5 things you need to know for Wednesday
Good morning football fans! Here are the five things you need to know coming out of Tuesday to get your morning started right:
- The NFL’s passer rating statistic is a useful measure of overall passing productivity, but it has some key blind spots that can cause the stat to be misleading at times. PFF senior analyst Steve Palazzolo explores the differences between passer rating and PFF grading to look at where the grades can add context to the statistics.
- Matt Claassen takes a look at the league’s most difficult-to-tackle running backs from 2016, led by a player who didn’t even begin the season at the position. Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery started the year as a receiver for the Packers, but when he was moved into the backfield he was a transformed player who led the NFL in yards per carry after contact.
- Jets QB Josh McCown has been reportedly far and away the best QB so far at Jets OTAs, which won’t assuage the fears of Jets fans who saw their team pass on quarterbacks throughout the draft. McCown has one season over the past decade graded at over 70, and that was an eight-game stretch of the 2013 season for the Chicago Bears. If McCown is the best quarterback on that roster, the Jets may have significant problems.
- The Detroit Lions cut FB Michael Burton to make room for signing RB Matt Asiata. Burton has been an impressive blocking back for the Lions, but Detroit is a team that doesn’t use a fullback much, and he has played just 339 snaps over the past two seasons, with only 95 coming in 2016.
- A running back’s usage is often dependent on his team’s competitiveness — a back on a team that goes 2-14 won’t get nearly as many fourth-quarter carries as one on a 13-3 team. To that end, PFF Fantasy’s Pat Thorman examines expected changes in late-game flow for some of the league’s improving and worsening teams to find backs whose situations are likely to change in 2017.