Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Nov 2011

MMQB: Texans QB Woes Edition

Peter King laments the loss of Matt Leinart, looks at the Ndamukong Suh scenario, talks about pushing the trade deadline back, and gives us a Dr. Z update.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 28 Nov 2011

35 comments, Last at 30 Nov 2011, 5:08pm by Noah Arkadia


by andrew :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 11:53am

So the Texans are quarterbacked by Yeats?

Turning and turning in the widening I.R.
The falcons cannot hear their former pick
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the league.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty years of having fun on field
Were vexed to nightmare by stubbled face,
the gun slinger, his hour come round at last,
Slouches towards houston to be re-signed.

by jw124164 :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 12:10pm

Spectacular! You win the internets..

by nat :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 1:11pm

Of course the centre cannot hold: he's snapping the ball. The punter or backup QB holds.

by DGL :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 5:01pm

If the centre held, it would be a ten-yard penalty.

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 6:45pm

You guys going all British with your spelling of centre is really messing with my equilibrium. I never, ever thought my inner pedant would be upset by "proper" spelling. My head hurts.

by Leibniz (not verified) :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 11:15am

Surely you must mean "propre"?

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 11:23am

British, not French.

by Independent George :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 1:56pm

I was going to applaud the original post, but this entire exchange has been brilliant. Bravo.

by Stats are for losers (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 3:58pm

Still, with Newton and Dalton, there are more scientists than poets at QB.

There's a joke about Roethlisberger and Robert Graves in there somewhere, I'm just too lazy to make it.

by Puts the Bow in Tebow (not verified) :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 9:48am


by are-tee :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 12:45pm

"I think that was the softest, weirdest, most unimpressive four-touchdown game that Mark Sanchez played Sunday that I'd seen in a while."

I know Sanchez made some bad decisions and some inaccurate throws in the game, but I thought all four of the touchdowns were pretty good plays on his part. And three of them came off drives of 78, 80, and 82 yards.

by dryheat :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 10:06am

It was definitely efficient. I reminded me of those vintage Jerome Bettis 11-6-4 stat lines.

If I'm not mistaken, at the half Sanchez had 29 yards passing with his 2 touchdowns.

by Biebs :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 10:49am

True, but statistically he did have a good 2nd half.

Obviously QBs have better stat lines on successful drives, but the split for Sanchez is really incredible.

On the Jets scoring drives, 15-20 155 Yards.
On the Jets non-scoring drives 2/15, 25 Yards 1INT.

by erniecohen :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 11:21am

Is that 11 carries for 6 yards and 4 TDs? I honestly cannot remember any lines like that. If he had 4 TDs, he would end up with a lot more than 11 carries as PIT tried to run out the clock.

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 11:30am

Here's an example of what dryheat means:


Bettis had 5 carries for 1 total yard and 3 touchdowns.

by dcaslin :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 1:10pm

That link to Kapp beating up Mosca (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrkEROiQsa8) at the end was fantastic! Imagine Matt Schaub 40 years from now trying to make up with a fat, crippled Haynesworth, Haynesworth telling him to stick it up his ass and hitting him with his cane and Schaub decking his fat ass off the back of the stage and then triumphantly yelling "SPORTSMANSHIP!"

by tunesmith :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 7:17pm

Best part of that is how the audience tries to start cheering early on but then immediately lapses into awkward silence.

by GlennW :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 3:59pm

Yes, and then one of the emcees retrieves Mosca from behind the stage curtain, settles him back into his chair and the event proceeds as if nothing had happened (except for Mosca grumbling "I don't care about Joe Kapp" when it's his turn to speak). Weird.

by dcaslin :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 9:02am

I feel like in the US there would have been a lot more cheering up front, followed by Kapp getting pepper sprayed and arrested.

The US is like the WWE to Canada's real life.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 2:09pm

Somewhere, Al Davis is having the last laugh about the most impactful draft anyone west of New England had in 2000.

Yes Lechler is amazing, Janikowski was a dumb pick for the first round no matter how well he kicks, you can get better value (hint, see below).

The team simple Peter might be thinking of was playing the bloody Raiders yesterday. In the 2000 draft the Bears got Brian Urlacher and Mike Brown with their first two picks. It is almost as though those two have had a bigger impact than a kicker and a punter. You don't have to look far Peter, just to the other side of the box score.

by Marko :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 2:39pm

Yeah, I had the same reaction. MMQB has such a short attention span. Whatever happened yesterday is the most important, awesomest, bestest thing ever! Since the Raiders won and Janikowski and Lechler played important roles, the Raiders had the most immpactful 2000 draft of any team other than New England. And this is a man who helps determine who makes the Hall of Fame. What a joke.

by tuluse :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 2:47pm

Just quickly looking at pfr's draft table sorted by approximate value, the Jets also had a great draft (John Abraham, Shaun Ellis, Chad Pennington, and Laveranues Coles), and the Packers got Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Na'il Diggs, and KGB.

by Biebs :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 4:46pm

Odd stat of the day, of the 7 of the 21 players left in the league from the 2000 draft (based on PFR) were from the first round, of those 7, 5 played for the Jets (admittedly, the Jets drafted 4 guys in the first round... Also, two former Jets I had no idea were still in the NFL, Anthony Becht and Jon McGraw

by dryheat :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 10:07am

I didn't know Becht was in the league either, until I saw him prevent his own running back from picking up a first down on Sunday.

by Floyd (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 2:13pm

"What's next? Black Veterans Day?"

About time you threw off the PC gloves, Pete!

by Mr Shush :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 3:00pm

Loathe as I am to hazard so casually my immortal soul, I would now be in favour of trying to bring He Who Sends Picture Messages of his Deathstick to Houston.

Kill me now.

Edit: King now says Rosenfels will be cut by the Dolphins, and the Texans will attempt to sign him. That might be the least bad option.

by bachslunch :: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 3:30pm

King's comments about the HoF Semi-finalists are certainly interesting. I'm flabbergasted that he doesn't seem to realize that Ray Guy is a Senior, as he lumps him in with Modell and Klecko. His thoughts re Jerry Kramer's not being in the HoF seem rather more cogent -- and I guess if one's going to argue from authority, that's about as good as it gets. I do like the idea that a lot of deserving players have never had their cases heard while Kramer has been a finalist 10 times without getting in, though -- while it doesn't exclude Kramer, it does make sense to give some other folks a fair shake as well.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 3:07am

"I'm not a big fan of passer rating, and there's no doubt the new ESPN rating system is a better way to measure the relative merits of a quarterback's total performance."

Full disclosure, I have paid little to no attention to ESPN's rating system other than, like, two weeks after it started, but I remember thinking "Wow, ESPN actually found a way to make Passer Rating look like a valid metric." when I read it. Has the QBR system worked out some bugs and started to resemble a meaningful reflection of reality, or is this quote just nonsense?

by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 2:19pm

It's based on how each play affects win probability. This means that in a blowout game, early plays by the winning quarterback have a disproportionate effect on the rating. For the same reason, in a close game, late plays in the fourth quarter have a disproportionate effect.

So I like that it's play-based, but don't like that much of the game can be largely irrelevant to QBR because of how the plays are weighted (by win probability). If you keep in mind what it's measuring, it's an interesting statistic.

by TV_Pete (not verified) :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 9:12am

Tebow is winning, but my real question is... how much better is the rest of the team (offensive line, running backs, defense) doing over the past 4-6 weeks? This is something that I think DVOA analysis can do better than most anything else: look beyond the one player and analysis of DVOA of Tebow vs. Orton.

Is this "believing in Tebow" or is it more of a question of not being in such terrible position? What is the average starting position "before Tebow" and "after Tebow?"

I like Timmy and am a Gators fan. I think he is a great man and good athlete, but his passing and complex decision-making still has a lot of room for growth.

by dryheat :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 10:09am

I think the answer lies in the number of points the Broncos defense has been yielding as of late.

by TV_Pete (not verified) :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 10:43am

Do Tebow and the new offense resemble the Baltimore Super Bowl philosophy? Just don't cause turnovers?

When and how did Denver's defense get better?

by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 7:38pm

With no real evidence to back it up, my gut reaction is to say that a few things have happened to make the defense better A) Elvis Dumervil is playing much, much better over the last three weeks. B) (And probably bearing a causal relationship to A)) Von Miller is getting a lot of attention from opposing offenses, opening things up for the rest of the front 7 a little. C) DJ Williams looks better than he has in probably 5 years, he is absolutely punishing players with heartwarming frequency. D) The Broncos now have enough healthy defensive tackles (none of whom are noticeably good) to have some sort of rotation, so that exhaustion is not piled onto inadequacy. E) Bafflingly, opposing offenses are insisting on passing against the Broncos, even while ahead, and in close and early situations. Which allows for the pass rush to be a factor, and masks the fact that the Broncos still have a very inconsistent rush defense, allowing over 5 yards a carry twice in the past three weeks.

All together, I have no idea what the root cause of the defense improving drastically would be. My instinct is to say that it's probably not sustainable, and that this is more in line with a hot streak than actually turning a corner towards becoming good.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 8:25pm

And after reading DVOA this week, it turns out that it's not even a hot streak, it's just a case of me not understanding what's actually going on?

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 5:08pm

It's simply this: DVOA is adjusted for opponent strength. That means that if you play weaker offenses (check) your results on defense will be much better despite only a modest DVOA improvement.

We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.