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22 Sep 2009

Week 2 Quick Reads

by Bill Barnwell

(Reminder: Quick Reads appears on ESPN Insider on Monday, then gets republished on FO on Tuesdays, with added ratings for Monday Night Football.)

In the record books, a yard is a yard.

That keeps things simple, but it's not accurate. A yard is three feet, but those three feet never come the same way. The skill and effort needed to gain a yard is never the same; because it was impossible to properly value the relative difficulty and importance of each individual yard, though, they all got lumped in together when people started compiling NFL statistics.

Of course, all it takes is watching an NFL game to know better. A yard gained against the Ravens on third-and-1 in a close game is a small miracle; that same yard against the Texans on second-and-9 in a blowout is a disappointment. To give each of the players involved an equal amount of credit for the two plays is absurd.

Fortunately, now there's DVOA and DYAR, statistics which adjust for the down and distance, the quality of the opposition, and the game situation. No statistic will ever tell the whole story of a play, but these advanced metrics do far more to adjust for the context of a play and tease out the true value of the outcome than simple yards.

This week, three quarterbacks finished with more than 350 raw passing yards, a total which jumps off the page as a big game. If you watched the three games, though, you'd know intrinsically which quarterback had the best game, and which was just picking up meaningless yardage. Good statistics provide insight and potentially counterintuitive viewpoints on the game, but often confirm what observers see or perceive. DYAR does just that this week with those three quarterbacks, who we'll focus on in the table below.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Matt Schaub HOU
25/39
357
4
0
226
223
3
The first of our three quarterbacks, Schaub unfairly flies under the radar because he plays for a team with an atrocious defense in a low-profile division. His advanced metrics from his two seasons in Houston point to Schaub as a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback when healthy, and he was brilliant against the Titans' defense. Schaub raised his game on third and fourth down, converting on six of 13 chances. He converted both a third-and-13 and a second-and-23, hitting budding superstar Owen Daniels for key first downs both times. He didn't turn the ball over once or take a single sack, and did so in a game where he threw a total of one pass while the teams weren't within seven points of each other. Yes, having Andre Johnson helps, but Schaub makes Johnson -- and the players around each of them -- significantly better.
2.
Kurt Warner ARI
24/26
248
2
0
201
201
0
How can Schaub rank ahead of Warner, who only threw two incomplete passes en route to a near-perfect day? Well, just because a pass is complete doesn't mean it's successful. By our definition, a pass is successful if it picks up 40 percent of the yards required for a new set of downs on first down, 60 percent of the yards to go on second down, or 100 percent of the yards to go on third or fourth down. Five of Warner's completions were considered "unsuccessful" plays, and he'd probably agree; no one's going to be throwing parades for a one-yard completion to Tim Hightower on second-and-15.
3.
Eli Manning NYG
25/38
330
2
0
189
191
-3
Not to take anything away from a deserving Manning, but the Giants' offensive line deserves massive amounts of credit for keeping Manning upright -- the leading pass rush in the league didn't sack Manning once, and that gave Manning time to make plays and his receivers time to get downfield. Eli did a great job of identifying mismatches and taking advantage of them, something we'll talk about later on.
4.
Matt Ryan ATL
21/27
220
3
1
168
162
5
Imagine how good Ryan would've looked if he'd had Tony Gonzalez at tight end last year. Ryan had a remarkable 13-attempt streak in the middle of the game that yielded 11 completions ending in either a first down or a touchdown. It wasn't particularly exciting -- Ryan threw a lot of checkdowns and underneath stuff -- but it worked.
MNF.
Peyton Manning IND
14/23
303
2
0
152
153
-1
5.
Kyle Orton DEN
19/37
263
1
0
122
126
-4
Here's something to keep in mind about Kyle Orton. Before he suffered an ankle injury last year, his DVOA was an impressive 18.5%. Afterwards? It fell all the way to -22.5%. His finger injury has cost him some accuracy so far this year, leading to stretches like the 1-for-9 ordeal of this week's second quarter, but he finished strong: His last seven attempts included six completions for 134 yards and five first downs.
6.
Trent Edwards BUF
21/31
230
2
1
120
111
9
Speaking of streakiness, Edwards followed one stretch of five straight incompletions with 10 consecutive completions (albeit with two sacks). Some of that has to do with forcing the ball to Lee Evans; after Evans opened the game with a 32-yard touchdown catch, Edwards' other four throws to him were either incomplete or intercepted.
7.
Jay Cutler CHI
28/38
236
2
0
114
122
-7
What do you know? It turns out Jay Cutler isn't going to throw four interceptions a game as Bears quarterback. That's not to say that Cutler played great, but factor in the Steelers' pass rush and a less-than-stellar game from his offensive line and Cutler did yeoman's work to help pick up the W. Much like counterpart Ben Roethlisberger did last week, Cutler raised his game late; he completed 11 of his final 12 attempts.
8.
Jake Delhomme CAR
25/41
308
1
1
114
114
0
Considering most articles suggested that he'd be taken out behind the woodshed if he dare threw an interception on Sunday, Delhomme had an effective game. His lone pick, to Steve Smith, was a desperate attempt to make some sort of play on fourth-and-10, He also threw what was arguably the most unlikely 30-yard pass of the week, a bomb to blocking tight end Jeff King.
9.
Drew Brees NO
25/34
311
3
1
99
99
0
What's even more amazing about Brees' first two weeks is that he's doing it without left tackle Jammal Brown, the team's best lineman. Brees does such a great job of getting the ball out quickly that it makes him extremely difficult to sack, and while the Eagles certainly tried, they only got to Brees twice. By the end of the day, Sean McDermott's defense was a tamed animal, having mostly given up on the blitz to ensure that people were in coverage.
10.
Philip Rivers SD
26/44
436
2
1
95
101
-6
The second of our three aforementioned quarterbacks, Rivers' whopping 436-yard day wasn't as good as it looked. He had more big plays than Matt Schaub, but while Schaub had 12 first downs on 40 attempts, Rivers only had 13 first downs on 47. Fewer first downs means more stalled drives. Schaub also threw four touchdowns to Rivers' two, with the latter throwing in two sacks and an costly interception deep in his own territory. Finally, Rivers dropped back eight times in the red zone. The result: Two completions for six yards, five incompletions, a sack, and exactly zero "successful" plays. Blame Norv Turner if you want, but Rivers didn't come through when he needed to. Those yards mean more.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
11.
Jason Campbell WAS
23/35
242
0
0
95
83
12
Joining Rivers in the group of players that struggled in the red zone on Sunday is Campbell, who was 1-of-5 for five yards and zero successes himself. At least Rivers was playing the Ravens! Campbell did his best work throwing to Chris Cooley, who caught seven passes for 83 yards in the game's first 35 minutes before failing to even see a pass from Campbell the rest of the way.
12.
Brett Favre MIN
23/27
155
2
0
91
91
0
So far, Favre's been streaky, but when he's on, he's on. Favre finished the first half by completing his final six passes for 49 yards, four first downs, and a touchdown, and then put up his best quarter as a Viking so far in the fourth: 7-of-7 for 50 yards, three first downs, and his second touchdown, putting the game safely out of Detroit's reach in the process.
13.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
23/35
221
1
1
70
58
13
Roethlisberger started off hot, converting three of his first four third downs for 55 yards (and the one that wasn't converted made it through on fourth down, with a one-yard TD pass to Matt Spaeth). Big Ben's effectiveness waned after halftime, though, as he converted only two of his six third downs. It's not his fault that Jeff Reed missed two field goals, but the nine-yard sack Roethlisberger took on third-and-8 from the Bears 11 ended up being disastrous.
14.
Aaron Rodgers GB
21/38
264
1
0
65
50
15
The hysteria surrounding Rodgers' ridiculous preseason numbers halts here, closing the 1,738th chapter of the never-ending multi-sport sensation, "Preseason Statistics Don't Matter". Of course, it would help if Greg Jennings showed up: He and Rodgers were 0-for-5 together on Sunday.
MNF.
Chad Pennington MIA
22/31
183
0
1
62
59
3
15.
Joe Flacco BAL
17/26
190
2
1
49
51
-2
This wasn't exactly the wide-open offense of a week ago, but it looks like the team's giving Flacco a little more freedom than they did a year ago. Of course, there's still growing pains; the sack Flacco took on the Chargers 15 that pushed the Ravens back to the 24-yard line was almost a game-changer.
16.
Kevin Kolb PHI
31/51
391
2
3
48
48
0
While one of Kolb's interceptions was a Hail Mary and weighted as such, his statistical line amounts to the NFL equivalent of empty calories. The 71-yard touchdown pass Kolb threw to DeSean Jackson on the opening drive was extremely valuable, but six of his seven other completions of 15 yards or more came while the Eagles were down three scores. That's picking up yardage on a prevent defense, not finding holes and marching a team downfield.
On the other hand, Kolb's not in bad company. Only a handful of quarterbacks since 1994 have thrown for more than 375 yards in a game while averaging better than 7.5 yards per attempt in that game, and there's not many bad quarterbacks on the list. The worst guys are borderline starters like Jeff Blake, John Friesz, Kelly Holcomb, and Tony Banks; for his first NFL start, Kolb didn't do too poorly.
17.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
14/22
163
1
0
32
32
0
The Jets took Sanchez's training wheels off in the second half once they realized that the Patriots couldn't get any pressure on Sanchez, and he looked every bit the star the Jets hoped he might be. His touchdown pass to Dustin Keller was one of the prettiest passes of the week, and when Belichick did attempt to fire up one of his trusty old blitzes designed to make a rookie quarterback cry, Sanchez read them effectively and didn't panic. It's still only two weeks, but there's far more reasons to believe than there were after Sanchez ran over Houston.
For the season so far, Sanchez has 130 DYAR in the third quarter and 7 DYAR in
the other three.
18.
Marc Bulger STL
15/28
125
1
0
30
48
-18
19.
Seneca Wallace SEA
15/23
127
1
1
21
27
-6
20.
David Garrard JAC
23/43
282
2
1
12
20
-8
Garrard's another underrated quarterback, but he's not John Elway. He's an effective, accurate pocket passer that makes good decisions, so when we see him scrambling for his life to the sidelines and launching spin passes to Mike Sims-Walker, something's wrong. Maybe he just doesn't have the receivers he needs, but if that's what the Jacksonville offense is coming to, it's broken.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
21.
Carson Palmer CIN
15/23
185
3
2
10
3
6
Three touchdowns and two picks in 26 dropbacks is a pretty exciting day, even if it resulted in what amounted to an average performance. Palmer's best work came on third down, where he was 8-of-9 for 93 yards and two scores.
22.
Tom Brady NE
23/47
216
0
1
7
4
2
It's plain to see that Brady isn't right. You can see it from his footwork: If you happen to see clips of this game, watch Brady's throws. He's not stepping into them, especially when there's traffic around him. The result is inaccuracy, and that leads to days like Sunday, when Brady was 8-of-18 for 72 yards on first down. The question is whether the problem is physical -- that Brady simply is experiencing discomfort when he steps into throws -- or mental.
23.
Kerry Collins TEN
21/33
216
2
1
3
26
-24
24.
Byron Leftwich TB
26/50
296
3
2
2
2
0
It's hard to make much headway on drives when you convert four of the 16 third downs you face. One of the problems is that there's no reliable third down target; Leftwich threw those 16 passes to nine different receivers, and while that might keep teams off-balance, the teams that are best at picking up first downs have players like Wes Welker, Steve Smith, or Derrick Mason that excel in just that situation.
25.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA
10/18
97
0
0
-3
-2
0
26.
Matt Cassel KC
24/39
241
1
2
-4
-7
3
27.
Shaun Hill SF
19/26
144
0
0
-26
-33
7
28.
JaMarcus Russell OAK
7/24
109
0
0
-27
-27
0
Whenever someone brings up a quarterback's record as a statistical signature of their merit, please remind them that JaMarcus Russell went 7-of-24 for 109 yards against the Chiefs in Week 2 of the 2009 season, starting 3-of-18, but still managed to "win" the game. It's hard to think of a player on either roster who did more to prevent the Raiders from winning the game than their starting quarterback. On the other hand, he can throw the ball really hard.
29.
Brady Quinn CLE
18/31
161
0
1
-30
-32
2
Brady Quinn on passes to receivers not named Braylon Edwards: 12-of-24, 71 yards, three first downs. Imagine how bad this offense would be if they'd actually traded him this offseason.
30.
Tony Romo DAL
13/29
127
1
3
-95
-106
11
Alright, so one of Romo's interceptions was a freak pass off Jason Witten's back foot that belonged in the middle of a college quad, not a beaming superstructure. And one was essentially a punt. They still hurt the team's chances of scoring just as much, though, and ended up being the difference in a game where the Cowboys' rushing attack was dominating at times. And while Darrelle Revis will get the headlines for shutting down Randy Moss yesterday, fellow Meadowlands cornerback Corey Webster deserves his share of the hype for stifling Roy Williams. The Cowboys' presumed ace receiver caught one of the four passes thrown to him for 18 yards.
31.
Matt Stafford DET
18/30
152
1
2
-102
-101
-2
It wasn't a good day for the rookie, but it would've helped if Jeff Backus had came to play, too.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Frank Gore SF
207
2
39
0
71
66
5
An 80-yard touchdown and a 79-yard touchdown? Yes, that's pretty good. But it's
also pretty good that Gore also met the FO guidelines for success on half of his
other carries, averaging six yards on carries that came with five or fewer yards
to go for a first down.
2.
Marion Barber DAL
124
1
31
0
55
39
16
Nine of Barber's 18 carries went for either a first down or a touchdown; his numbers would look even better if he hadn't been stuffed twice on the Giants 1, or had he completed a run into the end zone on his final carry as opposed to straining a muscle and falling down.
MNF.
Ronnie Brown MIA
136
2
0
0
54
59
-5
3.
Chris Johnson TEN
197
2
87
1
48
44
4
Yes, it's hard to believe that Johnson could score three long touchdowns and not be the most valuable back on the week, but it's even harder to believe how little Johnson contributed outside of those (admittedly extremely valuable) plays. He touched the ball 22 additional times; he contributed a total of two first downs. He picked up negative yardage or went for no gain on nine of those touches, and had two additional incomplete passes. He was great on three drives ... and did absolutely nothing to help the Titans score on the other ten.
4.
Justin Forsett SEA
35
0
57
0
47
18
29
5.
Willis McGahee BAL
79
2
10
0
46
45
2
Correlation isn't necessarily causation, but it's very interesting to see McGahee start off the year so well after having the starting job taken away from him for the first time in his career. His advanced metrics have never been particularly good, and his injury problems have precluded him from being a featured, full-time back for multiple seasons in a row. It could just be the defenses that he's faced to start the year, but it's also possible that McGahee's turned the corner.
Maybe he just needed a kick in the behind.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Steve Slaton HOU
35
0
25
0
-58
-64
6
One first down on 17 carries. Only three successes. Seven carries for no gain or negative yardage. Two fumbles, and while the Texans recovered both, since we've found that fumble recoveries are luck and not skill, Slaton's punished by our numbers for both of them. Slaton was as bad as Matt Schaub was good on Sunday.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Vincent Jackson SD
6
7
141
23.5
1
74
The only receiver who's scarier downfield than Jackson is Larry Fitzgerald, and that's no knock on the Chargers star. They're better at different things; while Fitzgerald's better at running down the sidelines and leaping up over defenders to grab jump balls, nobody in the league is more dangerous on the deep post and deep corner routes than Jackson, including Fitzgerald. Of course, it helps to have a great quarterback, and Jackson's touchdown pass from Rivers in this game is an early candidate for best pass of the year.
2.
Donald Driver GB
6
9
99
16.5
1
67
Driver had to do the heavy lifting with Jennings struggling across from him, and he was impressive in the process. The figures above don't include the two additional first downs and 28 yards he accrued in pass interference penalties, something he excelled at drawing during the Brett Favre era. His three incompletions came on second-and-16, third-and-16, and third-and-15.
MNF.
Dallas Clark IND
7
8
183
26.1
1
63
Based solely on YAR (no opponent adjustments), this is one of the 20 best tight end games of the DVOA Era. Last year, only one player scored higher, Visanthe Shiancoe (77 DYAR) in Week 16 against Atlanta.
3.
Marques Colston NO
8
8
98
12.2
2
55
Colston's knee still isn't close to 100 percent; if you don't believe us, watch him try and cut. It doesn't matter, of course, because he can run in a straight line and Drew Brees will find him.
4.
Steve Smith NYG
10
13
134
13.4
1
54
Our statistics do not include the ankles of Orlando Scandrick, which Smith collected with a gruesome double move on his touchdown catch. You can also throw in a 34-yard pass interference penalty on Terence Newman, drawn by Smith, into his numbers. Especially if you're Smith's agent.
5.
Mario Manningham NYG
10
13
150
15.0
1
48
The Giants have a number one receiver. His name is Mario Manningham, who you might last remember from a breakout 2007 season at Michigan. He's about six inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter than Plaxico Burress, but as he showed off Sunday night, Manningham's far faster and arguably has better hands. The Giants always depended on Burress' size to occupy safeties; now, they can use Manningham's speed instead.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Donnie Avery STL
1
6
4
4.0
0
-48
Although our system doesn't punish him for what happened afterwards, Avery's fumble on the Redskins 5 cost his team the game. It was also Avery's only catch of the day. Had Avery just dropped the pass, the Rams would've been able to kick a 26-yard field goal that would have given them the lead. Instead, they lost the ball and never got that close to the end zone again.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 22 Sep 2009

117 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2009, 10:41am by socctty

Comments

1
by are-tee :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 11:59am

Are quick reads really appearing in ESPN Insider first on Mondays? I'm an Insider subscriber and I haven't been able to find it on ESPN before it hits the FO web site.

28
by Sean D (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:17pm

I've have trouble finding the links as well. I've had to just search on ESPN for "FO Quick Reads Week X" and they show up in the search results.

2
by DaninPhilly (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 11:59am

Can he play in the NFL? Well, empty calories point is taken as is your other one. I think of yards sort of like RBI in baseball. Sure, it's generally an unimportant stat, but it's hard to get 100 RBI and still somehow suck. Similarly, it's hard to imagine getting almost 400 yards against an NFL defense in your first start and still somehow not be an NFL quarterback.

5
by jimbohead :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:16pm

While it wasn't his first start, Tim Rattay did get over 400 yds against the Cardinals in his first season starting as an injury replacement. I don't know that anyone would call him an NFL qb....

6
by Bill Barnwell :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:22pm

This was his fifth season as a pro, and third season starting as an injury replacement.

12
by jimbohead :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:43pm

I stand corrected. Still, 400+ yds, not really that good.

17
by thewedge :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:56pm

I also thought the basic consensus on Rattay was that he WAS a decent NFL QB, he just couldn't stay healthy.

33
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:26pm

Yes, I thought so too.

15
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:52pm

May I introduce you to Mr. Jeff Francoeur?

/bitter Mets fan/

Fire Omar.

22
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:06pm

Give him three games, then judge. As of now, teams don't have enough game tape to prepare for Kolb, looking at his tendencies, whether he can throw on the run, if he's got awareness of his blindside, that sort of thing.

A lot of mediocre, backup QBs have had really good stats when they first step under center, and it appears to be for that same reason. The defense couldn't study up on them.

62
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:58pm

Can I please NOT give him three games like that? One was quite enough.

26
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:15pm

Two words: Billy Volek.

61
by DavidL :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:53pm

That is, word for word, what I was going to post.

44
by Lou :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:18pm

i think it depends what you mean be "NFL quarterback." if you mean quality starter, then i disagree, if you mean someone who is at least a dependable backup then maybe.

ryan fitzpatrick passed for 310 yards in his first nfl game. he was 19/30 with 3 tds and 1 int. would you call him an nfl qb? i mean he started 12 games last year.

47
by Lou :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:24pm

i wanted to look up the DPAR for that game, but i can't find it in the fox sports archive. does anyone know if old quick reads are archived anywhere else?

66
by MC2 :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:39pm

Try this.

73
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:40pm

We're actually working -- very slowly working -- on adding archives of all the old FOX material (DVOA commentary, Quick Reads) to the FO archives. You'll notice all the old FOX blog stuff is now archived in Extra Points.

83
by Lou :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 7:34pm

Awesome! thanks.

3
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:09pm

It is interesting how yards after catch affects perception. I couldn't imagine last night a qb being more effective than Peyton Manning; 27 points in less than fifteen minutes of ball possession? Then you see that he actually had nine incompletions, and you can see why some guys ranked higher. Then again, extreme accuracy plays a huge role in huge yards after catch, so maybe some context is not being captured after all. Yes, analyzing football is hard, hard, hard.

I am modestly encouraged by Favre's performance in two road wins, albeit against junior varsity competition. Berrian is just now healthy again, and Harvin seems to becoming more useful with each week, so maybe things will go well before Favre gets hurt. Patrick Willis worries me.

25
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:12pm

The concern I have is the way Minny played those games. Inferior competition (no offense, Browns and Lions fans), but the were slow to get going. They basically spent the entire first half each time in standby mode, then they came out in the second half and trounced (I'm guessing that their DYAR is going to be dragged down due to their inept first-half performances, despite the final scores).

That won't work when they play serious competition, starting this week and next (49ers and Packers, thankfully both at the Hubeydome).

42
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:04pm

It does seem as if the strategy is going to be (surprise, surprise) to run-blitz Peterson, and to bring the house against Favre in obvious passing downs. Loadholdt doesn't appear ready to face decent pass rushers unassisted, so overloading to his side is likely something defenses will continue. Berrian and Harvin need to beat close coverage, and Favre has to throw it on target to the right guy.

I understand the tendency to hand the ball off to Peterson on first down, and the Vikings would be crazy to not do so with frequency. He may, if he stays healthy, be considered the equal of Jim Brown some day. It would really go a long way, however, if some intermediate to long passes were to be completed to Berrian or Harvin on first down.

I'm starting to be a lot more concerned with the 49ers than with the Packers. The 49ers don't present much of a downfield passing threat, but they appear to have the skills needed to adopt the outlook of their head coach, which means they will punch their opponent in the mouth, hard. The Packers, performance against the Bears offensive line aside, look like they might be a bit soft, especially on the offensive line.

103
by Not a 49ers fan, but.... (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 10:20am

I think you just made a lot of SF fans smile. When was the last time anybody said "49ers" and "serious competition" in the same sentence?

39
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:49pm

Don't be too worried. Our offense has been horrible, when it wasn't playing against Seattle's second-stringers. I'm reminded strongly of our 2-0 2007 start, when we won ugly and had no idea how to call an offensive game.

46
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:23pm

bht, I think there is reason to be encouraged as a Niners fan these days, as long as one isn't too nostalgic for the five Super Bowls in 14 years standard. This will be an immensely entertaining team to watch contend for a playoff spot, which doesn't seem much of a stretch at all to me. They have already beaten, on the road, their best divisional opponent. 7 more wins may well win the division, especially if one of them comes against the Cardinals in San Francisco.

If you like a team which plays very hard, very physical, football, and you are pleased, as I am (as low as my expectations are), when your favorite team still hasn't been mathematically eliminated at kickoff time in their week 17 game, then the Niners likely will be a terrific team to root for this year.

4
by MarkV :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:14pm

I didn't read the FO Quick Reads last week, but I just want to say that I really like the way you formatted this. Keeping the same column but adding and highlighting MNF was exactly what I would have hoped for. Thanks.

8
by JasonK :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:33pm

The formatting is nice, but if you are going to continue to use text that small, I'd consider trying a more readable font.

27
by dbostedo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:16pm

Jason - The text size is easily changed in your browser. In Netscape/Firefox/Mozilla it's Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-- (that's control-minus), and your text will grow and shrink to your hearts content.

7
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:25pm

Could you think about adding Ronnie Brown's into QB DYAR for his wildcat plays? I know it's odd, but he was in there a considerable number of plays last night.

9
by Splat :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:36pm

How'd Benson end up? Figure he'd have been near top 5

10
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:38pm

I've probably missed the answers to these in the past, but I have two minor questions:

1. How strong are opponent adjustments at this point in the season?

2. Are EYds omitted just to avoid confusion amongst ESPN readers?

11
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:39pm

I'll answer my own #1 question: judging by the QB stat page, where YAR is the same as DYAR, there aren't any opponent adjustments yet.

34
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:29pm

1. Fairly sure the answer is yes.

2. It's not just the ESPN readers. Most FO readers don't understand EYds, because they aren't useful on their own. They are only meaningful as a per-attempt stat, where they serve as a proxy for DVOA.

13
by JasonK :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:46pm

On Manningham: The Star-Ledger has a good article today on how Manningham has been putting in extra time with Keenan McCardell, who is working with the Giants via a Minority Coaching Fellowship.

23
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:08pm

That's a great story. McCardell was a favorite of mine; observing from afar he seemed to be one of those guys who squeezed the most out of his physical gifts. Coughlin, observing from up close, probably thought he did as well.

72
by Toast Patterson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:39pm

That's a great article on Manningham. Coming out of Michigan, Manningham had a reputation as a big-time playmaker. But he was also considered a character risk because of some reefer incidents and the general impression that he is dumb as a rock. Based on my very subjective & unscientific analysis, he looks like one of those guys who might not have all that much book learnin' but he is a hard worker with great football instincts.

It will be exciting to see what Super Mario can do against an altogether cruddy Bucs secondary on Sunday. Maybe Eli make one of the chirpy Barber brothers look stupid yet again. At this point in his otherwise distinguished career, Ronde can be had.

117
by socctty :: Thu, 09/24/2009 - 10:41am

Let's just get one thing straight: if there's a "Super Mario" in the league, it's Mario Williams.

14
by Chris Owen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:51pm

I know I've got a long way to go before fully understanding these stats, and I fell further behind with the switch from DPAR to DYAR. But is it possible to get some further explanation with Donnie Avery? If I'm reading his numbers correctly, the 4 yards he gained on 6 attempts was 48 yards below a replacement player, suggesting that a replacement player should have gained 48+ 4 = 52 yards total. That suggests that a replacement player in this tight game should have averaged 52/6 = 8.50 yards per attempt. This seems quite high. Furthermore, Bulger only averaged 125/28 = 4.46 yards per attempt, yet his total of 125 yards is listed as 48 yards over replacement. I appreciate any effort to clue me in.

16
by Chris Owen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:56pm

I suppose I should add that I know if every pass intended for Avery came on 3rd and 10, it would make sense that his expected YPA would be much higher than Bulger's for the whole game. It still just seems high for Avery and very low for Bulger.

18
by thewedge :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 12:59pm

I think it's probably his fumble that skewed the numbers.

20
by Chris Owen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:01pm

whoops, yes, that. My bad. I'm still mystified on Bulger's low YPA.

19
by JasonK :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:01pm

A good part of that "-48" is the fumble. A replacement-level player might have a similar line to the 4 yards on 6 attempts, but he doesn't fumble 100% of the balls he catches.

21
by nat :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:03pm

Fumbles are very, very negative.

35
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:34pm

A turnover is the equivalent of approximately -60 yards. Fumble recoveries are generally a 50/50 chance, but FO has said that WR fumbles are much more likely to be recovered by the opposing team, on average, so let's say it's 80% for this exercise. Therefore, the calculation for Avery's YAR (the "D" isn't really in effect yet), would be:

YAR = (actYds) - (expYds) - [(fumbYds) * (defRecRate)]

His yards gained is 4. Using our estimates above, that comes out to:

-48 = 4 - (expYds) - [60 * 0.80]
-48 = 4 - (expYds) - 48
4 = expYds

So my estimates actually come to out his catch being equivalent to replacement value, but the fumble being worth the entire negative YAR. That's probably not exact, but you can see how the fumble is definitely the majority of his poor YAR.

54
by Chris Owen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:18pm

Thanks a lot -- I appreciate all the calculations. I'd assume then that a replacement quarterback would be expected to throw a pick or two, which would then translate into big negative yardage that would negate a big chunk of yards gained. As a result, a replacement level quarterback would end up with a low number of total yards, and a really, really low total per attempt. That would explain how Bulger, with his ridiculous 4.46 YPA, but zero picks, came out ahead of replacement level.

60
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:50pm

I imagine that's the case, which is why you see the majority of QBs in a given week come in at above replacement level.

24
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:12pm

"Not to take anything away from a deserving Manning, but the Giants' offensive line deserves massive amounts of credit for keeping Manning upright -- the leading pass rush in the league didn't sack Manning once"

- While it is obvious that a good line helps the quarterback, what is often lost is how the quarterback can make his line look better.

Eli does a fantastic job of pointing out the defense's MIKE on every play, and did a fantastic job of identifying the blitz, pointing out to his RB/line who to block, and knowing when to audible out of a play, or throw to his hot reads. Quarterbacks absolutely impact their blockers. Eli Manning is fantastic at this, and at the other end of the extreme you'd see his backup, David Carr... Who was sacked more than any other QB in the league in Houston, and his line got more of the blame than they deserved. If took the whole Giants offensive line, none of them are real superstars at the position ( ex-Snee), but they perform well as a unit partially because of the QB ( and Center) directing them.

If you don't believe Eli impacts his players around him, look at how DVOA likes Manningham & Steve Smith. Before the year the Giants ( didn't have any WRs) but the QB excelled at his reads and credit them for putting themselves in position to make plays.

You guys didn't go there because you did credit Manning, but ESPN wanted to give the game ball to the Giants O-Line? Really? Not that they didn't play well but how about the guy directing the line, and making play after play in the passing game. Eli had a few of inaccurate balls/mistakes but besides that you really couldn't get any better play in the Dallas game. I mean, he was literally like a Peyton Manning Jr. out there and I wouldn't expect him to be THAT good all year but would be happy to see it.

Matt Stafford is rated dead last and I couldn't agree more. He isn't even close to being ready, and he shouldn't even be a #2 backup at this point. It boggles my mind they didn't start Culpepper and I said that BEFORE week 1 too. Sanchez has vastly out performed him thus far in their short NFL careers.

29
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:19pm

I agree on Stafford - although I'm not surprised that the highly-decorated Lions brass decided to start the season with him (somewhat by default, given the injuries). I was firmly in the 'Sanchez is more pro-ready' camp before the draft.

And this has nothing to do with my ongoing suspicion that Stafford is just a large, man-size cabbage patch doll.

30
by Temo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:19pm

This the same Eli whose blitz reads led to 7 sacks in a single game vs. the same Cowboys last year?

32
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:23pm

1) Sometimes there really is nothing you can do.
2) Dave Diehl has been doing basketball training and does look to have improved his pass blocking so he won't get blown up by D.Ware.

There is a difference between getting sacked because somebody got beat 1 on 1, and getting sacked because of flaws in your protection.

Eli was also pretty nifty in the pocket Sunday night... more so than usualy and probably avoided a couple sacks.

45
by Mark S. (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:18pm

I agree, and I actually think that might be Eli's greatest strength as a QB - he does a great job directing the line (which also helps the run game a lot, IMO). The sacks against DAL in the second game last year came because Ware completely dominated Diehl, and Kevin Boothe came in for the injured McKenzie and was totally hapless.

50
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:46pm

I think it goes along with Eli's preparation and I agree that his brain is his strength. Everybody knows Peyton is a big geek but they say Eli studies film just as much. I agree that it makes his run game better too when he can audible run plays left/right strong/weak and run/pass.

I really felt like Dallas committed to stopping the run and wanted to see if Eli's arm could beat them and he proved that he could ( I'm not sure he proved that last year ex-Plax). From the get go, Eli was in a play action deep ( on an obvious run down) because Dallas was selling out. If another team game plans to shut down the Giants run, you might see another game like this.

D.Ware is the proto type pass rusher to beat Diehl, Booth didn't help, Chris Canty is in a Giants uniform, Olshansky is more of a run stopper, and let's be honest you don't judge a guy by one game. If Eli played Dallas 10 times, I certainly wouldn't expect him to average 0 sacks... especially breaking in a new Stadium with 105,000 screaming fans so your line has trouble hearing/jumping off the ball, a nationally televised game etc. Then again 7 sacks was too high and was probably his most sacked game last year.

My point is sacks aren't 100% the lines fault, the QB has much more responsibility than people think That's why Brees, Manning, Brady and other QB's who get it are sacked less than QB's who don't get it ( David Carr is a great example).

31
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:19pm

I'm also shocked that Jake Delhomme is rated ahead of Drew Brees... ?

Brees had 3 TD's on the road on grass in Philly and Atlanta's secondary ( on turf too) doesn't look that great. While Jeff King isn't very athletic, they actually like throwing to him for some odd reason. I know the numbers don't take all of those things into consideration but I'm more impressed with Brees.

37
by Sophandros :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:40pm

Breesus had a fumble...

-------------
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

38
by ammek :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:47pm

And a non-desperation pick.

52
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:52pm

I've always felt that DVOA skews more on the risk averse side. If there were three equal stat players, but one guy say has 20 TDs with 20 INTS and the other guy has 10 TDs with 10 INTS, the third guy has 0 TDs and 0 INTS... everything else the same, player C and B would be above player A.

Delhomme with 1 TD and 1 INT
Brees with 3 TDs and 2 turnovers.

Brees also had a higher completion percentage
Brees had more passing yards
Brees faced a better pass defense
Brees played on GRASS instead of Turf
Brees was passing with a lead, while Delhomme was losing...

57
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:39pm

I've always felt that DVOA skews more on the risk averse side. If there were three equal stat players, but one guy say has 20 TDs with 20 INTS and the other guy has 10 TDs with 10 INTS, the third guy has 0 TDs and 0 INTS... everything else the same, player C and B would be above player A.

Delhomme with 1 TD and 1 INT
Brees with 3 TDs and 2 turnovers.

Except that every other advanced statistical passer rating agrees with DVOA in this regard.

Adjusted yards per attempt, originally described in The Hidden Game of Football, counted interceptions as -45 yards and touchdowns as +10 yards.

The guys at P-F-R did some research and determined that touchdowns should actually be worth +20 yards. They still use -45 for interceptions.

Brian Burke, at Advanced NFL Stats, recently looked at adjusted yards per attempt, and determined that an interception is the equivalent -60 yards. (I did a little digging in his archives, and he either hasn't changed the original value of a touchdown from Hidden Game or doesn't count touchdowns at all. Below, I'll use +10 yards per touchdown)

In your example, if we assume yards and attempts are constant throughout quarterbacks A, B, and C, each system would give the following "bonus yards" based on its values for touchdowns and interceptions. (I also threw in Delhomme and Brees.)


QB........TD...Int...HiddenGame....P-F-R....AdvancedNFLStats
A.........20....20......-700.......-500.........-1000
B.........10....10......-350.......-250..........-500
C..........0.....0.........0..........0.............0
Delhomme...1.....1.......-35........-25...........-50
Brees......3.....2.......-60........-30...........-90

So DVOA is not alone in treating an interception as being worse than a touchdown.

65
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:31pm

I like Burke and think he's at least on the right track with a lot of his work but riddle me this batman.

If we are going to look at QB's in a vacuume..
(Not defense, not running backs, not special teams).

A QB who throws 2 TD passes and 2 interceptions has helped his team put up at least 14 points assuming 2 PATS. He MIGHT have thrown 2 pick 6's, but then again maybe one of the interceptions was a hail mary at the end of the first half, and the other was run back for a moderate number of yards after bouncing off his WR's hands.

A QB who threw 0 TDs and 0 INTs might have had been on an offense that was shut out and lost 3-0.

The team that scores the most points wins. If you don't score, you can't win.

I agree that turnovers are horrible, they are horrible for field position, they can result in scores themselves, and they can often hurt morale. ( but picks aren't always the QB's fault either).

Touchdowns can be cheap too. You could have the RB pick up 70 yards on the drive, and then have the QB throw the play action to the TE in the back of the endzone for a cheap(er) than usual TD to pad his stats as you alluded to.

Then again a TD pass might be a QB hitting a streaking WR on a "go" route to beat coverage for a quick score.

I just have a feeling that DVOA ( and traditional stats) helps say a QB like David Carr that might have even completed 68% of his passes in a dumbed down/conservative QB role... while High TD & High Turnover guys like Brett Favre and Kurt Warner aren't statistically compensated enough for the risk they take. These guys do have rings ya know... How many Trent Dilfer/game manager types have rings?

70
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:02pm

How many Trent Dilfer/game manager types have rings?

Tom Brady's first win, Brad Johnson, Peyton Manning when he finally won. Wasn't Elway more of a game manager when he won?

Also, David Carr was ranked 28th in DVOA when he had his 68%, DVOA knew he was still terrible.

79
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 6:20pm

Touchdowns can be cheap too. You could have the RB pick up 70 yards on the drive, and then have the QB throw the play action to the TE in the back of the endzone for a cheap(er) than usual TD to pad his stats as you alluded to.

Exactly, which is why yards matter quite a bit! In the original AY/A, the QB who threw the short touchdown pass would get 13 yards (3 + 10) for the touchdown play, while the QB who threw the long touchdown pass would get 80 yards (70 + 10). So obviously, this is taken into account.

I just have a feeling that DVOA ( and traditional stats) helps say a QB like David Carr that might have even completed 68% of his passes in a dumbed down/conservative QB role[.]

I beginning to think you haven't actually read the published methodology on DVOA. It takes each individual play, assigns it success points based on situation and outcome, then compiles all those plays and values. Something like the NFL's official QB rating will overrate Carr, since it just looks at completion percentage out of context, but DVOA won't, since it looks at each of those completions and determines if it was actually valuable (a six-yard gain on first-and-ten, an eight-yard gain on third-and-five, etc.) or not (a two-yard-gain on first-and-ten, a four-yard-gain on third-and-five, etc.).

This isn't just me talking; look at David Carr's DVOA for his years as a full-time starter:
2002: -46.9%.
2003: -10.5%.
2004: - 1.6%.
2005: -19.6%.
2006: - 8.6%.

[...]while High TD & High Turnover guys like Brett Favre and Kurt Warner aren't statistically compensated enough for the risk they take. These guys do have rings ya know... How many Trent Dilfer/game manager types have rings?

Let's go back to 1990, when your Giants won the Super Bowl, and look at the results.

1990 - game manager (GM) Hostetler beats non-GM Kelly.
1991 - non-GM Rypien beats non-GM Kelly.
1992 - semi-GM Aikman beats non-GM Kelly.
1993 - semi-GM Aikman beats non-GM Kelly.
1994 - non-GM Young beats GM Humphries.
1995 - semi-GM Aikman beats semi-GM O'Donnell.
1996 - non-GM Favre beats non-GM Bledsoe.
1997 - semi-GM Elway beats non-GM Favre.
1998 - semi-GM Elway beats semi-GM Chandler.
1999 - non-GM Warner beats GM McNair.
2000 - GM Dilfer beats non-GM Collins.
2001 - GM Brady beats non-GM Warner.
2002 - GM Johnson beats non-GM Gannon.
2003 - semi-GM Brady beats non-GM Delhomme.
2004 - semi-GM Brady beats non-GM McNabb.
2005 - GM Roethlisberger beats non-GM Hasselbeck.
2006 - non-GM Manning beats non-GM Grossman.
2007 - semi-GM Manning beats non-GM Brady.
2008 - semi-GM Roethlisberger beats non-GM Warner.

Wins for each type:
Game managers: 5.
Semi-game manager: 9.
Non-game manager: 5.

This is crude, and not scientific at all, and Super Bowl wins are a pretty terrible metric for judging QBs, but it at least shows that there's not really one "type" of QB that is more likely to win a Super Bowl than any other, unless you consider the middle ground to be a type. And it appears that there's roughly the same amount of game manager and non-game manager types who have won Super Bowls over the last 19 years.

102
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 9:53am

1) No I don't know exactly how DVOA is calculated, they don't release their methodology. Partly probably due to copywrite, but it also does fan them from some criticism.

2) Sure you could be a QB picking up cheap 3 yard touchdown passes to pad your stats, but I really think the TRUE thrower quarterbacks like Favre, Warner are discriminated against and aren't fairly compensated for the risk they take.

3) It isn't just about David Carr... it's would favor a QB following easy commands... Drop back, throw a screen pass... drop back, throw a check down... drop back throw a 4 yard drag route to your tight end... (Maybe once a game) throw a predetermined deep ball on play action. That kind of offense is a lot easier to command than a guy throwing into coverage, throwing timing routes with his WR's etc. It would be hard to subjectivly "rate" the difficulty of the offense to run.

If Drew Brees threw for 330 yards and completed 33 ten yard passes with NO YAC yards, I'm a lot more impressed than a QB who threw sideways and backwards screens/checkdowns and had his guys pick up 300 YAC yards. Which offense do YOU think is harder to run ? What's more sustainable?

I respecfully disagree with your "game manager" list. The Baltimore Ravens I want to say had a stretch where they didn't score an offensive TD for 5 or so games. Tom Brady wasn't a game manager even in his first year as a starter. Brad Johnson wasn't always a game manager in his career but I'd agree he was in 2002. But why DID BJ and Dilfer win super bowls then? They are the runts of the list, why did they win? It's because of their championship defenses. Most of the rest of the super bowl quarterbacks are pro bowl players. The times when you get below average guys is when they have really dominant defenses.

59
by Arkaein :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:46pm

DVOA simply doesn't give a QB much credit for a TD alone.

An interception is generally a bad play by the QB. A few picks will be caused by tipped passes or bad WR routes, but generally the bulk of the blame lies with the QB as DVOA sees it.

The story is different for a TD. A TD pass without context doesn't say much about how well the QB performed. If the running game got the ball 90 yards down the field and the QB then completes a 3 yard TD pass off of a play action fake, then the running game deserves the bulk of the credit for the TD pass. The QB gets credit somewhere in the neighborhood of a 1st down conversion.

So if you just look at TDs and INTs, then DVOA and DYAR definitely come down on the side that 0 and 0 is better than 1 and 1 or 2 and 2. However a QB with 2 TDs, 2 INTs and 15 first down pass conversions will usually come out ahead of a QB who has no TDs or INTs but also very few plays that succeed in gaining yardage towards first downs.

A lot of your other points are fairly irrelevant. Brees had exactly 3 more passing yards, grass vs turf is not a significant difference in nice September weather, and playing from behind doesn't automatically make it easier to generate strong passing stats. In some cases it's the opposite, as defenses are more likely to expect the pass and can pass rush without paying as much attention to the run.

Brees probably is rewarded for his higher completion percentage, though if Brees mixed together a lot of long completions with low yield dumpoffs then it wouldn't help that much (didn't see the game so can't comment on this aspect).

58
by dbostedo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:44pm

Does DVOA give more credit for passing stats on grass than turf? An what about field turf versus the old style turf (if that exists anymore)?

74
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:41pm

No. We played around with it, couldn't figure out a way to do it right. We plan on fiddling around with turf/grass and weather effects again next offseason. It is something we want to include.

100
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 9:35am

And just because they can't figure out how to quantify it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Right there are part of your "hidden differences".

It isn't even just about Brees "only" having 3 more yards than Delhomme... The guy threw what, 9 less passes? Would you rather be throwing passes into the Eagles secondary on grass, or to Steve Smith on astro turf?

40
by Joseph :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:49pm

C, as another commenter mentioned, it doesn't appear that these stats factor in the "D" in "DYAR". I suspect that Brees #'s last week will drop, and this week's will go up when they factor in the D's.

36
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 1:34pm

Can someone please clarify something for me- does DYAR credit WRs and QBs for DPI penalties? I thought it did, but the comments by Barnwell seem to imply that it does not.

41
by The Real MDS (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:00pm

Couldn't agree more re Backus. I tweeted about that on Sunday:
http://twitter.com/MichaelDavSmith/status/4128608147

We really can't assess Stafford very well until we see him get some decent protection.

43
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:10pm

Stafford may never get assessed, then?

Sorry, sorry, I couldn't resist.....

51
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:51pm

We wouldn't expect you to hold onto that joke for years. :)

From the little I've seen in the two games, the OL actually seems to be a bit better than last year (not hard to do, though). The Lions also seem to have RB depth, which is a nice thing (too many KR/PR types as second backs in the past few years), but in exchange for that, they also seem to have replacement-level TEs (why is Pettigrew not starting?), and Stafford seems to believe that every pass must be thrown through a brick wall before it reaches a receiver. Also, young man, #81 can jump, so try throwing a soft, high pass for him.

I don't think it's a good idea to measure him against Sanchez. The Jets obviously have more to offer in terms of surrounding talent, especially on defense and especially this season, which means Sanchez can actually run a normal offense while Stafford may be in catchup mode most of the season. (After all, the Lions did pretty well early on against Minnesota when they were actually able to run the ball, and I wouldn't be surprised if that becomes very attractive once defensive adjustments come into the picture.)

However, I also strongly opposed the idea of Stafford starting Game 1, and even though injuries basically made it happen, I think it means the whole first season has to be treated like a lost cause (insert joke here). If Stafford learns a bit this season and doesn't get hurt, that's great. If the Lions actually win a game or two, fine. But there simply aren't pieces in place for him to succeed at any reasonable level beyond comparisons to "worst 16-game seasons for rookie QBs starting all games".

84
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:04pm

However, I also strongly opposed the idea of Stafford starting Game 1, and even though injuries basically made it happen, I think it means the whole first season has to be treated like a lost cause (insert joke here). If Stafford learns a bit this season and doesn't get hurt, that's great. If the Lions actually win a game or two, fine.

Which is why I thought the Lions would've been much better served using their #1 choice on the best available lineman this year, playing Culpepper, then picking from among the many QB options next year (Bradford, Tebow, Snead, USC QB, etc.).

Strangely, Schwartz didn't answer the phone when I tried calling during the draft...

96
by bubqr :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 6:26am

I disagree. The option they chose is a more high-risk (injury), but is also high-reward.

If they drafted Monroe this year for example, and Bradford next year, they probably wouldn't be relevant until 2011/2012 (time for QB to settle in).

Instead, they chose to give up this year, let Stafford learn (I'm one of the few that like him as a prospect, I think he can be good), even if he might get sacked too much, then drat a stud OT next year, that can instantly become a franchise LT (see Thomas, Long, Clady, O'Neill), and be relevant in 2010/2011.

I like this plan.

Plus, with the now trendy sophomore slump of LTs, next year QB might have suffered more than this year (just kidding).

101
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 9:52am

I'm with you on the overall logic - I just disagree about the specific situation, because I think Bradford's a great prospect and Stafford's a thoroughly mediocre one, whose absolute ceiling is Bledsoe. This was an icky, icky draft in which to hold the first overall pick, and I think if I were running the Lions I'd have done everything I possibly could to trade down, and failing that drafted Monroe, on the basis that both Sanchez (low start count) and Jason Smith (lack of pro-style experience) were too risky. I would also certainly not have drafted Pettigrew at that spot, for all that I think he'll be a good player: there were just more important problems to address. Tight ends are luxury items, and good ones can be found later in the draft anyway.

114
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 9:12pm

I disagree - respectfully, of course - with both of you on the overall logic. The recent NFL is littered with examples of talented high-pick QBs, who were instantly made the 'new face of the franchise' being trod into their own stadium turf because the team was still fielding the same inept personnel on the line.

Keep in mind that most scouts in the league thought Tim Couch was a legit QB. Likewise David Carr. They might have been mixed on Harrington, Leaf, Akili Smith, etc. etc., but from what I've seen, taking what might otherwise be a good QB, and expecting him to perform as a rookie without having a wall in front of him is a recipe for prolonged misery for the fans.

Fix the line, use a Dilfer while you develop your defense and/or run game, then get a 'franchise QB'.

115
by bubqr :: Thu, 09/24/2009 - 5:52am

I (w) still haven't figured out the chiken-egg effect on QBs starting early. Maybe that Carr, Harrington, Leaf, Couch would have been good QBs if they didn't start that early, maybe not. Maybe it was just a revelator.

Until then, I'm still a naive Stafford fan, my trust in him being completely irrationnal, it comes from some throws he made in college and during the preseason that were absolutely gorgeous. Litterally gorgeous. I guess I should like Jamarcus too, then.

116
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/24/2009 - 7:28am

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I'm not a fan of throwing a QB to the wolves (though I think there's pretty good evidence to support the view that Carr in particular was the cause of most of his own sacks, and made the line look far worse than it was). However, if you want a quarterback and a left tackle to have peaks which overlap as far as possible, you should draft the quarterback first. Left tackles are frequently able to play at a high (even pro-bowl) level as rookies. Quarterbacks almost never are. Moreover, there are plenty of ways to improve your offensive line without using a high draft pick on a tackle. Elite quarterbacks, on the other hand, are almost exclusively available through the draft. If you have the chance to take a guy you're confident will be one (and such players only come along once every few years) you have to take him. If you then have to sit him for a year or two in the interests of his health, so be it. It certainly doesn't seem to have done Rivers any harm. The ideal sequence probably goes "draft quarterback - fix line - start quarterback".

97
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 6:51am

It's all about Bradford. Tebow's a great player, but not an NFL quarterback (unless you want to run some wacky pseudo-wildcat as your base offense). Snead . . . ask again in January, but at this point I'm far from sold. USC's started two different freshmen at quarterback this season. One of them, Matt Barkley, may be worth a look in 2012 or 2013. The other, Aaron Corp, looks just shockingly bad. No USC quarterback will be drafted in 2010. Bradford, on the other hand, looks to me like a bigger Drew Brees with a better arm. Like Brees, it may take him some time after he gets into the league to develop the required level of pocket awareness, but once he does he's going to be scary.

48
by Israel P. (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:25pm

Glad to see that Santonio wasn't the least valuable receiver. But he can't have been much above that.

49
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:33pm

While he didn't have a particularly great game, I didn't think he had a particularly bad one either.

He did have only five catches in fourteen targets (according to ESPN), but all five of those catches went for first downs.

99
by Geo B :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 8:14am

I know it was raining, but 5/14 is not a very good job. They went to him on 3rd and 2 because they knew he could beat single coverage and he missed what seemed to be a catchable ball. This game he let the ball come to him (or not) instead of going after the ball. Plenty of blame to go around in that game but he was a factor in the loss.

Steeler fan trapped in Houston!
Six Time SB Champs! ;-)

104
by Eddo :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 10:39am

Oh, I don't disagree; 5/14 catches is indeed pitiful.

However, 5 first downs in 14 targets seems pretty good to me, so there's some balancing-out that keeps Holmes from being the worst WR this week.

53
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 2:55pm

Oh, and would the Pats fans here answer a question I am curious about? How did Belichik conclude that he had enough pass rushing talent, and that his roster was otherwise young enough, that he could afford to trade Seymour for a rookie who won't contribute until September 2011, when Brady, Moss, and others will be two years older? I understand the desire to get a trade a guy a bit too early rather than cut him a bit too late, but it seems to me that this is not a team which should be forgoing anything significant in the pass rush department in the next couple of years, in return for future draft picks.

105
by Pats fan.... (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 10:53am

Seymour is a small DT or large DE, better known as a 2 gap DE. I wouldn't blame the lack of pass rush on the Seymour trade. The Seymour trade is all about cap space. Too many contracts coming up. I would have loved to see Seymour stay, but Wilfork and Brady are more important to me. If Jarvis can play the run then the Pats will be ok without Seymour. If you want to find the source of the pass rush problem, look at the $$ spent on Thomas. Most of the pass rush the Pats generate has always come from the LBs, usually OLBs. The OLBs aren't getting the job done, especially Thomas for his price. It also seems like they're not blitzing with the safety very often, which makes me wonder about the trust Bill has in our current corners.
I have been quite disappointed in the Pats pass D, but Brady was the reason they lost to the Jets. The Jets played very well but the opportunities were there. The one that goes unmentioned was the deep post in the Jet's endzone to Galloway. A Jet DB recovered just in time to make a great play on the ball. However, the ball was thrown way too late, Galloway was open and Tom didn't throw it on time. The Pats will compete for the AFC if Tom comes back.

112
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 7:01pm

Well, if he is a cap casualty (and a top draft pick in 2011 may not be cheap, depending on the next CBA) so be it, but make no mistake; he is still a very effective pass rusher, and there are exactly zero teams in the league which have a surplus of effective pass rushers.

113
by DaveP :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 8:58pm

> but Brady was the reason they lost to the Jets.

True, he wasn't playing well. But knowing that, why, after Taylor ran for 12 and 13 yards at the end of the 3rd quarter did they only run 2 running plays the whole rest of the game? When your QB isn't all the way back yet and you've got a back averaging 6 yards a run, why give up on the running game?

55
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:19pm

Good question will, some thoughts.

- The Raiders pick could be very high ( possibly even #1).
- They weren't going to pay him anyway
- They like the value of the move " in the long term"
- They think they can win now " (they are still favored to win the SB)
- They are trying to use *time* aribitrage
- The Pats are businessmen, and they don't feel like they owe Brady/Moss anything... they don't have to try and stack the team 1 year to win a title, when they'd rather be real good with a chance to win it for years. ( Hence the long term value, for a short term trade off).

- Maybe they liked Derrick Burgess in practice?

56
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 3:26pm

Yeah, I just don't like the nebulous nature of the value of a draft pick in 2011, compared to the value of a guy who is still a very good defensive lineman today, for a team which has a good chance to win championships in the next couple of years. Then again, none of my thoughts relating to football are part of an exhibit in Canton, so what the hell do I know?

63
by Led :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:02pm

I tend to agree. A bird in hand, and all that. Plus, when you have a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl, you need to take your best shot. The windows can close too quickly. One more unlucky hit on Brady's knee and the widown slams shut.

86
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:09pm

I think there might be an additional factor in this move, as well as some of the other trade moves we've seen recently; the Pats may be planning ahead for the uncapped year.

I'm about as far removed form a fiscal policy expert as one could possibly be, but I've read repeatedly that this was the year to either sign your valued vets to contract extensions that will span through 2011 or so, or otherwise get ready to lose them in a pricey bidding war.

64
by BDG (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:22pm

Given the option of claiming one, but probably not both, which player should I target for my fantasy football team, Steve Smith or Mario Manningham?

68
by MC2 :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:47pm

I tend to like Smith better, especially if it's a PPR league. But even if it's not, I still think he'll be more consistent, which is a good trait for a WR.

Plus, you might be able to trick someone into trading the farm for him, under the idea that they're getting the other Steve Smith.

87
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:11pm

Given their respective QB situations, I don't know that one would want the 'other' Steve Smith this year...

67
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:43pm

"Blame Norv Turner if you want, but Rivers didn't come through when he needed to. Those yards mean more"

those yards mean more? im so sick of the anti charger buzz from everyone and everything. Last year did those yards mean more to drew brees than winning? You have to say yes. Second most passing yards ever and they dont make the playoffs. Any anti brees stuff from you bill? Are you also anti Marino, since he clearly was only in it for stats and not winning.

I also like how you credited rivers for a crucial interception. You clearly didnt watch the game bill. It went off chambers body and into the ravens player. The best part? It was a clear pass interference that went uncalled. He was hit a good second before the ball got there. Even if it wasnt pass interference this wouldnt solely be Rivers fault. This type of play happens every game. Im sure braylon edwards hands the other team pick after pick every year. Receivers should take more blame for interceptions a lot of the time. If that was Jackson, floyd, legadu or gates it wouldnt have been a pick. But it had to be shitty chambers. Is it really necessary to rag on a player for having the 10th best day at his position against the Ravens, who are widely considered to have one of the best defenses?

I cant read one decent charger article anymore because no one actually watches their games. Im done posting all this angry shit on how the chargers get no publicity except bad publicity. This site is just as biased as any other against west coast teams. Ill never understand what is in the water of every state to the east of utah, but whatever it is im gonna pass.

69
by MC2 :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:51pm

I thought San Diego was supposed to be a nice, relaxing place to live.

76
by Sifter :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:47pm

Agree. Take some chill pills Big J. 3 bad calls in 20 games doesn't mean there's a vendetta. If there were 30, then maybe... And DVOA can't tell if the INT came off a WR or not, while expecting Bill to have seen all 16 games is physically impossible at this point of the week.

But anyway, read FOA 2009 and tell me there's bias against San Diego. It's the biggest fricken projection ever man /drevil.

78
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 6:03pm

"Of course, all it takes is watching an NFL game to know better. A yard gained against the Ravens on third-and-1 in a close game is a small miracle; that same yard against the Texans on second-and-9 in a blowout is a disappointment. To give each of the players involved an equal amount of credit for the two plays is absurd."

Thats my point sifter! If someone has a choice of which games to watch each week they will watch their favorite team. Something with a routing interest. Every week they only watch X amount of games and im sure thats not all of them. Certain teams have no fans on the website. These teams dont get watched and routinely have bad insight. I was saying since the offseason "Rivers is for real, and vincent jackson is just as good as any receiver in the league". Ive said it on these blogs. If they dont watch the games how can they realize this? Numbers are the next best thing to actually watching the game. I get my insight on other teams by using this sites numbers because im not watching those games so i dont know better. But if no one here watches the charger games... how the hell can u write about it?

80
by Bill Barnwell :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 6:44pm

Ah, I can never resist.

- I did, in fact, watch most of the Ravens-Chargers game, including the interception. Rivers forced a throw into tight coverage. It wasn't pass interference.

- Brees had an elite offense last year. They scored a lot of points, and they were very effective in the red zone, when those yards did matter more. Had Rivers been effective in the red zone yesterday (like he was last year, which I noted when I wrote the glowing player comment about Rivers in this year's book), they would've won the game. He wasn't. They didn't.

- Grow up.

89
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:44pm

-the 28 points last sunday for the chargers was more than the "elite" offense that the saints had in either of their first two games last year. Seems like a small sample size jumping to conclusions to me. There was not this much hate directed towards brees after the first two games when they went 1-1. There was also no talk of how he only cares about yardage. I mean what is that? He almost beats the ravens by passing for 440 yards and he gets criticized for it? Thats awful. Its bad writing. Maybe the yardage by itself overrates his game in the eyes of a casual viewer but its still a hell of a game after being critical.

-There is no talk of how penalties affected his red zone numbers. Is it normal to have a fluke delay of game because only 12 seconds were put on the play clock?

-The pass interference call is an opinion. Your right to say it was not pass interference but ignorant if you were to say it couldnt have been pass interference. But there are rules specifically tailored for that play. The defensive back has the right to make a play on the ball unless if he goes through the offensive player to make that play. He went straight through chambers back and made a play on the player instead of making a play on the ball. I am dumbfounded as to how that play is Rivers fault but the pass that romo threw to witten where it went off his foot and into the giants defender was not romos fault. Both were "in traffic" yet romo's would have been complete had it been a good throw. Rivers had no chance of completing that pass because of his receiver getting prematurely tackled. It was still the perfect throw and would get completed (or a penalty) 9 out of 10 times. Romo's play might have been flukey HOW it happened but not flukey THAT it happened. Bad throws have a better chance of getting picked off than passes that hit the receiver right between the numbers.

- sorry, i am just upset that there are never chargers writers. Every week the audibles at the line are 5 pages for the nfc east teams, patriots, colts, and steelers but only 5 lines for everyone else. And it seems like the 5 lines are the same cliches that are said every week/year.

91
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 9:30pm

The delay of game penalty was not a screwjob. I actually was reading some old Audibles from last year, and in the comments section, a Steelers fan expressed surprise that they got caught for a similar delay penalty when only eight seconds were put on the clock after a challenge. It's just the way the rules are, blame the Chargers coaching staff for not understanding them and being prepared.

If you're upset that there are no Chargers writers, you may want to concentrate on writing more coherent and rational comments. The two new Scramble writers were merely readers and commenters until just this year.

92
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 9:58pm

Why is this a rule then? There are so many different ways this can get abused. Final 2:30 in the super bowl. game winning drive coming up... the team with the ball is down 21-20. its 4th down and they are on the 35 yard line. 52 yard field goal coming up. Play clock gets down to 3 seconds and out comes a red flag. The defense is challenging the spot of the ball. They lose the challenge (and a timeout) but the offense cant get set in time. automatic false start coming on up. 57 yard field goal doesnt look as nice as the already difficult 52 yarder. The team gets shafted for no apparent reason. They go for it on 4th down and dont get it. Is this rule fair? no. Does it matter if it gets removed? no. Its useless and the game would be better without it. Rules are meant to make the game more fair, more fun, and to protect the players. Coaches (norv and mike) didnt think of this rule because it defies logic. If you are crossing the street you do not imagine a car driving over the curb and smashing your brains in. Life isnt fair, but that doesnt mean football doesnt have to be

94
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 10:20pm

Well, both were booth challenges (well, at least I know the Steelers one was, and the way you've described this, it sounds like it was, too); now, I can't tell you if a coach-initiated challenge would have the same rule apply. I would assume not, since a coach's challenge is essentially a timeout, and the clock resets after a timeout.

I would imagine that this rule falls under your "more fun" classification, as most delay-related rules do; the NFL wants the game to move more quickly. It's not the most obvious rule, and I don't really have a good reason why it should be there, but it is in place. When it comes down to it, most rules are arbitrary (why four downs? why six points for a touchdown? why seven guys on the line?), and as long as all teams play by the same rules, it's not unfair.

An obscure rule wound up hurting the team you root for. That doesn't mean they got screwed.

88
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:18pm

Um...Vincent Jackson is currently listed as the top WR in terms of DVOA. I don't know how much 'better' you expect the FO staff and their statistical model to rate him...?

In other words - slow down there, Mr. Simpson. Take a load off. Put on some Van Morrison.

90
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:46pm

Read below. Numbers cant have bias. Its how you apply those numbers. My beef isnt with the numbers, its with how they are interpreted.

110
by cjfarls :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 2:36pm

I agree completely that the AFC-West coverage on this site is horrible (its just very obvious no one follows the AFCW teams closely, so all we ever get for analysis is regurgitation of mainstream media garbage, very occasionally supported by their numbers).

However, if you think the FO guys are baised against SD, you obviuously haven't been paying attention. FO has been the biggest fan of Rivers/VJax for years, long before other media outlets figured out that those guys are actually pretty good.

Try being a Denver fan this offseason, when the FO guys decided all the garbage the MSM was creating from rumor and innuendo was true (while many of those actually following the team saw what a big deal was being made out of nothing)....

A few negative comments shouldn't get your panties in such a bunch. Take the numbers, calmly point out inconsistency in some of their analysis/interpretation, and let it go... you'll be much happier in the long run.

77
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:50pm

i dont live in san diego, i live in LA.

I would rather have bill just put this.

Phillip Rivers
-Is he the guy married to gisselle? Hes not? Then i dont care and i didnt watch the game.

Is it wrong of me to want insightful material? No one on this sight is a charger fan so they get pushed under the doormat. Its like sitting around watching the view. We get it fat ladies. You all like chocolate cake, hate rich white people, and all think vajayjay is the trendiest word in the world. Maybe if someone was on the show that DIDNT like chocolate cake, LIKES rich white people, and DIDNT think vajayjay was the trendiest word in the world.... oh wait thats elizabeth hasselbeck and no one takes her seriously. Guess i better become a Steeler, patriot, colt, or ravens fan or ill keep getting chocolate cake shoved in my face^^^

82
by HostileGospel :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 7:16pm

They did say very nice things about Vincent Jackson, you know. People tend to forget that DVOA and DYAR are statistics, and they are computed based on pre-determined algorithms. Throw a pick on the opponent's 1-yard line, and DVOA/DYAR will penalize you harshly for it, no matter what you do the rest of the game. All the writers do in articles like these is explain the plays that most affected the ratings and discuss why the ratings may disagree with conventional stats or with viewer perception. Sure, no one who writes for FO is a Chargers fan, to my knowledge- but that has no effect on DVOA or DYAR as it pertains to San Diego, and it's silly to think otherwise.

Also, "vajayjay" means vagina, right? I guess I should watch The View sometime.

--
Overall, I'd be kind of embarrassed to critique something when I didn't know what the hell I was talking about, but then, oh yeah, my NAME is on what I write, isn't it?

-Les Bowen

85
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 8:06pm

I obviously agree. DVOA and DYAR cant have a bias. Its the interpretation and the insight that can have the bias.

93
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 10:12pm

Yes, "vajayjay"=vagina.

I must point out that I did not learn this watching "The View." Rebecca Watson uses the word fairly frequently on "The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe" (and I assume she does on Skepchick as well, but I don't read the site or listen to that podcast regularly, so I'm not sure).

I feel sort of bad about feeling I must defend knowing that, but "The View" is quite detestable.

95
by merlinofchaos :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 12:50am

those yards mean more? im so sick of the anti charger buzz from everyone and everything

Yes, yard in the red zone mean more than yards between the 20s. Ask the Cardinals from a couple of years ago, when they put up huge numbers of yards but didn't win games because they couldn't do it in the red zone.

And I had to reread the bit about Rivers 3 times to get what you're talking about. When I was done I couldn't come to any other conclusion that you're wearing powder blue colored glasses and anything that isn't sunshine and roses is being interpreted as anti-Chargers bias. He was explaining why Rivers' big numbers didn't look as good, in a single game, as Schaub's numbers, in a single game in the same week.

I highly recommend relaxing and chilling out. The Bolts look like they're going to have a rocky season, but they always seem to do this "play shakily for 3 quarters and then pull out a win at the end of the game" thing and it didn't work for them this week. And given last year's 8-8 record, this year isn't showing any signs of any real improvement yet. Maybe it will, time will tell.

Personally, I thought the Chargers were doomed when they hired Norv Turner, but it would take a few years for that doom to be realized. This is year 3...

111
by Big Johnson (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 5:39pm

Your post is exactly what im talking about. You are so uninformed its ridiculous.

last year they went 8-8. They outscored their opponents by 92 points. How is it again that they "play shakily for 3 quarters" then squeek out a close win? Its not my fault that your glasses have not even 1 ounce of powder blue in them. They lost every close game last year which is the exact opposite of what you stated. Why? because all thats ever stated is "this team is good, but norv sucks." Maybe norv turned rivers into the most productive player at his position. Last year he was and this year he looks like hes still close to the top. This is a positive! Not a negative. Give norv a little credit. He definately deserves it

i must have interpreted bills writing wrong then. I thought he said "those yards mean more (to rivers)".... aka stats are what he cares about instead of other winning quarterbacks.

My frustration came more from the audibles at the line than from this article

71
by BucNasty :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:25pm

...the leading pass rush in the league didn't sack Manning once, and that gave Manning time to make plays and his receivers time to get downfield.

I don't believe they got a sack against Tampa Bay, either. Maybe it's time to start qualifying that phrase with "from last year."

75
by Sifter :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 5:43pm

I object to the comment that Jammal Brown is the Saints best lineman. He's the only one people can name, but that doesn't make him the best. Jahri Evans - that's where it's at guys.

81
by Packerpalooza (not verified) :: Tue, 09/22/2009 - 7:04pm

Rodgers had one bad pass where he missed a wide open Driver on 3rd and 16.

Given that his receivers dropped five passes and that the Bengals were in his face constantly it was a decent day.

While Rodgers has walked into 2 sacks this season and it's difficult to compare I am willing to state with some certainty that the current line is WORSE than the 2005 version which had jettisoned both guards. At least Clifton and Tauscher were in place taking care of the edge.

At this point the entire line is a boondoggle.

And Packer beat writers agree as on the radio the assessment was that Favre would have been sacked MORE than Rodgers even with Number 4's greater pocket awareness. All the Spidey sense in the world wouldn't have helped on Sunday as the Bengals just steamrolled through the Pack O-line.

Rodgers has been sacked 10 times but hit 20 plus other times. He will be in a body cast by mid-season barring a radical positive shift.

98
by DGL :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 8:11am

I think we need zlionsfan to come up with a Quick Reads template.

106
by dmb :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 10:55am

Good call. How about...

is clearly ranked because of . . is way than . .

I know that can be improved, but it's a start.

And while we're at it, we might as well make one for audibles...

Why was only given lines of commentary this week!? Their game against was a must-win. I know the authors want to watch their teams, but I'm sick of reading only about the Patriots! If you had actually watched , you'd know that they're dealing with . What a bunch of haters.

107
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 12:48pm

I'll try, though your Audibles one is excellent. I will not try to recreate the awful grammar and spelling of most people online, though--I just can't do it.

Quick Reads:
So (Random Higher Ranked Player) is ranked higher than (Home Team Player) this week?! How?! (Home Team Player) obviously has far greater swagger and you don't respect him for what he's worth!! (Home Team Player) is the greatest of all time!

Audibles:
Why only (Number) comments about (Home Team's Game)? I'm sick of your site's bias against (Home Team's Division or Geographical Area) teams. Just because we went (Home Team's Losing Record Previous Year) last year you say we suck and only watch the Patriots. (Random insult in no way based on reality.)

I think your Audibles form is better than mine, but I rather like my Quick Reads form.

108
by dmb :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 2:12pm

Ack! Everything I put inside "greater than" and "less than" signs disappeared; I forgot that the html tags use those. The one for Quick Reads was pretty similar to the one from zlionsfan, with a few words switched around.

109
by dmb :: Wed, 09/23/2009 - 2:12pm

Ack! Everything I put inside "greater than" and "less than" signs disappeared; I forgot that the html tags use those. The one for Quick Reads was pretty similar to the one from zlionsfan, with a few words switched around.