Thursday, December 19, 2013

How's Matt Flynn Played Over The Last Four Games?

It's still up in the air whether QB Aaron Rodgers will return this weekend so we still might watch another must-win game for the Green Bay Packers with Matt Flynn as their starting quarterback. With four games under his belt, he's now given me a decent sample size to evaluate what he's given the Packers. Below are some selected stats and I'll primarily focus on ESPN's QBR and Football Outsiders's DYAR stats by game.
Vikings 6.06 74.5 61
Lions 6.95 2.1 -159
Falcons 8.06 34.1 -92
Cowboys 7.67 59.0 94
I like yards per attempt as an indicator of a successful quarterback. For the season, including Flynn's time with the Raiders, his yards per attempt is 7.21 and it would rank him between Jay Cutler and Cam Newton on the list of quarterbacks who have at least 14 pass attempts per game. That's not the greatest company, but it's not bad either. He's not a dink-and-dunk quarterback like Alex Smith.

Both ESPN and Football Outsiders show how wildly inconsistent he's been. Even his home/road splits feature one solid game and one gigantic stinker. Football Outsiders gave him a bad grade for an otherwise decent game against the Falcons because he was sacked five times and the Falcons hadn't been sacking any quarterbacks this season.

One thing all four of these opponents have in common is that their pass defenses stink according to Football Outsiders. The Lions are the best (No. 20 overall) but that might be because they have the best pass rush. While the Steelers have the best pass defense Flynn's played against all season, it isn't much better and is currently ranked only 18th overall.

It's looking like a snowy weekend in Green Bay so maybe the pass game is going to be much less important this weekend. Maybe the game will rest on the shoulders of RB Eddie Lacy. However, Flynn will still play an important role either way and the one take away from the comparison of his home game against the Vikings and Falcons is that he wasn't sacked once by the Vikings. Avoiding turnovers is still more important, but avoiding negative plays is a close second. Against the Cowboys last week, the offense struggled so much in the first half, in part, because of several negative plays that moved them backwards. They avoided those in the second half and it was part of the reason for their amazing comeback.

He's certainly a frustrating quarterback to watch. From game to game (from half to half against the Cowboys) he goes from pretty good to unbelievably awful. I'm not sure which quarterback will show up on Sunday, if he's going to start again, but avoiding negative plays and sacks will be part of the formula if he's successful.

1 comment:

Jack Niemuth said...

They better win this game. I'm going to it, so they better make standing in the snow for 3 hours worth my while.