sara.ziegler: I just really have a hard time with Minshew Mania.Is it a real thing? Seriously?Salfino: Minshew was pretty meh in college.I mean, 7.2 yards per attempt at Washington State? Big deal. If he’s so good, why wasn’t he better there?joshua.hermsmeyer: I think it’s probably the case that accuracy is still undervalued in an NFL QB, and Minshew is certainly accurate.neil: He has a 110.6 passer rating but ranks 30th of 35 qualified QBs in air yards per attempt. So he’s definitely not making plays happen downfield.Salfino: Minshew seems to be getting all the swag that Baker Mayfield has lost. It’s a zero sum game with them.neil: Douchey mustachioed QBs: There Can Be Only One.Salfino: Love it.sara.ziegler: LOLOLOLjoshua.hermsmeyer: JAX was very efficient with Minshew, though. They averaged 0.25 EPA per play on 18 early-down passes with Gardner. And even when we account for his low depth of target, he completed more passes than we’d expect.neil: Jacoby Brissett was kind of the same way. He has the second-lowest air yards per attempt in the league but got the job done against Atlanta.joshua.hermsmeyer: Bigger picture, though, one explanation for all these new QBs doing well is the importance of a game plan. And it’s hard to scheme a defense for a QB if you’ve never seen them — or only seen a little of them.Salfino: Yes, exactly. I mean, Browning Nagle had a great first game. I was measuring him for a gold jacket, IIRC.neil: Browning Nagle!OMGNot a name I was expecting to hear this morning. Or, like, ever.sara.ziegler: What a blast from the past.Salfino: It’s a cautionary tale.joshua.hermsmeyer: Speaking of great first games… Eric Hipple-level awesomeness.neil: Wow.sara.ziegler: So you’re saying Giants fans should temper their expectations?Seems … unlikely.Salfino: If I were a Giants fan, I’d be thrilled with how Jones played. He was trailing badly, he lost Saquon Barkley, and he rallied the team back late. The only thing wrong with that game from a Giants perspective was the blown field goal at the end.joshua.hermsmeyer: Organizationally, they have to be thrilled with the win!sara.ziegler: Jones’s performance in that game boosted his Elo points in our model by 21 points. Which seems good!neil:And yet Elo still rates Eli better, LOL.joshua.hermsmeyer: Of the young QBs who played, Jones pushed the ball downfield more than anyone else. His depth of pass averaged almost 10 yards downfield. And he ran well. Reminded me of Josh Allen quite a bit.Salfino: The reports were that he could run. And unlike Allen, he did not seem to run recklessly, either.neil: “Reminded me of Josh Allen quite a bit.” — I think that’s a compliment…sara.ziegler: (Also, I just confused Josh Allen with Kyle Allen, and I always confuse Josh Allen with Josh Rosen. MORE DISTINCTIVE NAMES, PLEASE.)neil: (3-0 BILLS, BABY!)(CIRCLE THE WAGONS)Salfino: The Bills are this year’s Dolphins.neil: The Bills are this year’s Bills.sara.ziegler: 🤣 🤣 🤣How about Teddy Bridgewater? How did you guys think he did?joshua.hermsmeyer: Not great.sara.ziegler: AwwwwI have a soft spot for Teddy, always.joshua.hermsmeyer: Dink and dunk and threw short a ton, and didn’t complete many of them.neil: He was no Eric Hipple. Or Bobby Hebert. (See, I can throw random 1980s QB names out there too!)Salfino: I thought Payton was a coward for not starting Taysom Hill after all the Steve Young talk. But he was smart to keep using Alvin Kamara consistently. There’s no Drew Brees cushion now. So there’s no room for Latavius Murray touches in Kamara’s place. I thought Bridgewater was grinding it out, but I saw nothing from him that makes me bullish about the Saints’ chances next week against the Cowboys.sara.ziegler: So no one was impressed with a win on the road against Seattle? Dang — tough crowd.neil: In all seriousness, our model thought Bridgewater played OK. He played like a game manager, which basically what you want out of a guy keeping Brees’s seat warm for the next month-plus, right?Salfino: I get the game manager thing, but I do not think the rest of the Saints team is good enough to win this way. They got lucky with another Chris Carson fumble that became the dreaded Fumble Six.The Saints gave up 26 first downs and 515 yards and were about doubled in yardage. This win goes into the “miracle” bucket.joshua.hermsmeyer: Still, if they can luck their way into a .500 record while Brees is out, that’s pretty promising for their playoff hopes, I think.sara.ziegler: For sure.neil: And for what it’s worth, we give them a 62 percent chance of winning the NFC South after yesterday’s events.The Falcons seem very meh.joshua.hermsmeyer: Profoundly meh. sara.ziegler: That ’stache…..joshua.hermsmeyer: HE CUTS HIS OWN JORTS!sara.ziegler: LOLOLneil: That’s the most Jacksonville thing I’ve ever heard.joshua.hermsmeyer: On early-season reactions, this is also a great bit of research our friend Adi Wyner and his student Zach Drapkin at Wharton did. neil: Tampa keeps finding ways to lose. And idk what to make of Carolina, which finally won but against Arizona, and with a backup under center.Salfino: Assuming Brees steps right back into being Brees, yes. But they are 27th in yardage allowed and have allowed 6.7 yards per play. The defense is bad.neil: That is true.Russell Wilson had the best game from Sunday nobody is talking about. He threw for 406 yards and had two passing TDs and two rushing TDs.joshua.hermsmeyer: Wilson is playing the best ball of his career, I believe.Salfino: Wilson has an ability to really turn it on late in games regardless of how he’s played previously in games. Rational coaching would note how effective he is playing with his hair on fire, just make that their offense and win games early. But…sara.ziegler: The NFC West is so interesting. The Rams have not been super inspiring in their first three games, and yet they’ve won them all.And the Niners!Salfino: So true about the Rams. Their offense is so consistently uninspiring. The only thing that worked yesterday was Cooper Kupp. The only quasi-good game the Saints have played on defense was at LAR.neil: Have defenses figured out Sean McVay’s offense?They were held without a first-half TD yesterday against Cleveland, after the same being true against New Orleans. That’s twice in three games after only happening once all regular season last year.Salfino: Maybe some of this is due to the RB Who Used To Be Todd Gurley.joshua.hermsmeyer: I’ve heard a lot of chatter about how teams are stealing the front Bill Belichick used against the Rams in the Super Bowl. Basically it takes away the outside runs, and some believe that it chokes off the Rams’ ability to run passing plays off of it. To the extent that’s true, then yeah, I think the NFL has figured it out.However, if your offense is truly predicated on outside/wide zone being effective to win, I dunno. Seems bad to me.Salfino: On the one hand, Gurley is averaging 4.6 per carry, but man, it’s a quiet 4.6. A whispering 4.6. And he has four catches for eight yards after averaging over 11 yards per catch in McVay’s first two seasons.neil: At least Jared Goff used to be great on play-action. Now he ranks 25th out of 33 qualified QBs in QBR off play fakes. If it weren’t for Kupp, idk how bad Goff would have looked yesterday.Salfino: And remember the play-action fade started last year around Game 11 and extended into the postseason. So if you go back, we have almost a full season worth of games where the Rams’ play-action success has been well below average.sara.ziegler: The Rams were the first team I was going to bring up in our game of Good Team/Bad Team.So … Not Great Team?Salfino: Rams: OK team.joshua.hermsmeyer: Still my favorite for the West.neil: Good team, still. Because Aaron Donald.sara.ziegler: Yeah, he’s just a beast. So much fun to watch.Salfino: Donald is amazing. He can’t win Defensive Player of the Year three straight times, can he? Defensive excellence is not supposed to be this sustainably elite.neil: According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, the Rams pressured Baker Mayfield on 49 percent of his dropbacks.joshua.hermsmeyer: That’s an amazing stat, Neil. Helps explain — a little — his happy feet. He bailed on quite a few good pockets last night.Salfino: Well, Mayfield created his own pressure at times by leaking out of the pocket for no reason and into the pass rushers.neil: Yeah, there’s a weird Next Gen Stat from Sunday night where Mayfield did way better the less time he had to throw.He was 5-of-18 when taking longer than 2.5 seconds to throw, including that game-sealing interception in the end zone.idk what to do with that, but…Salfino: He seemed surprisingly indecisive last night. He’s just in a slump, something he’s not used to.sara.ziegler: The Browns are 1-2 now, with just the win against the Jets.So … are they bad?Salfino: The Browns were down seven starters last night and could have beaten a good team. I don’t think they are bad. They just need the Mayfield we thought we were getting. Coaching is a big issue too. You have both an inexperienced QB and coach now.The Rams gave them the QB draw to win the game the last two plays and it was not taken. That’s supposed to be an automatic. I mean, Jones took it for the Giants. And Baker laughed at Jones.joshua.hermsmeyer: Their coaching is atrocious.I think they have plenty of talent, though, if head coach Freddie Kitchens and the offensive coordinator can get it together.Salfino: I think we’re veering from one overreaction to the other for the Browns. They’re an 8-9 win team.sara.ziegler: A couple more Good/Bad Teams: How good are the Packers?neil: Our model ranks them 7th overall, which kind of sounds right? They’ve beaten some good teams, more on defense than anything else.Rodgers has been … fine … not ELITE though.Salfino: The Packers are not good and the offense is still disappointing.joshua.hermsmeyer: Through three games and 93 pass attempts, Rodgers does not look transformed. That was the hope — that new head coach Matt LaFleur would unlock the old efficiency. Early returns are that A-aron is gonna throw the ball away at historical rates.Salfino: Rodgers’s QBR is 46? Is he even good anymore? It’s been years since he’s been great. He hasn’t had even a good yards per pass attempt since … 2014.sara.ziegler: Any other thoughts on the teams that might be good but might also be bad?Salfino: Buffalo is not an actual contender, with a 36-year-old running back and one viable receiver. The Eagles are not bad and actually are still good — they would have won if not for seven dropped passes including the potential game-winner in the final minute. The Lions are unbeaten? Is that a misprint? They Niners are good — but 10-win good, not undefeated good. And we’re probably overreacting to the good play of the new QBs.joshua.hermsmeyer: I can’t believe you people don’t like this guy, smh. Helps to kind of temper the panic.sara.ziegler: Oh, that’s very interesting.BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OVERREACTIONS???neil: Just wait until Week 11. We will know SO much.Salfino: Makes sense. The old saw in football was that nothing really matters until the leaves turn brown.neil: I thought it was that “nothing really matters until the Browns fans turn and leave” (while hurling bottles on the field).Check out our latest NFL predictions. sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, sports editor): Week 3 of the NFL season is just about in the books, and we felt fully the ramifications of the injuries so far this season to star quarterbacks. Plus we saw a couple of young, highly touted quarterbacks take over the starting jobs on their teams just because of, well, ineptitude.So what did we learn this week from this new crop of QBs?Salfino (Michael Salfino, FiveThirtyEight contributor): I’m extremely surprised by how well Daniel Jones, Gardner Minshew and Kyle Allen played. We can say, “It’s easier than ever to be a quarterback because of the college passing.”joshua.hermsmeyer (Josh Hermsmeyer, NFL analyst): It’s interesting that most of the QBs who have stepped in because of injury or ineffectiveness have played pretty well. I think the only real stinkers were Mason Rudolph and Josh Rosen. Rudolph’s completion rate is 11.7 percentage points less than we would expect (despite throwing short a lot — his average depth of pass was just 6.7 yards). Rosen was even worse. On the season, he has completed just 43.3 percent of his passes, and his completion percentage is over 18 points worse than expected.But by and large, the new QBs were very good.neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): It might go back to something our friend Chase Stuart has been saying for a while: There are more solid QBs in the league than we probably acknowledge.
Chinese writer Mo Yan, who has won this year’s Nobel Prize for literature, is relatively unknown to Indian readers and book shops in the capital were Friday scrambling to put his books on their shelves.Books by Mo are not easy to come by, complained a reader.‘I wanted to know about Mo Yan when I heard that he had received the Nobel Prize for literature, but none of the book shops in south Delhi had any of his books,’ Soma Basu, a resident of Greater Kailash, said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’But book shops said they were doing their best to comply with the sudden demand for Mo, who plots his narratives around the socio-historical perspectives of China on massive colourful canvases.Midland, a reputed book retail chain in the capital, is getting copies of Mo’s Garlic Ballads from its publisher, Arcade, in the US.‘Not many people have read Mo Yan. Till this week, he was completely unknown. But since Thursday, readers have been walking into my shop for his books,’ M A Baig, the founder of the chain said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe bookstore does brisk business in the novels of popular Chinese writer Gao Xinjiang – the Chinese emigre to France who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.‘Three of Gao’s books, Soul Mountain, One Man’s Bible and Buying a Fishing Rod sell fairly well… Now Mo’s books will find takers,’ Baig said.Bahrisons in the capital’s Khan Market expects to receive its first consignment of Mo’s books soon.‘We don’t have any books by Mo Yan but his rival Haruki Murakami, who was in the race for the Nobel Prize, sells very well in the country. Mo Yan is not popular but the Nobel Prize has changed his popularity status in India… By Saturday we hope to get fresh stocks from distributors,’ a spokesperson for Bahrisons said. Crossword, one of the biggest book chains in the capital, does not have Mo Yan on its shelves either.‘Not now… Later,’ said a spokesperson for the Crossword Bookstore at Rajouri Garden in the capital.For online readers, Mo’s Change and Red Sorghum are available on Flipkart and Infibeam.Foreign publishing companies in India are not yet ready to meet any sudden interest in Mo Yan’s novels.A spokesperson for Pan Macmillan said: ‘The publishing house has not yet published any of Nobel Laureate Mo Yan’s books.’‘He is still unknown in India and around the world. But now that he has won a Nobel Prize, it will draw readers to his books,” the spokesperson for Pan Macmillan India said.The acclaimed Red Sorghum: A Novel on China, spanning the saga of three generations of a family in the 1930s, which was made into an Oscar-winning movie, has been published in translation by Penguin US. ‘The book is available in India,’ the publisher said. The book sells because of its popularity on screen.‘The Nobel Prize is a political call these days and the idea of giving one to a Chinese author could be a politically fraught decision in a year which saw the famous Chinese dissident Chen Guang Chen… seek refuge in the American Embassy; [Mo’s] books bring out the other side of China,” senior communications executive Manish Singh, an avid reader of the classics, told IANS.According to reports from China, Mo’s latest and most popular “Frog” about China’s “one child birth control” has sold more than 200,000 copies since it was published in 2009. It is yet to reach the Indian audience in translation.
Santiniketan (West Bengal): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Bangladesh Bhavan here on Friday to symbolically highlight the warm bilateral cultural ties between the two countries. The inauguration of Bangladesh Bhavan inside the Vishwa Bharti University complex took place in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.The Bangladesh Bhavan features a museum that showcases renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore’s association with that country, the Liberation War of Bangladesh and Indo-Bangla relations. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt has been built at a cost of Rs. 25 crores, which was provided by the Bangladesh government.A fund of Rs. 10 crores would be given to help maintain the museum premises.Reportedly, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will also be signed between Vishwa Bharati University and the Secondary and Higher Secondary Division of the Bangladesh education ministry.Prime Minister Hasina, who is on a two-day visit to India, on the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, was received by Banerjee.As per reports, both Prime Ministers will hold a bilateral meeting.Prime Minister Hasina will return to Bangladesh on Saturday night.