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

Week 12 Quick Reads

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

The top running back in our rankings this week (heading into Monday Night Football) is Carolina's Christian McCaffrey, who ran for 64 yards and a touchdown against the stout New Orleans Saints defense, adding 69 more yards and another touchdown as a receiver. Thanks to a healthy boost in opponent adjustments, he finishes on top of the running back pile for the second week in a row, and for the fourth time this season. He has also finished in second place twice. (Oddly, he was in last place in Week 2, but that was without full-strength opponent adjustments; now that we know how good Tampa Bay's run defense is, it's safe to say that McCaffrey's game against the Bucs was better than it looked at the time.)

The keys to McCaffrey's monstrous season are his durability and versatility. He has 221 carries this season, just one fewer than the league-leading 222 of Cleveland's Nick Chubb, and he leads all players with 1,123 yards and a dozen touchdowns on the ground. He also leads all running backs with 83 targets and 68 catches. His 586 yards through the air are second at the position behind the 667 of Austin Ekeler, and he's third with four receiving touchdowns.

Put it all together, and McCaffrey is averaging 102.1 yards per game on the ground and 53.3 more through the air. Only one player has ever finished a season averaging 100 and 50 before: Le'Veon Bell, who did it with Pittsburgh in 2016. And Bell only played 12 games that year. If McCaffrey can maintain his averages for five more games -- a feat easier said than done, obviously -- he would be the first player in league history to gain 1,600 yards rushing and 800 yards receiving in the same season. He is on pace for 2,486 yards from scrimmage, which would be the second-highest total ever behind Chris Johnson's 2,509 with Tennessee in 2009.

McCaffrey's advanced numbers are also impressive. He leads the league with 243 rushing DYAR, and his 233 receiving DYAR are second among running backs behind Ekeler's 276. That's far from unprecedented. Thirteen running backs in since 1986 have finished first or second at the position in both rushing and receiving DYAR in the same season; the last was Todd Gurley of the Rams in 2017. However, if McCaffrey can maintain his lead in rushing DYAR and somehow surpass Ekeler's receiving numbers, he would enter some much more exclusive company. Only three running backs have led the position in both rushing and receiving DYAR in the same season: Buffalo's Thurman Thomas in 1991, the Rams' Marshall Faulk in 2000, and Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook in 2007. That's going to be a very tough task as long as Ekeler is healthy, however. The Chargers runner is on pace for 401 DYAR. Only one running back has ever finished with 400-plus receiving DYAR: Faulk, who did it with the Colts in 1998 and then again the next year with the Rams in 1999.

A more realistic goal for McCaffrey is 700 combined rushing and receiving DYAR. He's currently on pace for 692 and needs just a teeny boost in production (or simply stronger opponent adjustments applied to his prior games) to get there. If he can, he'll be only the third player to join the 700 club. Faulk did it three years in a row from 1999 to 2001, setting the record with a jaw-dropping 846 (86 more than the next-highest season) in 2000. Priest Holmes also did it in 2002 and 2003 while playing in Kansas City for Dick Vermeil, who had previously coached Faulk in St. Louis.

The following table shows all running backs who have finished in the top five at the position in both rushing and receiving DYAR in the same season:

All Running Backs, Top 5 in Both Rushing and Receiving DYAR, 1986-2019
Year Name Team Runs Yards TD DYAR Rk Rec Yards TD DYAR Rk
1986 J.Brooks CIN 205 1086 18 291 3 54 686 4 190 4
1987 J.L.Williams SEA 113 500 1 158 4 38 390 3 168 2
1990 B.Sanders DET 255 1304 13 330 1 36 480 3 186 2
1991 T.Thomas BUF 289 1415 7 306 1 62 631 5 290 1
1992 L.White HOIL 265 1226 7 341 2 57 641 1 165 2
1992 T.Thomas BUF 313 1477 9 275 4 58 628 3 163 3
1998 G.Hearst SF 310 1570 7 282 3 39 535 2 138 3
1998 M.Faulk IND 324 1319 6 226 5 86 908 4 421 1
1999 M.Faulk STL 253 1381 7 339 2 87 1048 5 419 1
2000 M.Faulk STL 253 1359 18 501 1 81 830 8 345 1
2000 E.James IND 387 1718 13 351 2 63 594 5 175 3
2001 M.Faulk STL 260 1382 12 347 2 83 765 9 360 1
2001 P.Holmes KC 327 1555 8 426 1 62 614 2 149 4
2002 P.Holmes KC 313 1615 21 497 1 70 672 3 263 2
2002 C.Garner OAK 182 978 7 239 3 91 941 4 378 1
2003 P.Holmes KC 320 1420 27 485 1 74 690 0 234 2
2004 E.James IND 334 1551 9 293 3 51 483 0 176 2
2005 E.James IND 360 1506 13 384 3 44 337 1 143 3
2005 T.Barber NYG 357 1864 9 365 4 54 530 2 213 1
2006 B.Westbrook PHI 239 1219 7 311 2 78 698 4 184 2
2006 J.Addai IND 226 1074 7 266 4 40 325 1 147 4
2006 S.Jackson STL 346 1528 13 250 5 90 806 3 205 1
2007 B.Westbrook PHI 278 1333 7 339 1 90 771 5 181 1
2007 J.Addai IND 260 1071 12 221 5 42 365 3 151 4
2010 A.Foster HOU 325 1617 16 372 2 68 603 2 180 1
2010 L.McCoy PHI 207 1080 7 227 4 78 577 2 158 2
2014 L.Bell PIT 290 1361 8 205 5 83 854 3 316 1
2016 L.Bell PIT 261 1269 7 277 3 75 616 2 165 2
2017 T.Gurley LAR 279 1305 13 268 2 64 788 6 236 2
2017 A.Kamara NO 120 728 8 255 3 81 826 5 278 1
2018 A.Kamara NO 194 896 14 238 3 81 709 4 197 2
2019 C.McCaffrey CAR 221 1123 12 243 1 68 586 4 233 2
2019 D.Cook MIN 214 1017 11 176 3 45 455 0 143 3

Faulk has done it four times, while Holmes and Edgerrin James have done it three times each. Bell, Joseph Addai, Alvin Kamara, Thurman Thomas, and Brian Westbrook each did it twice.

Let's drop a couple of bullet points on the names in that table:

  • A first-round draft pick out of Auburn by the Chargers, James Brooks was a tremendous all-purpose player, leading the NFL in all-purpose yards in each of his first two seasons. He led the league in 1986 with 5.3 yards per carry; it was one of five seasons in which he gained at least 1,200 yards from scrimmage.
  • John L. Williams' raw numbers look awfully low for this table -- less than a thousand yards from scrimmage -- but remember that 1987 was a strike year, and Williams only played 12 games. Remember also that Williams was a true fullback, whose job was split equally between blocking (Williams' teammate Curt "Not that Kurt Warner" Warner led the league in rushing DYAR), receiving (Williams led all running backs in receiving DVOA that season), and short-yardage rushing (Williams also led the league in rushing success rate). Williams finished his career with eight seasons with at least 300 yards rushing and 300 more receiving, more than such notable dual-threat players as Tiki Barber, Roger Craig, Steven Jackson, Darren Sproles, or Thurman Thomas.
  • I assume you're familiar with Barry Sanders. Despite his unparalleled ability to make tacklers miss, 1990 was his last season with particularly impressive receiving statistics. He never again finished higher than 18th in DYAR, and usually had a negative DVOA.
  • Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas led the NFL in yards from scrimmage every year from 1989 to 1992.
  • Lorenzo White provided the run in Houston's run 'n' shoot. He had 1,867 yards from scrimmage in 1992; none of his teammates even hit four digits.
  • Garrison Hearst was one of the NFL's best players in 1998, leading the league with 5.1 yards per carry. He broke his ankle in San Francisco's wild-card loss to the Falcons, and complications to the injury caused avascular necrosis -- death of bone tissue due to interruption of blood supply. He missed two full seasons before returning to the league, winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2001, and lasting till 2004.
  • Marshall Faulk is the best running/receiving combo in pro football history.
  • Priest Holmes clearly benefited from playing in the Vermeil offense. He had at least 2,000 yards from scrimmage every year from 2001 to 2003, but otherwise never even hit 1,300 yards in his 10-year NFL career.
  • Peyton Manning played with a series of dominant dual-threat running backs in Indianapolis, moving from Faulk to James to Addai. He was tremendously fortunate to have such talented weapons at his disposal. They were equally fortunate to play with such a dominant passer.
  • After several seasons as a productive scatback, Charlie Garner flourished in 2002, putting up one of four seasons ever with 900 yards rushing and 900 more receiving. That was his fourth straight season with at least 1,400 yards from scrimmage, but it was also his age-30 year, and he fell off a cliff after that.
  • Tiki Barber, Garner's contemporary, had a similar shape to his career. He also peaked around age 30, putting together three straight seasons with 2,000 yards from scrimmage. And then he abruptly retired at age 32 before the cliff had a chance to swallow him up.
  • Brian Westbrook was a very good runner/receiver who got a lot of targets because Philadelphia's top wide receivers at his peak were Reggie Brown, Kevin Curtis, and Donte' Stallworth. An Eagles team with no wideouts? I guess some things never change.
  • Steven Jackson would make a list of great players stuck on horrible teams. He had a league-high 2,334 yards from scrimmage on a Rams team that went 8-8 in 2006.
  • In his second season in 2010, Arian Foster led the league in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage. That was his best season, though he remained a solid starter for another half-decade.
  • 2010 was LeSean McCoy's most efficient season, but he had plenty of others with more volume. He went over 1,100 yards from scrimmage eight times (and counting!), leading the league in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage while with the Eagles in 2013.
  • Le'Veon Bell was one of the NFL's most dynamic players from 2014 to 2017 before sitting out the 2018 season in a contract dispute with Pittsburgh. He has since returned to the league ... but came into the week ranked dead-last in rushing DYAR and below replacement level in receiving value too.
  • Alvin Kamara was drafted in 2017, the same year as McCaffrey, but 59 picks later. He was the better player their first two years (indeed, the most valuable running back in football as a rookie), but McCaffrey has jumped ahead this year.
  • Another member of the class of 2017, Dalvin Cook was drafted after McCaffrey but before Kamara. Partly due to injuries, his playing time in Minnesota was limited in his first two seasons, and he didn't get the opportunities that his classmates did. This year, however, he's flourishing, and is likely to get at least one playoff game to show the country what he can do.
Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Lamar Jackson BAL
15/20
169
5
0
2
185
150
35
LAR
2.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
14/18
259
2
0
1
172
142
30
JAX
At halftime, the Titans were clinging to a slim 7-3 lead. And then came the second half, when every pass Tannehill threw resulted in a first down. Granted, there were only six of them, but all six were completed for a total of 137 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans came out with a run-heavy game plan; Tannehill's first seven passes all came on second or third down.
3.
Sam Darnold NYJ
20/29
315
2
0
1
154
145
9
OAK
Darnold was nearly perfect when throwing to his left, going 10-of-11 for 152 yards and a touchdown.
4.
Drew Brees NO
30/38
311
3
1
2
148
148
0
CAR
All seven passes that Brees threw in the third quarter were completed for a first down, gaining a combined 91 yards and a touchdown.
5.
Kyle Allen CAR
23/36
256
3
0
4
109
105
4
NO
A fine bounceback from the worst game we have ever measured. Allen was excellent at getting just what was needed in short yardage. With 5 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 9-of-12 for only 50 yards with one sack, but all nine completions resulted in first downs. He picked up a 10th first down on a DPI ... which gained 2 yards.
6.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
14/19
253
2
0
3
79
86
-7
GB
Garoppolo's first 11 dropbacks resulted in just one first down, as he went 5-of-8 for 31 yards with an aborted snap and two sacks. He picked up eight first downs after that, going 9-of-11 for 222 yards and two scores.
7.
Dak Prescott DAL
19/33
212
0
1
0
77
79
-2
NE
Prescott gains ONE-HUNDRED FOUR DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He and Aaron Rodgers were the only quarterbacks to gain more than 40. He threw five passes inside of the New England 25-yard line. Only two were completed: a 1-yard loss on first-and-10 and a 2-yard gain on third-and-7. On third and fourth downs, he went 4-of-12 for 22 yards with as many conversions (one) as interceptions.
8.
Jameis Winston TB
18/28
313
3
2
0
69
56
14
ATL
Winston packed a full game's worth of drama into Tampa Bay's first three drives, going 2-of-5 for 79 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Most of his safe throws went to his left; to his right or up the middle, he went 10-of-14 for 214 yards and two touchdowns, but also two interceptions.
9.
Josh Allen BUF
15/24
185
2
1
1
68
50
18
DEN
Allen's best throws came in scoring range. Within the Denver 40-yard line, he went 5-of-8 for 92 yards with two touchdowns and one sack.
10.
Baker Mayfield CLE
24/34
327
3
1
1
68
67
1
MIA
Mayfield loses 84 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, most of any quarterback this week. He was most effective on passes that traveled 3 to 6 yards downfield. His nine passes in that distance picked up eight first downs: eight completions for 83 yards and two touchdowns, plus a 3-yard DPI.
11.
Deshaun Watson HOU
19/29
298
2
1
1
67
88
-21
IND
Watson threw a lot of deep passes on Thursday night, and they were very effective, as he went 5-of-10 for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
12.
Matt Schaub ATL
5/9
55
1
0
0
12
12
0
TB
All of Schaub's passes came on Atlanta's last drive of the game, when they were down 35-16 with three minutes and change to go.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Russell Wilson SEA
13/25
200
1
1
6
5
10
-5
PHI
The Seahawks went up 10-3 midway through the second quarter, and Wilson took most of the rest of the day off. He only threw for two first downs after that, going 7-of-15 for 87 yards with an interception and four sacks.
14.
Devlin Hodges PIT
5/11
118
1
0
2
3
7
-4
CIN
Hodges entered the game in the third quarter with Pittsburgh trailing 7-3. He promptly hit James Washington for a 79-yard go-ahead touchdown on second-and-17, but after that he went just 3-of-9 for 28 yards with two sacks, plus two DPIs for 34 total yards.
15.
Nick Foles JAX
32/48
274
0
0
3
-1
-6
5
TEN
Yes, we are already down to the negative-DYAR guys. It was not a strong week for quarterbacks. Foles led the league with 13 failed completions this week, because that is what Nick Foles does.
16.
Jacoby Brissett IND
16/24
129
0
0
1
-2
-7
5
HOU
Brissett did not throw a pass in the red zone, and had only one in the front zone (the area between Houston's 20- and 40-yard lines). He only threw four deep passes, and all were incomplete.
17.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
25/41
278
1
2
2
-10
-26
16
NYG
Trubisky loses 44 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. The Bears won this game, but it could have been a lot easier if Trubisky had played better in the red zone, where he went 4-of-8 for 15 yards with no touchdowns, one interception, and one sack.
18.
Tom Brady NE
17/36
190
1
0
2
-17
-17
0
DAL
Brady only picked up one first down on throws to his running backs and tight ends, going 4-for-10 for 13 yards (no, really).
19.
Ryan Finley CIN
12/26
192
1
0
4
-22
-20
-2
PIT
Finley only threw for one first down in Cincinnati's last five drives. In that stretch, he went 3-of-11 for 60 yards with a sack. He would have had one more first down, but Tyler Boyd fumbled one of his receptions away.
20.
Daniel Jones NYG
21/36
150
2
0
1
-24
-33
9
CHI
Jones had a bad day on throws to his right, going 7-of-11 for 18 yards.
21.
Aaron Rodgers GB
20/33
104
1
0
5
-25
-22
-2
SF
Rodgers gains ONE-HUNDRED ELEVEN DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He and Dak Prescott were the only quarterbacks to gain more than 40. He failed to convert an of his third-down plays, going 2-of-8 for 14 yards with two sacks.
22.
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA
21/38
214
2
2
4
-60
-88
28
CLE
Fitzpatrick's early performance played a big part in Miami falling behind in the first half. By the time the Browns took a 28-0 lead, Fitzpatrick had gone 5-of-10 for 40 yards with one interception and one sack.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Derek Carr OAK
15/26
127
0
1
1
-63
-71
7
NYJ
Carr did not throw a pass in the red zone. In Jets territory, he went 2-of-6 for 14 yards. He was respectable early in this game, but once the Jets took a 13-3 lead, Carr's wheels fell off. He only picked up one first down after that, going 7-of-12 for 34 yards with a pick-six.
24.
Carson Wentz PHI
33/45
256
1
2
3
-99
-109
9
SEA
Wentz had three fumbles -- two on sacks, one on an aborted snap. On deep passes, he went 1-of-4 for 30 yards with two interceptions.
25.
Jared Goff LAR
26/37
212
0
2
2
-105
-105
0
BAL
26.
Dwayne Haskins WAS
13/29
156
0
1
3
-116
-127
11
DET
Red zone passing: 0-for-3 with a sack. On third downs, he went 2-of-10 for 27 yards with two conversions, two sacks, and two turnovers (one fumble and one interception).
27.
Jeff Driskel DET
20/33
207
1
3
6
-123
-136
13
WAS
In the fourth quarter, when neither team ever trailed by more than a field goal, Driskel went 5-of-11 for 33 yards with two interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble.
28.
Mason Rudolph PIT
9/16
85
0
1
1
-125
-119
-6
CIN
Rudolph was benched at halftime with the Steelers down 7-3. On third downs, he went 3-of-6 for 21 yards with one conversion, one interception, and one intentional grounding penalty. In Bengals territory, he went 1-of-4 for 9 yards with an interception.
29.
Brandon Allen DEN
10/25
82
0
1
4
-141
-141
1
BUF
Allen's last pass of the first half was intercepted, and he only threw for one first down in the second half, when he went 3-of-14 for 4 yards (I swear) and two sacks. His last ten dropbacks of the game were eight incompletions and two sacks. He did not throw a pass in the red zone; in Bills territory, he went 4-of-9 for 13 yards with an interception. He converted his first third-down dropback of the game (a 3-yard gain on third-and-3) but then didn't convert any more, finishing 1-of-8 for those 3 yards with two sacks.
30.
Matt Ryan ATL
23/46
271
0
1
6
-159
-165
6
TB
Red zone passing: 1-of-7 for 2 yards with no touchdowns and one sack. Ryan only had two conversions on third or fourth down, where he went 4-of-10 for 48 yards with two sacks.

 

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.
Mark Ingram BAL
15
111
1
1/1
7
1
77
61
16
LAR
2.
Christian McCaffrey CAR
22
64
1
9/9
69
1
58
1
57
NO
McCaffrey gains 19 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He only ran for three first downs with a long run of 9 yards and was stuffed eight times ... and he still finished with the third-most rushing yards anyone has had in a game against New Orleans this year. And his nine receptions picked up seven first downs, the longest a gain of 23 yards.
3.
Leonard Fournette JAX
24
97
2
9/12
64
0
52
56
-4
TEN
Fournette gains 21 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He ran for seven first downs against the Titans while being stuffed just once. Two of his receptions picked up first downs: a 27-yard gain on second-and-8 and a 9-yard gain on fourth-and-2.
4.
Derrick Henry TEN
19
159
2
1/1
16
0
33
22
11
JAX
Henry loses 22 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He ran for five first downs while getting stuffed three times and fumbling once. Nearly half his yardage came on one 74-yard touchdown.
5.
Nick Chubb CLE
21
106
1
3/4
58
0
32
26
6
MIA
Chubb loses 30 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. All of his carries gained at least 1 yard and six picked up first downs, the longest a gain of 17. His catches included gains of 22 and 32 yards.

 

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.
Mark Ingram BAL
15
111
1
1/1
7
1
77
61
16
LAR
2.
Leonard Fournette JAX
24
97
2
9/12
64
0
52
56
-4
TEN
3.
Rashaad Penny SEA
14
129
1
0/1
0
0
30
35
-5
PHI
Penny was stuffed three times against Philadelphia and only ran for three first downs, but those three plays gained 21, 26, and 58 yards.
4.
Latavius Murray NO
7
64
1
0/0
0
0
30
30
0
CAR
Each of Murray's carries against the Panthers gained at least 3 yards, the longest a gain of 26, and four gained first downs.
5.
Jonathan Williams IND
26
104
1
3/3
17
0
31
29
2
HOU
Three of Williams' carries gained at least 10 yards and six resulted in first downs, while only two were stuffed.

 

Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
David Montgomery CHI
13
22
0
2/3
9
0
-43
-30
-13
NYG
Montgomery had one first down against the Giants, a gain of 13. His other 12 carries gained a total of 9 yards, none gained more than 4, and seven went for no gain or a loss. His two receptions were an 8-yard gain on second-and-18 and a 1-yard gain on second-and-11.

 

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.
David Montgomery CHI
13
22
0
2/3
9
0
-43
-30
-13
NYG

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
D.J. Moore CAR
6
9
126
21.0
2
78
NO
Moore's totals include 72 DYAR receiving, 6 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 8 yards. Five of his six catches produced first downs, including two that gained 50 yards or more.
2.
Jarvis Landry CLE
10
13
148
14.8
2
73
MIA
Landry loses 19 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Each of his completions picked up first downs; so did his two DPIs for 23 combined yards.
3.
Chris Godwin TB
7
8
184
26.3
2
69
ATL
Another week, another Godwin appearance in Quick Reads, even after losing 14 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Six of his receptions went for first downs, and five of them gained 22 yards or more.
4.
A.J. Brown TEN
4
5
135
33.8
1
57
JAX
Each of Brown's catches gained at least 15 yards and a first down.
5.
Michael Thomas NO
10
11
101
10.1
1
45
CAR
Five of Thomas' catches went for first downs, including a pair of third-down conversions, the longest a gain of 24.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Marvin Jones DET
5
11
46
9.2
0
-45
WAS
Jones loses 11 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Only two of his catches went for first downs; he picked up a third one on an 8-yard DPI. The last two passes thrown his way were both intercepted.

Comments

86 comments, Last at 30 Nov 2019, 11:37am

1 Brissett

No WAY did I expect Jacoby Brissett to be #16 this week. Maybe it was my expectations, but despite limiting mistakes, his game just seemed so incredibly weak. (A few key drops didn't help matters).

12 I was surprised by that too…

In reply to by Bobman

I was surprised by that too. Though. I guess he didn’t have a high volume which limited his negative DYAR. 
 

He basically went full Alex Smith this week. Never go full Alex Smith. 

2 Peyton Manning and Teammates

Well, you could point out the talent on the offensive side of the ball, but that's only because they ignored the D for so long. They spent a LOT of high draft picks on offensive playmakers (not all of whom panned out), sometimes on D, almost none on the OL for most of his tenure. Faulk was only there Manning's rookie year and a dual threat RB is about a hot commodity for a rookie QB as a TE with good hands. James truly was the real deal, which is why his season 3 knee injury really bit the big one--basically cost him two seasons--a 6-game year in which he rushed for 660 yards, and the next year where he played 15 but was not fully healed yet. He got back on track, but was never as dominant. Addai was a good 1st round draft pick, but didn't quite last. Rhodes did well in that backfield, too, coming out of nowhere when James got hurt. Hell, even James Mungro had a big day vs Philly when Rhodes was hurt.
Keep in mind what being a RB in that backfield meant--a lot of mental discipline to track Manning's needs, and you better be able to pick up a blitz, but in return, softer boxes, deep safeties, and ample receiving opportunities.
Tom Moore was a god at OC. He and Manning coming together was like, in the immortal words of Sam "Mayday" Malone describing a famous painting, "Two muscular naked guys touching fingers."

20 I have a hard assessing all…

I have a hard assessing all of Manning's skill talent in a vacuum, short for Faulk and Edge.

 

Marvin Harrison is a hall of famer and a tremendous receiver, but was a pretty poor postseason performer, unless he was being covered by Roc Alexander. If there was a true choker on the Colts, besides Vanderjagt, it was Harrison(pains me to say). 

Reggie Wayne is my second favorite nfl player ever. His numbers suggest he was a near hall of famer. I'm not sure career wise he's much better than Davante Adams as a player. Maybe a tick above.  Someone like Mike Evans might actually be a better receiver.

Stokley was an ahead of his time slot third receiver. So was Dallas Clark. Good players.

Addai was a solid running back who was the kind of player who did just enough to keep him on the field, but certainly nothing that warranted special attention. Rhodes, Brown, Mungro and the rest were the beneficiaries of the team they were on, much like the revolving door in New England. 

His time in Denver is really problematic. If you look back at the skill talent, all of them were out of the league or severely diminished once the fun times in Denver's passing game went away. DT has never been the same. Julius Thomas, Moreno, Hillman, Ball have all disappeared. Eric Decker was a solid second receiver but didn't last long either. 

 

I'm not trying to be revisionist by saying everyone of these players were scrubs and Manning made them all look like superstars. He certainly did not and Harrison is a hall of famer for a reason. Its just complicated.

36 D. Thomas and Emmanuel…

D. Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both had 1,000 yard, pro bowl seasons in 2016 after the transition to Trevor Siemian. (They both also went for 1,000 yards in 2015 when the QB play was not quite Manning-esque.) Thomas's skill set has fallen off more than Sanders, but they're both 10 year vets and still in the league - they're pretty accomplished players.

Since I'm looking at their PFR pages, I noticed that if Sanders doesn't miss any full games due to injury this season, he will get to "enjoy" a 17 game season, since he was traded before Denver's bye week but after SF's.

3 Vince: would it be possible…

Vince: would it be possible to add a Total DYAR (rushing + receiving) column to your historical running backs table? That would make it a lot easier to compare the seasons, e.g. 1987 J.L. Williams vs 2000 Faulk.

Great work, as always!

4 I’m sure the Ravens will be…

I’m sure the Ravens will be covered in this week’s DVOA article, because that game must be up amongst the best ever, offensive efficiency wise. The Rams were a good defense by DVOA before this week, coached by one of the most respected D co-ordinators in NFL history.

Colour me excited about the Ravens 49ers game this weekend.

6 I agree. Lately, I have been…

I agree. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how good Matt Stafford is, and how his employer has just absolutely squandered the value of having, for more than a decade now, a consistent top 10, sometimes top 5 qb. A guy who just keeps playing, no matter whatever nonsense is swirling around him. Really quite admirable. I hope the guy is happy with his family life, because his professional life has featured some really shitty luck.

22 Cj is going to be a…

Cj is going to be a tragically underrated player. I remember how annoying it was to listen to Gruden dismiss his record breaking season as meaningless. Um...cuz it's his fault the Lions weren't playing in the playoffs.

37 To be a little more fair to…

To be a little more fair to Gruden, I don't think his point was that Johnson was to blame for the loins poor record, as much as Johnson's teammates were so bad that Johnson got a lot of catches and yards in garbage time. I have no idea whether that is true, however.

9 Minor error

In the Latavius Murray comment, auto-type put in "Cardinals" instead of Carolina (or substitute Panthers if you like).

Joey Slye is this week's KCW award winner.

I would love to see some splits on Lamar Jackson--if I saw correctly on the highlights, he had 3 TD's and 0 incompletes in the 1st half. Is this correct?

I also second comment #4, and wonder if it is one of the best team rushing games ever by DYAR/DVOA. 45!! carries without a stuff? Ben may want to do his column this week anyway, because you don't get those kind of numbers without amazing blocking.

11 Mike Glennon

Where did Mike Glennon (3 fumbled snaps on 9 dropbacks, 1 first down) rank?

13 The Detroit Washington game…

The Detroit Washington game was a festival of QB suck, combined DYAR of -263. Luckily for the Lions Driskel was much more Choke when it counted, "In the fourth quarter, when neither team ever trailed by more than a field goal, Driskel went 5-of-11 for 33 yards with two interceptions, two sacks, and a fumble.", so they pulled out the loss.

14 Ravens

The Ravens were a tough team to play against when Jackson wasn't accurate, now he's throwing dimes all over the field and they look unstoppable. That 4 game stretch vs NE, Cinn, Hous and the Rams is about as impressive a 4 game stretch as I can remember for any team. Sure Cinn sucks, but they stomped the 1st, 12th, and 17th ranked teams in DVOA as well.

How lucky are we NFL fans that we get to see another game with this offence against another historically good defence next week.

40 I think, though

I think winning on the road in Seattle gave them a big psychological boost, which was then amplified by the win over New England.  They are sky-high right now and think they can beat anybody, anywhere.  

55 Ravens' season-changing play

In reply to by RickD

The Ravens had been struggling in the red zone at Seattle. With a minute left in the third quarter, tied 13-13, and facing 4th and 2 from the Seattle 8, Harbaugh took Lamar's advice and went for it.

He scored on that play, and from that snap through the end of last night's game, the Ravens have outscored opponents (including New England, Houston and LA) 189-49 over 17 quarters. It's been one of the most extraordinary months of football I've ever seen.

16 That'll be the test, going…

In reply to by jmaron

That'll be the test, going up against 4 physically superior defensive linemen, albeit players who normally are in pass rush first mode.

Jackson is the prime example of the lack of value in consensus opinion regarding which college qbs will transition successfully. Probably the most egregious miss since Russell Wilson. Now, I'd seen every one of Wilson's games at Wisconsin, so I strongly suspected the consensus on him was largely nonsense; he had the arm and the ability to throw accurately from multiple platforms like a high end major league shortstop, insanely quick feet, and remained calm under pressure. He certainly didn't look much shorter than Drew Brees, so I could not figure out why he wasn't an obvious first round pick. Just group think at its worst.

I didn't see much of Jackson in college by  comparison, but I should have been more suspicious of the consensus.

 

19 I don't know if I would…

I don't know if I would argue that Jackson is a prime example of the league not being able to judge quarterback prospects, since he was drafted in the  first round anyway, and was always considered a first round prospect.  There were fools who thought he should move to receiver, and that is an unfortunate thing, but I would compare this situation to Marino's draft position.  People cite that as an example of teams not knowing how to draft, but people also forget Marino had a rough senior year, and that only one of the quarterbacks ahead of him really busted (2 hall of famers, one guy who made the pro bowl twice, and another guy who beat Marino to make it to the Super Bowl).  KC fans probably wonder why they drafted Blackledge instead of Kelly, or hell, even O'Brien, as well as Marino.

 

Jackson's college career did show some flaws- a completion percentage below 60 percent every year he played, and a couple of stinkers.  I remember watching him play against Jamal Adams' Lsu team, and souring on his chances: 10-27, for 153 yards.  With that said, he had some rare traits; not only his ability to make defenders miss, but he has the calmest feet in the world when he's in the pocket.  His footwork has also improved when throwing; he used to not move his feet at all when throwing, which led to inaccurate throws.  He's now stepping into throws, not a ton, but enough.  That leads to my next point, which is that Jackson went to a better organization than most of the other quarterbacks of his class.  Not only did he have a coach who believed in him and didn't bench him, he was also coached up to fix his footwork while throwing.  I doubt that Mayfield and Darnold have been coached as well, in fact I worry they will bust due to terrible coaches who they are currently saving with their abilities.  Rosen has already been ruined by an organization that fired its coach after one year.  I'm leaving Josh Allen out because 1) he went to a solid organization, and 2) I'm really down on his chances, and he isn't proving me wrong, even though his advanced stats are better than Darnold's so far this year.

23 Yeah, like I said, I didn't…

Yeah, like I said, I didn't see him play much in college, and maybe Polian was the real outlier, among guys who have actually drafted players for a profession, in saying he'd need to switch positions. Still, he was the 32nd pick. You are absolutely correct, however, that who drafts you is more important than where they draft you.

43 I'm posting a link to a Matt…

I'm posting a link to a Matt Waldman breakdown of Lamar Jackson as a prospect where he shows his footwork issues, as well as good things Jackson did at Louisville. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9-jEeacyM0

Mind you, Waldman probably would have drafted Jackson in the top five, if not first overall.  He loved Jackson as a prospect, he just thought Jackson needed to fix his footwork a little, which appears to have happened.  He also loved Wilson as a prospect too.

The more I research how Jackson fell in the draft, the more I read how scouts disrespected him.  There's a bleacher report article about how NFL scouts talking to the writer thought Jackson would fail because no Bobby Petrino quarterback had worked out before.  A lot of it was about the system the college quarterback played in, and how much they had to think.  The article starts with claims that Mason Rudolph would be a day 3 pick, when the writer, Matt Miller, thought he'd go early in the second round.

24 Wilson shined at Wisconsin,…

Wilson shined at Wisconsin, but was so-so at NC State. It was unclear if he could carry a team; his college performance was not all-worldly like Brees' had been. Wisconsin is about the least demanding good team as far as expected QB performance goes. The job basically involves handing the ball off a lot and trying to not throw INTs. Really, the Bears should draft more Wisconsin QBs.

Jackson's knock was he didn't handle pressure the greatest. In part, this was because Louisville's OL was manned by a series of well-lubed turnstiles and he spent the latter half of two seasons literally running for his life as large fast men attempted to murder him.

Jackson and Wilson were probably better as NFL QBs than you would have expected from a sane appraisal of their college performance. Guys who people just under-estimated were guys like Watson and Brees. They've always had good tape under demanding situations. They just fell for reasons.

28 I didn't see Wilson at NC…

I didn't see Wilson at NC State, but he had very little resemblence to any Wisconsin qb since Alvarez laid the foundation there in the early 90s. His ability to be accurate while making off schedule plays was very evident in his year in Madison. 

Maybe I'm just psychotically bitter that the Vikings took The Ponderous One at 12 the year previous, in an obviously bad year to draft a qb.

30 https://www.sports-reference…

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/russell-wilson-1.html

Good but not great. He was efficient as a freshman, but not very productive. As a sophomore and a junior he was productive, but less efficient. You could bait him into INTs. About a .500 record. Brissett's college career at NC State was a lot like Wilson's.

At Wisconsin, he finally got a running game and a defense, and that let him combined efficiency and production. I really marvel that Wisconsin hasn't tried harder to find another QB in his mold, although I suppose Hornibrook was a move in that direction.

38 " At Wisconsin, he finally…

" At Wisconsin, he finally got a running game and a defense "

More importantly than those two, he finally got a great offensive line, which is pretty much the only time in his career that he had one.

Also, his defense wasn't that good at Wisconsin after Watt left. Cousins' MSU squad wasn't even that good offensively, and they shredded Wisconsin's defense twice. NCSt's defense in Wilson's final year there was at least as good if not better.

67 If you're going to knock…

If you're going to knock Wisconsin for giving up points to MSU you need to knock NC State for getting lit up by Virginia Tech.

That Wisconsin D gave up 19 per game, good for 13th, against 5 ranked opponents. NC State gave up 21.3 (30th), against two ranked opponents.

71 I don't see what being…

I don't see what being ranked has to do with offensive efficiency. For instance, Penn State that year had a simply horrible offense, but were ranked because their defense bailed them out so many times.

Going to the stats, 2010 NC State is ranked 12th in FEI to 2011 Wisconsin's 48th, and ranked 33rd in S&P+ to Wisconsin's 36th.

In any case, not having a good defense doesn't really hurt QBs on great offenses in college. If anything, it just means they get to stay on the field longer and rack up more stats, like Hurts at Oklahoma versus Fields at OSU.

73 NC State's defense was…

NC State's defense was abysmal in 2008 and 2009. As to why it matters, Wilson's problem was a tendency to try to do too much. He didn't have that problem at Wisconsin, because the game outcome was less dependent on his performance.

\Fields has a good defense at OSU
\\Fields is not Haskins.

58 To be clear, for the first…

To be clear, for the first 12 games of his career, Jackson really just looked like "bit better than you'd expect from college," and definitely not "MVP frontrunner." His first 12 games he averaged 2.5 sacks/game, and 5.1 yards/carry, both of which are noticeably worse than college but still better than you'd expect. For all the "Lamar Jackson is dominating the NFL like he did college" talk, against ranked competition in 2017 he had 5 sacks/game and he lost his last game after throwing 4 interceptions. 

In the last six games, though, he's averaging 0.8 sacks/game and 7.7 yards/carry, and that's not even mentioning the passing improvement: he hasn't thrown an interception in those 6 weeks, either, and those games were all high-profile games against very good teams.

The sack numbers are really particularly striking, which I think really sells the point that we're not lauding the Ravens OL enough.

25 "Jackson is the prime…

"Jackson is the prime example of the lack of value in consensus opinion regarding which college qbs will transition successfully"

Value doesn't have to be bidirectional. Indicators can have a low false positive rate and a high false negative rate. In general consensus opinion on quarterbacks is pretty good. Keep in mind, if you've got a consensus opinion that a quarterback will succeed in the NFL, that guy's almost certainly going in the top 5, probably top 3. A quarterback picked at 10-20 does not have everyone convinced he's going to succeed.

And the success rate of top-3 quarterbacks in the NFL is pretty high, depending on your definition of success. I'd put it at 80%, but I can't imagine anyone putting it lower than 50-60%. In any case it's not significantly different than other positions, once you take into account that there are only 32 starting jobs available.

I also think you're crazy to think that anyone could've projected Lamar Jackson to be this in the NFL. Jackson is literally doing things no other quarterback has done in the NFL. You couldn't've projected him to do this because no one else has ever done this.

To me, this feels a ton more like Moneyball - the Ravens identified an undervalued trait/scheme in the NFL, and tooled the team to use it. Viewed like that it's not surprising at all that Jackson was drafted low relative to his current value in the league, because the Ravens are ahead of the value curve. (Note that obviously the jury's still out whether this is sustainable long term!)

Wilson isn't far off from that, either - his value was obviously suppressed because of his height (Brees's was as well, mind you, although not as much, but Wilson is shorter than Brees), but that's not terribly surprising because short quarterbacks don't have many comparables. With Brees and Wilson succeeding in the same era, though, it was reasonable to believe that that would start changing, and it looks like it has: obviously both Mayfield and Murray were drafted high despite their heights.

Whenever you have a situation where the NFL begins to identify undervalued traits, the first few guys that get picked are always going to look like huge misses, like "how the hell did they not see this?" They didn't see it because teams hadn't seen guys like that or didn't know how to use guys like that.

26 I think this is spot on. The…

I think this is spot on. The Ravens found an undervalued player who now looks like a superstar. If they had seen this, I doubt they first draft a tight end and risk a trade not going through to get him.

62 I actually think part of it…

I actually think part of it is just that the Ravens are ending up a bit ahead of the curve at this point. Having a quarterback who can gain yardage as a running back is inherently a huge advantage, since you cut down the numbers advantage of the defense. The downside was always the quarterback getting injured, and so it might just be that with the new rules on player safety, the quarterback's injury risk is lowered enough that a smaller/mobile quarterback's injury risk is now small enough that the mobility advantage wins.

32 I think that's what I'm…

I think that's what I'm driving at. The why is more important than the what. "Too short" has never been especially compelling. Tarkenton may have been the best ever. Flutie likely would have had a much better career (and it wasn't bad) if he'd ever partnered with good offensive coaches early on. Recognizing which guys will respond well to intense, sound, coaching, and which guys have never had the benefit of being exposed to intense, sound coaching, would be very valuable. Of course, very few GMs or owners ever demonstrate that they are actually skilled at hiring coaches. I just think I should have been more suspicious of some of the negative commentary surrounding Jackson.

Each week, I seem to come up with new, more verbose, ways to say, "This shit's hard!"

61 The "too short has never…

The "too short has never been compelling" argument actually isn't very good. It actually was a pretty compelling argument for a while. And if you go back to, say, the early 2000s, short, successful college quarterbacks ended up being drafted late, and none of them turned into Russell Wilson. Tim Rattay. Troy Smith. Seneca Wallace. Eric Crouch. And one of the common threads there was injury risk, and it doesn't look like a bad idea.

But the "short quarterbacks are risky" era is pretty clearly over, with Mayfield and Murray especially being drafted at the top of the draft.

So what changed? Well, you might say "coaches have finally realized it was stupid to be worried about short quarterbacks!"

Or maybe, just maybe, there might've been like, some rules changes in the NFL which make it a whole lot safer to play quarterback now?

69 Wait, why would short QBs be…

Wait, why would short QBs be especially prone to injury? Smith, Wallace and Crouch did a lot of running, which certainly makes them more prone, but I don't see how being short plays into that. Unless you want to argue that being short leads to them not seeing open receivers which leads to more scrambles.

70 "Wait, why would short QBs…

"Wait, why would short QBs be especially prone to injury?"

Short here's a proxy for lighter/smaller frame. There are typically three arguments against smaller quarterbacks - two of which I think are garbage, and the third I can buy. First two are vision over linemen and passes batted at the line, both of which I think are crap because 6'2" - 6'4" isn't typically taller than linemen anyway. Last is typically that they're smaller/lighter and thus more likely to be injured, and I don't think that's necessarily garbage.

"Prototype size" quarterbacks are 6'4", 225-230 or so. Shorter QBs are usually giving up 10-15 pounds or more, and, well, physics is physics: less mass means more energy absorbed in a collision.

72 Ah, that makes sense. Though…

Ah, that makes sense. Though Wilson is an anomaly here because he's quite stocky, built more like a running back, and in fact is listed at the same weight as Jackson and RGIII despite giving up 3 inches (possibly even 4).

74 See, this is the interesting…

See, this is the interesting part: Wilson's weight at the combine was 204 lbs. His weight in the NFL was as high as 225 - but at 225, he didn't feel that he was mobile enough, and now he's down around 215. Which is still noticeably above his college weight. So that might've been hard to project as well, since it's not easy to project how much weight someone's going to be able to gain while still maintaining mobility.

75 I could just as easily cite…

I could just as easily cite 5 big guys who ended up hurt. The point is that there is no average shorter qb; there are only individual shorter qbs, and that you could observe Wilson in college and see that he was well above average at avoiding contact. "Too short, and therefore prone to injury" was not a compelling argument. 

76 That being said, there is…

That being said, there is some height limit out there no? I can't ever see a 5'4 quarterback succeeding in the nfl. I agree, the NFL falls in love with prototypes, which can make them quite myopic, but there are some ground truths there. 

77 Yes, large guys get hurt too…

Yes, large guys get hurt too. Obviously. Duh. Big guys are less mobile, and avoid collisions less. In fact in the NFL larger QBs tend to get injured *more* right now. But that's once you make it there, and also only recent data. But the belief that smaller players will get hurt more isn't exactly rocket science. It's basic physics of collisions. And why do you think Wilson's career hasn't been lengthened/allowed because of the NFL rules?

Running backs, for instance, show a clear weight/injury rate correlation, and if it wasn't for the rules protecting passers, I'm sure you'd see the same with quarterbacks.

79 I wasn't trying to overrule…

I wasn't trying to overrule the physics of collisions. I was making an observation pertaining to the likelihood of collisions. A talent evaluation process which did say that a Byron Leftwich,  big man1st round pick, was far more likely to get hurt than too short Russell Wilson, is a pretty suboptimal talent evaluation process.

86 You're comparing a draft…

You're comparing a draft from 2003 to a draft from 2012. The league has changed dramatically in that time. Why are you so confident that Wilson would have had success if he had been in the league in 2003, before all the rules changes? None of the modern rules protecting quarterbacks were around then: low hits were fine, head/neck shots were fine, body slams were fine.

42 I'd say

I'd say Jackson was drafted at about the right place.  We knew coming out that he could be a successful running QB, but had no reason to think he could pass at the minimal level required in the NFL.  And this interpretation was borne out in his rookie year and by his failure in the playoffs vs. the Chargers.  

Jackson this season is light years beyond what he was as a rookie.  It's  truly phenomenal how much he's improved as a QB.  I think we have to give John Harbaugh a lot of credit for having a plan for Jackson and knowing what he could do.  Had anybody had reason to think he could play at this level, he'd have certainly been a top 5 pick.  But it's not like he fell out of the first round.  He was drafted higher than Jimmy Garoppolo was, for example.  And Russell Wilson.  And numerous other successful QBs.  

45 On a personal note Rick, do…

In reply to by RickD

On a personal note Rick, do you wish the Pats had drafted him?  I'd heard they had Jackson in for a visit, and was terrified they were going to take him.  I'm still suprised they didn't.

64 It's still too early for…

It's still too early for that. It's hard to know how much of Lamar Jackson's success is predicated on the way the rest of the team was built, and how sustainable long-term that is. Obviously every quarterback's success is tied to the offensive line somewhat, but given that Jackson's yardage is more evenly split between run/pass, it's completely reasonable to believe that you might need a more solid OL overall to achieve the kind of success the Ravens are having.

65 Yeah I agree. I also believe…

Yeah I agree. I also believe there is a newness element to this offense and I want to see how teams prepare for it with a full offseason of study. My impression from the past is scramble heavy qbs have success early with lots of diminishing returns later on. Here I am thinking of Vince Young and Michael Vick. People forget, Vince Young was rookie of the year and a probowler.

 

 

53 I will admit that I put…

In reply to by RickD

I will admit that I put actual money on the Ravens finishing under 9.5 wins. I saw a Ravens team that snuck into the playoffs on the back of defense, special teams, and overall weak offense. Jackson was not a good QB and I was(still am?) predisposed to believe run first qbs tend to be low ceiling players. Call it the Joe Webb effect.

I was very very wrong to put it mildly. I also put money on the Falcons to go over. Shame on me.

 

On the other hand, I happily called the Rams and Chargers.

 

 

57 The development this season…

In reply to by RickD

The development this season has indeed been incredible. Last year Jackson couldn’t initially beat out Flacco (although there may have been factors beyond pure ability at play there), then came in mid-season and faced a very soft schedule of defenses, and whilst flashing his running/athletic ability, did not perform efficiently overall. When he did face a good defense in the playoffs, he looked lost.

Nobody could have foreseen this level of improvement. The coaching environment in Baltimore is clearly first rate, and, critically, Jackson has really applied himself. I find it probable that some lazy groupthink went into his drafting, but the quality of coaching received, and how he has responded to it, is stuff mostly independent from his pre-draft evaluation. 

66 This is wrong in a crucial…

In reply to by RickD

This is wrong in a crucial way though, and I think gets to the heart of how so many teams misevaluated Jackson. He came out of college having run an offense at Louisville that featured a ton of QB runs, yes, but also a legitimately pro-style passing game where he was required to read the defense and go through progressions from the pocket. Someone (Chris Brown from Smart Football?) mentioned recently that Louisville's passing game basically looked like Tom Coughlin's Jaguars in the 90s - Petrino was on that staff.

Jackson did have real concerns with accuracy (it still isn't really a great strength of his - he probably has room to improve there!), but his completion percentage in college was also depressed compared to many of his peers because he didn't run an offense with many automatic reads or one-step throws. (IIRC if you adjusted his college completion percentage for depth, he basically moved from down by Josh Allen to near the middle of the pack in his draft class.) IMO it shouldn't be any more of a shock that he has developed into a solid NFL passer than most any other prospect coming out of college these days.

82 [We] had no reason to think …

In reply to by RickD

[We] had no reason to think [Jackson] could pass at the minimal level required in the NFL

Says who? QBase had no such qualms.

81 Jackson is literally doing…

Jackson is literally doing things no other quarterback has done in the NFL. 

Whoa, let's not go too far here. Nobody seems to remember RG3 in 2012, when he was a player almost exactly like Jackson.

17 It may take an off-season of…

It may take an off-season of study to come up with answers for what the Ravens are doing. I don't think there's ever been an offense like this before.

18 The scary thing for their…

The scary thing for their opponents is that there is still quite a bit of room for growth in the Ravens offense. Ingram's a nice player, but you don't worry about him scoring when he takes a handoff 60 yards from the end zone. They don't have a wide receiver yet who threatens to take the top off a defense on every snap. They add either one of those two types, and the defenses they face are going to be stressed to an incredible degree.

31 Theoretically there is…

Theoretically there is growth available, but expecting a practically unstoppable offense to get even better the next year is a tall order. Important players get injured or demand more money, the ball bounces this way rather than that, and all of a sudden you get a regression.

35 There best bet is to get the…

There best bet is to get the stereotypical malcontent, talented,  very fast wideout, on a one or two year rental, before Jackson consumes 18-20%  of the cap. There seems to be one every other year. Just have to pick one that doesn't get himself suspended.

27 Is what the Ravens are doing…

Is what the Ravens are doing really all that different from what Greg Roman has always done?

His teams, since his sabbatical year, are based on a mobile QB (Luck, Smith, Kaepernick, Taylor, Jackson), paired with a workhorse RB (Gerhart, Gore, McCoy, Ingram), ideally paired with one quality WR (Baldwin, Crabtree, Watkins... Brown?).

Honestly, it appears Harbaugh's QB whispering was mostly done by Roman.

29 None of those offenses were…

None of those offenses were ever tailored to their qbs mobility quite like Jacksons. An offense entirely designed, including pass concepts, around your qbs elite mobility is certainly nothing we've ever seen.

 

But that dovetails with the fact that I'm not sure there is another qb outside of Mike Vick who Jackson resembles and Mike Vick was either in a non scheme under Reeves or shoehorned into a west coast offensive scheme under Mora. 

39 I'm gonna keep pounding the…

I'm gonna keep pounding the table for an NFL team to pay Lincoln Riley however much money it takes to pry him away from Oklahoma. Explosive passing game with spread and air raid principles built on top an option run game that incorporates the QB. I don't even think you can consider it terribly risky anymore either, given that we can see offenses succeeding with this stuff in the NFL right now.

I should probably be quiet so I don't speak it into existence, but his offense seems tailor-made for the Cowboys personnel right now.

47 I love Lincoln Riley's…

I love Lincoln Riley's playcalling and overall offense, but he isn't as aggressive on 4th downs as he should be.  He would .also need a strong defensive coordinator, because that side has been atrocious for Oklahoma the last 3-5 years.  He reminds me of Andy Reid in his overall greatness, and yet foolish late game decisions.

46 they have an old-style running game

This is what the NFL used to look like, before everything became pass-wacky.  Take a look at the Patriots circa 1976-1978, with Steve Grogan at QB and the most productive running attack in NFL history.  (The '78 team still holds the total rushing yardage record, though, to be fair, that was the first 16-game regular season.  I wouldn't say that they could out-rush Jim Brown's teams.)  

Many pundits are confused because the idea of making the running game the focus of an offense seemed to have died with Emmitt Smith's retirement.  

Sure, the  Ravens aren't doing exactly the same kind of running plays that other running teams have done in the past, but this really isn't all that novel.  It's just that they're very good at rushing the ball.  

There wasn't anything all that novel to how they rushed the ball vs. the Patriots.  They just executed very well,  have a great blocking line, and have both a good running QB and a good lead RB.  And they've caught the NFL at a time where every single defense is designed to stop the pass.  The Patriots have the best pass D in the NFL, but that doesn't help them much against the Ravens - it's like having the sharpest Scissors in a contest versus Rock.

54 Pats Rushing Record in Jeopardy

They Ravens are at 2316 yards rushing for the season, 850 from breaking the Pats' team record that has stood since 1978. That means they need exactly 170 yards per game to get there. They're currently averaging 210.5. I think they get it done, in the process securing Yanda's spot in the HOF as one of the best Guards in the NFL since Hannah. 

85 we've seen this before

This offense is the 2012-2014 49ers on steroids - Jackson appears to be even more talented than Kaep, and Greg Roman appears to be flourishing without whatever Jim was doing to handcuff his playcalling (or maybe he's just improved as a coach). Those 49ers teams had solid offensive talent (good Oline, crabtree/VD as pass catchers, Gore was still playing pretty dang well) but the offense did tend to clog up a bit and it felt like the playcalling went too conservative quite a bit, followed up by random extremely high risk, low-chance-of-success plays that failed and then made the coaches go back to being conservative. 

The Ravens are incorporating more QB runs (or options) than SF ever did though. 

41 should point out

>Garoppolo's first 11 dropbacks resulted in just one first down, as he went 5-of-8 for 31 yards with an aborted snap and two sacks. He picked up eight first downs after that, going 9-of-11 for 222 yards and two scores.

After 20 snaps, Niners pulled back up LT Skule for backup LT Brunskill and correlation is causation so...

59 I haven't watched a lot of…

I haven't watched a lot of Goff or Wentz this year, but their career arcs this far have been very weird. I'm not sure what the future holds for either player, though I have more confidence in Wentz than I do Goff.

The salary and lack of draft assets coupled with the poor performance by Goff presents a doomsday scenario that could take years to recover from.

60 Feedback

Vince: would it be possible to add a Total DYAR (rushing + receiving) column to your historical running backs table? That would make it a lot easier to compare the seasons, e.g. 1987 J.L. Williams vs 2000 Faulk.

To be honest, at this point that would be more trouble than it's worth, and it would also be misleading. This is NOT the leaderboard for most combined DYAR in a season. If it was, you'd have 1998 Terrell Davis on there because he had 602 rushing DYAR, even though he only had 45 receiving DYAR.

In the Latavius Murray comment, auto-type put in "Cardinals" instead of Carolina (or substitute Panthers if you like).

Thank you. That's fixed.

Where did Mike Glennon (3 fumbled snaps on 9 dropbacks, 1 first down) rank?

-61 DYAR. He only has two fumbled snaps in the play-by-play. Was one wiped out by a penalty?

Worst all-time games of combined QB DYAR. Best all-time games of combined QB DYAR.

Covered two years ago (I have no idea why the redesign is mangling some of our tables in older articles): https://www.footballoutsiders.com/quick-reads/2017/week-5-quick-reads

63 Glennon fumbles

In reply to by Vincent Verhei

He only has two fumbled snaps in the play-by-play. Was one wiped out by a penalty?

On the third of the fumbled snaps, Glennon recovered well enough to complete a pass for -2 yards.  It's listed as a fumble in the gamebook, but the parser might have missed it.

78 Best/Worst Combined DYAR

In reply to by Vincent Verhei

In the list of best all-time combined DYAR games, that 51-48 Broncos-Cowboys game (Manning vs. Romo) was a real gem. I watched it via 'condensed' replay on NFL Game Pass, which cuts out all the downtime between snaps, and it felt like I was mainlining caffeine.