Five things I’ll be looking at in the first week of the 2017 NFL season:
1. How will Tom Brady play in the Patriots Thursday night opener against the Chiefs?
At age 40, Brady has shown no signings of slowing down in training camp. And if Brady is still Brady, they are three games – two home playoff games and the Super Bowl – away from a sixth Super Bowl title before they inflate their first football.
With Brady, they are a lock to make the playoffs again since they play in a division with the Jets, Bills and Dolphins. But sometimes aging quarterbacks can just suddenly fall off a cliff. Or decline slowly.
Brady will be under the microscope for any signs of slowing down all season. Oh, and the other thing about the opener is the reception the Patriots fans will give Roger Goodell. How many will wear the clown T-shirt that defensive coordinator Matt Patricia wore getting off the plane after the Super Bowl? What will their signs say?
Continue reading “Five Things to Watch: NFL Week 1”
“Blake Bortles is the Tom Brady of Garbage Time,’’ blared the headline on the fivethirtyeight.com website.
The site is noted for crunching the numbers on political issues, but also covers sports. And Michael Salvino studied the numbers on Blake Bortles, the fourth-year Jaguars quarterback, for the past two seasons.
It turns out he was the best quarterback in the league in garbage time the past two years. Garbage time is defined on being down by nine or more points with four minutes or fewer left.
There has been a perception that Bortles tends to put up meaningless numbers in garbage time and Salvino’s research shows it is true.
Bortles completed 78 of 118 passes for 964 yards and 12 touchdowns and just four picks with a passer rating of 111 in garbage time. Tom Brady, who barely even knows what garbage time in a loss feels like, had a 112 passer rating for the season last year.
Continue reading “Bortles’ garbage-time stats are another damning indictment”
Thanks to the invention of the DVR, I rarely watch commercials. I just zip through them until the program starts again.
But when I was watching a show the other night, I could see several athletes were featured, so I stopped to watch it.
It’s been out for a couple of weeks so you’ve probably seen it, but it opens with Michael Jordan saying, “ You want to know the secret of victory? Fail to make the varsity team.’’
Then it goes to J.J. Watt saying, “Start your career as a walk-on.’’
A couple more athletes appear and then Jordan returns and says, “Really want to know the secret of victory?’’ Then it shows Matt Ryan walking on the field after blowing the biggest Super Bowl lead in history and he says, “Defeat.’’
Continue reading “Matt Ryan makes Super Bowl loss worse with dumb ad appearance”