kearly wrote:As far as the Rams, why should we be worried about them? They are not a 10 win team. They are like Minnesota without AP. As long as Bradford is there, they will be mediocre. They remind me a lot of the John Friesz-era Seahawks. They are more of a pest than a good team, IMO.
Their defensive line is worth about six wins all by itself. If Bradford can simply not cause any more losses than he causes wins, an improved secondary and a good #1 receiver could push them into 9-10 win territory.
You might think I'm being facetious, but I'm not.
Their line won't get 52 sacks every season though. I don't see much immediate upside for them on defense, really the only area for upside left is the running game. I think Bradford is probably very near his ceiling already. It's not that he lacks the skills or development, and yet he's still below the NFL median. Yeah, his receivers weren't great, but outside of a handful of megastar WRs, it's generally the QB who makes the WR, not the other way around.
I think the WR excuse is valid, but only excuses so much because it's a double-edged sword. For that matter, I can't recall a single sub-par QB who suddenly became great because of additions at WR. WR's are enhancers, but they don't change who you are. Tom Brady took off when he got Moss/Welker and later Gronk/Hernandez, but before 2007 he was still an ultra-elite QB, even when he was throwing to a bunch of no names who couldn't catch the football.
I liked the Rams additions at RB and WR in the draft, but WRs typically take a few years to acclimate. Really the only thing about the Rams that I am in awe of is their D-line, their corners are decent too, but after that, it's an average to below average group of talent.
Fisher is a good in game decision maker, but he's never been a great talent evaluator. His teams have been very inconsistent year to year, too.
RolandDeschain wrote:Dude, I just pointed out from your own Sando link that the difference in losses at 10am starts compared to 1am starts is exactly 3.0%. That is a very minor deviation. What kind of crack are you smoking?
Sorry Roland, but thinking that body clock doesn't and hasn't had a significant impact on present and past outcomes is birther level silliness. Also, the 3% you cite is just the Seahawks, in a relatively small sample size (keep in mind too- Seattle has been a mostly terrible road team over that span, 10am or not). What Cartire showed was a chart that involved several teams in a much larger sample that had very clear results, much larger than 3%. You can't just dismiss a body of data because a very small piece of it disagreed. That would be like saying the Mariners are not a terrible offense because they've had the AL's best offense in July.
Also, you really need to stop cherry picking the stats you like and then discarding the ones you don't by labeling them outliers- especially when those stats you incorrectly label outliers agree with the larger body of evidence more than your favored stats do. An outlier is a stat that is a standard deviation or two away from the norm, and generally disagrees with the overall data consensus, or at least stands out like a sore thumb. The recent 49ers (in Sando's chart) are not an outlier. They were a better at 1pm games than Oakland and Arizona, but their 10am record was pretty close. It's not a massive gulf in difference, especially since a 19 game 1pm sample is hardly rock solid.
Now, the one thing you are right about is that drawbacks tend to hurt better teams less. The Chargers did relatively well in early games because for most of the last 10 years they've won a ton of regular season games, and did so with great offense- which generally isn't impacted much by early starts. You look at the teams that bucked the 10am trend over NFL history and they generally were either very good and/or had very good offenses. So Seattle is a good bet to buck the trend this year. But that doesn't mean it isn't a disadvantage that must still be overcome. (And remember, Seattle finished 11-5 with FO's #1 offense last year, and was still miserable in 10am starts.)
Who knows, maybe the Seahawks are just that damn good and they got 5-0 in their 10am starts this year. I'm open to that. But let's not pretend that it isn't a significant extra disadvantage that will be a challenge to overcome. Someone else said it perfectly- in the first half of 10am starts it's like the other team is on performance enhancers because of body routine.