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Sidney Rice has retired. Is he the most random single-season DYAR leader ever? One-year wonder? Injury prone? We offer a career retrospective for the second-best wide receiver named Rice in NFL history.

11 Oct 2011

Week 5 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

Last week, the rankings in this space left a lot of Quick Reads readers confused. Comment after comment asked why this player had bundles of yards and touchdowns, but ended up ranked poorly in our system. This week, to demonstrate better how our method works, we're going to compare players who finished particularly high or low in our rankings, relative to their fantasy statistics.

We'll start at quarterback, where Tom Brady (164 DYAR, third this week) finished much higher than Eli Manning (9, 16th) and Matt Schaub (8, 17th), despite throwing for roughly 100 fewer yards (321 for Brady, 420 for Manning, 416 for Schaub). Brady also threw only one touchdown, fewer than Manning (three) or Schaub (two), and he was sacked four times while the others went down only three times apiece.

So why is Brady ranked higher? Part of it is opponent adjustments. Brady put up his numbers against the Jets, who have been outstanding against the pass. Manning and Schaub played against the Seahawks and Raiders, respectively, two teams who have made things easy on opposing quarterbacks. Brady also threw just one interception, compared to three for Manning and two for Schaub. Finally, Brady had only nine incompletions, while Manning threw 15 and Schaub, 26. Combining sacks, interceptions, incompletions, and completions for short gains, Brady had 17 bad plays, about one-third fewer than Manning (24) and half as many as Schaub (33).

It's easy to look at completion percentage and interceptions and figure out why one quarterback may outrank another, but things can get murkier at running back. For example, Fred Jackson had 111 yards on the ground against Philadelphia for a 4.3-yard average, while Michael Turner rushed for 56 yards against Green Bay, just 3.5 yards per carry. Yet Turner finished 12th among running backs in DYAR, while Jackson was 29th. Although we include receiving value in our overall running back rankings, that does nothing to explain this disparity. While Turner wasn't thrown a single pass, Jackson finished fourth among running backs in receiving DYAR. However, he was sixth from the bottom in rushing value.

Again, part of that is due to opponent adjustments. Jackson was playing against Philadelphia, the worst defense in the league in our rankings, while Turner played against Green Bay, seventh in our run defense rankings entering the week. A play-by-play look at each runner's game further shows how Turner outperformed Jackson. Jackson gained more than half his yards on four carries, while his other 22 runs averaged 2.5 yards each. Half of his carries gained two yards or less, and he picked up just six first downs. Turner also gained two yards or less on half of his carries, but one of those short runs was a touchdown, the most valuable play for either runner all day. Turner picked up four total first downs on the ground, two fewer than Jackson, but in ten fewer carries.

At wide receiver, Victor Cruz caught eight passes in 11 targets for 161 yards, while Hines Ward went 7-of-8 for 54. So why did Ward rank seventh among wide receivers with 44 DYAR, while Cruz was 21st with 27? By our standards, Cruz caught had four "failed completions," catches that fail to pick up meaningful yardage. That includes three receptions on third downs that failed to pick up a new set of downs. (Cruz fumbled one of those receptions away, dropping his DYAR even further.) All told, his day consisted of seven bad plays and only four good ones. Only one of Ward's catches was considered a failure, a 1-yard gain on first-and-10. His other six catches produced six first downs, including a pair of touchdowns.

When it comes to DYAR, it's not just about rattling off a series of big plays (although that certainly helps). It's more about avoiding mistakes and moving the chains, keeping your offense on the field.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Drew Brees NO
32/44
359
2
1
177
177
0
It got lost somewhat among Philadelphia's latest collapse, Oakland's emotional victory, and New England's rivalry win, but Brees' last-minute game-winning touchdown to Pierre Thomas was the latest moment in a season full of late-game heroics. Brees has now thrown four touchdown passes with his team trailing in the fourth quarter, tied with Eli Manning and Jason Campbell for the most in the league. Brees' season-long numbers when facing a fourth-quarter deficit: 34-of-49, 413 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, only two sacks. Every fourth-quarter pass he threw against Carolina came with the Saints trailing, and all he did was go 10-of-13 for 100 yards, one touchdown, no sacks or interceptions.
2.
Aaron Rodgers GB
26/39
396
2
0
169
169
0
Rodgers' excellence is so routine that it's getting hard to find new things to say about it. In five weeks of Quick Reads, he's ranked fourth or higher four times. The only exception was Week 2, when he was ninth. In that game, his worst of the season, he completed 60 percent of his passes for 10 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That's his floor. He's usually much better than that.
3.
Tom Brady NE
24/33
321
1
1
164
160
4
Behold the power of opponent adjustments! Brady had only 124 passing YAR against the Jets, but because they are the Jets and they are mighty, he gets a boost of 36 to his DYAR. Bready on deep passes Sunday: 5-of-7 for 171 yards, plus a DPI for 38 yards.
4.
Curtis Painter IND
15/27
277
2
0
145
145
0
5.
Matt Cassel KC
22/29
257
4
0
145
141
3
Montana vs. Elway. Young vs. Aikman. Manning vs. Brady. Painter vs. Cassel? Doesn't have the same kind of panache, but on Sunday Manning's backup and Brady's former backup engaged in the day's best shootout, finishing virtually tied for the fourth spot in our rankings. The combined numbers: 36-of-56, 534 yards, six touchdowns, no picks, two sacks. Cassel's performance was pretty steady throughout, but Painter's first half (12-of-17, 237 yards, both touchdowns) was much better than his second (3-of-10 for 40 yards).
6.
Alex Smith SF
11/19
170
3
0
131
131
0
Smith's first eight pass plays against Tampa Bay produced one incompletion; one 6-yard gain on first-and-10; five completions for first downs and a total of 86 yards, including a touchdown; and one DPI for 24 yards.
7.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
24/34
228
5
1
129
129
0
Roethlisberger's average dropback came with just 7.4 yards needed for a first down, the lowest of any starter this week. Not coincidentally, he went 6-of-7 in the red zone with four touchdowns and a first down.
8.
Jay Cutler CHI
28/38
249
1
0
108
108
-1
When we invent BVOA (Blocking-adjusted Value Over Average), Jay Cutler will be its patron saint. It was remarkable watching him survive on Monday night, let alone thrive, evading one Lions lineman after another and picking up first downs. Cutler was like the hero in a zombie movie, fighting valiantly and alone against wave after wave of relentless attackers, until finally he was overwhelmed and Ndamukong Suh ate his brain, which drew the requisite 15-yard penalty.
9.
Donovan McNabb MIN
10/21
169
0
0
66
59
7
McNabb's average completion gained 10.0 YAC, most of any starter this week.
10.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
16/25
166
2
0
63
63
0
If Jets fans are going to defend Sanchez when he plays poorly in Jets wins, will they attack him when he plays well in Jets defeats? Sanchez completed 7-of-9 passes in the fourth quarter for 96 yards and a touchdown, all while playing from behind. He was also sacked once, but still finished with 64 fourth-quarter DYAR, better than anyone except Drew Brees.
11.
Matt Stafford DET
19/26
219
2
1
55
59
-3
Stafford to Calvin Johnson: 5-of-6 for 130 yards, 91 DYAR. Stafford to everyone else: 14-of-20 for 89 yards, one interception, -16 DYAR. (He was also sacked once for -16 DYAR.)
12.
Charlie Whitehurst SEA
11/19
149
1
0
54
52
2
Whitehurst went 2-for-7 on third downs, and the two conversions came with 1 and 7 yards to go. He was also sacked twice on third downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Tim Tebow DEN
4/9
79
1
0
48
36
13
Tebow's completions were long enough -- and came in bad enough field position -- to give him an excellent 50.9% DVOA. Of course, this is why we don't just run tables of numbers without any words next to them. The stats don't understand that one of those completions required an insane, twisting catch by Brandon Lloyd, while another came against a lax prevent defense that was just trying to keep Denver out of the end zone.


By the time you read this, Tebow may have been named the starting quarterback in Denver. If so, his first game will come after the bye, against Miami in Week 7. Please keep Miami's defense in mind when evaluating his performance that day.
14.
Cam Newton CAR
16/31
241
2
1
44
45
-1
Newton's average dropback came with 10.0 yards needed for a first down, more than any other starter except Kyle Orton.
15.
Jason Campbell OAK
15/35
190
2
1
41
41
0
Campbell's first pass was successful, a five-yard gain on first-and-10. His next 10 plays were all failures, including two sacks and an interception. His overall success rate was just 34 percent, worse than all other starters except Kyle Orton and Blaine Gabbert.
16.
Andy Dalton CIN
21/33
179
2
1
32
32
0
Dalton was one of four passers to convert eight different third- or fourth-down opportunities this weekend. The others: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Schaub. Fine company, that is.
17.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
21/27
193
1
1
10
8
3
Completely irrelevant Philadelphia cornerback watch: Fitzpatrick went 12-of-18 for 101 yards throwing to his wide receivers, with eight successful completions and a long catch of just 20 yards. The Eagles did completely take away the downfield passing game; Fitzpatrick's average completion came just 0.95 yards (about two feet, 10 inches) beyond the line of scrimmage. Eleven of his 21 completions came behind the line of scrimmage.
18.
Eli Manning NYG
24/39
420
3
3
9
10
-1
Eli knew the Seahawks were missing Marcus Trufant, and he took advantage, going deep early and often. He threw a league-high 13 deep passes (more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage). His average completion came 10.8 yards downfield, more than any starter except Curtis Painter.
19.
Matt Schaub HOU
24/50
416
2
2
8
8
0
Schaub threw a league-high 26 incompletions on Sunday. For more on this story, please see the bottom of this column.
20.
Tarvaris Jackson SEA
15/22
166
1
1
2
-11
13
Not shown here are Jackson's four sacks. For the season, he's been sacked once every 6.5 dropbacks. Charlie Whitehurst was sacked once every 10.5 dropbacks on Sunday, and that was playing against the Giants, who lead the league in sacks. Just sayin'.
21.
Michael Vick PHI
26/39
316
2
4
1
-28
29
First half: 11-of-21 for 113 yards, one sack, three interceptions, -108 DYAR (plus 12 DYAR rushing). Second half: 15-of-19 for 203 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 80 DYAR (plus 18 DYAR rushing). Vick completed every one of his first 11 passes in the fourth quarter, nine of them for successful yardage, 134 total yards. His 12th pass of the quarter was intercepted, and he never saw the field again.
22.
Matt Ryan ATL
18/32
167
1
2
-1
4
-4
First quarter: 6-of-8, 68 yards, 76 DYAR. Afterwards: 12-of-24, 99 yards, one sack, two interceptions, -37 DYAR.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Blaine Gabbert JAC
15/28
221
1
0
-9
-4
-5
Gabbert's average successful play gained 21.7 yards, tops among starting quarterbacks. Of course, he had only nine successful plays. But darn it, when he hit, he hit big.
24.
Philip Rivers SD
18/28
250
1
1
-15
-29
14
Here's the real reason the Broncos almost won: Rivers started the fourth quarter 2-for-5 for 13 yards (no first downs), plus two sacks and a lost fumble. He did pick up 38 yards on third-and-10 to finish his day, but it was the defense as much as the QB switch that got the Broncos back in the game.
25.
Matt Hasselbeck TEN
30/49
262
1
1
-34
-39
5
Hasselbeck had 11 failed completions on Sunday, tied with Ryan Fitzpatrick for most in the league.
26.
Josh Freeman TB
17/33
189
0
2
-45
-50
5
The 49ers were powerless to stop deep passes in 2010, allowing opponents to complete 48 percent of their deep attempts for 14.3 yards per pass and only four interceptions all season long. On Sunday, Freeman threw seven deep balls against the 49ers, with no completions and two interceptions. Nate Clements, Taylor Mays, you are not missed.
27.
Kyle Orton DEN
6/13
34
0
1
-74
-74
0
This is why it's Tebow Time in Denver.
28.
Kevin Kolb ARI
21/42
232
0
2
-80
-85
5
The Cardinals' first five possessions against Minnesota gained a combined 22 yards with no first downs, one interception, and one lost fumble. By the time Kolb hit Andre Roberts on the sixth drive for the team's first first down, the Vikings were already up 28-0. Kolb's numbers in the first quarter: four-of-nine passing for 40 yards with one pick, one sack, and one fumble, and -87 DYAR. He was fairly mediocre after that, if not particularly good, but the game was over by then anyway.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Jackie Battle KC
119
0
21
0
45
45
0
Battle had 118 rushing yards in his first four seasons in Kansas City; he had 119 rushing yards against Indianapolis. In pure rushing value, he was actually the top running back in all of football. Twelve of his 19 runs gained 4 yards or more, including seven first downs and four runs of at least 10 yards. He had five runs with fewer than 10 yards needed for a first down and converted four of those opportunities. The fifth was a 2-yard gain on second-and-5.
2.
Ryan Mathews SD
125
0
7
0
39
32
7
Last week we said the MVP race was likely to come down to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Mathews, apparently, disagreed. He was first in overall DYAR among running backs this week, and he's first in total value on the season. He was also first in Week 2 and second in Week 3, and hasn't finished worse than 14th yet. Did we mention that he's on pace for more than 2,100 yards from scrimmage, or that the Chargers are 4-1 even though Philip Rivers is having something of a down year? Against Denver, Mathews had five ten-yard runs, including a 36-yarder, and also converted pair of third-and-1 opportunities.
3.
Willis McGahee DEN
125
0
0
0
38
42
-4
McGahee had nine runs for 4 or more yards, five runs for 10 or more yards, and two runs for more than 20. Meanwhile, he was stuffed for no gain or a loss just twice.
4.
DeAngelo Williams CAR
115
1
0
0
34
34
0
Williams had three runs for first downs, and those three runs gained 13, 18, and 69 yards (the latter going for a score). His other six carries averaged 2.5 yards each, although two of them would be considered successful.
5.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
98
1
33
0
31
23
8
Lynch had runs for 13, 18, and 47 yards, plus a 9-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 1-yard touchdown. He makes this list despite his red zone fumble. For those of you wondering where Jahvid Best is, he would have made the list on pure rushing value, but he had -16 DYAR receiving, with 9 yards on his four catches.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Cedric Benson CIN
53
0
0
0
-27
-27
0
There's three yards and a cloud of dust, and then there's Cedric Benson, who looks upon that cloud of dust with wistful envy. In 24 carries, Benson gained 3 yards or less 20 times. His other four runs went for 4, 5, 6, and 8 yards. He had just one first down on the day, only four successful carries, and went 1-for-4 on third and fourth downs. He had six red zone carries, none of them successful, for a total of six yards.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Doug Baldwin SEA
8
9
136
17.0
1
61
An undrafted free agent out of Stanford, Baldwin wasn't likely to make an NFL roster, particularly in a lockout-shortened offseason that theoretically would have made experienced players even more valuable than usual. Seattle took a shot at him though, and the absence of Mike Williams left opportunities open for Baldwin against the Giants. He responded with a day that was virtually the polar opposite of Jacoby Jones' day (below). His first target fell incomplete, but he caught everything thrown his way after that, including five 20-yarders. The only other player with five 20-yard catches in a game this year: Carolina's Steve Smith against Chicago in Week 4.
2.
Calvin Johnson DET
5
6
130
26.0
1
58
All five of Johnson's catches produced either a first down or a touchdown.
3.
Dwayne Bowe KC
7
11
128
18.3
2
53
Each of Bowe's catches produced a first down or a touchdown. Not shown in the numbers above, he also drew a 10-yard DPI for a first down.
4.
Pierre Garcon IND
5
8
125
25.0
2
51
Garcon caught touchdowns of 67 and 6 yards. He also had a 37-yard gain, plus a 6-yard gain on third-and-3.
5.
Mike Wallace PIT
6
7
82
13.7
1
50
All hail the NFL's reigning home-run king! Wallace's 40-yard touchdown against Tennessee made it four straight games with at least one 40-yard catch. He led the league with 10 40-yarders last season, and he's tied with Steve Smith with four 40-yarders this year. And it's not like throwing to Wallace is a high-risk, high-reward gamble. For the season, he's caught 78 percent of the balls thrown his way, fourth-highest among wide receivers. The three players ahead of him are each averaging less than 12 yards a catch, while Wallace's average reception goes better than 19 yards. He wasn't that explosive against Tennessee, but he did convert all three of his third-down throws.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Jacoby Jones HOU
1
11
9
9.0
0
-48
With Andre Johnson out, the Texans needed a hero. What they got was Jacoby Jones. They threw his way 11 times. He caught the first one for a 9-yard gain on third-and-2. The next eight fell incomplete, including three third-down balls. Then Jones drew a defensive pass interference flag to convert a fourth down. (One wonders why the Raiders even covered him, let alone made contact.) Jones' next target was incomplete, and finally he was the intended receiver on Matt Schaub's game-ending interception (although Jones is not penalized for the interception on that play, just the incompletion).

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 11 Oct 2011

108 comments, Last at 02 Feb 2013, 3:12pm by long beach google ranking

Comments

1
by RickD :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 10:55am

How the mighty have fallen. Fred Jackson is penalized for facing the Eagles' defense!

2
by Alexander :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:00am

That is the highest I've seen Cutler in a long time. Love the BVOA.

23
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:01pm

I haven't seem him play since he was in Denver. He had an astounding game, didn't he? Is the Bear's o-line really bad, or is the Detroit d-line really good? Hard to think of many quarterbacks who wouldn't have gotten destroyed behind that Bear's line last night.

I've always heard bad things about Bobby Carpenter, but he seemed to have a good game.

28
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:12pm

The Bears o-line is bad, but I love the way the Lions have constructed their roster, playing 9 defensive linemen in a Chinese People's Army human wave attack. If you don't love watching Suh-on-opponent violence, you just are missing some of the quaint charmns of the sport. The fact that Suh saw a need to get in one more body slam, on the last play of the game, was beyond magnificent.

I am offcially rooting for the Lions to hoist the trophy, with Suh getting Super Bowl MVP honors, and then tossing whomever interviews him off the podium, when a dumb question is asked, then screaming, "IT FEELS F*****' GREAT, DUMBS***!!"

31
by speedegg :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:18pm

I've seen a few of the Bears games and their O-line is that bad. The Detroit D-line made it worst since it shrunk the playbook and the only effective run they had was the trap play.

What makes it worst is the mad offense of Mike Martz. The O-line rarely got help and Cutler was kept under center. If you look at what Detroit did, they went with a 2 TE set, had their TEs chip block the DEs, and they did that with Stafford in the shotgun to give him more time.

Not sure about Bobby Carpenter, but I think the change to a 4-3 linebacker helps.

34
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:26pm

Good points on the Martz scheme. I thought it was a good hire, but have soured on the guy. No audibles (so Cutler can't switch to a handoff if he knows the pass blocking won't be sufficient) is the biggest problem, in my mind, but the too-rare use of the shotgun is also an issue.

It doesn't help that Kellen Davis, the number one TE, can't seem to figure out where to line up on his own. He's a physical specimen, but I'm not sure he has the awareness to be a blocking TE.

38
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:32pm

Martz runs a good scheme if your team is in a home stadium which has great passing conditions, a great offensive line, and a qb who gets rid of the ball quickly, while making consistently good decisions. Which is why he was a puzzling hire for the Bears.

60
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:56pm

That's been a big change for them this season: they really don't run much two-back stuff any more, mostly 3-WR or 2-TE sets, with some occasionally 3-TE sets. A lot of plays are from the gun: I don't know right now what percentage, but if you told me 75%, I wouldn't be surprised.

I don't think it's a coincidence that you've got two teams here with less-than-desirable OLs; one of them runs a lot of shotgun and keeps their QB mostly upright, and one of them runs very little shotgun and keeps their QB in a nice little heap behind the line of scrimmage.

66
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:20pm

I like Linehan as an offensive coordinator more than I do Martz. Linehan did a great job with a Vikings offense which featured a gigantic talent at wide receiver, and a qb with some good qualities and some less than good qualities.

67
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:21pm

2-TEs make sense - I remember Spaeth being a good blocker in Pittsburgh. It makes sense to keep him on the field if you're having protection problems, and Davis is theoretically their best mismatch as a receiver. I suppose you can split Davis out wide and run a shotgun draw with Spaeth as the TE, but it just feels like they don't have the personnel to run any kind of offense without trouble (which, I suppose, is always the case with a line that bad).

86
by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 5:07pm

The Bears line as currently lined up is that bad. The biggest issue is clearly Omiyale who couldn't stop speed rushers going to his left or block down on Suh when he needed to stop him getting into the backfield (seriously not even once). Webb got exposed last night against speed from a wide 9 but since he has come into the league he has been able to improve and eradicate his weaknesses and I think he will sort himself out; I can't remember a team really trying that against him before.

The line that started the season (Webb, Williams, Garza, Louis, Carimi) could actually be quite good but Louis is playing hurt and has missed time and Carimi is still out. The fact that the backup (Spencer) has a broken hand doesn't help either. Playing a guy who is hurt next to Omiyale is a disaster waiting to happen. Last year the line improved as it got healthier, I am hoping for a similar outcome this year - of course it has to get healthy first.

33
by RickD :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:26pm

This is an annual thing for the Bears. They go on Monday Night Football in October and the o-line opens the turnstiles for the defense to go after Cutler. Actually, last year was worse - the Giants sacked him nine times. In the first half!

92
by Marko :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 10:32pm

Nitpick: The Bears-Giants game last year was on Sunday Night Football, not MNF.

52
by MJK :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:39pm

I don't watch much Bears or Lions, but gosh that was some terrible O-line play! It seemed like every passing play, the sequence of events was:

1) Cutler takes the snap
2) Cutler dodges, ducks, or levitates above an unblocked Suh
3) Cutler runs away from another Detroit D-lineman who won a battle on the opposite side
4) Cutler hurls a desperate pass, on target a surprising percentage of the time, while in the grasp of two more pursuing Lions defenders.
5) Suh comes up and body slams Cutler five seconds after the play is over.

On the other hand, every running play was:

1) Forte takes the handoff.
2) Forte get's grabbed two yards behind the LOS
3) Forte drags the tacklers two yards forward for a net zero-yard gain.
4) Suh comes up and body slams Cutler five seconds after the play is over.

I think, if it was allowed by rule, the Bears would have been better off taking their O-linemen off the field (barring the center, since someone has to snap the ball) and running a 9-wide set. Martz would probably prefer that offense, anyway...

57
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:48pm

My initial theory on last night's game was that the Bears' plan was to specifically instruct the offensive linemen to let Detroit defenders through, where they would undoubtedly rough Cutler and allow Chicago to move down the field 15 yards at a time. Brilliant!

65
by BJR :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:16pm

You forgot the false start penalty before the start of every play.

75
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:07pm

Damn. You beat me to it.

51
by Alexander :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:39pm

Calling the Bear's O-Line (I'm looking at you Frank Omiyale) turnstiles is an insult to turnstiles, they at least hit you in the nuts as you got through.

78
by CaffeineMan :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:13pm

That was awesome.

94
by troycapitated p... :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 12:03am

I agree. Too funny.

104
by dbt :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 2:20am

This particular comment deserves some kind of award. I don't think I've seen a better summary of how godawful this line is.

105
by Intropy :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 4:07am

It's a shame there's no Chi vs. Pit game this season. It would make the best Word of Muth ever.

Well I guess there's a vanishingly small chance for the season to end with one.

3
by Lyford (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:09am

Hmm... I thought that BenJarvus Green-Ellis might show up in the top 5 this week. Any comment on where he finished and why?

25
by Biebs :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:04pm

I'm actually a little surprised too, I did a quick look through, and it seemed like he had about a 70% success rate, 1/2 on 3rd down.

I wonder if the Jets opponent adjustment isn't particularly strong right now, since they got torched by the Raiders, and got beat up a bit by the Jaguars.

88
by ctpatsfan77 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 6:24pm

The JEST, er, Jets are second against the pass (-22.6%), but 22nd against the run (+3.5%).

4
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:12am

I feel like I really should know this by now, but is there a "VOA" version of DYAR? If opponent adjustments are making that big a difference (in a five game sample, no less) it would be illuminating to compare the two, just like we cdo with DVOA/VOA.

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

Okay, now that I actually run through the columns I see "YAR" in Brady's entry. But it'd be nice to have it presented for all players.

5
by Purds :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:14am

That boy Curtis lands in 4th place for QB's this week, likely to be his only lifetime appearance in the top 10, and there isn't even a word of comment? Let the man have one word. Just once. I suggest: "lucky."

9
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:25am

Painter and Cassel actually share a blurb.

10
by Briguy :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:25am

Read the comment below. The Painter and Cassell comments were combined.

12
by Tepid Coffee (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:27am

His comment was rolled into Cassel's, right below him.

Maybe in five years, we're all lighting up the Irrational Cassel vs. Painter thread ("It took Painter to make Garcon into the Second Coming of Jerry Rice! Cassel had no weapons until KC traded for Mike Wallace!") and the Colts' homer blog is named "7 to 85."

Also, you might have missed the Eli comment later on, where the phrase "more than any starter except Curtis Painter" was not preceded by "stip-sack-sixes".

7
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:19am

Should the Fitzpatrick blurb read, "Completely irrelevant Philadelphia cornerback watch: Fitzpatrick went 12-of-18 for 101 yards against the Eagles' cornerbacks,"?

8
by MJK :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:23am

Complimenting Drew Brees is like, so last year. Get with the picture. Aaron Rodgers is the current darling.

Seriously, people said when Manning was going to be out that it would cause a decrease in total QB talent this year. By Brady and Brees staying at a high level, and Rodgers performing so well, that has not come to pass. I think we have a new elite QB triumvirate.

11
by MJK :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:26am

Brady also threw just one interception

And even that one wasn't his fault. When you put the ball on the hands of your open tight end, and the TE then bats the ball into the arms of a defender who is not in tight coverage, you can hardly blame the QB.

Didn't see the interceptions by Schaub or Manning...

97
by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 8:08am

Schaub's were both poor throws - batted ball at the line & last gasp 5yd throw straight to Huff in the endzone instead of trying to run it in.

12
by Dice :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:27am

Bills remain fun to watch for me. Not my team, but it feels like they're playing with house money. Hoping Fitzpatrick gets back on track next week. Not normally a fan of huge contracts for tailbacks, but Fred Jackson could use a new one, even with his low DYAR.

14
by MJK :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:28am

Am I right in understanding that a 30 yard run and a 70 yard run have almost the same DYAR value? Because once you break into the open field, how many yards you get is less about how much better than a replacement player you are, and more about how much field you have in front of you? Or is it because even a replacement player could scamper for a lot of yards once he gets through the second level?

35
by Snack Flag (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:29pm

I still disagree entirely with this premise. Biggest example of the weekend: Wes Welker catches a deep Brady pass beyond a Jets safety and Revis. Welker is quick, but his top end speed isn't dazzling. Revis catches up with him and tackles him before he reaches the end zone.

There is a ton of value in actually making it to the end zone and a guy like CJ, though he's not tearing up the league this year, doesn't get caught where other backs would. Speed matters - it's valuable, and DVOA almost penalizes it by disregarding it.

40
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:50pm

I think you're making a mostly-untrue assumption about VOA/YAR. I'm fairly certain Calvin Johnson's long touchdown accrues more YAR than Welker's long non-touchdown (not factoring in the opposing defense).(*)

In fact, I think it's actually the yardage that gets diminishing returns: an 80-yard touchdown is not 33% more valuable, per YAR, than a 60-yard one; the operating logic is that the primary thing keeping the 60-yarder from being as long is the starting field position. And the starting field position doesn't really affect the play itself when we're talking about those distances.

(*) EDIT: The touchdown itself definitely has value. Johnson's play guaranteed the Lions seven points; Welker's 73-yard catch ended at the seven-yard-line, which does not quite guarantee a touchdown.

46
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:22pm

Each additional yard at a certain point does start to have diminishing returns, yes, but there is also a special bonus for any play that scores a touchdown because that last yard is so important.

56
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:44pm

Thanks for the clarification, Aaron. That's what my somewhat-educated assumption was.

15
by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:30am

If you were curious, the DVOA flat-out leaders in receiving as of Week 4:

1. Jake Ballard
2. Jeff King
3. Randall Cobb

16
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:31am

I am curious how Jahvid Best did in the DYAR rankings this week. He averaged 13.6 yards per carry in the most un-DYAR-friendly way possible: an 88-yard run, a 43-yard run, 10, 11, and 15 yard runs, and a net loss of four yards on his other seven carries.

72
by tgt2 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:46pm

According to the comments, he had something over 30 DYAR rushing, but the -16 DYAR from dumpoffs killed him.

17
by JIPanick :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:43am

Maybe I'm just being dumb, but the DYAR numbers inside Vick's blurb don't seem to line up with his total.

20
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:48am

Sorry, fixed that.

19
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:46am

When we invent BVOA (Blocking-adjusted Value Over Average), Jay Cutler will be its patron saint. It was remarkable watching him survive on Monday night, let alone thrive, evading one Lions lineman after another and picking up first downs. Cutler was like the hero in a zombie movie, fighting valiantly and alone against wave after wave of relentless attackers, until finally he was overwhelmed and Ndamukong Suh ate his brain, which drew the requisite 15-yard penalty.

I'm really glad this was on Monday night, just so Bears fans had only one game to focus on; I'm not a Cutler fan, but most of the criticism he received last year was uncalled for, and I really hope this redeems him in the eyes of Bears fans. That was the best performance in an impossible situation I've seen since the "Ronnie Brown vs. Pittsburgh" game from a few years ago.

24
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:01pm

Cutler reminded of watching, when I was in the fourth grade, Tarkenton on the then-hideous New York Giants, against the soon to be world champion Dallas Cowboys, which was the greatest one man performance I (along with, as I learned a few years ago, Dr. Z) have ever seen.

26
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:06pm

Cutler was like the hero in a zombie movie, fighting valiantly and alone against wave after wave of relentless attackers, until finally he was overwhelmed and Ndamukong Suh ate his brain, which drew the requisite 15-yard penalty.

Frankly, I've about had it with all these rules about what the defenders can't do to the quarterback. They're sissifying the game. Johnny Unitas would've slapped Suh on the butt and congratulated him on a good eat.

29
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:17pm

I dunno - I kind of draw the line at brain-eating, but your mileage may vary.

41
by countertorque :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:52pm

The ref could at least show some consideration of Suh's intent. Just because the brain is in his mouth doesn't mean he was trying to eat it.

47
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:24pm

If the brain don't fit, you must acquit.

71
by NotJimmy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:45pm

Bravo, Sir.

30
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:18pm

I felt, after watching the game, that it was Cutler's finest as a Bear. He was eluding pressure like Aaron Rodgers does, and making some sick throws on the run and while being hit.

I am a little surprised FO's metrics liked the game so much, because the results really weren't there. I seem to remember quite a few plays where Cutler had to bend space and time simply to throw a one-yard completion on first-and-ten, which looks great subjectively (when evaluating the QB only), but not so great when simply looking at the outcome of a play from a success point of view.

Regardless, this is the quarterback the Bears traded for. And they've surrounded him with that abomination of an offensive line.

32
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:25pm

That is part of the conumdrum of trading that much draft value for a qb, and then signing Julius Peppers (who is worth every penny) to a big deal. It just reduces the margin of error for filling out the rest of the roster. If you could only pick up great qbs in the 6th round, Brady-style, then the job of general manager would be a lot easier.

93
by Marko :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:15pm

While I get your point, I don't think it really applies to the Bears. The Bears failings are not due to being cap-strapped and spending too many draft picks on Cutler. The Bears have plenty of cap room available (something like $18 or $19 million, according to various reports). And even if they were up against the cap, they could always renegotiate contracts to be more cap-friendly like many teams do.

And while Cutler did cost a lot in terms of draft picks, the real problem is that the Bears have whiffed on so many draft picks over the past 5+ years. So while they have had their share of picks, they simply wasted too many on players who were busts and/or injury prone and/or head cases. They also have continually made similar mistakes in free agency (other than with Peppers) and have failed to adequately address the team's glaring needs at OL, WR and S. On top of that, the defense is getting very old.

99
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 8:24am

That is what I mean by saying that giving up a lot of draft value for one guy reduces your margin of error.

76
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:09pm

Bending space and time? What, is he a Swiss neutrino now?

18
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:46am

"This week, to demonstrate better how our method works, we're going to compare players who finished particularly high or low in our rankings, relative to their fantasy statistics."
-------

False comparison is false. Please don't create a strawman by slurring your detractors as fantasy stat defenders. The real question was by those interested in the disparity between your stats and standard NFL stats.

27
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:11pm

For the most part, fantasy stats line up with standard stats: high yardage is considered good, touchdowns are considered very good, and interceptions are considered bad. Really, the only thing missing is completion percentage or passer rating. It doesn't seem like something to get too upset over.

59
by Kal :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:50pm

The implication is that we're just fantasy wonks wondering why someone who put up 28 points isn't rated higher. When in reality it's because we're simply trying to figure out how players who almost singlehandedly caused their team to win the game (like Matt Forte last week) aren't in the top 5 of DYAR, but someone who ran 8 times is (Michael Bush). Especially for a counting stat.

The only explanation that seems to make sense is that DYAR overemphasizes the value of passing plays for running backs (especially negative ones, which are often not the RB's fault) and underemphasizes the value of longer runs past success level. I think DYAR severely underestimates the value of field position on those long runs as well.

Or, really, DYAR basically is worthwhile for QBs (who don't tend to have a ton of rushing YAR) and WRs (who only have receiving YAR, so judging them compared to other receivers makes sense) but consistently gets it wrong as far as the value of RBs.

62
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:07pm

I think you're reading too much into it, as I didn't really get any implications of the sort.

Your third paragraph is interesting. I think a breakdown of QB DYAR / Rushing DYAR / Receiving DYAR would be more useful. Since QBs are the key to an entire offense, and someone like Vick or Tebow can add a lot of value with their legs, it makes sense to add in passing, rushing, and receiving DYAR for QBs.

However, rather than having a RB and WR/TE section, why not have a Rushing and Receiving section?

70
by Kal :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:44pm

That's probably a good point.

Still, it bothers me that someone like Jahvid Best lost 16 DYAR because he gained 9 yards on 4 receptions. Would he have lost that much if they were rushes? Was there even the remotest chance of success on those plays? From what I've seen the times that a RB is successful as a receiver is on designed passes to them; when they're a failure it's often as a last resort receiver. For example, last night Forte 'missed' two catches that Cutler threw. Those passes were left handed shotputs that had literally no chance of success - but that brings down Forte's DYAR by 4 points each? That seems really crazy to me.

74
by Arkaein :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:04pm

It's crazy because you have the perspective of someone who watched each play, while DYAR has the perspective of someone who only read the play-by-play, since that's exactly what it does.

If the average dumpoff to a RB gains 4 yards, then an incomplete (gain of 0 yards) losing 4 DYAR makes perfect sense, absent any more information.

These things tend to even out over larger sample sizes, which is why single game DYAR works best for QBs. Season DYAR still works pretty well for RBs and WRs. An improved DYAR that adjusts for quality of teammates would be better, but what you're looking for basically would require single day turnaround of complete game charting data.

80
by Kal :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:32pm

I don't agree. In addition to losing 16 DYAR from four not so successful plays, the 88 yards is widdled down to nothing. For that game, was an 88 yard play a huge play or not much better than a 20 yard play? DYAR treats it much like the latter, when in reality the importance and value of the play was huge (and most likely a 20 yard play would ultimately result in nothing). And that's for Best last night; with Forte last week we have things like Michael Bush scoring more DYAR than Matt Forte. Again, I realize that Bush had 8 successful plays, but Forte had 4 runs over 20 yards and 200 overall rushing yards. To me this feels like the bad plays are penalized way too much; when someone has a total of 4 successful plays and doesn't do anything else the entire game, they would be valued more than someone who had 7 successful plays and 4 unsuccessful ones, even though the latter is probably way more important to a game's success.

And that's just the counting metric part; the notion that a 40 yard run is only marginally more valuable than a 20 yard run seems completely wrong, especially when talking about running backs and seeing those in real world game scenarios. These aren't useless yards at the end of games trying to catch up; these are yards that are establishing field position and threatening running. In Chicago's case last week they were 2/3rds of the entire offensive production of the whole game. How is this not more important than 8 successful plays?

83
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 4:34pm

The key here is that DYAR was built to be predictive. No player in the league gets 80 yard plays with regularity, so it's not predictive.

90
by Kal :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 8:50pm

That doesn't make much sense either, since it's a counting stat. How can a counting stat be predictive? DVOA can be predictive in that fashion, but DYAR I had thought was giving the specific value of that player in that game.

If it's meant to be predictive perhaps it shouldn't be labeled yards above replacement; that's hugely misleading if it doesn't count explosive plays as anything special. Similarly it shouldn't be labeled a counting stat if someone with significantly more positive plays (and more plays overall) is valued less than someone who had many fewer plays but they are all success. Otherwise what is the point? Because right now the predictive quality of DYAR, if you want to call it that, is saying that it's more likely that Michael Bush will be successful on every single play he runs and Matt Forte will fail quite a bit. Which is true, but entirely useless if Bush gets 6-8 touches a game and Forte gets 25-30.

91
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 10:03pm

DYAR is based on DVOA, it just has a lower baseline and adds the plays up.

96
by Kal :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 1:34am

Right, but it's not able to be a predictive value. You can't say (for example) that player X is averaging Y DYAR a game. You state instead that they've got a Z% DVOA. Because DYAR is a counting stat, the former wouldn't make sense.

As it stands, players get punished for the more plays they do. It doesn't make sense to me that someone who has 3 20 yard runs and 3 unsuccessful passes would have a worse DYAR than someone who had exactly one 1 yard run for a first down. But that's precisely what occurs with the penalizing of bad plays and the non-rewarding of yards past success.

98
by dbostedo :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 8:16am

First, I don't think your first paragraph makes sense. You can absolutely say that a player is averaging a certain amount of DYAR per game. I.e. a player with 500 total DYAR this year is averaging 100 DYAR/game.

And there isn't a "non-rewarding" of yards past success. It's just rewarded at a lower rate. And players only get punished for more plays because they make more negative plays. (And are you exaggerating in your example? I think the running back with the 3 20 yard runs would still have more DYAR... unless the unsuccessful plays were very negative.)

But yes, if someone has three negative plays that completely wipe out the value of their positive plays, then someone with a single decent play will be ranked higher. If a RB has an 80 yard TD run, but then gets stuffed completely on 10 other carries and the team wins 7-0, it may seem like that 80 yard play is worth the entire win. But in comparison to a replacement level back, that RB performed worse, overall, than replacement level.

101
by Kal :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 10:20am

I don't think that that's how DYAR works as far as averaging goes. Since each play is weighed differently and isn't entirely normalized, those averages swing wildly from week to week based solely on opponent adjustments. I guess it's more accurate to say that you could do something like that but it would not have particularly useful predictive power.

As to the lower rate, it's at such a significantly lower rate that it might as well be nothing. Again, look at the example of Forte and tell me how someone who gains 2/3rds of the total offensive production and was key on every single scoring drive is rated less than someone who has a total of 8 minorly successful plays but no negative ones?

Finally, don't you think that an 80 yard run is more valuable than a replacement level player? I do. Replacement level players often can't make those runs. In terms of a counting stat, that's significantly more valuable than someone who makes 3 successful runs that don't score.

Mostly, I worry about the notion that each incomplete pass costs a RB 4 DYAR. That's a huge chunk of change relative to their overall gains of the day, and often it just doesn't make sense. I agree that rewarding good plays for RB passes is important, but I think the negative value of passing plays to RBs is inaccurate and misleading in most situations. It is true that some RBs aren't good receivers - but I believe that the majority of the cases an RB is 4th option or desperation option that will almost certainly be unsuccessful. That's not a knock on the RB and shouldn't be any more than an incomplete pass thrown out of bounds should be, but it often is taken that way by DYAR - and that's clearly incorrect.

103
by dbostedo :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 11:27am

You may be right - but to play devil's advocate...

The 80 yard run is more valuable than a replacement player - but most replacement players could probably have made the last 60 yards of it. It's the first 20 that are difficult - the rest is luck.

Also, keep in mind that the negative DYAR for running backs is based on the DYAR earned on average in similar situations against the baseline replacement level. It wasn't pulled out of thin air. If you think that losing 4 DYAR on a missed pass is over-weighting it, maybe you don't realize just how terrible a play that is. And sure, it could be the QBs fault, it could just be good defense, but it goes against the RB.

21
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:50am

I liked the introductory run-down. It would be great fun to see a little one- or two-sentence blurb about a few of the oddballs each week. (Though I know this article is already a lot of work.)

Never thought I'd see Alex Smith with 131 DYAR on a game. ESPN's QBR gave him the best game of the season of any quarterback, which says some interesting things about QBR. Because it's so heavily based on win probability, a few plays at the end of a close game, or a couple good series at the beginning of a blowout, have an enormous effect on the final rating. To my mind, this heavy weighting of a small part of the game injures QBR's credibility. Football is already a game of small sample sizes; QBR makes it worse.

55
by zenbitz :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:42pm

Yeah, I saw that Smith had like +23% WPA for basically 1.5 excellent quarters.
In baseball they divide WPA by "leverage index" to get a more balanced number... I wonder if you could do that for football as well.... although that might make Alex's numbers higher - since leverage is lower at the beginning of the game. I guess when the score is close it's higher. I guess that's probably close to EPA (expected points added).

22
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 11:54am

The relatively close ranking between Cutler and Stafford shows how stats need to be placed in context. I thought Stafford was pretty bad, missing on wide open receivers well downfield in the first half. Cutler was off the charts good, continually making something out of a trainwreck, and if the two qbs had switched teams, the Lions might have won 38-0.

Frank Omiyale looks like a fat Shriner with 6 whiskey sours in him, taking an Arthur Murray class.

43
by Keith(1) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:08pm

Your first point deserves more discussion -- those were not entirely Stafford's fault. I seem to recall back-to-back throws down the left side of the field, the first to Johnson and the second to Burleson. Those were the two most egregious misses, and I am pretty sure you are just referring to those two, as they happened early when the game was still scoreless. So, here is my view.

Watching it live, it definitely looked like all Stafford. However, watching it again, and watching replays, he just simply threw the ball beyond the distance that Johnson could have run in that time, unless Johnson was able to full-on sprint from the line. Since he was not, and could not get outside of Tillman, he actually had to cut back inside. The pass was to the outside, and about three more yards down the field. If Johnson was able to cut outside of Tillman, he could have hit him. This was partly on Stafford for not adjusting the throw, but it was partly some good LOS play by Tillman.

On the following play, Burleson slowed down. When the ball was about five yards behind him and closing, he slowed down enough to underrun the pass by about five yards. I do not know if there was earlier contact (I did not see any), and there was nothing incidental down the field, so Burleson simply just stopped running as hard. I am not sure if the first read was Burleson, as the receiver on the offensive right got the first look, but was pretty well covered. It just seemed like Burleson "Randy Moss'd" the play. Again, no Stafford adjustment, incompletion.

Without those two, he was 19/24; with those two, he was still 19/26. He was not terrible.

45
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:20pm

Well, I can't say you are wrong, and we would need to be in the film room with the Lions to know things for certain. It may sound strange to say that a guy didn't look accurate when he goes 19/26, but he didn't look accurate to me. I remember another pass, a completion, where the ball sailed on him, and the receiver had to make a very difficult catch. Maybe I'm seeing too many Packers games, and thus my expectations are out of whack.

48
by Keith(1) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:32pm

He has looked really inaccurate in the past, even at times this year, and everything you are saying has been noted. I only noticed a few times where he was really off last night, but those two long plays I do not (completely) fault him for. Like you, however, even some of his completions looked shaky to me, but he definitely looked "improved."

53
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:41pm

The way the game is played now, it just kills you to be rooting for a team, and see a receiver well downfield, without a db within five yards, and the ball doesn't get there, so maybe it is just sticking out in my mind. If Stafford can get a little more accurate, and the Lions dbs can get better (I wonder how much of Cutler's heroics were made possible by dbs who don't break on the ball well), I really think the Lions can win it all, by following the Giants template from a few years ago. I'd certainly like their chances against anybody in a conference championship game at Ford Field, if their full rotation of defensive linemen stay healthy, and the dbs just get a little better.

54
by ebongreen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:42pm

Watching Aaron Rodgers this year will do that for you. His bad balls are by far the exception - and watching almost every other QB he plays against just reminds me that much more strongly how unusual that is.

I get snippets of McNabb, or Culter, or Stafford, or Sanchez, or EManning and remember, "Oh yeah, this is how the passing game usually looks: a wing and a prayer, with the occasional dead-on-target toss."

58
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:48pm

He is starting to remind me of an extremely mobile, much larger, version of Kurt Warner in his prime, and that is a pretty scary thought.

85
by ebongreen :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 5:00pm

Scary - but oh my heavens, what a treat to watch him play. Even if (and I know you are) you're a Vikings fan, don't some of the throws he makes, and the ease with which he seems to make them, take your breath away? Such beautiful passes… *chokes up a little*

37
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:30pm

Curtis Painter, Matt Cassell, Alex Smith are 4-5-6. Vick, Ryan, Rivers, and Freeman in the bottom 8. Me like Bizarro week 5, it football time very much good.

36
by Boston Dan :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:30pm

It was already mostly clear after last week, but I think we know now that Aaron Rodgers will win the MVP award this season.

also the JETS SUCK

39
by Led :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 12:38pm

"If Jets fans are going to defend Sanchez when he plays poorly in Jets wins, will they attack him when he plays well in Jets defeats?"

I don't plan to defend Sanchez when he plays poorly. He's really only been "poor" in one game year, although that was a doozy! But I'm not going to praise him for playing half-way decent against a really, really bad defense. This is not just based on NE's past results. Jets receivers were open all game on Sunday. Sanchez repeatedly misfired, especially in the early going when the Jets had the chance to possibly build a lead if they played competently on offense. Sure he played well in the 4th quarter, but that's after his poor performance and repeated 3 and outs allowed the Pats to suck the life out of the Jets' defense. I have to assume Sunday's performance will take a considerable hit when opponent adjustments start really kicking in.

42
by Sean McCormick :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:01pm

I'm a bit surprised Sacnhez's game graded out this highly as well. Pats defensive issues notwithstanding, the Jets went three and out for pretty much the entire first half, and Sanchez repeatedly threw the ball 1-2 yards short of the marker on third down.

As an aside, if Schottenheimer wants to run a short passing game, he needs to just start throwing in some old school West Coast concepts. The Jets have the personnel to run it--at least when Tomlinson (or McKnight) is in the backfield--and I think Sanchez would do very well with it. As is, there is too much 1-3 step drop/one-read stuff that relies on some sort of deception to freeze the defenders and gives Sanchez nowhere to go with the ball if the primary is covered.

49
by MJK :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:34pm

Yes, it's quite perplexing. The Jets had only 3 drives all night. Two of them were 90% Shonn Greene (at least, the certainly felt that way), and the third only had to go 20 yards. Every other drive was a 3-out. Maybe all the 3-outs meant that Sanchez had so few plays, he didn't have much opportunity for negative plays, but given that DYAR is a counting stat, I'm really surprised he did so well.

Add in the fact that NE's pass defense SUCKS this season...and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

50
by Kulko :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:34pm

well when you have 63 total DYAR, then praising your 64 4thQ DYAR sums up your day quite nicely.

Apart from that I was also surprised that getting 150 yds against the 40th best defense of the league gets you net positive dyar.

69
by Biebs :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:38pm

As a Jets fan, I disagree with the idea that Jets receivers were "open all game on Sunday, and Sanchez repeatedly misfired". I can think of 3 incomplete passes in the 1st half; 2 were dropped passes. 1 was a good ball that was dropped by Conner on 3rd and 2, one was a dropped pass by Holmes, that was not perfectly thrown, but should have been caught.

Otherwise, the Pats were so far up on Jets receivers, that they were begging to stretch the field. I don't know if it was a gameplan decision or Sanchez, but it was clear that the Pats made no real effort to concern themselves with the deep ball. I don't recall many plays where the Jets were open on. One that does come to mind was a 3rd down play where Sanchez threw to Burress and got a first down, but could have hit Kerly for a possible TD, however, it didn't matter as the Jets scored later in the drive.

44
by JonC :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:08pm

Teblow big winar, pumped defens with gruitty dweterminatin. BRonco S
UPER BOWL!!!

73
by Bullet (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:50pm

WTF? RaiderJoe????

77
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:12pm

Wow, I guess it's true that when the master vampire dies, all his minions are freed of the curse.

61
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:02pm

Hmm... I thought that BenJarvus Green-Ellis might show up in the top 5 this week. Any comment on where he finished and why?

Sixth place, a few decimal points behind Marshawn Lynch. Not everybody gets to be in the top five. Lynch's 47-yarder was twice as valuable as anything Green-Ellis did. Each player had three ten-yard runs, but Lynch did so in less than half as many carries.

Should the Fitzpatrick blurb read, "Completely irrelevant Philadelphia cornerback watch: Fitzpatrick went 12-of-18 for 101 yards against the Eagles' cornerbacks,"?

Whoops. Should read "throwing to his wide receivers." I'll fix that.

I am curious how Jahvid Best did in the DYAR rankings this week. He averaged 13.6 yards per carry in the most un-DYAR-friendly way possible: an 88-yard run, a 43-yard run, 10, 11, and 15 yard runs, and a net loss of four yards on his other seven carries.

Ninth overall, but third in rushing DYAR behind Battle and McGahee (man, this week was weird).

I'm a bit surprised Sacnhez's game graded out this highly as well.

well when you have 63 total DYAR, then praising your 64 4thQ DYAR sums up your day quite nicely.

Indeed. DYAR by quarter: -36, 37, -1, 64. He had 11 plays with positive value all day, and six of them came in the fourth.

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by MJK :: Thu, 10/13/2011 - 12:38pm

ndeed. DYAR by quarter: -36, 37, -1, 64. He had 11 plays with positive value all day, and six of them came in the fourth.

Weird. Sanchez's 4th quarter passes:

Drive 1:
14 yards on 1st-10
19 yards on 2nd-7
4 yards on 1st-10
7 yards on 3rd-6
INC on 2nd-7
21 yards on 3rd-7 (TD)

Drive 2:
9 yards on 1st-10 (tackled in bounds)
22 yards on 2nd-1 (tackled in bounds)
SPIKE on 1st-10
INC on 2nd-10
SACK on 3rd-10.

The first drive came early int the 4rd quarter, with the Jets trailing by 13. The second drive came late, with them trailing by 9, having less than a minute, and no timeouts.

I'm trying to figure out which six plays had positive DYAR value. Obviously, there were four very good plays on the first drive, and one marginal play, and only one bad play. But not six. Was that first drive really worth 64 DYAR? I guess Sanchez accounted for 65 actual yards and a TD, but did so against a team with a terrible pass defense, so I would have expected the DYAR on that drive to be something less than 64.

On the second drive, I would expect the "garbage time" modifier to discount all these plays, as there's almost no realistic way a team can win when down by two scores with less than a minute and no timeouts. If these plays did give postive DYAR, it implies that maybe the garbage time corrections should be more aggressive. It also highlights a long-known flaw in DVOA and DYAR...that they don't take time and clock stoppage into account in end-of-game scenarios. That 9-yard completion on 1st-10, which would be nice and positive valued in the 1st quarter, was actually an extremely negative play for the Jets becasue it kept the clock running, and changed their "almost no realistic way to win" into "absolutely no way to win".

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by Vince Verhei :: Fri, 10/14/2011 - 2:00pm

Yes, the first two passes of that second drive had positive value in DVOA.

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by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:11pm

" Kolb's numbers in the first quarter: four-of-nine passing for 40 yards with one pick, one sack, and one fumble, and -87 DYAR. He was fairly mediocre after that, if not particularly good, but the game was over by then anyway."

His numbers may have been fairly mediocre but he was horrible. He missed a bunch of easy throws for big gains. While he was sacked 4 times - there really didn't seem to be a heck of a lot of pressure on him. He seemed confused much of the time and held the ball for a long time.

As bad as McNabb looked - Kolb was much worse.

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

A question about methodology. Is it always an unsuccessful play if on third down the player does not get the yardage needed for first down? For example, late in the game up by a TD and in FG range, the offense just wants to burn the clock and force the opponent to use their time outs, so on 3rd down my thought is that the only unsuccesful play would be a turnover or a play that goes out-of-bounds. Another example, on a 3rd and long at the 1 yard line it is succesful to get some yards (how many?) to make the punt easier and to keep the opponent from essentially catching the punt in FG territory. Two more questions, are these types of plays rare enough so that they can be ignored, and would the added subjectivity needed to deteremine what is success in these type of situations weaken the Stat?

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by V (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 4:20pm

I know that some "special" circumstances are taken into account. There is a garbage time adjustment, for instance. Not sure if any of the above are included, but doubt it.

Even those that are included are imperfect by definition. Good teams spend many hours working on specific circumstances - down and distance, long slow drive vs need points quick, trading yards for clock, prevent defense, etc. No system that reads only data can be perfect.

The garbage-time adjustment mentioned above is better than nothing, but cannot understand that sometimes games are over by halftime. On the other hand, sometimes a 21 point lead indicates that an underdog has made hay early - turnovers, luck, etc - but against a high powered offense, that might indicate that a presumed blowout might be closer than expected.

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by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 2:32pm

"Tebow's completions were long enough -- and came in bad enough field position -- to give him an excellent 50.9% DVOA. Of course, this is why we don't just run tables of numbers without any words next to them."

Heh, it sounds like you're referencing the PFT article where Florio complained about Tebow being ranked ahead of Aaron Rodgers in week 5 in TQBR. Of course, he could have figured out that TQBR is a rate stat. But it's true that all they list is a table of numbers. And isn't it nice to have people attacking a stat other than DYAR for a change?

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by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 5:13pm

I was in fact referencing that, and I just posted an XP where ESPN does explain a bit about Tebow and Total QBR.

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by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:30pm

I'm so glad I had Jackie Battle and Doug Baldwin active on my fantasy team this week!

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by Hank (not verified) :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 3:48pm

start Tebow week 7 against the Fins for monster fantasy points...check

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by tuluse :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 4:58pm

Reading this thread has been very therapeutic for me. The Bear's line has been bad for so long, I'd been starting to think this is just how offensive lines look. Clean pockets are some kind of imaginary construct built from my subconscious, or a fiction I once read.

It's nice to get an unbiased view that matches my own observations so well. Frank Omiyale is awful, and Camirimi can't come back soon enough. It's probably too late now. The Bears are 2-3 and essentially 4 games back in their division.

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by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 6:55pm

I was listening to the official Denver radio station for the radical wing of the Tebow Wonk party last week and there was a caller complaining about all the "Orton apologists" pointing out that the Broncos' offensive line should shoulder some of the blame for the team's offensive struggles claiming that "Cutler's line is awful and no one ever mentions that, so why does Orton get a free pass?" I really wanted to call in and explain that everywhere other than Denver, where the narrative is that Cutler is the anti-christ, the sheer awfulness of the Bears' line is well documented.
But it is very nice to see it laid out in such clear terms as this post has done.

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by TomC :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 12:38am

I was amazed to see Omiyale in the starting lineup last night. It was already clear from a few plays in previous weeks that the line improves when they put Louis in at RT, which is a pretty serious indictment, given that Louis is #1) a guard, #2) not very good, and #3) hurt.

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by Jimmy :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 9:45am

Louis has amazing feet for a 320lb man and moves laterally very well. The guy is all upside and is playing much better this year than his fleeting appearances last year. If the Bears can get Carimi and Louis back on the right side without anybody else getting hurt they could have a decent line. As soon as next season they could have one of the top lines in the league (OK I may need to go find my happy pills but I think I actually mean that).

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by Eddo :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 10:34am

Wow, that's optimistic, Jimmy.

Though you're right in that a line of Webb-Williams-Garza-Louis-Carimi would be OK. They were actually slightly above-average, I thought, in the Falcons game.

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by long beach google ranking (not verified) :: Sat, 02/02/2013 - 3:12pm

:D! New update! You've undoubtly been working on your writing skills. Bravo :) Thank you so much for the cleverness of well - you!