Chicago Bears WR Allen Robinson

QR Week 1: Will Allen Robinson Ever Get a Good QB?

This Tweet by fantasy analyst Josh Norris neatly sums up Allen Robinson's Sunday night against the Rams, and indeed his entire career:

When you don't get a single target deeper than 7 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, and still barely catch half the passes thrown your way, that's a recipe for winding up as the worst wide receiver of the week in Quick Reads. And that's just where Robinson found himself this week.

The most notable word in Norris' Tweet, though, is "again." The story of Robinson's career, in four years in Jacksonville and now starting his fourth season in Chicago, is that he has been one of the most talented wideouts in the league, but he has been stuck with limited quarterbacks (Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton) and bad coaches (Jedd Fisch, Greg Olson, Nathaniel Hackett, Matt Nagy). Film analysts will tell you that Robinson belongs in the same tier as Davante Adams or DeAndre Hopkins, but there's little in his numbers to back that up. He did lead the league with 14 receiving touchdowns in 2015, but that was the only time he has finished in the top 10 in that department. He has only made the top 10 in catches or receiving yards twice each. The advanced stats agree that 2015 was his best year—he finished eighth in DYAR and 16th in DVOA that season—but otherwise he has never finished higher than 24th in either category.

It's plain to see that Robinson has played almost exclusively for bad offenses. The best passing team he has really played on was the 2018 Bears, who finished 16th in passing DVOA at 14.3%. (The 2017 Jaguars were 15th at 15.2%, but Robinson played only one game that year and caught just a single pass.) None of his other teams ranked higher than 20th; the 2014 Jaguars of his rookie season were dead last at -28.2%. If we weight the numbers of those seven years by the number of targets Robinson had each season, we get a team passing offense DVOA of 3.4%. For comparison's sake, that would have ranked 23rd last season, right behind San Francisco but ahead of Robinson's Bears team.

Is that unusual? Are there other wideouts out there who have played on worse offenses? As it turns out, the answer is yes, but not many. We calculated the weighted average pass offense DVOA for each wide receiver who had at least 500 targets from 1983 to 2020. Here are the results; Robinson is the big red dot on the lower left. The 14 players found to the right and below that dot are those who had more targets on worse passing teams. (Click to open in a larger window.)

WRs with Team Pass Offense DVOA

If anyone gets to complain about spending an entire career being burdened with lousy passers, it's Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald had five different seasons with at least 100 targets on teams with pass offense DVOAs in the negative double-digits, a mark so bad only six clubs reached it in 2020. That includes both the 2010 and 2018 Arizona Cardinals, two of the five worst passing teams we have ever measured. Just take a look at the revolving door of terrible quarterbacks Fitzgerald played with in 17 seasons in the desert. The best were clearly Carson Palmer and Kurt Warner (whose numbers for the Cardinals were startlingly similar), followed by Kyler Murray, who only played two seasons with Fitzgerald. After that you quickly get into the John Skeltons and Matt Leinarts and Drew Stantons and Kevin Kolbs of the world. Consider this: by total passing DYAR, Blaine Gabbert has been the worst quarterback of the DVOA era, with Josh Rosen third-worst and Josh McCown fourth. Fitzgerald has played with all three of them.

After Fitzgerald, the next obvious standout in this category is Joey Galloway. While Fitzgerald spent his entire career (so far) with one team, Galloway was a journeyman who bounced from Seattle to Dallas to Tampa Bay to New England to Washington. Along the way he had the privilege of catching passes from such luminaries as Rick Mirer, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, Chad Hutchinson, Brian Griese, Chris Simms, and Bruce Gradkowski. And then there's Brian Blades, another former Seahawks wideout. Blades was part of the 1992 Seattle team that had the worst pass offense DVOA of all time behind the three-headed quarterback monster of Stan Gelbaugh, Kelly Stouffer, and Dan McGwire. Blades also played with Jeff Kemp, Rick Mirer, and John Friesz for the Seahawks; there is a reason the 1990s were a forgotten decade for that team.

Galloway and Blades were teammates in Seattle from 1995 to 1998, which brings up another point: it is interesting, but not surprising, that pairs of teammates pop up all over this chart. Anquan Boldin is one of the few names within shouting distance of Fitzgerald. Muhsin Muhammad is near Steve Smith, while Torry Holt isn't far from Isaac Bruce. (The Greatest Show on Turf was not open for long, and the Rams were horrendous before it opened and after it closed.) Above the dotted line, among wideouts who were fortunate to play for good offenses, we find a passel of 1980s 49ers (Jerry Rice, John Taylor) and Dolphins (the Marks Brothers), plus more recent members of the Colts (Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne) and Patriots (Randy Moss, Wes Welker). There's a cluster in the middle where the names are barely legible, but if you squint you can make out the 1980s Washington pair of Art Monk and Gary Clark, as well as the 1990s Jacksonville tag team of Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith.

For the record, the best DVOAs on this table go to John Taylor and Tyreek Hill, who benefitted from some of the best years of Joe Montana and Patrick Mahomes. The worst go to Kevin Johnson (drafted by the expansion Browns in 1999) and Jessie Hester (who played with Jim Plunkett and Marc Wilson with the Raiders before joining Jeff George and the Colts in Indianapolis).

Getting back to Robinson: as mentioned, there are 14 other players here who had more targets for worse offenses, but does that necessarily mean they were better players? Robinson comes into this season with a career total of 750 DYAR in 783 targets. That DYAR total ranks 12th out of these 15 players; his rate of 0.96 DYAR/target ranks sixth. Even accounting for the teams he has played on, Robinson's numbers don't stick out. Consider that Eric Martin had 1,523 DYAR in 944 targets, a rate of 1.61 DYAR/target, while catching passes from Dave Wilson, Bobby Hebert, John Fourcade, and Steve Walsh for the late 1980s Saints. Bill Brooks averaged 1.44 DYAR/target for the Jack Trudeau/Gary Hogeboom/Chris Chandler/Jeff George years in Indianapolis before happily joining the Jim Kelly Bills for their last Super Bowl appearance in 1993. But this all needs to be taken with heaving bags of salt, because now we're getting into some oddball comparisons and circular logic. It's not entirely fair to compare home-run-or-nothing specialists such as Martin and Brooks to bona fide No. 1 receivers such as Robinson and Fitzgerald. And none of these numbers separate the performance of the receiver from the rest of his team; perhaps those offenses struggled because Robinson and Fitzgerald were their best options (but probably not).

Regardless, the Bears offense was terrible on Sunday night, and there's little upside for Andy Dalton at this point in his career. Justin Fields started 22 games for Ohio State, including multiple appearances in the Big Ten Championship Game and College Football Playoff; he's as ready as he'll ever be to start in the NFL. The Bears should make a quarterback switch sooner rather than later, and when they do, Fields will likely be the best quarterback Robinson has ever played with.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Patrick Mahomes KC
27/36
337
3
0
2
148
132
15
CLE
Mahomes led the league in DYAR on throws to the outside, going 20-of-26 for 298 yards and all three touchdowns. He was successful on a league-high 61% of his dropbacks.
2.
Jameis Winston NO
14/20
148
5
0
0
138
120
18
GB
As you might expect for a quarterback with five touchdowns and only 148 yards, Winston had the league's best DYAR in the red zone. He completed each of his six passes inside the Green Bay 20 for a total of 29 yards and four of those scores. He was also best in the fourth quarter, when his two passes both resulted in touchdowns, for a total of 63 yards.
3.
Jalen Hurts PHI
27/34
264
3
0
1
137
115
23
ATL
Hurts' average pass only traveled 3.8 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, fewest of any qualifying quarterback ... but that's OK, because he had the best DYAR on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage. He threw 14 of those passes, completing 13 of them for 97 yards and a touchdown.
4.
Matthew Stafford LAR
20/26
321
3
0
1
132
136
-5
CHI
Stafford was not the top quarterback of the week, but he was the top passer. Naturally, he was also tops in several sub-categories, including deep balls (5-of-6 for 197 yards and two touchdowns), second-half passing (10-of-13 for 170 yards and two touchdowns), and without a huddle (5-of-7 for 116 yards and a score).
5.
Dak Prescott DAL
42/58
403
3
1
1
124
122
2
TB
The Cowboys came out firing, and Prescott finished as the league's top passer in the first quarter. In the season's first 15 minutes, he went 10-of-13 for 124 yards and a touchdown.
6.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
18/24
314
1
0
1
107
119
-12
DET
The league's scariest YAC team had a big day this weekend. Garoppolo's average completion gained 11.1 yards after the catch, nearly 3 yards more than the second-place quarterback (Baker Mayfield, 8.2). Trey Lance, by the way, had 18 DYAR passing (completing his only pass for a 5-yard touchdown), -11 DYAR rushing (three carries for 2 yards).
7.
Russell Wilson SEA
18/23
254
4
0
3
102
114
-12
IND
Do the Colts actually have safeties? Or linebackers? I ask because Wilson completed all five of his passes down the middle against Indianapolis for a total of 128 yards. Four of those completions went for touchdowns; the other was a 12-yard gain on second-and-6.
8.
Kyler Murray ARI
21/32
289
4
1
2
100
94
6
TEN
Murray was the league's best passer on throws to wide receivers, going 17-of-24 for 246 yards and four touchdowns. A 25th throw resulted in a DPI for 17 more yards.
9.
Tom Brady TB
32/50
379
4
2
0
96
96
0
DAL
About the only thing that didn't work for Tampa Bay last year was passes to running backs. Well, it's still a problem for them—Brady was the NFL's worst passer on throws to running backs this week, going 7-of-10 for 39 yards with an interception. However, he was the best passer on throws to tight ends, completing each of his eight passes for 90 yards and two scores.
10.
Tyrod Taylor HOU
21/33
291
2
0
1
93
95
-2
JAX
One reason the Texans offense was so surprisingly effective was that they stayed on schedule. Taylor's average pass came with 6.2 yards to go for a first down, least of any qualified passer this week.
11.
Teddy Bridgewater DEN
28/36
264
2
0
2
86
80
7
NYG
Bridgewater's average completion gained a league-low 3.1 yards after the catch.
12.
Baker Mayfield CLE
21/28
321
0
1
2
73
72
1
KC
Mayfield's average pass traveled 10.1 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, deepest in the league—but despite the high degree of difficulty, he was successful 60% of the time, second-best of the week. Unfortunately for him, the only quarterback with a higher sucess rate was his opponent on Sunday, Patrick Mahomes.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Mac Jones NE
29/39
281
1
0
1
62
62
0
MIA
The Patriots spent a lot of money to bring in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, which is good news for Jones. He was perfect when throwing to his tight ends, completing each of his eight passes for a total of 73 yards.
14.
Kirk Cousins MIN
36/48
351
2
0
3
60
60
0
CIN
Cousins had 15 failed completions against Cincinnati, most in the league this week.
15.
Taylor Heinicke WAS
11/15
122
1
0
0
59
50
9
LAC
Heinicke entered the game midway through the second quarter. He started off cold (two straight incompletions), then got hot (eight completions in a row, seven of them successful plays), then finished up cold again (just one successful completion in his last five dropbacks).
16.
Derek Carr LV
34/54
435
2
1
3
54
74
-20
BAL
17.
Daniel Jones NYG
22/36
267
1
0
2
47
43
4
DEN
Jones was at his best throwing down the middle, going 9-of-12 for 102 yards.
18.
Joe Burrow CIN
20/26
261
2
0
5
46
44
3
MIN
Burrow was a monster in the second quarter, but only in the second quarter. He did not throw for a first down in the first quarter, and only had five in the second half and overtime, but he had eight in the second quarter, when all nine of his throws resulted in completions or DPIs for a total of 145 yards. (He was also sacked once.)
19.
Sam Darnold CAR
24/35
279
1
0
1
33
35
-2
NYJ
Darnold was the league's best passer on throws to running backs. He completed each of his 11 passes to Christian McCaffrey and Chuba Hubbard for a total of 93 yards.
20.
Justin Herbert LAC
31/47
337
1
1
2
26
24
2
WAS
It was a game of extreme splits for Herbert. He was the league's worst passer inside the opponents' 40-yard line (8-of-16 for 61 yards with one touchdown, one interception, two sacks, and a fumble), but the best over the rest of the field (23-of-31 for 276 yards, plus a 2-yard DPI). He was the top passer on third downs (13-of-16 for 160 yards and a touchdown, plus that 2-yard DPI, with 13 total conversions, including each of his last nine throws), but the worst when throwing to tight ends (6-of-11 for 57 yards with an interception.)
21.
Carson Wentz IND
25/38
251
2
0
3
20
18
3
SEA
Wentz did hardly anything when throwing to his left, going 4-of-7 for 35 yards. Only one of those completions picked up a first down.
22.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
18/32
188
1
0
2
-7
-10
3
BUF
Roethlisberger only threw for 10 first downs against Buffalo. Seven of them came on throws that traveled at least 12 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. On those throws, he went 6-of-9 for 115 yards and a touchdown, plus a 26-yard DPI. His other 25 dropbacks produced a toal of 62 yards.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Tua Tagovailoa MIA
16/27
202
1
1
2
-13
-21
8
NE
Tagovailoa didn't do much down the middle against New England. He only threw five passes in that direction, he only completed two, and one of those was a 2-yard loss (the other gained 17 yards on first-and-10).
24.
Lamar Jackson BAL
19/30
235
1
0
3
-23
-6
-17
LV
25.
Jared Goff DET
38/57
338
3
1
3
-32
-32
0
SF
Note to Lions opponents: watch out for throws that travel 9 to 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Goff was nearly perfect in that range, going 7-of-8 for 109 yards, plus two DPIs for a total of 29 more yards.
26.
Andy Dalton CHI
27/38
206
0
1
3
-80
-87
7
LAR
With about a minute to go in the third quarter, the Bears had the ball at their own 21, down 27-14—not an ideal situation, but not a lost cause either. From that point forward, Dalton picked up only one first down, going 7-of-13 for 55 yards with a pair of sacks. That actually wasn't his worst part of the game—he had the worst DYAR in the first quarter (7-of-10 for 50 yards with one sack, one fumble, and one interception). He was also the league's worst passer on third/fourth downs (6-of-11 for 45 yards with three conversions, two sacks, one interception, and a fumble) and on deep balls, though that comes with an asterisk. Officially, Dalton only threw one deep pass in this game, and it was intercepted. But even that pass only went deep because it was tipped by a different defender 5 yards downfield. Meanwhile, Justin Fields had -1 DYAR passing (2-for-2 for 10 yards, with neither throw picking up a first down) and 9 DYAR rushing (one carry for a 3-yard touchdown).
27.
Josh Allen BUF
30/51
270
1
0
3
-83
-74
-9
PIT
Allen threw 51 passes on Sunday, but only two of them came from under center. The first was an incompletion on third-and-1 in the first quarter; the second was a 10-yard gain on second-and-20 in the fourth.
28.
Trevor Lawrence JAX
28/51
332
3
3
1
-95
-95
0
HOU
First overall picks are not supposed be worst at anything, but for one week, Lawrence was worst at lots of things. That includes throws to wide receivers (16-of-32 for 219 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions), short-range throws of 15 yards or less (it's easier to show you his stats on deep balls: 7-of-12 for 181 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions), and throws from the shotgun (it's easier to show you his stats from under center: 4-of-7 for 75 yards with two touchdowns). In one stretch over the second and third quarters, he went 12 straight plays without a first down, going 5-of-12 for 22 yards with two interceptions.
29.
Matt Ryan ATL
23/35
164
0
0
3
-105
-87
-18
PHI
Ryan was the league's worst passer in the fourth quarter, when he gained 67 yards on eight completions and DPIs but lost 38 on four sacks and intentional groundings.
30.
Zach Wilson NYJ
20/37
258
2
1
6
-107
-107
0
CAR
Only 36% of Wilson's dropbacks counted as successful plays, the lowest rate in the league. He was the league's worst passer on throws down the middle (3-of-6 for 24 yards with an interception) and on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage (only two completions in eight throws, and those two completions were a 3-yard loss on first-and-10 and a 1-yard gain on second-and-20).
31.
Aaron Rodgers GB
15/28
133
0
2
1
-114
-114
0
NO
Rodgers was the league's worst passer in the second half. He failed to pick up a single first down in his last nine dropbacks, going 3-of-9 for 15 yards with two interceptions.
32.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
21/35
212
1
1
6
-130
-146
16
ARI
Tannehill did not complete a pass for a first down until the Titans were down 17-0 in the second quarter. Up to that point, he had gone 3-of-6 for 15 yards, with three sacks that lost a total of 28 yards. Really, Tannehill's six sacks (and his two fumbles on those plays) are the biggest reason he's in last place. Take all sacks away from all quarterbacks and seven players fall behind him in the rankings. They were not the only problem, however. On throws down the middle, Tannehill went 7-of-13 for only 61 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

 

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.
Jamaal Williams DET
9
54
1
8/9
56
0
51
28
24
SF
Williams was stuffed just one time while running for four first downs, including gains of 10 and 20 yards. Four of his receptions also gained first downs, the longest a gain of 11.
2.
David Montgomery CHI
16
108
1
1/1
10
0
47
40
7
LAR
Montgomery's first carry of the season was a 41-yard gain. It was one of his three runs for 10 or more yards, and also one of his six first downs, while he was stuffed just once.
3.
Christian McCaffrey CAR
21
98
0
9/9
89
0
47
0
46
NYJ
McCaffrey only ran for two first downs against the Jets, and they came on gains of 15 and 18 yards in the fourth quarter. He was stuffed three times. He had a much better day as a receiver, with six first downs and five gains of 11 yards or more, the longest a 22-yarder.
4.
Nick Chubb CLE
15
83
2
2/2
18
0
43
30
13
KC
Chubb would have finished in first place by a healthy margin were it not for his fumble in the third quarter. As it is, he ran for four first downs, including gains of 17 and 18 yards, while being stuffed two times. His two catches were an 8-yard gain on second-and-8 and a 10-yard gain on first-and-10.
5.
Kareem Hunt CLE
6
33
1
3/3
26
0
28
21
7
KC
Each of Hunt's six carries gained at least 2 yards and two picked up first downs, the longest a gain of 15. His best catch was his one first down, a 19-yard gain on first-and-10.

 

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.
David Montgomery CHI
16
108
1
1/1
10
0
47
40
7
LAR
2.
Nick Chubb CLE
15
83
2
2/2
18
0
43
30
13
KC
3.
Jamaal Williams DET
9
54
1
8/9
56
0
51
28
24
SF
4.
Melvin Gordon DEN
11
101
1
3/3
17
0
23
27
-4
NYG
Gordon was stuffed twice while running for only two first downs and one gain of 10 or more yards ... but that one play was a 70-yard touchdown. Which helps.
5.
Devin Singletary BUF
11
72
0
3/5
8
0
-27
24
-51
PIT
All of Singletary's runs gained at least a yard and four gained first downs, including gains of 15 and 25 yards. That's all very good. His receiving, on the other hand...

 

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.
Devin Singletary BUF
11
72
0
3/5
8
0
-27
24
-51
PIT
Singletary's five targets, in order: 5-yard gain on second-and-10; 2-yard loss and a fumble on third-and-5; back-to-back incompletions on second-and-10 and third-and-10; and a 5-yard gain with another fumble on first-and-10. It's never a good thing when you have more fumbles than successful plays. For now, this is not the worst receiving day a running back ever had—that honor still goes to John L. Williams for his 11-catch, 45-yard day for those 1992 Seahawks against the Giants, which scored -59 DYAR—but as opponent adjustments change throughout the year, it could fall to the bottom before all is said and done.

 

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.
Najee Harris PIT
16
45
0
1/3
4
0
-27
-21
-6
BUF
Harris ran for three first downs, the longest a gain of 18, but he had just one other successful carry on the day. Eleven of his runs gained 2 yards or less; four were stuffed for no gain or a loss.

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jarvis Landry CLE
5
5
84
16.8
0
58
KC
Landry's totals include 35 DYAR receiving, 23 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 13 yards and a touchdown. Three of his catches produced first downs, though all of his numbers are boosted by his ultimately meaningless catch on a lateral play at the end of the first half. Officially, that counts as a 45-yard gain to convert a fourth-and-31, and gives Landry credit for 20 DYAR.
2.
Rob Gronkowski TB
8
8
90
11.2
2
52
DAL
Five of Gronkowski's catches produced first downs, including 2- and 11-yard touchdowns and two 20-yard gains.
3.
Sterling Shepard NYG
7
9
113
16.1
1
51
DEN
Six of Shepard's catches produced first downs, including a 37-yard touchdown.
4.
Tyreek Hill KC
11
15
197
17.9
1
50
CLE
Hill's totals include 2 DYAR rushing for his one carry, a 4-yard gain. His best catch was his 75-yard touchdown, one of his seven first downs on the day.
5.
Amari Cooper DAL
13
16
139
10.7
2
48
TB
Eight of Cooper's catches produced first downs, including 5- and 21-yard touchdowns. He also picked up 14 yards and another first down on a DPI.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Allen Robinson CHI
6
11
35
5.8
0
-42
LAR
Robinson did pick up three first downs, but his longest catch gained only 9 yards.

Comments

43 comments, Last at 16 Sep 2021, 8:50am

1 Devin Singletary

Have we seen the worst RB by DYAR also be listed among the top 5 by rushing DYAR before?

2 NFC West

This division is going to be fun this year if this keeps up (4 of the top 8 passers in Week 1 were in this division).

12 It looks scary doesn't it. …

In reply to by wabuffo

It looks scary doesn't it. 

Saying that, the Titans defense was bad last year, and doesn't appear to have improved. I'll pump the breaks on Murray until he has faced some sterner tests.

Likewise, I would have been astonished if the 49ers hadn't shredded Detroit. 

Wilson is Wilson.

Matt Stafford came with a huge price, and has been hyped all off-season. He certainly didn't disappoint in his debut. This should be fun.

15 I'd add that the Bear's …

I'd add that the Bear's (supposed good) defense didn't show up Sunday night.

And, as Ben mentioned below, the Colts seem to be aware that their safeties stink.

I , as a Seahawk fan, agree that the NFCW is the toughest division in the NFL, but it is National Jump-to-Conclusions week.

41 “Matt Stafford came with a…

“Matt Stafford came with a huge price, and has been hyped all off-season. He certainly didn't disappoint in his debut. This should be fun.”

Stafford is no stranger to the top of the Quick Reads rankings.  The issue is sustaining it over an entire season.  He’s had elite half-seasons before (first/last quarter of 2011, first half of 2013/2016/2019, last half of 2015, 2017).  He’s just never maintained it over an entire 16 games.  

That being said, McVay and him seem to be synergistic together, so this is his best change to finally do so.  You’re right, it should be fun.

3 The comments on and Big Ben…

The comments on and Big Ben's performance supports my belief that the Steelers need to move away from today's popular crossing routes and short passes and move to the 3 step drop (because he doesn't have time to take a 5 or 7 step drop) and throw deep slants, fly routs and deep outs. The receivers nee to maybe take one cut and take off. Stop waiting for plays to develop and throw quick, deep routes and have the receivers chase the ball down. The receivers have the speed and BB throws good sideline and seam balls. Back those safeties up and have them bring a linebacker or two with them. Maybe that will open up the running game as well.

4 A tale of two halves...

Vince:  Do you happen to have the DYAR splits by half for Zach Wilson? 

Also, Wilson has 0 rushing DYAR, but he did run in a two point conversion (his only rushing attempt, IIRC).  Just curious as a general matter -- are 2 point conversions factored in to DYAR?  In this case at least it would seem not.  Thanks.

23 First-half passing DYAR: …

First-half passing DYAR: -130, worst in the league.

Second-half passing DYAR: 23 DYAR, 15th.

We have never accounted for two-point conversions in DVOA/DYAR because they have always been rare and random. That may change if they get more common.

5 Dont forget

Robinson chose Chicago over GB

21 Thanks, I recalled him…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Thanks, I recalled him having his choice of destinations, but couldn't remember the other bidders. I don't blame any athlete for taking the most money offered to them, but it meant playing with second-year Mitch Trubisky over Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. Sure, Trubisky could have turned out to be a great QB, but Rodgers already was.

22 I was gonna make this exact…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I was gonna make this exact comment. We can sympathize with Robinson getting drafted onto a hopeless Jags team, but he chose the Bears because he wanted to get paid. I'm sure his agent was warning him that Chicago is where WR's go to die but he signed anyway.

26 If he wanted to win, then…

If he wanted to win, then yeah.  But in terms of personal achievement, Chicago hasn't been that bad for him.  Ignoring the game just played, he's has 3151 yards and 17 touchdowns since he signed with the Bears.

That's the 12th most receiving yards and 11th most touchdowns over the time period, that's pretty good.

6 To answer the question

To answer the question asked in the Russell Wilson write up, the Colts apparently worked out 4 free agent safeties on Monday.

7 DYAR backs up my negative…

DYAR backs up my negative impressions of Lamar Jackson from last night's game. Obviously DYAR is going to hate the fumbles, but there was plenty of inaccuracy and poor awareness besides. Slightly worrying, against a defense that is expected to be amongst the league's worst. 

Of the other big-name bottom dwellers, I think we can give a partial pass to Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers (and maybe Tannehill) who were facing defenses likely to be amongst the elite. 

Worrying times for Matt Ryan/Falcons and - dare I say it - Trevor Lawrence/Jacksonville. 

11 Just watched all of Wilson's…

Just watched all of Wilson's throws.  He kept getting hit, and while his scrambling did create some pressure, there was a lot of pressure he ran away from as well, besides the 6 sacks.  He was accurate early on, but his receivers dropped passes (some of them were hard due to good coverage).  Early third quarter he was inaccurate, but looked good near the end of the quarter to the end of the game.  If the offensive line improves, he may actually have a decent year.  Becton is out for 2 months, but Becton had issues yesterday as well as the rookie guard.

Lawrence is just in a really bad situation; not only is the offensive line bad, but there's already rumors about Meyer turmoil in Jacksonville.  Makes me feel bad for him, when to be honest, he's the one of the new guys I want to see fail, simply because everyone said he was a can't miss prospect.  If I were a Jaguars fan, I'd want Meyer to quit soon so someone with professional experience could take over.

18 Sometimes a good team has a…

Sometimes a good team has a bunch of injuries and bad luck and stumbles into the #1 overall pick like Andrew Luck and the Colts; sometimes a bad team is just bad and flops into the #1 pick, and the Jaguars genuinely deserved it with how bad they were.  Marry that bad roster to an inexplicable coaching staff consisting of Urban Meyer and several Hey Didn't Seattle Fire These Guys, and Lawrence is going to have some awful years.  It doesn't matter how good he is, and hopefully he just won't get broken before things improve in Jacksonville.

16 Didn't watch the Titans, but…

Didn't watch the Titans, but seeing as how Tannehill got sacked a bunch, I'd be worried that the new OC changed the scheme that helped Tanny so well. I say that because without rollouts and play action he tends to get sacked a lot.

40 I didn't watch the game, but…

I didn't watch the game, but the reports I've heard suggested the Titans (previously fairly strong) OL just got straight up destroyed. Derrick Henry got totally stuffed. I tentatively included Tannehill's name in my post above because I'm not yet sure, but if JJ Watt still has enough juice to attract significant attention, then Chandler Jones could wind up defensive MVP, and that Arizona unit could become elite (they were 7th in weighted DVOA last season so the scope is there).

And yes, Tannehill has always had a tendency to take sacks. A negative game script like Sunday's was never likely to suit that offense. 

9 There's a disconnect between…

There's a disconnect between the article's argument and the DYAR listed below.  You argue that Fields needs to start now, but what happened to the two guys who had more starts than him in college?  It wasn't pretty, and given what happened to Burrow last year and may happen to Wilson this year, giving Fields a couple games off while the Bears figure out their offensive line may save him.

13 GOTTA stop using college starts

Did we not watch Kyler this weekend?

The fact of the matter is Dalton is like QB33. That's just wasting time Fields can get his rookie mistakes out of the way.

No surprise no mention of Herbert though.  Or Jones.

14 Did you not watch Zach…

Did you not watch Zach Wilson running for his life this weekend?  Do you not understand the difference in playing Aaron Donald and playing the Tennesee Titans defense?  I'm not suggesting that Fields isn't ready (he looked fine in preseason).  What didn't look good was the Bears offensive line.  Neither did the Jaguars offensive line (they actually looked better yesterday, didn't help Lawrence that much), while the Jets offensive line looked fine during preseason and attempted to get their new shiny quarterback killed yesterday.  If I'm a Bears fan, I want Fields starting this year, but not right away.  They're going to stink this year, it's fine if he has rookie mistakes in game 12, as long as he's still healthy in game 12.

Herbert sat for a game last year, and he also started three years in college.  Bad example.  Not that I'm actually saying Fields shouldn't start because he only started two years in college.  He's a rookie, like Wilson and Lawrence; one of the things rookie quarterbacks have problems with is setting up protections, which we saw in the preseason game where a Bills player tried to take Fields' head off.  Wilson also blew a protection yesterday and got sacked by Burns.  Not sure if Lawrence messed any of those up though. It's about letting the new quarterback adjust to NFL game speed and duties.  You know, all the things Urban Meyer has no clue about.

Jones is in a different situation; he has a good offensive line, and they'll be able to run the ball.  They're also dinking and dunking.  He did fine, but if you watched that game you'd realize Miami started blitzing up the middle, and getting pressure.  I don't know if that was on Mac or the line, but I think it's something New England will have to deal with all year, since Jones is less accurate on the run, unlike Wilson, Lawrence and Fields.

17 Did you watch Herbert last YEAR?

And here we go with the "bUt ItS aGainsT AarOn DonaLd" but I'm sure Kenny Clark and the Smith bros is so much better twice a year. Do you think Kyler should've sat his first year instead playing in 2019 because he had as many starts as Mac Jones? 

And Aaron Donald wasn't even his dominant self. Yet Fields DID play (multiple snaps at that) and...Aaron Donald didn't do anything to him despite diving to the endzone (and scoring btw)! I remember the same reason for Tua last year who...checks notes...is still alive (and starting btw)!

Yeah Fieldswas only on a few snaps but not everything is going to be perfect! Ever! They have to learn. Them starting early or not has almost nothing to do with whether they succeed or not. Trubisky didn't start his first 4 weeks and stinks. Herbert was thrown in the last second in week 2 behind an AWFUL OL and he looks fine now. Burrow is back and the offseason doom and gloom looks silly now. Lawrence, Wilson, etc will not fail solely, or even mainly, because they started over bums week 1 (btw I remember you wanting the Jets to sign Nick Mullens).

Heck lets go all the way back to 90s, an era where they could play defense, when Peyton started every game. Yet he survived and eventually thrived enough to become a GOAT. 

Gotta get over experience being somehow mainly gained from the bench. And you do know not every system has QBs calling protections right?

Jones was under pressure quite a bit yesterday but hey, whatever fits the narrative. If they're supposedly dinking and dunking, which is what makes him supposedly justifiably starting now with less games started than Fields, then do that for others like Fields!

The simple fact is Dalton is clearly not doing anything and waiting for the OL to be perfect is fools gold. For all the freakin QBs that need a perfect OL you think it's the guy that moves well? They should absolutely do what's best for Fields. Sitting him because of "college starts" is silly and not always what's best for him or others like him. Starting Dalton is just wasting time that could be used for real live reps for Fields to work out the kinks. Injuries are such a rarity, especially in todays league where you can't touch the QB.

Like the article said "there's little upside for Andy Dalton at this point in his career. Justin Fields started 22 games for Ohio State, including multiple appearances in the Big Ten Championship Game and College Football Playoff; he's as ready as he'll ever be to start in the NFL." It's all 100% true. The days of QBs coming out as seniors isn't a thing anymore. Adapt. 

30 Too Harsh

I watched the game, too, and would not say Dalton is “not doing anything”.  He seemed to be able to move the offense—against a very good defense—with a line that was down to its 4th (5th?) string left tackle.

I think CHI would be better off starting Fields, too, but between the line and the play calling I am afraid he could wind up taking lumps à la David (not Derek) Carr.

36 Not doing anything

In reply to by Raiderfan

worthwhile*.

The line was -8 which is quite huge. They weren't expected to win of course but they weren't even close to covering. Hard to give Dalton any credit considering he didnt look great with Ceedee, Amari Cooper and Gallup last year. If you want to make a case for him over Foles or someone go ahead. But that shouldn't be the bar. Hard to call 3.24 ANY/A moving the offense but...he's a JAG at this point it seems. That throw short of the sticks on 4th down just encapsulates what you're getting from him.  

David Carr did take the most sacks his rookie year. He also took the most 2 years later. Then the year after that too. His career sack% was 10.5%. That aint (entirely) the OL. That's a (mainly) him thing. 5/6 of his most played years he had a below average sack%. Although he did survive to start all 16 games his rookie year. Think it's fair to say Fields is a little more able to avoid and make defenders miss though. Let him take his lumps because waiting for the OL to be juuuust right along WITH the playcalling to be juuuuust right might mean he's always held back. Let him sink or swim instead of running more tread on the Dalton tires. As of right now he's healthy and ready to go and provides a much higher ceiling for the team. Unless they want to just flush the season down the drain for Dalton to...lead them where exactly and be kicked to the curb next year? IDK seems extremely pointless.

Kyle Brandt here describes the situation well. I'd add: dont waste his cheapest years behind a mediocre QB that clearly has no long term value there. Before you know it you'll have to decide whether or not to pick up his option. Get as much info as you can on him. 

37 We're going to have to agree…

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this point, New.  We've argued about this all offseason, but I should give you an idea where I'm coming from as a 50 year old Jets fan.  Unfortunately, it's going to be as long as Lovecraft's novella "At the Mountains of Madness".  Here is the Jets history with quarterbacks since I've been following them:

1980 QB- Richard Todd- 1st round pick 1976.  6 starts his rookie year; don't know when he started over Namath.

1981-1982: QB- Todd, playoff berths both years.

1983- QB- Todd, 30 interceptions traded away after season. 

1984- QBs. Pat Ryan, 11th round pick, replaced by Ken O'Brien, 1983 1st round pick.  No playoffs.

1985-1991 QB- Ken O'Brien, playoffs in 1985, 1986 and 1991.

1992 QB- Browning Nagle, 1991 2nd round pick, and O'Brien. No playoffs

1993-1995: Boomer Esiason, traded from Bengals.  No playoffs.  Gets injured by Bruce Smith on horrific play in 95.

1996: QB- Neil O'Donnell, free agent, and Frank Reich, free agent.  1-15.

1997: QB- O'Donnell, and Glenn Foley, 7th round pick.  No playoffs though they went 9-7.

1998: QB: Foley, replaced by Vinny Testaverde, free agent, also a 1st round pick in 1987.  Lost in AFC championship game.

1999: QB- Testaverde knocked out in first game.  Rick Mirer and Ray Lucas fill in.  No playoffs.

2000-2001: QB- Testaverde.  No playoffs in 2000, wild card berth in 2001.

2002: QB- Testaverde, replaced by Chad Pennington, 2000 1st round pick.  Lose in divisional round, Pennington leads passer rating.

2003: QB- Pennington injured in preseason, Testaverde fills in.  Pennington comes back but no playoffs.

2004: QB- Pennington, gets injured again but comes back after 3 games.  Lose in divisional round.

2005: QB- Pennington gets injured again, a carousel of bad quarterbacks including Testaverde.  4-12.

2006: QB- Pennington stays healthy, lose in wild card round.

2007: QB-Pennington gets benched for Kellen Clemens, Qbase darling who stinks.

2008: QB- Brett Farve, free agent, no playoffs.

2009-QB- Mark Sanchez, 1st round pick, starts immediately and plays well for first three games.  Lose in AFC championship due to running game and defense, but let's be real, Sanchez was not good.  Put O'Brien or Pennington on this team and they are terrifying.

2010- QB- Sanchez, again lose in AFC championship game, he's slightly better.

2011-2012- QB- Sanchez starts until after the buttfumble, but no playoffs and it's revealed he was never good.

2013- QB- Geno Smith, 2nd round pick, starts immediately because team put Sanchez back into preseason and the former starter (who was winning the 'competition') gets knocked out for the year.  Qbase darling Smith ekes out an 8-8 season but he does not play that well, only enough to get my hopes up.

2014- QB- Smith, and free agent Michael Vick.  This doesn't end well.  Smith did have moments, and I still have hope he could do something in the league, but he's content backing up Russell Wilson after this debacle.

2015-QB- Fitzpatrick, trade.  He has a good year but the Jets fall short of the playoffs at 10-6.

2016: QB- Fitzmagic turns to Fitzception.  Disastrous year with a last place showing in DVOA.

2017: QB- Josh McCown, free agent, injured late in the year and replaced by Bryce Petty, 5th round pick. 5-11.

2018: QB- Sam Darnold, 1st round pick, starts immediately.  No playoffs.

2019-2020: QB- Darnold, and a bunch of guys while Darnold had mono.  Seriously.  Darnold also missed time to injury in 2020, and Joe Flacco played better than him.

So the Jets have not made the playoffs without a starting quarterback who was drafted in the first round in their entire history.  They did make the playoffs with Sanchez, who started immediately, but you cannot make the argument that he worked out well for them, or that they developed him well, as well as immediate starters Geno Smith or Sam Darnold.  O'Brien and Pennington seemed to blossom as possible franchise QBs, but were derailed by injuries.  I blame their coaches for those injuries (Pennington was hurt in a meaningless preseason game that his center Mawae was not playing in, O'Brien took a million sacks, partially because of Joe Walton's system).  This is why I don't want to take the nice shiny new present out of the box and let it get ruined immediately.  Because that is the history of the Jets quarterbacks the last forty years.

Sorry for the novel, but this really is in the Mountains of Madness.  I really believe what Danforth saw there on the Plain of Leng was the New York Jets trying to play football.

 

38 Too focused on just 1/32 franchises.

And none of it really confirms a correlation equaling causation. 

Having a dude sit on the shelf for an arbitrary amount of time (no seriously there's been no mention of how long exactly a QB should wait...I wonder why...) is just wasting dollars. I promise you they aren't failing mainly because they're put in too early. They're failing mostly on their own merits. 

Look at other franchises and you're gonna tell them to sit Cam (because he didn't start enough in college at that)? You're gonna tell Seattle to play Matt Flynn over Russ? You're gonna tell Cincy to start Ryan Finley over Burrow? You suggest Peyton Manning sit for...? Josh Allen shouldn't have started because...? Kyler Murray should go from Heisman to the bench? RG3 should've never started so early because he would flame out from being forced to play...later? Andrew Luck gotta wait until the OL is fixed, even though it never would be, what 8 years, into his career? Hold up Big Ben and do the Steelers win that first SB with him? Dak get that big contract if he's sitting? 

And of course on the flip:

Why did Paxton flame out despite sitting his first 3 games and not starting until his 5th game? Why did Jake Locker suck despite not playing his first 3 games and not starting until his 2nd year? Jason Campbell didn't play a SNAP his rookie year, why did he eventually suck? Rosen started first in game 4 and sat the first 2 games but sucks why? Shoot Bortles the exact same situation as Rosen but no longer active why? Manziel had the first 14 weeks to get life in order before starting but sucked? Was Gabbert really ruined because he started...week 3? Ponder didn't start until week 7 as to not ruin him but he was bad anyway?

There's no real blueprint. Just play the guy that's best for the franchise. Your organization will never be entirely perfect. Trust me. Aaron Rodgers isn't mainly great because of the ever loved McCarthy "making" him. He's mostly great because he was always talented and worked hard to get where he was. Maybe we win more if he starts sooner. All I know is Love will sink or swim based on his merits. Not because he sat on the pine absorbing the same thing week after week from the same people. 

31 The Bears O-line was…

The Bears O-line was shockingly cromulent on Sunday, even when they were down to LT4. Donald didn't have a sack or even a hit on Dalton until the last drive. Protection was 100% not the problem, plus they were run blocking well enough to get in reasonable down and distance most of the time. The problem was very clearly Dalton, and no way Fields would have done worse.

34 Disagree here, Nagy is the issue

Nagy was the problem.  He always is.  Inconsistent 4th down decisions (goes for it on 4th-15, but not 4th-2???).  Abandons the run despite averaging ~7 YPC vs ~ 5 Y/pass.  (LAR runs a 2 gap scheme and sells out to stop the pass.  So why not run it more when it’s easier on the line, you’re having success and getting bashed on Defense?  And I’m not a mouth breather who believes in “establishing the run!!).  Always throwing short of the sticks.   Throwing it at Jalen Ramsey when he’s wrecking the game.  (The very first play when #4 LT E. Wilkenson enters was a sweep to his side where he was to block Ramsey).  No halftime adjustments.  Mismanaged play locks resulting in TOs.  And more!   I’m too tired to go on….

42 “That's just wasting time…

“That's just wasting time Fields can get his rookie mistakes out of the way.”

Or never make them in the first place. Not sure why there’s this notion that there’s like, 67 “rookie mistakes,” that are bound to get made now or after a year sitting on the bench. I am beyond unsympathetic to Kyle whatever explaining how Tom Brady sitting his rookie season was 20 years ago. Sure it was, make a real argument. And no “KC cost themselves a SB by sitting Mahomes as a rookie” isn’t really worth responding to.

I’ve thought Matt Nagy was somewhat of a fraud for a while now. Having said that, getting Fields in the game with some packages, so he can just practice a tiny amount of plays against actual NFL defences seems a very reasonable approach to take for your rookie. It lets him play at a higher level, which helps the team win now in a weak NFCN, and still gives you some real tape to work on his flaws.

The rams had the No1 defence last year. Guess what, they probably have close to the number 1 defence again this year. Andy Dalton didn’t look amazing. Guess what, as someone who watched all 18 regular and postseason games against the Rams last year, I can say that Aaron Rodgers was pretty much the only QB to look good against them. 

But no, I guess Dalton not embarrassing himself, but not looking like an MVP QB means that Fields is ready to start, and the Bears can’t win any games with Dalton.

I just don’t understand these arguments after week 1. After week 10, if the Bears are 3-7, and Dalton has a 70 QBR, then sure. After all, we all see how horribly stilted Jalen Hurts’s development is because he only started one game last year.

43 What evidence do you have?

You say he may never have them if he sits. So why can't Mahomes win a SB in '17 if he's inserted after they start 6-6? Is that long enough? Because he would eventually start after starting 9-6 anyway. And the real argument to not sitting a better choice is rookie contracts being different. Things aren't like they used to be.

A ton of the guys I listed above played a little bit before actually starting full time. Some eventually did good, but also a good amount sucked. Good luck trying to find flaws in his 5 snaps. I forgot to add Tebow (among many others) to my list above, of people that waited until starting that ended up bad anyway. 

Rams had the #4 DVOA defense. I get it, you'll will expand that range of unplayable defenses to top 4. Either way they play Cincy next week so can he play or does it just not feel right yet? You don't think Josh Allen and his 5 TDs looked good?

It's so weird that a good amount of people side with Nagy when the collectives of casuals and analytics say just start Fields. Like the article said, again, 

there's little upside for Andy Dalton at this point in his career. Justin Fields started 22 games for Ohio State, including multiple appearances in the Big Ten Championship Game and College Football Playoff; he's as ready as he'll ever be to start in the NFL. 

That statement is perfectly fine and sums it up well. If yall watched Fields in college (I know many here don't), you'd see why people are absolutely ok with him being "thrown" in there. You'd also feel comfortable if you've watched any decent amount of Dalton in the NFL. And last year should've sealed the deal.

What's this about Hurts now? He's successful because he...was inactive week 1 (too late for Fields to do this), played 1-26 snaps between weeks 2-13 and finally started the last 4 weeks (not 1 game, not sure where you're getting that)? Not because of new coaches, his hard work ethic, and underrated talent that allowed him to be successful at different colleges? Hmmm. So, no going back, now Hurts is destined to be elite because he sat (or, wait, is starting 4 games during a rookie year crossing the threshold of being ruined or not?!)?

19 Multiple Penalties Rule

There was an interesting thing that happened in the LAC-WAS game yesterday: the refs called offsetting penalties on a play where it looked like the first penalty (grabbing the facemask) led to the second penalty (horse-collar tackle). Is there anything in the rule back about this? It doesn't seem quite fair to penalize a player for an action that only happened because of another illegal action.

For those that missed it:

Gibson has the ball and is running toward the sidelines. He tries to stiff-arm Derwin James but grabs his facemask. James' attempt to finish the tackle results in him grabbing the jersey around the name plate area (so definitely a horse-collar as defined in the rulebook). 

Another instance where this could have happened: Bosa got called for roughing the passer after he hit the QB low. But on the replay it definitely looks like he got shoved in the back by the offensive lineman (no call). If the illegal block had been called, would that have also been offsetting penalties? Or would they have picked up the flag for roughing?

25 For the general case, you…

For the general case, you can do this with a lot of penalties.  Did a holding penalty give the QB enough time to make a throw that resulted in a defensive pass interference?  Did an ineligible man downfield draw a defensive hold?

As for your last paragraph, I'm fairly sure that "hitting the QB low" is not a penalty (at least by rule, I'm sure it winds up getting called) if you are blocked into the QB, regardless if it was a legal block or not.

28 IDK

I don't know if a penalty happening should then allow players to do a  bunch of illegal things (especially the dangerous ones)

20 Wow, the Palmer-Warner…

Wow, the Palmer-Warner comparison in Arizona is fascinating.  They both played there for 5 seasons, from age 34 to 38.

This has to be as similar of stats two players could have over 5 years as is possible:

https://i.imgur.com/vV9ooN0.png

Though the big difference is the playoffs, where Warner got better and Palmer got worse.  The main difference there was interceptions, where Palmer had a 7% interception rate and Warner only had 2%.

33 When was the last time a…

When was the last time a Lions player led the RB DYAR list?

Also, since we're talking going out of the way to highlight Trey Lance and Brian Fields, what was Jordan Love's DYAR?