Week 3 Quick Reads

Week 3 Quick Reads

by Bill Barnwell

Context is everything. In a league where more information and coverage is available on a daily basis than ever before, it's easy to come up with numbers to support most any opinion. Without the context of where those numbers take place and what predicative value they have going forward, though, statistics are toys of manipulation as opposed to illumination.

The most difficult piece of context to account for while watching games is the quality of the opposition. While it's easy to tell how difficult it is to complete a pass against Darrelle Revis as opposed to, say, Sabby Piscitelli, it's extremely difficult to notice the small differences on a play-by-play basis from one defense to another, especially if you've only seen a small portion of the league's defenses actually play.

Those differences can end up having a dramatic impact on performance, though. The table below lists the statistics recorded by quarterbacks in 2009 against eight of the league's pass defenses. It starts with the team with the best pass defense DVOA, the Jets, and ends with the Lions' league-worst pass defense.

Team (DVOA Rank) Cmp Att Cmp % Yards YPA TD INT
NYJ (1) 258 498 51.8% 2683 5.4 8 17
CAR (5) 305 495 61.6% 3249 6.6 14 22
WAS (10) 314 511 61.4% 3557 7.0 19 11
IND (15) 372 583 63.8% 3631 6.2 19 16
ATL (20) 335 535 62.6% 4041 7.6 25 15
TB (25) 300 481 62.4% 3457 7.2 28 19
CLE (30) 312 524 59.5% 4128 7.9 22 10
DET (32) 369 543 68.0% 4353 8.0 34 9

You might guess where this is leading to. Michael Vick's now played ten quarters of football, and eight of them have come against the pass defenses that ranked 31st (Jacksonville) and 32nd (Detroit) in DVOA a year ago. Jacksonville remained 31st through the first two weeks of the season, and while Detroit has looked improved, there's been more than a few favorable turnover bounces that have gone their way through three weeks.

The truth is that what we've seen out of Vick through those ten quarters has come in contexts extremely favorable to the likelihood of Vick succeeding. His other half came against the Packers in what amounted to a mop-up role against a team that had not prepared for Vick to be a full-time quarterback, and didn't have the spy packages put in that have neutralized Vick in the past. He will not face an above-average pass defense until Week 7, when he gets the Titans; after that, he may not face another one until Chicago in Week 12 or Dallas in Week 14. The Eagles face what appears to be a remarkably easy slate of pass defenses this year outside of, coincidentally, Week 1.

DYAR begins to adjust for opponent strength after Week 4, so you'll begin to see opposition weighted at 40 percent of its eventual strength after next week. (It gets to 100 percent after Week 10.) They will likely take Vick's numbers -- already considered to be slightly above-average at best -- and push them down towards average-or-worse. If Vick's improved as a player, the last two games haven't indicated that through his level of production on the field. He remains inefficient and erratic. He's improved his timing, but it's not as a passer. Outside of Matt Cassel in 2008, no quarterback has probably entered into a better scenario at the right time than Michael Vick with these Eagles after Week 1.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Aaron Rodgers GB
35/45
320
1
1
198
178
20
Rarely will you see a quarterback consistently get seven yards as easy as Rodgers did during the second half of the MNF game. While the Bears were able to get pressure on Rodgers in the first half and force him into some pretty impressive scrambles, the Packers let Rodgers throw out of a quick one-step drop a fair amount of the time in the second half. The result was a final two quarters of 18-of-21 for 138 yards and seven first downs. Rodgers' only real mistake was his penultimate throw, a dubious intentional grounding call. While nobody was in the area of the throw and it landed out of bounds, it was a pretty clear case of miscommunication on a route. Had the receiver ran the route it appeared Rodgers was expecting him to, while the throw would have been off, it would not have been so far off that it would have necessitated intentional grounding. In a league where grounding gets called far too infrequently, this was one case where the flag should have stayed in the refs' pocket.
2.
Joe Flacco BAL
22/31
262
3
0
190
190
0
The inverse of Vick. Flacco had been derided for a rough start based on two road games against the Jets and Bengals, who are very likely to rate among the league's best pass defenses this year. With a friendlier matchup, Flacco was able to split the Browns apart with one of the greatest 10-dropback sequences you'll ever see. How good was it? Try 10-for-10 for 159 yards, with every pass going for either a first down (eight) or a touchdown (two). He picked up six of the 11 third downs he faced on the day, and went 5-on-6 for 79 yards on the eventual game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.
3.
Tom Brady NE
21/27
252
3
0
176
172
5
It appears that the Bills pass defense will not be quite as good this season. Brady ate their lunch on Sunday, going 7-of-7 with 76 yards (with one sack) on first downs against them. Eight of his 28 dropbacks came with 15 or more yards to go, and he didn't pick up a successful play on a single one of them; on his other 20 dropbacks, though, he had a success rate of 75 percent.
4.
Tony Romo DAL
24/30
284
2
0
176
176
0
After a 5-for-19 start to the season, the king of converting third downs returned to his ways against the Texans on Sunday, going 4-of-8 and throwing in a 1-for-2 performance on fourth down in for good measure. It was a case of Romo adapting to what the defense gave him, as the Texans sold out to stop Miles Austin and held him to two catches for 20 yards (and a seven-yard pass interference penalty) on four targets. For this week, Roy Williams and Dez Bryant had enough to beat one-on-one matchups pretty easily.
5.
Drew Brees NO
30/37
365
3
2
158
158
0
Brees started the game 16-of-18 for 212 yards, but because the two incompletions were interceptions, the Falcons were able to stick around. He was also close to unstoppable on the final two drives of the game, going 10-of-11 for 97 yards with five first downs, including a fourth-and-1 conversion to help push the game into overtime and a third-and-9 conversion on his final pass to set up what appeared to be a game-winning field goal. And the next four weeks for Brees: Carolina, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Cleveland.
6.
Peyton Manning IND
27/43
325
3
0
157
157
0
In much the same way that we've talked in the past about giving Kyle Orton a pass for his rookie season, it's not really fair to blame Perrish Cox for being the Broncos' third-best cornerback coming out of training camp. And it's unfortunate that Andre Goodman's injury forced him into a starting role. But there's no arguing with the result: In yet another Colts win over the Broncos, Peyton Manning found yet another weak link at cornerback for the Broncos to pick on. While we won't know about the charting for a week or two, both of Manning's final two passes to Austin Collie -- which went for 71 yards and a crucial fourth-quarter touchdown -- came with Cox involved with the coverage.
7.
Mark Sanchez NYJ
15/27
256
3
0
155
155
0
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead did not take kindly to our article comparing JaMarcus Russell and Mark Sanchez's rookie seasons last year, and periodically checks in on our "comical" bashing of Sanchez on Twitter when the Jets' quarterback has a big game. Last night's check in suggested that Sanchez played a clutch game because he went 5-of-8 on third down against the Dolphins, getting five first downs in the process. And he's right about that -- Sanchez came up big on third down. On the other hand, he converted 34 percent of his third downs last year versus a league average of 37 percent, and before Sunday, he was at 6-of-17 (35 percent) on third down. I wonder if Sanchez will pick up 63 percent of his third downs going forward.
8.
Kyle Orton DEN
37/57
481
1
1
154
147
7
That's an impressive yardage total -- even for 57 attempts -- but it's a lot of volume and not all that much efficiency. Take third down, for example: Orton was 7-of-12 for 61 yards, but he only picked up three first downs on those throws. He was 1-of-3 on fourth down, with all three attempts inside Colts territory in the fourth quarter. His 16-of-23 performance on first down had a success rate of 52 percent. The real killer: In the red zone, Orton was 4-of-14 for 20 yards without a touchdown or a first down.
9.
Matt Ryan ATL
19/30
228
2
0
151
144
7
A quietly effective game that would have looked better had Ryan finished it in overtime; a long bomb to a wide-open Harry Douglas for a game-winning touchdown was thrown about one yard too deep. As it were, Ryan found out very early that the Saints couldn't cover Tony Gonzalez repeatedly and went back to him again and again; on passes that weren't to Gonzalez (we'll get to him later), Ryan went 11-of-21 for 118 yards. His two best throws of the day were both to Roddy White; with Jabari Greer attempting to jam White at the line, White eluded Greer's grasp and gave Ryan a small window of space inbetween Greer and safety Malcolm Jenkins. Ryan hit White the first time on a perfect lob down the sideline for 19 yards, and then finished the drive with an easier touch pass to White in the end zone for a 22-yard score.
10.
Chad Henne MIA
26/44
363
2
1
140
144
-4
Henne also had a 27-yard defensive pass interference penalty drawn by Brian Hartline that's not included in the numbers above. It's hard to figure out how much of Henne's performance had to do with the absence of Darrelle Revis, but he certainly looked like he had more time in the pocket than he normally would. After two first quarter sacks, the Jets weren't able to get to Henne the rest of the way. He peaked in the second quarter, with an eight-pass stint that saw him pick up 108 yards and a first down or a touchdown on each pass.
11.
Michael Vick PHI
17/30
291
3
0
126
112
14
While highlight shows featured what Vick did on his three completions of 42 or more yards, he was wildly ineffective at times. On Philly's first four drives, Vick had the 61-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson ... and otherwise went 2-of-8 for six yards with a sack. After an effective two-minute drill to get an 11-point lead, Vick led two possessions that combined for seven plays by going 2-of-4 for 22 yards and a sack, with both completions coming on third-and-long and ending up short of the sticks, leading to punts. He was only particularly effective once he got the ball back again, with 5:30 left in the third quarter. That the Jaguars had only scored three points had nothing to do with Vick; that the Eagles had only mustered 14 was mostly on him. The great arm and athleticism are still there, and Vick has certainly improved his patience in the pocket. But it's easy to do that against a dreadful pass defense.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
12.
Philip Rivers SD
29/52
455
2
2
124
127
-3
The Seahawks were terrified of Philip Rivers beating them deep. They played a ton of two-deep coverage and let Rivers just have his way with them underneath. Rivers lived on the hashmarks, completing what seemed like endless dig (wide receivers) and seam routes (Gates) in the second half at will. Once he got into the red zone, though, the safeties didn't have to worry about getting beat deep, and Rivers ended up trying to force those same throws. As a result, he was 2-of-9 inside the red zone, although both completions went for touchdowns.
13.
Matt Cassel KC
16/26
250
3
1
101
106
-5
Matt Cassel's two biggest plays were two touchdown passes, but it's hard to say that he made them happen. The 45-yard completion to Dwayne Bowe was on a trick play that saw Cassel line up at wide receiver, and the 31-yard pass to Dexter McCluster went six yards in the air. His two other completions of 20 yards or more traveled a combined three yards in the air. In all, 52 percent of Cassel's yardage came from receivers after the catch; the league average for all other quarterbacks in Week 3 was 42 percent.
14.
Sam Bradford STL
23/37
235
1
1
90
93
-3
DeAngelo Hall's defense did not have much of a game, to be quite honest. With Hall running the ship, you would think that he'd put a particular focus on shutting down opposing wide receivers. Instead, Bradford was 16-of-24 for 195 yards and 11 first downs on throws to his wideouts, including a 14-yard DPI.
15.
Jay Cutler CHI
16/27
221
1
1
76
58
17
The difference between the Jay Cutler who threw a handful of interceptions against the Packers last year and got away with just one on Sunday night isn't very large. Cutler threw two picks on the final drive alone, with one being called a questionable incompletion and the other a defensive pass interference penalty. He forced a throw into Earl Bennett on third-and-goal from the six-yard line that was nearly picked, and on the ensuing fourth down play, he threw behind an open Desmond Clark. (Clark still should have caught the pass.)
16.
Vince Young TEN
10/16
118
1
0
70
75
-5
17.
Donovan McNabb WAS
19/31
236
1
1
68
57
11
McNabb had a success rate of just 39 percent, and he was lucky to have an interception in the red zone saved by some great Chris Cooley defense. He only picked up eight first downs all day, and three of them came in the fourth quarter while the Redskins were down by two scores. The killer: McNabb faced eight third downs and converted exactly zero of them. In all fairness, six of the eight came with nine or more yards to go, but 0-of-8 is bad no matter how you slice it.
18.
Matt Hasselbeck SEA
19/31
220
1
1
66
61
5
Hasselbeck to the left side of the field, where Antoine Cason starts: 11-of-12 for 116 yards. Hasselbeck to the right side of the field, where Quentin Jammer starts: 6-of-15 for 96 yards (with a 23-yard DPI included.) It might not be time to crown Cason just yet.
19.
Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF
20/28
247
2
2
57
56
1
This is how bad the Patriots pass defense is going to be this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick -- who has completed 58 percent of his passes historically -- went on a 14-of-18 streak for 178 yards to end the game. And it wasn't in mopup time, either, as only four of the passes came while the Bills were down by more than eight points. The Patriots were able to turn two of Fitzpatrick's incompletions into interceptions, but if Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills offensive line can move the ball comfortably on you...
20.
Charlie Batch PIT
13/17
184
3
2
37
25
12
Batch's two long touchdown throws to Mike Wallace both should have been interceptions, with the first pass getting lost in the sun and the second one tipping off of Aqib Talib's hands and into Wallace's. 12 straight completions is nice, but Batch could easily have thrown four picks in 17 attempts, which wouldn't be. And he's favored against the Ravens next week?
21.
Seneca Wallace CLE
18/24
141
1
0
32
32
0
Then again, I was worried for Wallace's health on the road against Baltimore, and he made it out alive. He was actually remarkably effective in the first half, going 12-of-14 for 114 yards and seven first downs. In the second half, though, Wallace was sacked twice on his first four attempts, and finished 6-of-10 for 27 yards. Those sacks and a whopping 17 yards on an aborted snap taken at his own 20 meant that the Browns had zero net passing yards in the second half.
22.
Eli Manning NYG
34/48
386
0
2
29
27
2
Could we crowd-source interceptions? It's pretty clear that Eli Manning isn't responsible for the picks he threw on Sunday, but in our binary system of accounting for them, he either gets one full interception or no interception for each pass he throws. I wonder if we could ask readers to basically place a value on Manning's interception and say "This one looked like it was 25 percent Eli's fault." It might be too much guessing about intent, I suppose, to do with any sort of reliability.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
Matt Schaub HOU
23/32
241
1
2
26
26
0
Schaub on third down: 3-of-3 for two first downs. Not included in those numbers: Four sacks.
24.
Derek Anderson ARI
12/26
122
2
1
18
18
0
122 yards on 26 attempts looks downright gruesome, but Anderson drew three pass interference penalties in the first quarter that netted the Cardinals 74 yards. That turns his YPA from 4.7 to a much more respectable 6.8. To follow up the Eli Manning conversation, though, if we're going to give Eli a quarter of an interception for one of his passes, we need to find a way to give Derek Anderson three picks for his bullet screen pass to Tim Hightower.
25.
Bruce Gradkowski OAK
17/34
255
1
1
15
24
-9
If I told you that Bruce Gradkowski had a game where he threw 13 passes to Darrius Heyward-Bey and nothing more, what would you say the Raiders' odds of having won that game would be? Three percent? Five? And yet, there they were, a chip shot field goal away from beating the Cardinals on the road. Heyward-Bey picked up 51 yards in pass interference penalties, which actually would have gotten him all the way up to 100 yards.
26.
Carson Palmer CIN
19/37
195
1
2
2
-3
5
27.
Shaun Hill DET
29/43
237
1
2
-15
-14
-1
Those 43 attempts yielded exactly two completions that traveled further than 11 yards in the air. The Lions had a chance to get within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Hill threw an interception in the end zone that just about sealed their fate. He followed it later with a second pick in the end zone, but that was on his final pass attempt and with a minute left.
28.
Brett Favre MIN
23/34
201
1
2
-20
-20
0
Favre completed only two passes in that 8-to-14 yard intermediate range, although he did get two defensive pass interference penalties on throws to former DPI fiend Bernard Berrian. 19 of his 23 completions were for seven yards or less. This is just about as much of a screen-and-sling offense as you can get, and while part of that is due to what's been an awful offensive line at times, the end sum is not particularly effective.
29.
Josh Freeman TB
20/31
184
0
1
-36
-29
-8
It will look better once the opponent adjustments hit 100 percent, I promise. Earnest Graham picked up 46 yards on a third-quarter pass. Last week, it took Cadillac Williams 27 carries just to get to 51 yards.
30.
Alex Smith SF
24/42
232
1
1
-87
-87
0
The triumverate of bad quarterback play -- the anti-Gordie Howe hat trick, I suppose -- is an interception, an intentional grounding penalty, and a stripsack. Smith managed to hit the trifecta on Sunday. Before the meaningless drive that ended with Josh Morgan wrenching his knee for some fantasy points at the end of the game, Smith managed to pick up six first downs on 34 attempts.
31.
Jimmy Clausen CAR
16/33
188
0
1
-92
-86
-6
I don't recall ever seeing three aborted snaps for one quarterback in one game, but Clausen had three of them through 18 dropbacks and three quarters. Well, theoretical dropbacks, I guess. He turned the ball over on two of them, and he also had a sack and an interception thrown in for good measure. In the fourth quarter, he was reasonably effective, but he was also down two touchdowns for most of it.
32.
David Garrard JAC
13/30
105
0
1
-128
-120
-9
 
Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Jamaal Charles KC
97
0
57
0
72
36
36
Todd Haley can do whatever he wants after leading the Chiefs to a 3-0 start, but his treatment of Charles remains curious at best. With the team apparently set on establishing veteran Thomas Jones as the primary back, Charles has played the ancillary role through three weeks. So how did he pace all backs in DYAR this week? Small miracles. He converted both the third downs he faced, including a 24-yard run on a third-and-20 draw. Seven of his 12 runs went for five yards or more, and four of them went for double-digit yardage. He was even more effective as a receiver, where all three of his targets resulted in catches, first downs, and gains of anywhere between 17 and 22 yards. What else does he have to do to get a larger share of the workload in Kansas City? Bigger miracles.
2.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE
98
1
6
0
62
56
6
The only way I know of to assure yourself a large majority of the carries in New England is to have every other back get hurt. Kevin Faulk's done for the season, and Fred Taylor went down with an injury during the game on Sunday, which opened up Green-Ellis's chance for regular yardage. He's probably not versatile enough to be on the field for a majority of the snaps, but he's an effective enough runner to get the carries when the Patriots are killing the clock.
3.
Peyton Hillis CLE
144
1
36
0
58
51
7
For one week, at least, those fantasy owners that have Jerome Harrison on the bench and Eric Mangini in their doghouse owe Mangini an apology and perhaps a DVD of a classic fight or two. Hillis actually picked up serious chunks of yardage against the Ravens, running for 144 yards on 22 carries, with runs of 25 and 48 yards along the way. He picked up the first two third downs he faced, finishing the second one with a one-yard plunge for a score.
4.
Rashard Mendenhall PIT
143
1
0
0
57
57
0
While the fear has rightly been that Mendenhall will lose goal-line carries to Isaac Redman, Mendenhall scored on a three-yard plunge in the second quarter against the Bucs, while Redman was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 attempt inside Tampa territory in the third. Mendenhall didn't take a single carry on third down all game, which is disconcerting, but when you average 12 yards per carry with a success rate north of 50 percent on your 13 shots at first-and-10, it doesn't really matter.
5.
Marshawn Lynch BUF
79
0
7
0
35
31
4
If the Bills had known Lynch would actually be a reasonably effective running back, would they still have taken C.J. Spiller in the first round? Could they have possibly drafted an offensive lineman? Would that have made Trent Edwards look effective enough to keep his job? In the end, Spiller had a nice kick return for a touchdown, but he's got 23 touches from scrimmage for 79 yards through three weeks. And they've got three running backs in a league that's begun to realize how fungible running backs are.
Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Keith Toston STL
22
0
0
0
-28
-28
0
22 yards on 11 carries is ugly, but without a fumble, it seems pretty innocuous; bad, sure, but not bad enough to serve as the worst performance of the week. So how did Toston get here? He did his Matt Forte impersonation. With two carries from the 1-yard line in the second quarter, Toston rushed for -1 yards and then -3 yards.
Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Anquan Boldin BAL
8
11
142
17.8
3
88
Much like Flacco, Boldin had a streak of downright dominance on Sunday. He caught seven consecutive targets for 135 yards, yielding four first downs and three touchdowns. He was thrown four passes on third down and they were all catches and conversions. Even two of his three incompletions went 25 yards in the air or more. That 88 DYAR total is the best performance of a receiver so far this season, and it would have ranked fifth a year ago.
2.
Lance Moore NO
6
7
149
24.8
2
77
Moore had become a bit of a forgotten man last year after the emergence of Robert Meachem, but he remains a capable part of the offense and had just a huge performance on Sunday. In addition to his lengthy punt return in the first quarter, Moore benefited from a totally blown coverage to pick up an 80-yard score. And even outside of his long touchdown, he was 5-of-6 for 69 yards, including a crucial second down conversion in overtime that helped set up Garrett Hartley's game-winning field goal. The problem Moore has isn't talent, but availability: Moore's struggled with injuries as a pro, and in such a dynamic offense, it's easy to get lost in the hunt for targets when Drew Brees develops a rapport with one of your competitors while you're gone. While some quarterbacks have a particular receiver they fall for, Brees's favorite guy is the open one.
3.
Tony Gonzalez ATL
8
9
110
13.8
1
68
Well, he sure isn't done yet. Gonzalez pulled all kinds of tricks out of his bag against the Saints. He started off most frequently against Tracy Porter, who was in coverage on Gonzalez's touchdown catch. When Porter went down, the Saints were forced to use Roman Harper against Gonzalez, and Harper had no hope, with Gonzalez using his body to shield Harper from throws that ended up being easy catches.
4.
Roy Williams DAL
5
6
117
23.4
2
67
For one week, Jerry Jones was a genius. With the porous Texans secondary seemingly giving him the run of their backfield, Williams downright dominated at times on Sunday night. On both of his touchdown catches, Williams was able to get a free release at the line of scrimmage and then use his underrated route-running skills to get downfield for touchdowns on go routes. His only incompletion on a 5-of-6 day came on a second-and-20 throw. Don't expect this to continue, since most teams have better cornerbacks than Houston and can just bump Williams off of his routes at the line of scrimmage. But hey, it was nice while it lasted, right?
5.
Austin Collie IND
12
16
171
14.2
2
64
Despite not starting any of the Colts' first three games, Collie has caught 27 passes for 359 yards. In the DVOA Era (1993-2010), that's a record start to the season for a receiver who hasn't started a game. In 1994, both Mike Pritchard and Glyn Milburn of the Broncos had 19 catches through three games without starting, although Milburn was a hybrid running back/receiver. Pritchard had a era-best 271 yards, which paced the rest of the opposition by 49. And Collie's 88 yards ahead of him. Suffice to say that the Colts' slot receiver is off to an impressive start.
Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Chad Ochocinco CIN
4
12
34
8.5
0
-45
Thrown passes on five third downs, Ochocinco was only able to convert one of them into a new series. Two of his catches were quick hitches. Will he finish with fewer DYAR than Terrell Owens? It's going to be an exciting race to the bottom.

Comments

237 comments, Last at 30 Sep 2010, 6:51pm

186 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I can't speak for them, but I can say that I think it would be really unfair.

I've been seeing a LOT of DPI lately that reward terrible throws. It's far, far too easy for a receiver to slow down waiting for a badly underthrown ball, get run into by a DB who is a bit slower to recognize the trajectory, and collect a whole bunch of free yards.

On the one hand, the DB doesn't deserve credit for breaking up a pass on which he was clearly beaten. But on the other, the QB shouldn't get any credit for the fact that he underthrew an open receiver by ten yards.

Not all DPI are like this, of course.

85 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm guessing that it's too random and has proven not to improve the predictive value of the stat.

68 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

How's that Garrard KUBIAK prediction working out?

I know I'm glad I loaded up on RB+WR and drafted Kolb late and Garrard in the last round! Starting Kolb in week 1 and Garrard in wks 2 and 3 have netted me... wait for it... exactly zero points thru 3 games.

77 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Kubiak is a joke. The only stats you should use from this site are the team-based ones. Their team stats are very good. They have no idea how to separate the different facets of football into individual player performance statistics, though. This has been clear for years.

84 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I've used Kubkiak for a few years now, and i find it generally pretty useful. I'm 3-0 in one league and 2-1 and 1st in scoring in the other. Its not perfect, but what is? It does seem a bit odd that it seems to have missed on value qbs this year. That was the thing i thought it was best at in the past. It turned me on to favre a few years ago when he was with the packers and everyone was down on him, rivers in his breakout year, and garrard in his. Of course i generally pick those guys to be a backup and then made a trade when they turned out good. This year i drafted Cassell and McNabb for that reason, and don't see much trade value yet.

91 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

They also had Orton as a top 10 guy this year, and that's worked out pretty well. Cassel's definitely been a disappointment, although he had a good fantasy game this week. Jury's out on McNabb.

107 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

They freely admit that the Garrard projection should be taken with a grain of salt... something along the lines of "the only person who likes David Garrard more than KUBIAK is his mother."

KUBIAK sucks at predicting concussions, too.

(I also like the Eagles)

169 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Something I like about this site is that the writers will freely disagree with their own statistics sometimes. If you're just skimming predictive statistics then, yeah, you're going to get screwed, which seems like the most obvious statement I've ever typed.

If you slow down and read the comments on the guys you're interested in, you'll find sometimes that a writer will say, "KUBIAK may've rated this player too high because of the following numbers that get plugged in," and, "KUBIAK isn't taking Factor X into account."

READ THE WRITING or you won't be able to put the numbers into proper context.

128 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Are you really blaming KUBIAK for 1) not predicting Kolb would get injured and 2) making you miss on your last pick in the draft?

155 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I don't think the point is "blaming" kubiak for anything. The point is garrard has been atrocious and kubiak had him as great value.

The comment bat concusions belongs on fox sports.

229 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Not to defend Kubiak, but blaming it for a concussion Kolb got in h1 of Week 1 seems far-fetched. Perhaps you just suck at drafting.

73 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Not that Boldin's numbers weren't already impressive, but one of his three misses was a 55 yard bomb that pretty clearly should have been a PI call on the Browns

78 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Nick Collins hands are so ridiculously bad it's ridiculous.

79 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"our article comparing JaMarcus Russell and Mark Sanchez's rookie seasons last year"

Too bad you didn't actually compare their rookie seasons. Way to re-write history, Bill!

83 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I love this site, and I think you guys are great. In Fact, I bought KUBIAK for the 1st time this year, and I am starting out the gate with the most consistently dominant team I've ever had so far. Praise all around.

BUT...

these statistics are not fool proof. As an example, let me point out the prediction on Adrian Peterson. Without getting too specific, as I know that is frowned upon, you all had him WAY undervalued, and specifically as a pass catching back. I adjusted my KUBIAK accordingly, and so far, it seems my projections are more accurate.

Likewise, I understand the value of charting a QB's relative performance, and I completely understand the value of looking at Vicks production through this prism of DYAR, but I have to say that I think to predict a regression to 2007 Vick production based on these paradigms is a mistake, for 2 reasons.

1. While you all are rightfully pointing out the woeful caliber of the pass defenses Vick has faced, you are not giving any credence to the fact that before week 2, Vick was taking 2nd team snaps, not preparing as a full time starter. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that his performance SHOULD improve as the season goes on and he and the offense gel better.

2. Using ATL Vick as a baseline to compare to is simply a faulty premise, because the situation in Philly is simply way, way better for a QB. Other than the guy being named the same and wearing the same jersey, nothing about the two situations is the same.
-He is changed in his preparation and practice methods/attitude, by all accounts. While I'm sure this will get snickers, I don't think it should, as this was a major factor in his mechanical inaccuracy in the past.
-Related to this 1st point, the coaching staff/ playcalling / protection schemes are going to be better. People forget Vick had basically a new coordinator every year since Dan Reeves was fired. NO QB is going to put good metrics in that setting.
-The Skill positions around him are better than all his years in ATL combined.

When you take all this together, I am skeptical that you all are calling for Vick becoming a retread of his past incarnation. He may not become a coach on the field like Peyton Manning, but I bet as a passer he approximates 75-80% of what McNaab did on a metrics based level, and when you throw in what he can do on the ground, I think he's going to end up the year as a top 5 QB, in real terms.

my two cents.

126 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"As an example, let me point out the prediction on Adrian Peterson. Without getting too specific, as I know that is frowned upon, you all had him WAY undervalued, and specifically as a pass catching back."

For my PPR league, he came out near the top. What more do you want? What else did you change?

And no, KUBIAK will never be perfect. It will just likely be more correct ON AVERAGE than other predictions. It's simply probabilities of how well each player will do - not an absolute. Especially since they are largely guessing at how the actual usage numbers will work out.

87 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

This Week:
"Flacco had been derided for a rough start based on two road games against the Jets and Bengals, who are very likely to rate among the league's best pass defenses this year."

Yes, derided by YOU!

Last Week:
"The Bengals have a good secondary, but the Flacco that showed up this Sunday appeared to have mistaken them for the Jets once more. He had one of the worst first halves of football you will ever see a NFL quarterback have: 5-of-17 for 23 yards, with one first down and one interception. That's Derek Anderson on a day where even Ken Whisenhunt would wish for Matt Leinart. He put together one drive after the break, picking up two first downs and then finishing with a gorgeous 31-yard touch pass to Derrick Mason for a touchdown, but then it was back to more of the same. After that drive, he went 8-of-17 for 62 yards with two interceptions, another pick on a Hail Mary, a sack, and just three first downs. While the Bengals were able to get effective pressure on Flacco -- and T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped a big pass downfield -- Flacco also missed open receivers, both with his throws and with his eyes."

Can we just agree that Flacco has shown pretty extreme tendencies...he's GREAT vs. crappy teams...but struggles vs. good teams, particularly late in close games? And that those struggles in close games haven't been "random" in a "guts and stomps" context, but are an actual reflection of his actual tendencies to have serious troubles vs. quality? And, therefore, DVOA'S ranking of Baltimore as the best team in the NFL last year was NUTS?

When Flacco gets the hang of what to do it in close games vs. quality, the Ravens could very well develop into that level of team in a heartbeat. They weren't there last year, even though you left the DVOA chart up on the home page all summer long showing that they were...by that metric anyway.

136 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Thanks for writing that. I was thinking the same thing. Also, I'm not sure why he claims that Cinci and NYJ are two of the best pass defenses that Flacco will see this year, since Cinci is ranked 7th and the Jets 24th. Perhaps the Steelers are favored--something he's surprised about--since they are ranked 3rd. If Flacco looks worse against a superior pass defense, then maybe it doesn't matter that Batch's two long TD passes involved a little luck.

92 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

No comment on the dreadful performances of David Garrard and Carson Palmer? The struggles of these two previously highly regarded QBs are something I would like to read about.

174 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Carson Palmer was saved by the Panthers inability to catch the ball. After the first quarter, he was 3-for-9 with 2 interceptions and at least 3 others that hit a Panthers player. I remember pointing out to a friend that he had hit a Panthers player with more than half his passes.

I would hold Palmer responsible for Ochocinco's horrible game, although Ochocinco did have one drop that was completely on him.

95 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I don't recall ever seeing three aborted snaps for one quarterback in one game

John Unitas fumbled four times in his first game with the Colts.

Some players get better, some don't.

109 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Didn't Olin Kreutz and Rex Grossman team up for multiple aborted snaps in a single game a couple of years ago?

(I also like the Eagles)

97 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

KUBIAK for me has been worth every penny for it's ability to identify horribly overvalued and/or undervalued players and to think situationally about player/team changes that can and likely will impact positional performance.

Knowing Martz was going to use Forte in the Marshall Faulk manner and thinking about Santana Moss with a "real" QB like McNabb vs. Campbell were instrumental in me getting steals in later rounds...both picks I attribute to thinking that was catalyzed from KUBIAK-based analysis. Yes, I had to execute the picks and of course get lucky in draft order, etc., but the initial thinking came from this site and KUBIAK.

Also, the positional comparisons I've also found helpful in determining when to draft certain positions. Knowing the differential performance distribution of TEs, RBs and WRs this year was extremely helpful when thinking about when to draft for what position. Watching people burn TE picks too early while I bolstered my bench with top-tier RBs and WRs was also rooted in this site, KUBIAK and PFP.

My first year using KUBIAK, I "slaved" to it and the results were terrible. But now I take a holistic (and likely more common sense) approach and I couldn't be happier with the results.

But that being said...can someone explain to me why their are so many posters who seem to be hell intent on doing nothing but commenting on why this site/statistics suck?

Has FO.com reached the heights of popularity where now the "haters" are an unfortunate by-product? This is one man's opinion, but this year these threads have gone from somewhat informative/substantiative to 60% drivel and quite frankly it's really curtailing my visits.

111 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

This lines up pretty well with my three-year-running KUBIAK experience. It's interesting, KUBIAK is what led me to take a TE early in two of my drafts - the TE named Antonio Gates. KUBIAK suggested this year that there was Gates on tier one, then nearly every other TE somewhere between tiers two and three.

So far, it's paid off; Gates has been key in winning two close games for me.

144 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I've been coming here since the site was about three months old, and the "haters" tend to come in waves. We'll have whole months without any good "I hate stats" threads. Usually I think we get a rush because we're linked on someone's site, they come and check FO out, and are horrified at how their team is evaluated here. Most often they leave because the site is proven correct (FOMBC and all), but occasionally we get converts who become interesting members. I haven't seen Chris (known as C since FO got a new site) around this year, but he was one of those.

Less often we get angry gamblers; they're usually flying solo, though. One odd guy stuck around for an entire season and ragged on the site relentlessly, driving me (at least) crazy with how he would say he knew all along xxx event would happen, but would never make predictions. He was the Common Sense advocate. Even he eventually burned out.

Without doubt, the people who hang around the longest are the ones who like the site and believe in it. They're the best reason to come here -- even moreso that the FO stats and articles, for me.

Conclusion: the guys ragging on the site will burn out, and the interesting posters will stick around. Stay and be one of them!

151 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"One odd guy stuck around for an entire season and ragged on the site relentlessly, driving me (at least) crazy with how he would say he knew all along xxx event would happen, but would never make predictions. He was the Common Sense advocate. Even he eventually burned out."

I remember him! He kept calling you "Mr. Hoptoad".

This is a great post, Mr. Hoptoad (:P). I think we get several kinds of louder dissenting commenters:

- People from team sites whose teams have recently gotten unfavorable ratings from FO; these people usually stay for less than a week, commenting in the thread that was linked on their forums, then getting bored of FO.

- Angry gamblers (good term). They tend to stick around a bit longer, but strangely (haha) never post anything they "knew would happen" before it actually happens.

- People who are generally skeptical of the numbers, but have some knowledge of statistics. These commenters can be quite persistent, and though they raise legitimate concerns, they're often a bit too pedantic and miss the forest for the trees, if you will.

- People who are intelligent about football, but are a bit too passionate about their fandom and/or judgement of individual players. They ultimately wind up contributing the most, since when they discuss teams and players they aren't passionate about, they're quite rational and knowledgeable.

- Raiderjoe.

187 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"- People who are intelligent about football, but are a bit too passionate about their fandom and/or judgement of individual players. They ultimately wind up contributing the most, since when they discuss teams and players they aren't passionate about, they're quite rational and knowledgeable.

- Raiderjoe."

Is the addition of copious ammounts of Sierra Nevada really enough to split them up into two distinct categories?

- Alvaro

211 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Nice categories. Seeing Raiderjoe in his own category gives me a little pang.

We ought to gather a "best of" FO posters.

Pat -- who comes closest to earning the label "stat bigot" of anyone I've read, but who still wrote some of my favorite posts. Most famous on this site, probably, for inventing Robo Punter.

STEVEN YANG -- WHO LOVED TO WRITE LONG PREDICTIONS OF TEAM STRENGTH BASED ON THREE OR FOUR PLAYERS ON THE TEAM, ENDING WITH A SEVERAL SENTENCE SUMMARY, ALL IN CAPS.

Chris, or C -- famous for his passions about specific players: fanatical hatred of Tony Dungy (why???) and Campbell...I think he's winning that one. Also his love of Eli Manning.

zlionsfan -- inventor of the famous template

Several fans most notable for their intelligent fandom of one team -- Bobman our Colts guy; Will Allen our libertarian/Vikings guy, Karl Cuba our 49er guy over in Britain, etc.

Various lawyers who pop up on the legal Extra Points...can't recall one in particular.

Many cool stats guys, at least one of which I can recall being recruited to the Outsiders (Sean McCormick, if memory serves.)

Good site, isn't it?

P.S. That particular gambler...Rich C., wasn't it? Rick C? Something like that? Weird how he gave a big long teary farewell post.

209 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

DVAO, no. DVAO is the Delaware Academy of Osseointegration, according to Google.

DVOA and DYAR are both strangely listed under "Our New Stats Explained" up at the top of the page. You might want to check it out. It's interesting reading.

212 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Great, you caught me misspelling. Good for you.

You do not know how DVOA and DYAR calculated. You cannot reproduce numbers, you cannot modify it and find where it fails where it excels.

They both are interpretation of data, based on a lot of false assumptions, you can call them statistics if you want, but they are only statistics in the sense of interpretation of data. Someone arguing against them would not be "I hate stats" but would be arguing about how the data is interpreted.

DVOA is based on the assumption that one can calculate what a league wide average defense is, in a league where all teams do not play each other, where the performance of teams vary wildly from week to week.

It is based on a concept of success, such as 45% of yards on 1st down is success. How do we know success is not actually 4.2 yards, or 4.8 yards, or even sometimes 2 yards if it opens the way for play action. Furthermore, I bet most OCs would consider 4.5 yards on 1st and 10 success on a running play and not success on a passing play. These "stats" are based on very subjective way of interpreting data. There are many subjective interpretations of data that is not statistics.

If I have to call DVOA or DYAR anything, I would call them metrics. Just like simple rating system, DVOA is one of the metrics that give you insight on what happened, because you cannot watch every single game. You on the other hand, seem to believe it like a religion, and defend it like it is science.

It is funny that your proof of DVOA and DYAR are stats is that "FO says so". This is like an evangelical arguing that universe must be created in six days and then using bible as his proof.

223 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

a metric is a tool to measure something. a statistic is a tool to report something. not all statistics are necessarily metrics.

Having said that, it doesn't make the post any less confusing.

224 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Here is the bottom line. DVOA and DYAR are very subjective interpretation of data. People who suggests that they are broken or they have deficiencies are not people of kind "I hate stats". Conflating criticism of DVOA and DYAR with a general rejection of statistics shows a basic lack of understanding what they are, regardless of how one categorizes DVOA and DYAR.

WRT statistics and metrics, metrics is a measurement of something and you can have a metric of anything, like how attractive you find someone on the scale of 10, that does not make it a statistics.

101 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Didn't Collie start in place of Pierre Garcon on Sunday?

102 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

This is brutal. Vick was wildly ineffective at times? Considering he had about 4 dropped passes, scored a rushing touchdown and had a 115+ passer rating anyway, I'd say you are out of your mind. Also, I like how you mention Henne's 27 yard pass interference but don't mention Vick's 25 yard pass interference call on his throw to Jeremy Maclin. Bias is an ugly thing.

146 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

On Philly's first four drives, Vick had the 61-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson ... and otherwise went 2-of-8 for six yards with a sack. After an effective two-minute drill to get an 11-point lead, Vick led two possessions that combined for seven plays by going 2-of-4 for 22 yards and a sack, with both completions coming on third-and-long and ending up short of the sticks, leading to punts.

What part of that don't you understand? You do know what "at times" means, don't you?

Are the stats wrong that he's quoting? Otherwise, I have to say they're more convincing than "you are out of your mind."

149 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I would say that we could pick any QB, including Rodgers, Manning, etc., and point out a couple unsuccessful drives in each game.
And casually saying in passing, "oh yeah, he did throw a 61 yarder to Jackson, and a 40 yarder to Maclin on a rope, and a 2 minute drill for a td, and for good measure turned a busted play in the redzone into a running td... BUT HE FOLLOWED EACH OF THOSE DRIVES WITH INCOMPLETIONS AND FAILED 3RD DOWN CONVERSIONS, SO CLEARLY HE'S NOT PLAYING WELL YADA YADA YADA..." I mean, aren't we kind of glossing over the lead? Kind of misssing the point, don't you think???

210 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yeah, I can see that argument: every QB is wildly ineffective during some stretch of any game. I'm not quite sure I buy it...here in Northern California it's been such a long time since I've gotten to see a good QB play regularly that I can't remember what it looks like.

That's a bit more intelligent than a few wild stats followed by "you're out of your mind," though.

213 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yes, I do understand what "at times" means. He wasn't ineffective at any point in the football game. The incompletions he threw were more dropped passes than inaccurate throws.

230 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yes, the part where he says Vick's completion ended up short of the stick, leading to punts. DeSean Jax had a wildly *clear* first down if he ran forward, he tried to outrun 11 guys to the corner when all he needed was 1 yd and he blew it. [or the part where the porous OL led to a sack on Vick somehow being a condemnation/negative for Vick.]

Most of us come to this site for the opposite of the meaningless box score stat-to-verbiage that was given in the OP about Vick. You can tell in various articles on the site that the game in question [or at least the part referenced] wasn't watched by the person writing it. Tanier did the play-by-play of Vick's performance, what was given here was a poor bastardization of that/or reading the box score.

There's been some anti-Vick bias at FO these past few weeks for sure. Frankly, I'dve kept McNabb for a year -- nobody asked me, but Vick has far and away been one of the top QBs in the NFL for 3 weeks -- and he did play the majority of the snaps v GB and started the game, in fact...their pass D is pretty damn good.

104 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Can one of the FO staff please explain why Lesean Mccoy's DVOA has gone from -4% to 47%?
Obviously Vick is benefitting from this massive, unprecedented improvement in the performance of Philly's running back.

106 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Bill, quit with the Vick trolling. It's neither seemly nor insightful.

The man had 112 YAR on 33 drop backs. He had a 27 yard P.I. in his favor that doesn't get included in his numbers, just like Henne did. If he was at times "wildly ineffective", his numbers show him to be at times wildly effective too, with the balance in his favor.

His VOA and YAR are not "slightly above average at best". They are 24.6% and 223 (in 10 quarters), compared to medians for the top 32 QBs of 5.6% and 77. We routinely bitch-slap FO newbies for using rankings without looking at the actual numbers. Consider yourself slapped, B.

121 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

What's frustrating is that Vick is clearly playing DIFFERENTLY than he played before, even if he is not suddenly a Top 10 pure passer, guy who sets his feet on every pass, etc., whatever measure FO is determined to point out he's failing to live up to.

Just look at his DVOA as a passer from previous years - almost every year it is downright awful. Now, of course opponent adjustment will drag him down a bit, but in two games he is playing very different than he ever did in the pass: significantly higher VOA as a passer, fewer runs, making different reads.

The knee-jerk, "don't believe the hype - and Vick is ALL hype" response is frustrating because for the moment Vick is playing like a completely different player - the questions are why and how and if it is sustainable. To answer those questions with a simple, "The opposition blows and he's not playing good, anyway" is just so reductive and simplistic - it's like a mirror image of Sportscenter's "The King is back, baby!" analysis. I just expect better from FO. Except if it Barnwell writing.

127 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"Quality of opponent" may be a simple argument, but that doesn't make it an inaccurate one. Perhaps the most memorable example is Derek Anderson's 2007 season, where a case could be made that a really bad QB looked like a really good one due mostly (if not entirely) to playing a stretch of cupcake pass defenses. If playing bad teams could make Derek Anderson look that good, then it's entirely plausible for, say, a slightly below-average player to look elite when playing two games against horrendous defenses.

That's not to say that I necessarily agree with all of Bill's analysis, or even that this happens to be the case for Vick. It's just worth noting that opponent quality can be a big, big, BIG deal.

154 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yeah, but by FO's own numbers he had his best game against the #5 ranked defense. And don't give me a "they didn't plan for Vick." If they didn't, they're stupid because Reid said all off-season that Vick would see the field on 12-15 plays a game. He even started the game and played on the very first snap. The Packers should have had something resembling a plan for Vick. The Eagles played a good defense, a mediocre defense and a bad defense - that is not 3 cupcakes...

178 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

*A team with only two healthy defensive linemen is definitely not a team that's fully prepared for Vick.

*Coaches say a lot of things about what they will or won't do, and though some of those things are true, it would be pretty foolish for anyone to take public proclamations from NFL head coaches at face value.

*Considering that Vick is currently being used in a significantly different role than he was in the special "Vick package," I think it's reasonable to suggest that GB's preparations for Vick were designed with the latter in mind, and might not be as useful once he was placed in the former.

*I'm unsure which defense you'd classify as "mediocre," since JAX and DET have both started out pretty terribly in 2010, were both atrocious last year, and both have secondary personnel that so far seem ... underwhelming.

I'm actually pretty agnostic about Vick. I definitely agree with you that he looks like a different player than he was in Atlanta, and I came away quite impressed with his work against Green Bay. I have no doubt that he's capable of looking incredible again this week against a Redskins' defense that could very easily turn out to be the league's worst this season. And even once he faces a tougher slate, it wouldn't surprise me if he still turns in respectable (or even some excellent) performances. But given the circumstances, I think it's awfully early to declare that Vick's proven himself to be a completely new and elite player.

201 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm just saying GB didn't have an excuse of "we never expected to see Vick on the field!" In the way that most teams probably aren't game planning even in any capacity for Kellen Clemens (or Mark Burnell?) when they play the Jets. They knew he would see the field. They should have had a plan for what to do when Vick was on the field - even last year, he wasn't doing just gimmick plays. And he played plenty last year, so it's not just Reid talking - it's Reid talking combined with past evidence.

Also, I am classifying Detroit as mediocre according to FO's numbers. I could have also said "slightly below average." I agree they're underwhelming, but others have pointed out that according to FO's numbers, Vick has played a more difficult slate of defenses than Peyton Manning, who truly has gone up against cupcakes. There's got to be an acknowledgment of some kind of a scale between "sorta bad" and "truly putrid" if we're going to use weak opponents to disregard Vick's performance.

And I've never said "elite" in describing Vick. In fact, I think he'll probably end up ranked somewhere around 16 or 17 in passing DVOA if the Eagles are lucky, lucky, lucky. Just go back and look at his DVOA with the Falcons - he's always hovering around 37th in the league with a HARD negative DVOA. Also, watch how he played for those Falcons teams - he's a DIFFERENT player now. I'm not sure he has enough accuracy (and although we haven't seen problems with it yet, decision-making ability) to be an elite passer. But being an ok passer combined with what he brings to the running game (not just his own scrambles, but the effect it has on McCoy's production) make him a hugely valuable player.

If he can sustain it. If he can even be mediocre against a good defense. They jury is obviously out on those things.

112 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Nat, you hit it right on. The fact that Mark Sanchez is higher than Vick is disgusting. He literally did nothing better than him at all except convert an unsustainable amount of 3rd downs.

147 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Hmm...where to put the "unsustainable" variable in a one-game performance statistic? Because you're right on. I hate those quarterbacks that convert an ungodly amount of 3rd downs. That's why I love Alex Smith!

214 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Start reading more articles about statistics in any sport and you'll begin understand what's unsustainable. You seem to be out of your element.

153 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Thanks. But I can't agree back at you.

If Sanchez had a higher YAR, then he did produce more (relative to a replacement, throwing the same throws, yada yada yada...) But the difference in production (29 YAR) isn't very big, and could easily be due to Vicks three sacks, or the particular downs and distances they threw in. Their results in conventional stats were pretty close.

My beef with Bill's Vick comments was not with the stats. It was with his poor analysis. It was sufficiently below FO standards of objectivity as to simulate trolling. I wonder if each year the FO team decides on a topic to make into a controversy, and intentionally ignores or misuses their own stats to generate traffic.

It's a shame, really. I actually like opinionated writing.... in its place, if it's well done. This is neither.

133 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

This is really sad. I appreciate the articles, and at their relative price who wouldn't, but I think I'm done here. Good luck you guys =)

138 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The Batch attack is only partially well founded. Reporting from Pittsburgh outlets like Ed Bouchette of the P-G revealed that Batch read safety Grimm's tendency to turn his back, and that Batch told wallace in the huddle that if Grimm turned his back on a fly/post pattern that he would try to drop it over the top. Grimm did, and Batch did.

The second TD on the Talib deflection was lucky, but the first was, as Branch Rickey would say, the residue of design.

158 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Who knew that going after a guy who was a try-really-hard linebacker in college posing as a safety in the NFL would yield positive results?

148 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

via ChemicalBurn:

"The knee-jerk, "don't believe the hype - and Vick is ALL hype" response is frustrating because for the moment Vick is playing like a completely different player - the questions are why and how and if it is sustainable. To answer those questions with a simple, "The opposition blows and he's not playing good, anyway" is just so reductive and simplistic - it's like a mirror image of Sportscenter's "The King is back, baby!" analysis. I just expect better from FO. Except if it Barnwell writing."

This is EXACTLY WHAT I WAS SAYING. I cannot agree more.

And, for Peterson, again, without getting too specific, the number of catches were way, way too low, based on a regression of his previous years, completely failing to account for
-The departure of Chester Taylor,
-Peterson's expanded role on 3rd down (both public knowledge, might I add)

The number came out as less than he had last year, despite the fact that between him and Taylor, 80+ catches were made.

Anyway, as someone else stated, common sense rules the day. We are picking nits, as they say. Still a phenomenal product on draft day.

157 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Who knew so many people loved Michael Vick so deeply? The pages here are drenched with tears of Vick devotees who feel he just isn't getting his due.
It is funny how a couple of decent games can change people's perceptions totally about a player. It's what makes sports, and celebrity, feel rather ludicrous.

170 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I hate Michael Vick. You know what else I hate? Bad analysis. Unfortunately, Vick now QB's for the only team I give a shit about. And much more surprisingly, FO (in my opinion the gold standard for football writing) has only offered bad analysis of his performance as the QB.

I wish Vick weren't playing football. I would probably prefer if he were still in jail. I don't believe he has changed as a human being and I have my suspicions about what happened with the shooting at his birthday party this summer. But these guys aren't my friends, a bunch of them are probably terrible people and I'll never have the slightest inkling of it, it's morally pointless for me to take a stand and stop watching football because he's the Eagles QB.

For 2 and a half games, the guy has been playing and FO has written about him extensively. I expect more from their coverage because, with exception of Doug Farrar's writing, it has been awful. If you asked me if I would mind if a giant safe fell on Vick tomorrow and he died, I would say "Not at all." If you asked me if he was playing in the same fashion as 2004, I would say "So far, not even slightly. I am deeply surprised."

205 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Nah. I think the point is more that saying "Vick is playing really good football, but he kills dogs" would be more honest than to highlight all these clues and indicators that his football is theoretically not as good as it appears to be.

165 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Vick hasn't had much time with those receivers either. As he works with them he'll likely perform even better. He came in with no gameplan against the Packers and was dominant - yet if anything gets discredited for that because apparently the Packers are the only ones allowed to implement a gameplan.

167 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

They were all there last year, and he got at least some reps with them for Wildcat plays. It's not like his next TD to Celek will be his first.

232 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm not sure if this is a joke, or a troll, but Vick had exactly one passing TD in the regular season last year - to Celek.

173 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Williams downright dominated at times on Sunday night

He didn't look too bad Sunday afternoon either, in the game that had a 1 ET 10 PT kickoff time.

190 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

You should correct your offensive line stats for the Eagles. THe NFL revised the sack number from the Detroit game from 6 to 5.

206 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"And even outside of [Lance Moore's] long touchdown, he was 5-of-6 for 69 yards, including a crucial second down conversion in overtime that helped set up Garrett Hartley's game-winning field goal."

Wow, way to stick it to us Saints fans there.

215 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

3rd down conversions shouldn't add anything to a player's value. They are no different than a 1st or 2nd down conversion. This site needs to read some baseball prospectus, it will likely help them. Judging a quarterback on 3rd down conversions is unbelievably inaccurate. It's like judging a basketball player on his last shot of the game or a baseball player on clutch hitting. It's stupid, a small sample size and has no sustainability.

218 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Also, in the introduction to this year's Almanac, it is explained that, for the past three years, for offenses, third-down DVOA has been more predictive than first- or second-down DVOA. It remains to be seen whether this is a blip, but the argument is less concrete than you make out.

222 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

3rd downs aren't "clutch", in that sense. They're different and important because they are a pure test of passing for quarterbacks, against a defense that mostly knows they are throwing and schemes against that. On first and second down, defenses are less able to play the pass. But on third down, especially third and long, a lot of the trickery (play-action, etc.) isn't possible because that stretch play isn't going to get you eight yards.

[Also, with one and only one play to get any particular yardage, passing is a good idea because you can pick a receiver to throw to who will get the yardage you need].

Hence, third downs are a good test of quarterbacks as quarterbacks, facing blitzes or heavy coverage, and success in that context is both important and predictive.

216 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm looking forward to the game where Vick performs just an average game. He'll probably be ranked 42nd behind a handful of backups who didn't get on the field.

219 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

1) Don't obsess about rankings. Look at the actual value of DYAR. Vick's 126 is pretty good. He's closer to ranking 3rd than he is to being average.
2) All the QBs listed ahead of him had better completion percentages, when you factor in sacks. Completion percentage isn't everything, but it matters a lot.
3) Sacks are worse than incompletions. Vick was sacked three times. This counts against his passing DYAR.
4) DYAR is a cumulative stat. Vick was much better per-play than Orton, for example. But Orton threw almost twice as many passes, and so produced more value in total. Vick played better, but Orton was in more plays.

Personally, I would like FO to include single game DVOA for the QBs here, too, so we could talk about per-play quality in parallel with total production. But that's not what this list is trying to convey, so they don't.

While some FO commentators may act like somewhat irrational Vick-deniers, the stats themselves are unbiased. This last week, Vick was quite good, but by no means the best or most productive QB in the league. Relax and enjoy the ride.

225 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Sacks aren't always the quarterback's fault. The Eagles offensive line is historically bad right now. Is it really fair to count sacks more negatively than incompletions? Also, if they really want an accurate analysis of quarterback performance, they should incorporate dropped passes into the equation. Vick had atleast 4 dropped balls. The stat as it is now is quite flawed.

231 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Go read "About: Our New Stats Explained" if you haven't already. It'll help you understand what's going on here. They explicitly discuss the "quality of teammates" issue with DVOA and how to think about it.

A QB's DYAR and DVOA are about that QB, with that line, with that running threat for play action, with those receivers. You are free to look at DVOA and say "that's because the rest of his team sucks!" if you want. It might even be true to some extent. But don't expect an objective stat to incorporate your subjective ideas about who to blame for incompletions and sacks.

233 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Fair enough, but sacks can be objectively assigned in many cases, just like INTs can be, just not always. You have heard of a 'blown assignment,' since you peruse this site I assume...

235 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Listen, I'm speaking positively of Vick's performance as much as anybody here... but at least 3 of those drops were primarily on him. Objectively speaking.

Vick played well behind a bad line and surprised in many ways... but be real, he also frequently displayed some of the terrible mechanics and poor accuracy that caused FO's numbers to be down on him for his entire career.

Also, it is fair and logical to count sacks more negatively than incompletions. It is not the entire end of the story, but I completely trust numbers that penalize more heavily for sacks than incompletions.

237 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Sacks actually are much more tied to quarterbacks than is commonly conceived. Both FO and PFR have done research indicating this