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!
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
Good afternoon! There are a lot of good games this week to talk about so I'll get this thing going.
Thanks for the help last week, KC. Lets try it one more time. Who do you like the best out of these games, Jets vs KC, Bal vs Oak or Wash @ Det?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
Go with the Jets. I know the game is at Kansas City but Tyler Thigpen has a bad decision rate of 8.7% this year. Add LJ being out and it equals a Jets win.
Dee (Greenville, NC)
Bad game for Rivers this past week. Did you know that was his first INT in the Red Zone ever in the NFL? That's pretty good if you ask me, but that pick couldn't have come at a worse time in the game.
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
I'm of a mixed mindset on Rivers right now. He is leading the league in passer rating but some of his metrics are so-so. Part of that has to do with the state of his WR corps but I guess I want to see the NE game version of him more often than I see last week's version.
KC, What were your thoughts on the play of Trent Edwards last weekend vs the Chargers?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
As much as I could see of it (a lot of the game wasn't shown due to the power outage) I thought he looked good.
Why do I feel like the Bills are still looked at as frauds even though they are 5-1?
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
Good question. I would have thought beating SD would have won over some doubters but that didn't seem to do it. Maybe it will take a win over NE, but even then the take will be "yeah, but the Pats don't have Tom Brady."
KC, tough call here...i need to drop 1 of LJ, derrick ward ( i have jacobs) or mewelde (dont have parker) to pick up bye week WRs.....is dropping LJ not the right move?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
I'd say keep LJ if only because Mewelde is only guaranteed to be a short-term option. Once FWP comes back, Moore won't be able to help you as much.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
Will there ever be a day when scouts actually evaluate players in a smart manner? Meaning they don't care about super strong arms or 40 times or bench presses? If you watched any college football you would know that players like Ted Ginn Jr, Brodie Croyle, and Jamarcus Russell are not good NFL players. I'm continually amazed at the level of incompetence within NFL franchises.
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
Robert, let me take up for the scouting community a bit and say that there is a reason they lean on the combine times. College football games are hard to grade because there is such a disparity of talent. You can watch a player on tape and see him dominate college level players but unless you see him go against a pro caliber prospect, it's hard to say if that dominant level will transfer over. That's why they lean on size, speed and strength so much. Those traits can transfer over.
Anthony: (NY City, NY)
WTH??? When did you get a PhD? Wait.... do you have a PhD? Because the last time I checked, you call someone a scientist if they have a doctorate in philosophy......
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
Let me ask you a rhetorical question of sorts. When the Curies were doing their research into radioactive materials, it was before there were college programs that put out doctorates in such a field. I'm working in a field without such doctorates as well and yet I'm taking a scientific approach to researching football. That's why I adopted the moniker.
M (McLean, VA)
KC, did you break down the game film on Jason Campbell this year? How do you explain a huge quality leap from his last year's performance? What explains no interceptions in seven games and high completion percentage?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Part of it is that he is taking full advantage of the checkdown passes but at last check he was also throwing vertically fairly often, so it's not just that. I will point out that he also has but one bad decision this year so it's not just luck.
Edwards threw just 5 incompletions last week and had the highest completion percentage in Bills history for a single game. If he keeps those kind of numbers up, does he start getting mentioned for MVP?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
Here's another Trent Edwards for MVP backer. I can't say that there are any other really strong MVP candidates right now but I still can't quite get on the Edwards for MVP bandwagon. I'm really impressed by his performance so far but I'd still take Antoine Winfield over him as far as being a dominant player.
Luis (SB, CA)
KC, to add to your response: Scouts are also told by coaches to find 'specimens' of sorts with speed, strength, and size with the belief that once they're matched up with the correct coaching staff, those attributes are then honed. That's the job of a coach, to unlock potential. It's like drafting a Yao Ming. He's got the size, all he needs is to learn the fundamentals. Where's my PhD? haha
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
You tell 'em, Dr. Luis!
Re: 40 times, bench reps, etc
To Robert: the combine shouldn't be the only concern for scouts, but "don't care" is not right either... look at Mike Williams, who was drafted high because he was good in college even though he sucked at the combine, or Chris Johnson this year, who slipped despite dominating the track and now looks like the truth.
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
There is another item I'd point out as well. I'd say one of the hardest things for scouts to measure, and one of the reasons they always try to learn everything they can about a player's personality, is how they will adjust to being a millionaire. Some players lose their motivation or freeze up when the big dollars and big expectations come their way.
Antoine Winfield is a great player but his team is 3-4! Trent Edwards is 5-1 and has a great passing rating and Pass % so far! Plus 2 comeback victories this season! Maybe Albert Haynesworth over him?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Albert is a very good choice, so count me in on that one. Although I do reserve the right to change my mind if the Bills continue this fantastic run.
Terry (San Diego)
Was Carolina's defensive dominance over NO just a fluke? With a healthy Bush, don't you think it would've been a different ballgame?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Carolina has the second highest forced bad decision rate in the league and 21 near interceptions. I am completely behind them as a force. A healthy Bush would have been helpful but let's not sell the Panthers short.
Skins fan here wants Portis for MVP, not Edwards, but: why only QB and RB for MVP? Last year, for example, I thought Moss instead of Brady. Look at what Moss has done to other QBs compared to what Brady has done to other receivers. Or, a few years back, maybe Walter Jones instead of Shaun Alexander.
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Portis is a name that isn't on many lists but I'd agree with you that it should be. He's only leading the league in rushing and is playing for one of the surprise teams in the NFL.
How has Julius Peppers looked vs the run this year?
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Dominant. I've had a chance to break down 2-3 Panthers games and I believe Peppers is winning at least 20% of his POA blocks. As I said in Scientific Football 2008, his drop-off in 2007 was most likely a physical ailment and not a lack of effort on his part.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
Well first rule of thumb for the scouts should be avoid QBs from Notre Dame. The last one that did anything in the NFL was Joe Montana.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
I think that one might be tested soon with Brady Quinn if Derek Anderson keeps his level of play where it is.
STEELERS OR GIANTS AND WHY?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
I'm getting this question a lot so I guess I'd better take a shot at it. I'd go Giants because the Steelers will be without Bryant McFadden. He is their best CB and Deshea Townsend, his replacement, isn't playing that well this year. NY can pound the ball and the Steelers CBs won't be able to stop the passing game enough to make NY one dimensional.
Maybe a dumb question, but how is winning 20% of his POA blocks considered dominant?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
I said at least 20%. I think the figure is probably closer to 30% but I didn't want to commit to that without having run the numbers.
Have you run any NFL numbers on the rookie QBs, Flacco and Ryan?
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
The most important number for both Flacco and Ryan this year is bad decision percentage. Flacco has been doing worse in this area pretty much every week and is nearing the 5% mark. Ryan is at 2.9%, which is a bit high for most but not so much for Ryan given that he was a gunslinger in college.
Speaking of CBs. Do the Broncos have any now that Champ is out for a while? Short of kidnapping the other team's QB do they have any chance on defense?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
To borrow the old phrase, it might be time to stick a fork in Denver's D because it's done. They don't have the size to stop the run and now with Champ out, they don't have anyone to cover WRs.
KC, Please answer! Do I trade TJ Houshmanzadeh for Randy Moss? Who will be better for my PPR league?
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
In PPR leagues I tend to go for more consistency than peak performance. Housh is going to be someone who will give you good numbers every week. Moss will go from great game to nothing game as his motivational levels rise and fall. I'd stick with Housh.
Michelle (Altoona, PA)
Scouts Inc just put out a list of the 20 best players in the Giants-Steelers game, and #1 was James Harrison. Do you agree with this? You have to admit, dating back to last season, he is performing like an elite LB.
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
He is and I'd have him near the top, but for the moment I'd take Brandon Jacobs as the best player in that game. He's been an unstoppable beast for most of the year and, come to think of it, could be an MVP candidate if he has a good run the rest of the year.
Chris (Ashland, OR)
Hi KC - Biggest problem for Denver: bad DTs, bad MLB or really bad safeties?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
A lack of size. They are trying to run a personnel based defense with maybe the smallest set of defenders in the NFL. You aren't going to stop the run with 260 pound defensive ends like Engelberger and Dumervil (although Dumervil is a dominant pass rusher).
Or perhaps Moss goes from great game to nothing game depending on the protection and whether or not Cassell can get him the ball maybe?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
I'd agree it's not all on Moss but he has had a couple of games this year (e.g. SD contest) where it looked like he was just going through the motions.
You are the crusher of my hopes and dreams (delusions?). You said Jake Long was terrible (But suggs called him one of the best LTs in the game). Just wondering. How do you feel Joey Porter has done so far this year? Obviously he has a lot of sacks.
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
I'm betting Suggs was just trying to get Long off of his game with the best LT comment. Regarding Porter, he has to be a defensive MVP candidate. His pass rushing has been fantastic and his run stuffing figures are also great (probably another 20%+ POA win player).
KC, do you think the Titans are the real deal? if not, why?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
If they aren't, it would boil down to two words - Kerry Collins. Having said that, their running game and defense are off the charts good and Collins did take NY to the Super Bowl so I wouldn't put it past Tennessee to go to Tampa in February.
Suggs made the comment after the game...he was truly impressed with the Rookie.
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
I stand corrected! And I'll be looking over the Miami metrics in the next couple of days, so I'll be able to forward along an update on Long's performance next week.
To follow up on my other POA question in regards to Peppers. Does winning the battle constitute coming completely free off of blocks?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Winning a POA block means that the defender got past the offensive player and to the ballcarrier at or behind the line of scrimmage. There are varying types of block wins but that's what it means in general.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
Yeah guys, going after raw talent is the surefire way to win in the NFL. That's why the Raiders have the best record in the NFL. And those horrible Patriots. They never go after the raw talent. They just suck. Going dependable players in the draft. What are those guys thinking? Jerrod Mayo? Pssh, he only ran a 4.6 in the 40. He's no good...
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Robert, the Pats and Raiders have two different approaches to team building. Oakland is a personnel based organization and NE is a scheme based organization. I wrote about this at length in my book Blindsided and also wrote about the Oakland situation in last week's NY Times Fifth Down blog, so check them out if you get a chance. And, by the way, Mayo's metrics are abysmal this year.
Austin W. (Fairfax, VA)
We all know that Aso is the king of the castle right now at CB and it's not even that close, but with Newman injured and now Champ injured, who is stepping up into that Top 5 category? Is Carlos Rogers or Sheldon Brown at that level? And is that taking into account the different schemes (Tampa 2 vs. a Man-to-man cover)?
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Sheldon Brown is having a fantastic year (3.1 YPA) and the previously mentioned Antoine Winfield would have to be the best in the NFL right now. Beyond that, it's probably a toss up between a bunch of other players.
Dee (Greenville, NC)
Scouts should factor in surrounding talent and schedule in figuring out the ability of players. Leinart looked good because he had Bush, Jarrett, Smith, White and a great O-Line where Cutler didn't have hardly any NFL talent, but played teams with NFL talent on their defense in the SEC. Same with Rivers and Eli when they came out.
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
Absolutely they should take that into account. I've been an FSU fan over the years and their players are in the same boat. Having said that, if one were grading the USC players in games against Texas or the like, then I might throw the extra talent idea away for that game.
Austin W. (Fairfax, VA)
Winfield is the best, as in ahead of Aso? Can you elaborate on how a CB who has only been targeted 6 times this season and has given up 1 catch for a whopping 7 yards is not the best? Or are we just looking at YPA and ignoring whether they were targeted 100 times or 10 times?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
Can do. Asomugha isn't being thrown at this year for the same reason he wasn't thrown at last year - the other CBs stink. Winfield is in that same boat to some extent but teams have thrown at him 22 times. He's allowed only five completions for 99 yards and has also done a great job in other areas so that's why I have him ranked higher.
Suggs is also looking for a contract. So, he probably thinks he's helping himself by saying I beat the best LT for a sack (I think it was against Long)
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Good point by Jacob. If the other guy was mediocre, it doesn't make for much for the contract negotiations.
What's on the menu for tonight?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
Mrs. Scientist says she is still unsure. Got any suggestions?
KC I'm trying to decide between Matt Forte and Reggie Bush in a Dynasty league. Both of them are my backups right now so their futures are the real issue here. Injuries notwithstanding, who has shown you more in the film room??
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
Quick qualifying question - PPR league?
Hi KC, With Coles and Crotch hurting and possibly not playing, do you see a big game from Stuckey. I want to drop Harrison and grab a sleeper for this week. Bryant is gone, so how about Vincent Jackson and I know you like Randal El, Morgan also. Thanks
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
I do like Jackson vs. the Saints secondary as a whole, although Gay and McKenzie have both had their share of good performances this year. Randle El would be an upside pick against a horrible Detroit D but the risk is that he may not see enough passes (which is what happened to Walter last week). I'd probably go with Jackson unless you feel you need to play for upside.
Jake Long has not given up a sack all season....so Jacob is wrong. Suggs actually said he "Struggled" against Long. Doesnt sound like he was trying to play himself up.
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
A retort from John in Miami. Tell you what, I'll look at the tape this week and weigh in whether or not Suggs was off-base on his comment in next week's chat.
Go out for some Chick-Fil-A!!! That place is great.
Jared (on TV)
Go to Subway for a delicious AND healthy footlong sandwich! Subway - EAT FRESH!
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
The Mrs. does like the go out for food thought, so it looks like that's the direction I'll be heading in.
Sorry no PPR, I know that's an important part with Bush.
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
What I like about Forte is that he has been getting yards even when he doesn't have blocking. Chicago wants to be a run first team, so they'll get better linemen long-term, so I'd go with Forte.
Russ (New York)
Got to go with a Burrito from Chipotle. Kyle Orton Metrics?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Fast food choice #3! And Orton has a remarkably good 1.3% bad decision rate to go along with his other superb metrics. Maybe we should pitch him for MVP if this continues?
Roland (Junction City, Kansas)
Do you thing Quinn Gray is the answer until the Chiefs Draft a new QB next year, or do you think that the Chiefs still have high hopes for Brodie Croyle?
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
I don't think the Chiefs have their long-term QB on their team. If they do finish with the worst record in the league, I would not be surprised to see them go for a QB high in the draft or to try to trade for a prospect. Maybe we could get them interested in trading for JP Losman and giving the Bills that pick?
So, when you met Mrs. Scientist, did you compare her metrics to others? Did she have to go through a scouting combine? Haha, sorry...just thought it was funny.
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
No combine for her. My scouting and metric eyes were both in agreement the very minute I met her!
Coach Tuesday (NYC)
Losman is a free agent after this season, so the trade scenario doesn't work.
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
Thanks for the clarification!
Russ (New York)
Wow KC!!!! MVP QB and Chicago in the same sentence...I think I almost fell out of my chair. I LOVE IT as a Bear fan.
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
I can see it now - Russ in New York falls out of his chair in KC Joyner's chat, hits his head and is out for a few weeks. Joyner is now blamed for three weeks of lost productivity!
I don't mean to hate on the guy, but Quinn Gray was terrible in training camp with the Colts. With Manning's knee situation and Sorgi not being a great replacement, the Colts gave Gray a great opportunity to stick and he played terrible. I couldn't imagine why the Chiefs would need him over Huard.
KC Joyner (5:01 PM)
Mike, they are probably looking at what Gray showed when he was in Jacksonville. He wasn't a dominant player but there was more than enough to show that he is worth a #3 spot in the league. He would be the #4 QB in KC so he's probably better than they could have expected to get at this point.
Russ's Boss (New York)
What's this I hear? Shouldn't Russ be working? Seems like there's some loss of productivity currently. And Joyner is still to blame.
KC Joyner (5:02 PM)
Sorry about that! I need one of those Boss buttons that TMQ has on his articles.
As a Bears fan I'd be estatic with a Bears QB making the Pro Bowl...baby steps Russ!
KC Joyner (5:03 PM)
Ain't that the truth. And watch, now that I've touted Orton, he'll go out and lay an egg this week.
Realistically, how long until i no longer have to be ashamed to wear a 49ers jersey?
KC Joyner (5:04 PM)
I'm a believer in Singletary, so don't put that shirt away just yet. It's going to take a bit to get this thing turned around long-term (I don't think Martz's offense will mesh with what Singletary wants to do on that side of the ball) but I'd be looking on the bright side.
Didn't both Croyle and Huard get put on IR? Gray would be #3 behind Thigpen and Ingle Martin!
Mike: Huard is on IR too. The Chiefs have no choice they had to bring in somebody.
KC Joyner (5:05 PM)
Croyle and Huard are both out, so Thigpen is the #3 and Gray would be the #4 (assuming he isn't beaten out for that spot).
Mike - Ky
Should I drop Lendale White for Larry Johnson off of waivers, I also have Chris Johnson?
KC Joyner (5:06 PM)
I wouldn't do that. Keep every Tennessee RB you can. Teams are going to put 10 men in the box against KC because they know the Chiefs aren't going to be able to throw the ball.
Roland (Junction City, Kansas)
There is no question that this is probably Tony G's last year with the Chiefs, do you think that the Chiefs just lost their best offer from the Giants (3rd round pick), and will have to settle for something less or will the Chiefs keep him and force him to finish his career getting beat up on a re-building team. "Mentor Brad Cottom"
KC Joyner (5:08 PM)
I know Carl Peterson is being second guessed big time for not trading Gonzalez, but I think he knows what most fantasy coaches know about the state of TEs in the NFL - it's terrible. He must think he can get a higher draft pick because even though Gonzalez is a bit long in the tooth, he's still better than just about every TE around.
KC, the Vikings obviously have to address the QB position. What do you think they should do, draft someone in the first round in April or sign/trade for a veteran?
KC Joyner (5:10 PM)
I'd say the same thing for them I said about Kansas City - JP Losman. I can't stress enough that this guy is a starting caliber QB. Whoever gets him will not be disappointed. Well, I hate to cut it short but the family unit is getting very hungry and it looks like we have a road trip to make for food! I hope to see you all next week!