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Brady In Reverse

[ 131 ] January 21, 2013 |

I love Barnwell’s reversal of Brady’s career, showing how easy it is to prove that someone isn’t “clutch.”

By the way, speaking of 2006 and narratives, how about we give it up for Mr. Marty Schottenheimer? I mean, yes, he did sometimes get too conservative in playoff games, but unless he specifically ordered his players to try to return what would otherwise be game-clinching interceptions (or fumble) it’s not clear what he had to do with many of his heartbreaking losses. And the excellence of his regular season record is clear. Why you would let a freak play compel you to replace him with Norv Turner I have no idea.

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  1. Sherm says:

    Brady in reverse = John Elway.

  2. Jim Lynch says:

    Speaking of Elway, there’s a reason why his football coach father didn’t want him drafted by San Diego. Schottenheimer’s later dismissal provides a big clue as to why not.

  3. The problem with football is small sample sizes.

    The average length of a quarterback’s career is just under 4-1/2 years. That means that halfway through the average career of a quarterback, we’ve seen him in as many games as we see from a new shortstop by the end of May in his rookie year.

  4. Carbon Man says:

    It was beautiful to watch the Patsies meltdown last night. Like lambs to a slaughterhouse…

  5. Carbon Man says:

    Bill Belicheat can’t win Super Bowls after he was caught videotaping the other team’s practices and hand signals. Hmmmm I wonder WHY?

  6. Kyle Huckins says:

    Reading Barnwell crush Manning trolls on twitter is more fun than some of the games themselves.

  7. Joshua says:

    I have been reading Barnwell all year (and last year), and that article read like he cracked.

    I know that media and fans tend to overpraise and overcriticize QBs – I saw people blaming Kaepernick for the 49ers slow start yesterday – and it seemed like it finally got to the guy.

  8. DocAmazing says:

    If he’s not clutch, is he automatic transmission?

  9. Jim Lynch says:

    Tom Brady/Belichik and the Patriots years ago entered the NFL pantheon of all time great organizations. You might not like them, you may root against them, but that fact is indisputable.

    • Walt says:

      And they left it years ago, as well.

      • When was that?

        When they went 16-0, 14-2, or 13-3?

      • The Patriots have been at least as good over the past four years as they were during the four years they won the Super Bowls.

        I think that 3 Super Bowl victories, 5 appearances, and 7 conference championship appearances in 12 years is a fair reflection of the quality of the team during this era, and the up-front timing of those Super Bowl wins is just noise.

        • Sherm says:

          The Patriots have been at least as good over the past four years as they were during the four years they won the Super Bowls.

          Gotta disagree. These past few years they have been getting by on Brady and Belichick. They have not had the talent of the previous teams, especially on defense. The excellence of Brady and the genius of Belichick has been enough to win the division, but not to win the super bowl.

          • Jerry Vinokurov says:

            The difference between winning and losing a game can be as little as one or two plays. If Tyree doesn’t make that ridiculous catch or Welker picks up the first down last season, we’re talking about a team that’s either 4-1 or 5-0 in Super Bowls.

            • Sherm says:

              Fair point. But the Giants weren’t exactly world-beaters either.

              • Jerry Vinokurov says:

                But that’s where the “small sample size” problem kicks in. You don’t need to be “world beaters,” you just need to win a few games at the right time. Football is just an inherently more random game than, say, baseball or basketball; I mean, the Broncos were arguably the best team in the league this season, but one bad safety play, and here we are with the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

                I just think that evaluating a team, any team, on the basis of a single game that did or did not go their way is a mistake. You have to look at the whole record, and the record says that the Patriots have been really good year in and year out. You have lots of teams oscillating between making the playoffs and not, but the Patriots have been there every year except the Matt Cassell season (when they went 11-5 but missed the playoffs due to a ridiculously strong AFC).

          • Sherm,

            There are certainly areas where the old team was stronger than today’s team, but I think the 2012 Patriots still add up to a better team overall.

            In the four year period during which the Patriots won their Super Bowls, they had 16 regular season losses. Over the past four years, they’ve had 15.

            Was there any defensive players (other than Wilfork) they had in 01-04 with as much talent as Gronk? Welker?

  10. shah8 says:

    I’ve known since roughly about the time of Brady’s knee injury that Brady no longer had sufficient athleticism to deal with the postseason pass-rush. It was a genuine surprise to me that he made the Superbowl last year, but that was mostly luck (Tebow, couple of bad Ravens moments).

    Of course, the real issue is that Barnwell is trying to defend Matt Ryan on the basis of non-clutchedness. No, Ryan is not LeBron James. Ryan is Schaub and every other predominantly rhythm QB who struggles to make plays because they don’t have the arm or the instincts to succeed in the face of high competition.

    The only Superbowl the Patriots won via a strong offense was the one Corey Dillon was a part of, in 2004. In all of their victories, Vinateri was a pretty crucial player in every one of their victories. Him? Heck yeah, he’s clutch. I’m still sore about Akers in 2010.

    • chaed says:

      It’s almost like you didn’t even read Barnwell’s article. Your perceptions of people completely turn on the outcome of one game, which turns on the outcome of a few plays.

      That’s like saying Chipper was a choker because he made a throwing error in the wildcard game this year.

      • shah8 says:

        I did read the article. It’s pretty much the same as any of Barnwell’s articles. It’s too bad Bottom of the Barrel blog guy never turns his critique on him.

        Read again what I’m saying: Matt Ryan is not particularly talented. It’s not like Alex Rodriguez or LeBron James. He’s not Jeremy Lin, either, but more like a working class man’s Derek Jeter.

        It’s not about missing shots at the top of the key that he could normally make in his sleep. It’s about not really being able to hit curve balls, and getting to the playoffs where more of the pitchers can throw a decent one.

        • Jerry Vinokurov says:

          Matt Ryan is one of the most talented QBs playing right now. What the hell are you on about? He had a great game against San Francisco, and I was rooting for the Niners all the way.

        • chaed says:

          Ryan has extremely similar numbers to both Brady and Manning in the first five years of their careers.

          And not being able to hit curveballs? He threw for almost 400 yards on Sunday. If one or two plays go his way, he wins. You’re proving Barnwell’s point – your perception of Ryan is influenced by the outcome of the game (something that isn’t completely in his control) vs. his performance over a decent sample size (something that is in his control).

      • Mike D. says:

        One game?

        Matt Ryan *hadn’t won* one playoff game until last week in multiple attempts, an is now 1-for. The only reason it’s dumb to say that Ryan isn’t “clutch” is because clutch is a dumb category to apply to a player. Players make plays in the clutch – and sometimes they don’t. That applies to every player. “Clutch” is about what a player does in a an important situation. It’s true that not making many such plays is going to get you called “not clutch,” but that’s just what happens when you don’t make plays. Ultimately, it’s a meaningless term when applied to players, because everyone fails in the clutch on occasion.

        But what isn’t meaningless is having a crappy playoff record at the midpoint of your career. This tripe about reversing the order of what happens in a careers is ridiculous. It eliminates the whole concept of a record – whether team or personal. “Our team hasn’t won a playoff game in five yearns under this coach, behind this QB, etc., but don’t judge us for that, because who knows what we might do”? What? No, we judge likely future performance by the record, at least in significant part. The record is what came before. If you’re likely able to do it, you’ll show that as soon as you get up to speed competitively in whatever the domain of your competition. If there’s a ceiling on you ability, you’ll likely display that. Sure, there’s always the possibility – and not insignificant- that you’ll transcend what seem to be your limitations. But we don’t ignore what you’ve done to date because somehow privileging the record of the past is an arbitrary prejudice against the possibilities of the future. We judge competitive performers based on their record. What kind of sophistry says that’s irrational?

        • John says:

          Playoff sample sizes are tiny (especially in football). Doesn’t it make more sense to judge Ryan by his entire career than by the outcomes of a few games? I suppose in basketball, where playoff sample sizes are larger and the regular season is often really low pressure, it might make sense to look at playoff stats only. But in football, where basically every game is like a playoff game in most other sports?

          The point is that judging someone as a “playoff choker” based on 4 games is kind of ridiculous.

          • Joshua says:

            What is a good sample size? Ben Roethlisberger was in the AFC Championship game as a rookie.

            Ryan was lights out in the first half, but made some critical mistakes in the second half. Those mistakes, yea, did kind of cost the team the game.

            The problem with stuff like Barnwell’s is that it is easy to take a very complex game and break it down to find the argument you want to find. There where Atlanta screwed up that had nothing to do with Ryan – ergo, the loss doesn’t prove Ryan is a choker. Well, what about the stuff that was on him?

            I don’t think Ryan is necessarily a choker (I hate the phrase, really), but if this team doesn’t get to a Super Bowl I think we will all look back and say that was a waste of talent. Similar to the mid-2000′s Chargers.

            • As with anything else, the problem with clutchitude comes with ignoring the rest of the sample that isn’t WHEN THE GAME IS ON THE LINE!! The problem with Matt Ryan isn’t that he chokes, per se, or that he isn’t good in the playoffs, it’s that in general he really isn’t as good as the national football media makes him out to be. He’s prone to mistakes, and his arm isn’t terribly good for someone who gets that much hype either (my wife, who despises Ryan, started cussing when Carlos Rodgers fell down on the throw to Douglas, but I quickly told her Ryan wouldn’t hit the target anyway. Voila!)

              If it weren’t for being the third overall pick, replacing Vick, and getting these goofy nicknames, I think most people would think of Ryan as being closer to Andy Dalton on the spectrum of quarterbacks than the top tier. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, or that Ryan is the most overrated QB in the league (looking at you, Rapistberger), but that’s the rub on Matty Ice.

              • Sherm says:

                Agreed 100% (except for the part about Rapistberger — he’s a damn good QB).

                Matt Ryan is a good quarterback, but not great. His arm is simply not that strong. Take him out of that dome and stick him in an outdoor stadium in the northeast, and he would be exposed real fast.

                I’m a Giants fan who is regarded as an “Eli-hater” by many who know me. But I would take Eli over him without hesitation.

                • Rapistberger has a good particular skill set (move around, be really big, and throw the ball far) that Pittsburgh’s coaching staff has done a good job of scheming to (play really good defense and wait for the offense to hit a home run or two), but he’s got real limitation too. Namely that he’s far from a great pocket passer, and that he gets hurt a lot. He’s good but, again, he’s down in that Ryan/Dalton category, not the “elite” talent the football media makes him out to be.

                • Sherm says:

                  He’s good but, again, he’s down in that Ryan/Dalton category, not the “elite” talent the football media makes him out to be.

                  Who’s better other than Brady, Brees and Rogers? I’d put him at the top of the next class of quarterbacks behind the three who can fairly be described as “elite.”

                • Hard to separate a QB from a system, but if we’re going on straight talent (let’s say, we’re having a fantasy draft and you have to pick a QB first), the existing quarterbacks I’d pick before Rapistberger, in no particular order:

                  Brady, Brees, Rodgers, both Mannings, Luck, RG3, Russell Wilson, Flacco, Kaepernick, Stafford, Cam Newton, and Ryan. Phillip Rivers and Andy Dalton are right there with him.

              • Mike D. says:

                I agree that the problem with Matt Ryan is that he isn’t that good. But I just further say that an 0-4 record in the playoffs is not just coincidental to that. The playoffs are when you consistently play good teams, and find out if you can beat them often. A .200 record in playoff games after half a career is enough to start admitting the playoff record is good evidence to add to the stack that you’re not turning out to be as good as they said you’d be.

                • chaed says:

                  I disagree that Matt Ryan “isn’t that good.” His stats are pretty comparable to Brady’s first few years. I agree that his arm strength isn’t ideal, but he benefits from having a great receiving corps.

                  It’s entirely possible that Ryan wins a few Super Bowls and it’s also possible he never does get over the hump. A lot of it will depend on luck and what the Falcons do on defense.

                  I am an Atlanta fan and it has been painful to hear the occasional idiot call up on sports talk the past few days and claim that Ryan should be traded or not signed to an extension. I don’t always agree with Barnwell, but he at least backs up his arguments with logic, facts, and statistics and not nonsensical statements like “I’ve watched football for years…” and other such garbage.

    • I’ve known since roughly about the time of Brady’s knee injury that Brady no longer had sufficient athleticism to deal with the postseason pass-rush.

      In the four seasons since Brady came back from the knee injury, the Patriots have made the AFC Championship twice, and the Super Bowl once.

      • Joshua says:

        Seriously.

        The 2007 SB was a tough game that the Pats lost thanks to maybe the luckiest catch in NFL history. Brady wasn’t on the field for that. In 2011, the Giants got that great Manningham catch. Brady missed his chance with that Welker overthrow – criticize him for that. He acknowledged it. So did Welker.

        Someone compared reverse Brady to Elway, well the Broncos lost by 19 and 32 points in their two SB losses.

  11. LosGatosCA says:

    how about we give it up for Mr. Marty Schottenheimer

    Love, Marty. Bad luck to never reach the Super Bowl, but not sure any of his teams that should have made it would have won in the Super Bowl. If he had won with Montana/Allen in KC that would have been sweet all the way around. Too bad.

    200-126, .613, 21 years avg record 10-6 roughly. 12-14 wins 5X

    With 4 different franchises. Not flashy, just solidly effective with strong defense.

    • TT says:

      I grew up a Redskins diehard but gave up on them once and for all after Dan Snyder axed Schottenheimer following the 2001 season (and decided to spend $25 mil on Steve Spurrier, which worked out….not well). Yeah, yeah, I know Schottenheimer’s playoff record, too conservative, etc., but in 2001 he got a team that started 0-5 fight to an 8-8 record. That’s a coach who had control of his locker room and the respect of his players, and who could build on what he had. Snyder instead opted to take the dysfunction which had plagued the Redskins for most of the ’90s to a whole new pathetic, depressing, and comedic level.

      • John says:

        Yeah, that was really dismal. The Spurrier thing was just horrendous and inexcusable. This was a guy who thought that some washed up back-up quarterbacks from Florida would be competent NFL starting quarterbacks because of the brilliance of the “fun & gun.”

        It’s obviously absurd to say that college coaches can’t be successful in the NFL, but I think Spurrier is a good example of the fact that college coaches can’t do exactly the same thing in the NFL that worked at the college level and think they’ll be successful.

        • Eric says:

          It was pointed out to Spurrier in coaching clinics when he was still at Florida that a big, fast blitzer would wreck the fun & gun. His response was basically, yeah, but opponents won’t do that. They did it in the NFL, and he doesn’t run the same offense now that he faces college defenses with LBs that play with the speed of safeties. Or safeties that have the size of LBs.

  12. anadromy says:

    As a Charger fan, I say let’s NOT give it up for Marty. (Norv was terrible, don’t get me wrong. One fact does not preclude the other.) There was a reason Marty was 5-13 in playoffs, including losing 6 straight to end his career. He played not to lose. He’d get to the end of games and settle for really (sometimes, really REALLY) long field goals. Not surprisingly, they often didn’t go in. (see: 2005) Then, just to really make anybody who cared about his teams feel extra put upon, he’d do wacky things like, oh I don’t know, GO FOR IT ON FOURTH AND ELEVEN INSTEAD OF LETTING HIS ALL PRO KICKER KICK A FIELD GOAL HE WOULD ALMOST CERTAINLY MAKE BECAUSE IT WAS ONLY THE 1ST QUARTER or, let’s see, challenging a play with no chance of being overturned and squandering a timeout that probably would have helped win the game (SEE: 2006). Geez. Just talking about this puts me in a bad mood. Thanks.

    • John Protevi says:

      Needs moar ALL-CAPS.

      I kid, I kid. I kid because I love.

    • Green Caboose says:

      By the time Marty got to SD he was ruined for the playoffs. The definition of true panic is making random decisions because you can see no rational way out of your predicament, so with panic at least you have some chance through unpredictability of succeeding. When Marty’s SD teams got to the playoffs he went into panic mode. I can’t remember all the weird decisions – wasn’t there a 4th-and-10 attempt late in a game that made no sense and a decision not to wear a headset so he didn’t get in the way of his coordinators?

      However, in the early years he managed very well and simply never could get the ball to bounce his way in key games. That even continued through to SD – didn’t they lose one playoff where a game-clinching interception was reversed when the defender went for a return and fumbled the ball?

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        at even continued through to SD – didn’t they lose one playoff where a game-clinching interception was reversed when the defender went for a return and fumbled the ball?

        Yes — that’s what I referenced in the OP. How you can blame the coach for that is unclear, and it got him fired!

  13. Eric says:

    Bill Barnwell thought that the 49ers would only win 9 games or fewer.

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