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26 Nov 2013

Week 12 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. As the FO guy in charge of Quick Reads, it's my duty to keep you posted when players have historically extreme numerical games, and I have failed at that task. There have been a lot of these games in 2013, quarterbacks topping half a dozen touchdown passes, or receivers posting massive yardage totals with only the rare incompletion. But there was also a game last week at the other end of the spectrum, a game that hit statistical depths we've rarely seen, and I didn't recognize it at the time.

I mentioned last week that Geno Smith's Week 11 game against Buffalo was the worst game of the year; in the comments of that article, I confirmed that it was worse than any game Blaine Gabbert had ever played. But only later in the week did I realize just how bad Smith's game was. In our database going back to 1989, we've only measured 11 games worse than this. The last quarterback to play this badly was Brandon Weeden in his 12-of-35, four-INT pro debut against Philadelphia in Week 1 last year. Before that, you have to go back to Rex Grossman in the "crown their ass" game against Arizona in 2006.

The good news for Geno and the Jets is that a lot of the quarterbacks on the all-time bad games list (such as Alex Smith, Troy Aikman, Brian Griese, Vinny Testaverde) were young players who went on to have productive careers. Another (Drew Bledsoe) was an established veteran who had five more years as a starting quarterback. It's certainly not a good sign that Smith has joined this group, but it's not the end of the world, either. The following tables show the 21 worst single-game DYARs by quarterbacks in the past 25 seasons. We're including Gabbert's Week 1 game against Kansas City, which could inch up the table a couple of slots as opponent adjustments evolve in the final weeks of this season:

Worst QB Single-Game DYAR, 1989-2013
Rank Year Player Team Total DYAR Pass DYAR Rush DYAR Comp Att Yds TD Int Sacks Week Def
1 1994 David Klingler CIN -302 -302 0 10 30 115 0 3 7 4 HOIL
2 2006 Rex Grossman CHI -284 -284 0 14 37 144 0 4 2 6 ARI
3 2012 Brandon Weeden CLE -274 -284 10 12 35 118 0 4 2 1 PHI
4 2005 Alex Smith SF -270 -263 -7 9 23 74 0 4 5 5 IND
5 2003 Tim Hasselbeck WAS -270 -268 -2 6 26 56 0 4 1 15 DAL
6 1990 Troy Aikman DAL -269 -259 -11 9 25 61 0 2 4 6 PHX
7 1998 Donald Hollas OAK -266 -273 7 12 31 152 1 6 8 14 MIA
8 2001 Brian Griese DEN -265 -272 7 16 32 151 1 4 5 17 IND
9 2003 Kordell Stewart CHI -263 -256 -7 14 34 95 1 3 5 1 SF
10 1993 Craig Erickson TB -259 -257 -3 13 29 122 0 4 3 6 MIN
11 1998 Ryan Leaf SD -259 -256 -3 1 15 4 0 2 2 3 KC
12 2013 Geno Smith NYJ -257 -243 -14 8 23 103 0 3 4 11 BUF
13 1989 Vinny Testaverde TB -256 -256 0 19 39 188 0 5 4 13 GB
14 1998 Bobby Hoying PHI -255 -248 -7 16 34 118 0 2 5 11 WAS
15 1992 Kelly Stouffer SEA -254 -254 0 12 21 109 0 2 5 13 DEN
16 1990 Vinny Testaverde TB -250 -260 11 10 24 149 1 5 3 9 CHI
17 2002 David Carr HOU -247 -258 11 6 25 87 0 2 9 2 SD
18 1999 Drew Bledsoe NE -247 -247 0 16 34 201 1 5 4 11 MIA
19 2007 John Beck MIA -246 -250 4 23 39 177 0 3 3 13 NYJ
20 2010 Todd Collins CHI -244 -244 0 6 16 32 0 4 2 5 CAR
21 2013 Blaine Gabbert JAC -241 -240 0 16 35 121 0 2 6 1 KC

With that out of the way, let's discuss Week 12, whose biggest star was Josh Gordon, perhaps the best thing Mike Holmgren ever did for the city of Cleveland. Gordon is averaging nearly 110 yards per game in 2013, second only behind Calvin Johnson this year and 12th in the history of the league. He hasn't looked quite that dominant from a DVOA/DYAR perspective, mainly due to his 55 percent Catch Rate, but then came Week 12 and the Steelers. Gordon's 14-catch, 237-yard game against Pittsburgh resulted in 109 DYAR. That would finish just off the list of top-20 wide receiver games of all time (last seen in Week 9 -- we have already run that table twice this year, and we're not running it again unless somebody finishes really, really high), and again, changes in opponent adjustments in the last month of the season could see him climb into the top 20 when all is said and done. It's worth noting, by the way, that Gordon's production against Pittsburgh, though extreme, wasn't a fluke. Despite missing two weeks of the season due to suspension, he has gone over 100 yards five times now. Only Johnson, A.J. Green, and Jimmy Graham (six times each) have gone over the century mark more often.

The most surprising name missing from our tables this week: Kansas City's Jamaal Charles, who gained 115 yards and scored twice on only 14 carries. Charles missed the tables due to what happened in the passing game, and his opponent. Charles finished second this week in total YAR (which includes rushing and receiving, but not opponent adjustments) and third in rushing DYAR (which includes opponent adjustments, but not receiving value). However, when you factor in his four receptions in six targets for 42 yards, and the fact that he was playing the lowly, lowly San Diego defense, he tumbles nearly all the way out of the top 10.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Philip Rivers SD
27/39
392
3
0
246
248
-2
Rivers started with the best YAR of the week, and then got a huge boost for opponent adjustments, bigger than anyone except Andrew Luck. In San Diego's last five drives (three touchdowns, a field goal, and a punt, each score tying the game or putting the Chargers ahead), he went 11-of-16 for 202 yards with two touchdowns, seven other first downs, plus a 12-yard DPI and one sack. On third downs, he went 11-of-13 for 199 yards with one touchdown and five other first downs.
2.
Josh McCown CHI
36/47
352
2
1
132
140
-8
McCown was playing from behind all day. Each of his passes came with the Bears trailing by at least ten points. With a better finish, he might have even topped Rivers, but his last four plays included a sack-fumble-touchdown and an interception, both on first down. On third downs, he went 7-of-9 for 62 yards and six first downs, plus a 19-yard DPI.
3.
Matt Ryan ATL
30/39
292
0
0
131
133
-2
Ryan and the Falcons made some interesting adjustments at halftime. In the first half, he threw 15 passes to his left, two up the middle, and three to the right. In the second half, he threw six passes to his left, seven up the middle, and seven to the right.
4.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
22/33
217
2
0
127
127
0
Roethlisberger was at his best on first down, where he went 13-of-16 for 146 yards, with two touchdowns and four other first downs.
5.
Carson Palmer ARI
26/37
314
2
0
125
125
0
Palmer's first pass was incomplete, but then he hit five passes in a row, with every completion picking up a first down or touchdown, for 72 total yards. And then the pass after that resulted in a 24-yard DPI. On deep passes, he went 7-of-10 (!) for 158 yards, and that doesn't count DPIs for 20 and 24 yards.
6.
Colin Kaepernick SF
15/24
235
3
0
120
139
-19
7.
Tom Brady NE
34/50
344
3
0
113
113
0
First half: 10-of-17 for 81 yards with five first downs, three sacks, and one fumble. First four drives of second half: 14-of-16 for 192 yards with three touchdowns and eight other first downs. Last five drives of the game: 10-of-17 for 71 yards, five first downs.
8.
Drew Brees NO
23/33
278
2
0
97
93
4
I charted half of an Atlanta game last week, and was struck by how bad Asante Samuel looked. With that in mind: Throwing to his right, Brees went 8-of-10 for 118 yards with five first downs.
9.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TEN
30/42
320
2
0
84
85
0
On third downs, Fitzpatrick went 10-of-14 for 168 yards with two touchdowns, seven other first downs, and one sack.
10.
Alex Smith KC
26/38
294
3
1
67
74
-7
The good third-down plays: three conversions on completions totalling 76 yards. The bad third-down plays: a 6-yard gain on third-and-16, two incompletions, two sacks, and an interception. Smith also took the biggest hit from opponent adjustments of any quarterback this week.
11.
Matt Flynn GB
21/36
218
1
0
61
59
3
Can we all agree that Matt Flynn needs to be in Green Bay, and Green Bay, at least now, needs Matt Flynn? That said, Green Bay probably would have won this game if Flynn had played better in scoring range. Inside the Minnesota 40, he went 7-of-13 for 30 yards with one touchdown and one other first down.
12.
Matthew McGloin OAK
19/32
260
1
1
56
56
1
First half: 8-of-17 for 105 yards with five first downs and an interception. Second half: 11-of-15 for 155 yards with a touchdown and eight other first downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
28/41
310
1
1
48
39
9
On Carolina's half of the field, Tannehill went 8-of-13 for 22 yards, with one first down, one sack, and no completion for more than 7 yards.
14.
Tony Romo DAL
23/38
250
2
1
45
45
-1
First 1-of-5 for 2 yards with two sacks, although that one completion did go for a touchdown. Last three third downs: Three conversions, on completions of 19, 8, and 13 yards.
15.
Mike Glennon TB
14/21
247
2
0
38
38
0
Glennon threw one touchdown from his own 15, and another touchdown in the red zone, but he was up-and-down between the 20s. He went 8-of-13 for 118 yards, but had only four first downs, and he was sacked three times.
16.
Christian Ponder MIN
21/30
234
1
0
28
48
-19
Third downs, 5 yards or less to go for a first down: 4-of-5, 60 yards, four first downs. Third downs, 6 yards or more to go for a first down: 3-of-6 for 7 yards, plus three sacks, no first downs.
17.
Kellen Clemens STL
10/22
167
1
0
25
25
0
Stat weirdness: Clemens had nine plays on Chicago's side of the field, and all of them came inside the 15-yard line. He went 2-of-7 on those plays for 9 yards, with a 6-yard touchdown, plus a 3-yard DPI and one sack.
18.
Andrew Luck IND
20/39
163
1
1
21
11
10
By the time Luck picked up his first third-down conversion, the Colts were down 27-3 in the third quarter. All told, on third and fourth downs, he went 4-of-11 for 46 yards with a touchdown and two other first downs.
19.
Cam Newton CAR
19/37
174
1
1
19
-2
21
On deep passes, Newton went 0-for-7 with an interception. Who are you and what have you down with Cam Newton?
20.
Eli Manning NYG
16/30
174
2
0
15
15
0
Third downs: 5-of-8 for 59 yards, but only two first downs, plus a sack. He also threw two passes on fourth down, completing one for a 27-yard touchdown.
21.
Joe Flacco BAL
17/26
273
1
1
-2
-2
0
Third-down passing: 5-of-9 for 37 yards and only two first downs, with a sack.
22.
Scott Tolzien GB
7/17
98
0
0
-16
-33
17
Outside his own 40, Tolzien went 4-of-9 for 46 yards with two first downs and a sack.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Chad Henne JAC
24/32
239
0
0
-20
-11
-9
Not listed in the table, but included in Henne's DYAR: four sacks and a fumble. Take those four plays away and he would move up about a dozen spots.
24.
Matthew Stafford DET
26/46
297
3
4
-24
-31
7
Stafford's 18-yard touchdown to Brandon Pettigrew put Detroit up 21-17 with 9:36 left in the third quarter. From that point forward, he went 7-of-18 for 75 yards with three first downs, with two interceptions and two sacks.
25.
Jason Campbell CLE
14/22
124
0
0
-50
-50
0
Not counting passes to Josh Gordon, Campbell went 8-of-14 for 53 yards with two first downs, two sacks, and a fumble.
26.
Brandon Weeden CLE
13/30
209
1
1
-77
-80
3
Not counting passes to Josh Gordon, Weeden went 5-of-21 for 43 yards with two first downs, three sacks, one fumble, and a pick-six.
27.
Geno Smith NYJ
9/22
127
0
2
-89
-91
-6
Well, it was better than last week. On New York's first 11 drives, Smith went 4-of-15 for 42 yards with two first downs, one fumbled snap, one interception, and two sacks. He picked up five first downs after that, but by then they were down by 16 points in the fourth, and they were balanced out by a sack and an interception. He also had one catch in one target for 13 yards and 8 DYAR.
28.
Peyton Manning DEN
20/36
153
2
1
-93
-80
-13
Throwing to his right, Manning went 8-of-16 for 51 yards with four first downs. He also went 0-for-5 on deep balls.
29.
Robert Griffin WAS
17/27
127
0
1
-109
-80
-29
30.
Case Keenum HOU
18/33
169
0
1
-124
-125
1
This wasn't just a bad game, this was a bad game against Jacksonville. Keenum had the worst completion rate and yards per pass of any quarterback with at least 10 passes against the Jaguars this year, and only one other player in that group failed to throw at least one touchdown: Terrelle Pryor. Keenum failed to throw for a first down in the first half, going 5-of-12 for 32 yards with two sacks. One of those sacks lost 19 yards, the longest sack this year outside of Keenum's own 23-yard loss in Week 10. There have been 11 sacks this year that lost at least 15 yards, and Keenum has four of them. Nobody else has more than two. Keep in mind that Keenum has only started five games.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Knowshon Moreno DEN
224
1
6
0
77
75
2
Only three of Moreno's 37 carries failed to gain positive yardage, while six of them gained 10 yards or more. He had 11 first downs on the day, including a goal-to-go touchdown.
2.
DeMarco Murray DAL
86
0
40
0
51
28
23
Murray was stuffed for no gain twice in 14 carries, but he had three 10-yard runs, including a 30-yarder. His three receptions included a 22-yard gain on second-and-9 and a 14-yard gain on second-and-6.
3.
Danny Woodhead SD
25
1
45
1
51
18
33
Woodhead's rushing numbers were mundane -- six carries, 4.2-yard average, one goal-line touchdown, ho-hum. As a receiver, though, he caught each of the four passes thrown his way, all on first down, three of which gained at least ten yards, one of which was a touchdown.
4.
Benny Cunningham STL
109
1
0
0
50
50
0
Cunningham had five ten-yard runs against Chicago, including a 27-yarder, and also a 9-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, only one of his 13 carries failed to gain positive yards.
5.
Eddie Lacy GB
110
1
48
0
48
37
11
Lacy caught each of the six passes thrown his way, including gains of 10, 13, and 16 yards. On the ground, he had three 10-yard runs and four other short-yardage first downs, including a 3-yard touchdown, although five of his 25 carries went for no gain.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Jonathan Dwyer PIT
7
0
1
0
-35
-26
-9
Four of Dwyer's runs gained exactly zero yards each, including runs on third-and-1, fourth-and-1, and third-and-3. His two targets were a 1-yard gain on second-and-10 and an incompletion on third-and-18.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Josh Gordon CLE
14
17
237
16.9
1
109
Gordon's only failed completion was a 2-yard gain on first-and-10. He also had gains of 8 and 9 yards on first down, but all of his other catches picked up first downs. Ten of them gained 10 yards or more, four gained 20 or more, and two gained 40 or more. His lone touchdown, though, covered just 1 yard.
2.
Anquan Boldin SF
5
6
94
18.8
2
62
Boldin's shortest catch was a 6-yard touchdown. Each of his other catches gained at least 13 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown, and three of them converted third downs.
3.
Justin Hunter TEN
6
6
109
18.2
1
62
Each of Hunter's receptions gained at least 8 yards and a first down, five of them converting third downs, including a 54-yard touchdown on third-and-2.
4.
Donnie Avery KC
4
5
91
22.8
1
62
Four catches, in order: 32-yard touchdown on third-and-11; 36-yard gain on second-and-7; 12-yard gain on second-and-2; 11-yard gain on first-and-10.
5.
Michael Floyd ARI
7
7
104
14.9
0
57
Each of Floyd's receptions gained at least 9 yards and a first down, six of them on second down, with a long play of 29 yards.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Rishard Matthews MIA
3
7
2
0.7
0
-52
Six of Matthews' targets came with 6 yards or less to go for a first down, and failed to convert any of them. Those six plays resulted in four incompletes (one of them intercepted) and two receptions: a 4-yard loss on second-and-2 and a 2-yard gain on first-and-5.

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 26 Nov 2013

74 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2013, 2:25pm by David C

Comments

1
by bucko (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 5:35am

The results of Flynn and Ponder are a direct reflection of GB tactics that left fans puzzled, confused and some angry.

GB would get inside the MN ten and then shut down the offense running bland dives into the line before a pass into the end zone when everyone knew a pass was happening.

GB could not consistently get Ponder in 3rd and long situations (which for Ponder is anything over 5 yards) despite everyone in the world knowing MN was going to run the ball.

Just frustrating

2
by Jerry :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 5:35am

How much of Gordon's production came after the score was 27-3? Obviously, the numbers are what they are, but it struck me as being about as meaningless as a 200-yard game can be.

22
by Imbroglio21 :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:19pm

Good point! After the score was 27-3, Gordon had 111 yards (42+19+16+1+20+13) on 6 receptions (5 first downs, 1 TD) plus an incompletion... So still 126 yds with 8 catches (5 FDs, 1 inc.) before the game was completely out of hands for the Steelers...

Claude

60
by Jerry :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:08pm

Thanks. That confirms my impression that Gordon had a good game, but what made it "exceptional" were the plays after the game was decided. (To be fair, Ike Taylor was still covering him, but I could just sit and shrug while watching those drives.)

61
by bobrulz :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:23pm

Does that matter though? All good players put up a lot of stats in garbage time. It's not like every receiver is capable of putting up 237 yards receiving in a garbage time game, otherwise we would see it all the time.

65
by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 9:09pm

Also, isn't DVOA/etc. more receptive to garbage time stats than you would think, and see them as meaning at least a little bit?

68
by Jerry :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 4:27am

It counts toward DVOA and, obviously, DYAR. I don't have a problem with that, or with the idea that Josh Gordon is a good receiver. It's just that because so much of his production was in garbage time, I was less impressed with Gordon's game than merely looking at the numbers, raw or advanced, would suggest.

3
by nath :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 5:52am

"The good news for Geno and the Jets is that a lot of the quarterbacks on the all-time bad games list (such as Alex Smith, Troy Aikman, Brian Griese, Vinny Testaverde) were young players who went on to have productive careers."

The bad news for Geno and the Jets is that a lot of the quarterbacks on the all-time bad games list (such as David Klingler, Brandon Weeden, Donald Hollas, Craig Erickson, Ryan Leaf, Kelly Stouffer, Bobby Hoying, David Carr, John Beck) had no business starting at quarterback in an NFL game and would never amount to anything.

4
by nath :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 5:55am

Philip Rivers pretty lucky to get those big opponent adjustments even though Kansas City was without Tamba Hali and Justin Houston most of the game. I'm surprised that wasn't mentioned as to why Rivers was so successful in the second half.

6
by Ferguson1015 :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:57am

FO never adjusts for injury, otherwise KC's Defense might have been knocked down a few pegs through the course of the season for facing so many backup QBs early in the season. Besides, they mentioned in the article that he had the most YAR for any QB this week, which means that even without adjustments he was still the top passer this week.

12
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 10:15am

How bad has it for KC this week? This just in; their mascot was injured yesterday. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/kc-chiefs-mascot-hurt-during-pr...

74
by David C (not verified) :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 2:25pm

San Diego played KC without their top 4 pass rushers- Freeny, Ingram, Johnson, English. So what's your point?

Every team has injuries. The Chiefs were also playing the worst defense in the league and still couldn't beat them AT HOME

5
by JCutler6 :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:20am

How did Michael Bush's game grade out? He was putrid and I do not see what, if any, value he brings to the Bears

7
by CBPodge :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 8:55am

His game probably sums up the Rams D quite nicely - if you can get past the line of scrimmage, you'll probably pick up plenty of yards. Unfortunately Bush didn't have the skill to get past the line of scrimmage.

29
by Jimmy :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:38pm

Bush would need to hail a cab to get to the line of scrimmage, it is the only way he gets there.

8
by Ryan D. :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 9:40am

The 20th worst passing game ever wasn't a loss, or even a close game. Todd Collins had a miserable 4 interception game, but the Bears put the winning points on the board just 105 seconds into the game.

For the life of me, I can't believe that Jimmy Clausen didn't somehow crack that list.

10
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 9:43am

The #2 game wasn't a loss either. Those games should forever stand as a monument to how good the Bears defense of that era was.

32
by CBPodge :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:47pm

That game is basically Brian Urlacher's Hall of Fame candidacy in a nutshell.

36
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:59pm

Keep in mind while Grossman took 37 passes to be that terrible, Collins is within 40 DYAR of him on just 16 attempts (maybe 18 I'm not sure how sacks are treated in the list).

30
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:39pm

Clausen would have major opponent adjustments for that game.

66
by Ryan D. :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 9:39pm

I didn't necessarily mean for that game. He was cover-your-eyes-awful in every game. He would take the snap, look downfield for about a second, then if anyone seemed like they might be about to pressure him, he crumpled over like a cheap folding chair. It was miserable to watch. He was afraid of pass rushes that weren't even there, which led to a lot of needless sacks. On the bright side, he was so terrible that the team hit rock bottom and grabbed Cam #1 overall the following season.

9
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 9:41am

"But only later in the week did I realize just how bad Smith's game was."

Don't feel bad. I read that comment about how it was worse than any Gabbert game, and thought "wow, that's bad", but never really considered the historical context of the comparison. And with opponent adjustments still in play, there's still a chance Geno could make it into the top 10, yes? I suppose he could move in the other direction as well, but that's no fun.

Other random thoughts:
Donald Hollas - 6 picks, 8 sacks. That's a rough day at the office. Wonder where he would have ranked if he hadn't screwed up and thrown that TD.

I still say that Ryan Leaf's 1-for-15, 4 yard masterpiece is the gold standard for passing futility.

Vinny on the list twice. And he wasn't really a "young" player in 89 and 90. Those were his 3rd and 4th seasons, respectively, and he was 26 and 27 years old. That was coming off throwing 35 INTs in 1988. That he would go on to make 2 Pro Bowls and have a 20 year career is staggering. I wish I could pull a Biff Tannen and go back to 1990 and put some money on that happening.

11
by check (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 10:03am

Something wrong with a formula - the Rush and Pass DYAR for Geno Smith don't add up to the total DYAR.

20
by Travis :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:19pm

"He also had one catch in one target for 13 yards and 8 DYAR. "

13
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 10:16am

In last week's message boards, I remember the reaction of Jets fans after they realized that Geno Smith had a worse game than any Blaine Gabbert game:
"Oh God."
"Oh no.."
They reacted like a loved one had caught the zombie virus from World War Z.

23
by are-tee :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:21pm

Well, at least this week he was better than Peyton Manning.

31
by jfsh :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:42pm

Ha, well, another way to say it is that it is worse than any game Mark Sanchez ever had...

46
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:56pm

I actually asked if Gabbert had had a game as bad as last week's disaster. I reacted like a zombie victim while watching the game though. I can see the book title: "Geno Smith: the Death of Hope".

One thing that I have to ask is how well rookie quarterbacks play in the west coast system. Montana barely played his rookie year; he didn't start alternating starts until 1980. I'm not really sure who else started out in that system: Elway? Aikman?

Another thing to think about for Jets fans: while many of Geno's games have been horrid, did Gabbert or any other of the trainwrecks listed above have games as good as the first Buffalo scrum, or the Atlanta game, in their rookie year?

62
by bobrulz :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:26pm

Wasn't the West Coast Offense basically brought into the NFL because of Joe Montana's skill set? Hardly an ample comparison.

63
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 7:45pm

Actually Virgil Carter's skill set.

72
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 10:43am

That's correct. Bill Walsh was OC of the Bengals under Paul Brown. Greg Cook's arm was ruined by injury and the primitive surgical techniques of the time. Walsh recognized that Carter had a relatively weak arm but he was very smart, and basically tailored an offense that he could be successful in.

73
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 2:22pm

I'm was just suggesting Walsh didn't play Montana his rookie year because it takes too long to learn in just one year. Montana's skill set isn't as different as Geno's as you would think; they both are mobile, can throw on the run and are accurate (at least in college, for Geno), and neither has a cannon for an arm. Geno can't read defenses well right now, that's the big problem. He probably needed to start the season on the bench, but benching him now wouldn't be the worst thing for him. I don't think his confidence is gone right now.

Going back to my original question/statement, Aikman and Elway weren't playing in the West Coast offense their rookie years. I'm not sure who else played well in that offense as a rookie, other than Ken Anderson. To be honest, Anderson's rookie stats are a lot worse than the rest of his career.

14
by nuk :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 11:10am

Was Brady's second strip sack not counted as a fumble (or sack?) because he picked up the ball and threw it?

15
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 11:13am

If he picked the ball back up and threw it (for a completion, as I recall) how could it be a sack?

16
by nuk :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 11:37am

I thought that whenever the ball was knocked out of a QB's hands, it was considered a sack, even if the QB is not knocked down. Am I wrong?

17
by nat :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 11:53am

Yes. You are wrong.

If the offense regains the original line of scrimmage, it cannot be a sack.

The only possible exception I can think of is if the defense clearly recovers the ball and then fumbles it back to the offense. That might be considered a sack, even if the offense ultimately did well by the play.

18
by nuk :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:08pm

Ok, thanks for the correction.
Is it still a fumble?

19
by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:15pm

Fumbling back to the offense would be a change of possession, so don't see how that could be a sack.

33
by CBPodge :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:50pm

If that happened, and the ball didn't go past the original line of scrimmage, could the offense then make a forward pass? Because that would be incredible. Brady managing to grab a forced fumble and hurl it forward to whichever receiver couldn't be bothered coming back to deal with the fumble.

34
by nat :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:57pm

Sadly, all forward passes are illegal after a change of possession.

39
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:09pm

Of course they can. Think of that botched (but redeemed) play vs PIT back in 2007.

Moss is split wide right. Brady throws a (overhand) lateral to Moss. The original playcall was a WR option. However, Moss drops it to the ground, manages to pick it up, throws a desperation overhand lateral back to Brady who then throws a long TD to some receiver who managed to get open amidst the chaos:

(10:17) 12-T.Brady FUMBLES (Aborted) at NE 35, recovered by NE-81-R.Moss at NE 35. 81-R.Moss to NE 33 for -2 yards. 12-T.Brady pass deep left to 10-J.Gaffney for 56 yards, TOUCHDOWN. flea flicker. Backwards pass to Moss on right sideline, then backwards pass back to Brady.

(Dunno why it says "FUMBLES (Aborted)" since Brady didn't fumble the snap.)

43
by Travis :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:23pm

Mishandled backwards passes (laterals, pitches, handoffs) behind the line of scrimmage are also counted as aborted plays, and the fumble is charged to the person who threw or handed off the ball, even if the throw is perfect.

25
by Travis :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:25pm

It's just a fumble, recovery, and pass in this case. From the NFL Guide for Statisticians:

When a player (passer) fumbles behind the line of scrimmage while attempting to pass, charge him with a sack and a fumble, and all yardage lost as yards lost attempting to pass (sack yardage.)

EXCEPTION: if the player or teammate recovers the ball and attempts a forward pass, charge the player who fumbled the ball with a fumble, and the player who recovered and passed the ball with a recovery and a forward pass.

26
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:27pm

Is this Guide for Statisticians available anywhere?

35
by CBPodge :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:58pm

This throws up some wonderful questions that I'd love to know the answer to:

1.) If this ball was recovered by a player other than the QB on the offense, are they able to make a forward pass? After all, if the QB can do it, and there's no rule against a lineman throwing a pass (I hope there isn't anyway, cos I want to see that trick play), why wouldn't they be able to. It seems fairly clear in the exception that this is the case.
2.) If it the pass attempted in 1) is incomplete, is the ball spotted at the original line of scrimmage, or the spot where the fumble occured (or maybe where it was recovered)?
3.) If it is recovered by an eligible receiver and the answer to 2) is the original line of scrimmage, can they avoid the loss of yardage from a sack by just throwing the ball slightly forwards, but near enough to their own feet to be theoretically catchable, thus avoiding intentional grounding?
4.) If the answer to 3 is yes, how does that work statistically? The play would be scored as a sack for (say) -5 yards, followed by an incomplete pass, but the offense would not have actually lost any yards on the -5 yard sack, and therefore the passing yards and total yards would not actually add up to the yards covered on the field.

38
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:01pm

I'm pretty sure anyone is allowed to attempt a forward pass, yes.

I believe an incomplete pass would be spotted at the line of scrimmage. Think when a punter muffs the snap, and just throws it.

I think by attempting a forward pass you give up your eligibility. Otherwise any QB in shotgun would be able to dirt the ball at his own feet.

41
by EricL :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:16pm

Yes, anyone is allowed to attempt a forward pass, as long as conditions make it legal. Just ask Larry Fitzgerald.

55
by dryheat :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 5:01pm

1. I don't believe linemen are allowed to pass the ball forward unless they have reported as eligible.

2. Your third statement is correct. The thrower of the ball cannot also be the receiver. Rephrased, a self-pass is not a legal play.

58
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 6:04pm

Unless it's touched by a defender, of course.

40
by Travis :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:15pm

1. Yes. (For an even more extreme example, the offense can throw a forward pass after recovering a blocked punt. The Falcons did that Week 5 against the Jets.)

2. At the line of scrimmage.

3. I don't see why this would be treated any differently than a shotgun quarterback throwing it at his own feet to avoid a sack. Almost certainly a penalty for intentional grounding. (Though if he got it past the line of scrimmage and was outside the pocket, no penalty. See Samkon Gado vs. the Lions in 2005.)

4. If that player legally threw it away, it would be a fumble on the quarterback, a recovery for that player, and an incomplete pass for that player. No sack would be charged.

44
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:26pm

I think the point he was trying to make was that if the passer is an eligible receiver, then throwing it in the dirt at his own feet would be "in the vicinity" of an eligible receiver and wouldn't be IG. But it is IG, so the passer must not be an eligible receiver.

45
by Travis :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:32pm

I'm pretty sure the passer is an eligible receiver (there's no rule stating that he isn't), but that this would be seen as either 1) a pass with no realistic chance of completion and/or 2) a delayed spike, and thus intentional grounding.

53
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 4:34pm

Whether or not the passer is an eligible receiver is an interesting question. I've seen a QB catch his own pass several times before, but in every case, it was after the ball had been tipped, making everyone (even a lineman) an eligible receiver. It's probably academic anyway, as I'm not sure why anyone would intentionally throw a pass to himself.

56
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 6:01pm

Gisele Brady agrees.

21
by Hank (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:19pm

Not much ink spent on Peyton? He was at sub-Geno this week, having been King of this column numerous times previously.

24
by Rich A (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:24pm

I think Belichick messes with Quick Reads when he does his opponent matchups. The Patriots spent the whole game in 2 deep and so Peyton consistently went with the run and so Moreno had a crazy day and so did Peyton, they just were in the ways that are opposite that we usually see.

That's the problem with analytics in a game of matchups, so much can be dictated by scheme and only the transcendent really stand out. And in this case Peyton is standing out for the fact that he wasn't his normal self.

That and the weather changes the game towards the later months.

27
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:29pm

The Broncos dropped a ton of passes too, that didn't help.

49
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 2:46pm

I don't remember many dropped passes that weren't the result of a Patriot player either obstructing the view of the receiver, or getting a hand on the ball shortly after the receiver did.

They played nickle the whole game and dared the Broncos to keep running.

They did, and despite a high YPC, they couldn't sustain enough drives to keep the big lead.

37
by CBPodge :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 12:59pm

"Peyton is standing out for the fact that he wasn't his normal self."

He looked more like my normal self than his.

42
by Rich A (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 1:22pm

I just read that on PFT that Moreno had one of the four highest rushing totals in a losing effort.

I think that's just further proof that you don't rush to win but rush when you're winning.

48
by nat :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 2:06pm

I don't think you can blame this particular loss on running the ball too much. It was the passing game that was below replacement level. Throwing more would have just made them lose sooner.

There are plenty of large passing totals in losing efforts, too.

50
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 3:39pm

I'm not sure I agree with that. Part of the Patriots game strategy seemed to be to bait Peyton into audibling out of passing plays and into run plays, using single back. They played Nickle pretty much the whole game.

This lead to a high YPC, but it also lead to something that's typical for running teams: a lot of long third downs after a stuff, or a penalty, which is where Peyton did much of his passing. A big part of the reason the passing DVOA/DYAR was so low is that pretty much every pass was a 3rd and long attempt.

The Broncos had a good 3rd down conversion percentage, but the constant running forced them into a ton of third downs, and the best way to avoid failing to convert on 3rd down is to convert on 1st or 2nd.

54
by nat :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 4:44pm

That's a nice story, but not what happened in this game.

Assuming I've read through the gamebook correctly, the Broncos had 9 third down plays needing more than 5 yards. In eight of those, they were preceded by one or two passes (or sacks). In all of those eight cases, it was a pass play that put them into the long yardage situation, not a run.

If the issue was too many third-and-longs, the problem was Peyton. If anything, the Broncos needed to run even more, not less. Peyton's horrible, no good, very bad day (tm) was screwing them big time.

47
by dleet (not verified) :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 2:06pm

How did Andre Brown do? I thought that his steady stream of moderate but not huge gains would put him right near the top of the running back rankings?

I suppose the opponent adjustments for the putrid Dallas run defense lowered his DYAR significantly.

51
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 3:44pm

How did Michael Bush's game grade out? He was putrid and I do not see what, if any, value he brings to the Bears

Second-worst among runners this week. Negative rushing yards will do that.

How did Andre Brown do? I thought that his steady stream of moderate but not huge gains would put him right near the top of the running back rankings?

Not in the top 20 RBs. He had seven 10-yard runs and only three stuffs, and even with opponent adjustments he would have been one of the top ten rushers. He had negative receiving value, though, thanks mostly to a 10-yard loss on first-and-20, which is just a phenomenally bad play.

52
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 4:08pm

In fact, let's break down Brown's whole day receiving:

* He gained 4 yards on third-and-7.
* As mentioned, he lost 10 yards on first-and-20.
* On the next play, he gained 10 yards on second-and-30.
* On the next play, he gained 6 yards on third-and-20.

That is PPR heaven, real football hell.

57
by jamie_k74 :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 6:02pm

Joe Flacco; "5-of-9 for 37 yards and only two first downs, with a sack." Some context missing (on first downs, in second half, in red zone?). They obviously aren't his total numbers, that are given above that - 17/26, 273 yds.

59
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 6:19pm

Oops. That was on third down. Table has been fixed.

64
by Bobman :: Tue, 11/26/2013 - 8:10pm

Good to see Donnie Avery's name up in lights like this, really. We Colts fans are very impressed and wish him the best. Of course... let's see how good he'd be chained to the mummified corpse of Darrius Heyward-Bay and dragging it around all the time, like our offense has to do.... (weeps silently into keyboard)

71
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 10:39am

So basically DHB is the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the Colt's German Empire in WW1.

67
by Dennis :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 1:52am

Did that fumbled snap count against Geno Smith? Mangold snapped it early and it hit the motion guy. It had nothing to do with Smith.

69
by Vince Verhei :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 4:50am

Yeah, I remember that play now. It was a very New York Jets thing to do. But fumbled snaps get charged to the quarterback, even if they never actually touch the ball on the play. It's often unfair, as it was for Smith on Sunday.

70
by Travis :: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 9:04am

The NFL later corrected it - the fumble's now charged to Mangold, though Smith still gets credited with a run for 0.

Shotgun snaps that are so poor that the quarterback/holder/punter has no chance of catching them get credited as fumbles by the center and a run for no yards by the person who was supposed to receive the snap.