QR Week 6: Gaskin Gags in England

Myles Gaskin
Myles Gaskin
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

In one trip to the United Kingdom in 1985, Chicago resident Clark Griswold managed to cause several car wrecks, collide with a bicyclist, and level a UNESCO World Heritage Site to the ground. It was perhaps the worst trip to England that any American has ever made … until Myles Gaskin and the Miami Dolphins arrived in London this past week. In just a wee bit of game action against Jacksonville, Gaskin surpassed thresholds for both rushing and receiving incompetence that nobody else has in the last half-decade.

Gaskin first rose to prominence at the University of Washington, where he set school records with 5,323 yards and 57 touchdowns rushing. With that track record of production, BackCAST was somewhat optimistic about Gaskin's pro potential despite some mundane physical skills. The Dolphins drafted him in the seventh round in 2019, but he didn't play much as a rookie, buried on Miami's depth chart behind Kalen Ballage, Patrick Laird, Mark Walton, and Kenyan Drake. He finished the year with just 36 runs and seven catches.

Gaskin broke out somewhat in 2020. He only started seven games, opening the year as a backup behind Matt Breida and Jordan Howard and later missing six games due to a sprained MCL and a stint on the COVID list, but he still led the Dolphins with 584 rushing yards and 972 yards from scrimmage. Our advanced numbers weren't impressed with his running ability, labeling him below replacement level, but he was reliable, finishing 12th in success rate. And he was great in the passing game, finishing first in DVOA and fourth in DYAR as a receiver. In his last three games of the year, he caught 11 of 12 targets for 190 yards (17.3 yards per catch!) with a pair of touchdowns.

So far this season, Gaskin is again the Dolphins' leading rusher, though he has fallen behind tight end Mike Gesicki in yards from scrimmage. Just last week he was one of our top running backs, mostly due to his 10 catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Against Jacksonville, however, he was relegated to committee duty. He played 25 snaps against the Jaguars, as many as Malcolm Brown and only six more than Salvon Ahmed (his former Huskies teammate in college). Ahmed led the crew with seven carries, while Brown and Gaskin had five each. Why did Gaskin run so infrequently? Let's break down the results of his carries, one by one:

  • 1-yard loss on first-and-10 on the first play of the game.
  • 3-yard gain on first-and-10.
  • 4 yards and a fumble (recovered by Miami) on first-and-10.
  • 2-yard gain on second-and-17.
  • 1-yard gain on first-and-10.

That's five carries for 9 yards, no first downs, no successful plays, a 20% stuff rate, and a long run of just 4 yards … which nearly resulted in a turnover. If your lead back was struggling that badly, you'd turn to the options on your bench too. (In Gaskin's defense, his teammates didn't fare much better—Ahmed and Brown combined for less than 4.0 yards per carry with negative DYAR between them.)

Gaskin did lead Dolphins running backs with six targets, but he wasn't very effective there either:

  • incomplete pass on first-and-10
  • incomplete pass on third-and-15
  • incomplete pass on third-and-6
  • reception for 5-yard gain on second-and-9
  • reception for no gain on first-and-20
  • incomplete pass on third-and-1

That's 2.5 yards per catch, which is awful, but it will happen once in a while when running backs only catch two passes. The real problem is that Gaskin only caught two passes. None of these targets were thrown more than 5 yards downfield; they were all screens, swings, and checkdowns, the kind of passes quarterbacks throw specifically because they are easy to complete. This isn't entirely Gaskins' fault; Tua Tagovailoa threw one pass into the dirt several yards short of Gaskins' feet on one pass and another way behind him on a route over the middle. But Gaskins dropped both of his other two incomplete targets. He also bobbled his reception on first-and-20, which is one reason it went for no gain—by the time he secured the catch, Jacksonville defenders had closed in for the kill. His last target was the most damaging. It was originally ruled a reception and a first down for Miami right at midfield, but replay showed the ball hitting the ground, leading to a Dolphins punt, which in turn led to a Jaguars drive that ended in a game-tying field goal.

That works out to -28 rushing DYAR and -27 receiving DYAR, worst among running backs in both categories this week. The combined total of -55 DYAR makes this the worst game for a running back so far this season. That's not an historic total; there were three games worse than that last year. What's notable is not Gaskins' total DYAR, but the distribution: he's the first running back to hit -25 DYAR as a rusher and a receiver in the last five years.

All RBs, -25 DYAR or Less in Both Rushing and Receiving, 1983-2021
Year Player Team Runs Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec Rec
Yds
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Wk Def
1987 Tony Collins NE 11 23 0 4/13 32 -62 -26 -36 7 IND
1987 Darrin Nelson MIN 16 43 0 3/6 6 -75 -39 -36 11 ATL
1990 Reggie Cobb TB 18 47 0 4/4 18 -64 -30 -34 3 DET
1993 Lorenzo White HOIL 24 48 1 7/7 10 -72 -44 -27 2 KC
1994 Jerome Bettis LAR 33 91 1 7/7 21 -53 -27 -25 10 DEN
1995 Ricky Watters PHI 17 41 0 9/9 34 -55 -26 -29 1 TB
1995 Terrell Davis DEN 18 34 0 11/11 25 -69 -29 -39 7 OAK
1995 Harvey Williams OAK 6 8 0 6/6 9 -74 -48 -26 7 DEN
1996 Joe Aska OAK 16 44 0 4/4 10 -69 -41 -28 7 DET
1999 Ricky Williams NO 14 7 0 7/7 5 -84 -42 -41 17 CAR
2000 Duce Staley PHI 18 44 0 5/5 16 -67 -29 -38 4 NO
2001 LaDainian Tomlinson SD 19 57 1 5/5 13 -55 -28 -28 13 PHI
2001 Ricky Williams NO 11 33 0 5/5 -8 -89 -56 -33 17 SF
2002 Lamar Smith CAR 18 49 0 5/5 18 -61 -34 -27 5 ARI
2002 Tony Fisher GB 12 27 0 5/5 14 -59 -26 -33 10 DET
2002 Nick Goings CAR 18 62 0 7/7 5 -73 -42 -31 17 NO
2003 Tony Hollings HOU 18 19 0 5/5 6 -60 -28 -32 14 JAX
2006 Shaun Alexander SEA 19 51 0 2/2 -1 -59 -30 -29 1 DET
2007 Steven Jackson STL 18 59 0 7/7 3 -59 -28 -30 1 CAR
2008 Chris Perry CIN 11 14 0 7/7 2 -60 -26 -34 6 NYJ
2009 Matt Forte CHI 13 29 0 6/6 33 -56 -29 -27 2 PIT
2010 Steven Jackson STL 29 72 0 3/3 -6 -74 -45 -29 12 DEN
2011 Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 30 105 0 3/3 -1 -67 -33 -34 7 BAL
2011 Javon Ringer TEN 9 12 0 5/5 6 -64 -27 -37 12 TB
2016 Todd Gurley LAR 17 47 0 1/3 -5 -58 -31 -27 1 SF
2016 Kenneth Farrow SD 15 39 0 2/3 14 -58 -31 -27 15 OAK
2020 Myles Gaskin MIA 5 9 0 2/6 5 -55 -28 -27 6 JAX
* None of these players caught a touchdown pass

The last player to go -25/-25 was Kenneth Farrow of the then-San Diego Chargers in Week 15 of 2016, an outing that proved to be the last game of his only season in the NFL. Other little-known players in this table include Joe Aska, Nick Goings, and a bunch of dudes named Tony. However, there are also plenty of superstars. Shaun Alexander! Jerome Bettis! Terrell Davis! LaDainian Tomlinson! Ricky Watters! By combined DYAR, Ricky Williams had the worst game in this table, and also the second-worst. Steven Jackson shows up twice too. If you play long enough as a dual-threat back, eventually you're going to have one of those days where nothing goes right.

Gaskin's totals of five rushes and 11 combined runs and targets are both the lowest of any player listed here. It's very rare to see someone accumulate so much negative value so quickly. It's also a sign that this is likely a small-sample size fluke. Gaskin ranked among the top 20 players at his position in both rushing and receiving DYAR coming into the game, and he'll likely get back near those levels before the season is done. He's stuck in a crowded backfield on what might be the most disappointing team in the league, but he's a better player than what he showed in Merrie Olde Englande.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Dak Prescott DAL
36/51
445
3
1
0
167
183
-17
NE
Prescott had a stretch over the third and fourth quarters where he picked up first downs on eight straight throws. One of those was a 1-yard touchdown; each of the others gained at least 12, and those eight plays produced 139 total yards. He was the league's best passer on throws to the right, going 17-of-24 for 223 yards and all three of his touchdowns.
2.
Kirk Cousins MIN
33/47
373
3
0
0
160
166
-7
CAR
Clutch performance, Kirk be thy name. By DYAR, Cousins was the league's best passer on third/fourth downs (8-of-13 for 86 yards and a touchdown, six total conversions) and in the fourth quarter/overtime (13-of-16 for 166 yards, including the game-winning 27-yard score on second-and-13 in the extra frame).
3.
Tom Brady TB
34/42
297
2
1
0
131
128
3
PHI
Brady was one of three quarterbacks with a league-high 11 failed completions. That did not stop him from leading all passers in DYAR in the first quarter (11-of-12 for 121 yards and two touchdowns) and inside the opponents' 40-yard line (11-of-12 for 113 yards and two touchdowns, plus a 1-yard DPI).
4.
Derek Carr LV
18/27
341
2
0
2
129
142
-13
DEN
In the spirit of Daryle Lamonica and Jay Schroeder and other Silver-and-Black Mad Bombers of yore, Carr terrorized the Broncos secondary with deep balls, going 5-of-7 for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
5.
Aaron Rodgers GB
17/23
195
2
0
3
97
72
25
CHI
Rodgers led all quarterbacks in DYAR on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, going 3-of-4 for 25 yards and two touchdowns. It certainly helps that his average completion gained a league-high 7.5 yards after the catch.
6.
Matthew Stafford LAR
22/28
251
4
1
2
81
81
0
NYG
Stafford was successful on 63% of his dropbacks; no other qualifier had a success rate higher than 56%. He was the best passer in the red zone, going 6-of-7 for 48 yards and three touchdowns.
7.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
18/29
216
0
1
0
81
69
11
BUF
8.
Josh Allen BUF
35/47
353
3
1
3
77
100
-23
TEN
9.
Carson Wentz IND
11/20
223
2
0
2
56
60
-4
HOU
Wentz didn't throw a single pass in the red zone, but then with 51- and 28-yard touchdowns, he didn't need to. He had a banner day on deep balls, completing four of his five attempts for 166 yards and those two scoring plays.
10.
Trevor Lawrence JAX
25/41
319
1
0
2
53
52
1
MIA
Two small but critical plays in Jacksonville's win over Miami: Lawrence gained 7 yards on fourth-and-6 in the second quarter and 9 yards on fourth-and-8 in the fourth, both on completions to Laviska Shenault. The first of those plays set up Lawrence's 28-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones; the second set up the game-winning field goal at the gun. That's 10 points in a three-point win that don't happen without the fourth-down conversions.
11.
Tua Tagovailoa MIA
33/46
329
2
1
0
30
20
10
JAX
Tagovailoa loses 70 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, twice as many as any other quarterback. He was the week's worst passer in the third quarter, going 4-of-6 for 25 yards with as many first downs (one) as interceptions.
12.
Kyler Murray ARI
20/30
229
4
0
2
28
104
-76
CLE
If -76 rushing DYAR seems extreme, well, it is. Unofficially, it would surpass the -55 DYAR Drew Bledsoe had against Pittsburgh in 1993 as the worst rushing game for any quarterback in our record books, but that comes with a heaping helping of asterisks. Officially, Murray had five carries for 20 yards, which sounds just fine. However only one of those carries resulted in a first down. One went down as a fumble and a 5-yard loss on a botched zone-read exchange with Chase Edmonds; another went for no gain with a fumble when Murray tried to scramble and the ball bounced off his thighpad. Then we add two more fumbles, a pair of aborted snaps that Murray recovered for big losses. Now we've got Murray down for seven carries for a net loss of 12 yards with four fumbles (all recovered by the Cardinals). We can't quite compare Murray's game to those in prior seasons, because in recent years we changed the way we manage aborted plays. We used to split them into passing plays (aborted snaps) and run plays (botched handoffs). For simplicity's sake, we now count all aborted snaps as runs, the same as official stats, but we have not gone back and adjusted those numbers for prior seasons. So we can't say for certain that Murray had the worst rushing day of any quarterback in the past quarter-century. We can say that he had a very good day despite some severe ball security issues.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Teddy Bridgewater DEN
35/49
334
3
3
5
14
25
-11
LV
Bridgewater led the NFL in DYAR on passes to his left, going 14-of-16 for 140 yards. Ten of those completions moved the sticks, and he picked an 11th first down on a 20-yard DPI. Unfortunately he was rotten on throws down the middle, going 7-of-11 for just 48 yards with an interception. His throws to the right were a mixed bag, with three touchdowns but also two interceptions.
14.
Jalen Hurts PHI
12/26
115
1
1
2
11
-13
24
TB
Hurts' average pass was thrown to receivers 13.9 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, deepest of any qualifier this week. Officially he only had three deep completions for 72 yards with one interception, but he added 95 more yards on a pair of DPIs. It's a good thing he threw deep so often, because he was terrible on short passes, going 8-of-18 for only 27 yards and a touchdown. That's 1.5 yards per pass, and that's off-the-charts bad; the average short pass this season has gained 6.4 yards.
15.
Patrick Mahomes KC
32/47
397
2
2
3
11
0
11
WAS
Technically, Mahomes was at -0.1 passing DYAR. That would make this the third time in his career he has finished below zero in that category, though the margin is so fine that could easily change as opponent adjustments and league baselines fluctuate throughout the season. By DYAR, he was the league's worst passer in the red zone (5-of-8 for 34 yards with one touchdown and two intereptions) and from under center (2-of-6 for 33 yards with a sack and an interception).
16.
Justin Fields CHI
16/27
174
1
1
4
9
19
-11
GB
Fields' average pass came with a league-high 10.2 yards to go for a first down. He didn't get much help from his receivers—his average completion gained a league-low 2.0 yards after the catch.
17.
Mac Jones NE
15/21
229
2
1
2
7
7
0
DAL
Jones opened the second quarter with a 27-yard completion to Nelson Agholor on second-and-5, and he opened the fourth quarter with an 11-yard completion to Jakobi Meyers on first-and-5. He did not pick up a single first down in between those two throws, going 5-of-6 for 23 yards with two sacks and a fumble.
18.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
29/40
229
1
0
1
-1
9
-10
SEA
Roethlisberger was one of three quarterbacks with a league-high 11 failed completions. He threw five deep balls but only completed one of them, a 23-yard gain to Diontae Johnson in the third quarter.
19.
Joe Burrow CIN
19/29
271
3
1
2
-5
-9
4
DET
Burrow's average dropback came with a league-low 7.9 yards to go for first down ... which is strange, because at various points in this game he faced second-and-16, third-and-17, third-and-20, and second-and-25. But he also had 13 dropbacks with 5 yards or less to go. That's where he shined, going 7-of-11 for 152 yards and three touchdowns, but also giving up two sacks.
20.
Baker Mayfield CLE
19/28
234
2
1
5
-8
1
-9
ARI
Mayfield had a very bad day in Arizona territory, going 4-of-7 for 29 yards with one touchdown, two sacks, and a fumble.
21.
Jared Goff DET
28/41
202
0
1
1
-20
-18
-2
CIN
No passer this week fared worse than Goff on deep balls. He threw seven of them against Cincinnati, completing as many to his own teammates (one, for 33 yards) as to Bengals defenders.
22.
Justin Herbert LAC
22/39
195
1
1
2
-53
-63
10
BAL
Herbert was the week's worst passer on throws to his left, going 6-of-15 for 44 yards with an interception.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Lamar Jackson BAL
19/27
167
1
2
3
-55
-53
-1
LAC
Jackson ran eight times for 51 yards and four first downs, but his DYAR is dinged for some shorter runs in long-yardage situations. The average quarterback run this season has gained 5.3 yards; five of Jackson's runs gained less than that. As a passer, he was perfect in short yardage. He converted each of his five throws with 5 yards or less to go for a first down, moving the sticks each time and gaining a total of 29 yards. He threw one pass with 6 yards to go; it was intercepted.
24.
Geno Smith SEA
23/31
209
1
0
5
-58
-58
0
PIT
Smith's average pass against Pittsburgh traveled 3.4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, least of any quarterback this season. He only threw three deep passes, completing two of them for 62 yards. He had the worst DYAR of the week on third/fourth downs, going 6-of-8 for 43 yards with more sacks taken (three) than conversions (two).
25.
Sam Darnold CAR
17/41
207
1
1
4
-92
-112
20
MIN
Darnold was successful on only 24% of his dropbacks; every other qualifier was successful at least one-third of the time. And yet, for all that futility, he somehow led all quarterbacks in DYAR on throws down the middle, going 8-of-12 for 126 yards and a touchdown. Given his low ranking, one might guess that he was the worst passer on throws to the outside. And one would be right. Darnold only picked up three first downs on throw to his left or right, going 9-of-29 for 81 yards with an interception.
26.
Davis Mills HOU
29/43
243
0
2
2
-103
-104
1
IND
Though he was reasonably efficient at getting Houston into scoring range, Mills was the week's worst passer inside the opponents' 40, where he went 6-of-13 for 30 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
27.
Taylor Heinicke WAS
24/39
182
1
1
0
-119
-119
0
KC
Heinicke was one of three quarterbacks with a league-high 11 failed completions. The others were Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, because when you think of Brady and Roethlisberger, Taylor Heinicke is the next name that comes to mind. Many of those failed completions came on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, where he went 12-of-15 for 53 yards with an interception.
28.
Daniel Jones NYG
29/51
242
0
3
4
-222
-210
-12
LAR
Remember two weeks ago, when Jones was the best quarterback in Quick Reads? That was fun. This week, Jones finishes in last place by a mile despite gaining 50 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, most in the league. He was the league's worst passer on throws down the middle (5-of-10 for 47 yards with two interceptions) and in the second quarter (3-of-10 for 18 yards with two interceptions and a sack).

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Aaron Jones GB
13
76
0
4/4
34
1
53
23
29
CHI
Jones only ran for three first downs against Chicago, but he was stuffed only twice with eight runs of 5-plus yards, the longest a gain of 28. Each of his three receptions gained at least 10 yards and a first down.
2.
Derrick Henry TEN
20
143
3
2/3
13
0
51
54
-3
BUF
There have now been 15 games this season by running backs with at least 49 combined DYAR. Derrick Henry has three of them: this week, against Seattle in Week 2, and against Indianapolis in Week 3.
3.
Kenyan Drake LV
4
34
1
2/2
39
1
51
22
29
DEN
Each of Drake's four carries gained at least 1 yard and three gained at least 6, including an 18-yard touchdown. His two catches: an 8-yard gain and a 31-yard touchdown, both on first-and-10.
4.
Jonathan Taylor IND
14
145
2
1/2
13
0
48
44
4
HOU
Taylor ran for six first downs against Houston with five runs of 10-plus yards, including an 83-yard touchdown. He was stuffed just twice. His one catch was a 13-yard gain on second-and-7.
5.
Damien Harris NE
18
101
1
1/1
7
0
38
34
4
DAL
Harris was stuffed just once while rushing for five first downs, including two gains of 21 yards.

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Derrick Henry TEN
20
143
3
2/3
13
0
51
54
-3
BUF
2.
Jonathan Taylor IND
14
145
2
1/2
13
0
48
44
4
HOU
3.
Alex Collins SEA
20
101
1
1/1
-3
0
36
44
-8
PIT
The Steelers stuffed Collins five times, but he also ran for five first downs, including gains of 11, 14, and 21 yards.
4.
Damien Harris NE
18
101
1
1/1
7
0
38
34
4
DAL
5.
James Conner ARI
16
71
0
1/1
0
0
27
30
-3
CLE
Conner ran for five first downs, the longest a gain of 16, while being stuffed only twice.

 

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.
Myles Gaskin MIA
5
9
0
2/6
5
0
-55
-28
-27
JAX

 

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.
Myles Gaskin MIA
5
9
0
2/6
5
0
-55
-28
-27
JAX

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
CeeDee Lamb DAL
9
11
149
16.6
2
85
NE
Eight of Lamb's catches picked up first downs (including the game-winning 35-yard touchdown); the other was a 24-yard gain on third-and-25. He also had a ninth first down (and 15 more yards) on a DPI.
2.
Stefon Diggs BUF
9
11
89
9.9
1
60
TEN
3.
Donovan Peoples-Jones CLE
4
5
101
25.2
2
56
ARI
Each of Peoples-Jones' four catches picked up at least 11 yards and a first down, including 11 and 57-yard touchdowns.
4.
DeAndre Hopkins ARI
3
4
55
18.3
2
56
CLE
Each of Hopkins' three catches gained at least 9 yards and a first down, but he wouldn't be here without his two DPIs: an 8-yard gain on second-and-10 and a 24-yard gain on third-and-2.
5.
Cooper Kupp LAR
9
12
130
14.4
2
51
NYG
Seven of Kupp's catches moved the sticks, including 3- and 13-yard touchdowns and gains of 25, 28, and 30 yards.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Robby Anderson CAR
3
11
11
3.7
1
-51
MIN
It could have been worse. Two of Anderson's catches, incuding all of his 11 yards and the touchdown that forced overtime, came in the final minute of regulation. Before that touchdown (which was his only successful catch), Anderson was down to -66 DYAR, which would have been the worst game of the year for a wide receiver by a healthy margin. As it is ... it's still the worst game of the year for a wide receiver, but only if you ignore rushing DYAR, and even then it's in a dead heat with Juju Smith-Schuster's two-catch, 11-yard outing against Green Bay in Week 4.

Comments

31 comments, Last at 21 Oct 2021, 3:38pm

1 AFC North

Highest quarterback DYAR in the AFC North is the old man.

2 Oi!

Blimey, guvnor, that was a hoot. Verily yer Gaskin geezer had a rotten time of it in the Wen, dinnee?

I love these opportunities for statistical miscellany that place a Joe Aska in the same chart as Tomlinson and Jackson. Always fun to find a category where the Lions are the leading defense too. Cheers for that, me old mucker.

I'm slightly dreading what will happen to Quick Reads if the NFL plays a game in Germany, but I feel sure it'll be wünderbar as always.

3 Dual Threat

Brady outgains Jackson in rushing DYAR again.  That guy is really quick.

9 Lamar and Rush DYAR

In reply to by Raiderfan

Lamar continues to break DVOA. He's the 7th leading rusher in the entire NFL, 1st in ypc, 4th in rushing First Downs.

DYAR has him as the #18 rushing QB in the NFL. DVOA has him as the #22 rushing QB.

10 I think what Lamar's…

I think what Lamar's actually breaking is "the definition of a QB."

He's not 1st in YPC. He's 1st in YPC for players with enough rushes. And that qualifier is designed to select RBs, not QBs.

Drop the minimum rush qualification and suddenly several QBs jump ahead of him: Mahomes, Tannehill, for instance. The problem is that for QBs, the qualifier table is set so low that basically anyone can be on it (Mitch Trubisky!). Plus the table hasn't been updated yet, and while you might not think "-1 DYAR" would help him, it should bump him above Jones and Allen, who had worse days!

16 I mean, it's basically the…

I mean, it's basically the same issue for DYAR, period. Grouping someone as a WR vs a TE vs a RB. Calling a play a "pass" even though it travels two inches in the air, calling a play a "run" if the ball travels a freaking millimeter backwards.

Historically it's really not that big a deal. It's kindof ludicrous how traditional football teams were. If you think about it it's nuts that some of the great innovations were "hey... do you think you can just, y'know... do what this other guy on the team does, too?"

18 Individual player DYAR and DVOA

I am looking at this and will give a more detailed comment at the end of the season.

Look at the chart above.  Now ask Justin Herbert at the end of the game how it feels for his team to get slaughtered by the Ravens while he played just as well (poorly) as opposing QB Jackson. Reverse the question to Jackson.

There responses would be are you crazy?

The Ravens running game and special teams did slaughter the Chargers.  This chart makes it look like the QB’s had no role in deciding the outcome as they were virtually equal.  

19 This chart makes it look…

This chart makes it look like the QB’s had no role in deciding the outcome as they were virtually equal.  

I don't entirely understand why you seem to be suggesting this idea is crazy? What exactly did Lamar himself do that game that was so great? He didn't have to do anything, from what I saw when I was watching it. The Ravens line was just bending the Chargers completely to their will. I think they could've handed off to RBs every single play. And, well, the Chargers run defense is awful, so really that's just kind of a "yup" result.

I mean, if I went to Lamar and asked "hey, how do you feel about your performance today, it seemed pretty limited" I'd imagine his response would be "yeah, nice to have a game where I didn't have to do anything."

Individual DYAR's always gonna be goofy, like I've said elsewhere. If you had punter DYAR it'd be terrible for your team to lead the league.

21 I was at the game and saw…

I was at the game and saw all of the plays.

I think that in today's NFL that the idea of a running game that produced 126 yards (see below) and special teams (without game breaking plays like block punt returned for TD), losing the turnover battle 2-1 and winning by 28 points is absurd.

Clearly there is a difference in the passing game and quarterback runs that is not being measured properly here by DYAR.

The Ravens non-QB runs for the game were 26 carries for 126 yards for 4.7, good, but hardly anything to get excited about nor to expect a 28 point victory.

Lamar was outstanding right out of the gate leading the Ravens on TD drives of 90 and 74 yards including: 16 yard completion, 8 yard pass on 1st and 10, 3 yard run on first down, 9 yard pass on second and 7, 8 yard completion on 1st and 10, 22 yard scramble, 21 yard pass, so he accounted for 94 of the yards that gave the Ravens the 14-0 lead that put the game in their control early.  His efficiency was excellent.

Herbert had a 16 yard worthless pass on the last play of the first half, and 82 yards in the 4th quarter of garbage time leading to no points; that is nearly half of Herbert's production.   Herbert had a pathetic QBR of 18.6 to Lamar's 61.9.  Both had quarterback ratings of 68.  Herbert failed on 4th and 1 and 4th and 3, those are relatively easy must have plays.

Aaron has already commented that he will look at positional DYAR next season.  This was in response to my question before the season started as to why the Ravens were downgraded due to losing Dobbins for the season.  You should know me well enough by now to know that I must somewhere be bashing the value of a RB.  The 3 old Geezers that the Ravens have now are doing OK  and in other games forcing Lamar to pass more, which is a good thing.

I agree with you on punting DYAR, if such a thing existed, Long's 5 punts for 262 were nice, even with the offset of 3 Duvernay returns for 44 yards.

 

23 You're just splitting up…

You're just splitting up that victory way different than I would.

By PFR, the expected-points split on offense/defense/special teams for that game is 7.5, 13.93, and 4.48 - in other words, the offense was only worth around 1/4 of the margin of victory that game. You're praising Lamar for scoring 14 points. Fourteen. Sure, it put the Ravens in control, but that's only because of the "-0" that comes after it.

And even that offense split is +9.2 rushing, -1.7 passing for Baltimore. So the vast majority of it comes from rushing... and the Chargers suck at rush defense. Worst in the league.

That game looked way more like the Chargers getting shut down entirely and Lamar not having to do anything. I'm not going to go "wow" at short pass, short pass, short pass. Just "my god the Chargers suck in the short-field."

27 Not giving credit for short passes

I guess you should erase Brady before joining Tampa and Drew Brees’ entire career.  Accuracy and efficiency on short passes has been a staple of offense for two decades.

Herbert could not convert 4th and 1 nor 4 th and 3.  I understand that his coach forced throws in run/pass situations as the running game was ineffective.

Herbert has dealt with this his entire short career.  FO wrote about last year’s Charger offense being in the running for a historically bad run DVOA.  Then Houston joined the conversation.

I totally support the team DVOA concept and rankings, however:

 A problem I have with individual DVOA and DYAR; it is a team game and certain individuals have  major advantages while others have severe drawbacks to overcome to succeed.

 

I assume that we can at least agree on my final paragraph above. 

31 I am going to compare the 4…

I am going to compare the 4 greatest QB's of the ALEX era (since 2006) and show that they accomplished greatness in entirely different manners.

1.  Aaron Rodgers, finished a meager 5th in 2008, the first year that he qualified.  That was his lowest year.  His average finish in ALEX is 2.3

2.  Peyton Manning average finish is 8th, never below 11th until his final year

3.  Brady with the Patriots average finish was in the middle of the league at 15th

4.  Brees was right near the bottom third with average ALEX of 20th.

 

Brees was the master of the short passing game, Rodgers is in a world of his own with the passes that he throws.

These are all great QB's that can be great at all of the passes, but the mix of the passes varies tremendously among these HOF QB's.

4 Kirk Cousins rushing....

so Kirk Cousons has a -7 rushing DYAR?

he is listed as having 2 rushes for 16 yds.    That's one for 0 (bad) and one for 16 yds on their final drive of regulation, it picked up a key first down on that drive.

So I figure the play that got him to negative was a backwards pass that went awry and he recovered for a 9 yard loss, killing a drive.   

So... do backwards passes count as rushing DYAR? If a teammate had recovered it would it have not counted against him?

8 Aborted plays

Backwards passes are listed as aborted plays, which means we now count all those as runs, the same as the official NFL stats. It would have counted against Cousins no matter who recovered it.

11 Sigh. Just one more striking…

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

Sigh. Just one more striking example of the arbitrary difference between calling something a "run" and "pass."

Part of me wonders how DYAR would look if the run/pass distinction was just completely removed. Treat all plays the same, just move the positional baselines for replacement level.

17 There's no logical reason to…

There's no logical reason to treat passing plays and rushing plays differently, period. It's an arbitrary difference from nearly a hundred years ago.

There are reasons to treat plays differently based on how they're blocked and what the eligible receivers do, but while "run" vs "pass" used to be a reasonable proxy for that ages ago, at this point it's just silly.

28 A backwards pass is not a…

A backwards pass is not a pass according to the rulebook - it's a lateral. If the player receiving fails to catch it, it's a fumble, not an incomplete pass. The rules treat them differently, so your complaint misses the whole point.

29 The rules treat lots of…

The rules treat lots of things differently. So what? We don't split up receivers by where they line up, even though the rules treat them differently, too. We don't split up passes by shotgun/under center, even though the rules are different again.

Splitting plays up based on how the ball gets from one person to another is arbitrary.

5 Gaskin had what now?

-28 rushing DYAR and -27 rushing DYAR

Seems odd.  Guessing one should be "receiving".

6 monospace

on a side note, the tables use monospace fonts... I understand that makes things easier to line up when working in plain text, but presumably we're placing them inside actual tables meaning there should be no need to do so for stuff pushed out to the website...   I typically use monospace when pasting code samples or such.   Eh, I guess its a style choice.  Makes it seem more data driven perhaps.   It doesn't cause me any problems.   Maybe it helps some readers on some devices?

7 Curious how much Lamar’s…

Curious how much Lamar’s DYAR changes if his second INT is changed to the catch/first down that it should have been. Anyone mind running that? 

22 Gaskin doesn't have a lot of…

Gaskin doesn't have a lot of physical tools, but he's a very spirited runner. I don't suppose he'll have a very long career, but for the moment he belongs.

24 Denver vs Oakland, week 7 of 1995

...Was apparently the absolute height of bad RB play, as both teams produced a -25/-25 RB.  In fact, a combined -143 DYAR by the RB's that day. 

May we never see the like again.