Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Warner’

Hall of Shame?

January 12, 2010

In this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, King has truly outdone even his unique propensity for producing self-eating logic:

“Now some words about the quarterback [Kurt Warner] who is singlehandedly forcing me, one of the 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame voters, to act like the five-year donut hole in the middle of his career is a crack in the sidewalk and not the Grand Canyon. I don’t like to judge active players for the Hall, and I won’t.

After reading that section (and as I continued to read), I thought to myself, “well, besides defeating his own logic within the same paragraph, I bet all I have to do is wait a few weeks for him to write an article about a current player he thinks is deserving of getting into the Hall and”–oh wait, at the bottom of the SAME PAGE he makes the following declaration while discussing this year’s MVP voting:

As for [Chris] Johnson, it’s simple. We have one vote. He might be a close second, but unless you judge Johnson, a runner on an 8-8 team, to be more valuable than Manning, who had his second-best season of a walk-in Hall of Fame career for a 14-2 team. . .”

So let me get this straight–in half a page, King goes from claiming not to discuss current players’ Hall of Fame credentials to calling a player a “walk-in” Hall of Famer? So basically he’s saying that it’s okay to contradict yourself in your writing…so long as your contradictions support another argument that you want to make?


King Says, Benji Says (Week 13)

December 6, 2009

My dedication to this blog is best represented by me:

a) Taking the time each week to read every single word that His Majesty posts online (including his Twitter feed)

b) “Gutting it out” this week and typing up this column despite badly dislocating a finger on my right hand last Sunday

c) Waiting until less than two hours before game-time on Thursday for His Majesty to post his picks

d) All of the above

Last Week:

Peter King (11-5)

Benji (11-5)

Brian (14-2)


Peter King (122-54)

Benji (120-56)

Brian (113-64)

Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Indianapolis Colts (11-0)

King Says:

Almost a shootout. What a bitter pill for the anemic Texans to swallow, by the way, to see the Titans jousting the great Colts with a quarterback (Vince Young) and running back (Chris Johnson) Houston bypassed in the draft.

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 27, Tennessee Titans 23

Benji Says:

As King reveals above, the most effective way to analyze your pick for a tight game between two good teams is to dedicate the entire space to a team not involved in said game. As for me, I’m taking the Titans here because I’m not convinced that the Colts’ defense can stop Chris Johnson and I don’t see any other game on the schedule which Indianapolis could potentially lose.

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 23, Indianapolis Colts 20

Houston Texans (5-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5)

King Says:

Bob McNair looked awfully unhappy when the CBS cameras caught him last week. Not good for Gary Kubiak.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 31, Houston Texans 20

Benji Says:

At least you’re writing about people connected to the Texans in the appropriate space this time. I would add (since it is also considered appropriate to use actual analysis when breaking down football games) that the Texans are ranked second to last in the league in yards allowed per rush and are facing one of the NFL’s premier running backs in Maurice Jones-Drew.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 27, Houston Texans 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-10) at Carolina Panthers (4-7)

King Says:

Saddest sight of the 2009 season: Jake Delhomme, the all-pro quarterback on the All-Decent Human Being Team, turning into Steve Sax before our very eyes.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12

Benji Says:

While Jake Delhomme has been horrendous this season, he also has no one to throw to other than the apparently over-the-hill Steve Smith. Not that any of that matters against Tampa…

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16

New Orleans Saints (11-0) at Washington Redskins (3-8)

King Says:

Saints, 11-0, play teams with records of 3-8, 6-5, 8-3, 1-10, 4-7 down the stretch. Who dat say dem Saints aren’t going unbeaten?

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 27, Washington Redskins 13

Benji Says:

I made it clear last week that if the Saints were to beat the Patriots, I would begin taking them seriously. Well, there you have it…because of a combination of a cinchy schedule and offensive firepower, this team is undeniably on its way to an undefeated regular season…

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 23, Washington Redskins 13

New England Patriots (7-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-6)

King Says:

Almost went the other way, because I think the Dolphins can pressure Tom Brady and find some leaks in the line, the way the Saints did the other night. But In Brady I Trust, so I think he’ll figure out a way to make enough plays.

Prediction: New England Patriots 23, Miami Dolphins 20

Benji Says:

Who are you kidding, King? I’m disappointed in the way the Patriots played against the Saints, but the Dolphins’ secondary (which made Terrell Owens look like the 2004 version of himself) is completely overmatched by New England’s passing game.

Prediction: New England Patriots 35, Miami Dolphins 20

Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) at Atlanta Falcons (6-5)

King Says:

Fantasy Football players of the world, do not get violently ill: free-agent pickup LeSean McCoy, 4.29 yards per rush, three touchdowns, 528 rushing yards; low first-round pick Matt Forte, 3.29 yards per rush, three touchdowns, 543 rushing yards.

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 30, Atlanta Falcons 16

Benji Says:

Since King would rather talk about fantasy football (and a comparison that has very little to do with this game), allow me to bring you up to speed: both of the Falcons’ best offensive players (quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner) are expected to sit this one out with injuries, which is very bad news for a team that would struggle to compete with Philadelphia even at full strength…

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 35, Atlanta Falcons 16

Denver Broncos (7-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-8)

King Says:

You know what’s the dumbest thing of the week? Josh McDaniels apologizing to America for swearing on the bench during a football game! Hello? The apology should be NFL Network’s. At the very least, the game should be on a seven-second delay if they want to be so up-close-and-personal, so we don’t have to hear the crusty language. Absurd.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 19, Kansas City Chiefs 16

Benji Says:

I believe I speak for the majority of readers right now when I say: Who cares about Josh McDaniels uttering a curse word on the bench? I’m much more interested in your reasoning behind expecting this to be a close game. I believe the Broncos are a much better team than the Chiefs…

Prediction: Denver Broncos 23, Kansas City Chiefs 13

Oakland Raiders (3-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)

King Says:

Let’s just say I’d be surprised if Hines Ward is the leading receiver for the Steelers on Sunday afternoon — and it’s not only because he should attract man coverage from Nnamdi Asomugha early and often.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 33, Oakland Raiders 16

Benji Says:

Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger are teammates on a two-time Super Bowl-winning team, not highschool girls…

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Oakland Raiders 13

St. Louis Rams (1-10) at Chicago Bears (4-7)

King Says:

Bears are 20-23 since losing in the Super Bowl to Indianapolis, and they’ve lost games by 35, 20 and 26 in the past six weeks. With all due respect to the plunge Seattle’s taken, the 4-7 Bears are the most disappointing team in the league. Also, it says a ton about how far the Rams have to travel to be good again that I’ve got the Bears winning this by double digits.

Prediction: Chicago Bears 27, St. Louis Rams 13

Benji Says:

King pretty much said it all on this one—both teams are terrible but the Rams are much worse…

Prediction: Chicago Bears 27, St. Louis Rams 13

Detroit Lions (2-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-3)

King Says:

To have any shot at the number two and the bye out of the wild-card round (yes, I’m saying that about the Cincinnati Bengals), the Striped Ones will have to sweep the three winnables — Detroit, KC, at Jets — and either upset the Vikes or Chargers on the road or get some help from foes of the Chargers.

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 30, Detroit Lions 20

Benji Says:

As His Majesty should have pointed out, both of Detroit’s best offensive players (quarterback Matt Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson) are severely limited by injuries right now. The Bengals should have no trouble here…

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 23, Detroit Lions 10

San Diego Chargers (8-3) at Cleveland Browns (1-10)

King Says:

I noticed Westwood One is doing this game on national radio. Lord in heaven, why?

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 37, Cleveland Browns 9

Benji Says:

I can’t call The King out for refusing to actually analyze this game when I don’t feel like doing it either. The Browns stink…

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 37, Cleveland Browns 9

San Francisco 49ers (5-6) at Seattle Seahawks (4-7)

King Says:

But the real story will be up in the booth high above Qwest Field, ladies and gentlemen. That’s where Ross Tucker will make his FOX national color debut, alongside tag-team partner Chris Myers. I’m sure he’s going to regale Spokane and Tukwila and Redding and Burlingame with some great stories about how I’ve taught him everything he knows about … well, everything.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 26, Seattle Seahawks 20

Benji Says:

Why discuss your reasoning behind picking the 49ers to win this game when you can shamelessly plug your Sports Illustrated colleague? Also, how did you end plugging yourself in the process, Your Majesty? You never cease to amaze me. I’m taking the Seahawks, because I believe that the crowd noise at Qwest Field provides a huge advantage and I also think that the 49ers’ defense is susceptible to the pass (allowing a 20th ranked 11.6 yards per reception).

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks 26, San Francisco 49ers 20

Dallas Cowboys (8-3) at New York Giants (6-5)

King Says:

Toughest game of the week to predict, because the Cowboys traditionally win as often in December as the Canadiens do in July. And this one’s in New Jersey. I think the ability of Miles Austin, playing six miles from his front door, to make Giants defenders miss will be a big factor here.

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 24, New York Giants 22

Benji Says:

Streaks were made to be broken. The Giants are a mess right now—they can’t generate a pass rush, their quarterback is hobbling around and throwing the ball up for grabs and their vaunted running game is vastly underperforming. The Cowboys are not a very good 8-3 team, but they’re miles ahead of New York at this point…

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 28. New York Giants 13

Minnesota Vikings (10-1) at Arizona Cardinals (7-4)

King Says:

Someday, you’ll be rocking on a porch somewhere, and your grandkids will be nestled around you, and they’ll want to know your favorite stories from the old days, and you’ll tell ’em about the 40-year-old quarterback, the slightly indecisive one, who had the best year of his career when he was his grayest.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 34, Arizona Cardinals 24

Benji Says:

Speaking of aging quarterbacks, my pick for this game hinges upon whether or not 38-year old Kurt Warner plays (a game-time decision because of post-concussion symptoms). If Warner plays, I like the Cardinals because I don’t think that the Minnesota secondary can match up with Arizona’s many talented wide receivers. The Vikings are a very good team, but I just feel like this is a bad match-up for them.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 30, Minnesota Vikings 23

Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-4)

King Says:

Just when you thought you could start to figure out the AFC playoff picture with the Ravens dropping out, they get hauled back in the pennant race. Never thought I’d look at the Ravens and say Ray Rice might be their most indispensible player. He’s not, really, because they couldn’t afford to lose Joe Flacco. But the fact that it’s even a point to consider is a testament to what a great impact Rice has made.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 29, Green Bay Packers 17

Benji Says:

The Ravens were handed a victory last week by the Steelers (overtime interception by first-time starter Dennis Dixon) and the Packers have certainly looked like the better team as of late; however, Green Bay’s fatal flaw is its inability to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Ravens’ aggressive defense is designed to take advantage.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 20, Green Bay Packers 17

King Says, Benji Says (Week 12)

November 29, 2009

Now that our Thanksgiving food hangovers have finally subsided, His Majesty and I are ready to “gobble” up some more tasty football match-ups for your entertainment. We’ve agreed on quite a bit lately, but this weekend’s set of games looks to be a perfect storm of analytical dissonance for the two of us. Sit back, grab a leftover turkey leg and enjoy…

Last Week:

Peter King (13-3)

Benji (13-3)

Brian (12-4)


Peter King (111-49)

Benji (109-51)

Brian (99-62)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-9) at Atlanta Falcons (5-5)

King Says:

Feel free to call me on this prediction: Matt Ryan’s in the midst of a 1-4 run of losing. It’s the last time in his career he’ll be on such a run.

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 26, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10

Benji Says:

As always, Brian and I will be sure to call you out on this prediction, a textbook King unwittingly fearless prognostication. I’m with you on the Falcons winning—the Buccaneers are terrible, after all—but I don’t feel that strongly about it.

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 26, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20

Indianapolis Colts (10-0) at Houston Texans (5-5)

King Says:

And so the dream dies here, the dream of a perfect Indy season, at Reliant Stadium, where the Colts have had an increasingly difficult time winning. I understand the Colts are 14-1 against the Texans in their history together, but in the past three years, the Colts have been just one measly touchdown better than the Texans in Reliant. Composite 2006, ’07 and ’08 score when they meet in Houston: Colts, 85-78. One final factor: Houston has much to play for. Indy? Not so much. Because the Colts know their new coach, just like the last coach, will probably yank the starters as soon home-field in the AFC is clinched, rendering the run for perfection moot.

Prediction: Houston Texans 30, Indianapolis Colts 27

Benji Says:

What you forgot to mention in the midst of your analysis of the Colts/Texans games over the past three years, Your Majesty, is what the Texans have done in the last three weeks. Houston, since losing its second best offensive target (tight end Owen Daniels) for the year, has struggled to score in the red zone and has no running game to speak of. Is it possible that the Texans win this game? Yes, after all, the Colts made key mistakes when these two teams met three weeks ago and only won by a field goal. I just don’t think that picking the Colts to lose here is by any means a sure thing (as your analysis implies it is).

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 30, Houston Texans 23

Miami Dolphins (5-5) at Buffalo Bills (3-7)

King Says:

At various points in the past five years, Ricky Williams has been a) a new-age medical student; b) high on life; c) totally disinterested in football; d) the key to any playoff hopes the Dolphins have; or e) all of the above. Correct answer, obviously, is “e.”

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 27, Buffalo Bills 16

Benji Says:

The correct way to utilize writing space dedicated to football analysis is a) as a forum for discussing Starbucks cappuccino flavors; b) as a way to rehash off-the-field issues about a team’s star player that in no way pertain to the game at hand; c) by creating a silly set of multiple choice answers that are clearly (to the average NFL fan) all applicable and then telling us the answer anyway; or d) attempting to mock the original offender by using the same lame format because you don’t feel like analyzing what looks to be a terrible game.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 30, Buffalo Bills 16

Washington Redskins (3-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-4)

King Says:

Welcome to the DeSean and LeSean Show. Jackson and McCoy account for 21 points at the Linc, and fans get off Andy Reid’s back for one Sunday.

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 30, Washington Redskins 16

Benji Says:

Why, Your Majesty, do you insist on making such specific stat predictions about Eagles players this season? The chances of you being wrong are so much higher than you being right, even if the point you’re making in your analysis (DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy are the keys to the Eagles offense) ends up being correct. My take? The Washington defense, which has been solid all year, will probably put up another strong performance, but its offense simply cannot score…

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 17, Washington Redskins 10

Chicago Bears (4-6) at Minnesota Vikings (9-1)

King Says:

The Vikings and Bears will meet twice in a 29-day span. Chicago will regret both encounters.

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 33, Chicago Bears 27

Benji Says:

Maybe it’s just me, but usually when one brings in the clichéd “these two teams will meet twice in a ___ span” statement, I find that he/she is referring to a situation in which the two teams are playing each other twice in a short time period. A month is a long time between games…. The part about Chicago regretting both encounters, though? Probably true…

Prediction: Minnesota Vikings 30, Chicago Bears 20

Carolina Panthers (4-6) at New York Jets (4-6)

King Says:

How long’s it been since a team with two three-game losing streaks in one season is in wild-card contention? Ever? A win here could have the Jets a game out of the second wild card Sunday night with five games to play. Pretty fortunate for a team that’s 1-6 since September and playing like lost sheep in the pasture of life.

Prediction: New York Jets 23, Carolina Panthers 20

Benji Says:

Usually a team has to show some signs of life (as in maybe winning some games and not turning the ball over five times a contest?) before hyperbolic sportswriters begin to write about it mounting a comeback in the standings. The turnovers are what really have me shying away from taking the Jets here—rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez (once dubbed the “Sanchize” by His Majesty earlier this season) looks lost on the field and is making terrible decisions throwing the ball.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 23, New York Jets 17

Arizona Cardinals (7-3) at Tennessee Titans (4-6)

King Says:

Something’s got to give in Nashville. Titans have won four straight. Cards are 5-0 on the road. Vince Young’s on fire. Kurt Warner left last Sunday’s game with a ringing headache. It might be that simple — plus, I think Warner’s only going to have nine or 10 possession. That’s what the ball-control offense of the Chris Johnson-led Titans can do to you.

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 27, Arizona Cardinals 20

Benji Says:

Something is going to give in Nashville—I believe it will be the last semblance of Arizona backup quarterback Matt Leinart’s self-confidence. The Cardinals aren’t going to take any chances with Warner with the NFC West all but sewn up…

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 23, Arizona Cardinals 16

Cleveland Browns (1-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-3)

King Says:

In the sixth round last April, the Bengals had two picks. They selected cornerback Morgan Trent of Michigan and running back Bernard Scott from Abilene Christian. This weekend, they’ll be terrorizing Brady Quinn and rushing for 100 yards, respectively, in a rout of Cleveland.

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 38, Cleveland Browns 10

Benji Says:

Enough with the super-specific stats, Your Majesty! You have a better chance of undermining your likely correct analysis than you do of picking exact stat-lines for players. Your point is valid, however—the Browns are really bad…

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 30, Cleveland Browns 13

Seattle Seahawks (3-7) at St. Louis Rams (1-9)

King Says:

If you sell this one out, Kevin Demoff, you’re executive of the century.

Prediction: St. Louis Rams 23, Seattle Seahawks 20

Benji Says:

Come on, there have certainly been worse games to pick on than this one—the Rams did play the Browns after all.

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks 27, St. Louis Rams 20

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) at San Francisco 49ers (4-6)

King Says:

Aubrayo Franklin and Isaac Sapoaga over Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD held to 43 total yards, and the 49ers advance to 5-6. They’ve got a wild-card pulse.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 17, Jacksonville Jaguars 15

Benji Says:

First of all, the 49ers run defense may be good (ranked second in the league, allowing 3.5 yards per carry) but is it really good enough to completely shut down Maurice Jones-Drew, who has rushed for 463 yards over the last four weeks? Second of all, for the last time, quit it with the exact predictions on players’ stats! Trying to guess a player’s exact stat-line is the gambling equivalent of placing all of your money on a single number in roulette…

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 17, San Francisco 49ers 15

Kansas City Chiefs (3-7) at San Diego Chargers (7-3)

King Says:

Oh, how I wanted to pick the Chiefs to make it three in a row. I would have, if I thought they could cover the basketball team known as the San Diego receiver group. Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, Kassim Osgood, Antonio Gates ??? it’s an NBA team, a bunch of 6-foot-5 athletes with great hands.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 31, Kansas City Chiefs 21

Benji Says:

I guess it has been at least three weeks since you made a comment about the height advantage that the Chargers’ receivers have over an opposing team’s defensive backs…still, though, isn’t there something else you could talk about with San Diego other than its tall receivers and its perennial Pro Bowl tight end (Antonio Gates) being overlooked (see Brian’s post from last week)? How about this: the Chargers have a major talent advantage over the Chiefs and should win this game easily unless they don’t show up to play (which is always a possibility)…

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 34, Kansas City Chiefs 20

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Baltimore Ravens (5-5)

King Says:

Hines Ward, James Harrison and James Farrior have circled the wagons this week in Pittsburgh. Last year, when the veterans drew a line in the sand and said Baltimore’s not crossing over, the Steelers beat Baltimore by 3, 4 and 9 points. I respect Baltimore resiliency, but I like Pittsburgh’s players better, even in the killer Maryland venue. The one thing I know about this game is that midway through the third quarter, after Ray Lewis knocks Rashard Mendenhall into next week, Dick Ebersol’s going to be in the NBC truck, smiling, and thinking, “Thank God I didn’t flex out of this game.”

Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 22, Baltimore Ravens 17

Benji Says:

Wow, King. Way to mention five players involved in this game without making any reference to the key player whose presence (or lack thereof) will likely decide the outcome of this game: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. If Big Ben plays, the Steelers have a good chance to win, but I highly doubt the team (despite suggesting otherwise during the week) will let him play a week after sustaining a concussion. If he doesn’t play (and I believe he won’t), second year player Dennis Dixon (Pittsburgh’s only healthy quarterback) will struggle mightily against the opportunistic Baltimore defense.

Baltimore Ravens 28, Pittsburgh Steelers 6

New England Patriots (7-3) at New Orleans Saints (10-0)

King Says:

Slightly alarming trend: Pats have been outscored in the second half of their three losses 47-10. More alarming trend Monday night: Drew Brees has about 11 favorite receivers. There can’t be too much hype for this game. It’s going to be really good. Gregg Williams is going to have to be really good to put his beat-up secondary in position to make enough plays against the great Brady to win.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 37, New England Patriots 33

Benji Says:

How about this for a “slightly alarming trend:” The Saints have only played one team (the Eagles) with fewer than five losses so far this season. They also almost lost to both the Rams and Buccaneers. Yes, the Saints’ offense is great (ranked number one in the league in case everyone in the media hasn’t already mentioned it)—but are they really an elite team? Right now they are the NFL equivalent of the undefeated college football team at Boise State. Here’s a great chance for them to prove me wrong—the Patriots are right behind them in nearly every offensive category and have, at the least, proven that they are capable of beating the also-undefeated Colts. If the Saints win this one, I will have to start taking them seriously…

Prediction: New England Patriots 30, New Orleans Saints 27

There’s No Place Like Home…

October 27, 2008

The King’s comments about the Arizona Cardinals, in this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, have left me slightly confused and more than a little perturbed. The Cardinals, if you recall, lost a close road game to the Carolina Panthers, 27-23, on Sunday afternoon. Both His Majesty and I correctly predicted the outcome of the game, but did so for very different reasons. The King, like many members of the sports media, recently fell in love with the stat depicting East Coast teams’ dominance against traveling teams from the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones. Let’s revisit his prediction:

If my predictions of Oakland and Arizona losing are correct, by 4 p.m. Sunday the NFL’s stat of the half season will be this: Pacific and Mountain time zone teams playing in Eastern time this year will be 0-13.

This morning, four days after championing the time zone theory, The King tries to distance himself from it completely:

What makes me delirious about Sunday’s games: You can’t say teams flying from west to east (in luxury, by the way, for between three and five cushy hours) can’t win. I know the Cards lost after a 2,050-mile jaunt to Charlotte, but they led for much of the game and showed no sign of sleep-walking through any part of the game.

He goes on to dismiss the formula that he used to justify his prediction for the Cardinals/Panthers game as the “silliest story angle of the 2008 season”. But it is in His justification for the Cardinals shattering the previously unbreakable time zone theory (despite the fact that they did not win their East Coast game) that The King completely ceases to make sense. First of all, San Diego led for much of its game in Buffalo last week. In fact, the Chargers were about to move ahead late in the game when Philip Rivers threw a terrible interception in the end zone. How does the Cardinals playing the Panthers close prove anything that had not already been proven the week prior? In both games, the road team had a chance to win but was done in by lackadaisical play and sloppy turnovers. The King adamantly asserts that the Cardinals “showed no sign of sleep-walking through any part of the game” but fails to mention that they turned the ball over inside their own twenty-yard line when they were up by multiple scores, which precipitated the Panthers’ comeback—if that does not qualify as “sleep-walking” then I guess I need to review my dictionary of hackneyed sports terminology.

To his credit, His Majesty starts making sense again when he questions the quality of the West Coast teams:

All the opiners wondering why teams like Seattle and San Francisco can’t win on the East Coast should consider this possibility: Maybe they stink.

Allow me to pause and congratulate The King for finally reaching the conclusion that I had arrived at several weeks ago. I would also add Oakland to the list of terrible Pacific/Mountain Time Zone teams that have lost on the East Coast this season. Furthermore, I would like to point out that of the other three teams that qualify for the time zone stat, two (the Chargers and Broncos) are maddeningly inconsistent and have terrible defenses, while the third (the Cardinals) has been great at home but awful on the road this season (MY much more substantive justification for picking the Panthers to win). Overall, the Pacific/Mountain Time Zone teams are a combined 6-17 on the road.

But despite His brief moment of sanity and coherence, The King quickly returns to his normal nonsensical ways. In the face of the overwhelming statistical evidence (the win/loss record for home teams this season is 73-42), His Majesty takes the counterargument for the time zone theory far beyond its logical conclusion, and tries to remove home field advantage/road team disadvantage from the equation completely. Observe his final assessment of Kurt Warner and the Cardinals:

Maybe when the Cards get routed at the Jets it’s because Kurt Warner’s turnover-happy that day, which he’s been at home and on the road in his career. Maybe Arizona loses at Carolina because Carolina’s better, not because the Cards had such an arduous trip east.

Carolina was the better team in its game with Arizona, but surely the fact that the Panthers were playing at home gave them some sort of advantage? I could take a page from The King’s book and write an incoherent paragraph of analysis that does not substantiate the point that I am trying to make—I’m getting sick of all this writing, though, so I’ll just present you with the teams’ home/road splits and let the stats make the argument for me.

Carolina’s record this season: Overall: 6-2, Home: 5-0, Road: 1-2.
Arizona’s record this season: Overall: 4-3, Home: 3-0, Road: 1-3.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think I see a pattern there. How can this pattern exist, though, if Kurt Warner is just as careless with the football at home as he is on the road? Perhaps it is because The King’s assessment of Warner’s play has no basis. As usual, King makes a brash assertion that has a lot of bark but little statistical bite. Again, I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves:

Kurt Warner’s fumbles/INTs this season:
Overall: 6 interceptions, 6 fumbles
Home: 1 interception, 1 fumble
Away: 5 interceptions, 5 fumbles

Clearly, Warner has done a better job of taking care of the ball at home than he has on the road so far this season. Furthermore, if you look at his passing statistics, you can see that while his number of touchdown passes is consistent (seven at home and seven on the road), his completion percentage is nearly eleven points better at home than it is on the road (77.1 to 66.3 percent). Perhaps it is a bit misleading, however, for me to draw these conclusions based on such a small sample size. To save myself from an onslaught of angry emails from rabid King supporters, I will head to the vault and pull up Warner’s statistics from last year, his first and to-date only full season as the starting quarterback for the Cardinals, and see how they compare:

Kurt Warner’s fumbles/INTs in the 2007 season:
Overall: 17 interceptions, 12 fumbles
Home: 6 interceptions, 7 fumbles
Away: 11 interceptions, 5 fumbles

While the split between Warner’s home and road performances is not nearly as drastic as it has been thus far this season, he still fumbled/threw interceptions more frequently on the road than he did at home (16 to 13). Furthermore, returning to the passing statistics, his completion percentage was again significantly higher at home than it was on the road (66.7 to 57.8 percent). Last but certainly not least, the Cardinals, in his 14 starts, were 6-1 at home and 1-6 in away games. The only conclusion that one can draw from this pile of statistical evidence is that Kurt Warner and the Cardinals, over the past two seasons, have played significantly better at home than they have on the road.

Maybe there is an argument to be made for the quality of a team being more significant than home-field advantage (see: the New York Giants), but His Majesty could not have picked a pair of teams (Carolina and Arizona) and a player (Kurt Warner) more ill suited for said argument. A less knowledgeable football fan, however, might easily have been taken in by The King’s unsubstantiated analysis simply because His Majesty argues His points so adamantly. Thank you, Your Majesty, for once again justifying the existence of this blog.

(Update: In MMQB Tuesday Edition, His Majesty responds to a question about the time zone theory with a bold faced lie: “I’ve never bought into the theory that it prevents a team from showing up and playing well.” By never, I guess he means not since he posted his picks on Thursday.)