• The Water Cooler: Week 15


    -I love how people will complain about Cam Newton and his actions on the field (you know, because having fun is one of the biggest problems in our society), and yet Odell Beckham can get away with the crap he pulled on Sunday. Beckham was a complete embarrassment. Following a drop of an easy TD early, Beckham frequently engaged himself with Josh Norman, who clearly got inside of ODB’s head. Three personal fouls later, including multiple thrown punches and a blatant targeting head shot following a play, and Beckham was somehow still allowed to stay in the game. Tom Coughlin acknowledged that Beckham lost his cool, but never considered taking him out of the game. You know, because it’s not like he fumbled. That’s the only unforgivable sin in Coughlin’s book. Cost the team 45 yards while actively trying to get yourself ejected? No need to take any action there.

    -The league should take action, and quite honestly, a suspension would be appropriate.

    -Great comeback by the Giants that came up just short. Would have never happened had the officials had the stones to eject Beckham.

    -As St. Louis makes a power play by approving plans for a new stadium in an effort to keep the Rams in town, and Jeff Fisher makes his annual season-ending, yet ultimately futile run at .500, it has been reported that the Rams are planning on keeping him around. With the Rams quite possibly not leaving town for LA after the season, and Fisher apparently not going anywhere either, so to are the Rams and their impressive young talent destined to remain stuck in standings purgatory as long as The Stache continues to patrol the sidelines.

    -The Redskins are in 1st place by themselves in the NFC East. Or, as my 7-year-old put it today, “Daddy, how did the Redskins all of a sudden become good?” It’s all relative, my small friend.

    -Texans! Redskins! It’s Super Bowl 50 on CBS!!!

    -The only thing uglier than Baltimore’s performance on the field was their pants. They were the color of the inside of a used diaper filled with Indian food, but I guess desire looks like that to some people.

    -Yes they won and put up a deceptive 30 points thanks to the defense, but where is the juice to the Packers offense? Much was made of Mike McCarthy taking over the play calling last week, but this week, it was the same old stale offense we’ve been seeing for the past couple of months.

    -Chris Harris vs. Antonio Brown was set to be one of the most intriguing one-on-one matchups of the entire season. Harris shadowed Brown nearly the entire evening. The result? 16/189/2. Ridiculous.

    -Antonio Brown has joined Marvin Harrison, Andre Johnson, and Calvin Johnson as the only WRs with back-to-back 1500 yard seasons. This follows a 1499 yard season in 2013, putting him that one yard short of being the only player with 3 such seasons. His 129 receptions last year are 2nd most of all-time, and he’s now on pace to pass that mark this year. With 2 games still to play this year, he now has 355 receptions over the last 3 seasons, topping Marvin Harrison’s 354 from 2000-2002 as the most ever in a 3-year stretch. Brown is already one of the greatest receivers we’ve ever seen. The only thing keeping everyone from realizing it is a lack of longevity.

    -Pittsburgh’s win over Denver is a microcosm of exactly why they’re so dangerous, yet why they remain so frustrating. They’ve now scored 30+ in 6 straight, including against 3 teams in Seattle, Cincinnati, and now Denver that are among the top 8 in defense according to FO’s DVOA rankings. For an offense that explosive, all they need is a mediocre defense, which is pretty much the exact definition of what their defense has provided this year (which is a huge step forward from last year, by the way). Yet while they’ve looked quite solid at times, in their biggest games, they’ve put up some pretty massively ugly performances. The 1st half defense looked like the group we saw in New England and in the 2nd half against Seattle. Then in the 2nd half, they suddenly looked like the defense I’ve seen most of the season, which is a group that is often quite good, and at the very least is more than capable of complimenting the offense. If THAT defense shows up in the playoffs, the Steelers will fulfill that dangerous label.

    -3 minutes left, down 7, 3rd and 4 for Denver near mid field, and Phil Simms is calling for a punt if they don’t convert. Classic.

    -30 seconds later he decided to hedge his comment, but the damage had been done. I love how the instinct of many analysts is as if they’re a coach on the hot seat trying to play for the most defensible loss.

    -I bet NBC is thrilled with their decision to flex to Cardinals-Eagles. That may have been the most predictable game of the season.

    -The Eagles are one of the only teams in the NFL that doesn’t specifically game plan for their opponent. They don’t audible, and they don’t change plays at the line based on what a defense is showing. The number of plays you run, or how fast you get them off doesn’t matter when your team not only doesn’t have an answer for the opponent, but apparently isn’t even interested in looking for one.

    -Only 4 more shopping days until Christmas. Here’s hoping that everyone is able to spend this time with the people they love. We’ve got our usual array of content scheduled for this week, so we’ll do our best to attempt to provide some interesting conversation fodder for you and the other card-carrying football fans in your family. Merry Christmas to all!

    Comments 37 Comments
    1. Amy's Avatar
      I agree with everything Brian said about OBJ. I do think he should be fined and given a one game suspension for the launch at Norman. That said, I've watched a lot of the Panthers this year (they're my go to when the Pats are in a different time slot), and Norman does the sort of thing he was doing to OBJ every week. He also needs a fine, at least, to send a 'you can be physical without being a ****' message.

      Denver's defense vanished in the second half. With a possibly injured QB, a 7th round backup, and a 17 point lead, you'd think the defense would have stepped up. Instead, they let the Steelers walk all over them. Where was the help with Brown? I don't mind seeing Denver embarassed, at all, but last night just reinforced to me my skepiticism about this years Bronco team.

      Antonio Brown is amazing. Enough said.

      For all of Simms normal 'did he really say that', Dan Fouts was worse. I counted 9 factual errors in his comments. I feel bad for Ian Eagle. Ian is a very good (arguably the best) play by play guy CBS has - he almost always actually calls the play, unlike a lot of play by play guys - but Fouts just drags that team down.

      Thank you Steelers for the present of a first round bye for the Pats!

      Thank you Texans for winning in Indy for the first time. Win out! We all want Cincy vs Houston in the playoffs!
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Addendum to my comments:

      What was up with Denver's playcalling in the last 2:00. For those not watching, Steelers are up 7 and for some reason they decide to throw. Denver gets a pick, giving themselves the ball at the Steeeler 41 with 2:01 left.

      What Denver did was throw 4 passes, all intended to go 20 yards or more. In other words, they tried for a homerun. Why do that? You have plenty of time to go 41 yards. Take the 7 and 8 yard plays, eat some time, and if you score, give them the ball back with as little time as possible. I don't understand the 4 deep passes in a row at that point.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      One thing I never expected from Rex Ryan and his cronies: a steady diet of soft zones against third and long, which against good offenses is a free pass. Buffalo has gotten ****ty fast.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      OK, A couple things that happened in the Buffalo game yesterday that screamed for the world to hear that Greg Roman wants a new job:

      1. Wildcat formation, Tyrod Taylor (THE STARTING QB!!!) lined up wide right. Put punt returner in motion, form left to right, inside hand off to him. What do you end up with? REQUIRING YOUR STARTING QB TO BE A LEAD BLOCKER ON THE OUTSIDE. I am fine with running a sweep, reverse, or whatever to your punt returner. Especially when the Kicking Team Coordinator can't put together a return and you think he might do well to have a chance one day to run forward with the ball in his hand, but when you rely on YOUR STARTING QB TO BE A LEAD BLOCKER, then you are doing it wrong.
      2. 3rd and 3 from the Washington 11 or so, down 21, put Taylor out wide right again, and have EJ Manuel run an option draw horse**** nothing guaranteed loss of a yard? Idiot. No better than Nate Hackett there.
      3. Four tries from the 1. I am fine with 4 runs. I am not fine with tight formations EVERY TIME. Inside runs EVERY TIME, no motion EVER. Dick Jauron's trench warfare should have gone out of style in 1914.

      Fire 'em all. Make sure you kick out Doug Whaley first, but get rid of all of them. Hire a ****ing high school coach. Can't be much worse. Is Rich Kotite available?

      I really had dreamed of consistent competence form the offensive and defensive coordinators. Take away some Tyrod Taylor miracles, and this team is at best 5-7.

      The offense is better than it has been since Chan Gailey was here, but it is nothing to do with Greg Roman. The defense is as bad as when Chan Gailey was here and it has everything to do with Ryan/Thurman.

      This team, with largely similar players, had a very good defense running this scheme under Mike Pettine. It had a very good defense running a different scheme under Jim ****ing Schwartz. Biggest change? Coaches. If the coaches cannot adapt to their players, the coaches need to go first. In addition to the salary cap penalizing roster purges, players are harder to find and keep healthy. This team is underprepared every week, cannot make solid in-game adjustments, and is calling games like it's 1999.
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      I haven't seen the game yet, so I don't know exactly what went on between Beckham and Norman during the course of the game, but if you can fine a corner for being mouthy and in-your-face physical, then most defensive backfields would be empty, right? Beckham is an immature kid who cost his team dearly because he hasn't learned to cope with guys like Norman. To quote the great Steve Smith, "ice up,son!"
      I'm glad Norman wasn't injured and hope Beckham learns something from this. He's a great talent.

      Amy, I do not share your appreciation for Houston's victory. I was at the game yesterday, Colts Santa hat, beads and all, and the Colts' offensive performance was nothing short of total humiliation. Pagano and his staff should be fired for first allow wing Hasselbeck to start, THEN allowing--no, encouraging--him to return after a terrible hit that injured his jaw. I am appalled at the behavior of the Colts' coaches and management this season. I was on Pagano's side for a long time, but it may be time to clean house.
      .
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Big blow for the Cardinals as they've lost Tyrann Mathieu for the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL. Patrick Peterson has been great this year, but Mathieu's versatility makes him the most important player on that defense.

      http://www.azcentral.com/story/sport...-acl/77700254/
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      It's one thing for Josh Norman to talk, do a few things to get under a WRs skin, and having that WR respond similarly. It's another thing entirely for Beckham to pull what he did yesterday. The blatant helmet to the back of Norman's helmet was so much worse than simply talking, extending the chippy play beyond the whistle, or even throwing down, and the latter is supposed to be enough to warrant ejection.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      LeSean McCoy has a torn MCL. The Bills are calling him week-to-week, but that's just stupid. He's done for the year, and if he's not, the entire staff should be fired on the spot.

      http://blogs.buffalobills.com/2015/1...-has-torn-mcl/
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Norman was handling OBJ until the helmet to helmet, at whcih point he went ballistic and they had to move him off OBJ for a couple of plays. The the moving OBJ to the slot happened, but that was more a missed assignment. I don't agree with not paying a DB because he can't go in the slot. Richard Sherman shuts down half the field. Norman follows the outside receiver on both sides and shuts him down. I think we've been ruined by Revis, believing a DB has to follow his man everywhere and shut him down. The other team is alos paid big buckan and can put a big play once in a while.

      Remember when Mike Wallace versus Antonio Brown was a thing?
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Beckham is suspended for one game. Much deserved. It isn't like the first time he's acted this way. Earlier this year, he threw punches at Bills' players.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Norman was handling OBJ until the helmet to helmet, at whcih point he went ballistic and they had to move him off OBJ for a couple of plays. The the moving OBJ to the slot happened, but that was more a missed assignment. I don't agree with not paying a DB because he can't go in the slot. Richard Sherman shuts down half the field. Norman follows the outside receiver on both sides and shuts him down. I think we've been ruined by Revis, believing a DB has to follow his man everywhere and shut him down. The other team is alos paid big buckan and can put a big play once in a while.

      Remember when Mike Wallace versus Antonio Brown was a thing?
      I have to give props to both mikesteel and Brian. They were all about Antonio Brown back then (and rightfully so, as it turns out).
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sullivan View Post
      I have to give props to both mikesteel and Brian. They were all about Antonio Brown back then (and rightfully so, as it turns out).
      Agreed.

      They also dismissed Emanuel Sanders, whose been pretty good. They were right of course, in not paying him (The Steelers were right because of cap reason and a track record of WR drafting, neither Brian nor Mike were consulted , but I do remember them trying to convince themselves they were getting rid of abum )
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      LeSean McCoy has a torn MCL. The Bills are calling him week-to-week, but that's just stupid. He's done for the year, and if he's not, the entire staff should be fired on the spot.

      http://blogs.buffalobills.com/2015/1...-has-torn-mcl/
      Maybe we can do that anyway?
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      This nonsense--being put out by the Giants, Beckham's camp, league sources, whoever--about the Panther having a bat on the field during pre-game and Beckham's presumably feeling threatened as a result of it is just the dumbest s--- I've ever heard in my entire life.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Please do not ask me why I feel compelled to post this. I can't give you a good, cogent answer. I feel this video needs to be recycled once every couple years.

      I give you The Idiot, Liquored Up Kicker Rant:

    1. Hoser's Avatar
      Ugh...this Niner season is misery.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Agreed.

      They also dismissed Emanuel Sanders, whose been pretty good. They were right of course, in not paying him (The Steelers were right because of cap reason and a track record of WR drafting, neither Brian nor Mike were consulted , but I do remember them trying to convince themselves they were getting rid of abum )
      To be fair, Markus Wheaton has pretty much matched what Sanders brought to Pittsburgh. He's much better as a compliment to Demaryius than he was as a compliment to AB because he's closer in style to AB. The only WR to truly thrive opposite AB has been Martavis Bryant.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      This nonsense--being put out by the Giants, Beckham's camp, league sources, whoever--about the Panther having a bat on the field during pre-game and Beckham's presumably feeling threatened as a result of it is just the dumbest s--- I've ever heard in my entire life.
      I was trying to figure out a way to bring that up, but this 1000 times over.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Had Eric Ebron gained another 6 inches and scored that TD, I'd have won my 4 person Draftkings league by less than 1 point for the second week in a row. I entered down 16 and the other guy still had Megatron.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Agreed.

      They also dismissed Emanuel Sanders, whose been pretty good. They were right of course, in not paying him (The Steelers were right because of cap reason and a track record of WR drafting, neither Brian nor Mike were consulted , but I do remember them trying to convince themselves they were getting rid of abum )
      I never thought sanders was a bum, but he was always wheaton lite when he played for us. He wasn't worth a top tier contract for us. We made the right call letting him wall for wheaton.

      Sorry, but Ben and the front office have been making WR's look better than they are since 2004. I absolutely love AB, but he's only "among" the best without Ben taking the snaps. He's unequivocally the best with Ben under center. Ben throws guys open and makes them better, more so than anyone else in the league.

      Ben won't win it, but he should be the league MVP this year.. he's the best qb in the league right now, and #2 isn't even close... just sayin...