Miami Heat Check: How The Players' Favorite NFL Teams Fared in Week 3
LeBron James after MNF: "Great day for Cowboy fans even at the airport in Ohio"
The latest HEATcast previewed six games featuring the Miami Heat’s favorite NFL teams in Week 3. Only half the predictions on the podcast were right; only half of the Heat players were happy with the outcomes.
QB Score and RB Score are simple measures that take a player's net yards and subtract the impact of any turnovers.
QB Score = All Yards – 3*All Plays – 30*All Turnovers
RB Score = All Yards – 3*All Plays – 30*Fumbles Lost
The following slides use those stats to summarize the performance of each Heat player's favorite team in Week 3.
LeBron James and Chris Bosh's Dallas Cowboys Won 18-16
Cowboys RB Felix Jones was the sixth-most productive back in Week 3.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Cowboys weren't the only ones winning on Monday night, as LeBron also won his bet with Washington fan Kevin Durant. Details of the bet were undisclosed, but stats from the game are available below.
Felix Jones dominated the Washington defense with 155 total yards gained on just 17 plays with no turnovers for a 104 RB Score. On a per-play basis, Jones was more than three times better than the average running back in Week 3.
Tony Romo went from being the most productive QB in Week 2 with a 7.0 QB Score per Play to just average in Week 3 with a 2.9 QB Score per Play.
Average is still impressive, since he played with protection usually suited for a baseball catcher to protect his broken ribs. The Cowboys offensive line did their best to protect Romo, too. Romo was only sacked once in 39 plays.
After a good start to the season, Rex Grossman was below average for the second week in a row with a 2.2 QB Score per Play. As expected, turnovers were the problem for Grossman. Without the interception and fumble he lost, Grossman's performance would have ranked 11th in the NFL in Week 3.
The Cowboys defense held Washington running backs Tim Hightower and Roy Helu to 112 total yards on 26 touches. The defense didn't come up with any fumbles from the running backs, but it did hold them to a below average 1.3 RB Score per Play.
The Cowboys will need the rushing attack and defense to come up big again next week if they want to give the Lions their first loss of the season.
Dwyane Wade's Chicago Bears Lose 17-27
Lance Briggs and the Bears defense shut down James Starks and the Packers' running game but not Aaron Rodgers' passing attack.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Dwyane Wade tweeted one question after a flight from Washington D.C. on Sunday: "Jus landed. Wz score of My bears game?"
Unfortunately, the answer wasn't good. The numbers below explain why.
Jay Cutler took less damage from the Packers than he got from the New Orleans Saints last week and was only sacked three times. He used the luxury of being upright to produce an above average 3.4 QB Score per Play from 337 total yards on 43 plays with two interceptions.
Matt Forte was more productive catching passes from Cutler than taking hand-offs. He produced a 34 RB Score with 80 yards from seven receptions but only gained two yards on nine carries.
The Bears defense can say they slowed Aaron Rodgers down on Sunday, but he was still pretty good. Rodgers has been the second-most productive QB in the league after three weeks with a 4.9 QB Score per Play.
The Bears "held" him to a 3.7 QB Score per Play. Not much better than Cutler, but the key was that he only threw one interception.
The Bears limited the Packers rushing attack by pouncing on the weakest link. Ryan Grant was above average with a 41 RB Score from 92 yards on 17 touches. James Stark, however, was the worst NFL running back in Week 3 with a -58 RB Score from just 14 yards on 14 touches and one fumble.
The Bears get a visit from rookie QB sensation Cam Newton, meaning Wade may get some trash-talking tweets from Panthers fan Mario Chalmers. The Panthers have allowed a league-worst 756 passing yards on 83 plays with just one interception this season, so Cutler can have a big day if he stays upright and takes care of the ball.
Mario Chalmers' Carolina Panthers Won 16-10
Jonathan Stewart ranked 12th out of 93 running backs in Week 3.
Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images
After hitting a last-second shot at his alma mater, Mario Chalmers got to watch his favorite team play the Jacksonville Jaguars in a monsoon.
Cam Newton took the league by storm in his first two weeks, but didn't play well in the storm on Sunday. Newton only produced a 1.5 QB Score per Play from just 185 yards on 41 plays. Completions were tough to come by in the rain.
Jonathan Stewart was much more productive on the mud than Newton was through the storm. He was twice as productive as the average running back in Week 3 with a 46 RB Score from 85 yards on 13 touches with no fumbles.
Rookie Blaine Gabbert was just as inefficient as Newton. He produced an identical 1.5 QB Score per Play with a much smaller role in the offense. Gabbert produced 151 yards on 27 plays and one interception.
Maurice Jones-Drew was his normal unstoppable self. He was slightly less efficient than Stewart but got twice as many touches to produce a RB Score of 86, nearly doubling his Carolina counterpart.
Chalmers' Panthers will have a tough time with the Bears in Chicago. Matt Forte ranks third in the NFL in RB Score this season and while the Carolina defense ranks sixth against the rush, Forte does most of his damage as a receiver out of the backfield.
The Panthers rank last in passing defense after getting torched by Larry Fitzgerald and Aaron Rodgers in the first two weeks of the season, but the Bears have just been average against the pass themselves. It will probably take a big day from Newton and Steve Smith to give Chalmers bragging rights in his next workout with Wade.
Udonis Haslem, James Jones & Eddie House's Miami Dolphins Lose 16-17
Chad Henne was the sixth-best QB in Week 3.
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
It was another tough Sunday for the Heat's bench mob as the Dolphins fell to 0-3, losing in exciting fashion to the Cleveland Browns.
Colt McCoy’s touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 48 seconds left made the Browns’ 17-16 win at home over the Miami Dolphins the most exciting game of the weekend, according to the Excitement Index at the Advanced NFL Stats blog.
If it wasn’t for that play, McCoy would have gone down as the goat in a loss instead of a hero in the win.
McCoy was badly outplayed by Dolphins QB Chad Henne, whose 4.1 QB Score per Play from 294 total yards on 37 plays ranked sixth in the NFL for Week 3.
The Browns defense kept them in the game by holding the Dolphins rushers to the seventh-worst production of any running back committee in the league on Sunday. Rookie RB Daniel Thomas was slightly below average with 122 yards on 26 touches in Cleveland after a solid performance in Week 2, but Reggie Bush was the real problem.
Bush only gained 36 yards on 12 touches and put the ball on the ground for the Browns to recover. He ranked 91st out of 93 running backs in Week 3.
McCoy was half-man, half-terrible against the Dolphins with a QB Score per Play of 1.3 that was only half the production of an average QB on Sunday. The tide changed for McCoy and the Browns when he completed a short pass to RB Montario Hardesty on fourth down that went for a 10-yard gain.
Before that play, the Dolphins’ probability of winning the game was at 99 percent. Hardesty’s fourth down conversion dropped it to 64 percent. Hardesty kept the Browns in the game with 86 yards on 17 touches and an above average RB Score of 35.
It will be another tough week for Udonis Haslem, James Jones and Eddie House. The Dolphins visit the San Diego Chargers on Sunday and Henne (who ranks 9th in QB Score per Play for the season) should be able to move the ball against a Chargers defense ranked 24th against the pass.
The problem, however, is the Dolphins defense was shredded by Tom Brady and Matt Schaub in the first two weeks. Philip Rivers only ranks 23rd in QB Score this season but he could get his mojo back against the Dolphins' 30th-ranked pass defense.
Mike Miller's Minnesota Vikings Lost 26-23
Matthew Stafford had the third-best QB Score in Week 3.
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Mike Miller probably considered turning the Vikings game off after they went up 20-0 on the Detroit Lions. If he did, he missed a big second half by the Lions.
In the end, it wasn't a good game for RB Adrian Peterson. He broke off a big 43-yard run but ended the day with a below average RB Score of 34 from 97 yards gained on 21 touches. Did he deserve more touches? Perhaps, but he only produced a below average 1.6 RB Score per Play with the touches he did get.
Donovan McNabb was average with a 2.8 QB Score per Play from 244 yards on 42 plays with no turnovers. A below average day from Peterson requires an above average day from McNabb for the Vikings offense to be productive. He just isn't an above average quarterback anymore.
Matthew Stafford racked up 417 yards on 52 plays with no turnovers to produce a 5.0 QB Score per Play. Every other quarterback with over 50 plays in Week 3 turned the ball over. Stafford’s performance not only guided the Lions to a 3-0 record but also placed his numbers among the elite quarterbacks in the league this season. This spreadsheet ranks him fourth among all qualified quarterbacks by QB Score per Play for the season.
The Lions got it going in the air and on the ground. RB Jahvid Best produced an above average RB Score of 37 with 88 total yards on 17 plays.
The Vikings get a chance for a win against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The defense should have a field day with Matt Cassel, the second-worst quarterback in the NFL after three weeks.