Veryoldschool

Let's All Get Behind Alex Smith! Or Not!! (M.E.T.) NO kirk talk---that goes in ATN forum

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I know this is our qb thread, but...

 

I’m torn on our defense.  We were, IMO, clearly better than we showed last year.  

 

Additionally, we have Nicholson and Allen in their 2nd years, Brown and Swearinger in their 2nd years with the team, some other guys that ought to show improvement - Ioannidas and Lanier, for example, Manusky will know his personnel a bit better, we shouldn’t have quite the number of injuries we had, our positional coaches and culture has seemed to improve, and so on.  

 

OTOH, losing Breeland and Galette might be a step back, losing Fuller was a big step back, and our depth is clearly worse ATM.  While we should be healthier, our track record suggests our depth is going to be put to the test.  

 

I have faith we’ll find a contributor or two in the draft, and our health should be better, but... the lack of depth, our dline outside of our top 2, and the lack of a slot corner and speed rusher are real concerns.  

 

I have hopes the symbiotic relationship between O and D will be better, but I also see a few questions (as of yet unanswered) on both sides of the ball.  Which means I think we’ll be a bit better, but I’m tempering my expectations.  

Edited by skinny21

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8 hours ago, HTTRDynasty said:

 

Points is a bad way to judge a defense without context.  How many times did Jamison Crowder muff a punt last year and give the other team great field position?  How many times did Kirk fumble or throw an INT and give the other team great field position?  How about Perine?  As I pointed out earlier, the Redskins' defense started with the 5th worst field position per drive in the league.  That is a huge factor in why we gave up so many points.  The Kansas City defense had the 3rd best starting field position per drive, largely because their QB took such good care of the ball.

 

If you break it down further, we were 15th in TDs per drive and 27th in FGs per drive.  This points to the fact that even though we gave up a lot of points, it was mostly due to other teams racking up field goals against us, and again, a lot of that had to do with the favorable field position other teams started with, including starting out in field goal range on many occasions.

 

We also ranked 11th in 3&outs per drive and 7th in 3rd down conversion percentage against, which points to the fact that we were able to get other teams off the field at a pretty good clip when they weren't already in field goal range.

 

That's all well and good. Historically however Alex Smith is a average QB that has needed a good/great defense and a good/great running game. He's had both basically his entire career, and his best season as a starter is a average Cousins year, will less turnovers. His average however is a far cry from what Cousins produced, and Cousins has had no help from the running game and from the defense. I know everyone wants him to be great, but he's not. He's a good game manager that needs help from the defense and running game. He can't go back and win shoot outs. And he's going to have to be able to do that here. And I don't see it happening.

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5 minutes ago, Morneblade said:

 

That's all well and good. Historically however Alex Smith is a average QB that has needed a good/great defense and a good/great running game. He's had both basically his entire career, and his best season as a starter is a average Cousins year, will less turnovers. His average however is a far cry from what Cousins produced, and Cousins has had no help from the running game and from the defense. I know everyone wants him to be great, but he's not. He's a good game manager that needs help from the defense and running game. He can't go back and win shoot outs. And he's going to have to be able to do that here. And I don't see it happening.

 

You can't say he "needs" a good defense after what he just proved last year with one of the worst defenses in the league.  I agree that you could say that before last year, but anyone who consistently watched the Chiefs last year knows they were one of the worst defenses in the league.  And the advanced metrics show that as well.

 

You're right about the running game.  He has yet to prove he can succeed without a good one.

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One aspect that is rarely discussed when comparing Smith vs. Cousins is how much better our team will be by lowering the fumble rate by our QB.  People are so caught up in comparing TDs and INTs, but Cousins might have the worst fumble rate for a QB I've ever seen.  He had 9 fumbles in 2015, 9 in 2016, and had 13 fumbles last year.  That's 31 fumbles in 3 years, which is disgustingly high.  Smith, meanwhile, has 13 fumbles over the last 3 years.  In a game where every possession counts, that is a huge upgrade.

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10 hours ago, Morneblade said:

 

That's all well and good. Historically however Alex Smith is a average QB that has needed a good/great defense and a good/great running game. He's had both basically his entire career, and his best season as a starter is a average Cousins year, will less turnovers. His average however is a far cry from what Cousins produced, and Cousins has had no help from the running game and from the defense. I know everyone wants him to be great, but he's not. He's a good game manager that needs help from the defense and running game. He can't go back and win shoot outs. And he's going to have to be able to do that here. And I don't see it happening.

You are correct. Cousins leads Smith in almost every statistical category (looking at percentages, of course, since Smith has played in 94 more NFL games than Cousins), including interceptions.  Though, the interception percentage is inflated by his earlier starts (people can say what they want, but the truth is he was much better taking care of the ball over the last few seasons than he had been previously), back when he was thought of as a TO machine.  He also doesn't check down as much as Smith, which can be both good and bad, depending on the situation.  I understand fans wanting to spin positives with this situation, but at the end of the day, we did not get better at QB.  It isn't even a wash.  Unless we do some major overhauling to our running game this offseason, we will have a new coaching staff this time next year, and the QB carousel will be underway, but stunted by the money tied up in Alex for the next couple of years.

 

Here is a link to there career stats side by side.  I couldn't get the table to paste correctly, so it is less confusing to just use the link.

 

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=Alex+Smith&player_id1_select=Alex+Smith&player_id1=SmitAl03&fromyear_1=2005&toyear_1=2017&player_id2_hint=Kirk+Cousins&player_id2_select=Kirk+Cousins&fromyear_2=2012&toyear_2=2017&player_id2=CousKi00&idx=players

 

8 hours ago, HTTRDynasty said:

One aspect that is rarely discussed when comparing Smith vs. Cousins is how much better our team will be by lowering the fumble rate by our QB.  People are so caught up in comparing TDs and INTs, but Cousins might have the worst fumble rate for a QB I've ever seen.  He had 9 fumbles in 2015, 9 in 2016, and had 13 fumbles last year.  That's 31 fumbles in 3 years, which is disgustingly high.  Smith, meanwhile, has 13 fumbles over the last 3 years.  In a game where every possession counts, that is a huge upgrade.

Smith has fumbled the ball 69 times in his career and lost 28 of them, which is a 41% loss rate.  Cousins has fumbled 37 times with 15 losses, which is a 41% loss rate.  So, I'm not sure that your extra "possessions" theory for Smith is very sound.

 

Smith Fumbles: http://www.nfl.com/player/alexsmith/2506340/profile

 

Cousins Fumbles: http://www.nfl.com/player/kirkcousins/2532820/profile

Edited by Taylor 36
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22 minutes ago, Taylor 36 said:

Smith has fumbled the ball 69 times in his career and lost 28 of them, which is a 41% loss rate.  Cousins has fumbled 37 times with 15 losses, which is a 41% loss rate.  So, I'm not sure that your extra "possessions" theory for Smith is very sound.

 

Smith Fumbles: http://www.nfl.com/player/alexsmith/2506340/profile

 

Cousins Fumbles: http://www.nfl.com/player/kirkcousins/2532820/profile

 

You do realize that "loss rates" are 100% based on luck, right?  It's why Pro-Football Reference (the best "stats" site out there) only includes fumbles and not fumbles lost.  If a player puts a ball on the ground, it's up for grabs and it's not any sort of "skill" that allows him to recover it.  

 

Smith came into the league 7 years before Cousins, and Cousins barely played his first three seasons, so trying to compare career-long fumble stats side by side is disingenuous at best, which is why I compared the last 3 seasons when both were full-time starters. 

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25 minutes ago, HTTRDynasty said:

 

You do realize that "loss rates" are 100% based on luck, right?  It's why Pro-Football Reference (the best "stats" site out there) only includes fumbles and not fumbles lost.  If a player puts a ball on the ground, it's up for grabs and it's not any sort of "skill" that allows him to recover it.  

 

Smith came into the league 7 years before Cousins, and Cousins barely played his first three seasons, so trying to compare career-long fumble stats side by side is disingenuous at best, which is why I compared the last 3 seasons when both were full-time starters. 

Most of the variables can be boiled down to luck when it comes to football.  We can look at their career attempts with their career fumbles and see that Smith's fumble rate per pass attempt is 1.51.  Cousins is 1.76.  Not a huge margin of difference there. Smith has also been on a roller coaster ride throughout his career, as is the case for most QB's, with as many as 11 in a season, and his fewest, which was last year, was 2.  Cousins had his career high last year with 13, but also played with a makeshift o-line for more than half the games that allowed more pressure, leading to more defenders having the ability to swipe at the ball.  It is certainly relative, but also the result of bad luck with injuries and calls by the officials, like in the season opener when Cousins' hand was clearly going forward but they called it a fumble anyway.  

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10 hours ago, HTTRDynasty said:

One aspect that is rarely discussed when comparing Smith vs. Cousins is how much better our team will be by lowering the fumble rate by our QB.

 

Another thing that's rarely mentioned is why didn't the Vikings try and trade for Alex Smith before we did?

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59 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

Another thing that's rarely mentioned is why didn't the Vikings try and trade for Alex Smith before we did?

 

Why would they want to trade away assets when they could get a franchise QB in free agency?  That would make no sense.

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10 minutes ago, HTTRDynasty said:

 

Why would they want to trade away assets when they could get a franchise QB in free agency?  That would make no sense.

Well, the narrative is that Smith is a better qb, is far cheaper, has playoff experience/success, isn’t turnover prone, and has proven success when surrounded by a good D and run game, so...

 

Of course the Vikings might have been hesitant to trade away one of their best young talents, perhaps didn’t want an older qb, and maybe weren’t sold on the idea that Smith is a better qb, so... 

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1 hour ago, Taylor 36 said:

Most of the variables can be boiled down to luck when it comes to football.  We can look at their career attempts with their career fumbles and see that Smith's fumble rate per pass attempt is 1.51.  Cousins is 1.76.  Not a huge margin of difference there. Smith has also been on a roller coaster ride throughout his career, as is the case for most QB's, with as many as 11 in a season, and his fewest, which was last year, was 2.  Cousins had his career high last year with 13, but also played with a makeshift o-line for more than half the games that allowed more pressure, leading to more defenders having the ability to swipe at the ball.  It is certainly relative, but also the result of bad luck with injuries and calls by the officials, like in the season opener when Cousins' hand was clearly going forward but they called it a fumble anyway.  

 

First, I get 1.50% vs. 1.77% when comparing career fumble rates for Smith vs. Cousins.  Second, I'm not sure why you wouldn't include rush attempts in that.  Do those not count?  Including rush attempts, the rates are 1.34% Smith vs. 1.67% Cousins, which is a plenty big enough disparity to have a meaningful impact on games.  When you include interceptions in that, it is a turnover rate per pass and rush attempt of 3.21% for Smith vs. 4.15% for Cousins.  That is huge.

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1 hour ago, Taylor 36 said:

Most of the variables can be boiled down to luck when it comes to football.  We can look at their career attempts with their career fumbles and see that Smith's fumble rate per pass attempt is 1.51.  Cousins is 1.76.  Not a huge margin of difference there. Smith has also been on a roller coaster ride throughout his career, as is the case for most QB's, with as many as 11 in a season, and his fewest, which was last year, was 2.  Cousins had his career high last year with 13, but also played with a makeshift o-line for more than half the games that allowed more pressure, leading to more defenders having the ability to swipe at the ball.  It is certainly relative, but also the result of bad luck with injuries and calls by the officials, like in the season opener when Cousins' hand was clearly going forward but they called it a fumble anyway.  


I understand what you are trying to say - don't totally agree but I get it. But let's put this in a bit of perspective. What dealing with small %s but big numbers the message can get lost. The numbers I get are; 

 

Career:

Alex Smith - 1 fumble per every 67 pass attempts. - 1 lost fumble for every 165 pass attempts. 

Kirk Cousins - 1 fumble per every 57 pass attempts. - 1 lost fumble for every 140 pass attempts. 

 

But then consider:

Alex's numbers are a bit skewed from his first three seasons in the league where he has 27 of his 69 fumbles and lost 13 of his 28 fumbles - So since 2009 (after his missed season) - his numbers are: 

1 fumble per every 91 pass attempts. - 1 lost fumble for every 254 pass attempts. That's a huge improvement. So he really fixed his fumbling issues from early in his career. Last year he only fumbled twice.  

 

Kirk on the other hand had his worst year last year - 13 fumbles with 5 lost. Both career highs. Where I agree with you though is that some of that has to do with who is around you. 31 Oline combinations, little to no run game, a less than stellar WR corps with his best rec (Reed) out for most of the season with injury. The calls? Meh, don't drop the ball then the ref isn't able to make a bad call. They tend to even out over time. 

 

Keep in mind i am a huge Kirk fan. But there is some validity to the Alex takes better care of the ball narrative. But he also takes less chances. It will be interesting to see how he plays in Jays system. 

 

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2 minutes ago, skinny21 said:

Well, the narrative is that Smith is a better qb, is far cheaper, has playoff experience/success, isn’t turnover prone, and has proven success when surrounded by a good D and run game, so...

 

Of course the Vikings might have been hesitant to trade away one of their best young talents, perhaps didn’t want an older qb, and maybe weren’t sold on the idea that Smith is a better qb, so... 

 

There are just too many factors to know what the Vikings were really thinking.  There were over 8 teams that inquired about Smith IIRC, are we sure the Vikings weren't one of them?  Regardless, the main reason our trade went through over others was because we had a young, cheap, extremely good CB to offer in a trade, which is the position the Chiefs needed most.  Since the Vikings don't have that, they would have had to give up more in the way of draft compensation.  Without Fuller, we might have had to give up our first rounder.  The Vikings may have had to give up that and more, given their late draft position.  Why do that, when they can get a QB in FA and keep all their picks?  It's not like they're paying Kirk an astronomical amount more than we're paying Smith.

 

 

$84 million over 3 years is not much worse than $71 million over 3 years, especially if you get to keep your draft picks and/or young elite players at their positions.

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8 hours ago, HTTRDynasty said:

 

There are just too many factors to know what the Vikings were really thinking.  There were over 8 teams that inquired about Smith IIRC, are we sure the Vikings weren't one of them?  Regardless, the main reason our trade went through over others was because we had a young, cheap, extremely good CB to offer in a trade, which is the position the Chiefs needed most.  Since the Vikings don't have that, they would have had to give up more in the way of draft compensation.  Without Fuller, we might have had to give up our first rounder.  The Vikings may have had to give up that and more, given their late draft position.  Why do that, when they can get a QB in FA and keep all their picks?  It's not like they're paying Kirk an astronomical amount more than we're paying Smith.

 

 

$84 million over 3 years is not much worse than $71 million over 3 years, especially if you get to keep your draft picks and/or young elite players at their positions.

Are you assuming Kirk would have signed a deal with the Skins like the one he did with the Vikings?  I don't think you can make that assumption.  Whatever the case, Kirk's gone to a better team and we have Smith now. I'm pleased Synder chose to sign Smith rather than giving away the farm to move up a draft another 1 read option bust. 

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6 minutes ago, Veryoldschool said:

Are you assuming Kirk would have signed a deal with the Skins like the one he did with the Vikings?  I don't think you can make that assumption.  Whatever the case, Kirk's gone to a better team and we have Smith now. I'm pleased Synder chose to sign Smith rather than giving away the farm to move up a draft another 1 read option bust. 

 

Huh?  No, I was only referring to Kirk insomuch as I said he was the best option for the Vikings.  And was only referring to the Skins when talking about what they could offer the Chiefs.

Edited by HTTRDynasty

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Not sure how much it’s been discussed, but I think the real wild card in the Smith/Cousins debate is Gruden’s offense. Take a look at Andy Dalton’s numbers under Gruden, and then after he left.

 

There isn’t enough evidence to draw conclusions, but it’ll be very interesting to track Kirk and Alex’s stats the next couple of years. I’m hoping Gruden can maximize Smith’s output, and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Kirk’s numbers drop a bit.

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10 hours ago, B.A.M.F. said:

Not sure how much it’s been discussed, but I think the real wild card in the Smith/Cousins debate is Gruden’s offense. Take a look at Andy Dalton’s numbers under Gruden, and then after he left.

 

There isn’t enough evidence to draw conclusions, but it’ll be very interesting to track Kirk and Alex’s stats the next couple of years. I’m hoping Gruden can maximize Smith’s output, and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Kirk’s numbers drop a bit.

I think the biggest asset for Gruden will be Smith's ability to extend plays and play off schedule.  It's something that "process oriented" players have a difficult time doing.  Kirk pretty much admitted that last year.

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13 hours ago, B.A.M.F. said:

Not sure how much it’s been discussed, but I think the real wild card in the Smith/Cousins debate is Gruden’s offense. Take a look at Andy Dalton’s numbers under Gruden, and then after he left.

 

There isn’t enough evidence to draw conclusions, but it’ll be very interesting to track Kirk and Alex’s stats the next couple of years. I’m hoping Gruden can maximize Smith’s output, and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Kirk’s numbers drop a bit.

The Vikings can run the football and have an outstanding defense so perhaps he won't need to throw as much as he did with the Skins so I won't be surprised if he goes for 3,500 or 5,000 plus this season.  I will be surprised if they don't make it to the Super Bowl.

Edited by Veryoldschool

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11 hours ago, HTTRDynasty said:

 

Huh?  No, I was only referring to Kirk insomuch as I said he was the best option for the Vikings.  And was only referring to the Skins when talking about what they could offer the Chiefs.

 

I misread your post, I get what you were saying.

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2 hours ago, Veryoldschool said:

The Vikings can run the football and have an outstanding defense so perhaps he won't need to throw as much as he did with the Skins so I won't be surprised if he goes for 3,500 or 5,000 plus this season.  I will be surprised if they don't make it to the Super Bowl.

That’s certainly a possibility, the Vikings are a good football team. However, getting to the Super Bowl would most likely require the quarterback to make big plays in big moments. From my eye test Kirk hasn’t shown much in that department thus far. Maybe he can, and will, but I’d like to see more evidence of such before giving him any titles.

 

I’m not sure how Kirk is an upgrade from the guys they had before him to be honest. Just a more expensive version of the same thing.

 

The real question I have is can Smith be an upgrade for us? I believe he can be.

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4 hours ago, Rex Tomb said:

I think the biggest asset for Gruden will be Smith's ability to extend plays and play off schedule.  It's something that "process oriented" players have a difficult time doing.  Kirk pretty much admitted that last year.

Gruden's offense is not about playing off schedule. Its a complex timing offense. So while its nice to have a QB that may be better at improvising a couple times a game, its hard to see Alex's ability in that regard improving the offense in a meaningful way.

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15 minutes ago, Fat Stupid Loser said:

Gruden's offense is not about playing off schedule. Its a complex timing offense. So while its nice to have a QB that may be better at improvising a couple times a game, its hard to see Alex's ability in that regard improving the offense in a meaningful way.

 

Whatever Gruden's offense is or isn't, Gruden himself became frustrated over the years when 1) Cousins wouldn't use his feet to extend plays, especially in the red zone (still remember Gruden's face at halftime of one game as Cousins came off the field after freezing in place and electing to throw the ball away instead of using his feet to either run it in or give the WRs/TEs a chance to get open...His expression to Cousins said "Dude, come ON....you gotta do SOMETHING right there!"), and 2) when guys who were open downfield were either not seen or not given a chance due to Cousins quickly going to a WR who was 5 yards downfield (Cooley has talked about this in the past). I don't know the 2nd point but Smith should definitely be an upgrade on the first point.

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