Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hoy es Martes

As we continue to figure out how to play Sunday’s game in New York without a QB, here are some items of interest to the football fan:

Thanks to Scott with the Cowboys, the all-time list of horrendous offensive displays that still resulted in a win:

Fewest net yards in a win:

172 vs. Tampa Bay (10/26/08)
174 at Cleveland (12/12/70)
177 at Minnesota (10/20/68)
180 vs. Chicago (9/28/97)
185 vs. Tampa Bay (11/21/82)
190 vs. St. Louis (12/4/66)
195 at N.Y. Giants (11/11/73)

Mac Engle on the odd story of looking for any QB option besides the silliness of Brad Johnson

Like leading a horse to water, Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips had to literally be led to say Brad Johnson will start Sunday against the New York Giants. But he did say it.

Despite leading the Cowboys to a victory against Tampa Bay on Sunday, Johnson’s status as the quarterback is as shaky as the offense under his direction. Even though he is expected to start against the Giants in New Jersey, Johnson appears to be guaranteed not much of anything beyond the Cowboys’ first offensive series against the top-ranked defense in the NFC.

Third-string quarterback Brooks Bollinger, who was signed by the Cowboys on Sept. 8, is on notice. Should the Cowboys struggle Sunday and show a penchant for three-and-outs and punting, expect Bollinger to play. Just don’t expect any miracles.

And don’t expect anyone else, either. Sources said after the Cowboys’ 20-point loss against the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 19, which featured Johnson’s debut as the starter, there was not enough time for another veteran passer to come in and prepare himself adequately for anything other than the game against Washington on Nov 16. By then, Tony Romo is expected to be back.

"It’s the same thing I said the week before that we weren’t changing any people as far as starters were concerned on the defense or whatever," Phillips said. "So I mean you know we didn’t play well. But we didn’t play up to our standards and so our offense, they had a tough game but Tampa is good on defense."

The Cowboys feel like they got away with one against the Bucs. The Cowboys finished with 172 yards of total offense, the lowest total ever in franchise history in a win. They aren’t so sure they can get away with a similar offensive performance two weeks in a row, particularly on the road against a team like the 6-1 Giants.

The Cowboys fear they need something more than just safe — i.e. no turnovers — from the quarterback position. They want plays from the quarterback position.

In Johnson’s first two games as the Cowboys quarterback, he has completed 53.7 percent of his passes with two touchdowns, three interceptions and has been sacked six times. His passer rating is 60.3.

Against the Bucs, Johnson completed 19 passes, but averaged 2.8 yards per pass play. On the Cowboys’ lone offensive touchdown series, the Bucs kept the drive going with a pair of third-down penalties that resulted in automatic first downs.

Michael Lombardi offers interesting stuff on the playoff picture

We’re approaching the halfway point of the season. Last year, none of the 12 playoff teams had a losing record through 8 games.

2007 Playoff Teams

1. Patriots 8-0
2. Colts 7-1
3. Chargers 4-4
4. Steelers 6-2
5. Jaguars 5-3
6. Titans 6-2

1. Cowboys 7-1
2. Packers 7-1
3. Seahawks 4-4
4. Buccaneers 4-4
5. Giants 6-2
6. Redskins 5-3

The Chargers fall to 3-5. Only 5 of the 104 teams that started 3-5 since 1990 made the playoffs (4.8%)

The Saints improve to 4-4. 38 of the 108 teams that started 4-4 since 1990 made the playoffs (35.2%)

Started 3-5 and Reached Playoffs
SINCE 1990
Final W-L Playoff W-L
‘02 Jets 9-7 1-1
‘96 Jaguars 9-7 2-1
‘95 Lions 10-6 0-1
‘94 Patriots 10-6 0-1
‘90 Saints 8-8 0-1

Intern TC is back at it….


LaDanian Tomlinson ran for over 100 yards, and Philip Rivers threw for over 300 yards, yet the Chargers lost. That marks the first time this season that this sort of thing has happened, where both the RB and QB topped their magical marks and managed to lose. This week, the Jets and Redskins both made their second appearance on the list of people who won the game despite losing the turnover battle, which highlights the fact that the Cowboys are still the only team to do it three times. Also, if things held true to the season averages, a team that won the turnover battle every week would go 13-3, a team that had a 100 yard rusher every week would go 12-4, and a team that had a 300 yard passer every week would go 11-5.

TC Fleming

Here are the season statistics for winning the turnover battle. Traditionally, if you win the battle even by a +1 margin you hit a 80-85% win rate. So far this season, the teams that win the turnover battle are 74-20, 79% win percentage.

Positive 74-20 0.787
Even 22-22 0.500
Negative 20-74 0.213

+6 1-0 1.000
+5 3-0 1.000
+4 5-0 1.000
+3 11-2 0.846
+2 20-5 0.800
+1 32-11 0.744
0 22-22 0.500
-1 11-32 0.256
-2 5-20 0.200
-3 2-11 0.154
-4 0-5 0.000
-5 0-3 0.000
-6 0-1 0.000

Meanwhile, here are the numbers for the 100 yard rushers in Week 8. For the season, the teams with 100 yard rushers in a game have a 41-13 record for a 76% win rate…

Week Eight

Brian Westbrook PHI ATL 167 Win, 27-14
Clinton Portis WSH DET 126 Win, 25-17
DeAngelo Williams CAR ARI 108 Win, 27-23
LaDanian Tomlinson SD NO 105 Loss, 32-37
Total Record 3-1

And 300 yard passers in Week 8:

Week Eight
Kurt Warner ARI CAR 381 Loss, 23-27
Philip Rivers SD NO 341 Loss, 32-37
Drew Brees NO SD 339 Win, 37-32
Jason Campbell WSH DET 328 Win, 25-17
Chad Pennington MIA BUF 314 Win, 25-16
Marc Bulger STL NE 301 Loss, 16-23
Total Record 3-3

And the season win rate for 300 yard passers is 23-12, 66%...
Meanwhile, another week, another huge game for Texas

Then there's coach Mike Leach, a master at remaining straight-faced while ignoring the gigantic – burnt orange? – elephant in the room.

Distractions? Those are at their highest traditionally when you play Nebraska and Notre Dame, he said. Biggest game in school history?

"No bigger than the eight [games] that led up to it," he said. "There wouldn't be the sensation around this one if it weren't for the other eight."

But Leach – who has beat Texas once, in 2002 – didn't discount the importance of his players staying focused.

"They do a pretty good job with that," Leach said. "They spend a lot of time together, so they may be more on the same page then some of the other groups I've had."

Perhaps not coincidentally, of the three players made available to the media Monday, none was named Graham Harrell or Michael Crabtree.

Matt Williams – the student-in-the-stands-turned-extra-point-kicker? Hah. No chance.
Tech is preparing to face a defense that ranks second nationally in sacks, with 3.63 per game.

The Red Raiders have allowed three sacks this season – No. 2 nationally – two of which came on the same series last week against Kansas, with Tech already up big.
"You hate to see that happen," Reed said. "We're just going to try to eliminate them as much as we can. ... They're going to try to put pressure on Graham."

In turn, the Tech defense, almost always labeled the program's glaring soft spot compared to its relentless offense, is charged with disproving that tag against UT and quarterback Colt McCoy.

"We feel challenged every week," said McBath, who had three interceptions last week. "As explosive as the offenses are in the Big 12, they can score on any play."
It's early in the week. The buzz will only build.

"Our best is good enough to beat anyone in the country," Reed said. "And I'm sure Texas believes their best is good enough to beat anyone in the country. We've got to make sure our best shows up."

My Stars Blog update – click here to read the whole thing …my thoughts on the Turco slump…

Anytime the NHL ranks goaltenders in the department of save percentage, and your franchise doesn’t have anyone listed in the Top 30….

Anytime the NHL ranks goaltenders in the department of goals against average, and your franchise doesn’t have anyone listed higher than dead last…

Anytime you look at the NHL standings and check the column for goals allowed, and your franchise finds itself in absolute dead last…

You begin to catch yourself with a fairly uneasy stomach.

Pass the Tums.

Anderson, the Spider, Silva is a bad man

I admire Barch’s courage, but owned by Brashear

1 comment:

Josh said...

Here's to hoping that Marty Turco's struggles are more along the lines of Vlad's home run drought you mentioned instead of a Rick Ankiel-style meltdown. He should be fine, but it's amazing how much negativity and frustration Stars fans are showing Turco after he took this team so far in the playoffs. It's important to win the Division and get home ice for a few playoff series, but it wasn't a problem during the Conference Finals run last spring.