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» Seventh Day Adventure: Week 13

The biggest game this week is the Iron Bowl, where the playoff hopes of Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia hang in the balance.

14 Nov 2017

Week 10 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

If you're reading this, odds are good that you've got some familiarity with football statistics -- which numbers are relevant and meaningful, and which are more trivial and insignificant. Take quarterback stats, for example. Tune in to your average highlight show or sports radio station and you'll no doubt hear how many passing yards your local signal-caller accumulated after each game. Fantasy players will want that info, but will want to know how many touchdowns their guy had too. Old-school coaches will mostly focus on how many interceptions he threw. Those seeking deeper analysis will look at completion percentage, yards per pass, or even NFL passer rating. Others will turn to adjusted net yards per attempt at Pro Football Reference, which is often more accurate than any of these because it also includes data on sacks. Here are at Football Outsiders, of course, we prefer DVOA, and that's partly because it includes very important information that is not available in any of these other numbers. Because in 2017, there is something more important than yards, touchdowns, sacks, or interceptions when evaluating quarterbacks. This year, the most critical element in evaluating a quarterback's performance might be the quality of the defense on the other side of the ball.

We have been doing opponent adjustments for quarterbacks (and other players) since Day 1 around here, but we have never seen them have such dramatic effects as they're having this year. This is what happens when you have a defense like Jacksonville, which already has 11 interceptions and 35 sacks -- more than several teams had in all of 2016. At the same time, you have to account for a defense like Oakland, the first team since at least 1940 to get through its first nine games without intercepting a single pass. Those aren't the only teams with extreme results either. The wild disparity in pass defenses this year is having a massive effect on quarterback adjustments.

We can use some pretty standard mathematical evaluations to show the gaps between the best and worst pass defenses this year. The variance of all 32 pass defense DVOAs in 2017 is 4.1 percent; the highest we have on record for a full season since 1986 was 3.6 percent in 1991. If you prefer to measure these numbers in standard deviations, then you get 20.0 percent for this season, and 18.9 percent for 1991. That shows how radical the differences between the best and worst pass defenses are this year, but it still doesn't tell us the full picture. Is it the elite defenses that are skewing these results, the terrible defenses, or both?

Let's take a more detailed look at what's going on this season. Jacksonville, of course, has the best pass defense DVOA in the league at -35.2%. The average of the best pass defense DVOA each season from 2002 to 2016 was -29.1%. So Jacksonville isn't just the best pass defense this season, but they're about 6.0% better (accounting for rounding errors) than the best pass defense in a typical season. This year's second-best pass defense, the Rams, has a DVOA of-24.5% -- 5.1% better than the average of -19.4% for the second-best defenses of the past 15 years. Oakland, meanwhile, has a pass defense DVOA of 49.3% -- that is 17.4% worse than the usual league-worst pass defense of 31.9%. (We went back to 2002 because that was the year the NFL expanded to 32 teams. We also checked the numbers for the top 10 and bottom 10 teams each season since 1986, but the results were very similar.)

The following table shows where each team ranks in pass defense DVOA this season (not including the Miami-Carolina Monday night game), and what we would expect their DVOA to be based on historical norms of teams ranked in that slot.

2017 Pass Defense DVOA vs. Historical Norms
Rank Team DVOA Normal
DVOA*
Dif
Rank Team DVOA Normal
DVOA*
Dif
1 JAC -35.2% -29.1% -6.0% 17 DEN 9.3% 5.6% 3.7%
2 LARM -24.5% -19.4% -5.1% 18 ARI 9.6% 7.5% 2.1%
3 BAL -23.0% -16.7% -6.3% 19 DAL 12.5% 8.3% 4.2%
4 NO -20.8% -13.1% -7.7% 20 ATL 14.1% 9.1% 5.0%
5 PIT -11.2% -10.8% -0.4% 21 NYJ 15.2% 9.7% 5.5%
6 CAR -8.6% -9.3% 0.7% 22 KC 15.2% 10.8% 4.4%
7 LACH -5.8% -7.7% 1.9% 23 GB 21.5% 12.1% 9.4%
8 SEA -5.7% -6.4% 0.7% 24 TEN 22.4% 12.8% 9.6%
9 PHI -3.9% -4.4% 0.5% 25 IND 27.4% 14.4% 13.0%
10 DET -2.5% -2.9% 0.3% 26 CLE 27.7% 16.4% 11.4%
11 CHI -1.2% -1.3% 0.1% 27 SF 28.0% 18.0% 10.0%
12 MIN -0.5% 0.0% -0.5% 28 TB 31.7% 20.1% 11.6%
13 BUF 2.2% 1.2% 1.0% 29 NYG 32.8% 22.9% 9.9%
14 WAS 2.6% 2.4% 0.1% 30 NE 34.1% 25.5% 8.6%
15 CIN 4.1% 3.1% 1.0% 31 MIA 36.9% 27.4% 9.6%
16 HOU 6.9% 4.8% 2.1% 32 OAK 49.3% 31.9% 17.4%
* Average Pass Defense DVOA at this Ranking, 2002-2016

This makes the strength of the best pass defenses this year very clear. We already mentioned that Jacksonville and the Rams are significantly better than the best two pass defenses in most years, but Baltimore is also better than the typical third-place team, while the Saints (Really! We double-checked!) are better than what you would expect from a fourth-place team. That's four teams with a pass defense DVOA of -20.0% or better, which would tie the record (set in 1990 and 2008) for most such defenses in a season, assuming each can maintain that level of performance over the next seven weeks.

After that, things start to level off, and the next dozen or so teams fall about where you would expect them to. Around the halfway point, though, things head south in a hurry. The bad pass defenses this year are all worse than they would be in a typical season, and those at the bottom end of the table are especially putrid. There are 10 teams this year with pass defense DVOAs of 20.0% or higher. That would shatter the record of seven, set in 2004, 2013, and 2015. The Raiders are threatening to break the all-time record for worst pass defense DVOA, the 48.1% mark set by the Saints way back in 2015.

With so many good defenses this year -- and so many, many bad defenses -- the schedule strength for quarterbacks should tend to even out over the course of the season. Every quarterback is going to bump into these teams a lot. After 10 weeks, Ben Roethlisberger's passing DYAR gets a +193 boost in DYAR after opponent adjustments, the highest in the league, while Philip Rivers has the highest penalty at -141 DYAR. Both have a long way to go before we worry about the records of +372 set by Tom Brady in 2009, or -291 set by Kurt Warner in 1999. (Bizarre fact: Matt Ryan is in second place in both categories, with a +300 in 2013 and a -280 in 2015.) It's also possible that some of these extremes will level off over the rest of the year, and opponent adjustments won't be as strong then as they are now.

In the small picture, though, it's crucial that we keep defenses in mind when we are evaluating quarterbacks each week. With all the hype around the quarterback position this year, some might believe that defense doesn't matter anymore, but nothing could be further from the truth. In some ways, defense matters more than it has in a long, long time.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Cam Newton CAR
21/35
254
4
0
0
160
129
31
MIA
2.
Philip Rivers LACH
21/37
235
2
1
0
159
159
0
JAC
Rivers is the first quarterback to throw two touchdown passes against Jacksonville this year, and also the first quarterback to play the Jaguars and not give up a sack. He is just the second quarterback to throw for 235 yards against Jacksonville; the other was Ben Roethlisberger, whose 312 yards were accompanied by five interceptions. That is why he finished as the top quarterback on Sunday despite some pretty ugly splits. On third downs, he went 4-of-11 for 46 yards with only two conversions (including a touchdown) and one interception. This was a bizarre game in which the Chargers had many opportunities to kill clock and failed. On Los Angeles' final five drives (not including a kneeldown), Rivers went 1-of-4 with as many yards (1) as interceptions.
3.
Tom Brady NE
25/34
266
3
0
1
145
149
-4
DEN
No, it is not your imagination: Brady spent almost the entire game in Denver territory. New England's field position was so good, Brady only threw eight passes on the Patriots' side of the 50. (It helps that those eight throws resulted in six first downs and 96 total yards.) He was especially effective throwing to his backs: 7-of-7 for 44 yards and five first downs, including a pair of scores. An eighth throw resulted in a 3-yard DPI.
4.
Case Keenum MIN
21/29
304
4
2
0
137
144
-6
WAS
In one ten-pass stretch that started in the second quarter and ended in the third, Keenum completed nine passes for 137 yards and four touchdowns. Eight of those completions picked up first downs; the other was a 9-yard gain on first-and-10. Later, he threw interceptions on back-to-back plays. Streaks can run both ways.
5.
Drew Stanton ARI
24/47
273
1
0
2
119
122
-3
SEA
Stanton gets a big boost in opponent adjustments for throwing a zillion passes against a good defense. Before Richard Sherman's injury, Stanton went 8-of-17 (47%) for 89 yards (5.2-yard average) After Sherman's injury, including his last play, Stanton went 16-of-30 (53%) for 184 yards (6.1-yard average).
6.
Jared Goff LARM
26/37
355
3
0
3
114
110
5
HOU
Goff was terrific going up the middle against Houston: 7-of-8 for 162 yards. Yes, 94 of those yards came on one touchdown to Robert Woods, but only one of those completions (an 8-yard gain on third-and-15) was considered a failed play.
7.
C.J. Beathard SF
19/25
288
2
1
0
100
80
19
NYG
When C.J. Beathard is ripping your defense apart with long bombs, you may have problems in your secondary. On passes that traveled more than 15 yards downfield, Beathard went 4-of-6 for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
8.
Matt Ryan ATL
22/29
215
2
1
1
98
98
0
DAL
Ryan's first third-down pass against Dallas was intercepted, but he was nearly perfect after that: 8-of-9 for 100 yards with seven conversions (including a touchdown) and one sack.
9.
Brett Hundley GB
18/25
212
1
0
3
92
83
9
CHI
Hundley threw four passes to receivers 9 to 12 yards downfield; all were incomplete. His five passes deeper than that, though, resulted in four completions for 93 yards and a touchdown, plus a DPI for 29 more yards.
10.
Drew Brees NO
18/25
184
0
0
0
71
61
10
BUF
About three minutes into the third quarter, Brees completed a 21-yard pass to Michael Thomas on second-and-15. The Saints then proceeded to run the ball on 24 consecutive plays (including a Brees scramble for a touchdown), a stretch that covered four drives. Then Brees hit Thomas for 5 yards on a fourth-and-3, and the Saints ran the ball five more times to finish the game. On passes that traveled at least 5 yards past the line of scrimmage, Brees went 7-of-9 for 129 yards.
11.
Jay Cutler MIA
22/37
213
2
1
0
70
70
0
CAR
12.
Kirk Cousins WAS
26/45
327
1
1
1
68
51
17
MIN
Aside from an interception, Cousins did very well moving Washington into scoring range. Once in scoring range, though, he had almost no success to speak of. Inside the Minnesota 30, he went just 1-of-11 with a sack. That one completion was a 7-yard gain on third-and-8.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Nathan Peterman BUF
7/10
79
1
0
0
66
66
0
NO
All of Peterman's plays came with Buffalo down by at least 37 points and less than five minutes to play. Six of his completions resulted in first downs; the other was a 9-yard gain on first-and-10.
14.
Russell Wilson SEA
22/31
238
2
0
5
46
42
4
ARI
The magic range for Wilson came 6 to 16 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. On passes at that distance, he went 8-of-10 for 138 yards and a touchdown.
15.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TB
17/34
187
1
1
1
34
40
-6
NYJ
Fitzpatrick didn't have much luck on deep passes against his old team: 2-of-8 for 39 yards with an interception.
16.
Eli Manning NYG
28/37
273
2
0
3
30
30
0
SF
Manning was really good in short-yardage against San Francisco -- not just at getting conversions, but in turning them into big plays. On third- or fourth-and-2, he went 5-of-6 for 87 yards.
17.
DeShone Kizer CLE
21/37
232
1
1
1
25
12
13
DET
Kizer struggled badly on third downs, going 3-of-8 for 19 yards and only one conversion. He did have more luck on fourth downs, going 3-of-3 for 45 yards and three conversions. The downside is that all three of those plays came with the Browns down by 14 points with less than four minutes to go.
18.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
21/35
297
1
0
5
22
22
0
GB
Trubisky was at his best between the 40s: 8-of-11 for 138 yards and a touchdown.
19.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
19/31
236
2
1
1
20
25
-5
IND
Roethlisberger's best range came 7 to 15 yards past the line of scrimmage, where he went 7-of-9 for 102 yards and two touchdowns. A tenth throw at that range resulted in an 11-yard DPI.
20.
Jacoby Brissett IND
14/24
222
2
1
3
19
28
-10
PIT
Brissett only went 3-of-8 on first downs, but he made those three completions count: a 16-yard gain to T.Y. Hilton, a 60-yard touchdown to Donte Moncrief, and a 61-yard touchdown to Chester Rogers.
21.
Matthew Stafford DET
17/26
249
3
1
4
4
-6
10
CLE
Stafford played well after halftime, but he was the worst first-half quarterback of the week: 6-of-11 for 57 yards with two sacks and an interception. Only one of those completions resulted in a first down.
22.
Marcus Mariota TEN
25/44
264
1
1
4
0
-16
16
CIN
Mariota really struggled to complete deep passes against the Bengals, going 1-of-8 for 20 yards.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Blake Bortles JAC
28/51
273
1
2
3
-12
-13
1
LACH
Bortles had big troubles between the 40-yard lines, going 8-of-18 for 57 yards with a sack and an interception.
24.
Andy Dalton CIN
21/35
265
2
0
1
-26
-26
0
TEN
On third and fourth downs, Dalton went 5-of-10 for 37 yards with a sack-fumble and only two conversions.
25.
Brock Osweiler DEN
18/33
221
1
1
0
-27
-27
0
NE
Coming into Week 10, the Patriots ranked 14th in coverage against tight ends, and 30th in coverage against running backs. Throwing to his backs and tight ends, Osweiler went 4-of-7 for 12 yards and an interceptions. None of those completions counted as successful plays. Four of those seven throws were failed third-down plays.
26.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
9/18
56
0
1
2
-43
-55
12
NO
None of Taylor's completions gained even 10 yards. Only two resulted in first downs. He only had two plays on New Orleans' side of the field: a pair of red zone incompletions. Throwing to his wide receivers, he went 1-of-6 for 9 yards.
27.
Tom Savage HOU
18/36
221
1
2
3
-81
-78
-3
LARM
Savage had a terrible day in the red zone, going 1-of-7 for 5 yards with no touchdowns, one sack, and two interceptions.
28.
Dak Prescott DAL
20/30
176
0
0
8
-89
-109
20
ATL
Eight sacks is bad. Two fumbles on eight sacks is worse.
29.
Josh McCown NYJ
23/39
262
1
1
6
-101
-101
0
TB
GABBERT WATCH UPDATE: Ah, this is more like it! After a terrible game in Week 1 against Buffalo, McCown had been floating around at a mediocre level of badness, and it was starting to look like there was no chance he would break Blaine Gabbert's record for worst total passing DYAR. But if there's one thing we have learned in nearly 16 years of watching Josh McCown play horrible football, it's that he's always liable to play horrible football again. McCown now has -242 passing DYAR this season and -1,573 in his career -- still a fair distance from Gabbert's mark of -1,928. However, word out of Arizona is that Drew Stanton might miss the Cardinals' Week 11 game against Houston, which means Gabbert might actually wind up playing again. And if he plays well (which has happened before -- witness this two-touchdown, no-interception game against Detroit in 2015), he might even catch McCown from underneath. Let's be honest, this race would be the most exciting thing concerning the Jets or Cardinals at this point in the year. As for his game against the Buccaneers, most of McCown's good plays came in quasi-garbage time, after the Jets fell behind by 12 points in the fourth quarter. His one touchdown came on his last pass of the game, but you can't really call it garbage time because the Jets did have a chance to recover an onside kick and try a Hail Mary at the end of the game, though that was not to be. Regardless, in the portion of this game where neither team led by more than one score, McCown went 11-of-23 for 121 yards with an interception and three sacks. The funny thing about this game is that McCown was actually effective on deep passes: 6-of-10 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Even his interception didn't kill his DYAR because it was thrown 49 yards downfield. But he was the worst passer in the league this week on short passes, with a league-high ten failed completions. Plus, you know, six sacks. That's bad too.


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.
Alvin Kamara NO
12
106
1
5/5
32
0
60
53
7
BUF
I have spent a lot of time poring through NFL play-by-play data the past few years. I have never seen anything like what the Saints did to Buffalo. New Orleans ran for 20 first downs in this game. The Cardinals only have 30 rushing first downs all season. The last team to rush for 20 first downs in a game: the Kansas City Chiefs in 2004. New Orleans had 12 rushing first downs against Buffalo in the third quarter alone. There have been several weeks this season in which no team accumulated a dozen first downs rushing in an entire game. Kamara himself ran for nine first downs, five of them on runs of 10 yards or more, while getting hit for no gain or a loss just once. That's the most rushing first downs any player has had in a game since Le'Veon Bell had 12 in Week 6 against Kansas City. Kamara's receiving DYAR is lower than you'd expect because two of his catches were failed third-down plays.
2.
DeMarco Murray TEN
14
42
2
4/4
30
1
57
30
26
CIN
A slow and steady day on the ground, with every carry gaining at least 1 yard, but none gaining more than 9. Murray did manage five first downs in there. His best catch was his 7-yard touchdown on third-and-goal.
3.
Rex Burkhead NE
10
36
0
2/4
27
1
57
34
23
DEN
Burkhead's day was similar to Murray's. Every run gained 1 to 8 yards, with three first downs. His best catch was a 14-yard touchdown.
4.
Mark Ingram NO
21
131
3
0/0
0
0
55
55
0
BUF
Hey, remember when I said Alvin Kamara was the first player with nine rushing first downs in a game since Week 6? That's not technically true, because Ingram had nine too, and his ninth came a few plays before Kamara's did. Every single one of Ingram's carries gained at least 1 yard, and good luck finding another example of that for a guy with 20-plus carries. And unlike Burkhead and Murray, he had some pop to his game too, with four 10-plus-yard runs, the longest a 25-yarder (on fourth-and-1 at that).
5.
Todd Gurley LARM
11
68
0
6/7
68
0
50
20
30
HOU
Gurley was hit for no gain or a loss four times, including a 7-yard loss on first down in the red zone. but he had four first downs on the ground, on gains of 11, 11, and 15 yards, plus a 34-yard gain on first-and-20. His best catch was a 43-yard gain on first-and-5.


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.
Mark Ingram NO
21
131
3
0/0
0
0
55
55
0
BUF
2.
Alvin Kamara NO
12
106
1
5/5
32
0
60
53
7
BUF
3.
Dion Lewis NE
14
55
1
0/0
0
0
41
41
0
DEN
A long gain of just 9, but three first downs on the ground, with only two hits for no gain or a loss.
4.
Kenyan Drake MIA
7
82
1
2/2
10
0
38
37
2
CAR
5.
Jonathan Stewart CAR
17
110
0
0/0
0
0
34
34
0
MIA


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.
Melvin Gordon LACH
16
27
0
5/8
15
0
-73
-45
-29
JAC
A long run of just 5 yards, only two first downs, and four hits for no gain or a loss. Only one of Gordon's catches produced a first down. He had five third-down targets and failed to pick up a first down on any of them. He also takes a big hit due to opponent adjustments for facing Jacksonville, which came into the week next to last in run defense DVOA and was 28th going into Monday Night Football. However, there is reason to think the Jaguars' run defense DVOA will continue to improve.


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.
Melvin Gordon LACH
16
27
0
5/8
15
0
-73
-45
-29
JAC


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Adam Thielen MIN
8
12
166
20.8
1
74
WAS
Each of Thielen's eight receptions produced a first down, including three third-down conversions and three gains of 38 yards or more.
2.
Chester Rogers IND
6
6
104
17.3
1
63
PIT
Rogers' DYAR total includes 62 DYAR receiving, 1 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 3 yards. Five of his catches produced first downs, including three third-down conversions.
3.
Devin Funchess CAR
5
6
92
18.4
2
56
MIA
4.
Michael Thomas NO
9
10
117
13.0
0
54
BUF
All nine of Thomas' receptions produced first downs, including gains of 20-plus yards and three conversions on third or fourth down.
5.
JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT
5
7
97
19.4
1
52
IND
All of Smith-Schuster's catches produced first downs, including a 20-yard gain on third-and-12, a 44-yard catch-and-run, and a 7-yard touchdown.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Corey Davis TEN
4
10
48
12.0
0
-35
CIN
Only two of Davis' catches were successful. He would have had a third, but he fumbled the ball away after gaining 19 yards on third-and-4.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 14 Nov 2017

49 comments, Last at 15 Nov 2017, 12:00pm by milo

Comments

1
by andrew :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 8:22am

I was certain Adrian Peterson was gonna top the worst rushing dyar with his 21 carry, 29 yard plus a fumble effort, but guess his opponent (Seahawks) played a role in that. Maybe if Jax's run defense rates higher at the end of the year this game will surpass Gordon's...

Also Peterson was tackled for a safety, does being safetied have any impact on DYAR or DVOA? (side note - should it?)

3
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:06am

I tend to think not, since getting safeties is unlikely to be predictive. Kind of like a pick 6.

Funny how Peterson is right back with the kind of roster he's mostly been on his entire career. Mediocre to bad quarterbacking and offensive line, although this time he has a great receiver paired with him.

6
by andrew :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:24am

Should we read anything into how the Saints running game really took off once he left? I mean their playcalling vs Buffalo is the kind of stuff he dreams about, right?

9
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:37am

I didn't see the game, but I doubt there were too many 8-9 guys in the box facing the Saints. The problem with Peterson, as great as he was when he was in his prime, is that his poor pass blocking tended to make an offense predictable, especially when paired with mediocre to bad quarterbacking. Rarely does Drew Brees look at 9 guys in the box.

12
by sbond101 :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:51am

Go and see if you can get it on YouTube or something. Even just that third quarter drive is worth the time to watch. What most fascinated me was that there was a lot of 8+ in the box, and basically every play ended up with the back 1-2 vs the safeties at the second level. I've never seen a group on linebackers get so completely whipped on second level blocks. I think there was a lot of exhostian/quit in the Bills, but usually someone steps up to try to earn a job somewhere, which just didn't happen Sunday.

14
by Mike B. In Va :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:14am

Looks like the Saints identified the weakness in Buffalo's D - the linebackers are trash - and successfully attacked it.

20
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:16am

I actually felt bad for that linebacker that just got subjugated by Terron Armstead on Brees' touchdown run.

30
by SandyRiver :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 1:43pm

First 7 plays on that drive each got at least 9 yards. Not only did NO never face a 3rd down, they had only 2 2nd downs. Seven 1st downs plus a TD in 10 rushes; I can't remember ever before seeing such OL dominance in an NFL game.

2
by big10freak :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:04am

Any idea the percentage of runs by the Saints that have Ryan Ramczyk as lead blocker?

4
by BobbyDazzler :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:13am

As a Saints fan, that 3rd quarter drive when they ran the ball every down on a 10 play 94 yard TD drive was an absolute thing of beauty.

13
by Mike B. In Va :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:12am

That was one of the most dominant performances on the ground I've ever seen - and I'm saying that as a Bills fan who was just waiting for one guy to actually make a tackle.

If the Saints are actually this good, it's 2009 all over again.

17
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:39am

A really positive aspect of having that sort of balance is that Brees will likely not get hit much, and with older qbs the accumulation of hits during a season tends to affect throwing performance, even if the qb stays on the field.

26
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 1:00pm

Similar to when Chicago did that against the Saints in the 2006 Title Game. Think it was all runs by Thomas Jones as well.

5
by ChrisLong :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:22am

Encouraged by Hundley's recent performances. Might be able to sneak by the Ravens next week if he keeps up average play. Defense is still shoddy but the offenses on the schedule are beatable.

7
by big10freak :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:28am

I was half joking half serious when I wrote elsewhere that Hundley's tender hamstring likely forced him to stay in the pocket versus bailing so quickly. The big throw to Adams at the end Hundley made with guys in his face. He has a pretty solid line. Hundley needs to trust those guys to do their job.

And the Packers did about what I suggested at the outset of Hundley's tenure. Ran the ball 37 times, took some shots deep, very deliberate, leveraged their offensive line advantage which should exist in most games as the Packers line is the best group on the offense.

Gee, who does that sound like on the college level?

11
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:45am

Everyone not in the Big 12.

19
by big10freak :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:10am

Well, I was referencing Wisconsin who is routinely mocked for their 'boring' offense

36
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 3:05pm

I thought you were talking about Alabama.

I didn't think to look at the user name. =)

23
by ChrisLong :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:25am

Yeah, I really think this game might have been a turning point. Outside of the Minnesota game when he was thrown into the fire, he's made relatively few big mistakes against some good defenses and is starting to make plays. Another good D on the docket for next week so I hope he keeps this up.

8
by Guido Merkens :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:33am

Newton's performance is especially impressive given his receivers. I watched about 15 minutes of the Panthers-Dolphins game last night and saw three horrendous drops by his WRs (two by Russell Shepherd, one by Curtis Samuel). Each would have likely been a 20+ yard gain, and Samuel's would have been a TD.

10
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:38am

I hope he stays healthy.

39
by BJR :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 3:28pm

I would like to see the DVOA breakdown of Miami's defensive performance last night. On top of Newton's huge passing day, Carolina also rushed for 294(!) total yards. The Panthers' offence was comfortably below average coming into the game, so I have to imagine this game is going to rival some of the worst defensive performances ever, which would certainly jive with what my eyes saw.

40
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 4:23pm

Shepard was a guy in Tampa who everybody loved as a special teams demon, but that was a team that had serious, serious problems in the WR corps for a number of years, and Shepard just couldn't see the field as a WR, even though the team had a screaming need at the position. Suffice to say, it's not a shock he can't catch the ball in Carolina.

15
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:30am

Utterly hilarious in so many ways that Philip Rivers has one of the best games of the week and the best game all season against Jacksonville's apparently great pass defense, and the Chargers STILL found a way to lose that game. It's amazing the ways they find to fail completely and utterly, over and over again.

21
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:19am

Not even the Blake-tanic could overcome the Chargers' ability to beat themselves. He gave LA not one, but TWO game-ending interceptions...and they still couldn't win!

34
by t.d. :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 2:40pm

The interception Rivers threw in overtime was totally on the receiver, too; should have been a completion for a big gain. Rivers has always killed the Jags, and, even against this defense, should have done enough. Chargers are really unbelievable (dates back to Marlon McCree, doesn't it?)

38
by ChrisS :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 3:26pm

One more idiotic play by the Chargers was getting a delay of game penalty for simulating the snap count as the Jags set up for the FG. It moved the ball 5 yards closer and the partially blocked kick was good by about 1-2 yards.

16
by DraftMan :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:38am

"We have been doing opponent adjustments for quarterbacks (and other players) since Day 1 around here,"

Shouldn't that be Day 29?

18
by jtr :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:44am

This was CJ Beathard's first start with fewer than four sacks, and the Giants didn't even get to him once. The Niners have been giving up sacks at a prolific rate; only twice this season did Bryan Hoyer escape with only two sacks, which are the only other times that the Niners have managed fewer than three.
The startling conclusion of this analysis: the Giants defense is really bad.

37
by serutan :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 3:16pm

The alternative explanation being thrown about is that the Giants have quit.
______
Was wr

47
by jtr :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 9:30am

Yeah, I think a lack of effort is a huge part of why they've been so bad this season on defense. It's basically the exact same personnel as last year's #2 DVOA Giants defense.

22
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:20am

When you add Case Keenum stats this year into your spreadsheets - does it show up as a circular reference?

24
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:26am

Amazing what happens when you control the line of scrimmage, and have receivers who catch the ball. I'll say again that if Bradford's health from last year had extended to this season, and Dalvin Cook's ACL had remained intact, this would be a top 5 offense, and the team would be as strong a Super Bowl contender as anyone.

27
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 1:01pm

I think it also shows how difficult it is to assess individual performance. Playing QB for the Vikings in 2017 is just way easier than it was in 2015-2016.

28
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 1:13pm

Anybody who doesn't understand how well Bradford played last year either didn't watch the Vikings, or, to quote Parcells, doesn't know if the ball is blown up or stuffed. For him to finish 16th in DYAR, not joining the team until a couple days before the season began, with no protection, no running game, Diggs hurt for a good chunk of the season, was a really good performance.

25
by nat :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:48am

Adding this game to his current 921 DYAR, Brady's on pace to break 1900 passing DYAR this year. In the previous ten years, that has been done 8 times by 4 players.

P. Manning (2013)
D. Brees (2011)
A. Rodgers (2011)
T. Brady (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Two thoughts:
"On pace" statements are always suspect, although not so much after 9 games. It's likely he won't break 1900, but hitting 1900 is a realistic possibility.

Where the heck was this Brady since 2012?

29
by anotherpatsfan :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 1:16pm

I haven't dived into the numbers in detail, but he was pretty solid last year in 12 games. Wouldn't have gotten to 1900 but he was better than 2013-2015.

35
by Yu Narukami :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 2:48pm

2013: Skill players were injury plagued. He had a 1:13 comeback drive (vs. RobR's Saints, though) throwing to the combination of undrafted rookie Kembrell Thompkins, rookie-later bust Aaron Dobson, the corpse of Austin Collie, Hoomawahanui or whatever is called as TE and Brandon Bolden as the receiving back.

2014: First 4 games were an abomination, Miami and the On-to-Cincinnati losses, ugly win vs. Raiders and Cassel-led Vikings. Good D also helped.

2015: Started great, then fall off wit the depletion of OL and skill players. LaAdrian Waddle and the backup center at tackles, Steven Jackson as the starting RB.

2016: Missed 4 games.

2017: Probably the best skill players roster he ever had (could have been better with JE11). Cooks, Hogan, Amendola, Dorsett (bust but still a 1st rounder, and he is only the 8th best receiving option in the team); Gronk, Martysaurus at TEs (D. Allen finally caught a pass, but he is still far from good on the receiving side); White, Burkhead (FO darling) as the receiving backs, Gillislee (FO darling) and Lewis as the "standard" backs. O-line was skittish in the first games, but now is kind of settling in, even with the resurgence of LaAdrian Waddle in the right tackle position.

43
by RobotBoy :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:42am

The number of quality skill players on that O is astonishing and makes it almost impossible to game plan against. Yes, they're down a couple of receivers but add Bennett to Gronk (who it seems they've been limiting this year), with three backs who can catch and Dorsett finally seeming to get integrated into the system. Barring a SB-Giants pass-rush (and you'd still need linebackers who can cover), I guess you just have to try and score with them and hope for mistakes. Yes, the defense is mediocre, especially with Hightower down, but it does seem to be limiting scoring and getting very advantageous field position from better-than-the-usually-very-good special-teams play.

48
by nat :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:51am

Looking at it another way, Brady is on pace for a 681 DYAR lead at the end of the season. If that were to hold up, it would be the largest gap between the DYAR leader and the next best QB since Brady's 2007 masterpiece. (FWIW, and to keep this from being entirely about Brady, Manning's lead came close in 2013. That was a great season for Peyton.)

I don't really think Brady's lead will get to 680. One of Smith, Brees, Keenum, and Goff will go on a hot streak. Wentz, Roethlisberger, or Ryan might, too, but they're too far back to be serious contenders even for the #2 spot.

Brady is by having by far the best season among today's QBs and one of the most dominant (compared to other QBs) seasons in more than a decade.

I might have to look into that "method" of his. :-)

31
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 1:44pm

Vince, if it isn't too much to break it down, what was Keenum's DYAR up until he started throwing ints, and what was it from that point onwards?

32
by jschroe36 :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 2:16pm

MAX UNGER IS VERY GOOD

33
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 2:19pm

I still think the Seahawks would have been better off with Unger, and without Graham.

42
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 8:57pm

I've always thought this. I don't get why the Saints were so eager to hemmorage talent those several years. Sure, they've replaced a good amount of it on offense, but not all of it. Did they actually do anything with the resources they got in return?

49
by milo :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:00pm

Salary cap was the main issue. Also, Graham wouldn't/couldn't block. Saints wanted to run to protect aging QB. Two first round OL picks in three years (Starting LG and RT), one from the Cooks trade. Busted on the actual first round pick of LB they got in Graham trade. Spent a lot to bring in TE Fleener (looks like too much $, but he is #1 DVOA TE 2017). Spent a little to bring in WR Ginn (#1 DVOA WR 2017). Drafted (2nd round) Mike Thomas (#1 DYAR rookie WR ever 2016) to replace aged Marques Colston. Traded up to draft Alvin Kamara (#1 DYAR and DVOA RB 2017). Salary cap still issue but no longer worst in league. Jeff Ireland has had two excellent drafts in a row.

41
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 5:49pm

I was certain Adrian Peterson was gonna top the worst rushing dyar with his 21 carry, 29 yard plus a fumble effort, but guess his opponent (Seahawks) played a role in that. Maybe if Jax's run defense rates higher at the end of the year this game will surpass Gordon's...

Fourth-worst, but way way WAY better than Gordon, even without opponent adjustments. The yards per carry are similar and Peterson had a fumble, but almost all of Peterson's carries came on first down. Gordon had four carries with 1 yard to go for a first down, and only converted 1 of them. Those three short-yardage failures blow up his DYAR.

Also Peterson was tackled for a safety, does being safetied have any impact on DYAR or DVOA? (side note - should it?)

Peterson had eight carries with worse DYAR than the safety, so it wasn't a huge deal.

I would like to see the DVOA breakdown of Miami's defensive performance last night. On top of Newton's huge passing day, Carolina also rushed for 294(!) total yards. The Panthers' offence was comfortably below average coming into the game, so I have to imagine this game is going to rival some of the worst defensive performances ever, which would certainly jive with what my eyes saw.

Can I interest you in a Premium Subscription, which includes full DVOA breakdowns for all teams for all games?

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/store/premium-access

Vince, if it isn't too much to break it down, what was Keenum's DYAR up until he started throwing ints, and what was it from that point onwards?

Up to first INT: 228 DYAR
First INT and rest of game: -84 DYAR

44
by RobotBoy :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:49am

Is the assessment of responsibility for sacks solely an eye-test evaluation (or multiple sets of eyes) or do you folks also filter it through other rating systems? I'd be interested in how you quantify something like sacks with regard to DYAR. Of course, I understand you have proprietary interests, but even a very general breakdown would be fascinating.

45
by Jerry :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:30am

I don't think any responsibility gets assigned. Anything that's a sack in the play-by-play gets treated as a negative passing play.

46
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 6:42am

Correct.