NFL 2013: Week 9

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Crossing the halfway point of the season...

  • The illegal bat call against Miami was terrible. The defender was clearly trying to corral the loose ball. And, even failing that, a bat has to be intentional to be a penalty, and it's hard to see how anyone reads that action as intentionally batting the ball - to what end?
  • What a heads-up play by Matt Stafford, taking the snap and diving across the goal-line after he noticed the Cowboys defensive line just standing there waiting for the spike play.
  • Stafford has taken a lot of criticism over the past couple of years in Detroit, and a good chunk of it is unfounded. He has a reputation for throwing too many INTs, but this seems to be a perception problem based on the sheer volume of passes he throws (last season, he had the 10th lowest INT percentage, so far this season, the 8th lowest). In reality, he has not thrown a high rate of interceptions since his rookie year. Similarly, his sack percentage has dropped dramatically over the past two years (4th lowest last season, the lowest so far this year) as he has done a better job of keeping plays alive and getting the ball out of his hands.
  • Another number to consider: Stafford's age. 25. He's a baby. He's in his 5th season, but he is only 2 years older than many of the QBs that will be in next year's draft, including Tajh Boyd, Derek Carr, and AJ McCarron. His peak quarterbacking years are still ahead of him.
  • Bad yet fun idea: NFL scheduled grudge match postseason games, set during playoff weeks, played by non-playoff teams. Because when both the Buccaneers and Jaguars go 0-16 or 1-15 or whatever, there needs to be some mechanism in place to make the two teams play. NFL picks potential matchups, fans vote on NFL.com for which ones they want to see. Hey, more games that could be played in London.
  • Beanie Wells tore his Achilles while working out for the Ravens. How awkward is that? "Umm, I think we're going to pass... can you please hobble off our practice field?" What's the procedure in that situation? Do the Ravens take him into their training room, even though he's not on the team? Do they just help him limp to his car and send him on his way?
  • Tampa Bay should just shut Doug Martin down for the year. There's little to gain by bringing him back except an elevated risk of re-injury. Besides, they're not derelict at running back in his absence. Mike James is a nice surprise so far, and the team thought enough of him to trade up to get him (minutes after trading away LeGarrette Blount), and they cut loose Peyton Hillis after getting a look at James in camp.
  • 4 days ago, @MilkmanDanimal: "I'm going to suggest Jarvis Jones has possibly not done enough to justify being in a national TV ad campaign, unless bad hair counts."
  • Yesterday: Tomlin benches first rounder Jarvis Jones
  • Watching Kellen Clemens trying to throw an end zone fade to Brian Quick to try and win the game was painful. 2 yards to go and two plays to get it, you don't get cute with players hardly capable of throwing and catching balls in the best of circumstances. Put it on your offensive line and your running back to get those two yards.
  • One reason why the Rams may have opted for the ill-advised goal line passing: Zac Stacy sprained his ankle earlier in the drive, hence why Daryl Richardson was in the game. Richardson ran well, and though he got stopped on 3rd-and-goal, I would take my chances with him again every time rather than trying to win on the Clemens/Quick hookup.
  • Speaking of Zac Stacy, he may not impress anyone with his 4.5 40 time, but he's got some hard-nosed Frank Gore running in him. Easy to see why he's climbed the ladder to the top of the Rams RB depth chart.

    Pick 'Ems

    Chargers @ Redskins: Vegas has this game as a PK. These two teams have had about as opposite of past 2 weeks as possible. Washington is coming of a pair of games in which they were strongly competitive for 7 out of 8 quarters, beating the Bears and then taking a lead into the 4th quarter against the Broncos (on the road, mind you) before they got Omaha-Omaha-Omaha'd. San Diego, meanwhile, has had the closest thing possible to a 2 week vacation: an uncontested victory against Jacksonville followed by a bye week, allowing them to rest their legs after all that scampering up and down the field. Can a well rested San Diego gear up quickly against a battle-hardened Redskins team?

    Eagles @ Raiders: Fun fact: all 3 of Philadelphia's wins have been on the road. If they're going to make it 4, they'll need better play out of their quarterback... whomever that turns out to be. Vick is "likely" out, and Foles has been cleared to return to practice, but is not guaranteed to start, meaning we could see more Matt Barkley, whose 60.9% completion percentage jumps to 70% if you add in the interceptions. When Barkley throws the ball, somebody catches it. Oakland's QB position has its own issues, as Terrelle Pryor is coming off his worst outing as a passer, where he gained more yardage on his 1st quarter touchdown run (93) than he did all game passing (88).

    Colts @ Texans: Matt Schaub is still Houston's "starting QB", and is active, yet Case Keenum will start against Indianapolis. You figure it out. If there's one thing Keenum has shown for certain, it's that he is better than T.J. Yates... so what was he doing still behind Yates on the depth chart? At any rate, while Keenum will take the snaps, it's uncertain who will line up behind him at RB, with both Arian Foster and Ben Tate struggling with injuries. It's apparently enough of a concern that the Texans signed 3 free agent running backs to their roster on Monday. On the Indy side, we'll get our first look at the Colts passing game without Reggie Wayne. The team opted not to make any trades at the deadline, so T.Y. Hilton will step into the team's starting split end spot.

    Ravens @ Browns:
    IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXR22-zCUAATFhl.jpg:small)

    The list keeps on growin'. Jason Campbell provided enough of a spark in Cleveland to give the Chiefs a scare. The team appears to have fully given up on Brandon Weeden, making this Campbell's last best chance to claim an NFL starting job. He did his job for one week, at least. 22-of-36 for 293 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs is about all one can ask for in Cleveland. If not for Davone Bess's inability to catch passes, the Browns may have pulled off an upset. Isn't it about time for Greg Little to step up? The Ravens took a 2 game losing streak into the bye, and need to get hot to keep pace in the AFC wildcard conversation. Denver or Kansas City seems destined to grab one of the two, whichever one doesn't win the AFC West, leaving one up for grabs for a whole mess of mediocre AFC teams hanging around .500.

    Buccaneers @ Seahawks: Seattle proved to be vulnerable to teams that can rush the passer, and though Tampa has not been converting many of their pressures into sacks, they have some players who theoretically are capable of getting to the passer. Both of these teams sent WRs to IR this week, as Mike Williams and Sidney Rice both saw their seasons end. Seattle was awful against St. Louis, and while playing Tampa would seem to be a reprieve, Mike Glennon will at least prove to be more of an adversary than Kellen Clemens. For both the 49ers and Jaguars, though, I would really appreciate it if Tampa could win here.

    Make your Week 9 picks now!

    Last Week's Results:
    garion333: 5-0
    Stele: 4-1
    Elliottx: 4-1
    Mudbunny: 4-1
    tboon: 4-1
    Zaque: 4-1
    AnimeJ: 4-1
    Bzzz: 4-1
    Cobble: 4-1
    S0LIDARITY: 4-1
    psu_13: 4-1
    jowner: 4-1
    Kosars: 4-1
    Thegameguru: 4-1
    Oddsmakers: 4-1
    Jolly Bill: 3-2
    Infyrnos: 3-2
    Leroyog: 3-2
    Secret Asian Man: 3-2
    onewild: 3-2
    ZellbrigeN26: 3-2
    Jasonofindy: 3-2
    Blackanchor: 3-2
    Jayhawker: 3-2
    McFinn: 3-2
    Kush15: 3-2
    Top_Shelf: 3-2
    TempestBlayze: 3-2
    billt721: 3-2
    thejustinbot: 3-2
    iaintgotnopants: 3-2
    LeapingGnome: 3-2
    Thin_J: 2-3
    Xeknos: 2-3
    oldmanscene24: 2-3
    TrashiDawa: 2-3
    Nomad: 2-3
    Grumpicus: 1-4

    Season to Date
    Oddsmakers: 29-11
    tboon: 28-12
    Cobble: 27-8
    mudbunny: 27-13
    psu_13: 27-13
    Zaque: 27-13
    TheGameGuru: 27-13
    Mudbunny: 27-13
    Thegameguru: 27-13
    TheGameguru: 27-13
    billt721: 26-14
    Elliottx: 26-14
    Stele: 26-14
    Kosars: 25-10
    McFinn: 25-15
    s0lidarity: 25-15
    thejustinbot: 25-15
    Jasonofindy: 25-15
    S0LIDARITY: 25-15
    Kush15: 24-16
    Jayhawker: 24-16
    oldmanscene24: 24-16
    Leroyog: 24-16
    garion333: 23-17
    Thin_J: 23-17
    Xeknos: 23-17
    iaintgotnopants: 23-17
    Infyrnos: 23-17
    Laarrs: 22-13
    Bzzz: 22-18
    LeapingGnome: 22-18
    onewild: 22-18
    Zellbrigen26: 22-13
    ZellbrigeN26: 22-13
    Jolly Bill: 21-9
    MilkmanDanimal: 21-14
    Grumpicus: 21-19
    kaostheory: 20-15
    karmajay: 20-15
    Jowner: 19-11
    Top_Shelf: 19-16
    jowner: 19-11
    Secret Asian Man: 18-17
    TempestBlayze: 18-17
    Blackanchor: 18-17
    MudderFudder77: 16-9
    Mudderfudder77: 16-9
    AnimeJ: 13-12
    FSeven: 12-13
    TrashiDawa: 12-8
    paleocon: 11-9
    Atras: 10-15
    Gumbie: 8-7
    Nomad: 5-5
    lostlobster: 4-6
    Fedaykin98: 3-2
    lostlobster: 3-2
    zellbrigen 26: 3-2
    Certis: 2-3
    Tempest Blayze: 2-3

  • Man totally forgot to do the picks last week!

    I just realized in on there twice because one week I put in a space. Woops.

    *Legion* wrote:

  • Tampa Bay should just shut Doug Martin down for the year. There's little to gain by bringing him back except an elevated risk of re-injury. Besides, they're not derelict at running back in his absence. Mike James is a nice surprise so far, and the team thought enough of him to trade up to get him (minutes after trading away LeGarrette Blount), and they cut loose Peyton Hillis after getting a look at James in camp.
  • The list of things Tampa should do starts with "kick Greg Schiano in the jimmy". It also ends with "kick Greg Schiano in the jimmy". You can probably guess as to what fills the mid-part of that list as well. Mike James has, in fact, been a pleasant surprise. Martin should sit down and come back next year healthy, he and Mike Williams can hang out. And kick Greg Schiano in the jimmy.

    Also, LeGarrette Blount still sucks. On one snap last week, Brady drops back to pass, Blount stands around wondering who he's supposed to block, and somebody blows right by him and drops Brady. The guy can't block at all, and having him on the Patriots (and returning kicks, of all things) could not make less sense.

  • 4 days ago, @MilkmanDanimal: "I'm going to suggest Jarvis Jones has possibly not done enough to justify being in a national TV ad campaign, unless bad hair counts."
  • Yesterday: Tomlin benches first rounder Jarvis Jones
  • Because I AM GODDAMNED HILARIOUS. Also, you forgot my followup yesterday: "Jarvis Jones benched by Steelers, Jarvis Jones' hair still starting at left wing for Penguins." Which, frankly, is better.

    Chargers at Redskins: I don't care how close that game stayed last week, RGIII was utter awful as a passer. He missed pass after pass, and had the worst throwing day I've seen him have yet. Even before his knee got fallen on he looked very off, and I was wondering if he'd re-injured himself in practice or something. If he's that bad again, this is an utterly awful team.

    Eagles at Raiders: Pryor was very, very bad last week outside of one run, but, so far, the Unstoppable Chip Kelly Machine has worked against a bad Redskins defense and nothing else, and likely starter Nick Foles is Peyton Manning when he plays against Tampa and he's Nick Foles against everybody else. The Raiders aren't particularly good, but they're still "everybody else".

    Colts at Texans: Hey, look, the Texans are the Texans again.

    Ravens at Browns: I want it to be the Browns; I've always liked Jason Campbell for some reason, and he was genuinely very impressive last week. Didn't have happy feet, didn't dump the ball off at first hint of pressure, didn't look like he had for years. Unfortunately, I never know how to pick Ravens games, because you don't know if you're getting "Awesome Super Bowl Run Joe Flacco" or "Tall Matt Barkley Joe Flacco".

    Buccaneers at Seahawks: OK, this is just mean.

    Legion wrote:

    Stafford is awesome!

    I hear that! Did you see how sharp some of those passes were on that last drive? Even the one that Pettigrew dropped was threaded through 2 defenders in an ultra tight space. That kid's got skills.

    Stafford is still my man in Keeper as I've been riding him since the inaugural draft. I paid nothing for him in the draft and have had him every since. I miss having Megatron though.

    Huh. I thought I was 3-2 again. Sweet.

    TempestBlayze wrote:

    I just realized in on there twice because one week I put in a space. Woops.

    Sorry my bad. Last week I edited out the duplicate gameguru's and other stuff.

    It's funny because the sum of wins/losses works for him and doesn't differentiate caps/lower, but the =unique() spreadsheet tag shows each variation as the same. Pain in the ass to manually edit you clowns each week. :p

    And I had some visiting family in this week so I've been pretty swamped and not much time for "fun" like this.

    MilkmanDanimal wrote:

    Also, LeGarrette Blount still sucks. On one snap last week, Brady drops back to pass, Blount stands around wondering who he's supposed to block, and somebody blows right by him and drops Brady. The guy can't block at all, and having him on the Patriots (and returning kicks, of all things) could not make less sense.

    It drove me crazy to see the Pats use Bolden and Blount over Ridley. Ridley is clearly the best back they have by far but for some reason they seem to be punishing him. Or maybe its just McDaniels trying to over-complicate the offense. After all he stopped using him in the second half last week when he was 10 carries for 50+ yards.

    Gah, I hate picking all road teams (but one!).

    Finally did better than 3-2 for once. This coming weeks picks make me feel uncomfortable.

    I can't believe I just picked the Browns, but I totally picked the Browns.

    Thin_J wrote:

    I can't believe I just picked the Browns, but I totally picked the Browns.

    I went with the Ravens, but it is an absolute homer call. I think the o-line is starting to look better week on week and I'm hoping that Ngata is back this week to anchor the D-line. If he's back to pull those schlubs back together into a semblance of a run defense, then we're looking more and more like a total package. We'll see if that happens or not.

    Stafford was mic'ed up for the Cowboys game.

    I love it when he get's excited. His voice get's so high pitched. Jump to 5min to see last play.

    I remember another time when they wired him for sound and he came back to throw a last second touchdown for the win. Maybe they should mic him up more often.

    I tuned into tonight's game literally 2 minutes ago.

    10-3 Miami. Cincy's driving - down to the MIA 10 or so.

    "What the hell is wrong with Andy Dalton and the Bengals' O? Miami's D isn't that tough."

    On cue, Dalton noodle-arms a quick out behind the receiver, and the Miami DB runs it back 92 yards the other way.

    Question asked ... and answered!

    Is Andy Dalton just bad? That throw was horrible.

    Enix wrote:

    I tuned into tonight's game literally 2 minutes ago.

    10-3 Miami. Cincy's driving - down to the MIA 10 or so.

    "What the hell is wrong with Andy Dalton and the Bengals' O? Miami's D isn't that tough."

    On cue, Dalton noodle-arms a quick out behind the receiver, and the Miami DB runs it back 92 yards the other way.

    Question asked ... and answered!

    Enix wrote:

    I tuned into tonight's game literally 2 minutes ago.

    10-3 Miami. Cincy's driving - down to the MIA 10 or so.

    "What the hell is wrong with Andy Dalton and the Bengals' O? Miami's D isn't that tough."

    On cue, Dalton noodle-arms a quick out behind the receiver, and the Miami DB runs it back 92 yards the other way.

    Question asked ... and answered!

    and the second they flashed the TOP stat of 0 to 12mins as Cincy was driving after the Pick 6 I realized they are going to win the game.

    When did Barry Sanders come out of retirement?

    Because when isn't it fun to make fun of the Bucs coaches? Apparently Gerald McCoy helped a player from the other team off the ground and his coaches got on his case about it. Keep it classy, Tampa Bay.

    "Schiano men" don't show sportsmanship!

    We already knew that, from the whole kneel down fiasco.

    garion333 wrote:

    Because when isn't it fun to make fun of the Bucs coaches? Apparently Gerald McCoy helped a player from the other team off the ground and his coaches got on his case about it. Keep it classy, Tampa Bay.

    Boomer Sooner.
    Glad to see Gerald being Gerald.

    Stele wrote:

    "Schiano men" don't show sportsmanship!

    We already knew that, from the whole kneel down fiasco.

    It occurs to me Bryan Cox is the Bucs' front-seven defensive coach. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest he seemed like the kind of player who would never help somebody up.

    psu_13 wrote:

    Is Andy Dalton just bad? That throw was horrible.

    I watched the rest of the game, and Dalton made some decent throws. I thought, OK, he's just inconsistent.

    Then he took a game-losing safety in the end zone.

    Yeah, I know, his O-line deserves a lot of blame for that one. But if you're going to drop into the end zone (or close to it), you've got to have a Plan B (i.e. chuck it the hell out of bounds if there's pressure), right?

    Justin Blackmon indefinitely suspended for violating the substance abuse policy again, proving yet again the power of stupid. Had a bunch of really impressive games, and now this. Time for Legion to finish fully transitioning his fandom over to the 49ers.

    MilkmanDanimal wrote:

    Justin Blackmon indefinitely suspended for violating the substance abuse policy again, proving yet again the power of stupid. Had a bunch of really impressive games, and now this.

    The Bucs lost Mike Williams to injury. The Jags had to do something to keep pace in the race for pick #1.

    It's extremely concerning for Blackmon's career, though. There's a fork in the road, and on the right it says Cris Carter, and on the left it says R. Jay Soward (and Matt Jones and Reggie Williams). I keep hoping he turns right, but he's got his left blinker on.

    MilkmanDanimal wrote:

    Time for Legion to finish fully transitioning his fandom over to the 49ers.

    I already switched my Barclay's NFL credit card team from the Jaguars to the 49ers. (This was for practical reasons too, though, as some of the the redeemable awards are based on the team on the card, and while I will be in San Francisco for about 2/3rds of the team's home games starting next year, I will never, ever be in Jacksonville).

    I'm only linking this story because holy sh*t there's a guy whose actual name is "Richie Incognito".

    My god, is hazing gonna be illegal in the NFL now?

    It's illegal in a ton of other places, so why not?

    Ok I think I cleaned up my summary spreadsheet. Corrected some of you that typed your names differently and whatever.

    This should be the correct season numbers now:
    Oddsmakers : 29 - 11
    tboon : 28 - 12
    Cobble : 27 - 8
    mudbunny : 27 - 13
    psu_13 : 27 - 13
    TheGameGuru : 27 - 13
    Zaque : 27 - 13
    billt721 : 26 - 14
    Elliottx : 26 - 14
    Stele : 26 - 14
    Jasonofindy : 25 - 15
    Kosars : 25 - 10
    McFinn : 25 - 15
    S0LIDARITY : 25 - 15
    thejustinbot : 25 - 15
    ZellbrigeN26 : 25 - 15
    Jayhawker : 24 - 16
    Kush15 : 24 - 16
    Leroyog : 24 - 16
    oldmanscene24 : 24 - 16
    garion333 : 23 - 17
    iaintgotnopants : 23 - 17
    Infyrnos : 23 - 17
    Thin_J : 23 - 17
    Xeknos : 23 - 17
    Bzzz : 22 - 18
    Laarrs : 22 - 13
    LeapingGnome : 22 - 18
    onewild : 22 - 18
    Grumpicus : 21 - 19
    Jolly Bill : 21 - 9
    MilkmanDanimal : 21 - 14
    kaostheory : 20 - 15
    karmajay : 20 - 15
    jowner : 19 - 11
    Top_Shelf : 19 - 16
    Blackanchor : 18 - 17
    Secret Asian Man : 18 - 17
    TempestBlayze : 18 - 17
    MudderFudder77 : 16 - 9
    AnimeJ : 13 - 12
    FSeven : 12 - 13
    TrashiDawa : 12 - 8
    paleocon : 11 - 9
    Atras : 10 - 15
    Gumbie : 8 - 7
    Nomad : 5 - 5
    lostlobster : 4 - 6
    Fedaykin98 : 3 - 2
    Certis : 2 - 3

    Oddsmakers : 29 - 11

    That's unreal.

    garion333 wrote:
    Oddsmakers : 29 - 11

    That's unreal.

    Well, *Legion* has been throwing in "gimme" picks like the Jaguars, making it a lot easier.

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