Tuesday, January 18, 2022

TUESDAY TIDBITS: "American Underdog"

By TJ Troup 

Will not be reviewing all six wild-card playoff games, yet aspects of the victories again reinforce the statistic that is most telling in pro football—team pass defense. 

You want examples? Well, hell yes, sure have them. Jones of New England actually was more efficient throwing the ball than the Buffalo Bills league-leading defensive passer rating category, but compare what Buffalo did on pass defense to what Mr. Allen did to the Patriot's second-ranked secondary (157.6—almost perfection). 
Dak Prescott
Every year, yes EVERY year since the merger in '70 there has been a road victory in the playoffs. The impressive San Francisco win when viewed from key statistical aspects tells the tale. Prescott had a passer rating in the game of 69.3 and was going against a secondary that ranked 25th with a porous 97.0 rating. 

Did the 49ers step up, or did Prescott fail when needed most? Dallas ranked third in the defensive passer rating category with a mark of 76.6, and Jimmy G. finished at 67.4—thus for the game overall, the Cowboy secondary did their job. 
Jimmy Garoppolo
Before the game, if you asked Kyle Shanahan if he would be happy with his two leading ball carriers gaining 168 yards on 37 carries, believe you would have heard a resounding yes, and possibly a smile stretched across his face. The pain all Cowboy fans are feeling today results from not only the loss on Sunday afternoon but from a playoff record of 3-10 for their last thirteen post-season games. Ouch! 

Finally, the Ram victory last night. Murray completed 7 of 17 for just 28 yards with no touchdowns, and two interceptions in the first half....for a rating of 9.3. In the second half he improved to 12 of 17 for 109 yards, but nary a touchdown, but no interceptions either. 

Mr. Stafford on the other hand finished with a mark of 154.5....as he shredded the 19th ranked secondary. Josh Weinfuss at the Eternally Stupid Putrid Network predicted a Cardinal victory; what did he base that on?  
Matthew Stafford
Would relish knowing. Going back to Dallas for a brief moment—how come no one is talking about Zeke these days? First five games this year he gains 452 yards on 85 carries and looked to be his old self. The rest of the year, a pedestrian 550 yards on 152 carries. Just not sure how much gas is left in his tank? 

Divisional round is chock full of fascinating games for all the reasons why we watch football this time of the year. So many questions can be asked, and we will hear the pundits, and so-called experts talk about quarterbacks and overall defense this week, but how many will talk about the defensive passer rating? 

Would relish the opportunity to discuss defensive backfield play with Mr. Riddick, but we all know that is just not going to happen. The eight teams left ranked 1st, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 16th, 18th, and 25th in the defensive passer rating category for the regular season. Oh, you wanted teams attached to these rankings? Do some research folks. 
Kurt Warner
The Rams in 1999 grabbed the attention of the entire football nation with their spirited and impressive play. On January 16th, 2000 the Vikings took the field in St. Louis and were completely outplayed. Just for fun let's say a quarterback completed 23 of 29 for 236 yards with 3 going for touchdowns and just one interception; no doubt we all would say a rock-solid performance. 

Those are the passing stats for Kurt Warner after he began by going 4 for 4 for 155 yards, and two impressive scores! Bruce is split left and runs a post to the middle of the field, as the Rams pass blockers pick up the blitz. Warner is right on the money for 77 yards and his first touchdown. His second is a flat pass to Faulk on the left side, and the shifty back weaves his way through the Minnesota defense for 41 yards. 
Recently went and saw "American Underdog", and enjoyed the movie. Rather than critique all aspects of how the movie was made and was it accurate—just gonna say that Ms. Anna Paquin did a whale of a job portraying Brenda Warner. Hope you all go see it.


  1. it may be a great cinderella story, but I remain underwhelmed with the notion that Kurt Warner is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.....

    1. Jim has a point. Kurt was a winner with accolades but its rare for any HOF QB to be beaten out of starting for three different teams. Kurt had to prove himself time and again but what a success story !

      As for Paquin's looks and acting talent, I would buy that for a dollar, though Brenda to me, looks more Italian-American, though she may not be.

    2. Who beat out Warner? Surely nobody did in New York or Arizona. As for the Rams, Marc Bulger took over after Warner was injured and then Bulger kept the job for a while due to good play. Did those two ever have a legit competition where Bulger was declared the winner?

    3. Martz chose Bulger even when Warner became healthy again in 2003. Warner was replaced by Eli Manning during the season in NY and Leinart was chosen over Warner in Arizona. Only an injury to Leinart allowed Warner to come in but he made the most of it and took them to the SB. Yes, Manning and Leinart were #1 picks but Warner should have gotten more benefit of a doubt but with thumb problems, he had to prove he could stay healthy. From 2002 - 2007 Warner's starting record was only 13-29 but once he took over the starting job in ARI, the team gathered momentum which resulted in successful years for Warner in 2008 and 2009.

    4. He was replaced by Manning but Manning absolutely did not beat him out for a job neither did Leinart.

    5. Ken Whisenhunt took over as HC in 2007 for Ariz and installed Leinart as his starting QB. Warner took over later and finished the season with a 5-6 record. Either way, Warner was 13-29 since the 2002 season as a starter before his great 2008 season.

  2. Dallas messed up not running Pollard more. Elliot had no burst, claiming a knee injury. That QB draw was ridiculous.

    With another blowout loss, Mike Tomlin's Steelers have been outscored 171-117 in their last four consecutive postseason losses. Why is he not on the hot seat, especially with a HOF QB ?
    I wonder if Doug Pederson could inspire the team more ?

  3. Saw the film coach and it was good. The film seems to point to Mariucci as the bad guy releasing Warner with GB but Holmgren took the blame on talkoffamenetwork.(miss commenting to those great writers) Warner benefitted because he wouldn't have played with Favre there anyway and had to win over Brenda who seemed to want to drive him away in the movie.