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    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
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  • Top 10...Bottom 5: Week Thirteen



    This past week of the NFL season was "lucky" thirteen, leaving just the final quarter of the season to be played. The top teams mostly held serve, while the bottom teams, well, they did the same. And speaking of luck, the 49ers had the bad luck to meet the Rams again, I had the good luck of not having to watch the Jets/Cardinals abomination on TV, the Steelers get lucky without Ben, and the Colts prove that when it comes to luck, Andrew trumps the rest of it. Here we go:

    TOP TEN

    1. Houston-Is there any question who the best team is at this point?
    2. Denver-Peyton Manning might have something to say about the answer to that last question.
    3. Atlanta-This might be their best team ever to be one and done in the playoffs.
    4. New England-Some things never change, as Brady and Manning are in the thick of the MVP talk...again.
    5. Green Bay-They're another O-line injury away from taking out a help wanted ad in the paper.
    6. San Francisco-It was nice of the Niners to do everything in their power to pull of a 2nd tie with the Rams.
    7. Cincinnati-Played a terrible game on offense, but won ugly, in California. That's 4 straight now.
    8. Baltimore-I really should drop them farther. They lost to Charlie Batch.
    9. Seattle-If they've figured out how to win on the road, look out. That's a lot harder if both starting CBs are chilling on the bench.
    10. Washington-Which was right? Luck 1st? RGIII 1st? Looks like there's no wrong answer.

    HONORABLE MENTION

    Chicago-After that crazy pass to Marshall, and tying of the game, I thought they'd win. I guess nobody told Russell Wilson.
    Indianapolis-Reggie Wayne must have known something the rest of us didn't this offseason.

    BOTTOM FIVE

    28. San Diego-Well, at least they still have their dign....nevermind.
    29. Carolina-Congrats, Panthers, you just made Brady Quinn look like an actual NFL QB.
    30. Oakland-That 2nd round pick the Bengals get keeps getting better and better.
    31. Kansas City-I won't make a classless joke here, but they still stink.
    32. Philadelphia-They could save fans some heartache by literally not showing up for games, instead of figuratively.

    MVPs OF THE WEEK

    Russell Wilson-Thanks to his defense, had to put together 2 game-winning drives. And he did just that.
    Demaryius Thomas-Get used to hearing: Manning to Thomas, TD.
    Adrian Peterson-Sorry, Cam Newton, AP is the real Superman.
    Cincinnati Defense-The offense was atrocious, but the D kept them in it for Dalton and Co.

    GOATs OF THE WEEK

    Drew Brees-To his credit, he took the blame. Good thing. The loss was on him.
    Lions D and Nick Harris-They did everything possible to allow Luck a chance to win.
    Ravens coaches-Ray Rice has 12 carries in a close game? Monumentally dumb.
    Anybody even remotely involved with the Jets/Cardinals game-What a mess.

    Comments 19 Comments
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Ray Rice wasn't part of the game-plan this week. The Ravens tried to use the officials to their advantage by throwing as many jump balls as possible, and hoping the Steelers would interfere with them. One of the strangest games I've ever seen called by Cameron Cameron.

      We can't get a Batch MVP? Nor Andrew Luck?

      I'm not sure it's fair to call the Steelers win lucky (and yes, I do get that it followed a theme). There was no luck to what happened Sunday. That Cincy-Pittsburgh game in week 16 is setting up nicely.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      I was going to put Luck in as an MVP, but I had already mentioned him a few times, so I thought I'd go elsewhere. Batch? I guess I could see it, but he didn't really seem to do anything besides not lose (I did not watch the game, so if I'm wrong, I apologize). I would have felt better putting the Steeler D in than Batch.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Also, if you read this expecting it to be as funny as last week, I apologize. I have TMJ, and my jaw and neck have been in excruciating pain all day. I'm playing hurt, and might not be as effective as usual. Ha!
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      All Batch did was drop back on every third and long, take a sweet sip from his Tom Collins, nibble on the cherry, watch Ravens dash themselves against his impregnable pocket, and then lob a 15 yard pass down the middle to a wide open receiver. Over and over again. What the hell happened to the Ravens? Jeepers.

      Also, Tom Collins' are delicious. In Harry's Bar. In Venice. That's the way it's done.

      I only caught a few highlights of the Broncos game. A guy who watches them every week says Peyton Manning's arm is beginning to look tired.

      Anyone seen any evidence of that?
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      We never beat Seattle in the regular season. But that was the most depressing loss since we got Tebowed last year. Lovie refuses to use a spy because our ends have always been so good at setting the edge. But Peppers looks slower this year as well, and by the 4th Wilson was rolling out just about every play.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Goat of the week has to be the San Diego Offense, or just Norv in general. The Chargers kicked 2 FG's inside the Bengals 3yd line.



      Also, can we please get off of the Andrew Luck MVP comments? He has 16 INT's to only 17 TD's and he's completing 55% of his passes. Yes the 8-4 record.

      By comparison, through 12 games last year Andy Dalton had 17 TD's, 12 INT's, completing 59% of his passes and a 7-5 record.

      Dalton wasn't even remotely an MVP candidate last year. Luck is only a candidate this year because he was the #1 overall pick and has a winning record. If you look at RGIII's numbers they blow away Luck in nearly every category.

      Luck isn't even the rookie of the year IMO let alone an MVP candidate.



      (disclaimer: I'm not saying Dalton is better than Luck or will be in the future).
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      Dalton wasn't even remotely an MVP candidate last year. Luck is only a candidate this year because he was the #1 overall pick and has a winning record. If you look at RGIII's numbers they blow away Luck in nearly every category.

      Luck isn't even the rookie of the year IMO let alone an MVP candidate.
      I think Luck is remarkable. Not MVP (I'm sure that's tongue and cheek). But he's taking a 2-14 team and turned them into a contender playing with a really bad D. I don't want to get into another Dalton argument, but the Bengals D last year was a beast.

      RG3 is exiting. But he has a better OL and a better secondary than the Colts.

      Matt Kalil should be ORotY. But we give no love to linemen anymore. Last year they gave up 49 sack in Minnesota. This year they've given up 27, which can be prorated to a 16 game schedule to 36. That is a decrease in 25% sacks.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      I think Luck is remarkable. Not MVP (I'm sure that's tongue and cheek). But he's taking a 2-14 team and turned them into a contender playing with a really bad D. I don't want to get into another Dalton argument, but the Bengals D last year was a beast.

      RG3 is exiting. But he has a better OL and a better secondary than the Colts.

      Matt Kalil should be ORotY. But we give no love to linemen anymore. Last year they gave up 49 sack in Minnesota. This year they've given up 27, which can be prorated to a 16 game schedule to 36. That is a decrease in 25% sacks.

      I've seen Luck for MVP comments all over the place in the media, not just by vance here.

      It doesn't really have anything to do with Dalton, or comparing the two. Just pointing out how if you look at Luck's numbers, they really aren't impressive and was just merely using a similar recent rookie performance as a reference. They aren't nearly as impressive as RGIII's.


      And I'm sorry, but the Redskins secondary is one of the worst in the league (did you mean WR corp?). I also don't think either oline is any better than the other.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      And I'm sorry, but the Redskins secondary is one of the worst in the league (did you mean WR corp?). I also don't think either oline is any better than the other.
      I meant secondary. I'm not saying it's pretty good, but the Colts pass D is atrocious. So is it's run defense, so it's volume stats don't reflect it, but the Colts allow opponents a Passer Rating of 95.3, compared to the Redskins average of 89.0 PR.

      By the way, an interesting take on Luck, regarding his usage rate, can be found here
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I think vance was referring to Luck as MVP for the week. As was I. Certainly not for the season. That would be ridiculous.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      I think vance was referring to Luck as MVP for the week. As was I. Certainly not for the season. That would be ridiculous.
      that's true. my bad.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      RG3 is exiting. But he has a better OL and a better secondary than the Colts.
      Wait, what? If you were to identify two of the Redskins' areas of greatest need, secondary would top the list with the offensive line coming second. The secondary is brutal.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Wait, what? If you were to identify two of the Redskins' areas of greatest need, secondary would top the list with the offensive line coming second. The secondary is brutal.
      I never said it was a strength. Please read what I said. I said the Colts secondary is atrocious. And yes, the OL is bad, but I'm a Bears fan, and I'd love either a Shanahhan bringing the zone blocking to our team, or any of the talent the skins have on the line. The Colts line isn't much better or worse than the Skins.

      This isn't about the Skins against the league, or the Colts against the league. It's comapring one team against another

      Skins rank 14th in run blocking and 25th pass protection (Football outsiders)
      The Colts rank 26th in run blocking and 16th in pass protection. (Football outsiders)

      That's with everybody and their mother knowing that Luck is going to throw the ball (throws it 10+ than RG3). I haven't watched enough of either to really tell who the better player is.

      And regarding Secondary, maybe I was hasty in assigning the responsibility to that unit. I was going by DVOA, were the Colts rank 31st (31st pass, 30th rush), versus the Skins who rank 20th (19th pass, 11th rush). So maybe it's just that all the Indy D sucks. Not just the secondary.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Yes, I meant MVP of the week. I saw the league MVP talk on Twitter for Luck but I'm not buying that. He'd get my vote for ROY though, unless we're considering linemen, then Kevin Zeitler gets it.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      I never said it was a strength. Please read what I said. I said the Colts secondary is atrocious. And yes, the OL is bad, but I'm a Bears fan, and I'd love either a Shanahhan bringing the zone blocking to our team, or any of the talent the skins have on the line. The Colts line isn't much better or worse than the Skins.

      This isn't about the Skins against the league, or the Colts against the league. It's comapring one team against another

      Skins rank 14th in run blocking and 25th pass protection (Football outsiders)
      The Colts rank 26th in run blocking and 16th in pass protection. (Football outsiders)

      That's with everybody and their mother knowing that Luck is going to throw the ball (throws it 10+ than RG3). I haven't watched enough of either to really tell who the better player is.

      And regarding Secondary, maybe I was hasty in assigning the responsibility to that unit. I was going by DVOA, were the Colts rank 31st (31st pass, 30th rush), versus the Skins who rank 20th (19th pass, 11th rush). So maybe it's just that all the Indy D sucks. Not just the secondary.
      I never said you said it was a strength. Please read what I said.

      As I've posted before, put a guy like Luck behind that Redskins' line and see their numbers plummet. RGIII adds an element to the run game that has little to do with the offensive line, just like Mike Vick did in Atlanta in 2004.

      WRT to the secondaries, it's a bit of a silly argument. They're both awful. Also, I'm not clear on how the Washington secondary improves RGIII's passing numbers. which is what we were discussing.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Read the link I posted, the one that argues that most QBs have their YPA decrease as the # of passes they thro increases.

      Why does the defense matter? Because like Newton last year, Luck has been throwing when he's fallen behind.

      Luck: Leading (134 attempts), trailing (295), tied (74)
      RG3: Leading (111 attempts), trailing (165), tied (49)

      Once again, I don't know who's better. I have watched alot less football this season than others, because I made partner in my firm (engineering). So I've done most of this looking at the numbers. RG3 has those wow plays, but Luck really is as good as advertised as far as I can tell. Sadly we won't see them go face to face nearly enough, which is what makes the Brady/Payton rivalry so great.

      What I find remarkable about Luck is his high productivity when asked to throw more. Also, RG3's Int% is ridiculously low. Regression to the mean ought to correct that. Hopefully not against Ed Reed this Sunday, for those Skins fans out there.

      One last note: Luck has a little Roethlisberger in his ability to extend plays with guys hanging on to him. Saw it against the Bears, and saw it against Detroit. He is a big man. And incredibly athletic. This doesn't get highlighted enough because RG3 is a world class athlete. Olympian level if you will.
    1. xmenehune's Avatar
      I can't blame BAL OC for game plan, to beat PIT you need to throw the ball, see NE w/Brady and Co. that's what they do - they barely run the ball

      This is the year of Rookie QBs, I can't remember if/when so many started and did very well (well at least half, I always wonder if the QB coaching isn't enough of an emphasis with more than a few teams)
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Read the link I posted, the one that argues that most QBs have their YPA decrease as the # of passes they thro increases.

      Why does the defense matter? Because like Newton last year, Luck has been throwing when he's fallen behind.

      Luck: Leading (134 attempts), trailing (295), tied (74)
      RG3: Leading (111 attempts), trailing (165), tied (49)

      Once again, I don't know who's better. I have watched alot less football this season than others, because I made partner in my firm (engineering). So I've done most of this looking at the numbers. RG3 has those wow plays, but Luck really is as good as advertised as far as I can tell. Sadly we won't see them go face to face nearly enough, which is what makes the Brady/Payton rivalry so great.

      What I find remarkable about Luck is his high productivity when asked to throw more. Also, RG3's Int% is ridiculously low. Regression to the mean ought to correct that. Hopefully not against Ed Reed this Sunday, for those Skins fans out there.

      One last note: Luck has a little Roethlisberger in his ability to extend plays with guys hanging on to him. Saw it against the Bears, and saw it against Detroit. He is a big man. And incredibly athletic. This doesn't get highlighted enough because RG3 is a world class athlete. Olympian level if you will.
      What those numbers really say is that the Redskins throw the ball a lot less than the Colts. Luck is 3rd in passing attempts. RGIII is 23rd.

      As for the defenses, the Redskins are 23rd in points allowed, with 301. Guess where the Colts are? 24th, with 306 allowed. So their team's defense is hardly what separates these two guys.

      The difference between Luck's and Griffin's passing stats is that Griffin has a better running game. The 'Skins have 5.3 yards per carry, the Colts 2.7. The 'Skins have 700 more rushing yards (assuming I can read those darn charts correctly.)

      I said it earlier and I'll say it again: RGIII's legs help everything. Just the threat of him running has enormously enhanced Washington's run game. Hell, III had 72 yards on just 5 attempts on Monday Night. I've seen this before. The Atlanta Falcons led the league in rushing in 2004. And it wasn't because they had great runners or a great line. It was Michael Vick's legs that opened-up everything.

      So if III has superior numbers and fewer attempts to Luck, it has everything to do with his team's run game and next to nothing to do with his team's secondary.

      ps Congratulations on making partner! That's a fantastic achievement. i hope it brings you security and prosperity.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      I said it earlier and I'll say it again: RGIII's legs help everything. Just the threat of him running has enormously enhanced Washington's run game. Hell, III had 72 yards on just 5 attempts on Monday Night. I've seen this before. The Atlanta Falcons led the league in rushing in 2004. And it wasn't because they had great runners or a great line. It was Michael Vick's legs that opened-up everything.
      You saw it last year as well. The guy plays for Carolina. FO brought it up back in 2010, when Vick had his huge year. Mc>Coy's numbers went drastically up.

      The skins run more. yes. That is an artifact of 2 things: a better running game and also running out clocks.

      Luck throws because the game demands it, but last eyar in Stanford IIRC they were a primarily running team, with passses thrown to TEs. They had no decent WR.

      Thanks for the congrats. It's been a crazy year.