November 01, 2013


Since I did my IAYPA post while I was falling asleep, and the output looked so strange, I took another look a the data.  Perhaps there was a data error?

None that I can find.  A few additional observations:

  • IAYPA rewards players who a) throw downfield and b) avoid interceptions.  Several lowly-rated players throw deep, but are killing themselves with bad decisions.  The largest INT penalty is for Geno Smith, whose respectable YPA of 7.4 drops to an IAYPA of 4.9, due to 13 interceptions.  For every 100 balls Smith throws, 5 are caught by the other team.  
  • Smith is an untested rookie, learnings the ropes.  So I have no idea why Eli Manning's numbers are virtually identical to Smith's.  E. Manning leads the League in interceptions, with 15, and is tied for second in INT/Attempt, behind Smith.
  • By contrast, Jake Locker has a slightly below average YPA of 6.9, but he has thrown fewer interceptions (1), and fewer interceptions per attempt (0.7) than any other quarterback who's seen significant playing time this year.  So he ends up with a very strong IAYPA (6.6 vs. league median of 5.7).
  • Tom Brady is more of a poor man's Jake Locker (only at Eisengeiste do you get this kind of insight!) - his INT penalty is relatively low (1 yard, 2% INT percentage vs. League median of 2.6%) - but the ball is just not going downfield.  Raw YPA is 5.9 vs. League average of 7.1, a figure we would typically associate with the Mike Nolan-era Alex Smith.
  • Alex Smith has regressed a bit on that score.  After a big improvement in raw YPA last year into truly elite territory, he is back down to a below-average 6.3 with Andy Reid.  The revelation of the past two years was that Smith can throw the ball downfield, and into the end zone, if you tell him to.  But with the strong KC defense Reid is all about field position and not making the big mistake.  Too bad - Smith has shown he can do more.
  • I heard on the radio today that KC will lose to Buffalo this week because Smith gets sacked a lot (#5 in the League) and Buffalo is good at pressuring the quarterback.  You can move on this game, the fellow said, as if it had already been played. 
  • The League median quarterback is Sam Bradford.


Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

Alex Smith: an enigma wrapped in a riddle nestled in a box of conundrums.

November 1, 2013 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

Fun fact: Two of the Chiefs' next four games are against Denver. After the Bills it goes: at Broncos, Chargers, Broncos.

If they're undefeated after that, he's the new Bob Griese.

I think Smith has a bit of the John McCain problem - he has been subjected to such indignities that it is impossible to believe he ever fully recovered. He doesn't have McCain's twitchy personality, but I'm not sure we can take that as evidence of health...

Humphrey Bogart said of Captain Queeg: "I don't know if he was schizophrenic, manic-depressive, or paranoiac - ask a psychiatrist - but I do know that a person who has any one of these things work overtime at being normal. In fact, he's super normal, until pressured. And then he blows up."

I just wonder if, some time soon, the camera will cut to the sideline and show us Alex Smith cutting out paper dolls and making himself a hat, or talking to himself in Swahili.

Did he come to the NFL with the heart of a lion? For if he did it was surely crushed by the Two-Headed Mediocrity that was Nolan/Singletary. That would explain his antiseptic nonchalance.

Or is his rage suppressed, festering and hiding inside of him, ready to erupt when conditions are right....for good or ill? Might he pull a Scotty Pippin?

Or could he use that manic energy productively and find a whole new level of performance, as he seemed to do under Harbaugh last year?

Is facing Prima Donna Peyton twice in three weeks the straw that will break the camel's back?

I have no idea, but I find it all completely fascinating.

November 1, 2013 at 6:57 PM  

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