Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features

SmithSte01.jpg

» The Week In Quotes: August 29, 2014

This week: Josh Shaw lies, Steve Smith intimidates, Le'Veon Bell relaxes, Matt Simms dances, and Clint Trickett kisses and tells.

17 Sep 2013

Week 2 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

Sunday was a good day for wide receivers in the NFL. How good? Mike Wallace, James Jones, Julio Jones, and Pierre Garcon combined to catch 39 passes in 50 targets for 618 yards, but none of them made the top five wide receivers in Week 2.

Going into Monday night, those four wideouts ranked ninth through 12th in the Quick Reads tables, so it's not as if any of them had bad days. And the margin between these guys and the names at the top of the list is slim. For example, Garcon's worst play by DYAR was an incompletion on third-and-5 in field-goal range. Take that one play away and he shoots five spots up the rankings. Still, you'd expect more from a collective 78 percent Catch Rate and 12.4 yards per target.

Garcon struggled on third downs, though. The first four third-down throws to Garcon were all incomplete. By the time he caught a touchdown on third-and-goal from the 6 and then gained 25 yards on third-and-11, Washington was down by 31 points in the fourth quarter. In that context, it's easy to explain why Garcon is missing from the Quick Reads table, despite his impressive raw statline (eight receptions, 13 targets, 143 yards, one touchdown).

Atlanta's Julio Jones (11-14-182-1) had the longest catch of the week, an 81-yard touchdown. That big play, though, masked a trio of failed completions—a zero-yard gain on second-and-8, a 4-yard gain on first-and-10, and a 7-yard gain on third-and-8—that somewhat boosted his fantasy numbers, but hurt Atlanta's chances of winning.

While we're keeping up with the Joneses, let's discuss Green Bay's James Jones (11-12-178-0). Like his namesake in Atlanta, Jones had a handful of failed completions (a 3-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 14-yard gain on third-and-21). More importantly, he fumbled away a ball inside the red zone. Granted, by that point the Packers were ahead by 24 points. Still, fumbles are bad news.

Finally, there's Miami's Mike Wallace (9-11-115-1). Wallace only had three failed plays, the two incompletions and a 4-yard gain on second-and-10. Wallace is not dragged down by a high number of bad plays, but rather a lack of very big ones. Only two of Wallace's catches gained more than 10 DYAR, an 18-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 34-yard gain in the third. There were 142 catches of 10 or more DYAR this week, so that's hardly a high threshold to cross.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Aaron Rodgers GB
34/42
480
4
0
268
268
0
Rodgers threw for 26 completions and 335 yards in the first half. In that half, on third and fourth downs, he went 6-of-7 for 106 yards, with two touchdowns and two other first downs. His two failed completions were 14-yard gains with 21 and 24 yards to go. His only incompletion came on third-and-3. On the ensuing fourth down, he hit Randall Cobb for a 35-yard score.
2.
Philip Rivers SD
36/47
419
3
0
236
235
2
Is the deep ball back in San Diego? On throws that traveled at least 16 yards past the line of scrimmage, Rivers went 7-of-11 for 156 yards and a touchdown, plus an 18-yard DPI.
3.
Michael Vick PHI
23/36
430
2
0
191
185
6
Vick had a great day on first and second down, but a lousy day on third downs: 2-of-6 for 6 yards, with his only conversion a 5-yard gain on third-and-4. He did run for a 2-yard touchdown on his only third-down carry.
4.
Peyton Manning DEN
30/43
308
2
0
171
171
0
Manning was damn near flawless in the second half. After the break, he went 12-of-14 for 108 yards with two touchdowns and six other first downs.
5.
Matt Ryan ATL
33/43
374
2
0
144
144
0
Atlanta's game plan included a lot of short passes on first down, where Ryan went 12-of-15, but for just 67 yards and two first downs.
6.
Sam Bradford STL
32/55
352
3
1
100
89
11
Saving his best for last: Bradford threw touchdowns on each of St. Louis' last three drives, going 17-of-27 for 188 yards plus an 8-yard DPI in that stretch.
7.
Alex Smith KC
21/34
223
2
0
63
50
13
The 49ers benched and then traded Alex Smith in part because they liked Colin Kaepernick's mobility. On Sunday, Smith rushed eight times for 57 yards (both career highs) and three first downs. Only two of those runs were listed as scrambles, and only one of them came after halftime.
8.
Joe Flacco BAL
22/33
211
1
0
56
51
5
Flacco threw two passes to the deep middle of the field, completing both for gains of 23 and 16 yards. To the deep outside, though, he went 0-for-7.
9.
Matthew Stafford DET
24/36
278
2
0
55
59
-4
The Lions' game famously ended on a failed completion on fourth down, but even before that point Stafford struggled to pick up first downs when Detroit needed them. On third downs, he went 7-of-10 for 69 yards and a sack, only picking up three first downs.
10.
Robert Griffin WAS
26/40
320
3
1
52
58
-7
On his first eight third downs, Griffin had as many interceptions (one) as completions, and that one catch was a 2-yard gain with 9 yards to go. By that point, Washington was down by 31 points. After that, he went 5-of-5 on third downs for 49 yards, with three touchdowns and one other first down.
11.
E.J. Manuel BUF
27/39
296
1
1
43
40
3
Manuel found success in the short left area of the field, going 11-of-13 for 110 yards, with one touchdown and four other first downs.
12.
Tony Romo DAL
31/43
295
1
0
32
32
1
Romo throwing to receivers not named Dez Bryant: 22-of-30, but for only 154 yards and eight first downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Andy Dalton CIN
25/45
280
1
0
28
33
-5
14.
Andrew Luck IND
25/43
321
1
1
27
7
21
To his left: 11-of-17 for 133 yards with one touchdown and six other first downs. Up the middle: 4-of-10 for 64 yards with four first downs. To his right: 10-of-16 for 124 yards, but only three first downs with one interception.
15.
Eli Manning NYG
28/49
362
1
4
25
25
0
Third and fourth downs: 4-of-12 for 84 yards with one first down and one interception. He also converted third-and-2 and fourth-and-2 with DPIs of 1 and 23 yards.
16.
Jay Cutler CHI
28/38
290
3
2
16
13
3
Cutler did better in the Front zone (4-of-5 for 98 yards with one touchdown and three other first downs, plus a sack-fumble that was returned for a touchdown) than he did inside the red zone (3-of-8 for 20 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception).
17.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
20/36
251
1
1
16
14
2
18.
Christian Ponder MIN
16/30
227
1
1
10
16
-6
Short passes: 11-of-21 for 109 yards with a pick-six and only four first downs. Deep passes: 5-of-9 for 118 yards with a touchdown and four other first downs. Who are you and what have you done with Christian Ponder?
19.
Carson Palmer ARI
22/39
248
1
1
9
9
0
On Detroit's side of the field, Palmer went just 8-of-18 for 83 yards, with one touchdown, three other first downs, one sack, and one pick-six.
20.
Russell Wilson SEA
8/19
142
1
1
9
0
9
Not included in the numbers above: Two DPIs for 47 total yards, four sacks, a fumbled snap, plus seven runs for 36 yards. He only had ten first downs and 11 total successful plays (run or pass) all night. Frankly, it was a pretty horrible game except for a handful of big plays. His first four completions totaled 118 yards, but it took him until the middle of the third quarter to get there.
21.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
23/33
319
1
0
-4
11
-15
The Dolphins somehow won this game even though Tannehill threw only three passes inside the Indianapolis 40-yard line. Of course, those three passes were all completed for 67 yards with a touchdown and two other first downs. In the middle of the field, he went 7-of-15 for 65 yards with as many sacks (three) as first downs.
22.
Chad Henne JAC
25/37
241
1
0
-5
-11
6
A 68 percent completion rate is pretty good, but a league-high 13 of those completions were failed plays. In the back zone (the area between the offense's 20 and 40, where most drives start), Henne had completions for 13 and 18 yards, and otherwise went 7-of-12 for 19 yards with three sacks and no successful plays.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Terrelle Pryor OAK
15/23
126
0
0
-39
-43
4
Pryor ran nine times for 50 yards, though 27 of those yards came on one play, and only one other run counted as a success. On Oakland's half of the field, he went 8-of-13 for 88 yards with five first downs and a sack, with six carries for 46 yards. On the other side of the field, he went 7-of-10 for 38 yards with one first down and one sack-fumble, plus three runs for 4 yards.
24.
Drew Brees NO
26/45
322
1
2
-40
-40
0
On the game-winning field-goal drive, Brees went 3-of-3 for 54 yards. Of course, they might not have needed a game-winning field-goal drive if Brees had played better in the red zone, where he went 2-of-4 for 7 yards with no first downs and two sacks.
25.
Matt Schaub HOU
26/48
298
3
2
-41
-41
0
On Houston's last three drives (a game-tying touchdown, a missed game-winning field-goal attempt, and a game-winning touchdown in overtime), Schaub went 9-of-17 for 175 yards with every completion going for a first down or touchdown. Before that, he went 17-of-31 for 123 yards with two touchdowns, four other first downs, two sacks, and two interceptions, including a pick-six.
26.
Tom Brady NE
19/39
185
1
0
-42
-37
-5
Brady has now been below replacement level two games in a row. From the desk of FO boss Aaron Schatz: Last year, he did not have a single game with negative passing YAR, and only one game had negative passing DYAR after opponent adjustments (-23 in Week 16 against Jacksonville). In fact, the last time Brady had a game with negative passing YAR before opponent adjustments was -6 YAR in Week 7 of 2010. That's a long streak. The last time Tom Brady had two straight games with negative passing DYAR after opponent adjustments was -- this is mind-blowing -- during the record-setting 2007 season. No, seriously. He ended the season with these five games: -15 DYAR against Baltimore; 276 vs. Pittsburgh; -30 vs. the Jets; -21 vs. Miami; 230 vs. the Giants.
27.
Brandon Weeden CLE
21/33
227
0
0
-46
-46
0
On Cleveland's side of the field, Weeden went 19-of-29 for 221 yards with 11 first downs. On Baltimore's side of the field, he went 2-of-4 for 6 yards with three sacks. Those two completions went for 3 yards apiece, one on first-and-10, one on fourth-and-four. That's a whopping zero successful plays across midfield.
28.
Jake Locker TEN
17/30
148
2
0
-48
-52
5
On Tennessee's first drive, Locker went 4-of-5 for 42 yards with two first downs and a touchdown, plus two sacks. On their next ten drives, he went 5-of-13 for 18 yards (not a typo) with no first downs, two sacks, and a 12-yard loss on a fumbled snap. He did manage to run for one first down in that stretch, but add it all up and you get exactly zero yards of total offense. In ten drives! On their next drive he went 7-of-8 for 79 yards with a touchdown and two other first downs. On their last two drives he went 1-of-4 for 9 yards.
29.
Cam Newton CAR
21/38
229
2
1
-55
-62
6
Cam oh Cam, where hath thy deep ball gone? He only threw two deep passes against Seattle in Week 1. He threw six against Buffalo, but completed only one of them for 40 yards. Without the home run in his arsenal, Carolina needed Newton to deliver in scoring range, and he came up short. Inside the Buffalo 40, he went 4-of-8 for 29 yards with one touchdown, one other first down, two sacks and an interception. On the day, he ran four times for 15 yards with two first downs.
30.
Josh Freeman TB
9/22
125
1
1
-71
-74
3
On Tampa Bay's side of the field, Freeman went 8-of-17 for 120 yards with five first down. That's not very good. Across midfield, he went 1-of-5 for 5 yards with one touchdown, one sack-fumble, and an interception. That's significantly worse.
31.
Colin Kaepernick SF
13/28
127
0
3
-164
-189
24
Kaepernick ran nine times for 87 yards and each of San Francisco's five first downs on the ground. The Seahawks could live with that, though, because they shut his passing down so effectively. Kaepernick was 0-for-4 on deep balls with two interceptions. On third downs, he went 4-of-8 for 24 yards with one first down, one sack-fumble, and two interceptions.
32.
Geno Smith NYJ
15/35
214
0
3
-166
-170
4
It's not just that Geno threw three interceptions. It's that he threw them all in the fourth quarter down by exactly three points. Smith did OK in short-yardage scenarios, but with 10 or more yards needed for a first down, he went 6-of-18 for 73 yards with one first down (and another ball that would have been a first down if Stephen Hill hadn't fumbled) with an interception and two sacks.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
James Starks GB
132
1
36
0
64
54
11
Starks was stuffed for no gain or a loss four times, but he gained 10 yards or more five times, with one touchdown and eight other first downs. He also caught four passes in five targets for 36 yards and a first down.
2.
LeSean McCoy PHI
53
0
114
0
61
22
39
McCoy was stuffed for no gain once, and though he only had one 10-plus-yard run, he gained four first downs on the ground. He also caught five of the six passes thrown his way for 114 yards and three more first downs, including gains of 70 and 21 yards in the first half.
3.
Knowshon Moreno DEN
93
2
14
0
55
44
11
Moreno was stuffed for no gain or a loss twice, but he had touchdown runs of 25 and 20 yards, plus two more 10-yard runs. He caught all three of the passes thrown his way, and though they gained only 14 yards, two of them converted third downs.
4.
Rashard Mendenhall ARI
66
1
28
0
48
30
18
Mendenhall's longest run was just 11 yards, but he gained four first downs on the day, plus a goal-line touchdown. The Cardinals threw him two passes, resulting in two catches, two first downs, and 28 total yards.
5.
Ahmad Bradshaw IND
65
1
19
0
46
39
6
Bradshaw didn't even manage a single 10-yard run, but he gained five first downs on the ground (including a touchdown) and was hit for a loss just once. He caught all three of the passes thrown his way for 19 yards and another first down.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Ray Rice BAL
36
0
9
0
-29
-23
-6
In 13 carries, Rice had two 10-yard runs, but was hit for no gain or a loss four times, and fumbled on another carry. In three passes, he had three receptions for 9 yards and no first downs.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Steve Johnson BUF
8
10
111
13.9
1
70
Johnson came on strong late in the game. His last five targets, starting in the third quarter: 45-yard catch; 8-yard catch on first-and-10; 11-yard catch; 20-yard DPI; 2-yard game-winning touchdown.
2.
Randall Cobb GB
9
10
128
14.2
1
68
Cobb's catches resulted in one touchdown and four other first downs. His only failed completion was a 4-yard gain on second-and-10.
3.
Eddie Royal SD
7
8
90
12.9
3
66
First four targets: 11-yard touchdown on second-and-7; 21-yard gain on third-and-7; 24-yard touchdown on third-and-10; 12-yard gain on third-and-6. He added a 15-yard go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
4.
Dez Bryant DAL
9
13
141
15.7
1
52
In the first quarter, Bryant caught five balls in five targets for 100 yards with a touchdown and two other first downs.
5.
Malcom Floyd SD
5
6
102
20.4
0
52
Not included in those numbers is an 18-yard DPI. Four of Floyd's receptions gained at least 17 yards and a first down. The fifth was a 9-yard gain on second-and-12.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
A.J. Green CIN
6
14
41
6.8
0
-45
Green's longest catch on Monday night was a 10-yard gain on second-and-5. His only other first down was a 4-yard gain on third-and-2. All his receptions came within 7 yards of the line of scrimmage, and he never gained more than 3 yards after the catch.

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 17 Sep 2013

118 comments, Last at 18 Sep 2013, 3:08pm by TomC

Comments

1
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:22am

Short passes: 11-of-21 for 109 yards with a pick-six and only four first downs. Deep passes: 5-of-9 for 118 yards with a touchdown and four other first downs. Who are you and what have you done with Christian Ponder?

Prayer DOES work!

2
by Thok :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:24am

Brady has now been below replacement level two games in a row.

To be fair, it feels like replacement level at QB is higher this year than last year. Arizona, Kansas City, Buffalo, Miami, San Diego, and Philadelphia are all stronger at QB than they were last year, either from getting a better starter or by fixing the problems with the existing starter. There really aren't any teams that are noticeably worse at QB (maybe Tampa Bay, although Freeman's problems date to last year).

18
by Edge (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:35am

I don't think the baseline for "replacement level" has changed regardless of roster changes.

20
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:46am

Is "replacement level" static or dynamic? If the league's average QB play is higher this year than last year, then "replacement level 2013" is a much better QB than "replacement level 2003".

I'm not sure how it all works, but if the bell curve of QB play is skewed to the positive or has a decreasing standard deviation year over year, then being close to replacement level becomes more and more acceptable.

It's like in fantasy drafts when it's worth waiting on QB to get Romo late, because Romo's projections are close enough to Brees' projections that he's a better value at QB7 than Brees is at QB2.

28
by Edge (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:20am

Replacement level is currently based on 2008 backup level players and is static unless something has changed.

32
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:34am

Ah, interesting. I did not know that.

Thank you!

51
by Edge (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:44am

Rereading what you said, just to clarify, defensive adjustments change year to year based on league averages, although I don't think they are being used in weeks 1-2, but the amount below average that "replacement level" is remains the same. So if I understand it correctly if QB levels are better across the board this year than in past years it wouldn't currently be effecting Brady's DYAR for weeks 1-2 because defensive adjustments aren't in effect yet.

3
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:28am

A glimmer of hope for Vikings fans in the 2nd half. If The Ponderous One is a top 18 qb the rest of the way, they'll likely get to 7 or 8 wins, maybe 9.

I don't think that will happen.

7
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:46am

How did Ponder rank for the 2012-2013 season? They got to 10 wins with whatever DYAR Ponder was producing that year, although injury luck and disproportionate wins among close games helped, too.

22
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:51am

Last season's schedule was easier, and layed out more favorably as well. It really helped them to have so many of their divisional games backloaded last year. Starting out with two divisional road games is something no team really desires, and then the 2nd half of the schedule is filled with teams which are pretty good. If they are going to be interesting, it's going to be hard work, after an 0-2 start.

49
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:24am

If my eyes and Brian Billick can be believed, the Bears were completely selling out to stop AP. While that is likely to be a common occurrence for Viking's opponents,
Billick several times mentioned there was an open receiver down the field and Ponder would take a check down that was semi-covered (by that I mean the pass would be completed and the receiver tackled immediately).

I think that glimmer you saw is probably fools gold.

64
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:59pm

Agreed. How a guy who, on his very best day, has an average arm, and never demonstrated an above average ability to see the entire field, got drafted in the top half of the first round, is beyond me.

Oh, and once again, Adrian Peterson remains the prime example of how using DYAR to measure a player's value, especially for a non-qb, is very problematic. It is unbelievable what he accomplishes, with a passing attack which does absolutely nothing for him. Much like Barry Sanders, as a football fan, I can only envision what he would be like if he had better offensive teammates, although Barry at least had prime career Herman Moore for several years, who was really great.

69
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 1:52pm

Rick Spielman seems like a smart guy, so Vikings fans can only hope that he cuts bait on Ponder and acquires a decent starter while Peterson is still in his prime.

97
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:47pm

That was kind of funny to me, because I view the situation as being pretty similar to Matt Millen's support of Joey Harrington and Spielman's early support of AJ Feeley. The issue has always been Spielman refusing to cut bait on Ponder. There was a reason Frazier wanted to go with McNabb, and even though plenty of Vikings fans trash both McNabb and Webb, they had a better 2011 than Ponder did. In 2012, Ponder put up performances that would have gotten him benched if he had played for virtually any other team, and it's not like they didn't refuse to bench Ponder when he had the hip pointer issue in 2011. Flat out, the management wants to have Ponder out there, almost regardless of what the output is--and hoping that other talent can bail him out all the time. Well past the patience of the other players and the fans, at this point. Of course, Spielman moved Webb to WR and brought in a clearly inferior QB as backup to prevent anyone from rooting to get the backup in there, Cortez burning the boat style. I just don't get why Macleod Bethel-Thompson has a spot on the roster, when they need more depth in the defense.

At the end of the day, Ponder played worse than Kaepernick and Wilson, who were involved in one heckuva defensive slugfest. He has better numbers because, well...everyone is completely disrespecting him, and letting him have the easier deep throws. On a day when the defense gave him the ball three times, Ponder put up 16 points, with just one TD, and that TD happened by virtue of Rudolph cleaning up yet another would-be INT in the end zone. To give you a really good idea of just how bad he was, check out Michael Vick against San Diego. SD decided that they weren't going to let Chip beat them on the ground or with quick short passes, and they played the Eagles offense quite closely to how teams are now playing the Vikings defense. Vick still burned them over and over and over again, despite being 1-5 on deep passes to DJax. Most genuine professional QBs would be killing this look. It's not any more sound than routinely using back-side delayed blitzes on the Eagles in 2011 and 2012. You're supposed to start running more when that happens, which Andy Reid refused to do. When you see that many people in the box like that, you're supposed to throw heavy and throw longer, which Ponder can't really do at the NFL level. He got some yards, but you'd have to be Akili Smith bad NOT to get those yards. In any event, I strongly suspect that a major issue with the Vikings defense is precisely because of spending too much time on the field because of all the short drives the Vikings offense puts up. This aggravates the issues at linebacker.

I like Jason Campbell more than Brandon Weeden. Campbell is conservative to a fault, but has better vision, touch on the ball, and much better pocket movement than Weeden. Nobody sane thinks Hoyer is going to be out there. Of course, the Browns could be insane, but I doubt it. With Josh Gordon back and perhaps some veteran wiles (one week's worth of starter reps doesn't really do it), the Brown could put a serious hurting on the Vikings, especially if they get up early and the situation forces Ponder to throw, rather than loading the box for bear. Browns defense is absolutely no joke.

99
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 5:02pm

shah8, god luv'ya', you are dedicated, but sending as many photons as you do, to discuss guys who can't play a lick, namely the Vikings qb corps, may be taking things a bit too far.

(edit) Although I really do like the Spielman, Frazier, and for all I know, Walt Disney, the Queen of England, and the Rothschild family Illuminati conspiracy to thwart Jow Webb's career as a NFL qb.

105
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 6:37pm

I know people like to use conspiracy theory to dismiss claims they'd rather not believe is true, but:

1) Joe Webb and DMac overtly has stats better than Ponder, no question.

2) Joe Webb generally has stats that are well above norms for backup QB play. In the vast majority of cases where backup QBs come in to the game or has a spot start, they play very poorly. Winning one start, leading a comeback in another game, and almost leading a comeback from a deep hole, is play that is WELL above normal backup play. The experience of 2012 where the team repeated put Ponder out there for what were absolutely horrific play, when they *know* they have a viable backup who has won lost games before is not what teams normally do.

3) Joe Webb has the size to play QB, has the arm to be a top shelf passer, and actually moves in the pocket quite well in dropback situations. The most important thing is that the dude actually can pass. If he couldn't, he wouldn't have been switched back to QB by Chilly. If he couldn't, he wouldn't have posted a TD% of 4+ in 2011 and did better than Andy Dalton or Matt Schaub in his worst game ever (don't care about the garbage time thing--look at the actual *play*). If he couldn't, teams would completely sell out on the QB rush much more effectively. If he couldn't, there would not be the number of pretty utube passes out there. You know, passes where he does it as a matter of routine, like outs, sticks, posts, or wheels. As a whole, he's a better passer than roughly the bottom fourth of starting QB. He's better than Ponder, Gabbert, Pryor, Locker, Geno Smith, Weeden, and probably Manuel as well.

4) When you add in his rushing, which, if one looks at the tape, is ludicrously good for a guy as big and tall as he is, he's simply not a marginal offensive player. I know there are lots and lots of people who really wish this wasn't so, but there is no way that Ponder is better than Webb, long term. It's like all of the people that pretend Vick is a bad QB. Reid, then Kelly took one look at that and say...uh, huh, and start Vick, or chose Philly over Cam Newton/Josh Freeman. This is all obvious stuff--the skillset is there for anyone to see. That's why Tony Dungy thought the Vikings had a chance with Webb, and that's why Webb will almost certainly get a serious chance at starting,absent issues I can't see, like knowing the playbook or reading the field. It ain't about me being Webb's mom or having conspiracy theories. The state of play pretty blatantly obvious.

106
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 6:55pm

Let's stick to the real issue, is webb a starting caliber nfl qb, not is he better than ponder. In fact, most of your defense of his statistics relies on the idea that hes marginally better than some of the other qbs who will likely be replaced in the near future. By conventional statistics, Joe webb is below average in just about every way. Comp %, AnYA, QBR, etc etc. They are all lousy. His physical skills and great running are one thing, but to argue hes an accomplished thrower is really being blinded by highlight plays. Finally, in his last appearance, he was so unspeakably awful that I don't know what you saw that made you think he was any good.

111
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:36pm

The Chiller said he could play?! Good grief, that means the Broncos will on the horn by tomorrow A.M., desperately trying to engineer a deal!!

117
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:07pm

There are lots of 'big and tall' guys who are marginal offensive players in the NFL. Kris Durham is one. Kellen Davis is another. I'm sure someone else can provide more examples.

86
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 3:35pm

Well Will. One thing I found puzzling was his inability to run with Favre. Was it really just a poor John Sully that lead to that happening? I've always been skeptical about the idea that the passing game significantly hampers the running game. After all, Ap was ripping people apart last year with the same ponder and fewer weapons.

Ever since the colts, I've been highly skeptical about running games being advantaged against optimal looks. It makes sense in theory, but still never plays out that way. I wonder if teams that pass block become marginally worse at run blocking and therefore the advantage in numbers is negated. Conversely, the teams that run the ball a lot have lines that are better at run blocking and so they are able to compensate for stacked boxes. I haven't run any numbers on this, but its what I suspect. Plus, once ap gets past that stack, there's no one back there to stop him.

88
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 3:53pm

If 1383 yards, and 4.4 yards per carry is indicative of an "inability to run", what words do we use to describe a lesser performance? No, it wasn't his best year, but it was good, and yes, Sullivan was pretty bad that year, and they had a rookie at right tackle as well. I also don't think it is coincidental that Favre, at a very advanced age, and little in the way of receivers, had one of his best years in a HOF career, when 28 was a threat to take a handoff.

If you don't think that offenses which can do more things well are not much harder to defend than teams which can fewer things well, we will have to agree to disagree.

(edit) I will also note again that the last time a team decided to go an entire game game while playing 28 like a normal NFL running back, and didn't load the box at all, he rushed for 300 yards.

89
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:06pm

It feels like stating the obvious, but I'll say it anyways. In no way am I implying AP is anything other than a transcendent player. I think he is and will go down as one of the best rbs I have ever seen play.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll clarify my larger point, which is I am skeptical that running the ball is necessarily made easier with your passing game. Again, I don't KNOW this to be true, its just what I'm suspecting given what I've seen so far. I'll admit, it matches up intuitively, since you're running against optimal fronts.

But lets get to some examples. THe 2009 min vikes had by far the best passing dvoa for min over the last 9 years. Yet, the run dvoa was ranked 23rd in the nfl. That was, incidentally, the lowest rush dvoa rating for the vikes since AP was on the team. Now lets look at some other extremes. The colts since 2006 have fielded below average run games, including a couple bottom 3 finishes. The chargers in their passing hey-days also fielded similarly inept rushing attacks. The packers are another example of this. The broncos last year also were mediocre. If passing success really translated to rush success, surely these teams would be much better. That was my ultimate point.

93
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:32pm

I never wrote that running is necessarily made easier with a good passing game. I will say that a great running back who doesn't have to face stacked boxes on every play can have an easier time of it, on average. Peterson has never, even in 2009, had that experience, and the fact that everybody stacked the box against the Vikings in 2009 had a lot to do with how well they passed.

94
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:35pm

I don't think Will Allen made such a blatant or specific claim as "passing success will lead to rushing success". He did say that he believes passing success will make rushing the ball easier.

Now football is a funny thing, where it's really complex, and there are a ton of variables and inputs. Just adjusting one (or a few) of them doesn't necessarily cause a reaction.

95
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:39pm

No I get where will is coming from. I wasn't trying to overstate things, though it probably came out that way. IN fairness, I did offer up a possible explanation about why this is. Forget AP for a second, in general, I tend to think o lines fit into 3 categories. Good at both, good at one, and bad at both. That's why I think good passing teams focus on improving their o lines pass prowess and this likely comes at the expense of their run ability. Its why I have always marveled that Ne is the only team, it seems, that can achieve both. Well, them and SF, but ne's been doing it for a much longer period of time.

98
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:51pm

Oh, I agree that is unusual to have an offensive line which is excellent in both run and pass blocking. The last time the Vikings were even above average at both was 2008.

91
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:08pm

Btw, I'm not so sure the wide receivers were that bad in 2009. I'll grant you the o line was beyond overrated and likely poor, but sidney rice had a career year, berrian looked decent, shank was actually quite productive and they did have Percy Harvin. It feels like revisionist history to say they were nothing.

92
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:25pm

I didn't say they were nothing. I said they were little. They were. Berrian was awful; that's why Favre couldn't stand him. Shiancoe had the lousy ball skills that always held him back. Harvin is very talented, but is not a classic downfield receiver. Other than one year paired with Favre and 28, what has Rice ever done which indicates he is an above average receiver? That offense was 28 and Stubbleface, some Harvin, and not a whole lot else.

83
by Bay Area Bengal (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 3:22pm
4
by PirateFreedom :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:30am

Sure his numbers are bad but you can't deny TB-bow is a winner.
people just hate him because he's a christian dior

21
by David :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:50am

How, in the name of all that is holy, does this *not* trigger the spam filter, when long, reasoned, football specific paragraphs do?

29
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:22am

While this doesn't seem to have any spelling errors, this is more incomprehensible than anything rj has ever posted.

53
by PirateFreedom :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:47am

I was going for a joke where Tom Brady's numbers were defended Tebow style along with a bad pun about the "male model" cliches.

I apologize for botching it so badly

65
by gebloom :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 1:03pm

No you didn't, it ws hilarious.

66
by Shattenjager :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 1:15pm

I for one got the joke.

67
by dbostedo :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 1:37pm

Thanks for the explanation... I kept seeing "TB" and thinking Tampa Bay, which was making no sense to me. Brady isn't a guy I think of by his initials.

101
by Shattenjager :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 5:55pm

I still want him to quit going by "Tom" and instead be known as "T.E.P. Brady." So I guess that means I sort of think of him by his initials.

However, my first thought every time I see TB, no matter the context, is "tuberculosis."

113
by dbostedo :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:55pm

OK... now what's the "T.E.P." stand for?

114
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 12:12am

Thomas Edward Patrick. It actually is his name: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BradTo00.htm

116
by Intropy :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 2:46am

Tilliam Edward Purghardt?

118
by TomC :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 3:08pm

That Eastcoast Prick

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:36am

With the receiving corps the Broncos have, and a decent defense, and P. Mannings adaptive capabilities, I gotta feeling Manning's 2nd half numbers are going to be similar to what we saw (on the road, no less) on Sunday, all year. You give him an hour and a half to look at screen shots, with those guys catching the ball, he's gonna be like playing poker against a guy who can see your cards.

Yes, Welker has slipped, resulting in drops. No, that doesn't mean that Amnedola in street clothes is a reasonable facsimile.

38
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:45am

Welker looks pretty much exactly like he did last year. The drops have been a problem for a while.

As far as injuries, the only real difference between Welker and Amendola is that Amendola's big one happened on the first game of a season, Welker's happened on the last (and it can be argued that Welker's cost the Pats a playoff run)

43
by RickD :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:57am

It's a bit much to blame a failed playoff run on a WR's injury. Wes Welker wasn't going to stop Ray Rice from getting 7.2 yards/carry. And Brady's three turnovers on the first three drives cannot be laid at Welker's feet. The Patriots were down 24-0 before the first quarter was over.

That loss was a team failure.

52
by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:47am

Never have gotten how Welker can singlehandedly be blamed for so many of the Pats' woes, and this post was just as strange as most all the others I've seen.

57
by Led :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:12pm

He plays the Emmanuel Goldstein role.

56
by Edge (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:12pm

Doesn't Amendola being injured on the first game of the season vs the last for Wes Welker in fact speak to his injury issues? In order to get to the last game Welker had to play 15 games without being injured. Amendola has never done that while playing starter minutes. I do not believe that he can fill Welker's role realistically, he'll keep getting hurt long before that 100th catch.

58
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:14pm

Amendola has only been healthy for every game once in his career. That he got injured this year was as surprising as the sun still rising in the east.

60
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:22pm

I think it's important to note the one year he did play in all 16 games, he only started 6 and caught a grand total of 40 catches. Not exactly a full time player.

62
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:45pm

Yep, he turns 28 in six weeks, and has started 2,6,1, and 8 games, respectively, in his previous 4 years in the NFL. He's never been an established player.

71
by Boots Day :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:15pm

I don't really disagree with your larger point, but on the other hand, before Wes Welker joined the Patriots, he had started 0, 1, and 2 NFL games in his three-year career.

75
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:41pm

He was also 2 years younger and coming of a 67 catch season.

78
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:46pm

Yeah, he was 26 in his first year with the Patriots, paired with a receiver who had Hall of Fame talent. They were both coming in to replace what was largely a collection of stiffs. Poor Amendola's been asked to replace a guy who has been super-productive, just as one good pass catcher is still injured, and another sits in jail. The expectations, and burden placed on his shoulders, may have been a little out of whack.

77
by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:45pm

Welker missed 3 games in 6 full seasons with the Pats while Amendola has missed 2 of the 3 games he's been with them. That's one heck of a difference, if you ask me.

79
by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:46pm

Assuming he doesn't play this week, obviously.

96
by BroncFan07 :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:42pm

More important to the continued succession of Manning's numbers will be how long Ryan Clady's injury keeps him out. Never a good time to lose your #2 most important offensive player.

100
by Independent George :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 5:52pm

I don't know about that; I think Peyton's skill set makes up for bad lines far easier than for bad receivers. He makes good decisions quickly, is surprisingly nimble in the pocket, and has an absurdly quick release; he can make do with mediocre lines far better than any other QB in the league.

On the other hand, he loves those combination option routes that rely on receivers knowing when and where to break; I don't know how well he can make up for losing that, because it would severely limit his ability to audible.

102
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 6:00pm

Yeah, I've never seen a great qb who was less dependent on his protection than P. Manning. It's an unbelievable luxury.

103
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 6:07pm

He QBed a team that went 14-2 with Charlie Johnson as his LT. I think they'll be fine.

104
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 6:19pm

Charlie Johnson, ryan diem, Mike Pollack/Jamie richardson, and a whole lot of nothing. Pretty remarkable.

107
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 7:05pm

You mean Jamey Richard? One of the Class of Three, the three centers Polian drafted in 2008, none of whom were good at Center (or any other position)?

It is kind of remarkable that that wasn't even his worst O-Line.

108
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 7:09pm

Yeah, Jamey Richard. Oh man, that o line was unspeakably awful. I still feel like the one andrew dealt with last year was the absolute worst. Castonzo was terrible, satele was terrible. Mcglynn was just wretched. Sad that most of these players are still on the team.

6
by collapsing pocket (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:38am

Not a good sign for the old fantasy team when your lineup includes both the least valuable RB and WR. Ouch.

19
by SFC B :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:38am

My line-up had Green, Rice, AND Kaepernick. This was one of those weeks where, even if I'd played the perfect line-up of players I had available, I was going to lose.

8
by NYMike :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:48am

I'm amused the Kaepernick went from the Number 1 QB to number 31 in one week. It does matter who you p[lay and how they are trying to play you.

10
by Rambonious (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:02am

Well you have to remember DYAR is a moving target. By the end of the year Kaepernick's DYAR for this game might be positive.

9
by PatsFan :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:57am

Surprised Dobson wasn't least valuable. I guess that TD against a blown coverage (not that DVOA, etc. knows its a blown coverage) made up for all the drops.

12
by are-tee :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:09am

By the same token, I'll bet that both Brady and Geno would have much better numbers if you adjust for all the dropped passes.

34
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:35am

They'll also have better numbers when we can start adjusting for opposing defenses. New England's defense is in the top 5 for passing yards allowed, and I believe top ten overall. The Jets are 2nd overall.

39
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:47am

Brady would also have better numbers if he threw better passes.

The receivers weren't good, but neither was he. He has a tendency to get upset and get less precise.

Dobson had several drops, but there were also several plays where he was wide open and Brady just plain underthrew or overthrew him.

42
by ChrisS (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:56am

I bet Brady would argue that those were mostly option read routes and the receiver made the wrong read

45
by RickD :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:59am

I bet he wouldn't be the only one to make that argument, either.

Brady wasn't perfect. He made a few mistakes. The receivers made more.

61
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:23pm

Brady's deep ball has never been that great, and he might have lost a little accuracy off it, but as a Jets fan, I beg you to stop dissing him. Trust me, it doesn't pay (unless you're hoping they beat the Jets by 50 next time).

I also like to think the Jets defense had something to do with the Pats offense looking that terrible.

84
by Karma Coma :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 3:28pm

If by "something" you mean "not be close enough to obstruct the camera angles," then yes, they helped the NE offense look terrible.

11
by killwer :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:05am

No mention of Desean Jackson?

13
by Dean :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:14am

The real quesiton for DeSean should be - does DVOA factor in his taking yet another dumb penalty in a key moment that contributed mightily to his team losing the game?

16
by killwer :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:21am

You mean the play where we forced a fumble, but didnt recover it and they got 21 yards extra?

24
by Anonymous1101 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:01am

Yeah he's talking about the late hit penalty by D Jack that led to that kickoff being returnable.

25
by killwer :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:05am

I know, but we forced a fumble on that return. Sadly we couldnt pick it up and the Chargers got an extra 21 yards by the fumble.

31
by Jimmy :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:30am

Yes, because Jackson knew that would happen.

68
by killwer :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 1:44pm

No, but the Chargers got far better field position than they should have and that had nothing to do with the penalty.

Also Im not sure that it really meant anything consider the Eagles D couldnt stop the Chargers at all.

109
by Scott C :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:46pm

The eagles recovered 2 of 3 Charger fumbles. Fumble luck is not what lost them the game.

44
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:59am

I assume D-Jax got killed for the ball he fingertipped. Shame, that would have been a TD.

14
by are-tee :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:14am

"..(and another ball that would have been a first down if Stephen Hill hadn't fumbled)"

The QB doesn't get credit for a first down completion when the receiver fumbles on the play? Doesn't seem fair.

15
by Dean :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:15am

The oft-maligned Sam Bradford was 10th in week 1 and was 6th this week (and against a solid Falcons defense, no less).

17
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:31am

I like Bradford, and was worried when he landed in St Louis. With the way that team is being built though, and with all of those extra first round picks from the RGIII trade, I think the Rams could be a team to watch out for the next several years.

23
by DEW (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 9:57am

Tannehill being below replacement level surprises me on one level given his conventional stats (69% completion, over 300 yards, no turnovers), but having watched the game, does not surprise me on another level given how Miami's offense moved with fits and starts all game in between the occasional big play. And that's before opponent adjustments start better factoring in the fact that the Colts are probably pretty awful in pass defense.

27
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:19am

In a word: sacks

33
by Ben :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:35am

I was a bit surprised to see that too, but those first two scoring drives didn't take many plays, so there wasn't a whole lot of chance to rack up DYAR. After those two drives, Miami's offense wasn't overly efficient.

I think I was more surprised that Luck rated as well as he did, thought a lot of that was his rushing.

40
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:50am

"but those first two scoring drives didn't take many plays"

This is just silly. A short drive has less samples, but the value of those samples is much greater.

Tannehill's DVOA/DYAR problems are because of the sacks

59
by James-London :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:21pm

The weird fumble didn't help either.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

87
by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 3:41pm

He had 3 fumbles on 5 sacks. I imagine that is what hurt his day as the system treats fumbles the same no matter which team recovers them since basically luck dictates who recovers a fumble.

26
by Anonymous37 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:18am

I know San Fran has a good defense, but there's just no way that Russell Wilson game was above replacement level. Did Bill Simmons make some kind of plea to Aaron?

50
by Arkaein :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:33am

Are you seriously complaining about a player getting 9 DYAR?

54
by Jimmy :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:50am

And that is rushing DYAR. Is anyone saying Wilson can't scramble?

30
by coremill :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:24am

Do these numbers include opponent adjustments yet?

35
by joebarnin :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:38am

Remarkable game by Malcom Floyd - all in one half (he was injured on the first scrimmage play of the second half). He was heading for a monster game.

36
by Ben :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:38am

Eli Manning must have been incredibly efficient on his other passes to have a positive DYAR with a 1-4 TD to INT ratio and the stats mentioned in his writeup...

46
by BJR :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:12am

Giants had something like 70 yards worth of pass interference penalties in their favor. I believe Eli gets credit for those.

37
by whckandrw (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:44am

How was Matt Forte's day? It looked good in terms of conventional stats, he was a big factor in the passing game and while he got stuffed at the line a few times, it felt like he also picked up a decent number of 6-10 yard gains and didn't rely on big plays.

47
by Jimmy :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:15am

FUMBLE

63
by whckandrw (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:58pm

Good point, I forgot about that.

76
by Jon Goldman (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:41pm

I'm a bit hesitant to put that on Forte. The ball was literally ripped out of his hands, I don't think ball security had anything to do with it.

41
by BlueStarDude :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:55am

RE: "Romo throwing to receivers not named Dez Bryant: 22-of-30, but for only 154 yards and eight first downs."

Watching the Dallas offense against the Chiefs on Sunday really highlighted one of the consistent problems of the Romo era: the inability, or unwillingness, to continually attack an opponent's weakness, UNLESS the exploitable match-up happens to involve Jason Witten.

Flowers is a standout corner but he was outmatched on Sunday. Dez should have had many more targets (including the obvious misstep where they threw a WR screen to Williams on 3rd and goal when Dez was isolated on Flowers), at least until the Chiefs switched up their coverage a bit more.

I say "Romo era" because it extends back regardless of coach, with the worst offense (or worst timing perhaps) being the team's failure to force the issue against the depleted Seattle secondary in the 2006 playoffs.

There have been exceptions--DeMarco Murray's breakout game against a pitiful Ram rush defense a couple of years back, with the unfortunate extension that Murray has ever since been lumped in with the always exaggerated Dallas talent level-- but they are just that.

55
by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:01pm

Well, Dez did have 9 receptions for 141 yards so they weren't exactly ignoring him.

And that 2006 playoff game didn't play out the way you seem to remember it. Depleted secondary or no, Dallas was having far more success on the ground in that game than through the air. Julius Jones had 112 yards averaging over 5 yards a carry while Romo was 17 of 29 for 189 yards. And your gameplan would have been Jones getting less carries so more passes could be thrown?

70
by BlueStarDude :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:14pm

Pretty sure most of those yards to Dez came on a single drive. I didn't say they didn't use him at all. They didn't use him enough. If I recall correctly, he had 13 targets, not bad, but he should have had 20 the way the Chiefs were playing him. His one drop, and the unfortunate OPI call, didn't help, but there should have been even more chances.

As for the 2006 playoff game: I admit I'm going purely off of my memory of how I felt watching the game. But there were opportunities where Dallas should have been able to better exploit Seattle's weaknesses that day, bigger chunks of yards that should have been able to be had.

48
by Jimmy :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 11:16am

I know he didn't have the most yards but I would have thought Martellus 'Black Unicorn' Bennett had a decent game. Three first downs and two TDs on seven attempts.

72
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:17pm

Surprised Dobson wasn't least valuable. I guess that TD against a blown coverage (not that DVOA, etc. knows its a blown coverage) made up for all the drops.

-12 DYAR. Lousy, but not in the bottom 20. 3-10-56 statline. The touchdown helps a lot, and his other two catches both went for first downs, one a third-down conversion.

No mention of Desean Jackson?

Just missed the tables at number 6. 9-15-193 statline. Also had two failed completions, so his success rate was less than 50 percent.

How was Matt Forte's day? It looked good in terms of conventional stats, he was a big factor in the passing game and while he got stuffed at the line a few times, it felt like he also picked up a decent number of 6-10 yard gains and didn't rely on big plays.

Ninth in RB DYAR this week. Take away the fumble and he would have made the top five.

I know he didn't have the most yards but I would have thought Martellus 'Black Unicorn' Bennett had a decent game. Three first downs and two TDs on seven attempts.

20th in WR/TEs (not including Monday night). Dragged down by two incompletions and a 1-yard gain on third-and-10.

73
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:21pm

RE: Replacement level: Replacement level is set as a percentage of the average baseline, and the average baseline changes week-to-week throughout the season. So if the average quarterback is better now than he was five years ago, then the replacement level will rise.

I'm not sure, though, how "all the other quarterbacks are better than him" is supposed to be a defense of Brady's numbers. A better defense would be "He's throwing to Huey, Louie, and Dewey out there."

85
by coremill :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 3:33pm

This is interesting, I didn't know replacement level was set as a percentage of the average baseline. I don't think the FAQ section on DYAR mentions that. Doesn't that mean the replacement level assumes that the shape of the performance distribution curve is static? Is that assumption warranted?

74
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:36pm

Defenders of the qy dyar stat as an accurate measure of qb play must be scratching their heads about tom brady right now. If you really believe in it, you are simply left with two explanations. Either he's got some kind of undisclosed injury or he's aged and hes not the same player he was exactly 7 months ago.

Seriously, if this season of brady's doesn't hammer home the need to scrap qb dyar as a meaningful qb stat, then I don't know what will. It might as well be describing brady, his receivers, and their blocking.

80
by Led :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:47pm

"It might as well be describing brady, his receivers, and their blocking."

Heh. Might as well! From the "Our New Stats Explained" page under "Issues With DVOA/DYAR":

"Football is a game in which nearly every action requires the work of two or more teammates -- in fact, usually 11 teammates all working in unison. U nfortunately, when it comes to individual player ratings, we are still far from the point at which we can determine the value of a player independent from the performance of his teammates. That means that when we say, 'In 2011, Matt Forte had a DVOA of -5.6%,' what we are really saying is 'In 2011, Matt Forte, playing in Mike Martz’s offensive system with the Chicago offensive line blocking for him and Jay Cutler or Caleb Hanie selling the fake when necessary, had a DVOA of -5.6%.'"

81
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 2:58pm

+1

82
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 3:08pm

That still hasn't stopped a few people on these forums from claiming so and so is better or worse because of dyar. Hell, I've seen Mike Kurtz do it when he was arguing that brandon marshall was an average receiver due to his 0 dvoa.

110
by edge (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 8:59pm

Don't all QB stats always describe some combination of the QB, his receivers, and their blocking, not just DYAR? I agree that people have leaned too heavily on DYAR or DVOA in evaluating a particular player's talent in the past, but in that QB play can dramatically effect their DYAR I think DYAR does say something meaningful about how good they are.

90
by jsp (not verified) :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 4:08pm

Vince,

I'm curious as to how/whether you deal with clock related decisions when grading plays. For example, this week Fred Jackson intentionally dropped a pass on the Bills' final drive. The drop prevented the clock from continuing to run on what would have been short completion. Is that play scored as a negative target and drop for Jackson? (The most famous example of this type of play was Brian Westbrook's decision to kneel against the Cowboys and forego a touchdown).

I'd guess plays like this happen more frequently than people realize - though typically in the other direction with a runner or receiver fighting for a first down or catch when getting out of bounds or dropping the pass would be the superior result. Is there anyway to incorporate these plays into your analysis (they seem to fit better with a win probability analyis than a DYAR analysis)?

112
by beargoggles :: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 10:38pm

My guess would be that these plays are too rare to be worth the trouble to analyze statistically (Like kneel-downs) and though the Jackson drop may have been a good play this would produce some judgment calls.

115
by Vince Verhei :: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 2:10am

Basically, this. We throw out kneeldowns and spikes entirely. We don't have the time or resources available to analyze the video of every play and determine whether or not the player really was trying to gain yards, but I think it's safe to say that out of 150-plus snaps per game, at least 145 of them are more concerned with real estate than time.