Monday, January 30, 2012

Paterno, Packers and Tigers

I'm completely with you on Paterno.  100%.  I know people like to talk good about a guy after he dies, and I get that.  But to try to brush off these recent allegations is ridiculous.
Also, I kept hearing about how Paterno was a great leader of men, and how he graduated a high rate of kids.  Maybe it's just me being cynical (based on what I saw at UK), but I don't trust graduation rates or high GPAs for athletes.  I saw too many athletes skate by on minimal work.  Now, maybe that's not true of all schools, and maybe that's not true of Penn State.  Like I said, maybe I'm just cynical.  But when I hear something like, "They graduated a high percentage of students, I just roll my eyes.

Pardon my absence, but I've been mourning the Packers loss.  It was a tough one to take.  I know it was a 17 point win for the Giants, but it shouldn't have been that bad.  Rodgers missed some throws.  The receivers dropped a lot of balls, ran some wrong routes, and dogged some other routes.  And then there were the turnovers.  It was a frustrating loss, and it was a terrible time for them to play their worst game.  It's hard to come back from that.  I keep telling myself, "You can't win the Super Bowl every year," but it doesn't really help.

So, I'm kind of not looking forward to the Super Bowl.  I guess I'll root for the Patriots, since my brother likes them.  Also, for obvious reasons, I can't bring myself to root for the Giants.  Either way, I just can't get too excited about it.

But I do have something else to be excited about.  Prince Fielder to the Tigers!  It's huge contract...9 years, $214 million, with no opt-outs.  That's a lot of years.  But he's only 27 now (he'll be 28 in May), so the contract runs through age 37.  That's old, especially for a guy with his defensive limitations.  But he'll still be in his 30s at the end of the contract...he's not going to be in his 40s like Pujols.
It's tough.  And logic tells me there are a lot of red flags.  But I can't help but be excited.  The Tigers are now in possession of two of the best hitters in baseball for their primes.  That's pretty amazing.  They're slow, but they can slug.  I'm practically giddy.  Opening Day can't get here soon enough.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NFL Final Four and Joe Pa

First things first, Joe Paterno just passed away. I'm hearing a lot of talk about what a great man he was and how he was the epitome of character. I'm sorry, but that's the wrong answer. I'm sure Joe Pa was faced with many tests of his character and I'm sure he passed many of them. He failed the one involving letting the proper authorities know that preteen boys were being raped on his watch. I do feel for his wife, kids and grandkids that had nothing to do with this behavior, but let's not act like Joe Pa was a saint. Let's also give cancer it's due here. I hear a lot of "Penn State killed him when they took away what he loved." Not to make light of it, I'm pretty sure it was the cancer. And Penn State wouldn't have taken away what he loved if he did what he should have done. Now I'm certainly not surprised by this revisionist history. It happens every time someone with a "Controversy" tab on their Wikipedia page passes away, i.e. Michael Jackson. All I ask for is consistency. I'll argue that I don't believe Michael Jackson molested those kids, but I argued the same before he passed away. I'll argue that Joe Paterno was not a man of upstanding character now, the same way I would have before he passed away.

But enough with the juvenile sexual abuse talk. It's playoff time!

Baltimore at New England- It's no secret I'm an Ed Reed fan, but I can't condone his comments this past week. They were spot on, but they came off as an aging star worrying aloud about what could be his last shot at a ring more than a guy trying to fire up his teammates. Him naming a specific play put it over the top for me. Flacco doesn't seem the type to let these comments roll off of his back but maybe he doesn't have to. The Patriots defense, no matter how well they have been playing as of late, is not as good as the Texans defense. I'd look for Anquan Boldin to get a lot of work in this game. A steady diet of Boldin underneath and some short passes to Ray Rice could get Flacco in rhythm early. NE's pass rush has picked up lately, as the Great Bill Barnwell points out, but I don't think they will be on Flacco the way that Houston was. He should have slightly more time in the pocket today. I imagine NE puts extra men in the box and forces Flacco to beat them. I think he has a surprisingly good day. On the flip side, NE was slightly below average running the ball this season while Baltimore was great at stopping the run aka Brady is throwing the ball 50 times today. And why shouldn't he? You have to like the chances of Gronkowski/Hernandez getting open against anyone with the way they have been playing lately. Chad 85 had some decent days against these Ravens once upon a time. As Cousin Sal stated on Simmons' podcast this week, why not bring Chad in and have him run deep every single time? Worst case scenario: Ed Reed has to at least think about shading a couple steps in that direction which will open things up for Welker/Branch/Hernandez/Gronkowski. Best case: He actually gets free, and even more importantly catches the ball when it's thrown to him. It's worth a chance isn't it? It beats having Ed Reed roam around within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage because there is no deep threat to worry about. I imagine NE can keep Brady upright, as that Balitmore pass rush runs hot-and-cold. However, they won't be able to keep Brady from tossing three picks in front of the home crowd. My man E. Reed is going to the Super Bowl. Baltimore 28, New England 20.

NY Giants at San Francisco- If nothing else, this game should be aesthetically appeasing. I think San Fran has the best uniforms in the game, and the Giants cool blue lids/silver slacks along the Candlestick backdrop won't be too shabby neither. Oh, la and la *Dameshek out*. Eli has looked terrific lately and I'm not sure there is a team out there that can cover the Nicks/Cruz/Manningham trio with the way they are playing. By the way, the "Could Eli surpass Peyton?" talks delights me to no end. If there's going to be a story that's inevitably ran into the ground during the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, I'd prefer it be this one. NYG has been running the ball better as of late, but it's in their best interests not to try here as San Fran will bottle it up. San Fran's pass rush was all over Drew Brees last week and I imagine they'll do the same to Eli, granted he will be dropping back plenty this week. I'm legitimately happy for Alex Smith. It's one thing when a draft pick busts because his attitude, work ethic or addiction to codeine. It's another when it seems like injury, constant scheme changes and inept coaching have played a noticeable part in delaying your development. It's the reason I still have hope for Jason Campbell. San Fran's o-line did a good job of keeping Smith on his feet in their last meeting, but I'm not sure that success is sustainable with the way the Giants front four is playing. Even if he is upright, I'm not sure who he is throwing to. Vernon Davis will have another good day, but asking for another performance like the one he turned in last week is a bit much. Crabtree would make a decent #2 WR for someone and Ted Ginn shouldn't be running routes under any circumstances. Those options might suffice against a terrible New Orleans defense, but not here. Frank Gore should have a solid day, provided he gets more than the 13 carries he was given last week. As much as I'd love to see a Giants-Patriots rematch, I fear we are headed for the Harbaugh Bowl and the hackneyed stories to follow. Rick Reilly is on cloud nine. San Francisco 23, Giants 17

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Packers vs. Giants

First of all...how amazing was the end of that 49ers/Saints game yesterday?  Unreal.  During the last 49ers drive, when Alex Smith was just throwing dumpoffs in the middle of the field as time clicked down, I said, "This is worse than watching Jason Campbell."  He must have heard me, because his next throw was a bomb to Vernon Davis, which put the 49ers in field goal range, and, as it turned out, set them up for the game-winning touchdown.  Smith still took the check-down too much throughout the game, but he got the job done at the end.  I was very impressed.  Extremely exciting.

Okay.  As I mentioned yesterday, I rewatched the Packers/Giants game from earlier this year, paying particular attention to the defensive line of the Giants.  First of all, the numbers.  They sacked Rodgers twice, and hit him 6 times.  That's not pretty, but it's not terrible.  Pierre-Paul had two of those hits.  Yes, he's a monster.  But he also absolutely abused Newhouse.  I can't believe that the Packers won't give him a little more help on that side, even if they're only chipping him with a back.  I know they can't double-team that entire line, but I really believe that, if they can give Newhouse some help with Pierre-Paul, they'll be fine along the line.
And yes, the Giants get pressure on the QB.  But, when I was watching the game, it didn't seem like they were getting consistent pressure just with their front four.  Of course, they were able to get some pressure with those guys, but not as much as I would have thought, especially with how much everyone seems to talk about it.  To get consistent pressure, they had to bring at least 5 guys.  And Rodgers will absolutely shred a team that blitzes.  Taken from Football Outsiders:  "You do not want to blitz Aaron Rodgers, period.  Every year, Rodgers has better numbers against the blitz than he does against a standard pass rush...[in 2001] Rodgers has 7.8 yards per play against three or four rushers, 9.2 yards per play against five, and 10.8 yards per play against six or more."

A couple more points.
As I mentioned in my last post, Clifton and Sitton were both out in their first meeting.  They'll be back in this game.  As much as that will help their passing game, it should help their running game even more.  That doesn't mean the Packers are going to run all over the Giants, but they should have a decent running game, which will set up the play-action pass.
Also, Rodgers didn't necessarily have his best game the last time they met.  Sure, he threw for 369 yards and 4 TDs, but he also threw an INT (which led to a touchdown for the Giants) and only completed 60.9% of his passes.  And a lot of those misfires weren't a result of New York's rush: he just missed some throws.  And his receivers dropped a number of passes (they were listed as having 6 drops, but I counted 8).  Some of those were Finley, and he's been dropping quite a few, so we can't take those away.  But Jennings dropped 2 easy passes (one of which was on third down), and Driver dropped at least one.  Those guys don't normally drop passes, especially Jennings.  

Another major point in this one is the number of takeaways by the Packers defense and the number of turnovers by the Giants offense.  On the year, the Giants offense produced 24 turnovers, and their defense accounted for 31 takeaways.  The Packers offense produced only 14 turnovers, while their defense accounted for 38 takeaways.  So the Giants gave the ball away 10 more times than the Packers, and produced 7 less takeaways.  So I can see the Packers forcing a couple huge turnovers here.  

Add that to a healthy offensive line, and the Packers have the clear edge.  They'll be able to get the running game going, and Rodgers will have a more accurate day this time around.  

I'm nervous.  I'm excited.  Can't wait for this game to get started.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Round 2 Playoff Picks and Shaq vs. Dwight Part 117

NO- San Fran just kicked off and it's already 50-0...actually, it's 17-0 but it might as well be 50-0. New Orleans defense hasn't even been on the field long enough to get exposed. 3 early turnovers are killer against this San Fran defense and crowd. Not to say Drew Brees can't put up 17 points in three drives, but with a couple of TD's on the board, San Fran should be able to pad their points with FG after FG to keep their lead. I believe this one is over. I had every intention of picking NO just because I'd really like to see NO-GB go at it again. Maybe next year.

*Smash cut to New Orleans scoring 49 unanswered points*

Denver at New England- Agreed. That Pitt-Denver game was fantastic. Denver ran the ball with great success the first time around playing the Pats. Even Dan Dierdorf knows that the longer Denver has the ball/the less Tom Brady has the ball, the better Denver will fare. Denver also had a run of bad luck in that game with three second quarter turnovers. I can't see that happening again. Demaryius Thomas should be able to handle whatever Pats DB lines up across from him. Denver also caught a Pittsburgh team in the middle of a terrible run of injuries. Roethlisberger was hobbled and Mendenhall went down in Week 17 (Though Redman filled in admirably). Ryan Clark sat out due to his sickle cell condition(Love Tomlin saying that he wouldn't let his own son play, so Clark was a no go) and then lost two defensive lineman in the first quarter. And it still took overtime to get past Pittsburgh. But I've been saying New England was prime for another playoff letdown, and I'll stick to it. I think Denver has more success running the ball. I think they cut the turnovers and I think Eddie Royal getting a few more snaps because of Decker's injury is a good thing. Aaron Hernandez went wild last time, but Welker/Gronkowski were held in check. Unless Chad Johnson awakes from the dead, Denver can probably stand to keep two of those three in check again. The second quarter turnovers in the first game really seemed to be the difference, as NE got 20 points from them and Denver had to change what was working with them. I get the feeling we're getting one more week of Tebow stories. Denver 24, New England 20.

Texans at Ravens- While Joe Flacco is capable of a terrible game, and I see him having one in these playoffs, I don't think it's here though. Quite the opposite: Flacco shreds this Texans defense and really dupes people into thinking he's turned the corner. Flacco and Sanchez seem to be neck in neck in "turn the corner" performances. They could stink it up for a month straight, but one 3TD-0 INT performance means they've turned the corner. Houston's defense looked good against Cincy, but we missed a lot of opportunities. I think Yates is the one that melts down here with Suggs breathing down his neck all game. It's been a relatively quiet year for my man, E. Reed. An interception and a forced fumble bring him back on the radar. We're looking at Broncos-Ravens for the AFC championship. Eek. Baltimore 31, Texans 13.

Giants at Packers- I can see the mystique with picking the Giants for the upset, as they pass the ball well (GB's defense last in the league in passing yards allowed) and they can rush the passer (GB gave up 41 sacks this year). As you mentioned, The Pack will have a couple of offensive lineman back in the lineup tomorrow which should help tremendously. The Giants other strength, throwing the ball, is great but they're facing at team that can do that too. And they can do it better than NY can. And they get their top receiver back. The Giants run defense is middle of the pack in terms of yards allowed, so Green Bay could find moderate success there but I see a shootout in this one. NY will have Mario Manningham back and Brandon Jacobs is looking better, but I can't see Manning/Nicks/Cruz/Manningham winning a shootout with Rodgers/Jennings/Nelson/Driver/Finley. Here's to hoping Randall Cobb gets a big play or two in. Green Bay 41, New York 37

I hope you're sitting down for this one: Shaq is an idiot and he's doing all he can to ruin TNT's great work. To no one's surprise, he forces unfunny jokes, horribly overlaughs and adds no genuine analysis to the game. The other night was a treat though, as TNT had the Golden State-Orlando game. Cut to Dwight Howard warming up before the game and Charles Barkley/Kenny Smith really playing up the "Superman" nickname. Shaq is obviously bothered by it. He then goes on to say that Andrew Bynum is the best center in the league. To be fair to Shaq, Charles Barkley brought it up as he was mentioning how wrong Chris Webber was for making the same claim. To be fair to the side of logical though, Webber and Shaq are wrong. Shaq said if Dwight is an elite center averaging the 18-14 he had going into the Golden State game, then Bynum was elite with the 17-13 he was averaging. Nevermind the fact that Bynum was getting more field goal attempts and converting them at a worse percentage. Never mind the fact that Bynum has one of the best players in league history to draw attention away from him. Shaq's argument is that because Bynum is better offensively than Howard, he is the league's best center. I will give Bynum that, but Dwight's superior rebounding/defense/passing make this an easy decision. In addition to his statistical advantages at points/rebounds, Dwight averages twice as many assists and steals as Bynum. Their blocks per game are about the same, but there is no question as to who the better defender is. Surely Bynum has dominated Dwight in head to head competition, right? Wrong again. In 10 regular season games against one another, Dwight's averages are 20 ppg/12 rpg/2.4 bpg/59% FT shooting. Bynum checks in at 9 ppg/6rpg/2.5 bpg/49% FG. Well those numbers aren't fair as Dwight was getting big minutes when Bynum was still riding the LA bench. OK, let's look at the last 5 meetings then dating back to 2009: Dwight- 23 ppg/15rpg/ 2.6 bpg/59% FG. Bynum- 10.8 ppg/9 rpg/2.6 bpg/ 44% FG. Hmm, that doesn't help the either. Well those are meaningless regular season games, right? Let's check the averages of when the two met in the 2009 Finals for all the marbles. Dwight, in a series that he STILL catches criticism for his play- 15 ppg/15rpg/4bpg/49%FG. Bynum- 6 ppg/4rpg/0.6bpg/36%FG. To be fair to Bynum he only played 19 minutes per game in that season. To be fair to Dwight, it's because he constantly found himself on the bench because he couldn't guard Dwight without fouling. But back to Shaq. Shaq also mentioned that Bynum hits his free throws, unlike Howard. Touche`, O'Neal. Bynum does have the FT% advantage on Dwight this year: 55%-46%. Both are abysmal. Shaq's foolish statements were before the game. Fast forward to after the game and Dwight finishes with 45 points/23 rebounds/4 steals/3 assists/2 blocks. Shaq was unimpressed saying that Dwight to be dominant, he needs to average 28 ppg/15 rpg every season. Dominant numbers indeed...so dominant that Shaq himself never hit them.

At that very moment, I decided I want Dwight to dominate for the next 10 years. He won't wipe Shaq from the record books with per game statistics, but because of his earlier start and durability, he has a chance to surpass Shaq in quantitative numbers. To do this, he will need an elite point guard. I want him to continue to dominate the Defensive Player of the Year in a way Shaq never did. To do this, he will need a great defensive coach. I want him to win 5+ titles, just so he can have one up on Shaq. To do this, he will need a great team. I want him in Chicago. Dallas would accomplish these things, but only if Deron Williams joins he and Dirk. Chicago has it all now. Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau's defensive scheme and the pieces they would have left behind after a potential trade (Dwight-Boozer-Turkoglu-Hamilton-Rose would be the core after Noah/Deng/Gibson/picks are presumably traded for Dwight/Turk). Of course this will never happen, as Chicago is not one of Dwight's desired destinations, the team will never he his as long as Rose is around and there are rumors that Adidas will do all they can to avoid having their two most marketable players on the same team. It's fun to dream though. Fuck Shaq.

Playoffs: Round 2

Sorry for my absence.  I don't have much of an excuse.  I've been keeping up with my horror movie blog pretty regularly, and I just couldn't find the energy to do this one last week.  Which is pretty ridiculous.  There were 4 NFL games on last weekend.  And, while I've been trying to catch NHL and NBA games here and there, I haven't really been able to watch too many.  Which means I would only have been writing about the NFL last week, and I still didn't do it.  That, my friend, is lazy.

In this post, I'll just do the picks.  I rewatched the Packers/Giants game from earlier this year, then decided to run down some numbers of both teams throughout the season.  I'll get into that a little more in tomorrow's post. But, for now, picks.

49ers over Saints
Just a feeling.  Watching the Saints the last few weeks, I feel like the Saints should win, but I think the 49ers will pull it out.  They'll be able to shut down the Saints running game, and they'll be able to take advantage of the Saints mistakes (I can see two Bress interceptions in this game, both of which will lead to points for the 49ers). The 49ers will struggle to score too many points, but their turnover free day will help propel them into the next round.  49ers 24, Saints 21.

Patriots over Broncos
I loved the Broncos/Steelers game.  Far and away the best game of the opening round.  The big talking point after this game will be how the Patriots and their last-ranked passing defense held Tebow to fewer yards than the Steelers.  And why is that?  Because they'll keep at least one safety deep to prevent against the big play.  The Broncos will be able to run, but it won't be enough.  It was a great run, but it ends here.  Patriots 35, Broncos 24.

Texans over Ravens
But only because I can see Flacco having a TERRIBLE game.  45% completion, 175 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT (with one of those returned for a TD).  The Texans won't have to throw much, but they'll get a couple big plays out of their passing game.  Texans 28, Ravens 21.

Packers over Giants
I keep hearing that the Giants will be able to get pressure with their front 4 and be able to drop the rest into coverage.  I'll get more into this tomorrow, but I don't really buy it.  They're good, but they weren't able to get consistent pressure with their front four in their first meeting, and that was with the Packers missing Sitton and Clifton (both of whom will be back for the game tomorrow).  The Giants front four looked great against the run, but the Packers are a passing team.  They won't be able to generate enough pressure to stop the Packers.  In their last meeting, Rodgers was a little off his game at the beginning, and they were still able to put up 38 points on the Giants.  The Giants can win, but they would need to play a near-perfect game on both sides of the ball, while the Packers offense would have to be off.  I don't see it happening.  Packers 35, Giants 24.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Playoff Picks Round 1

Currently watching the Magic take on the Bulls. Dwight had a great first quarter to the tune of 14 points/5 boards in the first quarter alone. Sidebar: He and Derrick Rose would be terrifying together. Joakim Noah is a solid center, but the talent gap between he and Howard is ridiculous. He's started the season as a man possessed. In the six games since a lackluster performance in the opener against OKC, he has hit 20 rebounds three times and registered at least three blocks five times. His assist numbers don't show it but he's passing the ball much better out of the post. I can't enjoy it too much because I don't know when it will end, but he's looked terrific. The charity stripe is kicking his ass though: 42% FT. Also, kudos to ESPN for letting Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy handle the announcing. Chris Mullin wasn't working as Mark Jackson's replacement, so they have decided (temporarily at least) to let Breen-JVG work games.

Playoff football is among us. Delightful.

Cincinnati at Houston- Kinda sucks leading off the playoff action. If we lose this one, I'm probably done with pigskin for the weekend. I do have a good feeling about this one, despite the fact that Houston beat us in Cincy less than a month ago. First of all, Houston hasn't won a game since. They have lost three straight games, two of which at home and all were games where they appeared to have been giving effort. Cincy isn't exactly playing like world beaters, but we did win two of three to close out the season. Rhythm matters in the NFL and the Texans don't have it right now. TJ Yates got hurt and missed most of the last game. Arian Foster sat out last week. Andre Johnson still isn't 100% from his hamstring injury and has caught two passes in the past month. Second of all, all the pressure is on Houston. This is their first playoff appearance. They are the higher seed. They are at home. They have the third ranked defense facing off against a rookie QB. Third, we played a good game against Houston. Towards the end of the game, we tried to scoop up a fumble and it bounced back to Houston. Yates promptly led two 80 yard drives to win the game. That won't happen this time. Yates was sacked six times in the first meeting, and that was without Carlos Dunlap. Outside of one big run, we bottled up the running game. I think Cincy wins a close one. Cincinnati 23, Houston 19

Lions at Saints- Did you know the Saints were 6th in the league in rushing? Me neither. Detroit is in the bottom third of the league in stopping the run. The Saints have Drew Brees. The Lions are in the bottom third of the league at stopping the pass. The reason I can't get hyped over Drew Brees' passing yardage record? Matt Stafford went for 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns this season! Matt Stafford! New Orleans is horrible at stopping the pass. Besides Calvin Johnson's customer 130 yard & 2 TD day, I can see Brandon Pettigrew having a big day. Stafford goes for 350+ and 3 or 4 TD's...and Detroit still loses by double digits. Brees has a modest day, for him, as Sproles runs wild. New Orleans 48, Detroit 37

Falcons at Giants- I haven't really been impressed by the Falcons all year, yet they managed to win 10 games. In Simmons playoff podcast, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders stated the Falcons have been the most consistent team they have ever measured. For the most part, you know what you're getting out of them week to week. It's the Giants you have to worry about. I think the good Giants show up here. I cant see Dunta Robinson/Brent Grimes keeping up with the Giants receivers. Hakeem Nicks has size advantage on Robinson and Victor Cruz has a talent advantage on Brent Grimes. Turner should have a decent enough day, but the cold weather of NY and Giants front four on his ass is no good for Matt Ryan. I do expect at least one phenomenal play from Ghoulio Jones though. He's made some outstanding catches this year...that haven't counted. I'd love to see a compilation of his best non-catches due to not getting both feet in bounds or a play getting called back because of penalty. Giants 27, Falcons 16

Steelers at Broncos- Rashard Mendenhall wasn't great but he was reasonably consistent. I think the Steelers get an early lead, but struggle to hold on to it without him. Champ Bailey seemed fired up after last week's loss, so I imagine he plays a good game...probably against Antonio Brown. I don't know what's left for Pittsburgh's offense though. Mike Wallace can always break a big one, but long plays are so inconsistent. Roethlisberger is still hobbled, but Von Miller and that Denver pass rush have been lackluster in recent weeks. I think Tebow will be able to scramble for a first down or three, but Harrison and crew will ultimately keep his rushing yards limited. The Steelers D is a terrible match up for the Broncos offense, as two Tebow interceptions will prove. Steelers 26, Broncos 10

Sunday, January 1, 2012

NFL Thoughts

I didn't make any picks before the games because I didn't have many thoughts on them.  So few of the games actually mattered, so I couldn't really make any picks.  I was going to pick Cincinnati to win, which obviously didn't happen.  But it didn't really matter too much, because they ended up making the playoffs anyway.  I'm happy that they made it (especially since they have a winnable match-up with the Texans coming up next week), but I think I'm happier that the Jets didn't make it.  I'm excited for a Jets-free playoffs.

There is one game left tonight.  Dallas/New York.  Everything seems to be pointing to a Giants win, but I can't shake the feeling that the Cowboys are going to win tonight.

You asked me a question today about Flynn being a starting QB in the NFL.  I think he could do it, but I do think he needs some work (which sounds a little ridiculous after watching him throw for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns today).  He seems to struggle with pressure.  He did better with it in this game, but he still seemed to get a little skittish when the Lions brought pressure.
But, from what I saw, that seemed to be his only major issue.  Obviously, once there's a little more tape on him, he'll have to make adjustments.  But he was decisive and accurate, which is really what most young starters seem to be missing.  He'll make a lot of money this offseason, and I think he could be a solid starter for a number of teams.  We were talking about what teams would probably pursue him in free agency.  Here is the list of teams I think will make a run at him: Seattle, Washington, Cleveland, Miami and Jacksonville.  I could see Kansas City, Buffalo, or even the Jets making a run at him, too.