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Ryan Mathews Tops Football Outsiders' Week 2 RB DYAR List

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Last week Mike Tolbert did really well in the DYAR statistic and this week Ryan Mathews outranked an entire league's worth of running backs. This isn't meant to console anyone who is still frustrated with the loss. It's just to give context to how much value the 2nd year tailback provided as the Chargers offense desperately tried to overcome all their mistakes.

For those not familiar with the DYAR statistic, I've provided some links below. But, if you just want some context and don't need to dig into the details, it's a statistic used to measure performance. It gives players credit for doing things that help teams win football games (getting first downs, staying out of 3rd and longs, 20+ yard runs and scoring touchdowns are valued higher than getting yards in garbage time, 9 yard runs on 3rd and 15), while also giving negative credit for things that hurt the team (fumbles, dropped passes, failing to score on 4th and goal from the 1, etc.).

All VOA, DVOA, YAR and DYAR statistical values are developed, calculated and reported by Football Outsiders. Their explanation can be found here. The Quick Reads article where this was taken from can be found here.

vs NEP / 9.18.11 Rushing Receiving
Rush Yards Avg TD Rec Yards Avg TD
Ryan Mathews 12 64 5.3 1 7 62 8.9 0

Ryan Mathews

#24 / Running Back / San Diego Chargers



May 01, 1987

Fresno State

Philip Rivers also had a top 10 performance finishing #8 among QBs. Here's what Football Outsiders writer Vince Verhei had to say about that:

Rivers had went 14-of-16 for 195 yards and 148 DYAR on throws over the middle against New England. Nobody had more completions over the middle in Week 2, only Rex Grossman and Tom Brady had more attempts, and only Brady had more value on throws in that direction.

Tom Brady topped the QB list with his performance against the local team.

An example of why total yardage is a bad way to evaluate football players: Brady's 517-yard game in Week 1 was worth 232 passing DYAR, which is outstanding, but his 423-yard effort against San Diego in Week 2 was even better, at 294 DYAR. As it stands, that's the 11th best game in our database, which goes back to 1992. That could change by the end of the year - the "D" in DYAR stands for Defense-adjusted, and right now we don't know how good San Diego's defense is. For now, we can look at his 31-of-40, 3-touchdown, no-turnover day and marvel. Brady wasn't padding his stats with checkdowns, either. His 31 completions produced 23 first downs or touchdowns, and six more plays that gained successful yardage. The other two completions: a pair of six-yard gains, one on first-and-20, the other on second-and-14.

Vincent Jackson was #3 among WRs.

Every one of Jackson's catches produced a first down or touchdown. Eight of them gained 10 yards or more, and three of them gained 20 yards or more.