Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Nov 2011

Week 10 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

Tony Romo: Elite quarterback who could lead the Dallas Cowboys to the promised land, or turnover machine who comes up short when his team needs him most? The answer, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.

Romo's raw numbers against Buffalo on Sunday were outstanding: 23-of-26 passing for 270 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and no sacks. By Football Outsiders' system, it was the second-best day any passer had this weekend, falling behind only Tom Brady's three-touchdown performance against the mighty New York Jets. And that's no accident – for the season, Romo ranks third among starting quarterbacks in DVOA (a rate stat that measures passers on a per-play basis) and fourth in DYAR (a counting stat that measures total value). (These stats are explained more here).

Does this mean Romo's reputation for making big mistakes in critical times is mythical? Not at all. If we only look at plays where the Cowboys are within one score of their opponents in the fourth quarter, Romo's DVOA sinks, leaving him 12th out of 30 quarterbacks with at least 20 late-and-close pass plays.

Romo has really only played two bad fourth quarters this season, in Week 1 against the Jets and in Week 4 against the Lions. In both games, the Cowboys blew fourth-quarter leads and went on to lose. Romo combined to go 12-of-23 with two interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble in the fourth quarter of those games. However, shouldn't we give Romo some credit for putting the Cowboys ahead in the first place? If we take those games in their entirety, fourth-quarter warts and all, Romo still played OK, ranking 11th in total value among starting quarterbacks in Week 1 and 15th in Week 4.

More to the point, we can't ignore the times Romo has played well in the clutch. Against San Francisco in Week 2, Romo and the Cowboys trailed by 10 points early in the fourth quarter. Romo proceeded to go 12-of-15 for 201 yards from that point forward, leading Dallas to an overtime win. Against New England in Week 6, Romo went 9-of-15 for 106 yards to put the Cowboys up by three. It's not his fault the defense couldn't protect that lead.

The Cowboys sit a game behind the New York Giants in the NFC East standings, but with two games left between the two teams, they still control their own destiny. How does Romo match up with the New York defense? Entering this weekend, the Giants ranked 11th in pass defense DVOA. Romo, remember, ranks third among quarterbacks in the same category, so this is a slight mismatch in Dallas' favor. There's another key here, though, that the Cowboys need to exploit. The Giants play well enough against starting wideouts – they rank 12th in DVOA against No. 1 receivers, and 11th against No. 2s – but their thin defensive backfield has been helpless against all other wide receivers, ranking 28th in DVOA in this category. The Giants are giving up 68 yards a game to opposing No. 3 and No. 4 receivers. Only Denver and Arizona are worse.

Fortunately for the Cowboys, they have one of the league's top third receivers in Laurent Robinson. If we look at No. 3 and No. 4 wideouts with at least 20 targets, Robinson ranks third in DVOA behind a pair of Green Bay Packers (James Jones and Jordy Nelson). It sounds funny, but Laurent Robinson might be the player who ultimately decides the NFC East crown.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Tom Brady NE
27/39
329
3
0
248
249
-1
The amazing thing is that this performance came against the Jets, who entered the weekend as the league's best pass defense in FO's system. Brady avoided disaster against a team that ranked eighth in the league coming into the game with 31 combined sacks and interceptions. He completed 67 percent of his passes and averaged 8.4 yards per play against a defense that had been limiting opponents to 53 percent and 6.1-yard averages. All in all, it was the second-most valuable game for a quarterback this season. The most valuable? Brady in Week 2 against San Diego. Brady is also third for his 517-yard game against Miami in Week 1.
2.
Tony Romo DAL
23/26
270
3
0
185
190
-5
Romo hit his first 13 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns. Then he threw an incompletion. Then he completed five in a row for 42 yards. Then he threw two incompletions. He finished going 5-for-5 for 33 yards.
3.
Drew Brees NO
30/43
322
2
0
151
151
0
To stop the Saints, you must stop their screen game. Atlanta did that, at least. Brees on passes at or behind the line of scrimmage: 9-of-10, 15 yards, two first downs, three third-down stops.
4.
Aaron Rodgers GB
23/30
250
4
0
123
128
-5
Rodgers has now been one of the top four quarterbacks eight times in ten weeks this season -- and in one of the other weeks, the Packers had a bye.
5.
Tarvaris Jackson SEA
18/28
212
0
0
114
111
3
The Ravens are challenging the Jets for the title of NFL's best defense, but Jackson looked, well, efficient against them, which is really all you can ask for. He didn't do much in the middle of the game. In one stretch of ten dropbacks between the second and third quarters, he gained 11 total yards and no first downs. He was great in the fourth quarter, though, as Seattle protected a narrow lead. He went six-of-eight passing in the fourth, with four first downs and a 10-yard gain on first-and-20. Without opponent adjustments, he would have ranked ninth this week. With them, he ranks fifth.
6.
Matt Schaub HOU
11/15
242
2
0
108
111
-3
Schaub’s first six passes produced six completions for six first downs, 137 yards, and a touchdown. He then went 1-for-4 for 1 yard. And then he finished 4-of-5 for 104 yards with a 78-yard touchdown and one sack. By the time you read this he may be officially out for the year. He reportedly hurt his foot on a 1-yard sneak on second-and-14 in the second quarter, which sucks for a multitude of reasons.
7.
Eli Manning NYG
26/40
311
2
2
104
105
-1
Manning on third/fourth down: 10-of-13 passing with one sack, eight first downs (including two touchdowns), 155 yards, 109 DYAR.
8.
Carson Palmer OAK
14/20
299
2
1
95
111
-15
Al Davis would be proud. Palmer’s average completion came 13.4 yards past the line of scrimmage, most of any starter this week (well, any starter with more than two completions).
9.
Matt Ryan ATL
29/50
351
2
1
86
82
4
In one stretch of the fourth quarter, Ryan went 6-of-7 for 111 yards, with each completion picking up a first down, and five of them picking up 19 yards or more. From that point forward: 4-of-12, 32 yards, just one first down. (Roddy White had just one target in Ryan’s last 17 passes, which might have had something to do with it.) If Ryan had played better down the stretch, his coach might have never needed to go for it on fourth-and-inches.
10.
Alex Smith SF
19/30
242
1
1
60
49
11
Smith’s last 11 dropbacks: 4-of-10 passing for 42 yards with one sack and just one successful play. Of course, that one successful play was a 31-yard touchdown to Vernon Davis, which is pretty darn successful.
11.
Colt McCoy CLE
20/27
218
0
0
55
68
-13
First half: 13-of-19, 152 yards. Second half: 7-of-8, 66 yards, two sacks.
12.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
21/33
245
1
1
38
38
0
First quarter: 8-of-11 for 102 yards and 86 DYAR. He made a lot of big plays after that, but gave up even more: five sacks and an interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
John Skelton ARI
21/40
315
3
2
29
31
-1
Philadelphia cornerback watch: Skelton was 14-of-26 for 233 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions, and 78 DYAR throwing to his wide receivers.
14.
Tim Tebow DEN
2/8
69
1
0
24
14
11
Tebow’s 56-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker was worth 43 DYAR. As a runner, he had plays of 10 and 19 yards, plus a 7-yard touchdown.
15.
Matt Hasselbeck TEN
15/27
219
1
1
18
9
9
First quarter: 4-of-5, 105 yards. Second quarter: 2-of-9, 20 yards. Third quarter: 5-of-8, 65 yards, one interception, one sack. Fourth quarter: 4-of-5, 29 yards.
16.
Sam Bradford STL
15/25
155
1
1
16
14
2
Bradford’s final 15 dropbacks, from the middle of the second quarter on: 8-of-14, 65 yards, two first downs, one interception, one sack. Somehow, this produced a fourth-quarter comeback win.
17.
Matt Moore MIA
20/29
209
0
1
10
5
5
Started weak, finished strong. First quarter: 5-of-8 passing, 32 yards, with two completions for negative yards (guess who lost 7 on one catch?), a sack-fumble, and an interception. Fourth quarter: 5-of-5, 60 yards, four first downs.
18.
Jay Cutler CHI
9/19
123
0
0
-6
-7
1
Cutler’s crummy day was overshadowed by Matthew Stafford’s much, much crummier day. Cutler was actually above replacement level at halftime, but his second half consisted entirely of five incomplete passes and -17 DYAR.
19.
Dan Orlovsky IND
7/10
67
0
0
-10
-10
0
Orlovsky’s seven completions gained only three first downs, although six of them were successful and the seventh was an 8-yard gain on third-and-10 that set up a fourth-down try.
20.
Joe Flacco BAL
29/52
255
1
1
-12
-21
10
Flacco threw 10 deep passes (more than 15 yards downfield) this week, more than any quarterback except Matt Ryan. He went 1-of-10 for 17 yards and -32 DYAR.
21.
Philip Rivers SD
23/46
274
2
1
-26
-24
-1
First half: 4-of-11 for 44 yards and one first down with three sacks, -67 DYAR.
22.
Christian Ponder MIN
16/34
190
0
1
-34
-40
6
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Andy Dalton CIN
15/30
170
2
2
-41
-41
0
Dalton had nine fourth-quarter dropbacks, each with the Bengals trailing by a touchdown. He proceeded to go 4-of-9 for 22 yards, no first downs, two interceptions, -118 DYAR. In related news, the Steelers won.
24.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
21/39
306
1
2
-58
-61
4
Sanchez on deep passes: 4-of-6 for 115 yards, 73 DYAR. So why the hell did he only throw six of them? It’s not like he had to play conservative and kill the clock.
25.
Matt Stafford DET
33/63
328
1
4
-63
-62
-1
Stafford in the red zone: 1-of-16 for 10 yards, two sacks, two interceptions. Those 10 yards came on a fourth-and-goal touchdown to Tony Scheffler. Detroit trailed by 31 points at the time.
26.
Matt Cassel KC
13/28
93
1
0
-65
-72
7
Cassel suffered a hand injury against Denver, reportedly on his last play, a sack. Is there any chance it came earlier? On his 11 dropbacks before the sack, Cassel went 3-of-8 for 20 yards and no first downs. Throw in the sack, and that’s -63 DYAR at the end of a winnable game.
27.
Blaine Gabbert JAC
14/21
118
1
1
-66
-65
-1
Gabbert’s average completion came 2.5 yards past the line of scrimmage, shortest of any passer this week. Curtis Painter was second at 2.7 yards. Man, that Jaguars-Colts contest sounds like a barnburner.
28.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
20/31
146
1
3
-88
-96
8
Third/fourth down: 4-of-7, 18 yards, only one first down, -14 DYAR.
29.
Michael Vick PHI
17/34
128
0
2
-95
-119
24
Vick had two more near interceptions, but one was negated by a penalty and one was reversed on replay. He broke two ribs on the second play of the game, but didn’t tell anyone. Probably would have been better for the Eagles if he had just taken himself out.
30.
Cam Newton CAR
23/40
212
0
1
-96
-108
12
Newton’s first three quarters: 14-of-24, 104 yards, four sacks, one aborted snap, -102 DYAR. He played better after that, but by then the Panthers were down 17 points.
31.
Josh Freeman TB
15/32
170
1
3
-99
-109
10
At halftime, the Buccaneers trailed just 16-3. And then Freeman put up this third quarter: 1-of-5 passing for zero yards, with two interceptions, three sacks, and -146 DYAR. Just to clarify, that zero yards is gross, not net. His completion gained zero yards, and his three sacks lost a combined 21 yards.
32.
Rex Grossman WAS
21/32
215
0
2
-100
-100
0
Grossman had a stretch in the second and third quarters where he went 7-of-11 (including six in a row), but gained only 32 yards and just one first down.
33.
Curtis Painter IND
13/19
94
0
2
-135
-135
0
Painter has now been one of the five worst quarterbacks in the league for four weeks running, and worst overall twice in a row. Six of his completions gained five yards or less. He also fumbled a snap before being benched for Dan Orlovsky for the second time in two games.


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
84
1
102
1
80
34
47
Foster was OK as a rusher - 17 carries for 84 yards, a 4.9-yard average. He had three runs for ten yards or more and picked up two other short first downs, while being stuffed for no gain or a loss three times. He did most of his damage as a receiver, though, catching every ball thrown his way. One was a 1-yard gain on second-and-8. The others: a 10-yard gain on first down; a 13-yard gain on third-and-6; and a 78-yard touchdown.
2.
Michael Bush OAK
157
1
85
0
63
28
35
With Darren McFadden out, Bush saw a lot more carries, but he's been playing well of late. In his last three games, he's averaged 22 carries for 117 yards. His 30-carry, 157-yard performance against San Diego on Thursday included runs of 44, 30, and 11 yards, plus a 2-yard touchdown and four other first downs. He also caught three of four passes, picking up 7 yards on first down, plus gains of 23 and 55 yards.
3.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
109
1
58
0
51
27
24
Exactly half of Lynch’s 32 carries gained 4 yards or more, but none gained more than 8. He was stuffed for a loss just twice. It all worked out to just 3 rushing YAR, but he was playing the Ravens, and gets credit for 27 DYAR. He also caught each of the eight passes thrown his way, for several big plays. He had 21- and 23-yard receptions in the first quarter to set up his own 1-yard touchdown run, and also picked up 8 yards on a critical third-and-5 as the Seahawks were desperately killing clock on their last drive.
4.
DeMarco Murray DAL
134
1
36
0
41
38
3
Six of Murray’s 20 runs gained 10 yards or more, and only one lost yardage. He had quite the erratic day as a receiver. His three good catches gained 15, 11, and 17 yards. His other three catches all lost yards, two for -1 and one for -5.
5.
Dexter McCluster KC
45
0
48
0
39
17
22
McCluster only had eight runs against Denver, but five of those runs gained 6 yards or more. He also caught each six of the eight balls thrown his way, including two 14-yarders. There’s some stat padding here: Kansas City’s last three passes all went to McCluster, as Tyler Palko checked down against a soft Denver defense that was protecting a ten-point lead. McCluster caught all three of those passes for 16 yards and 6 DYAR.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Beanie Wells ARI
62
0
0
0
-40
-40
0
Wells has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season, entering the weekend ranked ninth in rushing DYAR and fifth in success rate. Against Philadelphia, though, he gained only 62 yards on 23 carries. He had three ten-yard runs, but none longer than 12. Meanwhile, he was stuffed for no gain or a loss seven times. He's also penalized for playing the Eagles, one of the league's worst run defenses. They rose to the occasion against Wells - not that it did them much good.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Denarius Moore OAK
5
7
123
24.6
2
65
Carson, meet Denarius. Denarius, this is Carson. New Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer has a sketchy track record with wideouts, but with results like this, things should be copacetic in Oakland. Each of Moore’s five catches resulted in a first down, two of them went for touchdowns, and three of them went for 20 yards or more, including a 46-yarder.
2.
Larry Fitzgerald ARI
7
13
146
20.9
2
62
Fitzgerald's 146 yards and two touchdowns were his best of the year, and they came against a defense that had given up just 36 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers. Fitz was a huge part of the Cardinals' late rally. He had five receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown in the game's final frame.
3.
Marques Colston NO
8
9
113
14.1
0
56
Each of Colston’s eight receptions was good for a first down. Seven of them gained 10 yards or more. The other one? Nine yards.
4.
Jordy Nelson GB
5
5
63
12.6
2
50
Nelson had three catches in three targets for 52 yards and a touchdown, including a fourth-and-2 conversion, and the Packers’ first drive of the second half.
5.
Rob Gronkowski NE
8
11
113
14.1
2
47
Who says tight ends can’t make big plays? Six of Gronkowski’s catches picked up 10 yards or more, including gains of 21 and 23 yards.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Calvin Johnson DET
7
19
80
11.4
0
-41
Seriously. Seven catches for 80 yards sounds OK. A lot of guys could catch seven passes, though, when they're thrown the ball nineteen times. That yardage total is skewed, too. He had one 40-yard catch, one 17-yarder, and 23 yards on his other five receptions. Oh, and he fumbled. All told, Johnson had 14 failed plays against Chicago, by far the most by any player in a single game this year (several players are now tied for second place with 11).

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 15 Nov 2011

102 comments, Last at 17 Nov 2011, 12:08pm by Bobby Wommack

Comments

1
by Jonathan (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:31am

Game should be different because Prince should be able to play by then and Ross covers the nickel. Similarly Rolle moves to his natural position of safety. So the pass defense will likely be completely different. I am unsure how much your analysis applies then...

12
by JasonK :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:23am

Different, sure, but who knows whether "different" will mean "better." I'd love to think that Amukamara is going to break onto the scene and lock down receivers, but the sum total of the guy's NFL experience has been 3-4 weeks of mostly-limited practices.

70
by BigDerf :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 6:13pm

Amukamura doesn't have much NFL experience... But if he was playing, Derrick Martin (Who?)and his three special teams penalties on Sunday probably wouldn't even be on the team, and definitely playing as the fourth corner on defense.

It would also move Michael Coe down to fourth corner himself hopefully, where he'll likely see the field sparingly and not be over matched.

Amukamura isn't a proven talent yet obviously, but when a first round cornerback and projected top ten pick this year is coming back to play corner instead of unrestricted free agent replacement level at best guy, you have to assume you are getting an upgrade.

2
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:34am

31st, just ahead of Rex Grossman and Curtis Painter. My Freeman-crush is so battered this year it's going to leave my house and go live in a shelter for a while.

3
by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:46am

In both games, the Lions blew fourth-quarter leads and went on to lose.

That would be the Cowboys, I believe.

4
by Independent George :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:46am

Is Calvin Johnson affecting Stafford's passing numbers this season the way Randy Moss affected Daunte Culpepper's? Every time I've watched the Lions this season, Stafford's accuracy was between average & bad, but Megatron would him out at least twice per game.

5
by ammek :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:49am

Week 10 provided the DVOA equivalent of an asteroid whistling past the earth: a scheduling quirk that pitted the ten worst quarterbacks against each other. Prior to last Thursday, there were thirty QBs who'd thrown enough passes to qualify, and the matchups (ranking in parentheses) went:
Gabbert (30) vs Painter (28)
Tebow (29) vs Cassel (27)
McCoy (26) vs Bradford (25)
Grossman (24) vs Moore (23)
Jackson (22) vs Flacco (21)

If Painter had only flopped a little earlier, the matchups would have been in exact order of suckiness.

6
by Keith(1) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:52am

I think your Colt McCoy numbers are off. It somehow shows him with a lot more attempts than his actual stat line. Help!

7
by Keith(1) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:54am

Also, I think Tim Tebow's DYAR numbers are off, unless there is a hidden factor of -1 in his scores somewhere.

21
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:54am

Fixed. I'm guessing the Tebow thing has to do with rounding.

24
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:23pm

Even DVOA knows that Tebow is not an NFL quarterback.

26
by Jonadan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:31pm

Do we have DVOA through this week yet?

As far as DYAR goes, he posted mid-level results and his passing DYAR is somehow, marvelously, higher than anybody below him.

---
"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel

49
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:50pm

Can we put the whole DVOA underrates big plays to rest now?

67
by Kal :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 5:12pm

No. Why would you say that? One point does not make a sample rate all that great, especially when you're talking about Tebow.

77
by Blotzphoto :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:47pm

No matter what, could you guys do a big AGS or Walkthrough or something about Tebow, mostly so the Audibles commenters will shut up about how much you obviously hate him irrattionally?

89
by justanothersteve :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 11:55am

I think that would be great. My POV is that Tebow is an experiment to see if the QB position can be redefined, though it might be redefining it back to its 1935 definition. (I don't know enough about football pre-1960's to comment.) These experiments usually fail (lots of cases) or are unrepeatable (Vick), but occasionally they work (Walsh's WCO). Who is the nearest comparable to Tebow? The only name that I can think of is Bobby Douglas, but I don't remember anyone ever talking about converting Douglas to another position if he couldn't be a QB. (That could be faulty memory though as I grew up hating the Bears.)

100
by AF_Cheddarhead (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 6:48pm

Bobby Douglas, a name from the deep dark past. The Bears would have used him as a tight end but fortunately (Packers fan) he was their best option at the time for QB. I really think that Tebow is more a Jerry Tagge clone.

8
by nat :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:56am

Sanchez on deep passes: 4-of-6 for 115 yards, 73 DYAR. So why the hell did he only throw six of them?

Five sacks, the risk of even more sacks if he held the ball looking for more long throws, the risk of interceptions if he threw long when the coverage was good.

Sanchez and the Jets offense as a whole were more aggressive than in week five, and got the results you might expect: similar success at moving the chains, more yards, more sacks, and two interceptions. Would more yards be worth the sacks (with risk of fumbles) and another interception? It would depend on how many more yards they got.

23
by MJK :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:18pm

Short answer is because, for one game, the Patriots ends (Anderson and Carter) seemed to magically turn into Freeny and LT.

Or, alternatively, the Jets tackles really sucked Sunday.

45
by Led :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:00pm

The tackles certainly weren't good and Carter played a whale of a game, but a lot of the pressure came on what appeared to be 3 step drops where Sanchez did not get rid of the ball, although I can't tell whether that's because nobody was open or Sanchez couldn't find the open guy. The empty backfield package (Schottenheimer's "clever" contribution for the week) was an utter failure.

9
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:10am

If we look at No. 3 and No. 4 wideouts with at least 20 targets, Robinson ranks third in DVOA behind a pair of Green Bay Packers (James Jones and Jordy Nelson).

I'm pretty sure Nelson is the #2 receiver by plays and receptions this year, unless you are counting Finley as #2, but since this was a WR specific discussion since TE are tracked separately in the stats. Driver is the #3 WR and Jones is #4 based on usage (though Jones has more receptions but Driver gets more plays). Though I'd have to look at snaps again, but I'm pretty sure that around week 4 Nelson was on the field more than Driver.

47
by akn :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:15pm

Finley himself is claiming he's a WR, for franchise tag purposes, at least.

48
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:24pm

Yeah I've heard that and he is lined up in the slot or outside around 52% of the time, but he is still a TE in most everyone's mind. I still think even if you put Finley as a WR though, Nelson is still the #2 WR not 3 or 4. Jennings is clearly on the field the most, but I think Nelson still might be #2 even if you count Finley as a WR.

63
by MCS :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:52pm

The question is, where does FO get it's information from? We all know from watching the games that DD is not getting nearly the number of plays as in years past. It appears that Jordy has taken that role. However, the Packers still list Driver as the starting receiver (#2) opposite Jennings. Maybe, for clarity, FO just uses the teams offical depth charts to determine rankings.

By the way, where do you get your usage information from? Is it readily available?

I notice on another thread that you state that GB blitzed 77% of the time last night. Where do you get that information from? FYI, according to McCarthy, the blitz percentage was 48% against the Chargers last week. It certainly appeared that GB blitzed more against the Vikings, but I have no idea what the actual percenatges are.

66
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 4:59pm

I think FO is using the official depth chart, which I'm OK with, I just had to point out that Nelson is not the #4 WR. Of course if he was it would be pretty cool for a #4 WR to finish a season with 1100 yards and 12 TD's that he is on pace for. :) This is one of those where the FO charting data lagging (and understandably so), makes this non obvious. FO has the data from the charting about who is on the field so they have the data but yeah they can't use it for stuff like this.

I'm getting most of my numbers from Kevin Seifert's blog on ESPN, some from what Bob McGinn puts up as well, which is why it's not always up to date either from me. Seifert gets them from the ESPN Stats and Info department, I'm not sure about McGinn but he has historically been very reliable and as a local beat writer with a long history I know that some of his data is straight from the team. It's not readily available and some of it can get lost in posts. But one of Seifert's features this year has been tracking the usage of the wide receivers and tight ends.

Edit:
Here is the quote for the blitz data.

And how did Capers call it? Most notably, he blitzed on a whopping 74.4 percent of the Vikings' 39 dropbacks. It was by far his highest rate since joining the Packers in 2009, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Included in that total: Capers blitzed at least one defensive back on 19 dropbacks, also a high for Capers in Green Bay.

96
by MCS :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 2:31pm

I love McGinn. I'm an insider just so I get to read all of his stuff.

According to Pelissaro, Green Bay sent 5 or more rushers on 28 of Minnesota's dropbacks. That jibes with McGinn's review.

10
by JJJJJ (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:21am

I'm still missing something on DYAR. So Arian Foster went 4-4, 102 yards, 1 TD, and a 47 DYAR. So according to DYAR the average receiver in those 4 attempts would have 55 yards. How does a replacement level player average almost 14 yards per attempt? Something is wrong with that IMO.

13
by RickD :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:34am

What you're missing is that the system doesn't count all yards equally. It doesn't think a 78-yard reception is 50 yards better than a 28-yard reception. The thinking is that the first 10 yards of a reception are far more important than yards 69-78.

44
by Karl with a K (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:00pm

Which is pretty poor thinking, imo.

69
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 5:44pm

Well, it's not really "more important," it's more like "more indicative of skill." A 50-yard gain and a 60-yard gain probably require about the same level of skill; for a 2-yard gain and a 12-yard gain, there's a big difference.

97
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 2:38pm

Pretty indicative of skill since you can't really criticize someone for only gaining 50 yards and not 60 if they were on the 50 yard line.

11
by RickD :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:22am

OK guys, clearly somebody hacked your site because I see "Tavaris Jackson" listed among the top 5 QBs.

:)

15
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:37am

If Bevel turns Jackson into a competent NFL qb in Seattle, after what that dynamic duo accomplished in Minnesota, I'm really gonna be irritated. I'm not betting the mortgage on it, however.

68
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 5:24pm

The Seahawks woes haven't really been related to Jackson. That this is how well he plays with a torn pectoral muscle, a massively in-progress O-line development project, and no training camp for any of them is pretty encouraging. Obviously, the Vikings were greatly mismanaged given how he played behind a vastly better line, surrounded with more talent all-around.

32
by Mike W :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:09pm

Tarvaris Jakcson just wins ballgames!

Just like Tim Tebow.

16
by BJR :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:39am

Interesting to see Andy Dalton plummet down the ranking in a week where A.J. Green got hurt and only played one quarter. Presumably he would have been much nearer the bottom if Green had not been there to catch the TD heave into double coverage on the play he got hurt. Dalton was hardly harrassed either; the Steelers generated very little pressure with Lamarr Woodley sat on the sidelines.

Subjectively felt as though Roethlisberger had a better game than that against a good defence. Probably receiving too much punishment for short yardage sacks where he held on and eventually ate the ball rather than throwing it away - as is his wont.

78
by Blotzphoto :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:55pm

AJ Green is really the only 1st division receiver on the team right now. Gresham is a nifty talent, but none of the Bengals wideouts save Green have any route discipline at all. The game killing interception was a lot easier because Jerome simpson ran a lazy route and then didn't react to the ball in flight at all. The Bengals could really use a veteran #2 receiver next year.

As for Rothlesberger, I was impressed at the way he converted 3rd and longs. I think Zimmer got a little blitz happy and gave away that series of 3rd and long plays to Brown.

90
by BJR :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 1:04pm

Jordan Shipley looked like a solid player last season. We'll have to wait and see whther he can recover from his bad injury.

It will be a desperate struggle to move the ball against Baltimore this week if Green can't go. Better hope they can bog the Ravens down in another mistake ridden defensive battle - the type they specialize in losing.

14
by aktiony 1980), (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:36am

If Vick didn't tell anyone, how do we know he broke his ribs on the second play of the game and not the hard fourth-quarter hit that clearly injured him in the lower rib area?

17
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:42am

Ponder looked like he had potential to be good player once again, in a difficult environment, in his third start, in his fourth month working with a professional football team. It would be nice if he had wide receivers (especially when they have Harvin in the backfield) who had more ability to get open than my barber.

22
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:09pm

That was truly a horrible blocking performance. It seemed every time Ponder attempted a pass some Packer was in his face within a couple of seconds.

I actually thought he looked pretty rookie like last night at times, missing on some open passes, holding the ball too long, etc, but any QB would look like crap under those circumstances.

Also - when the team looks so disorganized and they seem to be running the wrong play much of the time (endlessly running into 8 man fronts, attempting a flea flicker against two deep safeties, etc), I tend to think that's a QB not reading a defence properly. But perhaps that's on the coaching and other players, as they did all the same things with a veteran at the helm. Actually they've been doing that since Childress got here in 2006 - with a brief time in 2009 when Favre ignored the coaching staff and did his own thing.

27
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:39pm

Eh, they were down 17 in the blink of an eye, and they don't have any wide receivers beside Harvin who would be a sure thing to even make the roster of another team, and Harvin really isn't a pure wide receiver. They pass blocked pretty poorly, which is pretty typical for them on the road. It is often hard to tell on television exactly what a qb did wrong, but Ponder looked ok to me, given the circumstances and context.

I wish playcalling was higher up their list of problems, because that is the easiest thing to fix. However, I just don't think it is. They run into eight man fronts all the time because their receivers are so easy to cover that it doesn't really improve their chances of passing success when they face a defense that lines up that way. I kind of tuned out last night, but when they played the Packers three weeks ago, Capers was still playing a single safety over the top, when he had a 13 point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings are hugely deficient at receiver and defensive backfield, and significantly deficient on the offensive line. Playcalling just isn't going to cover for that.

36
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:19pm

Another thing to be fair about; the Packers blitzed on something like 77% of Ponder's drop backs. They blitzed a DB on something close to 50% of his drop backs. It's the most the Packers have blitzed since Capers got to Green Bay. I think they were blitzing about 25% of the time prior to this game. It was a huge shift.

Of course it was for some of the same reasons that they were only playing a single high safety a few weeks ago. As you mention they had no fear of the receivers, this time Capers decided to just go pressure happy. They also run blitzed too, trying to prevent Peterson from doing what he did 3 weeks ago as well.

Had that been a veteran QB, more used to that kind of pressure, there were some openings. So it wasn't just the lack of receivers, Capers was taking advantage of a rookie QB as well. I still think Ponder will be alright for you guys, but the team has a lot of rebuilding still.

40
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:34pm

Yeah, if they don't get him killed, get him some receivers to throw to, and get some dbs who prevent being down by three scores early, before Afrian Peterson and Jared Allen (gotta love his work ethic in a hopeless situation) get old, then Ponder might be pretty good.

Maybe I'll move back to Minneapolis and buy season tickets.

81
by armchair journe... :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 12:27am

Back to Los Angeles, you mean...

18
by langsty :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:50am

'(Roddy White had just one target in Ryan’s last 17 passes, which might have had something to do with it.)'

Roddy dropped the last pass thrown to him - a game-winning touchdown - and had 3 penalties in the game. he played poorly.

19
by Lance :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:51am

Minor typo fix. Change:

"In both games, the Lions blew fourth-quarter leads"

to:

"In both games, the Cowboys blew fourth-quarter leads"

20
by lester bangs (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 11:53am

Who says tight ends can’t make big plays?

The straw man, that's who.

33
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:09pm

TeeHee

62
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:48pm

In all fairness, before John Mackey, they really didn't.

86
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:31am

Trivial, as Mackey basically defined the position.

I suspect, as a historical example, Don Hutson was more of a tight end in our current understanding of the role than he was a wide receiver.

25
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:26pm

Aaron Rodgers - I should hate the guy because:

1) I got on this site and said he would be awful. So he made me look stupid (I would like to point out at this point that the Football Outsiders book in 2007 also said they expected him to be pretty bad).
2) He kills my favourite team.
3) The media's fawning over him is nauseating.

But, I have to respect the guys ability. He truly is wonderful to watch. Not just athletically but cerebrally. Manning and Brady certainly have more of a resume at this point and definitely do some things better (like avoiding sacks), but they're not nearly as nice to watch.

I also find him refreshingly frank and witty. There seems to be a confidence that isn't quite arrogant and general wittiness about him.

28
by Keith(1) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:40pm

I found it really funny that, as a Packers fan, I did not notice the last touchdown was a Flynn run. My girlfriend, a Saints fan, was sitting next to me, and she hates my team because we beat them earlier this year; I turned to her and pretty much yelled "LOOK AT AARON GO!" She is also an LSU fan, and kindly noted that it was actually Matt Flynn. So I quickly changed directions and yelled "LOOK AT MATT GO!"

After that, there was a shot of Rodgers on the sideline saying "That's my boy!" after Flynn got the touchdown. I thought that was pretty good.

79
by Blotzphoto :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:57pm

He's the leagues replacement for Peyton Manning. I predict Sony signs him to a big promotional deal soon.

28
by mrh :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:40pm

McCluster only had eight runs against Denver, but five of those runs gained 6 yards or more. He also caught each of the eight balls thrown his way, including two 14-yarders.

NFL game logs show two incomplete passes to McCluster:
1st qtr, 12:05, 3rd-and-22
3rd qtr, 4:53, 3rd-and-4 - I specifically remember this play, a deep pass down the sideline, Cassel overthrew an open McCluster who couldn't control it on a diving attempt

61
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:45pm

Whoops. Fixed.

30
by mrh :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:01pm

This has been bugging me since watching the Chiefs game and I'll just vent about it here. It's only marginally relevant to Quick Reads so skip this if you want.

On the Tebow TD pass to Decker, Flowers had the coverage but clearly expected inside/deep help. The safety got there late and Flowers looks pretty disgusted as Decker goes into the end zone.

It seemed to me, and I'm a Chiefs homer here, that the secondary had to be expecting yet another deep throw. The Broncos had already tried several, and that appeared to be the only way they could move the ball thru the air - at least it seemed to be the only way they were interested in moving it thru the air. So how Decker got behind the safety seemed to me to be a mental error or lack of physical ability.

The safety who was late to the party was Reshard Langford, 3rd year player undrafted out of Vanderbilt who spent 2009 on the Eagles practice squad, got signed by the Chiefs, played sparingly in 2010, and was cut at the end of the 2011 preseason. He was re-signed when Berry got hurt. As far as I can tell, he didn't play on defense until Jon McGraw got hurt vs. Oakland, and was behind Sabby Piscitelli in playing time this year, which probably says it all.

Kudos for the playcall and execution which burned the weakest link in the Chiefs secondary. But I believe that pass gets broken up by a competent safety (and frankly, the Chiefs should just have let Flowers handle Decker one-on-one). I suspect that's what the Jets coaches are saying to their safeties right now.

51
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:54pm

Against a team that's using a rushing QB and playing a quasi-option offense, you always expect the deep ball. The trouble is, if you stay in deep protection, you're letting the offense outnumber you at the point of attack and risk a death by thousand paper cuts. The offense is using that deep threat to either keep you back and run, or go over the top when you cheat up.

Welcome to the hell that is stopping the option.

60
by c0rrections (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:24pm

I remember Langford at Vanderbilt. Decent instincts and diagnosed running plays pretty well but not an elite athlete. Didn't think he would get much if anything other than practice squad in the NFL.

31
by Paul M (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:08pm

So last week's two stories were: Jets best team in league, based on DVOA; and Packers' porous pass defense not good enough to win Super Bowl.

OK, now what?? What FBO seems to forget-- but no Packer fan can-- is that in every crucial game down the stretch last year, except Atlanta, the opposition had the ball with a chance to tie or win late in the 4th Quarter. Vick, the Bears in both the final regular season game and the NFC title game, and the Steelers in the SB-- and every single time the Packers defense, and specifically the pass defense, stopped them with a huge play. Losing Jenkins hurt; so did losing Collins. But the other key players are the same, plus Burnett is back, Shields a year older-- why should/would the defense lose its basic skill set? And they also played much better the 2nd half last year than the first half of the season. Last night was the beginning of 2011's 2nd half.

34
by Eddo :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:12pm

The success last year would make sense - the Packers had the #1 pass DVOA defense.

35
by RickD :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:16pm

The Packers defense was rated much higher last season than how it's performed this season. And really, it hasn't been that great. Take a second look at the game in San Diego if you doubt me.
Last night, the Packers got a huge lead very early in the game. That made it very hard for the Vikings to rely on their best offensive weapon, Adrian Peterson. And when you know a team has to throw, that makes defending the pass easier.
Also, the Vikings don't exactly have a stellar passing game.
So, yes, they were better last night, but we need to see them bring that kind of game against a team like the Giants, Eagles, or Saints with a real passing attack.

38
by Keith(1) (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:25pm

As a Packer fan, I do not necessarily believe that they were better last night. Christian Ponder is a rookie; the Vikings have no credible receiving threat. Those two things make it very easy to defend them.

The Packer defense did pretty much everything last night that they have done throughout the rest of the year. It just happened to be against vastly inferior talent and scheme. The linebackers played well, as they have all year; the line got some pressure, but it was mostly backed up by good linebacker play; the pass defense took chances, and probably even more last night considering the competition.

Against a real team, as you mention, this is a normal 35-28 or similar win.

And, to refute what the original poster said, bringing last year to this year makes no sense whatsoever. This is a different team on many fronts, and what they are doing this year serves as proof. They are winning in a different way than they did last year. I think FO has it right with this team -- they have a great pass offense, a suitable run offense, a defense that can be scored on, and average to slightly above-average special teams play. It fits, it makes sense, and really needs no further explanation than what the FO numbers show.

41
by Paul M (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:38pm

Well no they did not do "pretty much everything last night that they have done throighout the rest of the year." They blitzed 74.4% of the time, by far their highest number of the season. They came from all directions, using players like Burnett and Williams that had rarely blitzed prior to last night. All, coincidentally or not, after Woodson called out Capers, himself and the entire defense after San Diego. What Woodson wants he generally gets, if you look at the past several years. Against a "real team" this is 35-28??? Huh?? 31 pts difference because it was a Viking team that was 2-6, even though they should/could very well have won 3 games early in the season that they led big at halftime.

The FO numbers showed the Jets as the best team in the league last week-- obviously there were flaws in those metrics, and I believe the desire to nitpick a team that has now won 15 games in a row and is clearly better at this point in the 2011 season than they were at this point in the 2010 season overwhelms all other considerations. And I can absolutely predict that the Schatz "They Might Be Real Good, but They're Not the 2007 Patriots" story is about two weeks away. Yep-- they're not. How bout we wait on that one until early February?

43
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:43pm

Capers felt completely safe dialing up blitzes last night because he and Mike McCarthy could cover the Vikings receivers.

53
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:56pm

the desire to nitpick a team that has now won 15 games in a row and is clearly better at this point in the 2011 season than they were at this point in the 2010 season overwhelms all other considerations

Clearly a better record. It's debatable whether it's clearly a better team.

Pretty much everyone was hurt for GB last year, and they didn't really approach healthy until the playoffs. There's a very real possibility last year's GB was a better team than this year's, but had far worse luck.

56
by RickD :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:11pm

Good job pre-emptively attacking a hypothetical Schatz article!

101
by AF_Cheddarhead (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 7:31pm

Yeah not the 2007 Pats, the QB came out with 10+ minutes instead on playing throughout the blowout just to set records and pad his stats.

39
by Paul M (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:30pm

OK-- but if you want to bring context into it, they have had the lead in the 2nd half, and often a two score or more lead, in every SINGLE game his year. And their offense has been operating at near-perfect efficiency. In other words, the opposition has had reason to throw, and throw a lot, and sometimes in garbage time, every week. At this point last year, they had lost 3 games, been devastated by injury, and the offense, by Rodgers' own admission, didn't really start to get into gear until around Week 7 or 8. In other words, the defense HAD to play better just to keep the team's head above water.

I am not denying the stats or my lyin' eyes-- there have been times in the first 8 games when all the components the FBO story cited have been substandard-- and clear communication issues in the back that could be a result of Collins being gone. But you also can't minimize 17 interceptions or several for Pick Sixes. They don't have to be a great defense to win in January and February-- but a pretty good defense should suffice, and last night plus the body of work the previous two seasons under Capers would suggest that "pretty good" is "pretty likely".

42
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:40pm

What would concern me if I was a Packers fan is that Rodgers can be hit fairly often. Now, it looks pretty unlikely that they will have to go to a noisy hostile environment in the playoffs, which will help their offensive line quite a bit, but they are not nearly as good a pass blocking team as they are a passing team, if you get my point.

46
by Paul M (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:10pm

True, with a caveat. He clearly espouses a philosophy that says "Sack Before Pick" and thus will hold the ball-- if not to Roethlisbergian lengths-- a lot more than the average Bear. Or Lion. You get the drift. He has enough confidence in the receiving corps, the OL, McCarthy's play-calling, and his own abilities to think they can overcome a 2nd and 14 or a 3rd and 11, as opposed to the Favrian misplaced optimism in just flinging it out there.

But I agree the risk is still an injury-- though the worst injury of last season was on a run down the field vs. Detroit. And Newhouse got worked by Allen a fair amount last night until they brought Quarless in the game to double him.

55
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:02pm

He needs to learn one of the central tenets of Peytonism, that an incompletion is better than getting hit. Of course, even the founder of the philosophy took several years to fully adopt it.

58
by RickD :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:17pm

That was Marino's philosophy long before Manning walked onto the Tennessee campus.

64
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:54pm

True enough. The point is that more qbs should try to adopt it. I suspect, however, that throwing the ball away, to a place where the defense can't touch it, is almost as much a skill as throwing it accurately to where the receiver is best able to catch it. Rodgers is pretty damned skilled, though.

54
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:58pm

OK-- but if you want to bring context into it, they have had the lead in the 2nd half, and often a two score or more lead, in every SINGLE game his year.

I would be shocked at an undefeated team that did not lead every game in the 2nd half.

37
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 1:23pm

What's the DYAR/DVOA for Ted Ginn's facepick?

50
by TomC :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:52pm

Seeing where C. Johnson ended up among WRs this week, I will repeat my idle speculation from Audibles here: I wonder how much he was affected by the vicious (but legal, I think) hit from Peppers that caused him to fumble on the first drive.

52
by NotJimmy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 2:56pm

What do you think - Gronkowski an All-Pro?

57
by RickD :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:15pm

Right now there's a big gap between Gronkowski in the AFC, Jimmy Graham in the NFC, and the rest of the TEs. How is Jimmy Graham as a blocker?

80
by Blotzphoto :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:59pm

I don't think he's called to block a great deal in that offense. To be fair, neither is Gronkowski.

93
by Dan :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 2:14pm

Pro Football Focus has Gronkowski down for 243 plays run blocking and 52 pass blocking; Graham has 128 and 35. They grade Gronkowski as an amazing blocker (especially at run blocking) and Graham as slightly below average.

102
by Bobby Wommack (not verified) :: Thu, 11/17/2011 - 12:08pm

Gronk is one of the best, if not the best, blocking TEs in the league.

59
by mikedewitt :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:22pm

"The Cowboys sit a game behind the New York Giants in the NFC East standings, but with two games left between the two teams, they still control their own destiny." I'm surprised by such a tired cliche by the enlightened writers of FO. One's destiny cannot be controlled; it is a preordained outcome beyond the power of mere mortals to affect (even Tony Romo). I argue that "future" or "outcome" is the correct word there. Sorry, this is a pet peeve.

65
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:54pm

If you pay her enough, you can control Destiny for an hour or two.

71
by Nathan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 7:14pm

nice

82
by armchair journe... :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 12:35am

you can't control Destiny.. you can only hope to contain her.

73
by Jonadan :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 8:19pm

The logical conclusion is clearly that the Cowboys are beyond being mere mortals.

---
"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel

76
by akn :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:45pm

Egads, an entire team of Tebows?

87
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:35am

To be fair, if I had to Malkovich an entire team, Tebow isn't a bad template to use.

I could also see an entire team of Roethlisbergers, Wards, and Newtons. A Rocca-based team might be fun, too. A Suh-team might be fun, but the penalty rate would be unsustainable.

91
by akn :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 1:41pm

An entire team of Bradys would be nice just for gratuitous shots of the wives.

94
by Intropy :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 2:17pm

A team of Willises or Polamalus.

99
by akn :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 3:58pm

A team of Polamulus? Can you imagine how plugged the drains in the showers would be? Plus all that hair product would put a hole in the ozone over Pittsburgh.

72
by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 7:29pm

Eeep. 1 pass for 43 DYAR. 7 passes for -29 DYAR.
I have to say that I'm surprised to see that Tebow's pass DYAR was higher than his rush.

88
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:36am

Why? DYAR almost completely discounts rushing.

95
by The Hypno-Toad :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 2:21pm

Because he was very, very bad throwing the ball, with one exception, and was reasonably good running the ball, and scored an equal number of touchdowns by both methods. And further, I've been hearing outcries constantly on these boards that FO's metrics almost completely discount big plays, so it seemed like the Decker TD would have been the most likely candidate for getting shortchanged.

74
by allmystuffisthere (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 9:54pm

Tony Romo are the first two words in the write-up, and Romo pops up 14 more times. And the all the posts have no comment on him. Everybody really does hate the Cowboys. If playing with broken ribs and a punctured lung and winning on the road versus a contending team like the 49ers is not enough to kill the choke artist tag, then I guess nothing will.

75
by ScottyB (not verified) :: Tue, 11/15/2011 - 10:30pm

Ok, I'll bite.

"Tomy Romo: Elite quarterback who could lead the Dallas Cowboys to the promised land, or turnover machine who comes up short when his team needs him most? The answer..."

...is not somewhere in the middle, as the author states.

...is both.

98
by JIPanick :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 3:57pm

Well, it did kill the choke artist tag - then the Detroit game came along and resurrected it. This season seems to have been thrilling comeback followed by crazy collapse followed by thrilling comeback.

So, in conclusion, someone should take the Buffalo Wild Wings beeper away from Tony Romo.

83
by tuluse :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 12:39am

Cutler’s crummy day was overshadowed by Matthew Stafford’s much, much crummier day. Cutler was actually above replacement level at halftime, but his second half consisted entirely of five incomplete passes and -17 DYAR.

I really feel like DVOA needs better adjustments for running out the clock.

84
by strannix (not verified) :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 1:18am

Well, incomplete passes are a really s***ty way to run out the clock, so I'm not sure how this would benefit Cutler.

85
by tuluse :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 1:52am

The Bears weren't really trying on offense in the 2nd half. It's not really predictive of what they'll do in the future.

92
by Eddo :: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 1:51pm

I don't necessarily think DYAR/DVOA needs to change based on this, but it's kind of an illustration of the limitations of the metrics.

DYAR echoes my subjective view: Cutler (and the Bears' passing offense) looked crappy in the second half.

Contextually, the Bears' second-half strategy was basically "run twice into the line, then hope to convert a third-down pass". This put the passing offense into difficult situations, since first and second downs didn't accomplish much, and the Lions could tee off on third.

That said, the Bears didn't have much success, even given those factors.

I wouldn't use the second-half DYAR figures when judging Cutler's future prospects or overall value, necessarily, but I also wouldn't consider the numbers wrong.