T Nation

2018 NFL Thread


L O fucking L at the suggestion that the AFC North is comparable to the AFC East for overall competitiveness and that the Steelers are spotted a certain number of wins per year with the luck of playing in such a division.

usmc posting just the list of division winners is a bit of a red herring - if the other teams were better and the Pats were just that good, it could look the same - but the Ravens and Bengals have been significantly better than the Patriots’ divisional compadres over the timeframe in question. If I had enough time to do the math, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve won more games (just those two) than the Bills + Jets + Dolphins combined during the 12 year span we’re discussing.


The Bills have made the playoffs, what, once in the last decade (last year ironically beating out the Raven’s). Yup, the last appearance was 2017 and before that 1999. @Despade didn’t Miami just break their playoff drought a few years ago? Looks like 2016, then 2008, then 2001. Jets have been better, 6 appearances since 2000, but none since 2010.

The Raven’s have 10 and Bengals 7 since 2000.


*So the Raven’s have been to the playoffs as many times as the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills combined since 2000. The Bengals are 3 appearances behind all three combined and the Brown’s have been to as many playoffs as the Bills in the same time frame.


By the end of his tenure, yes, I think it was fair to move on from McCarthy.

Tomlin does have an edge on McCarthy for several reasons (IMO):

  • both have one ring; that’s the only Super Bowl that McCarthy made, while Tomlin has two appearances
  • McCarthy’s winning percentage is lower (.618) than Tomlin’s (.653) by a nontrivial amount
  • Most importantly, the Packers are about to finish their second straight losing season. Tomlin, as I’ve repeated several times, has zero losing seasons in 12 years, which is an astounding feat in today’s NFL, and went 13-3 last year whereas McCarthy’s Packers have been going the wrong way for two straight seasons.

Belichick is literally the only other active coach that can match the 12-straight-seasons-without-ever-falling-under-500 claim: I would need some time to confirm but they might be the only two coaches ever who went 12 consecutive seasons without a single finish under .500

EDIT: I took a look into some of the NFL’s longest tenured coaches to see if I could find any other guys that went 12-plus consecutive seasons with the same team without finishing under .500; I can’t find any examples. Don Shula did it split across two teams (Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins). So did Marty Schottenheimer (Browns and Chiefs). Dungy did it for 11 years across two teams (Bucs, Colts). Nobody else did it or even came close. Paul Brown never did. Chuck Noll never did. Dan Reeves never did. Tom Coughlin never did. Pete Carroll never did.

You’re seriously advocating that it’s time to fire the second most successful coach of the past 20 years.


It’s kind of like being the president of western PA. Even if you do a really good job, some people aren’t going to like you. And a Superbowl ring only gets you through the off season. But the first preseason loss- Fired!


Taking a shot at the Bengals to criticize the division (and compare it to the AFC East) was a pretty serious self-own there. The Bengals have been better than all three of the Dolphins, Bills, and Jets over that timeframe by most metrics.


They haven’t won in the playoffs and I think that’s something they should be critiqued over, but they’re not a bad team and make the playoffs a lot.



Appreciate the levity.

I guess what makes me laugh is the suggestion from any fanbase that their team is somehow special and should hold their coach to a higher standard. This isn’t like college football, where the coach at Ohio State clearly is playing with a different deck of cards than the coach at Indiana and Illinois. NFL teams are all professional football teams with (roughly) equal resources. I see no good reason that a fanbase should feel entitled to their team being more successful than the remainder of the league because we’re the Steelers or something like that.


Yeah, the zero playoff wins is a gaping hole on the resume, but for the third-best team in the division over that timespan…again, the Bills and Jets fans would’ve given their left nut to make the playoffs six times in 12 seasons. Hell, the Bills making the playoffs last year nearly caused the city to burn down.


All because Cincinnati beat the Raven’s iirc.


You’re right. And laying it out numerically makes perfect sense. It just isn’t a rational thing. At all.

Even with consideration for Tomlins Superbowl win. (I’m being facetious here) You know why?

Because he was playing with Cowhers team when he won it. Not kidding. You will hear that in response to your stats. Of course he won. He was handed a championship team!


It’s hilarious because you hear similar stuff in Baltimore. John only won because of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed!


LOL. I do think things like this should be taken into account, to some extent, when considering a guy’s winning percentage or achievements - if a guy was handed a bad situation, he gets a little different grade than someone that walked into a good situation.

It’s silly to use that to fully discredit something like a Super Bowl title regardless of how good the situation was unless there was a nosedive afterwards. For example: while Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl his first season in Tampa, the steady degradation thereafter was sufficient that I think it’s safe to say he owes an awful lot of that Super Bowl title to the team that Dungy had built (his record overall in Tampa was 57-55; after the first year it was 45-51; and he never won a playoff game again). In contrast, both Tomlin and Harbs have sustained competitive teams and never really taken a true dive since their early success.

I actually look at this more as “I’d give a guy that inherited a terrible team a pass for a bad first season” than “I’d mark down a guy that walked into a great situation for winning with the last guy’s players.” The truth of what that coach really is gets revealed after a couple years. IMO that’s why the Tomlin haterade is ridiculous - he has sustained a high level of success for long enough that it should be obvious he wasn’t just riding the coattails before him.

For christ’s sake, the Steelers played in the AFC title game in 2016. Two seasons ago. So much for “no playoff success in the past 5 seasons.”

The Steelers have won three playoff games in the past five seasons. Here is a complete list of active NFL coaches with more than three playoff wins in the past five seasons: Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll (if you like, you can add Ron Rivera and Doug Pederson to that list; each of them have exactly three playoff wins in the past five seasons).

Sounds like about 28 NFL teams need a coaching change!


If the goal was to be king of the regular season, why have a playoff at all?

Not asking you to agree with high expectations. It’s just that every Steeler fan who thinks Tomlin is underachieving knows what comes after Ben retires… likely 5-10 years of 7-9 to 9-7 football. Going from Farve to Rodgers for the Packers was a lucky break. Franchise quarterbacks are really rare.

As for what coach could do more. Easily Saban or either Harbaugh. Certainly Belechik.

The Steelers though the past several years have had a top 5QB, top #1 receiver, top 2 running back and top 5 offensive line with a serviceable defense (not great but good enough). That should be enough for a playoff run, if not get you to the championship game to get beat by Brady.

Instead we are treated to this Days of Our Steelers melodrama where the team is one of the most penalized in the league, never ready to play and constantly looking past opponents.

It’s such a badly coached team they didn’t know that after a safety that’s a free kick and a live ball.


Oh, good, all we have to do is fire Tomlin and replace him with one of the two most successful living / active coaches. Great. Get on the phone to Saban’s agent, I’m sure he’ll happily come on up to Pittsburgh.

Tomlin should get (some) credit for these things, you know. He (and his staff) coaches the players. It’s always insane to me that fans can talk about how good their players are and ignore the coaches’ role in that.

Covered this above. The “never ready to play” and “looking past opponents” thing is such a circular, self-defeating point that I don’t know how to explain it any better. The NFL is a zero-sum game. Even 2-14 teams win games, and they (necessarily) come against better teams.

For fuck’s sake, earlier you complained about tying the Browns (on the road) as evidence that the team is never ready to play - the Browns have five wins on the season, including the Ravens (you know, the guys in purple coached by one of those Harbaugh brothers who could “easily” do more than Tomlin with this team).

If they’re never ready to play, why did they go 13-3 last year? Why did they make the AFC title game two years ago? Why are there only two active coaches with more “playoff wins in the last five years” (since that’s the lone criteria you can come up with to avoid confronting the reality that the Steelers are the most consistently successful non-Patriots team in the league) than Tomlin? Really incredible that they can win all those games without being ready to play.

Don’t dispute that was a huge gaffe. But if the players are so great, like you just said above, why is this all the coaches’ fault? Shouldn’t those great players bear some responsibility for knowing the rules, too?

ALSO: Patriots allowed a 69 yard touchdown to be scored on the last play of the game on a play where there was no reason to do anything but line up 10 dudes standing on your own goal line and gradually hem in the ballcarrier, with a tight end misplaying and missing a tackle being the highlight. I assume you’ve submitted your request to the Patriots ownership that Belichick be removed from his post for coaching malpractice.

Teams make bonehead plays every week. It’s a hard game to play. I cannot believe I’ve had to spend this much time defending a coach with a record as good as Tomlin’s. Really illustrates the absolute insanity of NFL fans. Unless you’re winning a Super Bowl every year, apparently, you’re a bum.

I’m curious, BG, whether you feel that the Saints should have fired Sean Payton before this season, what with the Saints lack of recent postseason success and clock ticking on Drew Brees’ career. Payton won a Super Bowl just after Tomlin and has even less recent playoff success than Tomlin. Should’ve kicked him to the curb by now, right?


Fixed that for ya.

I like that he implemented a generational player to player mentorship program. Those are the more subtle but (I believe) effective types of strategies that actually help to cary on a winning tradition.

Now gimme some of that haterade. It just about killed me to type that out.


That’s 3 playoff wins in 7 years, not 5. One of which was a 6 field goal performance by Boswell with zero touchdowns scored.

He keeps letting his coordinators and subordinates take the axe for him (Arians and Haley both gone while the offense was playing well). For some reason Butler, Porter and Danny Smith are still around despite the defense and special teams falling way short. They’ll be gone after the Steelers lose to the Pats and the Saints finishing 8-7-1. Allowing the Ravens back into the AFCN. Leaving the Steelers with Tomlin losing every stupid challenge and wasting the entire ends of 2nd and 4th quarters with timeouts left in his pocket. Blaming the refs and the x-ray machines for his failures.

And I can’t believe I agree with Mark Madden on anything, but here it goes.


Wrt Tomlin: football should take a page from baseball -have a coach with “locker room presence” who relates well to, and motivates players, plus add a “bench coach” who can handle the minutiae of challenges, managing the clock, timeouts, checking stats on the odds of whatever, etc…

And forget Tomlin…I dare anyone to explain the whole Marvin Lewis thing to me, please!!!



It’s not your fault man, you’re a Jets fan…after a while, that clueless-ness by association just kinda rubs off on you…



I hate you almost as much as I hate being a Jets/Mets/Knicks/Islanders fan.


Ouch. I’d almost feel bad for you if I wasn’t a Pirates fan.