Tag Archives: Steelers

Numbers Don’t Lie…or do they?

As week 4 of the 2013 NFL season begins tonight we find some interesting surprises hidden in the stat lines.  I find it a bit surprising that Drew Brees is currently ranked 15th among all NFL quarterbacks based upon  a passer rating of 91.4.  Equally surprising is that RGIII (84.1), Ben Roethlisberger (81.2),  Joe Flacco (80.0), Tom Brady (79.4), and Colin Kaepernick (72.5) are ranked 21st through 25th respectively.

Do the numbers always translate into wins or losses?  In some cases they do, however, in some cases they do not.  For example, Peyton Manning leads the league in QB passer rating at an unbelievable 134.7 and his team is undefeated at 3-0.  On the other hand, Phillip Rivers is currently ranked second in QB passer rating at 116.2 but the Chargers are 1-2.

Flacco and Brady are both ranked in the second tier of quarterbacks but the Patriots are 3-0 and the Ravens are 2-1.  Aaron Rodgers is ranked  #4 at 105.1 and Matt Ryan is ranked #6 at 100.4 but the Packers and Falcons are both 1-2.

We often hear the phrase “numbers don’t lie” but as we have seen that is not always the case.  Football is a team sport and much more than quarterback play determines the outcome of the game.  It’s true, quarterbacks have a greater impact on the outcome of NFL games than any other position player in football or any other sport for that matter.  But it is the ultimate team sport and winning teams hit on all cylinders consistently.

So what is the take away from such an analysis?  An average or slightly better than average QB can lead his team to victory if he will protect the ball and not do anything to lose the game.  You often hear the experts say that successful quarterbacks manage the game, they protect the ball, and they put their team in a position to win.  Even an average quarterback who follows that game plan can win more often than not.  That’s good news because the stats show that there is only one Peyton Manning playing in the league.

Mike Buckamneer

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A True Leader: Mike Tomlin

A True Leader: Mike Tomlin

I’m a lifetime Bengals fan and that means two things.  First, I’m very familiar with losing football.  Any Bengal fans remember the 90’s?  Second, I cannot like the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Not even a little bit.  No offense Pittsburgh residents, but I just can’t.  But I have to admit…Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin is a man.  He is a leader.  The kind of leader that other men like to follow.  He’s like Maximus the Gladiator of NFL head coaches.  Every time he opens his mouth he says something inspirational and something that makes me want to like him.  Something that makes me wish he could trade places with Marvin Lewis.  His comments following last night’s loss to the Bengals was just another example of words right from the “Man Code” book.

Mike Buckamneer

Monday Night Football – Week 2

What is the only thing scarier for a Bengals fan than playing the Steelers on Monday Night Football?  Playing the Steelers on Monday Night Football after the Steelers were embarrassed the previous week.  In week one of the new NFL season the Steelers were manhandled by the Tennessee Titans and lost 16-9 at home.  Trust me, that’s not how the Steelers roll.  Even though they have been decimated by injuries the Bengals should expect a gut-check performance from the Steelers.  It’s just what they do.

The Bengals do have a few things  in thier favor this week.  First, the game is played in Cincinnati and a home crowd is always a boost.  Don’t be surprised though to see plenty of yellow “terrible towels” waving in the night sky.  Pittsburgh fans travel like no other fans.  I remember games at Riverfront Stadium when more yellow was visible than orange.  Secondly, and much more interestingly, James Harrison plays for the Bengals now.  The former Steeler, and perhaps, the most frightening defender in the NFL is wearing orange and black instead of the old Steeler uniform.   Add to that, he’s not real happy with his former employer.  James Harrison knows how to impact a football game – just ask Colt McCoy.

Statistically, since 1990, any team opening the season at 0-2 has only a 12% shot at making the play-offs.  With that said, Cincinnati desperately needs to win this game.  They gave one away last week to the Chicago Bears and championship teams just don’t give games away that they lead in the fourth quarter.  Monday night will go a long way in helping Bengal fans know if their team really does have the goods to deliver on a play-off season or if this is just another mirage in the desert of NFL wishful thinking.