Summary of Football Insight and Analysis (Part I)
START OF THE SECOND HALF…It is the end of the first half and the TV coverage quickly jumps to commercials before their half-time coverage. Mind you, assume some fan didn’t see the kickoff or forgot who kicked off to start the game and who received. Please provide. Before the half ends, please remind viewers who will receive the ball at the start of the 3rd quarter. Not a big thing but sometimes I’m interested in knowing. I’m sure other fans do too.
40 SECOND CLOCK…A suggestion to TV producers, why not provide the 40-section clock on the TV screen at all times? In other words, mimic what you see on the screen inside the stadium. I’d be interested to see at what point they start the clock giving the offense 40 seconds usually to execute a play. Having this clock on all telecasts would also give me a good idea if all referees are consistent in how they start the 40 second clock. Look, we sit through dozens and dozens of commercial interruptions, so I ask the TV networks to consider this for future telecasts.
PEYTON’S NO HUDDLE OFFENSE…With Peyton’s success with the Indianapolis Colts in terms of the “no huddle offense” and changing the play at the line of scrimmage, why don’t more teams incorporate that into their repertoire? Maybe not calling plays at the line of scrimmage but at least the no huddle – especially during the game when you want to “jump start” your offense.
I suspect very few other quarterbacks will be as proficient as Peyton, but this strategy can help from time to time during the season to get your offense in a rhythm or later in the game when your team is down by a few scores.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LEAD AND THE SCORE…It’s not a 28-20 lead. That’s the score, the lead is 8 points.
You can’t say the Titans are up 17-10. They are up by 7, the score is 17-10.
FOX ANNOUNCERS, DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE CLOCK STOPS? Earlier this season, there were 8 minutes left in the game and the announcers at Fox were complimenting a few Bears’ players for staying in bounds and keeping the clock running. In other words, the Bears were ahead and they were trying to take as much time off the clock.
I thought, the clock will only stop if the player runs out of bounds during the last 2 minutes of the first half and 5 minutes of the second half. How many viewers catch that? Are the announcers aware of this fact? Will they be corrected by the producers? Should they be? Does anyone care if the announcers are students of the game and correctly outline the rules and guidelines?
CHANGE THE INTENTIONAL GROUNDING RULE…NFL, listen to me. I know you’re offensive minded and you don’t mind if scoring is up from year to year but you need to seriously review the Intentional Grounding (IG) rule. I guess I’m Ok with IG not being called if the quarterback throws it away when he’s outside the pocket (or outside the tackles). For the most part, that guideline appears to be working without too many issues.
My major concern involves officials being hesitant to call IG when the quarterback is in the pocket but throws the ball away to avoid a sack. I know sometimes there’s a receiver in the vicinity so if the quarterback gets the ball close to the receiver, it won’t be called. I completely disagree. If the quarterback is in the pocket but the football is not catchable even if it’s thrown in the vicinity of the receiver, call IG. Often, the quarterback is trying to avoid a sack by pretending to throw it close to the receiver. The advantage should go to the defense. If the ball is very near the receiver and conceivably could be catchable, then it’s an effective play and no IG should be called.
This idea would open up a can of worms where we’d introduce more judgment into the game but I think this rule or guideline needs to be “tweaked” to give the advantage to the defense if they are tackling the quarterback who pretends to throw it in the vicinity of a receiver.
INFORMATION ON PUNTS AND HANG TIME…Length of punt and hang time? Announcers typically don’t provide this information and I wish they did. Punting is an important part of the game.
Why not regularly provide stats on the punter in terms of how good they are kicking inside the 20 or 10 for that matter? Why not include net yardage of a punt, which is the yards of the punt minus any runback. Provide the fans with information. Even if you provide it on the bottom of the screen, let the fans decide how much is too much. This might add value to the telecast.
I’M SO HAPPY THAT THE BEARS WILL EXTEND LOVE’S CONTRACT…By most accounts, Lovely Smith, the coach of the Bears had a good 2010-11 season. Winning 11 games during the regular season and one playoff game may be good enough for Jerry Angelo, his General Manager, to extend Lovey’s contract for another year or two. From a Packer perspective or even the perspective of other teams in the NFC North, that’s good news. Mind you, Lovey is a good coach but not necessarily great! The operative word in my estimation is GOOD! Some football analysts and commentators question is game day management, recent hiring of certain coaches and the fact he sometimes overestimates his teams’ talent. Some say (along with his GM) he’s also a poor talent evaluator with their draft picks and the number of players they have let go over the years.
If I were a GM, would I hire Lovey? Interesting question.
Lovey has taken the Bears to one Super Bowl in about 8 years, which one could argue is an accomplishment. Let’s look a little closer. His accomplishment that year and this past season can be greatly attributed to very strong special teams and a good defense. He’s fortunate to have Devin Hester on his squad who hasn’t developed as a receiver although he does extraordinary things as a return man. He’s struggled to develop his receivers and the performance of his offensive line is average at best. As Jay Cutler slowly develops as a quarterback, that position may not be solidified for years to come. It appears he’ll be coaching for another few years and I’m confident the Bears will continue to be competitive, but will they win the big one? Not sure if this is possible with the current head coach configuration.