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22 Oct 2013

Week 7 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

What does it take to qualify as one of the NFL's most effective running backs? This week, apparently, it takes about 80 yards from scrimmage. That's the average output of the top five running backs in total DYAR headed into Monday night football. And even that mediocre number is skewed by Chris Johnson and Ryan Mathews, who each ammassed 110 yards from scrimmage against the 49ers and Jaguars, respectively. The rest of the top five — Danny Woodhead, Roy Helu, and Joique Bell — averaged 32 yards rushing, 27 receiving, and only 59 yards from scrimmage. Not counting Johnson and Mathews, there were 17 running backs who gained at least 60 yards from scrimmage this week, and none of them qualified for our tables. (Chicago's Matt Forte gained 50 yards on one play.) We'll look at Woodhead, Helu, and Bell later — that's what the comment space in the tables is for, after all — but first let's examine the other runners who topped 100 yards from scrimmage this week, only to finish behind our low-volume, high-efficiency set.

(NOTE: As a result of changing opponent adjustments following the Monday night game, Johnson and his 9-carry, 39-yard, 71-receiving-yard performance fell out of the top five. Just for fun, and since I wrote it anyway, here's his comment: The Titans threw Johnson four passes, and all were complete. One went for a 66-yard touchdown. Each of the other three lost DYAR, and totaled just 5 yards. As a runner, Johnson had a very un-Chris Johnson-like day. Only one of his nine carries gained a first down, and none went for more than 9 yards. Six of them, though, were steady gains resulting in positive DYAR.)

Kansas City's Jamaal Charles led all running backs with 123 yards from scrimmage this week, including a 4.1-yard average on 21 carries, but he actually was below replacement level as a rusher. Three of his runs gained 10 yards or more, and he had three other first downs, including a goal-line touchdown. Besides those first downs, though, he had only two other successful runs on the day, meaning 13 of his carries actually hurt the Chiefs to one degree or another. Accounting for down, distance, etc., we find that 11 of Charles' 21 carries had negative DYAR, led by a failed third-and-1 run in the red zone and a lost fumble deep in Kansas City territory.

It's a similar story for Forte, who had touchdown runs of 50, 6, and 2 yards against Washington, but otherwise averaged 2.5 yards per carry with only two first downs. Ten of his 16 carries lost DYAR, including losses of 2 and 5 yards.

Green Bay's Eddie Lacy ran for 82 yards against Cleveland and added 26 yards receiving, but he averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, so his absence from our tables is less surprising. He had one touchdown but only four other first downs, and half of his 22 carries resulted in negative DYAR.

Similarly, Frank Gore averaged just 2.9 yards on 24 carries against Tennessee, including a long run of just 7 yards. It's actually pretty amazing he managed positive rushing DYAR, but he did have a pair of 1-yard touchdowns with no fumbles. He added 34 yards on two catches to cross the 100-YFS threshold.

The last runner to go over 100 yards from scrimmage was Chris Ivory of the New York Jets. Sure, he had 104 yards on the ground, but it took him 34 carries to get there, and 20 of those carries resulted in negative DYAR. He also caught one pass, but that pass actually resulted in a loss of yards.

Players like Woodhead, Helu, and Bell are kind of like the NFL's equivalent of DeAndre Jordan, who led the NBA in field-goal percentage this season (by a mile), but only took six shots per game. There's something to be said for making the most of limited opportunities, but there's probably also something to be said for being the guy who gets lots of opportunities. This week, at least, DYAR favored the former.

As for our receivers table, the most notable absence is Washington's rookie tight end Jordan Reed, who caught each of the nine passes thrown his way for 134 yards and a touchdown, but missed out on being listed by a few decimal points. There's not a lot of fluff in those numbers. Seven of Reed's receptions gained first downs, and those that didn't came on second-and-27 and second-and-12, and were virtually neutral plays.

Right behind Reed we find the Jets' Jeremy Kerley, who caught eight of 10 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Eight of those targets came on third down, resulting in seven catches for 83 yards and six conversions, including a 12-yard touchdown and a 22-yard gain on third-and-21. Reed and Kerley had very good games, but by DYAR's standards, there were five guys who were just a little bit better. (Reed in particular missed the table by a few decimal points.)

Finally, we have the many-yards-on-many-targets club. Tampa Bay's Vincent Jackson, Jacksonville's Mike Brown, New England's Rob Gronkowski, Dallas' Dez Bryant, and Chicago's Alshon Jeffery averaged 123 yards apiece (including DPIs), but it took them about 14 targets each to get there, and their cumulative catch rate was below 50 percent. Jackson deserves special note here. He was second in the league in yards in Week 7 (162), and first in successful targets (9). However, he was also first in unsuccessful targets (14, four more than anyone else) and fumbled once, and finished second-to-last among receivers despite his bountiful yardage totals.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Aaron Rodgers GB
25/36
260
3
0
176
175
1
Rodgers was only moderately effective through three quarters. On Green Bay's first two drives of the fourth, though, he went 4-of-4 for 70 yards, with two touchdowns and two other first downs, plus a 21-yard DPI.
2.
Andy Dalton CIN
24/34
372
3
0
175
177
-3
A.J. Green is obviously Cincinnati's best weapon, but there's more to their arsenal. On passes to Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, and Jermaine Gresham, Dalton went 11-of-15 for 155 yards with two touchdowns and six other first downs.
3.
Matthew Stafford DET
29/50
357
3
0
159
159
0
Third down? No problem. In 16 third-down throws, Stafford completed 12 passes for 206 yards and 11 first downs, including three touchdowns. He faced four third downs with at least 9 yards to go, and converted them all.
4.
Philip Rivers SD
22/26
285
1
0
154
164
-10
Rivers' first incompletion came in the final minute of the first half. He hit his first 14 passes for 136 yards and 9 first downs (including a touchdown), with one sack mixed in there. He converted each of his first five third-down throws, gaining 65 yards in the process.
5.
Matt Ryan ATL
21/26
273
3
0
151
151
0
Ryan got off to a slow start. On his first two drives, he went 5-of-7, but gained only 41 yards and one first down. And then he caught fire, and on Atlanta's next five drives he went 14-of-17 for 241 yards with three touchdowns, seven other first downs, and one intentional grounding foul. He threw only one pass after that, a completion to Jacquizz Rodgers that lost 9 yards. That is the biggest loss on a completed pass this season. The prior "leader" also belonged to Atlanta, a loss of 8 yards on a Schillinger-to-Snelling pass that started with a blocked punt.
6.
Josh McCown CHI
14/20
204
1
0
113
99
14
Perhaps Washington was expecting the Bears to go conservative on first down, and played the run heavily, and that opened things up for McCown. Whatever the reason, the second-stringer completed every first-down pass he threw, going 10-of-10 for 127 yards and five first downs, including a touchdown. McCown also ran three times on the day, each gaining at least 10 yards, with two first downs and an 11-yard gain on second-and-16.
7.
Robert Griffin WAS
18/29
298
2
1
106
66
40
Between the 40s, Griffin went 6-of-6 for 142 yards with a touchdown and four other first downs. He also ran ten times for 84 yards and four first downs.
8.
Colin Kaepernick SF
13/21
199
0
0
104
79
24
First two drives: 3-of-4 for 40 yards, but only one first down. Next three drives: 8-of-9 for 123 yards with six first downs (five in a row at one point) and one sack. Last six drives: 2-of-8 for 36 yards with one first down and one sack. He also ran eight times for 70 yards and four first downs, including a touchdown.
9.
Peyton Manning DEN
29/49
386
3
1
103
103
0
To his right: 11-of-19 for 163 yards with a touchdown and nine other first downs, plus a 22-yard DPI. Up the middle: 5-of-9 for 113 yards with two touchdowns, two other first downs, and an interception. To his left: 13-of-21 for just 110 yards and only five first downs.
10.
Joe Flacco BAL
24/34
215
1
0
79
69
10
Inside the red zone, Flacco went 2-of-6 for 5 yards, although both completions converted third-and-1 scenarios, and one was a game-tying touchdown.
11.
Jake Locker TEN
25/41
326
2
1
71
65
6
On Tennessee's first seven drives, Locker went 12-of-20 for 112 yards with five first downs, one interception, and one sack. By that point the Titans were down 24-0. From that point, late in the third quarter, Locker went 13-of-21 for 214 yards with two touchdowns and five other first downs, plus a 21-yard DPI and two sacks.
12.
Cam Newton CAR
15/17
204
1
0
62
78
-16
Hmm. Shouldn't Newton rank higher, with his 88 percent completion rate and 12.0 yards per pass? Well, he was sacked twice, and three of those completions (and 26 of those yards) came on failed third-down throws. Newton also ran six times for 28 yards, with one first down and one fumble.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Andrew Luck IND
21/38
228
3
0
51
27
24
Luck's third touchdown put Indianapolis ahead 33-14 in the third quarter. And then he went in a deep freeze, going 5-of-13 for 29 yards and one first down the rest of the way. He also ran three times: an 11-yard gain on third-and-11; a 10-yard touchdown; and a 9-yard gain on first-and-10.
14.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
17/23
160
1
0
46
35
11
Inside the red zone, Roethlisberger went 2-of-4 for 11 yards. When you include his three sacks, he actually had negative yardage inside the 20, although he did throw a touchdown pass on third-and-1 in the first quarter.
15.
Sam Bradford STL
21/30
257
1
1
42
45
-3
Bradford spent the bulk of his last game in 2013 pecking away at the short right area of the field. He went 11-of-14 on throws in that direction, but for only 60 yards and two first downs, although that includes a 4-yard touchdown.
16.
Russell Wilson SEA
18/29
235
3
0
40
43
-3
Wilson's first six third-down throws all came with 8 yards or less to go for a first down, and he converted all of them, gaining 48 yards and throwing a touchdown in the process. He then threw a 3-yard gain on third-and-4, then incomplete on third-and-13. He would rank a lot higher, but he was sacked three times, and fumbled on every sack.
17.
Case Keenum HOU
15/25
271
1
0
38
41
-3
Keenum had a lot of big plays against DVOA's favorite defensive team, but it does look like the Chiefs figured him out by the end of the game. In Houston's last four drives, as the Texans trailed by a single point, Keenum went 3-of-6 for 42 yards wth one first down, four sacks, and two fumbles.
18.
Alex Smith KC
23/34
240
0
1
20
1
20
On Houston's half of the field, Smith went 9-of-14 for only 69 yards, with three first downs (none in the second half) and one interception. Smith also ran three times for 31 yards, with a 5-yard touchdown on third-and-1 in the second quarter and a 23-yard gain on third-and-7 in the third.
19.
Geno Smith NYJ
17/33
233
1
1
9
4
5
The Patriots went ahead 21-10 with about five minutes left in the second quarter. From that point forward, Smith went 7-of-18 for 74 yards with five first downs, plus a 30-yard DPI, three sacks, and a fumble. Somehow, the Jets came back and won.
20.
Eli Manning NYG
23/39
200
1
0
0
9
-9
21.
Mike Glennon TB
26/44
261
2
0
-12
-18
6
Glennon had a whopping 23 dropbacks inside the Atlanta 40. He went 12-of-22 for 61 yards with five first downs (including one touchdown) with a sack.
22.
Tony Romo DAL
28/47
317
1
2
-14
-16
1
To Dez Bryant: 8-of-16 for 110 yards, with every completion picking up a first down, plus a 3-yard DPI. All other plays: 20-of-31 for 207 yards with 10 first downs (including a touchdown) with two sacks, a fumbled snap, and an interception. (Officially, he had another interception on a hail mary at the end of the first half.)
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Carson Palmer ARI
30/45
260
1
2
-31
-28
-4
Death by a thousand screens! Palmer threw 11 passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, completing nine of them for 55 yards with three first downs.
24.
Matt Barkley PHI
11/20
129
0
3
-60
-60
0
Inside the Dallas 40, Barkley went 2-of-6 for 26 yards with two interceptions. But hey, those two completions both picked up first downs.
25.
Chad Henne JAC
23/36
318
0
1
-66
-55
-11
Henne ran four times for 5 yards, twice failing to convert on third-and-2. Inside the San Diego 40, he went 7-of-15 for 65 yards with two first downs, plus a 7-yard DPI and five, count 'em, five sacks.
26.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
19/37
194
3
2
-82
-76
-6
Tannehill's last past of the third quarter was a touchdown on third-and-goal from the 4 that put Miami ahead 21-17. In the fourth quarter, Tannehill went 5-of-11 for 35 yards with two first downs, two sacks, and one fumble, and the Dolphins snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
27.
Jay Cutler CHI
3/8
28
0
1
-83
-83
0
Cutler's only first down was a 13-yard gain on first-and-10 from the Washington 47.
28.
Nick Foles PHI
12/29
80
0
0
-118
-120
1
Foles' performance his last six drives went like this: 6-yard completion; four incompletions in a row; 16-yard completion; sack; completions for 12 and 9 yards; eight incompletions in a row (!!!); sack, injury, game over.
29.
Tom Brady NE
22/46
228
0
1
-120
-120
0
Tom Brady did not throw a touchdown. He didn't even throw a pass in the red zone. His first pass inside the Jets' 40 was a 30-yard gain to the 1-yard line. After that, inside the 40, he went 2-of-7 for 10 yards and no first downs. Starting with his last play of the first half, he put together this sequence: sack-fumble; sack-fumble; pick-six; 5-yard completion; sack; incomplete; sack; incomplete.
30.
Thaddeus Lewis BUF
21/32
202
0
1
-123
-105
-19
Inside the red zone, Lewis went 2-of-4 for 10 yards with no first downs and a sack-fumble.
31.
Brandon Weeden CLE
17/42
149
1
1
-124
-132
8
Not counting throws to Jordan Cameron, Weeden went 10-of-33 for 94 yards with five first downs, three sacks, and an interception.
32.
Josh Freeman MIN
20/53
190
0
1
-136
-136
0


Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Roy Helu WAS
41
3
5
0
41
39
2
It sounds strange to say that a runner who averaged 3.7 yards per carry had a boom-and-bust day, but that's not inaccurate for Helu. His four red-zone carries resulted in three touchdowns and a 10-yard gain on second-and-2. But five of his other seven carries lost DYAR, and four of the went for no gain or a loss. His only reception was a 5-yard gain on second-and-13.
2.
Danny Woodhead SD
29
1
47
0
38
7
30
Woodhead didn't do much as a rusher — only three first downs, nothing longer than 7 yards, and four of his nine carries resulted in negative DYAR. As a receiver, though, every pass thrown his way was complete. Three went for first downs, including conversions on third-and-1 and second-and-20. The fourth was a 7-yard gain on first-and-10.
3.
Le'veon Bell PIT
93
0
6
0
30
28
2
Bell carried the ball 19 times against Baltimore, and gained positive DYAR 13 times. Ten of his carries gained 6 yards or more.
4.
Ryan Mathews SD
110
1
0
0
29
29
0
Twelve of Mathews' 21 carries gained positive DYAR, including four gains of 10 or more yards and a 3-yard touchdown. The only pass thrown his way went incomplete.
5.
Joique Bell DET
27
0
29
0
28
9
19
Between rushes and targets, Bell only had eight plays, but he made them count. Each of his five carries gained at least 2 yards, and he had a 13-yard gain on a third-and-1 carry in the first quarter. Each of the three passes thrown his way was complete, and each gained positive DYAR, capped off by an 18-yard gain on third-and-7.


Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
C.J. Spiller BUF
11
0
-4
0
-37
-15
-22
100 percent Catch Rate. That's good. -1.3 yards per catch. That's bad. All of the receptions lost DYAR. Spiller had six carries on the day, all on first-and-10. One went for 11 yards. The other five gained a total of zero yards, and each was a negative-DYAR play.


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Calvin Johnson DET
9
14
155
17.2
2
68
Only one of Johnson's completions failed to pick up a first down. Ironically, it came on second-and-1. He converted all three of his third-down targets, including touchdowns of 27 and 50 yards. The longer TD converted a third-and-18.
2.
Eric Decker DEN
8
13
150
18.8
1
68
Not included in that statline: a 22-yard DPI. Eight of his targets came on first-and-10, resulting in five completions for 129 yards and four first downs (including a touchdown), plus the DPI.
3.
Harry Douglas ATL
7
7
149
21.3
1
60
Douglas did most of his damage in four receptions: a 12-yard gain on third-and-2; a 26-yard gain on second-and-11; a 54-yard gain on third-and-6; and a 37-yard touchdown. He had just one target in the second half, resulting in a 9-yard catch on first-and-10.
4.
Jarrett Boykin GB
8
10
103
12.9
1
55
Boykin worked either very deep or very short against Cleveland. Four of his targets came within 6 yards of the line of scrimmage (all were caught, for 17 total yards), but five came 15 yards or more downfield (resulting in two completions for 59 yards and a touchdown, plus a 21-yard DPI).
5.
A.J. Green CIN
6
8
155
25.8
1
51
Green's first target resulted in an 82-yard touchdown. His decline from that point was nearly lineal. His next five targets gained 13, 27, 13, 11, and 9 yards, and then his next two targets fell incomplete.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
T.Y. Hilton IND
2
11
27
13.5
0
-54
The raw numbers are pretty damning by themselves, but Hilton's failures in critical situations were really the driving force that sent him to the bottom of the tables. The Colts targeted him five times on third downs, resulting in one catch, 8 yards, and zero conversions.

Posted by: Vince Verhei on 22 Oct 2013

131 comments, Last at 22 Jan 2014, 5:03pm by ugg bamsest

Comments

1
by Bobman :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 1:50am

Foist? Ah west coast time zone....

2
by Bobman :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 1:55am

TY Hilton, oy, the Colts new #1 WR! You better get more consistent or we'll start seeing 70 runs for 3 yards each every game, plus a handful of passes to Darius Hayward-Bey. Because, you know, run to win and all that crap.... (sigh)

Jeez, I thought Keenum looked better than #17, but then again maybe I was comparing him to Schaub. Hard to believe Brady is that low, or ANYBODY is below Barkley (Josh Freeman the notable exception.) Was this a crappier-than-usual weekend for QBs?

8
by SFC B :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:17am

I don't think Keenum's 4 sacks and two fumbles are helping his DVOA.

22
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:51am

Hey now, it wasn't that long ago you were lobbying for more passes for TY. :)

I'm not that worried about TY becoming a regular at the bottom of the tables. It is a little odd that he had such an off game while the rest of the team was playing well, but everyone lays the occasional egg.

3
by Jon Goldman (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:28am

Where did AD appear, out of curiosity? How about Hillis?

4
by pm :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:46am

Where is Trent Richardson on the list of worst RB's?

44
by c0rrections (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:13am

Spiller was even worse. I'm very aware because both he and Richardson were my top 2 fantasy picks. At least I didn't start both of them.

112
by Anonymooooose (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:45pm

I really hope you don't pride yourself in your ability to play fantasy football.

5
by wiesengrund :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:00am

Just out of curiosity, how much DYAR did Vincent Jackson actually earn on that target-fest?

And as a follow-up: Are there kept records of the gap between DYAR and fantasy points? His day seemed like a clinic study to point towards when discussing the need for advanced stats, targets and catch rates.

6
by Paul R :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:44am

Yikes! Brady's begging for spare change with the bottom-feeders again.
Has anyone considered that he might be hurt? The Patriots aren't the most forthcoming team in the league about player injuries, so he could have a nagging injury that nobody's talking about.
Brady doesn't play well when he's injured. That sounds obvious, but there are QBs who can play with injuries and those who can't. It depends on their style. Roethlisberger could probably crawl out of a flaming helicopter crash and rumble through all 60 minutes. Brady's too much of a thoroughbred. If his knee or his throwing hand is bothering him, he won't have the accuracy his style of game depends on.

7
by kamiyu206 :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:14am

Maybe. But you have to consider the effect of father time, too.

59
by Paul R :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:17pm

Very likely. Or a combination of both. Those little dings start to accumulate, especially when age doesn't allow you to bounce back as fast.
Manning was declining* a little in the last few Colts years. After some surgery and almost two years to recuperate, he's in top form again. I'll bet Brady would benefit from the same kind of break.

(*At the Brady/Manning level of play, "declining" means going from "the best in history" to "occasionally not the best in history."
To fans of other teams, Colts/Pats/Packers fans complaining about their quarterbacks must seem a little rude. Like the guy who complains about losing a million dollars on a business deal, which leaves him with only $199 million left in the bank.)

60
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:36pm

I agree with most of this, but I think Brady has to be injured because he's basically been near replacement level (given 0 DYAR as replacement level). Brady has simply not been that good this year. Some of it is lack of targets, or facing good defenses, but Philip Rivers also has lost a lot of targets (his #1/2 receivers from last year out for the season) and is having one of his best seasons of his career.

Something just seems wrong. Maybe defenses have finally got a hold on what NE was doing the past four years, but I think it is more likely Brady is hurt in some way, because there is no way Brady can go from the best DYAR QB in the NFL to this.

62
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:45pm

I was too lazy to look up DYAR's, but Jim Kelly had a similar drop in ANY/A, and the same age too.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/K/KellJi00.htm
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/B/BradTo00.htm

Brady's has dropped further though. The low int% for Brady makes me think all is not lost yet.

93
by PatsFan :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:14pm

I wonder if the death of his throwing coach a couple of years ago is finally taking its toll. I know he has a replacement (former pitcher Tom House, IIRC), but it's still not the guy he spent decades with.

11
by Led :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 7:36am

Brady kept rubbing and looking at his right hand when he was on the bench. Maybe he has a hand injury.

19
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:46am

They said he hurt his hand 1st play of the 2nd half.

That was the worst game of the worst season Brady has had.

The strangle thing is that during training camp they said he was on fire and even the 1st preseason game he was unstoppable. They said the same thing about Amendola and of course he pulls his groin on that 1st preseason game, scoring a TD. It's been a train wreak for the Pats offense ever since.

38
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:48am

Brady has the same problem Eli does. He is nearly the not talented a layer on his offense. In Eli's case there is Cruz and maybe nicks, while Brady hasa couple of good linemen and occasionally a healthy receiver. But Dobson and Thompkins aren't good, and Brady, like Eli, is making it worse by getting the yips.

52
by RickD :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:44am

Yeah, his hand was hit on the strip on the 1st play of the 2nd half. The 2nd play was the pick six. He looked much better in the 1st half than the 2nd.

The punt in OT happened after three straight incompletions, none of which was close to the intended receiver. One of the three might have been the receiver's fault.

64
by Paul R :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:57pm

From the Quick Reads analysis: "Starting with his last play of the first half, he put together this sequence: sack-fumble; sack-fumble; pick-six; 5-yard completion; sack; incomplete; sack; incomplete."

Sounds like what you're saying.

Has anybody ever listened to the spam filter's audio captcha? I think it's telling me to worship satan.

40
by tballgame (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:50am

Not that it is evidence of an injury, but how many QB sneaks has Brady run? I feel like he's normally good for 1/game and I don't recall the last sneak he's run.

43
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:04am

I can't recall the last time the Patriots managed to get within one yard of a first down...

54
by RickD :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:46am

They had a chance at the 1 on Sunday. Gave it to Bolden instead of using the sneak. FWIW, Bolden scored.

65
by Local guy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 1:12pm

Big Ben jumps from the burning copter choosing not to use the parachute, makes a pump fake (or 2) on the way to the ground, ducks under a rotor, spins away from a flaming engine, and completes a 15 yarder on 3rd and 14. Brady decides to ride the helicopter to the ground and wait for reinforcements because his chin strap is loose.

123
by MJK :: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 10:43pm

I think I read somehwere that he has a shoulder injury. But don't worry...he's Probable.

9
by bubqr :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 5:15am

I have trouble thinking Brady was worse than Foles. I watched both games, and I might be biaised being an Eagles fan, but Foles was just horrendous. And that's where DVOA does not take into consideration OL play, because Foles had 5s to throw on nearly every throw but was either waiting an extra 5s or overthrowing anything that moves while Brady was pressured quite a lot in his dropback, especially in the 2nd half.

16
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:41am

DVOA and DYAR are better tools than raw stats, but like raw stats, they can not fully account for context. Things like bad teammates are beyond what they can account for.

On a somewhat related note, this weekend I saw Matthew Stafford lob a ball into triple coverage, only to have Calvin Johnson go full Megatron and come down with a 50-yard TD. My first thought was "DYAR will credit Stafford with a great play on that one". In reality, it was a great play by Johnson on a dubious throw by Stafford.

29
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:34am

"My first thought was "DYAR will credit Stafford with a great play on that one". In reality, it was a great play by Johnson on a dubious throw by Stafford."

I'm not sure it was such a dubious throw (keep in mind he was drilled as he threw it, taking some zip off of it). It's exactly what I was hoping they would do. Yes, he got lucky, but it was 3rd and 18. When you've got Calvin Johnson, why not try it? Worst case scenario is the Bengals get an INT touchback and the ball on their own 20. If the Lions had run a screen or draw instead, I would have torn my hair out.

10
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 6:18am

I don't know whether to be encouraged or depressed that the Lions had the 3rd best quarterback, 5th best running back, and top receiver, yet still lost.

96
by Another Lions Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:42pm

The Bengals had the second best quarterback and fifth best receiver, and it was a close loss. Be encouraged for the offense, at least.

12
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:17am

If I were the rest of the NFL, I would start to worry about CIN. Dalton seems to be coming out of his funk and that defense, even without Leon Hall, is Top 5.

(I can't believe I even thought that statement).

15
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:40am

I second this. I think they're a legit team, despite being prone to occasional lapses (like the loss to Cleveland).

18
by bucko (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:45am

Marvin Lewis is coaxing quality play out of Terence Newman AND Adam Jones which has to be some kind of coaching achievement that merits a plaque.

23
by Splattered :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:55am

In Zimmer We Trust.

45
by c0rrections (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:16am

Now if only the Cowboys had had someone like that to help coach both players up in Dallas. Someone like a Mike Zimmer...oh wait they had Mike Zimmer. Ah well that's a bit awkward.

13
by bucko (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:29am

The defensive pass interference call against the Browns on Boykin was ticky tack.

Still, the guy looked good on Sunday making several fine catches and being tough to bring down. He wouldn't be on the roster if he wasn't capable as the Packers have demonstrated that whatever gaps exist in talent evaluation when it comes to receivers the coaching staff/front office know their stuff.

25
by Sakic (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:10am

Referee Jeff Triplette's crew has always struck me as a ticky tack crew. They call it both ways but if it looks like it could be a hold or dpi they are going to call it. It takes a lot of fun out of the game because everytime something good happens you just assume there is a flag.

14
by bucko (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:36am

If anyone is interested the bulk of Packer fans are kvetching about Rodgers looking 'off' most of the season.

I am just glad that the team is running effectively and the young tackles have not gotten him killed

17
by hscer :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:45am

Just how many WR/TE had more DYAR than the top RB this week? Was it a typical number?

26
by nat :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:23am

I don't know the answer to your question, but a little background on DYAR might shed some light. I don't know how long you've been around, but this might be helpful to you or other, newer FO fans.

DYAR is defense (opponent) adjusted yards above replacement. It replaced DPAR (defense adjusted points above replacement) way back in 2008 here: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2008/dpar-dead

At that time, "replacement" level became specific to each position. Also, and somewhat surprisingly, "yards" became specific to position as well. This is because the conversion from "success points" (that is, progress in a mix of yards, first downs, and avoiding turnovers as measured for DVOA) to "yards" is based on the average yardage associated with that much "success" for each position.

The upshot is that DYAR isn't set up for comparing receivers to running backs. The scales are different, and the zero-point is different.

Aaron may have some information about how different the scales are. I don't recall anything being posted.

20
by bucko (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:47am

How little do the Vikes think of Ponder when Josh Freeman is the choice and Freeman was scattering passes all over the stadium?

34
by are-tee :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:30am

It looked to me last night that the Vikes' future QB plans revolve around Teddy Bridgewater. That was a winnable game, down by 3 at the half, and having Freeman in there gave them no chance.

37
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:46am

"having Freeman in there gave them no chance."

I would argue that having any quarterback currently on the roster in there gave them no chance, unless you think Ponder's running would have made the difference.

[I hope I didn't just leave an opening for Shah8 to go on one of his rants]

56
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:07pm

Of course you did, of course you did.

If Freeman hadn't arrived, the Vikings almost certainly would have had to move Webb back to QB. I suspect the main reason Ponder isn't playing is because he's lost the confidence of his teammates.

Cassel, is, well, he's Cassel.

Wonder what happens if Freeman plays poorly the rest of the way of the season. That last game was better than Carson Palmer's thrust into action, but putting guys onto the field who don't know the playbook is just not a good idea.

56
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:07pm

Of course you did, of course you did.

If Freeman hadn't arrived, the Vikings almost certainly would have had to move Webb back to QB. I suspect the main reason Ponder isn't playing is because he's lost the confidence of his teammates.

Cassel, is, well, he's Cassel.

Wonder what happens if Freeman plays poorly the rest of the way of the season. That last game was better than Carson Palmer's thrust into action, but putting guys onto the field who don't know the playbook is just not a good idea.

61
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:40pm

The Giant's defense is horrible. I think any QB familiar with the playbook would have given them a chance.

36
by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:46am

It's too bad that was the Monday night game, because it would have been entertaining to read the dreadful breakdowns of Freeman's performance. I imagine that most Vikings fans were pining for Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel. Shoot, Freeman was so bad that some of them were probably pining for Joe Webb.

49
by Mike B. In Va :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:39am

Freeman was "I can't believe this guy was a starter this year" bad.

Many in Buffalo wanted the Bills to sign Freeman. Thad Lewis is mediocre, but at least he KNOWS he's a placeholder - and he's also better than Freeman at this point.

67
by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:10pm

Are they planning on kidnapping Bridgewater from the Jaguars training camp next July? Because I don't know how else he doesn't play for Jacksonville (unless Tampa also goes winless and gets lucky on the coin toss).

21
by N8- (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:50am

Dalton had several key chances to crush the Lions on deep throws. He couldn't put enough zip on the ball. Every single throw was short, including the highlight TD to Green. If he could make those throws it would have been a Bengals blowout.

24
by bucko (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:58am

Cannot speak to the quality of coaching but Dalton has a solid offensive line, a spectacular receiver, some solid tight ends and a defense that more than a few times has given the offense a short field.

If the guy were legitimately good I would think he would be blowing up the league.

Instead, he's ok. After this amount of time I think the assessment of Dalton has to be 'ok'. And ok may be good enough for the Bengals this season.

30
by Sakic (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:58am

I was trying to figure out which QB that Dalton reminds me of at this point in his career and the name I keep coming up with is Steve DeBerg. A smart quarterback who can run an offense and be effective with the right tools around him but his lack of arm strength will always keep him from the elite level.

53
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:44am

Marc Bulger?

28
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:30am

"If he could make those throws it would have been a Bengals blowout."

Stafford missed a couple deep throws that would have been touchdowns, too. Those things tend to even out in the wash.

70
by N8- (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:20pm

There's a huge difference. Stafford's throws were seam routes that were overthrown. There was no risk of interception since no safeties were in the area. The under throws are at great risk of interception. There's no known case of "too much arm strength" but too little is a real problem if you have AJ Green.

27
by Dan in Philly (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:29am

It's astonishing any QB had a worse rating than Nick Foles, but Tom Brady????

32
by Yaguar :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:26am

Foles ended his game early, so he didn't have time to rack up as much negative DYAR.

On a per-play basis, he was the worst, I believe.

46
by c0rrections (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:19am

Oh I believe old Matt Barkley might challenge him on that score.

55
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:48am

Brady has one touchdown throw in the last three weeks -- the last-second one to Thompkins last week. He's been a sub-50% passer I believe twice now this season. His receivers aren't helping much, but Brady's accuracy comes and goes several times during the game. There might me a shoulder injury that we don't know about that's sabotaging his mechanics.

79
by RickD :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:23pm

It's believed that he injured his hand on the first play of the 2nd half against the Jets.

He was 11 for 18 in the first half, 11 for 28 in the second. And from the eyeball test, his accuracy was much better in the first half of the game.

31
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:14am

"Players like Woodhead, Helu, and Bell are kind of like the NFL's equivalent of DeAndre Jordan, who led the NBA in field-goal percentage this season (by a mile), but only took six shots per game. There's something to be said for making the most of limited opportunities, but there's probably also something to be said for being the guy who gets lots of opportunities. This week, at least, DYAR favored the former."

It continues to mystify me how you can make observations like this, and conclude that DYAR is right and rushing is wrong, and not the opposite.

Come on, even Barnwell knows a system that tells you that Jordan is the best shooter in the NBA is fatally flawed.

39
by Powerfamiliar (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:48am

I have to agree. I love Quick reads but naming the RB section "Five most valuable running backs" would be like naming a section "Five most valuable shooters in the NBA" with DeAndre Jordan at the top. It just wouldn't be taken seriously.

Kirk Goldsberry over in grantland wrote a couple of articles about this specific issue. Maybe something similar could be done with RBs DYAR and the advantage low usage backs seem to have.

Spam filter isnt letting me link the article but it's called: kirk goldsberry introduces new way to understand nba best scorers

42
by Anonymous37 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:02am

The Jordan reference they made reminded me of the Goldberry article too, which makes me think it might have been intentional on their part.

This is the closest I've ever seen them come to admitting something several commenters have noted for years, that DYAR does a poor job of evaluating running backs.

69
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:16pm

While I tend to agree with your overall point, I wonder if this is happening more because rushing is just not that valuable any more.

Since defensive players are bigger, stronger, and faster that ever before, it's not easy to get consistent success on the ground. And yet teams keep rushing the ball ~40% of the time. I wonder if what DYAR is showing is that teams should just not run the ball so much any more - that most of the value from running comes at the extremes, converting short-yardage plays.

86
by Perfundle :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:41pm

Well, the argument there is that if teams didn't attempt so many unsuccessful runs, the passing game would suffer, since the defense wouldn't be fooled by play-action as much, and the QB would be subjected to more hits as the defense is free to rush the passer. Also, running the ball keeps the clock moving more than the average pass, which rests the defense. We've seen what happens when less-than-elite teams pass too much, and it isn't pretty.

89
by Kal :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:53pm

Running the clock doesn't rest the defense. Having long drives with a lot of plays can. But a pass and a run both eat about the same
Amount of real time.

94
by Perfundle :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:30pm

Gah, you're right. I got real time and game time confused there.

99
by Led :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 5:08pm

But running the clock reduces the total number of snaps the defense will have to play, all else being equal.

33
by NYMike :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:30am

Props to Aaron Rodgers for placing first missing two of his favorite three receivers, and turning Jarrett Boykin into a top-five receiver. He just might be a good quarterback some day.

35
by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:43am

The fact that RBs with very limited touches once again out-DYAR seemingly productive RBs with more touches brings to mind this question: What percentage of running plays are actually successful? It seems to be a truism that the more you run with the ball, the more you're likely to bring down your DYAR.

50
by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:41am

Watched the Panthers game and some of the Sunday and Monday night games, and was seeing a LOT of runs for losses/minimal gain, and then the random successful run. I wonder if that is becoming more the norm - part of the more global O-Line issues?

72
by Ryan D. :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:24pm

Is it time to re-adjust what counts as successful for passes and runs, given how much easier it is to pass in today's NFL?

My understanding is that as of right now, you need the following to be "successful" in DVOA/DYAR calculations:

1st down: 45% of yards to go
2nd down: 60% of yards to go
3rd/4th down: 100% of yards to go

What if "success" was redefined, and judged separately for rushing and passing?

RUSHING Success:

1st down: 40% of yards to go - I think a change from needing 5 yards to 4 yards on most typical 1st-and-10 plays would result in more successful plays ocurring, which might give a little boost to higher volume runners (the ones most likely to carry the ball on 1st-and-10).

2nd down: 50% of yards to go - I think in most cases, if you can get halfway to a first down with a 2nd down run, you should be pretty happy. I don't think you need 60% of the yards to go to be successful.

3rd/4th down: 100% of yards to go - yes, you still need to convert to be successful. Groundbreaking stuff, I know.

REASONING: If you are a running team, a 4 yard gain on 1st and 10 gives you 2nd and 6. That seems like a very manageable down and distance. If you run again and get 3 yards, that leaves 3rd and 3 to go. I think both of those results are considered successful for running the ball in today's NFL.

PASSING Success:

1st down: 50% of yards to go - Passes should gain more ground on average than rushing, and thus should have a higher expectation for success.

2nd down: 70% of yards to go - You need to get close, so that the threat of a 3rd down run is a viable option.

3rd/4th down: 100% of yards to go - Yes, please convert.

Feel free to discuss, nitpick, and burn this theory to the ground.

83
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:35pm

I touched on this elsewhere in the thread, but for the purposes of individual rushing DYAR, it doesn't really matter where you set the success rates (within reason), because each running back is compared to what other running backs did in the same scenario.

118
by WeaponX (not verified) :: Wed, 10/23/2013 - 12:01pm

I feel like any DeAngelo Williams run that doesn't end with 3 defenders on him behind the LOS is a successful running play.

41
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:56am

If only Joe Webb was starting!

47
by dbostedo :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:24am

I think that "performance" by Freeman is the only thing that could possibly have made me think you were serious and not being snarky.

48
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:27am

Clearly a team in disarray on the field, which is largely on the coaching staff but they didn't want Freeman here - Spielman did.

Spielman has no clue regarding the QB position. He doesn't seem to think accuracy and preventing turnovers is particularly important.

When he came to Minnesota I looked at the Dolphins drafts and was thoroughly unimpressed. He did pile up picks, but his pick of Ponder was a disaster and while Kalil and Smith look ok, they sure don't look like stars. After three drafts where he had complete control I see a very slow team with very little talent and a ridiculous QB situation.

I'm fearful the Wilf's will give Spielman more time and allow him to place the blame at the feet of the coaching. Next years draft looks like a good time to be in the top few picks. I sure hope Spielman isn't making those choices.

76
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:04pm

This may be a situation where the team is too poorly coached to get a handle on the talent level. There's a reason that the Wilfs apparently gave no thought to extending Frazier, after making the playoffs last season.

I can only hope that anybody who put Ponder that high up on their draft board, as opposed to trying to pick the best remaining qb, in a complete positional reach, is never allowed to give input again. The latter mistake is bad enough, but anybody who really thought that Ponder was anywhere close to the best football player to pick number 12 overall, is completely, absolutely, insane. There is literally nothing about the guy, in the most easy to judge physical aspects, which indicates he would be better than average at helping your team win games. Being able to run fast when unable to locate a receiver in time is a nice thing to have, maybe even a great thing to have, if the other physical qualities are present, but by itself is of dubious value. What the hell did they see in the guy?

91
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:01pm

I would never waste a first round pick on a QB who didn't show very superior accuracy. My guess is that they saw a good athlete with a good mind for gobbling up a playbook and regurgitating it back. I've always felt that under Ponder the Vikings seemed organized - very few pre snap penalties and so forth, but he just couldn't feel the pocket, he hesitated on plays, and he was inaccurate.

Regarding the coaches, since the Freeman signing the offence fell off a cliff. Up until that point they were scoring pts even with Ponder in, and they were downright good with Cassel in against Pittsburgh. From what I've read Frazier wanted nothing to do with a new QB. Which makes sense because he likely knew things would get ugly.

I think they've lost the team, and in my mind that's more on Spielman than Frazier. But can them both, by all means, I never thought they should they should hold the positions they have now anyway.

95
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:35pm

To me the most telling thing on Frazier is that a guy from defense, and a former NFL db, has never had a defensive backfield that looks well-coached, since he has been in Minnesota, especially when Winfield hasn't been back there.

Another interesting thing is that their director of college scouting, Scott Studwell, has been there for years, through various coaching, management, and ownership changes. His draft boards, I would think, have looked good in retrospect, with most of the major screwups taking place when other parties exercised their power. Maybe they should put him in charge, if that is the case.

104
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 6:47pm

That is true - since Frazier has been here the db play has been awful.

It is very hard to judge the competency of coaches, GMs and personnel guys because you never know how much control they have or whether their recommendations are followed. Studwell lasting through all those changes certainly seems telling.

My gut is personnel guys are the key to winning not coaches. I think coaches with great records are probably great talent evaluators themselves or are lucky enough to be there when the talent is.

I know Dick Lebeau for instance did two extended stints as a DC in both Pitt and Cinn - based on Pro Football References Simple Rating System for points...Lebeau has had well above average defences in Pitt every year he's been there - but he had below average defences for 12 years in Cinn. And it's not like he just figured it out all of sudden. He did 8 years in Cinn - crappy defences every year...goes to Pitt for two years...above avg defences...back to Cinn for 4 years - below avg defence every year - then off to Pitt 04-present and he has above average defences every year.

Far from a conclusive study - but I would spend my bucks on a GM with a great record long before I'd spend money on a coach - unless that coach had a great record and control of personnel.

105
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 6:51pm

Well part of a head coaches job is talent evaluation. Maybe Frazier would make a good DC, but until he can tell that Ponder is not a good QB, he'll never be a good head coach.

107
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 7:35pm

I'm doing a little DC study...looking at some top DCs and how their teams performed in Pro Football References simple point system for defence (DSRS).

Looked at 7 DC's so far - Frazier and some big names...here's the results so far:

Coach pts relative to avg def/year (years as DC)

Buddy Ryan 2.84 (9 years)
Dom Capers 2.06 (10 years)
Greg Williams 1.55 (12 years)
Dick Lebeau .73 (23 years)
Tony Dungy .15 (9 years)
Wade Phillips -.0125 (24 years)

I suspect really good coordinators make a difference but maybe a win ever 2 or 3 years.

And for the real stat types...I know this won't stand up to your rigorous standards.

113
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:14pm

You say a win every two years like that's something to sneeze at. Tell any team they can hire a single person, who doesn't count against the salary cap, and they'll add .5 a win a year, and that sounds fantastic to me.

Twice in the past 6 years the Bears have missed the playoffs because of events on week 17. You add a win to the 08 or 12 teams and they're in the playoffs.

116
by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 10/23/2013 - 8:13am

Of course it's significant, but I would say the general media acts like they win or lose 3-4 games a year.

I have of course only looked at 6 of the most renowned DCs.

108
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 7:36pm

btw Frazier

.41 pts better than avg over 6 years as a DC

58
by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:12pm

On a serious note, I *did* wish Webb was playing as QB. Even with the same rust he showed playing in Green Bay, he still would have moved the football, and scored a few more points than zero.

Christian Ponder would have done better as well, but I think there is a good chance he's in the doghouse or on his way out.

51
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:44am

Watching Josh McCown on Sunday was a trip. Every play was skirting disaster, but instead of sacks, fumbles, and picks, the ball kept ending up in receivers hands and the offense kept moving forward.

That said, McCown is getting the receivers killed. There were 3 passes that lead receivers right into defenders. Both Jeffery and Marshall where shaken up on various plays.

63
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 12:47pm

McCown reminded me lot of mid-career Gus Frerrotte in that game. You never knew if you were going to get 4tds or 4 picks from a week to week basis. Sometimes he would have 4tds and 4 picks in a single game.

66
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:02pm

Where did AD appear, out of curiosity? How about Hillis?

Where is Trent Richardson on the list of worst RB's?

Peterson was not in the bottom 20, somehow. I’m guessing his receiving numbers were good enough to lift him above replacement level. Hillis was fifth-worst, Richardson seventh-worst.

Are there kept records of the gap between DYAR and fantasy points?

Nope. Compiling that data would be a full-time job for a week or more.

The Jordan reference they made reminded me of the Goldberry article too, which makes me think it might have been intentional on their part.

Nope. I don’t even watch basketball anymore. The analogy of a low-shot high-efficiency shooter occurred to me, and when I checked, conveniently, that’s precisely what I found.

What percentage of running plays are actually successful?

So far this season, it’s about 45 percent for running backs. But remember that all running backs are compared to each other. Almost half of all carries end up with positive DYAR.

68
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:11pm

"Nope. Compiling that data would be a full-time job for a week or more."

Every time you guys say something like this, it makes me think you need to hire a programmer who knows his head from his ass.

You've been doing this for ten years. Your data organization tools shouldn't still suck.

71
by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:22pm

Well, what we have is one spreadsheet of receiving data per season. We have all that data in a pivot table. I was thinking that you'd have to adjust the table 17 times (one for each week) and then do a lot of copy-and-pasting, but it now occurs to me that you can filter by week in the PivotTable, so that cuts the workload down by 1-17th. Which is a lot. But I still can't really answer that question in less than a couple of hours.

75
by Arkaein :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:47pm

I think the real point is that if you moved your data from a spreadsheet to a real database (everything including DVOA and DYAR, not just the stuff in the Premium Database), you could implement new queries to answer questions like these trivially.

Moving everything from a spreadsheet to a database would be a significant task, but I'd think it would pay off hugely in a fairly short amount of time. It would make new kinds of analysis like this into a fairly trivial DB query that could probably be written in a few lines of SQL.

88
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:51pm

Yeah, thats the point.

Spreadsheets are a display tool, not a data storage tool. If you were properly managing your data, this would be an hour worth of work.

92
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:11pm

About 30% of my job in the first few years where I'm currently working was essentially moving spreadsheets to actual databases and building simple web interfaces (it's a cgi and perl environment mostly, with Oracle back-end). It takes initial effort but the payoff can be huge. I still do that type of conversion at times, and dump spreadsheets out of DB's for certain reports of course, though a lot of this is just putting the data in the warehouse then you build a COGNOS package and let the users attack it with report studio however they want.

A real relational database just makes life so much better and saves time in the long run if done right.

100
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 5:13pm

Agreed completely. I write a product that extracts high volume data from one system, and inserts it into SQL in more manageable/usable formats so that users can more succinctly manage whats going on in the system that creates the data (I know thats wicked vague). So I know where you're coming from.

On a related note, judging from the announcement Aaron just posted, it sounds like the DVOA data is kept on his laptop, and they really don't have any backup infrastructure... which is straight up absurd in this day and age.

109
by Jerry :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:36pm

I'm sure that if anyone wants to volunteer to set up a system that will put all the spreadsheet data into a database, and develop some apps for simple manipulation, Aaron will listen.

117
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Wed, 10/23/2013 - 9:06am

This is a professional company with full time employees. They should hire someone.

Why is it that people don't seem to think of IT work as actual work? You wouldn't ask for a volunteer plumber to come to your house and replace a sink.

121
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 3:41pm

It's a professional company with 3 full-time employees and a bunch of part-timers, interns, and volunteers.

It's infinitely amusing to see people post as 'anonymous' to whine about content they're getting for free.

Your complaints might be taken more seriously if you bothered to register on the site and maybe forked over some dollars for their product so they can hire people to address your issues.

124
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Fri, 10/25/2013 - 4:45pm

I'd bother to register if their site wasn't such a gigantic security nightmare.

Also, when you're serving adds to people (which frequently come with virus payloads), there's no free content.

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by Jerry :: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 12:34am

I am very much aware that IT work is actual work. I am also aware that not everyone in the world can afford to hire someone to do that work, and even that it's not always necessary. If Aaron is comfortable enough with his spreadsheets, that should be sufficient.

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by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Fri, 10/25/2013 - 4:47pm

I'd guarantee they waste more time/money in a month working on spreadsheets than it would cost to pay a professional to do this.

Pay a college kid $20 an hour, there's plenty of them out there who could do this work and can't find a job right now.

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by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:37pm

Almost half of all carries end up with positive DYAR.

So more than half of all carries have negative DYAR? In other words, most rushing plays are below replacement level.

Is it the position of FO that teams should almost never run, except for tactical reasons, such as running out the clock? Because that's what that implies to me.

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by RickD :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:27pm

Two mistakes here:
a) you're excluding the middle. Presumably "almost half" of all carries end up with negative DYAR. And some end up with 0 DYAR.

b) you're equating (1/2 + epsilon) with "most". That's really dubious.

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by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:45pm

I don't know what epsilon refers to, but 1/2 plus any positive number equals "most." "Most" means more than half.

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by dbostedo :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 8:44pm

I guess I'm literally arguing semantics here, but I would say that "majority" means more than half; And that "most" means either the large majority (say, more than 2/3rds) or can even be used to mean "almost all" (say, 9/10ths or more).

I'd definitely not say that "most rushing plays" is equivalent to "50.1% of rushing plays".

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by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:30pm

By "almost half," I meant "49.999%." As in "for all intents and purposes, half."

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by Vince Verhei :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:39pm

Is it the position of FO that teams should almost never run, except for tactical reasons, such as running out the clock? Because that's what that implies to me.

It's not just us. Pro Football Reference calculates Expected Points Added for every team, rushing and passing. And since rushing is usually worse than passing, they only have five teams (IND, PHI, CHI, CLE, WAS, CLE) with positive rushing value this season.

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by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:41pm

Thanks. That's noteworthy, to say the least, isn't it?

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by Perfundle :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:53pm

The only thing that's noteworthy about that is that it shows even advanced stats can't take into account the value of unpredictability. You don't win games in any sport by figuring out the most successful play and going to it over and over.

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by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 5:14pm

No, it shows that advanced stats are exactly right : you shouldn't be running unless you're doing it to make your passing game more effective.

IE, run to make the defense not play full pass defense. Don't run to run.

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by Perfundle :: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 2:55pm

So teams shouldn't run with a big lead in the second half because it doesn't make the passing game more effective since the team isn't going to pass it anyway? What does run to run even mean? How can you tease apart that versus running to make your passing game more effective?

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by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Fri, 10/25/2013 - 4:49pm

Didn't we just have an article about this? No, teams shouldn't run nearly as much as they do late in games with leads.

Teams should do whatever is most likely to get them first downs, and in the vast majority of situations, that's throwing the ball.

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by Perfundle :: Mon, 10/28/2013 - 12:26pm

So when you're up by 20 points against an awful team, you should keep your star quarterback out there and risk him getting hit? What percentage of the game should be throwing, exactly? 70%, 80%?

You make it sound like there is almost no downside to throwing it. It's amazing that not a single NFL coach has ever thrown the ball 80% in a season, with such a foolproof strategy.

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by Anonymooooose (not verified) :: Wed, 10/23/2013 - 12:06am

Double reference of Cleveland (CLD)?

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by tuluse :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:49pm

Your logic is poor. If the positive DYAR plays are more positive than the negative ones are negative, running would not be below replacement level, despite only half of all runs having a positive value.

Also, FO's definition of replacement level isn't very good.

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by Boots Day :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 9:44pm

That's a good point (aside from the insult). The reason I thought of it like that is because it implies that the more carries a RB has, the more likely his DYAR will decline, if each individual carry is more likely to be negative than positive. But I guess you can't say that for sure if you don't know how much positivity (or negativity) accrues to each carry.

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by gregf (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 5:18pm

What percentage of pass attempts are successful? Do you have historical comparisons comparing the success rate of pass attempts to carries?

73
by N8- (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:26pm

I can't make a statistical argument for this, but it is my opinion that the collapse of the running game has more to do with O lineman not taking it seriously anymore. I don't expect RBs to get yards when they are hit behind the line of scrimmage as often as they are. Lets face it, there is more attention paid to sacks allowed than poor run blocking.

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by RickD :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:31pm

The worst passing attack in the league (TB's) gets 5.8 yards per attempt. The best rushing attack in the league (Philly's) gets 5.2 yards per attempt. The league has structured itself so passing is more potent than rushing. Rushing needs to be used to keep a mix of plays available, but it's going to continue to be the second option as long as the NFL thinks that the passing game is what brings in TV audiences.

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

I think yard per attempt for passing has been higher than yards per attempt for rushing since about 1942. Traditionally, rushing has been more consistent. The change that has happened over the last 15 years or so is the passing game becoming super consistent.

103
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 5:57pm

But shouldn't Y/A for rushing be compared to Net Y/A for passing, since one of the drawbacks of going pass happy is getting sacked a lot? (not to mention getting your QB injured, which is one of the big reasons the run and shoot went out of style). I would also think you have to factor in the average rate of turnovers (fumbles vs. interceptions+strip sacks) for each modality to try to find the optimal mix.

106
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 6:57pm

Has been since 1932, actually. There's no season with data where Y/A for passing was less than for rushing. Closest year was 1952.

Ironically, it's never been easier to run the ball.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/NFL/team_stats.htm

The big factor is INT rates have plummeted since the strike.

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by tuluse :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:18pm

Interception percentage is way down and completion percentage is way up, that's what I meant by consistent. The odds of something bad happening are way lower now than they've ever been.

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by MJK :: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 10:41pm

Reasoning on the average can be really deceptive. What you actually care about is probability of a play increasing your situation as it pertains to scoring points or winning the game...which is why things like DVOA or EPA or WPA are powerful tools.

If you're facing 3rd and 2, and a running play will average 3 yards but has an 80% chance of getting at least 2, and a passing play will average 6 yards but has a 50% chance of getting at least 2, you should run... most of the time.

I think other statistical analyses have concluded that teams don't pass enough most of the time...but they don't run enough on short yardage situations. So in some situations, there should be MORE run plays called.

77
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:12pm

His cap number likely prevents it, but I do want to see Adrian Peterson traded, and not because the Vikings can then stock draft picks. The guy is 28, and I don't want to see a talent like that wasted, in the time left, on a team which cannot do anything to usefully employ him.

Peterson aided greatly in increasing the Wilf's net worth by at least 500 million in the past 12 months, by making the team relevant last year as the team was trying to get the taxpayers to be the major contributors to a billion dollar stadium (I'd wager the Wilf's liquidity expense will be less than 40 million), so he's earned everything and more.

78
by Edge (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 3:19pm

DYAR is about as good at identifying who the best RB's are as fg percentage is at identifying the best kickers. All things being even the "better" RB will get more DYAR, but all things aren't even.

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