#1

y. Think about Andy Dalton,

in Mahnungen 28.03.2019 08:25
von mary123 • 1.541 Beiträge

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Leo Musso returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and No. 11 Wisconsin turned its early showdown with No. 8 Michigan State into a rout, beating the Spartans 30-6 on Saturday.Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook threw for 195 yards and a touchdown in his first start for Wisconsin, outplaying fifth-year senior Tyler OConnor, his Michigan State counterpart. The Badgers (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) were the better team in the first half and outscored the Spartans 17-0 in the third quarter.Michigan State (2-1, 0-1) was down 13-6 early in the third and had the ball in Wisconsin territory when LJ Scotts fumble bounced to Musso in the secondary. OConnor was the only player with a decent shot at him on the return, and Musso spun past the quarterback and went all the way to the end zone.OConnor finished 18 of 38 for 224 yards with three interceptions.Corey Clement ran for two touchdowns for Wisconsin.NO. 7 STANFORD 22, UCLA 13PASADENA, Calif. -- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Burns with 24 seconds left, and No. 7 Stanford rallied on its final drive for its ninth consecutive victory over UCLA.Christian McCaffrey rushed for 138 yards for the Cardinal (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12), who havent lost to their downstate rivals since 2008.After struggling on offense for 3 1/2 quarters at the Rose Bowl, Stanford put together a 70-yard winning drive capped by Burns fade to Arcega-Whiteside, who got one foot inbounds on an acrobatic play. Solomon Thomas then returned Josh Rosens fumble 42 yards for a touchdown on the games final play.Rosen passed for 248 yards for the Bruins (2-2, 0-1). UCLAs defense faltered late after severely limiting the Cardinal and McCaffrey, who had his 14th consecutive 100-yard rushing game, for most of the night at the Rose Bowl.NO. 1 ALABAMA 48, KENT STATE 0TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Jalen Hurts ran and threw for touchdowns and tailback sub Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns for Alabama.The Crimson Tide (4-0) dominated coach Nick Sabans alma mater from the start while scoring on a kickoff return and even a short touchdown throw to freshman linebacker Mack Wilson. Starting tailback Damien Harris went down on the opening drive with a sprained right ankle and didnt return.Harris was hardly needed in this game, when No. 2 quarterback Blake Barnett played much of the way and the emerging freshman Jacobs ran for 97 yards. It amounted to a respite for the Tide against Kent State (1-3) after a bruising 48-43 comeback victory over No. 23 Mississippi.Hurts was 16 of 24 for 164 yards and ran for 54 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown dash on the opening drive. He found Wilson, who lines up at fullback in goal line situations, for a 1-yard third-quarter score that was supposed to go to tight end O.J. Howard.NO. 4 MICHIGAN 49, PENN STATE 10ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- DeVeon Smith led an overwhelming ground game with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two scores for Michigan in the Big Ten opener for both teams.The Wolverines (4-0) had six touchdowns on the ground and finished with 326 yards rushing. Wilton Speight threw one touchdown pass. Penn State (2-2) has lost three straight to the Wolverines.Jabrill Peppers gave the fans an early thrill by returning Penn States first punt to the 9, although a bench-interference penalty moved the ball to the Nittany Lions 24. Seven plays later, Khalid Hill dove in on 4th-and-goal from the 1. The Wolverines also scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Penn State finally got a couple stops, but the Wolverines took a 28-0 halftime lead on Higdons 2-yard run.NO. 6 HOUSTON 64, TEXAS STATE 3SAN MARCOS, Texas -- DEriq King caught a touchdown pass, threw one and returned a kickoff for another score in Houstons blowout victory.King, a freshman recruited to play quarterback, is playing at wide receiver while Greg Ward Jr. directs the offense. Ward passed for two touchdowns and ran for one before leaving the game after playing one series in the third quarter. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 289 yards.King made a mistake by calling for a fair catch on the Houston 5 during a first-quarter Texas State punt. He soon compensated for that, however, catching a short pass from Ward on a bubble screen and taking it in for a touchdown from 48 yards out. Early in the second quarter, King took a handoff from Ward and threw a high pass to the end zone that Steven Dunbar pulled in for a 15-yard touchdown.King began the second half by returning the kickoff 99 yards for another touchdown.Houston (4-0) gained 563 yards and limited Texas State (1-2) to 142.NO. 23 MISSISSIPPI 45, NO. 12 GEORGIA 14OXFORD, Miss. -- Chad Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to help Mississippi break a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996.The Rebels (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) dominated every phase, building a lead of 31-0 by halftime and 45-0 by midway through the third quarter.Georgia (3-1, 1-1) lost for the first time under new coach Kirby Smart and looked overmatched. To make matters worse, star running back Nick Chubb injured an ankle in the second quarter and didnt return.It was an impressive win for the Rebels, who finally built a big lead they didnt give away. Ole Miss led Florida State by 22 points and Alabama by 21 this season before losing both games.Kelly was 18 of 24 and had a 41-yard touchdown run through the middle of the defense.NO. 13 FLORIDA STATE 55, SOUTH FLORIDA 35TAMPA, Fla. -- Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 267 yards and two touchdowns and Florida State rebounded from the most lopsided loss in school history to beat South Florida.Cook scored on a 75-yard run on the Seminoles first play from scrimmage, an immediate response to USF starting the game with Quinton Flowers and Rodney Adams teaming on an 84-yard catch-and-run for a 7-0 lead. The 213-pound juniors rushing total on 28 carries topped his previous best of 266 yards against South Florida last year.Florida State (3-1) bounced back from being trounced 63-20 by Louisville, a road shellacking that dropped the Seminoles 11 spots in the AP Top 25 from No. 2. South Florida (3-1) is off to its fastest start since 2011, however the Bulls were no match for a talented bunch that began the season with expectations of contending for its second national title in four years.NO. 14 TENNESSEE 38, NO. 19 FLORIDA 28KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Joshua Dobbs accounted for five second-half touchdowns and Tennessee overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Florida and end an 11-game losing streak in the series.Tennessee (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) beat Florida (3-1, 1-1) for the first time since a 30-28 victory in 2004. The Volunteers lost by a single point each of the last two years.This time, Tennessee delivered the comeback by scoring 38 consecutive points.Dobbs threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score -- all in the second half. He was 16 of 32 for 319 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Dobbs also ran for 80 yards and a touchdown.AUBURN 18, NO. 18 LSU 13AUBURN, Ala. -- Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals and Auburn beat LSU after officials ruled Danny Etlings apparent last-gasp scoring pass came after time expired.Etling rolled to his right and found D.J. Shark on a 15-yard pass, setting off a celebration by LSU players. Officials ruled time expired before Etling took the snap.The celebration shifted to the Auburn sideline when officials announced the decisive ruling.It was an important win for Auburn (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) and coach Gus Malzahn, who faced increased criticism following losses to Top 25 opponents Clemson and Texas A&M.An illegal shift penalty against LSU (2-2, 1-1) left the Tigers with a fourth-down play from the 15 with 5 seconds remaining, setting up the final-play drama.LSU star running back Leonard Fournette had 16 carries for 101 yards.NO. 20 NEBRASKA 24, NORTHWESTERN 13EVANSTON, Ill. -- Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for 246 yards and ran for a career-high 132 to lead Nebraska past Northwestern in the Big Ten opener for both teams.The Cornhuskers (4-0) remained unbeaten coming off a tight win over Oregon that vaulted them into the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since December 2014.They lost two fumbles near the Northwestern goal line in the first half, but scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to stretch their lead from three to 11.The Wildcats (1-3) matched their loss total from last year when they went 10-3. Adidas Ultra Boost China Wholesale . -- There were a lot of firsts for the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Adidas Ultra Boost Sale . After taking two big hits this week -- losing at home and dropping back-to-back games for the first time all season -- Indiana struck back by playing its most complete game of the year. http://www.cheapauthenticultraboost.com/ . -- Jakob Silfverberg is making himself right at home with the Anaheim Ducks, scoring four goals in his first four games. Adidas Ultra Boost Cheap Sale . It might not have mattered. While the Dodgers are preparing for the playoffs, the Padres showed their future has promise behind two rookies. Adidas Ultra Boost Clearance . JOHNS, N. Who is the best quarterback in the NFL right now? The list of names is pretty familiar, even if each player has some flaws. Cam Newton?is the defending MVP, although his play has dropped off dramatically in 2016. Russell Wilson was phenomenal during the second half of 2015, but likewise, he has suffered a bit this year with a coalescing offensive line and a knee injury. Ben Roethlisberger is injured. Tom Brady is, you know, Tom Brady, but he was suspended for four games after the Deflategate scandal. Aaron Rodgers is struggling.I named Matt Ryan as my quarter-season MVP, and think you can make a case for Ryan, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck?or Derek Carr as being worthy of consideration, if not necessarily the honor itself. I am going to throw another name out there, though: What Matthew Stafford has done over the past season of football deserves to put him in the discussion.The phrase under the radar is always silly when it comes to the NFL because nothing about football is underreported, but Stafford has hit a new level over the past 16 games, a stretch that coincides with the promotion of Lions quarterback coach Jim Bob Cooter to offensive coordinator after Joe Lombardi was fired. Staffords previous offensive coordinators, in awe of his prototypical arm strength, had built offenses designed to stretch teams downfield with throws to Calvin Johnson. With Megatron taking a step backward thanks to injuries and the Detroit offensive line undergoing construction, Lombardi began to build a scheme designed to get the ball out quicker and create throws that utilized Staffords arm strength for short-distance accuracy. Cooter has taken those concepts to another level.You can see the difference between what Stafford has done under Lombardi and Cooter in two GIFs. Thanks to TruMedia, here are the plots of every Stafford pass under Lombardi (from 2014 until his firing in 2015) and Cooter (in the 16 games since). They look reasonably similar:Now, lets look at those same plots again in terms of efficiency with a pass grid showing his passer rating in various quadrants of the field. Red means Stafford was better than league average (hot) in the respective zone, while blue means Stafford was worse. This one makes Staffords improvements under Cooter quite obvious:The difference is staggering. And the results have been noticeable. Stafford has put together an All-Pro caliber season over his past 16 games. He has completed nearly 69 percent of his passes, while throwing for 4,310 yards, with 35 touchdowns against just eight picks. The shorter passes have crucially cut into Staffords interception rate, which had been his biggest problem. Through the end of the 2014 season, Staffords career interception rate was 2.7 percent. Since Cooters promotion, Staffords INT rate has been nearly halved, dropping to 1.4 percent.In terms of rate statistics, Staffords résumé is as good as anybody elses in football. Comparing him to the other qualifying passers (224 attempts or more) since Week 8 of last season, Stafford ranks near the league leaders in most categories:QBR rewards passers who throw passes farther downfield, but likely underestimates just how hyper-efficient Stafford has been throwing a steady diet of shorter throws. The only quarterback throwing shorter passes than Stafford over the past year has been Teddy Bridgewater, and the only quarterback who has put a higher percentage of his passes on target has been Sam Bradford. Other quarterbacks have similar passing profiles, but Stafford has been more accurate than just about anybody else in the league.Check out that drop percentage, too. Despite throwing a ton of short passes on target, Stafford hasnt gotten a lot of help from his receivers. Theyre dropping 5.6 percent of his passes, which is absurd; the only passer with a higher drop percentage over the same time frame is Blaine Gabbert. The league-average drop rate is 3.9 percent. Give Stafford a league-average drop rate, turn those drops into his typical completed pass (which generates a little over 11 yards), and hes completing 70.3 percent of his throws and averaging 7.7 yards per attempt. His passer rating hops up to 107.6, leapfrogging Brees and trailing only Wilson, both of whom have drop rates below the league average.Its important to bring up his teammates, of course, because Staffords career has often been defined or analyzed through the lens of his best teammate, Johnson. Even when Stafford played well, there was a perception (and at times a reality) that he was being bailed out by one of the greatest receivers ever. Golden Tates success on arrival helped matters, but the specter of Megatron still loomed over everything Stafford accomplished.Now, though, Johnson is gone. Stafford is doing this with Tate, Marvin Jones, the 36-year-old Anquan Boldin, and Theo Riddick. Hell get Eric Ebron back eventually, and the tight end the Lions famously chose over Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Donald may be a useful weapon, but nobody in this group is a Hall of Famer. Riddick was a sixth-round pick. Tate, Jones and Boldin all arrived in town and have been more productive and impactful than they were in their previous stops. The Lions havent skipped a beat despite losing Johnson to retirement and seeing both Ebron and their top two running backs (Riddick and Ameer Abdullah) goo down with injuries.dddddddddddd Stafford is making the guys around him better.Hes also not getting much help from his defense. The Lions D was dead last in DVOA heading into this week. Theyve allowed only 23.2 points per game since Lombardi left, but that has been in part because Staffords offense has been super-efficient. The offense has scored on a higher percentage of its drives than any team outside of the Panthers, turned the ball over less frequently than anyone besides the Bills and Patriots, and has handed the defense the leagues ninth-best average starting field position.The defense has responded with the NFLs eighth-worst three-and-out percentage, the fifth-worst takeaway rate, and the worst touchdown rate in the red zone by far. Detroit has allowed opponents to score touchdowns on 77.1 percent of their red zone drives over the past 16 games, with the league average at 56.4 percent and the 31st-ranked Saints at 70.5 percent. When youre worse than the Saints at something on defense, something has gone horribly wrong.The same unit that cost the Lions a win by failing to properly defend an Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary last season has been dangerously ineffective in the fourth quarter this year. The Lions defense has blown five fourth-quarter leads this season, including three double-digit leads and two separate leads against the Colts in Week 1. Consequently, each of Detroits victories this year has required Stafford to score a touchdown to either reclaim the lead or break a tie in the fourth quarter.On Sunday, Detroit led 13-3 with 13 minutes to go and had a win expectancy of nearly 94 percent, only for the defense to allow consecutive touchdown drives of 75 and 76 yards to Kirk Cousins, who kept the ball on a read-option play for the first time this year and sprinted past Kerry Hyder for a 19-yard score to put Washington up 17-13 with 1:13 left. Washingtons win expectancy there is 99.5 percent, but Stafford promptly drove the Lions 75 yards in 43 seconds for a miraculous victory.The other historic knock on Stafford has been his salary. Stafford entered the league as a first overall pick in the era of the old collective bargaining agreement, which yielded a seven-year, $72 million deal with $41.7 million in guarantees in an era where that was top quarterback money. Thanks to subpar cap management and repeated restructures, Staffords rookie deal accelerated such that the Lions had to offer the former Georgia star a three-year, $53 million extension before 2013 to create more cap room. In part, Staffords salary (and the cap mismanagement, the larger culprit of the two) helped push Ndamukong Suh out of Detroits price range when the defensive tackle left for Miami in free agency.The rest of the league has caught up, and the Lions have done a better job managing their cap in recent years, but Staffords 2016 cap hit is $22.5 million, the fifth-highest figure in football. In years past, it was fair to wonder whether Stafford was actually a net positive for the Lions, given that he was being paid like a top quarterback and performing closer to a league-average starter. Now, though, Stafford is providing return on investment for Detroit. Hes likely to negotiate a new extension this offseason with the final year of his deal coming due in 2018, and on this form, Stafford will deserve the mammoth extension he is sure to receive.Theres a lesson to be learned here: We are almost definitely too confident in how we assess players and their level of play. This is really the third version of Stafford. There was the guy who couldnt stay healthy his first two seasons behind a terrible offensive line. Then there was the Stafford we knew between 2011 and the middle of 2015, the guy who would throw a ton of passes and mix highlight-reel throws with backbreaking interceptions and ill-fated decisions in the fourth quarter, delivering roughly league-average play on the whole. (Never mind that he led the league with five fourth-quarter comeback wins in 2014.)The Stafford weve seen over the past 16 games has been another quarterback entirely. And hes not the first player to take a sudden leap after previously establishing a distinct level of play. Think about Andy Dalton, who was just good enough to be disappointing in Cincinnati before putting together one of the best seasons in football in 2015 and building on it by being just as good in 2016. Or consider Bradford, who might have struggled Sunday against the Eagles but has otherwise excelled during Minnesotas 5-1 start after years of mediocrity.Bradford could go bad -- it has been only four impressive games for him -- and both Dalton and Stafford could regress to their prior selves. At the same time, though, the fact that each has been able to pull this for full seasons is telling in itself. Context and situation is everything in the NFL. Brady can look like a fool for a night in Kansas City behind a terrible offensive line and win a Super Bowl four months later. Rodgers can look unbeatable for a year and turn ordinary overnight. We dont think of Stafford as a superstar because of his past, but with each passing week, the evidence continues to suggest that Cooters promotion has him playing like one. ' ' '

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