Quick Reads

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

Week 4 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

As has been noted by Chase Stuart and many others, passing numbers are way, way up this season. Just this weekend, we have seen Mitchell Trubisky throw for six touchdowns, while Jared Goff had five and Derek Carr had four. Goff threw for 466 yards against Minnesota on Thursday night, one of five quarterbacks to throw for 400 yards (and 13 to throw for 300 yards) in Week 4. And that's not even including the quarterback having the best season, Patrick Mahomes, whose Chiefs travel to Denver to play the Broncos on Monday Night Football.

Some quick facts about the 2018 NFL season:

  • The league average NFL passer rating is 94.7. Only eight quarterbacks in league history have had a passer rating that high over the course of their careers.
  • If you prefer PFR's adjusted net yards per attempt (which includes sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions, but not completion percentage), the league average is 6.5. This would be among the top 20 career numbers.
  • There have already been a dozen 400-yard passing games this season. There were only eight in all of 2017, and exactly 11 in 2016, 2015, and 2014.

There's no doubt that the passing tide is rising, but so far it has failed to lift the boat of every quarterback in the NFL's sea. Super Bowl winners such as Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Russell Wilson have gotten off to slow starts. Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Luck, and Carson Wentz are still working to come back from injuries. Several veterans have struggled with new teams. The Bills are embarrassing. There seem to be an enormous gap between the league's best quarterbacks and its worst this year, but is that really true?

We can't use DVOA to measure the changes across the league from one season to the next because it's normalized so the theoretical average passer is always at 0.0% every season. However, we can measure the distribution of DVOA among quarterbacks and compare that to the distributions found in prior seasons. Among the 34 quarterbacks with at least 50 pass plays this season, Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes (duh) has the highest DVOA at 70.8%, while Buffalo's Josh Allen (also duh) has the lowest at -64.1%. (Again, this is before Monday Night Football.) That's a difference of 134.9%, which would be the biggest such gap since at least 1986. The prior mark was set in 1992, when the gap between first-place Steve Young (45.1%) and league-worst Kelly Stouffer (-73.1%) was 117.8%. (Note that Wade Wilson had a 61.9% DVOA with Atlanta in 1992, but on only 169 pass plays. We have since raised our minimums for the passing tables from 100 pass plays to 200, but haven't updated all our old tables to reflect this yet. For the purposes of this essay, we'll only look at quarterbacks with at least 200 pass plays in prior seasons, or at least 50 pass plays in 2018.)

Clearly, though, this isn't the best way to look at this. It involves only two quarterbacks, not the entire league, and in 2018 we are still dealing with some very small sample sizes. A better idea is to split the league's quarterbacks into quartiles:

  • Twenty-five percent of qualifying quarterbacks have a DVOA of -16.9% or worse.
  • Twenty-five percent of qualifying quarterbacks have a DVOA between -16.8% and -3.5%.
  • Twenty-five percent of qualifying quarterbacks have a DVOA between -3.4% and 15.4%.
  • Twenty-five percent of qualifying quarterbacks have a DVOA of 15.5% or better.

This won't totally eliminate the effects of small sample sizes -- Mahomes and Allen aren't the only players due for some regression this early in the season -- but it will help. The numbers we're most interested in here are the first and third quartile marks, -16.9% and 15.4%, a gap of 32.3%. Those are the thresholds that separate the league's best and worst passers from the masses. And it turns out, even in our small sample of not-quite-one-quarter-of-the-season, they are within historical extremes, if not historical norms. The following table shows the quartile thresholds for each season since 1989, along with the differences between the third and first quartiles:


Year-by-Year NFL Passing DVOA Quartiles Since 1989

Year Minimum First
Quartile
Second
Quartile
Third
Quartile
Maximum First-Third
Quartile Gap
1989 -26.7% -9.9% -0.1% 9.6% 39.0% 19.5%
1990 -31.3% -10.8% -1.4% 20.4% 33.6% 31.2%
1991 -39.3% -10.0% -0.9% 13.8% 41.9% 23.8%
1992 -72.7% -14.2% 3.4% 17.2% 45.1% 31.4%
1993 -31.1% -13.3% 7.8% 15.0% 35.6% 28.2%
1994 -37.1% -8.8% -1.9% 8.9% 38.8% 17.6%
1995 -31.0% -11.4% 2.8% 18.6% 35.3% 30.0%
1996 -31.2% -7.1% 2.0% 12.2% 25.7% 19.3%
1997 -51.6% -8.6% 3.6% 11.5% 32.1% 20.1%
1998 -68.2% -13.7% 2.6% 15.6% 45.1% 29.3%
1999 -51.6% -5.2% 2.3% 13.6% 36.9% 18.8%
2000 -51.4% -14.9% 2.8% 9.1% 38.3% 24.0%
2001 -25.5% -6.7% 0.8% 9.7% 36.7% 16.4%
2002 -48.1% -12.5% 2.8% 13.4% 40.6% 25.9%
2003 -41.0% -8.9% 1.4% 9.9% 37.1% 18.7%
2004 -48.2% -15.4% -4.0% 20.3% 58.9% 35.7%
2005 -41.5% -11.2% 3.3% 14.4% 41.7% 25.5%
2006 -46.2% -10.2% -1.1% 13.8% 51.3% 23.9%
2007 -55.4% -17.9% -5.6% 13.8% 54.1% 31.7%
2008 -43.4% -8.5% 2.1% 13.8% 30.3% 22.3%
2009 -62.0% -23.2% 4.0% 17.6% 41.7% 40.8%
2010 -48.0% -8.1% 2.6% 13.3% 46.7% 21.5%
2011 -46.5% -14.4% -2.2% 14.2% 46.6% 28.6%
2012 -43.8% -18.2% -5.5% 14.4% 35.1% 32.6%
2013 -36.1% -13.7% -3.6% 11.2% 43.2% 24.9%
2014 -41.9% -8.4% 1.8% 9.2% 32.2% 17.6%
2015 -27.9% -13.2% -1.9% 8.0% 34.4% 21.2%
2016 -74.8% -10.9% 1.8% 11.9% 39.1% 22.7%
2017 -34.5% -12.1% -0.6% 18.7% 28.1% 30.8%
2018 -64.1% -16.9% -3.5% 15.4% 70.8% 32.3%

The 2018 third quartile of 15.4% is higher than average, but just eighth-highest in the last 30 years. There have been two years with third quartiles of 20.0% or higher: 1990 and 2004. The mark for the lowest third quartile was set in 2015.

Our first quartile this season, -16.9%, is more notable, the fourth-lowest of the past three decades. In other words, the worst passers of the year stand out more than the best passers, at least compared to prior seasons. The lowest first quartile on record was set in 2009, while the highest was in 1999. (It's worth noting that a lot of quarterbacks that year had very bad DVOAs with 100 to 199 pass plays; lowering our minimum to 100 pass plays would bring them into consideration, and the quartile marks for that year would drop accordingly.)

Finally, we have the gap between this year's first and third quartiles of 32.3%. That's quite high, but not unprecedented, just the fourth-biggest such gap on record. The lowest gap was in 2001, while the higest was in 2009.

Since that 2009 season keeps coming up, let's look at the names at the top and bottom of the DVOA tables that year. Starting at the top, you've got:

  • Perennial Super Bowl contenders Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers. (Eli Manning also finished a few decimal places outside the top quartile.)
  • Excellent franchise quarterbacks who haven't had the same postseason success (yet) Philip Rivers and Tony Romo.
  • Matt Schaub, who was better than people remembered and very much in the right time and place in Houston in 2009.

And at the bottom:

  • Marc Bulger in his last NFL season.
  • Matt Hasselbeck in the twilight of his run with the Seahawks.
  • A trio of rookies: Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, and Matthew Stafford.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick in his second year as an NFL starter, his first in Buffalo.
  • Matt Cassel in his second year as an NFL starter, his first in Kansas City.
  • Another Bills quarterback, Trent Edwards, who had only 183 passes but qualifies for our study thanks to 23 sacks.
  • JaMarcus Russell in his worst and last season.

That's a massive gap in quality between the two groups that only seems more obvious nine years later (though Stafford and Fitzpatrick obviously turned things around, and Cassel is also still in the league.)

And now, for comparison's sake, the top-quartile passers of 2018:

At first glance that's not as impressive as the 2009 club, though that will change if Mahomes, Goff, and Watson can be Mahomes, Goff, and Watson for another decade. And Fitzpatrick has already returned to the bench in Tampa Bay.

The real lesson, however, can be learned by looking at the names in the NFL's bottom quartile this season:

  • Russell Wilson, a franchise quarterback on a mess of a franchise.
  • Three players on rookie deals: Sam Darnold, Dak Prescott, and Josh Allen.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo, who is out for the year.
  • Reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, whose incredibly weird career gets weirder every season.
  • Three veterans who have struggled in their first season with their new teams: Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, and Tyrod Taylor.

What's most important there is how many of those guys won't be in the bottom quartile by the end of the year. Garoppolo is hurt, Foles lost his job once Carson Wentz returned to health, and Bradford and Taylor have been benched for rookies. In theory, the quarterbacks replacing those four will put up better numbers (well, maybe not in San Francisco). That will raise the numbers of the league's worst passers, and the gap between the best and the worst -- which isn't even as big as it seems right now -- will shrink even further.

Except in Buffalo. Those guys are screwed.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jared Goff LAR
26/33
466
5
0
1
266
264
2
MIN
Goff had one stretch over the second and third quarters where he picked up first downs on six straight throws, gaining 151 yards and two touchdowns in the process. Then he had first downs on seven straight throws over the third and fourth quarters, gaining 123 yards and a touchdown. Each of those 13 throws gained at least 11 yards.
2.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
19/26
354
6
0
1
254
231
23
TB
If you're wondering how on earth Trubisky can be anything other than No. 1 this week, remember that DYAR is a counting stat, and Goff had seven more passes than Trubisky, a difference of more than 25 percent. His stretch from the midpoint of the first quarter up to his last pass of the first half was as close to unstoppable you'll ever see: 11-of-12 for 236 yards with every completion going for a first down, including four of his six touchdowns.
3.
Matt Ryan ATL
29/39
419
3
0
3
217
217
0
CIN
Third-down passing: 10-of-12 for 133 yards with nine conversions (including a touchdown) and one sack. He was also sacked on his one fourth-down dropback.
4.
Blake Bortles JAX
29/38
388
2
1
2
153
140
13
NYJ
Bortles only threw one deep pass against the Jets; it was completed to Donte Moncrief for a 67-yard touchdown. His next four deepest passes -- each traveling 13 to 15 yards past the line of scrimmage -- were all completed for 85 yards and four first downs.
5.
Kirk Cousins MIN
36/50
422
3
0
4
137
127
11
LAR
Cousins' last five plays were, uh, bad: third-down sack (Minnesota kicked a field goal on the next play), first-down sack, 9-yard gain on second-and-18, 13-yard gain on third-and-9, sack-fumble to end the game. All four of his sacks came in the fourth quarter.
6.
Deshaun Watson HOU
29/40
375
2
1
7
136
112
24
IND
Deep-ball passing: 5-of-6 for 124 yards.
7.
Derek Carr OAK
35/57
437
4
2
3
114
112
2
CLE
Starting with his last pass of the first half, Carr went on an impressive streak of feast-or-famine passing lasting into the fourth quarter: 11-of-26 for 130 yards with a sack and two interceptions, but those 11 completions included 7- and 19-yard touchdowns and three other plays that gained 26, 28, and 31 yards.
8.
Matthew Stafford DET
24/30
307
2
0
3
113
112
1
DAL
On passes that traveled 8 yards or more downfield, Stafford went 9-of-12 for 234 yards. All nine of those completions resulted in first downs, including 38- and 45-yard touchdowns.
9.
Joe Flacco BAL
28/42
363
2
0
2
111
111
0
PIT
Throwing up the middle, Flacco was erratic but explosive. He only completed nine of his 17 passes, but those nine completions produced 183 yards and eight first downs.
10.
Marcus Mariota TEN
30/43
344
2
1
3
93
69
24
PHI
Mariota had four throws on fourth down, and they all resulted in conversions: three completions for 47 total yards, plus a DPI for four more yards. Nobody else has four fourth-down conversions all season.
11.
Dak Prescott DAL
17/27
255
2
0
3
76
79
-3
DET
Prescott's best play was his 38-yard touchdown to Ezekiel Elliott -- and it's a good thing he hit from there. Any closer to the goal line and he was horrible: 5-of-13 for 38 yards with one sack, one touchdown, and just one other first down.
12.
Josh Rosen ARI
15/27
180
1
0
1
71
67
4
SEA
Almost all of Rosen's success came on throws to the outside. Up the middle, he completed just one of six passes, and that one completion was a 5-yard gain on second-and-10.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Andy Dalton CIN
29/41
337
3
1
3
68
67
1
ATL
For three quarters there was nothing the Falcons could do to stop Dalton when he was throwing to his right: his 12 throws in that direction resulted in 11 completions for 175 yards and nine first downs, plus a 16-yard DPI. Atlanta apparently made some adjustments and limited him to shorter throws after that. In the fourth quarter, he went 6-of-8 for 56 yards and only four first downs, though that includes the game-winning touchdown to A.J. Green.
14.
Tom Brady NE
23/35
274
3
2
0
63
63
0
MIA
The Dolphins were ready for Brady's first-down passes, holding him to three completions in eight attempts. Those three completions, all on first-and-10: 9-yard gain, 4-yard gain, 4-yard loss.
15.
Andrew Luck IND
41/62
464
4
0
4
62
59
3
HOU
Luck was the week's best red zone passer. He completed all six of his passes inside the Houston 20, gaining 51 yards, four touchdowns, and one other first down.
16.
Patrick Mahomes KC
29/45
304
1
0
1
59
46
13
DEN
17.
Carson Wentz PHI
33/50
352
2
0
4
48
50
-2
TEN
Wentz did very little on Tennessee's side of the 50, going 10-of-20 for 75 yards with three first downs (including a touchdown) with a 13-yard DPI and one sack in Titans territory.
18.
Drew Brees NO
18/32
217
0
0
1
45
44
0
NYG
The week's worst red zone passer, Brees went 4-of-11 for 20 yards with no touchdowns, only two first downs, and a sack inside the Giants' 20. Only 24 quarterbacks have had that many red zone dropbacks all season, let alone in one game.
19.
Philip Rivers LAC
25/39
250
3
1
1
30
28
2
SF
Third-down passing: 5-of-12 for 39 yards and four conversions. That includes all four of his touchdown passes -- three caught by his teammates, one by the 49ers.
20.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
27/47
274
1
1
1
7
7
0
BAL
Third-/fourth-down passing: 5-of-13, 20 yards, one conversion, one interception.
21.
Jameis Winston TB
16/20
145
1
2
2
4
-1
5
CHI
All of Winston's passes came with Tampa Bay down by at least 35 points in the second half.
22.
Aaron Rodgers GB
22/40
298
1
1
2
-4
-11
7
BUF
In his postgame comments criticizing the Packers' play calling, Rodgers said that Davante Adams "should have had 20 targets" against Buffalo. Well, Rodgers threw Adams 14 passes -- which isn't 20, but it was fifth-most among wide receivers this week -- and Adams didn't do much with them, finishing with eight receptions for 81 yards and only two first downs.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Russell Wilson SEA
19/25
172
0
0
2
-8
5
-13
ARI
Third-/fourth-down passing: 4-of-6 for 31 yards with one sack and zero, nada, zip conversions. That includes incomplete passes on third-and-1 and third-and-3 and a sack on fourth-and-1.
24.
Eli Manning NYG
31/41
255
1
0
3
-18
-21
2
NO
Manning's success rate this week was 55 percent, better than the average of 48 percent. And he only lost 76 DYAR on sacks and interceptions, which was about average. He ranks so low because the successes he had were marginal. His DVOA on successful plays was 97.3%, the worst among starting quarterbacks this week. Mitchell Trubisky's DVOA on all plays was 105.9%.
25.
Case Keenum DEN
21/33
245
0
1
4
-27
-27
0
KC
26.
Sam Darnold NYJ
17/34
167
1
0
3
-51
-53
3
JAX
Third-down passing: 4-of-11 for 25 yards with one sack, one touchdown, and one other conversion. His first third-down conversion came with New York down 18-0 in the third quarter; the touchdown left the Jets still trailing 25-12 in the fourth.
27.
C.J. Beathard SF
23/37
298
2
2
1
-62
-44
-17
LAC
Beathard's interceptions were both killers. The first came on first-and-goal from the 8 with San Francisco down by six in the third quarter; the second came on second-and-6 with San Francisco down by two with less than three minutes to play. By DYAR, they were the two worst interceptions of the week, and two of the four worst interceptions of the year.
28.
Baker Mayfield CLE
21/41
295
2
2
2
-77
-81
4
OAK
Mayfield had a bad habit of giving Oakland the ball in good scoring position. At or inside his own 25 -- where most NFL drives start these days -- he went 5-of-13 for 55 yards with only two first downs, one pick-six, one fumble-sack, and one fumble lost on an aborted snap.
29.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TB
9/18
126
0
1
2
-84
-84
0
CHI
FitzMagic died as he lived this season, via the long ball. He only threw for three first downs against Chicago, but those three first downs covered 11, 42, and 48 yards. Otherwise, he went 6-of-15 for 25 yards with two sacks, a fumble, and an interception.
30.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
11/20
100
0
1
2
-90
-90
0
NE
Tannehill did not throw a single pass in the red zone. He didn't throw a single pass in the front zone (the area between New England's 20- and 40-yard lines) either. He only had three plays in New England territory all day: two incompletions and an interception on first-and-10.
31.
Josh Allen BUF
16/33
151
0
2
7
-220
-200
-20
GB
Where to begin? From the Buffalo 49 to the goal line, Allen went 3-of-11 for 20 yards with one first down, two interceptions, and three sacks. That includes an interception on his only red zone play. He had seven first downs; five of them came with Buffalo down by at least 19 points in the second half. At one point he was sacked on four consecutive dropbacks, which may be a first. On third downs, he went 3-of-10 for 61 yards with three conversions, two interceptions, and three sacks. He had six third downs with 5 yards or less to go for a first down; they resulted in two incompletions, an interception, and three sacks. Throwing to his right, he went 4-of-14 for 23 yards and only two first downs. We could go on, but instead we'll just point you to this thread by our old buddy Cian Fahey showing many of Allen's gaffes one GIF at a time.


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.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
25
152
0
4/4
88
1
72
17
54
DET
In one stretch in the second half, Elliott gained five first downs in six carries, and the other carry was a 9-yard gain on first-and-10. All told he gained nine first downs on the ground, including gains of 14, 19, and 41 yards. He had six carries with 1 or 2 yards to go for a first down and converted five of them, while being hit for no gain or a loss only three times. All four of receptions went for first downs, including a 38-yard touchdown and a 34-yard gain on second-and-10. His day was so good he finishes as the top running back even though he had a fumble at the goal line.
2.
Tarik Cohen CHI
13
53
0
7/8
121
1
65
10
55
TB
Four first downs on the ground, including a 19-yard gain on second-and-1, while being hit for no gain or a loss three times. Five of his catches went for first downs, including gains of 28, 31, and 35 yards, a 9-yard touchdown, and a 4-yard gain on third-and-1.
3.
Kareem Hunt KC
19
121
1
3/4
54
0
61
37
24
DEN
4.
Alvin Kamara NO
19
134
3
5/9
47
0
55
56
0
NYG
Kamara's targets were a mix of the good (three first downs, the longest a 25-yard gain) and the bad (four incompletions, one of them on third-and-2, plus a 1-yard catch on second-and-14). But he ran for touchdowns of 4, 9, and 49 yards; he had five other first downs on the ground, including an 18-yarder; he was hit for a loss just once; and he converted all five of his carries with 4 yards or less to go for a first down.
5.
Saquon Barkley NYG
10
44
1
6/8
56
0
48
29
19
NO
Barkley's 28-yard run in the third quarter was his only run for more than 5 yards. He did have a goal-line touchdown, and was hit for no gain or a loss twice. Four of his catches went for first downs, including a 13-yard gain on third-and-4.


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.
Alvin Kamara NO
19
134
3
5/9
47
0
55
56
0
NYG
2.
Mike Davis SEA
21
101
2
4/4
23
0
43
45
-2
ARI
Davis is the first Seattle player to rush for 100 yards since ... well, last week. But he's the first Seattle player to rush for 100 yards and average at least 4.0 yards per carry since Thomas Rawls did it in December of 2016. He had six first downs on the ground and three runs of 10 yards or more, including a 20-yard touchdown run. He converted four of his five carries with 3 yards or less to go for a first down, while being hit for no gain or a loss three times. His negative receiving DYAR can mostly be blamed on a 5-yard loss on second-and-17.
3.
Kareem Hunt KC
19
121
1
3/4
54
0
61
37
24
DEN
4.
Melvin Gordon LAC
15
104
0
7/10
55
1
36
33
3
SF
Gordon's first carry went for zero yards; it was the last time he was stuffed all day. All four of his first downs came in the second half. His last three carries -- each of which came with L.A. leading by two or trailing by one -- gained 13, 34, and 15 yards. His receiving DYAR was torpedoed by a second-down fumble in the third quarter.
5.
Aaron Jones GB
11
65
1
1/1
17
0
43
33
11
BUF
Four first downs on the ground, including gains of 11 and 30 yards, a 3-yard touchdown, and a 3-yard gain on third-and-1. He was hit for no gain or a loss three times.


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.
Carlos Hyde CLE
22
82
1
0/1
0
0
-45
-39
-6
OAK
Only three first downs in 22 carries, and on one of those plays he fumbled. He had five carries with 4 yards or less to go for a first down and only converted once. He was stuffed for no gain three times, including first- and second-and-goal from the 1. (By the way, if you're looking for Nick Chubb, his three carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns resulted in 44 rushing DYAR -- our scraper filters out players with less than five carries so we can say that Hyde, for instance, ranked 53rd among qualifying runners this week.)


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.
Carlos Hyde CLE
22
82
1
0/1
0
0
-45
-39
-6
OAK


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Taylor Gabriel CHI
7
7
104
14.9
2
90
TB
Gabriel's totals include 81 DYAR receiving, 9 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 10 yards. Six of his catches resulted in first downs, including gains of 30 and 33 yards; the other was an 11-yard gain on second-and-12. He also had a 29-yard DPI.
2.
DeAndre Hopkins HOU
10
12
169
16.9
1
85
IND
All of Hopkins' catches resulted in first downs, including four gains of 24 or more yards and a pair of third-down conversions. His 5-yard touchdown was actually his shortest catch of the day.
3.
Julio Jones ATL
9
12
173
19.2
0
67
CIN
Each of Jones' catches gained at least 11 yards and a first down. He converted all five of his third-down targets, and also had a 49-yard gain in the fourth quarter.
4.
Golden Tate DET
8
8
132
16.5
2
65
DAL
Touchdowns of 45 and 38 yards, plus a 35-yard gain on second-and-16. Six total first downs on the day.
5.
Cooper Kupp LAR
9
11
162
18.0
2
64
MIN
Touchdowns of 19 and 70 yards, plus five other catches that gained at least 10 yards and a first down.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Nelson Agholor PHI
5
12
26
5.2
0
-67
TEN
You can't spell Agholor without "AGH!" Only two of his catches went for first downs. None gained more than 10 yards. On first-and-goal from the 8, he lost 2 yards and fumbled.

Comments

25 comments, Last at 03 Oct 2018, 8:41am

1 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Bobman // Oct 02, 2018 - 5:05am

So despite 4 TDs/464 yards/no picks, and this comment "Luck was the week's best red zone passer. He completed all six of his passes inside the Houston 20, gaining 51 yards, four touchdowns, and one other first down," why is Luck's weekly rank so middling? I assume it's the fumble on a strip sack around his own 10 YL and the botched snap at the goal line.... I think they also had a moribund stretch there in the 3rd Qtr. (face palm. They basically spotted Houston 14 pts and still went to OT, while missing 2 OL starters and rushing for all of 40 yards as a team. That's actually a pretty bad sign for Houston, isn't it?)

An interesting and depressing week for star veteran QBs, with Brady, Ben, Rodgers, Brees, Manning, Wilson, and Rivers all ranked #14 or lower.

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8 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Noah Arkadia // Oct 02, 2018 - 11:45am

4 TDs/464 yards looks great, but it took him 62 attempts to do it. He also took 4 sacks. If Goff had attempted 62 passes, he'd have thrown for about 1000 yards, 10 TDs and 2 sacks.

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16 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Bobman // Oct 02, 2018 - 3:30pm

I'd pay dearly to see that.
Point taken on Luck. I suspect a breakdown by quarters for him would result in not bad, crap, crap, holy cow! Ya gotta take the crap with the cow, as farmers like to say.

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2 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Cheesehead_Canuck // Oct 02, 2018 - 7:47am

Should I be worried that outside of the 4th quarter of the Bears game and a few moments in the Minnesota game, Rodgers has looked just okay?
Or maybe I should keep in mind he’s on a gimpy leg and has a somewhat weak receiving corps.

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3 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Oct 02, 2018 - 9:46am

It was a function of the game plan this week, too, since it was all short stuff attacking the Bills' quarters coverage from run looks.

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5 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by ChrisS // Oct 02, 2018 - 11:25am

Watching the game I thought Rogers looked pretty good, better than his DYAR reported here, but the int and fumble hurt DYAR more than they actually hurt in the game. Also my real time impression of his play was undoubtedly influenced in contrast to the play of the other QB (Allen) who was so so so bad bad bad .....

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6 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by dank067 // Oct 02, 2018 - 11:27am

Feel that way about each of their last three games, that Rodgers has mostly looked good but has just been off on a certain number of passes, while the receivers have had a few too many drops (including some backbreakers in the Washington game) and have failed to come down with some of the trickier ones that, while not easy plays, they usually catch at a higher rate than they are right now. If they can tighten up the execution a bit I think they're close to producing at a decently higher level than they are right now... we'll see.

My biggest worry so far is actually Jimmy Graham. He hasn't been awful but he just hasn't had much to offer down the field so far. I know he's gotten older, but I was hoping he might be able to bring some verticality that could help open up better matchups and more space downfield for the other receivers, which is where the offense has really struggled these last few years.

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24 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Chip // Oct 02, 2018 - 5:42pm

Father Time remains undefeated.

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4 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by robbbbbb // Oct 02, 2018 - 10:20am

Russell Wilson isn't off to a slow start. He's been Schottenheimered.

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11 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by mrt1212 // Oct 02, 2018 - 12:13pm

The infamous run a 6 yard curl on 3rd and 7 is in full effect.

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19 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 02, 2018 - 4:19pm

How is he so bad when his father was so good?

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22 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by theslothook // Oct 02, 2018 - 5:02pm

Feel like Marty and his Martyball philosophy would be deeply anachronistic in today's era. Jeff Fisher was at one time a solid to good coach. Then the league changed and he quickly became a horror show.

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23 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 02, 2018 - 5:36pm

I think "Martyball" is a poor description of what Marty actually did. I don't have time to look up his teams' numbers, but my memory is that he was tremendously better than his reputation.

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25 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by apk3000 // Oct 03, 2018 - 8:41am

I think he could adapt to a more passing league, Marty's problem was always that he chooses the safe play so his teams, even if dominant, are always on that fine edge so that one mistake (say a fumble or a DB not batting down a ball on 4th down) can always lead to disaster. I liked to say, give Marty training camp and pregame/halftime speeches, find a "closer" coach to make the 4th quarter decisions.

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7 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Cythammer // Oct 02, 2018 - 11:40am

So Matt Ryan was first with 256 DYAR last week, and third with 217 this week. The Falcons lost both games. Playing that well over a two game stretch of losses has got be almost unprecedented.

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9 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by BJR // Oct 02, 2018 - 11:48am

Paging Drew Brees.....

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13 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by theslothook // Oct 02, 2018 - 1:59pm

His went on for multiple seasons too and multiple coordinators.

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10 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by mrh // Oct 02, 2018 - 12:06pm

As great as Mahomes has played, he has been streaky. There have been dead periods in every game so far. Last night's dead period was longer, but I'll take the last 10 minutes of that game every week.

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12 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by theslothook // Oct 02, 2018 - 1:58pm

The worst rookie QB I ever saw was Jared Goff. What a difference a year and change makes. Eli and Alex Smith were also beyond abysmal as rookies. This gives me pause on Josh Allen, though early returns don't look so good.

Talent around you can't make a bad qb good, but it sure can make an average qb look good, a pretty good qb look really good, and a hall of famer look immortal.

The problem is, it's hard to distinguish and that's why I'm hesitant to jump all over the Goff and Mahomes train. I've seen Dak look awesome as a rookie, Kap look like the second coming in his second year, and scores of other QBs who looked good entirely in retrospect (hello Case Keenum).

To separate Tom Brady from Ryan Fitzpatrick, you need time and changing context. For some, as in Fitzmagic's case: the time window is like half a season. For others, it's a season or two.

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17 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Bobman // Oct 02, 2018 - 3:37pm

If nothing else you have to jump on the Mahomes left-handed train.
I've only seen that once before, about 30 years ago in a preseason (IIRC) Oilers game by a QB named Bucky Richardson who never amounted to much. It was awesome, unbelievable, and 30 years later I am still gushing about it.

Holy cow! Wikipedia also mentions it. GWTD vs Dallas. Glad I was not dreaming it.

Just goes to show that freak/amazing/cool throws don't guarantee you a stellar career.
Then again, he played for Jeff Fisher.... ba-dum-bum-BUM!

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14 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Steve in WI // Oct 02, 2018 - 2:01pm

As a Bears fan, it is really nice to see Mitchell Trubisky's name next to Jared Goff's. Whenever I hear people stating definitively that Trubisky isn't going to be a franchise QB, I think about the fact that after Goff's rookie season we were debating if he could be the biggest QB bust ever, and now look at him. (I'm not jumping to any positive conclusions, either, after one game, but I'm glad to have something to be optimistic about).

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15 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by PatsFan // Oct 02, 2018 - 2:17pm

We can't use DVOA to measure the changes across the league from one season to the next because it's normalized so the theoretical average passer is always at 0.0% every season.

If only there were some defense-adjusted stat whose zero baseline was set to a fixed year. Maybe it could even be called DVOA (or DVOA-A, if you want (second "A" for "Absolute")).

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18 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Richie // Oct 02, 2018 - 3:57pm

Ryan Tannehill -90

I'm a Dolphins fan. This is Ryan Tannehill's 7th year as QB. Technically 6th, since he missed last season. And if he had played last year and didn't do well, then he might not have gotten the chance for a 7th.

Anyway, Tannehill is the 9th QB in history to play for the same team his first 7 years, start 75+ games and play at a below average level (based on PFR's ANY/A+) those 7 years. The others are: Joe Flacco, Archie Manning, Dan Pastorini, Kordell Stewart, Richard Todd, Steve Bartkowski, Phil Simms and Alex Smith.

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20 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Oct 02, 2018 - 4:35pm

So despite 4 TDs/464 yards/no picks, and this comment "Luck was the week's best red zone passer. He completed all six of his passes inside the Houston 20, gaining 51 yards, four touchdowns, and one other first down," why is Luck's weekly rank so middling?

Point taken on Luck. I suspect a breakdown by quarters for him would result in not bad, crap, crap, holy cow! Ya gotta take the crap with the cow, as farmers like to say.

A bunch of bad plays. Four sacks, two fumbles, an intentional grounding. Incompletes on second-and-3, third-and-3, third-and-2, and fourth-and-4.

DVOA by quarter: 29, -108, 41, 113, -17. In the second quarter, he went 6-of-14 for 56 yards with three first downs, two sacks, and two fumbles.

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21 Re: Week 4 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Oct 02, 2018 - 4:37pm

Also, while he was great inside the Houston 20, he was dreadful inside his own 20: 4-of-8, 29 yards, one first down, three sacks, two fumbles.

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