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

Week 3 Quick Reads

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

And now, a brief recap of some of Sunday's more exciting games:

  • The Rams arrived in Buffalo for a 1 p.m. game, but looked like they weren't ready to play until about 3 p.m. or so. The Bills led 21-3 at halftime and 28-3 midway through the third. At that point the Buffalo Bills -- perhaps lulled to sleep by the silence of the Rams -- took a nap while L.A. came roaring to life, scoring 29 unanswered points in less than 20 minutes of game time to take a 32-28 lead late in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately they came back too quickly, leaving four-plus minutes for Josh Allen to rally the Bills to a last-minute touchdown and a 35-32 win. Allen threw for four touchdown passes and ran for another while his counterpart Jared Goff threw for a pair of scores.
  • The undefeated Titans got all they could handle from the winless Vikings. Minnesota took a 7-6 lead late in the first quarter, then expanded that lead to 24-12 in the third. They lost that lead on a pair of Derrick Henry touchdowns, but took it back on a Kirk Cousins-to-Kyle Rudolph score. The Titans, however, finished the scoring with two field goals from Stephen Gostkowski (his fifth and sixth field goals of the day) and escaped with a 31-30 win. Cousins finished the game with three touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill had none -- that's what Henry is for -- but he did throw for 321 yards and an 8.7-yard average.
  • In Seattle, the Seahawks turned a Dallas fumble into a Jacob Hollister touchdown catch to take a 30-15 lead one minute into the second half. The Cowboys rattled off 16 unanswered points to go up 31-30, but DK Metcalf -- atoning for a bonehead fumble earlier in the game -- put Seattle back on top with a 29-yard touchdown strike. The Cowboys had one last chance to tie, but Dak Prescott's pass into the end zone was intercepted. Don't hang the loss on Prescott, though -- he threw three touchdown passes, while the Dallas defense allowed Russell Wilson to throw five.
  • The Sunday night affair was a back-and-forth contest that saw nine lead changes or ties. In the end, it was Mason Crosby's 49-yard field goal that put Green Bay ahead, and an Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan that put the nail in the coffin. The Saints would get a too-little, too-late field goal, but the Packers left New Orleans with a 37-30 victory. Rodgers finished with 283 yards and three touchdowns; New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was nearly identical with 288 yards and three scores.

That's four games in one day where both teams scored 30 points or more, and if that seems like a lot, it is -- or at least, it used to be. If you like offense, then welcome to your golden age. Heading into Monday Night Football, teams were averaging 25.4 points per game, which would be a record by two full points over the next-highest scoring season (2013). Naturally, that has led to more high-scoring contests each weekend. Rising tides, all boats, etc.

There have already been 10 shootouts (defined here as any game where both teams scored at least 30 points) in the 2020 season. That's more than halfway to the total of 17 that we saw last year (including the playoffs!) and it's not even October yet. The single-season record in the DVOA era (going back to 1985) is 28 in 2018, a mark that is in serious jeopardy. Yes, 35 years is a long time, but you only have to go back to 2005 to find a year when there were only seven shootouts all season. We haven't seen an offensive outburst like this so early in the year -- before 2020, the record for shootouts in the first three weeks of the year was six (set in 1986, 2002, and 2012). Shootouts have become more common in recent years, but this is unprecedented in recent history.

Average Shootouts Per Year
Seasons First 3 Weeks Full Season
1985-1989 3.2 11.0
1990-1994 2.2 7.6
1995-1999 1.4 12.6
2000-2004 2.8 14.2
2005-2009 2.0 12.0
2010-2014 4.0 17.0
2015-2019 3.0 20.2
2020 10 ?

If this is what football is going to look like in the modern age, there might be some value in the shootout records of individual quarterbacks. We checked the starting quarterbacks in every shootout this century (which means we're not looking at the full careers of Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, or Kurt Warner, among others) to see who played in the most, who had the most victories, and who suffered the most losses. And if you've been reading Quick Reads for any length of time, the name on the top of that first list should be no surprise.

Most Shootouts, 2000-2020
Row Labels Team Total W L
Drew Brees SD/NO 37 19 18
Tom Brady NE 24 16 8
Eli Manning NYG 20 7 13
Peyton Manning IND/DEN 19 12 7
Aaron Rodgers GB 18 11 7
Matt Ryan ATL 18 10 8
Carson Palmer CIN/OAK/ARI 17 9 8
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 17 7 10
Trent Green KC 15 7 8
Tony Romo DAL 15 5 10

Drew Brees is the NFL's all-time leader in passing attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns; he has been putting up big numbers for two decades now. But he has also regularly been paired with some of the worst defenses in the league, and so sometimes all those yards and touchdowns haven't been enough. He has also benefitted from playing in at least nine dome games each year (eight in New Orleans, one in Atlanta), which means more touchdowns for everybody. Brees has 13 more shootouts than any other quarterback, and since half the names behind him in this table are already retired, he won't be passed for the top spot anytime soon. Among younger quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford (14), Russell Wilson (13), Jared Goff (12), or Patrick Mahomes (nine) would seem like the best bets to catch Brees, but it would still take a long, long time.

Playing in shootouts is one thing; winning them is another. Brees leads all quarterbacks with 19 shootout wins, but does that mean anything when he also has 18 shootout losses? The following table shows the quarterbacks with the most shootout wins since 2000, along with those with the best win-loss records (as measured by games over .500).

Best Shootout Records, 2000-2020
Most Wins   Best W-L Record
Row Labels Team Wins Row Labels Team W L Dif
Drew Brees SD/NO 19 Tom Brady NE 16 8 +8
Tom Brady NE 16 Peyton Manning IND/DEN 12 7 +5
Peyton Manning IND/DEN 12 Derek Carr OAK/LV 7 2 +5
Aaron Rodgers GB 11 Aaron Rodgers GB 11 7 +4
Matt Ryan ATL 10 Brett Favre GB/NYJ/MIN 7 3 +4
Carson Palmer CIN/OAK/ARI 9 Ryan Tannehill MIA/TEN 5 1 +4
Philip Rivers SD/LAC 8 Derek Anderson CLE 4 0 +4
10 players tied
 
  7
 
Vinny Testaverde NYJ/DAL 4 0 +4
Five players tied       +3

Tom Brady has won a lot of football games. This is not news. Sometimes by a lot, sometimes by a little. Sometimes in low-scoring games, sometimes in shootouts. But one way or another, he has won a lot more football games than he has lost.

After Brady we find three more god-tier quarterbacks: Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Brett Favre (remember, Manning and Favre's earlier years are not included here). And then there are a bunch of surprises. Derek Carr's name isn't often mentioned in that company, but his teams have only lost two of his starts when scoring 30-plus points: a 38-35 defeat in Pittsburgh in 2015 and a 40-33 loss to Kansas City last year. But that's only one more loss than Ryan Tannehill has suffered in shootouts, while immortals such as Vinny Testaverde and Derek Anderson were undefeated. Come to think of it, Testaverde was still winning games at age 44, so he may literally be immortal. His last shootout was a 43-39 Cowboys win over Seattle in 2004. And his perfect record at the end of his career was a fluke -- he went 4-6 in shootouts last century.

Stafford and Wilson are among that group with seven shootout wins; Mahomes has four. Philip Rivers (8-5) and Jimmy Garoppolo (3-0) are both in that +3 group.

Brees, as mentioned, has 18 shootout losses, five more than anyone else, but he still has more wins than losses. The worst record in shootouts belongs to a two-time Super Bowl winner.

Worst Shootout Records, 2000-2020
Most Losses   Worst W-L Record
Row Labels Team Losses Row Labels Team W L Dif
Drew Brees NO 18 Eli Manning NYG 7 13 -6
Eli Manning NYG 13 Tony Romo DAL 5 10 -5
Tony Romo DAL 10 Kirk Cousins WAS/MIN 2 7 -5
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 10 Jason Campbell WAS/OAK/CLE 0 5 -5
Trent Green KC 8 Jameis Winston TB 3 7 -4
Carson Palmer CIN/OAK/ARI 8 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 7 10 -3
Matt Ryan ATL 8 Deshaun Watson HOU 2 5 -3
Tom Brady NE 8 Aaron Brooks NO 1 4 -3
Five players tied
 
  7
 
Tyrod Taylor BUF 0 3 -3
Kelly Holcomb CLE 0 3 -3

The younger Manning lost each of his first four shootouts, then won four of his next five. He only won three of 11 shootouts after that, losing five in a row at one point.

Ben Roethlisberger, like Manning, has a pair of Super Bowl rings and a bevy of shootout losses. Tony Romo, Kirk Cousins, and Deshaun Watson each has a track record of producing more fantasy points than wins. I'm not sure what to say about the third tier here -- Jason Campbell, Jameis Winston, Aaron Brooks, Tyrod Taylor, and Kelly Holcomb -- except that, yes, they were all starting quarterbacks for a while before being replaced.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Patrick Mahomes KC
31/42
385
4
0
0
248
232
16
BAL
Mahomes wasn't technically perfect on third downs, but he was about as close as you could get: 9-of-11 for 149 yards. All nine of those completions picked up a first down, including two touchdowns, one of them a 49-yard gain on third-and-14.
2.
Nick Mullens SF
25/36
343
1
0
2
164
162
2
NYG
Surprised? Mullens' exceptional game flew under the radar on Sunday, but only the Seahawks (38) and Packers (37) scored more points than the 49ers (36), and no offense was more reliable than San Francisco's. Save for some end-of-game kneeldowns, every San Francisco drive ended in either a touchdown or field goal attempt, with no turnovers or punts to be seen. Mullens got off to a relatively slow start, but once the Giants tied the score at 6-6 in the second quarter, he was dynamite. From that point forward, he went 17-of-21 for 255 yards with one touchdown and one sack. He also led the league in DYAR on passes to running backs. He threw nine passes to the quartet of JaMycal Hasty, Kyle Juszczyk, Jerick McKinnon, and Jeff Wilson, completing eight of them for 109 yards.
3.
Philip Rivers IND
17/21
217
1
0
0
125
125
0
NYJ
Rivers produced successful yardage on a league-high 73% of his dropbacks. Each of his first five throws produced first downs, the last of those a 1-yard touchdown to Mo Alie-Cox. His next pass was incomplete, but then he picked up a half-dozen first downs over his next seven throws, for a net gain of 118 yards. That's 11 first downs in the first half alone; for comparison's sake, Tom Brady only had 11 first downs in an entire game against Denver.
4.
Aaron Rodgers GB
21/32
283
3
0
1
121
117
4
NO
Rodgers led all quarterbacks in DYAR on passes to tight ends. (And no, the 6-foot-5, 227-pound Allen Lazard doesn't count.) He threw 10 passes to Marcedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger, and Robert Tonyan, completing nine of them for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was also tops on passes to his left, where he went 10-of-12 for 151 yards and a touchdown, plus a pair of DPIs for 19 more yards.
5.
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA
18/20
160
2
0
1
115
96
19
JAX
A hot start keyed the Dolphins' first win as Fitzpatrick led all quarterbacks in first-quarter DYAR. He did not throw an incompletion until the last minute of the first half; up to that point, he had completed a dozen passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, plus two DPIs for 20 more yards.
6.
Russell Wilson SEA
27/40
315
5
0
4
105
113
-8
DAL
Hat tip to Seahawks reporter John Boyle for this one: after throwing for 300-plus yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions against the Cowboys, Wilson's NFL passer rating for the season went down. For the record, his DVOA also went down -- his average dropback gained 6.9 yards and his success rate was just 50%, both of which ranked in the middle of the pack -- but he still leads the league in that category going into Monday Night Football.
7.
Jared Goff LAR
23/32
321
2
1
2
84
79
5
BUF
As you might expect for a team that rallied from a 28-3 deficit to take a 32-28 lead, Goff had some wild swings in DYAR: -42 in the first half, 121 in the second, second only to Nick Mullens. And that second half started with six straight dropbacks without a first down, as he went 2-of-6 for 15 yards. From that point to the end of the game, though, he went 12-of-13 for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
8.
Josh Allen BUF
24/33
311
4
1
4
83
83
0
LAR
Allen's splits were not quite as extreme: 75 DYAR in the first half, 7 in the second. He led the league in DYAR in the red zone, where he went 8-of-10 for 34 yards and four touchdowns, plus a 10-yard DPI. That's not even counting his 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
9.
Drew Brees NO
29/35
288
3
0
2
71
71
0
GB
Brees' average pass traveled a league-low 4.3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He only threw two deep passes all game -- one in the third quarter, one in the fourth -- completing both for 18 yards apiece.
10.
Matthew Stafford DET
22/31
270
2
0
4
69
69
0
ARI
Stafford had a remarkably streaky game against Arizona. He picked up only three first downs on his first 10 dropbacks, then had six in a row (including two touchdowns) to close the first half. Then he opened the second half with only two first downs in his first 15 dropbacks, but closed the game with five first downs in a row. Combine those two end-of-half hot streaks and you get 10 completions for 141 yards, plus a 13-yard DPI.
11.
Tom Brady TB
25/38
297
3
0
2
67
83
-16
DEN
All three of Brady's touchdown passes were thrown within 10 yards of the Denver end zone. They were also thrown to his left, but he was more consistently successful when throwing to his right: 11-of-14 for 181 yards.
12.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
24/36
237
2
0
2
57
61
-4
HOU
Roethlisberger led all quarterbacks in passing DYAR on third/fourth downs (well, before Monday night...), when he went 9-of-11 for 108 yards. He also had two DPIs for 39 more yards and nine total conversions (including a touchdown), with one sack.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Teddy Bridgewater CAR
22/28
235
1
0
2
53
53
1
LAC
What do you do without Christian McCaffrey? If you're Teddy Bridgewater, you pretend Mike Davis is Christian McCaffrey and hope for the best. Davis led the Panthers with nine targets, three more than anyone else. Bridgewater completed eight of those throws but they only gained 45 yards. Well, at least Davis scored a touchdown on one.
14.
Baker Mayfield CLE
17/23
156
2
0
2
52
55
-4
WAS
Late in the third quarter of this game, Dwayne Haskins threw a touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman that put Washington ahead 20-17. From that point to the final gun, Mayfield only threw five passes, but each was completed for a first down (including a touchdown) for a total of 55 yards. The Browns scored 17 points unanswered to win 34-20.
15.
Derek Carr LV
24/32
261
2
0
2
48
46
2
NE
Carr failed to convert a single third down in this game. His five passes on the money down resulted in three incompletions, a zero-yard gain with 6 yards to go, and a 2-yard gain with 7 yards to go.
16.
Deshaun Watson HOU
19/27
264
2
1
5
39
37
2
PIT
Watson's 14-yard touchdown to Will Fuller just before halftime put Houston up 21-17. He only threw for two first downs in the second half, when he went 5-of-9 for 62 yards with three sacks and an interception.
17.
Kirk Cousins MIN
16/27
251
3
2
2
30
42
-13
TEN
Cousins' average completion gained a league-best 7.6 yards after the catch. His biggest plays there were a 15-yard completion to Dalvin Cook (1 yard through the air, 14 after the catch), a 33-yard completion to Justin Jefferson (9, 24) and a 71-yard touchdown to Jefferson (32, 39).
18.
Dak Prescott DAL
37/57
472
3
2
2
28
24
4
SEA
The deeper, the better for Prescott, who led all passers on DYAR on deep balls, going 6-of-11 for 213 yards and two touchdowns. Many of those passes were down the middle, and he led the league on those throws too, going 12-of-16 for 215 yards and the same two touchdowns. However, he was last in DYAR on passes to running backs. More on that later.
19.
Nick Foles CHI
16/29
188
3
1
0
23
23
0
ATL
Foles came into this game on Chicago's second drive with the Bears down 26-10. Nineteen minutes later, they still trailed 26-10, and Foles had thrown for only four first downs, with an interception. Then, in the last seven minutes of the game, he completed six of his last seven passes for 80 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bears had themselves a 30-26 win.
20.
Justin Herbert LAC
35/48
330
1
1
2
17
29
-12
CAR
The good news for Herbert is that he was very good on third downs, completing 11 of 12 throws for 104 yards with eight conversions (including one touchdown) and one sack. The bad news is that he needed to be, because he was dreadful on first downs: 11-of-17, 96 yards, one interception, and one sack-fumble.
21.
Joe Burrow CIN
31/44
312
2
0
8
14
14
0
PHI
Believe it or not, Burrow led all quarterbacks in DYAR on throws to the right. That's partly because he threw a ton of passes that way, 26 in all, but he also completed 16 of them for 179 yards and a touchdown, and a 17th resulted in a DPI for 14 more yards.
22.
Kyler Murray ARI
24/35
270
2
3
1
-11
-28
17
DET
By DYAR, Murray was the league's worst passer on deep balls this week. He threw six of them and completed four -- two to the Cardinals, two to the Lions. For the record, those two successful plays gained a combined 56 yards.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
23/37
321
0
1
1
-15
-3
-11
MIN
It's a good thing Tennessee got two touchdowns from Derrick Henry and six field goals from Stephen Gostkowski, because Tannehill was miserable within scoring range. Between the Minnesota 40 and the goal line, he went 7-of-16 for 53 yards with an interception. He also had a sack-fumble at the 41.
24.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
13/22
128
1
1
2
-39
-56
17
ATL
Trubisky was benched -- perhaps permanently -- after throwing an interception on Chicago's first drive of the second half. At least he went down gunning -- his average pass attempt traveled a league-high 12.1 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. On the other hand, all five of his deep balls were incomplete, so maybe he should have checked down more often.
25.
Gardner Minshew JAX
30/42
275
0
1
4
-50
-54
4
MIA
Minshew struggled to get the Jaguars out of bad field position. Inside the Jacksonville 20, he went 3-of-5 for 23 yards with a sack-fumble.
26.
Cam Newton NE
17/28
162
1
1
2
-52
-53
1
LV
Newton's another quarterback who struggled within scoring range. Between the Las Vegas 25 and the goal line, he went 2-of-9 for 18 yards with as many sacks (one) as touchdowns.
27.
Matt Ryan ATL
19/38
238
1
1
2
-58
-58
0
CHI
Ryan was virtually tied with Denver's Brett Rypien for the worst fourth-quarter DYAR in the league. His first nine dropbacks of the final 15 minutes resulted in eight clock-stopping incompletions and a sack. Then he completed three passes in a row for 31 yards, but his last pass was intercepted.
28.
Daniel Jones NYG
17/32
179
0
1
2
-86
-82
-4
SF
Jones had many problems against the 49ers, but a lack of support from his teammates was one of them -- his average completion gained a league-low 2.3 yards after the catch, and two of them resulted in fumbles. He was also last in DYAR on passes to tight ends. He completed four of his seven passes to Evan Engram and Kaden Smith for 35 yards; a fifth pass was intercepted.
29.
Brett Rypien DEN
8/9
53
0
1
1
-87
-87
0
TB
Rypien made his NFL debut after Jeff Driskel was yanked in the fourth quarter. The nephew of Mark Rypien, who won a Super Bowl with Washington in 1991, Rypien was a three-time all-Mountain West player at Boise State, winning the conference's Offensive Player of the Year award in 2018, but went undrafted in 2019 and failed to see the field behind Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Drew Lock, and Driskel since then. He finally made it into a game on Sunday, but plainly, it did not go well. He had the league's worst DYAR in the red zone on only three plays: a fumble-sack on second down (Denver recovered); an incompletion on third down; and an interception on fourth down.
30.
Jeff Driskel DEN
17/30
176
1
1
5
-109
-115
6
TB
Driskel was successful on only 31% of his dropbacks, the lowest rate of any starter. He did not have a good first half, but his last pass of the second quarter was a 7-yard touchdown to Tim Patrick that at least brought some hope to the Denver sideline. Then, in the second half, he went 4-of-12 for 47 yards with only one first down, two sacks (one for a safety), and an interception that may have ended his tenure as Broncos starter.
31.
Lamar Jackson BAL
15/28
97
1
0
4
-126
-150
24
KC
Jackson failed to throw for a first down until the Ravens were down 27-10 in the closing minutes of the first half. On third/fourth downs, he went 3-for-6 for 14 yards with two sacks, one fumble, and only one first down.
32.
Carson Wentz PHI
29/47
225
1
2
3
-130
-160
30
CIN
A dozen of Wentz's completions counted as failed plays, most in the league. He struggled out of the gate, finishing last in first-quarter DYAR; in the first 15 minutes, he went 6-of-9 for 43 yards with an interception and a sack. He did lead all quarterbacks in rushing DYAR this week, running nine times for 65 yards and a touchdown, so ... yay?
33.
Dwayne Haskins WAS
21/37
224
2
3
3
-138
-116
-22
CLE
Haskins had the league's worst DYAR on passes down the middle. He only threw four passes that direction, but two were incomplete, and the others were intercepted. He was also last in rushing DYAR; his two running plays were a 2-yard gain on first-and-10 and an aborted snap for a 7-yard loss in the third quarter.
34.
Sam Darnold NYJ
17/29
168
1
3
2
-161
-160
-2
IND
Where to begin? Adam Gase and the Jets have been accused of quitting in this game. I can't tell you whether they did or they didn't, but I can tell you that New York was down by at least 17 points throughout the last 20 minutes, likely facing a parade of soft zone coverages, and Darnold failed to throw for a single first down in that time. In that stretch, he completed five of nine passes for 22 yards with one sack (resulting in an Indianapolis safety) and one interception (returned for an Indianapolis touchdown, his second pick-six of the day). He had the league's worst DYAR on third/fourth downs, going 3-of-10 for 24 yards with one DPI for 10 more yards, two total conversions, both pick-sixes, and the sack-safety. Finally, he had the league's worst DYAR on passes to wide receivers. Yes, he completed six passes to wideouts for 99 yards and a touchdown, plus a 10-yard DPI. But his other five passes were all incomplete, three of them were intercepted ... and yes, two of those were returned for Colts touchdowns.

 

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
6
58
0
13/14
139
2
63
7
56
GB
Kamara only ran for one first down on Sunday night ... but then, that was a 49-yard gain, so that was good enough. He had five first downs as a receiver, including two touchdowns, the longest a 52-yarder.
2.
James Robinson JAX
11
46
2
6/6
83
0
62
25
37
MIA
Robinson only ran for three first downs, the longest a gain of 11 yards, but all of his carries gained at least 1 yard. Four of his receptions gained first downs, the longest a 24-yarder.
3.
Derrick Henry TEN
26
119
2
2/3
11
0
62
60
2
MIN
Three of Henry's runs were stuffed for no gain or a loss, but he picked up nine first downs on the ground, including three gains of 12 yards or more.
4.
Rex Burkhead NE
6
49
2
7/10
49
1
59
53
7
LV
Every one of Burkhead's carries picked up a first down. Only five other running backs ran for a half-dozen first downs this week, and they each had at least 18 carries. Burkhead added three more first downs as a receiver.
5.
Sony Michel NE
9
117
0
2/2
23
0
49
36
13
LV
Michel was stuffed for no gain just once. He ran for three first downs on gains of 13, 38, and 48 yards. He had another first down as a receiver.

 

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
26
119
2
2/3
11
0
62
60
2
MIN
2.
Rex Burkhead NE
6
49
2
7/10
49
1
59
53
7
LV
3.
Darrell Henderson LAR
20
114
1
1/3
6
0
41
50
-10
BUF
Henderson ran for 10 first downs against Buffalo while being hit for no gain or a loss three times.
4.
Dalvin Cook MIN
22
181
1
2/5
18
0
37
43
-6
TEN
Cook was hit for a loss just once. He ran for eight first downs and had seven gains of 10 yards or more, including a pair of 39-yarders. He would have ranked higher but he had a fumble in the first quarter.
5.
Sony Michel NE
9
117
0
2/2
23
0
49
36
13
LV

 

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.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
14
34
1
6/12
24
0
-53
-7
-46
SEA
Elliott ran for three first downs against Seattle, the longest a gain of 9. He was hit for a loss three times, once for a safety. It's his receiving numbers, however, that really sink him. Dak Prescott kept throwing checkdowns to Elliott, and those passes kept hitting the turf. And when Zeke did catch them it was sometimes worse -- his first catch lost 4 yards, and his second catch lost 2. Only one of his receptions picked up a first down. He's the first player with at least a dozen targets and fewer than 25 yards in a game since ... Dallas' Amari Cooper in Week 16 last season.

 

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.
Kareem Hunt CLE
16
46
0
2/3
18
1
-12
-30
18
WAS
Hunt's only first down was a 4-yard gain on third-and-1. His longest run was an 11-yard gain on second-and-16. He was hit for no gain or a loss five times, including a 1-yard loss on third-and-1, a 4-yard loss on third-and-5, and a 7-yard loss on second-and-5.

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Justin Jefferson MIN
7
9
175
25.0
1
67
TEN
Each of Jefferson's receptions picked up a first down, including a 71-yard touchdown and gains of 31 and 33 yards.
2.
Allen Lazard GB
6
8
146
24.3
1
58
NO
Lazard's totals include 64 DYAR receiving, -6 DYAR rushing for his one carry for a 2-yard loss. Five of his catches produced first downs, including gains of 48 and 72 yards. He also gained 14 yards on a DPI.
3.
Randall Cobb HOU
4
4
95
23.8
1
53
PIT
Each of Cobb's catches gained at least 15 yards and a first down. He had two third-down conversions: a 34-yard gain on third-and-10 and a 28-yard touchdown and third-and-8.
4.
Cedrick Wilson DAL
5
7
107
21.4
2
51
SEA
Only three of Wilson's catches produced first downs, but that includes touchdowns of 40 and 42 yards.
5.
Tyreek Hill KC
5
6
77
15.4
1
48
BAL
Hill's totals include 35 DYAR receiving, 13 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 25 yards. Four of his catches produced first downs, the longest a gain of 33.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Mark Andrews BAL
3
8
22
7.3
0
-52
KC
Andrews' three catches produced one first down and one fumble. For now, this is just the fifth tight end game we have measured to drop below -50 DYAR, and the first since Jared Cook in 2015. (Cook also had a -50-DYAR game in 2014.) Depending on final opponent adjustments, it may well break Jeremy Shockey's mark of -53 DYAR against Tampa Bay in 2006 for the worst tight end game on record.

Comments

124 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2020, 7:47pm

1 Allen Lazard

“Lazard’s totals include 64 DYAR receiving....”

as a Packers fan, I am very curious exactly how Lazard is doing what he is doing. he’s a C/C- athlete for an NFL wide receiver, albeit big and, I’d guess, pretty smart. the analogy that comes to mind is Marques Colston.

42 I define athleticism as the…

In reply to by Bill Walshs Ho…

I define athleticism as the physical tools and skill as the professional execution.

Rice ran great routes, had great hands, and understood body position. He changed speeds and separated well. He was not a physical freak on the order of an Owens, Moss, or Johnson.

His 1985 combine 40 is an oft-told legend (the 1985 Combine was a disaster), but even his best times are sort of median for a draftable receiver. He was not based on blazing speed or staggering strength.

Eric Ebron is sort of the anti-Jerry Rice. He's a god amongst men physically, but he catches a ball like he was born without arms.

66 Rice didn't have elite…

Rice didn't have elite straight-line speed (although he was practically never caught from behind before Warren Sapp tore up his knee in 1997), but focusing on that dimension alone underrates his overall athleticism.  Rice was one of the best ever, maybe the best ever at his position, at start/stop acceleration.  He could get in and out of his cuts better than anyone, and he was an incredibly shifty/agile runner with a great burst.  

I think part of the issue with Rice is that he played so long that many people's memories of him are from his last several seasons, when he was old and getting by mostly on savvy.  But if you watch some footage of young Rice, he jumps out as incredibly explosive, regularly running going past defenders like they're not moving.  He has more TDs > 30 yards than Moss or Owens do.  

68 More TDs > 30 yards

Rice has ~30% more TDs than either Moss or Owens, period.  It would be remarkable if  he didn't have more "TDs > 30 yards" than either of them.  

72 This is easy to verify. Rice…

This is easy to verify.

Rice had 197 receiving touchdowns, 76 of 30+ yards (39%).

Moss had 156 total touchdowns, 65 of 30+ yards (42%).

Owens had 153 total touchdowns, 58 of 30+ yards (38%).

So they're all right around 40% of their touchdowns being "long".  Doesn't seem to indicate anything notable, heh.

84 Long TDs

Rice, Moss, and Owens all had reasonably high percentages of 30+ yard TD for receivers in their eras - the next 10 in receiving TD are fairly lower:

Cris Carter: 28 of 130 (21.5%)

Marvin Harrison: 39 of 128 (30.5%)

Larry Fitzgerald: 14 of 120 (11.7%) [FWIW, 5 of his 10 playoff TDs were long]

Antonio Gates (TE): 14 of 116 (12.1%)

Tony Gonzalez (TE): 4 of 111 (3.6%) [lowest for anyone with more than 40 TD receptions]

Tim Brown: 32 of 100 (32.0%)

Steve Largent: 33 of 100 (33.0%)

Isaac Bruce: 21 of 91 (23.1%)

Don Maynard (60s AFL): 50 of 88 (56.8%)

Andre Reed: 24 of 87 (27.6%)

85 huh.

In reply to by Travis

How about Kellen Winslow?  Or Lance Alworth?

(Or not! just curious....)

88 SD

In reply to by scraps

Kellen Winslow I: 3 of 45 (6.7%) [tight ends rank really low in this metric]

Lance Alworth: 45 of 85 (52.9%) [60s receivers, especially AFL receivers, rank really high in this metric]

Charlie Joiner: 21 of 65 (32.3%)

69 A more recent example...

And a guy who relied much more on guile and the magical ability to never be jammed...

is former Seahawk and UDFA WR from Stanford... Doug Baldwin.  At his best a legitimate WR1.

105 Eric Ebron

Dude, you totally nailed Ebron.  Strangely, he dropped a lot of gimmes when the coverage was ten yards away with those cinder block hands of his, and then somehow managed to snag a few WTF balls in traffic.  One thing is sure:  you can never, never count on him.

18 My impression is

In reply to by Ming the Merciless

Both his deep balls were really well designed plays that helped him get open. 

 

He also to my eyes tracks the ball in the air extremely well, and then, as you mentioned, his sheer size once the ball gets there in contested catch scenarios.

31 Not that this comparison is…

In reply to by Ming the Merciless

Not that this comparison is a forecast of things to come, but the physical and athletic measurable traits of Lazard are nearly identical to those of Mike Evans (honestly, look it up).

It's also worth pointing out that he spent his post-college pre-draft time and his rookie offseason prepping to prepare to convert to TE. Once the Packers added him from the Jaguars and told him they want him to be a WR, he spent the next offseason losing weight, and working on speed. 

So his athletic traits are probably a little different than they were measured. But still, he has the requisite traits to be a starting WR in the league, as is. 

67 Whether it came from…

Whether it came from preparing to play TE or he just has the instincts given his size and strength, he's a great blocker too. Super useful in LaFleur's offense where he can line up tight to the formation and not only help the running game but also get easy two way releases on deep play action.

65 I watched Lazard play a fair…

In reply to by Ming the Merciless

I watched Lazard play a fair amount his Junior/Senior years in college and I'm pretty pleasantly surprised that he's done as well as he has in GB. He was a good player in college for sure and could get open against Big 12 defenses, but Iowa State had some pretty dicey QBs while he was there and their passing offense often just devolved into lobbing contested passes to their huge receivers (and Hakeem Butler overshadowed him with more explosive plays). He probably just needed more opportunities to show he had good skills to go with his size in spite of the lack of athleticism.

86 Y’all figured it out, but…

In reply to by Ming the Merciless

Y’all figured it out, but what I meant by “athlete” is basically SPARQ score.

Lots of emphasis on Sunday night about how Aaron Rodgers has never had first-round talent to throw to, which missed the point that Ted Thompson was really good at drafting receivers. Jennings, Nelson, James Jones and Davante aren’t physical specimens (although I think Jordy was underrated by the media in this regard), but they all became craftsmen who transcended their athletic gifts. (You can throw Jermichael Finley (4.82 forty; 27.5” vertical) at TE in there, also). The last “wow” athlete the Packers drafted at WR was Javon Walker (under Mike Sherman), and that did not work out particularly well. 

I still remember the sarcastic sentiment at a Packer bar after Sherman traded up to get B.J. Sander (punter, Ohio State) in the 3rd round: “we’re gonna pin ‘em deep.”

100 Yeah the whole 'first round'…

Yeah the whole 'first round' argument is kind of silly, not just because many of those guys turned out to be great players who would have easily been drafted in the first round in retrospect, but also because Nelson was picked 36th and Jennings and Adams were 52nd and 53rd - they were pretty clearly investing high picks in the position. At least, they were until 2014 - they pretty clearly have been neglecting wide receiver since drafting Adams in '14 and I guess Ty Montgomery in '15.

I remember looking up scouting reports after GB drafted Jennings in '06 because I had never heard of him (since he played at Western Michigan), and they were odd for a guy who was "only" a second round pick - essentially that he was a good athlete, well-rounded receiver, no real weaknesses. He was pretty immediately good too. (His efficiency in '06 was poor, but it was McCarthy's first season and Favre mostly played like garbage.) I guess Jennings just had to pay a MAC tax entering the league.

3 Extra Credit

Fitzpatrick should get extra credit for being a lead blocker.

4 If you'd told me the Chiefs…

If you'd told me the Chiefs were going to concede a special teams TD and miss 2 kicks, I'd have put their chances of winning at ~10%. And they won by 14! 

Andy Reid really saved his best stuff for that game. I actually stood up in my living room and applauded the TD shovel pass to the full back. And when the play design doesn't immediately work, Mahomes just scrambles around and makes a big play anyway. Tough to defend. 

That's a bad game from Lamar. Even his TD pass was a little off target and required a great grab. Nobody should be leaping to judgments based on one bad game, but it is fair to question how effective this Baltimore offense can be on the rare occasions they fall behind in games.

Wtf was that tripping penalty about? Offensive holding seems to be being universally ignored, but then they whistle that? Seriously?

6 In Mike Sando’s QB Tiers…

In Mike Sando’s QB Tiers survey, there was a lot of controversy about Jackson landing at the top of Tier 2, instead of in Tier 1.  A lot of the quotes from the voters (coaches/execs around the league) expressed skepticism of him in a “pure pass” situation: having to bring his team from behind, when the defense stops worrying about defending the run.  I was really rooting for him to prove their assertions wrong last night, but now I’m starting to wonder if maybe they’re right.

9 I watched a bit of the late…

I watched a bit of the late 2nd quarter and some of the 3rd. I saw him throw four passes. Three hit wide-open receivers in the hands and were dropped. Was the rest of the game like that?

12 His accuracy was …

His accuracy was (uncharacteristically for him) mostly shaky, probably because he didn’t set his feet most of the time.   His pocket movement wasn’t great.  Even his touchdown pass to make the score 20-27 was off target, and required a really good catch.  To be fair, the Chiefs were doing a really good job with pressure. 

16 There were a couple of drops…

There were a couple of drops, and a couple of very marginally off target throws on what could have been big plays. But the overall results are ugly, and I think it's fair to say you should be expecting better from the MVP. 

The Chiefs do have a good pass defense though. It's the type of matchup where it could end up looking skewed either way. Baltimore fall behind early, and Lamar is forced to dropback against the Chiefs fierce pass rush and solid coverage. If they get ahead, they can plough away against the Chiefs much weaker run defense. Possibly best not to read too much into one result. 

26 “Baltimore fall behind early…

“Baltimore fall behind early,”

see that’s the thing.  There are few NFL teams aside from Kansas City that are capable of jumping to a big lead against Baltimore.  Barnwell tweeted that Jackson is 20-0 with a halftime lead, and 0-6 with a halftime deficit.  Which number is more important?  I’d argue the former.

28 Not related to Jackson, but…

Not specific to Jackson, but if you are going to pay your qb big money, you need him to be good in both situations. Obviously anyone who falls behind early is in a terrible situation, but you need someone good enough to at least give you a fighting chance.

NFL team quality ebbs and flows and the roster will not always be strong enough to shield you from an early deficit. Elite QBs are able to mitigate the variance in such situations

34 Agree. I don't think it is…

Agree. I don't think it is controversial, nor does it detract from Jackson's performance to note that, last season, he was playing with a strong supporting cast, in almost exclusively comfortable game-scripts. 

In the long term, in order to remain elite, he needs to be able to adapt to higher passing volume/negative game scripts. But he is still very young, and his development to this point has been all positive. He is in a stable, well-run organization. There is no need for alarm after one poor performance.

41 It's alarming..

...if you have designs on winning the AFC, for sure.  The gap between what Mahomes is doing and what Lamar brings is huge.  

When plays broke down, it was evident that Mahomes could adapt easily for huge gains or at least a nominal gain.

Lamar Jackson's poor throws combined with ineffective running made for a tough watch.  I don't want to take the KC defense for granted.  Maybe that was most of the reason for LJ's poor start.  Watching the game, it felt like there were more opportunities for him to run but he didn't.  

Forget game scripts.  In order to BECOME elite, LJ needs to master his own offense like Mahomes has and improvise when things break down.  

Kyler Murray is learning this in year two.  Deshaun Watson is still struggling with that aspect of the game.

Right now, I'd place Russell Wilson and Pat Mahomes as the top two QB's in the game mostly because they know their offense in and out and can adapt to what the defense throw at them.

 

48 That would be the Kyler…

That would be the Kyler Murray that just posted negative DYAR against one of the worst defenses in the league? Look, I like what I am seeing from Murray overall, and I believe he has a bright future indeed with this coaching staff. But you placing him on a pedestal already, ahead of Lamar, is frankly absurd.

Reminder: Jackson is the reigning MVP, who's team just posted one of the most dominant offensive seasons in NFL history. 

And I'm once more confused with you specifying the AFC, as if it is vastly inferior. Exactly which current NFC teams do you believe would have been a match for the Chiefs last night?

109 Kyler is still a baby.

Teams that can force Kyler to remain in the pocket have demonstrated that it throws him off his game.  He will need to adjust to teams doing that because I'd trust that many will employ a spy like the Cards do when playing Seattle.

Based on what I've seen from both QB's, Kyler has a higher ceiling than Lamar.  His deep ball is better and his designed runs are unstoppable at this point.  Kyler is the closest type running QB we have to Vick in that aspect (Michael Vick also said this recently).  The difference is that he's a better passer.  He just needs to keep learning the game and improving.

Honestly, the type of game Lamar had against KC shows why he will struggle against the best teams.  The touch on his passes isn't there yet, even the simple ones.  He's still developing.  Lamar playing to his strength is more designed runs and finding people when plays break down, not sitting in the pocket.  He stopped looking for opportunities to run and that limited his effectiveness against the Chiefs.

As I said before, BJR, the AFC is the weaker conference.  Top heavy, for sure, but weaker overall.  

If the Chiefs and Ravens were in the NFC West, they'd be singing a different tune for sure.  The Cards last year almost beat the Ravens in Baltimore.  I don't see any of the NFC West teams fearing the best of the AFC.

Looking forward to the first Kyler vs. Mahomes matchup...

118 Don't get emotional, SlotHooker.

Shifty speed vs. pure speed.

Lamar may have slight in-line speed over Kyler but not the shiftyness that allows Murray to score around people the way he does at will.  Lamar is more of straight line guy.  Kyler is like something you'd see on Madden, but in real life.

In terms of effectiveness, I'd take Kyler as a runner all day and twice on Sunday!

Many people already have Kyler Murray ahead of Lamar Jackson in terms of ceiling and talent.  I'm one of them.

Murray didn't have a year to sit and learn, so I place him ahead of Jackson in terms of where Jackson was in Year 1, which is the real equivalency here.

 

51 "Right now, I'd place…

In reply to by DIVISION

"Right now, I'd place Russell Wilson and Pat Mahomes as the top two QB's in the game mostly because they know their offense in and out and can adapt to what the defense throw at them."

 

You are going to upset Bills' fans. However, if this season and historical play is to be factored, Rodgers absolutely belongs with them. And while his o line is best of this trio, his receivers are decidedly worse than the other 2. Maybe the receiving core has improved a ton( I have yet to watch the Packers outside of one game).

 

@BJR

I don't think there is a single NFC team to this point that has shown the chops to hang with KC. I thought Baltimore was the only team out there that had the potential of a good defense and a scary offense to topple KC. Then they got obliterated. 

Obviously, its early and we don't know enough but man does KC look ferocious. Not sure when the last time a team coming off a sb win looked so peerless. Hmm....maybe the 2014 Seahawks...

78 A peerless team with a VOA…

A peerless team with a VOA of 17.2%, good for 9th so far. They've played the 6th, 15th and 23rd-best teams by VOA, so far, so not an incredibly hard schedule. They needed OT to beat a team with a rookie QB just thrown into the game, and even then needed 12 plays in OT to barely reach FG position. Yes, they played an amazing game last night, but their first three games is nowhere near, say, the 2007 Patriots in quality.

The 2014 Seahawks also lost their 2nd game, so definitely not them.

Edit: The last time a team coming off a SB win looked so peerless is probably the 2019 Patriots, who started with 33-3, 43-0 and 30-14 wins over the Steelers, Dolphins and Jets. If that schedule is considered too easy, then maybe the 2002 Patriots, who started with 30-14, 44-7 and 41-38 wins over the Steelers, Jets and Chiefs, none of whom had a losing season that year.

82 I think you've found better…

I think you've found better examples already but I want to point out the 2011 Packers did start 13-0 after winning the Super Bowl.

First 3 were

42 - 34 over NO (finished 13-3)

30 - 23 @CAR (6-10)

27 - 17 @CHI (8-8). 

So a decent set of opponents to start though much closer games than 19, or 02 Pats. But looks pretty similar, perhaps a littler better than the 20 Chiefs to me. CAR ended up with a horrible defense (16.3% DVOA), NO with a bad defense (5.8%), and Chicago with a really good defense (-13.3%). 

108 SlotHooker.

I didn't place Rodgers in with those two because he doesn't have the same mobility in his game.  Both Mahomes and Wilson can get chunk yards in QB designed runs or when plays breakdown.  Rodgers is a bit of a lame duck in those instances.  

If I have Mahomes as 1 with Wilson 1A, I'd place Rodgers in that next tier of QB's.

 

119 Stationary QB's...

..like Brady, Manning, Rodgers are great, however only Russell Wilson has truly overlapped with them for any appreciable length of time.

Rodgers has better accuracy than either Brady or Manning, but his lack of mobility compared to the new generation of QB's is what hurts him in my analysis.

He's one of the last of his breed.  I hope he rides off into the sunset, rather than fades away like Brees.

Time and perspective will tell the tell, Brookster.

Imagine if Pete Carroll had let RW cook from when he first came in to the league like Kliffsbury has with Kyler Murray.

 

123 "Rodgers has better accuracy…

"Rodgers has better accuracy than either Brady or Manning"

 

How are you defining accuracy? Also, if you watched the bulk of prime Manning, he was one of the most accurate tight window qbs you'll ever see, so I don't agree with this argument either. 

I will also reiterate - what a qb lacks in mobility they can make up for in other ways - like consistent third down conversion, sack avoidance, etc etc. Just because a qb can run doesn't mean its optimal that they do so. 

We have a stat that takes into account running - qbr. You can even add some of the other ANYA stats which include rushing. Those old guards still come out ahead. 

43 Joseph...

I agree to a point.  We don't know whether that's true or whether Baltimore is not as good as last year.

This was their first true test and they failed it.  (No, I don't consider the corpse of the Houston O'Briens a test.)

The next few weeks will tell the tale, but I suspect there are a few more teams in the AFC who could build up a lead over Baltimore by halftime.

 

40 Last night demonstrated how levels matter...

The plays were there to be made for LJ, but he didn't have the touch to get them there.  That was the consistent theme of last night's game and it happened over and over.

Even worse, Patrick's seeming mastery of the game made LJ's inability to hit receivers in stride all the more evident the talent gap between the two.  

It was basically Patrick playing chess while Lamar struggled at checkers.  I never thought LJ was as good as PH, but to see such a gap between the two was shocking.

Add to that, the Ravens' inability to get off the field on defense and the game never seemed in doubt.  

I don't know if there's anyone in the AFC who can beat KC with Mahomes playing like that.

5 “He threw 10 passes to…

“He threw 10 passes to Marcedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger, and Robert Tonyan..”

I had no idea Marcedes Lewis was still in the league.  I am happy for him that he upgraded from Blaine Gabbert and Blake Bortles.

76 Not only is he still in the…

Not only is he still in the league, he is the only first round draft choice to catch a TD pass from Aaron Rodgers. He's done it twice now actually. He's actually been a great blocker for the team which surprised the heck out of me.

Oh and that first round receiver TD thing is very silly. Phillip Rivers only had 35 coming into the season for example it's not like you can't be great without first round picks spent on receivers. Nelson, Adams, Greg Jennings were all high second round picks that have a lot of TD passes from Rodgers for example. I really just wanted to give Lewis a bit more love. 

7 The top 5 RBs combined for…

The top 5 RBs combined for 295 DYAR this week, while the top 5 receivers combined for only 277.  I haven't carefully observed these two tables relative to each other in the past, but that caught my eye.  My impression is that the top 5 receivers typically contribute far more DYAR than their RB peers.  Am I wrong about this, or was this an unusual week?

 

15 Interesting point. I also…

Interesting point. I also never checked this.

But maybe this is due to there are 2-4 WRs contributing on a team compared to 1-2 RBs, so maybe the contribution per player is higher for RBs than for WR, while the total contribution for passing is obviously higher than for running.

21 WR vs RB

Remember that WR are compared to a WR baseline, while RB are compared to a RB baseline. The RB receiving baselines are lower. So RB receiving is not as valuable as WR receiving.

102 baselines

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

Aaron, I wasn't arguing that. However, Kamara accumulated almost all of his value from receiving, not rushing. My point to the original post is that RB's frequently combine rushing value and receiving value--and this week, two of the top 5 had a lot of receiving DYAR. The top 5 WR's have over 95% of their value from receiving alone--some weeks even 100%.

The best apples to apples comparison would be comparing the top 5 RB's in rushing value only (esp. since you provide that table!) to the receivers. 

106 I wouldn't agree with that,…

In reply to by Joseph

I wouldn't agree with that, not if the intent is to identify the best players at a position, or to assess the most impactful players on the field (although per Aaron's comment about baselining, the raw numbers don't exactly do that latter).  The overall impact of the players, both running and catching the ball, is what I find interesting.

 

11 Shootouts: 2000 cutoff had any effect?

P. Manning was 1-3 in shootouts in his first two years. So, yes. He belongs in the “players tied” row for shootout record. He belongs third in the shootout loses table, and a step higher for shootouts played.

I have no idea about Favre. It’s a lot more work to find his earlier shootouts.

As arbitrary cutoffs go, 2000 is a fine, round number. But in this case, a little due diligence was in order. 

64 In hindsight I should have…

In hindsight I should have limited this to active players. 

 

Favre's career record in shootouts was 10-7. Peyton went 11-9 in the regular season, 2-1 in the playoffs.

While I'm looking at this, Kurt Warner went 4-6 in the regular season, 2-0 in the playoffs.

74 Actives only would have worked

But we would have missed a couple of very interesting cases.

One take away is that it is very unusual play in a lot of shootouts and be more than a few games over .500. When you think about how shootouts usually happen, that’s not too surprising.

Brady’s record in shootouts is an outlier among QBs with a lot of shootouts, enough so that you would think it’s not just random luck. It might be interesting to see if his shootouts are qualitatively different in some way. Did they end in playing a lot of “prevent defense” that gave up points in exchange for clock, becoming “shootouts” in name only?  Was the winning percentage “luck” in the sense that we’d see a different winning % if we moved the point cutoff a few points either way. It’s interesting to speculate.

80 I like those questions I'll…

I like those questions I'll add some more.

How often do these QB's play in shootouts and how do they do compared to non shootouts.  Let's look at the active top 3.

  1. Brees has 277 starts and 37 SO for a 13.4% shootout rate and 51.3% SO win rate. His overall win percentage in starts is 59.0%
  2. Brady has 286 starts and 24 shootouts for a 8.4% rate, winning 66.7% of them. His overall win percentage is 77.3%
  3. Rodgers has 177 starts and 18 shootouts for a 10.1% rate, winning 61.1% of them. His overall win percentage is 65.5%

So all of them do worse in shootouts than regular games but Rodgers has the least variation and Brady has the most variation. Given smaller sample size are they that far off from their regular win percentages?

Some of what the numbers are saying is that if you win a lot of games you win a lot of shootouts. What is the shootout played rate for the league? I'd guess Brees is an outlier at 13.4% but is Brady an outlier the other way or is 8.4% close to average? Rodgers has played with a lot of bad defenses too, or course so has Brady over so many years. Looks like there have been 16.4 a year from 05-19 (covering most of the starting careers of the above 3) and there are, what 256 games a year so that's 6.4% of games. Didn't go back to 00 since we went to 32 teams in 02 so the simple math gets thrown off but with that average at 14.2 a year the percentage of games seems like it wouldn't change that much.

That makes them all outliers in favor of playing in more shootouts than expected. I suspect that has more to do with them all tending to have good to great offenses making it more likely to get into one. A crappy offense won't get to 30 points for a shootout to happen.

 

 

Packers bias note. The Packers already have 2 of these this year. Next game is against Atlanta who has scored 25, 39, and 26 so not unreasonable to think they would hit 30 again) after that it's Tampa Bay (23, 31, 28 so possible). If both of those are shootout wins Rodgers got to 13 - 7 (65%) and the overall win percentage would only climb to 66%. Of course that also means Rodgers came into the season 9-7 (56.3%) making him look more like Brady in the shootout win vs regular. Also not counting the 3 games this year Rodgers has started for teams with an average defensive DVOA (averaging the year) of 0.07 and average rank of 16.3. Though they have swung from -16.9% in 2009 to 15.9% in 2013. The first 3 years of his career help that a lot, take those out and it goes to 3.76% and 19.8 rank. This year they are at 11.7% and 28, right in line with what it's been like since 2016.

 

93 Nicely done. I think the…

Nicely done.

I think the shootout totals in the article include playoffs. So your percentages for how often QBs get into shootouts may be a little off.

And Rogers is the other QB who looks genuinely good at winning shootouts, for sure.

13 Boring Receiver List

I mean these guys are in the top 5 every week. Time for some variety, already.

17 Some things it seems like we…

Some things it seems like we have to accept:

1.) Miami's offense is for real. The D sucks, but this team is not as bad as advertised.

2.) Josh Allen, for all his flaws, is for real.

3.) The league has been given a template for how to beat Baltimore. Of course, it requires a top ten offense and a D line that can get pressure, so not many can capitalize on it, but...

4.) This Mahomes kid is pretty good.

22 3.) The league has been…

3.) The league has been given a template for how to beat Baltimore. Of course, it requires a top ten offense and a D line that can get pressure, so not many can capitalize on it, but...

That combo works against everyone.

44 Even KC struggles against…

Even KC struggles against teams that rush the passer effectively and can run the score up themselves.

Hell, this gave the 18-1 Pats fits. No one is immune to this.

46 More.

5.) Denver is really that bad.

6.) The Jets are tanking even if they don't know it yet.

7.) The Patriots are going to finish 2nd in the AFC East.

8.) Houston will fire Bill O'Brien (the GM) by season's end.

9.) Tompa Bay has a clear path to the division title.

10.) Nick Foles gives the Bears a legit shot at winning the NFC North.

56 Bears

In reply to by DIVISION

Outside of Rodgers going down/Earthquake/Covid OUtbreaks/etc the Bears have nearly 0 shot at winning the North.  They are a below average team that has played an easy schedule and needed significant luck to not be 1-2.

111 The Q Initiative...

In reply to by Q

Those baby Bears will surpass their projections due to the Nick Foles effect and an underrated defense.

If they edge out the Packers for the division crown, we'll revisit this post later in the year.

I'd put their odds of winning the division at 45% right now.

58 9.) Tompa Bay has a clear…

In reply to by DIVISION

9.) Tompa Bay has a clear path to the division title.

That clear path requires Brady's toaster to ding after Brees', when it's not clear his hasn't already done so.

110 Out of the two elders...

...Brady has more juice in the tank (so to speak).  Brees at this point seems washed.  Even his short passes are not as accurate anymore.  

Brady had a bad first game because he wasn't in sync with his receiving corps.  As that improves, I fully expect Arians to air it out.  By season's end, the question won't be which of the two is done but just how many good years Brady can have in Arians' system.  I'm fully convinced that Brees is out the door and probably regretting coming back this year at all.

Yes, Tampa is the favorite in the NFC South.  Their defense is also much better than I thought it would be.

54 Mahomes is great of course,…

Mahomes is great of course, but I do think the coaching and talent Offense make him appear almost make him superhuman.  The amount of players you see streaking downfield wide open in KC games is nearly unparalleled around the league,

It reminds me of the Greatest Show on Turf Rams where Green looked like an MVP when he played and then when he went down Warner was an MVP.  I contend that if Watson was KC's QB, he would have 1 MVP and would be a top favorite every year for it (and I'm not a gigantic Watson person).  Heck, Alex Smith was a front runner for MVP for like 1/2 a season as the KC QB and that was pre Watkins (I think) + other weapons. 

112 Warner.

That SB loss is still hard to take.  Larry Legend had the best game a WR has ever had in the SB and they still lost because their ST and Defense couldn't perform.

You don't consider a Pick-6 with no time remaining in the first half as being feasible when all it would have taken is a tackle to stop it.

Things are probably different for Arizona if they win.  Warner stays and Wisenhunt probably has a longer tenure there.

20 i wonder how many times...

...a wide receiver catches three touchdowns and misses the DYAR top five, like Tyler Lockett did?

75 Lockett finished 11th. One…

Lockett finished 11th. One touchdown gained 43 yards, but the others were both goal-line plays. And four incompletes is a lot to overcome to make the top 5. 

I don't think it's that uncommon for guys to catch three TDs and miss the top five. I only had to go back to Week 17 of last year (Michael Gallup, 7/5/98/3, eighth) to find the last example. When you've got nearly 100 wideouts competing for the top five every week, it only takes four or five incompletions to anchor down a trio of short touchdowns.

Nine WRs had three-touchdown games last season. Five of them finished in first place. Two others finished third and fourth in the same week. Gallup was seventh, and Will Fuller was eighth in Week 5.

23 How to Era Adjust

My next big NFL project is going to look at how to Era Adjust because the offensive explosion has continued unabated. 

Anyone have a initial first pass guess of how you would do it? For me, instead of say Z score by year, I am thinking of either detrending based on a discernible time trend or perhaps a z score via a rolling three year mean and std.

24 Mahomes is a God. I have to…

Mahomes is a God. I have to sometimes shake myself and ask is he the best qb I've ever seen. But then I have to remember a few things.

1) see my point about era adjustment

2) His supporting cast and coach are hof level

3) with apologies to Brees, but at their best it's hard to be better than Brady Manning or Rogers

 

With all that said it's definitely a conversation. The guy just plays sublime all the time.

47 It's not a conversation, SlotHooker...

If Patrick Mahomes had played in the 80's or 90's era, he'd still be able to get throws off with horrible body mechanics at a ridiculous rate, along with those silly shuttle passes for TD's.

If anything, he'd probably have better stats due to his athleticism.  Athletes today are in much better condition than in the past and we know more about nutrition and performance than we did back then.

That athleticism is what edges him out over Brady, Manning and Rogers.  You could make the same argument for Russell Wilson to an extent.

 

 

50 I don't see how Mahomes is…

I don't see how Mahomes is more athletic than Rodgers. I am not sure whos arm is better between the two.

I will maintain, I want to see Mahomes do this for a long enough stretch of time before I am fully convinced he is the Goat. The hallmark of Brady and Manning is that they did this over a very very long stretch. Basically lasting across three separate runs. We have yet to see Mahomes do this without an all star supporting cast. I still think he'd be great if you downgraded his talent, but how great remains to be seen. 

 

Also, its not clear to me that its more valuable for a qb to make plays when things breakdown than it is for a qb who is so good at reading defenses that he avoids those breakdowns in the first place. I used to believe long ago that qbs who throw short a million times were a function of the team around them, but I changed that view. It takes a lot of skill to constantly know which route is going to be open and use a full bevy of concepts to ensure someone will be open. Its the highest level of qb mastery.

The qb that I think combined both sandlot excellence and down to down defensive manipulation in one season was Rodgers in 2011. Statistically, I believe Manning's 04 era adjusted season was the best season by DVOA in history. However, I'd probably take 2011 Rodgers ahead of that. 

60 Also, its not clear to me…

Also, its not clear to me that its more valuable for a qb to make plays when things breakdown than it is for a qb who is so good at reading defenses that he avoids those breakdowns in the first place. I used to believe long ago that qbs who throw short a million times were a function of the team around them, but I changed that view. It takes a lot of skill to constantly know which route is going to be open and use a full bevy of concepts to ensure someone will be open. Its the highest level of qb mastery.

Ideally, you want a guy who can do both.

Brees is using this season to explore what a QB who can only throw short can accomplish. At some point, he's going to have to throw something deep, or he's going to be facing 11 men within 5 yards of the LOS.

113 Exactly this.

 I hope we don't look back on this season as the year Brees fell off a cliff with defenses stacked at the LOS waiting for that inevitable 5 yard slant.  He's not pulling the trigger on the long throws he would occasionally make just last year.

The Raiders game is when I first noticed it.

NO can scheme for him, but at some point he'll need to complete a 20+ yd pass in coverage.  No doubt about that.

 

77 Absolutely

It seems as if the shiny new Mahomes has caused people to forget how insanely great AR was. And he never had Mahomes’ weapons or play calling to augment his performance.

114 Not shiny enough!

In reply to by Raiderfan

If Rodgers was taking off on designed runs for chunk plays, I'd probably put him above Mahomes or Wilson because the accuracy on his passes is phenomenal.

Without mobility, he's clearly behind those two for me.

This is 2020 and pocket QB's are slowly fading out.  Alex Smith is the norm, not the outlier here.  You can't sit back in the pocket against the best defenses anymore, no matter how good your line is.  

I hope Cinci doesn't ruin Joe Burrow the way the Jets sabotaged Sam Darnold.

 

 

97 I remember those irrational…

I remember those irrational Brady - Manning threads and other threads discussing the merits of explosive deep passing attacks vs dink and dunk offenses. Turns out it is all just stylistic preferences and god tier qbs can actually do and excel in both.

25 Any news?

Any news on the Titans and Vikings? 

32 other than this?

In reply to by gomer_rs

“The Titans had three new player positives and five new personnel positives for COVID-19, sources tell me and Mike Garafolo. Both Titans and Vikings, who hosted them Sunday, will suspend in person club activities starting today.” The NFL has closed Tennessee’s building until at least Saturday.

The game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee appears to be unlikely.... at least, obviously.

37 I hadn't read yet whether players had been infected.

Thank you.

 

My ultimate fear is that players were in the game and on the plane, breathing recirculated air, while ill.  I just don't know how the NFL will keep going if it turns out that one person slipping through testing infects more then 5 or 10 of the 22 people they are on the field with.

45 Planes do rebreathe -- they…

Planes do rebreathe -- they aren't air-tight.

Your risk is more predicated on passenger density than it is on recirculated air. CoVid is knocked down pretty solidly by paper masks. It doesn't pass well through multi-stage HEPA filters and a long run through ducting.

https://www.iata.org/contentassets/f1163430bba94512a583eb6d6b24aa56/cabin-air-quality.pdf

 

27 Your styles are incomplete same as Vinny Testaverde

I remember that 2004 Cowboys-Seahawks shootout well.  Monday Night Football.

Shaun Alexander scored on 32-yard run on 4th-and-1 to put the Hawks up 10 with 2:41 left.  Vinny and the Cowboys countered in about a minute with a controversial TD to Keyshawn Johnson.  Then they got an onside kick and ran a weird two-minute drill, repeatedly handing off to Julius Jones (including on 3rd-and-8 at the edge of field goal range), and it worked as he scored the game-winner on a 17-yard run with 32 seconds left.

I remember at the time, hoping Alexander got caught inside the five, so the Seahawks could burn more time before scoring.  (Similarly, I wanted the Seahawks to milk the entire clock before scoring on Sunday against the Cowboys, but they didn't really have that as an option, given the way their 3rd-down play unfolded.)

It's an interesting tactical decision of whether it's better to score or go down on the 1.  You can certainly make a case it's often better to go down (depending on how many timeouts your opponent has), but I've never seen anybody do this with a chance to go up two scores.  Given the difficulty of recovering an onside kick, and given players are trained to score, it's probably a decent heuristic to always go for the end zone, even if it isn't always the statistically optimal option.

63 Yeah, I think teams …

Yeah, I think teams (sometimes) know to not score if they can burn every second off the clock by kneeling.  What you never see happen -- or at least I've never seen it happen in my 3+ decades watching football -- is a team forgo a score, just to get their opponent to waste timeouts or bleed some, but not all, of the clock.

It's like, in the Shaun Alexander case, would you rather score and go up 10 with 2:41 left, or would you rather go down on the 1-yard line, take three knees, and get the clock down to like 1:00, and then go for the kill shot on 4th down?  Even if you don't get it, you leave your opponent only the length of the field with little time.

120 Living in Texas...

.... I relish telling Cowboy fans that their team will go nowhere so long as JJ is meddling with the team.

He basically hired Jason Garrett 2.0 as a HC because he'd never actually hire someone who would trump him.

Even with all the talent in the world, they'll never be anything but an entertaining underachieving team.

Never buy in to the Cowboys until they change the culture in "Big D". 

I have a strange feeling that they would actually do better if Andy Dalton was the starter because they'd outperform expectations and be more humble about their status week to week.

 

30 Wilson and Metcalf

How much does Wilson's DYAR go up if you were to give him a TD on the Metcalf play? (Probably not a lot, but some I'm guessing.)

38 Last week...

they said what the DYAR difference would have been for Wilson if Olson had dropped his pass for an incompletion rather than a Pick 6.  It was 60 DYAR which would have been enough to make Wilson the #1 QB last week.

49 Yeah, but presumably QBs…

In reply to by gomer_rs

Yeah, but presumably QBs aren't penalized for their receivers fumbling after a reception, so the difference here is between a 62-yard catch and a 63-yard TD, which isn't as big a difference.

52 That would be my assumption..

the difference is almost assuredly only the TD, because a 62 yard reception and a 63 yard reception probably grade out the same.  If I remember the "does DVOA/DYAR underrate Adrian Peterson" discussions around break away offensive plays.

53 I have to be honest - those…

I have to be honest - those plays always tickle me. I get it - if it happened to my team and they ended up losing, I'd be furious. But those plays are so few and far between, so I remember them. Like when Danny Travathan threw away  his would be pick six or when Desean Jackson did it. Hell, I still think Bailey's pick six against Brady was incorrectly ruled a TD.

62 Not much. Wilson got 33 DYAR…

Not much. Wilson got 33 DYAR for the 62-yard non-touchdown to Metcalf on second-and-11. He got 41 DYAR for the 54-yard touchdown to Metcalf on second-and-8 the week before.

83 It's both funny and…

It's both funny and impressive that the quickest way to check the DYAR impact is to go all the way back in the record book to the prior week, and another 2nd-and-long bomb to the very same receiver.

I hope he mixes it up this week and throws a 57-yard TD to Metcalf on 3rd-and-9, so we can quickly identify the differential on a 2nd-and-long versus 3rd-and-long TD bomb. 

91 Let me say this about Josh…

Let me say this about Josh Allen, I haven't watched enough of him to really know, but what he did against my Rams was incredible. The guy has that Russel Wilson aura where he can seemingly make whatever whenever. The kind of QB where three guys bursting through the line is only the beginning, and not a guaranteed sack or throwaway. His arm is great and very accurate, and he seemed to make great decisions. Well he did make a few dumb plays, but overall I was blown away by how obvious the talent is. Bills have something great in this guy.

121 Revisionist History, TDC?

Josh Allen almost threw the game away with some silly plays in the 4th quarter.  Yes, he has tremendous talent, but also the tendency to do the absolutely wrong thing at the worst time.

They won on a debatable PI call.  Otherwise, we're talking about Buffalo's porous defense and Allen's poor decision-making in the clutch.

If Buffalo had held their lead and been somewhat adequate on the defense in the second half, it's be a different discussion.

94 He [Brees] has also…

He [Brees] has also benefitted from playing in at least nine dome games each year (eight in New Orleans, one in Atlanta), which means more touchdowns for everybody.

It’s nice to see recognition of the way weather (or lack thereof) can inflate passing stats, and why that might not translate into wins. Passing stats out of line with W-L records can be a sign that the QB and his opposing QBs are both playing with less skill than a naive look at their stats might suggest.

Brees is still great. Just maybe not as great as his stats are.

95 I've never seen anyone…

I've never seen anyone quantify the impact of weather with regards to dome while controlling for home and road splits. The only analysis I have seen suggests that extreme cold hurts offensive production while snow might actually help the offense. And even here, we are dealing with massive sample size problems.

 

99 Wind would have a…

Wind would have a statistically measurable impact, I'm sure.  It affects long throws, field goal attempts, and punts.  It's easy to both under- and over-throw a receiver when it's windy, so whether you have the wind in your face or at your back, the QB needs to adjust and that adjustment's basically a guess, especially if it's gusty.  Games in the old, open ended stadiums in the CFL were crazy when the wind was blowing.

Snow's a non-factor when throwing or catching, and as noted above favours the offense.  The ball carrier / receiver knows where he's going, the defender's the one who needs to react.  In the snow, just a little less traction when trying to react can make a big difference.

122 Stats 101.

If you have a small sample size, you can't generalize results.  In fact, those results are unreliable.

Snow helps the running game, but absolutely hurts long-ball passing!

Overall, does it actually help offense?  Not nearly as much as you're stating.

Which teams is struggling less to score in the snow is more appropriate...