Halfway Highlights



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Gerry says:

    I disagree about Chip Kelly. He is being let down by appalling quarterback play and his last game was played largely with Matt Barkley who was horrible. There is a nice take about this over at Grantland this week.

    The Giants are in there twice – presumably Tampa Bay was supposed to go in one of those spots but, what the hell, the Giants are bad enough to be at the bottom twice.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Gerry says:

      I watched the entire Giants/Eagles games and as much of the Eagles as I can this year (I’m a diehard Iggles fan). Chip Kelly’s play calling is atrocious. Why did he roll Barkley out to his off-side with a one-receiver read on 1st and goal with two timeouts and over a minute to go? That was appalling. Did he forget that Barkley throws right and therefore the play can’t run the same way as if Vick was in there? You don’t put a rookie QB in that situation.

      His playbook is incredibly shallow. His Oregon offense was never a complex one and relied on conditioning, speed, and exploiting mismatches with the no-huddle. That doesn’t work in the NFL. How many bubble screens for 4 yards is he going to call? Why are they running read-options with immobile QBs?

      The QB play has been bad, but Foles was fine versus TB and Vick was great the first three weeks. Did they suddenly become inept? Or has Kelly been figured out and has yet to adjust? My money is on the latter. Perhaps the Grantland piece will change my mind, but my eye test tells me their offense is bland, bland, bland. You can score points with bad QBs; you can’t score points with terrible play calling.

      Thanks for the note on TB; fixed it.Report

      • Avatar Jonathan McLeod in reply to Kazzy says:

        I also don’t get how Matt Barkley is a fit for Kelly’s offense. It’s unfair to say that Chip Kelly was let down by Barkley. As you note, Kazzy, why are they running a Michael Vick offense with Matt Barkley? Much of that is on Kelly.

        I’m also surprised they haven’t brought back Dixon with all the injuries (or have they and did I miss it?).Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’m a Chip Kelly fan, but I was skeptical from the beginning that his offensive approach would translate to the pros. I suppose it’s too early to make a definitive pronouncement about it, but I wouldn’t say I’m surprised so far.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

        Given the recent success level of college-to-pro coaching, which is to say that it hasn’t been successful, the Kelly hire baffled me.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

        Kelly’s aceptance of the offer baffled me. The only plausible explanations I could think of were weariness of recruiting and just plain ol’ curiosity about whether against all odds he could make the system work in the pros.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Isn’t Oregon facing NCAA punishment? He initially spurned the Eagles, who upped their offer but not considerably, and suddenly he came back with open arms. The theory at the time was that he got wind of what might be coming down the road and, oh, hey, extra money? Sure.

        Kelly’s offense obviously worked at Oregon. And elsewhere in the college ranks. There is no taking that away from him. But the pros are a different animal on a number of levels and he has not adjusted.

        It should also be pointed out that Kelly drafted Barkley. Any issues he has with him he needs to take some responsibility for.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

        What Kazzy said. Kelly left town one step ahead of the NCAA.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        And if I knew it, that means the team damn sure should have known it. Even if they thought he was a genius, you have to be curious about a guy who comes on board under suspect motives.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

        What, those piddly little penalties? Bah. I don’t buy it. Granted he accepted Philly’s offer before the penalties were made public, but based on what Oregon did there was no reason to expect more severe penalties.

        UO self imposed the loss of two scholarships. They’ve had a couple low-level recruiting violations before (assistant coaches who got overzealous, athletes selling stuff), and the school self-reported and self-punished before the NCAA got wind of it. They have a good idea of how to avoid getting hammered, and if they’d had reason to expect the hammer they would have been more vigorous in their self-punishment.

        I get why the timing supports that interpretation, but I don’t think anything else in the story supports it.

        I also understand why Oregon’s actions look like they deserve harsher sanctions, but the fact is they were dancing in the niches between the rules, not blatantly violating them. Too clever by half and I don’t like it one bit, but technically not a blatant violation. At least not yet.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

        I had attributed the decision to ego. He had done what he could at Oregon and was running into a brick wall with the SEC logo on it.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

        Will, you do remember that Oregon led Auburn with half a minute to go and even the ball carrier thought he had been tackled (until his sharp-eyed teammates on the sideline yelled at him to run)? Auburn won, and fair and square, but on something of a fluke play. That’s not much of a brick wall.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        I’m happy to defer to you on all things Oregon. It was actually just the other day that I was thinking, “Wait… I thought OU was in trouble… whatever happened to that?” Learning that the punishment was relatively minor puts the narrative I proposed into question. So, perhaps his interest in the NFL in general and the Eagles in particular was more genuine than initially suspected.

        Regardless… I know it has only been 8 games, but they have been a pretty brutal 8 games. Throw the record out… the offense is getting worse and worse and only part of that can be attributed to injuries. His decision making is suspect. And he has made zero adjustments as opponents have adjusted to him. That is not a recipe for success in today’s NFL.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Kazzy says:

        Ahem, UO.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Gerry says:

      I loved the Rick Reilly column after week 1 that explained how Chip Kelly is going to redefine offensive play in the NFL, just like Bill Walsh did only more so. What I loved about it is that it removed any lingering doubt that Reilly is a low-grade moron.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Is Tom Brady the biggest disappointment of the season? Not just because he’s been without Gronk until recently and Amendola has been spotty. When Handsome Tom plays like himself, it isn’t super-important who’s catching the ball, as long as they can run kinda fast. Sort of like Manning (the Good One, not Eli), or the Best Quarterback On The Planet ™, or Brees. But instead, the Patriots are no more fun to watch this year than the Jets. Usually you can at least derive some visceral fantasy football thrill from the fact that the Pats cheat and run up the score. But not this year. This year, they look… kinda average. If anything your #10 rank is generous to New England, because the step down from the top eight teams to the next tier is so steep.Report

  3. Avatar Fish says:

    As I wrote to a fellow Chiefs fan on The Facebooks earlier today, KC is making the plays they have to make on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense. The offense is anemic and lacks star power outside of Charles, Bowe, and Smith and they won’t win a shootout. I don’t think they’re better than Denver or Seattle and I’d love to see head-to-head matchups against San Fran and New Orleans. I’ll settle for finishing the season 3-5, stealing one from Denver in Arrowhead, and capturing a Wildcard spot for the playoffs.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Your ranking of Denver and Kansas city is so ludicrous, the editors should put a tartan where the missing front page pic is.

    Denver’s opponents have been every bit the sorry lot that KCs has – with the exception of Indy, which of course was a loss. Furthermore, Denver underperformed against the worst of the bunch so far, Jax & Oak – and even against Wash, where Manning would have received Fark’s Jake Delhomme award were he not ineligible due to his team’s victory.

    Other than that, great list.Report

    • Avatar Russell M in reply to Kolohe says:

      denver is better just because of the manning. when alex smith, loser of starting spot mid season(to a rookie!) is your signal caller, it just limits you so much. peyton is not out of a game until the clock is over. smith is likely out in the second half if your down by 14.Report