Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Oct 2017

Week 8 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

The most exciting game of Week 8, and perhaps of the 2017 season, was Seattle's 41-38 win over Houston. Each of the 13 scoring plays in this game resulted in a tie or a lead change, including four go-ahead scores in the final ten minutes alone. When it was all said and done, everyone (including us) was focusing on the quarterback duel between Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, who became the fourth and fifth members of the NFL's 400-4-30 club. For all those numbers, however, neither was the top quarterback in Quick Reads this week, and Watson didn't even make the top three. Neither quarterback was perfect -- Watson threw a pick-six and two other interceptions and was sacked five times, and Wilson nearly threw the game away with a late red zone interception.

The biggest stars of this game were not Watson and Wilson, but the players on the other end of those passes. DeAndre Hopkins had the best DYAR in a game for a wide receiver this season, catching eight of 11 targets for 224 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown pass that nearly won the game for the Texans. Seattle's Paul Richardson finished second among receivers this week, catching six out of seven passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Plenty of other receivers in this game had big days as well -- Houston's Will Fuller was third among receivers in DYAR, while Seattle's Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett both made the top 16 -- but when it comes to watching two players on opposing sides taking turns making big catches, Hopkins vs. Richardson was the best game of the weekend, and one of the best games we'll see all year.

It was not, however, the best wide receiver duel on record. We went back through our list of top games for wide receivers and found 11 instances where players on opposite sides of the field each had at least 75 DYAR. Here they are, in chronological order:

  • Week 6, 1990, San Francisco 49ers 45 at Atlanta Falcons 35: Joe Montana threw a career-high six touchdown passes in this game, and Jerry Rice caught a career-high five of them. Rice finished with 13 catches in 20 targets for 225 yards. This game was not as close as the final score appears -- San Francisco opened a 45-21 lead in the fourth quarter before the Falcons added a pair of meaningless late touchdowns -- but Andre Rison still managed touchdowns of 75 and 13 yards on passes from Chris Miller and Scott Campbell. Rison caught nine of 11 passes on the day for 172 yards. That's 110 DYAR for Rice and 84 for Rison for a combined total of 194 DYAR, the most we have found for opposing wideouts in a game.
  • Week 14, 1993, Los Angeles Raiders 25 at Buffalo Bills 24: The Raiders rally from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to win on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Hostetler to Tim Brown. Brown finishes with 10 catches in 14 targets for 183 yards. This came after Don Beebe put the Bills up 14-10 in the second quarter on a 65-yard touchdown from Jim Kelly. Beebe only had five targets, but he caught four of them for 115 yards. Brown had 93 DYAR in this game, while Beebe had 76. (How weird does "Los Angeles Raiders" look at this point, by the way?)
  • Week 15, 1994, San Francisco 49ers 38 at San Diego Chargers 15: Oh hey, it's Jerry Rice again. Whenever you're putting together a list of top receiver accomplishments, and Jerry Rice shows up repeatedly, it's a sign you're doing something right. This game turned out to be a Super Bowl preview, and was no more competitive than San Francisco's 49-26 championship drubbing a few weeks later. In the first game, San Francisco led 21-0 midway through the second quarter, and the Chargers never got closer than 12 points down after that. Rice did not score on the day, but caught every one of the 12 passes thrown his way for 144 total yards, and added a run for 18 yards to boot. San Diego's Tony Martin did score on a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, one of nine catches in 12 targets he had on the day, for 172 yards. Rice finished with 89 DYAR on the day, while Martin had 78.
  • Week 13, 1995, Denver Broncos 33 at Houston Oilers 42: In Jeff Fisher's first full season as Houston's coach (he had taken over for the fired Jack Pardee on an interim basis in 1994), the Oilers moved away from the run-and-shoot and towards a more traditional run-based attack. It paid off, at least in this game, for Chris Sanders -- he only saw six targets, but caught five of them for 147 yards, including touchdowns of 35 and 36 yards from Chris Chandler. The Broncos trailed for the entire second half, despite the best efforts of Anthony Miller, who had a similar low-opportunity, high-efficiency day: seven targets, six catches, 152 yards, and touchdowns of 35 and 50 yards. Those numbers translated to 90 DYAR for Miller, 77 for Sanders.
  • Week 6, 2000, Oakland Raiders 34 at San Francisco 49ers 28: The Battle of the Bay Area goes back and forth all day until the Raiders win in overtime on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Rich Gannon to Tim Brown. The pair had already hooked up on a 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Including those two plays, Brown caught seven passes in nine targets for 172 yards. Terrell Owens also had two touchdowns on the day, finishing with 12 catches in 17 targets for 176 yards. That's 83 DYAR for Brown, 76 for Owens.
  • Week 5, 2002, Baltimore Ravens 26 at Cleveland Browns 21: Up to now we have mostly discussed some of the best wide receivers of the past two decades: Rice, Brown, Rison, Beebe, Owens, all names familiar to dedicated football fans. And then there's Brandon Stokley and Dennis Northcutt. Stokley didn't get a lot of opportunities in this game, but he made the most of them, with four catches in five targets for 78 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an unofficial sixth target resulting in a 33-yard DPI. Those two touchdowns helped the Ravens jump out to a 23-0 lead. That meant Cleveland had to pass a lot, and mostly to Northcutt, who finished with eight catches in 11 targets for 165 yards and two scores of his own. He had 80 DYAR, while Stokley finished with 78.
  • Week 16, 2002, New York Giants 44 at Indianapolis Colts 27: In a blowout Giants win, Amani Toomer and Reggie Wayne took turns making big plays in garbage time. New York took a 30-6 lead at the end of the third quarter, then in the fourth, Wayne caught touchdowns of 21 and 40 yards, while Toomer had scores of 21 and 27 yards. Toomer also had an 82-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and finished with 10 catches in 12 targets for 204 yards and 104 DYAR. Wayne's numbers were lesser, but perfect in their own way: six catches in six targets for 104 yards and 75 DYAR.
  • Week 7, 2010, Cincinnati Bengals 32 at Atlanta Falcons 39: This game was silly. Atlanta led 24-3 at halftime, but the Bengals rattled off 22 straight points to take a 25-24 lead. Atlanta then scored back-to-back touchdowns, but after another Bengals score, still had to recover an onside kick to realistically end things. The Bengals did get the ball back, but Carson Palmer was sacked inside his own 5-yard line to end the game. In all that chaos, Atlanta's Roddy White had 89 DYAR on 13 targets, 11 catches, 201 yards, and two scores; while Cincinnati's Jordan Shipley had 79 DYAR, catching six-of-six targets for 131 yards and a 64-yard touchdown. It was the only 100-yard game of his career.
  • Week 11, 2012, Jacksonville Jaguars 37 at Houston Texans 43: Similar to Sunday's Houston game, this was also a back-and-forth affair. The receivers' numbers were at least partially boosted by the NFL's extended overtime rules. The teams traded field goals in the extra frame, then Andre Johnson won things for Houston on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub. Johnson had a busy day, catching 14 of 19 passes for 273 yards and 81 DYAR (it would have been even more, but Johnson lost 24 DYAR due to opponent adjustments). Jacksonville's rookie Justin Blackmon nearly matched him, catching seven of 13 targets for 236 yards with an 81-yard touchdown and 77 DYAR. The fifth overall pick in that year's draft, Blackmon seemed destined to superstardom, but sadly multiple drug and alcohol issues ended his career after only 20 games.
  • Week 16, 2012, Atlanta Falcons 31 at Detroit Lions 18: Stop me if you've heard this before, but Atlanta jumped out to a late lead before it's opponent made a big second-half rally. Detroit fell behind 21-3 in the second quarter, but had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion early in the fourth before kicking a field goal on fourth-and-2 instead. The Falcons went on to add some insurance points to ensure they wouldn't sweat this one out. Roddy White had 76 DYAR on eight catches in 10 targets for 153 yards, including touchdowns of 39 and 44 yards. Calvin Johnson didn't score for Detroit, but did rack up 75 DYAR by catching 11 of 16 targets for 225 yards.
  • Week 16, 2016, Minnesota Vikings 25 at Green Bay Packers 38: A dull game on the surface, as Green Bay leads 28-13 at halftime and 38-13 in the fourth quarter before Minnesota adds some garbage-time points. In the process, though, Jordy Nelson amasses 94 DYAR, catching nine of 11 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. On the other side, Adam Thielen goes 12-of-15 for 202 yards and two touchdowns, good for 75 DYAR. This leads us to an interesting trivia question: while this was not the greatest wide receiver shootout in NFL history, might it have been the greatest white receiver matchup? Someday we'll have AFL DYAR and we'll be able to measure this battle between Don Maynard and Fred Biletnikoff.

As for our young heroes, both are playing at a level we have never seen before. Hopkins leads all wide receivers in DYAR this season, after never ranking higher than 13th in 2015. Richardson, a second-round pick in 2014, is also coming on strong after injuries ruined his first three seasons. He has already set career highs with 374 yards and five touchdowns. He is among the top five wide receivers in DYAR since Week 4, even though the Seahawks had a bye in Week 6. It will be four more years before we see the Texans and Seahawks play again, but if all goes well that game will feature Hopkins-Richardson II.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Matthew Stafford DET
27/45
423
0
0
2
192
187
5
PIT
Stafford's overall numbers were very good, but he was at his worst at the most critical times. By DYAR, Stafford was by far the league's top passer over most of the field this week, but was second-worst in the red zone. Inside the Pittsburgh 20, he went 2-of-11 for 6 yards with no successful plays, plus one sack. And on third/fourth downs, he went 1-of-7 for 14 yards with one conversion and two sacks.
2.
Russell Wilson SEA
26/41
452
4
1
2
178
162
17
HOU
On deep passes -- those thrown to receivers more than 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage -- Wilson went 6-of-11 for 221 yards, with a 12th deep ball resulting in a 21-yard gain on a DPI. Wilson also threw four balls that traveled exactly 15 yards downfield, completing three of them for 99 more yards.
3.
Tom Brady NE
32/47
333
1
0
3
170
166
4
LACH
Brady was nearly perfect in short yardage against the Chargers. With 4 yards or fewer to go for a first down, he went 6-of-8 for 42 yards, with each completion picking up a first down.
4.
Deshaun Watson HOU
19/30
402
4
3
5
114
93
21
SEA
Among the amazing things about Watson's game on Sunday (and there are many) is how he made nearly all his completions count. Sixteen of his 19 completions resulted in first downs. That's 84 percent. No other quarterback this week gained a first down on more than two-thirds of his completions. Cam Newton only gained a first down on one-third of his completions.
5.
Drew Brees NO
23/28
299
0
0
2
100
106
-6
CHI
It was feast or famine for Brees on third downs. He only converted two of his seven third-down dropbacks, but those two conversions went for 23 and 54 yards. His total third-down numbers: 3-of-5 for 81 yards, plus a pair of sacks.
6.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
17/31
317
1
1
0
99
99
0
DET
It's a good thing Roethlisberger threw a 97-yard touchdown in this game, because he wasn't of much use in what we typically think of as scoring range. Inside the Detroit 40, he went 2-of-7 for just 8 yards.
7.
Derek Carr OAK
31/49
313
1
2
0
78
78
0
BUF
Not a good day on third/fourth downs for the Raiders passer: 5-of-10 for 40 yards with only three conversions and one interception.
8.
Case Keenum MIN
27/43
288
2
1
1
74
74
0
CLE
Keenum takes the biggest hit in opponent adjustments this week because the Cleveland pass defense is really, really bad. He had great splits on second down: 16-of-20 for 157 yards and two touchdowns, with a 21st throw resulting in a DPI and 14 more yards.
9.
Matt Ryan ATL
19/29
254
2
0
1
56
72
-17
NYJ
All of Ryan's value came in his hot start. He completed nine of his first ten passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Only one of those nine completions failed to pick up a first down. He was actually below replacement level after that.
10.
Alex Smith KC
14/31
202
1
0
1
55
32
23
DEN
11.
Josh McCown NYJ
26/32
257
2
0
3
48
62
-15
ATL
GABBERT WATCH UPDATE: McCown is now at -114 passing DYAR this season and -1,445 for his career, leaving him well short of Blaine Gabbert's career record of -1,928. He didn't throw deep against Atlanta very often, but he was effective when he did, going 3-of-5 for 76 yards and two touchdowns, with a sixth throw resulting in a 20-yard DPI.
12.
Dak Prescott DAL
14/22
143
0
0
2
38
38
0
WAS
Prescott went 0-for-4 in the red zone, and three of those incompletions came on third down. His third-down numbers as a whole were pretty bad: 7-of-11 for only 32 yards and three conversions.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Philip Rivers LACH
17/29
212
1
1
1
32
32
0
NE
Apparently poor numbers on third downs were the theme for quarterbacks this week. Rivers went 3-of-7 on third downs for 42 yards, with only one conversion. He did gain 13 yards and a conversion on his one fourth-down play.
14.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
20/27
165
1
0
0
30
34
-4
OAK
Remember last week's article on streaky quarterbacks? Taylor's game against Oakland went like this: four straight successes; five straight failures; five straight successes; nine straight failures; four straight successes. That's an 83.3 percent success rate on plays after successes, a 14.3 percent success rate on plays after failures, and a streak factor of 69.0 percent, the streakiest game of the year by a country mile.
15.
Joe Flacco BAL
10/15
101
1
0
0
24
26
-2
MIA
16.
Andy Dalton CIN
17/29
243
2
0
3
20
14
6
IND
Most of Dalton's success came up the middle: 10-of-11 for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
17.
DeShone Kizer CLE
18/34
179
0
0
3
-7
-16
9
MIN
With Cleveland's wide receiver corps in tatters, Kizer could really use some help from his tight ends, but he didn't get much in London. He went 3-of-10 for 19 yards on throws to David Njoku and Seth DeValve.
18.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
14/32
164
0
1
2
-18
-27
9
NO
In his first three games, Trubisky almost never threw to his left, and when he did the results were poor: 3-of-11 for 27 yards. He did much better on those throws against New Orleans, going 7-of-15 for 115 yards. That's the good news. The bad news is that Trubisky didn't lose his troubles, they just moved to the right side, where he went 2-of-9 for 11 yards and an interception.
19.
Jacoby Brissett IND
25/39
233
2
1
4
-20
-18
-2
CIN
Late in the third quarter, Brissett hit Marlon Mack for a 24-yard touchdown that put the Colts up 20-17 and all seemed right for Indianapolis. From that point forward, Brissett went 6-of-10 for 44 yards with only one first down, two sacks, and a game-losing pick-six.
20.
Carson Wentz PHI
18/32
211
2
1
3
-38
-36
-2
SF
Wentz made some good plays with good field position against San Francisco, but was at his worst in bad field position. Inside the Philadelphia 40, he went 6-of-12 for 58 yards with only two first downs, one sack, and one interception.
21.
Trevor Siemian DEN
19/36
198
1
3
3
-40
-47
7
KC
I had to get into the numbers to see how a quarterback with three sacks and three interceptions finished this high, and the basic answer was that Siemian got a big boost for playing well in the second half while facing a big deficit. Every pass Siemian threw after halftime came while trailing by at least 10 points, but he still picked up 11 first downs in the third and fourth quarters, including his touchdown. That was tied with Russell Wilson for most first downs in the second half this week.
22.
Cam Newton CAR
18/32
154
1
1
0
-64
-72
8
TB
Newton was pretty good on third downs, but he needed to be, because he was dreadful on first and second downs: 13-of-19, but for only 71 yards (a 3.7-yard average) and one first down.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Kirk Cousins WAS
26/39
263
1
1
4
-71
-71
0
DAL
Cousins had 10 failed completions, second-most among quarterbacks this week, and those failed completions gained 49 yards, most in the league. That's some serious raw stat inflation that did little to help Washington win.
24.
Jameis Winston TB
21/38
210
0
2
3
-98
-99
1
CAR
Winston threw 11 passes on third or fourth down and completed four of them -- two to each team. That's 2-of-11 for 23 yards with two interceptions and one conversion. He was also sacked once on third down.
25.
C.J. Beathard SF
17/36
167
1
2
4
-114
-122
8
PHI
This is the kind of performance that makes you think "We must trade for another quarterback immediately." Beathard's first throw of the game resulted in a gain of 24 yards. He followed that up with a dozen failed plays in a row. On third downs, Beathard went 5-of-12 for 34 yards with one sack, one pick-six and three conversions -- all of which came with San Francisco down by at least 17 points. What positive value San Francisco did generate in the passing game should be credited mainly to the receivers -- Beathard's completions gained 44 yards in the air, 123 yards after the catch.
26.
Matt Moore MIA
25/44
176
0
2
3
-115
-115
0
BAL
Moore gets the biggest boost from opponent adjustments of any quarterback this week (Jacksonville had a bye, mind you) and still finishes in last place. He did not throw a single pass in the red zone, and didn't really come close -- outside the Miami 45, he went 3-of-10 for 12 yards with more pick-sixes (two) than completions for positive yardage (one). He could hardly have been any worse throwing to his left: 5-of-14, 14 yards, two completions that lost yardage, one successful play, one pick-six.


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.
Alex Collins BAL
18
113
0
2/2
30
0
67
57
10
MIA
Five runs of 10 or more yards, each gaining a first down, while being hit for no gain or a loss just three times. His two receptions, both on first-and-10, gained 3 and 27 yards, respectively.
2.
Jerick McKinnon MIN
14
50
1
6/10
72
0
60
43
17
CLE
Four of McKinnon's catches gained at least 11 yards, and he had four catches for first downs. His longest run gained only 10 yards and he was hit for a loss three times, but he gets a massive boost for playing against Cleveland's run defense, which is the strongest part of any Browns team in a long, long time.
3.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
33
150
2
1/2
4
0
56
66
-10
WAS
Elliott likely would have been first overall this week if he hadn't fumbled on his first carry. He still had three runs that gained 12 yards or more and eight first downs on the ground, while being hit for no gain or a loss only three times.
4.
Frank Gore IND
16
82
0
4/4
19
0
46
46
0
CIN
All of Gore's carries gained at least 2 yards, seven gained 5 yards or more, and five resulted in first downs. His best catch was a 12-yard gain on third-and-6.
5.
James White NE
1
2
0
5/6
85
0
45
1
44
LACH
All of White's catches gained at least 10 yards, four gained first downs (including three third-down conversions, two of those with at least 10 yards to go), and two gained more than 25 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.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
33
150
2
1/2
4
0
56
66
-10
WAS
2.
Alex Collins BAL
18
113
0
2/2
30
0
67
57
10
MIA
3.
Frank Gore IND
16
82
0
4/4
19
0
46
46
0
CIN
4.
Jerick McKinnon MIN
14
50
1
6/10
72
0
60
43
17
CLE
5.
Melvin Gordon LACH
14
132
1
1/2
7
0
16
23
-7
NE
Well, take away the 87-yard touchdown and Gordon had negative rushing DYAR. But he did have two other first downs while being hit for no gain or a loss three times.


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.
Carlos Hyde SF
12
25
0
4/9
22
0
-33
-12
-20
PHI
Hyde only had two first downs on the ground. Seven of his 12 carries resulted in no gain or a loss. His receiving DYAR is so bad mainly because he converted only one of his four third-down targets.


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jay Ajayi MIA
13
23
0
4/4
18
0
-23
-28
5
BAL
Ajayi had 21 yards on one run, and 2 yards on his other 12 carries. Six of his 13 runs went for no gain or a loss. We should add, by the way, that while Ajayi was the worst individual runner of the week, there were two other teams whose running backs collectively had worse rushing DYAR than Ajayi did. The first is the Seahawks, whose running backs had 16 carries for 5 yards (not a typo) and -34 DYAR rushing. None of those 16 carries gained a first down. The longest gain was only 4 yards. Only one was successful -- a 3-yard gain on second-and-4. Eight of them went for no gain or a loss. Things would have been even worse but they get credit for playing Houston, a good run defense. Meanwhile, the Jets played a bad run defense in Atlanta, and still their running backs only gained 42 yards on 20 carries. That includes two first downs (their only successful runs) and seven hits for no gain or a loss. That all adds up to -41 rushing DYAR for Jets backs.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
DeAndre Hopkins HOU
8
11
224
28.0
1
93
SEA
All of Hopkins catches resulted in first downs, and seven of them gained at least 19 yards.
2.
Paul Richardson SEA
6
7
105
17.5
2
61
HOU
Five of Richardson's catches resulted in first downs, and the other was a 6-yard gain on second-and-9. Surprisingly, considering his size (175 pounds), Richardson had only 3 yards after the catch -- and those all came on one play, on a pass that was caught 45 yards downfield.
3.
Will Fuller HOU
5
8
125
25.0
2
59
SEA
Four of Fuller's catches resulted in first downs, and three of those gained at least 20 yards. His DYAR credits him with a ninth target, a 22-yard DPI.
4.
Robby Anderson NYJ
6
6
104
17.3
1
59
ATL
Anderson's totals include 64 DYAR receiving, -6 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 1 yard. All six of his catches were successful plays, and three gained at least 24 yards and a first down. His DYAR credits him with a seventh target, a 20-yard DPI.
5.
JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT
7
10
193
27.6
1
56
DET
Well, 97-yard touchdowns help, but Smith-Schuster had six total first downs on the day, including four third-down conversions.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Laquon Treadwell MIN
1
4
21
21.0
0
-35
CLE
Oh hey, it's this guy. The 23rd overall pick in the 2016 draft, Treadwell now has 13 catches in 17 NFL games. Larry Fitzgerald and Jarvis Landry have each caught 13 passes in a single game this year. Treadwell's one reception against Cleveland gained 21 yards, which was a nice treat, but then he fumbled, which was a trick.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 30 Oct 2017

47 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2017, 8:33am by BJR

Comments

1
by BJR :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:53am

Simply astonishing that Stafford could accrue that number of DYAR without throwing a TD. That must be a record right?

2
by Duff Soviet Union :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:14am

I think Detroit had something like the third highest total yards ever for a team that didn't score a touchdown.

I'm kind of surprised Watson's DYAR wasn't that great. He ranks fourth, but the total isn't that impressive. A couple of weeks ago, Vince wrote about games where both QB's were over 200 DYAR and I thought this might make the list, but neither QB got there and Watson wasn't that close. Is his final interception counted as a hail mary? If not, that might be hurting him.

39
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:06pm

The final interception was not counted as a Hail Mary, though you could certainly argue that it should have been. However, it was only worth -15 DYAR, so that's not the reason he failed to hit 200. The biggest issue is that three interceptions (or two, if you want to throw out the last one) and five sacks is a whole lot of negative DYAR to overcome -- almost -200 DYAR by themselves, in fact.

42
by Perfundle :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:53pm

It's borderline, but I don't think that last interception should be counted as a hail mary. Houston still had one timeout and 16 seconds, so Watson had time to throw it short, have the receiver run out of rounds and attempt another deep pass, followed by time out and field goal attempt and/or actual Hail Mary.

Also, after watching the interception, I think Watson made a mistake in throwing to Sherman's side of the field. Hopkins was on the left side along with another receiver, and Miller leaked out on his side so a couple of underneath defenders had to account for him, leaving only Griffin and McDougald (Thomas' backup) left as deep defenders: https://i.imgur.com/JPrlKT8.png

Obviously McDougald would've been on the left side had the pass been thrown that way, but a two-on-two with Hopkins and no Thomas is much more preferable to a two-on-two with Sherman.

3
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:29am

Not only no touchdowns, but only one 3rd down conversion. I expected his DYAR to be in the top 5, but I’m just as surprised as you that he’s #1.

What really helped his numbers was lack of turnovers, only one sack, and (I would imagine) opponent adjustments, as Pittsburgh had the #2 pass defense coming into the week.

5
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:48am

I was impressed with the high quality of his pass protection, especially given the injuries. The inability to to run block effectively in the red zone, of course and unfortunately, is what really hurt Stafford's numbers in that area.

12
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:37am

On the right side, TJ Lang and Rick Wagner have been quite good. It's the left side of their line that has been a disaster. The 4th string waiver wire tackle (Mihalik) that they started wasn't as great as Cris Collinsworth was making him out to be, but he was a clear upgrade over Greg Robinson. As far as run blocking, the Lions clearly need a new center, as Travis Swanson gets consistently pushed into the backfield or stood up on short yardage runs.

15
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:48am

Soft center play is an ugly thing to watch.

21
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:29am

Yes, Stafford was not No. 1 without the opponent adjustments.

4
by big10freak :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:46am

Treadwell is slow and soft. That's not a good combination for an athlete

6
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:56am

The Patterson draft was less than ideal, but tolerable, because he is so valuable on special teams. I have no idea what they saw in Treadwell, except as a speculative wager on what a guy would do in his 2nd year after major knee surgery. I'll give credit to Zimmer for this much: he'll never give a guy snaps based on draft position.

7
by andrew :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:01am

Treadwell fumbled it out of bounds, in a situation where he could have ( and should have, right before the end of the half with time running out) gotten out of bounds. No harm done except for DVOA, which isn't so kind. When he let go of that football (unforced) there was no guarantee it wasn't going out. Heck, even if the vikings recovered it in bounds that would have ended the half, so he lucked out with it bouncing out.

Its not only that he's not better than Diggs (5th rd pick) and Thielen (UDFA), but it is somewhat telling that even when Diggs was out, it was mostly other players (Jarius Wright, Michael Floyd) that took up the slack in the game plan. At this point I would think even Stacey Coley has as a better shot to contribute as Treadwell. I would have kept fellow first rounder Coradelle Patterson over Treadwell if I had a choice, at least he was a standout special teams contributor (and not just returning kicks). And he actually caught some stuff on occasion.

Josh Doctson was taken one pick before Treadwell and has been a solid contributor especially by comparison. The player I really wanted them to take, Jack, has been part of the Jags defensive turnaround and would have fit perfectly with former UCLA teammates Barr and Kendricks. But pretty much anyone other than him would have been better.

The only reason he is still on the team is his draft slot. For a long time I wanted him to turn the corner to show something for that high a pick, but at some point you have to cut your losses and move on. Besides, I'm sure the Seahawks will pick him up if the vikings release him.

10
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:46am

A non-horrible rookie guard sure would have had some value to the Vikings last year.

18
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:13am

watched Ole Miss several times Treadwell was there. thought he was okay. then started hearing "probable 1st rounder" and was bit surprised especially due to major injuiry.

28
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:46pm

Guy averaged less than 12 yards/catch in college. Isn't one of FO's standard nuggets regarding drafting WRs is possession WRs with a low average ypc tend to fail at the professional level because if you can't separate on deeper routes vs. inferior talent, you're functionally screwed in the NFL? Treadwell is basically Patient Zero of that projection. Well, he was until Zay Jones came along, at least.

8
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:20am

Surprisingly, considering his size (175 pounds), Richardson had only 3 yards after the catch -- and those all came on one play, on a pass that was caught 45 yards downfield

175 pounds is rather slight for an NFL WR, especially one who predominantly plays on the outside.

24
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:08pm

I think that's the point of the comment; usually, smaller receivers operate out of the slot and get more YAC.

37
by Perfundle :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:54pm

Paul Richardson reminds me of Sidney Rice a lot. Both of them were the deep threat on the Seahawks, both of them were slightly built (Rice is listed at only 202 lbs despite being 6'4"), and both of them had the tendency to jump in the air when catching deep passes (and not just for jump balls), thus immediately falling down and minimizing YAC; here's Rice jumping for no reason when catching the game-winning TD against the Patriots in 2012: www.seahawks.com/video/2012/10/14/highlight-wilson-rice-game-winner

Oh, and probably because of the above reasons, both of them missed numerous games due to injuries.

9
by ammek :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:24am

The QB order this week is satisfyingly orthodox, with the best near the top and the Beathards down at the bottom.

For the white receiver clash, I was thinking some combination of Steve Largent, Steve Watson and Todd Christensen from the explosive early 1980s AFC West. Turns out they never really had their best days against each other. Best I can find is Largent 8-116-2 and Eric Sievers 6-115-2 in a typical Seahawks-Chargers shootout from 1983.

11
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:19am

Cris Collinsworth may have been involved. Perhaps Ricky Proehl. Possibly Wayne Chrebet.

17
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:11am

what si whit recioever classh in reference to? (dont' hve time to reaf whole article right now)

25
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:21pm

Question is posed in the final bullet point - Green Bay/Minnesota game - Jordy Nelson vs Adam Thielen.

30
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:02pm

oa just looked at it. could also consider Maynard vs aLworth batytles or Biletnikoff vs Alworth or Garrison vs Maynard or Biletnikoff. a lot of possibilities just involving those guys

13
by Not Jimmy :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:39am

And now Jay Ajayi to the Eagles. That should hopefully be a boost for him and the Iggles...

- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you are talking about.

14
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:45am

Wonder how many guess you'd have needed name Esiason as the founder member of the 400-4-30 club?

That said, if we're going to invent arbitrary clubs then I'd propose the 400-4-40 club for its alliteration.

16
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:03am

Trevor Siemian has disintegrated over these last three games. It makes me wonder how to explain it. Did defenses suddenly figure him out? Is it the talent around him? Is it a confidence thing? Because depending on what it is, the implications are all different.

19
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:13am

It's no doubt a combination of many things, but I think a young qb who never gets decent protection is very likely to have his decision making severely erode. Toss in not being an extreme outlier in terms of talent, by the standards of NFL qbs, and you have a disaster in the making.

20
by mrt1212 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:29am

Rest of the team found out about his anti-union stance. ;)

26
by deus01 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:21pm

I think constantly being on a run has made him develop bad habits and affect his decision making. When you can't trust your pass protection you're constantly be worried trying to avoid the incoming hits and that contributes to making bad decisions.

27
by deus01 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:30pm

Denver also lacks depth offensively. Sanders was injured two weeks and was the one of the most reliable targets and Thomas seems to just disappear some games. Combined with a line that can't run or pass block they just really don't have any good options.

36
by BJR :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:47pm

The run game was not the issue last night. Denver is ranked 16th in run DVOA and is averaging a healthy 4.4 YPC on the season, which whilst nothing special, cannot be blamed for the passing game woes.

The pass blocking and receiving talent outside of Thomas/Sanders is a problem.

I do think the Broncos QB situation has been somewhat mismanaged. Two years spent starting Siemian - a player whose limitations were obvious from the start, and who was always likely to crater without great talent around him. Obviously Paxton Lynch was supposed to factor in, but even in the best case scenario he was going to take plenty of time to develop. This is a team that should have been in the market for the best available QBs to capitalise on their great defense. Perhaps the SB win conned them into believing they were good enough to win again without heavy investment.

41
by deus01 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:11pm

The run game wasn't a problem last night but it was in the other two games. Last night the offense was a bit more successful and was let down by Siemian's two bad picks and the muffed punt.

I agree the QB situation has been mismanaged. Siemian I think is an adequate backup if you have the right pieces around him and if Denver had a good OL keeping him as the starter may have made more sense. With the line as bad as it is they really need a more mobile QB that can cover for some of those deficiencies.

With respect to the SB win, one thing I think they're forgetting is that they still had PFM at QB, he may have not been able to make a lot of throws but he could at least make sure they had the right play. Once he got in the mindset of not trying to be the hero he stopped making dumb mistakes.

43
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:14pm

This is pretty much accurate. It took a complete mindset change for Manning to realize he didn't need to be effective on offense anymore.

Pretty remarkable turnaround for a player who's entire team building concept was was focused on him.

47
by BJR :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 8:33am

True that Manning did no doubt learn to dial it back, but that strategy was only successful because in both the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl Denver was able to jump out to early leads (in the Super Bowl due to a defensive TD). Playing super-conservative offence, with a lead, with an all-time great defense, is all very well. But success isn't sustainable if the offence isn't effective enough to consistently score early points, as Denver has since discovered.

44
by Perfundle :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:38pm

Didn't he get strip-sacked twice on one drive in the fourth quarter while in field goal range? That seemed like a pretty big mistake.

45
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 6:51pm

Well, those were great plays by kony ealy. The interception was too

22
by jtr :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:31am

The Niners' QB has taken 11 sacks in three appearances. So yeah, he's definitely been Beat hard.

31
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:05pm

It should be mentioned that his top three tackles were out of the game. They're literally at the point of signing tackles off the street to play the Cardinals on Sunday.

This is the kind of performance that makes you think "We must trade for another quarterback immediately."

A lot of that is on the situation, not the quarterback. With no tackles to put on the field, their play calling had to be super conservative and predictable.

34
by jtr :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:20pm

I wasn't putting all the blame on Beathard, I was just punning that his name is Beathard and he's been....beat hard.

23
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:49am

Everybody I've read just assumes that Hoyer will agree to be Brady's backup, and the Patriots have to sign somebody. What if Elway decides that Siemian can't be on the field any longer, Osweiler obviously can't be trusted, and Hoyer is a better option? Might not Hoyer decide that getting some starts in Denver this year is better for his contract next year, compared to wearing a baseball cap in Foxboro? Or if Elway just decided Hoyer is better than Osweiler?

For some reason, the notion of Osweiler's big wind up trying to function in New England's offense makes me laugh, even though it'll never happen

29
by dryheat :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:55pm

I've got to believe that an agreement between Hoyer and the Pats was already agreed to...if not signed.

32
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:12pm

If it isn't signed, it isn't agreed to. This is not an area where a verbal contract is enforceable. If Elway has the cap space, and Hoyer thinks it is a better situation, there isn't anything the Patriots can do. Just for entertainment purposes, I hope it happens. Elway effin' with Belichik! Pass the popcorn!

33
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:19pm

No one thinks it would be enforceable, just that if Bill had any concerns he would've just kept Hoyer in the deal. Specifically asking for his removal speaks of strong assurances between the parties.

35
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:32pm

Sure, it would just be entertaining as hell to see Elway screw up the assurances, especially given the upcoming schedule.

(Edit) In fact, if Elway has the cap flexibility, this is exactly what he should do, to mess with Patriots roster in a significant way. Let it be done!

38
by Ben :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:03pm

What was Jack Doyle's DYAR? He caught 12 of 14 attempts, and by my quick count, 10 of the 12 those were "successes".

40
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:09pm

35 DYAR, 10th among receivers (WR/TE) this week. He was efficient, but not explosive (longest catch gained only 17 yards), and he takes a big hit from opponent adjustments.

46
by MC2 :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 3:13am

Stop me if you've heard this before, but Atlanta jumped out to [an early] lead before [its] opponent made a big second-half rally.

This was the 2012 Falcons in a nutshell. Several times during the regular season, and then once again in the divisional playoff game against the Seahawks, the Falcons followed the same formula: jump out to a big lead, then let their opponent get up off the mat, before delivering a last-minute knockout punch. I kept thinking it would eventually come back to bite them, and it did, in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. They once again seemingly had the Niners down for the count, but let them get off the canvas, only to find themselves on the receiving end of the late knockout blow. They kept playing with fire, and they finally got burned.