NFL Week 3 Predictions: Crystal Blue Polian and My Dark Passenger

You may have heard the Colts traded a first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for Trent Richardson this week. While still trying to process that mind-blowing trade, one speck of analysis about it did catch my eye.

The more I hear from Bill Polian as an analyst, the more I wonder how he had a 25-year successful run as general manager in the NFL. Oh yeah, he had players like Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly and Peyton Manning. Still, he made some good moves at times too. While claiming Landry Jones was the best QB in the 2013 draft because “he’s a winner” was bad from Polian, this latest thought is probably worse when it comes to the general understanding of football.

Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith’s Twitter feed had the quote from Polian: Trent Richardson’s 3.5 yards a carry is good enough because “3.5 plus 3.5 puts you at 3rd & 3. Andrew Luck can convert those.”


No wonder Polian hates the “stat geeks” as he’s expressed in the past. He fails to understand simple statistical concepts. Yes, Richardson averages 3.5 YPC, which is very low compared to the league’s baseline, but that does not mean he picks up 3.5 yards every play. So far this season Richardson has gained 3 yards or less on 17 of his 31 carries.

It gets better. Since 2012, no offense has been in 3rd-and-3 more than the Colts (27 plays). They have the third-best conversion rate too. That’s without Richardson, who was in Cleveland, who had just 12 plays on 3rd-and-3. That’s tied with the Giants for next to last. D’oh.

Polian was the decision maker on deals that involved millions of dollars and the hopes and dreams of franchises’ long-term success. Yet he can’t even figure out what a 3.5 YPC average says about a running back or how that would function in an offense?

I’ve said it before but the stupidity of experts is a big reason I got into the sports writing business. If I ever hit the Powerball like some lucky jackass did this week, I would write nothing but scathing attacks on the so-called experts when they say something dumb.

I’d never run out of material.

Steelers or Dexter: Which do I hate more right now?

I have watched every Steelers game live, in its entirety, since at least the 2003 season. It may even be since sometime in the 2001 season but I seem to recall missing the first three quarters of 2002 Week 17 against Baltimore. Might have went to church or something that would be laughable now on a Sunday morning for me.  So yeah, I’ve never missed a live snap of Ben Roethlisberger’s career.

But this week when the 0-2 Steelers play the Bears in prime time, I think come 9 P.M. I am going to turn the channel to Showtime to watch the series finale of Dexter, which is another thing in my life that has gone from a favorite to a like to a “I’m mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore” chore. The writers have butchered mostly everything with this show ever since the brilliant Trinity storyline (season 4). They could have made this 8-season show into six seasons. Seasons 5 & 6 had the exact same setup at the end, but different outcomes. I hope seasons 7 & 8 do not follow that, and they better not even think about having Dexter kill Deb. Michael C. Hall’s already been in the best series finale ever (Six Feet Under), so hopefully he doesn’t regress to the mean with a dud.

After that’s over — and I probably bitch about it on Twitter — I’ll take a quick look at the game, which should be heading to halftime, then I’ll start Breaking Bad on the DVR. That’s 75 minutes this week. I’m not even going to DVR the game thanks to the brilliance of Game Rewind. I’ll just watch it later.

Will I miss the Steelers game? Not if it’s anything like the first two miserable weeks. I’m doing my dark passenger a favor as watching the 2013 Steelers puts me in a rotten mood. Of course, I’m doing the unthinkable and picking them to win, so I’ll see what happens, but not live. There’s simply better TV options, or standards, this Sunday.


I posted some records as starters on Twitter on Friday. Matt Schaub is a perfect 29-0 when the Texans allow 0-19 points, but watch me jinx him in Baltimore on Sunday in what could be a low-scoring game between two teams who do not look that impressive so far.


My Trent Richardson Week 3 prediction in San Francisco: seven carries for 24 yards.

Good test for Green Bay’s offense: Cincinnati has not allowed more than 24 points in its last 11 games. They allowed 31 to Denver at home last year, so the elite QB/weapons can get the job done against this defense.

Will the Jaguars cover the 20-point spread in Seattle? Yes, barely, though it will be good to see a team not named the Patriots in this situation. Seattle shouldn’t allow more than single-digit points, but the offense needs to get rolling here in 2013. I’m thinking 24-6 final.

2013 NFL Week 3 Predictions

Last year I went 4-12 in Week 3, so hopefully this will be better. Off to a good start picking the Chiefs and their defense  on Thursday.

Winners in bold:

  • Texans at Ravens
  • Giants at Panthers
  • Lions at Redskins
  • Rams at Cowboys
  • Packers at Bengals
  • Chargers at Titans
  • Buccaneers at Patriots
  • Browns at Vikings
  • Cardinals at Saints
  • Falcons at Dolphins
  • Colts at 49ers
  • Bills at Jets
  • Jaguars at Seahawks
  • Bears at Steelers
  • Raiders at Broncos

Season results:

  • Week 1: 11-5
  • Week 2: 12-4
  • Season: 23-9

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