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 (3:59 PM)
Good afternoon! Let's talk some football!
I'm calling it. Desean Jackson to the Lions next year. How bad would that be for rest of the NFC Central for the next 5 years?
KC Joyner (4:00 PM)
Jackson is the type of receiver who does well when he isn't faced with a strong CB but tends to disappear against that type of coverage. Not sure the Lions offense would do as good of a job of getting him those situations as Philly does.
Why does Brees breaking Marino's record all of a sudden make him a solid choice for MVP over Rodgers (or even close to Rodgers); Marino's record is a big deal, it stood for 25 years but there's a very good chance that Brady will also break the record. Why is everyone feting Brees over a record that may not last a year?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
That is an excellent point. Marino's record will always be impressive because it stood for as long as it did, but if Brees's record is broken in the next five years, it won't look as impressive down the road.
I know fantasy is on Friday, but leaving town and I respect your breakdown on defenses. My hunch says Giants can force Romo into TO's and sacks in a big game. But would you rather go with Chi. at Minn or Atlanta vs TB?
KC Joyner (4:02 PM)
Still working on the fantasy start-sit charts but at first glance the TB matchup looks to be the most favorable.
TG (the mothership)
KC, Why no talk about Nick Foles this kid is a fantastic QB his receivers didn't help him too much with a lot of drops your thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
Not exactly sure why that is but can say Foles will definitely be on the TFS radar for a write-up in the draft coverage.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will win the NFC East this Season?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
Well, since the beginning of the season my answer to this question has been the NY Giants, so there is no reason to change that answer now.
Football Scientist, what are the scientific odds that the Jets reach the playoffs? Do you believe they have a shot?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
There chances are actually very good given that the teams they need to lose all have unfavorable matchups. It would be more surprising at this point if they did not make the playoffs than if they did.
In your opinion, which stat more accurately portrays a team's defense: yards/game or points/game? Yards can get distorted during blowout games, but it seems like points could be influenced by offensive turnovers leading to short fields.
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
Maybe the best way to put it is that YPG (or better yet, yards per play) tends to lead to a low PPG total. A team allowing a lot of yards and few points is less likely to continue the low points allowed mark than a team that gives up few yards.
Stuart (Brooklyn, NY)
Hey KC. Thanks for all your help this year. Do you think Tate and Mathews are effective this week? Go checkout Mission Impossible. Lots of action!
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
Mathews would be the more likely start option out of that group. And thanks for the heads up on the movie - great action flicks are getting hard to find.
Mitch (Gainesville, FL) [via mobile]
Think the Colts win this one to keep Manning their QB?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
The Jaguars are in terrible shape right now on defense and the Colts have been playing much better in many ways on offense of late (Donald Brown and Reggie Wayne have both been featured in the Pass Plays series because of this). Indy will likely win this game and could lose their No. 1 pick in the draft because of it, making it maybe the worst win in NFL history.
KC, which players late season success do see leading into breakout seasons next year? CJ Spiller comes to mind.
KC Joyner (4:11 PM)
Spiller's play of late is quite impressive, but it is a bit off-set by his poor performances right before that. All in all his 2012 prospects look to be on the upswing but he does need to show more consistency before being vaulted to the upper echelon.
KC, we just saw the Falcons get smoked, but who do you think would give the Saints a better game in the WC round, Falcons or Lions?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
If the Lions are healthy, they would probably be the better matchup, if for no other reason than their D line could give Brees a thing or two to think about.
Did any Rookie OL catch your eye this year?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Smith certainly comes to mind. And your ideas in the posts are something I'm considering doing - just have to find the right way to go about it.
tommy (20,000 leagues under the sea)
KC which qb will be with a different team next year sanchez, bradford, or gabbert? gotta pick one
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
In a fair world, it would be Gabbert. He's shown very little to make one think he is an NFL caliber starting QB.
Can you clarify if you mean Tyron Smith OR Willie Smith (who also seems to be playig wel for the Skins)?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
Apologies, that post meant Tyron Smith (sometimes have to post things in a hurry to keep the chat moving along quickly).
Do you see any way the Niners could host the NFC Championship? I guess that is the same as asking if any of the Giants/Cowboys/Falcons/Lions could possibly beat the Packers in GB.
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
I'd give that about a 20 percent chance of happening. The bigger issue than GB losing is whether or not SF could be NO in a divisional game. Right now, that looks like it would not be a likely occurrence.
whose fault is the Jets offensive struggles most on this season
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
Mike Tannenbaum's. The Jets talent level on that side of the ball simply isn't good enough.
Sean McKenzie (Van Wert, OH)
Hey KC, Happy New Year. With the money the Browns will have in FA this offseason, I believe they should target either DeSean Jackson or Johnny Knox. Both have deep threat speed, good hands, and are used to cold weather. Which of those 2 do you think fits better in our offense???
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Knox's injury would make Jackson hands down the better choice right now. The issue with Jackson is that he isn't a matchup buster and that is exactly what the Browns passing game needs right now.
Howard Mudd stated that Jason Peters played like Walter Jones this year. Is that true? Walter Jones was awfully good.
KC Joyner (4:20 PM)
Mudd speaks the truth. Peters played lights out this season.
KC, is there a QB out there NOT in the draft who the Redskins would be well served to pursue?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Yeah, they could try to get Jason Campbell back from the Raiders.
NO has looked impressive lately while the Packers' D has struggled but am I off base in thinking that the Packers offense should still be able to march up and down on the Saints (similar to opening night). Would you favor NO or GB in an NFC title game in the frozen tundra (which oddly enough may hurt the Packers).
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
The Saints did a lot of marching in that week one contest. GB's injured O line is quite a concern so the idea that NO could pull off the upset is not far fetched. Plus, as Chris Sprow points out, right now there are many reasons to think the Saints are the NFC's best team.
I know you can't see into the future, but do you really think the Saints will play their starters most of the game?
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
Brees has to know that this is his only chance to move that passing yardage record as high as possible. He may say he doesn't care about records, but don't believe it - he cares a lot about them. He'll play for as long as his coach will let him.
You wouldn't roll the dice on Matt Flynn? Anything to suggest he can be a viable starter...operative word being... viable.
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
Not knocking Flynn in any way, but even with Barkley staying in college, this year's QB crop is quite strong. Washington would be better suited to improve at QB through the draft this year.
I'm thinking that Jermichael Finley won't get that huge contract he was hoping for after the last two years. If I were the Packers and he demanding to be the highest paid TE, I would just show him a lowlight reel of all his drops this season.
KC Joyner (4:28 PM)
This won't matter to the Packers, but he was also one of the most disappointing fantasy players as well. At the very least, his poor performance will mean GB will not face anywhere near as much fan disapproval if they don't offer him a monster contract as they would have had he posted quality totals this season.
I read the article by Sprow on the Saints being the best team in the NFC and I agreed with many points; however, the argument that Packers don't have a better offensive arsenal rings a bit hollow. Who cares if the Saints have more players with 30 catches? The Packers have a TE that's as good as Graham (though not as emphasized) and I'd say that Jennings/Nelson/Jones/Driver/Cobb is the best WR corp in the NFL by a sizable margin. The RBs are better for NO but a 4.0 YPC average for the Packers isn't exactly bad.
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
I'm not quite as sold on the GB WR corps. Jones is OK and Driver is old and has been on a big time decline for a couple of years now. Cobb is a rookie and has done well for a rookie but hasn't exactly been A.J. Green or Julio Jones. In addition, the NO RB class is much better than GB's, both in quality and in depth.
Zach (Bronx, Ny)
KC, you think the Panthers can win the NFC South next year. Cam Newton has looked unstoppable as of late and their defense is only going to get healthier/better.
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Big issue is how Newton handles year two. Teams will have all offseason to figure out how to stop him and he will have to prove he can get past that. Plus, as good as he is, Carolina's offense will still not be in NO's class and the Saints defense could be improved as well. Can see Carolina making a run at a wild card berth next year but can't quite see them winning the division.
Angry Mike (SF, CA)
Scientist, my man! Been a while, hope all has been well in your world. You said that Tyron Smith has had an impressive rookie season. I've heard/read that elsewhere as well, but have read next t o nothing about Doug Free this year. Has he taken a step back, been overshadowed by Tyron or both (or neither)? Thanks a lot.
KC Joyner (4:33 PM)
Hey, good to hear from you! The world may have Angry Birds, but we've got Angry Mike for this chat! Free has played very well this year but he is being overshadowed by Smith because draft picks can tend to do that when they meet or exceed expectations.
Mike (San Diego)
On a neutral field, is there a single team that the Rams would be less than a 4 point underdog against?
KC Joyner (4:35 PM)
Tampa Bay isn't exactly a juggernaut right now, so it might be a push if those two were matched up.
Do you think Andy Reid will buck his recent trend and take a linebacker in the first round this year, maybe Luke Kuechely from Boston College?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Philly tends to avoid going after linebackers in the first round but Kuechly is a tackling machine and could help them. Still can't see it happening, though.
Totally agree on Jones and Driver, but Jennings/Nelson>Colston/Moore --- Agree?
KC Joyner (4:38 PM)
Would agree with that, but would also say Graham is appreciably better than Finley (production-wise). And Sproles is by far better than anyone GB has in their backfield, and it isn't even close.
Dan (Harrisburg, PA)
Hey KC. With the Lions needing a bruiser RB to go with Best (and still working LeShoure into NFL readiness), would it make any sense for them to look into signing Peyton Hillis?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
The issue with Hillis is that he seemed to let the fame go to his head for a team. Detroit isn't looking for players like that, so unless they are convinced Hillis' attitude will turn around, they may have to go elsewhere for their bruiser.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Who would your DROY vote go to?
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Toss up between Miller and Smith. Would probably end up voting for Miller.
the thing about the saints receivers having more catches is that brees has attempted 120 more passes than rodgers!!
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
Excellent point but, as one of my editors pointed out a couple of weeks back, is it not even more impressive that the production levels are still strong despite the higher number of attempts? Completing 60 percent of 40 passes is usually more impressive than completing 60 percent of 30 passes, in other words.
I agree that the RB are better but I'm curious as to why you denigrate Jones/Driver/Cobb; the question was relative to the Saints and I can't imagine that, outside of Colston, there are three WR's on the Saints you would rather have.
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Driver has been a liability for a couple of seasons now. He really isn't capable of beating a quality CB with any consistency. Jones and Cobb are both very raw. GB still has a great offense despite those weaknesses but it is more because of how great Rodgers is than huge stockpile of talent around him.
tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]
I'm sorry to tell you and every Sanchez backer out there that HE IS SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I really liked Chad Pennington back in the day, but I was glad he never played for my team (Broncos). QB'S should be accurate, stong armed and strong willed. Sanchez may have the will, but that's it. Jets should be looking HARD this coming draft at a QB.
KC Joyner (4:44 PM)
Tdiddy, I've been a Sanchez basher for a while now, but after how the Jets gutted their receiving corps this offseason, it is hard to blame their woes on Sanchez. That offense was built to falter.
Team besst suited for Hillis? See: New York Football Giants
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
An interesting thought.
ok, thats a fair point on percentages, but you can't have it both ways. either efficiency is better or quantity. pick a side, scientist.
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
What I'm saying is that if two teams are near equals in efficiency, the team with a higher quantity tends to be more impressive.
Mike (San Diego)
Any of the off the radar bowl games that you'll have your eyes on this week?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
Going to be keeping an eye on tonight's Washington-Baylor matchup. Don't be shocked if Huskies QB Keith Price goes toe to toe with RG3 for a while. Price may be the most underrated QB in college football.
Hey KC, who wins the AFC West? Raiders or Broncos?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
EJ (Redondo Beach)
Quick Q! Taken the speed of Simpson (Bengals), the space between him and Washington (the defender) and the distance to the goal line... wasn't the flip completely unnecessary? He held the ball in his open, field side hand while flipping through the air??? The flip was "neato," but I'm shocked that not one ESPN analyst has criticized the player for doing this. Shocked. Any thoughts?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
Remember Walter Payton's pony kick? It was completely unnecessary and slowed him down but it was so awesome to watch that I hurt my hand one time trying to mimic it while running down a hallway as a kid (stupid door frame). Simpson's leap may have been unnecessary but the entertainment quotient was so great that it overrides any negatives about it.
You say that NO and GB are close in efficiency to one another, and they are, but when looking at just their passing games, GB is miles ahead of them according to DVOA from Football Outsiders (69.9 vs 53.8)
KC Joyner (4:51 PM)
Excellent point that shows they are many ways to skin this statistical cat.
Do you think Foster rests and Tate gets the majority of the work? Will Jacobs do as well as he did in the last Dallas game?
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
Houston has nothing to play for and they have shown that they keep Foster's workload in mind during the season, so resting him makes is a very likely move on their part. Not so sure on Jacobs, but would think he has a good game.
i worry Dan Snyder will pull the plug on the shanahan should i worry?
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
The Redskins have actually taken some steps forward under Shanahan. It would be a surprise to see Snyder not give him at least one more season to see if that progress can continue.
Is it really fair to judge Tebow so far this year? Tebow lost his best offensive weapon the week he was declared a starter. At least Newton gets Steve Smith to throw to.
KC Joyner (4:56 PM)
People wanted to judge Tebow after three quarters of his first game. He should be judged after a decent sized body of work. Given his progress this year, Denver should just name him their 2012 starter and then re-visit the situation at that point. No need to keep a QB controversy alive unnecessarily.
If Houston rests Foster, will Tate or Ward benefit more?
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Tate will likely be the lead runner.
tony matro (winslow Nj)
How shocked do you think steelers fans will be if they lose to the Ravens
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Should they be shocked after what happened during the regular season?
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
What was worse, Brees throwing for the record up 20+, or the anonymous Falcons player complaining after the fact instead of stopping him from doing it?
KC Joyner (5:00 PM)
The player who didn't stop him. If you don't want a stat-happy QB to break a record against you, find a way to keep it from happening. Well, it's been a fast and fun hour, but it's time to get to the dinner table. Quick notes - the TFS material is always posted on Twitter @KCJoynerTFS. There is also a fantasy football chat tomorrow at 3 PM ET, so join in if you have a fantasy team playing in week 17!