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An idiot's (two idiots'?) guide to Thanksgiving football, prepped and primed for the monsters-in-law who only watch these three games in a year.

22 Dec 2014

Week 16 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

2014 has not been a banner year for the New York Football Giants, but they have found at least one bright spot: Odell Beckham, Jr., who made the Rams his latest victims on Sunday, torching them for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Though Beckham's game did not make our top-five tables this week (mostly because he was targeted on four incompletions and a failed third-down catch), his advanced numbers this season are jaw-dropping. And in raw numbers, Beckham is doing things no other rookie has done in half a century.

The 12th overall pick in this year's draft, Beckham got off to a slow start in New York. A hamstring injury knocked the LSU product out of most of training camp, then cost him the first four games of the regular season. He made his debut in Week 5 against Atlanta, and early results were predictably modest. He gained 44 yards against the Falcons, followed by a 28-yard game against the Eagles and a 34-yard game against the Cowboys. And then all hell broke loose, as Beckham ravaged the Colts for 156 yards. The phrase "breakout game" is an overused cliche, but Beckham very clearly broke out against the Colts, and nobody since has been able to contain him. In his last eight games, including the Indianapolis contest, Beckham has caught at least six passes and gained at least 90 yards every single week, catching eight touchdown passes along the way.

Beckham has now gained 1,120 yards since his Week 5 debut, more than anyone in that timeframe except Demaryius Thomas (1,248 yards) and Antonio Brown (1,143). Beckham and Dez Bryant are the only two players to catch 11 touchdown passes in the past 12 weeks. Obviously, Thomas, Brown, and Bryant are established veterans, while Beckham is still a rookie. To really analyze his impact, we need to compare him to other first-year players.

Beckham's 1,120 yards is already one of the top ten rookie totals ever. Bill Groman's rookie record of 1,473 yards is out of reach, but Beckham needs only 74 yards to pass Harlon Hill, Bill Brooks, Terry Glenn, and Michael Clayton. That would put him in the top five, behind Billy Howton, Randy Moss, Anquan Boldin, and Groman. He already has six 100-yard games, more than any rookie ever outside of Groman. And remember, he has ammassed those totals despite missing four games. We can somewhat adjust for that by using yards per game, where Beckham (101.8), Howton (102.6), and Groman (105.2) are the only three rookies to break triple digits. Beckham needs 80 yards against the Eagles on Sunday to stay above the century mark, and he can surpass Groman's average with 144 yards. That'll be tough, but it's doable; Beckham has gained 130 yards or more four times in his last five games.

(A quick note on Groman: all of his rookie marks come with a heaping helping of asterisks. His rookie season came with the 1960 Houston Oilers in the first year of the AFL, when the league was composed almost entirely of players who weren't good enough to play in the NFL. As the talent level in the AFL rose over the years, Groman's productivity plummeted, to 83.9 yards per game in his second season, then never more than 31.2 yards per game after that.)

Beckham is the shining star of this year's rookie wideout crop, but it must be said that the Class of 2014 is one of the best we have ever seen. Beckham is just the 18th rookie to top 1,000 yards receiving, but Kelvin Benjamin (at 999 yards entering Week 17), Mike Evans (997), and Sammy Watkins (925) might all join him. Only once before have even two rookies topped 1,000 yards in the same season (Ernest Givins and Bill Brooks both pulled it off in 1986). As the full list of 1,000-yard rookies shows, getting four such players in a single decade is unprecedented, let alone a single season:

* Ditka was tight end, not a wide receiver, but he is listed here for the sake of completeness.

Part of this, no doubt, is due to the hyper-inflated passing stats of this era in the NFL. Still, we have never seen this many freshmen have this much success in one season, and it's highly unlikely that this will be a regular occurrence.

This is all well and good, but it's also a lot of information you could have found anywhere else. You come to Quick Reads for DVOA and DYAR data. How do Beckham and his peers stand up to great rookies of the past? The following table includes the top 20 rookie wideouts from 1989 to 2013 in either DYAR or DVOA, listed by DYAR. It also includes all rookies with at least 40 targets (in case, say, Donte Moncrief gets six targets this Sunday and qualifies for the year-end tables), some of whom will no doubt qualify for those top-20 lists when the dust settles on Sunday:

Top Rookie Wide Receivers, 1989-2013, with 2014 Class
Name
Year
Team
Passes
Catches
Yards
TD
DYAR
Rank
DVOA
Rank
Randy Moss 1998 MIN 124 69 1317 17 428 1 30.1% 6
Odell Beckham 2014 NYG 109 79 1120 11 390 -- 32.0% --
Michael Clayton 2004 TB 122 80 1196 7 389 2 26.1% 9
Keenan Allen 2013 SD 104 71 1053 8 343 3 28.2% 8
A.J. Green 2011 CIN 115 65 1057 7 288 4 17.4% 16
Lee Evans 2004 BUF 75 48 843 9 284 5 36.0% 3
Marques Colston 2006 NO 115 70 1039 8 258 6 14.9% 21
Anquan Boldin 2003 ARI 165 101 1377 8 249 7 6.3% 42
Chris Chambers 2001 MIA 90 48 883 7 247 8 22.0% 12
Anthony Gonzalez 2007 IND 51 37 576 3 239 9 43.4% 1
Mike Wallace 2009 PIT 72 39 756 6 229 10 29.1% 7
Austin Collie 2009 IND 90 60 676 7 218 11 16.9% 18
Chris Sanders 1995 HOIL 87 35 823 9 213 12 18.7% 14
Santonio Holmes 2006 PIT 86 49 824 2 209 13 17.1% 17
Dwayne Bowe 2007 KC 118 70 995 5 207 14 9.9% 33
Kenny Stills 2013 NO 51 33 644 5 206 15 40.1% 2
Fred Barnett 1990 PHI 69 36 721 8 204 16 25.3% 10
Mike Evans 2014 TB 116 63 997 11 187 -- 8.7% --
Derrick Alexander 1994 CLE1 81 48 828 2 185 17 16.3% 19
Torrey Smith 2011 BAL 96 51 851 7 183 18 11.6% 25
J.J. Stokes 1995 SF 52 38 517 4 182 19 33.0% 4
Hakeem Nicks 2009 NYG 74 47 790 6 182 20 18.4% 15
Donte Stallworth 2002 NO 69 42 594 8 172 23 19.6% 13
Ashley Lelie 2002 DEN 53 35 525 2 171 24 30.8% 5
Jordan Shipley 2010 CIN 74 52 600 3 163 27 15.2% 20
Brian Hartline 2009 MIA 56 31 506 3 160 29 22.8% 11
Name
Year
Team
Passes
Catches
Yards
TD
DYAR
Rank
DVOA
Rank
Jordan Matthews 2014 PHI 93 59 767 7 160 -- 9.5% --
Jarvis Landry 2014 MIA 103 79 703 5 144 -- 5.5% --
Martavis Bryant 2014 PIT 46 25 528 7 128 -- 22.9% --
Brandin Cooks 2014 NO 69 53 550 3 125 -- 10.0% --
Donte Moncrief 2014 IND 44 29 428 3 67 -- 7.1% --
Sammy Watkins 2014 BUF 123 62 925 6 63 -- -6.1% --
Kelvin Benjamin 2014 CAR 140 72 999 9 32 -- -9.7% --
Davante Adams 2014 GB 66 38 446 3 22 -- -8.5% --
Taylor Gabriel 2014 CLE 66 33 555 1 20 -- -8.8% --
Allen Robinson 2014 JAC 81 48 548 2 12 -- -10.9% --
John Brown 2014 ARI 93 44 645 5 5 -- -11.9% --
Marqise Lee 2014 JAC 61 35 414 1 -4 -- -13.6% --
Allen Hurns 2014 JAC 93 49 662 6 -7 -- -13.7% --
Includes top 20 wide receivers in either DYAR or DVOA, 1989-2013, sorted by DYAR, minimum 50 targets.
Also includes all rookie wide receivers in 2014, minimum 40 targets.

While a number of this year's rookies could make the top 20 in DYAR when the dust settles, Beckham is head and shoulders above his peers.

His 390 DYAR are the most in the NFL this season since he debuted in Week 5, and they already represent the second-best rookie total in our database. He needs only 38 more DYAR (a total he has topped in five of 11 career games) to surpass Randy Moss' benchmark. And this cannot be stressed strongly enough: Beckham missed a quarter of the season. He also looks to finish among the top five rookies in DVOA.

If your team's out of the playoffs and your fantasy season is done, and you're looking for a game to watch in Week 17, you could do a lot worse than Giants-Eagles. No, neither team is in the playoff race. But it's your last chance to get a glimpse of one of the best inaugural seasons there has ever been.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Eli Manning NYG
25/32
391
3
0
211
211
0
Manning completed each of his first six deep passes against St. Louis, for 216 combined yards and a touchdown. He did throw two incomplete deep balls with the Giants up by 14 points in the fourth quarter.
2.
Russell Wilson SEA
20/30
339
2
0
204
170
34
Wilson, like Manning, was best when throwing deep, going 5-of-7 for 208 yards and two scores. Wilson had six carries for 88 yards and a touchdown against Arizona, and now has 284 rushing DYAR on the season, which would surpass Michael Vick's record for quarterbacks set in 2006. Opponent adjustments won't change much in the last week of the year, so Wilson's grasp on the record seems safe, unless he coughs up multiple fumbles agaisnt the Rams. He had just one game with negative rushing DYAR this season, in Week 13 against San Francisco, when he gained 35 yards on seven runs with a fumble.
3.
Tony Romo DAL
18/20
218
4
0
203
193
10
Was this the best game of the year? Well, yes and no. Romo's passing DVOA for this game was 131.1%, which is the highest mark this season for any quarterback with at least 20 passes in a game (surpassing Matt Ryan's game against Tampa Bay in Week 3). On the other hand, he only had 20 passing plays, and so by DYAR it wasn't even the best game of the week. (The best game of the year by DYAR remains Ben Roethlisberger's destruction of Indianapolis in Week 8. Boy, the Colts have sure given up some big games this year.) Dallas these days is a very run-heavy team, and Romo only had three passes on first down against Indianapolis. The three passes: a 19-yard touchdown to Dez Bryant, a 24-yard touchdown to Cole Beasley, and an 11-yard gain to Bryant.
4.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
35/47
396
4
1
156
155
1
Tannehill was deadly on third downs against the Vikings, going 7-of-9 for 62 yards seven first downs. He also gained 15 yards on a DPI, and was sacked twice.
5.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
18/25
220
1
0
100
100
0
Roethlisberger was at his best at the end of the game. On Pittsburgh's last two non-kneeldown drives, he went 7-of-9 for 80 yards with a touchdown and five other first downs, plus a 24-yard DPI.
6.
Shaun Hill STL
24/32
290
2
1
99
99
0
This, apparently, was the week for the home run in the NFL. Even Hill, playing in Brian Schottenheimer's offense, scored a number of long balls, going 5-of-7 for 132 yards and two touchdowns on deep passes, plus a 26-yard DPI.
7.
Aaron Rodgers GB
31/40
318
1
0
97
97
0
The deeper Rodgers threw, the better the results. When he threw to receivers at least 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, he went 13-of-17 for 217 yards, and only one of those completions failed to pick up a first down. On passes shorter than that, he went 18-of-23 for 101 yards and only five first downs, though one of those was a touchdown. He also gave up on sack-fumble.
8.
Matt Ryan ATL
30/40
322
1
0
97
113
-17
A funny day on third downs. He failed on his first three tries, going 2-of-3 for 14 yards. Then he converted six in a row, gaining 72 yards in the process. And then he missed on his last two, an incompletion and a 3-yard gain on third-and-8.
9.
Charlie Whitehurst TEN
24/34
287
1
0
92
87
5
Another great deep-ball passer (well, for one day, anyway), Whitehurst threw seven deep passes against Tennessee, completing five for 119 yards. Oddly, all seven deep balls came on first-and-10.
10.
Derek Carr OAK
17/34
214
2
0
72
70
2
Carr played his best against Buffalo in the middle of the field. Between the 40s, he went 5-of-8 for 83 yards and four first downs.
11.
Teddy Bridgewater MIN
19/25
259
2
1
50
58
-8
Yet another passer who fared best on deep passes. On throws to receivers at least 6 yards downfield, Bridgewater went 9-of-10 for 160 yards, with every completion going for a first down, including two scores. Shorter than that, he went 10-of-15 for 99 yards with only two first downs and an interception. He was also sacked four times.
12.
Mark Sanchez PHI
37/50
374
2
1
49
46
4
Oh for crying out loud, even Mark Sanchez had a good day on deep balls, going 5-of-7 for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Philip Rivers SD
33/54
356
4
3
49
49
0
Rivers threw zillions of passes to the sides of the field, but did almost nothing up the middle of the San Francisco defense, going 2-of-5 for 12 yards and no first downs.
14.
Cam Newton CAR
18/31
201
1
1
36
16
20
Newton threw six passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage. Three were incomplete; three were complete for a total of 6 yards and no first downs.
15.
Jimmy Clausen CHI
23/39
181
2
1
30
25
5
Clausen's last pass of the third quarter was a 20-yard touchdown to Alshon Jeffery that put Chicago ahead 14-10. From that point forward, he went 4-of-10 for 25 yards with one first dwon, one sack, and one interception.
16.
Robert Griffin WAS
16/23
220
0
1
27
30
-3
Washington won despite Griffin's struggles in the red zone, where he went 2-of-5 for 10 yards. His only first down inside the Philadelphia 20 came on a 10-yard DPI call.
17.
Geno Smith NYJ
17/27
210
1
1
24
32
-8
First seven first-down throwns: two completions, 14 yards, no first downs. Last two first-down throws: two completions, 41 yards, two first downs.
18.
Andy Dalton CIN
17/26
146
2
1
15
4
11
19.
Matt Hasselbeck IND
15/21
126
1
0
10
10
0
All of Hasselbeck's passes came with Indianapolis down by at least 35 points in the second half. Two of his best plays by DYAR aren't even listed in his traditional stats: DPIs of 22 and 10 yards. He was also sacked twice, fumbling once.
20.
Colin Kaepernick SF
15/24
114
1
0
4
-41
45
First half: 8-of-11 for 81 yards and six first downs, including a touchdown. Second half and overtime: 7-of-13 for 33 yards, no first downs, two sacks, one fumble, which resulted in a San Diego first down. His longest pass play after halftime (and his only first down) came on an 8-yard DPI. To be fair, his 90-yard touchdown run came in the second half, so he at least got that right. But going two-plus quarters without completing a pass for a first down, when your team is leading the entire time, against the defense ranked 24th in DVOA against the pass... that's no good.
21.
Alex Smith KC
31/45
311
0
0
-17
-21
4
Inside the Pittsburgh 20, Smith went 4-of-8 for 19 yards and no first downs, and three of his six sacks on the day. In related news, Kansas City only scored 12 points on Sunday.
22.
Ryan Lindley ARI
18/44
216
0
1
-23
-23
0
Third downs: 4-of-13 for 28 yards and three first downs, plus one sack. Twenty-five percent of those conversions (and 50 percent of those yards) came on one 14-yard play when the Cardinals were down by 29 points in the fourth quarter.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Brian Hoyer CLE
7/13
134
1
1
-25
-26
2
More than 60 percent of Hoyer's yardage came on an 81-yard touchdown to Jordan Cameron in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, he threw for only two first downs on the day. He was also sacked three times in just over half a game.
24.
Johnny Manziel CLE
3/8
32
0
0
-30
-23
-6
Manziel, like Hoyer, threw for the bulk of his yards on one play. In Manziel's case, it was a 28-yard completion to Andrew Hawkins. That was Manziel's only first down on the day.
25.
Case Keenum HOU
20/42
185
0
1
-36
-42
6
In 2013, Keenum was king of the megasack. When he was sacked, he lost an average of 10.6 yards; no other starter's average sack even lost as many as 8 yards. The Ravens had to be salivating when Keenum took the field, but the Texans' new/old starter wasn't sacked a single time. That's not to say it was a great day for Keenum, though. In the red zone, he went 5-of-13 for 27 yards and only two first downs, neither of them touchdowns. This is why Randy Bullock kicked six field goals.
26.
Kyle Orton BUF
32/49
329
3
2
-38
-38
0
Orton's worst football came in a stretch from the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the third, when he went 13-of-26 for 76 yards with two first downs and a sack. The Bills were up by 7 when that stretch started; when it ended, they were down by 9.
27.
Tom Brady NE
23/35
182
1
1
-57
-59
3
Brady did not throw a single deep pass against the Jets; his deepest passes were a pair of balls that traveled only 12 yards past the line of scrimmage, and one of those was intercepted.
28.
Peyton Manning DEN
28/44
311
2
4
-66
-66
0
29.
Blake Bortles JAC
13/26
115
1
0
-74
-87
13
First four third downs: 2-of-3, -1 yards, with one sack and no first downs. Last six third downs: 3-of-4 for 44 yards with three conversions (including a touchdown), plus a 7-yard DPI and one sack.
30.
Matthew Stafford DET
22/39
243
0
2
-94
-95
2
This was, by DYAR, the worst game any quarterback has played in the red zone all year. Inside the Chicago 20, Stafford went 2-of-7 for 2 yards with no first downs, two interceptions, and a sack.
31.
Andrew Luck IND
15/21
109
0
2
-95
-95
0
Luck did not pick up a first down until the Colts were down 28-0. In two-plus quarters, Luck did not throw a single pass in the red zone. On the rare occasions when he was on Dallas' half of the field, he went 2-of-4 for 12 yards with no first downs and an interception.
32.
Drew Brees NO
30/46
313
1
2
-122
-126
4
In addition to his two picks, Brees was sacked five times, fumbling twice. This against the defense that was dead last in DVOA going into the weekend.
33.
Josh McCown TB
12/26
147
0
1
-174
-174
0
McCown was sacked seven times by Green Bay, including three straight dropbacks in the fourth quarter, and he fumbled once.
34.
Joe Flacco BAL
22/50
195
2
3
-199
-182
-17
Well, not everyone was great throwing deep. Flacco, for instance, went 0-for-10 with a pick.


Five most valuable running backs (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Lamar Miller MIA
19
92
1
5/7
58
0
48
35
13
Miller was stuffed for no gain just once, while he had two 10-plus-yard runs and four other first downs, including a goal-line touchdown and a third-and-1 conversion. He also picked up three first downs on receptions of 18, 16, and 12 yards.
2.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
10
113
2
0/0
0
0
46
46
0
In rushing value alone, Lynch was the most valuable running back of the week, despite having only five successful runs. His first eight carries gained a total of only 21 yards and one first down (a 6-yard touchdown), but his last two carries were a 13-yard gain on second-and-3 and a 79-yard touchdown on first-and-15.
3.
Damien Williams MIA
3
18
0
6/6
50
1
41
4
37
Williams' three carries all came on first-and-10; they gained 1, 12, and 5 yards. Five of his catches gained first downs, including three third-down conversions, and the sixth was an 8-yard gain on second-and-10.
4.
Leon Washington TEN
4
11
0
7/7
62
1
41
-13
54
Washington was teammates with Charlie Whitehurst in Seattle in 2010 and 2011; perhaps they somehow built chemistry there even though Whitehurst was on the sidelines. This was only the third time in nine seasons Washington has gained 60 yards or more receiving in a single game in his nine-year career. Five of his receptions went for first downs, including four third-down converstions.
5.
Reggie Bush DET
7
54
1
6/7
44
0
38
31
8
All of Bush's carries gained positive yards, including gains of 13, 16, and 10 yards. His biggest receptions were gains of 21 yards on fourth-and-6 and 4 yards on third-and-8.


Five most valuable running backs (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
10
113
2
0/0
0
0
46
46
0
2.
Lamar Miller MIA
19
92
1
5/7
58
0
48
35
13
3.
Reggie Bush DET
7
54
1
6/7
44
0
38
31
8
4.
Tre Mason STL
13
76
1
1/1
7
0
36
30
6
All of Mason's carries gained positive yardage, and three gained 10 yards or more, with five total first downs.
5.
Frank Gore SF
26
158
1
0/0
0
0
30
30
0
Gore was stuffed for no gain or a loss five times, but he also had five runs of 11 yards or more, including a 52-yarder.


Least valuable running back (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
C.J. Spiller BUF
4
-4
0
4/4
14
0
-41
-35
-7
Spiller's four carries: zero-yard gain; 5-yard loss; 3-yard loss; 4-yard gain -- followed by a fumble. His four inconsequental receptions all gained 2 to 5 yards, with no first downs to be seen.


Least valuable running back (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
C.J. Spiller BUF
4
-4
0
4/4
14
0
-41
-35
-7


Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Rueben Randle NYG
6
6
132
22.0
1
76
The other good young receiver from LSU on the Giants gained first downs on all six of his receptions, including three third-down conversions and gains of 49 and 31 yards.
2.
Jordy Nelson GB
9
9
113
12.6
1
65
Nelson picked up eight first downs, including five third-down conversions and gains of 28 and 24 yards.
3.
Mike Wallace MIA
5
5
58
11.6
2
60
Four of Wallace's catches picked up first downs; the fifth was a 14-yard gain on second-and-23. He also drew a 15-yard DPI on third-and-14.
4.
Emmanuel Sanders DEN
6
7
70
11.7
2
59
5.
Luke Willson SEA
3
3
139
46.3
2
58
Three targets: an 80-yard touchdown; 39-yard gain on second-and-20; 20-yard touchdown.


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
DeAndre Hopkins HOU
5
12
38
7.6
0
-51
Hopkins did gain three first downs against Baltimore, but his longest catch gained only 9 yards, and he also had a fumble.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 22 Dec 2014

120 comments, Last at 27 Dec 2014, 10:08am by Will Allen

Comments

1
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:22am

Leon Washington of two, and very nearly three, kickoff Returns for TD against the 2010 Chargers, blessed be his name, was the Seahawks third down back. It's highly likely he and Whitehurst practiced together quite a lot.

2
by Scott C :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:24am

Just what is ESPN's total QBR smoking? DVOA / DYAR says that Kaepernick has a middling game, with very poor passing combined with strong running.

QBR says it was one of the best QB games this season.

Based purely on the eyeball test, DVOA / DRAR is clearly superior. Yes, the running play was great. No, it did not make up for the rest.

I think QBR rates a QB run for a 90 yard TD as far, far more valuable than a 90 yard pass. As best as I can tell, it far overvalues QB runs of all kinds.

4
by Perfundle :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 8:10am

The time when Pryor got a 96.2 Total QBR against Pittsburgh after going 10/19 for 88 yards with zero TDs and 2 INTs, one 93-yard rushing TD and 14 yards on his other 7 carries was even worse. He had -84 DYAR that day.

36
by Tim F. :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:18pm

QBR doesn't seem to like Tannehill (who's averaging 5.8 yards per run with more than 32% going for a 1st down; I think he's still 5th in the league although the option has been less in play the last several weeks, with only Wilson, Kap, and Cam substantially ahead of him in total yards. He's 12th in DVOA, 13th in traditional QB rating with more than 200 attempts, 14th in QBR — not a huge disparity but you'd think you'd see a boost in QBR if it overvalues efficient running, or running generally so it doesn't seem to overvalue QB runs "of all kinds." In fact, Wilson isn't rated that far ahead of Tannehill with nearly 500 more rushing yards — one would expect to see more of a boost if QB runs of any kind were overvalued.

It seems to primarily overvalue QB runs which are very long AND go for a touchdown... which is far more absurd: long QB runs of this kind say little about the QB skills and say more about the defensive scheme breaking down or lack of defensive execution. Or at least on would think so.

I presume this overvaluing is a result of thinking that a QB pulling off such runs is highly athletic and extremely fast and if their other metrics are competitive than that near-track level skill could/should put them over the top. I'm unsure if that's sound but I've never liked QBR for so many reasons... but, yes, this is truly absurd.

107
by MC2 :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 7:50pm

I presume this overvaluing is a result of thinking that a QB pulling off such runs is highly athletic and extremely fast and if their other metrics are competitive than that near-track level skill could/should put them over the top.

I would assume that's the thought process, and it does kind of make sense. Can you imagine any defensive breakdown severe enough to allow someone like Manning or Brady to break off a 40-yard TD run?

Having said that, I agree that Total QBR seems to take the concept too far. After all, passing is still the primary job of the QB. Any special running skill is more of a bonus than anything else.

76
by Mark S. :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:19pm

Eh, both DYAR and Total QBR have their quirks.

FWIW, when evaluating QB performance, A 90-yard touchdown run by the QB *should* be valued higher than a 90-yard pass. The reason of course being that the receiver probably had a lot to do with the success of the passing play, while the rushing play is more dependent on the performance of the QB himself.

ETA: "Total QBR"

111
by Scott C :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:44pm

well... I can agree that it is probably a bit more valuable.

Running for 90 yards also requires some sort of blocking though. No play is a solo act.

Most of the time, it requires merely being fast and taking off when the defense is off guard.

Even so, it is the extreme at which it values such things, not that it values them more, that bugs me.

reductio ad absurdum: at the goal line, is a 1 inch QB TD run truly more valuable than a pass? No -- although the play is shared with the reciever in the passing case, the same is often true in the running case -- a linebacker staying with the TE might be just the opening needed for the QB to run.

On the other end, a 99 yard run vs pass, the same holds true -- much of the credit goes to other players that keep the defense away from the runner. Though its obvious Rivers or Manning won't be running 99 yards without having the nose tackle catch up to them (it is a more rare skill), that doesn't diminish the value of a qb who can get the ball to a receiver for the same result.

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by Mark S. :: Wed, 12/24/2014 - 11:34am

Agreed to an extent. Obviously every player on the field has an effect on every play. Which is why football metrics are so much better at evaluating units than individuals.

And while I agree that 99 yard QB run is not inherently more valuable than a 99 yard TD pass, I do think the QB should receive significantly more "credit" for the rushing play, simply because that play is much more dependent on his individual skill. A 99 yard pass play could be a screen or a quick in play where the receiver breaks a tackle and has 95 YAC. And even if it is a 40 yards in the air bomb, surely the receiver gets a large portion of the credit for getting behind the defense. In short, successful passing plays are reliant of a higher number of players producing than a QB rush or scramble.

I don't think your reducto ad absurdum applies, since plays from the 1-inch line are highly likely to result in a score, and thus have inherently less value than scoring plays from the 10.

3
by BlueStarDude :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 7:33am

Not if Bradley Fletcher has anything to say about it.

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 8:57am

When was the last time Brady, Peyton, and Brees all ranked 27 or lower?

7
by Dave Bernreuther :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:10am

I didn't get to see Brees play but having watched all of the other two I have to say I strongly disagree with any notion that either QB was worse than a replacement level QB, as the number suggests.

That's not to say that either played particularly well (though each had his moments), of course, so I guess it's more a question of the scale and definition of replacement, but no replacement level JAG competes in either of those games (with the caveat that if it was JAG against the Jets Rex and his D probably wouldn't have prepared or played as hard...) against those defenses.

I guess Brady's DYAR is a testament to just how bad the Jet D has been in other games... they looked really good and it's hard for me to think of much I fault Brady for in that game. All QBs struggle with pressure and they got a lot of it. Great game plan for the Jets.

(Unrelated - I had no idea Anthony Gonzalez had the highest DVOA by a rookie WR. That's astonishing.)

10
by Jeremy Billones :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:53am

Manning's 4 picks were going to kill his advanced stats regardless of what else he did. (I'm surprised Rivers rated as above average despite his picks. He must have picked up a lot of 3rd & longs.)

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by Scott C :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:47pm

3 fourth down conversions, two in the final minutes of regulation.

11
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:22am

Some of Mannings throws were very, very, strange, and without sitting in on the film session, it's hard to know how to attribute the strangeness. We tend to give first ballot HOFers the benefit of the doubt, not without reason, but even first ballot HOFers sometimes just stink the joint out.

The numbers don't factor a driving rainstorm, of course, and it wasn't as if the opposing qb lit things up.

16
by SandyRiver :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:58am

The "no long passes" for Brady is key. He had some called, but the pressure led to sacks or throwaways. It was only when the Pats went to quick and short (along with somehow raising the run game from the dead) that they were able to move the ball with consistency.

108
by MC2 :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 7:53pm

I think the main issue for Brees was probably opponent adjustments, as the Falcons pass defense (and defense in general) has been absolutely brutal this year.

6
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 8:58am

delete repeat

8
by Lance :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:33am

It's interesting to me that both CLE QBs were basically the same. Does that mean they're both really bad, or is it something in CLE's system/play-calling that means that whomever they put out there is going to suck? (Recognizing that this is one game, of course...)

53
by herewegobrownie... :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:28pm

"Does that mean they're both really bad, or is it something in CLE's system/play-calling that means that whomever they put out there is going to suck?"

The answer is "yes."

Shanahan is calling the same gimmicks that made things go downhill in Wash, except neither QB is close to RG3's pre-injury athletic ability. I wouldn't feel too bad if Shanny got a HC job (although he arguably coached his way out of one as the year went on.)

Hoyer lacks the physical ability to do anything fancy (although he rushed adequately this past game, something which has never been his specialty,) and once you hone in on and practice holding onto where his potential interceptions are, he doesn't have any tricks except a play-action here and there. However, he was able to look decent at times this year simply by not being Weeden/Colt McCoy/etc. and has very good chemistry with J. Cameron (not so much with Gordon, whose regression this year is another story.)

Johnny can still grow up but will have to elevate his work ethic to Hoyer's level. (Same with Justin Gilbert.)

They may let Hoyer walk (although he gave a decent reason to stay Sunday) but the Jake Locker Reclamation Project might be preferable.

It will be interesting to see what Connor Shaw can do against Baltimore's inconsistent secondary. Keep in mind that he had a solid preseason, and it's been common this year for Browns UDFAs to outplay mid-to-high picks.

62
by Lance :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:21pm

I'll trust your insight more than mine since I haven't really watched a CLE game of late so I can't comment much. However, re:

However, he was able to look decent at times this year simply by not being Weeden/Colt McCoy/etc.

I know Weeden sucked there, but he's looked better in Dallas. Not the second coming or Romo, but better. And McCoy has been good at times in Washington, no? Not sure what to make of that, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

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by herewegobrownie... :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:18pm

Pat Shurmur does deserve a lot of the blame for them doing so poorly. Really thought Chud/Norv could get more out of Weeden because of the former's experience getting the very similar Derek Anderson to a Pro Bowl, but no such luck.

The Cowboys are a good situation to be in offensively. In both Weeden's and Colt's current situations there usually hasn't been much gameplanning for them, inasmuch as that's necessary, since RG3/Romo were expected to play through so much.

9
by jmaron :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:46am

I wonder which of Brady,Manning or Brees will be the first to be a bad QB? Will they quit while still at a high level.

17
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:08am

I think there is a chance that their cap numbers get so high that it really accelerates the perception of decline. Aging body, slowing reflexes, joined to a roster that has inadequate cap space, may be a recipe for disaster. Retirement is likely the best option, if one isn't inclined to play for a lot less money.

20
by nat :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:00pm

I think Brady's cap numbers are pretty close to constant for the next few years.

The Patriots may have other cap issues, but not this one...

21
by dank067 :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:01pm

Tom Brady kind of of already dealt with this: his cap numbers the next three seasons are only $13, $14 and $15 million, with base salaries of $7, $8 and $9 mil. The upshot (and he reason he signed his current contract, I'm sure) is that I believe as of this week his 2015-2017 base salaries become fully guaranteed. If he's still playing this well heading into 2016 then he might regret having signed the contract (and would probably try to squeeze a little more money out of it), but he did hedge quite a bit against a potential decline that would have forced him to either take a big pay cut like that or retire before 2017. And 2017 is still a ways away.

24
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:09pm

15 million or less is likely very manageable, especially given anticipated growth in the cap. I think Manning's number is well north of 20 million next year.

24
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:09pm

15 million or less is likely very manageable, especially given anticipated growth in the cap. I think Manning's number is well north of 20 million next year.

26
by nat :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:14pm

His current year cap number is $14.8 million. So he's slightly less expensive over the next three years than he is today.

He'll probably decline gradually over that time. But, with QB prices likely to go up, he'll remain a good deal for the Patriots unless he completely loses his ability to play.

119
by Raiderfan :: Wed, 12/24/2014 - 12:43pm

He also kind of dealt with it by marrying a woman who makes $30M a year.

120
by Will Allen :: Sat, 12/27/2014 - 10:08am

Who also gets discounts on lingerie!

12
by BJR :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:25am

Flacco, yeesh. Does he get a pass for this sort of performance these days? Because that is mindbogglingly awful.

13
by Franchise_Punter :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:33am

Yeah, but J.J. Watt.

14
by David C :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:46am

Roethlisberger is very close to being the number one quarterback in the league. I guess he's trying to ensure he's a first ballot candidate.

61
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:16pm

if he plays another 3 or so good quality years..... he'll almost certainly be in at or inside the top 10 of a lot of (traditional) stats....

--------------------------------------
The standard is the standard!

15
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:47am

Really didn't expect Denver to lose largely due to what appeared to be mental errors by Peyton. At least a Denver fan can probably assume that Peyton not being on the same page with his receivers multiple times is probably not a repeatable event. On the other hand, their special teams were terrible all night. On the list of things I worry would prevent a super bowl, I might go: (1) fluke injury to important player, (2) special teams, (3) offensive line being destroyed by d-line...like in Cincy, and (4) rain/snow.

With the Thomas offensive PI call, the taunting penalty and the QB roughing call all coming within a short span, I thought the refs did a good job of making it clear they believe the fans are there to watch them, not the silly players.

Bridgewater's number on deep passes have to be promising, given that was I believe one of the bigger concerns with him out of college. I've thought he did pretty well on the sorta-deep passes most of the year, albeit in limited opportunities. What he's doing on a team with a bad o-line, mediocre receivers and a replacement level RB typically starting, makes me believe he's the real deal. I don't see top-5 talent ceiling at this point, but he certainly looks good enough to be the QB you can win with. Already, I'm not sure there are 20 guys better than him.

Looking at some of the names on that QB list, I'm convinced that this is the week we can officially write off the changes of guys like Pryor and Tebow ever playing in the NFL again. Even they are getting calls with what's going on this season, it's never going to happen. I get a bad team wanting to see what they have with a high ceiling young guy, but rolling with known terrible QBs when you are still in contention just makes no sense to me. As recently as what, two weeks ago, Arizon was the number 1 seed. Do they actually believe they could win a single football game against a playoff team with Lindley at QB. In all seriousness, what's the argument for going with Lindley over Tebow, even on a week's notice? Distraction? I can't believe that a good HC really can't control that situation, and it's not like Arians hasn't built up some credibility at this point.

18
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:48am

First, no, Tebow, could not come in on one week's notice, and run the huddle and line of scrimmage in a game. Second, given your third string qb is unlikely to see game time of any significance, he has to be able to do things in practice which provide value to your defense. A guy like Tebow really can't do that.

23
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:08pm

I do get the issue with carrying a guy like Tebow in terms of having a guy to a defense can practice against. That said, at this point in the season Arizon isn't looking for practice bodies, they need to win a playoff game. Tebow (or whoever) is certainly not up to speed. However, isn't a guy with some semblance of ability (running or otherwise, this doesn't have to be Tebow we're talking about) at least a better bet than guy we know with 100% certainty is a horrible player?

Tebow huddle:
- Tebow -- "blue rocket 73"
- Fitzgerald -- "that's not even a play"

Lindley huddle:
- Lindley -- "blue rocke..."
- Fitzgerald -- "...stop, just tell me which defender you're planning to throw it closest to"

27
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:24pm

Well, if the contention is that the Cardinals chose a 3rd string qb poorly, I'd have no real argument, other than to note that picking the 3rd string qb has a gigantic random element to it, given they don't get enough snaps in practice to really evaluate well.

I do think you are still underestimating the challenge in just getting the play called, and making any presnap adjustments, for a marginally talented (by NFL standards) qb who gets thrust into a situation on short notice. That guy stands a very good chance of getting concussed or worse by the third possession. It's a very, very, physically dangerous environment.

35
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:10pm

This point has always been a bone of contention with me. Especially when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals. They should have had Tebow on their roster the last 3 years. Their defense has been great they have just had trouble finding replacement level QB play.

Tebow doesn't scare anyone as a QB, but if you have a running QB the regular running game gates demonstrably better. Tebow doesn't turn the ball over. And if you're running game improves with Tebow to the point that you have 8-man box every down his 48% completion rate doesn't look back when every pass is a shot play.

The problem is to play a guy like Tebow at any point, by NFL standards, is to basically give up on your offense. It's saying, no matter what I do I can't get an NFL replacement level QB. And no coach seems 1) willing to admit that and 2) believes they can make any player workable because "coaching".
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

37
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:20pm

You can't have Tebow on your roster unless he is going to be your starter, and then you have to get a Tebowesque second string qb. And then you have to to commit yourself to trying to win games without even a minimally competent passing attack. Nobody sh0uld have enough confidence in their defense, season to season, to use that approach, because the odds of success just aren't good enough.

38
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:24pm

You can have Tebow on your roster as a back up. You either higher Colin Klein who is the exact same player, but played for KSU and didn't have the hype, or you call up Tebow and be like "hey do you want to be 3rd string qb" if he says no you hang up the phone.

Also, if you sign Tebow as a street FA like Houston and Arizona did with the players they started this week you have Tebow for multiple games. The idea is getting a QB that can bridge you until Lindley's return in the divisional playoff round.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

41
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:46pm

No, it isn't tenable to have a back up who completely changes the nature of your offense, if the starter goes down. He isn't a viable 3rd stringer, because the 3rd string qb has to be able to do things which approximate, in practice, what the opposition's starting qb is going to do in the next game. Tebow can't do that, and your starters on defense would suffer as a result.

Look, the last shot Tebow had to make an NFL roster was with a HOF head coach who thinks outside of the box as well as anyone, who uses an individual player's particular talents as well as anyone. The offensive coordinator was a guy predisposed to looking upon Tebow favorably. Tebow really didn't even come close to sticking. Is it possible that Tebow's particular talents to have been unwisely discarded by all 32 teams? Sure, anything's possible. The way to bet, however, is that he just isn't valuable enough.

(edit) I am half expecting shah8, President of the Joe Webb Fan Club, to come out of retirement.

43
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:51pm

Tebow doesn't have to be on the roster. When did the Cards sign Lindley? When did Houston sign Keenum? For the first game you would not have to change to offense, you'd only have to have the QB naked boot off a couple of regular run plays to force a constraint on back side pursuit. Each additional week you started your street FA QB you could ad three plays, one primary, one counter/constraint and one PA to the play book designed around his talents.

It would not actually be that hard.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

49
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:04pm

I think they signed him in mid November, and he was with them in summer, which has value as well, and was on their roster in 2012 and 2013. He didn't come in cold to the organization 3 weeks ago.

Everything in the NFL is hard, because the level of competition is so high.

66
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:32pm

Everything in the NFL is hard, because the level of competition is so high.

This is so hard to convey. One of the problems with watching someone truly great at something is that they make it look so easy. I'm a distance runner and I watch top marathoners clip off mile splits that are faster than I can run a single mile. I can go a a couple of minutes at their pace, but not even a full mile. But they look like they are just gliding along and you think, well why doesn't he just surge there and leave that group behind? Maybe because he is running 4:57 miles (2 hour 10 minute finish so not even that great a time) and that is actually really hard. Go find a track and run a lap in 1 minute 13.8 seconds, I know a lot of people who can't even do that, but that's the pace, or faster, these top marathoners are going. It's 12 miles per hour. Some people have to work to make a bicycle go that fast.

To get back to football. The Bears had their training camp where I lived from 84 - 93 (when I moved). I worked for them for a few summers in the early 90's even. Seeing what those players could do on a daily basis was insane. Watching William Perry do standing box jumps onto a 3 foot high box over and over (back when he was one of the few 300+ pound players), seeing just how fast even the slow guys are when they are sprinting. High school track kids would come out and get smoked by linemen. These people are just different and when you get some of them together they can improve each others performances. Part of why some college players suddenly look so much better in the pros, the rest of the team talent can now keep up with them. It makes the margins for error a lot smaller than you think and you just don't get it when you watch it. Some of these dudes get moving at speeds nearing 25 MPH on the field for short periods of time. An effective quarterback knows where all of his dudes are and where they are supposed to be, and can react to other dudes moving at 10 - 25 MPH trying to stop them. That's hard, and takes a lot of practice to get in sync.

Now you add on top of this the collective bargaining agreement limits the number of times this practice can happen in pads, and how many hours of practice there can be. Coordinating it becomes hard. There is a reason, beyond fear of change, that coaches get recycled too. That's not an easy thing to do either, even though all of us think we can come Monday. Though I do agree with the complaints about not paying someone to be a clock manager, some of those common mistakes do seem like ones that money can help fix, and there is a lot of money.

OK that all got away from me. I was just agreeing that the NFL is hard, and the players in it are very different from most other people you will meet.

69
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:41pm

My uncle is a highschool football coach in the Chicago area and the Bears do this outreach program where they can come watch practices and drills. He said Devin Hester could backpedal faster than he could run forward and it was just a jaw dropping experience to see in person.

73
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:00pm

Yeah, that is a fantastic example. I remember seeing stuff like that too. Watching Singletary move from side to side was pretty jaw dropping. He could do crossover side steps faster than most people could run going forward as well. Watching Chris Zorich bench press was pretty amazing as well, dude was pushing 400+ pounds on the bench, people struggle to squat stuff like that.

74
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:11pm

When I was a small child, my parents took the family on a vacation to Florida for spring break. While there, we visited some MLB teams' spring training parks on a couple of days. Ted Williams was managing the Senators in 1968, and I kind of snuck into an area where there was a batting cage set up, and The Great Williams, was, bat in hand, delivering a (salty) lecture to some players about what it meant to take a professional approach to hitting at the highest level. Even at my very young age, I perceived that there were some human beings who, even at the highest levels, just were more ridiculously fanatical about getting it right. When you are going up against personalities like that, who are joined to obviously phenomenal physical abilities, every day of your working life, it is hard to overstate how hard even the most seemingly simple of competitive actions become. These are people who really only want to live to beat your brains in, and they have the outsized physical tools to do it.

Listen to even very successful NFL coaches talk about how precious every single victory is, and then try to think about any part of it being easy.

55
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:56pm

Was it true that he "didn't even come close to sticking?" My memory was that he played extensively in the final preseason game and struck around until the final rounds of cuts.

I don't want to sound like some irrational Tebow supporter. I think his ceiling, even in an offense designed around him, is something like the 20th best QB in the league. That's probably not good enough to win a superbowl, and if you don't have a guy with a chance to be that good, you should probably keep looking for a long term starting solution. But I do think that he's easily among the top 60 quarterbacks available, and good enough to at least be a backup or AT LEAST 3rd-stringer/gimmick player.

I'd almost forgotten about the irrational Joe Webb argument thread(s). Let's add him to the list. The Cards are better with Joe Webb than Ryan Lindley, right?

58
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:08pm

No, they aren't. Go look at Joe Webb's play, with Adrian Peterson at his peak, against a very average Green Bay defense, in the January 2013 Lambeau playoff game, when the game was still being competed for. Webb was simply unable to function. No, Tebow isn't that bad, but I still don;t think you fully grasp the problematic nature of having a "gimmick" player when you only have 53 roster spots.

67
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:34pm

Maybe I shouldn't say "gimmick." I guess I think he could hang around as a third-stringer who is athletic enough to play special teams on a regular basis and who could occassionally be used for a trick play hear or there. To me, that's more valuable than Ryan Lindley.

Ultimatley, I think his non-presence on an NFL roster basically comes down to:(1) teams don't think the "distraction" is worth the advantage of going with him over a guy like Lindley/Keenam/etc; or (2) he's been offered something like that with the understanding he's only a 3rd stringer and doesn't want it. I think the former is more likely, but I obviously wouldn't know.

45
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:55pm

If Tebow really wanted to play, he could still go the CFL or arena football route. The CFL may be more suited for his skill set, but if he really wanted to learn to pass with NFL-needed precision and speed he'd go the arena route. Frankly, I don't think he wants it enough.

51
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:12pm

Yeah, my suspicion is that they guy really likes being a football star, but if the path to being an NFL football player lies in grinding it out, for a couple years, in arenas with a thousand people in the seats, he isn't interested. That isn't criticism; he probably makes a very good living, without nearly as much work, talking about the SEC on television.

57
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:05pm

There's certainly a chance this is the case. Perhaps he's decided that the odds of him making it bad to the NFL are slim without grinding it out in the CFL for a couple seasons, and doing that for a fraction of what he can make not getting hurt on TV isn't worth it. Certainly wouldn't blame him.

54
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:50pm

I disagree that he needs to be the starter wherever he goes. In terms of changing the offense, teams with running QBs almost always have conventional QBs as backups, which leads me to believe those coaches don't seen to mind the idea that they would have to change things around. Although if your starter goes down you are probably in trouble regardless. I also have to assume that most high-end starters are so far ahead of their backups in terms of ability that there's no way you can expect the backup to run anything other than a striped down version of the offense. This is an area I'd love to hear more about from someone more familar with the issue (non-hyperbolic TV shouting heads excluded, obviously).

As to the !Tebowmania! factor, I think that's a non-issue on any team with a strong HC and established starter. I don't for a second think that Tebow as a backup in San Fran or Seattle would be a problem, whether in terms or scheme or "distraction."

60
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:13pm

There isn't an NFL starter today who is a "running quarterback" who throws the ball as poorly as Tebow. That's why he's a starter.

Look, we aren't going to agree. You think it is likely to be viable, due to other talents, to have a qb who operates from the pocket as poorly as Tebow, on an NFL roster. I think it is extremely unlikely.

65
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:29pm

You are probably right that we won't agree, and I certainly concede you know far more about football than me.

To be clear, I think he's viable as a backup or 3rd string QB, not as a long-term starter.

68
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:40pm

I actually think the major point of our disagreement is that you think it is viable to have to have Tebow taking up a roster spot as backup or number 3, because he might be marginally better if the starter gets hurt. I don't think you are giving full consideration to the contribution a backup or number 3 is expected to make, when the starter is healthy.

80
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:28pm

Very true, I don't know what all goes into the job of a backup QB during the week.

Perhaps he is just not accurate enough to be a practice QB. But are most of the backups on NFL rosters THAT much more accurate? We're talking about a sample of guys from the 30th to 75th best players at their positions.

82
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:35pm

I agree that Tebow/Tebow type QB (Colin Klein or Dak Prescott) are not going to aid your team in practice. But you don't have to sign him until the QB situation falls apart, the main value you would receive be in increased running efficiency forcing back side contain to stay home rather than collapsing the running lane behind the back and in lowered turnover rate.

Or,

If you had a monster defense to start the season and your QB situation was a complete s*** storm a. la. the 2012 Cardinals, you could sign him around week 4-5 and make the conversion. One of the weaknesses of the 4-play option offense is that it is simple, but in these scenarios that would actually be a feature.

I just fail to see how accepting QB play that will absolutely hurt your team is better than temporarily going to non-traditional QB play with a track record of not hurting the team.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

84
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:42pm

I think you and I have a different view of Tebow's track record. I think if Denver's kicker had performed slightly less well, or Marion Barber had stayed in bounds on a running play, the conversation about what was likely to be productive in terms of NFL qb play, would be somewhat different.

86
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:50pm

Let's talk about #'s this is FO. I'm sure somebody on here can find turnover % for Tebow, INT % for Tebow. Let's talk about how going to the Tebow option offense allowed the Denver Broncos to get a marginally functional offense that dominated in time of possession and added variability to the game. How their QB in A/YPA was better than Orton with a 48% completion percentage.

A football game and team is an interlocking system. If you go Tebow offense then you have just enough threat to hit big pass plays, adding variability, while running the ball and shortening the # of possessions, adding variability. Increased time of possession by your offense increases the influence that a good Defense and Special Teams can have on a game.

The desire not to use a Tebow strategy is the fear of saying, hay my talent can't cut it so why don't I adopt a luck based strategy. Deny the opposition opportunities and not make mistakes. Guess what, the other team will usually make enough mistakes for you to win.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

93
by cjfarls :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:44pm

As a Denver fan, I think you highly overestimate the Tebow offense to call it "marginally functional". The team led the league by a landslide in 3-and-outs. I believe we lost TOP in more games than we won, even running the ball the vast majority of the time.

The offense also clearly regressed as the season went on, once folks got a decent amount of film on what Tebow could/could not do. The playoff win against the Pitt walking wounded and 3rd teamers disguises things, but didn't we lose like 4 out of the last 5 regular season games?

That was a magical season, but it was a fluke. I agree that going for an untested/raw athlete and simplifying the scheme would be a good plan for teams like AZ... but at least do it with a guy that is untested and has potential. Someone than can hit the broadside of a barn on slants and quick comebacks. Tebow has proven to not be that guy.

96
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:02pm

TD 4.4%, INT 2.2%, Completion 46.5%, Y/A 6.4, AY/A 6.3, NY/A 4.95, ANY/A 4.85

126-271, 1729 Yds, 12 TD, 6 INT,
Rushing
122 Attempts for 660 Yds & 6 TDs, 5.4 Y/A.

So Basically think of him as 248-393, 2389 yds, 18 TDs, 6 Int

Or you could start Ryan Lindley.

111-225, 998 Yards, 0 TDs, 8, INTs, y/a 4.4, AY/a 2.8, NY/A 3.61, ANY/A 1.89
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

97
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:05pm

Tebow also had 14 fumbles (leading the NFL).

99
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:08pm

So Basically think of him as 248-393, 2389 yds, 18 TDs, 6 + (0-14 lost fumbles) Int
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

101
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:28pm

Per NFL.com stats.
Tebow fumbled 14 times in his 558 passing + rushing attempts or a 2.5% fumble rate.
Ryan Lindley has 1 fumble in his 229 passing + rushing attempts or a 0.44% fumble rate.

I'm not sure where you are getting this basically 248-393 18TD 6 INT stuff.

Tebow Career Numbers 173 - 361 (47.9%), 2422 yards, 17 TD, 9 INT. 197 rushing attempts, 989 yards, 14 fumbles.

If you were extrapolating the 2011 14 games to 16 games it would be. 144 of 310 for 1976 yards with 14 TDs, 7 INT, 139 rushing attempts for 754 yards and 15 fumbles. Oh and 37 sacks for minus 257 yards.

Lindley gets sacked at about the same rate.

I'm not saying one way or the other who I would rather have, I just question your Tebow numbers. I also wanted to point out that he did fumble, A LOT. That matters for an option quarterback.

102
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:32pm

I was basically taking his 2011 passing and rushing numbers and adding them. A rushing attempt being worth 1/1 for x yards where x is the yards gained.

Edit: and adding on his 0-14 lost fumbles to his 6 INTs, if you end up with say 13 turnovers that still beats Lindley's 0 TDs and 8 INTs.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

103
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:38pm

I did leave off his rushing TD's for some reason. 12 for the career. 6 in 2011, so that would have extrapolated to 7.

So 2011 as 16 games.

144-310 1976 yards, 14 TD, 7 INT, 37 sacks -257 yards.
139 rushes, 754 yards, 7 TD, 15 fumbles

If you want to just add the rushing to the passing.

283-449, 2473 yards, 21 TD, 14 turnovers (50/50 fumbles)

89
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:22pm

I think most rationale proponents of signing Tebow would acknowledge that Denver was lucky to be 8-8 that year. Getting those 8 wins required a set of circumstances beyond nearly anything seen in football history. I mean, smart people I know believe to this day there was devine intervention involved.

91
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:27pm

Well if you adopt a gambler's strategy all outcomes will be luck, good and bad.

If I were the Arizona Cardinals I would want a luck based strategy in the playoffs rather than a skill level / talent level based strategy.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

90
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:25pm

I think another factor that has to be considered in the situation I started all this with (the 2014 Cardinals) is that we're talking about a team that's already got 11 wins and is going to the playoffs. I get not wanting to bring in a guy who probably isn't the future to take up reps on a bad team all season. But this is a legit playoff team, their only consideration should be playing the guy who gives them the best chance a win a single wild card game in a couple weeks.

105
by duh :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 7:37pm

That sounds to me like they ought to call stubble face or the grocery bagger then and not the fella you're suggesting.

109
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 7:57pm

Depends on who the grocery bagger is.

http://www.biography.com/people/kurt-warner-519490#synopsis
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

110
by duh :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 8:10pm

sorry, when you get as old as me it is hard to remember the exact details .....

114
by EricL :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:25pm

Let's look at a more recent example of a player with more NFL-caliber talent than Tebow (Percy Harvin) whose talents wildly mismatched the style of his team.

Look at the Seattle offense when they tried to fit that into their scheme. It flat didn't work. And, while the style of locker-room distraction Harvin apparently caused is different than what Tebow would bring, it's probably about the same magnitude.

Not having Harvin, as explosive as he can be, was better for the Seahawks. I expect the same would be the case for Tebow and any team not running a read-option-based offense.

19
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 11:49am

Comment software seems to have a repeat glitch.

30
by Lance :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:58pm

Yeah, in another thread Raider Joe has a hilarious stretch of the same post saying something like "Petet Kong will change midn like moist guys chanhe underwesr" 15 times. Just great.

31
by Lance :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:59pm

Also, hilariously, he follows that up with:

"Son of a bjtch phone., hoe maby tines must hit post comment before it goes througj. Then it posts it 17 times or something? See words were spelled wronf too. Nowhere am correcting all those posts."

Has he EVER changed a post because words were "spelled wronf"?!?

Good stuff.

50
by Purds :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:10pm

I want to know which category Raider Joe will end up in at the end:

1. The unknown. Will we never know his true identity and the cause of the spelling, like who really killed Kennedy?
2. At last discovered. Like Watergate's "deep throat," will we finally have the curtain pulled back and all revealed?

52
by MightyMackHerron :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:23pm

On a related note, when will there be a raiderjoe app that auto(un)corrects spelling, grammar and punctuation. Is anyone here working on that?

33
by BroncFan07 :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:03pm

It was Bill Vinovich and crew. The last crew Broncos fans would want to see. (Still not over the Ravens playoff game.) I'll stop now.

83
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:39pm

Arizona already has two QBs on their roster with Tebow-traits.

Both Stanton and Thomas are bigger than Tebow and ran option offenses in college.

117
by herewegobrownie... :: Wed, 12/24/2014 - 11:18am

"Do they actually believe they could win a single football game against a playoff team with Lindley at QB"

Sure, if they end up in the 5 slot. They already won recently on the road against a team that is arguably better that ATL/CAR in St.L.

The "can't win a playoff game" is overblown in the sense that you can absolutely draw an opponent worse than you; the Dalton Bengals will sometime soon luck into a playoff win for the same reason (granted, I thought they would win last year as they already won the Nick Lachey Bowl on the road several times in a row.)

22
by lrargerich :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:05pm

I suggest adjusting DYAR by season according to the total number of global receiving yards in the season.
Getting 1000 yards in a season where 20 WRs got 1000 yards is not the same as getting 1000 yards when 2 WRs broke the mark.
This will compensate for the change of rules in the NFL making the passing game more attractive.

In the same way for RBs I would adjust by the total number of running yards in the year.

28
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:31pm

Looks like QB whisperer Mark Trestman did end up getting an average performance out of Clausen.

29
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:41pm

It may be that Clausen running the offense as instructed has beneficial effects, as limited as Clausen is. At least he isn't getting paid 22 million. Good grief, maybe Emery oughta' resign, just to avoid having to manage that craptacular cap mess he created.

39
by ChrisS :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:25pm

Watching the game Clausen looked below average, so the adjustment playing a good defense was fairly large. His numbers were certainly hurt by a few drops, but his TD pass was certainly helped by the short field (11 yard drive). He finished very poorly 1 completion in his last 9 dropbacks, 5 incomplete, 1 sack, 1 run (plus nice roughing penalty added-on), 1 interception (on 4th down so same as incomplete)

46
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:55pm

Look, I'm not saying Clausen is a viable option for the future, but getting a 15 DYAR rank after your receivers have a few drops (at least one coming late) against a good defense is really a good performance for your back up qb. Credit where it is due, and all that.

47
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:55pm

Well this list is by DYAR, and Clausen has significantly more attempts than any QB near him on the list. He probably has half the DVOA of Robert Griffin or the immortal Geno Smith.

32
by LyleNM :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:00pm

Watching Marshawn Lynch the last few weeks, I've marveled at how he is one tough bastard. Looking for contact, always tough to bring down. Maybe raiderjoe or Will or others can help, but I can't think of another guy as tough since Earl Campbell.

42
by Kurt :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:50pm

Christian Okoye.

56
by armchair journe... :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:04pm

Brandon Jacobs before his first big contract.

//AJMQB

34
by BroncFan07 :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:06pm

"Orton's worst football came in a stretch..." Yes, sadly, Completely Competent Kyle Orton must be put down. At best he is now Occasionally Can Throw the Ball Forward Kyle Orton.

48
by jacobk :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:01pm

He shouldn't have switched back to basic cable.

40
by Tim F. :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:29pm

I just noticed that Miami has 4 players in the Top Five Most Valuable categories (Tannehill, Wallace, Miller (2x, total and rushing), and D Williams). That's got to be the first time Miami has had 3 or more players in the history of FO, no?

44
by D :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 1:54pm

Just out of curiosity what was Clausen's DVOA this week?

59
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:12pm

assuming he played 64 quarters at current production, Johnny Buttclown would be on pace for -2070 DYAR

small sample size and all, but that is mind boggling terrible when you think that's
farther below average than the elites are above average.

the gap between bortles to Rodgers is around |2000|

--------------------------------------
The standard is the standard!

64
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:28pm

It really causes me to wonder about the judgement of anyone who thought he was a good prospect, with the caveat that it is early enough that they could be still proven right. Dilfer, for instance, is a guy who I have thought was kind of interesting to listen to, when evaluating qb play. He's obviously spent a lot of time analyzing the subject matter. He also thought Manziel had a decent chance of being a good starting qb in the league.

I say this with an additional caveat. If you want to be right 95% of the time or more, simply declare, with every college qb that you give an opinion on, that he will not be a good NFL starter. Find me a guy who is right 60% of the time, when declaring that someone WILL be good, and evaluates every guy drafted, well that's an evaluator who should be earning a 7 figure salary with an NFL team.

72
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:45pm

1st round QBs aren't quite 95% bad. In research I've done in the past, 30-40% of first round QBs could be declared successful picks based on your criteria for success. Still, that means a coin flip would beat NFL evaluators.

It seems like Manziel just does not have the commitment or work ethic to be an NFL qb. Yeah, his arm strength isn't ideal, but if you gave Pennington Manziel's legs (and some durability), he probably would have been a hall of fame qb.

So I wonder if Cleveland missed the red flags on his personality or thought they could overcome them. The latter would be understandable.

75
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:17pm

Just for the laughs, it really is a shame that somebody in the Dallas organization blocked Jerrel's path to Johnny Football Heaven.

77
by Lance :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:21pm

As a Dallas fan, it wasn't funny the first time.

78
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:25pm

If somebody wants proof that Parcells might be the greatest coach not named Lombardi, reflect on going 10-6, and making the playoffs, with Quincy Freakin' Carter and Troy Hembrecht as major offensive "playmakers".

63
by TomC :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:22pm

No-big-deal-but-I'm-curious-question-unrelated-to-football: Any particular reason this week's QR shows the "Audibles" banner on the top of the page and is in the audibles/2014 web directory?

70
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:42pm

I'm surprised Rivers rated as above average despite his picks. He must have picked up a lot of 3rd & longs.

He did have three fourth-down conversions, but the big key was opponent adjustments -- 54 passes against the fourth-ranked DVOA pass defense will do that.

Just out of curiosity what was Clausen's DVOA this week?

-1.7%.

No-big-deal-but-I'm-curious-question-unrelated-to-football: Any particular reason this week's QR shows the "Audibles" banner on the top of the page and is in the audibles/2014 web directory?

ARGH. Because I mistakenly mislabeled it when creating the file. I thought I’d corrected it, but apparently not.

81
by D :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:30pm

Thanks for the Clausen answer.

71
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 3:43pm

Also, I have not carefully read all the Tebow discussion here, but: the Cardinals already have a big strong quarterback who can't throw in Logan Thomas. Why would they need another?

79
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:27pm

Thomas may be big and strong but he's still got a thrower's body. Tebow is FB/TE body, and has a proven to some extent turnover avoidance. Most 2nd, 3rd string QBs are turnover machines. To go with all of that Tebow is a 4.7 40 type guy, same speed as Emmit Smith. Don't know what Thomas ran at the combine.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

85
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:46pm

4.61/40.

Thomas was a TE on VT's depth chart during his redshirt season.

87
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:52pm

I would totally Tebow it up with Thomas then. Run option, throw bombs, option, bombs. See what happens.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

92
by rageon :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:33pm

If the argument is that Thomas should be on the roster because he could be developed into something good, that's fine. But by most accounts, Thomas is a total project at this point. I can't imagine he is as "ready" as someone who was perhaps the most successful college QB of the last XX years and started a season's worth of games, as well as 2 playoff games. (see also, Terrell Pryer and Vince Young).

That said, I'm fine with running Logan Thomas out there instead of Ryan Lindley. The dude I know almost nothing about is still a better option than a guy who we know -- with almost certainy -- cannot play NFL quarterback. What's the best case scenario starting Lindley? He doesn't directly directly result in giving away the game, he hopefully gets them across the 50 a couple of times, and the defense gives up no more than 7 points?** Going into a playoff game with that is madness.

** (insert joke about how that's basically how Denver went 8-8 with Tebow)

94
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:49pm

Thomas has one career TD pass. In 9 attempts. Lindley has zero career TD passes. In 225 attempts. This is an NFL record.

However, Thomas does have the lowest career completion percentage (11%) of any QB who has actually thrown a TD. The only player with a lower percentage is Don Hutson (1-11, but the 1 was a TD).

The player most like Lindley is Mike Kruczek, who managed to go 6-0 for the Steelers in 1976 without throwing a TD pass. (He did run for two.) Three of his starts were Steeler shutouts. They allowed more than 6 points once. One win was 7-3 game. Like the Cards, the Steelers rode a dominant defense and barely supra-putrid QB play to a decent record.

115
by Lance :: Wed, 12/24/2014 - 7:17am

"The player most like Lindley is Mike Kruczek, who managed to go 6-0 for the Steelers in 1976 without throwing a TD pass. "

That stat is worse than you think. In 1976, teams just didn't pass. Ken Stabler led the league in '76 with 228 ypg and 27 TDs. In today's NFL, that doesn't get you in the top 10. In '77 Bob Griese led the league in passing TDs with 22. That's half a season for today's top QBs.

Point is: it's a real indictment when you have to go back to the 70's to find comparable passing numbers.

116
by Will Allen :: Wed, 12/24/2014 - 9:44am

It's not a coincidence that the 70's had one rookie thousand yard receiver, and it happened in 1978, after mugging receivers anywhere on the field and the pass rusher head slap was outlawed, and pass blocking rules were greatly eased. It was a really, really, different game. One of the reasons that I say Tarkenton could be the best qb ever is that he played a third of his career, the only third when he was on good teams with good coaching, in the era when passing was just ridiculously hard. Staubach played about 60-70 percent of his career in those conditions.

95
by cjfarls :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:50pm

I disagree about Logan Thomas as less preferable to Tebow. Tebow was okay in early games because folks didn't have film on him, and they didn't know his tendencies/weaknesses. His offense clearly regressed as teams got more film/figured out how to defend the zone read. Same can be said somewhat of Pryor and Young.

LT at least forces the DEF to come in blind. Yes, he'd need a simplified scheme (just like TT). Yes, he likely sucks as bad or worse than Tebow... but at least he has potential still.

98
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:05pm

For a playoff game I'll take proven production over potential. Potential is for building for the future. For Arizona the playoffs are now.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

100
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:11pm

Remember this isn't Tebow v. functional NFL offense, this is Tebow v. Lindley/Thomas/street FA offense.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

104
by Bjorn Nittmo :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:47pm

So I guess Victor Cruz wasn't a rookie in 2011? He played preseason in 2010 but went on IR before the regular season began. If we qualified his 2011 season I wonder where it would fall on this list. #1 in yards (1536) and DYAR (455) while equaling Beckham's 32.0 DVOA.

106
by tuluse :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 7:43pm

That's still a years worth of NFL coaching he received. I imagine there would be other "redshirt" sophomores that had pretty good years.

113
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:53pm

NFL.com lists Cruz with three games played in 2010, but that's beside the point. If you're on a roster, even a practice squad, you're a pro football player and you're accruing experience.

To use a well-known example, Michael Sam, in his rookie season, spent time on the practice squads in St. Louis and Dallas. That counts as an NFL season, even though he never made an active roster. If he makes a regular season roster and has a big year in 2015, he will not be eligible for the rookie of the year award. He was already a rookie in 2014. You only get to be a rookie once.