July 27, 2021

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Quick Reads Decade in Review: QB Games

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Worst Quarterback Games, Total DYAR, 2010-2019
  Year Player Team CP/AT Yds TD Int Sacks Total DYAR Pass DYAR Rush DYAR Wk Def Pass DVOA 2016 Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ 20/44 188 0 6 0 -300 -291 -9 3 KC -4.2% (Good games get plenty of coverage everywhere else, so bad games tend to take up most of the coverage in Quick Reads. And since those bad games are often the focus of the main essay in Quick Reads, the comments on those games in the tables can be, well, spartan. For example, when Ryan Fitzpatrick became Ryan Fitz-Six-Picks (Ryan Six-Picks-Trick?) against Kansas City, his comment was exactly 28 words long, linking to an article of GIFs that no longer exists. The main essay, however, went into great detail about Fitzpatrick’s game, including a possibility that it might be the worst DYAR game on record. In hindsight, it was not. It is the second-worst DYAR game on record, behind the -302 DYAR of David Klingler’s three-interception, seven-sack outing against the Houston Oilers in 1994.)
  2019 Kyle Allen CAR 32/50 325 0 4 5 -285 -288 2 11 ATL 17.0% Behold the power of opponent adjustments, Part IX: Allen loses 70 DYAR due to playing the Falcons. Allen threw eight passes inside the Atlanta 25-yard line, and completed more of them to the Falcons (three) than to the Panthers (one, a 4-yard gain on third-and-4 from the 20). Allen also struggled in short yardage: with 5 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 6-of-14 for 70 yards with three interceptions, three sacks, and an intentional grounding. Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, and Baker Mayfield are the only other quarterbacks to throw so many interceptions with so few yards to go this season. (Obviously, this was written in 2019, when opponent adjustments in Quick Reads went bonzo gonzo. In the end, Allen only lost 43 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. We had a lot more to say about Allen in the main essay that week.)
  2018 Josh Allen BUF 16/33 151 0 2 7 -275 -253 -22 4 GB 20.1% Where to begin? From the Buffalo 49 to the goal line, Allen went 3-of-11 for 20 yards with one first down, two interceptions, and three sacks. That includes an interception on his only red zone play. He had seven first downs; five of them came with Buffalo down by at least 19 points in the second half. At one point he was sacked on four consecutive dropbacks, which may be a first. On third downs, he went 3-of-10 for 61 yards with three conversions, two interceptions, and three sacks. He had six third downs with 5 yards or less to go for a first down; they resulted in two incompletions, an interception, and three sacks. Throwing to his right, he went 4-of-14 for 23 yards and only two first downs. We could go on, but instead we’ll just point you to this thread by our old buddy Cian Fahey showing many of Allen’s gaffes one GIF at a time. (That thread has also disappeared into the Internet ether.)
  2012 Brandon Weeden CLE 12/35 118 0 4 2 -274 -284 10 1 PHI 24.1% How bad was it? Without opponent adjustments, only 56 games have been worse than -221 YAR. With opponent adjustments, that number falls to 31. Since we don’t know how good or bad the Eagles defense is, and won’t know precisely until the end of the season, we can’t adjust Weeden’s numbers at this point. Suffice to say it was very, very bad. (Worst game ever, by the way: David Klingler’s -302 DYAR on a 10-30-115, zero-TD, 3-INT, 7-sack game against the Houston Oilers in 1994.) (As it turns out, Philadelphia’s defense was the worst in the league in 2012, and Weeden’s game is the eighth-worst on record.) Needless to say, Weeden had some miserable splits in this game. His second quarter was hardly any better than [Michael] Vick’s — this game must have been a real treat for the fans in attendance. For now, we’ll go with Weeden’s first down numbers: 2-of-11 with an interception, plus two sacks and a bad snap, for no first downs, only one successful play (A 4-yard gain on first-and-5. Go nuts.), and -8 (that’s minus-eight) total yards.
  2019 Luke Falk NYJ 15/26 120 0 2 9 -270 -270 0 5 PHI 5.6% (Our main essay at the time covered how Falk was basically set up to fail by the Jets and then cast aside; he has barely been heard from since. Our comment for Falk that week consisted entirely of the following Tweets.)


2014 Teddy Bridgewater MIN 23/37 188 0 3 8 -250 -257 7 6 DET -3.0% Bridgewater picked up a first down eight times, or one for each time he was sacked. On Detroit’s side of the field, he went 6-of-9 for 43 yards with one first down and two interceptions.
  2015 Nick Foles STL 11/29 141 1 4 3 -244 -244 0 5 GB -6.8% Hoo boy. If opponent adjustments and league baselines hold steady, this will be one of the 25 worst games we’ve ever measured, and the worst since Teddy Bridgewater’s eight-sack day against Detroit in Week 6 last year. (It was not quite as bad as Bridgewater’s game, but it was the 26th-worst game on record.) The Rams seemed to know he was in for a bad day; they only asked him to pass four times on first down, and only once in the first half. Eventually though, they got to third down, and then Foles was screwed. All four of his interceptions came on third downs, and all with 7 to 9 yards to go for a conversion. And they weren’t on deep balls either — all four were thrown to receivers within 7 yards of the line of scrimmage. Two of them came in the red zone in the fourth quarter.
  2010 Todd Collins CHI 6/16 32 0 4 2 -244 -244 0 5 CAR -0.2% Collins had one of the worst performances in a win you’ll see. Before Sunday, starting quarterbacks who tossed four picks in the DVOA Era were 9-133, for a winning percentage of just over six percent. Those nine winners threw an average of 42 attempts per game while getting those four picks. Collins threw his four in 16 attempts. The -5.8 fantasy points he accrued during the win amount to the worst performance by a winning quarterback during that stretch, just narrowly beating out the -5.5 gathered by Rex Grossman in the legendary “Crown ’em” Monday Night game against the Cardinals in 2006. Finally, his -235 DYAR rate as the 17th-worst performance by any quarterback in the 17 years and counting we have DYAR calculated for. Grossman’s -285 DYAR in that Cardinals game ranks second-worst. The only reason why Collins didn’t head even lower is that he was benched for Caleb Hanie in the second half. Collins and [Jimmy] Clausen combined for -439 DYAR, a colossally bad figure that should rate as the worst performance by a set of starting quarterbacks in a game during the DVOA Era by the time the season is over. (Well, Bill left us with a lot to unpack and update in this one. The DVOA Era now runs from 1985 to 2019. In that time, quarterbacks with exactly four interceptions have gone 20-274 in the regular season, a winning rate of just under 7%. Rex Grossman’s notorious game against Arizona is the sixth-worst game we have ever measured; Collins’ game against Carolina is 27th-worst.)
  2017 Andy Dalton CIN 16/31 170 0 4 5 -242 -244 2 1 BAL -15.4% I mean, “four interceptions, five sacks, and a fumble” pretty much says it all, right? No? Then should I talk about Dalton’s third-quarter numbers (4-of-6, 20 yards, one fumble-sack)? Or his fourth-quarter stats (5-of-11, 78 yards, one interception, two sacks)? How about his red zone performance (2-of-5, 12 yards, two sacks, one fumble, one interception)? His numbers to the left (5-of-11, 63 yards, two interceptions), or to the right (7-of-13, 47 yards, one interception)? We can slice this pizza any way you like, it’s still going to be moldy and cold. (We had a lot more to say about Dalton’s game in our main essay that week.)
  2013 Geno Smith NYJ 8/23 103 0 3 4 -241 -226 -15 11 BUF -22.8% A 33-yard gain on first-and-10 in the first quarter; a 38-yard gain on third-and-13 in the third; and a 17-yard gain on first-and-10, also in the third. Those were the only first downs Smith threw for all game. Otherwise, he went 5-of-20 for 15 yards with three interceptions, four sacks, and a fumble. This was the worst passing DYAR in any game thus far in 2013, 65 DYAR worse than anyone else, and Smith didn’t play a down in the fourth quarter. (Yes, this was the worst game of 2013, but only 21 DYAR worse than EJ Manuel’s game against Tampa Bay in Week 14.)
  2017 Trevor Siemian DEN 19/41 200 0 3 3 -234 -238 4 13 MIA 24.6% Sieimian is the first quarterback to throw multiple interceptions in a game against the Dolphins this year. On deep passes, he went 1-of-7 for 23 yards. Up the middle, he went 4-of-8 for just 15 yards and an interception. (A week later, Tom Brady of all people threw two interceptions in a 27-20 loss in Miami.)
  2015 Peyton Manning DEN 6/20 35 0 4 2 -233 -233 0 10 KC -8.8% On passes that traveled 3 or more yards past the line of scrimmage, Manning went 1-of-15 for 17 yards with four picks. I know I have made some errors in this column this year, but I promise you that sentence is 100 percent accurate. He did not throw a pass on Kansas City’s side of the field; from right on the 50, he went 0-for-2 with an interception. He did not complete a pass on third down, going 0-for-7 with two interceptions. (We had a lot more to say about Manning in our main essay that week. This was the game in which Manning was benched for Brock Osweiler, and we gave our endorsement for Osweiler to start the rest of the year. Manning did not return to the starting lineup until the postseason, where he won three starts, including the Super Bowl.)
  2017 Kirk Cousins WAS 20/37 158 0 3 3 -230 -242 12 17 NYG 13.0% (This game was in Week 17, when we ran our tables without comments. Cousins only had eight dropbacks in Giants territory, going 4-of-6 for 30 yards with two sacks. On third downs, he went 4-of-11 for 28 yards with one first down, one interception, and one sack.)
  2015 Brian Hoyer HOU 15/34 136 0 4 3 -229 -229 0 WC KC -8.8% (There were 70 quarterback games this decade with -175 total DYAR or worse. Only two of those games came in the playoffs: this one, and Houston’s next quarterback, Brock Osweiler, one year later. We covered Hoyer’s terrible game in our main essay that week; his comment consisted of the following Tweets.)

2012 Nick Foles PHI 21/46 204 0 2 4 -228 -228 0 11 WAS 4.4% Two interceptions, three fumbles, and four sacks will get you at the bottom of this list pretty much every time. Inside the Washington 40, Foles went 2-of-6 with a sack-fumble, and those two completions were a 3-yard loss on second-and-5 and a 12-yard gain on second-and-16. The Eagles gave him plenty of chances to throw on first down, and he proceeded to go 4-of-14 for 22 yards with one sack, one botched snap, and no first downs. In one stretch over the third and fourth quarters, he went 3-of-10 for 22 yards and no first downs with a botched snap and three sacks. You get the idea.
  2010 Jay Cutler CHI 8/11 42 0 1 9 -226 -226 0 4 NYG -15.8% Cutler’s -220-DYAR day ranks as the 28th-worst game of the DVOA Era. He’s just about tied with Rick Mirer, who went 10-of-25 for 68 yards with two picks and four sacks in a game against the Steelers in 2003. Of course, Cutler did all his damage in one half, and while we don’t have half-by-half data available for DYAR, it’s hard to think of a player who did so much damage in such little work. The best example might be Ryan Leaf, whose third start as a pro was one of the most devastating performances in league history: 1-of-15 for 4 yards with two interceptions and two sacks. You don’t want to be in a boat with both those guys, but that’s exactly where Cutler ended up on Sunday. (This is now the 48th-worst game on record. Bill wrote a lot more about it in his main essay that week.)
  2018 Josh Rosen ARI 21/39 194 1 3 6 -225 -230 6 7 DEN -10.6% In the first half, Rosen went 8-of-17 for 60 yards with more sacks and pick-sixes (two of each) than first downs (one). He did throw for eight first downs in the second half, but all of them came with Arizona down by at least 32 points. The few good plays Rosen did have almost all came up the middle; to the left and right sides, he went 12-of-25 for 73 yards, two first downs, and all three interceptions. Inside the Denver 40, he went 1-of-8 for 4 yards with one touchdown and one interception. (We had a lot more to say about Rosen in the main essay that week.)
  2017 Kevin Hogan CLE 21/37 140 1 3 4 -225 -234 9 6 HOU 19.1% It has come crashing down, and it hurts inside. Believe it or not, Hogan had positive DYAR in the first quarter, which largely balanced out his bad-but-not-that-bad performance in the second half. He’s mostly in this spot because he had the second quarter from Hell: 6-of-14 for 35 yards with one DPI for 6 more yards, two sacks, and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. And then there’s third downs, where Hogan had ten dropbacks, no conversions, no completions, two interceptions, two sacks, one fumble, and an intentional grounding penalty for a safety. It is nearly impossible to find a game where a quarterback played worse on third downs… (That comment ended in a segue into Brett Hundley’s game against Minnesota, which scored worse than Hogan’s game at the time, but looked much better with the benefit of full-season opponent adjustments.)
  2016 Case Keenum LAR 17/35 130 0 2 2 -224 -223 -1 1 SF 21.7% Keenum didn’t even get to attempt a pass in the red zone. On the 49ers’ half of the field, he went 2-of-10 for 20 yards (hey, at least they both went for first downs), with an interception. On third downs, he went 5-of-12 for 38 yards with three first downs and two sacks. And as bad as Los Angeles’ wide receivers are (foreshadowing!), their running backs and tight ends might be even worse, at least in the passing game. Throwing to his backs and tight ends, Keenum went 6-of-12 for 27 yards with no first downs and two interceptions. (That comment about foreshadowing was a reference to the worst wide receiver of the week, a player who we will talk about in great detail in due time. Yes, this editor’s note is itself an example of foreshadowing.)
  2019 Ryan Finley CIN 13/31 115 0 1 5 -224 -244 21 11 OAK 30.2% Finley’s rushing numbers: three carries for 47 yards. He only threw for six first downs all day, and only two of those came in Oakland territory, where he went 7-of-17 for 30 yards with two sacks.


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