Freddie Freeman

That went better than expected. Freeman was considered something of a risk going into the season; most expected him to show raw power but there were a lot of concerns about holes in his swing and pitch recognition problems. These turned out to not be so much of a problem, and he hit just about average for a first baseman — which is pretty darned good for a 21-year-old rookie. The future looks pretty bright. Freeman’s 32 doubles and 21 homers are a good start, and so is his .282 batting average; just normal improvement should make him a real offensive plus. The biggest problem is that Heyward’s difficulties and then the McCann injury/ineffectiveness put too much of the burden on Freeman to drive the offense, and he wasn’t that good, not to mention it’s a bit of a stress on a 21-year-old rookie to be a core offensive contributor in the middle of a playoff race. Freeman hit only .143/.263/.286 in his last 14 games. He was probably tired, as rookies often are at the end of the season, finishing second on the team (to Uggla) in games played (157) and plate appearances (635).

Defensive reports differ, but generally those based on observation were kinder than those based on statistics. Generally, he did not seem to have very good range but made few mistakes and was good at saving throwing errors on the other infielders. Your call if that’s a good tradeoff; the Braves sudden fondness for guys who “make the plays they’re supposed to” (a reaction to Brooks Conrad?) may be easier on the nerves but is asking the pitchers to get a lot of outs on their own. Was thrown out stealing four times in eight attempts, largely (as I recall) on dumb sending-the-runner plays.

Freddie Freeman Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

118 thoughts on “Freddie Freeman”

  1. I don’t know about y’all but Heyward’s 2011 makes me very nervous about Freeman’s 2012. Hopefully I am just being irrational. Finally some stability at 1b.

    If this has been answered already, I apologize but do you trade Jurrjens for Adam, Frenchy in CF, Jones straight up? I can’t make myself stomach the thought but its not like there are a lot of just decent CFs out there.

  2. I was really happy with Freddie’s season. Better results than I was expecting last March.

    I had to check, but Mac’s correct that his numbers were about average for a first baseman which surprised me. I would have thought he was above average, but I guess that just shows a) How poor the rest of the team’s batting lines looked compared to Freddie’s, and b) how a decade of ok-to-wtf first basemen in Braves uniforms have messed with my baseline. Anybody’s number look monster compared to Robert Fick or 2nd-half Torgo.

    I’d love to see him improve and become an Eric Karros type for the next ten years. Some stability at the position would be nice.

  3. #1 – Im not sure either. Jones would have to play LF, unless we are trading Bourn after that deal. I dont see Adam Jones as an upgrade over a healthy Martin Prado.

    #2 – I think Mac got it right with this statement though. “he hit just about average for a first baseman — which is pretty darned good for a 21-year-old rookie”. A 21 yr old putting up league average numbers is extremely impressive. Esp for someone who I thought would struggle with his swing.

  4. Didn’t get to see Freddie play in person, didn’t see him much on tv.
    Who does he remind you of as a ballplayer?

  5. Mark Grace with more power, although he is physically bigger and plays physically bigger. A great approach at the plate for a 21 year old. It may have just been me and I haven’t checked the stats, but I thought he showed that he can hit to all fields with power, particularly from left-center over to the right field line. He made some great plays in the field and dug out several bad throws to first, but as Mac mentioned, he may look better than he really is on defense.

    As others have noted, it was a pleasure to see someone competent playing 1B for the Braves this season.

  6. @1 I think Freeman showed more ability to adjust to how he was being pitched last season than Heyward has shown his whole career. I’m confident that if he does slump, it won’t be as steep a drop as Jason had.

  7. He seems to be bigger than Grace. But to lump him into to the Will Clark/ Grace with more power class may be correct.

    I would take a Will Clark w/ more power everyday.

  8. It would take Mark Grace about four seasons to strike out as much as Freeman did last year. In terms of hitting approach, Grace was closer to Tony Gwynn than Freddie Freeman.

    It may sound like damning with faint praise, but Freddie is a lot like Adam LaRoche. Their swings couldn’t look more different, but the results, as well as the other parts of their games, are very similar.

  9. Yeah, the Grace comp seems off to me. Something like Richie Sexson with a better eye and little less power seems closer.

  10. Player comp at B-REF says he’s a young Eddie Murray, which wouldn’t suck. I doubt he’s Eddie Murray, and I don’t know enough about Murray’s swing mechanics to compare them outside of statistical comps. His third closest comp is Greg Luzinski.

  11. @9 – This sent me looking at baseball-reference and you are right….Grace struck out much less than Freeman did, although Grace was not a rookie until he was 24 as opposed to Freeman at 21.

    Grace’s salary in his rookie year – $62,500. And that was ~550 plate appearances.

    I’m sticking with my Grace comparison…he’s a white, left-handed first baseman. Case closed.

  12. I’m sticking with my Grace comparison…he’s a white, left-handed first baseman.

    The same logic led to the comparison of Jo-Jo Reyes, and countless others, to Glavine.

  13. In the time-honored tradition of blaming your best players for team failure, Cubs fans used to ride Grace for his punch-and-judy approach to hitting. He probably could have hit more HRs — and, who knows, it might have been better if he had.

    @14 Agreed…he’s somewhere between Brogna and Pujols.

  14. I assume you all know Will Clark has much more power than Grace when the guy was healthy? If Freddie turns out to be a healthy version of Will Clark, that would be awesome.

  15. FF had excellent power for a 21 year old rookie. We can hope that JH and MP return to prior form if they stay healthy. I would fear trading JJ or a young pitcher until we know how healthy starting pitchers are.

  16. I think that Freddie Freeman has a chance to be an above-average first baseman for a long time, and I think that if he has another good half-season next year, the Braves should offer him one of those $20 million-for-the-next-six years deals that buys out his arbitration and his first year or two of free agency. They won’t save much money but it’ll make him a nice certainty in the lineup. I absolutely think that he can offer league-average 1B production, and league average production is often the production that is most overvalued on the free agent market. If we can sew him up, it’ll be a good thing.

    Of course, I’ve been calling for Longoria deals for all our young players… Heyward, Prado, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar… other than McCann, they never listen. (Of course, they offered one to Francoeur. Thank God he turned them down.)

  17. Well, Dyer is officially gone. I’m glad that Auburn has been tight lipped about what he did that got him in the doghouse (it wouldn’t be in good taste to throw him under the bus), but I am curious.

  18. ‘Of course, I’ve been calling for Longoria deals for all our young players… Heyward, Prado, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar… other than McCann, they never listen. (Of course, they offered one to Francoeur. Thank God he turned them down.)’
    Alex, isn’t the irony incredible? Of all the damn guys, Frenchy? But at least they got McCann, best catcher in baseball, right.

    Bethany have you moved to Boston yet?

    #3 – Yeah I know he’d be a LFer this season but I was thinking down the road. I don’t think the Brave’s think they can sign Bourne or they are disinclined to do so.

  19. Has anyone seen the video of Charles Barkley talking about the Hawks off air? It’s on ajc.com. The best part is when Reggie Miller says “He (Dwight Howard) doesn’t want to come here.” Charles’ reaction is priceless.

  20. DJ – haven’t seen it but I intend to.

    Charles was speaking truth to fatheadedness on air, though, when he said (more than once) that the Hawks lack mental toughness.

    So true. Should have jumped that weakened Heat team from the beginning and never had to worry about overtime(s).

  21. #29 – I read the article. Only 25 he has the potential …….. Only 26 he has the potential ……. The Orioles are on crack if they think that Jones ‘potential’ is worth Jurrjens, Prado AND one of the big 4. Cameron is nuts if he thinks the O’s are right to ask for that kind of package.

  22. 20—Seems to be a good coach and recruiter, although I’ve only seen him for a year. Our corners were certainly a lot more aggressive this year than in the past, which I liked.

    Unlike with Beatty, I know Franklin actually wanted to keep him, so there’s that.

  23. Barkley has always had an emotional issue with the Hawks. It obviously colors his commentary, but as with most things, he’s honest about it.

  24. The NBA has already taken down the Barkley video. God forbid anyone be honest off-air.

  25. You’ve dramatically outplayed your opponent. You’re up by 17 points with a minute to go in the half. You have a 3rd down, 85 yards away from a score. The other team has no timeouts & they get the ball to start the 2nd half.

    The chances of a worst-case scenario (a turnover in your own end, followed by an opponent score) are so much higher than a best-case scenario for you (an Arkansas score) that a dive play & a punt are in order.

    But not if you’re Bobby Petrino, no. You have to keep things interesting.

  26. Can someone help me wrap my head around this piece of Keith Law’s logic? On Volstad vs. Zambrano:

    Volstad- “He has an easy delivery and a great pitcher’s frame, at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, with good downhill plane on an average fastball that never saw the velocity jump many scouts (myself included) expected him to see in his early 20s. He’s a moderate groundball pitcher who threw a lot of sliders in 2011 without much success; his high arm slot seems wrong for that pitch, but Volstad has had trouble keeping his upper-70s curveball, a better fit for his arm slot, down in the zone. He has good arm speed on the changeup, but its velocity is too close to his fastball’s, part of the reason left-handed hitters lit him up in 2011 after hitting almost two-thirds of the homers he allowed in 2009-10.”

    So, he’s basically saying he’s a poor sinker ball pitcher with no plus-pitches that has difficulty inducing ground balls , right? Yet…

    “Zambrano might make the Marlins a win or so better in 2012, but that’s not enough to justify giving up three years of Volstad’s career, even if Volstad doesn’t improve over his performance to date.”

    That last sentence really gets to me. He’s saying that if Volstad continues to be a shitty pitcher that trading for Zambrano still isn’t worth it. If he continued to be as poor of a pitcher as he was last year, would the Marlins even have kept him? I highly doubt it. Another prospect/cost-controlled Lawism that doesn’t make a lick of sense to me.

  27. @39,

    Perhaps his point is that Zambrano makes too much money vis a vis Volstad to justify the deal given the relatively limited return?

    Don’t know, but how can Keith Law be wrong? That does not compute.
    (kidding.)

  28. Not too mention Zambrano’s other non-pitching issues. I’d say that that particular trade is a big warm bowl of ‘Meh.’

  29. Zambrano should be an improvement over Volstad. Assuming he bounces back to 2008-10 production, he’s good for about 2.5 WAR as a pitcher. He also adds a half WAR as a hitter. So 3.0 or so, total.

    Volstad’s a 1.5 WAR pitcher and adds nothing with the bat. So you’re talking an improvement of 1.5 WAR. This assumes Zambrano’s not done, that he doesn’t go totally crazy again, and that he produces to his previous three-year bench mark. Big Z being Big Z, that’s a question mark worth noting, of course.

    It’s also worth noting that the Braves have owned Zambrano to date. Their team OPS of 828 against Z is the highest of any NL team by far, and the highest of any team aside from the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles (who have only faced him once or twice, respectively, in interleague play.) The next closest team OPS (with any reasonable sample of games against) is the White Sox, who have a 779. A fifty point difference in OPS against suggests that the Braves have a better book on Zambrano than any other team in the league, which alternatively suggests that Zambrano’s time in the NL East might not be as happy as his time in the NL Central.

    The Cubs are simply cleaning house, per their new management’s orders. Theo said Z had to either kneel to the new king and his court, or off with his head. Z doesn’t really play well with others, so it’s an off-with-his-head trade and a flyer on trying to push Volstad up from “great potential” to “great results.”

  30. @42

    Volstad for Zambrano is a classic change-of-scenery trade. Could favor either team, I have no idea. And so the trade makes sense to me.

    @43

    Good fit, they’ll like him. Can’t have a sausage race w/o the Raw Dog!

  31. If he has a reasonably good year, Conrad could put up a casually impressive SLG in Miller Park.

  32. Conrad might be given more opportunity in Milwaukee then he would with a team coached by Fredi.

  33. OOTP is so fun.

    Atlanta’s Minor Throws Perfect Game
    08/02/2012
    At 24 years old Mike Minor has just pitched the best game of his life. With great control and some of the nastiest stuff outside a garbage dump, the Atlanta hurler made history today. He defeated Pittsburgh 5-0 in a brilliantly pitched perfect game.

    He faced 27 Pirates and retired all 27, striking out 9 of them. The Braves also played errorless ball behind him. There were no runs, no hits, no errors and no walks. It was a perfect game.

    “It was unbelievable,” Minor said in the postgame interview. “You don’t even dream about this kind of game. It takes a lot of luck to pitch a perfect game… and thankfully Lady Luck was a Atlanta fan today.”

    His record for the year is 9-2 in 21 starts and Minor has a 3.56 ERA.

    I can’t believe it’s so long until the season starts back up.

  34. DOB hinting we may be after Maicer Izturis. I heartily support this idea — he’d be a perfect fit for us. And the Angels might view him as a luxury they can’t afford (due $3 million in 2012), as they seem to be set all around the diamond and have already spent a little bit of money this offseason.

  35. Can Maicer still play an adequate SS? If so, I’d totally be up for that deal.

    Are people seriously considering Bernie Williams for the Hall of Fame? Murphy and McGriff have better cases than him.

    Matthew Stafford is playing at an incredible level right now (knock on wood).

  36. Yeah, I was just thinking it’s probably a good thing for my personal health that we got the No. 5 seed and avoided this game. I hate the Saints so much I can’t see straight watching this game, and the Falcons aren’t even involved.

  37. 54,

    Yeah, that’s the end of that.

    I was thinking about something earlier. Why is it that I ‘hate’ certain teams? I mean, I have nothing against the Saints players (apart from Roman Harper) or their fans. I don’t really have anything against Philly residents or most of their players. But I really, really, really don’t like any of them.

  38. I actually like the Saints and I like watching Detroit. Suh is a piece of crap. However, the Saints are getting away with holding on almost every pass play tonight. What a terrible group of refs.

  39. I can’t stand Sean Payton but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t want him to be the Falcons playcaller.

  40. I have a number of silly reasons to hate them, which I’ll list.

    I hate their uniforms.

    I hate the chant/song/counting/whatever thing they do before every game

    I hate the way people still connect this team with Katrina (it would be like if Alabama said it wanted to win the National Championship for the tornado victims.)

    I hate how it feels like the refs let them get away with murder every game.

    I hate how I can’t wear a Falcons shirt IN ATLANTA without getting crap from random Saints fans.

    I hate how you have this huge new batch of fair-weather fans who materialized as soon as they got good.

    I hate how they are built around getting passing records for Brees, and how despite all his success he continues to walk around with a huge chip on his shoulder.

    I hate how they can’t run the ball and everyone knows they can’t run the ball yet no one can seem to touch Brees or cover their receivers.

    I hate their end zone typeface. Seriously.

  41. I think Bethany sums it up nicely. ESPN’s go-to meme of “how much Brees and the Saints mean to this city” is beyond obnoxious.

  42. No, No, and No. Prado and Beachy are my favorite current Braves. I love having the two on the team.

    The Hurricane Katrina/Saints connection is overblown, but if I were from NO, it would definitely mean a lot to me.

  43. Any of you actually live in New Orleans or lived there during the Saints resurgence? Then you obviously don’t understand.

    Try teaching a 2nd grader who has to live in a 1 bedroom project home with 4 other siblings because his shitty mom won’t upgrade to a 3 bedroom due to it raising her “rent” from $90 to $170/mo (not to mention she receives $1600/mo. from the governemt for her and her 5 kids), then listen to him talk day in and day out about how Deuce McCallister came to his neighborhood and played football with he and his friends, not once, but on several occasions. His purpose: to talk to the kids about overcoming obstacles in life, such as living in the projects, to accomplish their goals. This was no charity event. This was real, good people that knew there were crappy parents raising, what would be, crappy kids if there wasn’t some sort of intervention.

    To the poor and unfortunate in New Orleans, the Saints and Drew Brees mean everything to that city.

  44. I love Drew Brees because he’s a pretty good dude. I love Darren Sproles because he co-carried my fantasy team this year.

    I hate the Saints because I grew up a Falcons fan and married a girl from the New Orleans area who has a bunch of obnoxious, dumb-ass Cajun relatives.

  45. @64
    That’s actually a good reason and we share a common bond except my hatred is toward LSU for that reason.

  46. Let me put it this way and see if it works better than what I said a couple weeks ago when we went down this same road: I’m sure the Saints do good for the city of New Orleans. I’m sure the Mets do good for the city of New York. I’m sure the Alabama football team does good for the city of Tuscaloosa. I’m sure the Kentucky basketball team does good for the city of Lexington. I’m sure the Mexican soccer team does good for the people of Mexico. And yet I hate every single one of those teams. Why? Because they’re my team’s arch-rival. Yet only with the Saints do I constantly get told I’m a bad person for hating them. It’s really, really annoying. And you know what? It makes me hate them even more than I otherwise would. It makes me hate them more than any other team on that list. I admit it’s irrational, but it’s sports. It’s supposed to be irrational.

    Severe calamities have befallen New York and Tuscaloosa in the last 10 years, but no one bats an eye about me hating the Mets or Alabama (and hell, the Tuscaloosa tornado was less than a year ago). But more than five years after Katrina, I can scarcely mention hating the Saints without someone jumping down my throat about it. Why don’t we pick a team that you hate and make it so that every time you mention it, someone says, “You hate them? Do you realize how much (insert star player of team) has done to alleviate (insert citywide problem)?”

    I am certain that I do not fully understand the relationship between the Saints and New Orleans, because I don’t live there and didn’t go through that. I’m also certain that I do not care. I will continue to hate the Saints because they’re my team’s arch-rival.

  47. The Saints have never told me to root for them because of Katrina. That’s Mike Tirico and a bunch of ex-jocks who have to talk for three hours who do that. And don’t pretend they’re the only ones who get that treatment — so did the New York teams after 9/11, and so did the Giants and A’s after the earthquake. For that matter, every single college football team ever profiled on ESPN College GameDay gets the “overcoming tragedy” treatment. Tropes and generalizations are the sports media’s stock in trade. Relax, you’re not REALLY being asked to care, okay? They’re just putting on a show.

  48. @67
    No one is asking you to like the Saints. Hate them for being your arch rival. That’s fine. I hate the Mets but realize David Wright is a great guy that does a lot for their organization and city.

    Nick, after your statement last time, would it be fair to assume that you probably tie the Saints to Katrina when discussing your hatred? If so, I can see why people would be sensitive and react the way they do.

    Another thing about the Saints and why people jumped on the bandwagon: The Saints, for the most part of a decade before Katrina, were a very hard team to like, even for locals. They were not nice guys and for the most part, were not people who contributed to the city (including the coaching staff). The only guy that consistently showed true love for New Orleans during that time was Joe Horn and he was one of the most obnoxious guys on the team.

    Oh, and it helped that they weren’t winning.

    Brees’ timing was immaculate. He wasn’t on the team during Katrina when they transplanted to play in Baton Rouge (when it seemed no one in Louisiana cared about football, for good reason).However, he was on the team when the Superdome reopened and there were many new, respectable faces on the Saints that made New Orleans their permanent residence. Since that time, it seems the majority of the players on the Saints teams have fairly good reputations and are “easy to root for” guys. Even Joe Horn’s run with the team came to an end after the 2006 season and it was rumored that Payton did not like what he represented.

    It was easy to jump on a bandwagon to root for a bunch of guys that cared for, and lived permanently, in the city. I’m guilty…

  49. #68
    What Sam said.

    FWIW, despite years of rooting for the Falcons, I don’t really hate the Saints. I don’t really root for them, of course, but their offense is so good I just kind of sit back & marvel.

    I love New Orleans & have friends who live there, though, & if the Saints helped people get through Katrina, good for them. I don’t understand people’s Ann Coulter act when it comes to Katrina, but whatever. It’s not keeping me up nights either.

    With that said, off to the Meadowlands to see my first Falcons playoff game in 31 years. Go Falcons.

  50. csg has identified the most obvious and integral problem – the refs let the Saints hold everybody all the time.

    The same thing happened when the 49ers were transcendant. I’m pretty sure my bellowing about it is echoing through Time. Plus, DeBartolo wantonly flouted the salary cap without consequence.

    My Saints hate is approaching my 49ers hate. That ref that blew the whistle to keep the Lions from returning that fumble for a touchdown needs to be investigated.

  51. My Saints hate is approaching my 49ers hate. That ref that blew the whistle to keep the Lions from returning that fumble for a touchdown needs to be investigated.

    The league and their refs give preferential treatment to their pretty boy teams? Hard to imagine that.

  52. Yep. And now the Falcons head to New York City.

    My guess is “10” is the over/under on how many holding penalties the “Scumbags” will endure.

  53. While it was a disappointing result, when the ref saw the ball hit the ground, at that trajectory, he had to figure that it was an incomplete pass. So, he blew the whistle when it hit the ground. I agree that the Saints get most of the calls, but this one was completely understandable.

  54. @69

    I really don’t tie the Saints in with Katrina mentally. Certainly not consciously, anyway. If I did, I hope that I would feel less negative towards them. I really feel that if I were left alone over here in my little corner of Saints hatred, Katrina would never come into it. It doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t. I guess maybe for people from New Orleans, there’s no separating the two. But you have to understand that for people who are not from New Orleans (particularly people who hate the Saints), that seems absurd and annoying. Katrina shouldn’t have to come into it at all. When I say “I hate New Orleans,” it’s not a Katrina-related thing at all. It’s entirely a sports hate thing. Politically though, it’s impossible to say that without people assuming you’re talking about Katrina. And that’s really aggravating.

  55. The Saints’ banswagon jumpers are a little silly, but the NFL isn’t the reason they win. They are a really good team with the best player in the league.

    If the Packers win the Super Bowl, a lot of those Saint fan will become life long chesse heads. Just like they use to be Patriot fans, Cowboy fans, 49er fans…

    Most of these people are Red Sox fans, but will soon become Cub or Angel fans.

  56. Fitocracy is a social networking type game that gives users points and level-ups in exchange for actual, real-world exercise. It’s one of a few new social type deals to push people to be more active.

  57. The hit on Matt Ryan, on the first third down incompletion, would have been late hit/roughing the passer against Brees.

  58. Every fan in every city can find reason to hate teams and they can rationalize them. Lots of people didn’t (don’t) like the Braves for a variety of reasons, including, probably, the bandwagon mentality, lack of attendence at playoff games, redneck fans, Chipper Jones, winning too much and being arrogant in the 90s, etc. If you want to hate teams, hate them, but don’t kid yourself that there is something special about your own team or city. Saying you hate the Saints because of tying themselves to Katrina is just another rationalization; the Saints didn’t do that, the media did. It’s always been this way; even in 1968, when the country was in chaos, people talked about how the Tigers “brought the city together” by winning the WS. We see how much that helped Detroit.

  59. The point isn’t that it is surprising that the NFL and Saints have tied themselves to the “we saved poor New Orleans” marketing gimmick (and make no doubt, they’ve both latched onto that gimmick for half a decade now.) The point is that if you’re going to devalue Katrina by turning it into a marketing ploy for your sports team, don’t be surprised when people stop feeling sorry for your tragedy. If you tie a regional tragedy to the regional sports team, the basic mechanism of human tribal instinct will have fans of other teams devalue your little tragedy. That’s the way it works.

    You can have the narrative of redemption via a football team, or the national sympathy. You can’t have both.

  60. Sam, dead horse beaten. Care to say the same thing again? You belittle everything that doesn’t fit into you little mind’s mold and find a way to be a dick in what has, thus far, been a civil discussion. Congrats again. Attention directed back to Sam.

  61. I’ve been perfectly civil, Ryan. The fact that you can’t move without bunching your panties isn’t my fault.

  62. This team misses Harvey Dahl something fierce. Add in a few home field calls on spots and that’s pretty much the game. Oh well. Next we’ll just let the whole city burn.

  63. Mike Mularkey does not seem to be a good coach. That QB sneak call with no one in the backfield was terrible. And it should be no surprise that the team can’t move the ball when Matt Ryan can’t call the plays due to stadium noise.

    I hope the Braves get Izturis, or someone like him. They should hold on to Prado, especially given the trades they’ve been apparently offered.

  64. Izturis is intriguing if he can play a solid shortstop. Certainly seems solid enough for an eighth-place hitter.

    Odd that in nearly 500 at-bats last year that he didn’t attempt a steal even once.

  65. Try teaching a 2nd grader who has to live in a 1 bedroom project home with 4 other siblings because his shitty mom won’t upgrade to a 3 bedroom due to it raising her “rent” from $90 to $170/mo (not to mention she receives $1600/mo. from the governemt for her and her 5 kids)

    You may well have someone specific in mind when you wrote this, but the description sounds unfortunately similar to some not-so-kind cultural archetypes of the 1980s. Also, as an aside, I’d suggest that when taking a moralistic stance, one should always try to avoid rooting said moralism in comments that others will find to be so morally–how should I put this?–problematic.

  66. @101 and now the Steelers are about to get a free touchdown out of it. If you let the play go to its natural conclusion and it turns out it was indeed a forward pass, it’s easy to resolve. If you blow the whistle, you’ve screwed over the defense.

  67. Mike Mularkey has to go at the minimum. This is the third try and this group still can’t win a playoff game. Hope some team will gratefully hire him as a head coach.

  68. @116: Good one.

    League admits that the NO fumble was a bad call. The ball should have gone back to NO due to he inadvertent whistle. Not saying it’s a good rule, but the refs blew it by giving the ball to DET.

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