Chris Wesseling has had it up to HERE with the faulty football logic he's seen flying fast and furious lately. Below, he thoroughly -- if a bit crankily -- debunks some of the more galling popular fallacies that have taken root:
Stop discrediting the Atlanta Falcons
The national media might have just woken up to this offense's truly terrifying nature, but the Falcons have been here all along.
To be fair, the Post was hardly alone in espousing that tiny sample-size absurdity. Many writers tasked with previewing the Seahawks-Falcons Divisional Round matchup gave Seattle a decisive edge at quarterback due to Ryan's dubious January track record.
That take is pure, unvarnished hogwash.
Why on God's green earth would you put more stock in one playoff game from Ryan's 2008 rookie season -- which he played with a completely different supporting cast and coaching staff -- than 16 games of the 2016 season?
Ryan's checkered postseason history really came down to three disappointing starts in his first three appearances. It was obvious that he was a more mature quarterback by January of 2013, when he posted a 70.1 completion rate, 8.4 yards per attempt and 105.2 passer rating in two games versus the Seahawksand 49ers.
With a pair of scintillating performances over the past two weeks, Ryan is now in sole possession of the longest postseason streak (four games) in the Super Bowl era with three or more touchdown passes.
If you're keeping track at home, Ryan owns a 67.6 postseason completion rate, a 16:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, a 98.8 passer rating -- and his Falcons have posted at least 24 points in five of seven playoff games. Playoff Eli's postseason numbers by comparison: 60.5 completion rate, 18:9 TD-to-INT ratio, 87.4 passer rating and three of 12 games with at least 24 points.
Before you parrot your favorite hot-take artist, do us all a favor and check the sample size for a modicum of validity.
Are the Patriots the NFL's version of the San Antonio Spurs?
It's an interesting connection, one with substantial shared DNA.
Bill Belichick and Gregg Popovich have each carved out a corner in the coaching pantheon of their respective sports, successfully establishing a lasting culture of substance over style that runs contrary to outside forces at work on professional athletes.
Both coaches have shown the consistent ability to identify spare parts and transform them into key components of championship-caliber teams.
Pilfered from the division-rival Bills, former lacrosse star Chris Hogan set a new franchise record versus the Steelers with 180 yards -- more than he recorded in his entire college career. Acquired from the Lions and Eagles, respectively, in under-the-radarearly-season trades, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and cornerback Eric Rowe generated the two takeaways on New England's defense.
The San Antonio Spurs have similarly benefited from discarded or overlooked role players such as Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry, Malik Rose and Boris Diaw.
As much respect as Belichick garners as pro football's preeminent strategist, his brilliance as a team-builder is underappreciated. He understands a championship team is not comprised of the best 53 players, but the right 53.
That testimony is coming from an alleged bad seed who was shipped out of Chicagowith the label of being a me-first player. Just as they did with Moss and Corey Dillon, the Patriots targeted a prideful, talented player surrounded by dispiriting ineptitude and granted him a new lease on life with the sport's model franchise.
The most tangible evidence of hegemony? The Spurs won at least 50 games in 18 of Duncan's 19 seasons -- more than 26 of the remaining 29 organizations have managed since they entered the NBA. Similarly, the Steelers (16), 49ers (15) and Cowboys (14) are the only NFL organizations with more conference championship game appearances than Brady (11).
"You understand, if he holds the biggest star, the most successful player on the team, to a certain standard, then you know, well, I certainly better be on my job. That's been consistent throughout my nine years here."
Standing above the American professional sports landscape, the Patriots and the Spurs are the gold standard for accomplishment when every member of the organization is pulling in the same direction.