Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Dec 2017

Week 16 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Happy Boxing Day to all, and to all a good night spent reading this abbreviated edition of Quick Reads that was written several days earlier, even before Week 16 games had kicked off. With the holiday season throwing our production schedule out of whack, we're going to look back at some full-season numbers instead of focusing on what happened this week. Which is actually a good thing, because it gives us a chance to revisit something I wrote about earlier this year.

In Week 7, I looked at the streakiest quarterbacks in the league -- those most likely to rip off several good plays in a row, or several bad plays in a row. From time to time since then, I have referenced quarterback streaks in individual player comments, but not written extensively about them. So we're going to do that today, but we're going to use a somewhat simpler methodology than we did in Week 7. We're simply going to grade each play as a success or a failure (explained here). Then we will calculate the percentage of each quarterback's passes (including sacks, bad snaps, and intentional grounding and defensive pass interference penalties) that were either a successful play after a success, or a failure after a failure.

Let's start with C.J. Beathard, for example. The 49ers rookie has had 242 pass plays this season:

  • Six were the first passes of the game. Obviously, you can't extend a streak on the first pass of a game, you can only start one.
  • 103 were failed plays that came after another failed play.
  • 46 were failed plays that came after a successful play.
  • 48 were successful plays that came after a failed play.
  • 39 were successful plays that came after another successful play.

Adding together the 103 failures-after-failures and the 39 successes-after-successes, then dividing by the 242 total pass plays, gives us a "streak rate" of 58.7 percent. And that makes Beathard the streakiest quarterback so far in 2017.

Streakiest Quarterbacks, Weeks 1-15, 2017
Name Passes First Pass Fail-
Fail
Fail-
Success
Success-
Fail
Success-
Success
Streak% Rk Good% Rk Bad% Rk
3-C.Beathard 242 6 103 46 48 39 58.7% 1 44.8% 28 69.1% 1
7-B.Hundley 279 9 107 54 55 54 57.7% 2 49.5% 12 66.5% 4
10-E.Manning 529 13 185 107 106 118 57.3% 3 52.7% 3 63.4% 6
2-B.Hoyer 228 7 89 44 47 41 57.0% 4 46.6% 24 66.9% 3
7-D.Kizer 451 13 193 93 96 56 55.2% 5 36.8% 34 67.5% 2
9-M.Stafford 554 14 175 118 120 127 54.5% 6 51.4% 7 59.7% 16
3-T.Savage 250 8 89 51 55 47 54.4% 7 46.1% 25 63.6% 5
3-R.Wilson 546 14 180 117 119 116 54.2% 8 49.4% 13 60.6% 13
5-T.Taylor 395 13 138 84 84 76 54.2% 9 47.5% 18 62.2% 10
4-D.Prescott 459 14 154 99 99 93 53.8% 10 48.4% 16 60.9% 12
7-B.Roethlisberger 564 14 154 120 127 149 53.7% 11 54.0% 2 56.2% 24
8-K.Cousins 513 14 162 110 114 113 53.6% 12 49.8% 11 59.6% 17
14-A.Dalton 453 14 162 96 102 79 53.2% 13 43.6% 31 62.8% 7
1-C.Newton 469 14 156 102 104 93 53.1% 14 47.2% 20 60.5% 14
13-T.Siemian 390 11 140 87 85 67 53.1% 15 44.1% 30 61.7% 11
7-C.Keenum 455 13 115 101 101 125 52.7% 16 55.3% 1 53.2% 32
3-C.Palmer 296 7 97 67 66 59 52.7% 17 47.2% 21 59.1% 18
7-J.Brissett 460 14 166 100 106 74 52.2% 18 41.1% 32 62.4% 8
Name Passes First Pass Fail-
Fail
Fail-
Success
Success-
Fail
Success-
Success
Streak% Rk Good% Rk Bad% Rk
11-C.Wentz 478 13 147 109 107 102 52.1% 19 48.8% 14 57.4% 22
4-D.Watson 229 7 63 50 53 56 52.0% 20 51.4% 8 55.8% 25
4-D.Carr 484 13 136 110 110 115 51.9% 21 51.1% 9 55.3% 28
9-D.Brees 496 14 132 112 113 125 51.8% 22 52.5% 4 54.1% 29
16-J.Goff 468 14 142 105 107 100 51.7% 23 48.3% 17 57.5% 21
15-J.McCown 437 13 138 101 98 87 51.5% 24 47.0% 23 57.7% 20
12-T.Brady 557 14 145 128 129 141 51.3% 25 52.2% 5 53.1% 33
17-P.Rivers 528 14 151 122 124 117 50.8% 26 48.5% 15 55.3% 27
8-M.Mariota 409 13 123 95 94 84 50.6% 27 47.2% 22 56.4% 23
6-J.Cutler 413 12 132 95 97 77 50.6% 28 44.3% 29 58.1% 19
10-M.Trubisky 298 10 114 69 69 36 50.3% 29 34.3% 35 62.3% 9
5-J.Flacco 490 14 172 113 117 74 50.2% 30 38.7% 33 60.4% 15
3-J.Winston 356 10 90 82 86 88 50.0% 31 50.6% 10 52.3% 34
2-M.Ryan 439 13 104 102 106 114 49.7% 32 51.8% 6 50.5% 35
12-A.Rodgers 265 7 74 64 63 57 49.4% 33 47.5% 18 53.6% 31
5-B.Bortles 468 14 135 109 115 95 49.1% 34 45.2% 26 55.3% 26
11-A.Smith 504 14 144 124 122 100 48.4% 35 45.0% 27 53.7% 30

Beathard is followed in streakiness by Brett Hundley, Eli Manning, Brian Hoyer, and DeShone Kizer. There's not a single full-time starter in that group. All five either started the year as backup quarterbacks or were benched for at least one game during the season. Meanwhile, the six least-streaky quarterbacks -- Alex Smith, Blake Bortles, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, and Joe Flacco -- are all unquestioned starters for their teams. As a general rule, streaky quarterbacks tend to be bad quarterbacks.

     

This can be easily explained by looking at each quarterback's streak rate after successful and failed plays. Beathard's streak rate after successes is only 44.8 percent, 28th-highest of the 35 quarterbacks with at least 200 passes this year. However, he has followed one failed play with another 69.1 percent of the time, the highest such rate in the league. His streaks have mostly been long series of bad plays, not good plays. This is true for most of the quarterbacks at the top of the table -- they're only streaky in a bad sense. Beathard is one of five quarterbacks (Kizer, Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett, and Mitchell Trubisky are the others) in the bottom ten in good streak rate, but the top ten in bad streak rate. The exception at the top of the table is Manning, the only player to finish in the top ten for both good streaks and bad streaks.

In contrast, we have Case Keenum -- 16th in overall streak rate, first in good streak rate, 32nd in bad streak rate. The Vikings quarterback has chained more good plays together than anyone else, while avoiding runs of multiple bad plays in a row. Derek Carr, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Jameis Winston, and Matt Ryan are the other players in the top 10 for good streak rate, but bottom ten for bad streak rate. And then there's the two players at the bottom of the table. Smith and Bortles are the only players to finish in the bottom 10 in both good streak rate and bad streak rate.

That's all well and good, but then there's the question of whether any of this actually means anything. Do some quarterbacks really tend to go on streaks more than others, or is this just random statistical fluctuation?

Changes in Streak Rate, Weeks 1-7 to Weeks 8-15
Name Passes Weeks 1-7 Weeks 8-15
Passes Streak% Rk Good% Rk Bad% Rk Passes Streak% Rk Good% Rk Bad% Rk
7-B.Roethlisberger 564 258 55.4% 8 50.4% 9 59.6% 12 306 54.8% 9 56.5% 2 52.9% 23
12-T.Brady 557 284 53.8% 15 52.2% 8 55.2% 18 273 51.5% 21 52.2% 5 50.8% 26
9-M.Stafford 554 253 57.9% 3 50.0% 10 63.6% 4 301 54.3% 11 52.4% 4 56.0% 16
3-R.Wilson 546 234 58.8% 2 54.4% 2 62.4% 7 312 53.3% 16 45.5% 19 59.3% 12
10-E.Manning 529 280 60.8% 1 53.9% 3 65.8% 1 249 56.4% 7 51.4% 7 60.4% 10
17-P.Rivers 528 274 50.2% 25 44.0% 21 55.0% 19 254 54.3% 12 52.8% 3 55.7% 17
8-K.Cousins 513 214 53.4% 16 52.4% 6 54.3% 20 299 56.4% 8 47.6% 15 62.9% 5
11-A.Smith 504 250 46.1% 27 42.5% 24 49.2% 27 254 53.4% 13 47.7% 14 58.0% 13
9-D.Brees 496 224 53.2% 17 53.2% 4 53.2% 22 272 53.4% 14 51.9% 6 54.8% 21
5-J.Flacco 490 241 55.1% 9 40.4% 25 64.1% 3 249 48.3% 26 37.3% 27 56.4% 14
4-D.Carr 484 204 57.1% 5 54.7% 1 59.2% 16 280 50.5% 24 48.5% 12 52.4% 24
11-C.Wentz 478 258 51.0% 24 48.3% 18 53.3% 21 220 56.5% 6 49.5% 9 62.0% 7
1-C.Newton 469 256 55.8% 6 49.5% 12 60.9% 8 213 53.4% 15 44.2% 22 60.0% 11
16-J.Goff 468 234 54.6% 11 48.5% 16 59.4% 15 234 52.0% 20 48.1% 13 55.5% 19
Name Passes Passes Streak% Rk Good% Rk Bad% Rk Passes Streak% Rk Good% Rk Bad% Rk
5-B.Bortles 468 211 54.4% 12 48.4% 17 59.5% 14 257 47.6% 27 42.7% 23 51.9% 25
7-J.Brissett 460 227 55.5% 7 43.8% 22 63.4% 5 233 52.2% 19 38.5% 25 61.5% 8
4-D.Prescott 459 211 53.2% 18 49.5% 13 56.3% 17 248 57.5% 4 47.5% 16 64.5% 3
7-C.Keenum 455 198 51.0% 23 50.0% 10 52.0% 23 257 56.8% 5 59.0% 1 54.3% 22
14-A.Dalton 453 211 57.1% 4 48.9% 14 63.2% 6 242 53.0% 17 38.7% 24 62.4% 6
7-D.Kizer 451 197 53.9% 14 35.3% 27 64.2% 2 254 59.1% 1 38.1% 26 69.9% 1
2-M.Ryan 439 216 51.9% 20 52.3% 7 51.5% 24 223 50.5% 25 51.4% 8 49.5% 27
15-J.McCown 437 244 54.9% 10 48.6% 15 59.8% 11 193 50.8% 23 45.0% 21 55.1% 20
6-J.Cutler 413 194 51.6% 21 38.2% 26 60.7% 10 219 52.6% 18 49.0% 11 55.7% 18
8-M.Mariota 409 181 49.1% 26 47.6% 19 50.5% 25 228 54.8% 10 46.8% 17 60.6% 9
5-T.Taylor 395 190 54.3% 13 45.5% 20 60.7% 9 205 57.6% 2 49.4% 10 63.5% 4
13-T.Siemian 390 239 52.8% 19 43.3% 23 59.6% 12 151 57.5% 3 45.5% 19 64.8% 2
3-J.Winston 356 218 51.4% 22 53.1% 5 49.5% 26 138 51.5% 22 45.9% 18 56.2% 15
Minimum 100 passes in both categories.

Chalk one up for random noise. The correlation between streak rate in the first half of the season and that in the second half of the season is just -0.094. Alex Smith's streak rate has risen by 7.4 percent in the second half of the season; Carson Wentz, Case Keenum, DeShone Kizer, and Marcus Mariota each saw their streak rate rise by at least five percent as well. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco, Derek Carr, and Blake Bortles each saw their streak rate fall by at least six percent.

     

On a more granular level, there is a 0.441 correlation between good streak rate in the first and second halves of the year, and a 0.283 correlation between first-half and second-half bad streak rate. So there is some evidence at least that good quarterbacks will continue to play well and bad quarterbacks will continue to struggle. But that's hardly a revelation.

While we're here, we also calculated the streak rates of each team's passing defense, but they seem to be almost entirely meaningless. The correlations between the first and second halves of the season are even weaker than those for quarterbacks. The defensive streak rate leaders are basically a list of the best pass defenses in the league (Jaguars, Vikings, Ravens, Washington, and Cardinals), while the teams at the bottom of the table are, well, worse (Colts, Patriots, Giants, Browns, Broncos). When it comes to streaks, this tenet may seem obvious, but it's true: good offenses avoid long runs of failed plays in a row, while good defenses force them.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
21/30
242
2
1
1
178
167
12
JAC
Garoppolo gained a league-high 71 DYAR due to opponent adjustments this week. Prior to this week, the best NFL passer rating by a starting quarterback against Jacksonville was 86.2 by Jared Goff. Garoppolo's passer rating this week was 102.4. He was also just the third quarterback this season to throw 30 or more passes against the Jaguars without getting sacked at least twice. On third downs, he went 7-of-10 for 72 yards with seven conversions (including two touchdowns), one interception, and one sack. On passes up the middle, he went 9-of-9 for 102 yards and a touchdown.
2.
Tom Brady NE
21/28
224
2
1
2
125
122
3
BUF
With four minutes and change left in the second quarter, Brady threw an incomplete pass to Brandin Cooks on second-and-3. It was his last incomplete pass of the day. From that point forward, he went 10-of-10 for 110 yards, plus DPIs of 29 and 44 yards, with two sacks.
3.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
20/29
226
2
0
0
106
106
0
HOU
4.
Jacoby Brissett IND
16/33
215
1
0
2
91
99
-9
BAL
The good news for Brissett is that on passes that traveled at least 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, he went 5-of-6 for 94 yards. The bad news is that on passes that traveled 6 to 14 yards downfield, he went 1-of-13 for 16 yards.
5.
Kirk Cousins WAS
19/37
299
3
1
0
80
69
10
DEN
It turned out to be a decent game for Cousins, but only after a very slow start. He completed only one of his first eight passes, a 6-yard gain on second-and-10.
6.
Jameis Winston TB
21/27
367
1
0
6
78
79
-1
CAR
Winston fumbled three times, and the Panthers recovered all of them -- a huge factor in a one-score game. On passes that traveled 10 or more yards downfield, he went 12-of-16 for 319 yards, plus DPIs of 10 and 12 yards.
7.
Alex Smith KC
25/39
304
1
0
1
74
64
10
MIA
On third downs, Smith went 11-of-14 for 152 yards and seven conversions. He converted only one of his three opportunities with 3 yards or less to go, but made up for that with conversions on third-and-13 and third-and-15.
8.
Jared Goff LARM
22/38
301
4
0
1
74
100
-26
TEN
With the exception of an 80-yard touchdown to Todd Gurley (which was caught 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage and included 85 yards after the catch), Goff's best plays came in the red zone -- touchdowns of 3, 3, and 14 yards. However, his worst play, a sack-fumble, also came in the red zone.
9.
Marcus Mariota TEN
22/39
275
0
1
1
66
74
-9
LARM
Mariota gains 54 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He failed to throw a touchdown on four red zone drives, going 4-of-8 for 31 yards with a sack.
10.
Jay Cutler MIA
19/38
289
1
0
0
62
62
0
KC
Once the Dolphins fell behind by three scores, Cutler was pretty much done. After falling behind 29-13 in the fourth quarter, Cutler went 3-of-12 for 32 yards.
11.
Matt Ryan ATL
22/36
288
1
1
5
61
58
3
NO
Ryan gains 50 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. On third downs, he went 2-of-7 for 19 yards with an interception and four sacks. His only third-down conversion was a touchdown pass with less than three minutes left in the game that left Atlanta still trailing 23-13.
12.
Philip Rivers LACH
23/40
290
1
0
0
39
39
0
NYJ
On passes that traveled 13 to 23 yards downfield, Rivers went 8-of-10 for 152 yards.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Andy Dalton CIN
27/41
238
1
1
3
21
27
-6
DET
Dalton failed to complete a deep pass against Detroit, going 0-for-6 with an interception. He did gain 25 yards on a seventh pass that resulted in a DPI.
14.
Drew Brees NO
21/28
239
1
1
1
16
16
0
ATL
Throwing to his left or up the middle, Brees went 9-of-14 for 59 yards and only two first downs. Throwing to his right, however, he went 12-of-14 for 180 yards and a DPI for 7 more yards, for eight first downs.
15.
Joe Flacco BAL
29/38
237
2
0
1
8
11
-4
IND
Flacco lost 71 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. On passes that traveled at least 13 yards downfield, he went 5-of-6 for 91 yards, plus a DPI for 14 more yards.
16.
Case Keenum MIN
14/25
139
1
0
3
2
1
1
GB
Short-yardage plays are supposed to be, if not automatic, then certainly converted more often than not. But with less than 5 yards to go for a first down, Keenum went 3-of-7 for 15 yards with two sacks and only two conversions.
17.
Blake Bortles JAC
32/50
382
2
3
1
1
5
-3
SF
While his counterpart Jimmy Garoppolo got the biggest boost due to opponent adjustments this week, Bortles took the biggest hit, losing 77 DYAR. Bortles threw a league-high 21 passes up the middle against San Francisco. He completed 13 of them for 158 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions, one of them a pick-six.
18.
Bryce Petty NYJ
15/28
121
0
1
3
-11
-24
14
LACH
On third and fourth downs, Petty went 4-of-12 for 24 yards with one conversion and one interception. Outside the New York 40, he went 6-of-14 for 33 yards with an interception and three sacks.
19.
Russell Wilson SEA
14/21
93
2
0
3
-11
-21
10
DAL
Wilson's 22-yard loss on a sack in the second quarter was the biggest loss of yardage on a single offensive play this season.
20.
Matthew Stafford DET
19/35
203
1
1
2
-35
-39
3
CIN
Stafford didn't throw many passes to his left against Cincinnati -- only six of them, completing four for 58 yards.
21.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
14/23
193
0
0
5
-38
-60
23
CLE
Trubisky didn't throw a pass in the Browns' red zone. In Cleveland territory, he went 4-of-5 for 33 yards, but only one first down, with one sack and an aborted play.
22.
Eli Manning NYG
27/45
263
0
2
2
-53
-54
1
ARI
Manning didn't throw a pass in the Cardinals' red zone. In Arizona territory, he went 10-of-20 for 69 yards, but only one first down, with one sack and an interception. (Yes, I copied and pasted this from Trubisky's comment and changed the relevant data, but it's still true.)
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Tyrod Taylor BUF
21/38
281
0
0
6
-63
-63
0
NE
On four separate drives, Taylor failed to (officially) throw a touchdown, going 2-of-8 with two sacks. Those completions went for -1 and -8 yards, respectively. Yes, that's 10 plays in the red zone, and none of them gained yards.
24.
Cam Newton CAR
16/25
160
0
1
2
-64
-52
-12
TB
Newton's best passing splits in this game came on first down, when he went 7-of-9 for 105 yards and six conversions . He only had four first-down conversions on 19 second- and third-down plays.
25.
Dak Prescott DAL
21/34
182
0
2
4
-68
-70
3
SEA
Inside the Seattle 40, Prescott went 4-of-8 for 19 yards with one first down, one interception, and three sacks.
26.
Drew Stanton ARI
20/34
209
2
2
2
-78
-75
-3
NYG
Stanton's last three passes, all with the Cardinals up by 16 points or more in the second half: interception, interception, incompletion. He had -111 DYAR on those three plays. Take them away and he would climb 13 spots in the rankings.
27.
DeShone Kizer CLE
18/36
182
0
2
1
-91
-89
-2
CHI
Kizer had five plays inside the Chicago 38, and three of them resulted in turnovers: two interceptions, and one fumble by Rashard Higgins after a completed pass. That's 16 turnovers this season for Cleveland on plays that started inside the opponent's 40. Nobody else has more than 12.
28.
Brock Osweiler DEN
22/37
195
0
1
4
-93
-96
3
WAS
In the second half, Osweiler went 11-of-19 for 76 yards with two first downs and three sacks.
29.
Derek Carr OAK
15/29
150
1
2
1
-127
-123
-4
PHI
30.
Brett Hundley GB
17/41
130
0
2
1
-128
-141
13
MIN
Hundley gained 66 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He threw a league-high 13 deep passes this week, but only completed two of them. And one of those -- a 19-yard gain on second-and-20 -- didn't even pick up a first down. In other words, Larry Fitzgerald had as many first downs on deep completions as Hundley did this week.
31.
Nick Foles PHI
19/38
163
1
1
2
-130
-130
0
OAK
32.
T.J. Yates HOU
7/16
83
1
1
6
-176
-179
3
PIT
So, uh, those Christmas games sure were horrible, weren't they?


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.
Todd Gurley LARM
22
118
0
10/13
158
2
87
32
56
TEN
Five first downs on the ground, including gains of 10, 10, and 34 yards, while being hit for no gain or a loss just three times. His biggest reception, obviously, was his 80-yard touchdown on second-and-11 in the second quarter.
2.
Melvin Gordon LACH
19
81
1
3/3
47
0
53
36
17
NYJ
Gordon ran for five first downs against the Jets, including gains of 19 and 11 yards, while being stuffed for no gain or a loss three times. His biggest catch was a 39-yard gain in the third quarter.
3.
Duke Johnson CLE
4
20
0
7/7
81
0
52
7
44
CHI
Johnson's runs went for 2, 5, 6, and 7 yards. Five of his receptions went for first downs (the rest of the Browns receivers combined for only three first downs through the air), including gains of 13, 15, and 29 yards.
4.
Giovani Bernard CIN
23
116
1
7/7
52
0
46
26
20
DET
Bernard had six runs of 10 or more yards against Detroit, while being hit for no gain or a loss only four times. Four of his seven receptions resulted in first downs, the longest a 15-yarder.
5.
Dion Lewis NE
24
129
1
5/5
24
1
38
23
15
BUF
Five times Lewis ran for 10 or more yards against Buffalo, with eight first downs on the ground and only two hits for no gain or a loss. Only two of his receptions were successful plays, but one of those was a 12-yard touchdown on third-and-11.


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.
Ezekiel Elliott DAL
24
97
0
4/7
21
0
35
40
-5
SEA
Elliott's longest run gained only 9 yards, and only five of his 24 runs resulted in first downs. However, only once was he hit for no gain or a loss. Sixteen of his carries gained 4 yards or more, 11 gained 5 yards or more, and five gained 6 yards or more.
2.
Melvin Gordon LACH
19
81
1
3/3
47
0
53
36
17
NYJ
3.
Todd Gurley LARM
22
118
0
10/13
158
2
87
32
56
TEN
4.
Le'Veon Bell PIT
14
69
1
5/8
28
0
25
29
-4
HOU
5.
Giovani Bernard CIN
23
116
1
7/7
52
0
46
26
20
DET


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.
Mike Davis SEA
15
25
0
4/5
18
0
-38
-32
-5
DAL
A long run of only 8 yards, only one first down rushing, and seven hits for no gain or a loss. Two of his receptions went for first downs, but on back-to-back plays in the third quarter, he had an 8-yard loss on second-and-12 and then an 8-yard gain on third-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.
Devonta Freeman ATL
11
39
0
2/3
20
0
-28
-36
8
NO
Freeman's did have a 15-yard gain on third-and-1, but still picked up only two first downs despite getting six carries with 1 or 2 yards to go. That includes a fumble on second-and-goal from the 1 and a stuff for no gain on fourth-and-goal from the 1.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Julio Jones ATL
7
11
149
21.3
0
51
NO
Jones only had five first downs in 11 targets, which is nothing special, but those five plays averaged 27 yards apiece.
2.
Mike Evans TB
6
8
107
17.8
0
51
CAR
Evans' DYAR accounts not only for the receptions listed here, but also two DPIs for 22 more yards. He had seven total first downs on the day, including three third-down conversions in four targets.
3.
Cooper Kupp LARM
4
6
65
16.2
1
43
TEN
Kupp also had a 31-yard DPI. His longest play was a 34-yard catch in the first quarter, but his most valuable was a 14-yard touchdown on third-and-6 in the fourth.
4.
Jakeem Grant MIA
4
6
107
26.8
1
39
KC
Grant's totals include 41 DYAR receiving, -2 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 3 yards. First-half targets: 10-yard catch on second-and-10, 26-yard catch on second-and-7, 65-yard touchdown on first-and-10. Second-half targets: 6-yard catch on third-and-16, incomplete on third-and-24, incomplete on third-and-15.
5.
Ted Ginn NO
4
5
76
19.0
1
36
ATL
Ginn's totals include 28 DYAR receiving, 8 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 14 yards. Basically his whole day was one 54-yard touchdown catch and then some other plays that amounted to nothing. It was not a great week for receivers.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Travis Benjamin LACH
0
5
0
0.0
0
-44
NYJ
Benjamin's totals include -37 DYAR receiving, -7 DYAR rushing for his one carry, a 4-yard loss. Yes, -4 yards on six targets and runs. That's no good.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 25 Dec 2017

27 comments, Last at 27 Dec 2017, 11:00pm by Will Allen

Comments

1
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:00am

I was surprised to see Keenum ranked so highly, but I suppose I mentally converted about 4 incompletions into the interceptions I thought they easily could/should have been.

11
by jmaron :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 12:55pm

I worry about Keenum as well, but I thought he only threw 1 true interceptible ball - the one the Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. And, I thought Dix made a really smart play there Keenum was getting big middle pressure. A lot of QBs make a bad throw in that situation.

He missed some big throws downfield and a couple of easy ones on 3rd down, so he was not good, but he looked like Tom Brady compared to what Carr and Foles did last night.

16
by Will Allen :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:49pm

It is entirely possible that I'm being to hard on the guy, but it seemed to me that better dbs would have had real chances to pick off 3 or 4 passes by Keenum, and I'm not talking about All Pro dbs.

Anyways, like I said in the audibles thread, I don't have even the beginning of an idea what Zimmer should do about his qbs.

22
by Dales :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 6:08pm

I think you have to give Keenum the benefit of the doubt at this point. Just because we expected him to be a pumpkin, doesn't mean that our expectations were right. He has passed the eye-test to me.

Sure, Bradford had some eye-popping throws, but you can't dismiss his injury history. And I thought pre-draft Bridgewater would be a star.

But the guy (Keenum) is playing well. Roll with it.

2
by Yu Narukami :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:13am

So close to have a golden slam by the 2016 Patriots QBs triplet.

Brissett didn't look so good by my humble eye-test on Saturday, though.

Following up the "old-qb falling arm on late season" thread of yesterday, I'm glad DYAR support my opinion from the Audibles thread. Brady really had one off game recently (the no-Gronk @ Miami one). In the others, sure he threw picks and some improvable bomb-prayers to Cooks, but he was on fire on the rest of the day(s).

8
by sbond101 :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 11:01am

It's really interesting going over the tape vs. the eye test on yesterdays game. There were three high-leverage Brady mistakes in the first four drives drives (the short deep ball to Hollister under pressure on the first drive, the pick on the second drive that looked like a result of hesitation on the throw, and the missed pitch & catch to Gronk over the middle on the fourth drive that likely would have gone for 15 yards. Pack that together with a deep ball to cooks that a great throw would have gotten done, and I can see where you might walk away from that stretch and wonder about Brady. Of course that analysis completely ignores that the last 6 drives of the game ended in Pats points, including 4 TD's and only 3 incompletions. I think the issue here is confirmation bias; many fans, myself included, have become so accustom to seeing the long stretches of near-perfect play Brady delivers that short stretches of mistakes become the thing that sticks out in a game rather than those near-perfect stretches. When I look at Brees's day vs. the Falcons this week I can see a stretch of 8 drives with a pick, a TD, a FG, and 5 punts from the beginning of the second half - and almost no one talking about the end of his career (in the same thread he was cited as a QB who still has more gas in his arm). I would hazard that if I went through those 8 drives I could find some equally ugly mistakes (against similar quality opposition). But fans (myself included at times), seem hyper focused on looking for dents in Brady's armour, and it's definitely perspective-impairing.

9
by RickD :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 11:49am

There's confirmation bias as well as the heightened importance of first impressions. Brady started the game poorly, which weighs more heavily in the mind than his superior play in the second half.

10
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 12:36pm

". I think the issue here is confirmation bias; many fans, myself included, have become so accustom to seeing the long stretches of near-perfect play Brady delivers that short stretches of mistakes become the thing that sticks out in a game rather than those near-perfect stretches. "

I don't remember anyone saying that Brady looked like a bad quarterback, just that he's having more bad stretches than are normal *for him*, and looks bad *for him*. The guy has thrown interceptions in his last 5 games - which wouldn't be horrible for most QBs - but has never happened in his career - he's a guy who has had multiple seasons throwing less than 6 INTS.

Overall, his numbers look fine this year, and he's still absolutely one of the best QBs in the league (if not the best) - but he's been very streaky - patches of really poor play mixed with patches of absolutely elite play, and that's not what he's been for most of his career.

Sure, he has his occasional Miami shitshow, but usually its one game, and then the next one he looks razor sharp. This year has looked different - as the problems seem to span multiple games. He's going through stretches where he's really inaccurate - missing guys altogether, throwing way short, big overthrows, etc - the sort of plays where you suspect issues with core strength.

He looks like late season older Favre or Manning to me - there's still a ton of talent, and when he's on, he's an executioner, but his body is betraying him sometimes. (And I'm starting to think that the idea that the suspension helped the Patriots last year is true).

We ARE seeing chinks in his armor - and that's new for Brady - and old QBs go fast.

15
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:35pm

Manning's neck injury meant that, by 2012, he was already significantly below Brady's current physical level. So if we go by that, then Brady still has another 3.5 years to go before finally going over the cliff.

17
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 2:58pm

Your conclusion doesn't follow from your evidence, and your premises aren't true.

Manning was good enough physically to put up an MVP season with 55 TDs, and probably the 2nd best season of his career, in 2013.

Manning's career didn't end because of his neck injury - it ended because he didn't have enough leg and core strength left to throw the ball hard without being able to fully step into throws.

18
by Anon Ymous :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 4:00pm

Manning was good enough physically to put up an MVP season with 55 TDs, and probably the 2nd best season of his career, in 2013.

Non sequitur.

Manning's 2013 season only proves that quarterbacks with reduced strength can still be excellent if they are intelligent enough and have the right weapons around them.

Manning's career didn't end because of his neck injury

Not immediately, no.... but there was an immediate, blatant drop off in arm strength.

it ended because he didn't have enough leg and core strength left to throw the ball hard without being able to fully step into throws.

And you think the neck injury and resultant drop in arm strength had no impact on this? Why?

19
by sbond101 :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 5:33pm

I think this whole line of thinking is problematic on a couple of levels.

1) It's clear that Manning's arm strength declined further after 2013, and that played some part in his rapid decline. It's definitely not clear whether the level of play Manning had in 2013 was sustainable with his diminished arm strength, it's possible the league would have figured him out if hadn't decline further. Whether the neck injury caused the subsequent decline or not is not obvious.

2) It's really not obvious that Brady's arm strength is actually declining. Of the six picks in the last 5 games, only one looks to have arm strength as a component, 4 were mental mistakes, and one was an incredibly blatant PI non-call on white. Considering the pick this week, that's a pick even if your Farve in his prime. By the same token the occasional lack of lateral accuracy (e.g. the Gronk throw this week) suggests that arm strength is not the only force at play.

3) It's clear that a big element of Brady's previous consistency was the slot passing game. This year not only has Edelman disappeared, but Amendola has been invisible since week 11. It's unclear if this is on Brady or Amadola, but it's definitely a big part of the high-variance style that's being played right now.

24
by RBroPF :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 8:18pm

I'd say points #1 and #2 are well argued and persuasive.

And I think #3 is a very big deal and hasn't been really appreciated because the offense has still managed to be so damn effective. Even before week 11, Amendola hasn't ever really been able to be the workhorse in the slot that the offense is largely predicated on. Think about how long it's been since Tom had Edelman or Welker or Troy Brown as a goto workhorse running those option routes in the short middle of the field. When you're in sync with the receiver, and he's shifty enough to get some quick separation, those are relatively easier reads and easier throws. Then you get in a rhythm and everything starts flowing.

This year, a much larger percentage of his throws are more difficult reads and more difficult throws to make. It's actually remarkable he's having as good a year as he is.

25
by jmaron :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 8:21pm

NE DVOA since Brady is remarkable. I think their is some pretty good evidence it's almost entirely because of Tom Brady. Since 2000 when Belichick arrived as head coach:

NE DVOA 23.13%
NE DVOA Since Brady 24.82%
NE DVOA w/o Brady 0.45%
NE DVOA Brady Start 26.46%

Bledsoe -8.56 (18 starts)
Cassel 11.12 (15 starts)
Garapolo -8.45 (2 starts)
Brissett -8.85 (2 starts)

When you look at all the starts without Brady in NE, and 5 years in Cleveland with an average DVOA right around 0, it seems to me there is lots of evidence that Belichick really isn't some coaching genius. I mean it's not a tiny sample size - it's 117 games.

27
by Will Allen :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 11:00pm

The propositions "Bill Belichik is among the 10 best NFL coaches ever" and "Absent drafting Tom Brady in the 5th round in 1999, Bill Belichik would not be recognized as one among the 10 best coaches ever", are not mutually exclusive.

20
by ClavisRa :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 7:48pm

A confluence of factors is causing Brady's recent "drop off" , and the concomitant doom wailing.

The Achilles injury affected his throws for several games. The running game is finally rounding into form and become a more substantial, reliable part of the offense. Lots of receiver snaps are being taken by receivers that don't have Brady's trust. Also, the receiver corps lacks anyone who can get open quickly.

Some of these factors won't persist, and the bones of the offense are exceptionally good: good pass protection that continues to get better, a dynamic and varied running game that still continues to improve, receivers that are growing into their roles and Brady's trust.

And, of course, for every mistake Brady makes, he makes three on time and precise throws and decisions. He's more than fine.

21
by SandyRiver :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 2:00pm

Wasn't there talk several years ago about Brady's increasing inaccuracy - sailing passes over open receivers, missing fore-and-aft on crossing routes, well below average deep ball? I think it was in the first couple seasons without Randy Moss turning dross into gold, with TB maybe thinking he still had an alchemist out there.

12
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:08pm

I wonder how much of Brady's "decline" this year is down to the lack of Edelman. Usually they're a near certainty short completion, or if the defense takes away Edelman then James White or someone else is able to flex in.

I'd be intrigued to know what Brady's distribution in terms of short/med/deep looks like this year because I'm pretty it's mostly been longer than in the past.

13
by RickD :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:22pm

His problems in the early season finding an open receiver had a lot to do with Edelman's absence and the newness of Cooks and others. More recently it's believed his lingering ankle injury is playing a role. In the early season he was often trying to force the ball to a covered receiver. Recently his accuracy has just been off. But again, he was perfect (or near-perfect) in the 2nd half on Sunday, so it's not really all that bad.

14
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 1:26pm

Losing Edelman hurts - obviously. And yeah, he's throwing deeper - but some of that is just that the last two wide receivers they've signed (Hogan and Cooks) are much more deep guys than what we're used to.

But its not the deep stuff that's the (only) problem - he's throwing balls behind people on crossing routes (like the Gronk play sunday), throwing the ball several yards short on comebacks, etc. If the explanation is "Brady only works with his 32 year old slot receiver who is having his knee rebuilt" then that's not really a good thing.

I'm HOPING the explanation is that his achilles is still bothering him - because not being able to plant/push/etc 100% would definitely affect his ability to throw accurately at all levels - but dude is 40, and healing aint easy at this age.

23
by RBroPF :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 8:03pm

Josh McDaniels must be so proud!

"So close to have a golden slam by the 2016 Patriots QBs triplet."

3
by big10freak :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:56am

McCarthy had several gameplans this season which were completely incomprehensible. The two worst by far were coming out throwing and keep throwing against Baltimore and this last game against Minnesota. One doesn't even have to be a football fan to get how bizarre going this route is in terms of optimizing chances of success. You just list the facts of the various strengths of the respective teams and a rationale outcome is "need to focus on running the ball'

Just so weird

4
by Xexyz :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 9:23am

The only thing that makes even sort of sense is that McCarthy didn't care about winning and just wanted to get Hundley as many reps as possible.

5
by big10freak :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 10:23am

If so then the pass plays themselves were not in synch with that approach. What does a guy learn either throwing on a 2 step drop or hurling it deep? There was nothing between 10-20 yards. Heck, from 5-20. And Hundley has the arm to make all the throws. Just no throws to be had.

6
by Otis Taylor89 :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 10:32am

Why is GB passing the ball 41 times?

7
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 12/26/2017 - 10:46am

Because McCarthy, like Andy Reid, frequently forgets there's a running game in football

26
by Will Allen :: Wed, 12/27/2017 - 10:58pm

Misplaced