This is a fun little article I've decided to write while thinking of chalkboards. Each week I'll look back at the 2015 season and assign blame for the player or players that allowed a TD to be scored. Blame is decided by percentage score in which the total will add to 100% percent per play (duh).
Each play counts as one point to the season total, so 50% would be .5 points for a player. After reviewing the entire season, we will see who had the highest score total and they will receive the Brian Jackson award-- given to the player that should have been tied to the goal post and left there.
Additionally, I'll also give a 5 star Kotite rating, which arbitrarily assigns how incompetent the player(s) were on a given play. For example: the fake spike play would earn 5 Rich's and a 5/5 Kotite rating. At the end of the year we will crown the Fake Spike trophy to the worst play by Kotite rating - given to the play which wasn't just getting beat but also looking awful while doing it. Got it? Let's take a look at the first 4 games.
Week 1 vs. Browns:
- The play: 57 yard pass to Travis Benjamin
Who to blame: Cromartie (100%)
Reasoning: The defense is in cover one leaving Cro on the outside one on one against Benjamin. The safety went in the middle and never helped Cro over the top, but Cro still got absolutely toasted here. What makes it worse? Todd Bowles told Cro to watch the out and up route but he still fell for that double move.
Kotiteness: 3.9/5 Rich's -- The coach called the play before it happened and said to watch out for it. How do you still fall for that move Cro?
Week 2 @ Colts:
- The play: Dante Moncrief 26 yard pass
Who to blame: Cromartie (15%) pass rush (80%) Gilchrest (5%)
Reasoning: Cromartie was the direct cover man on Dante. However, let's be fair. He covered the initial stop route perfectly and only failed when the play became school yard ball. The pass rush was non existent and Luck had all day to throw despite the 5 man rush. Here the blame game gets tough. Should Cro have done better after the play broke down? Probably. But to be fair to him, it's a ton to ask for him to perfectly cover a WR that long in space. The pass rush stunk so they get the blame here. Gilchrist gets a mention for a poor angle and not being able to stop Moncrief.
Kotiteness: 1.3/5 Rich's for both Cro and pass rush 1.8/5 Gilchrest -- On this play i think incompetence isn't high, just a good WR beating a CB after the play became broken. IMO the only way to stop Moncrief after he stops and starts again is latching on to the wideout and taking a penalty. I didn't see anything like a pass rusher stopping before the play was over so the incompetence for the lineman remains low. On the other hand, Gilchrist earns a higher Kotite rating despite a low blame score for getting schooled by Moncrief and not even laying a hand on him,
Week 3: vs. Eagles
- The play: Sproles 89 yard punt return
Who to Blame: Quigley (60%) Punt coverage (40%)
Reasoning: On first glance, you might ask why with the poor tackling does Quigs get the majority of the blame? One Quigley hit a low screamer and outkicked the coverage by a solid 20 yards. Against a guy like Sproles, that's unforgivable. Either kick it out of bounds or hang it up there and make sure the team gets there even if you kick a shorter punt. And for the coverage unit you aren't in the clear because that tackling was not good. Not having 5 missed tackles would have been real nice. You both get to share the blame in this one.
Kotiteness: 4.6/5 Rich's. This play deserves a FAIL rating no matter who you blame. I blame everyone and give them a near perfect Kotite rating for their efforts in futility. This is probably going to compete for the highest Kotite rating and a chance to take the Fake Spike trophy home.
2. The play: Matthews 23 yard pass
Who to Blame: Davis (100%)
Reasoning: This is a rare case of a player getting a ton of blame, but also a low-ish Kotite rating. Sure, Davis got beat badly here, but the play call was perfect. A cover one defense asks a lot of linebackers if they are in coverage against an average back. In this case Ryan Matthews is no slouch, and the wheel route which is a tough route to defend from the MLB position.
Kotiteness: 2.0/5 - He takes a poor angle, which ups the Kotiteness rating a solid point from where it would be had the defense just been bested. It's a very tough cover but that angle: woof.
3. The Play: Sproles 1 yard rush
Whose to Blame: Damon Harrison (40%) Quinton Coples (60%)
Reasoning: The GIF below says it all. Harrison gets eaten up by the guard and gets trampled inside and Coples gets manhandled. The defense was never quite set and I have a good feeling someone didn't line up correctly. That being said, it was an abysmal job by Coples who was simply shoved out of the play. As much as the percentages are equal, the level of incompetence was so different, I had to assign them individually.
Kotiteness: Harrison: 1.2/5 Rich's. Coples: 3.7/5 Rich's. It's a rare case where the level of incompetence is so different from the individuals but Coples deserves it for getting dumped headfirst into the pile while the TD gets scored right where he was.
Game 4: vs. Miami (London)
1. The play: Stoneburner 8 yard pass
Who to Blame: David Harris (100%)
Reasoning: Harris has man coverage on the man who caught the ball. However, it's a perfect play design and well executed fake. Another case of getting a ton of blame, but not really being incompetent, just getting beat by a play design and execution.
Kotiteness: 1.2/5 Rich's - You had man coverage and one job! Great execution, though, on the fake. No one bought that the play would be going to the left side. It's hard to kill Harris for biting hard when he's supposed to have backside protection on the run.
2. The Play: Stills 10 yard Pass
Whose to Blame: Cromartie (100%)
Reasoning: Cro is playing a deep zone while Skrine gets caught between a short man and a deep man. Two routes on that side of the field exploit the soft deep zone that Cromartie is playing. It's mostly on him, but the Kotite rating is fair considering the play calls on offense and defense.
Kotiteness: 1.6/5. Tough decision here as I think overall the net incompetence is low, but it's certainly debatable whether playing Cro as a deep man playing soft zone is ever a good decision near the goal line.
Blame game score through week 4:
Cro is the clubhouse leader for Brian Jackson award with an overall 2.15 blame game score out of a possible 7 total points. Three TD's against will do that to you, even if two weren't the worst on film. Harris earned his full point, as well did Davis because they gave up the score playing man coverage.
The worst play by level by Kotite rating was easily the punt return which looks to be an early candidate for the Fake Spike trophy with a score of 4.6 Rich's. From punt to coverage, that was just plain awful to have to watch again and would like to apologize to those who forgot about it only to see it again.
I'd love to hear whether you have different scores for the blame game or the Kotite rating. Once again apologies to any and all Rich's out there.