Cheddar Bay playoffs week 3 plus Cardale talk.

Here’s your weekend lines:
Green Bay +7 at Seattle,
Indy +6.5 at Pats.

Picks are due 1pm Sunday.

Who’s going to make a run at ClevTA?

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 7.47.24 AM

As a public service, you never don’t want to read Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel when he’s doing a positional breakdown on any game and especially for a Packers game.  Another local writer I like, Zak Keefer from the Indy Star is just now out with a fun Boom Herron piece too.



Cardale, Cardale, Cardale.

Have not seen a more impressive three game performance, let alone a first three games as a starter performance.

A lot of comparisons going on.  Culpepper.  Roethlisberger.  But I have another one:  Moses Malone.

Moses Malone is what I say to the online NFL draft intelligentsia intoning all to pump their brakes on Cardale.  “He’s raw.”  “It’s a simplified offense.”  “He won’t have that run game in the NFL.”  “Limited sample size.”

Stars 74-75 Moses Malone, Eakins, Q's Grant

The last ‘raw’ athlete with a mid-round grade who actually was drafted in the mid-rounds.

And my favorite:  “I have a mid-round grade on him.”


Eff off.  Yeah, 32 teams are going to not draft a 6-6/250 QB who just beat Wisconsin, Bama, and Oregon in front of millions of eyes with minimal prep.  Who did all these things mainly thanks to natural gifts and athletic ability — i.e., things that cannot be taught — while at the same time demonstrating poise under pressure, huddle command, leadership.  And they’re going to not draft this guy 100 times so as to make it into the mid-rounds.

They want to see more tape and Jones needs more experience.

Pfft.  If he comes out, and he should, you have to make the call with what the film you have.  I know we’re just dumb fans and we really should wait for you all to pour through 38 game films so you can provide us with another pearl such as ‘Tavon Austin is a top ten pick,’ but on the other hand — I’m going to trust my eyes.  My eyes saw:

  • Cannon;
  • Accuracy;
  • Unsackable;
  • Huge;
  • Fast;
  • Pocket presence (e.g., feeling rush, stepping up in pocket);
  • Poise – pocket (e.g., not rushing throws under pressure);
  • Poise – stage (e.g., how many third down converts?  didn’t OSU come from behind against both Bama and Oregon?  anyone notice head-hanging after a turnover?);
  • Leadership (that team rose to his level and the third/fourth down conversion stats of the last two games — 21-36/.583 — reflect the confidence his teammates had in him).
"I have a 5th round grade on Cardale but I might take a flyer on him in the 3rd.  But he needs more experience in collge."

“I have a 5th round grade on Cardale but I might take a flyer on him in the 3rd. But he needs more experience in collge.”

Just because every ‘draft expert’ didn’t have a prospect of Cardale’s caliber on any list, doesn’t mean we have slow down for them to figure it out.  Let’s just call it straight up:  they’re supposed to know about obscure prospects — and they completely whiffed on Jones.  6-6/250 QBs at OSU should hardly be considered obscure.

Get it?  Draft wonks and scouts blew it; so you need to cool it.

Moses Malone wasn’t NBA ready either but he worked out alright.  Utah/ABA managed to get him in the third round in 1974.  Flash forward a couple decades and players who are raw but with unteachable gifts go first overall (Lebron, Dwight Howard… even Andrew Wiggins fits into that category.)

As Acto would say, I’m just a big dum ape but… Cardale Jones just outplayed Marcus Mariota and on the game’s biggest stage and by a wide margin.  We can’t unsee that and nor should we.

Jameis Winston is projected by many (most?) the top QB.  You think he’s not a crap shoot?

You like Mariota better and citing the gaudy TD-INT ratio as a proof point?  Two words:  system quarterback.  Mariota might be fine but if we don’t learn from the past we’re doomed to repeat it (Griffin, Manziel).

I for one would take Cardale over Winston or Mariota.  I just watch football, so take that for what’s it’s worth.

Non-click-bait breaking news.

2013 Cheddar player BERGER has this item.

News comes from everywhere and I’ll take a Cheddar’s reliable source over the usual guesswork that is out there.

  • Colts and Seahawks for me today.

    I like the Colts the best. I was strong on them last week as well, noting that they had their division pretty much locked up by week 5 and thus we should be especially hesitant to read too much into regular season results with them. Once again, Luck will have all day to throw against a non-existent New England pass rush that couldn’t get a lick of pressure on Flacco last week against a beat up Ravens line. As one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league, I also expect some big gains on the ground for him if the NE secondary has his receivers locked up. With Arthur Jones back, Pats center Brian Stork out, and just in general there’s no way the Pats run the way they did in the regular season matchup, and while the Colts pass defense has been strong all year, the whole D has turned it up in general in these playoffs as one might expect from a team coached by Chuck Pagano, who’s probably also shared notes with his brother John, defensive coordinator for the Chargers who also played the Pats this year. Indy reminds me of the 2010 Packers Super Bowl champs.

    As for the Seahawks, I think Carolina came in quite underrated last week and had their excellent defense still got pounded by a Seahawks offense that should have a field day today. Taking 7+ points with Rodgers looks too easy as well. As much as I was unconcerned about his injury going into last week, I was obviously wrong as he was obviously quite limited.

    Seahawks -6 over Colts in the Super Bowl, I think. Should be a great day of football.

  • Trashycamaro [late, under review by E.C.]

    Colts and packers.

    Packers for the essay. Thought about trying to game theory out the games as I am riding 5th and pretty much need a miracle to finish in the money. But then I remembered my genius try at this last week which failed as we had an even pick distribution in the NFL games AND didn’t use it for the OSU game (where I tried to reach to win as opposed to solidify my win).

    So it goes.

    Packers have a good offense and this line is just too high. The hawks are good enough on offense to win, but really have to manufacture points. I don’t think they can score enough to keep Rodgers from getting close to the back door cover. Also, I don’t want to put bonus points on the line against Gronk and Brady, even if they did just lose another center. Oh think game is just too high variance.

    Best of luck to everyone today.

    • Bad news trashy, these picks won’t count. A bitter pill, I know, because it happened to me last year. (I’m mean I was running the damn thing and I was late!)

  • pforever

    last minute change these are the actual winning picks i think they are on time cripes –

    indy for my essay;

    seahawks -7 greenbay

    okay so i decided that rodgers is real deal injured and superior rodgers can’t even show today. so i’m going seattle. on the other hand, i feel as good as ever about my indy pick – so that’s the new essay pick. i see no chance – none – that new england loses here. however, nor will they win by 7. not against surging andrew luck, anyway. you really can’t underestimate a quarterback on a tear. but you also can’t underestimate brady’s will to win. (rodgers has that too, but he also has a broken leg. pls, actually, only dan marino maybe equals brady’s sort of intensity on the field.) i’m especially glad about luck keeping it close because it means we get to see more of those new england trick plays. if we’re really lucky, we will get to see another brady come from behind nail biter.

  • TA

    Colts +6.5 (essay)- probably the toughest championship weekend to pick from that I can remember. I’m essentially just reading the market here with the colts. For the line to drop thru a key number like 7 with the public backing the favorite in NE here makes it obvious that the sharp money is on the Colts. The center for NE is out which is never s good thing before a playoff game and I think the colts can really take advantage with their TEs against the Pats slow LBs in coverage. We saw it last week when an aging Owen Daniels went off out of nowhere for 4-41-1td.

    GB +7- I’m sure it will be posted here a few times but SEA has been great in the back half of the season against some crummy QBs. I was actually surprised last week that Cam and that Carolina offense was able to make some plays last week putting up a solid 5.5 yds/play. I typically like to back the dog/loser in a revenge spot like this one. Maybe the back door stays open late for a Rodgers td?

  • OXR

    It’s nice to be in third, but we’re all here for a shot at the Cadillac and the set of steak knives. No regrets:

    Colts +6.5 over Patriots – nb “hate” is not the same thing as “regret”

    Essay Packers +7 over Seahawks

    The Seahawks offense is a great unit, but they’re unlikely to put up 40 by themselves unless the Packers have another one of those games where they forget that the read option is a thing. If they can be held to something in the mid-20s then this is not an insurmountable line. Perhaps my biggest worry is Aaron Rodgers getting injured early on, but short of that (and current reports are that he seems OK, for what that’s worth), this is a dramatically better offense than Carolina’s, and my unscientific feeling is that Seattle’s defense is getting a little bit too much love right now; of course they’re great, but they’re not immortal and they do occasionally give up points. Green Bay’s defense is basically average on the year so, while they obviously need to have a good day against Lynch et al, it’s not exactly a glaring weakness.

    Last week the Seahawks just barely made the play they needed to cover (the 90-yard pick six) and the Packers just barely didn’t (the two-point conversion). I don’t know if this will draw more of us one way or the other, but I’m sticking with the road dog in case it turns out to be a chance to make up ground. Like I said, no regrets.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Put that coffee down!

  • Rob

    Essay: SEA -7

    I’m not buying into the Aaron Rodgers injury, so laying a full 7 here may seem like a lot. But expecting the Packers defense to stop the Seattle ground game in a potentially wet environment is even more difficult to fathom. GB’s rush defense ranks 24th in Football Outsiders DVOA stats, which I think are useful. On a related note, what I don’t think are useful are their premium picks. I’ve done fairly well, in Cheddar Bay and elsewhere, using their “spreads” as a fade metric, and that applies pretty heavily to tomorrow’s game with a number that’s nearly 3 off the current market. When you’re that far off the market and don’t put your money where your mouth is (but willing to sell these <.500 picks over the past 2 years), there's probably something wrong with your system. But I digress, into putting my essay on the Seahawks to cover the TD while Joe Public is taking the Packers and points.

    NEP -6.5

    Non-essay thoughts:

    The last time these two met, it was Jonas Gray's coming out party; or, really, it was Gray's only party of the year. I tend not to put too much into past results, but in this case where one facet of a team's defense was so completely exposed as a weakness, I can't ignore it. the fact that early money on low limits pushed this down to 6.5 off of 7 makes me feel even better. Despite the conference seeds, I feel public opinion has been that Denver was the top team in the AFC, because Tom Bundchen and Bill Belicheat haven't won since #SPYgate, or whatever narrative makes old crotchety sportswriters feel like our moral compass. I'll go out on a limb and say this closes back at 7, and once again, recency bias allows you to think the Colts have a shot at this, while a full season's worth of data says New England moves on.

  • Zara

    Here are my picks for today. I may switch which one is the essay play, though I’m not sure that it matters as I pretty much need to go 2-0. Either way, Packers are the essay for now.

    Last week I had Ohio St as my essay, but changed away from it at the last minute because I feared that everyone would essay the Buckeyes. That of course was a mistake and the cheddarbay gods punished me appropriately for such a craven strategic maneuver. Welp. Here’s to hoping I won’t need those five extra points.

    Packers +7 over Seahawks***

    Earlier in the season I picked the Panthers to cover at home vs the Seahawks–they did! I have since picked a Seahawks game 7 times in this contest–all losses. The first I picked them to win in KC–they didn’t, but it apparently was a turning point of their season so bully for them–since then I’ve faded them as favorites 6 times here. Most of those were me just me trying to be a smarty pants by taking the points with another inflated Seahawks line. And the thing is, I frickin’ LOVE the Seahawks. I have come around on Pete Carroll and truly believe in him as a great coach. I love that he has the team meditating–something that cannot be undervalued to their success in my opinion. The defense is great and the secondary appears to be playing under a completely different set of rules than the rest of the league so you have to love that. And I love Russ. Yet here I am again taking the points. This number doesn’t even seem particularly off. I certainly believe in Rodgers, but I’m not a big fan of the team as a whole. Hell, I can pretty easily see a scenario where Russ out duels Rodgers. It’s just that this is for the conference championship and I can get the best quarterback in the game plus seven. The Seahawks are overdue for a tight game and haven’t faced even an average quarterback since week 10 vs Eli.

    No way will I pass up that many points here.

    Patriots -6.5 over Colts

    I’m conflicted here. I fear the Patriots may have peaked too early (it has now been over a month since their last dominating performance–week 14 vs Miami) and so much is being made of the way they have manhandled the Colts the last three times they’ve played that it would probably be smart to take the points.

    But going back to what I wrote here last week, the Patriots defense is really good when it matters:

    ” …. consider what that Pats D has done in the second half of games since that fateful night in Kansas City: They surrendered two touchdowns in each of the next five games leading up to their bye, but three of those games were blowouts that were essentially over at the half (Bengals, Bears, and Broncos). Then after the bye: Colts (10), Lions (3), Packers (3), Chargers (0), Dolphins (0), Jets (6), and Bills (0).”

    Last week they certainly struggled in the first half, but after surrendering a touchdown to begin the second half they only gave up a field goal the remaining 25 minutes of the game.

    The Colts won last week which was impressive enough, but let’s not get too carried away. Consider who they were playing. I won’t go over the numbers again, but there is a lot of money to made betting against Peyton Manning in the playoffs. The Patriots are at home with their best team in years and coming off a scare vs the Ravens. I think that the ease with which the Colts won last week will actually prove a detriment to them this week when on the road against a legitimate contender. I’ll wager they aren’t yet ready.

    • zarathustra

      And….it looks like those five points I coughed up on that buckeyes essay would look pretty damn good right now.
      Oh well, good luck to everyone.
      And for god sakes green bay, fire mike mccarthy.

  • Concierge

    Packers +7 essay
    I get the best QB in football with a touchdown?? Yep. Gimme that one. Look I know they have struggled on the road this year against top 5 defenses and that Aaron Rodgers calf isn’t 100 percent. Doesn’t matter to me. The Seahawks last 10 wins have come against awful QB’s. Not one of them is a top 20 QB. Like they are racking up wins against awful teams. I’m not confident that Green Bay wins but I do think that it will be close. I think if the packers are smart they run the shit out of eddy lacy in this one. Oh and Max Unger is going to play for Seattle but he’s banged up. Always tough to play with a banged up center. Go pack go.

    Also. Colts +6.5

  • Tim Butler

    Pats -6.5
    Seahawks -7 (Essay)

    Since around week 11, I’ve felt pretty certain that two teams would be in the super bowl – which two I had no idea, but I think I’ve got it down to about four possibilities now. But in all seriousness, I felt better about Seattle and New England avoiding the upset and getting to the super bowl this year than I’ve felt about any two teams in any previous NFL season that I can remember. Now I hear what you’re saying, picking favorites and being wrong about it is basically one of my favorite pastimes, but I feel eerily right today. The public isn’t really on either favorite here, as both games are currently hovering around 50/50 on vegasinsider (currently Seattle 48%, New England 57%). The ‘hawks are going to be able to take advantage of Rodgers’ lack of mobility, his lack of confidence on the road, and his fear of Richard Sherman. The Packers are a bad road team, The Seahawks are a great home team, what more analysis do you need? These two teams have been the class of the NFL for the better part of the season and I don’t see that changing this week.

  • Petefranklin

    On my way out of town, such an EPIC run that I have going!

    Essay Colts..I did read this line right, as I bet the Colts +7 -110 sunday

    Packers +7.They were my preseason pick for the Super Bowl winner so why not?

    Essay, cuz no one cares what I think right about now…

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Forgot to mention….
    Love the Moses Malone reference! If I ever make it to a pub in The Granite State I may bore you with a bunch of Moses Malone at Fonde stories.

  • I’m going to go against the grain here a bit, and will try to expand on this later today with a full post if I can find the time (who knew trying to start up your own business was so time consuming?) but here, in a nutshell and possibly over-simplified, is why I fear the Browns going near Cardale if/when he declares:

    Not a single Ohio State quarterback in history has had any success in the NFL. NOT. A. SINGLE. ONE.

    So, knowing that indisputable fact, and knowing the Browns history with quarterbacks since 1999, what are the odds that they would somehow luck into selecting the lone QB to break that cycle?

    • cant go along with this. cornelius green will have as much impact on cordale jones success or failure as heath shuler did on peyton manning’s.

      • Thankfully we don’t have to find out. But when something happens over and over and over again, it’s not coincidence.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Thank you! The independent event theory is universal. Well…. except for Oregon, U of H and Hawaii.

  • bupalos

    >>>My sources say Cardale is going pro.>>>

    The only way I think this makes sense is if a top-half team has told him they will definitely draft him if he is there.

    Browns at 12?

    • it would be nice if berea were more connected to osu and glenville and ohio in general. i get the feeling belichick knows better what’s happening in columbus than farmer-pettine. i’d love to know that berea has a relationship with ted ginn sr, but i’ve never heard of such.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    What is the big hulabaloo over Cardale? He is only a quarterback.

    • bupalos

      Well, but he could transition nicely to OLB acto. So he’s worth SOMETHING.

      • mgbode

        He’s more a Dansby ILB type of guy.

  • bupalos

    Agree there is very little chance Cardale would slip past the late first round, but I’m not sure he goes ahead of Mariota and Winston. The main reason is that putting in at least a season or two in college is incredibly important developmentally, and would be really hard for a team to replicate without just tossing him out there.

    He’s worth a top 10 pick, just on risk reward, right now. But the number of teams in the mix for that risk/reward/development profile is limited.

    • thing is, now there’s real dollars on the line and blown ACL or busted shoulder or popped achilles… that’s millions of dollars up in smoke all to go back to school (when he aint come to play school after all) and the best he can do is exactly what he’s already done: win the natl championship.
      jameis wouldve been better off coming out last year, no? he wasn’t eligible for the draft (and that’s a whole other restraint of trade issue), but he wouldve been the top QB last year and would already have more than the $20,000,000 gtd that bortles got.

      • bupalos

        I think from his point of view, getting to actually play some games now instead of going to sit on someone’s bench is going to put more dollars in his pocket in the long run. There are very few injuries that would really change things substantially for him. If he can move his slot up from 25 or something to 1, he’ll have made about 14 million dollars this year. And while I don’t think it would happen, lots of people think he’d slip into the second, so there you’re talking 17-18 million. The dollars say he should stay in the minors.

        It’s a better argument for a RB or WR where there is a higher incidence of much more significant positional injury.

        Jameis, yeah, the argument probably works for him. This is a different case.

        • i dont know that jones beats out barrett and yeah i know how contradictory that is to my premise that cardale is a top 5 nfl draft pick. but i think jones is the absolute prototype nfl qb and you can draft him and let him become moses malone. if he stays at osu, good 100% chance he leaves after next year and meyer retools with barrett in 2016. whereas if meyer goes with barrett, he’s got a potential heisman qb now and 2016..

          (and braxton’s gotta make his peace with all this and jump on the lsu gig if it’s really there.)

          srsly no idea how this plays out.

          • bupalos

            Yeah the Ohio State QB situation is the wildcard here I guess. Although after seeing him play against the competition he did, I find it hard to imagine that Meyer doesn’t go with him. Or at least a platoon.

          • mgbode

            My best wild ass guess:

            (1) Braxton jumps to Duke (Cutcliffe the NFL QB molder)
            (2) Meyer uses both JT & Cardale next season ala Leak/Tebow.
            (3) Cardale graduates next December and either NFL-jumps or transfers out to boost his NFL stock in a more pro-style setting (would love it if he followed Braxton to Duke just for the hilarity of it all).
            (4) JT still here in 2016
            (5) One of the 5 QBs Urban has stashed wins the job and the cycle starts anew.

  • zarathustra

    So….standing by everything I mentioned in my buckeye essay about cardale being a means by which some can signal status, one other aspect of it that now occurs to me is that amateur cardale analysis represents a great threat to the power of draft experts. For instance, mike mayock almost has to postulate that cardale would not go in the first 100 picks because to suggest otherwise would indicate that any idiot fan can watch three football games and identify a quality qb prospect and if that’s the case why in the hell would anyone ever listen to an expert like mike mayock….

  • AlvaroEspinoza10

    His pocket presence is most impressive. The way he stood in there against Oregon after they were getting so much early pressure was impressive, not just for standing in there (not bailing) but the way he naturally shifted up/back/side-to-side inside the pocket with his eyes still down-field. He only ran after making some sort of move away from the pocket to avoid pressure. And he seems damn near impossible to take down, like Big Ben. Oh and he has a cannon, runs like a fullback, doesn’t get riled, and seems like a great teammate (post-game interview he talked about how happy he was for the seniors). I’d be dancing if Browns got him

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