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!
Which wide receiver is the most underrated in the league?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
Antonio Brown. A TFS ESPN.com Insider article from earlier this week showed that he was actually targeted for more vertical passes than Mike Wallace.
mike (new jersey)
who would steelers want to play in the divisional round, pats or ravens?
KC Joyner (4:01 PM)
Ravens. Steelers are the type of team that wants revenge (and that is said as a compliment).
John P (Detroit)
Fair assessment or would you disagree? The NFC North has the best group of QB's top to bottom......Rodgers, Stafford, Cutler, Flynn and Ponder?
KC Joyner (4:03 PM)
The AFC North could give it a run for its money, but the NFC North would still probably win that battle. Anybody got other candidates to push for this one?
Mike (San Diego)
KC, thoughts on Norv/Smith staying with the Bolts? Oddly, I'm OK with Norv staying, but AJ Smith's drafts have been ridiculous lately. Where do you think the problem lies?
KC Joyner (4:04 PM)
It comes down to how long would it take a new coach to get this team ready to make a Super Bowl run? If the answer to that is 2-3 years, it's 2-3 years of Philip Rivers career that one cannot get back. SD probably figured they should try to do what they can to get back to the playoffs now without sacrificing more of Rivers career.
Have you been able to look at any metrics involving the Steelers passing offense, specifically Mike Wallace? He was on fire early on, and it looks like teams have adjusted. Does that seem to be the case?
KC Joyner (4:05 PM)
Check out that aforementioned article on Wallace, as it shows his 2011 metrics. What it boiled down to is that he is so good at short passes (something he has been great at in the past) that Pittsburgh started using him more on those throws while throwing to Brown vertically more often.
Hi KC, I know I may be beating a dead horse hear and you are entiltled to your own opinions which by the way I agree with you most of the time, but can you please just give up on the Wallace is better than Megatron thing. Can you honelstly say if you are an up and coming QB in the NFL you wouldn't rather have Megatron?
KC Joyner (4:07 PM)
It all comes down to what type of receiver one wants. Wallace is a dominant short pass receiver and is probably the best vertical WR in the NFL, but he isn't quite the all-around WR that Megatron is. My preference is usually for the all-around types but in this case Wallace's short pass prowess makes him a uniquely valuable WR. That's why I would still take him over Megatron.
KC, how would you rate the chances of winning for the road teams this weekend? I'd go Steelers, Bengals, Falcons then Lions.
KC Joyner (4:08 PM)
That sounds about right.
Nate (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Would Matt Flynn be a better option for the Dolphins than trying to trade up to get Luck or RG3?
KC Joyner (4:09 PM)
One game does not an elite NFL caliber QB make. Flynn is good but I can't quite get to the point of taking him over Luck.
John (Boise, ID)
Who do you think is best positioned to knock off the defending super bowl champions or do you not envision that happening?
KC Joyner (4:10 PM)
The Giants are in a good position to do that (see today's TFS ESPN.com Insider article on why they should be considered one of the Super Bowl favorites). Having said that, the TFS preseason Super Bowl pick was Steelers-Packers, with the Steelers winning it all, so I'll stick to that prediction.
I very much enjoyed your article on how the Giants should be considered as possible favorites for the SB KC. Do you think Atlanta's "dirtbag" reputation is deserved and is it really something NYG should watch out for?
KC Joyner (4:12 PM)
The Falcons use a lot of blocking that is legal but that defensive linemen hate because it could get them hurt. Anyone who wants to get mad about the Falcons blocking should take it up with the rules committee, as it may be dangerous but it isn't illegal.
Hola from the Smokey Mountains! Philosophical question (Titans example), do you concentrate on upgrading a position that is more important (pass rush) or do you concentrate on upgrading the most putrid unit on your team (interior o-line).
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
Hello again! Give my regards to Johnson City. Eliminating weaknesses may be the most important aspect of team building, so fixing the O line is the way to go.
Can we end the debate now! Drew Brees lost to Aaron Rodgers head to head, lost to the Bucs and Rams (2 Terrible Teams), Threw 155 more passes than Rodgers, only had 1 more td (Brees threw 5 TD against the colts in a 62-7 win), threw 8 more INT's and had a lower QBR and Passer Rating than Rodgers, AARON RODGERS IS THE MVP, you agree?
KC Joyner (4:13 PM)
Brees was the more prolific QB but Rodgers had the better year. He will be getting my PFW/PFWA vote for MVP.
Julio (Johnson, OK)
Who were your selections for MVP, COY, DefMVP, DROY and OROY?
KC Joyner (4:14 PM)
Rodgers, Schwartz, Smith (SF), Miller and Newton.
wouldnt pittsburgh be tired after playing baltimore if they have to head to new england?
KC Joyner (4:15 PM)
Could be, but the Steelers would like nothing better than to beat Baltimore. Their season would seem incomplete without it.
Re: QBs, NFC South maybe? I know Freeman was off this year but any rebound (he is young after all) and it doesn't seem that close to me.
KC Joyner (4:16 PM)
Good pick, as the odds are quite strong that Freeman rebounds to his old performance under a new coach.
Zachary (Ithaca, NY)
If you were running the Rams or Vikings, and you thought Griffen was an improvement over Bradford or Ponder, would you take him and deal your incumbent? Like say you thought Bradford's ceiling was Tony Romo, while Griffen's was Steve Young. Do you stay with "quality NFL starter" when faced with "possibly "great" at the QB position?
KC Joyner (4:17 PM)
QB is the most important position on a team and if one can upgrade the position to a possible elite status, it is a move that has to be made.
If you were the Eagles, would you keep Juan Castillo based on the last 4 games of the season?
KC Joyner (4:18 PM)
Can't do it, especially if Spagnuolo is willing to take over as DC.
Has the clock struck twelve on the pumpkin that is Tim Tebow?
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
If he was any other first-year starter and did this, no one would be talking about benching Tim Tebow. Let's give this guy the same opportunity everyone else gets.
Nick (New York)
Go Chiefs. Please don't hire Romeo
KC Joyner (4:19 PM)
Romeo just needs to be in a situation where he doesn't have to be the bad guy. If the Chiefs can give him that situation, he can be successful.
so who in your opinion would win if pittsburgh and new england have to play in the championship?
KC Joyner (4:21 PM)
Pittsburgh. The gap between their defense and the Patriots is just too large to pick NE in that case.
If you could start a franchise tomorrow and take any QB, Coach, RB, TE and WR, who you got?
KC Joyner (4:22 PM)
Rodgers, Harbaugh, Forte, Gronkowski and Wallace. Keep in mind that is building a team for the future, not just for 2012.
what is your political affiliation, if you don't mind sharing?
KC Joyner (4:23 PM)
Politics aren't part of the chats, but it should be obvious that I am a staunch independent.
I think what happened to the Broncos offense is McGahee's hamstring more than Tebow's ineffectiveness. Ball is just not that great, and this offense needs a solid rushing attack for the wheels to move. They should prioritize RB in the offseason. That being said, they won't be able to run at all this weekend, and will be looking if they score a single touchdown.
KC Joyner (4:24 PM)
Good observations, Matt. The key about Tebow is if the Broncos do lose, does the fan base start to turn on him. Doubt it happens and if it doesn't, he will be given a second year as a starter (which is something he has frankly earned).
I'm guessing you're taking Schwartz bc they overcame injury? Gonna have to disagree with you big time. The Lions are lucky to be in (see: Raiders' secondary), and they have no signature wins that I can find. We'll see how his coaching goes on Saturday.
KC Joyner (4:25 PM)
That and overcoming the organizational inertia that plagued the Lions. That team simply didn't have a strong forward moving direction before he arrived.
Green Bay had a chance to trade Flynn last year but decided having him as a backup to protect Rodgers was more important than the 2nd/3rd they may have gotten. Now they're in a bind. If you're the Packers, do you franchise Flynn and risk losing Finley or let Flynn walk and keep Finley with a franchise tag. Obviously the best case scenario would be to lock up Finley before having to make a move on Flynn but that seems unlikely.
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
The consensus is that Flynn will cost too much to franchise, so it might be a moot point.
What team will Peyton Hillis be on next season?
KC Joyner (4:26 PM)
Some team that did not buy Madden 2012.
Jim Harbaugh (Santa Clara)
Did someone say organizational inertia?
KC Joyner (4:27 PM)
Touche. Got nothing for respect for Harbaugh (well, except for that incident in Detroit - that wasn't the way he should have handled that situation).
What is your take on Brees breaking Marino's record? Generally speaking, we are led to believe that the passing game has greatly evolved to where it is now, but is there something to be said that Brees simply had a better season? This is coming from a Marino fan.
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
My take would be that Brees is a stat-chaser. He may say he doesn't care about the record but one would have to be a fool to not see he cares about that big time. It is actually kind of irksome to see him say he doesn't care. It smacks of being disingenuous.
If Landry Jones declares for the draft? Do you think he is worthy of a Top 10 pick?
KC Joyner (4:29 PM)
Jones regressed when Ryan Broyles was not in the lineup. He could use another season at OU.
why gronkowski over graham?
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
His production down the stretch. Graham was superb but Gronkowski was ridiculously productive for a time.
so your saying that baltimore would be a better divisional round matchup than new england?
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
It's the matchup the Steelers would likely prefer.
KC Joyner (4:30 PM)
Good question. The assumption was that it was Jim. If it was John, forget my previous comment.
matt (miami, fl)
KC... what are the chances Jason Taylor makes it into the H.O.F.?!
KC Joyner (4:32 PM)
Playing for a Dolphins franchise that was on a downward spiral for most of his career won't help his chances. In a fair world, he would be an easy pick, but the HOF voters aren't always fair.
Ricky (Goodyear, AZ)
With the Cowboys not making the playoffs and the Pakcers getting more popular do you think the packers are now "America's Team"?
KC Joyner (4:34 PM)
This is just a matter of people pulling for the team of the moment. Once GB falls back to the pack (no pun intended), these fans of the moment will leave them in droves. Plus, the Cowboys have their cheerleaders and that is something GB can't match.
Joe (San jose, CA)
If you had to pick between Dalton and Newton to build your franchise around, who are you taking?
KC Joyner (4:36 PM)
Newton, but only if I can find a coach who will keep him angry while still keeping his respect. I believe one of the reasons Newton is so good is that he is angry about how he was being perceived coming into this season. That kind of motivation is great while it lasts but there is a concern about where his game will go now that he isn't being doubted.
you are backtracking as badly as Rex Ryan now admitting that the Jets wont win the Superbowl. That Megatron/Wallace argument is so weak. Megatron is unguardable one on one in every area of the field and Wallace is not. How is that not the deciding factor? sorry, i dont mean to attack.
KC Joyner (4:39 PM)
Yep, Megatron was unguardable in Oakland - oh, wait, that was when the Raiders covered him with a linebacker. And he was unguardable for about a five-game stretch there in midseason - no, wait, that was when he was going through a slump. Stop looking at this with Transformers glasses and see Megatron for what he really is - a great WR but one who is not quite as dangerous as Wallace.
Eric (Los Angeles)
KC, did Andrew Luck's performance in the Fiesta end any debate between him and RG3 for first pick (which only exists in some circles at the moment)? And yes, that does ignore RG3's seventeen TDs in the Alamo Bowl.
KC Joyner (4:40 PM)
Luck's coach probably said it best when he said that Baylor's slowest WR would be the fastest WR on the Stanford club. Add in the fact that Luck had to do without Owusu and Fleener for much of the game and it shows just how good he really is.
Joesph (Detroit, MI)
McCarthy has led the Packers to top 10 offense in each of his 6 years while 2 of those the offense ranked in the top 3 (one year with a 1st year starting QB) He is the best offensive mind in the game scheme wise correct?
KC Joyner (4:41 PM)
I thought about putting him as the COY this year, as he has done a fantastic job of keeping this team aimed at its Super Bowl goal. GB does have a very talented set of wideouts, but as a whole they probably aren't as good as, say, Dallas, but he gets elite productivity out of them in part because of great playcalling.
KC Joyner (4:42 PM)
To put it another way - we might not be thinking of McCarthy as a future Hall of Fame head coach but he isn't that far away from having a strong HOF resume.
We've gone over the whole wr ranking thing before, but put L. Fitzgerald with a top 5 quarterback, then he'd be the best in my opinion. Best hands in the league by far.
KC Joyner (4:43 PM)
Can't quite agree with every part of this, but wanted to give the Fitzgerald argument some representation.
Jennings = Austin. Nelson> Bryant (as of right now). Jones=>Robinson. Finley> Witten. How do you figure Dallas has better receivers?
KC Joyner (4:45 PM)
This is looking at the comparison from a productivity perspective rather than a talent perspective and actually goes to prove the point.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Small note to Jim Kleinsasser...a throwback FB...
KC Joyner (4:46 PM)
Jim Kleinsasser would have fit in quite well with the Bud Grant Vikings. It's too bad he spent his entire Minnesota home game career indoors.
Shawn Kemp Blazers (MN)
Shouldn't the fact that Brown plays opposite Wallace be a factor? Surely it is easier to have better metrics with better weapons around you?
KC Joyner (4:47 PM)
So why isn't Nate Burleson a dominant WR? Or Andre Roberts? Having a great WR on one side of the formation does not assure great performance from the other.
Did you have any problem with what McElroy said about the Jets lockeroom? At what point is being honest really being a sellout?
KC Joyner (4:48 PM)
Someone has to speak truth to power. The Jets may not like what McElroy said and if that is the case, they can cut him. I'll guarantee given his leadership, intelligence and 2011 preseason performance, he would find his way on to another NFL roster in a heartbeat.
Mike (Boca Raton)
Really, how bad is Tebow. He can't possibly be as bad as everyone says, right?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
He does a lot of things well but people keep concentrating on the things he doesn't do well. The Broncos have a unique talent on their hands and their organization can and should be measured on how effective they are at getting the most out of it.
KC, who do you like in the Giants-Falcons game?
KC Joyner (4:50 PM)
Giants. They are healthier and are at home.
With the injuries that the Steelers have to date and Mendenhaul being out do you think Denver could knock the steelers out or does an injured Big Ben pull them through even though they are only adv. like 13 points a game the last two games?
KC Joyner (4:52 PM)
The Steelers article I wrote for Insider earlier this week shows why the loss of Mendenhall isn't that great (he actually hasn't been as productive in the GBYPA metric as the other Pittsburgh RBs). The Steelers will generate enough offense to put their defense in a place where it can get after Tebow. Pittsburgh wins this one.
All you need to do is watch NFL Turning Point this past week to see that Brees and Company are stat chasers, they talked about it during the whole Carolina game. Not that its all bad since they value the W first, but for them or any of their defenders to say they don't care about stats is flat out wrong.
KC Joyner (4:53 PM)
The Saints are a perfect illustration of humblebrag. For those not familiar with humblebrag, check it out both on Grantland and on the humblebrag Twitter feed.
Zach (Bronx, NY)
KC, you still have any faith in your Texans as AFC Champs article from a few weeks back? I still like their chances.
KC Joyner (4:54 PM)
I like their chances of beating Cincinnati but after that its going to be a really tough battle. It will likely be one and done for Houston.
Hmm, didn't Witten have more "production" than Finley? And Robinson more than Jones? And if that's the case, Jennings is definitely >>>> Austin. That does nothing to prove your point.
KC Joyner (4:55 PM)
That post was directed as much at the Bryant-Nelson comparison as much as any of the others. Can't get into deep detail in these answers, as the chat must be kept moving at all times.
Payton probably wanted the record just as badly as Brees did.
KC Joyner (4:57 PM)
Probably. And I have no issue if they are gung ho on breaking the record. Just don't act like it doesn't really matter whether or not it happens.
Everyone is making a big deal about West Virgina's win over Clemson last night in the Orange Bowl... Big deal they lost to Syracuse! who ended the season 5-7.
KC Joyner (4:58 PM)
And Clemson did lose a number of games down the stretch. Still, it was an impressive showing for a West Virginia program that has aspirations of making a run at a national title in the near future.
Dan (Harrisburg, PA)
I'm sorry, but I just cannot let that last answer about Wallace-Megatron go without comment. The only reason Calvin Johnson was mediocre for 4-5 games during the middle part of the season was b/c of double-triple teams. Meanwhile, Wallace has been mediocre since week 4. Sorry, but Calvin Johnson >>> Mike Wallace
KC Joyner (4:59 PM)
It's amazing that Mike Wallace never sees a double team. Or bracket coverage. Or a shadow cornerback. His world is always populated with single coverage from bad cornerbacks. Would that everyone were as blessed as Wallace in this respect.
Could you see Prince shifting to safety sooner than later?
KC Joyner (5:01 PM)
He should. His metrics in Nebraska showed that he isn't cut out to be an NFL CB and his 2011 performance is proving that wasn't an anomaly. Well, it's been fun but I've got to hit the road. Quick note - the TFS material is always posted on Twitter @KCJoynerTFS. Hope you all have a great Wild Card playoff weekend and hope to talk with you about it in next week's chat!