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Stuart Ullman

New England: Your Thoughts

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13 minutes ago, espnespn said:

I have no idea whether the Packers knew the rule.  An investigation would determine that.  Even if they didn't, that's too bad for them: the rule should still be enforced the same for every team.

I agree, but we both know that is never going to happen with Aaron Rodgers. And if the league did try to make an attempt, the Pack would end up making up a new injury that he suffered in the Carolina game. Belichick is the inventor of making a mockery of the NFL injury reporting system and has shown the way to everyone else. 

Edited by JuniorNB

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7 minutes ago, JuniorNB said:

I agree, but we both know that is never going to happen with Aaron Rodgers. And if the league did try to make an attempt, the Pack would end up making up a new injury that he suffered in the Carolina game. Belichick is the inventor of making a mockery of the NFL injury reporting system and has shown the way to everyone else. 

Well, making up a new injury that would sideline someone for 6+ weeks is more difficult to fake than just listing them on a weekly injury report.  That's where the NFL could verify with independent doctors.

Yes, the Packers will get away with this regardless.  However, I still enjoy pointing out the Packers obvious rule-breaking to remind Packers fans (the certain ones that were self-righteously smug during Deflategate) that their team cheats too.

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2 minutes ago, espnespn said:

Well, making up a new injury that would sideline someone for 6+ weeks is more difficult to fake than just listing them on a weekly injury report.  That's where the NFL could verify with independent doctors.

Yes, the Packers will get away with this regardless.  However, I still enjoy pointing out the Packers obvious rule-breaking to remind Packers fans (the certain ones that were self-righteously smug during Deflategate) that their team cheats too.

Not even in the same hemisphere as the Patriots' cheating, as placing Rodgers on IR doesn't give them an unfair advantage over their opponents. But I get where you're going. And your agenda. 

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Regardless of Patriots in this year's Super Bowl, Brady is and will be GOAT.  This man has a fistful of SB rings. How many QB can match him (before last year's 5th Super Bowl win, he was on par with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw)?

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1 minute ago, Aznflyer14 said:

Regardless of Patriots in this year's Super Bowl, Brady is and will be GOAT.  This man has a fistful of SB rings. How many QB can match him (before last year's 5th Super Bowl win, he was on par with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw)?

Rings are great and obviously what they're all playing for, but it's just a tie-breaker for me. I have Dan Marino as a top 5 all-time QB and he didn't win a single ring. I've always thought that Montana was greatest. Still do, really. But as I posted the other day, Brady's greatness has stretched much longer. I'd have trouble coming up with any arguing points to anyone saying that Brady is the best ever. If he wins another one this year, it will just further cement that.

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20 minutes ago, JuniorNB said:

Not even in the same hemisphere as the Patriots' cheating, as placing Rodgers on IR doesn't give them an unfair advantage over their opponents. But I get where you're going. And your agenda. 

Haha, you mean the Patriots alleged cheating (for Deflategate)?  Which Judge Berman said there was no evidence of a conspiracy?  :P

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/roger-goodell-greeted-boos-deflategate-hearing-article-1.2323018

"A skeptical Berman sounded unconvinced: "What is the evidence of a scheme or conspiracy that covers the Jan. 18 game? I'm having trouble finding it."

And even if Deflategate were true, no one has shown that lower PSI makes a competitive difference or is an unfair advantage...Brady threw the ball better in the 2nd half vs. the Colts.

I don't think that holding people to the same standard that they hold others to, is an "agenda".  Unless you consider being logically consistent an "agenda".

Edited by espnespn

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36 minutes ago, espnespn said:

Haha, you mean the Patriots alleged cheating (for Deflategate)?  Which Judge Berman said there was no evidence of a conspiracy?  :P

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/roger-goodell-greeted-boos-deflategate-hearing-article-1.2323018

"A skeptical Berman sounded unconvinced: "What is the evidence of a scheme or conspiracy that covers the Jan. 18 game? I'm having trouble finding it."

And even if Deflategate were true, no one has shown that lower PSI makes a competitive difference or is an unfair advantage...Brady threw the ball better in the 2nd half vs. the Colts.

I don't think that holding people to the same standard that they hold others to, is an "agenda".  Unless you consider being logically consistent an "agenda".

:yawn:

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As far as destroying those Jets tapes, I don't think the NFL went far enough.  The NFL should destroy all video from Jets games going back at least a dozen years. 

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Brady is the best QB of his era, there is no question about it.   

 

Would he have been more successful than Unitas, Starr, Bradshaw, Staubach, Montana, etc. in another era?  We will never know.  The game has changed way too much.  

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6 hours ago, kyoun1e said:

It's a lot more than longevity and aggregate numbers.

Saw a stat the other day on QBs and how many times Brady vs. others have overcome 2TD 4th quarter comebacks. It wasn't even close.

It's not just the stats, but how he's compiled them. I mean, how many times has Brady gotten the ball late, and comeback in the clutch? It's to the point where it's taken for granted. 

He's not just the GOAT. He's the GOAT when you absolutely need him to be the GOAT. 

For 4th qtr. comebacks to be a useful measure of greatness, they would need to be looked at as a rate stat, not an accumulated one.  Otherwise great QBs would fall short on the list because they or their teams were good enough to not fall behind by two TDs as often as good but less great players.

Not making a judgment on Brady at all, as I have not run these numbers.  Just pointing out a hole in this methodology.

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On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 7:56 PM, JuniorNB said:

A lot of it is simply the fact that Brady and Belichick are both so great at what they do. That can't be discounted. But another factor is that the rest of that division has been so pitiful for so long. All the other divisions have teams that rotate being good and the competition changes. New England has such a cake divisional schedule, that they're 6-0 or 5-1 before the season starts. So they have an upper hand on home field advantage every year. And we all know how big that can be in the playoffs

Tom Brady has won 79% of his games against the AFC East.  He has won 78% of his games against the AFC overall.  He has won 77% of his games against the NFC.

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13 hours ago, -OZ- said:

.787 vs .767

16 games at .767 is still 12 wins per season.  

16 games at .787 is 12.5

So yeah, not much of a difference.

Don't forget they have played a 1st place schedule almost every year with Brady.

That means 1st place team, 1st place team, 1st place team, 2nd place team, 3rd place team, 4th place team.  I know that's last year but the top teams have been pretty consistent in the AFC (Peyton's Colts, Roethlisberger's Steelers).  That would likely skew their AFC (outside of the AFC East) percentage down.

We're also talking 6 division games not 16 so the difference is more like .2 wins.  All bets are off if they were in the AFC West since they have had major trouble with the Broncos and Chiefs.  That being said the Broncos and Chiefs might be a lot worse right now if they had pretty much been guaranteed 2nd place at best in their division the last 17 years.

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21 hours ago, Godsbrother said:

The only area I think the Pats get a break with the refs is in roughing the passer calls. 

Your statement intrigued me so I tried to look it up. No idea if this guy's data is correct but, based on it, Brady doesn't get excessive RTP calls. Brady is also skilled at sensing danger and getting the ball away quickly, either to a receiver, to the ground or out of bounds, so that helps him avoid getting "roughed" to some extent.

http://www.nflpenalties.com/roughing-the-passer-by-qb.php

 

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10 hours ago, Niles Standish said:

Tom Brady has won 79% of his games against the AFC East.  He has won 78% of his games against the AFC overall.  He has won 77% of his games against the NFC.

The question was regarding the Patriots representing the AFC so often. The bottom line is that they have remained excellent. No one is denying that. But it also helps that the AFC East hasn't produced a good challenger in 15 years. Having the cakewalk divisional schedule every year against 3 other crappy QBs is a huge advantage. Despite their record against other divisions. The law of averages would think that teams would have challengers in their division every couple of years. Look at the NFC South this year. New Orleans, Atlanta, and Carolina.  Teams are lucky to come out of that 3-3.  New England has a nice advantage towards home field in the playoffs before the season starts. Until one of those three AFC East teams ever puts a challenger together. 

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Just now, JuniorNB said:

The question was regarding the Patriots representing the AFC so often. The bottom line is that they have remained excellent. No one is denying that. But it also helps that the AFC East hasn't produced a good challenger in 15 years. Having the cakewalk divisional schedule every year against 3 other crappy QBs is a huge advantage. Despite their record against other divisions. The law of averages would think that teams would have challengers in their division every couple of years. Look at the NFC South this year. New Orleans, Atlanta, and Carolina.  Teams are lucky to come out of that 3-3.  New England has a nice advantage towards home field in the playoffs before the season starts. Until one of those three AFC East teams ever puts a challenger together. 

I won't try to make the AFC East out to be a collection of titans, but there have been several years where other teams had decent seasons.

2001: NYJ 11 wins, Miami 10 wins (both playoff teams)
2002: NYJ 9 wins, MIA 9 wins, BUF 8 wins
2003: MIA 10 wins
2004: NYJ 10 wins, BUF 9 wins (Jets made playoffs)
2005: MIA 9-7
2006: NYJ 10-6 (made playoffs)
2007: Nothing noteworthy
2008: MIA 11-5, NYJ 9-7 (Dolphins won division)
2009: NYJ 9-7 (advanced to AFCCG)
2010: NYJ 11-5 (advanced to AFCCG)
2011: Nothing noteworthy
2012: Nothing noteworthy
2013: Nothing noteworthy
2014: BUF 9-7, MIA 8-8
2015: NYJ 10-6, BUF 8-8
2016: MIA 10-6 (made playoffs)
2017: BUF 9-7 (made playoffs)

So overall, there were 9 teams that had at least 10 wins in a season. And 9 teams made the playoffs. Sure, there was a three year stretch where it was a barren wasteland for competition. 16 times there was a team above .500 (essentially once per year). When you factor in that each team has to expect starting the year with essentially 1.5 losses to NE, I don't think the other teams have done all that poorly. I will say that the opposing QB's and coaches have been below par, but the perception that NE is in a division where everyone goes 6-10 or 5-11 is just inaccurate.

Rather than post each division year by year like I did with the AFC East, let's cut to the chase . . . (since 2002 when the leagues went to 8 divisions):

Division, # of wildcard teams, # of non-division winning teams with 10+ wins:
AFC North 11 + 9 = 20
NFC East 10 + 8 = 18
NFC South 8 + 8 = 16
AFC South 8 + 7 = 15
NFC North 8 + 7 = 15
AFC East 6 + 7 = 13
AFC West 7 + 6 = 13
NFC West 6 + 6 = 12

Yes, the AFC East is near the bottom, but it's not like there's 7 other divisions and then the AFC East.

 

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And put the Pats in some of those other divisions and things may look worse for the rest of those teams. Playing the Pats twice a season is surely a disadvantage. Now sure, the rest of the division not stepping up to challenge them is on those teams to some extent - but it’s not like the Pats are not dominating the entire NFL in general.

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It helps, but people like to point out the AFC East as though it's a knock on the Pats and a reason they always get in.  There have been other divisions that have been bad.  The terrible AFC south hasn't made it any easier to have somebody represent the AFC in the SB.  There were a few years that GB was damn good and the rest of that division stunk, but they didn't rip off SB runs, on and on.   It's not the Pats fault other owners/GMs/coaches suck at their jobs and can't field consistently competitive teams.  ;)

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One thing we know is that rules are not applied evenly in the NFL.  I don’t see a 4 game suspension, a first round draft pick loss, or even an investigation into historic trends here:

 

https://www.google.com/amp/profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/05/07/ball-tampering-involving-panthers-vikings-produced-a-far-different-reaction/amp/

 

:tinfoilhat:

Edited by Caveman_Nick

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Here's what I am leaning toward a week before the game. I already posted my adjusted scoring model prediction based on actual results from this year in the game thread (which predicted PHI scoring 25 points to 24.6 points for NE), and that shows me that this game should be close and neither team should win by a blow out.

Here are some things I uncovered that make me lean toward NE though, most of which tie in to a them of familiarity.

- When NE has lost in the postseason in the TB/BB era, ALL of their losses were to teams they faced in the regular season (BAL, DEN, NYJ, IND, NYG). On top of that, NE faced those teams multiple times in prior seasons as well. Overall, NE has gone just 12-9 in same season rematch games.

- The flip side to that is that they have NEVER lost to a team they DID NOT play in the regular season, going a combined 16-0 in those games (they did not play PHI this year).

- Historically, QB's going up against NE with BB and TB for the first time have not fared very well. I did not have time to assess all the QBs since 2001 in their first starts against the Pats. But for active QB's that were rostered this season, they won their initial meeting against NE only 18.6% of the time (Nick Foles has never played NE).

- Looking at all of NE's games since 2001, they rarely had multiple games without forcing a turnover. They currently have gone 4 games without a turnover, which is their longest such streak in that time. IIRC, only one other time did they go 3 games without forcing a turnover. In the few times they went 2 or more games with a turnover, they forced at least 2 turnovers in the game that ended their drought.

- In the post season, in games where NE won the turnover battle and had at least a +1 turnover margin, they have gone 16-0.

- The Gronk effect is real. NE scores an average of +4.5 ppg when the big lug is in the lineup. That alone could impact who wins this game.

Here's how I see things shaping out.

For this season, I am prepared to suggest the Eagles were a better overall team than the Patriots. But the better team doesn't always win. It would not surprise me if PHI has more yards of offense / fewer yards on defense, and somehow still loses. IMO, the Pats will make up for that on turnovers and special teams / field position. While we have grown accustomed to NE being the team that mounts the comeback and having their opponents fade down the stretch, I envision the script being flipped and NE being the one getting the lead and having the Eagles being the one to have to come back.

Early on, like in other Super Bowls, I see the NE offense struggling to move the ball but finally managing to score in the first quarter (0 points scored in 7 other SB's). In the first half, I see the Eagles with a muffed punt or a fumbled kickoff. I also see Foles throwing a pick in the PHI end. Between those, NE cashes in on a TD, PHI keeps them out of the end zone on the other, and NE gets gifted 10 points early on. 10-0 NE after a quarter even though they do very little to move the ball.

In the second quarter, PHI has a 10+ play drive and NE struggles on third down that chews up half the quarter to cut the lead to 10-7 NE. The Patriots respond with a quick drive and get some chunk yardage plays to answer 17-7 NE. Before half time, with limited time left in the half, PHI gets enough last minute yardage to make a long FG to cut the lead to 17-10 NE.

In the second half, NE has one of their patented no huddle, hurry up drives to score again to go up 24-10. The Eagles are able to move the ball when they are on offense, but stall in the red zone (a sack, a holding penalty, a drop, etc.) and have to settle for two FG's to make it 24-16 NE.

In the 4th, NE drives slowly down the field and can't get in the end zone but comes away with a FG to go up 27-16. PHI goes down the field again and gets a TD but uses more time than expected as NE forces the action into the middle of the field. NE 27-23.

The Pats get the ball back, get a couple of first downs, the Eagles have to burn their remaining timeouts, and NE flips field position and punts to pin the Eagles inside their own 10 yard line. Philadelphia is left needing 90 yards to get the game winning TD with less than a minute to go and no timeouts.They get about 60 of those yards and the game ends on the last play with a jump ball incompletion in the ends and NE wins 27-23.

Such a game script would meet all the conditions I set up initially (Pats record scoring or allowing 23 points, turnover differential, facing opponents they did not face during the year, first starts for opposing QBs, PHI out gaining NE in yardage and still losing). The Pats in this scenario would really only get two TD drives and a FG on offense (with 10 other points from PHI turnovers).

If I were to bet, I would take PHI and the points but I would take NE to win. However, I don't think the Pats are a prohibitive favorite (the line is too high), and IMO NE is probably 55/45 to win.

ESPN's FPI has NE winning 53% of the time. 538 has NE with a 58% chance to win and a 2.5 point favorite. Jeff Sagarin's Golden Mean method has it 31-27 NE. I haven't seen Accuscore yet but will add that when it comes out.

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On 1/25/2018 at 11:28 AM, Godsbrother said:

The only area I think the Pats get a break with the refs is in roughing the passer calls. 

See, I tend to agree....although I would say that courtesy is extended to all the "elite" QBs....Brady and Manning are most often cited as the ones who work the refs the most, or are the biggest whiners, or both.

The survey results (equal votes Yes / No on favorable treatment) surprised me.  The idea of a "home field" call is common, and that the Raiders are the most penalized because they wear black, but until the recent rash of whining I haven't seen too much "team X or Y or Z" gets favorable treatment in general...

 

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13 hours ago, JuniorNB said:

The question was regarding the Patriots representing the AFC so often. The bottom line is that they have remained excellent. No one is denying that. But it also helps that the AFC East hasn't produced a good challenger in 15 years. Having the cakewalk divisional schedule every year against 3 other crappy QBs is a huge advantage. Despite their record against other divisions. The law of averages would think that teams would have challengers in their division every couple of years. Look at the NFC South this year. New Orleans, Atlanta, and Carolina.  Teams are lucky to come out of that 3-3.  New England has a nice advantage towards home field in the playoffs before the season starts. Until one of those three AFC East teams ever puts a challenger together. 

Since 2001 Dolphins have been 126-146, Jets have been 128-144, Bills have been 113-159.  Pretty bad right?

Tom Brady has gone 76-20 against them.  Drew Bledsoe, Matt Cassel, Jimmy G and Jacoby Brissett went a combined 5-5.

My point is the AFC East went 25-81 against the Pats since 2001 and 342-368 against everyone else.  Not great, but not quite the 6-0 cakewalk they're getting portrayed as in this thread.

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Playing in the soft NFC East has certainly been a major benefit to the Patriots.  I mean, who is the best QB each of those teams has had since 2001?

Miami: Tannehill?
NJ Jets: Pennington or Sanchez?
Buffalo: Bledsoe or T Taylor?

Major cakewalk there.  But hey, you have to take advantage of the weaknesses of other teams, and the Patriots have definitely taken advantage of the fact that none of their division foes have been able to get a top 10 QB to save their lives. 

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On 1/25/2018 at 0:05 PM, voiceofunreason said:

Taping practices is blatant cheating in that it shows your game plan for that week and any new plays you plan to use. Maybe there was nothing to it but an independent investigator should have been brought in.

As much as other teams hate the patriots, losing a ton of money on your billion dollar company keeps them from wanting any proven scandal coming out.

Serious question:

Why do you connect gameday filming from a non authorized location in plain sight (see, for example, then Jets Coach Herm Edwards waving into the camera) with clandestine taping of practices?  Do we agree that the former is an infraction while the latter is far more serious violation?

Is it because allegations were made?  Or is it because you are implying "more likely to tape practices based on the known sideline taping on gameday"?  Or is it because any appearance of rules infractions should result in an independent investigator?

Are you familiar with the fact that the Patriots moved their pre-superbowl practice against the Rams from outdoors to indoors because they believed the Rams may have been videotaping their outdoors practice sessions?

Are you familiar with the story about he Dolphins attempting to sell Patriots practice tapes to the Jets?

Do you accept the premise that the history of the league is rife with both rules infractions and allegations of more serious violations?

I would argue with you, with no doubt in my mind, that any of the three reasons above are specious justifications for your call for an independent investigator.

And I would leave you with a rhetorical question: do you believe the independent investigator in the deflategate matter was independent and that the league acted with integrity in the deflategate matter?

At the end of the day, you and I will most likely radically disagree with how we interpret "spygate"...my only objective here is to highlight the obvious flaws in the historical rhetoric spewed from the spygate advocates who, over time, were put in the awkward position of having to defend the "line of progression" thinking connecting the dots between spygate and deflategate and referee playcalling bias all pointing to some parallel universe where Roger Goodell and some secret society subcommittee of (selfish and rich) owners have some incomprehensible justification to give Robert Kraft's business an unfair advantage over their own business interests...how altruistic that would be.

Apply Ocham's Razor: is it more likely that the league cares about Robert Kraft's business interests or their own?  Is it more likely that they pre-determine winners like the WWE, or that they, just like every other organization on the planet, attempt to administer the legitimacy of their product offering in an imperfect way that will inherently generate criticism, primarily from those with competitive interests and from those who tire of one team appearing to have a results advantage over the rest? 

I leave you to your own conclusions.

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