Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers

Week 15 Quick Reads

In many ways, 2020 has been a fine bounceback season for Philip Rivers. He's not throwing for as many yards this year as he did last season with the Chargers, but his sack and interception rates have both been cut nearly in half, his completion percentage is up, and he has already thrown 22 touchdown passes, just one fewer than he had in 16 games in L.A. in 2019. That's a credit to Rivers for working to stay sharp at age 39. It's also a credit to Indianapolis coach Frank Reich for building a scheme around Rivers' strengths, and to general manager Chris Ballard for surrounding his quarterback with talented receivers such as T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, and Nyheim Hines, among others.

Finally, though, we must credit the litany of bad defenses that have taken the field against Rivers and the Colts offense. Rivers has benefitted all season from playing against the worst pass defenses in the league, to a degree we have rarely seen before.

Take Sunday's game against Houston, for example. Rivers completed 22 of 28 passes for 228 yards against the Texans; that's a 78.6% completion rate and 8.1 yards per throw, fine numbers indeed. He also threw two touchdowns with no interceptions and only one sack. Those are all good statistics, but we must place in the proper context. The Houston defense has allowed opponents to complete 69.3% of their passes for 7.9 yards per throw with 27 touchdowns, among the bottom 10 teams in all three categories. They're in the middle of the pack with 32 sacks, but they have only three interceptions all season. Houston's pass defense DVOA is 20.6%, 27th in the league going into Monday Night Football. Without opponent adjustments, Rivers had 98 YAR (all passing -- Rivers had no carries), 11th among quarterbacks this week. But he loses 25 DYAR for playing the Texans, and his adjusted total of 73 DYAR drops him to 15th.

25 DYAR is not a particularly large opponent adjustment -- seven quarterbacks took a bigger hit this week. For Rivers, however, this has been a regular occurrence. He has 1,030 passing YAR this season, sixth-most in the league, but only 773 passing DYAR, which drops him all the way to … seventh. That gap of 257 DYAR, though, is enormous, one of the biggest we have ever measured. The following table lists the 10 quarterbacks, including Rivers, who have lost the most DYAR due to opponent adjustments in a single season. We have also listed the win-loss record of each team and their eventual playoff fate, as well as the worst pass defense in the league that season, whether that quarterback played against them or not.

Biggest Gaps Between DYAR and YAR, QBs, Single-Season, 1985-2020
Year Name Team DYAR Rk YAR Rk DIF Team
W-L
Playoffs Worst
Pass D*
DVOA*
1999 Kurt Warner STL 1,586 1 1,877 1 -291 13-3 Won SB SF 44.8%
2015 Matt Ryan ATL 389 19 669 11 -280 8-8 -- NO 40.8%
2020 Philip Rivers** IND 773 7 1,030 6 -257 10-4 ? JAX 29.0%
1991 Dan Marino MIA 1,063 4 1,303 4 -240 8-8 -- LARM 34.8%
2003 Marc Bulger STL 427 17 662 12 -235 12-4 Lost Div ARI 35.8%
1998 Randall Cunningham MIN 1,598 1 1,833 1 -234 15-1 Lost CCG TEN 33.6%
1991 Jim Kelly BUF 1,087 3 1,315 3 -228 13-3 Lost SB LARM 34.8%
2008 Brett Favre NYJ 94 24 320 19 -226 9-7 -- DEN 32.9%
2015 Cam Newton CAR 630 11 855 8 -226 15-1 Lost SB NO 40.8%
1996 Jeff Blake CIN 465 14 690 11 -225 8-8 -- BAL 44.6%
* Worst pass defense in the league that season, whether this quarterback played them or not.
** Through Week 15, no Monday Night Football

In 1999, Kurt Warner came flying out of a supermarket to win an MVP award and lead the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl championship. He also was lucky enough to play against the worst slate of pass defenses for any quarterback we have ever measured. That includes two games against the division-rival 49ers, whose pass defense DVOA of 44.8% is the worst on record.

Warner's Rams are the only team in this table to win a Lombardi Trophy, and only two others -- Jim Kelly's Bills and Cam Newton's Panthers -- even reached the Super Bowl. None of them, though, finished with a losing record, because most any quarterback good enough to start for a full season in the NFL is also good enough to win half his starts against a weak schedule of opposing defenses.

We also see that many of these quarterbacks were lucky enough to play in the same division as the worst pass defense in the league that year. That includes not only Warner but also Newton and his NFC South rival Matt Ryan; the latter two got two games each against the notoriously bad Saints defense of 2015. We also see two quarterbacks -- Kelly and Dan Marino -- from the 1991 AFC East. Neither of them got to play the Rams that season, but they both got two games against both the Patriots (next to last in pass defense that year) and Colts (23rd). Kelly also got two games against Marino's Dolphins (24th).

Rivers and the NFL stand out here because the worst pass defense this season has been the Jacksonville Jaguars … and by the standards of league-worst pass defenses, the Jaguars have been pretty good. Unless Jacksonville (or Detroit or the Jets, the next two teams at the bottom of the pass defense tables) plays particularly terribly in the last two weeks of the year, then no team this season will finish with a pass defense DVOA of 30.0% or worse. That hasn't happened since 2013, and has only happened nine times since 1985. Also, while Rivers and the Colts play in the AFC South with the Jaguars, they have only faced Jacksonville once so far this season.

While most quarterbacks in the above table have benefitted from a pair of games against a particularly terrible division rival, Rivers' opponent adjustments have been pretty consistent; he has lost DYAR 10 times in his 14 games.

Philip Rivers Passing DYAR
Opponent Adjustments by Week, 2020
Week Opp Plays DYAR YAR DIF
1 JAX 48 37 78 -41
2 MIN 27 -3 -10 7
3 NYJ 22 112 132 -20
4 CHI 32 76 52 24
5 CLE 34 -81 -70 -11
6 CIN 45 78 124 -46
7 BYE -- -- -- --
8 DET 36 83 136 -53
9 BAL 42 -13 -26 13
10 TEN 39 75 102 -27
11 GB 37 96 92 4
12 TEN 46 91 122 -31
13 HOU 38 49 80 -31
14 LV 29 100 119 -19
15 HOU 29 73 98 -25
TOTAL 504 773 1,030 -257

There are only six teams this season with pass defense DVOAs of 20.0% or worse (Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, the Jets, and Tennessee), and Rivers has played all of them, including the Texans and Titans twice each. He has also played the Browns, the next-best defense after those six. Meanwhile, he has only gotten boosts in opponent adjustments against four teams: the Bears (10th in pass defense DVOA), Ravens (11th), Vikings (12th), and Packers (18th). And those boosts have been tiny, totaling only 48 DYAR between them. Sam Darnold, Matt Ryan, and Patrick Mahomes each got boosts of 40 DYAR or more this week alone.

Rivers has two games left on his schedule. The first of those is against the Steelers, the league's best pass defense, but the next is against -- yes -- those Jaguars. Assuming Rivers plays full games in both weeks, the net effect of those opponent adjustments should largely cancel each other out, and he should finish the year somewhere in the middle of our first table.

Here's a look at the other quarterbacks who have faced the easiest and most difficult schedules this year:

Biggest Gaps Between DYAR and YAR, QBs, 2020
Easiest Schedules   Hardest Schedules
Name Team DYAR YAR DIF   Name Team DYAR YAR DIF
Philip Rivers IND 773 1,030 -257   Daniel Jones NYG -398 -575 177
Mitchell Trubisky CHI 7 184 -177   Sam Darnold NYJ -499 -628 128
Gardner Minshew JAX 39 208 -169   Teddy Bridgewater CAR 493 384 109
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 492 634 -142   Jeff Driskel DEN -42 -144 102
Baker Mayfield CLE 585 673 -88   Nick Foles CHI -127 -224 97
Aaron Rodgers GB 1,358 1,441 -83   Tom Brady TB 1,090 994 96
Kirk Cousins MIN 603 672 -69   Nick Mullens SF 27 -69 96
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA 238 301 -62   Patrick Mahomes KC 1,716 1,624 93
Alex Smith WAS -358 -299 -59   Jared Goff LAR 417 343 74
Dwayne Haskins WAS -367 -312 -55   Andy Dalton DAL -155 -221 66

Our list of easiest schedules includes several quarterbacks from the AFC South, as well as the AFC North … who got to play the teams in the AFC South. It also includes both Washington quarterbacks, because one of the benefits of playing for the Football Team is that you don't have to face your own defense (second in pass defense DVOA), at least not on game day.

Daniel Jones did have to play the Washington defense -- twice. He also had to play the Steelers, the NFL's best defense, as well as the Rams (fourth against the pass) and Bucs (seventh). He has also had bad injury timing -- in the two games he missed, Colt McCoy got to play against the Seahawks and Browns, both in the bottom half of the league on passing plays.

Two more notes before we end things. First, pity poor Jeff Driskel. He has only thrown passes against two teams this year, but those teams were the Steelers and Bucs. Second, take note of what's going on in Chicago. Mitchell Trubisky has better raw numbers than Nick Foles, and the Bears have gone 5-2 in his starts, but he has gotten to play a very easy schedule, including both games against Detroit and a contest against Houston. Foles, meanwhile, has only gone 2-5, but he has also had to play against the Bucs, Rams, and Saints.

 


 

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Josh Allen BUF
28/40
359
2
0
1
192
169
23
DEN
Allen's rushing numbers: three carries for 33 yards and two touchdowns. He was the week's best passer on throws to wide receivers, which made up most of his attempts. On throws to tight ends or running backs (or with no intended receiver), he went 5-of-10 for 52 yards (27 of them on one play) and a touchdown.
2.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
21/27
273
3
0
1
164
144
21
DET
Tannehill loses a league-high 44 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His success rate of 72% was best of any qualifier this week. He was the league's best passer on third/fourth downs, when he completed eight of nine passes for 69 yards. All eight of those completions moved the chains, including two touchdowns. Those eight third-/fourth-down conversions were tied with Dwayne Haskins and Jalen Hurts for most in the league, but it took Haskins 16 dropbacks to get there and Hurts 18.
3.
Matt Ryan ATL
34/49
356
3
0
3
155
147
8
TB
Ryan gains 47 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He threw for 21 first downs, tied for most in the league. He was the NFL's best passer down the middle of the field (7-of-11 for 110 yards and a touchdown) and from under center (17-of-20 for 241 yards and a touchdown). However, he ended the game cold as ice. He failed to pick up a first down in his last nine dropbacks, going 2-of-6 for 11 yards with three sacks.
4.
Baker Mayfield CLE
27/32
297
2
0
1
155
150
4
NYG
Mayfield was most effective throwing down the middle, where he completed nine of 10 passes for 84 yards.
5.
Deshaun Watson HOU
33/41
373
2
0
5
137
125
12
IND
By passing DYAR, Watson was the league's best passer in a number of categories, including throws to running backs (where he completed all 12 of his throws for 113 total yards), fourth-quarter passing (12-of-13 for 125 yards with one touchdown and one sack), and throwing out of the shotgun (he only threw two passes from under center, completing them both for 8 yards).
6.
Justin Herbert LAC
22/32
314
2
0
1
133
161
-29
LV
Herbert's rushing numbers: four carries for 14 yards and a touchdown. His average pass traveled 11.9 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, most of any quarterback this week. He was nearly perfect on midrange passes against the Raiders -- he threw 10 passes that traveled 11 to 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, resulting in seven completions for 118 yards and two DPIs for 23 more yards. He was also the league's best passer in the first quarter, when he completed each of his eight passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.
7.
Kyler Murray ARI
27/36
406
3
1
1
113
115
-2
PHI
Murray had quite a swing in this game, going from the best passing DYAR in the second quarter (completing all 10 of his throws for 168 yards and a touchdown, though he also gave up a sack-fumble) to the worst in the third (4-of-7 for 50 yards with an interception). Over all four quarters, he was the league's best passer on deep balls (6-of-10 for 157 yards and a touchdown).
8.
Lamar Jackson BAL
17/22
243
3
1
1
100
107
-6
JAX
Jackson threw nine passes that traveled 10 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. One was intercepted, but the others resulted in eight completions for 172 yards and a touchdown, plus a DPI for 36 more yards.
9.
Marcus Mariota LV
17/27
226
1
1
0
92
43
49
LAC
Mariota came into this game with the Raiders down 7-3 early in the second quarter. He finished with nine carries for 88 yards and a touchdown. He somehow managed to be the week's best passer on throws to tight ends (10-of-13 for 172 yards and a touchdown) while simultaneously being the worst on throws down the middle (3-of-6 for 33 yards with an interception). Like Matt Ryan, he ended the game on a very cold streak. He failed to pick up a first down in his last eight dropbacks, going 3-of-8 for 24 yards with an interception.
10.
Kirk Cousins MIN
24/34
271
2
1
3
86
76
11
CHI
Cousins had the week's best results on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, completing all four of his passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.
11.
Matthew Stafford DET
22/32
252
1
0
0
86
78
8
TEN
Stafford had a very good day on third/fourth downs, going 8-of-10 for 58 yards and a touchdown. That may not sound like much, but seven of those completions moved the chains; the other was an 11-yard gain on third-and-15.
12.
Sam Darnold NYJ
22/31
207
1
0
2
85
72
12
LAR
Darnold gains 47 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was at his best between his own 40- and the L.A. 20-yard lines, going 9-of-11 for 113 yards. Seven of those completions picked up first downs; he only had four first downs in 22 dropbacks over the rest of the field.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Tom Brady TB
31/45
390
2
0
3
84
84
0
ATL
Brady only had one first down in his first 12 dropbacks, a stretch in which he went 7-of-11 for 43 yards and a sack. But then he threw for 12 first downs in the third quarter, when he was the league's best passer. In those 15 minutes, he went 12-of-17 for 188 yards and a touchdown, plus two DPIs for 13 more yards. He's now up to 20 DPIs for 362 yards this season, both the most in the league. The former number is the most we have ever recorded, passing Derek Carr's mark of 19 set in 2016; the latter has only been surpassed twice, by Brad Johnson (464 yards with Washington in 1999) and Aaron Rodgers (364 yards in 2015).
14.
Patrick Mahomes KC
26/47
254
3
0
4
78
57
21
NO
Mahomes gains a league-high 70 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was the week's best passer in the red zone, going 5-of-7 for 24 yards with three touchdowns.
15.
Philip Rivers IND
22/28
228
2
0
1
73
73
0
HOU
Most of Rivers' best throws against Houston came on throws down the middle, where he went 6-of-7 for 86 yards and a touchdown.
16.
Ryan Finley CIN
7/13
89
1
0
2
51
38
13
PIT
Finley's rushing numbers: nine carries for 49 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw a pass in the fourth quarter, but he ran five times for 35 yards and a touchdown. None of those runs was a scramble. Once they had a late lead, the Bengals were virtually an option team.
17.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
15/21
202
1
1
1
49
44
5
MIN
Trubisky's average dropback came with a league-low 7.0 yards to go for a first down. He was the league's worst passer on throws to tight ends, going 4-of-6 for 37 yards with an interception.
18.
Gardner Minshew JAX
22/29
226
2
0
5
42
41
1
BAL
Minshew was very good in short yardage. With 4 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 3-of-4 for 35 yards; all three of those completions picked up first downs, including a touchdown. But he was very bad in long yardage. He failed to pick up a first down with more than 10 yards to go, going 3-of-6 for 28 yards with two sacks and a fumble.
19.
Jalen Hurts PHI
25/44
338
3
0
6
30
41
-11
ARI
Hurts' rushing numbers: 11 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. Hurts' average dropback came with a league-high 10.0 yards to go for a first down. Yet he still threw for 21 first downs, tied for most in the league. He also had the best DYAR on throws to his left, going 12-of-15 for 173 yards and three touchdowns, plus a 12-yard DPI.
20.
Colt McCoy NYG
19/31
221
0
0
1
22
23
-2
CLE
McCoy had the week's best DYAR out of a no-huddle. He only had six dropbacks with a huddle, and none of them resulted in a first down; he went 3-of-6 for 18 yards on those plays. He also struggled in the red zone. He threw six passes inside the Cleveland 20, and two more from the 21; only one of those throws was completed, and that one completion lost a yard.
21.
Andy Dalton DAL
19/33
209
2
0
2
15
18
-3
SF
Dalton was at his best on first down, when he completed nine of 12 passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
22.
Russell Wilson SEA
18/27
121
1
1
0
5
-18
23
WAS
Wilson's rushing numbers: three carries for 55 yards. He had the worst DYAR on throws to running backs, going 4-of-6 for 14 yards with an interception. None of those throws moved the chains, including failures to convert on second-and-5 and third-and-4.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Cam Newton NE
17/27
209
0
0
3
3
20
-17
MIA
Newton's rushing numers: nine carries for 38 yards. He did not have a run or a pass in the red zone, and only produced one first down inside the Miami 40. In that part of the field, he went 4-of-11 for 34 yards with two sacks, plus three runs for 13 yards and a fumble.
24.
Drew Brees NO
16/34
234
3
1
1
1
1
0
KC
Brees' average completion gained a league-high 9.3 yards after the catch. There's something strange in the play-by-play -- he had nine passes that were listed with exactly zero air yards, and all were incomplete. However, he completed all five of his passes to receivers behind the line of scrimmage, for a total of 66 yards. Four of those completions moved the chains, including two touchdowns. Despite all that help, he had the worst passing DYAR in several categories, including third/fourth downs (2-of-10 for 72 yards with two conversions, one intentional grounding, one sack, and one interception) and in the first quarter (0-for-5 with an interception).
25.
Teddy Bridgewater CAR
22/35
258
0
0
3
-16
-5
-10
GB
Bridgewater's success rate of 37% was worst of any qualifier this week (until Monday night). Inside the Green Bay 30, he went 2-of-6 for 21 yards with a sack; those two completions were an 8-yard gain on third-and-14 and a 13-yard gain on third-and-17.
26.
Tua Tagovailoa MIA
20/26
145
0
1
2
-41
-54
13
NE
Tagovailoa's average pass traveled 3.8 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, least of any qualifier this week. He had the worst DVOA in the red zone, going 4-of-5 for 17 yards with no touchdowns, only one first down, and an interception.
27.
Drew Lock DEN
20/32
132
1
0
3
-49
-53
4
BUF
Lock's average completion gained a league-low 3.2 yards after the catch. On a related note, he had the worst DYAR on passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, going 5-of-9 for 3 yards. Yes, 3 -- three of those completions went backwards.
28.
Jared Goff LAR
22/34
209
2
1
3
-69
-71
2
NYJ
Goff was the week's worst passer in the second quarter, when he went 8-of-16 for 69 yards with a sack and an interception.
29.
Aaron Rodgers GB
20/29
143
1
0
5
-76
-87
11
CAR
Rodgers' success rate of 37.1% was a few decimal points better than that of his counterpart in this game, Teddy Bridgewater (36.8%), but worse than every other qualifier this week (until Monda night). From late in the second quarter to the end of the third, he went 13 straight dropbacks without a first down, going 6-of-10 for 29 yards and three sacks.
30.
Nick Mullens SF
21/36
219
2
2
2
-98
-100
2
DAL
Mullens had the worst passing DYAR in several situations, including the fourth quarter/overtime (7-of-14 for 58 yards with two interceptions, plus an 18-yard DPI), from under center (9-of-18 for 121 yards with an interception and a sack), and with a huddle (most of his action -- without a huddle, he went 4-of-7 for 48 yards).
31.
Dwayne Haskins WAS
38/55
295
1
2
4
-123
-141
17
SEA
Haskins led the NFL with 15 failed completions, four more than anyone else. He had the league's worst DYAR on throws to wide receivers (16-of-26 for 138 yards with two interceptions) and deep passes (1-of-7 for 30 yards with two interceptions).
32.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
20/38
170
1
1
1
-144
-132
-12
CIN
Only 12% of Roethlisberger's dropbacks counted as successful plays. His first-half DYAR of -178 was the worst for any quarterback since Jared Goff had -200 against Miami in Week 8. At halftime, Roethlisberger had gone 7-of-16 for 19 yards (I swear) with an interception and a sack-fumble. Oh, and he added -12 DYAR rushing for his one carry, a lost fumble on an aborted snap. Over the course of the game, he threw 14 passes that traveled 10 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. One was complete for a 23-yard touchdown; one resulted in an 11-yard DPI; the other 12 were all incomplete, including an interception.

 

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.
Dalvin Cook MIN
24
132
1
5/5
27
0
76
62
14
CHI
Cook was almost literally unstoppable in the middle of this game, picking up first downs on six straight carries in one stretch over the second and third quarters. He gained 68 yards on those half-dozen carries. His next run was a 2-yard gain on first-and-goal from the 3, and he scored on the play after that. He finished with 10 first downs on the ground, including six runs of 10 yards or more, while being stuffed five times. He had one more first down as a receiver, a 13-yard gain on first-and-10. Oh, and he gained 32 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.
2.
Le'Veon Bell KC
16
63
1
1/1
14
0
57
49
8
NO
Le'Veon! Long time no see! The one-time Quick Reads regular gains 25 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. All 16 of his carries gained at least 1 yard; six of them went for first downs, the longest a 13-yard touchdown. His one catch was a 14-yard gain on first-and-10.
3.
Tony Pollard DAL
12
69
2
6/9
63
0
45
35
10
SF
Pollard gains 16 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He only ran for two first downs against San Francisco, but those two plays were touchdowns of 1 and 40 yards. He was also stuffed twice. He had two more first downs as a receiver: a 12-yard gain on second-and-7 and a 30-yard gain on first-and-10.
4.
David Montgomery CHI
32
146
2
1/2
16
0
39
33
7
MIN
Since opponent adjustments are a major theme in Quick Reads this week, I will point out that Montgomery loses 5 DYAR for playing the Vikings. Nine of his runs resulted in first downs, including four gains of 10 yards or more; he was also stuffed four times. His one catch was a 16-yard gain on third-and-4.
5.
Giovani Bernard CIN
25
83
1
1/1
14
1
39
20
19
PIT
Bernard gains 27 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He ran for four first downs, the longest a gain of 11, with four stuffs, including failures to convert on second-and-2, third-and-1, and third-and-2. His one catch was a 14-yard touchdown on second-and-9.

 

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.
Dalvin Cook MIN
24
132
1
5/5
27
0
76
62
14
CHI
2.
Le'Veon Bell KC
16
63
1
1/1
14
0
57
49
8
NO
3.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC
14
79
0
1/3
4
0
38
47
-9
NO
If Edwards-Helaire is unable to recover from the ankle and hip injuries that knocked him out of this game, at least he went out with a good game. He gains 18 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was stuffed just once while running for three first downs, the longest a gain of 16, plus an 11-yard gain on second-and-13.
4.
Aaron Jones GB
20
145
1
3/4
13
0
35
44
-8
CAR
Jones was stuffed just once against the Panthers while running for six first downs, including gains of 10, 14, and 46 yards.
5.
Tony Pollard DAL
12
69
2
6/9
63
0
45
35
10
SF

 

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.
Kalen Ballage LAC
8
11
1
0/0
0
0
-24
-24
0
LV
How bad has the Raiders' run defense been this year? Ballage loses 10 DYAR due to opponent adjustments in only eight carries. Two of those carries went for first downs. Three were stuffed, including a 4-yard loss on third-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.
Josh Jacobs LV
26
76
1
3/3
38
0
-13
-37
24
LAC
Apparently the Raiders stink in the running game on both sides of the ball. Jacobs did run for four first downs against the Chargers, but 32 of his yards came on two carries -- his other 24 runs averaged 1.8 yards apiece. Eight of those carries were stuffed, including five failures to convert with 3 yards or less to go.

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Stefon Diggs BUF
11
13
147
13.4
0
51
DEN
Seven of Diggs' catches produced first downs, including three third-down conversions. His longest catch gained 55 yards.
2.
Zach Pascal IND
5
6
79
15.8
2
50
HOU
Each of Pascal's five receptions produced a first down, the longest a 26-yard gain on third-and-5.
3.
Mike Evans TB
6
7
110
18.3
0
49
ATL
Five of Evans' catches produced first downs, the longest a gain of 32. He also picked up 13 yards and another first down on a DPI.
4.
Marvin Jones DET
10
12
112
11.2
1
47
TEN
Seven of Jones' catches produced first downs, including three third-down conversions; he added a 12-yard DPI.
5.
Cole Beasley BUF
8
10
112
14.0
0
43
DEN
Six of Beasley's catches produced first downs, including gains of 20, 22, and 27 yards.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT
3
6
15
5.0
0
-43
CIN
Smith-Schuster's only successful play was a 21-yard gain on third-and-6 in the fourth quarter. His other catches were a 4-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 10-yard loss and lost fumble on third-and-7. Per Stathead, this is the first time a player had no carries, at least three catches, less than 6 yards per catch, and a fumble since ... Week 12, when Smith-Schuster and his teammate Diontae Johnson did it against Baltimore. Yes, the problems with the Pittsburgh offense go way beyond the quarterback.

Comments

54 comments, Last at 27 Dec 2020, 10:34am

1 Pittsburgh o-line

looked slow and weak too often last night. Not able to gain leverage or push on most running plays.  Anything the backs achieved seemed more out of individual effort than of blocking.  Meanwhile on too many pass plays both guards were getting shoved back into Ben's lap while the tackles took turns getting whipped off the edge. I know coming into the game the Steelers o-line was highly rated on pass blocking, but because my wife is a Steeler fan I have seen quite a few Steeler games.  As the season has progressed the line has seemed to decline all too steadily with last night the worst work to date.  

 

Yes Ben missed multiple wide open guys last night including seeming to ignore Claypool for the bulk of the game which was just weird.  But the line is not helping.  

 

 

3 Finley has the one attribute that can keep a guy on a pro roster

He is one tough, sumb8tch.  Good grief was he getting crushed thanks to pass rushers or running the ball and not sliding.  Steelers were only credited with two sacks but had at least 5 or 6 'almosts' where Finley was swarmed by multiple defenders.  And he was clocked on several running plays.

But he kept getting back up.  If he had himself shot up with enough pain killer to numb the city of Cincinnati after the game I would not be surprised

4 Worst RB by DYAR vs worst QB .500 record vs .000

Going back to the beginning of last year, the worst RB by DYAR of the week is on a team with a record of 16-16.   The worst QB of the week by DYAR is 0-32 with scores that make the Jets and Jacksonville look good this year.

Clearly a team can overcome an awful RB game, but not an awful QB game.

  I am wondering when the last bottom DYAR QB of the week has won a game.  Closest I found in the past two years is Miami last year losing by 1 to Washington.  

 

12 Week 6 2018, Deshaun Watson…

Week 6 2018, Deshaun Watson had -149 DYAR and Houston beat Buffalo, but Josh Allen (who got injured) and Nathan Peterman combined for a nearly as bad -148 DYAR.

Allen had a decent record as a starter in 2018 (5-6) despite horrific numbers.  It wouldn't shock me if he did it as well (but not really inclined to check right now, that game just came to mind)

5 Ben dink and dunk

Clearly the correct move based upon the commentary of his passes of any distance.   The problem is that things like the JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble will happen when two defenders converge on a 2-3 yard pass on 3rd and 7.  Wondering if over his long career if Ben has made the bottom of the QB DYAR list before in any week.

13 It wouldn't surprise me if…

It wouldn't surprise me if we later find out Ben has playing through a significant injury. I recall him leaving the Dallas game a few weeks ago, which about coincides with when their offence went to hell.

Unlike the other ancient QBs in the league, he has a lengthy injury history. It's unlikely he would get through an entire season without wearing down anyway. 

20 Claypool basically dropped…

Claypool basically dropped the game out of reach against Buffalo. All of the receivers have drop issues, but I cannot help wondering if that's on Ben's placement, which has been pretty awful over the last three games. I didn't watch them earlier in the season - has this been a season-long thing, or a recent development?

6 The Bears' coaching staff…

The Bears' coaching staff could not have designed this season to make Trubisky look better (in comparison to Foles). Next he gets Jacksonville, then possibly the Packers' scrubs in week 17 (even the Packers defensive starters are hardly terrifying).  

How unlikely is it that he puts up two more decent performances, the Bears make the playoffs, then bring everybody back once again next year?

25 I wont comment on the…

I wont comment on the coaching staff as I don't watch the Bears much. From the outside, the Bears appear to be well positioned as a team - they are just missing the big piece at QB so the coaching staff doesn't appear to be the real issue(again, I don't watch them closely enough to really say one way or the other).

However, I have seen Mitch play a lot and this outcome is probably the worst a Bears fan could hope for. If Ownership reads this as progress or worse - a sign that Mitch has finally discovered "it", then next season will be yet another lost season and wasted talent. 

There is a team that the Bears could resemble, its the current iteration Broncos whose brain trust(Elway) viewed the team as one competent QB away from a title. Then the talent slowly ebbed until all that was left was a 5-11 shell of a champion and a still massive question mark at Qb 

36 I would argue that Matt Nagy…

I would argue that Matt Nagy's offense has been disappointing since mid-2018, outside of Trubisky's obvious shortcomings. Both from a scheme standpoint and from an in-game playcalling standpoint. I don't have faith that all he needs is a decent QB to execute it.

The defense appears to be past its peak, and maybe already past the point where a league-average offense would make the Bears SB contenders. Robert Quinn is rumored to be battling an injury this season, but whether it's injury or just poor performance that contract they signed him to looks to be an albatross at least through next year. It's not crazy to think that Mack might have already peaked, Hicks is getting older, and Jackson seems to have regressed.

It's hard to think that even the Bears ownership could think that Trubisky has finally unlocked the potential to be a great QB, but if Ryan Pace keeps his job, he's the one with all of the incentive to call Trubisky a success and extend him.

As far as 2021 being a lost season...based on where the Bears will be drafting, unless they take the 5th or 6th QB of the draft and he turns out to be a surprisingly successful rookie, I think 2021 is lost no matter what they do with Trubisky. Obviously extending Trubisky a multiyear guarantee would damage future seasons, too.

31 Hope it happens

How likely though that he

1. puts up two more decent performances: 50%

2. the Bears make the playoffs: 33%

3. then bring everybody back once again next year: 2%

Chances of all three hitting: <1%

32 These are not discrete…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

These are not discrete events though.

 

If they make the playoffs - I think its quite likely everyone comes back. 

33 Exactly. These are highly…

Exactly. These are highly correlated probabilities and cannot be simply multiplied to get the probability of all of them happening. My personal take is:

Trubisky puts up two more decent-looking performances: 50% (basically completely contingent on who the Packers suit up in Week 17; Trubisky plays awful against even mediocre Packer defenses).

Bears make playoffs: 25% (the previous number times the likelihood Arizona loses to either the Rams or the Niners).

Everyone gets brought back: 20% (the previous number times the probability that Bears ownership / upper management gets fooled into thinking they saw something real).

(And all three happening: 20%, because each subsequent event is fully contingent on the previous ones.)

And, as I have said in multiple FO threads, I agree that would be an utter disaster for future Bear fan me, but I can't root against it.

35 "Everyone gets brought back:…

"Everyone gets brought back: 20% (the previous number times the probability that Bears ownership / upper management gets fooled into thinking they saw something real)."

 

The thing I disagree here is - there is a probability the Bears win 9 or even 8 games and ownership continues with this crew. 

I think the probability that ownership brings the crew back if they are in the playoffs is something like 90% or more(it would take a thoroughly humiliating blowout for ownership to cut bait after a "successful" season).

I think its maybe a 60% chance that they would bring this group back at 9 wins but a missed playoff spot.

 

I think its maybe 30-40% they bring this group back at 8 wins

 

And I even think there is a 20 % chance they bring everyone back even if they lose the last two games but do so in a competitive fashion.

 

I am too lazy to calculate all these joint probabilities and I am sure as hell not going to code this into STAN, but assuming they will beat the Jags and the GB third stringers but miss the playoffs - I expect them all to be back. So sad even for a non bears fan. Who wants to see this movie repeated a fourth time?

42 I believe the Bears have a…

I believe the Bears have a bias toward bringing everyone back, and thus I think it's in play regardless of the outcome of the final two games. I do think a playoff appearance gives the Bears much more cover to stay status quo than if they miss the playoffs. I mean, they fired Lovie Smith after a 10-6 season which is usually enough to make the playoffs but wasn't due to tiebreakers that season. (To be fair, I do see a material difference between firing a coach after 3 years and after 9 years; I think somewhere around the 8-10 year mark it becomes acceptable to make the decision on the idea that he isn't the right guy to move the team up to a higher level of success, even if he has demonstrated a base level of competency).

If they beat the Jaguars and lose to the Packers, I expect to hear a lot of "Matt Nagy has never had a losing season" which will be technically true but ignore the fact that the Bears have regressed since 2018 and were expected at that point to be contenders for the next few seasons. If they win both games and miss the playoffs on a tiebreaker, then I expect to hear a lot about how close they were and how hard they fought down the stretch.

Unless the unsourced rumor that Pace received a secret contract extension is true, Pace only has one more year left on his contract, and I don't understand how a team can have a lame-duck GM running the offseason. He already took desperate free agent swings last year (Graham was okay, Quinn has been a disaster); perhaps only the shrinking salary cap will prevent him from tying the Bears up with more bad money. And he has demonstrated a propensity to trade up from the very beginning of his tenure; going into his last year, from his standpoint why wouldn't he trade away future first-round picks to take a swing at the 3rd QB on the board? What would he have to lose? IMHO, you either need to fire him or extend him for that reason, and I think the decision between those two options is crystal clear. An 8-8 year means Pace is 42-54 after 6 seasons - that's enough of a sample size.

37 MIN in the AFC

They're vikings, so I suppose they just take whatever conference they want.  You complain to the commish and your village gets burned, (and since Joe Buck referenced Blazing Saddles last week, I'll add...) your cattle get raped, and your women stampeded.

21 Kurt Warner

Vincent-that is an interesting observation on Kurt Warner but keep in mind that he is still the only QB in history to throw 40+ TD passes in the Reg. Season and win the S.B. in the same year. But more important to your original point, Warner had 8 more TD passes in the playoffs. Only A. Rodgers threw more (9) of all of the guys that had 40+ TD passes in the Reg. Season. So Warner did it against playoff teams also.

22 One more thing.

In reply to by Bob Smith

I forgot to mention that Warner not only threw 8 TD passes but he also had 1,063 yds. passing in those 3 playoff wins. 

24 Warner takes a huge count…

In reply to by Bob Smith

Warner takes a huge count price, but consider his volume. By proportion, it’s not terrible. Ryan and Newton take some crippling proportional costs.

27 Feedback

Where was Henry on the rushing list?

13th overall, sixth rushing. Lost 23 DYAR for playing Detroit, who has now passed Jacksonville as the worst defense in the league. Five first downs, a long gain of 33, stuffed twice.

Also, that game has to be near the top for worst combined passing DYAR.

The all-time worst game in our database is still David Klinger's 10-completion, 3-interception, 7-sack day for Cincinnati against the Oilers in 1994. He had -302 DYAR that day. Houston's quarterback, Cody Carlson, had -177. The Oilers won 20-13.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199409250oti.htm

1998 Randall Cunningham MIN1, 59811 ,8331-23415-1  Lost  AFCCG

Oops! That has been fixed.

 

Vincent-that is an interesting observation on Kurt Warner but keep in mind that he is still the only QB in history to throw 40+ TD passes in the Reg. Season and win the S.B. in the same year. But more important to your original point, Warner had 8 more TD passes in the playoffs. Only A. Rodgers threw more (9) of all of the guys that had 40+ TD passes in the Reg. Season. So Warner did it against playoff teams also.

Oh, sure. Warner was still first in DYAR and DVOA that year.

30 Padding his stats

In reply to by Vincent Verhei

I thought you were saying that Kurt Warner was "padding his stats" in the Reg. Season against average to below average teams. And I guess to that I would say name a QB that doesn't. But Kurt also did ok against much better teams in the playoffs. I say ok but he actually was named MVP of the S.B. and certainly would have been MVP of the playoffs if they would name one.

34 Trubisky and Foles can't both be 5-2

Vince,

There's a typo in there somewhere.

"Mitchell Trubisky has better raw numbers than Nick Foles, and the Bears have gone 5-2 in his starts, but he has gotten to play a very easy schedule, including both games against Detroit and a contest against Houston. Foles, meanwhile, has only gone 5-2, but he has also had to..."

38 Philip Rivers

I like your take on Rivers. I hope you are right because he only needs 2 more TD passes to move into 5th place All-Time. That would put him 5th in both TD passes and Passing Yards All-Time. What an accomplishment.

44 Football is the ultimate team game

Mike-we all know that football is the ultimate team game, but so many outcomes depend on the play of the quarterback, especially in the playoffs. I would bet that Rivers and your exhibit 1 either were not very good or got outplayed by the opposing QB in games where championships were on the line. And if your exhibit 1 was who I think it was (Marino) I will guarantee you he was not very good in those games.

46 I still think properly…

I think properly accounting for supporting casts and coaching still very much eludes us. We are a long ways away from being able to isolate qb play.

But it's always amazed me how thin these narratives live on. If the Broncos hire Rich Kotite and don't find TD in the 7th round, Elway might have 0 rings to his name and what would his reputation be then?

And then it seems to be a one way street. Flacco can have an all time post season run and yet he will barely be remembered at all. 

I think a fairer assessment of Rivers would say he was a great, but not among the greatest qbs of his era and he went to an organization that is famous for finding new and interesting ways to lose. You zoom out and you will come to realize the only separator between Rivers and say Big Ben is one went to the Steelers, the other went to the Chargers.

 

47 John Elway

I am glad you mentioned Elway as part of your "what ifs". What if the Dolphins had drafted Elway in '83. A S.B. team and a coach willing to let Elway be Elway-a guy whose Resume tells us he played good enough to help his teams win 7 total championship games (5 Conf. and 2 S.B.'s.). Ditto all of that for Jim Kelly except for the amount of success (4 Conf. Champs). Maybe 3 S.B.'s in a row-'83,'84,and '85.

48 Joe Flacco

In reply to by Bob Smith

Glad you mentioned Flacco also but you failed to mention the fact that his team was so bad statistically speaking. His team was the 2nd worst S.B. winner statistically speaking. Only Eli's team in '07 was worse. By the way I thought maybe you should have mentioned Eli Manning along with Flacco.

52 Team and coach

slothook-I agree with you about how supporting team and coaching can help an NFL QB. Look at a great example of that-when Dan Marino got drafted by the Dolphins in '83. He had a S.B. team supporting him and a coach that allowed him to throw as many passes as he wanted to. On top of that it turned out to be Marino's Prime years-'83 thru '87. Perfect formula for success.

49 Actually, exhibit 1 is…

Actually, exhibit 1 is....Peyton Manning. He was widely considered to be "a choker" for not making it to the SB before he and Bob Sanders somehow carried a very beatable team there.

Somehow that win in Denver solidified his legacy as being equal to his brother's  - which readers of this site know is a pile of BS, but general football fans somehow still mention them together.

Marino would definitely be #3, because he was the architect of his own demise on several occasions, but he was also great on some very flawed teams. Trust me, as a Bills fan he was always the other qb that scared me the most until playoff time.

50 Great comments

Those are great comments. Are you aware of just how bad both of Eli's S.B. winning teams were statistically speaking? The '07 team was the worst and the '11 team was 3rd worst. Flacco's winner was 2nd worst. That is why I give Eli extra credit. Your comment on Marino was spot on. I'll take Jim Kelly at playoff time.

51 Statistically speaking.

In reply to by Bob Smith

Just to explain statistically speaking as I see it-on P-F-R they list each team's 4 main Rankings, 2 on offense and 2 on defense.When you add up those Rankings it gives you an overall idea of how that team played in the reg. Season. The average S.B. winner added up to 27 or 28 while Eli's 2 teams added up to 69 and 54. Flacco's team added up to 55. I realize there are many other ways to look at it, but this is 1 of them.

53 Bob, my point is that SBs…

In reply to by Bob Smith

Bob, my point is that SBs are a weird cutoff for greatness because they are a function of things a lot more than qb play. And the point of these what ifs is to illustrate how fleeting they are on small changes.

The concept of clutch has simply never held up in the data. The supposedly clutches qb of all time has won SBs scoring under 20 pts and lost one scoring 40. What is the conclusion you want to draw from this? 

54 Support team and coach

I went along with your thoughts on support team and coach making a difference and the best example I could find was my comment #47. You make a good point and using Elway and Kelly to replace Marino in that Dolphins situation really sums it up. You hit on something IMO. It also shows how much Marino was an underachiever.

39 How about Drew Brees

Speaking of big accomplishments, how about Brees. He needs 154 passing yards to get to 80,000 for his Career. Mind boggling.