Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» OFI: SEC Surprises

In an opening week where even the elite teams in college football looked mortal, the SEC had two big surprises in Texas A&M and Georgia defeating their South Carolinian opponents by big scores.

23 Nov 2010

Quick Reads: Week 11

by Bill Barnwell

You may be familiar with the NFL's Game Rewind application; we've had some advertisements for it on the site. Several of our game charters, along with FO editor-in-chief Aaron Schatz and myself, use the site to fill in gaps in our game charting data that might otherwise go uncharted.

In short, Game Rewind takes the HD broadcasts of each NFL game and puts them online within 24 hours or so of the final snap. As you might imagine, this can be very useful. While the application was pretty messy before this season, there have been a lot of improvements to the GUI this year. There have also been two key features added. In Cover-3 two weeks ago, Doug introduced the "Film Room" feature, which has the All-22 "Coaches Tape" for certain key plays.

There's another feature that could end up being really useful for when we talk about certain plays, though: The ability to link to individual clips for given plays, even for folks who don't subscribe to the service. From what I can tell, the clips can't be embedded in a webpage, but you should be able to click through and view them in a new window. (Disclaimer: I have no idea if this will work for non-US readers.)

So, this week, I'm going to test out the technology and take a look at several Tom Brady incomplete passes; let me know if you would like to see more of this in Quick Reads going forward.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
18/29
275
3
0
205
171
34
Although he doesn't receive any credit from our advanced metrics for drawing that palm strike from Richard Seymour, Roethlisberger was able to consistently make big plays against a Raiders defense that was missing Nnamdi Asomugha. Eight of Roethlisberger's 18 completions were for 15 yards or more, and only three of his completions all day were considered to be "unsuccessful" throws that didn't push the team towards or into a new set of downs. It was a good mix of play types, too. Mike Wallace got matched up against a linebacker on a crossing route and ran through the Raiders defense for one score. Hines Ward got lost down the sideline against zone coverage for another big play. Heath Miller caught a quick throw and rumbled 16 yards afterwards for another. Everyone's going to have to stay healthy, and left tackle Jonathan Scott is still a major question mark, but this passing offense can be better than the version with Santonio Holmes from a year ago.
2.
Donovan McNabb WAS
30/49
376
1
1
195
197
-3
McNabb was a punch line last week, and with a trip to face the league's top-ranked defense on the docket, it didn't look very promising for him heading into Sunday. Instead, while McNabb occasionally rode his luck, nearly half of his 52 dropbacks resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. After being sacked on his first play of the game, McNabb took just two more the rest of the way. His big achievement: Third down, where he converted the first five chances he got and started off getting eight out of ten before finishing up the game with three failures.
3.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA
33/44
366
1
0
184
178
6
The Seahawks challenged Jabari Greer deep for two big plays early in the game, resulting in completions of 68 yards (31 in the air) and 42 yards (40 in the air) to Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu, respectively. In all, Hasselbeck was 11-of-15 for 194 yards on passes to the right side of the field, where Greer does his work, and 16-of-22 for 123 yards on passes to the left side of the field, where Tracy Porter operates. (Solve for x and you'll find that Hasselbeck was 5-of-6 for 49 yards on throws up the middle.) Although Hasselbeck converted just one of his five first attempts on third down, his last six attempts on third down produced either a first down or a touchdown. Unfortunately, by then, he was already down double-digit points.
4.
Aaron Rodgers GB
22/31
301
4
0
175
172
3
Rodgers was sacked twice in his first four dropbacks; although he had a 47-yard completion to Greg Jennings, his first 11 snaps from center yielded just three completions. After a field goal, the Vikings went three-and-out, and then the game was over. Green Bay had six meaningful drives after that and produced four touchdowns, and Rodgers was as hot as can be. He was 20-of-23 for 246 yards with ten first downs and four touchdowns, and one of those incompletions was 27 yards downfield. If the Packers killed Brad Childress, Aaron Rodgers picked up the fatality.
5.
Drew Brees NO
29/43
382
4
2
163
163
0
Eight of Brees's 11 attempts on third down resulted in a first down or a touchdown. Although the result was a two-score game for the entire second half, the game should have been more of a blowout. Brees threw two interceptions in the Seahawks end zone during the fourth quarter, although the second one -- on fourth-and-six from the eight-yard line with 29 seconds left -- was treated as a "Hail Mary." In this case, the prayer was for Brees not to get hurt and for the game to end quietly. Now, Earl Thomas can tell his grandkids he picked off Drew Brees one day, and he can just quietly neglect to mention that Brees was probably formulating a grocery list in his mind at the time.
6.
Matt Ryan ATL
26/39
253
2
0
154
151
3
The Falcons trailed at different points during the first three quarters of this game, never by more than a touchdown. While the Falcons were down, Ryan was 11-of-15 for 117 yards with six first downs and two touchdowns. That included a conversion on third-and-14 to Roddy White that came right at the sticks; although it came on a play where the Rams big-blitzed and White ran an option route against single coverage, wouldn't you want to try and get two guys on Roddy White on third-and-long at all costs?
7.
Peyton Manning IND
38/52
396
4
3
148
148
0
Manning had different streaks of four, five, nine, and finally ten straight completions at different points during this game. Although Jermaine Cunningham's pass rush appeared to affect Manning's throw on the game-sealing interception, the Patriots weren't able to sack Manning even once on his 52 dropbacks. That's the second-highest number of attempts Manning has had in a single game without being sacked; he also had 52 attempts without a sack against the Patriots in 1998, and got up to 54 against the Chargers in Week 3 of the 1999 season. The record for most attempts in a game without being sacked is also held by a Patriots player: Drew Bledsoe, who had 70 attempts against the Vikings in a 1994 game without being sacked. That's also the league record for most attempts in one game.
8.
Philip Rivers SD
15/24
233
4
1
127
123
5
Amazing how Rivers looks like an MVP candidate when the San Diego special teams hold up their end of the bargain. The return of Malcom Floyd didn't have any appreciable impact, as Floyd caught a wide-open touchdown pass and was targeted on Rivers's interception, a bomb down the sideline that Champ Bailey caught up with and wrestled out of Floyd's hands. Rivers got 45 YAC on back-to-back receptions, with Patrick Crayton and Darren Sproles both pulling it off en route to touchdowns.
9.
Tom Brady NE
19/25
186
2
0
120
120
0
Brady had exactly three incompletions on his first 24 attempts before finishing his game out with four consecutive incompletions, including a would-be interception that Tyjuan Hagler was nice enough to show to the turf. Aaron Schatz and Bill Simmons wondered about what happened to Brady on those final attempts during the former's appearance on the B.S. Report, so I decided to take a look at the final three.

On the first play, the Colts lined up with linebackers in both A-gaps, leaving six guys in the box against an empty backfield for the Patriots. The Colts lined up with man coverage across the field and no safeties deep. The blitzers came, which forced Logan Mankins to take one of the blitzing linebackers and Matt Light to grab the right defensive tackle. That left Dwight Freeney with a free rush at Brady, which forced an early throw to Brady's hot read, Wes Welker, who hadn't turned around yet.

Two plays later, Brady lined up with one linebacker in the A-gap and Danny Woodhead in the backfield. The Colts brought five and Brady wasn't significantly pressured; he got off a clean throw, but it was thrown slightly behind Deion Branch, which allowed Cornelius Brown to knock the ball away. Branch suggested that there was pass interference committed on the play, but there was no such call.

Brady's final throw came with 2:38 left; on third-and-7, the Colts lined up with three down linemen and two linebackers in a "mug" look, while the Patriots went with a Trips Bunch left alignment that had Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, and Aaron Hernandez in a group and Woodhead in the backfield. The Colts only brought four and Brady had a perfect pocket; he just missed his window to Welker. The throw itself seemed like something was off; even if Hagler hadn't been there, it would have been well behind both Welker and the defender that was trailing him.
10.
Jon Kitna DAL
18/24
148
3
0
119
98
21
The Cowboys installed a low-risk scheme for Kitna to execute; he only threw two passes further than 16 yards downfield, and he only had four completions further than six yards downfield (with his longest completion in the air going 16 yards). He had three trips to the red zone and picked up touchdowns all three times. They were touchdowns of one, three, and four yards, but who cares?
11.
Derek Anderson ARI
25/46
295
1
0
94
94
0
Anderson's touchdown pass came with three seconds left, when he hit Larry Fitzgerald for a three-yard touchdown pass to narrow the gap to 31-13. Anderson ends up ranking this high because he avoided the negative plays that have come to define him as a quarterback; he was only sacked twice in 48 dropbacks, didn't fumble, and didn't throw an interception.
12.
Matt Schaub HOU
19/33
254
1
0
93
93
0
How did the Texans come back from 16 points down to nearly beat the Jets? Schaub had quite the fourth quarter against the Jets pass defense, as he went 8-of-11 for 163 yards. One thing he did? Stop throwing to Andre Johnson. During the fourth quarter, only two of Schaub's passes were to Johnson, with one being a 20-yard catch. Before the fourth, seven of Schaub's 22 attempts were passes to Johnson, with those throws yielding three catches for a total of 12 yards. Combine those figures with Calvin Johnson's one-catch, 13-yard game from two weeks ago, and it's pretty clear that Darrelle Revis is back at 100 percent.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Josh Freeman TB
13/20
136
2
0
85
77
8
Freeman had just two first downs on 11 first-half dropbacks. After the break, he had five first downs and two touchdowns on 12 more dropbacks, including a toss to Donald Penn for a one-yard score on his final pass of the day. He kept the 49ers off the field during the second half by going 4-of-4 on third down.
14.
Matt Cassel KC
15/24
193
2
0
84
84
0
On passes that weren't thrown to either Dwayne Bowe or Jamaal Charles, Cassel was 5-of-11 for 46 yards and two first downs. On passes to Bowe and Charles, Cassel was 10-of-13 for 147 yards, four first downs, and two touchdowns, both to Bowe. Bowe now has 11 of the team's 18 receiving touchdowns; that's over 61 percent. It's very rare for a receiver to have that huge of a chunk of his team's touchdowns; since the strike, the highest such figure is 72.7 percent, which happened when Richard Johnson caught eight of the Lions' 11 touchdown passes in 1989. If we limit it to teams that threw a minimum of 15 touchdowns in a given year, the record is 66.7 percent, as Calvin Johnson caught 12 of the Lions' 18 touchdown passes during their 0-16 season in 2008. Bowe is just one touchdown off that pace.
15.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
21/34
316
4
2
80
75
5
During the Bengals-Bills game on Sunday, the Bengals lost both their starting safeties and starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph (although not before Joseph had two interceptions). Chris Crocker went out injured on the first play after Joseph's second interception; I'm not sure exactly when Joseph went out, but he doesn't appear in the play-by-play after the second pick. (Roy Williams went out with an injury earlier in the game.) Before Crocker went out, Fitzpatrick was 3-of-8 for 48 yards with two picks and a sack. Afterwards, he was 18-of-26 for 268 yards and four touchdowns.
16.
Michael Vick PHI
24/38
258
0
0
78
75
3
Vick's day is bumped up from replacement level because of the Giants' pass defense; although the Giants certainly benefited from that egregrious Jason Avant end zone drop, they were able to keep Vick to a long play of 35 yards, forced him to fumble twice, and limited him to three successful scrambles on ten plays. Because of the opponent adjustments, this game actually rates out as better than the Lions game in Week 2; I'm inclined to agree that it was the better performance.
17.
Vince Young TEN
12/16
165
0
0
58
68
-9
18.
Joe Flacco BAL
24/33
301
1
0
53
53
0
Flacco started off the game with a sack and then a 56-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh, of all people, that traveled 46 yards in the air. He actually started 12-of-13 for 166 yards before botching a handoff to Ray Rice in the red zone. From then on, he was streaky -- four completions followed by four incompletions -- and although he had five plays of 15 yards or more after that, he also took a megasack for 14 yards that ended with a fumble. In the end, the Ravens offense produced 23 points on 12 drives against the league's 22nd-ranked defense, which isn't all that great.
19.
Eli Manning NYG
20/33
147
2
3
46
35
12
Manning was 12-of-15 for 98 yards and two touchdowns on first down, although those figures include a completion for -7 yards and an interception. Unfortunately, on second down, Manning was 4-of-9 for six yards and another interception. Yes, that's not a typo: Six yards. A three-yard completion to Bear Pascoe, a one-yard completion to Derek Hagan, a two-yard completion to Ahmad Bradshaw, and a fourth completion for no gain to Hakeem Nicks. Of course, with both Nicks and Steve Smith now out for a couple of weeks, that second down performance may end up being par for the course.
20.
Shaun Hill DET
32/45
289
2
1
42
42
0
Hill actually converted 10 of the 17 third downs he faced, but this is the Cowboys pass defense, and he only needed an average of 6.7 yards to convert. How did that work out? Well, Hill had 30 attempts on first and second down, and those plays produced just 138 passing yards (4.6 yards per attempt), three first downs, and a touchdown. It was more like a mediocre running game than a passing attack, as Hill produced a Success Rate of below 36 percent on those plays.
21.
Brett Favre MIN
17/38
208
0
1
34
34
0
Favre was able to pick up just three of the 15 third or fourth downs he faced, although he gets credit for a fourth that was wiped out when Toby Gerhart fumbled after running past the first down marker. The interception he threw in the red zone at the end of the first half was a killer; it stopped a drive that could have ended up tying the game for the Vikings, and the next time Favre got the ball, he was down by three touchdowns. By then, Brad Childress was already crying like a baby.
22.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
22/37
315
3
1
28
17
11
I'm sorry if this upsets some folks, but this was a pretty mediocre performance with one great drive. Take out the opponent adjustments for everyone and Sanchez would rank 11th; he gained 63 DYAR on that incredible final drive, but that was set up by an interception that DYAR also sees as game-crushing. Before the game-winning drive, Sanchez's fourth quarter had seen him go 2-of-7 for 29 yards with a sack and that pick. He was only converted three of the ten third downs he faced, but those completions went for 18, 26, and 41 yards, so he made sure they were worthwhile when he got them. Ascribe whatever amount of poise or moxie you want to him, but make sure he keeps getting extra chances at the end of games to make big plays, because he sure has needed them these past few weeks.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Sam Bradford STL
27/42
233
2
1
28
21
6
Bradford completed three of his first four "deep" throws -- passes thrown 15 or more yards downfield -- for 18, 24, and 25 yards. Two of them went to Michael Hoomanawanui. How did the Rams follow this up? Hoomanawanui was thrown just four passes the rest of the way, none of which traveled further than four yards past the line. Bradford threw just four "deep" passes on his final 33 dropbacks, including just two during the entire second half. Were the Falcons defending against the deep pass? Perhaps -- all four of those passes fell incmplete. But it sure seems like Bradford might have wanted to press the issue with deep throws a little more frequently. Instead, while Danny Amendola was 8-for-8, those passes went for just 63 yards.
24.
Kyle Orton DEN
24/38
217
1
1
21
21
0
Orton gained nine yards on his first third down, but he needed ten; he picked up 10 on his next third down when he needed nine. On the subsequent ten third downs, he had one completion for six yards, and that's when he needed 13. Five incompletions, an interception, and three sacks made up the rest of the day. He did get a touchdown on his lone fourth down attempt, a prayer to Brandon Lloyd in the end zone down 28 points.
25.
Jay Cutler CHI
16/25
156
0
1
6
-5
11
Cutler lived a charmed life on third down, grabbing seven of his 12 chances. Matt Forte's effective running meant that Cutler needed an average of just 6.8 yards to get them, though. In addition to his standard-issue terrible interception off his back foot, Cutler took three sacks and fumbled once. He also attempted just three deep passes all night, a sign of how serious the Cameron Wake problem was for the Bears.
26.
Carson Palmer CIN
19/34
230
2
2
0
-3
3
Through the first three quarters of the game, Palmer was playing fantastic football, going 15-of-20 for 195 yards with two additional DPI (albeit for four total yards), 12 first downs, and two touchdowns. His 21st attempt, though, was an interception on a pass to Terrell Owens in the end zone. And it was downhill from there. Palmer's fourth quarter was downright ugly: 7-of-16 for 57 yards with an interception and two sacks. If he had thrown a touchdown pass to Owens instead of an interception, he would have put the Bengals up ten points with 18 minutes to go. Instead, the Bengals lost by 18 points. Pretty remarkable.
27.
Tyler Thigpen MIA
17/29
187
0
1
-13
-20
7
Thigpen only converted two of his 12 chances on third and fourth down, taking three sacks and throwing an interception. If he really wasn't running the Pistol because Richie Incognito couldn't shotgun snap, well, let's hope Eric Ghiaciuc can.
28.
Colt McCoy CLE
17/27
241
1
1
-15
-30
15
All three Browns quarterbacks have now suffered a sprained ankle at one point or another this season. The ankle sprain came on a scramble, which McCoy had to do far too frequently on Sunday; the Jaguars actually sacked McCoy six times in 33 dropbacks. Before Sunday, they had 14 sacks on 308 plays, and last year, they had just 14 sacks all season. And all this after the injury to Aaron Kampman! Remarkable.
29.
Rusty Smith TEN
3/9
62
0
1
-16
-16
0
Just a quick note on Rusty Smith before his game against the Texans next week: His completion percentage in college -- at Florida Atlantic, mind you -- was 56 percent. If anyone's ever going to make the Texans pass defense look good...
30.
Bruce Gradkowski OAK
13/24
98
0
1
-27
-36
8
31.
David Garrard JAC
20/34
254
2
3
-65
-51
-15
Garrard threw three interceptions in seven attempts during the third quarter, and then fumbled on the opening play of the fourth quarter. Has anyone ever turned the ball over four times in one quarter? Garrard came pretty close.
32.
Brian St. Pierre CAR
13/28
173
1
2
-90
-90
0
33.
Jason Campbell OAK
7/19
70
0
1
-106
-106
0
34.
Troy Smith SF
16/31
148
0
1
-107
-120
12
Smith's first pass -- a screen to Frank Gore for 14 yards -- was successful. He didn't have another successful pass until there was 3:58 left in the second quarter. Smith finished with just 12 successes on 37 dropbacks, and he took six sacks against a team that had just eight before Sunday. Some of that is the continued experiment with physical and emotional pain that is Anthony Davis: Right Tackle, but Smith just doesn't have the feel for the pass rush that you can only seem to get with consistent reps behind center.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Maurice Jones-Drew JAC
133
1
87
0
88
58
30
MJD was just dominant as a runner outside of the very questionable fumble called against him in the third quarter; his 23 carries produced a staggering 11 first downs or touchdowns, and he had a success rate approaching 70 percent. He averaged better than six yards a pop on first down, converted the one third down he faced, and picked up two first downs on fourth-and-1, including that run we talked about earlier. Of course, the majority of his value still comes from the incredible 75-yard catch-and-run he pulled off in the fourth quarter, picking up a screen pass and breaking a handful of tackles with jukes before ending up on the opposite of the field both vertically and horizontally. Although he made a couple of big mistakes, Jones-Drew won this game for the Jaguars. (These numbers do not include the interception he threw on a halfback option; if they did, he would be fourth this week at 46 DYAR.)
2.
Arian Foster HOU
84
2
59
0
55
29
26
Foster's now finished first or second in these rankings in four of his last five games. That's quite impressive. Although he fumbled inside his own ten-yard line and wasn't able to get the touchdown needed to seal the game against the Jets in the fourth quarter, he scored two touchdowns on three runs inside the five-yard line, and picked up four first downs on seven targets as a receiver. He currently leads the league in both rushing DYAR and receiving DYAR; if he can keep that going for the rest of the year, he'll join an exclusive club that includes Marshall Faulk (2000) and Brian Westbrook (2007).
3.
Danny Woodhead NE
69
1
21
0
48
33
15
Every time he touches the ball, good things seem to happen. In addition to a 36-yard touchdown run, Woodhead's six other carries went for every number between three and eight yards, and he had three first downs as a receiver, including a pair of pickups on third down.
4.
Knowshon Moreno DEN
58
1
62
0
48
16
32
Moreno started off the game with a pair of carries for nine yards and followed that with a four-yard touchdown run, which was a good performance considering how effective the Chargers' run defense has been at times this year. He was better as a receiver, though, with seven catches on seven targets for 62 yards and three first downs. It wasn't his fault they were down three scores for most of the game.
5.
Ray Rice BAL
65
1
66
0
38
13
25
His 19 carries for 65 yards weren't really all that impressive, but Rice contributed 66 yards on seven targets (six catches) in the red zone, producing three first downs.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Ahmad Bradshaw NYG
29
0
-5
0
-45
-27
-18
Bradshaw's fumbling issues are quickly becoming chronic. His fumble against the Eagles on Sunday was the sixth of the season for the Giants halfback. With 213 touches this year, Bradshaw is fumbling once every 35.5 touches. For running backs with 150 touches or more in a given season, that would be the eighth-highest rate of the past decade. It's a chart led by Steve Slaton, who fumbled once every 25 touches for the Texans last year. You may notice that Slaton no longer has his starting job. That's not to say Bradshaw is about to lose his, but improvements need to be made. One positive thing that should come his way: Luck. Bradshaw's lost five of the six fumbles he's coughed up this year, a statistically-unlikely feat. On plays in 2009 where a running back fumbled, the offense recovered the fumble exactly one-third of the time. Bradshaw's at one-sixth. And while teams should really see fumble recoveries for what they have been proven to be -- total luck -- coaches undoubtedly remember fumbles lost more than they do fumbles held onto.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Steve Johnson BUF
8
11
137
17.1
3
86
Johnson undoubtedly benefited from the departure of Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph -- who had two interceptions before leaving -- and both starting safeties, each due to injury. While he didn't have a first down in the second half, Johnson had four catches. One was for -1 yard, and the other three went for touchdowns. It's pretty clear that Johnson is the primary guy in Buffalo now; he has 84 targets to Lee Evans's 71, and while Evans may draw the tougher cornerback some weeks, Johnson's a more consistent target for Ryan Fitzpatrick and is already the more complete player.
2.
Greg Jennings GB
7
9
152
21.7
3
82
The three-touchdown bounty for Jennings was the first time a Packers wide receiver has had three receiving touchdowns in a game since Javon Walker pulled the feat off in Week 3 of the 2004 season. It's also the first time the Vikings have given up three receiving touchdowns to a player since Marvin Harrison grabbed three in Week 17 of the 2000 season, as part of a game where the Vikings were resting their starters for the playoffs. Before that, you have to go back to 1995; the inimitable Jerry Rice had 14 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns in Week 16, eventually scoring nearly 46 fantasy points on the day.
3.
Mike Wallace PIT
3
6
116
38.7
1
66
Wallace was averaging just over two catches per game without Ben Roethlisberger in the lineup; since Roethlisberger returned, he's now averaging four. And when you're Wallace, you don't need many more catches to make a serious impact. His three catches went for 27, 37, and 52 yards, with the 52-yarder producing 49 YAC.
4.
Joel Dreessen HOU
4
4
106
26.5
1
58
Although Dustin Keller was expected to put up a huge game against the Texans defense, it ended up going the other way; Dreessen caught all four of his targets against a defense that ranked fourth against opposing tight ends, with each catch going for either a first down or a touchdown.
5.
Ben Obomanu SEA
5
6
87
17.4
1
55
Last seen during the year of a thousand Seahawks wideout injuries, the special-teamer caught a 42-yard pass against Jabari Greer to start off his day and finished with 87 yards on five catches, including a two-yard touchdown reception. Obomanu was temporarily taking over the deposed Deon Butler's starting job until Golden Tate comes back, but this performance and the injury to Mike Williams should create some playing time for him during the rest of the season.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Dustin Keller NYJ
2
6
7
3.5
0
-31
Keller's had a great season, but this should have been his coming-out party. The Texans do everything beyond hand the opposing tight end the ball with a red carpet to the end zone; they allow opposing tight ends an an average of 83.8 yards per game, and Keller has produced at a level far superior to the average tight end this year. So what happened? Keller got six targets -- including four in the red zone -- and had just two catches for a total of seven yards. Blech.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 23 Nov 2010

116 comments, Last at 24 Nov 2010, 10:25pm by Kal

Comments

1
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 1:39pm

"Orton gained nine yards on his first third down, but he needed ten; he picked up 10 on his next third down when he needed nine. On the subsequent ten third downs, he had one completion for six yards, and that's when he needed 13."

Kyle Orton, ladies and gentlemen!

If you ever need a definition of franchise quarterback, just point to Mr. Orton and say "He ain't it."

10
by coboney :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:11pm

One bad game does not mean he isn't a good player. While I don't think of Kyle Orton as a special quarterback, he is a servicable starter for McDaniels and on the whole does a good job for the broncoes.

22
by tunesmith :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:40pm

He was also downright.... philosophical.... after the loss. Which is a frequent occurrence with him. These guys generally seem relieved at the end of each loss.

32
by Kibbles :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:56pm

Pretty robust sample size you've got there.

37
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:04pm

You are really down on Orton, weasel? He's certainly not a franchise QB, but there are only so many of those. Ad if you haven't had the luck/skill to obtain one, Orton's about the best you can do.

Now throwing away a franchise QB in *favor* of Orton is a different matter entirely.

42
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:13pm

I think we can switch off the "Jay Cutler is a franchise quarterback" light bulb.

Is there anybody who doesn't think that Denver won that trade via 1st round knockout?

43
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:17pm

Any more victories like that, and Denver will become an irrelevant football team bereft of talent.

Oh, wait...

104
by Owl Tamale (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 11:20pm

As a Broncos fan, I'll take Orton over Cutler any day of the week, in particular Sundays. He can be extremely effective in McDaniels' offense, and has had, for the most part, a very good year. He continues to improve. Cutler, who nobody in the NFL seems to even pretend is a 'franchise quarterback' anymore ( aside from the odd delusional Bears fan, or hype men like Jaworski..even the local Denver media hacks, who cried over Cutler for two years, have now copped to the idea that he really is nothing special ), continues to regress. I wouldn't trade Orton for Cutler straight up at this point.
Denver's problem is a poor defense which is either old, infirm or incompetent. Years of bad drafting by Shanahan ( with McD still in the wait-and-see mode ), too much veteran moxie, and the loss of any pass rush once Elvis left the building has been a real problem. They've got no speed. They're getting by with castoffs and waiver pickups. It ain't pretty, I know.
If you were even considering Brandon Marshall, does anybody even remember what he looks like? Nobody even mentions his name in Denver. Possibly the most easily replaced player in the league.
Hillis? Well, christ, who knew? But the Browns have a good offensive line, and at this point, the Broncos don't. He was always popular here, but I think that was more of the Woodhead-scenario than a Denver fan's eye for talent. Good for him that he is in a system where he can really thrive. Probably a bad idea to trade him, but I doubt anybody saw this coming. It happens.

109
by BigCheese :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 1:16am

So, McDaniels trades away the team's two best players and suddenly the local media starts talking about them in a positive light? I'm shocked.. SHOCKED I tell you!

As for "who knew?" about Hillis, that would be anyone not named Josh McDaniels who watched him play his rookie year before he got injured. The man was a beast back then and he's a beast now. Trading him (and TWO picks) for a QB who's not going to suplant Orton as the veteran or Tebow as the prospect is probably among the stupidest trades ever made (I honestly can't think of one as bad to compare it to).

- Alvaro

111
by JIPanick :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 1:58am

Herschel Walker. Full stop.

47
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:30pm

I didn't expect the guy to be the best qb in the league, but it has surprised me how bad he's been, expecially this year. Last year, in addition to the obviously horrible offensive line, the defense was banged up, and the Bears had to score a lot of points. Put ANY qb behind a bad offensive line, paired with a defense which yields a lot of points, and mediocre receivers, and the qb stats are very likely going to look bad. This year, the offensive line play has improved quite a bit, even if it is still sub-par, and the defense has been quite good. Cutler has still sucked, in a situation where, overwhelmingly, the requirement has been to not eff things up. If he can get this turned around, and just stop doing the really stupid thing, this team can win a playoff game on merit, and then try to get lucky. He sure doesn't show any inclination for doing that, however.

68
by TomC :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:33pm

The offensive line play has IMPROVED??!! Do you know what their Adjusted Sack Rate ranking was last year? 13th. That's right: above average. This year, they're last, and not last by a small margin, either. There was never a game like this year's Giants game last year, and in the last few games of the year, they actually looked quite good. At no time this year has the pass protection risen above the "pretty bad" level; it's just that when it gets to that level it looks amazing compared to the "historically awful" that we're comparing it to.

I would argue that Cutler has significantly improved three very important aspects of his playing-behind-a-terrible-O-line game (which he never had to work on in Denver): 1) making the small adjustments to find a new pocket to throw from when the original one collapses; 2) deciding when to say "screw it" and run the ball; 3) throwing the ball away. The major thing that he hasn't improved has almost nothing to do with O-line play, and that's the obvious one: horribly dumb unforced interceptions. He'll never be an elite QB until that one gets fixed (which may require a lobotomy), and I agree that with the current state of the Bears D & ST, that's the most important thing.

81
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:47pm

If you are using adjusted sack rate as a measure of offensive line performance, you are making a real mistake. Frankly, I know of no published metric which adequately measures pass blocking performance. For instance, the Vikings were about last in adjusted sack rate in 2004, despite absolutely superb pass blocking; the type of offense they ran, combined with a qb who simply would not throw the ball quickly, combined with a porous defense, resulted in a ton of sacks, while the Vikings had nearly 50 touchdown passes. To rely on a 13 ASR ranking to establish better pass blocking last year is ill-informed.

Yes, the Bears' pass blocking improved towards the end of the year last year, but prior to that I'd say they were worse than they have been through 10 games this year, although I admit I haven't seen every game. If somebody has put them on a stopwatch, and cross referenced it with how deep a drop was being taken, I'd be happy to see that data. Factor in that last year the Bears had a much greater need to match scores with the opponent last year, I can't see much improvement from Cutler.

84
by TomC :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:09pm

That response is very funny to me, because I used ASR mainly because there is a presumption of acceptance of most of the advanced stats used on this site in these discussions. You don't like ASR? That is absolutely fine with me. What I really wanted to say was: What effing games are you watching? I've watched every minute of every Bears game under discussion here, and I've watched many of those minutes several times over on the DVR looking at offensive line play. And if you think that this year's pass blocking is better than last year's you are out of your mind.

87
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:24pm

I've seen 7 of their effing games. If you think the pass blocking through week 10 last year was better, you are out of your mind. I'm willing to concede it may not be any better this year, but their play last year was extremely bad in the first half of the season, so, no, I don't thik it was better last year.

It is not a matter of "liking" a statistic. It's a matter of understanding what a statistic is measuring.

96
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 7:12pm

They were bad in different ways. This year when the right protection calls are made and the linemen attempt to block the correct players, they have looked decent. However, there have been many mis-communications leading to unblocked rushers coming through.

Also, I would argue this is a tale of 5 lines. Two last year, the one with Pace at LT and Omiyale at LG, and the one with Chris Williams at LT. This year it's been Williams at LT, the makeshift line after he got hurt, and the most recent version with Williams at LG, Omiyale at LT, and Webb at RT. The makeshift line this year was the worst of the 5, imo.

102
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 10:24pm

Well, Pace started 11 games last year, and I would argue that 11 games started by a guy who was completely, absolutely, finished was when they were at their worst, but yes, an argument can be made that the makeshift unit this year was worse.

110
by BigCheese :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 1:29am

Will, as someone who hasn't watched "7 games" but rather the 26 games in question: you are 100% wrong.

The line last year was pretty bad and improved distinctly in the last few games to just kind of bad reaching at mediocrity. The line this year has had to claw it's way up to pretty bad.

I'm going to go ahead and guess that the Seattle game this year is not one of the 7 games you have watched, because anyone claiming that letting a DB that's lined up right besides the LT come in unblocked for a sack on an empty backfield while the LT blocks the air to his right TWICE in the same quarter is part of an O-line that has improved needs to completely redefine their definitions of "improved" "blocking" and probably "has."

The line last year was not starting a 7th-round rookie at RT, a guy who couldn't cut it a guard at LT and a former tackle whose biggest knock was he wasn't aggresive enough as a LG. If this line ever gets hafway to mediocre, the Bears are going to sart rolling people.

- Alvaro

112
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 4:23am

You'll note I specifically excluded the games at the end of last year, which is why it is puzzling that you would mention them as if they were meaningful to what I wrote. Orlando Pace could not beat out any of the guys you mention in your last paragraph, and he started 11 games last year.

69
by Dean :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:35pm

Jay Cutler just wins football games.

85
by TomC :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:11pm

What part of my response merited that? I'm freely admitting that Cutler has *not* improved the flaw in his game that is most important to winning football games with the Bears team as it is currently constructed. But I also feel like the general notion that he sucks prevents some people from giving him credit for anything at all.

98
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 7:40pm

I would like to point out that Cutler has significantly improved from last year. -9% DVOA from -17%, and the blocking has been bad this year.

As for your suggestion that his requirement has been "don't screw it up" that's basically what he's done the most of this week. Discounting the Giants literally knocking him out of the game, he has had one really poor performance, which was against the Redskins. Arguably the Seattle game, but he did average 7.4 yards per attempt, and the Bears defense got exposed in that game.

103
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 10:31pm

I've seen enough hideous throws this year outside of the Giants game to say that he's been making a good run at screwing it up. The Bears have an excellent defense and special teams. All Cutler needs to do in most of these games is to let those units prevail. One of the reasons why there is a somewhat accurate perception that the Bears' record has exceeded their performance is because Cutler, with some frequency, gets in the way. Last year, given their defense, largely due to injury, Cutler was required to be a star. He doesn't need to do that this year.

105
by Owl Tamale (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 11:25pm

I agree with Will on these points. Does anybody imagine that the Bears gave up as much as they did to get a guy who is, at his most effective, a caretaker QB? I don't know why people keep pretending that this is going to get any better. It's not. Cutler has talent, of course, but people expecting him to be in the highest levels of QB play best just keep using him on Madden. In reality, I don't see it happening. But, make no mistake, he will assure you that it's always somebody else's fault.

2
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 1:39pm

MJD single handedly killed my Delaware pools. Somebody tell Cleveland that you don't have to strip the ball to win the game - just tackle the little guy with the ball before he runs for 45 more yards.

3
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 1:53pm

I'm shocked that Stubbleface came in as high as he did; must be the opponent adjustment, along with being indicative of how bad the rest of the Vikings roster has been.

Does it mean I'm over my lifelong attachment to the Vikings when I think the Childress link was hilarious?

54
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:53pm

He only had the one turnover, and one very minor sack.

Favre didn't do much of anything to help the Vikings win, but he didn't hand the game over to GB the way he could have (though it sure looked like he would early the way he was spraying the ball at random while under pressure). The Vikings secondary managed to do that.

4
by Boots Day (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 1:56pm

Bradshaw's lost five of the six fumbles he's coughed up this year, a statistically-unlikely feat. On plays in 2009 where a running back fumbled, the offense recovered the fumble exactly one-third of the time.

So Bradshaw's team has lost exactly one more fumble than the average team would in that situation? That hardly sounds "statistically unlikely" to me.

17
by RickD :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:31pm

One of my pet peeves with FO is their insistence that fumble recoveries should be a coin toss under all circumstances.

Even if one supposed a 50-50 chance for recovery of an RB's fumble (which I wouldn't), the p-value for recovering only 1 of 6 is only 7/64 (or 7/32 if you consider it to be a 2-sided test). If the probability of recovering an RB's fumble is only 1/3 (which you imply), the p-value is a healthy 35%. (By "healthy" I mean laughably large to be using a phrase like "statistically unlikely".)

23
by RickD :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:41pm

According to this site
http://www.advancednflstats.com/2010/01/fumble-rates-by-play-type.html

fumbles on running plays are lost 55% of the time. Re-calculating gives us a p-value (1-sided) of .1636, which is not all that noteworthy.

108
by Jerry :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 12:27am

All fumbles (or interceptions) are not treated equally. From Methods To Our Madness (numbers refer to success points):

Interceptions average -6 points, with an adjustment for the length of the pass and the location of the interception (since an interception tipped at the line is more likely to produce a long return than an interception on a 40-yard pass). A fumble is worth anywhere from -1.70 to -3.98 points depending on how often a fumble in that situation is lost to the defense -- no matter who actually recovers the fumble.

21
by Dean :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:39pm

16.67% vs 33.33% sounds like a pretty big statistical discrepancy to me. Enough to call it "unlikely." However, to be fair, we both know there are sample size issues at play. A better way to phrase it would have probably been "statistically unsustainable" rather than "unlikely."

27
by RickD :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:45pm

Yes, the sample size is tiny. I would encourage the FO writers to never use the words "statistical" or "statistically" for N < 10. I'd be happier with "unsustainable".

(I'd also be happier if FO writers didn't lump all fumbles together.)

41
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:11pm

Except it is statistically unlikely. All that means is "more than half the time, he would have lost less fumbles than this." And that's true.

Unsustainable is actually less accurate, since maintaining that fumble lost rate over an equivalent number of fumbles would happen a fair fraction of the time.

5
by Led :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 1:56pm

7.6 YPA and 3 picks (including one that gave the game away) against the Pats defense is worth a heckuva lot more than I would've expected. I appreciate it's a counting stat and Manning had a ton of attempts, and no sacks is a positive, but it's still the Pats defense and it's still 3 interceptions!

6
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:00pm

Obomanu was temporarily taking over Deon Butler's starting job until Golden Tate comes back

Is that what you meant to type? Did Obamanu take over Butler's starting job, and Butler took over Tate's? Or does this refer to Deion Branch perhaps?

7
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:05pm

Fixed.

30
by Bill Barnwell :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:50pm

Although this wasn't exactly the clearest thing I have ever written, it was actually right the first time -- Deon Butler lost his job, and Golden Tate's going to take it over when he gets healthy, but since he's not ready, Obomanu started this week.

34
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:01pm

Then wouldn't it make more sense to say that Obomanu is starting this week for Tate? Or Obomanu was starting in place of Butler? I guess the way you phrased it has an element of humor, but confusing. Unless you were being ultra specific, and were differentiating between the X and Z roles.

Although Deion Branch would also work there, if he was starting when he was with Seattle.

Oh God, I'm becoming one of those people.

113
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 9:20am

For a second, I thought you were gonna get banned for talking politics.

8
by ChaosOnion :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:07pm

I saw the box score and I could not figure out how McNabb could drop back 50 times, complete 30 passes for 380 yards but the offense could only get 16 points on the board. I could understand if he capped drives with INTs or fumbles, but he only threw 1 INT. Were all his incompletions in the red zone? Did the running game just fail at points? It is just plain confusing.

53
by tunesmith :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:48pm

Wasn't that the same general situation with Cutler and Broncos in 2008?

9
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:09pm

I know that DYAR and fantasy don't have much to do with each other, but I wouldn't have been surprised if you'd told me that my team had the least valuable RB and WR/TE - I just would have guessed McFadden and Boldin instead of Bradshaw and Keller. (BTW, I lost.)

12
by ChaosOnion :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:15pm

Heh, interestingly enough, I started MJD and Steve Johnson this past week. (BTW, I won.)

25
by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:43pm

I started Bradshaw over Johnson at the WR/RB flex position in my league. Unsurprisingly, this was a bad decision.

11
by coboney :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:12pm

Also on a note - those links don't work up here in Canada so I'm going to guess they don't work anywhere outside the USA. I'm fine with it though as its interesting to read a small capsule of specific plays to get a breakdown.

18
by mikegillnz :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:32pm

They don't work in New Zealand either

20
by IsraelP (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:38pm

Nor in Israel.

13
by Jimmy :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:16pm

Rewind only seems to be available in the US, which is really annoying as I pay way more to get Gamepass. Do any other non US fans know if you can get the all 22 footage on Gamepass?

14
by ammek :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:25pm

The clips don't work here in France. Alas.

16
by Levente from Hungary :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:31pm

Yeah, unfortunately not outside US. I am using Gamepass, a product for viewers outside US, but that does not have the coaches' film feature.

Apparently the NFL is worried that by using the latest technology we catch up to the Americans! :-)

26
by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:45pm

The are so worried about the UK presumably harnessing the technology and burning down Washington again that RedZone isn't available on Gamepass in the UK, which is annoying.

Gamepass, on the whole though, is brilliant, simply because I no longer have to choose between a bad game and Nick Halling or a good game on a terrible stream.

31
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:55pm

Please, burn it down again. And finish the job this time! The American public don't have any use for Washington either.

35
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:03pm

Those of us who work here do.

46
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:30pm

They don't work in Seattle, either.

Oh wait, maybe that's just me and my five year-old, hopelessly overburdened work laptop....

73
by Doug Farrar :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:16pm

They most definitely work in Seattle!

15
by are-tee :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:26pm

"I'm sorry if this upsets some folks, but this was a pretty mediocre performance with one great drive"

This pains me greatly. Cannot live in a world in which Eli's performance on Sunday was considerd better than Sanchize's.

And no mention of the fact that Schaub was the beneficiary of some horrific blown coverages by the Jets in the fourth quarter.

19
by Tampa Bay Mike (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:33pm

I'm sure this has been mentioned before, but if you're going to count recovered fumbles against a player then you need to count egregious drops as effective completions/first downs/TD's. I'm only talking about well placed balls where there is no defender near by i.e. Avant's drop not Jerramy Stephen's SB TD drop (sorry to remind you Seahawks fans).

63
by jimbohead :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:14pm

Quick reads is limited to information coming out of the gamebooks. So, only things that are in standard play-by-play work for DYAR and DVOA. What you're talking about requires charting information, which FO does, but much more slowly.

24
by TomC :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:42pm

Cutler lived a charmed life on third down, grabbing seven of his 12 chances.

I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. Was Cutler responsible for everything bad he did in the game, but the high 3rd-down conversion rate was dumb luck?

Also, Cutler picked up another first down by scrambling on 3rd-and-16.

Not saying you have to love the guy, but at least give him credit when he does something right.

28
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:46pm

Once Jennings made that juggling catch along the sideline and GB hit the field goal Rodgers was transformed.

That and Chad Clifton along with the rest of the line adjusted to the speed of the game as early on the Vikes defensive line was blowing off the ball.

I know Ray Edwards was killing his dbs on the sideline but for the most part Rodgers was putting balls in 'just so' where the db had position but it didn't matter.

The Williams INT of Favre was very impressive. Tramon read it from the beginning and given that Favre is throwing before anyone breaks it isn't like he could pull back. If Bevell really did get in Favre's face about that throw he deserves to be ignored. Also because Darrell Bevell could never make that throw because he never had the arm for it.

57
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:59pm

It was a great play by Tramon, but the QB still has to read that the CB has inside position and is looking right back at the QB, in perfect position to break on that route.

If Favre sees Tramon lined up inside and puts the pass on the back shoulder it might be a more difficult catch for Harvin, but Tramon has no chance for the pick.

Not sure what Bevell's arm strength has to do with anything, especially coaching. You may be Crazy about Big Ten football, but it's really not relevant to NFL discussion.

29
by db :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:48pm

I check in weekly to see how much Sanchez sucked this week. It seems that regardless of result, he was below replacement level. This is consistent with FO's prediction of his overall career potential. I wonder if they are defending that previous position or if it exposes a bias in the rating system. I suspect a little of both. At least Jason Campbell is no longer a ratings darling.

33
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 2:57pm

There's no bias in the system - Sanchez played so-so against a terrible pass defense. He had a couple good drives at crucial times and he deserves credit for that. Such credit is colloquially referred to as a "W" - but don't confuse that with overall great play...

36
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:04pm

Pretty ironic to see the Colts fan show up this week. Of course, if he had choked against a tuurrible Texans defense (which beat Manningface btw) and threw that game clinching int in field goal position, the Colts fan will presumably not find five or six AFC East quarterbacks better than him.

39
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:07pm

I can't follow this comment. Who is the Colts fan? And what are you trying to say?

48
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:31pm

Not sure it matters... in the immortal words (that we've all used, I am sure): Is poster drnuk?

59
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:00pm

I can't wait until someone answers, "Do you need to ask?".

40
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:11pm

Five or Six AFC East quarterbacks?

I'll give you Brady, Henne, Fitzpatrick, and Hoyer -- but I absolutely draw the line at Tyler Thigpen.

44
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:22pm

QB A: 40/57(70%) 430 Yards 3 TD 0 Int
QB B: 22/37(59%) 315 Yards 3 TD 1 Int.
Which QB did more to help his team win?

45
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:28pm

depends on context. like opponent adjustments, for one. and if the yards came in a blowout or not (although, I am aware that FO's numbers don't account for such things.)

50
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:40pm

Same opponent. Neither game was a blowout in any sense that I would describe it. QB A final score 34-24 QB B final score 30-27. QB A was on the road and B was at home, if that matters to you.

51
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:45pm

Well, the games honestly look really similar to me: "A" put up 115 more yards on 20 more attempts (which is less impressive,) but with a higher completion percentage. Can we get sacks and fumbles as well? I think these games look essentially the same. The interception hurts "B," but not by a lot - taking such a higher % of dropbacks to get a less than equivalent % increase in yards is not thrilling for "A." Very similar to my eye, but sacks and fumbles will be a big factor...

55
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:54pm

Also, I just realized you are talking about Sanchez this week and probably Manning in week 1 when the Colts lost 34-24. (And I forgot to mention rushing attempts as being a factor, but now I know they're not.)

To that I would say, whatever Quick Reads comment was made in Week 1 couldn't have known that the Texans defense would be so putrid. Who knows if the DVOA for Manning then (and DVOA vs. DYAR is important here I think) would be the same as Sanchez for this game, but I have a feeling they would be almost the same...

Not sure what you are trying to prove other than that Barnwell strongly dislikes Sanchez. But the problem is with Barnwell's writing, not FO's numbers...

56
by Failgoat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:58pm

the problem is with Barnwell's writing, not FO's numbers...

This.

The only problem has been FO's eagerness to chalk Sanchez's recent late-game heroics to "luck." The numbers are what they are: Sanchez is worlds better than last year, but still not close to elite.

60
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:04pm

Actually, I think the problem is that some people (not you) are willfully ignoring opponent adjustments.

Barnwell did point out that Sanchez would have ranked 11th without adjustments. But for Sanchez to actually have a great DYAR against Houston he would have to have looked legendary according to traditional stats or unadjusted VOA.

62
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:10pm

Well, B was trying to set us up with a "but lookit Manning put up the same numbers and no one speak badly of Manning!" game, so I'm not sure if that's about ignoring opponent adjustments or not. I think Sanchez is much better this year and has been much better at crucial times, which as someone who watched Donovan McNabb for years, I don't take for granted. I'm not some "clutch!" spouting knuckle-head, but Jets fans should be happy with what they've gotten from Sanchez: a guy who is so-so for big stretches and very effective in high stress situations. But they also shouldn't confuse that with Top Tier Performance.

74
by Failgoat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:17pm

That's fair. It's impossible to deny that Sanchez's recent success has come against mediocre teams. My only issue was with the claim that the discrete conditions of his comeback wins have been "lucky," which is an argument I find vague and reductionist and more or less devoid of explanatory or predictive power.

I think the people ignoring opponent adjustments are hung up on the vast improvements Sanchez has made this season (particularly since they've been manifested in so dramatic a fashion). But they have come against mediocre opponents, and when your baseline is -21.9% DVOA, even a vast improvement only elevates you to middling.

75
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:37pm

I don' think his late-game heroics have been lucky. It takes skill to do those things, after all. However, I think the necessity of those late-game heroics has been caused by his bad to mediocre play earlier in the game.

77
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:41pm

yeah the whole issue with Sanchez is that he's not playing great... but he is playing so much freakin' better. And he has played his best in the toughest spots, so its hard to overlook his successes...

115
by BJR :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 9:30am

Well this week Sanchez gets to go against the Bengals, who this week have had to fill out their injury decimated roster by signing two DBs, one of whom was cut by Detroit 2 weeks ago, and another off the street because he wasn't good enough to make it through camp.....with Houston. Yikes.

61
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:10pm

Week 1 Manning put up ~200 YAR, and Sanchez had 63 YAR.

64
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:14pm

Uh, that's why I said DVOA matters more here: YAR is a compilation stat: Manning threw 20 more times for 118 more yards and had no interceptions and fewer sacks, of course his YAR is higher. Any other simply resolved issues?

66
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:22pm

I don't have the DVOA numbers, but Manning's YAR/attempt is 3.5, Sanchez is 1.7. By the way, my point is that Manning did a lot more for his team, even though they lost. I put it as an example of what a really good QB can do against a defense as bad as Houston's. And, of course, that we shouldn't measure QBs by wins.

72
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:43pm

Forgive me for feeling like I was walking into a trap, but it depends on what you mean by "did more." I suspect Manning will also have a higher DVOA (now that I've looked at sacks/interceptions) but the numbers are still very close...

78
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:42pm

I don't think the DVOA numbers will be as close as you think. From my back of the hand calculations with dividing VAR by pass attempt, I figure Manning's DVOA should be twice what Sanchez's was in their respective games vs Houston.
As for did more, I mean which player contributed the most successful plays for his team, putting them in the best position to win the game. So really, I meant to measure it by YAR, or just use an estimate based on total yards, touchdowns, completion percentage and interceptions. either way, I think Manning did more, by a significant margin. I didn't mean to trap you into anything, although I guess I kinda did by purposefully obfuscating the QB identities.

65
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:19pm

Another notch in Manning's YAR favor is a significantly higher completion percentage: with a compiling stat like YAR, it matter that Manning had more plays for positive gains in that regard as well.

79
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:44pm

Actually, the problem is with Sanchez' numbers.

He just is not very good at football.

80
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:46pm

Actually, he's far better at football than thousands upon thousands of human beings. He's just not better than about 20 current players. Have some perspective.

And he's improving significantly. But I bet you're one of those people who still thinks Orton stinks because his numbers were dismal in Chicago...

83
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:58pm

I still think Orton stinks. Well, not stinks, I think is numbers in Denver this year are an aberration. If he continues to play well next year, I'll change my mind on him. As for Sanchez, ranked 20th in the NFL seems about right to me. And yes, he is much better than last year.

86
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:12pm

Well, this is my point: your definition of "stinks" is insane. At very least, for several years Orton has been a perfectly acceptable NFL level QB. This year, he has been fantastic by any standard. He's certainly played better than Peyton Manning this year and under comparable circumstances, to boot. If you won't give Orton credit, then the Sanchez conversation is pointless because apparently the only QB's that don't "stink" are Brady... and who else? Vick? Roethlisberger? I guess their numbers are aberration-y as well...

89
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:29pm

If Orton had been the Vikings starting qb in 2008, I think the Vikings would have made it to the Super Bowl. He ain't great, but on a team which is dominant on the line of scrimmage, he's plenty good enough. Put it this way; he's better than Trent Dilfer, and easily as good as Brad Johnson.

94
by tunesmith :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 7:07pm

I'd agree with that. But if you put him on a mediocre team, he doesn't make it more likely that they'll win. He just makes it more likely that they'll have prettier passing yardage stats. I've watched every Denver game this season and he just isn't clutch. I've been ticked off at him ever since I read that he said something along the lines of, "We were behind in score and were seeing long down-and-distance situations - it's amazing we didn't have more interceptions." He may have been technically right, but there's some kind of weird disconnect there.

91
by B :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:45pm

My issue with Orton is I don't believe his performance will continue. He's been a top 5 QB so far this year, but I don't really believe he will be top 5 again next year. This is purely subjective, and I'm probably wrong.
Top QBs would be Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers. Then it's Romo, Rothlesberger, Rodgers, Ryan, Eli, Flacco. I'd put Vick and Orton in this group for now, but they have played like they deserve to be at the end of group one, not group two.

106
by Owl Tamale (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 11:33pm

I think Orton's numbers last year were decent, weren't they? Considering he was learning an entirely new, complex offense I think he did fine. Again, I'll say it. I wouldn't trade him straight up for Cutler now.
Also, I give Sanchez a lot of credit. He's got a lot of pressure on him, with a lot of expectations, and while he's had his ups and downs, he in no way seems to be the liability he was last year. Cripes, this is only his second year in the league! He played one year in college. Why people were expecting miracles with so little experience is beyond me. But, no matter the forum, people are never satisfied with the labor pains, they just want to see the baby.
Life don't work that way.

90
by db :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:38pm

All value systems have the bias of their creator. I might value the "W" more than dvoa. I also might believe that clutch exists and therefor value it as a component to be considered.

38
by AudacityOfHoops :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:06pm

Positive DYAR means he was above replacement level.

And I seriously doubt they are changing the numbers to save face.

52
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:47pm

Another reason they're probably not changing numbers to save face? FO is not a hivemind and I'm sure some of the writers here think Sanchez is rounding into shape.

92
by db :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:53pm

I am not suggesting that the numbers are changed. The subjective commentary is slanted and the numbers are flawed. The last three games are in the win column due in large part to Sanchez's ability to perform under pressure with limited time to do so. Give me that anytime.

116
by Kal :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 10:25pm

Except the reason that they were in a clutch situation in the first place was largely because of Sanchez's inability to perform in a good way. Again, clutchiness is great. Brady's remembered because of it. But who remembers that at the same time Brady went down the field to get the goahead TD against the Panthers, he had the prior drive thrown a killer interception in the end zone that would have otherwise iced the game?

The primary reason QBs are known as clutch is because they put themselves in bad situations in the first place. It's that wonderful behavior that says that good customer service is not nearly recognized positively as bad customer service followed by decent customer service (to make up for the issues) is.

82
by jfsh :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:51pm

The best recent parallel with Sanchez is his rival across town, Eli. Compare their second seasons (Sanchez's is projected out to 16 games):

E, 2005: 294/557 (53%) for 3762 yards (6.8 y/a), 24 TDs, 17 INTs, 5.2% DVOA
M, 2010: 296/538 (55%) for 3690 yards (6.8 y/a), 24 TDs, 11 INTs, 6.9% DVOA

Aside from a (so-far) lower INT%, it's pretty close. Both were over-rated because they were on good teams in the biggest market in the country, and then correspondingly over-trashed during the backlash. Eli is a little more consistent today, but he was maddening back then; Sanchez can be the same. More relevantly, both inspire pointless arguments about whether they are being treated fairly by the media and FO writers.

The comparison is encouraging to Sanchez in some ways, because Eli has consistently gotten better as he's played in the NFL. Playing QB is really, really hard, and it takes both talent and experience. Getting the latter is extra-hard in the glare of the NY media spotlight.

93
by db :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 7:03pm

Excellent comments. I think the fact that this is Sanchez's second season is often overlooked and I also think that his improvement, especially in game ending situations is under rated. The ability to execute the late game winning drive is one of the hardest things to do in football and he is doing it as well as anyone right now.

99
by Led :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 8:23pm

Right on. Eli is obviously the best comparison and those numbers are eerie. This might be a little hope talking but I think Sanchez's ceiling is a little higher than Eli because he's has so much less experience. It's funny, he's actually learning how to play QB on the fly -- when to tuck it and run, when to throw it away, when to take risks, when to play it safe, etc. Every young QB has to learn those things in the context of the NFL game but most good college QBs have played enough to have an instinct for it. Sanchez had none last year.

107
by Failgoat (not verified) :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 12:03am

It's an excellent comparison anecdotally as well--for the last few games at least, Sanchez has shown signs of Eli's proclivity toward playing mediocre-to-decent for 3+ quarters, then turning it on for one great drive.

49
by ammek :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 3:34pm

Yes, Carolina's D ranks #22 in DVOA. But:

— it's closer to 15th than 23rd;
— before last week it ranked 11th.

The Panthers' offense is historically awful. But the defense is not as bad as one would imagine, especially given that it lost its only nationally recognized player in the offseason.

58
by Bobby Wommack (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:00pm

But Peter King tells me that Sanchez is in the MVP race?

95
by db :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 7:08pm

That is more than a little over the top, even if you think that he is a fast riser like I do. However, I guess not if you consider the source.

114
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 11/24/2010 - 9:26am

If Peter King told you to jump off a bridge, would it be the absolute best bridge in the world, with a Starbucks in the middle so you can go to coffee heaven?

67
by Exy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:25pm

As a Jets fan who is somewhere between FO and the typical Jets fan on Sanchez (let's say 60/40 leaning towards Jets fan opinion), how much of his lack of success prior to the last minute of any given game is fair to blame on the OC Brian Schottenheimer? I know that it's pretty much typical fan whining to blame a player's shortcomings on his coaches, but seriously...

In the Walkthrough on Nov. 4th there was the section on Sanchez that really seemed pretty much spot on to me, but more importantly included a kind of throwaway comment in the end about Schottenheimer's wacky plays and such. Honestly it seems to me that in general Schottenheimer's plays just aren't that good. You almost never see any quick slants to the WRs, in fact anything quick is usually a screen pass that is coming from miles away. It's all slow-developing plays that I guess are supposed to rely on the pass-protection being so good and Sanchez being Sanchlisberger or something, and they just end up never developing. And then you combine that with things like splitting Tony Richardson out wide and then motioning him back into the FB spot and giving him approximately 8 nanoseconds to get a read on his block before snapping it, or running it on 3 straight plays to go 3-and-out against the worst pass defense in the league... but I guess that's another point altogether.

76
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 5:39pm

That's definitely one thing I don't get about the Jets handling of Sanchez: there are clearly times when he looks completely comfortable and competent... but then they run a bunch of gimmicky plays and he looks just hopeless/confused. I sorta wish they would bring back the Heimerdingder "off-tackle run, off-tackle run, then slant or bomb" offense because it just seems so up his alley. Sanchez seems most comfortable is the most straight-up kind of offense and Holmes, Keller, Tomlinson and Edwards are all good enough at what they do that it really doesn't need to be fancy at all. And that probably explains why the "2 minute, stripped-down hurry up" offense works so well for them. Just hit Holmes on the slant and deep outs (he's practically impossible to cover on them) and then launch one deep to Edwards every now and then or dump it off to Keller over the middle or Tomlinson in the outlet. It always works for them - I think the talent level of the pieces allows them to run their offense that way far more than a lot of teams could get away with...

97
by Exy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 7:21pm

Exactly. But instead it seems like on at least half of the plays they run it's like Schotty's thinking, "Let's outsmart them by using our players completely wrong!" and then Jerricho Cotchery gets half a yard on the end-around. And then Schotty goes and blames the players for poor execution when it doesn't work. And the Brad Smith semi/tiger/LOL/cat stuff, I swear it's like all this time they're just setting up for that ONE pass in the divisional round of the playoffs.

70
by bigsnack (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:36pm

Funny shit....top rush DYAR in NFL last week: Big Ben!

71
by bigsnack (not verified) :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 4:37pm

Oops, meant 2nd highest...

88
by Joseph :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 6:29pm

big snack, I think the baseline for QB's rushing DYAR and RB's rushing DYAR is different.

100
by Kibbles :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 8:34pm

I don't know why it would be. With that said, I think the difficulty of running for a QB and an RB is completely different. When the RB has the ball in his hands, 99% of the time it's a run. When the QB has the ball in his hands, 90% of the time, it's not a run. Defenses play QBs differently than RBs. QBs have the luxury of reading a defense and, if the run isn't there, simply not running it, which prevents a lot of bad runs from dragging down their averages. The fact that Ben accumulated more rushing value than Runningback X last week isn't necessarily all that impressive, because it's a lot easier for Ben to accumulate rushing value than it is for RB X.

101
by sam :: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 9:15pm

Jags' sack total on McCoy not that surprising. They blitzed A TON in that game because they did not fear McCoy throwing the deep ball at all. I saw 6 guys rushing in an awful lot. McCoy never made the pay.

--
sam! or the original sam from the old FO