Quick Reads
The best and worst players of the week according to Football Outsiders stats.

Week 3 Quick Reads

by Vince Verhei

New York Jets fans, rejoice! For one Sunday, you had the best-performing quarterback in the NFL. Geno Smith's 16-of-29, 331-yard, two-touchdown, two-interception game against Buffalo was the most valuable of any NFL quarterback this week -- at least, it would have been, if Peyton Manning had a bad game on Monday night. (EDITOR'S NOTE: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!)

It has been a long, long time since the Jets have put a quarterback atop the leaderboard. The last Gang Green passer to lead Quick Reads was Brett Favre, who turned the trick against Tennessee in Week 12 of the 2008 season. Favre's statline that day isn't impressive on the surface -- a 25-of-32 performance for only 224 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception -- but it came against a Titans defense that finished fourth against the pass in the DVOA rankings.

Smith's game against Buffalo was the best for any Jets quarterback since Mark Sanchez had 181 DYAR against -- yes -- Buffalo in last year's season opener. Sanchez lit up the Bills for three touchdowns, going 19-of-27 for 266 yards with one pick.

Now, let's throw some water on the fire. Smith's game ranked first not so much because it was a particularly great game, but because it was a pretty crummy week for quarterbacks. Half of all starting quarterbacks on Sunday and Thursday finished below replacement level. Smith's 135 DYAR (which, again, could change slightly after the Monday night game) would not have led the quarterback rankings in any week in 2012. It only would have finished second three times, and on four occasions would have been outside the top five.

It is somewhat notable that Smith turned the trick in just his third professional game, but he's not the first rookie to steal the spotlight. You only have to go back five "weeks" of NFL football to find a superior rookie performance -- Russell Wilson's comeback on the road against Atlanta in the divisional round of the playoffs last year. Wilson's performance against Atlanta broke his own record for single-game rookie QB DYAR, a record he originally set in Week 13 against Chicago. (As the table in that link shows, Smith's performance against Buffalo wasn't close to making the top 15 rookie QB games of all time.) Wilson wasn't the only rookie to finish first in Quick Reads last year. Andrew Luck did it in Week 9, and Brandon Weeden (I swear! Brandon F'n Weeden!) was the top quarterback of Week 2. Also, though he wasn't the top-ranked quarterback that week, Robert Griffin's very first NFL start resulted in a fourth-place ranking.

This isn't entirely fair to Smith, though, because we're comparing him to the Class of 2012, almost assuredly the best crop of quarterbacks to ever enter the league at the same time. From 2008 to 2011, no rookie quarterback (including stud freshmen like Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Cam Newton, and Andy Dalton) ever finished first in Quick Reads. I could go back farther than that, but that would mean A) Digging through the FO on FOX archives, which is a giant headache, and B) Investigating the 2007 rookie class led by Trent Edwards, Matt Moore, and John Beck, and I just refuse. Suffice to say that this trend of rookies outshining veterans is a very recent phenomenon.

THIS WEEK'S SURPRISES: Bilal Powell, Joique Bell, DeAngelo Williams, and Adrian Peterson averaged more than 130 yards from scrimmage, but none of them made the top five running backs list. In fact, none of them made the top 10. Powell ran for 149 yards against the Bills, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, but 75 of those yards came on just four runs, and he had only five first downs on the day. He had nine fourth-quarter carries, each protecting a one-score lead, and only gained successful yardage one time. Bell had receptions of 11, 16, and 37 yards for Detroit against Washington. As a runner, though, he had three runs of 10 yards or more, and otherwise averaged 1.6 yards on 17 rushes, with eight runs for no gain or a loss. Williams managed only two catches for 6 yards in five targets, and as a runner, he gained 3 yards or fewer on 12 of his 23 carries. Peterson had a very non-Peterson day, He was hit for no gain or a loss only three times, but he averaged just 3.5 yards on 25 carries, with no 10-yard runs and one lost fumble.

Among receivers, Jimmy Graham caught nine passes for 134 yards, with two touchdowns and six other first downs, but he also had six incompletions. Santonio Holmes was even more boom-and-bust, with five receptions for 154 yards, every catch gaining a first down or touchdown, but five incomplete targets. It's very rare to see a player with a 50 percent Catch Rate make the Quick Reads tables.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
1.
Peyton Manning DEN
32/37
374
3
0
227
227
0
Here's how Peyton's day began: Incomplete. Six completions in a row. Incomplete. 15 completions in a row. Incomplete. Five completions in a row (with a botched snap in the mix there). Manning did not throw back-to-back incompletions until the third quarter, when the Broncos were already ahead by 20 points. And it's not like he was throwing ineffective dumpoffs, either; 22 of those 27 completions gained successful yardage.
2.
Geno Smith NYJ
16/29
331
2
2
133
117
16
Some curious directional splits for Geno. He was last in the league this week in DYAR on passes to the short left part of the field, going 3-of-7 for 23 yards with an interception. However, he was first in DYAR to the deep right, the diametrically opposite direction, going 6-of-8 for 247 yards and two scores, plus a 22-yard DPI.
3.
Jake Locker TEN
23/36
299
1
0
125
106
19
It was not a good start for Locker, as he went 4-of-7 for 21 yards with no first downs and a sack on the Titans' first three drives. Things obviously improved after that, and in one stretch over the second and third quarters, he hit on six passes in a row, with each play gaining 11 to 19 yards. On third downs in the first three quarters, he went 4-of-6 for 23 yards with just one first down. In the fourth quarter, he went 6-of-8 for 101 yards on third and fourth downs, with five conversions, including the game-winning 34-yard touchdown.
4.
Drew Brees NO
29/46
342
3
1
124
103
22
First seven third-down plays: 1-of-6 for 14 yards, one first down, one interception, plus an 8-yard DPI. Last four third-down plays: 4-of-4 for 48 yards with a touchdown and three other first downs.
5.
Tony Romo DAL
17/24
210
3
0
123
123
0
On second downs, Romo went 10-of-12 for 129 yards, with one touchdown and seven other first downs, plus a 6-yard DPI.
6.
Matthew Stafford DET
25/42
385
2
1
118
115
3
First five third-down plays: 4-of-5 for 85 yards with a touchdown and three other first downs. After that, he went 2-of-6 for 2 yards (not a typo) and no first downs.
7.
Philip Rivers SD
20/24
184
1
0
109
109
0
Rivers was so ridiculously great on second down (7-of-8 for 101 yards, with six first downs, plus two DPIs for 42 yards and a pair of sacks) that he had only three third-down plays. On the other hand, those three third-down plays resulted in a 3-yard gain with 5 yards to go, a 9-yard gain with 10 yards to go, and an incomplete pass.
8.
Tarvaris Jackson SEA
7/8
129
1
0
109
99
10
OMFG THE NUMBERS CLEARLY SHOW TARVARIS JACKSON IS SEATTLE'S BEST QUARTERBACK BENCH Russell Wilson RIGHT NOW. Or not. Six of Jackson's seven completions went for first downs, including a 35-yard touchdown to Doug Baldwin. His other completion was an 8-yard gain on second-and-12. Actually, serious question: Is Jackson the NFL's best backup QB? I think he'd have a strong case.
9.
Russell Wilson SEA
14/21
202
4
1
89
84
5
Inside the Jacksonville 40, Wilson went 6-of-6 for 74 yards, with four touchdowns and two other first downs, plus a 25-yard DPI and a sack.
10.
Matt Ryan ATL
23/38
231
2
1
86
86
0
In the third quarter, Ryan hit Levine Toilolo for a 2-yard touchdown to put Atlanta ahead 20-7. Up to that point, he was 17-of-20 for 128 yards with two touchdowns and seven other first downs, plus a 3-yard DPI. From that point forward, he went 6-of-18 for 103 yards with five first downs and an interception.
11.
Cam Newton CAR
15/27
223
3
1
85
62
23
Some streaky performance from Newton in this game. He started 2-of-8 for 4 yards with no first downs, one interception, and one sack. Then he completed three straight passes for three first downs and 45 total yards. Then he went 1-of-5 for 9 yards. From that point (still midway through the second quarter) to halftime, he went 4-of-6 for 54 yards with a touchdown and three other first downs. And in the second half, he went 5-of-5 for 111 yards with two touchdowns and two other first downs.
12.
Andrew Luck IND
18/27
164
0
0
67
47
20
On his own half of the field: 12-of-16 for 100 yards plus two 9-yard DPIs for eight total first downs, with one sack. On San Francisco's half of the field: 6-of-11 for 64 yards and only three first downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
13.
Terrelle Pryor OAK
19/28
281
1
0
67
60
7
Pryor was at his worst inside his own 20, going 5-of-9 for 38 yards with no first downs. It didn't help that his average pass in that distance needed to gain 13.7 yards for a first down.
14.
Joe Flacco BAL
17/24
194
0
0
62
62
0
Flacco was a wreck in the first half, going 7-of-12 for just 53 yards and two first downs, plus a 21-yard DPI and a sack-fumble. Fortunately for him, the Ravens scored touchdowns on defense and special teams, and the Ravens led 17-9. After the break, he went 10-of-12 for 141 yards, plus a 7-yard DPI, for six total first downs with one sack.
15.
Alex Smith KC
22/34
273
0
0
41
51
-10
This game probably shouldn't have been close, but Smith had a nightmarish performance in the red zone, going 0-for-4 with a sack.
16.
Tom Brady NE
25/36
225
2
1
24
19
5
Hey, he finally surpassed replacement level. Baby steps. His first first-down throw was a 12-yard gain, and his last two first-down throws went for 15 and 17 yards. In between, he went 4-of-10 for 18 yards with no first downs and a sack.
17.
Jay Cutler CHI
20/30
159
1
0
22
17
5
This was a very un-Cutlerian performance, as he didn't complete a pass more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage until midway through the fourth quarter, when he hit Brandon Marshall for 41 yards. (The rest of the day, Marshall caught four passes in seven targets for 11 yards and no first downs, though he did get a first down on a 4-yard DPI call.) Inside the Chicago 40 -- you know, where most drives begin -- Cutler started out 8-of-15 for 43 yards with one first down and two sacks. His last throw from that part of the field was the 41-yarder.
18.
Andy Dalton CIN
20/28
235
2
1
2
6
-4
First three drives: Three passes, three completions, three first downs, 54 yards. Next seven drives: Nine passes, four completions (two of which lost yards), no first downs, 13 yards, plus two sacks. Last four drives, all in the second half: 16 passes, 13 completions, two touchdowns, seven other first downs, 168 yards, plus two sacks. And yes, we have already reached the last quarterback above replacement level.

LET THE PARADE OF CRAP BEGIN!

19.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
26/41
406
2
2
-11
3
-14
Roethlisberger had a bad day on third and fourth downs. He had a 45-yard gain on third-and-14 and a 4-yard gain on third-and-three. Those were his only conversions. Otherwise he went 2-of-9 for 13 yards with a pick-six. He also had two fumbles, one of which was returned for another defensive score.
20.
Josh Freeman TB
19/41
236
0
1
-13
-13
-1
Freeman played his worst inside the New England 40, going 4-of-15 for 45 yards plus a 20-yard DPI for only two total first downs. He went 0-for-6 in the red zone.
21.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
24/35
236
2
1
-26
-32
6
On first downs, Tannehill went 7-of-14 for 53 yards and only two first downs with a sack. On third downs, he went 9-of-10 for 103 yards with a touchdown and six other conversions, though he also had an interception, two sacks, and a fumble.
22.
Robert Griffin WAS
32/50
326
0
1
-45
-35
-10
Inside the Detoit 40, Griffin went 4-of-11 for 45 yards with three first downs, not touchdowns, and an interception. For the game, he had five rushes for 37 yards and no first downs. His 21-yarder in the fourth quarter would have been a first down, but he fumbled at the end without being touched, and Detroit recovered.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
23.
E.J. Manuel BUF
19/41
243
1
0
-46
-56
10
On third-and-6 on the New York 33 in the fourth quarter, Manuel hit Scott Chandler for a 33-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Otherwise, on the Jets' side of the 50, he went 2-of-11 for 17 yards with no first downs and four sacks.
24.
Colin Kaepernick SF
13/27
150
0
1
-46
-39
-7
San Francisco scored seven points in this game, and never came close to scoring more. Kaepernick had three, count 'em, three plays, running or passing, on the Indianapolis half of the field: A sack and an incompletion, both in the first quarter, and an interception on San Francisco's last play (which counts as an incompletion for DVOA/DYAR). In the Mid zone, the area between the 40s, Kaepernick went 4-of-10 for 49 yards and a sack. He didn't convert a first down in that part of the field until the 49ers were down by 20 points in the fourth quarter.
25.
Matt Schaub HOU
25/35
194
0
1
-54
-54
0
Speaking of quarterbacks who were impotent across midfield, Schaub's first pass attempt across the 50 went for 13 yard and a first down. After that, he went 4-of-9 for 11 yards and no first downs on Baltimore's side of the field. Two of those completions lost yards.
26.
Sam Bradford STL
29/48
241
1
0
-65
-65
0
Bradford's only third-down conversion came on a 17-yard DPI down by 24 points in the fourth quarter. Otherwise he went 2-of-9 for 13 yards with three sacks. He did convert a pair of fourth-down plays in the second half, one for a touchdown, but those were also more or less garbage-time plays. Bradford had 12 failed completions this week; nobody else had more than nine.
27.
Christian Ponder MIN
25/42
228
0
1
-73
-110
37
The Vikings kept calling for Ponder passes on first downs, and kept getting into second-and-long as a result. On first downs, Ponder went 7-of-18 for 67 yards with a sack and only two first downs. Those two first downs accounted for 38 yards, and both came in the first 16 minutes of the game.
28.
Aaron Rodgers GB
26/43
244
1
2
-90
-94
4
Rodgers also struggled on first downs, going 12-of-19 for 122 yards, but only three first downs, with an interception.
29.
Brian Hoyer CLE
31/54
321
3
3
-102
-96
-6
First five drives: 12-of-19 for 161 yards, two touchowns, four other first downs. Next eight drives: 12-of-23, 105 yards, six first downs, three interceptions, two sacks, one intentional grounding. Final, game-winning drive: 6-of-11, 55 yards, five first downs, including the game-winning touchdown.
30.
Michael Vick PHI
13/30
201
1
2
-105
-140
35
Between the 40s, Vick went 1-of-6 for 13 yards with one first down, one interception, and one sack. His three carries went for 61, 24, and 14 yards, and three first downs.
31.
Carson Palmer ARI
18/35
187
0
2
-115
-115
0
Between a 12-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald in the second quarter and a 26-yarder to Fitzgerald in the fourth, Palmer went 5-of-17 for 24 yards with one first down and three sacks. Both of his interceptions came when trailing by at least 17 points in the fourth quarter.
32.
Eli Manning NYG
12/23
119
0
1
-129
-134
5
An 11-yard gain to Victor Cruz. A 20-yarder to Brandon Myers. Gains of 16 and 24 yards to Rueben Randle. Those, dear readers, were the only first downs that Eli Manning produced all game. Meanwhile, he was sacked seven times, six of them in his first nine dropbacks. He had no plays in the red zone. In the Front zone, he went 2-of-3 for 14 yards with two sacks. The two completions were 7-yard gains on second-and-27 and third-and-20.
33.
Chad Henne JAC
18/38
235
0
2
-159
-162
3
In the red zone: 2-of-10 for 16 yards, no touchdowns, one first down, two interceptions.
Five most valuable running backs
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
Johnathan Franklin GB
103
1
23
0
69
54
16
For the second week in a row, the Green Bay Packers have the top running back in Quick Reads. Franklin was so amazingly efficient that he finishes in first place despite a key fumble. Six of his 13 carries resulted in first downs (including a 51-yarder), and two others were successful. Meanwhile, he was hit for no gain or a loss just twice (including the fumbled carry). He also caught each of the three passes thrown his way for 23 yards, including two more first downs and a 7-yard gain on first-and-goal from the 9.
2.
LeSean McCoy PHI
158
1
0
0
61
63
-2
McCoy was hit for no gain or a loss only twice in 20 carries, with five first downs, including a 41-yard touchdown and another gain of 30.
3.
Ronnie Hillman DEN
66
1
12
0
57
49
8
4.
Jamaal Charles KC
92
1
80
0
55
19
36
Rarely will you see a running game this streaky, but, well, that's Jamaal Charles. His first ten carries netted 26 yards and only one first down. His next six carries, in order: 18-yard gain; 3-yard touchdown; 5-yard gain on second-and-2; 17-yard gain; 4-yard gain on first-and-10; 14-yard gain. And then he ran four more times for 5 total yards. His receiving numbers were similarly hot and cold. His first target went incomplete, and his next went for 8 yards. Then he had four straight first downs on catches of 13, 21, 19, and 11 yards. Finally he added short catches of 5 and 3 yards.
5.
DeMarco Murray DAL
173
1
28
0
49
39
9
Five 10-yard runs, including gains of 36 and 41 yards. He was hit for no gain or a loss three times, and fumbled once. Also caught 3-of-3 passes for 28 yards. As a runner and receiver, accounted for one touchdown and eight other first downs.
Least valuable running back
Rk
Player
Team
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
1.
C.J. Spiller BUF
9
0
1
0
-61
-57
-5
Ten carries, plus one catch in one target. Only one play gained a first down. No other plays were successful. Longest play went for 6 yards. Hit for no gain or a loss five times. Two fumbles. This game sucked.
Five most valuable wide receivers and tight ends
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Antonio Brown PIT
9
13
196
21.8
2
76
The Steelers' passing game was erratic and mistake-prone, but they did hit some big plays, most of them to Brown. He had touchdowns of 33 and 21 yards, three other 20-yard catches (including a 45-yarder) and seven total first downs (including the scores).
2.
Eric Decker DEN
8
8
133
16.6
1
75
Decker's first reception was his worst: a 12-yard gain on second-and-20. Every other catch produced a first down or touchdown, capped off by a 61-yarder.
3.
Donnie Avery KC
7
7
141
20.1
0
62
No touchdowns, but five first downs on gains of 15 to 51 yards, including four third-down conversions. His non-first-down catches were a 5-yard gain on second-and-8 and a 6-yard gain on first-and-10.
4.
Ted Ginn CAR
3
4
71
23.7
1
51
He made his three receptions count: an 11-yard gain on third-and-11; a 13-yard gain on second-and-10; and a 47-yard touchdown.
5.
Nate Washington TEN
8
10
131
16.4
0
46
Each of Washington's catches gained at least 11 yards. His only non-first down catch was a 14-yard gain on third-and-19.
Least valuable wide receiver or tight end
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
1.
Dexter McCluster KC
1
4
1
1.0
0
-43
McCluster was the target on incomplete passes on third-and-3, third-and-7, and second-and-15. His lone reception gained 1 yard on first-and-10.

Comments

130 comments, Last at 29 Sep 2013, 10:55am

1 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Eli was sacked 20 times in the whole of last season. Then 6 times on his first 9 dropbacks on Sunday! Each time, he took the snap and the pocket just crumpled around him. What the hell is going on on the Giants O-Line?

4 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm usually impressed with Shaun Hill when he gets into a game, although I don't think it's happened since 2011.

I would put Matt Cassel, Matt Moore, and even Chad Henne in the discussion.

17 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Actually Hill came in against the Titans in week 3 of 2012, trailing by 14 points. He led them on comeback in that crazy overtime game.

Regarding Jackson: He was playing against a demoralized Jaguars team at home, long after the outcome was in doubt. Let's wait a bit before we anoint him the next Frank Reich.

101 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Matt Cassel is awful. He had 2 decent seasons on good teams, and 3 awful seasons. He might be better than Christian Ponder, but not by much. I don't think Chad Henne is any better than Blaine Gabbert. In terms of "former starters turned backups", I would pick Fitzpatrick over Cassel and Henne any day.

I think Matt Hasselbeck would still be effective if he had to come in for Luck (Andrew Luck is a tank though).

I would argue that Kyle Orton, Tarvaris Jackson, Shaun Hill, and Matt Moore are the best backups in the league, in that order. Of course, there's a lot we don't know about a lot of them, and it seems like every year there's at least 1 guy that comes off the bench and surprises just enough for some team to get enticed by them, and then they go into training camps expecting to be the starters and lose their job twice in a row. Man, it's hard not to feel bad for Matt Flynn. I still think he could do a good job in the right environment.

119 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I would definitely put Shaun Hill up there, but I respect Orton too. Hell, I think I'd even rank Drew Stanto above Tavaris Jackson.

Chad Henne? He's starting now, and he's still sucking up the joint. No way he can be considered a good backup.

120 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I feel like most of these guys show that mid-to-lower level QBs are more dependent on the rest of the team for how they're perceived than other QBs. To my thinking, if you swap Orton's and Henne's teams over the last few years, Orton appears to be as good an Henne, and vice-versa (at least to some extent).

122 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I've seen Henne play enough to conclude that he has a working knowledge of how to successfully play quarterback in the National Football League. There are an alarming number of QBs getting paychecks about whom I cannot comfortably say that.

124 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

He isn't playing well, but part of that's because he's playing for an already talent-starved Jaguars team minus its best receiver and tight-end, with its best running back playing hurt. I don't think he's great, but I do think he's an acceptable backup for most NFL teams who don't intend for their backup to be their starter of the future.

5 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

It's funny that Orton seems to have settled for a career as a backup after proving he could be a decent starter in the right situation. Perhaps the whole Tebow episode scarred him.

9 Neckbeard Forever

I'm a Bears fan, still have much love for Orton. I will always hate the Chiefs for c___blocking the Bears from bringing him back after Cutler broke his thumb in 2011. We would've made the playoffs that year with Kyle.

33 Re: Neckbeard Forever

In reply to by Charles Jake (not verified)

You mean when the Chiefs, who had higher waiver priority, put in a claim on Orton preventing the bears from ever being able to claim Orton?

You hate Jay Cutler for that? That's pretty silly.

38 Re: Neckbeard Forever

Oh the delicious irony of some unverified dumbass calling someone out when they haven't read the original post properly, and the name, 'Hey Meatball'. Beautiful.

22 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Yeah, I found it funny that he left KC when he'd at the time been the odds-on favorite to start. (The coaching change could well have pushed him out, but he wouldn't have known about that at the time.) I can only guess he thought at the time there'd be more opportunities to compete for a starting job than there turned out to be.

102 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Kyle Orton looks like one of the best quarterbacks in the league between the 20's, then totally shuts down whenever he gets into the red zone. Still, I'm sure there's several teams that would get a short-term upgrade if he was their starter.

26 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Well certainly a stronger case than Tavaris Jackson has.

Tavaris has his first decent game in years and suddenly he's the best backup in the league? Orton is better. Shaun Hill is better. Kirk Cousins is better.

6 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I'm glad the Vikings have proven adept at trading up, to take a premier backup qb, at the top of the 2nd round. If only they had Pondered that approach in 2011, instead of drafting a weak-armed someone, who likely won't reach that level, in the top half of the first round.

70 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Just take one look at that overthrown ball to Webb for the potential TD.

Or another look at that craptacular floater to Carlson.

Hey! Ain't that supposed out to Jennings the most perfect demoralizer? Certainly worked on that defense!

Relax, guys. Webb is inevitable...I think.

What I do find funny is simply how extreme Vikings Management is in holding onto Ponder, and the extent to which they're willing to sabotage other options. Cassel is here, for example, because everyone knows he would not be better (no mobility, weaker arm, and for all that he can make routine throws, a terrible decision maker prone to interceptions if he's prevented from playing conservatively). Does anyone else remember as long a stretch of starting a clearly incompetent QB? Especially for a team that looks reasonably solid outside of QB? Kyle Boller seems to be the only one in recent times. Alex Smith hung around, but he didn't get the benefit of the doubt, and I can't remember anyone else on actual solid teams (so, no Joey Harrington) who kept someone as much as a liability as Ponder for so long.

I also had a kick out of people thinking TJack isn't better than Kyle Orton. TJack is a starting caliber QB, and he can make all the throws, unlike other backup QBs like Shaun Hill. A starting caliber QB having a good day is going to look like that in a mop-up situation. Is he awesome-dawsome? No. He's not a fast decision maker, but you know? He's probably better than Alex Smith, who had one of the worst games by a winning QB with no errors I've ever seen last Thursday.

10 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

So, given McFadden had 12 rushes for 9 yards, how much DYAR was that TD pass worth?

11 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"In a down week for quarterbacks, Geno Smith shined brighter than his peers..."

'Shined' or 'Shone?'

13 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Some curious directional splits for Geno. He was last in the league this week in DYAR on passes to the short left part of the field, going 3-of-7 for 23 yards with an interception. However, he was first in DYAR to the deep right, the diametrically opposite direction, going 6-of-8 for 247 yards and two scores, plus a 22-yard DPI.

Isn't short left the natural blind spot for a right-handed QB?

23 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I think the split was more about the epic suckitude of Justin Rogers being forced into a starting role at LCB. He is, at best, the 5th string corner on the Bills - Gilmore, McKelvin and Brooks are all clearly better but injured and Nickell Robey is probably better but doesn't really play outside due to his rather diminutive size (5'6", 165).

If McKelvin & Gilmore are still out this week, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bills start two guys they signed off of waivers/other-team-practice-squads (Johnny Adams, Brandon Burns) because it is hard to imagine anyone being a worse NFL CB than Rogers was on Sunday.

28 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The Bills didn't give Rogers must help either. They put him in press man on the outside with a single high safety and did not get much pressure on the QB. Not saying Rogers played well, but he had a tough assignment.

15 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Regarding Roethlisberger

He also had two fumbles

Actually he had three but recovered one himself, the ball still came out and hit the floor.

79 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I was very curious to see what FO stats thought of R'berger this week. He absolutely pwned the Bears' safeties with head- and pump-fakes, he was accurate on deep balls, and (no surprise) he was great at avoiding the rush. But his mistakes were just awful, real rookie crap like not protecting the ball while scrambling and throwing directly to DBs. It's tough to get negative DYAR when you throw for >400 yards, but that's a good way to do it.

118 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

The fumbles were bad. The interception were not. One was a garbage time chuck-and-hope that doesn't really say much about his play. The other was was a well-placed ball to a receiver who forgot to turn around and look for the pass.

19 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

"The Vikings kept calling for Ponder passes on first downs.."

Whatever happened to tailoring your playcalling to fit your personnel?

20 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

So that is Rodger's worst passing DYAR in a game since he became a starter, based solely on the Quick Reads data so final adjustments could of course change that. I'm also missing weeks 12, 16, and 17 of 2008 for him but I don't think any of those were awful games, I just couldn't find his data for those weeks in the ESPN archives.

I'm not sure it felt like his worst passing game as a starter, though it certainly wasn't good. His 08 (-57) and 09 (-70) games in Tampa felt worse to me than this weekend, though I guess the extra TD in both of those. Some of that is because I think I'm discounting his first int where Jones clearly broke off the route (and admits that it was his fault). I guess his decisions seemed better against Cincy than they did against Tampa though the results were worse. I don't think I'm remembering just how bad he was on 3rd downs and first downs too against Cincy.

Nothing really insightful here. Though having his worst game by DYAR the week after his 2nd best regular season game by DYAR (his best was the W16 2010 game vs New York at 281) was interesting to watch too.

60 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

Watching the game I felt like this was probably his worst game as a pro, at least from what I can remember. He made some poor decisions: mainly the 2nd INT, but on a 2nd and 3 in the 2nd half with the lead he easily could have run for several yards, instead he threw a long pass that was a little off target, incompletion, then punt after they failed on 3rd down. With the game situation what it was, the first down was important. There were other passes that seemed a little off target too, although certainly some of that was the Cincy defense.

29 Re: Week 3 Quick Reads

I almost dread the regular season P. Manning is going to have, since if the Broncos lose a playoff game, even if it comes when the Broncos secondary stumbles around in the last minute like they were doing jello shots during the two minute warning, the know-nothing yammering will threaten to lower everyone's IQ by 63 points.