Davis Mills Enters the Texans Hall of Shame
The ultimate goal of any player is to be enshrined in Canton, in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Short of that, most teams have some way of honoring franchise greats—Rings of Honor, Halls of Fame, retired numbers, BOGO tickets to AEW shows, whatever makes sense for each individual team.
But there are other places, much further off the beaten track, where standout players are honored.
In Green Bay, make an illegal left turn off of Lombardi Avenue onto Infante Drive, and you'll find one; ever-smoldering from the charred embers of the latest attempt to burn it down. In Chicago, leave your car parked illegally on the street at night and Lincoln Towing will take you right to its front door. If you're looking for the Giants' and Jets' shared facility, you'll find a shiny new building off the turnpike that appears fine at first glance, until you realize it's technically in New Jersey. These are the Halls of Shame; the places where the nightmares of a fanbase are collected, organized, and displayed for future generations to stand back and watch in awe.
Late Sunday night, an emergency meeting was taking place in one of these Unhallowed Halls. At the end of the construction zone on I-45 sits the Houston Texans Hall of Shame. No, the Texans don't have the same historical weight of other franchises, but they have seen more than their fair share of suffering in their two decades of operation. Pass the display of 14 straight losses in 2013, skip past the podium with Brock Osweiler's bronzed contract, go just behind the bronzed statue of the Rosencopter and you'll find the meeting room where franchise luminaries were carefully studying Davis Mills' tape against the Buffalo Bills. You know, for posterity's sake.
Not a great start for Davis Mills pic.twitter.com/6ucw9MlPk1
— Alex👋 (@dbs408) October 3, 2021
This is first and foremost a Loser League column, so let's get that out of the way. Mills' four interceptions and 87 yards passing gave him -4 points on the day, the worst performance by a quarterback this season and the lowest-scoring day for a passer since Sam Darnold was seeing ghosts against Bill Belichick in 2019. While not quite bad enough for an all-time record, it's a day worth standing back and admiring. Plenty of players have had four-interception games; there have been 77 of them over the past decade, with Jameis Winston somehow only accounting for six. But to do it with less than 100 passing yards? Now that gets you into some rarified air.
There have only been 104 such games since free substitution was instituted in 1950, the dawn of the age of the quarterback as a specialized position. There have been just 32 since 1978, when the rules against contacting a receiver more than 5 yards downfield were put into place. And there have been just 13 since 2004, when the illegal contact rules became an extra point of emphasis. Games like this generally do not happen anymore; coupling dangerous throws with no production in an all-risk, no-reward sort of day. This is what we were hoping for two weeks ago, before Mills had a decent Thursday game. Those who stuck with him through the hard times were justly rewarded on Sunday.
Davis Mills pass gets tipped for an Interception: pic.twitter.com/tqPltxYuAb
— Alex👋 (@dbs408) October 3, 2021
If you want to sum up Mills' day in one stat, Vincent Verhei has it nailed. Mills and the Texans were so inept on offense that they managed just one pass attempt in Buffalo territory. It was intercepted.
We can go beyond the boxscore stats, however. While opponent adjustments aren't at full strength yet, and it looks like the Bills may be a historically difficult opponent, Mills' day was by far the worst passing day of the year to date, whether you're looking at DYAR or DVOA.
|Worst Passing DYAR Games, Weeks 1-4|
|Davis Mills||HOU||4||BUF||11/21||87||0||4||-199||-171.1%||L, 0-40|
|Zach Wilson||NYJ||2||NE||19/33||210||0||4||-180||-83.2%||L, 6-25|
|Zach Wilson||NYJ||3||DEN||19/35||160||0||2||-168||-77.4%||L, 0-26|
|Justin Fields||CHI||3||CLE||6/20||68||0||0||-162||-107.3%||L, 6-26|
|Joe Burrow||CIN||2||CHI||19/30||207||2||3||-153||-78.4%||L, 17-20|
|Jameis Winston||NO||2||CAR||11/22||111||0||2||-147||-111.6%||L, 7-26|
|Mac Jones||NE||3||NO||30/51||270||1||3||-122||-46.9%||L, 13-28|
|Justin Fields||CHI||2||CIN||6/13||60||0||1||-121||-167.4%||W, 20-17|
|Matt Ryan||ATL||2||TB||35/46||300||2||3||-109||-45.1%||L, 25-48|
|Drew Lock||DEN||4||BAL||12/21||113||0||1||-107||-81.9%||L, 7-23|
|Ryan Tannehill||TEN||1||ARI||21/35||212||1||1||-103||-50.8%||L, 13-38|
These numbers will change, of course, as opponent strength increases. Will Mills' day hold up as the worst of the lot when all is said and done? It's possible, though far from guaranteed. There were two days with worse DYARs than Mills in 2020, with Drew Lock and Jake Luton falling below -200 DYAR. But there was only one day worse in DVOA: Kendall Hinton's -222.2% performance, which hardly seems like a fair comparison as Hinton, you remember, was not a quarterback. No one else cracked -160.0%. So while Mills' numbers will come down a bit if Buffalo continues to harass offenses around the league, he has a real shot at holding on to the yearly crowns in both DYAR and DVOA.
Davis Mills tries to force one into double coverage and it's picked off by Buffalo pic.twitter.com/dAxqDQNPgk
— Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL) October 3, 2021
But that brings us back to the back room in the Texans Hall of Shame. Was Mills' performance the worst in franchise history? TexansWire says yes, pointing to the 40-0 score. The Houston Chronicle says no, bringing up memories of Derek Carr lying prone on the Reliant Stadium carpet. Who's right?
In terms of DYAR, the Chronicle is correct. Even with opponent adjustments just at 40% for Mills, he's dwarfed by the legend that is David Carr. Carr fell below -200 DYAR in four different games, highlighted by his second-ever game, when the San Diego Chargers sacked him nine times and held him to just 87 yards passing. Two other Texans luminaries have also hit the negative-double century: Brian Hoyer in the playoffs against the Chiefs after the 2015 season, and Case Keenum a few years before that. Mills hits the all-time Texans bottom 10, sure, but Carr really explored the space of terribleness behind Houston's non-existent expansion offensive line.
Ah, but DYAR is a counting stat. Of course Hoyer put up terrible DYAR numbers against the Chiefs—it was the playoffs! The Texans had to keep throwing and keep trying, even when the game was well out of hand; there was no tomorrow. Carr's worst day saw him drop back 32 times; Mills only got 24. So, forget DYAR—did Mills squeeze enough terrible performances into those 24 dropbacks to lead all Texans quarterbacks in DVOA?
Well, so far, so good. Here is every game by a Texans quarterback with at least 10 pass attempts and a -100.0% passing DVOA.
|Worst Houston Texans Passing DVOA Games|
|Davis Mills||2021||4||BUF||11/21||87||0||4||-199||-171.1%||L, 0-40|
|David Carr||2002||2||SD||6/25||87||0||2||-258||-165.6%||L, 3-24|
|Brock Osweiler||2016||15||JAX||6/11||48||0||2||-92||-151.9%||W, 21-20|
|David Carr||2006||13||OAK||7/14||32||0||0||-162||-144.5%||W, 23-14|
|T.J. Yates||2017||16||PIT||7/16||83||1||1||-185||-141.1%||L, 6-34|
|David Carr||2005||1||BUF||9/21||70||0||3||-205||-140.6%||L, 7-22|
|David Carr||2006||15||NE||16/28||127||0||4||-217||-114.3%||L, 7-40|
|Dave Ragone||2003||14||JAX||11/23||71||0||1||-152||-111.6%||L, 0-27|
|David Carr||2002||3||IND||12/22||99||0||1||-136||-110.4%||L, 3-23|
|Brian Hoyer||2015||WC||KC||15/34||136||0||4||-229||-102.9%||L, 0-30|
|Case Keenum||2013||15||IND||18/34||168||0||2||-203||-101.1%||L, 3-25|
|Minimum 10 pass attempts|
Ah, yes, here are Mills' peers; the chasers he'll be attempting to shrug off to keep his place in Texans history. The other exhibits here are filled with tales of their derring-don't, and it takes a herculean effort for Mills to shine in such esteemed company.
David Carr is, of course, the least successful passer in Texans history, and still fifth-all time with -1,328 DYAR. Carr leads the Texans with 17 games with 10 attempts and -50.0% DVOA or worse; no other player has done it more than five times. Heck, Carr put up numbers so bad with such frequency that he's even missing a -200-DYAR game from this list; a 46-dropback day against the Colts from 2004. But it's his second game—and the second game in franchise history—that Mills is knocking off at the moment, a record that has stood since basically the team's foundation. It's somewhat fitting that the two worst days in Texans history each ended up with just 87 yards passing, Mills' four interceptions and three sacks counterbalancing Carr's two interceptions and nine sacks to produce nearly identical DVOAs. This 15-minute highlight reel of every one of Carr's 76 sacks from 2002 plays on endless loop in the Houston Hall of Shame.
Brock Osweiler had four 10-and-minus-50 games himself, in third place in Houston history behind Carr and Matt Schaub. His entry on this list came in 2016, the year he set the Houston franchise record with 16 interceptions—and specifically, after throwing back-to-back interceptions in the first half and getting pulled for Tom Savage, who is shockingly not on this list. Osweiler had worse games for the Texans in terms of DYAR—a -188 day against New England, most notably—but it's hard to beat two interceptions in 11 throws on a per-play basis. After the season, Osweiler and his four-year, $72-million contract were dropped in a salary dump trade with Cleveland, bravely trailblazing a new path to getting rid of terrible quarterbacks.
T.J. Yates completes the Mount Rushmore of Terrible Texans passers with Carr, Osweiler, and Savage. The Texans just couldn't quit Yates, as he had three separate stretches with the team for reasons that have never been clearly explained to me. His 2017 game came in the third stint after Deshaun Watson tore his ACL, and on Christmas Day, a wonderful present for all of us watching the games at home. Nowadays, Yates is a passing game specialist working with the Atlanta Falcons, meaning he works with offensive coordinator Dave Ragone, who also appears on this list. Ragone, a rookie himself in 2003, had a couple of terrible starts behind Carr before becoming a success for the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe, and now a successful coach for over a decade. Those who can, do. Those who can't…
Brian Hoyer's nightmare came in the 30-0 wild-card loss to the Chiefs after the 2015 season; he turned the ball over five times in what was, at that point, the worst shutout loss in franchise history. That record, of course, fell to Mills and the rest of the Texans this week. And then you have Case Keenum, who jumped Yates on the depth chart in the middle of the 2013 season for reasons known only to Gary Kubiak. Keenum went 0-8 as a starter that season, the worst single-season record for any Texans passer. Mills needs six more losses to tie that record.
Will Mills' new record hold? That's going to depend on Buffalo as much as anything else. Carr's 2002 record has stood up for so long in part because he pulled it off against a bad team. The 2002 Chargers ranked 23rd in defensive DVOA at 3.1%. The 2021 Bills, on the other hand, are currently at -49.4%, the third-best ever measured through four games. As opponent adjustments become stronger, DVOA will likely look at least a little bit kinder at Mills, though I can’t imagine him falling too far on the table. Mills' day was objectively worse before you consider the quality of the opponent—his VOA of -199.9% is nearly off-the-charts bad, while Carr's 2002 performance was only -154.4%. But while Mills has earned himself a permanent place in the Hall of Shame, the verdict of the elders for now is that Carr is likely to retain the complete trifecta of worst game, season, and career as quarterback of the Houston Texans. Well, at least until Mills' next start.
Week 3's Biggest Losers
Worst of the Worst
It's Davis Mills (-4). Come back soon, Tyrod Taylor.
Other Loser Leaders
Drew Lock (3) would have been a staple in this column the last few years, but his relief appearance for a concussed Teddy Bridgewater gave him his first runout in 2021. Lock had supposedly been in a tight battle for the starting quarterback job with Bridgewater, but watching him and his complete lack of rhythm against Baltimore would leave any of us scratching our heads as to why. If Bridgewater is out for any significant period of time, the Broncos go from contenders to also-rans in a hurry.
Drew Lock ends the #Ravens game with a pick in the endzone to Anthony Averettpic.twitter.com/nIneupx3Jj
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 3, 2021
Then again, Bridgewater himself scored 7 points, knocked out of the game after he passed the penalty but before he could hit 100 passing yards. He joins Jimmy Garoppolo (10) as solid Loser picks only due to injury this week; the status for either of them this upcoming week remains in jeopardy. Bridgewater will get his starting job back; Jimmy G's future status depends in part on how often Trey Lance shows up in this column.
After two weeks leading the Loser league, Justin Fields (9) had something of a rebound performance on the field. It was a very conservative game plan, as the Bears offense has yet to really utilize Fields' mobility in any notable sense, and so Fields' production was limited. Still, it was a clear step forward for Chicago … so of course Matt Nagy has confirmed that Andy Dalton will be the starter once he is healthy.
Baker Mayfield (8) rounds out your single-digit scorers, as he combined Cleveland's standard low passing volume with an uncharacteristically poor day in terms of accuracy—he came into Week 4 leading the league with a 74% completion rate, but fell to 45% against a questionable Minnesota secondary. No cause to panic here, as he has had 15 points in each of his other three games, but Mayfield's value is very touchdown-dependent at this point in time.
Trevor Lawrence (19), welcome to the NFL! After starting his career with three straight games with multiple interceptions, Lawrence played a clean game against the Bengals, throwing for 204 yards, rushing for a score, and most importantly, never turning the ball over. It was Lawrence's legs, not his arm, that really helped the Jaguars nearly pull off the upset over Cincinnati; he's still somewhat hit-or-miss on his accuracy at this point. But we're getting closer to seeing the player that made Lawrence the unarguable top overall pick; the solid work that he has been doing with poor results throughout September is beginning to pay off. He's probably still a safeish Loser pick for now, though.
Worst of the Worst
A trio of players tied with two points each. Malcolm Brown just squeaked past the eight-carry penalty; that was his season-high and it actually led Miami in rushing attempts for an offense that was chasing from behind basically the entire way. Across the way, Marlon Mack actually got to play this week and got 10 carries for 22 yards; that's not going to help his trade value as the Colts continue to try and shop him. Finally, Alexander Mattison still got a decent slice of carries, even though Dalvin Cook returned from his ankle injury. It was only Mattison's third game in the past two years with between 10 and 15 carries, as he usually is either sitting on the bench or fully replacing an absent Cook. All three backs were limited to 20 to 23 yards and earn just the two points.
Other Loser Leaders
Dalvin Cook (4) joined Mattison with a poor day, with Cleveland's defensive line doing a great job at the point of attack. Add in David Montgomery last week and Mark Ingram the week before, and the Browns are becoming a really solid defense to follow in Loser League. The Chargers are a tougher draw, but the Browns have shown they can handle whoever gets put in front of them.
Chris Carson (3), Larry Rountree (3), Josh Jacobs (5), and D'Ande Swift (4) round out your low-scorers; there were 12 rushes in that 6- to 10-point range, but not a lot of truly terrible days in Week 4 to write home about.
Alright, alright, I'll stop recommending James Conner (18). After two weeks where Conner simply could not get anything going, he's developing into at least a touchdown threat for the Cardinals, and the Cardinals sure are scoring bunches of touchdowns. Conner now has two scores in each of the last two games, and while I don't think that's going to be something he's going to do week-in and week-out, clearly the Cardinals are too hot at the moment to assume Conner will be left out of the end zone.
Worst of the Worst
Four new Goose Eggers this week. Terrace Marshall managed just three targets in a game where Christian McCaffery was injured and Dan Arnold was traded, so that tells you just how valuable he is to Carolina at this point in time. Anthony Miller got caught up in Davis Mills' nightmare, and has now been cut. More surprising was DeSean Jackson, who after a huge day against the Bucs two weeks ago had just one catch for 6 yards against Arizona. There are few players in the league more boom-and-busty than Jackson.
Matthew Stafford went deep to Desean Jackson but this time he isn't facing the #Bucs defense so he gets picked off.
Byron Murphy, who won player of the week last week, gets Stafford easily.
Murphy now has 3 INTs this season.pic.twitter.com/IhSI2L8TzG
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 3, 2021
Monday night added our third leader, Bryan Edwards, whom I am awkwardly shoveling in here after writing the rest of the writeup. Well, of course he didn't pick up big numbers; Edwards is apparently only allowed to be part of Las Vegas' offense in overtime.
Other Loser Leaders
It wasn't a great day for young receivers around the league. CeeDee Lamb has had just eight targets the last two weeks as Dallas' run-heavy offense is choking him out of heavy usage. Brandon Aiyuk was not on the same page as Trey Lance, with the two missing on several potential hookups probably due to a lack of practice time together. Curtis Samuel caught all four passes thrown his way, but only gained 19 yards on them, continuing his questionable usage in Washington. And JuJu Smith-Schuster is no longer playable in regular fantasy, catching two of eight targets for 11 yards for a Pittsburgh offense that is flatlining.
Mike Williams, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Trinity Benson round out your one-point scorers.
Garbage-time points count just as much as anything else. Kalif Raymond (16) was on his way to a quiet day before two touchdowns with the Lions down by at least 17 points in the second half ruined his Loser League score. The Good Bad Team strikes again, though I'd continue to trust their receiving corps to put up Loseriffic days for now.
Worst of the Worst
The extra point-missing plague that haunted the league in September has died down some, but don't tell Dustin Hopkins (-6). Hopkins missed two extra points against Atlanta, which could have been massive—it meant that Washington had to try a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter to try to tie the game, which they missed. They managed to get the ball back and score again anyway, so no harm, no foul, but Hopkins is thanking his lucky stars he's not the goat today.
Other Loser Leaders
The Texans were shut out. No kicks were attempted. So both Ka'imi Fairbairn gets 0 points. Daniel Carlson added 0 points himself with a missed field goal balancing out his pair of extra points.
Elsewhere, poor offensive showing left Brandon McManus and Greg Joseph with just one extra point apiece, while Aldrick Rosas matched his three extra points with a missed kick. All end up with 1 point.
Stay away from Arizona! We have already seen Kliff Kingsbury is willing to give Matt Prater (13) plenty of opportunities for field goals, especially very long field goals, and when Arizona is grooving, like they're doing at the moment? That means lots of attempts for lots of points. Only Prater and Tyler Bass scored above the penalty this week, but everyone has figured out to stick away from the Buffalo offense. Do the same with Arizona!
Week 4 Contest Results
A real nail-biter this week, with three different teams clocking in at 18 points each—Charzander, GeorgeJVernon, and Ubiscuitous all coming in tied. All three started Davis Mills—as did everyone in the top seven, for that matter—and all three doubled or tripled down on Texans stars. Both Charzander and Ubiscuitous had Anthony Miller; both GeorgeJVernon and Ubiscuitous had Ka'imi Fairbairn. It turns out, when you pick heavily from a team that loses 40-0, you do well—tied in fifth place, we have Rivers McCown's An Easterby Sermon, so our resident Texans expert at least knows how to get some benefit out of his team's ongoing tire fire.
With all three of our leaders tied, it comes down to total score over all 10 players. GeorgeJVernon had the misfortune of starting Matt Ryan and his 31 points, pretty much knocking him out of the tiebreak immediately. Ubisquitous suffered from Mac Jones' 19 points and Mark Ingram's 17, knocking him down. That means Charzander ends up our winner! His backups of Justin Fields, Latavius Murray, Darnell Mooney, and Matt Amendola only earned him 42 points; if we had dropped all of his best players instead of all of his worst ones, he still would have ended up with a credible 52 points. Congratulations, and enjoy the Football Outsiders t-shirt and copy of Madden NFL 22!
Your top 5 for Week 4:
1. Charzander (18)
2. Ubiscuitous (18)
3. GeorgeJVernon (18)
4. Skolden (21)
T5. ToinCoss (23)
T5. The Whizzinator (23)
T5. An Easterby Sermon (23)
Overall, Awfinkelstein holds on to his lead, though it has fallen from two points to just one; he sits at 117 points after a so-so 43-point day in Week 4. Like pretty much everyone else, he had Davis Mills plugged in and doubled him with Ka'imi Fairbairn, but suffered the indignity of David Montgomery's 22 points, as the Bears runner scored a pair of touchdowns before leaving with a knee injury. Fortunately for Awfinkelstein, his closest competitors also had scores in the 40s, minimizing the damage. Running backs were a real problem for all of our leaders as DK13 was forced to score Mark Ingram, while Aaron Schatz's Posse at running back this week featured the trio of Ingram, Damien Harris, and James Conner. Some days, you'd be better off just plugging a fullback back there and calling it a day.
Our current top five:
1. Awfinkelstein (117)
T2. Aaron Schatz Has a Posse (118)
T2. DVO-EH? (118)
4. DK13 (120)
5. Jeremy B (123)
You can check your results and the rest of the Loserboard here!
Plays for Week 5
Remember to set your roster for Week 5!
Do you … need me to recommend Davis Mills? Is that a service that helps you in some way? Because obviously, yes, I will recommend Davis Mills. No, it's unlikely his opponents will perform as well as the Bills did last week, but I mean … it's Davis Mills. Against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. We saw what Belichick did to Zach Wilson, and Wilson's got a hell of a lot of a better pedigree as a prospect that Mills does. I will be stunned if Mills doesn't approach 100% rostered this week.
I'm going with Justin Fields as my second recommendation. Even the "good" Fields we saw this week failed to hit double-digit points. His scrambling has yet to be used in any effective way in Chicago; he had just 9 yards on the ground against Detroit, so that's not a currently a fantasy danger. With David Montgomery missing time, I would expect the Raiders to be able to spend more time and energy rushing Fields, which worked well for Cleveland two weeks ago.
Other promising picks: Trevor Lawrence (v. TEN), Ben Roethlisberger (v. DEN)
Latavius Murray is a touchdown-or-bust player at the moment; he's rushing for just 3.4 yards per attempt and has yet to top 60 yards in a game. And yet he keeps getting tons of work, specifically short-yardage work, so there's very little fear of him hitting the penalty—he has been effective in short yardage, with a 59% success rate, but while those short yards are intensely valuable to the Ravens, they're not at all painful for your Loser League squad. Murray has firmly replaced Ty'Son Williams as Baltimore's lead rusher, and that means more smashes into the line going forward. I'll take a plodding back like Murray every day of the week and just grumble when he finds the end zone, especially against a Colts team that ranks 10th in fantasy points allowed to running backs to this point. A plodding back plus a tough matchup is an instant recommendation.
Samaje Perine is replacing Joe Mixon in Cincinnati's offense while Mixon deals with a low-grade ankle sprain. Perine was last in the league in DYAR and third-worst in DVOA the last time he qualified for our leaderboards. He had some success in limited time in Cincinnati last year, true, but for his career he's a 3.8-yards-per-carry player without a lot of burst. Plus, I would hope the Bengals would get Chris Evans some work, rather than having Perine take all of Mixon's workload this week against Green Bay. I'm a little worried about Perine's potential usage as a receiver, but this isn't a PPR league, so those worries are at least somewhat subdued.
A bit of a riskier pick is Javonte Williams, who hit the penalty last week after three straight single-digit days. The Broncos were forced to abandon the run as Baltimore pulled out to a lead; I don't think Pittsburgh will be able to duplicate that, but the threat of Williams' role disappearing is a real one. The Broncos' offense in general should be less efficient with Drew Lock under center than with Teddy Bridgewater, so I'd expect Denver to lean more on their running backs. That should keep Williams free of the penalty and on pace for another single-digit-scoring day.
Other promising picks: Mark Ingram (v. NE), James Conner (v. SF), Damien Harris (@HOU)
Stacking a quarterback with a nightmare day with their receiver left high and dry has been a winning strategy most weeks, so I'll pair one of my quarterback picks with a wideout. Allen Robinson remains the most likely Bears receiver to avoid the penalty, and the Bears have shown no willingness to throw the ball to him with any degree of volume. He caught every pass thrown his way last week and still ended up with just six points. He's my safety valve, someone I can count on to not be cut out of an offense without ending up with a high-point-scoring day. I was going to recommend Anthony Miller as well, but he just got cut by Houston as this was going to press. Such is the problem with finding reliable Loser Leaguers.
Jaylen Waddle remains the Dolphins' primary target on passes which aren't going to do jack. He's currently second in the league with 11 failed receptions behind only Chase Edmonds, and his 4.6-yard average depth of target is the worst among receivers with at least 20 targets. Failed completions are Loser League manna, much more reliable than drops and inaccurate targets. Deep threats can kill you with one reception; dink-and-dunk players like Waddle can get 13 targets a game and still score single-digits.
Zach Pascal has had at least five targets in every game, and is yet to hit 65 receiving yards. He's not as inefficient as Waddle, but he's pointed in the same direction. I'll slide him in here instead of Anthony Miller and call it a day.
Other promising picks: Darnell Mooney (@LV), Jalen Reagor (@CAR), DeVante Parker (@TB)
Matt Ammendola is going to become a mascot in this column as I keep picking him; I still have no faith in the Jets' ability to give Ammendola anything like regular work, and so he's basically cemented into a slot on my roster week-in and week-out.
Zane Gonzalez is not having a great year in Carolina, having already missed a pair of field goals and an extra point. That hasn't stopped Matt Rhule from giving him opportunities to kick deep, and more deep attempts means more chances to miss kicks! Gonzalez has never had a field goal percentage in the 90s, and while his 60% rate this year is small-sample-size fodder, he's not going to turn into Justin Tucker overnight.
Other promising picks: Jake Elliott (@CAR), Austin Seibert (@MIN)
15 comments, Last at 08 Oct 2021, 3:00pm
#12 by Bryan Knowles // Oct 07, 2021 - 12:20pm
The Patriots running backs, combined...still would have hit the penalty, as they had only six rushing attempts.
This may be something we look at rekajiggering next year. The original Loser League rules required 10 rushing attempts to avoid the penalty, and was set in the 20th century. The game has moved on since then, and perhaps we should, too!
#13 by MC2 // Oct 07, 2021 - 4:06pm
Yeah, between the reduced number of running plays and the increased prevalence of backfield committees, it's hard to find any running back -- let alone a bad one -- that's a lock to get at least 8 carries every week.
Changing it to 5 carries (or 10 combined carries + targets) would probably be better.
#15 by DGL // Oct 08, 2021 - 3:00pm
RBs that are mediocre enough to warrant LL selection are also far less likely to get 8 carries (or get the double-whammy of, like, six carries for the penalty, but three catches for 25 yards and a TD...); RBs that are more reliable choices to avoid the penalty are generally some combination of cromulent and playing on teams that have large enough leads to run heavily late in the game, meaning that they're also more likely to have gotten more yards and TDs earlier in the game.
I've tried a two-tier strategy of a couple high-variance RBs (less likely to avoid the penalty, but pretty bad if they do) and one more likely to avoid the penalty but also more likely to put up actual points, but it hasn't worked all that well - my "safe" pick ends up scoring more than the high-variance picks even when they hit the penalty... So now I'm back to picking three high-variance RBs, hoping that at least one misses the penalty, and considering it a good day if I get less than 25 points from RBs...
#14 by SandyRiver // Oct 08, 2021 - 2:05pm
Thanks for the explanation and history. The question I should've asked would include the entire Pats "rushing" (more like "crawling") in that game:
8 carries (so no penalty) for -1 net yards plus a fumble. Longest run was 4 yd and 2nd place is 1 yd. I can't recall if any FDs were earned by that performance.
#9 by Raiderfan // Oct 07, 2021 - 9:19am
“At the end of the construction zone on I-45”
There is no end, just temporary halts.
”but it's hard to beat two interceptions in 11 throws on a per-play basis.”
Maybe for the Texans, but I believe Peterman had 3 more interceptions in three more passing attempts for the Bills.”
“ so of course Matt Nagy has confirmed that Andy Dalton will be the starter once he is healthy.”. OBE, as they say in the Army.
”It turns out, when you pick heavily from a team that loses 45-0,”
Fake news, it was only 40-0. Are you some kind of Texans hater?
#6 by Bryan Knowles // Oct 07, 2021 - 2:15am
Schaub's lowest total during the streak was -76.1% DVOA and -144 DYAR; his three-interception game against the 49ers at the tail end of the streak. Schaub actually has quite a few of those game between -50% and -100% DVOA; even when he was good he was capable of single-handedly torpedoing a game on an unlucky day.
Schaub even had a positive DVOA game during that pick-six streak, though -- 22.6% against the Legion of Boom. Two interceptions, including a pick six, hurts for sure, but going for 355 yards and a pair of scores more than evens that out.