On Sept. 22 I wrote a post titled “Alex Smith vs. Peyton Manning – a weekly comparison.” Then the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics made it into the playoffs, we had two BASG meetups, I planned a birthday party for my wife and covered several 49ers games and practices, even wrote some stuff about the Warriors…
Anyway, the point is I totally forgot that I promised a weekly comparison. I have failed you, the reading audience. And for that I apologize. So let’s take a look at Smith and Manning and see how they’ve done since that first comparison. Here is what it looked like after Week 2:
And after Week 7:
- Y/A: Passing yards per attempt
- RY: Rushing yards
- RY/A: Rushing yards per attempt
- PFF: Overall rating (Pro Football Focus)
- DVOA: Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. This number represents value, per play, over an average quarterback in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player’s performance. (Football Outsiders)
- QBRtg: Traditional QB Rating
It’s pretty easy to see why Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman watched Manning throw before he decided to sign with the Denver Broncos. Since our last comparison, Manning has destroyed Smith in every category besides rushing yards. Smith even throws more interceptions now, and ball security was believed to be Smith’s greatest strength before he started playing catch with Antrel Rolle a couple weeks ago.
Manning has thrown for at least 300 yards in every game since Week 2. 49ers fans treated Smith’s one 300-yard game (against the lowly Buffalo Bills) as a local holiday, and since then his play has ranged from mediocre to dreadful.
At this point, there are only two logical reasons to choose Smith over Manning.
- Manning has a greater chance of getting injured this season.
- It’s more difficult to build a complete team around a QB with such a high cap number.
Otherwise, this comparison between a future Hall of Famer and Smith has gone pretty much as most would’ve expected. Onto the picks!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings
**Buccaneers won 36-17**
Bay Area Sports Guy:
East Bay Sports Guy: Buccaneers
Bay Area Stats Guy:
Ruthless Sports Guy: Buccaneers
Bay Area Duck Guy:
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs (PK)
Bay Area Sports Guy: The Raiders are 0-3 on the road. The Chiefs are 0-3 at home. Kansas City finally replaced Matt Cassell, but they replaced him with Brady Quinn. In a related story, the AFC West is the worst division in football. Picking the Raiders rarely seems to work, so… Pick: Chiefs
East Bay Sports Guy: I know: I must be a fool to pick the Raiders on the road. But, look, this pick is coming straight from the heart, ya’ll. Like emo poetry, which may or may not have been published on my Myspace page, this prediction won’t reflect reality. But I know we haven’t seen a team as mismanaged as the Chiefs since, well… the Raiders. Because of that, I think the 2012 Raiders would be easily beat their 2006 team. Pick: Raiders
Bay Area Stats Guy: No projection model this week as I am headed to a wedding. However I have a good idea what it would probably be telling me, and that is something along the lines of don’t bet the Raiders on the road. Pick: Chiefs
Ruthless Sports Guy: I know I shouldn’t draw too much confidence from a near-trap game win in Atlanta and a near-loss to a Jacksonville Jaguars team without Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert, but the Chiefs are really bad this season. They’ll be going with Brady Quinn at the helm, which doesn’t bode well for either the Chiefs offense or Dwayne Bowe’s production on my fantasy team. I’ve got the Raiders in a blowout here. Pick: Raiders
Bay Area Duck Guy: I have been waiting all season for the Chiefs to figure it out, and it just hasn’t happened. On the flip side, the Raiders have been impressive lately, so I have a feeling that trend will continue against an under-performing Kansas City squad. Pick: Raiders
San Francisco 49ers (-8) @ Arizona Cardinals
Bay Area Sports Guy: The 49ers won’t give up 100 yards rushing to an opposing back for a third straight week; they almost certainly won’t give up 100 yards total to Arizona, one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL. Normally I’d say this is way too many points for a road game within the division, and San Francisco lost in Arizona last year. But the Niners have had a long time to prepare, and they will be looking to make a statement on national TV after losing to the Giants and looking pretty stagnant on offense against Seattle. Pick: 49ers
East Bay Sports Guy: The lines pretty high, but the cardinals are pretty bad. Their defense is overrated, especially against the run, and they have the worst offense in the league. Sure, they started hot, but this team is like the 2009 49ers: They’ll win close games only because somebody has to, not because of skill. So this means, that on Monday night, I’ll be alone in my living room, chanting “OVER-RATE-TED” while the 49ers blow the Cardinals. Pick: 49ers
Bay Area Stats Guy: The 49ers offense hasn’t been nearly impressive enough lately to make me confident in picking them on the road. I expect a low-scoring affair. Pick: Cardinals
Ruthless Sports Guy: This pick all comes down to offensive line. The 49ers’ is dominant, and Frank Gore is having one of his best seasons as a result. Arizona’s line is in shambles; Kevin Kolb and two of their running backs are shelved as a result. Save a couple explosive plays from Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals don’t stand a chance against the 49ers defense. The 49ers red zone woes can continue, but that doesn’t mean that San Francisco won’t chip away with field goals and the occasional touchdown. This line doesn’t scare me – the 49ers cover comfortably. Pick: 49ers
Bay Area Duck Guy: The 49ers being favored by more than a touchdown is a little surprising even after beating the Seahawks. The Cardinals are impressing me this year, and this will be a real road test for San Francisco. If Arizona had a solid starting QB, I’d pick them to completely win this game. But when all is said and done, the 49ers will win this game on Monday night, it just won’t be by more than 8 points. Pick: Cardinals
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Atlanta Falcons @Philadelphia Eagles (-1)
Bay Area Sports Guy: They’re the only undefeated team in the NFL, and no team is good enough to go undefeated for long this season. Five of the Eagles’ six games have been decided by 3 points or less, so I’m going to say Philly wins by 2. Also, Andy Reid is a like a bloated cockroach — impossible to kill. Pick: Eagles
East Bay Sports Guy: The Falcons are coming off a bye week, which gives them ample time to figure out ways to strip the ball from Michael Vick. Because of that, I’ll guess that Vick fumbles the football 15 times on Sunday and that the Falcons win handily. Pick: Falcons
Bay Area Stats Guy: I can’t really explain why but I don’t trust the Eagles. They have a ton of talent but seem to do enough to make games closer or uglier than they should be. Against a good team you can’t do that and I expect the Falcons to leave with the victory. Pick: Falcons
Ruthless Sports Guy: This line makes no sense to me whatsoever. When it comes to the Eagles I just don’t see the allure. Michael Vick is a turnover machine and their offense can’t manage to score nearly as much as they should with the talent they have. Their defense is supposed to be championship caliber and yet they just fired their defensive coordinator. The Falcons should be five or six-point favorites in this game, and I think they win by at least a touchdown. Pick: Falcons
Bay Area Duck Guy: Atlanta is 6-0 and Philadelphia is 3-3, yet the Eagles are favored by a point. Hmmm… Yes, the game is in Philadelphia and the Falcons just barely squeaked by the Raiders last week, but the fact that the Eagles are favored at all shocks me. Matty Ice and the Falcons won’t disappoint two weeks in a row, so I’m expecting an offensive explosion to push the Falcons to 7-0. Pick: Falcons
No pretty chart at the end of this week’s post to show how badly we’re picking these games because Stats Guy is at a wedding. Maybe that’s a good thing (for my ego).