I feel like Christopher Columbus this morning; twice last evening, I went looking for one thing and found something completely different. That leads me to present the following data regarding three NFL head coaches who are in the running for Hall of Fame induction this year:
- Tom Flores: Record is 97-87-0 Winning percentage = .527
- Dan Reeves: Record is 190-165-2 Winning percentage = .535
- Dick Vermeil: Record is 120-109-0 Winning percentage = .524
For the record, I would not be even mildly offended by the induction any of those candidates above. However, please compare those stats with the “Mystery Coach of the Day” here:
- Mystery Coach: Record is 85-67-0 Winning percentage = .559
No, I am not going to make you read to the bottom to find out who the Mystery Coach is. He is Jason Garrett. And if anyone has suggested recently that Jason Garrett is on his way to becoming a finalist for Hall of Fame induction, I must have missed that suggestion.
I found this because when Jerry Jones finally pulled the trigger and let Jason Garrett go from his coaching duties with the Cowboys, I went looking for Garrett’s overall coaching stats. When I saw that winning percentage, I immediately thought it was in the range of more than a couple of coaches already in the Hall of Fame – – and so I went to look at the finalists for this year’s voting for a comparison. I looked for one thing and found something else… And it happened a second time too.
After watching the Saints/Vikes game on TV, I wondered if Drew Brees was injured or showing his age or just had a bad day. Everyone has bad days and that may be the explanation, but I went looking for his 2019 stats knowing that he had missed 5 games with a thumb injury. Brees started 11 games; he had the highest completion percentage in the NFL at 74.3% and his yards per attempt were above his career average. He threw 27 TDs and only 4 INTs. Those stats do not suggest that he was “showing his age”. However, I noticed something else while checking Brees’ stats for 2019:
- Six of the top 10 QBs ranked by Yards Passing in 2019 did not make the playoffs.
- None of the top 5 QBs ranked by Yards Passing in 2019 made the playoffs. [Those five were Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan.]
- Brees – because he only played 11 games – ranked 26th in the NFL in Yards Passing.
I guess that Drew Brees just had a sub-par day yesterday …
And speaking of the Saints/Vikes game, one might also conclude that the football gods really enjoy torturing the Saints and their fans in playoff situations. There is an adage on Wall Street that says:
- If something out of the ordinary happens once, it is an occurrence; if it happens twice, it is a coincidence; when it happens a third time, it is a trend.
The Saints and the playoffs have just become a trend.
- First, they lost to the Vikes in the playoffs due to the Minnesota Miracle two years ago
- Then, they lost to the Rams on the infamous Roby-Coleman uncalled defensive pass interference last year.
- Yesterday, they lost on an uncalled offensive pass interference on the winning TD catch.
I completely understand why that offensive pass interference was not called; that “no call” is totally consistent with the way that NFL games have been officiated for the last 10 years (at least) and it is totally consistent with the officials’ reluctance to use replay to change most of the pass interference calls that they are called upon to review. Nothing in that last sentence, however, changes the fact that there was offensive pass interference on the play, and it was not flagged. I can imagine the Saints’ Front Office looking around to see if they can find someone who specializes in exorcisms for organizations…
There was one other aspect of that play review that bothered me because it stretches credibility. The league said that it had reviewed the play from every angle and that it had great camera angles on the play from the game coverage. I believe the second part of that because the folks at FOX showed me a couple of angles on replay that were highly germane to the call. Surely, the folks in NY doing the reviews had those camera shots and others at their disposal.
The first part of that statement, however, makes me stop and wonder. The folks in NY who review such calls in OT, made their decision in about a minute or less. Normally, replay reviews take at least 2 minutes and – seemingly – some take as much as 5 minutes to adjudicate. I would think that a replay review for a call that is so decisive regarding a playoff game would take more time than passed here – – unless of course the folks in NY had no intention of overturning the call on the field from the get-go.
Finally, here is an observation by Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times that proves you need to be careful what you wish for:
“Hear about the New York fan who found a magic lamp last summer and got his greatest wish for the Knicks granted? Well sort of …
“Guess he should’ve told the genie something besides, ‘We want to be neck-and-neck with the Warriors next season.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………