The Beaver gets a good tongue lashing
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 20, 2010
By Luis DeLoureiro
Cold, Hard Football Facts Father of the Year
With the passing this week of Tom Bosley and Barbara Billingsley, a generation of TV-obsessed couch-potato Trolls has lost adored parental figures.
Bosley played Howard Cunningham on "Happy Days," a show that reminded us of the love we never received as children. Billingsley played June Cleaver on "Leave it to Beaver," a show that raised double entendre to an art form years before James Bond rolled around with Pussy Galore.
Yes, we're perfectly aware that the shows aired more than a decade apart – meaning that they would have been watched by separate generations. But, in addition to long-term virginity, any self-respecting TV junkie possesses an unhealthy knowledge of most major shows. The list would include "Taxi," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Odd Couple" and anything on late-night Cinemax, especially the Emmanuelle movies.
We are also aware that, with the departure of Billingsley and Bosley, the football world will now turn to us for parental guidance. We're willing to take on that challenge. We've cleared our kids' schedules – including all orthodontist appointments, dance recitals and measles vaccinations – to channel June and Mr. C. and assist the wider world in their quest for parental pigskin perfection.
For Chicago's Offensive Hogs: "I'm very worried about the Beaver."
Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler is going to get killed if his Offensive Hogs don't shape up soon.
The Bears suffer a Negative Pass Play on an incredible 17.33 percent of dropbacks, easily the most in the league according to our Offensive Hog Index. Cutler has been sacked 23 times in 164 dropbacks, a league-worst 14.0 percent according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Nine of those 23 sacks came in the first half of the 17-3 Week 4 loss at the Giants. In that game, Cutler's all-important Passing Yards Per Attempt average – remember, we account for sacks – was -0.65 Passing YPA.
Cutler's personal average of 8.5 YPA is No. 2 in the NFL (behind Philip Rivers). But once you adjust for sacks, the figure drops to 6.4 Passing YPA – 11th in the NFL.
The problem is with the O-Hogs and not the quarterback.
In 2008, Cutler's last year in Denver, he was sacked 11 times on 627 dropbacks (1.75 percent) of his attempts – or 11 times (two more than the total in that one half against the Giants) on 616 attempts.
Before this season in front of Chicago's dreadful Offensive Hogs, Cutler had been sacked just 86 times in 1,862 dropbacks (4.6%).
For the Cowboys: "Why can't you be a normal boy and swallow goldfish?"
Dallas isn't like the other kids. It's found new and creative ways to lose games this year.
We all remember the Week 1 penalty against Alex Barron that nullified the winning touchdown against the Redskins. This penalty came after a bizarre defensive touchdown by the Redskins at the end of the half that made the Cowboys look like they had never seen this odd oblong ball.
In Week 2 they wasted 410 yards of offense by coughing the ball up three times.
After a win in Week 3 and a bye (the closest thing the Cowboys have had to a winning streak this year) they lost back-to-back games on excessive celebration penalties!
Mark Columbo's nimble athleticism was on display in Week 5 against the Titans, when he fell following a chest bump celebration with Jason Witten. (Even the biggest Cowboy haters felt bad after that one).
Sam Hurd was penalized the following week for excessive celebration against the Vikings, when he made the dual "Hook 'Em Horns" sign, made famous by the University of Texas. (The penalty was not on leap-frogging Miles Austin, as the NFL originally said.)
Let us rephrase it: Hurd, who attended Northern Illinois, got a penalty for excessive celebration when he made the dual "Hook 'Em Horns" sign, made famous by the University of Texas.
In reaction to the penalty, Hurd said, "I was like man, you can't do nothing."
Aaaah, nothing like defending your stupidity with a good old-fashioned double negative.
But, let's talk about the Cold Hard Football Facts. Dallas, like San Diego, is getting hammered because of its startling inefficiency. As we pointed out over the summer, the 2009 Cowboys were the lowest-rated playoff team on the Scoreability Index (No. 25 with 17.7 Yards Per Point Scored).
Well, they're even worse this year: No. 29 in Scoreability (19.6 YPPS).
And, once again, defensive turnovers are to blame. Dallas ranks No. 4 in total defense (281.4 YPG) but they have forced only four turnovers – last in the league.
While there's an element of luck in turnovers – especially fumbles – a two-year trend at the bottom of the league in this metric indicates that more than luck is in play.
For Chargers fans: "Don't be so hard on the Beaver"
San Diego coach Norv Turner is getting slammed after his team's shocking 2-4 start.
But as our own Colonel Comey recently said, "Taking Turner out of the equation might lead to a different feel, but it could also put a big dent in San Diego's incredible passing game, which has been one of the most constant qualities in the league and the main reason the Chargers will still probably win the AFC West."
The offense is not the problem in San Diego. The Chargers lead the NFL in the crucial Passing Y.P.A. stat and Philip Rivers is having another tremendous season.
Teams that win the YPA battle overwhelmingly win the game. San Diego bucks the trend. Despite winning the YPA battle in five out of six games (because of 41 yards lost in sacks last week, the Rams were able to beat the Chargers in YPA), the Chargers are only 2-3 in those games.
The Chargers rank No. 1 in both total offense (432.7 YPG) and total defense (255.2 YPG) heading into Week 7. Despite these lofty rankings, San Diego is just 2-4. Blame an inefficient team-wide defense: the Chargers are 31st in Bendability (12.07 YPPA).
In fact, it's ALL about efficiency in San Diego and across the NFL. San Diego's record mirrors its efficiency (as it does in 87 percent of all games this year): the Chargers are 2-0 when they win the Bendability-Scoreability battle and 0-4 when they lose it.
For Eagles QB Kevin Kolb: "Hey I'm not the dreamer! I'm the dreamee!"
Kolb must feel like he's living the dream: the Eagles traded away their franchise quarterback to hand the reins to him as a relative unknown. Then he seemed to lose his job to Michael Vick in Week 1. Then he got it back when Vick got injured in Week 4.
But like Mr. C favorite Fonzie daringly jumping a shark, Kolb has captured the dream moment.
He torched the Eagles last week in a big 31-17 victory: 23 of 29 (79.3%), 326 yards, 11.2 YPA, 3 TD, 1 INT, 133.6 passer rating.
It's part of a remarkable three-game run now for Kolb that has made the Eagles the top team in the NFC right now:
66 of 95 (69.5%), 780 yards, 8.2 YPA, 5 TD, 2 INT, 103.0 passer rating
Two weeks ago it looked like Vick's job. No longer after a dream performance by Kolb.
For the Panthers: "Beaver, your mother and I are very disappointed in you."
The Panthers, a popular preseason favorite for some (including our own misguided Chief Troll), are dead last in the Week 7 update of my completely geeked out, BCS-style power rankings.
Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver are also very disappointed in Buffalo (30) and San Francisco (31). The three bottom dwellers have one win between them.
But they're very proud of Pittsburgh, even if the Gridiron Godfather has punished star defender James Harrison, who's now pouting in the corner.
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