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 (4:01 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
KC love the science of stats - that said, do you weight the quality of receiver when analyzing the shut down corners etc or whether a team is in zone or man D
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
I have done many different types of analyses of this nature. Good example was on Miles Austin this offseason - metrics showed he was one of the best WRs in the league against every level of competition.
KC, last week I asked you about McCourty's metrics and you, sir, were stumped. Any updates on that one?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
He is sitting at an 8.6 YPA by my calculations. That isn't great but he has played well at times, so there are reasons to think he could improve upon it.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
I understand why Shanny benched McNabb. McNabb has no awareness of what is actually going on in a game. He is never in a "Hurry up" mode. I also point to week 4 when he was playing Philly. He makes a first down on a 3rd down run that should have clinched the game. But instead, he runs out of bounds stopping the clock while he celebrates making the run. He had no idea of the situation on the field. Instead of giving the ball back with 20 seconds left, the Eagles got it with a minute left and about threw a TD to win.
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Shanahan has been a subject of many Scientific Football articles. The gist of them was that he has expectations of players and when players don't meet those expectations, he'll do whatever is necessary to get it. That's what he is doing here.
Ryan (San Clemente)
KC, why has the Jets' defense underperformed?
KC Joyner (4:06 PM)
First off, on a points allowed per game basis, they aren't far behind last year's league leading pace. Having said that, the reason they aren't quite as good as 2009 largely due to the secondary, or more specifically Kyle Wilson. They expected him to play like a first round pick and by and large he did not do so.
Gorman (Baltimore, MD)
Greetings/Salutations, and Good day Scientist from sunny Baltimore, MD! KC- should we expect anything from Donte Stallworth coming back? The WR corps has been pretty good without him. Will this put us in the driver's seat for a SB run?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
Greetings to you as well! The great thing for the Ravens offense is that they can allow Stallworth to focus exclusively on vertical routes. They have every other passing tool necessary to succeed and if he can stretch the field effectively, Baltimore may be getting the keys to drive to Cowboys Stadium in February.
KC, I've been pretty happy with the play of two CB's Martin Mayhew acquired in the offseas in Chris Houston and Alphonso Smith. The fact that it only took a 6th rounder and our 3rd string TE to get 2 starting corners under the age of 25 makes it even better. Do you have any metrics for their performance?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
You can find metrics for both of these players in today's TFS Insider article that takes a look at how the Lions are an up and coming team. Houston has a 4.9 YPA and Smith a 6.1, both of which are good numbers in general but are fantastic when one considers they are Lions CBs (who have done terrible in this metric the past two years).
Randy Moss (Tenn)
God KC, this food is TERRIBLE! Tell Mrs. Scientist I'm sending it back!!!!
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
Mr. Moss would never say that about Mrs. Scientist's cooking! And, if the other players comments on the quality of the food is an indicator, he shouldn't have said so about the local restaurant that catered the event.
Paige Nash (Corbin KY)
I LOVE my UK Cats.... You are the Football Scientist and EVERYONE in Ky wants to know if UK is going to get any better and what they can do to be more consistent- either way we still bleed blue!!!!
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
Paige, tell you what, I'll take a look at some Kentucky metrics and see if I can find a story to run on them before the season is over. Joker Phillips looks to be doing a fine job there.
KC do you have the stamina to take us through this entire chat? If not, Rex Grossman can take over.
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
I think my cardiovascular conditioning will hold up, but if it doesn't, can you arrange to have Sage Rosenfels take over instead? Jimmy would appreciate it!
I need your SAAAAGE advice (love that guy). Anyway, go with Minnesota over Arizona or Atlanta over Tampa Bay? Need another win to keep trucking along.
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
Another Jimmy/Sage reference! Atlanta would be the way to go because that Vikings situation is one that simply cannot be trusted right now.
Robert (Huntsville, Al)
Lock of the week is picking KC. Remember people that Oakland did this against Den and Sea...who is coached by Pete Carroll...yeah, I know, it's funny...
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
Everyone seems to be picking the Chiefs in this one, but the Raiders sure have played well of late and the game is in Oakland. Odds are this will be a very close contest.
Maybe that's why Moss didn't like the food. Not enough SAGE!
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
Sage is the answer to everything in this chat!
Steve (East Lansing)
Is Suh a top 5 DT right now?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
Ran some figures on him for that aforementioned Insider article and found he was winning nearly 27% of his one-on-one POA blocks. The elite DTs in the league will win 30+% so he is very close to that level. Plus he does lead the league in sacks by DTs. I'd put him top 10 and well on his way to top five.
Not only did Shanny undermine Mcnabb with the team, he's made a really good QB into a national joke. I bet free agents are paying attention.
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
If there is one thing Shanahan learned from Bill Walsh, it is to never lower your expectations for a player, especially the QB. He wants certain things from his QB and if McNabb doesn't give those to him, he will do whatever it takes, including benching him, to make that happen. Shanahan realizes lowering the bar for his QB is a no-win situation for him long-term, so in many ways I applaud his moxie. Just wonder about the way he is approaching it.
Can you see the Vikings firing Brad Childress and promoting Leslie Frazier to HC? Seems to me like an excellent plan.
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
I know Frazier has been waiting a long time to get his shot at a head coaching spot, but to take over a team in the type of turmoil the Vikings are in right now is not a good way to go. Hopefully Minnesota can keep from making that move until the offseason and then consider giving Frazier a shot at the top spot. He's earned it.
Ryan (San Diego)
How is Rivers not in the serious MVP talks right now? I know the team is 3-5 but that is mostly due to special teams and his rbs fumbling the football. The guy is putting up record numbers and threw for 300 yards against a 5-2 team last week with the likes of two practice squad guys, Crayton and Gates catching passes. It's time he gets recognized by the media
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Ryan, he's getting more and more play along those lines. I even kicked around an article of this nature for this week's Contrarian Thoughts but ended up not doing it because the Rivers for MVP train was starting down the tracks.
Kim Deal (CA)
BSB is quite the Sage!
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
A shout out for Broad Street Brian!
Why do you think the Dolphins have to keep on settling for field goals?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
The best way to stop trying for FGs is to hit big plays that go for TDs. They still don't have a great vertical threat and therefore their offense is dink and dunk.
So Shanny won't lower the bar for his QB but he'll go with Grossman over McNabb? Sounds like Mr. Whipple with the bathroom tissue.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
J.B., Shanahan has a history of being self destructive in this area. I may have to post something about this on www.thefootballscientist.com, as his history here is actually quite telling in relation to today's situation.
Can we please not do the "Rivers not getting any love" talk...he DOES have a TE having an epic season, no?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
A Denver fan who isn't on the Rivers bandwagon - hard to believe!
Jimmy N (Arlington, VA)
Jimmy N is a big Redskins fan. Jimmy N is mad at Shanny and his ego for yanking McNabb with 2 minutes left last week. Jimmy N (honestly believes!!!) we would have had a better shot to win with SAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE than an ice-cold Rex Grossman. KC- What on earth was he thinking?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
Jimmy! Great to have you in the chat! Many chatters have been clamoring for a Sage comment. I'm with you in that Sage is a better backup QB than Grossman.
Player X in the MAG recently said that 40-50% of players use PEDs. Why has this been met with a collective yawn?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
I wouldn't say Player X's material is being met with a yawn. A lot of people are paying attention to his comments.
Would you give up MJD or Jamal Charles for Garcon in a PPR league? If not would Nicks be too much to give up for one of them?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
I'd probably not make that move unless the WR corps is really strong. Nicks for either of them would be a better move (assuming you are on the MJD/Charles side).
KC, Do you see the Giants performing well in SEA as long as they get the crowd out of it early? Thanks
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
They have some very favorable WR/CB matchups. If they can take advantage of those and get an early lead, I can see NY having a very good day. It isn't just the crowd they have to worry about, though. Seattle's pass rush is something to be concerned with.
Mitch (Gainesville, FL)
So if Atlanta hadn't traded Chris Houston away, how good would their defense be this season?
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Even better than it is, but it isn't as if they are doing poorly this year. Check out the TFS Insider article from last week - it says the NFC Title game will probably go through Atlanta this season.
Phil K (DelaWHERE?)
K Sidge, whats on the dinner menu this evening? Been out anywhere good lately?
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Mrs. Scientist says it is coming down to either hamburgers or steak. Still haven't been out of late, might be able to do so next week (need to get out of the lab once in a while!).
Kim Deal (CA)
KCJ, first time in a long time that we're playing a game of any importance (Oak). Can you give us a matchup that we should look out for?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
Any Raider WR versus Brandon Carr. Brandon Flowers is having a dominant season but Carr has been a coverage liability (recently downgraded him to a green rating in the TFS start-sit charts - more info about which can be found at www.thefootballscientist.com).
Good Day KC, When VJax returns will he be just as good as last year?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
Even if he is only 90% of what he was last year, he'd be a great addition. SD will put him to work, so if he is available in your fantasy league, pick him up ASAP.
So if you had to choose between Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas would you still take the Bronco?
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
Long-term, this will probably be like comparing Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne - you really can't go wrong with either one. Both teams made good choices.
Sounds like you have the same dinner choices as Shanny has at QB. I hope Mrs. Scientist doesn't wait until two minutes before dinner to choose.
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Well, she took the route of asking the kids what they wanted and hamburgers won out. Oh, wait, that might be the same route Shanahan took with his son.
What is the snack of choice breaking down film? or is food not allowed in the lab.
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
It is allowed - can't do tape breakdowns when one is hungry! Snack of choice varies, but it is typically something with protein - empty carbs are not the way to go.
Kenny Mc (MD)
"Hamburgers or Steak?" Thats like saying I'm either starting Chris Johnson, or Mike Hart. Anyways, keep up the good work scientist.
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
Why is everyone knocking hamburgers? I love a great steak as much as the next person but can say the same about hamburgers. And, remember, we aren't talking about some fast food burger - we're talking a Mrs. Scientist hamburger. Good stuff.
Does Jacob Tamme look legit to you? Like top 10 TE legit?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
Fantasy-wise, top 10. Overall, not so much. Peyton makes him look great but if he were put with any other QB (well, anyone other than Brady), Tamme probably doesn't look like the next coming of Dallas Clark.
With Zack Miller looking to be out, do you have any TE suggestions for the weekend. Waiver Wire include Celek, Carlson, Sheffler, Boss, Fasano, D. Lee
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
Hard to say, but the Boss/Beckum combination has some really good metrics (check out the TFS ESPNNewYork.com seven part series on comparing the NY teams' metrics for more details). Could be worth taking a shot on.
Hey KC, I was wanted to get your opinion on the Chiefs QB Matt Cassel this season. Even though he is the first long term solution we MIGHT have after a long time but watching the games this season it seems to me that Cassel might be the least improved player on that roster this season. Granted he is not turning the ball over like crazy this season but I think in the end even though I would love to watch them win a playoff game but Cassel looks to me the weak link in the chain. He can barely throw for 200 yards in a game and if the running game doesn't come through one week then he is not somebody we can rely on. In the off season do we have a better chance to get a franchise QB if Cassel fails to deliver?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
Cassel's issue is, has been and will be vertical passing. He's never done well in this area, even when he was paired up with Randy Moss. It is very hard to keep an offense going if the vertical game isn't in order, and that could mean the Chiefs might need to consider a change there long-term.
Fair point on the burgers, KC. When cooked properly (and with a little cheese and bacon), a burger can perform just as well as a steak and even better if the steak is not properly prepared.
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
To channel Homer Simpson... Mmmmm, bacon. Mrs. Scientist says we are currently out of that commodity, so if you can stop by the grocery store and pick some up for her, she would greatly appreciate it.
Steve (Lincoln (NE))
I enjoy looking at stats and what they might mean for a team. Would you be concerned if your team score more touchdowns from outside the redzone (19) than inside the red zone (15). it is the Cornhuskers that I am talking about by the way.
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
That is actually a very good thing, Steve. The ability to hit big plays is what separates great offenses from good ones. That NU can do this should be seen as a huge positive.
Rakibul Islam (NY NY)
If Cassel doesn't make the necessary improvements, how does KC go about fixing the QB position, esp if they don't have a high pick? Also, how does Mrs. Scientist prep the burgers? Been experimenting myself and i'm looking for sugestions
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
Mrs. Scientist just stepped out for a moment to check on the kids, but since we've been getting so many cooking questions, we'll finally do what we've been meaning to do for a long while. After dinner, she and I will sit down and post some of her hamburger cooking tips on www.thefootballscientist.com. I'll Twitter feed the link after it is posted (Twitter account is @kcjoynertfs). Regarding replacing Cassel, could be very hard to do. Maybe they can hope Locker falls really far in the draft and work on making him a reclamation project.
Does the underrated (but really good) burger and the highly touted (but badly prepared/disappointing) steak analogy work for the ongoing Orton/Cutler comparisons?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
It sure does. Cutler has all of the makings of a great QB but doesn't do as well as the lesser talented but more poised Orton.
Josh (Knoxville, TN)
Given all this food talk and how you rave about Mrs. Scientist's cooking, I can't help but wonder if you ever have readers trying to stop by for dinner.
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
It would have to be an offseason thing, as it is just too busy around here during the season to invite company over.
What must the fins do to beat the ravens?
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
Find a way to exploit Fabian Washington in coverage. Even if it means going with multiple WR sets. He's been terrible in coverage this year and if they go vertical on him, they can generate enough points to win.
Eric ((Long Island, NY))
Hi KC long time no talk! I was wondering what you thought of the Bills pick-up of Merriman and also if they were to get the 1st pick who do you suggest to draft? thanks!
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
Not much to say on the former. On the latter, Andrew Luck is the way to go. He is displaying professional caliber skills and looks very much like another Sam Bradford.
I'm enjoying this. How about the good but underrated burger being Peyton Hillis and the overdone, poorly prepared steak being Steve Slaton?
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
Jason (Nashville )
Predictions for moss with the titans?
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
I did a Rumor Central post on this late yesterday. In a nutshell, it should help Nate Washington out a ton. He had a terrific game last week and his CB matchups the rest of the year are quite favorable. They won't be able to double cover him with Moss on the other side, so his upside potential is huge. Pick him up ASAP if he is available in your fantasy league.
Mike (San Diego)
KC, True or False, without John Elway, Shanny couldn't win a super bowl to save his life. John made Shanny, not the other way around. I'm an Eagles fan and really think the 'Skins made a mistake with this hire.
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
Well, it's not as if Elway won a Super Bowl without Shanahan. It wasn't just a one-way street - they helped each other. Having said that, Shanahan didn't get back to the Super Bowl without Elway, and Elway did make it without Shanahan, so your point is well taken. Well, the burgers are almost ready, so I've got to run. As mentioned before, all of my material gets posted on my Twitter feed, which is @kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all here for tomorrow's fantasy football chat at 4 PM ET!