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

Week 10 Quick Reads

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

"Tom Brady at quarterback, has Ronald Jones the Second … RoJo stands about 4 yards in the end zone, maybe 5 yards in the end zone. In motion, Chris Godwin. Brady, hard count, hands the ball off, RoJo, pops it free! And across the 10, to the 15, 20! RoJo to the 30! RoJo to the 40! RoJo to the 50! RoJo to the 40! RoJo to the 30! High-stepping to the 20! It'll be a 98-yard touchdown run by Ronald Jones the Second! Touchdown, Tampa Bay!"

So spoke Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio announcer Gene Deckerhoff as third-year running back Ronald Jones became just the fourth player in the history of the NFL to gain 98 yards or more on a single carry. It will almost certainly be the longest run of Jones' career and the longest run of the season. Thanks in large part to that play, Jones finished with 192 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries against Carolina. That's 66 more yards than any other single player gained on the ground this week.

If you're a Tampa Bay fan, you probably opened Quick Reads expecting to see Jones' name near the top of our list of the week's most valuable running backs, but you won't find him there. OK, you're thinking, some other guys had better days catching the football than Jones did (almost all of them, actually), but surely Jones will make the top five in rushing numbers. But no, Jones didn't make that list either -- he finished with 29 rushing DYAR, eighth-best among running backs going into Monday Night Football. What's going on here?

The biggest factor is opponent adjustments. Carolina's run defense DVOA is just -0.2%. That's a lot better than their 15.9% mark of last season -- the third-worst we have ever measured, and the worst since the year 2000 -- but it's still among the bottom 10 rates in the league. If you ignore opponent adjustments for all running backs, Jones leads all runners this week with 46 YAR, 11 more than second-place Nyheim Hines. But Jones loses 17 DYAR due to opponent adjustments; only three running backs lost more this week. (Cleveland teammates Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb lost 20 apiece for playing Houston; Miami's Salvon Ahmed lost 18 for playing the Chargers.) Thus, Jones falls from first place to eighth.

After that? There's not much to dislike about Jones' day on the ground. Yes, he was stuffed three times, including a 2-yard loss on second-and-goal from the 1. But his long touchdown run by itself more than made up for that, and he had a half-dozen other first downs, including gains of 11 and 12 yards and a third-and-1 conversion.

Jones' opposite on Sunday was San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon's raw rushing numbers against New Orleans were truly rotten: 18 carries for only 33 yards without a touchdown. A deeper dive into those numbers does McKinnon few favors. His only first down was a 2-yard gain on third-and-1, his longest carry was a 9-yard gain on first-and-20, and he was stuffed a half-dozen times, including three failures to convert with 4 yards or less to go. McKinnon finished with -41 YAR, by far the most of the week; nobody else was even as bad as -20.

However, the three most important words of that paragraph are "against New Orleans." Though the injuries and soap operas of the team's offense have gotten most of the headlines this season, we should not overlook the historically dominant run defense the Saints have put together. Through 10 games, they have a run defense DVOA of -37.5%. Only one team has ever finished a season with a better rate: the 2000 Ravens at -38.7%. The Saints have not given up more than 88 yards to a single rusher this year; you'll recall that Carolina gave up 98 rushing yards in one snap on Sunday. What kind of effect does that have on McKinnon's numbers? He gains 43 DYAR for playing the Saints, which actually noses him above replacement level when all is said and done.

Back to Jones: while he had a great day rushing, he wasn't nearly so good as a receiver. He had two targets, both on second down. One was incomplete; the other was caught and fumbled away to the Panthers. That's -27 receiving DYAR, which wasn't quite the worst of the week -- Buffalo's Devin Singletary had -28 DYAR for his one catch, a 5-yard loss, in five targets, and J.D. McKissic … well, we'll get to him. It wasn't the worst day for Jones, either: he had -36 DYAR in Week 4 against the Chargers (nine targets, six catches, 17 yards). But it was just the latest in a string of bad receiving days for Jones. He has had negative receiving DYAR eight times in Tampa Bay's 10 games. His best day was a mere 5 DYAR against Chicago in Week 5 (five targets, three catches, 19 yards). Keep in mind that Jones gets to catch passes from Tom Brady, who ranks first in passing DYAR this week and third this season. He can't blame his struggles on his quarterback.

All of this makes Week 10's performance against Carolina a neat summary of Jones' entire season. He has been very good on the ground; only Minnesota's Dalvin Cook and Tennessee's Derrick Henry have more rushing DYAR in 2020. But his struggles as a receiver are nearly unprecedented. His -104 receiving DYAR are the worst in the league (second-worst: Denver's Melvin Gordon, -80 DYAR), and he is threatening to break a bad DYAR record that was set 30 years ago.

Worst Receiving DYAR, Single Season, Running Backs, 1985-2020
Name Team Year Passes Yards TD Catch % Catches Rec
Fum
Rec
DYAR
Rec
DVOA
Rush
DYAR
Eric Metcalf CLE1 1990 101 452 1 56% 57 3 -136 -37.4% -74
Darrin Nelson MIN 1987 47 129 0 55% 26 1 -125 -61.2% 54
Ben Tate HOU 2013 50 138 0 70% 35 1 -125 -62.9% 50
John Stephens NE 1990 50 196 1 56% 28 0 -123 -58.4% -53
Randy McMillan IND 1985 50 115 0 44% 22 0 -120 -57.1% 154
Dave Meggett NYG 1992 65 229 2 58% 38 1 -114 -46.2% 10
Tim Hightower ARI 2010 42 136 0 50% 21 1 -113 -61.2% 49
Eric Dickerson LARM 1986 46 205 0 57% 26 2 -109 -57.1% 291
Adrian Murrell NYJ 1997 42 106 0 64% 27 0 -104 -61.4% 24
Ronald Jones TB 2020 37 124 0 70% 26 2 -104 -67.0% 167
Chris Rainey PIT 2012 22 60 0 64% 14 3 -102 -97.7% 26
Rodney Thomas HOIL 1995 59 204 2 66% 39 3 -100 -44.7% -57
Rich Erenberg PIT 1986 59 217 3 46% 27 1 -99 -42.0% 45
Adrian Murrell NYJ 1996 34 81 1 50% 17 0 -98 -65.4% 124
Dave Meggett NE 1995 84 334 0 62% 52 1 -96 -34.8% 31
Alex Collins BAL 2017 36 187 0 64% 23 2 -92 -55.6% 205
Ronnie Hillman DEN 2015 35 111 0 69% 24 1 -89 -59.0% 21
Aaron Craver NO 1999 42 154 0 45% 19 0 -89 -51.8% -35
Maurice Carthon NYG 1986 26 67 0 62% 16 1 -88 -72.2% 68
Mack Strong SEA 2006 44 159 0 66% 29 2 -84 -47.1% 31

In the first part of his career, Eric Metcalf was sort of the Alvin Kamara of the early 1990s: a running back by name who was effective as both a receiver (2,732 yards through the air in six years with the original Browns) and a rusher (2,229 yards on the ground). In 1995, Cleveland traded him to Atlanta, who briefly experimented with him in the backfield before moving him to wide receiver full-time. He topped 1,000 yards receiving in the Falcons' run 'n' shoot offense, then spent a half-dozen more years playing for Atlanta, San Diego, Arizona, Carolina, Washington, and Green Bay. He was also an electric special-teamer, finishing his career with 10 touchdowns on punt returns and two more on kickoffs.

In 1990, however, Metcalf was wasted on a bad team. The Browns went 3-13, losing eight games in a row at one point. Injuries to Brian Brennan and Reggie Langhorne left Cleveland undermanned at wide receiver, and Bernie Kosar had little option but to check down to Metcalf down after hopeless down. (Metcalf's average reception gained just 7.9 yards that season, indicating that he was still primarily a running back at that stage of his career.)

That makes Metcalf something of an outlier even among the extreme seasons in this table. His 101 targets are far more than anyone else; only Dave Meggett (who did it twice) saw even half as many. In other ways, however, he fits right in. Most of these players were victims of their circumstances, stuck on bad offenses and/or horrible teams. The combined win-loss record of the 20 teams in this table (including Jones' Bucs, who are now 7-3) is just 131-182, a winning percentage of .419. Half of them lost 10 games or more; five of them lost 13 or more. It wasn't all bad -- the 1986 Giants and 2015 Broncos won the Super Bowl, but those were defense-first teams whose championships were won by Lawrence Taylor and Von Miller more than by Phil Simms and Peyton Manning.

Two other trends in this table pop out. Many of these players were fullbacks, including Randy McMillan, Aaron Craver, Maurice Carthon, and Mack Strong. We also find players from most of Bill Parcells' teams -- Carthon from the Giants, Meggett from the Patriots, and Adrian Murrell from the Jets. If you're wondering, no player from Parcells' Cowboys teams comes close to qualifying. (Richie Anderson had 119 receiving DYAR in 2003 while playing for Parcells and catching passes from Quincy Carter, and in hindsight he should have gotten a medal for that.)

We also see that failures as a receiver are by no means a guarantee of deficiency as a rusher. Five of these players topped 100 rushing DYAR. Eric Dickerson was fourth in the league in this category in 1986, and Jones should finish right around that same rank in 2020. He has a good chance to break Metcalf's record for worst receiving DYAR in a season, but so long as he's an effective runner, the Bucs could join those Giants and Broncos teams and win the Super Bowl anyway. We're pretty sure RoJo would take that negative-DYAR record as long as he got a nice, big, shiny ring to go with it.

 


 

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Tom Brady TB
28/39
341
3
0
1
170
171
-1
CAR
Brady was the week's best passer on third/fourth downs (well, before Monday night...), going 10-of-12 for 156 yards and a touchdown with one sack. Only one of those completions failed to pick up a first down. He was also the most effective passer on throws to tight ends. He threw six passes to Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski, completing five of them (each for a first down) for 82 yards and a touchdown.
2.
Matthew Stafford DET
24/33
276
3
0
1
148
148
0
WAS
Stafford led the NFL in DYAR on passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, completing nine of 10 such throws for 69 yards. Only four of those throws went to running backs, but he was also best on passes to that position: he completed all six of his passes to Adrian Peterson and D'Andre Swift for 77 yards and a touchdown.
3.
Kirk Cousins MIN
25/36
292
2
1
1
109
109
0
CHI
Third-/fourth-down passing: 10-of-11 for 149 yards with one sack. Two of those completions went for touchdowns; five others picked up first downs.
4.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
27/46
333
4
0
0
109
114
-6
CIN
Roethlisberger was the NFL's best passer in the red zone (6-of-9 for 48 yards and four touchdowns, plus a 15-yard DPI). He was also best on throws to wide receivers. We would list his numbers on those throws but, well, they're mostly identical to the numbers you see above. It's easier to list what he did on throws to running backs (two, both to James Conner) and tight ends (six, all to Eric Ebron): four completions for 50 yards.
5.
Philip Rivers IND
29/38
308
1
0
1
80
80
0
TEN
Rivers' success rate of 56% was highest in the league. None of his completions lost yardage, only seven counted as failed plays, and only three of those came on third down.
6.
Daniel Jones NYG
21/28
244
0
0
3
68
43
25
PHI
Jones' rushing numbers: seven carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. He led the NFL in DYAR on deep balls, completing each of his four attempts for a total of 122 yards. He was also first on no-huddle passes, going 13-of-18 for 174 yards.
7.
Cam Newton NE
13/17
118
1
0
1
67
53
15
BAL
Newton's rushing numbers: nine carries for 23 yards and a touchdown. If you're wondering how a quarterback can rack up 15 DYAR on 2.6 yards per carry (not even including kneeldowns!), the answers are A) opponent adjustments -- Newton gains 14 DYAR rushing for playing the Ravens, and B) short-yardage success -- Newton converted on three of his four plays with 4 yards or less to go for a first down. He was the NFL's worst passer in the first quarter, when his four dropbacks resulted in two completions for a total of 7 yards, one incompletion, and one sack. He got better after that -- in one stretch of the middle of this game, he completed six passes in a row for 69 total yards, with each one picking up a first down. We should also mention Newton's top receiver, Jakobi Meyers. He only had 8 DYAR receiving (seven targets, five catches, 59 yards, no touchdowns) but 28 DYAR passing for his 24-yard touchdown to Rex Burkhead. That's 36 total DYAR, which would place him among the top receivers of the week. We opted not to list him there because he did so little as a receiver, but if you want to include him among that group, have at it.
8.
Alex Smith WAS
38/55
390
0
0
2
58
59
-1
DET
Smith loses 56 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He led all passers with 23 first downs, four more than anyone else. He was also first in DYAR on passes down the middle, going 9-of-13 for 110 yards.
9.
Tua Tagovailoa MIA
15/25
169
2
0
0
52
63
-10
LAC
Tagovailoa's average pass traveled a league-high 10.6 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Six of his 25 passes were deep balls; three of those were completed for 65 total yards.
10.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
15/27
147
1
0
1
45
41
3
IND
Each of the four passes Tannehill threw on Tennessee's first drive was completed for a first down. They totaled 59 yards; the last was a 5-yard touchdown to D'Onta Foreman. He only threw for six first downs the rest of the game.
11.
Derek Carr LV
16/25
154
0
0
0
44
42
1
DEN
Carr only threw for one first down inside the Denver 40, where he went 6-of-10 for only 35 yards.
12.
Aaron Rodgers GB
24/34
325
2
1
1
38
28
9
JAX
Rodgers' average completion gained a league-best 10.1 yards after the catch. He was last in the league in DYAR in the third quarter when he completed four of his nine passes for 71 yards with an interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Jared Goff LAR
27/37
302
0
0
3
33
32
1
SEA
Goff was the NFL's best passer in the first quarter, when he completed seven of eight passes for 124 yards. Six of those completions picked up first downs; the other was an 8-yard gain on first-and-10.
14.
Kyler Murray ARI
22/32
245
1
1
3
26
27
0
BUF
Murray ran 11 times against Buffalo for 61 yards and two touchdowns. So why is his rushing DYAR so poor? Mainly because of three bad runs: a 1-yard gain on third-and-6, a 7-yard loss on second-and-6, and a 6-yard loss on third-and-1. He also loses 8 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.
15.
Justin Herbert LAC
20/32
187
2
1
2
15
8
7
MIA
Herbert's 2-yard touchdown to Hunter Henry left the Chargers down 17-14 midway through the third quarter. Then he went into a slump, picking up just one first down in his next 11 dropbacks. In that stretch, he went 6-of-10 for 38 yards with an interception and a sack. By the next time he threw for a first down, the Chargers were down 29-14 with less than four minutes to go and the game was effectively over.
16.
Josh Allen BUF
32/49
284
2
2
0
8
-12
1
ARI
Allen's totals include 20 DYAR receiving for his 12-yard touchdown catch. He was the league's worst passer on throws to running backs. He threw five passes to Devin Singletary. Only one was complete: a 5-yard loss on third-and-11. He also threw two passes to Zach Moss. One was complete: a 3-yard loss on first-and-10.
17.
Teddy Bridgewater CAR
18/24
136
2
1
1
8
-1
9
TB
Bridgewater gains 44 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He only picked up one first down in his last 14 dropbacks, when he went 7-of-13 for 36 yards with an interception and a sack. He was also the week's worst passer on throws to the right. He completed 10 of 13 passes thrown to that direction, but for a total of only 26 yards and one first down (a 7-yard touchdown to Colin Thompson).
18.
Drew Brees NO
8/13
72
1
0
0
6
6
0
SF
Brees' average pass came with 7.4 yards to go for a first down, least in the league. And since he didn't have far to go, he didn't throw very deep -- his average pass traveled a league-low 3.5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. And that's the mean -- his median depth of target was 1 (not a typo). Only two of his passes traveled more than even 5 yards downfield: a completion to Michael Thomas for 15 yards on first-and-10, and an incompletion to Jared Cook on second-and-16.
19.
Nick Mullens SF
24/38
247
1
2
2
-2
-4
2
NO
Mullens had a lot of extreme splits in this game. His average pass came with 9.7 yards to go for a first down, most in the league. That's partly because his short passes never went anywhere. On throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, he went 5-of-12 for 29 yards (27 of them on one play). He was the NFL's worst passer in the red zone (1-of-3 for 4 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and one sack) and on throws to wide receivers (14-of-23 for 146 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, plus a 19-yard DPI). However, he was the NFL's best passer on throws to his right (6-of-6 for 60 yards and a touchdown, plus that 19-yard DPI).
20.
Deshaun Watson HOU
20/30
163
1
0
2
-10
-16
6
CLE
Midway through the second quarter, Watson hit Kenny Stills for a 6-yard gain on third-and-5. Midway through the fourth quarter, he hit Randall Cobb for 29 yards, also on third-and-6. In between, over 30 minutes of game time, he failed to throw for a first down, going 6-of-11 for 39 yards.
21.
Lamar Jackson BAL
24/34
249
2
1
2
-13
-6
-7
NE
Jackson loses a league-high 61 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He led the NFL with nine failed completions. He had to throw short a lot, however, because he had the week's worst DYAR on deep passes, going 1-of-5 for 18 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Jackson threw for 11 first downs in this game; six of them (and 101 total yards) came on consecutive dropbacks in the first half.
22.
Jameis Winston NO
6/10
63
0
0
2
-20
-22
3
SF
Winston came into this game with the Saints up 17-10 at halftime. He completed each of his first five passes for 60 total yards and four first downs. After that, he went sack, sack, 3-yard completion on third-and-15, and finally four incompletions in a row.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Baker Mayfield CLE
13/20
132
0
0
1
-20
-14
-6
HOU
Mayfield had the worst DYAR this week on throws to his left (8-of-13 for 64 yards, plus a 14-yard gain on a DPI and a 16-yard loss on an intentional grounding on third-and-1). He was also worst from under center (2-of-4 for 17 yards plus a 7-yard sack and that intentional grounding -- that's a net loss of 6 yards in six plays).
24.
Joe Burrow CIN
21/39
213
1
0
4
-34
-34
0
PIT
Burrow's success rate of 30% was lowest in the league. You can credit a lot of his struggles to the Pittsburgh defense -- Burrow gains 42 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was the week's best passer in the second quarter, when he went 11-of-15 for 151 yards and a touchdown with two sacks. Unfortunately he only threw for one first down in the second half, going 5-of-15 for 24 yards with two sacks. 
25.
Russell Wilson SEA
23/37
248
0
2
6
-47
-47
0
LAR
Wilson gains a league-high 57 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He had a nightmarish day in anything close to scoring range. Inside the Los Angeles 45, he went 3-of-12 for 17 yards (yes) with no touchdowns, two sacks, two interceptions, and an intentional grounding.
26.
Jake Luton JAX
18/35
169
1
1
3
-56
-56
0
GB
Luton was very effective in the middle of this game, picking up 10 first downs in 18 dropbacks at one point. Unfortunately he only had one first down in his first 11 dropbacks, and none in his last 10. In those 21 plays, he went 7-of-19 for 48 yards with two sacks.
27.
Carson Wentz PHI
21/37
208
0
0
3
-76
-64
-12
NYG
Wentz loses 48 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was the week's worst passer on third downs, going 2-of-9 for 21 yards, plus a 14-yard DPI, with as many conversions (two) as sacks.
28.
Nick Foles CHI
15/26
98
0
1
2
-108
-105
-3
MIN
Foles only threw for one first down in the second half, when he went 5-of-10 for 15 yards with a sack. Inside the Minnesota 40, he went 2-of-8 for 5 yards with no touchdowns. On third/fourth downs, he went 3-of-9 for 12 yards with as many conversions (two) as sacks.
29.
Drew Lock DEN
23/47
257
1
4
2
-193
-194
2
LV
Lock didn't get a lot of help from his receivers -- his average completion gained a league-worst 2.8 yards after the catch. He was the NFL's worst passer on throws to tight ends, going 5-of-10 for 30 yards with more interceptions (two) than first downs (one). He threw 16 passes down the middle, most in the league, but the results were worst in the league (7-of-16 for 79 yards with one touchdown and all four interceptions -- only four other quarterbacks have thrown four interceptions over the middle all season).

 

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.
Nyheim Hines IND
12
70
1
5/6
45
1
69
35
33
TEN
Hines was stufed once; each of his other carries gained at least 2 yards. Six went for first downs, including three runs of 12 yards or more. Three of his catches also produced first downs on gains of 11, 11, and 13 yards.
2.
D'Andre Swift DET
16
81
0
5/5
68
1
64
24
40
WAS
Swift was stuffed four times, but he ran for five first downs, including gains of 11, 16, and 17 yards. Each of his receptions counted as a successful play and three went for first downs, including a 26-yard gain on second-and-20 and a 15-yard touchdown on third-and-6.
3.
Alvin Kamara NO
8
15
2
7/8
79
1
51
16
34
SF
How do you amass 16 DYAR on 1.9 yards per carry? Mostly by converting each of your three carries with 2 yards or less to go for a first down, including a pair of 1-yard touchdowns. Four of Kamara's catches went for first downs: gains of 15, 19, and 34 yards, plus a 3-yard touchdown.
4.
Malcolm Brown LAR
6
33
2
2/2
18
0
48
34
14
SEA
Each of Brown's carries gained at least 1 yard. Three went for first downs, all of them with 1 or 2 yards to go for a first down. Both of his catches also went for first downs, and third-down conversions at that.
5.
Josh Jacobs LV
21
112
2
4/4
24
0
47
38
9
DEN
Jacobs was stuffed just once in 21 carries. He ran for six first downs, including conversions on all three of his carries with 1 or 2 yards to go, and had a long gain of 24.

 

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.
Derrick Henry TEN
19
103
0
1/2
6
0
43
48
-5
IND
Henry gains 33 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was stuffed four times against the Colts while running for six first downs. The Colts only gave up six runs of 12 yards or more in their first eight games; Henry had three of them on Thursday night.
2.
Damien Harris NE
22
121
0
0/0
0
0
41
41
0
BAL
Harris gains 14 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He was stuffed five times by the Ravens while running for seven first downs, including five runs of 10 yards or more. Odd usage note: Harris had 19 runs on first down, three on second down, none on third.
3.
Josh Jacobs LV
21
112
2
4/4
24
0
47
38
9
DEN
4.
Nyheim Hines IND
12
70
1
5/6
45
1
69
35
33
TEN
5.
Malcolm Brown LAR
6
33
2
2/2
18
0
48
34
14
SEA

 

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.
J.D. McKissic WAS
8
6
1
7/15
43
0
-44
-11
-33
DET
McKissic converted each of his three carries with 1 or 2 yards to go for a first down, but he was hit for a 10-yard loss on second-and-3. Each of his catches counted as a successful play, but only three produced first downs. And then there's the eight passes he didn't catch.

 

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.
James Conner PIT
13
36
0
2/2
12
0
-20
-24
4
CIN
Conner ran for two first downs against Cincinnati, on gains of 11 and 16 yards. That means his other 11 carries went for a total of 9 yards. He was stuffed "only" three times, but that includes mega-stuffs that lost 5 and 6 yards. He had five other runs that gained exactly 1 yard each.

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB
4
6
149
37.2
1
48
JAX
Valdes-Scantling's four catches, in chronological order: 78-yard touchdown; 22-yard gain on third-and-6; and 31- and 18-yard gains, both on first-and-10.
2.
Justin Jefferson MIN
8
10
135
16.9
0
47
CHI
Five of Jefferson's catches resulted in first downs, including three third-down conversions, the longest a gain of 54 on third-and-11.
3.
Cole Beasley BUF
11
13
109
9.9
1
40
ARI
Six of Beasley's catches produced first downs, including conversions on all three of his third-down targets and a 22-yard touchdown.
4.
Adam Thielen MIN
4
7
43
10.8
2
35
CHI
All four of Thielen's catches produced first downs. His two touchdowns were both third-down conversions.
5.
Michael Pittman IND
7
8
101
14.4
0
34
TEN
Pittman's totals include 18 DYAR receiving, 16 DYAR rushing for his one carry, a 21-yard gain. Only two of his catches picked up first downs; they came on gains of 30 and 40 yards.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Davante Adams GB
8
12
66
8.2
1
-52
JAX

Exactly one-third of Adams' yardage came on a 22-yard gain in the third quarter; Adams fumbled the ball away at the end of the play. He also had an 11-yard catch on third-and-27. That's half of Adams' yardage that came on plays that did nothing to help the Packers win. He also had a 3-yard loss on third-and-2 and a 1-yard gain on first-and-10 and four incompletions. But hey, he did pick up three first downs, including a touchdown.

Comments

28 comments, Last at 18 Nov 2020, 12:24pm

1 Top 3 rinning baks all from…

Top 3 rinning baks all from Alabama. Did rhink D. Harris woudl be good coming out. Negatice on him in nfl is hurt often. Interesting to see what Pates will do to try to do good. May do extreme runninf likd Balgi did recwnt seasons. D. Harris and R. Burkhead could have slme nice games together. Both over 75 yards rushinf multiple times down stretch? Possibly.  Line is good with run blicking. Even 6th round draft pick from Michigan M. Onwenu is good. Ain't it funny how it happens? Whoever would imagine? Receihers on slow side. Not great in gettinf separation. Jakobi Meyers useful player especially if play fantasy football.  Tight ends nothing to write home to mom about. 

2 The enigma that is Tom Brady

Week 9: Tom Brady is 29th (last) in DYAR, at -214.

Week 10: Tom Brady is 1st in DYAR, at 170.

I wonder how often a player goes from last to first or first to last within a week, and what the largest week to week shifts have been.

6 even if the odds are low,…

even if the odds are low, over ten years that gets to 320 (i was about to say really 340 with the bye week, but yeah, there is no week zero, right, so it is 320, but since it can happen in either direction, it changes the probabilities). I think the thrust of the question might have been, has it happened before, and I wouldn't be surprised if it hadn't, but you only need to be an outlier in one direction to make it happen. Like if Blake Bortles had an outlier week and finished at 1, then he has a much higher probability of having the full monty flip flop from either the week prior or the week after, against say a Matt Ryan or even Ryan Tannehill, as inconsistent as their play can seem, as flanking that huge #1 DVOA outlier with a  number 32 or 33 or whatevs. With Brady the outlier is being the lowest.

But its an interesting question - once you have a career upper echelon guy like Brady or Roethlisberger or Brees having a sh*tshow of a game, the probabilities probably increase even more over random odds that they'll have a bounceback game to go to 1, if you believe that motivation can actually sway those things. I just don't know the number of times any of those guys actually land as the worst of the bunch, even with their big ass sample size. i mean, was that the first time for Brady being the lowest weekly DVOA QB in his career? I could believe it.

8 probabilistically

32 QBs in league, each week from 2-17 there are 2/32 that could pull this off (ignoring byes).  So if positions were independently and identically distributed, we'd expect a 1/16 chance of seeing such a switch on any given week.  So, the number of weeks until hit would be modeled as a geometric distribution with p=1/16, and since that would match the number of trials in a season, we'd expect to see one hit per season.

I'm guessing we see this far less often than that, which would imply that a i.i.d. distribution for QB performance levels is woefully inadequate.  

11 Wouldn't the odds be 16*(1…

In reply to by RickD

Wouldn't the odds be 16*(1/32)*(1/32) -- or 1/64 in a given season?

There are 16 chances for the exacta, but each condition has a 1/32 odds assuming a flat distribution.

17 No because each week …

No because each week _someone_ is top and _someone_ is bottom from the previous week, so they each have a shot at this weird award (ignoring byes, qb switches, injuries, etc). The original math is correct.

19 no

I mean, on average you see 1/16 in a given week.  That number is not going to drop when more weeks are added.

There are two stats being considered here: the expected number seen and the expected time between events.  The latter is a geometric distribution.  If an event happens with probability p, the expected number of trials before the event is seen is 1/p.

You would only multiply (1/32) by itself if you were insisting on a flip-flop, so the top and bottom switched places.  

Expected value is additive.  Now it's true that probabilities of independent events isn't additive, but the error is miniscule for unlikely events.  If you have a 1/32 chance of seeing one event and 1/32 chance of seeing a second event, and the two events are independent, then the probability of seeing at least one of the two events is ~ 1/16.  (The exact value would be 1 - (1 - 1/32)^2 = 1/16 - (1/32)^2. )

21 Looking back, I realized…

In reply to by RickD

Looking back, I realized what I was calculating was the odds of a given player doing it (and I was looking only at bottom to top).

Turbohappy correctly pointed out that half the condition is already satisfied for the current top and bottom members, so all that's left is their individual 1/32 chance to finish top/bottom.

We've also identified a few players who have done it.

Now I need to think about whether a sufficiently variable performance is indistinguishable from a flat distribution. 

7 Davantenigma Adams

Davante Adams has done the reverse: #1 last week, bottom of the heap this.

Twice in three weeks, then, that the best and worst WR/TE were teammates. I wonder to what extent this is just a function of coverage priorities. Did Jax go all out to stop Adams – and, if so, was Rodgers too slow to adjust in targeting his other receivers?

9 As well as his fumble, I…

As well as his fumble, I recall Adams leaving the game hurt at one point. He's not on the injury report now so it can't have been that serious, but I guess it may have hampered him?

12 Adams had a weird game in…

Adams had a weird game in that besides the fumble he had two would-be catches (both that would have gained first downs?) punched out of his hands, and two catches for a TD and another first down negated by penalty.

If all you did was show someone a video of every time Adams was targeted, but stopped the video at the point where the ball hit his hands, you could reasonably conclude that he had a monster game.

It was a combination of some good defensive plays, uncharacteristic mistakes by Adams, and some very specifically timed penalties. There was no reason to stop targeting Adams, he was getting open and the things that limited him were not really repeatable by Jacksonville.

10 Precisely the question I…

Precisely the question I wanted to ask.

Brady’s week-to-week DYAR gain was 384.

Is that the largest one-week DYAR gain ever? If not, who had a larger one? If so, who’s in second?

14 It might be Rex Grossman, in…

It might be Rex Grossman, in 2006 weeks 6 and 7.

Week 6 was the "Crown their asses" game, and SF let him off the hook the next week.\
https://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2013/fo-10th-anniversary-worst-quarterbacks

Week 6: 14-37-144-0-4. 20 point comeback without an offensive TD. -284 DYAR.
Week 7: 25-32-263-3-0, 41 point lead at the half.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200610160crd.htm
https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200610290chi.htm

SF was woeful that year, but their pass D was only generically bad.

Tim Hasselback in 2003 has a shot, too.

 

Incidentally, weeks 2 and 3 of 2016 featured a staggering -500 DYAR switch. Two guesses as to who.

5 Alex Smith

When was the last time Alex Smith led the league in pass attempts?

Week 1, 2016, when he threw 48 passes in an overtime win against the Chargers.  The only other time was Week 8, 2007, when 43 passes somehow led the league.

13 Cleveland weather

Second game in a row for the Browns where the weather made throwing for either team mostly fruitless.  Wish there was a way that DYAR accounted for this.

 

FWIW, the one intentional grounding Mayfield had was on an atrocious snap.

18 I watched the Bears game…

I watched the Bears game last night on my phone through the Yahoo Sports app, which started buffering at the most inopportune times in the 4th quarter. Not only were the commercials much more reliable than the game broadcast, but the game broadcast would be fine for a minute or two while a timeout was taken or an injured player was being tended to, and then once the Bears lined up to run a play it would freeze. I maintain the football gods were trying to protect me from watching any more of the Bears offense.

I don't know where this team goes from here. Not to the playoffs, that's for sure. I was not someone who thought that Nagy giving up playcalling would solve much, given that the problems with the offense seem to be systemic and many of them have the root cause of bad talent at QB and o-line, but I did not expect Bill Lazor to call a markedly worse game. The best summation of the experience came from whoever I saw on Twitter who made the observation that every time the Bears are on national TV, neutral observers say it's the worst offense they've ever seen; Bears fans just say "that looks like most of their games I've ever seen."

I hope Foles isn't seriously hurt because I have no reason to wish bad things on him as a person, but it would be amusing if they had to trot out Tyler Bray to start against the Packers after the bye. At this point, could it make the offense any worse?

22 It's not the worst offense I…

It's not the worst offense I've ever seen.

The Peterman Bills were worse -- almost hilariously self-destructive. They were like watching a man without arms try to negotiate a live grenade.

The Fisher Rams were also worse; Nagy's Bears seem constipated. Fisher's Rams played like concrete bowels were the intended design.

The Gace Jets and the late Broncos are also even less sufferable.

23 All true. But when you…

All true. But when you consider this team isn't actively tanking, nor starting a rookie/backup QB, nor crippled by other injuries, this is about as bad as it gets. Deplorable. 

24 Foles is technically a…

Foles is technically a backup QB.

That Bills team was a playoff team with no injury excuses, too. Maybe the best comp for these Bears, although they seemed perversely determined to ruin their offense.

What I can't fathom, specifically, is what happened to Nagy's creative formations/motions. The offense has become not only stagnant, it's become vanilla*. It's not even ineffective in an interesting way, it's ineffective in a mundane way.

* -- vanilla is surprisingly exotic, being the hand-pollinated, single-day fruit of an orchid -- the only orchid family member important to commercial agriculture. By comparison, chocolate comes from common beans.

25 On one hand, the Bears have…

On one hand, the Bears have comparatively ignored the offensive side of the ball in favor of building a strong defense. On the other hand, with the exception of the offensive line which was not a strength anyway, they've not been especially affected by injuries. I mean, I don't see that game going much differently last night had Montgomery been healthy. The Foles thing...yes, he is the backup but he's certainly one of the best backups in the league if not a marginal starter. I hated the trade and have been hammering the point that he had not been any better than Trubisky post-SB MVP, but there's a bit of a gulf between Trubisky-esque and not a credible NFL QB. I didn't think Foles could be as awful as he was last night against a bad defense.

I agree with your second point. This year it's like Nagy has abandoned anything remotely creative. Is he trying to make a point about how bad the talent is, suggesting that there's nothing he can do with a team that can't execute fundamentals (and that it's not his fault, and he should keep his job whatever happens above him)?

26 Honestly, I think there's a…

Honestly, I think there's a pretty realistic chance that the Bears make the playoffs in the end. They've had an absolutely brutal stretch of schedule, where of their last 7 opponents only Carolina is below average by DVOA (which rates them slightly better than Chicago to boot), and, they went 2-5, which is, well, bad but, they didn't get completely buried. There's no respite in their next game, which is against GB, but after that they finally get some cupcakes: Lions, Texans, Jaguars ought to be 3 more wins - giving them 8 - and if they can steal one or two from the remaining games against Green Bay (not quite paper tigers, but certainly not unbeatable) and Minnesota (whom their defense completely shut down), they could be 9-7 or even 10-6 when all is said and done. That's about where the runners-up in the NFC West will be (possibly all 4 teams, if they really play each other to a standstill), and it's hard to say how the tiebreakers will shake out from there, but the Bears ought to be Wild Card-qualified, so to speak.

27 Bears in playoffs

What the Bears need to hope for is one of the NFCW teams to implode versus their division. The only problem is that they lost to LAR, so they would lose a tiebreaker with them. The Cards winning against the Bills really hurt them, b/c then they would only be a game behind ARI. Without doing a deep dive, I think that all 3 NFCW teams (minus SF) could finish 10-6, and the Bears would have to split with the Pack and beat everyone else to achieve 10-6. Is it doable? Sure--but 9-7, last team out, seems more likely. 

28 My gut feeling is that the…

My gut feeling is that the FO playoff odds, which have them at 27.6% to make the playoffs, feel pretty accurate. Which to be fair is a "pretty realistic chance," but also means it's considerably more likely that they miss.

They've been so unpredictable that I don't feel too strongly about any particular game, but I think GB wins both games. The Texans and Jaguars look like the easiest wins, but the offense is just so bad (and getting worse!) that I don't think any team, except maybe the Jets, would actually be an easy win for the Bears this year. I mean, Monday night looked like a perfect opportunity for the offense to get right against an okay defense plagued by injuries, and they put up their worst game of the season. Plus, if they lose to GB after the bye, they'll be 5-6 after 5 straight losses and I think there's a nonzero chance that the team starts to quit on Nagy.

Given the losses to NO and the Rams, I feel like this team needs 10 wins for sure to get a wild card, and I don't see any likely path to that. I think finishing 7-9 or 8-8 again is the most likely outcome. I just hope that forces some major changes, beyond praying that whatever QB they can get with the ~16th overall pick magically fixes everything.

20 Brady's accuracy this week

Accuracy was insane.  Not 100% on every pass, but some of the ball placement would have been challenging from ten feet away, needless to say 15 yards. On one pass toward the right sideline, maybe 12-15 yards, I am pretty sure it passed within a foot of two separate defenders before hitting the WR perfectly. If it happens once, maybe it's luck, maybe it's skill.  But he had a basketful of those it seems.

As a Colts fan I have built-in antipathy for him and during the PeyTom Brannning days (so long ago now.... sniff--is the mega-argument thread still findable?) he never scared me as a QB except for the final two minutes of a game, but this weekend he looked like he did coming back against Atlanta in the SB.  I also think the whole TB12 avocado ice cream and $200 cookbooks BS is ludicrous, but I can't deny he looked about 28 years old out there. (28 for a QB not a RB)

I thought both he and Brees looked finished last year, but aside from a few pesky fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, they appear to have proven me way wrong. What fun to watch.