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

Week 8 Quick Reads

Aaron Jones
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Vincent Verhei

In his first 31 NFL games, Aaron Jones had shown a few flashes of great receiving ability, but they had been the exception, not the rule. He had five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Seattle last year and seven catches for 75 yards in a win over Dallas a few weeks ago, but those had been his only two games with over 40 yards, and he was averaging only 13.7 yards per game.

If you looked deeper, though, there were signs in Jones' background of what he could do as a passing target. From 2013 to 2016, he rushed for more than 4,000 yards at Texas-El Paso, which is a lot -- 11th-most in the country over those four college football seasons. He also had 646 yards receiving for the Miners, which isn't a ton, but it's not insignificant either, ranking 26th among the 125 players with at least 2,000 rushing yards in those four years. Most of that yardage came in small chunks, however -- only four times did he go over 50 yards in a game, though that includes an amazing 1-72-1 statline against the dreaded Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State.

Even if his numbers weren't earth-shattering, Jones showed enough receiving talent on tape to impress scouts heading into the 2017 draft. "One of the lesser-known strengths of Jones’ game is his receiving," Matt Waldman wrote in his Rookie Scouting Portfolio. "He adjusts to the ball in the air with the skill of a wide receiver. He tracks the ball over his shoulder on the run and can turn and face the quarterback at the end of a vertical route to win the ball over coverage with a leaping effort." Mark Dulgerian of NFL.com and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report were also impressed with his potential as a receiver before his NFL career began.

Hardly anyone, though, would have ever predicted Jones to explode like he did against the Chiefs on Sunday night. The Packers threw it early and often to Jones, and in the first quarter alone he had four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. He only had three more catches the rest of the game, but that included another touchdown, this one a 67-yarder. His final statline: seven catches in eight targets for 159 yards and a pair of scores. Most of those yards were gained after the catch, though he did reel in one deep ball 30 yards downfield.

Aaron Jones' Targets vs. KC, Week 8
Quarter Time Down To Go Result Depth YAC Yards 1/TD
1 14:18 2 5 Catch 2 0 2  
1 9:34 1 20 Catch 3 14 17  
1 8:49 2 3 Catch -4 8 4 Touchdown
1 7:08 1 10 Incomplete -5   0  
1 3:26 2 10 Catch 30 20 50 First Down
3 3:57 2 2 Catch 1 10 11 First Down
4 8:14 2 2 Catch -3 70 67 Touchdown
4 2:00 3 5 Catch 5 3 8 First Down

That was good for 72 receiving DYAR, which is not the best game on record for a running back, but it is the best game since the best game on record: Jamaal Charles' 195-yard, four-touchdown game against the Raiders in 2013. Before that, you have to go all the way back to Brian Westbrook's 156-yard, three-touchdown day against Green Bay in 2004 -- five years before Quick Reads debuted on this website -- to find a running back with receiving DYAR better than Jones' against Kansas City.

Best Single-Game Receiving DYAR, RBs, 1989-2019
Year Player Team Rec DYAR Pass Rec Yds TD Week Def
2013 Jamaal Charles KC 112 8 8 195 4 15 OAK
1999 Marshall Faulk STL 101 13 13 204 1 16 CHI
2004 Brian Westbrook PHI 84 11 11 156 3 13 GB
1991 Robert Delpino LARM 78 9 9 118 1 8 LARD
2000 Marshall Faulk STL 78 7 7 116 2 5 SD
2003 Brian Westbrook PHI 75 6 5 60 2 11 NYG
2001 Marshall Faulk STL 74 7 7 128 3 12 ATL
1996 Ronnie Harmon HOIL 73 8 8 108 1 11 NO
2019 Aaron Jones* GB 72 8 7 159 2 8 KC
2003 Moe Williams MIN 71 12 12 113 2 10 SD
2017 Chris Thompson WAS 69 7 6 150 1 3 OAK
1990 Barry Sanders DET 69 7 7 135 1 6 KC
1991 Thurman Thomas BUF 68 14 14 112 1 3 NYJ
2003 LaDainian Tomlinson SD 67 10 10 148 2 14 DET
2019 Austin Ekeler* LAC 66 8 5 96 2 1 IND
2002 Kevin Faulk NE 66 8 8 109 2 10 CHI
1993 Herschel Walker PHI 66 10 10 103 0 13 WAS
2017 Alvin Kamara NO 66 6 6 101 1 12 LARM
1989 James Wilder TB 66 10 10 107 2 9 CLE1
1999 Richard Huntley PIT 64 6 6 67 2 1 CLE
* Subject to fluctuating opponent adjustments.

Austin Ekeler also makes the top 20 for his Week 1 performance against Indianapolis, though both his game and Jones come with an asterisk: opponent adjustments are shown here as calculated heading into Monday Night Football on Week 8, but they can and will change over the second half of the season. Jones is almost certain to finish somewhere in the back half of the top 10, but there's a decent chance that Ekeler will fall out of the table if the Colts defense disintegrates after Halloween.

Jones' game against Kansas City was the 37th on record for a running back with at least 60 receiving DYAR, and the third this season. Ekeler has both of the other two, for his Week 1 game against the Colts and his game last week against Tennessee, which currently scores at 64 DYAR and misses the top 20 of all time by a few decimal points. Should both those games still be found above the 60-DYAR threshold come season's end, it would put Ekeler in some very elite company. Only once before has a running back gone over 60 twice in the same season: Marshall Faulk in 2001. In fact, Faulk, Westbrook, and Ekeler (two and counting) are the only runners ever to do it more than once in their careers. (Faulk did it against Buffalo in 1998, Chicago in 1999, San Diego in 2000, and against Atlanta and Miami in 2001. Westbrook did it against the Giants in 2003, the Packers in 2004, and Washington in 2007). Ekeler still has half a season to become the first player with three such games in one year. (In the meantime, he has been reading and working out, like many of us -- only Ekeler does them at the same time.)

It's quite ironic that Jones' great receiving day came against Andy Reid, because no head coach/offensive coordinator has produced more 60-receiving DYAR days for his running backs. It helps, of course, that he was in charge for all three of Westbrook's games with the Eagles, but he was also with the Chiefs when Spencer Ware did it in 2016, and for Charles' all-timer in 2013. Mike Martz would be next with four such games (one as OC, three as head coach) with Marshall Faulk, but considering Faulk also pulled it off for Jim Mora and Tom Moore with the Colts, it's safe to credit the player with the success in that case.

We also looked at the head coaches/defensive coordinators who had surrendered the most 60-receiving-DYAR games to running backs, but it's mostly just a list of the most successful defensive coaches of the last three decades -- coach long enough in this league and you're bound to get burned once in a while. Wade Phillips has given up four such contests, while with the Bills in 1998 (Faulk), the Chargers in 2004 (Larry Johnson), the Broncos in 2016 (Tevin Coleman), and the Rams in 2017 (Alvin Kamara). He's followed by Marty Schottenheimer with three (including the Larry Johnson game when he was head coach and Phillips was defensive coordinator; a 2003 game against Minnesota's Moe Williams; and a 1990 game against Barry Sanders when Schottenheimer was coaching the Chiefs). Dick Jauron has also surrendered three, two as Chicago's head coach (to the Faulk brothers, Marshall in 1999 and Kevin in 2002) and one as Detroit's defensive coordinator in 2005 (Michael Pittman).

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Drew Brees NO
34/43
373
3
1
0
143
143
0
ARI
Welcome back, good sir. In the third quarter, with the Saints clinging to a 10-6 advantage, Brees threw an interception that gave Arizona possession with a chance to take the lead. The Saints defense held the Cardinals to a turnover on downs, and then Brees spent the rest of the day atoning for his mistake. From that point forward, he went 10-of-11 for 147 yards and three touchdowns.
2.
Gardner Minshew JAX
22/34
279
3
0
2
128
107
21
NYJ
Minshew's best plays came in short- and mid-yardage scenarios. With less than 10 yards to go, he went 8-of-13 for 149 yards and all three touchdowns. Throwing down the middle, he went 5-of-8 for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
3.
Aaron Rodgers GB
23/33
305
3
0
5
124
114
11
KC
Third-down passing: 7-of-9 for 71 yards with two sacks and seven conversions, including a touchdown.
4.
Matt Schaub ATL
39/50
460
1
1
2
123
123
0
SEA
Welcome back good sir. Schaub has not appeared in Quick Reads since Week 13 in 2015, when he played for Baltimore. This game was better than that one, especially in the second half, when he tore up the vulnerable underbelly of a Seattle defense that was in prevent mode most of the time. After halftime, he went 26-of-31 for 309 yards with one touchdown and one sack.
5.
Jared Goff LAR
17/31
372
2
0
0
111
111
0
CIN
Goff led the league in first-half DYAR this week, going 13-of-19 for 273 yards and two touchdowns. He was also the beneficiary of 11.9 yards after the catch per reception, most in the NFL. He lost 61 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, most in the league (until Monday night).
6.
Matt Moore KC
24/36
267
2
0
2
106
108
-2
GB
Moore led the league in second-quarter DYAR this week, going 11-of-16 for 174 yards with two touchdowns and one sack.
7.
Derek Carr OAK
18/30
285
3
0
0
106
106
0
HOU
Carr had an uneven day on third downs, but when he hit, he hit big. He only completed five of his 11 passes, and only four of those completions picked up first downs, but they netted 164 yards and two touchdowns.
8.
Matthew Stafford DET
25/32
342
3
1
4
101
101
0
NYG
Three was the magic number for Stafford this week. He was literally perfect in the third quarter, completing each of his seven passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. He also led the league in third-down DYAR, going 12-of-13 for 200 yards with eight conversions (including two touchdowns) and one sack.
9.
Kirk Cousins MIN
23/26
285
0
0
3
89
95
-7
WAS
Cousins' average pass only traveled 3.65 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, least of any passer this week. He only threw one deep ball against Washington, completing it to Stefon Diggs for a 39-yard gain on third-and-9.
10.
Deshaun Watson HOU
27/39
279
3
0
3
82
64
18
OAK
Watson lost 52 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He completed six of his seven passes in the fourth quarter, and though they gained only 46 total yards, each completion gained a first down, including two touchdowns.
11.
Daniel Jones NYG
28/41
322
4
0
3
79
86
-7
DET
Jones actually led the league in DYAR on passes to the right this week, going 16-of-22 for 172 yards and three touchdowns. A 23rd throw to the right picked up a DPI for 25 more yards.
12.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
18/22
175
2
1
3
73
73
0
CAR
Garoppolo was the week's best passer in the red zone, where he went 6-for-6 for 43 yards and two touchdowns, plus a seventh throw that picked up a 5-yard DPI.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Baker Mayfield CLE
20/31
194
1
1
5
50
45
6
NE
Mayfield gained 100 DYAR due to opponent adjustments ... which was NOT the most this week. And despite those adjustments, he had the league's worst DYAR on throws down the middle, on only three plays: an incompletion on second-and-10; an interception 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage on first down; and a 1-yard gain on second-and-25.
14.
Russell Wilson SEA
14/20
182
2
0
2
45
45
0
ATL
Wilson only converted one third down in this game, going 2-of-4 for 32 yards with one sack. In his defense, the average yards to go on those five plays was 12.4.
15.
Jacoby Brissett IND
15/24
202
0
0
4
45
32
12
DEN
Brissett did not throw a single pass in the red zone. He had four dropbacks in the front zone (the area between Denver's 20- and 40-yard lines): a 7-yard gain on third-and-8, a sack, and two incompletions.
16.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
21/33
193
3
0
3
41
44
-4
TB
All three of Tannehill's touchdowns were thrown in the red zone, where he went 4-of-7 for 21 yards.
17.
Tom Brady NE
20/36
259
2
0
3
34
34
0
CLE
On throws that traveled 10 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage, Brady went 6-of-8 for 125 yards. Each of those six completions picked up a first down, including a touchdown; he only had five first downs on throws shorter than that.
18.
Andy Dalton CIN
32/49
329
1
0
5
19
20
-1
LAR
Throwing to his right, Dalton went 11-of-16, which sounds OK ... but those 11 completions only gained 66 yards and three first downs, including a touchdown.
19.
Case Keenum WAS
12/16
130
0
0
2
18
18
0
MIN
Keenum had the most dramatic red zone splits I can remember seeing. Outside the red zone, he went 11-of-12 for 125 yards, plus a 19-yard DPI on a 13th throw. He did give up one sack-fumble, but he gained 10 first downs. He did not pick up a single first down in the red zone, though, where he went 1-of-4 for 5 yards with another sack-fumble.
20.
Carson Wentz PHI
17/24
172
1
0
3
17
9
8
BUF
Wentz threw for 11 first downs with less than 10 yards to go for a first down, but was much less effective in longer-yardage scenarios. He only threw for three first downs, going 8-of-12 for 108 yards with three sacks.
21.
Philip Rivers LAC
19/29
201
1
1
1
3
3
0
CHI
The Chargers only averaged 2.8 yards after the catch on Rivers' completions, worst for any qualifying passer this week.
22.
Jameis Winston TB
21/42
301
2
2
3
-11
-29
17
TEN
Winston had the worst DYAR in the fourth quarter this week, when he went 4-of-11 for 40 yards with a sack-fumble and an interception. Each of those plays came with Tampa Bay in the lead or trailing by just four points.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA
21/34
190
2
2
4
-17
-11
-5
PIT
24.
Kyler Murray ARI
20/33
220
0
0
3
-26
-30
4
NO
Murray was about useless in scoring range. Inside the New Orleans 40, he went 3-of-10 for 23 yards with only one first down.
25.
Joe Flacco DEN
20/32
174
0
0
3
-27
-32
5
IND
Flacco did not pick up a single first down in the fourth quarter, going 4-of-7 for 7 yards (yes) with one sack-fumble. He threw four passes in the red zone; they were all incomplete. He was upset after the game that he did not get a chance to throw on third down with a chance to clinch the win, but he only picked up two first downs on the third downs when he did get a chance, going 4-of-8 for 23 yards with one DPI (for 22 yards) and two sacks.
26.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
23/34
253
0
1
4
-69
-65
-4
LAC
Red zone passing: 3-of-7 for 6 yards with one first down, plus a 2-yard DPI for another first down. He had the league's worst DYAR on throws to his right, where he went 8-of-13 for 59 yards and an interception, plus two DPIs that gained a total of 9 yards.
27.
Josh Allen BUF
16/34
169
2
0
4
-76
-71
-6
PHI
Midway through the third quarter, Allen threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Devin Singletary that pulled the Bills to within a 17-13 deficit. It was his last first down of the day. After that, he went 3-of-13 for 9 yards with two sacks and a fumble.
28.
Mason Rudolph PIT
20/36
251
2
1
2
-84
-84
0
MIA
Rudolph lost 92 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, 30 more than any other passer this week.
29.
Kyle Allen CAR
19/37
158
0
3
7
-105
-105
0
SF
Allen gained an astonishing ONE-HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN DYAR due to opponent adjustments, most in the league this week because he had eight more dropbacks against San Francisco than Baker Mayfield did against New England. He only threw for one first down in the third quarter, when he went 3-of-11 for 21 yards with two interceptions. On third downs, he went 2-of-7 for 29 yards with two conversions, one interception, and five sacks.
30.
Sam Darnold NYJ
21/30
218
2
3
8
-117
-117
0
JAX
Darnold's first third-down dropback resulted in a 24-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Griffin. He only converted one other third or fourth down the rest of the day, going 3-of-4 for 27 yards with four sacks and a fumble. He was actually lights-out on passes to Griffin -- all four of them resulted in catches for first downs, including two touchdowns, for a total of 66 yards. Darnold averaged 16.5 yards on throws to Griffin, but just 3.3 yards on his other 34 dropbacks. In one stretch running from the first to third quarters, Darnold went 3-of-7 for 22 yards with six sacks, one interception, and a fumble.

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Aaron Jones GB
13
67
0
7/8
159
2
76
4
72
KC
We already talked about Jones' great receiving day, but he was also consistent and reliable on the ground. His longest carry gained only 9 yards and he only ran for two first downs, but all 13 of his runs gained at least 1 yard, and nine counted as successful plays.
2.
Dalvin Cook MIN
23
98
1
5/6
73
0
66
37
30
WAS
Cook's day on the ground was similar to Jones' -- not explosive, but efficient and dependable. His longest carry gained only 11 yards, but 22 of them gained at least 1 yard, 13 counted as successful plays, and seven resulted in first downs. Two of his receptions went for first downs on gains of 15 and 31 yards; he also had an 18-yard gain on first-and-20.
3.
Tevin Coleman SF
11
105
3
2/2
13
1
53
38
15
CAR
Only two of Coleman's carries failed to gain positive yardage. He had five total first downs on the ground, including gains of 19, 22, and 48 yards. He also had a 10-yard touchdown catch. He loses 18 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.
4.
Miles Sanders PHI
3
74
1
3/3
44
0
49
29
20
BUF
This is the second time in three weeks that Sanders has qualified for the top running back tables with exactly three rushes and exactly three receptions. This week, one of his runs was a 65-yard touchdown, and he gained first downs on catches that gained 15 and 25 yards.
5.
Chris Carson SEA
20
90
1
0/1
0
0
43
47
-4
ATL
Three of Carson's carries resulted in stuffs, but six resulted in first downs, including gains of 12 and 19 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.
Chris Carson SEA
20
90
1
0/1
0
0
43
47
-4
ATL
2.
Tevin Coleman SF
11
105
3
2/2
13
1
53
38
15
CAR
3.
Dalvin Cook MIN
23
98
1
5/6
73
0
66
37
30
WAS
4.
Christian McCaffrey CAR
14
117
1
4/5
38
0
41
33
8
SF
Only two of McCaffrey's carries resulted in stuffs. Four went for first downs, including a 37-yard gain and a 40-yard touchdown.
5.
Rashaad Penny SEA
8
55
0
0/0
0
0
30
30
0
ATL
Each of Penny's carries gained at least 1 yard. Three gained first downs, including gains of 17 and 12.

 

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.
Chase Edmonds ARI
7
8
0
2/4
5
0
-40
-17
-23
NO
Oh what a difference a week makes. Edmonds' longest run gained only 3 yards. Three went for no gain. He did pick up one first down, but he failed to convert on second-and-3, second-and-5, and fourth-and-1. He also failed to convert a third-and-1 on an incomplete target, and one of his catches was a 2-yard loss on third-and-7.

 

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
11
35
0
1/1
15
0
-19
-30
10
CAR
Breida did pick up two first downs on gains of 17 and 11 yards, but none of his other carries gained more than 4 yards or counted as a successful play. Four of them resulted in stuffs. He also lost 17 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Mike Evans TB
11
12
198
18.0
2
118
TEN
If this DYAR holds till the end of the year, it would be the best wide receiver game since Julio Jones' 126 DYAR against Tampa Bay in 2017 -- and that's despite losing a few DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Eight of Evans' catches resulted in first downs, including two red zone touchdowns plus a pair of 40-plus-yard gains, one of which picked up a first down on third-and-17. He also drew a DPI for 43 more yards.
2.
Cooper Kupp LAR
7
10
220
31.4
1
90
CIN
Each of Kupp's receptions gained at least 15 yards and a first down, including five third-down conversions. His biggest plays were a 65-yard touchdown and a 40-yard gain on third-and-10.
3.
Julio Jones ATL
10
12
152
15.2
0
62
SEA
Nine of Jones' catches gained at least 7 yards and a first down; the other was a 6-yard gain on third-and-7. His longest catch gained 25 yards.
4.
Michael Thomas NO
11
11
112
10.2
1
44
ARI
Thomas' totals include 55 DYAR receiving, -12 DYAR rushing for his one carry, a 9-yard loss. He would rank higher, but two of his catches were failed completions: a 3-yard gain on second-and-11 and a 4-yard gain on second-and-13.
5.
Taysom Hill NO
3
3
63
21.0
1
43
ARI
And with that, Sean Payton's entire two-year experiment with Taysom Hill as a gadget player is justified. New Orleans' third-string quarterback had three targets in this game: a 22-yard gain on third-and-7; a 5-yard touchdown on second-and-goal; and a 36-yard gain on first-and-10. For the record, we count Hill as a quarterback for determining his DYAR on passes and runs, but as a wide receiver for his DYAR on targets.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Darren Waller OAK
2
8
11
5.5
1
-31
HOU
It's not often you'll see a player in the "worst receiver" box who scored a touchdown but didn't fumble. And Waller actually gained DYAR in opponent adjustments. But his score was his only successful target on the day, and his average target came with just 5.9 yards to go for a first down. Plus, there just weren't that many disastrous receiver games this week -- -31 DYAR might not make the bottom five in a typical edition of Quick Reads.

Comments

66 comments, Last at 30 Oct 2019, 3:39pm

1 Flacco

So what is everyone's take on Flacco's complaint? Initially I felt he was right--hell, guys, let's win this rather than play to not lose. But looking at the data above... I STILL feel he was right, just a little less so.

Also, you could have noted that he played a portion of the game (not sure how much) with a disc injury that may shelve him for the year. So he gets a little tough-guy cred there.

Of course nobody would have laid money on Brissett pirouetting out of Von Miller's grasp in the endzone and scrambling to uncork a 40-yard bullet to TY Hilton on the GW drive with a minute left. Or Vinny hitting two 50+ yard FGs after missing one plus an XP.

2 I'm afraid that besides…

In reply to by Bobman

I'm afraid that besides being bad on the field, Flacco is going to poison the locker room with this kind of talk (from what I've seen on twitter, the players are mostly siding with him). Is he being coached to throw failed completions every 3rd down? No? Then STFU and play better football. Flacco is a cancer in more than one way.

4 Factor in some of the really…

Factor in some of the really bad interceptions he has thrown out of the blue (thinking especially of the one that arguably turned the Jacksonville game) and I can understand why it is hard to trust Flacco with aggressive play calls as things get tight late in a game.

Flacco's failure to even launch the ball on the final play on Sunday was timidity on his behalf and not playcalling - he avoided the first rush, had time to set and just kind of stood around for a second and then got blasted from behind. All the talking heads say that veterans are supposed to have the clock in the head telling them to throw, Flacco's clock seems broken.

I've felt the play-calling has been too conservative a lot. But the QB plays has also seemed conservative and lacking in fire, so it is hard to not at least spread the blame from the fan perspective. Sutton is looking like he could be a genuine #1 WR (maybe not a star, but a functional #1) and the other young WRs are looking up too, but decisive throws to them seem lacking.

6 Basically this. If the game…

Basically this.

If the game was 38-37, he had 400 yards throwing and 90+ dyar, sure, complain that your coaches are not giving you chances to win and are wrecking you with play calling.  When you are the ultimate master of failed completions, and failed so many times in the day, look in the mirror.  I wouldn't have hated a bootleg on third down, it's high percentage passing, and a sack or failed completion keeps clock running.  I wouldn't have hated going for it on 4th.  But fangio has been aggressive all year, even as flacco has not earned any faith.  I don't mind a coach trusting lindsey/Freeman more than flacco... That's pretty rational.

17 I'm really surprised that so…

In reply to by Bobman

I'm really surprised that so many commenters on FO are siding with Fangio over Flacco on this, especially when so many are correctly criticizing Matt Nagy for his end-game playcalling.

The Broncos should have been more aggressive to get the first down at the end of the game.  "Flacco played poorly" is not a good reason, necessarily.  "Trubisky is bad" is not an excuse people are accepting for Nagy not going for more yardage, and he was even worse than Flacco.

I will say that airing it out publicly is not a good idea, but the the general complaints seem to be less about the optics are moreso saying that Flacco is wrong about the on-field stuff.

18 I'm just generally…

I'm just generally supportive of anything that promotes broadcast teams openly mocking, hopefully including contemptuous laughter, ineptitude that takes place on the field or sideline, followed by bitter recriminations, by all parties, in post game press conferences! 

Then again, I'm the type that reads Quick Reads from the bottom up!

45 I remember the Majowski…

In reply to by LyleNM

I remember the Majowski years. They aren't as common, but the Packers QB nadir can run as deep as that of the rest of the NFC Norris, past and present.

20 I watched this game closely…

I watched this game closely. I thought flacco was fine. He even had flashes of accuracy with some nice fitted balls on the sideline. His pocket awareness was bad but that's nothing new. 

If you're going to retard your offense entirely because you have no faith in your quarterback, then you should have benched him and tried your hand at somebody else. You're not going to win many NFL games coming in with an offensive approach where the upside is 200 yards rushing and the downside is scoring 13 points or fewer.

 

people also seem to be forgetting that this Broncos offense has been playing like this since 2015, despite a revolving door a quarterback and three different coaching staffs. It's naive to pin this on flacco. John Elway seems to have a preference for running the ball and playing defense behind it with the quarterback being the complementary piece. from that perspective the flacco trade makes a lot of sense. From a modern NFL perspective, everyone could see these results coming a mile away.

 

There also seems to be a ton of antipathy to flacco. His entire playoff run was perceived as one big fluke and his subsequent massive contract undeserving. Well okay, but remember he played amazing in his playoff run and the Ravens were the ones who played this game of chicken, letting his contract expire till they were handcuffed into this deal. 

23 You're correct, there have…

You're correct, there have been more "yeah, but he was playing poorly" arguments to undermine Flacco's comments.  The parallel with Nagy and Trubisky is a good one. I think there's two reasons for that.  First, it's a player calling out his coach, rather than reporters doing their job.  Second, it may have been the wrong player.  "Joe Flacco, voice of reason" may be a bit of a disconnect with people.  

Of course, both can be true at the same time.  Fangio may have made the wrong decision, and Flacco could also be in the wrong for being the one to air the issue, considering that the quality of his play during the game likely influenced Fangio's thinking.

30 Given that as late as 2021,…

Given that as late as 2021, when The Flacjacket will be 36, nearly a decade removed from a good season, the Broncos will either be allocating 20 million in cap space or enduring 10 million in dead space to get rid of him, I'd say most of the antipathy should be directed at Elway.

46 We're discounting that some…

We're discounting that some of Flacco's poor play may be poor playcalling or route structuring, too.

Flacco seems sufficiently empowered to complain about this, even if he's not operating on a Favrean level of having zero fucks to give and just calling his own plays.

34 It's a team effort

In reply to by Bobman

Like most disasters, the Denver offense isn't bad because of just one reason.  The OL is bad.  The QB is bad.  Outside of Sutton no one is a passing threat with Sanders gone.  The play calling is bad, and the OC is in his first year on the job, as is the HC.  Would I have preferred that they try to win with the offense?  Yes.  Has the offense been a dumpster fire all season that has NOT rewarded previous aggressive calls by this same staff?  Also yes.  Was your (bad) QB struggling with a neck injury?  Also yes.  Pinning the Colts deep and asking a defense that had been performing well to win the game is a defensible decision.  About 2 inches difference in the angle Miller or Wolfe took on Brissett's play and it works.

There has been a lot of coaching churn over the last few years, only some of which is Elway's fault.  No one expected Kubiak to retire after 2 seasons on the job for his health.  Elway then made a poor hire in Joseph.  But once he recognized that he moved on, which was the right long term call even though it meant yet another new staff this year.  He's far from the first GM to make a coaching hire mistake but at least he isn't going to double down on mistakes either instead of acknowledging them and moving on.

What I do think is Elway's fault is his utter inability to evaluate QB's, and more importantly his inability to recognize that he's bad at evaluating QB's.  I remember reading an article years ago on how the worst goalie coaches in the NHL tended to be retired hall of fame goalkeepers themselves.  They couldn't quite grasp that some things they did instinctively either needed to be taught or sometimes couldn't be taught.  Their own experience ended up betraying them.  I think Elway is in the same boat as far as QB's go at this point.  He shouldn't even be in the room when they are evaluated, ranked, and scored, and when they get slotted into the overall board he should do it by the ranking of others.  He's uncovered a good amount of defensive talent in the draft, and even done OK on skill players on offense.  Even his OL drafting isn't bad (Risner, Paradis, McGovern), it's just average with a big miss at the most important OL spot.  But his QB evaluations are horrific and that's held the team back more than anything else since 2015.

I have no problem with Flacco thinking things should be more aggressive.  I have a problem with him dumping it on the coaches in a press conference when he's played so poorly in those situations and the coaching staff knew he was injured.

36 The problems with Elway are…

The problems with Elway are deeper than that. Everyone will credit him for hiring Kubiak and winning the sb. But remember, the offense was horrendous and that can't all be laid at the feet of Peyton Manning. They weren't good with Osweiler either. They won on the backs of a tremendous defense and some fortunate bounces along the way.

Some examples: They were down to the Chargers in week 17 and would have lost the division had the Chargers run defense not collapsed. 

The Patriots stupidly lost a week 17 game to Miami, forfeiting the number 1 seed. If they win that game, Denver almost assuredly does not win in Foxborough.

 

The Steelers lost Antonio Brown before the divisional game and still almost won.

 

It took a defensive touchdown and another fumble recovery putting the offense in the red zone to overcome the Panthers and ultimately win the whole thing. 

 

If any of those things swing the other way, the Broncos never win and we are having a very different discussion about John Elway the GM. 

Put it another way,  Manning's arrival transformed them into instant title contenders and a tremendous offense. The moment he became a corpse, it took a herculean effort on defense to keep them relevant, but the bigger picture is there's no reason to credit any of the offensive success to Elway. 

Its fashionable to say that its all been the fault of the coaches or qb, but we're talking about 3 different coaching regimes, a dozen failed qb experiments, and the same results over and over. I also don't buy that he, nor his coaches, are so naive as to misunderstand what Flacco was when they traded for him. Just as its not an accident that all of these offenses have been run heavy, qb complimentary schemes. There's not even a hint of trying to incorporate more modern approaches to offense. 

I just get the sense that this is the type of team Elway wants. 

49 I don't think anyone is…

I don't think anyone is arguing any of those points, particularly that they won SB 50 because of an awesome defense.  And I certainly never said it's all the coaches or QB.  Quite the opposite--the main thing holding the team back the last few years has been Elway's inability to evaluate quarterbacks or recognize that he's poor at it.

I would disagree that it's the type of team he actually wants.  If it was he wouldn't keep trying (and failing) to get a QB.  Could have stuck with Siemian.  He's just really bad at that part.  Which is unfortunate, since arguably the two most important things a GM has to do is get the right QB and coach.

52 Here's my problem with the …

Here's my problem with the "Elway is bad at QBs" conclusion, though. It's easy to say because Denver's had a history of bad QB play lately, but what decisions, specifically, did Elway really miss on? I have my own opinions on this, but I also don't think this is as obvious as people tend to assume. I mean, I suppose people could say "Denver hasn't had a good QB since Manning, therefore Elway sucks", but if we raise the bar on this a bit, what are the actual examples?

  • Should Elway have not drafted Trevor Siemian in the 7th round of 2015, their Super Bowl year?
  • Should Elway have signed Osweiler after the Super Bowl season of 2015 instead of let him go to Houston? (Note, Denver got him back for the league minimum in 2017 anyway.)
  • Should Elway have known that Paxton Lynch was a bust, and skipped drafting him?
  • Should Elway have not drafted Chad Kelly in the 7th round of 2017?
  • Should Elway have not cut undrafted free agent Kyle Sloter in 2017?
  • Should Elway have traded for Deshaun Watson in 2017 instead of drafting Garrett Bolles in 2017 and Bradley Chubb a year later in 2018? **
  • Should Elway have resigned Osweiler in 2018?
  • Should Elway have gone all in on Kirk Cousins in 2018 instead of Case Keenum?
  • Should Elway not have waived Paxton Lynch in 2018?
  • Should Elway have not traded Siemian and a 7th in 2018 for a 5th in 2019?
  • Should Elway have drafted Josh Rosen instead of Bradley Chubb in 2018?
  • Should Elway have kept Case Keenum in 2019 instead of giving up a 4th rounder for Joe Flacco?
  • Should Elway have drafted Haskins in 2019 instead of getting Fant and Lock?

I guess I'm just not seeing a lot there. I personally am ticked about Deshaun Watson - if Houston leapfrogged us for two 1sts, then I believe that trade might have been available to us as well, but I guess we can't really know for sure.

You might be able to make a case on Josh Rosen - Chubb is a stud but he didn't have a lot of marginal value about Shaq Barrett, who we let go a year later since we had Chubb. 

And who knows with Haskins - is that a slam dunk argument for Elway's QB evaluation skills?

I think aside from all that, we're reduced to arguing that Elway sucks because he missed on Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and... Gardner Minshew I guess... except that every other GM missed on them too, multiple times.

So what's the argument here that proves he's really bad at it, when you look at who he had the opportunity to get, and obviously should have gotten at the time, and didn't?

 

55 Just my opinions, but in…

Just my opinions, but in order (and adding a few more):

Siemien in the 7th was a good pick.  Thumbs up.

I was 50/50 on resigning Osweiler at the time.  I did not think he was worth the contract he signed (or turned down from Denver) but I didn't expect him to turn so bad so quickly.  Thumb neutral.  You left off that Elway also drafted Osweiler in 2012 in the 2nd round, which I also thought was clearly too high and would merit a thumbs down.

He signed Peyton Manning - thumbs way up and that was NOT the slam dunk option it turned into.  There was a lot of questions about if he could come back at all and a good call by Elway.

Yes, he should have avoided Lynch. Thumbs (way) down.

Kelly in the 7th is ok.  Not great, not terrible.  The red flags on his head space were obvious, but so was the talent and it was only a 7th.  Neutral.

Kyle Sloter, again, eh.  We're talking about an undrafted free agent who hasn't done much since.  Again, neutral.

Deshaun Watson is a bit too speculative for me to give a grade on.  In hindsight, sure, but who knows if it was even possible.  I would simply call this one N/A :)

Resign Osweiler.  Slight positive.  It was minimum salary and a chance he would get back to the "ok" form he was previously.  Didn't work, but no problems with the signing.  Thumbs up.

He shouldn't have gone all in on Cousins or Keenum, as far as I'm concerned.  Keenum is a one year wonder and Cousins is far too expensive for what he brings.  Thumbs down.

Waiving Paxton Lynch.  Well sure that was a good move but I'm not going to give him much of a a thumbs up for fixing his own glaring error.

Trading Siemien.  Thumbs down.  He's no better or worse than Keenum or Flacco and, if we're going to have mediocre QB play, it might as well be cheap.

Rosen ahead of Chubb:  very tough call at the time, especially because I don't think anyone expected Chubb to even be available.  I'll give him a thumbs up on this one (since it's a lot more obvious now that Chubb was the better choice than it was then).

Trading for Flacco:  Another big thumbs down.  See Siemien above--spending assets on a prayer for a miracle turnaround is foolish.

Drafting Haskins: Thumbs up for not doing so.

Drafting Lock: Pros: waited until the 2nd round at least (I was convinced and terrified he would be the pick at #10).  Cons: another of his physical specimens with questionable mechanics and mental game.  Personally I gave this draft pick a thumbs down at the time and would have preferred he not draft a QB there at all.  As a Bronco fan, I hope I'm wrong, but that's my call.

When I review the above I see an evaluator who has done a decent job at the margins (late round picks), and been right about the players avoided (Rosen, Haskins).  The problem is that when he has spent significant draft capital he hasn't done well at all, nor (with the exception of Manning) has he made good calls in free agency and trades at the position.  He keeps churning through a fairly obvious physical type, no matter how often they have iffy mechanics or weaknesses at reading defenses and making the right throws.  I suspect because those are the areas HE himself improved on during his career and "you can't teach physical ability".  And he keeps missing the red flags on college experience, completion rates, the ability to handle a collapsing pocket (which isn't just scrambling but knowing when to scramble and when to check down, the presence of mind to not get happy feet, and the ability to keep your eyes downfield as you move in the pocket and run), and mental smarts.

I'm not saying it's easy to evaluate any of those things.  But to me it's obvious that Elway...can't.

 

 

56 I don't blame Elway for…

I don't blame Elway for missing on draft picks. Its hard to draft and people need to stop acting like Watson's success was preordained. 

I blame Elway for Kase Keenum and Joe Flacco. Both of those trades made no sense either in the short term or long term.

Ask any astute fan and they would tell you that Case Keenum was highly unlikely to repeat the success he had in Minnesota. As others have noted, the difference between Case Keenum and Trevor Siemian was that Keenum had yet to play poorly in a Broncos uniform. but would be more expensive.  After the experiment predictably failed, he then doubled down and went for Joe Flacco, a player who brought a bigger price tag(both in terms of contract and draft picks) but far less optimism unless you truly believe in sb magic. 

These were incoherent, bizarre decisions. 

58 Keenum wasn't a trade, it…

Keenum wasn't a trade, it was a free agent signing. They gave up money, but not picks. Flacco was a 4th rounder, so not multiple picks anyway.

So if Denver didn't do Keenum or Flacco, then are we talking about them still having Siemian? Maybe even through this year, until they finish the three-year tank job to draft a QB next season? Fans would have a higher opinion of Elway if he went that route?

 

60 I guess I see it as an…

I guess I see it as an opportunity cost situation. Signing Keenum or trading for Flacco just wastes time. I'd rather he try his hand at drafting a bunch of qbs and trying to see what he has rather than flailing for players that look like below average starters. Yes, that's easier said than done and in this alternate universe, it may not make the broncos much better in the aggregate - but the point is - better to wade into uncertainty with the hope of finding something better than hitch yourself to an option that is much more likely to lead you nowhere. 

57 Regarding Paxton - he had a…

Regarding Paxton - he had a good reputation at the time, didn't he? I thought #26 was right around where he was projected to go. Manning was gone, and Osweiler had unexpectedly left as well. They didn't have a QB at all. Should Elway have not drafted a QB at all at #26, or who should he have drafted instead of Paxton? (Jerry Jones was targeting Paxton as well and "settled" for Dak.)

As for Siemian, he had already demonstrated a frequent injury history by then. His floor wasn't too low, and his ceiling was low, so I guess he's defensible as a game manager, but I have a hard time seeing it as a huge Elway mistake to let him go. I can see it either way though.

Keenum - I guess I'm just pointing out that he was cheaper than Cousins, so we didn't go all in on him. And there was at least an argument of upside with Keenum, although not a great argument. And if not him or Siemian, then who?

I guess we're looking at an alternate history where Elway still has Siemian instead of the lost money and picks (just a 4th-rounder) that were spent on Keenum and Flacco. I get it, those weren't moves with huge upside, but at least they were moves. When you compare it to where Elway just stood pat with Siemian for two years, I don't really see people praising him for that, either.

 

61 I think the argument is…

I think the argument is mostly that:

1) Keenum was unlikely to succeed, but relatively young, experienced, had had a great season.  Not an awful choice, but...

2) Dumping Keenum for Flacco was a horrific call.  The Broncos are charged 7 Million this year for Keenum to play for Washington.  The Broncos sent a 4th for Flacco - who almost assuredly would have been cut and available at a cheaper salary if they hadn't traded for him.  And Flacco is old - we know exactly what his upside is

But if Den should have kept Siemian (which I generally believe), the bigger reason is because either he would have sucked worse and Denver would have had more draft capital to find a solution, or he would have been better and Denver would have had money for other players (like Matt Paradis)

3 NFC

Are there any good RBs and WRs in the AFC? All the top ones this week were in the NFC.

7 The AFC has two good teams,…

In reply to by IsraeliSaintsFan

The AFC has two good teams, and they use interchangeable cogs in those positions.

So no.

10 Chubb is good

In reply to by IsraeliSaintsFan

but he had two pretty bad fumbles this week.  

22 Murray for the Saints

In reply to by IsraeliSaintsFan

Also, for the staff--what about Murray's DYAR for this game? I thought he might make the RB list. Seemed like he was always getting positive yards.

8 McFarland

Last night Booger McFarland decided early on that Mason Rudolph was sucking, which might have been true but I just turned the game on when he threw a pass right into to the hands of his receiver who promptly botched it into an almost int. Booger says something to the effect of another mistake by Rudoloph. Having just turned on the game, I'm thinking wtf, he hit the guy right in the hands.

Two plays later on a 4th and 6 Rudolph throws a bad pass behind a crossing receiver for an incompletion. Booger emphasizes "that wasn't on the receiver", which it wasn't, but it was the same guy who just put them in a 4th down situation by not catching other ball right in his hands.

Haven't watched MNF much in the last couple of years. Is this guy always this annoying?

11 re: McFarland

In reply to by jmaron

Well, he's not wrong that Mason started off poorly.  At the very least.

But I also haven't been a big fan of him in the booth.  When I've seen him in the studio (in the past) I thought he was alright - sometimes had something interesting or insightful to add, but not someone I was seeking to hear from on a subject, either.  He does seem much more into defensive play - which is fair, he was a D-lineman.  But I find this announcing duo to be a big drop off from the top-notch crews of the past.

14 I can't think of an ESPN…

In reply to by gspontak

I can't think of an ESPN broadcast booth without shuddering at the memory of (I'm old) Joe Theismann, Mike Patrick, and Paul Maguire, three villains responsible for lowering SAT scores across the land by 27%, so intellect destroying their jibber-jabber was. Tessitore and Booger are a regular gridiron Plato and Aristotle by comparison.

21 Ever mnf crew has been awful…

Every mnf crew has been awful. From the three court jesters to Chucky to Booger. And they managed to be awful in their own special ways.  It's awful and severely detracts from the telecast. Booger seems to take pleasure in being a detractor.

32 It's been all downhill since…

It's been all downhill since the halcyon days of Howard and Dandy Don (may they rest in peace) settling in at kickoff after 6 hours of Chivas-fueled show prep, followed by Howard puking all over The Danderoo's Tony Lamas!

12 Rudolph made an amazing play…

In reply to by jmaron

Rudolph made an amazing play in the first half last night when he completed a pass, I think to James Conner, while being tackled from behind. He got rid of the ball just before his knees hit the turf. The replays and commentary ignored Rudolph and focused entirely on an irrelevant (and declined) hands-to-the-face penalty.

That was weird.

25 It's a low bar, but he's the…

In reply to by jmaron

It's a low bar, but he's the best MNF commentator I can recall (my memory, though, is pretty cr*p these days, so maybe I'm forgetting somebody).

What I find he does best is analyse line play.  I don't remember any other commentator being able to explain why a running play or QB protection worked / didn't work as quickly as Booger does.  Heck, I can't remember the last time the Sunday night crew ever explained line play, other than attributing it to "this guy is the best pass rusher / blocker in the game".

Where he falls down for me is in the banter in between insights.  He spends too much time filling the silence, which I'm sure he's been told to do.  He just doesn't have an easy conversational tone with the play-by-play guy.  Maybe that'll come in time

 

33 I’d guess the Sunday night…

I’d guess the Sunday night crew last did that back when Madden still had his fastball. He’s been retired 10+ years and I seem to remember him phoning it in the last couple before that, so it’s been a while. 
 

Apologies for the mixed sports metaphors. 

13 One small nitpick - "Jones'…

One small nitpick - "Jones' game against Green Bay" should either say for Green Bay or against Kansas City.

26 Dvoa seems to believe…

Dvoa seems to believe Cincinnati vs Miami is a landslide in the Bengals favor, but that game is in Miami and likely represents their most winnable game. I probably would take Miami at this point.

27 I don't know, it seems like…

I don't know, it seems like the Bengals have shown the capability of stringing togethers stretches of borderline-competent football than.  But Fitzpatrick is so high-variance (much more so than Dalton), I guess anything can happen.  Strangely, I'm going to find that game fascinating, if only out of morbid curiosity.

63 What? Residing in the UK, I…

What? Residing in the UK, I was forced to watch the Bengals/Rams game at Wembley on Sunday, and Dalton was in no way worthy of benching (which seems to be backed up by DYAR). The entire defense - maybe. This is clearly a coaching staff in panic mode.

I've always defended Dalton, and still think he could do a solid job for a team in need of a stop-gap next season (at the right price, of course). 

66 I made a post quite a while…

I made a post quite a while back about the inevitable steps that will follow the Lewis firing in Cincy, and how the next one will be for the new coach to identify the current QB as the problem, turning Ls into Ws as the fanbase get redirected to think more about next year's draft and the prospect of a shiny new QB rather than this year's results.  

40 I have to admit, I find the…

I have to admit, I find the NFL news coverage interesting even if I don't pay much attention to the substance of it. It's fascinating that the Bears this season have generated so much controversy and flaming of trubisky and Nagy. and yet after 2015 when both the Broncos and the Panthers disappointed, it wasn't nearly the media sensation it was with the Bears. And this was after both teams were in the super bowl the year before.

The Broncos right now are basically the Bears and yet it took flacco unloading on the coaching staff for anybody to notice. Come to think of it, mass controversy in Chicago also occurred during Jay Cutler's tenure in Chicago.

Is there something about the Chicago media market that tries to drive up conflict and controversy?

41 It's the sheer size (of both…

It's the sheer size (of both the TV market and the fan base).  Same thing happens with New York and Philadelphia.  The same thing would happen with L.A., if Angelinos actually cared about pro football (imagine the angst the Chargers would cause if they actually had a sizable fan base!)

47 The Broncos are still in…

The Broncos are still in their 5 year post-SB grace period. Hell, even the Philly press is pretty benign at the moment, and the Eagles have been sort of dysfunctional for two years now. But their title was recent enough that there's no real edge to the angst.

Chicago hasn't won anything since 1985, and Chicago is a football town*. There's a need to win there that's getting nasty; it's fandom that's going from being anxious to being angry.

* - Chicago enjoys winners, but they don't really care when the Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, or White Sox suck. Hell, the Cubs sort of enjoy sucking. But they lose their minds when the Bears suck.

48 It's kind of weird to think…

It's kind of weird to think of the gap between the Ditka-coached championship to now is more than decade longer than the gap between the Ditka coached championship, and the last one coached by Halas.

54 As an outsider who moved to…

As an outsider who moved to Chicago in the mid-90s, I can answer this a little bit. 

I touched upon this in the Audibles thread, but it goes beyond just W-L records. The Bears have had a number of good teams over the years, including the wildly underappreciated Lovie Smith era. But in all that time, there is now an entire generation of Bears fans who have never experienced even a moderately good offense, except to be at the receiving end. It's hard to explain just how jaded Bears fans are about the offense - the only windows of hope I've actually witnessed from fans were the five games in 2006 when Rex Grossman looked like an all-Pro, and that offseason period between trading for Jay Cutler and actually watching Jay Cutler. Unless you are old enough to remember the Walter Payton era (which was still mostly awful, with a brief period of success marked by a dominant defense), you spent your entire life hoping your next QB could be as good as Erik Kramer. Erik Kramer. 

Worse, the rest of the NFC Central/NFC North has had at least brief periods of greatness (with the hated Packers being spoiled by three decades of HoF quarterbacking). Minnesota had the heyday of the Randy Moss years, Favre's last stand, plus several good seasons from Brad Johnson that still eclipse anything the Bears have fielded. Even the lowly Lions had all-time greats in Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson (and Stafford has proven quite good for several years now). Granted, the Bucs had it even worse back when they were in the NFC Central, but they're the Bucs.

64 I've been irrationally…

I've been irrationally emotionally invested in the Bears since 1977, and I will agree with George that Kramer---or, very specifically, Kramer and the Bears OL, WRs, and RBs in the first half of 1995---are the pinnacle of Bears offensive performance in my lifetime. The '85-era OL was great, and Walter Payton is the closest thing I have to a god, but that offense as a whole was very inconsistent, even when McMahon was healthy (though he did put the team on his back that one Thursday night in '85 in Minnesota).

Like all Bears QBs, though, Kramer came down hard later on. It got bad enough that during a touch football game in about 1998, my brother-in-law threw a beautiful spiral into the end zone, directly into a defender's arms, and someone yelled out of a passing car: "Nice throw, Kramer!"

50 Vince, what were Dwayne…

Vince, what were Dwayne Haskins' numbers during his game-clinching (for the Vikings) stint? 3/5, 33 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks for 18 yds. I'm guessing -60 DYAR?

51 Robert Delpino -- There's a…

Robert Delpino -- There's a name I haven't heard in a while. I used to run my Rams Tecmo Super Bowl offense around him. I called him Vinnie Delpino.

62 Feedback

Then again, I'm the type that reads Quick Reads from the bottom up!

God bless you, Will. The last four or five quarterback write-ups are my favorite part of the job. I am a terrible person.

Also, for the staff--what about Murray's DYAR for this game? I thought he might make the RB list. Seemed like he was always getting positive yards.

10 DYAR rushing, -9 DYAR receiving. He lost 28 DYAR for playing the terrible Arizona defense. He had five first downs and four runs of 10-plus yards, but was stuffed four times and only seven of his 21 runs counted as successful plays. He had 12 targets as a receiver and only picked up two first downs and 55 total yards.

One small nitpick - "Jones' game against Green Bay" should either say for Green Bay or against Kansas City.

Thank you. That has been fixed.

Vince, what were Dwayne Haskins' numbers during his game-clinching (for the Vikings) stint? 3/5, 33 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks for 18 yds. I'm guessing -60 DYAR?

Even worse: -76 DYAR.