Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features

DaltonAnd11-2.jpg

» Week 3 DVOA Ratings

For only the second time in history, the Bengals are No. 1 in our ratings. But compared to other No. 1 teams after three weeks, there's a real lack of dominance.

13 Oct 2009

Week 5 Quick Reads

by Bill Barnwell

Quarterbacking is the ultimate pass/fail class. Sure, you might get a good grade on a paper or complete 85 percent of your passes, but the majority of fans will judge quarterbacks, at the end of the day, by their wins and losses.

It's an unfair activity. Sometimes, a quarterback has everything to do with a team winning a game. Naturally, though, there are plenty of times when a quarterback only makes a limited contribution to his team's success; because he plays the most important position on the field, though, he gets as much credit for the win in the record books as the guy who threw six touchdowns. You'll never hear someone talk about Ray Lewis' win-loss record, even though he's contributed more to Ravens wins than any of the quarterbacks that have played across from him. Popular analysis just doesn't work that way.

At the extremes, though, everyone can understand that a quarterback doesn't deserve a whole lot of credit. We submit for your consideration, then, one Derek Anderson. In Sunday's 6-3 win over the Bills, Anderson took apart an injury-riddled Bills defense... twice. His 18 dropbacks yielded two completions, 14 incompletions, an interception, and a sack. He picked up 23 passing yards in the process.

How could the Browns win with such poor play from their quarterback? Well, obviously, they held the other team to a single field goal. They got great special teams play, especially from punter Dave Zastudil; his final punt, a mishit, was muffed by Bills returner Roscoe Parrish and recovered by the Browns, who then enjoyed a game-winning field goal from venture capitalist and part-time kicker Billy Cundiff before the ex-Cowboys kicker booted the ensuing kickoff out of bounds. It wasn't a pretty victory.

Was it the worst performance a quarterback has put up in a recent victory, though? That's another question altogether. Because he only turned the ball over once, Anderson's dismal performance didn't even rank as the worst overall performance of the week; that belonged to a more familiar target, who we'll get to later on. But Anderson finished 26th in our Quick Reads on the day, with -94 passing DYAR, and no other winning quarterback fell lower than 16th and 9 DYAR (Jake Delhomme).

Anderson's performance doesn't even rank in the bottom 300 in single-game passing DYAR, so we'll pick on him using a different statistic: Quarterback rating. Flawed as it is, it's exactly the sort of metric that would punish Anderson most for his disaster of a day.

Even at an appalling rating of 15.1, Anderson has company at the bottom. Since 1994, five different quarterbacks have won games with a quarterback rating below Anderson's, including Jake Delhomme (Week 10 of the 2008 season, 12.3 quarterback rating), Rex Grossman (twice, Weeks 6 and 13 of 2006, with respective quarterback ratings of 10.2 and 1.3), Drew Henson (Week 13, 2006, 7.6), and Philip Rivers (Week 15, 2006, 12.4).

The king of winning ugly, though, is Donovan McNabb. In a 2007 game against the Dolphins, McNabb made it through two quarters before spraining his ankle and missing the remainder of a game later won by A.J. Feeley, who was fortunately up against the eventual 1-15 Dolphins in the debut game of then-rookie John Beck. McNabb's totals: 3-of-11 for 34 yards and two interceptions. His quarterback rating: A microscopic 0.4.

Of course, there's no skill in winning these games; quarterbacks who put up a rating under 20 in ten passes or more have a record of 10-68. The only thing they led their teams to was the brink of disaster. Fortunately for Anderson, the rest of his team was up for a challenge, and the opposing number didn't offer much more.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
MNF.
Chad Henne MIA
20/26
241
2
0
174
174
0
Henne is the first MNF quarterback to lead the league in DYAR since we started our Tuesday FO version of Quick Reads, so let's toss in some comments... If you watched the game, you know that Henne's performance (and Miami's strategy) completely changed in the fourth quarter. Every one of Henne's pass attempts in the first half was a short pass (up to five yards past the line of scrimmage) and he didn't attempt a pass longer than 15 yards until the fourth quarter. He had nearly half his pass plays in the fourth quarter (12 of 26) and 103 of his 174 DYAR.
1.
Matt Ryan ATL
22/32
333
2
1
166
156
10
It's flying underneath the radar, but Ryan's having a year even better than his first. He's second in the league in DVOA, behind only Peyton Manning, and tied for fourth with Eli Manning in the DYAR charts. He was helped out by some poor tackling in the 49ers secondary this week, but he turned better than 50 percent (5 of 9) of his third down attempts into first downs or touchdowns.
2.
Eli Manning NYG
8/10
173
2
0
157
157
0
Watching Manning drop back and read the Raiders defense on Sunday was pretty comical. Find Nnamdi Asomugha. Look other way. Find wide-open receiver. Wonder when Archie will start using complete sentences in his texts. Give self foot massage. Deliver pass. Film commercial.
3.
Kyle Orton DEN
35/48
330
2
1
156
156
0
Denver's style of offense is a perfect match for what remains of New England's once-feared defense. Because the Patriots are weak at corner, they like to play those corners well off the line of scrimmage, giving the Broncos' receivers a free release. Denver, meanwhile, loves throwing quick hitches and timing patterns to those receivers. The result was an excellent day for Orton.
4.
Kurt Warner ARI
26/38
302
2
0
149
156
-7
Warner's Sunday was a tale of two halves. First half: 20-of-23 with one defensive pass interference penalty, 262 passing yards, two touchdowns, 13 first downs. Second half? 6-of-15, 40 yards, one sack, one first down. You can't say many nice things about the Houston defense so far this year, but that's quite the halftime adjustment.
5.
Tony Romo DAL
20/34
351
2
0
140
142
-1
The trials and tribulations of the league's most-scrutinized quarterback continue. We'll provide talking points for both sides. Romo detractors can note that it took him till overtime to beat the Chiefs, that his fumble set up the Chiefs' first touchdown, and that his gaudy numbers came thanks to the Chiefs' poor tackling and a lot of Miles Austin runs after catches. His supporters can point out that Romo had the game won before the defense allowed a late drive, that Patrick Crayton fumbled twice, and that Romo averaged over 10 yards per attempt without his best receiver in the lineup. All this arguing will produce enough hot air to expand Cowboys Stadium by several feet, allowing Jerry Jones to quietly raise his mammoth television and placate the league.
6.
Matt Schaub HOU
35/50
371
2
1
130
121
10
All anyone will remember about Schaub's game by tomorrow are the interception that was returned by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for a touchdown, and the pass Schaub rushed and overthrew to a wide open Joel Dreessen in the
end zone during the team's final series. Truthfully, the interception was a worse throw. When a quarterback throws that out pattern, it's absolutely imperative that he get enough zip on the ball to make it through to the sideline without a defender being able to get a jump on it. For whatever reason, Schaub's throw to Kevin Walter wasn't close to having the velocity it needed. It was an easy pick for Rodgers-Cromartie.
7.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA
18/30
241
4
0
126
120
6
Hasselbeck got better as the day went along (or the Jaguars defense got worse). He was 7-of-7 on first down, but his final three throws on first downs went for touchdowns of 34, 44, and 13 yards; meanwhile, although he converted only one of his first six third downs, his next four were all either first downs or touchdowns.
8.
Donovan McNabb PHI
16/21
264
3
0
123
110
13
An overmatched defense gave a still-recuperating McNabb little problem. That completion percentage was impressively high for a player who tends to bounce a few in the dirt or sail a few each game, even when he's been playing well and in a steady rhythm. McNabb continues his rehab against the Raiders next week.
9.
Peyton Manning IND
36/44
309
3
1
113
113
0
This seems a little low for Manning, who absolutely dominated a Titans' pass defense that continued to look awful. His one interception came when he was hit in the motion of throwing. While he looked great all game, he was in another world during the second quarter: 14-of-14, 148 yards, and a touchdown.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
10.
Tom Brady NE
19/33
215
2
0
103
103
0
Brady has the reputation as the unflappable clutch quarterback because of his two famous Super Bowl drives, but he's had his fair share of last-second drives that fell short, too. Here's another one, and it might have little to do with Brady. Left tackle Matt Light left the game in the fourth quarter with what looked like a serious knee injury, and he was replaced by rookie Sebastian Vollmer. Brady threw only five more passes the rest of the way, and on the final drive, the team used far more of Sammy Morris on the ground than they likely would have normally. Of course,
Brady was sacked and stripped of the ball on what ended up being the team's final offensive snap.
11.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
23/30
277
3
1
93
93
0
It looked like Big Ben would make it through a rare sackless game until the fourth quarter, at which point he was sacked on three of his final seven dropbacks. Of course, if you give Roethlisberger time, he'll tear you apart; those 30 passes yielded 11 first downs.
MNF.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
13/23
172
1
0
89
87
3
12.
Brett Favre MIN
18/24
232
1
1
63
63
0
A strange split for Favre this week saw him go 7-for-8 for 123 yards on second down, including a two-yard loss on a pass to himself. Although Bernard Berrian is the league's avowed leader at drawing pass interference penalties downfield, it was instead Sidney Rice who picked up 34 yards on a DPI call this week.
13.
Carson Palmer CIN
18/31
271
1
1
54
47
8
It's only a decent day for Palmer, but you can't argue with how the guy has played late in games this year. For the second row, he converted a crucial fourth down by scrambling for a first down, and while he was the lucky recipient of a Ravens penalty on the play before his touchdown pass, Palmer's making the most of his opportunities. He'll take that over gaudy numbers.
14.
Matt Cassel KC
23/41
253
2
0
53
48
5
We had a typo in our piece about Cassel last week, as he only has two interceptions on the year (our apologies). He's a strange mix of skills so far, and the closest player we can compare him to at this point is sort of a poor man's Ben Roethlisberger; he's taking a lot of sacks, but unlike the early-edition Cassel, he's not turning the ball over. That's useful.
15.
David Carr NYG
9/13
90
0
0
35
19
16
Carr went unsacked in 14 dropbacks, with only an aborted snap against his record. It is more difficult to not sack David Carr in 13 tries than it is to sack any other quarterback in the league. We almost feel like the Raiders deserve some sort of bizarre credit for this.
16.
Jake Delhomme CAR
16/24
181
1
1
9
3
6
With little doing on the ground -- the Panthers were held to 2.7 yards per carry -- it was on Delhomme to make things happen offensively, and he did just enough to win. It's been four weeks since the Philadelphia game now, and it's pretty clear that there's no lasting effects. He's going to be the same quarterback he always was moving forward through the rest of this season.
17.
Jason Campbell WAS
17/23
149
1
0
3
10
-8
His stat line for the day was eminently reasonable, considering the porous offensive line that plays in front of him. Looking back at the offseason debate, would the Redskins really have benefited from replacing Campbell with Jay Cutler or Mark Sanchez? You can make the "energy" argument about bringing in a new QB, but the 'Skins spent umpteen dollars bringing "energy" to the organization by signing Albert Haynesworth. The problem here isn't Campbell, it's the talent and the depth in front of him.
18.
Kerry Collins TEN
19/32
164
0
1
0
0
0
The final numbers are ugly, but they were driven by streaks of wild inconsistency. In one stretch, Collins completed three consecutive passes, threw three incomplete passes and then a pick, completed five more consecutive, and then alternated streaks of three completions and incompletions. Keep in mind that the Colts were missing Bob Sanders and both their starting corners, Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden. The Titans are 0-5. What does Collins need to do to give Vince Young his job back?
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
19.
Joe Flacco BAL
22/31
186
1
2
-1
-6
5
20.
Kyle Boller STL
20/31
209
0
1
-4
-6
2
This is what your average backup quarterback looks like; Boller's got a stronger arm than most backups, but he can be careless with the ball and is inaccurate. The bigger problem for the Rams is that Boller is probably better than the man he's backing up, Marc Bulger. One bright spot is the play of slot receiver Danny Amendola, who caught all five passes thrown to him and picked up three first downs.
21.
Trent Edwards BUF
16/31
156
0
1
-23
-25
2
You know it's been a weird day when you put up a quarterback rating of 52.1 and it's more than triple the score of your opponent. And you lose. The difference between Edwards' day and Anderson's wasn't as dramatic in DYAR because of volume; Edwards threw nearly twice as many passes as Andrews, and while he completed far more of them, he wasn't doing much more to move his team towards first downs. He also took one more sack than Anderson did, and threw the same number of picks.
22.
Daunte Culpepper DET
24/37
282
1
1
-47
-66
20
23.
David Garrard JAC
18/31
188
0
0
-51
-48
-4
Most of Garrard's positive numbers came during a streak of seven consecutive completions at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth; unfortunately, the Jaguars were already down 34 points, and the streak ended when a Garrard fumble was returned for a touchdown.
24.
Josh Johnson TB
26/50
240
2
3
-58
-72
15
Baptism by fire for Johnson, who's clearly not ready to diagnose the complicated blitz packages employed by the Eagles. As a result, Johnson was often left with an unblocked rusher careening towards him at high speeds. He was also victimized by several drops by the "hot" receivers designated as outlets on those blitzes, which depressed his numbers some. All in all, he could have done a lot worse.
25.
Shaun Hill SF
15/38
198
0
1
-88
-106
19
An ugly day on second down for our game manager. Hill didn't pick up a single first down on any of his 13 tries there, and completed only three passes for 21 yards.
26.
Derek Anderson CLE
2/17
23
0
1
-92
-94
2
You can only do so much damage in 17 pass attempts when you only turn the ball over once, but what's there to say? He was terrible on first down (1-of-5 for seven yards). He was worse on second down (an incompletion and an interception). On third down, he was 1-of-10 with a sack, but the sack was only for a loss of one yard. It was terrible, but it just wasn't as bad as ...
27.
JaMarcus Russell OAK
8/13
100
0
0
-99
-99
0
Yep, no surprise. Did the Raiders stop having Russell throw the ball once he got to that 8-of-13 level just so he could leave with a positive completion percentage on the day? Then again, the problem might have just been Russell's inability to stay upright. In the second half, the Raiders called eight pass plays and nine run plays; Russell only threw five passes, though, since he was sacked three times. He was unlucky to lose all three of his fumbles, but the bigger concern is that he fumbled three times in the first place.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
MNF.
Ricky Williams MIA
68
0
70
0
57
27
30
1.
Ahmad Bradshaw NYG
110
2
55
0
54
28
26
The runaway man. Oakland struggled with a similar back a week ago in Steve Slaton, so it was little surprise that they had no answer for the undersized-yet-powerful Bradshaw. Oakland's got awful fundamentals defensively, failing to wrap up on tackles and alternately overpursuing to the ball or loafing when it's not coming in their direction. If anyone on the offense gets to the second level, it's very easy to either get a helmet on them for a quick block or simply let the Raiders beat themselves with poor angles to the ballcarrier, blown assignments, or those missed tackles. Not to take anything away from Bradshaw, who deserves some praise, but he got a lot of help.
2.
Cedric Benson CIN
120
1
16
0
40
37
3
And the 100-yard streak hath been slayed. Sure, the only reason the Giants didn't break it last year was because they split carries between their backs, but there was little reason to believe that Cedric Benson would be the player to make the Ravens' defense seem human. Both Benson and his new offensive line deserve credit; his success wasn't the result of one fluke run, but consistent gains throughout the game. On 14 first down carries, Benson picked up five yards or more five times, averaging 5.2 yards a pop. He converted his only third-down carry as well.
3.
Tashard Choice DAL
92
1
0
0
39
42
-4
Felix Jones has all the speed and the nagging injuries, and Marion Barber has the money and the crazy running style, so what does Choice get? Well, just what everyone in Dallas wants right about now: A guy who's going to consistently push the ball forward and make plays without getting hurt. All of his carries came on first down except for one, a 12-yard gain on second-and-13. He had only one carry below four yards. Granted, he only had eight attempts, but he did a lot with them.
MNF.
Ronnie Brown MIA
74
2
14
0
36
35
1
Ronnie Brown leads all running backs with 157 rushing DYAR this season. No other running back is over 100.
4.
Ray Rice BAL
69
0
74
1
35
9
26
We were concerned about Rice's speed -- or lack thereof -- coming out of Rutgers, but his agility and ability as a multi-faceted player is making him a very viable option at the pro level. His combination of vision, agility, strength, and acceleration led to one of the prettiest plays of the season, a 48-yard touchdown catch that required Rice to pick up all 48 of the yards after he caught the ball.
5.
Rashard Mendenhall PIT
77
1
16
0
31
19
12
Remember the concept of "despite." Just because the Steelers won two World Championships with Willie Parker doesn't mean that Willie Parker
is the best running back on the Pittsburgh roster. Mendenhall has benefited from back-to-back weak rush defenses, but there's no reason that he should be placed on the bench when Parker comes back. A timeshare will work best, but it should be weighted in Mendenhall's direction.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Larry Johnson KC
37
0
9
0
-33
-37
4
One first down on 21 carries. An average of a whopping 1.4 yards on his 14 first down attempts. We'll be beating this drum for ten more years before it gets in everyone's head, but the impact of an offensive line on running backs means far more than teams realize. Look at Larry Johnson's performance after replacing Priest Holmes (who himself benefited from that offensive line), and look at the numbers he puts up now. We don't track this, but if you tracked the number of players that were in the backfield by the time Johnson was handed the ball in games today, it would probably be three or four times as many as there were during Johnson's glory days.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Roddy White ATL
8
10
210
26.2
2
96
One of the top 40 WR DYAR games since 1994. White started off with an incomplete pass, but then he went to work. His next seven targets were all complete, for a total of 200 yards, five first downs, and two scores. While 80 yards of his 90-yard touchdown came after the catch, everything else was downfield, as he only had four yards after catch on the other six targets in that stretch. He doesn't get the hype that Larry Fitzgerald or even Andre Johnson does, but he's absolutely of their caliber. Sure, he gets to play with Matt Ryan ... but Matt Ryan gets to play with Roddy White.
2.
Miles Austin DAL
10
15
250
25.0
2
86
We highlighted Austin as a potential star by naming him as Football Outsiders' top professional prospect in our yearly Top 25 Prospects list (which includes players on their rookie contracts selected after the second round). A small-school prospect out of Monmouth, Austin has the ideal size and speed for a receiver, and has worked hard on his routes and his hands. He has momentary lapses of concentration, but as you can see from those numbers, he's capable of very special things if given the opportunity. The difference between him and Roy Williams certainly isn't worth the difference in their paychecks.
3.
Jeremy Maclin PHI
6
8
142
23.7
2
64
Maclin took over for an injured Kevin Curtis and showed Philly fans what they can expect to look forward to for the next three years or so, as Maclin worked across from DeSean Jackson and made a mockery of Tampa's attempt to move away from the Cover-2 scheme that bore their name leaguewide. With a lone deep safety on most plays, Maclin abused whichever corner he was up against and made big plays downfield. It's scary to think what the Eagles will be able to do downfield this time next year.
4.
Kellen Winslow TB
9
12
102
11.3
2
63
If there's one potential weakness for the Eagles, though, it'll be defending against tight ends. After the injury to Stewart Bradley in the preseason, the team turned to the benched Omar Gaither in the middle before benching him again and giving a fair share of his playing time to Jeremiah Trotter. Neither Gaither or Trotter can handle speedy tight ends like Winslow, though, and he took advantage of his opportunities on Sunday.
5.
Larry Fitzgerald ARI
5
6
79
15.8
2
57
Fitzgerald's normal role in the red zone is more to occupy defenders than actually make plays himself -- Anquan Boldin's red-zone DVOA far surpasses Fitzgerald's over the last few seasons -- but he picked up a touchdown from the 9-yard line on Sunday, and added another one from the 26. Teams will look to see what Houston did to neutralize him in the second half; as Warner's numbers dropped, so did Fitzgerald's. The star had only a lone incomplete pass thrown in his direction.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Michael Clayton TB
3
12
25
8.3
0
-49
It would be one thing if Clayton was the target of a lot of deep incomplete passes, but he was the subject of five incomplete passes on Sunday that traveled no more than six yards away from the line of scrimmage. That's the Wes Welker zone, and you've gotta catch about 70 percent of those passes to keep up.

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

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 13 Oct 2009

80 comments, Last at 16 Oct 2009, 4:56pm by Pat (filler)

Comments

1
by langsty (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:13pm

matt ryan fucking owns

peace.

2
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:22pm

Even seeing Michael Clayton's name pisses me off. He killed the first Bucs drive by dropping a pass on 4th down, then managed to drop even more later. He runs crappy routes, can't hold onto the ball, and invariably screws up at just the wrong time. But hey, he blocks well, so that makes it all OK.

He had that great rookie year and it's been nothing but a giant bucket of suck since then.

15
by Doug Farrar :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:28pm

I have to imagine it's even worse knowing that the Seahawks tried to outbid the Bucs for Clayton's services (proving that Tim Ruskell learned nothing about receiver eval during his time in Tampa Bay), and Clayton decided to stay in Tampa. Which is the only reason T.J. Houshamazood is currently wearing Seahawks mystery blue.

31
by Misfit74 :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:17pm

Well, that God for that.

42
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:53pm

*stabs self in head*

No, no, that doesn't really help.

3
by Key19 :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:25pm

Fitz top 5 but Andre not? Interesting.

So much for Braylon making the cut, btw.

How do the Cowboys have a player in the Top 5 this week at every position yet still only beat the Chiefs by 6 in OT? Were Crayton, Barber, Hurd, and Witten really that bad? Or just Crayton?

As for Romo, I thought he played very well this week without even considering the long plays. He was pretty accurate from what I remember. He didn't make dumb throws. He made the improvisational throw when he needed to (4th quarter, Austin over the middle on 3rd and medium-long after almost getting sacked twice). He had his WRs make a few drops (Austin twice, Hurd once, Crayton at least twice). I don't think it's realistic to expect anything more out of him than what he gave this week.

9
by Bobman :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:51pm

Maybe they can work out a Braylon Edwards Exceeds Expectations scale.... I was certainly surprised, based on what I had heard.

13
by Temo :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:24pm

Penalties (4 defensive offsides ON THE SAME DRIVE!). Yes, they only totaled for 90 yards... but they all seemed to occur at importune times, either wiping out big plays or making 3rd and short into 3rd and medium right outside FG range.

Missed FGs-- Folk missed 2 FGs that would have put the game out of reach

Turnovers-- Crayton's fumble, the fumbled snap that should be more on Gurode than Romo

The Eagles Syndrome-- Offense is efficient and marches down the field but then stalls out in the Red Zone, resulting in a good DVOA, but poor actual production. With the Cowboys it was how they marched down the field multiple times, only to have to settle for FGs inside the 10 yard line twice when receivers dropped easily catchable balls. And the missed FGs, of course.

37
by Key19 :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:43pm

I thought Folk only missed one... Thought he ended up 2/3 with the makes from the 20s and miss from the 40s.

The offsides calls were ridiculous. How do you do that so many times? Reminded me of LSU/UF game...

I know it's easier said than done, but if this team could just get out of their own way, they would be very good I think.

Flozell needs to sit down. Really, REALLY poor last two games after a solid start. Guess he's not as good when he's not able to get in a trip or two. Doug Free is the backup I'm most confident in on this team, while Flozell is in the top 3 for my least confident starters. Too bad Wade refuses to/isn't allowed to give some starting time to the backups. I'm really interested to see Free.

44
by Temo :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 3:12pm

Whatever, 1 FG, 2 FG. Doug Free does get more hype than the other backup lineman, which given this team's history with personnel probably means he's barely competent.

21
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:45pm

How do the Cowboys have a player in the Top 5 this week at every position yet still only beat the Chiefs by 6 in OT? Were Crayton, Barber, Hurd, and Witten really that bad? Or just Crayton?

Perhaps because - at least in the case of Tashard Choice - Son of Bum opted to go repeatedly with the less useful back, leaving the more gifted player on the bench for much of the game.

And Hurd and Austin (I think) both dropped very catchable TD passes in regular time, which would've made OT moot with a final score of 34-20.

39
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:44pm

Or maybe Jerry accidently sent Barnwell the gift package he usually sends to the refs to "keep it fair".

73
by Vague (not verified) :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 3:55am

is it bitter that i thought of neil o donnell when i read this?

64
by ChrisZ (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:56pm

'Dre had a drop (maybe 2, I don't remember), don't remember Fitzgerald dropping the ball. That may be the difference

4
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:34pm

It wasn't Trotter or Gaither in coverage on any of the completed passes to Winslow on Sunday. (just saying)

48
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:09pm

I know you're concerned about Gocong, but I'm more concerned about Macho Harris, who was in coverage just as often vs. Winslow.

50
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:33pm

Yeah, I'm concerned about Harris, too - he's frequently a step or two out of position... but he's also a rookie, so I'm hoping with the soft early schedule (Carolina, KC, the Bucs, now Oak, then Was), he can get some on-field experience without it being too much of detriment on the whole. On the other hand, maybe he needs to play some good teams to learn anything...

5
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:35pm

I was interested by the comment about Cassel: "He's a strange mix of skills so far." I would certainly agree, but I was curious if I could find someone similar. So I went through to figure out where he would fit in the p-f-r categories (though of course he doesn't have all that many attempts yet) and who that would compare him to. He comes up as completer-safe-vulture-holder, which puts him with Bill Munson, Rich Gannon, Joe Montana, Joe Theisman, Steve Bartkowski, Fran Tarkenton, Brad Johnson, Don Majkowski, Bubby Brister, Jeff Garcia, Bert Jones, and Rick Mirer. Interestingly, Ben comes up as almost the complete opposite: bomber-fun-yardage eater-holder (which is amazing because the comparison certainly doesn't seem strained).

I don't think that means anything, but I thought it was interesting.

27
by Kibbles :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:01pm

That's not too surprising, since my first thought after the Ben comparison was "outside of the sacks, what do they have in common?". Apparently, according to PFR, the answer is "nothing". I was thinking of Cassel more as a rich man's David Carr than a poor man's Ben Roethlisberger. Lots of sacks, relatively few interceptions per attempt, and no desire to complete a pass more than 15 yards past the LoS.

33
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:25pm

I actually thought of Jeff Garcia as a comp in skill set before I looked this up. Part of the deal is that p-f-r's personality types don't include scrambling ability at all, and I think to most of us that is an important distinction between QBs and probably part of why he thought of Ben and I thought of Garcia. That's also probably part of why I wouldn't have come up with David Carr, though he seems a good comparison as a passer.

6
by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:40pm

I imagine the Dolphins special team isn't going to grade out so well this week.

7
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:40pm

The flip side of the gaudy passing numbers, and also the rushing numbers, is the hideous tackling. Maybe it was because I watched the Red Zone Channel, but it seemed as if I was watching one long play after another, about every five minutes, that resulted from tackling technique one usually sees at the local park, where about the helmets top out at about 5 feet above the ground. I swear, Brown and Leggett were drunk when they played the Cowboys.

8
by Travis :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:47pm

Does Ronnie Brown's DYAR include his passing?

38
by Key19 :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:44pm

I highly doubt it does.

40
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:50pm

I posit they need to add Ronnie Brown to the QB dyar list for the plays he takes as QB. It would be interesting to see how a change of pace WildCat RB would rank. Since it's a counting stat he would probably be relatively low.

10
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:53pm

Also, I think Miami's numbers from last night is an indicator that, for teams with the right personnel mix and commitment, the wildcat (gosh can se just use the term "single wing") is a lot more than a short term novelty. The different personnel groupings the Dolphins are employing, at any point in the game, really keeps opposing defensive coordinators on the, yes, defensive.

19
by Tim F. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:38pm

I was a strict observer of the "true" Wildcat until last night. It seemed like nearly half of the "Wildcat" plays were the new 2TE, 4RB - not quite "22" formation -- look. So even though up 'til now, I didn't consider the flea flickers, Pat White plays, and assorted direct snaps without the QB split wide as a halfback, etc... as the Wildcat even though it seems to be the only word anyone else can ever speak of the Dolphins, the "Wildcat" for the Dolphins is no longer just the single wing.

11
by Joel (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:06pm

Another week, another quick reads telling us why it isn't Jason Campbell's fault.

20
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:41pm

Jason Campbell may never be a successful NFL QB, but I would bet large sums of money that if the Redskins had gotten Cutler or Sanchez in the offseason they would be in exactly the same position they are right now. The defense would still be a mess, the O-line would still be a major weak point, the running game would still be poor, and the head coach would still be "embattled" as rumors swirled regarding his potential replacements.

49
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:29pm

BGA is right: No one is saying Campbell is Peyton Manning. But he's not JaMarcus Russell. The offensive line, however, is probably one of the worst in the league.

If the Redskins replace Campbell *and* the OL in the offseason, fine - that might be a universal upgrade. But if they just draft a QB at the top of the 1st round and leave the OL full of UDFAs and injury-riddled 30+ year olds, all that will happen is that Redskins fans will start saying "Colt McCoy's not the problem..."

53
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:42pm

So who on the O-Line is the problem???

Samuels? NO, he's a pro bowler.
Dockery? NO, he's a good LG
Raubach? Not great in pass blocking ( most centers aren't) but he can run block
Thomas? No, he WAS a good RG
Heyer? He's average at best

So before Thoams got hurt, you had 4/5 good and average players. That's hardly one of the worst lines in the league. Further, you had the beef to run block. Heyer is average at best, and there will be a below average guy filling in at RG ( Mike Williams wasn't horrible last week but I wouldn't expect it to keep up). If Samuels is hurt and they have to reshuffel the line then you MIGHT start to see real cracks but I don't think their line is as bad as everybody cries about.

When your QB holds onto the ball forever, it MAKES your line look worse. There was an article highlighting the QB's abnormal propensity to hold onto the ball, plus a slow mechanical release.

There are QB's that hold onto the ball longer than others ( say Warner), but Warner throws the ball downfield. What makes this QB's problem even worse is the fact that he's supposed to be running a WCO, and he never really takes shots down the field unless they are predetermined.

If your QB can't "beat" other people, it IS a problem unless you have a strong run game and a dominant defense. If they ever want to win a SB, they'll need a new QB whether it's Collins, Brennan, Bradford or Sneed.

It's not like their backup QB doesn't have a better career winning percentage and didn't lead this team to the playoffs a few years ago in MUCH better QB play...

61
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:15pm

Samuels? NO, he's a pro bowler.

Art Shell is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, and I hear he's available. Hall of Fame is better than Pro Bowl, right? So maybe they should go pick him up.

Chris Samuels *was* a Pro Bowler. He won't be one this year. And he looked like their best OL. (And his Pro Bowl nod last year was based purely on run blocking - if they had been looking for the best overall tackle, it wasn't Samuels. Not even close)

Dockery? NO, he's a good LG

Yeah, no. I have a long list of plays where Dockery just ended up standing around blocking air as his guy brought the RB down or put pressure on Campbell. Dockery was let go by the Bills. The Bills. This is not a team that has tons of OL depth. And they thought that he wasn't worth keeping.

Thomas? No, he WAS a good RG

And now he's not. What am I missing?

I'll say again, you're way too focused on past performance. In some cases *several years ago* performance (Todd Collins). Collins is 37. Why don't they just bring in Jeff George? I hear he was a competent QB a few years ago, too.

Also, to get back on topic, the Redskins OL even last year was far, far better at run blocking than they were at pass protection.

When your QB holds onto the ball forever, it MAKES your line look worse.

Look, I'm not blindly looking at Campbell's stats. I watch the games, and in the case of the Redskins and Eagles, usually more than once. Does Campbell hold on to the ball too long? Sometimes, yes. Does the OL in front of him struggle with pass protection? Especially when they're facing a stunt or a blitz? Uh, yeah. A lot.

It doesn't take a genius to recognize the difference between a QB who holds onto the ball too long and one who doesn't.

And I still have no idea what your beef is with Campbell's delivery speed. It's about average. It's actually up a notch this year, but that's probably sample size.

76
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 8:56am

Samuels might not make the pro bowl this year because he's now injured. To discredit him weakens your argument. The guy has a handful of pro bowls. The Redskins have a good LT...

Dockery might have been released from Buffalo, but that's after he signed a mammoth contract. You think that had anything to do with it? It's not like they just cut him beause he stinks.

So here's a quick question... Who would you rather have... Rich Seubert and David Diehl or the Redskins left side of their line? You think Rich Seubert would ever get an 80 million dollar deal because I don't. How about Diehl, do you think he's a better pass blocker than Samuels? But the Giants line is so good, and the Redskins line is so bad right?

Hold onto the ball too long... Sometimes? Yeah, like when he's trying to throw the ball more than 5 yards down field. If he's going to throw a smoke screen or the TE drag route maybe not, but you put them into a passing situation and they are sack prone. The delivery isn't fast enough, he's a tall guy with long arms and the ball comes out too slow ( but on the bright side he does have a strong arm). I think the release has been a little faster as the coach told him to hold the ball up higher to reduce fumbles, but it's still too slow and when you mix that with holding onto the ball too long I don't like it.

ALSO, if you are going to complain about the Redskins offensive line/pass protection, please complain about Clinton Portis ( maybe the best blocking HB in the league), and complain about that other Pro Bowler Mike Sellers who can pass block himself....

You could do worse with their 5 lineman plus Portis or Sellers blocking. This week maybe different due to injuries, but that's another story...

80
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Fri, 10/16/2009 - 4:56pm

OK, look. Nearly all of the Redskins sacks from last week are on NFL.com. Go look at them.

Campbell's sack/fumble from last week: Batiste does a complete turnstile impression at LT. Casey Rabach and Mike Williams don't do much better, double teaming their man and still being unable to block him.

Campbell didn't hold onto the ball too long - he dropped, and immediately had a rusher in his face.

Sack 2: Williams ends up flat on his butt, and Heyer nearly so, as the pocket collapses before Campbell even finishes his drop.

Sack 3: Dockery can't hold his block long enough for the play to develop. The play is obviously intended to go to Chris Cooley, who heads off to the flat after the WRs clear the corners, but by the time Cooley is off and running, Dockery is turning to watch his man rush free at Campbell.

Sack 4: Marcus Mason barely slows down the blitzing LB. Chris Cooley plays patty-cake with his man. And Mike Williams *plus* Heyer also barely slow down the guy they're *double teaming*. Batiste stands around blocking air. Campbell has a free rusher before his drop is finished.

Sack 5: Batiste and Mike Williams are again beaten right off the snap, even though Williams has help from Rabach. Campbell's checkdown (to his right) has three Panthers in the vicinity, so he wisely pulls it down and tries to run.

On absolutely *none* of those sacks did he hold the ball too long. Your previous statement that you think that Mike Williams did "okay" is almost comical, as he was really, really bad.

Some of the OL on the line are serviceable. Samuels was their best pass protector, but he wasn't playing well this year anyway and now he's out. Williams gets beaten by any kind of speed move, Batiste should be playing in the UFL, and Heyer's footwork is awful.

ALSO, if you are going to complain about the Redskins offensive line/pass protection, please complain about Clinton Portis

He's a running back. A great pass blocking running back is great when you've got an OL that's already good. He can't make up for a bad OL because if he stays in, the line's got to block longer since the routes are deeper.

Plus their backup RBs suck at pass protection. Portis has to come out to breathe occasionally, and when he does, it's a disaster.

51
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:35pm

The Redskins O-Line really wasn't bad in the game. They had one pass play in particular where they had a long time to throw due to Clinto Portis running and doubling Peppers. The Redskins had 1 TD pass on... you guessed it, a 0 yard pass to Clinton Portis inside the red zone where he beat some guys and ran it in after a cheap turnover to start the game...

I just don't understand why more teams don't play cover "0", or Cover "1", Jam the WR's and blitz the hell out of them and force them to throw the ball downfield? If you know nearly every throw is going to happen within 5 yards the LOS, it's a lot easier to defense a smaller plot of land than a bigger plot of land...

The announcers said that their QB doesn't like play action because it puts his back to the defense, and then he has to take time to "re-adjust" when he's facing the defense again. Could that be part of the reason why he holds onto the ball too long?

Next week might be problems though. With Samuels out, Stephen Heyer moves to LT, Mike Williams might move to RT. and Chad Rheinhart to RG. New guys in new positions is a great way to have penalties and missed blocks.

Would the Redskins be better with Cutler or Mark Sanches? I'd bet Snyder wished he had a time machine right about now.

66
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 6:30pm

Would the Redskins be better with Cutler or Mark Sanches?

No, not significantly better. Those guys wouldn't help the line run-block any better or help Portis run faster. They wouldn't call different plays. They certainly wouldn't affect the defense in any way. Considering that Campbell's worst performance by far came in a win, they probably wouldn't even have won any more games.

75
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 8:47am

Would you be happier as a Redskins fan for the FUTURE with Cutler or Sanchez? I'm not talking about a 5 game sample, I'm talking about the next 2, 3, 5, 7 years? Wouldn't you rather have Cutler or Sanchez?

I wouldn't expect a rookie who came out his Junior year to light it up... but he's played better than you'd expect/hope for, and he does shown promise. I mean, this is his 2nd offensive coordinator in 2 years ( popular Redskins excuse for poor QB play).

79
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 1:31pm

Well, if you add Cutler you have to take away at least 2 first round draft picks, plus assorted other goodies. The Redskins would be better off at QB but even worse off everywhere else.

12
by Led :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:15pm

Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are a handful. They're a lot like McFadden and Felix Jones in the original Wildcat incarnation. Brown is big, fast, shifty, and probably the best cutback runner in the league (apologies to Chris Johnson). And Williams is a high speed tank.

But as good as those guys were last night, the MVP of that game was Dan Henning. His playcalling was brilliant. So good as to be a little lucky. He timed the screen pass to Williams on their second drive perfectly because the Jets were in an overload blitz to the other side. Result was a 59 yard play. The designed roll out that picked up a first down on 3rd and long on the final drive was another brilliant (or lucky?) call because once again the Jets were blitzing from the other side. Henning's use of tight formations and double tight end packages also helped neutralize the Jets blitz all night. As good as the Miami o-line, QB and backs played, and as poorly as the Jets entire defense played (particularly Scott and Pace), the difference in that game was coaching. Henning outcoached Ryan and Pettine.

17
by Anonymous Coward (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:31pm

When someone runs overload blitzes as much as Rex Ryan, I think you can credit the coordinator for attacking his opponent's tendencies rather than credit luck. There may have been something situational or pre-snap that tipped them off on those plays in particular or maybe not, not the type of thing an NFL will ever publicize.

18
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:32pm

I was just happy the Jets didn't win by way of a 50 yard phantom PI call.

22
by Led :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:49pm

That was a terrible call indeed. In real time I thought Allen was all over Edwards, but the replay showed that the contact was minimal. I will only add by way of counterpoint that Miami would not have scored the long TD to Ginn but for some flagrant uncalled holding against Kris Jenkins. So it sort of balanced out.

26
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:58pm

Well, from our angle, sent through the heavens, we really couldn't see it. I forgot to check where the striped shirts were, and which one thre the flag, but assuming that they weren't standing next to the cameraman, that call really sucked.

I have no doubt that your assessment of the holding on Jenkins is accurate, however.

28
by Kibbles :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:07pm

There's uncalled holding on pretty much every play, though. The uncalled hold on Jenkins might have been more severe, but I'm always more willing to overlook a missed hold because that's such a gray area where the officials clearly can't call everything they see.

As for the pass interference... here's a tip. If the receiver gets up and he isn't even looking for a flag or making indignant "he held me" gestures, then there was no pass interference. Seriously. If there's even incidental contact, receivers will campaign for the call for a good ten seconds. The fact that Braylon immediately got up and headed back to the huddle should have absolutely convinced whatever official that threw the flag that, whatever he thought he saw, he didn't.

32
by Bobman :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:19pm

Good point about the WR calling for a flag. It was a bad call and I am glad the gamne didn't swing on it.

I was watching the game with my good friend, Tom B, and he jumped off the couch doing his "can we get a flag here?" dance. That musta been why the laundry flew.

36
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:36pm

Hey, come on - it's perfectly understandable that the refs would think there was interference. I mean, what are the chances that Braylon Edwards drops a potentially game-clinching pass absent any interference?

77
by Bobman :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 12:48pm

Your humor is only exceeded by your subtlety.

Good one.

14
by Temo :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:27pm

See, and people were surprised when I said Choice was the best RB of the three.

16
by tinalidav (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:29pm

Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson are about the same size. What if they swapped jerseys? Maybe you'd see the opposing QB turn away from #21 towards #37, regardless of quality of coverage and the Raiders would have half a chance...

23
by Dan :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:50pm

So despite Mike ragging on the Bears offense in Audibles, Cutler still finished in the top 20 in passing DYAR on the week. If this is what they do in their "dismal performance[s]" I think they'll be alright.

52
by Anonguy :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:35pm

That was a joke man, c'mon.

62
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:21pm

Uh, so was this.

24
by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:51pm

Wow. Talk about not knowing a thing about NE's defense. Their CBs are playing extremely well and actually give far less a cushion than they have since 2004. If anything, the secondary is the strength of this young defense.

NE has always struggled with offenses that can go to their 3rd and 4th option without a big dropoff. I said before the game that Denver would have a surprisingly effective offensive day, but it had nothing to do with the CBs, just their style. NE is at their best when the opposing offense keys in on two or three things. It is the benefit and drawback of being more of a week-to-week gameplan defense.

You also failed to notice that it was Mankins' man who strip-sacked Brady, not Vollmer's.

Not to be an ass or anything, but your comments make me wonder if you even watched the game.

47
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:07pm

OK, all I have to say is that if you think Shawn Springs played "extremely well" on Sunday, you have a very, very distorted view of what a CB should do.

NE has always struggled with offenses that can go to their 3rd and 4th option without a big dropoff.

Denver wasn't going to their 3rd or 4th option on Sunday. In the 4th quarter, they were throwing the ball to whoever Springs was covering. Almost immediately.

74
by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 7:01am

Ahhh...

So if one guy out of 4-5 regulars has one tough game out of 5 that means the entire unit is suspect?

Thanks for the edification. One question though, by that standard is there a single good unit in the entire league? At any position?

Footballoutsiders can be wrong occasionally, Pat. It does happen.

25
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 1:57pm

Did the Raiders stop having Russell throw the ball once he got to that 8-of-13 level just so he could leave with a positive completion percentage on the day?

Has any quarterback ever had a negative completion percentage?

30
by Dan :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:15pm

Probably not, but I bet there are some quarterbacks who wish they did. Like Ed Brown, who was 0-of-4 with 3 interceptions in a tight game against the Cowboys, or Bob Davis who went 3-of-11 for -5 yards with an INT in relief of Archie Manning.

46
by KilsonFlob :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:01pm

Or the immortal Ryan Leaf, who went 1-15 for 4 yards and 2 INTs (also 3 lost fumbles!)

29
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:10pm

Regarding the Jamarcussiing of the Giants, I'd like to know when an NFL team last lost by more than 30 points while throwing 13 passes or less. It might be fair to say that Koach Cable and the Jawbreakers essentially forfeited the game.

35
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:35pm

I think if you read your statement over again, you will see how ridiculous it is. Surely you don't mean they had a better chance of winning by putting the ball in JaMarcus's hands?

43
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:54pm

Oh, gosh no. I was just referring to the fact that Our Man Jamarcus was on the field. I mean, hell, let Richard Seymour throw 20 or so passes!

54
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:47pm

How much credit did Russell get for completing passes down by 30 points compared to if he was completing passes in a tie game? What percentage or by how much was he discredited as far as DVOA goes?

71
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 10:09pm

Russell's performance gets compared relative to a baseline of QBs completing passes down 30 points. Those QBs tend to pass better than average, because the defense is soft, so the baseline's higher.

You don't discredit or discount the value by percentage - that'd just be ad-hoc. Comparing by equal situation is the most natural way to do it. If Russell's performance was far *better* than the average QB against a prevent defense, then that has some value.

It wasn't, of course. Russell's performance in the second half was an incomplete on first down, a 6 yard pass on 3rd and 10, a sack-fumble, a sack, a 9 yard pass on 3rd and 14, a 29 yard pass on 1st and 10, a 14 yard pass on 1st and 20, and a sack.

It's hard to comprehend exactly how bad Russell was. Playing against a defense with a 30+ point lead, Russell had 2/8 successful plays, and 3 seriously negative plays.

63
by Scott P. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:29pm

The Bengals in 1970.

34
by Really (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:33pm

I'm a Falcons Fan, but to put Roddy White on the Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald level is utter nonsense. Their ball skills are a clear tier above Roddy's. He is a solid, fast receiver with good size and chemistry with his QB. I would also add that he's a worthy #1 and he's getting better, but he isn't an elite receiver yet.

55
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:48pm

Agreed, a few sips less of Koo-Aid please.

Plus when Michael Vick was throwing him passes Vick had "no receivers".

59
by langsty (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:07pm

I think this is a reasonable assessment, and I'm a Falcons fan too.

41
by PatsFan :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 2:53pm

I'm amazed Brady came out that high. And who knows -- maybe some day again he'll be able to throw a ball over 20 yards in the air and have it be on target. Throwing it 15 feet over the head of a wide-open Moss in the endzone when he had all day to throw was just embarassing.

45
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 3:23pm

Efficiency in moving the chains counts a whole lot in DVOA/DYAR. And with all those short completions to Welker...

56
by C (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 4:58pm

The one comment made by Nance or Simms that pissed me off was after Edleman caught a pass they said he was "almost as good as Welker but not quite"... Gee ya think? Just because the guy had a couple good games and looks like him... they are ready to call him Welker 2.0. I don't think so. Catch 100 balls (with a good catch pct), good RAC numbers, and take the beating of an NFL before you compare him to Welker.

I was all ready to pick the Jets last night before I watched the tape of Buffalo/Miami on my day off... ( Yes I'm a geek).

The thing that stood out to me was that
1) Ronnie Brown is fantastic at knowing WHEN to hand it to Rickey and when to keep the ball. I know it's not rocket science reading an OLB, but he certainly knows how to run the keeper.
2) Ronnie Brown is also fantastic at running the ball and breaking tackles. When you combine 1&2, you are averaging what, 7.7 or so yards on run plays when most teams are picking up 2 or 3 yards... That puts you in 3rd and shorts, keeps the chains moving, keeps the clock moving, lets you own TOP etc.

The Dolphins would have made David Riccardo proud last night with their comparative advantage.

Ronnie/Rickey were efficient as can be at running the ball...
Henne was efficient as can be a throwing the ball...

If Miami didn't employ these strategies and ran a conventional offense... with an average at best O-Line... 2-3 yards on 1st & 2nd downs... 3rd and long's for Henne who holds onto the ball long.... they would have had more turnovers and a lot of punts... This Miami team is a couple of years removed from a 1-15 record and they won the AFC East last year...

I'm curious to see the Miami offensive DVOA because I thought they were very efficient... I know teams are copying the wildcat, but I just can't see them running it as smooth as Ronnie/Rickey can. You could tell these teams practiced this a lot in last years preseason/this year and have the personel where as some teams probably just added the plays during weekly practice...

60
by TheRuns :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:11pm

It will be interesting to see the offensive DVOA. And remember that Miami played a tight game against @ATL (L 19-7), practically owned Indy (anyone else but Manning and Miami wins), @SDC (where Pennington gets injured, Brown fumbles, etc.)....

They are playing fairly well for being 2-3.

72
by seamusfurr (not verified) :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 2:04am

The Atlanta game wasn't tight. Atlanta dominated them, and the 7 points for the Dolphins came right at the end of the game. It was nearly a shutout.

The SD game was excusable, because the Dolphins flew to the west coast following a game that ended early Tuesday morning. That was just cruel.

Overall, the Dolphins' rushing offense and defense have been phenomenal, but their pass defense has been dreadful in every game except Buffalo. And Cleveland actually shut them down more thoroughly than the Dolphins did.

67
by seamusfurr (not verified) :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 7:01pm

"I know teams are copying the wildcat, but I just can't see them running it as smooth as Ronnie/Rickey can."

Undoubtedly. Last year it was a gimmick that took early teams by surprise, and became less effective (and less a part of the Miami offense) as the season progressed. During the offseason, they refined it by pulling the QB off the field, and going big. Now it's a legitimate chunk of the offensive gameplanning.

You're right -- it's being copied, and nobody's committed to it the way Miami has. At this point, defenses have figured out the half-assed versions that most teams have implemented. (Look at how it blew up in the Jets' faces last night the one time they tried to run it.)

After the game, Calvin Pace was quoted something to the effect of, "I can't respect that offense. This is the NFL, and they're running tricks." 400+ yards and 31 points worth of tricks.

69
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 7:49pm

That may have been the first David Ricardo comparison I've ever seen in reference to a football game. Bonus points if you can work in Eugene Fama.

57
by TheRuns :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:04pm

So breaking down Ronnie Brown's 157 DYAR:
1) No other RB has one above 100
2) 40-50% adjusted for D's at this point (I am unsure if this include week 5 D ranks)
3) Miami played @ATL, IND, @SDC, BUF and NYJ
4) The opponents DVOA rank (as of week 4) are: 24, 9, 30, 19 and 5th, respectively
5) The opponents DVOA rush defense rank (as of week 4) are: 25, 20, 32, 29 and 15th, respectively (with the NYJ rush D rank sure to drop!)

Conclusion: Great performance by RB against weak 2009 rush D that still includes preseason projection (one that includes San Diego having an above average rush D), but is sure to come down to earth.

Two questions for FO:
1) The DYAR account for the mean running back performance, so are there any indicatiors that someone (i.e. Brown) will regress some towards the mean?
2) Is there a normal DYAR range?

58
by Yaguar :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 5:06pm

I would just like to point out that Jamarcus's DVOA for the season is worse than Ryan Leaf's DVOA for his rookie year.

That is all.

65
by Theo :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 6:13pm

"His 18 dropbacks yielded two completions, 14 incompletions, an interception, and a sack. He picked up 23 passing yards in the process."

I saw the Spijkernisse QB do better and that was in the netherlands.

68
by Jon :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 7:42pm

Rice could be the exception to Speed Score. Weight is assumed to correspond with power, but he's a bit of an anomaly in that regard. In college, he played like Brandon Jacobs. I expected him to be successful in the NFL, but to have a rather short career. Rice still has a lot of power, but he's being used more as an outside runner and receiver from what I've seen

70
by afootballfan :: Tue, 10/13/2009 - 8:25pm

Roethlisberger now being compared to Matt Casell on footballoutsiders.
You have to wonder when the Roethlisberger hate will cease with the
New England Outsiders. It has been going on for 5 years. lol

78
by Bobman :: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 1:01pm

I hadn't picked up on that... really? As a Colts fan who is usually more concerned about facing Ben than Tom, I am right in the middle and never thought Ben got the shaft here. And going back years and years Aaron (and others) have always bent over backwards to temper the readers' Manning disdain. They probably could have trademarked the phrase "This just in: Peyton Manning is good." So I assumed they'd spread the open-minded wealth to include other top QBs. Great, now I have more subtext to read.

Or, to paraphrase Chris Collinsworst, maybe Ben has to win a few more super bowls to be considered great. That man is a genius.