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Thread: "NFL Football is Back!" 2011 Season Thread

  1. #181
    Donegeal
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    Edwards ends up as a 49er.
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  2. #182
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    I guess it is huge enough that we could start a new thread for the new league year, though.

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    Maybe Kreutz can get a ring...

    Saints agreed to terms with C Olin Kreutz, formerly of the Bears.

    Kreutz replaces Jonathan Goodwin in what projects as a downgrade in on-field performance. While Kreutz has a big name, the 34-year-old graded out 33rd among 34 qualifying centers in Pro Football Focus' 2010 ratings. Perhaps a change of scenery and better offense around him will help Kreutz, but he's clearly on a career downswing.
    The numbers aren't in yet, but it's confirmed that he took less than the $4million the Bears offered. Best of luck, Olin...
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    OK Bear-folk...what happened to this guy?

    Patriots sign former #Bears DE Mark Anderson, who had 12 sacks as a rookie... in 2006.
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    Had 2-3 bad years after his outstanding rookie season. Strictly a speed rusher, and opponents figured that out.
    Lost his job to Israel Adonije last year and got released.
    Signed with Texas mid-season (iirc) last year; not re-signed.

    The Bears gave him plenty of opportunities (even dumping the higher-priced, dependable Alex Brown to keep him), but he never delivered.
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    Guess I'm still holding out for the Osi trade, then.
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    demonbinder
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Jrabbit View Post
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    Maybe Kreutz can get a ring...



    The numbers aren't in yet, but it's confirmed that he took less than the $4million the Bears offered. Best of luck, Olin...
    One year for $2M. Much less than the Bears offered. I know they gave him a very short window, but he takes that much less to play? :wtf Well, moving on.

  8. #188
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    The Osi trade has been squashed.
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  9. #189
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    Kreutz clearly felt disrespected by the "one hour ultimatum" he got. He was known to have issues with the front office, and this was his excuse to walk. Retirement was never his intent, since he spent the whole off-season training with Garza.

    The Saints have 4 centers now, so I don't even know if he'll start. But I know he'll enjoy avoiding 2 games each vs. N. Suh, BJ Raji and the late, great Williams Wall. The NFC North is a tough division for centers.

    When do the Bears and Saints meet, week 2? Should be interesting.
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  10. #190
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    I didn't catch the show on ESPN unveiling their new QB ranking system but ESPN.com has some info on it:
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/68...terback-rating

    Here's a little about it:
    Spoiler:
    QBR starts with this insight: Any possession in a football game has an expected value -- the average number of points the team with possession can expect to score, based on all the historical outcomes for teams facing the same down, distance, field position and time remaining. And that means we can evaluate any play by how much it increases or decreases a team's expected point total.

    For instance, if your favorite team is playing at home and has a third-and-7 from its opponent's 45-yard line with 14:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, it will score, on average, 1.8 points. Suppose your team then gains 42 yards on its next play, giving it a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line with 14:30 left in the game. In that situation, teams average 5.6 points. So the value of that play is the difference between 5.6 and 1.8, or 3.8 expected points.

    It doesn't matter whether the play was a bomb, a screen pass, a draw up the middle, a recovered double fumble or a pass-interference penalty. It's worth 3.8 points, and if you add up the expected values added by all of your team's plays in a game or a season, you will get something very close to the number of points it actually scored.

    QBR allocates the points added by every play in an NFL season to each of the players involved, every play. On completed passes, for example, it splits credit among QBs, receivers and blockers, depending on factors such as whether the quarterback was under duress, where he threw the ball, how far it traveled and how many yards the receiver gained after the catch. QBR splits the blame for sacks on quarterbacks and offensive linemen and attributes QB fumbles to QBs. Further, QBR weights every play by its clutch value -- its contribution to a team's chances of winning, given the score of a game, not just to scoring points.


    Here's last years' QB ranking:

    Rank Season QB Team Action Plays QBR
    1 2010 Tom Brady NE 607 76.0
    2 2010 Peyton Manning IND 779 69.5
    3 2010 Matt Ryan ATL 709 68.6
    4 2010 Aaron Rodgers GB 627 67.9
    5 2010 Michael Vick PHI 547 66.6
    6 2010 Drew Brees NO 760 65.9
    7 2010 Eli Manning NYG 654 64.3
    8 2010 Josh Freeman TB 626 63.5
    9 2010 Philip Rivers SD 667 63.2
    10 2010 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 500 59.8
    11 2010 Tony Romo DAL 251 58.1
    12 2010 Joe Flacco BAL 647 58.1
    13 2010 Matt Schaub HOU 678 57.8
    14 2010 David Garrard JAC 510 57.3
    15 2010 Kerry Collins TEN 342 56.0
    16 2010 Matt Cassel KC 566 51.2
    17 2010 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 551 48.7
    18 2010 Mark Sanchez NYJ 619 47.4
    19 2010 Carson Palmer CIN 720 46.7
    20 2010 Colt McCoy CLE 290 46.6
    21 2010 Kyle Orton DEN 612 46.6
    22 2010 Jon Kitna DAL 409 46.1
    23 2010 Shaun Hill DET 499 44.8
    24 2010 Jason Campbell OAK 479 43.8
    25 2010 Jay Cutler CHI 596 42.6
    26 2010 Matt Hasselbeck SEA 547 42.4
    27 2010 Chad Henne MIA 604 41.4
    28 2010 Donovan McNabb WAS 596 41.0
    29 2010 Sam Bradford STL 732 41.0
    30 2010 Alex Smith SF 426 40.0
    31 2010 Derek Anderson ARI 387 35.9
    32 2010 Brett Favre MIN 459 25.8
    33 2010 Jimmy Clausen CAR 397 11.7


    And since there's so many Bears' fans here... 2010 Cutler is 25th between Jason Campbell and Matt Hasselbeck

    Delve into the finer details of QBR, and we can quantify the true greatness of Peyton Manning, who has added 107.5 clutch-weighted points a year to the Colts' offense since 2008, significantly more than any other QB in the NFL. We can see who has killed his team worst over the past three seasons with sacks (Cutler, minus-55.5 clutch-weighted points in 2010), interceptions (Cutler, minus-44.1 in 2009) and fumbles (that's right, Cutler again, minus-15.6 in 2010). Vick helped his team the most with his legs last season (22.1 clutch-weighted points).
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

  11. #191
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    Oh and Eli rightfully ahead of Roethlisberger, Romo, and Rivers

    Okay, I'll concede Rivers seems to be stretching it a bit...
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

  12. #192
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    Eli over Rivers...OH CMON.
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  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT144 View Post
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    Eli over Rivers...OH CMON.
    Their analysis is very deep.

    Here's the breakdown:

    Spoiler:

    Total QBR Basics
    A quick primer on the fundamentals of Total Quarterback Rating:

    Scoring: 0-100, from low to high. An average QB would be at 50.
    Win Probability: All QB plays are scored based on how much they contribute to a win. By determining expected point totals for almost any situation, Total QBR is able to apply points to a quarterback based on every type of play he would be involved in.
    Dividing Credit: Total QBR factors in such things as overthrows, underthrows, yards after the catch and more to accurately determine how much a QB contributes to each play.
    Clutch Index: How critical a certain play is based on when it happens in a game is factored into the score.




    Early in a scoreless game, a quarterback throws a 20-yard pass just by the reaching arms of a defender and into the hands of his intended receiver, who holds on despite the distraction, then scampers the remaining 15 yards for a touchdown.

    Another quarterback, down 30-10 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, throws a 3-yard screen pass to a running back, who maneuvers another 32 yards through prevent defense to pick up a first down deep in opponent territory.

    Both are called good plays, but labeling them as "good" isn't enough. Each play has a different level of contribution to winning, and each play illustrates a different level of quarterback contribution. What is the quarterback's contribution to winning in each situation? Coaches want to know this; players want to know this; and fans want to know this.

    The Total Quarterback Rating is a statistical measure that incorporates the contexts and details of those throws and what they mean for wins. It's built from the team level down to the quarterback, where we understand first what each play means to the team, then give credit to the quarterback for what happened on that play based on what he contributed.

    At the team level, identifying what wins games is not revolutionary: scoring points and not allowing points. Back in the 1980s, "The Hidden Game of Football" did some pioneering work on that topic and on how yardage relates to points. We went back and updated what that book did … then we went further. At the individual level, more detailed information about what quarterbacks do is really necessary. Brian Burke at AdvancedNFLStats.com has done very good work in advancing that effort, and FootballOutsiders.com has done some of this by charting data, but, for the past three years, ESPN has charted football games in immense detail. By putting all these ideas together and incorporating division of credit, we have built a metric of quarterback value, the Total Quarterback Rating, Total QBR or QBR for short.

    What follows is a summary of what goes into QBR. It took several thousand lines of code to implement, but we'll keep this shorter.

    Win Probability and Expected Points
    The goal behind any player rating should be determining how much a player contributes to a win. We went back through 10 years of NFL play-by-play data to look at game situation (down, distance, yard line, clock time, timeouts, home field, field surface and score), along with the ultimate outcome of the game, to develop a win probability function.

    This function treats every win the same, regardless of whether it was 45-3 or 24-23, though there is clearly a difference between such games. The first game represents total domination, whereas the other represents two fairly evenly matched teams. Because win probability treats every win the same, it misses some of what goes into the win, specifically many of the points that represent domination or the points that lead up to a last-second victory. So, although QBR uses win probability to assess how "clutch" a situation is, it uses expected points as the basis of evaluating quarterbacks. It has more of the details, and understands the difference between wins, but still strongly relates to wins in general.

    The concept of expected points was discussed as early as the mid-1980s with Pete Palmer & Co. and "The Hidden Game of Football," in which they talk about "point potential." Their idea was that, as you move closer to the opponents' end zone, you are actually gaining points. Brian Burke took it further to note that third-and-10 from midfield, for instance, has fewer expected points than first-and-10 from midfield. In other words, down and distance also matter in terms of points. We took this even further to look at clock time, home field, timeouts and field surface to generate the expected points for any team given its situation in a drive. One particular situation to note is that, at the end of the half, a team is less likely to score any points than at most other times of the game, just because the half is going to expire.

    It's useful to mention here that expected points are expected net points. It's possible that a team has expected points less than 0. This simply implies that the other team is generally more likely to score. This usually happens when a team is backed up deep in its own side of the field, especially if it is third or fourth down.

    What then happens is an evaluation of expected points added. How does a team go from 1.1 expected points to 2.1? However it does it, that is 1.0 expected points to be distributed to the offensive players on the field. But how the team does it is what determines how credit is given to a quarterback.

    Dividing Credit
    Division of credit is the next step. Dividing credit among teammates is one of the most difficult but important aspects of sports. Teammates rely upon each other and, as the cliché goes, a team might not be the sum of its parts. By dividing credit, we are forcing the parts to sum up to the team, understanding the limitations but knowing that it is the best way statistically for the rating.

    On a pass play, for instance, there are a few basic components:
    • The pass protection
    • The throw
    • The catch
    • The run after the catch

    In the first segment, the blockers and the quarterback have responsibility for keeping the play alive, and the receivers have to get open for a QB to avoid a sack or having to throw the ball away. On the throw itself, a quarterback has to throw an accurate ball to the intended receiver. Certain receivers might run better or worse routes, so the ability of a QB to be on target also relates somewhat to the receivers. For the catch, it might be a very easy one where the QB laid it in right in stride and no defenders were there to distract the receiver. Or it could be that the QB threaded a needle and defenders absolutely hammered the receiver as he caught the ball, making it difficult to hold on. So even the catch is about both the receiver and the QB. Finally, the run after the catch depends on whether a QB hit the receiver in stride beyond the defense and on the ability of a receiver to be elusive. Whatever credit we give to the blockers, receivers and quarterback in these situations is designed to sum to the team expected points added.

    The ESPN video tracking has been useful in helping to separate credit in plays like these. We track overthrows, underthrows, dropped passes, defended passes and yards after the catch. The big part was taking this information and analyzing how much of it was related to the QB, the receivers and the blockers. Not surprisingly, pass protection is related mostly to the QB and the offensive line, but yards after the catch is more about what the receiver does. Statistical analysis was able to show this, and we divided credit based on those things.

    As a relevant side note, statistical analysis showed that what we call a dropped pass was not all a receiver's fault, either. A receiver might drop a ball because he wanted to run before catching it, because the defense distracted him, because it was a little bit behind him or because he was about to get hit by a defender. If the defender was there a half second before, the defender would have knocked the ball free and it would have been called a "defended pass," not a "dropped pass." There are shades of gray even on a dropped pass, and analysis showed that. Drops are less a QB's fault than defended passes or underthrows, but the QB does share some blame.

    On most other plays, quarterbacks receive some portion of credit for the result of the play, including defensive pass interference, intentional grounding, scrambles, sacks, fumbles, fumble recoveries (Carson Palmer once recovered a teammate's fumble that saved the game for the Bengals) and throwaways.

    On plays when the QB just hands off to a running back, we didn't assign any credit to the QB. Our NFL experts did suggest that some QBs are very good at interpreting defenses pre-snap and identifying better holes for their backs. However, they also told us it would be nearly impossible to incorporate. Because they suggested this, we built in the ability to give credit for QBs when they just handed off, but we couldn't find the right analysis to do it in 2011.

    Clutch Index
    The final major step is to look at how "clutch" the situation was when creating expected points. A normal play has a clutch index of 1.0. For instance, first-and-goal from the 10-yard line in a tie game at the start of the second quarter has a clutch index of almost exactly 1.0. A more clutch situation, one late in the game when the game is close -- the same situation as above but midway through the fourth quarter, for example -- has a clutch index of about 2.0. Maximum clutch indices are about 3.0, and minimum indices are about 0.3.

    These clutch index values came from an analysis of how different situations affect a game's win probability on average. One way to think of it is in terms of pressure. A clutch play is defined before the play by how close the game appears to be. Down four points with three seconds to go and facing third-and-goal from the 3-yard line -- that is a high-pressure and high-clutch index situation because the play can realistically raise the odds of winning to almost 100 percent or bring them down from about 40 percent to almost zero percent. The same situation from midfield isn't as high pressure because it's very unlikely that the team will pull out the victory. Sure, a Hail Mary can pull the game out, but if it doesn't work, the team didn't fail on that play so much as it failed before then. On third-and-goal from the 3-yard line, failure means people will be talking about that final play and what went wrong.

    The clutch indices are multiplied by the quarterback's expected points on plays when the QB had a significant contribution, then divided by the sum of the clutch indices and multiplied by 100 to get a clutch-valued expected points added per 100 plays.

    A Rating from 0 to 100
    The final step is transforming the clutch-valued expected points rate to a number from 0 to 100. This is just a mathematical formula with no significance other than to make it easier to communicate. A value of 90 and above sounds good whether you're talking about a season, a game or just third-and-long situations; a value of four or 14 doesn't sound very good; a value of 50 is average, and that is what QBR generates for an average performance.

    That being said, the top values in a season tend to be about 75 and above, whereas the top values in a game are in the upper 90s. Aaron Rodgers might have gone 31-of-36 for 366 yards, with three passing TDs, another TD running, 19 first-down conversions, and eight conversions on third or fourth down in one game -- for a single-game Total QBR of 97.2 -- but he can't keep that up all year long. Pro Bowl-level performance for a season usually means a QBR of at least 65 or 70. We don't expect to see a season with a QBR in the 90s.

    Defensive Adjustment
    With this rating, we have intentionally not adjusted for opponents. This doesn't mean that we won't adjust for opponents as we use it but that we want QBR to be flexible for many purposes, and keeping opponents' strength out gives us that flexibility. As it stands, QBR can be broken down for all sorts of situations -- red zone, third-and-long, throwing to a certain receiver, in bad weather, against different defensive formations. We didn't want to muddy it up with opponent adjustments that aren't as useful for those situations. How to implement a defensive adjustment for third-and-long also might be different from one for the whole season. Beyond this, a defensive adjustment is often not a constant factor. A defense that looks good in Week 4 might not be as good after a few more weeks. Because it isn't a constant thing, it makes sense to leave that for analysis rather than constant incorporation into QBR.

    There will be analyses that we do on ESPN that will suggest the use of an opponent adjustment, but we will do that when needed, not up front.

    Concluding Thoughts
    What underlies QBR is an understanding of how football works and a lot of detailed situational data. What it yields are results that should reflect that. It illustrates that converting on third-and-long is important to a quarterback. It shows that a pass that is in the air for 40 yards is more reflective of a quarterback than a pass that is in the air for 5 yards and the receiver has 35 yards of run after the catch. These premises should sound reasonable to football fans. They come out of a lot of statistical analysis, but they are also consistent with what coaches and players understand.

    As we neared the end of the development of QBR, we talked to Ron Jaworski and Greg Cosell at NFL Films about its evolution. Cosell said at one point, "Football is not complex, but it is very detailed." I realized then that QBR is like that. It is very detailed, accounting for a lot of different situations, but it is not particularly complex. It really does try to see the game the way we have gotten used to seeing it in its elegant simplicity. We hope you, the fan, appreciate it, as well.
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

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    Yeah, sorry. Any rating system that ranks Phillip Rivers 9th last year is complete hogwash IMO. Manning #2 is also pretty silly. And while Cutler was pretty questionable last year, I don't think he was 25th by any reasonable definition... My suspicion is the rating overrates sacks, as well as the 'clutch' BS.
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    Yeah. Like it was Cutlers fault that the Bears O-line couldn't stop a snail. He also might be fumbling because he was getting sacked so much. This is just another bad QB rating system.
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  16. #196
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    You REALLY need a job of some kind. You have way too much time on your hands. I mean, REALLY.
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  17. #197
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    I like the concept of expected points based on down/distance etc.

    For instance, if your favorite team is playing at home and has a third-and-7 from its opponent's 45-yard line with 14:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, it will score, on average, 1.8 points. Suppose your team then gains 42 yards on its next play, giving it a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line with 14:30 left in the game. In that situation, teams average 5.6 points.
    But without a corresponding adjustment for the opponent, it's perhaps more interesting than useful. I like the fact that QBR accounts for many more facets of play than does QB Rating. It's almost certainly an improvement on that, but hey, the bar was set pretty low.

    I must say, I am distinctly NOT looking forward to all the ESPN yammering about how awesome QBR is, basically because they did it. But I guess you gotta take the bad with the good.
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  18. #198
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    I just see Eli's 25 INTs and am like, lolwut.
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  19. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donegeal View Post
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    Yeah. Like it was Cutlers fault that the Bears O-line couldn't stop a snail. He also might be fumbling because he was getting sacked so much. This is just another bad QB rating system.
    The fact that the O-line sucked and even the fairly mobile, pocket-aware Cutler got nailed a lot doesn't make him a lesser QB. In fact, a lesser QB would have been sacked/fumbled/pressured even more. But it's a bottom-line world, and the simple fact is that the Bears line play DID make him less effective. The fact that "it's not his fault" is irrelevant.

    As Yoda said, "Do, or do not. There is no try."
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  20. #200
    SlowwHand
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    Changes keep coming.

    Ricky Williams' NFL career is winding down. He hopes it does so after he wins championships with the Baltimore Ravens.

    Williams signed a two-year deal with the Ravens, who released Willis McGahee two weeks ago and needed a backup to starting running back Ray Rice. ProFootballTalk.com cited a league source Monday in reporting that Williams' deal is worth up to $4 million.
    Will Tebow go swimming with the Dolphins?
    Now that Kyle Orton has been named the starter in Denver, will Miami go fishing for Tebow?
    Last edited by SlowwHand; August 8, 2011 at 23:56.
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  21. #201
    MRT144
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    LMAO, I'd almost die from laughter if Tebow went to Miami.
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  22. #202
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    Never gonna happen.
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  23. #203
    H Tower
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    The QBR wasn't done until Trent Dilfer had Cutler ranked as low as he could get him, I don't know what Dilfer's beef with Cutler is, but that guy can't stop ragging on Cutler.

  24. #204
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    A Miami Dolphins team with Tim Tebow (QB) and Reggie Bush (RB) would be hilarious... a QB that's not a real NFL QB, and a RB that's not a real NFL RB. They'd just need to trade for Devin Hester and reacquire Ted Ginn Jr., and they'd be set.
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  25. #205
    Al B. Sure!
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    Quote Originally Posted by H Tower View Post
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    The QBR wasn't done until Trent Dilfer had Cutler ranked as low as he could get him, I don't know what Dilfer's beef with Cutler is, but that guy can't stop ragging on Cutler.
    When Cutler was in Denver, ESPN was on Cutler's dick. They did a whole thing about the best young QB's and Cutler was #1 getting praise from all the ESPN analysts. Eli was practically destroyed by those analysts, ranked dead last among young starting QB's.
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
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  26. #206
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    Well, to be fair, in their early years, Cutler significantly outplayed the higher-pedigreed Eli. In his first 4 seasons, Eli's highest QB rating was 77. Cutler was consistently in the upper 80s at the same stage of his career (until Chicago in his 4th year, 76.8).

    I'm not saying Cutler was better; I'm saying it's easy to see how the stats would push the talking heads in that direction.

    Who's QB rating do you think was higher last season?
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  27. #207
    Al B. Sure!
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Jrabbit View Post
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    Well, to be fair, in their early years, Cutler significantly outplayed the higher-pedigreed Eli. In his first 4 seasons, Eli's highest QB rating was 77. Cutler was consistently in the upper 80s at the same stage of his career (until Chicago in his 4th year, 76.8).

    I'm not saying Cutler was better; I'm saying it's easy to see how the stats would push the talking heads in that direction.

    Who's QB rating do you think was higher last season?
    Cutler's only slightly because Eli threw 25 INTs
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

  28. #208
    demonbinder
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    And in the latest news, Rex Grossman is reported to be #1 on the Redskins depth chart. :lol

  29. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al B. Sure! View Post
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    Cutler's only slightly because Eli threw 25 INTs
    "...only...25..."
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  30. #210
    Al B. Sure!
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Jrabbit View Post
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    "...only...25..."
    He threw 25 coming off a season where he only threw 14 and only 10 the year before that.
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

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