Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Random NFL thoughts

Interesting stat flashed during the Dallas/Indy game last week: when Wade Phillips was the head coach of the Cowboys, they had a 2-to-1 pass-to-run ratio. Since Jason Garrett took over, they were exactly 1-to-1. (In that game, they ran 42 times and dropped back to pass 32, so it's in favor of the run now.) The media, of course, want to attribute the Boys' 3-1 record under Garrett to his "tough" attitude - he forces players to dress in a suit when travelling - but odds are that it's the changes on the field, not in the airplane, that are making a difference.

Oddly enough, Jason Garrett was the OC under Phillips, so I'm not sure why he didn't run the ball more from the start. Was Phillips demanding more pass attempts? Did Garrett actually try to sabotage Wade, knowing the head job would be his? While I can't put my finger on why they suddenly started running the ball, I do know that it's translated directly into wins, and this much-tougher team gets two shots at the Eagles in the next four games.

Big Red, on the other hand, is more dedicated to passing the ball than ever. Even with a 14-point lead, even with three minutes to go in the game. Against the Texans, he dialed up 43 passes and only 20 runs. LeSean McCoy is among the league leaders in yards per carry, but Andy just keeps passing. He pleads with the refs for Vick's protection, while he's stubbornly unwilling to protect Vick with his playcalling. Maybe he's anxious to start the Kevin Kolb Era, Volume Three.

Meanwhile, Baby Belichik was fired in Denver, ending an ignominious coaching debut. I've called him out numerous times for his horrendous decisions, even calling him the Worst Coach in the NFL. Sadly for the Chargers, Chiefs, and Oakland fans, he's no longer a part of the NFL. A quick recap of his bigger blunders:
  • Inheriting the #2 offense in the NFL, he traded away the starting QB, WR, and TE within two years. He changed the zone-blocking run scheme that was so successful and quickly dropped to the bottom of the league in rushing.
  • Firing Mike Nolan after the team ranked #7 in defense last season. Because of his abrasive personality and control-freak nature, McDaniels couldn't handle a strong, successful coach on his staff. He dumped Nolan and his defense currently ranks 27th.
  • Drafting Alphonso Smith - This was the worst choice in a draft I dubbed disastrous the day after it happenned. Trading away the first-round pick that the Seahawks used on Earl Thomas, the Broncos gave up on Smith earlier this year, dumping him to Detroit for a fourth-string TE.
  • Trading Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn - Hillis ranks #10 in the NFL in rushing yards, with 11 TDs. Denver's best RB is ranked #23 and has 4 TDs. Quinn's been a disaster, unable to even secure the back-up role.

Some guys think they have all the answers. McDaniels didn't have any, and now he can wear his sweatshirt on the couch on Sundays.


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