You're all worthless and weak (NFC edition)
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Aug 04, 2010
We love motivational speakers as much as the next Troll. Our favorite voice of inspiration is Doug Neidermeyer, who reminded everyone in our youth, from fat frat boys to shiftless layabout wanna-be rockers (people like you, in other words), that "you're all worthless and weak."
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It was Neidermeyer who inspired us to piece together our latest training camp compendium. You know training camp: a time when "pundits" gush breathlessly about how good each player looks in practice, and a time when hopelessly naive and wishful thinking clouds the minds of teams, players and fans.
Right this very moment, pigskin-istas all across this vast football-loving land are fabricating in their twisted little minds the scenarios that will allow their hopelessly overmatched second-rate franchise to rise from oblivion and hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
But you know the truth: fans in 31 of these 32 cities are dead wrong.
Naturally, it takes an outlet with the sober, shocking reality of a baseball bat to the lungs to snap these feeble fans and reporters out of their dreamy summer reverie and to shower them with the chilly truth of the Cold, Hard Football Facts.
The reality is that there's a 96.9 percent chance that your team's season will end with frustration and disappointment (or 100 percent chance if your quarterback is named BrettFavre). The truth is that your team sucks, and has no shot of winning sh*t this year.
So get over youself, foootball fans and pigskin "pundits." Snap back to reality. Here's the reason why your team sucks and has no chance to win it all this year. Get your AFC reality check here.
Kurt Warner isn't walking through that door, Cardinals fans!
Sadly, the relatively humble 19-13 record of the past two years passes for your franchise's modern glory days. When we published our epic all-time franchise rankings back before the 2008 season, probably the greatest compendium of all 32 NFL teams ever compiled anywhere by anybody in any medium, the Cardinals franchise was ranked dead last on the list, and with good reason: at the time, they had won just two playoff games in 88 NFL seasons.
Enter the amazing Warner. Finally given the helm ahead of youngster Matt Leinart, Warner's Cardinals went on a postseason orgy of success, with a Super Bowl appearance in 2008, a thrilling shootout-for-the-ages victory over the Packers last year, and a total of four playoff wins in two years – a miracle by the lowly standards of the franchise.
Of course, the almost-savior is gone, and Arizona is now forced to wander the desert under the leadership of Matt "14 career TD tosses" Leinart. Good luck with that, Cardinals.
Tommy Nobis isn't walking through that door, Falcons fans!
But you could probably use the old Cold, Hard Football Facts favorite at linebacker. After all, your defense has formed a near-perfect pigskin plateau over the past decade, and especially in the last few years. Over the past five years, Atlanta's defense has surrendered 337, 341, 328, 414, 325 and 325 points.
Names and faces have come and gone. But you can be fairly certain that the Falcons defense will be something in the range of ordinary. So good luck with that crew, Sean Weatherspoon.
You have an institutional inability to move the ball on offense.
The Panthers have enjoyed their far share of exciting offensive players, from the great Steve Smith to the gunslinging Jake Delhomme, who was a fiery and often productive big-game gunslinger in the brief period that passed for his prime. The most recent version of the Panthers, meanwhile, gave us the tremendous one-two ground-game punch of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, each of whom averaged more than 5.0 YPA last year – incredible tandem numbers.
Despite it all, Carolina consistently fields one of the least productive offenses in football: only three times in 15 years has the organization fielded a unit that ranked in the top half of the league in total offense. Nobody's ever accused us of being rocket scientists, but we're guessing it's hard to consistently put points on the board when you can't generate yards on offense.
You remain the great black hole where quarterbacks drop off the face of the flat earth. And don't try to sell us this "the world is round" bullsh*t. We're just telling ya how it is, Bears fans.
Pretty much every fan in football knows that the Bears have spent 60 years now struggling to find a replacement for Sid Luckman. And it's only thanks to the two the most intimidating defenses in history – the 1963 and 1985 Bears – that lifted Chicago to its only championships in the post-Luckman Era.
(It's so bad that, this week, here in the midst of 2010 training camp, that the Bears NFL.com homepage is leading with a retelling of the story of the 1985 Bears. That was a quarter century ago, for those of you keeping score at home.)
Jay Cutler was the latest victim of the Curse of Sid Luckman. Here's how his last year in Denver stacked up against his first year in Chicago.
Denver 2008: 384 of 616 (62.3%), 4,526 yards, 7.3 YPA, 25 TD, 18 INT, 86.0 passer rating
Chicago 2009: 336 of 555 (60.5%), 3,666 yards, 6.6 YPA, 27 TD, 26 INT, 76.8 passer rating
We're no highly respected football analysts – oh, wait, we are ... sorry – but those are ugly numbers. Cutler's performance declined in every single measure of efficiency last year, merely by moving from Denver to Chicago. Perhaps nothing shoot of exhuming Luckman's body can save Bears fans from another dreadful year out of their signal caller.
Speaking of the Curse of Sid Luckman, we need to remind Cowboys fans that Wade Phillips is your coach. And Phillips is the hapless architect of the NFL's other great quarterback Curse, the Curse of Flutie. As a result, you will NEVER win until you find a new coach.
The Cowboys website heaps praise upon Phillips, who has enjoyed his fair share of regular season success. In fact, here's what they say: "His .592 career winning percentage in the regular season is sixth-best among active NFL head coaches with five-or-more years of head coaching experience entering the 2008 season. He trails Tony Dungy (.661), Mike Holmgren (.613), Bill Belichick (.611), Andy Reid (.611) and Mike Shanahan (.605) on the list of winningest active NFL head coaches in the regular season."
But that's where the similarities end. Dungy, Holmgren, Belichick and Shanahan boast seven Super Bowl titles between them. Reid has won an incredible 10 playoff games over the past 10 years. Phillips has won one (1!) playoff game in his 10 years as a head coach.
So clearly, there's something very, very wrong here. And the thing that's wrong with Dallas is a head coach who spits the bit every year when the pressure gets high late in the season; a coach who spits the bit so badly, for example, that he might be inclined to bench the quarterback who led his team to a 10-5 record for an unknown passer just days before the playoffs.
The problem has rubbed off on his quarterback, too: Tony Romo is, after all, the new Peyton Manning. He's the guy who puts up big numbers in the regular season and can't get it done in the postseason. It's the head coach and quarterback who bear the bulk of the burden for the dreadful 34-3 playoff loss to the Vikings last year. Expect more of the same as long as Phillips is your head coach.
Bobby Layne isn't walking through that door, Detroit.
But even if he did, in prime 1950s form, the fiery Hall of Famer wouldn't be good enough to overcome the institutional dysfunction of a team that's fielded arguably the three worst pass defenses in the history of football for three straight years. Nothing else matters, not the rise of Matt Stafford, not a bailout for Detroit from the Feds, as long as that pass defense is among the very worst that's ever existed.
Ahh, Wisconsin. Smell the dairy air!
Ba-dum-bump. We're here all week. Don't forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses.
In the meantime, your problem, Packers fans, is that you root for the NFL's reigning paper tiger.
Green Bay over the past decade has consistently produced statistically dominant teams.The 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2009 Packers were all highly rated in most major statistical indicators. Yet each of these teams wilted under pressure in the playoffs and proved unworthy of their apparent numerical advantages over their opponents.
The 2009 Packers were as frustrating as any of them. They ranked third in scoring offense, sixth in total offense, seventh in scoring defense and second in total defense. They even dominated at No. 1 in our Defensive Hog Index, a stat that was the most reliable indicator of postseason success in its first two years of existence.
What did Green Bay get out of it? A humiliating 51-45 one-and-done playoff defeat at Arizona, a complete and total collapse of one of the league's best defenses in the team's biggest game of the year.
These types of postseason disappointments have become par for the course at the Cheesehead Country Club. We see no reason to expect anything different this year in Green Bay, where great in the regular season is never great in the postseason. But it would be worse, Packers fans. You could be fans of ...
You were stupid enough to hang the fortunes of your franchise on the mistake-prone arm and indecisive mind of BrettFavre. You simp.
Let's see the BF checklist:
Ruin one January with a colossally mindless season-ending gaffe? Check!
Ruin the April draft by making your team think that you'll be back the next season? Check!
Enter the new campaign amid chaos as you tinker with retirement during training camp in August. Check!!
We should call this confluence of events the BrettFavre Triathlon. We'd feel bad for the Vikings – if we had feelings and if the entire world didn't already know that this is exactly how it would play out. Instead, we choose to laugh at all the donkeys who went out last year and blew a c-note on a BrettFavre Vikings jersey. Clowns.
Lightning don't strike twice, Saints fans.
It's amazing how quickly fans of second-rate franchises act like they invented the game of football the second a bit of success comes their way. Saints fans are no exception. Sure, 2009 was a season to remember. But let's not forget, Drew Brees lit up the league in 2008, too (5,069 passing yards) and the result was your typical Saints 8-8 season. And before the three postseason victories of 2009, there was the two pathetic playoff victories of 1967 to 2008. So, sorry if we haven't already penciled you in as the next great dynasty. Chumps.
Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan aren't walking through that door, Giants fans ... well, unless you're reading this from prison. In which case, yes, there's a good shot that LT is walking through the door.
In any case, one of the statistical trends that's most amazed us over the past few seasons is the evisceration of the once-mighty Defensive Hogs who carried the Giants to their shocking Super Bowl victory in 2007.
Back then, the G-Men easily ranked No. 1 in our Defensive Hog Index – a dominant group that humbled the league's three greatest passing attacks in three amazing postseason weeks: first the Cowboys, then the Packers and then, of course, the undefeated Patriots. Fast-forward two seasons, and New York's 2009 Defensive Hogs defined mediocrity.
The Giants won their three Super Bowls with dominant Defensive Hogs. The 2010 Giants do not have a dominant group of Defensive Hogs. You do the math.
The Kevin Kolb Era is here! The Kevin Kolb Era is here. The Kevin Kolb Era is here???
Notoriously brutal and pathetic Eagles fans never quite warmed to Donovan McNabb, reminding us along the way of the notoriously brutal and pathetic Red Sox fans in our home town who, at various points in history, ran or attempted to run out of town Ted Williams, Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens. We're no baseball experts, but as far as we can tell those are three pretty good players. And Red Sox fans and media hated each and every one of them.
Though we do recall a bumper sticker that made the rounds of Boston after Boggs had his sexual tryst. It read: "Don't trade Wade for getting laid."
In the case of Eagles fans, we have full faith that they'll soon realize the error of their belligerent anti-McNabb ways. For all his flaws, McNabb is the organization's most successful quarterback since Norm Van Brocklin, and the Eagles were the NFC's most dominant team of the past decade under this rocky leadership. Kolb? He's started two games in three NFL seasons and there's little in his background to indicate legit NFL No. 1.
What, don't we remember that McNabb blew it against the Patriots in the Super Bowl? Yes, folks, we do.
We also remember that, around the time that McNabb was losing his lunch in the Super Bowl, Kolb and his Houston Cougars were losing against the Rainbow Warriors in the Hawaii Bowl, against the Jayhawks in the Fort Worth Bowl and against the Gamecocks in the Liberty bowl.
No quarterback = no return to glory.
No franchise in the NFL has enjoyed an embarrassment of quarterbacking riches quite like the 49ers. From Y.A. Tittle to John Brodie to Joe Montana to Steve Young and even on to Jeff Garcia, San Francisco enjoyed consistent success (.551 all-time winning percentage) thanks to a consistent string of Pro Bowl and Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Hell, even Frankie Albert twice led the old AAFC in TD passes back in the 1940s.
Today, the organization is mired in a string of seven straight seasons without a winning record – easily the longest stretch without a winning campaign in franchise history. Naturally, the failure to field a legit QB in recent years is largely to blame for the historic skid. And as we've noted many times, Alex Smith is not a legit QB.
The organization doubled down on their failed former overall No. 1 pick when they benched the promising Shaun Hill last year. Smith responded with a couple nice efforts. But his JaMarcus Russell-esque 69.2 career passer rating is not the stuff of which Super Bowls are won or memories of Joe Montana are erased. In fact, as we noted this off-season, you could argue that Smith has been a bigger bust than the disgraced Russell, ex of Oakland.
So if you think you'd be happy trying to win with Russell, you should be thrilled to call Smith your quarterback.
Your team's got more holes in it than the story you told your wife after she found those little pink panties in the back seat of your car.
The 2009 Seahawks fielded one of the league's worst pass defenses (28th in DPR) and one of the league's worst offensive lines (28th in OHI). In fact, they were no better than 20th in any one of our Quality Stats. To top it off, the quarterback situation is something close to chaos, with aging Matt Hasselbeck and failed J.P. Losman the team's two best options.
On the bright side, Pete Carroll will have everyone pumped & jacked after leaving USC in such great shape.
Well, let's put it this way: after that big win in Detroit last year, things are certainly looking up here in 2010.
OK, this will take a minute, but look at this: 28, 28, 25, 21, 23, 18, 18, 27, 14, 21, 26, 19, 22, 16, 25, 26, 21, 23, 26, 29, 30, 23, 18, 27, 6, 15, 18, 18, 23, 20, 31, 18, 19, 30.
A lot of 20s floating around, isn't there?
Well, you know what that is? It's Tampa rank in scoring offense every year of its existence, from 1976 to 2009. Notice something else about those numbers? That's right. They suck, really, really bad. There's no reason to believe 2010 will be any different for the Bucs, either. Douche bag.
Dan Snyder isn't walking through that door, Redskins fans!
Oh, wait ... he is. Sorry. Our bad.
On the bright side, the Jim Zorn and Albert Haynesworth signings went so well – just like every other Snyder deal – what could possibly go wrong in 2010? We mean, it's not like the Redskins traded away a bunch of draft picks for an aging QB or anything.
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