Quick Reads

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

Week 9 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

If you're reading this website, you're probably already aware that Nathan Peterman had a terrible day against the Chicago Bears, the latest of a string of terrible days in his brief career. If Peterman's struggles against Chicago are news to you, you can thank the Bears' social media team for sharing some of the young quarterback's worst plays:

If you're keeping score (and considering the nature of this particular column, there is a very good chance that you are), that's three interceptions for Peterman in 49 passes this weekend -- and as a result of this performance, Peterman's career and single-season interception rates both went DOWN. After all, this is the same man who threw two interceptions in 18 passes in Week 1 against Buffalo, and two more in 12 passes in Week 6 against Houston, and five in 14 passes in Week 10 against San Diego last year (as documented in Quick Reads at the time). In only 81 passes this season, Peterman has thrown seven interceptions. That's more than a dozen different full-time starters. In just a year and a half, Peterman has thrown 130 passes, and a dozen of them have been intercepted. He has thrown more picks since 2017 than either Drew Brees (nine) or Alex Smith (eight), who have started 47 games between them.

None of this is good news, but let's play devil's advocate for a moment. What if Nathan Peterman is actually a typical quarterback who is just suffering a once-in-a-lifetime streak of bad luck? As you can see in the above Tweets, two of his interceptions against Chicago were the tip-drill variety; one hit Terrelle Pryor in the hands and should have been caught. That's not the first time fortune has frowned on Peterman -- the first interception of his career hit a wide open receiver in the hands with nary a defender in sight, only to be tipped high and behind the target and into the grasp of then-Chargers linebacker Korey Toomer.

"I never feel like a victim or anything like that," Peterman said after the Bears loss. "It's football, it's life. Things don't always bounce your way. I mean, that ball's not round and it bounces all different ways. Obviously, we had some bad breaks and things didn't go our way. We got beat. But we still fought until the end and that's what we're always going to do here."

Under the circumstances, that's probably the best thing Peterman could have said, but what if he's wrong -- what if he is a victim? What are the chances that an average quarterback would throw as many interceptions as Peterman has?

We can answer that question by examining the binomial distribution of interceptions in the NFL. In plain English, binomial distribution measures the odds that a certain event will occur in a certain number of trials, given the known odds of that occurrence happening in any one trial. In the NFL, for example, players have thrown 9,160 interceptions in 318,143 passes this century, a rate of 2.879 percent. (We're being kind to Peterman using these numbers, because the league's interception rate has been dropping in recent seasons.) At that rate, an average passer would have just an 0.89 percent chance of matching Peterman's interception rate this season. That's the lowest such rate for any player who has thrown an interception in 2018:

Odds of Average QB Matching INTs, 2018
Name Team Att INT INT% +/- Odds
Nathan Peterman BUF 81 7 8.64% 4.7 0.89%
Jameis Winston TB 148 10 6.76% 5.7 1.10%
Sam Darnold NYJ 289 14 4.84% 5.7 4.22%
Derek Anderson BUF 70 4 5.71% 2.0 14.30%
Matt Cassel DET 6 1 16.67% 0.8 16.08%
DeShone Kizer GB 7 1 14.29% 0.8 18.49%
Sam Bradford ARI 80 4 5.00% 1.7 19.92%
C.J. Beathard SF
169 7 4.14% 2.1 21.61%
Ryan Fitzpatrick TB 184 7 3.80% 1.7 28.09%
Ryan Tannehill MIA 129 5 3.88% 1.3 31.47%
Josh Rosen ARI 169 6 3.55% 1.1 36.02%
Josh Allen BUF 139 5 3.60% 1.0 37.16%
Marcus Mariota TEN 150 5 3.33% 0.7 43.41%
Jimmy Garoppolo SF 89 3 3.37% 0.4 47.42%
Case Keenum DEN 330 10 3.03% 0.5 47.93%
Derek Carr OAK 283 8 2.83% -0.1 56.98%
Cody Kessler JAX 30 1 3.33% 0.1 58.37%
Blake Bortles JAX 290 8 2.76% -0.3 59.73%
Andy Dalton CIN 292 8 2.74% -0.4 60.50%
Mitchell Trubisky CHI 260 7 2.69% -0.5 62.29%
Baker Mayfield CLE 265 7 2.64% -0.6 64.25%
Tyrod Taylor CLE 85 2 2.35% -0.4 70.62%
Deshaun Watson HOU 285 7 2.46% -1.2 71.48%
Blaine Gabbert TEN 45 1 2.22% -0.3 73.14%
Russell Wilson SEA 221 5 2.26% -1.4 76.47%
Andrew Luck IND 342 8 2.34% -1.8 76.96%
Brock Osweiler MIA 141 3 2.13% -1.1 77.48%
Patrick Mahomes KC 317 7 2.21% -2.1 80.85%
Tom Brady NE 330 7 2.12% -2.5 83.90%
Matthew Stafford DET 289 6 2.08% -2.3 84.03%
Dak Prescott DAL 206 4 1.94% -1.9 84.65%
Jared Goff LAR 293 6 2.05% -2.4 84.94%
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 344 7 2.03% -2.9 86.74%
Eli Manning NYG 315 6 1.90% -3.1 89.19%
Nick Foles PHI 82 1 1.22% -1.4 90.89%
Cam Newton CAR 263 4 1.52% -3.6 94.61%
Joe Flacco BAL 379 6 1.58% -4.9 96.25%
Philip Rivers LAC 246 3 1.22% -4.1 97.37%
Kirk Cousins MIN 363 5 1.38% -5.5 97.95%
Alex Smith WAS 274 3 1.09% -4.9 98.60%
Carson Wentz PHI 225 2 0.89% -4.5 98.93%
Matt Ryan ATL 301 3 1.00% -5.7 99.25%
Drew Brees NO 279 1 0.36% -7.0 99.97%
Aaron Rodgers GB 327 1 0.31% -8.4 99.99%
+/-: Interceptions above or below expected based on 2000-2018 average rate.
Odds: Odds that an average quarterback would throw at least as many interceptions as this quarterback.

(Technical note: If you're looking to replicate these results, they are actually based on each quarterback's non-interception rate, which does a better job handling passers with just a handful of attempts.)

This method shows just how miserable Peterman's numbers have been. Sam Darnold and Jameis Winston have both thrown more interceptions than him, but on many more passes. Matt Cassel and DeShone Kizer have higher interception rates, but on tiny sample sizes -- it's not that unlikely that your typical signal-caller would match their results. But Peterman? There's barely any chance that his ranking is simply due to misfortune.

At the other end of the table we have Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, who has thrown just one interception in 327 passes. There's a 99.99 percent chance that an average quarterback would have thrown more interceptions than that on so many attempts.

That's just one season, though, and one where passing totals and efficiency have reached unprecedented levels at that. What if we look at the long term? We checked the numbers for every player who has thrown at least one interception since 2000. (Stephen McGee, a backup for the Cowboys in 2010 and 2011, had 82 total passes without throwing an interception, most of anyone in that timespan.) Our hypothetical average passer would have just an 0.04 percent chance of matching Peterman's career interception total. That's the worst such mark for any player in the last 18 years.

Lowest Odds of Average QB Matching INTs, 2000-2018
Name Att INT INT% +/- Odds
Nathan Peterman 130 12 9.23% 8.3 0.04%
Matt Barkley 266 18 6.77% 10.3 0.08%
Mike Green 2 2 100.00% 1.9 0.08%
Jon Kitna 3730 139 3.73% 31.6 0.17%
Caleb Hanie 116 10 8.62% 6.7 0.20%
Sage Rosenfels 562 29 5.16% 12.8 0.22%
Trent Dilfer 1134 49 4.32% 16.3 0.40%
Keyshawn Johnson 4 2 50.00% 1.9 0.48%
Tim Couch 1315 54 4.11% 16.1 0.70%
Keith Null 119 9 7.56% 5.6 0.77%
Mark Sanchez 2285 86 3.76% 20.2 0.87%
Ryan Leaf 410 21 5.12% 9.2 0.88%
Jay Fiedler 1616 63 3.90% 16.5 1.12%
Ty Detmer 151 10 6.62% 5.7 1.25%
Gus Frerotte 1396 55 3.94% 14.8 1.40%
DeShone Kizer 483 23 4.76% 9.1 1.43%
Marques Tuiasosopo 90 7 7.78% 4.4 1.54%
Henry Burris 51 5 9.80% 3.5 1.55%
Derek Anderson 1674 64 3.82% 15.8 1.55%
Chris Chandler 1111 45 4.05% 13.0 1.58%
Brian Brohm 52 5 9.62% 3.5 1.68%
Rex Grossman 1562 60 3.84% 15.0 1.70%
Brett Favre* 5818 195 3.35% 27.5 1.89%
Clint Stoerner 54 5 9.26% 3.4 1.95%
Vince Young 1304 51 3.91% 13.5 1.95%
Troy Aikman* 262 14 5.34% 6.5 2.08%
Charlie Frye 677 29 4.28% 9.5 2.42%
Max Hall 78 6 7.69% 3.8 2.51%
Vinny Testaverde 2088 76 3.64% 15.9 2.52%
Scott Tolzien 146 9 6.16% 4.8 2.61%
+/-: Interceptions above or below expected based on 2000-2018 average rate.
Odds: Odds that an average quarterback would throw at least as many interceptions as this quarterback.

Right now, most of you are probably wondering who the hell Mike Green was. A fullback for the Titans, Green had 36 runs, 19 catches, and 263 yards from scrimmage from 2001 to 2002. He also threw two passes, both of which were intercepted. By this methodology, that's a more likely result for an average passer than what Peterman has done.

This table includes many of the NFL's most notorious draft busts. Tim Couch! Mark Sanchez! Ryan Leaf! Not every quarterback here was terrible, though. Trent Dilfer, Brett Favre, and Troy Aikman won Super Bowls; Chris Chandler and Rex Grossman lost them. Jon Kitna and Vinny Testaverde enjoyed long, productive careers. (Also, most of these names played a lot before the year 2000. For example, this study only includes Aikman's final season, when he threw 14 interceptions in 262 passes.) Derek Anderson also appears on the list, so at least Peterman will have some company in the Buffalo locker room.

And now, the other end of the spectrum.

Highest Odds of Average QB Matching INTs, 2000-2018
Name Att INT INT% +/- Odds
Cody Kessler 248 4 1.61% -3.1 92.81%
David Garrard 2281 54 2.37% -11.7 93.99%
Jason Campbell 2518 60 2.38% -12.5 94.28%
Robert Griffin 1210 26 2.15% -8.8 95.11%
Jared Goff 975 20 2.05% -8.1 95.57%
Brian Hoyer 1410 30 2.13% -10.6 96.63%
Philip Rivers 6738 169 2.51% -25.0 97.05%
Mark Brunell 2480 56 2.26% -15.4 97.54%
Peyton Manning 8272 208 2.51% -30.2 97.98%
Nick Foles 1468 30 2.04% -12.3 98.12%
Matthew Stafford 5139 124 2.41% -24.0 98.15%
Joe Flacco 5670 136 2.40% -27.3 98.80%
Jim Sorgi 156 1 0.64% -3.5 98.95%
Dak Prescott 1155 21 1.82% -12.3 99.14%
Kent Graham 167 1 0.60% -3.8 99.24%
Jacoby Brissett 525 7 1.33% -8.1 99.35%
Carson Wentz 1272 23 1.81% -13.6 99.41%
Jeff Garcia 3301 72 2.18% -23.0 99.45%
Derek Carr 2530 52 2.06% -20.8 99.60%
Sam Bradford 2967 61 2.06% -24.4 99.79%
Rich Gannon 1933 36 1.86% -19.7 99.82%
Drew Brees 9573 229 2.39% -46.6 99.84%
Colin Kaepernick 1692 30 1.77% -18.7 99.86%
Russell Wilson 3055 61 2.00% -27.0 99.91%
Matt Ryan 5894 129 2.19% -40.7 99.96%
Donovan McNabb 5158 110 2.13% -38.5 99.97%
Tyrod Taylor 1356 20 1.47% -19.0 99.97%
Alex Smith 4887 99 2.03% -41.7 99.99%
Tom Brady 9135 167 1.83% -96.0 100.00%
Aaron Rodgers 5222 79 1.51% -71.4 100.00%
+/-: Interceptions above or below expected based on 2000-2018 average rate.
Odds: Odds that an average quarterback would throw at least as many interceptions as this quarterback.

Most of the great quarterbacks of the last 20 years appear here. There are some surprises -- Jacoby Brissett, Kent Graham, Jim Sorgi, Cody Kessler -- but for all those guys have done wrong in their careers, they have been very good at ball security.

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, as you might expect, are in a league of their own here. The odds of an average passer throwing more interceptions than them are not quite at 100 percent, but we would have to show eight or nine decimal places here before the zeroes would be replaced by nines. We can get a clearer picture by switching the numbers -- an average quarterback would have a 1-in-18,668,853,850 chance of throwing as many passes as Brady with so few interceptions. For Rodgers, the odds would be 1-in-28,262,047,281.

So what does all this say about Peterman? Yes, he has been the victim of some bad luck, but all quarterbacks suffer from bad luck once in a while. Even in limited action, his turnover rate has been so high that it goes way beyond random chance -- and unlike the Favres of the NFL, he hasn't made enough good plays to justify it. Peterman's game against Chicago ended not with an interception, but with a fourth-down sack as Buffalo trailed by 32 points. In a perfect world, that would be the last time we ever see him on an NFL field.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Patrick Mahomes KC
23/31
375
3
1
2
258
254
4
CLE
Mahomes threw ten passes against Cleveland that traveled at least 10 yards downfield. One was intercepted, though that was a Hail Mary on the last play of the first half, and we count it as an incompletion. Each of the other nine was completed, for a total of 179 yards.
2.
Drew Brees NO
25/36
346
4
0
0
222
215
7
LAR
Brees did not do well on very short passes or on very deep passes, but in between he was lethal. On throws that traveled 5 to 24 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, he went 14-of-18 for 257 yards. Each of those completions resulted in a first down, including three touchdowns. A 19th throw resulted in a DPI and 7 more yards.
3.
Matt Ryan ATL
26/38
350
4
1
2
175
175
0
WAS
Ryan's four touchdown passes gained a total of 124 yards -- 3 yards through the air, and 121 yards after the catch.
4.
Deshaun Watson HOU
17/24
213
2
0
4
107
111
-4
DEN
Watson, like Ryan, got some good results on short passes where his receivers made plays with the ball in their hands. He completed each of his eight passes to receivers within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage for a total of 111 yards and six first downs.
5.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
28/47
270
2
0
1
102
94
9
BAL
Roethlisberger had a ton of opportunities on third down and usually got just enough yards to convert. He went 8-of-12 for only 65 yards, but every one of those completions resulted in a first down. He also had a 6-yard completion on fourth-and-1.
6.
Philip Rivers LAC
13/26
228
2
0
2
95
95
0
SEA
Rivers did much better throwing to his left (6-of-8, 101 yards, two touchdowns) than to his right (1-of-5, 13 yards).
7.
Nick Mullens SF
16/22
262
3
0
0
87
101
-13
OAK
We are now nine full weeks into the season, and somebody named Nick Mullens has thrown as many touchdown passes in one game as the Buffalo Bills have all year (unless you count pick-sixes, of course). Mullens was most effective up the middle against Oakland, going 6-of-7 for 163 yards and a touchdown.
8.
Jared Goff LAR
28/40
391
3
1
0
76
73
4
NO
Where Goff was good: Rams territory (18-of-20, 294 yards, 13 first downs, one interception). Where Goff struggled: Saints territory (10-of-20, 97 yards, four first downs).
9.
Marcus Mariota TEN
21/29
240
2
0
4
73
50
23
DAL
10.
Baker Mayfield CLE
29/42
297
2
1
2
59
59
0
KC
Most of Mayfield's good plays came on throws to his running backs: 10-of-11 for 83 yards and six first downs, including two scores. Yes, this is a spoiler for the top running backs table.
11.
Tom Brady NE
22/35
294
1
0
2
55
54
2
GB
You won't find too many games where Brady struggled this badly inside the red zone: 2-of-8 for 9 yards and no first downs, let alone touchdowns. The only first down he picked up inside the Green Bay 20 was on a DPI, and even that came on an 8-yard throw on third-and-9.
12.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
12/20
135
1
1
1
50
48
2
BUF
Trubisky's biggest plays in this game weren't even official pass attempts -- he benefited from two DPI calls that gained 43 and 47 yards. He only had five other first downs all day.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Case Keenum DEN
26/42
290
1
0
2
48
48
0
HOU
With Demaryius Thomas traded, Keenum leaned heavily on his tight ends, going 11-of-12 for 127 yards and seven first downs, including a touchdown. Most of those throws were to Jeff Heuerman, but Matt LaCosse chipped in with a 44-yard gain.
14.
Cam Newton CAR
20/25
247
2
0
2
45
48
-3
TB
Newton's sweet spot came on throws that traveled 10 to 19 yards downfield, where he went 7-of-8 for 125 yards. All seven of those completions gained first downs, including two touchdowns.
15.
Ryan Fitzpatrick TB
24/40
243
4
2
3
26
26
0
CAR
Fitzpatrick was nearly automatic in short yardage. With 6 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 8-of-10 for 63 yards. All eight of those completions picked up first downs, including three touchdowns.
16.
Joe Flacco BAL
23/37
205
0
0
2
24
24
0
PIT
In a game the Ravens lost by seven points, here is what Flacco did on four different trips inside the red zone: 1-of-6 for -1 yard (as in, he went backwards 3 feet). To be fair, a seventh throw resulted in a 16-yard DPI on third-and-10.
17.
Russell Wilson SEA
26/37
235
2
1
4
15
0
15
LAC
On third downs, Wilson completed six of 10 passes for 53 yards, but only one conversion. It didn't help that four of those plays came with 13 yards or more to go for a first down. His two fourth-down plays resulted in a 6-yard touchdown and a 19-yard DPI on fourth-and-2.
18.
Alex Smith WAS
30/46
306
1
1
3
13
6
8
ATL
Smith fared well enough throwing to his left or up the middle, but struggled on throws to his right: 6-of-11 for 44 yards with as many first downs (one) as interceptions.
19.
Aaron Rodgers GB
24/43
259
2
0
1
7
38
-31
NE
Somehow, in all those passes, only two of Rodgers' throws went up the middle. One was a 51-yard gain on third-and-6; the other was an 8-yard gain on third-and-8. So ... why didn't he throw more passes up the middle?
20.
Dak Prescott DAL
21/31
243
2
1
5
-15
-20
6
TEN
21.
Brock Osweiler MIA
15/24
139
0
0
4
-26
-23
-2
NYJ
Osweiler did not throw for a first down in the last 24 minutes of this game. In that stretch, he went 3-of-6 for 19 yards with two sacks.
22.
Kirk Cousins MIN
18/22
164
1
1
1
-29
-12
-17
DET
Cousins was very conservative in this game. Only four of his passes traveled even 10 yards downfield. One of those was intercepted, so maybe he was smart to stick with the short stuff.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Derek Carr OAK
16/21
171
0
0
7
-58
-54
-4
SF
Carr had four plays inside the San Francisco 40: an incompletion on second-and-22; a 6-yard gain on third-and-22; and sacks on third-and-9 and first-and-10. On third downs, he went 5-of-6 for 50 yards, which sounds great, but only two of those completions picked up first downs. Meanwhile, he was sacked three times and fumbled once.
24.
Matthew Stafford DET
25/36
199
0
0
10
-62
-53
-9
MIN
Somehow, the number "10" in the sacks column there doesn't do enough to emphasize how consistent the pressure on Stafford was in this game. In one stretch over the second and third quarters, he was sacked eight times in 17 dropbacks. When he did find time to throw in there, he went 6-of-9 for 55 yards and only two first downs. Andrew Luck, by the way, has only been sacked ten times all year.
25.
Nathan Peterman BUF
32/49
189
0
3
4
-165
-185
21
CHI
Peterman is now second-worst in passing DYAR this season behind teammate Josh Allen; their other teammate Derek Anderson is also in the bottom six. Peterman is a limited quarterback, and he knows he is a limited quarterback. He only threw four deep passes this entire game, and the first one didn't come until the Bills had a fourth-and-9 while down by 28 points late in the third quarter. He often found himself playing poorly in long yardage: with more than 10 yards to go, he went 4-of-8 for 20 yards with one first down, one intentional grounding, one interception, and three sacks.
26.
Sam Darnold NYJ
21/39
229
0
4
4
-185
-185
0
MIA
In Miami territory, Darnold went 3-of-8 for 27 yards with one first down, one interception, and one sack. On third and fourth downs, he went 5-of-11 for 39 yards with one first down, one sack, and two interceptions. On throws to his right, he went 8-of-16 for 55 yards with three first downs and all four interceptions.


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.
James Conner PIT
24
107
0
7/9
56
1
78
35
43
BAL
Despite tremendous volume stats, Conner's DYAR numbers have been mediocre this season -- before this week, obviously. This seems like as good a place as any to explain why. In short, a big chunk of Conner's yardage have come on a handful of long runs, and DYAR gives diminishing value to long runs once they cross 20 yards or so. His three fumbles haven't helped either. This week, though, Conner ran for seven first downs against Baltimore, including gains of 12 and 25 yards, while being stuffed three times. Each of his catches gained at least 4 yards and three gained first downs, including a 7-yard touchdown on third-and-5. He also gains a massive boost from opponent adjustments -- without them, he would not have made the top five.
2.
Tevin Coleman ATL
13
88
0
5/7
68
2
66
22
44
WAS
All of Coleman's runs gained at least 2 yards, four gained first downs, and three gained 11 yards or more. His biggest catches were touchdowns of 10 and 39 yards. He also had an 8-yard gain on third-and-6.
3.
Duke Johnson CLE
1
8
0
9/9
78
2
56
3
53
KC
Johnson's catches gained -5 yards through the air, 83 yards after the catch. He had 5- and 19-yard touchdowns, and a 23-yard gain on fourth-and-2.
4.
Kareem Hunt KC
17
91
2
1/2
50
1
51
25
26
CLE
Hunt, unlike Conner, took a massive hit from opponent adjustments. He had eight first downs on the ground, including five runs of 10 yards or more, while getting stuffed five times.
5.
Dion Lewis TEN
19
62
0
4/4
60
1
48
16
32
DAL


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.
Todd Gurley LAR
13
68
1
6/7
11
0
15
42
-27
NO
Five first downs on the ground, including gains of 14 and 24 yards, while being stuffed five times. He also gets a huge bump from opponent adjustments, which seems to be a theme amongst running backs this week.
2.
James Conner PIT
24
107
0
7/9
56
1
78
35
43
BAL
3.
Melvin Gordon LAC
16
113
1
1/4
10
0
26
32
-6
SEA
Gordon ran for four first downs against Seattle, on gains of 14, 20, 21, and 34 yards. He was stuffed five times.
4.
Kareem Hunt KC
17
91
2
1/2
50
1
51
25
26
CLE
5.
Alex Collins BAL
9
35
1
1/1
4
0
28
24
4
PIT
Collins' longest run gained only 9 yards, he had just three first downs, and he was stuffed once, but he gets extra credit for a goal-line touchdown and a conversion on third-and-2.


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.
Mark Ingram NO
9
33
0
1/2
3
0
-34
-24
-10
LAR
Ingram ran for just one first down, a gain of 12 yards, while he was stuffed twice and fumbled once. His two targets came on third down, and both failed to pick up first downs.


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.
Nick Chubb CLE
22
85
1
1/1
5
0
-30
-30
1
KC
To wrap up the running backs section, let's say that yes, Chubb takes a massive hit due to opponent adjustments. He actually had 11 rushing YAR without them. He had six first downs, including three runs of 11 yards or more, while being stuffed five times. He also failed to convert on first-and-3 and fourth-and-1.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Michael Thomas NO
12
15
211
17.6
1
69
LAR
Week after week this season, Thomas has had good games, but missed out on the top five. He was seventh in Week 1, sixth in Week 3, 18th in Week 5, and 11th in Week 7. He has had at least 23 DYAR every single week. And yet, no appearance in Quick Reads, which has caused no small amount of consternation among Saints fans this season, believe you me. Well, Thomas is No. 1 in receiving DYAR this week, and now he's No. 1 for the entire season to boot. Eleven of his 12 catches against the Rams produced first downs, including an 18-yard gain on third-and-10 and a 72-yard touchdown on third-and-7. He also had a 7-yard DPI.
2.
Adam Humphries TB
8
8
82
10.2
2
65
CAR
Humphries' totals include 60 DYAR receiving, 6 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 7 yards. Six of his eight catches produced first downs; the others were a 5-yard gain on second-and-7 and a 4-yard gain on first-and-10. His touchdowns covered 5 and 30 yards.
3.
Julio Jones ATL
7
10
121
17.3
1
61
WAS
Five of Jones' catches produced first downs, including a 35-yard touchdown. He also drew a 47-yard DPI.
4.
Travis Kelce KC
7
9
99
14.1
2
55
CLE
Six of Kelce's catches gained at least 11 yards and a first down. He also drew a 4-yard DPI.
5.
DeAndre Hopkins HOU
10
12
105
10.5
1
44
DEN
Nine of Hopkins' ten catches were successful plays. Five gained first downs; four of those gained 15 yards or more, and the other was a third-down conversion.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Mike Evans TB
1
10
16
16.0
0
-46
CAR
I mean, the one catch picked up a first down, so that's something.

Comments

57 comments, Last at 08 Nov 2018, 6:26pm

1 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Raiderfan // Nov 06, 2018 - 7:14am

How did AR12 get -31 rushing DYAR? I do not remember any spectacular failures rushing—of course it GB vs NE so I was paying less than complete attention.

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2 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Yu Narukami // Nov 06, 2018 - 7:52am

Fumble around midfield (OOB) at the end of 1st half, with plenty of time to finish the drive.

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3 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Nov 06, 2018 - 9:37am

Darnold was WORSE than Petermanat passing? How is that possible?

Also, negative rushing DYAR with a rushing touchdown is pretty impressive.

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7 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 10:27am

They were tied at passing. Peterman had extra value from rushes.

Also: opponent adjustments. Peterman played Chicago.

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30 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by D // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:45pm

Worth noting that 20 yards or so of Peterman's rushing total came in one run at the end of the first half when he was suppose to throw a Hail Mary but instead scrambled and came no where near the end zone.

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4 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by panthersnbraves // Nov 06, 2018 - 9:50am

Cam Newton's 4 Interceptions - 1 hit CJ Anderson in the chest in the middle of the field - popped up. 2 were cases where Rookie TE Ian Thomas stopped his route and Cam threw the ball expecting him to continue. The last was against Washington. Devin Funchess had 2 steps on Josh Norman but as Cam is launching the ball, the pocket gets shoved into him, and instead of a huge gain/TD, it turns into an "arm punt."

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5 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by WeaponX // Nov 06, 2018 - 9:57am

Also, that Norman pick was on 3rd and 17.

Sometimes I even trip myself out.

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9 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 06, 2018 - 10:48am

If baseball can have scorekeepers, so we can have better understanding of, of pitching and hitting performance (can you imagine baseball metrics without the "earned run" or if a two base error was scored as a double?) the NFL ought to be able to have knowledgeable people giving rulings on "earned interceptions", and like basebal rulings they could be changed, for football, after the game, as more data became available. Would it be perfect? Of course not, but it would be better than treating an obvious drop turned into an int the same as an obvious bad pass, in the context of ints being rightly treated as hugely negative plays. I used to have confidence that this stuff evened out in the course of a 600 pass attempt season, but I no longer do. Makes me think that the metrics, even the best metrics, we are using to rank qbs are giving us some significant misimpressions.

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23 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by CorneliusBrutus // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:08pm

The only ints you could waive off as unearned would be the obvious tip-drill ones, which are probably relatively rare. It would be very difficult to tell for certain if a player picked the wrong read on their option route, or caused an int due to poor effort (the Kelvin Benjamin Special). Some people do track other more subjective metrics for measuring performance: for example, Seth Keysor at The Athletic has a whole suite of QB statistics to chart, including "interceptable passes" to track how many passes could have been intercepted.

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28 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by RevBackjoy // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:26pm

Not all tip-drills are the same. Some are terrible passes into double coverage that get batted up by the defenders, while others are perfectly good throws that bounce off receivers' hands.

I think future technology improvements will make measuring "read selection accuracy" feasible someday, but for now, yes, it's very hard. Maybe a machine learning algorithm that determines pre-throw how "open" a guy is (i.e. what % of average QB passes would hit said receiver). So if a QB has a guy "70% open", but throws instead to a "50% open" guy, he'll be penalized for choosing a sub-standard option. This, combined with Next Gen Stats' Completion Probability, would give much better insight into QB execution and decision-making, while helping to mitigate the effect of random bounces/drops.

FO alum Cian Fahey has also done a lot of work in this area, with his Pre-Snap Reads. His rankings can be a bit wacky (http://presnapreads.com/2018/03/25/quarterback-tiers-and-rankings-based-...), but it seems that each year, there are guys who get extremely lucky (Keenum) or unlucky (Mariota) on interceptable passes, which unfairly skews common perception of them.

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34 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 4:37pm

Sure, but if the goal was simply to throw to the most-open man, every offense would look like a Haley offense and every WR would look like Tavon Austin.

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39 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Noah Arkadia // Nov 06, 2018 - 9:01pm

What about read progression? If the most open man is your last read that's harder to get to than if it's your first or second. We'd need true AI to assign numbers that are truly reflective of performance.

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44 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 07, 2018 - 2:22am

An AI that's privvy to the playcall, intended read progression, and any other options that depend on what the defense is doing.

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42 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Jerry // Nov 07, 2018 - 12:05am

To reiterate what others are saying, a 70% open receiver from the broadcast feed may not be obvious to a quarterback at field level who's avoiding large men intent on doing him harm. QBs are throwing to what they see, which is usually different from what we see.

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48 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 07, 2018 - 12:03pm

So what we need is Helmet Cam view.

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52 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by apbadogs // Nov 08, 2018 - 9:10am

Not really because the eyes aren't always looking the same spot as the helmet cam.

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54 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by RevBackjoy // Nov 08, 2018 - 4:40pm

Gosh, you guys are making this whole NFL quarterbacking thing sound really hard! ;-)

Not to mention hard to measure... looks like we'll have enough analytical stuff to work on for the next century or so.

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25 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by DGL // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:18pm

I would at least like to see metrics of "turnovers relative to expectation". I'm sure that FO has scraped and generated statistics on things like the percentage of pass attempts intercepted by depth and direction. They also probably have stats on things like fumble percentage per running play by direction and per pass play (QB fumbles per dropback and WR fumbles per reception), and we know they have expected fumble recovery percentages by area of the field.

You could then calculate a team's expected offensive turnovers based on the plays that team has run, and a team's expected defensive turnovers based on the plays that it's opponents have run, and measure their actual turnovers (takeaways and giveaways) relative to expectation, instead of a pure +/-.

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6 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 10:24am

That Taylor shows up on the anti-INT list indicates the problem isn't one of coaching or receiving. Peterman and Taylor had the same coaching staffs and wide receivers. Peterman is just a walking interception.

We also shouldn't forget his 3 fumbles. In his four playoff plays last year, he had a fumble and an INT.

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8 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 10:32am

What would Brees' DYAR have been had he been credited with a lost fumble on that 2nd quarter 7 yard run on 1st-10?

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10 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by milo // Nov 06, 2018 - 11:04am

2018 Rules changes and points of emphasis explains why Brees did not fumble.

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17 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Tim R // Nov 06, 2018 - 1:02pm

Yeah. I do find the rule a bit weird. I mean a diving qb is deliberately going to ground but trying to gain more yards. But the yardage stops when he hits the ground. How are defenders supposed to stop qbs diving for first downs or touchdowns?

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26 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:24pm

They aren't.

Rule changes are not intended to help the defense.

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32 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Joseph // Nov 06, 2018 - 4:13pm

A simple "touch" would make them down by contact, just like any other player. However, if I understand correctly, the QB is not allowed to get up and continue running, unlike other players who can (if they aren't down by contact).

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33 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Tim R // Nov 06, 2018 - 4:16pm

But that doesnt help if theyre diving for the endzone. If divings deliberately going to ground for a qb in the interest of safety they should call the play dead at the start of the drive, like with slides.

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35 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 4:38pm

This is why I wanted to see the replay, to see if he was given the point of maximum advancement or where he gave himself up.

If it's the former point, it should have been called a fumble.

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11 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by RickD // Nov 06, 2018 - 11:16am

About Rodgers:

"So ... why didn't he throw more passes up the middle?"

I don't have the exact numbers, but it seems like he was scrambling out of the pocket quite a bit. The Pats' pass rush wasn't reaching him (only 1 sack) but they did not let him sit happily in the pocket either.

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12 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Travis // Nov 06, 2018 - 11:55am

"The only first down [Brady] picked up inside the Green Bay 20 was on a DPI, and even that came on an 8-yard throw on third-and-9."

The throw went into the end zone on a 3rd&goal from the 9, but since pass interference penalties in the end zone are spotted at the 1, it went down as an 8-yard penalty.

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14 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by nat // Nov 06, 2018 - 12:35pm

"Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"
"Forget it. He's rolling."

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13 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by jmaron // Nov 06, 2018 - 12:30pm

"Cousins was very conservative in this game. Only four of his passes traveled even 10 yards downfield. One of those was intercepted, so maybe he was smart to stick with the short stuff"

When he was aggressive it tended to be on third and short where he took deeper shots passing up open shorter throws. One of those deep throws should have been caught inside the Det 5, but it was a tough throw and a receiver was open for an easy conversion.

My sense of Cousins is he does this too often, taking higher risk throws when an easier throw will likely convert the 1st down. I'm wondering what others think of this.

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15 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 06, 2018 - 12:36pm

This is an area where evaluating qb play, from the standard network feed, is really problematic. This sport is just so much more difficult, for the television viewing audience, to really understand, compared to others.

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16 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by jmaron // Nov 06, 2018 - 12:45pm

very true. The all 22 view is nice, but even then I don't know much about the game and wouldn't know what the QB is expected to do exactly.

Tangent here - I think the kid at RT is going to be pretty good. Get bull rushed sometimes, but seems to stay in front of people well.

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18 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 06, 2018 - 1:11pm

The norm for the vast majority of NFL teams is for pass protection to deteriorate as the season advances, as injuries reduce talent levels and very importantly, continuity and teamwork in the o-line. We Vikings fans have seen plenty of that in recent seasons. Occasionally, however, that trend is reversed. The 2012 Ravens are the most obvious example. Their blocking mostly sucked until the end of November, until noted talented lazy ass Bryant Mckinnie decided, for whatever reason which existed in his often indecipherable mind, to get in shape and on the field, back at left tackle, which allowed Oher to move to right tackle, and the right tackle to right guard. All of a sudden, the Ravens were notably better at 3 positions, which combined with a borderline HOF and very stabilizing center in Matt Birk, and a terrific and rapidly improving rookie left guard, meant that the oline went, in a couple weeks, from terrible to good. 9 weeks later they were champs, and on their way to overpaying Joe Flacco by a wide margin.

We won't see anything like that from the Vikings, but if they don't suffer any more injuries, and the rookie RT moves steeply up the performance curve, as it appears he may have the talent for, and Rieff's health continues to improve, there's a chance that their blocking will be significantly better in the 2nd half than the 1st. Here's hoping....

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24 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by RevBackjoy // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:12pm

Good ol' McKinnie... always a joy to see former Minnesotan athletes win titles elsewhere! Isn't that right, Messrs. Ortiz, Garnett, Modano... and Birk!

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29 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:44pm

I was very happy for Garnett and Birk. Ortiz just flat out became a much, much, much better hitter in Boston, so I just shrug my shoulders. Mckinnie? A hugely talented, maddingly inconsistently motivated player for the Vikings, who became very undisciplined as he became wealthier, really was worse when he arrived in Baltimore, and then decided to put in 10-12 weeks of hard work, for some reason. Became a champion, and went back to being a donut snarfing couch potato.Yeah, if not for Birk, that would have been an unpopular Super Bowl winning team for me.

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55 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by RevBackjoy // Nov 08, 2018 - 4:46pm

10-12 weeks? So almost as long as his 14-week rookie-year holdout!

As for Big Papi, I can think of three potential reasons, each being a capital letter, for his sudden uptick...

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20 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 06, 2018 - 1:23pm

This is where switching to "Madden view" as the default coverage would really help. There's no way to see what the QBs options are from the standard sideline view focussed on the QB. The only way you know if the QB's missing a read is if the announcers pick it up. You also can't follow the line play properly or see who's messing up there unless there's a replay. In other words, the important stuff to understand why the game is unfolding as it is.

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27 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:26pm

I'm not sure this is just a football thing.

I went to a Flyers-Capitols game a few years back. Sat in one of the corners (which is where I like watching hockey games -- you have the fewest obstructed areas that way).

The TV replay of the game was on when we came home, and I watched it again from the TV angle (mid-ice on one side). It was a completely different game. Camera angle absolutely matters.

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31 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 06, 2018 - 2:59pm

Hockey is the only other sport that begins to approach football, in terms of not understanding what is happening, by watching the game on television. The passing game dominates football, yet we usually have little idea of what 25%-50% of the players are doing on a pass play, those that are catching or defending passes at that.

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38 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 06, 2018 - 6:26pm

Watching Champions League soccer today, I was thinking about how nice it was to be able to see 18-20 players at all times. They were a lot smaller on the TV, but I could easily read jersey numbers and see haircuts/general demeanors to know who everybody was at any time. Is TV coverage of American football still assuming everyone is watching on a 17" screen? Someone should tell broadcasters that everybody has HD now.

Also, I've noticed TV broadcasts showing 15-20 YARDS of empty grass behind the QB. WTF is wrong with every single director, instructing their professional and very skilled cameramen to do this? Learn how to frame a basic shot!

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40 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Noah Arkadia // Nov 06, 2018 - 9:07pm

Soccer camera work has improved incredibly in the last 20 years or so. Considering soccer is maybe the slowest changing, least progressive sport, it's funny football hasn't been able to keep up in that area.

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41 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by PatsFan // Nov 06, 2018 - 9:23pm

I think it’s because they think the audience wants the symmetry of the LOS though the middle of the screen.

But I agree with you that if you’re gonna do ansodeline shot it would be better for the deepest offensive back to be just inside the edge of the screen, regardless of where that puts the LOS.

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43 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Grendel13G // Nov 07, 2018 - 12:14am

I assumed the miles of empty space behind the QB were an artifact of shooting for a mixed widescreen/box screen audience. See also, network logos on the bottom of the screen placed about 1/3 of the way from the right edge (in a widescreen TV).

Still bugs the hell out of me, though!

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45 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by apk3000 // Nov 07, 2018 - 8:38am

"Also, I've noticed TV broadcasts showing 15-20 YARDS of empty grass behind the QB. WTF is wrong with every single director, instructing their professional and very skilled cameramen to do this?"

Maybe they want to be prepared for another Aaron Brooks backwards pass situation.

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46 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 07, 2018 - 9:29am

Exactly!

I would argue it's also easier to compose for a soccer shot, because the players are both less bunched and change positions more slowly. Football exchanges from tightly bunched to quickly moving into open space must faster than soccer does.

Hockey does this even faster, but the field of play is smaller. Lacrosse, although a niche, has these same problems. If anything, the camera angles are worse than football and hockey.

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19 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Anon Ymous // Nov 06, 2018 - 1:21pm

I thought you might troll us with Edelman's passing DYAR. Kind of disappointed you didn't. :)

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21 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Jose21crisis // Nov 06, 2018 - 1:27pm

All right, that explains Conner's DYAR and DVOA being low.

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22 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by DirtyGrizz // Nov 06, 2018 - 1:39pm

Is Tampa's defense so bad that Christian McCaffrey's 150+ yard, 2 TD game didn't even crack the top-5 in DYAR?

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36 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 06, 2018 - 4:39pm

Yes, yes it is.

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37 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Nov 06, 2018 - 5:31pm

How did AR12 get -31 rushing DYAR? I do not remember any spectacular failures rushing—of course it GB vs NE so I was paying less than complete attention.

As noted elsewhere, Rodgers had a fumble on a running play. Worse, the run was a 2-yard loss on third-and-1, so a huge penalty for that one mistake. I didn't see the play so I can't tell you what happened there, but my guess would be that Green Bay botched a handoff and it went down as a Rodgers run.

Darnold was WORSE than Petermanat passing? How is that possible?

Peterman gets a boost of about 80 DYAR for playing the Bears. Darnold gets a penalty of about 15 DYAR for playing the Dolphins.

The throw went into the end zone on a 3rd&goal from the 9, but since pass interference penalties in the end zone are spotted at the 1, it went down as an 8-yard penalty.

Duly noted.

I thought you might troll us with Edelman's passing DYAR. Kind of disappointed you didn't. :)

25 DYAR passing, -9 DYAR receiving. (He only had three first downs in 10 targets.)

Is Tampa's defense so bad that Christian McCaffrey's 150+ yard, 2 TD game didn't even crack the top-5 in DYAR?

He was sixth, just missed the table. Take opponent adjustments away from all players and he would have been third. His rushing DYAR is also lower than you might expect because he only had three first downs.

As for Tampa Bay's defense, consider this:

Patrick Mahomes: 66.2% completion rate, 9.2 yards/pass, 29 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 12 sacks.

All QBs against Tampa Bay: 73.9% completion rate, 8.9 yards/pass, 22 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 18 sacks.

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47 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by nat // Nov 07, 2018 - 10:36am

I didn't see the play so I can't tell you what happened there, but my guess would be that Green Bay botched a handoff and it went down as a Rodgers run.

(1:02) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers left end to GB 43 for -2 yards (A.Clayborn). FUMBLES (A.Clayborn), ball out of bounds at GB 43.

It was Rodgers on a bootleg keeper. It very much belongs in his rushing DYAR with no asterisk. And the fumble was legit, too. A Patriot touched the loose ball while he out of bounds, which killed the play. So the Packers kept it at the spot of the fumble. It could easily have been a turnover to give the Patriots a chance for a short field drive to pad their lead.

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56 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by RevBackjoy // Nov 08, 2018 - 5:05pm

I figured that even with opponent adjustments, Peterman would be safely into the negative-200s.

Still, -265ish passing YAR? Based on the table listed here (https://www.footballoutsiders.com/quick-reads/2016/week-3-quick-reads), that might be a bottom 10 all-time single-game performance.

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57 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Nov 08, 2018 - 6:26pm

We haven't updated our worst games list in a while, but I just checked, and that Fitzpatrick game finished at -300 DYAR after final adjustments -- so, by the slimmest of margins, it was the SECOND-worst game in our database (assuming there were no other terrible games in the past two or three years I'm forgetting).

But it would be fun to look at the worst games list and see how often the 2018 Bills appear. Story idea for December!

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49 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by RBroPF // Nov 07, 2018 - 7:59pm

"At that rate, an average passer would have just an 0.89 percent chance of matching Peterman's interception rate this season."

So if there are, say, 16, average passers in the league each year, you'd expect to see an average passer have interception numbers like Peterman's once every 7 years. It's entirely possible Peterman really is an average QB, especially when you consider the overall offensive dysfunction and lack of talent around him. (No I'm not going to bet anyone that Peterman doesn't suck. I'm pretty sure he does, but just wanted to follow this train of thought through.)

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50 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Nov 07, 2018 - 11:07pm

In simple arithmetic, yes, that checks out. If we were really trying to answer that question we would need to do a deep dive into the definition and distribution of good, average, and bad quarterbacks, and look for guys who threw one or two picks but then got the hook and never had a chance to throw eight or nine, that sort of thing. It's quite possible (even likely) that there have been several quarterbacks as bad as Peterman who just never got the extended playing time to show it.

But that's one of the reasons I wanted to run the career numbers for Peterman, where he looks even worse. Now, we're looking at an average quarterback looking this bad every 150 years or so.

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51 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 07, 2018 - 11:33pm

And if we wanted to do the math on the percentage chance that an average coach would select a QB with Peterman's interception rate as their QB1 to start the season …

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53 Re: Week 9 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 08, 2018 - 1:43pm

I doubt football as we know it will exist in 2168, but if it does, those people will be in for a treat.

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