Vince Lombardi

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QC's Week 15 Thoughts

Green Bay is the second best designed team in the NFL and has the best turnover differential, but the Packers are too soft to win the Super Bowl. QC knows that Jordy Nelso played like he was wearing oven mits and the Bills could not muster an offensive touchdown. But after Buffalo's 21-13 win, it remains that 3 of Green Bay's 4 losses have been to teams fielding extemely physical defenses, Seattle and Detroit being the other two. In addition to those two, Arizona is an NFC defensive bully. It will be surprising if the Packers can beat two of those teams on consecutive weeks to get out of the NFC and into the Super Bowl.


As even a blind man could see how awful Johnny Manziel was in his first NFL start against Cincinnati, analyst Troy Aikman tried to toss Mr. Football a life raft during the broadcast by mentioning Manziel's performance was a party compared to Aikman's first NFL start. So QC looked it up. Aikman posted 4.2 QCYPA in a 28-0 loss to New Orleans compared to Maniel's 3.0 QCYPA. But Aikman was thrown in Week 1 and taking over a 3-13 team that would go on to finish 1-15. Manziel had the benefit of watching and (in theory) learning for 13 games and took over a team that was a competitive 7-6 and ranked No. 3 in play design differential. Nice gesture, Troy. But it was an apples to oranges comparison. Manziel is really bad.


Chicago sunk to No. 28 in play design differential, worst in the NFC, and reports that head coach Marc Trestman will be fired surfaced after the Bears absorbed a 31-15 pounding from New Orleans. Based on past history, any coach who is not completing his first season with a team and is in the bottom five in the NFL in play design differential should not be surprised if he gets a pink slip. In light thereof, is Jacksonville's Gus Bradley getting a pass? All QC hears is how "everyone loves him" and "his players play so hard for him and have not quit." So what. The Jaguars rank No. 30 in play design and are almost a lock to finish with a worse play design differential than they had under Bradley's one-and-done predecessor, Mike Mularkey, for the second year in a row. The same year Bradley took over Jacksonville, Bruce Arians took over a 4-12 team that had a worse play differential under Ken Whisenhunt than Jacksonville had under Mularkey. Since that time, Arians team has won the play design battle in 17 of 30 games and won 21 of 30 games. Bradley's team has won the play design battle in only 5 of 30 games and won only 6 of 30 games. Jacksonville has won the design battle just once in 2014. Of course, if the 49ers had given Bill Walsh only 2 years, they would have missed out on the era of "The Genius." Walsh won only 8 of his first 30 games. When San Francisco netted 3 starters for its terrible defensive backfield in the 1981 draft, including future HOFer Ronnie Lott, suddenly the 49ers were 13-3, Super Bowl champs and on their way. The unit on the Jaguars that is the equivalent of the abysmal 1980 San Francisco secondary is the Jaguars abysmal offensive line. That O-line is yielding a ghastly .825 sack yards lost per pass attempt. If Bradley is too survive to see year four in Jacksonville, he will have to improve that area as Arians did in Arizona, where he inherited an O-line from Whisenhunt that lost an NFL worst .622 yards per pass attempt, and transformed it into a unit that now loses only .282 yards per pass attempt, 9th best in the NFL.


Speaking of Arizona, it's interesting that the 11-3 Cardinals play design and player productivity differentials, -.0015 and -0.15, respectively, are nearly identical to the 7-7 49ers numbers (-.0017 and -0.07). It just goes to show that there is truth to the old adage that the sun doesn't shine on the same dog's butt every Sunday. Unless the dog's owner is Bill Belichick, that is.

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