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15 Oct 2013

Week 6 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

The biggest Quick Reads development of Week 6 was Peyton Manning finally playing like a highly skilled and talented professional athlete, and not some sort of pigskin-slinging diety sent to Earth by the football gods to humble mortals at their own chosen pastime. With no historically good or bad trends to analyze, let’s jump into right into the week’s most surprising absences from the QR tables among running backs, wideouts, and tight ends.

Marshawn Lynch was fifth in the league among all players in yards from scrimmage this week, but he finished just 10th among running backs in DYAR. Lynch ran 21 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee, and chipped in four receptions for 78 yards in five targets. Still, he averaged just 3.7 yards per carry with only four other first downs. Even for all that, he would have finished atop the running backs table this week were it not for one critical run: a 6-yard loss on first-and-goal at the 2 that ended in a fumble and nearly cost Seattle a chance to take the lead in a tie game.

Reggie Bush gained 135 yards from scrimmage in the Lions’ win over Cleveland, but he also finished outside the top 10. He had a fine day as a receiver, catching five passes in six targets for 57 yards, with one touchdown and three other first downs. (All five receptions, by the way, came on second down.) As a rusher, though, he wasn’t nearly as effective as his 17-carry, 78-yard statline suggests. Exactly half those rushing yards came on one 39-yard play in the third quarter. Otherwise, he gained only one first down, averaged 2.4 yards per carry, and gained 3 yards or less 13 times.

Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers ran 23 times for 120 yards against Baltimore, and was third in the league in rushing DYAR. However, Green Bay only threw him one pass, a 5-yard gain on third-and-16, and many runners surpassed him when we include their receiving data.

At the other end of the spectrum is Ben Tate. Tate ran ten times for 12 yards against St. Louis, and even though eight of those carries came with 5 yards or fewer needed for a first down (four of them came with 1 yard to go, another came with 2), he gained only two first downs on the day, one a touchdown on third-and-1. Arian Foster had a fine day, as we shall discuss shortly, so Tate can’t blame his struggles on the offense line. Tate also caught three passes in four targets for 16 yards, and none of those plays gained a first down either.

Finally there’s the unique case of Giovani Bernard. Bernard led all running backs in receiving DYAR, but was next-to-last in rushing DYAR. In 15 carries, he gained only 28 yards and just one first down, getting stuffed for no gain or a loss five times. He caught six of seven passes, though, for 72 yards, with a 20-yard touchdown and three other first downs.

The most prominent receiver missing from these tables is obvious: Justin Blackmon led the league with 14 catches and 190 yards this week, but it also took him 20 targets to get there. He also struggled in short-yardage scenarios. The Jaguars threw him seven passes with 5 yards or less needed for a first down, five of those on third or fourth down, and he only picked up a new set of downs twice.

Vincent Jackson caught nine passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns against Philadelphia, but he had only four other first downs on the day. He was also the target on five incomplete passes.

Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald finished with an impressive 6-120-1 statline that made his fantasy owners happy, but 75 of those yards came on his touchdown, and he only had two other first downs on the day. He was also the target on six incomplete passes, and lost a fumble. He actually finished below replacement level on the day.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Nick Foles PHI
22/31
296
3
0
176
161
15
Foles used a steady series of jabs to set up a small number of knockout blows. He threw ten passes in the first quarter, none more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. He then threw one deep ball in each of the next three quarters, but he made them count, completing them all for 100 yards and two touchdowns. His receivers also helped him out a lot. Riley Cooper and LeSean McCoy each turned passes caught within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage into 40-plus-yard plays.
2.
Matthew Stafford DET
25/43
248
4
1
141
137
4
Calvin Johnson caught only three passes for 25 yards in nine targets, so it's not as if Stafford was just relying on his biggest star. Most of his DYAR came when throwing to undrafted rookie Joseph Fauria, who was thrown three passes, resulting in three catches for three touchdowns, and 34 total yards. (Fauria is turning into quite the vulture; he now has five touchdowns on seven catches this season.) Stafford's leading receiver in terms of targets was Kris Durham who caught eight passes in 13 targets for 83 yards and four first downs.
3.
Sam Bradford STL
12/16
117
3
0
139
140
-1
Bradford's biggest gain of the day was a 40-yard DPI to Brian Quick in the first quarter that is not included in the above numbers. That throw came on second down, which is where Bradford played best on Sunday. Not counting the DPI, he went 6-of-6 for 73 yards on second down, with 4-yard touchdown and four other first downs. His only second-down completion that failed to move the chains was a 7-yard gain on second-and-8. Bradford has a reputation as a checkdown-artist, but only three of his completions against Houston failed to move the sticks, and only one was an unsuccessful play. It helps that his average pass came with 7.4 yards to go for a first down, lowest of any quarterback this week.
4.
Jay Cutler CHI
25/36
262
2
0
128
121
7
Cutler's first pass against the Giants was an incomplete fourth-down play in the red zone, which is unusual. From there until halftime, he went 13-of-17 for 179 yards with two touchdowns and nine other first downs, and the Bears already had all the points they needed to win.
5.
Cam Newton CAR
20/26
242
3
0
113
117
-4
Third- and fourth-down passing: 6-of-6 for 121 yards. True, two of those completions came up short of the sticks, but one of those was a 14-yard gain on third-and-16 that works out to a zero-value play. Further, two of those third-down throws went for touchdowns of 2 and 79 yards.
6.
Russell Wilson SEA
23/30
259
0
0
106
85
22
Not listed in the tables: seven carries (six of them scrambles) for 64 yards and four first downs, including two third-down conversions. With about 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, Wilson and the Seahawks started a drive at their own 12-yard line with the score tied at 10. At that point, he had only passed for four first downs on the day. From that point forward, though, he went 10-of-12 for 140 yards and six first downs, with one sack.
7.
Philip Rivers SD
22/33
237
1
0
91
91
0
8.
Andy Dalton CIN
26/40
337
3
1
87
79
8
On the Bengals' first drive of the third quarter, Dalton hit Marvin Jones for a touchdown that put Cincinnati ahead 24-10. From that point until the end of regulation, he went 10-of-16 for 81 yards with two sacks and only four first downs, a big reason Buffalo was able to come back and force overtime. Then Dalton played much better in OT, going 4-of-4 for 55 yards and two first downs with one sack.
9.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
23/30
264
1
0
67
64
3
Roethlisberger had a weird day on the Jets' side of the 50. True, he went 10-of-11 for 72 yards. Only two of those plays picked up first downs, however, and only one other was considered a successful play.
10.
Peyton Manning DEN
28/42
295
2
1
37
45
-8
He's human! The above numbers do not include a pair of aborted snaps, both of which were recovered by Jacksonville. Manning was actually below replacement level in the first half. Denver had five drives in the second quarter, and on those five drives Manning went 6-of-11 for 42 yards with one first down, one pick-six, and one fumbled snap. Then he played more like himself in the second half, going 14-of-19 for 165 yards with seven first downs, plus two DPIs for 25 total yards, and one fumbled snap.
11.
Tom Brady NE
25/42
269
1
1
34
33
1
Brady had most of his success throwing to his left, where he went 13-of-16 for 134 yards with eight first downs, including the game-winning touchdown.
12.
Matt Schaub HOU
15/21
186
0
0
33
33
0
A statistical example of how gun-shy Schaub has become: Through five weeks, including DPIs as completions, the Rams were allowing opponents to complete 52 percent of their deep passes for 15.9 yards per play, both among the bottom six teams in the league. Yet Schaub tested St. Louis with only one deep pass, an incompletion to DeAndre Hopkins in the second quarter. And even that pass only traveled 17 yards past the line of scrimmage. He threw four other balls that traveled at least 10 yards downfield, completing three of them for 50 yards and three first downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Drew Brees NO
17/36
236
2
1
33
37
-5
Through five weeks, Jimmy Graham led all tight ends in receiving value, with 80 percent more DYAR than the next-highest ranked player at his position. With that in mind, it's safe to call Graham's performance against New England a fluke. Brees threw six passes to Graham on Sunday, five of them inside the New Orleans 40. Five of those passes were incomplete; the other was intercepted. Graham eventually left the game with a foot injury, and the Saints are hopeful he'll be able to return after their bye week. He still leads the league in receiving yards.
14.
Aaron Rodgers GB
17/32
315
1
1
23
10
13
It would be obvious to conclude that Rodgers struggled without James Jones and Randall Cobb, but he actually played better without them. Cobb's last receptions was a 15-yard gain on Rodgers' last pass of the first half. Up to that point he had gone 10-of-21 for 116 yards with four first downs, three sacks, two fumbles, and a partridge in a pear tree. In the second half he went 7-of-11 for 199 yards with one touchdown, four other first downs, and one interception.
15.
Carson Palmer ARI
25/41
298
2
2
23
23
0
Obviously, all quarterbacks will look better on scoring drives than they will otherwise, but the difference between good Palmer and bad Palmer was still striking. On Arizona's three touchdown drives, he went 8-of-9 for 165 yards with two touchdowns and three other first downs. On Arizona's other 12 possessions, Palmer went 17-of-32 for 133 yards with only four first downs, plus two interceptions and one sack for a safety.
16.
Thaddeus Lewis BUF
19/32
216
2
0
10
23
-13
First seven drives: 10-of-18 for 85 yards with four first downs and three sacks. Last three drives of regulation (not counting a kneeldown at the end of the fourth quarter): 9-of-14 for 131 yards with two touchdown, three other first downs, and two sacks. He threw just one pass in overtime, an incompletion on third-and-6.
17.
Mike Glennon TB
27/43
273
2
1
-2
4
-6
The Bucs got the ball at their own 20 down by eight points with nearly ten minutes left in the game. From that point forward, Glennon went 3-of-8 for 19 yards, with more sacks (two) than first downs (one).
18.
Joe Flacco BAL
20/34
342
2
0
-4
-6
2
From the too-little-too-late department: On Baltimore's first ten drives, Flacco went 10-of-21 for 129 yards with four first downs, four sacks, and two fumbles, and the Ravens scored zero points. On Baltimore's last three drives, Flacco went 10-of-13 for 213 yards with two touchdowns and five other first downs, and the Ravens scored 17 points.
19.
Brandon Weeden CLE
27/42
292
2
2
-12
-12
0
Weeden's favorite receiver was Chris Ogbonnaya, whose 12 targets were tied for most among running backs and tied for fifth among all players this week. Those 12 targets resulted in seven catches for 61 yards, with two first downs (including a touchdown) and two interceptions. Looks like Weeden needs a new favorite receiver.
20.
Colin Kaepernick SF
16/29
252
2
1
-20
-26
6
Not counting passes to Vernon Davis, Kaepernick went 8-of-18 for 65 yards with four first downs, two sacks, one interception, and two fumbles, one on a botched snap. As for Davis, we shall get to him shortly.
21.
Eli Manning NYG
14/26
239
1
3
-23
-23
0
Between the third and fourth drives of this game, Eli looked about as good as he ever has, going 7-of-7 for 124 yards, with every completion picking up a first down, capped off by a 37-yard touchdown. Outside those two drives, he went 7-of-19 for 115 yards and six first downs, plus a 15-yard DPI with one sack and three interceptions, including a pick-six.
22.
Tony Romo DAL
18/30
170
1
1
-25
-25
0
On passes to the middle of the field, Romo went 3-of-9 for 25 yards with one first down and one interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Andrew Luck IND
18/30
202
0
1
-43
-44
1
24.
Chad Henne JAC
27/42
303
0
2
-51
-46
-4
Twenty of Henne's throws went to Justin Blackmon. On his other plays, he went 13-of-22 for 113 yards with five first downs, two sacks, and an interception.
25.
Matt Cassel MIN
32/44
241
1
2
-54
-47
-7
Cassel led the league with 14 failed completions. On deep passes, he went 1-of-6 for 21 yards and an interception.
26.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TEN
17/29
171
0
2
-59
-71
12
Throwing to his right, Ryan Fitzpatrick went 5-of-10 for 43 yards with one first down and one interception. In related news, Richard Sherman usually lines up to the quarterback's right.
27.
Robert Griffin WAS
19/39
246
0
1
-62
-86
24
Inside the Dallas 40, Griffin went 2-of-8 for 22 with one first down and one interception.
28.
Alex Smith KC
14/31
129
0
0
-66
-71
5
It's very rare to see a quarterback with no interceptions or fumbles this low in the tables. Throwing to the short right, Smith went 6-of-15 for 24 yards and one first down, with six failed third-down plays. No player was targeted on more than four of those throws, so you can't blame it on any one receiver.
29.
Geno Smith NYJ
19/34
201
0
2
-90
-71
-19
Third downs: 2-of-7 for 19 yards with two first downs and two sacks. Four times Smith failed to convert a third down with fewer than 10 yards to go.
30.
Terrelle Pryor OAK
18/34
216
1
3
-102
-124
22
Not included in that statline: 10 sacks, including six after Oakland fell behind in the fourth quarter. When he did have time to throw, he almost always threw to the short right area, and that predictability cost him through three quarters, half of Pryor's 18 pass attempts were in the short right zone, and he went 6-of-9 for 83 yards with a touchdown and three other first downs. In the fourth quarter, he threw six more passes to that region, going 3-of-6 for 29 yards with three first downs and two interceptions, including a pick-six.
31.
T.J. Yates HOU
12/17
98
0
2
-118
-118
0
Guess what, Houston fans -- turns out Matt Schaub is your best option. Inside the Rams' red zone, Yates went 1-of-4 with a pick-six, another interception, and a sack. That one completion gained 3 yards on third-and-6.


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Brandon Jacobs NYG
106
2
8
0
52
55
-3
Five of Jacobs' 22 carries were stuffed for no gain or a loss, but he had five gains of 10 yards or more, plus a pair of goal-to-go touchdowns. He also caught one pass in two targets for 8 yards.
2.
Arian Foster HOU
141
0
57
0
52
50
2
Five of Foster's 20 carries gained at least 10 yards, while only two lost yards. He also caught four passes in seven targets for 57 yards, including a 41-yarder.
3.
LeSean McCoy PHI
116
0
55
0
50
18
32
McCoy ranks this high despite losing a fumble on his first carry. He gained five first downs in 25 carries, and only failed to gain yardage three times. He was thrown two passes, catching both of them for gains of 44 and 11 yards.
4.
Knowshon Moreno DEN
42
3
62
0
45
19
26
Four of Moreno's 15 carries resulted in first downs, including three touchdowns inside the 10-yard line. The Broncos also threw him a whopping ten passes, resulting in seven catches for 62 yards and three first downs, including a conversion on third-and-20.
5.
Andre Ellington ARI
56
1
36
0
43
38
4
Ellington only had seven carries, but all of them gained at least four yards, and each was successful. Only 15 other runners had seven successful carries this week, and they each carried the ball at least 15 times. His longest run was a 15-yard touchdown. He also caught each of the five passes thrown his way for 36 yards and two first downs.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
LeGarrette Blount NE
9
0
0
0
-26
-22
-5
Blount's median gain on seven carries was just 1 yard. He lost yardage twice and gained no first downs. The only pass thrown his way was also incomplete.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Josh Gordon CLE
7
9
126
18.0
0
63
Gordon also had one carry for no gain. Each of his seven catches gained at least 9 yards and a first down, including three third-down conversion in three chances.
2.
Brandon Marshall CHI
9
11
87
9.7
2
60
One of Marshall's catches lost a yard, but each of his others gained a first down. Both of his touchdowns came in the red zone.
3.
Riley Cooper PHI
4
6
120
30.0
1
48
Each of Cooper's catches gained at least 12 yards and a first down. He had two 40-yard plays, including a 47-yard score. Plus, you know, he's always willing to fight.
4.
Marvin Jones CIN
3
5
71
23.7
1
48
Jones only had three first downs on the day, but one was a 42-yard gain on second-and-15, and another was a 10-yard touchdown on third-and-8. He also had one run for 34 yards.
5.
Vernon Davis SF
8
11
180
22.5
2
45
Davis' five first downs (including his two scores) averaged 32.4 yards.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Donnie Avery KC
2
4
6
3.0
0
-40
His two receptions: a 4-yard gain on second-and-6, and a 2-yard gain and lost fumble on first down in the red zone.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 15 Oct 2013

78 comments, Last at 20 Oct 2013, 1:58am by insta portfolio pro

Comments

1
by Intropy :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:13am

Am I so jaded by terrible Steeler play that apparently pedestrian days from Roethlisberger and Brown looked outstanding to me?

4
by Israel P. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 6:28am

You are not alone.

Also Heath.

7
by dcaslin :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:05am

FWIW PFF thought Roethlisberger was #2 QB this week. Might be an interesting case study in the scoring differences between the two systems.

21
by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:09pm

PFF also had Cam Newton as a negative rating, while FO had him top 5.

19
by drobviousso :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:37am

Think of it like this. Roethlisberger executed, nearly to perfection but not quite, a game plan with a very, very low ceiling.

20
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:45am

I don't know about all this whining about Roethlisberger. God knows I detest the man, but switch quarterbacks in this game, the Steelers get destroyed. Big Ben is pretty much kryptonite to a Rex Ryan defense, the only exception in the recent past being the 2010 AFC championship game, where the rest of the team got it done.

36
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:27pm

That's kind of one of the major differences between how PFF does things and FO does thing. FO's stats can't separate a player from his teammates. If Big Ben plays a perfect game, but none of his receivers get open, he'll end up with a terrible DYAR.

PFF uses some scouting in their scores, so they could theoretically say that all his passes were on target, and he threw the ball away at the right times, etc, and give him a good score despite terrible statistics.

Some pros in that, some cons. They call a lot of balls "drops" where receivers are making diving plays and barely getting a finger on the ball.

45
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 3:22pm

Its pretty hilarious that multiple copies of this post get through, but posters complain every day about having their posts stopped by the spam filter.

51
by countertorque :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 4:22pm

It's the 9th best performance of the week and he outperformed Brady, Manning, and Brees on the week. It's closer to the middle than to the top, but I think "pedestrian" is being a little harsh. I'd call it "good."

2
by pm :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:15am

How was avery's performance worse than Jimmy Graham's?

Even Rob Gronkowski outplayed Jimmy Graham in that game

3
by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 3:43am

I'd guess that Graham didn't have enough targets to rack up lots of negative DYAR, and you can't fumble if you never get the ball.

11
by mrh :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:39am

If you don't catch it, you can't fumble it. Avery's fumble in the red zone was very costly (although redeemed by an INT a few players later setting the Chiefs offensive offense for a score).

30
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:17pm

So was the INT targeted at Graham.

44
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 3:17pm

When calculating receiving DYAR, an interception is considered to be an incompletion.

5
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 8:09am

Josh Gordon.
That is all....

13
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:19am

I'm getting a bit tired of all the wannabe GMs who think the Browns should trade Gordon. If the Browns use a high draft pick on a QB next year, he'll need decent receivers. Between Gordon, Cameron, and whatever they can get out Little or Bess, they have the beginnings of a decent passing game. An elite RB (and I'm not sure Richardson is one) is a luxury. A top level passing game is a necessity. Trading Gordon would be stupid.

49
by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 4:10pm

Yeah, it's a bit ridiculous. Trading Richardson does not mean "Hey, the Browns should trade all their good players for picks." Richardson was a short-lived asset (RBs are by definition short-lived assets) who the Browns did not think fit their system and who was overvalued by potential trading partners. And although he wasn't super expensive, he was kind of expensive.

Gordon and Cameron are foundational building blocks with longer useful lives (due to their positions) and are both very cheap at the moment. And they are likely valued similarly by the Browns and the rest of the league, so there's no overvaluing opportunity. There is no reason to trade them-- these are the kind of assets you will be trying to acquire when you draft next year. Trading them for future picks makes no sense.

54
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 5:11pm

Totally agree, if they try to trade Gordon or Cameron (outside of a Mike Ditka-style offering your entire draft), the entire front office should be fired immediately.

6
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 8:15am

If I was KC I would be in that Hakeem Nicks mix. Alex Smith isn't going to the HOF, but Bowe can't beat anyone one on one anymore and that defense is Super Bowl ready.

8
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:19am

I had already been lobbying for the Lions to trade for Nicks (shockingly, they haven't listed to me). But then a friend of mine pointed out that the reason the Nicks/Kenny Britt types are (allegedly) on the trade block is because they're being a-holes (intentional hyperbole). The Lions don't need more a-holes. They're all full up. (Looking at you, Dominic Raiola).

39
by Chris2 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:42pm

Just in case you're wondering, Bowe has been double teamed most of the season. Nicks would be a great pickup but I don't blame Bowe for his lack of production. He catches almost everything thrown his way!

9
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:19am

DYAR is clearly broken, because it is not giving credit to Joseph Fauria for his dance moves, keeping him out of the top 5 receivers.

10
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:20am

Quite a few names in the Top 10 QB's that I'm not used to seeing (well, obviously excepting #10).

38
by TomC :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:41pm

The top 5 is especially hilarious. If Vegas gave odds on this sort of thing, you could have won a lot of money on that quintet ever being there the same week. (And I say this as a major Cutler backer.)

55
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 5:18pm

Agreed (and I'm a Stafford proponent/apologist). The intense scrutiny/criticism #2-5 have had over past few seasons could fill sportstalk airwaves for decades.

12
by nat :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:58am

It'll be interesting to see whether this performance plus the increasingly weighted opponent adjustments will drive Peyton's cumulative DYAR down from its current 1,138 level.

It'll be close, I'm guessing. But that's only a guess, as I haven't looked at how well all the Bronco's earlier opponents did this week.

14
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:27am

Baltimore's defense is getting better each week (Rodgers had a worse game by DYAR than Manning this week), so that is getting better. The Raiders had a good game on pass defense again. The Giants are bad, the Eagles are still bad. It will be close. I think it will stay pretty constant.

15
by nat :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 10:46am

Baltimore is the most improved (to VOA) of the lot, although Rodgers' DYAR is low in part because the Ravens pass defense VOA still looks weak. I think the Raiders had a good pass defense game, which may help Manning's DYAR a bit.

So you could well be right about the amount of change in the DYAR. It will be interesting to see.

59
by nat :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 7:00pm

The QB page is up, and Peyton's DYAR went up by MORE than this week's DYAR. So the opponent adjustments are regressing faster than their weight is increasing. That's a surprise to me. But very, very interesting.

Cool. This puts Manning on track to top 3000 DYAR, even assuming no changes in past schedule quality (perceived or actual). Best of luck, Mr. Manning. You're having a special season.

70
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:45pm

Yeah, saw that. I think as the year goes on, that Week 1 game is going to look better and better (and I guess the same goes with his performance against Oakland, which is now 20th in defense, but was 30th after their Week 3 game - I guess that is before opponent adjustments). It is a special season, but I'm definitely surprised he graded out above 0 in DYAR against Jacksonville. Didn't watch much of the game, but I guess he had a large majority of his completions go for enough yardage to be deemed successful.

72
by theslothook :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 1:37am

It was a tale of extremes. First half was a disaster in many ways. Lots of third down drops, a horrendous interception, etc. The 2nd half, aside from some fumbled punts, they operated within their usual efficiency. I left this game thinking the same way I do about any fantastic offense. It can be bottled up, but you need to sustain that kind of successful pressure/coverage for a full 60 minutes. The last team I remember who was able to do that drive after drive was the 2010 jets vs the pats at Gillete. In this game, the jags did it for large stretches, but they eventually got worn out. Sometime soon though, someone will stop this machine and that's why denver badly needs its defense to get its act together. I will say it now, there will NEVER be a peak offense that will win a SB without having one game where their defense bails them out.

16
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:06am

Andre Ellington needs more touches. I watched a bit of that game (along with their entire week 2 game), and that kid can play.

17
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:13am

Cassel looked awful. I had never really watched him play until pre season and I thought he looked awful. In the two games I've watched him since he strikes me as very inaccurate at times - makes decisions much faster than Ponder, has a better arm but is just as inaccurate.

Which brings me to what I want to write about - Spielman. I was convinced he was a dunce when he first came to Minnesota. Based on his love of AJ Feeley and Rosenfels. Subsequently he chose Ponder and signed Cassel. I am more convinced he has no idea what makes a good QB. I've never really watched Freeman, but from what I've read he's a slightly better version of Ponder and Cassel.

Spielman has seemingly done some smart things in the draft (piling up 1st round picks), but if you can't judge QB talent you're not going to be successful. And, watching the defence play so badly with 3 first round picks spent in the last two years, makes you wonder how good a judge of talent he is for any position.

18
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:33am

From what I've seen, Freeman is not really like Ponder and Cassel(*). Ponder and Cassel are both mobile and relatively weak-armed. Freeman has a good arm and is bigger.

(*) When the Vikings signed Cassel, my first thought was, "They just signed Cassel to back up Matt Cassel, Jr."

24
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:40pm

Freeman really is a very different quarterback. Unlike Ponder and Cassel, there is not really a concern about his arm, or his willingness to throw downfield. However, he comes with decision-making and accuracy concerns. He's more like Joe Flacco than anyone else, really, which makes him sort of a budget Jay Cutler (unlike the real Joe Flacco, who is like a gold-plated Jay Cutler).

25
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 1:15pm

I don't actually see a lot of similarities between Flacco and Cutler in terms of style. Flacco, I think of as a really good Mark Rypien or a really bad Ben Roethlisberger.

I see Cutler as something between a bad Brett Favre and a bad John Elway.

26
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 1:43pm

Agreed. Outside of arm strength (and consistency issues, but that's not *really* an attribute, more like an outcome), Cutler is not like Flacco. Cutler is much more mobile and has a much, much quicker release.

Cutler and Romo have a lot of similarities in my eyes.

32
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:21pm

One of them being that they both play behind drastically worse lines than Flacco.

Flacco playing for the Cowboys or Bears would be an unmitigated disaster. He'd be like older Drew Bledsoe.

66
by beargoggles :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:08pm

this makes sense. Flacco's attribute compared to these 2 is his low INT rate, but he's much less mobile. Cutler/Romo much more comparable.

67
by beargoggles :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:08pm

this makes sense. Flacco's attribute compared to these 2 is his low INT rate, but he's much less mobile. Cutler/Romo much more comparable.

40
by TomC :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:45pm

I think R'berger is a stretch (because Ben is so good at avoiding the rush, which Flacco is not), but Rypien is a really good comparison. Put Flacco behind the '91 Washington O-line, with the '91 Washington WRs and running game, and he probably wins a Super Bowl (and wins it the same way Rypien did, sitting back there and bombing all day). Flacco behind the current Baltimore line with the current Baltimore WRs and running game probably misses the playoffs.

43
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 3:07pm

Comments:

1. On Flacco being an unmitigated disaster behind a worse O-line: Flacco is an unmitigated disaster behind his own O-line most weeks. When I referred to Flacco being gold-plated, I meant his contract, not his ability.

2. I thought of Roethlisberger, but Ben is just SO big and hard to tackle... Bigger and harder to tackle than Cutler or Freeman. Freeman is fairly mobile, although his scrambling ability has decreased (I believe because the TB coaching staff has tried to make him a strictly pocket passer).

3. Hence I thought of both Cutler and Flacco, two quarterbacks with decision-making and accuracy concerns. In terms of passing ability and shortcomings, Freeman is a lot like Flacco the last couple of years. He isn't that accurate, but he has a big arm and is willing to throw downfield. However, his mobility makes him a bit more like Cutler, even if he hasn't used it as much since his first two years.

4. Freeman was also having a great year in 2012 until the team collapsed around him; he threw nine of seventeen interceptions in the last three weeks, and did some damage to his YPA and completion % numbers as well, for a team that had no interest in playing.

46
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 3:39pm

Physically, Flacco and Cutler might be similar, but stylistically they're not.

22
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:10pm

To self-quote from a tweet I threw out ten minutes into the Philly-Tampa game:

"The Tampa defense--making Nick Foles into Peyton Manning since 2012."

Well, that was disgustingly and depressingly prescient.

23
by Tony_D (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:20pm

What puts Brandon Jacobs ahead of Arian Foster on this list? Was it just the touchdowns or does the Rams defense or the Texans being blown out hurt Foster's score? Foster had far more yards on fewer carries, far more receiving yards, and less plays stopped for no gain.

27
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 1:58pm

Jacobs' two touchdown runs were both more valuable than any of Foster's carries. And then Jacobs had his share of big runs too.

It was a weird week with a bunch of runners packed closely together. Jacobs was actually fourth going into Monday night, but after that game, opponent adjustments and baselines changed enough to shoot him up three places, amongst other shuffling.

28
by nath :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:05pm

I don't think the problem is that Schaub has become gun-shy about throwing deep; I think he can't anymore (or Kubiak believes he can't to the degree that he won't call any deep passes).

68
by beargoggles :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:10pm

Agree. And if a Schaub type QB can't throw deep, he's cooked, because he has no other way to put pressure on the defense. Stick a fork in him.

69
by beargoggles :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 11:11pm

Agree. And if a Schaub type QB can't throw deep, he's cooked, because he has no other way to put pressure on the defense. Stick a fork in him.

29
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:15pm

I'm suprised that Avery's 4 targets for 6 yards and a fumble is worse than Graham's 6 targets for 0 yards and an INT.

31
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:20pm

Receivers don't get credit (blame?) for a pick.

33
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:23pm

I thought they received half credit or something along those lines? No credit at all seems a bit strange to me.

34
by nath :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:26pm

Graham definitely doesn't deserve credit on the play in question, as Brees badly overthrew him.

35
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:27pm

For receivers, INTs are treated as incomplete passes.

37
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 2:28pm

Vince, what's the reason for that?

Why do we assume the have no culpability (and the quarterback gets all the blame) when there's no good way to suss out who is responsible?

47
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 3:49pm

Agreed. It's especially unfair when the ball hits a receiver in the hands who then tips up for an INT. I would think if it hits the receiver's hand(s) before it is intercepted, it should negatively affect the receiver's stat line.

52
by Arkaein :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 4:32pm

This stuff all gets included in player evaluations once they apply the charting data, but it isn't in the play-by-play so it isn't included in DVOA/DYAR.

63
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:24pm

The problem is that by saying "its not in the play by play" And then just assigning it to the QB, you're assuming that QBs are totally responsible, instead of doing the more rational/fair thing and assigning blame equally.

74
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 9:56am

Because DVOA doesn't already do enough to reward QBs for the players around them?

48
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 4:08pm

Matt Cassel...the fact that this guy is absolutely horrendous always makes me wonder what the hell happened in NE for his 08 season. In point of fact, that year he had multiple 400 yard passing games, multiple 3 td games, and posted a very solid dvoa, dyar, and qbr. By the 2nd half of that season, he led the league in dvoa and dyar. And ever since then, he's been a complete and utter disaster. I really wish I could ask him what the hell happened.

50
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 4:10pm

3 words: motivated Randy Moss

53
by nat :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 5:09pm

Whatever happened in 2008, it happened even more so in 2010, when he had better stats.

In addition, since you are sooooo obvious, Cassel's best 8 games in 2010 were better then his 8 best games in 2008.

What those two years have in common is that Cassel faced the weakest schedule of the season in both, according to FO projections. I don't know how much of that weakness was in pass defenses. I'm guessing a lot.

It seems that Cassel had the skill set needed to play well enough against weak opponents, but not those needed to play well against good ones. DVOA can't really distinguish the skills that are important only against good teams and those that are mostly useful only against bad ones. It assumes they are all equally applicable to all opponents.

Who knows what happened after that. Maybe he had tough schedules and couldn't cope?

56
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 5:32pm

The "mystery" of Matt Cassel is not so mysterious. The answer is clear and simple: "Matt Cassel was never very good."

In 2008, with a motivated Randy Moss, he managed to throw for fewer touchdowns than the many-headed monster of mostly Tyler Thigpen he replaced the next year in Kansas City (23 in KC vs. his 21). That is the only year in which he has crested 60% completions, which is pretty much "basic competency" in the post-2005 NFL.

Any reputation he may once have had is based on a couple big games as a Patriot that blotted out a lot of mediocrity, and a really good TD/INT ratio in an otherwise less-than-pedestrian season, because Dwayne Bowe is Really Rather Good and because he needed somewhere to regress to the mean from.

In those two years - by far his best - he barely makes 7.0 yards per attempt. Passers with 7.0 or more career yards per attempt include Jake DelHomme. You read that right. Matt Cassel's ceiling is right about Jake Delhomme's career average.

58
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 5:44pm

I would argue hes far worse than delhomme. Right now, if he was a starter, you could make a serious argument that he would be the worst starter in football. After sunday, I'm not so sure hes any better than ponder or joe webb at this point. That's the part that I find hard to believe. Did we all look at 2008 Cassel and say, "Yup, he really is this bad."

60
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 7:07pm

I believe you'll find that is what I said!

For comparison:
Year-----YardsperAttempt------Comparison Career YPA
2008 7.2 Jake DelHomme
2009 5.9 Kyle Boller
2010 6.9 Vince Young
2011 6.4 Derek Anderson
2012 6.5 Mark Sanchez

That was fun.

61
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 7:12pm

But he's not the worst starter in football:

Gabbert/Henne
Thaddeus Lewis
Whoever is starting in Tennessee right now

Cassel is probably as good as Andy Dalton. He has a stronger arm than Dalton.

62
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 8:35pm

Maybe, though Andy Dalton is going through a particularly rough stretch right now.

65
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:35pm

Do we really need to start looking at the "Jake Delholmme without Steve Smith" numbers?

64
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 9:33pm

The simpler explanation is that the Patriots had better coaching, better game plans, and better surrounding talent than the chiefs.

Think of Cassel as a bit like Cutler... he was a superstar in Denver, now hes just merely above average. Cassel is like that, only a little less talented (although not as much as people think)

In a properly run system, with talent around him, Cassel can win. Most teams don't have that though. Guys like Rodgers and Manning and Brees can probably win anywhere.

71
by Red :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 12:04am

Cutler was never a superstar in Denver. He had one good season (2008), but in 2006 and 2007 he was decidedly mediocre. Cutler is the classic example of exceptional talent being confused with exceptional play.

77
by BJR :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 1:25pm

Cassel was God-awful for the past two seasons (when healthy), to a level far beneath where Cutler has ever consistently sunk. Bad coaching may be partially to blame, but decent NFL QBs do not play that badly for long stretches.

It's obvious by now that Cassel got lucky; firstly in the situation he inherited in New England when Brady went down, and then in facing super-soft schedules in 2008 and 2010. He's a liability in anything but the most favorable circumstances.

57
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/15/2013 - 5:42pm

His QBR in 2008 was vastly better than his 2010 qbr. And remember, qbr does take separation of qb to receiver quality into account.

75
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 10:03am

Stop trying to make QBR happen. This isn't ESPN.

78
by theslothook :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 3:44pm

Even Aaron endorses qbr. He puts it on the QB pages. Not too mention, much of it is derived from research by brian burke from advancedNflstats, including things like Win probability, his research on Yac, etc.

73
by Anonymoussss (not verified) :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 6:18am

Hate to be picky, but it is a stat's site...

And even that pass only traveled 17 yards past the line of scrimmage. He threw four other balls that traveled at least 10 yards downfield, completing three of them for 50 yards and three first downs.

It's kind of hard to get 50 yards on 3 throws without throwing at least 17 yards on one or more of the passes (3 * 16 = 48).

76
by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 10:38am

Not if your receivers get yards after the catch, it isn't.

79
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 10:12pm

Do not confuse "yards gained" with "pass distance."

81
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