After reading Pat Kirwan's piece, "Roster depth key to championships, so it's no surprise Seattle has it," I've come to the conclusion that the dude needs an abacus and, quite possibly, a brain transplant.
Where to start?
How about here: in Kirwan's world 13-1=11.
Seriously, the man with the 13-point checklist for evaluating depth decided that the threshold question for whether it was even worth the time and trouble to "comb through" a team's roster was the one about the backup quarterback.
Here's what he wrote: "... After looking at all 32 teams, I felt 16 of the 32 teams had a decent enough answer at the backup QB position to move on to the other 11 categories."
Kirwan proceeds to list the other "12" categories (kick save and a beauty by CBS' NFL Insider!) without bothering to identify his sweet sixteen.
Kirwan does mention the seven teams referenced in Levi's piece and that may begin to explain why he didn't list any more.
Why? Because the 49ers and Eagles are both on the list and while he "likes" Eagles' backup Mark Sanchez (go figure?), he's "not so sure about Blaine Gabbert" the guy who would presumably go, 2-2 in a four-game stretch if Colin Kaepernick was injured.
There's where Kirwan lost me and I started reading for entertainment instead of information.
Blaine Gabbert? Blaine #&*@ing Gabbert!?! The same Blaine Gabbert who has 5 wins in 27 starts? That Blaine Gabbert?
Yes indeedy! In Kirwan's view Gabbert is either one of the 16 best backups in the league, or he peeked.
Don't take my word for it here's what he wrote after all-but-apologizing for Gabbert: "... at least he (Gabbert) has 28 starts and the rest of the 49ers depth is pretty good."
Hold on there Pat, I'm throwing my yellow hankie! Forget the fact that you're crediting Gabbert with one extra start (maybe you're making up for the one missing category earlier on in your piece), but how can we trust your methodology if you completely IGNORE it to make sure a "deep team" gets on your "deep teams list?"
I mean if Blaine Gabbert passes the smell test, then surely Derek Carr and Matt McGloin do (time to make that "maybe" a "yes" Levi, and while you're at it make the running back, the pass rush specialist and the DT all "yeses" too and the tight end a definite "maybe").
Where was I?
Someone needs to s-l-o-w-l-y explain the phrase "dead heat" to Kirwan, because after reading his expert breakdown of the Bengals and the Seahawks I'm just not seeing it.
According to the mathematically challenged Kirwan the Bengals nail 12 of his 13 categories (1-12 on Levi's list), while the Seahawks can check off nine (1,2,4,5,6,7,8,12, and 13).
Now, to be fair, Kirwan doesn't come right out and say the Seahawks are the deepest team, but he sure does imply it in his headline and if you subscribe to the save-the-best-for-last theory, which ("not surprisingly" Levi and I both did) it's hard to arrive at a different conclusion.
What mucks it up even more is that in his quest to tell us what he wants us to know he tells us more than we need to.
Here's Kirwan: "... As for Washington, Tampa Bay, Miami and Philly, they don't satisfy all the categories but they did better than most teams hitting on at least nine out of 13."
Sort of like Seattle ...
... Only, in some cases, better?