Chat with KC Joyner
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC in The Show on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
Joyner archive: Columns
KC, love the work. Chats and articles are must reads. LaMont Jordan was my first round pick. Time to give up on him? or is there hope for a good season? THANKS!
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Hello again! What a strange first couple of weeks of the season. Who would have thought TB-Car would be an 0-2 loser leaves town match in week 3? Derrick, with regards to Lamont, I'm not sure I would give up on him just yet. I want to see how the Raiders doing coming out of the bye week and with Walters starting. Maybe it will make a difference.
Brian K (PhillY)
I have noticed more teams are going to the 3-4 alignment. As a result, I have noticed bigger centers replacing smaller ones. (Jamal Jackson in for Hank Fraley as the Eagles example) Is this a trend due to larger Nt over the center or am I making this up?
The center position has often been the weak link in the offensive line. The 46 defense of Buddy Ryan was designed to attack the center of the line for precisely this reason. As the 34 and the 46 come more in vogue, I would expect teams to try to bulk their centers up, but it is the last position they worry about. Unless and until that starts losing them games, I'd expect teams to keep taking the same tack.
who do u have bears or seattle as the #1 nfc team?
Neither. I'd say the Vikings or Falcons are the best team in the NFC. I would have said the Eagles if they didn't implode against the Giants.
What are you thoughts on Dante Culpepper and his slow start in Miami, and do you think it was a mistake for the Dolphins to have picked him over Drew Brees?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
I'll hold off on throwing Culpepper under the bus until after this Sunday. If the Fins don't put up 30+ against a very bad Titans secondary, then it will be clear that something isn't right with Culpepper.
HOW MANY FALSE STARTS WILL THE GIANTS HAVE AGAINST THE SEAHAWKS?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
Very funny, Mike! I'd say the over/under on that is 5.
Ajit (Saratoga CA)
With steve smith back, do you still think Carolina will likely make the playoffs given their schedule and mediocre play of the offense?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
I was very impressed with how hard the Panthers played against the Vikings despite having almost their entire O line shuffled around due to the Wharton injury. That was a very tough loss, though, and Fox is going to have to keep this team's spirit up. He's shown he can do this even during the terrible campaigna a couple of years ago so I still think they could make a run.
KC, my man, show some love to the Atlanta Falcons? Are you surprised by their 2-0 start? And, do you think they have a shot at Super Bowl this year?
Do you think Falcons can run their way to the Super Bowl this year? Do you think defense can hold their own against the offensive power houses of the league?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
I'll answer both of these questions at once. The Falcons looked great in both games. Beating up on their division foes was quite an accomplishment. Having said that, I want to see how they react when the going gets tough at some point this year. They had a very good start last year and started falling apart as the season progressed and they hit a few roadbumps. I'm not saying that is definitely going to happen this year, just that I'll reserve judgment until they show that won't be a problem again.
Nathan, Green Bay
Hey KC, living in GB I've gotta satisfy my football craving with fantasy football as my Pack have fallen completely out of contention. I just made a trade to give up Frank Gore and Jerricho Cotchery for Larry Fitz and Tatum Bell. Was this a good trade?? I already have Rudi Johnson and Ronnie Brown at RB, and can only start two RBs. Please let me know if I made a mistake????
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
I feel for Packers fans! I really like how well the 49ers O line has blocked for Gore but they have already suffered a few injuries and could be another injury or two away from falling apart. Fitz is a much better WR than Cotchery, so that was a plus. If Bell gets the carries in Denver and/or the SF line has problems, it was definitely a good trade.
I'm enjoying this year's book even more than than last year--great work. With all the post-game talk about whether or not the Steelers should have started Roethlisberger and Polamalu, have you observed a tendancy for NFL teams to start injured stars when (in your opinion) a healthy back-up would likely provide equal or better production?
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
It's an old NFL axiom that the big difference between good and bad teams is how talented the backups are. Good teams have good backups while bad teams don't. The Steelers have a good backup in Batch and I was a bit surprised they didn't go with him. Having said that, they may have wanted to get the rust off of Ben ASAP (kind of like they did when they brought him back last year and they lost to Indy on MNF).
What isn't to like about the Bears? How are the Vikings better than them in the NFC. The Bears have a better defense and special teams and I would call the offense a toss up...maybe...???
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
I don't get many questions from Cameroon! It's not that I don't like the Bears. It's just that Minnesota has beaten better teams than Chicago. It wouldn't be a surprise at all to see Chicago beat them and claim one of the top spots in the NFC.
The Vikings as the potentially best team in the NFC?? They played an ailing Redskins team missing its best offensive player and corner (Portis and Springs) and a Carolina team missing its best offensive player and best linebacker (Smith and Morgan), and barely beat both. I like you chats usually, but there is little evidence to make that kind of assertion. Seattle, Chicago, and, yes, Atlanta are definitely at the top.
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
I agree that a case could be made for both Chicago and Atlanta. I'm not sending Minnesota to Super Bowl 41 just yet, but I did like their moxie in calling a fake FG to take the lead against Carolina and winning on the road in Washington.
Clint (orlando, FL)
Any way Dante pulls out of it in Miami? He looks lost out there. No confidence, horrible decision making. Pleae tell me Joey Harrington isn't the answer KC!
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Clint, wait until this Sunday to judge Daunte. I bet he puts up 300 yards and 2-3 TDs against a terrible Titans secondary.
Jerry Pitts (Weenchester, MA)
KC, loved the book! Who's a better desperation starter at RB#2 for this wk? Benson (v. MIN) or Dayne (v. WAS)? OUch.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Ouch is right! I like the Bears O line better so I'd say Benson.
David (Hinesville, GA)
hey kc i was wondering if you can help me out on this fork in the road fantasy draft of mine. you see i have brandon stokley, a great wr but he's not 100% yet and i want to trade him for bernard berrian. do you think thats a good trade? or do you think i should just wait for stokley to get back into the game?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
The big question with Stokely is whether or not he will get on the field. Berrian is also a starter and has been very good on deep passes. He has a very good matchup this Sunday as well, so you might be better off getting Berrian in the short term at least.
Eli (New York)
K.C. you have always bashed me and my accuracy in your articles. You have also hinted that you were very concerned by the way I was missing and that I may not be able to possibly remedy my accuracy problems. So what do u think of my performance agains the eagles going 31/43 for a 72% clip as will as being at 66% completion rating for the year thus far?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
Eli, Yes, you look very good so far but two weeks do not a season make! (Use your best Yoda voice when reading that line) Keep it up and I'll definitely write something positive about you!
I recently read an article claiming that Nick Collins of the Packers is so talented that many trips to Hawaii could be in his future once he gets more experience? Do you buy into this?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
If Collins plays like he did last year, he will be racking up a ton of Hawaii frequent flyer miles. He had some of the best coverage metrics of any safety in the league and he also supports the run.
Matt (Grand Rapids)
Will Santana Moss get going or should I look for help elsewhere for my fantasy team?
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
Moss has had a bad start in large part due to the Skins not having Portis in the backfield. If Portis starts this week, Moss could have a huge game against a very bad Texans secondary. Hold onto him throught this Sunday at least.
Alex Smith (San Francisco)
How about me KC? What do you think my chances are aginst the Eagles this week, and what's the outlook for the rest of the season?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
I think Alex Smith looks light years better than he did last year. His calling card is his intelligence and preparation and he says he feels more prepared this year than he did last. I expect to see him show even more improvement as long as the 49ers can keep a decent offensive line in front of him.
Lee (Shreveport, La)
Do you really think the New Orleans Saints are one of the "biggest frauds' as one of your ESPN colleagues so eloquently said? Is seems to be foolish and crude to highly criticize a team that everyone called their "sleeper" team last year to making fun of a team that is going on one year post-Katrina. How quickly we Americans forget...
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
I think Sean Payton has done the best coaching job in the NFL this season. I wrote a column about this that will appear on ESPN soon, but the gist of it is that Payton has put together a very good offense with creative and intelligent use of his players. I don't think NO is going to be a playoff team but I don't agree with the idea that they are a fraud.
Chris (Houston, TX)
Hey I was wondering...I have Alexander, Maroney, Cadillac, and Gore on my Fantasy team and was offered McNabb for Gore. Yes/No
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Unless you have a top 5 QB already in place, I'd make this trade. The SF O line is shaky and McNabb is back at full strength, so McNabb's is a safer and probably better choice.
KC, is Carlos Rogers the worst cornerback in the NFL? The guy couldnt even cover Marcus Robinson...I defy you to name a worse starting CB!!
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
I'd agree that Rogers is playing terribly right now but he's probably not the worst. Reynaldo Hill is likely the worst right now.
Mark Brunell is making me nostalgic for the days of Heath Shuler. He's that bad. Your thoughts?
Chris Cooley has been killing my fantasy team this year, do you expect him to get back on track with Brunell continuing to be the starting QB?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
I'll answer both of these questions concurrently. Redskins fans have every right to be down on their team now. Your team is much better than Houston, however, so you should be looking at a dominant performance and a 1-2 record after Sunday.
MR.KC Joyner, I bet you by the end of the season my metrics will be off the wall and i'll make Mel Kiper Jr eat his words that i was a reach when i was taken with the 8th overall pick by the Buffalo Bills.
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Mr Whitner, you have played very well thus far. Keep it up and you could be serving a dish of words to Mr. Kiper.
BJ Carmel, NY
Whats the word with Chris Chambers, his numbers have been decent, but he looks soft and Culpepper isnt looking for him the way I anticipated. What gives?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
Culpepper has been trying to get the ball to Chambers but teams are trying just as hard to take Chambers away. Culpepper even forced a pass to Chambers in the Pitt game that was intercepted. There is no way that Reynaldo Hill can cover Chambers, however, so expect a big game this week from Chambers.
Tatum Bell (Denver)
KC, when will coach realize that I'm his best bet to get the Broncos to the playoffs and stop taking me out of the game just when I'm getting warmed up?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Tatum, Shanahan will keep you in the game when you show him you don't start to wear down after 15 carries and you can hold on to the football. Unless and until that happens, you will be platooned all the time.
I don't think anyone questions your talent Mr. Whitner. What people question is why Buffalo selected you at #8 when they could have dropped down, acquired another draft pick, and STILL selected you later...
Hey Donte, even if your metrics are excellent it doesn't make you less of a reach! The bottom line is that the Bills should have been able to trade down and still get you plus an extra draft pick!
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Mike and Todd, you are both probably right on that front. Whitner is playing like a #8 in the pick draft but the Bills still probably could have picked him up later. Even so, if Whitner does keep playing well it does show why they may have been willing to reach for him early.
That fake by the Vikings was moxie? Down 7 with 6 minutes to go, what good was that field goal going to make? I thought it was an obvious call.
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
I'd be inclined to agree, Goose, except that the Panthers didn't see it coming. Their entire left side rushed and no one played for the fake.
Hold Steve Smith out and go 0-3 (screw the season)? Play Steve Smith, get a win, and risk harming him further (screw the season) What say ye Mr Joyner?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
They have to play Smith if he can go. 0-3 is a death knell, especially in a game against a division foe. 10 wins will be a minimum for a playoff spot in the NFC and if they lose this one, it will be too big of a hole to climb out of.
Asher - trending question?
KC - it seems like offensive and defensive units take turns dominating the league. One year it will be offenses that are tearing it up, the next defenses (like this season). Do the numbers bear this out? Does that mean next season will be more offense oriented?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
That's an interesting question, Asher. I'd hold off on judging this season just yet, though, as a lot of the reasons that offenses are struggling has to do with the big name WRs being out. Once these offenses get healthy, then we'll be able to see if the defensive trend holds up.
Rob (Auburn, AL)
How bad is the Panthers offensive line with the injuries? Do you see them pulling it together in time to make the Panthers contenders again this season?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Carolina's O line got it's tail kicked by the Vikings D line. Having said that, the Vikings D line is very good and the Panthers still played better than could be expected with three O linemen playing out of position. If their O line stays healthy the rest of the way, Carolina should stay competitive.
WOW KC, I kind of have a feeling that you don't like the Titans or Renaldo Hill too much huh.
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
They have lost two games by a 63-23 count, so that's part of it. The Chargers targeted and beat Hill all day long, so that's another part.
The Dolphins play the Bills this weekend, not the Titans!!!
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
Karen, you may want to re-check your schedule. The Dolphins played the Bills last weekend.
Mike (Kansas City)
Hey KC, question about KC...should the Chiefs consider re-building? Their D is better, but their offense is getting old and ineffective.
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
They aren't going to have a choice pretty soon. Their entire O line is getting up their in years, as is Tony Gonzalez, Trent Green and Eddie Kennison. The Chiefs have spent enough on the defensive side of the ball in the draft/free agency the past few years. They are going to have to focus on rebuilding the offense in the next few.
Jason, Washington DC
Why do you bother to publish stupid questions like that -- Dolphins playing the Bills this weekend -- when there are probably a hundred interesting other ones out there. Like mine about your metrics on the Pats O-line, for example!
KC Joyner (5:03 PM)
Jason, I was just trying to help out Karen! With regards to the Pats O line, I really like how they look so far. Their run blocking is much improved over last year and that makes this team all that much more dangerous.
Don (Baltimore, MD)
Hey KC, what do you think of the Ravens in that tough divison?
KC Joyner (5:07 PM)
I've been saying that Ravens are the darkhorse team in the AFC but they won't be for long at this rate. Their defense is playing dominant football and their offense is getting better. McNair is playing the high percentage brand of football Kyle Boller never could.
Fernando (Monterrey, Mexico)
KC, the Niners O-line is getting healthier as we speak. Jennings is back for this sunday. Adam Snyder has proved he is a capable back-up since last season and Wragge has had two very good games in a row. Don't freak out Gore owners, KC here is overracting.
KC Joyner (5:08 PM)
Fernando, I'd agree with you for this coming week. That O line is still brittle, however, so it is a concern. Gore owners should ride this wave as long as the Niners O line stays reasonably healthy!
marques colston (New Orleans)
Could I be the best WR in the draft this year?
KC Joyner (5:09 PM)
I don't know about the best in the entire draft but you sure are winning people over. You know what the most surprising thing about Colston is? He was drafted as a tight end prospect. He's that big and is still putting up good numbers from the wide receiver position.
I got Tiki Barber, Frank Gore and Ronnie Brown all on the same team. I start 2 RB's a weel. Should I try to deal 1? Can anyone think of a practical deal thta I should try (I can't)
KC Joyner (5:12 PM)
Keep Barber. I've mentioned Gore a few times in this chat, so you know my take on him. The Dolphins just lost another O lineman in Anderson. Their LT is terrible and they have a 2nd string center. If you could get good value for him (i.e. a quality starting RB or QB, possibly an elite WR), then I'd make a trade.
KC, I have Steve Smith on my fantasy team. Should I start him?
KC Joyner (5:12 PM)
I'm starting him on my two fantasy teams, if that gives you any indication.
shawn from ok
Whats up with marc bulger
KC Joyner (5:14 PM)
I just broke the Rams/49ers week 2 game down last night. It looks like the Rams passing offense timing is just a bit off. They are throwing the ball vertically quite often but are missing passes by just a step. It could take some times for Bulger and company to get acclimated with this new system.
Jonathan Newby (Atlanta)
Why dont you like the falcons or Vick?
KC Joyner (5:16 PM)
It's not that I don't like them. Earlier in the chat I had them as one of the top three teams in the NFC. My problem with that team is how are they going to handle adversity. They did a poor job of handling it last year and I just don't want to sign off on them until they prove they can handle it.
So what is your take on Manny Lawson? From last weeks performance he looks like he's stepping up to the plate. But who do you think will go farther him or Mario Williams? And do you think Manny would be a good pick in the fantasy league?
KC Joyner (5:18 PM)
Manny looks a heckuva lot better than Williams at this point, that's for certain. Lawson looks like a perfect fit in that 49ers scheme. Williams hasn't generated one bit of pass rush thus far. I think Lawson will have a better season this year and has a 50/50 chance of having the better career.
T Matt (New Orleans, LA)
KC- I read somewhere that the Falcons had to get special permission from his nursing home to keep Morton Anderson out past 5. Is this true, and if so, does this mean that he won't be playing this Monday?
KC Joyner (5:19 PM)
Now that's funny T Matt! Koenen imploded as the kicker so I think it's safe to say that, as long as Morten can stay out that late, the Falcons will have a new kicker Monday.
KC, for my backup QB, I need to drop one, who Stays for the season: Carr or Kitna? (got other pickups I need)
KC Joyner (5:20 PM)
Carr. Houston is putting up some points whereas Detroit is putting up none.
Jonathan Newby (Atlanta)
Earlier in one of your editorials you really gave it to vick because he only passed for about 120 yrds per game thus far. Why is this a problem? If he were to pass more that 15 times a game I'm sure he could pass for around 250-300 yrds a game. however, we are a running team, why do you hate Vick for what he is not when he (other than last season) has paved the way for wins for the falcons?
KC Joyner (5:23 PM)
Jonathan, I don't know that you have read everything I've written about Vick. The quick answer is that Vick has the skills to be the next Steve Young (i.e. dominant passer and runner) and is accepting being the next Randall Cunningham. He could be that much more and I've said that many, many times.
KC, thanks, for this weekend, would you give Kitna one last chance or go with Carr? Thanks.
KC Joyner (5:24 PM)
For this particular weekend, I'd go Kitna. I'm not sure the Texans can pass block well enough for Carr against a high pressure Skins defense.
Does Branch become the no. 1 receiver in Seattle this season?
KC Joyner (5:25 PM)
Maybe 1A. Darrell Jackson is still going to be Hasselbeck's go to guy.
What is wrong with Chris Simms?
KC Joyner (5:27 PM)
I think the Bucs offensive issues have as much to do with the poor O line play as anything. Simms also does seem to be cracking a bit under the pressure, though. Well, I have to call it a day and get back to breaking down game tape. I hope to see everybody next week!