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23 Oct 2012

Week 7 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

The New England Patriots barely managed to escape Sunday with a 29-26 overtime win over the New York Jets. Rex Ryan's club was in that game until the very end, and not for the usual reasons. When the Jets plays well, they most often defeat their opponents on defense and special teams, but it was the Patriots yesterday who built a lead on a safety and a kickoff return for a touchdown. Mark Sanchez rallied his team and put up numbers that were better than Tom Brady's, and given the polar shift that required in New York's strategies, it's clear that the Jets have learned what the rest of the league already knows: If you want to beat New England, you must go long, go longer, and go long some more.

The Jets beat the Colts in Week 6 with one of the more conservative passing games you'll see this season. Only two of Sanchez's passes against Indianapolis traveled 10 or more yards past the line of scrimmage, and neither of those were complete. Seven days later, Sanchez morphed from Chad Pennington into Joe Namath, slinging the ball downfield repeatedly. Fourteen of his passes against New England went 10 or more yards, and he completed 10 of those throws for 200 yards and a touchdown (and one interception).

Sanchez finished the day with a QBR of 45.1, well above his season average of 35.5. He's not alone, either. The last five quarterbacks to start against New England (Sanchez, Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Joe Flacco) have an average QBR of 51.7. That’s about what guys like Jay Cutler and Carson Palmer have done this season. Against the Pats, all five of those men played better than their season rate, with a collective average of 76.0. That's close to what Tom Brady and the Mannings have done this year, and those three have been the best quarterbacks in football. The Patriots are making mediocrities look like Hall of Famers, and making Hall of Famers look unstoppable.

The key to beating New England, as each of these quarterbacks will tell you, is to kill them with the deep pass. Table 1 shows the number of passes (excluding sacks, but including pass interference calls) the Patriots have faced at various distances this season, along with their Success Rate (which counts incompletions as well as short receptions that fail to gain meaningful yardage towards a new set of downs) and Yards Per Pass allowed. When teams throw against this team, they like to throw deep, and it usually works:

New England Defense by Pass Distance
Distance
Number
Success Rate
Yards/Pass
All passes
261 (3rd)
52% (16th)
8.3 (28th)
Short (within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage
134 (4th)
54% (22nd)
5.1 (18th)
Mid (6 to 15 yards downfield)
62 (30th)
50% (4th)
7.6 (16th)
Deep (16 or more yards downfield)
64 (1st)
45% (28th)
15.7 (28th)
League ranks in parentheses.

Teams are willing to test the Pats' secondary deep, because they know the Pats have no depth. New England has actually fared OK against No. 1 and No. 2 receivers, but they've been killed by third and fourth wideouts. Jeremy Kerley had seven catches for 120 yards against New England. He joins Jacoby Jones (three catches for 100 yards), Donald Jones (two for 72), Brad Smith (two for 59), and Doug Baldwin (two for 61) as role players who have ripped the Patriots for big gains.

That lack of depth has never been more exposed that it was against New York. Steve Gregory missed his third straight game with a hip injury, while Patrick Chung was out with a bad shoulder. That left New England with no starting safeties. They filled one spot with cornerback Devin McCourty, and the other with second-round rookie Tavon Wilson. That also meant seventh-round rookie Alfonzo Dennard had to take McCourty's spot on the perimeter. Cornerback Kyle Arrington was the only starter left standing at his natural position.

Is there hope for a turnaround here? It would certainly help to get Gregory and Chung back on the field. Though neither played against New York, both went through limited practice sessions during the week, and one or both of them could return in time to play St. Louis this weekend. Still, there's limited promise in this duo. Gregory has started 35 games in his seven-year career; Chung, 28 in four. It's not as if Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed are joining the team. Gregory and Chung were both around in Weeks 3 and 4, when Joe Flacco and Ryan Fitzpatrick burned the team for a combined 732 yards and seven touchdowns.

Critics may point out that the Patriots beat the Jets, Broncos, and Bills with this patchwork secondary, and that New England's defense was no great shakes in 2011 when the team reached the Super Bowl. True, but that was a lockout year, when every team had one flaw or another. This time, when the competition gets stiffer and teams like Houston have had a full offseason to improve their squad, New England may not be so lucky.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Aaron Rodgers GB
31/37
347
3
0
225
228
-4
At the end of the third quarter, Rodgers was 24-of-26 for 252 yards and 12 first downs, including a touchdown. He had also been sacked three times, but when he actually threw the ball, it almost always landed where he wanted it to.
2.
Drew Brees NO
27/36
377
4
1
211
215
-4
Brees started out 2-of-4 for 12 yards with an interception. Then he went insane. From that point to halftime he went 18-of-20 for 301 yards and 15 first downs, including four touchdowns, with no sacks or picks. At one point he completed seven passes in a row for seven first downs, including two touchdowns, and 146 yards. Oddly, he only threw 12 passes in the second half, with only two first downs.
3.
Josh Freeman TB
24/41
420
3
0
108
113
-5
Those raw numbers are a little inflated by some third-down checkdowns. Freeman went 8-of-10 on third downs for 71 yards, but only picked up three first downs, including one touchdown. And inside the New Orleans 40, he went 9-of-19 for 101 yards and six first downs, though he did throw three red zone touchdowns.
4.
Tom Brady NE
26/42
259
2
0
98
98
0
Brady did much better than Freeman on third downs: 10-of-14 for 114 yards, plus a 6-yard DPI and a sack, for two touchdowns and seven other first downs.
5.
Tony Romo DAL
24/34
227
1
0
93
95
-1
Another third-down machine: 9-of-11 for 88 yards and six first downs.
6.
Robert Griffin WAS
20/28
258
2
1
80
62
18
Griffin did better in the Front zone (the area between New York’s 40 and 20, where Griffin went 4-of-5 for 65 yards, two touchdowns, and one other first down, plus a sack) than he did in the red zone (0-for-2 with a sack).
7.
Brandon Weeden CLE
25/41
269
2
0
79
72
7
First five third-down throws: five completions for 64 yards and five first downs, incluing a touchdown. Last five third-down throws: one completion for 2 yards on third-and-4.
8.
Matt Schaub HOU
23/37
256
2
0
73
73
0
Once Houston went ahead 26-3 in the second quarter, Schaub seemed to stop trying for a while. His next 13 dropbacks resulted in only three completions for 42 yards and two first downs, with one sack, and at one point he was sacked or threw incomplete on eight dropbacks in a row. Then he tacked on four completions in his final four attempts for 66 yards and two more first downs.
9.
Alex Smith SF
14/22
140
1
0
58
58
0
First half: 7-of-15 for 59 yards and three first downs, plus a pair of sacks. He then completed his first six passes of the second half, each gaining 10 to 18 yards and a first down, including a touchdown. He finished with an interception an 3-yard gain on first-and-10.
10.
Matt Stafford DET
28/46
262
1
1
48
38
10
The Bears defense is really, really good. With opponent adjustments, Stafford ranks 10th. Without them, he would rank 23rd.
11.
Blaine Gabbert JAC
8/12
110
1
0
48
48
0
I've been hard on Gabbert in Quick Reads this year, and I don't think that's unfair. There is a reason I told a friend that Russell Wilson (whom we will get to, well, not shortly, but after a while) had “pulled a Gabbert” against San Francisco. So it really is too bad that the first time Gabbert put a decent game together, he got hurt and his teammates could not hold onto the lead he had provided them. True, his first two completions were third-down throws that finished well short of the sticks, but he still produced five first downs, including a 42-yard touchdown to Cecil Shorts III.
12.
Matt Hasselbeck TEN
22/33
207
1
0
34
34
0
Another veteran who played well on third and fourth downs, going 12-of-14 for 115 yards and eight first downs, including the game-winning 15-yard touchdown to Nate Washington on fourth-and-9.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Eli Manning NYG
26/40
337
1
2
31
28
3
And you can add Eli to that list as well. He went 9-of-11 for 97 yards and seven first downs on third down.
14.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
27/35
225
3
1
10
7
3
Fitzpatrick played well on third downs too, but we’ll add in his second-down throws for even more radical splits: 18-of-20 for 148 yards and 11 first downs, including two touchdowns, although one of those incomplete passes was intercepted.
15.
Sam Bradford STL
21/33
255
1
1
9
9
0
Bradford was at his best attacking the middle of the Green Bay defense, completing all six of his throws there for 68 yards and three first downs.
16.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
27/37
278
1
1
3
3
0
Roethlisberger was another vet who played well on third downs, but he had big problems on first down, going 8-of-11 for 67 yards and only two first downs, with an interception and two sacks.
17.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
28/41
328
1
1
1
1
0
It’s hard to throw deep in the front zone. Sanchez went 4-of-8 for 47 yards and only two first downs, with one interception and one sack, between New England’s 20 and 40.
18.
Andrew Luck IND
16/29
186
0
0
-8
-22
14
In the third and fourth quarters, Luck went 6-of-11 for 49 yards and only one first down, with three sacks and a fumble. This was not the worst second half of the week.
19.
Cam Newton CAR
21/36
234
1
1
-9
-33
24
in a fourth quarter that never saw the Panthers lead or trail by more than one score, Newton went 9-of-18 for 106 yards and only three first downs, plus one sack. One of those completions was a 12-yard gain on fourth-and-20 as the Panthers attempted to recreate the Stanford band play on the final snap of the game.
20.
Russell Wilson SEA
9/23
122
0
1
-32
-36
4
In the third and fourth quarters, Wilson went 3-of-10 for 19 yards and no first downs, with a sack. Going back to the second quarter, his final 15 dropbacks of the game produced 12 yards and no first downs. This was not the worst second half of the week either.
21.
John Skelton ARI
25/36
262
1
1
-44
-44
0
In the first three quarters, Skelton went 4-of-7 for 26 yards and no first downs on first down. In the fourth quarter, he went 8-of-8 for 111 yards on first down, with seven first downs (including a touchdown) and one sack.
22.
Carson Palmer OAK
26/45
298
1
1
-47
-57
11
Palmer’s only first down in the first half came on a 59-yard completion to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Otherwise, he went 8-of-16 for 47 yards with an interception. This was not the worst first half of the week.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Jay Cutler CHI
16/31
150
1
0
-66
-82
17
24.
Andy Dalton CIN
14/28
105
1
1
-92
-92
0
Dalton’s 8-yard touchdown to A.J. Green in the second quarter put Cincinnati ahead 14-3. From that point forward, he went 7-of-19 for 63 yards with three first downs and an interception.
25.
Christian Ponder MIN
8/17
58
1
2
-104
-102
-2
In the third and fourth quarters, Ponder went 1-of-7 for 4 yards and no first downs, with two sacks. This was not the worst second half of the week (in fact, by DYAR, it was better than Luck or Wilson).
26.
Joe Flacco BAL
21/43
147
1
2
-129
-138
9
Before halftime, Flacco went 7-of-20 for 52 yards with two first downs, two sacks (one for a safety, one for a fumble), and two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). This was the worst first half of the week.
27.
Chad Henne JAC
9/20
71
0
0
-140
-133
-7
Henne entered the game in the second quarter, and proceeded to go 1-of-5 for 10 yards before intermission. After the break, he went 8-of-15 for 61 yards with one first down and three sacks. This was the worst second half of the week. On third and fourth downs, he went 4-of-9 for 26 yards with a sack. Those four completions: a 2-yard gain with 24 yards to go, a 7-yard gain with 12 yards to go, a 9-yard gain with 13 yards to go, and an 8-yard gain with 20 yards to go. And now you know why Blaine Gabbert has kept his job.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Frank Gore SF
131
0
51
0
83
59
25
Gore was stuffed for a loss just once in 16 carries. He had six first downs on the day, and his last three carries, each while protecting a one-score lead in the fourth quarter, gained 37, 10, and 20 yards. He also caught five of the six passes thrown his way for 51 yards and three more first downs.
2.
LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI
104
1
45
0
59
44
15
November 27th, 2011. Beanie Wells rumbled for 228 yards on the ground as the Cardinals beat the Rams 23-20. Nearly a year went by before another Cardinals runner cracked the 100-yard mark. Stephens-Howling, filling in for an injured Ryan Williams (who himself was filling in for an injured Wells), had the first 100-yard day of his career against Minnesota, finishing with 104 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He also caught four of the five passes thrown his direction for 45 yards. Stephens-Howling had three 10-yard runs on the day, including a 27-yarder, and also scored a 3-yard touchdown.
3.
Chris Johnson TEN
195
2
3
0
48
53
-5
Yes, he had touchdown runs of 83 and 16 yards, plus two other 20-yard gains. But his other 14 runs averaged 3.1 yards each, with just one other first down and seven runs for 2 yards or less. He was also thrown two passes, catching one of them for 3 yards.
4.
Adrian Peterson MIN
153
1
6
0
45
53
-8
Peterson had five runs for 12 yards or better, with six runs for 2 yards or worse. He also gets big points for gaining 8 yards on fourth-and-5 at the Arizona 33 up one score in the fourth. He was also thrown four passes, catching two of them for 6 yards.
5.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
103
0
13
0
38
37
1
A model of consistency, Lynch had six carries for 2 yards or fewer, but 11 carries for 5 yards or more. He also gets an opponent adjustment boost for playing against San Francisco. The Seahawks threw him two passes, and he caught one for 14 yards.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Alex Green GB
30
0
34
0
-52
-51
-1
Green ran for only one first down against St. Louis, a 15-yard run in the third quarter. That was half his yardage on the day, as his other 18 carries combined gained only 15 yards. Fourteen of those carries gained 2 yards or fewer, and eight of them resulted in no gain or a loss. He also caught five passes in six targets for 34 yards.
OTHER BACKS OF LITTLE VALUE: Trent Richardson, CLE (eight carries for 8 yards, two catches for 11 yards); LeGarrette Blount, TB (five carries for -2 yards); Darren McFadden, OAK (19 carries for 53 yards, four catches in seven targets for 28 yards).


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Randall Cobb GB
8
8
89
11.1
2
73
Good to play with Aaron Rodgers, part I: Though he only had four first downs (including touchdowns of 5 and 39 yards), three of Cobb’s shorter receptions were still successful catches. His only unsuccessful plays was a catch for no gain on first-and-10. He also rushed one time for 19 yards.
2.
Jordy Nelson GB
8
9
122
15.2
1
67
Good to play with Aaron Rodgers, part II: Nelson’s first target was an 8-yard gain on third-and-15, and his last target was incomplete. Every other target resulted in a reception for a first down, including a 52-yarder and five third-down conversions.
3.
Lance Moore NO
9
10
121
13.4
0
61
At the end of the third quarter, every pass thrown Moore’s way had picked up a first down, including a 35-yard play and six third-down conversions. In the fourth quarter, he had one catch for 2 yards in two targets.
4.
Andre Roberts ARI
7
9
103
14.7
1
48
A third-year pro who started 16 games in 2011, Roberts set a career high with six catches against Minnesota, and his 103 yards were just the fourth 100-yard day of his career. Roberts' shortest catch was an 8-yard touchdown. Each of his other grabs gained 14 to 21 yards and a first down. Perhaps the only member of the Cardinals offense who can honestly say he is having a good season, Roberts is well on his way to setting career highs in everything.
5.
Dustin Keller NYJ
7
7
93
13.3
1
45
First four targets: four receptions for 77 yards and three first downs. Next four targets: all incomplete. Last three targets: three receptions for 43 yards and three more first downs. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Ignore that writeup. That describes Jeremy Kerley, not Keller. Five of Keller's receptions gained at least 10 yards and a first down. His others were a 7-yard touchdown and a 6-yard gain on second-and-12.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Mike Wallace PIT
8
15
52
6.5
0
-63
Only two first downs on the day, and only two other successful catches, none longer than 12 yards. Wallace averaged at least 16.6 yards per reception in each of his first three seasons. This year, that average is down to 13.7.
OTHER RECEIVERS OF LITTLE VALUE: Cecil Shorts, JAC (First two targets: two receptions for 61 yards and two first downs, including a touchdown. Next eight targets: two receptions for 18 yards, no first downs, one fumble); Josh Gordon, CLE (two catches for 51 yards and two first downs, including a touchdown, but eight incompletions. For the season, he is averaging a league-high 23.8 yards per catch with four touchdowns in only 14 receptions, but his catch rate is 39 percent); Brandon Lloyd, NE (one catch for 6 yards in eight targets); Calvin Johnson, DET (3 catches for 34 yards in 11 targets).

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 23 Oct 2012

85 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2012, 3:41pm by JoeyHarringtonsPiano

Comments

1
by ammek :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:21am

I know this was written for ESPN but isn't it a bit peculiar to say "Mark Sanchez rallied his team and put up numbers that were better than Tom Brady's" when Brady is 4th in DYAR and Sanchez 17th?

I think there's a mistake with the number of Keller's attempts in the box.

4
by komakoma (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:47am

Not sure if this entirely explains it, but QBR doesn't factor in opponent adjustments while DYAR does, and given how terrible the Patriots' defense is this could account for the discrepancy.

38
by Malene, copenhagen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:02pm

No this does not entirely explains it. Since this is written specifically to introduce the DYAR numbers, saying Sanchez put up better numbers than Brady is just incredibly dumb, borderline irresponsible.

Once upon a time, FO made a point of renouncing the stupid fantasy football-fueled clichées of "so-and-so put up great numbers". This was more of a tremendously disappointing comment than a simple mistake.

FO used to be precisely the one place on the internet that would tell you that Sanchez did not, in fact, outplay Tom Brady.

39
by Nathan :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:04pm

I think the "whatever happened to QBR" article a few posts down sufficiently explains why QBR was awkwardly shoehorned into this post.

18
by nat :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:38am

DYAR is not YAR.

I do wish FO would list YAR here. It would clear a lot of this stuff up.

For what it's worth, Brady was playing against a much stronger pass defense, 28% stronger according to week 6 DVOA. Sanchez beat him on (unadjusted for opponent) total yards, yards/attempt, and completion%, but Brady was better at TDs, Ints, Sacks, Fumbles, First Downs. Standard Passer Rating (which doesn't factor in sacks or fumbles or adjust for opponent) still put Brady better than Sanchez.

It would have been correct to say that Sanchez put up more yardage. Better numbers? Not so much.

(edited to add specific pass defense DVOA)

2
by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:33am

As a Twilight Zone fan, I always think of LaRod Stephens-Howling as "The Howling Man."

11
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:01am

Oddly, I think of the Joe Dante werewolf movie "The Howling," which I've never seen.

12
by Noah of Arkadia :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:09am

I think of Howlin' Wolf.

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

20
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:41am

"Howlin' Mad" Murdock.

49
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 3:51pm

Great film - download it if you get a chance.

13
by jw124164 :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:15am

I think of him as a near partner in the Green-Ellis firm.

55
by Marko :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:35pm

Excellent. I will now think of anyone who stuffs him as "Brother Jerome."

3
by Travis :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:45am

New England has actually fared OK against No. 1 and No. 2 receivers, but they've been killed by third and fourth wideouts. Jeremy Kerley had seven catches for 120 yards against New England.

Is Kerley considered a 3rd or 4th receiver for the purposes of that game? Kerley started the game as one of the two WRs, played more snaps than any other Jets WR except Stephen Hill (and 29 more than the 3rd-highest Jets' WR, Chaz Schilens), was 2nd on the team in catches and targets before Sunday's game, and is the Jets' 1st or 2nd WR when healthy now that Santonio Holmes is out for the year.

5
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:50am

I've always assumed that the slot receiver was designated the #3 for these purposes.

8
by Travis :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:55am

Does this mean that Welker has been designated the Patriots' #3 receiver for the last 6 years?

10
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:59am

For the purposes of FO's defensive statistics? Yes I believe so. Otherwise it would get subjective and/or highly volatile.

Maybe Aaron or someone will clarify.

14
by RickD :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:21am

Also, Welker doesn't really play the slot that much any more. My understanding (from Boston-area bboards) is that the slot is Hernandez's domain these days.

I would think to be #3 WR, you'd be a non-starter on a team that starts 2 WRs. Just a guess, as I have no idea how FO does these definitions.

25
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:02pm

Hernandez was wide right in the fourth quarter, which I know because the Patriots' plan seemed to be to throw as many back-hip throw to him as possible. I'm not sure why they kept throwing fade routes and back shoulders to the guy with the gimpy ankle, instead of crosses or something where the ankle wouldn't interfere with a catch, but they did. Over and over.

Also, when I say "back hip" I mean that Brady was missing those throws; not in the sense that they were miles off target, but his accuracy was not there near the end of the game; normally I expect short Brady passes, especially soft stuff, to be right on the money. But he was experiencing a bout of merely-NFL-average accuracy, for whatever reason.

35
by mawbrew :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 1:33pm

I don't know how Kerley (who I hadn't heard of prior to this week) would be classified, but I think it would be very tough to say who was in coverage on him for most plays. It seemed like he was open by ten yards on every ball he caught. Not to take anything away from Sanchez, but those were not tough throws. If the Patriots don't fix that they are in big trouble.

62
by MJK :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 6:05pm

It looked like some of Kerley's catches were against a two-deep zone, where one or both of the safeties made the wrong decision as to where to be. Or possibly the CB thought he had more safety help than he did.

On the other hand, at least two of those catches were against man coverage, where Kerley was single covered, and he managed to get that open with a comeback route. The Patriots CB (probably Dowling????) was backing up to avoid a big play downfield, and Kerley reversed direction.

One (although by far not the only) problem the Pats have in coverage is that their DB's aren't athletic enough to single cover receivers and prevent both the deep fly route and the comeback.

6
by Led :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:52am

Vince: Quick question -- for DVOA and DYAR purposes, does Sanchez or Greene (or both) get "credit" for the botched handoff that led to the safety? Thanks.

7
by Travis :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:53am

[Keller's] four targets: four receptions for 77 yards and three first downs. Next four targets: all incomplete. Last three targets: three receptions for 43 yards and three more first downs.

I think this description is for Kerley. Keller had 7 catches on 7 targets.

37
by Exystence :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 1:51pm

Seconded. 77 + 43 = 120, plus no mention of a TD leads me to believe that this is Kerley. But then that leads me to wonder, is it the description or the player listed that is incorrect?

9
by Nevic (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 10:58am

Rodgers 24 of 26 at the end of the 3rd quarter even includes a spike as one of the incompletions.

15
by ViciousChickenOfBristol (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:26am

"That's close to what Tom Brady and the Mannings have done this year, and those three have been the best quarterbacks in football."

No.

27
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:05pm

No, what?

I don't think there's much question that a few pedestrian games from Brees and Rodgers have stepped them down a notch in performance so-far-this-year. (I would say the same for Brady, actually, but DVOA doesn't back this up).

The Mannings have been lights out except for a few incompletion-heavy quarters from Eli and the first quarter in Atlanta from Peyton.

47
by ViciousChickenOfBristol (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 3:17pm

Manning the older, yes.

Manning the younger, no. Throwing for 500 yards and 3TD's to win a game doesnt make you a hero in my book if your 3 INT's earlier are the reason your team is in a hole. As usual, little Manning has been all over the map this season. Great in spurts, horrible in spurts. Not the best in the league by any stretch.

Rogers leading the league in TD's and passer rating, completing almost 70% of his passes. If pedestrian games are what is holding him down, then why wouldnt Eli be discounted similarly for his? Rogers has yet to throw more INT's than TD's in a game (Eli has). Rogers has yet to throw for fewer than 200 yards in a game (Eli has).

Roethlisberger is having a career year despite having the worst running game in the league, receivers who forgot that you need to catch a ball to advance it, and an OL that is held together with duct tape. Yet he has numbers equal to or better than both Eli and Brady.

Matt Ryan, Robert Griffin, Drew Brees (in spurts much like Little Manning)...all having good years. Brady and Eli are indeed doing well, but not so well that I would say that they are standing out from the crowd.

54
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:31pm

Matt Ryan, Robert Griffin, Drew Brees (in spurts much like Little Manning)...all having good years. Brady and Eli are indeed doing well, but not so well that I would say that they are standing out from the crowd.

When the QB tables are updated this afternoon, Rodgers is going to be No. 1 in DYAR. Brady and Eli are going to essentially be tied for second. (Brady is ahead by 2 DYAR).

The comment about Brady and the Mannings was specifically in reference to QBR.

58
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:57pm

Tables been updated.

Rodgers 776
Brady 696
Eli 695
Peyton 693

So really the Mannings and Brady are tied for 2nd. The difference, though, is Peyton's played just 6 games while those other three have all played 7. Considering who that next game is against for Denver, it is hard to imagine that Peyton wouldn't be at least a clear 2nd had he finished the Saints game this weekend.

Manning's also got a sizable lead in DVOA (4.1%) for the season over Rodgers.

63
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 6:34pm

Also note that projecting to a full season, Manning the Elder is on track for 629 attempts for 4661 yards with a 37/11 TD/INT line. "Only" 7.4 yards per attempt, but that would qualify as one of Manning's three or four best statistical seasons in his career, especially if you think that counting stats are as important as rate stats.

Since these are basic stats, they don't know that Manning has already played more than half the "difficult" games on his schedule, and has a steady diet of AFC West opponents, plus Bengals, Carolina, Lardarius Webbless Ravens, and Tampa Bay/Cleveland left. I wouldn't be surprised if the yardage and attempt numbers dipped a bit, actually, with a lot of 18/24 for 220 yards in a win type lines. Could end up looking a lot like 2005 or 2006, statistically.

65
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 7:23pm

Just as a note, Rodgers standard stats are currently projecting to 421-601; 5442yds; 43TD, 9INT, 7.6 YPA, and while he still has some good D's to play (1, 5, 2x12, and 14), his run against #1, #2, #3, #4, #9 is behind him (Well 1,2,3,6,9 if you just look at passing D). He had four games of 200+ passing DYAR (by quick reads so I don't have fully adjusted for the whole season) of 200, 210, 206, 247. None of them were back to back. His back to back 256, 228 this year is a little scary, but his standard stats are already back on pace for some of them to be nearly as good as last year. With some easier passing defenses in front of him he could do what I didn't think was going to happen and be as good or better than last year still via standard stats. I don't see him being better via DYAR/DVOA simply because of the easier schedule not giving as big of adjustments.

I'm interested to see how he and Manning finish. I expected Brees to slide back a bit because of all the off season hub bub, I figured Brady would be in Brady range, and Eli would likely improve a bit. But I'm always interested to see what someone does after a historical season, and Manning, well someone in the discussion for greatest of all time coming off a season lost to injury, always worth seeing what will happen.

28
by duh :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:14pm

Agreed, but they do have the 3 highest QBRs for the season which it what I think he meant.

29
by An Anonymous Reader (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:21pm

Brilliant rebuttal there! I appreciate your well founded, thoroughly researched argument supported by facts and or numbers.

43
by ViciousChickenOfBristol (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:55pm

It's nice to be appreciated.

16
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:27am

"He also gets big points for gaining 8 yards on fourth-and-5 at the Arizona 33 up one score in the fourth"

Really - with 14 seconds left at the Arz 33 yard line how is this a big play? If Arz stops him, they have the ball on their own 33 with 8-9 seconds to score a TD. I think failing to make that first down would cost your team a win every 10000 games of so.

17
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:29am

add to that a little - Arz would had no timeouts left.

73
by Ryan D. :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 9:36am

I'm guessing that the Panthers D takes the field on that ten-thousandth game.

19
by TD (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:41am

Weeden, of course, shouldve had at least one more completion for a touchdown. I thought drafting him was a mistake, but he's good, and he should have at least five more prime years in him, so maybe he was worth a 1st rounder

32
by mawbrew :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:53pm

I also thought drafting him (at least in the first round) was a mistake. But I have to admit, he's beginning to make it look like Heckert may know more about football than I do. That awful game against the Eagles will weigh his stats down all year, but since that game he's been surprisingly good.

I do wonder if anybody else would have drafted him prior to the Browns picking in the second round. It's a question we can never know the answer to but it still seems really unlikely that someone else was that anxious to draft him.

I think the new CBA prhibits rookies from getting new contracts for a few years. Otherwise, if he continues to play as he has recently, I think his agent would be looking to redo his deal really quickly.

21
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:44am

"The Bears defense is really, really good. With opponent adjustments, Stafford ranks 10th. Without them, he would rank 23rd."

I would be curious in Lions and Bear fans reactions to how Stafford played. I thought he was pretty poor and missed a lot of big throws that would have made a difference.

23
by kbukie :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:47am

I felt that nothing was open for Stafford all night. Tillman + safety help completely neutralized Megatron, and the Bears' D handled every other Detroit receiving threat with ease, for the most part. If anything, the Lions should have run more, since that was working better.

In my opinion, the only things that kept the game moderately close were the Cutler injury in the 2nd quarter and the messy conditions. The game felt nowhere near as close as a 13-7 score.

24
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:59am

I wouldn't say Stafford was awful. He led the Lions to three red-zone drives, and the fact that two of them ended in fumbles wasn't his fault. And the interception he threw on 4th down in the 4th quarter was almost exactly the same as an incompletion.

I do recall him missing some throws, but honestly I think he looked okay against a great Bears defense. Watching a couple of their drives, I was very nervous that the Bears had only managed to put 13 points on the board because it seemed very possible to me that Detroit would pick up at least two touchdowns in the game. Putting him in the middle of the pack when it comes to this week's performances sounds about right.

26
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:05pm

I thought the defense was playing lights out for the most part. In the late 3rd quarter and into the 4th, I thought he was just rattled. He was missing a lot of throws you expect a starting NFL QB to make. Then he came alive to take advantage of the Bears soft zone for a meaningless td.

42
by Chip :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:33pm

Absolutely.

The Bears safeties dropped what could have been four interceptions (albeit difficult ones).

For as much as the local media attributed Jennings hot start to catching balls from the juggs machine all off-season, Major Wright needs to do the same. He alone could have had three INTs.

45
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:58pm

What is it about the bears and going soft zone late in games. I know this is standard operating procedure for most teams, but the bears defense isn't like most teams. They could probably play single high and be just as effective as most teams' prevent. I guess the tebow episode didn't scar lovie enough. Lets just hope in a game against better opponents, they don't go back to this strategy unless they are up huge in a game.

57
by Marko :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:44pm

It's funny that you call that the "tebow episode." Most Bears fans who watched that game would call it the "Marion Barber Episode" (or perhaps "Marion Barber 2," since he also made some terrible plays that cost them the week before) and/or the "Caleb Hanie Experience."

71
by BigCheese :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 3:13am

It's definitely the Barber eppisode. In which we experienced the frustration of Tebow being a terrible QB yet still beating your team because of massive self-inflicted wounds.

- Alvaro

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

30
by mawbrew :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:39pm

I only saw the first half and a few highlights, but Stafford was really bad in the first half. Just terrible. I went to sleep thinking Shawn Hill might get into the game in the second half. I was stunned that he was 10th on this list. He must have played much better in the second half (he certainly got a bunch more yardage). As someone else mentioned, his interception wasn't worse than a incompletion. The thing that bothered me about the pick was that he still didn't make a throw past the sticks. Even if it had been completed, I don't think it would have been a first down.

56
by BigCheese :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:42pm

Actually, the pick was better for the Lions than an incompletion, as it pinned the Bears' offense further back. And they were in goal-to-go situation so yeah, anything not in the end-zone was as bad as an interception.

- Alvaro

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

59
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:59pm

It was worse, but by like three yards. In fact, when you factor in the expected interception return from that spot, the pick is probably worse. Of course, the expected return from THAT pick was close to nothing since he caught it in a place where a long return was nearly impossible.

31
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:43pm

Stafford was far from great, but I wouldn't say he was awful. The receivers were simply not getting separation, and Johnson and Burleson each dropped 3rd down passes that hit them in the hands. The only terrible play he really made was the dropped INT by Conte. Otherwise, he drove the team to scoring position multiple times against a great D, and as another poster commented, it's not his fault the running backs kept fumbling. That fourth down INT would have been a field goal attempt instead if not for the other red zone turnovers.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

33
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 12:59pm

I don't see the Lions very often but in the games I've watched him this year he doesn't seem as explosive. Have you noticed that?

34
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 1:14pm

That's absolutely true. 2011 Stafford was a boom-or-bust quarterback (which is why DVOA wasn't as impressed as you would think with his gaudy numbers). You either got a big play, or you got a checkdown/incompletion.

This year, opponents have learned to take way the "boom" part by playing two deep safeties, realizing he's not consistently accurate/patient enough to sustain drives with short/medium passes. Time will tell as to whether or not he eventually develops that skill.

As disappointed as I am with his regression this year, I keep trying to remind myself (false hope maybe?) that he's still relatively young and (due to previous injuries)inexperienced. I'm writing off 2012 as a lost season, but hopefully one that Stafford and some of the younger players can gain valuable experience from.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

41
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:32pm

Not a Lions or Bears fan but I thought the Lions were miserable everywhere but on their defensive line, which dominated the Bears front from halfway through the first quarter onwards. Stafford kept missing people who were open and utterly failed to make the key throws where a well placed pass would result in a completion, often throwing behind a target who was slightly open. His receivers were just as bad, that Calvin Johnson drop on their first drive was such a momentum killer, the line was getting ripped up by the Bears 8 man rotation and they really needed to make the play when their qb managed to evade the rush, step up and throw. DVOA won't know that the two Pettigrew fumbles were at least very likely to go out of bounds as a result of him doing one thing right and carrying the ball in the correct arm but the Lions don't deserve a break.

I have no idea why Bell thinks that it's a good idea to run at the goal line with the ball held out in front of him like it's been smeared in excrement.

I thought the Lions run blocking was OK and LeShoure was pretty decent, he doesn't look like a great athlete but he has vision, good feet and uses his pads properly.

44
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:55pm

I actually thought stafford played well given the circumstances. Again, the fumbles weren't his fault and by in large, he was forced to throw against what now looks like an all time great defense. His offensive line felt like it could have easily surrendered another 8 sacks, but Stafford showed some nice ability to move out and avoid it. Again, I'm not saying he was great, but we've got be more generous given the context.

68
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 8:08pm

Agree. For the season so far, Stafford is still #9 in DYAR and #10 in DVOA, which is above average, but not great. I would imagine most above average quarterbacks wouldn't look very good against that Bears defense. Even Rodgers, who is great, had his problems against them in a home game.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

74
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 2:37pm

I agree with what you've said there but I thought that Stafford's mechanics went to pot during that game. When you're playing a tough opponent is precisely when your mechanics need to hold up, it's because the Bears have a nasty pass rush and sound pass defense that your qb needs to be able to step up and evade the rush and get the ball out on time.

I really don't like the Lions' offensive scheme, it's far too pass happy, they need to run more out of their decent 12 personnel package to draw the deep coverage away from Megatron and Young. Leshoure's good and was having success against the Bears but they only gave him 12 carries while throwing 46 times.

79
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 7:30pm

Interesting take, because a lot of other people are saying the Lions are spending too much effort trying to establish the run, at least in the first half.

My own take on Stafford is that he's giving up on his protection a little too early, and ends up trying to make throws where he can't set up properly. So I might blame him a bit for being a little too antsy.
I also wonder about the play calls too. I remember the Lions having decent success on RB and TE screens the past couple of years. What happened to those plays? I haven't seen as many games so far, but I don't recall seeing much in the way of that this year.

81
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 1:01pm

Well the thing is, if the run isn't working, then of course you should stop banging your head into the brick wall and start throwing. I was totally perplexed that the Lions kept trying to run the ball against the 49ers when it clearly wasn't working, yet abandoned it against the Bears when it was working, despite the score and game situations being somewhat similar.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

82
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 1:08pm

You're absolutely right about the mechanics. Stafford has a gun for an arm, and tends to rely on it too much. Last year, a major reason Stafford slumped from games 6-12 was that his mechanics were terrible. When he cleaned them up in games 13-16, him and the offense were lights-out. He needs to learn that in the NFL he can't trust his arm so much, and has to pay attention to some of the other details.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

84
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 3:31pm

Weeks 6-12 last year also coincided with Stafford's broken index finger, as well as being the toughest part of the schedule, with games against the 49ers, Falcons, Bears and Packers.

85
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 3:41pm

Not sure how much the finger really affected him (he played pretty lights out in the Carolina game), but maybe the tough opponents were a cause and effect? Perhaps he played more frenetically when faced with a good pass rush and/or the team fell behind? Kind of goes with Karl Cuba's comment of what you saw in the later stages of Monday Night.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

52
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:26pm

Bell was trying to leap and stretch the ball over the goal line, but he started his leap too far back. Even he hadn't fumbled, the ball looked like it wouldn't have crossed the goal line anyway. I thought it was a very bad decision by Bell.

67
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 8:02pm

Yea, doing that when you start at the 6 inch line is a good decision....when you start at the yard and a half line, not so much. The second he started reaching, I was immediately anticipating a fumble.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

69
by theslothook :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 12:36am

Is that really something you can expect a running back to be cognizant off? Stretching only when you've passed the 7th inch line versus the 8th? Of course, I know you're not being serious, but I really don't even blame bell for that as he really was just trying to get in. Im honestly surprised that doesn't happen more often.

70
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 1:23am

It doesn't happen more because most players don't reach like that when they're a yard and a half away. So yes, it is fair to expect a player to realize where he is.

80
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 12:58pm

I was talking about the original line of scrimmage, not where the back is at a particular moment in time. I still think Bell's decision was absurd based on where the ball was snapped from. It was a high-risk move with little hope of reward.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.

83
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 3:12pm

Yeah, I thought Bell started his stretch well before he reached the LOS.

53
by Duke :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:28pm

I thought Stafford was only kinda bad. The Bears ARE a good defense, and it's hard to do well against them. Even Rodgers didn't look great against them. Stafford...looked like he was having a poor game, but not one devastating to his team (the kind of game I'm used to watching as a Bears fan).

He was hurt a bit by his receivers making drops. But he had bad throws too.

On the other hand, I'm shocked the run games numbers came out as well as they did. I thought they were stuffing the Lions. Might have to look at the PBP to see where that yardage came from.

22
by kbukie :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:45am

Were Cutler's #'s pre-Suh-plex much different from after the hit?

64
by TomC :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 6:49pm

No, not much. He had one incomplete at the beginning of the 3rd quarter that looked like it was affected by rib/shoulder pain, but after that, he seemed OK. He was around 50% completion percentage throughout the game.

36
by nat :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 1:43pm

I was surprised to see Brady ranked this highly for the week. Then I asked myself: "Self? What QB both played against a higher ranked pass defense and got better results?"

Myself, I looked at the stats and answered: Aaron Rodgers.

So being ranked fourth for the week isn't too much of a stretch. It wasn't a week with much dominant QB play, other than Rodgers and Brees.

40
by Nathan :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 2:05pm

Also, FO stats don't know Revis is out for the season.

50
by nat :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:11pm

True. I wrote just that addendum, then deleted it to avoid being long winded.

Teams always have some excuse, somebody hurt, etc. But Revis is a special talent. So a question for the rest of the season is "how much worse is the Jets defense without this one player?"

46
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 3:11pm

I know this was written for ESPN but isn't it a bit peculiar to say "Mark Sanchez rallied his team and put up numbers that were better than Tom Brady's" when Brady is 4th in DYAR and Sanchez 17th?

I meant completion percentage and yards per pass. I should have specified.

Vince: Quick question -- for DVOA and DYAR purposes, does Sanchez or Greene (or both) get "credit" for the botched handoff that led to the safety? Thanks.

Greene.

I think there's a mistake with the number of Keller's attempts in the box.

Oh, for crying out loud. The numbers listed for Keller in the table are correct. The write-up describres Kerley, not Keller. Hang on, I’ll fix.

51
by ammek :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 4:19pm

Sorry, my comment did rather come across as 'Angry internet person grouches about minor error in free content.' It's symptomatic that I chose to post that, and not the various 'Hmm interesting split' thoughts that cross my mind each week, or the fact that I think Quick Reads has improved massively since you took over writing it. So, thanks. And sorry.

Now, a comment about Alex Green. He's the worst running back of the week because of his coach. Mike McCarthy has been criticized this year for giving up on the run too early, and against the Rams he decided to rectify that. The problem is and was, the Packers just cannot run the football. Don't be fooled by their positive rushing DVOA — that's down to Rodgers, Cobb, Kuhn in short yardage, and the fact that nobody fumbles. This is the worst Packers rushing attack I've seen since the Vince Workman / Darrell Thompson years — it's even worse than 2010.

The theory is that running keeps a defense honest. But the Rams were stopping Alex Green for 1 yard a carry with a six-man front. Rodgers was then forced into obvious passing situations on second- or third-and-long. He converted them, not because the Rams were half-thinking about a run, but because Rodgers is on fire.

It's heretical to say this anywhere other than FO, but McCarthy should have called fewer runs against St Louis. They were mostly wasted downs. Green looked pretty terrible — he didn't choose his lanes well, and he didn't gain yards after contact — and the line had a bad day in run blocking even by its own lowly standards. It didn't require 20 carries to make that observation.

61
by Arkaein :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 5:41pm

I'd be happy if they just didn't try running the outside zone so much (or ever). At least when they run up the middle they aren't going to lose 5 yards at once.

Plus, I have to think that teams that want to rush Rodgers from the outside love it when GB tries to run outside, since it goes right into the strength of the pass rush. At least if GB pounded it up the middle it might temper the outside pressure a little and might make life easier on the tackles, who have struggled this season.

66
by ammek :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 7:45pm

We've been complaining about the outside zone on here for seven years now, haven't we? They'd moved away from it a bit when Benson was healthy, but it was back with a whimper against St Louis. GB is currently sending about 23% of its runs off-end (many of those are the dreaded slow-developing, trot-to-the-sideline outside zones of which you complain); in most seasons under McCarthy it's been more like 30%.

Lang and Saturday were responsible for most of the bad runs against St Louis. Not sure there's a solution when the whole of the line and the backs are playing so poorly. What's remarkable is that it doesn't matter — the Packers might actually be better off not running at all. They had 15 third-down plays in St Louis, and passed on all of them, including two 3rd-&1s, converting nine (60%).

72
by Packer Pete (not verified) :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 7:45am

I replayed the Packer Ram game last night specifically to look at Alex Green. Conclusion: the Packer line is a sieve. I was happy with Green overall. One problem is that McCarthy runs half the time out of the shotgun with Green standing next to Rodgers. That means Green must pass laterally in front of Rodgers to receive the ball, rather than run north / south from the I. On nearly every play, someone on the Packer line gave up penetration which blew up the shotgun runs. Green's longest run did come from the shotgun, but McCarthy shifted Crabtree into the backfield on that play, giving Green a lead blocker. From the I, Green had no negative runs until the final drive when the Rams threw everything at the line.

Overall, I think Green had a good day. He was very good at blitz pickup and several times he drifted out of the backfield, giving Rodgers an out. Green dropped one pass. The issue is the Packer line. Adequate at pass blocking; abysmal at run blocking.

48
by greybeard :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 3:49pm

Alex Smith had an interception. The table does not show it.

60
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/23/2012 - 5:18pm

Sssshhhh! Nobody noticed that godawful interception, it didn't happen and shall not be mentioned again.

75
by jeffS (not verified) :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 3:36pm

Pardon my ignorance,but do these ratings/stats take dropped passes into account?

76
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 3:38pm

No they don't. It's based purely on the official play-by-play. So all incompletes are treated the same (QBs and recievers both get some blame).

77
by jeffS (not verified) :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 4:06pm

Thank you.

Another ignorant question: do the rankings/stats take into account the average initial field position for a quaterback?

It can sometimes be extreme. EG Seattle's average against SF was the fifteen yard line.

A lot of that had to do with special teams play,a factor that seems to be too often ignored.

78
by Vince Verhei :: Wed, 10/24/2012 - 4:11pm

Every play is compared to every other similar play. If Russell Wilson throws a pass on first-and-10 on the 15 down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, he is compared to other quarterbacks who threw passes on first-and-10 on the 15 down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter.