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Roy Tucker
11-15-2009, 12:39 PM
Who is better, Manning or Brady?

http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2009/11/15/a_night_to_choose_sides/



A night to choose sides
Comparisons endless for incomparable QBs
By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Columnist / November 15, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - You are a Tom Brady Guy or you are a Peyton Manning Guy. There is nothing in between.

The Patriots play the Colts tonight in the marquee matchup of the NFL season. It’s the league’s annual sweeps spectacular; 33.8 million watched the 2007 game, which happens to be the only one of the last five won by the Patriots. Billions of words have been spilled regarding the history and relative strengths and weaknesses of the Pats and Ponies.

But any way you carve it, this game comes down to Brady and Manning. They are the top two players in America’s most popular sport. They are at the peaks of their respective careers. And they fight for the same prize every year.

Last Tuesday, Brady was reminded that he and Manning are often compared to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

“Which one am I?’’ asked Tom. “Bird or Magic?’’

On the field, Brady is Bird and Manning is Magic.

Like Bird, Brady is a great teammate. He makes those around him better. He is selfless. He is a worker. His game gets better when the conditions get worse. There was doubt about his ability to succeed in the pro game. He’s clutch. He wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game. Numbers in blowouts don’t interest him that much. Just as Bird sat down when he had a chance to record a quadruple-double in Utah, Brady took a seat against Tennessee when he could have shattered some single-game records.

Manning, like Magic, came to the pros as the top pick in the country, anointed as the best before he put on a uniform. Under Manning, the Colts’ high-flying offense has been the NBA’s version of the old Laker Showtime. Manning’s skills are obvious and daz zling. Like Magic, he’s a little bit of a front-runner. He’s likes playing in perfect conditions. It brings out the best in him.

Brady and Manning are friends, just as Larry and Magic became friends. But there is fire in each to be better than the other. Peyton, for all of his records, has only one Super Bowl ring. Brady has three. Oh, and the single-season record for touchdown passes? Manning looked like he retired the trophy when he threw for 49 in 2004. In 2007, Brady came back with 50.

Brady-Manning and Bird-Magic are not the only matchups we’ve debated through the years. Boston sports is ever-blessed.

Remember Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain? Wilt had the eye-popping numbers, but Russell had the rings.

Peyton Manning is Wilt Chamberlain. Tom Brady is Bill Russell. End of story.

The ancient Ted Williams-Joe DiMaggio discussion also applies. Unfortunately, Boston got the wrong guy in the battle of baseball gods.

Brady is Joe DiMaggio. Grace under pressure. Brady wins championships. He never does anything awkward. Chicks dig him and guys want to be him. He’s ever-cool on the ballfield. He’s not afraid to marry someone more famous than himself. Joe D had Marilyn. Tom has Gisele. If football had anything resembling a hitting streak, Tom Brady would hit in 56 consecutive games.

Manning is Ted Williams. Ted was the greatest hitter who ever lived. Peyton may be the greatest passer who ever lived. His skills are obvious. He is an offensive machine, spectacular to watch. But winning championships is another story. Ted never won any. Manning has one. Manning is jealous of Tom’s rings just as Ted envied Joe D getting to the World Series every year.

Drunken owners of the Red Sox and Yankees almost swapped legends one night in New York. It would have settled a lot of arguments. Williams would have hit a lot more home runs playing at Yankee Stadium and Joe D could have padded his numbers at Fenway. Wonder if the fates of the teams would have been different.

It certainly seems safe to say that Manning would have won more than one Super Bowl if he’d spent the last 10 years in Foxborough under Bill Belichick.

Outside the sports arena, Brady vs. Manning works well as a Ginger-Mary Ann Game:

Brady is Mary Ann, Manning is Ginger.

Brady is Newman, Manning is Redford.

Brady is Harvard, Manning is Yale.

Brady is Avis, Manning is Hertz.

Brady is John, Manning is Paul.

Brady is real grass, Manning is turf.

Brady is dogs, Manning is cats.

Brady is the quarterback of the New England Patriots. Manning is the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. They play against one another just about this time every year - usually again in January.

And you have to choose. You are either a Brady Guy or a Manning Guy.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.

© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.

GIDP
11-15-2009, 01:40 PM
Manning with out doubt from my point of view.

Joseph
11-15-2009, 02:51 PM
Mannings the better QB, Brady has had the better team most of the time. Not exactly a system QB, but he's got an element of that in him.

reds1869
11-15-2009, 05:15 PM
Manning in a run away. If you phrased the question to ask which QB you'd rather have on your team, I doubt very many outside of New England would choose Brady.

traderumor
11-15-2009, 06:03 PM
Palmer :p:

WMR
11-15-2009, 06:18 PM
Palmer :p:

That was my answer.

redsfanmia
11-15-2009, 06:45 PM
Palmer :p:

Are you serious? Carson is a nice quarterback but he does not even belong in the conversation with Brady and Manning. 2005 Carson maybe but not 2009 Carson.

blumj
11-15-2009, 08:10 PM
The real question for Bengals fans should be: do you root for the Colts to put the Bengals in line for the #2 seed, or do you get ambitious enough to root for the Pats to give the Bengals a shot at the #1 seed?

Oh, and if it's not too late, put on Football Night in America. They're pretty well equipped to talk about this matchup with Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy.

Razor Shines
11-15-2009, 10:27 PM
I'd like to see the numbers Manning could put up throwing to Moss. Brady doesn't much have to worry about picks if he's throwing near Moss. That TD pass he just threw to Moss was in the air forever.

reds1869
11-15-2009, 10:53 PM
I'd like to see the numbers Manning could put up throwing to Moss. Brady doesn't much have to worry about picks if he's throwing near Moss. That TD pass he just threw to Moss was in the air forever.

I was at Marshall when Moss was there. His QBs were Eric Kresser and Chad Pennington. Both were future NFL QBs, and obviously Chad has had a nice long career. They were both great players, but Moss made them both look like Hall of Famers. He is like a magnet that pulls in anything within 20 feet. I have seen that "lob to Randy" strategy more times than I can count, and it usually works.

cincrazy
11-15-2009, 11:04 PM
I'd like to see the numbers Manning could put up throwing to Moss. Brady doesn't much have to worry about picks if he's throwing near Moss. That TD pass he just threw to Moss was in the air forever.

Before Moss, who was Brady throwing to? David Patton? Brady isn't a system QB. Peyton has also had great receivers, actually the entire time he's been in Indy, he's been surrounded by great offensive talent. You can't say the same for Brady.

Both are incredible quarterbacks. And I love Peyton Manning, he's one of my favorite players. But Tom Brady has the bling, and since I feel the two are so close talent wise, I'll take Brady.

traderumor
11-15-2009, 11:29 PM
Are you serious? Carson is a nice quarterback but he does not even belong in the conversation with Brady and Manning. 2005 Carson maybe but not 2009 Carson.:rolleyes:

Razor Shines
11-15-2009, 11:38 PM
Before Moss, who was Brady throwing to? David Patton? Brady isn't a system QB. Peyton has also had great receivers, actually the entire time he's been in Indy, he's been surrounded by great offensive talent. You can't say the same for Brady.

Both are incredible quarterbacks. And I love Peyton Manning, he's one of my favorite players. But Tom Brady has the bling, and since I feel the two are so close talent wise, I'll take Brady.

Brady's always had a defense and usually a running game. The Colts have no running game and Marvin Harrison was pretty great but he never made up for mistakes the way that Moss does. I wonder how much we'd think the offensive talent of the Colts was great if they didn't have Manning.

Redlegs23
11-16-2009, 12:45 AM
Bill Belicheck lost this game tonight. Peyton got my vote. He isn't just the best qb in the league, he has a very good argument to be the best qb to ever play the game.

Chip R
11-16-2009, 12:53 AM
Anyone else see that Patriots assistant coach shove that cameraman down on the ground as he and Belicheck ran off the field?

Razor Shines
11-16-2009, 12:54 AM
The NFL's fixed, Belicheck is in on it.

Yachtzee
11-16-2009, 01:00 AM
Anyone else see that Patriots assistant coach shove that cameraman down on the ground as he and Belicheck ran off the field?

Did he take his lunch money too?

Caveat Emperor
11-16-2009, 01:04 AM
I love the call. Absolutely love it. It didn't work out, but it showed why Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history -- he has no fear in him on the sidelines. He plays his game, he calls his game, and be damned the "book" and be damned the critics who will Monday Morning Quarterback this for months.

He needed two yards, and he trusted the one of the best (if not the best) QBs to make the throw to win the game. He could've played it safe, but he put himself *personally* on the line and went for the W.

Brutus
11-16-2009, 01:06 AM
I love the call. Absolutely love it. It didn't work out, but it showed why Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history -- he has no fear in him on the sidelines. He plays his game, he calls his game, and be damned the "book" and be damned the critics who will Monday Morning Quarterback this for months.

He needed two yards, and he trusted the one of the best (if not the best) QBs to make the throw to win the game. He could've played it safe, but he put himself *personally* on the line and went for the W.

I admire him for it, but I think it was a stupid decision. You can't take the chance on letting Manning have to only go 30 yards for the winning touchdown. At least make him go the length of the field.

Caveat Emperor
11-16-2009, 01:08 AM
I admire him for it, but I think it was a stupid decision. You can't take the chance on letting Manning have to only go 30 yards for the winning touchdown. At least make him go the length of the field.

I guess -- but was there any doubt watching this game that Manning was going to win, from any distance, if he had 2 minutes AND a time out to work with?

Brutus
11-16-2009, 01:13 AM
I guess -- but was there any doubt watching this game that Manning was going to win, from any distance, if he had 2 minutes AND a time out to work with?

LOL absolutely not. Heck, even when it was 31-14, I knew better than to turn the game off knowing Manning was likely to bring them back. In fact, I almost expected it.

Surreal finish.

George Foster
11-16-2009, 01:20 AM
I guess -- but was there any doubt watching this game that Manning was going to win, from any distance, if he had 2 minutes AND a time out to work with?

One of the craziest decisions in the history of modern football...really. You don't even take the chance. You play the percentages. You make the Colts go 60-65 yards to win...not 29 yards. The defense got punked .

dougdirt
11-16-2009, 01:28 AM
I must admit, I fully expected my Manning vote to bring him closer to Brady..... only to find out everyone seems to be on board with my thinking.

AtomicDumpling
11-16-2009, 01:43 AM
The Patriots won 11 games last year without Brady. He is not as integral to his team's success. He is a stud surrounded by studs and a genius coach.

I don't think the Colts would even break .500 if Manning went down. He literally carries that team to success.

DTCromer
11-16-2009, 01:49 AM
I love the call. Absolutely love it. It didn't work out, but it showed why Bill Belichick is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history -- he has no fear in him on the sidelines. He plays his game, he calls his game, and be damned the "book" and be damned the critics who will Monday Morning Quarterback this for months.

He needed two yards, and he trusted the one of the best (if not the best) QBs to make the throw to win the game. He could've played it safe, but he put himself *personally* on the line and went for the W.


Yup, I'm in agreement. I'm trying to defend it but everyone just assumes that you should PUNT every single time. What were the chances Peyton would've came back and won it anyway? ALl they needed was 2 yards. . and they got it. . he just juggled it. It is why he's one of the GOAT coaches.

You win some and you lose some. . . this time he lost. Oh well. The Pats ran up close to 500 yards on the #1 defense in the NFL (Well, used to be #1.)

MWM
11-16-2009, 02:21 AM
I think the decision by Belicheck was one of fear of given the ball back to Manning. I think he decided that if Manning got the ball back at all, they couldn't stop him. The Belicheck of just a few years ago would have not been afraid of that situation because he knew he could stop him. That wasn't a bold decision, it was a scared one. He had no confidence in his defense.

gilpdawg
11-16-2009, 03:46 AM
I admire him for it, but I think it was a stupid decision. You can't take the chance on letting Manning have to only go 30 yards for the winning touchdown. At least make him go the length of the field.
I agree with that. I'm a Colts fan.....and I was sick to my stomach the whole game because I KNEW we were getting outplayed and probably going to lose. BB gave us the window, we took it.

gilpdawg
11-16-2009, 03:50 AM
The Patriots won 11 games last year without Brady. He is not as integral to his team's success. He is a stud surrounded by studs and a genius coach.

I don't think the Colts would even break .500 if Manning went down. He literally carries that team to success.
.500? They'd be the Rams or the Browns. The D is mediocre, and Reggie Wayne is really their only playmaker. Clark, Collie, Garcon and the rest are products of Peyton's awesomeness. THAT is why he should be the MVP every single year, and probably the best to ever play.

If Indy had even a passable defense, instead of one of the worst in the league from 2001-2004, Manning would have 2 or 3 rings by now.

cincrazy
11-16-2009, 08:37 AM
Brady's always had a defense and usually a running game. The Colts have no running game and Marvin Harrison was pretty great but he never made up for mistakes the way that Moss does. I wonder how much we'd think the offensive talent of the Colts was great if they didn't have Manning.

I'm not arguing how great Peyton Manning is, trust me on that. One of the best EVER, clearly.

But the Pats haven't always had a running game. Antoine Smith was carrying the load there for a while, and he was anything but very good. And the Colts with Manning have had Edge James, and Addai was a very good running back also up until recently.

But really, this argument is silly. It's splitting hairs. They are both incredible quarterbacks and are head and shoulders above everyone else IMO.

Razor Shines
11-16-2009, 09:37 AM
Yup, I'm in agreement. I'm trying to defend it but everyone just assumes that you should PUNT every single time. What were the chances Peyton would've came back and won it anyway? ALl they needed was 2 yards. . and they got it. . he just juggled it. It is why he's one of the GOAT coaches.

You win some and you lose some. . . this time he lost. Oh well. The Pats ran up close to 500 yards on the #1 defense in the NFL (Well, used to be #1.)

That's a mirage. They're #1 in points allowed, but in other defensive stats they're pretty middle of the road and they're only that high because they haven't really played anybody.

But yeah, the Pats beat them like a dog who soiled the carpet for most of the game.

bucksfan2
11-16-2009, 09:42 AM
I take Brady, and its not really close.

I think, although it is Monday, that Brady hasn't won a Super Bowl with the help of Moss. I believe all his other SB's were won with their best WR being Deion Branch and a RB core of a bunch of no names. I think while Manning is a great QB, puts up great numbers, has great pocket awareness, but I think Brady has that "it" quality. He used to be a tough as nails QB, who knew what had to happen in order to get the job done. He always reminded me of a QB who took it one step at a time.

FWIW I take the old Brady, the pre-uber celebrity QB.

Razor Shines
11-16-2009, 09:46 AM
My biggest problem with Belicheck's strategy at the end was that he used up all of their timeouts, and I don't think he had to. I'm pretty sure that the 4th down play wouldn't have been overturned, but I'm sure Pats fans would have liked for the refs to at least take a look.

Roy Tucker
11-16-2009, 10:31 AM
I thought Belichick's move was gutsy. He thought the best chance they had to win that game was to keep Manning off the field. I guess he thought that no matter how far Manning had to go, 30 yards or 70 yards, he was going to score.

It was kinda weird for me to watch that game. We spent Thursday night and then all day Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium at high school marching band Grand Nationals. Like 16 hours in the stadium. Mason HS came in 20th out of 102 bands. A good showing. They must turn that stadium over quickly because the competition didn't end till well after midnight on Sat. Indy really uses that stadium a lot unlike PBS.

blumj
11-16-2009, 10:50 AM
I think the decision by Belicheck was one of fear of given the ball back to Manning. I think he decided that if Manning got the ball back at all, they couldn't stop him. The Belicheck of just a few years ago would have not been afraid of that situation because he knew he could stop him. That wasn't a bold decision, it was a scared one. He had no confidence in his defense.
I don't think he makes the same decision with Cassel instead of Brady at QB AND I don't think he makes it if he has more DEs and/or OLBs available. I guess that means I think it's both: too much confidence in his O to do something a bit too extraordinary and not enough confidence in his depleted and tired D to do something more ordinary. Honestly, I feel like he was more between a rock and a hard place than either right or wrong.

blumj
11-16-2009, 11:01 AM
Oh, FWIW, I didn't vote in the poll. I think they're as close to interchangeable as you're going to get. And Matt Cassel could probably QB this Colts team to 11 wins with the schedule the Pats played last year, after all, the Dolphins did it with Pennington and the wildcat.

George Anderson
11-16-2009, 11:16 AM
My biggest problem with Belicheck's strategy at the end was that he used up all of their timeouts, and I don't think he had to. I'm pretty sure that the 4th down play wouldn't have been overturned, but I'm sure Pats fans would have liked for the refs to at least take a look.

It's Manning and it isn't even close. People talk about Manning having great recievers as the reason for his success, but like Tony Dungy said last night, Manning made those receivers great.

On the subject of the Pats not having enough timeouts to challenge the 4th down play. Remember Belichick had to waste a timeout to have the pass to Reggie Wayne reviewed in the 3rd Qtr. It was Mannings heads up play to rush the offense up to the line of scrimmage so quick that the Pats up in the box didn't have enough time to see if the play warranted a review. Belichick had to flip a coin because Manning didn't give them enough time to review the play and see if a review was warranted. Belichick ended up being wrong which cost him a timeout and pretty much the game. I just don't see Brady as being anywhere near as smart as Manning in that regard.

Razor Shines
11-16-2009, 11:30 AM
It's Manning and it isn't even close. People talk about Manning having great recievers as the reason for his success, but like Tony Dungy said last night, Manning made those receivers great.

On the subject of the Pats not having enough timeouts to challenge the 4th down play. Remember Belichick had to waste a timeout to have the pass to Reggie Wayne reviewed in the 3rd Qtr. It was Mannings heads up play to rush the offense up to the line of scrimmage so quick that the Pats up in the box didn't have enough time to see if the play warranted a review. Belichick had to flip a coin because Manning didn't give them enough time to review the play and see if a review was warranted. Belichick ended up being wrong which cost him a timeout and pretty much the game. I just don't see Brady as being anywhere near as smart as Manning in that regard.

I agree with all that, but I don't understand why the Pats called a time out to start their last drive in the 4th quarter, before they even ran one play. That was a waste of a time out IMO.

George Anderson
11-16-2009, 11:35 AM
Here are pics of the NBC camera man being thrown to the ground.

God I hope he sues those punks!!

http://photos.indystar.com/galleries/slides/7944?page=1

blumj
11-16-2009, 11:42 AM
It's Manning and it isn't even close. People talk about Manning having great recievers as the reason for his success, but like Tony Dungy said last night, Manning made those receivers great.

On the subject of the Pats not having enough timeouts to challenge the 4th down play. Remember Belichick had to waste a timeout to have the pass to Reggie Wayne reviewed in the 3rd Qtr. It was Mannings heads up play to rush the offense up to the line of scrimmage so quick that the Pats up in the box didn't have enough time to see if the play warranted a review. Belichick had to flip a coin because Manning didn't give them enough time to review the play and see if a review was warranted. Belichick ended up being wrong which cost him a timeout and pretty much the game. I just don't see Brady as being anywhere near as smart as Manning in that regard.

Belichick made the mistake, though. After a similar completion for the Pats, Brady did the same thing, who's to say if the Colts HC(forgot his name for a sec)might have just had a better view?

traderumor
11-16-2009, 12:13 PM
Here are pics of the NBC camera man being thrown to the ground.

God I hope he sues those punks!!

http://photos.indystar.com/galleries/slides/7944?page=1Is that Garth (the cameraman)?

traderumor
11-16-2009, 12:16 PM
One of the craziest decisions in the history of modern football...really. You don't even take the chance. You play the percentages. You make the Colts go 60-65 yards to win...not 29 yards. The defense got punked .Yup. That decision is indefensible. Sometimes against the grain decisions are that way because they are stupid.

DTCromer
11-16-2009, 12:18 PM
What has the better chance of happening?

Patriots gaining 2 yards on just 1 play

Patriots defense stopping Peyton Manning 4 straight times.

BB made the right call and even I immediately thought he'd go for it after the 3rd down incompletion. BB's gone for it on 4th down numerous times and made it. It just so happened he didnt' make it on this one. Oh well, Indy would've more than likely had the 1st spot locked up anyway which is more important to them than NE. It's the regular season and both teams will more than likely end up playing each other.

RedsBaron
11-16-2009, 12:20 PM
I was at Marshall when Moss was there. His QBs were Eric Kresser and Chad Pennington. Both were future NFL QBs, and obviously Chad has had a nice long career. They were both great players, but Moss made them both look like Hall of Famers. He is like a magnet that pulls in anything within 20 feet. I have seen that "lob to Randy" strategy more times than I can count, and it usually works.

Yep. I watched a bunch of Marshall games in 1996-97. In those two seasons Moss often looked as if he was a man playing with boys. The "lob to Randy" in the corner of the end zone was virtually unstoppable.

traderumor
11-16-2009, 12:27 PM
What has the better chance of happening?

Patriots gaining 2 yards on just 1 play

Patriots defense stopping Peyton Manning 4 straight times.

BB made the right call and even I immediately thought he'd go for it after the 3rd down incompletion. BB's gone for it on 4th down numerous times and made it. It just so happened he didnt' make it on this one. Oh well, Indy would've more than likely had the 1st spot locked up anyway which is more important to them than NE. It's the regular season and both teams will more than likely end up playing each other.This should simply be written off as "gambled and lost" rather than trying to defend a stupid decision. The decision defies logic, there is a reason a coach will always punt in that situation. I think he would have had a better gamble to do a fake punt if he just really thought a first down was necessary to win the game. But sometimes, even the best coaches do stupid things. This was one of them.

George Anderson
11-16-2009, 12:34 PM
What has the better chance of happening?

Patriots gaining 2 yards on just 1 play

Patriots defense stopping Peyton Manning 4 straight times.

BB made the right call and even I immediately thought he'd go for it after the 3rd down incompletion. BB's gone for it on 4th down numerous times and made it. It just so happened he didnt' make it on this one. Oh well, Indy would've more than likely had the 1st spot locked up anyway which is more important to them than NE. It's the regular season and both teams will more than likely end up playing each other.

I think the ramifications of not making the 2 yard gain when you are on your own 30 yard line far outweighs any other decision that Belicheck could have been thinking.

Chip R
11-16-2009, 12:35 PM
Yep. I watched a bunch of Marshall games in 1996-97. In those two seasons Moss often looked as if he was a man playing with boys. The "lob to Randy" in the corner of the end zone was virtually unstoppable.


It was funny during introductions when he was saying his name and alma mater it didn't sound like Marshall. Sounded like he said, "Random University" or "Randy University"

reds1869
11-16-2009, 12:52 PM
It was funny during introductions when he was saying his name and alma mater it didn't sound like Marshall. Sounded like he said, "Random University" or "Randy University"

He always says "Rand University" because he grew up in Rand, West Virginia. There is some animosity between him and Marshall due to some behind the scenes disrespect shown to him, so he has been saying Rand University for the past two years. Hopefully our new AD and soon to come new head coach can turn that around. It is painful to hear our most famous football alum acting like we don't exist! I won't go into details, but the university turned down a huge sum of money from him because of one of the conditions attached...now he is bitter.

Chip R
11-16-2009, 01:09 PM
He always says "Rand University" because he grew up in Rand, West Virginia. There is some animosity between him and Marshall due to some behind the scenes disrespect shown to him, so he has been saying Rand University for the past two years. Hopefully our new AD and soon to come new head coach can turn that around. It is painful to hear our most famous football alum acting like we don't exist! I won't go into details, but the university turned down a huge sum of money from him because of one of the conditions attached...now he is bitter.


Oh, I see. Thanks for the info. That's too bad.

Patrick Bateman
11-16-2009, 01:10 PM
This should simply be written off as "gambled and lost" rather than trying to defend a stupid decision. The decision defies logic, there is a reason a coach will always punt in that situation. I think he would have had a better gamble to do a fake punt if he just really thought a first down was necessary to win the game. But sometimes, even the best coaches do stupid things. This was one of them.

Well the odds actually suggest that the BB made the right call, that it gave them the best chance to win. I agree, it does seem counter intuitive, and I disagreed at first, but it's hard to completely disregard the percentages.

Hoosier Red
11-16-2009, 01:14 PM
One of the craziest decisions in the history of modern football...really. You don't even take the chance. You play the percentages. You make the Colts go 60-65 yards to win...not 29 yards. The defense got punked .

in the Tell Your Statistics to Shut Up! Department...

The numbers suggest one should go for it. Because the Colts needed a TD, 30-40 yards isn't going to make as much of a difference in stopping them versus the near certainty that comes with getting the 2 yards.

What I don't understand is how do you not have Randy Moss run a yard past the stick and turn around. If I want the ball in my best players hands, I don't care if Moss if he's triple covered.

Not being able to get the 2 yards speaks more to the lack of a running game(they had a shotgun and 5 WRs formation.)

traderumor
11-16-2009, 01:59 PM
in the Tell Your Statistics to Shut Up! Department...

The numbers suggest one should go for it. Because the Colts needed a TD, 30-40 yards isn't going to make as much of a difference in stopping them versus the near certainty that comes with getting the 2 yards.

What I don't understand is how do you not have Randy Moss run a yard past the stick and turn around. If I want the ball in my best players hands, I don't care if Moss if he's triple covered.

Not being able to get the 2 yards speaks more to the lack of a running game(they had a shotgun and 5 WRs formation.)Begging the question of "near certainty that comes with getting the 2 yards." Who says? 2 yards in that situation is not a "near certainty." Inches might have been a reasonable call, but not two yards.

The flip side of the numbers say that the longer the Colts had to go likely means more plays, and the numbers suggest that the more plays needed to cover yardage will increase the probability of not scoring. This isn't just going against the grain, it is poor strategy and was a knee-jerk in game decision that BB will likely never do again. Just a stupid football decision. I don't buy the logic that "well, they couldn't stop them anyway." That is actually the greatest probability of occurring considering the available decisions to choose from there.

Hoosier Red
11-16-2009, 02:12 PM
Begging the question of "near certainty that comes with getting the 2 yards." Who says? 2 yards in that situation is not a "near certainty." Inches might have been a reasonable call, but not two yards.

The flip side of the numbers say that the longer the Colts had to go likely means more plays, and the numbers suggest that the more plays needed to cover yardage will increase the probability of not scoring. This isn't just going against the grain, it is poor strategy and was a knee-jerk in game decision that BB will likely never do again. Just a stupid football decision. I don't buy the logic that "well, they couldn't stop them anyway." That is actually the greatest probability of occurring considering the available decisions to choose from there.

I'll let advanced NFL stats.com speak for me. The chances of them getting the 2 yards plus the chance they could stop the Colts from scoring from 30 yards were greater than the chances of stopping the Colts from 65 yards.
That's before you factor in Peyton Manning, night game, tired Patriots defense.
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/11/belichicks-4th-down-decision-vs-colts.html

traderumor
11-16-2009, 02:45 PM
I'll let advanced NFL stats.com speak for me. The chances of them getting the 2 yards plus the chance they could stop the Colts from scoring from 30 yards were greater than the chances of stopping the Colts from 65 yards.
That's before you factor in Peyton Manning, night game, tired Patriots defense.
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/11/belichicks-4th-down-decision-vs-colts.htmlYea, I'm not real sure that 60/40 as the first decision rule makes it a slam dunk for ya there, esp. considering the field position. Also, nice assumption that the change of possesson would be on the 35 yd. line. A good punt, a block in the back and suddenly you're starting inside your own 20. Plug that into your formula. That doesn't even get into the numbers being a compilation of all NFL games, so the usefulness of such information without tailoring to make game decisions? Nice try though. It was a stupid move.

Hoosier Red
11-16-2009, 02:49 PM
Yea, I'm not real sure that 60/40 as the first decision rule makes it a slam dunk for ya there, esp. considering the field position. That doesn't even get into the numbers being a compilation of all NFL games. Nice try though.

I'm not saying it's a slam dunk, but if you want team specific stats, the Patriots had converted 78% of their 4th downs to that point this season. Since Brady's rookie year they've converted 63% of all 4th and 2 or shorter.

The question is, how much better are the odds of winning if you back the Colts up 35 yards versus the odds of making the 4th down. Considering Peyton Manning's on the other sideline, I wouldn't feel comfortable if he had to go 99 yards. Considering Tom Brady's got the ball in his hands, I want him figuring out a way to get 2 yards.

traderumor
11-16-2009, 02:53 PM
I'm not saying it's a slam dunk, but if you want team specific stats, the Patriots had converted 78% of their 4th downs to that point this season. Since Brady's rookie year they've converted 63% of all 4th and 2 or shorter.

The question is, how much better are the odds of winning if you back the Colts up 35 yards versus the odds of making the 4th down. Considering Peyton Manning's on the other sideline, I wouldn't feel comfortable if he had to go 99 yards. Considering Tom Brady's got the ball in his hands, I want him figuring out a way to get 2 yards.How about numbers on 4th and 2 on your own 28 with the game on the line? Now 0% ;) Really, all this does is show the folly of using statistics in this manner.

Hoosier Red
11-16-2009, 04:08 PM
Not really, you use statistics to tell which choice has the highest probability of success.

Think of it this way, if Dusty Baker brings Francisco Cordero in with a 1 run lead and Cordero gives up a walk and a homer, did Baker blow the decision? No he went with the high % move.

I think in any case, there was a good chance the Colts were going to win. The only way the Patriots could control their destiny so to speak was if they got the 1st down. Whether they punted or gave it up at their own 28, they were putting the ball in the hands of probably the best late game quarterback in his own building and defending him with a bunch of tired guys.

TMBS I would have punted, but I can certainly see his rationale for going for it.

traderumor
11-16-2009, 04:39 PM
TMBS I would have punted, but I can certainly see his rationale for going for it.So, BB admitted that he used probability tables to make this decision, since that is what you're using to justify the decision? Do you really think it had anything to do with a tired defense? Do you think it was just as likely that he arrogantly said "watch the praise they will heap on me after this gutsy call. I will thumb my nose at all those second-guessers, each and every one of them that questions the great BB"?

Hoosier Red
11-16-2009, 05:06 PM
No. I mean I wasn't in his head obviously but Belichick has pretty much never cared what people thought of him. I'm sure he doesn't mind being called a genius, but he never seemed to make moves so people would call him smart.(ala Tony Larussa)

However, I do think sometimes he gets to be too smart for his own good. Not because he wants to make a move that everyone will praise, but simply because he thinks he's smarter than everyone else.

Not sure if that was the case here but I can see the argument.

bucksfan2
11-16-2009, 05:06 PM
So, BB admitted that he used probability tables to make this decision, since that is what you're using to justify the decision? Do you really think it had anything to do with a tired defense? Do you think it was just as likely that he arrogantly said "watch the praise they will heap on me after this gutsy call. I will thumb my nose at all those second-guessers, each and every one of them that questions the great BB"?

BB is about as arrogant as they come, but I don't think that had anything to do with the call.

I like the call, not saying I would do the same thing, but I liked it. You are doing your best to keep the ball out of Payton's hands. Even when they didn't get the 1st they still could have stopped them.

Also I think BB thinks Manning is going to engineer a scoring drive no matter what. Wouldn't you rather have a chance to get the ball back (only having 20+ yards to go) than getting the ball back with little time on the clock (going 70 yards to score)? I heard someone say that 31 other coaches in the league punt that ball away, the Jim Tressel in me says punt the ball away. But the best way to win the game is to keep the ball out of Manning's hands.

blumj
11-16-2009, 06:02 PM
FWIW, BB said what he always says when asked about going for it on 4th down from their own side of the field, that he believed in the play, thought they'd get it, and converting would have given them their best chance to win the game.

Posnanski's take: http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/11/16/going-for-it/

Personally, I have a hard time faulting Bill Belichick for believing that Tom Brady and Kevin Faulk are going to get him 2 yards when he needs them the most.

Bumstead
11-16-2009, 06:40 PM
Bellichick just wanted to jam it up the Colts arse. His ego got in the way of making a good football decision. I love it! He got what he deserved. You can't give Peyton Manning the ball on the 29 yard line with 2 minutes to go, needing a TD when he has scored on two consecutive drives and is wearing out the defense. You got to make him go the length of the field; gives the defense more margin for error and Manning less margin for error. 4th and 2 with 2 minutes left in the biggest game so far during the year? Throw out the stats and bring in the heart! Patriots are 0% on the year converting stupid decisions into a positive outcome on the year to this point. Why make excuses for this guy anyway?

Bum

Redsfan320
11-16-2009, 08:05 PM
What a great win by the Peytons (that's what I call 'em)! Belichick makes me laugh.
Go Colts!

320

Chip R
11-16-2009, 08:34 PM
I think it was a gutsy but stupid call. Giving Manning 30 yards with a time out with a little over 2 minutes left is suicidal. Giving him the ball in that situation with 60-70 yards to go is dangerous but there's a better chance of a fumble or an interception with that far to go.

Brutus
11-16-2009, 09:06 PM
I'll let advanced NFL stats.com speak for me. The chances of them getting the 2 yards plus the chance they could stop the Colts from scoring from 30 yards were greater than the chances of stopping the Colts from 65 yards.
That's before you factor in Peyton Manning, night game, tired Patriots defense.
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/11/belichicks-4th-down-decision-vs-colts.html

It should now be pointed out that the guy that runs that site, has now admitted his numbers are not just 4th down, but also includes 3rd down statistics on that same yardage because 4th downs "are rare."

So the statistics you're referencing for 4th down conversion likelihood are tainted a bit.

Hoosier Red
11-16-2009, 09:35 PM
Huh, that's stupid. I hadn't seen that.

In any event as I said, I can see the rationale for the call. I just wouldn't have done it.

D-Man
11-17-2009, 12:07 AM
Also I think BB thinks Manning is going to engineer a scoring drive no matter what. Wouldn't you rather have a chance to get the ball back (only having 20+ yards to go) than getting the ball back with little time on the clock (going 70 yards to score)?

Bucksfan poses the more interesting question to me--if Belicheck thought that Manning was going to engineer a winning drive regardless, then why didn't he instruct the Pats defense to let Indy score on the first play and get the ball back with ~1:50 left on the clock? That move would put the game back in Brady's hands w/ one timeout, where a field goal wins the game.

That would have been the real hubristic move at that point in the game, and a smart one too.

traderumor
11-17-2009, 02:13 PM
Bucksfan poses the more interesting question to me--if Belicheck thought that Manning was going to engineer a winning drive regardless, then why didn't he instruct the Pats defense to let Indy score on the first play and get the ball back with ~1:50 left on the clock? That move would put the game back in Brady's hands w/ one timeout, where a field goal wins the game.

That would have been the real hubristic move at that point in the game, and a smart one too.From a mere strategy standpoint, in a game of strat-o-matic or Madden, that might make sense. From a psychological standpoint, that's a terrible idea. You've already kicked your D in the teeth once by not punting and telling them you don't believe they can stop Manning, but now you're not even gonna leave the door open to say "guys, I had such confidence in you that I took the chance and went for it, knowing that even if our O couldn't get the 2 yards, you guys could stop them. I know it didn't work out, but I had confidence that you could stop him. That's one reason I went for it."

bucksfan2
11-17-2009, 03:39 PM
Another point that was brought up that makes sense to me. When you give Manning the ball back with around 2 minutes to play you have to stop him for 4 downs. 4 downs instead of 3 makes it more difficult to turn the ball over on downs. With 2 minutes left to play and 1 TO left Manning would have been able to use the whole field. He could not only work the sidelines but also the middle of the field.

I probably would have punted but the Pats D has been pretty porous in the 4th quarter. Also take into consideration the closer Manning gets to the goal line the more difficult it becomes. The field shrinks and its a little easier to defend.

traderumor
11-17-2009, 04:07 PM
Another point that was brought up that makes sense to me. When you give Manning the ball back with around 2 minutes to play you have to stop him for 4 downs. 4 downs instead of 3 makes it more difficult to turn the ball over on downs. With 2 minutes left to play and 1 TO left Manning would have been able to use the whole field. He could not only work the sidelines but also the middle of the field.

I probably would have punted but the Pats D has been pretty porous in the 4th quarter. Also take into consideration the closer Manning gets to the goal line the more difficult it becomes. The field shrinks and its a little easier to defend.I think the reasons are going backwards in quality at this point. That is pretty weak there.

Hoosier Red
11-17-2009, 04:16 PM
I think the reasons are going backwards in quality at this point. That is pretty weak there.

I agree, I think every rational reason has already been stated. In effect he was playing the percentages, and he lost.

What I think the real mistake was though is not running the ball on 3rd down. If you run it on 3rd and 2, the clock goes to the 2 minute warning and then you a) have an additional timeout, b) probably have a shorter try to go, and c)the Colts have less time.

What the Patriots did smacks me as something that occurred to Belichick just as the 3rd down pass fell incomplete. So in effect it was a panic move and because of that it was wrong. However that's what the Colts (and previously the Steelers and Patriots) do to you, they make you think you have to do something almost impossible just to beat them. It's the Tiger Woods effect, you feel like you have to perform better than you are able, so therefor you perform even worse than your maximum.

Oxblood
11-18-2009, 05:14 PM
Nice call Bellichump. It goes down as the worst call in NFL regular season history. Couldn't happen to a better guy.

Hoosier Red
11-19-2009, 02:17 AM
Nah, there's no way his call was worse than Sam Wyche trying to run out the clock by having the tailback run a sweep backwards. He was caught, the 49ers got the ball back and Joe Montana to Jerry Rice led to the Bengals being on the short end.

Brutus
11-19-2009, 04:29 AM
Nah, there's no way his call was worse than Sam Wyche trying to run out the clock by having the tailback run a sweep backwards. He was caught, the 49ers got the ball back and Joe Montana to Jerry Rice led to the Bengals being on the short end.

He did say regular season history ;)

Razor Shines
11-19-2009, 04:32 AM
Nice call Bellichump. It goes down as the worst call in NFL regular season history. Couldn't happen to a better guy.

If I am completely honest, when they decided to go for it I was saying "no, you son of a b, just kick the ball!" I really didn't think the defense could stop them.

blumj
11-19-2009, 09:25 AM
If I am completely honest, when they decided to go for it I was saying "no, you son of a b, just kick the ball!" I really didn't think the defense could stop them.

Sorry, you mean thought the Pats would convert on 4th and 2 and wanted them to punt because you were rooting for Indy?

Razor Shines
11-19-2009, 10:50 AM
Sorry, you mean thought the Pats would convert on 4th and 2 and wanted them to punt because you were rooting for Indy?

Yeah, at the time of the decision I would have preferred they kick the ball (obviously I mean before the down played out). The D had given up almost 500 yards to that point and I thought for sure they'd get the 2 yards they needed on 4th down. I had a ton more faith that Peyton would go 60-70 and score a TD.

Sure after the Colts stopped them in the excitement of the moment I was jumping up and down saying "Belichick's an idiot!" But again if I'm completely honest I was very, very nervous when they decided not to punt.

blumj
11-19-2009, 01:55 PM
Yeah, at the time of the decision I would have preferred they kick the ball (obviously I mean before the down played out). The D had given up almost 500 yards to that point and I thought for sure they'd get the 2 yards they needed on 4th down. I had a ton more faith that Peyton would go 60-70 and score a TD.

Sure after the Colts stopped them in the excitement of the moment I was jumping up and down saying "Belichick's an idiot!" But again if I'm completely honest I was very, very nervous when they decided not to punt.
I'm a Pats fan, and I was thinking if you could reverse everything about the whole game and put the Colts in the exact same position the Pats were in, there's no doubt in my mind that I'd have been begging the Colts to punt the ball back to Brady. It might be the only thing from almost the whole 2nd half of that game that I'm not mad or annoyed about.

traderumor
11-19-2009, 02:53 PM
I'm a Pats fan, and I was thinking if you could reverse everything about the whole game and put the Colts in the exact same position the Pats were in, there's no doubt in my mind that I'd have been begging the Colts to punt the ball back to Brady. It might be the only thing from almost the whole 2nd half of that game that I'm not mad or annoyed about.Well of course you would. If they don't give the ball back, then no chance to win.

redsfanmia
11-19-2009, 07:21 PM
Sorry, you mean thought the Pats would convert on 4th and 2 and wanted them to punt because you were rooting for Indy?

Being a Colts fan, I remember the Patriots going for alot on 4th down and usually making it when the Colts would play their soft 2 deep zone. I was shocked when they went for it, I felt that the Colts earned the ball back and was afraid they would get the first down and game would be over.

REDblooded
11-19-2009, 09:04 PM
I found Bullitt's comments about the scenario interesting (the SS that hit Faulk after the catch)... Basically said that the Colts defensive backs coach had been telling them all week that if they found themselves needing to stop a 4th and short situation that the ball was going to Faulk or Welker...

What drove me nuts about this game as a Colts fan is how the Colts defended the Patriots all night... How do you constantly let Welker and Faulk get a free release? Put somebody on them at the LOS and jam them... EVERY SINGLE TIME. That's all the Patriots are able to do. Hit Welker for 4 and let him gain 4 more. Hit Faulk for 5. Oops. Go deep to Moss... Jam Welker first... Double coverage on Moss every play. And have a LB spying Faulk, and don't let him get a clean release. Can't wait to see this team draft players that allow them to get away from the cover 2... I hate that defense. Ahhh, and another thing. Powers was doing great in coverage all night... Why wasn't he locked onto Moss?

Razor Shines
11-20-2009, 02:52 AM
I found Bullitt's comments about the scenario interesting (the SS that hit Faulk after the catch)... Basically said that the Colts defensive backs coach had been telling them all week that if they found themselves needing to stop a 4th and short situation that the ball was going to Faulk or Welker...

What drove me nuts about this game as a Colts fan is how the Colts defended the Patriots all night... How do you constantly let Welker and Faulk get a free release? Put somebody on them at the LOS and jam them... EVERY SINGLE TIME. That's all the Patriots are able to do. Hit Welker for 4 and let him gain 4 more. Hit Faulk for 5. Oops. Go deep to Moss... Jam Welker first... Double coverage on Moss every play. And have a LB spying Faulk, and don't let him get a clean release. Can't wait to see this team draft players that allow them to get away from the cover 2... I hate that defense. Ahhh, and another thing. Powers was doing great in coverage all night... Why wasn't he locked onto Moss?

I was asking the same thing during the game. He was just playing whoever lined up on the left side. He is a surprise, he's been able to somewhat make up for all of the injuries to the secondary.

blumj
11-20-2009, 04:34 AM
I'm sorry, but I think you're not supposed to complain about a 9-0 team in "mixed" company. ;)

REDblooded
11-20-2009, 01:18 PM
I'm sorry, but I think you're not supposed to complain about a 9-0 team in "mixed" company. ;)

Have you seen the ESPN power rankings? This team aint the saints... #1 MEANS SOOOOOO MUCH!

Dom Heffner
11-22-2009, 05:04 PM
Brady.

Razor Shines
11-22-2009, 05:07 PM
The NFL's fixed, Belicheck is in on it.

The NFL's fixed, Ed Reed is also in on it.

blumj
11-22-2009, 07:04 PM
It's just the same problem as all the other sports, the technology has just gotten to the point of demonstrating just how inadequate human eyesight really is without the benefit of HD slow motion and multiple camera angles.

Razor Shines
11-22-2009, 07:41 PM
It's just the same problem as all the other sports, the technology has just gotten to the point of demonstrating just how inadequate human eyesight really is without the benefit of HD slow motion and multiple camera angles.

What do you mean?

My point is that two weeks in a row the other team seems to be handing the game to the Colts. Why for any reason would Ed Reed try to lateral that ball? That play was a big bucket of dumb.

blumj
11-23-2009, 08:37 AM
What do you mean?

My point is that two weeks in a row the other team seems to be handing the game to the Colts. Why for any reason would Ed Reed try to lateral that ball? That play was a big bucket of dumb.

Yeah, that was dumb, I actually hadn't seen it yet. I leapt to the wrong conclusion.

DTCromer
11-23-2009, 08:51 AM
What do you mean?

My point is that two weeks in a row the other team seems to be handing the game to the Colts. Why for any reason would Ed Reed try to lateral that ball? That play was a big bucket of dumb.

Except Reed has made about a billion plays like that in career. He just happened to lose on this one. Besides, did anyone actually think Flacco would get down to FG range with 20 seconds left?

Baltimore lost this one in the redzone.

Razor Shines
11-23-2009, 09:21 AM
Except Reed has made about a billion plays like that in career. He just happened to lose on this one. Besides, did anyone actually think Flacco would get down to FG range with 20 seconds left?

Baltimore lost this one in the redzone.

A billion? That's a lot.

DTCromer
11-23-2009, 09:28 AM
A billion? That's a lot.

More like a million :)