An Exhaustively Dorky Comparison Of Kyle Orton And Matt Cassel

From the FanPosts -Joel

Cherries are delicious, and I must pick them. First I'd like to respond to some criticisms of Kyle Orton.

He's not that accurate. First, his completion percentage includes the negative impact of starting 15 games as a rookie with a terrible receiving corps. He had a 51.4% rate that year. Otherwise he is at a solid 60%. Now, 60% isn’t all-star, but when you consider that he takes an above-average number of deep shots (resulting in a 6.9 YPA outside of that rookie year), it’s quite good.

He's not that clutch. Only six comebacks in his career! There is no such thing as clutch – everyone who uses stats as a measuring stick should know that. Seriously :). For example, last week would have counted as a comeback and a win if Ryan Succop doesn’t have his kick blocked. How should that block fall on Orton? It’s an arbitrary stat.

His career QB rating is only average. His QB rating has increased every year in his career (until this one, which was truncated, and could still continue the trend if he has a mind-blowing game against the Broncos), which is a good sign for sure.

He's 34-34 in his career. He's the definition of mediocre! His record DEFINITELY has nothing to do with play. He was 21-12 with a 70-ish QB rating in Chicago. He was 12-21 with the Broncos despite an 85 QB rating. Explain how his record is indicative of anything. Then again, maybe you think Archie Manning deserved his 1-15 season despite it being the best season of his career, better than his preceding two Pro Bowl seasons.

He's a statue. 2.5 YPC for a QB is pretty okay. Last year he had 22 carries for 98 yards, worth 15 yards above an average QB on scrambles. Minute but positive. He’s not a runner, but he moves within the pocket well and also on bootlegs.


BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY - I’m going to bust out a few “advanced stats”. (Football Outsiders FTW.)

The caliber of one's offense isn't taken into account in the above stats - just QB performance adjusting for defenses faced and league performance.

Orton 2011: DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Above Average) of 3.7%, 221 DYAR (Defense Adjusted Yards Above Replacement)
Cassel 2011: DVOA of -18.6%, -141 DYAR.

Orton 2010: DVOA of 14.4%, 869 DYAR
Cassel 2010: DVOA of 15.2%, 795 DYAR

Orton 2009: DVOA of 13.3%, 887 DYAR
Cassel 2009: DVOA of -24.3% (!!!), -450 DYAR

Orton 2008: -0.9%, 334 DYAR (With Devin Hester as top WR)
Cassel 2008: DVOA of 6.4%, 655 DYAR (Taking over for best offense in fistory)

Total DYAR Orton 2008-2011: 2311
Total DYAR Cassell 2008-2011: 859.

Now, when you consider that nearly all of Cassel's value above a replacement QB (think getting Donovan McNabb or Josh McCown off the scrapheap) would be wiped out if you adjusted for his time driving the Bugatti Veyron of offenses, the comparison seems even more lopsided. Orton had one year of Brandon Marshall as his "ultimate" supporting cast - more like driving a poorly tuned 1987 Buick Regal GS.

Orton has never had a year where he racked up negative DYAR, and was only below the league average (taken as the sum of all QB play across the league in that year) for one year - and barely below average at that. Conversely, Cassel has been woeful in 2 of his 3 seasons as a Chief. Cassel's DVOA this year marks him as a worse passer than Tebow, Kolb, Kerry Collins, and Colt McCoy among others. His 2009 DVOA would be worse than Tyler Palko's was this year! This year's closest comparison to 2009 Cassel is... Curtis Painter. Think about those last two sentences. Or don't. It might hurt too much.

In sum, Orton is miles better than Cassel despite having played with much worse supporting casts.


But what about Orton vs. the League over that same time span? He's not the best over that span by any stretch, but using DYAR, let's see a smattering of players Orton has outperformed from 2008-2011 or 2009-2011 (if the comparison has only QB'd for three years). Orton's DYAR from 2008-2011 was 2311 (to remind y'all). Orton's DYAR from 2009-2011 was 1977.

Donovan McNabb: 2145 (Remember, that includes two big years in Philly)

Carson Palmer: 2073

Jay Cutler: 1744

Jason Campbell: 1571

Chad Henne: 1329

Kerry Collins: 909 (Including the 13-3 Titans from 2008)

Josh Freeman: 870 (2009-11)

Matt Cassel: 859

Matthew Stafford : 812 (2009-11)

Vince Young: 717

Alex Smith: 650

Ryan Fitzpatrick: 537

Mark Sanchez: 462 (2009-11)

Matt Hasselbeck: -151

Blaine Gabbert: -800 (Just kidding. He's a rookie, but that's an unfathomable number for just one year. He's awful!)

Now, I'm obviously not saying Orton is "the savior". However, consider how awful his wide receiving corps was in Chicago (Hester as the No. 1 receiver at one point). Then realize that Brandon Lloyd hadn't caught for more than 365 yards in a season since 2005.

Then think about what Orton could do with this Chiefs team. I think they should be happy thoughts. Listen up, Pioli! :D

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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