Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Dec 2007

2007 Quick Reads: Week 14

This week, Tom Brady puts up one of the top 10 quarterback games since 1996 -- to go with the three other games he's had this year which rank in the top 10 quarterback games since 1996. Oh, and he passes Peyton Manning to set the all-time single-season record for passing DPAR, with three games to go. Just another day at the office for the 2007 Patriots.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 10 Dec 2007

71 comments, Last at 14 Dec 2007, 4:54pm by Alex


by putnamp (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 10:11pm

Jerheme Urban was jettisoned from the Seahawks WR squad, so his failure to stick with a team shouldn't be held against him. He was good in Seattle, just not as good as Hackett, and wasn't likely to replace any of the seasoned veteran starters.

by Chris M (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 10:17pm

The numbers for Rivers don't add up: First three quarters, -7.4; fourth and OT, 9.3 - should equal 1.9 passing DPAR, and he is listed as having 1.3.

by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 10:23pm

Wow, Peterson really is the next Barry Sanders: a spectacular runner who makes so many mind-blowing, amazing plays that his inconsistency can pretty much be overlooked. Of course, Barry Sanders never had Peterson's injury problems.
Peterson's day made me think of Sanders in the playoffs against GB. Then again, maybe we can blame this on his injury...

by Trieu (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 10:26pm

It's strange that Welker's 9/78 scored a higher DPAR than Jabar Gaffney's 7/122. Even if you take away the 56-yard two-lateral bomb, Gaffney still would have averaged 10 yards per reception, higher than Welker's 8.7 per.

by Jim (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 10:36pm

I just had a chat with my Year 2000 self, and I mentioned that the two best receiving seasons in the next 7 years would belong to Randy Moss and Terrell Owens (I'm assuming he'll pass Harrison too). His response was "Well, duh."

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 10:50pm

#5 - Clever, did you come up with that yourself? (Sorry, I don't mean to sound so patronizing. I really do think it was clever, but unsolicited as it was, it just sounds like something you must have heard your local sports radio personality say, and then repeated it here...)

Kurt Warner's DPAR looks pretty high to me for a 5 INT afternoon. One of them was completely inconsequential, on a hail mary, so I have no problem with it being considered a 4 INT afternoon, and he really didn't play all that bad, looked pretty decent, but still...not THAT decent. Is it because of the Seahawks' pass defense, that his number there stays positive?

by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 11:04pm

Yes, as a Seahawks fan I was very sad to see Urban and also Ryan Hannam go. Particularly with how depth at TE is non-existant, and depth at WR has been seriously tested this year. I think Ben Obomanu may be decent eventually, but it would have been very very nice to have Urban there as an option instead. As a Seahawks fan, it wasn't random at all to see, he was who I was worried about as I watched the players warm up in the stands.

by Tally (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 11:06pm

Re 4: Probably Welker had more drive-sustaining first downs. At least, from what I recalled.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 11:50pm

No, Staubach, Peterson's day can mostly be attributed to nine defenders doing nothing but shadow him when he was on the field. It allows the Vikings pass offense to look competent.

by Jim (not verified) :: Mon, 12/10/2007 - 11:55pm

Re: 6

It's all mine. And, uh, I guess I'll take that as a compliment.

by Purds (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 12:04am

Looking at the Brady and Manning numbers this week, I am struck at how much DPAR favors quantity in addition to quality. They both were awesome, and yet the final tally has Brady some 20% higher in DPAR, largely because Brady continued to excel in a relatively tight game, and Manning sat ina blowout.

So, I am curious how Brady's season stacks up in terms of "percentage/quality of greatness" (is that what DVOA measures?) versus "quality x production" which DPAR apparently judges. Brady's numbers in DVOA must be pretty darn good. Are they Top-10 in pure quality, with gross production removed from the equation? (Of course, you have to take out anyone who doesn't have a certain number of attempts)

I guess I am looking for Brady's batting average and where it places him in the past decade, as I think of DPAR as hit/homer/RBI totals.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 12:06am

4 Just looked at the game. Gaffney had 2 incompletes, but every single other one of his other plays was a "success"

9 on 2nd and 10
32 on 1st and 10
INC on 2nd and 16
56T on 1st and 10
13 on 1st and 10
3 on 1st and 5 (from Pitt 5)
6 on 1st and 10
3 on 2nd and 4
INC on 1st and 10

I can't see how his DPAR wasn't in the top 10...thats a heck of a game... unless the 56T totally didn't count.

by kamiyu206 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 12:24am


Yes, that's what DVOA measures. And Brady is darn good on that part, too.

by Al (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 12:43am

There were 13 quarterbacks less valuable than Andrew Walter this week!?!?! How are Drew Bledsoe and Jake Plummer still sitting at home on their couches?

by zulu (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 12:48am


I may be wrong, but I'd imagine DVOA is more analogous to OPS+, VORP, or RC/27 than AVG, and DPAR is more like RC (runs created) than hits/HR/RBI.

by Temo (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 1:11am

13. They've both been asked by several teams and they both declined.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 1:11am

Speaking of DPAR as a counting stat, not a rate stat, how bad did Beck's DVOA have to be to get -4.7 DPAR in only 5 plays.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 1:24am

11: Brady's DVOA is in the sixties. Some other guy managed that in 2004, and he's the only other guy to have done that.

by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 2:53am

Thanks, Will. I didn't see the game (just the box score), but I was absolutely shocked to see Peterson's numbers. Of course that explanation strengthens the Barry Sanders comparison.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 3:07am

Well, I just don't see that many similarities between Peterson and Sanders, other than they both are/were talented. As far as Peterson being inconsistent, this was his first game in which he did not have an excellent average yards per touch, so unless anything less than 100% similar results means inconsistency, I just don't see it yet. I don't even know if Sanders was inconsistent, especially once one factors his surrounding teammates.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 3:15am

I will say this regarding Peterson. If the Vikings are to extend his productive career farther than six years, they have to get some receivers who can better threaten a secondary. It'll be a shame if he gets bludgeoned into a shortened career because the Vikings don't have anybody who can keep people away from the line of scrimmage. Jackson showed some promise yesterday of moving in the right direction. If he can produce 13 points with his arm in a half against a GOOD defense, and not just the 49ers, which sells out completely to stop Peterson, then I will be more optimistic.

by david (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 3:16am

I absolutely must stop reading the Fox comments. I think my brain is bleeding. But in any case, good showing for the Broncos on Quick Hits this week. Now if only we could somehow go back in time and put this week's Broncos team in for the last half of the fourth quarter of the Bears game... Grumble grumble.

by david (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 3:18am

See? Fox comments make me stupid. Quick Reads, not Quick Hits.

by DP (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 4:32am

From the chart of top 10 QB games since 1996:

Boomer Esiason 1996 13 PHI 22.9 24-of-43, 367 yards, 3 TD, 32 rush yards.

These numbers don't seem historically amazing at a glance. What am I missing?

by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 4:38am

Will, a quote from Aaron Schatz may sum up what I'm trying to say better than I can:
"A common historical misconception is that our preference for consistent running backs means that 'Football Outsiders believes that Barry Sanders was overrated.' Sanders wasn't just any boom-and-bust running back, though; he was the greatest boom-and-bust runner of all time, with bigger booms and fewer busts."
I was suggesting that that statement may one day apply to Peterson as well, but I admit that I haven't watched enough Vikings games to come to such a conclusion yet.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:06am

24: Philly was a top pass defense that year.

Other than that, I'm guessing that it was just one of those games where all his completions got just the right amount of yardage.

Some quarterbacks definitely do this more than others. For example, Manning just passed Romo in DPAR even though his conventional stats are inferior to Romo's in every way. Romo's conventional stats are absurdly gaudy, but other great quarterbacks can be just as efficient without looking like it in the box scores. Maybe Boomer was one of those guys.

by tunesmith (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:54am

whew! Real nice to see Denver get in the top five of all three categories. Indianapolis did too, but Denver did slightly better.

by Kulko (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 8:31am

20: Inconsistency in a running Back like FO is using it, means he has a lot of Good and Bad runs (long TDs and Stuffs). That gives you good conventional stats (ypg) but is not as valuable as running your average 4 ypc on every carrie.

When you are a mediocre inconsistent runner, that often means your results are inconsistent from game to game too, because each time you fail to get the 2 or 3 long ones, you stats are totally screwed.

But with Sanders (and apparently peterson) the probability of the real good plays is so high that it outweighs the Stuffs and the overall result is good in almost every game. Still there running style is different to LT or such.

by Dom (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 9:58am

Between this thread and Audibles, I almost think it's time to start an irrational Welker/Gaffney discussion thread...

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 10:38am

Okay, how long before there is a QB controversy in Houston? Schaub hasn't been bad this year, but Rosenfels has been surprisingly good.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 11:25am

Any nickname which is much longer and infinitely harder to spell than the quarterback's actual name is doomed to fail. I think you need to go with the spin doctor or DJ angle. Wolfman Jack? Nick Naylor? Kasey Kasem?

by Fan in Exile (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 11:49am

As a Broncos fan it warms my heart to see Cutler, Young, and Marshall on the list.

I was also cheered to see Lelie make the list as well. It's good when a guy is recognized for his work, even if it isn't on your team.

by MDZ (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 12:29pm

I'm curious to see how Peterson runs in 3 or 4 years. I think that part of the boom and bust results of his running this year is due to the Vikings Pass O. Defenses can put 8 men in the box. This gives the D a better chance to make a stuff, but it's riskier because if he gets past the first level then he often only needs to beat one DB to get in the clear for a TD. If the Vikings develop a passing game that earns the respect of a defense I think his stuffs will go down, but so will his long runs since more defenders will be at the second level. In that case his O-line would get a better push and he'd probably get a ton of 4-7 yard carries with the occasional 20+ yard run.

by Dodd (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 2:20pm

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd be interested in a breakdown as to why Trent Edwards's Trent Edwards statline (11/23 165 4) only equates to 3.6 DPAR. Is it all down to Miami's dreadful DEF?

by Temo (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 2:49pm

Edwards completes less than 50% of his passes for 165 yards and you wonder why he doesn't get much credit for it?

by ZasZ (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 2:50pm


To build on what 26 said, I remember a few years ago when Aaron came up with a list of the greatest games by a QB ever. Kurt Warner was in there somewhere, in a game where he had about 250 yards and no touchdowns. Aaron explained that Warner basically moved the ball, consistently in 12-15 yards chunks, up to the 1-2-3 yard line, then handed off to Faulk who ran it in for the touchdown.

It was the ultimate example of "regular stats don't tell the whole story".

by Strongbad (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:49pm

Where do I go to view the Fox comments? I hear they're pretty ridiculous and I could use a good laugh.

by John (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:57pm

Everyone on FO, promise yourselves now that our comments will NEVER EVER look like the Fox comments.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 6:59pm

Where do I go to view the Fox comments?
Follow the link to the article on Fox, and scroll down.

by Strongbad (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 7:36pm

#39: There is nothing at the bottom of the article on Fox, just the DPAR explanation and thats it. Is there an option I need to turn on etc?

by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 7:46pm

have you scrolled down ALL the way? There is quite a bit of empty space between the DPAR explanation and the comments.

by Strongbad (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 7:51pm

41: yeah, there is some gray space and thats it. The page doesn't go down any further. I must seem like a moron, but I do know how to use the internet fairly well. Maybe there is some kind of glitch or something (I have never been able to see any Fox comments).

by Adam B (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 7:55pm

[The Esiason] numbers don’t seem historically amazing at a glance. What am I missing?

Perhaps the most frustrating regular-season road loss for the Eagles I can remember.

Eagles, down 29-20 with 2:45 to go, return a kickoff for a TD (Derrick Witherspoon), recover the ensuing onside kick, get a field goal with 0:52 to go to take a 30-29 lead ... and Esiason, with no timeouts, led the Cardinals back 66y for the winning td.

Esiason went 13-16 in the fourth quarter for 180y and 3tds.

by Richard (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 8:49pm

42: Not being able to see the Fox comments probably doesn't deserve to be characterized as a glitch.

by Tom (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 8:54pm

Are you giving it time to load? It takes a few seconds after the rest of the page loads for the comments to show for me.

Also, you may want to try a different browser.

by Waverly (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 8:58pm

Re: seeing Fox comments

You need to turn on JavaScript, if you are using Firefox and NoScript.

I didn't realize what I was missing.

by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 10:06pm

38: Obviously you haven't read any Patriots-related threads here lately.

by Josh (not verified) :: Tue, 12/11/2007 - 11:17pm

We really need a FOX comments section for TWIQ.

Like this gem of a comment:

This year we have shown that if you come to Foxboro, you will get torched, badly!!

Moss is great in the Cold..
He did crazy work in Minn, remember??

by sippican (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 1:09am

Aaron- Why does The chart on Fox say Brady had 3 touchdowns on Sunday? Am I missing something?

by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 5:36am

Hi folks, time for my 4th (5th?) annual "the system is broken!" post. (this year it's just in jest)

Now I love Joe Addai. I wear a 29 jersey on Sundays. But the system over-weights TDs if he is second this week. Yes, he got three TDs, and yes, he had about 4 decent runs. But running against the Ravens was nigh impossible and his trad stats show it. A series of 2 yard gains every 1st down (or so it seemed) will not make DCs quiver. If he had another 30 minutes of playing time (since he had just one touch in the second half), do we really think he'd have another 32 rush yards (yes) and 3 TDs (no). Oh well. Time to rest him for the playoffs. Then again, over his last five games he's averaged just 17 carries, so maybe he IS fresh. Of course he's logged 236 carries in 12 games so far compared to 226 all of last year. Rest the wheels, man, rest the wheels.

Of course for some reason the Ravens chose to stonewall Addai and dare whatshisface to beat them through the air. Which he apparently did, before retiring halfway through the 3rd qtr. (I won't even think about drawing parallels to NE.)

Speaking of the hot passing game, welcome to the big time, Mister Gonzalez. If Marvin Harrison and Ryan Diem get healthy for the playoffs, an Indy/NE AFCCG might just end up with 1,000 yards of offense despite two top-5 defenses. Not likely, but if it happened, would anybody be stunned?

by The Broilermaster (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 7:53am

Re:"Moss is great in the Cold..
He did crazy work in Minn, remember??"

I've heard, though never experienced, that the central heating & air system in that dome is lousy.

Though to be charitable, Moss@Minn did mean Moss@Chicago and Moss@GreenBay every year.

by Stuart Fraser :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 11:04am

12 - I can see how the 56T might not have counted (I don't know and haven't asked, don't take this as authoritative just because it's in red). Fumble recoveries and returns are random, right? So the system discounts the play because it came off a fumble recovery. This is kind of unfair to Gaffney, but that's where being systematic gets you.

by sam (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 11:50am


It's Addai's receiving that put him up so high - his rushing DPAR was only 2.1 which wouldn't have put him near the top 5.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 11:54am

I don't hate myself nearly enough to read through the Fox comments, but please tell me that someone completely missed the sarcasm in the Brandon Marshall commentary.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 1:03pm

". I think they could lose this week, or next, or against the Giants, or ESPECIALLY in the playoffs against Indy or Dallas."

You do realize, that they beat dallas, and pittsburgh by 20+ points, right? They ARE that good.

Yeah, they could lose, but it would be a huge upset.

NE losing to NYG would be as big of an upset as NYG losing to SF

by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 1:16pm

Does anybody have the patience to go through the Fox comments to find out how many people took the Brandon Marshall comment literally?

by Athelas (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 1:53pm

I watch the Patriots every week, but are they REALLY that good (60% DVOA, 58% WEI)? I mean, they don't blow me away to that point. I think they could lose this week, or next, or against the Giants, or ESPECIALLY in the playoffs against Indy or Dallas.
Do I see too many of their flaws and not enough of the flaws of the 99 Rams?

by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:12pm

Athelas - I think the major difference between these Patriots and the '99 Rams (or better, the '01 Rams) is that BB has proven he is competent at adjusting to opponents' strengths and weaknesses, whereas Mike Martz, if anything, has proven the opposite. In some of the games earlier this year (e.g. the first Buffalo game, Cincinnati, Cleveland), the Patriots showed that if a defense sits back in a dime set, they are more than willing to run the ball, and run it effectively.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:30pm

#58 Sad, but too true. Coaching matters.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:41pm

Re: 50 / 53

Baltimore's 3rd ranked rush defense probably didn't hurt his numbers, either. Remember Quick Reads is DPAR, not just PAR.

by MP (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:48pm

"From henceforth" is redundant. "Henceforth" means "from now on", so you don't need "from" in front of it.

by Athelas (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:53pm

What are you referring to? Or am I stuck in FO limbo where my post goes from #54 to 55 and finally to 57? Things are strange around here right now.

by AlexDL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 2:55pm

It may be my masochistic nature, but I've been trying to slog through the FOXmb, for some golden nuggets of wisdom. (where is DVOA? you have an obligation to feed our addiction for stats and charts and rankings, you know? I hope Aaron is okay.)

What I noticed: There have been no comments on there addressing DVOA, statistics, football plays or any other topic that really relates to the majority of discussions on this board.
Can anyone come up with a simple term that can be called on when the discussion denigrates to FOXmb levels?
foxing it up?
you foxed up?.....?

I'm not sure why, but this has been my favorite so far from the FOXmb:

"wow wow wow

A dallas fan talking about:

Arrogance and lowclass. You should look at the mirror."

...I don't now why looking at the mirror would give anyone any insite? maybe it's a zen thing.

by Sam Larson (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 6:24pm

5 of the top 10 QB games of all time were by QBs throwing to Moss. Here is how he did in those games:
2007 vs. Mia: 4-122 2td
2007 vs. Pit: 7-135 2td
2007 vs. Buf: 10-128 4td
2007 vs. Dal: 6-59 1td
1998 vs. GB: 5-190! 2td
I'd be interested to see how many of the next 10 were Moss games.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 6:40pm

*foxing it down
*letting the fox out
*opening up a can of fox
*breaking em off something real fox-like
*stupid like a fox

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 12/12/2007 - 7:48pm


Athelas, your computer time is set wrong, and thats whats causing your posts to move. If your time zone setting is wrong, it will post wrong.

Earlier I was looking at it, and I posted and it said 12:20, and you had a post that said 12:55 about a half hour previous

by masocc (not verified) :: Thu, 12/13/2007 - 4:03am

You foxed up your argument, there.

by masocc (not verified) :: Thu, 12/13/2007 - 4:06am

"What the fox?" works for me too.

by Jaws (not verified) :: Thu, 12/13/2007 - 10:04am

"Meet the Foxers ... "

by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/13/2007 - 11:47am

This is a Fox comment gem:

Then after Romo wins the game, he's gonna go BLEEP Jessica Simpson. Brady's just gonna jerk off Randy Moss.

I prefer Gisele to Jessica, but I guess I couldn't say no to Moss.

by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 12/14/2007 - 4:54pm

Yes, he got three TDs, and yes, he had about 4 decent runs. But running against the Ravens was nigh impossible and his trad stats show it.

You mention that it's "nigh impossible" to run on the Ravens, then act surprised that Addai had a high DPAR despite low conventional stats. DPAR knows that it's impossible to run on the Ravens, and it doesn't hold it against Addai. He ran well against the Ravens, but only when compared with how other RBs have run against the Ravens this season. His PAR was probably pretty low.