Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Impact of the NFL's Kickoff Rule Change

After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?

03 Nov 2009

Week 8 Quick Reads

by Bill Barnwell

We are blessed to live in remarkable times. Remarkably awful times.

Sure, there's a handful of Hall of Famers at the top of the quarterback charts. That's common knowledge. What fans don't realize is what's at the bottom: A historic amount of detritus.

Through the first eight weeks of the 2009 NFL season, 5.8 percent of quarterback starts and substitute appearances of ten attempts or more have resulted in quarterback ratings of 30.0 or below. That's notably higher than in any of the five previous seasons, which have produced such "disaster games" 3.7 percent of the time. It also bears a pretty strong relationship to losing: From 2004 through 2008, when quarterbacks have posted a QB rating under 30, they've gone 14-83 (.144 winning percentage). This year, such quarterbacks are 1-13, with the only victory coming when Derek Anderson's Browns eked out a 6-3 win over the Bills in Week 5.

Year "Disaster Starts"
Rate
2004 3.7%
2005 3.6%
2006 3.9%
2007 2.9%
2008 4.0%
2009 5.8%

Although Anderson's start against the Bears was the only one to qualify for this ignominious honor this week, there are several obviously overmatched quarterbacks taking snaps under center right now. Their presence in the lineup comes thanks to injury (Ryan Fitzpatrick), organizational stubbornness (Anderson), the ravages of time (Marc Bulger), or the desperate attempt to justify spending several truckloads of money (JaMarcus Russell). The Lions and Jets play terrifyingly inconsistent rookies in Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez, and hope they can learn on the fly. They've got the benefit of an acceptable excuse.

So sure, get in line to tell the legends of Peyton, Brady, and Brees. There's a more remarkable story on the other side of the tracks, where Anderson, Fitzpatrick, and Russell are polishing their UFL resumes with some of the worst quarterback play of the decade.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Brett Favre MIN
17/28
244
4
0
216
216
0
We'll spare you the psychoanalysis and just note that Favre had a wonderful day against a very good pass defense on the road, and a lot of it had to do with his performance on first down: 6-of-8, 156 yards, four first downs, and two touchdowns.
2.
Tony Romo DAL
21/36
256
3
0
149
147
3
Romo's numbers would look better with three defensive pass interference penalties for 38 yards (and three first downs, naturally) factored in, including two to Miles Austin. He was downright dominant in the second half, with nine consecutive attempts resulting in a completion or DPI at one point.
3.
Aaron Rodgers GB
26/41
287
3
0
135
127
9
Another second-half star (12 of his 15 first downs came in the final two quarters), Rodgers' improvement had a lot to do with improved pass protection and the resulting time he had to throw. It will be interesting to see on film whether that came thanks to improved play up front, a tired Vikings pass rush, or some other tactical adjustment.
4.
Donovan McNabb PHI
17/23
240
3
0
115
108
7
McNabb essentially shut things down after halftime, with only nine second-half dropbacks. The optimistic Eagles fan would note that McNabb was only sacked twice in 25 chances; the pessimist would counter by pointing out that McNabb fumbled both times.
5.
Peyton Manning IND
31/48
347
0
0
111
111
0
It was a pretty uneven day for Manning, who was 6-of-16 on throws of 15 yards or more downfield. More notably, he was sacked three times, the first instance of that happening since Week 15 of the 2007 season.
MNF.
Drew Brees NO
25/33
308
2
1
109
109
0
6.
Joe Flacco BAL
20/25
175
1
0
106
106
0
Flacco completed all nine of his second-half passes, picking up 105 yards, four first downs, and a touchdown in the process. What was it with teams in the second half this week?
7.
Philip Rivers SD
16/25
249
1
1
101
106
-5
Finally, a player who didn't set the world on fire in the final two quarters; Rivers finished the first half with nine consecutive completions of his own, adding two yards while otherwise mirroring Flacco's totals above. Also worth noting is how dependent this passing offense is becoming on Vincent Jackson, who was targeted on 12 of Rivers' 25 attempts.
8.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
20/35
265
2
0
97
97
-1
Sanchez remains remarkably inconsistent, even within games. Virtually all of his success came in one stretch of, yes, nine consecutive completions, in which he threw for 179 yards, six first downs, and two scores. Over the rest of the game, he was 11-of-26 for 86 yards with two sacks and a bumbled snap.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
9.
Matt Schaub HOU
25/34
270
0
2
55
64
-9
There was concern before the game that Schaub might struggle with Buffalo's blustery weather, which always confounds us as analysts. Schaub was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where the weather isn't exactly great. Why would quarterbacks like Schaub and Kurt Warner (raised and played college ball in Iowa) struggle with cold weather because they play for a warm-weather team now? It's overblown.
10.
Vince Young TEN
15/18
125
1
0
53
67
-14
A day where Vince Young's passing was weighed down by the deleterious effects of his running? Will wonders ever cease? Indeed, Young's ten carries -- including four designed runs -- resulted in only three "successful" plays (40 percent of necessary yardage for a new set of downs on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third or fourth down), while his passing was low-risk, low-reward stuff. He only threw three passes further than seven yards downfield, a sign of what little confidence the coaching staff has in him.
11.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA
22/39
249
2
0
45
45
0
For Seattle's scheme to work, the offense needs to pick up steady chunks of yardage on first down to set the team up with play action opportunities on second down, and easy conversions regardless of the play type on third down. On Sunday, all Hasselbeck could muster on first down before the final drive of the game was 3-of-11 for 35 yards and two first downs. That isn't going to cut it.
12.
Eli Manning NYG
20/39
222
1
2
37
19
18
Our numbers don't account for the number of passes that bounced off the hands of Eagles' defenders or had little-to-no hope of being caught. Of course, the numbers also don't adjust for the amount of time Manning had, which isn't going to earn the offensive line any plaudits during film study. Five of Manning's "deep" passes (15+ yards in the air) were to Kevin Boss, which is both a reflection of where teams are targeting the Eagles and how little the Giants' receivers are doing downfield.
13.
Alex Smith SF
19/32
198
1
1
33
33
1
Alex Smith outside of the shotgun: 11-of-20, 122 yards, two sacks, and an interception. He took two sacks during the final drive in the shotgun, but his numbers are still better: 8-of-12, 76 yards, and a touchdown to Vernon Davis. It's pretty clear that Smith's comfort level is always going to be there, where he spent most of his time as a college passer.
14.
Jake Delhomme CAR
7/14
90
1
0
32
28
4
Apparently, the Panthers' coaches are QR readers, since they listened to our playcalling plea. Even considering that Delhomme suffered a rib injury, the Panthers only threw the ball nine times after the first quarter, riding an excellent rushing offense to victory. Of course, that's a much more plausible strategy when you're up 21, as the Panthers were.
MNF.
Matt Ryan ATL
19/39
289
1
3
25
26
0
15.
Kyle Orton DEN
23/36
156
0
0
19
13
6
Orton's biggest play of the day was a 39-yard pass interference penalty drawn by Brandon Marshall; otherwise, he didn't have a pass play of longer than 20 yards until it was a three-score game with 18 seconds left to play. That screams "Lack of protection". That could become an unfortunate habit, thanks to the impending absence of right tackle Ryan Harris due to a toe injury suffered on Sunday. Harris's injury will break up the Broncos' starting five linemen for the first time since Ryan Clady's arrival in last year's draft.
16.
Chad Henne MIA
12/21
112
1
0
-8
-8
0
Although the Dolphins took six sacks on Sunday, one of them was actually credited against Ronnie Brown. That still means that Henne's sack rate was a ridiculous 23.8 percent, which puts his seasonal percentage at 11.2 percent. Chad Pennington was at 4.8 percent last year, and while his figure rose to 7.5 percent this year, it's still a significant improvement on Henne's.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
17.
Kurt Warner ARI
27/44
242
2
5
-14
-18
4
One of the picks was a Hail Mary, but you can throw in a fumble to make it an even five "real" turnovers on the day. Take out the five picks, and Warner's 69.2 completion percentage is pretty reasonable, but it's not the best in recent memory. In 1996, Mark Brunell was 37-of-52 for 421 yards; the only problem is that five of those 15 incompletions were picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown and ended up being the difference in a 17-14 loss to the Rams. Of course, the Jaguars ended up making a miracle run to the AFC Conference Championship, so it was all water under the bridge by the end of the season.
18.
Jay Cutler CHI
17/30
225
0
1
-43
-51
8
Children should not be allowed to watch Jay Cutler perform. It's a vile mix of desperate heaves and awkward sidesteps, resulting in bloodied tongues and vulgar catcalls. Some of it is on Cutler, whose struggles in properly setting his protection has left a fair amount of free blitzers running at him and blowing up plays, but the shortcomings of Orlando Pace as a pass blocker have become too obvious to hide. The Bears are caught between a rock and a hard place, though; having promised Pace the left tackle job in order to secure his signature, the future Hall of Famer would likely scoff at a move to right tackle; even if he didn't, the result would be untested second-year player Chris Williams at the most important position on the line. More importantly, if Cutler's being overrun by Cleveland, what happens when he faces the Eagles, Vikings, and Ravens? The answer is trouble.
19.
Marc Bulger STL
18/36
176
0
1
-66
-63
-3
If you take Marc Bulger's combined performance from 2007, 2008, and the first half of 2009, and then place it on a 16-game scale, his numbers aren't pretty: 266-of-465 for 2855 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. They're a dead ringer for Jim Everett's 1996 season in New Orleans: 267-of-464, 2797 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Why is that relevant? Mainly because Everett would take 75 more snaps as a professional quarterback after that season. Bulger is just about done, and his inability to produce against an awful pass defense was just a sign that he's part of the problem in St. Louis, not the solution.
20.
Matt Stafford DET
14/33
168
0
1
-72
-81
9
Just in case you were wondering, the Lions did not profit from their safety against the Rams. With the ball on the 12-yard line, an offense will score an average of 4.12 points; you could take some of that off considering that it was third down, but it was also the Rams' defense. The exact figure doesn't really matter, but it's a number well above two. The Lions did get the ball on a free kick afterwards, but that kick only gave them the ball at their own 28; teams score, on average, about .3 points from there. So, for the safety to be a positive play for Detroit, their expected points from the 12-yard line would have to be below 2.3.
21.
JaMarcus Russell OAK
14/22
109
0
1
-93
-95
2
After the game, JaMarcus Russell said, "I did a pretty good job when it boiled down to it." Our numbers suggest that he was significantly worse than a street free agent. Perhaps we have different boiling points.
22.
Derek Anderson CLE
6/17
76
0
2
-103
-108
4
It's not his fault that two of those seven completions ended with the receiver fumbling the ball, but Anderson did his part with two picks and a fumbled snap. The second pick, which resulted in a return for a touchdown by Charles Tillman, consigned Anderson to the bench. He might not even deserve to be there.
23.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
15/23
117
0
2
-121
-121
0
Remember Rory Fitzpatrick, the journeyman defenseman who nearly made it into the 2007 NHL All-Star Game thanks to an Internet write-in campaign? If Trent Edwards has to miss another week with his concussion, Bills fans should be allowed to vote between Rory and Ryan for the starting job. Remember that exercise we did with Bulger a minute ago? Fitzpatrick's career line over a 16-game season is 242-of-420 (57.6 completion percentage) for 2210 yards (5.26 yards per attempt), 10 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. There's not a quarterback in history with a similar season to that. The closest example was Kordell Stewart's 1999, and well, Kordell Stewart could run. Ryan Fitzpatrick runs because he's afraid of what might happens if he doesn't.
24.
David Garrard JAC
15/27
139
0
2
-156
-163
7
The Titans clearly made some adjustments during the bye week to focus more on stopping the pass, even if it meant that there'd be more holes in the running game. The result was what you saw on Sunday, although Garrard shouldn't ever be this bad.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Ryan Moats HOU
126
3
25
0
66
56
10
Fantasy owners of Steve Slaton, weep, for this could have easily been Slaton's line for the day had he not fumbled to start it. It's not the first time Gary Kubiak has benched Slaton; some hands issues in Week 17 last year against the Bears caused Kubiak to put his starting back on the sidelines for a fair amount of the game.

The important issue for Slaton isn't the number of fumbles he's lost (five), but instead the number of times he's fumbled altogether, seven, since we know that fumble recoveries are mostly luck and not skill. Since 1995, we've found only three halfbacks that fumbled seven times in eight games. One, Dexter Carter, was cut towards the end of his streak by the Jets, and spent a year and a half serving mostly on special teams for his old club, the 49ers. The other two both became prominent backs: Garrison Hearst, who had 12 fumbles in 1995 and then only fumbled seven times in the ensuing three years before suffering a gruesome injury, and Tiki Barber, who suffered through those seven weeks in 2000 and never really kicked his fumble problems until 2005. It'll be interesting to see which path Slaton takes, and what role Moats will play in the lineup if Slaton follows the Barber path.
2.
Steven Jackson STL
149
1
17
0
61
63
-2
Jackson had 17 carries on first down, and nine of them were successes, including three first downs and a 25-yard touchdown run that gave the Rams a lead they would not relinquish. He also converted a pair of third-and-1 attempts.
3.
Chris Johnson TEN
228
2
11
0
60
67
-8
Note that Johnson, who contributed two huge touchdown runs, had more rushing DYAR than Jackson; he picked up -8 DYAR in the passing game, thanks mostly to a failed third-and-1 conversion on the Jaguars 26 in a close game.
4.
Jonathan Stewart CAR
87
2
0
0
60
60
0
Stewart's two attempts on third down resulted in a touchdown and a first down, and while his raw numbers might pale in comparison to those of Maurice Jones-Drew (who finished seventh), he was up against a Cardinals defense that was leading the league in rush defense DVOA by a fair margin. Teammate DeAngelo Williams was sixth.
MNF.
Michael Turner ATL
151
1
0
0
48
48
0
5.
Frank Gore SF
91
1
43
0
43
14
29
It's rare that a running back makes it on this list without rushing for a single first down, but Gore contributed a 64-yard touchdown in the running game, and was 5-of-6 as a receiver with two more first downs against a very good pass defense.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Ronnie Brown MIA
27
0
2
0
-19
-11
-7
The league leader in rushing DYAR heading into this week, Brown seemed poised for a big game against a Kris Jenkins-less Jets' rush defense. Instead, Brown's 11 carries included six for one yard or less, he caught one pass for two yards as a receiver, and took a sack as a quarterback. It wasn't a pleasant day.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Miles Austin DAL
5
7
61
12.2
1
55
In his first three starts, Austin has ranked second, second, and first in weekly DYAR amongst receivers. Not a bad beginning to your career as the star receiver for America's Team. As we discussed in the Romo comment, Austin also gets DYAR credit for two "receptions", 31 yards, and two first downs on pass interference penalties. He ended up with six first downs and a touchdown on the day.
MNF.
Marques Colston NO
6
6
85
14.2
1
54
2.
DeSean Jackson PHI
3
4
78
26.0
1
36
If it wasn't for some great defense by Corey Webster, Jackson might've gone 4-for-4 with two touchdowns on the day. The only player in the league who approaches Jackson as a deep threat is Vincent Jackson, and if the Eagles had an offensive line that was better at pass blocking, it's scary to think about what else Jackson could have done this year.
3.
Vincent Jackson SD
8
12
103
12.9
1
33
Speaking of, Jackson wasn't the downfield wizard he normally is against the Raiders. He was only thrown one pass further than 17 yards downfield, and it was a 49-yard incompletion. Instead, Jackson had five completions that traveled inbetween 10 and 17 yards in the air.
4.
Jeremy Maclin PHI
4
4
47
11.8
1
33
Since the Giants focused Webster, their top corner, on Jackson, that left opportunities for Maclin and...
5.
Brent Celek PHI
4
6
61
15.2
1
32
...the Eagles' bruising tight end, each of whom could have had much more significant days had the game situation dictated it. Maclin spent his time picking on overmatched corners Bruce Johnson and Terrell Thomas, while Celek worked in the middle against linebacker Antonio Pierce and the Giants' much-maligned safety combination of Michael Johnson and C.C. Brown. In fact, Celek caught a touchdown pass from McNabb that was called back on a questionable holding call, only to do catch a touchdown two plays later on the same route from five yards further out.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Eddie Royal DEN
2
8
10
5.0
0
-43
If you want to play the Wes Welker role -- and considering that Royal had six passes thrown to him within six yards of the line of scrimmage, he did -- you have to catch the ball. It's that simple. Three Broncos' drives ended with incomplete passes to Royal on third-and-medium.

(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 03 Nov 2009

121 comments, Last at 05 Nov 2009, 6:49pm by Sifter

Comments

1
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:18pm

No MJD? Didn't he have like 8 rushes for 175 yards and 2 TDs or something?

I know Michael Turner is fast, but he LOOKS like he's in slow motion whenever he runs. It's weird--he appears to stumble into the line, get tackled and HOLY COW he's gained six. That long 25+/- run after pinballing through about fifteen tackles near the end was amazing. No quit in that man.

15
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:59pm

MJD had 56 rushing DYAR but -23 receiving DYAR: three incomplete passes and a reception for -4 yards.

24
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:16pm

Thanks, boss. That helps. As you know, those are the plays that don't make the highlight reels or even get recorded mentally.

40
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:39pm

Sharper has obviously played great in the Saints' scheme, but Turner demonstrated why the Vikings were comfortable in not resigning him. He sometimes gets terribly exposed by running backs of any quality. I saw him take a pursuit angle last year which looked like what one would normally see in a game which features players who weigh less than a hundred pounds, and thought the Vikings would likely not try real hard to re-sign him. Of course, as long as the Saints keep scoring a ton in the first half of games, that is a problem which won't mean nearly as much.

2
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:21pm

Frank Gore IS a puzzle, since if you remove the 64 yard run, he was something like 16 rushes for 30 yards and no first downs--VERY pedestrian stuff. I'd think that would actually diminish his value on the day, no? Good day receiving out of the backfield, though, to be sure, especially against a team that does well covering TEs and RBs.

3
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:22pm

Oh, and third!

4
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:27pm

Under Schaub, "overblown": The Pun Police will be contacting you.

22
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:09pm

You're full of hot air.
I thought it was great.
Only way to improve it would be if the game was in Chicago.

5
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:28pm

Obviously, the obvious holding also had much to do with the Zombie King's success.

6
by TheRuns :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:32pm

Interesting that Ronnie Brown started regressing towards the mean. Also, I find it amazing that Austin has been so successful in each of his games. Again, it makes you wonder about the head coaching there on America's team....

67
by tgt2 (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:51pm

Regressing to the mean would be performing somewhere below ridiculously awesome, but still good, not the worst day of the week.

7
by livingonapear :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:36pm

Not to shill for McNabb or anything, but what does it say when three of your receivers top the charts? Is there something to be said for a QB that can spread the ball like he does, or is that not a particularly useful feature?

11
by Joseph :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:46pm

There is a Mr. Brees from New Orleans on line one.

55
by ChaosOnion (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:24pm

Those two fumble/sacks where Peters left the barn door open can hurt the numbers a wee bit.

8
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:37pm

More seriously, it could be that there is something weird going on with the Vikings defense in the 2nd half of games in which they get out to early leads. It seems like when they get into furious paas rush mode in the first half, they get gassed in the 2nd half, and their secondary is inadequate absent a strong pass rush, especially with Winfield hurt. I think they are likely to regret that they didn't make a trade before the deadline, giving up real draft value, in return for a veteran defensive back who can still play.

18
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:01pm

Will, do you think the Vikings played their corners farther off in the second half against GB, maybe in the earlier game as well as the recent one?

It seemed like the Vikings were playing very tight coverage in the first half, but in the second half Rodgers started to get going with a lot of slants, smoke routes and HB swing and flats passes. While watching the game I had thought to myself "this is what they should have been doing in the first half", but maybe that was the gameplan all along and the tight coverage took these throws away.

With a lead in the second half it's conceivable that the Vikings would play their CBs off to prevent big plays, and this in turn opened up the short underneath routes that allowed GB to execute the quick passes that beat the pass rush. The smoke routes in particular were likely all sight adjustments rather than called plays. Regardless of whether the Vikings pass rush slowed down or not, many of those throws came out quickly enough that there was no chance of a sack. The swing and flats passes to the RBs weren't quick throws, but they also would have been more effective with CBs playing off.

43
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:44pm

It could be; I haven't had the time to re-watch any games this year, so I just don't understand what has happened as well, compared to some previous years when I was more obsessive.

38
by MJK :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:36pm

Could it just be as simple as teams thinking going into the first half:

"Well, we can just have our left tackle block Jared Allen one-on-one and see how he does" or "We'll leave Allen unblocked and just run the play away from him and see how that works".

Then, at halftime, they say "Hmmm, maybe that wasn't such a good idea..."

9
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:37pm

When exactly are people going to start noticing exactly how good Brent Celek is? You hear plenty about Jackson and Maclin, Westbrook and McCoy, but the Eagles have had deep threats and solid running backs for years now. Celek's on pace to have more receiving yards than any Eagles tight end, well, ever.

10
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:42pm

With all the injuries and the loss to the Raiders, along with Johnson's death, I think I discounted the Eagles way, way, too much. This still may end up being Reid's best team.

17
by zip.4chan.org/sp/ (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:00pm

Not clear that it's better than his 2004 team yet. But he has the weapons--except for the o-line--to make it that good.

12
by Temo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:51pm

Yes, I'd say he's filled LJ Smith's shoes nicely.

37
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:30pm

If by "filled his shoes" you mean "looked at them, decided that baby shoes wouldn't fit, tossed them back to him (and watched him drop them) and then went out and bought size 50 shoes," sure.

DeSean Jackson's on pace for 1145 yards, 9 TDs. Pretty good, not great - best Eagles WR since Owens in 2004, but pretty far under that mark. Basically Kevin Curtis's performance in 2007. Maclin's on pace for 670 yards, 7 TDs. Pretty good for a rookie receiver. Not earth-shattering or anything.

Celek's on pace for 1021 yards and 7 TDs. That's better than any modern Philly tight end. That's one of the top 25 tight end seasons in NFL history by yardage. Jackson and Maclin are getting all the attention, but the big story in Philly should really be Celek.

47
by Temo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:12pm

If by "filled his shoes" you mean "looked at them, decided that baby shoes wouldn't fit, tossed them back to him (and watched him drop them) and then went out and bought size 50 shoes," sure.

And hence, the joke. I think King Dunlap could have made a better TE than LJ Smith.

13
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:51pm

I drafted Celek in fantasy as a 2nd TE to Cooley. Then dropped him when McNabb got hurt and Philly had a bye. Luckily right after Cooley got hurt someone had cut Shiancoe, so now I have the equipment manager.

48
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:13pm

Thanks for that, crack. 'Now I have the equipment manager'.

Now I have to clean off my desk and keyboard.

35
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:15pm

Celek is also leading all TE's in DYAR. He's the only TE in both Top-5 DYAR and DVOA... I hope Reid and McNabb keep him involved...

53
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:21pm

Won't be a problem this week - Celek is bound to be the hot route when Ware blitzes, so he'll get his chances.

58
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:28pm

Yeah, but what's the explanation for his struggles in the Washington game? 3 catches for 8 yards against one of the worst teams in the league against TE's (according to DVOA...)? Dallas is also pretty bad against TE's, but hopefully there won't be a repeat of their inexplicable offensive struggles from the Washington game...

97
by bubqr :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:39pm

WAS is Eagles' kryptonite, I can't give you anything better than that. It's been 3 years in a row now, and I still can't understand.

49
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:16pm

If by 'people' you mean FO staff and readers - it's safe to assume that Celek's talent has been noted.

However, if you mean 'NFL TV commentators, analysts, and sportswriters', then you'll probably have to wait until Celek either gets a Pro Bowl nod or otherwise wins an Iggles playoff game with some clutch catch.

On the plus side - going under the radar makes it easier to draft him in fantasy leagues.

61
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:30pm

But is there even a chance of him getting a Pro-Bowl nod? He's just not even getting talked about on that level and isn't so statistically dominant (in regular stats) to force his way into the conversation. Anyway, the fact that he isn't being discussed as a Pro-Bowl caliber thus far is source of our ire...

73
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:14pm

Isn't being statistically dominant? He leads the NFC in receiving yardage for tight ends, and like I said, is on pace for a top-20 TE receiving total.

82
by Harris :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:44pm

Very true, but the TE conversation in the NFC begins with Witten, ends with Cooley and with Gonzalez in the mix, Celek will have to be freaky dominant to beat out those three, even with Cooley injured. I won't be surprised if, like Mikell last year, he's named All-Pro without going to the Pro Bowl.

Hail Hydra!

84
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:54pm

Good point about the NFC - I was looking at the league on the whole for yards/TD: in yards, he's a good amount behind Clark, Daniels and Gates (and is only slightly ahead of Zack Miller), so I don't think he's "dominant" in the way that commentators/casual fans notice. In terms of the NFC, he gets over-looked because Vernon Davis leads him in TD's by a significant margin (as does Shiancoe) and everybody's excited to watch "Future Hall of Famer" Tony Gonzales in Atlanta and there's always plenty of "Jason Witten is the best TE in the NFC" talk.

Listen Pat, I'm trying to say he's great, I love him, he deserves praise and, you know, answer your question about why no one is really talking about him. If you have a better explanation - I'm glad to hear it. But can't we agree "4th in yards, not even top 5 in TD's" isn't "dominant" according to traditional stats/what casual fans are noticing?

89
by Temo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:00pm

Its funny that Witten may be having his best season ever but is considered to be having a down season due the TE role being considered more and more a receiver season than a hybrid position.

113
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 11:06pm

I'm worried that Eagles fans/beatwriters are harping too much praise on Jackson/Maclin. I see multiple articles about those two after every game, and never one on Celek. C'mon, Celek has at least one play a week that you're like "WTF, how did you not go down there?" and he picks up 8 more yards.

It's kinda funny, Philly normally loves guys like Celek, but somehow this year we're all fawning over a flashy guy like Jackson.

118
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Thu, 11/05/2009 - 11:32am

From what I recall, Philly fawned all over a flashy guy in TO... the first year.

My theory is that Eagles fans are so starved for good WR play that the normal rules of Philly fandom don't apply. I'm sure in a few years it will sort itself out.

81
by peterplaysbass (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:41pm

I've been on the Celek bandwagon a long time. I was drafting him as a flyer in fantasy leagues before the season. He's a compelte player, too: a good blocker, lots of football smarts, and the receiving stats to be recognized by fans above casual. I think most football people recognize that he's good, but very few realize he's comparable to Witten at this point.

14
by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:56pm

5 INT's and a fumble, and there are seven QB's WORSE than Warner?

23
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:13pm

Almost makes you wish you were a fan of full-contact championship croquet, eh?

The thing that kills me is that those who shill for his HOF candidacy seem to ignore these black holes of suck that pop up every once in a while. And this is the guy with "the best receiving corps in the league"???

41
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:42pm

Even Brady (and Manning) put up stinkers every once in while.

Brady has 5 games where he threw 4 ints.

Manning has a 6 int game and one 4 int game.

Brees has one 4 int game.

Warner has 5 games with 4 ints or more (2 5's and 3 4's).

Clearly a bad day at the office but not the end of the world for his hall-of-fame bid

46
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:12pm

Not to be a tool, but his fumblitis is/was as mch of an issue and it's the kind of thing NEVER measured by traditional stats or the "fat olf men" who vote for stuff like the HOF. Fumbles and inconsistency are measured in FO's stats.

In terms of context, what was the cause of Warner's bad day? I honestly do not know, but am willing to consider the collapse of the team around him.

I'll tell you right now the cause of Manning's 6 INT day vs SD a couple years ago--3 OL replacements against one of the league's top sacking teams plus 3 receiver replacements (Clark out with a concussion, Harrison injured, 1st round pick Gonzo out injured--he was throwing to guys whose names he did not know like Craphonso Thorpe, and only lost because of 2 ST returns for TDs and Vinatieri shanked a 28 yard FG at the end.) Take Darren Sproles off the other team and Manning has no need to be throwing all night in the rain, but even with the horrible day, he team would have won by double digits.

Are you including the 4 INT playoff game for Manning? I think you missed that one. That's on him--post-5-yard-chucks aside--Ty Law owned him that game.

His other 4 INT game I'd venture to guess came pre 2002 when he was still a kid and not a savvy vet. My guess is same for Brees, whose first few years were so marginal that they drafted the monster QB of the future on top of him, only to have him suddenly blossom into greatness.

Surprised by the Brady numbers--the old book on him (pre-Moss) was that he rarely put up monster nnumbers, but rarely hurt the team, either. I can recall only one of those games.

51
by Temo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:19pm

Brady likes to have the occasional game against the Dolphins where he plays like crap. That's always been the one team that comes up and bites him in the ass for whatever reason.

56
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:25pm

I was thinking of the night game where he threw a pick to Jason Taylor from his ass. (no, not FROM his ass, you prevert, I meant while sitting on his ass.) IIRC, that was a 3- or 4-pick night.

63
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:33pm

Actually, it was the Bengals game where he threw a completion from his ass. Stupid, but lucky.

In that Miami game it was even worse than throwing a pass from his ass. He was in the grasp of the defender, being spun down, and he incredibly dumbly chose to heave it while being spun down. As you note, it went for a game-losing pick-six. If he had just taken the sack the Pats would have almost definitely won that game.

121
by Sifter :: Thu, 11/05/2009 - 6:49pm

And here was I thinking you meant that Brady threw the pick from atop his noble donkey steed.

54
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:23pm

BenOak,
Not sure where you found that data, but I am curious... what about Brett?

66
by Gruntled (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:43pm

One 5 INT game, and five 4 INT games. (Looked it up on Pro Football Reference search page)

68
by Gruntled (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:54pm

Which kind of stunned me, considering that BF has played more than twice as many games as Brady.

But if you go to 3 INT games, it's an entirely different story.

69
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:55pm

Also a 6 INT playoff game against the Rams.

75
by Gruntled (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:27pm

Yes, sorry - forget to include playoffs.

Interestingly, the only active players with a 6 INT game on their resumes are Favre and Manning.

The only hall of famers with a 6 INT game are Namath and Blanda; they are also the only two players (since 1960) who had THREE 6 INT games. And they appear to be the all time leaders in games of 5 INTs or more (9 for Namath, 10 for Blanda).

The only other players to have more than one 6 INT game are Bobby Hebert and Brian Sipe with 2 each.

Again, the stats I'm reading only go back to 1960.

79
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:35pm

Only really good QBs will get a chance to throw 6 picks 3 times. If Rex Grossman throws 6 picks, he's not going to get a chance to do so again.

86
by tgt2 (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:56pm

Right idea, wrong example. When Rex was in full bi-polar bear form (FYI: I miss Altered Beast), He could've thrown 6 picks after a 300 yard 4 td game without anyone in chicago batting an eye. The chances of his next game being awesome were the same as them being horrible.

104
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:35pm

pro-football-reference.com....Their season finder & game finders are GREAT!
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/pgl_finder.cgi

Farve has 5 4-int days and 1 5-int day.

105
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:36pm

whoops, too slow.

60
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:28pm

Warner is a weird case. I personally think he's a HOFer, but I won't argue with someone who says he's not. My gut reaction is that I can't imagine how someone can be the MVP of the league TWICE, and not be worthy of the hall of fame.

That said, there's a lot of information that we have about Warner that we wouldn't normally have about someone like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, mainly because MVPs don't usually change teams mid-career. We can look at Warner's time in New York, and say "see, it's all the talent aroung him that made him good." Perhaps Warner's career exposes a truth we don't always care to acknowledge -- QBs are extremely dependent on the system they're in, their teammates, and a whole lot of random luck.

Captcha -- but drain. I got that from some low-fat potato chips once.

119
by Andrew Potter :: Thu, 11/05/2009 - 3:42pm

I know FO stats don't really take this into account, but I'm watching the game right now and at least two of the four picks so far haven't been Warner's fault - unless throwing the ball to somebody who can't catch somehow makes it the QB's fault.

Incidentally, he also doesn't play run defense or coach tackling and gap control, which looked by far the bigger problems for the Cards on Sunday than the pass offense.

16
by Temo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 1:59pm

All hail Romo.

20
by TheRuns :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:07pm

All hail Austin. Guy is a stud who is making Romo better since Williams sucks.

26
by Temo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:25pm

Whatever. Just hail someone.

52
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:20pm

All hail LaDouceur.

59
by glengarry :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:28pm

hail no!

83
by peterplaysbass (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:52pm

ha!

captcha: Hughes pinions

whose 'pinions? duh.

19
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:07pm

If you want to play the Wes Welker role -- and considering that Royal had six passes thrown to him within six yards of the line of scrimmage, he did -- you have to catch the ball. It's that simple.

Over at rotoworld.com they say that Royal hasn't been used in the Wes Welker role at all (well, at least not during the rest of the season, they didn't talk about this game specifically). He has been playing the flanker while Brandon Marshall spends a lot of time in the slot running across the middle.

What do the game charters say about how Royal has been used?

And the more I think about it, the more I think that DYAR (and probably DVOA) unfairly penalizes WR's for incomplete passes. Think about it this way, if a WR is covered and the QB looks elsewhere DYAR wouldn't count it against the WR. If the WR is covered or gets a little bit open and the QB forces the ball into a tight space (or throws it behind the WR or down and away where it's a much harder catch) then DYAR would count the incomplete against the WR. Frankly he's done the same thing (or maybe even run a better route), only the QB has made a different choice. Given that there is no way to know which route the WR was supposed to run and which WR the play was designed to go to, penalizing WR's for incomplete passes doesn't seem to reflect their actual contribution to the play. Especially given that your own research shows that deep routes result in lower completion percentages across the board and that some WR's run more deep routes than other WR's.

Now dropped passes, that is on the WR (whomever labeled that pass a drop has already done the analysis of whether the WR should have been able to catch it), but it seems like counting incomplete passes against the WR doesn't reflect their true contribution.

36
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:26pm

I thought Brandon Stokeley looked like he was in the Wes Welker role.

42
by MJK :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:43pm

This is similar to the whole "Good shortstops get more errors charged against them, because they get to balls other shortstops wouldn't even get to" argument. It certainly has some merit...but I don't see how to fix it without the game charting data, and even then you're trusting the game charter's judgment call on how much the incomplete was due to each player.

For Quick Reads to come out on Tuesday, all they have is the play-by-play, and all that tells you is who the intended receiver was and whether the pass was short, medium, or long. I wonder if Aaron and company are looking at tweaking DYAR to account for pass length, but I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't already (or have tried, and discarded it because it was not predictive).

57
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:26pm

Actually, that's on the to do list. We've got enough data now to play with the idea, although there would need to be two sets of receiving ratings so that players from 2005-2009 could still be compared to players from 1993-2004.

93
by MJK :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:05pm

Very cool. Looking forward to seeing those results!

100
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:56pm

I wasn't really trying to argue that good WR's have more incomplete passes because they get more open.

I'm actually arguing that QB's are responsible for incompletions. Or at least they are responsible for most incompletions. Unless the the WR drops the pass, I don't see any reason that they should be penalized for an incompletion in dyar.

Taking into account the length of the pass will help but I don't think that completion percentage is actually telling us anything about the WR at all.

101
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:05pm

So the WR bears no responsibility for adjusting to the pass in the air or fighting the DB for position?

106
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:41pm

They probably do, but how do you measure it? You could guess, 70% QB and 30% WR and that'd probably be better than 100% WR.

Sometimes the passes are just off, or behind the player or the QB is throwing the ball aways in the direction of a WR. Sometimes the WR has to turn DB and knock the ball away.

Lots of things happen that aren't measure by the stats we have, I just happen to think that assigning 100% of the incomplete pass to the WR doesn't truly reflect their role.

The same thing is true with giving 100% of the yards after the catch to the QB but it seems like everyone has thought about that one and I don't remember anyone talking about WR completion percentage.

109
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 9:03pm

YOu do know that the stats already do penalize QBs for incompletions, right? It's not like DVOA or DYAR don't take completion percentage into account.

It's not incorporated directly, but an incompletion is always an unsuccessful play which reduces the calculated DVOA and DYAR.

Saying that catch percentage is fairly meaningless in the context of how DVOA and DYAR work. It's regularly stated that these measurements are actually measuring the performance of a player in the context of their teammates and not only the player themselves. It's not that FO doesn't want to isolate player abilities from their teammates, it's just not possible with current data and analysis methods. However that doesn't make the current stats wrong, just imperfect.

111
by dbostedo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 10:35pm

It's also the receivers fault that they didn't get more open - at least on average, across enough passes, it is. Wasn't there some research on here that showed catch percentage for receivers was somewhat independent of QB, or team?

Obviously for individual plays or even games, catch percentage could be over or under stating a WR's value. But given enough passes thrown to a WR, their catch percentage should tell you something about the receiver. Right?

21
by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:09pm

You're not complimentary of him on the safety, but it has to be said that Matt Stafford's heads up play on turning a bad throw into 2 points is the sort of play that reminds me of a young Brett Favre.

I'd be curious to see how many tackles Steven Jackson broke against the Lions - he managed to get through 5 in one play, so I'm gonna guess "quite a few".

25
by merlinofchaos :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:22pm

Just a note, the comment about the Denver O-line not being broken up since Clady started is wrong. Ben Hamilton did not play week 4 against Dallas. Russ Hochstein filled in for him.

31
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:49pm

Didn't RG Chris Kuper miss a game too?

110
by merlinofchaos :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 10:03pm

I thought so but nfl.com said he started all 7 games this season and 16 games last. I think he got hurt early in a game and came out, but played in the next one.

27
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:33pm

Romo coming back on seems to have coincide with their RBs getting healthy again. Felix Jones is just scary - he a 30 yd+ play just waiting to happen.

Playing mostly crap teams at home helps too....

28
by Roy G (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:44pm

Frank Gore: "It's rare that a running back makes it on this list without rushing for a single first down, but Gore contributed a 64-yard touchdown in the running game..."

A touchdown counts as a first down so this can't possibly be true.

65
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:41pm

Says who? Do you get four more downs after a touchdown?

76
by SteveNC (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:27pm

Says the NFL.

See page 8 of http://www.nfl.com/liveupdate/gamecenter/54576/IND_Gamebook.pdf

In the right margin, they count the first downs earned; the "R1" indicates the 49ers' first first down of the game on that play (via running).

Steve

88
by B :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:00pm

You get one more down, at least...

112
by dbostedo :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 10:38pm

Not really...you get an untimed conversion attempt. Not sure that counts as a "down". In any case, TDs are counted as first downs I'd imagine for 2 reasons - so as not to penalize a team who's done a good thing by scoring a TD, and because that's as far as you can go. So a first down would be defined as something like "ten yards forward progress from the original LOS, or a touchdown, within 4 downs."

29
by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:44pm

Perhaps JaMarcus Russell watches his receivers run wrong routes, run into each other, fall down... all on the same play. Over and over again. I'm not sure the Raiders team numbers suggest a street level free agent can do "significantly" better than Russell. His wide receivers all grade out as horrible. About the only things the numbers suggest is there is something seriously wrong with the Raiders passing offense. Something that probably goes beyond the guys trying to run the offense on the field.

62
by glengarry :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:32pm

I want a MORATORIUM on the 'street free agent could do better' business until someone draws up a list of how well ACTUAL 'street free agents' have performed in actual games. I totally get DYAR and believe in DYAR etc. but I simply don't buy that the 'zero' point on DVOA is what 'street free agents' have tended to produce when given the chance. Surely it's worse.

And who was the last 'street free agent' quarterbacking within a week of being rostered? Weinke or Testaverde or someone else?

72
by tgt2 (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:10pm

0% on DVOA is not street free agent level, that would be league average level. 0 DYAR is street free agent level. DYAR and DVOA are not graded on the same scale. For qualifying QBs, 18 are above 0% DVOA and 22 are below 0% DVOA, while 24 are above 0 DYAR and 16 are below. Since there are 30 teams, a little more than half the starting QBs have played above the league average level. Factoring in backups, that sounds about right. Also, 80% of them are better than a replacement. I'd think the latter number should be closer to 90%, but it's probably well within the margin of error. Do you think testaverde could play better than Anderson, Stafford, Russell, or Sanchez? I do.

Also note that it's the player in the system, not just the player himself. Cutler's DYAR is below replacement level, but that really means that Cutler + bear's receivers + bear's Oline is below replacement level. I don't see anyone saying the bears line is anywhere approaching decent, so even this makes sense.

99
by Overrated (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:46pm

Jay Cutler is the anti-Shaun Hill. Instead of "just winning" without being apparently any good, he "just loses" while still playing apparently great.

102
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:09pm

I think Archie Manning was the king of that. Or maybe Fran Tarkenton, prior to his late-career success.

103
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:23pm

Yep. I'm kinda' neutral on Cutler, but it is a real mistake to evaluate him by win/loss record, just as it is to assert that, say, Gus Frerotte played well last year, because the Vikings won a lot when he started.

74
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:26pm

Testeverde, I think, for the Jets a few years back if I remember correctly. Also, they didn't mean that Jamarcus Russell didn't make 0% DVOA and therefore wasn't as good as a street free agent. That was not what was said.

JaMarcus Russell averaged less than 5 yards a pass this week, which was a VAST IMPROVEMENT over his play so far this year; including this week, he averages barely over four yards per pass. He has -583 DYAR, and 13 turnovers compared to two touchdowns. JaMarcus Russell didn't make negative 50% DVOA. He makes Michael Vick look like Peyton Manning AND Jesse Owens. He made the fans in San Diego nostalgic for Ryan Leaf. He makes Nnamdi cry every week. Jesus, too, assuming that Nnamdi ISN'T Jesus.

Vinny Testeverde, who hadn't thrown a pass since the Clinton Administration and who was eligible for Medicare when the Jets called on him in 2005, managed a DVOA more than twenty percent better than Russell's. ALL THREE quarterbacks started by the 0-16 Detroit Lions of 2008 beat him by 20 points. That includes two quarterbacks who were not good enough to start for the worst team in NFL history, and one who ran out the back of the end zone without realizing it.

In a word, no matter what the cost, Oakland would be better off cutting JaMarcus today, and playing any of ten quarterbacks I could name that don't have jobs in the NFL, as opposed to keeping him and wasting more time on what may be the biggest draft bust, ever.

The list of obvious replacements other than just seeing whether Fargas can throw:
1. Chris Simms (If Denver still has him, they'll trade him for nothing).
2. Jeff Garcia (Signed by Philly I think)
3. J.P. Losman
4. Joey Harrington (Backup in NO, may not be available)
5. Brooks Bollinger (UFL)
6. Quinn Gray (UFL)
7. Byron Leftwich (Tampa)
8. Cody Pickett (Toronto Argonauts)
9. Kevin O'Connell
10. Ryan Leaf (okay just joking)

I'd be willing to bet that Steve McNair would be an improvement.

80
by Jason Whitlock (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:36pm

Hey, don't forget Jeff George!

90
by peterplaysbass (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:00pm

This was an awesome, epic comment. My favorite part:

"Jesus, too, assuming that Nnamdi ISN'T Jesus."

I think you could take Leaf off the list and add Kelly Holcomb with a serious face. How about Brad Johnson?

91
by glengarry :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:02pm

look, under no circumstances am i defending how awful Jamarcus has been. I just think the term 'street free agent' is getting thrown around a lot, and for me, just a little bit, it devalues the whole idea of DVOA/DYAR. I know Testaverde had positive DVoA but c'mon, that was with the *Patriots* ... and don't give me that 'its an individual metric' crap, there's definitely O-Line play not to mention coaching competency at work here.

now, i do like the idea of pitching NFL Network with "The Next Oakland Raiders Superbust" reality show. Just imagine the mentor and/or judge possibilities.

95
by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:22pm

I think the numbers suggest the average NFL stater would look worse than average on the Raiders. It's impossible to remove all the correlation between a player and teammates with these systems. That the Raiders are grading out as having terrible pass blocking, terrible wide receivers and a terrible QB by the numbers. All that suggests that the average street fee agent would probably be very unhappy playing for the Raider organization. It also suggests that there is something horribly wrong within the Raider organization that goes beyond the players on the field.

107
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:47pm

That's why I compared him to the 2005 Testeverde (a real street free agent - he wasn't even planning to ever play football again or keeping in shape), and Detroit guys from 2008.

Here are the numbers.
---------DYAR RK YAR RK DVOA RK VOA Pass YDS EYD COMP%
JR 2009: -583 40 -591 40 -59.0% 40 -59.7% 205 876 187 48.6%
VT 2005: -183 38 -187 37 -34.8% 43 -35.4% 123 736 378 56.6%
DO 2008: 198 26 157 .28 ..0.3% 23 -2.1% 273 1,552 1,664 56.5%
JK 2008: -76 .34 -119 .34 -19.9% 37 -25.0% 137 698 590 57.1%
DC 2008: -165 36 -274 38 -32.0% 38 -45.8% 127 691 410 53.1%

That's Russell, vs. the three QB's from the worst team in the history of football (until this year's Lions anyway...), and a 40 year old actual street free agent playing for a bad team. JaMarcus Russell is not a bad quarterback. Calling him a quarterback is an insult to professionals like Dan Orlovsky. JaMarcus Russell is a $60 million dollar machine for the creation of punting situations (if you're LUCKY). JaMarcus Russell plus ROBOpunter would be.... almost as good as Jon Kitna.

I'm trying to emphasize here that it isn't just the bad Raider organization. Bad quarterbacks have played for bad teams before. This is something very special, a guy playing in the NFL without any actual skills as a quarterback AT ALL. I seriously think Joseph Addai, Joe Cribbs or LaDainian Tomlinson could post a better DVOA running the wildcat 24/7 in Oakland; maybe even pretending to be quarterbacks. Because that's all Russell is doing, cashing giant checks from Al Davis and pretending to be something he's not.

An aside to my replacement list: Other than Leaf I was trying to pick guys who were actually playing professionally; hence UFL QB's, CFL, etc. Guys who could, for $500,000.00, come and play this week in Oakland.

116
by Whatev (not verified) :: Wed, 11/04/2009 - 3:41am

The thing is that on this particular game, which I watched fairly closely, I felt that JaMarcus did about as well as you could reasonably expect him to do. Most of his plays were either checkdowns thrown as his pass protection was collapsing, or him throwing the ball away after 6-8 seconds of watching nobody get open.

Of course Brees or Peyton Manning or Tom Brady would've done better, but I'm not saying that he did a great job, only that DYAR assigns more of the blame to him for this game than he really deserves. The numbers are "blind" but we who can watch the plays happen don't need to do that too; after all, there are other games for which he deserves all the blame we can heap on him.

114
by rk (not verified) :: Wed, 11/04/2009 - 2:12am

FYI: Simms is with Denver, Garcia's a free agent (PHI cut him), Losman's in the UFL, Harrington's a free agent (Brunell and Daniel are NO's backups), and O'Connell's with the Jets.

120
by MC2 :: Thu, 11/05/2009 - 5:46pm

I would also throw in former Raiders QB Aaron Brooks. He's not that old, and in spite of being the butt of a thousand jokes, he was never anywhere near as bad as Russell seems to be.

30
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:47pm

The emmidiate benching of a fumbling RB, is Shanahan-residue. That is simply something that that coaching-tree will not tolerate.

64
by glengarry :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:36pm

a rigtig Jesper Olsen, eh? (thats some Danish sporting black humour for the rest of you)

32
by Phil O'sopher (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 2:57pm

Nice to see FO recognize that DA is one of the worst, if not the actual single worst starting QB in the NFL, including RaiderJoe's best bud; JaMarcus Russell.

I mean watching DA throw in double and triple coverage every throw is something to behold. Other teams should give him cash bonuses per turnover.

33
by Jets fan (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:03pm

So the Jets stuff Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams, rush for over 100 yards, pass for over 200, committ no turn-overs, ..and still find a way to lose! AAaahhh -- the life of a Jets fan . . .

34
by Led :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:06pm

Not no turnovers. They fumbled once, which was returned 50 yards for a TD.

39
by MJK :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 3:39pm

How much of the preponderance of awful QB games is due to just two single minded inept organizations...the Raiders and the Browns? On any other team, Russel would have been benched for good long ago, and any team other than the Browns would have traded away Anderson or Quinn when their stock was high, and then when the other one stopped working out as much, tried something else.

If you leave Al Davis and Eric Mangini out of your calculations for the last five years, how do the awful QB games percentages look?

44
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:04pm

Doing the whole analysis again is taking longer than I thought. How about I just tell you what percentage of the total "awful" qb games the Browns and Raiders are responsible for:
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny/EeIlD

Raiders Browns Total Raiders/Browns%
2004: 0 1 6 16%

50
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:18pm

Arrgh! I posted when I meant to preview. Oh well.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny/EeIlD

2004: Raiders=0 Browns=1 Total=6 Raiders/Browns%=16%
2005: Raiders=0 Browns=1 Total=10 Raiders/Browns%=10%
2006: Raiders=2 Browns=0 Total=8 Raiders/Browns%=25%
2007: Raiders=0 Browns=1 Total=8 Raiders/Browns%=12.5%
2008: Raiders=1 Browns=1 Total=7 Raiders/Browns%=28.6%
2009: Raiders=1 Browns=2 Total=14 Raiders/Browns%=21.4%

So, takeaway points, the Browns and Raiders have indeed been responsible for more than their expected percentage of "awful QB play" (2/32=6.25%) AND 2009 has just been full of terrible QB play.

94
by MJK :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:06pm

Wow. So I was half right. The Raiders and Browns have certainly been doing their best to contribute to QB suckage. But it's not all them...

108
by BenOak (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 7:55pm

I realized that I didn't actually answer your question which was Mangini & Davis.

Here they are:

2006: Raiders=2 Mangini=2 Total=8 Raiders/Browns%=50%
2007: Raiders=0 Mangini=1 Total=8 Raiders/Browns%=12.5%
2008: Raiders=1 Mangini=0 Total=7 Raiders/Browns%=14.3%
2009: Raiders=1 Mangini=2 Total=14 Raiders/Browns%=21.4%

So about the same as the Browns :)

45
by Dave :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:06pm

Guess I'll retract my statement about Peter King being too high on Favre by rating him the offensive POY. Whoops.

70
by Mitten (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 4:59pm

I hope you do review the film on the Packers' second half to see how they could possibly have gone from 47 yards of offense to whatever they ended up with in the second half - if they did in fact protect better, if they just called for more quick passing plays, or if Rodgers just chose to throw to his shorter options. In particular, I've been wondering all year why they don't use Jennings early in games more the way they did in the second half of this one, where they fed him lots of quick throws (8 catches for 88 yards)- you'd think that would set up the deeper stuff later on.

87
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:58pm

Mitten, if you read my post above responding to Will Allen, I speculate (and it is totally speculation, not anything that I actually remember seeing from the game) that maybe the Vikings played tight coverage in the first half and played looser coverage in the second half to prevent big plays, while opening up the shorter stuff.

I too would appreciate film review/game charting info on this one, as it would indicate whether it was more Packers making good halftime adjustments (which should have been made right from the start), or simply taking advantage of plays that the Vikings weren't giving them in the first half.

71
by Miles Austin (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:07pm

Hey, I'm Miles Austin! I play for the Cowboys, and I cheer for the Yankees. Punch me in my fat face; or don't, I'm probably friends with the local police department too, so it's my word over yours.

77
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:29pm

I wonder what Devin Hester's DYAR was, by my count he was 7/8 for 81 yards, and one rush for -5.

78
by jayinalaska :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:30pm

The optimistic Eagles fan

I thought s/he was extinct.

85
by Purds :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 5:54pm

I saw only the second half of the Colts game, on the internet, so perhaps they threw to him 30 times in the game, but his superficial stats seem pretty good: 12 catches, 147 yards, 1 TD.

92
by anonymiss (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:04pm

Apparently, the Panthers' coaches are QR readers, since they listened to our playcalling plea.

Right. Such a revolutionary idea you had with that offense. Man are you guys in love with yourselves.

98
by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:43pm

Certainly more revolutionary (and more likely to win) than their strategy against Buffalo last week, in which they put the ball in Delhomme's hands. 43 times. Against the worst rush defense in football. But go ahead and continue to run your mouth and make assumptions. It's amusing.

96
by bubqr :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 6:35pm

Quick note : You might want to change this : "Since the Giants focused Webster, their top corner, on Jackson, that left opportunities for Maclin and..." since Maclin caught his biggest pass, the TD, while being covered my Webster. Which is even more impressive.

115
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/04/2009 - 2:26am

Alex Smith is better in the shotgun? Doesn't this site repeatedly mention that the vast majority of quarterbacks have better numbers from the shotgun?

117
by Packerpalooza (not verified) :: Wed, 11/04/2009 - 9:05am

I suspected two years ago and am now firmly convinced that Mike McCarthy is one arrogant guy. As in he is going to run his offense and pretty much ignore what actually happens. His faith is in THE PLAN. And he will only touch base with reality when complete disaster strikes. And afterward claim it was some odd cataclysm that led to this outcome.

It's pretty bizarre.