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 (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
Are the redskins winning with smoke and mirrors? is Grossman that bad?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
The Grossman situation is just like it was in Chicago. He can play well enough to win quite often but when he has off-game (something that happens far too often), it's an almost automatic loss. Washington had to make the change because of that, as the rest of their team is good enough to contend for an NFC playoff spot.
I'm hopping back on the All-Torain due in part to Berry's Love/Hate. Would he make your love list this week?
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Torain will bounce back for better games, and probably pretty soon. Let's not forget that the Eagles sold out to stop the run in that contest. Not every team will be able to do that if the Skins can get their QB situation fixed.
Rick (irvine, ca)
I know fantasy chat tomorrow, but I'm impatient... will Roddy turn it around... I just traded Sjax and Julio for MJD and Roddy... what do you think?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
This chat can answer fantasy questions, just as long as they are framed as standard NFL questions! White has some favorable matchups coming up in weeks 9 and 11, but he also has a tough matchup this week and a bye following that. He'll continue to be somewhat hit and miss.
Is it possible Jahvid Best could be out for the season? If so, will Maurice Morris be a suitable replacement for the rest of the season?
Great stuff as always KC. Looking into the detroit backfield fiasco, is it safe to say that both Mo Morris & Keiland Williams have value? Everyone seems to have anointed Mo as the air apparent, but they will have to use both backs regularly, no?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Figured it would be good to answer both of these Detroit questions concurrently. Morris and Williams both have quality GBYPA histories, so they do have upside. The latest word is that it is possible Best could be out for the year, but don't go dropping him yet, as that is still unconfirmed. Morris probably gets the bulk of the carries if Best is out.
Zac (The Bay)
K.C., what it do?! Do you get the sense that the NFL is turning into a flag football league? What 3 years ago in the passing game was exceptional, today seems common. Have you done analysis or have metrics on this? i.e. Completion %, Sacks Allowed, YPA, YPC?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
The issue for the NFL in the first few weeks of the season was that run blocking was horrible in that time frame. That is a direct impact of the lockout. The more these O lines have played together, the more the run blocking has improved. Add to that the fact that defenses are now starting to get more complex (something that was also impacted early on by the lockout) and it means everything should start getting back to normal soon.
Josh Freeman. London. Does he play like last week? Or like the first 4?
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
More like last week, but not quite as good.
TFS...Playing for Luck! Who has the better week at RB this week...Daniel Thomas or Willis McGahee? How does Tebow's running prowess affect McGahee's production?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
McGahee probably has the better game. Having a running threat like Tebow will not hurt his prospects in the least. And speaking of Luck, check out today's TFS ESPN.com Insider article on Washington QB Keith Price. He's not up to Luck's level yet but his numbers are among the best in CFB and he could go toe-to-toe with Luck this weekend for at least a good part of that game.
Pete (San Antonio)
KC, desperately need your help. Is Maurice Morris going to be more productive than Fred Davis, Nate Washington and DeAngelo Williams. I have until 12pm to decide.
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
It's awfully hard to say, but he's probably got the best odds of that group as long as Best does not play.
More Tebow!! I haven't seen him play very often but Dilfer seems to think he has more than enough arm to stretch defenses. What does TFS have to say?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
Tebow's vertical metrics at UF were fantastic, so he's got a history of being able to throw the ball deep. Problem for him is that Denver traded Lloyd, who was the best vertical WR on the Broncos roster. If Thomas can stay healthy, he can replicate a lot of Lloyd's performance, but that's a big if.
Can Peyton Hillis get his groove back on?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
The big question is will Cleveland give him the chance to? This situation doesn't seem to be improving.
Offensive line questions: What % of the time, do all 5 O-lineman win their blocking matchup and on average, how many O-lineman win their blocking battle on each play? Different breakdowns for run vs pass play?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
The good blocking metric measures all blockers, not just the O line. The percentages vary but good teams normally give their ballcarriers good blocking at least 50 percent of the time.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Who has the better season going forward (wink wink) - Roddy, Dez or VJax?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
Very funny! Jackson has a brutal schedule. White has a hit/miss schedule. Dez's schedule is the best of the group, but he's a hit/miss player as well. Would probably go with Dez because of that, but it's a risky proposition.
KC, you still all in on Manningham or have you backed off? He was oh so close to hauling in 3 TDs against Buffalo. I'm still a believer, are you?
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
Still on the Manningham bandwagon. He had that one TD overturned on review and lost another when he hit the ground in the end zone. No WR has lost as many potential TDs as Manningham this year and that trend will turn around the second half of the season.
And in response to your Tebow thoughts. What about Decker?? He's no slouch.
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
He's definitely no slouch. He does run many of the routes on the tree, but vertical routes are not his specialty. Denver has to have someone who can stretch the field if they want to get the most out of Tebow.
How do you think Murray does with his first start of his career? Expect big things against the Rams?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
The Rams D is really short on personnel right now, so Dallas should get a ton of goal line chances (assuming their receivers don't put all of the long pass receptions into the end zone). Murray should have a very good game this week.
What do the Bengals need to become a better team?
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Just keep plugging along on the same path they are on right now. Their D is one of the best in the league and Dalton/Green is looking like it has potential to be one of the best QB/WR combos for the next decade. Big upgrade could be at RB, as Benson just doesn't break off long runs even when he's given good blocking.
Thought DHB was turning the corner - will Carson make him the legit #1 WR on Oakland or target someone else?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
DHB was absolutely turning the corner. Coming into last week's game, only 53 of his yards had occurred on stretch vertical routes. That means he was getting his yardage on short and medium passes, which had been an issue for him before that. If he keeps running the tree well, Carson will throw to him quite often.
Mr. Scientist...Brandon Marshall...bad case of the dropsies or an indicator of things to come? Has he been this bad in the past?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
He's always had inconsistencies in his game, including drops and subpar vertical production. He's a very good possession receiver who has some vertical chops but will drop some passes. That's what he was and what he still is.
Andy (West virginia)
Scientist: VJax going to have a tough week and if so would J.Nelson be a better option in week 7? Thanks
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Getting a lot of fantasy questions and very few NFL questions. Might have to turn this into a fantasy football chat if that trend continues. Jackson has Revis and that is a tough enough matchup to start Nelson over him.
May as well call him, "Braylon Marshall," KC.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Good suggestion, J.B.!
Christian Ponder (Lake Minnetonka)
Am I smart and talented enought o get the ball to Percy? Like what you saw of me in a few series last week?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
Ponder is certainly sharp enough to be a starting QB. The issue with Percy is that he is a RB playing WR and that limits what can be done with him. They need to figure out more ways to get the vertical passing game going so that will open up more space for Harvin's skill set.
KC, JerMichael Finley in Green Bay, will he be playing for the Green and Gold next season or somewhere else? TT has shown in the past to lock up young talent earlier than this.
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
Thompson may be concerned about the injury issues, something that seemed to come up again last week for Finley. If that's the case, he'll only want to sign him to a deal under the right terms (which is to say less than the elite numbers Finley may be looking for).
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
So is Harvin essentially like Sproles playing WR fulltime?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
More or less, although he does run a few more route types than Sproles.
Stephen Ross (Owner's Box)
Sparano's job rides on your answer...were the drops by my WR's an indicator of a team that has given up and lost focus or a team that is juts pushing too hard?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
Imagine a situation where the owner of the company you worked was ready to replace your boss with someone from outside the company but then had to change his mind when that outside person did not take the job. Would you feel the same way about your boss as you did before? Most people would not and that's the issue in Miami. Once they decided someone other than Sparano was the right guy for the job, he needed to let Sparano go regardless of how that other move worked out. Hate to say that, as Sparano is a good guy, but that's just how these things work.
Packers colors are green and yellow...Steelers are black and gold...get it straight Green Bay fans!
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
Ryan, believe it or not, the Packers do call themselves the green and gold. It may look like green and yellow, but that Packers fan was actually correct.
Matt Moore (South Beach)
Gotta give me some blame too! What the over under on the number of picks I throw Sunday..2?
KC Joyner (4:31 PM)
That sounds about right.
ZEKE (San Jose)
The sort of question a guy who drafted Charles and Hillis needs to ask -- which Colt to pick up, DCarter or DBrown
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Would go with Carter in that the Colts already have an idea of what they have in Brown and probably want to see what kind of upside Carter has. On a side note, the Colts run blockers are actually doing a very good job this year most of the time.
Al (Wausau, WI)
KC, I'll take the under on Matt Moore! I predict the Dolphins will get their first victory of the season on Sunday.
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Al, you are now on record!
Did the Eagles Defense play as well as it looked on Sunday or was that more a product of a "Bad Rex" game?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
It was both. The Eagles defensive issues had to do with allowing the big plays now and again. Other than that, they were playing quite well. Against the Skins, they started to solve that problem and the results spoke for themselves.
Have you come across anything in your metrics this year that shocked you?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
The Mike Wallace totals were a jaw dropper, as were Cam Newton's vertical pass attempt figures (he was on pace to throw over 300 vertical passes at one point - that's 70 more than Peyton's league-leading 230 vertical passes in 2010).
Ryan (San Diego)
I asked you a football question KC. Pick me! Pick me! How do you see the Chargers/Jets game playing out? I think the Chargers should be able to handle them fairly easily off a bye week
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
The issue for SD is that Rivers is taking a lot more chances than he did last year (his bad decision rate is four times higher this year than it was last). If he takes too many chances against the Jets D, it could be what NY needs to pull off the upset. If he doesn't, it's probably an SD win.
I don't think there is a harder running back to bring down than Shady McCoy. All Pro this year?
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
Forte could give him a run for the money. Those two are probably the All-Pro RBs for the first half of the season.
KC Joyner (4:37 PM)
But, as you noted in another post, DMC also has to be in that conversation.
Matt (Spokane, WA)
I'm just "fantasizing" here-- which fill-in RB is more likely to finish the rest of the season solidly-- Battle, Morris or Murray??
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Battle was one of the players reviewed in this week's TFS ESPN.com Pass Plays article. He's posted a very good GBYPA and the Chiefs run blocking has been good for most of the year. Like his upside a lot.
Mike (San Diego)
To follow up on Drew from Harrisburg's question: Is McCoy a more explosive version of Brian Westbrook?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
He's less of a pass receiver than Westbrook but is probably a better runner.
It's pretty hard to take down Arian Foster. Tell Drew to stop being a Harrisburg homer.
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Would agree on that. It might be that last week's debacle in Baltimore clouded the judgment on that one.
Mike (San Diego)
If you were in a survivor pool, who would you say is a better lock this week? Dallas or New Orleans?
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
It's close, but the St. Louis secondary makes Dallas the better pick.
Blounts yards after contact are pretty impressive as well... Next year I think he impresses big time
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
He was doing just as well in GBYPA this year as he did last year and it's a shame he got hurt. That O line was starting to hit a groove and now Blount won't be able to take advantage of it.
Could Revis possibly be underrated still?
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
Would have to say no on that, especially since Asomugha's regression has taken him out of the "best CB in the NFL in 2011" conversation.
Stevie Jay (Philly)
I noticed the EAgles cut down on the wide 9 last week to contain the All-Torain Vehicle. Will that continue or will they stubbornly revert to the wide 9 again this week
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
It depends on the opponent. Stopping Washington's run game was paramount, so moving the ends closer in was necessary. Against a team with a weaker run game, Philly might not do that.
Greetings KC, What's your thoughts on Houston's defense now that Mario is out. Will Tenn put up some points this weekend with less pressure on Hass?Thanks
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
Good to hear from you, Kmac! Houston's D is much better in many ways right now, but the odds are good that Tennessee's run game will get turned around now that they have had a bye week to work on the run blocking issues and to get CJ2K healthy. The Titans should put up some points with Johnson's rushes and Hass airing it out against some of the weak points of the Houston secondary.
will the big guy Earnest Graham have another good game, KC?
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
He's been nearly as productive as Blount, so the odds are quite good he has another quality performance this week.
What are your thoughts on Jake Ballard? I don't miss Kevin Boss all that much.
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
He was almost included in this week's Pass Plays article, as he has effectively replaced Boss in the passing game. Consider him a good fantasy TE pickup.
How do you see the GMEN the rest of the year with their brutal schedule?
KC Joyner (4:49 PM)
Brutal is right, but this is a team that has a history of playing this level of competition week to week. Still have them as the favorites to win the NFC East.
Considering Vick and Romo are banged up and the situation in Washington, don't the GMEN have the best shot at the division despite their brutal schedule down the stretch?
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
The other teams in the division don't exactly have easy schedules, so that's a plus. Washington probably isn't as good as their early season record indicates. NY also has a bye this week and is starting to get healthy. The development of Ballard and Cruz is solving the issue that was their short pass game woes. Lots to still like about the Giants chances.
No Chat Ref? No SAGE comments. Where is everyone?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
It has been something of a slow day from that perspective, but there still have been over 200 questions, which is a solid number for a Thursday chat. It could be some people are taking a bye this week.
Elvis (Tupelo, MS)
Baldwin seems to have put some impressive games together in spite of sub-par QB options. Is he a star in the making?
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
Could be. He'll probably be one of players reviewed in next week's Pass Plays. Well, hate to cut it a few minutes short, but I've got to run to go prep for a 5 PM ET radio interview. Quick closing note - all of the TFS material is posted on Twitter @kcjoynertfs. Hope to see you all here in tomorrow's fantasy football chat at 3 PM ET!