Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features

McKinnonJer14.jpg

» Week 7 Quick Reads

Did Jerick McKinnon prove against Buffalo that he can be a feature back for Minnesota? Plus the best passers, runners, and receivers of Week 7.

21 Sep 2010

Week 2 Quick Reads

by Bill Barnwell

Two weeks into the NFL season and three teams have already decided that they need to change their starting quarterback. After weeks of training camp, numerous sessions installing the playbook, and thousands of reps with the first team offense, it's taken the Bills, Panthers, and Raiders an average of 51 attempts to determine that they made the wrong choice at the game's most important position.

And it's madness.

The issue here is not that Trent Edwards, Matt Moore, and (ugh) Jason Campbell are necessarily guys who are going to lead their teams to championships. They may not be good starting quarterbacks. But what's changed between the end of the preseason and their respective points of benching?

Very little. About one-tenth of a full season's worth of passes.

And what do we know about them that we might not have known two weeks ago? The answer's the same. Campbell's been sacked on 10.3 percent of his dropbacks and fumbled an unlikely-to-reoccur once every 15.5 touches. Edwards has one completion thrown more than 18 yards downfield in his 52 attempts. He's thrown two picks, one of which went straight through Steve Johnson's hands and into the arms of a waiting Packers defender. Moore's played the worst, having thrown four interceptions and taken sacks at a 14 percent clip while completing 40.8 percent of his passes. On a team that needs to win this year, though, he should have had the most job security.

Furthermore, each benching seems even stupider when you consider who's coming in to save the day. With John Fox in what amounts to a lame duck role on a team full of veterans, he's benching Moore for Jimmy Clausen, who completed 50 percent of his passes and threw two picks in 42 attempts during the preseason. Edwards is being replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who's ranked 36th, 35th, and 36th in DVOA over his three seasons with significant playing time and has to rank as one of the worst quarterbacks in the modern era to get 23 starts. Campbell's being dumped for Bruce Gradkowski; at least Gradkowski was passable last year, but it's different cuts of the same cloth.

The next set of quarterback changes bodes to be even more baffling. The hawks are flying around Kevin Kolb after he had a bad half (partly due to a concussion) against the Packers, thanks to a good half of running by Michael Vick against the Packers and an average performance against the Lions. David Garrard and Vince Young were benched, a week after each ranked in the top ten for DYAR while winning games. If you're an optimist, Derek Anderson was sat down because the score was lopsided; if you're a pessimist, Anderson was sat down because he was missing open receivers and couldn't move the ball against one of the league's worst pass defenses.

The cliched arguments for "sparking" the team or being proactive about making changes cancel out pretty quickly with the anecdotally-accurate statements of having consistent reps with the first-team offense or building confidence in a
player by sticking with him through adversity. The remainder is the question that coaches need to ask themselves before making a move: He's Derek Anderson. He's Matt Moore. He's Trent Edwards. What did you expect?

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Kyle Orton DEN
25/35
307
2
0
211
211
0
Orton's performance was overshadowed by the nature of the other afternoon games, but all he did on Sunday was consistently move his team down the field for points, drive after drive. He was 8-of-9 on first down for 56 yards, helping his team get into manageable third downs; on average, he only had 6.3 yards to go (in 2009, a dropback on third down came with an average of 7.7 yards to go). Then, on those third downs, he was a machine. Orton dropped back on 15 third downs and picked up a first down or a touchdown on 12 of them. While Orton often found himself forcing a throw into Brandon Marshall on third downs last year, he targeted six different receivers on those 15 passes. And this all comes while left tackle Ryan Clady is gimpy and right tackle Ryan Harris has been out with an injury.
2.
Donovan McNabb WAS
28/38
426
1
0
197
197
0
McNabb pretty much had his run of the Texans' secondary downfield; on passes thrown 20 yards or more downfield, McNabb was 5-of-8. So far this year, on those passes, the rest of the league is 87-of-275 (31.6 percent). He just narrowly overthrew Joey Galloway on one of his three incompletions there, a fourth quarter pass that would've sealed the win for the Redskins. One thing to watch out for: The downfield stuff disappeared once Trent Williams went down with an injury at the end of the fourth quarter, and McNabb took two sacks in three plays while being forced to scramble on others. The depth for any Snyder-era Redskins team is thin at best, and Stephon Heyer is no left tackle.
3.
Aaron Rodgers GB
19/29
259
2
0
195
180
14
I'm certainly surprised Rodgers rated this high. It's because of what he did in the second half, where he went 11-of-13 for 149 yards with seven first downs and two touchdowns. Eight of his completions went ten yards in the air or more, and with Buffalo likely to feature an above-average pass defense this year, this will look even better by the time the season's done. After three halves of middling performance, Rodgers might have snapped into form.
4.
Matt Schaub HOU
38/52
497
3
1
194
192
2
And I thought Matt Schaub was going to throw for 150 yards a week as part of the Texans' historic march to 16-0. He did his best work against DeAngelo Hall's defense on first down, where he went 17-of-21 (with two sacks) and picked up the five yards or more needed for a "successful" pass 12 different times. Interesting schematic note: Only one of those 12 successful passes was to Andre Johnson.
5.
Peyton Manning IND
20/26
255
3
0
191
191
0
If I don't talk about this game, did it ever happen? OK, fine. Remember that devastating Giants pass rush, the one that went along really well with the commanding offensive line that never got hurt and had a cheat code for picking up six yards? And remember when the Colts offensive line looked terrible and Peyton Manning was going to end up replacing them with N'Sync? Those two things combined, and, well, the Giants sacked Manning once on 27 dropbacks. It's not really a schematic thing -- the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl when their defensive linemen simply defeated the Patriots' blockers over and over at the line of scrimmage. That barely happened on Sunday night.
6.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
21/30
220
3
0
159
165
-6
Throw in two pass interference penalties for 39 yards in the fourth quarter, courtesy of Darius Butler, who looks like a young Duane Starks in the secondary for the Patriots. Although Sanchez's output was obviously dramatically different from his performance against the Ravens in Week 1, it's the same guy. I think he struggles when teams present him with complicated fronts and then force him to diagnose a tricky rush on the fly, even if it's just three or four guys. These days, the Patriots' defense is, well, pretty vanilla. New England was also without three defensive starters. It was a good day for Sanchez, who needed a game like this to boost his confidence back up, but I think that the Patriots are going to present themselves as having major defensive issues by the time this season is over.
7.
Matt Ryan ATL
21/32
225
3
0
158
176
-18
One way to win games by 34 points is to never come off the field. Ryan faced 11 third downs and converted eight of them. That's pretty good. He actually went 9-of-10 (with one pass interference penalty) on those plays, and the ones he didn't convert were third-and-20 (14-yard gain) and third-and-15 (11-yard gain). That's unsustainable, but Ryan shouldn't need to be that good to win games.
8.
Philip Rivers SD
22/29
334
3
2
143
143
0
The Jaguars had nobody who could stop Antonio Gates. Rivers went to Gates for two of his touchdowns (and one of his interceptions, a tip play in the end zone) and picked up three first downs on his five other throws in Gates's direction. When they started to bracket Gates with a safety, opportunities opened up downfield for Malcom Floyd, who caught Rivers' final pass for a 54-yard touchdown. The scary thing is what Rivers has ahead of him: Serious amounts of yardage. He's got a terrible slate of pass defenses ahead, with Seattle, Arizona, Oakland, St. Louis, New England, Tennessee, and Houston on tap before the bye. That could very well yield a 300-yard average.
9.
Jay Cutler CHI
21/29
277
3
0
142
143
-1
That's just about a flawless game on the road against one of the league's most fearsome pass rushes. And it all came after Cutler lost his starting left tackle to injury. (On the other hand, Chris Williams serves as a good antidote against Aaron's argument that your starting tackle is clearly better than your swing tackle.) Cutler was sacked on his first dropback and not once more, and while he was only successful on 14 of his 30 dropbacks, he made up for the leaner times with big plays to Devin Hester (38 yards), Greg Olsen (39-yard touchdown), and Johnny Knox (59 yards). Furthermore, he sealed the game in the fourth quarter by going 5-for-5 for 73 yards. This was a game for the pundits who suggested that Cutler's temperament or performance in clearly-demarcated zones of importance were substandard.
10.
Drew Brees NO
28/37
254
2
0
136
136
0
The two touchdown drives for the Saints started on the 49ers' 46-yard line (blotto free kick) and the Saints' 39-yard line. Thanks to fumble recoveries and good work on special teams, they took over two other drives on the 49ers' 14- and 35-yard lines. Those are responsible for 20 of their 25 points; the other five came on the safety and the game-winning drive by Brees, which was the only time the Saints really moved the ball down the field effectively all game.
11.
Josh Freeman TB
12/24
178
2
0
118
101
17
When Raheem Morris gave Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson two and four starts last year, respectively, to prove themselves, it at least had a long-term goal in mind. The 2009 Buccaneers weren't going anywhere, and Morris had job security stretching into the future. He also didn't bench Freeman during what was occasionally a gruesome second half. So far this year, it's paid off: Freeman's only thrown one interception in 52 attempts after throwing one every 16 attempts as a rookie. He didn't take a single sack against the Panthers, and given 11 third downs, he converted five of them, including a third-and-17 that is currently tied for the longest third down conversion of the season. The longest from last year, by the way? Matt Moore's 42-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith in Week 15 on third-and-26. Who else did the Vikings think Moore was going to throw to?
12.
Tony Romo DAL
34/51
377
1
2
99
99
0
51 dropbacks and no sacks -- the offensive line did its job. The issue so far has been sustaining drives; Romo's historically put up a third-down DVOA split that beat his performance on first and second down, but he's only converted five of the 19 third downs he's been up against so far this year. That's what really ails Dallas so far.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Alex Smith SF
23/32
275
1
2
84
71
12
14.
Michael Vick PHI
21/34
284
2
0
59
42
16
Right about average, and it will look worse with opponent adjustments seven weeks from now. The numbers above don't mention (although they incorporate) the six sacks Vick took and the two resulting fumbles. He was 1-of-4 in the red zone and picked up five of 12 third downs. Kolb's start against a bad defense -- Kansas City last year -- was 24-of-34 for 327 yards with two scores, no sacks, and no fumbles (and a one-yard TD sneak). And Kansas City had a better defense than Detroit does.
15.
Tom Brady NE
20/36
248
2
2
58
58
0
Brady to Aaron Hernandez: 6-of-6, 94 yards, four first downs, and an eight-yard pass interference penalty for the fifth. I'll save you the subtracting. Brady to everyone else: 14-of-30, 154 yards, five first downs, two touchdowns. After those two big plays to end the first half, Brady came out of the tunnel and promptly started the second half by going 5-of-14 for 31 yards with two picks. Without Darrelle Revis around. After three consecutive first downs, Brady then finished the game with a strip sack inside the red zone with 4:15 left.
16.
Bruce Gradkowski OAK
11/22
162
1
1
46
44
2
You know Bruce Gradkowski. Does the poor man's Jeff Garcia thing. Ducks under clotheslines and scrambles about at the first sign of danger, which usually comes pretty quick when you're platooning your left tackle with the 6'8" guy who was your starting center for a week. If he stays upright long enough, usually the defense collapses and he can improvise a throw to someone. If not, crunch. He's actually a great quarterback for Darrius Heyward-Bey because DHB can now fall down, play dead until his defender forgets about him, and then get up and run to space for Gradkowski to throw at him. No wonder nine of Gradkowski's 22 attempts went to Heyward-Bey.
17.
Chad Henne MIA
9/15
114
1
0
40
40
-1
The first attempt was a 46-yard heave to Brandon Marshall. After that? 8-of-14 for 68 yards. Give him credit for turning the first third down into a touchdown pass to Brian Hartline, but he was 1-of-6 on converting them the rest of the way. The Jets -- even without Revis -- should be a sterner test.
18.
Luke McCown JAC
11/19
120
0
0
33
34
-2
McCown came in for the fourth quarter and managed to throw 18 passes; unfortunately, on the final one, he tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. David Garrard took his place and threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sims-Walker. Is that a reverse vulturing?
19.
Shaun Hill DET
25/45
335
2
2
19
17
2
Through halftime, Hill hadn't completed a single pass that traveled further than seven yards beyond the line of scrimmage. And he only had six completions, so it wasn't like he was Welkerdolaing the Eagles to death. He did better against the prevent in the second half, but with the ball on the Lions' 43-yard line, 1:48 left, and about 27 yards needed to set up a game-tying field goal, Hill threw four straight incompletions to end the tilt.
20.
Seneca Wallace CLE
16/31
229
1
1
4
4
0
I got a text from a mole of mine at the stadium during halftime of the Browns-Chiefs tilt. "This is awful. The entire stadium can see where Seneca is going with the ball." Sometimes, it didn't matter -- 109 of his yards came on two plays. Wallace's success rate? A devastating 28 percent.
21.
Sam Bradford STL
14/25
167
2
1
-10
-10
0
Bradford's first six plays consisted of three passes for three first downs and 66 yards mixed with three sacks for 32 yards. From then on, he wasn't sacked and didn't complete a pass longer than 13 yards downfield until there were four minutes left in the game. It turned out that Bradford had the football game equivalent of a season of "24".
22.
Carson Palmer CIN
17/35
167
0
0
-24
-21
-3
23.
Matt Cassel KC
16/28
176
0
2
-28
-25
-3
Seven of those 16 completions went for five yards or less. And only two of those went for first downs. He had a sudden stretch in the second half with five straight completions, four of which went for 17 yards or more. I don't know any TV shows that were only exciting two-thirds of the way through a season for an episode or two.
24.
Kerry Collins TEN
18/24
149
1
1
-30
-22
-8
Collins' start to the fourth quarter: 4-of-6 for 35 yards with one interception, one intentional grounding penalty, two sacks, and two fumbles. I wanted to print out every shoddy article from 2008 on Collins calming the team down with his consistent hand of veteranness just so I could rip them up.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
25.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA
20/35
233
1
3
-32
-52
20
I didn't see interception number three, but the first two were just dumb throws, the sort of stuff you expect rookies to do. Just thinking -- at what point do we look back at the peak of the Hasselbeck era and see a Hall of Fame left tackle, an All-Pro left guard, an MVP running back, and a four-year run of ridiculously easy schedules and say that Hasselbeck was a smidge overrated? I don't want to say that Seattle should bench Hasselbeck, since that would go very handily against the introduction to this piece, but I don't think he's played very well so far.
26.
Jimmy Clausen CAR
7/13
59
0
1
-54
-54
0
27.
Eli Manning NYG
13/24
161
2
1
-54
-56
1
Eli Manning had an 85.6 quarterback rating this week. 85.6. That was 14th in the league. He had one long touchdown down three scores and another down four. That was more than half of his passing yardage. He fumbled three times. He took four sacks. Quarterback rating is disinterested in these facts, though. Completions are fun!
28.
Matt Moore CAR
6/16
125
1
1
-62
-59
-4
A full list of the other players who Matt Moore attempted passes to besides Steve Smith: Tony Fiammetta, David Gettis, Mike Goodson, Jeff King, Dante Rosario, and Jonathan Stewart (one target). You can't bench Marty Hurney, though.
29.
Jason Campbell OAK
8/15
87
0
1
-71
-60
-10
30.
Charlie Batch PIT
5/11
25
0
0
-72
-72
0
When Dennis Dixon's leg injury was announced, the general consensus from the beat writers on Twitter was that the Steelers could win with just about anyone at quarterback. Charlie Batch, I promise you, is going to test that theory.
31.
David Garrard JAC
15/23
173
1
4
-81
-81
0
32.
Brett Favre MIN
22/36
225
0
3
-110
-110
0
Not all interceptions are created equal. Favre threw interceptions at the Dolphins' 1-yard line and 2-yard line. A third one was picked off on the 8-yard line, but that was a 58-yard punt that just cost the Vikings a lot more money than it should have. After a career-low interception rate of 1.3 percent pushed his career average to 3.3 percent, Favre's thrown four picks on 63 attempts this year.
33.
Derek Anderson ARI
17/31
161
0
2
-113
-113
0
Anderson's too slow to note open receivers, so when he does get the ball out, the receiver's covered, the window's gone, or the route is being extended to someplace where there is coverage. The result? Well, that line above. Oh, and Anderson got Larry Fitzgerald beat up in Week 1, which is a great thing to do to your franchise player when he's already banged up heading into the season.
34.
Trent Edwards BUF
12/18
102
0
2
-135
-135
0
35.
Vince Young TEN
7/10
66
0
2
-144
-128
-16
Tom already covered Young's day on a play-by-play basis at the Total Titans blog. I'll just say that two fumbles and two interceptions on 12 touches would get my dander up, too.
36.
Joe Flacco BAL
17/39
154
1
4
-190
-191
1
When Flacco was up against the elite pass defense of the Jets, an inconsistent, middling day seemed par for the course. The Jets make a lot of quarterbacks look bad. The Bengals have a good secondary, but the Flacco that showed up this Sunday appeared to have mistaken them for the Jets once more. He had one of the worst first halves of football you will ever see a NFL quarterback have: 5-of-17 for 23 yards, with one first down and one interception. That's Derek Anderson on a day where even Ken Whisenhunt would wish for Matt Leinart. He put together one drive after the break, picking up two first downs and then finishing with a gorgeous 31-yard touch pass to Derrick Mason for a touchdown, but then it was back to more of the same. After that drive, he went 8-of-17 for 62 yards with two interceptions, another pick on a Hail Mary, a sack, and just three first downs. While the Bengals were able to get effective pressure on Flacco -- and T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped a big pass downfield -- Flacco also missed open receivers, both with his throws and with his eyes.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Jason Snelling ATL
129
2
57
1
102
68
34
You didn't have Jason Snelling in your fantasy lineup? Well, I didn't either. But Snelling showed off the sort of production Michael Turner could have put up against a Cardinals defense that appears to dearly miss both Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle. With the game in hand most of the way, Snelling simply took over the clock. Nine of his 24 carries went for a first down or a touchdown, and he converted three of the four third downs he faced (with the one holdout a third-and-15 job). He even caught all five of the passes thrown to him while accruing 60 YAC. With Snelling playing so well, the Falcons were able to let Turner rest a balky groin on the sideline; in the future, they might even give Snelling a share of the workload before Turner gets hurt.
2.
Jahvid Best DET
78
2
154
1
69
19
49
Kevin Smith, meet Wally Pipp. Jahvid Best probably isn't about to turn into a Hall of Famer, but he sure looks like a dynamic back that can fire through gaps before good run defenses know what hit them. With the Lions-Eagles game stretching towards nearly four hours, Best was able to get 31 touches and picked up 12 first downs on them. While he must atone for back-to-back stuffs on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter, Best was the reason the Lions were even within 11 points at that point. Good offenses stretch the opposing safeties vertically and horizontally. Calvin Johnson's had the vertical part down for a couple of years now; if Best can continue to work wonders in the screen game and as an outlet receiver, the Lions may just have an offense.
3.
Frank Gore SF
112
1
56
1
53
55
-2
While it ended up working out alright for the 49ers, I could not fathom why they didn't run the ball with Gore on that two-point conversion try in the fourth quarter. At the very least, why not get Gore back there and see if a defense that has done nothing to slow him down all game will bite on a play-fake?
4.
Mike Tolbert SD
82
2
13
0
47
37
10
The only running back in San Diego with a positive rushing DVOA last year was the burly Tolbert, who serves as San Diego's part-time fullback and full-time third-string halfback. When Ryan Mathews went down with an ankle injury, it was Tolbert -- and not the pricy Darren Sproles -- that the Chargers turned to against the Jaguars. Tolbert converted for touchdowns on both his carries in short-yardage, and picked up four yards or more on nine of his 14 rushes. He also added a 13-yard catch on his only target as a receiver. Tolbert's not going to be a starting back, but the Chargers should be able to depend on him as a short-yardage runner and change-of-pace for Mathews. Perhaps this game will give them motivation to do so.
5.
LeSean McCoy PHI
120
3
8
0
44
55
-10
McCoy had a 63 percent success rate on 16 carries, including a 100 percent rate on his three carries in the red zone. That answers the question of Bears offensive line versus Lions defensive line in short-yardage from a week ago, in case there were any doubts. It's just a shame he couldn't do more as a receiver -- he caught one pass in each quarter, but after an eight-yard pickup for a first down in the first quarter, the other three catches went for a combined zero yards.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Cadillac Williams TB
51
0
8
0
-66
-47
-19
27 carries for 51 yards just seems like it's difficult to pull off. The lowlights? A 15 percent success rate. Eight carries for no gain or negative yardage. My favorite, though, is the incredible 1.3 yards Williams averaged on 16 first down carries. He was even 1-of-5 for eight yards as a receiver, and that came on second-and-19. I don't have our "Worst DYAR Games" database talking to one that has game results, but Cadillac finished with the 18th-worst game in the DVOA Era. It's hard to imagine a running back who had a worse day while his team won.

Wait, I actually found one! Joe Aska had -71 DYAR in the Raiders' Week 7 win over the Lions in 1996. Detroit had the league's 28th-ranked defense that year. Coming off of a 136-yard game against the Jets, Aska carried the ball 16 times for 44 yards, blowing away Williams's production, but he caught three passes for ten yards. Not so bad? Well, he fumbled once, and 22 of his 44 yards came on one play. That means he ran 15 times for 22 yards the rest of the way. All five of his red zone carries were unsuccessful, too. It was his last professional start.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Kevin Walter HOU
11
11
144
13.1
1
70
Despite the presence of the promising Jacoby Jones, the Texans surprisingly held onto Walter in free agency this offseason. It paid off on Sunday. Walter caught Matt Schaub's first pass for 24 yards, the first of his 11 catches on the day. Walter went 11-for-11, a truly impressive feat; as far as we can tell, the most targets a player's accrued in a single game without an incompletion during the DVOA Era (1993-2010) is 12, most recently set by Amani Toomer in Week 2 of the 2006 season. While Walter paced all wideouts with 70 DYAR, it was far from a historically-great performance, ranking 263rd over that era. The reason why: All of Walter's targets came on first or second down.
2.
DeSean Jackson PHI
4
7
135
33.8
1
56
DeSean Jackson? Running through a defense featuring C.C. Brown? Who could have imagined such a thing? Jackson was his old boom-and-bust self, as three of those four completions went for 29 yards or more.
3.
Demaryius Thomas DEN
8
9
97
12.1
1
50
As Vince noted in Audibles: Demaryius Thomas had at least four inches and 30 pounds on each of Seattle's starting corners, and he caught eight of nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Guess what you have to look forward to in three years, Bears fans!
4.
Aaron Hernandez NE
6
6
101
16.8
0
49
I covered Hernandez in the Tom Brady comment, but this is a pretty remarkable start to a career for a rookie tight end. We've noted in the past that rookie tight ends are basically useless: they look cute and get press about how they're going to give their quarterback another option, but they end up catching about 25 passes for 300 yards and get hurt. Hernandez, though, is playing more like a Colts slot receiver than a tight end. At a listed weight of 245 pounds, well, he's also shaped more like a Colts' slot receiver. At the very least, he looks like an upgrade on Sam Aiken.
5.
Malcom Floyd SD
3
4
95
31.7
1
46
In the early running, it doesn't appear that Floyd or Legedu Naanee has the clear spot as the number-two receiver behind Gates. Floyd only got those four targets, but he appears to be playing more of the Vincent Jackson role as the guy who takes advantage of his size and gets downfield to abuse safeties. Naanee -- outside of one long bomb that came against a totally blown coverage by Eric Berry -- appears to be playing what amounts to a possession receiver role. Value them for your fantasy league accordingly.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh BAL
0
6
0
0.0
0
-40
This is not the homecoming T.J. Houshmandzadeh planned. He had one really bad drop on a pass that hit him in the hands and would have given the Ravens the ball at midfield with four minutes to go. The announcers noted at one point that Houshmandzadeh had left Cincinnati and found that the grass wasn't always greener on the other side after his disappointing year in Seattle. On the other hand, if the grass isn't up to Houshmandzadeh's specifications, he has $15 million to spruce it up or re-produce whatever grass setup he wants to his liking.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 21 Sep 2010

164 comments, Last at 22 Nov 2010, 9:14pm by fdsfsd

Comments

1
by nibiyabi :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:13am

C'mon . . . Alex Smith of all people has a pretty decent game, and gets no mention?

3
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:24am

I thought he was superb for much of yesterday's game, however, I can't work out if the niners are actually any good. At times the offense looked great and the defense was decent but then the muppet-circus errors crept in. It did seem that every ball bounced the right wasy for the Saints (must be their creole ju-ju)

23
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:15pm

Those two interceptions pull his DYAR down a lot, though both were tips that are by nature flukey. I'd like to see his DYAR if his two tips hit the ground like Brees's did. Wait -- one of those was Brees catching his own pass. I wonder if he has the record for quarterbacks who catch their own passes?

Yeah, four turnovers, three of them inside the Saints 30, and the only one that didn't look like a bit in a clown show was that nice strip of Walker by Vilma.

110
by natedawg (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:32pm

Well, the second tip was simply a fantastic play by the defender. And yeah, any one of the those turnovers doesn't occur and the Niners probably win. Great play by the o-line with 5.5 ypc and zero sacks.

160
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 11:18am

Brees probably does have the record: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny/s7Jf6

Most of the guys ahead of him (Kordell Stewart, Billy Kilmer, and Harry Gilmer) definitely got their receptions playing other positions. The other two (Terry Baker and Richie Lucas) were playing QB at the time, but their careers were so short it just seems impossible that their receptions could have been completions to themselves.

Note: Since I couldn't look for completions specifically by a player to himself, I just looked for QB receptions. I started it at 1950 so that it would at least mostly be what we think of as QBs today. Hence it is not definitive, but it still looks likely that Brees has the record.

47
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:15pm

Agreed that he's worth mention, but maybe it was the late game/early deadline issue.... Dude's got some wheels, too. The last quarter drive was into the wind.

51
by Joseph :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:26pm

As a Saints' fan, I'll comment on it:
1. He played "decent NFL starter" quality all game. His 2 picks were not completely his fault--the first one normally falls incomplete as the DB doesn't have enough time to react. The second one just happens sometimes--it was a great play by the LB to put it in Porter's breadbasket.
2. He played tremendous on the last drive. His only "error" was going out of bounds enough to give Brees time to work his magic. But let's face it-- ~2:15 left, no timeouts, down by 8, your QB drives it down, gets the TD & the 2-point conversion--what more can you ask of him?
3. I don't know if the FO stats blame him for that ugly snap to start the game--but Aaron/Bill, if that's so, a manual adjustment for that play is in order. Smith actually made the SMART play--no sense falling on it, as it will still be a safety, and you might get injured Brees-style; or worse, you don't get it, and the Saints get a TD.
4. I don't remember him getting sacked--a couple of times he escaped and ran, another time or two he got outside the pocket and threw it away, deep enough into the sideline to avoid any fluke INT.

All in all, I kept waiting for the "real" Alex Smith to show up, and he never did. It will be interesting to see if Smith, Sanchez, Flacco, Schaub, et al. play the rest of the year like they did in week 1 or week 2. Their teams' success depend on it.

71
by The Powers That Be :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:20pm

"He played tremendous on the last drive. His only "error" was going out of bounds enough to give Brees time to work his magic."

Yeah, the announcers were talking about that too, but I can't agree. I think the team has to put itself in a situation where they have two chances to win/tie, either with the 2-point conversion (~40% chance) or with an ensuing onside kick (~20% chance, IIRC). They were leaving time on the clock for themselves, in case the 2-point conversion fails, and they were right to do so.

84
by Marko :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:12pm

Completely agree. You can't assume that the 2-point conversion will succeed. What would the announcers have said if they ran the clock all the way down so that the TD came with only 10 or 15 seconds left and then they failed on the 2-point conversion? Even if they recovered the onside kick, the announcers would say they blew it by not leaving more time on the clock for a game-winning drive.

108
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:28pm

I don't think they usually do comments for the MNF players.

112
by spenczar :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:40pm

They commented on Brees.

2
by Basilicus :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:16am

The Cardinals should look to young, unproven backups on other teams. There's got to be some young guy out there who wasn't given enough of a chance to lead his team. Maybe the Texans; they might be willing to trade a guy like Matt Leinart to them.

4
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:33am

I find watching Cadillac Williams to be incredibly inspirational due to what he's gone through in terms of injuries. I also find it to be incredibly frustrating, and he has absolutely no burst. He seems to do OK on the first few drives, getting actual gains, then nothing as the game goes on. Wondering if his legs just stop working after some exertion.

Earnest Graham or Kareem Huggins should get a few carries, right? Why keep feeding the ball to a guy who can't move the chains at all?

18
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:07pm

I think the bigger problem isn't Cadillac but the absolutely horrid performance of the O-line, at least when run-blocking. It's amazing how horrible they've been. Putting this on Cadillac seems a bit unfair, though he hasn't looked particularly special. Remember, Earnest 'Insurance' Graham hasn't looked any better in his limited carries, and Huggy Bear was too injured to play last sunday. Lumpkin and Blount are on the roster but I don't think either will get a carry until after the bye week.

Olson seems intent on ruining Cadillac for free agency next year, though.

5
by TomC :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:38am

Agreed that Romo's game was all about 3rd downs. He would be firing 20-yard strikes to Austin, Williams, or Witten on 1st & 2nd downs, then he'd have a 3rd and 3 and bounce it at the feet of one of his RBs or throw it three feet behind someone. And it's not like the Bears suddenly woke up and pressured him on those downs either --- I remember good pass breakups on two 3rd downs (one by Briggs, one by Tillman), but the rest were pure unforced errors by Romo.

6
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:42am

Man, you guys are seriously going to wind up eating tons of crow with all of that Vick denialism, eh? Sure, one or two of those are Rothlisburger/Rodgers type sacks, but... You seriously going to try and tell us that the guy who's number 4 on NFL.com of quarterbacks to date was mediocre? Child, please.

9
by kbukie :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:48am

Assuming this is a serious post...

This ranking is actually based on statistical data. NFL.com's QB rankings are completely subjective. Those 6 sacks and 2 fumbles make a difference, especially against a defense that isn't likely to amount to much this year.

134
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 10:26pm

I think Detroit will have an average or better defense this year, as measured by DVOA. In the offseason I see them replacing C.C. Brown and adding a d-lineman and a linebacker or two. They are seriously 4 starters away from a top-10 or better defense.

10
by Southern Philly :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:49am

It was Detroit. With worse receivers and a worse running game behind him, Jay Cutler put up more yards on basically the same number of attempts and completions. And took fewer sacks.

17
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:03pm

Eagles scored 35 points. Michael Vick only threw for 2 touchdowns. He didn't throw a pick. He's had mebbe three inadvisable throws at all. LeSean McCoy ran wild on a defense that was considerably more terrified of Vick than they would be of just about any other QB. Did you see all those all-out blitzes? Do you think for one moment that Kolb would have taken much fewer sacks? Do you think Kolb would have driven GB and Detroit defenses to complete exhaustion because they *have* to defend the entire field? The methods here on FO drastically undervalues efficiency.

Jay Cutler, on the other hand, passed for a ton of yards, yes. He also threw a pick. The Bear's offense score slightly more than half the yards that the Eagles did and should not have won the game anyways. The Bears aren't exactly all that efficient on offense with Jay Cutler, tho' they are vastly improved (especially in protection) than they were a year ago.

Also it does need to be said, both Detroit and KC are much better defenses than they were a year ago.

21
by Southern Philly :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:14pm

You really think they all out blitz as much with Kolb under center? They blitzed because it worked for Gunther Cunningham last time he faced Vick. Did they blitz Cutler like that? (Honest question, but I'm assuming no.) Vick doesn't get the pass out fast enough to beat the blitz with regularity. He played well for backup getting a spot start, and as an Eagles fan I'll take the ugly W. But the Vick bandwagon can leave without me.

Yeah, Cutler had a pick. Vick had at least a couple sure fire INTs that were dropped, there was some luck involved in Vick not having any.

27
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:26pm

Young QBs are routinely heavily blitzed. Kolb might not have gotten the same sort of pressure, but he would have had people in his face. And at Green Bay, which was a good defense Vick torched for a half, mind you, Kolb did fold under normal 3-4 blitzing.

All QBs have surefire INTs dropped. Nature of the game, yada yada yada. If DBs could catch, they'd be WRs. We could play this game all night. That's why stats don't make distinctions between INTs and not an INT regardless of circumstance.

Yeah, backup QB, you can keep saying that like a mantra and be left behind.

22
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:15pm

How does DVOA underrate efficiency? DVOA is all about efficiency and getting first downs.

I think you're underestimating how disastrous sacks are for an offense.

And comparing him to Kolb is just...weird. This ranking doesn't say Vick is worse than Kolb at all (though the blurb implies as much), it simply says that Vick had a middle of the pack performance. How Kolb would've done against this Lions defense is irrelevant in that performance, as Vick isn't being measured against a hypthetical Kolb performance. He's being measured on what he did on the field vs what the rest of the league did on the field.

Also, you seem to forget that this isn't fully a quarterback ranking as it is a ranking of 'Quarterback in his offense with his receivers and O-line against a certain defense'. That Cutler is ranked higher doesn't automatically mean he's a better quarterback than Vick, it means his performance in his situation was better than Vick's performance in Vick's situation.

32
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:37pm

It's too tied to a conception of what an offense is supposed to look like. As a result, teams who are on the margins of a pretty narrow bell curve in terms of things like numbers of first downs are distorted.

Here's the bottom line. Vick is number 4 in QB rating. More than that, he's a pretty darn close to an indisputable 4 in QB ratings with an argument that he's better than P. Rivers. If your methods sez he's really a 15, you're saying that David Gerrard and Chad Henne are comparable QBs. Do you not see the problem here?

35
by Southern Philly :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:43pm

You're going to hang your hat on passer rating? His rating is only 1.6 points better than #6 Kyle Orton. Are you saying Kyle Orton is essentially just as good? Jay Cutler is #1. Mark Sanchez is #8. Josh Freeman is #10. I'm fairly confident that this won't be the case in oh, 6 weeks, let alone by season's end.

FWIW, Vick's career passer rating is 76.8. Garrard's is 84.9. In of course far less playing time, Henne's is 76.1.

135
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 10:45pm

I thought he was hanging his hat on some "power ranking" he found on NFL.com. I looked and couldn't find what he was talking about. The only QB ranking I found there was based on fantasy points, and then Vick was #5.

34
by jklps :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:43pm

Even if you are Vick fan and not looking at the DVOA numbers produced at this site, what do you think is the ceiling is for a team starting Vick as their QB? Playoffs? Conference Championship?

If a team has an inaccurate quarterback, it takes having one of the best defenses in the league plus a pretty strong running game to compensate. And those cases seem to only come up once or twice a decade(Ravens 2000, Bears super bowl team that lost to the Colts).

Accuracy and decision making at the QB position makes a huge difference, and the lack of those skills are harder to overcome as the competition level increases.

41
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:55pm

Why yes, A Conference championship. An erratic, lazy, Vick on a very mediocre Falcons team went there once upon a time.

Plz stop the stupid. Or if that's the blinders, take them off.

I'm being real, and you guys are the haters.

It's not as if I've forgiven that post where it was snarked that Matt Schaub was better than Vick when he was drafted. That was just blatantly stupid, and people on this site have real issues when it comes to Vick. My eyes aren't exactly lying to me, and my mind can recognized tired tropes that obviously came from ignorant people talking to each other. I can practically recite them verbatim, but hey, that would be redundant in this reply, wouldn't it?

50
by PatsFan :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:20pm

Wasn't Vick behind the original FOMB Curse? Will it get resurrected? :)

70
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:19pm

At this rate, I fear the size of the curse when it does return.

136
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:07pm

It was the 2005 Atlanta Falcons, who started 6-2 mostly on the strength of fumble luck, but were ranked in the bottom half of DVOA. Somebody posted the links to FO "hating" the Falcons to Falcon message boards, and they came out in droves. Sure enough, their fumble luck reversed almost completely, and they went 2-6 to finish 8-8.

65
by Joe T. :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:59pm

Heavens, the Anti-Chris!

116
by Ben :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:03pm

Would that make his mark 777?

137
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:07pm

999

118
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:09pm

Look, the stats are the stats, they say Vick had a mediocre game relative to his peers.

That's not an opinion, it's not what someone believes, it's what the numbers say.

144
by Owl Tamale (not verified) :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 12:48am

This is seriously the funniest post I've read on this site in ages. Thanks very much for the much-needed parody of an 'Iggles fan'. You really got the 'completely ludicrous' nature of sports fandom down to a tee. Congrats!
This is meant as comedy, right? Right?

159
by BigCheese :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 2:27am

And your argument is that Vick is better than Schaub? Led the league in yardage last year Matt Schaub?

Nowhere has this been more appropiate: Child, please.

- Alvaro

62
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:44pm

Except that's not what the ratings are saying. The ratings are saying that Vick in his offense, against this opponent, with his teammates and given the situations he was put in had an equal performance to Henne and Garrard. It does not say anything about the long-term prospects or overall quality of Henne or Garrard, it only says something about the result of passing downs this week. That's it. The problem isn't what these ratings are saying, the problem is how you are interpreting the ratings.

Also keep in mind that this result may start to look very different once full opponent adjustments start to kick in.

68
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:11pm

*sigh*, I cited the example of Henne for a reason.

He has one touchdown with 2 added quarters.

Do you seriously contend that Vick would have done anything other than torch the Bills as A Rogers has done? Or do you contend that Vick would have had only one TD on that Dolphins offense? Do you see what I mean about the absurdity of saying that Vick is comparable to Henne in any way, shape, or form, and that might make the statistical methods questionable?

And looking down...

My, my, my, some people are awefully sure that Vick will just completely stink it up. A leopard never changes his spots and all. There's someone I'll be able to sell a bridge to...

77
by mawbrew :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:39pm

I hope you have better luck selling that bridge than you are selling that 'Mike Vick is a great QB' idea.

80
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:02pm

Again: it's not about what Vick would have done or what Henne would have done. That's not this ranking. This ranking does *not* say Vick is about equal to Henne. What it says is that the Eagles passing offense against the Lions defense with Vick at helm was somewhat better than (19 DYAR is fairly sizeable) the Dolphins passing offense against the Vikings *this weekend*, with some minor adjustments for (perceived) opponent strength.

That's it. That's all it says. It has very few implications for the long-term viability of Vick as a QB, or for the overall quality of Vick as a QB. In fact, I don't disagree with you that Vick has a lot of merit. But that's not what this rating is about.

52
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:27pm

The part of the GB game Vick looked best in, the Packers only had two available DL. GB had only dressed four for the game. Justin (an injury just waiting to happen) Harrell is now on IR. Cullen Jenkins injured his hand and they had to improvise a cast midgame. When you only have two healthy lineman, your OL blocking is going to look good. We've all seen this Vick before. He'll have 2 or 3 great games both running and throwing, then have 2-3 games where he plays like Jamarcus Russell.

7
by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:43am

1. "With John Fox in what amounts to a lame duck role on a team full of veterans, ..." - did you mean Rookies?
2. "You can't bench Marty Hurney, though." - Can you bench the OC for calling repeated pass plays on the goal line?

The Panthers, as built, cannot let other teams get a lead, and they could not stop Freeman from converting on third down - usually with his legs.

Is there a WR equivalent to "Hole in Zone," because Clausen throws so many out of bounds that the player with the most targets may be "Inactive WR."

8
by Mac32 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:48am

As a Bears fan the big question I have is how much of Orton's success is a product of the system in Denver, and how much is his ability? Would he be this successful elsewhere (the Bears for example)?

When he was on the Bears he looked terrible, just really awful - it seemed like his signature play was the the three yard pass into the back of a tight end or opposing linebacker (while Rex's signature play was 'run backwards 12 yards and fall down').

Cutler has provided no surprises - he's pretty much what i expected. But Orton's success has me totally baffled. I can't imagine that Orton would have been able to handle the total ineptitude of the Bears' offensive line, but then I couldn't imagine him throwing an accurate pass more than 8-9 yards either...

28
by Dan :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:28pm

Orton did not look terrible his last year with the Bears. As a rookie, sure, he was awful, but when he won the job back in 2008 he looked surprisingly competent (especially before his injury, when he had an 18.5% passing DVOA).

29
by jklps :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:29pm

It's not like Orton's alma matter hasn't produced NFL quarterbacks lately, particularly ones who are given a chance to start, then get traded away for a new shiny toy...

49
by wr (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:20pm

Lessee... This means that Denver should start planning their Super Bowl
victory parade for February 2013.

58
by Mac32 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:33pm

I don't know - even then he seemed to have trouble with anything over a few yards from scrimmage.

97
by TomC :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:01pm

I don't know - even then he seemed to have trouble with anything over a few yards from scrimmage.

Really? Remember that sweet throw to R. Davis to "win" the Atlanta game? And I remember at least a few nice long ones on the way to putting up 48 against Minnesota. Anyway, I was ecstatic when they got Cutler, but only because I felt that "top 5" was a major upgrade over "pretty good."

101
by mac32 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:12pm

Yes - a few throws here and there, but really looked awful the vast majority of the time in my recollection. Also, right now he's not just "pretty good", he's dominating. I never would have seen that coming, even if i thought he was better than awful.

126
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:26pm

Let's be realistic here: dude has played Seattle and Jacksonville. Wake me up if he does that against the Titans, Ravens or Jets (all on the schedule).

138
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:17pm

18.5% DVOA is pretty damn good--that would have tied him with Tony Romo for the 10th best DVOA of the year, which is about exactly where I would rank him subjectively. I don't see any reason to believe Orton is a "system" quarterback by any means. Just imagine what he could do with a real NFL wide receiver to throw to...

146
by tornadot :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 1:43am

Thomas is looking...promising. Yes, that was Seattle so we'll see if his performance holds up.

60
by RichC (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:36pm

When you have no good WRs, and your offensive line is a sieve, and you try to run an offense that has lots of long developing plays, your QB is going to look terrible.

Denver is running an offense similar to NE. Lots of short passes. Lots of quick timing plays.

Martz is the first OC the Bears have had in a long time who doesn't deserve to be dragged out behind the barn and shot.

86
by Cid (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:21pm

As a Bears fan who watches games very closely, I never thought that Orton looked terrible as a Bear, except as a rookie. His final season he was terrific until he got seriously hurt for the second half of the season. Orton was never a "special" QB (he can't make the same runs or throws that Cutler can) but he was always an efficient winner, from what I saw.

I think he's doing well in Denver because he has decent talent around him and because he's a guy who works hard to maximize what ability he has. The moment he stops giving his absolute best effort in film sessions, practice, and in games, he'll drop out of the league. Until then, you could do a lot worse than Orton. Some smart team will go out and get him if and when Tebow is annointed the starter in Denver.

100
by Mac32 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:03pm

It makes me nervous to see the phrase "an efficient winner". What does that mean exactly?

What's baffling me is that in Chicago, win or lose, Orton did not look like a guy who could ever make a big play - certainly not anything more than a quick, short throw - and yet in Denver he appears to be lighting it up.

104
by Chip :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:34pm

Maybe the O-line actually matters?

105
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:17pm

Ever? He made lots of big plays. Not consistently, but he did it. TomC outlines a few of the plays he made, but here are some others. I remember two long plays to Hester which weren't completed, but drew PI calls (one in 2007, one in 2008). I remember him lighting up the Lions his rookie year. I remember his last minute drive against the Saints his rookie year too.

He is an average to slightly above average QB in the perfect system with good teammates.

Cutler has arguably the best physical skills in the league, with one of the worst offensive lines, and an uneven temperament.

Also, Orton's rookie year is underrated. He looked terrible because a large amount of the time, his pass attempts weren't really designed to be completed. They were long routes to the sideline designed to scare defenses to open up room for Thomas Jones, and it kind of worked.

123
by Marko :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:39pm

Agreed. Anyone who overly criticizes Orton's tenure with the Bears in general, and especially his rookie season, just wasn't paying attention to the other options on the roster. Considering what he had to work with on the team and the fact that he was thrust into the starting position as a rookie only because of Rex's preseason ankle injury and the incredible ineptness of Chad Hutchinson, he did fine.

That 2005 team had a good running game and was outstanding on defense and special teams. He was basically asked not to screw it up, and for the most part he succeeded. Yes, he did have some really bad games (like the Bengals game), but for the most part he helped the team win just by not making plays to lose games. And he did make some plays to win games, like the Saints game you mentioned; that was the first thing I thought of when remembering big plays from Orton in his rookie year.

And he obviously was good enough that Denver targeted him in the Cutler trade. Remember, the Redskins badly wanted Cutler, and many thought Cutler to the Redskins was a done deal. But the Broncos didn't want Jason Campbell as part of the package for Cutler; they wanted Orton, so Cutler went to the Bears.

140
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:37pm

I am a big supporter of Kyle Orton here in Bronco country, but his rookie year was a -33.8% DVOA, -595 DYAR disaster. Clearly he was thrust into games against NFL defenses before he was ready to understand them. In no way would I call his rookie year "doing fine." He has obviously learned a lot and improved his physical skills tremendously since then.

148
by dbt :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 2:22am

Look at who started at quarterback for the Bears in 2004 before you call that bad. We're grading on a curve here (remember, when Grossman was good for the first 5 games of 2006 he was viewed as possibly the best Bears QB since Sid Freakin' Luckman.)

149
by Marko :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 2:55am

Please reread everything I wrote, including all of the qualifiers. Also, note that in the previous five seasons, each of the following QBs had started games for the Bears: Cade McNown, Henry Burris, The Artist Formerly Known As Kordell Stewart, Chad Hutchinson, Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel. You would have a hard time finding another franchise that trotted out so many abysmal starting quarterbacks in a five year period. Compared to these inept QBs, Orton looked like Joe Montana.

Often an incomplete pass is a good play when you consider the possible alternatives. So while Orton's stats weren't good, that's irrelevant to my point. My point is that he did what he was asked to do, and the team was successful. I am not saying that the team won because of him; I am saying that usually the team did not lose because of him. The team did manage to go 10-5 under Orton that year and won the NFC North. For a rookie 4th round draft pick who wasn't expected to play at the beginning of the year, I would say that is doing fine.

11
by Dr. Seventh String Steelers QB (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:51am

Uh, where is Dennis Dixon with his -50 DYAR or so?

13
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:56am

I'm guessing, he didn't have enough attempts to qualify.

12
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:51am

"Guess what you have to look forward to in three years, Bears fans! "
I don't get it? Because DEN is shipping their best players to CHI? Hmm...

14
by dork matter (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:57am

I cannot for the life of me understand the "Bears fans" comment in the Demaryius Thomas write-up. What am I missing?

24
by Tom Gower :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:20pm

The Bears hired former Seahawks GM Tim Ruskell to work in their front office. In SEA, Ruskell showed a preference for smaller corners (or a non-disdain for them, and ended up with more of them because unlike some other front offices he didn't ding them for being small-6 of one, half dozen of the other) and so therefore, as the Bears turn over their cornerback corps in the coming years, they'll end up with a bunch of shrimps vulnerable to jump balls against tall receivers because that's what happens to Tim Ruskell CBs.

30
by Southern Philly :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:30pm

This assumes that Ruskell will A) have final say or major input on such matters and B) will be around for that long, the latter of which is pretty big assumption considering the Bears are probably another 3rd place finish away from a house cleaning.

42
by Tom Gower :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:56pm

As a matter of likeliness of future events, I agree with you.

As a throwaway joke in Quick Reads, I enjoyed it and felt like explaining it since it is non-obvious.

139
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:33pm

My thought on reading the comment was "oh, did the Bears hire Tim Ruskill? I didn't know that."

56
by agauntpanda :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:31pm

Hah, I didn't go nearly that deep -- I assumed you meant that, in three years when Thomas has proven himself as a top WR, McDaniels will trade him to Chicago.

98
by TomC :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:02pm

As a Bears fan, I far prefer this interpretation of the joke.

15
by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:58am

There is no Jake Delhomme. There is no Matt Moore. There is only Carolina Quarterback.

16
by kbukie :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:58am

At a cursory glance, it looks like there were a lot of really good performances at QB, and a lot of really bad performances at QB this week.

19
by GreenGuy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:08pm

How do you include Aaron Hernandez over Dustin Keller?

4.
Aaron Hernandez NE
6
6
101
16.8
0

Dustin Keller 7 catches 115 yards 1 TD

?!?

25
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:20pm

Guesses: context of the catches (catches for a first down are more important than catches for just yardage), yards per catch and number of targets needed to get to those catches.

This isn't a subjective list, though, it's simply a list of what DYAR says were the best statistical performances on an efficiency basis last sunday.

20
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:11pm

All interceptions aren't created equal in more than one sense. One of Favre's ints at the goal line hit the receiver in the chest, without inteference by a defender, and was tipped in the air for a defender to evetually grab. Over the course of a season, these things do balance out, I think, unless the receivers keep performing at this level. Along those same lines, the other two Fvare ints were on throws that often times are caught by receivers; short balls that the receiver reacts to better than the defender. I also think that these types of passes balance out over the course of a season, unless the receivers are consistently bad.

This may be another example of where really detailed charting, like the offensive line project announced yesterday, could be illuminating. How much does receiver skill affect qb stats, and vice versa? Are there qbs whose numbers are significantly worse, even with advanced stats, over the course of a career, due to bad luck in receiver teammates? Does the opposite hold true with regard to receivers? I suspect the answer is yes in both cases. Did Brady become a much better qb in 2006, or did some other event have the largest impact on his statistical explosion? I have my suspicions, and, once again, evaluating individual football player performance is really, really hard.

26
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:23pm

Pro-football-reference.com had an article where they argued quite convincingly that Vinny Testaverde was a QB with Hall of Fame quality who got screwed over by horrible talent around him. Interesting read.

Here it is: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=5449

36
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:44pm

I find the argument somewhat plausible, especially given how well Testeverde performed at an advanced age once he had a coach and organization with a clue. HOF quality MAY be an overstatement, but there is no doubt that if Testeverde had been drafted by, say, Buffalo, where the number two pick in that draft, Cornelius Bennett, spent his career, Testeverde MAY well indeed be a Hall of Famer. There is no doubt that if Jim Kelly had spent his career in Tampa, and not been the beneficiary of a trade to the Walsh 49ers, like Steve Young was, then, like Young without that trade, he would not be in the HOF. If Archie Manning and Terry Bradshaw swap birthdays, Manning is in the Hall of Fame, and Bradshaw has more alimony responsibilites than he could possibly handle, in relative anonymity.

87
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:25pm

Awesome Bradshaw comment. Would he still need a second home to house his ego? probably....

43
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:03pm

Oh, and I will bore everyone again by noting that a good case can be made for Tarkenton as the best qb of all time, based upon the fact that he spent the first 2/3 of his long career with mostly bad teammates, and was past his physical prime before he had a lot of talent around him. How would Peyton Manning be viewed if he had spent his first six seasons with the Cardinals, and then played the next five in Detroit?

46
by chemical burn :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:13pm

Incidentally, I happen to agree that a persuasive argument can be made that Tarkenton is the best QB of all time. If his teams win even one SB, I think most people would put him at the top of the list...

31
by chemical burn :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:36pm

What you're saying all makes sense, but using Favre as the lead-off example makes everything you're saying feel more dubious than need be. He was throwing up punts on Sunday - his indifference to good decision making was staggering (and not atypical as a career-long tendency.) Now just because in the past Favre has demonstrated the ability to get away with ill-advised throws (especially last year), doesn't mean that because the ball didn't bounce his way that those lame ducks into double coverage weren't his fault. And, as far as balancing out over the season goes, over the course of his career Favre has way more int's from bad decisions than from unlucky bounces - if anything a bit of unluckiness with tipped passes in tight windows this year will balance out his luck last year with a career-low int %. I think Sunday was a much more standard version of "Favre being Favre" than Vikings fans saw in 2009... And Favre has played like this consistently in his career, regardless of the talent around him...

38
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:52pm

No, he wasn't throwing up punts on Sunday. The one long interception was a punt, but even that looked worse than it was, because Berrian made absolutely no play on the ball. Now, if you want to harshly criticize Favre for making that throw, to a guy who has never demonstrated decent ball skills, you may have a point. That throw to a Randy Moss in his prime gets qbs selected to the Pro Bowl, and a qb needs to be able to adjust his decision making based upon whether he is throwing to a prime time Randy Moss or a Bernard Berrian.

45
by chemical burn :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:12pm

That was a bad throw into double coverage. Sure, Moss might come down with it, but that doesn't make it a good decision. Also, the goal-line throw that was tipped, was into a tight, tight window - exactly the kind of pass that if bobbled gets picked. Most QB's don't even try to make that throw. Favre has made them in the past - but again, that doesn't suddenly make them good decisions. If age or injury is catching up to him (finally) then expect more of those dubious plays to have bad results.

And don't put the blame on Berrian - a deep pass, off the mark (he didn't even seem to see it), into double coverage, a great receiver could've made a great play TO BREAK IT UP, but just about nobody other than Randy Moss or Larry Fitzgerald could have come within a mile of catching it. It was a dumb play, but that is not on the WR...

53
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:27pm

If it is a pass that the receiver has a good chance of catching for a 48 yard gain, and Randy Moss in his prime has a good chance of catching it, then it is by definition a good pass. Like I said, however, a qb cannot base his decision making on the assumption that Bernard Berrian is Randy Moss in his prime. The pass to Harvin at the goal line was NOT tipped by a defender, unitl Harvin tipped it into the air. It was a perfectly thrown ball; slightly behind the receiver, so as to eliminate the chance that the defender, who was playing zone, and moving in the opposite direction of Harvin, could defelect the pass, while still hitting Harvin square in the chest. Harvin was not ready for the ball, and a professional receiver needs to be ready for the ball when he turns to catch it, and it hits him in the chest.

61
by RichC (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:39pm

When you throw a bullet at a reciever who is falling down, 10 feet away, and surrounded by 3 defenders, you can't expect good things to happen all that often.

The receivers aren't the biggest problem in Minny. Its the guy throwing the ball.

63
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:57pm

Given that the distance between Favre and Harvin on the play in question was about 54 feet, not 10, I suspect that you are not observing the Vikings passing offense closely enough to have a very accurate view as to where their their largest problems lie.

79
by mawbrew :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:50pm

I don't recall seeing the long pass to Berrian tha was picked but on the shorter throw, I'm not sure Berrian is completely at fault. It looked like Favre was throwing a back shoulder fade but Berrian either didn't look for the ball soon enough or was looking for something on the inside. On that pass, it didn't look to me like he had time to react to the ball or make a play on it. It looked to me like the defender never turned to run with Berrian so the throw to the back shoulder wouldn't have been a good idea anyway.

82
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:08pm

I haven't written anything about that pass, because it is hard to judge the situation, other than to say, as you note, that the defender never turned, so Favre likely should not have thrown it. The Harvin int was purely on Harvin, and the long int on the pass towards Berrian was a bad decision, given the receiver, but not a terribly harmful int in context. Finally the fumble in the end zone, which I believe greatly harms Favre's ranking this week, was about 90% on Loadholt; it did not seem as if Favre held the ball for an excessive period.

Favre did not play well, but he was not nearly as bad as the ranking might suggest.

107
by chemical burn :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:27pm

I'm just saying you shouldn't be surprised Favre made some reckless throws and they resulted in negative plays for the Vikings. You can debate how much he's hurt by his receivers, but he's done this his WHOLE CAREER and there's no reason to think his bad performance is a fluke: it is a bad performance in keeping with his past performance. Gambling and forcing throws has paid off for Favre. This time it did not. For most QB's, throws into unfavorable coverage and small windows result in negative plays,. Favre has always shown a capacity (indeed enthusiasm) for such throws.

119
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:26pm

I think it would make sense to start attributing obvious drops as a negative to the receiver and not the QB. Having said that it is often hard to tell who is more at fault. Take the interception you are talking about here. My viewing of that was that the throw was well behind the receiver and that Harvin slipped trying to stop and make the catch.

120
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:29pm

I think the bigger hurdle is watching all the drops and making a decision on them in the 48 hours they have to write this article.

Their book goes into greater detail on what makes teams work, this is exactly what the title says it is "quick reads."

127
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:28pm

If the ball hits the receiver in the chest, it isn't that far behind him, and he has to catch it. The ball sometimes needs to be thrown behind the receiver, given the zone coverage, and everybody understands this. This was one of those times. It was a nearly perfect pass.

33
by WeaponX (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:42pm

I think the Fox dissing in the article would have been much more deserved if Clausen wasn't rated higher (even if it's just very slightly so) than Moore by this sites own standard. BTW, the int went off Goodson's hand so shouldn't he get the equivalent of a DYAR hug too?

37
by Spielman :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:50pm

"if you're a pessimist, Anderson was sat down because he was missing open receivers and couldn't move the ball against one of the league's worst pass defenses."

Or, to put it another way, they sat him down because they suddenly realized he was Derek Anderson.

54
by wr (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:29pm

Too bad this ray of light wasn't shining at roster cutdown time.
I simply can't believe that keeping Anderson over Leinert was
the right decision; Leinert would mediocre, at least...

89
by Cid (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:29pm

The only reasonable explanation, even at the time, is a variation of what Leinart himself said. The coaches disliked him for reasons that went far beyond what he could or couldn't do on the field. Leinart was cut because they hated his attitude rather than his results.

Not that his results have been especially amazing, but he's clearly better on the field than Derek Anderson.

39
by jklps :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:53pm

It is increasingly apparent that there are only two types of teams in the NFL - teams that have an actual QB and teams that do not.

The fact that it takes some front offices so long to decide on certain QBs who are obviously not good enough robs fans of any chance to root for a winner.

66
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:00pm

The '00 Ravens and '02 Bucs disagree with you

94
by jklps :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:40pm

I stated above in the argument against Vick is that what, maybe 2-3 super bowl teams of 20 the last decade didn't have a decent accurate quarterback.

The list: Ravens 2000, the Chicago team that lost to Indy...

Brad Johnson doesn't light the world on fire, but he was accurate and made good decisions(except when he was playing catchup - as a Redskins fan, I remember him forcing passes in those situations constantly).

If you are supposed to pass to get the lead then run to close the game, if you can't pass, how can you win?

2000 STL (Kurt Warner) over TEN (Steve McNair)
2001 BAL (Trent Dilfer) over NYG (Kerry Collins)
2002 NE (Tom Brady) over STL (Kurt Warner)
2003 TB (Brad Johnson) over OAK (Rich Gannon)
2004 NE (Tom Brady) over CAR (Jake Delhomme)
2005 NE (Tom Brady) over PHI (Donovan McNabb)
2006 PIT (Ben Roethlisberger) over SEA (Matt Hasslebeck)
2007 IND (Peyton Manning) over CHI (Rex Grossman)
2008 NYG (Eli Manning) over NE (Tom Brady)
2009 PIT (Ben Roethlisberger) over ARI (Kurt Warner)
2010 NO (Drew Brees) over IND (Peyton Manning)

Although we know Delhomme is bad now, and Collins is a backup, those guys were good enough in those years. Dilfer is an exception to what is needed, and Grossman is one exception too. Maybe we need the DVOA/DYAR for those guys from those years too...

96
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:50pm

Eli Manning wasn't exactly setting worlds on fire that year either. You're right about Brad Johnson, to a limited extent.

I agree that a good QB greatly increases your chances and a terrible QB basically elminates them, but your original dichotomy of 'only two types of teams in the NFL' seems false. Teams have won championships on defense where all they needed was a QB who didn't make too many mistakes, or at least not at crucial moments. I doubt you can find a team that has ever won a championship with a horrible defense (except for maybe the recent Colts, though there's an argument to be made there too), so I don't see how you focus on QBs when you could just as easily focus on defense.

102
by jklps :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:13pm

Maybe it takes being a Redskins fan and watching 3 years of Campbell(with the tail end of Mark Brunell before that) and now having McNabb, who is actually a capable professional, to see why I truly believe this.

Yeah McNabb throws short here, or isn't as accurate as Manning, Brady or Brees...but I feel like McNabb knows how to play, Jason Campbell doesn't. And without a QB, it takes too much to win consistently.

141
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 11:48pm

Brunell was excellent in 2005. I remember some commentator saying, "Brunell to Moss is the new Culpepper to Moss!"

153
by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 10:55am

It was Kerry Collins throwing to Moss in 2005.

154
by Eddo :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 12:45pm

Brunell was throwing to Santana Moss.

155
by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 2:43pm

So he was.

Durned surname-only commentators.

106
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:24pm

You also need a good defense. Look at the list of Superbowl winners and try to find one that didn't have a above average defense.

129
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:38pm

That would be your 2006 Indianapolis Colts and their 25th ranked DVOA defense.

Yes, I know things changed once they got Bob Sanders back. I still don't buy the notion that that defense was actually good.

73
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:21pm

Besides, it isn't like there are 32 "actual" QBs available anyway. Some teams have to figure out how to run a passable offense with a QB who struggles at, well, passing.

88
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:29pm

That joke passed muster.

130
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:39pm

Meh. It's old. Passed it, even.

92
by Led :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:36pm

What about those teams that don't know yet whether or not they have an actual QB? There are quite a few of them.

95
by jklps :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:41pm

They have to know when to cut the cord - and the Redskins should have with Jason Campbell many seasons ago.

Whether Jim Zorn is a good coach or not is one question, but one fact is he never got to choose the QB he was paired with....

40
by hubcap (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:54pm

In fairness to Tom Cable, wasn't Gradkowski hurt throughout camp? Even if Cable had his doubts (and I bet he did), you can't very well name the Hurt Guy With No Reps as starter. If Bruce G had been healthy in camp, he may well have been the starter. But he wasn't, so for the Raiders it was kind of Campbell or nothing.

And as a Redskins fan, I can say that Jason Campbell at QB is a slight upgrade over nothing. Those checkdowns don't throw themselves.

44
by Jeff Fogle :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:06pm

"Eli Manning had an 85.6 quarterback rating this week. 85.6. That was 14th in the league. He had one long touchdown down three scores and another down four. That was more than half of his passing yardage. He fumbled three times. He took four sacks. Quarterback rating is disinterested in these facts, though."

One way to clear up this confusion is for you, Bill Barnwell, to stop calling it "quarterback rating." The official term (to the degree something like this is official) seems to be "passer rating." The term "passer rating" has its own wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passer_rating) while QB rating doesn't. NFL.com's stat page uses "rate" on a table labeled "passing." ESPN's boxscores use "rating" under the header of passing.

It's talking about what happens on the passes...not what happens on the plays where there wasn't a pass because of a sack, fumble, scramble, whatever. The formula specifically measures what happens on PASSES.

Now, I understand that the terms are often used interchangeably by non-nits. And I'm all for clearing up that confusion and encouraging the term "passer rating" to be used when talking about that particular stat. To a degree, the comment on Eli, and the lead theme of the ESPN Insider piece is building a straw man that you can blow apart with a yawn.

Yes...the DYAR metric is significantly better than passer rating if you're trying to get a full evaluation of everything a QB does. No question there. That's worth celebrating. Let's get it into the vernacular of conversations. Unfortunately, it comes off as a Klingon term that nobody's going to say except to other FO readers. If you pronounce each letter...saying D-Y-A-R stops a sentence cold because it's so awkward. If you sound it out like "VORP" or even "Ribbie", "DYAR" makes you sound like the Swedish chef on the muppets. How about "Quarterback Composite" or "Quarterback Impact" or something. People would start saying "Impact" for short, and then FO has made the world a better place because it's invented a stat that worked its way into descriptions of games in a way that made everyone smarter.

Eli's passer rating was 14th in the league (taking your word for it). Eli's 2-1 TD/Int ratio probably graded out in that area as well (not going to look it up). And, 6.7 yards-per-completion is probably near league average (it is for the whole year at a glance, not going to look up the week). The pure passing stuff was league average, but he had the impact of the 27th rated QB because of the other errors.

Scold the people who say "quarterback rating" when that stat is generally termed "passer rating." DYAR didn't need a straw man to stomp on before grabbing the microphone from the wrestling announcer to make its case. He does need a catchier name though if he's going to get people to listen.

57
by rk (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:31pm

Shouldn't the concept of "passing" include throwing a pass before one is tackled?

74
by Jeff Fogle :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:23pm

NBA shooting percentages aren't adjusted for steals because the guy should have shot before the ball was stolen from him. It's not a "missed shot" if the shot clock expires because the ballhandler didn't react in time.

Should the concept of "shooting" include the times the guy didn't shoot?

The concept of "overall play" would include those turnovers...and that's what DYAR is capturing better than Passer Rating for quarterbacks.

Similar to how John Hollinger's PER in hoops tries to capture as much as possible, while shooting percentage is just what happens on the shots. And, PER could use a catchier name for broadcast too...

64
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:58pm

You're right on what passer rating actually measures. But anyone out there using it seriously uses it as an overall measure of QB performance, not as a measure of where his passes went.

69
by Jeff Fogle :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:12pm

??? Not sure what you mean by "using it seriously." And, would disagree with the use of "anyone" in that sentence. Some certainly are. Casual fans may not be aware it's only about passing. Bill calling it "quarterback rating" doesn't help.

The formula has always been about passes. Announcers used to talk about "escape-ability" all of the time, so it's not like QB's have always been defined only by their passer ratings. Escape-ability gets talked about less since the guys escaping would eventually suffer separated shoulders and concussions when being chased to the sidelines, or sprained ankles, or torn knee ligaments. Now "throwing the ball away to avoid a sack" gets more discussion time.

Don't think GM's were thinking of Passer Rating as an "overall" measure of QB performance when evaluating the position. Brains, size, arm strength, leadership potential, experience. Passer rating was a tool in the mix, but not the mix all by itself in the sense of "seriously" using "it as an overall measure of QB performance."

81
by Sander :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:05pm

By 'using it seriously' I actually mean 'taking it seriously'. I've never, ever seen QB rating used as only a measure of how a quarterback's passes turned out. Almost always it's used as an overall measure of performance, except when it's being mocked.

I don't think any GM worth his salt would ever use passer rating as an evaluation metric. And I don't see how your comment about announcers is relevant - the fact that they also talk about things like escape-ability doesn't mean they know (or communicate) the fact that that isn't encapsulated in Passer Rating.

I agree that Bill calling it QB Rating doesn't help, but if you approach any NFL fan and say "QB Rating" he'll know what you mean and I bet most fans will see it as a measure of overall QB performance.

90
by Jeff Fogle :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:33pm

I think we probably both agree Sander that misperceptions about the term need to be cleared up. We seem to have varying life experiences about seeing how it's been used and mis-used, with a lot of overlap but some differences. I'm sure we agree that fans would be better off if they had a better understanding of what Passer Rating was, and how DYAR is an improvement (once it has a name they can actually say in conversations with each other!).

124
by BucKai :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 7:19pm

Just as an FYI, "Passer Rating" was called "QB rating" until the early 90's. The argument, rightly, being that it didn't evaluate a QB, but rather any players ability to throw the ball. Semantic arguments about which label is accurate are as pointless as correcting someone for using the term "Pig Skin."

128
by Jeff Fogle :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:34pm

Do you have an article or announcement you can link to Buc that shows that? I found a GQ article from 2001 that talks about the creation of the stat in 1971. They don't specifically reference the point...but it looks like it was always considered a "passer rating" by the creator Don Smith...as he was trying to find something equivalent to rating rushers. No doubt it's been referenced both ways since then (QB Rating and Passer Rating), though it seems "Passer Rating" has been the mainstream term for awhile now as you point out. You can see part of the web address even calls it qbrating even though it's usually called passer rating throughout the article.

http://www.bluedonut.com/qbrating.htm

Getting things right sometimes sounds like pointless semantics.

91
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:35pm

As far as I am concerned, working in a Muppets Swedish Chef reference in a football comment is positively Tanieresque.

I don't think the pass rating and DYAR delta is only about sacks and fumbles. One TD came in garbage time which, I think, is also discounted.

Frankly, not sure what, if anything to make of his INT. It was an awesome throw threading the needle in 3x coverage and an apparent catch that fooled the cameraman and had this Colt fan highly irked. A WR bobble and the 3rd defender coming away with the ball made that an INT, not Eli. Better hands on the WR = no INT. "Only" double coverage = no INT.

103
by Dave :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:26pm

There was nothing awesome about that throw. It was "triple coverage" because it hung up in the air and was well underthrown. I was actually yelling "short!" (because the players on the field can hear me, of course) and the elevation gave the defenders time to converge. And from what I remember, the bobble was by the first man on scene (Bethea?), not the receiver.

It wasn't as bad as the throw on the opposite sideline earlier, though, which could've been an easy touchdown if he hadn't missed short and way in.

48
by gcoll (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:18pm

Charlie Batch went 5/11 for 25 yards. It says that his DYAR is -72. So that is implying in 11 attempts, he should have 97 yards (8.2 YPA) if he was a replacement level QB. If we look at a guy like Kerry Collins as a replacement level QB, do you think that we should expect him to have 97 yards on 11 attempts? That is why DYAR is flawed. It also believes the replacement level RB should have gotten 1700+ yards in Chris Johnson's carries.

55
by ammek :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:29pm

DYAR takes account of things like fumbles and interceptions and 'converts' them into yardage. Batch had two fumbles on his dozen dropbacks.

A couple of years ago, DYAR was DPAR, based on Points not Yards, and the inclusion of fumbles and picks seemed a little easier to grasp in that format.

142
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 12:08am

Agreed--DPAR was much, much, MUCH better intellectually. The notion that a "replacement level" running back would gain 1,700 yards in CJ's carries, or that a replacement QB would have thrown for only 2,300 yards in Tom Brady's place last year, are rather ridiculous. Or even better--in Brady's 2007 50 TD season, DYAR says a replacement QB would have thrown for 1,972 yards.

I suggest you do what I do, and pretend that DYAR in meaning is actually DPAR.

145
by Dan :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 1:38am

Count me as another DPAR fan. When it was DPAR I could think of it as estimating the number of extra points that the team scored thanks to that player's performance, and it would make sense. Now that it's DYAR I mostly just think of it as a meaningless number where more is better and 0 is replacement level. I'll compare players to see who was better and by how much, but the number itself is pretty much meaningless. I could divide by 15 or whatever to translate it back to DPAR, but it isn't worth the trouble.

Subtracting DYAR from a player's yardage to see what a replacement level player would've done usually just confuses people. Maybe it could make sense if you take into account that the replacement player would have to have the same boom-bust pattern, turnovers, touchdowns, and so on, but a lot of the time you can't do that intuitively. What would it mean for a QB to throw 606 passes for 1972 yards and 50 touchdowns?

147
by Lou :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 2:16am

I completely agree. Its also much easier to explain DPAR as a concept to people unfamiliar with FO than to explain DYAR.

151
by nat :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 8:15am

For anyone interested in the tragic history of the switch from DPAR to DYAR and "Effective Yards", these articles, and the comments that follow them even more so, are a worthwhile read: DPAR is Dead (7/7/2008) and DYAR Mailbag (7/11/2008).

DYAR is built up from statistics that try to measure the ability to maximize the net expected value of the next score. Because yards by themselves aren't a good way to measure that ability, DYAR doesn't translate to or predict actual yards in a useful way.

It's best to think of the "yards" in DYAR as a somewhat arbitrary scale for "value", a scale that is different for each position. If you don't try to compare it across positions, and don't try to translate it into actual yards, DYAR works fine as a way to compare players' production.

One of the great things about FO is they will take chances to try to improve things. It doesn't always work out, but I'm glad they keep trying.

59
by Joseph :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 1:35pm

You might be new here--so I'll explain a little bit.
DYAR & DVOA both give bonuses for 1st downs and TD's, esp. on 3rd down. The "D" in both stats stand for "defense-adjusted", although those numbers have not been applied quite yet. I believe that there is also a penalty (prob. the negative equivalent of the bonus) in DYAR/DVOA for NOT picking up 3rd down conversions/TD's when an "average" player would have.
Another thing--the "baseline" for a replacement player is not the same across all positions, iirc. IIRC for QB's, for example, it's actually -17% DVOA. IMO, Manning/Brady/Brees etc. distort the average. It's also possible I am misremembering and 0 is the baseline for all.

76
by The Powers That Be :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:35pm

"Charlie Batch went 5/11 for 25 yards. It says that his DYAR is -72. So that is implying in 11 attempts, he should have 97 yards (8.2 YPA) if he was a replacement level QB. If we look at a guy like Kerry Collins as a replacement level QB, do you think that we should expect him to have 97 yards on 11 attempts? That is why DYAR is flawed."

No, that's why your understanding of DYAR is flawed.

Batch dropped back 15 times. Those plays netted the Steelers a total of 15 yards (he completed passes for 25 yards, but his fumbles and sacks lost 10). DYAR thinks the replacement QB should, on 15 plays, (a) not fumble twice, and (b) gain at most 87 yards (5.8 yards/play). It's actually less than 87 because there's negative yardage assigned to fumbling, but I don't know how much.

67
by Soulless Mercha... :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:10pm

Based on nothing but my reads of the Buffalo press, both fan and pro, my guess is that the logic of the Edwards Rapid Hook was that Edwards looked the best in training camp, and has shown promise in the past, but they needed to see if he is still willing to throw the ball downfield. At first he was, after all. Then he got the poo smacked out of him, and things changed.

Again, I haven't seen the guy play much (I don't live in Bills Country anymore), but the rap is that after the hideous beating of his first few starts, he's become gunshy, and checks down too often.

So, based on all of this, my guess is that Gailey and crew put Edwards in as starter to see if he still had the yips in games. Camp and preseason reports said that he was clearly the best passer of the lot, so it made sense to give him the gig on a trial basis. After two miserable games, it appears they decided that after all this time, he's still yippy. It's been a year-plus of this, so there's no sense leaving him in and hoping he gets over it, because he won't. Fitzpatrick is not as good of a passer, but he's willing to get smacked around and throw downfield at least a little. Also, I'd guess his mobility would be a plus, given Buffalo's comically inept offensive line.

But this is just guesswork. The real reasons, of course, are known only to Chan Gailey and his Inner Circle of Football Wizards.

72
by onetime91 :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:20pm

Vick's excellent passer rating this year doesn't even include his great rushing stats (15 rushes 143 yards) - yet he's middle of the pack in these rankings? DYAR also apparently penalized him for his 3 kneel downs at the end of the game. I think someone responsible for these ratings is a dog lover.

75
by RichC (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:32pm

"DYAR also apparently penalized him for his 3 kneel downs at the end of the game"

no, it doesn't.

143
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 12:14am

If you add Vick's 43 rushing YAR to his 111 passing YAR, he jumps from 13th in the league all the way to 12th.

78
by K (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 2:41pm

I don't know about these ratings, but *my* copy of Excel is quite fond of beagles.

83
by ChaosOnion (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:11pm

Vick did not do much running this week, playing mostly from the pocket or behind the line of scrimmage when he had to scramble. I think he only had 4 runs. Considering this, Vick's numbers being that of an average passer are very good. This is, of course, a Vick adjusted quarterback expectation (VAQE.) Without 4-6 games, no one can determine if this is just a fluke or if he has been reprogrammed by his time away and two training camps with a real coaching staff. And unless Kolb misses more time due to injury, the Eagles are betting on some GM taking that chance.

85
by jimbohead :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:15pm

He'd be better than Derek Anderson...

99
by Zheng :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 4:02pm

The "VAQE" concept is brilliant and I will use it relentlessly against Vick homies all season, if that's all right with you.

161
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 09/23/2010 - 11:38am

Michael Vick is the new Brady vs. Manning.

93
by Cid (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 3:37pm

My favorite part of coming to this site is reading comments from people who insist that the unbiased numbers should be say some thing other than what they do.

109
by kevinM (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:29pm

Why should QB rating in any way reflect what happened in terms of sacks and fumbles? Did anyone watch Sunday night's game and feel the sacks were a result of a lack of ability or performance on Eli Manning's part?

113
by Arkaein :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:41pm

So what, the O-line is responsible for sacks and fumbles, but the QB is solely responsible for whether he can complete passes?

It has been pretty well established (at least on this site) that the QB plays a large part is determining whether he is sacked based on how long he holds the ball and how he moves in the pocket.

Now in this case anyone who watched the game saw that Eli had horrible protection, and most of the blame for the negative plays belongs with the line and the play calling. However it's ridiculous to imply that the QB does not affect these outcomes, and that a metric that evaluates overall passing ability should not incorporate them.

114
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:42pm

As for fumbles, don't you think QBs should be responsible for holding onto the ball?

As for sacks, not all sacks are created equal, but usually the QB has a large impact in the number of sacks he takes. He's calling out protections, he knows where the hot read is, he's often responsible for calling an audible if he doesn't think the play will work.

111
by bubqr :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 5:38pm

It's crazy how this whole Kolb-Vick "debate" is just ruining my Eagles/football fandom at the moment. It's just killing me, and I didn't even bother to watch the second half last week because of that.

115
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:01pm

I'm certainly enjoying the discomfort. The NFL has been getting away with pretending that the Luc Longleys of the world are comparable to the Dwight Howards of the world at the QB position for a certain marketing reason. Tanier, Schatz, Barnwell, and the rest of the gang can pretend that this isn't the usual kind of affirmative action that isn't viable in *any* of the other major sports. I seriously suspect that Vick is actually mature enough to be somewhat consistent in his performance, and unless Kolb shows something I've never seen before (Remember, the Jaguars are a pretty decent defense even if it's not the greatest), Kolb will go to the bench and Vick will finish the season.

The thing is...Kolb is not in Vick's league. He's not in McNabb's league. He's more in the league of what we saw from the Bills these last couple of years, and I strongly doubt that DJax is going to tolerate being in Lee Evans' situation quietly.

133
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:58pm

Ok, so maybe it's because my red-coat ass is too busy running away from Dodge Challengers to comprehend even quite simple ideas, or because I have never heard of either Luc Longley or Dwight Howard, but I really, really have no idea what any of the first paragraph of your comment is about. Except for the part about the Jaguars having a decent defense, which was a very funny joke.

150
by DW94 :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 7:35am

Luc Longley was a mediocre basketball player, and Dwight Howard is currently a very good one. They both play(ed) the same position.

157
by LukeM :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 7:41pm

More important in Shah's opinion is that Longley is white and Howard is black.

158
by DW94 :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 8:30pm

D'oh!

Yeah, I dunno why I didn't pick up on the "marketing reasons" part. Thanks.

117
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:09pm

oh dear, the "controversy" is over.

Well, let's get this one thing straight. I also want to wait and see whether Vick is truly improved. I'm not completely sure that his flightyness is gone, and I'm happy I'll get to see whether he's truly for real. It just bugged (and entertained) me that people kept trying to say so much obviously false stuff.

121
by chemical burn :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:30pm

Listen, I agree the jury is slightly out on Vick. But you need to come to terms with what you've done to us Eagles fans by bringing the FOMBC curse down upon us.

125
by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 7:47pm

Well, the controversy certainly is not over. It is just delayed until Vick has a bad game or the Eagles lose, whichever comes first.
I have no dog in the race and I certainly hope that he has changed his playing style since his last stint in the NFL. I am just surprised that the Eagles are doing this, given what has occurred with Mac5.
Also, what people have been saying is not false, just unproven as applied to this season. It is completely true when examining Vick's career as a whole.
Being objective, which is more likely to be true; the first 6 years (or whatever the length of his career was), or the last 6 quarters?

131
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:51pm

"I have no dog in the race"

Probably for the best, when you think about it.

156
by Spoon :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 5:23pm

+1

I literally lol'ed

122
by Anonymouss (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 6:36pm

"With John Fox in what amounts to a lame duck role on a team full of veterans"

The Carolina Panthers have the youngest roster in the NFL this season, and that's including 40 year old John Kasay

132
by Treima6 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:56pm

Small sample size theater, example #90544:

Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Patriots' leader in receiving DYAR is...Aaron Hernandez, the rookie tight end. Seriously, go look. It's not even particularly close, with Hernandez's 66 beating Welker's 41 and Moss's embarrassing -23. His catch rate and DVOA are also much higher. Too early to call the kid ROY, but it's a promising start. Here's hoping for much more out of him.

152
by ChaosOnion (not verified) :: Wed, 09/22/2010 - 9:58am

Lock out in 2011. The Eagles are going all in.

162
by hero (not verified) :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 9:17pm

econds counters. This Hamilton watch also boasts its rubber strap which looks like a bulldozer rolex watches track. With a price tag of $1,995.00, this Hamilton Code Breaker called Auto Chrono can omega watches be a good buy for you. A watch is so much more than just an omega watches

163
by hero (not verified) :: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 8:30pm

reason that they would boost up the self image, exposure, and prestige of sportsmen straight replica watches away. Also replica Chopard watches are unified symbols for the reason that they would create replica watches unity, harmony, and synchronization among the team players for long time. Add to that, sportsmen omega watches

164
by fdsfsd (not verified) :: Mon, 11/22/2010 - 9:14pm

101123091725AMFlyff Penya | Flyff gold |