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Scramble: 2020 All-Keep Choppin’ Wood Team

Scramble: 2020 All-Keep Choppin' Wood Team Andrew Potter 03 Feb 2021, 10:12 am

Houston Texans LB Zach Cunningham

Andrew: Hello and welcome to the penultimate Scramble for the Ball of the 2020 season — a season quite unlike any other for a variety of different concludes, but chiefly because of a global pandemic. For the first time in history, staying at home and watching football all week has been the submissive, considerate course to live, rather than being broadly considered some manner of social dysfunction. We're hoping that continues to be the case, even as we're hoping that this accursed plague pass awfully, very quickly.

Bryan: We're both more than ready to leave 2020 behind us, but we have got one piece of unfinished business left to handle. In what was truly one of the Wood-Choppingest years in recent history, it is our duty once again to bring you the worst of the worst — the annual All-Keep Choppin' Wood Team.

Andrew: As ever, this was not a roster of the most serious 26 musicians in the league — 11 starters each for pique and defense, plus four specialists in the kicking and return activity. That would just be a list of late-round picks and bottom-of-the-roster flotsam who just cleared it onto the field, and nobody needs a list like that( at least not now that the XFL has folded again ). Instead, the All-Keep Choppin' Wood select refers the players who procreated the least of their plentiful opportunities, who did the most to hurt their rights either on or off the field( sometimes both !). Whether by underperforming a massive contract or a high draft pick, blowing games instantly by their mistakes, or simply being very bad, very consistently, there are many ways to become immortalized as a are part of one of the following options hand-picked groups.

Bryan: With 2020 being what it was, there were fewer chances for players to hurt their team off the field — strict quarantine regulations do tend to help prevent late-night drunken shenanigans. That's not to say that no one managed to turn off-field calamities into on-field pain — see the entire Denver Broncos quarterback room not disguising, forcing rule crew wide receiver Kendall Hinton to start a game at quarterback, or the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints breaking fairly COVID powers to cause their teams to forfeit enlist picks — but for the most part, this year's roster has more on-field lowlights than customary. That's OK, because there were plenty of lowlights to highlight!

Andrew: As normal, we'll pick starters by position, abusing modern football classifies with 11 personnel and nickel defense, plus a coaching organization. This year even identifies us make a pick for a distinguish we wouldn't naturally consider! Such is the madness of the 2020 NFL season. Without further ado, we present…

Scramble's 2020 All-Keep Choppin' Wood Team Offense

Quarterback

Bryan: There are a couple different criteria we can use when picking a player for the Keep Choppin' Wood team. Poor performance in and of itself can certainly qualify; anyone near the bottom of a DYAR or DVOA table is at least in contention. A cruel contract can help someone vault to the top of the roll; even run-of-the-mill poor performance can win you an award if it's bind to an albatross of a long term deal. Off-field incidents are always a favorite, as well — sowing discord in the locker room is a great way to earn a much-desired KCW honor. Sometimes, it's difficult to weigh all the different categories is putting forward one winner.

Not this year, though — Carson Wentz blows apart the field in the first two categories and values some points in the third largest, and is the clear and self-evident All-KCW Quarterback for 2020. Wentz finished with -7 80 elapsing DYAR, worst in the conference and one of the 10 bad seasons in DVOA history. He was well on gait to at least break the Eagles' record of -9 62, set by Bobby Hoying in 1998, and had an outside chance at 2018 Josh Rosen's low-water mark of -1, 145 before being benched late in its first year. Wentz's -3 5.9% DVOA was the fifth-worst in autobiography among actors with at least 400 pass aims; “were having” rarely seen a passer gambling this poorly in such a large sample size. And, if you prefer classical stats, Wentz contributed the organization in both sacks and interceptions, the first player to draw away that double since 2015. On on-field performance alone, Wentz deserves this spot.

Carson Wentz pick-six

He conducts the NFL in INTs.

( via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/ xYBnJkA2Zj

— Bleacher Report (@ BleacherReport) November 22, 2020

To make things worse, Wentz did this on the back of signal a big expansion prior to the 2019 season. While his ceiling reached in 2020 wasn't anything specially grievous, it bags to roughly $35 million for next season and remains over $30 million the rest of the way. Wentz's extension has become an anchor around the team's neck, with the only way out this season being a post-June 1 market. Good luck getting anyone else to accept that contract, considering everything we wrote above about, y'know, one of the most serious seasons in NFL history.

Keeping Wentz on the roster isn't a loot, either. Wentz wasn't exhilarated with being benched for Jalen Hurts — reports from Albert Breer, among others, stress that Wentz is not happy with the idea of coming back for another season with the Eagles. The Philadelphia Inquirer came out with a piece describing Wentz's turbulent 2020 — fighting with ex-coach Doug Pederson, rebuffing admonition, and withstanding evaluation. Wentz supposedly rendered the Eagles' brass an ultimatum: either Pederson departs, or he'd publicly necessitate a swap. Best of luck to brand-new Eagles' coach Nick Sirianni, who has a difficult task in front of him getting his quarterback statu sorted before 2021.

Honorable mention goes to Dwayne Haskins — poor performance led to him being benched, and then poor performance and an unauthorized journey to a airstrip society during a pandemic contributed significantly to him being trimmed just before a playoff game where he would have been the projected starter. That kind of season would get you a win most years, but not this one. Also, Sam Darnold, you're off the hook this year because of the “Adam Gase was my head coach” excuse; that won't fly in 2021.

Running Back

Andrew: It's not David Johnson's fault that he was the makeweight in the DeAndre Hopkins trade — a market so shockingly bad and lopsided, it's difficult to come up with the title adjectives to describe it even a full season after it happened. That swap hurt the Texans franchise in so many behaviors, we still haven't seen the full forks more as the Deshaun Watson situation roars on.

Johnson was, nonetheless, the starting running back on the league's bad hastening offense by DVOA, with a ceiling pop of over $11 million. He wasn't the worst back on the Texans — that questionable reputation goes to namesake Duke — but David Johnson finished No. 23 in race DYAR and No. 24 in receiving DYAR among qualifiers as Houston's lead back. That is not atrocious, but it is nowhere near good enough to justify his price tag. Considering the participate he was swapped for finished third in receiving yards as the top target in Arizona, with a ceiling knock$ 4 million lower, perhaps no actor in the organization represents more negative value compared to what the team could have had instead. For that, if not for his own intrinsic significance( or need thereof ), Johnson is the All-KCW pick.

If you prefer your pick to represent unspeakable accomplishment on the field, you'll prefer the other Johnson from the Texans backfield. Duke Johnson's -1 17 DYAR approximately transcended rookie Joshua Kelley's league-worst -1 42 despite having less than 40% of the carry volume, as Johnson put up a certainly putrid -4 5.4% hastening DVOA. The Texans invested an horrific bunch of money and playing time trying to get Not Carlos Hyde to play like Carlos Hyde, instead of merely, you are well aware, re-signing Carlos Hyde for less fund. Somehow, that doesn't even utter the top 10 in the schedule of things they have done anything wrong in really the 2020 season. Sorry, Rivers.

Wide Receivers

Bryan: Speaking of franchise records that practically descended, A.J. Green's -1 73 receiving DYAR merely descends short of 2001 Peter Warrick's -1 80, and his -3 3.2% DVOA is less than a tenth off of 2015 John Ross. It would be very strange to see Green at the bottom of Bengals receiving records, considering his years of success for the right; he now has both the second-best and second-worst receiving years in franchise history, a doubled no other participate can parallel. Green has lost all ability to get open — he still occasionally evidences some twinkles of his old self by making raced catches, but the majority of members of his catches end up being contested because any cornerback worth his salt can keep up with Green nowadays. He had a league-worst average separation of really 1.7 grounds, per Next Gen Stats. It is possible Green's clashes are in part due to an extended recovery from the ankle gash which penalty him the 2019 season, and I'm sure some squad will give him a prove-it deal to see if he can return to his old form. After a year like 2020, consider us doubtful.

Andrew: Our second receiver picking is principally nominated for two standout minutes, both coming against this writer's favorite team. Accepts backup Javon Wims was basically the definition of a replacement-level player in his third season: his -1 3.3% DVOA worked out to -1 DYAR. The 2018 seventh-rounder won't be remembered for any of that, though. He'll be remembered for these two instants, both against the Saints 😛 TAGEND

Javon Wims has been spewed from the game for punching Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. But on another tone, Janoris Jenkins (# 20) was playing no sports about protecting his teammate #Saints #Bears #NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/ qkfVVRT2Zi

— Double Take Sports (@ dbltakesports) November 1, 2020

Wims with the descent pic.twitter.com/ vJsrx3dwUK

— NFL Stats (@ NFL_Stats) January 10, 2021

The first of those, during the regular season, was instrumental in a 15 -yard penalty and Wims' ejection. Nick Foles propelled a critical interception on the resultant second-and-2 0, in a game the Bears lost on an overtime field goal. Wims was then suspended for the team's next two tournaments. He was back in time for the playoffs though, during which he represented a season-high 88% of cracks … and had the critical drop of a subterfuge participate that would have restrained the game in the first quarter. Wims didn't play enough to actively harm the team during the regular season. When these are his two standout dallies, it's easy to see why.

Bryan: For our third receiver, we'll toss the ball over to Pittsburgh, where … oh, shoot, Diontae Johnson plummeted it. Johnson remains rousing with the ball in his hands, but he had significant agitate get the ball into his hands this year; he headed the organization with 16 drops-off per SIS charting, the first receiver to average a decline video games since 2015. Slips in and of themselves aren't a guarantee to be on this list; Tyreek Hill was third with 11 quits and he's one of the most dynamic actors in football. But to lead the organization in lowers with an average depth of target of time 8.0 yards, had contributed to 23 flunked receipts? That's KCW material — more so than Johnson's 88 catches, 923 yards, or seven touchdowns would conduct you to believe. We did consider Jerry Jeudy for this third slit, as he was just two sags behind Johnson and with a slightly worse DYAR and DVOA. In the end, we're giving him a pass for being a rookie, and having Drew Lock and friends shedding him progresses rather than the ghost of Ben Roethlisberger.

Andrew: Before we move on, I should add one note. Some of you are eligible to justifiably have expected to find Will Fuller in this category, having been suspended under the league PED policy during the best season of his occupation. You may also be expecting to see Bradley Roby and/ or A.J. Bouye in the cornerbacks category( spoiler-not-spoiler ). We've consciously bided away from the players involved in that PED case, following reports that they are suing a medical professional as the purposes of the adjournments. We cannot and dare not draw firm opinions while there's a lawsuit involved, so we're steering well clear.

Tight End

Bryan: Eric Ebron and Zach Ertz started head-to-head at the bottom of our DYAR tables — it was a bad year for Pennsylvania tight extremities. Ertz made the bottom by our stats; catching fewer than half your elapses and averaging fewer than 10 gardens per receipt is the kind of low-ceiling, low-floor performance that does you noticed 'round these percentages. However, Ertz has more apologies than Ebron does. The Eagles' receiving corps( and, frankly, the roster as a whole) was beaten up this season, allowing justifications to focus on Ertz, and he too had Carson Wentz's ghastly time under hub resolved with. Ebron has an argument of his own — he had more ceases than Ertz did, a number of problems which has beset him throughout his occupation. He likewise was less of a factor in the extend recreation; Ertz is, in theory, the better blocker.

Those self-justifications really aren't enough to cover the 60 -DYAR gap between Ertz and Ebron. Nor can we only accused Wentz for Ertz's poor performance; Ertz had a -3 4.2% DVOA when targeted by Wentz, but a -4 4.2% DVOA when targeted by Jalen Hurts. Ertz too boasted the highest cap collision in the conference in 2020, and when you marry the largest cap hit with the lowest DYAR, you really have to be sure that the surrounding circumstances are severe enough if you're going to look abroad. Put it this direction: Ertz averaged just 4.7 gardens per target this season, the worst total for any receiver in the conference in 2020 and the most difficult total for a close-fisted dissolve since Levine Toilolo had 4.4 in 2014. You'd expect a $12.5 -million musician to be more than a little better than a glorified sixth offensive lineman.

Offensive Tackles

Andrew: As a general principles, we prefer to avoid picking rookies in the All-KCW team. The transition from college to the professional game is tough, and some people simply won't move the rush in any or all of athleticism, proficiency, mentality, or execution. Nonetheless, both of our All-KCW tackles are rookies, and they are here for very different reasons.

Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas was the top choice at its own position in April's draft, opted No. 4 overall. Every other attack in the top 20 outshone him: Tristan Wirfs was one of the best right tackles in the tournament in 2020, Mekhi Becton and Jedrick Wills also look like franchise cornerstones, and Austin Jackson appears to have more than adequately changed Laremy Tunsil in Miami despite losing one part of his rookie year to an October foot injury. Thomas, meanwhile, blew more blocks than any other left tackle, held for the tournament leading in blow pass blocks, and allowed 12 sackings in 15 starts. It's not that he was especially bad in isolation — we could argue that Jacksonville's Cam Robinson deserves the distinguish for the worst year of his professional career — but Thomas represents so much better lost potential compared to the rest of his class.

That said, Thomas' performance editions sallow in comparison to the first-round tackle not included above. Titans rookie first-round pick Isaiah Wilson dallied precisely four crackings in his entry season: three kneeldowns on pique and one extra degree on special squads, all in week 12 against the Colts. Wilson was not disabled, as you might expect for a rookie first-round undertake who didn't make it onto the field. Instead, he made headlines for a series of off-field irreverences and an on-off relationship with the league's Reserve/ COVID inventory. Before the season even started, Wilson had violated the tournament COVID policy by attending a party at Tennessee State University, where he was caught trying to flee over a second-story balcony. On September 11, he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, reportedly recording over 13 meters the commonwealth restriction on his breathalyzer while doing “donuts” in a traffic intersection. Following his appearance against the Colts, the Titan announced that Wilson would be suspended during Week 13 against Cleveland for contravening crew governs. They then targeted him on the modesty/ non football illness list on December 9. Already, Wilson looks like he has no future in Tennessee: he appears to be the draft bust to end all draft busts. When questioned about Wilson, Mike Vrabel offered the following reply 😛 TAGEND

“I can't comment on Isaiah. I wouldn't even begin to be able to eloquently have an answer for you.”

So that's reassuring.

Offensive Guards

Bryan: We could have smacked off early and positioned the part Chargers offensive argument here, as all five primary starters ranged from good to horrid. At least four of the five Los Angeles linemen who started at least half the season would make sense now, and frankly, we'd hear assertions for Bryan Bulaga as well. Trai Turner and Sam Tevi( and, for that are important, Trey Pipkins) are all solid selects, but we're going to doubled down on the ward now to represent the SuperChargers. Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney restrained for the league result at polouse with 32 blow blocks apiece. Yes, Feeney played about half the season at hub, so it's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. But frankly, we considered Feeney for the starting center role as well, so we're fine not separating hairs here.

Lamp started all 16 activities for the first time in his career after overcoming two seasons of knee hurts, and while his comeback is a good story, his toy simply was not. Feeney has started each of the last three seasons and has been in consideration for the KCW team each and every year. It can be hard to dole out credit and denounced when an part thread is struggling — the Chargers were 29 th in adjusted line grounds this season — but the Chargers were worst when they were flowing up the gut. With both sets of gentlemen frisking 16 recreations on the interior of the line, they can share credit here as they get blown 5 yards off the ball.

Center

Andrew: Wait, another rookie? I'm afraid so. For a variety of reasons, 2020 was an especially challenging year for rookie participates … and an especially especially challenging year for rookie offense linemen. Lloyd Cushenberry was a third-round pick thrust into the Broncos' starting lineup at middle. He might have been the single worst purposed starting actor( i.e ., not an injury or opt-out replacement) in the tournament in 2020. It doesn't matter what statistic you look at for Cushenberry: he countenanced more sackings than any other center, blew more pass blocks and more moved blocks than any other center, and allowed the second-most materials of any centre( behind onetime Broncos starter Matt Paradis , now in Carolina ). The Broncos had the worst adjusted order gardens at mid/ protect of any unit, yet loped nearly half of their race plays in that direction. Cushenberry couldn't generate push in the extend competition and couldn't hold up in the pass competition. Hopefully, that is a result of the difficult circumstances and transition in 2020, and he will improve with a full offseason in 2021. If not, this could be a very difficult spot for the Broncos next time out.

Defense

Edge Rushers

Andrew: Former NFL sack leader and Falcons shape rusher Vic Beasley was the Titans' headline addition during the major section of free agency, indicating a $9.5 -million contract to start inverse the emerging Harold Landry. The questions started when he didn't show up for training camp, with no reason given by either the actor or the franchise. When Beasley eventually did is an indication, he underperformed, recording only three solo attacks , no sackings, and not even a single pass influence on 125 cracks across his first five games. Per SIS, Beasley was the only player with more than 27 pass-rush snaps but no persuades. The Titans eventually liberated Beasley and the Thief ratified him. He had no sacks for them either, and only one undertake in over 60 sounds on defense.

The Titans struggled to generate pressure all season, recording a league-low 14 sacks. With 5.5 of those, Landry was the only back-eight defender to outstrip even a single sacking. Jadeveon Clowney likewise had no bags on a big contract, but he at least managed 19 tackles and six press, and he bypassed the off-field headaches that peppered Beasley's time in Nashville. Derrick Roberson had no sackings on 151 pass rushing clicks, the third-lowest pressure rate among linebackers with at least 100 pass rush attempts. The crew Beasley then affiliated, Las Vegas, finished second-last with time 15 bags. Beasley's lack of product, allied to his off-field controversies, trump all up-and-comers. At $2.5 million each, we sure hope those three solo tackles were worth it.

Staying in the AFC South, Houston's Whitney Mercilus had a top-2 0 salary ceiling flesh among fringe rushers. Mercilus has long been paid like an nobility advantage rusher, but he has always been an ancillary part: a player who is just good enough to take advantage of the additional notice being devoted to J.J. Watt. He was not that in 2020: Houston finished No. 29 in defensive DVOA, and despite 12 starts Mercilus' 21 defensive continues( totaling all undertakes, succumbs defensed, interceptions, and fumble convalescences) were not enough to qualify for our main defensive stats table. Mercilus had 4.0 sacks, but only 10 total pushes. He induced merely two led wins all year, and his average run tackle came 3.7 yards downfield. He missed a terrifying 19.2% of his attacks, per Pro Football Reference, or an the worst 25.9% if you prefer SIS charting. His pressure rate of 8.1% was seventh-worst among primary margin rushers, and he is inadequate to bat down even a single pass.

Mercilus' main rival for this spot, incidentally, was Green Bay's Preston Smith, and it's remarkable how similar their stats are: 4.0 bags apiece, four knockdowns versus five, 22 adversities versus 23, a slightly worse pressing frequency for Smith. What launches them apart is tackling, and perhaps hence product in the feed activity: Smith had five led demolishes on 312 moves, whereas Mercilus had only two on 249. Both were highly paid advantage rushers, amongst the top 20 at the position. Neither embraced himself in glory in 2020.

Interior Linemen

Bryan: Jaleel Johnson is a pure stat pick. Jackson's average tackle in the drain play came 3.9 gardens downfield, worst of any defensive attack with at least 20 extended dallies. Ideally, you'd like to tackle running backs when they're in the backfield , not when they're trying to stutter-step around linebackers. Simply 51% of Johnson's run undertakes were stops, which helped contribute to Minnesota's 31 st-place power success rates on security — full credit to Johnson for not quitting on plays, but the issue is terrible figures. Whether Johnson was the worst run defender in football or not is a theme of debate — and my honoured peer is about to introduce you to another passing nominee — but Johnson dallied 650 cracks for the Vikings this year, starting every play. It's hard to point to another linemen who put up anything near as poverty-stricken as Johnson's play while still being given so many opportunities to hurt his squad. To is equitable, the program was for Michael Pierce to fasten the blot Johnson ended up taking over, and the Vikings didn't have a great option once Pierce opted out of the 2020 season.

Andrew: Simply six actors represented more moved snaps than Jaleel Johnson. Nobody did less with more opportunities than he did. However, somewhat adjust the parameters above from 20 operated play-acts to either 10 undertakes or 100 sounds on raced justification, and Johnson no longer has the worst average tackle depth of any defensive tackle. That questionable honor goes to Ross Blacklock of the Houston Texans, whose 14 undertakes came an average of 4.4 grounds downfield. A single pass win improves the above figures: his average run tackle came an appalling 5.1 grounds downfield. For a defensive tackle. A chiefly run-stopping defensive attack, at that. Blacklock may have been the worst run-defending defensive tackle to earn regular playing time in 2020, but his negative impact is limited because he only frisked 243 clicks, approximately a fourth of the team's total. We can do better.

Only one unit affiliated the Vikings in allowing more than 5.0 grounds per carry on carries labelled mid/ protector: the division-rival Detroit Lions. The Lions also had the worst pass defense in the organization, in no tiny responsibility thanks to a near-total absence of interior pressure. Veteran Nick Williams, former Patriots free-agent addition Danny Shelton, and rookie John Penisini compounded for really three sacks, with Penisini in particular recording the lowest pass pressure rate of any defensive lineman with at least 100 pass rushing cracks. Penisini likewise missed 14.6% of his attack struggles, fourth-most of any starting defensive tackle. Shelton and Williams did at least contribute a handful of pass stress each to even up for their failings against the run. Penisini has no such mitigation. His inclusion now may be a bigger indictment of the Lions instructing staff and front office than himself, but soul from this interior line needs to be here, and the unfortunate rookie was the worst of the lot.

Linebackers

Andrew: The AFC South may have been one of the four disagreements that send multiple teams to the postseason, but the other two teams were many stages of junk volley depending on the exact rank group under consideration. The Texans have a disproportionately huge amount of salary invested in two inside linebackers: our first campaigner is our third member of that dealership, and likewise the third-highest compensated inside linebacker in the NFL. Zach Cunningham does not rank third in end tackles, however — he has the lead in that statistic all to himself. Among linebackers with at least 20 pass targets, simply Danny Trevathan gave more than Cunningham's 9.7 gardens per target. Cunningham had problems with misdirection and flow fits all season, as is clear from his starring role in this Derrick Henry 94 -yard touchdown. Compounding affairs, the Texans had the second-worst defensive DVOA against tight intents, the primary coverage responsibility of the modern linebacker. A valuable illusion IDP option thanks to his inflated tackle total, Cunningham is far from the worst linebacker in the league, but both his payment and that of Benardrick McKinney enormously outweigh their significance, and the net effect is a significant negative for the Texans.

Our second nomination was initially another actor from the AFC South, Jacksonville's high-profile free-agent addition Joe Schobert. However, one other free-agent linebacker excels Schobert's shortcoming of contribution to Jacksonville's lack of excellence. Corey Littleton signed a big deal in free busines to join the glitzy Las Vegas Raiders. They were honored with a whole lot of good-for-nothing. Littleton had no sacks or quarterback knockdowns. He did not have an interception, a forced fumble, or a fumble recovery. He had just been one pass deflection and two shown distress. He had only four tackles for a loss and eight routs. Littleton did record 82 tackles, but he too missed a further eight for a pace of 10. 0 %. Littleton has a top-1 5 inside linebacker contract compensating him $11.75 million per year. His contribution to the Raiders did not live up to that in Year 1.

Cornerbacks

Bryan: Byron Jones signed a five-year contract with Miami this offseason, originating him the fifth-highest paid cornerback in football. It is safe to say that, so far, that has not worked out as well as the Dolphins might have hoped. Jones admitted 10. 6 gardens per target and 17.6 yards per ending, both bad among starting cornerbacks in 2020. His two interceptions are misinforming; he gave a profession low-spirited with simply three pass breakups and 42 undertakes and bind his career high with 10 cracked and missed undertakes, and his 82.5% deserved catch percentage was the highest SIS has recorded for him as well. Now, to be fair, some of those high norm figures come from the fact that resisting quarterbacks were more likely to challenge Xavien Howard or Eric Rowe; Jones had just 73 targets per Sportradar. But when he was targeted, Jones gave up far too much for someone of his caliber and paycheck. I'd expect him to bounce back next season, but those are not figures you want to see out of your $82.5 -million man.

Andrew: Our fourth are part of the Texans came down to a toss-up between Phillip Gaines and eventual win Vernon Hargreaves. Houston ranked in the bottom quarter of DVOA defense against all categories of pass catcher( FO+ compelled ): No. 1 receivers, No. 2 receivers, “other” wide receivers, running back, and close-fisted extremities. Gaines was probably the worse of the two participates, allowing 9.6 gardens per target and five touchdowns on 28 targets, but Hargreaves was the musician foes targeted over and over and over: he was targeted 84 days for 763 grounds, the second-highest total in the conference behind Tennessee's Malcolm Butler. Hargreaves let 9.1 yards per target, broke up merely six members of those moves, and snagged simply a lone interception. His 72 undertakes confined for 11 th-most among cornerbacks, but that is not a good thing: broadly speaking, you demand a starting cornerback to stop extends from nearing completion , not tackle receivers after the facts of the case. Even there, Hargreaves under-performed: he missed 13.3% of his tackle attempts. Unlike Houston's linebacker pair, at least Hargreaves was inexpensive, but the onetime Buccaneers first-rounder has not lived up to his drawing status in either of his two professional stops so far.

Bryan: LeShaun Sims should be a nickel or dime package musician, and not the participate with “the worlds largest” targets for Cincinnati's defense. Well, defending quarterbacks know how to scent out a weak spot when they appreciate one, and Sims was a flashing target all year long. Sims was credited with giving up a league-worst eight touchdowns, contribute further to a 136.8 quarterback rating allowed in coverage, bad in the league among cornerbacks who started at least eight recreations. But it wasn't exactly big participates that Sims “ve been given”, oh no — Sportradar plotted Sims with admitting an 81.1% attainment charge, the worst among starting cornerbacks. SIS, which supplements in declines to create a deserved catch percentage, leans Sims at 92.5%, which was … third-worst among starting cornerbacks. I guess he couldn't have won them all.

Safeties

Andrew: It's tough to believe we have impelled it this far with exclusively honorable mentions from a Jaguars roster that earned the No. 1 overall collect thanks in gigantic persona to the No. 31 DVOA defense. We shall go no further! Onetime Packers and Cowboys safety Josh Jones started 13 recreations for the Jaguars in 2020, and he was one of the worst starting securities in the conference. Allowing 80% of targets to be completed is bad in its own right, but per SIS charting, all six incompletions should have been caught: Jones did not deflect a single pass flip his course. Jones had just one pass overthrow: an interception that was tip-off into his hands, and he fell another tipped interception. The Jaguars had the third-worst defensive DVOA against tighten results and allowed the third-worst rate of open field yards by our own adjusted line yards metrics. Though at least his contract didn't bring the team down, Jones was the most difficult regular starter on the league's second-worst defense. It would be a surprise to see him return as a starter in 2021.

Bryan: Earl Thomas gets the other award now for punching his way out of the organization, a abrupt and rapid fall from grace for the All-2 010 s Team safety. Thomas was cut by the Ravens with a “conduct detrimental” tag, dedicated for a trendline of repeated irreverences and, yes, Thomas' 2020 offseason certainly qualifies. The triggering incident was a fight with teammate Chuck Clark, but the fight itself was the flashpoint after two years of missed meetings and justifies contributed significantly to mental corrects on the practice field. The Ravens had fined Thomas multiple times for his lackadaisical approach to timekeeping, and they transport him residence after he came here blows with Clark. Thomas then attempted to defend himself on Instagram, which riled up members of the Ravens Leadership Council, a group of ex-servicemen within the team considered to be the team presidents. That was enough for the Ravens to give him his walking papers. That and an ongoing saga with his now ex-wife involving cheating, drunken frenzies, and a gun, was apparently enough to scare away any other NFL units interested in adding the former superstar, and whether his profession will continue in any form at this point is yet to be determined.

Special Teams

Kicker

Andrew: This life is full of atrocious errands that nobody wants to do, but person has to. Miner. Sewage worker. Crime scene cleaner. Vikings kicker is fast becoming the NFL equivalent. From Blair Walsh's playoff miss through to the present day, Minnesota humbly permitted Buccaneers-level misfortune during the mid-to-late 2010 s. Even the heretofore reliable Dan Bailey fell victim in 2020. During one particularly grievous stretching in early December, Bailey missed six of eight kickings against the Jaguars and Buccaneers. The nadir was that Buccaneers game, in which Bailey went 0-for-4 on three field goals and an extra point at Raymond James Stadium. He recovered to oblige 13 of his 16 kicks in Weeks 15 to 17, but the Vikings still finished rock-bottom in our measure of field goal and extra top appraise, behind even the notoriously cursed Chargers.

Punter

Bryan: The Chargers managed to put up -3 7.8 qualities of punt ethic this year, roughly three times as bad as any other team in 2020 and the worst total in DVOA history. To have outcomes THAT bad takes an entire team effort, but we don't feel we're painting Ty Long with very unfeeling a brush by singling him out and placing him on this squad. The league-leading three blocked punts weren't all his omission, but the league-worst 34.1 net punting norm was more his doing. Long had 37 punts returned, third-most in the league — and he only punted 57 terms. He wasn't forcing fair catches( really eight ), or pinning them inside the 20( just 12 ), or knocking it high enough to give his crew time to run down and down it( simply four ). Partially because of these inadequate punts, Chargers adversaries started, on average at their own 31.7 -yard line, second-worst in the organization.

Returners

Andrew: Kickoff returning is a dying art, and we are to be able to soon have to retire this category absent genuinely terrible Josh Huff-level atrocities against the artistry of special crews. Exclusively 13 musicians are eligible for the official kickoff return leaderboard, with its cutoff of 20 kickings returned. Our own representations devote Brandon Powell of the Atlanta Falcons the name of bad returner, whereas Boston Scott was the worst of those 13 qualifiers. The Jaguars had the worst kickoff return digits in our special squads metrics, and Tennessee's Kalif Raymond had the lowest average return distance of any participate with at least 10 commencement returns. We eventually settled on Brandon Powell, as the most difficult of the mas in our people. This was not a vintage year for commencement return disasters.

Bryan: The worst punt returner by our numbers was Steven Sims. With -6. 7 moments of punt return appraise, Sims was the worst returner on Washington, the worst returning team in the league. Sims succeeded precisely 6.7 gardens per return, with a long of 22. That's not to say he had no highlight dallies, mind you — he muffed three punts, one of them had contributed to a Carolina touchdown. It got to the point where Ron Rivera had to come out in a medium seminar and be acknowledged that if Washington had a better alternative, they would go to it. That's not exactly the strongest endorsement for Sims impeding the job in 2021.

Coaches and Ownership

Owner

Andrew: We don't often pick building owners for the All-Keep Choppin' Wood Team. Most years, we don't even establish a thought to it. Even the Jerry Richardsons and Jerry Joneses of this world generally don't botch things seriously enough to earn All-KCW consideration.

2020 was not most years. The Houston Texans are likely to be the worst-run right in American professional boasts. Let's recap what Cal McNair has done 😛 TAGEND

In April, 2019, McNair hired “character development coach” and former youth rector Jack Easterby away from the Patriots to work in the Texans' player personnel department. By January of 2020, Easterby was in charge of football operations at the Texans following the dismissal of onetime general manager Brian Gaine and Easterby's rapid ascent through “the organizations activities”. In time of 2020, Easterby and GM/ leader tutor Bill O'Brien transactions away stellar receiver DeAndre Hopkins, disturbing a significant portion of the locker apartment and fanbase, including starting quarterback Deshaun Watson. In October, the team dismissed O'Brien and appointed Easterby as interim GM. The crew finished 4-12. Easterby is now the team's Executive Vice President of Football Operation. McNair promised ace quarterback Deshaun Watson that he would be involved in the team's search for a brand-new chief manager and general manager. He then made Nick Caserio, a former peer of Easterby at the Patriots, as GM without consulting with Watson. Watson, feeling betrayed, have already had requested a craft. The Texans have an aging, expensive listing and no fee drawing selects to restock it. David Culley, the onetime manager of one of the league's bad wide receiver detachments in Baltimore, is now their new pate tutor. Followers are actively boycotting the team.

It's legitimately difficult to think of a lane an owner could clamp such a situation up more, short of selling everything and migrating to London overnight. The Texans are run by a motivational speaker, the owner has created a mess that nobody seems to know how to fix, one of the best young quarterbacks in the athletic doesn't want to play for them anymore, and they have no draft collects or cap infinite to rebuild a roster that only propelled them to 4-12.

Sorry, Rivers.

General Manager

Andrew: In a ordinary year, the worst general manager in the conference would be Jacksonville's Dave Caldwell, who made a squad that reached the AFC Championship Game in 2017, prioritized all the wrong aspects of that success, and systematically abolished it to a deserved 1-15 three seasons later.

This was not a normal time. Bill O'Brien was appointed Texans general manager, officially, last-place January. In that edict, Cal McNair mentioned that the Texans had already been operating that highway for most of the previous eight months. Some foregrounds from that time 😛 TAGEND

The Texans transactions perform shape rusher Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks for Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo, and a third-round pick. They transactions the third-round pick to the Raiders for Gareon Conley. They sold Duane Brown to the Seahawks, then sold the farm to Miami for a direct replacing in Laremy Tunsil. They also transactions valuable pickings for Kenny Stills and Duke Johnson, two bit-part participates. They sold DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the best veteran wide receiver in the tournament, to Arizona for another running back( David Johnson ), a second-round pick, and a fourth-round pick. Theys spent a heap of fund on their own aging veterans such as Whitney Mercilus and Zach Cunningham while trading away any resources they could use to replace those ex-servicemen. They started 4-12 anyway, and O'Brien was fired.

Whoops.

Head Coach

Bryan: Our head coach is a repeat! Last year, we called Adam Gase to lead our team to greatness, and wouldn't you know it, we got to get creating him back for a second go-round. That, apparently, will work out better for us than it did for the New York Jets, and particularly for Airplane followers. They were singing for Gase's head before the 2020 season began, and to watch other teams move on from their atrocious tutors as early as September, while Gase stood firmly on the sidelines, had to be infuriating.

Gase finishes his Jets occupation with a 9-23 record. The so-called offensive guru never experienced the New York pique surpass a -2 0.0% DVOA; the quarterback whisperer unable to get anything out of Sam Darnold. If anything, Darnold regressed under Gase's tutelage, and when your visiting card, the reason you have a head coaching job in the first place, is your work with quarterbacks, that's a strike you simply will never be able to recover from.

Gase alienated arguably his team's best musician, with Jamal Adams demanding a commerce out of town. That was just the start to a terrible season which read, in no particular order 😛 TAGEND

Gase declared that the offense was about to go into “hyperdrive” after an 0-3 start. The Plane would go on to average simply 10.0 moments over their next six sports. To is equitable, Gase never said which attitude his squad would be hyperdriving in. Against Denver, Gase sent both Sam Darnold and Mekhi Becton into the game after clearly being injured. Because, of course, what you want to do with your franchise quarterback and left tackle is expose them to as many potential long-term traumata as possible. Gase tried to obfuscate whether he or offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was calling represents, claiming that continuing that as a mystery would create a competitive advantage. Considering the aforementioned -2 0.5% offensive DVOA, I'm not sure the identity of the man calling the atrocious frisks certainly mattered too much in the long run.

And, of course, the worst blow of all? After an 0-13 start, Gase actually managed to coach his lane to two triumphs in New York's last three games, costing them the top drawing pick and Trevor Lawrence. Because even when Gase acquires, his team's devotees lose.

Offensive Coordinator

Bryan: Three offenses finished with an offensive DVOA worse than -2 0.0% in 2020. We previously talked about Adam Gase above, and Scott Turner in Washington had to deal with multiple quarterback gashes and significant turnover. So we're leaning on Pat Shurmur, who took over as Denver's offensive coordinator this season and saw their offensive DVOA fall from -1 1.3% to -2 0.3% in his first time on the job. Suffice to say that Drew Lock did not take a significant step forward under Shurmur's tutelage. Lock seems lost in Shurmur's offense, and it often felt like the team precisely wasn't on the same page. A byproduct of not having a regular offseason to work? Perhaps, but Shurmur's play selection doesn't inspire confidence going forward. He sparingly works play-action even though the Broncos' offense met their gardens per play increase significantly with PA in the concoction. The Broncos believe they have a number of young, dynamic playmakers, but Shurmur's offense doesn't seem designed to maximize any of them. The Broncos offense looked the most wonderful when trailing large-scale, forcing them to throw out the regular playbook and guide an up-tempo offense, hitherto Shurmur never tried to bring any of that late-game philosophy to his general onslaught strategy. Some accommodations — both in-game and overall — would seem to be in order for 2021.

Defensive Coordinator

Andrew: When the Dallas Cowboys moved on from Jason Garrett, they hoped that the move would allow them to escape their recent trend of postseason mortification following a solid regular season. It did, but not quite the room they imagined. Quarterback Dak Prescott broke his ankle in October, which chiefly wrote off their season. However, that likewise stole attending from the fact that brand-new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was coaching a talented justification to a terrible performance: the Cowboys granted 34 or more points five times in the first six recreations, including 49 to the Cleveland Browns and 39 to the Atlanta Falcons. Things colonized down a little after that, but the Cowboys still sagged from league median to No. 23 in security, and still granted over 33 sites three times in the final six competitions — against Washington, San Francisco, and Baltimore, who the hell just resounding foes at the time. The Cowboys finished with their first losing record since drafting Prescott, and Nolan was not retained.

Special Teams Coordinator

Bryan: George Stewart was the Chargers' special crews coordinator for four seasons, from 2017 to 2020. In those four years, the Chargers special squads have raised 😛 TAGEND

-4 6.1 sites of field goal/ added point quality, bad in the conference -17.1 degrees of kickoff ethic, second-worst in the tournament -10.4 degrees of outset return evaluate, fourth-worst in the conference -62.8 levels of punt appraise, worst in the tournament 0.4 phases of punt return cost.

Well, at least he figured out how to be average in one category. It must be said that the Chargers have been the worst special crews in the conference during Stewart's tenure. Stewart was removed from his pole in November, ceasing one of the least successful special squads ranges we can remember. Consider this a lifetime achievement award.

Scramble's 2020 All-KCW Team

Offense Defense Special Teams

QB Carson Wentz PHI DT Jaleel Johnson MIN K Dan Bailey MIN RB David Johnson HOU DT John Penisini DET P Ty Long LAC WR A.J. Green CIN ER Vic Beasley TEN KR Braxton Berrios NYJ WR Javon Wims CHI ER Whitney Mercilus HOU PR Steven Sims WAS

WR Diontae Johnson PIT LB Zach Cunningham HOU Staff

TE Zach Ertz PHI LB Corey Littleton LV OW Cal McNair HOU

LT Andrew Thomas NYG CB Byron Jones MIA GM Bill O'Brien HOU LG Forrest Lamp LAC CB Vernon Hargreaves HOU HC Adam Gase NYJ

C Lloyd Cushenberry DEN CB LeShaun Sims CIN OC Pat Shurmur DEN

RG Dan Feeney LAC S Josh Jones JAX DC Mike Nolan DAL

RT Isaiah Wilson TEN S Earl Thomas BAL ST George Stewart LAC

Playoff Fantasy Update

Bryan: With the Proposals losing in the AFC Championship Game, this is not a blowout! We still have a race going into Sunday's action.

2020 Staff Playoff Fantasy Challenge

Scott Dave Aaron Andrew Vince Bryan QB Patrick Mahomes 52.9 Russell

Wilson 19.7 Aaron

Rodgers 55.8 Josh

Allen 79.35 Tom

Brady 68 Drew

Brees 26.45 RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire 7.7 J.K.

Dobbins 23 Ronald

Jones 7.8 Chris

Carson 9.2 Derrick

Henry 8.1 Alvin

Kamara 33.1 RB Cam Akers 44.2 Nick

Chubb 33.8 Jonathan

Taylor 16.4 Devin

Singletary 18.7 Aaron

Jones 24 Latavius

Murray 10 WR Michael Thomas 18.3 DK

Metcalf 26.6 Tyreek

Hill 46.1 Stefon

Diggs 54.1 A.J.

Brown 20.3 Davante

Adams 43.3 WR Marquise Brown 32.5 Antonio

Brown 16.2 Mike

Evans 39.3 Chris

Godwin 42.9 Tyler

Lockett 6.3 Emmanuel

Sanders 13.1 WR Diontae Johnson 22.7 T.Y.

Hilton 5.2 Marquez

Valdes-Scantling 28.8 Cole

Beasley 28.5 JuJu

Smith-Schuster 34.7 Chase

Claypool 22.9 TE Mark Andrews 14.9 Travis

Kelce 61.7 Jared

Cook 13.8 Rob

Gronkowski 6.3 Robert

Tonyan 22.2 Eric

Ebron 19.2 K Justin Tucker 17 Mason

Crosby 16 Harrison

Butker 22 Jason

Myers 14 Tyler

Bass 36 Wil

Lutz 12 DEF Rams 9 Saint -3 Chiefs 6 Statute 8 Buccaneers 13 Steelers -5

TOT 219.2 199.2 236 261.05 232.6 175.05

Bryan: Had the Bills earned, Andrew would be running away with this thing. As it is, a 25 -point lead, plus Chris Godwin( and what little Rob Gronkowski has been able to provide this postseason ), is a more-than-solid spot to be in. However, by losing so many of his participates, he has left the door open for Aaron to have a come-from-behind victory. Boasting both Tyreek Hill and Mike Evans , not to mention Harrison Butker scooping up sites on Chiefs touchdowns, Aaron is set for a high-scoring game of his own. If every player left alive ratings the same number of spots they have been averaging this postseason, Aaron would come out on top by 12 times. Either way, I would imagine your advocate will be one of those two teams.

Vince and Scott still have a chance, as they boast the two starting quarterbacks in video games, but the exact contexts likely using them on the outside looking in. Scott is 41.85 moments behind Andrew. Patrick Mahomes has only had two competitions in his occupation where he valued greater than that, most recently his 385 -yard, four-touchdown, one-rushing-touchdown day against Baltimore. The likelihood of Clyde Edwards-Helaire catching a touchdown pass or two does utter catching Andrew more likely as it stands now, but apparently, both Andrew and Aaron will pick up moments of their own. Plus, Scott would have to avoid Mahomes-to-Tyreek Hill points to fix the comeback. A same reasoning weighs against Vince — he's not as far down, but his Tom Brady is deadened somewhat by Evans, Godwin, and Gronkowski on squads ahead of him. It's not impossible for either team to catch up, but I wouldn't count on it.

Dave still has Travis Kelce and Antonio Brown, so he has a chance in a nature where Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert throw five or six touchdown elapses each to his people. I can't even say that much, as I'm guaranteed last region with no musicians remaining.

Best of the Rest

Bryan: Seven crews have a mathematical shot at victory, but this is basically turning into a runaway for ARandom. Not only does he have a 45 -point lead over the rest of the competition, he still boasts extending scorer Leonard Fournette, leading available kicker Ryan Succop, and Mecole Hardman, who hasn't been too shabby himself. It would take a minor supernatural for him not to prevail at this point.

Who are the six who could still theoretically catch him? In order from closest to furthest behind, “were having” 😛 TAGEND

Surebrec( 186.35 moments, down by 63.2 ). Surebrec shares Fournette and Succop with ARandom, and replaces Hardman with Sammy Watkins and Darrel Williams. Last-place season, Watkins had a nine-catch, 198 -yard, three-touchdown day against the Jaguars, so he has some explosive potential on his bench, and Watkins is expected to manufacture his postseason entry in the Super Bowl. Add a daytime like that to a multiple-touchdown day from Williams, who has done it before, and we could have a massive unnerve. AlecB( 182.85 items down by 66.7 ). AlecB shares Succop with ARandom and lends Williams, Watkins, and Cameron Brate. So, take Surebrec's scenario, contributed in both Hardman and Fournette make nothing in the Super Bowl, and leave Brate a touchdown receipt of his own, and you have AlecB's path to victory. This seems outstandingly least likely. BearGoggles( 177.15 parts, down by 72.4 ). BearGoggles shares Succop with ARandom and then has Scotty Miller. The highest orchestrating imagination day in NFL history was Jerry Rice's 65.5 -point day in 1990 — 13 receipts, 225 yards, and five touchdowns. So, all Miller has to do is be better than that, while all of ARandom's participates take a day off. No sweat. Andrew( 164.3 qualities, down by 85.25 ). Andrew shares Fournette with ARandom, and has Miller and Watkins. At least he has two receivers to share the load! Basmati( 142.95 points, down by 106.6 ). Basmati only has DeMarcus Robinson still active. Robinson has 2.4 pitches this postseason. MGilson86( 135.15 sites, down by 114.4 ). MGilson shares Succop and Hardman with ARandom, and then has Watkins, Robinson, and Le'Veon Bell remaining. The actuality that his crew is comparatively unique is why he's still alive. The fact that his squad is comparatively ghastly is why he's over 100 tops down.

For those who precisely want to do well, and don't care about necessarily earning, here are the top five 😛 TAGEND

ARandom: 249.55( Leonard Fournette, Mecole Hardman, and Ryan Succop remaining) Bronco Jeff: 203.85( Leonard Fournette and Ryan Succop remaining) EdHoliday: 192.65( Ryan Succop remaining) Eddo: 191.75( Leonard Fournette, Mecole Hardman, and Ryan Succop remaining) Surebrec: 186.35( Leonard Fournette, Darrel Williams, and Sammy Watkins remaining)

Weekly Awards

Keep Choppin' Wood

Green Bay's wide receivers were a number of problems all time, for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is lowerings: Marquez Valdes-Scantling's 11.1% put frequency is the highest among starting receivers( per Sports Info Solutions ), and among Green Bay's top four wide receivers exclusively Davante Adams has a drop rate under 10%. Per The Athletic's Mike Sando, the Packers lost 643 yards and seven touchdowns to fells this year — shockingly, numerals that represented a huge improvement from 2019 ‘s 1,281 grounds and 15 touchdowns. Valdes-Scantling atoned for his earlier indiscretions with a huge performance in the NFC Championship Game, but those same questions bit the Packers elsewhere. Equanimeous St. Brown had one glaring drop in the end zone on a two-point conversion, and even Adams had a huge drop( on an admittedly tougher catch) in the end zone that contributed significantly to a 24 -yard field goal in the second quarter. Those two descents alone were a likely six-point swing in a game the Packers lost by five.

One common restraint throughout this Green Bay season has been “imagine this offense with a better No. 2 receiver instead of Jordan Love on the bench.” The NFC Championship Game exclusively emphasized significant differences another duet of reliable hands could have made.

Herm Edwards Award for Playing to Win the Game

With eight seconds left in the first half , no timeouts, and a 14 -1 0 result, Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers faced first-and-1 0 from Green Bay's 39 -yard line. Most observers expected the Buccaneers to try a speedy pass toward the sideline to hopefully lessened Ryan Succop's possible field goal attempt. The Packers appear to have designed their coverage with this possibility in thinker, but Tom Brady had other ideas. Brady ascertained Scotty Miller behind the Packers defense for a 39 -yard touchdown that proved the difference by the end of the game. This came one romp after the Buccaneers converted fourth-and-4 in no man's land with a short pass to Leonard Fournette when numerous tutors would have chosen to punt. Arians recognise after the game that Brady lobbied hard for the decision to go for it; his wage for agreeing with his quarterback was a fateful tally and his first conference championship as a psyche coach.

John Fox Award for Conservatism

Both conference championship games boasted remarkably hesitant field goals by the eventual losers. Proposals top coach Sean McDermott has been anything but timid for much of the season, but his decision to kick on fourth-and-goal from the Chiefs' 2-yard line just before halftime, trailing 21 -9, seemed much better about attempting to remain vaguely “competitive” than attempting to engineer a comeback. Still, his team's opening drive of the second half of the year afforded him an opportunity to make up for it. On fourth-and-3 from the 8-yard line down by the same margin, McDermott chose to … knock. Again. If the Bills had gone for both and replaced, they could have been right back in video games at, worst-case, 24 -2 1( if they gained no extra sites ). Instead, they remained two tallies behind, and the Chief attracted away in the second half.

Neither of those decisions comes close, however, to the astounding timidity shown by Packers head coach Matt LaFleur against the Buccaneers. Trailing by eight stations, 31 -2 3, the Packers faced fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line with 2:09 remaining. While a field goal is not absolutely useless in that situation — it would have overridden the need for a successful two-point conversion if the Buccaneers had gotten the pellet back and tallied a touchdown — it was shockingly conservative to kick from that close to the goal line. That would have intended the Packers needing to drive the length of the field again for a touchdown, rather than one 8-yard participate enabling them to potentially get the ball back needing simply a field goal. As it turns out, they never got the ball back in the first place. They should have gone for it, and it was stunning to see them do otherwise.

Jeff Fisher Award for Confusing Coaching

We'll talk about the Packers' defensive gambling call on the final comedy of the first half in the Game-Changing Play section, have no fear, Mike Pettine fans. And we could talk about Bruce Arians' approving the Packers' deliberate offside penalty late in video games, as they tried to trade yardage for day. But instead, we're going to go back to Matt LaFleur's field goal decision, which we talked about a little above.

We should note that Andrew writes the Foxy award, while Bryan controls the Fisher, and you can sort of examine the differences in our thinking now. In the view of your humble Fisher writer, the Packers kicking a field goal late in the game down eight is very, extremely, very bad, but at least you can construct an assertion around it that makes a little more sense than the Bills' kicking decisions. In Green Bay's situation, you still need to score twice down eight; it's just one of those ratings can be a two-point conversion that takes no time off the clock. That's not the confusing chip, precisely the republican flake. No, the confusing bit was the lack of communication with the offense and, in particular, Aaron Rodgers. In his post-game press conference, Rodgers spawned sure to clarify that the field goal was not his decision, though he understood the picturing. More interestingly, he was asked why he didn't attempt to scramble for a touchdown on the previous comedy, and his response was “I thought maybe we were gonna have four chances to go.”

Watching from this angle and I kinda think he could have valued here? pic.twitter.com/ t4ML95q7lK

— Computer Cowboy (@ benbbaldwin) January 26, 2021

This is part of the problem with inconsistent and arbitrary fourth-down decisions. If Rodgers knew, for a fact, that the Packers would kick a field goal on fourth down in that scenario, that likely would have changed his thought process on that dally. Maybe he scrambles for a touchdown, or at least leads the clod close enough to change the bellow from a knock to a fourth-down attempt. At the very least, the quarterback and psyche tutor is still not on the same page. Players should never be left guessing what their coach is going to do in key status, yet that's what we visualized at the end of the NFC Championship Game.

‘As Usual, We're All Idiots' Fantasy Player of the Week

Imagine if Aaron had taken Leonard Fournette instead of Ronald Jones in the Staff Fantasy Draft — he'd previously be running away with the name, basically untouchable. For that are important, imagine if any of us had taken Fournette. With 63.3 levels still further, he's the leading fantasy running back in this postseason. Even if you throw an allotment to being surprised that Tampa Bay is going to the Super Bowl, simply Cam Akers put up more points per play than Fournette has. His 55 yards against the Packers was actually his least effective game of the playoffs so far, but he still concluded a path to add a touchdown. Picking Fournette was a requirement if you were going to be competitive in the Best of the Rest challenge; he is, in fact, the Best of the Rest.

GROWN MAN TD

Leonard Fournette devotes the Bucs the lead.

( via @NFLBrasil) pic.twitter.com /8 VoRkDApPO

— SportsCenter (@ SportsCenter) January 24, 2021

Garbage-Time Performer of the Week

While Josh Allen had a game to forget, he at least did everything he could to keep the Bills in the game in the dying minutes against the Chiefs. Buffalo got the ball back down 23 times with 7:36 to stay in the AFC Championship Game. From that pitch on, Allen started 7-for-10 for 88 grounds and a touchdown, loping for 19 more yards and picking up a first down, as well. Yes, “hes taking” a back-breaking sack on the Bills' last drive of the game, forcing a field goal instead of a fourth-down attempt. At that spot, however, the Bills needed a supernatural to get back in the football game, and deeming on to the ball and hoping something mystical would happen is understandable in that circumstance; you can't get the miracle play if you don't cause it a shot. In a week with only two games, 100 grounds of offense in the dying minutes of a race definitely certifies for this award.

No quit in @JoshAllenQB. #BillsMafia #NFLPlayoffs

#BUFvsKC on CBS NFL app // Yahoo Play app: https :// t.co/ RTcXvhOR4u pic.twitter.com/ rjzAykpSRL

— NFL (@ NFL) January 25, 2021

Comfort in Sadness Stat of the Week

Bills quarterback Josh Allen had the best season ever for a quarterback coming off two straight times at substitution degree or lower, vanquishing out Case Keenum's flash-in-the-pan 2017 expedition and Matthew Stafford's 2011. He too had the second-highest improvement ever from his first year to his third, narrowly behind Jared Goff. The timing on this is amusing, given that Stafford and Goff have just been directly transactions for one another( with selects included ). From looking like a bust through his first two seasons, Allen looked like a franchise cornerstone in 2020.

The Packers' comfort is also found in their likely league-MVP quarterback: in his second time under Matt LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers had the second-highest passing DYAR of his busines, and his highest since 2011. He also recorded his highest DVOA since that first of his MVP campaigns, heading the organization in touchdowns and period percentage despite one of his starting receivers being among the leaders in stopped passes.

Game-Changing Play of the Week

The biggest comedy of the season to date, considers the stakes present in a conference championship game, never should have happened. There is nothing reasonable reason why, with eight seconds left in the half and no Tampa Bay timeouts remaining, Kevin King should be single-covering Scotty Miller with no assistant deep. It's a massive fall in defensive represent announcing, and Tom Brady has been doing this for too long to let job opportunities like this slide.

Troy Aikman's dumbfounded laugh is the icing on the 39 -yard bomb from Tom Brady to Scotty Miller pic.twitter.com/ lv9SC6oowO

— Awful Announcing (@ awfulannouncing) January 24, 2021

Note Chris Godwin get triple-covered down the midriff, leaving both Miller and Mike Evans single-covered on the outside. Brady could have gone down either sideline and hurl a touchdown. This is a situation where you do not care if Tampa Bay ends a pass in the middle of the field — time will expire and the Packers would go to the half down 14 -1 0 , not a unspeakable situate to be in. This was a time to play the softest zone imaginable, guarding the sidelines and mission zone. Instead, the Packers were in Cover-1, playing tight inside proficiency man-to-man? That's insanity, and was rewarded appropriately.

Wow.

Scotty Miller's max quickened on this movement: 20.64 MPH.

Kevin King's max rate: 19.19 MPH.

Via @NextGenStats pic.twitter.com/ uGWBTyyPyE

— Seth Walder (@ SethWalder) January 24, 2021

After the game, Bruce Arians said that he knew it would be a touchdown from the moment the teams lined up; it was just a matter of executing. Likewise after the game, the Packers announced they would not be re-signing defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. These two things may be related.

Weekly Prophecy

Money-Back Guarantee Lock of the Week

All picks are made without reference to the FO+ picks, while all positions are courtesy ofBovada and are true as of hour of writing.

Records to Date: Bryan: 14 -6 Andrew: 8-11-1

Bryan: What are you doing here? We had an entire clause dedicated to this last week! Both of us are taking Tampa Bay +3.5 — less because we're predicting the Buccaneers to prevail, and more since we are recollect the game will be closer than the general betting public seems to think at this part. Commonly, indistinguishable picking would require some sort of tiebreaker to determine the true Lock of the Week Champion but, well, that was decided long ago. With Andrew earning Double Survival, and my succes in the Lock, I suppose the Prop Wager will decide the better picker for 2020 — so we'll exactly got to see which of us has a better Weeknd.

1

While his ceiling made in 2020…

While his ceiling reached in 2020 wasn't anything particularly scandalous, it balloons to nearly $35 million for next season and remains over $30 million the rest of the way. Wentz's extension has become an anchor around the team's neck, with the only way out this season being a post-June 1 busines. Good luck getting anyone else to accept that contract, considering everything we wrote above about, y'know, one of the most serious seasons in NFL history.

It's not exactly as bad as you think. I entail, don't get me wrong, it's bad. But the cover hit for Wentz includes the$ 9M/ time proration on the signing bonus, so a trading partner would only be paying ~$ 25 M/ time if they went him.

For the Eagles, Wentz's cap hit isn't horrid for a quarterback, judgment you: it's only really going to be on the high-pitched back in 2021/2022. By 2023, you'd have to guess that a $32 M/ year ceiling pop would actually be on the* low-spirited* back for a quarterback.( Of trend, if Wentz's 2020 rendition is where he's at, his achievement price/ cost ratio is still deplorable ).

The real question with trading him, of course, is whether anyone thinks he's salvageable. If they think he can get to “boring starter” level( Teddy Bridgewater, for example, or heck even Ryan Fitzpatrick) $25 M/ year is mostly what the going proportion is.

2

Bilal Powell

Our own figures yield Bilal Powell of the New York Plane the claim of bad returner, whereas Boston Scott was the most difficult of those 13 qualifiers. The Jaguars had the worst kickoff return numerals in our special squads metrics, and Tennessee's Kalif Raymond had the lowest average return distance of any player with at least 10 commencement returns. We ultimately settled on Bilal Powell, as the most difficult of the mint in our anatomies.

Bilal Powell didn't play a game for anyone this year; did you represent Braxton Berrios?

3

Fixed

In reply to by Travis

That very silly mistake is now defined. I'm sorry. And yes, amused by the irony in me clamping up an section about screwups.

4

Brandon Powell

In reply to by Andrew Potter

I believe that the people were looking at 15 -B.Powell, who is Brandon Powell of the Falcons.

5

Keep Choppin' Wood, Andrew !

In reply to by Andrew Potter

Keep Choppin' Wood, Andrew!

6

True, but it's still not up …

In reply to by Andrew Potter

True, but it's still not up there with Tanier's “asymptote” mishap back in the day.

Read more: footballoutsiders.com

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