Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Oct 2008

2008 Quick Reads: Week 8

This week's Quick Reads details Matt Schaub's heroics on third down.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 27 Oct 2008

24 comments, Last at 28 Oct 2008, 6:42pm by Sheldon


by Mark (not verified) :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 6:46pm

Bill, Drew Brees had zero picks, not two picks as shown in Quick Reads.

by Darrel M (not verified) :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 9:30pm

Not only that, the "third pick" that was overturned was shockingly the right call. This is something the refs actually got right, unlike a bogus pass interference call on a chargers db in the end zone.

ps; captcha = life departure

by Joseph :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:04am

IIRC, Brees had another "pick" overturned by an official review at the end of the 1st half too. BTW, is the Charger D pulling down Brees' #s also, or is it just the 2 picks that don't exist? I thought he would be #1--although it looks like Schaub had a pretty great day.

by mwhawkins (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 9:00am

It was pretty clear. Weddle definately let that ball hit the ground.

I watched that game and clearly remember that Brees threw no interceptions, yet you still made me go back and check Drew's stats. He had zero picks.

by Sean D. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:08pm

So it's a day later and no update on the Brees numbers. I guess Quick Reads will never tell us who had the better day, Rivers or Brees.

by Telamon :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 7:18pm

So does Santana Moss make the list if you include special teams plays?

by D :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 7:28pm

I don't want to sound like a jerk and I love what you guys do, but this article seems like it was pretty hastily thrown together (the Drew Brees int issue is just the most obvious example of this). I know you must be busy and this may be tedious to write every week but I think you can do a little better.
Just some (hopefully) constructive criticism.

by Eddo :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 7:32pm

Stupid question:
Are the "worst" RB and WR the actual worst, or just the most notable bad score? I ask this because there's a "1." in front of McGahee's name, but a "5." in front of Muhammad's. Is that just a formatting error, or does it indeed indicate that Muhammad was only the fifth worst WR this weekend?

by jonnyblazin :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 7:47pm

I noticed that Flacco's total DYAR is equal to his rushing + passing DYAR, but he also caught a 43 yard pass (100% catch rate!), shouldn't that be included in total DYAR?

by MJK :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 8:02pm

I'm surprised Cassel graded out so poorly. This was one of his best games yet. I expected him to be league average. I guess the two INTs weigh down his DYAR.

Interesting example, perhaps, of how a couple of "non-predictive" events skey a guy's numbers. If you assume Moss holds on to the perfect 20+ yard TD pass that he dropped when wide open (forcing the Pats to eventually kick a FG rather than get a TD), and take away one, or both of Cassel's INTs (neither of which was completely Cassel's fault, and one of which he was completely blameless for), I wonder what his DYAR looks like...

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:07pm

A lot of it is probably the Rams adjustment. We're not really sure at this point whether they're "worst team ever" or "team that beat the cowboys and redskins". We're not sure who the real rams are. I think they're somewhere in between. I wonder what Cassell's VOA was?

As to weird statistical quirks, I like that Boldin has 76 "Yards above Replacement" while only having 63 actual yards. So what, the replacement player gets -13 yards on 12 passes in those situations?

Any idea where Faulk graded out?

by Eddo :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:10pm

As to weird statistical quirks, I like that Boldin has 76 "Yards above Replacement" while only having 63 actual yards. So what, the replacement player gets -13 yards on 12 passes in those situations?
I'm under the impression that you would look at Effective Yards here; a replacement player would have had 139 Effective Yards (Boldin had 215) on those 12 passes.

by sam :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 8:06pm

People in Jax are complaining about Garrard's performance, about how he's not worth the money, how we'll "never" win with this guy. Seems to me he's the only thing that went right yesterday.
sam! or the original sam from the old FO

by George A. Brownfield (not verified) :: Mon, 10/27/2008 - 9:02pm

Yes Big Ben had a terrible 4th quarter - I agree. Yes maybe if the 5th string they had in the game thanks to Santonio "Bong from Tommy Chong" Holmes being out receiver holds on to a pass or two or if the line could make a running back hole like they did in the first three quarters in the fourth quarter maybe the Steelers don't go 1 for 10 on third down. All props to the Giants for a great scheme and great execution - no receivers were getting open and Ben was not getting rid of the ball and resetting on the next down.

But when they run that "ties/comebacks in the 4th quarter" stat, Big Ben still has like 21 of them in 4 1/2 seasons - seems like there is something to that "in the clutch" idea.

by Mystyc :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:27am

Yeah, that seemed like a pretty cheap shot. Let's see Roethlisberger's lifetime DVOA in late-and-close situations, how about, instead of cherry-picking the guy's worst four-minute stretch. Who could ever look good in such a comparison? What's weird is the part of the comment saying "we don't believe in this, but if you do, boy does this guy suck at it!"

by zlionsfan :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:07pm

I'm not sure the shot was at Ben as much as it was at clutchiness. That would most certainly be the idea behind the last sentence ...

"Comebacks" statistics are kind of silly anyway. Binary stats aren't too good to begin with; neither are any kind of "won-loss" stats in any team sport. But something like fourth-quarter comebacks (now why would a tied game count? how is that a comeback?) is going to be odd if for no other reason than that Aaron Rodgers and Gus Frerotte are the proud "owners" of comebacks this season against the Lions.

by Anonymouss (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:11am

Or maybe the Steelers defense keeps them in the game long enough for the offense to stop screwing around.

by Jerry :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:40am

Technical question: Two of Roethlisberger's interceptions were on 4th down and actually left the Giants in worse field position than they'd have had with an incompletion. (Granted that field position didn't matter on the last one.) Do those interceptions still count as worse than incompletions?

by Mystyc :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:29am

Also, is there any adjustment for interceptions that are dropped into a defender's hands by your receiver after he makes the catch?

by George A. Brownfield (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 8:19am

Mystyc - brilliant! ;-)

Many props to the Steelers defense for keeping the team in the game - and many props to the Giants Offensive Line for keeping Eli Manning clean - even if they can't run block against the Steelers ;-)

by are-tee :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 11:21am

"Although Pennington has significantly fewer weapons at his disposal, he has ranked ahead of Brett Favre every single time each has played on Sunday"

But he hasn't had nearly as much fun as Brett doing it.

by Saints Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:29pm

BILL? Are you still recovering from your Star Caps overdose? Boy, even ESPN hired help can be duped by these over-the-counter pills. I think they were spiked to dilute the brain of writers so that the truth is difficult to find. FIX YOUR ERROR! Brees had "0" Int's!

by putnamp (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:28pm

Just curious but what were Leonard Weaver's numbers for the week?

by Sheldon (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 6:42pm

Bill's quick read columns have had various errors in them all year long. Its a bit disappointing. I miss Aaron's columns from last year.