Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Oct 2013

Week 4 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

Everyone reading this has a special talent. Yours might be poetry, or baking, or juggling. Perhaps you're a fine woodworker, or a dynamic speaker. Some of us were put on this world to heal the sick, educate the young, or care for the elderly. Others have a gift for spiritual guidance, or salesmanship, or pottery. Whether you're a barber or a soldier or a farmer or a chef, there is something you do better than almost anyone you know.

Whatever you do, though, odds are you don't do it nearly as well as Peyton Manning plays football these days.

Manning's destruction of the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday (good for a 28-34-327-4-0 statline) left him atop the Quick Reads tables for Week 4 going into the Monday night game. (NOTE: Quarterbacks keep having good games on Monday night and ruining my essays before they're even published. It's getting annoying. Knock it off guys.) He was also first in Week 1 and Week 3; in Week 2 he was fourth. Manning currently leads the league in completions (117), completion rate (75.0 percent), yards (1,470), yards per pass (9.4), touchdowns (16), touchdown rate (10.3 percent), and interception rate (0.0 percent), and he has been sacked only five times.

It's no surprise, then, that he also leads the league with 829 passing DYAR. That's a lot -- it would have ranked in the top ten last season -- but how does it compare to the great quarterbacks of the past, and what does it tell us about the future of Manning and the Denver Broncos this season?

Manning's 829 DYAR is a record for the first four weeks of a season, in a database that goes back more than 20 years:

Best QB Through Week 4, 1989-2013
Year Player Team DYAR Final DYAR Rk Tm W-L Fate
2013 Peyton Manning DEN 829 -- -- -- --
2007 Tom Brady NE 743 2,674 1 16-0 Lost Super Bowl
1999 Brad Johnson WAS 719 1,074 4 10-6 Lost in Divisional Round
2001 Kurt Warner STL 674 1,805 1 14-2 Lost Super Bowl
1992 Jim Kelly BUF 645 1,129 4 11-5 Lost Super Bowl
2011 Tom Brady NE 626 1,997 3 13-3 Lost Super Bowl
2004 Peyton Manning IND 598 2,434 1 12-4 Lost in Divisional Round
2006 Peyton Manning IND 583 2,317 1 12-4 Won Super Bowl
2011 Aaron Rodgers GB 580 2,059 2 15-1 Lost in Divisional Round
2013 Philip Rivers SD 552 -- -- -- --
1994 Dan Marino MIA 549 1,349 2 10-6 Lost in Divisional Round
2007 Peyton Manning IND 546 1,721 2 13-3 Lost in Divisional Round
2010 Peyton Manning IND 545 1,400 3 10-6 Lost in Wild Card Round
1997 Drew Bledsoe NE 541 809 9 10-6 Lost in Divisional Round
2012 Tom Brady NE 531 2,035 1 12-4 Lost in AFC Championship
2007 Tony Romo DAL 528 1,191 4 13-3 Lost in Divisional Round
2005 Donovan McNabb* PHI 525 564 14 6-10 Missed Playoffs
2005 Matt Hasselbeck SEA 519 1,357 4 13-3 Lost Super Bowl
2002 Tom Brady NE 519 780 9 9-7 Missed Playoffs
2009 Tom Brady NE 512 2,021 1 10-6 Lost in Wild Card Round
2011 Drew Brees NO 507 2,259 1 13-3 Lost in Divisional Round
*McNabb only played nine games due to injury.

This table shows the top 20 starts from 1989 through 2013. It's important to remember that this is passing DYAR only, and also that through 2012, the numbers shown include end-of-season opponent adjustments. The 2013 opponent adjustments could change substantially as we learn more about the quality of opposition for Manning, Rivers, and Matt Ryan (who finishes just outside this top 20 with 474 DYAR so far).

With all that in mind, the first conclusion is that we can not write Manning's performance off as a fluke of small sample size. Only two quarterbacks in our top 20 stayed healthy all year but fell out of the top four in passing DYAR. Both were New England Patriots in the year after a Super Bowl appearance. First came Drew Bledsoe in 1997, when the Patriots started 4-0. Bledsoe's completion rate stayed at 60 percent both before and after the Patriots' Week 5 bye, but he dropped from 7.9 yards per pass with 3.0 touchdowns per game to 6.8 yards per pass with 1.3 touchdowns per game. Then came Tom Brady in 2002. Through four games that year, the Patriots were 3-1, and Brady was completing nearly 70 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. From that point forward, his completion rate dipped below 59 percent, with 17 touchdowns and 10 picks, and New England went 6-6. They finished in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East, but lost out on tiebreakers and missed the playoffs.

Barring injury or a Brady-like collapse (now there's a phrase I don't find myself typing very often), Manning should finish at or near the top of the passing tables, and the Broncos should be a high playoff seed. The median win-loss record for Manning's predecessors has been 12-4, and only two of those teams failed to make the playoffs. A Super Bowl Championship, though, is still a long shot. Two of these teams lost in the Wild Card round, eight lost in the Divisional round, one lost in the conference championship, and five lost the Super Bowl. Only one quarterback has started this hot and gone on to win a Super Bowl, and his name was Peyto--

Uh-oh.

SURPRISING PLAYERS: Frank Gore led all rushers this week wth 153 yards, but he was only ninth among running backs in total DYAR. He did lose a fumble, and also had only three first downs on the day (one of those a touchdown). He was hit for not gain or a loss twice. Also, the two passes thrown his way were both incomplete.

Torrey Smith led the league with 166 yards receiving, and on only five catches, but he finished 10th among receivers because he was also the target on seven incompletions, two of them third downs in the red zone. Julio Jones was also the target on seven incomplete passes. That's why, despite six catches for 108 yards, he actually finished below replacement level. A fumble in the fourth quarter didn't help, even though Atlanta recovered. The first ten passes thrown Jones' way resulted in three catches for 22 yards and two first downs before his too-little-too-late explosion at the end of the game.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Drew Brees NO
30/39
413
4
0
250
248
2
2.
Peyton Manning DEN
28/34
327
4
0
226
226
0
Peyton Manning, on a roll, is a scary, scary thing. He had some miscues in the first half. For example, he turned a first-and-10 into a punt by going sack, 4-yard completion, incomplete on three straight plays. After halftime, though, he was as close to unstoppable as you can be. In the third quarter (he didn't throw a pass in the fourth), he went 15-of-16 for 158 yards with three touchdowns and nine other first downs, plus a 6-yard DPI. Each of those 15 completions gained successful yardage. His last six passes each went for a first down, two of them for touchdowns.
3.
Matt Ryan ATL
34/54
421
2
1
158
158
0
If we eliminate all red zone plays, Ryan was the week's most valuable quarterback. Inside the 20, though, he was in the bottom five, going 6-of-15 for 46 yards with one sack, one touchdown, and just one other first down. He had seven third- or fourth-down dropbacks in the red zone, and failed to convert any of them.
4.
Philip Rivers SD
35/42
401
3
1
156
156
0
On deep passes (those that traveled at least 16 yards past the line of scrimmage), Rivers went 6-of-8 for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Seven of those throws came with San Diego trailing or tied. In other news, Dallas needs new safeties.
5.
Tom Brady NE
20/31
316
2
0
138
148
-10
Brady avoided disaster against Atlanta, and ranks this high mainly because he had no sacks or interceptions. It was a streaky game for the Pats QB; twice he went at least four straight dropbacks without gaining successful yardage, but three times he put together at least four successful plays in a row, and on two separate occasions he picked up five first downs in a stretch of six dropbacks.
6.
Brian Hoyer CLE
25/38
269
2
0
103
99
4
First quarter: 8-of-8 for 80 yards with four first downs, capped off by a go-ahead touchdown. He did not throw a single pass all game to the deep middle or deep right areas of the field, but he threw nine to the deep left, completing three of them for 80 yards.
7.
Tony Romo DAL
27/37
250
2
0
101
96
5
A poor start, going 1-of-5 with two sacks, with the only completion a 7-yard gain on second-and-10 that led to a third-down sack. Then each of his next six dropbacks produced first downs, finished with a game-tying touchdown, for 56 combined yards. He struggled all day on third down, though, going just 2-of-7 for 15 yards with two first downs and a sack.
8.
Jake Locker TEN
18/24
149
3
0
90
86
5
In reference to our discussion on Locker in this week's Audibles, only two of Locker's completions this week came on deep throws. For the season, he is fourth overall in DYAR on short throws, but third-worst in DYAR on deep balls.
9.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
36/48
383
1
1
68
68
0
Roethlisberger had 30 successful plays and 22 first downs, both most among quarterbacks this week. Not enough of those, though, came in the red zone, where Roethlisberger went 7-of-12 for 46 yards with one touchdowns, two other first downs, and two sacks. He had four goal-to-go plays: two incompletions and two sacks, one of which resulted in a lost fumble with the Steelers down by seven in the fourth quarter.
10.
Matt Cassel MIN
16/25
248
2
0
68
63
4
Cassel started off just just 4-of-12. (Granted, one of those completions was a 70-yard touchdown, but still.) Then he was sacked and fumbled on third down. That should have been the end of the drive, but Jerome Simpson recovered the fumble and turned it into a first down. That random bit of luck seemed to turn things around for Cassel, who proceeded to go 12-of-13 from that point forward. Even there, he couldn't help but be Matt Cassel — Those 12 completions picked up only four first downs, including another touchdown.
11.
Michael Vick PHI
14/27
248
0
0
59
52
8
When Vick and the Eagles took the field in the third quarter, they were only down by 15 points, and the game was still within reach. On the next three drives, Vick went 1-of-7 for 27 yards with two sacks. That third drive ended with a blocked punt and a Denver touchdown that put the Broncos up by 36.
12.
Colin Kaepernick SF
15/23
167
2
0
55
50
5
First two third downs: Two incompletes. Next four third downs: four conversions, for 89 total yards, with two touchdowns. Last four third downs: Two incompletes, two completions for 9 yards, no conversions.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Matt Schaub HOU
31/49
355
2
2
53
54
-1
First half: 17-of-27 for 226 yards with two touchdowns and 12 other first downs, plus a 10-yard DPI. Even though he threw a red zone interception, he still had the best first half of any quarterback this week. After the break, he went 14-of-22 for 129 yards, with just seven first downs, four sacks, and a game-tying pick-six.
14.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TEN
3/8
108
1
0
44
44
0
He started with a 25-yard pass to Kendall Wright, and ended with a 77-yard touchdown to Nate Washington. In between he went 1-of-6 for 6 yards, with five incompletions in a row. We probably should have mentioned Fitzpatrick's name last week in our discussion of top backups, but that's irrelevant, because now he's a starter for the immediate future.
15.
Alex Smith KC
24/41
288
3
2
37
25
12
Third downs: 10-of-14 for 110 yards with eight first downs, including all three touchdowns.
16.
Robert Griffin WAS
19/31
227
1
0
15
17
-2
To either side: 10-of-20 for 110 yards, with just four first downs. Up the middle: 8-of-10 for 117 yards, with one touchdown and six other first downs.
17.
Andrew Luck IND
22/36
260
2
1
14
5
9
First half: 14-of-27 for 140 yards with seven first downs, one interception, and one sack. Fortunately he was playing the Jaguars, and so he and the Colts were still ahead 20-3. At that point Luck apparently realized, "Wait a minute, man, I'm playing the Jaguars." And after halftime he completed nine passes in a row (with one sack in the mix) for 120 yards with two touchdowns and six other first downs. And then his last pass fell incomplete. Alas.
18.
Matthew Stafford DET
23/35
242
1
1
-6
5
-12
It just occurred to me that for the second straight week, there are a lot of quarterbacks below replacement level. Could be a two-week fluke. Could be Peyton Manning playing so well he's throwing the entire system out of whack. We'll see. Anyway. Stafford went just 2-of-7 on third downs for 16 yards and only one conversion.
19.
Eli Manning NYG
19/37
217
1
1
-10
-16
6
Manning's first third-down pass was a conversion, a 16-yard gain to Hakeem Nicks on third-and-1.That was the last third-down he would convert on the day. After that, he went 1-of-7 for 16 yards with a fumbled snap, two sacks (including another fumble), and an interception. (He also went 1-of-2 for 7 yards on fourth down, with one conversion.)
20.
Carson Palmer ARI
22/38
248
1
2
-37
-39
2
Speaking of lousy third-down passing: Palmer went 2-of-8 for 11 yards and zero conversions on third down. He had four throws on third down with less than 10 yards needed for a first down, and went incomplete on all of them.
21.
Jay Cutler CHI
27/47
317
2
3
-43
-47
4
Cutler's first 12 third-down plays resulted in no conversions, five completions for 21 yards, three incompletions, two interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble that was returned for a Lions touchdown. His last third-down throw was his only conversion, a 10-yard touchdown that pulled Chicago within eight points with 43 seconds to play. He did convert both of his fourth-down throws, for 22 total yards, including a touchdown.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
22.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
22/35
249
1
3
-49
-51
3
23.
E.J. Manuel BUF
10/22
167
1
2
-31
-18
-14
For a change of pace, here's a passer who struggled on second down. Manuel's first second-down throw resulted in a 6-yard DPI. After that, he went 0-of-5 with a sack-fumble and an interception.
24.
Russell Wilson SEA
12/23
123
0
1
-61
-92
30
Outside his own 40, Wilson went 3-of-12 for 25 yards with one first down, one interception, and two sacks. HOW ON EARTH DID SEATTLE WIN THIS GAME? Well, it helped that he had eight carries on the day for 78 yards and three first downs.
25.
Sam Bradford STL
19/41
204
1
1
-68
-68
0
Bradford threw eight passes to the short middle area of the defense, to six different receivers. Those passes resulted in three receptions for 20 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown that came when the Rams were down by 25 points in the fourth quarter.
26.
Geno Smith NYJ
23/34
289
1
2
-77
-72
-5
This is where you fit when you give up five sacks (including a fumble) and two interceptions. Five of those disastrous plays came on first-and-10.
27.
Andy Dalton CIN
23/42
206
0
1
-90
-94
5
Inside the Cleveland 40, Dalton went 5-of-10 for 24 yards with one first down and one first down. In related news, the Bengals scored six points.
28.
Matt Flynn OAK
21/32
227
1
1
-113
-107
-6
This was, um, not as good as Flynn's last start. His first third down resulted in a sack. His next four were all conversions for 48 total yards, including a touchdown. He didn't convert another third down all day, going 3-of-7 for 10 yards with a pick-six and three sacks.
29.
Mike Glennon TB
25/43
193
1
2
-130
-117
-13
After halftime, the Bucs had a 10-0 lead. While attempting to defend that lead, Glennon went 9-of-18 for 78 yards with four first downs, one sack, one intentional grounding foul, and two interceptions.
30.
Blaine Gabbert JAC
17/32
179
0
3
-139
-141
2
Through three quarters, Gabbert went 8-of-16 for 44 yards, with as many first downs (two) as interceptions, one of which was returned for a Colts touchdown. Oh and he had also been sacked four times. With the Jaguars safely down by 31 points, he then did some major league stats padding in the fourth quarter.
31.
Joe Flacco BAL
25/50
347
2
5
-194
-194
0
Five interceptions will land you at the bottom of these tables pretty much every time. On third downs, Flacco went 5-of-15 for 58 yards with as many conversions (three) as interceptions, plus one sack.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Reggie Bush DET
139
1
34
0
52
47
6
When you see Reggie Bush in Quick Reads, it's usually safe to assume he did a lot of damage as a receiver. Not this week though. He caught four of six passes for 34 yards and only two first downs. Six of his 18 runs, on the other hand, gained at least 10 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown. That was enough to put him on top of the tables, even though he had a fumble.
2.
Knowshon Moreno DEN
78
1
13
0
52
43
9
Moreno's first four carries only went for 13 yards. After that, he ran eight times for 65 yards, including four runs of 10 or more yards, and also had a 4-yard touchdown. He was only thrown one pass, but it was complete for 13 yards.
3.
Danny Woodhead SD
32
0
54
2
50
18
32
Woodhead only carried five times, but all of them gained at least 2 yards, and he had a 14-yarder and also converted a second-and-1. He caught five of seven passes for 54 yards with three first downs, including touchdowns of 13 and 26 yards.
4.
Adrian Peterson MIN
140
2
0
0
32
37
-6
Peterson gashed the Steelers for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. The Vikings threw him one pass, and it went incomplete. He was hit for no gain or a loss only three times, but had only two 10-yard carries. He did pick up four other first downs though.
5.
Chris Ogbonnaya CLE
27
0
21
1
30
14
16
Ogbonnaya caught every pass thrown his way, including a goal-line touchdown and a first down on second-and-8. He only ran five times, but every carry gained 2 to 11 yards, and he converted a pair of third-and-1s.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Rashard Mendenhall ARI
21
0
13
0
-45
-44
-2
Bruce Arians' comments to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic following Sunday's game: "Rashard had a very tough day and he can't play that way. ... We need to practice him a little bit harder. I think we've been too easy on him in practice because of his injuries, and we need to hone him up more because he's not gaining anything." This is what coaches say when their running backs get 12 carries, none longer than 6 yards, with three stuffs and two fumbles. Oh, and in four targets, he had three receptions, 13 total yards, and no first downs.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Jimmy Graham NO
4
4
100
25.0
2
57
2.
Tony Gonzalez ATL
12
14
149
12.4
2
56
Remember when this guy said he was going to retire? The best tight end of all time had touchdowns of 21 and 11 yards, and had eight catches of 10 or more yards, including three of 20 or more.
3.
Jerricho Cotchery PIT
5
6
103
20.6
1
51
Each of Cotchery's catches gained at least 10 yards, including 26- and 36-yarders, plus a 15-yard touchdown.
4.
Demaryius Thomas DEN
9
10
86
9.6
2
47
Eight of Thomas' catches produced first downs, including 1- and 15-yard touchdown grabs.
5.
Marques Colston NO
7
8
96
13.7
0
47


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Vincent Jackson TB
2
11
27
13.5
0
-53
If anything, Jackson was even worse than these numbers show. While both of his catches went for first downs, he was also the target on two interceptions. In DYAR and DVOA, the blame for interceptions goes to quarterbacks not receivers. Mike Glennon is a big reason why Jackson only caught two passes, but he wasn't getting open as often as usual either.

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 01 Oct 2013

112 comments, Last at 23 Oct 2013, 11:36pm by fb cash study

Comments

1
by Coach Tuesday (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 9:05am

Robert Woods only had one touchdown; the second one was overturned after replay review. Not sure if that changes your rankings.

19
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:07am

I have to manually adjust plays with a reversal, so that's my error. I will fix that and the numbers above, as well as the listing of Brad Johnson for 1999.

2
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 9:51am

A question I've had since the end of Bears-Lions; did DYAR see Cutler's end of game drives as valuable or were they heavily discounted as garbage time?

16
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:59am

I bet Cutler is relieved Detroit recovered that onside, so Kaczmar couldn't dock him for a failed 4th-quarter comeback and allege he's not "clutch".

21
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:16am

There is a mild discounting for garbage time. It turns out players who play well in garbage time tend to play well in other situations, so it's actually predictive.

39
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:01pm

You know what? That is genuinely a pretty interesting datum that deserves further exploration.

61
by Dennis :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:12pm

It's seems pretty intuitive. Better players will tend to play better regardless of the situation.

3
by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 9:57am

Aren't you guys a little bit worried that DYAR does a poor job of evaluating running backs? It beggars belief that a guy who touched the ball ten times and gained 48 yards could have been more valuable than a guy who touched the ball twice as much and gained more than three times as many yards. Because Gore had two carries that didn't get positive yardage? Even Chris Ogbonnaya's mother doesn't think he was more valuable than Frank Gore last week.

7
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:11am

A large problem is the use of the term "most valuable". It really needs to be dropped.

10
by Kulko :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:31am

Thought the same.

The underlying problem is of course, that giving touches to your running back is a losing effort in at least 60% of all carries, compared to the expected outcome of a pass play. So RBs who have a lot of touches score a lot of negative plays, alowing a player with a few high success caries to jump them.

OF course this is through no fault of the RB himself, because getting 3-5 yards on this carries is better than being stopped.

32
by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:01pm

The baseline for success on a running play is the same as a pass play? Thats just dumb, I obviously never read that bit properly back in 200X.

Also - it seems dumb to penalise a RB for catching the ball on a dumpoff on 3rd & long. Sure he's not converted for the first down, but from a team point of view, its still marginally better to be a few yards further downfield - plus if he catches the ball, he's not tipped it for an interception, and he's also got the chance of breaking a tackle for a first down - though most of the time, he won't - and shouldn't be penalised for this.

36
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:15pm

This relates to the unfortunately phrased "least valuable receiver or tight end" as well. The least valuable receiver is actually the guy who is so bad that he never gets targeted, because the qb knows a fat guy holding a beer tray in the upper deck has as good a chance of catching the pass.

95
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:07pm

Technically, an unsuccessful play on 3rd and long which gains a significant amount of yardage usually results in neutral or slightly positive DVOA, not negative.

17
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:00am

Aaron's a Pats fan. He doesn't know what these "running backs" are.

18
by apk3000 :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:00am

Presumably, this is where scouting helps fill in the gap. Honestly, for RBs and WRs, going back to the original DPAR nomenclature (where's it's explicitly success points) might make more sense.

79
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:06pm

I've been saying this for YEARS. DYAR is like a pretend, dumbed down DPAR

22
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:19am

Also, several 1 yard carries on first down, and several unsuccessful runs on 2nd down (2 yards on 2nd and 12, 3 yards on 2nd and 10).

4
by sam :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 9:59am

I'm not going to go out of my way to defend ANYTHING about the Jacksonville Jaguars right now. They're horrific. At the same time, Blaine Gabbert had 3 interceptions, all of which hit his own receivers in the hands. At least two of those I know would have been first downs if completed (unlike some of Henne's throws the last 2 weeks which were picked off but wouldn't have been successful anyway).

5
by hrudey (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:04am

I was surprised not to see Cecil Shorts III be the least valuable WR since the aforementioned alleged hands were his, and they also dropped a pass in the end zone. But I'm convinced that some QBs have this innate ability to make everyone around them better, and somehow Gabbert has the innate ability to make everyone around him worse.

12
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:35am

"But I'm convinced that some QBs have this innate ability to make everyone around them better, and somehow Gabbert has the innate ability to make everyone around him worse."

So Blaine Gabbert is the bizarro Peyton Manning.

80
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:08pm

These numbers are OBJECTIVE (if flawed). Your opinions are SUBJECTIVE (and also flawed).

6
by IanW (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:05am

Brad Johnson didn't play for the Bucs in 1999

11
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:33am

Yes, I think you meant to put WAS, not TB, next to his name.

8
by Paul R :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:22am

What?!? No Matt Hasselbeck DYAR? Boo!
I know he only went 2 for 3 or something, but you gotta give him some respect. The guy's like 70 years old!

9
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:28am

If Vikings management doesn't declare The Ponderous Project a failure, and start Cassel, not because Cassel is good, but simply because Cassel can at least throw the ball downfield with some authority, they are officially nuts. Ponder has had 29 starts, and has always played against defenses which were just daring him to throw. They must know by now that the chances of him being productive are slim and none.

If the Schiano/Freeman relationship has become poisonous enough, the Vikings should offer the Ponder and a late draft pick in a trade.

25
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:36am

We don't want the Ponder. At all. Really, he's yours. I do think Freeman could wind up in Minnesota next year, but I'm fine with that happening without having to get Ponder.

29
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:45am

Oh, I just can't stand you selfish, self-centered Bucs fans, with your, "Oh, nos, wees can't possibly be made to endure pondering Ponder! Wees wants a real quarterback!"

Why doncha' suck it up, and take your share of the pain?!!

76
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:35pm

If the bucs are so deserving of this kind of pain, what would you say the packers and colts deserve for penance? And don't forget denver for getting a guy off the scrap heap.

30
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:45am

Not even if they throw in Samantha Steele Ponder to be the Bucs' new sideline reporter?

82
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:17pm

You know who has a shockingly hot wife? Lane Kiffen. Idk, I guess he's not unattractive, but man!

33
by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:03pm

Rumour has it that the Vikings burned Ponders passport on Sunday evening.

45
by David :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:44pm

Interestingly, at least to me, this wouldn't stop him being able to get back into the US. More complicated, yes, but you can re-enter your state of citizenship without a passport - that's only required to let you into other states...

I say this as someone who had their passport stolen while abroad, at Christmas, which made getting home all kinds of interesting...

49
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:01pm

That's why some of us more ruthless Vikings fans were Pondering the virtues of an extraordinary rendition. It's hard to throw three picks if you are being held at a CIA black site.

40
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:13pm

You know what's the wierdest thing is? Ponder has a stronger arm than Cassel, who doesn't have a strong arm. Ponder's problem is that he tries to aim most every throw, and loses a ton of velocity when he does that. On the other hand, when he *does* just throw the ball, he's more often than not fairly inaccurate.

It does not take thirty games to tell whether a QB is good or bad. It takes about eight. As it is, Locker's effectiveness for the first four games is highly unusual. The Derek Andersons of the world usually don't stop being Derek Anderson. Much of that is all the short throws, but...

One thing I'm continually amazed by, is how rarely people, football fans actually, understand what adequate arm strength really means, and why you never, ever, accept a QB with a subpar arm. Even a successful one, like Pennington, is always going to get a good wedgie in the playoffs. However, some fanbase get to see Andy Dalton (s of the league), who does *well* for his lack of arm strength, consistently fail in the playoffs, when they should have been developing someone who actually has arm strength. But then, expectations of winning playoff games is inconvenient to ownership that wants the free stadiums, high selling merchandise, and big capital gains when they sell.

Darth Al, for all his faults, still had the fundamentals right.

44
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:36pm

I think it depends on where you draw the line on sufficient arm strength, and effective arm strength. Brady and Brees aren't exactly throwing lasers, but they lose very little accuracy when they heave it through a tight window. Before his injuries, Pennington threw it just about as well.

Meanwhile, Newton, Cutler, Stafford, Vick, and Locker (last year's version; I haven't seen him first-hand this season) get plenty of zip on the ball, but don't seem to place it as well when they really have to gun it. If they take their time, they're as accurate as anyone, but lose something when they have to squeeze it through in a hurry.

56
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:43pm

Only Newton and Locker has bad ball placement. The others are adequate to good.

And yeah, the constant refrain of *star QB* ain't throwing lasers, why should my pathetic QB be able to throw lasers? You know why? Because they *have* above the minimum arm strength. Seriously, it's not that hard. Matt Ryan hovers at the bottom of any QB who could be expected to succeed in the playoffs, and Ryan's lack of arm does show in the playoffs. There aren't *that* many QB who aren't idiots on the field with good arms. There aren't that many college QBs out there who has both the arm and the acumen to play well in the NFL, and even then, there are Sam Bradfords and Jamarcus Russells that don't succeed or flops.

Ooooh ooh! One more thing! That accuracy bizz? It takes a strong arm to be accurate, *particularly* when making throws not your first read or otherwise ad hoc!

Accept that QBs are athletes, man (or woman as the case may be), and not bleepin' actors that you identify with and enjoy vicarious glory! Quarterbacks are and should be good athletes. That's what makes Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Vick fun to watch, and they give their teams multiple chances to win--in comparison to the Matt Schaubs, Andy Daltons, and Matt Ryans of the world. Pretending that a QB is supposed to be cerebral when your QB is just...lame...doesn't take away from the fact that a QB has to put his receivers in good position to succeed, and if they have enough authority, the offense in general.

It's also a major reason that I expect Payton Manning to slow down, and eventually fail again in the playoffs. He might make the Superbowl before the L, like Brady's last, because he doesn't face a serious defense before then. However, Manning's success is based on a ton of weapons and springing them open for easy catches. I think they will beat the Chiefs, because Alex Smith is a total liability, but I don't think they have much of a chance at all against a healthy Seahawks team, or even teams like the Carolina Panthers. If Manning is actually forced to make tough throws (a hard thing to do, but possible with enough talent on defense), then I really don't expect him to be able to carry the offense at an optimal efficiency.

57
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:43pm

Only Newton and Locker has bad ball placement. The others are adequate to good.

And yeah, the constant refrain of *star QB* ain't throwing lasers, why should my pathetic QB be able to throw lasers? You know why? Because they *have* above the minimum arm strength. Seriously, it's not that hard. Matt Ryan hovers at the bottom of any QB who could be expected to succeed in the playoffs, and Ryan's lack of arm does show in the playoffs. There aren't *that* many QB who aren't idiots on the field with good arms. There aren't that many college QBs out there who has both the arm and the acumen to play well in the NFL, and even then, there are Sam Bradfords and Jamarcus Russells that don't succeed or flops.

Ooooh ooh! One more thing! That accuracy bizz? It takes a strong arm to be accurate, *particularly* when making throws not your first read or otherwise ad hoc!

Accept that QBs are athletes, man (or woman as the case may be), and not bleepin' actors that you identify with and enjoy vicarious glory! Quarterbacks are and should be good athletes. That's what makes Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Vick fun to watch, and they give their teams multiple chances to win--in comparison to the Matt Schaubs, Andy Daltons, and Matt Ryans of the world. Pretending that a QB is supposed to be cerebral when your QB is just...lame...doesn't take away from the fact that a QB has to put his receivers in good position to succeed, and if they have enough authority, the offense in general.

It's also a major reason that I expect Payton Manning to slow down, and eventually fail again in the playoffs. He might make the Superbowl before the L, like Brady's last, because he doesn't face a serious defense before then. However, Manning's success is based on a ton of weapons and springing them open for easy catches. I think they will beat the Chiefs, because Alex Smith is a total liability, but I don't think they have much of a chance at all against a healthy Seahawks team, or even teams like the Carolina Panthers. If Manning is actually forced to make tough throws (a hard thing to do, but possible with enough talent on defense), then I really don't expect him to be able to carry the offense at an optimal efficiency.

60
by BJR :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:09pm

You think Denver will beat the Chiefs, might make the Super Bowl, but probably won't win it all this season? That's some quality insight there, look out Vegas!

63
by JIPanick :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:29pm

My favorite part is "I don't think [the Broncos] have much of a chance at all against ... even teams like the Carolina Panthers."

That's some *ahem* interesting analysis right there.

68
by RickD :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:44pm

DVOA is very fond of the Panthers. Even though they are only 1-2, the stats have them with a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. Certainly they should provide a better challenge than the Raiders or Eagles did, or this year's version of the Giants (I don't trust them to be as bad as the stats say they are).

But even with that in mind, of course the Broncos should be favored to beat the Panthers. It's just a game that might end in an upset, unlike, say, Broncos vs. Jaguars or Broncos vs. Raiders.

71
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:07pm

Yes, if the opponent's defense has enough talent, the qb will have to make tough throws, and the qb's offense will thus fail to operate at optimal efficiency.

Way to go out on a limb, Sid Luckman.

86
by Cythammer (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:52pm

Michael Vick a better QB than Matt Ryan? Okay…

87
by Cythammer (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:52pm

Michael Vick a better QB than Matt Ryan? Okay…

97
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 12:31am

Brady, Manning, and Brees are all about equal in arm strength. Always have been. Throughout that time, they have been three of the four best quarterbacks in the league ( except for maybe one year when Warner and Rodgers were both playing ). Manning's arm strength in 2010 made Pennington look like Jay effing Cutler, although it has noticeably recovered since then. What makes these guys good is two things: accuracy and being able to get to their third and fourth read.

None of them has had a top 5 arm in the league at any time. But Matt Stafford's ability to throw 50 yard fades from his knees is fairly irrelevant when a. That throw is called for maybe once a week and b. You are allowed to stand up in the pocket ( unless you are Eli Manning this year ).

But seriously, go back and watch the 2009 Super Bowl sometime, There were some AMAZING throws in that game. And there are about five players on that 2009 Colts team who would start for the 2013 Broncos. Six depending on your opinion of Jeff Saturday and Dallas Clark.

100
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 12:49am

I would say Brees is below the other two in terms of arm strength. I never him make those "frozen rope" passes, while Brady and Manning both do. Also, Brady's arm strength is not a constant. In 2001-2, it was significantly worse than it was at his peak. Plus you just yourself argued that Manning's was, so how could they have "always" been equal?

102
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 1:30am

Roughly equal, certainly.

Manning's arm strength dipped in 2009 and especially 2010 due to his nerve issues. after surgery, it improved throughout 2012, and is now perfectly adequate once again. I don't really see any of these guys throw frozen ropes (Manning's would be a curlicue rope!) but a lot of that has to do with what the offense has them doing.

64
by RickD :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:32pm

I would love to see measured statistics on QB arm strength. Favre reported had one of the strongest arms ever, and before him Elway was credited with having a very strong arm. The ones you cite are known for having strong arms, but how much stronger is Cutler's arm than, say, Brady's? Where do the QBs of the past like Marino, Bradshaw, Tarkenton, Staubach, et al., fit in here? We can watch old game tape and observe that Dan Marino had a historically quick release: can we do the same to infer arm strength?

72
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:21pm

nowadays people look at how many mph the prospect can throw the ball. Find it in pro day or combine data.

74
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:29pm

Is anybody doing it with guys who are in the league? As we see in baseball. velocity for any given player varies over time.

48
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:56pm

Well, there is a certain amount of subjectivity and confirmation bias in these matters, so one shouldn't deceive oneself into thinking that there is a finely calibrated adequateometer to determine these things with precision. Hell, even in baseball, which does a better job of precisely determining arm strength, there is substantial subjectivity in determining what is "adequate".

Hard and fast rules are of limited utility, if they are really hard and fast. An old Brad Johnson's arm was good enough to win a championship, and using the word "consistently" in regards to a tiny sample size of games is problematic. I really did suspect that Cassel was brought in to start, unless Ponder shocked the world with a good start. Cassel ain't much, but at least he doesn't look like he is apologizing when he releases the ball.

52
by facw (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:15pm

Careful claiming 8 starts is good enough. Ponder may suck, but you'll note that the guy on the top of this week's list looked like a total bust through his first three seasons (27 starts).

54
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:36pm

Manning the Elder has a sub-par NFL arm. He even throws an ugly pass -- it's all loopy and often not a solid spiral.

You may notice he's also in all likelihood the best QB in NFL history.

59
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:50pm

Manning's arm was not always sub-par.

He's getting by on veteran wiles and deep receiving corps.

Also, Peyton Manning pretty clearly showed the quality of his tools (which is essentially what I meant, tools and common sense on the field) in his first eight games. Moreover, his stats weren't that bad, and from that high floor, he improved until the first real block some years later in 2001, whereupon he got Jim Mora Sr fired.

66
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:39pm

"Manning's arm was not always sub-par."

Sure it was. He never had elite arm-strength in NFL-terms. He had enough to make all the throws, but he needs much more touch and timing than most QBs do to make those throws. What he has is HOF-caliber touch and timing.

But there's more than one way to skin a cat. Some centers are Dwight Howard; others are Bill Laimbeer.

73
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:28pm

That always makes me blow my top.

Joe Montana was not a zero at QB. Peyton Manning had quite solid arm strength coming out of college, even if it wasn't awesome like Ryan Leaf's. I'm old enough to remember watching him play at Tennesee.

Please, just please stop insulting great QBs by implying that they didn't have tools. Virtually all of them did have plus tools, even Kurt Warner. Virtually all of the brainiacs and accuracy only guys eventually flopped after only a fairly short period of success. People even try to say that Steve Young didn't have the best arm, which really makes me go whaaaaa?!?

75
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:32pm

It's football. Calm down.

83
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:23pm

Settle down, go back and read what I actually wrote, think about it a bit, and then get back to me.

Cripes, guys like you are why the NFL should just legalize Adderall.

90
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 7:25pm

It's only football, but you're pretty clearly wrong. Take Aaron Brooks' advice: slow down and think about things like "do playoff games offer sufficient sample size to weed out flukiness?", and if you're fortune enough to live in Colorado or Washington, smoke some weed while you're at it.

81
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:14pm

You realize there is a fair bit of middle ground between 'sub=par' and 'elite'?

Also, go back to Manning 2003-2006, he had an awesome arm.

94
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 8:42pm

But clearly wrong "authorities" would rather pretend that they are calm mental giants while they make the most preposterous assertions. Then imply everyone else is mentally disabled and needing medical intervention when the others object to the crazy stuff.

92
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 7:54pm

I'm curious exactly what "par" is, if Peyton Manning's arm is worse.

105
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 10:21am

I'm treating it as median NFL starter.

I would hazard a guess that Manning is somewhere in the low-20s in arm strength ranking. He throws a fairly arcing pass.

98
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 12:34am

I love that. It is probably the one knock on Manning; he throws perfectly on target, razor sharp, on time passes to the right receiver on the right route more often than anyone in the NFL, and most of those passes are ducks that Jake DelHomme would quack at. He is awesome,

101
by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 12:49am

He's definitely throwing fewer wobbly passes this year. That throw to Decker for 52-yards was perfect, tight spiral and all. Same with the first play of the game for Denver to Welker for 30 yards.

106
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 11:19am

My theory is that his short passes wobble because he is intentionally slowing them and spinning them less to make them easier to catch. But that is pure speculation on my part, and his bad-weather performance (2010 v Eagles) seems to imply he cannot simply turn it on and off.

13
by Rich A (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:37am

I wish the Patriots had resigned Woodhead. Ridiculous that they didn't.

50
by RickD :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:03pm

They didn't expect Vereen to be injured Week 1. Woodhead would have been behind him on the depth chart.

89
by Tino (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 6:31pm

Sure they did.

"Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen." -- Emperor Belichick

91
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 7:36pm

That's funny. Drew Karpyshyn, the guy who wrote the Darth Bane novels, thought Belichick is the most likely to be Sith too.

104
by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 10:15am

Yeah, as the above noted, Woodhead doesn't even make this team if he is re-signed. Ridley is a better rushing running back. Vereen is faster. Boldin is younger. Washington is better at returning kicks. Blount is, ummmm, larger. I think the only clear difference in Woodhead vs his closest comparable player (Vereen) is that Woodhead is a better pass blocker.

14
by ChrisS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:53am

Would it be possible to add the number of sacks to the summary data for each QB? I looked at Flynn's numbers and they did not look awful, 66% completion rate, 7.1 y/pa, 1 int. But the number that is not shown that drags him down from about average to terrible is 7 sacks. Thanks

15
by horrible denver homer (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 10:58am

WHERE is the stats adjustment that scales up a QB's performance to a full game

IT IS UNFAIR that Mr. (P)Manning is unfairly penalized because his team was destroying the Eagles through 3 quarters - CLEARLY he should be ranked higher than Drew Brees.
Manning should be listed as 425.1 yds 5.2 TDs and AT LEAST 251 total DYAR. by my advanced mathimagical adjusted stats computations.

24
by rageon :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:32am

No idea if this is serious or not. In any event: see DVOA

27
by Jon Goldman (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:44am

I think "horrible denver homer" may not be entirely serious.

51
by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:08pm

"mathimagical" was a bit of a giveaway, I'd have thought.

20
by Buckfutter (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:14am

How was Gonzalez's performance not more valuable than Woods? More catches, more yards, more first downs, equal touchdowns.

23
by Not Jimmy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:29am

How does Kembrell Thompkins fit in? He was targeted 11 times with only 6 catches (which kind of sucks), and averaged 21 yds per catch.

26
by nat :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:37am

Vince: good point about the apples-to-oranges comparison for Manning's four week DYAR.

Could you tell us the four-week YAR for Manning's 2013 and Brady's 2007 for comparison?

It would be helpful to see how much of this is due to the opponent adjustments (unequally applied, as you noted) and how much is due to what happened on the field.

Thanks.

28
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:45am

Hey all. I've fixed EJ Manuel and Robert Woods (who drops out of the top five) above. Sorry about that.

I take the criticism about the phrasing "most valuable." That's left over from running this table on ESPN. I'll see about tweaking our code in the next couple weeks to kick out the table HTML with different phrasing for the title bars.

To answer Nat's question quickly: If we remove current opponent adjustments, Manning goes to 920 YAR, while Brady's first four weeks in 2007 actually go down to 716 YAR.

38
by nat :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:24pm

Just for clarification, Manning's DYAR is using the 40% weighting for opponent adjustments, just as we do for team DVOA in week 4, right?

43
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:30pm

Correct.

58
by nat :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:44pm

Thanks.

So we can clearly state that Manning did more (YAR) against easier opponents. No surprise there. He's playing very well, with a fine team around him.

We can estimate what Manning's final DYAR would be for these four games - if we assume that those opponents remain as ineffective in the future as they have been so far. That is, instead of having a -91 adjustment (that's 40%) he would have a -227 adjustment. That would move Manning's four game DYAR from 829 to 693. That's third in the list, and still pretty darned amazing.

That would be apples-to-apples, but we really should expect those opponents to regress (progress?) toward the mean, as they are outliers right now. But barring an actual change in their makeup, they will still not become average pass defenses as a group.

Now we get into speculative areas. Just how much improvement should we expect regression to the mean to provide here?

For an example, let's suppose they improve to halfway between where they are now and average. So instead of a -227 adjustment, they would give a smaller -142 adjustment. The result would be a DYAR of 920 - 142 = 778. That would put Peyton at the top of the list.

So, it's too early to dismiss this as just an easy schedule and apples-to-oranges comparison. But it's also too early to say that Manning actually has this record. It will depend entirely on how well four bad defenses play the rest of the season.

Well done, Mr. Manning. And a nice, thought-provoking topic from Vince.

84
by nat :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:25pm

The only gripe I have with Vince about this article is this:

Manning's 829 DYAR is a record for the first four weeks of a season.

It is in fact no such thing. FO does not keep records of what a player's DYAR was after four weeks using the 40% weighting for that week and the team performances through that week. But comparing that for Manning to fully weighted DYARs for everyone else invalidates the concept.

But isn't this just shorthand for "on pace to set a record" I hear you ask? Nope. Manning is on pace to place third in Vince's table. That's if everyone keeps playing like they have, which is what "on pace" means.

Peyton Manning: leading the third best pass offense start in history? Better than that? Worse? Only time will tell. Claiming a record now is just wrong.

Still, thanks for the topic.

88
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 6:29pm

There are a few things you're forgetting. First of all, Dyar isn't weighted based on games(i think), but plays. Since Manning's largest dyar game was against the ravens, the 4th game opponent adjustment is probably overstating things. Still, the biggest thing you're missing is dyar is a cumulative stat. This completely ignores the fact that Manning went into clock killing mode against the ravens and completely sat out the 4th quarter of the eagles games. Had he operated under his usual efficiency, his numbers would have been even greater.

I am a bit surprised at the level of nitpick just so that Manning's 4 game sample dyar drops from 1st to third. I can only guess that its an attempt to have brady continue to possess that hallowed single year dyar lead, which is odd since DYAR has many limitations(one I mentioned above), including its complete inability to separate qb play from team play.

103
by nat :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 9:05am

How DYAR is calculated isn't really in dispute, is it? At this point in the season, the opponent adjustment that is applied to each play is weighted at 40%. At the end of the season, that adjustment will be recalculated at a 100% weighting. Comparing Manning's week four DYAR to past QBs' final DYAR through week four is similar to comparing VOA to DVOA - it's just wrong. Luckily, because we know the 40% weighting and both the YAR and DYAR, we can correct for the mistake.

As for your complaint (yes, you were complaining) that Aaron and Vince didn't factor into Manning's DYAR plays that did not happen, it is just insane fantasy. Who, besides you, thinks that Manning should get DYAR credit for plays he never made?

I am not at all surprised to see you argue for DYAR bonuses for Manning for plays that occurred only in your head. Saddened, but not surprised. Manning's reality this season is pretty damned special. Let's not pollute it with fantasies of what might have been if only?

FWIW, my guess is that Manning's week four (with 100% opponent weighting) DYAR will climb a bit, but not far enough to take this particular week four record. But even if he does, it hasn't happened yet. At most, Vince could correctly say "I project that at the end of the season the opponent adjustments will change enough to move Manning to first on this list."

That's not a record. Not yet.

107
by theslothook :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 1:52pm

At what point did I complain about aaron and vince not factoring in manning's dyar? If you read what I wrote, I said your methodology about stating, "Peyton Manning: leading the third best pass offense start in history? Better than that? Worse? Only time will tell."

I think when you start stating things like, "he leads the third best passing offense to start in history," that ultimately implies you are using dyar as the measurement for ranking qb seasons. I only wanted to state why this interpretation is flawed. I could actually care less if Manning has the dyar record in 4 games or even over 16. Dyar is a good stat, but its more useful as a guide rather than a proxy.

I think we just misunderstood what one another was saying.

31
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 11:52am

Says a lot about the Jaguars that you can score 37 on them with ordinary QB play and no other noteworthy performances.

34
by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:04pm

Oakland beat them, what more is there to say?

35
by D2K :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:08pm

"He did not throw a single pass all game to the deep middle or deep right areas of the field, but he threw nine to the deep left, completing three of them for 80 yards."

This quote is regarding Brian Hoyer, and as I am a Bills fan and the Bills play the Browns this week I was looking for some sort of tell on Hoyer considering the very limited sample size of games he has actually played. When I read that quote I immediately thought to myself "hmmm, maybe that is it." So I began to look through Hoyers gamelogs on PFR and found that this is not only a tell its a trend for Hoyer.

So we know that last week against Cincinnati he attempted zero throws to the deep middle or deep right of the field, against Minnesota the week before Hoyer went 2/6 for 66 yards and 2 TD's when throwing to the deep left of the field. He didnt attempt a single pass to the deep right of the field in that game either. He went 1 for 1 for 21 yards to the deep middle.

I find it telling that a player who has thrown the ball 92 times in 2 games has only attempted to throw the ball to the deep middle or deep right 1 time. This doesnt even extend to just this season. Going back to his 2011 season in NE he attempted 1 pass all season...you guessed it as it was a completion to the deep LEFT for 22 yards to Gronkowski.

I absolutely love stats like this as it shows us "normies" who arent NFL football coaches something else to look for on gameday. Hopefully Mike Pettine gameplans accordingly.

41
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:21pm

I don't know - at this point, I'd still argue random variation rather than a trend.

53
by RickD :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:20pm

You think having sixteen deep passes out of seventeen going to the left as opposed to the middle or right can be explained as "random variation"?

As an exercise: if left, center, and right were all posited as equally likely values, then the probability of seeing 16/17 go to the left would be 17*(1/3)^16*(2/3). That's about 2.63*10^-7. To make a proper one-sided p-value, we should throw in the possibility of all 17 passes going to the left, which is (1/3)^17, approximately 7.74*10^-9. The resulting p-value is the sum of these, i.e. about 2.71^-7, or in decimal form, 0.000000271.

As p-values go, that's absurdly miniscule. 0.0271 would be considered publishable in medical research.

55
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 2:38pm

Well, the problem with only 17 samples is this statement:
"if left, center, and right were all posited as equally likely values"

Unless you've watched what routes were being run, who was running them, and who was defending them, it's hard to ascertain whether the left side was just more open than the the right.

62
by RickD :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:27pm

I don't think you understand the purpose of my comment. I was arguing that the effect observed was not the result of random variation.

If you think the "left side was just more open than the right" as a result of random variation 16 out of 17 times, there's not much I can say.

Minor correction: 9 + 6 + 1 = 16, not 17. The p-values above should be multiplied by 3. But they're still absurdly miniscule. Lesson: don't trust mathematicians with arithmetic. But the theory is still correct.

69
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:45pm

I know what you were arguing.

Your central thesis is that deep passes in the Browns offense are randomly distributed. And they might be -- Weeden was much more distributed than Hoyer was. But without any understanding the routes Cleveland was running or how they were being defensed, all theories are naive.

But it could also be that the Browns offense generally progresses from short right to deep left. Weeden's numbers work somewhat along that theory as well.

70
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:01pm

Exactly - I think that given the data, it seems more likely that Hoyer's just had better opportunities on the deep left than deep right, than the possibility that he's some kind of reverse Zoolander.

77
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:41pm

Its likely faaar more complicated than assuming we can even describe the distribution of probability here. These are likely changing and heavily skewed by circumstance. Imagine what people would say about Flynn. HE threw 30 plus times, do you really think in 30 attempts he would do so well? If each throw had a uniform distribution, the probability of him doing so well on 30 throws would be so unlikely. Clearly he's a great qb.

78
by D2K :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 4:49pm

"But it could also be that the Browns offense generally progresses from short right to deep left. Weeden's numbers work somewhat along that theory as well."

From reading your response I thought that this was a very good point so I had to know. I didnt look at Weeden's 2013 numbers because I thought a larger sample size would leave a more accurate narrative, so I looked at 2012 Cam Newton, whos offensive coordinator was current Cleveland Browns HC and play designer Rob Chudzinski. What I found was Newton showed little to no bias as to which side of the field he distributed the ball. I went through every game in 2012 and here are the numbers for Newton:

Deep Left - 44 Attempts (22 completions)

Deep Middle - 20 Attempts (10 completions)

Deep Right - 45 Attempts (14 completions)

There are a few things that we can posit from these numbers. 1.) Newton showed no bias as to which side of the field he was going to throw, so its inconclusive whether Chudz progressions are designed from short right to deep left. 2.) Newton was much more accurate when throwing to the deep left (50%) as opposed to deep right (31%) obviously.

I cant speak to the league wide numbers as far as accuracy from either side, and I wont compare Hoyers arm strength, accuracy and overall ability to Newtons, but it does beg the question on deep ball playcalling "is a right handed QB more accurate when throwing to the left side of the field"? Or is it the fact that the RCB is usually a teams 2nd best CB thus making it easier to complete passes? Does the accuracy from the left side of the field hold true for the top tier QB's like P. Manning/Brees or Brady. Is this the side of the field that a coach should teach a QB to target?

Its interesting!!!

85
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 5:25pm

I would imagine Newton's passes would be weighted towards wherever Steve Smith was, frankly.

93
by D2K :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 8:05pm

And thats fair, but the point wasnt about intended receiver as it was more about QB progressions in Chudz offense. I dont think you can make a case that the progressions definitely go from short right to deep left.

37
by BJR :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:21pm

Speaking of historic seasons, how does Jimmy Graham's look through 4 games?

42
by Bobman :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:26pm

Why is Brady not credited (debited?) here with the fumble that could have cost the game at the end... I don't recall if center/QB exchanges (or muffed handoffs for that matter) are not counted because it's not clear who is at fault... is that the case?

In the slo-mo replays, it looked about 75% Brady to me--he backed off without the ball ever touching his hands--so he didn't fumble it per se (never in his hands) but it was like a receiver turning the wrong way on a route or looking to run with the ball before it's caught--still his fault. That could still be the center's fault--not snapping quickly enough, or far enough.

Scott K thought it was on Brady in Clutch Encounters: "The stats may have gone to Brady's head, because for the second time this season, he botched the snap from center, which is what I specifically wrote has never happened before for him."

Some fumbles are bigger than others. It would have been pretty miserable if that ended up leading to a Falcons win. Well, not for Falcon fans, of course....

47
by greybeard :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:52pm

That makes me wonder of Kap is credited with a fumble. The ball was out of his hand before the exchange. It was all on him.

46
by MJK :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 1:51pm

Refresh my memory. Are WR's dinged for being the target on an INT, when you calculate DYAR? It seems like they are from your comments above. I can see pretty strong arguments either way...and probably some number of INTs are the WR's fault, and some completely not, and some we will never know.

For example the Tannehill INT to Hartline yesterday...Hartline tried to run a quick slant when Greer was shaded to the inside. Tannehill tried to throw the slant and Greer, using his inside position, jumped the route. Is that Hartline's fault for not reading that Greer was shaded inside and changing his route? Or for not slanting harder to prevent Greer from jumping inside? Or is that Tannehill's fault for not reading Greer's coverage and giving up on the slant and throwing elsewhere?

65
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:35pm

The underlying problem is of course, that giving touches to your running back is a losing effort in at least 60% of all carries, compared to the expected outcome of a pass play. So RBs who have a lot of touches score a lot of negative plays, alowing a player with a few high success caries to jump them.

This is true for team offense and running stats, but not individual running backs. When a running back carries the ball, he’s compared to what other running backs carrying the ball would do in the same situation.

Nine of Gore’s runs went for negative DYAR. The fumble was the biggest loser, but he was also stuffed for no gain on third-and-1 and had eight runs fo 2 yards or less with 10 or more yards to go. In fact, he only had seven successful carries all day.

Only one of Ogbonnaya’s carries had negative value, but really he makes the list for what he did as a receiver anyway.

I was surprised not to see Cecil Shorts III be the least valuable WR since the aforementioned alleged hands were his, and they also dropped a pass in the end zone.

He was 127th among receivers this week. He did catch seven balls for 61 yards, and even on plays like the ones described here, the penalty for interceptions goes to the QB, not the receiver. We don’t have time to do film study on every play for QR, we’re dependent on the play-by-play.

What?!? No Matt Hasselbeck DYAR? Boo!
I know he only went 2 for 3 or something, but you gotta give him some respect. The guy's like 70 years old!

Three plays, 20 DYAR.

Why is Brady not credited (debited?) here with the fumble that could have cost the game at the end... I don't recall if center/QB exchanges (or muffed handoffs for that matter) are not counted because it's not clear who is at fault... is that the case?

Fumbled snaps and handoffs are absolutely accounted for. Fumbled snaps get their own designation and we lump them in with passing plays. Fumbled handoffs, I think, usually but not always go to the QB. In this case, the play was marked as a fumbled run by Brady.

That makes me wonder of Kap is credited with a fumble. The ball was out of his hand before the exchange. It was all on him.

Kaepernick is credited with one fumble on a botched snap in the fourth quarter. Frank Gore had a fumble in the third, but he also gained 13 yards on the play, so it's doubtful that came on a handoff.

Refresh my memory. Are WR's dinged for being the target on an INT, when you calculate DYAR? It seems like they are from your comments above.

From Vincent Jackson’s comment: “In DYAR and DVOA, the blame for interceptions goes to quarterbacks not receivers.”

67
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/01/2013 - 3:40pm

Just realized the player comment says Brady didn't fumble. That's my mistake from not checking the rushing details for QBs. It's usually not worth the time. I'll fix the comment.

96
by Michael19531 :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 12:24am

I was surprised that Doug Martin's 27 carry 45 yards masterpiece Sunday didn't bring up the rear for Rbs this week. It reminded me of Edgerren James 31 carry 63 yard effort in the "They were who they thought they were" 2006 Monday night Bears-Cards classic.

For curiosity's sake, what was Martin's DYAR and DVOA in Sunday's game?

99
by Vince Verhei :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 12:36am

-34 DYAR rushing, -6 receiving. He was, in fact, the second-worst RB this week.

108
by Michael19531 :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 4:28pm

Thanks Vince

109
by The Cash Box Blueprint (not verified) :: Wed, 10/09/2013 - 5:21am

Go back to the Clutch Encounters breakdown of GB-CIN, the Packers receivers started blocking while the ball was still in the air. I don't ever remember seeing a game where this gets called.

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