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08 Nov 2011

Week 9 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

Dan Marino? Peyton Manning? Drew Brees? You are officially on notice. Aaron Rodgers is halfway home to breaking your records.

Rodgers is on pace to set all-time standards in passing yards (breaking Marino's record, set in 1984), passer rating (Manning, 2004), and completion percentage (Brees, 2009). He's dominating in other statistics as well. He's averaging 9.9 yards per pass attempt. That's the best rate since 1954 (albeit by the slimmest of margins – he's ahead of Kurt Warner's 2000 campaign by 0.04 inches per throw). If he gets any better, he'll join Sid Luckman, Otto Graham, and Norm Van Brocklin as the only passers to average 10 yards per attempt in a season. And Rodgers is also avoiding turnovers -– his interception rate of 1.1 percent would be one of the five best seasons in that category.

Those are the basic numbers. What do the advanced stats tell us? FO breaks down NFL play-by-play data into two numbers, DYAR (a counting stat that measures total value) and DVOA (a rate stat that measures per-play value). (These stats are explained more here).

Rodgers is on pace to finish 2011 with 2,764 DYAR. That would be the second-highest figure in our database, behind Tom Brady's 2,788 in 2007. That's partly because Brady threw a league-record 50 touchdowns that season, but also because he finished with 606 passing plays (including sacks and defensive pass interference penalties, but not including spikes to stop the clock). Rodgers is on pace for "only" 48 touchdowns and 570 passing plays. His DVOA, however, stands at 62.2%. That would pass Peyton Manning in 2004 (60.6%) for the best rate on record.

TOP 10 PASSING DYAR (RODGERS PRO-RATED)
Player Team Year DYAR
Tom Brady NE 2007 2788
Aaron Rodgers GB 2011 2764
Peyton Manning IND 2004 2493
Peyton Manning IND 2006 2308
Tom Brady NE 2009 2170
Tom Brady NE 2010 2137
Peyton Manning IND 2009 1936
D.Culpepper MIN 2004 1929
Drew Brees NO 2008 1921
Philip Rivers SD 2009 1915

TOP 10 PASSING DVOA (MIN. 400 PASSES)
Player Team Year DVOA
Aaron Rodgers GB 2011 62.2%
Peyton Manning IND 2004 60.6%
Tom Brady NE 2007 56.9%
Tom Brady NE 2010 53.3%
Peyton Manning IND 2006 51.0%
Philip Rivers SD 2009 45.9%
Tom Brady NE 2009 44.2%
Randall Cunningham MIN 1998 42.9%
Drew Brees NO 2009 41.0%
Peyton Manning IND 2007 40.6%

That record, though, goes back only to 1992, the first year for which we have complete play-by-play data. How can we compare Rodgers to great passers of the past? In our first book, Pro Football Prospectus 2005, FO head cheese Aaron Schatz used a variety of individual and team data to evaluate historical seasons, using both passing and rushing numbers, and adjusting for the season in question and the team's schedule to estimate a quarterback's "points above average." At the time, the record for best overall season was held by Bert Jones of the Baltimore Colts in 1976. Since then, though, Jones has been passed by Brady, and he's likely to be passed again by Rodgers. Here's the updated list of top quarterback seasons since 1960, using our "points above average" formula:

TOP 10 QUARTERBACK SEASONS (RODGERS PRO-RATED)
Player Year PAA
Aaron Rodgers 2011 200.2
Tom Brady 2007 163.2
Bert Jones 1976 159.0
Peyton Manning 2004 150.4
Dan Marino 1984 149.8
Daunte Culpepper 2004 148.9
Steve Young 1992 143.4
Ken Anderson 1975 143.4
Ken Stabler 1976 142.5
Ken Anderson 1974 140.0

Rodgers isn't just on pace to be the best since 1960 here, he's blowing away the field. The gap between Rodgers and Brady in 2007 is more than half-again a big as the gap between Brady and the number ten passer, Ken Anderson in 1974.
There's still plenty of time for a mini-slump that would knock Rodgers off the top of the pile. But if he can stay healthy, and keep playing like he has, he'll have enjoyed the best season for a quarterback in league history.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Matt Moore MIA
17/23
244
3
0
176
175
1
Huh? What? The guy who Carolina ran out of town, the guy who came into the game with one touchdown and four interceptions, was the most valuable quarterback of the week? Yes, it's true. Moore completed 17-of-23 passes for 244 yards (10.6 per attempt) with three touchdowns and no sacks or interceptions against Kansas City. He had a streaky game, starting off 3-of-6 for 41 yards. He then went 7-of-7 for 126 yards, with each throw picking up a first down or touchdown. Then he went 1-of-4 for 5 yards before finishing four more first downs or touchdowns in his last six throws.
2.
Aaron Rodgers GB
21/26
247
4
0
164
157
7
Rodgers has now been one of the top four quarterbacks seven times in nine weeks this season — and in one of the other weeks, the Packers had a bye.
3.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
20/37
330
1
1
153
147
6
There is a reason we use opponent adjustments in our system. Roethlisberger's numbers (20-of-37, 330 yards, one touchdown, one sack, one interception) look pretty pedestrian, but remember that he was playing the Baltimore Ravens, who through nine weeks have been far and away the league's best defense against the pass. Roethlisberger was just the third quarterback this year to complete 54 percent of his passes against the Ravens, and the first to average 8.9 yards per pass. Without opponent adjustments, Roethlisberger would have ranked 14th among quarterbacks this week. With them, he ranks third.
4.
Tony Romo DAL
19/31
282
2
0
142
137
5
Romo on deep passes (more than 15 yards downfield): 5-of-7 passing, 148 yards, one touchdown, 101 DYAR.
5.
Josh Freeman TB
27/37
281
1
0
128
133
-5
Freeman had a league-high 10 failed completions this week. He also led the league in Week 7, and only Matt Hasselbeck has thrown more on the season. He started off cold on Sunday, with one first down in his first 13 dropback, but finished strong — his final 11 throws resulted in 10 completions and a DPI, with nine successful completions, for a total of 106 yards.
6.
Andy Dalton CIN
22/39
217
3
0
120
118
2
Dalton was not the best third-down quarterback this week, but he was close: 6-of-12, six first downs (including three touchdowns), 77 yards, 86 DYAR. Gee, I wonder who might have been better on third downs?
7.
Joe Flacco BAL
28/47
300
1
0
114
114
0
Flacco was downright absurd on third/fourth downs: 20 dropbacks, 15 completions (every one a conversion) for 197 yards, 136 DYAR. He'd score even higher, but he did have a sack/fumble on third down that was worth -37 DYAR by itself.
8.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
20/28
230
1
1
111
111
0
Credit where it's due: Sanchez was great at the end of this game. His last 10 throws resulted in nine first downs, including a touchdown, for 152 yards and 139 DYAR. His end zone interception in the first quarter, though, was a -55 DYAR play.
9.
Matt Hasselbeck TEN
24/41
275
2
0
105
112
-7
The Titans' defense shouldn't take all the blame for blowing a 17-7 halftime lead. Hasselbeck's third quarter — 2-of-6 passing, plus a sack, -1 net yard, -32 DYAR — played a big part in letting the Bengals back into the game.
10.
Jay Cutler CHI
18/32
210
2
0
102
102
0
11.
Drew Brees NO
27/35
258
2
1
97
88
9
The set-up man: Brees had a league-high 10 completions that counted as successful plays without picking up first downs. He leads the league with 65 such plays this year. Tom Brady is second with 51.
12.
Alex Smith SF
17/24
200
1
0
91
90
1
When the new quarterback rankings come out today (unless the Monday night contest radically skews opponent adjustments), Smith will rank 13th in passing DVOA, 15th in DYAR. In his past 16 games, he's completing 62 percent of his passes for 7.2 yards per attempt, with 22 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a 93.8 quarterback rating. Yes, he's a legitimate starting quarterback now.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Philip Rivers SD
27/46
385
4
3
80
80
0
Rivers' day in a nutshell: If we remove all quarterbacks' interceptions, Rivers would have ranked second behind Ben Roethlisberger with 218 DYAR. If we considered only interceptions, he would have been dead last with -139 DYAR.
14.
Eli Manning NYG
20/39
250
2
1
76
72
5
Eli's fourth quarter: 8-of-13 for 93 yards, seven first downs (including two touchdowns), plus two DPI calls for 55 total yards, 113 DYAR.
15.
Michael Vick PHI
21/38
213
0
1
71
57
15
16.
John Beck WAS
30/46
254
1
1
70
79
-9
Go ahead and put that safety in the box against Beck. You won't need any help covering deep balls. Beck threw only three deep passes against San Francisco, with no completions, one interception, and -54 DYAR.
17.
Matt Ryan ATL
14/24
275
3
1
41
44
-4
Ryan's average completion came 11.93 yards downfield, a few decimal points behind Carson Palmer (11.95) for the most of any quarterback this week. His average completion also gained 7.7 YAC; nobody else averaged more than 7.0. He would rank higher except A) he completed just 58 percent of his passes, and B) it was just the Colts. (Before opponent adjustments, he had 90 total YAR.
18.
Tom Brady NE
28/49
340
2
2
37
33
4
Brady was most effective throwing down the middle against the Giants: 12 completions for 172 yards and eight first downs (including a touchdown) in only 15 passes, for a league-high 129 DYAR.
19.
Carson Palmer OAK
19/35
332
3
3
32
33
-1
I'm just going to quote FO writer Rob Weintraub's Twitter account here: "Carson Palmer--6 picks in 6 quarters. Andy Dalton--7 picks in 8 games."
20.
Tim Tebow DEN
10/21
124
2
0
25
9
16
Tebow's rushing numbers: 11 carries (only three listed as scrambles), 118 yards, five 10-yard plays, four first downs. He only had four first downs passing, although two of those were touchdowns.
21.
John Skelton ARI
21/35
222
1
0
19
7
11
Skelton missed his first five passes of the fourth quarter. He then hit seven of his next eight throws for 64, but just three first downs. He also scrambled for three first downs in the fourth, but he finished up going incompletion, sack/fumble (recovered), 8-yard gain on third-and-26 to send it into overtime. Patrick Peterson took care of things from there. (By the way, did you know Peterson has three punt return touchdowns in his first eight games? The single-season record is four, held by several people.)
22.
Tarvaris Jackson SEA
17/30
221
0
3
4
4
0
Jackson's third interception came on a Hail Mary at the end of the game. That doesn't count as a turnover in his DYAR. His other two interceptions came on his last throw of the third quarter and his first throw of the fourth. Those turnovers do count.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
15/31
191
1
2
3
3
1
Fitzpatrick's first half: 4-of-12 for 24 yards, one first down, two interceptions, -114 DYAR.
24.
Sam Bradford STL
23/36
255
0
1
-3
-3
0
Bradford's average incompletion this year has come 12.0 yards downfield. On Sunday, it was a whopping 21.6 yards downfield. Nobody else even hit 15 yards on their incompletions. Of course, those passes were still incomplete, so it doesn't really matter where they landed.
25.
Matt Schaub HOU
14/23
119
0
1
-3
-11
8
Midway through the second quarter, Schaub was 10-of-12 for 90 yards and 90 DYAR. After that, he went 4-of-11 for 29 yards with an interception and -101 DYAR.
26.
Colt McCoy CLE
14/22
146
1
1
-4
7
-11
By the time McCoy threw his first pass Sunday, the Browns were down 14-0. He didn't get a first down until the middle of the second quarter, when they were down 21-3. He didn't get a 20-yard play until the fourth quarter, when they were down 30-6. He started off deep in a hole, and then he dug himself deeper.
27.
Matt Cassel KC
20/39
253
0
0
-27
-34
6
Cassel's second quarter: 4-of-7 passing, 64 yards, four sacks, plus a 12-yard DPI penalty, -11 DYAR.
28.
Curtis Painter IND
13/27
98
0
1
-76
-71
-5
Painter completed less than half his passes against Atlanta, for fewer than eight yards per reception. Five of his 13 completions gained 3 yards or less. In one stretch he went 0-for-6 with an interception. In his last eight dropbacks, he went 4-of-7 with a sack for 2 net yards. That is why he was benched for Dan Orlovsky, a player best known for accidentally running out the back of the end zone for a safety while playing for Detroit, who had not thrown a pass in a game since 2008.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Reggie Bush MIA
92
1
50
0
58
32
26
Huh? What? The guy who New Orleans ran out of town, the guy who came into the game with one touchdown and three fumbles, was the most valuable running back of the week? Yes, it's true. Bush had three runs for 10 or more yards in only 13 carries, and gained at least two yards on every carry, but he did most of his damage as a receiver. He caught each of the three passes thrown his way, including gains of 18 and 27 yards.
2.
Willis McGahee DEN
163
2
0
0
55
55
0
McGahee was stopped for no gain just once. He had seven total first downs, including two touchdowns, and four runs of 10 yards or more.
3.
Ben Tate HOU
115
1
0
0
51
55
-5
Tate gained at least one yard on every carry, and four of his 12 carries gained 10 yards or more, including a pair of 20-yarders. He also picked up a first down on second-and-2.
4.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
135
1
8
0
49
48
0
Lynch had three runs for 10 or more yards, and was stuffed for no gain or a loss just three times. He's also rewarded for his nine successful runs in 23 carries, especially his touchdown run on second-and-goal from the 4.
5.
Michael Bush OAK
96
0
33
1
41
14
27
Bush had three runs for 10 or more yards, and was stuffed for no gain or a loss just twice. His two catches were a 22-yard gain on second-and-11 and an 11-yard touchdown on third-and-7.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Chris Ogbonnaya CLE
28
0
13
0
-28
-31
3
Ognonnaya had as many fumbles (one) as he did first downs. He carried the ball 13 times against Houston, and gained one yard or less on six of those carries. He did catch the only pass thrown his way, for a 13-yard gain - but it came on third-and-15, so who cares?


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Vincent Jackson SD
7
12
141
20.1
3
69
Huh? What? The guy who tried to run himself out of town, the guy who had been below replacement level three straight weeks and the least valuable receiver in the league in Week 7, was the most valuable receiver of the week? Yes, it's true. Jackson's raw numbers (seven receptions for 141 yards and three touchdowns) are impressive on their own, but the play-by-play data makes him look even better. His first five targets were all complete, each gaining a first down or touchdown, for 107 yards. His next two passes were incomplete, but the two targets after that were both touchdowns, to pull the Chargers within 14 and then within 7 points. Unfortunately, Jackson was unable to get the last touchdown San Diego needed - down one score, Jackson's last three targets were all incomplete. (He was also the target on the game-ending interception, but in our system the blame for that goes to Rivers, not Jackson.)
2.
A.J. Green CIN
7
7
83
11.9
0
68
Green finished with seven catches in seven targets for 83 yards. Four of his catches produced first downs. The others were 9- and 6-yard gains on first-and-10, and a 7-yard gain on first-and-goal at the eight. He also drew a 45-yard pass interference flag. For the season, he's ranked eighth among wide receivers in total value, which is outstanding for a rookie.
3.
Julio Jones ATL
3
4
131
43.7
2
65
Jones' two touchdowns totaled 130 yards and 63 DYAR.
4.
Wes Welker NE
9
10
136
15.1
0
60
Eight of Welker's catches were successful, including five first downs and four 20-yard plays. His "failed" reception was a 4-yard gain on first-and-10.
5.
Jordy Nelson GB
5
6
105
21.0
1
59
Each of Nelson's five catches gained successful yardage, especially his 64-yarder in the fourth quarter. In addition to the numbers listed above, he also drew a pass interference call for a 21-yard gain in the first quarter.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Chad Ochocinco NE
0
5
0
0.0
0
-37
Chad Ochocinco was thrown five passes against the Giants. He didn't catch any of them. For the season, he has a 43 percent catch rate, despite playing with a Hall of Fame quarterback in Tom Brady, and stellar teammates like Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez to draw opponents' focus. Chad Ochocinco will not be in the NFL much longer.

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 08 Nov 2011

82 comments, Last at 09 Nov 2011, 7:09pm by Vince Verhei

Comments

1
by Eddo :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 11:52am

Since you generally answer these questions, Vince: how did Earl Bennett come out in DYAR this week? Five catches, all of which resulted in a first down or touchdown. He had five targets, but also one OPI called on him (I'm not sure if that counts as a target). He did have one rush for three yards on second-and-seventeen, which is bad, though.

6
by dan harmon (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:00pm

that wildcat play was martz's weekly show-crap-at-a-wall call. it sucks if bennett suffered because of that.

57
by Marko :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 4:22pm

It sucks that the Bears suffered because of that and suffer weekly when Martz calls his crazy plays.

Honestly, if you are a fan of a particular team, who cares how a particular play call and the result of that play affects that player's rating/ranking under FO stats? I don't think Bennett "suffered" in any meaningful way because of that play call.

8
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:08pm

Not only that, but three of his catches converted third downs, and another converted a second-and-12. I was wondering the same thing as I was watching the game.

2
by nat :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 11:55am

His end zone interception in the first quarter, though, was a -55 DYAR play.

Aren't all interceptions against the same opponent worth about the same (+/- 5 DYAR)? Or is this -55 DYAR affected by a red zone bonus?

See: Aaron's 2003 article which ought to be required reading for the FO audience.

18
by qed :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:08pm

I think that article is saying the turnover is worth about 5 ACTUAL points. DYAR is designed to measure the value of that play (compared to an average play) in terms of yards, and I'd say 55 yards = 5 points isn't too far off. The old Defense-Adjusted Points Above Replacement (DPAR) metric might have this as a -5 point play.

23
by nat :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:48pm

Oh, I agree. I was reacting (mildly) to the implication that the interception being thrown from the 7 made it noteworthy for its bad value. I'm guessing that the difference in YAR value between throwing an interception from the 7 yard line and one from the 50 yard line is less than 5 YAR.

I'm being a bit simplistic, I realize. Perhaps the replacement value of a play from the 7 is higher than one from midfield, so an interception looks worse in comparison to that hypothetical replacement value. Or maybe there is a difference in value because interceptions thrown near the end zone have much longer returns on average.

I'd be curious as to the range of YAR values for an interception on 2nd-and-7 with ample time on the clock and a tie game.

Vince? Do you know? Or can you ask Aaron?

27
by Arkaein :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:55pm

Well, he gave away an automatic 3 points from a FG. If it was 2nd down, he also gave up another down to try for a TD, as well as failing to succeed on that 2nd down play.

Just guesstimating, I'd say that the scoring expectation for 2nd-and-goal from the 7 yards line is around 5 points, with about a 50% chance for a FG, 50% for a TD, and what should be only a small chance for a turnover. Then, even discounting the chance of a long runback, there's the loss of 13 yards of field position due to the touchback.

25
by AHBM :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:54pm

It's a bit difficult to say since "replacement level" was recalcuated when DPAR was replaced by DYAR, but it seems that an 11:1 conversion between the two isn't far off. When they did the "DPAR is dead" article in 2008, the top 10 QBs were ranging anywhere from 12:1 to 14:1 away from replacement level, and the ratio was higher as you apprached #1 in both systems, indicating that it would likely approach 11:1 as replacement level was approached.

30
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:10pm

Good times. I miss those kind of articles on this site. "Give in, hoptoad," a little voice keeps saying, "be brave, and become an Insider!"

3
by dan harmon (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 11:56am

i'm surprised earl bennett's night last night didn't make the list: 5 official targets, 5 catches, a TD, 3 3rd down conversions, just shy of 20 ypc... did the OPI call against him hurt him?

4
by NotJimmy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 11:57am

Brady's doing OK, but not what I expect.

"Chad Ochocinco will not be in the NFL much longer." Amen, brother.

Albert Haynesworth played 9 of 72 snaps against the Jints. Has 3 tackles on the season.

The Pats have a bunch of UFA's running around pretending to be starters (and getting critical PI calls against them).

BB might not be a genius, but he seems to know squat about personnel.

But as a Pats fan I think I'm just being really, really spoiled by an abnormally good decade. Here's to coming to grips with reality, there are some bright spots on the season, but I'm still panicing over a two game losing streak, success can't last forever.

Is it too late to suck for Luck?

15
by RickD :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:29pm

Well, Sergio Brown wasn't pretending to be a starter. He was in the game for only one play, since Chung was injured.

That's bad enough.

I miss James Sanders.

I don't think it's as simple as "Belichick knows squat about personnel" but he definitely needs help that he's not getting. He's trying to run a lot of different things all by himself and he's doing poor jobs both as a draft day supervisor and as a defensive coordinator.

Good thing the Pats picked up two RBs in Round 2 this year, though.

38
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:39pm

That would have been somewhat humorous if the annual Colts-Pats game was super relevant to "Suck for Luck", but unfortunately the Colts are wrecking the Pats in that stat.

52
by seadnak :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:39pm

but maybe evil Bill will make the pats to lose to colts to ensure they don't get luck...

5
by Brad Smith (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 11:57am

It honestly feels like the Saints O isn't FO stat friendly. It feels like Brees gets penalized for playing in that system, eventhough we know he can make all the throws.

12
by ammek :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:14pm

Really? Brees was 2nd in DYAR two weeks ago, 12th (with +55 DYAR despite throwing three picks) the week before, and 1st the week before that.

His ranking this week appears middling, but it was a good week for quarterbacking. On week 7, the same DYAR would have placed him 6th.

7
by Moo zeo (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:03pm

Why does it matter that Brees throws alot of completions that don't result in first downs? They march down the field just as good anyone in the history of the NFL. The fact that Brees just deducted points because of that is ridiculous, and shows how flawed it is.

10
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:13pm

My take is this (correct me if I'm wrong):

A completion that results in a first down is more valuable than a completion that doesn't. However, a completion that's not a "successful" play (40% of the yardage to go on first down, 60% on second down, 100% on 3rd/4th down) is penalized, because the net effect is to hurt the team (i.e. a 2-yard completion on 1st-and-10 is penalizeed because a 2nd-and-8 is harder to convert into a first down than a 1st-and-10). That said, I'm pretty sure Brees would get positive credit for a 5-yard completion on 1st-and-10, since it was a "successful" play, just not as much as if the completion had gone for the first down. So Brees can still add up positive points for his short completions, as long as they are productive plays.

40
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:45pm

Not quite. If his completions are more successful than what FO considers replacement level then he will have positive DYAR, and if worse then he'll have negative. The scale they use to measure success is what you are talking about, but it's not actually what defines replacement level. That is the league average minus some amount that Aaron felt was the appropriate amount.

So you could have a play that is not a "success," but still more successful that was a replacement level player was supposed to get and get a positive DYAR, and likewise you can have successful plays that considered worse than what a replacement level player would get.

16
by The Powers That Be :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:56pm

What makes you think they "deduct points" for successful plays that aren't first downs? The blurb doesn't say or imply that. It's noted as an oddity, not an insult.

9
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:10pm

In addition to wondering how Earl Bennett fared, I'd like to know how Forte's numbers would look without the fumbles.

11
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:13pm

I've been tracking Rodgers pro rated numbers this season because I was just so impressed by his play and there have been a few discussions about his passing and how it stacks up. I haven't been tracking the total DYAR, just passing DYAR from the quick reads because the discussions were mostly about passing.

His worst passing DYAR (based on quick reads data) was 114 in week 2, his best was 210 in week 7. He's only been under 150 twice (the 114 and then 143 in week 6). with conventional stats, the worst his overall pro rated line has looked was 4891 yards, 43 TD's and 5 ints after week 3 with only a 71.84% completion rate. The worst numbers in each of the pro-rated categories was 4891 yards (week 3), 40 TDs (week 2), 70.19% (week 6), 8 INT (week 4 & week 6). So if everything dropped back to the worst levels he has had this year it would be a line of 4891 yards, 70.19%, 40 TD's and 8 INT. If you combined the best in each category it would be 5507 yards, 73.05%*, 48 TD, 5 INT*. He was at 0 INT and 77.14% completion after week 1, but I tossed that until things settled more.

The point is the variance in those pro-rated stats is small. He has been very very consistent as mentioned already.

70.19 - 73.05% completions (or 77.14 if you want the one game week one sample)
40 - 48 TD's
5 - 8 INTs (or 0 to 8)
4891 - 5507 yards.

The low end of that spectrum is a monster season that sets all kinds of Packers franchise records.

Packers single season records (top 2 seasons).

Passer Rating - 105.0 Bart Starr, 1966. 103.2 Aaron Rodgers, 2009
Completion Percent - 66.54 Brett Favre 2007. 65.68 Aaron Rodgers, 2010
Passing Yards - 4458 Lynn Dickey, 1983. 4434 Aaron Rodgers, 2009
YPA - 9.21 Lynn Dickey, 1983. 8.99 Bart Starr 1966.
TDs - 39 Brett Favre 1996. 38 Brett Favre 1995.
Int % - 1.20 Bart Starr 1966, 1.29 Aaron Rodgers 2009.

He would break or in some cases smash all of those at his low end. I know putting it in the context of just the franchise is odd, but Green Bay has had some great quarterback seasons it's a little nuts to show that the low end projections have Rodgers that good in comparison. We've already seen that the top end would set all kinds of NFL records.

It's been a great season to watch. :)

13
by Eddo :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:17pm

You guys do realize that the comment attached to the Brees entry is positive, right?

"The set-up man: Brees had a league-high 10 completions that counted as successful plays without picking up first downs. He leads the league with 65 such plays this year. Tom Brady is second with 51." (Emphasis mine.)

14
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 12:17pm

Of course, Aaron Rodgers still has to navigate half the season in the winter weather of Green Bay, Chicago, Kansas City, and East Rutherford. I'm willing to bet his 2nd half numbers don't equal his first half's, as the ground game tends to get more in focus.

17
by Matty D (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:02pm

The only problem with this theory is that last year, Rodgers played four games in November-January in Green Bay, and his numbers in those games were:

92/129 71% 1220 9.5 Y/A 11 TDs 1 Int 126.1 Rating

People have somehow forgotten that it was actually right around this time last year that Rodgers activated his personal Doomsday Switch. He's basically been playing this way for a full year.

20
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:28pm

We'll see. It's admittedly anecdotal, but the last QB season comparable to Rodgers's current (Brady 2007)

Games 1-8 198/267 74.2 pct 30 TDs 2 INTs
Games 9-16 200/311 64.3 pct 20 TDs 6 INTs

The second half of the year he had one game that wasn't in a bad climate - Indianapolis. If we projected Brady's stats at the midpoint, it would undoubtedly be the greatest QB season ever (at least conventional stats-wise).

This seems to jibe with what I remember happenening every time a QB starts off the season on a historical pace -- that adverse weather games (and probably 8 games worth of film and defensive adjustments have something to do with it too) slow him down significantly.

If a QB is going to start smashing records, the best bet is Brees, who doesn't have much passing-adverse weather to deal with.

That being said, I like Rodgers and hope he continues along this arc.

59
by Marko :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 4:53pm

The Packers already played the Bears in Chicago. Of course, the second Bears-Packers game will be in the "winter weather of Green Bay" on Christmas night.

19
by Jeremy Billones :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:20pm

"Tebow's rushing numbers: 11 carries (only three listed as scrambles), 118 yards, five 10-yard plays, four first downs"

How does that work out to only 16 rushing DYAR? I know OAK is 21st against the run, but still -- I can't imagine 11-118 would be only 16 DYAR for a RB. Is the bar for QBs actually higher? Michael Bush's 19-96 against a similar defense was good for 14.

37
by Kal :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:36pm

The big issue is '4 first downs'. That means of 11 carries, only 4 went for first downs. The other 7 were at best successful and at worst not, like wasted 10-yard runs on 3rd and 18.

I haven't seen the play by play, but I would suspect that his runs look like 18, 18, 15, 12, 10, 5, 4, 3 or something like that. Those early runs get first downs but the yards after the first down is not as valuable. The negative plays bring him down.

21
by Yaguar :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:40pm

You know, as good as some of the other QBs are, those season DYAR top-ten lists really make it quite clear that QB of the Century is still a two-horse race for now.

26
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:54pm

When the new quarterback rankings come out today (unless the Monday night contest radically skews opponent adjustments), Smith will rank 13th in passing DVOA, 15th in DYAR. In his past 16 games, he's completing 62 percent of his passes for 7.2 yards per attempt, with 22 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a 93.8 quarterback rating. Yes, he's a legitimate starting quarterback now.

I saw an interesting argument over at Burke's site, that Smith owes a lot of his improvement to an unsustainably low interception rate, something like Garrard's one great year. They then weakened their argument a bit, saying that, even if he has figured out a way to lower his interception rate, he's just traded sacks for interceptions, since his sack rate is way up.

I've watched most of his games this year, and don't recall many dropped interceptions or even tipped balls, so it doesn't feel like his interception rate is lucky. He's missed badly at times, but his worst misses are overthrowing the field on long balls. The 49ers are just playing a very safe game.

As for his sack rate, it's improved radically as the season has gone along. That offensive line looked craptacular to start, and now looks decent.

I suspect a lot of his "success" -- if achieving mediocrity is success -- is simply that he's only throwing 20 passes a game. With the Gore running so well, no one is stacking the secondary to stop the pass. It makes me think a mediocre quarterback from a different system would be above average on the 49ers. If Smith left at the end of the year and were somehow to start for Oakland or Washington or Tennessee, I'd be betting the under on 13th in passing DVOA, 15th in DYAR.

44
by whistlingmountain (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:58pm

I don't know that Smith's "bad" misses have been any worse than every QB in the league ( save Rodgers ) this year. I mean, Brady, Eli, Brees, they all seem to have bad misses every week.

I also don't know that Smith's interception rate is unsustainable, he's been doing it since last year week 6. I do agree that to some point he's taking more sacks, but less so than the first few games of the season when the line was terrible and most of the sacks were short sacks.

He had 2 or 3 dropped interceptions in the Bucs game, but they all came when it was a blowout and he was clearly just letting things loose. When they were forced to throw more against the Eagles and Lions he did not fall apart at the seems.

I think that basically he's found a nice happy medium where he can consistently be an ok QB, and that when the team is winning, an ok QB looks pretty good.

----------

As far as how DVOA relates into it, I'm kind of shocked every week that Gore is not on the RB list. I mean every week he runs for 110 yards and the offense principally goes through him, yet he's not there. Does make me wonder if to some degree the metrics are not accurately weighting the dynamic between an RB and QB in a run centric offense. Perhaps Alex is rated slightly too high and Gore slightly too low every week, and perhaps it is that way with most of the conservative offense teams. Particularly when I see McCoy on the list and he is so heavily rewarded for being in a passing offense that faces 6 man fronts, spread out defenses, an additional running threat in his QB, deep threat WRs... etc

47
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:18pm

Alex Smith's int% is 1% right now. There have been 3 QBs all time to have an int% of 1% or lower for an entire season. So I think I can get on board with his interception rate is unsustainable low. Just bad luck is going to cause more picks.

63
by whistlingmountain (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 7:06pm

It's very sustainable with their upcoming schedule. They can continue to play conservatively and not take chances against the remaining NFC west teams. They're simply not taking chances in the passing game, the interception rate can stay that low.

66
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 9:22pm

3 seasons in the entire history of the NFL with an interception rate that low for 16 games. 3.

69
by greybeard :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 12:22am

Alex Smith had 182 attempts and 2 ints.

~1% int rate:

Partial seasons:
Damon Huard, 2005, 244, 1
David Garard, 2005, 168, 1
Sam Bradford, 2011, 196, 2
Boomer esiason, 1997, 186, 2
Jeff Garcia, 2006, 188, 2
Vinny Testaverda, 2003, 198, 2

Ful seasons:
David Garard, 2007, 325, 3
Tom Brady, 2010, 492, 4
Steve Deberg, 1990, 444, 4

Assuming that Alex Smith has a slightly higher int rate in the second half of the season and goes 350 attempts 6 interceptions
that has been done 23 times before.
Impressive, but quite possible.

71
by greybeard :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 12:47am

Another interesting stat. Since the Eagles game last year, Alex Smith has 301 attempts in 14 games and only 3 interceptions.
So his low interception rate extends to the last 6 games he played last year.

72
by Vince Verhei :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 2:39am

... you didn't read Smith's comment on this page, did you?

81
by greybeard :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 5:14pm

Actually I did. But:
1) I thought that stat is relevant to this discussion which is about if he can sustain the low interception rate till the end of the season and therefore brought it up. I am sorry I hurt your feelings by not directly quoting the article.
2) I used Eagles game as a cutoff, not the last 16 games as you did. Most 49ers fans think that Alex Smith's transformation to being a legitimate starting quarterback began after the moment he had fumbled at the Eagles game last year. So that 14 games seems to me more relevant than picking 16 games because a season is 16 games long.

82
by Vince Verhei :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 7:09pm

Fair enough, especially on Point Two. (I wrote the 49ers article in FOA this year, so I know well the game of which you speak.) Didn't mean to sound offended, it just struck me as funny that you were basically parroting information that was in the article.

70
by Intropy :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 12:27am

Yo, tuluse, I'm really happy for you. I'm'a let you finish. But Alex Smith has one of the lowest interception percentages of all time. Lowest interception percentages of all time.

22
by Sidewards :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:43pm

I'm not sure I want to be that guy, but calling Aaron FO's "Head Cheese" is kind of an odd way to say boss.
Head Honcho, Big Cheese. Big Honcho?

24
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 1:53pm

Number 1, Biggus Dickus, Top Brass?

67
by Jerry :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 9:42pm

I think "Head Cheese" would be a great title for Aaron.

28
by MJK :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:08pm

I know DYAR can only go on the play-by-play and that in general, DPI is earned by good play on the part of the QB, but it's kind of ridiculous that Eli get's credit for the two DPI's in the Pats game.

On the first one, the ball is badly underthrown to a receiver who is perfectly covered. It's DPI because Arrington never turns his head around and can't slow down quickly enough when the receiver (Cruz?) tries to come back to the ball. If Arrington turns around, the ball is at best incomplete, and very possibly intercepted, since Arrington had better position for an underthrown ball.

The second one was Eli throwing the ball away because no-one was open (he admitted this in a post-game interview). It was DPI because a backup special teamer in the game as an injury replacement ran into the WR while chasing after the ball (which makes me wonder about the definition of DPI, both the bit about "catchability" and about DB's technically having the same rights to chase the ball as WR's, neither of which is in practice part of the way the penalty is called).

Both balls were bad throws. And yet Eli gets credit for them.

This is why we have to temper the stats with our knowledge of what actually happened.

41
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:51pm

Or maybe Eli knows that Arrington sucks and he can just heave up there and expect something good to happen.

43
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:56pm

Maybe, but since Eli already heaved one up there against Arrington that went for a end zone INT, that would presumably be a risky strategy.

I think Arrington could suck his way to the NFL interception lead this year...not that that makes him elite or anything.

29
by Duke :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:10pm

So if I'm reading this right, the Bears are the team that did the best job against Rodgers?

Even more reason for optimism amongst Bears fans.

35
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:33pm

The Bears have always played good defense when it's Lovie Smith vs. Mike McCarthy.

In simple terms the Bears are best able to force GB to work down the field versus giving up big plays and eventually something goes wrong forcing GB to either not score or settle for a field goal.

Individual matchups/schemes are playing a role in this as the Packers current schemes relieve Urlacher of run stuffing duties allowing him to roam around either in coverage or to rush Rodgers which plays to his strength of speed and intelligence.

The Bears go into each game looking to keep the Packers at 20 points or less figuring they will get a score via special teams/defense and then counting on the offense to come up with the other points.

That has been Lovie's MO and it has worked pretty well.

45
by RickD :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:12pm

Indeed, the Bears did the same thing to the Eagles last night. Very impressive.

46
by MCS :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:13pm

Rodgers last two interceptions that weren't tipped went to Urlacher.

that is all

79
by akn :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 1:34pm

It's interesting, this year Urlacher is getting most of his INTs on very similar plays, including his pick on Rodgers. He shuffles a little at the beginning of the play and keeps low, trying to make the QB lose track of him behind the pass rush, then he quickly reads, runs back, jumps high and snags it out of nowhere. It's a neat little twist to the scheme, and at 34, I'm amazed Urlacher still has the athleticism to pull it off.

31
by Dave in Tucson (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:20pm

No audibles at the line for week 9?

49
by Wikitorix (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:23pm
61
by Dave in Tucson (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 5:32pm

That URL went to a 404 handler when I posted my comment...

(I would've replied directly, but somehow hitting the 'reply' on your comment gets me forwarded to the week 9 audibles page :-p

32
by theshadowj :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:22pm

Ben Tate's comment seems to cut off in mid-sentence.

33
by Jesus (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:23pm

Jets defense starting to become a force to be reckoned with... made the bills look like p.p. (pathetic, pedestrian)

73
by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 8:49am

I thought they looked a little meek earlier in the season, but they've come on lately. You were right all along the meek do have a big upside.

34
by Matthew Bultitude (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:30pm

THE PEOPLE DEMAND MORE EARL BENNETT COVERAGE !

56
by Marko :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 4:14pm

The Eagles might have won last night if they had more Earl Bennett coverage.

80
by akn :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 1:36pm

I'm just glad Bennett is back this year. The way Roman Harper speared him the chest, I was sure he had a couple of broken ribs or possibly even a heart contusion. He was listed with a "serious chest injury" and I thought his season would be done.

36
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:33pm

Not surprised to see the Tavaris I know, and have bad memories of, reappear.

58
by Deelron :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 4:35pm

The funny thing is that, as someone who is regionally compelled to watch the Seahawks weekly, he's been passable (which is miles better then I expected entering the season). I wouldn't even put him in the top 5 of their problems.

60
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 5:29pm

I agree. His offensive line has been horrendous at times, and his receiving corps is still pretty iffy. He still takes forever to diagnose plays and make decisions, but when he does it's usually the right decision, and he hasn't hit every throw, but he's hit some big ones. Four months ago I would have said he didn't belong in the league. Now, I think he'd be a darn good backup. (And if that sounds like damning with faint praise, it's not -- good teams keep players like this around.)

62
by Intropy :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 5:49pm

He's been bad but not terrible. And yeah they have worse players putting together worse performances, but nobody is playing worse on a more important position.

74
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 9:13am

You mean besides Charlie Whitehurst, who's been playing worse at the same position?

78
by Intropy :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 1:01pm

Yes, besides Charlie Whitehurst.

39
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:40pm

Concerning Earl Bennett, Matt Forte and others: I actually don’t get the full play-by-play breakdown from every player on Monday Night Football. There’s just not enough time for Aaron to get all the files organized. I get the quarterbacks’ numbers, and any top-five/bottom-one RBs or receivers, but nothing more detailed than that.

Aren't all interceptions against the same opponent worth about the same (+/- 5 DYAR)? Or is this -55 DYAR affected by a red zone bonus?

From our methodology:

“Interceptions average -6 points, with an adjustment for the length of the pass and the location of the interception (since an interception tipped at the line is more likely to produce a long return than an interception on a 40-yard pass).”

However, that’s only half the formula. After calculating the point value of each play, that play is then compared to the expected point value of all players in that situation. And the expected point value of second-and-goal from the 7 is fairly high.

It honestly feels like the Saints O isn't FO stat friendly. It feels like Brees gets penalized for playing in that system, eventhough we know he can make all the throws.

Um, the Brees comment is complimentary. Setting up your team for makeable second and third downs is a good thing.

"Tebow's rushing numbers: 11 carries (only three listed as scrambles), 118 yards, five 10-yard plays, four first downs"

How does that work out to only 16 rushing DYAR? I know OAK is 21st against the run, but still -- I can't imagine 11-118 would be only 16 DYAR for a RB. Is the bar for QBs actually higher? Michael Bush's 19-96 against a similar defense was good for 14.

He loses big points for three runs: a 3-yard gain on third-and-4, a 1-yard gain on third-and-4, and a 2-yard loss on second-and-2. Those three plays total -21 DYAR. That almost entirely cancels out his two longest runs, a 28- and 32-yarder, which were worth about 24 DYAR.

No audibles at the line for week 9?

Um, yes there is. You can always find Audibles by scrolling over “Analysis” a the top of the front page, or clicking “Audibles” in the box below the first ad on the front page.

Ben Tate's comment seems to cut off in mid-sentence.

Indeed it does. Will fix.

51
by Eddo :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:38pm

Thanks, Vince.

55
by nat :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:48pm

Now you have me wondering. Just how much variation is there in the average and replacement level expected values of different situations?

Just how high is the "fairly high" replacement level value for a 2nd-and-goal pass from the 7 yard line? Is any non-scoring play considered below replacement level in that situation?

The same question might be asked of Tebow's "big points" loss for getting three yards on third-and-four. Is that one of those situations where the bar is set very high, so missing a first down by a yard is treated as an epic failure that a replacement off the street would be expected to top?

42
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:53pm

I know Cutler played better this week than he did against Tampa, but it didn't feel like 150 DYAR better.

Of course this week the fluke turnover off a running back was fumble and not an interception.

48
by TomC :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:20pm

This has nothing to do with Quick Reads, but did you notice that this week's FTORB also immediately followed a bad dropped pass? In London, it was Roy Williams dropping a perfect throw over the middle that would have been a first down; last night it was Sanzenbacher not realizing that Cutler can throw the ball really, really hard when he wants to. And on the subject of Sanzenbacher, by my count he now has a drop in every game this year, so why is even still on the roster? He's small and slow, and the only reason he ever got a look in the NFL is that he supposedly catches anything thrown anywhere near him. Instead, his catch rate is the same as Darius Heyward-Bey's (and worse than Roy Williams's).

50
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:36pm

I don't mind Sanzenbacher being on the roster. He has shown the ability to play in the NFL, and he is a rookie, there is reason to expect improvement from him. However, why he is playing with the receiver corps healthy? I have no idea. I also can't think of a reason for Bennett to ever leave the field expect fatigue.

53
by Eddo :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:39pm

I don't know, as a fan, he's certainly one of my favorites. Scrappy and gritty, that's how I like them!

68
by TomC :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 11:32pm

Do you also love his deceptive speed?

77
by Eddo :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 12:30pm

Yes, and he's also very cerebral.

54
by D :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 3:46pm

PAA eh?

That is really easy to understand. I wonder if you could make a version of that based on the same framework as DYAR. Perhaps you could call it, oh I don't know, DPAR.

(Don't mean to sound like a jerk, but I really do wish you guys would bring back DPAR. It was just more intuitive.)

64
by Jim Glass (not verified) :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 8:38pm

"Rodgers is on pace to set all-time standards in passing yards..."

Um, no.

The Packers offense with Rodgers at QB is on pace to set all-time standards in passing yards..."

Fixed it for you. Passing numbers are *team* numbers, not the QB's personal numbers. The relentless attribution of what 11 players produce (more than 11, actually) to just one player is extremely irritating. One can understand it among average fans, but when the most sophisticated analytical sites -- specifically dedicated to promoting more accurate understanding of the game -- keep piling it on, it drives me nuts.

When Mickey Mantle hit 52 home runs they were his and he'd have hit near the same number playing for any team including the Kansas City Athletics. When Ted Williams hit .369 that was what *he* did, and he'd have done about the same on the White Sox. But QB numbers are not like that at all.

Take Tom Brady, whose 2007 (with the Pats O) Rodgers is on course to surpass.

From 2001 thru 2006 Brady's average ranking was 7th by DYAR and 8th by DVOA (including, in the years when "he" won three Super Bowls, average rankings of 8th and 9th). Then in 2007 Moss and Welker arrived. Suddenly Brady was an all-time great QB, ranked #1 in both by a mile. His new teammates made that difference, but those great 2007 passing numbers are listed above as his.

If you don't believe it, consider the situation today if Brady had been drafted in the 5th round by the Matt Millen Lions instead of the 6th by the Pats. Let's say Tom then got handed the starting job in his second year, just like happened on the Pats ... while keeping in mind that PFR.com attributes 28% of passing yards to the QB and the rest to the other players on the O. What would "Brady's numbers" be today, with the other Lions contributing 72% of them?

Well, his rankings on a SB winning team were 12th and 12th, so on the pathetic 2-12 Lions we can be sure they'd be a danged lot worse. Maybe he'd have improved the Lions' record to 3-13 or even 4-12 ... a bad losing season still with league bottom numbers, after which all the fans and media would have said, "We can never win with a 5th-round QB like this", and Millen would have used his top pick to draft Harrington or somebody else just like he did, and have handed same the job, just like he did.

And "Brady's numbers" today would be a Lions' fan trivia question. Which makes it clear that Brady's numbers are *not* Brady's numbers at all, they are the numbers of the team offense with Brady at QB.

Vince Lombardi had it exactly right (of course) 50 years ago. He said that because the QB is uniquely a "linch pin" of the team, a very bad one (who throws a lot of bad picks, takes bad sacks, misreads Ds to call the wrong plays) can sink an offense all by himself -- but a very good QB functions by getting the other 10 players on O to contribute the most they can. Thus, a bad QB's numbers are his own, but a good QB's numbers are set by the rest of the players on the O. They are more theirs than his. If they suck, his numbers will suck, no matter how good he is. And his numbers cannot be better than what they produce. The better a QB becomes, the less his numbers are "his" and the more they are the team's.

BTW, this is not a shot at Brady. He is a great QB and it is shown by the fact that when the talent around him was upgraded the O's numbers improved accordingly straight up. He did his job as a top-quality linch-pin. If Harrington had been QBing the Pats that wouldn't have happened because, as per Vince, a bad QB as a broken linch pin produces his own bad numbers. But a good QB's numbers are still *the team's*, as Brady's woulda-been numbers on the Millen Lions show.

So let's try to keep in mind that superior passing numbers are very much *team* numbers, not the QB's personal property. And so it is with Rodgers. If these numbers were really his, he'd be setting these all-time records just as he is if playing for Jacksonville.

65
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 11/08/2011 - 9:10pm

You're not wrong about any of this. But in a column about individual numbers that comes out 21 times a season, copy-and-pasting the same "statistics are reflections of teams and coaches, not just individuals" paragraph every week would get tedious for writer and reader awfully quickly.

75
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 9:18am

I'm sorry ctrl-c and ctrl-v are broken on all of FO's keyboards. Maybe you can ask Aaron to help you use copy-and-paste. He seems to have no trouble regurgitating this line every week on DVOA

"To save people some time, please use the following format for all complaints:

is clearly ranked because . is way better than this. "

76
by Tim R :: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 11:21am

I always thought they said pretty much this in the stats explained part, but I just looked and it's not there. I'd rather they put it there than at the beginning of every article.