Wednesday - Sep 30, 2020

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What do I know? Heading into Week 11

This Bird’s For You

Titans owner Bud Adams had a great time at the


s game last weekend watching his
team win their third consecutive game. He apparently had a problem with the


s fans however, compelling him to
repeatedly flip them the bird. Check out his delivery here. Not bad for an octogenarian. Now on one hand, I am of the opinion that he
can do whatever the hell he wants at his ripe old age but on the other, I can
fully understand the hefty fine ($250K) imposed by the National Football League.
He’s an NFL owner. He needs to be held to a higher standard. He is one of only thirty
two owners who represent the league. Roger Goodell has been anything but
consistent in his levying of fines for player transgressions but this one gets
my full endorsement. No way can he let owners represent the league in this
crude manner. Not with the money that’s at stake for the league. It just
doesn’t make good dollars and sense. If this kind of behavior was tolerated,
then preventing Rush Limbaugh from becoming a part owner makes no sense
whatsoever. Beyond that, trying to get players to toe the company line based on
inconsistent behavior standards would be a daunting challenge, if it isn’t



In case you’ve been living under a rock, a media brouhaha
erupted this week as a result of


Belichick’s decision to go for it on 4th down and 2 from


’s own 28 yard line against the Colts last Sunday
night. I understand the criticism yet I don’t think it is warranted in this
case. Which side of the ball is stronger for the Patriots? It should be
apparent to most that it’s easily the offense by a wide margin. Belichick
apparently felt the same as there was no question in his mind that they would
go for the win on 4th down. The decision to go for it in this
situation was a sound one and was also supported by statistics. The person to
blame for this particular play call failing, if anyone, is Tom Brady. He
admitted to locking on to Kevin Faulk before the play and even then, if Faulk
had not bobbled the ball the conversion attempt would have been successful. But
in a play call of this magnitude, where the game will be won or likely lost on
one snap, I would put the ball in the hands of my two best players. In my mind,
that play should have been a pass to Randy Moss. When asked (on WEEI) if he
should have gone to Moss or Wes Welker on the play, Brady responded “

quarterback, a lot of the time you make the decision when you get the ball in
your hands.

I think on a play like that
I don’t think I have time to survey the field.
I survey the field

before the snap. I really had a good
feel for what Kev was going to do, where Kev was going to be, and

I make the decision to throw to Kev.

ran a nice route and caught the ball, we just didn’t get enough yardage


If the
media wants to get down on Belichick there are plenty of other more valid reasons (cheating, anyone?) but this is not one of them. Although,


’s quote
after the game was a little mystifying. He said “I thought we could make the
yard”. Ummm, it was fourth and TWO,


. The only reason Belichick is being vilified is because the play
failed. Otherwise, he is back to being known as a coaching genius. 

Red Zone Targets

Last week
I commented on the top pass receivers in terms of percentage of reception
converted. This week I’d like to focus on pass receivers who make the most of
their team’s red zone targets. I will limit this discussion to players who have
received at least nine (one per game) red zone targets for the season. Here are
the Top 10 receivers, including tight ends, in terms of red zone percentage
(the number of red zone targets divided by the team’s total red zone
opportunities)… Nate Washington (44.4%), Brent Celek (37.8%), Mike Sims-Walker


‘s Steve Smith (35.9%),


Davis (34.4%), Greg Olsen (34%),
Larry Fitzgerald (31.4%), Reggie Wayne (30.6%), Tony Gonzalez (30.6%) and
Marques Colston (30%). This list is informative because it lets fantasy owners
know which players are being utilized where it potentially counts the most. Nate
Washington is a surprising leader for this category but both Kerry Collins and
now Vince Young have targeted him, especially now that Justin Gage is out with
a back injury. Mike Sims-Walker and Steve Smith show up on this list further
cementing their status as legitimate fantasy stars. The list also shows which teams
are focusing on their tight ends in the red zone. Philly, San Fran,




‘s tight ends all appear on this
list. Six of these players also are in the Top 10 for red zone targets. The
other notable receivers who did not make this list but round out the Top 10 red
zone target list include Randy Moss, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Dwayne Bowe and Bernard
Berrian. It may be comforting for their owners to know that these guys are
receiving their fair share of red zone targets but haven’t been as successful
converting their opportunities. When push comes to shove these last few weeks,
it makes sense to procure the services of one of these top red zone targets.
These players may very well make the difference between a playoff win or loss.



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