Chat with KC Joyner
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN Insider KC Joyner, will be here to answer your NFL questions.
Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, uses game film to track, tabulate and analyze nearly every measurable statistic in an NFL game. He is a regular Insider contributor and has his own website at thefootballscientist.com.
Send your questions now and join KC Thursday at 4 p.m. ET!
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
Would it shock you is J. Maclin ended up with more yards and scores than D. Jackson this season for the Eagles?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
It would for one reason - Jeremy Maclin has the toughest schedule of any receiver in the league in 2010. The number of top rated CBs he faces is just ridiculous. He's a very good WR but that will be too big of a mountain to climb.
KC, regarding your assertion that Miles Austin is the league's best receiver, can you really determine that from such a small body of work? Or is it more that his performance last season was the best in the NFL? Personally, I'd like the see the guy string together a couple of impressive seasons before declaring him the best in the business.
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
At some level I agree, but let me ask this question in return - why is Chris Johnson being called the best RB in the NFL? By the "one year isn't enough" standard, he shouldn't be considered tops since he has only one dominant year. That was enough to convince everyone he was the best RB and Austin's season last year should be judged by that same standard.
Yo, KC! Whats the mad scientist think about the Chargers passing game minus V. Jackson? Do you anticipate a more balanced attack or will they stay pass happy? Thanks!
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
Philip Rivers was the most vertically inclined QB last year (meaning vertical passes made up a larger % of his passes than any other QB) and that really won't change. They'll run Mathews a ton but the passing game will still be in great shape with Malcom Floyd. His metrics were nearly as good as Jackson's last year.
Josh (Knoxville, TN)
KC, I enjoyed your analysis on Miles Austin's performance last year. His performance against good CBs is especially encouraging, but I'm skeptical that he can repeat it. What can we realistically expect from this season? Thanks as always.
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
I'm confident in a repeat performance because teams tried everything they could to stop Austin last year and it didn't work. Even if they do find a way to slow him down to an extent, he'd still be a top line wideout.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
How do you see Chad Henne developing this season for Miami and do you see him outperforming Mark Sanchez? Thanks as always.
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
Henne had better metrics than Sanchez last year. He also has a better WR corps with Marshall on board, but the team still lacks a vertical threat (Marshall is a dink/dunk type WR). Sanchez has multiple vertical threats so his numbers could close that ground.
Do you think Hakeem Nicks has the potential to be a top 5 WR?
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Yes. Maybe not quite those kinds of numbers this year, but he does rate very high in the TFS 2010 Draft Guide. Quick plug, the guide will be ready to go some time this evening. Have a small bit of editing and then some formatting to do and it will be ready to send out!
I didn't realize people were calling CJ the best RB in the NFL after one season. I thought AP still held that crown (of course, Peterson was crowned after one season, so your point is still valid).
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Good point on AP.
Will Perry Fewell's defense get on track for the 2010 season or will it be more of the same for the Jints? I see a 9-7 season, good for 3rd in the NFC East...and YOU???
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
Fewell will get them back on track. Calling coverages is his specialty so we should see no more of the massive coverage breakdowns that happened last year. Given the state of their offense (and NY could feasibly have the best WR corps in the league if they continue to progress as they did last year), a 9-7 mark is absolutely a possibility.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
KCJ: In a lot of mock drafts, I see Mendenhall going in the first round, which completely blows my mind. Do you think Mendenhall will be a top NFL RB this year, esp with the loss of Colon?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
He did well in the good blocking YPA metric and he'll get a ton of carries, so a late first round pick isn't out of the question.
Why wouldn't D. Jackson get everyones best corner? Why would Maclin get that honor?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Some of them may switch over but in many cases Jackson already has a top CB covering him. Teams will usually only switch CBs if there is a significant difference in their coverage skills.
KC, least we forget that CJ had some overweight vulture taking the football from him, but CJ still put up impressive rookie numbers. W/o the eating/drinking machine taking away the football, CJ's rookie numbers would have been better. Just stating the facts and CJ should still have another good year, like last? Probably not.
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
I completely agree that Johnson had a good rookie year, but it did not lead to anyone calling him the best RB in the league. I think the issue with Austin is that he hadn't done a thing before last year. Had he been even a solid WR, people might be more apt to make to accept his jump into elite status, but their minds were used to him being a backup.
Matt (Rochester NY)
How do you see Reggie Wayne holding up over the next few years? Some folks are saying they think he is going to start declining (significantly) this year and I admit I am somewhat surprised to hear it.
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
He didn't have a typical Reggie Wayne season last year. The full metrics for him will be in the TFS draft guide, but suffice it to say that he struggled against tough competition (or at least didn't do anywhere near as well as we are used to him doing). It could be the injury but it could just as easily be he is starting to slow down just a bit.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
Last year you said, "RUN, DONT WALK TO THE CHRIS JOHNSON STORE AND PICK HIM UP!" That advice was spot on. I saw you said you expect a big year for J. Charles...you dont think Thomas will eat into his value?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Thanks. Yes and no is the answer to the question. Jones had a great first half of the year in good blocking YPA and then tailed off. That could have been fatigue or it could be that he is getting old. Charles was near the top of the league in good blocking YPA and the Chiefs should do the same thing that Tennessee did - give their best RB the ball as often as he can carry it.
Let's see Miles do it again this year, its easier when teams don't gameplan for you. All of Dallas' opponents will have him on their radar. CJ was gameplanned for last year sicne he actually produced the year before. As a scientist you should know better.
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Gameplans work two ways. Teams may have planned for CJ but the Titans did a ton of creative things on offense for CJ as well. Check out the article I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. It shows why Heimerdinger might be the most creative run playcalling coach in the NFL.
Jimmy N (VA)
KC, you know its coming.... SAAAAAAAGE ROSENFELS!!! Now that that is taken care of, what kind of year do you expect from Brandon Jacobs this yr?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Some posters have been wondering when you would show up! Jacobs didn't do that well in good blocking YPA. Given that he will split carries, he'll put up solid numbers but don't expect anything over the top.
Zach (Bronx, Ny)
I think the reason many are reacting this way to your article is that Andre Johnson occupies sacred ground right now in the NFL.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
And he is absolutely a great player, one of the true elites in the NFL. The article certainly isn't meant to knock Johnson. And Zach, please make sure to tell all of your Texans friends how Houston friendly I've been over the years. Texans fans are turning on me left and right as if I've just slapped their team in the face and seem to have forgetten all of the times I've taken up the fight for their team.
is there any hope in Carolina? Losing peppers, all the vet cuts, losing Thomas Davis, Steve Smith broke his arm...can you proivde any good news for that franchise?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
Both Carolina backs posted good blocking YPA totals that were near the top of the league. Your team has a 1-2 running punch that no other team in the NFL can match.
San Fran (Cisco)
Who does your mad scientist mind think is the strongest team in the NFC West?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
I'd take San Francisco as long as they stick with Alex Smith as their QB. Their defense is on the precipice of being one of the elites (it is already there in the world of fantasy football), they have a great TE and a great RB. If Crabtree steps up and Smith develops, they have the makings of a playoff contender.
Mike (San Diego)
Patrick Crayton to SanDiego, TO to Carolina for temporary fixes.
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
Crayton might help, but SD already uses Gates as a slot WR. That's Crayton's specialty and he really isn't as good when working on the outside. Owens to Carolina makes a ton of sense, as he is better than any other WR they have not named Steve Smith.
Matt Williamson said Carolina's O-Line is overrated and stinks. You just said the RBs are great, is he right? Did Williams and Stewart create their own paths, or did the big uglies contribute too? I always thought Gross was an elite LT, but not according to that expert.
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
I'd agree with Matt to a certain extent, especially in the pass blocking realm. Regarding the running game, the good blocking YPA measures how well a RB does when he gets good blocking. It reflects well on Carolina's O line that their runners could get good yards behind the holes they were given.
You have a better shot at being in a Panthers uniform than TO, people don't understand the mentality of that owner, GM and head coach. Common side effect of being a small market team...
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Now I didn't say Owens would end up in a Carolina uniform. I just said the move would make sense.
Do you think Ray Rice contributes in the passing game as much as he did last year, or will the influx of tallent at WR and TE in Baltimore lower his reception totals?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Anquan Boldin is a dink/dunk receiver, so he will vulture some of the short passes. I don't think it will cause much of a drop-off with Rice, however. Maybe 5-10 passes tops.
BJ H (Lowell, IN)
How well do you expect Greg Jennings to do this year? Can he challenge for tops in the league?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
He had dominant metrics on just about every level, so he absolutely should be able to challenge for #1. Maybe I'll have to run this article again next year with Jennings throwing down the challenge gauntlet to Austin!
What type of impact will Martz make in Chicago? Will he get Cutler killed or turn da' Bears into something resembling an NFL offense?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
He'll help Cutler stop his three-year YPA slide. Getting Cutler to add even one more yard to his YPA would go a long ways to helping offset Cutler's penchant for making mistakes (i.e. they would make the reward of his downfield passing offset the risk that comes with having Cutler as the QB).
KC, how come every top 5 WR's list I look at Steve Smith is hardly on them anymore. I'm tired of people saying he has lost a step, did everyone not see what he had to work with last year? If I am not mistaken his metrics had him as a top 5 WR in 2008 when Delhomme was just average.
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
The metric issue with Smith is that he didn't do as well on short/medium passes as he did in past years. Three years ago he had the #1 short pass YPA in the league but this past year his mark in that category was frankly mediocre. I'd agree that he hasn't lost as much as everyone thinks he has but he isn't quite the same receiver he was back then.
Where does Ryan Grant rank in metrics for RBs? He seems to do a decent job running the ball but doesn't have the explosiveness of his first year with the Packers when he broke a number of long runs for TDs. Is it the line? Or is he losing it?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
If memory serves me correct, he had a 6.2 good blocking YPA. The six yard mark is the benchmark for quality in that metric, so Grant does perform well when given good blocking.
I've been away for awhile. Is the fantasy football mag all out in stores?
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
It sure is. Came out about a month ago. The core passing metrics are in the KC Joyner Metricmania section in the back of the mag.
Have we Seen ARodge hit his prime yet or is he just warming up? How much better can he get?
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
I've got him as my #1 QB in the TFS draft guide. He's that good and he has a favorable schedule this year. All Pro in 2010 is the prediction here.
In a very limited body of work, what is your opinion of Legedu out in San Diego? He seems to catch everything thrown at him from what I've seen, and maybe he's a big reason why the Chargers aren't worrying (as much) that VJax will miss extended time.
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
He's like every receiver in SD - he does a great job on vertical routes. I've knocked Rivers over the years but he's shown a rare ability to get every WR top-notch productivity on vertical passes. I think Naanee and Floyd could lead that offense to top line numbers even if Jackson held out after the suspension.
Zach (Bronx, Ny)
The Cutler/Mike Martz pairing is ridiculous. Doesn't Martz system focus on accuracy and limit the QB's mobility. Cutler has good mobility, huge arm strength, but I wouldn't call him accurate. This is worst than pairing Martz with Marinelli.
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
It does remain to be seen if Cutler can acclimate himself to a timing offense. He's been a in vertical passing systems pretty much his entire football life and it isn't a given that he will be able to flow with a Martz-style system.
Favre had a ridiculous season last year, but I haven't seen your stats on him. How good was he? And is there any reason to consider him a Top 5 or Top 10 QB this year?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
The most amazing Favre stat of 2009 was his 1.2% bad decision rate. This is the guy who was one of the worst decision makers of all time and he ties for tops in the league in that category. It just goes to show how much better he could have been in that category had he changed his mindset back then.
FF Keeper... Andre Johnson as a 2nd rounder, or Ocho Cinco as a 5th?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
Andre. Ochocinco is not anywhere near what he was a few years ago.
How much do you think Brian Westbrook has left in him?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
His good blocking YPA was OK last year but nothing to write home about (just under six yards if memory serves correct). He may have something left in the tank but he isn't good enough to center an offense around anymore.
KC, you're doggiing me man, im a REGULAR. How much do you downgrade the Ravens D if Ed Reed misses significant time?
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
Gorman, I'm not ignoring you, believe me! Just a lot more questions than usual today. Reed does help that defense but they have played well without him in the past. They missed Suggs more than Reed last year. A downgrade if Reed is out but not a huge one.
Ryan (San Diego)
Where is the article comparing Vjax to Andre Johnson and Miles Austin? He's gotta be right up there
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
Good eye, Ryan. I almost included him in this article because his metrics were that good.
Apu (Springfield, USA)
Justin Forsett, Fred Jackson or Ahmad Bradshaw..if given a chance who is the best breakout bet?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
Forsett had the best good blocking YPA totals of these three, so I'd go with him (under the caveat of if he is given a chance to break out).
are you retarded? their is no way you can put austin miles one great year and compare it to andre johnson great career, and say he is better. let me know if they are still hiring their at ESPN ill take a nonsense job like your own
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
You see, this is what I am talking about. The poster slams the article without offering an argument to the contrary (other than saying it is nonsense) and then throws an insult out to boot. If you have an argument to make, make it! Insults are no match for intelligent discussion!
andrew (indy )
austin miles wasn't even close to the best WR in the league last year. Guys like Andre Johnson are the focal point of opposing defenses from day 1, meanwhile Austin is facing single coverage because he's just a body. Did your analysis take into account the fact that Austin faced much less coverage than other studs?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
Did you not read the article? There was an entire section on how Austin and Johnson fared against varying levels of CB competition. Austin won that part of the matchup hands down.
Didn't your metrics claiming Miles as the best WR in the league also say that Matt "never 4 ypc" Forte wasnt that bad?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Again, did you read the article? The argument was that Forte did just as well with good blocking in 2009 as he did in 2008. If you are going to knock me for something, at least take the time to read the article first.
Neither of them matter. Larry Fitzgerald!!!! lol
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Shag, you might not be saying that if you saw what I wrote about Fitz!
Andrew (San Jose)
Call me a 49ers homer, but I am predicting that if Alex Smith gets the time to throw (should, with the addition of two new lineman!), then Crabtree will be a top 10 receiver. Thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
I might be with you on this if Crabtree had posted better short pass YPA numbers last year. He was near the bottom of the league in that category so it will take a huge increase to get him to the top 10 level there. He'll be hard pressed to get to the top 10 overall without quality short pass totals. Give him two years and the top 10 thing might come true.
I just read your article claiming that BP is the most trusting company there is. Are you nuts?
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
You know, I wouldn't be surprised to see this kind of claim being made about one of my articles. Heck, they give me credit for saying a ton of other stuff I don't say, so why not go the full nine?!
How will Cedric Bendon do this year?
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
About the same as he did last year - he'll get a ton of carries and will post solid numbers because of it. His good blocking YPA wasn't great shakes (right around six yards) but he is Cincinnati's bellcow back.
andrew (indy )
how can you insist people read the article when you charge to do so? Austin being better than Johnson is such an inflammatory headline that you know people will come here and slam you just for mentioning something like that ;)
KC Joyner (5:02 PM)
I never write an article under the auspices that "if I say this, I'll get a headline." The Austin article came about after I ran his numbers and realized "wow, he might be the best WR in the league." I then checked them against Johnson's and realized there was an article here. And as far as Insider goes, I'm biased but I think it is the best value on the Internet. The volume of quality material in Insider is second to none and it keeps increasing. It's a no-brainer to get it in my estimation.
PT's metrics? seems like if he had enough touches, he could be a top running back in this league
KC Joyner (5:04 PM)
If memory serves correct, his good blocking YPA was at or near the seven yard mark. Give him enough carries and he will be a top 10 back. Well, it's been fun but it's time to run. Before I go, I should again mention the 2010 TFS Draft Guide will be ready to be sent out this evening. You can find more information about it at www.thefootballscientist.com. You can also follow my material on Twitter at kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all here next week!