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Krauser last won the day on April 30 2018

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  1. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    Maybe his best 2 games last year were on the road: the comeback at Lambeau and the shootout at the Rams. He had some bad home games too, Buffalo and Chicago at least. This year, the road Giants game was probably his best aside from the home Eagles game. He was terrible at Chicago and Green Bay this year but I wouldn’t bet on that being a trend.
  2. What might the KSO look like?

    It was effective in Green Bay but Cousins left several big plays on the field and they lost points on the OPI review and the blocked XP after Diggs' penalty. The offense didn't work in Chicago but that was mostly the OL getting beaten up and again Cousins missing several opportunities for explosive plays. They've yet to have a game where they didn't have multiple open intermediate-to-deep shots, and the only game where they didn't get anything going on the ground was Chicago.
  3. I'd extend Waynes and Alexander and release Rhodes. Waynes should be willing to stay for CB2 money (comparable to Amukamara's deal with the Bears). Alexander could get a deal similar to Justin Coleman or Bryce Callahan. Together, their cap numbers for the next couple of years would roughly equal what they'd save by letting Rhodes go. Starters would be Hughes and Waynes outside, Alexander inside, with Hill as the CB4 and Boyd as CB5. Williams has had chronic injuries and he's 31. Reiff is playing well enough that they don't need an upgrade that badly. They need the draft pick next year to add talent to the DL/OL or maybe a QBOTF depending on how Cousins does the rest of the year. I didn't say Elflein has been good, just that he hasn't been terrible, and much better than last year. The argument here has been that penciling him in as the starter this year was a fireable offense, but he's playing better than that. He's given up a few sacks but otherwise he's playing OK. All OL occasionally get beaten. Fans have put a target on Elflein (me included) but he's been good enough to keep his starting job. Bradbury does have more potential and I think he will be a much better starter once he develops, but he was definitely worse than Elflein early this year. Dozier has been noticeably worse than Kline for me. He got eaten alive in the Bears game and he was the weak link in the Packers game too (at LG for Elflein). He is useful depth since he's not a terrible LT backup too. Basically the OL this year has been: O'Neill >> Reiff, Kline > Elflein >> Bradbury, Dozier If Bradbury improves and they can get healthy, they'll be in decent shape.
  4. Reiff has been playing better than Rhodes and Rudolph, and his position is much harder to replace internally or with a rookie. I’ve been saying since last November that 2019 should be Rhodes’ last year and I didn’t want to extend Rudolph in the first place so they would be my cuts ahead of Reiff. Another option would be getting Linval to take a pay cut. None do the options to replace Reiff in 2020 look great: extend Hill and promote him to starting LT promote Udoh, either to starter at RT with O’Neill moving over or to starter at LT, a position he never played in college or in his rookie preseason draft a rookie and start him at one of the tackle positions on day one sign a FA who will demand a similarly expensive contract to Reiff unless he’s coming off injury or hasn’t established himself as a good starter O’Neill at LT and Udoh at RT with Hill and a day 2 drafted rookie as depth might be the best option there, but they’d be taking a huge risk of tanking their season from lack of quality play at tackle.
  5. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    Everson Griffen would be one. He’s playing almost as well as he did at his 2017 peak, though the sack numbers have lagged the hits and hurries. Travis Frederick came back from Guillain-Barré syndrome, though from what I’ve seen he hasn’t been back to his All Pro level of play. Garoppolo is probably the favorite especially if the Niners end up with one of the best records in the league.
  6. The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

    Completion percentage over expectation has to do with expected completion percentage, which has to do with depth of target, whether the target is open or not (separation from nearest defenders), whether the QB is under pressure or not (separation from nearest pass rusher), etc. Nothing to do with target quality (Diggs/Thielen being good WRs), so having a high CPOE would in part reflect WR performance exceeding those expectations (fewer drops, more contested catches, deep catches, etc). Cousins doesn't throw especially deep on average, and he has the lowest percentage of throws targeting tight windows (what NextGen stats called Aggressiveness) -- though this reflects WRs being wide open due to scheme / route running as much as a QB being smart or overly cautious. I think the stat in Cousins' case reflects a lot of throws under pressure, a lot of accurate throws, and a low drop rate (Diggs IIRC is the only Vikings receiver with a drop this year). Cousins is now 3rd in CPOE. Top 5 for full time starters is Wilson, Prescott, Cousins, Ryan, Carr. Bottom 5 is Goff, Mayfield, Roethlisberger, Newton and Rosen. Other Cousins stats, through 6 games: 7th best passing grade 13th best overall grade for QBs 4th in YPA 4th in ANY/A 3rd best passer rating 17th best QBR 2nd in adjusted comp % Longest average time to throw 3rd highest % dropbacks under pressure 2nd in passer rating on deep attempts 4th highest play action percentage 3rd best passer rating off play action 6th best passer rating with no play action 4th best passer rating when clean 8th best passer rating under pressure Summing that up: He’s been accurate with and without pressure, +/- play action, on throws deep and short. He sees a lot of pressure but much of that is due to the scheme (high PA percentage, slow developing plays). His overall grade and EPA (QBR) are dragged down by the fumbles. If he'd played better in GB and/or Chicago he'd be leading the NFL in a few passing stats right now, and the Vikings would have 5 or 6 wins. Even with those 2 disasters, he's been a borderline top 10 QB this year (albeit in a relatively down year for QB play so far). If Cousins can avoid further disasters and win a couple of big games on the road as the season wears on, this will eventually start to be recognized as a turnaround year for him.
  7. Elflein has been quite a bit better this year. He's been a decent run blocker and a mediocre but serviceable pass blocker. He's looked bad on a few plays, including the sack in the Eagles game (where it looked like he mistakenly thought Bradbury was helping on his side), but those aside he's not terrible. By this time next year, we might see him as a solid starter. Kline has been good. I'm pretty happy with where they're at at RG assuming Kline stays healthy (flukey concussion on a screen play and a foot injury he's already practicing with a week later don't mean he's a long-term injury write-off just yet) and Samia develops by next year. Dozier is a noticeable drop-off from the starters, but he's been better than backups from recent years like Isidora or Sirles. Bradbury has been the weak link but he's been improving. I think he'll eventually live up to expectations as a good starter, though he won't be better than that until he can anchor better against power rushers. Reiff is just average but he's good enough to win with and he's not overpaid. I get the argument for replacing him, but that's probably not realistic next year unless they're starting a rookie or Udoh becomes a starter. He probably stays through 2020. They can draft another tackle on day 2 and hope to turn him into a starter by 2021. O'Neill isn't going to be an All Pro anytime soon but he might start getting Pro Bowl votes. RT in the NFC is Lane Johnson and Ramczyk above all others, but O'Neill has an argument to be in the next tier with Bulaga and Lael Collins. Hill showed his worth as good depth last week. He's not a starter but he's good enough to fill in over the short term.
  8. What might the KSO look like?

    Whatever they're doing, it's working: Those numbers would be even better if Cousins hadn't missed several wide open looks in GB and Chicago.
  9. Week 7: VIKINGS (4-2) at Lions (2-2-1)

    The Lions aren't better than their record. They're a .500 quality team (14th in DVOA, +1 point differential), and they have a .500 record. They're pretty good though, comparable to other teams with similar numbers (Eagles, Cowboys, Rams all at .500, Texans and Rams within 1% DVOA, Chargers, Colts and Rams within a point or 2 of PD). They probably deserved to beat GB (the penalties were a joke, and they gifted them a TD on the too-many-men call on the FG, but then the Lions stalled repeatedly in the red zone and benefitted from a lucky drop by Jones in the end zone and a gift INT at the goal line tipped up by the Packers WR). On the other hand, they deserved to lose to the Cards in week one (AZ dropped an INT late in OT that would've given them a chip shot FG to win) and the Chargers missed 2 short FGs in the 4Q in a game Detroit won by 3. Every one of Detroit's games this year has been decided by 4 points or less. They're not super talented but they're generally well coached. They've got a solid scheme on defense. They cover well and they tackle hard. Their OL is decent and Stafford has been taking shots throwing downfield. Their defense could do OK against the Vikings run scheme. They bottled up the Rams last year (a game plan Belichick stole for the Super Bowl), playing a 6-1 front -- almost a goal line defense alignment that made it hard for the zone blocking scheme. The Vikings tend to use more TEs than LA does so maybe they could win a numbers game and still get to the edge, but they'll probably have trouble running inside. If they do force 3rd and long, Detroit's usual plan is to rush 3 and play coverage, which could work well against the Vikings as they can double both of the good receivers and make Cousins beat them with Bisi Johnson or a TE. The Lions weakness on defense is that their LBs are slow, so a game plan of screens to Cook, flare outs to Irv and shallow crossers to Diggs or Thielen is probably the best approach. And running wide if they can get outside. Detroit's offense isn't fantastic but they'll very likely be able to string together a few drives and put up a couple explosive plays. Pass protection hasn't been great, so Griffen and Hunter could have a big effect, and Zimmer has had a lot of luck blitzing Stafford on 3rd downs. They're also dedicated to the run game even when it isn't working, so if the Vikings DTs and LBs can bottle up Kerryon Johnson, Stafford might be asked to win the game by himself. The Lions WRs are pretty good but the Vikings should be able to hold up in coverage. I think it'll be fairly close either way. The Vikings are a better team but I doubt it'll feel like a comfortable win if they do come out ahead.
  10. What might the KSO look like?

    Vikings would comfortably lead the league here if Cousins hadn't been inaccurate in Green Bay and gun-shy in Chicago.
  11. Behold Da Bearz!

    Bears loss to the Raiders was brutal for their playoff chances. They pulled out a win in Denver (thanks only to a BS roughing the passer call on the last minute drive), stomped hapless Washington and beat the Vikings in a game that would have been close if Cousins had played well. Now at 3-2, the Bears still have all 3 road division games remaining, plus home games vs the Chargers, Saints, Chiefs, and Cowboys, and road games vs the Eagles and Rams. They can't afford to lose more than 4 of those 9 -- against teams who are collectively 28-15-1 so far this year -- unless they're going to back in to the playoffs as a 9-7 wildcard on a tiebreaker.
  12. Knockin' on Valhalla's Door

    The Packers WRs, especially Davante Adams, were abusing the Eagles secondary, especially CB Avonte Maddox, all night. First Adams hurt his toe as he was tackled by ex-Viking Andrew Sendejo. Then Sendejo knocked Maddox out (shades of the friendly fire injury he gave Rhodes in San Diego in 2015), which brought in ex-Viking Craig James. And then James made the play on the ball (a split second early but a bang-bang play I think was rightly a no-call for DPI) to break up the pass at the goalline, producing the game ending INT.
  13. Cheese Curds: Green Bay Packers Updates

    FO doesn't discount garbage time. So the Falcons 2 TD drives in the 4th quarter and the Raiders putting up 160 yards in their last 3 drives are all counted fully. They also don't adjust for personnel or injuries. Half their passing TDs allowed have come against Mark Fields and Nate Meadors, and another was on a flea flicker but that all counts the same as if the starting corners had been burned in man coverage. They do adjust for quality of opposition, but not this early in the year. The Vikings have faced a relatively strong slate of QBs so far (though no worse than the Lions, who are a legitimately good defense this year).
  14. They've played more outdoor home games than other dome teams thanks to the years at TCF and the Metrodome roof collapse in 2010. And they play a couple of road games a year in outdoor stadiums that are notoriously difficult to kick in, Lambeau and Soldier. And their own kickers are among the worst in the league over this same span, in those same environments. The curse is real.
  15. PFF grades are pretty good, especially for line play. FO is analyzing results (sacks and QB hits, yardage gained or lost on runs), not process. Those results include the effects of scheme, play calling and QB/RB talent and play style. A QB or offensive scheme that gets rid of the ball quickly will take pressure on a lower percentage of throws, even if that scheme comes as the result of poor OL play. For instance the 2016 Vikings OL had better pass blocking results (fewer pressures allowed per dropback) than 2017, because Bradford was throwing quick checkdowns all day, while Keenum was holding the ball and improvising. Even so, the 2016 OL was much, much worse in terms of the quality of its pass blocking. That difference shows up in the PFF grades. Similarly, a well designed run scheme and play calling will be more effective than a poor scheme, even if the quality of the blocking is the same. RB decision making (and vision, and agility) also has an effect, as we see with Cook and Mattison this year being able to take advantage of holes created, while in previous years some Vikings backs have struggled to do so (like Murray, and especially Asiata). I think it’s fair to say that Bradbury has struggled in pass blocking, though in his defense the sample size is small and much of that has been against top level talent like Jarrett and Clark. Centers are less important to pass pro than any other member of the OL so thankfully the effect has been modest. Elflein has been mediocre and Kline pretty good at guard. Reiff has been solid and O’Neill very good at tackle. Dozier has been mediocre but not terrible. Overall their pass protection numbers are heavily influenced by the scheme, which is having Cousins hold the ball on play action and screens. There have been few quick throws in rhythm. The run blocking has been good but not amazing, and the scheme and supporting cast (Ham, Irv especially) are creating some of the openings that the RBs have taken full advantage of. The Bears will be a great test this weekend, especially if Hicks is healthy.