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» Week 11 DVOA Ratings

DVOA has finally climbed on board the Wentz Wagon! The Eagles move into the No. 1 spot, but they aren't the only strong, well-balanced team in the NFL this year. New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and the Los Angeles Rams make this one of the best seasons ever for multiple teams over 30% in DVOA, and Minnesota isn't far behind.

05 Oct 2015

Week 4 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

The following is a slightly edited version of a conversation from this weekend's edition of Audibles:

Me: Do the Falcons have the NFL's best "triplets" with Matt Ryan/Devonta Freeman/Julio Jones? Ben Roethlisberger's injury takes Pittsburgh out of the equation. Cincinnati and New England don't qualify because they can't pick a running back. Only other option I can see is Aaron Rodgers/Eddie Lacy/Randall Cobb in Green Bay.

Aaron Schatz, my boss: Freeman is not one of the best running backs in the league. I appreciate what he's done the last couple weeks, but that's significantly about the defenses he's faced. In the preseason, it seemed like he was going to gradually lose his job to Tevin Coleman over the course of the year, but now Coleman's on the sidelines with a rib injury. I don't remember ever reading anyone saying that Freeman even had the possibility of developing into one of the top five backs. Not to take away what he's done in these two games, he's been great, and it's not just because he has huge holes. But when Roethlisberger comes back, the Steelers easily have the league's best triplets. Otherwise, even though I prefer a downfield receiver like Julio Jones to a slot guy like Cobb, I would have to go with Green Bay.

Tom Gower, my colleague: Not watching this game today aside from the highlights I see on Red Zone, but Freeman is having success the same way Justin Forsett is, by being in the right scheme, where he's a good fit and you can utilize his strengths. Have people really been talking about him as one of the best backs in the league?

Well, since Quick Reads is a column devoted to the study of individual statistics, this seems an ideal place to look at each team's triplets (top quarterback, top running back, and top wide receiver/tight end) and determine which is best. Let's start with the Atlanta trio. Matt Ryan ranks fifth among quarterbacks with 435 DYAR (424 passing, 11 rushing). Devonta Freeman leads all running backs with 131 (87 rushing, 44 receiving). And Julio Jones is second among all receivers with 175 (all receiving).

How does that compare to the triplets of other teams? The simplest way to answer that question would be to just total the DYAR of all 32 sets of triplets and see who comes out on top, but to a large part that ends up being a ranking of all quarterbacks. Instead, we can use the harmonic mean of each player's individual DYAR. You can learn all about the harmonic mean here, but in layman's terms, it accounts for all numbers within a given dataset, while "penalizing" low figures more than it "rewards" high figures. It's not a perfect measurement, in part because it breaks down in analysis of negative numbers, but since were only looking for the elite anyway, it'll be good enough for now.

The Falcons' triplets have a harmonic mean of 192 DYAR, which is the highest total of the league through Week 4 (not counting the Detroit-Seattle Monday night game).


Best Harmonic Mean, NFL Triplets, 2015
OFF QB DYAR RB DYAR WR/TE DYAR Harmonic Mean
ATL 2-M.Ryan 435 24-D.Freeman 131 11-J.Jones 175 192
NE 12-T.Brady 615 33-D.Lewis 97 87-R.Gronkowski 95 134
GB 12-A.Rodgers 477 27-E.Lacy 57 89-J.Jones 168 117
ARI 3-C.Palmer 444 31-D.Johnson 54 11-L.Fitzgerald 199 116
CIN 14-A.Dalton 467 25-G.Bernard 64 18-A.Green 113 113

As that table shows, I am the smartest writer on the Football Outsiders staff the Falcons' trio has gotten off to a tremendous start. The Patriots and Packers have the two best quarterbacks in football (and the Patriots rank second here even though they have played only three games after a Week 4 bye). The Cardinals are getting great play from two veterans and a rookie running back, while the Bengals' stars are all 28 or younger.

It's tricky to use harmonic mean to find the worst triplets in the league, because as previously mentioned, negative numbers break the system. In this case, we can use a workaround:

  • Find the quarterback, running back, and receiver with the lowest DYAR on each team.
  • Multiply each of those totals by -1, so negative DYAR numbers are positive (and vice versa).
  • Take the harmonic mean of these new numbers.
  • Multiply that harmonic mean by -1 to get it back to negative numbers

I'm sure there's a statistics professor or student reading this and tearing his/her hair out, but let's not take ourselves too seriously. We're not building a bridge or anything here, we're just having a little fun with football numbers. And given that the "worst triplets in the league" are playing for a 4-0 team, I'm not sure how meaningful these numbers are anyway.


Worst "Harmonic Mean," NFL Triplets, 2015
OFF QB DYAR RB DYAR WR/TE DYAR "Harmonic Mean"
DEN 18-P.Manning -141 22-C.Anderson -64 11-J.Norwood -12 -57
HOU 15-R.Mallett -106 22-C.Polk -45 85-N.Washington -12 -33
TB 3-J.Winston -228 22-D.Martin -12 13-M.Evans -42 -30
CHI 8-J.Clausen -123 35-J.Rodgers -11 19-E.Royal -21 -25
IND 12-A.Luck -21 23-F.Gore -23 81-A.Johnson -8 -14

Of course, after Denver, the next four bad triplets play for teams that are a combined 5-11, so obviously this is not a list where you want to see your name.

So we know which triplets have been most productive in 2015, but what about the top triplets of the DVOA era, dating back to 1989?


Top Triplets, 1989-2015
Team Year QB DYAR RB DYAR WR/TE DYAR Harmonic Mean
PIT 2014 Ben Roethlisberger 1538 Le'Veon Bell 520 Antonio Brown 559 688
DAL 1995 Troy Aikman 1374 Emmitt Smith 504 Michael Irvin 591 681
STL 2000 Kurt Warner 914 Marshall Faulk 846 Isaac Bruce 444 663
IND 2004 Peyton Manning 2443 Edgerrin James 469 Reggie Wayne 468 641
IND 2006 Peyton Manning 2357 Joseph Addai 412 Marvin Harrison 508 623
STL 1999 Kurt Warner 1810 Marshall Faulk 707 Isaac Bruce 333 604
STL 2001 Kurt Warner 1810 Marshall Faulk 707 Torry Holt 333 604
DEN 1998 John Elway 1189 Terrell Davis 647 Rod Smith 374 593
NO 2011 Drew Brees 2293 Darren Sproles 454 Marques Colston 394 579
IND 2000 Peyton Manning 1933 Edgerrin James 526 Marvin Harrison 358 576
SF 1998 Steve Young 1607 Garrison Hearst 420 Terrell Owens 438 568
KC 2005 Trent Green 1278 Priest Holmes 603 Eddie Kennison 350 567
BUF 1991 Jim Kelly 1101 Thurman Thomas 595 Andre Reed 368 566
DAL 1993 Troy Aikman 1273 Emmitt Smith 419 Michael Irvin 461 562
DAL 2014 Tony Romo 1210 DeMarco Murray 440 Dez Bryant 430 553
KC 2002 Trent Green 1320 Priest Holmes 760 Eddie Kennison 297 551
DAL 1994 Troy Aikman 897 Emmitt Smith 495 Michael Irvin 429 549
DEN 2013 Peyton Manning 2446 Knowshon Moreno 363 Demaryius Thomas 430 547
IND 2007 Peyton Manning 1739 Joseph Addai 372 Reggie Wayne 450 547

Last year's Steelers stars were historically dominant, so it's not surprising to see them at the top here, and it's probably fair to assume they'll be the league's top trio once again as soon as Roethlisberger gets back on the field. Last year's Cowboys also show up, though of course, for various reasons, none of them are doing much for the Cowboys these days. And speaking of the Cowboys, the most famous triplets in recent history were Dallas' 1990s trio of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin, and they are the only group to make this list three times, from 1993 to 1995. The 1999-01 Rams almost matched with Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk, but Torry Holt surpassed Isaac Bruce as the top aerial weapon in the Greatest Show on Turf in 2001. And Peyton Manning and anyone else has usually made for a dangerous trio (well, until this year).

As you would imagine, the worst triplets of all time includes some very bad teams:


Bottom Triplets, 1989-2015
TM Year QB DYAR RB DYAR WR/TE DYAR "Harmonic Mean"
CLE 2013 Brandon Weeden -432 Willis McGahee -136 Greg Little -171 -193
ARI 2012 Ryan Lindley -483 LaRod Stephens-Howling -111 Larry Fitzgerald -137 -163
IND 1991 Jeff George -581 Eric Dickerson -127 Clarence Verdin -111 -161
SEA 1989 Kelly Stouffer -238 Curt Warner -133 Louis Clark -140 -159
CHI 2004 Craig Krenzel -684 Anthony Thomas -88 Bobby Wade -161 -157
SEA 1992 Kelly Stouffer -838 John L. Williams -122 Ron Heller -98 -153
JAC 2011 Blaine Gabbert -1046 Deji Karim -77 Marcedes Lewis -161 -149
ARI 1999 Jake Plummer -412 Adrian Murrell -160 David Boston -86 -148
ATL 2007 Byron Leftwich -262 Warrick Dunn -153 Laurent Robinson -97 -145
CHI 2002 Chris Chandler -302 Anthony Thomas -125 Marcus Robinson -106 -144
NYG 1996 Dave Brown -300 Rodney Hampton -136 Howard Cross -94 -140
CIN 2008 Ryan Fitzpatrick -240 Chris Perry -223 Ben Utecht -72 -133
CAR 2007 Vinny Testaverde -256 DeSean Foster -90 Keary Colbert -120 -129
TB 1993 Craig Erickson -244 Reggie Cobb -135 Ron Hall -84 -128
JAC 2012 Chad Henne -303 Rashad Jennings -108 Kevin Elliott -92 -128
KC 2011 Matt Cassel -254 Thomas Jones -100 Jonathan Baldwin -104 -127
MIA 2004 Jay Fiedler -506 Lamar Gordon -102 Marty Booker -84 -127
MIA 2006 Joey Harrington -116 Sammy Morris -91 Chris Chambers -246 -127
OAK 2009 JaMarcus Russell -801 Darren McFadden -84 Darrius Heyward-Bey -92 -125
PHX 1989 Tom Tupa -189 Tony Jordan -91 Jay Novacek -129 -125

(I realized too late that I had forgotten to set a minimum number of plays to qualify, so this table has some weird cases like Deji Karim as the running back for the 2001 Jaguars when he only ran 63 times for 130 yards.)

As you might guess, there was little success to be found here. None of these teams finished with a winning record, 17 of them lost at least 10 games, and on average they won just 4.7 games apiece.

Which brings us back to the 2015 Broncos. So far, their across-the-board offensive ineptitude hasn't cost them a single game, but that won't last all year. Even with the No. 1 defense in the league, if they can't get some kind of offensive consistency together sooner rather than later, they're not going far in the postseason.

When reading the table below, note that opponent adjustments began to be included in our numbers this week. Adjustments are currently at 40 percent of their eventual strength.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Andy Dalton CIN
17/24
321
1
0
0
163
159
5
KC
Dalton never really had any terribly cold or hot streaks against Kansas City. True, his first eight attempts were all successful completions, but only half of those went for first downs. In fact, he never picked up first downs on back-to-back dropbacks. On the other hand, only once did he go three straight dropbacks without a first down. And he had a knack for picking up big plays on third downs. He went 4-of-6 with four first downs, with a 55-yard touchdown on third-and-11, plus gains of 36, 30, and 20 yards. And it's a good thing he hit those big plays, because he sort of struggled to finish drives -- inside the Kansas City 35, he went just 2-of-5 for 15 yards with no first downs.
2.
Kirk Cousins WAS
31/46
295
1
0
1
141
154
-13
PHI
Dink, dink, dink. Dunk, dunk, dunk. Cousins threw 46 passes against Philadelphia, and 36 of them (including 27 of his 31 completions) were thrown to receivers within 6 yards of the line of scrimmage. And he got even more conservative when playing with a lead in the first and third quarters. When Washington was ahead, he went 6-of-7 for 56 yards and four first downs, and all six completions were caught within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. But he was usually able to keep drives alive - - on third downs, he went 11-of-14 for 101 yards, plus a 17-yard DPI, for nine first downs, with one sack.
3.
Philip Rivers SD
23/38
358
3
0
2
126
126
0
CLE
Here is where I remind you that DVOA and DYAR due not account for quality of teammates -- specifically, in Rivers' case, that he was playing without 80 percent of his first-string offensive line. To succeed with that skeleton crew, Rivers had to make the most of his short-yardage opportunities. With less than 10 yards to go for a first down, he went 11-of-14 for 214 yards and nine first downs, including a touchdown. With 10 or more yards to go, he went 12-of-24 for 144 yards and six first downs (including two more scores), plus a 17-yard DPI and two sacks. Most of his success came throwing to his right, where he went 12-of-18 for 222 yards, two touchdowns, and six other first downs.
4.
Brian Hoyer HOU
17/30
232
2
0
1
105
105
0
ATL
Hoyer entered the game in the third quarter, and all of his attempts came with the Texans down by at least 21 points. That started as a 42-point deficit though, so at least he was able to cut that in half.
5.
Drew Brees NO
33/41
359
2
0
3
96
96
0
DAL
6.
Nick Foles STL
16/24
171
3
0
1
93
93
0
ARI
Foles only threw for seven first downs in the whole game, but that includes his three scores. All three of those touchdowns came on third down.
7.
Matt Ryan ATL
19/27
256
1
0
2
80
80
0
HOU
Ryan didn't throw a lot of deep passes (partly because he left the game early in the third quarter), but he made them count. Six of his passes traveled 10 or more yards downfield. Five of them were complete, all for first downs, and 118 total yards.
8.
Josh McCown CLE
32/41
356
2
0
4
78
78
0
SD
McCown was nearly unstoppable in the second half, going 13-of-15 for 144 yards and eight first downs, including a game-tying touchdown, with one sack.
9.
Carson Palmer ARI
29/45
352
1
1
4
69
69
0
STL
On five separate red zone drives, Palmer went 3-of-5 for 16 yards and no first downs, with two sacks and a fumble.
10.
Alex Smith KC
32/45
386
0
0
5
63
52
11
CIN
Smith, like Palmer, struggled to finish drives. Inside Cincinnati's 23-yard line, Smith went 1-of-5 for -2 yards, with a sack.
11.
Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ
16/29
218
1
1
0
59
47
12
MIA
12.
Jay Cutler CHI
28/43
285
2
1
3
57
57
0
OAK
Cutler had a big day on third downs, going 10-of-14 for 155 yards, plus a 22-yard DPI, for 11 total first downs, plus a sack. One of those incompletions, though, was intercepted.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Blake Bortles JAC
28/49
298
1
0
1
39
21
18
IND
Bortles didn't exactly finish up strong. In the fourth quarter and overtime, he went 8-of-22 for 79 yards and only four first downs, plus a 30-yard DPI, but also an aborted snap that resulted in a 15-yard loss.
14.
Brandon Weeden DAL
16/26
246
1
0
3
35
39
-3
NO
15.
Matthew Stafford DET
24/35
203
0
0
0
29
29
0
SEA
16.
Sam Bradford PHI
15/28
273
3
0
5
28
21
8
WAS
Feast or famine: Bradford only threw for six first downs (including his touchdowns), but they averaged 32.5 yards each. his final completion, a catch-and-lateral affair on the final play of the game, goes into our books as a 19-yard gain. His other 26 dropbacks averaged 0.8 yards each.
17.
Aaron Rodgers GB
22/32
224
1
0
3
25
17
8
SF
Rodgers was harrassed by San Francisco's pass rush on third downs. In 10 third-down dropbacks, he had as many conversions (three) as sacks, completing 4-of-7 passes for 65 yards in the process.
18.
Russell Wilson SEA
20/26
287
1
0
6
15
-5
20
DET
If we didn't count sacks, Wilson would have been first among quarterbacks in total DYAR this week. But we do count sacks, and we also count fumbles on sacks, and Wilson's two fumbles were both recovered by Detroit in the fourth quarter to give the Lions a chance to win the game. However, when Wilson had time to throw (or when he created his own time), he shredded the Lions with midrange passes. On throws that traveled 10 to 19 yards past the line of scrimmage, he went 6-of-6 for 156 yards, with every completion picking up a first down. He also threw three passes deeper than that -- two incompletions, and a 24-yard touchdown to Doug Baldwin. He also did a great job getting the Seahawks out of bad field position. From inside the Seattle 35, he went 10-of-10 for 158 yards and seven first downs.
19.
Teddy Bridgewater MIN
27/41
269
1
0
7
9
-2
12
DEN
A bevy of weird third-down splits. 1) Bridgewater only had three third-down dropbacks in the second half. 2) All three of those dropbacks resulted in completions, for 31 total yards. 3) None of those completions resulted in first downs, because they came with 10, 17, and 12 yards to go.
20.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
28/42
274
1
1
2
-2
10
-12
NYG
Taylor played a part in the Giants' 16-3 halftime lead. On Buffalo's first six drives, Taylor went 2-of-9 for 10 yards, no first downs, and an interception.
21.
Cam Newton CAR
11/22
124
2
0
2
-4
-22
18
TB
22.
Matt Hasselbeck IND
30/47
282
1
0
3
-9
-9
0
JAC
Hasselbeck was hardly any better than his Jacksonville rival late in this game. In the fourth quarter and overtime, he went 12-of-17 for 113 yards, but only four first downs, with one sack.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Eli Manning NYG
20/35
212
3
1
1
-28
-28
0
BUF
On third downs, Manning went just 4-of-8 for 68 yards with a fumbled snap, an interception, and only one conversion. Of course, that conversion was a 51-yard touchdown to Rashad Jennings (a pass which was caught a yard behind the line of scrimmage).
24.
Peyton Manning DEN
17/27
213
1
2
2
-31
-31
0
MIN
Whatever problems Manning is having with arm strength, his struggles against Minnesota almost all came on short passes. On passes that traveled at least 5 yards downfield, he went 11-of-15 for 199 yards and 10 first downs, plus two DPIs for 14 and 5 yards, and one interception. Anything shorter than that though, he went just 6-of-12 for 14 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
25.
Derek Carr OAK
20/33
196
2
1
2
-35
-35
0
CHI
26.
Ryan Mallett HOU
12/27
150
0
1
0
-60
-60
0
ATL
Outside the Houston 40, Mallett went 2-of-9 for 12 yards with one first down and an interception. He did not throw a pass inside the red zone.
27.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
19/44
198
2
2
3
-61
-60
-1
NYJ
Tannehill was perfect on third downs against the Jets, and not in a good way. On third-and-fourth downs, he went 6-of-16 for 33 yards with no first downs (not a typo) and two interceptions. Many of those came in long-yardage situations, but Tannehill also failed to convert four plays with 7 yards or less to go.
28.
Colin Kaepernick SF
13/25
160
0
1
6
-68
-62
-6
GB
While his defense was fighting and scratching to shut down the mighty Green Bay offense, Kaepernick was doing almost nothing against the Packers' defense. In the fourth quarter, he had only one first down, a 47-yard bomb to Torrey Smith. Otherwise, he went 1-of-8 for 8 yards with an interception and three sacks.
29.
Michael Vick PIT
19/26
124
1
0
4
-78
-63
-15
BAL
Vick's 9-yard touchdown to Darrius Heyward-Bey put Pittsburgh up 20-7 in the third quarter. From that point forward, he went 6-of-11 for 33 yards with more sacks (three) than first downs (two). Vick's real problem, though was a total failure to convert short-yardage opportunities. He had four passes on third or fourth down with 4 yards or less to go for a first down and converted none of them, completing two passez for zero net yards. And that's not even counting his failed QB sweep on fourth-and-2 in overtime. He was also impotent throwing to the middle of the field, going 3-of-6 for 2 yards and no first downs.
30.
Jameis Winston TB
28/43
287
2
4
2
-130
-134
4
CAR
NFL quarterbacks threw 17 interceptions this week, and Winston was responsible for nearly a quarter of them, so of course he's low in the tables. He was also called for intentional grounding twice. Really, aside from that, his splits were unremarkable. (But aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?) He was really quite good in scoring range. In the red zone, he went 5-of-6 for 42 yards with two touchdowns, two other first downs, and one sack. And he finished the game on a high note, going 7-of-8 for 85 yards and four first downs (including a touchdown) down the stretch. Of course, that all came with Tampa Bay down by 20 points with two minutes and change to go in the game.
31.
Joe Flacco BAL
20/32
189
1
1
5
-139
-132
-7
PIT
In addition to his five sacks and interception, Flacco also fumbled two snaps. An alarmingly high number of those bad plays came with Baltimore on the verge of scoring range. In what we call the front zone, the 20-yard stretch just outside the red zone, Flacco went 3-of-5 for 24 yards with no first downs, an interception, and two bungled snaps. He was actually decent in the red zone (2-of-2 for 22 yards with a touchdown), but altogether no quarterback was worse this week inside the opponent's 40. He was also the NFL's worst second-quarter quarterback this week, going 3-of-5 for 22 yards with two first downs, two sacks, and interception, and an aborted snap.


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
Opp
1.
Jamaal Charles KC
11
75
0
6/6
70
0
69
34
35
CIN
Charles' rushing and receiving numbers were eerily similar. He had receptions produced four first downs, two of them third-down conversions, and he had catches of 12, 13, and 25 yards. He also picked up six first downs on the ground, including runs of 12, 13, and 24 yards, while getting stuffed for no gain just twice.
2.
Devonta Freeman ATL
14
68
3
5/6
81
0
55
29
26
HOU
Freeman's touchdowns aren't just goal-line plunges. His three scores against Houston went for 6, 16, and 23 yards. He only ran for one other first down on the day, while getting stuffed for no gain or a loss three times. He also had receptions for gains of 24 and 44 yards.
3.
C.J. Spiller NO
2
10
0
5/5
99
1
42
3
39
DAL
Obviously, Spiller's 80-yard game-winner was his biggest catch of the day, but he also picked up first downs on a pair of 9-yard gains. He only carried the ball twice, and he still managed to bust out a 10-yard run.
4.
Jeremy Hill CIN
9
40
3
0/0
0
0
40
40
0
KC
Hill had six carries with 8 yards or less to go for a first down, and converted all of them, including all three scores.
5.
Danny Woodhead SD
8
54
0
4/4
84
0
38
14
24
CLE
All of Woodhead's carries gained at least 2 yards, and he had first downs on runs of 11 and 19 yards. All four of his receptions came on second down; he had first downs on catches of 16 and 61 yards.


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
Opp
1.
Le'Veon Bell PIT
22
129
1
7/7
21
0
27
47
-20
BAL
Bell had an 11-yard touchdown run in addition to gains of 22, 21, and 11 yards, while getting stuffed only once.
2.
Chris Ivory NYJ
29
166
1
0/2
0
0
31
41
-9
MIA
Ivory had five gains of at least 11 yards against Miami, capped off by a 24-yarder. He finished with nine first downs on the ground, though he was stuffed five times.
3.
Justin Forsett BAL
27
150
0
0/1
0
0
34
40
-6
PIT
Forsett's seven first downs on the ground included gains of 11, 11, 12, 22, and 33 yards, but they don't include a 12-yard gain on second-and-13. He was stuffed for no gain or a loss six times.
4.
Jeremy Hill CIN
9
40
3
0/0
0
0
40
40
0
KC
5.
Jamaal Charles KC
11
75
0
6/6
70
0
69
34
35
CIN


Least valuable running back (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Latavius Murray OAK
16
40
0
3/5
12
0
-40
-30
-10
CHI
Murray's only first down on the ground was a 2-yard gain on second-and-1. His longest run was an 8-yard gain on third-and-24. His worst play was a botched pitch that went down as a 9-yard loss and a fumble. As a receiver, he had a pair of 11-yard catches to convert third-and-8 and third-and-9, but those were his only first downs on the day.


Least valuable running back (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Arian Foster HOU
8
13
0
3/5
25
0
-37
-31
-7
ATL
None of Foster's carries went for a first down. None were even successful. His longest run was a 5-yard gain on third-and-8. His shortest was a 4-yard loss on second-and-10. The latter resulted in a lost fumble, recovered for a score by Atlanta.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of the next table contained some major errors involving New Orleans receiving numbers. Those errors have been fixed.)

Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Tavon Austin STL
6
7
96
16.0
2
73
ARI
Austin had 56 DYAR as a receiver and 17 as a rusher for two carries: an 8-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 12-yard gain on second-and-10. Both of his touchdowns were third-down conversions, and he also had a 47-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 17-yard gain on second-and-14.
2.
Vincent Jackson TB
10
15
147
14.7
1
59
CAR
What a streaky game this was. First four targets: four completions, four first downs, 62 yards. Next six targets: one completion, 20 yards (on third-and-21), no first downs. Last five targets: five completions, 65 yards, four first downs, including a touchdown.
3.
Willie Snead NO
6
6
89
14.8
0
48
DAL
Each of Snead's receptions gained at least 11 yards. Five went for first downs; the other was an 11-yard gain on second-and-12.
4.
Leonard Hankerson ATL
6
8
103
17.2
1
47
HOU
Only one of Hankerson's catches failed to produce a first down. That was a 7-yard gain on third-and-10. The Falcons threw Hankerson seven passes on third down, and he converted five of them, including his touchdown and a 55-yard gain.
5.
Mike Wallace MIN
8
10
83
10.4
1
47
DEN


Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Greg Jennings MIA
3
7
15
5.0
0
-44
NYJ
None of Jennings' completions went for a first down. None was even a successful play. They were, in order, a 9-yard gain on third-and-10; a 2-yard gain on third-and-4; and a 4-yard gain on second-and-21.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 05 Oct 2015

91 comments, Last at 07 Oct 2015, 2:17pm by gomer_rs

Comments

1
by Kaelik :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:46am

"Rodgers was harrassed by Oakland's pass rush on third downs. In 10 third-down dropbacks, he had as many conversions (three) as sacks, completing 4-of-7 passes for 65 yards in the process."

I presume there wasn't a blockbuster trade in the second half of the Oakland/Bears game where Rodgers became a Bear, so I doubt Oakland's pass rush did anything to him. Presumably the other bay area team?

10
by NYMike :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:07am

Not having seen the game, I assumed it explained his meh performance, trying to avoid the rush of the 49ers and the Raiders.

41
by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:11pm

I kind of assume that the commissioner will pull a stunt like that one in Ender's Game, where a war game starts before Ender's team knows it's happening, or he plays against twice the amount of enemies, but I assumed it would be against Brady, not league darling Rodgers. Of course, the Raider's defense isn't that great, so no wonder they lost anyway.

2
by Duff Soviet Union :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 5:57am

It's kind of funny seeing Trent Green (although I do think he was pretty good) and Eddie Kennison making multiple appearances on a list of great triplets. Man, that offensive line was something else.

It's also kind of funny reading the worst list for different reasons. Eric Dickerson? Byron Letwich on the Falcons? Vinny Testaverde on the Panthers? Tom Tupa as a QB?

I tend to agree with Aaron and Tom that Freeman is just a guy. Yeah, he's better than the carcasses of Michael Turner and Stephen Jackson, but to me he's example 1,000,000,000 of how easy it is to find running back talent.

44
by BJR :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:36pm

Yes the worst list is amusing. Special shout out to the 2009 Raiders triplets - all top ten draft picks!

86
by Grendel13G :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:02pm

The KC guys are pretty surprising. I had a fun time trying to guess who was on the list, and thought about the early 2000s Chiefs teams but dismissed them, because their QB was good-not-great and I couldn't even remember who their top WRs were. That line was something else, indeed.

3
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 6:19am

Le'Veon Bell being stuffed just once in the game makes Pittsburgh's play calling in overtime even more head-scratching. Your running back is doing well on the ground, but then isn't in the backfield for a 4th and 1.

4
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:26am

What are the opponent adjustments for week 4 quick reads?

6
by Kaelik :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:39am

Don't those only kick in at week 5?

8
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:46am

I think you are right. but I'm not sure. I'm doing a Foles v Bradford comparison this season, otherwise known as the woodChipper (for what it might do to a certain coaching career), and I think this week's disparity will grow once opponent adjustments take place.

34
by Tim R :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:38am

To be fair Foles was pretty rank against Washington too.

5
by Led :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:30am

I'm surprised Tannehill's DYAR was not worse with the ofer on 3rd and 4th downs, 2 picks, a fumble, 3 sacks, and just over 4 YPA. How much credit does a QB get for PI or defensive holding calls?

7
by Duff Soviet Union :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:39am

A PI is treated as a completed pass for a first down, which is basically what it is. No credit for defensive holding or any other penalty.

9
by Gustavo :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:06am

The "Top Triplets" table has the 2001 values for STL for both 2001 and 1999.

11
by SandyRiver :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:12am

I'm neither a statistics professor nor a student, but I still wonder how Indy's harmonic mean can be lower than any of its three individual scores.

18
by nat :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:28am

By doing the math poorly, of course.

Maybe he forgot to multiply one of the DYARs by -1 before calculating the mean. It's hard to say. But the number sure looks wrong.

24
by ChrisS :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:56am

It should be -14

29
by RickD :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:23am

The other values in that table are also off.

The values in the first table are correct.

12
by eggwasp :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:32am

Did Latavius Murray's bad day include the Carr "interception" - which was essentially a handoff from Murray to the linebacker? If he'd used his hands to attempt the catch that is - a "chest-off" perhaps.

53
by TomC :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 1:44pm

That was as bad a game by a running back as I've ever seen. By the time he dropped the pitch, he was in full Knoblauch mode. He's a talented guy, and I hope he bounces back, but as a Bears fan I am grateful he chose that day to melt down.

13
by ammek :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:56am

I don't think Phil Rivers and Mike McCoy have gotten the credit they deserve for putting out such a productive offense despite a line made out of chop-and-change replacements and practise-squad nobodies. I'm not sure it's sustainable, and I wouldn't be surprised if the unit faded over the season as it did last year. But the success they are having is through scheme and/or Rivers' pre-snap diagnostics. He has no time to go through his reads.

Watching Aaron Rodgers get hurried and flushed out of the pocket behind a line that has above-average talent and exceptional stability, with one injured starter, made me appreciate what San Diego's offense is doing with none of that.

The Chargers' defense, though, was putrid. Josh McCown had all day to go through his progressions, and there were missed tackles galore.

14
by Danimal :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:04am

Patriots w/Tom Brady, 6 super bowl appearances, 4 wins... does not appear on the top triplets list.

17
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:21am

I think that makes sense (It is a Top "Triplets" and not a "top QB's list") and NE hasn't really had a single, dominant RB in any of their very best seasons. And when they had Corey DIllon they didn't have a single hugely productive WR or TE...

19
by aces4me :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:34am

Which starts to validate the narrative that he has never had the talent around him that Payton enjoyed.

20
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:41am

I don't know why you're comparing Tom Brady to either the head coach of the Saints, or a Running Back from the 80's.

22
by chemical burn :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:45am

Look, we can all agree that Tom Brady and Walter Payton have skillsets and virtues that just aren't comparable! Although, I will admit Sweetness having only one ring is a knock against him.

23
by Independent George :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:55am

Brady was a better kicker than Walter Payton.

51
by TomC :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 1:30pm

NOT TRUE!!!!

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/P/PaytWa00.htm

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

39 yard average for Sweetness, 34 for Mr. B√ľndchen.

(And I bet you thought you were just making an innocent joke. Uh-uh, buddy, you just started the Irrational Payton/Brady Punting Thread.)

69
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:56pm

Sorry, Brady was a much better punter than Sweetness.
He has had 2, one in 2003 that went 36 and stopped on MIAs 1 yard line, net 36 yards and one in 2013 that was fair caught on the 22 for a net of 32 yards. Both games the Pats won (shocking).
Payton's 39 yard punt probably cost the Bears the game in 1975 vs. MIA in a 46-13 loss - I'm saying that since there is no further documentation and it backs up my assertion that Brady was the better punter.

Actually it appears Brady is one of the best of all time.

27
by Arkaein :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:12am

Only if you completely ignore the contributions of secondary WRs, TEs, and RB committees, as well as focusing mainly on the earlier parts of their careers.

For example, Rodgers doesn't appear anywhere on this list either. Rodgers and Nelson were surely good enough in 2011, but Grant and Starks were splitting carries that year. Rodgers supporting cast that year was fantastic, top to bottom though.

I'm a little surprised that Rodgers-Lacy-Nelson didn't make the list for last year, but again, some of that is that fact that Cobb had nearly the same DYAR as Nelson. It's definitely not indicating that Rodgers had a poor supporting cast last year.

31
by aces4me :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:26am

I can always count on you folks to overlook a little spelling error! :P

83
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:27pm

I actually liked the direction your comment took the discussion. Way more than I would have if, say, some mormonic troll tried bringing up the meaningless brady manning debacle.

84
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 5:03pm

To be fair, my slightly dikish reply to his spelling error was more because I continue to be simply amazed by how many people still make the 'Peyton' vs 'Payton' mistake for ol' five-head.

Like, he's only one of the Top-5 (if not Top-1 - yes, I'm a Manning homer) QBs of all time with a relatively simple name.

35
by RickD :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:54am

Well, in 2007 Brady had 2674, Maroney had 201, and Moss had 564. HM = 421.
In 2004, Dillon had 319, but David Patten was the highest WR at 168, while Brady himself was down at 1345.

Both Brady and Moss were exceptionally high in 2007. Scanning other years I'm not seeing anything close to that.

62
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:31pm

If you allow Gronkowski in as a receiver... does that change things?

67
by SandyRiver :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:48pm

Doubt it would change a whole lot, based on the 2007 Pats numbers in #35. The RB leg of the triad would still kill the harmonic mean.

15
by PerlStalker :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:07am

The numbers for the Broncos triplets are a bit disingenuous since Norwood is, I think, the 5th receiver on the depth chart. To be honest with the numbers, you'd have to put Thomas or Sanders in the WR slot and then compare.

54
by dbostedo :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 1:46pm

They're not really disingenuous, since they stated they changed the definition of "triplets" compared to how most people use it. They're using it just to mean "DYAR leaders". Not most prominent starters, or anything like that.

What I'd like to see is a "worst triplets" list that picks the best DYAR from each team. What's the lowest of the highest, so to speak.

16
by ChicagoRaider :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:21am

How could you leave out the interception off Latavius Murray's chest? That wiped out any value from his catches. And that goes down as an INT for Carr, undeservedly.

21
by ChristopherS :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:45am

Shout out to Curt Warner, who I can't say I knew existed before this. Poor guy must have the exact same conversation at every single party.

30
by RickD :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:25am

Back in the day, "Kurt Warner" was the guy having that conversation. "Wait - aren't you a running back for the Seahawks? And aren't you black?"

42
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:23pm

Either I'm getting old or you must be young because Curt Warner was part of the best draft in history picked at #3 following John Elway and Eric Dickerson.

He led the AFC in rushing, made the Pro Bowl and had a few 1,000yd seasons. With Steve Largent at WE and Dave Krieg at QB perhaps they'd have been the triplets of the mid-80s!

46
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:45pm

By the time I started watching football, Curt Warner was on the downside of his career. I learned to appreciate him by watching NFL films, and by playing the original Techmo Bowl.

During the first couple weeks of the 1999 season, I was a bit confused by everyone talking about some guy named Kurt Warner.

47
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:48pm

Curt Warner was before my time. I was strictly a Mier/Blades/Kennedy child.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

25
by nat :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:09am

Harmonic mean seems a silly way to investigate this question. There's no rational justification for using it. It seems like an exercise in just pushing numbers around until you like what you see.

Harmonic mean is good for things like averaging rates over a series of distances. For example, if I drive 30 miles with my parking brake stuck on, 30 miles after releasing it, and 30 miles coasting down a very long slope with a stiff tailwind, a harmonic mean is a good way to get my effective mpg over the whole distance. I calculate the harmonic mean by converting (inverting) to gallons per mile, averaging that, and converting (inverting) back to miles per gallon. This works because I drove an equal distance for each leg of the trip, instead of using an equal amount of gas for each.

It's hard to see how that could apply here. Does it make sense to convert from DYAR (for a season) to Seasons Per DYAR? Not really. I don't use each player until they produce a certain amount of DYAR. They really do get the same number of seasons.

A better approach would be to somehow scale the DYAR for each position, and thus ask "which triplets were best compared to the average DYAR production at their respective positions?".

I'd suggest scaling and setting a baseline using the average of the best player on each team at that position. The resulting stat would be DYAR over Average or DYAROA, and would be expressed as a percentage.

28
by ChrisS :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:21am

So maybe just use the harmonic mean of the DVOA's, which are rate stats.

33
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:35am

This seems like a perfect opportunity for using standard deviations.

38
by nat :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:25am

Yup. You'd measure SDs over average. That would be great.

Of course, the whole thing is difficult. Because of the scale and baseline differences, there is no simply way to compare a TE to a WR to a RB using DYAR.

It's at times like this I miss the old DPAR and PAR (Points above Replacement). That at least attempted to get to a common scale (points) instead of having a different scale for each position (RB yards vs. WR yards vs. TE yards). At the time (of its introduction) I called YAR "Yards of Unusual Size" because of this problem.

You simply cannot use DYAR or YAR to add up or compare the production at different positions.

Now here's a good project: could Aaron and company come up with a factor for each position that converts YAR to Added Points on a uniform scale?

36
by RickD :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:02am

Harmonic mean rates (Brady, Maroney, Moss) relatively low compared to either arithmetic mean or geometric mean. With either of the other two means, (Brady, Maroney, Moss) > (Green, Holmes, Kennison), for example.

"A better approach would be to somehow scale the DYAR for each position, and thus ask "which triplets were best compared to the average DYAR production at their respective positions?".

Yes. We're comparing values that have very different means and SDs over the various positions.

39
by nat :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:32am

Geometric Mean makes even less sense, though, if that's possible.

Like, Man, what does QB DYAR times RB DYAR times WR DYAR even mean, much less its third root?

Let's just chalk this up to "very good concept, very bad math". Really, it's just Quick Reads. We shouldn't expect more than "good concept" in the opening analysis, should we?

52
by TomC :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 1:41pm

Yes, I hope Vince reads all these comments in the spirit of "here's how you can improve this good concept for next time."

My 2 cents: a weighted sum of the three numbers is just as easy to calculate and explain and would have much more connection to a real quantity (the total output of three guys). One choice for the weights would be to divide each player's DYAR by the mean of all guys at that position that year that played all 16 games. That would also correct for league-wide variations in production due to rule changes or general evolution of the game. You'd end up with a number that would be 3.0 for the league average, so if you divided that number by 3 and subtracted 1, you'd have a number that was easily interpretable as the fractional production above league average by these three guys. (You could multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage, 'cause we know everybody loves percentages.)

26
by HPaddict :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:10am

I'd pull my hair out only if I could somehow put all the hair exactly back in place. You know, almost as if no change was made...

32
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:26am

A number of errors noted above are now fixed. I've also added a note that opponent adjustments started this week.

40
by LyleNM :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:41am

Still a couple things to fix like Willie Snead...

Also, I will echo an above comment that the "worst" triplets lists are a bit off in construction. You should still be taking the best RB and WR on each team, not some schlubs that get occasional carries or dump-offs.

43
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:25pm

And Aaron Rodgers is still being harassed by Oakland in his little section of narrative :-)

45
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:42pm

Al Davis would have loved that tenacity!

49
by techvet :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 1:10pm

I was about to add the same. The Packers do play in Oakland later this year.

37
by MinisterCheevy :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:14am

Interesting idea, but comparing through four weeks with no opponent adjustments doesn't seem like a big enough sample. I know this is about 2015 and the column is designed to get out quickly, but I'd be interested in seeing a similar comparison made with the 2014 season-long stats. (As one change, GB might come out better using Nelson's stats from a healthy receiving corps instead of Cobb's from whatever it is they have now.)

More generally, thanks for getting Quick Reads out so quickly. I always look forward to it.

48
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 12:48pm

Looking at the "worst" list, I'm still mystified by the late 80s/early 90s Cardinals thinking it was a good idea to play a punter at quarterback.

50
by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 1:12pm

This is the problem with the worst list. Tupa wasn't really the QB in 1989. He started 2 games. Sure he was crappy but 2 games started. By the same token Earl Ferrell led the Cardinals in rushing attempts that year not Jordan. Novacek only started one game as well. Awalt was the primary TE.

55
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 1:48pm

Well the crazy thing is, the Cardinals decided to start Tupa from the beginning in 1991 (don't remember if it was because of injury, or if they just picked him), and he started 11 games!

61
by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:30pm

Timm Rosenbach injured his knee in training camp. Rosenbach had a pretty decent year in 1990 for a second year player. Injuries pretty much side tracked his career. Tupa became the starter by default. The Cards signed Stan Gelbaugh in September not that he would end up playing much better in his late season starts. Then they picked up Chris Chandler after he was released by the Bucs. He was just about as bad, but it was the end of "Tom Tupa, the Quarterback Experiment". Chandler rebounded the following year.

88
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:49pm

Tupa was the starting QB at Ohio State for a year, as well as punter, so it was hardly an experiment for the Cards to use him at QB.

56
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:01pm

SF are so crap Vince doesn't even give them credit for the third down pass rush against Green Bay, not that they deserve it.

(This week's performance by the D is closer to what I expected, it's usually better to cover receivers with defensive backs than 265 lbs OLBs. They basically switched back to a scheme very similar to the one they used in the past few years, it remains to be seen whether Mangini will carry on with this or switch back to his demented approach from the past few weeks. I'm not holding my breath.)

58
by big10freak :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:24pm

I thought the San Fran defense played quite well. The d-line gave GB's offensive line far more problems than the previous three opponents. In the other games it was Barclay giving up all the pressure. On Sunday each lineman had his bad moments which for Sitton especially is a rarity.

59
by zenbitz :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:25pm

I thought the robot that writes the comments just substituted "sad sack bay area NFL franchise" with Oakland.

57
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:15pm

Weird end to the Seattle-Detroit game.

1- Amazing play by Chancellor.

2- Why didn't Wright just grab the ball instead of batting it?

3- What is an illegal bat? Are there legal bats?

63
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:34pm

1)Yea, it really was. I can't even blame Megatron for fumbling, because Chancellor just timed it up so perfectly (just as Johnson was bringing the ball up to secure it).

2)He said he was worried he would drop it or it would get knocked out of his hands (dubious, as the nearest player, Theo Riddick, was several yards away)

3)I guess if it's unintentionally batted, it's legal, which is what the back judge thought it was (even if Wright admitted it was on purpose after the fact).

65
by deus01 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:44pm

They just need to change the fumble out of the end zone rules. If the ball goes out at the one inch line it wouldn't result in a change of possession. If it's not recovered the fumbling team should just keep possession at the spot of the fumble.

70
by Sakic :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:57pm

100% agree on that one...it's such a drastic game changing rule.

I've seen multiple plays with players leaping towards the pylon only to have the ball come loose literally inches from the pylon and then hitting the pylon and boom...touchback. I understand the importance of ball security but the ball going out of bound inches in one direction either way and the result is either the team retaining possession where the ball goes out or losing possession on the touchback? That's just crazy...

66
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:45pm

I hate rules that call on refs to make judgements about player intent.

68
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:52pm

Agreed. Unless your referee is Professor X, that seems impossible to do consistently in real time.

72
by ChrisS :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:02pm

Also agreed but I think giving the ball back to the Lions because of the illegal bat would not have been a "just" result. I hope he intentionally swallowed his whistle because the illegal act really had not resulted in an advantage to Seattle. But the league would never admit this if it was true, "All rules are enforced correctly at all times by the infallible referees." P.S. I am a Lions fan.

73
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:17pm

Yea, I'm also a Lions fan that agrees that the Seahawks played better and deserved to win.

I would have preferred that Wright just grabbed the ball and fell down, so we wouldn't have another officiating adventure added to the pantheon of bizarre calls/obscure rules that always seem to go against the Lions.

74
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:17pm

Unlike most people, I'm fine with a fumble through the end zone resulting in a touchback. There are enough rules that favor the offense it seems to me. I'd make batting legal and be done with it. I

76
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:51pm

If the fumble through the end zone rule didn't exist, we wouldn't have this memorable Super Bowl play

77
by deus01 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:55pm

The only reason I don't like that rule is because it causes an inconsistency in the rules on the goal line. If you want fumbling through the end zone to be a touch back then I think that fumbling out of bounds anywhere else on the field should be a turnover. If you're reaching for an extra yard then you'll have to take the chance that you could lose the ball.

89
by Insancipitory :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 4:45am

If you think about it in terms of kickoffs and punts, it makes a lot of sense. It's the offense giving up possession or at least the opportunity for possession to the defense. It's exactly like a kickoff without the kicking. It's a live ball. The only other difference is the offense doesn't get credit for the ball rolling forward if the player who fumbled doesn't recover in that situation, and with the kickoff it can't be advanced. It's one of the mystical properties of the goalline that conjures an orderly start at the 20 out of a disorganize melee of chaos that might otherwise devolve into rugby.

78
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:00pm

Legal batting seems like a bad idea to me, too many ways to abuse it.

79
by deus01 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:06pm

It could lead to some fun rugby style plays where a runner kicks the ball along the ground in an attempt to get past some defending players.

71
by LyleNM :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:01pm

Given that all Wright really had to was to sort of trundle the ball out of the end zone (since no Lions were particularly close), it would have had the same effect as it ended up having but without all of the handwringing from NFL officials and ESPN about how they got away with one. I think the actual official on the field interpreted the rule as a pass interference type rule (no PI if it can't be caught by either a human being or Odell Beckham) and since the ball was not really in imminent danger of being recovered by a Lion, he said no foul.

81
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:13pm

It would have been awfully sad had the Seahawks lost on a rule that none of the current or former players had heard of before. It's not like any of the Lion players were arguing with the refs saying "Did you see what he did!!" Though this is another example that penalties should be review-able, though that would have completely changed the playoffs last year.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

60
by Sakic :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:29pm

How high would the 2000 Rams triplets rate if you included Trent Green's starts? As I seem to recall he started a handful of game and the offense didn't miss a beat.

64
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 2:38pm

Russell Wilson should really get a DYAR bonus for being able to cobble together an offense with such a horrid offensive line. I mean, they weren't blocking anybody the whole game.

80
by gomer_rs :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:10pm

We may end up remember this period of RW's career like the middle years of Roethlisberger's career where his numbers weren't great but come on!! The line!
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

82
by Duff Soviet Union :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 4:20pm

Wilson's career really has followed Roethlisberger's quite neatly from the "highly efficient, low volume QB on a defense and rushing juggernaut" start and now the "who cares about the offensive line, he's good enough to play without one" middle. Hopefully for the Seahawks, they get the end of his career too.

85
by Led :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:17pm

This is an excellent point.

87
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:42pm

I think hiriring Mike Munchack really helps. Ranking 19th, 12th and then 2nd, 6th (so far this year) shows the value of a great line coach. Getting DeCastro healthy is a big plus too.

That Steeler line has really shaped up.

90
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 9:10am

Much like center is, in my view, the most underappreciated position on the field, offensive line coach is the most underappreciated guy on the coaching staff.

(edit) On the other hand, I think those guys are expected to work miracles, turning bad players into competent players, more than any other coach, which means they aren't so much underappreciated as they are given ridiculous job responsibilities.

91
by gomer_rs :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 2:17pm

Or if you're Tom Cable, you choose to play DTs, DEs, and TEs and start them the year or two years after converting them to the 0-line.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

75
by big10freak :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:39pm

In mild defense of Kaepernick the San Fran offensive line, like its GB counterpart, was manhandled by the Packer d-line. Raji and/or Daniels were routinely blowing up the middle of the line forcing the running back or quarterback to adjust within a beat of receiving the ball. Add in the tackles inability to protect the edge and there was little or no time to execute the original play call on most downs. The down linemen were caving in the protection leaving the qb to fend for himself with the outside linebackers cleaning up.

Julius Peppers only played 30 snaps as Capers saw no reason to expend the veteran's limited gas tank on a game where his front seven had complete control.