HEAT Check: NFL Week 6
- Cam Newton ranks 10th in QB Score per Play. Carolina's rookie quarterback has more combined passing and rushing attempts (243) than any other quarterback in the league. Drew Brees is second with 239. Newton is literally carrying the Panthers' offense on his back and is doing it with top 10 efficiency.
- Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams rank in the top 15 for RB Score out of 140 qualified running backs and both of them have above average RB Scores per Play. While Newton assumes a heavy load on offense, Carolina's backs are no slackers. Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte and Fred Jackson are the only running backs with more plays from scrimmage than Stewart and Williams.
- Matt Ryan's efficiency has been ice-cold this season. He ranks 23rd out of 33 qualified passers in QB Score per Play. Only Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger have more turnovers than Ryan, but Matty Ice has generated less yards than both of them despite using more plays.
- Michael Turner has been more of a slow and steady cook than the burner this season. He ranks 14th of 140 qualified running backs in RB Score but his RB Score per Play is below average.
- Michael Vick ranks 12th in QB Score per Play. If he just had an average number of turnovers, then Vick would be the fifth-most efficient quarterback in the NFL. Instead he's tied with Roethlisberger for the most turnovers in the NFL and the Eagles are 1-4.
- LeSean McCoy ranks 8th in RB Score. Only five running backs have more yards from scrimmage than McCoy — Forte, F. Jackson, Ryan Mathews, Darren McFadden and Jahvid Best.
- Rex Grossman ranks 26th in QB Score per Play. As expected, his turnovers are below average. Grossman has also produced about 250 less yards from scrimmage than the average quarterback this season. Fortunately for Washington, Grossman's been responsible for less plays than the average QB, thus limiting his negative impact on the offense.
- Washington has three running backs in the top 40 (of 140 qualified RBs), but Tim Hightower has gotten the overwhelming majority of the touches despite underwhelming production. Hightower has only been half as productive as the average running back on a per-play basis. Ryan Torain was twice as productive as the average running back in his only appearance this season and Roy Helu has been 1.5 times as productive. It might be time for a change in the ground game after their bye week.
- Tony Romo ranks 6th in QB Score per Play. Despite some bone-headed turnovers, he's still average in that category. How has he managed to be so productive while playing with broken ribs? Some combination of offensive line, athleticism and quick receivers seems to be the answer. Only Matthew Stafford, Kerry Collins, Colt McCoy, Jason Campbell and Vick have been sacked less than Romo this season.
- Felix Jones ranks 32nd of 140 RBs in RB Score and has been below average on a per-play basis. Tashard Choice has been more productive per-play but only has 29 touches this season. The average running back has gotten 31 touches.
- Tom Brady ranks 2nd in QB Score per Play. No QB has produced more yards from scrimmage than Brady and the only reason he ranks second is his four-interception game against the Buffalo Bills.
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis ranks 22nd of 140 RBs in RB Score, but his production per-play is below average. Danny Woodhead has also received a significant number of touches and has been slightly below average per-play.
Mike Miller's Vikings at Dwyane Wade's Bears
- Jay Cutler ranks 14th in QB Score per Play. He's managed to provide above average production despite being tied for taking the most sacks in the NFL. The other two QBs that took as many sacks as Cutler, Tarvaris Jackson and Sam Bradford, rank 27th and 31st in QB Score per Play. If Cutler only took an average number of sacks for the average number of lost yards, then he would be as efficient as Cam Newton.
- Matt Forte ranks 1st in RB Score and he's doing it catching the ball out of the backfield. Only Adrian Peterson has gotten more touches at running back than Forte but Peterson has 28 more rushes. Only Darren Sproles has more receptions than Forte. Is that by design in Martz's offense or a result of the offensive line's inability to give Cutler time to throw downfield? Either way, it's working well for the Bears.
- Donovan McNabb ranks 19th in QB Score per Play. He's less involved in the Vikings offense as illustrated by his below average number of combined passing and rushing attempts but his efficiency is also below average. On the ground, McNabb is older but still effective. Only four QBs have more rushing yards than McNabb — Vick, Netwon, Chad Henne and Josh Freeman. The inefficiency in his game comes in the air, where only four quarterbacks average less yards per attempt — Kerry Collins, Sam Bradford, Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Orton. Those four quarterbacks have the four lowest QB Scores per Play in the NFL.
- Adrian Peterson ranks 10th in RB Score but it's more quantity than quality with All Day this season. Peterson leads all running backs in total plays from scrimmage but has produced a below average RB Score per Play.
- Chad Henne ranked 11th in QB Score per Play. Before his season was ended by injury, Henne was putting together a very efficient year. While his QB rating was low, his QB Score was high because he was the third-ranked QB in the NFL in rushing yards. Henne was a big loss for the Dolphins.
- Reggie Bush ranks 80th of 140 RBs in RB Score. Bush has only produced 205 yards from scrimmage in 53 plays this season. Thomas Jones and Rashard Mendenhall are the only running backs to produce less yards in 50 plays or more.
- Mark Sanchez ranks 28th in QB Score per Play. Sanchez's season is what happens when you produce a below average number of yards with an above average number of plays and turn the ball over too much. Maybe the pundits are right and Sanchez needs to play a smaller role in the offense.
- LaDainian Tomlinson ranks 13th out of 140 RBs in RB Score but only 48th in touches with 36 plays from scrimmage. Shonn Greene ranks 51st in RB Score and 15th in touches with 84 plays from scrimmage. Tomlinson and Greene both average 3.3 yards per carry. Maybe the Jets can simultaneously fix their running and passing game by having Sanchez throw the ball to Tomlinson instead of handing it off to Greene.
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