Josh Jacobs: Jewel of the 2023 Free-Agent Class

Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 12 - With over 300 yards from scrimmage, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is our star of Week 12. And while he wasn't quite as good as the raw totals suggest, he has still been the best running back in the league in 2022. But his contract expires after the season, which has us wondering where he'll be playing in 2023.

Let's start with the basics: Jacobs carried the ball 33 times in the Raiders' 40-34 overtime win against the Seattle Seahawks, gaining 229 yards (6.9 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in the process. He also caught six of the seven passes thrown his way for another 74 yards. That's 303 yards from scrimmage, only the 10th time in league history that a player has hit three bills or more, and the first since Julio Jones had 300 for the Falcons against the Panthers in 2016. It's a single-game record in the 62-year history of the Oakland/L.A./Oakland/Las Vegas franchise, surpassing Clem Daniels' mark of 256 yards set nearly six decades ago.

Our computers take all that volume and convert it to 45 DYAR, 29 rushing and 17 receiving (the difference in addition is a rounding error), a surprisingly underwhelming total. Though he tops his position in our tables in total value, he was only fourth as a rusher and eighth as a receiver. This wasn't even one of the top 20 running back games this season, let alone in the historical records.

Why are Jacobs' final results so mediocre? Let's hit the bullet points!

  • Jacobs loses 25 DYAR for playing the Seahawks defense, which has seen some radical shifts in quality this year. In the first five weeks of the season, Seattle was second-worst in defensive DVOA. In the next four weeks, they were second-best, but in three weeks since, they have ranked second-worst again. All in all, they have been a little worse than average, but those opponent adjustments add up quickly over 40 combined runs and targets.
     
  • Looking further at the play-by-play, we find that Jacobs was explosive on the ground, but not reliable. He scored two touchdowns against Seattle, a 30-yarder in the second quarter and, of course, the 86-yard game-winner in extra time, the longest run in the NFL this year. Over half his rushing yardage on the day came on those two carries; his other 31 runs averaged 3.7 yards apiece. That's a lot of short runs going nowhere.
     
  • Included among those short runs going nowhere: seven carries that were stuffed for no gain or a loss.
     
  • Included among those seven carries that were stuffed for no gain or a loss: four failures to convert with 1 or 2 yards to go. He only converted four of his eight short-yardage carries; league-average rate for running backs this season is 67.7%.
     
  • Jacobs finished with only nine first downs on the ground, a rate of 27.3% of his carries. That's better than the average rate for running backs (22.8%), but nothing special. Washington's Brian Robinson had seven first downs this week in only 18 carries; Baltimore's Gus Edwards had six in 16.
     
  • Finally, we should point out that while Jacobs finished third among running backs in total receiving yardage, only two of his six catches actually picked up first downs.

In short: on Sunday, Jacobs had a lot of volume without any special level of efficiency. Over the course of the season, however, Jacobs has been remarkably productive and efficient. He now comfortably leads the league with 1,159 rushing yards, 105.4 rushing yards per game, and 1,484 yards from scrimmage. And if you look at our running backs page, you'll find Jacobs leading the NFL in rushing DYAR while also ranking seventh or better in rushing DVOA, rushing success rate, and receiving DYAR and DVOA. Per Stathead, he also leads the NFL with 67 rushing first downs (17 more than any other running back) and 80 combined rushing and receiving first downs (nobody else even has 60). The Raiders haven't been very good this season, but they have now won two games in a row, and if that streak continues, Jacobs is going to warrant serious consideration for Offensive Player of the Year—which would be a key discussion point in contract negotiations when he hits free agency next spring.

The Raiders drafted Jacobs 24th overall out of Alabama in 2019, and he shined right away, winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award that season and making the Pro Bowl the next, going over 1,300 yards from scrimmage both years. In 2021, the Raiders changed his workload—he carried the ball over 18 times per game in each of his first two seasons, but only 14.5 times per game in his third. However, he caught 54 passes that year—more than he had caught in his first two years combined. Through it all, he was nothing special on a per-play basis, usually ranking near the middle of the pack in DVOA and DYAR, both rushing and receiving. Though he finished in the top 10 running backs with over 3,800 yards from scrimmage in those three years, the Raiders declined to exercise Jacobs' fifth-year option in April.

And so Jacobs, in the midst of an All-Pro-caliber season, is about to hit the free-agent market. Oh, and he's still only 24 years old. Mike Tanier looked at the kind of contract Jacobs (and fellow impending free agent Saquon Barkley) might demand on the open market a couple of months ago, suggesting $21 million over three years as a reasonable expectation. (It's plausible the Raiders would use the franchise tag on Jacobs, guaranteeing him about $9.5 million for one season, but that seems unlikely for a team that should be rebuilding.) A quick look at 2023 salary cap space at Over The Cap shows the Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, and Seahawks among current playoff contenders with plenty of cash to spend. We should also point out that the Bears, the league's most run-heavy team, will have the most cap space next year, while the Falcons rank second in both categories. If anyone's going to break the bank and make Jacobs an offer he can't refuse, those are your leading candidates.

But for six more games, Las Vegas, he's all yours. Those six games won't be easy for Jacobs—the Rams, Patriots, Steelers, and 49ers all rank ninth or better in run defense DVOA—but with a big payday on the line, you can bet he'll do all he can to pad his résumé.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Kirk Cousins MIN
30/37
299
3
1
1
191
191
0
NE
It certainly helps Cousins' ranking that he gained a league-best 53 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, but he also played his best when it mattered most. He was the week's best passer on third/fourth downs (9-of-13, 110 yards, seven conversions, two touchdowns, one interception) and in the red zone (6-of-8, 45 yards, three touchdowns, one sack).
2.
Mike White NYJ
22/28
315
3
0
1
158
153
5
CHI
While Cousins played the stalwart Patriots, White played the sluggish Bears, and thus loses 42 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He averaged 10.6 yards per dropback and 8.3 yards after the catch per completion, both the best marks among full-time starters. He was perfect on deep balls, completing each of his four attempts for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
3.
Mac Jones NE
28/38
382
2
0
3
121
121
0
MIN
Jones was the week's best passer on throws down the middle (6-of-8 for 113 yards and two touchdowns) and in the third quarter (8-of-11 for 130 yards and a touchdown).
4.
Patrick Mahomes KC
27/42
320
1
1
0
113
91
22
LAR
Over the years, we have grown accustomed to writing things such as "Patrick Mahomes was best in this" or "Patrick Mahomes led all passers in that." So it feels quite natural to point out that Mahomes had the NFL's highest success rate at 60%. However, we must also point out that Mahomes was the week's worst passer in the red zone, and that gives us a nervous tic, like we have made some kind of mistake. But it's true. Mahomes' numbers inside the Rams 20 were Gabbert-tastic: 3-of-13 for only 11 yards with zero touchdowns, only one first down, and an interception. Mahomes did run twice in the red zone for 20 yards and two first downs, and he was still the NFL's top passer in the other 80 yards of the field, which is somewhat reassuring.
5.
Jared Goff DET
23/37
240
2
0
2
100
100
0
BUF
Goff gains 33 DYAR in opponent adjustments. He was at his best on throws down the middle, going 4-of-5 for 54 yards. Each of those four completions picked up a first down, including a touchdown on third-and-goal.
6.
Derek Carr LV
25/36
295
3
2
1
98
95
3
SEA
Fun with directional splits: Carr was worst in the league on throws down the middle (6-of-11 for 57 yards with two interceptions), but best on throws to the outside (19-of-25 for 238 yards and three touchdowns). He was also best on throws to running backs, going 9-of-11 for 113 yards and a touchdown.
7.
Sam Darnold CAR
11/19
164
1
0
0
95
115
-20
DEN
Darnold's two running plays were a 2-yard scramble on second-and-10 and a fumble at the goal line that he recovered and ran (well, rolled) into the end zone for a touchdown. He was the NFL's best passer from under center, going 9-of-10 for 139 yards. Eight of those completions picked up first downs, including a touchdown.
8.
Tua Tagovailoa MIA
22/35
299
1
0
4
88
88
0
HOU
Tagovailoa threw his last pass of the game midway through the third quarter, but he still finished first in DYAR on throws to wide receivers, going 18-of-27 for 278 yards, plus a 13-yard DPI. And speaking of first, he was the week's best passer in the first quarter, when he went 9-of-13 for 130 yards and a touchdown.
9.
Trevor Lawrence JAX
29/37
321
3
0
4
84
94
-10
BAL
The key to one of the biggest wins of Lawrence's career? A league-best performance inside the opponents' 40-yard line, where he went 10-of-11 for 120 yards and three touchdowns.
10.
Joe Burrow CIN
23/37
270
1
0
1
84
66
18
TEN
The Bengals repeatedly left Burrow in long yardage, with a league-high average of 10.4 yards to go for a first down. Fortunately he bailed them out with the best DYAR on deep balls, going 6-of-7 for 149 yards and a touchdown. He was also first in fourth-quarter/overtime passing, going 6-of-7 for 112 yards and a touchdown.
11.
Dak Prescott DAL
21/30
261
2
2
0
82
83
-1
NYG
With 42 million people watching, Prescott put on a show, with a league-high 12.4-yard average depth of target. He had eight total deep attempts: three completions for 71 yards, a DPI for 31 more yards, three incompletions, and one interception. He was perfect on throws to tight ends, completing each of his seven passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
12.
Lamar Jackson BAL
16/32
254
1
0
1
74
49
25
JAX
Jackson ran 13 times against Jacksonville for 90 yards and five first downs, but also lost a fumble on a fourth-and-1 attempt. He had a rough day on throws to his right, going 7-of-18 for 100 yards and only three first downs—and this isn't Jackson's fault, but one of those completions ended with a fumble, recovered by the Jaguars.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Jordan Love GB
6/9
113
1
0
0
69
69
0
PHI
Love walked in to the game with Green Bay down 37-23 in the fourth quarter. He finished first among qualifiers with averages of 12.6 yards per dropback and 11.8 yards after catch per completion.
14.
Daniel Jones NYG
22/32
228
1
0
3
69
88
-19
DAL
Jones gains 49 DYAR in opponent adjustments. His three carries went for 14 yards and a fumble. He finished first in passes to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage, going 9-of-12 for 61 yards and a touchdown.
15.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
22/34
291
0
0
1
69
66
3
CIN
Tannehill threw six passes inside the Cincinnati 20. Only one was complete, and that one was a 2-yard gain on first-and-10. In related news, the Titans attempted four field goals, hitting three of them, and eventually lost by a final score of 20-16.
16.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
26/37
222
1
0
1
61
59
2
NO
Garoppolo wasn't very good in the red zone either, going 3-of-6 for 6 yards with one touchdown and one sack. But that's OK, because he was going against this guy:
17.
Andy Dalton NO
18/29
204
0
0
1
60
63
-3
SF
Dalton also struggled in the red zone, going 2-of-6 for 17 yards with a sack. Neither of those completions went for touchdowns; one ended in a fumble, recovered by the 49ers.
18.
Kyler Murray ARI
18/29
191
2
1
1
57
38
19
LAC
The good news is that Murray did just fine in the red zone, completing each of his three passes for a total of 19 yards and a touchdown. The bad news is that he was worst in the NFL on deep balls, going 2-of-9 for 50 yards with an interception.
19.
Justin Herbert LAC
35/47
274
3
0
4
54
37
17
ARI
Herbert loses 41 DYAR in opponent adjustments. His average pass traveled a league-low 3.7 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Only four of his 47 pass attempts counted as deep balls; he completed two of them for 51 yards and a touchdown.
20.
Jacoby Brissett CLE
23/37
210
1
1
4
36
23
13
TB
Brissett gains 31 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Most of his good throws came early or late in the game. In one stretch from the middle of the first quarter to the end of the third, he threw for only one first down, going 11-of-19 for only 57 yards with two sacks and an interception (a Hail Mary at the end of the first half).
21.
Jalen Hurts PHI
16/28
153
2
0
2
27
-5
32
GB
Teams work hard to make life easier for their quarterbacks, but it doesn't always work out—Hurts had two dropbacks with 3 yards or less to go for a first down, and he was sacked on both of them. The good news is that he led all quarterbacks in rushing DYAR, running 16 times for 158 yards and 10 first downs, with one fumble.
22.
Geno Smith SEA
27/37
328
2
1
3
11
20
-9
LV
How bad is the Raiders defense? Smith loses 73 DYAR due to opponent adjustments; nobody else lost even 50. The interception Smith threw in the second quarter was just the fourth for the Las Vegas defense this season, and the first since Davis Mills threw a pick-six in Week 7. The three sacks Smith gave up also tied the Raiders' season high, and Smith is the first player this season to give up an interception and multiple sacks against Las Vegas.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Kenny Pickett PIT
20/28
174
0
0
3
5
-10
15
IND
24.
Tom Brady TB
29/43
246
2
0
3
5
5
0
CLE
Over and over, Brady kept throwing passes to his right, but over and over, those passes went nowhere. He completed 12 of 21 passes in that direction for only 62 yards, with one touchdown. None of those completions gained 10 yards or more, but he did add 13 yards on a DPI.
25.
Taylor Heinicke WAS
14/23
138
2
1
0
-9
-9
0
ATL
Heinicke was much better—MUCH better—on throws to his right (8-of-12 for 104 yards and two touchdowns) than to his left (2-of-4 for 8 yards) or down the middle (4-of-7 for 26 yards with an interception).
26.
Josh Allen BUF
24/42
253
2
1
3
-9
-22
13
DET
Allen loses 49 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. In the third quarter, he went 4-of-10 for 49 yards with two sacks, one interception, and one DPI for 19 yards. That performance against the Lions, of all teams, made him the week's worst quarterback in the third quarter. Yes, this is a comment about Josh Allen, not Kyle. But Kyle was worst in lots of categories, as we will get to shortly.
27.
Trevor Siemian CHI
14/25
179
1
1
2
-13
-10
-3
NYJ
Siemian was the week's worst passer on throws to tight ends, going 4-of-7 for 30 yards with an interception.
28.
Aaron Rodgers GB
11/16
140
2
2
3
-20
-20
0
PHI
Rodgers gains 32 DYAR in opponent adjustments. His last pass came with about four minutes left in the third quarter. He had very mixed results on his five passes down the middle: four were completed for 72 yards and four first downs, including two scores. But the fifth was intercepted.
29.
Marcus Mariota ATL
15/25
174
1
1
1
-27
-46
19
WAS
Mariota was the week's worst passer on throws to backs and tight ends, going 8-of-12 for only 54 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
30.
Russell Wilson DEN
19/35
142
1
0
3
-75
-75
1
CAR
Wilson was successful on a league-low 29% of his dropbacks. On throws to his left, he went 6-of-15 for only 29 yards, with one touchdown.
31.
Matt Ryan IND
22/34
199
1
1
3
-81
-72
-9
PIT
32.
Bryce Perkins LAR
13/23
100
1
2
3
-150
-151
1
KC
Perkins' average dropback came with 7.5 yards to go, fewest in the league. Unfortunately he only averaged 2.9 yards on those dropbacks, also fewest in the league. He was worst in passing DYAR on throws to receivers at or behind the line of scrimmage (3-of-5 for 5 yards with an interception), to his left (5-of-11 for 33 yards with an interception), and in the fourth quarter or overtime (5-of-9 for 33 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions).
33.
Kyle Allen HOU
26/39
215
1
2
5
-209
-210
1
MIA
Allen's second pass of the day was an 11-yard completion on first-and-10; the next time he threw for a first down, Houston was down 27-0 in the second quarter. In between, he went 7-of-13 for only 27 yards with two sacks, a fumble, and an interception. He was the week's worst passer on third/fourth downs (4-of-8 for 33 yards with one conversion, one interception, and three sacks), on throws to his right (9-of-18 for 72 yards with two interceptions), in the second quarter (6-of-8 for 25 yards with two sacks, an interception, and a fumble), and from under center (5-of-8 for 68 yards with two sacks, a fumble, and an interception). He was worst with a huddle; he was worst from the no-huddle. Even when Allen was accurate, it wasn't much help—he led the NFL with 13 failed completions.
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.
Josh Jacobs LV
33
229
2
6/7
74
0
45
28
17
SEA
2.
Miles Sanders PHI
21
143
2
3/3
17
0
40
35
6
GB
The Packers only stuffed Sanders twice while letting him run for seven first downs, including a 15-yard touchdown and gains of 11, 21, and 28 yards. None of his catches resulted in first downs, but two of them counted as successful plays. Sanders, by the way, will also be a free agent next year.
3.
David Montgomery CHI
14
79
0
3/4
34
0
40
24
16
NYJ
Montgomery ran for four first downs against the Jets, three of which gained 10 yards or more, and also had a 14-yard run on first-and-20. He was stuffed only twice. His best catch was a 26-yard gain on third-and-6.
4.
Brian Robinson WAS
18
105
0
2/3
20
1
37
23
14
ATL
Each of Robinson's 18 carries against Atlanta gained at least 1 yard. Seven went for first downs, the longest a 21-yard gain on third-and-1. His best catch was a 14-yard touchdown on first-and-10.
5.
Ameer Abdullah LV
3
16
0
3/3
39
1
35
6
29
SEA
All three of Abdullah's runs gained at least 3 yards, though only one gained a first down. His three catches: 12-yard gain on third-and-7; 18-yard touchdown on third-and-5; 9-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.
Samaje Perine CIN
17
58
1
4/7
35
0
26
40
-14
TEN
Perine gains 28 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. This is the most rushing yards Tennessee has allowed to a running back since Josh Jacobs had 66 in Week 3, and Perine is the first player at the position to run for a touchdown against the Titans since Saquon Barkley in Week 1. Though none of Perine's 17 runs gained more than 9 yards, four went for first downs, and he was stuffed just one time.
2.
Miles Sanders PHI
21
143
2
3/3
17
0
40
35
6
GB
3.
Ty Johnson NYJ
5
62
1
1/2
16
0
30
30
0
CHI
Each of Johnson's five carries against Chicago came with the Jets up by at least seven points in the second half. All of them gained at least 2 yards, and though only two resulted in first downs, those two were a 32-yard touchdown and a 16-yard gain on third-and-13.
4.
Josh Jacobs LV
33
229
2
6/7
74
0
45
28
17
SEA
5.
Jonathan Taylor IND
20
86
1
3/4
12
0
15
27
-12
PIT
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.
Dameon Pierce HOU
5
8
0
3/6
8
0
-30
-11
-20
MIA
None of Pierce's runs gained more than 4 yards or counted as a successful play. His three receptions: 9-yard gain on first-and-10; 1-yard gain on first-and-10; 2-yard loss on first-and-20.
Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
James Conner ARI
25
120
0
3/3
20
1
-18
-42
23
LAC
Conner loses 32 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He's the fifth player this year to run the ball over 15 times in a game against L.A., but his 4.8-yard average is the worst of that bunch. He only ran for five first downs (the longest a gain of 20) while being stuffed five times, and he also lost a fumble on first down near midfield.
Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Amon-Ra St. Brown DET
9
10
122
13.6
1
69
BUF
St. Brown's totals include 8 rushing DYAR for his one carry for 7 yards. Each of his nine receptions counted as a successful play and seven gained first downs, including a fourth-and-goal touchdown and two third-down conversions. His longest catch gained 26 yards.
2.
Justin Jefferson MIN
9
11
139
15.4
1
67
NE
Only five of Jefferson's catches moved the sticks, but those five included three gains of 20-plus yards and a 6-yard touchdown on third-and-2.
3.
CeeDee Lamb DAL
6
11
106
17.7
0
53
NYG
Lamb's totals include 2 rushing DYAR for his two carries for 11 yards. Five of his catches picked up first downs, three of them on gains of 20 yards or more, but his biggest gain was his 31-yard DPI on third-and-8 in the fourth quarter.
4.
Christian Watson GB
4
6
110
27.5
1
50
PHI
All four of Watson's catches gained first downs, including a 21-yard gain on fourth-and-5 in the first quarter and a 63-yard touchdown in the fourth.
5.
DJ Moore CAR
4
6
103
25.8
1
49
DEN
Moore's four catches: 26-yard gain on second-and-8; 5-yard touchdown on second-and-goal; 20-yard gain on second-and-9; 52-yard gain on first-and-10.
Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Mike Evans TB
2
9
31
15.5
0
-36
CLE
Only one of Evans' catches—a 28-yard gain in the third quarter—resulted in a first down. He added another on a 13-yard DPI on third-and-9. But that means his other eight targets produced only one catch, a 3-yard gain on first-and-10.

Comments

57 comments, Last at 30 Nov 2022, 11:29am

#1 by Mike B. In Va // Nov 29, 2022 - 8:06am

Just out of curiosity, what was Josh Allen's DYAR if you take out that INT? I know Bryan said something in Discord about it being a brutally bad number.

Points: 0

#2 by Ben // Nov 29, 2022 - 9:05am

Could we get Matt Ryan’s first half/second half split? Or maybe 3rd quarter versus the other 3 quarters? Though, I guess that botched hand off on the goal line in the third quarter is officially recorded as his fumble. That will ding what was otherwise the only good quarter he had. 

Points: 2

#49 by Vincent Verhei // Nov 29, 2022 - 5:31pm

Ryan's passing DYAR (so, ignoring the botched snap/handoff, which counts as a running play) by quarter:

Q1: -82 (on only three plays!)

Q2: -22

Q3: 75

Q4: -43

Points: 1

#3 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 29, 2022 - 9:27am

This washes over the course of a season, but single-game DYAR is often silly-season, as exemplified by 17-58-1 being worth 40 DYAR. Which suggests a neutral game score would have been 17-18-1.

Now, this presumes the same efficiency, but it demonstrates just how much rushing DYAR loves Tommy Vardell/Leroy Hoard types and how much it hates the Jackson/Sanders types who could semi-reliably explode mixed in with some lost yardage plays as they sought big plays.

You could build a really terrible team made up of guys DYAR thinks are super-efficient.

Points: 0

#4 by pm // Nov 29, 2022 - 9:40am

QB rushing should be compared to RB's rushing. DVOA would tell you a Lamar Jackson 6 yard power read is a negative play because it's compared to a rare 8 yard Tom Brady scramble. If you compare that to a RB taking a handoff and going 4 yards, Lamar is 2 yards above the average. He should get credit for that. In the same vein, the Tom Brady 8 yard scramble is looked at as a very positive play when in reality it should be compared to a passing play. An 8 yard scramble is the same as a 8 yard pass. The scrambling baseline needs to adjusted to passing.

Points: 0

#5 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 29, 2022 - 10:06am

I imagine the data will break down very quickly when trying to decide whether a play was a designed QB run or a scramble, especially when looking at games from earlier years.  But I agree with you on how these plays should be theoretically benchmarked.

In the absence on an ability to distinguish between designed runs and scrambles, I wonder what would happen if all runs, whether by RB, QB or WR on a sweep, were benchmarked together?  I suppose it would make RB production look worse, to the benefit of QBs, especially all QBs who run a lot.  But maybe that's fair?  Matt Ryan doesn't avoid running for 15-yard chunks on a regular basis because he's lazy, he runs only when once-in-a-moon opportunities open up for him.  And should get credit for picking his spots wisely.  Josh Allen runs a lot more, and even if he only averages 5- to 6-yards per run, he shouldn't get penalized for not sitting in the pocket waiting for Matt Ryan-like running opportunities to present themselves.

Points: 0

#13 by HitchikersPie // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:35am

The scrambling baseline needs to adjusted to passing.

 

The scrambling baseline *is* adjusted to passing since the latest version of DVOA. With designed runs still being compared to "normal" RB runs.

 

 

Points: 0

#21 by Aaron Schatz // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:02pm

Actually, it's not for individual numbers. Scrambles are counted as passes for team DVOA, but not at this time for individual DVOA... we still have scrambles as runs for individual DVOA/DYAR. So yes, there is an issue where the baseline for QB runs is much higher than the baseline for RB runs and we will be writing about this in a coming week.

Points: 3

#6 by takeleavebelieve // Nov 29, 2022 - 10:36am

You make a variation on this post seemingly every week. But, specifically, what are the exact reasons why you think FO’s metrics undervalues the Jackson/Sanders types?

Remember: it’s your argument. It's your burden to prove it.

Points: 0

#7 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 29, 2022 - 10:55am

DYAR *really* loves efficiency.

In short: on Sunday, Jacobs had a lot of volume without any special level of efficiency.

It's effectively an efficiency metric that masquerades as adjusted yards. It flat out states 17-58-1 is 12 yards better in sum than 33-229-2.
(or, basically, that 16-171-1 is worth -12 DYAR, because it saw those rushes as really inefficient) Now, there is a ton of opponent adjustment here. But even accounting for that, it basically says:

17-86-1 is better than 33-204-2. So it still thinks those extra 16-118-1 were worthless.

Long story short, DYAR really hates boom/bust and really loves low-ceiling/high-floor efficiency. Or, basically, Mac Jones in RB form.

Points: 0

#8 by Will Allen // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:24am

DYAR for running backs strips out context, and can be extremely misleading, as to the relative value of two running backs. This became most obvious to me during Adrian Peterson's prime with the Vikings. Some running back with the Patriots would have a huge DYAR game while the opposing defensive coordinator was devoting all resources to keeping Brady from ruthlessly slicing the opponent up with medium and short passes. Peterson would have a significantly lesser game by DYAR, while facing 9 guys within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, because opposing defensive coordinators knew that any handoff to Peterson could end in a touchdown if too few guys were focused on him, and the d.c.s had no fear of Tavaris Jackson/Kelly Holcomb/Gus Frerotte/Christian Ponder/Matt Cassell etc.,etc.,ad nauseum. If somebody just looked at DYAR,  they might conclude that the Patriot rb was a uniquely valuable football player in the Patriots 23-6 victory, and Peterson's superficially lesser performance was why the Vikings lost 23-16, or barely won, 19-16. 

Points: 2

#10 by ChrisS // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:29am

I think RB DYAR may discount boom/bust backs too much, but in this case a lot if it is the D part of DYAR. Jacob's lost 25,  Perrine played the number 1 rushing defense so he probably added the same amount. So by YAR Jacob's game is about  40 YAR better

Points: 0

#11 by takeleavebelieve // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:29am

This doesn’t actually explain anything, though. Also I’m like 98% sure that using DYAR and raw Yards interchangeably like you’re doing is completely mathematically inappropriate, but I’ll leave that one to the FO folks.

I’ll ask again: what are the exact, precise, specific reasons why 17-58-1 against a great defense can’t be more valuable than 33-228-2 against a poor one?

No one is suggesting that JJ’s two long TD runs weren’t valuable; however, the value they provide can be more than offset by being stuffed numerous times for no gain and setting up 2nd/3rd and longs. Even taking the situational & opponent adjustments out of the equation, it’s not hard to see that JJ going 2-116-2 (very good!) is being offset by him also going 31-112-0 (terrible!). 

Points: 0

#16 by Will Allen // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:42am

I think gains of more than 40 yards are predictive for a few players, and DYAR excessively discounts their long runs, especially in light of the resources that opposing dcs will frequently devote to stopping those long runs. Thus, the DYAR somewhat understates the value of a Barry Sanders or Adrian Peterson.

Points: 0

#17 by takeleavebelieve // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:49am

I don’t necessarily disagree, but there’s two issues here. First, tweaking a model to account for once-in-a-decade players generally weakens that model overall. Second, how exactly do you identify and quantify who those players are? You can’t say “you’ll know it when you see it” to a model. Id guess that for every Sanders or Peterson, there’s a dozen Reggie Bushes or Tavon Austins who should’ve fit the profile but didn’t. 

Points: 1

#19 by Will Allen // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:54am

Really wasn't criticizing the model. Just observing that models are a tool to be used with qualified judgement.

Points: 1

#20 by takeleavebelieve // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:00pm

Agree 100% - but unfortunately, it’s very often the case that judgment is informed by biases and is actually not qualified. Take that to the extreme and you wind up being ABGT. 

Points: 0

#34 by Will Allen // Nov 29, 2022 - 1:01pm

There's no accounting for stupid, whether it employs models or not, and, yes, even useful models can be employed stupidly.

Points: 0

#52 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 29, 2022 - 5:47pm

I'm not anti-model. I have severe reservations for using a multi-season-weighted predictive model for single game, small sample size, a posteriori evaluations. Basically, I don't think Rushing DYAR is a particularly accurate estimate of the value of single-game rushing totals.

I don't think that's an overly heretical position.

I think really what I'm looking for is EPA/gm or EPA/attempt.

Points: 1

#23 by SandyRiver // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:25pm

Some modelers like to say, "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

Points: 1

#27 by KnotMe // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:43pm

The problem with tweaking the model is, if you take Ardian Peterson, the long runs were predictive for a while and then they wern't and turning it on and off would be a nightmare. 

Well, the underlying problem is pretty much everything in football is small sample sizes, so outliers have a large effect. If you were looking at a players career you could probably just throw in all the yardage and it would work out. If your looking at a season of say, 1000 yards, 1 50 yard run is half a % and it's hard to say the difference between 1 and 2 of them is predictive or just luck. 

 

Points: 0

#46 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 29, 2022 - 4:21pm

As a lesson learned at long experience —

All models are wrong; some are useful.

Points: 0

#53 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 29, 2022 - 5:49pm

Now now now, a back who can follow their line as it moves the DL back three yards and then fall forward for another two yards is even more valuable than a back who can absorb getting tackled as they receive the hand-off by rushing for 15 yards on the next play under the same circumstances.

Points: 0

#9 by MaineRaider // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:25am

I like to keep in mind that any given FO metric, like any other statistical measure in sports, is just one tool for evaluation of a player's or team's performance. Yes, Josh Jacobs clearly was a huge reason why the Raiders won and had a spectacular game. But he did get stuffed for little or no gain a few times, which made it more difficult to keep drives going and in one instance resulted in a turnover on downs.

Points: 3

#37 by Eddo // Nov 29, 2022 - 1:43pm

You love saying this, but DYAR did not hate Sanders.  Not even a little bit.  Sanders's year-by-year rankings:

Sanders:
1989: 239 DYAR (3rd), 12.1% DVOA (5th)
1990: 330 DYAR (1st), 21.7% DVOA (3rd)
1991: 254 DYAR (5th), 8.7% DVOA (15th)
1992: 93 DYAR (19th), 0.3% DVOA (23rd)
1993: 70 DYAR (22nd), 0.7% DVOA (20th)
1994: 348 DYAR (2nd), 18.5% DVOA (2nd)
1995: 200 DYAR (7th), 6.8% DVOA (12th)
1996: 380 DYAR (2nd), 22.7% DVOA (2nd)
1997: 447 DYAR (2nd), 25.3% DVOA (2nd)
1998: 15 DYAR (29th), -6.4% DVOA (28th)

The only way it hates him is if you demand he be ranked 1st every single year of his career.

As for Jackson, the primary issue there is that his runs are compared to other QB runs, which generally only occur when a QB has a lot of space open in front of him.  The right fix, it seems, is to compare like runs to like runs, bucketing Jackson in a "running QB" position with Fields, Allen, Murray, etc., and keeping guys like Rodgers, Brady, and so forth separate.  But it would be hard to properly evaluate guys like Wilson and Mahomes.

 

 

Points: 0

#12 by Paul R // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:33am

Question for the DYAR computer: If I'm a quarterback who is concerned about my DYAR and I drop back to pass and my O-line collapses, is it better for my DYAR if I take the sack or throw the ball away? 

(Asking for my friend, Matt.)

Points: 0

#15 by HitchikersPie // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:38am

Throwing the ball away (assuming an incompletion not a sack) is much better, since both are failed plays, but one is much worse. Incompletions sets up down N+1 with the same yards to go, whereas sacks set up down N+1 with greater yards to go, or closer to scoring if turnover on downs.

Points: 0

#48 by Vincent Verhei // Nov 29, 2022 - 5:28pm

I get that you're being facetious to make a point, but what the heck, I looked it up:

Average sack in 2022: -17.1 DYAR

Average non-intercepted incomplete pass in 2022: -6.5 DYAR

Points: 0

#50 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 29, 2022 - 5:42pm

In a corollary -- what's the average penalty for the receiver who is "targeted" on a throwaway?

Points: 0

#55 by Vincent Verhei // Nov 29, 2022 - 7:31pm

Does not apply. Those passes are listed as "no intended" under receiver.

Points: 0

#14 by Kaepernicus // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:37am

I think Justin Herbert has to be the most poorly used QB in the NFL. Watching him do the hard stuff at a Mahomes level and then having his coaching staff barely use it is infuriating, They should be pushing the ball down the field aggressively like they did when Lynn was the HC. Staley might be one of those guys that is better as a coordinator than HC.

That was the best game of the year for Mac Jones. I think he came back too quick from that ankle injury and tanked his numbers in the process. Reminds me of 2020 Jimmy G trying to play through his ankle sprain and looking like absolute garbage. When you are limited athletically you need to have your body right to play above replacement level. It's crazy how good the AFC East is when he is playing well.

Josh Jacobs on the Bears would be insane and should definitely happen. He's a complete back and would do wonders for Fields as a check down option. This off season is going to be insane with all the talent hitting the FA market. 

Points: 0

#18 by Will Allen // Nov 29, 2022 - 11:51am

Any qb is capable of looking like a borderline HoFer against the Vikings. I think DVOA is overstating the 23rd ranked Vikings defensive performance.

Points: 0

#24 by dmonahan748 // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:31pm

If the Bears spend any money on running backs when they have huge needs in much more important positional areas, Ryan Poles should be run out of town. If they don't re-sign Montgomery (which would be my preference, if it's at the right price), they still have Herbert. I can see them signing a mid-tier RB on a team-friendly deal, but there's no way they should pay for a high-end RB when they need at least 3 offensive linemen and a complete overhaul on the defensive line. I'm pretty sure Poles knows that.

Points: 1

#30 by Kaepernicus // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:55pm

I think the Bears have enough cap space to cover the holes and slightly overpay a guy like Jacobs. If Jacobs truly is an elite RB pairing him with an incredible running QB in a zone read system could be a force multiplier for that offense. If they could sign him to a $10 million a year contract it could be a huge value in that type of offense considering his ability as a pass catcher. 

Points: 0

#33 by theslothook // Nov 29, 2022 - 1:01pm

I have concerns about Fields playing that style. He's running A LOT and its already led to an injury. I think adding Jacobs would deliver that force multiplier you are taking about, but if I were the Bears, I'd be trying to coax Fields out of leaning even further into that style. Seeing Rg3's career evaporate due to injuries is a real concern for someone like Fields. 

Points: 1

#39 by BigRichie // Nov 29, 2022 - 1:50pm

You folks - FO too, shockingly given what it thinks of running backs - are making an incredible leap here. 3 months ago we all would've laughed at the idea of Jacobs being an elite running back or anything of the sort. Also at the idea of his being an able pass catcher.

Even this very season Jacobs' 'Hey!!' games outnumber his 'ehh' ones by all of 6 to 5.

Points: 1

#22 by big10freak // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:14pm

Re: Love looked legit.  Decisive.  On target.  Good footwork most of the time.  On the pass to the end zone if he waits a beat he could have lofted to Lazard who was breaking away from his guy.  And didn’t think the Eagles were playing give up football so not a nothing effort for him

 

And Watson’s TD was more of “hey, that is cool”   Taking a simple crossing pattern beating guys on the angle and pulling away.  Fun stuff 

Points: 0

#26 by big10freak // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:39pm

Seeing Love it’s clear he either through coaching on his own or both has improved his mechanics.  That is a promising sign.  
 

The above is merely acknowledging that in a limited sample there were mechanical improvements relative to previous live game activity.    This is in no way advocacy as Love being “good” or that he should play ahead of 12.  
 

For those wondering there is a subset of Packers fans who despise the very idea of Love at qb so come out of nowhere to argue.  You name the site these folks appear.  So just want to pre-empt any nonsense 

Points: 1

#28 by big10freak // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:44pm

And fwiw I personally DO think Love should be the qb.  But not based on this limited effort 

 

Think he should have been the qb to start season and hold to that contention

 

 

Points: 0

#29 by Joey-Harringto… // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:48pm

As a neutral fan (well, opposing fan), I agree Love looked way better than the previous times I've seen him.  After the week 18 game last year, I was happy with the prospect of Love being the Packers quarterback of the future (lol), but Sunday night gave me a bit of pause about that.

Points: 1

#32 by theslothook // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:58pm

Much like Lance, I have maintained that we just don't know anything about Love. Its wild that he's in his 4th season and we still have 0 clue about what he is going to be. 

Points: 2

#38 by KnotMe // Nov 29, 2022 - 1:49pm

It makes sense with Love( incumbent).  Totally weird with Lance however. 

Points: 0

#40 by BigRichie // Nov 29, 2022 - 2:02pm

We have 3 seasons of Love looking pretty much like crap. Based on training camp reports, Silly Season (exhibition) action, and his limited-but-not-nonexistent real combat/action. He's now followed all that crap up with a good 10 minutes, 30 seconds.

This Mighty Pack fan didn't see it as I went and played basketball. Maybe he did fix up the specific stuff he was previously doing poorly, obviously I dunno. If Geno can get it together, sure, Love could too.

But don't pretend we don't have 3 years of Love looking quite lousy.

Points: 1

#42 by theslothook // Nov 29, 2022 - 2:13pm

Far be it for me to take up a defense of Jordan Love. Let me just make a general statement. A player whos career in live NFL action amounts to 80 passes attempted is still a complete unknown as far as I am concerned. We had far more snaps from Josh Allen looking horrible to start his career.

 

Points: 0

#43 by big10freak // Nov 29, 2022 - 2:15pm

I thought this was the first time he had a legit opportunity

 

against KC he had limited notice, was much earlier in pro career and his own head coach said after the game the plan used was bad.  
 

End of last season multiple starters on offense pulled and game called like it was exhibition by GB while Detroit played full out.  
 

Not excuses.  Just sharing the respective contexts.  There are various reviews available including AcmePacking.  So you can check for yourself on how Love looked

 

I think any pro player in football needs 16-32 games of playing time before a determination can be made unless it’s REALLY obvious.  (Amari Rodgers).  Regarding Love for every “for heavens sake” moment I saw sporadic “ok, that works”.  He had flashes. 
 

Paul Noonan may well be right that love can’t play.  I think he’s wrong and have told him so.  I think Love can at minimum be a bottom third among starters in pros.  No not special.   But not incompetent
 

 

 

Points: 0

#54 by JonesJon // Nov 29, 2022 - 5:52pm

Additionally, the 49ers were willing to get rid of Jimmy G despite the pretty substantial success they have when he's healthy to play Lance. The Packers meanwhile seem terrified of playing Love over Rodgers

Points: 0

#36 by serutan // Nov 29, 2022 - 1:41pm

Do you think Love has given clear evidence he should be pointed towards being the starter in say 2024?

Points: 0

#41 by BigRichie // Nov 29, 2022 - 2:09pm

Not in 10:30.

Now if the coaches who have seen Love in practice all this year think he has turned a corner, sure. I'd go with their judgment. Bear in mind, tho', the upside is limited in that if Love did turn in a good '24, his contractual situation will be such you'd now have to pay him the Big Bucks to continue forward with him.

Points: 0

#44 by big10freak // Nov 29, 2022 - 2:19pm

I don’t think this coaching staff has any idea on talent.  Not being sarcastic.  They have not shown that unless it’s obvious they know who can and cannot play.  
 

Nixon was on team forever while Amari was awful.  Rudy Ford was relegated to special teams while Savage embarrassed himself.  I could go on

 

So I would not find this contention at all persuasive. 

Points: 0

#45 by KnotMe // Nov 29, 2022 - 4:18pm

It's not like benching Rodgers is practical anyway. He's 17th in DVOA, which isn't great, but not easy to improve on either.  You don't bench a guy with that track record making that much unless the wheels have not only fallen off, but rolled into the next town over and lit themselves on fire. 

Points: 0

#51 by big10freak // Nov 29, 2022 - 5:46pm

Typically I would concur.  
 

However, I do think there are elements at work that make sitting 12 reasonable 

 

—he’s clearly not just hurt but in pain.  A coach needs to protect a player from himself. 
—thumb injury is affecting his ability to squeezE the ball and by extension his accuracy 

—GB’s playoff chances are done for all practical purposes.  GB needs to shift into evaluation mode 

—assuming GB is sticking with 12 then playing the backup let’s everyone assess his value.  Sure there is risk if he stinks.  But right now the perception is that the backup “does” stink.  So really there is only upside.  And if he plays ok or better now you have a trade chip

—I would also have Kenny Clark on a “pitch count” to save his body for the future.  FWIW 

 

GB won’t bench 12 because “reasons”.  But it would not be an unreasonable course of action

Points: 0

#31 by BlueStarDude // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:57pm

It reminded me a bit of the 2007 game where Favre got hurt against the Cowboys and Rodgers came in. Except, that had a feeling where if Rodgers had played the whole game, Green Bay would have won; this didn't quite have that.

Points: 0

#25 by BlueStarDude // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:37pm

FO Guys: Wish we could have the return of comment notifications in our profiles (still sorely missed) rather than the worthless thumbs up / thumbs down.

Points: 3

#56 by Pat // Nov 30, 2022 - 11:17am

If anyone's going to break the bank and make Jacobs an offer he can't refuse, those are your leading candidates.

Can we stop using the term "break the bank" when you're talking about a 3 years, 21M contract?

Unless you actually are talking about breaking a kid's piggy bank, because that's what that is in the current NFL. No team's gonna blink at even a $10M/yr contract. Seven million? Whatever. That's almost kicker money.

Jeez, we've totally gotten to the point where running backs are either "correctly valued" or even undervalued. 

Points: 0

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