Hey everyone! Quite a year we're having. Let's talk about the Week 6 action.
Are the Pittsburgh Steelers the team to beat in the NFL right now or are their teams better then them in the AFC at the moment even though their getting Big Ben back?
Well, they're certainly playing at a really high level. But they're not dominating opponents the way you'd like to see an elite team do; they beat the Bucs, but they were within a touchdown of the Browns at home for most of the day, and the wins over the Falcons and Titans were close one. They might be the best by default, but there are some holes there.
I am a big Panthers fan, but we have to get Fox out of here right? He is WAY to conservitive, all he wants to do is play not to lose big, he doesn't have the guts to throw the ball.
You have to adapt your scheme to the talents of the players on your team. The Panthers have a rookie quarterback and no receivers of any note; they have two very good running backs and a very good offensive line. It seems logical for them to run the ball frequently and play conservative football, no?
Hi, my name is simon texidor, im a browns fan, and i was wondering why did they trade harrison?
Simon, it appears to be a situation where Eric Mangini just doesn't think Harrison deserves a larger role in the offense, but Harrison does. And that butting of heads can only happen so many times before something has to give.
Bill, in recent years college coaches haven't fared too well in the NFL but do you think teams will give Kirk Ferentz from Iowa a look as he seems to have garnered a top of respect around the league?
I think owners are VERY hesitant to give unproven college coaches jobs after the double flameout of Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino a few years ago. There are plenty of coordinators who might deserve attention before the college coaches.
I am very confused by the Dallas statline...what is the ruling on the last play of the game? Since there was a penalty does everything that happened on that last play get wiped off the books when the stats become official on Thursday?
Yes. The play never happened.
Which team is more improved--the Chiefs or the Redskins? Do either (or both) make the playoffs this year?
I think the Chiefs are more improved; they were a really bad football team last year, whereas the Redskins were just a reasonably bad team in a tough division. I think the Chiefs end up making the playoffs, but the Redskins are going to need some help from the teams around them. They still have road games against the Titans, Giants, and Cowboys on the way.
Last night Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy were talking about defenders receiving suspensions, instead of fines, for stuff like nasty helmet to helmet hits. Is this actually being discussed around the league, or were they just filling air time?
I think the cacophony of helmets smashing against each other yesterday got people in the league office talking. I wouldn't be surprised if the next prominent helmet-to-helmet hit resulted in a suspension.
Any news on Desean Jackson? Quite the hit yesterday.
I am under the impression that he'll be out this Sunday against the Titans, at the very least.
Is Carson Palmer even a top 20 QB any more or do you feel the OC/receivers/OL has been a major part of the problem? How should the Bengals approach the position next year (high draft pick, FA, etc.)?
I don't know if I could name 20 quarterbacks better than him, but I do think there's been some serious degradation there. He just doesn't look like the same guy that was there before the injury in 2008; whether it's because he never got the Tommy John surgery his elbow needed or because he's aging is hard to say. Don't think there's going to be very many quarterbacks available next year, and the Bengals have holes at wide receiver and in their front seven that should be high priority.
what's your projections for kenny brit this evening?
Big day coming. 100 yards and a touchdown.
What happened to Atlanta on Sunday? Why didn't they attack the Eagles O-line like everyone else? It looks like they got out coached.
Think they thought they could get pressure with their front four and Abraham, Babineaux, and Biermann weren't able to do enough. Haven't watched the tape yet.
Should Saints fans be in panic mode when it comes to the kicking game? Hartley did it in the NFC Champsionship game, is he due for a down year?
Kicker accuracy is mostly random from year-to-year. The Saints should find the best kickoff guy they can and just use him on field goals.
Bill - Thanks for chatting with us. What are your thoughts on the Packers offense turning things around without a viable running game and Finley (just put on IR) to cause havoc in the seam? Can it be done?
I think the problem with the running game is running in short-yardage, not necessarily the running game as a whole. Take first down, for example. Since Ryan Grant went down with his injury, the Packers have averaged 5.6 yards per carry on first down. Last year, they averaged 4.6 yards per carry on first down. Some of that is Brandon Jackson's 71-yard run this year, but if you take that run out of the Packers' totals, they're at 4.4 yards per carry on first down this year. If you remove the biggest run on first down from last year's totals -- a 62-yarder by Grant -- they averaged 4.3 yards per carry. Short-yardage issues are almost always a problem with the offensive line, not the running back. I don't think Jackson or Kuhn are ideal short-yardage backs, but the offensive line could do more to help, too.
Can any NFC team beat any elite AFC team?
Falcons were a bomb thrown about one foot too long away from beating the Steelers on the road in Week 1.
Could San Diego go 8-8? They seem to find a new way to lose weekly.
I think that's a pretty feasible prediction, actually, considering their schedule.
The Browns are not a talented bunch, but they have played tough so far this year. Do you think Mangini deserves another year?
Coaches who motivate like Mangini usually get results, but have a short shelf life. Mangini's like that, but without the results.
Why bother waiting until the offseason to fire Wade Phillips and the coordinators? The sooner, the better. Two catches for Miles Austin against a backup CB, that's all on the coaches and their game plan
Because you'll be bringing in a new offensive coordinator to, what, teach the team a new playbook on the fly? This isn't Madden, your players have to know the plays.
What happened to Amendola, everyone said to pick him up in fantasy, so I did and he had what an 18 yard catch. Should I drop him or hold onto him, I got Marshall, Driver, Britt, Roy E. Williams?
The matchups column I write every week told you very specifically to bench him. I'll quote:"Amendola looks like a snazzy flex play with Mark Clayton out, but the Chargers eat up second receivers and guys out of the slot, and that's Amendola's game. So ignore him this week and opt for Brandon Gibson instead."The Brandon Gibson thing didn't work out -- Danario Alexander ended up benefiting from Antoine Cason more than Gibson -- but Amendola was a clear sit this week.The article's at http://insider.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?id=5684152.
Did you view Atlanta as one of the better teams before Sunday and how do you view them, now?
I picked Atlanta to win the Super Bowl before the season. I still think they have as good of a shot as any team in the league.
Bill whats your take on the Rams? They've looked pretty good in every game minus the Detroit letdown? Can this team be a playoff team in the extremely weak NFC west?
Decent, improving team, benefits a lot from a weak schedule and a weak division. Defense is MUCH improved. Larry Grant looks good. Chris Long looks good. Ronald Bartell looks good. Work in progress, of course, but someone has to win the NFC West, and I think they've been the best team in the division so far.
It seemed like there were several helmet to helmet hits. What can the NFL do to help put a stop to this kind of stuff?
Suspend someone. That'll stop it real quick.
If the refs make the right call on the Brandon Flowers/Andre Johnson pass interference, are we looking at KC being 4-1 instead of 3-2?
Johnson caught the pass, and there wasn't enough for an OPI. Wouldn't have changed anything.
Bill, to follow up on the Panthers question, it's pretty obvious coming into the season that Fox was a lame duck coach. Don't you think that Hurney deserves at least some of the blame for not getting anything back for Peppers, never finding a 2nd receiver to go opposite Smith, trading away 1st round draft picks two years in a row, etc. Do you think there's any chance that Hurney would get dumped as well?
Think you can make a pretty solid case for Hurney's removal based upon the Jake Delhomme deal alone. Not putting offset language in Delhomme's contract cost the franchise a few million bucks.
As much as I want to say the Desean Jackson hit was illegal. it wasn't. As a defender, aren't you taught to take the kill shot on the other teams best WR?
This isn't the Mighty Ducks. Illegal hits are, you know, illegal. Why not just go over and Nancy Kerrigan Jackson on the sidelines?
True the Bills are out of it, but would a QB for their inevitable top 5 pick the way to go, because I think they need one of those big fat guys up front on defense so they are not getting pushed around all the time
They could use a lot of fat guys on offense and defense. Both their lines are terrible.
They could use a lot of fat guys on offense and defense. Both their lines are terrible.
Thoughts on Colt McCoy's debut yesterday?
Surprisingly good. I heard he looked really rough during practice in training camp, but he was poised and made some good throws under pressure.
Do you have any explanation for why the Niners can move the ball when they're down for the count, so to speak (NO & PHI), but then, albeit without seeing the game, they struggle versus Oakland at home?
They moved the ball well against the Eagles before the confrontation with Singletary, too. They had some poorly-timed turnovers in the Saints and Eagles games that stopped what were effective drives. Against the Raiders, the offensive line really struggled and Alex Smith was inaccurate.
What is the major flaw of this San Diego Charger team? Also, do you agree with their handling of Ryan Mathews - shouldn't he be a bigger part of the offense?
Special teams. They have the worst special teams the NFL has ever seen through six weeks.
How about those Giants? Three weeks ago everyone was ready to fire Coughlin, now they're in the best position in the NFC East!
The Giants "quit" on Coughlin every year. It just happens at different times. During the Super Bowl year, it happened during Week 2. And then they got better. They're a good football team if they can stay healthy.
Looking over the Chargers schedule I feel like they have played very weak teams, where as it seems like the Chiefs and the Broncos have both played much stronger teams overall. Do you think SD might end up 3rd in this weak division?
Think the Chargers finish ahead of the Broncos; they've played much better on offense and defense, and they can't possibly be this bad on special teams the rest of the year. Chiefs win the division, though.
im just curious why would the chiefs have anyone other than brandon flowers guarding andre johnson seems like anyone hes against doesnt have a chance
Because they like to keep Flowers on one side of the field and Carr on the other. Carr's pretty good himself.
Bill, do you think the Chiefs will throw a big more over the next few weeks as they encounter some weak pass defenses or will they roll with 35-40 touches for the Charles/Jones tandem (which isn't a terrible idea either)?
Depends on the game situation. If they can get up two scores, I think they go almost exclusively to the run. If it's close, they throw the ball more frequently.
Osi Umenyiora has 7 sacks and 6 forced fumbles in the last three games. 7 forced fumbles for the year. With all the love Julius Peppers has gotten, hasn't Osi been even better?
Sure, over the past three games.
Bill, Paul Kuharsky is reporting that the leagues offenses have averaged 19.8 touches per game against 5 or more DB lineups, but the Colts have averaged 42.3. Do you think we will see teams continue to play so many DBs against Indy?
That's nothing new. It's the Colts; their base set involves 3 wideouts and/or Dallas Clark.
What do the Jags need to take it to the next level? Their D is improving and their run game is outstanding, is it all on Garrard?
Their pass defense is atrocious. It's improved from 31st last year to ... 30th this year. They don't have the offense to keep up in shootouts unless the other team's pass defense is also terrible (see: Texans, Houston).
Was thinking about D-Jax going out, and was wondering does the caliber of the wideout opposite a receiver impact him? Do you find that the other guy (Maclin in this case) is more successful (more looks) or less (focus of coverage)?
That's a good question, and one we don't have a statistical answer for yet. If I had to guess based on what I've seen anecdotally, it's that the increase in usage rate is more important (for fantasy purposes) than the decline in performance. Also, very few teams have two wideouts who are as good as Jackson and Maclin; most teams have a larger dropoff between their #1 and
Colts are3-0 against teams that have tried gimmick defenses,and 0-2 against division teams that know them and have for the most part not varied the approach.Does this prove that in the NFL you do what you do and don't over think things as a coaching staff?
I seem to recall the Patriots doing pretty well against the Colts in the playoffs with some gimmick defenses throughout the years. The Colts have also scored 26 ppg in their losses and 28 ppg in their wins, so I don't think you're looking at the right indicator there. They've allowed 31 ppg in their losses and 15 ppg in their wins. That's the difference-maker.
I'm really not getting the "This was a well coached game" vibe from the Pats/ Batlimore game. I thought it was poorly coached on both fronts
The standard of good coaching in the NFL is really, really low. Even replacing Belichick with McDaniels would reveal a significant difference.
McNabb seems to not be the most accurate quarterback looking back at the trade think the skins gave up to much for him?
He's never been the most accurate quarterback. And look at his wide receivers.
Worst head coach in the NFL award goes to....
If the Bears didn't trade for Cutler and also trade all those picks, I noticed some good O-Lineman went around those picks and one being the blindside Mike dude, would the Bears be better with those picks and Orton?
The version of Orton that's playing now? Yes. Maybe Orton doesn't get to that level without the motivation of being traded away, though.
do you see the Falcons rebounding from their loss to the Eagles with a win at home vs. the Bengals?
Yes. The Bengals are not a very good football team.
Bill: What's your take on Max Hall...can he get this team to playoffs?...who wins sunday?
If the Cardinals get to the playoffs with Max Hall as their quarterback, it will be because the team dragged Hall kicking and screaming there, not the other way around.
Poz is the most overrated linebacker I have ever seen. He's probably played about 12 full games in all his years. Bills need to cut him among other players to start a new culture in Buffalo
He's great when he's healthy. Certainly, he's not the problem.
Colts lack of ball security a disturbing trend this year or is it simething that will work itself out?
You're right in that they already have more fumbles from their backs and receivers this year (12) than all of last year (11). Think that's mostly a fluke, considering it's the same personnel.
This might be the toughest year to pick winners and losers week to week I have ever seen. Any reason for this? How can almost every team in the league be so mediocre?
Should've bought Football Outsiders Almanac 2010! (If you did, thank you.)
What do you think is accounting for all of the kickoff return TDs we are seeing this season?
Have there been more kickoff return touchdowns than normal? I haven't really noticed.
John Fox has announced that Matt Moore will be the starter next Sunday. Thoughts?
Whee! I can pick any one of these straws? How fun! Can I go for another one?
Who would you rather have in the long run, Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt?
Think I have go with Nicks so far. Just a devastating receiver after the catch. Best YAC guy in the league last year.
Is a good running back more a result of good blocking or talent? Could someone else come in a do what Foster is doing in Houston?
It's almost always good blocking and a good fit as far as running back style. Some guys could work anywhere -- Adrian Peterson would play great in Houston -- but the blocking is far more important than the back. Teams that spend money on running backs rarely see a positive return.
Hey Bill, I'd like you in our next commercial along side Danny Allsop, Gilbert Arenas, Chris Cooley and Backstrom. How do we get in contact?
Three things I know I will never be able to do because I'm not closely associated with the DC area: Star in an Eastern Motors commercial, get signed to Dischord, listen regularly to go-go.
Hey Bill, I was wondering what was your opinion on the Saints. They beat quality squads and falter against the poor. What's their super bowl odds? PS you were so right about Freeman
Think they're an erratic team this year, don't know if they're playing to their opponents' level, but the defense just hasn't been consistent enough. They need more out of Jabari Greer, who was an elite player last year and hasn't played that way this season.
Bill, I have heard ZERO DPOY or MVP talks for Osi Umenyiora and he now has 8 sacks and SEVEN forced fumbles! How come Peppers (2 sacks) is getting all the talk??? Where's the osi love? Thanks
It's six weeks into the year. Relax. If Umenyiora keeps it up and finishes the season with 25 sacks and 20 forced fumbles, he'll be in the discussion.
Would anyone take a corner and or a wideout from Buffalo for some future solid value picks. I think it's time to start stock piling picks
Having seen what the Bills do with their draft picks, that might not be the best idea.
The Denver Post had a column saying the Broncos are better than their 2-4 record. I say you are what your record says you are (courtesy: Shannon Sharpe). What say you?
Your record is what your record says you are. Your record isn't a particularly great indicator of what your win-loss record is going to be going forward for the rest of the season.
Bill Barnwell you are great, but Rickey say that Malcolm is the greatest Barnwell of all-time
Oh. That is going to be a battle.
I still think the Chargers win the division. Remember KC, Denver was 6-0 last year.
So the first team to go 6-0 and not make the playoffs in NFL history is a good indicator of what's going to happen this year? Come on.
Man the Byrdman ain't lookin so fly these days for the Bills. Where is all that hawking he did? Could all of those picks have been a fluke?
As a good rule, if a guy picks up nine interceptions in a given season, bet the under on whatever people expect of him the next year. That Byrd has zero is no surprise.
Alright everyone! Thanks for coming. I'll be back next Monday.