“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”
The Miami Dolphins’ desperation move to bring Jay Cutler out of retirement once Ryan Tannehill was injured is another example of how a team can be haunted for years by mistakes of past regimes.
That’s because neither Tannehill nor Cutler should be their quarterback.
Their quarterback should be Drew Brees, but the Dolphins bypassed him twice early in his career.
In the 2001 draft, they took cornerback James Fletcher with the 26th pick in the first round. Brees went to San Diego with the first pick of the second round even though Dolphins general manager Rick Spielman said before the draft that three members of his staff had looked at every college pass by Brees.
According to a story written in 2009 by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who still covers the team, Spielman told him after the draft they didn’t feel Brees was that much better than incumbent Jay Fiedler. Later, the story changed that then coach Dave Wannstedt pushed Fletcher instead of Brees.
Continue reading “Cutler move shows Dolphins still paying a price for past personnel sins”
When Gisele Bündchen married Tom Brady eight years ago, she said he told her he planned to play 10 more years.
The problem, she said, was that as the years passed, the number never went down. As recently as 2015, he was still saying he planned to play 10 more years.
Now Brady finally seems ready to concede 10 more years may be a bit unrealistic. He seems to be talking about five more years.
Brady turned 40 Thursday, and in his first press conference of training camp Friday, he was asked about Patriots owner Bob Kraft saying he could play until his 50s.
“I don’t think I’ve ever said the 50s,’’ Brady said. “Maybe once. You know, I just love doing it. Again, I’ve never thought about not playing, at least until my mid-40s, so that’s a pretty good goal in and of itself, and then we’ll see when I get there.’’
Continue reading “Age will soon catch up even with the remarkably durable Tom Brady”
I wonder what Charles Goodell would think of the NFL’s de facto Colin Kaepernick ban.
If you don’t recognize the name, he was named a U.S. Senator from New York in 1968 by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to replace Bobby Kennedy after Kennedy was assassinated.
A Republican, Goodell alienated President Richard Nixon and conservative voters by coming out against the Vietnam War. He came in third in the 1970 election, as a conservative was elected in a three-way race. He also happens to be the father of current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“That was a valuable lesson to me – taking that position he did would be the end of his political career,’’ Goodell told the New York Times in 2010. “He was hoping people would see it was the right thing to do, but against the president’s weight, the weight of the Republican party, it would be difficult, but he did it.’’
Would Roger Goodell have done the same thing his father did?
Continue reading “Would Goodell’s father support NFL’s de facto Kaepernick ban?”
Bart Starr, Bob Griese, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, John Elway and Tom Brady are members of an exclusive club.
They are the NFL quarterbacks who’ve won back-to-back Super Bowls. All are in the Hall of Fame except for Brady, who will be enshrined after he retires.
Three years ago, Russell Wilson of Seattle was a yard away from joining that club.
But the Seahawks decided not to have Wilson hand off to Marshawn Lynch on second down to get the yard that would have given the Seahawks the victory over New England and back-to-back titles.
Instead, the coaches told Wilson to throw a pass and it was intercepted and the fallout is still hanging over the Seahawks.
Continue reading “Seahawks’ problem is no run game, not Wilson”
When the AFL-NFL merger was finalized in 1970, the NFL featured nine Hall of Fame head coaches and would have had a tenth if Vince Lombardi hadn’t died that year.
The nine were Paul Brown, Chuck Noll, Tom Landry, Bud Grant, Don Shula, Weeb Ewbank, John Madden, Hank Stram and George Allen.
Flash forward to the upcoming NFL season.
At the moment, there is one sure fire Hall of Famer on the sidelines – Bill Belichick – although there’s always a chance a younger coach may emerge.
The league doesn’t have the larger-than-life figures who were great leaders on the sidelines. They have too many play-callers who don’t know how to manage the game.
Continue reading “Where have all the (great) coaches gone?”