Vince Lombardi

QuantCoach.com

INSIDE SPORTS ANALYTICS
with
EDWARD EGROS
(FOX4 - DALLAS)

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THE CHALKBOARD

QC's Week 10 Thoughts

Play designers followed up a dominant 12-1 Week 9 with another oustanding week (11-2 with MNF pending). Six QBs were infinitely productive and averaged more than 10 QCYPA: Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Baker Mayfield, Mitch Trubisky, and Marcus Mariota. Even Matt Barkley, who was brought in off the street by desperate Buffalo, put up 9.961 QCYPA as the the hitherto listless Bills embarrassed the NY Jets, 41-10. Keep an eye on Barkely. He can produce offense. But turnovers also follow him.

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Speaking of turnovers, Tampa Bay had another 4 giveaways in a 16-3 loss to Washington. The Buccarneers now have given the ball away 25 times in 9 games and are on pace to subsidize opponents with over 44 TO, which would be 2 more than the 0-16 Browns provided their opponets last year. QC has never seen a team like HC Dirk Koetter's team. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 401 yards and averaged over 9.7 QCYPA, but the Redskins did not have to do anything to win because of the turnovers. Fitzpatrick has hand in 5 400-yard passing games in 2018, but the Bucs are just 2-3 in those games.

*****

New Orleans destroyed Cincinnati, 51-14, as QB Drew Brees had another phenomenal game, but what QC really liked was how Saints HC Sean Payton and OC Pete Carmichael used third string QB Taysom Hill. Against the Bengals, Hill ran the option, lined up wide and sealed the edge on a screen pass to Alvin Kamara, threw a jump pass (alas, it was incomplete), and returned a kick. It will be interesting to see more NFL teams try to copy what Payton and Carmichael are doing and go looking for players that resemble Hill.

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A few recent columns has hypothesized that defensive play designers "have fallen behind" offensive designers and are playing to many "static defenses," particularly Cover 3. QC is not so sure. There are 5 teams that currently average better than 9 QCYPA: Chiefs, Rams, Chargers, Buccaneers, and Saints. That is unprecedented efficiency. And the Raiders and Saints are yielding better than 9 QCYPA. But in between the top and the bottom of the NFL, the data looks fairly normal to QC or, at least, not radically outsside usual ranges. Seattle HC Pete Carroll perfected Cover 3 way back in 2013. Typcially, if a defense has a weakness, offensive designers will not need 5 years to figure out how to exploit it. And last year (2017) defenses played better than average pass coverage. To QC, this looks mostly like a normal defensive ebb after a year or two of defensive flow, rather than one side of the ball seizing a decided schematic advantage.

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