Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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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.

27 Sep 2016

Week 3 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

One of the perks of this job is getting easy access to the NFL's gamebooks, the 16-page files that include all raw statistical data for a game in one location. These gamebooks include the play-by-play data that is the bedrock of our DVOA and DYAR stats, but even if you're not inputting that data into a spreadsheet and running thousands of calculations, it can tell you a lot about what happened in an NFL game. Take this line, for example, from the first quarter of Sunday's game between the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs:

3-9-NYJ 22 (2:30) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short right intended for J.Marshall INTERCEPTED by M.Peters at NYJ 35. M.Peters to NYJ 35 for no gain (J.Marshall).

This tells us that the Jets had a third-and-9 at their own 22-yard line with 2:30 left in the quarter. The Jets lined up in the shotgun, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a pass to the short right area of the field. ("Short" here is defined as any pass thrown to a receiver within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.) Fitzpatrick was targeting Jalin Marshall, an undrafted rookie out of Ohio State, but unfortunately the two failed to connect and the pass was intercepted by Marcus Peters, the NFL's reigning defensive rookie of the year. Peters pulled the ball in at the 35, and was immediately tackled by Marshall for no gain.

Of course, there's a lot of information we don't have here -- we don't know whether Fitzpatrick had a clean pocket on this play, or if he was under heavy pressure. We don't know if Marshall was wide open, or if Peters had him blanketed. And we don't know why the Jets failed to complete this pass. Did Fitzpatrick overthrow him? Did he hit Marshall in the hands, only for the ball to bounce away to Peters? That's the kind of thing that can only be learned through detailed tape study.

Here's another example, this time from the third quarter of that same game:

2-5-KC 5 (1:37) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short middle intended for B.Powell INTERCEPTED by E.Berry (D.Johnson) at KC -8. Touchback.

This time Fitzpatrick had a second-and-goal at the 5, with 1:37 to go in the period. Again he lined up in shotgun, but this time tried to hit Bilal Powell. The pass was defensed by Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson (that's why his name is in parentheses at the end there), and then intercepted by safety Eric Berry, who was downed for a touchback 8 yards deep in the end zone.

You've probably got the hang of this now, so here's a list of four more plays from the fourth quarter of that game:

2-6-KC 6 (8:25) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short middle intended for Q.Enunwa INTERCEPTED by M.Peters (S.Nelson) [J.Howard] at KC -4. Touchback.

4-10-KC 40 (4:43) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass deep right intended for B.Marshall INTERCEPTED by D.Sorensen at KC 22. D.Sorensen ran ob at KC 22 for no gain.

2-2-NYJ 49 (3:44) (No Huddle, Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass short right intended for M.Forte INTERCEPTED by D.Johnson at KC 45. D.Johnson for 55 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2-7-KC 17 (2:00) (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass deep left intended for B.Marshall INTERCEPTED by D.White at KC -2. Touchback

There's no need to break these down one at a time to show what we can learn here. You know what we can learn here. We can learn that Ryan Fitzpatrick had an unbelievably terrible day against the Chiefs -- quite likely the worst we have ever measured. We can't say for sure, because it's too early to know just how good this Chiefs defense is, and league-wide baselines will change throughout the season. But for now, Fitzpatrick's game scores at minus-324 DYAR, significantly worse than anything else on the record, and only the second to sink below minus-300 DYAR:


Worst Single-Game DYAR, Quarterbacks, 1989-2016
Year Player Tm Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Comp Att Yds TD Int Sacks Runs Yds Wk DEF
2016 Ryan Fitzpatrick* NYJ -324 -317 -7 20 44 188 0 6 0 3 13 3 KC
1994 David Klingler CIN -302 -302 0 10 30 115 0 3 7 0 0 4 HOIL
2006 Rex Grossman CHI -284 -284 0 14 37 144 0 4 2 0 0 6 ARI
2012 Brandon Weeden CLE -274 -284 10 12 35 118 0 4 2 1 25 1 PHI
2005 Alex Smith SF -270 -263 -7 9 23 74 0 4 5 2 3 5 IND
2003 Tim Hasselbeck WAS -270 -268 -2 6 26 56 0 4 1 1 2 15 DAL
1990 Troy Aikman DAL -269 -259 -11 9 25 61 0 2 4 3 6 6 PHX
1998 Donald Hollas OAK -266 -273 7 12 31 152 1 6 8 3 15 14 MIA
2001 Brian Griese DEN -265 -272 7 16 32 151 1 4 5 2 13 17 IND
2003 Kordell Stewart CHI -263 -256 -7 14 34 95 1 3 5 6 21 1 SF
1993 Craig Erickson TB -259 -257 -3 13 29 122 0 4 3 1 2 6 MIN
1998 Ryan Leaf SD -259 -256 -3 1 15 4 0 2 2 1 1 3 KC
1989 Vinny Testaverde TB -256 -256 0 19 39 188 0 5 4 0 0 13 GB
1998 Bobby Hoying PHI -255 -248 -7 16 34 118 0 2 5 2 6 11 WAS
1992 Kelly Stouffer SEA -254 -254 0 12 21 109 0 2 5 0 0 13 DEN
1990 Vinny Testaverde TB -250 -260 11 10 24 149 1 5 3 3 27 9 CHI
2002 David Carr HOU -247 -258 11 6 25 87 0 2 9 3 27 2 SD
1999 Drew Bledsoe NE -247 -247 0 16 34 201 1 5 4 0 0 11 MIA
2007 John Beck MIA -246 -250 4 23 39 177 0 3 3 2 4 13 NYJ
2010 Todd Collins CHI -244 -244 0 6 16 32 0 4 2 0 0 5 CAR
* Subject to changing opponent adjustments and league-wide baselines

It certainly doesn't help that Fitzpatrick completed 45 percent of his passes, or averaged 4.3 yards per pass. But the biggest reason Ryan Fitz-six-picks had the worst day on record is oh, those many turnovers. (And three of those interceptions came in the red zone. Only seven quarterbacks threw three red zone interceptions in all of 2015. Eli Manning was the only player with five). Fitzpatrick isn't the first quarterback in league history to throw six interceptions in a game, but he's the first to do so since Peyton Manning against San Diego in 2007, and only the fourth to do it this century.

Six-interception games used to be a lot more common, according to Pro Football Reference. There were three in the 1990s, nine in the '80s, eight in the '70s, and ten in the '60s. And remember, there were fewer teams and fewer games per season (and thus, fewer opportunities to throw six interceptions in one contest) back in the day.

And in this light, Fitzpatrick's six interceptions are particularly galling. Six interceptions is a lot in this day and age. Tom Brady only threw seven in 16 starts last season, and Aaron Rodgers only threw five in 16 starts in 2014. Now, those are first-ballot Hall of Fame types, but even the worst quarterbacks these days throw fewer interceptions than they used to. Through three weeks of the 2016 season (including the Falcons-Saints Monday night game), each team has thrown an average of 0.865 interceptions per game. Even so early in the year, that's in line with historical trends -- teams averaged 0.852 interceptions per game in 2015. Even in 2007, when Manning had his six-pick game, the average team threw 1.043 interceptions per game -- that's 20 percent more than the 2016 environment.

Let's put that another way. It would have taken the average 2007 team 5.8 games to throw six interceptions, as Manning did in one game that season. It would take the average 2016 team 6.9 games -- a whole game more! -- to throw as many picks as Fitzpatrick did against Kansas City.

Now let's go back to 2001, when Detroit's Ty Detmer threw seven interceptions against Cleveland. It would have taken the average 2001 team 6.4 games to throw seven interceptions. And that means that compared to in-season rates, Fitzpatrick's six picks (say that five times fast) were actually worse than Detmer's seven, and worse than any of the other five men who have thrown seven interceptions in a single game.

So enjoy this, Chiefs fans. Unless something drastically changes in the NFL, it's going to be a long, long time before a defense gets six interceptions in a game again.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Dak Prescott DAL
19/24
248
1
0
0
161
136
25
CHI
Prescott's best pass was not, technically, a first down -- he hit Terrance Williams for a 47-yard gain on second-and-11, but Williams fumbled the ball away at the end of the play. Otherwise he was best on third downs, where he went 4-of-6 for 60 yards and three first downs. That may not sound overwhelming, but one of the failures came on third-and-12, and he converted all three third downs with 1 or 2 yards to go, including a 29-yard gain and a 17-yard touchdown.
2.
Aaron Rodgers GB
15/24
205
4
0
2
156
147
9
DET
Rodgers was nearly perfect on Green Bay's first three drives, going 7-of-9 for 189 yards and three touchdowns and three other first downs, with 66 more yards and another first down coming on a DPI (a throw that traveled 11 yards fartehr past the line of scrimmage than any other pass this year). Then he was very quiet, with only three first downs in the game's final 44 minutes.
3.
Trevor Siemian DEN
23/35
312
4
0
2
147
149
-2
CIN
Unlike Rodgers, Siemian was at his best late in the game. The Bengals actually went ahead 17-16 in the fourth quarter, but from that point forward Siemian went 9-of-10 for 159 yards with six first downs, including two touchdowns, with one sack.
4.
Carson Wentz PHI
23/31
301
2
0
0
144
139
5
PIT
The Steelers have problems in the middle of their defense. Went threw five passes to the middle of the field, and all five produced at least 9 yards and a first down. That includes a 9-yard DPI on third-and-6, a 19-yard gain on third-and-12, and a 12-yard touchdown.
5.
Matthew Stafford DET
28/41
385
3
1
3
118
116
3
GB
Detroit's defense put Stafford in a tough spot. All of his passes came while trailing by at least seven points, and 33 came while the Lions were down by at least two touchdowns. On 13 third- and fourth-down dropbacks, he was sacked twice, but otherwise went 8-of-11 for 86 yards and eight first downs, including a 2-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal.
6.
Matt Ryan ATL
20/30
240
2
0
2
106
99
7
NO
How dominant were the Falcons on Monday night? Ryan had 12 dropbacks on Atlanta's side of the field, and 21 on New Orleans'.
7.
Brian Hoyer CHI
30/47
321
2
0
0
102
129
-28
DAL
Hoyer's three runs, which kept him out of the top five this week: a 1-yard loss on first-and-10; a 3-yard gain on first-and-10; and a 5-yard loss and a lost fumble on third-and-10.
8.
Philip Rivers SD
26/39
330
0
0
2
96
100
-4
IND
In the red zone, Rivers went 3-of-8 for 15 yards with no touchdowns, only one first down, two sacks, and one fumble, which was recovered by the Colts. You'll recall that the Chargers lost this game by four points.
9.
Alex Smith KC
25/33
237
1
0
2
84
84
0
NYJ
10.
Russell Wilson SEA
15/23
243
1
0
2
67
65
2
SF
Wilson's day was built on a few big plays. He only threw for six first downs, but those six plays averaged 30.2 yards each, including a 59-yard gain on third-and-14 and 40-yard gain on third-and-17.
11.
Drew Brees NO
36/54
376
3
1
2
65
63
2
ATL
12.
Jameis Winston TB
36/58
405
3
1
2
64
57
6
LARM
Winston threw nearly 60 passes against the Rams, and not one of them traveled more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. On deep passes, he went just 2-of-3 for 33 yards. Keep this in mind when we get to Winston's counterpart on Sunday, Case Keenum.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Kirk Cousins WAS
21/34
296
2
0
2
56
67
-11
NYG
14.
Derek Carr OAK
21/35
249
1
1
1
49
49
0
TEN
15.
Sam Bradford MIN
18/28
171
1
0
2
29
29
0
CAR
First half: 4-of-11, 26 yards, two sacks, only one first down. Second half: 14-of-17, 145 yards, 10 first downs, including a 15-yard touchdown.
16.
Andrew Luck IND
24/37
331
1
1
2
25
25
0
SD
17.
Andy Dalton CIN
21/31
206
0
1
4
15
-3
19
DEN
18.
Case Keenum LARM
14/26
190
2
1
1
4
8
-4
TB
Remember when we said Jameis Winston's deep game was virtually non-existent against Los Angeles? Well, the Rams quarterback had no such issues. He only threw four deep balls against the Bucs, but they resulted in touchdowns of 44 and 43 yards, a 20-yard DPI on third-and-17, and a 19-yard catch on first-and-10.
19.
Jacoby Brissett NE
11/19
103
0
0
1
4
-11
15
HOU
Brissett picked up three DPIs in only 23 dropbacks. Which inspired me to find this fact: thus far in 2016, there have been 60 accepted DPI flags across the league. In the first three weeks of 2015, there were only 41 accepted DPIs. It's early, but a 50 percent increase in flags is a little worrisome, isn't it?
20.
Trevone Boykin SEA
7/9
65
1
1
0
-8
-3
-5
SF
21.
Eli Manning NYG
25/38
350
1
2
2
-10
-10
0
WAS
Red zone passing: 2-of-7 for 20 yards, no touchdowns, only one first down, one interception, one sack, one fumble. The Giants lost this game by two points.
22.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
26/38
319
3
2
1
-14
-12
-1
CLE
Deep passing: 7-of-9 for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Cody Kessler CLE
21/33
244
0
0
3
-37
-37
0
MIA
Not to be too hard on an undrafted a third-round rookie in his first NFL start, but Cleveland's overtime loss can be directly blamed on Kessler's terrible performance in scoring range. He didn't throw for a single first down inside Miami's 40, going 5-of-10 for 20 yards with a sack-fumble and a fumbled snap.
24.
Brock Osweiler HOU
24/41
196
0
1
2
-58
-65
7
NE
The Texans scored zero points on Thursday night, and Osweiler had no passes in the red zone. Outside the Houston 35, he went 8-of-21 for 42 yards, with one first down, no gain of more than 7 yards, with one interception and one sack.
25.
Blake Bortles JAC
24/38
194
2
3
4
-63
-67
4
BAL
With three-plus minutes left in the third quarter, Bortles at the Jaguars had a first down at their own 25, down by only two points in a very winnable game. From that point forward, Bortles went 8-of-12 for 51 yards and only one first down, with two interceptions and four sacks.
26.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
24/44
257
0
1
4
-65
-69
4
PHI
27.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
14/25
119
0
1
4
-79
-72
-8
ARI
Five yards or fewer to go for a first down: 3-of-4 for 29 yards and three first downs. He only had two first downs in his other 21 passes. His running stats were erratic to the point of schizophrenia. He had first downs on runs of 10, 20, and 49 yards, but also had three carries that lost 3 yards each, and two of those were fumbles.
28.
Blaine Gabbert SF
14/25
119
0
1
0
-82
-87
5
SEA
Third downs: 5-of-10 for 32 yards with just one first down and an interception.
29.
Marcus Mariota TEN
17/33
214
0
2
1
-108
-83
-25
OAK
If Mariota didn't convert on first down against Oakland, he usually didn't convert at all. On second, third, and fourth downs, he went 7-of-16 for 84 yards, but only two conversions. That includes an 11-yard gain on third-and-15 and a 16-yard gain on third-and-19. He also fumbled on two of his three runs.
30.
Joe Flacco BAL
29/40
214
0
2
2
-128
-140
12
JAC
Yes, the guy who completed 21 passes in a row was in the bottom five. That 23-play stretch (which included two sacks) resulted in only nine first downs, 151 yards, and 11 DYAR. Nine of those completions were failed plays and three were failed third-down plays, and Flacco fumbled on one of the sacks. And that was his best part of the game.
31.
Cam Newton CAR
21/35
262
0
3
8
-168
-184
16
MIN
Newton has now been sacked 12 times in 2016, and the Panthers have two losses. In 2015 Newton didn't hit 12 sacks until Week 8, and the Panthers didn't hit two losses until the Super Bowl. Newton did not have any passing plays in the red zone. On Minnesota's half of the field, he went 4-of-12 for 40 yards with one first down, two interceptions, and two sacks.
32.
Carson Palmer ARI
26/50
287
0
4
5
-181
-181
0
BUF
One of the streakiest games you'll ever see. The bad: on Arizona's first six drives, Palmer started 3-of-13 for 17 yards with no first downs and two sacks. The good: that sixth drive was extended because of a Buffalo penalty on a third-down sack, and from that point to the end of the Cardinals' tenth drive, he went 16-of-20 for 159 yards and 12 first downs, plus a 5-yard DPI for another first down, with one sack. The ugly: from there till the end, Palmer went 7-of-17 for 111 yards and five first downs, but also four interceptions, two sacks, and one fumble.
33.
Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ
20/44
188
0
6
0
-326
-319
-7
KC
If you prefer to see the devastation yourself rather than our numerical slant, our old buddy Rivers McCown made GIFs of all six interceptions over at VICE Sports.


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.
Devonta Freeman ATL
14
152
0
5/5
55
1
82
48
34
NO
No touchdowns on the ground, but Freeman had runs of 48, 36, 21, and 16 yards, while getting stuffed for a loss just twice. His five catches included a 13-yard touchdown and a 26-yard run.
2.
Tevin Coleman ATL
12
42
3
3/3
47
0
61
40
21
NO
Your vulture of the week. None of Coleman's runs gained more than 9 yards, but all of them gained at least 1. His receptions went for gains of 6 and 7 on first-and-10, and 34 yards on fourth-and-1.
3.
DeMarco Murray TEN
16
114
1
5/5
41
0
60
50
10
OAK
Six total first downs on the ground, including gains of 17 and 36 yards, and only one stuff for a loss. Only one of his catches counted as a successful play, but that was a 16-yard gain on first-and-10.
4.
Darren Sproles PHI
2
-1
0
6/6
128
1
43
-7
49
PIT
Only two successful plays all day, but they were a 73-yard touchdown and 40-yard gain.
5.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
30
140
0
2/2
20
0
40
37
3
CHI
Eight first downs on the ground, including three gains of 10 yards or more, while only getting stuffed for no gain or a loss four times.


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.
DeMarco Murray TEN
16
114
1
5/5
41
0
60
50
10
OAK
2.
Devonta Freeman ATL
14
152
0
5/5
55
1
82
48
34
NO
3.
Tevin Coleman ATL
12
42
3
3/3
47
0
61
40
21
NO
4.
Jeremy Hill CIN
17
97
2
0/0
0
0
39
39
0
DEN
Five total first downs, including a 50-yard gain, with only two stuffs for no gain.
5.
LeSean McCoy BUF
17
110
2
3/4
6
0
20
38
-17
ARI
McCoy had a fumble and was stuffed three times, once for a safety. But he had six total first downs, including gains of 17, 18, and 24 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.
Justin Forsett BAL
7
20
0
6/7
12
0
-38
-11
-27
JAC
It's weird to see a running back here who gained yardage on every carry, but none of Forsett's runs went for more than 7 yards, and that was on second-and-20. And none of his receptions gained more than 5 yards. That's zero first downs on seven rushes and seven targets.


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 Ivory JAC
12
14
0
1/1
9
0
-21
-28
7
BAL
Only one first down and no gain of more than 4 yards, while getting stuffed for no gain or a loss four times.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of the wide receivers table was totally screwed up, because the Rams and Saints both have rookie receivers named Michael Thomas this year, and they both have the number 13, and when our system saw "13-M.Thomas" twice it threw up all over itself. We have fixed the error so it won't happen again and re-run the numbers for Week 3. Here they are, with no commentary due to time constraints. We have also left up the old tables, just because they're done, so why not?

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Marvin Jones DET
6
8
205
34.2
2
93
GB
2.
T.Y. Hilton IND
8
11
174
21.8
1
69
SD
3.
Jordy Nelson GB
6
7
101
16.8
2
64
DET
4.
Doug Baldwin SEA
8
10
164
20.5
1
60
SF
5.
Mike Evans TB
10
13
132
13.2
1
60
LARM


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jeremy Kerley SF
2
6
24
12.0
0
-46
SEA

Five Best Good Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Marvin Jones DET
6
8
205
34.2
2
93
GB
Jones' touchdowns went for 73 and 35 yards, and he added gains of 23 and 38 yards as well.
2.
Mike Evans TB
10
13
132
13.2
1
60
LARM
None of Evans' catches gained more than 20 yards, but only one failed to pick up a first down -- and that was a 7-yard gain on first-and-10.
3.
Emmanuel Sanders DEN
9
13
117
13.0
2
48
CIN
Six total first downs, including 7- and 41-yard touchdowns.
4.
Terrelle Pryor CLE
8
14
144
18.0
0
47
MIA
Here's how we get that 47-DYAR total: minus-7 DYAR on his 3-of-5, 35-yard, one-sack passing performance; 18 DYAR for his 21 yards and a touchdown on four carries; and 29 DYAR for his receiving, including gains of 40, 25, and 25 yards (not a typo, he had two 25-yarders).
5.
Tavon Austin LARM
5
8
82
16.4
1
39
TB
Austin's total includes 22 DYAR receiving, 16 DYAR rushing for his 22 yards on two carries. His biggest catch was a 43-yard touchdown on third-and-2, but he also had three other first downs on the day.


Worst A Bad Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Kevin White CHI
6
14
62
10.3
0
-41
DAL
White failed to convert on first-and-goal from the 3 and on third-and-5. He had only two first downs on the day.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 27 Sep 2016

109 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2016, 6:18am by bubqr

Comments

1
by bubqr :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 5:27am

So you got 3 legitimate pre-season MVP candidates in the last 7 spots of the QB table this week and 3 rookie QBs who started the season as 3rd stringers in the first 4 ones, nice!

2
by ammek :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 6:21am

With the rookie wage-scale plus this trickle of coaches able to build a functioning offense around an inexperienced quarterback, I wonder whether it would be worthwhile for more teams to try to trade up to draft the best rookie QB. Because a successful veteran QB's contract is so disproportionately large, wouldn't it make more sense to spend multiple first-round picks on the position every four or five years, rather than a huge chunk of the cap money on a second contract for a veteran incumbent? It would make extra sense for teams where the roster was quite strong apart from QB, like the 2016 Broncos. And the 2016 Jets.

4
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 7:24am

Then again, if the Broncos get to the Super Bowl again, or the conference championship, with Simeon taking snaps, they may ask themselves why they traded up, albeit in a small way, to take Lynch. If Siemeon really plays great, what will his trade value be? Will they have the guts to trade a qb who has played very well, and give the job to an untested late 1st round draft pick?

8
by rageon :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 8:17am

I keep hearing how Denver was confident Siemian was going to be good. They couldn't have been THAT sure, given the pick they spend on Lynch. Particularly in a "we still have the defense to be a contender" season.

But even with that pick I can't see them giving Lynch the job if Siemian is going well. It's one thing to decline signimg the young guy to $17M/yr, it's another to let him go when he's making league minimum. I suspect if Siemian keeps playing adequately, Denver will just have a very draft resources expensive backup QB, not unlike that other very successful AFC team often does.

19
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:07am

Did San Diego kick itself for drafting Phil Rivers when they had Drew Brees?

More to the point, Lynch was going to back up this year. All that's changed is who he's backing up. Siemian could get hurt or swoon like Osweiler did, in which case having Lynch around suddenly looks like genius.

Put it this way -- there are worse sins than having too many good QBs.

71
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:19pm

I think the rule of thumb on new QBs is (or was) five games--once the opponent gets that much game film, they can plan for him much better.

So there may be a swoon, or just a return to NFL SOP in a few games. Many things can happen.

Having too many good QBs at reasonable cap hits... man, talk about first world problems. If both Lynch and Siemian end up looking above average by next August, surely some team whose starter blows out a knee or shoulder will come knocking with a couple high draft choices for Elway. Then it's up to him what to do.

30
by Pat :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:04am

Siemian's in contract through 2018, and Lynch's under contract past that. They've got time. It just depends on what they see in practice, just like with San Diego and Rivers/Brees. It's really a great situation for them. Should they trade away Siemian eventually? If Lynch looks great in practice... absolutely. The draft value's worth it. I'm sure San Diego would've, if Brees's shoulder hadn't exploded.

43
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:01pm

If the Broncos repeat, and Siemian plays well, it'll be inteesting to see how many snaps Lynch gets in the preseason next summer. I could easily see him getting the vast majority, as Elway tries to evaluate him, while also showcasing im for a possible trade. Then, if Lynch REALLY plays well, they could trade Siemian instead. It's a nice problem to have.

5
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 8:02am

My problem with people who make this suggestion is they forget that not every high round draft pick is a success and it often takes time to develop a QB. If the QB is a bust, or develops slowly, you've wasted trading up in the draft and lost 4 years of a chance to compete. Meanwhile if you have an elite guy under center already, it makes no sense to let him go and hope to find a gem in the draft again.

Plus constantly trading up means you're hollowing out your team in the long run, as you're trading multiple picks to get that high round pick, which eventually weakens your ability to field competitive teams outside the QB position.

6
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 8:13am

Yes, the chance to get multlple quality starters or major contributors, at very low cost for several years, is extremely valuable.

11
by ammek :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 9:16am

I understand that argument. However, the QBs picked at the very top of the draft* have been pretty solid since 2009 – ie, since before the rookie wage scale came into effect. And it does seem to take less time to develop a QB to become at least average than it used to. Winston, Luck, Griffin and Newton were all hits in their first season, and it looks like Wentz will join them; Stafford was average by year two and Bradford by year three (and they were both drafted onto epically bad teams).

I wouldn't counsel this approach for a team that has acquired "an elite guy under center already". But it might make sense for those teams with a second-tier Qb – a Cutler, a Flacco, a Derek Carr – instead of paying top dollar for them.

*By this I mean: drafted before any non-QBs. If tackles and pass rushers are being drafted before a QB, that QB is not worth risking the farm for.

18
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:06am

Stafford missed his second season. Bradford hasn't put up average numbers in any season. Griffin has turned into a bust, he may have started strong but wasn't able to sustain the numbers.

I'll slightly agree with your second point. You shouldn't be giving above average compensation to a below average quarterback. But that doesn't mean abandoning any quarterback that shows promise. Obviously Cutler and Flacco aren't work 20 mil a year (though was that clear when there deals were signed? Flacco was coming off a record breaking playoff streak, if he was able to sustain the numbers from that season into the future he'd be considered an elite quarterback.).

33
by jmaron :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:29am

DVOA for Bradford in 2012 and 2013 were 16th and 14th. That's about as average as you can get. Granted 2013 he only played 7 games

9
by deus01 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 8:45am

Brady was a 6th round pick. Wilson was a 3rd round. Prescott was a 4th. Siemian a 7th. It's almost as though the way the teams are valuing quarterbacks isn't very good at actually predicting whether they will be good in the league.

Keeping those draft picks will help ensure the rest of your team is strong. It seems to me that bad teams are the ones who are constantly searching for 'savior' and often that fails to work because the rest of the team is bad.

13
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 9:52am

That's cherry picking. For every Wilson or Prescott, there's plenty of Trent Edwards, Isaiah Stanbacks, Charlie Fryes, and Stefan Lefors. The bust rate is high at the top of the draft too. But the number of late round busts gets higher the later you get in the draft. People only remember the high draft busts. But there are plenty of late round QB picks that don't amount to anything. (Anyone remember Giovanni Carmazzi?)

20
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:10am

however that's the thing, in terms of compensation and value, a first round pick is far, far more expensive then a later round pick.

The argument I'm making is I'd rather multiple shots at late round chances then trading the farm to get a first overall player.

Even if 4 of the 5 quarterbacks I take fail while only one in every two quarterbacks you take fails, I'm coming off ahead because I'm not blowing my farm to trade up to first overall and seeing that player go bust.

24
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:21am

Keep in mind, while there is a salary cap, there is also a roster size limit.

This isn't the NCAA, you can't stash 50 players on greyshirts like Saban does at Alabama.

Are you confident you can give 5 players an adequate pre-season evaluation in the time most teams have to judge two?

32
by rrsquid :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:27am

I'll call this the Griffin-Cousins Hypothesis.

27
by Football Michae... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:33am

This article which studied quarterbacks by round they were drafted (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2014/nfl-draft-round-roun...) suggests that your odds of finding a definite starting QB tail off strongly after you get past the first three rounds.

31
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:17am

Bradford
Newton
Winston
Stafford
Palmer
Smith
Luck
Eli Manning

8 of the 32 QBs that started on Sunday were there first overall pick in the draft.

34
by rrsquid :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:30am

And only 1 of those have won a Super Bowl. There needs to be a better rating scale than starting a game.

37
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:46am

Only 1 in 32 full-time starters will win a SB in a given year.

38
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:50am

Given Super Bowls are won by teams, that is a dubious metric for evaluating QB performance.

41
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:55am

To be fair, one of the arguments being made is that a team is better off not drafting a QB in the 1st round because of the ability to surround a cheaper, later-drafted QB with better talent.

So in that sense, using SB wins is somewhat more reasonable than when using it to assess the value of the QB itself.

39
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:53am

Super Bowl 50: #1 overall pick vs. #1 overall pick
Super Bowl 49: 3rd round pick vs. 6th round pick
Super Bowl 48: 3rd round pick vs. #1 overall pick
Super Bowl 47: 1st round pick vs. 2nd round pick
Super Bowl 46: #1 overall pick vs 6th round pick
Super Bowl 45: 1st round pick vs. 1st round pick
Super Bowl 44: 2nd round pick vs #1 overall pick
Super Bowl 43: 1st round pick vs. UDFA
Super Bowl 42: #1 overall pick vs. 6th round pick
Super Bowl 41: #1 overall pick vs. 1st round pick

Over the last 10 Super Bowls, 12 of the 20 starting QBs were drafted in the 1st round. 14 of the 20 were in the 1st or 2nd round. Out of the 5 that were 3rd round or later, four of these Tom Brady and Kurt Warner, two of the greatest QB outliers of all time, and the other two are Russell Wilson.

Studies have been done on both QB performance and team performance. QBs are better early in the draft. That is not debateable.

Whether a team is better off investing in a QB with a high pick is another question, but generally the successful teams do have a highly drafted QB on their team.

Even if you look at last year's playoff teams, 8/12 had a QB drafted in the 1st round, and one more (CIN) had a 2nd round pick.

44
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:04pm

Calling ruined Peyton Manning a #1 overall is a little misleading.

48
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:16pm

Given the context that lower round QBs are better because their cap hits are less, Manning being a #1 overall is absolutely appropriate.

If anything is misleading, it would be including Brady as a 6th-rounder. His cap hit in the last decade is more consistent with a 1st-rounder.

If anything, you should actually want high-variance guy. Someone who can flash elite talent, but is sufficiently brittle or inconsistent so as to not merit an elite price. Early Flacco, Late Warner, Old Palmer. Someone like that.

52
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:36pm

Thinking about salary cap hits winds up being a completely different discussion than draft position, particularly in that post-Sam Bradford overall #1s are existing in a world with a firm rookie salary scale, meaning that #1 overall pick is no longer really a major salary cap concern. That becomes a concern on a subsequent contract. Yes, if you draft #1 overall, you get first chance to lock up that QB, but it's a very different thing.

I'm going to suggest that, based on that list above of the last 10 Super Bowls, if 35℅ of the starting QBs came from the first overall slot, that's a significant indicator that drafting a QB that high is a good thing.

Yes, it's an imprecise thing, but it's not exactly a stretch to say "drafting a QB first overall gives you a really good chance of getting a solid if not spectacular upgrade to your chances of success".

55
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:44pm

It depends on what you are tring to assess. If you are trying to assess the necessity of paying for actual top tier qb performance during that season, obtained through a high draft pick, to win a championship, then using Peyton Manning last year is a bad idea.

I think people are to some degree overestimating the need for top tier qb play, in terms of winning a championship. Since 2005, we have had, what, 3 teams win a championship without getting such qb play through the regular season and playoffs? It's just kind of funny that those two of those three were from guys who are a shoe-in or strong candidates for the HOF (P. Manning, Roethlisberger) and another guy (E. Manning) who has a good chance. It's just that in 2005, 2007, and 2015 the qbs for the champion did not perform at an upper tier level. On a season long basis, Flacco wasn't good, in 2012, either. The idea that you need to get really good qb play to win a championship is entirely oversold.

65
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:32pm

It all comes down to probability of performance; I don't think it's a stretch to say "the higher you draft a QB, the better chance you have of good performance". That's an easy statement to make, and, the Tom Brady and Kurt Warner exceptions aside, an easy one to justify.

Simply put, the better QB performance you get, the better odds you have of getting to the playoffs, where things then happen. Joe Flacco did not have a notably good season and would not have won the Super Bowl had Rahim Moore not made what was potentially the singly worst defensive play in the history of football at any level ever. That doesn't mean Peyton Manning's insanely good, #1 overall pick, 2012 season is somehow less important in any way. It means Joe Flacco was on the right side of a goofy play, which is what happens in the playoffs all the time.

Great QB play is not necessary in order to win it all, but great QB play significantly increases your chances of getting to the playoffs and eventually winning, particularly in the last 15 or so years of the post-illegal contact upgrade and much heavier focus on passing success. Flacco, shambling corpse Peyton, and rookie Roethlesberger winning doesn't change the fact that the #1 overall pick is significantly more likely to give you a level of QB play to where you have a good chance to win.

67
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:43pm

Sure, but when you get too qb centric in your drafting strategy, you end up picking The Ponderous One in the top half of the first round, in a bad year for drafting qbs, because, well, you really need a qb, and that's the first pick you have. It's like a drunk looking for his car keys at night under the streetlight, insetad of where he dropped them, because he needs to be able to see the keys to find them.

70
by PaddyPat :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:11pm

Some of these arguments are pretty silly. The desire for teams to have a strong, game-changing passer hinges on the relative year-to-year continuity of offensive performance, and the ease of winning games by passing and scoring a lot in the post contact rule-change NFL environment. True enough, amazing defenses and fluky performances can win championships, but the best, easiest way to have a successful franchise is to win a lot of games and make the postseason frequently. You do that by having an effective passing game. Obviously, New Orleans is a warning to those who think a passing offense can win games entirely by itself, but overall, passing a lot and efficiently scores many more points than running well, and is easier to sustain over long drives. That is why teams place such an emphasis on signal callers. A good quarterback is a player around whom you can build a team and a fan base, sell tickets, and make repeated playoff appearances. Quarterbacks like Steve McNair or Donovan McNabb or Peyton Manning throughout much of his career were tremendous lynchpins for their teams, whether they actually won championships or just won a lot of games.

And as far as the argument that you don't need to invest high draft value to get a serviceable starter, in the current NFL that argument appears to just be nonsense. Quarterbacks taken lower than the second round, with a few exceptions, just haven't been panning out. If you look at the projected opening day starters (who teams intended to start before injuries or suspensions) for this season, the importance and prevalence of a top-drafted quarterback is overwhelming:

Draft Status for starting QBs this year:

1st Round: 20 (62.5%)
2nd Round: 4
3rd Round: 1
4th Round: 1
6th Round: 2
7th Round: 2
UDFA: 2

78
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:49pm

As I noted in the audibles thread, I think the latest CBA, with the practice time restrictions, ushered in another era, that of greatly reduced o-line efficiency, which is countering the contact rules effect. Defensive fronts with talent, assuming minimal competence with the dbs, have a real advanatage over o-lines which can't practice enough to develop good coordination to counter creative defensive scheming. I beat up Mike Shula for getting pwned by Wade Phillips in February, and a lot of it was deserved, but to be fair, Phillips, beyond the talent edge, also has the edge in terms of preparation. In the past 4 years, we have seen two teams with poor to middling passing performance win championships with defensvive dominance, and we may have seen 3, if not for Seattle suffering defensive injuries in the Super Bowl against the Patriots.

If the Vikings defense stays healthy, I'm going to be very curious to see how far Zimmer can scheme them, with a mediocre at best offense, but a very athletic defensive front 7 rotation featuring 9 guys, a terrific safety and a competent cornerback corps that goes about 4 deep. They have just made the last two league MVPs, both qbs, look very pedestrian.

80
by ammek :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:59pm

Some of those 1st round starters are starting for no other reason than because they were drafted in the first round, though. It's unlikely that, say, Blaine Gabbert still has a starting gig if he is picked in a later round.

92
by PaddyPat :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 5:25pm

Not sure I entirely agree. Back in the day of huge rookie contracts for top picks, you would definitely see teams playing a guy because they had already invested in him. But someone like Gabbert, his drafting team let go of him, and then San Fran picked him in a bit of a shocking move. I think it has more to do with the fact that his draft status still leads people to believe that he has something to offer, similar to Bradford. There's a sense that with so much potential and talent, that a change of scenery or a different coaching approach can yet help the guy to become what he was supposed to be. To back this up, I would point to the cases of former first rounders who haven't had another chance, like Jamarcus Russell, Tim Tebow, EJ Manuel...

94
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 5:38pm

In any case - your main point still stands. If the goal is to maximize the probability of getting a great qb - that is best achieved with going after the best qbs in the draft. Looking at busts like Russel and Leaf and then successes like Brady and Wilson are post hoc fallacies.

This, by the way, is not limited to quarterbacks. The best talent comes at the top of the draft. That's not my opinion, the numbers bear this out.

95
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 6:21pm

Gotta agree with PaddyPat. It isn't the draft selection, it is the abilities that *prompted* the draft selection.

96
by Axe2Grind :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 6:25pm

Manning was drafted 1st overall, but the reason he was on the Denver roster last year was because when he left the Colts, Denver acquired him believing he would greatly increase their chances of getting a Super Bowl. And until a significant way through the 2014 season, he was delivering top 5 level performances for them. Being still under contract, they kept him in 2015 hoping his diminished performances would still be enough to win while they developed other options. And they were right.

Although I agree that once Brady and Warner proved who they really were as QBs, there low draft positions were viewed as obvious oversights by every team in the league. Some QBs just seem to elude the massive scouting done by the league.

Teams are forced to draft even flawed QB prospects in the first round because every year there are several teams that know that they cannot win with the QBs available on the free agency or on their current roster. That creates the demand that forces teams to draft the QBs above where they should really be graded. Every year we see players start out graded at lower rounds that slowly move up because the demand forces teams to consider where might a different team or two would take a chance. Don't you think if Seattle hadn't taken Wilson in the third that another team wouldn't have considered him later. New England has drafted several QBs who just dropped for various reason even though they really didn't have any need for another QB. At some point, they become the best available value just simply because QBs are so valuable in general. Is any other position forced to have 3 on the depth chart?

Other positions just don't have the same impact on the teams overall performance. Many a good team has been sunk by poor QB performance but there are a significant number of examples of a good team winning with a 'game managing' QB who isn't asked to be the focus of the team's performance.

61
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:28pm

True, but in looking back at it, the point being made here is more about investment at the QB position, so better than their draft standing would've been for me to research their cap hit.

66
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:42pm

Certainly, but draft position is still going to play into that to a certain point; it's not like it's common for #1 overall picks to move on to other teams. Palmer moved on post-injury concerns (and insane trade offer), and Sam Bradford was . . . pretty Sam Bradfordy. Drafting a QB #1 overall (A) increases your odds of getting a good QB, and (B) increases your odds of locking that QB down on subsequent (and admittedly very expensive) contracts. If you draft lower, you still could get a good QB and that later expensive contract, but the odds of that happening aren't that high.

It's just probability; you have a better chance of long-term good performance if you take them high.

101
by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:46am

The problem with the cap hit approach is that it will only work for the first 3-5 years of a player's career. I'm more curious about the cost in terms of trade, like the RGIII trade. How much is drafting a QB high really worth in draft resources? Of course, if you suck your way into a high pick and you need a QB, just go for it, man.

50
by TwoWolves :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:19pm

I think you need to treat free agents and trades differently than draft picks. Sure, Manning was a first round pick, but the Broncos didn't use a draft pick to get him.

84
by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:15pm

The Broncos were a lot smarter about that than the Jets management was. At least they signed Wilkerson long term and only gave Six Pick a short term contract. But I have to question whether they'd be better off starting Geno right now, at least then they could give Petty a chance halfway through the season if he failed too.

91
by nottom :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 5:03pm

Well 2 of these 3 guys you didn't need to trade up for.

88
by Grendel13G :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:54pm

I was thinking something very similar, re: the top and bottom of the table.

Siemian isn't a rookie, though, he's in his 2nd year. But a 2nd-year 7th-round QB that no one had ever heard of before this year is probably just as weird/impressive. What kind of preseason odds would you have gotten if you had bet that 3 of the top 4 QBs in DYAR this week would be rookies and/or 3rd-string nobodies?

I mentioned this in Audibles, but Siemian also had two eeeaaaaasy INTs dropped by the Bengals. I mean eeeaaaaasy. We'd be judging his performance differently today if one or both of those had gone as expected.

3
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 7:17am

Opponent adjustments, once factored, may make things seem less odd.

7
by Ben :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 8:13am

Would TY Hiton have made the WR list if it had been just receiving DYAR? His conventional numbers were solid and I don't recall to many short completions or incomplete passes headed his way.

75
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:29pm

I was a little surprised he didn't make the cut. I think he had four targets he didn't catch but don't know if any were his fault. And that last catch was worth more than your fair share--final two minutes, one or two broken tackles, a great juke, then outrun the other guy for 40 yards. 63 yard GWTD. Actually, at the start of the play he did a great job of avoiding the initial defensive pressure to get off clean (one chink in his armor pundits usually note).

10
by ZDNeal :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 9:05am

This is showing up under the Audibles tab. You can delete this if it's fixed or if it was just some weirdness on my end.

23
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:18am

This is fixed now.

12
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 9:44am

I'm surprised Favre's 6 INT playoff game didn't make the worst all-time QB game list. Full line: 26/44, 281 yds, 2 TD, 6 INT, Sacks 2/16 yds, 3 yds rushing. The 2 TDs and total yards are more than anyone else on that list. But he still had six interceptions.

15
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:00am

Well, it was the playoffs, so perhaps the opponent adjustment dropped him off the list. I'm too lazy to check how good the opponent's defense was.

36
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:44am

2001 season - Rams had the #1 offense and #3 defense. Packers were #8 offense and #11 defense. How big an upset was that Super Bowl? Patriots had the #21 offense and #19 defense (though if you go by weighted DVOA they were #12 overall). They did have the #6 ST compared to the Rams #28. Full DVOA article here.

14
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 9:58am

So here's where DYAR generates nonsense.

I should believe that had Fitzpatrick been replaced by a replacement-level QB, that player would have passed for 512 yards against KC?

Here's the list of QBs who have passed for 512 yards in a game since 1960:
Warren Moon* 1990-12-16 HOU @ KAN W 27-10
Matt Schaub 2012-11-18 HOU JAX W 43-37
Boomer Esiason 1996-11-10 ARI @ WAS W 37-34
Ben Roethlisberger 2014-10-26 PIT IND W 51-34
Dan Marino* 1988-10-23 MIA NYJ L 30-44
Matthew Stafford 2012-01-01 DET @ GNB L 41-45
Tom Brady 2011-09-12 NWE @ MIA W 38-24
Phil Simms 1985-10-13 NYG @ CIN L 30-35

Matt Schaub might actually be replacement level, but he was also playing a terrible defense in a game in which his defense didn't show up, either.

17
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:06am

Maybe I'm misunderstanding DYAR, but no, I don't think DYAR is suggesting you should believe that.

22
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:18am

It is and it isn't.
Therefore, we translate these success values into a number called "Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement, or DYAR. Thus, Romo was fifth among quarterbacks with 1,187 passing DYAR. It is our estimate that a generic replacement-level quarterback, throwing in the same situations as Romo, would have been worth 1,187 fewer yards. Note that this doesn’t mean the replacement level quarterback would have gained exactly 1,187 fewer yards. First downs, touchdowns, and turnovers all have an estimated yardage value in this system, so what we are saying is that a generic replacement-level quarterback would have fewer yards and touchdowns (and more turnovers) that would total up to be equivalent to the value of 1,187 yards.
http://www.footballoutsiders.com/info/methods

DPAR probably was the metric whose value was more legible in isolation. Fitzpatrick DPAR would have been meaningfully awful. To say he cost his team 300 yards is meaningless. Yards are only valuable in the sense that they correlate with points. Yards for yardage sake has no value. (You play to win the game)

Perhaps the most specific explanation is that had Fitzpatrick thrown for 512 yards, his six INTs would have been a net zero. Here we have a description that at least feels meaningful, but it still suggests a replacement level player should have had a game like this.

25
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:21am

People complained, we made a change, and now years later other people are still complaining about the change. Football Outsiders: guaranteed to piss off a lot of people no matter what.

35
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:34am

Is there a simple calculation to converting DYAR to DPAR, or would they be wildly different?

63
by RickD :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:30pm

People happy with the status quo are less likely to make their opinions known.

76
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:32pm

That's marketing 101. A typical happy customer might tell a few friends about your product or service, but an unhappy one WILL tell ten friends. A merely content one sits on his hands.

108
by bravehoptoad :: Fri, 09/30/2016 - 3:49pm

People complained about DPAR? I don't recall this. I thought the move to DYAR was an attempt to broaden the appeal of the stat, to make it more friendly to a casual ESPN reader. As I recall, the move was justified at the time with something like this: "people think of performance more in yards than points, so we'll switch to yards." E.g., when you say #1 defense or #1 offense in conventional stats, you're talking about yards; when you talk about the most prolific QBs or RBs you talk in yards, etc. etc.

I miss DPAR just because, to me, it was more satisfying. If someone had +6 DPAR for a game, I'd think "wow, two extra field goals just because of that guy." If he has +90 DYAR, I think, "uh...that's good."

109
by bubqr :: Thu, 10/06/2016 - 6:18am

I have the same recollection than you, it was more a way to make it more understandable to a bigger audience rather than people complaining about it.

26
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:26am

I think it suggests that throwing interceptions is really bad. It took the league about 50 years to fully appreciate how bad they were.

54
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:42pm

Though I think interceptions are overrated now days. For example on third and long I'd much rather my QB throw an interception (on a positive ALEX pass) then throw the ball out of bounds. The interception shows they at least tried to get a first down on the play.

68
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:44pm

Well it depends on distance. Punting is far better than throwing a risky pass and potentially getting picked 15 yards down the field on 3rd and 10.

If what you mean is very positive ALEX, then I agree with you. If it's 3rd and 25, I would much rather my QB throw a pick 50 yards down the field than not try to get the first down at all. That's why it drives me crazy when coaches call a hopeless screen/draw in those situations.

Edit:
Back to the topic at hand, I don't think any of Fitzpatrick's INTs fit into that category.

69
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:51pm

Though the difference is a punt is almost a guaranteed turnover (muffed punts happen like 1.5% of the time), while throwing the ball into coverage isn't a guaranteed interception.

But yeah this doesn't apply to Fitz, I was just responding to Will Allens claim that interceptions were underrated for most of history, cause now they're overrated.

85
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:21pm

There are other odds to consider. There are the odds that the player short of the sticks runs through a tackle and makes the play, the odds that the QB is sacked which leads to marginally worse field position and notably, the odds of a strip sack on a deep drop back.

Don't get me wrong, in a neutral setting, I consider the deep pass to be a worthwhile shot, but against a good pass rush, I would be concerned with the strip sack. But then I'm a Broncos fan and I've been watching a lot of Von Miller and a lot of Michael Schofield, so my recent memory may be skewed.

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by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:10pm

Throwing interceptions is worse when receivers don't get beheaded running across the middle. It took the league a couple of years to adapt, except for Bill Walsh, Don Coryell and perhaps the Steelers (Bradshaw's numbers go way up after the 1978 rules change).

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by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:33pm

One of the things that made Tarkenton great was int avoidance, even in the era of the worst receiver muggings. His 1969, on a hideous Giants roster, is a damned miracle. 23 tds, 8 ints, on 409 attempts.

62
by tuluse :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:29pm

Players generate yards not points though. All yards are valuable in that you have to gain yards (or prevent yards from being gained) to earn those points.

It's very possible to generate yards, and be a positive contribution to a team without scoring a single point, or even your team scoring points because another player had turnovers/lost yards/etc.

Edit: What I mean to say is that teams score points, players really don't. That's why simple stats have measured yards gained since the beginning of time.

Edit2: you're also ignoring that not all yards are created equal. Yards Above Replacement Level scores a 1 yard play that gains a first down as worth much more than 5 yards that don't. At this point you are getting so complex you should just treat (D)YAR as an abstract concept of value produced.

72
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:23pm

It's yards that matter, right?
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/197910070den.htm

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200212080pit.htm

Why do you consider yardage to be individual, but points to be team-based?

83
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:13pm

What's your point with those? That sometimes, teams with more yards don't win?

Anyway, this started with you naively adding Fitzpatrick's YAR to his passing yards, completely ignoring that a lot of his negative YAR comes from his six interceptions. Now you're citing games in which QBs threw for a lot of yards, but also multiple interceptions, in games their teams lost? This seems like an odd thing to rant about.

29
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:49am

An Interception is worth an average of 45 yards of field position.

So it wouldn't need to be 512 yards, it could be ~250 yards with 1 interception instead of 188 with 6.

40
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:55am

Easy enough to compare, I suppose. Marino's 500 yard game actually came along with 5 INTs, versus O'Brien's 174 yards and 1 INT.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198810230mia.htm

Or Brunell's game in 1996.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199610200ram.htm

Jacksonville never punted. They fumbled a kick return, threw 5 INTs (one pick-6), scored two running TDs, and ran out of time twice.

Brunell threw three red-zone picks (including one pick-6) and another from the Rams' 23, and had an end-game Hail Mary get completed, but short of the end zone. He also recovered his own fumble. He still might have been the better passer by DYAR. Tony Banks went 9-17 for 129, and 1 INT.

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by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:52pm

I don't get what your point is now. lol

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by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:27pm

Marino and Brunell had high yardage-high INT games. They were also matched up against replacement QBs who threw for very few yards but who generally played safely with the ball.

Thus, both games give an opportunity to compare how DYAR would have thought of the proceedings. I'm think Marino would have done tolerably, but it would have scorched Brunell. His INTs were particularly costly (probably net -19 points).

51
by ChrisS :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:35pm

It is nonsense in a literal sense since it would be impossible for a QB to pass for -319 yards. So I think of the negative number as implying that Fitz gave KC (or the KC defense took) the equivalent of 312 extra yards of offense.

16
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:01am

saw lot of chiefs game of the afternoon games. was hoping chiefs would lose. unfortanelyy, dumb stuff from jets especially R. fitapitrick. did notice, 2nd and 3rd intercepptions where like he was drunk and blind. just threw ball uinto end zone even with chiefs all over the area. then last two were during scramble mode tyime. not sure would kill him for those. but true, first 3 or 4 were bad and he deserves bad marks for. but kinda like the lasty two rather than some other quarterbacks who would try to protect stats by making ultra safe throws.

21
by jtr :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:15am

>The Steelers have problems in the middle of their defense. Went threw five passes to the middle of the field, and all five produced at least 9 yards and a first down.

Didn't see the game, but I'm certainly not surprised that the coverage struggled over the middle. The three starters most likely to cover those zones (two ILBs and SS) all missed significant time during that game.

28
by ryan5581 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:39am

Any idea if the Falcons had one of the top combined performances ever at the RB position? I originally noticed how valuable both Freeman and Coleman were from a fantasy perspective, but capturing #1 and 2 in total DYAR is quite impressive.

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by jw124164 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:27pm

Opponent adjustments might downgrade that a bit - the Saints D was just awful, and missing a couple of key starters too. The Panthers won't allow Freeman to run wild in their secondary.

42
by davideanderson :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:56am

How is it that Manning vs KC, week 10, 2015 didn't make the list of worst games for QB? His DYAR was -246 according to the Quick Reads posted at that time.

- DEA

58
by Eleutheria :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:55pm

KC had a great end to the season and added defensee adjustments would bump Manning's DYAR up enough to get him off the list. -244 is the cut off so even if it was only be 3 yards.

99
by Tom Gower :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 6:50pm

n/m, I see Vince already answered this below

45
by Jim C. :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:04pm

I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice that the worst running back by DYAR (total), the worst running back by DYAR (rushing), and two of the worst 9 quarterbacks by DYAR all played in the Ravens-Jaguars game. Boy, was that fun to watch.

46
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:11pm

A bit off-topic, but was Pete Morelli drunk for the Monday Night Game?

A ton of blown calls or otherwise inconsistent officiating, and his announcements of various calls were bizarre. Especially the replay overturn for the Hardy TD late in the 2nd quarter.

49
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:17pm

The median age for those guys is old enough that it isn' unreasonable to think that one of these guys is going to display early onset dementia during a game at some point.

59
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:24pm

Maybe he was flustered by the fact he had to miss the presidential debate, and doesn' know how to work a DVR.

77
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:38pm

You know it's gonna be a night of borderline officiating when Gruden says, with a chuckle in the first quarter after watching a replay, "well... I guess they're gonna let them play tonight...."

He can sometimes be goofy and self aggrandizing, but I do love that he's willing to say things like, "I don't care what they say, that's interference" or "that was a terrible call."

47
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:13pm

The averageness of Sam Bradford is, for the Vikings, well worth the cost of acquiring him, as long as he gets the ball out of his hand fast, thus minimizing his injury risk behind questionable (to be generous) protection.

53
by herewegobrownie... :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:41pm

"Not to be too hard on an undrafted rookie in his first NFL start, but Cleveland's overtime loss can be directly blamed on Kessler's terrible performance in scoring range."

3rd rounder.

Still blaming the kicker for the loss here.

56
by Icarus_v2 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:46pm

Kessler was selected by CLE in the Third Round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He probably shouldn't have been drafted, but nevertheless, the blurb on Kessler should be updated to reflect CLE's folly.

64
by techvet :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 1:31pm

Amazing that McCoy fumbled the ball and got tackled for a safety and yet ranks ahead of Lacy. I guess TDs overcome everything. What was Lacy's Rush DYAR for the game?

73
by TomC :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:26pm

Prescott played a nice game, but opponent adjustments are never going to be strong enough to properly account for the Bears defense Sunday night. They are a mediocre defense at full-strength, and they were missing (by my count) six starters and some backups, and they lost a couple more during the game. There was zero pass rush and gaping holes up the middle to run through pretty much every play.

Also, Kevin White dropped one long one, but he also made one of the greatest catches I've ever seen, and most of his incomplete targets were not drops. All in all not a great performance, but far from the worst of the week.

79
by Bobman :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 2:56pm

I am sure Luck's strip-six counts against him, and it should, but at least this one was not 85% his fault. Usually he's in mid-throw after holding on too long and not sensing the backside pressure. In this case, he was so deep inside a scrum of Chargers I could not even see him--it looked like four starving dogs dismantling a rabbit. He should have just pile-drived down to his knees to stop the play but I suspect someone was holding him up while a teammate was stripping. Great job by the Chargers, but not much Luck could do (once it all started to go bad). That's not to ignore his other fumbles, which are painful to behold because they are mostly preventable.

82
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:11pm

Interesting take. While watching, I screamed at Luck - and I'm not a Colts fan by any means - for that play. Even if he couldn't get rid of the ball prior to that (and I believe he could, but let's say he couldn't), he should have just gone down right when he started to get hit. In my opinion, that fumble was nearly 100% on him.

87
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 3:42pm

I thought (and I wonder if he did too) that the play would be blown dead.

89
by CaiusDrewart :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 4:51pm

Two corrections:

1) Case Keenum did not have 4 successes on 4 deep balls. On third and 11 from the LA 5 with 2:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, Keenum threw a deep pass to Kenny Britt that was broken up by Brent Grimes. The Rams were forced to punt. The play by play incorrectly records this pass as "short right," but in fact the ball traveled over 30 yards in the air.

2) Cody Kessler was not undrafted.

That aside, I enjoyed the column, particularly the era adjustment for Fitzpatrick's bad day and the explanation of why Joe Flacco's completion streak was less impressive than it might appear.

90
by mbmxyz :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 4:57pm

After three games in 1998, R Leaf was 2 - 1, having thrown for 375 yards on 30 completions in 70 attempts. He had a TD pass and 4 interceptions. (The future was there, though. In Leaf's third game, he completed 1 of 15 passes for 4 yards.) P. Manning meanwhile was 0 - 3 with 2 TD passes and 8 interceptions. He threw 114 passes in those games, completing 62 for 683 yards. Would love to know what the first four games say about a QBs future, or how many pro games starting does it take to assess accurately a QB's ability. Three certainly is not the number.

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by Eddo :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 5:26pm

Leaf's numbers through three games are pretty freaking terrible: 30/70 (43%), 1 TD, 4 INT?

Manning and Leaf show that QBs that start off poor numbers through three games could go either way, but the rookies being hyped right now - Prescott and Wentz - have good numbers through three games. I'm all for being careful with hype, but your examples - Leaf, particularly - aren't really relevant here.

98
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 6:42pm

Mark Sanchez had reasonable stats through three games in 2009:

49/83 (59%) for 606 yards (7.3 y/a) with 4 TDs and 2 INTs for a 87.7 passer rating.

Not Wentz good, but in line with Prescott and certainly far better than he would end up being.

97
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 6:26pm

Would TY Hiton have made the WR list if it had been just receiving DYAR? His conventional numbers were solid and I don't recall to many short completions or incomplete passes headed his way.

Well, crap. There seems to have been an error in calculating the top receivers. Hilton, Jordy Nelson, and Doug Baldwin all should have made the top five. Let me figure out what's going on here and get back to this one.

I'm surprised Favre's 6 INT playoff game didn't make the worst all-time QB game list. Full line: 26/44, 281 yds, 2 TD, 6 INT, Sacks 2/16 yds, 3 yds rushing. The 2 TDs and total yards are more than anyone else on that list. But he still had six interceptions.

I don't have DVOA for that game handy, but remember that A) touchdowns are worth a lot, B) the Rams' defense was really good that year, and C) that wasn't even Favre's worst playoff game. I do have a list of all-time worst playoff games, and Favre's 2004 game against Minnesota is on the list at minus-119.

I should believe that had Fitzpatrick been replaced by a replacement-level QB, that player would have passed for 512 yards against KC?

No. You should believe that a replacement-level QB would have passed for 326 more yards' worth of value than Fitzpatrick did. The yards in DYAR are not raw passing yards, but the value of that quarterback's performance, translated into yards of field position. I mean, even if a guy came in and just spiked the ball into the turf 30 times, that would have been a better game than Fitzpatrick's. And even a replacement quarterback would be expected to outdo that.

How is it that Manning vs KC, week 10, 2015 didn't make the list of worst games for QB? His DYAR was -246 according to the Quick Reads posted at that time.

Key words: "at that time." Opponent adjustments and leaguewide baselines fluctuate throughout the season, so single-game DYAR can change too, especially in early weeks. By season's end, that game was worth minus-233 DYAR.

Kessler was selected by CLE in the Third Round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He probably shouldn't have been drafted, but nevertheless, the blurb on Kessler should be updated to reflect CLE's folly.

Whoops. Fixed.

Amazing that McCoy fumbled the ball and got tackled for a safety and yet ranks ahead of Lacy. I guess TDs overcome everything. What was Lacy's Rush DYAR for the game?

35 DYAR rushing, minus-8 DYAR receiving, 27 DYAR total. Fifth among RBs in rushing value this week. Only two stuffs, but only two 10-yard runs too.

1) Case Keenum did not have 4 successes on 4 deep balls. On third and 11 from the LA 5 with 2:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, Keenum threw a deep pass to Kenny Britt that was broken up by Brent Grimes. The Rams were forced to punt. The play by play incorrectly records this pass as "short right," but in fact the ball traveled over 30 yards in the air.

Interesting. That play is listed with 0 PYD in the play-by-play. Well, mistakes happen.

Any idea if the Falcons had one of the top combined performances ever at the RB position? I originally noticed how valuable both Freeman and Coleman were from a fantasy perspective, but capturing #1 and 2 in total DYAR is quite impressive.

That's 143 DYAR between the two. Only two individual running backs have ever topped 143 DYAR in a game: Priest Holmes had 152 total DYAR against Seattle in 2002, and Joseph Addai had 145 total DYAR against Philadelphia in 2006. As noted, though, the Saints defense looks terrible again, so the Falcons numbers will probably look worse by the end of the year.

102
by duh :: Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:18pm

> I mean, even if a guy came in and just spiked the ball into the turf 30 times, that would have been a better game than Fitzpatrick's

This is a great description of how to think about it for me.

103
by Winterguard78 :: Wed, 09/28/2016 - 7:42pm

I'm a lifelong Chiefs fan and watched both games on that list closely. 1998 week 3 Ryan Leaf was far worse than Fitzpatrick (or Hoyer in playoff or Manning in Denver 2015) The guy went 1 of 15 for 4 yards with 2 picks. He looked like he had never picked up a football before. I imagine you could pick anyone under 55 and over 15 out of the stands (assuming they got a "red don't hit me jersey") who could go 1-15 for 4 yards. If they would have left him in the game, Peyton Manning would have obliterated Fitzpatrick's bad day the last time the Chiefs played in Denver. In a little over a 1/2 he was 4-20 for like 40 yds. with 4 INTs.

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by Winterguard78 :: Wed, 09/28/2016 - 7:43pm

I'm a lifelong Chiefs fan and watched both games on that list closely. 1998 week 3 Ryan Leaf was far worse than Fitzpatrick (or Hoyer in playoff or Manning in Denver 2015) The guy went 1 of 15 for 4 yards with 2 picks. He looked like he had never picked up a football before. I imagine you could pick anyone under 55 and over 15 out of the stands (assuming they got a "red don't hit me jersey") who could go 1-15 for 4 yards. If they would have left him in the game, Peyton Manning would have obliterated Fitzpatrick's bad day the last time the Chiefs played in Denver. In a little over a 1/2 he was 4-20 for like 40 yds. with 4 INTs.

106
by theslothook :: Thu, 09/29/2016 - 2:13am

I suppose its sort of karmic for that 2003 divisional playoff game.

100
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 09/27/2016 - 8:20pm

OK, WRs have been re-run.

105
by Winterguard78 :: Wed, 09/28/2016 - 7:47pm

I keep getting sent to an ad-ware type sight about Wal-Mart gift cards and have to go through the spam filter every comment I post, leading to 2x posting. Any ideas? Is website currently experiencing technical difficulties?

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by Vincent Verhei :: Thu, 09/29/2016 - 4:15am

Strange. If it happens again please get all relevant and specific info, including a screenshot if possible, and send to fomailbag@gmail.com. We need to know which ad is the problem before we can solve it.