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

Week 8 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Yes, Blake Bortles ranks seventh among quarterbacks in total DYAR in this column. No, we don't really think he was among the ten best quarterbacks of Week 8. We're really not sure he was any good at all. Bortles' stats, even his advanced stats, were significantly better than his performance on Thursday night against Tennessee. That's nothing new for Bortles this season -- in fact, it's nothing new for his career. In fact, the disparity between Bortles' numerical profile and his on-field achievements is so great, it has us re-thinking our entire quarterback analytical process.

The issue is this: Bortles has a terrible habit of playing terribly in the first half of games. That's not entirely his fault -- the Jacksonville Jaguars, as a group, are usually a disaster before halftime. Then, in the second half, when the game has realistically been decided, Bortles "rallies" his team with some too-little, too-late touchdown drive(s) that boosts his statistics and narrows the game's final margin, but doesn't actually do much to help his team win.

Take Thursday night's game against the Titans, for example. Bortles' first throw resulted in a 9-yard gain on second-and-8 -- a modest play, to be sure, but something to celebrate because it was his only first down in the game's first 20 minutes. By the time he picked up another first down, five drives later, Jacksonville's defense had already given up 24 points. By the end of the second quarter, Bortles had gone 8-of-16 for only 64 yards, with a sack, and the Jaguars were down 27-0. Bortles then finally woke up, going 25-of-38 for 273 yards in the second half, with one sack and a 5-yard DPI. After picking up only three first downs in the first half, he had 20 first downs in the second, including all three of his touchdowns -- each of which left Jacksonville trailing by at least 14 points. That last touchdown came with just one second left in the game. At no point in the second half was this anything close to a contest, but DYAR still sees it as a good game for Bortles -- although he was in the bottom five quarterbacks in first-half DYAR this week, he was second in second-half/overtime DYAR behind only Oakland's Derek Carr.

This wasn't the first time Bortles has tacked on meaningless late touchdowns this season. He had two touchdowns against San Diego in Week 2, and both came with Jacksonville down by 31 points or more in the fourth quarter. His only touchdown against Oakland in Week 7 wasn't a completely wasted effort, but it still left the Jaguars down by 10 with less than five minutes to go in the game.

Between those three contests, that's six of Bortles' 12 touchdown passes this season that did little if anything to help Jacksonville win games. That's a lot of empty touchdowns for most quarterbacks, but for Bortles it's just another season.

Designating just what is and is not "garbage time" is a tricky proposition, but for the sake of this article we're going to define it as any play coming when the offense is trailing by 21 points or more in the third quarter, or by 14 points or more in the fourth. These are broad strokes, to be sure. There's a big difference between Bortles throwing a touchdown trailing by 14 points in the game's final minute, and Peyton Manning doing the same thing with 12 minutes to go. But these standards are simple enough to tally in one day, while still largely limiting our touchdowns to those that came after the game was decided. Since 2000, there have been 154 passing touchdowns that came when down by 21 points or more in the third quarter; only ten of those came in wins. And only 30 of the 990 touchdowns thrown when down by 14 points or more in the fourth quarter helped rally a team to victory. We removed those 40 touchdowns from our sample.

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Using those criteria, Bortles had four garbage-time touchdowns as a rookie in 2014, five in 2015, and six (and counting) this season. As best as we can tell (this is a little complicated for the Touchdown Finder at Pro Football Reference), the single-season record for garbage-time touchdown passes is seven, split by the father-son tandem of Archie Manning (1972) and his boy Peyton (2002). Bortles' career total of 15 garbage-time scores is still a long ways from Kerry Collins' record of 34, but remember that Collins started 180 games in the NFL. Bortles' start against Tennessee was his 36th. In less than two and a half years, Bortles has already thrown more garbage-time touchdowns than Tony Romo (14), Tom Brady (13), or Aaron Rodgers (9). In fact, besides those three, there are 13 retired quarterbacks with at least 200 touchdown passes with fewer garbage-time scores than Bortles has already, including John Elway, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Y.A. Tittle, Len Dawson, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, and Terry Bradshaw.

All told, 25.9 percent of Bortles' touchdown passes have come in garbage time. That's the highest rate in history for any quarterback with at least 50 touchdown throws.

Highest And Lowest Garbage Time Touchdown Rates in NFL History
Highest
Lowest
Name TDs Garbage Garbage% Name Total Garbage Garbage%
Blake Bortles 58 15 25.9% Russell Wilson 111 0 0.0%
Randy Johnson 51 13 25.5% Frankie Albert 115 1 0.9%
Billy Joe Tolliver 59 14 23.7% Jeff Hostetler 94 1 1.1%
Archie Manning 125 29 23.2% Cecil Isbell 61 1 1.6%
David Carr 65 15 23.1% Otto Graham 174 3 1.7%
Sam Bradford 85 15 17.6% Rex Grossman 56 1 1.8%
Vince Evans 52 9 17.3% Eric Hipple 55 1 1.8%
Zeke Bratkowski 65 11 16.9% Jim McMahon 100 2 2.0%
Derek Anderson 60 10 16.7% Arnie Herber 81 2 2.5%
Jim Hardy 54 9 16.7% Steve Young 232 6 2.6%
Kerry Collins 208 34 16.3% Ed Brown 102 3 2.9%
Matt Cassel 101 16 15.8% Tom Brady 440 13 3.0%
Bill Munson 84 13 15.5% Benny Friedman 66 2 3.0%
Steve DeBerg 196 29 14.8% Bobby Layne 196 6 3.1%
Marc Bulger 122 17 13.9% Bob Griese 192 6 3.1%
Byron Leftwich 58 8 13.8% Tom Flores 93 3 3.2%
Chad Henne 58 8 13.8% Aaron Rodgers 274 9 3.3%
Cotton Davidson 73 10 13.7% Bart Starr 152 5 3.3%
Lamar McHan 73 10 13.7% Frank Ryan 149 5 3.4%
Don Majkowski 66 9 13.6% Johnny Unitas 290 10 3.4%
Minimum 50 touchdown passes

Now, this isn't all on Bortles. Russell Wilson has never thrown a garbage-time touchdown pass in the regular season (he has three in the playoffs, all in last season's loss to Carolina), in large part because the Seahawks defense rarely puts him in that position. Wilson's Seahawks have only given up 21 points in a game 20 times since he was drafted in 2012; Bortles' Jaguars have already done so 26 times in barely half as many games.

So opportunity is part of the issue, but only part of it. Even adjusting for that, Bortles is far better on a per-pass basis than most of his peers when facing big deficits. Since 2014, there have been 39 quarterbacks with at least 50 pass attempts when down by 14 points or more in the second half. This includes many bad quarterbacks, but also some very good ones, including Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Peyton and Eli Manning, and more. By now it should be no surprise that Bortles leads that group in attempts (283), completions (183), yards (2,382), or touchdowns (18). But his completion rate of 65 percent is also in the top 10, and his 8.4 yards per pass is second only to Rodgers' 8.5. Bortles isn't just a quarterback who gets to play against a lot of soft, prevent defenses -- he fares better against those prevent defenses than most any quarterback in football, even when those quarterbacks are also playing out of deep holes.

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That phenomenon has carried over to this season too. Bortles has 67 pass plays this year when down by 17 or more points -- nobody else has more than 35. Bortles is averaging 7.2 yards per play in those situations, with a DVOA of 30.8%. All other quarterbacks in the league are averaging 5.2 yards per play, with a collective DVOA of -11.1%.

Fact is, most quarterbacks who are bad enough to be facing big deficits in the first place don't get better later in games. All quarterbacks trailing by more than 21 points in the fourth quarter this year have a collective DVOA of -12.2%. When the margin shrinks to 15 to 21 points, the DVOA remains basically unchanged, at -10.1%. And in any game that could reasonably called close, with the margin at 14 points either way, the DVOA is just -7.2%.

Is there a way to harness Bortles' talent and unleash it in the first and second quarters, before the Jacksonville defense has a chance to render the entire exercise moot? If so, perhaps the Jaguars could find themselves in fewer blowouts and more shootouts. We'll find out what the Jacksonville brass thinks soon -- they will have to decide by May whether or not to activate the option for Bortles' fifth year. By then we'll really know what they think of their garbage-time king.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Matt Ryan ATL
28/35
288
3
0
2
180
174
7
GB
Ryan went 4-for-4 for 30 yards in the red zone. Two of those completions went for touchdowns, and the other two were third-down conversions. He had nine dropbacks with 6 yards or fewer to go for a first down, and completed a pass for a first down on all of them, picking up 85 yards in the process. And he really tore up the middle of the Green Bay defense, going 9-of-10 for 134 yards and seven first downs, including two touchdowns.
2.
Kirk Cousins WAS
38/56
458
2
1
1
164
161
3
CIN
Cousins was excellent early and late in this game, but not so hot in the middle. He started out 13-of-16 for 158 yards and 10 first downs, and he ended 17-of-27 for 258 yards and 13 first downs. But in between, he went 7-of-12 for just 34 yards with one first down, one interception, and one sack.
3.
Jay Cutler CHI
20/31
252
1
0
1
155
156
-1
MIN
4.
Marcus Mariota TEN
18/22
270
2
0
0
151
154
-3
JAC
Mariota threw five passes that traveled 14 yards or more downfield, completing all of them for 139 yards.
5.
Drew Brees NO
27/35
265
1
0
2
144
135
9
SEA
The Saints only had a chance to win this game because Brees got them into scoring range so often, but they could have put this away much earlier if he had played better in that part of the field. Inside the Seattle 40 he went 9-of-12 for 52 yards with only three first downs, plus a sack.
6.
Derek Carr OAK
41/59
513
4
0
2
137
130
6
TB
When you've got a guy who threw as many passes as Carr did on Sunday, it's hard to point to a specific split that made the difference between a good and bad day. No matter how you break it down, Carr had a bunch of good plays, and a bad play or two. But he was probably best going up the middle against Tampa Bay: 9-of-11 for 149 yards with six first downs, including two touchdowns. Many of Carr's passes, by the way, were dumpoffs. Carr set a record in this game with 16 failed completions. Scott Kacsmar will have more on this Tuesday afternoon in Clutch Encounters (cheap plug!)
7.
Tom Brady NE
22/33
315
4
0
4
132
124
8
BUF
Brady was sacked three times on third down, but when he did have time to pass he was literally perfect, going 8-of-8 with eight conversions, gaining 149 yards in the process. His magic passing range was 6 to 16 yards downfield -- on throws of that distance, he went 9-of-9 for 144 yards, with every completion going for a first down.
8.
Blake Bortles JAC
33/54
337
3
0
2
103
102
2
TEN
"Works for me," said thousands of fantasy owners around the country.
9.
Dak Prescott DAL
19/39
287
2
1
2
92
77
15
PHI
First five red zone passes: no completions, one interception. Last two red zone passes: 10-yard gain and a first down, and a 5-yard touchdown.
10.
Matthew Stafford DET
27/41
240
1
0
1
84
84
0
HOU
11.
Aaron Rodgers GB
28/38
251
4
0
3
80
62
18
ATL
Red zone passing: 8-of-10 for 38 yards with four touchdowns and another first down.
12.
Cam Newton CAR
14/27
212
0
0
1
79
78
1
ARI
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Andy Dalton CIN
27/42
284
1
1
3
36
41
-5
WAS
14.
Nick Foles KC
16/22
223
2
0
2
27
27
0
IND
Foles was the beneficiary of some great field position -- only five of his passes came on Kansas City's side of the field. Four of those were completed, for 106 total yards and three first downs.
15.
Alex Smith KC
9/19
127
1
0
1
16
20
-4
IND
Meanwhile, poor Alex only got six dropbacks on Indianapolis' side of the field. One of those was a sack; otherwise, he went 3-of-5 for 51 yards and three first downs.
16.
Jameis Winston TB
16/32
180
2
0
2
6
1
4
OAK
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Winston threw what would have been a game-tying touchdown, but Roberto Aguayo missed the extra point. (How's that trade up for a kicker working out, Bucs?) From that point forward, Winston went 4-of-11 for only 29 yards and one first down. (He did add 19 yards and another first down on a DPI.)
17.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
19/38
183
0
0
1
-6
-19
13
NE
18.
Carson Wentz PHI
32/43
204
1
0
3
-10
0
-10
DAL
Wentz's only "deep" pass traveled exactly 16 yards downfield -- and it was incomplete.
19.
Russell Wilson SEA
22/32
253
0
1
1
-18
-20
2
NO
The last play of this game was an incomplete pass in the corner of the end zone on what would have been a game-winning touchdown. It wasn't the first errant pass Wilson threw to that direction -- he went 4-for-11 for 26 yards and only one first down when throwing to his right.
20.
Trevor Siemian DEN
20/38
276
0
1
1
-21
-5
-17
SD
Weirdly, Siemian's worst plays all came in short yardage. With 9 yards or fewer to go for a first down, he went 4-of-16 for 55 yards with two first downs, a sack-fumble, and a pick-six.
21.
Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ
16/34
228
1
0
2
-22
-19
-3
CLE
Fitzpatrick turned things around after halftime, but he had a nightmarish first half, going 3-of-14 for 30 yards with two first downs and two sacks. Counting his first pass of the third quarter, he had a stretch where he threw five incompletions in a row, then gave up a sack, and then threw three incompletions in a row.
22.
Carson Palmer ARI
36/46
363
3
1
8
-25
-25
0
CAR
The biggest problem for Palmer and the Cardinals is that they kept moving backwards. Palmer had 15 dropbacks with more than 10 yards to go for a first down. He only picked up a first down on one of those plays, while three resulted in sacks or intentional grounding fouls. As a result, he had nine plays with at least 20 yards to go, and two with 44 yards to go. That's the most on a non-fourth-down play since the Jets had a third-and-46 against the Steelers in 2014, and the most on second down since the Eagles had a second-and-48 against the Raiders in 2001.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Sam Bradford MIN
23/37
228
1
0
5
-39
-39
0
CHI
Third downs: 4-for-7 for 42 yards with one first down, four sacks, and one fumble. (He did convert two fourth down plays on gains of 3 and 5 yards.)
24.
Josh McCown CLE
25/49
341
2
2
1
-60
-56
-4
NYJ
Just before halftime, the Browns had a 17-7 lead and a second-and-goal at the 10, looking for a touchdown that would put the Jets away. McCown was then sacked, setting up a third-down scramble and a field goal. Then, on Cleveland's first four drives of the second half, he went 2-of-10 for 30 yards with one first down, one incomplete lateral, and two interceptions. He did lead one final touchdown drive, but by then the Jets had scored 24 points in a row.
25.
Andrew Luck IND
19/35
210
2
1
6
-76
-88
11
KC
Third and fourth downs: 3-of-7, 36 yards, one first down, two sacks.
26.
Philip Rivers SD
20/47
267
2
3
4
-91
-91
0
DEN
Rivers got an enormous boost from opponent adjustments, nearly 100 DYAR, and he's still way down here. But that what's happens when you're successful on only 29 percent of your dropbacks, worst among starters this week.
27.
Brock Osweiler HOU
20/29
186
1
1
3
-93
-93
0
DET
Meanwhile, Osweiler took the biggest hit from opponent adjustments this week. Osweiler was the first quarterback to play Detroit this year who didn't throw more touchdowns than interceptions, or average at least seven yards per pass, or have an NFL passer rating of at least 100.0 (and at 83.4 he wasn't close). And he was sacked three times for 22 yards, both equaling or tying the best marks for the Lions defense this season. Obscure minutia: He had a weird day throwing to his left, going 5-of-6, but for only 26 yards and one first down (though that was a touchdown).
Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jordan Howard CHI
26
153
1
4/4
49
0
53
35
19
MIN
Howard ran for seven first downs, including a 69-yarder, while getting stuffed for no gain or a loss seven times. He also had a 34-yard catch on third-and-8 and an 11-yard catch on third-and-9.
2.
Duke Johnson CLE
4
29
0
6/8
87
0
44
14
30
NYJ
In just ten touches, Johnson had two 16-yard runs and catches for 17, 26, and 32 yards.
3.
C.J. Prosise SEA
4
23
0
4/4
80
0
42
8
33
NO
Each of Prosise's carries gained 2 to 8 yards, and each was a successful play. He had three catches of 14 yards or more, including a 43-yarder.
4.
Devonta Freeman ATL
11
35
1
4/6
23
1
36
13
23
GB
Freeman ranks this high mainly because he played Green Bay and the Packers' excellent run defense. He had just one gain of 10 or more yards, a 17-yard run on fourth-and-1. He had only three first downs on the ground, while getting hit for no gain or a loss four times. And none of his completions gained more than 9 yards, though all were successful plays.
5.
Mike Gillislee BUF
12
85
1
3/3
9
0
35
49
-14
NE
All of Gillislee's carries gained at least 1 yard, and even though he only gained three first downs, that includes gains of 16 and 28 yards.
Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Mike Gillislee BUF
12
85
1
3/3
9
0
35
49
-14
NE
2.
Tim Hightower NO
26
102
0
1/3
0
0
23
38
-15
SEA
From minus-14 YAR to 38 DYAR as a runner. 3.9 yards per carry may not sound like much, but that's the second-best average this season against Seattle by anyone with more than five carries. Hightower ran for six first downs against the Seahawks, but had just one on ten carries inside the 20, and no touchdowns on four carries from the 1.
3.
Jordan Howard CHI
26
153
1
4/4
49
0
53
35
19
MIN
4.
Bilal Powell NYJ
6
76
1
1/3
3
0
23
31
-8
CLE
Only three first downs on the ground, but that includes two third-down conversions, including a 5-yard gain on third-and-5 and a 35-yard touchdown on third-and-10. He also had a 20-yard run.
5.
Darren Sproles PHI
15
86
0
5/7
19
0
19
27
-8
DAL
Five first downs on the ground, including three runs of 10 yards or more, but four runs for no gain or a loss.
Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Charcandrick West KC
14
52
0
2/3
8
0
-35
-23
-12
IND
Only two first downs, with four runs for no gain or a loss, and four more carries that gained exactly 2 yards. Neither of his catches gained first downs.
Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Chris Ivory JAC
4
6
0
1/1
6
0
-27
-26
-1
TEN
Four carries, in order: 1-yard gain on second-and-10, 2-yard loss on a fumble on second-and-1, 4-yard gain on first-and-10, 3-yard gain on first-and-10.
Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Amari Cooper OAK
12
15
173
14.4
1
64
TB
Four catches for 20 or more yards, plus a 31-yard DPI.
2.
Kendall Wright TEN
4
5
84
21.0
1
49
JAC
Wright's total includes 37 DYAR receiving, 12 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 15 yards. His three first downs went for 15, 23, and 36 yards.
3.
Chris Hogan NE
4
4
91
22.8
1
47
BUF
Hogan's three first downs included a 16-yard gain on third-and-10, and a 53-yard touchdown on third-and-13.
4.
Allen Hurns JAC
7
11
98
14.0
1
41
TEN
Each of Hurns' catches resulted in a first down, including two third-down conversions and gains of 22 and 31 yards. (And, yes, six of them came in the second half.)
5.
Tyreek Hill KC
5
6
98
19.6
1
39
IND
Hill's total includes 37 DYAR receiving, 2 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 7 yards. He had only three first downs on receptions, but that included gains of 34 and 49 yards.
Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Corey Brown CAR
1
5
3
3.0
0
-34
ARI
Brown's only catch was a 3-yard gain on second-and-7. His four incompletions included three third-down failures.

Comments

142 comments, Last at 07 Nov 2016, 10:34am

1 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Proofreading:
"These are broad stroaks" strokes
"Wilson's Seahawks have only give up"
"Bortles' has 67 pass plays"
Brady: "with every completiong"
Osweiler: "or have an NFL passer rating below 100.0" 'over', right?
Charcandrick: "Neither of his catches gained first yards."

While I'm not sure exactly what to make of Bortles' proficiency in lost causes beyond his being in that situation so often, it's an interesting piece of research.

3 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

You'd think this article was written by RaiderJoe, or something, until you got to FO's snippet on Carr. When you have 23 penalties, creating a lot of bad down and distance situations (especially in the 1st half), and you have a defensive minded HC (JDR) who hates turnovers, a dutiful OC and a QB who's always had the inclination to check down, you end up with a lot of failed completions. Yet, when the team's back is against the wall and they need points, Musgrave and Carr have been far more aggressive and Carr has been money, time and again (including 4 times on Sunday), especially when not set back multiple times by penalties. I can think of only one game tying or winning drive Carr has not engineered this year, and that was against Atlanta after he putt up plenty of points to win the game.

7 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I agree, this constant need to nitpick on Carr's checkdowns are getting annoying? Yes, he does throw to covered checkdowns too much, and sometimes I yell at my TV for him not utility his amazing protection to the fullest. But when you're good for 4-5 amazing deep balls a game, in addition to his strong red zone numbers, treating him like he's Brian Hoyer or any other captain checkdown is ridiculous. Give the guy credit for having tools in the bag that not a lot do, especially when they lead to big plays. He's no MVP, but my goodness people are harsh on here.

10 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Carr has improved his completion percentage and yards per catch, avoids sacks with the best in the NFL (Brees), and leads the NFL in redzone efficiency, a critical statistic FO doubted Carr could repeat after his rookie year. Yes, he checks down too much, but that has a positive impact in two ways: avoids turnovers and enables King to flip the field. As the D improves, it will help the Raiders win field position. However, with a bad D, it has enabled lesser teams to stay in games and take leads in the 4th quarter, which has led to Carr's heroics. Carr has been clutch, winning 4 games in the 4th. He has every reason to be included in the MVP discussion at this point. NE, for example, went 3-1 without Brady. The Raiders would be, what, 1-7 without Carr?

14 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I get that Raiders fans are excited right now, but lets just put the brakes on a little. Carr's DVOA is vastly inferior to Brady, Ryan and Brees at this stage (and Dak Prescott for that matter). When 'clutch!' is your main argument, you are on shaky ground.

I'm not denigrating Carr, he is clearly playing well, and the Raiders look set for the next decade with him at QB. But lets cool it on the MVP talk, at least until next week. Maybe if he lights up the Broncos we can start to get serious.

18 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I'm not going to listen to any argument against Brady's MVP candidacy that is based on the fact that Belichick is a better coach than Jack del Rio. MVP doesn't mean "least replaceable because his teammates and coach aren't very good."

Here's my version of Carr "being in the MVP discussion."

"Matt Ryan is clearly ahead of David Carr in all the stats used to judge the QB position."

20 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

We probably need to decide whether the MVP is what it says on the tin, or whether it's the 'best player that season'.

Because Carr might be the former. Brady could well be the latter, but the first four games pretty conclusively proved he isn't necessary to the Patriots' success.

Brady is coming up fast, but on a DYAR basis, the current leader is Matt Ryan. Prescott is close enough that his narrative might put him ahead.

28 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Disagree. Most valuable doesn't mean best player (IMO). It certainly doesn't mean best stats. It's takes (or should take) into consideration everything, including circumstance and replacement value. Now, nobody would confuse JDR/Musgrave/Norton with Belicheat and his staff, and everyone seems to ignore that Carr has to overcome a bad D and record setting penalties, so be it. But show me a QB that has done that putting up his "lesser" numbers. Can't do it. Why? Carr's not throwing picks or taking sacks, he's letting King flip the field, he's been more clutch than any QB, both at the end of games and in the redzone, and is 6-2 with 5 road wins at 10:00 am PST starts. Nobody in the history of football has done that with an historically bad D. Period. End of midseason story.

97 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

No, what I think is NE's been busted twice for breaking rules to obtain a competitive advantage. The first time the Suit destroyed the evidence after handing down a punishment. The second time Brady destroyed the evidence before the Suit meated out the punishment. Plenty of players are on record about the significance of Spygate, which may not have been exposed but for the Tuck, which preceded that particular mess. The significance of deflated balls seems more subjective, than objective, but there is the historically low fumble rate that seems correlated, at least in timing, to it. Whether the Suit was on a witch-hunt or honestly believed Brady cheated (and Belicheat knew about it), the Suit didn't let "due process" niceties get in the way after Brady destroyed evidence, and proffered the lame excuse about privacy for Mediots to consume. Brady never had to turn over his phone to produce the relevant evidence on it; he simply had to trust his own lawyers to protect his privacy and to turn over only relevant evidence. By that time, it had little to do with air pressure. It was about the cover up and the Suit's power to meat out punishment. The Suit prevailed over Brady. In both situations, NFL fans of other teams lost b/c we never got to see and evaluate for ourselves the destroyed evidence.

109 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Not maybe . he djd mean meted

Meated is what happens if person throws meat at you
Might happen if you work in slaughterhouse and some down time happens

139 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I really don't like the screen name RaiderFan. I was about to get incredibly excited about RaiderJoe correcting somebody's spelling (which would have been incredible), before noticing the slight difference. So, so disappointed now.

127 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Ugh, please not this again. Virtually everything you've written here is wrong. The only thing you have right is that "it had little to do with air pressure" which was true from the very beginning.

As for Spygate...

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/john-madden-talked-about-filming-opposing-teams-signals-in-1992/

In 1992, Madden said explicitly that not only were people watching DCs signal plays, but opponents were filming them as well. The practice had quite literally been around for decades before anyone gave two shits about the Patriots.

133 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Yet, if we had the opportunity to see the destroyed evidence from both events, there would be less to debate. Given that juries are instructed on the inference of guilt based on the spoliation of evidence, your dismissive response is telling. Also funny how you went "highbrow" in your response and cited Madden to justify cheating, as if that should make Mashall Falk and Kurt Warner feel better about it, two honest football players, one of which has repeatedly aired his distaste for it. Yea, but you know better.

134 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Why would Faulk and Warner care?

Let me guess -- you're one of the morons who believes the retracted piece that the Boston Herald fabricated the day before the Superbowl, right?

135 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Moron? The Suit suspends Brady for 4 games, throws millions of dollars away to win an appeal and destroys evidence of Spygate so it never reaches the light of day, and I'm a moron? Joker cited Madden, an authority on cheating, to justify cheating ("your winnings captain"), yet referencing two qualify HOF players who lost a SB b/c of or in part due to cheating, and naturally are not happy about it, and I'm the moron. Well, thanks for playing. Any other names you want to call me? Done trying to shout me down? That's genius.

138 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Just so we know where you're coming from, since you appear to be new here:

Fan of which team?

You make some good posts in other threads, but you don't come off as particularly intelligent here.

56 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Oakland's defense isn't even the worst in the league this year, never mind historically bad.

I'm not sure what it is that you're claiming Carr's doing that nobody else in the history of football has done, but I'd point out that the New Orleans Saints went 13-3 in 2011 with the 28th-ranked defense, which is what Carr has now. Drew Brees didn't win MVP that year either -- and in fact never has done -- as that award went to Aaron Rodgers.

63 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

well it had given up the most yards until Sunday. And record amounts of yardage/game over the first few games, though glad that's now retraced somewhat.

Its interesting to have the Carr discussion though in the context of the Bortles situational DVOA article above. In close games, with a team that isn't clearly superior to many opponents, is it better to play in Carr's style than throwing deeper, forcing that mid-range pass on 3rd and 15 that might get intercepted, rather than punting on 4th & 5 knowing your punter can boom it over 50yards every time if he wants to. If DVOA is should be adjusted in garbage time to be truly meaningful, perhaps it should be adjusted for other game situations too. And in the end, if Carr's gameplan is to play it safe until the 4th quarter, then what use is DVOA in determining how well he obeys the instructions from the guys that pay him?

98 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Nailed it. It's the fundamental problem of stats being used, not as a tool, but as an end point to override common sense. Check-downs, in spite of being universally hated by fans, have benefits that are not reflected in the "failed completion" metric: (1) fewer picks, (2) fewer sacks, (3) better field position if you have to punt, particularly with a weapon like King, and (4) fewer hits on the QB, which correlates to more starts and a healthier QB down the stretch. Carr's negative might actually be a positive, particularly when the "failed" completions actually contribute to moving the chains and scoring points, such as a 1st down pass completed for 3 yards, and a 2nd and 20 yard pass completed for 10 yards.

108 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

They are also reflective of opportunities lost. Unless you want to argue that most of his failed completions are coming from impossible down and distances, then yes, failed completions are a negative. If its a standard 3rd and long and you are better off when your qb throws short of the sticks, then you are team actively trying to hide your qb.

110 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

There's nothing special about Carr's failed completions. Average FC has -70.6% DVOA this season. Carr's league-high 69 FCs have -76.8% DVOA, so a little below average.

114 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Thanks, I was curious about that. I'm sure a lot of time, consideration and factors I'm not thinking about went into the definition of a "failed completion," although the standard on 1st and 2nd downs still seems high to me. While a lower rate of interceptions is likely picked up elsewhere in the analysis, I am not sure a lower rate of sacks and fewer hits on the QB would be captured. Carr's high number of "failed completions" obviously is part of the game plan, especially in poor down and distance situations, which likely has been many given the Raiders' high number of penalties. The Raiders better rethink that strategy, particularly if the D doesn't improve, as the strength of schedule increases for the Raiders down the stretch.

129 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I like "failed completions" as a metric, my comment was about the definition or high standard on 1st and 2nd downs (not 3rd down). 3 yards on 1st down, while not great, is not a fail (IMO). It helps keep an O on schedule. Similarly, 50% of the yards needed for a 1st down, while not great, can be positive, too. Picking up 10 yards on 2nd and 20 helps move the chains and helps with field position. Picking up 3 yards on 2nd and 6 makes 3rd down more manageable. The lost opportunity is not realized until 3rd down if the QB throws short of the sticks.

136 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I think the cutoff line for 1st down is 45% of yards. A 5 yard pass on 1st and 10 is a successful pass.

3 yards on 1st and 10 does not keep the offense on schedule, that's the whole point of the research.

69 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Your site suggests Brees should have won in 2011, but that Rodgers was a perfectly cromulent replacement.

They finished 1-2 in DYAR and DVOA, with Brees winning DYAR and Rodgers DVOA.
http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb2011

Of course, Green Bay's defense was 25th. There was a 1.2% DVOA difference. They were basically 1 and 1a.

99 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

At least until the Florida road trip, the Raiders' D was giving up yards at an historic rate. I recall reading not since 1967 had a D been that bad. As for what nobody else has done in my memory (except possibly the SB winning '9ers) is win 5 road games with 10:00 am PST body-clock starts in an 8 week stretch. As for Brees, I'll accept the compliment. As for your Rodgers reference, I have no problem if someone views Ryan as more deserving. As for Brady, he is obviously the better player, but I don't think he is more valuable to his team. As for your post in general, it seems a little testy.

30 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Given that the majority of sports fans have bought into a re-definition of the word "valuable" and then yell at anybody who disagrees with that definition, I don't see the point of arguing the semantics too much.

But I will say that I've yet to hear any convincing argument that says "best player" isn't "most valuable player."

That Garoppolo and Brissett could win three games shouldn't detract from Brady's candidacy in any way. The MVP isn't some kind of minimax problem. Yes, the Pats can still win some games without Brady. But he's better than Garoppolo. So what's the argument? Brady's a weaker candidate because his backup is better than most backups?

I prefer keeping the definition simple.

73 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

MVP arguments need something more than he's "better than Garoppolo and Brisset." That sounds like something you'd say at a pot-luck.

Have the Pats gotten better in the last 4 weeks? Absolutely. However, their biggest improvement has been on defense. They were 6/24 after week two (under Garappolo). They are 19/1 now. Their defense has improved twice as quickly as their offense.

As a larger argument: What does Brady offer that Prescott doesn't, given that Prescott has played the entire season?

27 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Please say more. I miswrote his name and used his brother's instead. That doesn't take away the fact that he trails Matt Ryan in every single passing statistic, and by quite a lot in many of the more important categories.

31 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Well, I just did (see above). That said, I would not object if Ryan got the nod. But Ryan has lost 3 games, Carr 2. Atlanta's D is better than the Raiders' D. Ryan hasn't had to overcome as much adversity. Be that as it may, Ryan would be a good choice.

59 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Of course, some of those teams might be closer to winning records if they hadn't lost to Carr...

I've been a Raiders fan since 1987 and we've had 1 QB since then who has made the passing game look anything approaching confident or competent. He was an MVP, so its not completely crazy to say that every time the Raiders have a competent QB, he's the MVP!

But this MVP thing is hilarious - of course Carr isn't MVP. He's not "elite" whatever that means. He's a top 10 NFL QB though, and plenty didn't expect him to come close to that (including on this site, not that they'd acknowledge he's top 10). He's risk-averse, yes - that's not a bad thing - its a good thing. His defense needs long-fields, and his punter is awesome. The offense has confidence in its ability to win close games, and that's the way we play right now. It doesn't always work (Atlanta) but sure beats the crap out of 2003-14.

But you are correct to say we haven't beaten "anybody" yet. We have a chance Sunday night. And others against Caroline and KC/Denver again later. Frankly I don't care whether Carr is in the MVP conversation or not, or whether the Raiders are being underrated in Power Rankings, DVOA etc or anything. I don't care if we have 10 lucky bounces and therefore make the playoffs undeservedly. I wont mind all the "Raiders will fall to earth in 2017" season preview posts. Its been a long 13 years and it just might be coming to an end. Noone really is saying Carr is MVP or elite, aside from sports talk shows looking for an angle in an otherwise relatively unremarkable NFL season - and because they don't know any other Raiders players. If we go 14-2, he's MVP, if we go 6-10 its all forgotten...

But he's not captain checkdown or whatever the haters are calling him. If you don't want the overaggressive positive reaction from Raiders fans, then admit you were wrong to say that because he throws short a lot, that's all he can do.

86 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Despite my comment, if I had to vote for MVP right now, it would probably be Carr. Either him or Elliott.

I was mainly commenting on the ridiculous statement of comparing Ryan and Carr's number of losses.

100 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Ryan also lost to TB at home. Your point though begets another. Elite teams typically beat elite QBs on lesser teams. Brady struggled for years with the Ravens b/c of the Ravens' elite D and average/good O. He also lost two SBs to the NYG b/c of an elite DL and good/lucky O. Payton Manning won two SB when his team had a good or elite D, but repeatedly lost in the playoffs when he had to carry a team. So I expect Carr to struggle against elite D, as most QBs do, even elite QBs. The key to beating an elite D is having a good D yourself, that keeps the game close, so an elite QB can be the difference. I am not sure the Raiders' D is in that discussion. But go ahead and hold that against Carr, as if it was his fault that the Raiders lost to Atlanta. While you can appluad Ryan for beating an elite D, to suggest that Carr's greater number of "wins" are not relevant to the MVP discussion is silly/ignorant.

61 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Heading into this week, Oakland's past schedule was 16th (0.8%) and Atlanta's was 6th (4.0%), which was before Ryan and Carr faced GB (17.6%) and TB (-8.4%), respectively. There is also the fact that, while they trail Oakland by a good margin, Atlanta has a pretty terrible defense in their own right.

The argument that Ryan has faced less adversity doesn't hold up under close scrutiny. It holds up even worse when your evidence is a single win.

64 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Ryan also has Julio Jones

Seriously, any Raider fan who is touting Carr for MVP should shut up lest the football gods hear. Lets have this argument when we make the playoffs, sweep Denver or something else equally uplifting. If Carr is snubbed and finishes 4th in the MVP voting after we go 12-4, it will be the happiest snub ever.

65 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

And Carr has some fine receivers as well. And a terrific offensive line.

Reading your posts, I think we agree. I don't begrudge some grumbling about Carr's commentary, I just didn't think a few of the arguments offered carried much weight.

101 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I've repeatedly said, from the outset, that Ryan is a fine choice. Somehow that seems forgotten. I was asked to point out why Carr over Ryan, and I listed a few things. You disagree. That's fine. I'm okay with that. I also have no problem with fans who think Brady should be the MVP. I just disagree, at this point, 8 weeks into the season. By the end of the year, I suspect Brady will have seperated himself from other QBs, including Carr, who will likely regress as the schedule gets more difficult. But so far, 8 weeks into the season (the discussion point), I think Carr has been more valuable to his team than Ryan and Brady to theirs.

2 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Quick Reads is set to feature a player called Hogan that I've never heard of each week.

Those Lions defensive numbers are breathtaking.

Frankie Albert's numbers should come with an asterisk, as more than three-quarters of his 115 touchdown passes happened in the AAFC, where the 49ers were one of the dominant teams. When they joined the NFL, they struggled to break .500. Nevertheless, Albert threw 14 td passes on a 3-9 team in 1950, none of them in what you consider to be garbage time, which was an impressive number at the time. However, he did have a down year as a punter!

4 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Apart from the hideous protection, Bradford was pretty bad. So he was consistent with the rest of the team.

12 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

What the heck happened to Minnesota's defense last night? The Bears are (putting it mildly) not a great offense to begin with, and they'd replaced two pro-bowl guards with two street free agents. Yet they regularly had success running right at the strength of that defense.

Also re: that game and QB play: Cutler is so unbelievably frustrating. I would claim only two or three QBs in the league could have made the plays he was making last night (avoiding the rush, keeping his head up and feet set right, and throwing darts from terrible angles to barely open receivers). If I were a GM of, say, Houston, and saw just the tape of last night, I'd offer a 1st or 2nd for Cutler right now. But it just doesn't happen consistently enough, and, as you (Will) have pointed out many times, at this stage of his career it probably never will.

22 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Cutler is a D20 with seven 1s and three 20s.

Sometimes he trips over a stone, falls, and while flailing his sword about wildly, critical hits the rest of the party.

Sometimes he trips over a stone, falls, and while flailing his sword about wildly, critical hits the dragon.

His career is based on thinking there will be more dragons than mass-murders.

36 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

You get the sense that if he just had the right coaching staff, they could coax out the good play in him a la Favre. But as you say, it hasn't happened to this point... it's probably more wishful thinking.

53 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Yes, exactly. I don't buy the traditional "Cutler is a coach-killer" narrative (where "coach-killer" means a selfish, back-stabbing locker-room schemer), but he does kill coaching staffs by making them think they are the ones that can get Good Jay all the time.

71 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

And yet, I still think his biggest weakness was simply being able to stay healthy. In another universe, 16 full games of Cutler could have easily meant 11-5 in both 2011 and 2012 and playoffs. Maybe even beating the Packers in 2010.

83 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Once upon a time, he had exactly that kind of coaching in Denver (when he looked like the next big star).

Then Rorshan got fired, McDaniel wanted to install an offense tailored away from his strengths and towards his weaknesses, then he spent several years in one of the worst environments conceivable for a young QB (conservative, defensive-minded coach, defensive franchise/fan identity, bad weather, terrible OL and receivers).

47 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

They gave up 6 points on two drives with two huge plays coming on whiff tackle attempts by their two legit Pro Bowl defensive backs, on what should have been minimal gains. They gave up one td drive where Cutler and Jeffrey were great. They gave up one td drive with poor defense generally.

13 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

What happened to the defense? Cutler was a little shaky to start out, but by the 2nd quarter he was just picking them apart, and they couldn't stop Howard.

46 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Well, they gave up two huge plays, and 6 points on two drives, when their two best d-backs, both legit Pro Bowlers (to date), Smith and Rhodes, whiffed on easy tackles, which would have renderd both plays as no gain. One td drive occurred with Alshon Jeffrey making a great catch on a great throw against excellent coverage by Rhodes, followed by a td catch by Jeffrey when Rhodes had to leave the field for a while. The other td drive was just poor defense. It was the d's first non-excellent performance of the year.

54 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

The one thing this overlooks is the consistent success of the Bears' run game, especially in the 4th quarter when they were trying to burn clock, and the Vikings knew they were running. Maybe the Vikings D was gassed at that point.

62 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Yeah, that was hopelessness and fatigue. The entire team, with perhaps the exception of the punter, sucked. Bradford gave away 7 points early by missing Diggs, 7 yards clear of any defender, while under no pressure. Actually, I think he screwd up the opening drive, too, which would have been in field goal range, if Bradford doesn't get the pass batted, when the penetration wasn't that deep. The Vikings chip shot field goal befor the half is a touchdown, if the Vikings running backs have any goal line talent; the blocking actually wasn't too bad on that series of downs. They really should have scored 14 points at a minimum , crappy blocking and all, in the first half, and only given up 7, with just average tackling.

I really think chronic sub-basement level o-line play can ruin the other units. The Vikings have three guys starting on the o-line who may not belong in the league. You really can't run an offense that way, absent HOF talent handling the ball. They have no Hall of Fame talent handling the ball.

68 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Yeah, I really reject the "overrated" label, while conceding that he might have hit the wall this year, but injury prvents us from knowing. The principal difference between the Vikings offense of 2014, -7.4 DVOA offense, and that of 2015, 0.0 DVOA offense, was Adrian Peterson, in my view. That's a really valuable player.

76 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Oh, he's not perfectby any means. Any player who can dictate opposing alignment and scheme in the manner Peterson did for years, however, has tremendous value.

5 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Huh. Wouldn't have thought (a) that Hogan would have made the top 5, and (b) that Hogan would have out-pointed Gronkowski. (Separate from that, another 21+ yard/catch day for Gronk, so the 20yd avg dream lives on for another week :)

6 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

It's a minor point, but I don't understand why you would exclude the 40 TDs that came in 'garbage time' but led to wins. It's either 'garbage time' or it isn't, the final outcome shouldn't matter - we have to assume the QBs were all playing under the same conditions.

15 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I stats used to define "garbage time" are intended to be a heuristic. What is the point of definition? It's to isolate games that are out of reach. Clearly games in which a team ended up coming back to win (or even tie, I would say) could not properly be classified as "garbage time".

The point is that the phrase is ultimately defined not by score differential as much as it is (informally) by win probability. But who wants to go through game logs to track that? Score differential is used as a proxy for win probability. And when it's clearly an inappropriate proxy, get rid of it. Sounds OK to me.

37 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

But surely if one QB has comeback from a specific situation then others could as well?

We could limit the definition to situations from which no QB has ever comeback, which would provide a stricter and more certain definition of garbage time. Of course this would severely restrict the sample size, so it needn't be done. I'm happy with garbage time being classified as roughly a ~3% WP being reached (i.e. 40/1124) for these purposes. But to my mind it's about the situation the QB faced, not the final outcome, so throwing out the comebacks feels wrong.

79 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

None ever?

29 at the half.
Montana came back from 35-7 down at the half.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198012070sfo.htm

33 points in the 3rd quarter.
Frank Reich came back from 35-3 in the 3rd.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199301030buf.htm

26 points after 3 quarters.
Neil Lomax (!) came back from down 28-3 after 3.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198711080crd.htm

Denver made up a maximum deficit of 31 in the 3rd and 24 after 3 against Buffalo.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/196011270den.htm

And then Manning Major made up 21 points in the last 5:09 against Tampa.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200310060tam.htm

So the list of scores that *no one* has ever made up is pretty short. But most of those huge comebacks have been done by star QBs and/or star offenses against Cinderellas for whom the clock tolled early.

84 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

I think a study of Win Probability Added would be very useful, as by its very nature it already factors in garbage time and high-leverage situations.

Close the game with a pair of 8-minute drives while down 28? WPA is very low, as neither drive had a chance of affecting the outcome.

Enter the 4th down by 20, then lead two TD drives before getting picked off in the end zone from the 12 while down by 6? A LOT of WPA added, even though it failed.

132 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Good post. After a QB drives the length of the field against a soft D in garbage time, is the next drive still garbage time? Point differential is a good proxy b/c it relates to the prevent D's often employed in such situations. When the game tightens (likely a sliding related to time left on the clock), it's no longer garbage time.

72 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

It'd have to be a point-in-time judgment and nothing more.

If a team is down by 21 in the third quarter and doesn't score again until the two-minute warning, then the whole time period can fairly be called garbage time.

If a team is down 21 in the third quarter and scores a couple TDs without giving up any points, then it's no longer garbage time. I think the metric is intended to mean "the defense had enough of a point cushion *at that point in the game* to trade yards for time" or something like that.

There's obviously a subjective component -- "the D looks like it's playing softer coverage right now" -- but it meshes with what our eyes tell us, that at some point in the game a D will give up a certain number of yards willingly if by doing so it can keep the clock running and prevent big plays.

8 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Is there some Eli Manning Syndrome at work with Bortles? Eli used to be notorious for having a poor game, right up until a two-minute drill, which he ran fantastically.

Is Bortles running an offense that's wrong for him, up until it's too late and he has to play a hurry-up all-passing offense?

9 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Some authors decided in his rookie year what Carr was, and that that was bad, and are hanging onto any piece of evidence that fits that view like a dog with a bone. The guy threw for the 9th most yards in history, despite his team giving up a record amount of penalties, many of which gave him horrible down & distance. He must be doing something right though, because all these dumpoffs seem to allow Oakland to play teams close and they are 6-2. Are they great? Is he elite? No, not yet (ask me again on Monday) but I thought this site was about analysis that better identifies traits that lead to consistent winning. Well Carr is 6-2 with awful penalty count, horrible defense (at least to start the season), and all these dumpoffs. Maybe the dumpoffs help you win in these situations rather than forcing the ball downfield.

11 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

There's obviously a correlation between dumpoffs and turnovers, sacks and QB health. The Raiders' positive turnover margin has helped them win 6 games. Carr's low sack rate helps to avoid negative plays and to keep him on the field, in contrast to Big Ben, for example, who extends plays and gets sacked more and knocked out of games. JDR plays games close to the vest, until his big balls are needed. On Sunday, the Raiders lost the turnover battle, Cooper dropped a game-winning TD, the Raiders whiffed on a potential game-winning fumble Mack caused, and Jano missed two game-winning kicks, all of which extended Carr's 4th quarter heroics through nearly an entire overtime. Think about that. Carr led 4 game tieing/game winning drives at the end of the 4th and in OT, sets a 50+ year yardage record for the Raiders, is one of 3 QBs in NFL history to throw for more than 500 yards, 4 TD and 0 Int., and FO publizes 16 check-downs. Hillarious.

19 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Or maybe they're just making note of these to explain to readers how the guy who "sets a 50+ year yardage record for the Raiders, is one of 3 QBs in NFL history to throw for more than 500 yards, 4 TD and 0 Int" only ended up 6th on the list with 137 DYAR?

Now, I fully expect Kacsmar to do the "Carr is overrated" shuffle, but what's REALLY annoying to me is Raiders fans getting up in arms at every opportunity with Carr when people don't heap praises on him.

40 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Touché.

But the Carr is overrated shuffle has been a staple, and for 7 of 8 weeks, been flat wrong.

And perhaps the "failed completion" metric should be rethought. For example, on 1st and 10, a 3 to 4 yard completion is a push, not a failed completion. It is a positive play. It avoided a negative play (pick, sack) and injury (hit on QB). It got as many yards you can expect running the ball. On 2nd down, the stat should be reduced to 40% or 50%. On 2nd and 20, after a holding penalty, I'm very happy with a 10 yard gain. That's a fine play, not a failed completion. 3rd and 5 (after 2nd and 10) is also fine. That's not a failed completion. So, perhaps Carr's check downs are not as bad as advertised.

58 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Is that what a "failed completion" is?

Even so, that is a different metric than DVOA and DYAR, both of which give scaled credit rather than simply a pass/fail mark.

102 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

My assumption is that the "failed completion" metric is incorporated into the QBR rating and DVOA and DYAR metrics, but, of course, I could be wrong. And as I don't know the "scaling" protocol, I don't know the weight given to "failed completions" as compared to incompletions or other completions. I do know that Blaine Gabbert having a QBR in the ballpark of Carr's QBR leads me believe there is a serious flaw in that metric.

39 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Talking of the Raider defense ... where's Khalil Mack disappeared off to?

Haven't heard anything about him this year, thought it was going to be a breakout year threatening the sack record or some such.

52 Re: Week 8 Quick Reads

Mack was pretty monstrous on Sunday. I was very much wishing he had overslept or missed the team bus or been eaten by a bear on the way to the stadium.