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 (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! It's great to be back after two weeks out, so let's talk some football!
Broad Street Brian (Home of Gang Green)
Hey K.C.! Westbrook is banged up, Plex is out. Who do you think will prevail. Broad Street or Broadway? I'm leaning Broad Street because no member of the G-men WR corps commands a double team. Dawkins will live in the box! Go E-A-G-L-E-S! EAGLES!
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
I've got Philly in this one because of the huge advantage the Eagles have in the WR/CB matchup. Toomer is OK but Samuel and Brown both had great years and should be able to keep him well in check. I see the Eagles turning it into a bit of a shootout and winning 27-21.
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
Safety has been a position that has not been represented much in the HOF. However, there seems to be a golden age of safeties right now. Reed, Troy, Sanders, Sharper and of course Brian Dawkins. Do you think that Dawk is a HOF? He may have been the most dominate NFC FS in the last 10 years. (No offense to Sean Taylor but his career was to short.) Your thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
Brian, I'll give you two in a row because I'm a sucker for a HOF question. In my view, Dawkins, Polamalu and Reed are all HOFers and Sanders is on the cusp.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
With the Chargers pass defense as bad as it is, should the Steelers air it out and risk Ben being sacked a lot, or should they continue to run the ball at San Diego's strength on defense?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
As bad as the Chargers secondary has been overall this year, their CBs actually have fairly solid metrics. I expect Pitt will still test them with their typical gameplan of chuck it vertical early and then run it once they get a lead.
Realistically, can the Packers be a top dog in the NFC again next year. Firing Sanders was a start. I see a lot of young talent, but they still need help on D and the O-line. I think they are close to being a 12-4 team again, of course I'm biased.
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
I'm not sure they have 12-4 talent but they are a more talented team than their win total showed this year. Their issue for NFC dominance is whether or not they can win their quickly improving division. That's a 50-50 prop in my book next year.
What about Darren Sharper?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
I'm of mixed mindset on him. He's had some really good metric years but I can't quite put him into the Polamalu/Reed/Dawkins category. It will probably be one of those things where if those three make it in and Sharper is up for nomination at the right time, he'll get in but otherwise he might miss out because he played in a time with a ton of great safeties.
Dee (Greenville, NC)
Not sure why people think a wet surface hurts Sproles more than any other player. Sproles is short and takes small strides which will give him an advantage against players that have to take long strides on defense. If you're walking on a slippery surface you don't take long steps to keep your balance, you take smaller steps.....With that said I expect to see a lot of screens to counter the Steelers blitz packages.
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
I'm with you on the small steps part for Sproles. I'd also agree on the screens part. Pitt is going to have trouble reigning him in.
The Packs new D-Coordinator is....Mike Nolan, Gregg Williams, Sean McDermott?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
I'm not sure who they will hire but I can't imagine it would be Williams. His Skins defenses didn't do well and his Jags defense wasn't any better. He's got a lot of passion and all but the results haven't shown up the past few years on the field.
jimmy kinston nc
kc, how do you see panthers cardinals going down? dont think they can stop our running game, you?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
Jimmy, I think the Cards won't be able to stop the run but this game will turn on which QB makes fewer mistakes. Both of these defenses had forced bad decision percentages of 3.6% or higher (which is a very good number) so I'd expect to see a lot of turnovers on both sides. Warner's been better at not making mistakes so it may come down to Delhomme not taking unnecessary risks with the ball as has been his habit through the years.
Can you explain in metric terms why you feel Antoine Winfield is a top 3 CB this season? I just don't see it. I would rate guys like Asomugha, Woodson, Ike Taylor, Darelle Revis ahead of him and maybe Sheldon Brown.
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Tom, Winfield had a 5.6 YPA and a 56% success rate, both of which are really, really good numbers. Asomugha and Brown both beat him out in the YPA area and Woodson was close but Winfield's success rate was better than theirs. He's deserving of the top 3 mark.
Mike - NYC
Pop Quiz KC, which of the remaining 8 QB's has the best Qb post season Qb rating? I think the answer will shock many of your readers if you know it...
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Hit me with some science Mike!
Miami Dolphins secondary coach Todd Bowles is going to interview for the St. Louis Rams head-coaching job? What are the chances he gets it?
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
I like Bowles a lot but his Fins secondary didn't do a great job this past year. That might not keep him out of the gig but it won't help either. I think he'll be an interview candidate this year and will be one of the hotter candidates down the road when Miami makes a deeper playoff run over the next couple of years.
Mike - NYC
Jake Delhomme has a 95.0 rating with a 5-2 post season record, including 3 road wins. Amazing huh. I thought it was Eli or Warner for sure, but Delhomme has the 3rd best rating of all time behind Bart Starr and Montana.
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
Mike brings the science! Jake is a darn good QB and the numbers back it up.
Carolina's running game a product of their shuffled O-Line or great individual efforts by Williams and Stewart?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
A bit of both. Otah graded out great, so the O line has to get some credit, but their backs also did a great job when they didn't get the best blocking.
Greg - tampa
that can't be right, Delhomme is the worst QB in the league. or at least the most inconsistent. I would take at least 25 QB's over Delhomme right now...
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Worst QB in the league? Man, that is harsh. He's not quite what he used to be because of the injury but I'd still rate Delhomme as a top 15 QB at the very least.
Hi KC. Everyone hears about the old Jimmy Johnson draft value charts that he used to work over teams on draft day. I was wondering if these numbers are still used or have they been modified over the years? Is there any truth to the claims that top 5 picks are now costing more than their expected value to the team?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
I can't remember where I read it but I saw a piece in the last year that spoke of how the numbers on those charts have been updated in recent seasons. And if memory serves me correct, the reasons for the change stemmed largely from the top picks not panning the way the numbers on the charts said they would (i.e. their value had dropped off).
Ryan (San Diego)
The last time you chatted with us before the holidays you said Rivers should be the MVP if they made the playoffs. Now, they not only got in, but won a playoff game. Can you give my guy some props? He got 2 MVP Votes, finished 4th in Offensive POY and didnt make the pro bowl
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
I'll give Rivers some props. I changed my mind on the MVP bit due to how well Manning had the Colts playing (very few QBs could have done as well as he did with that offense, especially early in the year) but Rivers was a strong secondary consideration. He should have made the Pro Bowl at the very least.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Who do you think is the best NFL talent evaluator - current and all-time?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
This kind of thing is hard to judge until time has passed, so I'll pass on the current best evaluator. For all-time talent evaluator, give me either Al Davis, Ron Wolf, Jack Vainisi or Gil Brandt.
Craig (Norwich, CT)
Has Bob Sanders actually been healthy enough during his career to be in a Hall of Fame discussion?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
Very good point. It's the biggest reason he's not quite on my HOF list. If it keeps cropping up, he'll be fourth on the list of today's safeties in that perspective and it could cost him some years of waiting time at the very least.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
So Al Davis could be the answer to the best all-time talent evaluator and the worst current talent evaluator?
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
Very funny! I'd have to disagree, however, as the Raiders have proven to be quite adept at talent evaluation the past few years. Their issue is more coaching related than it is on-field talent collection (which is a real problem in other places like, say, Detroit).
Big Hank (The Sticks, Bama)
There's the homer of all homers Ryan again. I think he has a man cruch on every single Charger. Rivers is a clown, he gives up on plays way to easily. How many times did he just throw the ball at the feet of a RB or TE b/c he got flushed out of the pocket?
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
Hank, I've been a Rivers basher for years so when he does something good, I feel a bit obligated to point it out. Don't worry, if Rivers loses this year and plays bad doing it, I'll be the first to say so!
Bill Walsh??? Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, 1986 draft?? He more or less laid the groundwork for 5 Super Bowl teams. (I will acknowledge: he did have a surprising amount of 1st round misses though)
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
Yep, add his name to the list as well. As I pointed out in my book Blindsided, he also learned some of his tricks from the Rams Klosterman, so we can also add him to the list.
Tell me something positive about the Browns! I'm on the ledge man, we jumped the gun on Mangini and still haven't found a GM.
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
OK, how about this. Romeo left you guys with a really good defense. Cleveland's 4.4% forced bad decision rate was the best in the NFL. That's something to build on indeed.
Colts=Braves! Tons of winning seasons and only one title to show for it. How big of a choker is Peyton?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
Too true, Majeed, but as a fellow long-time Dolphins rooter, I do have to point out that if Marino had given us even one championship, he'd have a claim as the best ever QB. Hard to knock Manning from that perspective, right?!
Settle a debate for me: How much better would the Ravens have been this year had they drafted Ryan instead of Flacco? Probably not much, right?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
I did an analysis for ESPN The Mag recently where I looked at Flacco's vertical pass numbers in the second half of the year. They were simply dominant and show that he is displaying mastery of the toughest part of the game. Ryan had a better year but I see both of these guys having long, successful careers, so the Ravens did not miss out. Oh yeah, I should also mention that Ozzie Newsome is one of the best talent evaluators today.
Hold on, we forced bad decisions with no pass rush? Does this mean for the first two seconds of a play the whole secondary is as good as Asomugha? I mean I have perfect vision but maybe my eyes have lied.
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
A bad decision is given when a QB makes a mistake with the ball that leads to either a turnover or a near turnover (i.e. interception that is dropped). It can happen because of the pass rush or because of coverage/scheme confusing the QB and I think the latter describes the Browns.
What do the Texans need to do to turn around their defense this offseason?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
I think they need a bit more in the secondary. They've got a great D line and if they could shore the secondary up a bit, I think it would have a big positive domino effect.
Jim: Ocean Springs
Considering what you said about Greg Williams, are the Saints about to make a mistake by hiring him as their DC?
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
Given how poorly his recent teams have played, I'd say yes. He also has a tendency to politicize his teams (something I've covered in previous editions of Scientific Football) and so that is some baggage the Saints would also have to deal with.
Paul ( Phoenix)
KC, Carolina's D has been gashed recently, do you think Edge will have a good game running the ball now that his legs are fresh and the O-Line is blocking well? Carolina's D has actually been awful of late.
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
The Cards O line is blocking better than it has in maybe the entire six years I've been doing this. Given how poorly the Panthers have been doing stopping the run, I'd be quite surprised if Whisenhunt doesn't try to pound it, but I still think he subscribes to the "pass the ball to get the lead and run the ball once you have the lead" mentality. Expect the ball to be in the air early on.
Andy Reid adn Company have proven themselves to be very good talent evaluators over the past ten years. I believe he has the most Pro Bowlers drafted, and Pro Bowl appearences during that time.
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
I'll gladly add their names to the list! The Eagles front office has very clear personnel goals and they are quite adept at filling talent gaps on their roster.
Vedhas (Spartanburg, SC)
What part of Houston's secondary has to be fixed? I remember you saying that Bennett had the best YPA last year, but did he follow up on that well?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Bennett really didn't follow up on that very well, as his YPA bounced from 8-10 yards for the entire year. Jacques Reeves was a good pickup overall (his success rate was superb) but I like to see a team go 3-4 deep at this spot and Houston looks to be at least one short of that mark.
By politicize you mean D against O?
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
The analysis I did in SF 2007 showed more of a players v coach issue than anything else. It stemmed from the self-evaluations that he gave to the players. The way it came across said that the players were at fault for the performance and not the coaches. Even if that was the case (and the players didn't seem to think so), it isn't the type of thing you do to rally your team to a better performance.
Hey K.C., how about a Jets question, what do you think of the o-line, how about brick, was he worth the fourth pick?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
Joe, I broke down many Jets games this year and can say that based on that, Brick had his best pro year. That's the upside. The downside is that it wasn't the kind of year one would expect from a pick that high. Clary and Long both had better seasons and I'd still easily take Joe Thomas over Brick as well.
Larry (Pasco, WA)
Predictions for this week? Ten/Balt, Arz/Car, NYG/Phil, & SD/Pitt?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
I was 2-2 last week, so let's see if I can improve on that mark. I'll go with Baltimore, Carolina, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
interesting you should say that about reid, most people here would say the opposite. and heckert is not interviewing with the browns.
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
Just take a look at Philly's track record. They have stacked up on quality players in the secondary, D line and RB. Their WR picks would be the only place I'd knock them a bit and even with that caveat, you still have to point out Desean Jackson and Kevin Curtis. Give me their personnel track record any day of the week.
Ken (Scottsdale, AZ)
Is there anything more ridiculous than Peter King making Wes Welker his All-Pro wide out?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
I don't always agree with Peter's picks but I can see his point on this one. Welker is the best possession receiver in the NFL and that's one reason to consider someone for an All-Pro pick.
Dang, I was hoping TJack would either be bad in his last three starts, or good. But this was the worst possible outcome for the vikes. Roehtlesberger, Eli, Ryan, Campbell and others also ran offenses that scored 14 or less vs the Eagles this year. Now we have no idea if TJack is any good or not.
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Mike, if I were Brad Childress, the first thing I would do is sit Jackson down and tell him he is my starter no matter what. Jackson by his own admission put too much pressure on his shoulders and Childress needs to do all he can to take that pressure off. If he is successful in doing that, Jackson will be more than good enough to lead Minnesota to another division title.
Do you have any metrics on Nick Mangold? Run blocking & pass blocking, I'm wondering if he's considered a top five OC.
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
I don't have full run/pass block metrics at the moment but I will be doing them for Scientific Football 2009. It's been a couple of years since I did a full season's worth of run metrics and I want to go back to them to this year, so that will be a focus for this year's book.
Bo (Honolulu, HI)
KC, please clear the air as there seems to be some confusion, tell the people that if the Raiders dont reach a long term deal that they can still franchise Nhamdi.
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
My understanding of the situation is that they can franchise Nnamdi, but I can't say that I have any inside skinny on that one. Knowing Al, he'll pay Nnamdi the big bucks because Nnamdi is just that good, so it might end up being a moot issue.
Can you believe I may have to face Bob Sanders, Troy P, Ed Reed, and B-Dawk to win the Superbowl? All at least potential HOFers according to you.
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
That would be the definition of running the safety gauntlet!
Bo (Honolulu, HI)
Rob Ryan is gone and we have no HC. What's going on with the Raiders? And who do you see filling those positions?
KC Joyner (5:02 PM)
Bo, know this about the Raiders. Al Davis likes to do a lot of coaching interviews because it gives him a chance to pick the brains of the smartest guys in the league. They'll take their time filling their coaching spots so don't expect this to be finalized quickly. Well, it's been great to be back but I've got to get to dinner so I'm going to fly. Hope to see you all next week!