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» VN: Hits, Misses, and the Year Zero Effect

Bill Connelly looks at the college offenses, defenses, and overall teams that have improved (Air Force!) or regressed (North Texas!) the most in 2014. Year Zero is a real thing (sometimes).

02 Oct 2012

Week 4 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

The Houston Texans have a quarterback who once led the league in passing yards, a running back who once led the league in rushing yards, and a wideout who twice led the league in receiving yards. You could be forgiven, then, for crediting the team's 4-0 start to Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson. While those men are playing well, however, the Texans' perfect record has mostly been driven by a dominant defense, and that defense has in turn been driven by J.J. Watt, a runaway leader for defensive player of the year one month into the season.

The Texans are second in the league in total defense, and first overall in scoring defense, giving up only 14.0 points per game. Football Outsiders' advanced stats tell a similar picture. Through four games, the Texans' have the league's second-best defense overall, as well as the second-best defense against the pass*. Opponents are completing less than 53 percent of their passes against Houston, for only 6.0 yards per attempt and a collective NFL passer rating of 68.2, while being sacked 13 times. The Texans rank in the top five in each of those categories.

(* They might have been first in both categories were it not for Chicago's five interceptions on Monday night.)

Watt is, unquestionably, Houston's brightest star on that side of the ball. A first-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2011, Watt was a starter as soon as he signed his Texans contract. He totaled 5.5 sacks as a rookie while also effectively defending the run. Our similarity scores system examined Watt's size and production and saw a younger version of Richard Seymour, the versatile lineman who excelled for the Patriots teams that won three Super Bowls earlier this century, and is still starting for Oakland a decade later.

Watt set the bar high as a rookie, but his sophomore campaign has been even better. He has at least 1.5 sacks in every game and leads the league with 7.5 quarterback takedowns. Only ten men have ever collected so many sacks in the season's first four games. Those ten men finished with an average of 14 sacks, showing how hard it is to keep up this kind of production over 16 games.

Even when Watt isn't putting quarterbacks on the ground, though, he's often batting their passes out of the sky. Watt leads all front seven players with five passes defensed. NaVorro Bowman and Philip Wheeler are the only other front seven defenders with as many as four tipped passes, and both of those men are coverage linebackers (neither player has a sack this season), not front-line rushers.

And as impressive as all of that sounds, it's still not giving Watt enough respect. At FO, we credit defenders with a "Defeat" for all plays that result in negative yardage, a turnover, or a stop on third or fourth down. Put that all together, and Watt already has 17 Defeats this season, which is far and away the most in the league. (Clay Matthews is in second place with 11.) Jared Allen led the league with 33 Defeats in 2011. Watt is already halfway to that total after only four games. In the past 15 years, no defensive lineman has had more Defeats in a season than Robert Porcher, who had 37 for the Detroit Lions in 1997. That record is now in serious jeopardy.

These numbers are all remarkable in a vacuum, but they're downright amazing when you consider Watt's role in the Texans' defense. Watt is not a 4-3 end like Jared Allen, or a 3-4 linebacker like DeMarcus Ware. He's not a perimeter rusher. He plays defensive end in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme, and that means his first priority on almost every play is to occupy at least one blocker, theoretically clearing space for linebackers like Brian Cushing and Brooks Reed to make plays. Even when the Texans go to a four-man front in nickel and dime situations, Watt usually moves inside to tackle where he can get stuck in traffic, not outside to end where he can work in space. By design, Houston is making it as difficult as possible for Watt to avoid blockers. Watt is responding by taking on those blockers and beating them play after play.

While fantasy football is all about the so-called skill position players, real football games are still usually won and lost in the trenches. As long as J.J. Watt is on the field, the Texans won't lose very many battles on the front line.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Drew Brees NO
35/54
446
3
0
176
176
0
As great as Brees was on Sunday, the Saints likely would have won if he had played better in the fourth quarter. Early in the period Brees hit Marques Colston for 27 yards to for a first down at the Packers' 15-yard line. That drive ended in a field goal, and the Saints' last two possessions ended in a three-and-out and a missed field-goal try (after a go-ahead field goal was called back for a holding penalty). After that big play to Colston, Brees went 4-of-12 for 46 yards with a sack and only two first downs.
2.
Peyton Manning DEN
30/38
338
3
0
153
153
0
The Broncos were up only 10-6 at halftime, and then Peyton did what Peyton does, going 13-of-16 for 142 yards with nine first downs (including two touchdowns) and no sacks or interceptions.
3.
Tom Brady NE
22/36
340
3
0
148
140
8
Similar splits to Manning. First half: 10-of-18 for 141 with a sack and only three first downs. (His receivers also fumbled away two balls, one of which would have been another first down.) Second half: 12-of-18 for 199 yards with no sacks or interceptions and ten first downs (including three touchdowns).
4.
Aaron Rodgers GB
31/41
319
4
1
145
135
10
Let's take a second and look at the top four names in Quick Reads this week: Brees, Peyton, Brady, Rodgers. Seems familiar and comforting, doesn't it? Rodgers was a beast in the red zone, going 7-of-10 for 63 yards with four touchdowns and another first down. (League averages in the red zone this year: 54.6 percent completion rate, 3.98 yards per pass, 22.2 percent touchdown rate.)
5.
Robert Griffin WAS
26/34
323
0
0
119
114
5
It's still surprising to see just how effective Griffin has been as a passer over the course of the season. Through four games (and before Monday night), Griffin ranks 14th among all quarterbacks in passing DYAR, and 12th in DVOA. He's a raw rookie four games into his career on a team that went 5-11 last year and hasn't had a winning season since 2007, and he's playing like a perfectly average quarterback already. He's well ahead of proven veterans with multiple quality seasons, guys like Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, and Matt Hasselbeck. And that's without even considering rushing, which DYAR says he has done better than any quarterback this year. In short, he's exceeded all reasonable expectations for what the Redskins were hoping for when they traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder to get him.
6.
Jay Cutler CHI
18/24
275
2
0
115
118
-3
7.
Eli Manning NYG
24/42
309
2
1
115
115
0
In the first half, Eli went 1-of-6 for 32 yards on deep passes (16 or more yards past the line of scrimmage). He didn't try a deep pass in the third quarter, but he tried four in the fourth quarter, completing two for 72 yards and getting a DPI on another for 21 more yards.
8.
Cam Newton CAR
15/24
215
2
0
89
75
13
Newton only went 2-for-7 on third downs against Atlanta, but those two completions were touchdowns of 17 and 36 yards. By the way, not counting fumbled snaps, Newton has run 19 times with 1 yard to go for a first down in his career, and has picked up 16 first downs.
9.
Michael Vick PHI
19/30
241
1
0
88
69
19
Like Eli Manning, his Sunday night counterpart, Vick also enjoyed a good day on deep passes, going 5-of-9 for 120 yards.
10.
Kyle Orton DAL
9/10
89
1
0
86
86
0
11.
Matt Schaub HOU
20/28
202
2
0
72
72
0
Schaub played his best in scoring position. Inside the Tennessee 40, he went 5-of-7 for 58 yards with two touchdowns and two other first downs.
12.
Matt Stafford DET
30/50
319
0
0
70
59
11
And then there's Stafford, who went 5-of-13 for 60 yards with only three first downs and two sacks inside the Minnesota 40. That includes this red-zone performance: 1-of-5 for 5 yards, two sacks, no first downs or touchdowns. Keep in mind, the Lions lost by seven.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Andy Dalton CIN
20/31
244
2
1
67
63
3
At one point in the second quarter, Dalton was 8-of-15 for 54 yards with an interception and only two first downs. Each of his next seven throws resulted in a first down, including one touchdown, with six completions for 111 yards plus a 12-yard DPI. The Bengals scored two touchdowns over that stretch, taking a 17-7 lead and never looking back.
14.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
26/41
431
1
2
45
45
0
In the fourth game of his career, Tannehill broke the Dolphins record (non-Dan Marino division) for single-game yardage. On third downs in the first half, he went 6-of-7 for 76 yards, plus a DPI for 17 yards, with five total conversions and a 19-yard gain on third-and-20. On third downs in the second half and overtime, he went 2-for-6 for 50 yards with two first downs, two interceptions, and a sack.
15.
Joe Flacco BAL
28/46
356
1
1
44
38
6
Welcome to Air Baltimore. Through four weeks, Flacco has thrown 46 deep passes, completing 22 of them for 625 yards (including two DPI calls) and 304 DYAR. He leads the NFL in each of those categories. Against Cleveland on Thursday night, he threw 13 deep balls (nine in the second quarter alone), completing five of them for 140 yards and a touchdown.
16.
Alex Smith SF
12/21
143
0
0
26
22
4
Rarely will you find a worse quarterback performance in a 34-0 win. In six third-down dropbacks, Smith threw five incompletions and was sacked once. And yet, by DYAR, there were three worse third-down passers this week (not including the Monday nighter).
17.
Sam Bradford STL
16/29
221
0
1
8
8
0
Only nine of Bradford's 29 passes were thrown to the middle or left side of the field. Bradford completed seven of those passes for 69 yards and five first downs, plus an 11-yard gain on second-and-13.
18.
Philip Rivers SD
19/23
209
2
1
7
9
-3
In the first quarter, Rivers was 8-of-10 for 102 yards, with two DPIs for 28 more yards and an intentional grounding for a loss of 13 yards. That's 117 net yards and eight first downs (including a touchdown) in 13 dropbacks. In the rest of the game, he was 10-of-13 for 107 yards, with one DPI, one interception, three sacks, and one fumble. That's 91 net yards and four first downs (including another touchdown) in 17 dropbacks.
19.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
22/39
350
4
4
-5
-3
-2
Fitzpatrick is the 17th man in league history to throw four touchdowns and four interceptions in the same game. Coincidentally, the last man to do it was Tom Brady against Buffalo last season. It's a pretty interesting list. Counting Brady, five Hall of Famers have done it (Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, and George Blanda are the others). Brad Johnson, Jim Plunkett, and Ken Stabler all won Super Bowls; Vince Ferragamo and Craig Morton lost them. Milt Plum had a passer rating of 110.4 in 1960; no quarterback beat that mark until Joe Montana in 1989. Bert Jones put together one of the great seasons of all time in 1976. The list also includes men named Babe Parilli and Dick Shiner, both of which sound naughty, but in general, it takes a pretty good QB to put up a four-and-four.
20.
Matt Ryan ATL
25/40
369
3
1
-6
-6
0
Ryan's four longest completions totaled 198 yards, more than half his yardage on the day. In the red zone, he went 3-of-5 for 16 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and two sacks.
21.
Brandon Weeden CLE
26/51
320
0
1
-12
-12
0
Third downs: 5-of-14 for 37 yards and only three first downs, with one interception and one sack.
22.
Christian Ponder MIN
16/26
111
0
0
-17
-18
1
Ponder gained 57 yards on two DPIs and 111 yards on 16 completions. In the second half, he went 6-of-11 for 52 yards, with 27 of those yards coming on one play, which was his only first down in the half.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Matt Hasselbeck TEN
17/25
193
2
2
-20
-19
-2
I noticed this a few weeks ago, and this seems like a good time to point it out: Matt Hasselbeck is perhaps the most mediocre quarterback of all time. Pro-Football-Reference converts all passing stats to an era-adjusted scale where an average performance in any season will grade out at exactly 100, with good performances going higher and bad performances going lower. Len Dawson, for example, gets a "Rate+" of 120, higher than Tom Brady's 119, even though Brady's raw passer rating is about 14 points higher (96.5 to 82.6). Hasselbeck, meanwhile, scores between 100 and 102 in completion percentage, yards per pass, touchdown percentage, interception percentage, passer rating, and sack rate. He's not just average overall, he's average at everything. We should just divide quarterbacks into two groups, BTH (Better Than Hasselbeck) and WTH (Worse Than Hasselbeck). Anyway, Sunday was not one of the more enjoyable days of Hasselbeck's career. He only three three passes all day inside the Houston 40, though he completed all three for 35 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
24.
Josh Freeman TB
24/39
299
1
1
-31
-27
-4
On Tampa Bay's first two drives, Freeman went 8-of-9 for 64 yards and three first downs. On their next five drives, he went 6-of-15 for 46 yards with only one first down, with an interception and a sack. When he got the ball back again, Washington was ahead 21-6. In Tampa Bay's last four drives he went 9-of-12 for 184 yards, with seven first downs (including a touchdown) to put his team ahead 22-21. His defense couldn't hold that lead, however.
25.
Carson Palmer OAK
19/34
202
0
0
-39
-39
0
We talked earlier about what Peyton Manning did after halftime in this game. Well, in the third quarter, Palmer went 3-of-8 for 0 (zero) yards and no first downs. He was better in the fourth quarter, although every pass he threw in the final frame came with a deficit of at least 28 points.
26.
Kevin Kolb ARI
29/48
324
3
2
-64
-64
0
On third downs, Kolb went 7-of-11 for 61 yards and only four first downs (including a touchdown) and four sacks. In his defense, six of those plays came with more than 10 yards needed for a first down. He also went 2-of-2 for 24 yards on fourth down, with one touchdown and one other first down.
27.
Blaine Gabbert JAC
23/34
186
1
1
-84
-87
4
As mentioned last week, nobody goes on a cold streak like Gabbert. He continued to run hot-and-cold against Cincinnati. His first three dropbacks went sack, incomplete, sack. Then he completed six passes in a row for 61 yards, with five first downs (including a touchdown). His next 11 dropbacks produced six completions, four incompletions, one sack, 16 net yards, and only one first down. Then he completed four passes for 47 yards and four first downs. At that point Jacksonville was only down 10 points in the third quarter and the game was still within striking distance. From then on Gabbert went 7-of-13 for 56 yards, one first down, one interception, and three sacks. On third downs, he went 5-of-8 for 30 yards with more sacks (two) than first downs (one).
28.
Matt Cassel KC
24/40
251
2
3
-84
-84
0
Even though Cassel and the Chiefs were down 20 points by the end of the first quarter, they threw only four deep balls all game. Two of them were complete for 55 yards and a touchdown, and another picked up 15 yards on a DPI. The funny thing is, they're not usually averse to the deep ball — Cassel has thrown 31 this year, which is in the top 10.
29.
Tony Romo DAL
31/43
307
1
5
-100
-100
0
30.
Russell Wilson SEA
17/25
160
0
3
-114
-98
-16
First drive: 40 yards, three first downs. Rest of the day: 100 net yards, five first downs. On third downs, he went 0-for-3 with an interception, plus two sacks. (He also had two runs on third-down, including a first down on third-and-1.)
31.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
13/29
103
0
1
-166
-166
0
This trumped Gabbert in the "long stretches of futility" category. His first two dropbacks of each half produced four completions for 56 yards and four first downs. Otherwise, he went 9-of-25 for 47 yards with one first down, one interception, one fumble, and three sacks. On third downs, he went 3-of-5, plus three sacks, for 13 net yars and only one first down.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Brandon Bolden NE
137
1
11
0
66
59
7
Bolden had eight 100-yard rushing games in four seasons at Ole Miss. The undrafted rookie now has one in four weeks with the New England Patriots, as he ran 16 times for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. The bulk of Bolden's carries came late in the second half of a blowout win, and in one stretch he gained 10 or more yards five times in seven carries, capped off by a 27-yard gain. He ran for eight total first downs on the day, and also caught the only pass thrown his way for 11 yards.
2.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
118
1
37
0
63
48
16
Lynch gained at least 2 yards on 19 of his 20 carries, and gained at least 5 yards 11 times. He had seven first downs on the day, including his touchdown. Seattle also threw him four passes, all complete, for 37 yards and two more first downs.
3.
Trent Richardson CLE
47
1
57
0
56
23
33
Richardson's rushing day was pretty mundane. Fourteen carries for 47 yards, nothing longer than 7 yards, and his only first down was a touchdown in first-and-goal at the 1. The Browns threw him six passes, though, and he caught four of them for 57 yards, including gains of 15, 18, and 20 yards.
4.
Willis McGahee DEN
112
1
23
0
49
52
-3
Nineteen carries for 112 yards and nine first downs (including a touchdown) is good, right? McGahee had five carries with 1 or 2 yards to go, and picked up the first down every time. He also had four runs of 10 yards or more, including a 24-yarder. Finally, he caught each of the six passes Denver threw his way, though they only gained 23 yards.
5.
Chris Johnson TEN
141
0
16
0
45
45
0
Well, hello old friend. Once a staple of Quick Reads, Johnson makes the top five running backs for the first time since Week 14 of 2010. Johnson's 25-carry, 141-yard day comes with a bit of stats padding, as he had eight carries for 55 yards (and four of his eight first downs) while trailing by three scores in the fourth quarter. On the other hand, he still averaged 5.1 yards per rush in the first three quarters, including runs of 13 and 19 yards in the first half. He also caught both of the passes thrown his way for 16 yards.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN
82
0
12
0
-71
-59
-12
Green-Ellis gained 82 yards on 26 carries (3.2 yards per rush) with only three first downs. Meanwhile, he was stuffed for no gain or a loss seven times and fumbled twice. His two receptions in three targets resulted in a 1-yard loss and a 13-yard gain for a first down.
OTHER BACKS OF LITTLE VALUE: LeSean McCoy, PHI (23 carries for 123 yards, but nine stuffs for no gain or a loss and one fumble); Ryan Williams, ARI (13 carries for 25 yards, failed to catch either of the passes thrown his way); Pierre Thomas, NO (nine carries for 14 yards, two catches for -1 yard).


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Roddy White ATL
8
12
169
21.1
2
75
White's big day against Carolina moves him from fourth in our wide receiver rankings into a virtual tie for first with Calvin Johnson. He had seven first downs on the day, including the two touchdowns. The Falcons threw to him three times on third down, and he picked up a first down every time.
2.
Brandon Marshall CHI
7
8
138
19.7
1
70
3.
Brian Hartline MIA
12
19
253
21.1
1
66
In the first 44 games of his career, Hartline went over 100 yards only one time, and that was in Week 2 of this year against Oakland. So no, we did not expect Hartline to set a franchise record with 253 yards against Arizona on Sunday, surpassing Chris Chambers' mark of 238 set in 2005. Hartline had seven total first downs, including an 80-yard go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also had gains of 57 and 30 yards on the day, and converted three separate third-down situations. He was the intended receiver on two interceptions on the day, but in FO's system interceptions are blamed on the quarterback, not the receiver.
4.
A.J. Green CIN
6
9
117
19.5
1
60
Five of Green's catches produced first downs (including his touchdown). The sixth was a 5-yard gain on second-and-6.
5.
Andre Roberts ARI
6
9
118
19.7
2
51
Five of Roberts' catches produced first downs (including his two touchdowns). The sixth was a 16-yard gain on third-and-18. On the next play, Roberts gained 9 yards and a first down.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Jordan Norwood CLE
4
10
56
14.0
0
-39
You know things are going badly when you catch a pass for 22 yards and still come up 14 yards short of a first down. That happened to Norwood Thursday night. He did get a first down on a 27-yard catch in the fourth quarter, but did nothing otherwise to help his team.
OTHER RECEIVERS OF LITTLE VALUE: Santonio Holmes, NYJ (eight catches, four receptions, 29 yards, one fumble); Cecil Shorts, JAC (five targets, one catch, 8 yards); Steve Johnson, BUF (10 targets, two catches, 23 yards).

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 02 Oct 2012

125 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2012, 2:50pm by Noah of Arkadia

Comments

1
by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:01am

"McGahee had five carries with 1 or 2 yards to go, and picked up the first down every time."
Wow... that is music to my ears. An effective short-yardage game (regardless of opponent) is a welcome change for the Broncos of most of the last decade.

2
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:01am

I'm not suprised Ponder is so low this week. When a defense and special teams can play so well, I'm only looking for two things out of the QB: 0 INTs, 0 fumbles lost.

4
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:03am

Not to mention a highly successful day by Adrian Peterson. He's not busting 60 yard TDs this year, but he's taking far fewer negative plays as well. He's got to be close to a top 5 valuable RB this week - I'm a little surprised he's not on the list.

26
by Noah of Arkadia :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:39am

That's all right and good, but QBs don't get a bonus for simply not getting in the way.

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

29
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:45am

Indeed - that's why I said I was *not* suprised he was low on the list.

It would be nice to see Ponder win a shootout, though. The 2 TDs in the 4th quarter at Indy were impressive, but I'm not convinced he can be successful long term without the benefit of playing with a lead.

104
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:08pm

My mistake, I thought you said you were surprised.

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

3
by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:02am

Wow... How putrid must your play be to come in behind the guy who threw FIVE interceptions? And not just one guy managed that, but two?!

6
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:08am

Ha. That was my first thought, too.

Boy, is it nice to see Cutler ranked somewhere other than the bottom of the list. And to see a Bears receiver in the top 5.

22
by tomdrees :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:35am

It really seems like Cutler and Marshall are perfect for each other. Cutler doesn't give a damn about proper footwork because he can get throws off from impossible angles with that arm of his, and Marshall doesn't give a damn if he's open, he's going to catch the ball somehow. Both are misunderstood "jerks" with clinical diagnoses (borderline personality, diabetes) which make their lives way more difficult than anybody else understands. Separately, I don't like either one of them, but together it's great to watch.

30
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:47am

The funny thing is that watching, I thought Romo actually played damned well for most of the game.

The first two interceptions weren't his fault - Dez Bryant didn't make his sight adjustment on one, and Ogletree clanged a well-thrown ball straight into the air on the second. After that, the Cowboys were down by three possessions, and Romo necessarily started forcing balls into windows he didn't have. While throwing interceptions are not good, desperation interceptions against a good defense at the end of the game really aren't as terrible as most talking heads seem to think.

Romo could have been more careful with the ball at that point, but all that would have resulted in was, at best, a 3-point loss instead of the blowout.

36
by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:59am

Whatever Romo thought Bryant was supposed to be doing he didn't look for one moment post snap like he was going to do it. Did Romo even look before he threw the ball? Once it left his hand it was going to be a pick. This wasn't a downfield route, it was right after the snap and the defender didn't jump in front of the receiver, he just stood still. Bryant was terrible on that play but so was Romo; if the only player who is going to be able to catch the ball is a defender, don't throw it.

The second pick (ie Major Wright's first) was a great play by Tim Jennings punching the ball out as soon as Ogletree thought he had it.

37
by TomC :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:02pm

I initially thought the Ogletree pick was a great play by Jennings, but replay shows that he never touched the ball; it really did just clang off Ogletree's hands/arms. Jennings may have contributed to the play with tight coverage, but there's no excuse for Ogletree not catching that.

40
by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:09pm

I had a few looks at it on replay and was fairly certain that Jennings got his hand on it.

Only way to sort this out is a fight to the death in the thunderdome....TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES!!!

89
by BigCheese :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:40pm

Even f we don't give Jennings credit for this one (although I would tend to), he still has four picks plus was the pass defender on two others through 4 games. And he's been making oplays all over the field that don't directly result in turnover as well. I know JJ Watt is playing out of this world, but Jennings is the best NFC defensive player so far.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

102
by Eddo :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 10:15am

Personally, I'm going back and forth between Jennings and Henry Melton for defensive MVP on the Bears so far.

109
by BigCheese :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 8:16pm

I think it's Jennings and it's not particularly close.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

112
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 9:42pm

I would actually go with Peppers. I still think he's the engine who drives the defensive line.

119
by dryheat :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:56pm

I suspect your green and gold goggles need calibrating. According to the NFL, he's not even the most impressive CB named Jennings in the NFC North thus far.

120
by tuluse :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 1:05pm

Nevermind.

121
by dryheat :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 1:27pm

No, no, it's my nevermind. I got lost in the thread and thought MD Jennings was the topic of conversation. If you hadn't replied, I'd have deleted.

And quite clearly, I had briefly confused Big Cheese with one of the Packers homers that came out of the woodwork late last season. Apologies all around.

122
by tuluse :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 1:35pm

I had actually mis-read the thread myself, and my response was even more nonsensical.

So no worries.

124
by BigCheese :: Fri, 10/05/2012 - 3:52pm

I know my nick-name (which stems from long before I knew what a Cheesehead was), is a bit unfortunate for a BEARS FAN, but come on! Them's fighting words! :P

Also, Jennings got the NFC Defnesive Player of the Month, and deservingly so.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

10
by James-London :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:12am

I can't speak to Wilson, but I'm utterly unsurprised to see Sanchez bottom of the list. He was that bad.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

35
by TomC :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:56am

Wow... How putrid must your play be to come in behind the guy who threw FIVE interceptions? And not just one guy managed that, but two?!

But the guy that threw five interceptions actually played a better game than at least half of the QBs above him. The TD drive before the half that made it 10-7 was all Romo making individual plays, and only two of the interceptions were bad decisions/throws---as most of you saw multiple times, the first pick was the result of Bryant not understanding his hot-read responsibility, another was a perfectly thrown ball that bounced off Ogletree's hands, and the one that Briggs took to the house was really a fumble (partially Romo's fault, to be sure, but not a traditional interception). And then there were the 3rd-down plays that would have been conversions if Bryant could hold on to the ball.

Oh, and lest you think I'm a career Romo apologist, I'm actually a Bears fan that was deliriously happy about the result.

edit: awesome that simultaneous Romo-apology posts came from a Bears fan and a Giants(!) fan.

38
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:03pm

Don't remind me. I feel so dirty.

The Briggs fumble/pick was 90% on Romo; he held on to the ball for way too long. Wow, I feel so much better now.

17
by James-London :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:29am

Hartline slipped coming out of his break for Tannehill's first pick.I'm not sure that's Hartline's 'fault', but it's certainly not Tannehill's.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:06am

Nice to see that Stafford's numbers confirm my impression that the Vikings played a textbook cover-two game. Helps when the other squad plays special teams like they had too many Bloody Marys at the Sunday brunch.

7
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:09am

If you want a fact which demonstrates how hard it is to capture individual football player performance quantitatively, not having a Cowboys receiver among the receivers of little value will do pretty well.

16
by RickD :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:25am

It's hard to have a stat that says "Dez Bryant ran the wrong way." That calls for a lot of interpretation from the observer.

18
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:29am

every time I go through Quick Reads it hammers home the point how much football is a team game and how difficult it is to evaluate individual performance with statistics.

24
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:37am

So I watched that first interception like 10 times now. Although Bryant made on the the stupidest plays you will ever see, there was no chance that pass was ever going to be completed. Tillman jumped the route that Bryant didn't run right at the snap, and even Urlacher was right there. It was pretty clear that the Bears knew what Bryant was supposed to do even if he didn't.

Had he run the hitch like was supposed to, he would have been in position to try and break up the pick, but I still think Romo deserves some blame on that play.

31
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:49am

There's a pretty big difference between an incomplete pass, or even an interception, and a pick six served up on a platter, because your receiver is just too damned stupid or lazy to execute the most basic of his profssional functions, in what what was at that point a tight game. Throw in the drops, and I don't care what the yardage stats say, Bryant was hideous.

Jerry Jones' insistence on acquiring and playing really dumb guys, and usually hiring bad coaches, has been killing Cowboys' fans since 1996. I usually find it entertaining, and I actually was rooting a little for the Bears last night, because I want to see Tice do well, and see the Packers fail to win the division. However, I did want to see a competitive game last night, and I missed out on that in the 2nd half. Damn you, Dez Bryant!

41
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:24pm

I really dislike Jerry Jones but I do find it hilarious that his arrogant conviction that he is qualified to be the GM of an NFL team keeps the most valuable franchise in the league from ever being as good as they could be. He should be one of the most reviled men in Dallas for his bumbling management that costs the Cowboys year after year. So funny.

57
by RickD :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:00pm

Was asking myself last night just which top-tier players the Cowboys had found since Parcells left. Drawing a blank.

58
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:01pm

Miles Austin?

61
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:12pm

Miles Austin was a Parcells guy; he spotted him because he played for Monmouth college, near Parcells' home in NJ.

62
by Jim W. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:14pm

Sean Lee - 2nd round, 2010.

65
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:26pm

Tyron Smith is on his way to becoming the best tackle in the game. He's probably already the best in the NFC but that's partly due to lack of quality competition. Sean Lee looks pretty good and Clairborne is off to a decent start.

It isn't a great haul for six years.

97
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 5:19am

I think if you watched some of the other 31 teams play, you'd see quite a few tackles better than Tyron Smith.

100
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 9:23am

I don't think he's there yet but he has so much talent, I can't think of a tackle with such astonishing agility that hasn't been fitted for the yellow jacket or will be one day.

I'm pretty sure I prefer him to any NFC tackle, especially with Peters being injured.

101
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 9:51am

It's early yet, but I think Kalil is going to be a good one. He's faced some decent defensive linemen already, and has yet to yield a sack, which is a nice start for a rookie. It'll be interesting to see how the Bears play him, and whether the Packers deploy Matthews against him. Texans and Cardinals, too, of course.

107
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 6:18pm

Aldon Smith had him beat at least three times but Ponder escaped, Smith is pretty productive though.

Edit: I do think Kalil looks decent, however, I'm more surprised at how well the rest of the line is playing. I thought those guys could be dreadful.

110
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 8:31pm

It looks like the Vikings have found the proverbial compressed carbon in uncut form in their 2011 6th round right guard, Brandon Fusco. He ain't polished, but he's an enthusiastic and powerful brawler. John Sullivan all of a sudden decided to become a good center last year, amidst the chaos. Overall, the unit is benefitting from being competently coached since August 2011. I really think the lock out last year hurt some teams with a lot of new assistants and young players, and the Vikings o-line has not been well coached since Tice got fired. Loadholdt in particular seems to be benefitting.

111
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 9:18pm

Loadholt in particular surprised me, I was expecting him to get whipped like a the clientele of a fetish emporium. As it was he stood up pretty well against Ahmad Brooks and Fusco did his job against Ray McDonald. I was impressed.

68
by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 2:40pm

Murray?

50
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:48pm

Well I'm not trying to excuse Bryant in the least. I'm just saying there's enough blame for Romo to have some too.

99
by Whatev :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 6:24am

All I can say is, if your defender knows what you are supposed to do better than you do, there's a big, big problem.

8
by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:09am

"OTHER BACKS OF LITTLE VALUE: LeSean McCoy, PHI (23 carries for 123 yards, but nine stuffs for no gain or a loss and one fumble)"
__________________________________

But isn't the flip side to this statement that he gained 123+ yards on only 14 carries? Even including the stuffs/losses he was still over 5 yards per carry. And on the 14 good carries he was at 8.7. I'll take that "little value" any day.

11
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:18am

I'd always take 23 carries of 5 yards each over 14 carries that total 123 yds mixed with 9 carries for 0 or fewer yards.

That's why Lynch is high on the list for having 19 of 20 carries go for at least 2 yards.

And that's why I love what Adrian Peterson is doing this year. If he ever gets his top gear back, I hope he stays a 90% between the tackles kind of runner - high success rate AND a threat to go the distance.

20
by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:30am

Without question I'd also take somebody who get 5 yards every single time. But the point was really that averaging 5 yards per carry, almost regardless of how you manage it, is better than "being of little value" to your team. It'd be different if it was all stuffs with one huge, lucky run. But he was picking up 8+ yards on something like 60% of his rushes.

23
by RickD :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:35am

Yeah, this system punishes high variance a bit more than I would want.

42
by AndersJ (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:27pm

Same reason why it hates Desean Jackson. I really like DVOA etc. but I really think it need to find some way to acknowledge special players like Jackson and McCoy or a Chris Johnson when he was great (in 2009, Johnson was 1 in DYAR with only 328, meaning that an average RB would have gained 2006-328=1678 yards and when you look at the tape it was clear it was Johnson insane vision and speed that made it happen)

79
by Purds :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:52pm

II was wondering about this last week, when noting how differently QBR and DVOA were treating Luck and Brady (both very high on one list, moderate at best on the other list).

I know that DVOA has been statistically connected to, and derived from, success metrics (help me here, I am not using terminology correctly, I know!), and that DVOA has been tweaked to account for the statistics that most likely connect with success, but I was just wondering if, because DVOA arose and developed in an era dominated by NE's offense (and to a less extent Indy's offense) if DVOA is too influenced by the types of offenses that they ran -- methodical, few mistakes, not a lot of huge plays, but solid plays consistently.

In other words, because DVOA came about in the NE/Indy offensive years, when anything those offenses did would corollate to success (because, let's face it, those teams won a ton!), does DVOA too highly favor that NE/Indy consistent style over a style of boom and bust that also scores a ton of points? Yes, there is no team in that era that used boom and bust to succeed, but does that mean such an offense can't exist and win?

84
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 4:03pm

I wouldn't be too worried about that.

Basically what DVOA hates is negative plays, which it should hate because they're bad.

86
by dbostedo :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 7:11pm

Also, FO has run DVOA back to 1991 I believe, so they have a lot more data than just the era where the Pats and Colts were good.

98
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 5:20am

This isn't how DYAR works, you can't literally subtract a player's DYAR from his yardage and expect anything meaningful. Remember, DYAR is based on DPAR.

27
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:41am

Your initial post was my first thought - that his successful carries were immensely successful. But I get why the model doesn't like inconsistency.

In the first half McCoy was trying to bounce outside too often and the Giants were prepared to stop that. I forget what his numbers were at halftime, but as a fantasy owner, McCoy was making me nervous.

He was very valuable in the second half - running up the gut and benefitting from good run-blocking on a worn-down Giants defense. It was upsetting to see him get three straight carries near the goal line and fail to score, but give credit to a good stand by the Giants D.

I like McCoy and I hope he and his coaches learn something from this game. Send him behind his blockers!

28
by DavidL :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:44am

If all they learn is "hand off the ball more than nine times per game," I'll call that a victory.

32
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:51am

There's no stat for McCoy getting into Osi's head and making him forget his containment responsibilities, either. This was something out of a comic book where the scrappy hero taunts the mighty villain into mistakes.

13
by MMM (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:20am

It was a great fantasy performance, but FO stats don't like boom-or-bust players because they kill drives.

48
by Kal :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:32pm

No, they don't like boom or bust backs because they have decided for a number of reasons that it isn't as valuable - but more importantly it isn't as predictive.

McCoys runs didn't kill drives to any massive degree.

9
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:11am

I'm surprised to see Rivers so low. He had four incompletions and only one pick.

Romo's performance was awful but not terribly predictive. He'd be an interesting buy-low target in a fantasy league, I think. Of course, so would Kyle Orton.

12
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:19am

I've got Romo in one league this year and he's been riding pine behind RGIII since week 2. I wouldn't sell him low at this point. Interesting to note I had to draft him ahead of RGIII, though.

14
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:22am

Pick, fumble.

15
by RickD :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:23am

I was sad to see Law Firm fumble twice. His no-fumble career was my favorite NFL streak.

34
by Purds :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:55am

Which just adds to the question of: is it the players, or the system? The law firm leaves and starts fumbling, and the new Pats aren't fumbling at all (well, the RB's aren't, but the WR's are).

51
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:49pm

Good question, but Green-Ellis also didn't fumble at all in college, while at noted football coaching factories (ha!) Indiana and Ole Miss.

56
by Paddy Pat :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:00pm

Doesn't it also show that there is a bit of statistical anomalousness to the streak? It's honestly kind of funny that when he did finally fumble, he did it three times in succession. Now watch him string together another 2-3 years without fumbling...

64
by BJR :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:24pm

Even if Law Firm is now receiving poor coaching in Cincinnati it is difficult to imagine how in six months that can have undone years of previous 'good' coaching.

Perhaps his first fumble affected him mentally and contributed to the subsequent ones. But it is probably mostly random.

69
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:01pm

I wish people would stop perpetrating this myth. Green-Ellis fumbled 10 times in college.

74
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:14pm

I wasn't sure if it was true, so I used Sports Reference, which has him fumbling zero times: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/benjarvus-green-ellis-1.html#defense::none.

EDIT: And now I see I read that wrong, and that Sports Reference doesn't have offensive fumbling stats for college players. Does anyone know of a site that does?

75
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:16pm

It was linked to an XP last year, if you'd like to try googling FO

83
by Travis :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 4:00pm

They're not officially tracked by the NCAA (the NCAA's official site and record book don't show individual fumble totals, nor do Ole Miss's or Indiana's), but 8 of Green-Ellis's fumbles in college:

10/04/03 vs. Michigan State: I 3-1 M49 Green-Ellis, B. rush to the MSU46, fumble forced by Harmon, Jason, fumble by Green-Ellis, B. recovered by IND Green-Ellis, B. at MSU46, 1ST DOWN IND.

11/15/03 vs. Penn State: I 2-10 P44 Green-Ellis, B. rush over right guard to the PSU48, fumble forced by Wake, Derek, fumble by Green-Ellis, B. recovered by PSU Alford, Jay at PSU48, Alford, Jay for 9 yards to the IND43 (LoVecchio, Matt).

9/4/04 vs. Central Michigan: I 1-10 I25 Green-Ellis, BJ rush to the IND28, fumble forced by KIEL, fumble by Green-Ellis, BJ recovered by CMU TYUS at IND28.

10/2/04 vs. Michigan: I 3-12 U40 LoVecchio, Matt pass complete to Green-Ellis, BJ to the UM38, fumble forced by Curry, Markus, fumble by Green-Ellis, BJ recovered by IND TEAM at UM38.

10/9/04 vs. Northwestern: I 1-10 I38 Green-Ellis, BJ rush to the IND36, fumble forced by Clark, Colby, fumble by Green-Ellis, BJ recovered by NU Price, D. at IND36.

9/23/06 vs. Wake Forest: M 2-G W03 BJ Green-Ellis rush to the WF3, fumble by BJ Green-Ellis recovered by UM BJ Green-Ellis at WF5.

9/8/07 vs. Missouri: O 2-G M12 BJ Green-Ellis rush to the MU7, fumble forced by Christopher, Br, fumble by BJ Green-Ellis recovered by MU Terrell, Darnel at MU7.

11/17/07 vs. LSU: M 1-G L02 Green-Ellis,BJ rush for 1 yard to the LS1, fumble forced by Jacob Cutrera, fumble by Green-Ellis,BJ recovered by LS Luke Sanders at LS1.

Green-Ellis also fumbled in the 2009 preseason against the Bengals.

77
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:18pm

And of course, in my proprietary language, "perpetrating" equates to what you all call "perpetuating".

19
by fyo :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:30am

Where's Legedu Naanee on the "least valuable receivers" list?

On his lone target he caught the ball and promptly fumbled. Yeah, he caught the ball (maybe) for 19 yards, but if your action on the play is to fumble, that should negate any value in your reception (i.e. getting first down type yardage is of (almost) NO value when you cough up the ball).

63
by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:24pm

I think its most likely because he didn't warrant the number of targets needed to be that bad according to DYAR. He would have to have actually been targeted a few times and dropped the ball/caught for meaningless gains to get negative DYAR.

Apparently Tannehill knows as well as everyone else: Naanee can't catch. At all. No point in even throwing his direction.

A testament to how bad the Dolphins receivers are that he's even on the team - let alone starting.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

105
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:15pm

....aaaand he's been cut. Good riddance.

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

108
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 6:22pm

Naanee is my secret crush. He is probably the best blocking receiver I've ever seen, he doesn't just hit he blocks with great technique, bending his knees, shooting his arms and rolling his hips, he's wonderful. I would expect the outside run game to take a hit with him gone.

On the other hand he's probably the worst receiving receiver that has ever played as much as he has.

116
by Noah of Arkadia :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 9:56am

He sounds more like a blocking TE. Whenever he's in the game the defense goes "Run! Run!"

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

21
by RickD :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:32am

To revisit some of Sunday's argument:

#9 Michael Vick
#26 Kevin Kolb

Though Vick is likely still behind Kolb for the season as a whole since he stunk up the joint for the first three weeks.

25
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:38am

As you and I noted yesterday, the thing that is really notable in Vick is the wide variance. It's generally not a quality I'm looking for in a qb, although if the high peaks greatly outnumber the low troughs, it's fine. My impression is that this has been the case for Eli Manning for a couple years now. I doubt Vick is ever going to get there at this point. Same with Cutler, I fear, but he does have a larger window, being younger.

33
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:52am

My impression of Manning:

Eli plays football the way pros play poker. He accepts bad beats, stays off tilt, and continues to play his game. He knows that over time, this will work out well for his team more often than not.

The Giants' loyalty to him over the first several seasons was the large bankroll he needed to get started. Now their investment has obviously brought high returns - it just took time.

39
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:08pm

"By the way, not counting fumbled snaps, Newton has run 19 times with 1 yard to go for a first down in his career, and has picked up 16 first downs."

While I agree fully that Carolina should have gone for the fourth-and-one on Sunday, I don't think you can just eliminate Newton's fumbled snaps from the analysis. Those did happen, and of course there was no guarantee he wouldn't fumble the fourth-and-one snap (though it's obviously not a likely outcome).

43
by BroncFan07 :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:27pm

Wow, I'm stunned. Completely Competent Kyle Orton (copyright V. Verhei) put in a top 10 performance. Must have been the beard reduction that spurred him on.

70
by TomC :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:04pm

No, it was the fact that he played against the 2nd-string Bears defense on the last drive of a game that was 34-10 when he came in.

44
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:29pm

Really great Quick Reads. It seems that Vince has found his true calling in statistical football journalism, where spending time trawling the PFR database looking for the most average players is a productive activity that delivers handy snippets of information, rather than a debilitating affliction.

Where would Kaepernick rank on the qb list for his extended cameo against the Jets?

45
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:29pm

Would there be a huge difference for the Bears pass D if Briggs' TD play was ruled a fumble rather than an INT?

52
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:50pm

I doubt it. Sacks and fumbles are still very good plays to DVOA.

46
by jklps :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:30pm

Real refs return and Brees/P Manning/Brady/Rodgers return to the top 4. And I don't think it's coincidence. Less physical play in the secondary now.

Not saying it's a bad thing, just that I'm not surprised.

47
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:32pm

Of course, it could also be them getting to play the Packers/Raiders/Bills/Saints defenses.

67
by aga :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:53pm

actually, brady is first in both dyar and dvoa after 4 weeks and peyton is second (dyar) and third (dvoa)... surely they played well even with the replacement refs...

49
by Passing through (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:32pm

I'd like to see Kaepernick and Tebow on here.

53
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:56pm

So I commented on it in another thread (I think the latest Mandatory Monday link to Tanier's work) that I hadn't seen a Packers running back play like Benson did in a long time. Around 70% success rate, worst run a 2 yard gain on 1-10 (next worst run I think was a 3 yard gain on 2-10). My quick guestimath (like guestimate but with math!) is that he was around 35 DYAR rushing and 8 DYAR passing. I didn't expect to see him in the top 5, but I am really curious as to how his day rated out.

54
by zenbitz :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:57pm

I think Alex Smith did convert a 3rd down passing attempt, on defensive holding (or possibly illegal contact past 5 yards). I guess that's not DPI so it it doesn't count? (can't distinguish targeted receiver held from someone else). In this case, I think the targeted receiver was the one interfered with, so it should probably count as a success.

Not that I would put that into DVOA. He did chuck the ball deep a few times!

55
by Paddy Pat :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:58pm

I actually resent the commentary on Hasselbeck. It looks like this is career totals measured in terms of average, and Hasselbeck didn't actually have an average career at all. In 2002 he was the 5th most efficient passer by DVOA, 4th in 2005 and frequently performed at a comparably high level. He also had many seasons where he performed poorly. He looks like a high peak, deep valley guy who averages out in sum to absolutely average. That's really a statement about a hardworking guy with good upside who probably isn't that talented. There must be more "average" players than that.

59
by BJR :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:03pm

Re. Ryan Fitzpatrick "in general, it takes a pretty good QB to put up a four-and-four"

This is a bit of a silly comment don't you think? Sure it takes a pretty good QB to throw four TDs in a game, but anybody could do the four INT part.

All the list of names really seem to show is that the main factor in putting up a four TD, four INT game is to have played in a large number of games.

60
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:07pm

It's somewhat rare for a bad QB to get the opportunities to throw 4 picks.

66
by BJR :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:47pm

Well yeah, on reflection I suppose only QBs of a certain level of ability get to play in the large number of games that affords greater opportunity to put up such a stat line.

Something just seems wrong with the logic in stating that throwing four picks (along with four TDs) proves you are a pretty good QB.

72
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:07pm

Like the pitcher who goes 4-19. He must have some pretty good stuff for the manager to keep trotting him out there every five games.

71
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:05pm

Not to mention a highly successful day by Adrian Peterson. He's not busting 60 yard TDs this year, but he's taking far fewer negative plays as well. He's got to be close to a top 5 valuable RB this week - I'm a little surprised he's not on the list.

No. 12. Five stuffs for no gain or a loss in 21 carries.

Wow... How putrid must your play be to come in behind the guy who threw FIVE interceptions? And not just one guy managed that, but two?!

Well, aside from the five picks, Romo was really good. (And aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?)

"OTHER BACKS OF LITTLE VALUE: LeSean McCoy, PHI (23 carries for 123 yards, but nine stuffs for no gain or a loss and one fumble)"
__________________________________
But isn't the flip side to this statement that he gained 123+ yards on only 14 carries? Even including the stuffs/losses he was still over 5 yards per carry. And on the 14 good carries he was at 8.7. I'll take that "little value" any day.

But he was picking up 8+ yards on something like 60% of his rushes.

His five runs for more than 7 yards, and they were worth 44 DYAR. His nine stuffs were worth -64 DYAR. One of those was fumbled, But even putting that aside, his other eight stuffs were worth -40 DYAR.

McCoys runs didn't kill drives to any massive degree.

He had nine stuffs. The Eagles picked up a first down after three of them. The other six led directly to punts or field-goal tries. Three of them came at the goal-line and McCoy failed to score. So that’s four drives that ended at least in part because McCoy got stuffed.

Where's Legedu Naanee on the "least valuable receivers" list?
On his lone target he caught the ball and promptly fumbled. Yeah, he caught the ball (maybe) for 19 yards, but if your action on the play is to fumble, that should negate any value in your reception (i.e. getting first down type yardage is of (almost) NO value when you cough up the ball).

He made the bottom 10. He also had one incompletion, but it’s very hard to be the least valuable receiver in only two plays. Maybe if he had fumbled twice.

I'd like to see Kaepernick and Tebow on here.

Um, OK. Tebow had 9 DYAR on one pass, and -6 DYAR on three runs. Kaepernick had -7 DYAR on one pass, and 24 DYAR on four runs.

So I commented on it in another thread (I think the latest Mandatory Monday link to Tanier's work) that I hadn't seen a Packers running back play like Benson did in a long time. Around 70% success rate, worst run a 2 yard gain on 1-10 (next worst run I think was a 3 yard gain on 2-10). My quick guestimath (like guestimate but with math!) is that he was around 35 DYAR rushing and 8 DYAR passing. I didn't expect to see him in the top 5, but I am really curious as to how his day rated out.

11 DYAR rushing, -6 DYAR receiving. He was never stuffed, but his success rate was 44 percent, he only had two first downs, and his longest run was only 9 yards. Caught all his passes, but 2- and 4-yard gains on first-and-10 are not good plays for running back receptions.

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by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:55pm

Thanks for the response. My guestimath was based on recalling he was negative rushing DYAR last week and now he is at 31. And I hadn't looked closely at the receiving so I can see that being below replacement when I do break it down. I will also apologize for the length of this post, but I'm really trying to understand the metrics. I thought I did, but it seems I don't. Well that and I did want to see how a game that I took to be just barely successful or unsuccessful would grade out.

I'm fairly confused on the success rate. I'm trying to learn more here, but if I break down his runs and use the following rules from the link in the glossary on this site.

* In general, a play counts as a success if it gains 40% of yards on first down, 60% of yards on second down, and 100% of yards on third down.
* If the team is behind by more than a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the benchmarks switch to 50%/65%/100%.
* If the team is ahead by any amount in the fourth quarter, the benchmarks switch to 30%/50%/100%

His rushing breaks down to the following. Numbers in parens is what I understand was needed for a success, followed by how many yards above/below that he was.

01. 1-10 : 2y - No Good(4) -2
02. 2-08 : 5y - Success(4.8) 0.2
03. 1-10 : 5y - Success(4) 1
04. 2-10 : 4y - No Good(6) -2
05. 2-05 : 7y - Success(3) 4 + FD
------------- -
06. 1-10 : 4y - Success(4) 0
07. 1-10 : 3y - No Good(4) (-1)
08. 1-10 : 5y - Success(4) 1
09. 2-05 : 7y - Success(3) 4 + FD
10. 1-10 : 5y - Success(4) 1
11. 1-10 : 4y - Success(4) 0
-------------
12. 1-10 : 3y - No Good(4) -1
13. 1-10 : 3y - No Good(4) -1
14. 1-10 : 7y - (called back for holding)
-------------
14. 1-10 : 9y - Success(4) 5
15. 2-10 : 3y - No Good(6) -3
16. 1-10 : 8y - Success(4) 4
17. 1-10 : 3y - Success(3) 0
18. 2-07 : 4y - Success(3.5) 0.5

The last two runs were under the team is ahead in 4th quarter so the amounts were lowered as per the info I found.

So on the 18 carries (14 is repeated for the no carry due to a backside hold) I count 12 successful runs, if generally just barely for 66%. I can still get the low DYAR on that, his successes were barely successes and some of his failures were decently bad, though my thinking based on where he moved in DYAR made me think things were better. Though I'm still not in sync on success rate.

The passes were
01. 1-10 : 2y - Bad
02. 1-10 : 11y - That should be good
03. 1-10 : 5y - Not sure if that is good or not it's 50% of needed yards.
04. 1-10 : 4y - Not good from what Vince has said.

So if only the FD is good that would 13/22 which is still better than 44%. If the 4th quarter metrics for runs aren't what I saw on the site then it's 11/22 which is still 50%.

So I'm missing something in my understanding of the stats. If you can help me out great; if not, not a big deal. I realize it's fairly nit-picky type post and might be going into way more detail than is required for something that likely has little interest to most of the readership. Figured I would ask anyway since I had already pulled the data out and it was just some copy/paste.

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by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:49pm

There's a handful there that you have marked as successes that are failures in the spreadsheet. Maybe the glossary is out of date -- I'm pretty sure that the margin for success on first downs is 45 percent now, not 40 percent. So on first-and-10 you would need 4.5 yards for a success, and since runs are measured in yards, not inches or feet, you really need 5 yards for success.

And that's just the first step. Once you've determined how many success points each player has on each play, you must then compare those points to how other players at the same position have done in the same situation. For example, let's take Benson's 4-yard reception. It came on a first-and-10 in the third quarter in the BACK zone (between Green Bay's 20 and 40) with a 4-point lead. Benson earned 0.8 success points on the play. That's positive. However, the average running back, when thrown a pass on first-and-10 with a 4-point lead in the third quarter in the BACK zone, would have gained 1.03 success points, which works out to something like 6 or 7 yards (in this situation). Even a replacement level back would average 0.9 success points. Since Benson fell short of that mark, he gets negative DYAR on the play.

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by DisplacedPackerFan :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 11:26am

Cool, so the big issue in my understanding was that I was working off what appears to be an out of date definition. The rest I did understand, it was mostly the success rate that was screwing with me, since I figure that in general a success should not cause you to have negative DYAR, though I understand that is still possible, but for quick estimating it seems fair.

Again I appreciate the peak behind the curtain.

I'll still take an 11 DYAR rushing day like Benson had over the general state of the Packers running game since Grant got hurt in 2010. 2009 was similar to this, but with most busts and a few booms. 11 DYAR a game would likely get Benson into the 160's over a season and that is good enough for me, as is a slightly positive DYAR. Of course what will happen is that next week he'll do OK too because Indy has a run defense that is on par with NO's and then reality will come back and the rest of the year will be more of the Packers suck and running and McCarthy won't try to let them get better.

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by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 4:47pm

Thanks for the info on AP being #12. I'm guessing I didn't notice the number of runs for 0 or fewer yards during the game because I'm used to him having more. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I would guess he's had a smaller percentage of his runs go for 0 or fewer this year than in most other years in his pro career.

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by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:20pm

Many thanks for this post!

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

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by dan harmon (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:07pm

I run a defense and special teams only fantasy league. The scoring is a little loopy to add elements of surprise (ex: 100 pts for a safety, 50 pts for an INT TD, 30 pts for a KRTD). But we emphasize points on things like stuffs, pass defenses... Or, in FO's world, defeats (ESPN can't keep track of 3rd and 4th down stops but if it did, we'd totally add that as a category).

In our 5th year, Watt's numbers are by far the most impressive I've ever seen. 22.5, 29.5, 27.5, and 24 points in the first 4 weeks. No player has ever gotten to 100 points four weeks into a year without a TD return or safety. The scoring shows wild variations but his consistency at this point is absolutely remarkable.

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by theslothook :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:17pm

I understand why Jerry Jones is being criticized, but I feel like its being overblown. The cowboys, like the chargers, have had some very notable flameouts, but truth be told, they still have the makings of a very talented overall roster. Aside from dez bryant's stupidity, they do run 4 deep with miles austin, bryant, witten, and ogletree. Sure, most of these guys are overrated, but seriously, I think this grouping of receivers is more talented than most teams- arguably top 10.

They still have some very talented players on defense as well- with ware, lee, hatcher, and ratliff. Their corners are also pretty deep too with carr, claiborn and scandrick.

The real issues for Dallas fall in three categories- Their safeties have sucked for years and they still seem convinced they are fine with people like sensebaugh manning that role. Their interior o line is pathetic- though they have at least attempted to fix it in the past.

And finally- some fault lies with Romo. I like romo, hes on the cusp of very good-but he also has that crazy inconsistency that comes his sandlot style. We've discussed this at length about vick, but the same holds true for Romo. I'm more forgiving with turnovers than most people-ints are going to happen when you are a medium passing team high volume passing team, but Romo's turnovers really just come in bunches and it can completely submarine the game. This bears one reminded me a tad of that lions loss last year- where turnovers were the difference in the game.

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by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:42pm

This is pretty bleak for a Jets fan,
I guess the only saving grace is that we don't have Romo. Whew!

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by dk240t :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:57pm

All those accolades for the Texans offense and the defense really is stealing the show, after years of flirting with all-time terrible (and I believe they would have the record for all-time worst defense by DVOA if they didn't get to have one matchup against Rusty Smith led Titans).

Anyways, lots of accolades for the guys on defense these days, too. Everyone talking about JJ Watt, J Joseph playing like one of the best corners in the league, and of course, the team has the only two-time defensive rookie of the year in Brian Cushing.

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by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:58pm

Jerry Jones got liqoured up one night about 18 years ago, and alienated a guy who constructed the best roster of the 1990s, and had won two titles in dominant fashion. That guy left. Then Jones hired a guy who was completely unsuited to coach in the NFL, and who his HOF qb had little respect for, for good reason. The roster was strong enough to weather that blow, and won another title, but the qb maintains to this day that the departure of the first coach cost the franchise even more titles.

After Jones realized that his second head coach hire was disaster, he made one bad hire after another, although some of those coaching hires may have worked out better if not for Jones meddling in the roster. Years of mediocrity and sub-mediocrity followed, until Jones in desperation hired a guy with the prestige to have Jones defer a little. The guy with the prestige performed an immediate miracle, going 10-6 with a qb and roster that wasn't any better than, and maybe worse than, the 2012 Cleveland Browns'.

Naturally, Jones couldn't leave that guy alone, and eventually alienated him as well, while executing one hideous roster move after another, like trading huge draft value for a wide receiver that Matt Millen(!) drafted way too high. He fell in love with an obvious trainwreck and overrated talent like a cornerback who really liked strip clubs.

The lesson that Jones apparently learned from cornerbacks named after 80s video games is that it is better to go after really stupid receivers who like strip clubs too much, and get them on the field to make really dumb errors.

This synopsis only scratches the surface of The Legend of Jerrel Jones, Football Genius. It would be hard to overblow criticism of him.

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by BigCheese :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:02am

And this in a nutshell, is why I have TRMENDOUS respect for the Landry era Cowboys (including Danny White, whose two faults were not being Roger Staubach and having to battle Joe Montana during the latter's prime), and nothing but disdain for every Cowboys since not named Moose Johnson, Leon Lett, Jason Witten or Sean Lee (OK, and technically Kyle Orton, whom I'll always have a soft spot for).

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

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by BigCheese :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:07am

And this in a nutshell, is why I have TRMENDOUS respect for the Landry era Cowboys (including Danny White, whose two faults were not being Roger Staubach and having to battle Joe Montana during the latter's prime), and nothing but disdain for every Cowboys since not named Moose Johnson, Leon Lett, Jason Witten or Sean Lee (OK, and technically Kyle Orton, whom I'll always have a soft spot for).

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

93
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:32am

Do you think the Bears intentionally went easy on Orton to let him get the TD?

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by BigCheese :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 1:44am

Not really no. I think that having the second-team defense out there, coupled with Lovie's love for the soft defense when nursing a lead made it very likely that any half-competent QB would have scored there. And consumed most of the clock, as was the Bears' plan.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

95
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 2:52am

Landry's been out for the NFL now for more almost 25 years, and dead for 12, so he's kind of been forgotten for a HOF coach. Gosh, did he have a string of success, after taking over at ground zero for an expansion club, back when the old guard owners really used to stick it to expansion owners, in terms of the expansion draft.

I've never really had any bad feeling for Cowboys players, other than the obvious meatheads like Pacman or Dez. My anti Cowboys sentiment is almost purely based on Jerrel.

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by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 10/02/2012 - 8:38pm

Just wanted to chime in and say I love the snippets of info you put in about the other worst performers at RB and WR. Please keep doing that in the future.

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by BigCheese :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:11am

OF COURSE the one time Jay CUtler is in the Top 10, it's on MNF so we get no commentary for him :(

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

96
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 2:54am

In 2011, the Redskins could have drafted J.J. Watt, but they traded down to take Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan is a very talented player and easily worth the first round pick they used to get him, but he's just not as valuable as Watt.

In 2009, the Redskins could have drafted Clay Matthews, but they took Brian Orakpo. Orakpo is a very talented player and easily worth the first round pick they used to get him, but he's just not as valuable as Matthews.

This exemplifies so much about the Redskins. It's better than all those years where their picks didn't work out at all, but it still makes you sigh and imagine what could have been.

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by The Hypno-Toad :: Wed, 10/03/2012 - 11:42pm

It's interesting that some Skins fans have (slight) buyer's remorse on Orakpo. He's usually used as the other side of that coin when Bronco fans are discussing the wasted pick that was Knowshon Moreno. It's easy to do that, because Orakpo was the obvious pick for the Broncos at 12 that year... But I wonder how many Bronco fans realize that Matthews was also available at that point.
The one that will haunt me for the rest of my days is Ashley Lelie over Ed Reed. It hurts me very badly every time I think about it.

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by dryheat :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 7:47am

I don't think any team has an exclusivity deal with hindsight.

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by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:22am

49ers, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers.

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by Noah of Arkadia :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:01am

That kind of reflection is hazardous to your mental health. Fan boards are crammed full of people who were driven mad by it. "Why, oh, why didn't we pick the star player! It was so duh!"

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

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by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 8:34pm

Other than the Reed thing, I don't really dwell on any of them. And given the Broncos proud tradition of drafting terribly, I feel like I've managed to handle that pretty well. Ed Reed was just my favorite player in the league for a while.
My initial point was just that I find it interesting that Orakpo is looked at as one of the ones that got away in Denver, but is viewed very differently in Washington.

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by Noah of Arkadia :: Sat, 10/06/2012 - 2:50pm

I don't torture myself with that kind of thing, either, but it's hard not to think every now and then about the ones you didn't get. It's sort of like that play your team didn't make that wound up costing them an important game.

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

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by Creampie (not verified) :: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:07am

I actually think Orakpo and Kerrigan would make an extremely formidable end rushing duo in a 4-3. While Kerrigan is becoming an all around good player and Orakpo while not great has I proved, I think for certain both guys pass rush better with their hand on the ground.