Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Oct 2006

2006 Quick Reads: Week 7

Here's our weekly look at the best and worst players according to our DPAR statistics. Joey Harrington, despite over 400 passing yards, is not at the top of the list. This week I also give Damon Huard his props, but preach caution regarding Michael Vick, Tony Gonzalez, and Leon Washington.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 23 Oct 2006

51 comments, Last at 26 Oct 2006, 1:24am by Pat


by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:30pm

Aaron, did you also notice that the Falcons' radio announcer calls Crumpler "Algernon"?

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:43pm

Charlie Batch still has to beat Damon Huard.

Also, I'm going to repeat this often... Trent Green to Redskins in 2007.

Brunell at 14? I wonder what it would look like without the last drive (you know, because having Thrash and Betts in does indicate "garbage time").

I don't know how Brad Johnson is ranked over the season, but his play seems to be a bit higher than mere "replacement level".

Ahnyung Ahsaeyo to the real Hines Ward

Hooray for Furious Furrey!

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:46pm

What Sergio said about the Miami O-line and Ronnie Brown shone through on Sunday. It seemed like virtually all of Brown's positive yardage came on Dunn-like runs where he was able when he was able to avoid potential tacklers and go forward.

Everybody who had Brett Favre(!) as the QB with the 4th highest rush DPAR total on Sunday, raise your hand. How much of that 0.9 came on his 14 yard scramble?

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:46pm

Re: 1

That's because his full name actually is Algernon.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:50pm

FYI Matthew:

14-B.Johnson MIN 10.2 DPAR (ranked 20th), -1.2% DVOA (ranked 22nd)

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:51pm

Brunell at 14? I wonder what it would look like without the last drive (you know, because having Thrash and Betts in does indicate “garbage time�).

Wasn't that because Moss and Portis were injured?

Then again, when Thrash is your "backup Santana Moss" - my God, you have no depth.

by Doug Farrar (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 5:53pm

Re: #1 - Even better...his brother's name is Carlester, and he played in the NFL, too.

by navin (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:19pm

I think Carlester's name comes from combined Carl and Lester into one name (from his dad?).

Another good one is Craphonso Thorpe, another combination first name. I can't remember where the Crap comes from, but the other half is Alfonso.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:19pm

I would think that Vick was closer to "Algernon" or even more to the point, "charly" (oblique shoutout, perhaps, but those who get it should appreciate it).

by krugerindustrialsmoothing (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:30pm

Isn't it time to name the least valuable RB the Edgerrin James award?

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:31pm

4: I'm well aware of that. But during the radio "highlights", it became rather humorous to hear Wes Durham saying, "Touchdown! Al-ger-non!"

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:33pm

Oh, on the name thing, the best name story that I've heard was how Anfernee Hardaway become "Anfernee" and not "Anthony". The story goes that his mother told them to name him "Anfernee", and when the nurse corrected her and said, "don't you mean 'Anthony'?", she was like, "No, it's 'Anfernee'." Bizarre.

by David (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:36pm

If there's been no change in Galloway's catch percentage from Simms to Gradkowski, doesn't that imply it's his fault more than the QB's?

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:42pm

Re #13
Alternatively, Chris Simms was performing just as well as you'd expect a rookie 6th round pick to play, the offense is way too complicated and totally stupid, Gruden is good at destroying young quarterbacks' fragile confidence levels, and Carnell Williams can't carry the team on his back all year.

But I won't say any of those things because I'm scared Gruden will suddenly morph into Chucky and come after me.

Re #9
Given the "Give the man some flowers" comment, I don't think it's particularly oblique.

by MJK (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:44pm

I thought the problem with Marcellus Wallace was that he *looked* like a bitch.

by Nuk (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:47pm

I'm going to need the Walter comment ("Broken clocks, twelve, blind squirrels, nuts, and so on.") explained to me.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:50pm


I guess it is oblique, since I was complimenting Aaron.

by Jake (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:50pm

Speaking of the Falcons, Warrick Dunn looked blind or concussed in the 2nd half of Sunday's game. He kept running into lineman with his head down, and then Norwood came in and ran well.

by Yaxley (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 6:52pm

Re 16: Broken clocks are correct twice a day, occasionally a blind squirrel will find a nut, and even Andrew Walter can crack the top 10 in DPAR. These things happen.

by johnnyxel (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 7:07pm

12: Other pro basketballers with wierd spellings: Antawn Jamison, typo on the birth certificate kept because it made him more unique. Dwyane Wade inherited his misspelled first name from his father. For real name entertainment, check out the latter parts of Freakanomics, which includes the story of brothers named "Winner" and "Loser", and a name pronounced shateed, but spelled like a word that would probably not make it through the filter.

by johnnyxel (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 7:50pm

Welcome to 2006. Jerious Norwood is quite possibly a monster. In just 38 carries, he'd be 8th among running backs at rushing DPAR (he's been two carries short of being on the upper list for the last two weeks). His rushing DVOA is actually higher than Vick's (which is highest among all players with 40 or more runs).
Warrick Dunn has had an awful year, despite being third in rushing yards (fourth if Tiki Barber gets 44 yards tonight). He has 84 more carries, and is behind Norwood by 2.5 in DPAR, and 5.1 in PAR. His DVOA has fallen 23 points to -1.2% (19th), compared to DVOA +21.8% (5th) last year. Most crucially, his success rate is down from 46% to 37%, which may have something to do with running more often in short yardage situations (Duckett, much better suited to short yardage rushing had a 39% success rate last year).

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 7:57pm

Maybe Dunn's dropoff has been a result of the Texas Option. IIRC, Vick has a couple of reads at the snap- if they're not open he'll hand it to Dunn. Running a lot of these "last resort" carries probably depresses his numbers. I'm not sure about this, but it sounds like a perfectly cromulent explanation.

by JSR (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 8:08pm

Seahawks originally considered signing his cousin Marcellus, but apparently he has a history with head injuries.

Awesome. XD

Unfortunately he would be an appropriate fit for the Seahawks right now, after taking it in the shorts yesterday.

by Kachunk (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 8:22pm

"I've seen guys with bits of turf stuck in their helmets, but this is the first time I've actually seen a player with bits of turf stuck in his forehead."

In sports other than football it's absurdly common. Those little black crumbs are insidious. They get in your hair, in your socks, down your pants, and, as you saw, they stick to any part of your body that's remotely sweaty.

On a new field the little "grass" blades come out too and they stick to almost everything as well.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 8:25pm

OUTSTANDING Pulp Fiction reference, thanks. The great thing about Marcellus Wallace at QB is that when he's hurt, the trainers run out to the field (or down to the dungeon) and ask him if he's okay and every time it's the same old thing: "No. I'm pretty f%$#ing far from okay."

Interesting note about the QB dropoffs for NE, Ind, and Sea.

Hey Joe Addai, welcome to the big-time. Please stay around a while.

Monster catch by Crumpler in OT and I've never really gotten to see the guy so many talk about, so it's good to see him rewarded, but what does Reggie Wayne have to do to make the list? Hunh? Ex-lax in Marvin's Gatorade? That might not be wise....

by Jake (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 8:35pm

Denver LT Lepsis out for the year. This could be the start of a corollary to the "anyone can run in Denver": anyone can run block in Denver.

by Duff Soviet Union (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 9:37pm

Roethlisberger and Batch had a combined 22.8DPAR. Is that the highest mark by one team's QB's in a game this year? How the hell did the Steelers lose that game?

by calig23 (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 9:48pm

Also, I’m going to repeat this often… Trent Green to Redskins in 2007.

That would be an interesting case of coming full circle, wouldn't it?

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 10:13pm

Re #2 - what if its Damon Huard to the Redskins in 2007? Oh never mind, Collins already has the "career back-up who knows the playbook" role locked up.

I really doubted Shanahan was going to pull Plummer for Cutler before; now, with a backup LT, I'm really sure he's not going to.

by Jay B. (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 11:06pm

By far the worst game of the season for McNabb, and he's still a 4.0 DPAR.

He's having an amazing season, pre-halftime gaffe notwithstanding.

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 10/23/2006 - 11:43pm

Jay: It's almost all rushing, and that sounds pretty correct to me. His passing was pretty average - it's damn hard to come back from 3 interceptions. But his rushing was stellar. It's like in the second half, McNabb decided "I am not going to give this game away."

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 12:29am


Poor special teams and defense?

by johnnyxel (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 12:31am

22: That too, but I still think his insistence on trying to get the short yardage is part of it, and part of the trouble in the red zone.

by Jay B. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 12:45am

Pat, I realize that. But that's pretty impressive to come back from throwing three picks and wind up positive in throwing DPAR (albeit just barely).

By the way, I wonder what the highest DVOA (as opposed to DPAR) for RBs was? Westbrook was absolutely incredible yesterday, but with only 20 total touches, he didn't have enough chances to really pile up the DPAR.

by emcee fleshy (ATL) (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 12:57am

I officially never defending Vick's passing again. Because he always seems better after the press really gets under his skin.

Maybe we can get Terry Bradshaw to kick Mike in the balls every week. SuperBowl!

Plan B -abduct Greg Knapp and mail him to Tehran wrapped in ham.

(Mike, you suck!)

by Kevo (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 4:42am

I wonder what McNabb's passing DPAR would have been if Westbrook was tackled by Derrick Brooks short of a first down, instead of breaking that and four other tackles en route the go-ahead TD.

by James, London (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 8:15am

Re #20

My favourite (possibly apochryphal) names from "Freakonomics", are the Brothers, OrangeJello and LemonJello.

Speaking of Lemon, is it time for Cleo yet?

by Ilanin (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 8:18am

27, 32, et al:

More to do with the Steelers' three fumbles in Pittsburgh territory all recovered by Atalanta and all turned into touchdowns by the ATL offense making the best of the short field. (Though the poor running performance by the Steelers didn't help) VOA will think Pittsburgh won the game, I suspect.

The 22.8 DPAR performance from Roethlisberger and Batch was needed just to keep up with the points being fumbled away.

by Kalyan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 9:05am

Andy Reid & McNabb needs to understand that when you have under 10 seconds and you have not had a great day, go for the field goal for 3 points is better than none or (-7!). The missed opportunity of a FG this week was the third i remember since last season (a shocker was the one from last year against the chargers!)

I wish reid would take some time management courses.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 9:57am

Re: 20

The site doesn't have a profanity filter.

I was going to bring up the same name as you did. But the way I heard it the name was pronounced Shetheed, but spelled Shithead. Can you imagine being that kind's kindergarden teacher trying to stumble through the year's first role-call?!?

by JasonK (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 10:05am

So, any chance that we can see the DPAR comparison for Bledsoe/Romo? Maybe a blog post or something?

by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 11:30am

My favorite is still "Carlvosier Smith."

by Jeremy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 11:32am

Madden players: when playing as the Eagles, pull the right analog stick downwards during pre-snap adjustments to barf on the field.

Freaking classic.

by tmac (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 12:35pm

Chuck Muncie and Nelson Munsey are brothers.Nervous parents misspelled Chuck's last name on birth certificate.

by turbohapy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 12:40pm

Glad that there is enough data now to show what most Colts fans knew coming into the season - Dominic Rhodes isn't very good. After his rookie season, he had one good game in 3 years ('04 against the Chargers, where he ran like his ass was on fire).

by mshray63 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 1:14pm

Props on the Pulp Fiction reference, and even more props on the Daniel Keyes reference.

by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 3:39pm

45: I know. I can't count how many times people told me we'd be fine with Rhodes. Uhh.. I happened to watch every game that year.

3rd and 1? Don't even think he's getting the yardage.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 10/24/2006 - 7:53pm

Not sure what happened to Rhodes. Even in his rookie year, it seemed to me he just got his 1,104 yards because the D's all knew Manning was the only threat (wasn't that Marvin's psycho 143 year?) and so played like six guys on Harrison.

Still, his game vs KC when Edge got hurt is a classic: IIRC, 88 yd TD run (right up the gut) and then shortly after Edge went down, a similar run from scrimmage. Maybe everybody's replaying that in their minds when they tout him.

Still, he's been a good team player and a reliable backup. (Part of his value is still that 1,104 yard season--the D still has to respect the run somewhat when he's in. Less than for Edge/Joe, but still, you can't totally ignore a 1,000 yard rusher who is not over the hill).

And Irsay's paying him well, so they must see something we don't. If he keeps Addai from wearing down this year and next, say 250-300 carries for JA and 100-150 for DR, it'll be worth it. Remember, JA never played a full season as a featured back in college, so the NFL rookie wall would hit him even harder than most rookies if he was in the full Edge workload role. And Indy cannot afford that come January/February.

by theory (not verified) :: Wed, 10/25/2006 - 3:19pm

#8 - Craphonso = Craig + Alphonso

On another topic, is Damon Huard really this good? Will he be the Chief's uncontested starter once Green leaves? If Huard were to go elsewhere, could he continue to be this good (not having LJ and the KC system anymore)?

by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/25/2006 - 4:58pm

Kalyan #39:

In a rare occasion of throwing a player under the bus, Andy Reid mentioned in his press conference that during the timeout before the throw short of the endzone, he emphasized that any throws needed to be into the endzone or out of bounds.

Andy Reid wasn't the one with time management problems there. Stop with the obnoxious Angelo Cataldi talking points already.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/26/2006 - 1:24am

Andy Reid wasn’t the one with time management problems there.

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I can't not blame Andy for that. Unless he didn't tell McNabb the same thing the other 4 times it's happened, he knows that regardless of what he tells him, McNabb's instincts will take over, and he'll hit the open receiver short of the end zone.

So either 1) don't have a receiver running a route short of the end zone, or 2) just kick the field goal.

Yeah, if you don't have LJ on a clear route there, maybe it's less likely that you'll get a touchdown. So what. Past record says that the chance of getting a touchdown is zero, so you can't get any lower than that.

It's Andy's fault. It's a coach's job to call a gameplan to a player's strengths and weaknesses. McNabb can't not hit the open guy. Darn, what a horrid weakness. Instead, we might have to drive the length of the field in 45 seconds and only get 3 more points than basically every other team in the league would get.

The whole situation just reeks of complete arrogance by Reid. Yes, in a perfect world, McNabb could avoid that throw. And in a perfect world, Bledsoe wouldn't get sacked, Owens wouldn't drop balls, and Pinkston wouldn't've short armed passes across the middle. McNabb's weakness is so much more minor than other players, and Reid just completely refuses to avoid it. That's just stupid.