Quick Reads

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

Week 16 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Hello everyone. Due to the holidays, we are bringing you Quick Reads a day early, skipping our main essay, and jumping right into the comments for Week 16. Merry Christmas to all the Football Outsiders readers!

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Drew Brees NO
27/39
326
1
0
2
175
175
0
PIT
Brees had two passes on fourth down and converted them both via pass interference penalties, for 33- and 4-yard gains. He was lights-out when throwing to his left or up the middle, but struggled (relatively speaking) when throwing to his right: 9-of-18 for 66 yards, plus a 33-yard DPI, for only five total first downs.
2.
Aaron Rodgers GB
38/55
442
2
0
4
155
126
29
NYJ
Rodgers' comeback was fueled by DPIs. He drew four in the fourth quarter alone, for gains of 26, 2, 33, and 7 yards. Derek Carr, who has started every game for Oakland, has only picked up four DPI calls all season. Dak Prescott has only drawn three. Philip Rivers has only drawn two.
3.
Russell Wilson SEA
18/29
271
3
0
3
150
140
10
KC
Wilson's best throws were either deep, or very short. On deep balls (throws that traveled more than 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage), he went 8-of-12 for 197 yards, plus two other throws that drew DPIs for 15 and 26 yards. On throws to receivers within 6 yards of the line of scrimmage, he went 7-of-9 for 46 yards, plus a DPI for 3 yards, with seven total first downs, including two scores.
4.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
33/49
380
3
0
3
150
149
2
NO
Pittsburgh's passing attack was almost exclusively limited to wide receivers against New Orleans. On throws to his backs and tight ends, Roethlisberger went 4-of-9 for 60 yards with one touchdown and one other first down.
5.
Sam Darnold NYJ
24/35
341
3
0
2
146
156
-9
GB
Darnold's 20-yard touchdown pass to Elijah McGuire put the Jets up 35-20 with 2:50 left in the third quarter. He only threw for two more first downs the rest of the game. In the fourth quarter, he went 5-of-11 for 64 yards and a sack. He was first in the league in DYAR in the the first three quarters of the game this week, but 21st among starters in the fourth quarter.
6.
Andrew Luck IND
31/46
357
2
1
1
141
135
6
NYG
Red zone passing: 8-of-8 for 45 yards with two touchdowns and three other first downs, plus a 7-yard DPI on a ninth throw.
7.
Deshaun Watson HOU
29/40
339
2
0
4
122
87
35
PHI
First seven third-down dropbacks: three completions for 19 yards, two incompletions, two sacks, one fumble, no conversions. Last two third-down dropbacks: 22-yard gain and 35-yard touchdown, both on third-and-11. He also had a 5-yard completion on fourth-and-9.
8.
Eli Manning NYG
25/33
309
1
1
0
115
106
9
IND
Third-down passing: 9-of-11, 154 yards, seven conversions.
9.
Nick Foles PHI
35/48
471
4
1
1
114
110
5
HOU
Deep balls: 5-of-7 for 205 yards and a touchdown.
10.
Baker Mayfield CLE
27/37
284
3
0
0
101
98
3
CIN
Red zone passing: 6-of-7 for 32 yards with three touchdowns and one other first down.
11.
Patrick Mahomes KC
23/40
273
3
0
1
97
87
10
SEA
Mahomes destroyed the middle of Seattle's defense, going 10-of-15 for 148 yards and nine first downs.
12.
Jameis Winston TB
34/48
336
1
0
3
75
75
0
DAL
It was too little, too late against Dallas, but Winston led all quarterbacks in fourth-quarter DYAR this week. In the final 15 minutes of the game, he went 13-of-15 for 108 yards seven first downs, including a touchdown.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
25/29
246
1
0
3
62
61
2
SF
Trubisky's botched overhand pitch on an option play goes down as an "incomplete lateral" for -32 passing DYAR. He played a lot of small ball in the second half, going 16-of-17 for 109 yards with six first downs and one sack.
14.
Jared Goff LAR
19/24
216
1
0
2
61
53
9
ARI
Throwing to his left, Goff went 11-of-13 for 105 yards and seven first downs.
15.
Lamar Jackson BAL
12/22
204
1
0
3
59
85
-26
LAC
Jackson threw three passes in the red zone; all were incomplete. On third and fourth downs, he went 2-of-6 for 23 yards with more sacks (two) than conversions (one).
16.
Kirk Cousins MIN
21/28
253
3
0
2
52
57
-5
DET
Cousins threw nine passes to his tight ends, all to Kyle Rudolph, all complete, for 122 yards, two touchdowns, and two other first downs.
17.
Blaine Gabbert TEN
7/11
101
1
0
1
41
41
0
WAS
Gabbert threw just one pass to his left: a 4-yard gain to Anthony Firkser on third-and-6.
18.
Nick Mullens SF
22/38
241
0
1
1
39
39
0
CHI
Red zone passing: 2-of-6 for 10 yards with as many first downs (one) as interceptions. You'll recall that the 49ers lost this game by five points.
19.
Jeff Driskel CIN
13/19
133
2
0
3
33
34
-2
CLE
Driskel had some serious garbage-time production in this game. In the fourth quarter, he went 5-of-5 for 71 yards and two touchdowns -- but each of those throws came with Cincinnati down by at least 16 points.
20.
Matt Ryan ATL
15/26
239
3
0
1
32
32
0
CAR
First three third-down plays: three completions, three conversions, 30 total yards. Third downs, rest of the game: 2-of-6, 7 yards, no conversions.
21.
Dak Prescott DAL
20/25
161
1
0
1
30
28
2
TB
Prescott only threw five passes against Tampa Bay that traveled more than 6 yards downfield, but he made them count, completing four of them for 74 yards and four first downs.
22.
Marcus Mariota TEN
10/13
110
0
0
2
20
17
3
WAS
Mariota left the game shortly before halftime and did not return. Like his replacement, Blaine Gabbert, he did almost nothing when throwing to his left, going 2-of-2 for 7 yards and no first downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Josh Johnson WAS
13/23
153
1
2
2
-5
-9
4
TEN
Johnson's average pass traveled 11.8 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Only Russell Wilson (12.7 yards) threw deeper passes among starters this week.
24.
Philip Rivers LAC
23/37
181
0
2
4
-7
-4
-3
BAL
On Baltimore's half of the field, Rivers went 4-of-11 for 26 yards with two first downs, one sack, and one interception. Also, this is not his fault, but one of those completions was fumbled away, and the Ravens returned it for a touchdown.
25.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
15/22
146
1
1
3
-9
-16
7
JAX
On Miami's first drive, Tannehill went 5-for-5 for 67 yards and four first downs. He only threw for four more first downs the rest of the game.
26.
Matt Cassel DET
5/11
45
0
0
1
-14
-23
9
MIN
Anyone else just now learning that Cassel plays for Detroit? All of his throws came with the Lions down by 18 points in the final five minutes of the game.
27.
Matthew Stafford DET
18/32
116
0
0
2
-31
-31
0
MIN
Stafford threw for only one first down in his last 19 dropbacks. In that stretch, he went 8-of-17 for 31 yards with two sacks.
28.
Josh Rosen ARI
12/23
87
0
0
3
-32
-48
16
LAR
Rosen only threw for three first downs against the Rams, and all came with the Cardinals down by at least 11 points. On third downs, he went 2-of-7 for 18 yards with one conversion and one sack. He did not throw a pass in the red zone; on the Rams' side of the field, he went 5-of-10 for 28 yards with no first downs and three sacks.
29.
Cody Kessler JAX
12/17
106
0
0
5
-62
-63
1
MIA
Kessler left this game late in the third quarter and did not return. His last six dropbacks: incomplete on first-and-20; failed completion on second-and-20; three straight sacks, one of them on third-and-38; incomplete pass on third-and-11.
30.
Josh Allen BUF
20/41
217
1
2
0
-74
-72
-2
NE
Allen's first nine throws on third/fourth down were all incomplete. Seven of those came with 7 yards or less to go for a first down. His final third-down throw resulted in his only conversion, a 6-yard gain to Zay Zones on third-and-4 with Buffalo down by 18 points inside of the two-minute warning.
31.
Tom Brady NE
13/24
126
1
2
1
-92
-92
0
BUF
Brady only threw for five first downs against Buffalo, and none of them came in the first half. In those first two quarters, he went 7-of-13 for 40 yards with one interception and one sack; one of those completions was also fumbled away. He only threw two passes that traveled more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage; both were incomplete.
32.
Taylor Heinicke CAR
33/52
274
1
3
2
-161
-156
-4
ATL
Heinicke is the first quarterback to throw three interceptions against Atlanta this season. Drew Brees only threw one in 71 passes. His 5.2 yards per pass are the worst for any Falcons opponent since Nick Foles in Week 1. Inside the Atlanta 30, he went 8-of-14 for 56 yards with one touchdown, three other first downs, and three interceptions.
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.
Alvin Kamara NO
7
23
2
3/7
82
0
72
20
52
PIT
Kamara's longest run gained only eight yards, but all of them gained at least 1, and he converted all three of his opportunities with 2 yards or less to go for a first down. Three of his catches gained first downs, including gains of 31 and 42 yards, and he also drew a 33-yard DPI on fourth-and-1.
2.
Sony Michel NE
18
116
1
0/0
0
0
53
53
0
BUF
Five first downs on the ground, four of them on gains of 12 yards or more, and only one stuff.
3.
C.J. Anderson LAR
20
167
1
1/3
-5
0
45
71
-26
ARI
The Rams signed Anderson off the street six days ago. He had nine first downs the ground, including gains of 27 and 46 yards, while being stuffed just one time. This is the kind of game even a street free agent is capable of in the Rams offense.
4.
Damien Williams KC
13
104
0
7/7
37
1
41
20
21
SEA
Williams had so many good plays he makes the list of top running backs even though one of his carries resulted in a 6-yard loss and a lost fumble on first-and-15. He had two stuffs to go with four first downs, including gains of 17, 21, and 25 yards. All of his catches came on first down; three of them resulted in first downs.
5.
Jacquizz Rodgers TB
2
2
1
7/7
55
0
33
10
22
DAL
Only two of Rodgers' catches gained first downs, but six counted as successful plays, including a 5-yard gain on fourth-and-2.
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.
C.J. Anderson LAR
20
167
1
1/3
-5
0
45
71
-26
ARI
2.
Sony Michel NE
18
116
1
0/0
0
0
53
53
0
BUF
3.
Jordan Howard CHI
13
53
1
2/3
17
0
31
31
0
SF
Though his longest run against San Francisco gained only 9 yards, he had five first downs on the ground, converting five of his six chances with 3 yards or less to go for a first down.
4.
Jamaal Williams GB
15
95
1
6/9
61
0
29
23
6
NYJ
Six first downs on the ground, with three runs of double-digit yardage, while getting stuffed three times.
5.
Alvin Kamara NO
7
23
2
3/7
82
0
72
20
52
PIT
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.
LeGarrette Blount DET
11
29
0
2/4
-5
0
-36
-6
-30
MIN
Only one first down on the ground, while being stuffed three times. One of his catches went for no gain; the other lost 5 yards.
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.
D'Onta Foreman HOU
7
-1
0
2/2
28
1
-12
-39
27
PHI
None of Foreman's runs were successful or gained more than 2 yards. Four were stuffed, and one of those was fumbled.
Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Tyler Lockett SEA
4
5
99
24.8
0
62
KC
Lockett's four first-down catches included gains of 19, 25, and 45 yards. He also drew DPIs of 15 and 26 yards.
2.
Robert Woods LAR
6
7
89
14.8
1
60
ARI
Woods' totals include 42 DYAR receiving, 18 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 15 yards and a touchdown. Four of his catches gained first downs, the longest a 39-yard touchdown.
3.
Antonio Brown PIT
14
19
185
13.2
2
55
NO
Twelve of Brown's catches resulted in first downs, including 3- and 20-yard touchdowns.
4.
T.Y. Hilton IND
7
8
138
19.7
0
53
NYG
Five of Hilton's catches resulted in first downs, including gains of 20, 25, and 55 yards.
5.
Evan Engram NYG
6
6
87
14.5
0
50
IND
Engram's totals include 26 DYAR receiving, 25 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 26 yards. His five first downs as a receiver included gains of 27 and 32 yards.
Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Curtis Samuel CAR
7
13
41
5.9
0
-54
ATL
Three of Samuel's receptions gained first downs, but none gained more than 9 yards. One lost 3 yards on first-and-10. He was also the target of an incomplete pass on fourth-and-1.

Comments

18 comments, Last at 27 Dec 2018, 12:38am

1 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

Would have expected Seahawks' Chris Carson to show up in Best running backs (rushing) with 116 yds and 2 TDs.

3 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

Has Brady ever had a worse week? -92 DYAR. Fortunately, the guy in the other huddle was Josh Allen.

5 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

To give just one example that quickly came to mind, Brady had two awful weeks at the start of 2014, with -108 passing DYAR against Miami in Week 1 and -115 passing DYAR against Kansas City in Week 4.

10 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

Not that Brady had a good week, but at least one of his interceptions was the fault of the receiver, and the other one may have been, too.

Edelman was the only consistent target. Hogan played most of the game and wasn't targeted once. Gronk was targeted three times with zero receptions.

On the flip side, the Pats had their best day running the ball since John Hannah retired. Can that translate into playoff success? Maybe. There is reason to think the passing game might get its act together. It's very weird to see it as unproductive as it's been the past two weeks.

12 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

The first INT was a miscommunication. Considering how long Brady's been doing it, I'll put the blame on Burkhardt. Then Gronk let an easy enough catch go right through his hands.
Losing Gordon was a major blow as it doesn't look like health is a possibility for Gronk this season. He's still blocking at a high level but lacks his burst and hops in the catching game. I wonder if the back issue that made him drop as a draft prospect is here to stay. Would anyone be surprised if come March we read a little article about him going under the knife, again? Or that he's decided to retire? Belichick's plan to trade him last offseason now makes perfect sense.
The Pats are completely without a downfield threat or a true #1. Edelman can still do some fantastic stuff but only in flashes and he never scared anyone on deep routes.Jet sweeps and dump offs to RBs will remain a staple on the menu. Still, with a bye week and the potential for home field, they have as much chance as anybody in the AFC. Not that the Jets game is a gimme but since it's in Foxboro they certainly should win.

6 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

I think I must have read half a dozen pieces that extolled Tyler Lockett's speed. And yeah, he's fast; but that's not what he uses to get open most of the time (and also he gets lots of pass interference calls): his precise route running is awesome, which he had as a rookie. Natural speed is fine, but Lockett has made himself a excellent wide receiver through work. Though Lockett was blessed not only because of speed, but also he grew up in a football family.

Still: if you watch Lockett every week, it's the route running that's amazing.

8 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

Would have expected Seahawks' Chris Carson to show up in Best running backs (rushing) with 116 yds and 2 TDs.

Actually, he was in the bottom five in rushing. 22 YAR, which goes to -22 DYAR after opponent adjustments. He had eight first downs, but was also stuffed six times -- most by anyone against the Chiefs this year. That includes a zero-yard gain on first-and-goal from the 1 and a 3-yard loss on first-and-goal from the 5. He averaged 4.30 yards on his 27 carries -- but the average running back carry against Kansas City has gained 4.99 yards this year. So Carson spent a whole game racking up a ton of carries that gained less yards than you'd expect, which is how you rack up negative DYAR. Only 11 of his 27 carries (41 percent) counted as successful plays.

11 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

Wow! Carson's -44 DYAR opponent adjustment should make KC fans very worried going into the playoffs.

While Carson ended up in the bottom five in advanced stats, his eight first downs and 27 carries should have burned about 18 minutes of clock. That's 18 minutes that Mahomes doesn't have the ball.

13 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

Seriously, I’m very much not a anti-goodstats guy, so please don’t take this as that.

But Carson in the bottom of rushing last week? Like, Seattle had to get over Carson’s very subpar performance to win despite him? It really didn’t look like that, to put it mildly. Almost nobody watching the game would leave with that reaction.

Again, I’m not saying throw out the stat. But (in my opinion) there’s something important not covered in Carson’s number vs Carson’s game.

15 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

The difference is that Carson is on a run first team. It's like Lamarr Jackson's rushing DVOA, it doesn't account quite right moment to moment, even if it probably is correct for the grand sweep.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

9 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

Figured Rudolph did well but opponent adjustments scuttled his dyar.

Are opponent adjustments just vs type of defense or are they position specific? e.g., if a team has an average pass defense, but is better vs wide receivers and worse vs tight ends, will opponent adjustments for a wr and te be the same or different?

16 Re: Week 16 Quick Reads

The DPI situation in the GB/NYJ game was nuts. Also, Darnold has thrown over 400 passes with just one DPI. In the first half of the GB game alone, he threw 2-3 back shoulder/give your WR a shot balls where there was a lot of contact and no flag. Not a big deal at the time but then the rules were enforced a little differently in the second half.... It's been like that all year. When you have a bad team with no name/bad receivers, you get no benefit of the doubt. Anyway, the last three for Darnold have been very promising. Hopefully, he'll start getting those flags in the future.