Chat with Bill Barnwell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Football Outsiders' Bill Barnwell stops by to chat about the NFL season.
Send your questions now and join Barnwell Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Bill Barnwell (1:04 PM)
Hey everyone. Week 4's in the book, and while it wasn't always the prettiest football, there's a lot to talk about.
Jamal Singletary (Pittsburgh,PA)
Will the NFL one day return to the City of Los Angeles like in 5-6 years or it will never make it to "The City of Angels"?
Bill Barnwell (1:08 PM)
I don't know if the answer is "never", but it may also not be in 5-6 years, either. The question is infrastructure. Is an NFL team going to be willing to play in the Coliseum and pay for the renovations required? Are they going to be required to build a new stadium? If so, you're probably looking at a billion dollars, minimum, that they'll need to finance. And the state of California is pretty broke right now.
Kevin (New York, NY)
Best pickup for this week: Torain, Lynch, M. Bush?
Bill Barnwell (1:09 PM)
Probably Bush, but I suppose it depends on Darren McFadden's injury status.
even though kevin kolb didnt go for the long ball i actually think he did good escape move around a lil bit and threw for accurancy the only thing i saw was he need to look downfield
Bill Barnwell (1:12 PM)
I don't know, to be honest. You also have to consider the coverage that the Redskins were employing. Were they in two-deep coverage and pushing Kolb into underneath throws? I can't say. Maybe he does need to look downfield.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which NFL team do you think will be as bad as the 2008 Detroit Lions?
Bill Barnwell (1:14 PM)
I think there were some 49ers teams in the middle of the aughts that were actually worse than the Lions, but they had a better record because they played a much-easier schedule. This year? I don't think any of the teams are as bad as the Lions. The league is much more condensed this year; there's no really elite team, but there's also no team that stands out as particularly terrible.
Hillis For Quinn, one of the best trades in quite some time. What didn't Denver see in Hillis?
Bill Barnwell (1:15 PM)
They saw a running back who always gets hurt and was buried behind three other guys who they'd rather play? I mean, Cleveland has a pretty great offensive line. I don't think dealing Hillis was a bad move for the Broncos, and while there were other things they could have picked up, taking a flyer on Quinn isn't the worst thing in the world.
Are the Colts really a Super Bowl contender with their terrible defense?
Bill Barnwell (1:16 PM)
The Colts had a terrible defense for most of the 2006 season, finished 23rd in points allowed, and won a Super Bowl when the defense clicked in the playoffs. So it's certainly possible.
Pieman (China, Maine)
Bill - still a big fan of veteran presence. Was this the real Giants defense last night or was that Martz stubbornly not adjusting his offense. That pass rush was outstanding, but I am not sure it is sustainable. Thanks.
Bill Barnwell (1:17 PM)
The Giants defense didn't do anything drastically different from what I saw; most of what they did consisted of four-man rushes with good coverage behind them. Those four guys were just able to beat the offensive linemen in front of them. Over and over again. Until it wasn't funny anymore.
Nathan (Coralville, IA)
In spite of the debacle last night, the Bears really do have a pretty good team. However, the offensive line needs some in-season retooling, adding guys who aren't currently on the roster. Give Jerry Angelo some free advice--what should they do?
Bill Barnwell (1:18 PM)
There's no one they can bring in who is going to be a serious upgrade on what they have. Even if it's a talent upgrade, whoever they sign will have to learn the playbook, and if you thought Jay Cutler was having trouble, imagine what happens if his new right tackle runs the wrong play and lets a rusher come in scot-free. The only guy who even remotely comes to mind is Josh Beekman, and the Bears cut him in camp.
Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)
I mean how bad is the NFC West this year? I think it has to be the most pathetic division I have seen in the NFL in a long time! All these teams need top 10 picks!!!!
Bill Barnwell (1:21 PM)
Well, one of them won't get one because of playoff re-seeding, but they certainly all have major flaws. Is it really that much worse than the NFC West in previous years, though?
burlington ks [via mobile]
Are you suprised the Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeted team left in the NFL and do you think they could beat the colts
Bill Barnwell (1:22 PM)
Yes. Even though the Football Outsiders Almanac predicted that the Chiefs would win the AFC West before the season started, I don't think even our projection system would have suggested that the Chiefs would start 3-0. One of the reasons why the Chiefs were expected to win, though, was because of how easy their schedule was, and the Colts are one of the more difficult games on it. I think they CAN beat the Colts, but I don't think they will.
With me, we would have won. Flacco hasn't "solved" our defense. Our stupidity for prevent defense made it easy for Average Joe!
Bill Barnwell (1:23 PM)
Probably, yeah. But playing a prevent defense doesn't explain losing T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a go route.
BSB (Depressed Phightin Franklin)
Kolb or Vick, does it matter when the middle of your OL and LT are this.... BLAH! Will this Eagles team slowly die because they won't run and can't pass block?
Bill Barnwell (1:24 PM)
I think Vick's better at avoiding that pressure, but yeah, there are major issues with that Eagles offensive line. The investments they made a couple of years ago just haven't panned out: Stacy Andrews is in Seattle, Shaun Andrews is on the Giants, and Jason Peters has just been mediocre since Philly acquired him.
Do you think Reid made the Vick move after week 2 because he's starting to doubt Kolb? Has your opinion on Kolb changed from 24 hours ago?
Bill Barnwell (1:26 PM)
I think he certainly is doubting Kolb, but my issue has always been not being able to understand what happened between the point where Kolb was the franchise guy who was worth $12 million for one year in guaranteed money, and then this guy that Reid doubts.My opinion hasn't really changed, no -- I don't think he played great, but he was the scout team quarterback all week. If Vick had a bad half against the Packers, it would have been the same thing.
Anything new on Vick's injury/health status? Will he be able to go to the slate with power agains the 49ers next week, or will the Eagles need to milk Kolb like a common dairy cow in their next game?
Bill Barnwell (1:27 PM)
Nothing new on Vick's status yet. I think the best way for the Eagles to attack the 49ers defense is with the passing game, though, so you should see a fair amount of Kolb.
Have you liked what you've seen of Bradford so far? Will Detroit be able to rattle him next week at home?
Bill Barnwell (1:28 PM)
Yeah, I think you see a lot of good things out of Bradford -- he's poised, he doesn't make many dumb throws, he hasn't been prone to a lot of the rookie mistakes you see guys make. As for Detroit rattling him? I mean ... who was the last quarterback Detroit rattled?
Any hope for the Bills? you were somewhat optimistic about them a month ago.....Its sad but I miss the years of 7-9 teams....Are they the worst team in the NFL?
Bill Barnwell (1:29 PM)
I was optimistic because I expected them to be a healthier team. So far, that hasn't really been the case, and they brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick to play quarterback.
Ryan (San Diego)
So what are your thoughts on the Chargers defense? For real? They are giving up the fewest yards and points when everyone thought they would be terrible. They look pretty good so far
Bill Barnwell (1:30 PM)
Look at who they've played so far offensively. Definitely better than last year, but not as good as they look right now.
Week 4 seems really early to have a bye week. You are barely rolling along and then you have a weekend off? Why does the NFL do this? It seems like they should have weeks 7-8-9 as the designated bye weeks for all teams to promote fairness and balance. What do you think?
Bill Barnwell (1:32 PM)
How would that work? You'd end up with, what, ten teams on bye in two of the weeks and twelve in the other one? So then you would have a week with ten games, one for Sunday night, one for Monday night, and then eight games for Sunday afternoon? That wouldn't make TV executives very happy.I've run the research on this in the past, and unless it's drastically changed in the past couple of years, teams that get an early bye play as well as teams that get a late bye.
Is parody at an unprecedented level in the NFL this year?
Bill Barnwell (1:32 PM)
How will the Eagles do w/o Mccoy or Vick suggesting they both are out with rib injuries?
Bill Barnwell (1:33 PM)
McCoy's been fantastic so far. Hard to see how they're able to replace him, although running back does generally tend to be a fungible position. I think the idea will be to throw early and often with Kolb and get in easy run situations for Mike Bell, as opposed to the other way around.
Nick (New Jersey)
Do you think the Pats can contain the miami offense with their young secondary
Bill Barnwell (1:35 PM)
That depends on which Miami offense you're asking about. The Miami Hurricanes offense? Sure, I think so. I think Bill Belichick can gameplan enough to beat Jacory Harris. The Miami Dolphins?!? Oh. That's extremely unlikely. That Pats pass D has looked gruesome so far.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Based on the first four weeks, who would you say was the best team in a seemingly weak NFC?
Bill Barnwell (1:36 PM)
So far? Probably the Packers. I like the Falcons, but they're 3-1 with two pretty close wins (and one really close loss).
with the addition of holmes, return of revis and pace can the jets beat anyone in the league?
Bill Barnwell (1:38 PM)
Sure. On their day, the Jets can beat any team in the league. But so can most teams in the NFL, to be honest. Should they be favored against any team in the league on a neutral field? I don't think so. But there's not very many that they should be behind.
Tommy Salami (Boston)
Call me whacky but I think the Bills are one bad loss away from being inspired to beat the Bears, Bengals, Browns and Lions.Heck I think Maybin might actually register a sack in a couple of those games... Go Bills.... I need as much moral help as possible
Bill Barnwell (1:39 PM)
I'm not sure if you know this, but the third suggested search phrase that comes into Google when you type in "Aaron Maybin" is "Aaron Maybin bust".
Barrett (Austin, TX)
Bill,This week the Houston Texans made a reactive decision to start limiting tailgating @ Reliant Park to ticketed fans or friends of season ticket holders for an extra $10 fee. The move followed the Dallas Cowboys and their fans coming to town. There were numerous negative instances that weekend. Typically the Houston tailgating experience is extremely fan friendly. Do you think the Texans decision to charge people to tailgate is a good decision or a decision motivated by money?
Bill Barnwell (1:42 PM)
I don't support teams taking advantage of their fans, but what if there had been an $10 fee since the opening of the stadium? Would you have batted an eye at it? I think the bigger problem here is the circumstances as opposed to the actual fee.
Dan (kc) [via mobile]
What is the ceiling for the Chiefs?
Bill Barnwell (1:43 PM)
10-6 in a weak division, home playoff game. Think a rough approximation of the 2008 Dolphins.
seahawks cant win away from home
Bill Barnwell (1:44 PM)
I bet they can win two or three games on the road.
doesnt cutler have to take some blame for their oline troubles last night? he was holding the ball way too long
Bill Barnwell (1:45 PM)
Corey S. (Durham)
Totally subjective (but possibly legimitate) question: how do you think a quarterback like Manning/Brees/Brady handles that first half pressure last night?
Bill Barnwell (1:46 PM)
They get rid of the ball quicker. Their footwork is better and they feel the pressure earlier, so they know where to step to in order to release the ball and avoid a sack.
Richard (Greensboro, NC)
What is so horribly wrong with the Denver run game? Forget a 1,000 yard back - can the team make it there as a whole?
Bill Barnwell (1:49 PM)
Ryan Clady is a shell of the player he normally is. Ryan Harris has been hurt for most of the season. They're starting a rookie at center and what amounts to a rookie at left guard. That's a line that's in a bad way right now.
Nathan (Coralville, IA)
Are the Packers headed for a long season? That win against Detroit was pretty lame--and not questionable call at the end lame. Thompson refuses to address the running game--why?
Bill Barnwell (1:51 PM)
What would you do if you're Ted Thompson? Trade a draft pick for another running back? Historically, backs acquired in mid-season do just about squat for running games. By the time the guy knows any part of the playbook, it's Week 9, and he's either inactive or barely playing until then. If he blows a pass protection, maybe he gets Aaron Rodgers killed.The last time the Packers had this problem, they chose to stay in-house and gave the job to Ryan Grant, who was an undrafted free agent who they'd gotten for nothing from the Giants. And Grant didn't break through until the second half of the season. So be patient, Packers fans.
Have you guys looked more in depth at the merits of playing prevent defense over just maintaining aggressive defense throughout? I know some coaches almost never play prevent (Rex Ryan) and some almost always do it.
Bill Barnwell (1:52 PM)
We haven't, although it's a good idea to look at in the future.
Ryan (San Diego)
Chargers are out to prove you wrong. They have fixed the special teams so all thats left is to just blow teams out
Bill Barnwell (1:53 PM)
Shouldn't the Chargers be out to win football games so they can enjoy success and make more money and win a title that they've been dreaming about since they were kids?
Al (Wausau, WI)
Bill, do you feel the Vikings will play better football coming off the bye in Week 4? If so, what do you feel is a realistic goal for them this year?
Bill Barnwell (1:55 PM)
I don't think the Vikings have been all that terrible. Losing by less than a touchdown to the Saints and Dolphins, both of whom look like playoff contenders, isn't the sign of a terrible football team by any means. As for a realistic goal? I think you have to aim for 10 wins and hope that gets you in the playoffs. They've got a really tough slate of games coming up over the next month, so if you can go 2-2 and make it to the second half, the Vikings have a shot at going 5-1 in their last six games and making the playoffs with a late push, a la last year's Packers.
pat t (the queen city, NY)
with the first pick in the 2011 nfl draft, the buffalo bills select....
Bill Barnwell (1:56 PM)
Andrew Luck, if they know what they're doing. Jake Locker if they don't.
Peter (Atlanta, GA)
Who has the best food at their stadium?
Bill Barnwell (1:57 PM)
I haven't been to enough stadiums to say. I would guess that the best food for any NFL game is made in the parking lot and not inside the stadium.
What will the Pats record be after the year.
Bill Barnwell (1:57 PM)
It's way too far out to say.
Nathan (Coralville, IA)
Nothing makes sense anymore--can the Rams (yes, the Rams) win the NFC West?
Bill Barnwell (1:58 PM)
Yes. Someone -- I am pretty sure of this -- has to win that division. At the very least, someone has to not lose the division.
Human Centipede (Full Sequence)
Without Sunday Ticket this year, I haven't seen much of the Falcons. I know you were impressed by them so far. Have they changed their style defensively? How have they been successful? Are they worth owning in fantasy?
Bill Barnwell (1:59 PM)
Kroy Biermann's a huge upgrade on Jamaal Anderson across from John Abraham. Dunta Robinson's improved the secondary. Their biggest strength is their run defense, which doesn't make for a great fantasy defense, but does make for a pretty good real-life D.
What are the teams you would favor against the Jets, given their returning playes, on a nuetral field?
Bill Barnwell (2:00 PM)
Steelers. Ravens. Colts. Saints. Patriots. Maybe the Falcons.
Bill Barnwell (2:00 PM)
OK! Time's up. Thanks everyone.