Quick Reads

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

Week 14 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

We've got a lot to discuss this week, so let's get right to our biggest news item: Chris Godwin's game against New Orleans on Sunday was the worst game for any wide receiver we have ever measured.

The basic numbers speak for themselves: Jameis Winston threw 11 passes to Godwin, and nine were incomplete. One resulted in a 9-yard DPI. Only one was actually caught -- and then immediately knocked to the turf by Marshon Lattimore. It was ruled a catch and fumble, and the Bucs fell on the ball to maintain possession. By our numbers, that's actually worse for Godwin than an incompletion would have been, because he gave the Saints a chance at a turnover.

Those are the official results, and that's how DYAR is calculated, for all players. Some reports, however, claimed that most of Godwin's targets were uncatchable, and that he was not to blame for his statline. We checked each target via the magic of NFL Game Pass, and here's what we found:

Chris Godwin: Worst Game in DYAR History, Target-by-Target
Quarter Time Down To Go YdLine Direction Result Yds Depth DYAR Notes
1 12:28 2 9 NO 11 S.Right Inc 0 11 -8.8 Defensed (E.Apple)
1 7:25 3 6 TB 24 S.Left DPI 9 10 6.3 (E.Apple)
1 7:21 1 10 TB 33 D.Right Inc 0 47 -8.3 Overthrown (double-covered)
2 13:20 2 9 NO 39 S.Right Inc 0 9 -8.2 Defensed (E.Apple)
2 12:34 1 10 NO 22 D.Right Inc 0 22 -8.2 Receiver fell down (E.Apple)
2 6:22 3 8 TB 25 S.Left Cmp 13 13 -15.7 Fumble, kept (Hole in zone)
2 5:24 1 25 TB 28 S.Middle Inc 0 5 -4.7 Defensed (Hole in zone)
3 12:57 3 5 NO 22 S.Right Inc 0 2 -7.7 QB hit
3 9:56 1 10 TB 21 D.Right Inc 0 39 -8.3 Overthrown (double-covered)
3 7:35 2 3 TB 41 S.Right Inc 0 11 -11.4 Defensed (M.Lattimore)
3 7:28 3 3 TB 41 S.Middle Inc 0 14 -8.6 Overthrown (E.Apple)

The Saints, and Eli Apple in particular, had Godwin smothered all day long. Five of his targets were broken up by defenders or resulted in interference, because Godwin could not get separation. Twice, he was completely bracketed by double-coverage downfield, and Winston threw the ball 10 yards over everyone's head because he had to throw it somewhere. Once, Godwin and Apple tripped over each other's feet and fell down -- because, again, Apple had airtight coverage on the receiver. On his last target, Godwin did have half a step on Apple on a dig route, but Winston failed to make a tough throw. Only twice did Godwin get wide open and legitimately not have a chance to catch a ball -- once when he was open on a comeback route, but Winston's arm was hit as he threw, and the ball barely got halfway there; and once when defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins made a great play in coverage.

If you wanted, you could remove plays like that from Godwin's totals … but if you were being fair, you'd have to do the same thing for every other receiver in this table:

Bottom 20 WR Games, Total DYAR, 1989-2018
Year Player Team Total
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Pass Rec Yds TD Week Def
2018 Chris Godwin TB -84 -84 0 10 1 13 0 14 NO
2010 Andre Roberts ARI -78 -78 0 11 4 23 0 17 SF
2018 Nelson Agholor PHI -76 -76 0 12 5 26 0 4 TEN
1995 Vincent Brisby NE -74 -74 0 11 0 0 0 6 DEN
1998 Mikhael Ricks SD -74 -74 0 10 3 16 0 11 BAL
2018 Randall Cobb GB -72 -72 0 11 4 24 0 3 WAS
2016 Brandon Marshall NYJ -71 -71 0 11 1 16 0 15 MIA
2000 Dennis Northcutt CLE -71 -71 0 13 4 23 0 9 CIN
2014 David Nelson NYJ -70 -70 0 7 3 20 0 3 CHI
1996 Tony Martin SD -70 -70 0 13 1 18 0 12 TB
1993 Carl Pickens CIN -70 -70 0 12 0 0 0 14 SF
2004 Billy McMullen PHI -69 -69 0 12 2 19 0 17 CIN
2008 Justin McCareins TEN -69 -73 4 13 3 36 0 15 HOU
2014 Kelvin Benjamin CAR -68 -68 0 11 3 40 0 5 CHI
2001 Joe Horn NO -68 -71 2 17 4 48 0 3 NYG
2016 Tavon Austin LARM -68 -66 -2 12 4 13 0 1 SF
1991 Flipper Anderson LARM -68 -68 0 11 0 0 0 17 SEA
2006 Greg Jennings GB -67 -67 0 11 1 2 0 16 MIN
2000 Antonio Freeman GB -67 -67 0 13 4 43 0 13 CAR
1989 Brian Blades SEA -66 -66 0 12 4 34 0 9 KC

Your eyes are not deceiving you. Games from 2018 now rank first, third, and sixth on the list of worst games of all time. This is what happens when passing totals and efficiency go through the roof -- the bad games start to look much, much worse in comparison. Even accounting for today's environment, though, Godwin's game was especially wretched -- the gap between Godwin and second-ranked Andre Roberts is as big as the gap between Roberts and sixth-ranked Randall Cobb.

Godwin was 17th among qualifying wide receivers in DYAR coming into the week. He is now 36th going into Monday Night Football.

Godwin wasn't the only player this week to post historically unusual results. Here are three more players who had extreme numbers this weekend, and a look at what those numbers say about what has been a most bizarre year.

DERRICK HENRY

By now, most of you have no doubt seen Derrick Henry's record-tying, tackle-busting, Jaguars-shaming 99-yard touchdown run from last Thursday. That was the biggest play in a night straight out of a running back's dream. Henry finished with 238 yards and four touchdowns on only 17 carries. Henry was spectacular, and he was efficient too -- eight of his carries resulted in first downs, while only two were stuffed, and both of those came with Tennessee ahead by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. That was good for 92 rushing DYAR for Henry, the best for a running back in a single game since 2014:

Top 20 RB Games, Rushing DYAR, 1989-2018
Year Player Team Rush
DYAR
Runs Yds TD Week Def
1997 Corey Dillon CIN 126 39 246 4 15 TEN
2006 Joseph Addai IND 121 24 171 4 12 PHI
2005 LaDainian Tomlinson SD 117 21 192 3 3 NYG
1991 Barry Sanders DET 116 23 220 4 13 MIN
2000 Fred Taylor JAC 111 30 234 3 12 PIT
2010 Arian Foster HOU 110 33 231 3 1 IND
2009 Jerome Harrison CLE 109 34 286 3 15 KC
2014 Jonas Gray NE 104 37 201 4 11 IND
2004 Edgerrin James IND 104 23 204 1 11 CHI
2002 Priest Holmes KC 101 23 197 2 12 SEA
2001 Priest Holmes KC 97 30 181 1 8 SD
2009 Jamaal Charles KC 97 25 259 2 17 DEN
2006 Tiki Barber NYG 96 23 234 3 17 WAS
2001 Shaun Alexander SEA 95 35 266 3 9 OAK
2000 Marshall Faulk STL 95 32 220 2 17 NO
2012 Doug Martin TB 95 25 251 4 9 OAK
2001 Priest Holmes KC 94 20 150 2 5 PIT
1997 Terrell Davis DEN 93 26 178 1 14 SD
1999 Dorsey Levens GB 92 24 146 4 17 ARI
2018 Derrick Henry TEN 92 17 238 4 14 JAX

If you're surprised that Henry isn't higher on that table, remember that DYAR is a counting stat, and Henry only had 17 carries. Every other player in the top 20 had 20 or more; several had twice as many as Henry. Henry averaged 5.40 DYAR per carry against Jacksonville; among the names on that table, only LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 (5.56) was better.

Henry was tenth among qualifying running backs in rushing DYAR coming into Week 14. Now, he's third.

DAVID JOHNSON

David Johnson played only one game in 2017, and his return was supposed to be a big part of an Arizona playoff run in 2018. It hasn't worked out that way. Johnson averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 11.5 yards per catch in his first three seasons; this year, those averages are down to 3.7 and 7.9. His game against Detroit on Sunday was his worst outing yet. His 15 carries resulted in all of 49 yards (you'll recall that Derrick Henry doubled that on one play) and two first downs. That's nothing, though, compared to his receiving numbers. Johnson amassed eight completions in ten targets, and for all those receptions, he came away with 12 yards and one first down. Three of those catches lost yards, and one of those resulted in a fumble. That's -22 DYAR rushing, -53 DYAR receiving, -75 total. That makes this one of the worst overall running back games we've ever measured, and the worst receiving game for a running back in 26 years.

Bottom 20 RB Games, Total DYAR, 1989-2018
Year Player Team Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Runs Yds TD Pass Rec Yds TD Week Def
1998 Ricky Watters SEA -89 -72 -17 22 59 0 2 2 -6 0 5 KC
2001 Ricky Williams NO -89 -56 -33 11 33 0 5 5 -8 0 17 SF
1998 Curtis Martin NYJ -87 -85 -2 30 42 0 3 3 14 0 9 KC
1999 Ricky Williams NO -84 -42 -41 14 7 0 7 7 5 0 17 CAR
1993 Neal Anderson CHI -82 -59 -23 20 29 0 3 3 0 0 6 PHI
1999 Mike Alstott TB -77 -77 0 16 33 0 1 1 7 0 10 KC
1990 Cleveland Gary LARM -76 -76 0 15 34 0 0 0 0 0 8 PIT
1989 Eric Dickerson IND -75 -54 -21 17 30 0 4 4 1 0 12 SD
2018 David Johnson ARI -75 -22 -53 15 49 0 10 8 9 0 14 DET
1991 Neal Anderson CHI -74 -53 -22 21 43 0 6 6 22 0 13 MIA
2010 Steven Jackson STL -74 -45 -29 29 72 0 3 3 -6 0 12 DEN
1995 Harvey Williams OAK -74 -48 -26 6 8 0 6 6 9 0 7 DEN
2002 Travis Henry BUF -74 -67 -6 30 81 0 2 2 0 0 17 CIN
1992 Barry Foster PIT -73 -49 -24 21 36 0 1 1 -3 0 3 SD
2012 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN -73 -66 -7 26 82 0 3 3 12 0 4 JAC
2002 Nick Goings CAR -73 -42 -31 18 62 0 7 7 5 0 17 NO
1993 Lorenzo White HOIL -72 -44 -27 24 48 1 7 7 10 0 2 KC
2009 LaDainian Tomlinson SD -71 -56 -15 23 71 0 3 3 2 0 7 KC
2008 Ryan Grant GB -70 -53 -17 15 20 0 3 3 -4 0 4 TB
1996 Ray Zellars NO -70 -59 -10 10 -4 0 2 0 0 0 12 ATL
1996 Joe Aska OAK -69 -41 -28 16 44 0 4 4 10 0 7 DET

Bottom 20 RB Games, Receiving DYAR, 1989-2018
Year Player Team Rec
DYAR
Pass Rec Yds TD Week Def
1992 John L. Williams SEA -59 15 15 45 0 8 NYG
1990 John Stephens NE -54 7 7 -4 0 1 MIA
2018 David Johnson ARI -53 10 8 9 0 14 DET
2000 Sammy Morris BUF -47 7 7 6 0 6 MIA
1989 Earnest Byner WAS -47 7 7 5 0 15 ATL
2017 Ty Montgomery GB -47 12 8 15 0 3 CIN
2014 Matt Forte CHI -46 12 8 23 0 17 MIN
2018 Ezekiel Elliott DAL -46 8 3 11 0 3 SEA
1995 Adrian Murrell NYJ -45 10 10 12 0 17 NO
2013 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC -42 8 8 4 0 13 CLE
1991 Thomas Sanders PHI -42 5 5 6 0 1 GB
1999 Ricky Williams NO -41 7 7 5 0 17 CAR
2009 Marion Barber DAL -41 5 5 7 0 13 NYG
1989 Paul Palmer DAL -41 7 7 8 0 8 PHX
1994 Eric Metcalf CLE1 -40 14 14 62 0 9 DEN
2018 Joe Mixon CIN -40 5 3 1 0 7 KC
1995 Terrell Davis DEN -39 11 11 25 0 7 OAK
1998 Charles Way NYG -38 7 7 0 0 3 DAL
2000 Duce Staley PHI -38 5 5 16 0 4 NO
1991 Ronnie Harmon SD -36 6 6 21 0 11 SEA

Johnson is not alone in that bottom table; Ezekiel Elliott qualifies for his game against Seattle in Week 3, as does Joe Mixon for his performance against Kansas City in Week 7. Remember when we said that rising offensive levels made bad days look even worse for wide receivers? The effects are even more stark for running backs. From 1989 to 2017, there were 30 instances of a running back finishing with -30 receiving DYAR or worse in a game. There were never more than three in a season, and only Ricky Williams (three), Eric Metcalf (two -- when he was a running back for Cleveland, not a wide receiver for Atlanta), and Maurice Jones-Drew (two) had more than one. This year, we're up to seven and counting. Elliott has three by himself -- though, to counter that, his game against Detroit in Week 4 is the best receiving day a running back has had so far this year.

Johnson was 19th among qualifying running backs in receiving DYAR coming into the week; he is 40th -- dead last -- going into Monday night.

JOSH ALLEN

Josh Allen is wrapping up one of the best rushing seasons a quarterback has ever had.

(That may be the most stunning sentence I've ever written. Hang on, I need a moment to recover. OK, let's continue.)

Despite missing four games with injuries, Allen leads the Bills with 490 rushing yards and five touchdowns in his rookie season. He's averaging 54.4 rushing yards per game; he needs 110 rushing yards in his last three weeks to become just the sixth player ever with 200 passes and 50-plus rushing yards per game.

Allen's advanced numbers aren't quite so impressive, partly because of those missed games, and partly because he started slowly. Before his injury, he had 31 rushing DYAR in six games; since returning, he has 106 in three. (His 335 rushing yards in the last three weeks are second-most among all players.) That total of 137 DYAR is first in the league among quarterbacks and in the top 40 of all time, but nowhere near Randall Cunningham's record of 297 in 1990, or Russell Wilson's more recent mark of 269 in 2014.

It's not Allen's totals that are jaw-dropping, however; it's what he has done in his biggest games. He had nine carries for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Jets this week. That's good for 41 DYAR. He was even better the week before against Miami -- nine carries for 135 yards and 52 DYAR. (He was not quite as efficient the week before that against Jacksonville -- his 13 carries produced 99 yards and a touchdown, but only 10 DYAR.) There have only been 18 40-DYAR rushing games for quarterbacks in the regular season, and Allen has had two of them in back-to-back weeks. Michael Vick had five in his career and Daunte Culpepper had three; Allen is the only other player to do it more than once.

All QB Games with 40-Plus Rushing DYAR, 1989-2018
Year Player Team Rush
DYAR
Runs Yds TD Week Def
2002 Michael Vick ATL 82 9 173 2 13 MIN
2000 Daunte Culpepper MIN 68 8 81 3 1 CHI
2012 Robert Griffin WAS 66 11 140 2 6 MIN
2014 Russell Wilson SEA 58 7 106 1 7 STL
2010 Michael Vick PHI 57 9 131 1 15 NYG
2006 Michael Vick ATL 54 14 127 1 2 TB
2011 Joe Webb MIN 53 7 109 1 14 DET
2018 Josh Allen BUF 52 9 135 0 13 MIA
2001 Steve McNair TEN 52 10 74 2 8 JAC
1990 Randall Cunningham PHI 50 8 124 1 9 NE
2001 Daunte Culpepper MIN 50 6 83 2 5 DET
2010 Michael Vick PHI 49 8 80 2 10 WAS
2002 Daunte Culpepper MIN 42 7 73 2 15 NO
2014 Cam Newton CAR 42 17 107 1 6 CIN
2015 Colin Kaepernick SF 42 7 46 1 3 ARI
2018 Josh Allen BUF 41 9 101 1 14 NYJ
2002 Michael Vick ATL 41 6 91 1 7 CAR
1997 Kordell Stewart PIT 40 8 52 2 15 DEN

There's one more game this season that could still make its way onto that table. Mitchell Trubisky's game against New England in Week 7 (six carries for 81 yards and a touchdown) currently stands at 39.2 DYAR. Should the Patriots defense catch fire in the next three weeks, the fluctuating opponent adjustments could push Trubisky's game over the 40-DYAR threshold.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
25/29
282
2
0
1
143
143
0
OAK
Roethlisberger missed the entire third quarter and most of the fourth and still finishes first this week. When he returned in the last six minutes of the game, he could not have played much better: he completed each of his seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Six of those completions picked up first downs; the other was an 8-yard gain on first-and-goal from the 9.
2.
Tom Brady NE
27/43
358
3
0
2
134
132
2
MIA
The more yards to go, the better Brady played. With 9 or fewer yards to go, he had nine first downs in 23 plays; with 10 yards or more, he had 13 in 23. With 10 yards or more to go, he went 15-of-22 for 249 yards, plus a 41-yard DPI.
3.
Derek Carr OAK
25/34
322
2
0
4
124
124
0
PIT
For all his success on Sunday, Carr made the worst of his long-yardage situations. With more than 10 yards to go for a first down, he went 4-of-6 for 41 yards with three sacks and a fumble. Two of those completions and 20 of those yards came on failed third-down plays.
4.
Andrew Luck IND
27/41
399
2
1
2
120
107
13
HOU
The deeper Luck threw, the better. On throws that traveled at least 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, he went 11-of-15 for 258 yards, with one interception. Each of those completions picked up a first down, including two touchdowns.
5.
Patrick Mahomes KC
36/53
377
2
1
3
100
112
-11
BAL
The stretch from the end of the first half to the end of the game was probably the worst 30-ish minutes of Mahomes' career: 8-of-14 for 44 yards with one interception, one sack, and one intentional grounding, but none, zero, nada first downs. The next play was fourth-and-9. It went better.
6.
Dak Prescott DAL
42/54
455
3
2
3
93
106
-13
PHI
Prescott saved his best for last. In the fourth quarter, he went 17-of-20 for 243 yards with one sack and ten first downs, including three touchdowns.
7.
Eli Manning NYG
14/22
197
3
0
2
89
89
0
WAS
Throwing to his right, Manning went 7-of-9 for 88 yards and five first downs, including two touchdowns.
8.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
14/19
265
3
0
4
82
76
5
NE
OK, here's the stat breakdown for the Miami Miracle that won this game: Tannehill gets credit for one attempt, one completion, 69 yards, one touchdown, and 43 passing DYAR. Kenny Stills gets one target, one catch, 15 yards, and 7 receiving DYAR. DeVante Parker gets no target or catch, but he does get 3 yards and -4 DYAR receiving. Likewise, Kenyan Drake does not get a catch or target, but he does get 52 yards and 32 DYAR receiving. And a touchdown.
9.
Marcus Mariota TEN
18/24
162
0
1
1
63
53
10
JAX
A bad day in the red zone: 2-of-4 for 3 yards, no touchdowns, no first downs, no successful plays. Fortunately Derrick Henry usually scored without stopping in the red zone anyway.
10.
Nick Mullens SF
20/33
332
2
1
3
61
71
-10
DEN
Mullens got a lot of help from his receivers (one tight end in particular). His average completion gained 10.3 yards after the catch, most of any starter this week.
11.
Carson Wentz PHI
22/32
228
3
0
2
59
84
-25
DAL
Wentz's first third-down pass was a 9-yard gain on third-and-4. That was his last third-down conversion of the day. His next third-down play was a sack, and each of the five after that was incomplete. (He did have a 25-yard completion to Darren Sproles on fourth-and-3.)
12.
Josh Johnson WAS
11/16
195
1
1
0
56
34
23
NYG
Ten years after Tampa Bay drafted him out of San Diego (not San Diego State) in the fifth round in 2008, seven years after his last start in 2011, and four years after his last game in 2014, Johnson scored the first touchdown of his NFL career. It came on an 8-yard run with Washington down 40-0. He is also one of seven players with a completion for 79 yards or longer this season.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Sam Darnold NYJ
16/24
170
1
1
0
52
58
-6
BUF
Darnold missed most of the first quarter with an aggravation of an existing foot injury. Throw out everyone's first quarters, and he would have made the top ten.
14.
Baker Mayfield CLE
18/22
240
1
0
1
46
54
-8
CAR
Mayfield gained 175 on his five first downs, 59 yards on his other 18 dropbacks. Only one of those first downs came in the second half, when he went 10-of-12 for 64 yards and a sack.
15.
Cam Newton CAR
26/42
265
0
1
1
46
44
2
CLE
Red zone passing: 2-of-7 for 13 yards, no touchdowns, only one first down. The other completion was a 6-yard gain on third-and-10. You'll recall that the Panthers lost this game by six points.
16.
Jeff Driskel CIN
18/27
170
1
0
3
44
41
3
LAC
Driskel sputtered inside of scoring range. At or inside the Chargers 35, he went 5-of-9 for 23 yards with one first down (a touchdown to John Ross) and one sack.
17.
Philip Rivers LAC
19/29
220
1
0
2
24
29
-5
CIN
Rivers spent a lot of time trying and failing to dig the Chargers out of bad field position. Inside his own 20, he went 5-of-10 for 24 yards with no first downs and one sack.
18.
Matt Ryan ATL
28/42
262
3
1
2
22
22
0
GB
A bad day on third downs: 5-of-9, 36 yards, two sacks, one pick-six, and only three conversions. But he somewhat made up for that with a big day on fourth downs: three conversions on three attempts, including gains of 11 and 8 yards, plus a 19-yard touchdown.
19.
Aaron Rodgers GB
21/32
196
2
0
4
12
0
13
ATL
Rodgers had quite a mixed bag on third downs. He went 5-of-6 for 70 yards and four conversions, including a 24-yard touchdown. But he was also sacked three times.
20.
Matthew Stafford DET
15/23
101
0
0
1
2
-1
3
ARI
On Arizona's half of the field, Stafford went 4-for-4 for 13 yards and no first downs. Yes, that's it.
21.
Lamar Jackson BAL
13/24
147
2
0
3
1
15
-14
KC
How's this for a commitment to the run game? Jackson only threw five passes on first down, all in the second half. He completed three of them, each for a first down, for a total of 48 yards.
22.
Jameis Winston TB
18/38
213
2
1
4
-1
-19
18
NO
Winston's last pass of the first half was a touchdown to Cameron Brate that put Tampa Bay up 14-3. The Saints promptly scored 25 unanswered points to go up 28-14. In between Winston went 3-of-12 for 34 yards with three sacks and only one first down.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Drew Brees NO
24/31
201
1
1
1
-16
-23
7
TB
Brees threw for 13 first downs, but only averaged 11.0 yards on those plays, second-worst of any starter this week.
24.
Kirk Cousins MIN
20/33
208
1
0
2
-22
-29
6
SEA
25.
Deshaun Watson HOU
27/38
267
1
0
5
-32
-35
3
IND
Watson didn't throw for a single first down in the second quarter, when he went 5-of-7 for 25 yards with two sacks.
26.
Josh Allen BUF
18/36
206
0
2
3
-50
-91
41
NYJ
Inside the Bills' 30, Allen went 7-of-15 for 84 yards with five first downs, one sack-fumble, and two interceptions.
27.
Cody Kessler JAX
25/43
240
1
0
4
-63
-69
6
TEN
Third-/fourth-down passing: 4-of-10 for 42 yards with more sacks (three) than conversions (two).
28.
Russell Wilson SEA
10/20
72
0
1
2
-71
-99
28
MIN
29.
Joshua Dobbs PIT
4/9
24
0
1
0
-76
-84
8
OAK
Dobbs played the third quarter and part of the fourth. He only picked up one first down.
30.
Josh Rosen ARI
26/41
237
0
1
3
-107
-98
-8
DET
Rosen lost 65 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, most of any quarterback this week. From the Detroit 45 to the goal line, he went 5-of-9 for 10 yards (yes) with one first down, one sack, and one pick-six.
31.
Case Keenum DEN
25/42
186
1
0
2
-114
-123
9
SF
Keenum only had one conversion on third downs, when he went 5-of-9 for 30 yards with two sacks and one fumble. He was much better on fourth down, when he went 4-of-4 for 30 yards and three conversions.
32.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
16/30
110
1
3
1
-114
-112
-3
LAR
On throws that traveled 10 or more yards downfield, Trubisky went 1-of-10 with three interceptions -- and that one completion was a 17-yard gain on second-and-21.
33.
Jared Goff LAR
20/44
180
0
4
3
-171
-175
4
CHI
Goff gained 79 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, most of any quarterback this week. And he's still down here. Here's his entire third quarter, one play at a time: sack for a safety; 7-yard gain on first-and-10; sack-fumble; 6-yard gain on third-and-8; interception; 9-yard gain on first-and-10. Inside the Bears 40, he went 3-of-8 for 10 yards with one first down and one interception.
34.
Mark Sanchez WAS
6/14
38
0
2
5
-191
-191
0
NYG
In a little more than a half, Sanchez failed to pick up a single first down; only three of his plays counted as successful. His six completions gained 38 yards; his five sacks lost 29. He did not have a single play in New York territory; his two plays outside the Washington 40 were a 3-yard completion and a sack.


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.
Derrick Henry TEN
17
238
4
0/0
0
0
92
92
0
JAX
2.
Spencer Ware KC
15
75
0
5/5
54
0
67
38
29
BAL
Ware ran for five first downs against Baltimore, with two gains of 10 yards or more and two stuffs. He had two more first downs through the air, including a gain of 31. Between rushing and receiving, he gained almost 20 DYAR from opponent adjustments.
3.
Chris Carson SEA
22
90
1
0/0
0
0
42
42
0
MIN
4.
Kenyan Drake MIA
6
24
0
1/1
55
1
33
4
30
NE
Drake had two first downs on the ground, but was also stuffed twice. We talked about his big non-catch in Ryan Tannehill's comment.
5.
Kenneth Dixon BAL
8
59
1
1/1
21
0
33
26
7
KC
All of Dixon's carries gained at least 2 yards, six of them resulted in first downs, and two gained 10 yards or more.


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.
Derrick Henry TEN
17
238
4
0/0
0
0
92
92
0
JAX
2.
Chris Carson SEA
22
90
1
0/0
0
0
42
42
0
MIN
3.
Spencer Ware KC
15
75
0
5/5
54
0
67
38
29
BAL
4.
Saquon Barkley NYG
14
170
1
4/5
27
0
28
29
-2
WAS
Barkley only ran for three first downs against Washington, but those three runs gained 10, 52, and 78 yards. He was stuffed three times.
5.
Kenneth Dixon BAL
8
59
1
1/1
21
0
33
26
7
KC


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.
David Johnson ARI
15
49
0
8/10
9
0
-74
-22
-53
DET


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.
Dion Lewis TEN
10
13
0
5/5
39
0
-29
-37
7
JAX
Yes, the two Titans running backs had radically different nights on Thursday. None of Lewis' runs gained a first down or more than 5 yards. Only two were successful. Three were stuffed.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Amari Cooper DAL
10
13
217
21.7
3
105
PHI
This was the second-best wide receiver game of the year behind Calvin Ridley's performance in Week 3. All but one of Cooper's catches gained first downs; the one exception was an 8-yard gain on first-and-10. He converted three of his four third-down opportunities.
2.
Kenny Stills MIA
8
9
135
16.9
1
70
NE
Stills had a 7-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter; each of his other catches gained at least 10 yards, and he had seven total first downs on the day.
3.
JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT
9
13
130
14.4
2
63
OAK
Only one of Smith-Schuster's catches failed to pick up a first down; that one was an 8-yard gain on first-and-goal from the 9. He had a pair of third-down conversions.
4.
George Kittle SF
7
9
210
30.0
1
58
DEN
And here's the part where I try to explain how the tight end who had 200 yards in one half had a good game, but not an all-time classic or even the best of the week. Well, the longer a play goes on the field, the less DYAR each additional yard provides. This generally affects plays that gain 40 or more yards. Kittle had gains of 85 and 52 yards against Denver, and those plays were not worth as much DYAR as you might expect (and the former was only about 10 DYAR more valuable than the latter). If you limit the value of those two big plays, you're left with a guy who had six first downs in nine targets, with only one touchdown. In that light, he doesn't stand out from the other names on this list.
5.
T.Y. Hilton IND
9
12
199
22.1
0
50
HOU
Five of Hilton's catches picked up first downs, and every one was a successful play.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Chris Godwin TB
1
10
13
13.0
0
-84
NO
Well that sucked.

Comments

36 comments, Last at 13 Dec 2018, 6:03pm

1 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by ammek // Dec 11, 2018 - 5:07am

So, 11 of the dozen best games by rushing DYAR happened in the AFC!

It's absolutely fascinating to see those lists of bests and worsts through the ages. The FO database is a goldmine.

The DYAR breakdown for the Miami gamewinner doesn't make much sense, but then, that kind of suits the play itself.

And who'd have thought the answer to the Mark Sanchez versus Other Available Quarterback debate would be ... Josh Johnson (in mega-garbage time)?

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4 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by apk3000 // Dec 11, 2018 - 8:47am

Laterals are rare enough that I guess it's not really worth trying to model for. I would've imagined it would scored as some sort of running play though.

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2 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Jerry // Dec 11, 2018 - 7:33am

Proofreading:

In the top 20 RB games, James Harrison should be Jerome.

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3 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by PatsFan // Dec 11, 2018 - 8:38am

A 41 yard DPI that ultimately won the game for Miami. *grumble*.

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5 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Dec 11, 2018 - 9:30am

Five of his targets were broken up by defenders or resulted in interference, because Godwin could not get separation. Twice, he was completely bracketed by double-coverage downfield, and Winston threw the ball 10 yards over everyone's head because he had to throw it somewhere. Once, Godwin and Apple tripped over each other's feet and fell down -- because, again, Apple had airtight coverage on the receiver.

It seems illegitimate to penalize the receiver for the DB having to cheat twice.

Incidentally, how on earth did Hole in Zone manage to defense a pass? Even Josh Allen couldn't manage that.

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8 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Dec 11, 2018 - 10:16am

Check the table - the DPI counts as positive DYAR for Godwin.

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10 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Dec 11, 2018 - 11:00am

I mean the comment about inability to get separation.

Tripping the receiver and tackling him early prevents separation, but in a manner contrary to the rules.

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20 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Dec 11, 2018 - 3:41pm

Is that what happened here? Plenty of WRs don't get separation without the defender interfering with them. I didn't see the game, so I can only go off the box score, which says there was no interference on those plays.

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7 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Dec 11, 2018 - 9:47am

What kind of opponent adjustments did Henry and Johnson get?

I was looking at Ware's DYAR vs his raw stats and wondering what was going on, and then remembered "Oh right, Baltimore".

I'm curious what it would take for 53 DYAR against KC's defense.

10-400-8TDs?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PBvOxicz-0

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6 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Raiderfan // Dec 11, 2018 - 9:42am

“If you're surprised that Henry isn't higher on that table, remember that DYAR is a counting stat...”

I am surprised Adrian Peterson is not on it at all.

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9 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 11, 2018 - 10:46am

The most reliable way for a rb to get a high DYAR in a game is to have a decent to good o-line, and an opposing defense which puts that rb about 3rd or lower in its schematic priorities. Otherwise, a running back tends to have too many unsuccessful plays. Also, Peterson is the all time leader in td runs of 50 yards or more, and DYAR, if I remember correctly, stops counting after 40. In general, this makes sense, but with an outlier like Peterson, some value may be getting missed.

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11 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by RickD // Dec 11, 2018 - 12:36pm

Clearly he's no Jonas Gray.

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12 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 11, 2018 - 1:16pm

Daunte Culpepper really had some room to run when 2 or 3 dbs had their eyes glued in panic to Randy Moss running down the field. Seeing Joe Webb's name makes me think fondly of the posts of a former semi-regular here, Shah8, who used to proclaim that Ol' Webby was the future of NFL quarterbacking, if only the Vikings would get him behind center, instead of returning kicks. Webby, God bless'im, is still in the league!

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13 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Dec 11, 2018 - 1:24pm

While Webb wasn't the solution, he was certainly a leading indicator for a current trend.

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14 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 11, 2018 - 1:41pm

He's actually kind of an interesting player, because he's not good at any position, even as a backup, but he does enough things at minimally acceptable NFL level to have carved out a 9 year career. He can call a play in a huddle, and take a snap from center, without probable disaster, even throw passes, and can obviously take off running. He can line up at receiver and catch passes well enough that defenses can't completely treat it as a joke. He can return kicks decently. He's never been out of a job, despite his modest accomplishments, so that means he likely is thought to be a good teammate. Hell, I hope the guy hangs around another 5 years, although the veteran minimum will probably end his career before then.

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15 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by RickD // Dec 11, 2018 - 1:59pm

"Chris Godwin's game against New Orleans on Sunday was the worst game for any wide receiver we have ever measured."

Can we compare him to Hitler?

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19 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Dec 11, 2018 - 3:28pm

No.

There's a law.

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27 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by RoninX // Dec 12, 2018 - 12:34pm

Slow clap.

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16 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 11, 2018 - 2:12pm

Zimmer sent DeFillipo to the cornfield this morning, so I guess we've heard the last of DeFillipo as a head coaching prospect for at least a year. The Vikings still control their fate for a playoff spot, so if Zimmmer thinks having qb coach Stefanski calling all the shots on that side of the ball gives his team a better chance of winning the next three games, then it's a reasonable decision. My guess is that Zimmer has observed serious disorganization in offensive preparation during the week, and in decision making during games, and decided it couldn't be tolerated any longer, while the season was not yet lost.

Ol' Zimmy's a ruthless sumbitch when he gets fed up, that's for sure. Frankly, I think a lot of NFL head coaches show too much loyalty to their staffs, perhaps because they are reluctant to admit that they made a hiring error.

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22 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by jmaron // Dec 11, 2018 - 6:26pm

Funny thing is, if Atl converts 4th down and goal in the playoff game with Philly last year, I really doubt DeFilippo gets the job in Minn.

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23 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 11, 2018 - 6:50pm

Who knows? The reality is that hiring staff is, next to talent evaluation, the most important thing a head coach does, but there is a huge random element to it, especially with a younger guy taking a step up. Shurmur did more with less two years ago, no doubt, and the trend line looked hideous, so with the season still salvageable, it's a move worth making. Having 3 offensive coordinators in 3 years is a tough thing to manage, and that's before we account for Sparano's death (ugh, I still hate to write that). Even Darth of Foxboro had issues when Dante retired for a year. Hopefully, the new guy, who Shurmur wanted to bring with him, has a good three weeks, the team gets in the tournament, and they get a chance for the defense to shine in a playoff game.

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25 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by BJR // Dec 11, 2018 - 8:03pm

TV broadcast sound bites should obviously be taken with a grain of salt, but when the MNF guys opened with some spiel about Zimmer wanting to commit to the run last night, I really began to fear the worst for them. On top of the fact that the Vikings appeared ill-equipped to employ such a strategy in a hostile road environment against a good defense, it also suggested a none-to-subtle message from Zimmer to his OC that whatever he had been attempting previously was not to his liking, and there may be some serious dysfunction present.

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28 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by MC2 // Dec 12, 2018 - 2:44pm

Yeah, after the game, I kept hearing about how the Vikings should have run the ball more. At one point in the Cousins-bashing, they asserted that DeFilippo had gone "pass happy" by passing 33 times, and only running 22 times.

Given the current rules, as well as the fact that the Vikings have a good QB and a pair of excellent WRs, I would say that, if anything, they should probably be passing more frequently than that. In any event, the fact that "only" running 40% of the time is still considered "pass happy" goes to show that most football analysts are living in the past.

Having said all that, the Vikings' line seemed to be getting whipped on a consistent basis, and if that continues, they're unlikely to have success, whether running or passing.

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30 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 12, 2018 - 3:23pm

I really suspect that Zimmer has been unhappy, for several weeks, with many things he has observed in preparation during the week, and organization during games, that goes far beyond the run-pass ratio.

I will say that two years ago, after Shurmer took over, the o-line play was even worse, the receivers were significantly less healthy, the running backs worse, and while Bradford played well , he wasn't better than Cousins, and that offense may not have been hugely less efficient than what this offense has been the last couple weeks. Something isn't right, beyond talent on the field.

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17 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by schmoker // Dec 11, 2018 - 2:43pm

What a weird weekend. Let me see if I can sum up the odd stuff that struck me:

-David Johnson becomes the worst running back in all of football while that commercial in which he gets picked first in a fantasy league continues to run

-We had one of the all time best days for a running back and THE all time worst day for a receiver

-The Steelers QB ranked #1 in DYAR and his team lost to one of the worst teams in football

-Josh Allen had one of the best running days in history and lost at home to a bad team because he's also bad at being a quarterback

-Pat Mahomes had the worst half of his career and still finished 5th in DYAR, scored 27 points against a great defense, and won (this just in: Pat Mahomes is a space alien)

-KC had the #5 QB, the #3 running back, scored 27 points against a great defense, and still needed a miracle to beat a team whose QB finished with a DYAR of 1

-The Bears beat an 11-1 team while getting the third worst QB performance of the week because a seeming-offense-for-the-ages got the second worst QB performance

-Both the Rams and Bears, two super bowl contenders, got QB performances worse than Jeff Driscol, Josh Johnson, Lamar Jackson, Nick Mullens, and Josh Rosen (but not worse than Mark Sanchez, because no week could ever be that weird)

-Somehow both Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson played for an NFL team this weekend AND IT WAS THE SAME NFL TEAM!

-Nick Mullens now has a better QB rating this season than did Jimmy Garappolo, even though Nick Mullens has lost much of his offense to injury

-Jeff Driskel somehow had twice as much DYAR against the Chargers defense than Phillip Rivers had AGAINST THE HORRIFYING BENGALS DEFENSE, and lost.

-There are many ways to spell Driscol-Diskel-Drisckoal, but I don't care to learn the right way

-Amari Cooper continues to make what looked like the dumbest first round pick trade in ages (you'll recall that Jimmy Garappolo, a potential franchise QB, was traded for a second round pick) look like a great trade despite having a QB who was horrific through 3 quarters

-I repeat, the Jones boys are looking like super slick talent personnel men, which is just bizarre

-Again, Jimmy Jones!

-Jimmy Jones can rightfully crow about his trade for Amari Cooper, and yet it still sucks because it will result in him giving an extension to Jason Garrett and 100 million dollars to Dak Prescott

-Jon Gruden got another unlikely win while still looking incredibly dumb for his trades so far (this last item isn't really all that bizarre or unexpected; it's just funny)

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18 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by schmoker // Dec 11, 2018 - 2:46pm

It was such a bizarre weekend that the final play in Miami didn't even make my list

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21 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Dec 11, 2018 - 5:59pm

In the top 20 RB games, James Harrison should be Jerome.

Whoops! Thank you. Fixed.

Incidentally, how on earth did Hole in Zone manage to defense a pass? Even Josh Allen couldn't manage that.

See the play by Sheldon Rankins I linked to in the text. A great play by an underneath defender.

Tripping the receiver and tackling him early prevents separation, but in a manner contrary to the rules.

If it was intentional, yes. But Apple didn't deliberately trip Godwin. You could argue that Godwin tripped Apple.

What kind of opponent adjustments did Henry and Johnson get?

Derrick Henry: Lost 5 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.

David Johnson: Lost 8 DYAR rushing but gained 9 DYAR receiving.

I am surprised Adrian Peterson is not on it at all.

His best game was 94 DYAR (88 rushing, 7 receiving) for his 296-yard day against San Diego in 2007. Also had 70 DYAR (20 rushing, 49 receiving) against Arizona in 2010, and 69 DYAR (74 rushing, -5 receiving) against Seattle in 2012. As Will Allen pointed out, Peterson had a lot working against him in Minnesota, including that he almost always faced loaded boxes because his quarterbacks were almost never good. On top of that, Peterson has always had boom-and-bust tendencies (he has never ranked higher than 14th in success rate, and that was his only season ranked higher than 22nd), and he fumbles a lot.

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24 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Steve in WI // Dec 11, 2018 - 7:04pm

Huh...I thought with opponent adjustments Goff would come out looking better than Trubisky, but Trubisky was significantly less bad by total DYAR, if not by rank.

I don't know which is more "impressive" - the fact that Goff managed -171 DYAR despite a huge adjustment for facing the Bears, or that Sanchez was even worse (!) despite being benched for most of the second half.

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26 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by tuluse // Dec 12, 2018 - 3:09am

To be fair Goff threw about 50% more passes. They both "earned" about -3.8 DYAR per attempt. The main difference in the game was the Bears cold run and the Rams couldn't (oh no he thinks, when announcers lazily talk about defense and running game he can't say they're wrong).

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29 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by E // Dec 12, 2018 - 3:06pm

I HATE to criticize the numbers since I know that there's a lot that goes into them that we don't "see", but the RB stats really make no sense to me this week. How can 90 yards on 22 carries be worth 50% more than 170 yards on 14 carries? How can 75 yards on 15 carries (and no TDs) be worth 2.4 times as much as 170 yards on 14 carries (with a TD)? Throw in negative 2 DYAR for Barkley on 4 of 5 receiving for 27 yards (meaning it was worth less than Carson's zero attempt day). I understand that opponent adjustments are significant here and "Barkley only ran for three first downs against Washington, but those three runs gained 10, 52, and 78 yards. He was stuffed three times" but that isn't a valid answer to me. If opponent adjustments result in Carson's and Ware's rushing days being valued more than Barkley's - significantly more - then the opponent adjustments are too extreme.

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31 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Dec 12, 2018 - 6:33pm

I HATE to criticize the numbers since I know that there's a lot that goes into them that we don't "see", but the RB stats really make no sense to me this week. How can 90 yards on 22 carries be worth 50% more than 170 yards on 14 carries? How can 75 yards on 15 carries (and no TDs) be worth 2.4 times as much as 170 yards on 14 carries (with a TD)? Throw in negative 2 DYAR for Barkley on 4 of 5 receiving for 27 yards (meaning it was worth less than Carson's zero attempt day). I understand that opponent adjustments are significant here and "Barkley only ran for three first downs against Washington, but those three runs gained 10, 52, and 78 yards. He was stuffed three times" but that isn't a valid answer to me. If opponent adjustments result in Carson's and Ware's rushing days being valued more than Barkley's - significantly more - then the opponent adjustments are too extreme.

Fair question. Let's get into it.

Putting names to those numbers, and looking at rushing only:

Chris Carson: 42 DYAR, 28 YAR
Spencer Ware: 38 DYAR, 23 YAR
Saquon Barkley: 29 DYAR, 38 YAR

So yes, without opponent adjustments Barkley would have been ahead of Carson and Ware. So let's look at the defenses Carson (MIN), Ware (BAL), and Barkley (WAS) played.

MIN
-11.6% run defense DVOA (12th)
4.66 adjusted line yards (24th)
53% RB Success rate (26th)
1.10 2nd level yards (6th)
0.17 open field yards (1st)

BAL
-18.4% run defense DVOA (6th)
3.82 adjusted line yards (4th)
44% RB Success rate (4th)
1.06 2nd level yards (5th)
0.29 open field yards (3rd)

WAS
-0.3% run defense DVOA (25th)
5.06 adjusted line yards (30th)
52% RB Success rate (23rd)
1.44 2nd level yards (29th)
0.76 open field yards (12th)

So the Ravens are good at everything. Washington is OK at preventing long runs, but crappy at everything else. Minnesota gets pushed around at the line of scrimmage, but excels at preventing long runs. This just explains why Carson and Ware got a boost from opponent adjustments, and Barkley got a penalty.

Now, let's look at the specific results of Barkley's carries. His best run, obviously, was the 78-yard touchdown, followed by the 52-yard run in the second quarter, and then the 10-yard run in the third. That's 140 yards in three carries. However, in our numbers, and as I explained in George Kittle's comment, the longer a play goes on the field, the less DYAR each additional yard provides. Long plays get discounted because they are less predictive than consistent success -- Barkley won't be ripping off 78-yarders every week. So Barkley's 10-yard run is worth 6.2 YAR (not including opponent adjustments), his 52-yarder is worth 18.0, and his 78-yarder is worth 28.8.

On the flip side, Barkley's worst carries were a 6-yard loss on first-and-10, a 5-yard loss on second-and-13, and a stuff for no gain on first-and-goal from the 3. Those three plays were worth, respectively, -8.9, -7.3, and -6.9 YAR -- a total of -23.2. Those three runs offset most of the value of the 78-yarder.

If this doesn't make sense, let's look at the impact those three plays had on the scoreboard. The Giants have averaged 2.02 points per drive this season. Barkley's long touchdown turned an average drive into a guaranteed 7 points, so we can say it added 5 points to the scoreboard. However, those two big stuffs turned drives where New York might have scored points into almost-guaranteed punts. It's not this simple, of course, but be we can say those runs both took 2.02 points off the board, so they were worth about -2 points each. And the stuff at the goal line made it less likely the Giants would get a touchdown, and more likely they would get a field goal, which is a difference of four points. But since they still had second and third down to play with, that run wasn't worth -4 points, but probably -1 instead. Add those three runs together, and they were worth -5 points or so.

Now, let's do the same thing for Ware. His three best runs were a 13-yard gain on first-and-10, a 12-yard gain on second-and-5, and a 9-yard gain on second-and-5. Those three runs were worth 7.2, 6.9, and 6.1 YAR respectively, a total of 20.2 YAR. His three worst runs were a 1-yard gain on third-and-4 and a pair of zero-yard runs on first-and-10, which were worth -4.7, -3.5, and -3.4 YAR, a total of -11.6. His good runs were not nearly as good as Barkley's good runs, but his bad runs were much better than Barkley's bad runs.

(I can't do this analysis for Carson because I don't get Monday night numbers.)

If you don't believe our numbers, I checked the expected points added at Pro Football Reference. Ware finishes with +1.5 points, a good but quiet day if you forget how good Baltimore's run defense is. Barkley finishes with +6.8 points, which is obviously much better, but most of that value (+6.6 points) comes on the long touchdown run. Take that away (and DYAR doesn't take it away entirely, but it does limit its impact) and you're left with a very average day.

I also did this for Carson, and he came out at +5.5 points. His best carry by this measure was a 2-yard gain on fourth-and-1 -- which is a good example of how total yardage can be misleading.

Hope that helps clarify some things.

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32 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Dec 12, 2018 - 6:46pm

Wow, thanks for the details, Vince!

Another way I like to think about the discounting of long runs is in how DYAR/DVOA are supposed to be somewhat predictive.

A ten yard run on first and ten is going to be the exact same outcome for 90% of all starting positions.

But a 70 yard run on first and ten can only happen in 30% of all starting positions. If the offense happened to start with the ball 30 yards farther downfield, that same run - blocking, cutting, open field running - would cap out at 40 yards. So DYAR/DVOA say, "I'm not going to count this as 7 times as valuable as a 10 yard run, because that only would happen 30% of the time."

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33 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 12, 2018 - 7:58pm

It makes sense, but I do think there are a few rbs whose very long runs are much more predictive. Defensive coordinators certainly think so, and align their players accordingly. Peterson obviously fell into this category. Barkley may be another. I think some rbs are not having their production fully captured by DVOA.

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34 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by E // Dec 13, 2018 - 1:18pm

Wow Vince, I really appreciate the detail and effort put in to your response (yet another reason why FO is so great). When you break it down like that, the numbers obviously add up ... and yet it's still all a bit unsatisfying. Maybe it's the discounting of the long runs. This article has a few stats that I think illustrate why Barkley has been so special, especially this past Sunday: https://247sports.com/nfl/new-york-giants/LongFormArticle/Saquon-Barkley...

  • Saquon Barkley rushed for 141 yards and 1 TD when facing 8+ defenders in the box (8 carries) in Week 14 against the Redskins. This is the most rush yards when facing 8+ defenders since NextGenStats began tracking defenders in the box in 2016.
  • -- In my mind, this (i) helps explain the 3 stuffs and (ii) makes his long runs more predictable. Barkley is so good (and maybe Eli is so mediocre) that Washington sold out to stop the run. In doing so, they traded off a few stuffs for a few long runs. But it's Barkley's talent - especially his speed - that makes it more likely that he will break off very long runs when there are 8+ in the box. Namely ...

  • On Barkley's 78-yard touchdown run he reached a top speed of 21.91 miles per hour, according to NFL Next Generation Stats. That's the fastest speed reached by any player on a rushing touchdown during the 2018 season. And ...
  • Barkley joined Randy Moss as the only two rookies in NFL history to rack up five touchdowns of 50 yards or more during their NFL debut season. The all-time record for touchdown of 50 yards or more is now held by both Moss and Barkley ... and then Barkley added a 52 yard non-TD run!
  • -- Consider that the Giants had just THREE rushing touchdowns of 50 yards or more during their past ten seasons

All I'm saying is that I watched the Giants game and parts of the KC and Seattle games. I understand that the defenses were not equal. But I also know when I'm watching something extraordinary and Barkley's rushing performance was extraordinary - and the numbers seem to say that they're somewhat expected from him and therefore predictable - while Ware and Carson were merely very good. Food for thought.

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35 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Dec 13, 2018 - 2:36pm

Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm talking about. A few backs, very few, actually, really have long runs which are predictive, and thus DVOA discounts those runs too much. I'd question, however, that it is 8 or more in the box which makes the long runs predictive. The last time a defense tried to primarily defend prime Adrian Peterson with 7 in the box was his rookie year, against the Chargers. He went off for 296 yards, with several very long runs.

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36 Re: Week 14 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Dec 13, 2018 - 6:03pm

"This article has a few stats that I think illustrate why Barkley has been so special"

I think your problem is in interpreting DYAR as an end-all-be-all indicator of quality. Of course Barkley (or Peterson) is a special player. Anyone who watches them play behind poor offensive lines with stacked boxes break free and make guys miss in the open field would agree with that.

But DYAR is measuring effectiveness, and, as FO will often remind us, it only exists in the context of the team. What this week's Quick Reads is saying is that Saquon Barkley, playing within the New York offense, against the Washington defense, was not as effective at doing things that consistently score points as Spencer Ware was, playing within the Kansas City offense, against the Baltimore defense, or Chris Carson, playing with the Seattle offense, against the Minnesota defense.

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