Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Film Room: Sen'Derrick Marks

The Jaguars' defensive tackle is a bit of a late bloomer, but he has become one of the bright spots in a dim season in Jacksonville.

09 Nov 2010

Week 9 Quick Reads

by Bill Barnwell

This week, Arian Foster and Peyton Hillis finished first and third in our running back rankings, respectively. That's two of the best performances of the week at their position from an undrafted free agent and a seventh-round pick, respectively. Neither was expected to be their team's starting running back heading into the season, but it seems absurd now to consider the possibility that they might lose their jobs anytime soon.

It's nothing new, of course, to see either back towards the top of the running back charts; Foster leads the league in rushing DYAR, while Hillis ranks sixth. While the names of Foster and Hillis as dominant backs are fresh, what isn't a sudden trend is the propensity for no-name, little-ballyhooed backs to step up and make a dramatic impact on their team's performance.

Each year, the rushing leaderboards are littered with guys who didn't need a pedigree to get to the top of the charts. Among the top 20 rushers this year by DYAR are six players who were either drafted in the seventh round or went undrafted; there's only four such quarterbacks and three such receivers in the passing top 20.

It also jibes with every bit of research we've ever done at Football Outsiders; whether it's rate of return on a draft pick, the effects of injury on an offense, or where spending money produces a return, investing valuable resources into running backs isn't all that likely to return a feature back. And yet, despite the existence of players like Hillis and Foster -- guys available for peanuts during the offseason -- teams still pour millions into their backfield.

Take the San Diego Chargers, for example. In 2009, they spent more money on running backs than any team in football, thanks to LaDainian Tomlinson's huge deal and the franchise tag placed on Darren Sproles. They promptly ranked dead last in the league in just about any rushing category available. They let Tomlinson go in the offseason, but gave Sproles a huge tender and drafted Ryan Mathews in the first round. After all that, though, who has been the one Chargers back that has consistently produced positive yardage? Undrafted free agent Mike Tolbert, of course. Tolbert was the only back on the Chargers roster with a positive DVOA last season, and thanks to an injury to Mathews, he's managed to carve out a huge role in the Chargers offense for himself.

Sometimes, it takes an injury to let a guy like Tolbert shine. Foster would not be in the lineup if it wasn't for Steve Slaton's injury woes last year and this offseason. Hillis benefited from Eric Mangini's pathological distrust of Jerome Harrison to get his shot. There's one other back currently being stifled by his organization's obstinance that stands out, and we'll get to him in this week's Quick Reads.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Eli Manning NYG
21/32
290
3
0
221
221
0
When Eli's receivers bail him out as opposed to the opposition, he can look like the best quarterback in football. He ranks atop the quarterback leaderboard this week, mainly because of what he did in leading the Giants to a 28-0 start: 11-of-14 for 163 yards, seven first downs, two touchdowns, and a 16-yard DPI. He could have padded his stats further, but the Giants ran 16 plays from scrimmage in the fourth quarter and handed off on each one.
2.
Aaron Rodgers GB
27/34
289
3
0
174
161
14
He completed passes just about at will; four of seven incompletions from Rodgers came inside the Dallas 10-yard line with a three-score lead. He was 8-of-9 on third down, with seven of those completions resulting in first downs. In the DVOA Era, only twice have passers thrown 34 attempts in a game and completed more than 27 of those passes: Peyton Manning did it against the Jaguars in 2008, and Tom Brady did it in the blowout of the Titans last year for the Patriots.
3.
Joe Flacco BAL
20/27
266
2
0
145
144
1
Flacco got away with a really ugly pick-six attempt to Sean Smith when the Dolphins cornerback returned the gift, but he did a good job of avoiding mistakes otherwise. Weird down splits: Flacco was 4-of-9 for 34 yards on first down, but 10-of-11 for 158 yards with seven first downs and two touchdowns on second down. And it wasn't like he was in fantastic situations, either; he faced second down with an average of 8.5 yards to go.
4.
Philip Rivers SD
17/23
295
4
1
144
144
0
After a short completion and a sack to start the game, Rivers went off. His next eight dropbacks resulted in eight completions, 164 yards, six first downs, and two touchdowns. It included passes to Jacob Hester, Ryan Mathews, Seji Ajirotutu, Patrick Crayton, Kris Wilson, and Randy McMichael; you know, your standard-issue replacement level targets. Sure, it was against the Texans, but this is basically Rivers taking the guys Brett Favre throws to in the jean commercials and averaging close to 13 yards per attempt. It's a bit early for MVP discussions, but where would this San Diego offense be without Rivers in the lineup?
5.
Matt Ryan ATL
24/36
235
1
0
143
148
-4
Although Roddy White suffered a knee injury in the first half, Ryan really wasn't affected all that much by the absence of his star receiver. While White was out of the lineup, Ryan went 11-of-16 for 116 yards. White came back in the second half, but the Buccaneers did a better job of shoring up their zones after halftime; the huge holes that Tony Gonzalez and Michael Jenkins were running patterns into began to disappear, and Ryan finished 8-of-14 for 75 yards.
6.
Tom Brady NE
19/36
224
2
0
130
134
-5
Call me crazy, but I think Tom Brady isn't playing all that poorly. He converted all three of the fourth downs he faced, and while he only picked up three of the ten third downs he was up against, he had to pick up an average of 9.1 yards on those plays. (It's also hard to not give him some credit for gaining 13 yards on third-and-15, which DVOA sees as a slight victory.) Is he really leaving that many plays on the field? Realistically, while it's not as bad as Rivers' situation, consider the receivers he has to work with: Deion Branch was a borderline starter for the Seahawks. Danny Woodhead was a punchline. Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski are rookies, and Brandon Tate's just about one. The only receiver he's working with who would have been seen as a serious threat heading into the season was Wes Welker, and even Welker's recovering from the ACL tear.
7.
Colt McCoy CLE
14/19
174
0
0
107
91
16
After a first quarter that was a mix of big plays and incompletions, McCoy dropped back 11 times over the final three quarters, going 10-of-11 for 111 yards. That includes seven first downs, including five passes in a row. His two carries were pretty valuable, too: A three-yard run on fourth-and-1, and a 16-yard scramble for a touchdown on first-and-15. Despite McCoy's performances against the Steelers, Saints, and Patriots, Eric Mangini is refusing to name McCoy as the starter for next week's game against the Jets. Even for Mangini, that's an impressive job of ignoring reality.
8.
Matt Stafford DET
20/36
240
2
0
99
85
14
The old Darrelle Revis was back against Stafford; Calvin Johnson was shut down by Revis, and held to one catch for 13 yards on four targets. Perhaps as a result, the Jets were also able to take away the deep ball that the Lions offense, as the Lions were 0-for-6 on passes thrown 15 or more yards downfield (although they picked up a 27-yard DPI on a seventh throw). Stafford ended up having a good game thanks to 159 yards after catch, including an impressive 9.0 YAC average from Jahvid Best on his five targets.
9.
Brett Favre MIN
36/47
446
2
2
97
99
-2
Favre wasn't playing all that bad before the fourth quarter; although he threw two picks and took a couple of sacks, he also had a stretch where he went 12-of-14 for 135 yards. After having his pass to Jeff Dugan broken up on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter, though, Favre's consistent completions became consistent big plays. He finished the game 7-for-7 for 135 yards, with five first downs and a touchdown. Each of the passes went for 11 yards or more.
10.
Michael Vick PHI
17/29
218
1
0
91
85
6
I shudder to think how many sacks Kevin Kolb would have taken behind that line with Freeney and Mathis rushing; Vick's 32-yard scramble was breathtaking, of course, but he was able to extricate himself from Colts tacklers frequently enough to finish with just three sacks (for 11 yards) on 32 dropbacks. There were a couple of third-and-longs that ended with scrambles for one yard instead of sacks, but those are still positive plays from Vick.
11.
Drew Brees NO
27/42
253
2
1
90
90
0
Brees was 11-of-14 on first down, but only six of those completions were successes. He had completions for one, two (twice), three, and four yards. Of note: Brees targeted the left side of the field, where he went 12-of-16 for 148 yards, seven first downs, and two scores. That's manned by Richard Marshall. He was 11-of-18 for just 72 yards on throws to the right side of the field, where Chris Gamble usually operates.
12.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
31/51
299
1
2
83
77
6
10-of-13 on third down for 127 yards and seven conversions, including a nice 14-yard toss to Roscoe Parrish for a touchdown just before halftime. The change in his peripherals from a year ago are pretty remarkable: Fitzpatrick's completion percentage is up from 55.9 percent to 59.9 percent, his touchdown rate is up, his interception rate is down, and his sack rate has gone from 8.5 percent to 5.0 percent behind this offensive line. Has he suddenly developed into an average quarterback at 28? Is Chan Gailey the poor man's Norv Turner, developing mediocre quarterbacks on the East Coast? At the very least, Fitzpatrick is playing like he's part of the solution, not the problem.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Peyton Manning IND
31/52
294
1
2
81
81
0
Did not pick up a third down after the 17th minute of the game, probably because he only faced a conversion easier than third-and-10 once in seven opportunities. His best receiver of the day? Probably Donald Brown, who picked up 47 yards and three first downs on his three targets. It was a weirdly ineffectual game for Manning; take his 16 passes to Reggie Wayne, for example. 11 were completed, with five gaining first downs. The other throws weren't very useful -- a one-yard gain on first-and-10, or a six-yard pickup on second-and-16.
14.
Matt Schaub HOU
22/32
266
0
1
57
56
1
Andre Johnson giveth, Andre Johnson taketh away. Remember that miracle fourth down catch Johnson made against the Dolphins in Week 6 of the 2008 season, the one that eventually led to a touchdown and the team's first win of the year? The jump ball he came up with on fourth down against the Redskins earlier this year? If you do, it's impossible to get angry at Johnson for drop-kicking Schaub's final pass into the outstretched hands of Paul Oliver. What's even more shocking, though, is that Johnson was flat-out wide open. How do you end up with Andre Johnson running a dig route into a Hole in Zone with 90 seconds left in the game?
15.
Carson Palmer CIN
22/36
248
2
1
52
52
0
16.
Jay Cutler CHI
17/30
188
2
0
41
24
18
This is the closest thing Cutler will get to a true game situation without having a pass rush involved, and truthfully, it wasn't all that good. He had the ball knocked out of his hands for a stripsack, and he was just awful on first down, where he was 3-of-9 for 26 yards. Cutler's best work came on third down, where nine dropbacks yielded four first downs and two touchdowns. Cutler was facing the Bills pass defense, though. This should have been his biggest game of the year, and instead, he had an average day.
17.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
22/38
336
1
1
40
35
5
Sanchez had two aborted snaps and a fumble on a sack that depressed his numbers. He had an uneven day until his final three drives, in which he was 10-of-12 for 144 yards eight first downs. Afterwards, though, the announcers noted that Sanchez had "marched" the Jets down the field. His marching consisted of three checkdowns to LaDainian Tomlinson (traveling a combined two yards past the line of scrimmage in the air), a fourth checkdown to Shonn Greene for two yards, and an admittedly pass to Dustin Keller for 11 yards on third-and-9. Just as his drive against the Broncos was made by a penalty, the Lions gave Sanchez 15 yards with a late hit penalty on Tomlinson. So question, then: Should we be giving credit to Sanchez for taking what the defense is giving him and throwing simple, low-risk passes, or is it naive to compare Sanchez's two-minute drill to someone tossing the ball 15 yards downfield into tight windows? Or does that sort of two-minute drill even exist?
18.
Matt Cassel KC
20/35
217
2
1
40
41
-1
The struggles of Thomas Jones led the Chiefs to abandon the run and start tossing the ball around with Cassel. Against a Raiders defense that was without Nnamdi Asomugha, that wouldn't seem like the worst idea, but Matt Cassel was at quarterback. He missed Dwayne Bowe high. He missed Dwayne Bowe low. He missed Dwayne Bowe from side-to-side. It was the opposite of chemistry. He had a lone first down and a touchdown on 12 passes to Bowe; to everyone else, he was 15-of-23 for 153 yards, and while he had seven first downs and a touchdown on those throws, Cassel threw for just one first down in the second half. His ugly interception in the red zone on a throw to Tony Moeaki, combined with Jacoby Ford's kickoff return to open the second half, turned what could have been a comfortable 17-0 lead into a 10-7 game.
19.
Derek Anderson ARI
15/26
179
1
0
22
14
8
Anderson in the fourth quarter and overtime: 0-of-5, four sacks, -62 DYAR.
20.
Jason Campbell OAK
19/32
229
1
1
14
14
0
On the other hand, Campbell completed his final five attempts for 102 yards, including those two game-changing throws to Jacoby Ford. Of course, he probably deserves credit for about two-thirds of an interception on the first throw, but the second one was a beaut. The deep out to the sideline to pick up a first down to Johnnie Lee Higgins that started the stretch (on third-and-11, even) was also a rope. With that being said, on passes that weren't thrown to Ford, Campbell was 13-of-23 for 81 yards.
21.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
17/26
164
1
1
12
10
2
Left a touchdown on the table when he came up short on a throw to Mike Wallace, who had beat two Bengals defenders and had about a full yard on them. So later on, when Antwaan Randle El threw a pass to a double-covered Wallace in the end zone, of course Wallace slipped in front of Leon Hall to make the catch. Outcomes are awesome.
22.
Josh Freeman TB
11/22
189
2
2
7
-3
10
Freeman had an all-or-nothing day. He had completions of 43 and 58 yards and picked up a questionable 33-yard DPI. He was otherwise 9-of-20. On the bright side, he was able to keep drives going by picking up six of the eight third downs he was up against, but that just means he was 6-of-14 on first and second down.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Tony Pike CAR
6/12
47
0
0
-26
-26
0
24.
Charlie Whitehurst SEA
12/23
113
1
2
-60
-64
4
Did not have a gain of more than seven yards until the 6:50 mark of the second quarter, at which point the Giants were up 28-0.
25.
Chad Henne MIA
22/34
231
0
3
-65
-55
-10
Although one of his interceptions was a Hail Mary, Henne also had two aborted snaps. He actually completed his first eight attempts on first down and finished 11-of-14 there for the day, but that included completions for -4 yards, one yard, and three yards. I also suspect his day is a little underrated because he was playing a Ravens pass defense with Ed Reed, while the bulk of the opponent adjustments for the Ravens right now are considering how people did against the Ravens defense without Ed Reed.
26.
Jon Kitna DAL
19/30
183
1
2
-82
-82
0
Started 7-of-9, but that included an interception and just one first down. And then the sacks came. He ended up with four sacks and two fumbles, although the Cowboys recovered both. (Should have let the Packers recovered and saved their fumble luck for next year.) He was also able to pick up a few third downs, converting four of seven, but most of them came while his team was down four touchdowns.
27.
Jimmy Clausen CAR
8/18
47
0
1
-102
-107
6
Clausen dropped back 21 times and picked up two first downs, one of which was on a 20-yard DPI. He was sacked twice; if we use net yards and throw in the DPI, Clausen accrued all of 46 yards across those 21 chances, just under 2.2 yards per attempt. It's not often that your backup quarterback comes in and gets benched, but it's also hard to argue with the decision considering how bad Clausen played.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Arian Foster HOU
127
2
70
0
84
53
31
Foster's day would have looked even nicer with a third touchdown, but the Calvin Johnson Rule struck that third score from the books. Our statistics might not realize that Foster carelessly threw away a score that might have won his team the game, but the truth is that Foster was one of the reasons that the Texans were close to doing so. Three of his catches picked up first downs -- including a pair of third-and-9 conversions -- and nine of his carries resulted in either first downs or touchdowns. The other blemish on his record was a stuff on fourth-and-1 inside the red zone at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
2.
Adrian Peterson MIN
81
1
63
1
72
22
51
Didn't really contribute very much as a runner this week, with only 81 yards, three first downs, and a touchdown on 15 attempts. He was also a yard short on both his third down attempts. So instead, he did his work as a receiver: All four of his targets resulted in first downs, including a 12-yard touchdown and 37 yards after catch on a screen that pushed the Vikings' final drive in regulation forward.
3.
Peyton Hillis CLE
184
2
36
0
72
53
19
Sure, Hillis plays behind one of the league's quietly excellent offensive lines, but he's making Jamal Lewis' work from the beginning of last season look like chump change. Although he fumbled, Hillis did consistently good work; just one carry of 29 went for negative yardage. 15 of those 29 attempts resulted in successful plays, and he was 2-of-3 on third down while averaging better than five yards per carry on first down. He also picked up two more first downs in the passing game, both on third-and-3. His one carry inside the five resulted in a touchdown. The simplest explanation is this: Just about every time the Browns gave Peyton Hillis the ball, something pretty good happened. When you do that over 32 touches, you're going to be very valuable to your team.
4.
Ray Rice BAL
83
0
97
0
53
13
40
Although he picked up just three first downs on 22 carries, Rice had a 50 percent success rate. His long carry of the day was for just 12 yards, though, and he was stuffed for negative yardage on both his carries inside the Dolphins' 10-yard line. Like Peterson, then, the bulk of Rice's value came in the passing game. He had five different receptions for 12 yards or more, each of which picked up a first down. None traveled more than six yards past the line of scrimmage.
5.
Ahmad Bradshaw NYG
57
2
35
0
47
21
26
Bradshaw ran for touchdowns on his first two carries inside the five-yard line, although he was stuffed later on from the three. He only had two first downs on his other 16 attempts. It wasn't exactly a banner week for running the ball across the league. So Bradshaw, like Rice and Peterson, added some value in the passing game. The formerly stone-handed Bradshaw went 4-for-4 with three first downs and 35 yards.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Thomas Jones KC
35
0
0
0
-40
-40
0
Let's make this very clear: Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are not an equal pairing. They should not be billed as partners. In their relationship, Charles is Simon and Jones is Garfunkel. Charles is Lou Barlow and Jones is Eric Gaffney. Charles is Will Smith and Jones is DJ Jazzy Jeff. (Fill in your favorite lopsided songwriting partnership here.) The case for Jones is that he's a stable veteran that everyone likes who doesn't make mistakes. Although he fumbled against the Raiders, he doesn't cough up the ball very frequently. Fair enough. On the other hand, Jones had 19 carries, and nine -- nearly half -- went for no gain or a loss. That includes both his carries on third-and-1; so much for being a good short yardage back. He averaged just over two yards a pop on first down, and as was the case in New York, he doesn't contribute very much as a receiver.

On the other hand, Jamaal Charles touched the ball 15 times. Only once did his play result in negative yardage. 16.7 percent of Jones' carries on the year have resulted in no gain or a loss; Charles is at just 11.5 percent. Jones has a 39 percent Success Rate for his carries this year, while Charles is at a robust 53 percent. The team has eight carries of 20 yards or more, and five are of Charles' authoring. There is something to be said for keeping Charles fresh, but the Chiefs are costing themselves points by giving Thomas Jones a 55 percent split of the Jones-Charles carries. It may very well have cost them their game against the Raiders on Sunday. Whether by hook, crook, injury, industrial accident, spite, or whatever other method the Chiefs organization might wish to use to justify switching the workload, the Chiefs need to free Jamaal Charles.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Terrell Owens CIN
10
14
141
14.1
2
86
Some of this is because Chad Ochocinco is getting a steady diet of double coverage (as the MNF telecast pointed out last night), but this is still a remarkable season for T.O. His half-season numbers -- 55 catches for 770 yards and seven touchdowns -- are just about what he did last year in Buffalo, when he had a 55-829-5 line. He's averaging just under 100 yards per game, a figure he's only hit twice in his career, most recently in his abbreviated 2005 season. His DVOA and DYAR aren't impressive because he's being thrown so many passes, but who would have thought he would be relevant enough to lead the league in targets?
2.
DeSean Jackson PHI
7
8
109
15.6
1
63
Speculation was that Jackson's influence in the locker room led to the initial switch to Michael Vick at quarterback; if so, based on this performance, Jackson's probably one of the league's better general managers. He caught his first seven targets for five first downs and a touchdown, highlighted by a 58-yard strike in the shadow of his own end zone on third down. The only downside was when Jackson attempted to take on the entire world and ended up with -7 yards after catch on a quick hitch inside the red zone.
3.
Nate Burleson DET
7
8
113
16.1
1
63
It looked like the bulk of Burleson's work came in the slot against an overmatched Drew Coleman, which has always been the ideal place to use Burleson. In the slot, that is. Although I guess a full season against Drew Coleman would be good for him. On Burleson's biggest play, a 36-yard completion early in the fourth quarter, he arguably pushed off Coleman to get open for a seven-yard catch and ran for 29 yards afterwards. Coleman then managed to pull off the wildly delicate combination of complaining to the ref that he was pushed while he was chasing after Burleson. If this sounds unimpressive, try this yourself; next time you go to the park with your dog, throw a tennis ball and then chase after it with the dog while you yell over your shoulder at your girlfriend. Fortunately, I don't have to rate Drew Coleman's performance on the play, because I would find it very hard to give him anything but plaudits.
4.
Seyi Ajirotutu SD
4
5
111
27.8
2
62
Yes, his name is hard to say. It's low-hanging fruit. Ajirotutu is yet another in the assembly line of big and tall receivers that the Chargers possess. At 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, he fits right in with Malcom Floyd (6-foot-5), Legedu Naanee (6-foot-2), and Vincent Jackson (6-foot-5), and while he may not have the receiving chops or freaky athleticism that those guys have, he's enough of an athlete for Philip Rivers to loft up passes to. He might lose his playing time after those three players return from injury and suspension, but Ajirotutu is someone to keep on the backburner if the Chargers end up letting Jackson leave in free agency. One note: He hit the jackpot by getting significant playing time against the Texans, who have the league's worst pass defense.
5.
Jacoby Ford OAK
6
9
148
24.7
0
52
In a factory of speed receivers that never developed, Ford actually looked for one week like the guy who might be on his way to doing so. The Raiders' fourth-round pick out of Clemson took over in the fourth quarter, with four catches for 85 yards and four first downs, highlighted by his snatch of a game-winning interception away from the clutches of Brandon Flowers. His route to set up the eventual game-winning field goal might have even better, a perfect deep post against Flowers that allowed Ford to take advantage of his track star speed. Our stats don't even include the second half kickoff he took to the house. This Raiders team might be running a little hot, but guys like Ford and Matt Shaughnessy will end up being the key contributors to the next great Raiders team.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Chad Johnson CIN
1
7
15
15.0
0
-36
Here's the flip side of those double-teams. Ochocinco was 0-of-6 in the first 59 minutes of the game, finally picking up a 15-yard reception with 50 seconds left to go. And even that was on second-and-20.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 09 Nov 2010

113 comments, Last at 12 Nov 2010, 3:12pm by ChaosOnion

Comments

1
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:23pm

Curious why Vick's rushing DYAR is so low. He had two big gains for first down and a TD sneak - is it the sacks counting against his rushing DYAR? Or was it the boom-and-bust nature of his runs, with I imagine 4 of them not doing much? (also, I watched the game and Vick had all day in the pocket on most attempts, the Colts were hardly blowing up the line.)

Also, does DeSean Jackson's DYAR include his rushing attempts?

2
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:25pm

Yes, although it is not listed in the table above, WR DYAR in Quick Reads does include rushing attempts.

Sacks count in passing DYAR, not rushing DYAR. Vick had a failed QB sneak on first down before the one that made it in on second. He also had scrambles for 1 and 3 yards on third-and-long.

3
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:29pm

Cool. Also, if you ever get around to figuring out how to account for tipped interceptions not counting against a QB, you should also make sure to "charge" dropped INT's to the QB - Vick had at least 3 passes that I still can't believe weren't hauled in by Colts' DB's...

13
by stay firm (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:58pm

DBs dropping passes? I for one am shocked.

17
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:02pm

Yeah, but these were surprising drops even by "DB's can't catch" standards. Although one might have been an LB - can't remember exactly...

24
by Anonymous21 (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:18pm

i'm sure you are including the one where the LB was diving across the middle, and the ball was a foot off the ground as " should have been intercepted" lol be real please

26
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:22pm

I am indeed - a pass bouncing off a guys hands and chest is something that should be caught most of the time. I think Vick is playing well for the Eagles and is much improved from his time in Atlanta... but any Eagles fan should be nervous about those dropped INT's on Sunday. There were two in rapid succession in the 4th Q that easily could have cost them the game... lulz indeed.

83
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 12:27am

Vick currently has zero interceptions.

Zero. Do I think he's gotten lucky with drops by DBs? Abso-freaking-lutely. But seriously, even if DBs can start getting their hands on those balls, it'll just raise his interception rate to "low."

92
by chemical burn :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 11:28am

I don't disagree... but don't astoundingly low INT rates set off some alarm bells as far as sustainability? I just get flashbacks to everyone talking about David Garrard's famous 3 INT season and how he'd be fine even if he started throwing more picks because it was such low, low rate to begin with. Not that I've followed Garrard's career so closely, but he definitely looks a lot more mediocre (and has attendant DVOA) when he throws 10 picks a season instead of 3...

99
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:22pm

Garrard's 10-pick seasons are still crazy low: he attempted 560-580 passes as opposed to 3-picks in 350 attempts. Statistically those are pretty comparable.

His pick numbers didn't increase nearly as much as his yards/attempt decreased.
2007: 6.97 yd/att, 0.8+/-~0.5% INT%
2008: 5.93 yd/att, 1.7+/-~0.5% INT%
2009: 6.10 yd/att, 1.8+/-~0.5% INT%

and in any case, I think calling Garrard "mediocre" is just bizarre - I think Jack Del Rio's nuts. Garrard's DVOA in 2008 was pretty good. It was average in 2009, so if that's his floor, he's an above average QB.

But Garrard's DVOA has been tracking the offensive line's pass protection (in adjusted sack rate): it was good in 2007, mediocre in 2008, and bad in 2009 (6.9%/7.9%/8.5%). Correcting for sack rate, I think Garrard's probably been pretty similar (just above average) all three years.

Vick's got a high DVOA, high yards/attempt, low interception rate, and his offensive line is pretty terrible (7.6% sack rate). His interceptions coming up wouldn't really knock him down from a "very good-to-elite QB" expectation.

105
by chemical burn :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 3:03pm

His DVOA is

2010 #20
2009 #23
2008 #15
2007 #3 (the 3 INT season)

Am I missing something here? #15 in the league at 11% DVOA is "pretty good?" Maybe I have a more elastic definition of "mediocre" and you have a more elastic definition of "pretty good." But Vick dropping down to 11%/#15DVOA this year would be exactly the kind of collapse into mediocrity that I would not want to happen (I don't want him playing at the level of Shaun Hill & Josh Freeman.)

And ranked #23 with .1% DVOA in 2009 is "average?" Well, maybe in the sense that the average NFL QB isn't very good.

Anyhoo, opening the whole sack-rate discussion is a big can of worms because of fault/blame issues - but my point is made: he looked great with a crazy low number of INT's and significantly less impressive with only a slight uptick...

109
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Thu, 11/11/2010 - 12:40am

Am I missing something here? #15 in the league at 11% DVOA is "pretty good?

Yup. First, he was ranked 14th in DYAR - you expect production to go down with usage, so you do want a cumulative stat. So yeah, slightly above average.

Anyhoo, opening the whole sack-rate discussion is a big can of worms

No it's not: Garrard had his best season with a low sack rate. That could be expected to go down with a high sack rate - QB DVOA has a strong negative correlation with sack rate (with the exception of Ben Roethlisberger, who is a ludicrous outlier) - put the blame wherever you want. The point is that Garrard could've been expected to decrease if his team's sack rate went up.

But anyway, the "can of worms" thing is silly - if you correlate sack rate and QB DVOA, there's a decent negative correlation. Undo it, and Garrard's DVOA is pretty consistent. Makes more sense to claim that Garrard's performance is consistent, and his OL got worse.

but my point is made: he looked great with a crazy low number of INT's and significantly less impressive with only a slight uptick...

What?? His interception numbers didn't change - not statistically. Yards/attempt and sack rate did. That's what caused the "significantly less impressive" part. Not the "slight uptick" (which wasn't even statistically significant).

112
by chemical burn :: Thu, 11/11/2010 - 3:10pm

It's a can of worms in the sense of there isn't any evidence that an increase in sack rate is necessarily the result of poor line play. Sure, that's intuitive, but as we all know an indecisive QB (perhaps one who is now throwing more INT's per game and worried about making mistakes) can lead to an increase in sacks. So, I think it's fair to say that Garrard's increased sack rate and worse DVOA COULD be placed on Garrard's shoulders just as much as the line. The case if even cloudier because FO has shown that "running" QB's like Garrard have a tendency to take a higher number of sacks in general - it makes sense that as he dances around more trying to figure out what to do with the ball that his sack rate goes up. Finally, we haven't even addressed the running game or quality of his WR/TE's which if they got worse, that would cause his numbers to go down across the board and potentially increase his sack rate. Now, if you want to go through all of those numbers and get me an answer, that's fine - but that's exactly the can of worms in which I'm not interested in opening. You can't simply pull apart the elements and place blame clearly on one unit, especially if you want to absolve mediocrity for 2 and a half seasons and praise some tenuous notion of true ability for 1 season.

Also, it's funny that you talk about "consistent" like 1 season of above average play is somehow a better indicator of "true ability" than 2 and a half seasons of mediocre play. He has put up consistent DVOA: middling, definitely not Top-12, DVOA. The ONE SEASON of good play is the oddity, not vice versa.

(Just glanced at their rushing offense DVOA for the seasons in question and it has fluctuated wildly, which seems significant considering how little the passing DVOA has fluctuated. At very least, what these numbers are telling us about the line play IS NOT CLEAR and anything you're throwing out is speculative, even if with a few hastily run stats to back it up.)

86
by onetime91 :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 4:02am

Chemical burn - There weren't *any* close interceptions thrown by Vick on Sunday. The one that appeared to be a close one was only close because it was a screen play where the running back was held. McCoy would have been there to catch it but he was held as Vick threw it and the flag was thrown. So even if the defensive player (Gary Brackett) caught it, then it wouldn't have counted anyway because of the penalty. There was no other close call from Vick. Thanks.

94
by chemical burn :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 11:32am

Anytime a ball hits a receiver's chest AND hands (which happened no less than 3 times), that is a ball that could have very easily been picked off. Sure, there were a couple diving attempts and they might have been somewhat tough catches... but they were bad decisions thrown right at the coverage - can you not see that, regardless of how "close" they came or whether they "should have" been picked off?

And what's especially worrying is that he was most cavalier with the ball in the 4th quarter when a pick really could have turned the tide. Listen, I don't want to jinx the guy and I'd love to be proven wrong, but you can't watch that game as an Eagles fan and not think "Jeepers creepers, Vick, be careful with the ball!"

90
by onetime91 :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 4:19am

"Vick had at least 3 passes that I still can't believe weren't hauled in by Colts' DB's..."

I can't believe a person that watched the game wrote this because there weren't ANY close call interceptions from Vick. I described the one close call that appeared that way because of a penalty in my other response to your other post. Is a ball glancing a defender's fingertips (while his body is outstretched as far as physically possible) an interception that should have been caught to the point that you can't believe it wasn't?

I'm thinking you had a few glasses of Johnnie Walker on Sunday.

95
by chemical burn :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 11:34am

Weren't ANY? Come on, dude. The ball bounced off of DB/LB's on several occasions. You can't dispute that. It happened. Whether or not you think they should have been intercepted, the ball hit Colts' players in the hands and chest. They were ill-advised throws that the coverage got their mitts on - if you're cool with him making those throws then you don't care about the Eagles winning.

4
by JasonK :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:33pm

"[Eli] could have padded his stats further, but the Giants ran 16 plays from scrimmage in the fourth quarter and handed off on each one."

Also preventing further stat-padding: Eli wasn't in the game. Sage Rosenfels' expert hand-off technique was responsible for most of the Giants' 4th-quarter offense.

79
by Rich in Atlanta (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 9:54pm

Rosenfels' hand-offs are a work of art. Every young QB in the league should be lucky enough to find himself backing up Rosenfels when he's backing up some other starting QB just so they could have the opportunity to study his hand-off technique.

We got stats this week on games in which the QB threw exactly 34 passes; I'd like to know when was the last time that any QB executed exactly 16 consecutive perfect hand-offs on a single drive. Pretty impressive.

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:43pm

In my continuing effort to demand that people labor in pursuit of my entertainment, I'll suggest that charters measure the frequency with which running backs whiff on blocks, and thus get their quarterbacks clobbered. Adrian Peterson is overrated, and he will be until he accepts the fact that pass blocking, and not just the fun stuff, is part of his professional responsibilities. Every week, a play gets blown up, and Ol' Stubbleface gets drilled, when Peterson half-asses it on a blocking assignment. Stubbleface seems to be rushing his throws when Peterson has a blocking assignment on his blind side, because he knows there is a pretty good chance that a defender is rushing pretty much unimpeded.

6
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:49pm

Don't they chart blown blocks even for the RB's?

8
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:50pm

Hey, I'm not only lazy, I'm ignorant, too!

93
by Tri Shanku (not verified) :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 11:29am

We have a third round pick that we want to trade in order to get you.

8
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:50pm

Hey, I'm not only lazy, I'm ignorant, too!

11
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:54pm

Hey, I'm lazy, too - I was genuinely asking the question and not bothering to look up the answer! Someone will correct us!

15
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:59pm

And redundant!

7
by P (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:49pm

I agree, although his improved pass-catching abilities mean he's not a complete disaster on third and long. If he can improve that, maybe his pass blocking will be acceptable next year. I don't think Toby Gerhart is the answer to any question a Vikings fan wants asked.

12
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:57pm

Oh, Gerhart is never going to be a star, but I'm not going to be too hard on a guy for not being an outstanding pass blocker by his eighth game, and if Gerhart does become an outstanding pass blocker, he has enough other skills to have a long, productive NFL career, by running back standards. I suspect Gerhart is smart enough to understand this. What drives me nuts about Peterson is that he just doesn't seem to care about his blocking, and thus there is no improvement.

20
by andrew :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:07pm

Maybe he understands if the quarterback gets killed throwing they will be forced to hand him the ball more.

22
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:15pm

The conniving bastard!

31
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:40pm

I'm not sure it's about not caring. He seems to get himself completely out of position by overdoing the fake in play action. If you watch the replays you can often see him making huge efforts to get back to the block. In the GB game he made a huge block on the Shiancoe TD that was overturned. He had to make a Herculean effort to make that block.

He also just doesn't seem to have great football instincts. I recall Favre commenting last year how Harvin and Rice had such great instincts and seemed to know the game so well for such young players. I think Peterson just doesn't have those skills.

Tomlinson would have been a big signing for the Vikes.

32
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:47pm

Strange that he seems to only make improvement in areas that are typically considered to be fun by people who play running back. Caring isn't something that is demonstrated on Sunday. It is demonstrated in August, when there aren't any crowds cheering, when one practices play-action, and being in the right position to make the block.

36
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:08pm

I'm not sure it's that simple. If it was just about effort why are so many hard working backup running backs not able to block. Guys like Young, who play decently on special teams, are very willing to do anything to get out there on the field, but they can't pass block either.

Hopefully Gerhart develops as a good player in that roll. He's certainly got the requisite skills to be very good at it as he's big and mobile. I severely doubt Peterson will ever be a good blocker, regardless of the reasons why.

46
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:33pm

Well, I do have the belief that Peterson is a much better athlete than Young. Put it this way; I strongly suspect that if Peterson were informed that he only could gain his next signing bonus if he improved enough to be an average pass blocker, he'd become an average pass blocker.

54
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:04pm

I suspect you're right.

Regarding the Vikings and their chances this year. They've responded very well to low points in their seasons under Childress.

In 2007 they lost 34-0 to GB to fall to 3-6. They lost Peterson that week as well. They responded with a 5 game winning streak before losing the last two and missing the playoffs.

In 2009 they lost 3 of 4 to Arz, Car and Chic. They were horrible against Arz and Car and half of the Chic game. Childress and Favre were fueding. But in the second half of the Chicago game things just changed. Favre and the offence was brilliant scoring 30 second half pts and almost pulling the game out. They played brilliantly in their next two games. Favre in particular caught fire.

Hopefully the Arizona game proves to be a similar turning point.

57
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:25pm

I have no expectations, negative or positive, because I can't get a handle on this team, at all. I think Favre could catch fire, if the pass blocking, linemen and running backs, would get better. Then you see Mckinnie just whiff on the goal line, getting Favre drilled, resulting in an int, and it seems really optimistic to think it would happen. Sullivan still tends to pushed around. Hell, if the guys on defense would just catch the passes that hit them in the chest, they would likely have five or more wins by now, but they have been dropping those passes forever. Pat Williams looks done, but overall the defense has been pretty good at times, especially given that five of eight games have been on the road. Maybe Jared Allen just needs to play less minutes to stay fresh, but maybe he just is having a bad year.

I have no idea what will happen. It doesn't seem like Childress is widely respected in the locker room, but this team, given it's veterans, likely has a lesser need to repect the head coach, than the typical NFL team, now that Moss is gone. If they win in Soldier Field, where they typically have a tough time in any year, that'll be a good sign. Maybe this is a year where 9-7 gets a Wild Card spot, but even going 6-2 the rest of the way is going to be a difficult test.

59
by ammek :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:43pm

Minnesota is #1 in (smallest) variance.

If the Vikings confuse you, how must you feel about the wacky Raiders??

Me? I've just seen three Packers games without a flood of penalties or any blatant special teams gaffes. So I don't have a handle on anything.

64
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:57pm

If it makes any sense, there's variance from game to game, and then there's variance from possession to possession, or even play to play. The Vikings intersperse the sublime with the awful with great randomness.

60
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:45pm

they've played 4 on the road and 4 at home. But those 4 on the road were against 4 of the top teams in the league (NO, NYJ, GB, NE).

39
by Independent George :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:15pm

Goddamnit Donald!!!

10
by Toast Patterson (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:54pm

A Lou Barlow reference! Sebadoh rules!

14
by Boots Day (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:58pm

Five QBs named "Matt" started on Sunday (including Matt Moore, not pictured above). That has to be a record.

18
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:02pm

Hell, the Cowboys have got nuthin' better to do; surely they can find some guy named Matt Matthews who played qb in high school, and have him get killed for money.

21
by andrew :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:10pm

Matt Lienart, where are you?

63
by SFC B (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:56pm

But he wouldn't increase the number of Matts as he's be replacing one.

76
by ammek :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 8:17pm

Hasselbeck could have made it six.

The only other five I can think of is from 1977: Joes Namath, Reed, Theismann, Pisarcik and Ferguson. (Not yet Montana.)

16
by ChaosOnion :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 1:59pm

Last night was the first time I got to see CIN play this season. With Terrel Owens, Chad Ochocinqo and Cedric Benson and a decent O-line, why are is CIN 2-6? I had a sneaky suspicion it was Carson Palmer. I cannot say there is one thing he is bad at, but there were little things here and there that mounted up. He had moments of bad decision making, poor accuracy, poor communication with his receiver and cannot scramble. Maybe it was highlighted by playing opposite Roethlisberger, but Palmer cannot extend a play. Was he mobile before his ACL tear? He reminds me of Drew Bledsoe.

Would CIN have been better off keeping Fitzpatrick a couple years ago? He is having success throwing to Evans, Parrish and Johnson and can move in the pocket. Did he show anything to indicate they should go with Fitzpatrick over Palmer?

33
by Spielman :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:48pm

Heck, I thought what Fitzpatrick showed in Cincinnati indicated that the Bills weren't very smart for picking him up. His play this year has astounded me.

40
by Pass to Set Up ... :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:16pm

Protip: their o-line isn't decent

113
by ChaosOnion :: Fri, 11/12/2010 - 3:12pm

Point taken.

45
by WCfan (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:31pm

Under the heading of completely shallow off the top of my head 'analysis' I've always though Palmer was never the same once he had ligament and tendon damage in his arm.

53
by Joe T. :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:00pm

It looks to me sometimes that his passes do not have NFL-velocity, and I'm not talking about situations where he is intentionally putting "touch" on the ball.

62
by Bobby Wommack (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:56pm

I've watched a good amount of Palmer this year and the thing that sticks out to me is how slow his reads are. He's late on alot of reads. He's not making decisions quick enough and even when people are open, he's about 2 to 3 seconds too late. I've seen it alot from him.

58
by ammek :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:35pm

It would be interesting to read Doug / Greg Cosell on what's happened to Palmer.

19
by Keasley (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:06pm

If Jamaal Charles is Lou Barlow and Thomas Jones is Eric Gaffney, who is J. Mascis?

34
by Toast Patterson (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:57pm

Larry Johnson?

42
by RowdyRoddyPiper :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:24pm

You got your Dinosaur Jr in my Sebadoh. In keeping it to one band, LJ is Gaffney, Charles is Barlow and Jones is Donald Fay though I think that misses the original analogy.

81
by Bad Doctor :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 10:08pm

But what of Jason Loewenstein? He had some big contributions in the Bakesale/Harmacy days ... perhaps Dexter McCluster is Loewenstein.

91
by Keasley (not verified) :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 8:22am

I knew that the original reference was to Sebadoh and and Dino Jr is another band, but it just seemed like using Barlow as the alpha songwriter example was strange considering he's just as well known as the second banana to J Mascis in Dinosaur Jr.

98
by buzzorhowl (not verified) :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:13pm

Actually, before the Dino Jr. reunion, Lou wrote all of two songs for that band (only one of which was a real Dino Jr song--the other was basically proto-Sebadoh). All the songs he used to sing on the first three albums were written by J. So yeah, his work as a songwriter in Dino Jr. barely counts.

And by the way, to whoever mentioned it above--Eric Gaffney's replacement in Sebadoh was Bob Fay. I'm assuming you confused him with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan.

P.S. I think Eric Gaffney's songs in Sebadoh were pretty awesome. Especially his contributions to Sebadoh III. "Scars, Four Eyes" is one of the best Sebadoh songs ever.

23
by young curmudgeon :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:16pm

Didn't Johnson legally change his name to Ochocinco? If so, it seems petty to use the old one, unless you're just forgetful. If the latter, I apologize, because I'm very absent-minded, hence sometimes forgetful, myself.

35
by andrew :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:04pm

You don't want to sully the Ochocinco name when its for something bad. It should only be used when he's in the top 5, not worst of the week.

87
by Bobman :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 4:05am

Ah, so his name changed along with a set of usage rules. Sweet.

When I do something poorly, call me Johnson. If it's praise, the name's Ochocinco. I tried to get my parents to do that when I was a kid--"Mom, if I screw up and you yell at me, call me Rick (my brother's name). If I do well, call me Bob." Didn't work for me, but I guess Chad worked out the kinks in that system.

25
by theosu :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:22pm

I would have gone for the easy way out and said Jamaal Charles is Shawn Michaels and Thomas Jones is Marty Janetty.

28
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:29pm

Or take the way-back machine to 2005 so Jamaal Charles can be Marion Barber while Thomas Jones can be his brother Julius.

27
by Failgoat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:26pm

Point taken RE: Sanchez's checkdowns/the Tomlinson penalty on the Jets' last drive in regulation, but I think he deserves a lot of credit for the prior drive (for a TD) that took only 1:26 off the clock and included a couple of big throws, including an 18-yarder to Cotchery and a beautiful 25-yarder to Keller that set them up at the 6.

38
by jfsh :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:13pm

Sanchez really seems like a "rhythm" quarterback to me - when he's in rhythm, he can make some really nice passes and put the defense back on their heels a bit. Maybe the 2 minute offense is a good fit for him in that sense. When he's not in rhythm (for whatever reason), he gets tentative and inaccurate. I've heard that he gets really "down" when he plays badly, so maybe it's just a confidence thing.

Of course, every quarterback goes hot and cold, but with Sanchez you can just read it from his body language.

43
by Failgoat (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:25pm

Agreed. He plays his best when he's allowed to be instinctive rather than cerebral. IIRC, the Jets removed a lot of the motion from Schottenheimer's offense because it just doesn't suit his abilities. We may see more no-huddle from the Jets in the coming weeks because Sanchez seems considerably more decisive in those situations.

66
by BJR :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:08pm

I've seen the same thing written about Alex Smith several times this season as well.

50
by are-tee :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:50pm

Yes, I think most of the praise Sanchez got from the media was driven by the touchdown drive, which Barnwell conveniently chose to ignore.

67
by Milkman (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:33pm

Not to mention the incredibly short OT drive, with that beautiful slant to Holmes that allowed him to break off 30 or so YAC.

It's also a bit pretty bringing up the Denver drive. One thing that always seems to get lost in the conversation that game engendered around DPI and the "luckiness" of the Jets winning in that way is that Holmes was going to catch ball on that play. The DPI in that case very much prevented him from making a catch--he was right in position, his face mask got pulled, and he missed the catch.

29
by Sean D (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:29pm

Totally agree with the call for more Jamaal Charles usage, but at least in the Raiders game he was hampered by a knee injury. To his credit he was out there after it occurred, but I'm sure that just added fuel to the Thomas Jones fire.

30
by jonnyblazin :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 2:34pm

Error: Chad Henne did not throw a hail mary. Not sure where you got that one.

37
by Nathan :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:08pm

im a pats fan and brady posting the 6th best qb performance of the week does not pass the eyeball test to me...

49
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:38pm

Agreed. Barely passing at 50%, routinely fired short passes at receivers' toes and other passes four feet over receivers' heads....I don't get it. If he was good on 3rd and 4th down, he was beyond poor on first and second....or as I used to call it, the Jake Plummer effect in miniature.

72
by Pass to Set Up ... :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:57pm

From your description it sounds like he was channeling McNabb more than anything else

101
by dryheat :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:26pm

Well, there was a Jake Plummer phenomenon in Arizona, where he would play so badly in the first half the Cards would be down by 17. And he led several 4th quarter comebacks to win. The press called him "Captain Comeback" or some such nonsense and praised all those come-from-behind wins and near-wins, while ignoring Plummers total ineptitude in the first half which made those 2nd half heroics necessary.

So, on a micro-level, Brady had some of his best throws on third and long, which the formula likes, but he was terribly inaccurate on first and second down passing plays, constantly putting the Patriots in those third down positions.

41
by Cliff Claven (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:18pm

I think serious music heads consider Jazzy Jeff to be the more talented, if less heralded, musician of that duo. Now, if fame is the medium, or acting ability or wife hotness, the results might be different.

48
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:33pm

Yeah he was pretty unimpressive on Fresh Prince ;o) Has produced some good stuff though.

44
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:26pm

Throwing ints kills you in this rating system.

Rivers go 17/23 for 295 with 4 TDs and 1 ints 144 Pass DYAR
Matt Ryan 24/36 for 235 with 1 TD and 0 ints 143 DYAR

I didn't see either game - but I suspect if I did it would Rivers that impressed me more.

47
by RowdyRoddyPiper :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:33pm

It could also be that River's put his stats up against the Texans, sporting an impressive 40.6% pass defense DVOA versus Ryan facing the borderline competent Tampa Bay and their -1.2% pass defense DVOA.

68
by Geo B :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:33pm

I have been ragging on Rivers on here this year, so I am here to say he looked pretty good against the Texans secondary-like substance. Then again he was using receiver like substances. Are SD's backups that good or are the Texans' DB's that bad?

Steeler fan trapped in Houston!
Six Time SB Champs! ;-)

80
by tally :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 9:56pm

Are the SD backups any good?

Let's put it this way. Besides Rivers not having his top five receivers from last year (Jackson, Gates, Floyd, Nannee, Davis), remember that WR who fumbled without being touched against New England by celebrating early on his first NFL reception? The guys Rivers is throwing to right now are deeper in the depth chart than he was.

51
by Rocco :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:50pm

It's probably got more to do with the Bucs having a secondary while Houston has a secondary-like substance.

52
by Joel (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 3:52pm

I guess it's sound to point out Brady's lack of good receiver targets when talking exclusively about his individual performance, but overall it seems like a case of "you reap what you sow". What exactly were people expecting the Pats passing game to look like after trading away Moss?

88
by Bobman :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 4:09am

The succinct answer is that Pats fans mostly claim that Moss sucked this year and that removing him was actually removing a drag on the team, a sea anchor, a negative. Ergo, addition by subtraction.

55
by Jimbo Jones (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:12pm

"I also suspect Henne's day is a little underrated because he was playing a Ravens pass defense with Ed Reed, while the bulk of the opponent adjustments for the Ravens right now are considering how people did against the Ravens defense without Ed Reed."

6 games without Reed, Ravens pass D allowed 176 yards per game
2 games with Reed, Ravens pass D has allowed 295 yards per game

Granted Reed has had 3 INTs in 2 games, after the entire Baltimore secondary had only 1 through 6 games, but his return hasn't corresponded to shutting down opposing passing attacks.

71
by Kal :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:49pm

yards are not the same as success. This site is all about that.

56
by jtduffin :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:20pm

I thought at first that this first sentence was written tongue-in-cheek, but then the rest of it made it seem otherwise:

"Adrian Peterson: Didn't really contribute very much as a runner this week, with only 81 yards, three first downs, and a touchdown on 15 attempts. He was also a yard short on both his third down attempts. So instead, he did his work as a receiver: All four of his targets resulted in first downs, including a 12-yard touchdown and 37 yards after catch on a screen that pushed the Vikings' final drive in regulation forward."

81 yards on 15 attempts was 5.4 YPC, right? Certainly 3 first downs in 15 attempts doesn't seem great, but a TD on 15 attempts seems fine. It does sound like he contributed MORE successful plays as a receiver, and didn't fail on any third downs receiving, but the stats & writeup don't seem to jibe with "didn't really contribute very much as a runner this week" when he had 22 DYAR rushing - more than 2 of the other 4 top-5 RBs.

61
by milo :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 4:47pm

In the DVOA Era, only twice have passers thrown 34 attempts in a game and completed more than 27 of those passes: Peyton Manning did it against the Jaguars in 2008, and Tom Brady did it in the blowout of the Titans last year for the Patriots.

Last February there was a game where the QB was 32 of 39. Five more attempts, five more completions. You were probably getting your wisdom teeth pulled, finding that more enjoyable than watching the Saints.

75
by ammek :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 8:04pm

It's not very clear — but hey, Bill has to write 40 of these captions a week, and there isn't always much to say — but I think the figures refer to QBs who've thrown exactly 34 passes in a game: not more, not less.

I don't get the insult. Are you saying FO has anti-Saints bias? Don't you remember DrewBrees4MVP?

77
by milo :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 8:31pm

Nutpicking. Oy.

89
by Bobman :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 4:12am

Is that a term I just don't get, or an utterly awesome (and painful sounding) typo???

"Honey, I'll wipe off the tooth paste cap. Will you stop nutpicking for Pete's sake."

65
by Micranot (not verified) :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:02pm

Error: Least valuable wide receiver or tight end has incorrect last name listed.

:D

69
by BJR :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:33pm

What contributed nicely towards Flacco's and Rice's big days was some abysmal Miami tackling. Numerous screens and dumpoffs that should have been stopped near the line went for 8/10 yards, and a handful went for huge gains. Willis McGahee also benefitted. I've not watched much Miami this year, so I don't know whether this has been a problem all year?

Still, Baltimore are coming together nicely offensively. Stiff test in Atlanta on Thursday off a short week.

70
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 5:43pm

You can't see it on here, but don't look now: Vick is #5 in DVOA for the season... Combine that with being the second most productive QB runner in DYAR (although 8th in DVOA) and that's starting to resemble a really good QB...

The only QB's ahead of him in DVOA? Rivers, Manning, Brady and Roethlisberger...

73
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 7:56pm

more evidence that the team makes the QB more than the QB makes the team.

100
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:25pm

I dunno, we've got plenty of evidence that Reid and the Eagles coaching staff is truckloads better than Mora Jr. and Atlanta was. Vick was a promising passer back in 2002, so who knows - it could've just been bad coaching.

74
by ammek :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 8:00pm

Vick has played very well, but part of the exceptional DVOA is the somewhat flukey fact that he hasn't thrown an interception. As Mark Sanchez has shown, that can change quickly.

78
by chemical burn :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 9:19pm

Agreed on both counts - although, I would say the coach makes the QB more than the team makes the QB. But, really, go back and look at his DVOA in Atlanta. This is night and day.

But, yeah, as I pointed out earlier in this comment section, Vick has gotten away with a couple as far as INT's go. Still, it might no be a coincidence that Reid's QB are always below average as far as turning the ball over with INT's. Just look at McNabb this year - his historically low INT percentage is suddenly a distant memory. Not just that but he's throwing types of INT's on routes and whatnot that he just never threw before...

102
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:32pm

He's got 7 INTs (by FO) on ~300 attempts. That's 1 INT every ~43 attempts, or an interception rate of 2.3+/-0.9%. His career average in Philly was 2.1+/-0.2%. (And it's not really biased by early-career results: his last-5 year average was 2.0+/-0.3%.

Qualitatively, maybe, but by the numbers his interception rate's exactly the same.

104
by chemical burn :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:59pm

That's interesting, my subjective impression was that he throwing a lot more INT's this year - you're probably right in that he's just thrown more UGLY interceptions... It's still strange to see him with a 1:1 INT to TD ratio...

106
by AudacityOfHoops :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 3:05pm

Where are your INT rate error bars coming from?

110
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Thu, 11/11/2010 - 2:33am

Standard deviation for a binomial process is sqrt(# of counts*(1-(# of counts/# of trials)). So if you have 7 INTs on 300 attempts, your expectation would be that repeating that experiment would give a distribution with a width of 2.6 INTs. Converting both to percentages, it's 2.3+/-0.9%.

111
by AudacityOfHoops :: Thu, 11/11/2010 - 1:09pm

Ah, that is a formula I need to remember. Thanks.

82
by Jeff Fogle :: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 11:50pm

Was just watching the Oakland/KC replay on NFL Network Tuesday Night. Charles was limping badly after a play early in the 3rd quarter, but did come back after that to play some more. Tough kid (will turn 24 in December).

Googled just to see if there were notes about playing with an injury, and saw this:

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playerbreakingnews.asp?spor...

Haley was reacting in game to "physical problems" for Charles.

Plus, we're talking about a 23-year old 199 pound guy sharing the load with a 212 pound 32-year old try in hopes of both making it through the season relatively unscathed. The work load is close to 50/50 when you count passes. This doesn't seem unreasonable at all. Use Charles for speed plays that have big play potential. Those are likely to be more productive at this usage rate in the numbers. He's going to have better stats. That won't do any good if he's worn out in Week Ten...which could happen on a team with KC's rush/pass split.

You didn't check around to see if Charles was dealing with an injury? Nobody watching the game for the audibles stuff noticed the limping in a red zone drive? Were you guys on crack?

85
by Jerry :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:53am

There's a good chance you just devoted more time to watching the Raiders and Chiefs than the Outsiders combined for on Sunday. Audibles doesn't claim to be comprehensive.

96
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 1:36pm

Were you guys on crack?

There's the kind of comment that fosters intelligent discussion.

97
by Jeff Fogle :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:03pm

I share your sarcasm brave, it was a reference to the misguided (in my view) subhead of the story:

"Plus: Is Chiefs head coach Todd Haley on crack?"

103
by DGL :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:58pm

Isn't the canonical statement supposed to be "Is Chiefs head coach Todd Haley drnuk?"

107
by Nathan :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 3:07pm

Chefs

108
by ammek :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 5:56pm

I would totally follow a team called the Chefs. In general, I think it's time to modernize team names: out with the politically insensitive, all those trades that have disappeared or moved to China, and boring old fauna. In their place, names that reflect modern life: tertiary industries, exurbs, liquid identities. Kansas City Chefs. New York Launderers. Arizona Gurus.

84
by RickD :: Wed, 11/10/2010 - 2:19am

Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco. So why do you list him as "Chad Johnson"?