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Friday, November 7, 2008

The Manning Malaise

We are witnessing the efficiency of Eli Manning drop off in 2008 as this season progresses, and some of have wondered aloud whether there is anything to that observation. I have made the same anecdotal observation over the past few seasons, so I decided to grab some numbers. Even though the passer rating is not a great statistic, I am not about to invest the time in something better, so we will use that metric from 2005-2008 to see what is there. We normalized the data from 2008 vs the first three full seasons and threw out those last ~6 games* from 2004 when he was a rookie in an incomplete year.

From week 1 to Week 17, here are the ratings:

80, 99, 82, 93, 102, 70, 76, 63, 84, 47, 94, 57, 66, 83, 63, 48, 94.
( i.e. Week 1= average 80 passer rating, Week 2= 100 etc..)

You can slice and dice these numbers anyway you like, but obvly you have to be careful and consistent in not doing any curve fitting. Whatever tranches you use, there is clearly a rolling moving average that TRENDS DOWN FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END OF THE SEASON. Essentially, Manning peaks in his first 5 games and then slides thereafter, leveling off after Week 10. Remember that this data has 56 observations, a fairly decent set which satisfies my criteria (should be between 30 to 100 datapoints) for relevance.

Average Weeks 1-5: 91
Average Weeks 6-10: 68
Average Weeks 11-17: 71

A dropoff of 21 points in the passer rating is significant, especially when considering this is based on a total of 56 games spread out over 3-4 seasons. I'd rather have the next 8 datapoints for 2008 before using this, but keep in mind that if you just use 2005-2007 you get the same results (yes, the dropoff is actually a little worse).

Why the dropoff?

Lack of urgency? Tiring? Defenses catching up to Manning's/offensive tendencies? Maybe after Manning gets out of the box really well in each season, the coaches ask more of him and he cannot handle the broader role. In any event, the simple observation is pretty relevant and any QBs coach has to know these things about his player/s.

* 2004 would have only skewed it worse than it already is.


Mitch said...


I know you posted this thread for discussion about Eli...


I just read this in the paper!

The NFL has fined Justin Tuck for his hit on Brooks Bollinger that drew a flag. (Tom Coughlin insisted it should not have been a penalty.) How much was the fine? "Enough," Tuck said, adding that he plans to appeal.

"Our job description is basically to destroy a quarterback," he said. "You have to pick and choose how you do it. You can't hit him in the head. You can't hit him below the knees. And obviously, you can't hit him hard, either. So it's tough."

What in G-ds name is going on here?

Didn't Eli earlier this year get body slammed into the turf and no penalty was called or fine assessed. Is this anti-New York bias or am I just being overly critical because it is against the team I root for?

Andy F. said...

I wrote this post a few days ago but the Hall story was a little more timely, so it got shelved for ~ a day. No, I did not see this, where did the story show up? Motown Blue wrote a comment on Nov 5th which echoed my anecdotal observations. If Motown wrote those remarks in response to a piece by a beat writer, it would help to share that link.

THEY FINED TUCK TOO???!!! BLEEPING RIDICULOUS. Speaking about Eli getting hit, remember the hit he took in 2004, the 'welcome to the NFL' hit by McDougle of the Eagles? How was that hit any less than what Tuck did? This makes me ill. The world is upside down. This is very bad. And they are doing it with WRs too. It is NOT anti-NY bias, we have seen them doing this around the league, it is NFL-stupidity bias.

Mitch said...

This was in Newsday this morning 11/7/08


Matt said...

I don't have time to look this up but I'm pretty sure it's a Gilbride thing Re: Manning's decline in numbers during the season. I remember when Gilbride was with Bledsoe in Buffalo and they'd start out with a great record and passing attack. By the end of the season, they would flounder on offense. It seemed pretty attributable to Gilbride's play calls being predictable. There must be some pattern that the league begins to pick up on.

Gilad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gilad said...

You ignore the most (only) important question, which is whether Eli is having the same dropoff this year. So far, going by QB rating, he's not -- but it's too soon to say for sure.

Craig said...

Off topic again. Deangelo Hall to the Redskins for 492,000 for the rest of the year. Didnt see it being the Skins or happening so soon. Talk about getting a pay cut, going from $8 million a year to under $1 million a year. Their secondary is scary.

Bob said...


I'm pretty good at analyzing numbers. Pls email me (robertmk24@gmail) Eli's QB ratings week by week for 2006 thru present, including postseason play.

I'd like to analyze this issue, to see if I can help to better understand it.


Bob said...

Dream on guys !!

The same Gerry Reese who let Kamica Mitchell & Gabril Wilson....two prooven talents, get away, will now actively go after DeAngelo Hall ? And be successful when the Boys and Patriots badly need him ?

This game is ALL about $$$.


Andy F. said...

Mitch- I might have misunderstood, was there someone else that wrote a piece on the Manning malaise, or were you just plain flabberghasted by the Tuck fine? I am pretty sure it was the latter, but there was a space in between your comments and I was (duh) confused, sorry.

Yes, the Tuck fine is completely and totally insane, Coughlin said they are appealing it because they do not see how it helps Tuck or helps the game. Amen. They should PAY Tuck for calling him for an incorrect penalty. The NFL has completely lost its way, and from now on we should just tell Eli that when he is getting sacked, just lift your legs off the ground, you'll take the same hit, and we'll get 15 yards and a fine on them to boot! Maybe Goodell's people will wake the bleep up.

Mitch said...


You were right. I was...and still am totally flabberghasted about Tuck!

Just heard that Butler didn't practice today and Kenny Phillips will make his first NFL start Sunday night.

As some of you know, I spent a couple of days up at Albany this summer and was gushing when I saw Phillips practice. I will say this, when Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, or DeSean Jackson start going over the middle...Mr. Phillips will make his presence known and by the 2nd half I won't be surprised if the Eagles' wideouts develop alligator arms.

Mitch said...

There is justice in the world!

There is hope for the NFL yet...


Kieran said...

Do these stats include games 17-19 of 2007?

Does it take into consideration Eli's association with the likes of Luke Pettigout?

Two different head coaches? How many coordinators?

Interesting numbers, entertaining, at best. But not very meaningful, given the variety of circumstances of each of these seasons...

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