A random thought on mediocrity

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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:04 pm
  • ChrisB Bacon wrote:
    FlyingGreg wrote:That's all great info...but NONE of it gets us to the promised land. The NFL playoffs are based solely on wins and losses. Are we going to fly a "DVOA Champions" banner at C Link next season, even if we finish 8-8??

    :mrgreen:

    I'm optimistic for the future...just not sure when the future will arrive. There's a lot to fix with this team when we play on the road. Facts are facts, we are 1-5 away from C Link. Period. No points for style or progress, as far as tangible results go.

    Of course -- we are a better team and improving. No question. I'm just not sold that we are going to find our way this season, necessarily.

    We'll see.

    Good God do you not understand what they're saying?

    No, DVOA doesn't change the record. That's not what they're saying. What they, and the numbers, say is that according to basically all stats out there, chances are we WON'T go 8-8, and that we've played more like a 7-4, 8-3 team rather than a 6-5. The NFL Playoffs are based on W/L, you're correct, and nobody is disputing that. DVOA, Sagarin, etc. are all just useful tools to project future success based on past performance, and they're much more reliable than going simply off W/L.


    Good god, YES I understand what they are saying. Calm down, Spartacus. I'm not going to suddenly buy into the stats theatrics because you want me to. Stop trying. I'm not knocking it, I just don't agree with it. How dare someone have a contrary opinion!

    I prefer to evaluate the team and assess what I see and not get wrapped up in all the psychobabble. Just me, I guess.

    You can wet dream all over the "projections" and ratings, that's fine.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:21 pm
  • Most of the posts in this thread so far have elements of truth to them.

    I agree that 6-5 is not statistically significant by itself. Most of our games have been close and the 95% confidence interval around our record is probably between 3-8 and 9-2 right now. On the other hand, our home and road splits are very statistically significant. 5-0 vs. 1-5 is disparate enough that low sample size would only account for this maybe one time in a thousand. We do appear to be an above average team at home, and a below average team on the road.

    Does it matter that our losing scores have been close? I do not think so. In my opinion our close road losses are due mostly to our conservative decisions rather than the result of extreme unluckiness. Many of Pete Carroll's coaching decisions are made to keep the score close at the expense of win probability and that keeps us from getting blown out but makes a narrow loss more likely.

    Personally, I felt our Miami loss was the result of coaching. Our coaching staff leaned hard on the defense with an overly conservative offensive game plan, and it didn't work. We punted from the Miami 35 yard line and the Miami 38 yard line, despite the latter being a very make-able 4th and 1 conversion. At the end of the game we were in long field goal range for a possible game winning attempt, but rather than chewing the clock and picking up a couple more yards to make it a 50-55 yarder we opted to go for the first on passing plays which led to yet another punt. If we attempt all three and make just one then we win this game.

    As far as our defense goes, I think it is important to note that they only gave up 7 points through 3 quarters despite our conservative offensive approach and could well have had a second INT. Unfortunately, things for them fell apart in the fourth quarter and I can see why fans who care that we are considered "elite" may be concerned about this. I just care about wins, however, and am not shocked that Tru, Hill and our plus sized defensive line wore down in the sun after the way the previous three quarters went. If we had gone for it a little more and succeeded with a field goal or a touchdown, they may well have gone away from the run a bit which probably would have led to a lopsided win for us.

    My primary concern going forward is the offensive line. They did not win many battles up front in either pass protection or run blocking. The dolphins defensive line is probably their best unit, but we have had problems a couple of times this season with protection assignments against a 3-4. Coming off a bye I would have expected better performance from an Okung-Carpenter-Unger-McQuistan-Giacomini line, especially considering that we are hoping that most of those players will be long term contributors.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:34 pm
  • BayAreafbfan wrote:... Though hearing about a possible suspension of BOTH of your corners is disheartening. Is that suspension official and has it been confirmed?


    They are appealing the suspensions and a hearing hasn't been set yet. So far, they are expected to play against the Bears unless the league fast tracks their appeals. I think they miss the 49ers game which will impact that game's competitive value. Will severely reduce the chance of the game being as low scoring as the one in Candlestick. But it is a divisional game, so the effort should be good.

    Good luck on your parlay, hope the team can help put some money in your pocket.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:08 am
  • FlyingGreg wrote:
    ChrisB Bacon wrote:
    FlyingGreg wrote:That's all great info...but NONE of it gets us to the promised land. The NFL playoffs are based solely on wins and losses. Are we going to fly a "DVOA Champions" banner at C Link next season, even if we finish 8-8??

    :mrgreen:

    I'm optimistic for the future...just not sure when the future will arrive. There's a lot to fix with this team when we play on the road. Facts are facts, we are 1-5 away from C Link. Period. No points for style or progress, as far as tangible results go.

    Of course -- we are a better team and improving. No question. I'm just not sold that we are going to find our way this season, necessarily.

    We'll see.

    Good God do you not understand what they're saying?

    No, DVOA doesn't change the record. That's not what they're saying. What they, and the numbers, say is that according to basically all stats out there, chances are we WON'T go 8-8, and that we've played more like a 7-4, 8-3 team rather than a 6-5. The NFL Playoffs are based on W/L, you're correct, and nobody is disputing that. DVOA, Sagarin, etc. are all just useful tools to project future success based on past performance, and they're much more reliable than going simply off W/L.


    Good god, YES I understand what they are saying. Calm down, Spartacus. I'm not going to suddenly buy into the stats theatrics because you want me to. Stop trying. I'm not knocking it, I just don't agree with it. How dare someone have a contrary opinion!

    I prefer to evaluate the team and assess what I see and not get wrapped up in all the psychobabble. Just me, I guess.

    You can wet dream all over the "projections" and ratings, that's fine.


    Those aren't theatrics, Greg. They're facts. They happened.

    You're right in saying that stats don't equal wins. They don't. But they do illustrate on a micro level what's been happening in the games the Hawks have played. And the picture they paint isn't as bad as 6-5 suggests.

    You say that you prefer to go by what you see, but as Jewhawk pointed out, what you see is being skewed somewhere, because it doesn't match up with reality. You say you want to see more turnovers forced on the road like they do at home, when there's not really any disparity. You say you want to see better run defense on the road when the run defense has actually been BETTER on average on the road.

    Obviously, we need more road WINS - stats be damned - but we're not losing those games because of the things you mentioned as "what you see." Wouldn't it be better to actually figure out what IS leading to those losses? Because right now, the only "psychobabble" isn't coming from the stats guys... it's coming from the folks who think they know what's leading to the road losses when they couldn't be farther off.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:45 am
  • Penalties have also been a very significant part of these losses. You simply cannot beat the officials and the other team and expect to win. 12 men on the field twice in one game? At this point of the season?
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:59 am
  • volsunghawk wrote:
    FlyingGreg wrote:
    ChrisB Bacon wrote:Good God do you not understand what they're saying?

    No, DVOA doesn't change the record. That's not what they're saying. What they, and the numbers, say is that according to basically all stats out there, chances are we WON'T go 8-8, and that we've played more like a 7-4, 8-3 team rather than a 6-5. The NFL Playoffs are based on W/L, you're correct, and nobody is disputing that. DVOA, Sagarin, etc. are all just useful tools to project future success based on past performance, and they're much more reliable than going simply off W/L.


    Good god, YES I understand what they are saying. Calm down, Spartacus. I'm not going to suddenly buy into the stats theatrics because you want me to. Stop trying. I'm not knocking it, I just don't agree with it. How dare someone have a contrary opinion!

    I prefer to evaluate the team and assess what I see and not get wrapped up in all the psychobabble. Just me, I guess.

    You can wet dream all over the "projections" and ratings, that's fine.


    Those aren't theatrics, Greg. They're facts. They happened.

    You're right in saying that stats don't equal wins. They don't. But they do illustrate on a micro level what's been happening in the games the Hawks have played. And the picture they paint isn't as bad as 6-5 suggests.

    You say that you prefer to go by what you see, but as Jewhawk pointed out, what you see is being skewed somewhere, because it doesn't match up with reality. You say you want to see more turnovers forced on the road like they do at home, when there's not really any disparity. You say you want to see better run defense on the road when the run defense has actually been BETTER on average on the road.

    Obviously, we need more road WINS - stats be damned - but we're not losing those games because of the things you mentioned as "what you see." Wouldn't it be better to actually figure out what IS leading to those losses? Because right now, the only "psychobabble" isn't coming from the stats guys... it's coming from the folks who think they know what's leading to the road losses when they couldn't be farther off.


    Furthermore, the eye test is skewed by the sadness circle jerk that happens on this board after every loss, and the 'eye test' is also a failure if we'd won the game. A crappy team can win the game, but they're more than likely to lose the following games, but by your criteria, it only matters if they win. So when it comes to the facts you're supposedly laying down, the reality is that your interpretation is skewed by the fact that you A) either want to be right or B) want to feel down about the whole thing in light of difference evidence.

    Also, it astonishes me how so many people want to piss on others' parades. I don't know if it's ever occurred to people that some of us like watching our team be competitive, win or lose, and we're not rationalizing a loss so much as enjoying the process rather than just the results.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:30 am
  • volsunghawk wrote: Those aren't theatrics, Greg. They're facts. They happened.

    You're right in saying that stats don't equal wins. They don't. But they do illustrate on a micro level what's been happening in the games the Hawks have played. And the picture they paint isn't as bad as 6-5 suggests.

    You say that you prefer to go by what you see, but as Jewhawk pointed out, what you see is being skewed somewhere, because it doesn't match up with reality. You say you want to see more turnovers forced on the road like they do at home, when there's not really any disparity. You say you want to see better run defense on the road when the run defense has actually been BETTER on average on the road.

    Obviously, we need more road WINS - stats be damned - but we're not losing those games because of the things you mentioned as "what you see." Wouldn't it be better to actually figure out what IS leading to those losses? Because right now, the only "psychobabble" isn't coming from the stats guys... it's coming from the folks who think they know what's leading to the road losses when they couldn't be farther off.


    And I have stated repeatedly I am very optimistic about this team. I just don't think it's necessarily our time right now. I'm not so sure why that's such a leap to believe - we have a very tough road ahead. How confident are you when this team takes the field on the road? I wish I could get excited about projections and trends when we have put up a 1-5 record -- and that one road win was lucky (Newton missed a wide open receiver in the end zone).

    I still think we can make the playoffs this season. But in order to get there, we HAVE TO WIN BOTH REMAINING ROAD GAMES. I don't see us getting in at 9-7 "if" we sweep the last 3 home games (and that would mean beating SF) and lose to Chicago and Buffalo. That's just me, I guess. So somehow this week we are all of a sudden going to "get it"? Perhaps.

    As far as what I have seen - I've seen us lose our last two road games when our rookie QB had a 125+ rating and our defense, however you want to explain it, lost the game. Plain and simple. This is why I don't fall in love with statistics and projections. Perhaps they will finally make it happen this week in Chicago - we can only hope.

    The problem with throwing season stats out as supporting a point is it's skewed, in both directions. For instance...half of Chris Clemons sacks came in ONE HALF. So is 8 sacks a good season for him, or is it that he only has 4 in all of the other games combined? We lost in Miami, and we forced one turnover and had one sack. Our defense allowed an offense that would never be labeled as "powerful" rack up almost 450 yds, including almost 200 on the ground. And they marched right down the field to win the game in the closing seconds. We lost in Detroit, and we forced one turnover and had two sacks. Our defense allowed Detroit to eat up the last 5 minutes of the game on a 16-play, 80-yard drive to win the game.

    Stats and feel-good projections aside -- don't you want a defense that can come up with a stop? What good does it do to be highly "ranked" when this happens?

    And as I have said, i respect those who want to use the stats and rankings etc. I don't begrudge you. I just don't see it the same way...which is fine, right?

    This team is so much better than the 2009 version that got blown out, and it's easy to be excited about where we are headed. I think the biggest issue with the road demons are this isn't something new and I had hoped the current regime would find a way to solve it -- not going unbeaten on the road, of course, but something other than winning one or two every season. I think that's the last bridge for us to cross on the way to being a perennial contender.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:57 am
  • FlyingGreg wrote:And I have stated repeatedly I am very optimistic about this team. I just don't think it's necessarily our time right now. I'm not so sure why that's such a leap to believe - we have a very tough road ahead. How confident are you when this team takes the field on the road? I wish I could get excited about projections and trends when we have put up a 1-5 record -- and that one road win was lucky (Newton missed a wide open receiver in the end zone).

    I still think we can make the playoffs this season. But in order to get there, we HAVE TO WIN BOTH REMAINING ROAD GAMES. I don't see us getting in at 9-7 "if" we sweep the last 3 home games (and that would mean beating SF) and lose to Chicago and Buffalo. That's just me, I guess. So somehow this week we are all of a sudden going to "get it"? Perhaps.

    As far as what I have seen - I've seen us lose our last two road games when our rookie QB had a 125+ rating and our defense, however you want to explain it, lost the game. Plain and simple. This is why I don't fall in love with statistics and projections. Perhaps they will finally make it happen this week in Chicago - we can only hope.

    The problem with throwing season stats out as supporting a point is it's skewed, in both directions. For instance...half of Chris Clemons sacks came in ONE HALF. So is 8 sacks a good season for him, or is it that he only has 4 in all of the other games combined? We lost in Miami, and we forced one turnover and had one sack. Our defense allowed an offense that would never be labeled as "powerful" rack up almost 450 yds, including almost 200 on the ground. And they marched right down the field to win the game in the closing seconds. We lost in Detroit, and we forced one turnover and had two sacks. Our defense allowed Detroit to eat up the last 5 minutes of the game on a 16-play, 80-yard drive to win the game.

    Stats and feel-good projections aside -- don't you want a defense that can come up with a stop? What good does it do to be highly "ranked" when this happens?

    And as I have said, i respect those who want to use the stats and rankings etc. I don't begrudge you. I just don't see it the same way...which is fine, right?


    Before reading this, I'd just like to point out that I kind of agree with you, but also disagree. Stats are a good indicator of the quality of the team but context DOES matter, in a way that also means that things that DON'T count as stats balance out the context of the stats to some extent (take forcing 2 intentional grounding throws against Tom Brady, which don't register as sacks, even though Clemons forced one)

    Does a sack matter if the player is forcing the QB to throw the ball quickly, inaccurately and more importantly... incomplete?
    Sacks look good on the sheet, but we're 3rd in terms of yards, 2nd in terms of passing TDs allowed, yet we still have more sacks than the 3 teams ahead of us in those stats (Steelers, 49ers in yards, Ravens in TDs).

    The reality is, it doesn't matter if we allow 450 yards in a game if the opposition doesn't score a TD. Even if they do, if its tied at 21-21 with 80 seconds to go and 400 yards allowed and we force a 3 and out and go on to win the game in OT, nobody cares.
    If it's tied at 21 all, we've only allowed 150 yards all game (special teams has let us down) and we concede 50 yards and a FG in the final 2 minutes, then you've allowed a respectable 200 yards in the game but failed to prevent them from driving when it matters most.

    What seems to be the problem is that from 5 games where we've needed to stop the offense in the final 5 minutes of the game, we've allowed Kevin Kolb to drive 80 yards for a TD in 4 minutes 20 seconds, Matthew Stafford to drive 80 yards for a TD in 5 minutes 7 seconds and Ryan Tannehill to drive 80 yards for a TD in 2 minutes 40 seconds, and then minutes later, a further 65 yards in 1 minute 30 seconds to set up the winning field goal.

    An honourable mention goes to when we allowed Cam Newton to drive 79 yards in 7 minutes before stopping them from scoring (and essentially winning us the game). Which shows it doesn't matter how many yards you allow or how many sacks you get AS LONG AS THEY DON'T SCORE. It's all about WHEN, not about WHAT. Take the Carolina game again as an example, what do you think was more important, Clemons four sacks in the first half against GB or Irvin's strip-sack fumble to end the Carolina game?
    With less than a minute left on the clock it's unlikely the Panthers would have driven down the field for a TD considering they didnt' score one on offense all game, but that fumble ended the game and made sure they wouldn't.


    The defense DID come up with big stops against NE and Carolina, but Newton missed a wide open WR in that 4th down throw which could have won the game for them and we'd be looking at our defense allowing 4 80 yard TD drives when we've been up by a score or less in the 4th quarter (out of 5 games).

    Is it safe to say our defense simply isn't "clutch"?
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:06 am
  • FlyingGreg wrote:And I have stated repeatedly I am very optimistic about this team. I just don't think it's necessarily our time right now. I'm not so sure why that's such a leap to believe - we have a very tough road ahead. How confident are you when this team takes the field on the road? I wish I could get excited about projections and trends when we have put up a 1-5 record -- and that one road win was lucky (Newton missed a wide open receiver in the end zone).

    I still think we can make the playoffs this season. But in order to get there, we HAVE TO WIN BOTH REMAINING ROAD GAMES. I don't see us getting in at 9-7 "if" we sweep the last 3 home games (and that would mean beating SF) and lose to Chicago and Buffalo. That's just me, I guess. So somehow this week we are all of a sudden going to "get it"? Perhaps.

    As far as what I have seen - I've seen us lose our last two road games when our rookie QB had a 125+ rating and our defense, however you want to explain it, lost the game. Plain and simple. This is why I don't fall in love with statistics and projections. Perhaps they will finally make it happen this week in Chicago - we can only hope.

    The problem with throwing season stats out as supporting a point is it's skewed, in both directions. For instance...half of Chris Clemons sacks came in ONE HALF. So is 8 sacks a good season for him, or is it that he only has 4 in all of the other games combined? We lost in Miami, and we forced one turnover and had one sack. Our defense allowed an offense that would never be labeled as "powerful" rack up almost 450 yds, including almost 200 on the ground. And they marched right down the field to win the game in the closing seconds. We lost in Detroit, and we forced one turnover and had two sacks. Our defense allowed Detroit to eat up the last 5 minutes of the game on a 16-play, 80-yard drive to win the game.

    Stats and feel-good projections aside -- don't you want a defense that can come up with a stop? What good does it do to be highly "ranked" when this happens?

    And as I have said, i respect those who want to use the stats and rankings etc. I don't begrudge you. I just don't see it the same way...which is fine, right?

    This team is so much better than the 2009 version that got blown out, and it's easy to be excited about where we are headed. I think the biggest issue with the road demons are this isn't something new and I had hoped the current regime would find a way to solve it -- not going unbeaten on the road, of course, but something other than winning one or two every season. I think that's the last bridge for us to cross on the way to being a perennial contender.


    First off, I agree that this isn't our year. Knowing we'd be breaking in a new QB no matter who it was, still having some obvious holes and health issues... I figured us for a team that would challenge for a postseason spot, but not one that was likely to advance very far if it got in.

    Second, I think it speaks to your ever so slightly skewed viewpoint when you point out that our only road win was because we were lucky against Carolina, but don't also acknowledge that the Rams were lucky the officials didn't see Carroll calling timeout... or that the Dolphins were lucky that Tannehill's INT in the end zone was negated by the most ticky-tack "roughing" call in recent memory... or any other number of single plays that could easily have gone one way or the other in determining the outcome of our road games. That's one reason I often like to look at the FO stats rather than just looking at 1-5 and going, "we suck on the road." Because the fact of the matter is that every single game we've lost on the road has come down to a matter of just a handful of plays. That's worlds better than we used to do on the road, and that matters (and is reflected in the "psychobabble" of the stats).

    By the way, we won 2 on the road in 2010 and 3 on the road last year. So even last year, we weren't mired in a perpetual 1 or 2 road wins cycle. I think this year's team is better than last year's team. It's shown in the overall record so far. It's just odd that the gutsy calls/outstanding, miracle like plays and the bonehead decisions/bad breaks have separated so cleanly into home/road splits.

    I will acknowledge that looking at overall season stats will tend to gloss over individual bad games. But you seem to still have some disconnect here... just because I can look at the stats and say, "overall, the defense has been pretty damn good this year" doesn't mean I don't want a defense that's going to get a crucial stop in the 4th quarter. Those things aren't mutually exclusive. I can feel overall pretty good about what the stats are showing, yet still be concerned over a recent performance. I'm multi-talented that way. Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because people are optimistic about the team because of the stats, it means they're happy about a .500 season. It just means they think that the stats - which indicate how the team has played throughout the season... something that doesn't always show up in the W/L column - suggest that the wins will come and it will get better.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:20 am
  • volsunghawk wrote:
    FlyingGreg wrote:And I have stated repeatedly I am very optimistic about this team. I just don't think it's necessarily our time right now. I'm not so sure why that's such a leap to believe - we have a very tough road ahead. How confident are you when this team takes the field on the road? I wish I could get excited about projections and trends when we have put up a 1-5 record -- and that one road win was lucky (Newton missed a wide open receiver in the end zone).

    I still think we can make the playoffs this season. But in order to get there, we HAVE TO WIN BOTH REMAINING ROAD GAMES. I don't see us getting in at 9-7 "if" we sweep the last 3 home games (and that would mean beating SF) and lose to Chicago and Buffalo. That's just me, I guess. So somehow this week we are all of a sudden going to "get it"? Perhaps.

    As far as what I have seen - I've seen us lose our last two road games when our rookie QB had a 125+ rating and our defense, however you want to explain it, lost the game. Plain and simple. This is why I don't fall in love with statistics and projections. Perhaps they will finally make it happen this week in Chicago - we can only hope.

    The problem with throwing season stats out as supporting a point is it's skewed, in both directions. For instance...half of Chris Clemons sacks came in ONE HALF. So is 8 sacks a good season for him, or is it that he only has 4 in all of the other games combined? We lost in Miami, and we forced one turnover and had one sack. Our defense allowed an offense that would never be labeled as "powerful" rack up almost 450 yds, including almost 200 on the ground. And they marched right down the field to win the game in the closing seconds. We lost in Detroit, and we forced one turnover and had two sacks. Our defense allowed Detroit to eat up the last 5 minutes of the game on a 16-play, 80-yard drive to win the game.

    Stats and feel-good projections aside -- don't you want a defense that can come up with a stop? What good does it do to be highly "ranked" when this happens?

    And as I have said, i respect those who want to use the stats and rankings etc. I don't begrudge you. I just don't see it the same way...which is fine, right?

    This team is so much better than the 2009 version that got blown out, and it's easy to be excited about where we are headed. I think the biggest issue with the road demons are this isn't something new and I had hoped the current regime would find a way to solve it -- not going unbeaten on the road, of course, but something other than winning one or two every season. I think that's the last bridge for us to cross on the way to being a perennial contender.


    First off, I agree that this isn't our year. Knowing we'd be breaking in a new QB no matter who it was, still having some obvious holes and health issues... I figured us for a team that would challenge for a postseason spot, but not one that was likely to advance very far if it got in.

    Second, I think it speaks to your ever so slightly skewed viewpoint when you point out that our only road win was because we were lucky against Carolina, but don't also acknowledge that the Rams were lucky the officials didn't see Carroll calling timeout... or that the Dolphins were lucky that Tannehill's INT in the end zone was negated by the most ticky-tack "roughing" call in recent memory... or any other number of single plays that could easily have gone one way or the other in determining the outcome of our road games. That's one reason I often like to look at the FO stats rather than just looking at 1-5 and going, "we suck on the road." Because the fact of the matter is that every single game we've lost on the road has come down to a matter of just a handful of plays. That's worlds better than we used to do on the road, and that matters (and is reflected in the "psychobabble" of the stats).

    By the way, we won 2 on the road in 2010 and 3 on the road last year. So even last year, we weren't mired in a perpetual 1 or 2 road wins cycle. I think this year's team is better than last year's team. It's shown in the overall record so far. It's just odd that the gutsy calls/outstanding, miracle like plays and the bonehead decisions/bad breaks have separated so cleanly into home/road splits.

    I will acknowledge that looking at overall season stats will tend to gloss over individual bad games. But you seem to still have some disconnect here... just because I can look at the stats and say, "overall, the defense has been pretty damn good this year" doesn't mean I don't want a defense that's going to get a crucial stop in the 4th quarter. Those things aren't mutually exclusive. I can feel overall pretty good about what the stats are showing, yet still be concerned over a recent performance. I'm multi-talented that way. Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because people are optimistic about the team because of the stats, it means they're happy about a .500 season. It just means they think that the stats - which indicate how the team has played throughout the season... something that doesn't always show up in the W/L column - suggest that the wins will come and it will get better.


    You support and explain your opinion really well. I can't disagree with the heart of it.

    I think we both want the same thing, obviously -- we just differ in how we see things, which is cool. Like I said, we win the last two games on the road and a lot of this will make much more sense to me.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:28 am
  • themunn wrote:
    FlyingGreg wrote:And I have stated repeatedly I am very optimistic about this team. I just don't think it's necessarily our time right now. I'm not so sure why that's such a leap to believe - we have a very tough road ahead. How confident are you when this team takes the field on the road? I wish I could get excited about projections and trends when we have put up a 1-5 record -- and that one road win was lucky (Newton missed a wide open receiver in the end zone).

    I still think we can make the playoffs this season. But in order to get there, we HAVE TO WIN BOTH REMAINING ROAD GAMES. I don't see us getting in at 9-7 "if" we sweep the last 3 home games (and that would mean beating SF) and lose to Chicago and Buffalo. That's just me, I guess. So somehow this week we are all of a sudden going to "get it"? Perhaps.

    As far as what I have seen - I've seen us lose our last two road games when our rookie QB had a 125+ rating and our defense, however you want to explain it, lost the game. Plain and simple. This is why I don't fall in love with statistics and projections. Perhaps they will finally make it happen this week in Chicago - we can only hope.

    The problem with throwing season stats out as supporting a point is it's skewed, in both directions. For instance...half of Chris Clemons sacks came in ONE HALF. So is 8 sacks a good season for him, or is it that he only has 4 in all of the other games combined? We lost in Miami, and we forced one turnover and had one sack. Our defense allowed an offense that would never be labeled as "powerful" rack up almost 450 yds, including almost 200 on the ground. And they marched right down the field to win the game in the closing seconds. We lost in Detroit, and we forced one turnover and had two sacks. Our defense allowed Detroit to eat up the last 5 minutes of the game on a 16-play, 80-yard drive to win the game.

    Stats and feel-good projections aside -- don't you want a defense that can come up with a stop? What good does it do to be highly "ranked" when this happens?

    And as I have said, i respect those who want to use the stats and rankings etc. I don't begrudge you. I just don't see it the same way...which is fine, right?


    Before reading this, I'd just like to point out that I kind of agree with you, but also disagree. Stats are a good indicator of the quality of the team but context DOES matter, in a way that also means that things that DON'T count as stats balance out the context of the stats to some extent (take forcing 2 intentional grounding throws against Tom Brady, which don't register as sacks, even though Clemons forced one)

    Does a sack matter if the player is forcing the QB to throw the ball quickly, inaccurately and more importantly... incomplete?
    Sacks look good on the sheet, but we're 3rd in terms of yards, 2nd in terms of passing TDs allowed, yet we still have more sacks than the 3 teams ahead of us in those stats (Steelers, 49ers in yards, Ravens in TDs).

    The reality is, it doesn't matter if we allow 450 yards in a game if the opposition doesn't score a TD. Even if they do, if its tied at 21-21 with 80 seconds to go and 400 yards allowed and we force a 3 and out and go on to win the game in OT, nobody cares.
    If it's tied at 21 all, we've only allowed 150 yards all game (special teams has let us down) and we concede 50 yards and a FG in the final 2 minutes, then you've allowed a respectable 200 yards in the game but failed to prevent them from driving when it matters most.

    What seems to be the problem is that from 5 games where we've needed to stop the offense in the final 5 minutes of the game, we've allowed Kevin Kolb to drive 80 yards for a TD in 4 minutes 20 seconds, Matthew Stafford to drive 80 yards for a TD in 5 minutes 7 seconds and Ryan Tannehill to drive 80 yards for a TD in 2 minutes 40 seconds, and then minutes later, a further 65 yards in 1 minute 30 seconds to set up the winning field goal.

    An honourable mention goes to when we allowed Cam Newton to drive 79 yards in 7 minutes before stopping them from scoring (and essentially winning us the game). Which shows it doesn't matter how many yards you allow or how many sacks you get AS LONG AS THEY DON'T SCORE. It's all about WHEN, not about WHAT. Take the Carolina game again as an example, what do you think was more important, Clemons four sacks in the first half against GB or Irvin's strip-sack fumble to end the Carolina game?
    With less than a minute left on the clock it's unlikely the Panthers would have driven down the field for a TD considering they didnt' score one on offense all game, but that fumble ended the game and made sure they wouldn't.

    The defense DID come up with big stops against NE and Carolina, but Newton missed a wide open WR in that 4th down throw which could have won the game for them and we'd be looking at our defense allowing 4 80 yard TD drives when we've been up by a score or less in the 4th quarter (out of 5 games).

    Is it safe to say our defense simply isn't "clutch"?


    Good stuff. This is exactly the core of my point:

    we'd be looking at our defense allowing 4 80 yard TD drives when we've been up by a score or less in the 4th quarter (out of 5 games).


    What seems to be the problem is that from 5 games where we've needed to stop the offense in the final 5 minutes of the game, we've allowed Kevin Kolb to drive 80 yards for a TD in 4 minutes 20 seconds, Matthew Stafford to drive 80 yards for a TD in 5 minutes 7 seconds and Ryan Tannehill to drive 80 yards for a TD in 2 minutes 40 seconds, and then minutes later, a further 65 yards in 1 minute 30 seconds to set up the winning field goal.


    The reality is, it doesn't matter if we allow 450 yards in a game if the opposition doesn't score a TD. Even if they do, if its tied at 21-21 with 80 seconds to go and 400 yards allowed and we force a 3 and out and go on to win the game in OT, nobody cares.
    If it's tied at 21 all, we've only allowed 150 yards all game (special teams has let us down) and we concede 50 yards and a FG in the final 2 minutes, then you've allowed a respectable 200 yards in the game but failed to prevent them from driving when it matters most.


    On your last point, you are right - it doesn't matter if we allow 450 yards if they don't score. But they DID score. So did Detroit. So did Arizona. That's exactly the problem. I could care less about how many yards a game we allow (again, I don't get seduced by stats) -- much more important to me is points allowed and wins/losses.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:42 am
  • I think you all know I pretty much hate stats. This string is a good example cause all sides are using stats to prove their points.

    DVOA and all that other crap does mean nothing no matter what even Kearly says. The real record says we are just a barely average team and can't play worth a damn on the road and our early season defense is game by game going away.

    Those are the facts pure and simple.

    I also would like to point out that now matter what your numbers make you believe a 6-5 team is not going to win the SB. Ok Giants won with a 9-7 record last year. What the hell makes you think this group of guys can duplicate that?

    trot out what ever makes you think all of a sudden someone will flip a switch and defense & offense, & special teams start playing the way on the road they play at home.

    I can give you the answer on that using your own stats. 1 in 1,000.

    One big difference is if I'm wrong I'll admit to it. Kip does that too, but not many of the rest of you.

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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:45 am
  • Well Les. The year we went to the Super Bowl the team that beat us DID go on the road and won those games. They got hot at the right time / right place.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:55 am
  • Yeah Rob our past history doesn't really support that tho.

    I still think that 10-6 won't make playoffs for us this season cause we have lost to many important games for that to happen. And the team that did that didn't play well at home and lousy on the road.

    They just plain didn't play well all around. To me that's a major problem here. We only play at a play off level at home.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:06 am
  • Good points in the OP. There are a couple of things that have been hinted at here, but I think are vital to understanding where we are as a team. I don't think we're a mediocre team. I don't think we're a bad team on the road. Those are both assumptions backed up by stats, but they lie. They don't show what's going on with the team.

    What's going on is that we're a very young and in-opportunistic team. We lack the experience and drive for that one last gut punch, the one to get us over the hump. We've been dominant in games we've won, and we've won a couple of squeakers. But we haven't been blown out, and we haven't won all our squeakers. In fact, we have a fairly bad record in very close games.

    Mediocre teams are teams that can't beat the good teams and look better than they are against the bad teams. They have a middling record because it reflects how they play. Well, our record reflects how we play too, but it's the exact opposite of mediocre. It's the record of a very good team - almost a great one even - except that the difference between being very good and great is the ability to close out games with the win. It's getting that last second touchdown or field goal as time expires. It's stopping the opponents' game winning drives. The difference between where we are and a perfect record is a handful of plays, and they all boil down to not making the play when it ultimately mattered. We haven't been outmatched in any game. We just haven't been able to close out, go for the jugular, in five of our games. That's not mediocre. It's greatness being hampered by the fact that we haven't yet learned how to do that.

    And that comes down to youth. We're a young team. We're inexperienced. It's this type of team that appears to overachieve to reach the playoffs, only to get smashed by an older, more experienced team. On the surface, it looks like the losing team is outmatched. Sometimes they are, but sometimes when they're young like that, they simply don't have quite what it takes to make that one play to change the game in their favor.

    Let's take a look at five losses:

    ARI - final seconds of the game. First and goal for the win. Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne would have made that scenario look easy. You'd take them for a touchdown in that scenario 99 times out of 100. A rookie and a second or third year guy just aren't quite there yet.

    STL - final minute and a half of the first half. Rams lining up for a field goal. Experience on special teams would have caught the trickery and prevented the touchdown. And an experienced offense would have completed a first down on the following possession, negating the opportunity for another field goal. Our inexperience cost us 10 points in the final minute and a half of the first half of that game.

    SF - second half of the game. Seahawks cannot complete passes to save the game. Drops came up huge in this one, especially a critical drop from rookie Turbin that would have at least led to three more points if not a touchdown. An experienced back makes that catch. And an experienced quarterback has a better day against the 49ers' defense.

    DET - final five minutes of the game. Detroit converts seven times for a first down on an 80-yard, game-winning drive. Making a single play on even one of these seven opportunities would have at the very least preserved a tie and forced overtime. Making that play on one of the first three attempts would likely have preserved the win.

    MIA - final five minutes of the game. Key missed opportunities on offense, coupled with missed opportunities for a stop on defense let Miami drive down the field for the game-winning drive, and prevented us from doing the same. Their game-winning drive started with 90 yards to go, and we allowed them five first down conversions.

    It's all about opportunity. Mediocre teams don't often have the opportunity to make single plays to change the outcome of games. Good teams do. Great teams take advantage of those opportunities and make those plays.

    And finally, records don't say it all, no matter how it's spun. Was 15-1 better than 9-7 last year? Was 14-2 better than 10-6 the year before? Was 13-3 better than 11-5 in 2005? Wait, don't answer that last one.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:13 am
  • Seahawk Sailor wrote:Good points in the OP. There are a couple of things that have been hinted at here, but I think are vital to understanding where we are as a team. I don't think we're a mediocre team. I don't think we're a bad team on the road. Those are both assumptions backed up by stats, but they lie. They don't show what's going on with the team.

    What's going on is that we're a very young and in-opportunistic team. We lack the experience and drive for that one last gut punch, the one to get us over the hump. We've been dominant in games we've won, and we've won a couple of squeakers. But we haven't been blown out, and we haven't won all our squeakers. In fact, we have a fairly bad record in very close games.

    Mediocre teams are teams that can't beat the good teams and look better than they are against the bad teams. They have a middling record because it reflects how they play. Well, our record reflects how we play too, but it's the exact opposite of mediocre. It's the record of a very good team - almost a great one even - except that the difference between being very good and great is the ability to close out games with the win. It's getting that last second touchdown or field goal as time expires. It's stopping the opponents' game winning drives. The difference between where we are and a perfect record is a handful of plays, and they all boil down to not making the play when it ultimately mattered. We haven't been outmatched in any game. We just haven't been able to close out, go for the jugular, in five of our games. That's not mediocre. It's greatness being hampered by the fact that we haven't yet learned how to do that.

    And that comes down to youth. We're a young team. We're inexperienced. It's this type of team that appears to overachieve to reach the playoffs, only to get smashed by an older, more experienced team. On the surface, it looks like the losing team is outmatched. Sometimes they are, but sometimes when they're young like that, they simply don't have quite what it takes to make that one play to change the game in their favor.

    Let's take a look at five losses:

    ARI - final seconds of the game. First and goal for the win. Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne would have made that scenario look easy. You'd take them for a touchdown in that scenario 99 times out of 100. A rookie and a second or third year guy just aren't quite there yet.

    STL - final minute and a half of the first half. Rams lining up for a field goal. Experience on special teams would have caught the trickery and prevented the touchdown. And an experienced offense would have completed a first down on the following possession, negating the opportunity for another field goal. Our inexperience cost us 10 points in the final minute and a half of the first half of that game.

    SF - second half of the game. Seahawks cannot complete passes to save the game. Drops came up huge in this one, especially a critical drop from rookie Turbin that would have at least led to three more points if not a touchdown. An experienced back makes that catch. And an experienced quarterback has a better day against the 49ers' defense.

    DET - final five minutes of the game. Detroit converts seven times for a first down on an 80-yard, game-winning drive. Making a single play on even one of these seven opportunities would have at the very least preserved a tie and forced overtime. Making that play on one of the first three attempts would likely have preserved the win.

    MIA - final five minutes of the game. Key missed opportunities on offense, coupled with missed opportunities for a stop on defense let Miami drive down the field for the game-winning drive, and prevented us from doing the same. Their game-winning drive started with 90 yards to go, and we allowed them five first down conversions.

    It's all about opportunity. Mediocre teams don't often have the opportunity to make single plays to change the outcome of games. Good teams do. Great teams take advantage of those opportunities and make those plays.

    And finally, records don't say it all, no matter how it's spun. Was 15-1 better than 9-7 last year? Was 14-2 better than 10-6 the year before? Was 13-3 better than 11-5 in 2005? Wait, don't answer that last one.


    Good post, Jonathan. I like how your Navy mind works. :th2thumbs:

    Serious question here....when do we stop using the "we are young" crutch? It's legit... but I hear it from Pete every week to explain lapses and errors -- and I wonder when it's going to expire.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:15 am
  • FlyingGreg wrote:On your last point, you are right - it doesn't matter if we allow 450 yards if they don't score. But they DID score. So did Detroit. So did Arizona. That's exactly the problem. I could care less about how many yards a game we allow (again, I don't get seduced by stats) -- much more important to me is points allowed and wins/losses.


    What it is though, is that to an extent, stats can show the signs of how good a team is - if you use them in context regarding the games being played. There's no point looking at an overall average or total for the season generally (unless, in rare cases the average tell the truth, like the Patriots in 07).
    You could look at the Falcons record and be impressed by it, 10-1? Fantastic. But look at the games they've played, and they've struggled against just about every team they've played - and just 2 of those 10 wins have been against teams with a winning record, one of which isn't even in the top 6 seeds for the playoffs. If we made it into the playoffs with the 6th seed, won our wildcard game then went to the Georgia Dome to play the Falcons, I'd be very unimpressed if we lost it, they have the wins to "prove" they're a good team, and the stats say it too - to an extent - but simply put, you watch that team and I don't see a team capable of a strong playoff run.

    I DO see it with the Seahawks, because although we rank highly in a lot of stats, the ones that really take my notice are things like the recent offense - 70% of passes in completed in the last 4 games, 9 passing TDs, 1 INT (none in last 3 games), a strong running attack in MOST of those games, and a strong defense that has played well in every game bar the Dolphins and Lions games, and a handful of drives outside of those 2.

    I don't think that means we're the best team in the league, but it's certainly above mediocre, to me, a mediocre defense would be allowing consistent, sustained drives in every game, and forcing the offense to win the game, instead, our defense is putting our offense in the position to win the game, then when the offense is doing it's job and handing it back to the defense to see it out, they're collapsing.

    It's irritating, to say the least, but I'd rather we were in that situation that say that of the 7th ranked Cardinals D, who despite having 5 more interceptions than us and 1 more sack, is not a defense I would ever put money on to make the big stop to win the game.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:19 am
  • We have 74 penalties.......good for 581 yards. Of course that stat does not include points taken off the board and drive stopping INT's wiped out by needless penalties.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:29 am
  • FlyingGreg wrote:
    Serious question here....when do we stop using the "we are young" crutch? It's legit... but I hear it from Pete every week to explain lapses and errors -- and I wonder when it's going to expire.


    Is it a "crutch" when it's absolutely true? Did you know that the Seahawks have twice as many players with 3 or fewer years in the league than they do players with 6+ years?

    Sure, part of the "youth" argument is that young players make mistakes. But part of it - and this is especially true of a team that's going through a rebuild - is cohesiveness. Because of the youth of the team, they haven't built those strong bonds that you see on more veteran teams.

    Look at defenses like the Ravens and Steelers, for example. They've cycled through young players pretty effectively across many years, but it's because they were able first to establish that veteran core and then acclimate new players into that core while allowing older players to retire or move on to other teams. If you draft well, that process is self-sustaining. But we're not at that point... we're still developing that core on both sides of the ball. That's why you still get Rice and Wilson thinking that a raised hand means different things. That's why you get miscommunications in zone coverage that lets a Lions WR get so open past Sherman.

    The biggest fix for that is time and experience playing together, imo.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:30 am
  • Largent80 wrote:We have 74 penalties.......good for 581 yards. Of course that stat does not include points taken off the board and drive stopping INT's wiped out by needless penalties.


    Ugly, ugly, ugly.
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:37 am
  • volsunghawk wrote:
    FlyingGreg wrote:
    Serious question here....when do we stop using the "we are young" crutch? It's legit... but I hear it from Pete every week to explain lapses and errors -- and I wonder when it's going to expire.


    Is it a "crutch" when it's absolutely true? Did you know that the Seahawks have twice as many players with 3 or fewer years in the league than they do players with 6+ years?

    Sure, part of the "youth" argument is that young players make mistakes. But part of it - and this is especially true of a team that's going through a rebuild - is cohesiveness. Because of the youth of the team, they haven't built those strong bonds that you see on more veteran teams.

    Look at defenses like the Ravens and Steelers, for example. They've cycled through young players pretty effectively across many years, but it's because they were able first to establish that veteran core and then acclimate new players into that core while allowing older players to retire or move on to other teams. If you draft well, that process is self-sustaining. But we're not at that point... we're still developing that core on both sides of the ball. That's why you still get Rice and Wilson thinking that a raised hand means different things. That's why you get miscommunications in zone coverage that lets a Lions WR get so open past Sherman.

    The biggest fix for that is time and experience playing together, imo.


    I said it's legit -- I believe it. My question was...when does it stop being true? Most of our youth is coming up on at least two full seasons under their belt. I guess what I want to know is when we expect the youthful errors and lapses to be conquered? I have no idea.

    To me, it can be dangerous to default to that to explain every problem we are having. I think I'm a little alarmed that Pete seems to always bring it up. After all, the youth movement is his trump card. But I'd almost prefer he just says, "we told you it's a 4-year plan and anything we accomplish in year 3 is icing on the cake". :)
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:13 am
  • FlyingGreg wrote:I said it's legit -- I believe it. My question was...when does it stop being true? Most of our youth is coming up on at least two full seasons under their belt. I guess what I want to know is when we expect the youthful errors and lapses to be conquered? I have no idea.

    To me, it can be dangerous to default to that to explain every problem we are having. I think I'm a little alarmed that Pete seems to always bring it up. After all, the youth movement is his trump card. But I'd almost prefer he just says, "we told you it's a 4-year plan and anything we accomplish in year 3 is icing on the cake". :)


    Youth stops being an excuse when you have more players with 5+ years experience than <5 years experience IMO.
    Right now, on offense we have:

    Okung 3
    Carpenter 2
    Unger 4
    McQuistan 7
    Giacomini 5
    Lynch 6
    Robinson 7
    Miller 6
    Wilson 1
    Rice 6
    Tate 3
    Baldwin 2
    Turbin 1
    McCoy 3
    Moffit 2

    So our first 11 is bordering on experienced, but our depth is still very young (and in all likelihood, next year, McQuistan and Giacomini are expendeble, and we're looking at a very young team, but with a lot of experience, because they've all come in and contributed as rookies)

    Our defense is a strange one:

    Bryant 5
    Mebane 6
    Branch 6
    Clemons 10
    KJ 2
    Wagner 1
    Hill 8
    Sherman 2
    Browner 8
    Jones 5
    ET 3
    Chancellor 3
    Scruggs 1
    Irvin 1
    Trufant 10

    We have a lot of really experienced players in there, but of them, Hill and Trufant's age is actually beginning to reduce their effectiveness instead of increase their experience, Browner is only in his 2nd NFL season and Bryant had just 9 games experience until PC took over as a situational player, he's still "young" in terms of experience (he has only 3 more games experience than Ndamukong Suh, for example)
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Re: A random thought on mediocrity
Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:30 pm
  • FlyingGreg wrote:
    volsunghawk wrote:
    FlyingGreg wrote:
    Serious question here....when do we stop using the "we are young" crutch? It's legit... but I hear it from Pete every week to explain lapses and errors -- and I wonder when it's going to expire.


    Is it a "crutch" when it's absolutely true? Did you know that the Seahawks have twice as many players with 3 or fewer years in the league than they do players with 6+ years?

    Sure, part of the "youth" argument is that young players make mistakes. But part of it - and this is especially true of a team that's going through a rebuild - is cohesiveness. Because of the youth of the team, they haven't built those strong bonds that you see on more veteran teams.

    Look at defenses like the Ravens and Steelers, for example. They've cycled through young players pretty effectively across many years, but it's because they were able first to establish that veteran core and then acclimate new players into that core while allowing older players to retire or move on to other teams. If you draft well, that process is self-sustaining. But we're not at that point... we're still developing that core on both sides of the ball. That's why you still get Rice and Wilson thinking that a raised hand means different things. That's why you get miscommunications in zone coverage that lets a Lions WR get so open past Sherman.

    The biggest fix for that is time and experience playing together, imo.


    I said it's legit -- I believe it. My question was...when does it stop being true? Most of our youth is coming up on at least two full seasons under their belt. I guess what I want to know is when we expect the youthful errors and lapses to be conquered? I have no idea.

    To me, it can be dangerous to default to that to explain every problem we are having. I think I'm a little alarmed that Pete seems to always bring it up. After all, the youth movement is his trump card. But I'd almost prefer he just says, "we told you it's a 4-year plan and anything we accomplish in year 3 is icing on the cake". :)


    Which makes more sense: to assume that an extremely young team will improve, or to assume it won't?

    It's also worth pointing out that Miami's final ten points on Sunday were scored at the expense of our two OLDEST defensive players. The question of "when do we improve?" is valid, but hey, when one of the weak link's replacements is already on the roster and has a short but strong record of play, it's easier for me to be optimistic.
    GO HAWKS!!!

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