TMQ Watch: January 2, 2018.

Yeah, we can’t believe it, either. We want to try on our best Don LaFontaine voice. “In the future world of 2018…”

And that’s as far as we’ve gotten. “…you will believe that a famous chef sends out an apology for sexual harassment that includes his recipe for cinnamon buns“? Nobody would believe that.

“You will believe that Gregg Easterbrook watched football on New Year’s Eve”? That might work.

After the jump, this week’s TMQ

Tuesday Morning Quarterback’s Authentic Games metric tracks quality victories in high-pressure situations, and has a decent track record at predicting Super Bowl pairings. During the regular season, I employ a super-sophisticated proprietary algorithm to determine what counts as an Authentic game.

“a super-sophisticated proprietary algorithm” also known as “picking the list completely at whim, because TMQ has no methodology or standards”.

Skipping over the crap, Easterbrook actually has some decent thoughts to offer on the playoff teams. In an attempt to summarize:

Jacksonville: great defense, but defense doesn’t win games.
Atlanta: Matt Ryan has “honked many playoff games”.
Buffalo: just making the playoffs is a success. They’re not going to win.
KC: “Reid must play to win, rather than to avoid losing, if the Chiefs are to advance.”
Rams: something something.
Tennessee: the best thing to do is let Marcus Mariota run the ball.
Philadelphia: it all comes down to defense. And weather.
Carolina: “…the Cats’ mojo is not good”.
Saints: Good offensive line, good stats for points allowed and points scored, and a good chance they will play all their games in domes.
Pittsburgh: Mike Tomlin can’t beat Bill Belichick. (Preview: especially with the refs on
Belichick’s side.)
Minnesota: undrafted quarterback, best defense, and they might just be able to play all their games at home.
New England: the dynasty. And one thing you can say for Belichick, he gets the most out of previously discarded players.

Is TMQ a gin drinker? Actually, all of those spirits sound good to us. Any New England readers willing to put together a care package?

Harrison has consistently been a dirty player…

Chicken-(salad) kicking by losing teams. Stats. (We’ll note that stat #5 is wrong, but we’ll also point out that the news of Lewis’s contract extension broke after TMQ went up.)

Sweet: Buffalo, New Orleans. More sweet: more Buffalo.

The sweet part was that the entire Buffalo offensive line did a choreographed celebration, which means that this week at practice, the big guys were rehearsing choreography.

And hasn’t TMQ spent a lot of time in previous columns condemning players for concentrating on celebrations, rather than, you know, acting like a professional (“act like you’ve been there before”) or even basic fundamentals like holding on to the ball?

Sour: Baltimore. Mixed: Raiders-Chargers.

Almost 1,400 words on how unrealistic “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is. We don’t want to seem like big wimps here: we could engage with this, beyond just pointing out the sheer absurdity of writing 1,400 words on how unrealistic a “Star Wars” film is. The problem is that TMQ’s item is heavily spoiler-riddled, and we’re sure a lot of our readers haven’t seen the movie yet. (We haven’t either, but then again, we don’t give a flying flip at a rolling doughnut about spoilers, or “Star Wars”.)

Cutting taxes without cutting spending is bad, m’kay?

There are many explanations for the NFL decline. Is one that bad officiating and overturned touchdowns make the game seem either fixed (worst case) or poorly run (best case)?

Well, that’s certainly a possibility. Are there any others, Gregg? It is interesting, though, as TMQ points out, that so many of these calls favored New England.

…the sense that the league front office is favoring New England in officiating decisions—four major, highly questionable overturns going the Patriots’ way in the same season—makes professional football seem more like pro wrestling than a fair competition. Ratings and popularity decline in sync.

Has easy travel killed the California glam factor? Signs point to “yes”.

16 games is too many for high school kids to play. (Ding!) Apparently, “30 games over two seasons” is too. (Odd way to put that. Are they playing 15 games a season? 16 in one, 14 in the other?)

Dom Capers was the scapegoat for Aaron Rodgers injury. Mike McCarthy pinned the blame for Green Bay’s season on Capers. Never mind the fact that Green Bay’s defense hasn’t been great, Capers is unfairly blamed.

More chicken-(salad) kicking: University of Washington. The 500 Club. The 600 Club.

“Single Worst Play of the Season—So Far”: Baltimore’s offense after the Darqueze Dennard interception.

And that’s all for this week, folks. Tune in next week. Perhaps Gregg Easterbrook can spend the remaining weeks of the season explaining how unrealistic all the other “Star Wars” movies were. (Okay, maybe he can skip the prequels.)

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