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11 Sep 2017

Week 1 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Last Thursday night, more than 20 million viewers watched the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the New England Patriots 42-27 in the NFL's season opener. A key to the Chiefs' win was the performance of rookie running back Kareem Hunt. Three days later, a smaller audience watched the Baltimore Ravens shut out the Cincinnati Bengals 20-0. That win was led by a defense that smothered Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. You don't need me to tell you that Hunt was good, and Dalton was bad. As it turns out, Dalton was more bad than Hunt was good. But both men had the kind of day we typically see only once or twice a season.

We'll start with Hunt. A MACtion star in college, Hunt rushed for nearly 5,000 yards in his career with the Toledo Rockets, leading the conference in rushing 2014 and 2016. Questions about his level of competition and limited athleticism (he ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash at the combine) seemed to limit his upside, though. He didn't even make the top ten running backs in our 2017 BackCAST projections, and the Chiefs made him the sixth running back off the boards when they took him in the third round (86th overall) in this year's draft. Our comment on Hunt in FOA 2017 was so brief, we can just run the whole thing here:

Hunt is a big back who can catch the screens and checkdowns that he is guaranteed to see in a Kansas City offense. One plus that could lead to early playing time is Hunt’s ball security, as he didn’t fumble at all in 2016 over 303 total touches. BackCAST didn’t love him, as his projection ranked just 12th in this year’s class, but Hunt should contribute as Spencer Ware’s main backup this season.

Then Spencer Ware tore his PCL and LCL late in the preseason, and Hunt found himself starting in one of the biggest games of the regular season. And he delivered, gaining 148 yards and a touchdown on only 17 carries, and catching each of the five passes thrown his way for 98 yards and two more scores. That's 246 yards from scrimmage, an all-time record for yards from scrimmage for a player in his NFL debut.

More importantly, as far as this column is concerned, Hunt finished the day with 103 DYAR. This is just the 29th time on record that a running back has amassed 100-plus total DYAR in a single game. I can't promise you this will be the best game a running back has all year, but I can tell you it would have been the best game in many other years -- 2012, 2011, 2008, 2001, and every season from 1992 to 1996. Here's a look at where Hunt's game ranks historically.


100-DYAR Games, RBs, 1989-2017*
Year Player Team Total DYAR Rush DYAR Rec DYAR Runs Yds TD Pass Rec Yds TD Wk Def
2002 Priest Holmes KC 152 101 52 23 197 2 7 7 110 1 12 SEA
2006 Joseph Addai IND 145 121 24 24 171 4 3 3 37 0 12 PHI
1997 Corey Dillon CIN 135 126 9 39 246 4 2 2 30 0 15 TEN
2005 LaDainian Tomlinson SD 134 117 -13 21 192 3 7 7 28 0 3 NYG
1991 Barry Sanders DET 131 116 15 23 220 4 4 4 31 0 13 MIN
1998 Marshall Faulk IND 131 89 41 17 192 1 8 8 75 1 13 BAL
2000 Marshall Faulk STL 123 95 28 32 220 2 8 8 41 1 17 NO
2007 Brian Westbrook PHI 117 58 59 14 110 2 5 5 111 1 3 DET
2013 Jamaal Charles KC 116 4 112 8 20 1 8 8 195 4 15 OAK
1991 Thurman Thomas BUF 114 56 58 25 165 1 9 9 103 1 1 MIA
2000 Marshall Faulk STL 114 83 31 25 208 1 10 10 78 0 7 ATL
1990 Barry Sanders DET 111 42 69 16 90 1 7 7 135 1 6 KC
1999 Marshall Faulk STL 111 10 101 10 54 0 13 13 204 1 16 CHI
2004 Edgerrin James IND 110 104 6 23 204 1 1 1 11 0 11 CHI
2010 Arian Foster HOU 109 110 0 33 231 3 1 1 7 0 1 IND
Year Player Team Total DYAR Rush DYAR Rec DYAR Runs Yds TD Pass Rec Yds TD Wk Def
2007 Brian Westbrook PHI 109 48 61 20 100 1 6 5 83 2 10 WAS
2000 Fred Taylor JAC 108 111 -3 30 234 3 7 7 14 1 12 PIT
2006 Tiki Barber NYG 106 96 10 23 234 3 4 4 24 0 17 WAS
2006 Steven Jackson STL 106 78 28 25 142 3 2 2 24 1 17 MIN
1999 Dorsey Levens GB 105 92 13 24 146 4 4 4 23 0 17 ARI
2014 Jonas Gray NE 104 104 0 37 201 4 0 0 0 0 11 IND
2009 Jerome Harrison CLE 104 109 -5 34 286 3 3 3 12 0 15 KC
2003 Clinton Portis DEN 103 89 15 22 218 5 3 3 36 0 14 KC
2015 David Johnson ARI 103 75 27 29 187 3 4 4 42 0 15 PHI
2017 Kareem Hunt KC 103 48 55 17 148 1 5 5 98 2 1 NE
2016 Rex Burkhead CIN 103 90 13 27 119 2 2 2 25 0 17 BAL
2006 LaDainian Tomlinson SD 102 90 11 18 172 3 3 3 20 0 9 CLE
2004 Larry Johnson KC 101 63 38 20 118 1 4 4 56 1 13 OAK
2016 Spencer Ware KC 100 38 61 11 70 1 8 7 129 0 1 SD
* Includes all regular season games since 1989 and most playoff games since 1995.

A couple of factoids we can take from this table. First, we can see that Kansas City fans have had the good fortune to cheer for some great running backs throughout the years -- Hunt is the fifth different Chiefs running back to make this table.

It's more useful to note that there aren't a lot of one-hit wonders on this table. Most of these players had long successful careers. There are exceptions -- Jonas Gray only started three games in his career, while Jerome Harrison started only ten, though in his case a devastating brain tumor brought about the end of his career. In all likelihood, Hunt will wind up at least like a Dorsey Levens or Joseph Addai, and maybe a lot more. So if you need a running back for your fantasy team, you shouldn't hesitate to try to get him.

Compared to Hunt, Andy Dalton came into 2017 as much more of a known commodity. The Bengals' starting quarterback since he was drafted in the second round in 2011, he has had some good years (fourth in DYAR in 2015) and some bad years (22nd in DYAR in in 2014). He has had some good games and some bad games.

Then came the Ravens, and Dalton had the kind of game that hopefully only happens once in his career. Due in large part to the struggles of young offensive linemen Jake Fisher, Cedric Ogbuehi, and Trey Hopkins, Dalton completed only 16 of 31 passes for 170 yards and no touchdowns. He also threw four interceptions and was sacked five times. It was the 43rd 4-INT, 5-sack game in NFL history, and the first for the Bengals since the exquisitely named Turk Schonert got blasted by the Steelers in 1984.

Dalton finished with -282 DYAR. That's the worst game for a quarterback since … well, since last year, when Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions against Kansas City. Otherwise, though, you'd have to look long and hard over the past few decades to find a game this bad.


Minus-230-DYAR Games, QBs, 1989-2017*
Year Player Team Total DYAR Pass DYAR Rush DYAR Comp Att Yds TD Int Sacks Runs Yds TD Wk Def
1994 David Klingler CIN -302 -302 0 10 30 115 0 3 7 0 0 0 4 HOIL
2016 Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ -300 -291 -9 20 44 188 0 6 0 3 13 0 3 KC
2000 Kerry Collins NYG -294 -295 1 15 39 112 0 4 4 3 12 0 21** BAL
2006 Rex Grossman CHI -284 -284 0 14 37 144 0 4 2 0 0 0 6 ARI
2017 Andy Dalton CIN -282 -285 3 16 31 170 0 4 5 1 2 0 1 BAL
2012 Brandon Weeden CLE -274 -284 10 12 35 118 0 4 2 1 25 0 1 PHI
2005 Alex Smith SF -270 -263 -7 9 23 74 0 4 5 2 3 0 5 IND
2003 Tim Hasselbeck WAS -270 -268 -2 6 26 56 0 4 1 1 2 0 15 DAL
1990 Troy Aikman DAL -269 -259 -11 9 25 61 0 2 4 3 6 0 6 PHX
1998 Donald Hollas OAK -266 -273 7 12 31 152 1 6 8 3 15 0 14 MIA
2001 Brian Griese DEN -265 -272 7 16 32 151 1 4 5 2 13 0 17 IND
2003 Kordell Stewart CHI -263 -256 -7 14 34 95 1 3 5 6 21 0 1 SF
1993 Craig Erickson TB -259 -257 -3 13 29 122 0 4 3 1 2 0 6 MIN
1998 Ryan Leaf SD -259 -256 -3 1 15 4 0 2 2 1 1 0 3 KC
1989 Vinny Testaverde TB -256 -256 0 19 39 188 0 5 4 0 0 0 13 GB
1998 Bobby Hoying PHI -255 -248 -7 16 34 118 0 2 5 2 6 0 11 WAS
Year Player Team Total DYAR Pass DYAR Rush DYAR Comp Att Yds TD Int Sacks Runs Yds TD Wk Def
1992 Kelly Stouffer SEA -254 -254 0 12 21 109 0 2 5 0 0 0 13 DEN
1990 Vinny Testaverde TB -250 -260 11 10 24 149 1 5 3 3 27 0 9 CHI
2002 David Carr HOU -247 -258 11 6 25 87 0 2 9 3 27 0 2 SD
1999 Drew Bledsoe NE -247 -247 0 16 34 201 1 5 4 0 0 0 11 MIA
2007 John Beck MIA -246 -250 4 23 39 177 0 3 3 2 4 0 13 NYJ
2010 Todd Collins CHI -244 -244 0 6 16 32 0 4 2 0 0 0 5 CAR
2015 Nick Foles STL -244 -244 0 11 29 141 1 4 3 1 2 0 5 GB
2013 Geno Smith NYJ -241 -226 -15 8 23 103 0 3 4 1 -2 0 11 BUF
2005 Kyle Orton CHI -239 -239 0 17 39 149 0 5 0 0 0 0 3 CIN
2007 Brian Grise CHI -233 -236 3 35 52 286 2 3 6 2 8 0 4 DET
1991 Jeff Carlson TB -233 -238 5 12 32 164 0 3 5 1 9 0 9 GB
2015 Peyton Manning DEN -233 -233 0 6 20 35 0 4 2 0 0 0 10 KC
2004 David Carr HOU -233 -233 0 22 41 215 0 3 5 3 10 0 10 IND
1990 Babe Laufenberg DAL -232 -232 0 13 36 140 0 4 1 0 0 0 16 PHI
1997 Kelly Holcomb IND -231 -231 0 5 8 29 0 3 2 0 0 0 17 MIN
2000 Anthony Wright DAL -230 -235 5 5 20 35 0 2 4 2 9 0 17 TEN
* Includes all regular season games since 1989 and most playoff games since 1995.
** Super Bowl

(Yes, there are six Bears in that table, and four Buccaneers. Too bad those two teams aren't in the same division anymore.)

When looking at both Hunt and Dalton, it's important to remember that these numbers for 2017 are very, very fluid. Numbers can and will change throughout the season as baselines and opponent adjustments develop. If the Patriots defense turns out to be a good one this year, then Hunt could climb up the best games table. But if New England keeps giving up points, he could fall off altogether. The same is true for Dalton -- if they get another bundle of sacks and interceptions against DeShone Kizer and the Browns in Week 2, then Dalton's Week 1 game won't look quite so bad. But if the Ravens fall apart, it would look even worse. The numbers at the top (bottom?) of the "worst games" list are so tight, Dalton could quite easily climb to No. 3. He might even pass David Klingler for the top spot. That would give the Bengals the two worst quarterback games in nearly three decades. Meanwhile, the franchise hasn't won a playoff game since the 1990 season. It's hard being a Cincinnati fan.

(Ed. Note: In fact, the numbers are so fluid that the numbers for Hunt and Dalton above are different from those below. That's because the intro part of Quick Reads is written Monday afternoon, while the table is run after Monday Night Football. The league re-normalizes to average at 0% DVOA every time we re-run things, and with such a small sample size early in the season, adding in two more games changes the normalization and thus each player's DVOA and DYAR. The numbers below reflect the values after MNF, but as noted, these values will change as we get a better idea in the future of the overall offensive levels of the NFL in 2017. -- Aaron Schatz)

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Sam Bradford MIN
27/32
346
3
0
1
224
224
0
NO
In 2016, Bradford's average pass traveled only 6.4 yards past the line of scrimmage, and his average completion was caught only 4.8 yards downfield. He ranked last and next to last in those two categories. Against the Saints on Monday night, those numbers jumped to 7.3 (middle of the pack after Week 1) and 7.6 (sixth among starters). He was nearly perfect on deep passes against the Saints, going 8-of-9 for 219 yards on passes that traveled more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage.
2.
Alex Smith KC
28/35
368
4
0
3
208
208
-1
NE
The biggest plays, of course, were the four touchdowns, including a 78-yarder to Kareem Hunt and a 75-yarder to Tyreek Hill. That masked some of Smith's struggles on third down -- 5-of-6, yes, but for only 38 yards and three conversions, plus three sacks. The 2016 Chiefs offense was often a boom-and-bust affair that sometimes had trouble scoring without big plays, and despite their success against New England that may still be the case.
3.
Jared Goff LARM
21/29
306
1
0
1
145
147
-2
IND
In seven starts last season, Goff never ranked higher than 16th in Quick Reads (and that was his first start, oddly). Meanwhile, he was last twice, second-to-last twice, and third-to-last once. So yes, it's a brave new world to see him this high. But as we like to say, rookies often struggle before improving in their second seasons. Plus, you know, no Jeff Fisher. That has to help. He was especially effective on deeper passes. On throws that traveled at least 14 yards past the line of scrimmage, he went 7-of-8 for 181 yards and a touchdown.
4.
Derek Carr OAK
22/32
262
2
0
2
139
140
-1
TEN
Carr made almost every completion count. Sixteen of them resulted in first downs. Three others were successful plays. His three failed completions included a 2-yard gain on second-and-5 and a 5-yard gain on second-and-10, and calling those failures is being awfully pedantic. Only one of the 22 completions, a zero-yard gain to Michael Crabtree on second-and-8, was clearly a bad play for the Raiders offense.
5.
Drew Brees NO
27/37
291
1
0
1
136
136
0
MIN
Brees was pretty poor inside his own 40, going 10-of-13 for 54 yards and a sack. He actually led the league in DYAR over the rest of the field, going 17-of-24 for 230 yards.
6.
Matt Ryan ATL
21/30
321
1
0
2
127
119
8
CHI
Ryan tore up the middle of the Bears defense. He went 7-of-8 up the middle for 188 yards. Six of those completions resulted in first downs.
7.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
24/36
263
2
1
1
122
122
0
CLE
This high ranking is due entirely to Antonio Brown. Take away passes to No. 84, and Roethlisberger went 13-of-25 for 86 yards with only five first downs (including two scores), one interception, and one sack. Nineteen of Roethlisberger's 36 passes were thrown to receivers within 2 yards of the line of scrimmage. We'll get to Brown's numbers later.
8.
Dak Prescott DAL
24/38
268
1
0
1
120
107
13
NYG
The sweet spot for Prescott came with 4 to 8 yards to go for a first down. Anything longer than that, he went 12-of-18 for 94 yards with only two first downs, plus a sack. Anything shorter, he went 2-of-8 for 32 yards and two first downs. But in between, he went 10-of-12 for 142 yards and eight first downs, plus another first down and 21 more yards on a DPI.
9.
Marcus Mariota TEN
25/41
256
0
0
1
112
93
19
OAK
First seven third-down throws: 7-of-7, 98 yards, six conversions. Last five third-down throws: 1-of-5, 8 yards, one conversion.
10.
Matthew Stafford DET
30/41
292
4
1
1
102
94
7
ARI
First quarter: 5-of-7, 25 yards, one first down, one pick-six, plus a sack and an intentional grounding. Fourth quarter (plus the last throw of the third quarter): 8-of-9, 129 yards, seven first downs (including three touchdowns).
11.
Blake Bortles JAC
11/21
125
1
0
0
90
83
7
HOU
A weird, streaky day. First and third quarters: 8-of-12 for 96 yards and a touchdown, plus DPIs of 9 and 20 yards. Second and fourth quarters: 3-of-9, 29 yards.
12.
Philip Rivers LACH
22/33
192
3
1
1
81
81
0
DEN
Rivers is the fourth quarterback to throw at least three touchdown passes in a game against the Broncos since the start of the 2015 season. The others: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees. This is quite a group. Rivers had the NFL's best DYAR this week inside the opponents' 40, going 6-of-9 for 85 yards and the three scores.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
16/28
224
2
1
2
66
71
-5
NYJ
Didn't the Jets draft a pair of safeties to shore up the middle of their defense? Taylor went 6-of-6 for 117 yards when throwing up the middle. However, he only went 1-of-10 for 21 yards (plus a 24-yard DPI) when throwing to his right. That DPI was on Morris Claiborne -- if the former Cowboy lined up on Taylor's right all day, then it appears he had a hell of a game.
14.
Carson Wentz PHI
27/39
307
2
1
2
55
57
-2
WAS
Third downs: 9-of-11 for 148 yards with eight conversions (including two touchdowns) and one sack.
15.
Aaron Rodgers GB
28/42
311
1
1
4
51
39
12
SEA
Rodgers had some success getting to midfield, but was nearly shut out after crossing the 50. On Seattle's side of the field, he went 6-of-13 for 56 yards and only two first downs. He didn't throw a single pass in the red zone, though that's partly because he had a touchdown of 32 yards to Jordy Nelson.
16.
Cam Newton CAR
14/24
171
2
1
0
46
63
-17
SF
Busy and lousy in the first half, un-busy and efficient in the second. Before halftime, he went 8-of-18 for 105 yards with one touchdown and one interception. After halftime: 6-of-6 for 64 yards, plus a 4-yard DPI. In fact, going back to the second quarter, Newton's last 10 passes each resulted in a completion or DPI.
17.
Tom Brady NE
16/36
267
0
0
3
41
45
-4
KC
It's hard to believe now, but Brady and the Patriots actually led the Chiefs 27-21 at the start of the fourth quarter. Brady's first pass of that period was a 26-yarder to James White, but that was the last first down he would pick up all day. From that point forward, he went 2-of-9 for 9 yards, plus three sacks. Yes, that is -11 yards over his final 12 dropbacks.
18.
Trevor Siemian DEN
17/28
219
2
1
4
9
1
8
LACH
The Broncos used three tight ends against San Diego, and Siemian had good chemistry with all three of them, going 5-of 6 for 98 yards in their direction. All five completions resulted in first downs.
19.
Joe Flacco BAL
9/17
121
1
1
1
-6
-6
0
CIN
Only three of Flacco's passes traveled more than 7 yards past the line of scrimmage. He went 1-of-3 for 12 yards on those plays.
20.
DeShone Kizer CLE
20/30
222
1
1
7
-14
-18
4
PIT
Have the Browns finally found an offensive strength they can hang their hat on? Kizer was deadly accurate on short passes, going 17-of-20 for 151 yards on throws to receivers within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage (though one of those three misses was intercepted). Kizer's 65 percent success rate on short passes was second-best among starters this week. Of course, the one starter who was better was Tom Savage, which tells you perhaps this isn't the best way to evaluate quarterbacks.
21.
Mike Glennon CHI
26/40
213
1
0
4
-24
-24
0
ATL
What a weird game -- or should I say, two games. The first game was in the first three quarters, when he went 8-of-13 for 50 yards, with more sacks (3) than first downs (2). The second was in the fourth quarter, when he went 18-of-27 for 163 yards with one sack. That's more passes in the fourth quarter alone than some starters had in entire games this week. And only one of those 40 throws was a deep ball. It was incomplete.
22.
Russell Wilson SEA
14/27
158
0
0
3
-26
-44
18
GB
Tom Savage threw for seven first downs for Houston this week before getting benched at halftime. Wilson only threw for eight first downs in an entire game against Green Bay. That's not to say Wilson should be benched, just to point out how clunky Seattle's offense was thanks to Wilson and, more specifically, his offensive line. And six of those first downs came on first down, when he went 8-of-11 for 122 yards and a sack. On second and third downs, Wilson went 6-of-16 for 36 yards (!) with two sacks and a fumble.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Eli Manning NYG
29/39
222
0
1
3
-26
-26
0
DAL
What to do without Odell Beckham? Throw a bazillion short passes, especially dumpoffs to running backs. Manning led the league with in completions ro running backs this week, going 12-of-14 for 59 yards and a pair of first downs in the process.
24.
Carson Palmer ARI
27/48
269
1
3
1
-57
-63
6
DET
Throwing to his right, Palmer went 9-of-16 for only 48 yards.
25.
Tom Savage HOU
7/13
62
0
0
6
-74
-74
0
JAC
Savage had two dropbacks inside the Jacksonville 40. Both were sacks, and one resulted in a fumble the Jaguars recovered and returned for a touchdown. Savage's seven completions are the fewest for a quarterback who was sacked six times in a game since 2006, when Andrew Walter and Aaron Brooks both pulled it off for the Raiders (in separate games). The Texans couldn't do worse than this, could they?
26.
Deshaun Watson HOU
12/23
102
1
1
4
-75
-82
7
JAC
Yes, yes they could. Inside the Jacksonville 40, Watson went 3-of-8 for 37 yards, with one sack and as many turnovers (one interception, one lost fumble) as first downs.
27.
Kirk Cousins WAS
23/40
240
1
1
4
-76
-94
17
PHI
Cousins had six red zone passes in this game, all with an opportunity to give Washington a second-half lead. He went 2-of-6 for 5 yards with no first downs and one interception.
28.
Brian Hoyer SF
24/35
193
0
1
4
-109
-95
-14
CAR
On Carolina's side of the field, Hoyer went 10-of-14 for only 46 yards with no touchdowns, two first downs, and one sack.
29.
Josh McCown NYJ
26/39
187
0
2
1
-116
-125
9
BUF
LET THE GABBERT WATCH COMMENCE! With -125 passing DYAR against the Bills, McCown now has -1,456 passing DYAR in his career. That moves him ahead of Ryan Leaf's -1,388 for the second-worst career passing DYAR on record. Up next is the record of -1,928 of current Arizona backup Blaine Gabbert. Assuming Gabbert remains on the sidelines (which is not a sure thing if Carson Palmer continues to struggle), McCown would need only three or four more games like this to set the record. He probably won't be this bad every week, but he still seems likely to break the record by Halloween. McCown only threw for eight first downs against Buffalo, the last of which came with 3:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. In the final 18 minutes of the game, with the Jets never down by more than nine points, he went 6-of-13 for 28 yards with two interceptions.
30.
Scott Tolzien IND
9/18
128
0
2
4
-134
-133
-1
LARM
Tolzien's first pass was a pick-six, but then he seemed to get into something of a rhythm. His next 10 dropbacks produced five first downs; he went 7-of-9 for 115 yards with one sack in that stretch. He did not convert another first down for the rest of the game. From that point forward, he went 2-of-8 for 13 yards with three more sacks and another pick-six. He had 10 dropbacks on third or fourth down. Those ten dropbacks resulted in zero conversions, one pick-six, one sack, and one completion -- which lost 4 yards.
31.
Andy Dalton CIN
16/31
170
0
4
5
-290
-293
3
BAL
I mean, "four interceptions, five sacks, and a fumble" pretty much says it all, right? No? Then should I talk about Dalton's third-quarter numbers (4-of-6, 20 yards, one fumble-sack)? Or his fourth-quarter stats (5-of-11, 78 yards, one interception, two sacks)? How about his red zone performance (2-of-5, 12 yards, two sacks, one fumble, one interception)? His numbers to the left (5-of-11, 63 yards, two interceptions), or to the right (7-of-13, 47 yards, one interception)? We can slice this pizza any way you like, it's still going to be moldy and cold.


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.
Kareem Hunt KC
17
148
1
5/5
98
2
102
48
55
NE
It wasn't just the big plays. All of Hunt's carries gained at least 1 yard (though the first one did end in a lost fumble), 11 had positive DYAR, ten of them were successful, and six went for first downs. Of course, there were big plays too -- four runs of 10 yards or more, the longest a 58-yarder. Four of his receptions were also successful (the "failure" was a 4-yard gain on first-and-10), including touchdowns of 78 and 3 yards.
2.
Terrance West BAL
19
80
1
0/1
0
0
44
47
-3
CIN
Eighteen of West's 19 runs gained at least 1 yard. Ten gained 4 yards or more, including runs for 10 and 11 yards. He also had six first downs on the ground.
3.
Leonard Fournette JAC
26
100
1
3/3
24
0
38
27
11
HOU
Seven of Fournette's runs gained 1 yard or less, but two of those were short-yardage conversions, including his touchdown. He had six total first downs on the ground, with 13 runs of 4 yards or more and runs for 11 and 17 yards. His three catches all came on first-and-10, resulting in gains of 6, 12, and 6 yards.
4.
Jonathan Stewart CAR
18
65
0
2/2
17
1
37
18
20
SF
Mr. Consistency. Stewart's longest run gained only 10 yards, but he had six first downs rushing and gained at least 1 yard 17 times. That's how you make the top running back tables at 3.6 yards per carry. Well, that and the 9-yard touchdown catch. That helped a lot.
5.
Lamar Miller HOU
17
65
0
2/2
31
0
34
16
18
JAC
Though his longest run gained just 8 yards and he only had two first downs on the ground, Miller constantly kept his team on schedule. Twelve of his carries came on first-and-10, and seven of those gained 4 yards or more. His two catches: a 5-yard gain on third-and-1 and a 26-yard gain on second-and-14.


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.
Kareem Hunt KC
17
148
1
5/5
98
2
102
48
55
NE
2.
Terrance West BAL
19
80
1
0/1
0
0
44
47
-3
CIN
3.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
24
104
0
5/5
36
0
32
32
0
NYG
Twenty runs of 3 yards or more, 11 runs of 5 yards or more, and six rushing first downs.
4.
Mike Gillislee NE
15
45
3
0/0
0
0
27
27
0
KC
Is there such a thing as a vulture of the year award? Eight of Gillislee's 15 carries came in the red zone. Six came inside the 10. He also had a carry on fourth-and-1, so he appears to be New England's designated short-yardage back.
5.
Leonard Fournette JAC
26
100
1
3/3
24
0
38
27
11
HOU


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.
Ameer Abdullah DET
15
30
0
3/4
11
0
-33
-16
-17
ARI
Long run of just 7 yards, only two first downs on the ground, and four stuffs for no gain or a loss. None of his receptions gained more than 6 yards or counted as a successful play.


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.
David Johnson ARI
11
23
0
6/9
68
0
-30
-28
-3
DET
Zero first downs rushing. His lone successful play was a 6-yard gain on second-and-7. He was stuffed for no gain or a loss twice. He failed to convert on second-and-3 and third-and-1. And he had one fumble as a runner, and another as a receiver.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Antonio Brown PIT
11
11
182
16.5
0
78
CLE
In addition to his 11 catches, Brown had a 41-yard gain on a DPI. So why was this not one of the great wide receiver games of all time? His first catch was a 3-yard gain on first-and-18. His second catch was a 9-yard gain on third-and-25. And he also had a fumble, though Pittsburgh recovered.
2.
Tyreek Hill KC
7
8
133
19.0
1
57
NE
Hill had 58 DYAR receiving, -1 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 5 yards. His first four catches all went for firest downs, including two third-down conversions. And of course he also had a 75-yard touchdown.
3.
Stefon Diggs MIN
7
8
93
13.3
2
55
NO
Six of Diggs' catches went for first downs, including a pair of red zone touchdowns plus gains of 20 and 30 yards. His DYAR total includes 64 DYAR receiving, -9 DYAR rushing for his one carry, a 6-yard loss.
4.
Adam Thielen MIN
9
10
157
17.4
0
54
NO
Five of Thielen's targets came on third down; he converted two of them. Five of his catches gained 6 yards or less, but the other gained 24, 27, 35, and 44 yards.
5.
Austin Hooper ATL
2
2
128
64.0
1
48
CHI
An 88-yard touchdown on third-and-3 and a 40-yard gain on third-and-10, each with Atlanta protecting a one-score lead. Yeah, that'll do.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jimmy Graham SEA
3
7
8
2.7
0
-45
GB
To a degree, Graham was a victim of the Seattle offense's general dysfunction. Often he was targeted on dumpoffs or checkdowns as Russell Wilson was running for his life. His catches included a 6-yard gain on third-and-12 and a 1-yard loss on third-and-10, both of which he caught behind the line of scrimmage. He also caught a pass 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage on second-and-4, and actually turned it into a 3-yard gain, his only successful play on the day. But he also failed to catch three other third-down passes.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 11 Sep 2017

93 comments, Last at 14 Sep 2017, 10:46am by Flounder

Comments

1
by galerus :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 7:14am

On AB section: "And he also had a fumble, though Pittsburgh recovered."

AFAIR that was some fumble. Ball was flying from the hand of AB and right out of bounds. It didn't even hit the field. No one could possibly recover it. And though you are technically (best kind of) correct - that was a fumble. But you are wrong - nobody had recovered it.

2
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 7:53am

When the Zimmer era began, receiving was a black hole of suck for the Vikings. Now, mostly due to an undrafted free agent from a tiny, tiny, school, and a late draft pick, they probably have the best receiving in their division. They both have great ball skills, and Bradford is very accurate, including deep throws, when he has protection. The Saints will likely be hideous on pass defense again, so who knows if the blocking last night, which was professionally competent, will be the norm.

5
by andrew :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:38am

but across their same time they invested a #1 draft pick for a total of 2 receptions and a #6 pick on a guy who never cracked the 53 man roster and only managed one reception in two preseasons before being cut.

7
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:00am

I really, really, wanted them to draft an interior defensive lineman with the Treadwell pick, and try to get an uber-dominant defense, but I have no idea if there was such a player worthy of that spot. Floyd may still be an above average player, and the Twin Cities, land of 10,000 treatment centers, is probably the best place for an NFL drunk to make a last stand to save his career. Worked for Cris Carter, not so much for Koren Robinson.

47
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:55pm

Once a friend of mine and I were looking at a map of the US that showed where people bought diet food. The coasts were almost bare, and the middle of the country thick with diet-food sales.

"Look," said my friend. "Who would have thought the Midwest cared more about diet than the coasts?"

"It's the exact opposite," I said. "This map shows where people are overweight."

I'd imagine the same is true of treatment centers. I'm not sure that Minnesota, or Alaska, or Finland, or Muscovy, or Iceland, or anywhere with long, dark winters, is a terribly great place for an alcoholic.

50
by mrt1212 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:08pm

It's not. That's why you legalize weed in those places. ;)

53
by rpwong :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:48pm

It doesn't matter where you live--if you're of age and can afford to buy alcohol, then you can walk into a store and buy it.

The bigger question is how much ability a person has to overcome their addiction and circumstances (whatever they may be), and if they're willing to receive the help they need. There's a difference between saying "I'm an addict" because everyone expects you to say it, and actually admitting it to yourself when you're the only person in the room. I really hope that Michael Floyd has come to that conclusion so that he can get his career back on track.

82
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 11:38am

Heh. Never heard of a dry county?

Seriously, though, if it didn't matter where you lived, alcoholism rates would be the same everywhere. They aren't.

3
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:22am

Thielen sure is a gritty, high-IQ receiver, isn't he?

10
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:19am

All racial profiling aside, the notion of a guy who received a 500 buck scholorship to a division II school, who showed up for a tryout the local NFL team puts on mostly for marketing purposes, eventually working his way to a 29 million dollar contract, is pretty remarkable.

14
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:38am

Joe Berger was a walk-on LB to a Div-II school whose football team was cut and then saved by an alumni fundraiser between his junior and senior seasons.

I think I had a couple of classes with him.

12
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:23am

Amazing what getting away from Jeff Fisher, getting healthy, and having a relatively competent offensive line will do for a quarterback. I've been a Bradford skeptic for years, but he looked awesome last night.

15
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:53am

I was never a member of his fan club, but, if nothing else, he showed me last year that he is one tough sunovabitch, his history of injury aside. It was an absolutely brutal environment he played in last year, and he had no quit in him,and gave his team a chance to compete. The throwing ability has always been evident. Here's hoping the blocking last night wasn't just the residue of playing the Saints.

21
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:40am

He was seriously amazing last night, whether he was in the pocket, under pressure, or on the run. The one thing I kept noticing was his ball placement was pretty much perfect, dropped right where the WR needed it. I mean, a lot of the Vikings success was clearly from playing the Saints, but that kind of pinpoint placement Bradford was doing? That was all him.

38
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:59am

That placement, to receivers who can catch, works at least decently against just about any defense. Bradford doesn't need perfect protection to have that sort of placement, because he can throw decently from different arm angles, but you can't let him get beat to a pulp, even though he's plenty tough enough. Tell me how they block the rest of the year, and what their injuries are like, and I'll tell you how many games they win. Just like the last few seasons.

45
by jmaron :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:44pm

Watching Bradford for a year now I think he's about as accurate a passer as I've seen and he's certainly tough. I think his downside is he doesn't sense pressure well and as a result he's a bit of sitting duck for pass rushers. He also checks down short of needed yardage when he still has time to let the play develop.

Last night the entire Viking offence looked more competent than it has since 2009, but it's one game against a team FO lists 32 pre season defensive DVOA. So I'm not planning my trip to the Super Bowl just yet.

16
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:00am

Oh, and by the end of the year, there may zero doubt, among anyone, that the 2nd half of Jeff Fisher's coaching career was a complete fraud. There's a lot coasting to be done at the apex of coaching profession, once a positive reputation is in place.

29
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:13am

I will stand up and defend Jeff Fisher as being a good coach from 1995-2008. You can even argue that 2009-2010 was more about bad drafting by the Titans front office (and a meddlesome owner forcing Vince Young upon Fisher). But there's not doubt that his Rams tenure was one of the worst coaching performances we've ever seen (at least on offense).

33
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:25am

It's really important to remember with coaches that there can be wide fluctuation in performance. Mike Ditka, believe it or not, was a good NFL head coach at one time. In New Orleans, he was cashing checks and enjoying New Orleans many fine establishments. I think the last couple years of dealing with Bud Adams may have convinced Fisher to just say "Eff it, just sign the checks", and we saw what we saw.

41
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:12pm

I agree. Even his first two years in St. Louis were decent, given the strength of the division at the time. Sure, it seemed he was placing way more effort into the intra-division games, but he still had a Rams team with mediocre rosters playing 7-8-1 and 7-9 football.

The last two years were shockingly bad, however. And more than that, he seemed to totally check out.

Hard to really judge from Hard Knocks, but I remember last year thinking Fisher came across particularly bad, unaffected and lazy.

62
by BJR :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:07pm

The Rams were an embarrassment when he took over, coming off one of the worst 5-6 year stretches in NFL history. Fisher quickly made them respectable in a brutal division. It became apparent over his tenure in St Louis that he had no idea how to oversee an offence in the modern NFL, which was allowed to continue too long. But painting him as a fraud is wide of the mark, I believe.

63
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:18pm

I agree. Still think he was in 'cash them checks' mode last year.

What he did with the 2012-2015 Rams is actually pretty commendable given the division.

64
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:19pm

He really annoyed me the last few years. I'll revise and say he was a fraud for the last 25% of his career.

31
by billprudden :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:19am

What was the story about Ditka's staff in NO not even reading scouting reports?

And 'Ol Ball Coach in Washington certainly didn't work very hard...

35
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:27am

Great minds, and all that....

88
by JoeyHarringtonReigns :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 1:55pm

Let's relax on that assesment. They played the lowly Saints.

89
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:27pm

I've seen enough of these guys away from the Saints to give that estimate. If uninjured, they catch the ball extremely well, and are fast/quick enough to get seperation. It certainly is not beyond dispute, of course.

90
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:27pm

I've seen enough of these guys away from the Saints to give that estimate. If uninjured, they catch the ball extremely well, and are fast/quick enough to get seperation. It certainly is not beyond dispute, of course.

4
by andrew :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:38am

regarding how good Hunt was or how bad Dalton was, isn't it a bit early to make comparisons to all time? Right now our defense-adjusted portion will likely change, if it turns out the patriots run defense is truly horrid (unlikely), or even just a tad worse than we expect right now, isn't there a decent chance he will dip below 100 dyar? and similar arguments for Dalton in reverse?

6
by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:41am

This could be a 3 horse race in the NFC North.

9
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:03am

I really hope all three stay healthy, so we can see the full competition play out. It would be a lot of fun, I suspect.

36
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:30am

I think there is a very good chance we'll see two teams from the NFC North again in the playoffs, something that has happened the last three seasons and six of the last seven seasons.

37
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:38am

If they all sweep the Bears, and and go 2-2 with each other, I think all 3 might make the playoffs.

40
by ChrisS :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:07pm

The Bears did not look that bad on Sunday. The Lions are still an enigma to me, the offense looked bad early then good late, the special teams were a dumpster fire, the defense looked surprisingly good but how much of that was due to a Palmer falling of the old-age cliff is hard to say. GB and the Vikings both looked very good. But one week and all that.

42
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:20pm

The Bears are competently coached, and not wholly devoid of talent. The Vikings always have a tough time winning in Soldier Field, so beating the Bears twice will be a tough ask.

43
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:23pm

Yeah - I think the Bears win two division games somewhere in there. I don't see any NFCN team winning 5+ division games, except maybe the Packers.

44
by dank067 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:41pm

In addition to the Bears not looking bad in Week 1, the north teams are going head-to-head with the NFC South, where all four teams have legitimate playoff aspirations (...maybe not NO), and the AFC North, which may not be great top-to-bottom but is probably the 2nd-best division in the AFC. Might be tough for three teams to get out of this division just given their schedules and the fact that their NFC competitors may not have it so tough. Should make for some good football though!

52
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:23pm

Before we overreact to week 1, the questions that need to be answered are:
1)Can the Packers front 7 still be awesome against an actual NFL offensive line? (even if the answer is no, they still have Aaron Rodgers).
2)Can the Vikings offensive line continue to look like an actual NFL offensive line throughout the season?
3)Can the Lions defense continue to look like an actual NFL defense?

Outside of that, I agree with everyone else that the Bears look like they'll be frisky (despite how bad they were last year, they still split with the Vikings and Lions), and NFC looks pretty deep.

83
by big10freak :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:07pm

Matthews and Perry are too injury prone. Most likely those two start 14 odd games together between them. And the backups are nothing of interest.

85
by Guest789 :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:34pm

My personal National Jump to Conclusions Week hawt taek - Packers made a mistake trading down for King (DIDNT EVEN PLAY GUYZ) instead of grabbing TJ "bIG pLAY" Watt.

8
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:03am

Dalton's DYAR is different in the table of worst performances ever and in the table for this week.

By using the one given for this week (-292) he actually leapfrogs Sexy Rexy and is now 4th worst!

30
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:13am

The difference here is because of the change in normalization between Sunday and Monday night. I'll put a note about that above.

11
by smilerz :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:23am

Before the season what was the over/under on the top 3 quarterbacks being Bradford, Smith & Goff?

It has to be only slightly better than the Jets winning the Super Bowl right?

13
by ChrisLong :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:30am

The Vikings looked great last night, but let's not forget how godawful the Saints defense has been the past few years. I'm full of healthy skepticism. If they beat the Steelers, then I'll be a believer. And I hope they do! I'm tired of the Lions. They just aren't an interesting team to me.

Even Sunday, the Lions probably would have lost to the Cardinals if DJ didn't get hurt; the Lions were losing 17-9 when he went down at the end of the third. DJ even gifted them a fumble on the Arizona 10 when he unknowingly tried to play through a dislocated wrist. And of course then the Cardinals' offense fell apart because they are dependent on DJ for most of their production.

25
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:04am

Were you watching the same ARI-DET game I was?

Johnson wasn't really doing anything even before he got hurt (hence his appearance at the bottom of the running backs DYAR). The Cardinals offense had a total of two scoring drives, the second one in garbage time. They even got the ball on the Lions 10 yard line (when the punter bobbled the snap). They couldn't score a TD on 3 tries. Then the Lions committed a dumb leaping penalty on the FG attempt and gave the Cardinals a first down. They still couldn't get a TD.

The Cardinals offense didn't "fall apart" when Johnson got hurt...they were bad the whole game. The Lions soundly outplayed the Cardinals in the final three quarters, and would have won in a blowout if they didn't gift the Cards 10 free points with their own stupidity (and how can a stupid team that somehow wins not be interesting?).

Now whether this is more the Lions being good or the Cardinals being bad is open to debate. I'm not really sure what the answer is myself.

34
by ChrisLong :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:26am

I wasn't following it that closely, I'll admit that. Sounds like points were gifted to both teams out of stupidity/bad turnovers. I think both teams are not great. With DJ it was approximately even because at least they had his receiving ability and the threat of his running. Just looked it up and their last drive covered 94 yards and they only got to third down once, a 3rd and 2 on the DET 24. So it looked like they might have started figuring something out. Without DJ they completely imploded/reverted to their first half ineptitude, and their defense couldn't keep up their excellent play from the first half.

49
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:07pm

I don't know, did one drive mean the ARI offense "figured it out", or was it a lapse by the defense? Conversely, was the ARI secondary getting shredded late in the game a function of the Lions "figuring something out", or were they just on the field too long and getting fatigued? Who knows? Let's see how the season plays out.

51
by ChrisLong :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:12pm

Agreed

72
by RickD :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 1:17am

Johnson was at the bottom of the rushing DYAR table. But he did get 68 yards on 6 receptions. He was at 91 yards from scrimmage when he got hurt, which was relatively early in the 3rd Q. Well, he was at 91 yards when he finally left the game, after Bruce Arians put him back in for one carry, a fumble, and a tackle that may have aggravated the injury.

At the time the Cards were leading 17-9. It's not beyond the realm of possibility to think that a healthy Johnson wouldn't have made that fumble, which led to 6 easy points for Detroit.

So...what happened after Johnson left the game
Detroit TD
Cards 1 first down and punt
Detroit TD
Cards 1 first down and punt
Detroit TD
Cards...nope, Detroit INT TD
Four series later Cards get offense in gear but it's too late.

It's probably too much to blame the Cards' defensive failures on the Johnson injury, but clearly his absence came at a crucial juncture.

39
by Flounder :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:04pm

I have the same healthy skepticism about the GB defense after feasting on Seattle's pathetic line.

Play well this week on the road against Atlanta, then I'll believe they have something. Frankly, I will consider "playing well" to be holding ATL to 31 or less.

48
by ChrisLong :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:58pm

Same, and I'm a Packers fan. If they hold Atlanta under 30 then I'll be impressed. Some Packers fans are saying Mike Daniels is gonna be an All-pro his season, which is of course just nuts. He's a good player, often very good, but he's not an All-Pro.

54
by Flounder :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:55pm

I wouldn't discount the possibility. This could be his peak year, and all sorts of players (it seems like - I have not done and am not going to do any research) who are just "good to very good" will have one year all-pro peak.

Actually, new Packer Ahmad Brooks comes to mind as one of those players! Maybe this is Daniels year. Probably not, but I don't think it's all that far-fetched.

17
by jschroe36 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:07am

David Johnson actually had "TWO FUMBLES"

18
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:07am

Now is when Adrian Peterson's refusal to commit to being a decent pass blocker is going to knock a year or two off his career. He can't be used a lot by the Saints, because they can't fully use their playbook when he's on the field.

20
by lokiwi :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:26am

His little blurb on ESPN's fantasy site said that his "veteran pass blocking" would get him more playing time than the others. I read that and benched him. I'd be surprised if he makes it past 4 games in New Orleans. It sounded like a bad fit from the start, and it sure looked like a bad fit last night.

22
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:44am

He was hilariously awful last night, and his sideline fit made it even better. I have wondered why he chose to go to the Saints, a team which seemed to fit his skillset as badly as possible, and it occurred to me last night that maybe he chose them because they played the Vikings in week one, and it allowed him to get his vengeance right away. His lack of anything resembling decent blocking and inability to flex in any way as a WR made him an AWFUL choice for New Orleans. I mean, had he gone to Carolina, I would have still expected him to be old and bad, but at least he could have fit schematically to a certain point. The Saints never made any sense at all.

24
by ChrisLong :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:00am

I think the previous two comments have been spot on. He just doesn't fit with what the Saints have done in previous years. Maybe Payton changes things up a bit, but so far his play doesn't look like it's worth changing for. Another two or three games like that and he'll either ask for a trade or they will cut him.

26
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:07am

Yea, he's looking kinda like Emmitt Smith the Cardinals.

32
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:24am

Emmitt was actually vaguely decent for the Cardinals. I mean, not good, but he wasn't COMPLETELY awful his last year. 3.5 yards a carry for a bad Cardinals team isn't good, but, it's not utterly pathetic. Smith also had the advantage of being relatively healthy prior to going off to Arizona so he didn't have that other red flag, but Peterson has had a bunch of injuries in recent years along with diminished production, and that's on top of the fact he can't do any of the things the Saints really value in RBs (route running, pass blocking, flexibility).

I'm thinking this is more of a "Joe Namath on the Rams" train wreck than anything else.

68
by Richie :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:47pm

How about a "Thurman Thomas on the Dolphins". Or a "Cris Carter on the Dolphins". Or a "Arian Foster on the Dolphins". Though I assume every team has a handful of these in their histories.

74
by SFC B :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:44am

Ed Reed on the Texans...

84
by Guest789 :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:33pm

I legitimately forgot Reed played a year for the Texans. I had to google it to confirm.

86
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 1:06pm

That was the year the Texans didn't think it was worth paying Glover Quin. It was a strange decision at the time, and looks even worse in hindsight.

87
by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 1:50pm

One of the weirdest teams. Started 2-0, then went 0-14.

57
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 3:22pm

xan see a. Peterson and m,. forte with drifferent teams by mid-ocotober. maybe cardinals take one

77
by andrew :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 9:05am

My guess was he chose the Saints because they were the only ones to offer him a contract. If you believe him, he didn't discover their week 1 opponent until after a reporter asked him about it after he signed with them.

He has been a great player on the field, but necessitated designing the offense around him. Most of his career he has been more than worth it, but now as he tails off a bit not so much. I do think there are teams out there he would still fit well with, but it is just that thing, his expectations that teams will do that for him that I think made many teams leary of signing him. The Patriots were probably a smokescreen anyway (and certainly don't seem to need him given how their offense works) but even if he had fit well don't think they would have signed him.

Maybe Arizona could use him?

80
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:59am

In the end, he's just a weird guy, even by the standards of HOF worthy professional athlete at a glamour position. He has competitive drive seeping from his pores, but has refused to commit to being even adequate at a skill that would have extended his career, and allowed him to help his team win more games. Now, it might cost him a few million dollars, and with his paternity payments, that's likely meaningful money to him.

81
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 11:00am

Repeat

46
by PackerPete :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:53pm

As a Packer fan, I saw Peterson quite a bit in his prime. AP was a 56 minute man. If the Vikings were in a close game but trailing, every sideline shot of Coach Childress had AP right next to him. Childress never put AP on the field when the team had to move the ball via the passing game. Couldn't pass block, couldn't catch a lick. Very stiff as a receiver. Best guy on the team; no use during crunch time.

55
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 2:08pm

He's not bad as a receiver, but a running back who catches but won't block is hard to keep on the field in a two minute offense.

19
by lokiwi :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:24am

Bradford had one checkdown out of a clean pocket early on and I thought he was in for a long night. Was happy to eat crow after that.

And it sure looks like Flacco is on the Bortles program. 17 attempts? After years of being one of the most pass heavy teams the Ravens may finally admitted that Flacco is not a strength.

28
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:12am

He also missed the entire pre-season with a back injury, which probably still plays a role. Newton was also so-so against a bad opponent, with similar reasons.

23
by pm :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 10:46am

Aaron,

Why does the best RB games chart go only up to 1989 if you have DVOA from 1986 onwards?

27
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:12am

I haven't had a chance to run the program yet for 1986-1988 that spits out a list of best and worst individual games. We're behind on a lot of that old stuff around here, but we're gradually catching up!

56
by RickD :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 2:35pm

Wondering about the Bo Jackson game vs. Seattle? I am.

58
by doktarr :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 3:51pm

No printing of that "worst QB performances" list is complete without noting that Rex Grossman won that game. Crown his ass, indeed.

Here's my best effort at a "worst winning QB performances of the DVOA era" table, using the p-f-r database. The game listed in this article wasn't actually Rex's worst win by Adjusted Yards per Attempt.

http://pfref.com/tiny/nfbap

I'm surprised Dave Krieg's game at #5 didn't make it on the list here. It's about as bad as Rex's game in nearly as many attempts. I guess opponent adjustment was kind.

(FWIW 18 passes was chosen as a minimum as it was the minimum to filter out all the games with multiple QBs.)

69
by dank067 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:50pm

That Rex Grossman game at #1 is incredible, not just for how bad it is (it's bad-4th worst in AY/A for any game since '89), but for how it blows the rest of them out of the water by AY/A. The Bears got six first downs but, sure enough, tallied a Devin Hester punt return TD, a pick-six, and a safety.

75
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 4:15am

Lucky he was able to keep them in the game long enough for defense and special teams to get their acts together ;-)

59
by Boots Day :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 3:58pm

Would appreciate more detail on how Blake Bortles' game was more valuable than Aaron Rodgers'. I understand Rodgers got sacked four times and threw an interception, but come on.

60
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:00pm

I believe essentially all of Bortles completions were marked as effective plays based on the yards picked up.

67
by Bryan Knowles :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 5:44pm

Every single one of Bortles' completions were successful (i.e., no short passes on third and long). Also, defensive adjustments aren't at full strength yet; we suspect the Seahawks defense will be slightly stingier than the Texans when all is said and done.

61
by horn :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:03pm

That chart should help remind people that Brian Westbrook was probably the best back in football for about 2 years, certainly in the NFC. He could do it all and ran back the occasional punt for TD also.

65
by BJR :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:26pm

Westbrook was good. He also shares something in common with Kareem Hunt (and two other backs on that list - J.Charles and S.Ware).

66
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:46pm

Also, for some trivia I've mentioned I think before, Brian Westbrook was drafted 10 spots after Josh McCown in the 2002 draft.

That is how long Josh McCown has been terrible in the NFL.

70
by Richie :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:51pm

"He also shares something in common with "

Such as?

71
by Richie :: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 8:51pm

Oh, Andy Reid.

78
by BJR :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 9:54am

Yeah. This list goes some way to showing - put a well rounded back in a Reid offence and good things will happen.

79
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:02am

Except...

the Eagles and Chiefs were good at turning RBs into shinola both before and after Reid.

\what's so good about shinola, anyway?

92
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:36am

It's not sh*t,.

93
by Flounder :: Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:46am

Nice watches, but awfully pricey.

73
by RickD :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 1:28am

In 2006 Westbrook had 1916 yards from scrimmage, which sounds like a lot, but was only good for 6th best in the NFL, behind Steven Jackson, Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Frank Gore, and Tiki Barber.

In 2007 Westbrook topped the NFL with 2104 yards from scrimmage. Tomlinson was the only other back with more than 1651 such yards.

2006 was insane. Most recent seasons 1900+ would put a RB in the top 2 or 3 (but usually not #1).

76
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 4:40am

regarding how good Hunt was or how bad Dalton was, isn't it a bit early to make comparisons to all time? Right now our defense-adjusted portion will likely change, if it turns out the patriots run defense is truly horrid (unlikely), or even just a tad worse than we expect right now, isn't there a decent chance he will dip below 100 dyar? and similar arguments for Dalton in reverse?

Please see the last (non-editor's note) parargraph, where I address this exact issue.

David Johnson actually had "TWO FUMBLES"

Whoops! You're right -- one rushing (which I was looking at) and one receiving (which I wasn't). Will fix.

I'm surprised Dave Krieg's game at #5 didn't make it on the list here. It's about as bad as Rex's game in nearly as many attempts. I guess opponent adjustment was kind.

-161 DYAR. Opponent adjustments are a big part of that -- it was -188 YAR. Also, Krieg's biggest gain on the day was a 29-yard DPI to Paul Skansi. That doesn't show up in his raw stats at all, but he got credit for it in DVOA/DYAR. (Yes, I downloaded the 1990 passing file to explain why Dave Krieg's advanced numbers were surprisingly high in a game that happened 27 years ago.)

Would appreciate more detail on how Blake Bortles' game was more valuable than Aaron Rodgers'. I understand Rodgers got sacked four times and threw an interception, but come on.

... Rodgers got sacked four times and threw an interception. You answered your own question. Those five plays were worth -127 DYAR. Take away all sacks and interceptions from all quarterbacks, and Rodgers is sixth this week, and Bortles is 20th.

91
by doktarr :: Wed, 09/13/2017 - 4:35pm

> (Yes, I downloaded the 1990 passing file to explain why Dave Krieg's advanced numbers were surprisingly high in a game that happened 27 years ago.)

Thanks! I appreciate the ridiculous attention to detail.