The fans were all nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of clutch quarterbacks all danced in their heads.
Tim Tebow has managed to capture the imaginations of many announcers, fans, and analysts, including the eye of one Benjamin Morris. Ben posits, among other things, that Tebow is being held back by his own conservatism, that an inability to take passing risks in the first three quarters of the game is tossed aside in the fourth and some more true representation of his passing skill emerges.
This isn’t the first time that Ben has speculated on the nature of young quarterbacks and interceptions (This link is the most important, but also see here and here). One contradictory notion that has come out of his analyses is that a lot of interceptions early in the career of a quarterback tends to be a good thing. It suggests a quarterback with exceptional skills testing those skills out — the idea that a talented cook has to get burned by his own grease to learn his chops spills over into the quarterbacking world.
A related question, important to NFC East fans, is Eli Manning clutch? This question was raised this year by Eli Manning’s exceptionally high ESPN QBR ratings relative to other metrics. People really got upset, claimed that the ESPN QBR was “busted”. But perhaps the ‘clutch’ factor actually saw something in Eli.
It’s almost a theme with the Giants that they fall behind and Eli either scores a couple late to win the game, or scores late to tie the game and then (win/lose) in overtime, or he puts on this furious rally that almost wins the game. They beat teams they shouldn’t, based on their Pythagoreans, and then lose to football patzers.
What to make of it? My gut unchecked feeling is yes, Eli is clutch, but his team is another question altogether. It’s difficult to know with fans, emotions get the best of them. Donovan McNabb becomes Donovan McFlabb, good analysts try to prove that Jon Kitna is a better quarterback than Tony Romo, etc.
Thinking without benefit of numbers a bit further, Eli just doesn’t get ruffled. His play doesn’t suffer any effects of pressure. And that means, no matter how inadequate the team around him becomes, he’s still dangerous.
Kindle notes: just bought a Kindle Fire, and like it a great deal. It’s a better email platform than many web based email services, so it is useful to forward mails from those services to this device. I wish I could plug my camera into the Kindle and upload photos, but that will probably have to wait until Android 4 becomes a common base OS for these kinds of portable devices.
Twitter notes: For those familiar with Smart Football, he tweets well, and is a useful feed if you’re at all interested. Trent Dilfer does quite a bit of good analysis via tweets. Surprisingly good is Doug Farrar, whose player analyses I tend to respect. I haven’t read much of Doug’s blog, Shutdown Corner, but given the character of his tweets, it might be worth a gander.