Archive for the ‘MMQB’ Category

Not Without My Tight End!

November 22, 2009

Peter King let out another one (so to speak). Check out this gem from this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback:

When we talk about the great tight ends, we too often forget Antonio Gates.

Now I’m not sure whom King is referring to, because I sure have not forgotten that Antonio Gates is a good tight end. He has made the Pro Bowl five straight times; he is a two time All-Pro tight end; and, since 2004, only Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss, and Terrell Owens (all wide receivers) have more receiving touchdowns. I’m pretty sure everyone I know is well aware that Gates is one of the league’s premiere tight ends and has been for quite some time. Furthermore, he is owned in 100 percent of ESPN’s fantasy football leagues and is consistently one of the first tight ends drafted. Writers and fans alike are well aware of this “under the radar” star. But of course Peter King forgets to mention him when writing about the great tight ends…or does he? Here’s what King had to say TWO WEEKS AGO:

f. Owen Daniels tearing his ACL is such a shame. He was battling Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates for top tight end in the AFC. Houston will miss him. Matt Schaub trusted him to run perfect routes.

I guess King forgot that he didn’t forget to include Gates in the “great tight end” discussion. Man, I wish I could not forget to forget King…


Dude, Where’s My Counter?

November 3, 2009


Get ready for another trip into the self-defeating mind of our favorite doofusy monarch. His latest endeavor is an attempt to remove the word “counterargument” from the English language (as it is spoken/written on the pigskin football continent). In today’s MMQB Tuesday Edition, Peter King responds to an emailer who questions his contention that Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is the best defensive player in football. The original email reads as follows:

“How in the same article can you make the claim that there is no better defensive player in football than Jared Allen and also say that Aaron Rodgers takes too many sacks? There is no doubt that he is an impact player, but when 7.5 of his 10.5 sacks came against Rodgers, he hasn’t had that much of a game-changing impact in the other Vikings games.”

King begins his “response” by acknowledging the validity of the emailer’s argument (“Good point”), but instead of responding, he chooses to reiterate his original stance and flaunt his credentials: “In my job at NBC and in covering one of the Minnesota’s  game [sic], I’ve seen at least 50 percent of the Vikings’ defensive snaps this year, and he’s the best defensive player I’ve seen.” Loosely translated from King-speak to English: “I’m smarter than you, pesky emailer, and I know more about football. I work for NBC, dammit! Leave me alone so I can drink my Starbucks latte and watch more Favre highlights.”

The emailer brings up two problems he/she has with King’s stance on Jared Allen: one, over 70% of Allen’s sacks have come in two games against the same team; two, according to King’s own logic (he admits that Rodgers takes too many sacks), Allen’s sack total has to be considered somewhat inflated. King has two thought-provoking points in front of him, but chooses to ignore both of them. Consider the rest of his response: “Even if Rodgers threw the ball away on two of those plays, or three, that’s Allen-related impact resulting in incomplete passes. His impact is about more than sacks, too.” The logical way for King to respond to the emailer’s argument would be by bringing in an example of Allen’s impact against a different opponent; instead, he chooses to stand by his original stance that Allen’s play against the Packers best exemplifies his worth. Since he is so knowledgeable in the field of Vikings game film (having watched “at least 50 percent of [their] snaps” and all), one would expect him to have an insightful, well-researched point to make about how opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks are impacted by Allen; instead, he leaves us with one of those clichéd blanket statements normally reserved for bad sports announcers struggling for a talking point: “His impact is about more than sacks.” Great, but what is the impact? Working hard, having intangibles, giving 110 percent? Your Majesty, don’t print emails that challenge your logic if you’re not up to the challenge of constructing a counterargument…

Bartender, I’ll take a Tom errrr Kerry Collins…

October 6, 2009


Peter King, self-proclaimed vodka drinker (read his Twitter page) and unofficial monarch of doofusness, had a curiously alcoholic-sounding tidbit in today’s column. In reference to Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins, King writes: “…Collins has been more productive (51 more passing yards per game) and just as accurate as he was a year ago.” Originally the statement said Collins was “more effective,” but it appears to have been edited because…it was a ridiculous statement! Apparently King doesn’t understand how passing statistics work. It goes without saying that Collins would have more passing yards so far this season, not because he is more “effective,” but because his team has been trailing in every game; thus, instead of feeding the ball to running backs Lendale White and Chris Johnson, he’s been throwing the ball downfield. Collins has not been more effective–in fact, his yards-per-attempt average is down from 6.4 to 6.0, his completion percentage is down from 58.3 percent to 56.9 percent, and his touchdown to interception ratio is down from almost 2:1 (12:7) to less than 1:1 (5:6). Clearly Collins is not playing as well as he did last year, and he’s being forced to throw the ball more, leading to inflated passing-yard totals. King, I love how you edit yourself out of your silly statements before I can even get home from work! You’re taking away all of the fun for Benji and I…(Editor’s note: Or just digging yourself a deeper hole…)

Fair AND Balanced!

September 14, 2009


For a “quick-hitting” lesson on media bias and the people that make it happen, let’s turn to this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarterback. Peter King, our favorite Starbucks swilling doofus, has decided to cover the opening Monday Night Football games in a manner so “fair and balanced,” it would make Bill O’Reilly blush.

He begins his analysis with the (probably valid) assessment that “[ESPN’s] not going to have good games tonight.” Fair enough. The Patriots and Chargers are both heavily favored against their respective opponents, the Bills and Raiders, who are expected to be among the AFC’s worst teams. One would expect, then, that he would not have much to say about either game, right? Let me pause for a moment and remind you of the following fact: Peter King is a HUGE Patriots fan. Although you probably picked up on that if you read down to the next paragraph. Or the next one. Or the one after that. Or the chart comparing this year’s Patriots’ defense to that of the ’08 team. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoy reading His Majesty’s columns, and much of what he has to say in this section is interesting to me as a fellow Patriots fan. I just feel bad for any of his readers out there who are Chargers fans. Their team only gets two dismissive sentences dedicated to it—one of which states that Richard Seymour, the long-time New England defensive lineman who was recently traded to Oakland, is the only “reason to tune in”!

To be fair, His Majesty does not make the lofty claims of objectivity that certain network news channels do—still, it would be nice if he made a little more of an effort to cover up his biases.

Update: Both Monday Night games came down to the final seconds—and ended with the favored team, led by its star quarterback, putting together a game-winning drive. Not surprisingly, King’s article this morning is all about the Patriots and Tom Brady’s triumphant return. He does not even mention the Chargers or anything to do with the second game. Hmmmm…

Lions and Texans and Cowboys, Oh My!

March 2, 2009


In today’s edition of “Ten Things I Think I Think,” His Majesty made the following polarized statements about the two quarterbacks from last year’s Detroit Lions, Dan Orlovsky and Jon Kitna, who changed teams during the off-season:

a. The Houston Texans signed Dan Orlovsky for $9.15 million over three years. Stunning. They really think of Orlovsky as a solid backup quarterback? On what planet?

g. The Cowboys got better at backup with the deal for Jon Kitna.

Neither of these players is anything to write home about, but The King would like you to believe that one of them is remarkably better than the other, which is simply not true.

Last year, Orlovsky made eight starts and averaged 201 passing yards per game; Kitna made four starts and averaged 208 passing yards per game (I doubled his yardage output in the fourth game to account for the half he missed due to injury). Orlovsky threw eight touchdowns and eight interceptions, an average of one touchdown pass and one pick per contest; Kitna threw five touchdown passes and five interceptions, an average of 1.25 touchdowns and 1.25 picks. As far as completion percentage is concerned, Orlovsky converted 56.1 percent of his passes and Kitna completed 56.7 percent. Orlovsky was sacked 14 times (1.75 times per game), while Kitna was sacked 15 times (3.75 times per game). Neither player won a game.

I suppose one could make the argument that Kitna is a serviceable backup quarterback, but judging by their nearly identical stats from last season, it would be nearly impossible to conclude that he is a substantially better player than Orlovsky. And while Kitna will certainly be an upgrade over the woeful Brad Johnson in Dallas, his age (36) and recent injury history compounded with his propensity for sustaining sacks make him a less reliable option than the younger, healthier but equally mediocre Orlovsky…on any planet. Of course, as The King and The Don (Banks) continue to point out, it is a waste of time to make rational arguments based on statistical evidence and a larger sample size when one could simply use a single play to make the case against the “dim-witted” Orlovsky. He lost his bearings and stepped out of bounds for a safety one time, which clearly proves that he is not only a substantially worse player than the man he replaced in the line-up (Kitna) but one of the worst players ever to play the game. I give up, Your Majesty, you win…

Update: In MMQB Tuesday Edition, an emailer (I swear it wasn’t me using a pseudonym!) called King out on his irrational treatment of Orlovsky. The King’s response: Dan Orlovsky is a nice third quarterback who, given a chance, might be able to play in the NFL at a competent level someday. He has given me no reason to think he deserves to get $3 million a year and be one of the highest-paid backup quarterbacks in football. Okay, Your Majesty, your complaints about Orlovsky’s high salary as a backup make perfect sense…until you take into consideration the salary that Jon Kitna was paid last year to be an older, less healthy and more sack-prone version of Orlovsky: $5 million. Looks like I won Rounds one and two of this Royal jousting match…

The Inside Scoop

February 28, 2009


His Majesty,’s number one Patriots fan, has dazzled his readers over the past few months with confident claims that suggested he had the “inside scoop” on quarterback Matt Cassel’s future.

Back in the Week 9 edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, King had this to say about the possible “franchising” of Cassel:

I said on NBC last night that Matt Cassel will be in a unique position after the season. In this day and age, it’s highly rare that a young starting quarterback, playing well, would hit the open market. But Cassel, 26, will almost certainly not be tagged by the Patriots after the season, and the team will risk losing him unless Tom Brady looks like he’ll have problems returning from his knee surgery for the start of the 2009 season.

In Week 11, he reiterated his stance that the Patriots would not put the franchise tag on Cassel:

Write this down: The only way they’ll tag Cassel is if Tom Brady’s knee rehab takes a major turn for the worse, to the point the Pats don’t feel confident Brady will be ready to start the 2009 season. That’s it. Because the NFLPA won’t allow teams to franchise players if they have no intention of keeping them, the Patriots won’t be able to franchise Cassel if they intend to trade him. So, barring a Brady setback, expect Cassel to be a free-agent and end up making $9 million a year with (pick one) Minnesota, Detroit, San Francisco, St. Louis or whatever team Josh McDaniels coaches in 2009, should he be fortunate enough to get a head-coaching job.

Not only did I “write this down,” Your Majesty, I saved the link so I could share it with everyone on the internet. As we all know, the Patriots did “franchise” Cassel, and based on the quick timing on today’s trade, did so without the intention of keeping him on the team for next season.

The best stop on this trip down the Royal Memory Lane, however, comes more recently. In the February 9th edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, The King had this to say about the possibility of Cassel being traded to the Chiefs:

That leaves Cassel’s old pal Pioli. I think Cassel and Todd Haley would make beautiful music together. The Hunt family wouldn’t grouse at the money. But I say no — not because Pioli doesn’t love the kid. I say no because of Pioli’s history. The Patriots took Tom Brady with the 199th pick in 2000. They took Cassel with the 230th pick in 2005. Let’s say the Patriots asked Kansas City for its second-round pick in 2009 and 2010. Pioli values picks in the 30s the way most team value picks in the teens. I’d be stunned if he did it. I think he’d trust Haley to pick a Josh Freeman in this draft in the third round, let’s say, and work with Freeman, Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen over the next couple of years and say, “Let the best man win.”

Whoops. As confirmed today in a “breaking news” story by His Majesty, New England agreed to trade Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel in exchange for the Chiefs’ second round draft pick. In the wake of this “stunning acquisition” (to use His Majesty’s words), methinks The King should start looking for some new sources…or learn to stop treating blind speculation as journalism.

Pennington’s Market Value

January 14, 2009


This week in MMQB Tuesday Edition, a reader suggests that the Dolphins take Chad Pennington and trade him while he is at his highest value, then continue the rebuilding process with a young QB. From the Reader:

NOT A GOOD PLAN, ADAM. From Adam Walberg, of London, Ontario: “Despite their season, the Fins are still re-building. The schedule won’t be as easy next year and Pennington has a history of regressions and injuries. With what may end up being a career year [for Pennington], coupled with a few teams in need of a QB, and the dearth of available ones, I think the Fins should deal him for picks. Surely the Vikings, Bears, Panthers and Bucs would have a level of interest. A first-round pick isn’t out of the question. Not bad for something they got for free just last year.”

King’s response:

I doubt anyone would pay a first-round pick for a quarterback who might (might, I emphasize) have two or three years left, and who has just a so-so arm. Plus, the Dolphins don’t want to give away a sure thing when they’ve got to compete against the Patriots every year.

King downgrades Pennington as a player with questionable arm strength and a looming retirement, but then in the next sentence calls him a “sure thing” for Miami’s yearly battles with the Patriots. Certainly a “sure thing” would be worth some draft picks (maybe even a first rounder). Furthermore, if Pennington might only have a few years left, and King is concerned that the Dolphins play the Patriots every year, it seems logical that they get a QB for the future. Peter, how can Pennington be a “sure thing” to go against the Patriots every year and also be a weak-armed passer with maybe two years left in his career? Your logic eats itself.

Historically Speaking…

January 13, 2009


This week, in MMQB, His Majesty decides to make a direct comparison between former Minnesota, Atlanta and San Francisco defensive end Chris Doleman (up for Hall of Fame consideration this year) and recently retired New York Giant defensive end Michael Strahan:

b. Defensive end Chris Doleman. Doesn’t bode well for Michael Strahan. Look at their numbers. They’re twins, and you could argue that minus the Super Bowl ring, they’re historically the same.

The comparison works quite well—Doleman had nine more career sacks (150.5 to 141.5) in 16 more games than Strahan—until His Majesty decides to proclaim that the two players are “historically the same.” Historically, they are not the same, because Strahan holds the record for the most sacks (22.5) in a single season. To use an example from a different sport, despite the fact that Roger Maris and Dante Bichette have practically identical career power numbers (275 homeruns to 274), there is no questioning Maris’ greater historical significance—because he broke Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. Strahan’s career statistics are nearly identical to Doleman’s but his single-season sack record (a record unlikely to be broken), as opposed to Doleman’s zero all-time records, makes Strahan, not necessarily a better player, but a more historically significant figure.

Apples and Oranges

January 6, 2009


I assume you are all familiar with the idiom “that’s like comparing apples and oranges?” Apparently His Majesty has never heard of this old saying or has decided to wage a blind war against it. In this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, The King attempts to make not one, not two, but three comparisons that defy any sense of correlation and/or logic.

First off all, let’s consider his one sentence analysis of the New York Giants, the top seed in the NFC:

3. New York Giants (12-4). I think if the Yankees fired Joe Girardi tomorrow, the Steinbrenners would want to interview Steve Spagnuolo.

His Majesty’s ill-fated attempt at singing the praises of the Giants’ defense (and their defensive coordinator) falls flat because the notion that a defensive football coach can coach defense in baseball is both distracting and absurd. I get The King’s juvenile joke—the Yankees were terrible at defense last season and the Giants are really good—but what could Spagnuolo possibly do to change the situation for the men in pinstripes? Teach them how to “tackle” fly balls more effectively? Come up with a sneakier way for players to “blitz” the pitcher’s mound if someone gets beaned? More importantly, however, what does this single sentence, consisting solely of an incongruous comparative statement, tell us about His Majesty’s feeling about the Giants (again, one of the top teams in the league) and their chances of advancing in the playoffs?

Secondly, let’s flip the page and take a look at his pick for “Special Teams Player of the Week:”

Mike Scifres, P, San Diego. Plaxico Burress had one of the best playoff games ever by a wide receiver with his 11-catch masterpiece in last season’s NFC Championship Game. Scifres had the same kind of performance Saturday night against the Colts. The numbers are great enough — six punts, 52.7-yard average, 51.7-yard net. Now, do you understand how monumental a 51.7-yard net average is? It means the Colts had six return yards. SIX! And here’s where Scifres’ punts pinned the Colts: Indy 10, Indy 15, Indy 3, Indy 5, Indy 9, Indy 1. I cannot stress this enough: Mike Scifres just had one of the best punting games in NFL history.

The King’s choice for the award, Mike Scifres, seems logical. His attempt at putting Scifres’ statistics in context, however, is entirely illogical. What does Plaxico Burress’ performance in last year’s NFC title game as a wide receiver have to do with Scifres’ excellent game this year as a punter? If one wants to make the argument (as King seems to be doing here) that Scifres performed at a historic level, would it not make more sense to compare his game last Saturday to that of one by another successful punter or kicker in the playoffs? To use another example, would it make more sense to compare New England quarterback Tom Brady’s record-setting 2007 season (50 touchdown passes) to Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning’s 2004 season (49 touchdown passes) or Giants defensive end Michael Strahan’s 2001 season (when he set an NFL record with 22.5 sacks). My guess is that King would choose the latter…

Finally, let’s turn to the last page and my favorite section in King’s column, “Ten Things I Think I Think:”

d. Andy Reid: Ernest Hemingway with wire-rims.

On one end, we have an American literary legend who has become a symbol of masculinity and general badassness; on the other, we have an aging, overweight football coach with questionable decision-making skills. I think we’re done here…

P.S. I get it. They both have beards…

Peter King’s Name Game

January 6, 2009


Once again, Peter King proves himself to be a master of words. In this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, King writes the following in his analysis of the upcoming Baltimore/Tennessee second round playoff match-up:

Game 1, Saturday, Ravens (6th seed) at Titans (1st). Earlier this season, Oct. 5, at Baltimore: Tennessee 13, Baltimore 10. They should call this one the “First Team To 10 Bowl.” Baltimore led 10-3 late in the third quarter, and this is when Kerry Collins cemented his 2008 legacy.

Why does King insist this be called the “First Team To 10 Bowl” when last time these teams played, the first team to 10 lost. I understand that King is trying to say the game will be low-scoring, but unless he calls it the “First Team to 13 Bowl,” his made-up name doesn’t actually make any sense.

update: Ravens won 13-10. See, I was right, First Team to 13 won.