Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Nov 2015

Week 10 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Late in the first quarter on Sunday, the Broncos had a second-and-13 at their own 22-yard line, trailing Kansas City 10-0. Peyton Manning lined up in the pistol with Ronnie Hillman behind him, two tight ends to his left, and two wide receivers stacked to the right. The Chiefs countered with a base 3-4, with strong safety Ron Parker and cornerback Marcus Peters covering the two wideouts and Eric Berry backing them up. At the snap, the Chiefs rushed three linemen, plus inside linebacker Josh Mauga, who rushed from Manning's left across center Matt Paradis' face and into the A-gap. Paradis didn't lay a finger on Mauga, but Hillman stepped up and was able to slow him down and give Manning time to try a pass. Manning targeted Demaryius Thomas, who had beaten Parker on a deep out. However, Peters, who had been trailing Emmanuel Sanders deep, read the pass and broke on the ball. Manning's pass sailed in front of Thomas, and things looked bad. By this point Peters had already intercepted one pass and dropped another, and it looked like he was going to get his third chance at a turnover, this one likely to be a pick-six. Thomas, though, was able to reach out with one hand and reel in the catch, taking the ball from the air before it could reach Peters, and finishing with a gain of 17 yards.

I went ahead and made a GIF of the play. Here it is:

(Click here if you are having trouble loading the image.)

I described this play in such detail and am showing it to you here because it is quite notable. Not only was it Manning's only first down of the day, it is entirely possible it will be the last of his career.

Manning has been a terrible NFL quarterback all year, he's been banged up, and on Sunday, he was benched. After four interceptions, one fumble, one intentional grounding foul, and zero points, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak sat Manning down and put 2012 second-round draft pick Brock Osweiler into the game.

With all those turnovers and so little yardage, this was one of the worst games of all time, but it was not the worst of this season. That "honor" goes to Nick Foles, whose horrible game against Green Bay in Week 5 looks even worse in hindsight thanks to the Packers' recent defensive struggles. Remember, though, that DYAR is a counting stat, and Manning only dropped back 22 times against Kansas City, while Foles had 29 dropbacks against Green Bay. Manning's DVOA against the Chiefs (-204.7%) was significantly worse than Foles' against Green Bay (-158.6%). And putting numbers aside for a minute, remember that Manning only got his one first down because one of his receivers was able to do this:

With Manning out of the game, Osweiler threw his own interception before leading a pair of garbage-time touchdown drives. He'll get at least one more chance to prove he can produce points when it matters. Manning came into the game with rib and foot injuries. Kubiak later admitted that he made a mistake letting Manning start the game. On Monday, word broke that Manning would miss the Week 11 game against Chicago with a case of plantar fasciitis.

Kubiak's prior statements, though, suggest the move is temporary. "Peyton's our quarterback," he said following the Kansas City game. "If he's healthy and ready to go, Peyton's our quarterback."

Should he be, though? Despite the Broncos' stellar win-loss record, Manning has had one good game this season: In Week 8, when he was fifth in Quick Reads after throwing for 340 yards against Green Bay. He was only above replacement level one other time, against Detroit in Week 3. In his other seven games this year, Manning has been below replacement level every time, finishing 22nd or worse in Quick Reads each week. Given the sorry state of Chicago's defense (22nd in pass defense DVOA coming into Week 10), it's quite likely that Osweiler will look better against the Bears than Manning has in any game this year; a couple of touchdowns with no interceptions (Manning leads the NFL in interceptions and has thrown at least one in every game this season) should do it. And even as bad as the Bears defense is, Osweiler should come out OK in the Quick Reads rankings if he can just avoid turnovers.

Let's make this clear, this is not an endorsement of Osweiler as much as it's an indictment of Manning. Through 10 weeks of the NFL season, he has been by far the worst starting quarterback in the NFL, last among qualifying quarterbacks in both total value (-447 DYAR) and efficiency (-31.9% DVOA). (These numbers will change slightly after the Monday night game.) His "lead" for worst DYAR is commanding; nobody else is worse than -290. There are some close competitors for worst DVOA, but those are names like Nick Foles and Colin Kaepernick who have already lost their jobs and might not get a chance to catch him. And really, doesn't it say a lot that all players who have played anywhere near as badly as Manning have already been benched? Among players who are still starting for their teams, Manning's closest threat in both categories is Sam Bradford, he of the -49 DYAR and -13.3% DVOA. And Manning already has 340 dropbacks this season, more than enough to qualify for the end-of-season leaderboards. What all this means is, even if he doesn't throw another pass this season, Manning is a virtual lock to finish last in both DYAR and DVOA when all is said and done.

Just how bad are those numbers? A -31.9% DVOA is nothing memorable. It would tie Manning with Chris Simms in 2006 for the 106th-worst season on record. Four qualifying quarterbacks had worse DVOAs last season alone.

Manning's mark of -411 DYAR is worse, and would put him right outside the bottom 40 in worst DYAR seasons ever. Now, for the sake of argument, let's say Manning returns to the lineup after the Chicago game, but doesn't play any better than he has in the past. Through nine starts, Manning is averaging -49.7 DYAR per game. If he maintains that average over 15 starts, he would finish with -745 DYAR. That would be one of the 10 worst seasons of all time, but not close to the worst season in recent history (Blake Bortles had -955 last year) or of all time (David Carr's mark of -1,130 in 2002).

What does a season like this mean for Manning's legacy? He entered the season as the all-time leader in both DYAR and DVOA among all players with at least 1,000 passes since 1989. His lead in DYAR is still very safe (even with his dismal campaign and Tom Brady already amassing more than 1,000 DYAR, Manning's career totals still trump Brady's by more than 6,000), but his lead in DVOA is not. Manning entered the season with a career DVOA of 32.0%, but his current numbers would bring that down to 29.7% -- which would leave Manning second in this category, just behind Steve Young (30.4%) and just ahead of Brady (26.3%, including his 2015 numbers). It's never a good thing when you get your record "broken" by a guy who retired 16 years ago.

Those numbers, though, speak to Manning's bountiful glory days of the past, and not his woeful days of the present. Osweiler doesn't have to play well against Chicago to prove he should be Denver's starter. He doesn't even need to be average. If he is merely bad-but-not-terrible -- or even terrible-but-not-The-Worst -- then he'll have played better than Manning has at almost any point this season, and will have proved that he deserves to stick in the starting lineup. Because terrible-but-not-The-Worst would be an obvious upgrade for a team that still has serious Super Bowl aspirations.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
22/33
379
3
1
1
164
164
0
CLE
Roethlisberger's completions, yards, and touchdowns do not include the four DPI flags he drew for another 141 yards, but those penalties are accounted for in his DYAR. Each of those DPI flags gained at least 29 yards, and they made up four of his eight longest passing plays. There have only been 27 DPI flags that long all season. No other quarterback has even drawn four of them all season, let alone in a single game. Carson Palmer and Jameis Winston have drawn three each; Palmer is the only other quarterback to get two in a game. Roethlisberger killed the Browns all day long with deep passes. Counting those DPIs as completions, he went 10-of-13 for 356 yards on passes that traveled at least 16 yards past the line of scrimmage. Yes, that is 27.4 yards per play.
2.
Eli Manning NYG
24/44
361
3
0
3
129
127
2
NE
Manning also benefited from the yellow hankies, drawing DPIs for 15, 18, and 21 yards. And, like Roethlisberger, he excelled at the deep pass. Counting those two DPIs as completions, he went 8-of-17 for 264 yards. After all those big plays, though, he had some struggles in the red zone. Inside the 20, he went 2-of-8 for 2 yards, and though one of those completions went for a touchdown, he was also sacked twice, fumbling once. Is this a bad time to point out that the Giants lost this game on a last-minute field goal?
3.
Jay Cutler CHI
19/24
258
3
0
2
120
106
14
STL
About 75 percent of Cutler's DYAR comes from two plays: an 87-yard touchdown to Zach Miller, and an 83-yard touchdown to Jeremy Langford. (One of those passes was caught 2 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, the other 5 yards behind it, with 173 total YAC between them. Cutler did not complete a pass deeper than 10 yards downfield in this game.) There have only been eight 80-plus-yard touchdown passes all season. Four of them were on Sunday: Cutler's two, Eli Manning-to-Odell Beckham for the Giants, and Alex Smith-to-Charcandrick West for the Chiefs. Cutler is the only player with two, and he got them not only in the same game, but in the same half. In the second half, though, he did almost nothing, going 7-of-9 for only 25 yards with as many first downs (one) as sacks.
4.
Cam Newton CAR
21/26
217
1
0
5
96
74
22
TEN
Newton ran seven times for 25 yards, which doesn't sound like much, but all seven were successful plays and five went for first downs, including three third-down conversions, one a 2-yard touchdown. As a passer, Newton had some serious streaks in this game. His first 11 dropbacks all resulted in completions for 132 total yards and eight first downs, including a goal-line touchdown. His next six dropbacks resulted in one incompletion, one completion for a 6-yard loss, and four sacks. And then he finished 9-of-13 for 91 yards with five first downs and one sack.
5.
Kirk Cousins WAS
20/25
324
4
0
3
95
95
0
NO
Cousins takes the biggest hit due to opponent adjustments this week. The Saints have given up 28 touchdown passes this season, seven more than any other team. They have four interceptions, tied for fewest in the league. They are giving up 8.9 yards per pass, most in the league. In the last three weeks, Cousins, Mariota, and Eli Manning have completed 74 percent of their passes against New Orleans for 10.0 yards per throw with with 14 touchdowns and no picks. So yeah, the Saints stink, they've been getting worse, Rob Ryan got fired, and Cousins' DYAR takes a hit for that.
6.
Russell Wilson SEA
15/31
240
1
1
2
60
34
26
ARI
Wilson's DYAR is higher than you might have guessed because he was always in a tough situation Sunday night. Seattle's offense kept sticking him in long-yardage scenarios with penalties. The average pass this season has come with 9.0 yards to go for a first down; Wilson's average pass against the Cardinals came with 12.0 yards to go. It was even worse on third downs, when the average distance to go this year (including fourth downs) drops to 7.6, but Wilson's went up slightly to 12.6. That's part of why he had positive DYAR on third downs even though he had just one conversion in seven dropbacks. Twelve of his dropbacks came with 12 or more yards to go, including five with at least 20 to go. He also ran six times for 52 yards and three first downs.
7.
Carson Palmer ARI
30/48
363
3
1
3
56
56
0
SEA
Palmer fumbled on two sacks in the fourth quarter; those fumbles were both recovered by Seattle. Take those two fumbles away and Palmer would have been second this week.
8.
Alex Smith KC
17/31
204
1
0
2
48
45
3
DEN
Smith gets the biggest boost from opponent adjustments this week. That's important, because he only threw for four first downs this whole game. From the last minute of the second quarter to the end of the third, he went 2-of-12 for 2 yards with no first downs and no sacks. He only threw one pass in the fourth quarter: an 80-yard touchdown to Charcandrick West.
9.
Brock Osweiler DEN
14/24
146
1
1
3
44
42
2
KC
Peyton Manning has only one game all year with more DYAR than what Osweiler put together in four drives.
10.
Marcus Mariota TEN
16/24
186
0
1
1
34
35
-1
CAR
Mariota only had two pass plays inside the Carolina 40, and none in the red zone. One was a 4-yard completion on first-and-10, which Dexter McCluster then fumbled away. The other was a 6-yard gain on third-and-11.
11.
Matthew Stafford DET
24/38
242
2
1
0
28
26
2
GB
12.
Aaron Rodgers GB
35/60
333
2
0
3
26
22
4
DET
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Sam Bradford PHI
19/25
236
1
0
4
25
25
0
MIA
14.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
21/36
217
2
0
4
24
24
0
PHI
15.
T.J. Yates HOU
5/11
69
1
0
1
16
16
0
CIN
16.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
17/27
158
1
0
4
3
4
-1
NYJ
17.
Derek Carr OAK
29/43
302
2
2
2
0
-1
1
MIN
Carr had a weird dead spot in his passing splits. On passes that traveled 10 or 11 yards downfield, he went 1-of-9 with two interceptions (although that one completion went for a 10-yard touchdown). Anything shorter than that, he went 21-of-24 for 138 yards with seven first downs; any deeper, he went 7-of-9 for 154 yards and seven first downs, including a touchdown.
18.
Brian Hoyer HOU
12/22
123
0
1
2
0
-6
6
CIN
Hoyer's interception came on a Hail Mary on the last play of the first half.
19.
Teddy Bridgewater MIN
14/22
140
1
0
4
-1
-12
12
OAK
Bridgewater's first third-down play was a 7-yard gain on third-and-2. He didn't convert another third down all day, going 1-of-4 for 11 yards with two sacks.
20.
Johnny Manziel CLE
33/45
372
1
1
6
-5
-9
5
PIT
21.
Andy Dalton CIN
22/38
197
0
1
3
-5
-13
8
HOU
From the last minutes of the first half to the last minutes of the game, Dalton went nearly 30 minutes of clock time without picking up a first down. In that stretch, he went 4-of-13 for 13 yards and two sacks. Inside the Houston 40, he went 5-of-7 for 36 yards and only one first down. Those completions included a 1-yard gain on second-and-18 and a 7-yard gain on third-and-17.
22.
Joe Flacco BAL
34/45
316
3
2
1
-12
-23
11
JAC
Take out the third quarter and Flacco was a top-five quarterback this week, but in that third quarter he was far and away the worst. In that third quarter, he went 5-of-9 for 26 yards with one first down, two interceptions, and one sack-fumble, recovered by the Jaguars.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Jameis Winston TB
22/39
264
0
2
2
-13
-14
1
DAL
24.
Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ
15/34
193
2
2
1
-16
-21
5
BUF
A poor day on third downs for the Jets passer. He went 5-of-11 for 37 yards with as many interceptions (two) as conversions.
25.
Mark Sanchez PHI
14/23
156
0
1
0
-19
-15
-3
MIA
In a game the Eagles lost by one point, Sanchez struggled to finish drives. Inside the Miami 26, he went 1-of-4 for 4 yards with no first downs and an interception.
26.
Tom Brady NE
26/41
334
2
1
3
-26
-31
6
NYG
27.
Matt Cassel DAL
19/28
186
0
1
3
-26
-8
-18
TB
Cassel and the Cowboys also lost a close game, losing 10-6 to Tampa Bay. And Cassel also struggled to finish drives. On Tampa Bay's half of the field, he went 4-of-10 for 26 yards with two first downs, two sacks, and one desperate interception at the end of the game.
28.
Drew Brees NO
19/28
209
2
2
2
-33
-33
0
WAS
29.
Blake Bortles JAC
22/45
188
2
1
3
-87
-101
14
BAL
For a long, long portion of this game, Bortles was nearly useless. From about 5 minutes left in the second quarter till about 13 minutes left in the fourth, he went 7-of-22 for 54 yards with two first downs and two sacks. Bortles couldn't do much to get Jacksonville out of trouble. At or inside his own 25, he went 4-of-13 for 30 yards with one first down, one interception, and two sacks. The Ravens have now lost seven games by eight points or less; the record for a single-season is nine, set 13 times, most recently by last year's Bucs.
30.
Nick Foles STL
17/36
200
0
1
1
-113
-113
0
CHI
On Chicago's half of the field, Foles went 1-for-6 with an interception; that one completion was a 6-yard gain on third-and-7. He threw 12 passes that traveled 10 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. All were incomplete. And even when Foles did complete passes, they didn't really go anywhere. Nine of his 17 completions were failed completions. Only two quarterbacks had more failed completions this week: Johnny Manziel had 12 (out of 33) and Joe Flacco had 13 (out of 34). This is the kind of performance that gets you benched for Case Keenum.
31.
Peyton Manning DEN
6/20
35
0
4
2
-246
-246
0
KC
On passes that traveled 3 or more yards past the line of scrimmage, Manning went 1-of-15 for 17 yards with four picks. I know I have made some errors in this column this year, but I promise you that sentence is 100 percent accurate. He did not throw a pass on Kansas City's side of the field; from right on the 50, he went 0-for-2 with an interception. He did not complete a pass on third down, going 0-for-7 with two interceptions.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Matt Jones WAS
11
56
0
3/3
131
1
78
17
60
NO
All of Jones' carries gained positive yardage. He had three first downs, including a 20-yard gain on third-and-2. His three receptions, each on second down with 7 to 9 yards to go: a 24-yard gain, a 29-yard gain, and a 78-yard touchdown. Each was caught at or behind the line of scrimmage, which means Jones had 135 YAC on the day.
2.
LeSean McCoy BUF
19
112
0
5/5
47
0
62
53
8
NYJ
McCoy had six runs of 10 or more yards and six first downs on the ground, while being hit for no gain or a loss four times. His receptions included a 15-yard gain on second-and-17 and a 17-yard gain on first-and-10.
3.
Charcandrick West KC
24
69
1
3/5
92
1
51
18
34
DEN
West's longest run gained only 15 yards, but he had six first downs on the ground (including conversions on all four of his carries with 2 yards or less to go) while getting hit for no gain four times. His 80-yard touchdown included 15 yards in the air and 65 YAC.
4.
Jeremy Langford CHI
20
73
1
7/9
109
1
41
15
26
STL
We already talked about Langford's big touchdown catch, but he also had a 5-yard catch on second-and-5 and an 11-yard catch on fourth-and-1. He was hit for a loss on six runs, but he balanced that out with four first downs, including a conversion on third-and-10 and a touchdown on third-and-goal from the 6.
5.
Andre Ellington ARI
5
61
1
3/4
27
0
38
29
10
SEA
Virtually all of Ellington's rushing DYAR came on one play, a 48-yarder on third-and-4 that was 13 yards longer than any other run against Seattle this year. His biggest catch was a 13-yard gain on second-and-8.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
LeSean McCoy BUF
19
112
0
5/5
47
0
62
53
8
NYJ
2.
Adrian Peterson MIN
26
203
1
2/3
13
0
36
40
-4
OAK
In addition to his 80-yard touchdown run, Peterson had four other gains of 10 or more yards, and eight total first downs on the ground, while being hit for no gain or a loss just three times.
3.
Andre Ellington ARI
5
61
1
3/4
27
0
38
29
10
SEA
4.
Marshawn Lynch SEA
8
42
1
1/2
8
0
22
27
-5
ARI
Much like his quarterback, Lynch spent most of the night against Arizona trying to get out of huge holes. He had a 3-yard touchdown on first-and-goal and a 5-yard gain on second-and-1. His other six carries all came with 10 or more yards to go, including second-and-15, second-and-20, and second-and-25. The average running back carry this season has come with 8.2 yards to go for a first down. Lynch's average carry against Arizona needed 11.8 yards to convert.
5.
Alfred Morris WAS
15
92
0
3/3
14
0
15
20
-5
NO
Morris was hit for no gain just once while running for four first downs, including runs of 12, 14, and 28 yards.


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
DeAngelo Williams PIT
17
54
0
1/2
15
0
-32
-35
3
CLE
Williams had two first downs against Cleveland, but he was hit for a loss four times and fumbled once.


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
DeAngelo Williams PIT
17
54
0
1/2
15
0
-32
-35
3
CLE


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Antonio Brown PIT
10
14
139
13.9
2
89
CLE
In addition to the catches and yardage listed here, Brown drew three DPIs for 106 total yards. He had nine total first downs on the day, including touchdowns of 56 and 4 yards, plus conversions on third-and-2, third-and-12, and third-and-15.
2.
Michael Floyd ARI
7
9
113
16.1
2
67
SEA
Floyd's touchdowns of 35 and 27 yards (the latter coming on third-and-14) were his biggest catches of the day. He had five first downs, including a 10-yard gain on third-and-4.
3.
Doug Baldwin SEA
7
10
134
19.1
1
52
ARI
First six targets: three catches, 27 yards, no first downs. Last four targets: 33-yard gain, 32-yard touchdown, 28-yard gain, 14-yard gain.
4.
Brent Celek PHI
4
4
134
33.5
0
47
MIA
His four catches: 60-yard gain, 20-yard gain, 40-yard gain on second-and-15, 14-yard gain.
5.
Martavis Bryant PIT
6
10
178
29.7
1
44
CLE
Bryant drew a 35-yard DPI, and also had catches of 28, 32 (and a touchdown), 44, and 64 yards. Bryant fumbled the ball away at the end of the last play, but it was so long it still went down as positive DYAR. If you want to pretend that fumble never happened, you can add about 20 DYAR to Bryant's numbers.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Davante Adams GB
10
21
79
7.9
0
-62
DET
Between incomplete passes and short completions, Adams had 14 failed targets this week, most of any player in any game this season. He only had four first downs and failed to convert on three targets with 5 yards or less to go for a first down.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 16 Nov 2015

87 comments, Last at 11 Jan 2016, 8:08am by dvc2016

Comments

1
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 7:48am

Eli proved once again that, when he is on, he is near unstoppable. Yeah, all of those DPIs were as bogus as you can get (I thought you had to touch someone to get a DPI, no?), but I would be very worried the rest of the season if I were teams in the NFC because his line is protecting him and there is enough talent at the skill positions for them to make it to the SB.
Having said that, bad Eli can pop up at a moments notice.

3
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 8:51am

Plus, ((2015 - 2007) % 4 == 0) is true.

18
by Jake80 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:11pm

On the one PI called on Butler where I've seen multiple people (including Schatz) claim there was no contact, there clearly was. Beckham was on the sideline trying to work back to get the pass, and Butler runs in front of him and right into his shoulder - you can see Beckham's momentum get momentarily reversed and it probably stopped him from making the catch. And at worst it makes up for the uncalled PI against White in the end zone (Simms said he was looking for the ball, which was true, but that shouldn't allow an arm bar).

20
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:47pm

I'm sorry, none of those DPI were DPI - they were a joke.

27
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:22pm

Beckham's momentum doesn't get 'reversed'

His cleat pops loose from the turf and he continues moving in the original direction he was going, despite trying to cut.

One of the camera angles was really showing (and you may have missed it) - there was daylight between the two of them the entire play.

38
by Jake80 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:07pm

Nope - there were two camera angles, one which was pretty much the standard shot, which isn't close enough to tell much, and then a pretty close shot from the back. When I watched it live I thought there was definitely contact and then when I saw multiple people disagree I thought I might have seen it wrong, so I went back and rewatched. On the second angle you can definitely see contact with the shoulder (if you saw daylight maybe it was lower down) and definitely see Beckham's movement get held up. It was only momentary and he then continued towards the ball, but like I said it looked like it impacted his chance to catch it.

41
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:12pm

We'll have to disagree - I've watched it several times and I come to the same conclusion as Aaron - there's no contact.

He slipped. His cleat pulls loose and he goes down.

45
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:20pm

I just watched the play, it looks like contact to me, good call.

35
by Kurt :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:43pm

It looks to me like the Giants' "talent at the skill positions" is all wrapped up in one guy. Rueben Randle? Dwayne Harris? Will Tye? Larry Donnell? Vereen is okay I guess.

49
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:53pm

Would you rather have CAR talent or NYG talent at the skill position?
Pats have one guy talent too.

54
by Kurt :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:31pm

CAR is kind of a silly comparison, but I'd guess there are 15-20 teams with better overall talent at RB/WR/TE than the Giants.

Point is, I don't think the Giants are much of a threat in the playoffs.

70
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 5:08pm

Why is CAR a silly comparison? the NYG have two WRs who are in the Top 20 in DVOA, one of 4 teams (ARI, NE,JAC). Three of the players in the Top 20 are out for the year. Yeah, the rest is mediocre, but serviceable. Would you rather have NYG crew or GBs crew? MIN? DAL? WASH? PHL? SEA? These are/were some of possible playoff teams in the NFC and they have no better.

2
by Blotzphoto :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 8:39am

Where did Tyler Eifert land in the contest for worst week as a receiver? Because a huge part of that dry spell for Dalton were balls bouncing off of his star TE's hands in crucial situations.

4
by Jerry :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:07am

Proofreading: "thanks' to the Packers'" no apostrophe after thanks
"his eight longest plays passing plays"
"There have only been four 80-plus-yard touchdown passes all season. Four of them were on Sunday" I'm pretty sure there were some before this week.

Opining: I have a hard time believing that the Broncos will leave a healthy Peyton Manning on the bench with their season on the line. Denver's won despite how bad he's been, and I expect them to continue thinking that way.

15
by anotherpatsfan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:04pm

I have a hard time believing Manning will be healthy at any point during the rest of the year.

Having said that, as much as I'd rather see the Pats play again Osweiler, I will be surprised if they don't stick him back on the field at some point. I am also surprised there is so much sentiment (even among some Bronco fans)to call him done.

17
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:11pm

The lack of mobility combined with the weak protection is making his lack of arm strength look a lot worse. They managed to get something going just a few weeks ago so it's not impossible that they could do it again if Manning can rest a bit. Though having said that they seem to be stubbornly trying to stick with something that isn't working so who knows if they can figure it out.

5
by Tim R :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:33am

Was foles this bad in philly eagles fans? From a subjective rather than dvoa standpoint. I didnt pay much notice to him prior to this season but i definitely didnt expect anything like this level of ineptness.

6
by andrew :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:37am

...Rob Ryan got fired, and Cousins' DYAR takes a hit for that.

heh, makes it sound like DYAR takes the firing of a defensive coordinator into account. (yeah, probably there is in fact a correlation)...

7
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:47am

Who'd have thought we'd ever see Tom Brady at 26, Drew Brees at 28 and Peyton Manning at 31 in the same week!

9
by aces4me :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 10:12am

Combined with Smokin' Jay and Kirk Cousins in the top 5.

86
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 11:17pm

Cousins has been in the top 5 several weeks this year. It's only surprising because we're all used to Washington being completely inept, based on the last few seasons. This year though, Washington, like Oakland, is actually playing good football.

8
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 10:09am

I wonder on what percentage of plays Paradis just falls down instead of blocking anyone like in the gif above?

10
by Dave Bernreuther :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 11:01am

That GIF'd pass isn't the greatest example to me. Look at Thomas's posture in the still photo and his effort/speed in real time. He wasn't running hard and had slowed way down at that point. If he kept moving it'd have hit him in the chest. The one-handed nature of the catch was sort of akin to the 90s outfielder who holds back so that he can then come in and slide and make the highlights. (Though that was deliberate, so not the best analogy.) If anything I'm a little surprised that Manning, with crap (for him) mechanics, even got the ball there over that distance.

Which is, of course, the real issue here. That shouldn't be noteworthy.

It's still not a great best throw of the day and perfect placement might've been into Thomas's gut as soon as he started to face the QB, but high and outside is one you still expect to get away with and most QBs frequently do; it's just exaggerated by Thomas. I'd have gone with the Mauga gif instead.

11
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 11:16am

If BigBen, AB, Bryant, and Bell ever all play healthy together for a pronounced time in the future, I wouldn't be surprised to see multiple consecutive games with combined 500 DYAR (yes, I realize that's double counting).

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

12
by Bucs_Rule :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 11:29am

Keeping Manning as the Broncos “official starter” is prudent as it keeps all their options open. If Osweiler plays well against Chicago, Manning can stay injured for a couple more games. If Osweiler continues to perform, then Manning can get benched.

If Kubiak named Osweiler the starter right now and he was worse than Manning, it becomes harder to go back to Manning as changing starters can create controversy. Even if Manning plays at the exact same level as he’s done all year, but the defense struggles and the team loses, Kubiak will get blamed for ruining team chemistry.

Better to keep Manning “injured” until Kubiak is sure what he has in Osweiler.

13
by RBroPF :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 11:41am

Eli scored 24 points against a good defense missing it's best player. He had a fine day, but I wouldn't exactly call that "unstoppable".

*meant to reply to comment #1

14
by RickD :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 11:49am

It's hard enough to see Eli benefit in the game from dubious DPIs. And then his DYAR also gets a boost from them.

Most weeks he won't have Ed Hochuli's crew helping him out.

16
by SandyRiver :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:06pm

There must have been significant opponent adjustments, plus a huge hit for Brady's crunch-time pick, for the two QBs in such a close game to be so far apart in the above numbers. (And neither team had a top 5 RB or pass catcher.) The raw stats - yards gained, TOs, etc - paint a picture consistent with a very close game, with fumble luck 3-2 Giants (basically even), and Brady's pick somewhat compensated by an 84-yard punt return.

(And advanced stats can hardly include the effect of having one's top 3 tackles absent, plus not having or quickly losing 2 top skill players.)

21
by nat :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:59pm

Multiple factors are involved.
1) The NE pass defense is considered much better by DVOA. So opponent adjustments really help Eli and hurt Brady.
2) Interceptions matter a lot. Brady had one.
3) Fumbles matter. To DVOA, it doesn't matter who recovers. Brady had more.
4) Defensive Pass Interference counts towards a QB's DYAR. Eli got more.

It would be nice to see raw YAR to separate out the opponent adjustments. But I suspect Eli wins by a fair margin there, too, although not by the margin that DYAR gives him.

Brady was in a tough spot. He was missing a bunch of his supporting cast. As fans we can adjust for that in our own heads. DYAR shouldn't and doesn't.

22
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:00pm

Does Collins's drop of the game-ending INT figure into Brady's stats? (I can't remember if there's any adjustment for that sort of thing).

Because really, Brady had two INTs, including one to outright lose the game.

24
by Karma Coma :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:09pm

Interesting interpretation of the word 'really'

36
by HPaddict :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:49pm

In accordance with the proposed "two-feet down and clear possession" rule for a catch in the Audibles thread yesterday, Collins really did pick that off. He had clear possession of the football while in the air and the ball did not come out until after his elbow contacted the ground (based on the GIFs and my intuition, I'd guess the lost possession after his head slammed into the ground).

So 'really' an interception and fumble.

43
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:15pm

The rule already is "Two feed down and clear possession".

It's the possession part that Collins never had. If that's a catch - every 'drop' is a catch and the game devolves into a blooper reel.

51
by HPaddict :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:10pm

No, the rule is not; not without an additional definition of what exactly 'clear possession' means in the context of an NFL game. Per the long discussion yesterday, there are plenty of different ways to reasonably and coherently define 'clear possession' that allow football to retain its essential character. In one such definition, the colloquially one, Collins does in fact have 'clear possession' of the football as indicated by him transferring the ball to a single arm whereafter he held it in the standard 'football-possessing-position' with which we are all familiar for an extended amount of time. Nothing in either the English language nor in abstract thought disallows the label 'possession-of-a-football' to be applied to Collins in this way.

The definition of 'clear possession' as such does not lead to "every 'drop' is a catch'. The vast majority of drops do not involve nearly the clearness of the colloquially defined 'possession. Most of them are similar to Eifert's drops from last night's game; balls that clearly just hit the receiver without any 'possession' whatsoever. Others are bobbled and then dropped in a manner than could be described as partially controlled but never as possessed. Only a small subset of drops would be affected.

I understand that the rule as per the rule book places additional constraints on 'clear possession'; please don't feel the need to quote it again. I actually like the general principle underlying the rule as currently constructed. A game in which large, fast men contact each other regularly should respect the complications that entails, including difficulties in gaining and maintaining possession. If I were allowed to make one change related to the catch rule, I think Ben's proposal to remove instantaneous scoring and require players to maintain possession of the ball until down in the endzone is most appropriate. Not only does his proposal simplify many, though not all, of the recent contested catches, I find it intellectually more satisfying. I happen to dislike discontinuities.

My previous comment was made to depict a secondary effect of the enforcement of an alternative definition of 'clear possession', which I paraphrased from yesterday's Audibles thread. Under that definition, Collins did intercept the football and then fumble.

55
by blan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:36pm

I'm in total agreement with you on this. People propose major changes to the catch rule as if they can solve the difficult problem of completely defining something that can probably never be totally objective without considering the unintended consequences of their proposals at all.

It may be that, like democracy, the current catch rule is the worst, except for all the others. However, I do think there can be some minor tweaks that can improve the catch rule. My proposed tweak is similar to something deus01 suggested in the Audibles thread: Change the rule so that if the receiver is contacted by a defender before getting his second foot down with control, he must maintain possession until the whistle is blown to end the play. This makes the case of the standing receiver more similar to one who is going to the ground, and it removes the "becoming a runner" criterion which is somewhat ill-defined for players in the end zone.

56
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:40pm

I noted there are some problems with that as well though, e.g. with Beckham contact is made just after he has the ball and both feet down so that would be a touchdown. I don't think there is really a way to solve the problem but I do think we could make a rule that would be able to be applied much more consistently.

62
by blan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:24pm

Actually, if you watch the video again, Butler puts his hand on Beckham's hip before Beckham gets his second foot down. So under the tweak above, it would still be an incomplete pass.

However, let's say Butler didn't put his hand on Beckham before his second foot was down. If Butler knows the rule requires him to contact the receiver before his second foot is down, and he fails to do that, then I don't really have a problem with Beckham getting a touchdown, even if Butler knocks it out a split second after his foot gets down.

I think the rule is already applied fairly consistently. The only time I can remember that seemed inconsistent to me was the Tate touchdown against the Bears, and I believe the tweak above would fix that case.

65
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:34pm

I disagree about the consistency but it occurs mostly in the field of play as to whether something is a fumble or incomplete and this doesn't get as much attention. There is a smaller sample of potential touchdown plays.

I think it would be easier to apply this kind of rule at least because you could use replay to see if there was any contact with the defender. It also makes the going to ground and not rules a little more consistent in that you have keep control through whatever situation you receive the ball in.

64
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:34pm

Yeah - that's exactly my point.

The rule is exactly as I said - the difference that people are suggesting is a change in what "clear possession" means - they seem to think that it's possible to define it objectively, and there's no way to do that.

Any 'possession' rule that we create is going to cause situations where people say "that's not right"

The rule that chemical_burn suggested most certainly does lead to almost every dropped pass being a fumble - the receiver gets both hands on the ball, the ball stops, and then it falls out. He had clear possession and then lost it.

71
by HPaddict :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 5:12pm

Here is a link to a website hosting a video of the Collins play: (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2015/11/landon_collins_scouting_repor...).

The possession that Collins has on that play is vastly different than "gets both hands on the ball, the ball stops, and then falls out". Collins clearly has transitioned the ball to the standard 'football-carrying-position' I mentioned above.

Here are three of Eifert's drops last night: (http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000582002/Tyler-Eif...). The majority of drops look this. Not a single one would be a catch under any rule proposal that I have seen (though I could construct some).

Can you find a play similar to the Collins'? I'd love to see it.

72
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 6:05pm

I think the "going to the ground" rule is absolutely terrible, but this is precisely the kind of play that that should be included in any revision. He catches the ball cleanly, but cannot retain it upon hitting the ground. That's a textbook incompletion, as it should be.

46
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:21pm

Don't you need to maintain possession through the process when going to the ground?

48
by anotherpatsfan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:49pm

yes

53
by HPaddict :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:12pm

See comment 51. Under some of the rules proposed in yesterday's Audibles thread the Collins play would be an interception. I was just continuing to play around with the word 'really'.

57
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:43pm

Ah, I missed that bit.

You can make a good case that the pass 'deserved' to be picked.

There was another deep pass that was completed down the left sideline that inexplicably went straight through a DB's arms even though he'd looked back and seen the ball. Simms gushed about what a great throw it was but that one could easily have been picked too. Brady really doesn't seem to like playing the Giants, it's weird because the Giants' D is nothing like the units that he played in the superbowls.

59
by anotherpatsfan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:49pm

It was clearly a terrible pass and Pats were lucky he dropped it when he hit the ground. Brady not great yesterday and Pats were fortunate to win.

50
by anotherpatsfan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:55pm

In accordance with the actual rules, incomplete pass.

Regardless of whether they ever change the part of the catch rules about becoming a runner in non going-to-the-ground situations, there will never be a rule which makes a catch out of a play like that, where a diving or leaping player catches the ball in mid-air while going to the ground and it pops out when his elbow hits the ground. Never. Nor should there be.

52
by blan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:10pm

I don't know why everyone is jumping all over HPaddict here.

It's a useful exercise to consider the unintended consequences of any change to the wording of the catch rule. I think HPaddict is pointing out that changing the catch rule could lead to results that people find even more disagreeable.

Of course, another possible interpretation is that HPaddict is just trolling Patriots fans. But even so, the first part of this post remains true.

58
by anotherpatsfan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:44pm

Not jumping on anyone. Whatever anyone thinks the result of the play should have been, we know what the result was - it was properly determined he did not maintain possession under the going to the ground portion of the possession rule.

The majority of the discussion in Audibles was about the Beckham catch/drop and the "becoming a runner" aspect of the possession rule, which raises different issues than the rules applicable to the dropped interception at the end of the game. Going to the ground is a different animal and I believe it always will be. I doubt anyone will use this particular "going to the ground play" as example of the flawed nature of the catch rules, because I believe very few people seriously think that play was (or ought to be)a catch. However they tweak the rules, IMO "possession" while in the air that is lost on contact with the ground will always be an incomplete pass.

However possession becomes defined, if diving-catch-hit-the-ground-drop-the-ball situations become fumbles, it would seem to be worse for the offense(as it seems more likely the defense will recover most of those). Competition committee probably not interested in helping the D these days.

60
by HPaddict :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:10pm

I don't think the result should be an interception; I merely pointed out potential problems with some of the proposed rule changes, many of which would result in an interception.

I can't agree that the Beckham play and the Collins play are different animals. Both are intimately related to defining 'clear possession' with regards to catches. Any proposed rule system must 'correctly' determine the appropriate result and if the rules under consideration results in Collins play being an interception then qualifiers will need to be added. As soon as those qualifiers differentiate catches, e.g., contact versus free catches or falling versus running catches, we will run straight back into our current morass.

61
by blan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:12pm

I was not trying to single you out specifically, anotherpatsfan. Yours was just the last in a series of negative replies to HPaddict so I replied to yours.

While you are correct that the actual play is an incomplete pass, I think you are missing the point a little when you say it can never be made in interception under a different set of rules. There were some propose rules changes from the Audibles thread that would have made it an interception and no one objected at the time (at least that I saw). So the point is: I agree, it shouldn't be an interception, but we need to be careful if we change the rules to consider all possible situations so that we don't have unintended consequences that we find even more problematic.

63
by anotherpatsfan :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:25pm

I agree that if wholesale changes to the possession rule are proposed at the Competition Committee level, the impact of those changes must be carefully considered in light of the several different unintended consequences such rule changes may have. I also believe the rules will never be amended by the Competition Committee such that the dropped interception in the Pats game becomes a catch - no one is clamoring for that play to be a catch. Further, I believe contact with the ground will continue to be treated as a different/special case of the possession rules. Certainly there are theoretical potential rule changes that could render my belief incorrect. However, my sense is the competition committee will be less creative or expansive with changes to the possession rules than the commenters here, as that committee seems to be a pretty conservative group.

29
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:27pm

I think the only time they consider long ints as punts is during hail mary situations (and maybe some 3rd/4th down?) - that play was on 1st if I remember correctly.

So yeah, Brady's DVOA would drop a bit more.

He really didn't look very good - that's understandable though - considering that the offensive line is a mess and he lost his best receiver in the 1st quarter (and his best RB last week)

The actual INT was a particularly terrible throw.

32
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:33pm

Yeah, there's a near 24% difference between the units according to DVOA, plus Brady had another fumble as well. 3TOs vs. 1 is probably a big difference even before the adjustment.

44
by ClavisRa :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:16pm

Brady was under quick pressure almost every snap, but he stayed poised, mostly, throughout. That perplexing miss on the slant to LaFell that was simply behind him and late was probably the worst throw he's made all season, so maybe the non-stop pressure all game played a factor in his error there. He was accurate on every deep ball, except the pass to Dobson at the end where, again, pressure prevented him from completing his throw and it came up way short. This was how Brady was playing at the start of last season when the o-line was a mess, except better, and getting wins. Once Vollmer and/or Cannon are back from injury (which should be this week), the offense will >only< have to overcome the loss of it's primary receiver and option back. Brady is definitely hungry for a game where the offense is firing on all cylinders again.

69
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 5:04pm

I think you are being too generous with your description. Brady was hit on the throw to Dobson, but it was so underthrown that it is nearly impossible to think is was going to be on target either way. If anything, the bad throw worked in his favor because the CB on Dobson would have been in position for the pick on a deeper pass.

Brady also missed a WIDE open LaFell later on that same drive. He took even more contact on that one, but LaFell was so open that he should have gotten it out there anyway.

Not a great day, but that'll happen when the line is in shambles and you lose your favorite WR early on.

19
by are-tee :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:29pm

I'm curious if Fitzpatrick's second interception counts as much as the first - it was a desperation throw from his own 36 yard-line with 24 seconds left and no timeouts.

23
by Biebs :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:08pm

I'm guessing Brandon Marshall avoided being the worst WR because of his TD catch, but I think he was the receiver on both Fitzpatrick INTs, plus caught a 4th down pass 3 yards behind the LOS. I'm curious where he finished.

25
by rj1 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:12pm

Broncos fan here: last year's playoff game loss showed me Manning was done as a quarterback. I always think this season was intended to be the last hurrah, but his form of play has just declined too much.

On one hand, what's happened to him is what should happen to every player that gets old and doesn't take PEDs. The notion of getting old, remaining uninjured, and performing the exact same in any sport is either the product of PEDs or the figment of the Hollywood sports movie imagination. John Elway won the Super Bowl his last 2 years as a QB, but he wasn't the player he was in the late '80s.

I do wish we had a better backup plan than Brock Osweiler though.

26
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:17pm

I don't think anyone was expecting 2004 Peyton Manning to take the field this year, but a player resembling say 2008 Chad Pennington seemed reasonable, and with this defense that would be a championship contender.

Honestly, with this defense, Brock Osweiler or a crappy, but not this crappy Manning might be enough. Rex Grossman and Trent Dilfer both made it to the big game.

Edit: those QBs did have the 8th and 11th ranked rushing attacks respectively. So, probably not good enough for Broncos.

28
by merlinofchaos :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:25pm

A more mobile quarterback will probably have a higher rushing attack as a side effect.

31
by Denverite :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:29pm

Yeah, with Osweiler a threat to bootleg weakside, they can't crash the weakside end.

33
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:34pm

I don't think Osweiler will be any better without better play from the rest of the offense. He was barely any better in the Kansas City game and that was with things already out of hand.

Peyton clearly can't carry a team like he used so they offense will need to figure out how to get back to what they did against Green Bay and the second half of Indy regardless of who's under center.

34
by Denverite :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:42pm

He was barely any better in the Kansas City game and that was with things already out of hand.

???

Manning had an all-time bad game. Osweiler was merely below average. And as I said below, that includes a not-really interception on fourth and long where an interception in the end zone is indistinguishable from an incomplete pass.

(Incidentally, I'm not a fan of going for it on fourth and long in field goal range down by multiple scores outside of seven or eight minutes remaining in the game. In that scenario, you just don't know how many more possessions you are going to get. Converting the touchdown is such a low probability even that it probably makes sense to kick and take the chance that you'll get an extra possession through a turnover or a quick three incompletion possession. For example, in the game on Sunday, if the Broncos had kicked the FG and not allowed the subsequent long YAC to West, they would have been able to kick to the Chiefs down 22-17 with two minutes and two timeouts left.)

37
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:50pm

The only reasonable strategy is the one that has the best chance at winning. Putting up meaningless points doesn't do anything but make the score look better to people who aren't paying attention. Down that much they absolutely have to go for it.

40
by Denverite :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:11pm

BS. Down 22 with 13 minutes to go and two timeouts? The chances you get a third possession are a lot higher than the chances of converting the fourth and long (around 20%), plus there's always the chance that even if you do convert you don't score, or you do and it costs another two minutes.

47
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:23pm

That only matters if the other team doesn't score again. When you're down 22 that's something you can't guarantee. That's why you need to put up points instead of just trying to tie.

67
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:51pm

Sometimes the best way to put up points is to just kick the field goal - rather than trying to throw on 4th and long. The chance of success has to be weighed against the points.

The touchdown is definitely better than the FG, but coming away with no points when you're down 20+ is a really bad thing.

78
by BJR :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 9:48am

"The touchdown is definitely better than the FG, but coming away with no points when you're down 20+ is a really bad thing."

Clearly. But maximizing expected points on the current drive becomes decreasingly relevant to the calculation the further you are behind, and the less time there is remaining. What matters is improving your chance of winning the game, and in desperate situations that can only be served by scoring 7/8 instead of 3.

Down 20+ in the 4th quarter, even if the chance of converting 4th & long is remote, and the expected points yielded very small, you are probably improving your chance of winning by going for it as opposed to taking an almost guaranteed 3.

79
by Denverite :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 10:26am

Down 20+ in the 4th quarter, even if the chance of converting 4th & long is remote, and the expected points yielded very small, you are probably improving your chance of winning by going for it as opposed to taking an almost guaranteed 3.

I don't think this is right, though, if it's towards the beginning of the fourth quarter and you're down 21 or 22.

Assume you're going to have two more possessions for certain, and those possessions are going to put you within seven points (setting aside what you do on fourth and long). There's some probability X that you're going to have a third possession. Let's further assume that the third possession would end in game tying or game winning points.

Going for it:

You win 20% * X (make it on fourth down, get a third possession).
You tie 20% * (1-X) (make it on fourth down, don't get a third possession).
You tie 80% * X (don't make it on fourth down, get a third possession).
You lose 80% * (1-X) (don't make it on fourth down, don't get a third possession).

Kicking:

You win X (you get a third possession)
You lose 1-X (you don't get a third possession)

Solving all of that, I think it works out to your chance of winning improves when X > 20%.

39
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:09pm

"Osweiler was merely below average"

i'm not sure you how come to that conclusion.

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

42
by Denverite :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:13pm

This is fair. I'd put him right on the border between bad and below average.

66
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:45pm

He put up 44 DYAR in 4 drives - that's way above "bad to below average" - and it's way better than we can expect out of Manning at this point.

Manning is one of the worse QBs in the league right now, and has shown a trend over the last couple years to break down as the season moves on - the expectation should be that hes going to continue to get worse.

So while Osweiler probably isn't the answer, and there's a good chance they're a one-and-done in the playoffs with him - that's much better than what they are with Manning going forward.

If Denver keeps playing Manning - and he keeps playing the way he's playing now, there's a good chance they miss the playoffs, even being 7-2 now, and having that terrific defense. When you have a QB as bad as Manning was this week, there's no team in the league that can't beat you on any given sunday, and there's very few teams who you should be a favorite against.

68
by deus01 :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 4:53pm

DYAR just measures the results. It's easier to get results in garbage time when it's already clear you're going to lose the game.

Watching the game he did not look good but again I think that's again due to the entire offense not functioning well.

73
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 10:39pm

DVOA does adjust for garbage time. It was a tiny sample size. Can't draw many conclusions, but he did play above average for garbage time play. When FO has researched whether excluding garbage time leads to better predictions in the past, they determined that it did not.

81
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 12:11pm

...and so does DYAR.

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by Grendel13G :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 5:04pm

Man, it's just sad to watch a legend decline this dramatically. It's a brutal end to a magnificent career.

30
by Denverite :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 1:27pm

Keep in mind that Osweiler's INT was about as harmless as you could get. It came on fourth and long when he had to be throwing in or near the end zone.

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by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 10:48pm

Where did Tyler Eifert land in the contest for worst week as a receiver? Because a huge part of that dry spell for Dalton were balls bouncing off of his star TE's hands in crucial situations.

-25 DYAR, just outside the bottom ten. Only one first down, but at least his three catches were all successful plays.

It's still not a great best throw of the day and perfect placement might've been into Thomas's gut as soon as he started to face the QB, but high and outside is one you still expect to get away with and most QBs frequently do; it's just exaggerated by Thomas. I'd have gone with the Mauga gif instead.

The point was not to show off Manning's worst throw, or even his best. Just to show the only one with a good outcome.

It would be nice to see raw YAR to separate out the opponent adjustments. But I suspect Eli wins by a fair margin there, too, although not by the margin that DYAR gives him.

Eli had 102 YAR, Brady -6. Yes, their raw numbers were pretty close, but A) Eli had 3 TDs, Brady had 2, B) Brady had 1 INT, Eli had none, C) Brady's one interception came on second down in the red zone, which is just a killer, D) Brady also fumbled twice, Eli only fumbled once.

Does Collins's drop of the game-ending INT figure into Brady's stats? (I can't remember if there's any adjustment for that sort of thing).

Dropped passes and dropped interceptions are not listed in the play-by-play, therefore we cannout account for them in DVOA or DYAR. That goes down as any other incomplete pass.

I'm curious if Fitzpatrick's second interception counts as much as the first - it was a desperation throw from his own 36 yard-line with 24 seconds left and no timeouts.

There's a gray area where we consider INTs like that "hail mary" passes and consider them incompletions. We decided not to with that one, but you could argue that it should qualify.

I'm guessing Brandon Marshall avoided being the worst WR because of his TD catch, but I think he was the receiver on both Fitzpatrick INTs, plus caught a 4th down pass 3 yards behind the LOS. I'm curious where he finished.

-24 DYAR. Officially, Marshall was the target on one INT, Kenbrell Thompkins on the other. But that's irrelevant for this discussion, because blame for INTs goes to the quarterback, not the receiver. When dealing with receivers, sample sizes are so small that if we included blame for being the target on INTs, one play would cause a drastic shift in the rankings. However, while we're here, I did looks this up, and Marshall has been the target on a league-high seven interceptions this season. Demaryius Thomas and T.Y. Hilton are next with six each.

Proofreading: "thanks' to the Packers'" no apostrophe after thanks
"his eight longest plays passing plays"/i>
"There have only been four 80-plus-yard touchdown passes all season. Four of them were on Sunday" I'm pretty sure there were some before this week.

Fixed. Thank you.

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by eagle97a :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 12:40am

I think Eli only threw 2 TD's and he didn't rush for any TD's that I recall.

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by vrao81 :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 1:00am

Yes according to the box score Eli had only 2 TDs

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by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 4:46am

Whoops. I just checked and for some reason we had one of his red zone incompletions marked as a touchdown. Obviously, it wasn't. Changing that brings Eli down a little, about 20 DYAR or so.

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by nat :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 4:55pm

You should fix the table. And find out who did that marking to ask them to be more careful in the future. :-)

Actually, you can thank them for doing the work, too. The readers do appreciate it, even with the occasional goof.

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by schmoker :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 11:37am

Really curious to hear a breakdown of Manziel. Here in Ohio we are being treated to a serenade in his massive improvement and potential greatness, both of which I'm skeptical of. Are the sacks what killed his DYAR?

82
by Vandal :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 3:31pm

I watched the game, and I couldn't believe his numbers.

If you asked me after the game what his stat line looked like, I might have guess 15/28 for 175 yards.

The routine was pretty simple: Get sacked, stuffed, or penalized into a 3rd & long. Then throw a dump off that gets 9 yards and is way short of a 1st down... He did not play well, not even league average, imo.

EDIT: The comment under Flacco lists Manziel as having 12 "unsuccessful completions", that tracks with what I was seeing. That would put his stat line at 21/45, with maybe 250 yards... Take away the useless 3rd down underneath stuff, and it looks bad...

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by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 11/18/2015 - 4:10pm

Mostly this, yes. Twelve failed completions, including five completions for 42 yards on failed third-down plays. And they weren't even just-short-of-the-sticks throws -- none of them came within 5 yards of getting a first down.

If those five passes had all been incomplete instead, Manziel's statline would drop from 33-45-372 to 28-45-330. His completion rate would fall by more than 10 percent, and his average gain would drop by a full yard. But it would have made very little difference in helping the Browns win, because those were empty completions anyway.

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by dvc2016 :: Mon, 01/11/2016 - 8:08am

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