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» Week 7 Quick Reads

Did Jerick McKinnon prove against Buffalo that he can be a feature back for Minnesota? Plus the best passers, runners, and receivers of Week 7.

24 Dec 2013

Week 16 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

Congratulations to Peyton Manning, who has set the record for touchdown passes in a season for the second time in his career. Manning tops our quarterback tables for the seventh time this season, but it was a lousy week for most other passers across the NFL. Take Tennessee's Ryan Fitzpatrick. Facing the Jacksonville Jaguars and their 30th-ranked pass defense, Fitzpatrick threw one interception and was sacked three times, while converting only three of 12 plays on third or fourth down. It was a lousy game against a lousy team, and it deservedly finished below replacement level in our DYAR rankings. Through the end of Sunday night, it was also one of the ten best games of the week.

December 22, 2013, was a horrible day for quarterbacks across the league. Thirty quarterbacks finished with enough plays to qualify for our tables, and a whopping 21 of them (70 percent!) finished below replacement level. The collection of below-replacement-level quarterbacks included four Super Bowl champions with six rings between them. It also featured 11 former first-round draftees, five of them taken with the very first pick in the draft. Three of those quarterbacks were rookies, but nine of them have played at least 10 seasons in the NFL.

Through the first 15 weeks of the season, we averaged 11.9 negative-DYAR quarterbacks per week, including 16 in Week 14, which had been the worst week for quarterbacks this season until now. We might expect to see more bad quarterbacks late in the year, because the bye weeks are over and we're seeing more quarterbacks, period. On the other hand, there were only seven such passers in Week 15.

There are other reasons to expect a greater number of bad passers late in the year. Harsh December weather could dampen passing numbers, and injuries could take Pro Bowlers out of the lineup and replace them with street free agents. (Green Bay, hello!) Regardless, this is a lot of bad quarterbacks in one week, even in December. We've been running Quick Reads on this site since 2009, and we've never had more than 17 negative-DYAR quarterbacks in any December week before.

Breaking down basic passing numbers by week shows that a league-wide decline late in the season is barely perceptible, if it even exists at all. No, we can't blame this on any calendar-based trend. Instead, it simply appears that this Sunday, nearly every quarterback in the league happened to suck very badly, all at the same time.

NFL Basic Passing Stats by Week, 2009-2013
Weeks Comp% Yd/Pass TD% INT% Sack%
Weeks 1-4 61.6% 6.74 4.3% 2.8% 6.2%
Weeks 5-8 60.5% 6.58 4.2% 2.9% 6.6%
Weeks 9-12 61.2% 6.72 4.4% 2.8% 6.1%
Weeks 13-17 59.9% 6.55 4.3% 3.0% 6.4%

Not surprisingly, it was a pretty rough week for receivers too. Nate Washington's league-best 49 DYAR wouldn't have been better than third in any other week. Only nine receivers this week accumulated 30 DYAR. In some weeks this season, 30 DYAR wouldn't have been enough to qualify for the top 20 receivers. Oh, there were some productive receivers this week, but by and large they weren't terribly efficient. Washington's Pierre Garcon, Tampa Bay's Vincent Jackson, and Denver's Eric Decker and Julius Thomas averaged 8.8 catches for 132.8 yards between them, but they had a cumulative catch rate of 57 percent. As such, the leaderboard is dominated by players who made the most of limited opportunities. After Washington, the next five receivers (including sixth-place Riley Cooper of the Eagles) averaged only 4.8 targets apiece. As a group, though, their catch rate hit 88 percent, and they averaged 12.0 yards per target. (NOTE: Obviously, this paragraph was written prior to Roddy White's big game on Monday night.)

RUSHING DYAR LEADERS: By rushing data alone, the top five running backs this week were LeSean McCoy, PHI (65 DYAR); Jamaal Charles, KC (52); Fred Jackson, BUF (42); Eddie Lacy, GB (35); and Edwin Baker, CLE (35). New England's LeGarrette Blount (34) and Philadelphia's Bryce Brown (32) were right behind. It is kind of funny that I started listing these leaders separately because the running back tables were usually dominated by players with high receiving totals, and since then the runners have usually been the names at the top of the list anyway.

If there's a surprising name missing from that list, it's Pittsburgh's Le'veon Bell, who gained 124 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' win over Green Bay. Bell averaged 4.8 yards per carry and gained seven first downs on the day, so it's not as if his totals were skewed by one or two long runs. Ten of his carries, though, gained 2 yards or less, and he also had a fumble on first-and-10 at the Pittsburgh 2-yard line. The Steelers also threw him two passes. Two were incomplete, and the third was a 5-yard gain on third-and-8. That all adds up to 3 DYAR rushing, -14 receiving, and -11 total.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Peyton Manning DEN
32/51
400
4
0
192
192
0
From FO head honcho Aaron Schatz: "Manning now has the fifth best season all-time with 2,245 DYAR. He won't get to No. 1 (Brady in 2007, 2,674 DYAR) and probably won't get to his own best season (2004, 2,434 DYAR). His current 40.4% DVOA isn't even in the all-time top 10 with a minimum of 400 passes, although it would make the all-time top 10 with a minimum of 500 passes. Why do our stats not register this as Manning's best season ever, despite the touchdown record? Denver's schedule this year just comes out as way too easy. Kansas City (7) and the New York Giants (10) are the only defenses that Denver played which rank in the top ten in defensive DVOA against the pass. San Diego is 31st, Oakland is 27th, and the other three NFC East teams that Denver played all rank between 22nd and 29th. When Manning had the highest passing DVOA ever with 58.9% DVOA in 2004, he played a roughly average schedule. (We're talking here about opposing pass defenses, not opposing teams as a whole.) Manning's 2000, 2003, and 2006 seasons, all currently in the all-time DYAR top dozen, came against harder schedules. Tom Brady's record-setting DYAR in 2007 gets a boost of more than 200 DYAR because the Patriots played a surprisingly difficult schedule of defenses that year. In fact, all five Tom Brady seasons currently in the all-time DYAR top ten came against schedules of above-average difficulty."


Against Houston, Manning struggled after the break. On Denver's first three drives of the second half, each one a three-and-out, he went 1-of-7 for 4 yards with a sack. At that point, Denver was only ahead 16-13. On their next four drives, he went 8-of-12 for 100 yards with three touchdowns and three other first downs, plus a 27-yard DPI, to put the game away.
2.
Andy Dalton CIN
27/38
366
4
0
192
190
2
Speaking of quarterbacks who caught fire in the second half. After halftime, Dalton went 13-of-14 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and eight other first downs, plus two sacks.
3.
Nick Foles PHI
21/25
230
2
0
143
140
3
Foles only have five third-down passes all game, and only one after halftime. On third downs, he went 4-of-5 for 41 yards with two touchdowns and two other first downs. His only failed third-down play came with 14 yards to go for a first down.
4.
Matt Ryan ATL
37/48
348
2
2
137
137
0
5.
Geno Smith NYJ
20/36
214
2
0
94
83
11
To his right: 6-of-16 for 61 yards and three first downs. To his left: 6-of-11 for 67 yards with a touchdown and four other first downs. Up the middle: 8-of-9 for 86 yards with a touchdown and other five other first downs.
6.
Andrew Luck IND
26/37
241
1
0
80
78
2
On Kansas City's half of the field, Luck went 12-of-20 for 102 yards. Aside from his 33-yard touchdown, though, he had only two other first downs, and he was also sacked once. Inside the 20, he went 0-for-4.
7.
Tom Brady NE
14/26
172
1
0
64
64
0
Brady threw five passes to the deep middle of the field. The first was incomplete. The second resulted in a 34-yard DPI. The last three were all caught for gains of 17, 19, and 21 yards.
8.
Colin Kaepernick SF
13/21
197
1
0
49
23
26
9.
Tony Romo DAL
17/27
226
2
1
47
47
0
On third and fourth downs, Romo went 7-of-9 for 78 yards with two touchdowns and four other first downs. He was also sacked twice.
10.
Kellen Clemens STL
16/20
158
0
0
27
60
-32
Inside the Tampa Bay 40, Clemens managed to go 6-of-7 without throwing a touchdown. Those six completions amassed 49 yards and only three first downs. He was also sacked once.
11.
Chad Henne JAC
24/34
237
2
1
21
27
-7
On third and fourth downs, Henne went 6-of-10 for 53 yards, but only gained two first downs. That includes five failed plays with 7 yards or less to go for a first down.

LET THE PARADE OF CRAP BEGIN!

12.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TEN
17/26
181
1
1
-5
-9
5
Not counting passes to Nate Washington, Fitzpatrick went 11-of-18 for 64 yards with five first downs, three sacks, and one interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Thaddeus Lewis BUF
15/25
193
0
1
-6
-4
-3
On Miami's half of the field, Lewis went 5-of-9 for 27 yards with one first down and one interception.
14.
Philip Rivers SD
19/29
201
1
1
-8
-8
0
On passes that traveled at least 15 yards past the line of scrimmage, Rivers went 0-for-5 with an interception.
15.
Kirk Cousins WAS
21/36
197
1
1
-12
-15
3
Cousins' 8-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon in the third quarter left Washington trailing by a 14-13 score. From that point forward, he went 5-of-12 for 47 yards with only two first downs. Not counting passes to Garcon, he went 10-of-18 for 53 yards with two first downs and an interception.
16.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
16/28
167
2
1
-12
-25
13
Third downs: 3-of-5 for 16 yards with no first downs, plus one sack. His only fourth-down pass was a 6-yard gain with 1 yard to go.
17.
Eli Manning NYG
23/42
256
1
1
-19
-19
0
How not to protect a lead: When the Giants were ahead, Manning went 4-of-7 for 34 yards and one first down, plus two sacks, one for a safety.
18.
Matthew Stafford DET
25/42
222
0
2
-30
-30
0
Stafford threw nine passes that traveled at least 14 yards past the line of scrimmage. One was complete for 17 yards on third-and-9, one was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, and the other seven fell incomplete.
19.
Russell Wilson SEA
11/27
108
1
1
-40
-56
15
On Seattle's two scoring drives, Wilson went 8-of-11 for 97 yards with a touchdown and five other first downs, plus one sack. The rest of the game, he went 3-of-16 for 11 yards with one interception, three sacks, and no -- zero -- first downs.
20.
Drew Brees NO
30/44
281
1
2
-40
-41
1
Brees finished the first half with as many first downs (five) as sacks. Before halftime, besides those five takedowns, he went 17-of-24 for 124 yards with a 16-yard DPI and one interception.
21.
Matt Flynn GB
21/39
232
1
1
-41
-20
-21
Flynn's first red-zone pass resulted in a 5-yard touchdown. He threw four other passes inside the Pittsburgh 20, on three different drives, and they were all incomplete.
22.
Joe Flacco BAL
22/38
260
0
2
-48
-53
6
Flacco did not throw a pass on New England's half of the field until the Ravens were down by 17 points in the second half. Once across the 50, he went 5-of-9 for 41 yards and two first downs, plus a 23-yard DPI.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Cam Newton CAR
13/21
181
1
1
-60
-47
-13
Third downs: 1-of-5 for 2 yards, with three sacks and no first downs. Average yards to go on those eight plays: 6.1. Average yards per play: -3.9.
24.
Carson Palmer ARI
13/25
178
1
4
-76
-70
-6
Palmer's first pass to the short middle of the field was complete for a 63-yard gain. Even that was thrown to a receiver 14 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, barely meeting the criteria for a short pass. He threw seven other passes to that area over the rest of the game. One was complete for 5 yards on second-and-10, three were incomplete, and three were intercepted.
25.
Mike Glennon TB
16/26
158
0
0
-84
-78
-6
Red-zone passing: 0-for-3 with two sacks and an 8-yard DPI.
26.
Jay Cutler CHI
20/33
222
1
1
-84
-90
6
Cutler's average pass play came with 9.9 yards to go for a first down, highest of any starting quarterback this week.
27.
Matthew McGloin OAK
20/36
206
0
1
-89
-87
-2
McGloin had 10 pass plays with 4 yards or less to go for a first down. He went 2-of-10 on those plays for 8 yards, with just one first down.
28.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
10/27
82
0
0
-95
-95
0
Tannehill had no turnovers, so he wasn't last in DYAR this week, but my word, was he ever impotent. He threw for three first downs all day, and none in the second half. His longest completion gained just 13 yards. He had five plays on Buffalo's half of the field, none in the red zone, and none in the second half. He went 2-of-3 for 16 yards and one first down with two sacks. On third and fourth downs -- I am not making this up -- he went 0-for-7 with five sacks. In the second half, he went 1-of-10 for 9 yards with three sacks. He went 0-for-11 on passes to receivers more than 10 yards downfield. It's amazing.
29.
Alex Smith KC
16/28
153
0
2
-133
-155
22
Smith had seven plays inside the Indianapolis 40, all down by two scores in the second half. He went 1-of-5 for 7 yards with one first down, two sacks, one fumble, and one interception.
30.
Jason Campbell CLE
18/40
178
0
2
-138
-152
13
Red-zone passing: 4-of-11, 24 yards, no touchdowns, one first down, one sack.
31.
Matt Schaub HOU
18/37
176
1
2
-143
-146
3
Schaub's 15-yard touchdown pass to Keshawn Martin left Houston down by just three points with more than 25 minutes left in the game. From that point forward, he went 7-of-15 for 38 yards with three first downs, two completions for negative yards, two interceptions, two sacks, and one fumble.
32.
Matt Cassel MIN
13/27
114
1
3
-155
-159
4
Cassel only threw for four first downs all day, three of them when the Vikings were trailing by at least 28 points in the second half. On third and fourth downs, he went 1-of-10 with a sack-fumble and a pick-six. That one completion was an 11-yard gain on fourth-and-17.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
LeSean McCoy PHI
133
2
29
0
65
65
0
Ten of McCoy's 18 carries went for first downs, and six of them went for 10 yards or more, while only two were stuffed for no gain. All six of his targets came on first-and-10, and all were complete, two for first downs, though one went for an 8-yard loss.
2.
Jamaal Charles KC
106
1
38
0
60
52
8
Charles had 13 carries against Indianapolis and all of them gained at least 3 yards. That may be a first for 2013. He had a 31-yard touchdown and two other 10-yard runs, with five total first downs. He also caught five passes in six targets for 38 yards, with another first down in the process.
3.
Joique Bell DET
91
1
63
0
43
27
15
Ten targets, ten completions, though only two went for first downs. Bell was stuffed three times in 20 carries, but he had four 10-yard runs, and added a touchdown on third-and-goal from the 1.
4.
Fred Jackson BUF
111
1
7
0
37
37
0
Ten of Jackson's 19 carries gained 6 yards or more, with three 10-yard runs and a 9-yard touchdown. The Bills threw him two passes, and he caught them both, one for no gain, one for 7 yards.
5.
Edwin Baker CLE
64
1
12
0
37
35
2
That's two QR appearances in two games for Baker, who gets a big opponent boost for playing the Jets. Baker's longest run gained only 9 yards and he had just four first downs, including his touchdown, but he was stuffed for a loss just once and nine of his 17 carries gained at least 4 yards.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
C.J. Spiller BUF
77
0
26
0
-36
-33
-3
This is the third time in 2013 that Spiller has been the least valuable player running back in the league. He had three receptions in four targets for 26 yards, which sounds OK, but none of those catches gained first downs, and his longest catch was a 12-yard gain on second-and-17. On the ground, Spiller had a 23-yard run in the fourth quarter, and added a 7-yard gain on second-and-5 shortle thereafter, but those were his only first downs on the day. His other 18 carries averaged 2.6 yards each, including three runs for no gain or a loss, and he also fumbled.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Roddy White ATL
12
15
141
11.8
1
82
Ten of White's catches went for first downs, including four third- or fourth-down conversions.
2.
Nate Washington TEN
6
8
117
19.5
1
49
Fitzpatrick's first two passes were thrown to Nate Washington, and five of his last six passes were also thrown to Washington. Washington had only one other target the rest of the day. Five of his catches gained first downs, including three gains of 25 yards or more.
3.
David Nelson NYJ
4
5
33
8.2
2
39
Each of Nelson's receptions picked up a first down, including three third-down conversions.
4.
Lance Moore NO
3
3
47
15.7
0
38
Each of Moore's three receptions gained at least 13 yards and a first down, and he also had a 16-yard DPI on third-and-2.
5.
Mike Brown JAC
5
6
71
14.2
1
37
Brown had catches of 21 and 24 yards, and added a 7-yard touchdown.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Andre Johnson HOU
4
13
63
15.8
0
-31
True, three of Johnson's receptions went for first downs, including gains of 33 and 18 yards. That still leaves nine incompletions, though, five of them on third down.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 24 Dec 2013

36 comments, Last at 21 Jan 2014, 9:00pm by Pandora Jewelry Outlet

Comments

1
by StanSellsBoats (not verified) :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 10:19am

How sad is it to see Chad Henne just *above* "Let the Parade of Crap Begin!"

20
by Stillio (not verified) :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 6:59pm

Henne has been hovering at 'just above replacement level' for like seven weeks in a row. That usually ranks him 22 or 23 in the league. This week was just so ugly that 'decent backup' is high praise indeed.

2
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 12:15pm

Not only was Mannings schedule easy, but DEN played even the more difficult defenses at times when they were suffering major injuries.
If he plays next year, he will have a hard time getting a QB rating of 100 since DEN will be playing NFC West and AFC East with all 8 teams having above average defenses this year.

7
by Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 1:00pm

Because defensive play is so consistent from year to year...

14
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 3:55pm

Actually, it is pretty consistent.
I have a feeling that AZ,NYJ,SEA,SF,BUF,NE,MIA and STL will all have better than average defenses next year and at least 3 of those teams will have Top 10 defenses.

16
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 5:11pm

If Rex Ryan gets fired the Jets won't have that great a defense. Arizona, St. Louis, and Seattle seem safe, but any of the AFC East defenses could tank depending on whether New England resigns Talib, whether Mike Pettine gets a head coaching job (he might deserve it), etc.

13
by Dave :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 3:52pm

OK, if you're going to do that you could just as easily say that some of the worst defenses on the schedule played excellent games against the Broncos too. The Chargers didn't beat the Broncos because the Broncos suddenly played like crap, and the Texans didn't keep it close in the 3rd quarter because Manning took a nap; those otherwise terrible defenses pulled some great coverage out of their asses. (Heck, it's not as if either team, or the Pats for a large part of that game, even got a ton of pressure on Manning).

Also, It seems odd that QB rating is the stat you'd cite for a prediction on this of all sites. Especially since it's DVOA that is the best of all incomplete statistics at being predictive. But I am sure he and the Bronco offense will be just fine. His Passer Rating is going to trend slightly down simply because his YPA will never be what it once was (more attempts - also affecting the TD% element, more shorter safe stuff) on account of his age, arm, and opposing game plans, but they're still going to be just fine, regardless of what that stupid statistic says.

21
by kamiyu206 :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 9:51pm

I guess he cited QB rating because it's not context neutral stat. If Manning faces harder defense, then context neutral stat like DVOA and DYAR will account for it, but QB rating won't. (Example: Tom Brady's 2009 season)

I do agree there is a good chance Manning will face tougher schedule and it will suppress his raw stats, but remember he played without his starting left tackle for whole year. Getting Clady back will certainly help. (Though there is a possibility Decker walking away.....)

3
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 12:16pm

One of the things that slightly puzzles me is when the media say that the NFL is a passer friendly league ... and then you get weeks like this. Or you get teams like Oakland, Jacksonville, Minnesota who've struggled for years to find a decent starting QB. (Of course I do understand that Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers are usually slicing defenses apart)

4
by RickD :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 12:22pm

It's a passer friendly league with a shortage of high quality QBs that can take advantage of the opportunities.

5
by Jeff88 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 12:42pm

It is a passer friendly league. How do you explain the past 4-5yrs of offensive explosion?

8
by Lance :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 1:22pm

Dude. By the time he's done, Tony Romo-- whom I'm a fan of-- will own all of Dallas' passing records. All of them. And he already owns more than a few.

Compare career:

Aikman: 165 games; 32,942 yds; 165 TDs; 141 INTs; 81.6 rating
Romo: 114 games; 27,565 yds; 205 TDs; 101 INTs; 95.8 rating
Staubach: 131 games; 22,700 yds; 153 TDs; 109 INTs; 83.4 rating
White: 166 games; 21,959 yds; 155 TDs; 132 INTs; 81.7 rating

So Romo, having played in at least a season's fewer games than Dallas' other three most accomplished QBs (I'm leaving out Don Meredith and Craig Morton), already has far more TDs, far fewer INTs than any, and will soon eclipse Aikman for yards.

Indeed, for yards thrown, Romo has 6 of the top 10 in Dallas history. That's 6 of the top 10 for a team that includes Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach in its history. Indeed, in that top 10 list, only TWO came BEFORE 2004. Granted, Aikman wasn't playing for a pass-happy team in the 90's, but it seems nuts to imaging that the BEST passing years for the Cowboys have all been in years far past their Glory Days.

One might counter with something about how since they're always behind they're always passing, but tell that to Indianapolis (Manning?) or New England (Brady?) or New Orleans (Brees) and you can see that passing yards isn't a "because you're behind" phenomenon.

So yes, this is a "passer friendly" league now. And every time someone goes on about how a QB or WR set some mark for passing or receiving, I cringe because context matters. What Jerry Rice was doing in the 80's is way more impressive than what a half dozen WRs have done in the 2000's-- and I say that as a guy who hates the 49ers.

Teams have always struggled to find quality QBs. This isn't new. What IS new is how easy it is to complete a pass-- thanks in large part to how the NFL officiates its games.

15
by Dave :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 3:58pm

Yes... but: (a good start to any sentence)

I think there's also an argument to be made that the QBs nowadays are also just better. There's more history to learn from, more time spent working and studying, more help in those pursuits from technology, more great minds and talents involved as the game grows and incentives change, etc... AND it's easier to complete a pass.

There's a lot more that has evolved and helped than just the rules and even the trends/tendencies. Romo is accurate, mobile, smart, and knows offenses. If you invented a time machine and plopped him into the 60s and 70s I'm pretty sure that he'd not only be fine, but he'd be exceptional. (And, given the lack of 24/7 sports and social media, he'd probably also be revered.)

29
by Jerry :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 8:56am

There's some merit to the argument that quarterbacks are better nowadays. In fact, you can claim that for all players. They're bigger, faster, stronger, better-paid and expected to devote their whole year to football. They have access to better technology, better medicine, better PEDs, ....

However, I think the changes in rules are the reason for the explosion in passing numbers. If you could magically swap Tony Romo and Don Meredith (who retired when he was three years younger than Romo is now), both would have to adjust to their new environment. Romo would have to deal with receivers who were continually being rerouted by physical defensive backs and then hammered after incompletions over the middle, while Meredith would get to throw to guys who get to go where they're designed to and are treated as "defenseless" when they get there. The current quarterback will put up better raw numbers, just because the game has evolved that way.

23
by beargoggles :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:10am

Are the Aikman stats real? Why is he a Hall-of-Famer? I know he had a couple of tough years early in his career, but other than that, he had a great OL, great back, Michael Irvin and Jay Novacek.
I know QB numbers are up now, but 81 strikes me as a mediocre passer rating in that era. Montana and Young were mid 90s at least.

24
by Red :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:37am

Aikman is a Hall-of-Famer because he won 3 rings and played for "America's Team". If he had posted the exact same numbers for a lower profile team, no way he sniffs the HOF. Kinda like Terry Bradshaw.

26
by tuluse :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 2:00am

Aikman is a hall of famer because he was a great QB on a great team. His counting stats are low because he didn't need to throw very much, and his peak was short. His DVOA ranks from 1991-1996 (inclusive) are 5,3,2,5,2,8.

If you think Kurt Warner is a hall of famer, you should probably think Aikman is too.

31
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 3:47pm

Passer rating can be quite deceiving when looking at a West Coast system quarterback. The passer rating was designed during the run, run, bomb era. It tends to overrate completion percentage, so a good West Coast quarterback will get a big boost.

Anyone who watched Aikman play remembers what in incredibly accurate passer he was. Some of the passes on the skinny post he would put right into Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper's hands/chest would have been interceptions by other quarterbacks. When the Cowboys got into the redzone, they simply pounded away with Emmitt Smith behind that offensive line...unlike the 49ers, who would throw for touchdowns, allowing Montana and Young to pile up a lot of TD passes (Don't get me wrong, I'm not underselling how good Montana and Young were).

17
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 5:16pm

The rules favor passing more than any other time in the NFL's history. With that said, there are less competent quarterbacks in the league than say in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Plus, teams shove rookies out there too early; Manuel and Geno Smith should not have been starting at the beginning of the year.

19
by Perfundle :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 5:31pm

Manuel and Smith were forced into starting because of injuries to Kolb and Sanchez. Who should have started ahead of them?

25
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 1:20am

In those situations, the teams had no other choice. Manuel was probably going to start anyway; to be honest, he hasn't played that poorly, except against Tampa, when he was under Sack Assault. Sanchez, well he shouldn't have been put into that exhibition game. It doesn't mean that starting them from day one was a good idea for the long term in either of their careers, as it probably wasn't for Sanchez either.

6
by Lance :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 12:57pm

I recall a time in college (in the early 90's mind you) where I knew every skill position player from every team as we were doing fantasy football and spending lots of time on Sundays in front of the TV.

Now, I look at this list and see a guy named "Thaddeus Lewis" and think: who the hell is that? That, coupled with the fact that I haven't really known who Jamaal Charles played for or why, in particular, he's been talked about so much and I realize I've become my dad (RIP). At some point, knowing everything about every team and every great player stops being something I can focus on.

I watch maybe a game and a half a week now, and if My Team is playing when there's a conflict ("we're having dinner and drinks with the neighbors?") then I just surreptitiously check the score on my phone and leave it at that. (Though I do try to note when Important Games are on so as to limit conflicts.)

This is all just a stupid reflection on how things have changed. When I first came to FO it was all about having that inside edge for fantasy. I watched a lot more football and followed all the players and story lines that I could. I used to wonder how it was that my dad didn't know about Andre Reed or Fred Taylor. Now, I think I get it.

9
by Travis :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 2:01pm

You would have heard of the following quarterbacks who would have shown up in a 1992 Week 16 Quick Reads?

Started:
Cody Carlson
Jeff Carlson
Stan Gelbaugh

Got significant playing time:
Vince Evans (no starts since 1983, excepting replacement games)
Donald Hollas
Sean Salisbury
Peter Tom Willis

10
by ElJefe :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 2:14pm

Without any reference material besides my warped memory:

Commander Cody Carlson on the Oilers
No idea who Jeff Carlson is ...
Piccadilly Stan Gelbaugh, London Monarchs (and Seahawks)

Vince Evans (Chicago Bears/Blitz) and the Raiders
Donald Hollas, Raiders
Sean Salisbury, "Anthony Weiner is an amateur" and Vikings
Peter Tom Willis, Florida State Seminoles and I'm guessing Bears

So ... How'd I do?

And yes, I'm old.

Overeducated Layabout

11
by Travis :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 2:23pm

Right on everyone but Jeff Carlson and Hollas. But would you have known who Salisbury was at the time?

12
by ElJefe :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 2:33pm

Yes. I know he quarterbacked USCw and believe while there his primary responsibility was handing the ball to Marcus Allen.

(With a little research, Marcus Allen pre-dated Salisbury at USCw)

Overeducated Layabout

30
by Lance :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 12:59pm

Cody Carlson, yes. Sean Salisbury Steak, yes. Willis, yes. The rest, no. But then again, it's been over 20 years since 1992. I've forgotten a lot-- I am sure in 1992, I'd have spent a good amount of time watching games (and seeing highlights) as well as SportsCenter. I'd have also gone over rosters for fantasy football (before the internet was mainstream, I'd have used USA Today and Pro Football Weekly) and I'm guessing some-- if not all-- of those names would have been familiar.

33
by eggwasp (not verified) :: Fri, 12/27/2013 - 6:19am

Jeff Carlson - Seattle? Cards?
I would also have known all those back in 92 - and I was (& still am) in the UK with a weekly hour-long highlights show late Tuesday only back then - why are you being doubted for this?

27
by Bobman :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 2:18am

Let me guess: Marriage and kids have something to do with that?

I know that accounts for at least 80% of my Football Universal Core Knowledge Attrition Ratio. Okay, 90%. Living alone in my 20s, my knowledge went backwards as well, into NCAA football, so I'd have a solid foundation before those pesky kids got to the pros--every draft (in those pre-internet days) I could talk with relative comfort about at least 25 1st rounders and 20 2nd rounders and 10 3rd rounders--even interior linemen! Nowadays... I have enough trouble remembering the names of my kids' teammates--once they get helmets on you can hardly recognize them anyway. If I had to make that tradeoff again I would not hesitate to. But it is amusing--sometimes I tell my wife, "You know, I'd get home from the gym on a Saturday morning and put on the TV and watch college football for ten straight hours, interrupted only by Sports Center. Man, that was sweet. I mean, for a single guy...."

18
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 5:24pm

A ton of quarterbacks were terrible this week, but Geno Smith celebrated his third week in a row above replacement level. Must be a record.

22
by Red :: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 10:50pm

Joe Flacco's $120M deal has be one of the worst contracts is NFL history. I thought it was idiotic when it was signed, but after 2013 this deal looks like an abject disaster. Flacco is well below replacement level, and his contract is crippling the Ravens' cap situation and forbidding them from surrounding Joe with better talent. And all because Rahim Moore made one bonehead play.

28
by Bobman :: Wed, 12/25/2013 - 2:23am

Oh, I'd give the Ravens some time to work this out--I don't think Flacco is as bad as he looks right now (nor is he as good as he looked 11 months ago--probably never again). Ozzie is pretty sharp and I expect him to right the ship.

Funny comment about Rahim Moore. I wonder what WOULD have happened to Flacco and Balt had Moore made the stop. Basically the same contract at half the price? Naah, he had solid production and playoff appearances each of his first five seasons... that's gotta be worth a total of $80M? Would he have moved on to greener pastures? No idea, but it is interesting in kind of an alternative history Sci-Fi way. And has Flacco every sent Moore a fruit basket or maybe a Mercedes as thanks...? Anonymously, of course.

32
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