17 comments on “NFL Week 4 Predictions: Pump the Brakes Edition

  1. I can’t speak for the entire Eagles fan base, and I’m sure there is some homerism involved. Maybe that’s because we’re excited about Wentz, and maybe we can’t understand how anyone could have watched the first three games and thought anything but “Wentz has been awesome.”

    Sure, there’s been hyperbole, but you should also consider that this is a guy with limited FCS experience in college who many pundits said needed to sit for a year. So for him to come in and play very well and have the Eagles offense running smoothly, it’s understandable that people are excited.

    As for his flaws, it feels like you’re either looking to be contrary or letting personal biases impact your judgement without considering the flow of the game. (Hence the many “do you even watch?” comments.)

    Has he thrown the ball short? Yes. But considering the Eagles screen game has been successful, what should he be doing? I’d rather see him throw underneath to Matthews and Ertz or swing passes to Sproles than watch him force the ball deep. Has this slowed down the Eagles offense? It sure doesn’t seem that way.

    It also feels like you’re downgrading him because the play calling and protection has been good. You don’t get more points for a TD pass if the QB is under pressure, so why does this even matter when analyzing him?

    And come on, you didn’t outright say Wentz was bad, but were you paying him a complement when you called him a “dink and dunker?” You’ve gone on record saying you prefer QBs who don’t throw short, so what other conclusion could people draw?

    I’m confused why you seem so proud of your biases. You defend yourself by saying “I don’t think Tom Brady is as good as his rep.” Did you consider that if your custom stats and beliefs are downgrading a guy who many consider the GOAT, then maybe there’s something wrong?

    If you truly enjoy your job as much as you say, then maybe you should act like it. If you want people to hear and consider your opinions, you need to be ready to hear people tell you you’re wrong. Cutting off people because “you don’t want to hear what they’re going to say next” will only serve to place yourself in an echo chamber.

    • “…we can’t understand how anyone could have watched the first three games and thought anything but “Wentz has been awesome.”

      That’s such a limited way of evaluating a player. A single viewing of the TV broadcast doesn’t tell us a whole lot, because it fails to explain WHY a player looked awesome. Kirk Cousins looked like a world beater in the second half of 2015, but if you actually go back and analyze the tape, it’s clear that he only looked good because his receivers were bailing him out and he faced a string of poor defenses. Wentz could turn out to be an elite QB, but three games under ideal circumstances isn’t enough to draw any conclusions. Do you really think it takes an elite talent to throw screen passes to Darren Sproles and watch him run for 50 yards after the catch?

      “Did you consider that if your custom stats and beliefs are downgrading a guy who many consider the GOAT, then maybe there’s something wrong?”

      This is a fallacious line of reasoning. Just because a large number of people believe something, does that make it true? Let’s be honest, 95% of people who weight in on GOAT debates are doing lazy “analysis” based on things like rings, playoff wins, and basic counting stats; they’re ignoring the context and nuance of the player’s career.

      • You mention the Sproles pass that went 73 yards, and Wentz was absolutely a huge part of that play. First he had to elude the defender and keep his eyes downfield. Then he had to sell the threat of keeping it to lure in the defender. Then he had to deliver the ball with perfect touch. So yes, that does take a lot of talent.

      • If the argument had been, “Part of the reason that Wentz has looked so good is the playcalling, defenses, and protection,”most people would agree. If they had been offered as a slight caveat, most would also agree. The reason Eagles fans are taking offense is because they’ve been held up as negatives against Wentz’s play which is unfair.

      • As for going against 95% of the people, when it comes like something like analyzing football players, it comes across as trying way too hard to be “the smartest guy in the room”

      • You realize our issue was mostly that Scott declared that Wentz didn’t deserve credit for his play. Had he perhaps worded it differently he wouldn’t have to end up looking quite so weak.

    • I agree with you on that specific play; Wentz was able to buy time and find the open receiver. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Eagles have thrown a lot of short passes that almost any NFL QB could complete. I don’t see this as a knock against Wentz, just that we don’t have enough information on him yet to make any kind of educated judgment.

      As far as the 95% comment, you’re advocating being a mindless sheep who follows along with whatever the crowd thinks? Throughout history, the minority who are ahead of the curve end up being persecuted and laughed at. People are afraid of radical views, but radical ideas move the world forward. Otherwise we’d still think the earth is flat.

      • If every QB could be as successful as Wentz has been, then why aren’t they? You’re telling me that if Chase Daniel was the Eagles QB, they’d have looked as good?

        I do agree that it’s too early to pass definitive judgement. That’s one reason why Jimmy Kempski wrote his “12%” post – to show that when given the opportunity, Wentz can not only throw it longer, but he can do it well.

      • And no, it’s not being a mindless sheep. But in most cases, the majority is correct. To risk going way off subject, It’s “the minority is right” mindset that has given rise to the dangerous anti-vaccine movement.

    • The reason other QB’s haven’t been as successful as Wentz in their first three games is largely because Wentz has played under ideal circumstances; he’s had the best field position, never had to play from behind, faced two awful defenses, and has benefited from a ton of YAC. Do you think if Wentz was drafted by the Browns he would he having the same success? Situation matters…a lot.

      Honestly I think we’re splitting hairs with the whole majority opinion thing. When I question Tom Brady, I’m not claiming he isn’t great, merely that he’s the 5th – 8th best QB of all time instead of the GOAT. Sure that’s on the low end of the continuum, but it’s not anti-vaccine level.

  2. “Again, an all-around huge opportunity for Atlanta to take a nice lead in the NFC South at 3-1 while dropping the Panthers to 1-3. ”

    This game is more about Cam than anything else, because if he can’t get back on track against the 32nd ranked defense and 31st ranked against the pass in DVOA, then something is definitely wring there, whether it’s Cam’s health, the struggles of the OLine or just trying to fit Kelvin Benjamin back into the offense, if not a mix of all three, no excuse for Carolina to not only score 27+ points, but win by double digits. I”ve got Carolina 30-17

    • Still not sold on Falcons, BUT they should win in NFC South this year considering how much Carolina is strugging right now, the Saints defense stinks and Tampa just isn’t ready for primetime.

  3. “My epiphany was quite simple. You don’t block someone just because of what they said; you block them so you don’t have to see what they say next.”

    AMEN, Scott. There’s a subset of fans who only want to see things from the perspective of glorifying their favorite team or player, and will predictably spew biased, emotionally driven vitriol toward anyone who doesn’t share their opinion. We already know what these people will say before they even say it, and none of it is in the service of having a rational discussion. There’s no reason to waste our time indulging these jokers, so the best solution is to block `em.

    I agree 100% on the Carson Wentz hype train; lets see the kid play a full season and face some real adversity before we anoint him The Next Great QB. I’m also dismayed at how difficult it is for people to understand air yards, and how the stat helps us in evaluating quarterback play. I love how these fans dismiss the very concept of air yards, claiming, “It’s all about the scheme and receivers, the QB has nothing to do with it.” Sigh…

      • That’s an interesting study, but the author is mixing up two different interpretations of air yards. The Kacsmar data is measuring average depth of target, regardless of whether the pass what complete or not. I 100% agree that this is not a stat the should be highly correlated with winning. But the last chart showing career air yards per attempt is measuring something different than Kacsmar. This version of air yards only counts the depth of completed passes, and assigns a value of zero to each incomplete pass. In this case completion % is equally weighted with depth of target, and I believe correlates stronger with winning. Of course the author doesn’t bother to run those correlations.

  4. Pingback: Carson Wentz is rapidly becoming the Stephen Curry of the NFL

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