmountable.
 
The score as 27-24 at the end of 3 quarters. Pats scored to go up 34-24. Steelers go 3 and out. Pats get the ball back and run a 9 play drive to score...6 runs and 3 passes. Ridley runs in the TD and it's 41-24. Pitt comes back and drives down the field to get a TD and now it's 41-31. No one in the world besides Gregggggg would call a 10 point lead with 6 minutes left insurmountable.
 
Brady them promptly hits on the 81 yard bomb to Dobson. 2 play drive. Again, when he threw the ball is was a 10 point game. That's not insurmountable. Now it's 17 points at 48-31.
 
Pitt runs a 4 play drive that ends in an INT. Harmon runs the ball back to the Pitt 28 yard line. The Pats then run the ball twice with their 3rd string RB getting the rock for a TD to make it 55-31.
 
So....what the fuck is Easterbrook talking about again? His complaint essentially boils down to Brady throwing the ball from deep in his own territory while holding a 10 point lead with 6 minutes to go in the game. If that's his complaint, that fucking moronic.
 

SidelineCameras

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SJH, stop being a Patriots apologist for once. Of course 10 points is insurmountable. It's not like the Patriots gave up 14 points to start the half, letting the Steelers tie the game. It's not like they're missing four of their top defensive players, including their best lineman, linebacker, and cornerback. It's not like the offense hasn't been jiving the entire season and needed the practice. It's not like two of the fourth quarter touchdowns were to a rookie who has had his (expected) ups and downs and is still learning to play with the QB - and it's not like that rookie made a back shoulder catch, one that they've been working on all season, for the first time. It's not like the running game wasn't flawless, like they were stopped on the goal line earlier in the game or something so absurd. It's not like the bell cow RB is fumble prone. It's not like the Patriots even pulled their starting RB and gave it to a backup who also scored himself, just by keeping his legs moving from the five yard line.
 
Edit: Also, the two play drive with the 81 yard TD started on the Patriots 7 yard line. If the Steelers force a punt, they are presumably receiving the ball in great field position in a two-score game. I would have thought the TD would have given TMQ the exciting opportunity to write in his notebook "Game over." 
 
Once a faithful reader, I haven't clicked on TMQ all year. Looks like nothing has changed. I'm going to go ahead and assume he's also mad about the government and the fact that he saw some Valentine's Day decorations last week or something else equally critical.
 

joe dokes

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This column believes football rules should be simplified, and the touchdown/safety difference is an example. When going toward the end zone, if any part of the ball gets above the white goal line, it's a touchdown; when trying to get out of the end zone, the entire ball must reach beyond the white goal line. Because Dalton couldn't get the entire ball beyond the white line, the contest became the third NFL overtime game decided by a safety.
 
 
Apparently, for Herr Easterbrook "the goal line is part of the end zone" isn't simple enough.
Pseudo-intellectual idiot.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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SidelineCameras said:
Edit: Also, the two play drive with the 81 yard TD started on the Patriots 7 yard line. If the Steelers force a punt, they are presumably receiving the ball in great field position in a two-score game. I would have thought the TD would have given TMQ the exciting opportunity to write in his notebook "Game over." 
 
Or "Fortune favors the bold!"
 
Like you, I find the pieces barely readable now.
 

SidelineCameras

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This is hardly worth our time or attention, but I assume Sean Payton gets called out tomorrow for running up the score on the hapless Cowboys?