Week 7 Notes: A Newly Discovered Way The Jets Were Screwed Sunday [and more!]

[1] A few different issues with the game process have been called out since Sunday that could have affected the result of the Jets-Patriots game.  First there was the thought that Bill Belicheck had illegally thrown his challenge flag on the Aaron Hernandez goal line fumble.  That was determined to be false, despite cheers from the crowd indicating he had thrown it.

Second was the questionable actions of the New England timekeeper.  Barely any time was eclipsed from the start of Devin McCourty’s kick return to the moment he fumbled; the clock was conveniently stopped at 2:01, allowing the Patriots to have a mandatory timeout on their side.  Again, the NFL came to the Patriots’ defense and ruled that everything was kosher.

Now yesterday, Grantland’s Bill Barnwell brings up the fact that on the game’s concluding play, Pats’ lineman Jermaine Cunningham fell at the line of scrimmage, then crawled towards Mark Sanchez and was “diving at his ankles…knocking him down.”

This not only is illegal and penalized by 15 yards under NFL rules, it is called “THE BRADY RULE”.

You know…the one only named after that famous Californian…the one married to Gisele…the one STANDING ON THE OPPOSING SIDELINE.

All is said, who knows if any of these things would have made the result more favorable to the Jets.  It doesn’t matter who was jobbed because ultimately, public opinion does not change the fact that the Patriots won and the Jets lost.

Barnwell concludes his entry with “It might have cost the Jets a win on Sunday, but even that is less important than keeping the league’s stars healthy.”

Sorry, but to most people not employed by the Worldwide Leader In Contracts With Major Sports Leagues, the loss of a possible win is very much the most important aspect of this event.

[2] During the 2011 NFC playoffs, Jay Cutler sustained a knee injury that led to him sitting out the remainder of an NFC Championship game.  The injury turned out to be legit, but that did not stop many of his peers from attacking him publicly on Twitter.

Maurice Jones-Drew famously said, “All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee … I played the whole season on one …”

On Sunday, MJD suffered a foot injury.

On Monday, Cutler suffered a rib injury.

One returned.  Must be tough when the shoe is on the other foot.

[3] On PTI, Monday, Both Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon were presented with the question: Who is the best Quarterback right now, Eli Manning or Robert Griffin III.

Surprisingly, both picked RGIII over the reigning Super Bowl Champion Manning.

I know both could easily be influenced watching the former play every week in their home city of Washington D.C., but really?

All around statistics or not, who is really taking RGIII over Eli Manning?  Eli Manning just wins games.  He just led yet another 4th quarter comeback on yet another 4th quarter TD after breaking the record for 4th quarter touchdowns last year and did it on an 80 yard bomb to Victor Cruz.

Not only that, it isn’t even an Elway/Bradshaw v. Peyton Manning-type stats argument.  Their numbers are quite close:
RGIII has 1,601 yards passing (468 rushing) with a 7:3 TD/INT radio (6 rush. TDs)
Eli has 2,109 yards passing with a 12:7 ratio.

More numbers that bring it closer? Eli has been sacked 5 times, RGIII 15.  Manning has fumbled twice, Griffin seven times.

When the numbers are that close, I will always take the guy who wins historically: Manning has the Super Bowls, and even now, the best record in the NFC East.

[4] Finally, I would like to introduce a new segment to the TM4T Blog.  This will compare quarterback controversies around the league, when needed.  So…for the first time:

This week’s candidate: Lions QB Matt Stafford

Yes, Stafford had a great year last season: 5,038 yards and a 41:16 TD to INT.

But let’s look at the rest of his career.  He has been in the NFL for 4 seasons; of those 4 seasons, he has played 16 games only once.  In his first season, he had a very rookie Sanchez-like 13:20 ratio.  In his second season, a 6:1 ratio, but that was it – 6 TDs and 1 INT – because he only played in three games for the Lions in 2010.

Through six games this season, he has been deplorable: a 5:6 ratio helped last night by a garbage time TD.  He has cracked 300 yards passing in three games, but at 72.1, his QB rating has been disastrous in his “good” games.

Meanwhile, after an injury this year, Shaun Hill came into the game and went 10 for 13 with 172 yards and 2 touchdowns.  By the way, this was in just one quarter.  That’s right, he has 40% of what Stafford has done the entire season in just one quarter.

Perhaps Shaun Hill should never have lost his job.

Taking over for the injured Stafford in 2010, Shaun Hill averaged 244 yards per game and had 16 TDs and 12 INTs in 11 games.  In fact, he has been quite serviceable everywhere he has gone.  Over 18 games as a 49er, Hill had 23 TDs and 11 INTs.  Considering a few of those were games he did not play in their entirety, he basically had a good single season for the Niners.

Perhaps if his name were Tebow, Shaun Hill may be breathing over Matt Stafford’s shoulder right now.


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