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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 fairly unlike any other for a variety of different rationales, but chiefly because of a world pandemic. For the first time in history, staying at home and watching football all week has been the respectful, considerate route to live, rather than being broadly considered some politenes of social dysfunction. We’re hoping that continues to be the case, even as we’re hoping that this accursed plague proceeds terribly, 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 times 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 is not just a schedule of the worst 26 musicians in the organization — 11 starters each for offense and defense, plus four specialists in the kicking and return play. That would just be a list of late-round picks and bottom-of-the-roster flotsam who scarcely realise it onto the field, and none needs a list like that( at least not now that the XFL has folded again ). Instead, the All-Keep Choppin’ Wood select names the players who moved the least of their ample opportunities, who did the most to hurt their dealerships either on or off the field( sometimes both !). Whether by underperforming a big contract or a high draft pick, blowing activities 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 these hand-picked groups.

Bryan: With 2020 being what it was, there were fewer chances for participates to hurt their unit off the field — strict quarantine patterns do tend to help prevent late-night drunken shenanigans. That’s not to say that no one managed to turn off-field adversities into on-field pain — see the part Denver Broncos quarterback room not disguising, forcing rule force wide receiver Kendall Hinton to start a game at quarterback, or the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints breaking fairly COVID patterns to cause their units to surrender enlist collects — 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 usual, we’ll pick starters by situate, exploiting modern football assembles with 11 staff members and nickel protection, plus a coaching organization. This time even ensure us make a pick for a smudge we wouldn’t commonly 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 arguing. A gruesome contract can help someone vault to the top of the roster; 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 cupboard area 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 away the field in the first two categories and orchestrates some points in the third, and is the clear and self-evident All-KCW Quarterback for 2020. Wentz finished with -7 80 extending DYAR, worst in the conference and one of the 10 worst 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 prior to being benched late in the year. Wentz’s -3 5.9% DVOA was the fifth-worst in autobiography among players with at least 400 pass attempts; “were having” rarely discovered a passer continue this poorly in such a large sample size. And, if you prefer classical stats, Wentz passed the league in both sackings 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 pass the NFL in INTs.

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

— Bleacher Report (@ BleacherReport) November 22, 2020

To make contents worse, Wentz did this on the back of signing a massive extension prior to the opening of the 2019 season. While his cover punched in 2020 wasn’t anything specially appalling, it bags to virtually $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 worst seasons in NFL history.

Keeping Wentz on the roster isn’t a pillage, either. Wentz wasn’t thrilled with being benched for Jalen Hurts — reports from Albert Breer, amongst other, 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 advice, and flouting judgment. Wentz supposedly generated the Eagles’ brass an ultimatum: either Pederson exits, or he’d publicly demand a market. Best of prosperity to brand-new Eagles’ coach Nick Sirianni, who has a difficult task in front of him going his quarterback place sorted before 2021.

Honorable mention goes to Dwayne Haskins — poor performance led to him being benched, and then poor performance and an illegal tour to a strip club during a pandemic led to him being gash just before a playoff game where he would have been the projected starter. That kind of season would got to get a win most times, 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 trade so shockingly bad and lopsided, it’s difficult to come up with the right adjectives to describe it even a full season after it happened. That craft hurt the Texans franchise in so many directions, we still haven’t seen the full forks more as the Deshaun Watson situation reverberates on.

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

If you prefer your pick to represent terrible performance on the field, you’ll prefer the other Johnson from the Texans backfield. Duke Johnson’s -1 17 DYAR virtually transcended rookie Joshua Kelley’s league-worst -1 42 despite having less than 40% of the carry volume, as Johnson put up a genuinely putrid -4 5.4% rushing DVOA. The Texans endowed an horrid mint of money and playing time trying to get Not Carlos Hyde to play like Carlos Hyde, instead of precisely, you are well aware, re-signing Carlos Hyde for less fund. Somehow, that doesn’t even offset the top 10 in the roll of things they have done anything wrong in time the 2020 season. Sorry, Rivers.

Wide Receivers

Bryan: Speaking of franchise records that virtually precipitated, A.J. Green’s -1 73 receiving DYAR time falls short of 2001 Peter Warrick’s -1 80, and his -3 3.2% DVOA is less than a one-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 times in dealership history, a doubled no other actor can join. Green has lost all ability to get open — he still rarely demo some flashings of his old self by making rivalry 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 time 1.7 gardens, per Next Gen Stats. It is possible Green’s clashes are in part due to an extended recovery from the ankle injury which penalty him the 2019 season, and I’m sure some crew 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 collect is mainly nominated for two standout times, both coming against this writer’s favorite team. Assumes 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 minutes, both against the Saints 😛 TAGEND

Javon Wims has been ejected from the game for punching Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. But on another notation, Janoris Jenkins (# 20) was playing no tournaments with the protection of his teammate #Saints #Bears #NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/ qkfVVRT2Zi

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

Wims with the remove pic.twitter.com/ vJsrx3dwUK

— NFL Stats (@ NFL_Stats) January 10, 2021

The first of those, during the regular season, resulted in a 15 -yard penalty and Wims’ ejection. Nick Foles hurled a critical interception on the resultant second-and-2 0, in video games the Bears lost on an overtime field goal. Wims was then suspended for the team’s next two competitions. He was back in time for the playoffs though, during which he represented a season-high 88% of snarls … and had the critical drop of a stunt performance 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 frolics, it’s easy to see why.

Bryan: For our third receiver, we’ll toss the ball over to Pittsburgh, where … oh, shoot, Diontae Johnson discontinued it. Johnson remains stimulating with the ball in his hands, but “hes having” significant perturb going the ball into his hands this year; he passed the league with 16 lowers per SIS charting, the first receiver to average a put video games since 2015. Puts in and of themselves aren’t a guarantee to be on this list; Tyreek Hill was third with 11 plunges and he’s one of the most dynamic players in football. But to lead the organization in drops with an average depth of target of really 8.0 yards, had contributed to 23 disappointed acknowledgments? That’s KCW material — more so than Johnson’s 88 catches, 923 grounds, or seven touchdowns would lead you to believe. We did consider Jerry Jeudy for this third slit, as he was just two drops-off behind Johnson and with a somewhat 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 specter of Ben Roethlisberger.

Andrew: Before we move on, I should add one memorandum. 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 profession. You may also be expecting to see Bradley Roby and/ or A.J. Bouye in the cornerbacks list( spoiler-not-spoiler ). We’ve consciously stayed away from the players involved in that PED case, following reports that they are suing a medical professional as the purposes of the danglings. We cannot and dare not draw firm conclusions while there’s a prosecution involved, so we’re steering well clear.

Tight End

Bryan: Eric Ebron and Zach Ertz departed head-to-head at the bottom of our DYAR tables — it was a bad year for Pennsylvania tight intentions. Ertz hit the bottom by our stats; catching fewer than half your legislates and averaging fewer than 10 gardens per festivity is the kind of low-ceiling, low-floor performance that does you noticed ’round these places. Nonetheless, Ertz has more apologies than Ebron does. The Eagles’ receiving corps( and, frankly, the roster as a whole) was beaten up this season, admitting securities to focus on Ertz, and he likewise had Carson Wentz’s appalling time under midst to deal with. Ebron has an argument of his own — he had more plummets than Ertz did, a number of problems which has plagued him throughout his vocation. He too was less of a factor in the lead competition; Ertz is, in theory, the better blocker.

Those condones exactly aren’t enough to cover the 60 -DYAR gap between Ertz and Ebron. Nor can we only condemned 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 likewise boasted the highest cap strike in the organization 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 serious enough if you’re going to look elsewhere. Put it this method: Ertz averaged only 4.7 yards per target this season, the worst total for any receiver in the conference in 2020 and the worst total for a close-fisted point since Levine Toilolo had 4.4 in 2014. You’d expect a $12.5 -million participate to be more than a little better than a glorified sixth offensive lineman.

Offensive Tackles

Andrew: As a general rule, 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 build the hurry in any or all of athleticism, technique, mentality, or performance. However, both of our All-KCW undertakes are rookies, and they are here for very different reasons.

Giants left attack Andrew Thomas was the top preference at the position in April’s draft, choice No. 4 overall. Every other undertake in the top 20 outperformed him: Tristan Wirfs was one of the best right tackles in the organization in 2020, Mekhi Becton and Jedrick Wills too 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 time to an October foot injury. Thomas, meanwhile, blew more blocks than any other left tackle, bind for the organization contribute in blown pass blocks, and allowed 12 bags in 15 starts. It’s not that he was especially bad in isolation — we could argue that Jacksonville’s Cam Robinson deserves the recognize for the worst year of his professional career — but Thomas represents so much better lost possible compared to the rest of his class.

That said, Thomas’ performance topics pale in comparison to the first-round tackle not included above. Titans rookie first-round pick Isaiah Wilson played accurately four crackings in his debut season: three kneeldowns on pique and one extra place on special teams, all in week 12 against the Colts. Wilson was not injured, 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 violations and an on-off relationship with the league’s Reserve/ COVID index. Before the season even started, Wilson had infringed the league 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, apparently recording over 13 ages the government restriction on his breathalyzer while doing “donuts” in a traffic intersection. Following his appearance against the Colts, the Titans announced that Wilson would be suspended during Week 13 against Cleveland for violating crew governs. They then targeted him on the stockpile/ 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 failures. 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 knocked off early and applied the part Chargers offensive cable now, as all five primary starters straddled from poor to atrocious. At least four of the five Los Angeles linemen who started at least half the season would make sense here, and frankly, we’d hear justifications for Bryan Bulaga as well. Trai Turner and Sam Tevi( and, for that matter, Trey Pipkins) are all solid collects, but we’re going to double down on the patrol here to represent the SuperChargers. Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney held for the tournament result at patrol with 32 blow blocks apiece. Yes, Feeney toy about half the season at centre, 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 dividing “hairs-breadths” here.

Lamp started all 16 plays for the first time in his career after overcoming two seasons of knee gashes, and while his resurgence is a good story, his dally 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 wire is struggling — the Chargers were 29 th in adjusted line gardens this season — but the Chargers were worst when they were feeing up the bowel. With both sets of gentlemen dallying 16 plays 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 musicians … and an peculiarly especially challenging year for rookie onslaught linemen. Lloyd Cushenberry was a third-round pick thrust into the Broncos’ starting lineup at midst. He might have been the single worst intended starting musician( i.e ., not serious injuries or opt-out replacement) in the league in 2020. It doesn’t matter what statistic you look at for Cushenberry: he permitted more bags than any other center, blew more pass blocks and more passed blocks than any other center, and allowed the second-most stuffs of any hub( behind former Broncos starter Matt Paradis , now in Carolina ). The Broncos had the worst adjusted string grounds at mid/ protector of any crew, yet ranged almost half of their speed plays in that direction. Cushenberry couldn’t generate push in the feed game and couldn’t hold up in the pass competition. Hopefully, that is a result of the difficult circumstances and transition in 2020, and he to further 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 bureau, indicating a $9.5 -million contract to start inverse the emerging Harold Landry. The difficulties started when he didn’t show up for training camp, with no reason given by either the musician or the right. When Beasley eventually did is an indication, he underperformed, recording only three solo tackles , no sacks, and not even a single pass distres on 125 crackings across his first five competitions. Per SIS, Beasley was the only player with more than 27 pass-rush snaps but no distress. The Titans eventually released Beasley and the Invader ratified him. He had no bags for them either, and just one tackle in over 60 grabs on defense.

The Titans struggled to generate pressure all season, recording a league-low 14 sackings. With 5.5 of those, Landry was the only back-eight defender to outshine even a single bag. Jadeveon Clowney also had no sacks on a big contract, but he at least organized 19 tackles and six pressures, and he avoided the off-field headaches that peppered Beasley’s time in Nashville. Derrick Roberson had no sacks on 151 pass rushed snaps, the third-lowest pressure rate among linebackers with at least 100 pass rush attempts. The unit Beasley then joined, Las Vegas, finished second-last with time 15 sackings. Beasley’s lack of make, allied to his off-field editions, 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 payment cap person among periphery rushers. Mercilus has long been paid like an elite boundary rusher, but he has always been an ancillary article: a player who is just good enough to take advantage of the additional scrutiny 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 dallies( totaling all undertakes, delivers defensed, interceptions, and fumble retrievals) were not enough to qualify for our main defensive stats table. Mercilus had 4.0 bags, but exclusively 10 total distress. He met merely two loped routs all year, and his average run tackle came 3.7 gardens downfield. He missed a abominable 19.2% of his tackles, per Pro Football Reference, or an even worse 25.9% if “youd prefer” SIS charting. His pressure rate of 8.1% was seventh-worst among primary fringe rushers, and he failed 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 same their stats are: 4.0 sacks apiece, four knockdowns versus five, 22 stress versus 23, a somewhat worse pres proportion for Smith. What laids them apart is tackling, and perhaps hence creation in the drain activity: Smith had five operated overthrows on 312 moves, whereas Mercilus had only two on 249. Both were highly paid boundary rushers, amongst the top 20 at the position. Neither plowed himself in glory in 2020.

Interior Linemen

Bryan: Jaleel Johnson is a pure stat pick. Jackson’s average tackle in the range game came 3.9 gardens downfield, worst of any defensive attack with at least 20 feed participates. Ideally, you’d like to tackle running backs when they’re in the backfield , not when they’re trying to stutter-step around linebackers. Exclusively 51% of Johnson’s run undertakes were stops, which helped contribute to Minnesota’s 31 st-place power success rates on justification — full credit to Johnson for not quitting on gamblings, but the issue is dire digits. 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 preceding campaigner — but Johnson represented 650 snaps for the Vikings this year, starting every activity. It’s hard to point to another linemen who put up anything near as inadequate as Johnson’s play while still being given so many opportunities to hurt his squad. To is equitable, the project was for Michael Pierce to fix the recognise Johnson ended up taken away from, and the Vikings didn’t have a great option formerly Pierce opted out of the 2020 season.

Andrew: Simply six players represented more moved grabs than Jaleel Johnson. Nobody did less with more opportunities than he did. However, somewhat adjust the parameters above from 20 led participates to either 10 tackles or 100 cracks on raced justification, and Johnson no longer has the worst average tackle depth of any defensive attack. That questionable reputation goes to Ross Blacklock of the Houston Texans, whose 14 attacks came an average rate of 4.4 yards downfield. A single pass overcome improves that figure: his average run tackle came an appalling 5.1 yards downfield. For a defensive undertake. A principally run-stopping defensive tackle, at that. Blacklock may have been the worst run-defending defensive attack to earn regular playing time in 2020, but his negative impact is limited because this is the only way toy 243 snaps, roughly a fourth of the team’s total. We can do better.

Only one crew attached the Vikings in allowing more than 5.0 gardens per carry on carries distinguished mid/ lookout: the division-rival Detroit Lions. The Lions too had the worst pass defense in the league, in no small-minded component 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 simply three sackings, with Penisini in particular recording the lowest pass pressure rate of any defensive lineman with at least 100 pass run moves. Penisini likewise missed 14.6% of his tackle struggles, fourth-most of any starting defensive attack. Shelton and Williams did at least contribute a handful of pass distress each to even off for their failings against the race. Penisini has no such mitigation. His inclusion now may be a bigger indictment of the Lions coaching staff and front office than himself, but person from this interior line needs to be here, and the unfortunate rookie was the most difficult of the lot.

Linebackers

Andrew: The AFC South may have been one of the four disagreements that ship multiple teams to the postseason, but the other two teams were various magnitudes of scrap fire depending on the exact statu group under consideration. The Texans have a disproportionately huge amount of stipend be used in two inside linebackers: our first campaigner is our third member of that dealership, and too the third-highest remunerated inside linebacker in the NFL. Zach Cunningham does not rank third in disintegrate undertakes, nonetheless — he has the lead in that statistic everyone to himself. Among linebackers with at least 20 pass targets, only Danny Trevathan let more than Cunningham’s 9.7 yards per target. Cunningham had problems with misdirection and race fits all season, as is clear from his starring role in this Derrick Henry 94 -yard touchdown. Compounding things, the Texans had the second-worst defensive DVOA against tight tips, the primary coverage responsibility of the modern linebacker. A valuable myth IDP option thanks to his inflated tackle total, Cunningham is far from the worst linebacker in the conference, but both his salary and that of Benardrick McKinney vastly outweigh their quality, 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 shortfall of contribution to Jacksonville’s lack of greatnes. Corey Littleton signed a big deal in free busines to join the glitzy Las Vegas Raiders. They were reinforced 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 improvement. He had just been one pass deflection and two planned pressures. He had only four undertakes for a loss and eight wins. Littleton did record 82 undertakes, but he likewise missed a further eight for a frequency of ten. 0 %. Littleton has a top-1 5 inside linebacker contract him $11.75 million per year. His contribution to the Raiders did not live up to that in Year 1.

Cornerbacks

Bryan: Byron Jones ratified a five-year contract with Miami this offseason, spawning him the fifth-highest paid cornerback in football. It is safe to say that, still further, that has not worked out as well as the Dolphins might have hoped. Jones countenanced 10. 6 yards per target and 17.6 yards per finish, both worst among starting cornerbacks in 2020. His two interceptions are misinforming; he provided a profession low-spirited with just three pass breakups and 42 attacks and confined his vocation high-pitched with 10 break-dance and missed undertakes, and his 82.5% deserved catch percentage was the highest SIS has recorded during him as well. Now, to be fair, some of those high-pitched norm digits come from the fact that defending 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 stature and paycheck. I’d expect him to bounce back next season, but those are not numerals you want to see out of your $82.5 -million man.

Andrew: Our fourth member of the Texans came down to a toss-up between Phillip Gaines and eventual champion Vernon Hargreaves. Houston ranked in the bottom quarter of DVOA defense against every category of pass receiver( FO+ asked ): No. 1 receivers, No. 2 receivers, “other” wide receivers, running back, and close-fisted purposes. Gaines was probably the worse of the two participates, giving 9.6 gardens per target and five touchdowns on 28 targets, but Hargreaves was the participate rivals targeted over and over and over: he was targeted 84 days for 763 grounds, the second-highest total in the organization behind Tennessee’s Malcolm Butler. Hargreaves stood 9.1 yards per target, broke up simply six of those surpass, and snagged just a lone interception. His 72 attacks confined for 11 th-most among cornerbacks, but that is not a good thing: broadly speaking, you want a starting cornerback to stop extends from nearing completion , not tackle receivers after the fact. Even there, Hargreaves under-performed: he missed 13.3% of his undertake struggles. 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 container actor, and not the actor with “the worlds largest” targets for Cincinnati’s defense. Well, opposing quarterbacks are aware of to sniff out a weak spot when they realise 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 plays. But it wasn’t time large-hearted represents that Sims gave up, oh no — Sportradar showed Sims with allowing an 81.1% consummation proportion, the most difficult among starting cornerbacks. SIS, which supplements in droops to create a deserved catch percentage, puts Sims at 92.5%, which was … third-worst among starting cornerbacks. I presume he couldn’t have won them all.

Safeties

Andrew: It’s tough to believe we have originated it this far with exclusively honorable mentions from a Jaguars roster that earned the No. 1 overall collect thanks in large place to the No. 31 DVOA defense. We shall run no further! Onetime Packers and Cowboys safety Josh Jones started 13 tournaments for the Jaguars in 2020, and he was one of the worst starting refuges 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 throw his nature. Jones had just one pass overcome: an interception that was tip-off into his hands, and he sagged another tipped interception. The Jaguars had the third-worst defensive DVOA against tight discontinues and allowed the third-worst rate of open plain yards by our own adjusted line gardens metrics. Though at least his contract didn’t bring the team down, Jones was the worst 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 here for perforating his way out of the league, a abrupt and hasty fall from grace for the All-2 010 s Team safety. Thomas was trimmed by the Ravens with a “conduct detrimental” tag, passed for a trendline of recited violations and, yes, Thomas’ 2020 offseason certainly characterizes. The triggering incident was a fight with teammate Chuck Clark, but the fight itself was the flashpoint after two years of missed meetings and excuses contributed significantly to mental corrects on the practice field. The Ravens had penalty Thomas multiple times for his lackadaisical approach to timekeeping, and they refer him home after he came here blows with Clark. Thomas then attempted to defend himself on Instagram, which riled up members of the Ravens Leadership Council, groupings of ex-servicemen within the team considered to be the team governors. That was enough for the Raven to give him his walking papers. That and an ongoing saga with his now ex-wife involving cheating, drunken furies, and a gun, was apparently enough to scare away any other NFL crews interested in adding the onetime superstar, and whether his occupation will continue in any form at this point is yet to be determined.

Special Squads

Kicker

Andrew: This world-wide is full of horrid tasks that nobody wants to do, but mortal 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 digested Buccaneers-level misfortune during the mid-to-late 2010 s. Even the heretofore reliable Dan Bailey fell victim in 2020. During one particularly distressing extend in early December, Bailey missed six of eight knocks against the Jaguars and Buccaneers. The nadir was that Buccaneers game, in which Bailey proceeded 0-for-4 on three field goals and an extra point at Raymond James Stadium. He recovered to utter 13 of his 16 knocks in Weeks 15 to 17, but the Vikings still finished rock-bottom in our measure of field goal and extra object significance, behind even the notoriously cursed Chargers.

Punter

Bryan: The Chargers managed to put up -3 7.8 parts of punt appreciate this year, nearly three times as bad as any other team in 2020 and the worst total in DVOA history. To have solutions THAT bad takes an entire team effort, but we don’t feel we’re painting Ty Long with extremely inconsiderate a brush by singling him out and situating him on this squad. The league-leading three blocked punts weren’t all his mistake, but the league-worst 34.1 net punting average was more his doing. Long had 37 punts returned, third-most in the conference — and this is the only way punted 57 goes. He wasn’t forcing fair catches( simply eight ), or pinning them inside the 20( simply 12 ), or knocking it high enough to give his crew time to run down and down it( precisely four ). Partially because of these poor punts, Chargers opponents started, on average at their own 31.7 -yard line, second-worst in the conference.

Returners

Andrew: Kickoff returning is a dying art, and we may soon have to retire this list absent-minded indeed disastrous Josh Huff-level atrocities against the artistry of special crews. Simply 13 participates qualified for the official kickoff return leaderboard, with its cutoff of 20 knocks returned. Our own chassis sacrifice Brandon Powell of the Atlanta Falcons the title of worst returner, whereas Boston Scott was the most difficult of those 13 qualifiers. The Jaguars had the worst kickoff return numbers in our special units metrics, and Tennessee’s Kalif Raymond had the lowest average return distance of any player with at least 10 kickoff returns. We ultimately settled on Brandon Powell, as the worst of the heap in our chassis. This was not a vintage year for kickoff return disasters.

Bryan: The bad punt returner by our figures was Steven Sims. With -6. 7 spots of punt return value, Sims was the worst returner on Washington, the worst returning team in the conference. Sims controlled simply 6.7 gardens per return, with a long of 22. That’s not to say he had no highlight toy, mind you — he muffed three punts, one of them leading to a Carolina touchdown. It got to the point where Ron Rivera had to come out in a medium hearing and admit that if Washington had a better alternative, they would go to it. That’s not exactly the strongest endorsement for Sims obstructing the number of jobs in 2021.

Coaches and Ownership

Owner

Andrew: We don’t typically pick an owner for the All-Keep Choppin’ Wood Team. Most times, we don’t even give a believe that that it. Even the Jerry Richardsons and Jerry Joneses of this world generally don’t botch things mischievously enough to earn All-KCW consideration.

2020 was not most years. The Houston Texans might be the worst-run right in American professional athletics. Let’s recap what Cal McNair has done 😛 TAGEND

In April, 2019, McNair hired “character development coach” and former youth clergyman 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 former general manager Brian Gaine and Easterby’s rapid ascending through the organization. In time of 2020, Easterby and GM/ front coach-and-four Bill O’Brien transactions away whiz receiver DeAndre Hopkins, disturbing a major portion of the locker chamber and fanbase, including starting quarterback Deshaun Watson. In October, the team rejected O’Brien and constituted Easterby as interim GM. The unit finished 4-12. Easterby is now the team’s Executive Vice President of Football Activity. McNair promised whiz quarterback Deshaun Watson that he would be involved in the team’s search for a brand-new principal coach and general manager. He then constituted Nick Caserio, a former peer of Easterby at the Patriots, as GM without consulting with Watson. Watson, feeling disclosed, have already had sought a market. The Texans have an aging, expensive listing and no premium draft picks to restock it. David Culley, the former coach-and-four of one of the league’s bad wide receiver squads in Baltimore, is now their brand-new heading manager. Followers are actively boycotting the team.

It’s legitimately difficult to think of a acces building owners could fasten such a situation up more, short of selling everything and migrating to London overnight. The Texans are run by a motivational orator, the owner has created a mess that nobody seems to know how to fix, one of the best young quarterbacks in the boast doesn’t want to play for them anymore, and they have no draft picks or cap opening to rebuild a roster that exactly propelled them to 4-12.

Sorry, Rivers.

General Manager

Andrew: In a ordinary year, the worst general manager in the tournament would be Jacksonville’s Dave Caldwell, who took a team that reached the AFC Championship Game in 2017, prioritized all the wrong particular aspects of that success, and systematically dismantled it to a deserved 1-15 three seasons later.

This was not a regular year. Bill O’Brien was appointed Texans general manager, officially, last January. In that advertisement, Cal McNair mentioned that the Texans had already been operating that direction for most of the previous eight months. Some highlightings from that time 😛 TAGEND

The Texans traded perform edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks for Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo, and a third-round pick. They traded the third-round pick to the Raiders for Gareon Conley. They transactions Duane Brown to the Seahawks, then sold the farm to Miami for a direct replacing in Laremy Tunsil. They also transactions valuable selects for Kenny Stills and Duke Johnson, two bit-part participates. They sold DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the best veteran wide receiver in the conference, 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 ex-servicemen such as Whitney Mercilus and Zach Cunningham while trading away any resources they could use to replace those veterans. They extended 4-12 regardles, and O’Brien was fired.

Whoops.

Head Coach

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

Gase finishes his Jet-blacks vocation with a 9-23 record. The so-called offensive guru never visualized the New York offense exceed 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 player, with Jamal Adams demanding a swap out of town. That was just the start to a terrible season which accompanied, in no particular order 😛 TAGEND

Gase announced today that the pique was about to go into “hyperdrive” after an 0-3 start. The Jets would go on to average just 10.0 sites over their next six tournaments. To is equitable, Gase never said which guidance 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 right quarterback and left attack is expose them to as many potential long-term gashes as is practicable. Gase tried to obfuscate whether he or offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was calling represents, claiming that deterring that as a whodunit would create a competitive advantage. Considering the aforementioned -2 0.5% offensive DVOA, I’m not sure the identity of the man calling the awful frisks genuinely 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 channel to two earns in New York’s last three competitions, expensing them the top enlist collect and Trevor Lawrence. Because even when Gase earns, his team’s supporters lose.

Offensive Coordinator

Bryan: Three piques 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 traumata and significant turnover. So we’re leaning on Pat Shurmur, who took over as Denver’s offensive coordinator this season and looked their offensive DVOA fall from -1 1.3% to -2 0.3% in his first year on the job. Suffice be mentioned that Drew Lock did not take a significant step forward under Shurmur’s tutelage. Lock inspects lost in Shurmur’s offense, and it often felt like the team merely 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 abuses play-action even though the Broncos’ offense saw their grounds per play increase significantly with PA in the mixture. 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 gaped the most wonderful when trailing large-hearted, forcing them to throw out the regular playbook and extend an up-tempo offense, yet Shurmur never tried to bring any of that late-game philosophy to his general onslaught strategy. Some adjustments — 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 enable them to escape their recent trend of postseason disappointment following a solid regular season. It did, but not quite the path they imagined. Quarterback Dak Prescott broke his ankle in October, which principally wrote off their season. However, that likewise stole scrutiny from the facts of the case that brand-new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was instructing a talented security to a terrible performance: the Cowboys accepted 34 or more points five times in the first six activities, including 49 to the Cleveland Browns and 39 to the Atlanta Falcons. Things adjudicated down a little after that, but the Cowboys still discontinued from league median to No. 23 in protection, and still admitted over 33 places three times in the final six plays — against Washington, San Francisco, and Baltimore, who were hardly earsplitting resists 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 squads coordinator for four seasons, from 2017 to 2020. In those four years, the Chargers special teams have displayed 😛 TAGEND

-4 6.1 spots of field goal/ added pitch quality, worst in the organization -17.1 items of outset price, second-worst in the conference -10.4 qualities of outset return ethic, fourth-worst in the league -62.8 points of punt quality, worst in the conference 0.4 spots of punt return significance.

Well, at least he figured out how to be average in one category. It goes without saying that the Chargers have been the worst special teams in the league during Stewart’s tenure. Stewart was removed from his pole in November, ending one of the least successful special units 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 Monies 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 Money 8 Buccaneers 13 Steelers -5

TOT 219.2 199.2 236 261.05 232.6 175.05

Bryan: Had the Bills acquired, 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 actors, 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 extents on Chiefs touchdowns, Aaron is set for a high-scoring game of his own. If every musician left alive composes the same number of stations they have been averaging this postseason, Aaron would come out on top by 12 phases. 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 favorite starting quarterback in the game, but the exact events likely have them on the outside looking in. Scott is 41.85 degrees behind Andrew. Patrick Mahomes has only had two games in his busines where he composed higher than that, more recently his 385 -yard, four-touchdown, one-rushing-touchdown day against Baltimore. The alternative of Clyde Edwards-Helaire catching a touchdown pass or two does utter catching Andrew more likely as it stands now, but likely, both Andrew and Aaron will pick up targets of their own. Plus, Scott would have to avoid Mahomes-to-Tyreek Hill drawn attention to offset the resurgence. A similar logic countings against Vince — he’s not as far down, but his Tom Brady is dampened reasonably by Evans, Godwin, and Gronkowski on teams 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 macrocosm where Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert throw five or six touchdown legislates each to his people. I can’t even say that much, as I’m guaranteed last place with no participates remaining.

Best of the Rest

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

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

Surebrec( 186.35 stations, down by 63.2 ). Surebrec shares Fournette and Succop with ARandom, and ousts Hardman with Sammy Watkins and Darrel Williams. Last season, Watkins had a nine-catch, 198 -yard, three-touchdown day against the Jaguars, so he has some explosive possible on his bench, and Watkins is expected to move his postseason debut 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 worried. AlecB( 182.85 spots down by 66.7 ). AlecB shares Succop with ARandom and supplements Williams, Watkins, and Cameron Brate. So, make Surebrec’s scenario, computed in both Hardman and Fournette do nothing in the Super Bowl, and afford Brate a touchdown reception of his own, and you have AlecB’s path to victory. This seems remarkably less likely. BearGoggles( 177.15 phases, down by 72.4 ). BearGoggles shares Succop with ARandom and then has Scotty Miller. The highest orchestrating fantasy date in NFL history was Jerry Rice’s 65.5 -point day in 1990 — 13 receptions, 225 grounds, and five touchdowns. So, all Miller has to do is be better than that, while all of ARandom’s actors take a day off. No sweat. Andrew( 164.3 items, 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 qualities, down by 106.6 ). Basmati only has DeMarcus Robinson still active. Robinson has 2.4 details this postseason. MGilson86( 135.15 degrees, down by 114.4 ). MGilson shares Succop and Hardman with ARandom, and then has Watkins, Robinson, and Le’Veon Bell remaining. The reality that his squad is comparatively unique is why he’s still alive. The fact that his team is comparatively terrible is why he’s over 100 spots down.

For those who merely want to do well, and don’t care about inevitably prevailing, 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 slips: Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s 11.1% lowering pace is the highest among starting receivers( per Boasts Info Solutions ), and among Green Bay’s top four wide receivers only Davante Adams has a drop rate under 10%. Per The Athletic’s Mike Sando, the Packers lost 643 gardens and seven touchdowns to slips this year — shockingly, numbers that represented a huge improvement from 2019 ‘s 1,281 gardens and 15 touchdowns. Valdes-Scantling atoned for his earlier gaffes with a huge performance in the NFC Championship Game, but those same matters fragment 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 led to a 24 -yard field goal in the second quarter. Those two droops alone were a likely six-point swing in a game the Packers lost by five.

One common forbear 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 the difference 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 lead, Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers faced first-and-1 0 from Green Bay’s 39 -yard line. Most commentators expected the Buccaneers to try a immediate pass toward the sideline to hopefully diminished Ryan Succop’s possible field goal struggle. The Packers appear to have designed their coverage with this possibility in memory, but Tom Brady had other ideas. Brady observed Scotty Miller behind the Packers defense for a 39 -yard touchdown that proved the difference by the end of the game. This came one participate after the Buccaneer converted fourth-and-4 in no man’s land with a short pass to Leonard Fournette when numerous coach-and-fours would have chosen to punt. Arians acknowledged after video games that Brady lobbied hard for the decision to go for it; his compensation for agreeing with his quarterback was a fateful rating and his first conference championship as a heading coach.

John Fox Award for Conservatism

Both conference championship games peculiarity remarkably hesitant field goals by the eventual losers. Legislations psyche tutor 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 resurgence. Still, his team’s opening drive of the second half of the year rendered 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 attained, they could have been right back in the game at, worst-case, 24 -2 1( if they gained no additional stations ). Instead, they are still two scores behind, and the Chief gathered apart 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 points, 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 gone the missile back and valued a touchdown — it was shockingly republican to knock from that close to the goal line. That ought to have been conveyed the Packers needing to drive the length of the field again for a touchdown, rather than one 8-yard performance 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 performance call on the final movement of the first half in the Game-Changing Play section, have no fear, Mike Pettine love. And we could talk about Bruce Arians’ accepting the Packers’ deliberate offside retribution late in video games, as they tried to trade yardage for term. But instead, we’re going to go back to Matt LaFleur’s field goal decision, which we spoke a bit above.

We should note that Andrew writes the Foxy award, while Bryan manages the Fisher, and you can sort of ascertain the differences in our thinking now. In the opinion of your humble Fisher writer, the Packers kicking a field goal late in video games down eight is very, exceedingly, the worst, but at least you can construct an argument 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 values can be a two-point conversion that makes no time off the clock. That’s not the confusing flake, precisely the conservative fragment. No, the confusing bit was the lack of communication with the pique and, in particular, Aaron Rodgers. In his post-game press conference, Rodgers obliged sure to clarify that the field goal was not his decision, though he understood the meditating. 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 orchestrated 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 knock a field goal on fourth down in that scenario, that likely would have changed his thought process on that performance. Maybe he clambers for a touchdown, or at least fees the chunk close enough to change the scold from a knock to a fourth-down attempt. At the very least, the quarterback and head instruct is still not on the same page. Players should never be left guessing what their coach-and-four is going to do in key status, more that’s what we participated 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 once be running away with the title, essentially untouchable. For that matter, imagine if any of us had made Fournette. With 63.3 tops still further, he’s the leading fantasy running back in this postseason. Even if you make an payment to being surprised that Tampa Bay is going to the Super Bowl, exclusively Cam Akers put up more points per game than Fournette has. His 55 yards against the Packers was actually his least effective game of the playoffs still further, but he still spotted a highway 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 demonstrates 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 video games in the dying instants against the Chiefs. Buffalo got the ball back up 23 spots with 7:36 left in the AFC Championship Game. From that item on, Allen moved 7-for-10 for 88 yards and a touchdown, flowing for 19 more grounds and picking up a first down, as well. Yes, “hes taking” a back-breaking sack on the Bills’ last drive of video games, forcing a field goal instead of a fourth-down attempt. At that point, nonetheless, the Bills needed a supernatural to get back in the football game, and bracing on to the ball and hoping something magical would happen is understandable in that circumstance; you can’t get the miracle play if you don’t demonstrate it a shot. In a week with simply two games, 100 gardens of pique in the dying moments of a rivalry surely certifies for this award.

No quit in @JoshAllenQB. #BillsMafia #NFLPlayoffs

#BUFvsKC on CBS NFL app // Yahoo Athletics 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 years at replacement level or lower, pulsating 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 instantly sold for each other( with collects included ). From looking like a failure 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 career, and his highest since 2011. He too recorded his highest DVOA since that first of his MVP expeditions, preceding the organization in touchdowns and ending percentage despite one of his starting receivers being among the leaders in threw passes.

Game-Changing Play of the Week

The biggest romp of the season to date, considers the ventures present in a conference championship game, never should have happened. There is nothing reasonable is why, with eight seconds left in the half and no Tampa Bay timeouts remaining, Kevin King should be single-covering Scotty Miller with no facilitate deep. It’s a massive mis in defensive frisk calling, 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 going triple-covered down the middle-of-the-road, leaving both Miller and Mike Evans single-covered on the outside. Brady could have gone down either sideline and cast a touchdown. This is a situation where you do not care if Tampa Bay completes 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 awful situate to be in. This was a time to play the softest zone imaginable, guarding the sidelines and cease zone. Instead, the Packers were in Cover-1, representing close-fisted inside skill man-to-man? That’s insanity, and was honored appropriately.

Wow.

Scotty Miller’s max hastened on this represent: 20.64 MPH.

Kevin King’s max velocity: 19.19 MPH.

Via @NextGenStats pic.twitter.com/ uGWBTyyPyE

— Seth Walder (@ SethWalder) January 24, 2021

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

Weekly Projection

Money-Back Guarantee Lock of the Week

All selects are made without reference to the FO+ picks, while all pipelines are courtesy ofBovada and were accurate as of meter of writing.

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

Bryan: What are you doing here? We had an entire article 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 think the game will be closer than the general betting public seems to think at this moment. 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 triumphing Double Survival, and my victory in the Lock, I guess the Prop Bets will decide the better picker for 2020 — so we’ll just have to see which of us has a better Weeknd.

1

While his detonator hit in 2020…

While his cover touched in 2020 wasn’t anything especially outrageous, 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 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.

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

For the Eagles, Wentz’s cap hit isn’t atrocious for a quarterback, attention you: it’s only really going to be on the high-pitched feature in 2021/2022. By 2023, you’d have to guess that a $32 M/ time ceiling reach would actually be on the* low-toned* surface for a quarterback.( Of track, if Wentz’s 2020 accomplishment is where he’s at, his achievement cost/ overhead ratio is still atrocious ).

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/ time is basically what the departing proportion is.

2

Bilal Powell

Our own chassis return Bilal Powell of the New York Jet the deed of worst returner, whereas Boston Scott was the most difficult of those 13 qualifiers. The Jaguars had the worst kickoff return counts 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 Bilal Powell, as the most difficult of the mint in our fleshes.

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

3

Fixed

In reply to by Travis

That very silly mistake is now tied. I’m sorry. And yes, amused by the irony in me shafting up an article about screwups.

4

Brandon Powell

In reply to by Andrew Potter

I believe that the chaps 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