Quick Reads

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

Week 6 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

And now, the adventures of Marcus Mariota against the Baltimore Ravens, as told by the Voice of the Titans, Mike Keith of the Tennessee Titans radio network:

  • "Play-fake, Mariota rolls right. Steps up, gets away from [Terrell Suggs] momentarily, and then takes a sack. [Chris Wormley] the beneficiary of Suggs' great pursuit."
  • "Mariota from the gun. Blitz coming, Mariota pumps, sacked again, taken down this time by Za'Darius Smith."
  • "Ravens show pressure. Mariota flushed out to his right. Rolling, rolling, rolling and will heave it out of bounds -- but he stepped out before he threw it."
  • "Mariota. Play fake, dropping, pressured on a delayed blitz and taken down."
  • "Pressure coming. Mariota in trouble, hit, fumbles. He recovers the ball himself at the 47. Smith will be credited with another sack. Once again, the Titans get into Ravens territory, but two sacks kill the drive."
  • "Ravens already with five quarterback sacks in this game. Three receivers to the left. [Anthony Firkser] is to the right, he's going out for a pass. Mariota in trouble, he's sacked again. Suggs and [Willie Henry] get him back at the 26-yard line."
  • "Third down and 6 upcoming. Titans at the 29. Mariota … takes the snap. Mariota looks, steps up, he's in trouble, he's sacked for a seventh time back at the 20-yard line by Henry. [Tony Jefferson] and Henry just got tremendous pressure and the Titans just, really, it looked as though Mariota didn't have a chance again."
  • "Mariota in the shotgun. [Indecipherable.] Steps up. Sacked. [Kenny Young] gets him at the 48-yard line."
  • "Marcus takes the snap. Under pressure. Mariota is sacked for a ninth time. [Matthew Judon] was there first."
  • "Titans begin here at their own 11-yard line. Mariota in trouble, sacked for a tenth time. [Patrick Onwuasor] with that one. The Titans have seen Mariota sacked more in this game than they had been as a team in the first five games. … I would guess we're approaching a franchise record, and that's not a good thing."
  • "Mariota on third down, stepping up, in trouble, sacked. Smith got Mariota at the 5-yard line with four minutes to go. Hey, our friends at the Insurors of Tennessee want to remind you, are you making the right call on your insurance? A Trusted Choice independent agent is free to shop multiple providers on your behalf to find the right coverage for you. Schedule your own coverage review with an insurance agent from the Insurors of Tennessee."

No, really. In a tremendous joke played by the Football Gods, the eleventh and final sack of Mariota's day segued into an insurance plug. Here's hoping that unlike Mariota, the good people of the Volunteer State are able to find the protection they need.

A look at Mariota's play-by-play data invokes feelings of pity and woe. He finished with 11 sacks in just 26 dropbacks. He was sacked on back-to-back dropbacks four times, and at no time did he make it four consecutive dropbacks without hitting the turf at least once. He dropped back nine times on third downs, and was sacked on seven of them. He had five dropbacks in Ravens territory, and every one resulted in a sack.

Sunday's game was the first time a quarterback had been sacked 11 times in a game since Christmastime in 2012. To get more than 11 sacks on one passer, you have to go back to September of 2007, when Mariota was just 13 years old. It was the 21st time in the DVOA era (since 1986) that a quarterback has been sacked at least 10 times in a game. The list of those quarterbacks tells some fascinating stories:

Quarterbacks Sacked 10+ Times in One Game, 1986-2018


Name Year Week Tm Opp Result Cmp Att Yds TD Int Sk Yds DYAR
Randall Cunningham 1986 11 PHI DET L 11-13 16 30 140 0 3 10 62 -111
Steve Pelluer 1986 11 DAL SD W 24-21 18 33 246 1 0 11 93 -160
Randall Cunningham 1986 13 PHI LARD W 33-27 22 39 298 3 1 11 57 -34
Randall Cunningham 1986 14 PHI STLC T 10-10 11 20 147 0 0 10 95 -104
David Norrie* 1987 4 NYJ DAL L 24-38 18 33 213 1 1 11 54 -44
Guido Merkens* 1987 4 PHI CHI L 3-35 7 14 70 0 0 10 62 -179
Troy Aikman 1991 3 DAL PHI L 0-24 11 25 112 0 3 11 67 -144
Bernie Kosar 1992 1 CLE IND L 3-14 15 26 175 0 2 11 72 -160
David Klingler 1992 13 CIN PIT L 9-21 16 34 140 0 0 10 72 -101
Randall Cunningham 1992 15 PHI SEA W 20-17 27 44 365 0 1 10 89 -2
Jeff Blake 1996 7 CIN PIT L 10-20 23 30 229 1 1 10 71 -14
Jake Plummer 1997 14 ARI PIT L 20-26 15 26 270 2 0 10 53 80
Jeff George 1998 1 OAK KC L 8-28 19 31 270 0 0 10 58 -86
Brad Johnson 2001 6 TB PIT L 10-17 24 40 283 1 1 10 69 40
Jon Kitna 2007 3 DET PHI L 21-56 29 46 446 2 1 10 53 6
Donovan McNabb 2007 4 PHI NYG L 3-16 15 31 138 0 0 12 62 -155
John Beck 2011 8 WAS BUF L 0-23 20 33 208 0 2 10 56 -175
Greg McElroy 2012 16 NYJ SD L 17-27 14 24 185 0 1 11 71 -116
Chad Henne 2014 2 JAX WAS L 10-41 14 28 193 1 1 10 70 -220
Jacoby Brissett 2017 7 IND JAX L 0-27 22 37 200 0 0 10 64 -58
Marcus Mariota 2018 6 TEN BAL L 0-21 10 15 117 0 0 11 66 -109
* Strike replacement player

What stands out about Mariota here is not his high sack numbers, but his low stats everywhere else across the board. His ten completions, 15 attempts, and 26 dropbacks are each the lowest in this table among legitimate NFL players, and his 117 gross yards and 51 net yards are second-lowest, higher than only Troy Aikman in 1991. Mariota was sacked on 42 percent of his dropbacks against Baltimore, the highest mark of anyone on this table, scab or not.

This started as a story about Marcus Mariota, but now it becomes the story of Randall Cunningham. Nobody else in the past 32 years has taken double-digit sacks in a single game more than once, yet Cunningham has done it four times, including three times in four weeks in 1986. Cunningham was sacked 72 times that season, still the second-most in league history -- and he wasn't even the Eagles' full-time starter! It would take a brilliant writer to summarize the lunacy of the 1986 Eagles and put it into historical context. Fortunately, Mike Tanier is a brilliant writer, and he recapped this team in great detail back in 2006.

Cunningham and Steve Pelluer were each sacked ten times on the same day in 1986. That happened again the next year to Guido Merkens and David Norrie, although those were replacement player games. Norrie never played after the strike season. Neither did Merkens, though by that point he had already established himself as one of the more unusual players in league history, especially for a guy who only started 13 games in his career. Merkens was a 32-year-old veteran in 1987 who had already played nine years with the Oilers and Saints as a quarterback and receiver. He is one of three players since the merger with at least 60 pass attempts and 30 receptions (Kordell "Slash" Stewart and current Jets wideout Terrelle Pryor are the others). Merkens is also one of the last players in league history who has both punted and returned a punt. Most importantly, the NFL could always use more guys named "Guido."

Not every quarterback who was sacked ten times finished with a loss. Cunningham actually had two wins and a tie in his mega-sack games. He beat the Raiders in 1986 because he threw three touchdowns in regulation and then ran for the game-winning score in overtime, finishing with 60 rushing yards on the day. The Eagles were also +2 in turnovers and had six sacks of their own. (Both teams had punt return touchdowns in the first quarter of what sounds like a very exciting game.) A week later, Cunningham and the Eagles had a 10-10 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals in which they ran for 230 yards, including 127 for Keith Byars, 74 for Anthony Toney, and 25 (and a go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown) for Cunningham. And then in 1992, the Eagles beat the Seahawks because … well, it was the 1992 Seahawks and the Eagles could have won if they had given up 20 sacks. The Eagles committed 17 penalties and gave up a defensive score, and it didn't matter because they outgained Seattle 466-87 in total yardage and 25-11 in first downs. The other win for a ten-sack quarterback came back in 1986, when Pelluer and the Cowboys beat the Chargers 24-21 in part because they won the turnover battle and the Chargers missed a pair of field goals. (Some things never change.)

The most surprising info here might be that three quarterbacks finished with positive passing DYAR despite being repeatedly slammed to the ground. Jake Plummer leads the way with 80 DYAR in 1997; he averaged more than 10 yards per throw with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. Brad Johnson had 40 DYAR in 2001 mainly because he was playing against the NFL's best pass defense that season. And Jon Kitna had 6 DYAR in 2007 thanks to 446 gross passing yards.

It may not be surprising that young quarterbacks dominate this table. Eleven of these games happened to quarterbacks who were still in their first three years in the league. Of course, three of those games were played by Randall Cunningham, so this may tell us more about the Eagles than it does about quarterback age patterns.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Brock Osweiler MIA
28/43
380
3
2
0
141
138
3
CHI
Our top two quarterbacks this week had radically different opponent adjustments. Brock Osweiler gained 41 DYAR due to playing the Bears, the biggest boost of any quarterback this week. Matt Ryan lost 58 DYAR for playing the Buccaneers, more than twice as much as any other quarterback. Osweiler got a lot of help from his receivers; 268 of his 380 passing yards came after the catch. That's the most YAC for any quarterback in a game this season. He averaged 9.57 YAC per completion, second-most this year behind Jimmy Garoppolo's 9.60 against the Vikings in Week 1.
2.
Matt Ryan ATL
31/41
354
3
0
1
140
135
5
TB
Ryan became the fourth quarterback in Tampa Bay's five games to finish with a passer rating of 120.0 or higher. So no, it's not a surprise that Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was fired today. Ryan completed each of his first 12 passes against Tampa Bay, gaining 135 yards and seven first downs in the process. In the red zone, he went 3-of-4 for 26 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This is nothing new -- he leads the NFL in red zone passing DYAR since Week 2.
3.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
22/31
316
3
1
2
137
126
11
MIA
First-half passes to wide receivers: 5-of-8 for 75 yards, plus a 4-yard DPI, but only three total first downs. Second-half passes to wide receivers: 6-of-7 for 128 yards, plus 6- and 32-yard DPIs, seven total first downs, including two scores.
4.
Jameis Winston TB
30/40
395
4
2
2
137
140
-4
ATL
Winston was brilliant in the fourth quarter, when he went 14-of-18 for 176 yards and 11 first downs, including two scores. Each of those 18 passes was thrown with Tampa Bay trailing by five to nine points.
5.
Sam Darnold NYJ
24/29
280
2
1
2
125
123
2
IND
Darnold had a league-high eight completions that gained 19 or more yards, most of any quarterback this week. (Yes, this is blatant cherry-picking -- he had three completions that gained exactly 19 yards each. If we raise our threshold to 20 yards, Darnold had five, tied with five other quarterbacks behind Ben Roethlisberger's 7.)
6.
Carson Wentz PHI
26/36
278
3
0
1
118
112
7
NYG
First five drives: 10-of-14 for 89 yards and only three first downs. Last seven drives: 17-of-23 for 189 yards, plus a 16-yard DPI, 14 total first downs, with one sack.
7.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
32/46
368
1
0
0
117
117
0
CIN
In the red zone, Roethlisberger went 3-of-4, but for only 12 yards and no first downs. He threw 19 passes up the middle of the field, six more than any other quarterback, completing 13 of them for 163 yards and seven first downs, including the game-winning touchdown.
8.
Aaron Rodgers GB
26/45
425
2
0
3
86
72
14
SF
9.
Cam Newton CAR
27/40
275
2
1
1
86
73
12
WAS
Third-/fourth-down passing: 3-of-8 for 20 yards with only two conversions and one interception.
10.
C.J. Beathard SF
16/23
245
2
1
2
76
71
5
GB
11.
Tom Brady NE
24/35
340
1
0
2
76
70
5
KC
It's funny, considering New England scored 43 points, but Brady had a really bad day in the red zone. Yes, he had a 17-yard touchdown to Julian Edelman, but his other five red zone plays resulted in three incompletions, a completion for a 1-yard loss, and a sack-fumble.
12.
Russell Wilson SEA
17/23
222
3
1
1
72
68
4
OAK
Wilson was really a bully in this game, kicking the Raiders when they were down. From the point Seattle went up 20-0, Wilson went 8-of-9 for 107 yards and six first downs. It could have been even worse -- that one incompletion was a red zone interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Case Keenum DEN
25/41
322
2
1
2
71
70
2
LAR
Third-/fourth-down passing: 3-of-7 for 25 yards and one conversion with two sacks. Those sacks lost 11 and 14 yards, which means Keenum averaged exactly zero yards on these nine plays.
14.
Dak Prescott DAL
17/27
183
2
0
3
70
68
2
JAX
After his second-quarter touchdown to Cole Beasley that put Dallas up 24-0, he went 4-of-9 for 32 yards with two sacks and only one first down.
15.
Andy Dalton CIN
26/42
229
2
0
3
66
66
0
PIT
The Bengals could use a good receiving back. Dalton threw seven passes to running backs against Pittsburgh (all to Joe Mixon) and only completed three of them for 20 yards and no first downs.
16.
Joe Flacco BAL
25/37
238
1
1
0
56
57
-1
TEN
Third-down passing: 9-of-12 for 114 yards and eight conversions. He converted his first five third-down plays, threw one incompletion, then converted each of his next three before taking his foot off the gas.
17.
Patrick Mahomes KC
23/36
352
4
2
0
53
50
3
NE
A bad day on throws up the middle: 3-of-7 for 24 yards with one conversion and one interception.
18.
Philip Rivers LAC
11/20
207
2
1
1
41
41
0
CLE
Rivers' game was split into three sections. He started 3-of-8 for 26 yards and only one first down. Then he completed four passes in a row, for 44, 45 (touchdown), 16, and 14 yards. And then he finished 4-of-8 for 62 yards with one interception, one sack and two first downs.
19.
Kirk Cousins MIN
24/33
233
1
1
4
-12
-21
9
ARI
Cousins was second-worst passer in the league in second-quarter DYAR this week. (The worst was Deshaun Watson, who we will get too ... well, in a little while.) In that quarter, he went 9-of-14 for 92 yards with six first downs, one interception, two sacks, and one fumble that was returned for an Arizona touchdown.
20.
Blake Bortles JAX
15/26
149
1
1
3
-28
-43
15
DAL
The Jaguars are trying to hide their quarterback and will only throw when necessary. Bortles' first five dropbacks all came on second or third down. He did not have a first-down dropback until Jacksonville was down 17-0; on that play, he was sacked. On all first downs, he went 5-of-8 for 42 yards with one first down, one interception, and two sacks. So, maybe they were right to hide him.
21.
Andrew Luck IND
24/43
301
4
3
0
-30
-32
2
NYJ
Luck had his ups and downs against the Jets, but he was very good within scoring range. Inside the New York 40, he went 8-of-13 for 122 yards, plus a 5-yard DPI, with eight total first downs, including four touchdowns.
22.
Josh Allen BUF
10/17
84
0
0
2
-53
-59
7
HOU
Only four of Allen's completions resulted in first downs. On Houston's half of the field, he went 1-of-6 for a yard. You heard me. A yard.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Josh Rosen ARI
21/31
240
0
1
4
-56
-56
0
MIN
Third-down passing: 1-of-8 for -2 yards (yes) with an interception and two sacks. And, obviously, no conversions.
24.
Alex Smith WAS
22/36
163
2
0
3
-67
-65
-2
CAR
Throwing to his left, Smith went 4-of-11 for 41 yards and only one first down. A 12th throw resulted in an intentional grounding penalty.
25.
Jared Goff LAR
14/28
201
0
1
5
-82
-82
0
DEN
In Denver territory, Goff went 6-of-11 for 67 yards plus a 1-yard DPI, with more sacks (five) than first downs (four).
26.
Derek Carr OAK
23/31
142
0
0
6
-87
-96
10
SEA
Carr did not complete a pass deeper than 8 yards downfield. Of course, he barely attempted any passes deeper than that. He only threw two passes that traveled any further, both incomplete, both with Oakland trailing by 20 points in the second half. In fact, 22 of his 31 passes were thrown to receivers within 2 (TWO!!!) yards of the line of scrimmage. He had four plays inside Seattle's 30-yard line: one incompletion and three sacks.
27.
Eli Manning NYG
24/43
281
0
1
4
-90
-90
0
PHI
Manning certainly had plenty of chances to get the Giants on the scoreboard. In the red zone, he went 2-of-11 for 15 yards and only one first down.
28.
Nathan Peterman BUF
6/12
61
1
2
0
-93
-92
0
HOU
Peterman has now thrown 30 passes this season. In those 30 passes, he has thrown four interceptions, which is more than Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, or Alex Smith.
29.
Marcus Mariota TEN
10/15
117
0
0
11
-101
-109
9
BAL
30.
Baker Mayfield CLE
22/46
238
1
2
5
-137
-137
0
LAC
Throwing to his wide receivers, Mayfield went 10-of-27 for 102 yards and only four first downs, with an interception. Throwing to the middle of the field, he went 4-of-10 for 30 yards with two first downs and an interception.
31.
Deshaun Watson HOU
15/25
177
1
2
7
-149
-151
2
BUF
In five plays wrapped around halftime, Watson had this sequence: sack-fumble, interception, incompletion, interception, sack. He had two more sack-fumbles in the second half. On third downs, he went 4-of-9 for 49 yards with one conversion, two interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble.


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.
Kareem Hunt KC
10
80
0
5/6
105
1
72
31
41
NE
Hunt's carries included gains of 31 and 22 yards, and just one stuff for no gain. His five catches produced three first downs, two of them third-down conversions, one of those a 67-yard touchdown.
2.
Melvin Gordon LAC
18
132
3
2/4
18
0
63
66
-3
CLE
Gordon ran for eight first downs against Cleveland, with six runs of 10 yards or more, while getting stuffed for no gain or a loss just twice.
3.
Saquon Barkley NYG
13
130
1
9/12
99
0
54
41
13
PHI
Last week, we noted that Barkley was a very rare sort of boom-or-bust player. Well, he was at it again against the Eagles, especially the boom. He had runs of 46 and 50 yards while being stuffed for no gain twice. He also had a 55-yard catch, but that was his only reception that gained more than 9 yards.
4.
Frank Gore MIA
15
101
0
1/1
18
0
53
45
9
CHI
Gore only had two first downs on the ground, but they came on gains of 11 and 32 yards. Eleven of his 15 carries gained 4 yards or more, while he was stuffed for no gain just once.
5.
Duke Johnson CLE
2
36
0
4/5
73
0
53
20
33
LAC
Johnson only had two runs and four catches, but all six of those plays gained at least 11 yards and a first down. That includes two third-down conversions and a 23-yard run on second-and-16.


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.
Melvin Gordon LAC
18
132
3
2/4
18
0
63
66
-3
CLE
2.
Todd Gurley LAR
28
208
2
2/5
17
0
37
46
-9
DEN
Seven of Gurley's runs gained at least 10 yards, and four gained at least 20 yards. He ran for 10 total first downs while being stuffed just one time.
3.
Frank Gore MIA
15
101
0
1/1
18
0
53
45
9
CHI
4.
Saquon Barkley NYG
13
130
1
9/12
99
0
54
41
13
PHI
5.
Marlon Mack IND
12
89
0
1/2
4
0
31
36
-5
NYJ
Seven of Mack's runs resulted in first downs, including gains of 11, 14, and 25 yards. He was stuffed just once.


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.
Wendell Smallwood PHI
18
51
0
1/2
0
0
-52
-39
-13
NYG
Smallwood did run for two first downs, but his longest run gained just 8 yards, He was stuffed three times, and he also fumbled on a run. His one catch was a zero-yard gain on third-and-4.


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.
Wendell Smallwood PHI
18
51
0
1/2
0
0
-52
-39
-13
NYG


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Marquise Goodwin SF
4
5
126
31.5
2
73
GB
Goodwin's totals include 72 DYAR receiving, 2 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 5 yards. (No, 72 + 2 does not = 73. It's actually 71.5 + 1.9 if you want to get technical about it.)
2.
Tyrell Williams LAC
3
4
118
39.3
2
67
CLE
Williams' totals include 71 DYAR receiving, -4 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 1 yard. His three catches: a gain of 44; a 45-yard touchdown; a 29-yard touchdown on third-and-6.
3.
Keenan Allen LAC
4
6
62
15.5
0
51
CLE
OK, this one's complicated. In addition to his receiving numbers, Allen had four runs for 41 yards. However, one of those "runs" was a failed trick play where Allen caught a backwards lateral, then threw a backwards lateral, which was fumbled and recovered by the Chargers. Officially that goes down as a run for zero yards and a fumble, but we count it as a passing play that lost 9 yards and a fumble. With that in mind: Allen had 21 DYAR receiving and 30 DYAR rushing. If you want to include the trick play, that was worth -33 DYAR passing, which would take him out of the top five. He would be replaced by Antonio Brown, who had 47 DYAR for his five catches in six targets for 105 yards and a touchdown.
4.
Tyreek Hill KC
7
12
142
20.3
3
48
NE
Hill's totals include 53 DYAR receiving, -5 DYAR rushing for his one carry for zero yards. His first eight targets didn't lead to much -- four catches, 52 yards, two first downs, ho-hum. And then his last four targets went like this: 14-yard touchdown, 1-yard touchdown, incompletion, 75-yard touchdown.
5.
Adam Thielen MIN
11
15
123
11.2
1
47
ARI
A quietly effective day. Thielen's longest catch gained only 17 yards and only seven of them produced first downs, but every one counted as an effective play.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jarvis Landry CLE
2
9
11
5.5
0
-63
LAC
Landry's two catches gained 4 yards on first-and-10 and 7 yards on second-and-10. In next-to-last place among receivers with -62.5 DYAR: Landry's teammate, Antonio Callaway, who had two catches for 9 yards in 10 targets.

Comments

56 comments, Last at 17 Oct 2018, 6:55pm

1 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by RobotBoy // Oct 16, 2018 - 4:10am

Brady did also scramble for a TD in the red zone. I'm guessing that detail was left out due writer error rather than a system feature. If the system did only count passing results than sacks would have to be excluded. Otherwise, the system wouldn't be able to adequately measure a game in which the QB was sacked three times in the red zone but also avoided five other potential red-zone sacks to rush for five TDs.
That 2007 McNabb sack fest is probably a testament to the Giants pass rush. I seem to remember that DL not having much of reputation before the playoff run. Of course, simple sack totals don't serve as a great measure for the quality of a defense but I wonder how many defenses on that list were actually great. Pittsburgh is the only team that made the list in back-to-back years.

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2 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Bright Blue Shorts // Oct 16, 2018 - 4:26am

Wasn't the 2007 McNabb sackfest the game where Osi recorded a Giants franchise six sacks. Absolutely beat up on one of the tackles who I seem to recall was the backup, not the usual starter.

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4 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by MC2 // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:06am

I believe Winston Justice was the tackle who kept getting abused by Osi.

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15 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by billprudden // Oct 16, 2018 - 10:37am

As each of us risks getting seduced by the KC Chiefs this year, remember who "coached" Phili's off game plan that night...

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19 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by BJR // Oct 16, 2018 - 11:24am

Obviously that game was an unmitigated disaster. But Reid's teams have often ranked towards the bottom of the league in sack rate allowed, whilst at the same time excelling at avoiding turnovers (with the exception of the Michael Vick fumbling years). That has to be down to coaching emphasis.

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33 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by billprudden // Oct 16, 2018 - 2:15pm

I meant the stubbornness / not responding to obvious data / inability to adjust on the fly aspects of it.

I happily accept the claim that, overall, he does a good job protecting QBs. I also think the evening was an example of Andy's ability to lose by coaching.

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45 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by MC2 // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:51pm

Yeah, Reid is definitely more of a deep thinker than a quick thinker. I can sympathize, because I'm the same way. Given enough time, I can come up with a good answer to almost any problem, but I often struggle with even simple problems if under pressure to give an answer very quickly. That's why I would probably be terrible on a quiz show.

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3 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Yu Narukami // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:05am

"It's funny, considering New England scored 43 points, but Brady had a really bad day in the red zone. Yes, he had a 17-yard touchdown to Julian Edelman, but his other five red zone plays resulted in three incompletions, a completion for a 1-yard loss, and a sack-fumble."

The sack-fumble was in the NE own red zone, but maybe that was already implied in the statement.

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8 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Otis Taylor89 // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:29am

He had two sack-fumbles, but recovered the one he lost in the red zone.

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9 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Yu Narukami // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:36am

Forgot that. Thanks.

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42 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by RobotBoy // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:57pm

What about the red-zone TD run?

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5 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:26am

The '86 Eagles had a guy named… Tony Toney?

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7 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:24am

Apparently, given Guido and Toney Squared, the FBI was using the Eagles roster for the Witness Protection Program in that era.

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21 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 16, 2018 - 11:53am

LOL Hiding in plain sight. Who knows who's under those giant shoulder pads.

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6 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by nat // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:17am

How big are the opponent adjustments for Mahomes and Brady?

That was a big game for offensive production, much of it passing.

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10 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Otis Taylor89 // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:39am

Of the 16 games D Watson plays this year, there are only 4 games (NYG,NE,WAS,DEN) where he plays teams not in the current top half of the leagues DEF DVOA.
So he's has his hands full...

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11 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:41am

Nathan Peterman isn't at the bottom? Astounding!

Actually, what's more astounding is that his opponent is at the bottom of the chart, and they STILL LOST THE GAME THANKS TO PETERMAN.

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12 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Thok // Oct 16, 2018 - 9:15am

DYAR is a counting stat, and Watson had roughly twice the passing attempts of Peterman. If he played the entire game, Peterman probably would be at the bottom of the list.

The more interesting question is why Peterman hasn't been replaced yet, especially since it can't really be a contract thing. I'm assuming he has compromising pictures of everybody in the Bills organization at this point.

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13 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Ambientdonkey // Oct 16, 2018 - 9:43am

Didn't they sign Derrick Anderson late last week? I'll miss Peterman tough, his interceptions are almost as fascinating as Bradford and Daniels' contracts.

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16 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Oct 16, 2018 - 10:48am

Agreed. A bad quarterback who's a threat to throw a pick six every possession is way more fun to watch than a bad quarterback who constantly throws dirtballs or takes a bunch sacks.

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17 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 16, 2018 - 11:04am

A bad quarterback who's a threat to throw a pick six every pass is way more fun to watch than a bad quarterback who constantly throws dirtballs or takes a bunch sacks.

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22 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:01pm

"I'm assuming he has compromising pictures of everybody in the Bills organization at this point."

How could they possibly be worse than the compromising pictures of Peterman in action?

To be honest, I feel bad about myself making fun of Peterman, even if I find it hard to resist doing so. The kid's been burdened with an idiot coaching staff, thrown into situations he's clearly not ready for, and likely not getting proper preparation for. There's no veteran QB on staff to learn from, no OL to protect him, no receivers getting separation for him.

I hope he's smart with his money and is saving his current paycheque. Whether or not he could ever have been an NFL QB in any circumstances, I don't know, but the Bills have pretty much guaranteed that this is his once and only chance at the pros.

Pretty sure I'll be writing that exact same line about Allen about two years from now.

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50 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Tom Tulpa // Oct 16, 2018 - 10:47pm

In regards to the burdens of Peterman, it's unlikely he received a great deal of tutelage from the University of Tennessee, either.

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52 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Oct 17, 2018 - 5:44am

And yet Peterman was Sean McDermott’s chosen week 1 starter.

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55 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by jtr // Oct 17, 2018 - 12:18pm

And last year, Tom "Strip-sack" Savage was the opening day starter for the Texans over Deshaun Watson. I'm starting to think that McDermott and O'Brien aren't very good coaches, if they can't figure out in an entire offseason what all of the fans already know.

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20 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Cythammer // Oct 16, 2018 - 11:42am

True, but they were actually trailing when he came in and he temporarily gave them a lead with a TD for their only non-FG score of the game. So they were losing without him anyway.

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14 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Boots Day // Oct 16, 2018 - 9:50am

Not even Duke Johnson's mother thinks Duke Johnson had a better day than Todd Gurley.

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24 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Arkaein // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:15pm

Yeah, rushing DYAR often mystifies me.

28 rushes for 208 yards with 46 rush DYAR implies that a replacement player would gain about 162 yards given carries in the same situation. That's nearly 5.8 yards per carry!

Assuming a replacement level RB that gained 4.0 yards per carry (which still seems a tad generous), the actual expected rush yards would be 112. Taking a simple difference would give rush DYAR of 94, which seems a lot more reasonable.

I know that there are other factors involved, and DYAR is built from DVOA which is designed in part to project future success, but it certainly seems to undersell strong rushing performances in favor of decent receiving games.

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26 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Travis // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:41pm

28 rushes for 208 yards with 46 rush DYAR implies that a replacement player would gain about 162 yards given carries in the same situation. That's nearly 5.8 yards per carry!

Excluding kneeldowns, the Broncos run defense is giving up an average of 5.84 yards per carry this year.

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27 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Arkaein // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:44pm

I hadn't realized it was that bad, but even still, that's average performance, not replacement level performance.

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28 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:49pm

Big opponent adjustments. Broncos D is only rated 20th in DVOA, so Rams offense all took big hits.

DVOA must have its reasons, but subjectively, the Broncos D is top 10 easily.

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46 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by MC2 // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:54pm

Well, they might be good against the pass, but they have been terrible against the run. Giving up 208 yards on 28 carries to Gurley is one thing. Giving up 216 yards on 15 carries to Isaiah Crowell, as they did last week, is something else altogether.

Incidentally, I wonder if a team has ever allowed 200-yard rushers in back-to-back games before?

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48 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Travis // Oct 16, 2018 - 8:43pm

Never happened before, but the Bills did allow two 200-yard rushers within three weeks in 2016.

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51 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by MC2 // Oct 17, 2018 - 1:43am

You know, when I was typing that question, I thought to myself, "I bet Travis will know the answer to this." You're like a walking football encyclopedia!

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30 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Oct 16, 2018 - 1:46pm

Yeah, it's hard to understand the value a "Y" represents, especially with rushing. My thinking is that rushing value is not symmetrical around the "successful play" cutoff point. That is, if four yards is successful on first and ten, getting only one yard is more negative than getting seven yards is positive.

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34 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Boots Day // Oct 16, 2018 - 2:45pm

My guess is that replacement level for rushing attempts is set much too high, such that any back with a relatively high number or rushing attempts is going to necessarily have several carries that detract from his DYAR. You often see someone with only six touches supposedly outperform someone with 30 touches that generate a lot more yardage overall, with the logical outcome being that those 24 extra touches generated below-replacement-level performance.

The problem is that a team is going to need to run about 60 plays in a game, and somebody's got to carry the ball. You can't let Duke Johnson handle the ball for six magnificent plays, then park him on the bench and assume you've got the game won.

It would be interesting to compare Gurley's six most valuable touches in the Broncos game to Johnson's six touches.

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36 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Oct 16, 2018 - 4:42pm

This is a really good point. I don't have any thoughts on how to model it from a value perspective, but it seems right.

A couple thoughts, initially:

Maybe the replacement value for RBs is just... relatively high? We often see backs getting their first start put up quality numbers, and we know teams don't value the position as highly as most other positions. If the market is fairly efficient, then that means a replacement RB is easier to find than a replacement WR.

Since, as you say, teams have to have a certain amount of rushing plays, it matters more from a variance perspective. Most teams don't rely on the running game to get consistent yardage when they need to, but they eat up larger chunks when they use it as a change of pace, it seems. In an era where it's easier than ever to convert third and long, maybe there is more value to RBs that are more effective at "high value" plays like 20-yard gains or touchdowns, and getting stuffed no longer hurts as much as it used to?

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37 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Oct 16, 2018 - 4:58pm

Where I think running back DYAR fails to capture context is in that very small subset of runningbacks who force opposing defenses to align primarily to stop the run, week in and week out, usually because the rb can score everytime he takes a handoff anywhere on the field. Prime Adrian Peterson was like that, and I'm convinced that is why Brett Favre had one of his best years at age 39, with so-so receiving. I know it is the only reason Christian Ponder looked like an NFL qb for a season. Gurley may be that kind of rb, and Barkley may get there, if they ever get anything resembling blocking for him.

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38 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:02pm

Consider the list of quarterback-like substances the Bears and Lions trotted out in the 80s and 90s, and realize Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Billy Sims had a lot to do with that.

\also Gale Sayers and 60s Bears

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41 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:30pm

I agree in general.

I wonder about Gurley, though - or, if he is truly a peak-Peterson/Sanders/Payton-level RB, how valuable that is or would be in the modern NFL. A good summary I read of the Broncos/Rams game was that the Broncos basically sold out to stop the Rams' passing game, which has been so deadly, and essentially "let Gurley get his". And the Broncos arguably held the Rams' offense in check more than any other team has this year.

(That summary could be wildly wrong; I didn't see the game.)

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43 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Oct 16, 2018 - 6:38pm

I didn't see it either, so I don't know. I do know the last time I saw a defense, when Peterson was in his prime, primarily play the Vikings with 7 in the box, was the Chargers in 2007. He ran for 296 yards, without visible difficulty. Brooks Bollinger was the Vikings qb, iirc.

Yes, Ted Cottrell was the dumbest bastard to ever coach an NFL defemse.

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49 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 16, 2018 - 9:11pm

Once you let Sanders out of the backfield, he was basically a kick returner. You were hoping to catch him from behind.

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18 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 16, 2018 - 11:05am

Another weird bit on the sacks list.

Pittsburgh shows up three times as the sacking team. Those games represent the 1st, 2nd, and 4th highest DYARs by the opposing QB. They were good at sacks, but bad at the other parts of pass defense.

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23 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:05pm

Blitz happy?

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25 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Pat // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:36pm

"Fortunately, Mike Tanier is a brilliant writer, and he recapped this team in great detail back in 2006."

Damnit, that was when Mike was in full-on depressed Eagles fan mode, just a year after Life Long Lessons in Losing and the Adaptation parody (which started him here). Eagles won the Super Bowl last year, I'm supposed to be able to *forget* this stuff now. Sigh. Plus I miss Mike.

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29 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Oct 16, 2018 - 12:54pm

I had forgotten Marion Campbell had coached the Eagles in the mid-80's. It's amazing how many chances he was given to prove that he was a bad head coach.

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31 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by theslothook // Oct 16, 2018 - 1:55pm

I remember that 12 sack McNabb game. Winston Justice was an ok left tackle for his career, but he had an epic meltdown and that game served as a prime example of what happens to a quarterback when he has no faith in his Blind Side protection.

I should start calling such games as roc alexander moments.

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39 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Alex51 // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:14pm

In fairness, Justice was a backup starting his first game (Tra Thomas was out with a knee injury). And it's hard to overstate just how bad the situation was for him. He was going up against one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, on a team that also had Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck on the defensive line. This was a defense that would've ended the season tied for 5th in the NFL in sacks even if you took out all 12 from that game. The same defense that sacked Brady 5 times in the Super Bowl. Certainly, Justice didn't have a good game, but under the circumstances, it would've been a miracle if he had.

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53 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by BJR // Oct 17, 2018 - 7:14am

It's a great credit to Justice that after that experience (in his first start, in prime-time, after which he was ridiculed by all and sundry) he went on to survive in the league for several more years, as a decent player.

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54 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 17, 2018 - 8:23am

So you're saying (removes sunglasses), justice was served?

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32 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Bobman // Oct 16, 2018 - 1:58pm

I always thought Peterman hit his peak on Seinfeld.

Which is why I hope he starts against the shadow of the Colts this week (Mr. Pitt would be fine with me as a starter, too), and whoever else Indy signs as an injury replacement in the next couple days.
It's funny, Chris Ballard got some criticism for not signing many FAs and instead focusing 99% on the draft despite a spotty roster and a ton of cap space, so with all the injuries (including some to his rookies) he's had to sign a bunch of... FAs to fill out the roster.
Okay, not so funny.

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35 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Oct 16, 2018 - 3:54pm

Brady did also scramble for a TD in the red zone. I'm guessing that detail was left out due writer error rather than a system feature.

Yes. I was only checking his passing data, not his rushing data. That play is accounted for in his rushing DYAR.

How big are the opponent adjustments for Mahomes and Brady?

Negligible. Less than 5 DYAR for either. Kansas City's RUSH defense has been abysmal this year, but their pass defense has been OK.

Not even Duke Johnson's mother thinks Duke Johnson had a better day than Todd Gurley.

Well, as a runner, he didn't. It's not close, Gurley more than doubled him. But Johnson had a big day as a receiver, whereas Gurley's five targets resulted in one first down and four failed plays.

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40 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Oct 16, 2018 - 5:26pm

"Well, as a runner, he didn't. It's not close, Gurley more than doubled him. But Johnson had a big day as a receiver, whereas Gurley's five targets resulted in one first down and four failed plays."

To me, this just shows how much more effective the passing game is at generating value in the NFL. It's actually why I've suggested before that I'd rather see "Top Five Receiving DYAR" and "Top Five Rushing DYAR" than having it broken out into RBs and WR+TEs.

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47 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by MC2 // Oct 16, 2018 - 8:08pm

That's a good point about the relative effectiveness of running vs. passing, but I also think part of the problem is that, if I understand it correctly, DVOA/DYAR uses different baselines for RB receiving than for WR/TE receiving.

There are some teams that basically only throw it to the RB as a last resort, e.g. when the pass rush is bearing down and nobody else is open. That results in RBs having lots of games with, say, 5 catches for 20 yards, which drives down the baseline for RB receiving. So, when a RB has, say, 5 catches for 40 yards, DYAR sees that as a "good" game, and when a RB has 5 catches for 80 yards, DYAR sees that as a "monster" game. Meanwhile, DYAR is not nearly as impressed with those same numbers from a WR, or even a TE.

I think the issue of DYAR overrating pass-catching backs (like Johnson) might go away if they used the same baselines for RBs they use for WRs/TEs.

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44 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by Steve in WI // Oct 16, 2018 - 7:24pm

I would not have said that Trubisky was the 3rd best QB this week, but I’m happy to be wrong.

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56 Re: Week 6 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonReigns // Oct 17, 2018 - 6:55pm

It used to be you were a game manager if you took a lot of sacks.
At least it won't effect his rushing yards like it does in college.
Maybe coach Vrabel was hoping for one of those penalties where if you have disturbing thoughts before hitting the QB, it's an automatic enema after the play.

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