In Week 14 of final season the Oakland Raiders upset the Pittsburgh Steelers. This lowered the likelihood the Steelers would make the playoffs from 70% to 56%. The significant element in Pittsburgh losing was an injury sustained by Ben Roethlisberger. The complete extent of this injury did not manifest till halftime. Roethlisberger completed a touchdown pass to Juju Smith-Schuster with 10 seconds remaining in the initially half but did not initially take the field following halftime. This injury did not quit Roethlisberger from returning at some point and did not expense Roethlisberger any far more common season snaps.
He returned at a most distinct time: when the Steelers fell behind Oakland 17-14 with five:20 remaining in the fourth quarter. He then led a seven-play touchdown scoring drive to place Pittsburgh ahead 21-17 with two:55 remaining. He attempted and completed a pass in all seven plays.
Oakland was tanking but in spite of this, I formed the subjective impression at the time that Raiders coach Jon Gruden decided it was a single issue to drop and rather yet another issue to be shown up. Oakland drove 75 yards to score a touchdown and pulled ahead 24-21 with 25 seconds remaining, properly ending the game. The Raiders had been 17-point underdogs.
I mention all this simply because (I think) it is the unrecognized lead to of Antonio Brown’s eventual split from Pittsburgh—or at least the catalyst. And I mention that simply because Brown forced a trade, he was acquired for peanuts by Oakland, and Brown and at some point Tyrell Williams displaced Jordy Nelson, producing Nelson a no cost agent. The Seahawks (and I want to create “John Schneider” but that would be a guess) have anything of an amour fou with players from the NFC North, and Nelson has turn out to be the newest target of that obsessive and predictably fatal really like.
Which does not inform us if Nelson is any fantastic. One particular way to … guess, if I had been to be truthful, but guess from some rationally sourced info, is to construct a ~season~ out of games from Nelson’s final two seasons which satisfy two criteria: he was getting from a competent quarterback, either Rodgers or Derek Carr, and he was not buried behind yet another starter, particularly Amari Cooper.
Cooper was traded October 22, 2018. Rodgers was knocked out for almost all of the remaining 2017 season early in Week six. He returned for a single game in December but stunk. Combining these two stretches creates this hybrid game-log which hopefully represents the final 14 games Nelson had a decent likelihood to carry out effectively.
Right here for the sake of comparison is Tyrell Williams’ game log from 2018.
I do not have access to week-by-week DYAR, but Nelson completed just ahead of Williams in 2018, 160 to 158, and substantially behind Williams in 2017, 58 to 150. Current wanton waste of draft capital, Brett Hundley, completed 2017 with -397 DYAR, ahead of only Deshone Kizer’s -756.
(For the record: Seahawks transactions which signed or traded-for a player from the NFC North concluded in the course of the Pete Carroll-John Schneider Era have acquired: Allen Barbre, Tarvaris Jackson, Sidney Rice, Matt Flynn, Percy Harvin, Breno Giacomini, Cliff Avril (!!!), Kellen Davis, Kevin Williams (!), Blair Walsh, Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen and Hundley.)
Hundley’s incompetence must be factored into how we perceive Nelson’s efficiency in 2017. Passes targeting Nelson had been worth -five.% DVOA. That season, Rodgers averaged 7.eight% DVOA per pass try. Hundley averaged -28.three%. Carr averaged -.six% in 2018. Philip Rivers averaged 26.1% DVOA in 2017, fourth in the NFL, and 27.three%, third in the NFL, in 2018. Figuring out who is accountable for which precise outcome creates a chicken-or-egg sort of paradox, but needless to say, Hundley was a drag on Nelson’s perceived efficiency. Nelson could not throw himself the ball, following all.
Two seasons ago, Nelson completed in the major 3 in DYAR, with 382. That occurred to be Williams’ major season as effectively. He completed with 214, fantastic for 17th.
Why is it then that Williams signed the biggest contract amongst no cost agent wide outs this offseason whilst Nelson is waiting to see who will offer you him any job at all? Ageism, most likely. Nelson’s a tiny far more dead than Williams, and absent far more reputable info, that reality feels incredibly vital. If we appear at the profession comps offered by Pro Football Reference, not a single of Otis Taylor, Gene Washington, Herman Moore, Homer Jones, Derrick Alexander, Chad Johnson, Brett Perriman or Mark Duper even had an age-34 season, but a single guy did. Joe Horn, and Joe Horn was quietly superb in 2006, amassing 189 DYAR at a price of 25.1% DVOA a target, fifth in the NFL. Horn completed the season on IR, played a single far more season following signing with the Falcons in 2007, and retired. Father Time is undefeated and all that.
Ageism is a rational bias which might be applied irrationally. It is rational not just simply because information back up the hypothesis that athletic overall performance declines as a player ages out of his or her peak, but also simply because underlying aspects, particularly the nascent senescence which in portion defines the 30s, tends to make that hypothesis rational. But it becomes irrational when a player of Nelson’s potential, who most lately was nevertheless creating at a higher level, and whose expense in the no cost agent market place accounts for his age, is additional punished via neglect. Teams seem—for lack of a improved word—afraid of Nelson’s age, as if it is contagious. A couple of teams are rumored to be interested in him, and he is stated to have visited Seattle on Tuesday. That summarizes his market place.
Nelson is old, and he’s worse for it, but how significantly worse is incredibly really hard to know. I have spent most of my most current stint with Field Gulls washed up. Not simply because I am also old to create, or simply because my brain is shot via with CTE (God forbid), but simply because I do not have the similar passion I as soon as had for this operate, do not see a affordable signifies of reaching something close to a living wage operating in sports writing, and as a result undermine my complete potential by devoting significantly less time to my operate, and working out significantly less discipline in making sure that I am completely capable to create my most effective. We conflate age with deleterious even debilitating knowledge, but years lived is only the price range for poor possibilities. And simply because we conflate age with deleterious even debilitating knowledge, we usually overly generalize. Grouping with each other players who declined simply because, basically, they became washed up, with players who never ever endured the injuries of knowledge and hardly ever if ever committed these tiny crimes of indulgence which sacrifice talent for happiness.
Jordy Nelson says he considers himself far more farmer than football player. That is endearing. It also could possibly matter how usually Nelson gets a complete night’s sleep, matter, and how significantly he drinks alcohol and what meals he eats, matter, and how usually he stretches and what sort of workout he gets and how usually, matter. Irrespective of whether he’s washed up or just not what he as soon as was, matters a lot. His age matters also, but not so significantly that we must disqualify Nelson from consideration. An awful lot of wonderful wide receivers had wonderful seasons effectively into their thirties. Offered Seattle’s lengthy history of drinking the hemlock when scouting the NFC North, I hope this season Seattle does not pass more than a cup it assumes poisoned which in reality includes an antidote.
That is stupid. Oh effectively.
Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. C’mon let’s go.
Let us arise and go now.