East Coast Offense
By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor
God Bless Mike Shanahan
So what if fantasy owners hate the guy? Yes, he lies about which running back he'll use, and he also lied about injuries before it was cool - (now even God-fearing Tony Dungy does it, so you know it's no big deal). And I don't care what Brad Evans says every Sunday on Fantasy Football Live - "Lucifer Shanahan this, Lucifer Shanahan that - the man (Shanahan, not Evans) is a genius because he went for the two-point conversion, down one in a game where the Broncos were getting 1.5 points! Please understand what that means for those who bet the Broncos. If they miss, the game's over - Broncos lose by 1. If they make it, the game's over, Broncos are up by 1. Either way, they cover! If he kicks the extra point, it goes into overtime, and that 1.5 becomes a pick 'em. It's a 50/50 game. So God bless Mike Shanahan - I'll defend him to grave from Evans' calumny.
As for the actual decision from a football standpoint, I like it for a number of reasons. This was a high scoring game, and both teams were moving the ball. The Broncos had control of the ball, and if they play for the tie, it's up to a coin flip. Moreover, the two-point conversion rate is 49 percent in the NFL over the last 14 seasons, so there's nothing wrong with putting the game on the line then and there rather than risking a slower death. And that 49 percent includes a lot of bad teams down 16 points with a minute to go, going for two out of desperation. If you took teams that scored more than 25 points, it would probably be even higher than 50 percent. Also, San Diego had Darren Sproles back to return the kickoff, and Nate Kaeding kicking in the thin mile high air, so a bad coin flip was more than likely going to be a loss. Finally, a decision like that is a huge vote of confidence in his young quarterback and offensive unit.
Honorable mention to Romeo Crennel whose decision to kick a field goal on 4th and 7, down seven with three minutes left, virtually ensured a cover as well for those of us who backed the Browns.
Things to Take Away From Week 2
Don't Jump to Conclusions
I've been reading articles and blogs saying "stick a fork in Derek Anderson," "Carson Palmer's washed up," or "Larry Johnson's toast". Maybe. And maybe not. While it makes for entertaining reading to bury a guy who's still alive and starting, it's better to stay agnostic and keep an open mind. Sure, the Chiefs look terrible, and they're spelling Johnson with Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles, but the team is likely to adapt, and we're not sure what will happen. I'd be more tempted to jump ship on Laurence Maroney or Selvin Young, because those guys didn't sign massive contracts, and neither has a history of being the man. But for proven producers who are healthy, have the job and have done it for years, don't jump to conclusions. In fact, I'd see what their owner is asking for them and try to buy low. The same goes for Braylon Edwards, Joseph Addai, Randy Moss and LaDainian Tomlinson, though I doubt the discount will be as big on those latter four.
Things to watch for in Week 3
Beating the Book
The Bucs covered last week, which puts us at 2-0 in this forum so far this season. We're 20-10 overall.
Cardinals +3 at Redskins
It's odd for us to take favorites two weeks in a row, but Arizona faced the 49ers in O'Sullivan's first game and then had an easy home game against the Dolphins. The Skins played the Giants to a scoreless draw in the second half and then beat the Saints. We think the Redskins are the better team, and they're only laying the obligatory home-field three. Take Washington.
Redskins 27 - 19
We were 6-10 in this forum last year, but 127-120 on the season overall. From 1999-2007 we're 1184-1018 (53.8%, not including ties).
The full article comes out on Thursday morning.
Surviving Week 3
We picked the Giants last week and sailed through pretty easily. If you haven't used them, we'd take them again this week. Our second choice would be the Pats, but we recommended them as well in Week 1, so we're down to our third choice.
It's a close call between the Chargers, Seahawks and Bills, and preliminarily, we're going with the Chargers, though we reserve to change our minds when the full article comes out on Thursday. Despite being 0-2, the Chargers haven't played poorly, losing on last second plays to two quality teams. And they would have won in Denver were it not for Ed Hochuli's bad call on Jay Cutler's fumble. The Jets look good on paper, but they were beaten easily by the Matt Cassel-led Patriots at home. We give the Chargers a 76 percent chance to win this game.
Article first appeared 9/17/08