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10 Oct 2017

Week 5 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

For many football fans, last Sunday served as a reminder of just how ugly the NFL can be. Not because of any anthem-related activities, nor because of the many injuries on what turned out to be a very bloody Sunday across the league. No, what made things so unpleasant for fans in the Deep South is that they were forced to watch Matt Cassel battle Jay Cutler for four miserable quarters in what appeared to be a race to the bottom of the passing statistical tables.

The day ended, however, on a more exciting note, as Alex Smith and Deshaun Watson spent Sunday trading big plays back and forth. The game wasn't terribly dramatic -- Houston's win expectancy was never higher than 25 percent after the early portions of the second quarter, according to Pro Football Reference -- but for sheer yardage and touchdowns, there was no better quarterback matchup in Week 5.

When the smoke cleared on Monday morning, it was no surprise to see that Smith and Watson held the top two spots in the Quick Reads tables, while Cassel and Cutler were both in the bottom three. (For our narrative, it would have been nice to simply say they were the two worst passers of the week, but you can always count on a Cleveland quarterback playing badly enough to screw things up for everyone.) We don't know how often that kind of thing has happened, but we do know matchups like this are not unprecedented. Going through our list of all-time great and all-time terrible quarterback games, we found 12 instances where quarterbacks on opposing teams both played to one extreme or another.

We'll begin with the bad matchups, and how Cassel and Cutler stack up historically. Cutler finished 12-of-26 for 92 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and one sack for 14 yards lost -- and Cutler and the Dolphins still won this game. Cassel went 21-of-32 for 141 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions, and six sacks for 22 yards lost. Add those numbers up, and you get a 57 percent completion rate and 3.0 net yards per play. Perhaps most depressing is that the two teams averaged only 7.1 yards per completion -- a terrible rate for a running back, let alone two entire teams' worth of tight ends and wide receivers. That left Cassel with -72 passing DYAR and Cutler with -97.

As it turns out, that's nothing close to a historically bad game, mainly due to a general lack of interceptions. We found five games where both quarterbacks put up -200 DYAR or worse. In chronological order:

  • Week 12, 1992, Detroit Lions 19 at Cincinnati Bengals 13: This game should have been played on Christmas -- both Detroit's Erik Kramer and Cincinnati's Boomer Esiason were 12-of-25 passing. Kramer's throws gained 141 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions, and five sacks, while Esiason's produced only 64 yards (5.3 per completion! No completion gained more than 9 yards!) with no touchdowns, two interceptions, and three sacks.
  • Week 4, 1994, Cincinnati Bengals 13 at Houston Oilers 20: Houston's Cody Carlson attempted 33 passes, completing only 12 of them for 211 yards, with one touchdown, two interceptions, and three sacks. And yet that was good enough, because Cincinnati's David Klingler went 10-of-30 for 115 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions, and seven sacks. That's -302 DYAR, which is still the worst single game we have ever measured. The Bengals only scored because of Corey Sawyer, who returned one punt 82 yards for a touchdown, and another 47 yards to set up a field goal. Amazingly, Klingler had a chance to throw a game-tying Hail Mary from the Oilers' 46 on the last play of regulation, but ended up taking his seventh sack instead.
  • Week 13, 2006, Minnesota Vikings 13 at Chicago Bears 23: The Vikings actually used three quarterbacks in this game, but the one who played the most (and worst) was Brad Johnson, who went 11-of-26 for 73 yards with no touchdowns, four interceptions, and a sack. His counterpart, Rex Grossman, went 6-of-19 for 34 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions, and a sack. And yet, the Bears won, thanks to 16 points on defense (a 54-yard interception return touchdown by Ricky Manning, and a safety when Ciatrick Fason was tackled in the end zone) and special teams (a 45-yard punt return touchdown by Devin Hester).
  • Week 5, 2010, Chicago Bears 23 at Carolina Panthers 6: You knew the Bears were going to show up more than once on this list, right? Each team's backup played a bit in this one, but it's the starters -- Jimmy Clausen for Carolina, Todd Collins for Chicago -- we're talking about today. Clausen was just 9-of-22 for 61 yards with no touchdowns, one interception, and five sacks. Collins went 6-of-16 for 32 yards (that would be TWO! yards per pass) with no touchdowns, four interceptions, and two sacks. The Bears had five scoring drives in this game. Four of them started in Carolina territory. One of them went backwards before Robbie Gould kicked a field goal.
  • Week 1, 2012, Philadelphia Eagles 17 at Cleveland Browns 16: Brandon Weeden was a few weeks shy of his 29th birthday for this, his first NFL game. Perhaps he should have waited longer -- he went 12-of-35 for 118 yards with no touchdowns, four interceptions, and two sacks. Michael Vick, who had made his NFL debut in 2001 at the age of 21, was hardly any better on this day, going 29-of-56 for 317 yards and two touchdowns, but also with four interceptions, two sacks, and two fumbles.

Before we move on to our good quarterbacks, it occurs to me that we really need two categories for bad quarterback play. Some quarterbacks -- like Vick in that last game -- have bad numbers because they made so many big mistakes that the value of the good plays they made were washed out. Other quarterbacks -- like Cassel and Cutler this weekend -- have bad numbers not because they turned the ball over, but because they didn't do anything to move their offenses and put points on the board. The worst quarterbacks, of course, were those with lots of turnovers and little scoring to show for it. But dumping all of them in one bucket may not be the best way to measure this.

Regardless, the quarterbacks who played on Sunday night are clearly at the other end of the spectrum. Alex Smith is making himself a strong candidate for MVP, while Deshaun Watson is making a case for rookie of the year (assuming Smith's teammate Kareem Hunt doesn't take home both awards), and we saw why in this game. Smith went 29-of-37 for 324 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and one sack. Watson went 16-of-31 for 261 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions, and three sacks. That's 214 passing DYAR for Smith, 177 for Watson. As was the case for Cutler and Cassel, this is not unprecedented. Here's a look at seven games where both quarterbacks finished with at least 200 DYAR:

  • Week 18, 1993, Denver Broncos 30 at Los Angeles Raiders 33: Given the stakes -- the winner of this game would take the AFC West Championship -- this is an underrated classic among the great shootouts of all time. John Elway led Denver to a 30-13 lead in the third quarter, going 25-of-36 for 361 yards with three touchdowns and no sacks or interceptions. It wasn't enough, though, because Jeff Hostetler went 25-of-41 for 310 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and three sacks. The Raiders tied the game in the fourth quarter and went on to win in overtime. Seven days later, the two teams met again in the same building, with the Raiders winning 42-24 to advance in the playoffs.
  • Week 11, 1994, Minnesota Vikings 20 at New England Patriots 26: Another overtime game saw the Vikings go up 20-0 in the first half as Warren Moon went 26-of-42 for 349 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions, and one sack. Playing from behind all day, Drew Bledsoe threw 70 passes, a record that still stands. He completed 45 of them for three touchdowns. The amazing thing is that with all those dropbacks, Bledsoe didn't give up a single interception or sack as the Patriots completed their rally and won in overtime.
  • Week 4, 1995, Cincinnati Bengals 28 at Houston Oilers 38: The average quarterback in 2017 is completing 63 percent of his passes. In 1995, that average was just 58 percent. In that light, Chris Chandler's 23-of-26 performance against the Bengals was even more impressive. He gained 352 yards and threw for four touchdowns, with no interceptions and only one sack. The Bengals fell behind early and couldn't catch up, despite the heroics of Jeff Blake: 24-of-46, 356 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, one sack.
  • Week 12, 1995, New Orleans Saints 24 at Minnesota Vikings 43: There's a common theme in some of these games -- they're not necessarily back-and-forth affairs. Often one team jumps out to a big lead and the other has to stage a furious rally. In this case, the Vikings were ahead 30-7 at halftime as Moon went 25-of-32 for 338 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions, and two sacks. Jim Everett's too-little, too-late statline was at least a boon to those playing fantasy football in 1995: 25-of-37, 335 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, two sacks.
  • Week 8, 2004, Indianapolis Colts 35 at Kansas City Chiefs 45: You knew the Dick Vermeil-era Chiefs would be on this list somewhere. From 2002 to 2004, the Chiefs scored a league-high 1,434 points, but they gave up 1,166 points, fifth-most. You take that team and match it up against Peyton Manning in his best year with the Colts, and you watch the numbers fly by like a slot machine giving up its jackpot. Manning went 25-of-44 for 472 yards and five touchdowns with one interception and no sacks. Kansas City's Trent Green, though, went 27-of-34 for 389 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and one sack.
  • Week 5, 2013, Denver Broncos 51 at Dallas Cowboys 48: Oh, hey, it's Peyton Manning again. He's bound to show up a few times in almost any "good quarterbacks" list. Here, after the Cowboys took a 48-41 lead with 7:19 to go, Manning was able to rally the Broncos to ten more points in regulation, with Matt Prater hitting a 28-yard field goal at the gun to seal the win. Manning went 33-of-42 for 414 yards with 4 touchdowns, one interception, and no sacks. Thanks to some kneeldowns, he also had a hysterical rushing line: four carries for -8 yards with a touchdown. In a losing effort, Tony Romo went 25-of-36 for 506 yards (that's 14.1 yards per pass) with five touchdowns, one interception, and four sacks.
  • Week 14, 2013, Indianapolis Colts 28 at Cincinnati Bengals 42: Another "shootout" where one team had a commanding lead, as the Colts trailed by at least 14 points for the entire fourth quarter. Andy Dalton went 24-of-35 for 275 yards and three touchdowns, while Andrew Luck went 29-of-46 for 326 yards and four touchdowns. In 81 total dropbacks, neither defense managed a single sack or interception.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Alex Smith KC
29/37
324
3
0
1
217
214
3
HOU
Fun with small sample sizes: we split the field into five 20-yard zones: deep, back, mid, front, and red. Smith was in the top three in the back, mid, and red zones this week, and threw just one pass in the deep. But he was in the bottom five in the front zone, going 2-of-6 for 9 yards, with one of those completions a 4-yard gain on third-and-6.
2.
Deshaun Watson HOU
16/29
261
5
0
3
186
178
8
KC
To be sure, there was some garbage-time padding in these stats. About one-third of Watson's total DYAR came on Houston's last drive, a drive on which Watson went 4-of-5 for 75 yards, including a touchdown on the last play of the game that still left Houston down by 12 points. Watson led the league in second-half DYAR, but every pass he threw after halftime came with Houston trailing by at least 12 points.
3.
Cam Newton CAR
26/33
355
3
0
3
135
148
-12
DET
Most of Newton's value came on midrange and longer throws. On passes that traveled at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, he went 9-of-11 for 248 yards.
4.
Carson Wentz PHI
21/30
304
4
1
1
131
132
-1
ARI
Wentz's last three passes of the first quarter each resulted in a touchdown, on gains of 15, 11, and 59 yards. On third downs, he went 11-of-12 for 225 yards and nine conversions, plus a 16-yard DPI on a 13th throw.
5.
Kevin Hogan CLE
16/19
194
2
1
0
96
87
9
NYJ
Hogan Hulked up at the end of this game. He went 4-for-4 for for 80 yards on his last drive, including a touchdown that pulled the Browns to within 17-13 at the two-minute warning. Unfortunately the Jets recovered the ensuing onside kick, denying Hogan the chance at a miracle comeback, and denying the rest of us the chance to make "Kev-a-mania" jokes until the end of time.
6.
Case Keenum MIN
17/21
140
1
0
0
95
85
11
CHI
Not a lot of explosive plays here -- Keenum averaged just 8.2 yards per completion, with a long play of only 19 yards -- but that doesn't mean he was loading up on empty-calorie completions. Seven went for first downs, and seven others still qualified as successful plays. Even two of his failed completions -- gains of 4 and 3 yards on first-and-10 -- weren't terrible plays. His only clearly failed completion was a 6-yard gain on third-and-20.
7.
Brian Hoyer SF
30/46
353
2
0
2
83
95
-12
IND
About half of Hoyer's value came on San Francisco's first drive. He completed each of his frist seven passes, gaining 73 yards in the process -- at one point there he picked up first downs on five straight throws -- but then threw incomplete on third-and-4 in the red zone. Two of his biggest throws came on fourth down -- a 19-yard completion to George Kittle on fourth-and-1 on San Francisco's last drive in regulation, and then a game-tying touchdown to Kittle on fourth-and-goal from the 5 with 20 seconds to go.
8.
Dak Prescott DAL
25/36
251
3
1
1
74
55
19
GB
Prescott threw touchdowns on each of Dallas' first three drives, going 12-of-15 for 143 yards. The rest of the game, he went 13-of-21 for 108 yards with an interception and a sack-fumble.
9.
Aaron Rodgers GB
19/29
221
3
0
4
68
63
4
DAL
Beyond the four sacks, the biggest thing holding Rodgers back was his performance on very short passes. On throws that traveled within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, he went 8-of-14 for 55 yards. Anything deeper than that, he went 11-of-15 for 166 yards, with every completion picking up a first down.
10.
EJ Manuel OAK
13/26
159
1
0
3
62
58
4
BAL
When Oakland's first drive of the fourth quarter began, they only trailed 27-17 and certainly had a chance to win. Manuel only picked up one first down the rest of the way, going 3-of-8 for 25 yards, plus one sack.
11.
Andy Dalton CIN
22/36
328
1
2
1
54
53
2
BUF
A.J. Green's 77-yard touchdown was caught 35 yards downfield, but also included 42 yards after the catch. That was a theme for Dalton this week. Green caught another pass 17 yards downfield and then added 30 more after the catch, while Gio Bernard caught a ball 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage and turned it into an 18-yard gain. That's 90 yards after the catch on those three plays alone. Dalton's average completion produced 6.9 yards after the catch this week, second only to the 7.1 of Cam Newton.
12.
Joe Flacco BAL
19/26
222
0
0
0
46
46
0
OAK
Flacco's third-down numbers were pretty mundane, but his first- and second-down numbers are ridiculous: 12-of-17 for 148 yards. That sounds pretty good, but that includes one completion for 54 yards, another for 52, and only one other that picked up a first down. His mean gain on those 17 plays was 8.7 yards, but his median gain was 1.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Carson Palmer ARI
28/44
291
1
0
2
40
40
0
PHI
Palmer did not have a successful play until the Cardinals were down by 21 points in the second quarter. In the first quarter, he went 3-of-8 for 13 yards with a sack. That includes a 6-yard gain on third-and-16 and a 5-yard gain on third-and-13.
14.
Jameis Winston TB
26/45
334
1
0
2
32
32
0
NE
Winston threw a ton of passes up the middle against New England, going 8-of-13 for 124 yards.
15.
Matthew Stafford DET
23/35
229
2
0
6
11
11
0
CAR
Stafford converted his first third-down play with an 8-yard gain on third-and-1. And he converted each of his last three third-down plays: a 4-yard gain on third-and-4, a 25-yard gain on third-and-2, and a 20-yard touchdown on third-and-10. He failed to convert a single third down in between, going 0-for-5 with a pair of sacks.
16.
Jacoby Brissett IND
22/34
314
0
1
4
-1
-8
7
SF
Red zone passing: 1-of-4 for 9 yards, no touchdowns, one interception, two sacks.
17.
Philip Rivers LACH
22/44
258
3
1
0
-10
2
-12
NYG
The magic passing window for Rivers came 12 to 25 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. On throws of that distance, he went 6-of-7 for 104 yards, with each of those completions picking up a first down. (We won't mention that the seventh pass was intercepted.)
18.
Tom Brady NE
30/40
303
1
1
3
-12
-6
-6
TB
With Rob Gronkowski sidelined, Brady threw just one pass to a tight end, an incompletion on third-and-4 to undrafted rookie Jacob Hollister out of Wyoming. When I saw that, I figured Dwayne Allen had to be hurt too, but no -- he has played in all five games for New England, starting three, and been on the field for more than 40 percent of the team's offensive snaps. That includes 50 snaps this week against the Buccaneers. And in all that playing time, he has yet to catch a single pass, and has only been thrown at six times. This is a guy who put up a 35-406-6 statline last year. I know New England has a lot of weapons on offense, but man, this is weird.
19.
Russell Wilson SEA
24/36
198
1
1
3
-27
-18
-9
LARM
Wilson's first pass of the second half was a 21-yard gain on second-and-7. That was his last time he passed for a first down the entire game. After that pass, he went 4-of-9 for 22 yards. His last three passes were failed attempts to convert on third-and-7, third-and-2, and third-and-6.
20.
Josh McCown NYJ
23/30
194
2
1
3
-31
-31
0
CLE
GABBERT WATCH UPDATE: McCown is now at -119 DYAR for the season and -1,450 for his career, still well short of Blaine Gabbert's career mark of -1,928. We're a third of the way through the year now, and it's looking like Gabbert's record is safe unless he hits the field for Arizona and plays well. For this week, McCown only threw seven passes on Cleveland's side of the 50, but he made them count. All seven passes were completed, six went for first downs, two went for touchdowns, and they gained 65 total yards.
21.
Blake Bortles JAC
8/14
95
0
1
2
-35
-38
3
PIT
Bortles did not throw a single pass in the red zone. He threw only one pass in the front zone (the area between Pittsburgh's 20- and 40-yard lines), an incompletion on third-and-8. He had five other plays on Pittsburgh's side of the 50: completons for gains of 3 and 18 yards; one incomplete pass; one interception; and one sack. With about eight minutes left in the third quarter, he threw incomplete on second-and-7 and then was sacked on third-and-7. He did not have another dropback for the final 20-plus minutes of the game.
22.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
20/37
166
1
1
6
-50
-50
0
CIN
The Bengals scored a go-ahead touchdown to take a 17-13 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Bills had three drives after that, each down by exactly four points. Taylor didn't pick up a single first down on those three drives, going 4-of-7 for 18 yards with an interception and three sacks.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Jared Goff LARM
22/46
288
0
2
2
-51
-57
7
SEA
Goff moved the Rams up and down the field most of the day, but played about as badly as possible in scoring range. Inside Seattle's 25-yard line, he went 1-of-10 for 2 yards with one interception and a sack.
24.
Eli Manning NYG
21/36
225
2
1
5
-57
-57
0
LACH
Manning had 14 third-down dropbacks against Los Angeles, and the results are kind of hard to believe: 5-of-9 for 63 yards and four conversions, including a 29-yard touchdown. He also had an interception and five sacks, with two fumbles.
25.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
12/25
128
1
1
1
-67
-73
6
MIN
Trubisky's first two throws both resulted in first downs, but then he had only four more the rest of the game, including one in the third quarter and one more in the fourth.
26.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
33/54
312
0
5
2
-68
-63
-5
JAC
Well, the five interceptions were a problem, but let's not overlook how little success Roethlisberger had in scoring range. Inside the Jacksonville 40, he went 5-of-12 for 24 yards and no touchdowns. And yes, one of those 12 passes was intercepted.
27.
Matt Cassel TEN
21/32
141
1
0
6
-72
-72
0
MIA
Third downs: 6-of-10, 32 yards, two conversions, three sacks.
28.
Sam Bradford MIN
5/11
36
0
0
4
-91
-91
0
CHI
Bradford's first seven plays each resulted in no gain or a loss, including a completion for a 5-yard loss and a sack for a safety. He had five completions for 36 yards and lost 35 yards on four sacks. Yes, that's a net gain of 1 yard on 15 dropbacks.
29.
Jay Cutler MIA
12/26
92
1
1
1
-93
-97
5
TEN
Five of Cutler's seven first downs came in the fourth quarter. By the end of the third quarter, he had gone 7-of-19 for 33 yards (yes) with an interception. He threw five passes that traveled at least 13 yards past the line of scrimmage. None were completed; one was intercepted.
30.
DeShone Kizer CLE
8/17
87
0
1
1
-112
-113
1
NYJ
Kizer had a 19-yard gain on third-and-14 in the first quarter and a 21-yard gain on first-and-10 in the second. Those were his only first downs on the day. Both of those, by the way, came on Cleveland's side of the field. He didn't pick up a single first down on New York's side of the 50 -- which is astonishing, because 15 of his 18 dropbacks came in New York territory. That insane. That's more plays in opponent territory than ten starters had this week. It's as many plays in opponent territory as Ben Roethlisberger had, and Roethlisberger had more than three times as many total dropbacks as Kizer had. Kizer's average dropback came from NEW YORK'S 35-yard line. And now you know why the Browns had to make a quarterback change. You had a whole team of guys putting the quarterback in position to win, and that quarterback was single-handedly putting those opportunities to waste. On that note, if you hadn't heard, here are Kizer's red zone numbers against the Jets: 1-of-3 for 4 yards with an interception and a fumbled snap.


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.
Melvin Gordon LACH
20
105
0
6/8
58
2
57
19
38
NYG
Six first downs on the ground, and four runs of 10 or more yards, while getting hit for no gain or a loss only three times. His receptions included touchdowns of 6 and 10 yards, plus a 22-yard gain on second-and-11.
2.
Aaron Jones GB
19
125
1
1/1
9
0
47
39
8
DAL
A fifth-round rookie out of UTEP, Jones got the start against Dallas in Ty Montgomery's absence and flourished, with seven first downs on the ground and five runs of 10 yards or more, while getting hit for no gain or a loss just twice. One would think Jones is the clear No. 2 man in Green Bay now, and will likely get some carries even after Montgomery returns from his rib injury.
3.
Marlon Mack IND
9
91
1
1/1
2
0
38
42
-4
SF
In the first four weeks of the year, Mack had 24 yards on one run, and 4 total yards on his other 15 carries, with eight of those carries going for no gain or a loss. He was hit for a loss three more times against San Francisco, but also had gains of 11, 16, 22, and 35 yards. On the season, he now has a stuff rate of 44 percent, a success rate of 28 percent, an average of 4.8 yards per carry, a median of 1 yard per carry, and a standard deviation of 9.8 yards per carry. This is unusual.
4.
Jerick McKinnon MIN
16
95
1
6/6
51
0
32
7
25
CHI
McKinnon only had two first downs on the ground, and just one 10-plus-yard run, but that one big play was a 58-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, he was hit for no gain or a loss three times. Three of his receptions produced first downs, including a pair of third-down conversions.
5.
Leonard Fournette JAC
28
181
2
1/1
3
0
29
30
-1
PIT
Fournette's 90-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of the game was worth 27 DYAR by itself -- nearly the value of Fournette's entire day. However, he did have seven total first downs on the ground, and four other 10-plus-yard runs, while getting hit for no gain or a loss four times.


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.
Marlon Mack IND
9
91
1
1/1
2
0
38
42
-4
SF
2.
Aaron Jones GB
19
125
1
1/1
9
0
47
39
8
DAL
3.
Leonard Fournette JAC
28
181
2
1/1
3
0
29
30
-1
PIT
4.
Orleans Darkwa NYG
8
69
1
1/4
3
0
11
30
-19
LACH
Not a lot of opportunities, but just one hit for no gain or a loss, seven gains of 4 or more yards, three gains of 10 or more, and four first downs.
5.
Dion Lewis NE
7
53
0
2/2
10
0
22
22
0
TB
Six runs gained at least 2 yards, three gained first downs, one gained 31.


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.
Todd Gurley LARM
14
43
0
2/4
7
0
-43
-32
-11
SEA
Only three first downs on the ground, and that includes his longest run of the day, an 11-yarder, which ended in a lost fumble at the goal line that may have cost the Rams the game. He was hit for no gain or a loss four times, including a 7-yard loss on second-and-4. His only catches were 1- and 6-yard gains on first-and-10.


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.
Todd Gurley LARM
14
43
0
2/4
7
0
-43
-32
-11
SEA


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Ed Dickson CAR
5
5
175
35.0
0
61
DET
All of Dickson's catches gained at least 18 yards. Four produced first downs, including conversions on second-and-14 and third-and-1. His longest plays gained 57 and 64 yards, respectively. That's two plays in the first half longer than any of the 137 catches he had between his rookie season and this year.
2.
Mike Wallace BAL
3
3
133
44.3
0
60
OAK
52-yard gain on first-and-10, 54-yard gain on second-and-9, 27-yard gain on third-and-8.
3.
T.Y. Hilton IND
7
9
177
25.3
0
58
SF
Only one of Hilton's catches failed to pick up a first down, and that was a 7-yard gain on second-and-8. His biggest catches went for 26, 46, and 63 yards, respectively.
4.
Will Fuller HOU
2
3
57
28.5
2
39
KC
Fuller's DYAR totals include 36 DYAR receiving, 3 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 5 yards. His two catches were a 9-yard touchdown on fourth-and-1 and a 48-yard touchdown on second-and-6.
5.
Odell Beckham NYG
5
8
97
19.4
1
36
LACH
Four of Beckham's catches gained at least 13 yards and a first down, the longest a 48-yard touchdown on second-and-12.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Benjamin Watson BAL
2
4
2
1.0
0
-33
OAK
One of Watson's catches was a 2-yard loss on second-and-7; the other, a 4-yard gain and a fumble on second-and-8.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 10 Oct 2017

63 comments, Last at 11 Oct 2017, 6:35pm by greybeard

Comments

1
by Yu Narukami :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:54am

"When I saw that, I figured Dwayne Allen had to be hurt too, but no -- he has played in all five games for New England, starting three, and been on the field for more than 40 percent of the team's offensive snaps. That includes 50 snaps this week against the Buccaneers. And in all that playing time, the Patriots have yet to throw him a single pass"

... that resulted in a completion. Several passes were thrown to him, but they resulted in atrocious drops, thus leading him to Tom's doghouse. He had still played a lot of snaps due to run-blocking skills.

Also NE-Related: Dion Lewis get a second mention in a row with minimal attempts. Hopefully is back on track to pre-injury form.

2
by turbohappy :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 5:21am

That's surprising because he was very good in Indy when healthy.

33
by RickD :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:03pm

The very first pass of the NFL season was to Allen.

34
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:04pm

Clearly the connection hasn't formed, but Brady himself is responsible for the "atrocious drops". Terrible throws to a wide open receiver both times.

Or did you mean something other than the long misfires against KC and NC?

3
by Jerry :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 7:58am

Proofreading:
Roethlisberger: "Inside the Baltimore 40, he went" Jacksonville
Gurley: "which ended into a lost fumble at the goal line"

4
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 8:03am

To be fair to Bradford, Delta lost his walker on the flight to Chicago.

Seriously,it's admirable that he decided to give it a go, but Zimmer really should have pulled him after the 2nd series, at the latest.

5
by big10freak :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 8:11am

He reminded me of Lynn Dickey who had multiple knee/leg injuries/surgeries in his career.

7
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 9:11am

I was never in his fan club until I watched him for a season. He's a real pro, with no quit in him, and in those games where's he's been healthy, he can really throw extremely well. A classic case of what might have been, if he'd been drafted into a better situation.

8
by Harris :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 9:52am

Having watched him in Philadelphia, I assure you, there is a TON of quit in Sam Bradford. Had he been drafted to a better team, he'd be out of the league instead of enjoying eight years of excuses and fat checks.

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

What, he underwent a personality transplant when he was traded to Minnesota? Last year, he arrived with his new team a few days before the season began. The team's best running back and receiver were quickly injured, and their o-line experienced an injury rate which was truly historic, resulting in the worst blocking, run and pass, that words can describe. Almost every snap was an o-line fiasco. We are talking about guys who sometimes did well to remain on their feet. Bradford stood in the pocket and took an absolute bludgeoning, week in and week out, and he managed to rank 16 in passing by DYAR, and if the kicker just has an average year, the Vikings make the playoffs. It was a tremendous accomplishment.

Yes, Bradford has made a lot of money, and he's done his damndest to try to earn it.

12
by roguerouge :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:27am

Changes in organizational and player culture can sometimes explain new player attitudes. See: Randy Moss in his Patriots years, or imagine a different career for Gronk if he'd ended up on the Raiders or coached by Rex Ryan. And, of course, players do grow up in their 20s and early 30s too.

I don't follow player culture news any more than I follow celebrity news, so I have no idea what the case is with this player.

14
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:34am

Given Pat Shurmer coached Bradford in Philadelphia, and was the biggest advocate for trading to get him, the idea that Bradford displayed lack of effort with the Eagles is very, very, dubious.

32
by RickD :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:01pm

Chip Kelly may have been able to bring that side of his personality to the fore.

58
by Pat :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:25pm

Chip Kelly making a player not feel welcome? I can't *possibly* believe that's true.

63
by greybeard :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 6:35pm

He was very supportive of the players and handled the Kap situation perfectly. It seems like he made significant progress.

13
by Harris :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:31am

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Bradford cannot fail. Bradford can only be failed.

15
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:36am

The fact that you don't understand the concept of "fail", in the context of individual football player performance, does not make for sound reasoning.

16
by Harris :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:41am

He was injured. He's only had a year in the system. He's got a new offensive coordinator. The sun was in his eyes! He lost his keys! His car ran out of gas! LOCUSTS. IT WASN'T HIS FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD.

17
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:51am

He played great last year. That's a fact. Aggressive ignorance is a puzzling choice.

18
by Harris :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:12am

Great?! 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 10 FUM and 7.0 YPA is not "great." He was okay in a tough situation. He doesn't throw picks because he never takes chances or throw it more than 5 yards if he can avoid it. But that's what he does. He's juuuust good enough to make you think that with another OL/a better WR/another year in the system, he can be great. I've seen that dude throw enough 2-yard passes on 3rd-and-4 and crumble at the slightest hint of pressure to know what he is by now.

19
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:17am

I'm not going argue with someone who doesn't grasp that 22 players produce the outcome on every play. Have a nice day.

23
by peterplaysbass :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:51am

I haven't logged in in a very long time, but I had to just to chime in on this conversation. I absolutely agree with Will Allen on this. I've been predicting 24+ TDs and 12 or fewer INTs as the absolute floor for a healthy Bradford this season, and I was calling for a significant improvement and a career year for yards-per-attempt: 7.6 (or higher).

I was feeling pretty smug after week 1.

Bradford's a tough guy - he proved that in 2016 to all who can observe his season rationally.

6
by Duff Soviet Union :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 8:18am

That Raiders vs Broncos game you mentioned is probably my favourite regular season game ever. A true classic with the Raiders playing from behind all day, tying it up on the last play of regulation, surviving a missed field goal in OT and then winning to make the playoffs.

10
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:17am

As a Raiders fan I remember being very excited that we'd made the playoffs. I guess we missed them in 92 and think there was a wildcard game in 91 with Marinovich starting and of course 1990 was winning the AFC West 12-4 and then getting blown out in the AFC Championship game. But I remember nothing of the game itself.

Amazing to think that Al fired Art Shell the next year with a 9-7 record after failing to make the playoffs despite having made them three times in his five full seasons. But that was the expectation then. What is it now - one appearance and winning season in fifteen years.

29
by xydux :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:11pm

Part of the reason for the "one appearance and winning season in fifteen years" is because Al would fire people after making the playoffs three times in five full seasons. After that Art Shell firing, the Raiders went through a total of 9 coaches (including Shell again!) between 1995 and 2011 (meaning the average coach lasted just under two seasons). Their best coaches in that span, by winning percentage? Jon Gruden (four seasons, .594, traded to Tampa Bay in 2002), Hue Jackson (one season, .500, fired after the 2011 season by Mark Davis), and Bill Callahan (two seasons, .469, fired in 2004).

Speaking of which, if we extend the date range back a few years to when Shell was first fired (or to when the move back to Oakland occurred), we find that in the 22 years between 1994 and 2016 the Raiders not only had just four playoff appearances (two of them under Gruden and the third one the year after he was traded) but those appearances were also their only winning seasons in that timespan (although the Raiders did go 8-8 five times).

35
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:33pm

Late career Al Davis was the single worst kind of owner you could have, short of a racist owner.

He spend wildly on dumb free agent signings who were overrated, wildly unproven, or over the hill - sometimes all three. He overruled the draft regime in charge and had a mandate to go after speed and size because the rest supposedly could be taught(See Jamarcus Russell). He also clashed with coach after coach, often in the media so that the only people willing to take the job were the kinds of coaches not being offered head coaching jobs(Lane Kiffen before anyone knew who he was, Tom Cable).

By the end, the Raiders were a bloated 5-11 team with a cap hit of a title contender. It took McKenzie an extended roster purge and several unwatchable Matt McGloin seasons in a row for them to emerge from the darkness, with Dennis Allen playing sacrificial lamb.

Who knows, one day we might write a similar story about the browns when they emerge from the darkness in 2030 or so.

37
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:50pm

Oh I know how bad Al was. When he fired Lane Kiffin, I realised there was no point in supporting the team until Al was no longer owner.

Actually the one bit of credit I will give him is that he always gave us hope in the offseason with his free agent acquisition, or for example acquiring Randy Moss. Unlike some owners, he was willing to spend the money he did have on players and the team.

I believe it's a similar story to what happened to the Bears from the 60s to 80s until George Halas died. Both owners understood football and had been coaches in their time but couldn't let go. I think it's fair to say the game passed Al by. The things that brought him success in the 60s/70s/80s - vertical offense, man-to-man defense, being the last chance saloon for other team's rejects.

One correction though - Al's final season was 2011, he passed six years ago on Sunday. It was the Hue Jackson 8-8 year. The one where Jackson tried to assume power after the death of Al and traded two 1st round picks for Carson Palmer when Jason Campbell got injured. His Raiders year is why I don't believe Hue Jackson will be staying around in Cleveland much longer.

39
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:57pm

The year before they were 8-8 as well and had a pretty good point differential (I think by DVOA they weren't that great).

I'll give Al this, he had a plan. It was not a sound plan that was not going to work in the NFL in 2005-2009, but at least it was a strategy.

I think the biggest issue comes down to missing on the Jamarcus Russell pick, and not having a large scouting staff, making them have to rely on too many free agents which is never a good strategy.

40
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 2:01pm

The part about Hue Jackson that I will never get over was his explanation for the 10 man defense on the 2pt conversion. Houston had a chance to tie the game with a 2pt conversion and the raiders trotted out 10 defenders to stop it, which they did.

When asked to explain the stupidity of forgoing the 11th defender, Hue went with a ludicrous statement of, "The spirit of Al Davis was our 11th defender."

I nearly fell out of my chair when i heard that one.

41
by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 2:13pm

I assume that was a mistake right? Like they didn't on purpose go with 10 men on that play, right?

I remember the game quite vividly, but don't remember the full explanation.

42
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 2:40pm

Pretty sure it was not intentional. That would be even worse.

43
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 2:45pm

The ultimate tanking move, eventually ending in no defenders on the field, with the explanation in the post game presser that they were relying on the spirit of a deceased owner to stop the opponent!

46
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 3:21pm

drafting of J. Russell was good quality move by Al Davis and company. jsurt unforrtunatwely guy got hooked on cough medicine and wasnt' disciplined. If had no issues,. would have become next great QB. Just like that twerp L. Kiffin. Excellent hire by raiders. Kiffin supposed to be next up and cominger. Just couldn't cut it in NFL. rerally been quesiontable on college level too

48
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 3:31pm

You're the best, r.j.

52
by BroncFan07 :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:38pm

The Raiders would have missed the playoffs if Denver won. I was at that game. I hate that game.

9
by jschroe36 :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:07am

"Only three first downs on the ground, and that includes his longest run of the day, an 11-yarder, which ended in a lost fumble..."

FYI, if a play results in a lost fumble, officially it is NOT credited with a first down.

20
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:35am

If I'm the Browns, I keep playing Kiser because either way I can't lose. If he stinks(most likely) I get the top pick. If he doesn't (pretty unlikely), I may have found my qb of the future. It's the perfect situation for a team who's ultimate goal is not to win a sb this year.

22
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:48am

I understand your thought, and am inclined to agree, but I think we on the outside can underrate what it means to have 52 other players who are risking their health, and desperately want some success now.

28
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:02pm

/

27
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:02pm

Oh its got to be terribly demoralizing. I dont think Hugh Jackson enjoys it either, no matter how much job security it affords him.

Or does it afford him any? I suspect the gm and owner gave him a wink wink nudge nudge about the team prospects over the next couple years, but how long can he survive with a team thats winless approaching November? I wondered, even with that hideous roster a year ago, if he would survive an 0-16 year. I guess 1-15 was enough to stem the tide. Would it be again? I mean seriously, if they got 2-14 or worse, does he get fired? Should he get fired?

31
by jtr :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:58pm

Last time a Browns coach lasted to a third season was Romeo Crennel, who went 6-10, 4-12, 10-6, 4-12 before being fired in 2008. It took 10 wins in his first two year to earn a third season, and even then he got fired the year after missing the playoffs on a tiebreaker. Hue Jackson is not going to get anywhere near 10 wins for his first two seasons, and I suspect this is going to be the end of him with the Browns. No idea whether he actually deserves that or not; it's nearly impossible to judge how well a coach is doing with such a bad roster.

Also, I checked Wikipedia for the spelling of his first name, and this is the first sentence of his wikipedia article:
"Huey Jackson (born October 22, 1965) is a horrendous American football coach and the current head coach of the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL)."

36
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:34pm

Haha omg - I can't imagine the vitriol of someone to tarnish his wiki page. I mean, He's not Bobby Petrino.

50
by Richie :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:20pm

Aside from the same logo (or lack thereof) on the helmet, is there anything the same about the Browns now than there was when Crennel was around?

Just because Randy Lerner and Phil Savage/George Kokinis had a certain threshold for keeping a coach around, doesn't mean that Jimmy Haslam and Sashi Brown have that same threshold.

55
by jtr :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 5:05pm

Fair enough. Just under Haslam we have:
-Inherited Pat Shurmur, who was on his second season. Fired at the end of that year at 5-11.
-Hired Rob Chudzinski. Fired after first season which was 4-12.
-Hired Mike Pettine. Fired after two seasons of combined 10-22.
-Hired Hue Jackson. Retained after 1-15 season. Currently 0-5 in second season.

Haslam has already presided over four coaches in six seasons, and he's also fired three GM's over that period. So there isn't much in his history to indicate that he'll give a long rope to anybody.

57
by Richie :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 7:32pm

Haha. I guess Haslam assumed that the logo wasn't the only thing he needed to keep. He also needed to keep the disarray.

21
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:40am

At what point does it make sense to bench Bottles? If the jags don't get all those pick sixes and instead lose 7-9 or win 7-3, are we having a different conversation? And where does this leave the jags next year?

26
by xydux :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:59am

When Bortles is harder to watch than Chad Henne, what conversation are we having I missed that part, searching for their QB of the future again.

45
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 3:03pm

The way they play offense, they may as well run a full-time Wildcat.

53
by Lebo :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:45pm

If the Chiefs part ways with Alex Smith, surely he ends up in Jacksonville and surely they get to (or, at least, very close to) the Superbowl.

24
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:51am

The frequency with which qbs gain a large percentage of their DYAR on a single drive makes me wonder if median DYAR per drive would lend any insights.

25
by theslothook :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:58am

IF you do that, you are already on your way to DVOA.

30
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:12pm

Kind of a middle ground, I guess. I've always liked looking at drive stats, as a way of understanding how two teams competed.

59
by RobotBoy :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 3:29am

A breakdown of DYAR by drive would be really helpful in understanding how offensive coaches are strategizing and making their play calls in situational contexts.

38
by cstoos :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 1:55pm

Watson was a prime example of that this week. He had some good throws but 3 of his 5 TDs were jump balls that could just have easily have been intercepted, and the majority of his completions/yardage came against soft, prevent-style D.

It is hard (if not impossible) to capture things like that in objective ratings though.

44
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 3:03pm

... that resulted in a completion. Several passes were thrown to him, but they resulted in atrocious drops, thus leading him to Tom's doghouse. He had still played a lot of snaps due to run-blocking skills.

Weird -- Allen doesn't show up in New England's PFR stats at all, but his individual page lists him with six targets. Fixed.

Proofreading:
Roethlisberger: "Inside the Baltimore 40, he went" Jacksonville
Gurley: "which ended into a lost fumble at the goal line"

Fixed. Thank you.

47
by Led :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 3:26pm

Vince: Can you share how much DYAR Kevin Hogan earned on that last TD pass? Thanks.

49
by Travis :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 3:47pm

[H]ere are Kizer's red zone numbers against the Jets: 1-of-3 for 4 yards with an interception and a fumbled snap.

If it matters, it wasn't a fumbled snap, but rather an option pitch gone awry.

51
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:32pm

Sigh. For some reason the NFL designates plays like this fumbled snaps, I guess because they don't want to credit the quarterback with a run? I think they've been doing it this way all along, but I only noticed it this year.

54
by Travis :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 5:01pm

It should be considered an aborted play (bad snaps, fumbled snaps, and bad handoffs/pitches all go into this category), but not specifically a fumbled snap. In any of the cases, Kizer should be statistically credited with 1 run for 0 yards.

56
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 5:21pm

Here is the exact text from the NFL play-by-play:

(1:24) (Shotgun) D.Kizer FUMBLES (Aborted) at NYJ 9, RECOVERED by NYJ-F.Bishop at NYJ 7. F.Bishop to NYJ 7 for no gain (I.Crowell).

I think our parser just puts all "ABORTED" plays in the fumbled snap bin. I'll just have to watch for that.

60
by RobotBoy :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 3:35am

I only saw the last 3rd of Pats-Bucs so I'm curious as to the middling ranking of Brady despite the relatively good numbers. Is it the number of red zone stalls that ended in FGs?
The Pats O-line play that I saw was fairly horrendous and Brady no longer has Edelman always open underneath, plus Gronk was out. No surprise that Brady was held out of practice today.
Are team adjustments being made because the Bucs D looks fairly decent thus far.

61
by RobotBoy :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 3:41am

I was at that '94 Pats game. Bledsoe seemed like he was going to be the savior. Parcells was just getting started there but the team still went 10-6. 6-10 the next season but you could see that the young guys he'd drafted (and one player he very decidedly didn't - Terry Glenn) were talented.

62
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 5:09am

Parcels first year was actually 1993. The Pats looked like the typical early 90s Pats in the first 12 games, going 1-11. Bledsoe also struggled (It was a much harder environment for rookie quarterbacks back then). They got things turned around and won their last 4 to go 5-11.

I remember that ‘94 team had some bad luck and lost a bunch of close games early on to start 3-6, then went on another season ending winning streak to finish with that 10-6 record. Everyone assumed they would do some damage in the AFC playoffs, but Bledsoe had a bad game (3 picks) in the wildcard game against the Browns (the Bill Belichick coached Browns).