Week 4 Observations

The 2013 Broncos are the 2007 Pats. Before you (as many did on Twitter) say the Broncos are better, please look at the game logs for the Pats first 10 games that year. Oddly Wes Welker is the common denominator, just as Randy Moss was the common denominator between the 2007 Pats and 1998 Vikings another 15-plus win team and also one of the greatest offenses of all time. Maybe Demaryius Thomas will be part of some other juggernaut in 2019. It's worth noting the Vikings and Pats both lost in the playoffs.

Pick on the 2013 Pats' offensive skill players all you want, but their offensive line is excellent. This is in stark contrast to the Giants who have great skill players and a terrible line.

The Falcons botched the end game badly Sunday night, treating first and 10 from the Pats 14 like first and goal from the 14. Instead of throwing four passes at heavily covered receivers in the end zone, the Falcons had time to run the ball, get four or five yards or connect on a couple short passes.

Cris Collinsworth at least twice persisted in making a point that the reply he used to support it refuted clearly. It's one thing to make a mistake in real time, but once the evidence controverts your argument, it's bizarre to continue with it. (One of them was on a Julio Jones alleged push-off that never happened.)

With the Falcons down 10 and in the red zone with a few minutes left, Al Michaels and Collinsworth questioned the team's failed 4th-and-2 try inside the 10 in the first quarter, saying how big it would be to have had a FG and be down only seven. Of course, when they kicked the FG and got back into the red zone, Michaels and Collinsworth never mentioned how much sense it made to have gone for seven. Judging a first-quarter decision by whatever random margin applies 40 minutes later is foolish.

Troy Aikman actually called a good game Sunday, shockingly encouraging Chip Kelly to go for it on 4th and 1 (Kelly punted to Peyton Manning which makes no sense) and also questioning a bad call from a ref. Maybe it'll never happen again, but credit where credit is due.

Gary Kubiak and the Texans deserved to lose after punting on 4th and 4 from the Seahawks' 43 with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a tie game. Sure, if they failed to get the first down (50/50 chance), the Seahawks with 23 seconds or so left could have completed a pass or two and gotten into field-goal range. But if they make the first down, they're already in long FG range themselves and were surely better than 50/50 to win had they gone for it. To settle for overtime was playing not to lose, and of course they lost as a result.

Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates look like they traveled back in time three years, and Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal are good players.

In the high-stakes Stopa Law Firm League, I dropped KC's defense in Week 2 for BAL, dropped BAL's defense in Week 3 for DEN, dropped DEN's defense in Week 4 for CIN. All were bad moves.

The Giants clock management at the end of the first half was laughable as they refused to use their timeouts and wound up unnecessarily settling for a mid-range FG which Josh Brown missed. The announcers of course praised the decision. Tom Coughlin and the Giants are now 3-9 going back to last year, and the margin of loss has been substantial. The last two weeks, it's been 69-7. It's time for a different direction.

David Wilson again looked good when he had the ball, but the Giants insistence on using Da'Rel Scott and Brandon Jacobs on passing downs and their inability to block capped his carries at 13.

Sam Bradford is a bust. Sure, he can make all the throws when he's got time, but he's not mobile, isn't good under pressure and makes poor decisions. He's not a top-20 real-life quarterback. It doesn't help that Brian Schottenheimer, the architect of the vaunted Mark-Sanchez Jets, is calling Bradford's plays.

Even with the workload to himself against a poor Jaguars defense, Trent Richardson managed only 3.0 YPC. Meanwhile Donald Brown had three carries for 65 yards.

Maybe Brian Hoyer will fall back to earth soon, but remember it was an injury to Drew Bledsoe that sprung an unknown Tom Brady and poor play by Bledsoe that gave undrafted Tony Romo a chance. And a Trent Green knee injury gave 29-year old nobody Kurt Warner his shot for a Rams team coming of a 4-12 year. Those are exceptions, of course, but it shows we really have no idea of a quarterback's ceiling.


By: matthewthill7
On: 9/30/2013 11:04:00 PM
What do we do with Trent Richardson? Trade him - but for who? Another underperforming back like a Rice or Spiller? With so many big name running backs going belly up nobody will cough up Charles or Foster for Trent unless they get a sweet second piece in the deal.
By: Chris Liss
On: 9/30/2013 11:26:00 PM
If Bradshaw's back, you'd have to move him for David Wilson plus a WR like Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe or an injured Danny Amendola. Something like that where you'd retain the upside of Wilson and come away with another potentially good WR. I'm not sure you'd get Rice or Spiller if Bradshaw's back. If Bradshaw were out for the year, say, then Richardson has decent value as a workhorse on a good team no matter what his YPC is.
By: matthewthill7
On: 10/1/2013 7:16:00 AM
Fully agree that Wilson looks great as a runner. In the grand scheme of things he's way down on the list of reasons for Giants' struggles, behind, in no particular order: Eli, non-Cruz receivers, O-line, secondary, Coughlin. I just traded for him. Nice matchup this week, certainly.
By: jtr5708
On: 10/1/2013 7:32:00 AM
Chris, it sounds like you are advocating a coaching change for the NYG. As a fan it took me a while to get to that point but I am there. In the past I've always stood up for Coughlin whenever he was on the hot seat and I credit the Giants for not jumping the gun. Hell, his tenure has paid off with two glorious Super Bowl runs. But it is truly starting to feel like he is losing this team more and more each week. It's his time. The team needs a new voice and a new direction (as you stated). He can leave now with a solid legacy intact. The longer he remains on the sideline, red-faced and screaming it feels like his legacy can only go downhill.

If you agree that it is time, who are your leading candidates to take over as head coach? Do you feel there is a need for any other personnel changes?

As a final note, I firmly believe that David Wilson will perhaps benefit the most from this type of move and will finally have a chance to not play scared. We need to see what this dynamic, young talent is capable of without a black cloud hanging over his head.
By: Chris Liss
On: 10/1/2013 10:22:00 AM
Matthewthill - nice.
By: Chris Liss
On: 10/1/2013 10:26:00 AM
jtr5708 - yeah, I think he needs to be shown the door respectfully - the team isn't losing close games on bad bounces, and Eli and the key skill guys are healthy, i.e., it's not like he lost his starting QB. There's no excuse for getting destroyed every week. I'd like to see Gilbride go with him. And someone needs to get Ryan Nassib some reps in blowouts so Eli realizes they're developing another QB and you can't play horribly forever and keep the job. Bill Cowher is an obvious candidate, but I'd like to see an offensive-minded guy get the reins with all the talent they have. Maybe Gruden, maybe someone I've never heard of who's done well in college or as an OC.

By: jtr5708
On: 10/1/2013 11:26:00 AM
I love the Gruden idea over Cowher. Always a big fan. I heard that Jon Gruden said he wouldn't come back to coaching mid-season although for the right job in a prestigious city like NY I would hope he'd consider it.
By: ochobene
On: 10/2/2013 9:38:00 AM
Here is some analysis that everyone with tear apart

2012 Trent Richardson stats
950 yards on 267 carries-3.6 ypa- 2 carries of 20+ yards

2012 BJ-GE
1,094 yards on 276 carries-3.9 ypa- 7 carries of 20+ yards

2013 Trent Richardson stats
200 yards on 60 carries-3.1 ypa longest carry 12 yards

BJ-GE Stats
142 yards on 60 carries- 2.7 ypa longest carry 14 yards

BG-JE is unstartable in fantasy but Trent is a first round pick.
I included 20+ yard runs because Trent is looked as the more elusive, athletic back and 20+ yard runs shows he ones separation.
By: Chris Liss
On: 10/2/2013 10:37:00 AM
ochobene - good stats. The comp I've heard thrown around is Mark Ingram - another failed first-round pick. But BJGE is a good one too.
By: bebobri
On: 10/2/2013 10:34:00 PM
I wouldn't be so quick to call Mark Ingram a failed pick... more like he never fit into the Saints system and never got the rock enough to find a rhythm. Jamaal Charles is a prime example; some games he will have 8 yards in his first 10 carries then 120 in his next 10. Some backs take a while to get going, Ingram never had that chance. T Rich does lack fire when he runs, and the comparison to The Firm seems to be legit.

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