Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen

Week 2 Quick Reads

If Week 1 in the NFL is National Jump To Conclusions Week, then perhaps we should call Week 2 Time to Face Facts Week. The season is one-eighth over, and by now many of the league's teams and players have shown us who and what they are going to be in 2020. If so, that would be very good news for a young quarterback in Buffalo, but very, very bad news for another young quarterback in Philadelphia.

We'll start with Josh Allen and the Bills. The consensus at Football Outsiders has always been pessimistic about Allen's chances for success. Our QBASE article in 2018 noted Allen's "horrifying" statistics at the University of Wyoming, and we referred to him as "a parody of an NFL quarterback prospect" in Football Outsiders Almanac that same year.

In his first two seasons, Allen proved to be a shockingly effective runner (he led all quarterbacks in rushing DYAR as a rookie, and was second in 2019), but as a passer he did little to change our minds. He was dreadful throwing the ball in his first season, finishing with -534 passing DYAR, second-worst that season behind fellow freshman Josh Rosen, who had the worst single-season DYAR we have ever measured. Allen improved slightly in 2019, finishing 28th out of 34 qualifying passers, but he was still below replacement level, and the track record for quarterbacks who have begun their careers with negative DYAR in back-to-back years is quite poor. Put those two years together and Allen finished as the second-least efficient passer of the 2010s.

Allen quietly played well in Week 1 in a 27-17 win over the Jets, throwing for two touchdowns and 312 yards and ranking sixth in Quick Reads. He was even better in Week 2, rallying Buffalo from a fourth-quarter deficit with a pair of late touchdown passes in a 31-28 victory against the Dolphins. Allen lit Miami up, finishing with 417 yards and four touchdowns and ranking first in Quick Reads.

If Allen's Week 1 performance was quiet, his Week 2 outing was raucous, and together they are thunderous. Allen has undeniably been one of the league's best quarterbacks in this young season, leading the NFL with 729 passing yards without throwing a single interception. His two-week total of 312 passing and rushing DYAR are second among quarterbacks behind only the 338 of Seattle's Russell Wilson. That margin is small enough that Allen might be ahead if he had not fumbled on a pair of running plays; he leads Wilson and everyone else in passing DYAR.

There are still 14 games to go, however. Is Allen's hot start a sign that he has made The Leap? Or is this simply a mirage, the kind of statistical anomaly that happens in a 16-game season?

To find out, we went back to 2009 -- a dozen years of Quick Reads tables, including this season -- and found the best 20 starts of the last 12 years. We are looking here at what these numbers looked like after Week 2, which means no opponent adjustments. (Allen's games will probably drop a bit when those adjustments are added. The Jets were 20th in pass defense DVOA in 2019 and rank 22nd after two games this year; the Dolphins were last in 2019 and are last again this September.) Then we looked at where those players ranked in passing DYAR by the end of the year, and also their team's final record and playoff fate. Not surprisingly, the list is filled with superstars, and more often than not, those hot starts were just the beginning of even bigger days down the road.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published with incorrect data from the 2018 season -- we accidentally used data from Week 17 instead of Week 1. The following tables and text have been modified to reflect those changes.)

Best Two-Game Starts, Quarterbacks, Total DYAR, 2009-2020
Year Name Team Start Final Pass
DYAR Rk
Team
W-L
Playoffs
2011 Tom Brady NE 526 3 13-3 Lost SB
2018 Ryan Fitzpatrick TB 514 15 5-11 None
2019 Dak Prescott DAL 416 1 8-8 None
2013 Peyton Manning DEN 406 1 13-3 Lost SB
2009 Drew Brees NO 399 4 13-3 Won SB
2018 Patrick Mahomes KC 382 1 12-4 Lost CCG
2018 Drew Brees NO 379 2 13-3 Lost CCG
2013 Aaron Rodgers GB 378 10 8-7-1 Lost WC
2019 Patrick Mahomes KC 367 2 12-4 Won SB
2015 Tom Brady NE 345 2 12-4 Lost CCG
2012 Matt Ryan ATL 343 5 13-3 Lost CCG
2020 Russell Wilson SEA 338 ? ? ?
2015 Carson Palmer ARI 337 1 13-3 Lost CCG
2011 Drew Brees NO 331 1 13-3 Lost Div
2015 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 328 5 10-6 Lost Div
2011 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF 325 18 6-10 None
2019 Lamar Jackson BAL 318 5 14-2 Lost Div
2014 Peyton Manning DEN 314 3 12-4 Lost Div
2020 Josh Allen BUF 312 ? ? ?
2018 Philip Rivers LAC 310 3 12-4 Lost Div

(If you're wondering what kind of output it takes to top this table, in 2011 Tom Brady started the year by throwing for 940 yards and seven touchdowns against Miami and San Diego, completing more than 70% of his passes and averaging more than 10.0 yards per throw.)

The 18 quarterbacks on this table who played before 2020 generally finished their years with very good success. Sixteen of them ended in the top 10 in passing DYAR. Thirteen of their teams won a dozen games or more, while only four won fewer than 10. Let's look at those four players and teams in chronological order:

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF, 2011: Fitzpatrick threw for seven touchdowns with just one interception and one sack in a 41-7 win in Kansas City and a 38-35 victory over the Raiders. The Bills also won in Week 3 -- a 34-31 triumph over Tom Brady's Patriots -- but failed to win back-to-back games the rest of the season, losing seven games in a row at one point. Following his hot start, Fitzpatrick threw only 17 more touchdowns, but 22 more interceptions; his total of 23 led the league that year. Fitzpatrick was brought back to start again in 2012, but following another 6-10 record he was shown the door, continuing his nomadic journey across the league.
     
  • Aaron Rodgers, GB, 2013: Rodgers completed nearly 70% of his passes in Weeks 1 and 2 with more than 800 yards, seven touchdowns, and only one interception. But the Packers split the two games, losing a 34-28 shootout to San Francisco in Week 1. Rodgers would eventually miss seven starts due to injury; Green Bay went 6-3 in his starts, but 2-4-1 behind the trio of Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace, and Scott Tolzien. Despite his injury, Rodgers still finished 10th in passing DYAR and sixth in DVOA; despite their 8-7-1 record, the Packers still made the playoffs because the NFC North was hot garbage in 2013. Green Bay's season ended as it began: losing to the 49ers, who earned a 23-20 victory at Lambeau Field in the wild-card round.
     
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB, 2018: Yup, him again. Tampa Bay signed Fitzpatrick in 2017 to back up Jameis Winston, and when Winston was suspended for the beginning of the next season, the Bucs temporarily became Fitzpatrick's team. The first two games may have been the best of his vagabond career -- he completed 79% of his passes for over 800 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception in wins over the Saints and Eagles. He came back down to earth with three interceptions in a loss to Pittsburgh in Week 3; by halftime of Week 4 he had lost his job back to Winston, and the two would rotate in and out of the lineup for the rest of the year. Fitzpatrick threw nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions following his two-game explosion to start the year. He soon moved to the Miami Dolphins, where he remains the starter to this day.
     
  • Dak Prescott, DAL, 2019: Prescott completed more than 80% of his passes in opening wins against the Giants and Washington with seven touchdowns against one lone interception. He wasn't quite that good the rest of 2019, but he still led the NFL in passing DYAR. Those Cowboys, however, were terrible underachievers. Despite finishing sixth in overall DVOA, they went just 8-8, including a 1-6 record in games decided by eight points or less.

So no, the Bills' berth in the playoffs this year is not etched in stone, especially not with the Patriots showing they're not going anywhere anytime soon. But Allen likely isn't going anywhere either. The worst veteran on this list is Fitzpatrick, a member in good standing of the NFL's middle class of starting quarterbacks. Truly bad passers simply don't play like Allen has in the past two weeks.

Instead, they play more like Carson Wentz. Wentz, like Allen, played college football at a small school, North Dakota State. Unlike Allen, he had great numbers in college, and our QBASE projections were cautiously optimistic. Wentz's career got off to a fine start -- he ranked 27th in DYAR as a rookie, then eighth in 2017 despite missing the final three games of the season. He also missed the postseason, and if you're reading this, you know the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl without him. Ever since, Wentz's career has been on a steady, declining slope. He ranked 14th in DYAR in 2018 (in part because he missed five games) and 17th in 2019. His DVOA ranks in those seasons followed a similar pattern, moving from 27th as a rookie to sixth, to 13th, to 20th last year.

So far in 2020, Wentz has been worse than ever. He leads the NFL with four interceptions. He also leads the NFL with eight sacks (tied with Houston's Deshaun Watson). As our quarterbacks page shows, he is last in the league in DVOA, QBR, and passing DYAR. He's also last with a combined -337 passing and rushing DYAR. In the last 12 years of Quick Reads data, no quarterback has been worse after Week 2.

Worst Two-Game Starts, Quarterbacks, Total DYAR, 2009-2020
Year Name Team Start Final Pass
DYAR Rk
Team
W-L
Playoffs
2020 Carson Wentz PHI -337 ? ? ?
2017 Andy Dalton CIN -315 24 7-9 None
2017 Brian Hoyer SF -254 27 6-10 None
2011 Matt Cassel KC -241 30 7-9 None
2013 Blaine Gabbert JAX -241 -- 4-12 None
2013 Brandon Weeden CLE -240 40 4-12 None
2009 Matt Stafford DET -226 33 2-14 None
2019 Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA -220 18 5-11 None
2011 Luke McCown JAX -220 -- 5-11 None
2017 DeShone Kizer CLE -204 35 0-16 None
2010 Joe Flacco BAL -190 11 12-4 Lost Div
2013 Geno Smith NYJ -187 38 8-8 None
2010 Matt Moore CAR -184 -- 2-14 None
2018 Sam Bradford ARI -173 -- 3-13 None
2018 Nathan Peterman BUF -165 -- 6-10 None
2019 Jameis Winston TB -159 23 7-9 None
2020 Daniel Jones NYG -148 ? ? ?
2016 Case Keenum LAR -146 31 4-12 None
2010 Vince Young TEN -144 -- 6-10 None
2014 Chad Henne JAX -143 -- 3-13 None

This table does not inspire much hope for Wentz or the Eagles. Only one of these teams -- the 2010 Ravens -- went on to make the playoffs; only one other even reached .500. The quarterback for those Ravens, Joe Flacco, eventually finished 11th in passing DYAR; only one other (Fitzpatrick with Miami last season) even made the top 20. Many of them lost their jobs and failed to even qualify for our final tables.

The good news for Wentz is that he does have some track record of success in the NFL, and as such, he has a lot more in common with Flacco and Wilson than he does with the DeShone Kizers and Blaine Gabberts of the world. Even better news is that the NFC East is hardly a murderer's row -- New York's Daniel Jones also makes this list of worst starts in recent history, and Washington's Dwayne Haskins has been third-worst so far this year. Prescott, meanwhile, is sixth-best … which means maybe this is all better news for Dallas than it is for Philadelphia.

 


 

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Josh Allen BUF
24/35
417
4
0
1
208
206
3
MIA
Our colleague John Kinsley found that Allen was one of the NFL's worst passers on deep balls in 2019. So how did he do on deep balls against Miami? He threw 10 deep balls on Sunday, completing nine of them for 273 yards and two touchdowns. That's 191 DYAR on those 10 plays alone. For the record, in 2019 deep balls were completed 41% of the time for an average gain of 11.8 yards. Allen more than doubled both of those numbers.
2.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
18/24
239
4
0
1
174
169
5
JAX
Tannehill had a stretch from the middle of the second quarter to the middle of the fourth -- nearly 30 minutes of in-game time -- where he picked up seven first downs in eight dropbacks (seven completions for 82 yards, plus a 22-yard DPI). His only play in that time that did not pick up a first down was a 4-yard completion on second-and-13; the next play, he threw an 18-yard touchdown to Adam Humphries. Tannehill also led the league in red zone DYAR. He had four throws inside the Jacksonville 20, and each of them was completed for a touchdown, for a total of 44 yards.
3.
Jared Goff LAR
20/27
267
3
0
1
166
168
-2
PHI
Goff led the league in first-quarter DYAR. His first incompletion came with about three minutes left in the second quarter; by that point, he had completed each of his 13 passes for 158 yards. Eleven of those completions picked up first downs, including two touchdowns; the others were 6- and 8-yard gains on first-and-10.
4.
Dak Prescott DAL
34/46
450
1
0
1
164
147
17
ATL
The Falcons kicked a field goal to go up 39-24 with 8:01 left in the game. From that point on, Prescott went 13-of-18 for 182 yards and a touchdown, with another touchdown coming on the ground. As you may have heard, Prescott is the first player in league history to throw for 400 yards and run for three touchdowns in a single game.
5.
Russell Wilson SEA
21/28
288
5
1
2
149
132
17
NE
Wilson had the league's best DYAR in the third quarter on only four dropbacks: a 9-yard gain on first-and-10; a 38-yard touchdown to David Moore; a 14-yard gain on second-and-7; and a 21-yard touchdown to Freddie Swain. For the record, Wilson's tip-drill pick-six in the first quarter was worth -60 DYAR.
6.
Cam Newton NE
30/44
397
1
1
1
117
95
23
SEA
Newton ran nine times for 47 yards and two touchdowns. He had eight plays with 3 yards or less to go for a first down and picked up a first down six times, including three touchdowns. That includes four runs for a total of 3 yards (but three first downs) and four completions for a total of 31 yards.
7.
Matt Ryan ATL
24/36
273
4
0
1
106
105
1
DAL
Ryan ranks this high in large part because he had no interceptions and only one sack -- and that sack came on second-and-12 so it doesn't hurt his numbers too badly. In the red zone, he went 3-for-6 for 15 yards and two touchdowns; he also had a 22-yard touchdown from just outside the red zone.
8.
Aaron Rodgers GB
18/30
240
2
0
1
100
98
2
DET
Rodgers was at his best when getting the Packers out of bad field position. Inside the Green Bay 40, he went 6-of-7 for 150 yards; five of those completions resulted in first downs.
9.
Derek Carr LV
28/38
282
3
0
3
93
134
-41
NO
Carr nearly lost the game in the first quarter (3-of-5 for 38 yards but only one first down, along with three sacks). But he really won it in the second (14-of-18 for 139 yards and 11 first downs, including two touchdowns, with first downs on six straight dropbacks at one point).
10.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
14/16
131
2
0
1
88
88
0
NYJ
Garoppolo left this game at halftime with an ankle injury. He only had three passes on first down: two 4-yard gains and an incompletion. Meanwhile, he had seven dropbacks on third down. The first of those was a sack, but the next six were all completed for a first down, including two touchdowns, and a total of 68 yards.
11.
Justin Herbert LAC
22/32
311
1
1
2
77
65
13
KC
Herbert's average completion gained a league-best 8.4 yards after the catch. On passes to receivers within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, Herbert went 12-of-14 for 149 yards.
12.
Drew Brees NO
26/38
317
1
1
0
68
68
0
LV
Brees, like his Monday night counterpart Derek Carr, was much better in the second quarter (6-of-9 for 82 yards, with one interception) than in the first (3-of-9 for 54 yards).
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Patrick Mahomes KC
27/47
302
2
0
1
61
43
19
LAC
Mahomes had some unusual struggles in Chargers territory. Once crossing the 50, he went 9-of-15 for only 78 yards and four first downs, with one sack. He also ran six times for 54 yards.
14.
Baker Mayfield CLE
17/23
219
2
1
0
45
39
6
CIN
Mayfield only had five failed completions, which isn't a ton -- Ben Roethlisberger had twice as many -- but he led the league with 38 yards on those completions. That includes a 7-yard gain on second-and-24 and a 16-yard gain on the ensuing third-and-17, plus a 9-yard gain on second-and-16.
15.
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA
31/46
328
2
0
3
36
45
-10
BUF
Fitzpatrick led the league in DYAR on passes down the middle. Really, his numbers there were so ridiculous -- 16-of-17 for 196 yards with 14 first downs, including a pair of scores -- it's a wonder the Dolphins ever bothered throwing to the outside.
16.
Kyler Murray ARI
27/38
286
1
1
3
29
1
28
WAS
Murray ran eight times for 67 yards and two touchdowns. He was very good when running or throwing to his wideouts. Throwing to his backs and tight ends? Not so much: 7-of-11 for only 44 yards and one first down. Also, one of those completions ended in a fumble, though obviously that's not Murray's fault.
17.
Sam Darnold NYJ
21/32
179
1
0
1
29
23
6
SF
Darnold's average pass traveled 5.1 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, shortest of any starter this week. He threw three deep passes against San Francisco -- two completions for 48 yards and a touchdown, plus a 20-yard DPI. The problem is that Darnold didn't throw a pass that traveled even 10 yards downfield until the Jets were down 24-3 in the third quarter.
18.
Deshaun Watson HOU
25/35
275
1
1
4
22
17
5
BAL
Watson's down splits in this game were preposterous. He was wretched on first downs (10-of-16 for 111 yards with one interception, two sacks, and only two first downs). He was nearly perfect on second downs (11-of-12 for 125 yards; nine of those completions picked up first downs, including a touchdown). And he had mixed results on third/fourth downs (4-of-7 for 39 yards with three conversions and two sacks).
19.
Gardner Minshew JAX
30/45
339
3
2
2
12
12
0
TEN
Minshew had the NFL's best DYAR on third/fourth downs, when he completed nine of 12 passes for 108 yards. Eight of those completions picked up a first down, including three touchdowns.
20.
Tom Brady TB
23/35
217
1
1
0
-1
14
-15
CAR
Brady did not complete a pass for a first down in the second half, when he went 6-of-12 for 19 yards with an interception. He did pick up two first downs on a pair of DPIs that gained 33 total yards. That's six DPIs for 134 yards in two games this season. Nobody else has more than half as many in either category. In 2019, Philip Rivers led the league with 16 DPIs for 228 yards.
21.
Lamar Jackson BAL
18/24
204
1
0
4
-5
6
-11
HOU
Jackson was effective when throwing to his left or down the middle, but not to his right, where he went 7-of-11 for only 63 yards and three first downs.
22.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
29/41
311
2
1
1
-5
12
-17
DEN
Roethlisberger led the league with 10 failed completions this week. Four of them came on third/fourth downs, when Roethlisberger completed all seven of his passes for 49 yards but only three conversions.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Philip Rivers IND
19/25
214
1
1
2
-20
-18
-2
MIN
Rivers had the NFL's worst DYAR inside the opponent's 20, where he went 2-of-5 for 11 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Two of those incompletions came on third down.
24.
Joe Burrow CIN
37/60
316
3
0
3
-40
-22
-18
CLE
Burrow had 26 dropbacks in the fourth quarter alone. Baker Mayfield, his counterpart on Thursday night had 23 dropbacks in the entire game. In Week 1, Burrow ran eight times for 41 yards and a touchdown. In Week 2, he ran seven times for -3 yards; but that includes a 22-yard loss when the ball was snapped as Burrow was trying to call timeout, and he had to chase it down and fall on it.
25.
Matthew Stafford DET
21/33
244
2
1
4
-44
-46
3
GB
Stafford had a bad game, but probably not as bad as it looks because he had a terrible performance in garbage time. The Packers went up 42-21 with eight minutes and change to go in the game; from that point forward, Stafford completed one of three passes for 36 yards while giving up three sacks and an intentional grounding foul.
26.
Jeff Driskel DEN
18/34
256
2
1
6
-44
-45
1
PIT
Driskel replaced an injured Drew Lock late in the first quarter. He only played about 49 minutes of the game but still gave up six sacks, most in the league this week. Four of them came in the second quarter alone; only seven other quarterbacks gave up four sacks in Week 2.
27.
Dwayne Haskins WAS
19/33
223
1
0
4
-57
-60
3
ARI
Haskins had the league's worst DYAR in the first half. In the first 30 minutes, he only threw for one first down, a 25-yard gain on second-and-15. Take away that play, and he only completed eight of 15 passes for 41 yards with four sacks and one fumble.
28.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
18/28
190
2
2
4
-63
-57
-6
NYG
Trubisky tried really, really hard to throw this game away, but the Giants just wouldn't take it. After Chicago went up 17-0 in the second quarter, Trubisky went 5-of-10 for 31 yards (yes) with two interceptions and a sack.
29.
Teddy Bridgewater CAR
34/42
367
0
2
5
-65
-65
0
TB
Bridgewater had the league's worst DYAR in the first quarter. He completed seven of nine passes in the first 15 minutes, but for only 58 yards. He also gave up two sacks, a fumble, and an interception.
30.
Carson Wentz PHI
26/43
242
0
2
0
-82
-89
7
LAR
When the fourth quarter began, the Eagles trailed the Rams 24-16, and the game was still very much within reach. Then Wentz had the worst fourth quarter of the week, going 5-of-13 for 53 yards with an interception. He also had the worst DYAR on deep balls this week, completing just one of his four attempts for 25 yards with an interception.
31.
Daniel Jones NYG
25/38
241
0
1
4
-95
-98
3
CHI
Jones was the league's worst passer on third/fourth downs. He completed six of 11 passes for 55 yards and four conversions, and he picked up another conversion on an 8-yard DPI. But he was also sacked twice on third downs, fumbling once, and he threw an interception too.
32.
Nick Mullens SF
8/11
71
0
1
2
-105
-105
0
NYJ
Mullens came into the game at halftime with a 21-3 lead. He played so horribly that he was nearly the week's worst quarterback in only 30 minutes. And yet the 49ers still won 31-13 because the Jets are a complete embarrassment. Mullens was especially useless in anything resembling short yardage. He had five passes with 7 yards or less to go for a first down and failed to convert any of them, going 2-of-5 for 3 yards with an interception.
33.
Kirk Cousins MIN
11/25
113
0
3
3
-113
-113
0
IND
The positives: Cousins' averaged pass traveled 12.3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, deepest in the league. And one of his interceptions was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half and so it counts as an incompletion for DYAR purposes. And ... that's it. His average completion gained only 2.5 yards after the catch, lowest in the league. On first downs, he went 4-of-8 for 14, count 'em, 14 yards. At or behind his own 25 -- you know, where most drives in the NFL start -- he went 4-of-11 for 24 yards with more interceptions (two) than first downs (one) and was also sacked for a safety.

 

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.
Alvin Kamara NO
13
79
2
9/9
100
0
89
46
43
LV
Only one of Kamara's runs failed to gain positive yardage. Six of them gained first downs, including runs for 10, 13, and 21 yards. Four of his catches also produced first downs, the longest a gain of 20.
2.
Aaron Jones GB
18
168
2
4/8
68
1
82
56
26
DET
Jones was only stuffed once against the Lions, while he ran for five first downs. His 75-yard touchdown run accounted for 45% of his yardage on the ground. Four of his catches also produced first downs, including gains of 22 and 30 yards.
3.
Kareem Hunt CLE
10
86
1
2/2
15
1
73
51
23
CIN
All of Hunt's carries gained at least 1 yard. He ran for a half-dozen first downs and three gains of 10 yards or more, the longest a 33-yarder.
4.
Austin Ekeler LAC
16
93
0
4/4
55
0
63
29
33
KC
Ekeler's longest run against Kansas City gained only 13 yards, but he still picked up six first downs while getting stuffed just once. Three of his catches also produced first downs, the longest a gain of 22.
5.
Darrell Henderson LAR
12
81
1
2/3
40
0
47
28
19
PHI
This week's star in the L.A. backfield was second-year man Darrell Henderson. He only ran for three first downs, and nearly half his yardage came on his 40-yard run in the fourth quarter, but each of his carries gained at least 1 yard. Two of his catches also gained first downs, including a 28-yard gain on third-and-9.

 

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.
Aaron Jones GB
18
168
2
4/8
68
1
82
56
26
DET
2.
Kareem Hunt CLE
10
86
1
2/2
15
1
73
51
23
CIN
3.
Leonard Fournette TB
12
103
2
4/5
13
0
38
49
-11
CAR
Fournette was stuffed once while running for four first downs, including a 25-yard gain and a 46-yard touchdown when the Bucs were up by just one score in the fourth quarter.
4.
Alvin Kamara NO
13
79
2
9/9
100
0
89
46
43
LV
5.
James Robinson JAX
16
102
1
3/4
18
0
35
34
1
TEN
Robinson only ran for four first downs, but each of his 16 carries gained at least 1 yard, and he had a 17-yard touchdown and a 39-yard gain to boot.

 

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
3
4
0
3/4
9
0
-37
-4
-33
WAS
Three rushes: 2-yard gain on second-and-6; 3-yard loss on first-and-10; 5-yard gain on third-and-2. Three catches: 9-yard gain on second-and-12; 3-yard gain on third-and-21; 3-yard loss and a fumble on third-and-1.

 

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.
Tevin Coleman SF
14
12
0
2/2
28
0
-23
-42
19
NYJ
No first downs, a long gain of only 6 yards, and seven runs for no gain or a loss. Did I mention that this team beat the Jets by 18 points?

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Julian Edelman NE
8
11
179
22.4
0
54
SEA
Edelman's 179 receiving yards were a career-high. His first catch was an 8-yard gain on second-and-10. Each of his next seven catches went for first downs. In the last 17 minutes of the game, he had four catches for 112 yards.
2.
Cooper Kupp LAR
5
6
81
16.2
0
51
PHI
Kupp's totals include 35 DYAR receiving, 16 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 19 yards. All five of his catches produced first downs, including three third-down conversions.
3.
Jonnu Smith TEN
4
5
84
21.0
2
50
JAX
Smith's four first-half targets: 63-yard gain; 13-yard touchdown; 22-yard DPI; 4-yard touchdown. If he had just taken the rest of the day off he would have been our top receiver, but he came back in the second half for a 4-yard catch on second-and-13 and an incompletion on third-and-8.
4.
Tyler Higbee LAR
5
5
54
10.8
3
50
PHI
Higbee's three touchdowns covered 4, 13, and 28 yards. His other two catches were gains of 6 and 13 yards, both on first-and-10.
5.
Terry McLaurin WAS
7
10
125
17.9
1
47
ARI
McLaurin's targets produced six first downs (including a 6-yard DPI) and a long gain of 26. The rest of the Football Teamsters combined to produce five first downs -- none of them until Washington was down by 20 points in the first half -- and 111 total yards.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
A.J. Green CIN
3
13
29
9.7
0
-68
CLE
Some thought that the addition of a top overall draft pick might revitalize Green's career. So far, not so good.

 

Comments

96 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2020, 10:46am

2 Tannehill Typo

"7 touchdowns in 8 dropbacks"  

I'll assume that's 7 first downs....

3 -41 rushing DYAR for Carr, I…

-41 rushing DYAR for Carr, I guess two fumbles will do that to you. What's the worst single-game rushing DYAR for a QB in the database?

Also, looking at that first chart, it's crazy that 304 DYAR for Rodgers in the first two games wasn't even top 3 that season.

6 Our list of worst rushing…

Our list of worst rushing DYAR games by QBs is very incomplete, but the worst we've found was -60 by Drew Bledsoe as a rookie in 1993 against Pittsburgh, when he had four carries for zero yards. The game story is amazing: The Patriots opened a 14-0 lead, but then Bledsoe threw five interceptions and also fumbled to set up a Pittsburgh score. Trailing 17-14 in the final minute, Bledsoe was stuffed on a QB sneak on fourth-and-goal. 

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-12-06-sp-64501-story.html

But that's why our list of games is incomplete -- it's all guys with no yards rushing and a fumble or two on a handoff or snap. It's not interesting, so we've never bothered to go back and fill it out.

15 Part of the issue is that…

Part of the issue is that the NFL stats don't count lost fumble yardage as either passing or rushing yards, so things like this only count as a banal fumble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WpleexzYJk

21 Fumble

Good news - since that fumble wasn't part of a bad snap or sack and wasn't touched while loose until well behind the line of scrimmage, it counted as a QB run for -23 yards.

24 Ahh yes, there it is. He…

In reply to by Travis

Ahh yes, there it is.

He also completed a 1 yard pass to himself on 3rd-8 that has to be good for some negative DYAR.

7 In all fairness, Allen has…

In all fairness, Allen has faced the Jets and the Dolphins. The latter are clearly better than last year, but still a pretty bad team. And the Jets are coached by Gase.

It also helped Allen quite a bit that the Dolphins decided that Stefon Diggs should be covered by Igbinoghene, a rookie (with no training camp and no preseason), and further decided that no adjustments were needed at any point in the game.

I'm not arguing that Allen is a bad player or will finish the season poorly - and the table likely has at least some quarterbacks who were equally fortunate in playing poor teams in the first two rounds.

 

I still wouldn't read *too* much into that start and the upcoming 4 games look a lot tougher (all 2-0 teams).

19 Allen is no longer a bad quarterback

In fairness to Allen, the question is not whether he is a good quarterback, but whether he is no longer a bad quarterback.  If he is now a mediocre quarterback, we can expect good games against bad defenses, bad games against good defenses, and mediocre games against mediocre defenses with a great deal of variation of course. Allen will have made significant progress in his development as a quarterback.

Allen has started the season with a good game and a great game.  His rushing attempts have not contributed to his 312 YAR; they have been a net negative. Has he made a sustainable improvement as a passer?  The evidence presented in this article (no quarterback as successful as Allen in the first 2 games of the season has gone on to have a bad season at quarterback; the worst was Fitzpatrick and he was merely mediocre) suggests that Allen has indeed improved from a bad quarterback to a mediocre one.

Two games is a small sample and the proof will be found on the field over the next 15 weeks, but Bills fans have reason to hope.

 

 

20 As I wrote in a different…

As I wrote in a different comment, just looking at Allen play (and not the raw numbers) and I would argue that he's progressed significantly since last season. Given the addition of Diggs and an offensive line that looks to be improving after it's complete overhaul prior to last season, I would be fairly optimistic if I were a Bills fan.

33 I watch a lot of (okay, all)…

I watch a lot of (okay, all) Bills' games, and I've never had warm feelings about Allen, so here's what I see: 

He looks better. I'm not convinced that he's taken any steps forward from last year, but where he's at remains better than my expectations. His accuracy has not improved, much but he's been in comfortable throwing situations. He throws a reasonably accurate ball when he sets his feet and throws with touch. He remains highly inaccurate on the run or when he puts a lot of arm behind it. The addition of Diggs has been huge, with his ability to track the ball and make contested catches, and that alone will allow Allen to look more consistently like a pro. He's also thrown several interceptions in this season's first two games, and is lucky the defenses didn't catch any of them.

38 In contrast to you, I don't…

In contrast to you, I don't watch or have watched this season a lot of Allen, but from what I've seen I do agree with most of your points. Diggs has been huge. His last TD was an incredible catch on a poorly thrown ball. I'm not sure Allen hasn't made any progress since last year, but I'll defer to you. In any case, my impression is he still makes a lot of mistakes and he is either bailed out by great catches or dropped interceptions or it doesn't matter because his team has been much superior anyway.

59 Maybe watch before you comment

Diggs' TD was a wide open, in-stride crossing route. Absolutely none of Allen's 6 TDs this year have been on poorly thrown balls (screen to Brown could have been better, but it was catchable, certainly not an incredible catch).

I rewatched his whole game yesterday, and there were 3 uncatchable balls and 1 bad decision all day (Van Noy near INT, which was mostly great D). The majority of his throws were fantastic, and he was throwing with touch instead of rockets. He rarely showed touch on his throws in 18-19, trust me, Bills fans drooled over the few examples we got. This game alone probably had 4 of his top 10 touch throw placements of his career. You can't watch this game and not admit that he has made significant improvement.

Examples:

1Q Diggs deep crosser L-R

3Q Beasley deep crosser R->L
4Q Diggs deep crosser L->R

4Q Diggs go route

 

Combine those with rockets like the TDs to Gilliam and Davis, and the bomb to Brown for the clincher and it screams progress.

71 Not normally made,…

Not normally made, absolutely. But that was a play where the throw and catch were both great. Check out the EZ angle: https://twitter.com/YardsPerPass/status/1308201689661440000?s=20

If Allen throws that to the left, the DB has a shot at it. Great throw, even better catch. Certainly not a poorly thrown ball.

82 Yeah, I'm kinda wondering…

Yeah, I'm kinda wondering what game the detractors are watching - Allen frustrated me last year, but even just watching the NFL.com highlight package it's clear he's not the same guy this year. Throws on time and in stride, not overpowering the ball, much better touch on the passes, etc. That throw to Davis would be lauded as brilliant if it was made by someone else, I think.

94 We're watching the rest of…

We're watching the rest of the game (not the highlight package).  Agreed, we saw some throws on time, in stride, with good touch. Totally agreed, we saw a surprising number of those, more than in the past, and impressive. But we also saw interceptable balls, off balance footwork, and inaccurate throws - less often than last year, but also not randomly occurring. 

This is a low sample size of looking very good (when not rattled) mixed in with more of the same (when out of sync or under pressure).  We'll be confident about improvement when we see more of the former against actual NFL defenses and not the AFCE practice squad.

95 See, I still don't think you…

See, I still don't think you're watching the game. Allen has been (unsustainably long-term) better under pressure than when not pressured. And when not pressured, he's still vastly improved over last season.

This is just goalpost moving. EVERY QB in the league has a couple interceptable balls, off balance footwork and/or inaccurate throws per game. My favorite example is when Drew Brees' set the single game completion percentage record. He had 1 incompletion in that game: a quick throw to the flat where he threw flatfooted and didn't even step towards the target and the ball sailed out of bounds. That's an even easier throw than the EZ overthrow when rolling left Allen had vs NYJ, yet one got memed and the other forgotten.

All Bills fans want is to see Allen held to the same standard that is applied to every other QB, but instead he has to be absolutely perfect to get anything more than faint praise from some people. Every QB has multiple mistakes each game, but it feels like most every compliment of Allen has a 'but...' hanging on the end of it.

8 I am Allen doubter and a…

I am Allen doubter and a analytics believer. And I am a Bills fan. I cried when we drafted the wrong Josh. 
Boy, early returns look good. Still Jets and Dolphins. But we play these two teams every year, they suck every year and we never put up those numbers. Let’s see but I am coming around. Make us eat Crow, correct Josh! :-)

I am just curious if the analytics crowd eats Crow or finds disclaimers that explains that away. The parody of an NFL QB sure looks good so far. Let’s see what Gilmore and the Pats do to him ...

13 Not sure why the "analytics…

Not sure why the "analytics crowd" would (or should) eat crow. Allen had a great start any way you slice it. The numbers in the table are (since it's only week 2) without opponent adjustments. You'd have to figure that there's a pretty significant bias in a "best start" table towards teams/players that got lucky and faced bad opponents. And even with two bad opponents, Allen barely cracked the top 20. It's entirely possible Allen could "Fitzpatrick" the rest of the season, although with the Jets and the Dolphins coming up again and a back 8 that includes a few teams very hard bit by the injury bug, that seems unlikely.

If I were a Bills fan, and I most adamantly am not, I would take comfort in how Allen has looked, rather than just the raw numbers so early in the season. Sure, the Dolphins had a rookie on Diggs and no semblance of a pass rush, but Allen's passes where exceptionally well-placed. I saw one bad throw from him all day. And Diggs is a great piece to have added, so if the Bills can keep Allen reasonably clean, I don't see why he couldn't have a very good season.

Personally, I hope he turns into a pumpkin ;)

60 Defining "bad throw" as a…

Defining "bad throw" as a ball that was not thrown where it was supposed to be, he had 3 by my count:
1 high to Knox (Allen is still inconsistent throwing while rolling left)

2 low outs, 1 to Brown and 1 to Diggs

Add 1 bad decision w/ the Van Noy near-INT.

All his other throws were either caught, dropped, or the receiver wasn't where he was supposed/expected to be. (1Q Diggs, 4Q Brown)

36 I accepted that the…

I accepted that the analytics analysis of Allen made sense and that drafting him that high was a bad idea, but it never made sense to me that the analytically-minded were so dead on certain that there was no chance he could develop into a decent QB. Experience shows us that no one really knows how to project how QB prospects will develop. Even if Allen should have been drafted in the fourth or fifth round, it's not as if it's impossible for a player drafted there to turn out okay. Gardner Minshew was a sixth rounder and appears to have been an at least a low-level starting QB quality from the start. Where a lot of analytics people went wrong is not acknowledging that even a player who is drafted way to early still has a chance to turn out okay.

76 And, really, what's more fun…

And, really, what's more fun than when analytics gets it all wrong?

I love analytics, but often new ideas and insights come when something breaks.

There's also a bit of a tendency to shoe-horn quarterbacks into molds without looking at the details of why and anything that can encourage a more detailed approach is fun (for me, anyway, but I'll gladly accept I'm weird).

25 Oh no, long before. I'm…

Oh no, long before. I'm criticizing Edelman here, not Brady.

Incidentally, Diggs is doing quite nicely for himself this year, with his transition from Minnesota to Buffalo coinciding with a steep drop off in the Vikings pass efficiency and a steep rise in the Bills'.

11 "Goff led the league in…

"Goff led the league in first-quarter DYAR. His first incompletion came with about three minutes left in the second quarter; by that point, he had completed each of his 13 passes for 158 yards."

Every time I watch the Rams they seem to shred their opponents on the first drive or two. I'd be interested to see numbers which might back this up. It's not hard to imagine Sean McVay scripting these early drives entirely.

12  the Dolphins were last in…

 the Dolphins were last in 2019 and are last again this September

Remember, for purposes of evaluating Cam, the 2020 Dolphins are not the 2019 Dolphins.

For purposes of evaluating Allen, the 2020 Dolphins are the 2019 Dolphins.

14 only one other (Fitzpatrick…

only one other (Fitzpatrick with Miami last season) even made the top 20. 

Henne apparently finished second in the Roman Football League.

26 He's been bad this year, but…

He's been bad this year, but he's got a lot of company on the Eagles roster and coaching staff -- that whole team is a shambles this year. It's like watching the Lions, or the last year of Chip Kelly or Andy Reid.

Last year, Wentz' major problem was he had no one healthy to give the ball to, and barely anyone healthy to block. His best WR was a street free-agent QB! His nominal #1 most of last year is currently Oakland's WR4 behind three tight ends, two rookies, and a slow white kid.

34 If I had to guess, it's just…

If I had to guess, it's just lack of practice. Wentz has always been an improvising-type, rather than a "work in the system" type (I've heard this boiled down to "cooks versus chefs," but I think that's a bit too much of a negative connotation for the guys who work well inside structure). In other words, I don't think Wentz gains too much "in the classroom" - he needs to see the play, and get a ton of reps to feel things. His technique's all screwed up this year.

"that whole team is a shambles this year. It's like watching the Lions, or the last year of Chip Kelly or Andy Reid."

Meh. It's a wacko year. I'm not making any conclusions about anyone or anything. Everyone's situation is just so totally out of the normal that I'm not surprised by anything, and everyone's situation is so unique. I mean, let's just suppose it turns out that Doug Pederson/Roseman did an awful job at coaching/scouting/player acquisition this year. So they had trouble adapting to a 100-year worldwide pandemic. Even if they're the only ones - whatever. Just doesn't make any sense to make conclusions.

35 There is also the…

There is also the possibility that something is permanently wrong with Wentz. This isn't unfounded speculation - hes been injured every season and as Vince has pointed out, the trajectory has pointed to a slow decline over multiple seasons. 

Its premature to declare him toast, but that downside possibility exists

40 I'm open to the idea that he…

I'm open to the idea that he's experiencing an injury-related decline. My argument is that last year is not diagnostic of cumulative injuries, it's diagnostic that his sole healthy starting receiver was Nelson Agholor, who couldn't be trusted to catch a baby tossed from a burning building.

44 It's certainly not injury…

It's certainly not injury-related decline. It's not like Wentz was ever some preternaturally gifted athlete or something.

If there's a slow decline, it's due to the rest of the league figuring out tendencies, since again, Wentz's highlight plays are mostly broken plays/sandlot football types. So you tend to see where he struggles, and throw only those at him, for example.

But again, the majority of Wentz's issues are mechanics-related this year. Wentz's mechanics have never been great, they're just *really* sketchy now. That *could* be injury related (proprioception issues), but it's not "degradation." It's more likely, though, that Wentz always has bad habits, and needs reps/coaching to keep him out of it, which he didn't have this year.

46 A good comparison for Wentz…

A good comparison for Wentz might be Tony Romo, a similar sandlot kind of player who was up and down a lot in his career. 

I can't remember too many cases where a quarterback has a near MVP year and proceeds to be mediocre without injuries explaining it. The closest comparison would be Derek Carr maybe?

56 Cam Newton has been mediocre…

Cam Newton has been mediocre at best most of his career outside of his MVP season. He's had injuries in the past few years but he was not great before that as well. He had a 53% completion percentage the year after he won MVP and ranked 28th in DVOA. The next year he was 21st. In 2014 he was 32nd. Frankly, he's not a great player and really didn't deserve the MVP.

63 > Tony Romo, a similar…

> Tony Romo, a similar sandlot kind of player who was up and down a lot in his career. 

Romo was actually a model of consistency. His low passing DVOA for a season is his career was 11% and the high 28%. 

The Cowboys of the Romo era were really inconsistent, but that was mostly defense and coaching. The quarterbacking was solid as a rock.

27 In the third quarter last…

In the third quarter last night, did Brees throw a pass beyond the line of scrimmage? I watched a couple of drives, and I think every pass was a screen or a dump-off. He had success doing that, because the Raiders were playing pretty conservatively, but it does play into the narrative that he doesn't have a deep ball any more.

29 Brees Arm

I don't know if Brees's arm is shot - but I do know the Saints are definitely calling plays as if they think that is the case.

It's shocking even in that last drive, which admittedly was a fully pointless exercise, he was checking down.

 

If he's truly Manning '15, I guess it makes sense to force him to play like Alex Smith rather than try to air it out and get picked 2x/game.

31 I've stuck up for Brees…

In reply to by dmstorm22

I've stuck up for Brees recently, as people seem determined to declare he is shot when there has actually been almost no drop off in his efficiency up to this season. That interception was eerily reminiscent of Manning 2015 though, and yes, he really has not attempted anything ambitious whatsoever in these first two games. Still, the overall numbers and efficiency are fine. I still fully expect him to be an above average QB this season. 

 

32 I do, too. Although it he…

I do, too. Although if he actually is toast, eventually teams will stop respecting the deep routes and overload the short ones, like happened to Brady last year. I suspect that will take awhile, though, and his receivers are good enough to break a tackle and roast too aggressive coverage.

50 Am I correct that Thomas…

Am I correct that Thomas didn't play yesterday?  Thomas + Kamara on the field at the same time would surely make defending the Saints a lot harder than only one of them on the field.  How competent Brees looks can no doubt be significantly influenced by what Thomas + Kamara force the D to give him.

53 The focus of the Saints…

The focus of the Saints offense these last two weeks doesn't look dramatically different to me than what they've done the past two seasons - Brees is going on 3 seasons now of being near the bottom of the league in depth of target, intended air yards, etc. His timing and precision, though, look way off so far this year.

I don't think they need to panic, though. They've still been very effective throwing to Kamara, and they'll get a boost when Thomas is back healthy. Emmanuel Sanders was productive with some questionable QBs in Denver, he may just need time and reps to mesh with Brees since they play such a timing/anticipation game. And they have a great OL and get to face the Packers back 7 this week.

70 I don't have all-22 or…

I don't have all-22 or anything, but on a few of those 2nd-20s or 3rd-30s, Brees was throwing passes to the line of scrimmage when the DBs were aligned 15 yards deep at the snap and playing back. It was the weirdest thing. 

I know he likes giving Kamara room to accelerate, but that seemed ridiculous. 

62 Michael Thomas

No Michael Thomas. When you don't have your All-Pro WR available, it definitely changes what you can do offensively.

I'm not sure what the Raiders were doing defensively, but the Saints' receivers didn't do Brees any favors with several drops in the first few drives. The few times that he tried to stretch the field, it seemed like the Raiders had pretty good coverage. Sanders was pretty invisible last night.

28 Miami had their QB

Tannehill has been another person in a better run franchise. Looks like Miami missed the boat on him. Hope Tua doesn't suffer the same fate. Not sure what to make of the 2020 Dolphins. They look 100 drafts away from competing, but hopefully that's due to a lack of preseason and the fact they have 43 percent roster turnover and a new scheme. Either way, it's another season of disaster. The question is only how bad it will be, not that it will be bad.

30 that Jags defense is going…

that Jags defense is going to be awful (but the offense will be fun);  Tannehill also looked good against Denver in week one, a game that really wasn't as close as the final score, and he shredded the Jags without AJ Brown, his most talented receiver

42 Color me unsurprised about…

Color me unsurprised about Tannehill. As long as his supporting cast holds and the system remains suited to him, he will perform well -alas, that is not a formula for sustained success over the years. I did expect a drop off from last year, but only because he was so ridiculously good. So color me slightly surprised so far, I guess.

61 Cian Fahey said a lot of…

Cian Fahey said a lot of contrarian things about quarterback film study, and pretty much the only thing he was right about was the fact that Tannenhill was secretly awesome, and it was his poorly coached offensive teammates on the Dolphins that were holding him back (I believe he first said this back in 2015).  

37 As someone who watched the…

As someone who watched the LAR-PHI game I would like to say that Wentz's -88 DYAR is due entirely to the new and improved rams defense. In reality, while the defense played solidly, I saw Wentz miss a whole bunch of passes. When Goff misses passes, especially last week against Philly, he typically misses by 1-5 feet. Wentz missed some passes so badly I wondered if there was miscommunication, but on at least one of those passes, an out route to I believe a TE, he missed in front of his receiver. 

I don't watch enough Eagles games to know, but Wentz is not passing the eye test. I'm not saying he was horrible, his second interception as an example was on a play where he made a nice play to buy time in the pocket, before throwing back across his body to try to make a play. What I will say is that he is playing clearly worse than he did against the Rams and others back in 2017 or so, when he looked sharp and athletic. I think something is very wrong with Wentz, or the coaching staff, or something else in Philly.

On a different note, it's not just because I'm a rams fan, but I am hugely excited for the Rams @ Bills game this weekend. I feel like Allen hasn't faced a real defense yet, but when you put up 800 yards against them it's hard to know what that means. Either way the Rams will be a great test for the Bills, and vice versa. Huge implications for the strength of both teams after that game.

78 Wentz's mechanics are off…

Wentz's mechanics are off. There's like, a billion people breaking that down everywhere. His feet are just really screwed up, leading to his stance being too wide at times and accuracy being all over the place. (Accuracy being affected because his mechanics aren't consistent.)

He's never had like, perfect mechanics to begin with. This happened early in the year last year (you may remember large amounts of What's Wrong with Carson early last year as well) to some degree. This year, they're even worse, though.

"back in 2017 or so, when he looked sharp and athletic."

Where did this idea of Wentz being "sharp" come from? Go back and look at his highlights from 2017. They're not filled with tight spirals and fantastic ball placement. They're filled with avoiding sacks and throwing wobbly spirals to some guy who managed to work open. Or throwing a ball to a tall, tightly covered receiver who grabs it on a leap. 

He's still avoiding *initial* sacks - even in Week 1 there were plenty of times when the first hit couldn't bring him down, but he just didn't have anywhere to go. And his accuracy's now all over the place.

There's a word for this. He looks rusty. It's almost like there was something that prevented him from getting ready this year.

86 Yeah that's probably more…

Yeah that's probably more accurate. I just remember him being great at avoiding the rush, then he would make these great throws to open receivers. I didn't mean that his arm was crisp and clean and super accurate, that's never been true.

I think Wentz would suddenly look a lot better if his receivers could get open more. Then he could make more plays where he beats the rusher and makes a nice throw, instead of plays where he beats the rusher, and then can't do anything good.

It's interesting that Goff turns out to be a QB unusually dependent on his offensive line, but not really that dependent on his receivers, since he is such an accurate thrower. Wentz is a QB unusually dependent on his receivers, but not that dependent on his offensive line, since he is good at buying time and avoiding the rush. Really interesting.

90 Less about "getting open,"…

Less about "getting open," more about trust. Wentz really wants receivers he can trust. Really, really. Again, if you go back to 2017, you've got all these passes where the receiver's tightly covered, but Wentz throws it anyway. And it's not like you're talking about "ball placement" open- a lot of them are thrown above the receiver, some of which can be really dangerous. But Jeffery's 6'3", with long arms. He can make those catches.

And again, no off-season, no trust. And I mean "instinct trust," as in you see a guy and you throw it without thinking, since you know he'll catch it.

Really none of this is terribly new, it just looks way worse now.

91 That's fascinating,…

That's fascinating, especially since it mirrors Goff's imaginary "regression," in 2019. I've said before that Goff struggles when pressured, and in 2019 he simply got pressured more. When not pressured he was fine, and he was even making a bit better moves in the pocket to avoid that pressure and make throws. When your OLine goes from top 5 to arguably worst in the league, it's easy for people to ignore that.

If I understand what you're saying it's that Wentz is gonna do really well when paired with big physical receivers who Wentz is on the same page with, and can win contested catches. That minimizes his main weakness, accuracy, while allowing him to really make some splash highlight plays. As an example, escaping a sack to throw a 50-50 ball to Alshon Jeffrey who he knows will make the 30 yard TD catch over some 5'9 defensive back.

92 I've said before that Goff…

I've said before that Goff struggles when pressured, and in 2019 he simply got pressured more.

The annual Quarterbacks and Pressure article has Goff with a higher pressure rate in 2019 than 2018 (31.6% vs. 25.5%) and also a lower DVOA when not pressured (52.9% vs. 69.1%). His DVOA when pressured basically stayed the same (-66.8% vs. -67.9%).

By those numbers, about 40% of his drop in production is due to being pressured more often and the other 60% is due to playing worse when he didn't face pressure.

93 I don't think you can break…

I don't think you can break things down so cleanly - a QB who knows he isn't going to have time to throw may rush his process or prioritize checkdowns if he doesn't have confidence that he'll have time to throw, even without a pressure actually occurring on a given play. Playcallers will also adapt when they know the OL can't hold up. And there are a *lot* of indicators that the Rams OL really dropped off last season.

96 Adding on to what the poster…

Adding on to what the poster below said, I don't think you can make much of that. McVay called a lot more short passing concepts and WR screens in 2019 to hide that bad oline. Whether Goff is pressured or not, those plays aren't going to be as successful as the iconic deep crossers to the middle of the field with all day to throw.

43 There seems to be a weird…

There seems to be a weird double standard going on with Goff. 

 

Everyone wants a reckoning for the doubters of Josh Allen. Meanwhile, Goff's results are either ignored or passed all to McVay and the supporting cast. Strange how last year it was all on Goff and nary a mention of the roster.

 

I'm not a rams fan and I don't root for Goff, but it has always struck me as odd that everyone loves Jimmy G and automatically penciled in rookie Kyler Murray as better players, as if Goff had been a game manager this whole time.

45 The roster changes consisted…

The roster changes consisted of Saffold and Sullivan leaving. Otherwise, Gurley declined and Cooks and Kupp traded roles. That's pretty much it.

Wentz gets killed for being in a prolonged decline in a year when Philadelphia finished the playoffs with essentially no one left from their starting 11. You want to give Goff a pass based on swapping out two interior linemen?

Are you sure you aren't DIVISION just cosplaying as a Rams fan?

48 The roster changes consisted…

The roster changes consisted of Saffold and Sullivan leaving, then Havenstein being injured and awful the first five weeks until a season ending injury, and Whitworth probably being injured due to how awful he was playing. The rookies replacing all three spots were horrible, and Noteboom, one of said rookies, also got a season ending injury. For what it's worth, PFF had the rams OLine as the absolute worst unit through the first 8 weeks of the season, despite finishing about 5th best the previous year. They ended up something like 29th.

Despite the beyond horrible offensive line play, Goff finished the year with a QB rating (team stat I know) of 86.5, close to Matt Stafford's career average of 89.3, good for 23rd in the league. He also threw for the third most yards and most attempts, indicative of the rams being behind, and in less favourable passing situations last year.

And it's not the stats that people are complaining about. No QB hits every throw, not even prime Drew Brees, but I saw what Eagles fans have been complaining about on Sunday with Wentz, when he airmailed more than a few throws, completely missing even when not under pressure.

51 The cratering of the Rams OL…

The cratering of the Rams OL last year was obviously a huge factor in the decline of their entire offense - was as noticeable with their run game as it was with Goff's play. They looked pretty good Week 1 and put up great stats again vs Philly and the points to go with it.

I do wonder if there's some fragility there if they do suffer any OL injuries, though. Don't see a whole lot of depth, and Whitworth is in his age 39 season.

58 "He also threw for the third…

"He also threw for the third most yards and most attempts, indicative of the rams being behind, and in less favourable passing situations last year."

 

I was curious how Goff did while trailing last year, so ran a PFR query for all QB's while trailing in games (regardless of quarter):  http://pfref.com/tiny/yq7gO

 

Goff was amongst the worst in the league, with a 77 passer rating.  Others at the bottom were Darnold, Kyle Allen, Mayfield, Haskins, Trubisky and Rivers.

 

But Ryan Tannehill was on fire.  He threw 158 passes while trailing in 2019.  12 TD, 3 INT, 73% Comp and a 116 passer rating!  Garoppolo, Stafford, Brees and Wilson were also pretty good.

87 That's even more interesting…

That's even more interesting if it isn't just statistical fluke. It generally fits with Goff being relatively worse at handling pressure, which is more likely when the defense can just rush him. He's also great off play action, which might be limited in those situations.

Of course, it could also mean very little. The rams got down against the 9ers early, so a lot of his attempts just come against the better defenses.

88 Yeah, mostly I thought it…

Yeah, mostly I thought it was a fun query.  Being down 3 in the first quarter is different than being down 10 in the third quarter.  But both conditions show up in this query.

 

This query includes just when a team is trailing by 1 to 11 points in the fourth quarter: http://pfref.com/tiny/6liJ8

Results don't seem to change much, except Watson, Stafford and Tannehill are even better (in terms of passer rating).  Brees goes from good to a 145 passer rating (in only 18 attempts).  Russell Wilson actually drops to an 87.

Winston and Mayfield go from bad to worse.  Goff is a little worse.

75 Internet being the internet…

Internet being the internet. Even on a site where people are generally pretty thoughtful and intelligent, we still sort things into "AMAZING!!" and "WORST. GUY. EVAR."

Jared Goff is a pretty good QB. He's not AMAZING!! and he's not young enough that you can reasonably hope he will become AMAZING!! in the future, so he automatically gets sorted into WORST. GUY. EVAR. But he's pretty good.

He plays better with a good coach (unlike... uh, nobody), he's not as good when his supporting cast is bad (unlike... uh, nobody), he's worse when pressured (unlike... uh, almost nobody). He seems to decline more than most under pressure, giving the occasional true clunker of a performance, which puts him behind the top-tier guys and coloring popular perception of his overall ability. But when he's good, which is often, he can be very good.

He's kind of like Eli Manning West. Generally good, but more memorably occasionally really bad. Although unfortunately Goff lacks the anti-Brady kryptonite, so no rings or semi-inexplicable HoF candidacy (...yet!).

77 Agree with everything…

Agree with everything written here. Although in some ways Goff is the anti-Eli, having put up a stinker to lose a low-scorer in his only Super Bowl (as opposed to putting up a mostly-stinker, but then coming through in the 4th quarter). 

80 Goff strikes me as the anti…

Goff strikes me as the anti-Eli, really. Eli prospered in the schoolyard-style two-minute drives, and was good at high-pressure moments, but he chafed under too much structure and tended to miss guys trying to do too much. Goff is like the complete opposite of this; he's all about structure and hitting on time and on schedule based on the play design, but really suffers when plays break and the pressure is high. Although maybe what he is is the anti-Fitzpatrick.

I think Goff is decent -- there's value in being on-time and accurate, and having a strong arm. He works well in the system. I also think he's more dependent on the quality of his coaching that most QBs and is really bad when any aspect of his system fails -- basically, he's a disaster if you put him on a bad team. (This is the anti-Fitzpatrick part; I don't trust Fitzpatrick on a good team, but he's great for a bad one, because all his flaws become strengths).

My knock is that I think a lot of QBs would look really good in Goff's system, but Goff would look really bad in theirs. I think he's a very limited QB. Probably top-half in his fit, and maybe in general, but I think he'd flounder on a lot of teams so his market value is somewhat limited.

81 I think Goff adds some value…

I think Goff adds some value to the offense with his arm - they run lots of deep crossing routes which require a lot of arm strength + accuracy to fit through small openings over the middle and to hit guys running in stride horizontally deep downfield toward the sidelines. When they're rolling, they consistently pick up huge chunks of yardage on these types of throws - Goff averaged almost 10 Y/A through the first half of 2018.

But yeah, when you try to figure out who wouldn't be able to produce nearly as well as Goff in this offense, it's probably not a very long list. Either guys with limited arm strength like Bridgewater, guys who miss open receivers and are even worse than Goff at reading the field like Trubisky, or some of the older cohort of QBs who you wouldn't just plug into this system anyway. Kirk Cousins put up pretty good numbers when McVay called plays for him. Jimmy G plays in an offense that does some similar things, and as unimpressive as he looks sometimes, his career Y/A since moving to SF is like 8.4.