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Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

Posted on: August 26, 2008 2:11 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2008 4:19 pm
 

Right around this time of the year, I get a crazy notion stuck in my head. It usually results in an ill-advised wager.

L.T.Last year, my crazy notion that the Texans would finish with a better record than the Colts led to a wager with one of our editors, Brian Stubits. In my defense, I figured Peyton was due for an injury year. Looks like I was a season off.

This season, my crazy notion involves running backs. I placed a wager with a buddy of mine, a Toledo-area lawyer, regarding the upcoming seasons of LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner.

Being the bold blogger I am, I floated him the idea Michael Turner would have a better season (I'll share the stats we're following shortly) than LaDainian Tomlinson. Here's the logic, as disturbing as it may be.

I'm not buying the Chargers as a team. I don't believe in Philip Rivers' health and decision making. I don't believe in Chris Chambers' drive and I'm not convinced Antonio Gates is 100 percent. Also, I find Norv Turner incapable of putting together back-to-back double-digit win seasons. Of course, these beliefs, while not self-evident, don't necessitate any statistical decline in Tomlinson.

But maybe this does...

L.T. has 2,356 carries to his name and 458 receptions. If you'll agree with me Marshall Faulk is a similar player in style to Tomlinson, Marshall Faulkcheck out what happened after Faulk hit 2,300 carries. Faulk entered the 2003 season with 2,367 carries. He left that season with 818 rushing yards, 290 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns. Faulk was 30 that year. Tomlinson is 29. There's no denying Faulk's erosion began a year earlier when he failed to top 1,000 yards, but running backs not named Curtis Martin tend to fall from grace rather quickly.  It's also not like Faulk was in an inept offense. The Rams were 12-4 that season under the guidance of Marc Bulger and Mike Martz.

So I'm banking L.T.'s wheels have a little wear and tear. But what about Michael Turner? What can we realistically expect from him in his first year as a non-handcuff? He's going to anchor an Atlanta backfield with Jerious Norwood that's going to function similar to Jacksonville with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. So 1,200-1,350 yards isn't out of the question. Fred Taylor, who Turner compares better to physically, racked up 1,202 in 15 games last season splitting carries with MJD.

However I think Turner's game lines up more with Jamal Lewis. They both weigh about the same, and catch the ball adequately, at best. Lewis averaged exactly 1,300 yards playing in pass-deficient Baltimore for six seasons.

Michael TurnerAtlanta, with a questionable quarterback situation is going to lean heavily on the run. I also think Atlanta, no matter how bad it's losing, won't be the type of team that airs it out in futile comeback attempts ala Arizona or Detroit of the past 10 years. Mike Smith is building something here and I'm not sure he's concerned with having his young QB throw the ball 40 times a game. Expect to see the ball still being handed off in the fourth quarter of Atlanta games.

I'm also not sold on the offensive genius of Mike Mularkey, but he has proven to harvest 1,000-yard rushers (Willis McGahee, Ronnie Brown, Jerome Bettis...).

So here's the wager. I need to win two of the three following categories: rushing yards, total touchdowns and 100-yard games.

I think I can take rushing yards and 100-yard games. Turner's proven to be explosive, despite his girth and I believe the Falcons are committed to running for four quarters. He won't win the total touchdowns battle since his team's offense isn't as well-oiled (even with San Diego's question marks) and he'll be lucky to record one receiving touchdown.

The wager is a bottle of 12-year-or-older Scotch to be purchased by the loser and delivered to the winner. I may be an ill-advised gambler, but when those are the stakes, there are no losers.


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Comments

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: October 9, 2008 7:24 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

I think this will forever be the season know as the "The Dark Hole Season" of LT's career. I have always loved him and always will as his plays with passion and heart. And i honestly believe he will recover next year. But one third into the season LT is out ranked (basic scoring) by 8 other backs including a rookie named Matt Forte from Chicago and Ronnie Brown who was basically written off as a third or fourth fantasy back at best. And of course who is ranked number one, well Michael Turner of course.  Whether it be because of injury or the fact that his team is just not performing like they should be LT is really struggling this seasn.  Now that i look back on it you probably should have asked for more in your bet.  But hey there is always next year.   



Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: September 11, 2008 8:14 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

Wow Michael Turner tore it up. I bet your stoked. I will be following this all season!!!



Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: August 27, 2008 4:13 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

Sounds like a solid bet.

I am in several leagues (blog to come about being overwhelmed in fantasy LOL) taken part in three live drafts thus far and LT has been the top pick in every draft. I was not lucky enough to acquire LT, in any of these leagues, and doubt that the other 4 or 5 leagues I am in that I will get him, here's to him having a sub-par season. I am pulling for you, I certainly hope you didn't go for the porn stache again, I seem to prefer the beard myself!


dang it as I wrote this, you were probably assigning picks in my next league to draft and who gets the first pick? ME now, I will most likely not pull a surprise pick...I will be part of the consensus and take LT...



Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: August 27, 2008 1:56 am
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

You are all nuts....totally crazy. Turner did well in a rested non stressful situation running behind the best line in the game. The Falcons are horrible and will put a ton of pressure on Turner to perform.....he'll be a serviceable back, but no LT. Not even in the same ballpark.



Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2008 7:28 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

Great bet.  Totally agree that LT has to come back to earth at some point and why not this year.  Football tells us many things but one is that most teams don't keep a real high level of success for more then three years at a time.  Turner has the ability but I'm dubious about the ATL offensive line. 

As far as the scotch, 18 yr old Glenlivit is incredably smooth.  Never could buy a bottle of it but have had it many times at the bar.  Have a 15 yr Glen right now.  Life is good not matter what happens. 




Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 4:51 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

Sounds like a solid bet.

I am in several leagues (blog to come about being overwhelmed in fantasy LOL) taken part in three live drafts thus far and LT has been the top pick in every draft. I was not lucky enough to acquire LT, in any of these leagues, and doubt that the other 4 or 5 leagues I am in that I will get him, here's to him having a sub-par season. I am pulling for you, I certainly hope you didn't go for the porn stache again, I seem to prefer the beard myself!



Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2008 4:09 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

Eric, i like that bet. In fact if you are right i will buy you a bottle of 12 year old Scotch. I have drafter Turner (my number one is Steven Jackson) kinda high as my second back in my yearly attempt to take the crown of my highly intense and sometimes insane fantasy league. So i will be rooting for you all season!!!



Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 3:22 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

The point about the fullback can't be stressed enough. Lorenzo Neal and Tony Richardson are the two most underappreciated players in football of the 2000s.

Too true... Is it no surprise that after leaving Kansas City he cleared the way for Adrian Peterson, no doubt contributing to Petersons Rookie of the Year award.  He's in New York now, paving the way for Thomas Jones. 

I'm interested to see the production this year from the Jones of the Jets and McGahee/Rice for Baltimore, Neal's new home.  Also paying attention to the stats of thier former backs LT and Peterson.

I'm getting off point though.  I think you got a good bet here Kay.




Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 3:09 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

The point about the fullback can't be stressed enough. Lorenzo Neal and Tony Richardson are the two most underappreciated players in football of the 2000s.



Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 3:03 pm
 

Alpha Blog: Wagering Turner will out-perform L.T.

You know, I'm a huge LT fan.  I've had him in at least one fantasy league since he broke onto the scene.  I think he is one of the best backs I personally have ever seen play.  There is no dening his talents, abilities, and accomplishments.  That said, I think this is the year his production takes a serious decline. 

Last night I watched the MNF game between the Chargers and the Seahawks.  Elated to no end that Tony Kornhole had the evening off, I was able to watch the game in peace without having to cringe from the normal crap that usually comes out his blowhole.  Some things I noted from the game were that Rivers likes Chambers (as a target) and Rivers is a big fat liar when it comes to his actual health.   Oh and I think by mid season the Browns will be wishing the kept the Frye guy just one more season but that's a story all in it's own.

Rivers favored his hurt knee a lot during the game.  Maybe it didn't affect his passing too much but you could tell he didn't have much confidence in it the way he would get off it quickly.  One good pass rush and hit on that side and he will be gone for the season.  I don't buy for a second that he will stay healthy all year.  Not after what I saw last night.  If I can see it other teams can see it to.  The chargers are going to some heavy blitzing this season.  Everybody should go after him this season.  If/when Rivers goes out with injury this season you can bet your bottom dollar or Scotch in this case that opposing D's will put 8 in the box and make the backup QB beat them.  Not good for LT.

The other thing I think is worthy of noting is that big boy pro bowler snow plow Lorenzo Neal is no longer clearing the way for LT.  Tomlinson will miss him.  I'm sure of it.  Same way Larry Johnson missed having Tony Richardson clear a path for him.  Sure the FB doesn't make or break the RB but they sure to make a difference.  That initial block the FB makes can be the difference between a no gainer and break one off type run. 

I agree whole heartedly with everything you said here.  I just wanted to add that Rivers knee is not anywhere near where he says it is and will become a liabilty for the Chargers.  I also wanted to point out that while Neal leaving the Chargers didn't exactly edge out Brett Favre for most covered news story, it will impact the numbers from the Chargers backfield.  I think your safe in the 100 yard game arena.  When Turner breaks em off, he does it in a big way.  He had what 4 carries for 114 or something like that in the second pre-season game?  Hell you could take all three.  There are arguments for all of them.

If it's any consolation, I would have taken that bet about the Texans as well.  Course I'm a Texans homer and I'd probably take any bet with regards to my Texans, ill-advised as they may be.  Good luck in your bet this year, let us know it turns out for you. 



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com