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» Seventh Day Adventure: Week 13

The biggest game this week is the Iron Bowl, where the playoff hopes of Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia hang in the balance.

02 Nov 2015

Week 8 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Last week in this space, we talked about Ryan Tannehill's big game against Houston, and why our advanced numbers said maybe it wasn't a big game after all. Here we are seven days later it's time to talk about an even bigger day, and this time the advanced numbers liked it just fine -- though not as much as we thought when we went to bed Sunday night.

As you have probably heard by now, Drew Brees just went off on the New York Giants, and by the end of Sunday he had completed 40 of 50 passes for 511 yards and seven touchdowns, with one interception and no sacks. We were all prepared to run the best DYAR games ever story, and then a funny thing happened: Literally as this essay was being finished Monday evening, the NFL announced that a play in the game which had originally been ruled a Willie Snead catch-and-fumble was instead being changed to a Brees interception. That ended up taking away one completion and 6 yards from Brees, which wouldn't have been a huge deal, but of course they added a pick, and that is a huge deal.

That leaves Brees with a final statline of 39-50-511-7-2. When we re-ran those numbers (which really did put us in a foul mood, believe you me), we found that Brees' DYAR had dropped by about 60. It is worth noting, though, that Brees missed putting another game into our top ten of all time because this pass turned into an interception (and a pick-six at that):

Such is, as Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann used to say on SportsCenter, the fickle middle finger of fate.

So no, this was not the best game of Brees' career, or even a particularly great game by DYAR standards. The raw totals, though, are still spectacular, and they can tell us a lot about both Drew Brees and the Giants' defense:

  • Brees' seven touchdowns tied an all-time single-game record, the eighth time a quarterback has thrown for seven scores in a game. Brees joins Y.A. Tittle as the only men to throw for 500 yards and seven touchdowns in the same game -- Tittle pulled it off in 1962.
  • Unofficially, Brees and Tittle are the only men to throw for seven scores without getting sacked. (Sacks were not tracked when Sid Luckman threw for seven scores in 1943, but given what we know about football from that era, it's more likely than not that he hit the turf at some point.) Tittle dropped back 39 times in his seven-TD, 0-sack game, 11 passes fewer than Brees against the Giants on Sunday.

  • It was the tenth time Brees has thrown at least five touchdowns in a game, most in the NFL in more than half a century.
  • Though passing records seem to be falling every week, seven touchdowns is still very impressive. That's as many touchdowns as five starting quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick, Teddy Bridgewater, and all the quarterbacks in Dallas) have thrown all season.
  • Official NFL play-by-play labels all passes as one of six directions: deep left, deep middle, deep right, short left, short middle, and short right. Brees threw touchdowns in five of those categories against the Giants, missing only the short right range. That is something of a fluke, actually. Brees has thrown five short right touchdowns this season -- only Carson Palmer has thrown more.
  • Brees threw one touchdown on first down, one on third down, and five on second down. Only ten other quarterbacks have thrown five second-down touchdowns all year.
  • Brees wasn't just throwing short goal-line scores. His seven touchdowns averaged 23.6 yards each, and five gained 20 yards or more. Only eight other quarterbacks have thrown at least five touchdowns of 20 or more yards this year. (One of them, surprisingly, is Tyrod Taylor, who has only started five games.)
  • Mind you, Brees did some fine work in the red zone too, with three touchdowns of 19 yards or less. Don't write that off as easy either -- that's as many as Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson have thrown all year.
  • Like all successful quarterbacks, Brees got some help from his receivers. On average, his touchdowns gained 14.0 yards in the air and 9.6 yards after the catch. Cooks had 22 YAC on his 26-yard score; Colston's 53-yard touchdown included 40 yards after the catch.
  • As you might have guessed, as great as this game looks for Brees and the Saints, it looks just as horrible for the Giants defense. New York gave up seven touchdowns on Sunday; that's as many or more as five defenses (Green Bay, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, and, pending Monday night, Carolina) have given up all year.
  • The long touchdowns must be especially bothersome for Giants fans. As mentioned, they surrendered four touchdowns of 20 or more yards to Brees and the Saints. That's more than 21 defenses in the NFL have surrendered all year. Denver hasn't given up a 20-plus-yard touchdown yet.

Before the scoring change, Brees' game came in at 306 DYAR. You can see where that game would have ranked in this piece, which we wrote after Week 8 of last year, when Ben Roethlisberger strafed the Colts for 526 yards and six touchdowns in Week 8. However, while we're on the subject of Mr. Roethlisberger, we need to revisit the Steelers' quarterback and that game against Indianapolis. Here's a sample of what we wrote at the time:

In the DVOA era (which goes back to 1989), Roethlisberger's game against the Colts was:

  • the best passing DYAR and total DYAR a quarterback has ever had in the regular season;
  • the second-best passing DYAR game a quarterback has ever had if we include the playoffs;
  • and the third-best total DYAR game a quarterback has ever had if we include the playoffs.

And none of that is set in stone. Opponent adjustments can and will change throughout the second half of the season, and depending on what the Colts do from this point forward, Roethlisberger's game could go up or down a few DYAR. Though the top spot in the "best ever game" chart is probably out of reach, it's quite possible that Roethlisberger could climb to second, or fall to fourth.

Well, guess what? The Colts' pass defense made a big improvement in the second half of 2014, moving from 8.7% through Week 9 to -9.8% from Week 10 onward. And that gave Roethlisberger's Week 8 game a huge boost, and by the end of the year it had passed the playoff performances of Brees and Kurt Warner and set the mark for most passing DYAR in any single game with 391. In total DYAR, Warner still edges Roethlisberger by an amazingly tiny margin (385.2 DYAR to 384.9) because Roethlisberger had -6 DYAR on his only carry of the game. That one run was quarterback keeper on third-and-2 that lost a yard with just over a minute to go and the Steelers up by 17 and happy to kill clock. When we were putting this together this afternoon, we went back and checked to make sure this was not a kneeldown, and it wasn't -- Roethlisberger was definitely trying to gain a first down and failed. And that meaningless garbage time stuff is all that stands between Roethlisberger and the all-time DYAR record. Between that stuff and Brees' perfectly thrown ball that turned into a turnover, we have been reminded that no stats are ever perfect.

Regardless, this single game caused a huge boost in Brees' season-long DYAR and DVOA numbers. He was 14th and 16th in those categories, respectively, after Week 7; now he is seventh and 11th. This game also torpedoed the Giants' defensive rankings. They fell from 12th overall and 14th against the pass to 25th and 28th. (Their run defense actually climbed a spot, from 12th to 11th. So there's that.) Though this was their worst game so far and probably the worst they'll play all year (and if not, we're gonna get some fun headlines), they haven't been very good this season. Their pass defense DVOA has only been below 0.0% twice this year, in Weeks 3 and 7. (Remember, negative DVOA means better pass defense.) The quarterbacks they played in those weeks: Kirk Cousins and Matt Cassel. It's quite doubtful that the Giants defense will improve in the second half of 2015, which means Brees' game is unlikely to climb any higher in the DYAR charts.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Drew Brees NO
39/50
505
7
2
0
248
252
-4
NYG
2.
Derek Carr OAK
23/36
333
4
0
0
207
207
0
NYJ
Carr completed 64 percent of his passes for 9.3 yards per pass, both the best marks against the Jets by any starter this season -- the latter by about 2.5 yards. And that's underselling how effective he was, because he shut down in garbage time, going 2-of-9 for 18 yards and no first downs in the fourth quarter. The Raiders were ahead by at least two touchdowns for that entire period.
3.
Carson Palmer ARI
23/37
374
4
1
1
187
183
3
CLE
Palmer only threw three passes up the middle against the Cleveland defense, completing two for 26 yards. He was not especially efficient when throwing to his right (11-of-21 for 136 yards, only six first downs), but deadly throwing to his left (10-of-13 for 212 yards and nine first downs, though he did throw an interception to that side).
4.
Tom Brady NE
26/38
356
4
0
2
167
163
3
MIA
5.
Peyton Manning DEN
21/29
340
0
1
0
155
155
0
GB
Manning was perfect throwing to his tight ends against Green Bay. On passes to Owen Daniels and Virgil Green, he went 6-of-6 for 105 yards, with every completion gaining 10 to 32 yards and a first down. So of course the next day the Broncos traded for Vernon Davis.
6.
Eli Manning NYG
30/41
350
6
0
3
143
143
0
NO
It says a lot about the New Orleans defense that Eli threw six touchdowns without a pick and didn't even make the top five quarterbacks this week. He took the biggest hit from opponent adjustments in Week 8. Unlike his counterpart on Sunday, Manning's touchdowns mostly came from short distances. He did have one 50-yard bomb to Odell Beckham, but his other five scores all came in the red zone. Inside the Saints' 20, he went 7-of-9 for 48 yards, with the four touchdowns.
7.
Philip Rivers SD
28/36
301
3
0
1
110
110
0
BAL
The Chargers' screen game wasn't working very well against Baltimore. On passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, Rivers went 10-of-11, but only gained 29 yards and one first down. On all other passes, he went 18-of-25 for 272 yards with 14 first dwons, plus two DPIs for 16 more yards and two more first downs.
8.
Jameis Winston TB
16/29
177
1
0
2
97
76
21
ATL
Winston's two runs: a 21-yard gain on second-and-8 and a touchdown on third-and-goal from the 4.
9.
Matt Ryan ATL
37/45
397
2
1
1
95
90
5
TB
10.
Geno Smith NYJ
27/42
265
2
1
3
82
67
15
OAK
Geno's two runs: a 5-yard gain on first-and-10, and a 29-yard gain on second-and-10.
11.
Brian Hoyer HOU
24/35
235
2
0
3
68
68
0
TEN
12.
Joe Flacco BAL
25/37
319
1
0
3
51
46
5
SD
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Jay Cutler CHI
22/33
211
1
0
1
50
37
13
MIN
Cutler's two runs: a 7-yard gain on second-and-6, and a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 4.
14.
Alex Smith KC
18/26
145
2
0
3
41
1
40
DET
Man, there were a lot of quarterbacks with big days running the ball this week. Smith's four carries each gained at least eight yards and a first down, including a 49-yard gain in the second quarter, a 12-yard touchdown on third-and-10, and a 10-yard gain on third-and-7.
15.
Nick Foles STL
14/23
195
1
0
0
23
23
0
SF
Foles only threw for five first downs all day. He threw eight passes on third down. The first seven were all incomplete. The last was a 66-yard touchdown to Tavon Austin, which was caught 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage with Austin doing the rest.
16.
Josh McCown CLE
18/34
211
3
1
1
18
19
-1
ARI
17.
Russell Wilson SEA
19/30
210
1
1
0
16
8
8
DAL
In the first three quarters, Wilson was 1-of-6 for 16 yards on third down. Well, at least that one completion was for a first down. In the fourth quarter he went 3-of-3 on third downs for 23 yards with two conversions. He also had two third-down runs in the fourth quarter, one a 10-yard gain on third-and-7, the other a 5-yard gain on third-and-11 to set up the winning field goal. All five of his runs came in the second half, four of them in the fourth quarter.
18.
Matt Cassel DAL
13/25
97
0
0
1
-11
-37
26
SEA
What is up with the running quarterbacks this week? Cassel had 43 yards on the ground against Seattle, his highest single-game total since he played for New England against the Jets in 2008. His three carries: a 24-yard gain on first-and-10, a 12-yard gain on third-and-6, and an 8-yard gain on second-and-7. So that's three first downs on the ground, which is good. But he only had four first downs in the air, which is bad, and only one of those came in the first half. That's partly because he didn't even try any midrange passes. He had three attempts that traveled at least 26 yards downfield (all incomplete), but didn't try anything else deeper than 7 yards past the line of scrimmage.
19.
Cam Newton CAR
16/35
248
2
1
2
-14
7
-22
IND
In a week when a lot of quarterbacks had big days running the ball, it was Newton, of all people, who had the least luck. He gained 39 yards and two first downs on ten carries, but three times he was hit for no gain or a loss. Two of those came on second down with 2 yards or less to go, and one of those resulted in a fumble.
20.
Aaron Rodgers GB
14/22
77
0
0
3
-18
-32
14
DEN
You want to know how good Denver's defense is this year? Rodgers gets the biggest bump from opponent adjustments this week, and he only had 25 dropbacks. Rodgers himself will tell you how good that defense is, because they dominated him like we've almost never seen before. He threw only one pass on Denver's side of the field, a 4-yard gain on third-and-14. He did not pick up a first down outside the Green Bay 40. Oh, but hey, he could still run, with first downs on carries of 14 and 17 yards.
21.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
28/45
262
1
3
3
-19
-19
0
CIN
22.
Colin Kaepernick SF
20/41
162
0
0
3
-36
-43
7
STL
The 49ers passer struggled to keep drives alive. On third and fourth downs, he went 5-of-15 for 35 yards and only two first downs. That includes five failures with 4 yards or less to go for a first down. He did run for a 9-yard gain on third-and-6, but his other four runs gained a total of 20 yards with no first downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Andy Dalton CIN
23/38
231
1
2
3
-41
-37
-3
PIT
The Bengals won a squeaker, but this game never would have been close if Dalton had played better in scoring range. Inside the Pittsburgh 40, he went 3-of-10 for 24 yards with only one first down (a 9-yard touchdown to A.J. Green) with an interception and two sacks.
24.
Andrew Luck IND
23/45
231
2
3
2
-42
-49
7
CAR
More than half of Luck's dropbacks, and nearly all his first downs, came in the fourth quarter. In the first three quarters, he went 5-of-13 for 34 yards with two first downs, one interception, and one sack. In overtime, he went 1-of-3 for 6 yards with no first downs and an interception. In the fourth, he went 17-of-29 for 178 yards with one sack and 12 first downs. And you can add Luck to the list of quarterbacks with big running days. Lucks' first four carries were all 6-yard gains on first- or second-and-10; his fifth was an 11-yard gain on second-and-4. All told, quarterbacks this week had a 34.0 DVOA on rushing plays, and averaged 7.5 yards per carry, both the highest marks of any week this season.
25.
Teddy Bridgewater MIN
17/30
187
1
1
1
-44
-51
7
CHI
Bridgewater didn't throw a single pass in the red zone, partly because he stunk so bad just outside that area. Between Chicago's 40- and 20-yard lines, Bridgewater went 1-of-4, and that one completion was a 2-yard loss on third-and-13.
26.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
28/44
300
0
2
5
-69
-64
-5
NE
It was a pretty terrible day for the Miami quarterback on third downs. On third and fourth downs, he went 5-of-9 for 33 yards and only two conversions, with two sacks and a fumbled snap. Two of those conversions came with the Dolphins down by 15 points or more in the second half. he also had a lot of trouble finishing drives. On New England's half of the field, he went 3-of-8 for 40 yards with as many first downs (two) as sacks.
27.
Matthew Stafford DET
22/36
217
1
2
6
-138
-136
-2
KC
Stafford was actually very good on midrange and deep passes. On throws that traveled 10 or more yards downfield, he went 8-of-13 for 135 yards, with every completion going for a first down. Anything shorter than that was pretty much a disaster though; he went 14-of-23 for 82 yards with four first downs and two picks. Oh, and he was sacked six times. That's bad.
28.
Zach Mettenberger TEN
22/31
171
0
1
7
-148
-148
0
HOU
Mettenberger's first third-down pass attempt was a 6-yard gain to Delanie Walker on third-and-1. That was his only third- or fourth-down conversion all day. All told, on the money downs, he went 4-of-10 for 30 yards with an interception and two sacks. He was very good when throwing to his right (8-of-10 for 65 yards, with six first downs), but struggled badly up the middle (7-of-11 for 72 yards, but only two first downs) and to his left (7-of-10 for 34 yards, one first down, one interception). And of course, with seven sacks and a fumble, he often had no chance to throw in any direction at all.


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.
Latavius Murray OAK
20
113
0
1/2
6
0
50
53
-3
NYJ
Murray ran for seven first downs against the Jets, including gains of 12, 12, 25, and 26 yards. That made up for the fact he was stuffed for no gain or a loss five times.
2.
Dion Lewis NE
5
19
0
6/9
93
1
47
-4
51
MIA
Lewis packed a lot of good (two runs of 10 or more yards) and bad (two runs for a loss) in his five carries. All six of his receptions gained at least 11 yards and a first down, including conversions on third-and-7 and third-and-16.
3.
Mark Ingram NO
16
80
0
4/5
39
0
40
22
17
NYG
Ingram ran for seven first downs against the Giants, including three runs of 10 yards or more, while being hit for no gain or a loss just three times. Three of his four receptions resulted in furst downs too.
4.
C.J. Anderson DEN
14
101
1
1/1
5
0
25
29
-4
GB
Anderson came into the week next-to-last in rushing DYAR, but his game against Green Bay showed that he is not done yet. Eight of his 14 carries against the Packers gained 5 yards or more, and three of those gained 18 or more, while only three of his carries lost yardage.
5.
Rashad Jennings NYG
10
54
0
2/3
31
0
24
13
12
NO
All ten of Jennings' carries came on first down, and all of them gained at least 1 yard, including gains of 12 and 17. His best reception was a 25-yard gain on second-and-10.


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.
Latavius Murray OAK
20
113
0
1/2
6
0
50
53
-3
NYJ
2.
C.J. Anderson DEN
14
101
1
1/1
5
0
25
29
-4
GB
3.
Mark Ingram NO
16
80
0
4/5
39
0
40
22
17
NYG
4.
Adrian Peterson MIN
20
103
0
2/2
6
0
17
19
-2
CHI
A week after he was rarely able to get past the line of scrimmage, Peterson was hit for no gain or a loss just twice against Chicago, while running for six first downs, including three gains of 10 yards or more.
5.
Joique Bell DET
7
56
0
0/1
0
0
8
16
-7
KC
Bell had gains of 32 and 12 yards, and was hit for no gain just once.


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.
Chris Johnson ARI
30
107
0
0/1
0
0
-62
-53
-9
CLE
In all those carries, Johnson only gained four first downs. Meanwhile, his longest run was only 13 yards, he was stuffed for no gain or a loss four times, and he fumbled twice.


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.
Chris Johnson ARI
30
107
0
0/1
0
0
-62
-53
-9
CLE


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Odell Beckham NYG
8
9
130
16.2
3
80
NO
Six of Beckham's receptions went for first downs, including touchdowns of 1, 2, and 50 yards. His other two catches were gains of 8 and 9 on first-and-10.
2.
Demaryius Thomas DEN
8
11
168
21.0
0
71
GB
Six of Thomas' receptions gained at least 14 yards and a first down. THe others were a 6-yard gain on second-and-7 and a 9-yard gain on first-and-10.
3.
Benjamin Watson NO
9
10
147
16.3
1
50
NYG
Seven of Watson's receptions led to first downs, including conversions on all four of his third-down targets and gains of 20, 25, and 46 yards.
4.
Julian Edelman NE
7
9
81
11.6
2
45
MIA
As usual, Edelman had a bunch of effective short completions. Though none gained more than 20 yards, two went for touchdowns, two others went for first downs, and all qualified as successful plays.
5.
Marques Colston NO
8
9
114
14.2
1
42
NYG
Colston's day was much like Edelman's. Seven of his catches gained 12 yards or less, but four of those were first downs, and six were successful plays. Colston did tack on a 50-yard touchdown though.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Mike Wallace MIN
0
4
0
0.0
0
-34
CHI
Wallace's bad day included failures to convert on second-and-4 and third-and-5.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 02 Nov 2015

43 comments, Last at 05 Nov 2015, 12:29am by Grendel13G

Comments

1
by Jerry :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 6:15am

Proofreading: "We were all prepare to run the best DYAR games ever"
"New York gave up as many touchdowns on Sunday; that's as many or more as five defenses"

None of this takes away from a nice analysis of Brees' day.

2
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 8:47am

How do you know they weren't prepare?

8
by Independent George :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:01am

All their base are belong to us.

3
by Kyndynos :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:19am

Andy Dalton is the best quarterback in football by DVOA and QBR. This counts as a sign of the apocalypse, right?

5
by PirateFreedom :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:11am

I'm crossing my fingers and counting on it being a small sample size effect.
Fallout 4 comes out in a week, this is not a good time for the end of the real world.

34
by Sakic :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:39pm

Seconded!

4
by Sakic :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:47am

All the more reason that the NFL needs to change the rules on what counts as an interception or more specifically why an interception shouldn't always be the QB's fault. Yes, this would open up a giant can of worms but this has been one of my pet peeves for years as I hate seeing passes bounce off a receivers hands and turn into interceptions. The QB put the ball where he was supposed to...and it's his fault?

Although, I guess it's no different when the insurance company raises your rates due to you getting rear ended on the freeway...because you were there obviously it's partially your fault. /sarcasm

6
by dbostedo :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:24am

I kind of like that it's not much of a judgement call right now, but it isn't fair.

They could make it more of a judgement call and score it like they do with sacks or tackles. Someone is already deciding on those plays whether someone gets a half-sack, for instance. I'd think they could have someone mark each interception for whether it was on the QB or the receiver.

Of course, you'd need to differentiate them somehow, like "QB-INT" and "R-INT" or something, but it could actually lead to some interesting stats breakdowns.

11
by jtr :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:34am

It's fine for the NFL to track stats just based on outcome, but FO can do better. Doesn't somebody (I want to say Cian) already track adjusted interceptions? Count an INT against the QB any time a defender gets two hands on it, whether he catches it or not, and don't count an INT any time the QB hits his receiver on the hands; wouldn't DVOA and DYAR be much more useful stats using those adjusted INTs instead of the real ones?

16
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:49pm

TDs and completions occur when defensive backs tip balls we'd have to reclassify those ... heck I've seen QBs catch their own passes when it gets batted back in their face by a defensive lineman.

While it probably doesn't quite even out over a career, I'm sure it's not that desperately inaccurate.

17
by Dave Bernreuther :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:54pm

This is only a problem if you're seeking the perfect statistic, though, which can't really be done. Stuff like the "did he do his job well on this play" is accounted for by the rankings like PFF, but even those have their own separate flaws.

Those of us with eyes know how well he played, regardless of what a stat says... just like any other game.

(That said, I think it's kind of ridiculous that they decided to call that a pick instead of a fumble. But we've already demonstrated long ago that nobody has any goddamn idea what a catch is these days...)

What's most interesting to me about that games is that Brees actually missed a wide open deep ball early on before rattling off all the consecutive completions, and that the Giants didn't get any pressure or hits on him even in all those dropbacks. It really is a shame that he didn't get to break the records (and that such a fun game ended on such a stupid play in general, records or not).

But if we're talking about eyes vs stats, I'd like to point out that two of Eli's touchdowns were on completely awful decisions to heave the ball mostly blindly into coverage and he ended up bailed out by bad coverage. I hate when people get rewarded for that. Though in the end, I guess it's hard to say he got rewarded, when he ended up taking the loss in a game where he threw six touchdowns...

24
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 1:43pm

Yeah, at a minimum I think FO and any advanced statistics sites need to look at every interception and make a subjective judgment regarding whether or not it was the QB's fault. Whether it should have been a catch and fumble or should have been an INT, either way that Snead turnover was on him and not on Brees.

33
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:30pm

We do this. We just can't do this immediately after every game because we don't have the manpower. FO is a much, much smaller company than its competitors.

39
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 6:43pm

Oh. I thought that DYAR/DVOA treated every interception the same regardless of whether it "should" count against the QB. If not, that's great.

Regardless, I realize my earlier comment might have come off like a complaint. I didn't intend it that way; I just meant that philosophically it makes sense to me to determine whether or not an INT was the QB's fault or if he made a good throw that the receiver bobbled and ended up in the opponent's hands.

27
by D :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 2:13pm

I don't know about changing the rules on an int, but I think this all goes back to the fact that 109 years after the advent of the forward pass the NFL still can't decide what exactly constitutes a "catch".

7
by Dominuse :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:51am

The total DYAR for Brees + Manning has to be one of the highest ever for two QBs in the same game.

10
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:20am

The 2009 NFC WIld Card Game blows this one away. Warner was 385 DYAR, and Rodgers was 193.

12
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:37am

Also 2013 week 5 Broncos-Cowboys game has to be up there.

19
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:58pm

Manning: 280
Romo: 223

That was at the time, opponent adjustments would change those a bit.

9
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:06am

Bridgewater's day was actually worse than this ranking, relative to his previous weeks', because this was a game where the opposing defense was not selling out competely to contain Peterson, which is, of course, why Peterson returned to the ranks of the most productive runners, not being hit behind the line of scrimmage constantly. Bridgewater missed Wallace deep a coupe of times, and then Wallace dropped some as well. I'd guess I'd say Wallace was worse than Bridgewater, simply because it is easier to to catch a decently thrown pass than it is to throw an accurate deep pass. As usual this year, I'll be interested to see Bridgewater's QBR rank, because while I don't think Bridgewater has been as bad as his DVOA/DYAR ranks, given the o-line awfulness and poor receiving (until Diggs started getting on the field) I think this descrepancy does more to illuminate how QBR is a very poor metric. Is it even any improvement over the old timey passer rating?

19
by lokiwi :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:58pm

Wouldn't not selling out to contain Peterson imply that they were more focused on stopping the pass, and thus Bridgewater's stats should look better relative to previous weeks? I'm not disagreeing that he was terrible outside of the last 5 minutes, but your logic doesn't make sense.

25
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 2:06pm

Yeah, as soon as I posted that, I realized I had written the opposite of what I meant. Bridgewater's low rank this week is better than previous low ranks, given the opposition defense was doing more to stop the pass. It's all so hard to judge, given the terrible o-line play, and they have really only played one good defense. That all changes from here on out, with 7 of their last 9 games against above average defenses (well, maybe 6, after the Giants performance against the Saints gets factored), and 5 of their last 9 against top 8 defenses.

I think Bridgewater is at a high risk of injury this Sunday against the Rams, although being at home certainly helps. I think Teddy should really come down with the flu, however, when they travel to Arizona for a Thursday night game. That has "concussion protocol" written all over it.

21
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:59pm

I always liked pfr's ANY/A as being a more simple and yet better replacement for QB rating. Of course that has Bridgewater at 27th, even lower than his DVOA.

13
by Xexyz :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:35pm

The thing that has me most concerned about Bridgewater is that he seems to be regressing in terms of pocket movement. When he was a rookie I seemed to recall him being much better at moving within the pocket to avoid pressure, and also that this was one of his strengths as a QB (coming out of college). On Sunday I can remember at least two instances where he had a single rusher about to break free from his blocker and instead of stepping up or shifting he did that thing you see quarterbacks do where he turns and scrambles out toward the sidelines. My fear is that the relentless pressure he's been under for most of the year is starting to give him bad habits.

36
by Moridin :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 4:08pm

Yeah, my 2nd biggest fear for Bridgewater, after him flaming out (hey, we had Tarvaris & Ponder before him), is that he gets David Carr disease after the Vikings put this crapbasket of a line in front of him (to be fair, the two missing starters would've been better, but injuries happen. our backups aren't very good).

28
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 2:35pm

It is simply inexcusable (ok, maybe a little; nobody plans on having two veteran starters lose their entire seasons to injury during August) that management has been trying to break in a young qb for five straight years, and the protection is this bad.

14
by Waverly :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:48pm

Wait -- so did Brees actually throw 8 TDs, if you include one for the other team?

15
by lokiwi :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:49pm

-32 passing DYAR seems.... high for Rodgers' stats. Was the opponent adjustment that big or were those 77 yards particularly effective?

22
by Tracy :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 1:27pm

Well, the comment under Rodgers did say he had the biggest DYAR bump of any QB this week, and a quick scan of the tables says that Rodgers had the fewest number of attempts, only Nick Foles had fewer attempts plus sacks, and the median number of dropbacks was around 38. So, yeah, 77 passing yards is a terrible day, but not as terrible as if it took him a more typical number of attempts to get there. Also, I think this was the first week DEN didn't record an interception, and he was only sacked 3 times..So at least he had that going for him.

23
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 1:28pm

Well, he was only sacked twice and didn't throw any interceptions.

18
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:54pm

I believe Jay Cutler is quietly having his best season as a Bear. DVOA about the same as 2013 but with worse teammates (and better VOA).

26
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 2:10pm

John Fox is a really good coach, all criticism of his in-game management aside. The guy who was coaching a roster that made Jake Delhomme a productive player was a good choice for Jay Cutler.

(edit) Also causes me to wonder how Stafford would benefit if Fox was in Detroit.

30
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 2:53pm

How much time does Fox really spend mentoring QBs, though? Maybe he's just got a good sense of OCs.

31
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:10pm

This is a difference without a distinction.

35
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:52pm

What Fox does is manage the people below him on the organizational chart, roster and coaching staff alike, extremely competently, and thus he gets what can be obtained from the talent available to him. This is no small thing.

29
by xMRNUTTYx :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 2:39pm

I've been pleasantly surprised at how this team has played overall for Fox and Co.

But I was really expecting Cutler's DYAR to be shit this week given... wait... hold on... yeah. Ok. While typing this, Gase called another bubble screen that didn't work.

BURN THAT PLAY, NFL. BURN IT.

32
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 3:11pm

Gase is getting some of Cutler's best production and Cutler is facing some of the shortest 3rd downs in the league http://www.footballoutsiders.com/alex/2015/alex-week-8

I think what he's doing is working pretty well.

37
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 5:03pm

Proofreading: "We were all prepare to run the best DYAR games ever"
"New York gave up as many touchdowns on Sunday; that's as many or more as five defenses"

Fixed. Thanks.

Wait -- so did Brees actually throw 8 TDs, if you include one for the other team?

Why yes he did. When I open the spreadsheet for each player's day, almost everything is just black text in a white square, except touchdowns, which get "TD" in bold blue text in one column, including defensive scores. And when I set the filters to Brees' plays, man, that was a LOT of bold blue text.

-32 passing DYAR seems.... high for Rodgers' stats. Was the opponent adjustment that big or were those 77 yards particularly effective?

... I literally answered this exact question in the comment below Rodgers' numbers. I'll repeat the comment here:

"You want to know how good Denver's defense is this year? Rodgers gets the biggest bump from opponent adjustments this week, and he only had 25 dropbacks. Rodgers himself will tell you how good that defense is, because they dominated him like we've almost never seen before. He threw only one pass on Denver's side of the field, a 4-yard gain on third-and-14. He did not pick up a first down outside the Green Bay 40. Oh, but hey, he could still run, with first downs on carries of 14 and 17 yards."

Also remember that DYAR is a counting stat, and Rodgers only had 25 dropbacks. So he didn't get the opportunity to add more negative DYAR plays.

38
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 5:06pm

Also, if you missed it in Any Given Sunday, Denver's defense right now is the best in more than a decade through the first half of the year:

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/any-given-sunday/2015/any-given-sunday-...

41
by SageofDiscord :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:33pm

How on earth does Rodgers come out of that game with a better QBR than Brady had against the Dolphins, with his 9.4 Y/A and four TDs? Their third-down conversion rates are the same, and Rodgers actually took more sacks.

40
by Eleutheria :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 10:39am

Does 58 DYAR for a pick seems high to anyone else?

42
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 4:56pm

In this case, it's not just the pick itself, but both the pick AND the lost value of the completed pass that it turned out Brees didn't complete.

The average interception this year has been worth -48 DYAR, but there's a lot of variation there. We hit both extremes this week. Greg Hardy's interception of Russell Wilson this week turned a second-and-6 for Seattle into a first down with great field position for Dallas, and was worth -73 DYAR for the QB. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton's pass on third-and-25 from the Cincinnati 9 traveled 60 yards in the air, got tipped, and then intercepted 64 yards past the line of scrimmage. After the return, and a penalty on that return, the Steelers got the ball at their own 28. In essence, Dalton's interception turned a lost cause into a 63-yard punt. And that is why that particular interception was worth 1 DYAR -- not -1 DYAR. 1 DYAR. The very, very rare interception with positive value.

43
by Grendel13G :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:29am

Yeah, that truly was an arm punt. And a really good punt, at that!