Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Jan 2016

Wild-Card Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

And now, a partial list of things we have seen in football since January 28, 2001:

  • Drew Bledsoe's injury, the Tuck Rule game, and Tom Brady's ascension into the quarterback pantheon.
  • Nearly 85 percent of Peyton Manning's career touchdowns.
  • Every game the Houston Texans franchise has ever played.
  • Rich Gannon winning an MVP award and leading the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl against Tampa Bay.
  • Marvin Harrison's 143-catch season in 2002.
  • Jamal Lewis' rushing record against Cleveland -- later broken by Adrian Peterson against San Diego.
  • "We want the ball and we're gonna score."
  • Jake Delhomme, Matt Hasselbeck, Rex Grossman, Joe Flacco, and Colin Kaepernick playing in Super Bowls.
  • All of Devin Hester's kick returns.
  • JaMarcus Russell, first overall draft pick.
  • The first 16-0 team in NFL history.
  • The helmet catch.
  • The first 0-16 team in NFL history.
  • The Saints' return to New Orleans after the storm, and their subsequent Super Bowl win.
  • Teams with losing records winning playoff games.
  • The Beastquake.
  • Brandon Marshall's 21-catch day.
  • Tim Tebow.
  • Replacement refs and the Fail Mary.
  • Calvin Johnson's 329-yard day.
  • Odell Beckham catching footballs with three fingers.
  • The Butler did it.
  • The entire Hall of Fame-caliber careers of players like Drew Brees, Julius Peppers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Ed Reed, Steve Smith, and Jared Allen.
  • Three quarterbacks (Manning, Brees, and Nick Foles) throw for seven touchdowns in a game.
  • Every game Pete Carroll coached at USC or in Seattle.
  • All four (perhaps five by the time you read this) of Nick Saban's national titles.
  • Chip Kelly's rise from offensive coordinator at New Hampshire to record-setter at Oregon to wundercoach in Philadelphia to… whatever he is now.

That's a lot of great players. A lot of big games. A lot of historic moments. A lot of football. You know what we haven't seen in nearly a decade and a half though? In all that time, we have not seen a quarterback put up worse numbers in a postseason game than Brian Hoyer posted against the Chiefs on Saturday. That's 147 postseason games, including starts by such luminaries as Kordell Stewart, Elvis Grbac, Tommy Maddox, Caleb Hanie, Ryan Lindley, even Houston's own T.J. Yates, and Hoyer somehow managed to underperform them all.

Hoyer's basic statline is pretty self-explanatory: he went 15-of-34 for only 136 yards. That's a 44 percent completion rate and 4.0 yards per pass. He had no touchdowns, but he did surrender four interceptions, three sacks, and two fumbles. It's not as if Hoyer couldn't do anything right. He threw for 11 first downs against Kansas City -- that's more than Alex Smith, Ben Roethlisberger or Russell Wilson had this weekend, and those quarterbacks won! (Yes, Landry Jones also played some quarterback for Pittsburgh, but he did not throw for a first down.) The issue was simply big plays -- Hoyer produced too few for Houston (zero gains of 20 or more yards -- every other starter this weekend had at least one and as many as five) and too many for Kansas City (the aforementioned sacks and turnovers, and six other passes that were failed plays on third or fourth down).

No, this was not the worst playoff game for a quarterback we have ever measured. But it was the second-worst playoff game for a quarterback we have ever measured, and the worst since Kerry Collins' four-interception, four-sack, one-fumble day against Baltimore in Super Bowl XXXV (which, as you have probably guessed by now, was played on January 28, 2001):


Worst Quarterback Playoff Games, 1989-2015, Total DYAR
Player Year Team Round Opp. Venue Result Att. Cmp Yds TD INT Sacks Fmbl Pass
DYAR
Run
DYAR
Tot
DYAR
Kerry Collins 2000 NYG SB BAL N L 34-7 39 15 112 0 4 4 1 -295 1 -294
Brian Hoyer 2015 HOU AFC-WC KC H L 30-0 34 15 136 0 4 3 2 -229 0 -229
Jake Delhomme 2008 CAR NFC-D ARI H L 33-13 34 17 205 1 5 2 1 -220 0 -220
Donovan McNabb 2003 PHI NFC-C CAR H L 14-3 22 10 100 0 3 4 0 -209 4 -205
Dan Marino 1997 MIA AFC-WC NE R L 17-3 43 17 141 0 2 4 2 -192 -4 -196
Stan Humphries 1992 SD AFC-D MIA R L 31-0 44 18 140 0 4 1 0 -183 3 -180
Todd Marinovich 1991 LARD AFC-WC KC R L 10-6 23 12 140 0 4 2 1 -177 0 -177
Jay Schroeder 1990 LARD AFC-C BUF R L 51-3 31 13 150 0 5 1 0 -190 15 -175
Neil O'Donnell 1992 PIT AFC-D BUF H L 24-3 29 15 163 0 2 7 2 -178 10 -168
Troy Aikman 1998 DAL NFC-WC ARI H L 20-7 49 22 191 1 3 4 1 -167 0 -167
Ryan Lindley 2014 ARI NFC-WC CAR R L 27-16 28 16 82 1 2 4 1 -166 0 -166
Tony Romo 2009 DAL NFC-D MIN R L 34-3 35 22 198 0 1 6 3 -164 0 -164
Mark Vlasic* 1991 KC AFC-D BUF R L 37-14 20 9 124 1 4 1 0 -160 0 -160
Tom Brady 2009 NE AFC-WC BAL H L 33-14 42 23 154 2 3 3 1 -157 0 -157
Elvis Grbac 2001 BAL AFC-D PIT R L 27-10 37 18 153 0 3 3 0 -155 0 -155
Rich Gannon 2000 OAK AFC-C BAL H L 16-3 21 11 80 0 2 4 1 -151 -2 -153
Trent Green 2006 KC AFC-WC IND R L 23-8 24 14 107 1 2 4 2 -137 -12 -149
Phil Simms 1993 NYG NFC-D SF R L 44-3 25 12 124 0 2 4 0 -137 -7 -144
Russell Wilson 2014 SEA NFC-C GB H W 28-22
(OT)
29 14 209 1 4 5 1 -147 10 -137
Matt Cassel 2010 KC AFC-WC BAL H L 30-7 18 9 70 0 3 3 0 -137 0 -137
* Did not start game.

There are a lot of big names on that list, and though some of them were in their final years, others had long careers in front of them. In other words, it's just one game. Hoyer was 20th in both DVOA and DYAR this year, and I'm not going to tell you that he is the long-term answer for the franchise, but it's not as if he needs to be chased out of town with pitchforks and touchdowns, either.

That said, what were some of the areas where Hoyer particularly struggled against Kansas City?

  • He had a terrible day on deep passes, going just 2-of-7 for 33 yards and two picks. At exactly 16 yards downfield each, those two completions were as short as pass could be and still qualify as deep.
  • Hoyer made the worst of some very bad situations. Inside his own 20, he went 1-of-3 for 1 yard (which came on first-and-10) with two picks.
  • Mind you, he was hardly any better at the other end of the field. Inside the Kansas City 40, he went 0-for-4 with an interception and two sack-fumbles.
  • Hoyer had no success throwing against Eric Berry and the middle of the Kansas City defense -- he went 1-of-6 for 4 yards with two picks when throwing in that direction.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Aaron Rodgers GB
21/36
210
2
0
1
79
79
0
WAS
Rodgers' statistical star wasn't terribly bright this weekend, but then nobody else's was either, and Rodgers' was less dim than most. His and the Packers' turnaround was most evident on third downs. On his first five third-down plays, he went 0-for-4 with a sack for a safety. Then he converted three third downs in a row, gaining 33 yards in the process. His last third-down pass was a 5-yard gain on third-and-6, but by that point the Packers were up 32-18 with less than seven minutes to go. He was nearly perfect in short yardage -- with 5 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 5-of-6 for 44 yards, with every completion going for a first down. He also did very well throwing to the middle of the field, completing all six of his passes for 77 yards and four first downs, including a score.
2.
Teddy Bridgewater MIN
17/24
146
0
0
3
50
44
5
SEA
Minnesota's game plan was very conservative, with poor results. Six of Bridgewater's attempts were thrown to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage. Only four of those were completed, for 16 net yards and just one first down. Then nine more passes were thrown to receivers 1 to 4 yards downfield, resulting in seven completions for 54 yards and only one first down. He had most of his success in the 5- to 12-yard distance, going 7-of-8 for 76 yards and four first downs; a ninth pass in that range resulted in a 6-yard DPI and another first down. He had three other passes, each traveling 20-plus yards downfield, resulting in two incompletions and a 19-yard DPI.
3.
Alex Smith KC
17/22
190
1
1
3
46
29
18
HOU
Smith doesn't throw a lot of passes over the middle, but when he did throw middle passes against Houston, he had a lot of success, going 4-of-5 for 98 yards and four first downs, including a 9-yard touchdown to Chris Conley. That one incomplete pass, though, was intercepted. Mostly, though, it was Kansas City's usual death-by-a-thousand-cuts offense -- only eight of his 17 completions went for first downs, while four counted as failed completions. That includes two failed completions on third downs, which is twice ias many third-down conversions as he produced. On third downs, he went 3-of-6 for 22 yards with a sack.
4.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
18/31
229
1
0
3
35
35
0
CIN
Landry Jones did not throw the ball enough to qualify for these tables; he went 2-of-5 for 11 yards with no first downs, one interception, one sack, and no first downs. That works out to minus-82 DYAR. As for Roethlisberger, he had a lot of struggles once the Steelers crossed midfield. On Cincinnati's side of the 50, he went 4-of-10 for 56 yards with only two first downs and one sack. One of those completions was a 23-yard gain on second-and-25; another resulted in a 1-yard loss and a fumble. His first nine third-down dropbacks resulted in more sacks (two) than first downs (one), as he went 2-of-7 for 32 yards. The Steelers, like the Chiefs, came out with a small-ball attack. Six of his seven passes in the first quarter and eight of 13 passes in the second quarter were thrown to targets within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Each of his four third-quarter passes traveled at least 8 yards downfield, but then in the fourth quarter (after he hurt his shoulder), none of his seven passes traveled even 5 yards downfield. Then on their last drive, needing a score to save their season, Roethlisberger had a 7-yard gain on third-and-2 and a 12-yard gain on fourth-and-3.
5.
Kirk Cousins WAS
29/46
329
1
0
6
7
-2
9
GB
Two of Cousins' six sacks resulted in fumbles, both coming when the game was still close in the first half. And you can add Cousins to the long list of quaterbacks this week who came out throwing short -- 15 of his 18 first-half passes were thrown to receivers within 7 yards of the line of scrimmage. He loosened up in the second half, with 11 of his 28 passes after halftime traveling 10 yards or more.
6.
Russell Wilson SEA
13/26
142
1
1
2
-8
-10
2
MIN
Doesn't matter who's in at running back or what the score is, the Seahawks are going to run the ball. With Christine Michael starting and in a game Seattle trailed for most of the way, Wilson had only eight first-down passes, while the Seahawks had 13 first-down runs (one of them by Wilson). Those eight first-down passes resulted in four completions for 74 yards and three first downs, three incompletions, and one sack. His second-down throws weren't nearly as successful -- he went 2-of-6 for zero net yards with a sack, though one of those completions did result in a 3-yard touchdown. He was good enough on third downs (6-of-11 for 61 yards and five first downs, with a 12th throw resulting in a 41-yard DPI), but on fourth downs he had a 7-yard gain with 13 yards to go, and an interception with 3 yards to go.
7.
AJ McCarron CIN
23/41
216
1
1
3
-39
-30
-9
PIT
Another dink-and-dunker in a week full of them. Eleven of McCarron's 14 first-half passes stayed within 7 yards of the line of scrimmage. Only two of those 14 passes resulted in first downs. And then nine of his 28 second-half passes traveled 10 yards or more downfield. That's a big reason why he had 10 first downs in the second half.
8.
Brian Hoyer HOU
15/34
136
0
4
3
-229
-229
0
KC


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.
Chris Thompson WAS
1
25
0
8/8
89
0
49
13
37
GB
Thompson's only carry was a 25-yard gain on second-and-10 in the second quarter. Only two of his receptions produced first downs: a 9-yard gain on second-and-5 and a 38-yard gain on first-and-10. He did have three other successful receptions, though.
2.
James Starks GB
12
53
1
2/2
12
0
30
21
8
WAS
Starks' longest runs went for 22 and 11 yards, and he had three other short-yardage conversions, including a 4-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, he was hit for no gain or a loss three times. His two catches both gained exactly 6 yards, one of them picking up a first down.
3.
Spencer Ware KC
16
67
1
0/0
0
0
14
14
0
HOU
Ware's longest runs went for 23 and 12 yards, and he had two other short-yardage conversions, including a 5-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, he was hit for no gain or a loss three times. (Yes, I did copy and paste this from Starks' comment and only changed the specific numbers.)
4.
Fitzgerald Toussaint PIT
17
58
0
4/8
60
0
13
5
8
CIN
Slow and steady wins the race. Toussaint never gained more than 9 yards on a carry and only had two first downs, while getting hit for no gain or a loss five times. His four receptions all gained first downs, on gains of 27, 16, 10, and 7 yards.
5.
Alfred Blue HOU
17
99
0
0/1
0
0
11
22
-10
KC
Blue had runs of 49 and 10 yards, but those were his only first downs on the day. His other carries all gained 5 yards or less, he was hit for no gain three times, and his only target resulted in an interception (which is counted as any other incompletion in Blue's numbers). Look, it's the playoffs, it's hard to find five good running backs.


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.
Alfred Blue HOU
17
99
0
0/1
0
0
11
22
-10
KC
2.
James Starks GB
12
53
1
2/2
12
0
30
21
8
WAS
3.
Spencer Ware KC
16
67
1
0/0
0
0
14
14
0
HOU
4.
Chris Thompson WAS
1
25
0
8/8
89
0
49
13
37
GB
5.
Fitzgerald Toussaint PIT
17
58
0
4/8
60
0
13
5
8
CIN


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.
Giovani Bernard CIN
6
28
0
2/4
6
0
-32
1
-33
PIT
Boom and bust: Bernard had runs of 14 and 12 yards (the former of which came on third-and-22), but his other four carries each gained 2, 1, 0, and minus-1 yards. His two catches: a 4-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 2-yard gain and fumble on third-and-9.


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.
Christine Michael SEA
21
70
0
1/1
14
0
-14
-25
12
MIN
Michael's longest run was a 13-yard gain on third-and-23. His only first down came on an 11-yard run. His other 19 runs all gained 8 yards or less, and ten gained 2 yards or less, including three failures to convert with 4 yards or less to go for a first down. His only catch, for what it's worth, was a 14-yard gain on third-and-2.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Travis Kelce KC
8
10
128
16.0
0
39
HOU
Kelce's four first downs came on gains of 48, 25, 18, and 16 yards.
2.
A.J. Green CIN
5
8
71
14.2
1
36
PIT
In addition to his receptions (which included a 25-yard touchdown on third-and-7 and 22- and 11-yard gains), Green gained 42 yards on a DPI.
3.
Davante Adams GB
4
4
48
12.0
1
36
WAS
Adams' catches: a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 7; a 20-yard gain on third-and-2; and two 9-yard gains on first-and-10.
4.
Martavis Bryant PIT
5
6
29
5.8
1
31
CIN
Bryant's totals include 8 DYAR receiving, 24 rushing for his 44-yard scamper in the third quarter. His only receiving first down was a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 10, and his only other successful catch was an 8-yard gain on first-and-10.
5.
Stefon Diggs MIN
4
6
26
6.5
0
22
SEA
Diggs' longest reception gained only 9 yards, but he somehow produced three first downs, including two third-down conversions.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Nate Washington HOU
1
6
3
3.0
0
-32
KC
*Sigh* Hey, at least that one catch for 3 yards produced a first down. Washington was also the target on two of Hoyer's four interceptions, so if anything his day was even worse than his DYAR shows.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 11 Jan 2016

35 comments, Last at 15 Jan 2016, 1:28pm by Cloister

Comments

1
by Duff Soviet Union :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 6:39am

I'm shocked that Michael was less valuable than Adrian Peterson

2
by BJR :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 7:50am

Yes, this seems....odd. Please can we see Peterson's breakdown?

4
by RoninX :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 9:16am

Yeah, 23 for 45 and a fumble. Same long of 13. Peterson definitely converted more first downs than Michael (I'd guess 3, maybe 4?) But the number of negative plays and tfls... really hard to believe he outperformed Michael from a dyar perspective. Is the "against the seahawks" boost that big?

7
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 9:49am

I think it was Brian Burke who looked at the marginal value in yards of converting for a 1st down and came up with something like 9 yards. I think it's easy to overlook how much 3 yards on 3 and 2 is really worth lost in a beneath 5 to 10 more exciting highlights.

18
by RoninX :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 3:09pm

But didn't Brian Burke also put the approximate worth of a fumble (in yards totals) as -45 yards?

And Adrian Peterson didn't have 5-10 more highlights of any kind in this game.

20
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 3:24pm

AP's fumble was on a reception. Michael had the worst rushing DYAR, not the worst overall DYAR.

28
by RoninX :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 7:45pm

A good point.

3
by Travis :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 8:56am

That's 147 postseason games, including starts by such luminaries as ... Caleb Hanie ...

Hanie never started a playoff game, but Todd Collins (the other terrible Bears backup in that NFC Championship Game) did.

17
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 3:02pm

Thank you. That was driving me crazy because I couldn't think of what game Hanie would have started.

29
by TomC :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 10:55pm

The worst part about Hanie's performance in that game is that it was his best performance ever. (He threw two interceptions, including a pick-6 to a D-lineman, but he also looked briefly competent and threw a TD pass that made the game close at the end.) The Bears brain trust, on the basis of one only-kind-of-horrible game, decided he was worth keeping around, and when Cutler got hurt the next year they proudly trotted him out, and they lost 4 straight to terrible teams (including the Tebow Broncos), going from 7-4 to 7-8 and out of the playoffs.

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 9:45am

Rodgers' and Bridgewater's YAR, please? Oh, and if Captain Munnerlyn maintains rush discipline, and Wilson takes a 15 yard sack, and thus also loses his TD pass (go ahead and assume their drive ends without another completion) what do Wilson's YAR and DYAR drop to?

9
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 9:57am

If football karma is adiabatic, then Okung won't bump Wilson causing the dragon to Baldwin in the endzone to float, results in a TD, and his DYAR goes up.

13
by billsfan :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:03pm

I think that all depends on whether you assume Minnesota is a closed system at absolute zero.

27
by jamie_k74 :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 6:21pm

Now *that* is the kind of intelligent comment you just don't get on other sites. Tip o' the hat to you, Sir/Ma'am.

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 9:45am

Rodgers' and Bridgewater's YAR, please? Oh, and if Captain Munnerlyn maintains rush discipline, and Wilson takes a 15 yard sack, and thus also loses his TD pass (go ahead and assume their drive ends without another completion) what do Wilson's YAR and DYAR drop to?

22
by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 3:39pm

If football karma is adiabatic, then Okung won't bump Wilson causing the dragon to Baldwin in the endzone to float, results in a TD, and his DYAR goes up.

23
by Insancipitory :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 4:14pm

That's an excellent point.

8
by Dr. Mooch :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 9:49am

Huh. A 25-yard run on 2nd and 10 is good for 13 DYAR. Which sort of suggests that one should expect a 12 yard run on 2nd and 10 from any replacement back, against Green Bay. Weird?

10
by RickD :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 10:27am

The lesson there is to not take the name of the stat too literally. IIRC, the marginal value per yard for longer runs decreases as the length of a run increases.

Certainly nobody would assign a negative value to a 9-yard run on 2nd and 10.

11
by hscer :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:27am

Curious what Jones' VOA was. He posted the first 0.0 playoff game QBR over at ESPN (min. 2 attempts).

12
by jacobk :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:32am

One of the things that struck me after watching the Seattle game replay on NFL Network was that nobody was really breaking any tackles. Michael had several runs where a lot of space opened up but then the first guy to hit him dragged him down easily for a 4-6 yard gain. Fred Jackson had a similar looking run to the inside where the blocking was there for a big gain and he got 3. Russell Wilson had a read option that he took for 12 where he was stopped from getting another 10 yards by an ankle tackle. Adrian Peterson, even on his big runs, never really got past the first guy to have a solid chance to tackle him.

Both defenses are sound tacklers. I wonder if the temperature also had something to do with it.

35
by Cloister :: Fri, 01/15/2016 - 1:28pm

I'm sure the temperature had some direct impact, but I'm also sure Michael had it drilled into his skull to hang onto the ball at all costs. In that game under those conditions, better to get tackled like that than try to stiff arm the guy at greater risk of a fumble since now you've only got one arm holding the ball.

14
by Bobman :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 1:25pm

What? I understand no extra DYAR points for Bryant trapping a TD catch against the back of his thigh, then doing a flip while transferring it to being safely cradled in his breadbasket while rotating in mid-air, but a little love in the text might be called for.

Hmmm. I suppose he just got that....

15
by techvet :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 2:24pm

How could Hill not have had a worse day than Bernard?

Unfortunately, Adams will be missing the Cardinals game.

16
by tictoc :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 2:53pm

I love that the only Win on that Qb ineptness list is Russell Wilson's NFC championship game performance last year. That Ol' Wilson magic! Sorry Green Bay.

24
by RickD :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 4:51pm

Yeah, if you had to pick a QB who could win despite having a bad day, Wilson would top the list.

31
by Guido Merkens :: Wed, 01/13/2016 - 9:27am

Is that just another way of saying Wilson is supported by an excellent defense and a good running game?

19
by BaronFoobarstein :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 3:22pm

I know it's small sample size theater, but who was worse on DVOA, Brian Hoyer or Landry Jones?

21
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 3:32pm

I want to thank mehllageman56, for bringing this to my attention in another thread.

Tom Brady's first Super Bowl: 16/27, 145 yards 1 touchdown, no interceptions, in a domed stadium, against a -11.7 DVOA defense.

Teddy Bridgewater's first playoff game: 17/24, 146 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, at 6 below zero, against a -15.2 DVOA defense.

Our perception of qb performance is frequently so heavily influenced by stuff that has nothing to do with qb performance, it really is ridiculous.

25
by RickD :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 4:55pm

I suspect if you broke Brady's performance down by quarter, you would see a strong finish.

Having said that, the first SB win was more about the defense and the turnovers than about Brady playing like the Tom Brady of today. The media picked up his rags-to-riches story and ran with it. It was a few years before he was actually as good a QB as the media had already made him out to be.

Bridgewater is a good enough QB to win games against good teams. If he works as hard as Brady has, there's no reason to think Bridgewater cannot continue to improve to a high level. There are examples of other QBs in the past (Testaverde and Gannon come to mind) who were considerably better in their later years than when they started out. Most good QBs don't start out with Dan Marino's rookie season.

33
by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 01/13/2016 - 4:58pm

Of course, I brought it up because I'm campaigning for Bridgewater being Tom Brady's doppleganger. They're both very accurate within 30 yards or so, have poise, and have issues with deep accuracy. They also have the same initials. If only Teddy had Brady's amazing pocket presence (really, he's better than anyone else I've seen ever in that category). Now the Vikings need to build up the offensive line around him (the Pats could use some help there too this year, but a lot of that was injury luck).

26
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 6:05pm

Wow, I know it's the playoffs, but we got more feedback for four games than we usually get for 16. Not that I'm complaining, just an obvservation.

I'm shocked that Michael was less valuable than Adrian Peterson

Christine Michael: -13 total DYAR (-25 rushing, 12 receiving).

Adrian Peterson: -29 total DYAR (-18 rushing, -11 receiving).

As others have pointed out, Peterson's fumble was on a catch, not a run. The other difference is opponent adjustments -- without them, Peterson had -35 YAR rushing; Michael had -17 YAR rushing.

Rodgers' and Bridgewater's YAR, please?

Rodgers: 97

Bridgewater: 8

Oh, and if Captain Munnerlyn maintains rush discipline, and Wilson takes a 15 yard sack, and thus also loses his TD pass (go ahead and assume their drive ends without another completion) what do Wilson's YAR and DYAR drop to?

I don't like to answer "what if this had happened on this play instead?" questions like this because A) it can get complicated, and B) you could do them on literally every play. But those two plays were worth 23 and 18 DYAR, respectively, Wilson's two biggest plays of the day.

Curious what Jones' VOA was. He posted the first 0.0 playoff game QBR over at ESPN (min. 2 attempts).

VOA: -222.8%. DVOA was close to the same. Yes, that is much worse than Hoyer's -118.0%.

How could Hill not have had a worse day than Bernard?

Hill: 12 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD; 4 targets, 3 recs, 27 yds, no TD. 5 total DYAR, 3 rushing, 3 receiving. (The totals there do not add up due to rounding errors.)

Bernard: 6-28-0, 4-2-6-0, -32 DYAR total, 1 rushing, -32 receiving.

Considering Bernard had a big fumble on one of his catches, I can't figure out why you would have expected him to have had the better day.

I love that the only Win on that Qb ineptness list is Russell Wilson's NFC championship game performance last year. That Ol' Wilson magic! Sorry Green Bay.

That game was amazing -- almost all of Wilson's good plays came after Seattle recovered the onside kick. If Green Bay recovered, Wilson likely would have had the second-worst playoff day ever (third-worst now, behind Hoyer). I wrote about it in his comment at the time.

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by TomC :: Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:02pm

Anytime there's a "worst playoff performance" list the unhealthy backward-looking Bear fan part of me can't wait 'til DVOA gets back to 1985, because you can always find someone on the Bears' opponents that year to add to the discussion. This time it's Dieter Brock in the NFC Championship game going 10-31-66-0-1 with 3 sacks (22 yards lost) and one fumble. That's right, 44 net yards on 31 attempts. Now, opponent adjustments are going to be through the roof for the '85 Bears, but I'm still betting that's in the top 10.

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by Perfundle :: Wed, 01/13/2016 - 1:44pm

If anything, Brock's previous game was worse. He went 6-22-50-0-1 with 1 3-yard sack and 1 fumble against a considerably worse Dallas pass defense. But Dickerson went off for 248 yards so they won easily.

Still, numbers like that were relatively commonplace in that era. For instance, just one year prior Chicago's Fuller had an even worse line of 13-22-87-0-1 with 9 sacks (50 yards lost) and one fumble against the 49ers, which is 37 net yards in 31 dropbacks.

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by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 01/13/2016 - 11:33pm

"chased out of town with pitchforks and touchdowns"

Um, wat?