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» 2014 KUBIAK vs. ADP: The Overrated

Where does KUBIAK differ most strongly from public opinion, and which players are most likely to disappoint their owners in the upcoming fantasy football season?

19 Oct 2010

Week 6 Quick Reads

by Bill Barnwell

The most important play in Sunday's Broncos-Jets game didn't officially happen, but it might be the basis for an entire offensive scheme. The 46-yard pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter drawn by Santonio Holmes against Broncos safety Renaldo Hill on fourth-and-6 turned what looked to be a sure Jets loss into a miracle win. But in the NFL play-by-play, you'll find it listed as "No Play". Neither Holmes nor Mark Sanchez get credit for the yardage, even though it moved the ball just as effectively as a catch in the same situation would have.

When it comes to adding these yards into a player's total, we've come down on the agents' side. Those yards should belong to Holmes, who was prevented from making a catch by Hill, who grabbed his facemask. But after the pass interference penalty totally shifted the course of the game, both Football Outsiders's Tim Gerheim (over e-mail) and ESPN's Bill Simmons (via Twitter) wondered whether a team could build an offense around drawing pass interference penalties.

The answer? Well, it depends on how frequently you can draw them.

We can categorize the result of each long pass with one of seven general outcomes: Completion, incompletion, interception, defensive pass interference, completion resulting in a fumble recovered by the defense, other defensive penalty (like illegal contact or holding), and other offensive penalty (like offensive holding offensive pass interference). To keep things simple, we won't worry about the final three options.

In 2009, teams threw the ball 25 yards or longer down the field 1,261 times. They completed 350 of those passes, for a completion percentage of 27.8 percent. On those completions, they picked up an average of 42 yards and scored a touchdown 117 times. The pass fell incomplete 744 times, or 59.0 percent of the time. Teams threw interceptions on the passes 9.7 percent of the time.

As for defensive pass interference? It just doesn't happen very frequently. Those 1,261 bombs yielded just 45 pass interference penalties. Only one -- the bomb to Calvin Johnson that resulted in a game-winning touchdown on the subsequent play for the Lions in Week 11 -- took place in the fourth quarter with two minutes or less left to go. Overall, only 3.6 percent of the passes resulted in pass interference. That's just not frequent enough for a team to rely on the pass interference call as a reliable offensive weapon. If you threw 30 times a game, you could expect to pick up about one pass interference call a game, but you would also be throwing three picks.

Let's say that you built your offense around acquiring behemoth receivers that could get downfield and turn every jump ball into a nightmare for the defense. You'd have just built the 2008-09 San Diego Chargers, a devastating downfield passing attack. In those two seasons, the Chargers threw the ball 25 yards or more downfield 96 times, but they picked up just six pass interference calls. Even that elevated rate of 6.3 percent wouldn't be anywhere near enough to justify throwing downfield 25 or 30 times a game.

The other factor that comes into play is the Law of Unintended Consequences. Teams that know of your game plan would provide far more safety help, lowering the completion percentage for your downfield passes. Just like they do for Hail Mary passes, referees aware of their potential complicity in this DPI scheme would be less likely to actually call a pass interference penalty, rendering your strategy moot.

While Holmes's play drastically changed the complexion of the Jets-Broncos game, plays like that just don't happen all that often, especially in such a dramatically important context. And while Holmes deserves credit for his work, relying on defensive pass interference as a primary offensive weapon is more likely to produce losses than wins.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Matt Schaub HOU
25/33
305
2
0
173
174
-2
Once the Texans went down two touchdowns in the third quarter, Schaub took over. Before that point, he was 10-of-14, but it was for 91 yards and all of two first downs (along with a touchdown). Half of his yardage came on a throw to Andre Johnson against blown coverage. Afterwards? 15-of-19 for 204 yards, with 11 first downs and that game-winning toss to Johnson in the back of the end zone. As for the other debatable pass interference call of the week? It's been overblown. It's true that Brandon Flowers didn't deserve to be charged with defensive pass interference, but Andre Johnson caught the pass anyway. And Johnson didn't do enough to come close to justifying offensive pass interference. These two teams may very well meet again in the playoffs, so Flowers may have a chance to get his revenge.
2.
Kevin Kolb PHI
23/29
326
3
1
157
149
7
Let's revisit our Week 3 Quick Reads debate. In his two starts since Michael Vick went down, Kevin Kolb's completed 73.3 percent of his passes. Vick was at 58.4 percent in the two games he completed. While Vick unquestionably has the stronger arm, he averaged 8.8 yards per attempt; Kolb's at 9.6. Vick threw five touchdowns without an interception, better than Kolb's four scores versus one pick, but Vick fumbled twice to Kolb's lone fumble. For all his elusiveness, Vick took a sack every nine dropbacks; Kolb's taken one every 13. On the other hand, Vick is clearly the better rushing quarterback, but all in all, Kolb's produced 2.64 points per drive, even with David Akers missing three field goals. Vick produced a near-identical 2.63 points per drive. The soft factors favor Kolb: He started against pass defenses ranked 12th (Atlanta, 27th last year) and 23rd (San Francisco, seventh last year) this year, while Vick was against teams ranked 15th (Detroit, 32nd last year) and 30th (Jacksonville, 31st last year). Finally, Kolb spent most of Sunday without DeSean Jackson and didn't have left tackle Jason Peters, either.

So why should Andy Reid stick with Michael Vick? Because just as benching Kolb after one half of poor play was short-sighted and didn't give the team a proper chance to evaluate Kolb, benching Vick after an injury doesn't give the team a proper chance to evaluate him. Going back-and-forth just erodes each player's confidence. What if Vick comes back and plays poorly? When does Reid go to Kolb? Philadelphia loves their backup quarterbacks more than any other city in America. No matter who ends up getting the job, they may not get it for very long.
3.
Drew Brees NO
21/32
263
3
1
149
148
1
Sabby Piscitelli is the weak link of the Buccaneers defense when he starts. If you had to pick a strongest link, though, you might look towards Barrett Ruud, Stylez White, or cornerback Aqib Talib. Talib plays on the left side of the defense, meaning he covers the wideout on the right side of the field. And yet, on throws to wideouts on the right side of the field, Brees went 4-of-5 for 108 yards, with two first downs and two long touchdown passes. On throws to the other side, where the more conservative Ronde Barber holds down the fort, Brees was just 4-of-8 for 34 yards.
4.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
16/27
257
3
1
143
143
0
Roethlisberger's 16 completions resulted in 10 first downs and three touchdowns. That's a great ratio, even against the Browns. His airmail interception in the red zone is what kept him from rating as the league's best quarterback in his return. Although Heath Miller fantasy owners must have been excited to see their tight end catch a touchdown pass after seemingly disappearing from the offense during Roethlisberger's absence, Miller only got four targets. It's still too early to say, but the Steelers might need Miller to block more frequently than he did a year ago.
5.
Peyton Manning IND
25/38
307
2
0
134
134
0
Peyton was downright unstoppable for a time after a couple of early near-interceptions (thanks, Carlos Rogers and Kareem Moore). He had a stretch where eight consecutive dropbacks yielded either a first down or a touchdown, and while that was aided by an absurd Pierre Garcon catch, Peyton was Peyton. The Redskins had no answer for him until the final drive of the game, when the unlikely figure of Philip Buchanon defensed two of Manning's three shots at sealing the game.
6.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA
25/40
242
1
0
122
122
0
Much like the Saints were able to beat the seemingly superior target of Talib, the Seahawks were able to take advantage of Bears stalwart Peanut Tillman. Hasselbeck repeatedly went to Deon Butler and Mike Williams against Tillman. On passes to the left side of the field, where Tillman operates, Hasselbeck went 11-of-14 for 107 yards, with five first downs and a touchdown. Although they threw 18 times to the right side, those 18 attempts only yielded 10 completions for 88 yards.
7.
Matt Cassel KC
20/29
201
3
0
99
95
5
The book is out on throwing at Texans right cornerback Kareem Jackson, so teams throwing to his side of the field is nothing new. Matt Cassel threw 17 passes to Jackson's left side of the field, but only five to the right side of the field, where Glover Quin operates. Jackson was also responsible for a pass interference penalty on fourth down in the first quarter that kept a drive going. Cassel was actually 5-for-5 for two first downs and a touchdown when he went to the right, but the final five of his 17 attempts to the left side fell incomplete. Cassel was also 5-of-6 for four first downs and a touchdown on throws to his tight ends; while it's tempting to assign those numbers to the absence of DeMeco Ryans, three of the successful plays came in the first quarter.
8.
Chad Henne MIA
23/38
231
2
1
83
78
5
The Packers defense is a lot easier to play against when they don't have any semblance of a pass rush. A team that had sacked opposing quarterbacks once every ten dropbacks before Sunday let Henne dropback 38 times without taking him down once. It's an example of when opponent adjustments aren't as accurate as they should be; the fifth-ranked pass defense that the system sees isn't the one Henne faced on Sunday.
9.
Kyle Orton DEN
14/34
209
1
0
82
70
12
The Jets mostly devoted Antonio Cromartie to Brandon Lloyd, with the gimpy Darrelle Revis and a gang of backups assigned to the other Broncos wideouts. In the first half, Cromartie lived in Lloyd's back pocket, and Lloyd was 0-of-5. In the second half? Lloyd got back in the swing of things. After a 19-yard DPI within the first minute, Lloyd caught four of the five passes Orton threw to him, gaining 68 yards and four more first downs. 29 of Orton's 35 attempts went to Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, or Eddie Royal.
10.
Eli Manning NYG
20/30
177
2
0
78
78
0
11.
Joe Flacco BAL
27/35
285
2
0
70
79
-9
That fearsome Patriots pass rush got to Flacco three times in his first ten dropbacks. Flacco was 6-of-7 for 81 yards when he stayed upright there, though, and when the Patriots stopped getting the pass pressure, Flacco settled in for a nice game. Once Flacco started the fourth quarter with an incompletion in the end zone, though, the Ravens just stopped moving the ball through the air. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Flacco went 7-of-12, but he only gained 59 yards and accrued just two first downs. His rushing DYAR resulted from a five-yard scramble on third-and-6 and a stuff on third-and-1.
12.
Kerry Collins TEN
11/16
110
1
0
70
70
0
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Josh Freeman TB
25/43
222
1
0
66
76
-11
Freeman enjoyed most of his success on passes up the middle, where he went 11-of-116 for 110 yards. To either sideline, he was 16-of-31 for 127 yards. Teams also attacked the middle last season, when Darren Sharper was often a liability in centerfield. With Sharper set to return and move college cornerback Malcolm Jenkins either to cornerback or the bench, it will be interesting to see if teams continue to try and exploit New Orleans up the middle. With Tracy Porter on the shelf and Jabari Greer hobbled, the Browns (Week 7) and Steelers (Week 8) might actually enjoy more success going at the edges.
14.
Shaun Hill DET
9/15
91
1
0
64
64
0
15.
Sam Bradford STL
18/31
198
1
0
62
60
3
Sam Bradford on throws to the left: 10-of-14 for 127 yards, with six first downs and a touchdown. Sam Bradford on throws to the right: 6-of-15 for 48 yards and three first downs. Guess which side Antoine Cason is responsible for? In all fairness, Cason played well to start the season, but this was his second poor game in a row, and even he described the way he played as "unacceptable". He's quickly becoming the obvious target in the Chargers secondary.
16.
Colt McCoy CLE
23/33
281
1
2
62
54
8
McCoy was much better than it would have been realistic to hope for, showing poise in the pocket against a predictably fearsome Steelers pass rush. Five sacks and two interceptions on 38 dropbacks isn't great, but at least he didn't fumble. 166 of his 281 passing yards, on the other hand, came while the Browns were down two scores or more in the second half.
17.
Aaron Rodgers GB
18/33
313
1
1
53
39
14
Rodgers only picked up three of the 11 third downs he faced, but six of those opportunities required 10 yards or more to pick up. You can't blame that on the running game, though; the Packers picked up 5.3 yards per carry on the ground on first down, and only three of their 12 attempts there went for fewer than four yards. In fact, most of the concerns about Green Bay's rushing attack are overblown. Since Ryan Grant went down with his injury, the Packers have averaged 5.6 yards per carry on first down. Last year, they averaged 4.6 yards per carry on first down. Some of that is Brandon Jackson's 71-yard run this year, but if you take that run out of the Packers' totals, they're at 4.4 yards per carry on first down this year. If you remove the biggest run on first down from last year's totals -- a 62-yarder by Grant -- they averaged 4.3 yards per carry.
18.
Tom Brady NE
27/44
292
1
2
48
46
3
Brady also struggled on third down, as he only converted one of the eight he faced in regulation, the touchdown pass to Deion Branch in the fourth quarter. He also missed on his first two chances in overtime before converting his third and final third down, a pass to Branch that set up the game-winning field goal.
19.
Tony Romo DAL
24/32
217
3
2
30
16
14
Completions are nice, but they aren't everything. In-between his first touchdown pass to Roy Williams and his game-tying throw to Dez Bryant, Romo went 15-for-19, but it only netted him 117 yards and three first downs (along with his other touchdown pass to Williams). Only 13 of his 24 completions (54.2 percent) were considered successes; the rest of the league was at 75.2 percent.
20.
Alex Smith SF
18/32
196
2
0
11
17
-5
Last week, the criticism of Alex Smith was mostly unwarranted. This week, he was pretty awful before throwing two touchdowns on his final four attempts. He mixed in two intentional grounding penalties and a total of six first downs on his previous 30 dropbacks, and while he didn't get much in the way of help from his offensive line, it's the Raiders. Incredibly, he was 0-for-5 on passes to Frank Gore, with only one of those passes thrown ahead of the line of scrimmage. I can't remember the last time I saw a running back go 0-for-5.
21.
Donovan McNabb WAS
29/45
246
1
2
10
8
2
McNabb was effective on first down -- 15-of-21 for 83 yards -- but it's pretty hard to win when you only convert one of the 11 third or fourth downs you come up against.
22.
Brett Favre MIN
14/19
118
1
0
10
10
0
Two defensive pass interference calls for 34 yards help matters (thanks, Mike Jenkins!), but with just 25 dropbacks, Favre took three sacks and lost the handle on a handoff. On those plays that weren't DPIs, Favre produced only four first downs and a touchdown. Randy Moss exploded for five catches and 55 yards.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Matt Ryan ATL
23/42
250
2
1
2
4
-2
Ryan spent most of the game playing catch-up and didn't do very much of it. He was weirdly awful on second down; he didn't complete a single pass there for more than seven yards, and while he picked up an eight-yard DPI to Harry Douglas and a 1-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez on consecutive chances in the second quarter, his other 12 shots on second down produced a total of 16 yards and zero first downs.
24.
Philip Rivers SD
22/37
249
1
1
-3
-3
0
Seven sacks in 44 dropbacks. That came despite the return of left tackle Marcus McNeill, who appeared to be responsible for two sacks. Noted cipher Jeromey Clary, the right tackle, allowed two of his own and should probably be benched after years of poor pass protection for Brandyn Dombrowski, who was effective during McNeill's holdout. The devastating Rams pass rush -- along with injuries to Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd -- prevented Rivers from extending drives. He only converted two of the ten third downs he faced.
25.
Jay Cutler CHI
17/39
290
0
0
-5
-14
9
Here's a good example of where DVOA probably isn't underrating big plays. A 58-yard pass interference penalty is a good way to start your day. Cutler also had a 67-yard completion to go with back-to-back completions of 34 and 36 yards. Those four huge plays, though, weren't enough to get more than 13 points for the Bears; otherwise, Cutler picked up 153 yards on 42 dropbacks, with almost as many sacks (six) as first downs (eight). This is an extreme example of boom-or-bust, of course; you would normally expect your quarterback to convert at least one of the 12 third downs he faced, and Cutler was unable to do so.
26.
David Garrard JAC
7/12
49
0
1
-5
-5
0
27.
Drew Stanton DET
20/33
222
1
1
-17
-30
13
28.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
17/30
198
1
2
-23
-23
0
Sanchez does pick up credit for the 46-yard defensive pass interference call that won the game for the Jets. The interceptions were inevitable, but Sanchez was wildly inconsistent against one of the league's worst defenses. A 10-of-11 stretch in the first half was nice, but he followed that by mixing in 22- and 41-yard completions with six incompletions, a sack, and an interception.
29.
Trent Edwards JAC
14/24
140
0
2
-49
-53
4
30.
Jason Campbell OAK
8/21
83
0
2
-99
-94
-4
Let's break down Campbell's day by quarter. After a ticky-tack 46-yard defensive pass interference penalty to start the game, Campbell went 5-of-7 to finish the first quarter. Not bad. In the second quarter, he went 0-for-4 with an interception. About as bad as you can get. In the third quarter, he got an incomplete grade because he didn't throw a single pass. The Raiders only ran three offensive plays, taking a 10-yard penalty in the process. Campbell did his part with a seven-yard scramble on third-and-long, ending the drive quickly. In the fourth quarter, he missed an open Louis Murphy deep by about a foot for what would have been a 98-yard touchdown, but then he completed a pass to Zach Miller that bounced off of a 49ers' linebacker's hands and into Miller's. The incompletion was a much more impressive and positive throw than the completion. After that play, Campbell was 1-of-6 for seven yards with another pick and a fumble on a sack. That's three potential turnovers (the Raiders recovered the fumble) on 24 dropbacks against a mediocre pass defense.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Chris Ivory NO
159
0
17
0
50
40
10
The Saints' nominal starter isn't exactly a versatile back. He can't pass block; at least, he can't pass block well enough for Sean Payton to trust him with Drew Brees's life. He had 15 catches for 51 yards in three years at Washington State. He's already fumbled three times on 45 touches this year. What he can do, though, is run between the tackles and pick up consistent positive yardage, and with guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks in front of him, that's what the Saints need right now. 11 of Ivory's 15 runs went for more than five yards, and eight of them went for first downs. He even picked up 17 yards and a first down on his first NFL catch. While a minor ankle injury in the fourth quarter forced him to the sideline, Ivory did enough work during the first three quarters to finish as the best back of the week.
2.
Arian Foster HOU
71
2
26
0
41
40
1
The Chiefs had exhibited wild improvement against the run before Sunday, when the Texans took over on the ground on Sunday. A 38-yard touchdown run by Derrick Ward saw the former Giants back tiptoe through most of the unit, and Foster was efficient and effective without ever ripping off a huge run. He scored on both his carries inside the five-yard line, converted both of his attempts in third-and-short, and added a couple more first downs on second-and-6 and second-and-7.
3.
Peyton Hillis CLE
41
0
49
0
37
15
22
Admittedly, it wasn't the most exciting performance of the day. But Hillis converted a third-and-1 and was able to maintain a 33 percent success rate against one of the league's best run defenses. His best work was as a receiver, where he went 6-of-7 and extended drives by converting on both his third down chances.
4.
Danny Woodhead NE
63
0
52
0
35
20
15
From Jets spy to the Patriots' Ahmad Bradshaw? Bradshaw made his name by closing out games in the fourth quarter for the Giants, and while Woodhead's team wasn't in the lead, he picked up first downs on four consecutive carries in the fourth quarter. That includes a first-and-10 and a second-and-11. He also had two conversions in the passing game and pulled off one of the rare plays that results in positive YAR despite serving as an "unsuccessful" play, gaining 19 yards on a third-and-20 reception.
5.
Ahmad Bradshaw NYG
133
0
10
0
28
24
4
Speak of the devil! Brandon Jacobs may have vultured the rushing touchdown that Bradshaw's fantasy owners were hoping he would pick up, but Bradshaw had six carries for 61 yards in the fourth quarter, including a 45-yard run directly after a Lions turnover that totally shifted the momentum of the game back towards the home team. He even picked up a first down as a receiver, his third of the season.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Ray Rice BAL
88
0
38
0
-34
-9
-25
To an extent, Ray Rice will always look worse by advanced numbers because the Ravens rely on him as a dumpoff and safety valve in the passing game. While DYAR might see a two-yard catch on third-and-10 as a negative play, it's better than a sack. On the other hand, all those meaningless catches and yards inflate Rice's raw numbers, too. Rice caught eight of the ten passes thrown to him, but only two of those passes went for more than four yards, and only one was considered a successful play. The even bigger disappointment: Rice's 28 carries produced just two first downs. His long run of the day was only eight yards. That's how the Ravens got 13 possessions against one of the league's worst pass defenses and scored just 20 points.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Jeremy Maclin PHI
7
7
159
22.7
2
80
Four first downs and two touchdowns; the 83-yard catch is the one that folks will remember, but Maclin did a nice job of coming back to Kolb and catching a pass in tight coverage (from Brent Grimes, even) for the first touchdown. It was even more promising that Maclin was effective despite the absence of DeSean Jackson for most of the game.
2.
Dwayne Bowe KC
6
9
108
18.0
2
58
A punchline for his poor play as recently as the pregame shows on Sunday, Bowe's confidence came back with the opportunity to play one of the league's worst pass defenses. He was able to hold onto a 17-yard strike from Matt Cassel for a touchdown in the second quarter, and followed that by running through half the Texans' defense on a quick slant for a 42-yard score (with 35 yards after catch) in the third quarter. Five of his six catches came on third down, and the ones that weren't touchdowns all resulted in first downs. Things shouldn't get much more difficult next week; Jacksonville's pass defense is almost as bad as Houston's.
3.
Patrick Crayton SD
6
7
117
19.5
0
48
Normally, Crayton would be the fifth option in San Diego's passing attack; Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, and Legedu Naanee are all in line ahead of him. Unfortunately, all four of those guys were either holding out or hobbled on Sunday, which gave Crayton his chance for a big game. Five of his six completions went for 14 yards or more, and each of them picked up first downs.
4.
Greg Jennings GB
6
7
133
22.2
1
45
The completion percentage is nice, but they include gains of two, five, and nine yards. On the other hand, it also includes an 86-yard touchdown pass, and those can make up for a few worthless completions.
5.
Roy Williams DAL
3
3
36
12.0
2
45
Is Williams finally coming through for the Cowboys? Something seems so right about him producing in the middle of a nightmare season, but his touchdown streak is nothing new. Williams had touchdowns in three consecutive games played in 2009, and as a member of the Lions, he pulled off the feat in 2006 and 2007. Five scores in three games is nice, but there's probably no new stripes on Williams.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Hakeem Nicks NYG
3
7
8
2.7
0
-33
Even stars like Nicks have a bad game or two during their breakout seasons. Nicks spent most of his day against Broncos castoff Alphonso Smith, and although Nicks has about four inches and 30 pounds on Smith, the Lions cornerback was able to limit Nicks to three catches for eight yards and a 10-yard defensive pass interference penalty. The Giants instead chose to attack the guy Smith was replacing at right cornerback, Jonathan Wade. It was Wade in coverage on Mario Manningham's long touchdown catch.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 19 Oct 2010

121 comments, Last at 21 Oct 2010, 5:33pm by commissionerleaf

Comments

1
by Willsy :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 8:28am

Team,

The rare advantage of being awake at 11:29pm in Sydney Australia, you get to read this article soon after release....must get a life, must get a life.....

Willsy

2
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 8:51am

I don't know what difference it would have made, but the fumble charged to Favre really was Peterson's responsibility. The ball was placed where it should be placed, and Peterson acted like it was a play action pass that was called. The biggest problem with the Vikings pass game right now, even though Favre has missed some chances for big plays, is the inability, especially by the running backs, to make proper adjustments for stunts. It's like watching a college team sometimes.

5
by RichC (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:03am

" and Peterson acted like it was a play action pass that was called"

Are we completely sure it wasn't?

10
by ASmitty (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:37am

As much as I love to ridicule Favre, it pretty clearly looked to be a run play. The receivers were all blocking when the fumble occurred.

18
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:29am

Yeah, when everyone else is blocking as if it is a running play, we can be reasonably sure that it was a running play. Irrationality about all things regarding the amateur photographer is really too predictable.

20
by RichC (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:30am

Asking a question is irrational now Will? I guess I should expect that from you.

24
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:33am

Give us some more penetrating inquiries, Rich. Along with the accurate and rational chracterizations of distances, of course.

21
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:30am

As sure as we can be that eighteen yards is not the equivalent of ten feet.

3
by nat :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:02am

Johnson didn't do enough to come close to justifying offensive pass interference
Really? The defender was flagged for throwing his hands in the air with his back to the ball. Why did the defender throw his hands in the air and not succeed in turning to see the ball? Because Johnson pushed him.

It was classic offensive pass interference. Johnson did something precisely to prevent the defender from making a play on the ball. It worked.

17
by Snaps (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:23am

I think the bigger penalty (or lack thereof) came on Ward's TD run. During a replay it clearly showed Tamba Hali getting held so bad his jersey stretched out about 30 or 40 sizes. To top it off, the official was staring right at it.

This is not to say the Texans didn't have some strange calls against them. I still don't know how the penalty on Wade Smith was a leg whip.

4
by Sophandros :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:03am

Sharper will see the field, but Jenkins won't go on the bench.

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

53
by Joseph :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:17pm

Yeah--my read on the Saints' nickel package is Sharper & Jenkins as the safeties, and Porter, Greer, & Gay as the corners (this assumes that all are healthy--admittedly, somewhat of a stretch). I also assume that Sharper will only see the field on obvious passing situations for the first few weeks in order to get him in "game shape."

6
by Parker (The First One) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:21am

Regarding Kolb and Vick....

"Going back and forth just erodes each players confidence."

Does it? I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but is there some specific proof to this or is it just assumed? I'm intrigued.

12
by Jonadan :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:55am

It's an interesting question. Why do some coaches seems to be able to rotate QBs in and out and still win (Reid, Fisher) or at least stay competitive (Schwartz) (ok, I'm a Lions fan), while for others (most?) it looks like a sign of desperation even when it's forced by injury (say, Cable)? Is it an organization or coaching thing? I really don't know.

14
by Biebs (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:17am

I'm guessing what he means is that any time one of them starts to play poorly, even for a half, going for a replacement would start to erode confidence (Correct me if I'm wrong). If Kolb starts and goes 1-8 with an INT in the first half, Reid might feel obligated to switch to Vick (or vice versa), and THAT would erode the confidence.

That's how I interpreted the comment, anyhow.

58
by >implying implications (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:31pm

As far as I know, Reid has only ever benched a starting QB for poor play once: McNabb being benched for Kolb during the 2008 game against the Ravens. There's some conspiracy that Reid wasn't even 100% responsible for making that call, and that he was pressured by the owner/front office guys calling down to the field.

While I think Reid is perfectly fine making decisions about who's the starter when injuries are involved, I don't think he's the type to bench his starter for poor play.

107
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 9:34am

The Eagles organization has a lot of flaws, but I don't think owner interference with coaching decisions is one of them - especially during a game.

33
by jmaron :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:31am

I've always been very skeptical of that long held belief. I'm Canadian so I grew up watching the CFL as well as the NFL. In the 70s, 80s and part of the 90s it was commonplace for teams to use two QBs. Teams like Edmonton that won 5 Grey Cups in a row alternated between Warren Moon and Tom Wilkinson while being the greatest team the league had ever seen. Joe Thiesman shared time with I believe Greg Barton. Ottawa alternated Condredge Holloway with Tom Clements.

It was just the way things were done and it sure didn't seem to harm the development of Moon and Thiesman.

56
by >implying implications (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:27pm

The Eagles did it within memory, alternating between Jaws and Cunningham. I can't say it helped Jaws' confidence, nor did it produce spectacular results.

36
by jmaron :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:34am

I've always felt that teams would do well to have two different types of QB's. A pocket passer with a mobile running QB. It would force teams to scheme for both types of offence. You can go with the style that best fits against the opponent.

112
by vcn (not verified) :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 1:59pm

It would certainly suck for defenses to have to gameplan against Kolb and Vick. The only worry is that you'd have to split first-team practice time somehow, so you might end up with both your quarterbacks getting fewer reps with their receivers. (Unless you could split up the wide-outs, too, so each QB got used to some 1st-team guys and some 2nd-team guys, with substantial (but fewer) reps with the others....)

115
by chemical burn :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 3:37pm

Here's the thing, though: all off-season, Reid was saying that almost exactly this was going to happen: Kolb would be the starter and Vick would play 12-15 snaps a game and be passing the ball very frequently. Everyone said "Yeah, more wildcat," but Reid explained he intended to use Vick as a passer as much as a runner, which really isn't how the pseudo-wildcat subs have played in the NFL... I wish that Reid's plan hadn't gotten derailed...

54
by Alex51 :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:17pm

I have a feeling this is similar to all the talk about "swagger" and "momentum": a dubious claim based on little or no evidence that seems to presuppose the idea that NFL players have the emotional stability and maturity of 2 year olds. First off, I've never even seen someone try to find real evidence for this.

Second, there's some ambiguity in the claim itself. What kind of confidence are we talking about that is supposed to erode?

1) Their confidence in their abilities as a football player?
This seems like a big stretch, considering the people we're talking about have been playing football for many years. If they really started to lose their confidence in their abilities whenever they faced a career setback, they never would have made it to the NFL in the first place.

2) Their confidence that they won't be benched if they have a bad game?
This seems a bit more believable, but I'm not sure it really matters that much. If they keep playing well, then it doesn't really matter, and I doubt many players go into a game expecting to play poorly. So it won't be relevant until/unless they do have a bad game. In that case, if they aren't benched, then they won't have much reason to continue worrying in the future, so their confidence problem would probably solve itself over time. If they are benched, then it would seem their lack of confidence was justified, and they'd have no reason to feel confident.

And really, do they need to feel all that confident that they can play poorly and not lose their jobs? All but the most firmly established starters would risk being benched if they played badly enough, and neither of these guys are even close to that level yet. I'm ok with them believing they're on a relatively short leash for now.

64
by QCIC (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:55pm

Yeah I am always horrified to see stuff like this on this site. The writers love to poke fun at this type of stuff until they need something to write. Then out come the cliches because it is easy and people are lazy.

In what other type of job do you constantly worry about micromanaging your employee's confidence. Mostly they are concerned with getting paid, and I don't think this is very different in the NFL.

70
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:11pm

In general, the way "confidence" gets written about in sports tends to be wrongheaded, I suspect. I think it is more likely that the confidence is in large measure a result being better than the oppostion, as opposed to the other way around.

83
by Alex51 :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:56pm

The writers love to poke fun at this type of stuff until they need something to write. Then out come the cliches because it is easy and people are lazy.

I don't think this was a case of a writer just needing something to write and making some random comment from the cliche bank. I think Barnwell (who I consider one of FO's better writers, btw) was being sincere when he said that. And that's what worries me.

If this were just a case of lazy writing, I could deal with that. I understand what it's like to have a deadline, and sometimes you just need a few sentences to fill in some space. Not ideal, but I get it.

But I think Barnwell's statement reflects what he actually believes about the situation, at least approximately. And the fact that he seems to believe in the claims he makes about confidence, despite the lack of any evidence, is what bothers me. He has a hypothesis about confidence that he's using to analyze the Philly QB situation. Great. But instead of testing that hypothesis, he just assumes that it's true. That's not lazy writing, that's lazy science. And that has no place on a site that was built on questioning conventional wisdom.

113
by vcn (not verified) :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 2:02pm

I'm trying to figure out a way to test that hypothesis, actually. The problem I see is figuring out a reasonable proxy for confidence, and coming up with a useful sample size.

118
by Alex51 :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 7:59pm

I agree that it would be very difficult to test confidence levels directly, but I don't think that's really all that important for the argument he was making. He was clearly implying that the loss of confidence would be caused by certain measurable events (namely, switching between starters frequently), and that it would result in some measurably bad events (like the failure of one or both of the QBs to play well in the future).

So, to test this hypothesis, he would need to look at the previous examples of QBs being switched out for their backups frequently, and then show that the negative effects that his hypothesis predicts actually occur. Now, this wouldn't be conclusive proof, because it would only show correlation, not causation. But still, correlation would be a start. And sample size is a problem, but I don't think it's a prohibitive one, at least in finding some concrete evidence one way or the other.

There have been a lot of QB controversies over the years, and in some of them, QBs were moved back and forth into the starting lineup fairly often. None of those QB controversies are going to be perfectly similar to the Philly QB situation, but I suspect several will be similar enough that we could at least get a general idea of what to expect.

7
by Dean :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:25am

No matter which QB Andy Reid starts, half of Philadelphia will be irate.

46
by Bobman :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:46pm

I'd change that irate figure to 65-70%. Maybe starting, I dunno... Mike Schmidt, would bring that irate percentage as low as the mid 40s...

49
by coboney :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:59pm

Bobman but probably 15-20% of those 65/70 are going to be upset no matter what happens. So if we assume Dean's figures are after removing the high percentage of completely irrational Eagle '''Fans''' then half is probably right or so. It sounds like more though as the completely irrational Eagle fans are a loud vocal minority.

51
by tgt2 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:07pm

No matter which QB Andy Reid starts, 3/4 of Philadelphia will be irate.

Fixed it for ya.

52
by tgt2 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:09pm

Note to self: Refresh page before posting.

8
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:27am

While I was (pleasently) surprised by the Seahawks at Bears, I couldn't help but thinking that this looked like a classic "trap game." To put it kindly for quite some time now the Seahawks offensive line play could be described as "marginal" at best. We've seen Peppers taking over games, but certainly the Bears have other talent as well. Even if Okung's play is taken as ernest improvement and as particularly poor as the Bears line play has been, it's impossible to believe that the coaches and the players for the Bears watched the same team I have for not just this season, but for the past few seasons.

26
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:41am

Pete Carroll has come under some ridicule, most of it inaccurate or unfair, especially at the NFL level. The guy is really a pretty good coach, particularly on the defensive side. It really wasn't surprising that he would have his team ready to slap around a team which blocks as poorly as the Bears do.

34
by RickD :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:33am

Who would this be a trap game for? The Bears or the Seahawks?

Usually a "trap game" is one where one of the two teams is considered to be significantly better than the other.

42
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:52am

Bears; since the Seahawks for quite a while have been more than a little vulnerable to deep digs in particular, can at best generate pressure only sporaticly off talent, and even against a very poor O-line like the Bears must continually manufacture it via saftey blitzes and the like. To say nothing about poor performaces against screens, depth at corner, on the road, and after bye weeks. It's not all horrible news, I can see how the Seahawks, my Seahawks, might be diamond in the rough. But right now they're VERY VERY rough.

9
by Harris :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:33am

Kolb had a great day, but he doesn't really deserve credit for playing without Peters or Jackson considering that King Dunlap dominated John Abraham and Jackson had two TDs before his injury.

Hail Hydra!

39
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:38am

It's funny, I was just watching the game again and Dunlap didn't really dominate - he had help on almost every single play. In fact, almost every lineman had help on every single play: the Eagles were keeping 7 guys in to block on most downs (with the RB leaking out after a while) and the Falcons were not blitzing, so it was 7 on 4, over and over again. Watch all of the big plays, it's 6 or 7 on 4. (and in a few cases, 5 on 3 - in Maclin's long TD, it's actually 6 on 2 because the Falcons bite so badly on the play action.)

And that doesn't seem like a terrible idea for the Eagles going forward: Maclin, Avant, and Jackson (who will hopefully play again for the Eagles this season) are talented enough that if you give them time, one of them will get WIDE open. It goes against Reid's RB-centric passing philosophy, but man if it didn't kill the Falcons. The Eagles could do just about whatever they wanted...

108
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 9:40am

Of course, the biggest help to the o-line play, was that Andy finally remembered to run the ball more than five times a half.

11
by Crushinator :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 9:43am

Was at the Bucs game and wanted to make a point about Drew Brees -

Not that I want to defend Sabby, but he barely saw the field in this game. In that game, Brees had a fairly clear strategy - Without Tanard, Cody Grimm starts and he just can't play that deep zone well enough to run a cover 2. Both long TDs came when the Bucs showed a cover 2 look and the second they showed it, Brees just went deep at Grimm. The Bucs started hiding him with more man and cover 3 looks, but its just not what they're meant to be doing on D and it got them picked apart. Grimm is going to be a year long problem for the team.

13
by ammek :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:09am

I was wondering which team would provide us with the worst QB on a week when the Panthers, Cardinals and Bills all had a bye. Step forward the Oakland Raiders!

22
by Myran (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:30am

I started Jason Campbell over Matt Schaub since Campbell was playing a generous SF D and Schaub was playing a KC D that just stifled Manning and I have Arian Foster. Looked good for 1/2 of football as Schaub did nothing in the first half.

Then they kept playing....

I still won, but lesson learned. Then again, Schaub is on bye this week and there are no QB's available, so I'll be going back to the Campbell/Gradskowski sinkhole.

15
by JoeHova :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:17am

What [Chris Ivory] can do, though, is run between the tackles and pick up consistent positive yardage...

Also, he can hit people upside the head with a liquor bottle.

16
by Dennis :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:20am

Could you guys give the full rankings for RBs and WR/TEs? No comments are needed, it would just be nice to see how everyone stacks up.

25
by drobviousso :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:33am

+1

37
by RickD :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:35am

Or at least everybody who had a certain minimum number of touches.

19
by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:29am

Did Henne steal Bill's lunch money as a child. First he calls for his benching in the first quarter, now he complains when he goes on to have a nice game :)

27
by ammek :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:48am

Maybe. But he's right. Henne had all day to throw. Kevin Kolb in week one, say, did not.

It's easy to attribute the difference to the Packers' defensive injuries and the Dolphins' superior offensive line, but a large part of it was strategic: Miami kept six or seven in protection for most of the game, even though the Packers were without Clay Matthews. Dan Henning figured that someone would get open, even when the Packers dropped six into coverage. And he was, mostly, correct.

29
by Shattenjager :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:09am

Bill has an irrational love of Chad Pennington.

63
by Basilicus :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:54pm

I'd argue any love of Chad Pennington is completely rational. The last full season he started (2008), he completed 67.4% of his passes while throwing for 19 TDs against 7 ints. The Dolphins went 11-5. Pennington was 6th in DYAR, 6th in DVOA, and 8th in Effective Yards.

In a world in which rotator cuffs are unneeded, I think we'd be speaking of Pennington in the same sentence as Schaub and Rivers, as a unique QB just short of that Manning-Brady-Brees-Rodgers upper tier. I have a hard time seeing how Henne is a better option than Pennington, and I'm one of the few who likes Henne.

95
by Shattenjager :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 6:06pm

I did not ever say that Pennington was awful, bad, mediocre, or not very good. I'm a big fan of Pennington myself, but Bill's love of Chad Pennington is rather over the top.

Bill Barnwell on August 23, 2010: "If I were playing to win one game and didn’t have to worry about Pennington’s propensity for injury, he’s probably in the top six or seven."
He made another comment around the same time and was similar, but I can't find it now.

I think that's really overstating the abilities of a player who is 34 years old, produced a -4.8% DVOA and 32 DYAR over 79 passes the last time we saw him, has a negative DVOA for two of his six seasons of at least 100 passes, has only ranked in the top-10 in DVOA twice in his career (2002, 2008), ranks 11th of all the players with 2000 passes since he was drafted (see: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny/xwn9I), and ranks 10th among active players in career ANY/A.

He's been a very good quarterback, but at this point I think it's tough to argue rationally that he's a top-7 quarterback.

117
by JIPanick :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 7:20pm

In which universe is Rodgers on par with Manning-Brady-Brees and better than Rivers?

119
by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 5:25pm

Among fantasy football people with short memories.

79
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:47pm

What's irrational about it? The guy has been one of the best 2-3 QBs on the planet when he's not injured for the entire season.

98
by Shattenjager :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 6:35pm

In 2002 he was. In 2008, you could argue he was. Outside of that, he has not been one of the top 2-3.

Ahead of Pennington in ANY/A in 2003: Steve McNair, Peyton Manning, Trent Green, Daunte Culpepper, Jake Plummer, Aaron Brooks, Matt Hasselbeck, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Jeff Garcia, Jake Delhomme, Jon Kitna, Brad Johnson, Donovan McNabb

Ahead of Pennington in DVOA in 2003: Peyton Manning, Steve McNair, Tim Rattay, Trent Green, Jake Plummer, Vinny Testaverde, Tony Banks, Matt Hasselbeck, Daunte Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, Jon Kitna, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Byron Leftwich, Jay Fiedler

Ahead of Pennington in ANY/A in 2004: Peyton Manning, Daunte Culpepper, Donovan McNabb, Drew Brees, Trent Green, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Jake Plummer, Marc Bulger, Drew Brees

Ahead of Pennington in DVOA in 2004: Peyton Manning, Daunte Culpepper, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb, Trent Green, Brett Favre

Ahead of Pennington in ANY/A in 2006: Brett Favre, Jon Kitna, Marc Bulger, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Tom Brady

Ahead of Pennington in DVOA in 2006: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Damon Huard, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Jeff Garcia, Tim Rattay, Marc Bulger, Mark Brunell

Ahead of Pennington in ANY/A in 2007: Tom Brady, David Garrard, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Brett Favre, Jeff Garcia, Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, Matt Hasselbeck, Jay Cutler, Derek Anderson, Matt Schaub, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Sage Rosenfels, Philip Rivers, Jason Campbell, Jon Kitna, Brian Griese

Ahead of Pennington in DVOA in 2007: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, David Garrard, Todd Collins, Brett Favre, Tony Romo, Sage Rosenfels, Quinn Gray, Carson Palmer, Jeff Garcia, Jay Cutler, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Hasselbeck, Derek Anderson, Kurt Warner, Matt Schaub, Donovan McNabb, Trent Green, Philip Rivers, Chris Redman, Jason Campbell, Jon Kitna, Matt Moore, Matt Leinart

Ahead of Pennington in ANY/A in 2008: Philip Rivers, Drew Brees

Ahead of Pennington in DVOA in 2008: Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan

Ahead of Pennington in ANY/A from 2000-20010 (min. 2000 attempts): Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Trent Green, Jeff Garcia, Ben Roethlisberger, Donovan McNabb

99
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 6:39pm

Yeah, but the guy has a SWEET play-action fake.

23
by drobviousso :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:31am

The Eagles confuse me. McNabb leaves, and until this week is a top 10 QB somewhere else (I'm assuming having Shanahan as a coach is canceled out by having (^&*()*(& all at WR into about an average offense, otherwise). So they plug in Vick, who looks good until he's hurt, so they plug in Kolb who looks about the same.

The only way I can reconcile that is:
1)McNabb is still the above average but not top QB we expect him to be, Vick has improved to the same, and Kolb has developed into the the same
OR
2)Both the Eagles and the Redskins run an equally passer friendly offense that turns any competent QB into an above average QB.
OR
3)One of my premises are wrong.

Any suggestions from anyone who's seen a little more of the NFC East?

32
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:25am

The obvious and, I think true, answer is that Andy Reid is really, really, really good developing QB's. It's not just McNabb, Kolb and Vick that have produced for him, he also got great production out of Jeff Garcia and A.J. Feely. Garcia and Feely both took over for McNabb without a blip and led the Eagles into the playoffs against tough competition. It seems like 5 very different kinds of QB's all playing at a high level can't be a coincidence.

The only QB whom he failed to get production out of was Mike McMahon. But the man isn't a miracle worker.

57
by Not an Eagle Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:28pm

Garcia I can kinda agree on, it looked like his days of being a good QB were over when he got to the Eagles, but he was also productive after his time with the Eagles as well. Feely on the other hand definitely did not show great production. He mostly mediocre with a couple of great games and bad games tossed in the mix during his time with the Eagles. The defense (more specifically the 18 turnovers, 3 for TDs, they got in 5 games)lead the team to the playoffs in 2002, Feely was more or less just along for the ride.

65
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:00pm

I would agree Feely was not mind-blowing, but compare his level of production with the Eagles versus his time on other teams. Reid plainly got a lot out of a pretty dubious QB.

67
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:03pm

I should add that watching Kolb play I sorta get the sense that he is benefiting greatly from his surroundings and if you put him on a bad team, he would not be a catalyst for a turnaround...

109
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 9:46am

Well, if you compare Feely in Philly to Feely in Miami, you might have a different opinion.

28
by Malene, Copenhagen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:01am

Danny Woodhead was a Jets spy?

38
by RickD :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:37am

Danny Woodhead was released by the Jets and then grabbed by the Patriots right before their game against said Jets. At the time, the presumption was that he was brought in largely to give the Pats inside info on the Jets.

It would be fair to say the notion that he would be as productive as he's turned out to be comes as a great surprise to most Patriot-watchers, if not all.

48
by Malene, Copenhagen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:55pm

yeah, I know that was what idiot media members said, but since it's fairly well known that Woodhead only arrived at Foxboro on Saturday while the rest of the team had already left for New Jersey, I'm surprised to hear it here.
I'm guessing it was a joke, I just thought it was a pretty bad/lazy joke.

30
by Some_FF-Player_in_nawlins (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:17am

re: Eagles Quarterbacking or Why Kolb played much better...

Kolb was horrid in that first game because the combination of him and the O-line couldn't figure out how to keep Kolb upright.

Enter Vick, who, while being an average quarterback, is much more escapable than Kolb and, thusly, manages to turn a play where Kolb would get burried into something positive.

Time passes: The eagles O-line improves after working together for several weeks. It's apparent that vick needs to run for his life less in the last two games that he playeed. During this time, Kolb is getting a fresh look at what the line can and can't do and studying up on what he was bad at, blitz pickup and working with the line on protections.

Vick gets hurt, enter Kolb, who is now playing behind an improved line and has a better handle on protections. This allows him to be what he is, an above average passer when he has modest amounts of protection.

We'll see how this holds up as the eagles face better pass rushes in the future.

At least, this is my take on things. If I was the Eagles and the Bears, I'd immediately trade vick to the bears for something that the eagles might need. Vick will do better in the bears offense than their current version of "quarterback bust" and improve them. The eagles will likely improve something else and deal with their possible controversy problems in one shot.

Again, this is all IMHO

43
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:02pm

If you'd written this a couple weeks ago, you'd have been crucified. Barnwell was being more than usually anti-Vick, and this aroused a hornet's nest of Vick supporters.

On this thread today, it's like armistice.

44
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:19pm

I'd be happier with Vick going to the AFC and not a team that could face them in the playoffs like the Bears. Also, it is too early to give up on Cutler. I think the Browns would be a great place for Vick and with the Cleveland-Philly front office connection, it could feasibly happen. Another reasonable destination would be KC, who actually could go deep in the playoffs with a real QB...

60
by >implying implications (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:38pm

Hey, you should consider it a win if Vick is traded to a team not in the NFC East. Insisting on the front office sending a pro bowl veteran QB to a team in an entirely different conference is asking a bit much of them.

62
by drobviousso :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:48pm

Seems like a perfect fit for the Raiders, doesn't he?

71
by ChaosOnion :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:21pm

Sending Vick to OAK would be a shame after Reid and co. spent the past two years teaching him how to be a real QB. I am sure he would get paid as soon as Al saw his speed.

77
by Pass to Set Up ... :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:43pm

No, I find it more likely that they'll send him somewhere like the Vikings or the Browns where there's a connection to the Eagles front office or coaching tree. Both teams need a QB (assuming the Zombie King actually retires), and he'll have a similar system under Brad Childress and won't have to relearn a new offense.

86
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 3:30pm

A Zombie sending pictures of his Johnson, to potential Zombie admirers, is easier to spin to a taxpaying public, from whom massive stadium subsidies are being sought, than is a sadist who had dogs tortured to death. As entertaining as a guy with Vick's skill set could be when paired with some of the other Viking playmakers, I don't thin there is much chance the Vikings would sign him.

120
by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 5:30pm

Vick is a better quarterback than Favre anyway, and has been since he first came into the league. If he had been drafted by Andy Reid, we'd be talking him up for the Hall of Fame by now. Instead, on sheer talent he spent his best years trying to run a college offense in the NFL, and made both Pro Bowls and playoffs as a result of being in that (bad) situation.

69
by Basilicus :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:04pm

As someone who's lived most of my life in Chicago, the reaction to Vick there would be very different than in Philadelphia. A lot of fans would turn and it would be a public relations nightmare.

72
by Dean :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:22pm

That's what they said about Philly too. But people cheer for laundry, not players. Chicago is no different than any other city.

75
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:29pm

Agreed, and I live in Chicago. Generally, most fans only care about winning. The loudest voices, however, come from media personalities, who generated ratings based on the noteworthiness of their topics, so player morality gets discussed quite a bit more than it really matters to the average fan.

------

Of course, the larger issue is why the Bears would want to give up on Cutler. He has his bad days, yes, but he's a much, much better long-term option than Vick, and probably a short-term one as well. I don't understand the "bust" label, except coming from the same type of fan who would be loud and crazy enough to also moan about a Vick trade.

76
by Dean :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:40pm

I'm sure the media would have a frenzy. They did in Philly. But at the end of the day, all the protests they predicted (and did their best to whip up) never materialized. They also said McNabb would get booed out of town. At the end of the day, though, the fans are the ones who are going to fill the stadium and they're just there to see a football game and cheer on, in your case, the Bears.

The 1% will burn up the airwaves, but at the end of the day, they're the 1%.

78
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:45pm

Yeah, I detest Vick as a human being and I don't even buy the whole "he's reformed!" thing... but what am I going to do? Stop watching the Eagles on Sunday? I've been doing that for 23 years. And if he's the starting QB, I want him to play well and win. There's just no way to engage the outrage that a horrible human being plays for my team: the whole system is broken in that way. I mean, look at Pittsburgh...

88
by Dean :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 4:26pm

I'd been watching since 1979 and I stopped. Granted, it's probably easier for me because I don't live in the Philly area anymore, and granted just because I did doesn't give me license to ram it down everyone else's throat, but I made that exact choice. I catch them occasionally if they're on one of the myriad of TVs in a sports bar, but I haven't sat down and watched an Eagles game since they signed him. If they're the prime time game, I just don't watch.

Lately, I've really been enjoying the Rams. The parallells to the way Spagnulo is building the team and what Reid did in '99 and '00 are astonishing. I can't say they're "my team," and they probably never will be, but I no longer have one of those.

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by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 4:58pm

Yeah, but don't you feel like any team is going to be peppered with horrible, horrible human beings and you might never even hear about it? Like how everybody assumed Marvin Harrison wasn't a complete, murderous maniac because he didn't do touchdown celebrations? Or that Jeramy Stevens is clearly an awful rapist, drunk-driving monster but I never heard about it until he was in the league for years and he was never punished in any real capacity? And hey, does Leonard Little still play for the Rams? You just never know and there's no reason to think that any team has it's hands clean...

90
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 5:02pm

That has to be the worst argument I've ever heard.

Cheering for a horrible person is OK, because other people might be bad.

Cheer for Vick if you want, I don't care one at all, but keep the rationalizing to yourself.

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by Alex51 :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 5:10pm

That has to be the worst argument I've ever heard.

Cheering for a horrible person is OK, because other people might be bad.

I don't think that's the argument he's making. I think what he's trying to say is that if you're going to stop cheering for a team because they sign a horrible person, you should be consistent, and not cheer for another team if that team also employs a horrible person, and you shouldn't assume that they don't employ a horrible person just because you haven't heard about them.

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by tuluse :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 5:13pm

Yes, of course. Guilty until proven innocent.

Every NFL player could secretly be serial killer, so I better stop watching the sport all together.

In fact my friends could to, I don't know what they do when I go to sleep. Better get rid of them.

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by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 6:09pm

How about this: tell me which team you cheer for and we can see if there's anyone worse than Vick playing for them? You better not say, Ravens, Steelers, Seahawks, Cowboys, Titans, Vikings, Rams or Jets just off the top of my head. And that's just the ones we know about.

And how about this, there are plenty of people who take moral positions that I find reprehensible (let's just say I would loathe Reggie White if I knew him in person) but haven't committed crimes. Let's say i think their words and deeds are as destructive and disgusting as dog-fighting - shouldn't I not cheer for them? I won't cross the "no politics" (or political correctness) line, but teams are laden with players that would not hesitate to voice sentiments I would unacceptable in the course of my daily life. And not classy political opinions about which reasonble folks can agree to disagree - but something like homophobic, racist, religious opinions. Should I not root for them either?

These players aren't my friends, the teams feature people I could reasonably find objectionable, I don't even know what half of think or do in their spare time. So, I should stop watching the Eagles because I loathe Vick?

And don't be naive - you know plenty of these guys are getting away with things that would land normal people in jail. And that you never hear about it.

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by Alex51 :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 6:15pm

I don't think anyone's suggesting that you assume everyone is a secret serial killer. But it's kind of naive to assume that Vick is the only NFL player who has committed heinous crimes just because he's the only one you hear about on the news. There are other players in the NFL right now who have been convicted of pretty horrific crimes, but nobody seems to mind rooting for their teams. And I don't remember hearing about any boycott of the Rams for the past decade while they employed Leonard Little, who killed a woman while driving drunk, and then drove drunk again several years later.

And, hypothetically, what if you found out that there were one or two players on every NFL team that had committed crimes as bad as Vick's? Would you stop watching NFL games altogether? I'm genuinely curious about that. If you wouldn't stop watching the NFL, why not?

Now, personally, I don't have a big problem continuing to root for teams even when they sign players who have done horrible things. If you do, fine. But if you're going to stop watching one team because they signed a horrible person, be consistent, and refuse to watch any team that signs a horrible person.

121
by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 10/21/2010 - 5:33pm

I don't get it.

Roethlisberger forces himself on college girls in the bathroom of a bar, Marvin Harrison gets on the wrong side of a murder investigation with an automatic weapon, Shawn Merriman Roids up and then gets caught, and what's the one crime that has everyone's panties in a bunch in the NFL?

Owning dogs that people were mean to.

Priorities, anyone?

106
by Dean :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 9:10am

Don't misunderstand. I wouldn't presume to tell you what you should do. I can be pretty arrogant, but I hope I'm not THAT bad. Just saying that it IS an option.

Anyway, to me, all I can do is make the best decision I can based on the info I have. And no, he's not currently on the Rams. He was a UFA in the offseason and nobody signed him. I don't recall ever hearing that he retired, but he may have and I just missed it? He's two-edged. I don't want to be put in a position of trying to defend the undefendable, but I do think that he got a bum rap because the alleged second offense was pretty much BS. That doesn't explain the first time, of course. And you are correct, yes, that not having him on the team makes them easier to cheer for.

A decade from now, if Vick has kept his nose clean, my stance will soften. It did with Ray Lewis.

Again, all I can do is do the best I can with the info I have. I don't want to beat this to death - it's not something where a soap box is warranted.

114
by vcn (not verified) :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 2:18pm

I'm more or less a lurker on this board: been reading a long time, but only comment on relatively few threads.

Just wanted to say that I appreciated the thoroughly respectful and untrollish way you've been stating your opinion on this.

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by Dean :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 3:40pm

Thanks.

82
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:54pm

If you think Kolb is worse than Vick at avoiding the pass rush, you didn't watch any of the Redskins game. Kolb was as slippery as anybody.

31
by jmaron :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:19am

Great opening piece. It's the kind of analysis I love about this site.

35
by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:34am

How bad does a snap have to be to not 'blame' the QB? Specifically referring to what happened at the end of the Den-NYJ game where a snap shot off to his left while he was in shotgun. I can see how this could be blamed on Orton (like tipped ball int's) but I then look at what happened to Alex Smith over the head snap and do not see how that could be blamed on the QB

80
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:50pm

All fumbled snaps are attributed blindly to the QB. There is no judgment calls in DVOA/DYAR, they are calculated directly from the official play-by-play.

87
by Arkaein :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 4:08pm

I think this is essentially a requirement, since by definition a fumble requires possession, which in this case Favre had and Peterson didn't.

What is needed is a stat like muffs for punt returners, where a player is clearly responsible for losing possession of the football, even if they never actually have it. It would require a bit of a judgment call as to when this would scored on QB-RB exchanges, but would work around the problem without changing the meaning of a fumble.

103
by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:30pm

Thanks for the clarification

40
by jedmarshall :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:43am

I'm curious where Joseph Addai placed among the rushers. He had one of the best games I've seen him play, but I imagine the red zone fumble is what knocked him out of the top 5.

47
by Bobman :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:54pm

...and knocked him out of his senses...

I suspect you're right. That one drive of his--62 yards on three carries with a 12-13 yard TD--alone should qualify, but, alas, that damn fumble while his brains were being scrambled.... (and maybe Ryan Diem gets partial TD credit for shoving a staggering Addai into the EZ before landing on him.)

It's almost as if he's being penalized for getting injured on the play. If a QB throws a pick as his knee is being crumpled... maybe the system should count that as only half a turnover. Same thing with a ball carrier/receiver who is knocked out and loses a ball. (The D gets paid to play, too, you know...) Of course, we're talking maybe 10 plays in a whole season that would fit the criteria, making it a low value change to the software relative to the time/effort required to make it work.

59
by BJR :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:37pm

I knew at the time that that fumble would cost Addai a really high DYAR ranking. And yeah, not really fair when he was unconscious as he fumbled it.

61
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:44pm

It raises an interesting comparison to metrics in baseball, where an official scorer takes steps to see that a pitcher's stats are not harmed as much when Jose Canseco allows a baseball to bounce off his head (I hope HGH thickens the skull), and into the stands, for a four base error, instead of a home run. Is it possible that football metrics would improve with an official scorer who, with the use of replay, attributed fumbles and interceptions, among qbs, centers, running backs, receivers, etc.?

73
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:25pm

Two opposite points with regard to baseball:

- Many advanced metrics that look to measure a pitcher's true talent level, in order to better predict his future performance, disregard most batted-ball outcomes entirely. That is, they only look at the type of hit it was (fly ball, ground ball, line drive, etc.), as opposed to whether it result in a hit, error, or out. This is done to remove batted-ball randomness and the quality of defense from judgement of a pitcher's ability.

- However, many advanced metrics and opinions that do take play result into account (and these are mostly descriptive) like to look at total runs allowed as opposed to just earned runs allowed. This is not necessarily the majority opinion, but most knowledgeable analysts will also look at unearned runs allowed when comparing two pitchers' seasons after-the-fact, when voting on awards and such.

------

Obviously, the first method can't apply to quarterbacks, since we'd essentially be saying "every throw is random", or more granularly, "every deflection is totally out of the QB's control". And there's the rub with trying to apply baseball methods to football methods; when judging pitchers and hitters, baseball is essentially a one-on-one game. You can relatively easily strip out the parts that are dependent on the rest of the team and replace them with average/expected outcomes based on things the pitcher and hitter actually do. With football, nearly every single thing a player does is greatly affected by the other 21 on the field.

110
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 9:51am

Pretty sure Canseco had an extra thick skull to begin with.

81
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:53pm

Like your last sentence admits, this would not make the system any better.

41
by milo :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:45am

"While a minor ankle injury in the fourth quarter forced him to the sideline, Ivory did enough work during the first three quarters to finish as the best back of the week."

Which, of course, is why we see this in the fourth quarter:
(5:35) C.Ivory up the middle to TB 38 for 7 yards (C.Grimm). 1-10-TB 45
(4:52) C.Ivory right guard to TB 11 for 27 yards (B.Price). 2-3-TB 38

68
by Joseph :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:03pm

Yes, and he got injured on that last play that you mention. Let's face it, when the RB has gashed the D for 10 ypc for the first 55 minutes, you'd think the coaches would have enough sense to give him the ball during the last five, too--especially when you're ahead, burning the clock. (end sarcasm)

102
by milo :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:10pm

If by injured on the last play, you mean he cramped up, then you can be sarcastic. Otherwise, you think you know, but you don't really know.

45
by Led :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:33pm

Does Orton not get any "credit" for the fumble at the end of the game? He should. Maybe not for failing to catch the abysmal snap, but for making a very poor effort to recover the ball. As I recall, the Broncos still had a timeout and something like 45 seconds left. No reason not to fall on the ball. Overall, Orton's DYAR is higher than I would have expected given that he threw 20 incompletions in 34 attempts with fairly poor results on third down and lost a fumble.

50
by coboney :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:01pm

If I recall correctly doesn't DVOA remove aborted snaps from Fumbles?

55
by TheSlinger :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 1:22pm

Is this the first time one team has had two QBs in the bottom five? I'd assume not but I'd be curious to know.

66
by Basilicus :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:02pm

Nope. Week 4, Arizona: Max Hall and Derek Anderson.

And Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore were in the bottom six last week. My guess is that it happens a few times each season. If you steadily rely on a QB bad enough to regularly patronize the bottom five, chances are your backup isn't going to break the tradition.

74
by ChaosOnion :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 2:26pm

How did Ray Rice beat out MJD for LVRB? Was MJD's situational running better than Rice's?

84
by Bjorn Nittmo (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 3:04pm

"Vick threw five touchdowns without an interception, better than Kolb's four scores versus one pick" -- why does FO perpetuate the common usage of comparing two statistics that have nothing to do with each other? Yes, TD's are good, INT's are bad, but somehow it has become accepted that their ratio or difference means something. It would be like comparing a hitter's RBI to strikeouts. Please lead by example and use INT percentage, and never refer to a QB's individual TD passes (which like RBI, attribute a team achievement to a single player).

Thank you, I feel better.

93
by Basilicus :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 5:19pm

I don't get a comment like this. An entire paragraph was devoted to outlining the statistical difference between the two. Completion percentage, yards-per-attempt, TDs, INTs, fumbles, sack rate, and points per drive were all included. I don't think Barnwell at all fails in making his statistical analysis complete. In comparing two games, I'd much rather see whole numbers than rates for TDs and INTs. For whole seasons, rates are better. For two games, I think whole numbers do the job just fine:

"In his two starts since Michael Vick went down, Kevin Kolb's completed 73.3 percent of his passes. Vick was at 58.4 percent in the two games he completed. While Vick unquestionably has the stronger arm, he averaged 8.8 yards per attempt; Kolb's at 9.6. Vick threw five touchdowns without an interception, better than Kolb's four scores versus one pick, but Vick fumbled twice to Kolb's lone fumble. For all his elusiveness, Vick took a sack every nine dropbacks; Kolb's taken one every 13. On the other hand, Vick is clearly the better rushing quarterback, but all in all, Kolb's produced 2.64 points per drive, even with David Akers missing three field goals. Vick produced a near-identical 2.63 points per drive. The soft factors favor Kolb: He started against pass defenses ranked 12th (Atlanta, 27th last year) and 23rd (San Francisco, seventh last year) this year, while Vick was against teams ranked 15th (Detroit, 32nd last year) and 30th (Jacksonville, 31st last year). Finally, Kolb spent most of Sunday without DeSean Jackson and didn't have left tackle Jason Peters, either."

100
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 6:49pm

Actually, it would be more like comparing a batter's home runs and strikeouts to another batter's home runs and strikeouts.

I'm sure you probably realized this after you posted, but nothing a QB does can truly be attributed to him alone. You're just going to have to deal with seeing TDs, completions, and other passing statistics ...

and while I agree with your point about using percentages rather than raw numbers, it doesn't change the point he was making: Vick's TD% is higher (6.3 to 4.8) and his INT% is lower (0.0 to 1.9). I suspect some of this comes from the audience for which these comments are intended: if this were targeted solely at FO readers, he'd probably have used DVOA or DYAR instead.

85
by are-tee :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 3:09pm

I'm surprised to see Orton ranked so high. Not only were his conventional stats pretty pedestrian (41% completion percentage, 6.1 yards per attempt), but he also fumbled away the snap on the Broncos last drive, effectively ending the game.

94
by Led :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 5:48pm

I have to assume that Orton is not penalized for the botched snap (see my comment above). Otherwise his DYAR seems WAY high.

104
by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 10:35pm

I thought the same thing, and ninjalectual told me that the stats come straight official score sheets, so it should be attributed to Orton in their statistics.

105
by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:10pm

Orton had the fourth highest rushing DYAR of all quarterbacks, and that accounted for just under 15% of his total DYAR. Without it, he'd be joint 11th with Kerry Collins - in amongst some decidedly average performances. He also didn't throw an interception, and if I remember rightly botched snaps are penalised the least of all fumbles because of the high chance of the offense recovering (though that may be DVOA rather than DYAR). It doesn't go the full way to explaining his high ranking, but in the passing section of the statsheet it looks like a mediocre performance. Add the rushing performance and he moves up a sizeable chunk.

101
by TomC :: Tue, 10/19/2010 - 8:54pm

What really stood out to me was the difference in DYAR between Orton and Cutler. They had a very similar number of dropbacks and completion percentage, but Cutler had ~150 more yards (if you count the 58-yard DPI, which DYAR does). Part of it is opponent adjustments, but it is interesting to ponder how you can spread around 350 yards in a way that is 100 yards less valuable than 200 yards.

(Two quick disclaimers: #1) Barnwell does address this at least partially in the Cutler comment, and #2) I'm not saying DYAR is wrong; it's just a striking comparison.)

111
by Led :: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 9:55am

Here's some other reasons for the difference: 6 sacks of Cutler vs. 1 sack of Orton and 0% on 3rd downs for Cutler vs. ~25% (guesstimate) for Orton. But Orton did have the botched snap. Could Aaron, Bill or some other FO writer please confirm whether Orton is penalized for that? Many thanks in advance.