NFL 2019 Season

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Whoops, never replied to this.

I'd say he's regressed in most major ways: just straight-up less zip on his throws, most notably. Barnwell was saying the same thing. Schatz, too, IIRC, and he's a huge Pats fans if that matters to anyone. Seems like less precision on the softer ones, too: lots of throwing behind guys or at their feet; I seem to recall it happened with Michel during the Bills game in a situation where a properly led throw (or even just an okay one) would've let him waltz into the end zone.

He seems more hesitant, too, and quicker to throw the ball away to avoid getting hit. I think that's probably smart, mind you, and it obviously doesn't happen in isolation, but it's something you'd expect an older player to do to manage their health, as well.
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
Whoops, never replied to this.

I'd say he's regressed in most major ways: just straight-up less zip on his throws, most notably. Barnwell was saying the same thing. Schatz, too, IIRC, and he's a huge Pats fans if that matters to anyone. Seems like less precision on the softer ones, too: lots of throwing behind guys or at their feet; I seem to recall it happened with Michel during the Bills game in a situation where a properly led throw (or even just an okay one) would've let him waltz into the end zone.

He seems more hesitant, too, and quicker to throw the ball away to avoid getting hit. I think that's probably smart, mind you, and it obviously doesn't happen in isolation, but it's something you'd expect an older player to do to manage their health, as well.
He still throws with plenty of zip on some passes and his arm strength tests as good as ever. Maybe that's not the same, I don't know. I had to look up those people, and I can't say I have any reason to value the opinion of Schatz or Barnwell. They seem like dime a dozen types while I couldn't figure out who IIRC is. He is throwing the ball away more, but he's actually doing it less often when he seems like he doesn't need to. That's why it seems to me to be more a product of less time and nobody open. Avoiding negative plays has always been a major focal point for him, and it is sometimes frustrating to watch. There's been people saying for years at certain points that he's on the decline, and it was inevitable to happen this year when anyone who follows the team knew the offense was going to be a struggle. Sometimes he will make a throw, and the instant reaction was where the hell was he throwing it. Then you come to find out the receiver was in the wrong spot. That's what he does when the offense is working, he throws to a spot rather than to a receiver, and the receiver is supposed to be there. He also talks about throwing to places where only the receiver can get it and where a receiver won't take a big hit. This can make throws not appear to be the most accurate even if he puts them right where he wants. One of the biggest talking points here has always been how long it takes receivers to learn the offense and get in Brady's "circle of trust". Brady could have some blame in this; he did skip voluntary OTA's the past 2 years. It just makes it very hard to tell if his skills are in decline when physically he's just as strong, and there's a lack of timing and skill in the rest of the offense. Throw in his elbow injury and Edelman's injury and that's why I don't want to rush to judge when I've seen it before and it was predictable for this year. All that said, he has missed throws and has shown visible frustration for most of the season.



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
Playoffs start today; who is everyone's Super Bowl pick?

I think I would have to go with KC. They can take Jackson and the Ravens out of their comfort zone by getting a lead on them. I see SF as the best all around team in the NFC, but I'm not a big believer in Jimmy G yet.



He still throws with plenty of zip on some passes and his arm strength tests as good as ever. Maybe that's not the same, I don't know.
I'd be curious to know how those arm tests work. But I wouldn't expect it to be the same as in-game especially for an older player whose primary issue, you'd think, would be the wear and tear of the season.

I saw one of the highlights from last week's game and there was a throw with a little more oomph on it, and I thought, wow, haven't seen that in awhile. Then I realized how telling it was that I was surprised by even a moderately hard throw. So then I brought up some old highlights from a decade ago, and the difference was pretty stark. Especially on the move.

I had to look up those people, and I can't say I have any reason to value the opinion of Schatz or Barnwell. They seem like dime a dozen types while I couldn't figure out who IIRC is.
Oh, IIRC just means "if I recall correctly."

I can't account for your impression of either, not knowing what you saw, but you might value their opinions if you read them for a bit, simply because they're both right a lot. And they watch more games than either of us, if that's your preferred knowledge metric.

He is throwing the ball away more, but he's actually doing it less often when he seems like he doesn't need to.
Boy, it sure doesn't seem this way to me. It seems like he's doing it preemptively more and more, presumably because he doesn't trust himself to evade it. Which is prudent, but is exactly the kind of thing a smart aging player does to account for their declining skills.

That's why it seems to me to be more a product of less time and nobody open. Avoiding negative plays has always been a major focal point for him, and it is sometimes frustrating to watch. There's been people saying for years at certain points that he's on the decline, and it was inevitable to happen this year when anyone who follows the team knew the offense was going to be a struggle. Sometimes he will make a throw, and the instant reaction was where the hell was he throwing it. Then you come to find out the receiver was in the wrong spot.
Sure, this is all true. Football teams are complicated machines, which is as much an argument for spreading credit around in the good times as it is for absolving an individual of blame in the bad ones. Can't be just one or the other, though.

The key thing, for me, is that all of this stuff is potentially true of any struggling QB. Explanations that could apply to anyone are always a little suspect, because they're hard to falsify (usually by design). Ditto any explanation that posits a lot of mistakes consistently happening on just one side of the equation. Regardless, this is why I've tried to note examples of throwing behind receivers or at the feet, since those kinds of mistakes are usually a little clearer. Or as clear as it's gonna be in a sport as interconnected as football.

and that's why I don't want to rush to judge when I've seen it before and it was predictable for this year. All that said, he has missed throws and has shown visible frustration for most of the season.
He's definitely seemed more frustrated than usual, though that fits any interpretation.

Like I said, maybe he'll switch teams and we'll see the situation a bit more clearly. But I'm good placing my bets now: Father Time, in his customary knockout, albeit a round later than in previous generations since QBs all seem to get a few extra years these days.



Re: NFC. I'm pretty much the same regarding San Francisco and Jimmy, but he's still coming back from surgery, so it wouldn't shock me if he had some settling in still to do. Hard to say. I wouldn't wanna put anything down in the whole conference, though, particularly between SF and NO. I'd go SF by a nose but that'd be a big stay away otherwise.

Baltimore's the obvious chalk in the AFC, and I think that's correct. But if anyone can do it this year, yeah, probably KC.

I feel pretty confident those are the four best teams, but I'm not especially confident of any particular matchup. Should be a really interesting playoff.

So sure, if forced to pick: Ravens over 49ers.



Ravens in the AFC because of home field over KC. The Packers might be the worst 13-3 team ever and I don't think they get past the Saints unless the Saints gets some of that Saints luck going for em (all bad). NFC Championship - coin flip between SF and NO and hopefully it's NO. I've always have more fun in NO than SF and I just love a town where the hotel staff tells you upon arrival "Whatever you do, don't take a right out of the hotel. Go left." Reminds me of home.



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
The only thing about the Saints, and I'm not actually sure about seedings, is wouldn't they have to win in GB? I don't know much about the Packers, but it would be a dome team playing in cold weather.



I'm really not sure what I think about Green Bay. Record's good, they're "winning ugly" as they say, but I'm not sure if that's just how they're gameplanning or if Rodgers has genuinely lost something. I had him in fantasy and watched him a fair bit, and I slightly lean towards the latter. It's really hard to say, though. They seemed to lean into specific plans really, really hard, and it often switched from game to game.



Rodgers hasn't been the same since returning from the last broken collarbone. He's a perfect example of the stats don't always tell the entire story because stat wise he still looks pretty good but when you actually watch him play his accuracy and decision making isn't anywhere close to what it was.

How about that NE - Tenn. game? Favorite moment was Vrabel taking the delay of game, then a false start to keep the clock running and Belichick losing his mind over it. That was such a Belichick move and the fact that it was a former Patriot doing it was perfect. I'm not much of a lip reader but my impression was that Belichick thought it was a severe case of bull shirt.



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
How about that NE - Tenn. game? Favorite moment was Vrabel taking the delay of game, then a false start to keep the clock running and Belichick losing his mind over it. That was such a Belichick move and the fact that it was a former Patriot doing it was perfect. I'm not much of a lip reader but my impression was that Belichick thought it was a severe case of bull shirt.
What's funny is that he did the exact same thing about six weeks ago. I haven't looked at anything about the game yet but it must've been some kind of other issue with the time.



Yeah, he did it to the Jets. He said after that game he felt it was a loophole and it should (and probably would) be closed. I dunno what he could've been mad about; "why didn't you close the loophole midseason after I used it"? Probably just upset it rebounded like that in the moment, even though I'm not sure it was the best move from Vrabel, anyway.



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
I seen to remember in the Jets game the announcer saying they should just decline the penalty. Maybe that's what Belichick was trying to do and they wouldn't let him? Idk.



It's probably the biggest mismatch of the first round, but obviously anything can happen. For me the big thing is that for Minnesota to win they'll probably have to win a fairly high-scoring affair, and that's not really how they're built. But I guess we'll see.



To be honest I just find the AFC way more interesting right now. I'm already looking ahead to a likely BAL-KC conference championship. Might be the first game I sit down to watch start to finish, "normally," in awhile.



Genuinely impressed by the Vikings D so far.

Box score is crazy, though. Looks like Minnesota's run almost twice as many plays. Not sure it's feasible to keep the Saints' offense down, but they sure seem to have kept them off the field.



FYI: Baltimore vs New Orleans was my absolute dream matchup.
I live in Maryland (Hagerstown, about 90 mins from Baltimore) so the atmosphere would be electric if I could snag tix to the Ravens playoffs.



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
Good call Raul. I didn't have faith in the Saints overall but I thought they'd win today. That last play might have been offensive PI, must suck to be a fan of that team lately.



Yeah, Saints have gotten some really rough calls (or non-calls) in some huge moments the last few years, last year being the really awful one. There's a lot of what-could-have-been with them since that one title, and the bum luck might've cost them at least one more.

Anyway, Vikings seemed to limit their touches and just barely hung on at the end. That turnover completely saved their season, though, with how New Orleans was driving, and another 40 seconds on the clock and I think they win in regulation, too.

Great game, which is all you can ask for without a clear rooting interest. Is it just me or have NFL playoff games been really good more often than not the last decade?