Hey there friends and fellow fans, I was curious this morning upon watching Jamie Pukes and his low blow at Denver on yesterdays Horse Tracks. Well, since Jamie seems so hell bent that Jay Cutler is the second coming of JC and Kyle Orton is nothing but a cancer, I thought I'd make a graph comparing the two (We have a million comparisons already) but I also thought that I'd include the league averages and Matt Cassel's as well. What I found was not shocking, as we all already know this. Check it out. Forgive the small size, you may need to open the graph in another tab/window to get the tiny text.
Now, I didn't include everything in the top graph because some didn't need a graphical look. The comparison between the players was exactly as I'd imagined: Pretty much the same. Yes, Jay Cutler threw more touchdowns and had more yards but he also threw more interceptions and his sack count was MUCH lower than Ortons. On the topic of sacks, I thought it'd be interesting to mention that Denver was tied for 1st in sacks allowed last year. The only team that had that low of a number was Tennessee. That's a fact that everyone seems to conveniently forget when it comes to crunching numbers. New England put up a staggering amount of sacks allowed last year at 47. What does that say for Cassel? He's tough. He still managed the game well and only threw 11 picks for the season. It's no wonder why McDaniels wanted/wants Cassel here.
One other thing that really pisses me off (pardon my French) is the idea that Kyle Orton can't throw the deep ball accurately. Yes, he has his shortcomings and he's definitely not at Jay's caliber in the deep throw, however Orton did not attempt the long pass nearly as much as Cutler did. Cutler is a deep throwing guy. That's what he's good at. It's fair to say he is better at it, but never forget that Orton is a quarterback in the NFL for a reason. If he wasn't any good at the deep pass, he wouldn't be here. Not only that but consider receiving talent as well. We have on average 3 deep threats on the field at any given time, Chicago had/has none.
This is not related to offense or passing at all, but it's something else that I know McDaniels took into consideration (since he cut almost every defensive player that was on last years roster). Turnovers are a big part of winning games. If you don't cause turnovers, your game becomes a shootout if not a blowout. Here's what I found for turnover differentials.
Denver was -17 (-1.1 per game) and ranked a pathetic 31st in the league.
Chicago was +5 (+.3 per game) and ranked a nice 8th.
New England was +1 (+.1 per game) and ranked 15th, pretty average stuff on T/O differential.
It's no surprise that most turnovers happen on interceptions, and most notably they happen in the secondary. Of course, a big factor in interceptions is pressuring the quarterback. Well, in the first 2 rounds McDaniels addressed both of those needs by choosing Robert Ayers and Alphonso Smith. Ayers is known for being a good pressing guy and will do so in our defense. Smith, despite his size, is a ball hawk. I know he wasn't ranked that high on the boards, but it had nothing to do with his skill, it was his height.
What has history taught us about height and judging a player on it? It's pointless. In my last post I discussed my experiences being a short cornerback and why it really doesn't matter. Darrent Williams was a puny 5'8" and was on his way to being a Pro Bowl type cornerback (I won't say "shut down corner" because it's too tough to tell). If Denver can put good enough pressure on the quarterback, it won't matter how tall or short our secondary is, they always have an advantage if the QB underthrows or overthrows his ball due to pressure.
Thanks for reading, and let's talk about this!