Scouting Notebook: Final take

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

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Calvin Johnson was more Mini-tron on Sunday. (USAT)

Calvin Johnson came up empty in the biggest moment for his owners, but it's amazing what he’s been able to do all year with his knee obviously remaining an issue. So rather than this disappointment contradicting his greatness, I think it actually confirms it because his injury probably would have rendered mere mortal wideouts useless long ago.

Late in the Packers game on an otherwise pretty meaningless play, we saw some very high-level NFL WR receiving action by Le’Veon Bell, turning three quarters of the way around to catch a bullet with his outstretched hands. There is a lot of untapped receiving potential here and I really like Bell a lot in 2014.

Arizona allowed its league-worst 17th touchdown pass to tight ends, which is a weird stat. Why would a team be that bad against all tight ends? I think teams are just targeting that position more near the end zone because of that stat. It’s feeding on itself, basically.

This game illustrated what I meant when I said last week that the Seahawks were going to run themselves right out of the postseason. Russell Wilson is great but Seattle doesn’t pass enough to have the kind of really crisp passing game they are sure to need at some point during a postseason run. This is simply acknowledging that practice makes perfect.

No teams are invincible at home. Why would they be? Noise? Come on, this isn’t high school. The Seahawks are just good and also mostly played a bunch of rotten teams during their home run (and some good ones, too, of course).

I disapproved of the entire Seahawks-Cardinals game, by the way.

Pet peeve: not spreading teams out near the goal-line with four wide receivers and THEN running the ball. Mike McCarthy finally got this right the second chance he had to score from in close after a blocked field goal/batted ball fiasco.

Matthew Stafford is just not very good. He has a big arm and that seduces some, I guess, but the Lions will never go anywhere meaningful with him. I know Stafford's pick-six went off the receiver's hands, but the target was well covered and it was a missile, begging for trouble.

I had to keep an eye on the Jets and Giants today for other work that I do, which reminded me of being a kid and being told I had to eat my Brussels sprouts.

Was that Danny Amendola or Julian Edelman getting caught from behind so easily in the clear open field? I get crossed up sometimes. Yeah, I know: they're only so slow because their big hearts weigh them down.

Well, streaming Ryan Succop was a bad move on my part in championship week of Brad Evans’ Silence the Noise league. I guess this is revenge for my #killthekicker. In that case, well played, kickers. Oh, yeah, and Justin Tucker is just so projectable and so not random, right? Stop it!

Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, on their touchdown today, were both great. No one escapes in the pocket better than Romo. Sometimes that ends badly though, like last week against the Packers. But in Washington, Romo repeatedly extended plays. Not just to Bryant but also later to Terrance Williams and finally on the amazing winning touchdown. Most times in today’s NFL, these escapes are meaningless because once a guy rolls to one side the play is pretty much dead.

Kirk Cousins did not help his trade value Sunday.

A nine-yard loss on a goal-line run (I'm talking about you, DeMarco Murray) is ALWAYS the running back's fault .

The Saints average 33 points at home this year and 18 on the road. That’s a big problem now that they probably are playing on the road in the playoffs. Drew Brees has about a 40-point swing in passer rating, home and road, too. Sure, it’s 122 at home. But he’s clearly been a different player away and it’s not just the dome because he was really bad in St. Louis (as is normally the case), too.

Cam Newton, on the winning TD pass, shook off a clean corner blitz like a dog shakes off the rain. Easier even. He basically ignored it and made the throw, undeterred.

DeAngelo Williams, you will not sucker me in again next year because you will be over 30 and that's a rule. But thanks for making me look like a chump again for most of the season.

Ever wonder, watching Carolina today, why we can see rain in movies but not in HD on TV for sporting events? Sure, maybe you catch that one camera angle that shows it but generally it’s invisible. Well it turns out than in Hollywood they have rain machines that make each drop five times bigger. The rain is so big it hurts and it almost put Tobey McGuire in the hospital during the famous upside-down kissing scene in Spider-Man

I guess the Broncos were really going for the touchdown pass record because at one point in the game they had nine runs and 34 passes, which seems ridiculous to me and that’s saying a lot because I’m basically Mr. Passing. I did not factor that into my opinion that Montee Ball would be playable today in a blowout (which, in fairness, came pretty late).

Jets corner Dee Milliner basically Revis-ing Josh Gordon was something I did not see coming at all.

Donald Brown is, like Zac Stacy, a guy I drafted and cut because of short benches mostly. It’s tricky with the benches. You don’t want to kill the waiver wire. But you do want to reward the guy who actually thought enough of a player to draft him, amidst catcalls sometimes. Given byes, I think we should have at least one bench spot for every two players we start (including defenses).

Monkeys should not be allowed to ride dogs.  We give monkees this kind of confidence and they will take over. I've seen the movie

The Chiefs have gone from being the best 2-14 team ever to the worst 11-4 team ever and that is why we all love the NFL.

Merry Christmas to some and Happy Holidays to all.

 

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