Quick Reads

The best and worst players of the week according to Football Outsiders stats.

Week 15 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

I took the weekend off for holiday activities, so after a cursory glance at the NFL scores on Sunday night, I turned to our own Audibles at the Line for summary and analysis of the biggest games of the day. My esteemed colleague Dave Bernreuther summed things up thusly:

Maybe I missed someone, but today was just a really strange day. The Giants game is the only one I recall having any weather issues (and while I didn't see the Washington game, I still feel confident saying that [Eli Manning] had the worst game of the day, even including those brilliant [Ryan Tannehill] and [Cody Kessler] lines), but the box score lines today look like they were plucked straight out of the 1980s. Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson looked fine from what I saw. Roethlisberger made mistakes but also some good plays ... I didn't get to see any of Matt Ryan, but I also saw Jeff Driskel win a game by two scores while going 14-of-34.

Did any quarterback actually have a good game today? Or even this week? Is Quick Reads going to be a series of negative numbers with [Deshaun Watson] and [Sam Darnold] at the top of the heap on Tuesday?

To answer the questions raised by Mr. Bernreuther in that second paragraph:

  • Not really, no.
  • Also no.
  • It wasn't THAT bad. (Also, while Darnold did finish in the top ten, Dave was neglecting the half-dozen sacks Watson took against the Jets on Saturday night. )

All told, NFL passers in Week 15 amassed a combined total of 63 DYAR (like all numbers in this essay, this does not include the Saints-Panthers game on Monday night). That's bad, obviously, but hardly unprecedented. We have found 27 weeks where the league as a whole actually had negative DYAR. (POST-MONDAY NIGHT EDITOR'S NOTE: Make it 28!) The worst on record was in Week 13 of 1991, when NFL players completed 54 percent of their passes for an average gain of 6.2 yards, with 24 touchdowns, 49 interceptions, and 81 sacks. Of course, that was a long time ago. To find a more recent week with negative cumulative DYAR, you have to go way back to (filters spreadsheet) Week 1 of this season. It's easy to forget, but Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and Tyrod Taylor were each sacked at least a half-dozen times that week, while five quarterbacks threw at least three interceptions. Worst of all, Nathan Peterman was allowed to start a game.

So no, Week 15 of the 2018 season was not anything abnormal when it comes to overall league-wide passing ineptitude. However, that's largely because quarterbacks were mostly able to avoid disaster. Only 15 players threw an interception this week, and nobody threw more than two. And there weren't a ton of sacks, either -- the average passer in the tables below had only 2.6 sacks, nothing to be ashamed of. When it came to actually moving the ball down the field, however, things look much worse. Between pass attempts, sacks, and defensive pass interference fouls, the average dropback this week resulted in a gain of just 5.82 yards, and it has been a long time since we have seen a number that low in games that mattered. It did happen in Week 17 of last year, but that was, you know, Week 17. Quarterbacks with significant playing time that week included David Fales, Landry Jones, Sean Mannion, Bryce Petty, Drew Stanton, Nate Sudfeld, and T.J. Yates; that kind of participation can skew overall results. To find a real week with yardage results so poor, you have to go back to Week 10 of 2013. But while there hasn't been a day like this in half a decade, they used to be much more common -- we have more than 100 weeks on record with worse averages. The worst we have found was Week 8 of 1986, when the best throwers of footballs on earth averaged 5.51 yards per dropback.

What made this week unique was not its overall incompetence, but it's nigh-complete lack of stars. San Francisco's Nick Mullens leads our table with just 107 total and passing DYAR. That's by far the lowest total for a league-leading quarterback (using end-of-season DYAR, with full opponent adjustments) in at least ten years. Every other week since 2009 has seen at least one quarterback accumulate at least 150 passing DYAR. And this is just the second week in the last decade with only one quarterback over 100 passing DYAR; the last was Week 10 in 2015, when Ben Roethlisberger finished first with 159 DYAR.

It's not as if there were loads of players hanging just below Mullens, either. Only eight players this week had 50 or more passing DYAR. Only three weeks have had fewer than that. One was the aforementioned Week 10 in 2015, when only seven quarterbacks met that threshold. There were also seven qualifying passers in Week 7 of 2011, and only six in Week 14 of 2016.

At the other end of the table, we find five quarterbacks with -100 passing DYAR or worse. (POST-MONDAY NIGHT EDITOR'S NOTE: Make it six!) That's a lot, but hardly record-setting. There have been three weeks with eight such quarterbacks:

We have now mentioned Week 14 of 2016 twice in this article, and if there's one week in the past decade that can rival this one for a dearth of successful quarterbacks, that would be it. This week, there were five six quarterbacks with -100 DYAR or worse, and only one with 100 DYAR or better. Only Week 14 of 2016 -- with eight of the former and three of the latter -- had a higher an equal differential between the two.

This is all partly due to the effects of playing in December (passing DYAR totals tend to drop throughout the year), but is also likely to be a one-week fluke. Hopefully, we were all good this year, and Santa Claus will bring us some real quarterbacks by Christmas morning.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Nick Mullens SF
20/29
275
1
0
3
107
107
0
SEA
Mullens was at his best on midrange passes. He threw 12 passes that traveled 7 to 17 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, and 11 of them picked up first downs. That includes one incompletion, two DPIs for 28 total yards, and nine completions for 161 yards. He also benefited from 8.2 yards after catch per completion -- no other starter this week was any higher than 6.6.
2.
Andrew Luck IND
16/26
192
0
0
0
99
88
11
DAL
Luck had six conversions on eight third-down throws: six completions for 96 yards, plus a 5-yard DPI.
3.
Matt Ryan ATL
22/36
231
2
0
2
88
72
16
ARI
Ryan had a miserable first quarter: 3-of-7 for 14 yards with two sacks and no first downs. Fortunately for him, Josh Rosen and the Cardinals gave him plenty of time to turn his game around.
4.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
20/28
235
2
0
1
83
79
4
GB
Trubisky's best results came on throws to his left: 8-of-10 for 94 yards and five first downs.
5.
Matthew Stafford DET
22/29
208
1
0
0
74
74
0
BUF
Stafford had 22 completions. That's good! Only seven of them gained more than 5 yards. That's bad! In the second half, Stafford went 13-of-18 for 71 yards and only two first downs.
6.
Patrick Mahomes KC
24/34
243
2
0
2
70
91
-21
LAC
Mahomes had one of his worse games on Thursday night, but he was still very good in (and just outside of) the red zone. From the 21-yard line to the goal line, he went 7-of-10 for 59 yards, with two touchdowns and four other first downs.
7.
Sam Darnold NYJ
24/38
253
2
0
3
62
46
16
HOU
Darnold's touchdown pass to Andre Roberts midway through the third quarter tied the score at 16-all (or it would have, if Jason Myers hadn't missed his second extra point of the day). From that point to the end of the game, he went 8-of-16 for 78 yards with as many first downs (two) as sacks.
8.
Nick Foles PHI
24/31
270
0
1
0
60
65
-5
LAR
Red zone passing: 1-of-4 for 8 yards with no first downs and one interception.
9.
Aaron Rodgers GB
25/42
274
0
1
5
59
44
15
CHI
Rodgers gained 84 DYAR due to opponent adjustments this week, more than double the boost of any other quarterback. He had five goal-to-go dropbacks against Chicago: three incompletions, a sack for an 18-yard loss, and a third-down interception.
10.
Tom Brady NE
25/36
279
1
1
1
50
50
0
PIT
Bad plays in scoring range seem to be a theme this week. Inside the Pittsburgh 30, Brady went 7-of-11 for only 35 yards with no touchdowns, only two first downs, and an interception.
11.
Josh Allen BUF
13/26
204
1
0
1
50
43
7
DET
Allen did not throw a single pass in the red zone. On third downs, he went 2-of-7 for 14 yards and a sack. Well, at least those two completions both picked up first downs. Allen loses 47 passing DYAR due to opponent adjustments, most of any quarterback this week.
12.
Deshaun Watson HOU
22/28
294
2
0
6
38
33
5
NYJ
It was interrupted by halftime, so it may not have been obvious at the time, but Watson had a remarkable slump in the middle of this game. In order, his passing plays went: two incompletions in a row; four sacks in a row; 10-yard gain on third-and-20; completion for no gain on second-and-6; completion for a loss on third-and-6.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Mike Glennon ARI
10/14
111
1
0
1
37
37
0
ATL
All of Glennon's plays came with Arizona down by at least 26 points in the second half.
14.
Josh Johnson WAS
16/25
151
1
0
3
35
24
11
JAX
Congratulations to Johnson on getting his first win as a starter in his 11th year as a pro football player. (We covered Johnson's history last week.) He got it by capitalizing on short-yardage opportunities. With 6 yards or less to go, he had seven first downs in eight plays (seven completions for 56 yards, plus one sack). He only had three first downs in 20 plays with 7 or more yards to go.
15.
Case Keenum DEN
31/47
257
0
2
2
31
24
6
CLE
Keenum struggled on throws to his left, going 11-for-16 for only 79 yards with five first downs and two interceptions.
16.
Philip Rivers LAC
26/38
313
2
2
5
29
29
0
KC
Most of Rivers' good throws came from deep in L.A. territory. At or within his own 33-yard line, he went 8-of-10 for 173 yards. All eight of those completions picked up first downs, though he also threw an interception.
17.
Baker Mayfield CLE
18/31
188
2
1
2
26
29
-3
DEN
Mayfield threw seven passes that traveled at least 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He completed two -- one to each team. At least the one that was caught by a teammate resulted in a 31-yard touchdown by Breshad Perriman.
18.
Russell Wilson SEA
23/31
237
2
0
3
23
28
-6
SF
Wilson had nine failed completions this week. Only Nick Foles had more.
19.
Kirk Cousins MIN
14/21
215
2
1
2
22
22
0
MIA
Cousins did not throw an incompletion until Minnesota was up 21-0 in the second quarter. He threw six passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield, and each resulted in a completion and a first down (including two scores), for a total of 137 yards.
20.
Jared Goff LAR
35/53
339
0
2
1
-6
-8
3
PHI
Goff had 10 dropbacks in the red zone, on six different possessions. He went 2-for-9 for 13 yards with one first down and one sack. The Rams lost this game by seven points.
21.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
23/34
235
2
2
2
-7
-7
0
NE
Roethlisberger was good at either end of the field, but he nearly lost this game between the 40s, where he went 4-of-9 for 40 yards with two first downs, two sacks, and two interceptions. A tenth throw resulted in a 26-yard DPI.
22.
Lamar Jackson BAL
15/23
131
1
0
2
-16
-12
-4
TB
Jackson was effective when throwing to the middle, but very ineffective when throwing to either side: 4-of-9 for 20 yards and only one first down. He also had a 17-yard penalty for intentional grounding on a throw to the left (on a third-and-19, at that) if you want to include that.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Derek Carr OAK
21/36
263
1
0
5
-32
-32
0
CIN
Between Cincinnati's 43-yard line and the end zone, Carr went 5-of-11 for 16 yards with one touchdown, one other first down, and one sack-fumble.
24.
Jameis Winston TB
13/25
157
0
1
1
-32
-34
3
BAL
It was all or nothing for Winston against Baltimore. He only threw for four first downs, and those four plays combined for 115 yards; his other nine completions gained a combined 42 yards.
25.
Marcus Mariota TEN
12/20
88
0
0
1
-47
-42
-6
NYG
Mariota's longest completion against the Giants gained only 17 yards. The Giants have allowed 61 completions longer than that this season. Deshaun Watson had eight when he played New York in September. Chase Daniel had five earlier this month. Josh Johnson had three in less than a half last week.
26.
Drew Brees NO
23/35
203
0
1
2
-55
-55
0
CAR
Brees has now had negative passing DYAR in each of the last three weeks. Only three full-time starters -- Case Keenum, Jared Goff, and Josh Rosen -- have worse DYAR in that timeframe. The Rams and Saints will still likely win the first-round byes in the NFC, but the struggles of the quarterbacks on both teams will play a big part of their stories going into the postseason.
27.
Jeff Driskel CIN
14/33
130
1
1
1
-64
-71
6
OAK
Driskel loses 49 combined rushing and passing DYAR to opponent adjustments, most of any quarterback this week. He only completed one of his seven passes in the red zone, though that one completion was a 7-yard touchdown to Tyler Boyd.
28.
Eli Manning NYG
21/44
229
0
1
3
-106
-106
0
TEN
The Titans gave Manning plenty of opportunities to throw checkdowns. It was an effective strategy. Manning threw 10 passes to his running backs, all to Saquon Barkley, all within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. He only completed four of them for 25 yards and one first down.
29.
Dak Prescott DAL
24/39
206
0
1
3
-107
-107
0
IND
On Indianapolis' side of the 50, Prescott went 10-of-22 for 63 yards with two first downs, two sacks, and an interception. In related news, the Cowboys got shut out this week.
30.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
11/24
108
0
0
9
-110
-109
-2
MIN
The Dolphins quickly found themselves down 21-0 against Minnesota, but rallied to make it 21-17 early in the third quarter, and the win was still there for the taking. From that point to the end of the game, Tannehill went 5-of-12 for 56 yards and two first downs -- with eight sacks that lost 65 yards. Yes, -9 net yards in an entire half of football.
31.
Cam Newton CAR
16/28
131
0
1
4
-127
-133
5
NO
32.
Cody Kessler JAX
9/17
57
0
1
6
-160
-177
17
WAS
Kessler only threw for two first downs in the entire game, and none in the last 42 minutes. He did not complete a pass that traveled deeper than 7 yards downfield. On third downs, he went 3-of-5 for 20 yards with one conversion, one interception, and three sacks. He did not throw a pass in the red zone; in Washington territory, he went 1-of-4 for 5 yards with no first downs, three sacks, one fumble, and one interception.
33.
Josh Rosen ARI
13/22
132
0
2
6
-229
-227
-1
ATL
Most of Rosen's good throws (what few of them there were) came on first downs. On second and third downs, he went 5-of-11 for 36 yards with three first downs, four sacks, one fumble, and 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.
Damien Williams KC
10
49
2
6/6
74
0
64
36
27
LAC
Kareem who? Williams ran for five first downs against L.A., the longest a 22-yarder, while being stuffed just once. Four of his catches resulted in first downs, including gains of 10, 19, and 32 yards.
2.
Marlon Mack IND
27
143
2
1/1
10
0
63
57
6
DAL
Mack's rushing DYAR more than doubles due to opponent adjustments. That's how he winds up first in rushing DYAR despite seven stuffs, two failures to convert with 1 yard to go, and a fumble. Mind you, he had plenty of good runs too -- 10 first downs in all, including five runs of 10-plus yards.
3.
Jaylen Samuels PIT
19
142
0
2/2
30
0
51
33
18
NE
Samuels ran for eight first downs against New England, the longest a 25-yarder, while getting stuffed just once. His two catches both went for first downs, including a 20-yard gain on third-and-9.
4.
Derrick Henry TEN
33
170
2
1/1
0
0
47
50
-3
NYG
Henry was stuffed four times by the Giants, but he also ran for 11 first downs, with six runs of 10 yards or more.
5.
Dalvin Cook MIN
19
136
2
1/2
27
0
46
35
11
MIA
Cook ran for five first downs against Miami, each a gain of at least 11 yards. He also had a pair of 10-yard runs in second-and-long situations. His one catch was a 27-yard gain on second-and-4.
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.
Marlon Mack IND
27
143
2
1/1
10
0
63
57
6
DAL
2.
Derrick Henry TEN
33
170
2
1/1
0
0
47
50
-3
NYG
3.
Peyton Barber TB
19
85
1
2/2
4
0
35
39
-4
BAL
Barber was stuffed just twice by the Ravens, while running for five first downs, with 11 runs of 4 yards or more.
4.
Alvin Kamara NO
14
80
1
7/9
36
0
26
36
-10
CAR
5.
Damien Williams KC
10
49
2
6/6
74
0
64
36
27
LAC
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.
Phillip Lindsay DEN
14
24
0
4/6
20
0
-44
-32
-12
CLE
Lindsay only ran for two first downs, the longest an 11-yarder, while getting stuffed six times. That includes a 7-yard loss on second-and-3. Only one of his catches produced a first down; one was a 5-yard loss on third-and-18.
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.
Josh Adams PHI
15
28
1
0/1
0
0
-42
-39
-4
LAR
Adams' 6-yard touchdown was his only run that gained a first down. He was stuffed six times, including failures to convert on second-and-2 and fourth-and-1, plus a 4-yard loss on second-and-6.
Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
DeAndre Hopkins HOU
10
11
170
17.0
2
93
NYJ
Only one of Hopkins' catches failed to pick up a first down; that was an 8-yard gain on second-and-11. His touchdowns covered 14 and 45 yards, and he had two other plays that gained 20-plus yards.
2.
Mike Williams LAC
7
9
76
10.9
2
67
KC
Williams' totals include 47 DYAR receiving, 19 rushing for his one carry, a 19-yard touchdown run. Six of his catches gained first downs, including a pair of goal-line touchdowns and a 38-yard gain. He also drew a 9-yard DPI.
3.
Robert Foster BUF
4
5
108
27.0
1
65
DET
Foster had a 42-yard touchdown, catches of 28 and 31 yards, and a 43-yard DPI.
4.
Kenny Golladay DET
7
8
146
20.9
0
63
BUF
Five of Golladay's catches produced first downs, including two third-down conversions that went for 24 and 40 yards.
5.
Alshon Jeffery PHI
8
8
160
20.0
0
59
LAR
Five of Jeffery's catches produced first downs, including two third-down conversions that went for 24 and 40 yards, plus a 50-yard gain.
Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Sterling Shepard NYG
2
9
37
18.5
0
-42
TEN
Shepard's best catch was a 38-yard gain on second-and-14. His worst was a 1-yard loss on second-and-19. And that's all his catches. He was targeted four times on third down, all incomplete.

Comments

34 comments, Last at 20 Dec 2018, 1:53pm

1 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

The Bears were sloppy as hell this week, and I still have a hard time getting a read on Trubisky, but they almost have to be the favorite to win the NFC at this point (I get that New Orleans will be the 'public' favorite, but, like the Rams, their offense hasn't looked the same as it was for the first half of the season in about a month, and though I haven't seen any physical decline, it's hard not to worry with a performance drop-off for a quarterback in his 40s). Wonder if there will be special 'KC reunion' odds for a Nagy-Reid matchup (I think the AFC is wiiiiiide open, but the Chiefs have been the most enjoyable team to watch this season, and I can't help rooting for Reid to get the critics off his back)

2 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

There is no way the Bears would be favored to win in New Orleans (barring an injury to Drew Brees) and if you believe so you should be willing to stake a lot of money. And that is before factoring in that they will almost certainly have to win a whole extra game just to get there.

Brees' recent dip is a slight concern for sure, but no, the Saints are the favorites for the NFC.

6 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

I like the Bears chances in L.A. a lot better than in New Orleans. I think the Rams o-line is turning out to be not nearly as good as advertised, and even at home they can be soundly whipped,whereas the Saints oline, in the Superdome, can hold up adequately, even against the Bears. I also think the Superdome will be much more difficult environment for Trubisky. Outside of playing the Saints in the dome, however, Iike the Bears as much as anyone, and if the January game was in Chicago, I'd clearly favor the Bears.

8 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

The Packers were playing all backups against the Bears and Massie in particular was getting his head handed to him semi-regularly either by the backups or the ghost of Clay Matthews. Trubisky's mobility really helped the Bears a lot on Sunday. Guys have off games and Massie has been a pretty solid tackle historically so likely just a blip. But if not hoooo boy I would not want to be playing in New Orleans with that noise with a right tackle who is lunging and getting put on his heels every third down

9 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Yeah, it's just a tough environment with an inexperienced qb, unless the o-line really holds up. The Saints pass rush in the dome is pretty decent. It'd be an interesting game, I'm pretty sure.

13 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

The Saints defense has been good in recent weeks but it's mostly gone under the radar because their offense has slipped. Their D-Line in particular is strong. Going down there is going to be a tough assignment for any offensive line.

34 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

After the Rams game, there's no team in the NFL that truly scares me anymore as a Bears fan. The Bears would be underdogs in NO but I would argue it's basically the home field advantage and otherwise it'd be a coin flip. I expect that if they go down to NO, they'll hold the Saints to <25 points and the question will be whether the offense can score enough to win in the hostile environment.

31 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

The TV broadcast was making a big deal of a personal grudge between Cam and some of the Saints players who openly mocked him after they beat the Panthers in the playoffs last year.

Obviously treat that stuff with a grain of salt, but it's possible that Cam has been soldiering on with a shot at the Saints in mind (they meet again in week 17). Of course that doesn't excuse the coaches for not overruling if he is playing hurt.

15 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

watched quite bti of pamntehrs at buccaneers game when was in tampa area couepl weeks ago. all sorts of passes in thnat game from newton without any kind of zip to them. it was liek sore arm Pennington and latter stages Peyton Mannign. Newton didn't even coem close to end zone on hail Mary at end of gamne. Pass made it to the 22 yard line or thereabouts. then there was penalty and untimed down. T. Heinecke came otu to throw the next Hail Mary and he got it into end zoen. Newton was nto throwing bad like that earlier in year. Very obvious during that game he was playing hurt. Confirmed last ngith in post game press conference that he is delaing with injury.

17 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Thanks everyone.

Cam was playing so poorly against the Saints it's hard to believe they'd have been worse off with a backup. Borderline irresponsible to play him imo.

7 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Can someone explain to me why Cam Newton is playing so poorly this year?

Signed, Ron Rivera

11 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Packer fans gripe nonstop about Williams at rb, but I see a guy who has great forward lean, is strong, tough as nails, has pretty decent hands catching a pass, and is a fierce pass blocker. No he doesn't have the miss ability of a Jones who at times seems like a shapeshifter. But as your second back you could do a lot worse.

18 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Agreed. As a Bears fan, I thought that he was the second best player on the field after Davante Adams (and excluding AR). He had a nice pop to his game and the drop-off to JW wasn't as steep as I thought that it'd be.

Maybe that was the most telling statement - that Packers overall didn't seem to have much talent at all that jumped out. Davante Adams was really the only one that made you go "wow". It was the first time in ages that I thought the Bears had materially more talent than another top rated DVOA team.

14 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

The worst we have found was Week 8 of 1986, when the best throwers of footballs on earth averaged 5.51 yards per dropback.

That's a fascinating list of quarterbacks. I'd forgotten that Mike Moroski ever suited up for the 49ers. The small handful of third-stringers and backups that were playing helped drag the numbers down, especially considering who they were replacing (Moroski for Montana, Herrmann/Flick for Fouts, Reich in for half a game in place of Jim Kelly, etc). Plus you have awful games from two of the most up-and-down QBs of the 1980s, Warren Moon and Dave Krieg.

Suddenly 32 years ago doesn't seem so far away.

16 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

I'd forgotten that Moon was 32 or so before he really turned the corner, and became an upper tier qb. Really the ultimate late bloomer, even considering that latent racism was a large element in not getting on an NFL roster until he was 28.

19 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

The Oilers roster in the immediate post-Bum years was terrible, too. It was Moon (eventually, after Mr Luck Sr and Gifford Nielsen and other forgotten white guys gave way), a young Mike Munchak, an even younger Bruce Matthews, and 45 guys who probably don't remember themselves ever playing in the NFL.

If DVOA gets that far back I'll be interested to see who's worst out of the 84 Bills, 83 Bucs, and 83-84 Oilers. It could be close.

23 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

I don't want to violate the prime directive at FO, but I doubt anybody said "Let's not draft the black guy to play qb", but rather it was just the unstated assumption that black qbs were to be avoided. Eh, I don't want a semantic debate between "latent" and "blatant", either......

21 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Watching the terrible offensive performance in the Lions Bills game I would never guess that both QB's would end up in the top 11. Seeing Mike Williams in the WR top performers list reminded me that there were 4 Williams & 2 Benjamins playing WR/RB in that game.

22 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Didn't Drew Brees falter down the stretch a little bit last year also? His age might be making it hard to get through a long season.

30 Brees

Maybe it’s not him that’s faltering. Maybe it’s defenses adjusting to the fact that he has only one real receiver to throw to. There’s a reason they keep trying out washed up receivers. Meanwhile, their defense is actually looking pretty good unlike many of the other contenders, so they are still a viable contender.

32 Re: Brees

In reply to by beargoggles

I think that's more the case. If you can defend Thomas then you have 10 other guys who can focus on Ingram/Kamara.

Honestly, I think Payton is in love with Kamara a bit too much. Last I checked Ingram was more effective running and pass-catching on a yards per touch basis. He is probably under utilized.

25 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

Blake Bortles may not be the answer at QB for the Jaguars. But it looks like the only question Cody Kessler is the answer to is "Who is a worse QB than Blake Bortles?"

29 Re: Week 15 Quick Reads

I can't wait for the hilarity of Flacco behind the Skins' 3rd string offensive linemen after the inevitable wave of line injuries has them playing guys off the street again.