Magary this week has a good rant about how hack sportswriters like to use “I WATCHED THE TAPE” as a specious argument-ender. But of course tape analysis is only as good as the analyst performing it. If you spend the afternoon breaking down tape with Bill Belichick, you’ll learn a lot about football. If the tape is being watched by a writer who wants to reach the pre-determined conclusion that it is unpossible that the NFL’s kindly and public-spirited owners could be blackballing Colin Kaepernick, garbage in garbage out.
Anyway, the rant includes a good passage about the SUPERGENIUS of Mike Mularkey:
You might remember Benoit from the time he came out of his tape cave and announced to the world that Matt Cassel, among other stiffs, was a better backup QB than the currently unemployed Colin Kaepernick. I promise this won’t become yet another Kaepernick rant, but I just want to note that Cassel was sacked six times on Sunday, averaged a pathetic 4.4 yards-per-completion, and ended up losing to a Miami team that had no-showed over the two previous games. The Titans are utterly helpless without Marcus Mariota, and Cassel is the reason why. Matt Cassel can’t play worth a lick.
But again, Benoit watched the tape.
The thing is, the Dolphins were pretty much no-shows last week too — a week after having been shut out by the league’s perennial worst defense, a QB dreaming of being a color guy got 92 yards out of 26 throws, and their once-promising looking RB got a robust 3.1 yards a carry. It should be almost impossible for a team with pretensions of contending to lose that game, but Cassel blows and yet has to keep playing because the homeless man’s Matt Cassel was the backup. But while Kaeperncick is a far better QB than either of these gentlemen, apparently he can’t handle the unfathomable complexity of Mike Mularkey’s offensive schemes (which, when Mariota isn’t playing, AFICT consist of two runs into the line followed by a 3rd-and-long pass that travels no more than 3 yards in the air.) Still, if you WATCHED THE TAPE you’d surely learn that Mularkey has no reason to do anything different until Titans fans just get tired of all the winning.
Some other notes:
- Will even the Jets be able to throw on Team Trump? Early returns suggest “very possibly.”
- It’s hard to defend a regulatory scheme in which if NBC showed a woman’s nipple for half a second it would be guilty of indecency, but it can devote three hours of prime time to the Denver pass rush playing against Ereck Flowers and a piece of sheet metal sculpted to look like Eli Manning.
- Apparently Aaron Rodgers was hurt seriously early in the game against the Vikings. If it keeps him out for a significant length of time that’s bad for the league.
- I’m so old I remember when Justin Verlander looked washed-up like it was this June.
- The Nats have ultimately have to blame themselves for their latest first round elimination. But I genuinely don’t understand why “did the runner come off the bad for a 20th of a second while sliding?” is a reviewable play but a batter making contact with the catcher is not. (I don’t know if it’s possible to do it in a way that wouldn’t make things worse, but since the institution of replay challenges I’ve wished that the rules could be re-written so that a runner is not out if he very briefly loses contact with the bag in the process of sliding.)
- Hopefully the Yankees will be eliminated by the next time we do one of these. But among the moves Cashman deserves credit for is getting Didi Gregorius for Shane Greene. I really miss the old days when the Yankees would fire any competent front office personnel the first time the team had a 3-game losing streak.