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

Week 15 Quick Reads

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

As we have written about earlier this year, one of the biggest stories of this NFL season has been the extreme difference between the best and worst defenses this season, and the radical effects that difference has had on our opponent adjustments. Just this week, for example, Matt Ryan gained a league-high 87 DYAR due to opponent adjustments for playing the mighty San Francisco defense. Eli Manning, on the other land, lost 65 DYAR for playing the woeful Miami Dolphins. That's a swing of 152 DYAR between the two quarterbacks based purely on who they were playing, without even analyzing the result of a single pass. Considering the gap between the quarterbacks at the top (Lamar Jackson, before Monday night) and bottom (Devlin Hodges) of our tables this week is 321 DYAR, we can see that opponent adjustments can account for nearly half of the variance between the best and worst quarterbacks in a given week.

That's just one week though. What happens if we look at the season as a whole? Do those differences tend to even out over the course of the year, or have some players feasted on a series of cupcakes while others have run a gauntlet of brutal opponents?

We can answer this by looking at the difference between each quarterback's passing DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) and passing YAR (Yards Above Replacement, the same statistic without accounting for opponents). (More information on these statistics is available here.) Using this methodology, here are the quarterbacks who have played the most difficult schedules this season:

Andy Dalton, CIN
Passing DYAR: 7
Passing YAR: -214
Difference: +221

Dalton has only played one truly bad pass defense this season: the Cardinals (29th in pass defense DVOA coming into the week) in Week 5. And though the Bengals lost, Dalton had a good game, completing 71% of his passes for 6.9 yards per throw with two touchdowns, no interceptions, and only one sack. Meanwhile, he has played against each of the top five teams in pass defense DVOA: the Patriots, 49ers, Steelers, Ravens, and Bills. In those five contests, he completed 57% of his passes and a 6.0-yard average with four touchdowns, nine interceptions, and 16 sacks. Dalton has missed three games this year, and one of those was against the Oakland Raiders, next-to-last in pass defense DVOA. The other two, however, were rematches against the Steelers and Ravens. The good news for Dalton is that his life is about to get a lot easier -- the Bengals play the Dolphins (last in pass defense DVOA, by a lot) this week before closing the year against the Browns (13th).

Russell Wilson, SEA
Passing DYAR: 1,211
Passing YAR: 1,062
Difference: +149

Wilson has played three of the teams in the bottom seven in pass defense DVOA -- the Falcons, Bengals, and Cardinals -- and in three wins he completed 74% of his passes with a 9.1-yard average with five touchdowns and no interceptions (he did take 10 sacks, because he is still Russell Wilson). Eight times, though, he has played opponents in the top 11: the 49ers, Ravens, and Steelers, plus the Saints, Vikings, Panthers, and Rams (twice). Wilson only went 5-3 in those games, completing 66% of his throws for 7.7 yards per pass with 13 touchdowns, four interceptions, and 18 sacks … which, you know, are pretty good numbers, because he is still Russell Wilson. Wilson's last two games will come against one very bad pass defense (Arizona) and one very good one (San Francisco); depending on how many passes he throws in those games, he may pass Dalton for the most difficult schedule of the year.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Passing DYAR: 101
Passing YAR: -31
Difference: +132

And now a case of adding insult to injury. Roethlisberger threw 47 passes (plus one sack) against New England, one of the best pass defenses we have seen this century. He came back the next week and threw 15 passes (plus one more sack) against Seattle (15th in pass defense DVOA) before his season ended with an elbow injury. And that's it.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA
Passing DYAR: 179
Passing YAR: 56
Difference: +123

Poor, poor Ryan Fitzpatrick. He plays in the AFC East, which means games against the Patriots and Bills … but he also plays for the Dolphins, which means he doesn't get to play against his own team's defense, the worst in the league. Between Buffalo (twice), New England, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, Fitzpatrick completed 62% of his passes for a 6.5-yard average with four touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 17 sacks. Take away his games the last two weeks against the Jets and Giants -- the only teams he has faced that rank in the bottom 10 in pass defense DVOA -- and he would be just behind Dalton for second place on this list. In three games against the two New Jersey clubs (the past two weeks and the first Jets game in November), Fitzpatrick completed 60% of his passes for a 7.1-yard average with five touchdowns, one interception, and nine sacks. He'll close out the year with games against the Bengals, who are very bad, and the Patriots, who are not.

Baker Mayfield, CLE
Passing DYAR: 43
Passing YAR: -78
Difference: +121

As if not enough things had gone wrong for Cleveland this year, they have also had to play a very tough schedule: two games against the Steelers, plus the Ravens, Patriots, 49ers, and Bills. Mayfield completed 59% of his passes in those games for a 6.8-yard average with seven touchdowns, five interceptions, and 18 sacks. He also won three of them -- Mayfield's Browns are the last team to beat the Ravens. He has played three games against notably bad defenses -- the Bengals, Cardinals, and Dolphins -- completing 64% of his throws with a 7.6-yard average, five touchdowns, four interceptions, and only three sacks. Yet the Browns only won one of those games. What a weird year this has been. Mayfield will close the year with rematches against the Ravens and Bengals.


You'll note that this discussion has involved a lot of quarterbacks who have played against defenses in the AFC East. It's surprising, then, that the quarterback who has been hurt most by opponent adjustments play in that same division.

Sam Darnold, NYJ
Passing DYAR: -262
Passing YAR: -67
Difference: -195

Keep in mind that Darnold missed the Jets' first game against New England. He did play against the Patriots in Week 7, and has also played one game each against the Bills and Ravens, completing 54% of his passes for a 4.6-yard average with three touchdowns, five interceptions, and six sacks. Those three games are the only games this year in which Darnold has gotten a boost from opponent adjustments. Otherwise he has played against a who's who of who sucks -- the Raiders, Giants, Bengals, and of course two games against the Dolphins. Including those five contests, Darnold had a six-week stretch where the best opponent he faced was Washington, who came into the week 18th in pass defense DVOA. In those six games, Darnold completed 63% of his passes with a 7.6-yard average, 10 touchdowns, three interceptions, and 13 sacks. Darnold's year is ending with the toughest part of his schedule -- fresh off Thursday night's loss to Baltimore, the Jets finish up with the Steelers and Bills.

Jacoby Brissett, IND
Passing DYAR: 450
Passing YAR: 591
Difference: -141

Note that this does not include Brissett's Monday night outing against the Saints, who will be just the second top-10 pass defense Brissett has played this year. Up to this point, the most difficult defense Brissett has faced has been the Chiefs, who rank sixth. He only averaged 5.2 yards per pass with no touchdowns against Kansas City, but he did complete 62% of his passes and threw only one interception with no sacks a 19-13 win. Brissett's easiest opponents have been the Falcons, Raiders, and Texans twice; in those four games, he completed 64% of his passes for 7.0 yards apiece with nine touchdowns, one interception, and three sacks. Brissett will close the year against Carolina (eighth in pass defense DVOA) and Jacksonville (21st) and could pass Darnold when all is said and done.

Josh Allen, BUF
Passing DYAR: -59
Passing YAR: 55
Difference: -114

Hey, look! It's another AFC East quarterback who has only played the Patriots once so far! In addition to New England, Allen has played two other quality defenses in the Ravens and Steelers, and he was helpless in those three games, completing 47% of his passes for 4.8 yards per throw with two touchdowns, four interceptions, and 11 sacks. Meanwhile, Allen has gotten to play the Giants, Bengals, and -- naturally -- the Dolphins (twice), and in those four games he has completed 63% of his passes for 7.6 yards per throw with seven touchdowns, one interception, and a half-dozen sacks. The Bills play in New England on Saturday in Allen's last chance before the playoffs to show he can hold his own against a postseason-caliber defense, then finish up against the Jets in Week 17 (assuming Allen even plays that game).

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI
Passing DYAR: 17
Passing YAR: 121
Difference: -104

Trubisky's first and last games this season have come against the Packers, and he also played the Saints in Week 7. Those are his only games this year with double-digit boosts from opponent adjustments. He completed 59% of his passes for a 5.3-yard average with three touchdowns, three interceptions, and 10 sacks in those games. Most of his opponents have been in the middle of the pack, though he did get two games against the Lions and one against the Giants (all in November!). He completed 69% of his passes for a 7.7-yard average with seven touchdowns, three interceptions, and eight sacks in those games. He'll finish up against the Chiefs and Vikings, two of the better defenses he has played all year, who will both need wins to maintain ground in the playoff race.

Kirk Cousins, MIN
Passing DYAR: 901
Passing YAR: 1,003
Difference: -102

Yes, it has been a good year to be an NFC North quarterback. (Matthew Stafford nearly made this list with a -91 difference between DYAR and YAR, in only eight starts. Aaron Rodgers is currently at +40; the Packers play Minnesota this week and Detroit in Week 17.) The toughest defense Cousins has faced has been the Chiefs; otherwise, the biggest opponent adjustment boosts have come from two games against Chicago and Green Bay. In those three contests, Cousins completed 57% of his passes for a 6.4-yard average with four touchdowns, two interceptions, and eight sacks. Meanwhile, he has faced the Lions twice, plus the Giants, Raiders, and Falcons; in those five games he completed 76% of his throws for a 9.5-yard average with nine touchdowns, zero interceptions, and five sacks. Cousins closes the year against the Packers and Bears in games that will have a crucial impact on the NFC playoff race.


The funny thing about all of this is, despite the extreme variance in defensive strength this year, none of these men are close to breaking any all-time records. The most difficult schedule for any quarterback on record was Tom Brady's in 2009, when the Revis Island Jets and Jairus Byrd's Bills finished first and second in pass defense DVOA. The easiest schedule was faced by Kurt Warner in 1999, when they shared a division with four horrible teams -- the Panthers, Saints, Falcons, and 49ers each finished in the bottom 11 in pass defense DVOA.

Matt Ryan has also played some notable schedules in his career. His 2013 season was the second-most difficult schedule of any quarterback on record; the Falcons played seven games against the top six pass defenses that year, include the Legion of Boom Seahawks at their best. Just two years later, Ryan played the second-easiest schedule we have ever measured, including the Saints team that had been the worst defense on record until they were "passed" by our analysis of the 1986 Buccaneers.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Drew Brees NO
29/30
307
4
0
0
241
241
0
IND
2.
Lamar Jackson BAL
15/23
212
5
0
1
227
182
45
NYJ
Jackson's average pass traveled 12.8 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, most of any starter this week. Three of Jackson's touchdown passes came on second down, where he went 7-of-9 for 93 yards with a sack. Only one of his touchdowns came on throws down the middle, but that is where he did most of his work, going 9-of-12 for 122 yards, plus a 43-yard DPI.
3.
Matt Ryan ATL
25/39
210
2
0
2
181
172
9
SF
Ryan, as noted in the main essay, gained a league-high 87 DYAR due to opponent adjustments this week. He had a cold spell in the middle of this game -- from his 5-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones in the first quarter to the point when the 49ers took a 19-10 lead in the fourth, he went 6-of-12 for 41 yards with as many first downs (two) as sacks. But then he played some very effective small-ball leading Atlanta's comeback, finishing up 11-of-16 for 95 yards and a touchdown, plus a 32-yard DPI, on the last two drives.
4.
Russell Wilson SEA
20/26
286
2
0
2
154
160
-6
CAR
Wilson came out of the gates on fire, starting out 8-of-10 for 175 yards and two scores as Seattle took a 20-7 lead in the second quarter. On deep passes that traveled more than 15 yards downfield, he went 5-of-7 for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
5.
Jameis Winston TB
28/42
458
4
1
2
154
153
1
DET
Winston loses 60 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His performance on Tampa Bay's first five drives was kind of insane, as he went 15-of-19 for 291 yards with three touchdowns, one sack, and one interception in less than one half. Throughout the game, he bombed the Lions' secondary relentlessly. He threw a dozen deep balls in this game, completing seven of them for 222 yards and three touchdowns.
6.
Patrick Mahomes KC
27/34
340
2
1
3
146
142
4
DEN
Two years ago I got kind of obsessed with the idea of whether some quarterbacks played streakier than others. (Here is one piece in that series.) Mahomes' game against Denver would have been a fine case study in that piece, because it was streaky as hell. He picked up first downs on seven of his first nine dropbacks, then went four straight dropbacks without one. Then he picked up four first downs in five dropbacks, then went seven straight dropbacks without one. Then he picked up first downs on five straight dropbacks, but only picked up two more in his final eight plays. In those hot streaks, he combined to go 16-of-18 for 229 yards with two touchdowns, plus a 22-yard DPI. In the cold streaks, he went 11-of-16 for 111 yards with three sacks and an interception.
7.
Dwayne Haskins WAS
19/28
261
2
0
0
113
111
3
PHI
Haskins was dynamite on his own half of the field, but not much good once crossing the 50. In Philadelphia territory, he went 4-of-8 for 28 yards with just one first down, a 5-yard touchdown to Steven Sims.
8.
Kyler Murray ARI
19/25
219
1
1
0
86
79
6
CLE
Murray had more dropbacks in Cleveland territory (15) than in his own half of the field (11). Once crossing the 50, he went 11-of-14 for 106 yards and a touchdown, plus a 21-yard DPI.
9.
Derek Carr OAK
22/36
267
1
0
4
76
71
5
JAX
Carr struggled to finish drives. Inside the Jaguars' 40-yard line, he went 1-of-8 for 17 yards, one sack, and no touchdowns. You'll recall that the Raiders lost this game by four points.
10.
Dak Prescott DAL
15/23
212
2
0
0
75
96
-21
LAR
Talk about a Jekyll-&-Hyde game. Prescott picked up just one first down in his first ten dropbacks, going 4-of-10 for 36 yards. Then his last pass of the first quarter was a 19-yard touchdown, and then in the last three quarters he went 10-of-12 for 157 yards and a score. He did not have a dropback in the fourth quarter; his 84 DYAR in the second and third quarters ranked third this week. His average completion gained 9.9 yards after the catch, most of any starter this week.
11.
Carson Wentz PHI
30/43
266
3
0
2
48
57
-9
WAS
Wentz's DYAR take a hit because he fumbled on two of his sacks, losing one. With the Eagles' wide receiver corps in disarray, Wentz leaned heavily on his running backs, completing each of his 13 passes to Miles Sanders and Boston Scott for 89 yards and a touchdown.
12.
Josh Allen BUF
13/25
139
1
1
1
41
21
19
PIT
Allen gained 42 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He threw seven passes down the middle against Pittsburgh, completing two of them -- one to his own team (an 8-yard gain on first-and-10) and one to the Steelers. His average completion gained only 1.2 yards after the catch, least of any starter this week.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
22/35
279
2
1
2
37
25
12
HOU
It was too little, too late, but Tannehill was at his best in the fourth quarter, going 9-of-12 for 99 yards and two touchdowns, with two sacks.
14.
Jacoby Brissett IND
18/34
165
0
0
1
27
22
4
NO
15.
Kirk Cousins MIN
19/25
207
1
1
0
20
15
5
LAC
Cousins had a pair of aborted snaps in the first half (both on first down at that), but the Vikings were fortunate to recover both. He had a perfect day throwing down the middle, completing each of his eight passes in that direction for 80 yards and a touchdown.
16.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
22/34
200
1
0
1
20
17
3
ATL
Garoppolo threw 10 passes to receivers behind the line of scrimmage, tied with Carson Wentz for most in the league this week. He completed nine of them for 74 yards. On a related note, his average pass traveled just 4.0 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, least of any starter this week.
17.
Gardner Minshew JAX
17/29
201
2
0
2
12
11
1
OAK
Minshew loses 49 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His first pass of the game was a 55-yard completion to Keelan Cole, but then he picked up just one first down in his next 12 dropbacks, going 3-of-11 for 15 yards with one sack. As you'd expect, he was at his best leading the Jaguars' comeback. After the Raiders went up 16-3, Minshew went 10-of-13 for 88 yards and two touchdowns, plus a 21-yard DPI.
18.
Aaron Rodgers GB
17/33
203
1
0
1
9
4
4
CHI
Rodgers struggled in scoring range. Inside the Bears 40, he went 5-of-8 for 43 yards with only one first down (a 29-yard touchdown to Davante Adams) with one intentional grounding and one sack.
19.
Sam Darnold NYJ
18/32
218
2
1
1
9
3
5
BAL
Almost all of Darnold's good plays came on throws to his wide receivers. He completed four of his five throws to running backs and tight ends, but for a total of just 10 yards, and the one that was not completed was intercepted.
20.
Philip Rivers LAC
29/39
307
1
3
3
8
8
0
MIN
The Chargers fumbled on three of Rivers' completions, losing two of them. Only 14 other quarterbacks have had so many fumbles on completed passes all season. Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, and Carson Wentz lead the way with six apiece.
21.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
29/52
334
1
2
3
1
-1
1
GB
One of Trubisky's interceptions came on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half. He didn't get much help from his backs or tight ends -- on throws to those positions, he went 10-of-15 for 75 yards with as many first downs (one) as interceptions.
22.
Deshaun Watson HOU
19/27
243
2
2
1
-3
10
-13
TEN
Watson packed a full season's worth of opposition-territory excitement into this game. On Tennessee's side of the 50, he went 8-of-14 for 109 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw a pair of red zone interceptions. He's the first player to throw two red zone picks in a game since Sam Darnold in Week 7 against the Patriots.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA
23/41
279
2
0
3
-4
1
-5
NYG
Fitzpatrick loses 51 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His 20-yard touchdown to DeVante Parker put the Dolphins up 7-0. Over Miami's next eight drives, he went 7-of-20 (throwing six incompletions in a row at one point) for 67 yards with three sacks and a 7-yard DPI as the Giants built a 36-13 lead.
24.
Andy Dalton CIN
17/31
151
1
4
0
-28
-26
-2
NE
Dalton gained 82 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. In the first half Dalton played well and the Patriots only led 13-10, but in the second half the wheels fell off. After halftime, he went 10-of-23 for 96 yards with four interceptions, including a pick-six.
25.
Eli Manning NYG
20/28
283
2
3
1
-29
-29
0
MIA
Manning loses 65 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His deepest pass of the game was intercepted 31 yards downfield; he also threw an interception that traveled 9 yards downfield. On throws between those two distances, he went 8-of-11 for 210 yards and a touchdown, plus a 24-yard DPI.
26.
Baker Mayfield CLE
30/42
247
2
1
1
-31
-38
7
ARI
Mayfield loses 64 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was fairly efficient in this game, passing for 16 first downs, but couldn't get big plays, with a long completion of only 26 yards (and even on that one, Ricky Seals-Jones fumbled the ball away, though that has no effect on Mayfield's numbers). Those 16 first downs averaged only 10.1 yards apiece, least of any starter this week.
27.
Jared Goff LAR
33/51
284
2
1
2
-32
-26
-7
DAL
Goff loses 42 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He had a rough day on third and fourth downs, going 4-of-10 for 21 yards (yes) with one touchdown, two other conversions, and two sacks.
28.
Drew Lock DEN
18/40
208
0
1
2
-45
-29
-15
KC
Lock gained 53 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. In Kansas City territory, he went 5-of-19 for 24 yards with no touchdowns, one sack, and one interception. He threw nine passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield and completed two of them -- one to Noah Fant for a 43-yard gain, one to Juan Thornhill for a Chiefs interception.
29.
Tom Brady NE
15/29
128
2
0
2
-67
-67
0
CIN
Brady loses 44 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He had a terrible day on throws to his right, going 6-of-10 for all of 20 yards. None of those completions gained more than 8 yards, and only one picked up a first down. He threw four deep passes against the Bengals; none were complete.
30.
Kyle Allen CAR
25/40
277
1
3
1
-67
-76
9
SEA
Allen had by far the worst DYAR in the league in the first three quarters this week (largely because his last two passes in the third quarter were both intercepted), but was second-best behind Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter. In the final 15 minutes, he went 10-of-15 for 136 yards and a touchdown, picking up first downs on six straight throws at one point. And considering that score left the Panthers down 30-24 with more than three minutes left in the game, you can't just write that off as garbage-time production either.
31.
David Blough DET
24/43
260
0
2
2
-78
-91
12
TB
Blough did not attempt a deep pass until he had a third-and-12 while down 21-3 in the third quarter; his bomb on that play was intercepted, and soon the Bucs were up 24-3. Most of Blough's production came after that -- up to that point he had gone 10-of-20 for 72 yards with one interception, one sack, and zero third-down conversions.
32.
Devlin Hodges PIT
23/38
202
1
4
4
-94
-95
2
BUF
Hodges gained 42 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Hodges is the first quarterback with four interceptions, four sacks, and one fumble in a game since ... his teammate Mason Rudolph, who did it three weeks ago. The Steelers are the first team since at least 1993 with two such games in the same season. Three of Hodges' interceptions were thrown on deep balls, two of those to James Washington. Take away everyone's sacks and interceptions and Hodges would have ranked 21st this week instead of last. (Taking his spot in last place would have been Tom Brady.)

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
24
117
2
3/4
43
0
88
69
19
LAR
Elliott gains 16 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Though his longest run gained only 15 yards, 10 of his carries resulted in first downs, and every one of them -- many of them while up by multiple touchdowns in the second half -- gained at least 1 yard. Two of his catches also picked up first downs.
2.
Kenyan Drake ARI
22
137
4
1/1
9
0
71
66
5
CLE
Drake loses 14 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Three of Drake's touchdown runs came from within the 5-yard line, but he also showed plenty of pop, with a half-dozen runs that gained 10 yards or more. Eleven of his runs resulted in first downs, while only three were stuffed.
3.
Mark Ingram BAL
13
76
1
1/2
10
1
58
49
9
NYJ
Ingram gains 17 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Eight of his runs gained 5 yards or more, the longest a 29-yarder, and four resulted in first downs. Only two were stuffed.
4.
Tony Pollard DAL
12
131
1
2/2
12
0
57
58
-1
LAR
Pollard only ran for four first downs, but three of those carries gained 25 yards or more. He is the only player with three 25-yard runs in a game this season. Meanwhile, he was also stuffed three times.
5.
Christian McCaffrey CAR
19
87
2
8/10
88
0
55
27
28
SEA
The Seahawks stuffed McCaffrey four times, but he still ran for six first downs, including four runs of 11 yards or more. Four of his catches also produced first downs, each of those plays gained at least 14 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.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
24
117
2
3/4
43
0
88
69
19
LAR
2.
Kenyan Drake ARI
22
137
4
1/1
9
0
71
66
5
CLE
3.
Tony Pollard DAL
12
131
1
2/2
12
0
57
58
-1
LAR
4.
Carlos Hyde HOU
26
104
1
0/0
0
0
49
49
0
TEN
Hyde gains 19 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His longest run gained only 11 yards, but six of his carries went for first downs, and 16 gained 3 yards or more, while only three were stuffed.
5.
Mark Ingram BAL
13
76
1
1/2
10
1
58
49
9
NYJ

 

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.
Matt Breida SF
4
11
0
2/2
6
0
-36
-33
-3
ATL
Breida's yardage totals are dreary enough, but he also fumbled on two of his four carries.

 

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.
Matt Breida SF
4
11
0
2/2
6
0
-36
-33
-3
ATL

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Breshad Perriman TB
5
6
113
22.6
3
76
DET
Perriman's totals include 75 receiving DYAR, 1 rushing DYAR for his one carry for 3 yards. Each of his catches produced a first down, including three third-down conversions, and four of them gained 25 yards or more.
2.
Julio Jones ATL
13
20
134
10.3
2
73
SF
Jones gains 22 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Ten of his catches produced first downs, and he gained an 11th on a 32-yard DPI.
3.
Terry McLaurin WAS
5
5
130
26.0
1
61
PHI
Three of McLaurin's catches produced first downs, including a 75-yard touchdown. He gained a fourth first down on a 14-yard DPI.
4.
Jonnu Smith TEN
5
5
60
12.0
0
51
HOU
Smith's totals include 28 receiving DYAR, 23 rushing DYAR for his one carry for 57 yards. Three of his catches went for first downs, the longest a 23-yarder.
5.
Tyler Lockett SEA
8
9
120
15.0
1
50
CAR
Five of Lockett's catches produced first downs, including gains of 20 and 44 yards.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Mohamed Sanu NE
2
8
13
6.5
0
-50
CIN
Sanu's two cathes were a 7-yard gain on second-and-10 and a 6-yard gain on third-and-10. He was the target on incomplete passes on third-and-4 and fourth-and-4.

Comments

41 comments, Last at 22 Dec 2019, 11:05am

1 minor Kirk Cousins corrections

The toughest defense Cousins has faced has been the Chiefs; otherwise, he biggest opponent adjustment boosts have come from two games against Chicago and Green Bay. In those three contests, Cousins completed 57%

Aside from the missing "t" on "the", it has only been two contests (it was correct in the first part of the sentence as "two games").

2 Streaky QBs

I feel like a lot of it has to do with play calling. Reid often throws the Chiefs into "prevent offense" with a lead in the late third quarter into the fourth. It's why the Chiefs have something like an (estimated) -30 score differential in the 4th quarter.

This leads to hyper-conservative play calling, predictable draws, repeated screens, etc. I'd guess that Mahomes' DYAR Q1-Q3 is massively different than it is in Q4 of games, except when trailing.

Outside of the Mahomes/Reid example though, I think it still depends a lot on the play caller. I'd be curious to see if that sort of streaky play, if even quantifiable, trends stronger with the QB or with the OC/Playcaller over time.

4 Really?

I know you write the Quick Reads before Monday Night, but how hard would it have been to fix the the name of the highest DYAR this week and do that subtraction? How hard to add to Brissett's DYAR and YAR from this game? Like, 1 minute? This just looks lazy. You didn't even qualify the first one with the "going into Monday night" or "excluding the Monday night game".

13 Might wanna rephrase that

In reply to by TGT

Your request is reasonable, but your tone is not. Try asking a little more nicely next time... there's no benefit to being a jerk!

25 Festivus in a football Blog

The best part about Festivus in this context has to be how it's elements are essentially identical to a practice day in the life of an NFL player. The airing of grievances followed by feats of strength, each field is even equipped with four convenient Festivus poles (uprights).

5 That's not how statistics work

Just this week, for example, Matt Ryan gained a league-high 87 DYAR due to opponent adjustments for playing the mighty San Francisco defense. Eli Manning, on the other land, lost 65 DYAR for playing the woeful Miami Dolphins. That's a swing of 152 DYAR between the two quarterbacks based purely on who they were playing, without even analyzing the result of a single pass. Considering the gap between the quarterbacks at the top (Lamar Jackson, before Monday night) and bottom (Devlin Hodges) of our tables this week is 321 DYAR, we can see that opponent adjustments can account for nearly half of the variance between the best and worst quarterbacks in a given week.

That's not how statistics work. If Hodges had lost the most DYAR due to opponent adjustments and Jackson had gained the most DYAR due to opponent adjustments, then maybe you could make this claim. As is, it's just flat out wrong.

7 He is just saying that

Opponent adjustments are strong enough to account for nearly half the variance from top to bottom of any given week.  That's why it said "we see that opponent adjustments can account for nearly half of the variance", which is accurate.  It can.  It didn't, but it can.

10 Hodges

Obligatory "not a Steelers fan"--I and my friend from the Buffalo area were rooting for the Bills Sunday night.

Yes, Hodges stats were bad--but -94 DYAR is not usually the worst performance of the week.

31 Yes, but with the huge boost…

In reply to by Joseph

Yes, but with the huge boost he got from playing Buffalo, well, that was bad.

But not Josh Rosen bad, for sure.

35 It looked like regular …

It looked like regular "rookie QB playing against a good defense" bad to me.  Nothing to bury the kid's career on, in my opinion.

The really bad INT was the second one, taking Pittsburgh out of scoring range and putting Buffalo in scoring range.  That's the type of throw Hodges needs to get out of his game to have a long career.  

The rest of the game he just looked overwhelmed, but not much more overwhelmed than Prescott looked against the Bills a week (or two?) ago.

11 Michael Thomas

I would have thought Michael Thomas' 12-for-12 day would have made the top five. Guess he must have had a few failed completions.

12 fumbles

does DVOA count all fumbles as the same? I'm curious if a fumbled snap by a QB is more likely to be recovered by the offence than a sack fumble?

My guess is a fumbled snap is quite a bit more likely to be recovered by the offence than a sack fumble. 

18 I believe they're bucketed…

In reply to by jmaron

I believe they're bucketed by type, with historical averages of recovering determining the negative value.  I know the PFR blog did a study several years ago that determined WR fumbles are more likely recovered by the defense, and that sack-fumbles were close to 50-50.  My guess is that you're right and aborted snaps are more likely to be recovered by the offense, and don't count as negatively as other fumbles.

14 Vince, question on the inner…

Vince, question on the inner machinations of DYAR. I see that the Colts have a pass D DVOA of 3.1%, which is worse than overall defensive average, but better than average for passing, cuz pass > run. Does that mean Brees would have gained DYAR from opponent adjustments, or did he lose points?

21 I don't think so. For one…

I don't think so. For one thing, home-field advantage would be hard to quantify or implement on individual plays, since (I think) it's mainly due to ref bias. Maybe discount/enhance PI calls for home/away teams? Plus, both teams play same # of home & away games (international games notwithstanding), so the effect is neutralized over the course of a whole season.

23 One possibility would be to…

One possibility would be to look at individual team's home/away splits on offense/defense and tweak opponents' D/O scores accordingly. But that would require proving that some teams have consistently stronger/weaker home-field advantage than others, which is a dubious claim. I'd wager that most of the seasonal variance in HFA is pure noise, and that every team's is more or less the same, with maybe a few exceptions (Hawks & Ravens?).

37 I can scientifically…

I can scientifically guarantee that football players who live close to sea level, but fly to play a game at 5000 ft elevation,  48 hours prior to kickoff, play worse on average, relative to players who live at 5000 ft.

38 The NHL's LA Kings used to…

The NHL's LA Kings used to be viewed as having a unique home "field" advantage. 

For years they were the only warm weather destination on the NHL calendar.  In the roughly 8 million game long NHL season no one game matters that much, whereas a mid-season break on the beach (and other locations) was viewed as a big player treat.  The intensity level and concentration of the opposition was routinely viewed as a lot lower in LA games than other games.

Doesn't apply any more now that there are a lot of warm weather destinations and the professionalism of the league has improved.  I'm told players don't even smoke or drink in the locker rooms after games any more, although as a kid who grew up playing hockey in Canada in the 70s, I find that impossible to believe.

24 Question

Does last night game now move Brees into a tie with Manning and Brady for most 200 DYAR games all time? I vaguely recall an article near the end of last season that he was 2 games behind them and he hit 200 DYAR in each of the last two weeks.

 

Edit:

On that same train of though, Brees has something like 555 DYAR over the past two weeks.  Is that a record?

27 Incredibly, I think…

In reply to by D

Incredibly, I think Roethlisberger's back-to-back 6 TD games in 2014 (vs Colts & Ravens) were a little bit higher:

"Roethlisberger has now put up 558 total DYAR in his last two games."

Source: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/quick-reads/2014/week-9-quick-reads

Gotta check with Vince to get the exact year-end totals. I know the value of the Colts game went way up by the end of the season. Not sure about the Ravens game.

28 If you include playoffs

I think if you include the playoffs than Kurt Warner is right up there for the NFCCG and Super Bowl in 2008 against two awesome pass defenses.

Manning could be as well for hte 03 Wild Card + 03 Divisional, which I think still holds the record for best passer rating over a 2-game stretch

29 Oh duh... January 2012 Drew…

Oh duh... January 2012 Mr. Brees, Mr Back-to-Back 460+ yards!

359 vs Lions + 242 vs 49ers = 601!

Pretty funny that the only guy who can beat Drew Brees is... Drew Brees. He's officially become my default guess for any (good) QB stats record.

41 I got curious about your…

I got curious about your last sentence and if he owns/could set any bad records. Brees is the active leader in pick-sixes thrown (27) and could plausibly set the career mark (Favre, 32) depending on how long/spectacular his eventual decline is.

But that's just about the only one. He is second among active players in interceptions thrown (237; Eli, 244) and could take that mark even if Eli doesn't retire, simply by dint of having regular playing time. But he's got no chance at the career mark, which Favre set to 336. That's almost sixty more than the guy in second has (George Blanda, 277). Unless and until there is some major, major rule change, Favre's record might be untouchable.

32 Opponent adjustments ...

Maybe y'all could add a column that includes opponent adjustments? Might stop some double takes ...

39 Carolina has the worst rush…

Carolina has the worst rush defence so probably adjustments.

edit: Those adjustments (below) are crazy, so I had a further look: Of Carson's 25 rushes, eight runs gained 2 yards or less. Having a third of your rushes being 'stuffs' on 1st & 10 against the worst rush defence in the NFL isn't a great day.

34 Feedback

I know you write the Quick Reads before Monday Night, but how hard would it have been to fix the the name of the highest DYAR this week and do that subtraction? How hard to add to Brissett's DYAR and YAR from this game? Like, 1 minute? This just looks lazy. You didn't even qualify the first one with the "going into Monday night" or "excluding the Monday night game".

For a number of reasons, updating the QR essay and comments with detailed MNF breakdowns is not practically possible. For Brissett specifically, I could not have taken the chance that he would have fallen out of the bottom five, forcing me to write a new comment for a different player. I should have added that caveat about "going into Monday night" in the opening paragraph, my mistake.

I would have thought Michael Thomas' 12-for-12 day would have made the top five. Guess he must have had a few failed completions.

He just missed. Finished seventh with 48 DYAR. Lost 14 DYAR for playing the Falcons. Without opponent adjustments he would have finished third behind Perriman and McLaurin.

does DVOA count all fumbles as the same? I'm curious if a fumbled snap by a QB is more likely to be recovered by the offence than a sack fumble?
My guess is a fumbled snap is quite a bit more likely to be recovered by the offence than a sack fumble. 

I believe they're bucketed by type, with historical averages of recovering determining the negative value.  I know the PFR blog did a study several years ago that determined WR fumbles are more likely recovered by the defense, and that sack-fumbles were close to 50-50.  My guess is that you're right and aborted snaps are more likely to be recovered by the offense, and don't count as negatively as other fumbles.

Eddo was pretty much correct with this answer.

Vince, question on the inner machinations of DYAR. I see that the Colts have a pass D DVOA of 3.1%, which is worse than overall defensive average, but better than average for passing, cuz pass > run. Does that mean Brees would have gained DYAR from opponent adjustments, or did he lose points?

Brees lost 17 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.

Piggybacking on this -- is there a home/road modifier to DVOA?

No. Only for stadium type/weather. We can calculate home/road splits, though.

Does last night game now move Brees into a tie with Manning and Brady for most 200 DYAR games all time? I vaguely recall an article near the end of last season that he was 2 games behind them and he hit 200 DYAR in each of the last two weeks.

I think so, yes. Here is that original article.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/quick-reads/2018/week-10-quick-reads

Maybe y'all could add a column that includes opponent adjustments? Might stop some double takes ...

At some point we just don't have room to run all the numbers. Every year, more and more readers are viewing the site on mobile devices. We need these to be readable on phones and tablets.

I will be really, really happy when this season is behind me and I don't have to address opponent adjustments so much. If you missed it, I wrote about why opponent adjustments are so ridiculous this year two weeks ago:

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/quick-reads/2019/week-13-quick-reads

I'm surprised that Chris Carson didn't make the top 5.

Speaking of ridiculous opponent adjustments: Carson finished with -7 DYAR (-3 rushing, -4 receiving), because he lost FOURTY-FOUR DYAR for playing the Panthers. The Panthers run defense suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.

40 !

In reply to by Vincent Verhei

!!