We get to do two things with the Roses and Thorns edition of Value of Things this week. We get to the individual best performances and worst performances from the previous week as we usually do. However, we also get to take a look at the relative midpoint of the season. A 17 game schedule does not offer any perfect midpoint opportunities, but the eight game mark seems about as good a place as any.
Top Five Performers from Week 9
Dameon Pierce— 89.3
Laremy Tunsil— 78.0
Jerry Hughes— 77.5
Chris Moore— 71.5
Phillip Dorsett— 71.3
At this point, we have seen most of these guys on a week in and week out basis. Moore and Dorsett might be relative newcomers because of the injuries to Nico Collins and whatever we want to call Brandin Cooks’ situation. Obviously, the appearance of Pierce on top of the list has been a general theme throughout the season. He stands in sixth in the NFL in rushing yards and consistently gives the Houston Texans their only offensive threat of any consequence.
Biggest Offensive Riser— Dameon Pierce
Pierce went from 82.6 following week 8 to 89.0 in Week Nine. He only went up two slots because it is just too difficult to fly up the board when you are already that high up. If the Pro Bowl takes the top three running backs in each conference then he is a definite threat to be one of the backs representing the AFC. Add him to Laremy Tunsil and you have two legitimate Pro Bowl players on offense.
Biggest Offensive Faller— Davis Mills
We usually cover Mills individually later on, so I won’t belabor the point too much. Even if we grade him against himself we find that he has been a disappointment this year. Almost all of the second year quarterbacks have progressed some this year. Mills has not. He now stands 22nd according to PFF with a 66.5 grade, but as we will see later on, that ranking is still very generous.
Biggest Defensive Riser— Jerry Hughes
Hughes almost had three sacks on the evening and comes in at seven sacks at the half way point. He has very clearly been one of the two or three best free agent signings of the offseason. He is now in the top 30 in edge defenders and in the top ten in the NFL in sacks. He could have been flipped prior to the deadline for an extra draft pick, but apparently he wanted to come back home for one last season in the sun. He’s making the most of it.
Biggest Defensive Faller— Rasheem Green
As good as the Texans did signing multiple defensive ends, not all of them were going to be productive. Green went from 64.0 to 59.5 this past week and ranks 80th amongst qualified edge defenders. That ain’t going to cut it. Unfortunately, the injury to Jonathan Greenard has given more snaps to all of these veterans and some of them are getting exposed.
The Mills Report
It is hard to keep reading this week in and week out without coming away with the idea that we have an agenda at Battle Red Blog. I get it. We can’t keep beating this dead horse without sounding like we are enjoying beating up on Davis Mills. What I try to do is remove as much emotion as possible and simply report as many numbers as I can and let the chips fall where they may.
What we will do this week is compare him with a group of quarterbacks he would be most similar to. He isn’t Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, or Aaron Rodgers. It makes no sense to compare him with those guys. So, we will compare him with guys that may or may not be franchise quarterbacks. Many of them are young. Some are backups currently playing while others are in NFL limbo like Mills. We will look at total yards (passing plus running), total TDs (passing plus running), interceptions, yards per attempt, quarterback rating, and ESPN QBR.
Derek Carr— 1,947 yards, 11 TD, 5 INT, 6.9 YPA, 88.5 QBR, 58.6 ESPN
Jacoby Brisset— 2,004 yards, 9 TD, 5 INT, 7.3 YPA, 86.8 QBR, 62.5 ESPN
Trevor Lawrence— 2,227 yards, 14 TD, 6 INT, 6.7 YPA, 87.5 QBR, 50.9 ESPN
Andy Dalton— 1,418 yards, 10 TD, 5 INT, 7.3 YPA, 83.4 QBR, 49.7 ESPN
Justin Fields— 1,924 yards, 14 TD, 6 INT, 7.1 YPA, 85.0 QBR, 55.1 ESPN
Jared Goff— 2,070 yards, 14 TD. 7 INT, 7.4 YPA, 91.8 QBR, 52.0 ESPN
Daniel Jones— 1,762 yards, 9 TD, 2 INT, 6.4 YPA, 88.0 QBR, 58.2 ESPN
Davis Mills— 1668 yards, 10 TD, 8 INT, 6.4 YPA, 81.2 QBR, 32.1 ESPN
Are there guys worse than this? Sure. Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford are franchise quarterbacks having brutal seasons. No one in Carolina, Washington, or New England are even this good. Yet, you could credibly argue that Mills is the worst quarterback on this list given that he is last in interceptions, yards per attempt, QBR, and ESPN QBR. Keep in mind that we aren’t even talking about the cream of the cream here.
Andy Dalton and Jacoby Brisset shouldn’t be starting quarterbacks in this league and probably wouldn’t be in the best of circumstances. Maybe I could include Marcus Mariota and Jimmy Garoppolo on this list. I would surmise the list would end up about the same as you see above. The point is that there is an insignificant list of teams with shaky quarterback situations. Any or all of them will eventually look for upgrades. Maybe Houston should be one of those.