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» Film Room: Josh Gordon

Does Josh Gordon deserve a chance at redemption? Can he still be a top-flight receiver after nearly three years in exile? Is he the most dangerous weapon on the Browns roster? Charles McDonald explains why the answers are yes, yes, and lord, yes.

18 Sep 2017

Week 2 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

It all started with an innocent little tweet. Following yet another epic Chargers loss last Monday night, Derrik Klassen of Bleacher Report (and our newest Film Room contributor) noted that Philip Rivers "lives in a perpetual state of down a score with less than two minutes left." Being a skeptic, I did a quick check on Pro Football Reference and found the numbers proved Klassen correct. Since taking over as the Chargers' starting quarterback in 2006, Rivers had thrown 214 passes down by one score in the final two minutes of a game, 54 more than any other player in the same timespan.

Things kind of snowballed from there. Many people simply retweeted my research. Others suggested some different methodologies that might make the numbers more meaningful over the long term. Regardless, there was enough interest that we considered running a special longer piece on the numbers and what they meant. We ultimately decided not to crowd the site on what was already a busy week, and kept the idea in our back pocket for the next epic Chargers loss.

To the surprise of nobody who has been paying attention to the Chargers for any length of time, we did not have to wait long. Just six days after watching an apparent game-tying field goal waived off on a late timeout call and a second attempt blocked, the Chargers missed a potential game-winner after Miami mysteriously called timeout and ensured them a chance to try the kick in the first place. So we pulled the story idea out of our pocket, headed back to PFR, and went to work.

The Game Play Finder at PFR goes back to the 1994 season, so that's where we began our study. When we saw Brett Favre among the leaders, we went into our own numbers and added his last-two-minute, down-one-score passing stats from his first seasons as a starter in 1992 and 1993. (No, we did not bother checking what happened on his four passes with Atlanta in 1991.) Since those numbers were taken from our database, they do not include clock-killing spikes, while all other numbers in this essay do. That hardly matters, however, because the final results were not very close. Rivers really has been playing in a desperate two-minute drill more than anyone else. Rivers has thrown 228 regular-season passes in his career after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, down by eight points or less. That's 33 more than Favre's 195. Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning are next in line with 175 each. No other quarterback in the last 24 years has even three-quarters of Rivers' total.

When reading numbers below, please note that opponent adjustments are not included in DYAR until after Week 4.

Most Passes, Down One Score, Final 2 Minutes, 1994-2017
Rk Name Cmp Att Yds TD INT Total Att Clutch% Rk Rtg Rk
1 Philip Rivers 110 228 1347 7 11 5989 3.81% 3 57.0 24
2 Brett Favre* 105 195 1394 10 15 10165 1.92% 26 61.8 16
3 Joe Flacco 85 175 988 4 9 4793 3.65% 4 52.3 26
3 Peyton Manning 91 175 1129 8 14 9380 1.87% 29 54.2 25
5 Tom Brady 84 166 1015 12 6 8299 2.00% 24 78.8 6
6 Matthew Stafford 78 147 967 9 5 4326 3.40% 6 79.9 4
6 Ben Roethlisberger 84 147 1065 10 5 6003 2.45% 16 88.4 2
8 Jon Kitna 62 143 694 6 12 4442 3.22% 8 37.5 30
9 Tony Romo 88 142 1049 8 3 4335 3.28% 7 94.5 1
10 Drew Brees 74 141 885 9 9 8840 1.60% 30 66.7 11
11 Matt Ryan 68 140 878 6 8 5122 2.73% 13 59.2 22
12 Drew Bledsoe 63 135 733 7 6 6288 2.15% 21 62.4 15
12 Eli Manning 71 135 952 10 6 6863 1.97% 25 81.5 3
14 Carson Palmer 70 128 936 4 7 6124 2.09% 22 65.8 14
15 Kerry Collins 55 120 659 6 4 6261 1.92% 27 65.9 13
Rk Name Cmp Att Yds TD INT Total Att Clutch% Rk Rtg Rk
16 Jeff Garcia 57 117 620 6 6 3676 3.18% 11 60.5 19
16 Jay Cutler 70 117 842 7 7 4524 2.59% 14 76.9 7
18 Chad Pennington 61 109 549 3 7 2471 4.41% 1 52.1 27
19 Rich Gannon 55 107 591 4 5 3078 3.48% 5 60.9 18
20 Trent Green 50 106 720 5 7 3740 2.83% 12 57.9 23
21 Mark Brunell 49 104 771 5 7 4640 2.24% 18 60.2 20
22 Marc Bulger 49 102 646 4 5 3171 3.22% 9 61.2 17
22 Donovan McNabb 47 102 582 7 3 5374 1.90% 28 74.9 8
24 Brad Johnson 50 99 602 4 4 4326 2.29% 17 66.1 12
24 Aaron Rodgers 46 99 662 6 5 4749 2.08% 23 67.8 9
24 Steve McNair 54 99 547 5 2 4544 2.18% 20 79.0 5
27 Ryan Fitzpatrick 50 98 566 4 11 3877 2.53% 15 42.7 29
28 Joey Harrington 42 97 509 1 3 2538 3.82% 2 50.6 28
28 Jake Plummer 41 97 679 3 4 4350 2.23% 19 59.6 21
30 Aaron Brooks 48 95 655 7 7 2963 3.21% 10 66.8 10
* Includes 1992 and 1993 statistics.

All told, 3.81 percent (the "Clutch%" column in the table) of Rivers' career passes have come in the last two minutes of the game, needing one score to tie or take the lead. That's actually not the highest ratio in the table, trailing former Jets/Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington (4.41 percent) and former Lions/Dolphins/Falcons starter Joey Harrington (3.82 percent). Rivers is in turn trailed by Flacco and Rich Gannon (though this does not include the early years of Gannon's career, which goes all the way back to 1987). Flacco's Super Bowl ring aside, this is basically a group of good-but-not-great players. Contrast that list to the names at the other end of this category -- Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Kerry Collins, and Favre. There's little question that the latter group is superior to the former, suggesting that great quarterbacks often perform well enough to avoid the need for late-game heroics.

The leaders and trailers in quote-unquote clutch performance are fascinating. The NFL's passer rating is certainly a flawed statistic, especially when analyzing players from different eras, but it's a simple way to capture which players accumulate completions, yards, and touchdowns while avoiding interceptions, at least at the extremes. And in this situation, no player had a higher passer rating than Tony Romo (94.5), who always got too much blame for Dallas losses and not enough credit for wins. Next we have Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, and Steve McNair, four more passers with reputations for late-game heroics.

On the other hand, the worst passer rating here goes to Jon Kitna (37.5), with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Joey Harrington next in line. That's three good nominees for the "How did that guy last so long in the NFL?" all-stars. Pennington is fourth-worst -- it's unfortunate that a player who found himself in the clutch so often played so badly in those scenarios. You could say the same for the fifth-worst player, Flacco. It's the names who just missed the bottom five that are most stunning though -- Peyton Manning (?!), and then Rivers. This is probably the only category you will ever find Eli ranking among the leaders, and Peyton among the trailers.

For a closer look at what's going on in the NFL, here's a look at the same table, limited to active players.

Most Passes, Down One Score, Final 2 Minutes, Active QBs
Rk Name Cmp Att Yds TD INT Total Att Clutch% Rk Rtg Rk
1 Philip Rivers 110 228 1347 7 11 5989 3.81% 5 57.0 25
2 Joe Flacco 85 175 988 4 9 4793 3.65% 6 52.3 26
3 Tom Brady 84 166 1015 12 6 8299 2.00% 28 78.8 7
4 Matthew Stafford 78 147 967 9 5 4326 3.40% 8 79.9 6
4 Ben Roethlisberger 84 147 1065 10 5 6003 2.45% 22 88.4 3
6 Drew Brees 74 141 885 9 9 8840 1.60% 30 66.7 17
7 Matt Ryan 68 140 878 6 8 5122 2.73% 17 59.2 23
8 Eli Manning 71 135 952 10 6 6863 1.97% 29 81.5 5
9 Carson Palmer 70 128 936 4 7 6124 2.09% 25 65.8 19
10 Jay Cutler 70 117 842 7 7 4524 2.59% 18 76.9 11
11 Aaron Rodgers 46 99 662 6 5 4749 2.08% 26 67.8 16
12 Ryan Fitzpatrick 50 98 566 4 11 3877 2.53% 20 42.7 29
13 Cam Newton 44 86 608 6 0 2985 2.88% 13 97.4 2
14 Alex Smith 42 85 392 3 5 4171 2.04% 27 49.7 28
15 Matt Cassel 42 84 663 4 4 2624 3.20% 10 72.7 13
Rk Name Cmp Att Yds TD INT Total Att Clutch% Rk Rtg Rk
16 Matt Schaub 50 83 607 4 4 3274 2.54% 19 78.7 8
17 Sam Bradford 44 79 355 3 3 2876 2.75% 16 64.1 20
18 Ryan Tannehill 33 75 427 4 4 2637 2.84% 14 58.0 24
19 Kirk Cousins 41 71 425 5 5 1623 4.37% 2 69.3 14
20 Andy Dalton 39 70 461 1 2 3126 2.24% 23 68.8 15
21 Andrew Luck 34 66 430 7 0 2651 2.49% 21 107.5 1
22 Russell Wilson 33 65 458 7 4 2347 2.77% 15 84.0 4
23 Josh McCown 38 63 434 3 3 2185 2.88% 12 77.1 10
24 Chad Henne 29 61 318 2 6 1954 3.12% 11 34.8 30
25 Nick Foles 23 54 251 2 1 1285 4.20% 3 61.6 22
26 Derek Anderson 26 53 317 1 1 1596 3.32% 9 66.3 18
26 Robert Griffin 31 53 331 1 1 1210 4.38% 1 75.3 12
28 Mark Sanchez 23 49 269 2 3 2285 2.14% 24 52.2 27
28 Shaun Hill 24 49 364 3 2 1225 4.00% 4 77.3 9
30 Brian Hoyer 23 44 226 2 2 1261 3.49% 7 63.3 21

Sometimes it can be tricky determining who's retired and who's not. This table assumes that Tony Romo will stay in the TV booth, while Robert Griffin will get another shot somewhere. Admittedly, this is an intentional case of selection bias -- I wanted Griffin in the table because he leads all active players with 4.38 percent of his career passes coming down one score in the final minutes. Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles, and Shaun Hill also have higher such rates than Rivers. Meanwhile, look at the active quarterbacks with the lowest rates in the metric: Brees, Eli Manning, Brady, Alex Smith, and Aaron Rodgers. Again we see that good quarterbacks rarely find themselves needing a score at the end of a game.

By passer rating, the best active quarterback has been Andrew Luck (107.5, with no interceptions), followed by Cam Newton (he hasn't thrown an interception either), Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, and Eli Manning. (Remember this includes passing stats only, and avoids the scrambling ability of Luck, Newton, and Wilson.) The worst? Chad Henne at 34.8. (You might think that this is why the Jaguars are sticking with Blake Bortles, but Bortles has been even worse -- 16-of-40, 165 yards, no touchdowns, five interceptions, 13.0 passer rating.) The rest of the bottom five is rounded out by Fitzpatrick, Smith, Mark Sanchez, and Flacco.

A few notes on some well-known quarterbacks who failed to make either table:

  • With 41 attempts, Derek Carr barely missed the active player leaderboard, but he has been tremendous in that situation. He has completed 26 passes for 275 yards with six touchdowns, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 102.1.
  • You won't find Colin Kaepernick in these numbers, because in nearly 1,700 NFL passes, only 36 -- 2.13 percent -- have come down a score in the final two minutes. He has completed 19 of them for 220 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and a passer rating of 69.2. Marcus Mariota has also gone 19-of-36 in the clutch, despite throwing only 889 passes (Clutch rate: 4.05 percent). Mariota's 19 completions gained 251 yards with one touchdown, with two interceptions and a 61.2 passer rating.
  • Tim Tebow only threw 361 passes in his career, but 29 of them (8.03 percent) came in clutch situations. It's easier to rack up game-winning drives when you're playing from behind every week. Tebow completed 12 of those passes for 156 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and a 56.1 passer rating.
  • Kurt Warner almost never needed a late score. Only 1.74 percent of his 4,070 career passes came down a score in the final minutes. Which is a good thing, because his performance in those situations was dire: 37-of-71, 464 yards, no touchdowns, four interceptions, 49.3 passer rating.
  • Steve Young's career started in the 1980s, but he still threw more than 2,000 passes after 1994. Only three of them came in two-minute drill scenarios. He completed all three of them for 57 yards and a touchdown, a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Tom Brady NE
30/39
447
3
0
2
250
250
0
NO
Brady would have made the top five this week based on his first 15 minutes alone. In the first quarter, he went 11-of-15 for 177 yards and three touchdowns. He was nearly perfect on deep passes, going 5-of-6 for 156 yards with two scores. He got off to a hot start on third downs (first quarter: 5-of-5, 101 yards, five conversions, including two touchdowns), but quickly cooled way off (rest of game: 1-of-2, 6 yards, no conversions, two sacks).
2.
Philip Rivers LACH
31/39
331
1
0
1
166
173
-8
MIA
On passes up the middle, Rivers went 7-of-8 for 87 yards. Six of those completions went for first downs, including a touchdown; the other was an 8-yard gain on second-and-14. He had a great day on first down: 16-of-19 for 175 yards, plus a 20th throw that resulted in a 3-yard DPI, for 12 total first downs. But he had trouble keeping drives alive. On third downs, he went 4-of-7 for 27 yards with one sack and only two conversions.
3.
Derek Carr OAK
23/28
230
3
0
0
160
160
0
NYJ
Late in the second quarter, Carr threw three incompletions in a row. He didn't miss another pass all game. In the second half, he went 10-of-10 for 63 yards. No, that's not a lot of yardage, but five of those completions resulted in first downs, including a touchdown. Plus, he gained 17 yards and a sixth first down on a 17-yard DPI. At one point he picked up a first down on five throws in a row.
4.
Drew Brees NO
27/44
356
2
0
1
159
159
0
NE
This was the 48th time Brees has thrown for at least 350 yards and two touchdowns, the most since 1950 according to Pro Football Reference. The man in second place: his opponent on Sunday, Tom Brady, who pulled the same feat off this weekend and now has 38 such games. More painful for Brees, it was the 18th time he has done so in a loss, which is also a record. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The first version of this comment had an incorrect note about interceptions in this statistic, which has been removed.) He was tremendous in short-yardage against New England. With 5 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 8-of-11 for 125 yards. Each of those completions went for a first down, including two touchdowns.
5.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
23/35
243
2
0
2
122
122
0
MIN
Holy streaks, Batman! Starting midway through the second quarter, Roethlisberger threw five incompletions in a row; six completions in a row; three incompletions in a row; six completions in a row; an incompletion and a sack; eight completions in a row; and then two straight incompletions to close out the game. If we remove sacks and DPIs, he completed 83 percent of his passes if the prior pass had been complete, but only 36 percent of his passes if the prior pass had been incomplete.
6.
Trevor Siemian DEN
22/32
231
4
1
2
93
97
-4
DAL
All four of Siemian's touchdowns came in the red zone. He was also quite good on third downs, going 7-of-8 for 94 yards and seven conversions, including two of his touchdowns. However, he also gave up two third-down sacks, fumbling on one of them.
7.
Aaron Rodgers GB
33/50
343
2
1
3
92
88
4
ATL
It was too little, too late, but Rodgers was very good in the fourth quarter trying to rally the Packers out of a big hole. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 146 yards in the final frame, with two touchdowns. But all of those throws came with Green Bay down by at least 11 points. That's partly because Rodgers was so ineffective in the second quarter: 5-of-11 for 40 yards with one first down, one interception, and one sack.
8.
Matt Ryan ATL
19/28
252
1
0
3
89
86
3
GB
Remember the third-down pass protection problems that contributed to the Super Bowl collapse? Ryan struggled on third down again against Green Bay, and it nearly cost them a win despite a big lead. On third downs, Ryan went 2-of-4 for 25 yards and two conversions, but was also sacked three times.
9.
Joe Flacco BAL
25/34
217
2
1
2
86
86
0
CLE
Flacco split most of his passes and almost all of his completions between throws to the right or up the middle. He only threw five passes to the left, completing one (a 7-yard gain on second-and-12), with an interception.
10.
Alex Smith KC
21/28
251
1
0
4
75
71
4
PHI
Some weird down-by-down splits here. Smith completed all 11 of his second-down passes (he was also sacked once) for 139 yards, but only four first downs. This would be fine if he had converted those third downs he had created, but he usually didn't. He only picked up first downs on two of his nine third-down dropbacks, going 3-of-7 for 36 yards with two sacks.
11.
Jameis Winston TB
18/30
204
1
0
2
71
76
-5
CHI
An otherwise erratic day was bouyed by a strong performance on third downs, when Winston went 6-of-8 for 68 yards with a sack. Each of the six completions picked up a new set of downs.
12.
Jay Cutler MIA
24/33
230
1
0
2
66
69
-4
LACH
This game might never have come down to a field goal try if Cutler had played better in the red zone. On three separate drives inside the Los Angeles 20, he went 2-for-4 for 0 yards (not a typo) with two sacks.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Matthew Stafford DET
15/21
122
2
0
3
33
24
10
NYG
14.
Russell Wilson SEA
23/39
198
1
0
3
28
24
4
SF
Wilson ran eight times for 39 yards against San Francisco. He picked up three first downs on the ground, including conversions on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1. However, he also had a fumbled snap that went down as a running play that hurt his numbers.
15.
Kirk Cousins WAS
18/27
179
1
0
2
27
42
-15
LARM
The Washington offense was awfully predictable against the Rams. On first down, they had 25 runs (including a botched pitch that went down as a fumble for Cousins, which murdered his rushing numbers), but only four passes. Then again, those four passes resulted in three completions for 9 total yards and a fumbled snap, so maybe running was a better idea. However, Washington didn't run the ball a single time on third down, leaving it all on Cousins to keep drives alive. He went 7-of-12 for 72 yards, with only five conversions.
16.
Carson Palmer ARI
19/36
332
1
1
4
27
33
-6
IND
Palmer had serious issues turning scoring opportunities into touchdowns. Inside the Indianapolis 26, he went 4-of-10 for 34 yards with only two first downs, with an interception. He was not the only quarterback this week who was at his worst in scoring range, as we shall soon see.
17.
Cam Newton CAR
20/32
228
0
0
6
23
18
5
BUF
Newton didn't complete a single pass in the red zone, going 0-for-4. (A fifth pass resulted in a 5-yard DPI.) He also gave up a sack on second-and-9 from the Buffalo 22.
18.
Marcus Mariota TEN
15/27
215
1
1
1
23
14
8
JAC
Mariota had a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jonnu Smith in this game. The pass was caught 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage, with 38 yards after the catch. Maybe the Titans should have tried more screens in scoring range, because Mariota didn't pick up a single first down any closer to the end zone than the 32. From that point forward, he went 1-of-9 for 8 yards (an 8-yard gain on second-and-16 at that) with an interception.
19.
Deshaun Watson HOU
15/24
125
0
0
3
22
3
19
CIN
Watson's 49-yard touchdown run on third-and-15 was worth 23 DYAR by itself. It was about his only good play across the 50. Otherwise, on Cincinnati's side of the field, he went 2-of-3 for 11 yards with one sack and one run: an 11-yard gain on third-and-16.
20.
Josh McCown NYJ
17/25
166
2
0
4
9
3
6
OAK
GABBERT WATCH UPDATE: McCown's game against the Raiders was pretty close to replacement level and didn't bring him any closer to Blaine Gabbert's career record of -1,928 passing DYAR. He now has -126 passing DYAR in 2017, and stands at -1,471 career passing DYAR with 14 games to go (unless he is benched). He was best against the Raiders on third downs, going 6-of-7 for 101 yards and five first downs (including both of his touchdowns), with two sacks.
21.
Kevin Hogan CLE
5/11
118
1
1
1
8
3
5
BAL
Hogan had three really big plays -- completions of 49 and 34 yards to Seth DeValve and Duke Johnson respectively, plus a 23-yard touchdown to David Njoku -- and a bunch of crap.
22.
Mike Glennon CHI
31/45
301
1
2
1
0
0
0
TB
Another passer who basically threw up all over himself in scoring range. Inside the Bucs' 22, Glennon went 3-of-12 for 26 yards with an interception. Only one of those completions picked up a first down -- a 14-yard touchdown when the Bears were down by 29 points with less than two minutes to go in the game.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Blake Bortles JAC
20/34
226
1
2
2
-8
-24
16
TEN
The king of garbage time strikes again! In the fourth quarter, Bortles completed all nine of his throws for 134 yards and seven first downs, including his only touchdown. He only had six first downs in the first three quarters of the game.
24.
Carson Wentz PHI
25/47
333
2
1
6
-9
-33
23
KC
And then there's Carson Wentz. Late in the third quarter, Wentz got on a hot streak, picking up first downs on five straight passes, each gaining 11 to 18 yards, the last a touchdown that put Philadelphia ahead 10-6. He only gaines six more first downs from that point forward (including two throws in the third quarter), going 9-of-21 for 99 yards with four sacks, a fumble, and an interception.
25.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
17/25
125
0
0
3
-23
-30
7
CAR
A lot of quarterbacks struggled in the red zone this week, but at least they got there. Taylor didn't have a single run or pass inside the 20 this week, in part because he played so badly in the front zone (the area between Carolina's 20- and 40-yard lines). His five plays in that range: three incompletions, a 6-yard completion on third-and-9, and a 5-yard run on third-and-16.
26.
Case Keenum MIN
20/37
167
0
0
2
-24
-24
0
PIT
Keenum didn't get a play in the red zone either, and his action in the front zone was limited to three passes, all incomplete. Still, he was vaguely competitive until the Steelers took a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. From that point forward, he went 5-of-10 for 29 yards and only one first down.
27.
Andy Dalton CIN
19/34
216
0
0
3
-25
-27
2
HOU
On three separate drives that reached scoring range, Dalton went 3-of-8 for 16 yards with a sack inside the Houston 40-yard line. That includes 1-of-5 for 2 yards with a sack in the red zone.
28.
Eli Manning NYG
22/32
239
1
1
5
-31
-31
0
DET
29.
Dak Prescott DAL
30/50
238
2
2
2
-34
-32
-1
DEN
Red zone passing: 3-of-8, 18 yards, one touchdown, two sacks, one pick-six.
30.
Jared Goff LARM
15/25
224
1
1
2
-47
-37
-9
WAS
Goff had a bad day on second downs: 2-of-7 for 11 yards. His biggest pass was a 69-yard catch-and-run to tight end Gerald Everett.
31.
Jacoby Brissett IND
20/37
216
0
1
4
-66
-70
4
ARI
Another red zone disaster: 0-for-4 with a sack. Keep in mind the Colts lost this game in overtime.
32.
Brian Hoyer SF
16/27
99
0
1
2
-145
-145
0
SEA
Hoyer's longest play gained only 14 yards. He threw for only four first downs on the day, and all of them came within the San Francisco 40-yard line. Anything beyond that, he went 7-of-13 for 35 yards with an intentional grounding and a sack. He was able to surprise the Seahawks a couple of times on first-down passes, but on second and third downs, he went 9-of-16 for 46 yards with two sacks and only one conversion. On passes up the middle, he went 3-of-9 for 27 yards with an interception.
33.
DeShone Kizer CLE
15/31
182
0
3
2
-190
-188
-1
BAL
Oh look, more scoring-range follies. Kizer threw six passes inside the Ravens 26, completing more to the Ravens (two interceptions) than to his own teammates (one, for just 3 yards). That includes an interception on his only red zone pass. He also had one red zone run -- it lost 4 yards. On third/fourth downs, he went 3-of-9 for 52 yards with two conversions, two interceptions, and one fumble-sack.


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.
C.J. Anderson DEN
25
118
1
3/3
36
1
67
30
37
DAL
Eight first downs on the ground, including a 23-yard touchdown and another gain of 28, while getting hit for no gain or a loss only four times. His three receptions included a 16-yard touchdown on third-and-9 and a 12-yard gain on third-and-11.
2.
Derrick Henry TEN
14
92
1
0/0
0
0
64
64
0
JAC
All of Henry's runs gained at least 2 yards. He had seven first downs on the ground, including four conversions with 3 yards or less to go. Plus three runs for 10-plus yards to boot.
3.
Chris Thompson WAS
3
77
2
3/7
29
0
52
48
4
LARM
His three carries: a 9-yard gain on second-and-7; a 7-yard touchdown on second-and-4; and a 61-yard touchdown on second-and-6.
4.
Ty Montgomery GB
10
35
1
6/7
75
1
46
10
36
ATL
Not a big day as a runner, with a long gain of just 7 yards, and his two first downs both coming with 1 yard to go. But four of his catches produced first downs, including a goal-line touchdown and two 23-yard gains.
5.
James White NE
2
11
0
8/8
85
0
46
8
39
NO
His four catches included gains of 24, 23, 12, and 10 yards.


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.
Derrick Henry TEN
14
92
1
0/0
0
0
64
64
0
JAC
2.
Chris Thompson WAS
3
77
2
3/7
29
0
52
48
4
LARM
3.
C.J. Anderson DEN
25
118
1
3/3
36
1
67
30
37
DAL
4.
Rob Kelley WAS
12
78
0
0/0
0
0
30
30
0
LARM
All of his runs gained at least 1 yard, including gains of 21 and 19, plus a 2-yard gain on second-and-1.
5.
Chris Carson SEA
20
93
0
1/2
7
0
24
29
-5
SF
Four hits for no gain or a loss, but six first downs on the ground, including three runs of 10 yards or more. When the Seahawks took over with a narrow 3-point lead and 4:47 to go, Carson ran the ball on five straight plays, gaining 43 total yards and three first downs to put the game away.


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.
LeSean McCoy BUF
12
9
0
6/7
34
0
-36
-38
2
CAR
Zero first downs. A long run of just 6 yards. Half of his 12 carries resulted in no gain or a loss, including a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-1.


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.
LeSean McCoy BUF
12
9
0
6/7
34
0
-36
-38
2
CAR


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Martavis Bryant PIT
3
4
91
30.3
1
73
MIN
That's twice in two weeks the Pittsburgh Steelers have produced the league's most valuable receiver. Bryant's catches were a 27-yard touchdown on first-and-20, a 13-yard gain on third-and-12, and a 51-yard catch in the third quarter, but his 49-yard DPI to convert a second-and-22 in the second quarter was worth about as much DYAR as any of those. Bryant's totals include 67 DYAR receiving, 6 DYAR rushing for his one run for 7 yards.
2.
Michael Crabtree OAK
6
6
80
13.3
3
71
NYJ
Crabtree's three touchdowns went for 1, 2, and 26 yards, the latter a third-down conversion. His other two catches each gained at least 20 yards and a first down.
3.
Mike Evans TB
7
9
93
13.3
1
54
CHI
No catches for more than 18 yards, but all of them gained at least 8 yards and a first down, including three third-down conversions.
4.
J.J. Nelson ARI
5
7
120
24.0
1
53
IND
Four of Nelson's catches went for first downs, including a 31-yard gain on second-and-7 and a 45-yard touchdown.
5.
Mohamed Sanu ATL
5
6
85
17.0
0
50
GB
Sanu's totals include 39 DYAR receiving, 10 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 8 yards. He had three catches for 20-plus yards apiece, plus a 10-yard gain on third-and-3.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Donte Moncrief IND
2
8
18
9.0
0
-42
ARI
It could have been worse -- Moncrief's first six targets were all incomplete, including plays on first-and-5 and third-and-2. He finally caught a pass, gaining 15 yards on second-and-7, but that was mostly undone by his next reception, a 3-yard gain on third-and-6.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 18 Sep 2017

105 comments, Last at 21 Sep 2017, 11:29am by MC2

Comments

1
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:39am

All told, 3.81 percent (the "Clutch%" column in the table) of Rivers' career passes have come in the last two minutes of the game, needing one score to tie or take the lead. That's actually not the highest ratio in the table, trailing former Jets/Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington (4.41 percent) and former Lions/Dolphins/Falcons starter Joey Harrington (3.82 percent). Rivers is in turn trailed by Flacco and Rich Gannon (though this does not include the early years of Gannon's career, which goes all the way back to 1987). Flacco's Super Bowl ring aside, this is basically a group of good-but-not-great players. Contrast that list to the names at the other end of this category -- Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Kerry Collins, and Favre. There's little question that the latter group is superior to the former, suggesting that great quarterbacks often perform well enough to avoid the need for late-game heroics.

If you take your two groups (Rivers, Pennington, Harrington, Flacco, Gannon) and (Brees, P. Manning, McNabb, Collins, and Favre), and remove the obvious outliers of Manning and Harrington, they are not wildly different lists.

I could argue with a straight face that the set of Rivers, Pennington, Flacco, and Gannon were superior to Brees, McNabb, Collins, and Favre. Certainly, if we use the Simmons criteria of "who would you take if aliens appeared and you had to play a best-of-1 for the survival of earth", you wouldn't be significantly disadvantaged by having the former group instead of the latter.

I think the latter group, as a class, had better offenses. (Their defenses seem to be a wash; Brees didn't have one, but the rest of the group did) But a lot of that is on coaching and other talent. Rivers and Brees were pretty similar in SD. Pennington was arguably better than Favre on the Jets.

13
by Pat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:53am

Well, removing the worst from one group and the best from another is always going to bring the two groups closer together. But I think you're really stretching things there. Not sure why, maybe a recency bias since the first group has 2 active players (who are also the best of that group) and the second only has 1?

PFR's AV has the first group at 164, 62, 33, 97, and 120, with Rivers and Flacco still active. The second group is 223, 271, 138, 111, and 255, with Brees still active. If you pull Manning out of the second group, you've still got Brees and Favre, who are two locks for the Hall of Fame. The first group doesn't really have *anyone* you could say is a lock for the Hall.

Rivers is 36, and putting up 12-13 AV per year, so he'll finish probably around 200 or just shy. Flacco is 32 and about at the same rate (although not recently) so he'll probably finish in the same category. Still, those would be the best in the first group, and the best two in the second group would be Manning and Favre, and I think most people would agree there's a definite gap between Manning/Favre and Rivers/Flacco.

25
by RickD :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:20pm

Agree with the comment that, if you are comparing two groups of five players, and you remove the best of one group and the worst of the other group, you will clearly bring them closer together. But still...the second group still has two more slam dunk Hall of Famers (Favre and Brees) while the other list probably has zero.

If I were to rate the entire 10, I'd go
Manning
Brees
FAvre
Rivers/Gannon
McNabb
Flacco
healthy Pennington
Collins
post-injury Pennington
Harrington

"Pennington was arguably better than Favre on the Jets."

Yes, and Mookie Wilson was better on the Mets than Willie Mays.
So the point here is that if you apply a minimax principle, it's not true that Favre's worst season was better than Pennington's best season.

32
by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:24pm

Healthy Pennington (2002-2004) was probably better than Flacco. I bet most of the Pennington stats on the first table come from 2007. He injured his right leg in the first game and it effected his passing until late in the year. He had a string of games where he had a chance in the last two minutes to save the game for the Jets, but threw a pick six, a lot like Matt Schaub's last year in Houston. The thing is, if Pennington was healthy for a game, he didn't make a lot of mistakes to put his team behind. If healthy Pennington was stuck playing from behind late in a game, he was probably facing a Belichick defense or Pittsburgh.

36
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:34pm

My point was mostly that Rivers/Gannon were not dissimilar from McNabb (or even Brees), and Collins was hot trash in competition with Harrington. (I also think Joey got Carr'd a little in Detroit)

I think I would rank al dente Pennington a little higher than you do. I might even put al tenero Pennington above Collins.

55
by Pat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:15pm

"Rivers/Gannon were not dissimilar from McNabb (or even Brees)"

I'll give you McNabb, but Brees is definitely better than Gannon, and it's hard to claim he hasn't been noticeably better than Rivers, especially the past several years. I mean, putting Gannon at an equivalent level as Brees is really kinda ludicrous. Gannon had 4 good years in Oakland. Brees has had like, a decade of extremely high play.

Really, the only "great" QB on that first list *is* Rivers.

I also have no idea how you're comparing Collins and Harrington. Harrington only played 5 seasons. Collins was in the league for like, 16. Collins wasn't a great quarterback, sure, but the only reason Harrington even got 5 seasons was because, well, for most of it, it was the *Lions*.

88
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 8:36am

Here's my basis:

Rivers and Brees were similar in SD. I agree Brees has done better in NO than Rivers in SD, but we should also filter that through the massive imbalance in NO's roster construction. NO's team is built to win 45-42 shootouts, and only 45-42 shootouts. I think you can argue with a straight face that Brees' offensive numbers are artificially inflated, and that when they played on similar teams they played similarly well.

As for Gannon, he had a brief peak, but a very high one.

His two Bells and 1 AP MVP compare with Brees' one Bell and 2 AP offensive MVPs. I give Brees the nod, but it's not as wide of a gap as it first appears.

95
by Pat :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:44am

I think the big difference is that you're basically going by peak performance comparisons - hence the "who would you pick to win 1 game" comparison. But this list is separating the group based on *career* statistics, and the first group *clearly* didn't have as long a record of sustained success as the second. So if you say the second group clearly has a better record of *sustained success* than the first, I think that's absolutely clear.

Even the worst in both groups (Harrington/Collins) makes that comparison pretty obvious, given the vastly different lengths that both were in the NFL.

2
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:41am

Also, once again, there seems to be something wrong with how RBs are apportioned receiving DYAR. I'm expected to believe replacement-Anderson would be expected to net -1 yards receiving on three attempts?

I get that there's a small sample-size problem, and the general lousiness of the screens RBs usually get, but the frequency of non-sensical results should be concerning.

4
by nat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:58am

I think the issue is that a "replacement-level" result for RB targets in those situations would have had no first downs and no touchdowns and at least one incomplete pass. First downs and TDs are very valuable. That's especially true on third-and-long situations.

It's times like this that I wish we still had DPAR. I doubt you'd have a problem seeing Anderson's receptions as adding a lot more to expected points than the replacement level result. It's the formula that converts expected points (aka success) back into "yards of unusual size" that grates in times like this.

10
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:04am

The usage of yardage is a shorthand. We always point out that DYAR is not supposed to be proclamation of literal yardage. It incorporates the value of first downs and touchdowns.

Regarding DPAR vs. DYAR: When we measured player value in terms of points, we got a lot of complaints. When we measure player value in terms of yards, we get a lot of complaints.

12
by nat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:32am

Understood about DPAR. It wasn't perfect either.

One thing in DPAR's favor, though: no one ever was confused about what the P stood for. No one ever thought it meant "Points scored by this player". People think the Y in DYAR stands for "Yards gained by this player" almost every week it seems.

Oh, stick with DYAR, for sure. The scale at least feels more comfortable than DPAR's points, even if it leads to confusion about its interpretation. Just don't be defensive when we old-timers grow wistful for DPAR every now and then.

BTW: have you ever published the different scales for the Y in DYAR? In terms of expected value of the next score, how does improving from 10 to 20 in QB DYAR compare with a similar improvement at RB, TE, or WR?

41
by Wikitorix :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:43pm

Also, today is Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day, so DYAR is definitely the most appropriate stat for today.

14
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:02am

How about a readership poll, DYAR vs DPAR? Then you could quantify what "a lot" in "a lot of complaints" means.

18
by nat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:22am

A poll today wouldn't tell you much of use about DPAR ten years ago, would it?

I think DYAR is what we get. Still, it's useful to be aware of what we gave up with the switch, and to occasionally see some analysis that recaptures the "points added above replacement" idea that DYAR obscures.

Not knowing the innards of Aaron's spreadsheets, I cannot guess how easy it would be to add a phrase like "X DYAR, which is worth about Y additional expected points in typical situations" every now and then. Heck, I'd settled for "X DYAR, which is worth as much as the field position gained from a single Y yard punt return".

73
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:04pm

I'd like to know what kind of complaints anybody could have had about DPAR, and whether they've logged into the site in the last 7 years (if not, their complaints shouldn't count).

You can always just pretend DYAR is actually DPAR, because that's really what it's measuring and always has measured. It's not normalized to look like points, it just takes experience with it to get a feel for how many represent a great game or a terrible one.

96
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:51am

Not ten years ago, no, but it would tell you which would be the more popular stat going forward. It's just awful hand-wavey, that both got "lots of complaints." When DPAR was going, I don't remember any complaints from the readers. Switching to DYAR, if I recall correctly, was something they did when FO was just beginning to get a gig with ESPN, which makes me think the complains about DPAR came from someone over there.

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

37 DYAR for 36 RecYards seems like a very high ratio (usually well under 50%) but all 3 were good plays. 8 yards on 1st and 10, 16 yards and a TD on 3rd and 9, and 12 yards on 3rd and 11. So, two of these were high leverage and the other play was a success also no misses for negative DYAR.

89
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 8:49am

I get all of that. And I get that it's based on a regression of field position gained as it relates to expected points (with a comparison to expected outcomes). And that you'll get odd outliers.

But it's still effective yards as compared to actual yards. And if you get 37 effective yards on 36 actual yards, it is saying that replacement level performance would have been a net loss of 1 yard. Which both seems silly, and is, even though how the number was arrived at is explicable and defensible. It's a local failure in the regression.

It's just that it seems to crop up a ton for RBs, which suggests to me there might be a systemic tuning problem at that position. Alternatively, it's a small numbers problem as QB DYAR gets apportioned out over three offensive positions. At climate level, DYAR works well; at 5-day forecast weather level, it doesn't. But if we're only really reporting noise, we should cop to it.

100
by ChrisS :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:13am

Is the problem that some high % of RB receptions are actually negative events so that when a good play comes about it has to have a very large DYAR/Yards ratio so that the average DYAR works out to zero? I think total DYAR should be zero but maybe only total DVOA should be zero, so my point may be crap.

3
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:52am

Your Brees/Brady comparison was mangled. Your criteria was >= 0 INTs, when it should have been <= 0 (or just = 0).

If you do that, you end up with Brady with 21 (21-0) and Brees with 20 (16-4). Favre, P. Manning, and Roethlisberger are tied for 3rd, with 10.
http://pfref.com/tiny/Z4Non

If you expand it to the playoffs, Brees (17-5) and Brady (22-0) are tied with 22, with P. Manning in 3rd with 13. This isn't the most losses. Eli Manning is tied with 5 losses in this scenario, with just one win (1-5). There are only four guys with a below .500 record and more than one of these. NYG are good at squandering Eli's best games.

7
by nat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 9:42am

Ouch. That's going to hurt.

I hope he rewrites that entry rather than leaving it in as is.

It's great to throw a ton of yards and TDs with 0 interceptions.

It's another thing to throw a lot of 350+ yard / 2+ TD games marred by interceptions. That's a kind of empty calories that DVOA was designed to detect and devalue.

You know who leads the league in 350+ yard, 2+ TD, 2+ interception games? Dan Marino. He went 5-6 in such games. Brees and P. Manning each did it ten times. Manning was 5-5. Brees was 4-6. These games are great for stats. But they are just "meh" for winning.

8
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:00am

I decided to run the bizarro version for kicks: <350 yards, 0 TDs, 2+ INTs.
http://pfref.com/tiny/beMCw

Norm Snead leads with 31 such games. Favre had 26, Collins had 23, Elways had 22, Aikman and Bledsoe had 21. Bledsoe went 1-20 in such games.

Then there's Bobby Layne, who went 12-11-1 in such games -- the only QB in NFL history with a >.500 record in such games.

Roethlisberger actually won a Super Bowl with one of these.

I also checked out what turned out to be a unicorn game -- 350+ yards, 0 TDs, 2+ INTs. No QB had more than one. The only win in such a game was Plunkett, and it was a playoff game.
https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198301080rai.htm

I'm sure RaiderJoe can provide the blow by blow.

20
by Theo :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:46am

Fun with a database!
I found 2 unicorns in reverse of that:
http://pfref.com/tiny/wsH2l
Matt Cassell, then a Chief, manages to throw 469 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs in the 2010 week 10 game at Denver. It's a loss.
The only >=450y, >=4TD, <=0INT game which is a loss.

Eli Manning throws 350, 6TD, 0 INT:
http://pfref.com/tiny/fTeRs

The only 6TD loss.
No one ever threw 7 TDs (the record) in a loss).
That's as far as 'perfect' games in a loss comes.

23
by aces4me :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:56am

I should have guessed that Eli's game was against the Saints.

24
by Theo :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:17pm

Ah yes - I deleted that, but it was indeed the 2015 loss vs the Saints (Brees threw 7tds that game).

39
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:39pm

Well, 8.

But one was to NY.

40
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:39pm

Well, 8.

But one was to NY.

35
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:31pm

Not the only 6TD loss - just the only one with 0ints but then how many 6TD performances have there been?

Marino 30/50 448yds 6TDs 2INTs Rating 112.3

Loses 51-45 to Jets in OT

O'Brien only 29/43 479yds 4TDs 1INT Rating 126.0

61
by Theo :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:02pm

yes, the only 6TD/0INT loss.

There have been 37 games with 6TDs with only 3 of them losses http://pfref.com/tiny/EdBQQ
Dan Marino, Eli Manning and Charley Johnson.

37
by RfT :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:36pm

I noticed the same thing. Sometimes I feel really bad for Drew Brees -- seems like you could put him in Brady's spot and he'd be the one every falls over trying to praise. Instead he gets saddled with terrible defenses and as a result only rarely gets brought up in the GOAT discussion.

58
by nat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:45pm

Don't feel too bad for Brees. If he didn't play on teams with rosters skewed against the defense (and thus towards the offense) and he didn't play in a dome at home or away games against southern teams so much, his stats would not look anywhere near as good.

The question is, if he won as often as he does now, but had stats brought lower by an extra 4+ bad/cold weather games a year, would we take much notice of him at all? What if he played on a team skewed toward defensive personnel, depriving him of a quality target or two in the process and dropping his stats even more?

I suspect we'd see him as we do now. Very, very good, even great, but not quite in the top tier historically. HOF? Certainly. GOAT? Not a chance.

65
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:08pm

I guess we will never know. The saints threw a lot. And they threw in games they were behind and ahead, but the frightening imbalance feels quite criminal. The defense has been mostly bad for most of his career and downright cover eyes awful from 2011 to the present - a shockingly long period of time. They tried to fix it - it just didn't work.

68
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:29pm

The one year they had a decent defense was in 2013, and they went 11-5. In reality, they should've done better, started the year 5-0 and threw away the division with another loss to the Rams in St. Louis.

52
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:32pm

Whoops! I screwed that up. I put up a notice that it's screwed up, and will put up a full correction later. Thanks for catching that.

69
by nat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:29pm

Using strikethrough formatting was the perfect solution until you get the time to write a new blurb. It leaves context for the comments while acknowledging the need for a later fix. Well done, sir. Well done.

Can we get strikethrough as an allowed HTML tag for our comments someday? It's the one markup I've found myself missing.

5
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 9:15am

Where's Carlos Hyde ranked? I know it's tiresome when people ask about their own team but he did run for 124 yards on 15 carries against Seattle's defense, it must be close to making the list.

9
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:02am

Remember, no opponent adjustments yet. Also, Hyde had two runs for 88 yards. The rest of the day he had 13 runs for 36 including getting stuffed on third-and-1. Add in negative receiving value and he's not close to the top 10.

22
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:54am

Ah thanks, I thought you adjusted the early numbers with DAVE.

74
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:09pm

Thank god they don't use DAVE anymore, I always thought DAVE made the rankings absolutely useless until week 8, when it wasn't in the equation anymore.

6
by Mike B. In Va :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 9:25am

No component of Buffalo's offense was successful this week. Carolina's D is good, but, sheesh.

11
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:20am

Ill save an extended comment for the DVOA thread, but Eli Manning and the Giants are just weird, and have been for a very long time.

15
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:04am

And probably few people outside New York would care much about a strange quarterback on a mediocre team, but ringzz.

16
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:13am

If you have 7+ playoff wins, you're in the Hall.

The only eligible guy who's not is Plunkett. The only non-eligible guys for which there's any question, are Eli, Flacco, and Wilson. Flacco, I think, will get Plunkett'd, but I'm leaning towards Eli and Wilson getting in.

17
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:20am

Eli doesn't just have playoff wins, it's two rings, and two MVPs. The weird thing is he has zero playoff wins outside of two Super Bowl runs. Just a very odd split. Regardless, people are going to see rings and MVPs, and he's going to get in. Playing in NYC isn't exactly going to hurt.

21
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:52am

Even if he didn't play in NYC, the opponent he won his first ring against is a huge. It's not quite Joe Namath against the '68 Colts, but spoiling the first 19-0 run in history is going to live on in NFL history.

26
by RickD :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:28pm

I wouldn't be sure about Eli getting in. There are a lot of better candidates at QB and, really, Eli's entire candidacy is based on two playoff runs. Two excellent playoff runs, certainly, but still how does that compare to Ken Anderson?

For an example from baseball, compare Eli to Curt Schilling. Schilling's playoff numbers are absurdly good, and he helped the Red Sox break the most famous "curse" in American sports. (With a slight nod to the Cubs as a worthy competitor.) So far it looks like Schilling will be left on the outside looking in, and I'd argue his regular season stats are relatively better than Eli's.

Oh, and the "7+ playoff wins" feels like it was chosen specifically to exclude Jim Plunkett, who also has two rings and is stuck on the outside looking in.

28
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:40pm

baseball hall usually about actual production (aside from some guys who got in by their friends/ex temmates on veteran's committee) whereas football one is a lot of time about fame and big moments and stuff (see Namath, t. davis, warner, stabler, etc.) some of those don't have great thrilling career totals but were superb for several seasons . those four I noted there all had no more than five gerat seasons.

42
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:43pm

Davis is the Sandy Koufax of football.

Extreme heights of success, really fragile body.

Gronk is a similar type.

----

Warner is sort of like Jim Bunning. In a vacuum, it's not an eye-popping career, but he was the best or second-best pitcher for two long-running franchises (Tigers, Phillies).

29
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:44pm

Schilling's regular season success way outmatches what Eli has done in the NFL. I can't see a situation where Eli ends his career with more regular season success relative to Schilling.

Part of the Schilling situation seems to be a real push by many people to exclude him for his character as he's become a notorious bigot over the years. Also don't think he was very well liked in baseball.

These things, by rule, shouldn't matter - but they apparently do.

33
by RickD :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:26pm

Yes, I would agree that Schilling's regular season accomplishments are better than Eli's. (That was part of my point...that Schilling should be considered a more likely candidate, but he's stuck on the outside.)
I'm not stuck in the common culture trap of thinking "compare" means "two things being compared are at the same level." It's OK to "compare" my basketball skill with Michael Jordan's!

The "character" issue is an interesting one for MLB. Schilling has irritated a lot of people over the years, and there is some suspicion that's being held against him. Technically that's allowed for the Baseball Hall of Fame, which evaluates candidates on all aspects of their character, but that's not the case with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is supposed to be entirely performance based.

I rate Eli as a weaker candidate than either Roethlisberger or Rivers, and I'm not entirely sold on the idea that both of those two are in. Roethlisberger is likely in, but I'm not sure about Rivers. In both cases I think there are too many non-QBs watching from the outside to justify inducting the 5th or 6th best QBs of their eras.

38
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:38pm

You're right, I forgot about that the Baseball HOF purports to care about character.

For Eli, I definitely think Roethlisberger and Rivers are better players. I see no reason why Roethlisberger would have issues getting in - and just comparing to Eli, hos HOF resume is much stronger. Same 2 Super Bowl rings (though Eli did win MVP in those games), but went to one more. More regular season success. Will end up with better rate statistics by far, and similar enough volume ones. Played for a high-profile franchise.

For Rivers, it will be tough to get him in. In my mind he's borderline (ahead of Eli - who I expect to go in even if I wouldn't vote for him). The statistics are there, but aside from a three year stretch form 2008-2010, and 2013, he was not one of the Top-5 QBs in any given year. Not sure if he had the consistency that Brees had.

What may help him is if he takes down a lot of Chargers team records people may argue he outclassed Fouts who is in, but I don't see that being likely.

46
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:03pm

I would be very surprised if Rivers ever gets in. He plays in obscure San Diego - a franchise known more for its pitiful losses. Most will remember him being injured in the afc title game as the most memorable playoff moment for Phil.

I don't think he is a hall of famer even though I hold him in very high regard. I don't think Eli should be either. Eli has only had like 5 seasons worth of good quality qb play. Even in the meat of his prime - there were too many high interception seasons. And now he just looks shot as a player. I was pretty surprised the Giants didn't try and draft a qb this year.

50
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:19pm

Agree that Rivers will probably never get in for the reasons you outlined, but I feel strongly Eli will get in whether we like it or not. NFL HOF values memorable moments/games, and combined with the two rings and SB MVPs, it will be enough. Maybe not on the first ballot, but eventually.

105
by MC2 :: Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:29am

Well, they did draft Davis Webb in the 3rd round.

45
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:59pm

Schilling is the TO of baseball. A guy who is absolutely in based on his stats, but being kept out for being an asshole.

That said, Eli's got better numbers than you might think. PFR doesn't have a gray/black ink listing like baseball-reference does, but his weighted career AV is in HOF territory. Most of the guys above him will get in eventually.

Now, it over-values QBs, but he's above a bunch of the HOF QBs, too.

47
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:10pm

They only do sometimes, very selectively. All these Halls of Fame are chock-full of human beings that the voters knew were guilty of behavior that make Schilling look like Gandhi.

54
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:13pm

OH HAI LAWRENCE TAYLOR AND WARREN SAPP HOW R U

27
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:36pm

Wilson likely to play logn enough and be on good teams for a while here, that he likely will be in pfhof even if never oplays in super bowl again.

manning if never goes to playoffs again, still likely to make pfhof on account of two super bowl wins. would be like Namath, Stabler, and warner wgere

people will poke holes in resume and many will complain abourt him bneing in, but that is life.

as for J. Flacco being like J. Plunkett can see tghat. Plunkett nowhere near a good PFHOF resume. Flacco not close now either. of course, Flacco not done playing. If productive for another half decade and wins one or tweo more super bowls, then suddenly he will have enough to gte in.

31
by ChrisS :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:22pm

Would Eli become the worst QB in the Hall if he were elected? A mediocre article on 538 about Eli being a mediocre QB. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/eli-manning-is-profoundly-mediocre/

44
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:52pm

It's got to be Blanda, right?

For full-time QBs, Namath or Stabler. Maybe Griese -- he struck me as like being an Alabama QB; decent numbers, but irrelevant to the proceedings.

Namath is probably his best comp -- prolific NYC turnover machines with legendary, era-defining championship game David vs Goliath wins and a shaky late career.

49
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:16pm

Namath was fantastic early in his career. As one of the FO writers (don't recall who) said, if you adjust passing stats for the era, he was like Kurt Warner without the late-career peak. If orthopedic surgical techniques weren't so primitive back then, we may not have seen the dreck that was his last few seasons.

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by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:56pm

Warner doesn't get in without that 3rd Super Bowl run.

56
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:22pm

Early career would mean AFL years, no?

Even there, he didn't hold his value after the merger anywhere near as much as Len Dawson (really underrated, imo) did.

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by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:53pm

That is a valid point, but the merger is about when he started getting hurt. Even then, his 1972 season was excellent (again, adjusting for era), and his 1974 season was still very good.

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by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:28pm

Interesting. Both you and RJ mentioned this. Didn't really realize how well Namath did in 1972.

60
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:01pm

well, Namath did not hopld value due to injury from 1970-74. Namatha ws too injured after 1970. was actuakkly all-pro majestic performer 1972. only other healthy year in 70s when 1974 and helped crappy Jets team actually go 7-7.
Of course, gerta in AFL days like le.n dawson and d. lamonica. By 1975, Jets became true turd team and Namath too old and injured. Then went to good Rams team and still too banged up to do antyything worthwhile.

stabler pretty craptastic with Oilers and Saimts. strictly base don OPakland days he got in Hall of fame.

stabler and Namath had about same number of hof quality seasons. stabler spent early portion of career as backup to Lamonica and end of career stinking things up in Housrton and New Orlenas.

Warner spectacular for three season s with Saitn Lopus and three years with ARonza. was okay one season with Gaints. had a few mediocre seaosns with Rams and cardinals too.

71
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 5:04pm

Is Saitn Lopus the patron saint of Easter?

62
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:02pm

well, Namath did not hopld value due to injury from 1970-74. Namatha ws too injured after 1970. was actuakkly all-pro majestic performer 1972. only other healthy year in 70s when 1974 and helped crappy Jets team actually go 7-7.
Of course, gerta in AFL days like le.n dawson and d. lamonica. By 1975, Jets became true turd team and Namath too old and injured. Then went to good Rams team and still too banged up to do antyything worthwhile.

stabler pretty craptastic with Oilers and Saimts. strictly base don OPakland days he got in Hall of fame.

stabler and Namath had about same number of hof quality seasons. stabler spent early portion of career as backup to Lamonica and end of career stinking things up in Housrton and New Orlenas.

Warner spectacular for three season s with Saitn Lopus and three years with ARonza. was okay one season with Gaints. had a few mediocre seaosns with Rams and cardinals too.

63
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:05pm

sorry doubler

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by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:05pm

sorry, triple post

damn compuetr

51
by ChrisS :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:25pm

Blanda was sort of a novelty pick. An average K and mediocre QB who played for 26!!! years. He certainly was not picked based on talent/performance.

34
by NoraDaddy :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:27pm

McNabb is 9-7. While I'd love for him to get in, I don't see him getting in.

76
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:16pm

If riff-raff like Eli Manning gets into the HOF, then the HOF becomes meaningless. You might as well enshrine Alex Smith and Danny Amendola, for chrissake.

Eli Manning is a borderline case for the Hall of Very Good, and I'm skeptical he'd even qualify for that!

83
by Sixknots :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:26pm

How about hall of "very lucky".

94
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:39am

Or "Hall Of Doing Good When All The Cameras Are On". If I'm building the HOF roster, I'm not putting Eli in, but he's going to get the Lynn Swann effect. It's the Hall of FAME, and big moments in big games are worth loads of extra proverbial points. If Lynn Swann doesn't make a couple highlight-worthy catches in Super Bowls, there is absolutely no chance he makes the HOF. If Eli doesn't have the Tyree and Manningham catches, he doesn't get in. He has them, so I fully expect him to make it.

104
by Jerry :: Thu, 09/21/2017 - 3:06am

Not every game was SB X, but Swann made extraordinary catches in October games in Cleveland, too. Today, we take receivers high-pointing the ball and then coming down and tapping their toes inbounds for granted. In the '70s, that was a "Lynn Swann-type catch."

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by BJR :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 9:49am

I LOL'd at Danny Amendola, dunno why

97
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:58am

But Danny Amendola definitely isn't famous, and whatever fame Alex Smith has at this point is largely about how terrible he was at the beginning of his career.

Eli Manning is famous for winning Super Bowls; hence, he'll get into the Hall of Fame.

I always think it's false to compare the Hall of Fame to the Hall of Very Good. The Hall of Very Good is about performance. It would be inhabited by people not good enough to enter the Hall of Excellence. Neither exists. The Hall of Fame is about stories. If you've got a good enough story, you're in.

103
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 12:38pm

If Chuck Howley had only been catfished with a fake girlfriend.......

30
by Scott Kacsmar :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:57pm

Two-minute table: Ahh, more Tony Romo clutch vindication. I actually thought Favre and Fitzpatrick would have more INTs than that. Peyton Manning's stats can be easily explained. Seven of the 14 INTs came in his first 20 career games. He had a terrible rookie year in comeback opportunities, and then the Colts blew late leads in 1999 to the Pats and Dolphins, putting him on the field with under 30 seconds left to get a field goal (something that felt impossible back in 1999). Both drives ended in picks, including a pass tipped by Marvin Harrison.

43
by TomC :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:51pm

Yes, that table is full of bullets for shooting down lazy-thinking meatheads. In addition to Romo at #1, you have the favorite targets of Chicago meatheads and Philadelphia meatheads (and those are two leaders in meathead production) at #7 and #8, sandwiched between Untouchable Gods Brady and Rodgers.

48
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:12pm

They sure serve up tasty popcorn at The Small Sample Size Theater!

57
by TomC :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 3:27pm

100-200 attempts is a perfectly valid sample size.

66
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 4:17pm

Compared to what? Would you put a MLB hitter in the HOF after 200 plate appearances? Make a HOF projection on a qb, or write a qb off, after 4 games?

75
by TomC :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:11pm

This isn't 4 games. In 100-200 attempts over 4 games, you only have 4 independent samples of defense, weather, QB being hung over or hurt, etc. This is 100-200 attempts over probably 25-50 games, which is a much wider sample of circumstances. Put another way, Babe Ruth's postseason OPS is 1.214 in 167 plate appearances while Tony Lazzeri's is 0.762 in 125 plate appearances, and yeah, I am pretty damn sure that's statistically significant.

78
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:44pm

If your 100-200 attempts were measuring qb performance in the way a plate appearance measures hitter performance, your point would be stronger. A pass attempt does not, so the point is greatly weakened. You need A LOT of pass attempts before you can begin to have some confidence that the multitude of variables which affect a pass attempt have likely balanced out. A couple hundred doesn't suffice.

(Edit) To add on, and be more detailed, there are 22 players which affect a pass attempt, compared to 10 in a baseball game affecting a plate appearance,or 13 if you want to account for how a baserunner can. That's a large difference, especially once one considers how defense plays little role in many successful plate appearance. Individual football performance is just massively more difficult to measure, and much larger samples are needed to do it well.

81
by TomC :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 7:22pm

You made the analogy to plate appearances, not me! You're as slippery to argue with as my wife (who, totally coincidentally, is also an attorney).

82
by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 7:35pm

Well, to be sure, I don't thhink post season hitting tells us much, nor do I think clutch hitting exists.

85
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 1:00am

Baseball players aren't idle between plate appearances. They contribute on defense as well. QBs don't play defense.

90
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 8:54am

Not anymore, anyway.

Terrelle Pryor did play safety in a game for Cleveland last year in which he also played QB.
http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/terrelle-pryor-snaps-qb-wr-safety-browns/st...

93
by Travis :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:02am

Dontari Poe played 43 snaps at nose tackle and one snap at QB in a game last year.

98
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:01am

I wish there were still a game just like football, except that all players had to play both ways. I'm not saying it would be a better game that what we've got, but it would be fun.

101
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:17am

It's called the Arena Football League, and, I believe outside of one player on each side, they do that. Sure, it's a 50-yard field with various gimmicks, but, well, there you go. Honestly, I don't want to see people have to play both ways. The game is brutal enough with players going half the time; I can't imagine the injuries if somebody had to play both offensive and defensive line.

102
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:20am

nfl was like that at oen time. arena football;l has some of that in it but I really don't like arena football,.

70
by ChrisS :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 5:01pm

Is Roethlisberger the first Bayesian QB? "he completed 83 percent of his passes if the prior pass had been complete, but only 36 percent of his passes if the prior pass had been incomplete".

72
by TomC :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:04pm

I have a strong prior that YOU ARE A NERD!!!

(i.e., ++stats humor)

80
by theslothook :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 7:02pm

Would that be a normal prior or do you wanna get fancy and go with cauchy?

77
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:30pm

Your Brees/Brady comparison was mangled. Your criteria was >= 0 INTs, when it should have been <= 0 (or just = 0).

This has been fixed now. Just taking out the text about interceptions solved everything. Thanks again for pointing that out. I'm actually happy I made the mistake because it led to some fun comments.

Also, once again, there seems to be something wrong with how RBs are apportioned receiving DYAR. I'm expected to believe replacement-Anderson would be expected to net -1 yards receiving on three attempts?

This has been addressed already, but Anderson gets "yardage" boosts for converting two third-and-long plays.

Don't feel too bad for Brees. If he didn't play on teams with rosters skewed against the defense (and thus towards the offense) and he didn't play in a dome at home or away games against southern teams so much, his stats would not look anywhere near as good.

Some truth to this.

https://twitter.com/FO_VVerhei/status/910267886819622913

Heck, I'd settled for "X DYAR, which is worth as much as the field position gained from a single Y yard punt return".

Well, the idea is that X and Y in that sentence would be equal, if we're comparing the punt return to a fair catch. A 10-DYAR run should be worth 10 yards of field position.

Where's Carlos Hyde ranked? I know it's tiresome when people ask about their own team but he did run for 124 yards on 15 carries against Seattle's defense, it must be close to making the list.

22 DYAR rushing. Gains of 61 and 27, but nothing else longer than 6 yards, and five runs for 1 yard or less, including a failed third-and-1 run. Also -14 DYAR receiving. Six targets, three catches, 19 yards, no first downs, only one successful play.

Is Roethlisberger the first Bayesian QB? "he completed 83 percent of his passes if the prior pass had been complete, but only 36 percent of his passes if the prior pass had been incomplete".

I want to revisit this sometime this year. I've tried to measure "streakiness" before with mixed results, but I think this formula, or something like it, best measures what I'm looking for.

79
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 6:48pm

As a comparison for the tweet on Brees's splits: for Peyton, he too does better indoors than outdoors, but it is closer:

Indoors: 2959/4479 (66%), 34,937 yds (7.8 y/a), 269 TDs, 113 INTs, 99.1 rating
Outdoors: 3166/4901 (64.6%), 37,003 yds (7.4 y/a), 270 TDs, 138 INTs, 94.0 rating

84
by nat :: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:48pm

Well, the idea is that X and Y in that sentence would be equal, if we're comparing the punt return to a fair catch. A 10-DYAR run should be worth 10 yards of field position.

Is that really true? When DPAR was introduced, it described as using actual yards gained by QBs and Success points gained to establish a standard success point to yard ratio to be used for the DPAR to DYAR scale conversion. A different ratio would be used for RBs because they have a different mix of first downs, scores, yards, and turnovers. Have I misremembered the whole Yards Of Unusual Size debate?

87
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 3:55am

We're getting into some complicated apples-to-oranges-to-celery stuff here, but yes, this is basically true.

A 10-DYAR run for a running back means he produced the expected value of a run by a replacement-level running back, plus the value of 10 yards of field position.

A 10-DYAR pass for a quarterback means he produced the expected value of a pass by a replacement-level quarterback, plus the value of 10 yards of field position.

91
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 8:57am

Yeah, no worries. I like poring through pfr for odd ephemera.

86
by Sleet :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 2:07am

Question, when is FO going to abandone QBR altogether as a stupid stat?

https://mobile.twitter.com/ShaneNFL/status/910346659271344128

99
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:04am

Probably when ESPN stops employing them.