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Mike and Tom weigh the chances of this year's class of receivers, running backs and tight ends who are on pace to break the magical 1,000-yard mark for the first time.

31 Dec 2012

Week 17 Quick Reads

by Aaron Schatz

Traditionally, for the last week of the year, Quick Reads is a rundown of the best and worst players of the season by DYAR, rather than analysis of Week 17. For those of you who want to see Week 17, however, here are the tables with the best and worst DYAR totals for the final week of the season. You will all have to provide the commentary yourselves, as we're all busy with 100,000 other end-of-season tasks.

Have fun!

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Peyton Manning DEN
23/28
304
3
0
229
229
0
2.
Drew Brees NO
29/43
396
4
1
195
195
0
3.
Eli Manning NYG
13/21
208
5
0
169
169
0
4.
Colin Kaepernick SF
16/28
276
2
0
168
179
-11
5.
Sam Bradford STL
25/42
252
1
1
152
145
7
6.
Christian Ponder MIN
16/28
234
3
0
135
132
3
7.
Tom Brady NE
22/36
284
2
0
122
122
0
8.
Matt Stafford DET
24/41
272
3
1
116
117
-1
9.
Andrew Luck IND
14/28
191
2
0
104
101
3
10.
Aaron Rodgers GB
28/39
365
4
0
94
94
0
11.
Russell Wilson SEA
15/19
250
1
0
91
63
28
12.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
15/23
134
3
0
82
82
0
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
12/26
225
1
0
78
78
0
14.
Philip Rivers SD
13/17
151
2
0
59
59
0
15.
Josh Freeman TB
19/35
222
1
1
45
43
2
16.
Thad Lewis CLE
22/32
204
1
1
40
42
-2
17.
Terelle Pryor OAK
13/28
150
2
1
39
12
27
18.
Robert Griffin WAS
9/18
100
0
0
35
-1
37
19.
Jay Cutler CHI
18/31
257
1
0
25
10
15
20.
Andy Dalton CIN
10/15
78
1
0
22
28
-6
21.
Bruce Gradkowski CIN
5/11
65
0
0
12
12
0
22.
Jake Locker TEN
9/15
152
0
0
11
24
-14
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Matt Ryan ATL
28/44
238
1
0
1
-2
3
24.
Brian Hoyer ARI
19/34
225
1
1
-3
-8
5
25.
Joe Flacco BAL
4/8
34
0
0
-19
-19
0
26.
Tyrod Taylor BAL
15/25
149
0
1
-23
-42
19
27.
Cam Newton CAR
16/33
248
0
1
-26
-28
1
28.
Matt Schaub HOU
24/36
275
0
2
-33
-26
-7
29.
Michael Vick PHI
19/35
197
1
1
-39
-43
4
30.
Brady Quinn KC
7/16
49
0
0
-63
-65
2
31.
Tony Romo DAL
20/37
218
2
3
-68
-68
0
32.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
20/35
235
0
1
-76
-67
-10
33.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
17/35
205
0
1
-105
-105
0
34.
Chad Henne JAC
25/41
298
2
3
-127
-133
5


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Alfred Morris WAS
200
3
12
0
84
78
7
2.
Ahmad Bradshaw NYG
107
1
41
0
74
57
17
3.
DeAngelo Williams CAR
210
2
3
0
53
51
2
4.
Adrian Peterson MIN
199
1
2
1
52
46
6
5.
DuJuan Harris GB
70
0
17
0
33
26
7


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
C.J. Spiller BUF
63
0
72
1
-27
-45
18


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Michael Crabtree SF
8
13
172
21.5
2
83
2.
T.Y. Hilton IND
4
6
111
27.8
1
68
3.
Demaryius Thomas DEN
7
8
122
17.4
1
65
4.
Eric Decker DEN
7
8
76
10.9
2
54
5.
Lance Moore NO
4
6
121
30.2
0
51


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Brandon Marshall CHI
5
14
42
8.4
0
-64

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 31 Dec 2012

140 comments, Last at 26 Apr 2013, 4:44pm by ChatRandom

Comments

1
by Insancipitory :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:36pm

God damn, 6 sacks must be hell on a QBs DYAR.

6
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:23pm

Well yeah, take the 5 sacks off of Rodgers and they probably beat the Vikings (and he is proabably around 200 DYAR instead of the 92 or so), 6 is even worse. Sacks tend to kill drives. Not always, but it's something like 80% of the time there is a sack the drive ends without points, that's a bad thing.

2
by Keith(1) (not verified) :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:53pm

Denver's top two receivers are in the top-5 for the week. Playing with Peyton is going to benefit those two guys so much. Just wow.

3
by jimbohead :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:03pm

2nd ranked Arizona pass defense must be giving Kap one helluva bump. That sure didn't look like a 179 pass DYAR day to me.

4
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:09pm

That puts Brady over Manning in DYAR (total value) by a full two games (damn! a full two games better than Peyton flippin' Manning!), and over him in DVOA (efficiency) by +2.4%.

Since 1991, there have been just three other QBs who have carried their offense more:
Brees and Rodgers in 2011. Manning in 2004 and 2006. Brady himself tops the all time list for his 2007 season, naturally.

MVP? Probably not, because people are idiots. Best quarterback? Absolutely. As the best opponent adjusted stats at the best football stats site show.

5
by Lell87 :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:21pm

Take it easy.

7
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:25pm

It was easy. It's just reading the FO stats straight up. No painful excuses, rationalizations, or pseudo-logical contortions required.

But thanks for your concern. :-)

8
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:25pm

A 2.4% DVOA difference is close to meaningless. Hard to argue that a guy at ~35% is that much better than a guy at ~32.5%.

Also, DVOA and DYAR does adjust for opponents, but doesn't for talent surrounding you on offense, and Brady's team wins there. Manning entered a new situation, with a new team, with new weapons that were far from proven. It is really hard to point to two stats and claim that Brady is the best QB. Personally, even as a Manning fan, I would still go with Rodgers as the best QB in the NFL.

10
by RickD :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:57pm

No stats adjust for talent surrounding a QB on offense. You cannot separate a QB from the rest of his offense.

"It is really hard to point to two stats and claim that Brady is the best QB."

I think one could claim that he had the best season, though. And that's what the MVP is about, yes?

16
by Kal :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:56pm

"I think one could claim that he had the best season, though. And that's what the MVP is about, yes?"

No - that would be a different award. MVP is who was most valuable to their team and in general.

19
by dbostedo :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 3:24pm

I'd say that MVP == Best season

How else do you define "most valuable to their team and in general"?

20
by RickD :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 3:34pm

I've never understood how a player could be "more valuable" without being better. A lot of people seem convinced that there is some obvious distinction, but I feel like they're really not making sense when they make their arguments.

The argument usually consists of "It's most valuable, not most outstanding!" combined with either a tone of voice or facial expression that seems to say "See, I've already made the entire argument, and if you don't buy it, you're an idiot!"

29
by dbostedo :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:51pm

I agree completely with your confusion, although I think I understand some people's argument. It goes like this :

"The only thing that matters is team wins in pursuit of the Super Bowl. Great performance that don't lead to those wins are therefore meaningless for the season. Meaningless performances have no value."

In other words, they fall into the trap of not judging players on how much they did to help their team win. Instead, they only want to reward people on teams that actually did win. It's just plain silly to me. But it happens all the time - in baseball even more than football.

I've heard people say "sure, he's having the best season, but his team is going to miss the playoffs". (So he can't be MVP.) As if that makes sense.

34
by dryheat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:30pm

The argument isn't really that hard to grasp. Literalists take the view that the spirit of the award is to recognize the player who is most valuable to his team, which is different that saying the league's best player. You could easily make an argument that Darrelle Revis has had more value to the Jets the past three years than anybody else has to his respective team. I don't think he ever cracked top 5 MVP voting. He might even be the league's best player in recent years. JJ Watt or Calvin Johnson might be the league's best player this year, but neither of them will win MVP this year either.

So really, the MVP award goes to neither of these. In reality, the MVP award goes to The Quarterback who has had the best season, unless a running back has had a historically great season

38
by dbostedo :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:37pm

I think a lot of people take the "most valuable to his team" language and twist it differently than you do. (As I stated above.) You're still arguing that the best player should win the award - or the player who had the best season. That's in agreement with RickD and me I think.

If JJ Watt or Calvin Johnson has really been the best player (i.e. the one who produced the most or had the best season) then they should win it. But, in reality, QBs are so important to their teams that they are usually going to be much more valuable than other positions by default. So I can understand the QB bias. I don't understand the RB part, except that they have more easily understood stats, including from a historical perspective.

40
by dryheat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:58pm

Well, in a nutshell, the "most valuable to his team" crowd would have no qualms with voting for a safety from a 7-9 team who had 8 interceptions and 100 tackles. Or a road-grading tackle who paved the way for a 1500 rusher. Or let's say Jay Cutler, who's team didn't make the playoffs, but may have been 2-14 with a lesser quarterback.

78
by Noah of Arkadia :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 3:49pm

A punter could have an outstanding, legendary year. He'd still be less valuable than a QB who had a nice year.

------
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

128
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Sat, 01/12/2013 - 4:20pm

Robopunter > Macbook

13
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:26pm

Manning had his receiving corps intact the entire season. I think his WRs and TEs missed a total of two games. So he got used to them during the pre-season, and had an unusually easy set of things to adjust to during the season.

Brady's WRs and TEs lost something like 24 games. Brady was in a "new situation" nearly every single game, as well as being forced to play with lesser receivers. The same goes for the OL. Brady coped with a patchwork OL much of the season. Manning had - if I recall - a pretty constant OL in front of him. Not as consistent as his receivers, but not the constantly shifting personnel and positions the Patriots dealt with.

So, no, that excuse doesn't make the cut. Not even close.

Rodgers has some nice TD-INT numbers. But DVOA and DYAR show him to be the next tier down from Brady, then Manning. He's more at the Brees level. That's really good. But if you'd pick him for most valuable QB you're beyond help.

24
by Arkaein :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:09pm

Most people on FO would say that GB's offensive line is clearly below Denver's and NE. They would also put GB's running game as the worst of the three. If I think that Rodgers got less help from those aspects of his offense than Peyton or Brady, and I "beyond help", as you say?

For what it's worth, I'd pick AP for the MVP, with Watt second. I don't really think that there is a big difference in value this year between the top 3 QBs. Manning threw the most INTs (in this group). Rodgers took the most sacks, but had the most TDs and tied Brady for fewest INTs. Rodgers is also the only one of the three that offers and running ability. Brady has the best TEs, but they had a lot of injuries, Rodgers has the best WRs, but they had a few significant injuries, Manning has the least depth among his WRs, but also had great health. Rodgers has had a revolving door of RBs this season.

DVOA and DYAR are great stats, but they don't evaluate single players. They evaluate players in the context of their teammates. DYAR only proves QB #1 is better than QB #2 if you believe that supporting casts don't matter, which is absurd. That's also why I think AP deserves the MVP, because he's even better than the stats say. He has carried that offense almost single handedly at times. Minnesota goes nowhere without him.

27
by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:24pm

And Manning elevated the level all of his teammates performed at. He brought a different culture to the team, an expectation of winning every week, as well as a new offensive philosophy and his skills on the field. Peyton's value goes far beyond stats--if you add his value to the added value each teammate brings over their previous carer best, Manning is far and away the most valuable player, IMO.

33
by Arkaein :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:28pm

That's a poor argument. Denver barely had a QB playing last year, so any good QB would have elevated Denver's players significantly. You don't think Rodgers, Brady, or Brees could have improved Denver greatly as well if any of them had somehow become Denver's QB this year. Any of those QBs could have led Denver to a near automatic double digit wins in that sad division.

Should Rodgers or Brady be punished simply because they are compared to their own past performances? I don't think so, I think that a player should be evaluated based on their own performances, not the arbitrary standard set by their predecessor.

43
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 6:46pm

Of course, with that defense and a top QB, a decent set of receivers and a good pass blocking offensive line, I don't know that I agree that all of the improvement of the offensive players is on Manning, but it's certainly perceived that he has elevated the play off the wide receivers and there are anecdotes that support that notion.

It's perceived that joining a new offense like he did and playing at a level only slightly worse than Tom Brady was a bit more impressive than playing at a similarly high level with teammates who you are already more familiar with.

Either way, it's hard to know how effective Tom Brady would have been if he was simply inserted into Denver's offense, but his offense was intentionally built around him over a number of years, so it's reasonable to expect somewhat of a dropoff had it happened and that's where people stand.

Oh, and I do want to mention that Manning's play gets unfairly compared to Tebow's in that people say that Tebow got Denver to 8 wins, so Manning only improved them by five wins, but DVOA says that Denver was worse than their 8-8 record suggests, so I think that Denver's improvement is actually underrated in that way even though I think it's silly to say that Manning improved the defense which I have heard people suggest.

51
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 9:16pm

I think the argument is often overused, but a good offense can definitely help a defense by limiting time on field, making opponent field position worse (less punts, less turnovers) and giving them a lead. Denver's defense becomes a lot better if they can get a lead early in a game, and Manning and the offense have given them that lead very often.

130
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Sat, 01/12/2013 - 4:30pm

Yeah, I get that effect, but I don't think it changes a defense from average DVOA to very good DVOA on defense. Oh, and also, Denver has been notoriously slow starting this year, so I don't know that it specifically had an affect in Denver's game except that perhaps teams still felt the pressure to outscore Peyton Manning even if they gained a lead.

69
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:51pm

"Only" five extra wins! That's 1/3 of the entire season.

46
by BSR :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 7:13pm

I'd pick AP for MVP but I think it was clear that Brady had the best season of all the QBs.

15
by Aaron Schatz :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:43pm

Yes, I would agree with the statement that a 2.4% DVOA difference isn't the end all and be all. Probably not "close to meaningless," but not a huge difference.

It doesn't mean Tom Brady should be MVP. It does mean he should be in the conversation more than he seems to be.

18
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 3:24pm

I also would agree that 2.4% DVOA isn't a huge difference. Manning was nearly as efficient (adjusted for opponent) as Brady. It was close enough that we have to move from comparing efficiency to comparing overall production. (actually, it's best to start with production for value discussions, but it works either way)

It's in this second category that Brady far outshines the league. Not only was he the most efficient QB of 2012, he managed to do so while being over-used. As a result, he beat the next most productive and efficient QB by two whole games in value.

Don't miss that important point: Brady's value was higher by two whole games.

This part is not remotely close.

23
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 3:56pm

Don't forget that Brady threw the ball 55 more times.

Manning would have to hold his value over the additional throws, but if he did, his DYAR over the same number of attempts would be 1,966.

When the attempt numbers are similar, I like to look more at DVOA. This is a personal preference, but DVOA has them closer than DYAR, which meets the eye.

Also, these aren't perfect stats. In a game like football, there are none to encapsulate everything a QB has to do. PFF, for instance, has Manning 1st. Also, I think opponents adjustments are sometimes a little strong, as when Brady's 2009 season was ranked so highly by DYAR, even though most Pats fans I know didn't even think too highly of it.

28
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:34pm

DVOA is a rate stat. Brady was better in DVOA. So that takes care of those extra 55 passes.

DYAR is a cumulative stat, and rewards QBs who produce at a high level for more throws, as is just and right. Brady is far better in DYAR. So that properly rewards those extra 55 passes.

And "meets the eye"? And PFF? Seriously? What's next? Moxie?

30
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:53pm

I realize this is FO, but PFF is not some junk site run by amateurs. Their methods and findings may be different. You may not like them. But they are legitimate in what they do.

35
by theslothook :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:31pm

Has nat ever considered that others may do a good job grading players other than "his" scouting eye?

44
by BSR :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 7:02pm

Actually it is run by amateurs. There is no professional scouts or anything remotely similar. Its pretty close to junk.

47
by theslothook :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 7:18pm

Actually...is that why agents and football teams have both paid and contacted them for their numbers? Is that why they have actually consulted with scouts to verify how accurate their grading process is?

48
by BSR :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 7:27pm

Agents are irrelevant as they will use anything to pump up their clients performance. As for teams, what teams?

Up until this year PFF used a TV Feed to grade players, not even a all 22. How valuable can that actually be? And how does any of these "graders" know who was really at fault for any given assignment? They really don't know where the receiver was supposed to be or who's blocking assignment it was or even if a QB missed an audible or blocking adjustment. Some people will argue that it is better than nothing, but I really don't agree. It has the potential for massive variance of judgement or lack there of. Believe what you will but it is pretty much worthless.

50
by theslothook :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 8:36pm

You should actually read some of their testimonials. Their site founder was contacted by the NY giants for their work. I never said they were perfect, but to say they are just pathetic amateurs and their work is garbage is just you saying that with no real factual evidence. If you are interested in really proving your point, you can read peter king talk about their site and what different nfl personnel people have to say regarding them.

Btw, this is the same sort of stuff hurled at Greg Cosell until he became more popular among nfl fans.

Anyways, I'm not going to further argue this thread with you.

59
by BSR :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:30am

Testimonials? Look, maybe saying its totally worthless is a bit over the top. I am sure they do collect some useful data and the fact that they do it for every team is something, but at the end of the day they are amateurs. They are not professional scouts and have no professional training breaking down film. I wouldn't give any credence to their stats where they are evaluating decision making like QBs for instance.

71
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:57pm

FO is done by amateurs too, who have zero scouting experience. They're worthless!

Sounds to me like you're a victim of the nirvana fallacy. The Nirvana Fallacy is when you dismiss anything in the real world because you compare it to an unrealistic, perfect alternative, by which it pales in comparison. No football analysis website is perfect, and EVERY ONE OF THEM is done by amateurs.

"Amateur" isn't a derogatory term. Plenty of fields of research are led by enthusiastic amateurs, and for that I'm grateful. Statistical football analysis is one of them.

72
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 1:09pm

Do you really put that much faith in Peter King's endorsement?

22
by RickD :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 3:38pm

Well, obviously Brady isn't more valuable, because he gets to throw to Wes Welker.
Or something like that.
Also, he's not coming off neck surgery.

The truth is that there's a huge pro-Manning bias in the media because he's coming off surgery.

37
by dryheat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:36pm

For right or wrong, Brady left the conversation after the 1st half of the 49ers game. The fact that the Pats were held scoreless for a half vs. a historically great defense while the Pats D was getting laser beamed to death by Kaepernick somehow outdid the previous 15 games, and not even four touchdown drives in 11 minutes in the second half could bring him back.

115
by Forrest (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 6:52pm

Does anyone seriously think that the Patriots without Brady are a better team than Denver is without Peyton? Denver went to the playoffs and won a game with Tim Tebow at QB last year fer crying out loud.

117
by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 7:55pm

The 2011 Broncos were one of the worst playoff teams DVOA has recorded. In comparison, the 2008 Pats were far, far better than the 2011 Broncos.

118
by theslothook :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 7:55pm

Are you really going to say Denver made the playoffs last year means they were a playoff worthy team? They were 24 in Dvoa and got into the playoffs as an 8-8 team. Not too mention, they made ridiculous 50 plus yard field goals, had people run out of bounds that would otherwise clinch games, and had very lucky 4th quarter and late drives against bad teams to win. All told, this was a very poor team that was closer to 5-11 than anything resembling 13-3.

122
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 8:55pm

I would only use the Tebow-took-Denver-to-the-playoffs argument when people say Manning's greatness is measured by the fact the Colts went 2-14 without him. Especially if Denver has an early playoff loss.

------
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

124
by theslothook :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 10:06pm

Winning in the playoffs is hard and I can see anyone being upset and losing/not playing well, even the very best qbs. Tom Brady's skill and will to win are unquestionable, but even he's played playoff games and been poor. The baltimore game and the Jets game in particular. As stupid as it sounds, I don't hold these losses as evidence that Brady isn't clutch or Manning isn't clutch. Every qb is capable of playing poorly at any time.

41
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 6:15pm

DVOA is a per play stat. DYAR is a cumulative stat. Brady has 54 more pass attempts than Peyton Manning who tended to hand the ball off a bit more after the Broncos got a large lead. Peyton Manning's completion percentage is four points higher and his per attempt yardage is 0.4 higher, so while Brady comes out better by DYAR, it's important to remember that he did it with more attempts and I don't think a couple of points of DVOA is enough to declare somebody clearly superior. And the other per play stats that people unfamiliar with DVOA would rely on show Manning's year as better, so it's silly to call people who think that Manning had the better year idiots.

Now, I'm a Broncos fan, but I really did feel that Brady was a bigger part of his team's success this year and I think that in general the Patriots should get kudos for understanding that throwing the ball more is a strategic advantage in today's NFL especially when you have Tom Brady, but anyhow, no reason to call people idiots for favoring Manning for the award. You can explain why you favor Brady without calling other people idiots for what is a reasonable opinion anyway.

45
by BSR :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 7:09pm

Actually I don't think the idea that Manning "tended to hand the ball off a bit more" is accurate at all. Both teams passed the ball 55% of the time but the big difference came on scoring where Brady handed the ball off more in the red zone instead of going for the closer and easier TD scores. The NE running game generated 25 TDs, which was second in the league, versus only 12 for DEN.

93
by Judy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:32am

The Pats offense ran more plays, they passed more and they ran more.

129
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Sat, 01/12/2013 - 4:24pm

Thanks for sharing. My point stands that they had more pass attempts and that affects cumulative stats, but I didn't realize that New England also had more runs.

94
by Gorilla Graham (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 1:32am

Congratulations. Nobody cares about this.

9
by Paul R :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:28pm

Colts sighting in Most Valueable Receivers! Second time ths year! Once a year is the norm.
Not only that, but it's not Reggie Wayne! Halley's Comet happens more often.

I can recall seeing Edgerrin James on the Running Backs list once.
Or maybe that was a dream...

11
by RickD :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 1:59pm

The weekly concern:

gotta wonder what Bradshaw did to finish above Williams and Peterson this week.

12
by Doubting Thomas (not verified) :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:14pm

nat, your obsessive, relentlessly repetitive "Brady is sooooo perfect and Manning s*ucks!" fanaticism got old several months ago. Wishing you lots of effective therapy for the new year.

14
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:27pm

Naw. I just call the stats as they fall.

17
by Kal :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 2:58pm

Do you also happily ignore things like fewer attempts? Just curious.

21
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 3:36pm

Nope. Brady had the higher DVOA, too. DVOA is the per-play stat. That part was closer. But so what? Brady did it (2.4%) better. Brady did it more. Brady produced two whole games more value.

A little more efficiently + a lot more often = Much More Total Value.

What's not to get? You can't really pick Manning's season without making excuses for him. And, with the season's injuries and personnel turnover, Brady has a lot more excuses to draw on.

Only, he doesn't need them.

25
by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:19pm

Don't we have a separate thread for this stupid debate?

"Manning led his team to the #1 seed! Clearly, he's better than Brady, who didn't even get home field advantage!"

Only an idiot would say that either one is "clearly" better than the other. They are about as equal as they come, and NO ONE, not you, and not me, can truthfully say which one is better.

If you wish to continue, please take it to the proper thread.

36
by theslothook :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:34pm

Nat- you really need to get the fact that DVOA and DYar aren't representative of the qb's play but more of team success. The fact that you keep pretending like it is doesn't make it so.

The truth is, stats cannot accurately separate Qb performance from Team success. If you want to determine who is more valuable, you have to grade and watch each qb and attempt to isolate his play from his receivers, backs, schemes, and o line. DId you do that? I didn't.

The thing that gets me is your complete certainty of the fact that brady is more valuable. You remind me of one of those Jehovah witnesses.

95
by Gorilla Graham (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 1:34am

Brady also looks a lot better in a swimsuit, he invented masturbation, and they sell his piss as champagne in eastern European countries.

26
by nat :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 4:21pm

I fear this is becoming an irrational Brady-Manning debate, with one side citing stats and one side becoming more and more emotionally attached to prejudices. (Are we in 2004 yet?)

But to put it more abstractly, under what conditions would you NOT pick the QB with the best DVOA and DYAR as the most valuable QB of that season?

I submit that you would only do so if there were a QB close in both stats. Even then, the trailing QB would have to have a strong rationale that did not reflect on his value.

Rationales to be considered:
unusually large number of injuries to teammates (not your fault or your value)
teammates getting suspended (ditto)
unusual weather events (ditto, although weather is part of the game)
sitting out games after playoff position is settled (no reflection on your value that the coach sat you)
exceptionally good timing in playing teams when they had a lot of injuries. (skews opponent adjustments)

Not to be considered:
poor preparation regardless of cause (preparation is part of your value)
own injuries (tough luck, but it's part of your value)
play calling and substitutions within meaningful games (usually a non-factor for QB rate stats. And, frankly, just whiny for production stats.)

Not useful to consider:
Quality of teammates. (This one is harder. But it's next to impossible to separate a QB from his starting line and receivers. Sure, I know some fans think some QBs block for themselves and catch their own throws. But making that argument is just a way of stating your prejudice: "QB X is great because his teammates suck, which we know because QB X is great!" It's just a form of feeble circular excuse-making.)

I just don't see any valid rationales this season, except maybe Brady having to cope with a lot of roster churn. But he's the one in the lead, so that's not even necessary.

But I would love to hear other ideas on when to overturn a clear DVOA/DYAR leader, not just for this year, but as general rules. That would tell us something interesting about DVOA and DYAR.

31
by Jimmy :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:07pm

I fear this is becoming an irrational Brady-Manning debate

There is a reason this has a separate thread. Go play there.

32
by Purds :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:14pm

"I fear this is becoming an irrational Brady-Manning debate"

Nope, just you being you, nat

Now, proceed with your second favorite hobby, calling people names. As others have said, I hope the therapy goes well in the new year.

57
by theslothook :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 6:00am

Its kind of a shame. There are lots of pats fans on here I like talking with who aren't this way. Nat and even sometimes RickD both name call on these forums and act like the evidence is so clear that Brady = God and the rest suck that you'd be a complete moron for arguing otherwise. The worst is when Nat abuses statistics like he does. The fact that packer fans and bears fans and the lions fans can discuss things on the forum without any rancor implies that you can be a fan of the team without being a total douchebag.

61
by nat :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:48am

Other than my citing statistics confidently, what have you to complain about? I guess I dismissed the Rodgers fans too quickly. But really, he's not in the discussion for best QB this year. He's too far away in the FO stats.

Rather than complaining that I don't give the FO stat weaker Manning my vote for MVP, why not give rational objective arguments for Manning?

He threw fewer passes? Covered by DVOA. He was coming off an injury? That explains his lower value, but doesn't make it not so. He had to adjust to new receivers? Ditto. His team had OL changes? Brady had more, and a ton of receiver changes, too? Denver was bad last year? Denver played Tebow last year. Manning made other parts of the offense better? Denver's rush DVOA dropped.

What remotely objective argument is left? I'm sincerely curious. Is it just "Manning is great because his teammates must suck because Manning must be great?". Is it moxie and swagger? Is it your fan's eye? Pundits? Is it the easy schedule? 'Cause right now all I hear is fans shouting down the objective evidence.

I think you're pissed not because I'm being irrational, but precisely because I'm being relentlessly fact-based, and asking the same of you. If I depended on emotional arguments you would know what to say.

Come back with facts and stats. Please.

62
by kamiyu206 :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:57am

You really want some facts and stats?

OK, then.

Peyton Manning ranks 1st in QBR with 84.1 and it's not even close.

Peyton Manning ranks 1st in ANY/A with 7.89 and it's also not even close.

Satisfied now?

66
by BSR :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:37pm

Great...now adjust those for defenses faced.

89
by kamiyu206 :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 10:39pm

Well, I can't and that's why I said no stats are perfect.

I just wanted to show nat that there ARE stats which favor Peyton. And it's one of those 'advanced' ones.

As far as I know, DVOA & DYAR are the only stats which include opponents adjustment, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. (can't separate WR/OL performance, overrates YAC, etc.)

That's why we can't just say 'Um, A has better DYAR than B so A is ABSOLUTELY better than B'.

Thanks.

67
by dryheat :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:41pm

Does either side care to acknowledge that the ability to throw the ball far is a very overrated component of the job of an NFL QB? This entire irrational argument is made even more irrational by the dismissal of things like reading defenses and throwing the ball on time to the right guy, executing play fakes, getting the offense into the right play, not turning the ball over, delivering the ball to the optimal spot for the receiver for YAC / not getting crushed, keeping the defense off-balanced, etc.

OK, continue.

76
by Bobman :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 3:40pm

I'll kick in with one comment, then return to reading only. I burned my fingerprints off in 03/04/05 on the Peytom Branning threads. But here goes: Any QB who wears a playbook wristband does not have total ownership of the offense--he is a "mere" functionary for the OC/HC who are running the game. (The greatest middle manager on earth does not make the cover of magazines as often as possibly less capable CEOs who just happen to run the whole show.) The wristband playbook guy might be a phenomenal player, a HOFer, or he might be Mark Sanchez. He might be a stat-compiling deity, or a just-wins-games workhorse. But the guy who goes out there and basically calls his own game without cheat sheets AND throws/hands-off/avoids sacks and INTs comparably to the guy with the playbook on his arm... HE is more valuable and a larger component of his team's success. This is not measured and there is no stat for this. This is not some imaginery and unmeasurable thing like swagger or confidence or leadership or momentum. There are no degrees to measure here. This is a yes/no issue: do you require a cheat sheet to "own" your offense? Brady does, as do most QBs. It doesn't make them bad, it does help make them better than they'd be without the added technology (or else why do it? A fashion statement perhaps?).

It's like a HOF WR who used stickum before the ban, or a HOF DE who used to headslap before the ban, etc. They can be great, but are better because they use something that, maybe, others don't need to be equally great. Think about this the next time you put on your eyeglasses (after 48 years I have just started with "cheater glasses"). You need a device to help you do what others can do without that device. In a basic way, that makes those of us who do handicapped. Some people need a device to walk or breathe, some to see, some to call plays in the NFL. I give my vote to the guy who can do it without the extra device. Happy New Year, all.

79
by Noah of Arkadia :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:01pm

In other words, there is a Life Beyond Stats. And we know nothing of it. Or at least, not enough to agree on anything.

------
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

80
by dryheat :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:06pm

Seems a strange criterion to base your choice on. Every HC / play caller holds a clipboard of plays on the sideline. I wouldn't imagine that the one who works without one necessarily gets one's Coach of the Year vote.

Your explanation seems also to ding QBs who use the crutches of knee braces or flak jackets or shoulder harnesses.

96
by BSR :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 7:54am

This is really an odd argument as the comparison is apples and oranges and I really can't understand how one system is better than the other. Peyton runs the same offense he has ran for over a decade and by all accounts it is simplistic but his mastery over it makes it great. Brady on the other hand runs an offense that has been in place all of this year. Further, its a massive thing and may be the most complicated in the NFL, using a one word signal system to run a Chip Kelly like ultra hurry up offense. I can really see arguments for both systems.

83
by theslothook :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:18pm

Actually, I can give you a great example of how you abuse statistics to your own end and biases.

Remember the thread on how you argued unitas was better than Manning? Instead of comparing league average of manning's stats vs league average and unitas' vs the league average, you took Manning's avg vs the top 16 and unitas' stats vs the league average and basically just assumed that that was a fair way to adjust for eras. Not only is that a ridiculous method for era adjustment, if you tried submitting that kind of analysis to your professor or employer, they'd roll their eyes at you.

39
by An Onymous (not verified) :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 5:57pm

How about if the second best guy joined a brand new team and oversaw the 4th largest increase in scoring differential from season N to season N+1 in NFL history? Last year, Denver's opponents scored 80 more points than Denver did. This year, Denver scored 190 more points than their opponents did. That +270 swing was, as mentioned, the fourth largest increase in NFL history. I would venture that Manning had a far bigger impact on Denver than Brady had on New England.

Also, Brady is running an offense that was installed in 2007. He's playing for the only HC he's ever known, for an OC he has 3 seasons experience with. His #1 WR has 5 seasons experience in the offense. His #2 and #3 targets both have 3 seasons experience. His #2 WR is in his first season in NE, but was brought in because he was already familiar with the offense from working with the OC. All the backs have been around for years, too. The line all grew up in this system. Meanwhile, Manning is playing for a new team, working under an OC who has never run his offense, for WRs who have never run his offense, behind a line that had never played with him and was learning his style and expectations on the fly. The fact that he had that motley hodgepodge running very nearly as efficiently as the well oiled machine that is the New Englad offense is a more impressive feat, IMO. And Manning gets extra credit in my book for being the architect of his own offense- he wasn't just the triggerman, but he was also to coordinator.

All of those factors are more than enough to get me to overlook any slight statistical differences. Seriously, at this time last year, Denver was running the wishbone. Now they're one of the sleekest and most sophisticated offenses in the NFL. That's on Manning's shoulders. That's an MVP performance if ever there was one.

42
by theslothook :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 6:16pm

Its more than that. Check out the receiving DYAR and DVOA last year and the jump this year. Its amazing the two different interpretations you can get based on which lens you look through. 2011 broncos had some of the worst receivers imaginable. The 2012 broncos have the deadliest receiving core imaginable. Clearly- its hard to reconcile both outcomes as neither is likely a true representative of the truth. That said, given that Manning makes 1000 yard receivers out of old phone books, its likely that the receivers benefited from Manning more than vice versa. After all, Brandon Stokley was on the street in March and no one wanted him. He goes to denver and voi la.

I could also add the fact that NE's run game is 10x superior to Denver's and running the football successfully improves your passing game too(see 2010 NO for evidence of this).

Finally - DVOA and DYar don't factor in pressure or "air yardage." A 60 yard touchdown pass could come from a qb throwing under heavy pressure and hitting a tight windowed throw to a receiver in the end zone. It could also come from a pass behind the line of scrimmage to a wide receiver who breaks 6 tackles and runs into the end zone. The qb gets the same statistical credit despite the herculean differences in the two plays. QBR, while not adjusting for opponents(a big issue I concede) does factor in pass rush and "air yards" when it tabulates its grades and on this stat, Manning is #1 by a healthy margin. I don't mean that to suggest Manning is unquestionably the best qb as I think even QBR is affected by circumstance, but there is enough evidence to suggest Manning is deserving of being in the MVP debate.

60
by DeepZone (not verified) :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:38am

You bring up a good point about air yards. This year, Manning has accrued 57% of his yardage through the air, and 43% from YAC. Brady has benefited from 47% YAC. While 4% may not seem like a big difference, consider that Manning has a higher Y/A to start with (8.0 vs. 7.6), and that this is over a 600 pass sample.

Going by the eye test, these numbers back up what I've always felt from watching the games: Brady, on average, attempts easier throws than Manning. For an elite QB, Brady throws a ton of very short passes, especially to Welker, where almost all the yardage comes from YAC. Think of Brady's 5 yard dumpoff to Shane Vereen against the Jets that turned into an 83 yard "pass" for Brady, even though Vereen did all of the work. Or last season's 6 inch pass to Woodhead that gets credited as 50 yards for Brady. Now, I will certainly give Brady credit for reading the defense and throwing to the receiver that will gain the most yardage, YAC or not.

Of the big four QB's, Manning and Rodgers seem to throw the more difficult passes, while Brady and Brees pad their stats a bit more with dumpoffs and screen passes.

63
by kamiyu206 :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:05pm

Good point.

I won't say QBR is a perfect stat, but as far as I know QBR takes 'receiver performance' into account.

I think that's why Brady's QBR seems always a bit low compared to his high DVOA or DYAR.

68
by BSR :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:48pm

Except according to the NFL split stats both QBs throw about the same percentages of their throws 10 yards or less. Manning has always traditionally thrown a large percentage of his passes short and there is nothing wrong with that. Its what good QB do.

The interesting thing is comparing the weapons each one of these QBs has at their disposal. Brady is the only QB in that list that has no outside vertical receiver and hasn't really had one since Moss. His main weapon, Welker, also suffers in the red zone.

The reality is that the statistical variances are probably more indicative of the offensive personnel and scheme rather than quality of the QB play. That is what makes these comparisons so difficult and in the end entirely pointless.

64
by nat :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:12pm

I replied above before reading this one. This is more like FO quality posting.

The receivers's stats I concede, if you'll concede that a lot of that is due to getting rid of terrible QBs, too.

Air yardage isn't opponent adjusted. And yards are yards. But at least we can agree on the facts.

It seems to me that this is mostly about you mistrusting opponent adjustments and me thinking that much of the Broncos passing improvement was due to getting rid of horrible QBs. So I want to use the FO stats straight up, while you want to give Manning a bonus for having bad teammates.

Okay. That's not too unreasonable for areas of disagreement. I find your argument a tad circular, but that's true of all "quality of teammates" arguments, even ones that are accurate. Maybe the rest of the Broncos are worse than the players the Patriots had to field this year, even with all those injuries. It's possible.

85
by theslothook :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:27pm

Actually, and I'm trying to keep this thread cordial, but the reason I hate FO stats are because they do a poor job of describing individual play from team play. Again, run a regression on whichever qb stat you like, dvoa or dyar, and run those against team passing dvoa and you get a ridiculously high r2 (last time I did it, it was around 98%). Do we really believe that Qb's are therefore essentially responsible for all of the team's passing dvoa performance? Obviously not.

The truth is, Dvoa and DYAR are computed off of play by play data which only marks down distance, opponent, and game circumstances. They do NOT compute their statistics off of things like "how open was the receiver", "did the blocking hold up," "did the qb misread coverage?" etc etc. The sort of things that you would probably need to know to isolate the qb from the team.

QBR has its positives and its negatives: Positives- it adjusts for Air yards, it adjusts for pressure, it doesn't give brownie points for you throwing tds at the 1 yard line and thus accruing a ton of tds that influence passer rating. But in its negatives, it also fails to adjust for opponents, it incorporates things like throws in close games and comebacks(stuff I hate), and a few other little weird things that feel more like circumstance than quality of the qb.

Overall though, at least QBR attempts to isolate qb play, DYAR and DVOA do not.

77
by Bobman :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 3:48pm

Clearly 10x superiority in the run game is an exaggeration, but losing McGahee was a big blow to Denver's run game. Like what happened with Stokely, lifetime underachiever Moreno suddenly looks like a good NFL RB, mainly because of how defenses have to play to counter Manning, and Manning checking to runs when he sees 3 and 4 and 5 CBs.

That's the mental part of the game, that improves the run stats and depresses the passing stats, that is created by the QB, which is not represented in the QB's stat sheet. It's why Manning won the SB MVP against the Bears and why Manning haters said Rhodes or Addai should have won. Um, no, the voters got it right--it wasn't his early pick or his 55 yard bomb to Wayne. It was his mental game that won the SB witha run-heavy game when the Bears went CB-heavy, and a short passing game to Addai when the D had everyone back. Mental game.

97
by BSR :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 8:05am

Brady is not running an offense installed in 2007. This offense was installed this year. It is totally different than the one in 2007.

As for Manning, he is running a system that he has run for over a decade. Its the rest of his Broncos team mates that have had to adapt to him, not the other way around. Isn't the fact that they have picked up the offense a testament to their hard work and abilities? Didn't they bring in players specifically that can work with Manning simply because he has only ever run one system and one system only? I don't understand how Manning gets credit for everyone else catering to his style.

49
by mrh :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 7:34pm

I thought this was an interesting argument for a different QB as most valuable (granted, from 2 weeks ago), using a different but valid measure of "value" and a different advanced stat:

http://fantasydouche.com/2012/12/the-nfls-most-valuable-player-is-russell-wilson/

52
by kamiyu206 :: Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:07pm

Saying Tom Brady should be in the conversation is absolutely right.

But saying 'Any player other than Tom Brady winning MVP is ridiculous because DVOA & DYAR said so' is absolutely wrong.

DVOA & DYAR? How about QBR then? Nobody would say 'Peyton Manning should win MVP because he has the highest QBR in 2012' except perhaps people in ESPN. Do you really want to do that?

Any stats, even the advanced ones like DVOA or DYAR or QBR or whatever, have flaws. Which means they aren't perfect. Drawing absolute conclusion based on ONLY those stats is ignorant at best.

53
by theblackmallard (not verified) :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 1:03am

Peyton Manning has significantly better straight up efficiency stats than Tom Brady. He has a better QBR, passer rating, YPA, the whole nine yards. Brady is ahead in DYAR because he throws more passes and because by football outsider's estimation Tom Brady faced tougher defenses.

I'm not at all certain that the Jets, Cardinals, Rams, and Texans (2nd half season version) defenses are as tough as DVOA makes them out to be in the adjustments. Are we really ready to say with absolute confidence that the Cardinals are the 2nd most fearsome pass defense in the league or that the Jets are MUCH better than the Steelers?

65
by nat :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:17pm

Conceded: if DVOA is wrong to rate the Broncos' opponents pass defenses as weaker, then Manning was a bit more efficient, while Brady was a bit more productive.

That's a big if. But it's one right question to ask.

87
by DeepZone (not verified) :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 7:36pm

Opponent adjustments are overrated for three main reasons:

1) natural week-to-week variance in human performance
2) injuries/personnel changes
3) matchups

The Texans and Bears had world-beater defenses at the beginning of the season, but have noticeably declined in the second half of the season. A team playing them in week 2 had a much harder task than a team playing them in week 14, yet the opponent adjustment is the same. Is an inaccurate adjustment any better than no adjustment at all? Not really.

Or think back to last year's Broncos/Steelers playoff game. Even though Pittsburgh had a highly rated defense during the regular season, Tebow was a bad matchup for them and they compounded it with a stupid gameplan. Does Tebow deserve a bump in his numbers for facing the Steelers, even though the Steelers played horrible defense on that particular day?

Honestly, I'm more intereted in weather adjustments for QB's. Over at PFR, they found that domes inflate passing by 0.4 YPA, and cold weather depresses it by 0.6 YPA. If Brady deserves a bonus for anything, it should be the fact that he plays in one of the worst weather stadiums in the league.

54
by Alternator :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 2:40am

The entire Brady-Manning debate is pointless, because Adrian Peterson should win the MVP award. If you stick an average QB (say, Alex Smith) on either team, they win the division. If you stick an average starting RB on the Vikings, they are a top-five drafting team.

Peterson did this without the semblance of an effective passing game to draw away attention, either.

55
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 3:02am

I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment, but I wouldn't exactly characterize the 49er entangled version of Alex Smith as "average"

73
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 2:24pm

The Vikings were 5-2 to start the year and Peterson had about 650 yards (150 of those came in Game #7) and 3 TDs. At that point, they already were not going to be a top-5 drafting team.

Peterson had a great year, but his biggest games didn't exactly correlate with Vikings wins until the last four weeks (and even then, in the Houston game Peterson was average).

81
by Noah of Arkadia :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:13pm

It's not that simple, because average RBs aren't as valuable as average QBs. On the other hand, having the "right" QB is very valuable indeed. Alex Smith could have made it happen for the Broncos, but not for the Pats. No way, no how.

When you put it this way, though, and seeing how the Broncos made the playoffs last year with one of the worst QBs ever, I'd say this is between AP and Brady.

------
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

56
by theslothook :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 5:57am

Look, I'll state it this way when it comes to the MVP. If you are going to argue Adrian is more valuable than the top qbs, your insane. I'm sorry but to suggest as much ignores the obvious. Despite Adrian's herculian efforts, they aren't sniffing the post season unless ponder makes at least a few third and longs/and or coverts in the red zone and the defense plays well enough. Sorry, but this is just how the positional value breaks down. In point of fact, despite AP being the best pure rb ever(I might argue Faulk brings more value), I think Jared Allen brings more pure value to the vikes over his career than Ap.

That said, Ap has had the finest season as an RB I can remember and clearly the best RB on the planet. For that reason, the MVP should be interpreted as which player had the best season. Again, if it was really about value, then this year it should go to Rodgers and the last 10 should have gone to PM. Seriously, do people forget that the colts went 10-6 with Peyton 2 years ago and then proceeded to go 2-14 without him?

Finally- As to Brady v Manning, As a colts fan, its sad that this continues to rear its ugly head over and over and over again. I cant imagine what other fans think of this when they keep seeing it. Everyone knows where I stand, but I would prefer us avoid this topic completely. Despite whatever you're preference is, there are no stats that definitely prove who is better. DVOA and DYAR favor brady, but YPA and QBR favor Manning(never mind the fact that all of these stats are context based). I prefer we just leave it to the irrational thread and move on.

58
by kamiyu206 :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 7:18am

Agree, and I think this is why winner of 'Offensive Player of the Year' could be different from 'Most Valuable Player', at least in NFL.

This season is exactly that sort of situation. I don't think Adrian Peterson is MVP, but I certainly vote him as OPOY.

70
by BSR :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:53pm

I think it continues to rear itself when people make stupid comments like "and the last 10 [MVPs] should have gone to PM".

As for the rest of your post, how does AP needing a QB to contribute any different than a QB needing an OL, WR and RBs to contribute? This notion that QBs are doing it on their own is ridiculous.

86
by theslothook :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:34pm

I fairly concede I shouldn't have made that comment. I don't actually believe that. Sometimes in the heat of typing responses, you're prone to hyperbole and have a hard time editing yourself. Tom Brady is worse than Curtis Painter!!! Oh whoops.

74
by PatsFan :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 3:26pm

Of course, the Colts wouldn't have gone 2-14 if they weren't trying to go 2-14.

84
by Noah of Arkadia :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:23pm

And if we're going to point out how the Colts when from 10-6 to 2-14 without Manning, I'm going to point out how they only went from 13-3 to 8-8 after downgrading from Manning to one of the worst QBs in the history of the NFL. Not quite as impressive, is it.

Yeah, I'm looking at time in reverse. It's allowed.

------
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

75
by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 3:29pm

I heard a quote over the weekend from an "anonymous league insider" that said something very much like "we created the Offensive Player of the Year award to recognize impressive statistical achievements that don't necessarily deserve an MVP award."
If that's the case and that definition is widely accepted among voters, I think it's pretty clear how this will shake out.
I'm not saying I think this is the best possible handling of the situation (in fact, I'm not even convinced that a real person said this, it could be a reporter's convenience to create a "source" to argue for the reporter's own bias). But it would be kind off nice to think that there is a somewhat clear delineation between the purpose of the two awards.

82
by Bobman :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:16pm

EDIT: This was sort of a response to theslothook #58 above, but the context is general.

For me it sounds a lot like the Heisman voting--the Heisman goes to the player who had the best year, often a RB or QB, but not always. Yet the first pick in the draft four months later (while sometimes need-based) generally goes to the best player (DE, OT, LB, guys who would never win the Heisman), not just the guy who had the best season. The Jamarcus Russell exception, of course, still applies. Matt Millen and Al Davis aside, I trust the NFL GMs to select the best kid more than the Heisman voters because the criteria is different--one is who will help my team the most in the next decade and the other is who had the best last three months.

For NFL MVP, the criteria seem to be blended--who had the best year plus who contributes most to his team plus whose team is top-3? Sometimes who was helped out most by stellar teammates (akin to the the "split vote" issue--if voters select Von Miller for DPOY, will they discount Manning's team success?). If AP ran for ten more yards, he'd have had the greatest RB season of all time, making it hard to NOT vote for him. But his team barely made the playoffs. And because he fell just nine yards short, his season is somehow considered diminished by the voters (I'll assume). Ten yards make or break his MVP? Probably. Sick, really.

My 2005 MVP (I hope I have the year right) would have been Manning, who suffered from a dropoff from a record-setting year, but I thought was nearly as good in 2005 and mentally better with D's massively shifted to prevent him going all 2004 on them. There was probably voter backlash (three consecutive??!?!) and Shawn Alexander won--2-3 years later he was out of football. That's value for the NFL? Almost like giving it to the first guy who runs for 300 per game--one bright shining burst and thenit's over. My 2005 second MVP choice was Walter Jones who contributed significantly to Alexander's (and Hasselbeck's) outstanding years--in my view made them possible. If ever an OL deserved it, I thought that was the year.

Voter sentiment is another issue--had Manning not had a comeback year in 2012, there might be more votes/chatter in favor of AP because of HIS comeback. That may be why Brady is not discussed all that much, deserving though he may be. He was an extraordinary caretaker on a continuing trip in a racecar that rarely sputtered. By contrast, AP's trip was violently interrupted by a 12-car pileup last December and the speed and quality of his recovery are amazing. Manning's trip was interrupted by being on blocks for about 16 months and being transported to another country where they drive on the different side of the road. If his season equalled Brady's (or Rodgers'), the perception is that he climbed a higher pile of obstacles to achieve it, and therefore is due the award. (Just a guess as to how voter sentiment works.)

I guess the above assumes Manning wins MVP and AP, TB, AR finish 2,3,4. Who knows, Watt might steal it somehow and I'd be okay with that. Not my first choice, but it gives defensive players a seat at the grownup table at least. And for maybe ten games, maybe more, he had a solid argument that he could take over games and was the most dominant player on the field.

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by Jerry :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:08pm

Both the MVP and the Heisman are about honoring a single season, not about who the best player is, and especially not about who will be the best player in five or ten years. These awards have their flaws - Walter Jones may have had a better year than Shawn Alexander in 2005, but there's no way an offensive tackle gets elected MVP. And the Heisman is even more of a popularity contest. But neither reflects an opinion on what the winner's future will be.

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by theslothook :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:53pm

But, these awards do matter. they influence the perception of greatness. Manning has 1 sb win. As silly as it sounds, having 4 mvps is a big part of his legacy, as would a 5th. I think an mvp to Peterson's credit is huge as well. Its funny, but without this particular season, AP was on the outside for the hall of fame. Another string of 1400 or even 1600 yards wouldn't have gotten him in. He needed some kind of explosions type year with a good story. The mvp would mean a great chance at the hall of fame.

Its silly, but thats what these wards mean. They impact legacies.

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by theslothook :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:53pm

But, these awards do matter. they influence the perception of greatness. Manning has 1 sb win. As silly as it sounds, having 4 mvps is a big part of his legacy, as would a 5th. I think an mvp to Peterson's credit is huge as well. Its funny, but without this particular season, AP was on the outside for the hall of fame. Another string of 1400 or even 1600 yards wouldn't have gotten him in. He needed some kind of explosions type year with a good story. The mvp would mean a great chance at the hall of fame.

Its silly, but thats what these wards mean. They impact legacies.

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by DeepZone (not verified) :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 7:50pm

IMO, the Brady/Manning debate isn't even about Tom and Peyton, it's about Rings vs. Stats. Most pro-Brady people cite his three SB wins and general playoff success as the determining factors. There is often an anti-stats sentiment from Brady fans, because "clutch" QB's don't worry about stats!

OTOH, Manning supporters point to his mind-blowing career numbers, which outpace Brady both in volume and efficiency. They excuse his losing playoff record as a product of the team around him, not him being a "choker."

Now here at FO, the arguments are more nuanced (thankfully), but in general Brady vs. Manning is a symbolic debate between the Rings people and the Stats people.

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by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 8:51am

Well, I read the whole thing, and my belief is unchanged. Making fine delineations between two great, great, players is largely a pointless exercise, and that is what the MVP award entails.

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by BSR :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 10:24am

The above is why I think that the MVP is clearly AP. The distinctions between the top QBs are minuscule and none of them had historically great seasons. How special are these seasons when there are three QBs all around the same level? Meanwhile, in this current QB-favored league, AP just put up a season for the ages and there was no other RB even remotely close.

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by Anonymous37 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 11:50am

Ditto. Swap Brady and Manning and both the Patriots and Broncos easily manage to get double digit wins.

Swap AP for any other RB and I feel very confident the Vikings don't make the playoffs.

AP for MVP.

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by peterplaysbass :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 11:57am

Will Allen, BSR and Anonymous37 - I agree with you all.

It would truly be an honor for the MVP award itself if it were to win Adrian Peterson.

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by kamiyu206 :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:00pm

Swap Brady and Manning? Why?

If you swap Brady(or Manning) with replacement level QB, and I don't think Patriots(or Broncos) would've made playoffs.

Now, if you swap Adrian Peterson with replacement level RB, Vikes also would've not made playoffs but I guarantee drop off would not have been that great.

It's funny people forget AD actually played 12 games last season with the Vikings. And Vikes went 3-9 in those games. I don't get it why people seem to think AD missed all of last season. He wasn't, and with him, Vikes were still bad. And it's not like he was bad in 2011.. In fact, he was very good and Vikes still sucked.

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by BSR :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:16pm

It doesn't matter what AP did in 2011. Additionally, we aren't comparing these guys to replacement level players. We are comparing them to the other elites at their position. MVP isn't how you compare to a replacement level player.

The point is that there are a number of equally productive QBs as Manning. Are the Broncos that much different with Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Ryan? Heck, there are probably another half dozen QBs that would have allowed them to win the division, although maybe not generate a 13-3 record. How valuable are you when 95% or thereabouts of your production can be replicated by several others in the league.

There was no running back in APs class however.

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by Eddo :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:19pm

The proper question is not replacing Manning/Brady with Matt Ryan or each other, it's replacing Manning/Brady with Adrian Peterson (and a replacement, or even average, QB). Would the Broncos or Patriots really be as good in such a scenario?

Likewise, if you replaced Adrian Peterson with Manning or Brady, would the Vikings really not improve?

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by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 8:48pm

Yes, this is a better way to go about it. Switching Manning for Brady and Peterson for another RB doesn't make any sense to me. All that tells me is that there isn't another RB who deserves to be in the conversation for MVP.

------
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

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by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:17pm

The Vikings made massive improvements this year at left tackle and in the defensive secondary, which is why Peterson's great play was not in vain. Having said that, without Peterson this year, with a replacement level rb instead, they likely win about 5 games, maybe less, for the simple reason that they wouldn't have been able to score points. I don't understand the basis of your confidence in making a "guarantee", or I don't understand your definition of the term "great drop-off".

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by kamiyu206 :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 7:51pm

All I wanted to say is swapping Brady with Manning theory is totally ridiculous. Just because they play the same position doesn't mean it's a proper logic.

Adrian Peterson is the best RB and the gap between him and 2nd best RB is greater than the gap between Brady(or Manning) and 2nd best QB.

But that doesn't justify AD's MVP.

If punter A has such an outstanding year that nobody even came close to him, do we have to give him an MVP because he was so much better than his peers? I doubt anybody will say that.

Like it or not, QB is far more important and valuable position than RB in football.

There is an award for a guy like AD. It's called 'Offensive Player of the Year'. I'd certainly vote AD for OPOY, but no way I'd pick him as an MVP.

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by Insancipitory :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 8:08pm

I would submit that in those years without historic performances ROBO-PUNTER would win the MVP every year.

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by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 10:05pm

Well, if you had simply written that, I would not have replied, because I already stated that I think MVP debates are largely futile. I just thought it strange to guarantee that replacing Peterson on the Vikings roster with a replacement level running back would not have meant a bigh drop off in performance for the Vikings, because when I see that team being largely unable to pass when there are nine or even ten guys within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, and having a pass defense which is still suspect, I think 5 wins is really the ceiling, absent a great, great, running back.

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by BSR :: Thu, 01/03/2013 - 12:02am

Nobody would consider a punter for MVP because a punter doesn't contribute all that much to a team's ability to win. Are you really trying to equate APs contributions to that of a punter? If not then I think you are missing the point.

The QB position is a more valuable position over all in football, but the award isn't a referendum on the position, its looking for the most valuable individual player.

In this case Peterson contributed arguably just as much to his team's ability to win, but what he did was actually more impressive because he did it from a position that typically doesn't influence a team's ability to win. To make a better analogy, it's like a short stop that can hit for power and average. Those types of players can be more valuable then a big hitting first baseman because big hitting first basemen can be more easily replaced.

I think people are just way to quick to give it to the QB these days simply because it is a QB but in context, their contributions aren't all that impressive. How do we know this? Because the production is being replicated by several different QBs.

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by Anonymous37 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:19pm

I think you misunderstood me - I don't mean swapping Brady & Manning for replacement level players - I mean swapping them for each other. Both are elite and their teams would have still made the playoffs. They have approximately the same "value."

Adrian Peterson was, IMO, far and away the most valuable running back in the league and was obviously the most valuable player for his team. This has no reflection on any previous seasons for the Vikes - this season he was the player that got them to the playoffs and I don't think you would've had the same result with any other RB at his spot.

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by Eddo :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:17pm

I don't get this logic. So even if Manning and Brady were better than Peterson, because there are two of them, Peterson's the MVP?

Take this to the extreme, let's say both Manning and Brady had 100/100 seasons, while Peterson had an 80/100, and the next best RB had a 60/100. Peterson would really deserve to win the award over Manning or Brady?

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by Anonymous37 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:26pm

Why are you making a hypothetical situation? Peterson had a season that was probably 95/100 at least, and he was significantly better than any other RB.

We'll say Brady & Manning both had seasons of 95/100 too, why not? But they weren't more valuable to their teams. Replace them with Rodgers, Brees, heck even any of the 3 rookie QBs this year and their teams make the playoffs.

Peterson had the most value. Who would you replace him with at RB and still expect to see the Vikes in the playoffs?

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by Eddo :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:32pm

Why the insistence on comparing to only other players at the same position?

If you replaced Peterson with Manning or Brady, would the Vikings be better or worse?

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by dryheat :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:43pm

Or to say another way, put Peterson and Ponder on the Patriots and Brady and Ridley on the Vikings. Which team gets better and which gets worse?

I'm a Peterson supporter for the MVP, but I think it's clear the Vikings are the winners in the trade. Lopsidedly so.

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by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 12:55pm

I think this is the issue with the MVP Award and the current NFL atmosphere of high passing that QBs will always be more valuable. Honestly, if the league is going to continue to make it easier to pass the ball, just remove the award.

Football is the one sport where one position is much more valuable than any other, so it makes sense that a QB should, in theory, win the award every year. Since the NFL already has an Offensive Player of the Year award (which is unbiased in terms of position that wins the award), I would either just make that the sole award, or just have to accept that QBs are almost always going to win MVP, and when they don't there still is a good claim that the best QB is the most 'valuable' player.

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by Anonymous37 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 1:38pm

I feel the same way as well dmstorm. In response to Eddo, I understand what you're saying and I think you're right that Manning or Brady + replacement level RB traded for Peterson + replacement level QB would have a greater positive impact for the team getting the elite QBs.

But related to what dmstorm said, in that case the award should always go the best QB, because it's the most valuable position, and I just don't believe that's a very equitable interpretation. I feel the same way about the Heisman, FWIW, and think Manti Te'o should have won this year.

Problem is, if you eliminate the MVP award and retain the Offensive Player of the Year award, it will just become QBs winning that season after season.

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by Eddo :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 1:51pm

I generally like that setup, though, and think it's actually a good thing that every year we recognize that yes, QB is the most valuable position.

And the OPOY award also gives a chance to recognized other players that had excellent seasons at less valuable positions.

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by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 8:51pm

Maybe we should replace MVP for QB of the Year, and Player of the Year for Non-QB of the Year.

Then again, what a great accomplishment for a non-QB to win MVP. But that's less likely to happen with each passing year.

------
FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

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by BSR :: Wed, 01/02/2013 - 2:19pm

Because there are too many variables and hypotheticals that make the comparison useless.

I think it is far more meaningful to look at actual production of a player, compare them to other players at that position and see how atypical that production was to the teams winning. In this case AP contributed much more to the team's winning then you would typically expect. Its true that RBs typically account less for a team's ability to win, but that is what makes AP's season even more remarkable, not less. He drove the Vikings to a 10 win season. I find that much more impressive than a QB pushing his team to a 13 or 12 win season, especially when you consider that RB played on a team that had a much harder schedule and played with a worse defense than the QBs.

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by nat :: Thu, 01/03/2013 - 11:52am

Out of curiosity, what's wrong with C.J. Spiller? He didn't run anywhere near as often as AP, but he was more productive per play (DVOA) while still carrying a primary RB's workload. If he had carried the ball as often, he might have approached or even passed AP's DYAR and raw yardage... Or not, it's hard to tell with this kind of thing.

AP's more valuable, I think we'd all agree. But that difference in value is more about the sustained volume of work, not the per-play quality. Neither of them call the plays, so that speaks more to the weakness of the Vikings' passing attack than it does to AP or Spiller's skills.

Swap AP and Spiller, and swap their workloads, too. Or just imagine AP restricted to just 207 carries. Whose to say which one would produce more value?

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by WQ (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2013 - 3:32am

I'll echo what others have said. Not only is AP not the MVP of the league, I do not think he is even the MVP of the NFC North (Rodgers). If the Vikings were offered the option of having AP sit out of the Playoff game if Rodgers also had to sit out, I think MINN would do it in a heartbeat. Likewise, I think GB would laugh MINN off the phone if MINN proposed the trade during the offseason. AP might be have a larger gap between him and other RBs, but they simply do not contribute to wins nearly as much as QBs, even during Legendary seasons.

I understand by this logic, QBs will win the MVP almost every single year, but that matches the current state of the NFL where team fortunes generally rise and fall due to QB play (or the occasional team that is amazing in every other facet).

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by winamax (not verified) :: Tue, 02/19/2013 - 1:49pm

but that is what makes AP's season even more remarkable, not less. He drove the Vikings to a 10 win season. I find that much more impressive than a QB pushing his team to a 13 or 12 win season, winamax

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by jam (not verified) :: Mon, 04/01/2013 - 4:10pm

No stats adjust for talent surrounding a QB on offense. You cannot separate a QB from the rest of his offense.

"It is really hard to point to two stats and claim that Brady is the best QB."

I think one could claim that he had the best season, though. And that's what the MVP is about, yes?
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