Sunday, November 17, 2002
Aaron Weiss, you are a moron.: Because morons write columns like these with as little basis in fact as possible. Let's examine.
I think the sports world is getting increasingly dumber. No, I’m sure of it. In a recent ESPN poll, 55% of the 32,485 respondents would choose Kurt Warner to start as quarterback rather than backup QB Marc Bulger if/when he returns to the St. Louis Rams after suffering from a broken pinkie.
Warner, who won a Super Bowl and took the Rams to another last year is also the same QB who helped the Rams start the season 0-5. In the four games since Bulger took over, he has gone 4-0 with a team record 36 completions for 453 yards. All this was done without the most productive running back in the league and a 132.7 QB rating! This is about as common as seeing Christina Aguilera fully clothed.
Bulger also leads the NFL with a 107.4 passer rating, well ahead of MVP front runner Brett Favre (101.7). Keep in mind that if every pass thrown is incomplete in the NFL your QB rating is still 39.6, but last month New York Jets QB Ray Lucas achieved a rating of 26.3. And yet, the majority of people who visit ESPN, those we presume know something about sports, would choose Warner.
Someone's obviously forgotten what Kurt Warner's capable of. He only has 98 passing touchdowns in 44 games between 1999 and 2001! He threw for 4830 yards last year! That's over 300 a game! And this in favor of a second year guy from WEST VIRGINIA.
And another thing, check your facts. (All facts in this section from NFL.com.) Warner went 0-4, not 0-5 (and you could consider that 0-3, consider he only attempted 2 passes against Dallas in the fourth game). Secondly, Warner's three games were against Denver, the New York Giants, and Tampa Bay. Tampa is first in passing defense, giving up 153.6 yards per game and 3 TDs. THREE! The Giants aren't far behind, at 182.3 yards per game and 8 TDs total. Denver's giving up 213.2 yards per game and 10 passing touchdowns. And keep in mind, that includes Rich Gannon's absolute destruction of that defense on Monday night football last week (34-38, 352 yards, 3 TDs). Tampa's first, the Giants are fifth, and Denver's sixteenth.
On the contrary, Bulger's played Oakland, Seattle, Arizona, and San Diego. Seattle's 7th in passing defense (mainly because they can't stop the run, they're 32nd by a LOT in that category) San Francisco sits 14th, Arizona's 25th, and San Diego is 30th. Suddenly Warner's accomplishments look pretty good. (The Bears, this week's opponent are 24th in pass D).
Let's investigate the Marshall Faulk factor. Firstly, your charge that he went "without the most productive runningback in the game" is horrendously false. From the play-by-play, Faulk went out at 10:25 of the fourth quarter. Was he stymied? A little, with 72 yards on 19 touches. But this is against the 30th best passing defense and second best rushing defense! Even an idiot like Mike Martz can figure out that against a defense that struggles against the pass....YOU PASS! However, the Faulk factor runs deeper. Let's look at carries, because that's what count. A pass to Faulk is still where the QB drops back and the defense plays a pass, touches theory be damned. So, let's look at carries. Warner games: Denver, 10, Giants, 14, Tampa, 6 (injured in second quarter). Bulger games: Oakland, 26, San Francisco, 32, Arizona, 27, San Diego, 13 (injured in fourth quarter). And for those looking to extrapolate the Tampa game to a decent number of carries, Tampa was up 10-7 when Faulk left. His backups, Trung Canidate and Lamar Gordon had ten carries the rest of the way. Total. Give Marshall Faulk the ball, and BOOM, the Rams start winning. As long as Mike Martz remembers that, the Rams are a better team with Kurt Warner than with Marc Bulger. End of story.
Oh, and Ray Lucas plays for the Dolphins now. This is his second season, after all. It only seemed like he was playing for the Jets last Sunday night because so many of his passes were thrown right to Donnie Abraham.
JH 1:38 AM