How Are Cutler, Orton, and Cassel Doing On Their New Teams?

I was watching the video TBO posted where Cutler says "you know" more times than Joe Morgan says something dumb. It got me thinking, the whole reason the Bears got Jay Cutler was because Josh McDaniels was actively seeking to get Matt Cassel in a trade. The Broncos, Chiefs, and Redskins among others also were actively seeking to get Cassel. The Chiefs did end up getting Cassel, but 10 games into the regular season you think to yourself, was it really worth it? Do teams really want Cassel?

Last year, Cassel Randy Moss and Wes Welker to throw to as well as a great O-line. So you knew his numbers were skewed a bit. Even still, Cassel was never that efficient ranking 17th in DYAR and 12th in DVOA. Those who liked him because of his fantasy football production also were misled the same way we were misled my liking Tyler Thigpen- Cassel was able to run the ball pretty well (again, helped by the Pats O-line). Cassel was 10th in passer rating, 10th in YPG, and 15th in YPA with a 1.91 TD/INT ratio. So how's Cassel doing this year?

To start off with, the Chiefs have an awful O-line ranking 27th in pass blocking (and as any Bears fan can tell you now, it's hard as hell for a QB to throw the ball with an awful line) and Dwayne Bowe and um, uh, whoever the Chiefs #2 receiver was before Chambers arrived are much much much worse than Moss and Welker. However, Cassel still took a 11.5 hit in passer rating, 1.2 YPA hit, and is completing 8.4% less passes. Yet despite this, his TD/INT ratio has gone up .09 points.

Normally, I would think that maybe I would start talking about how shitty Cassel is, but I think looking at Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler from this year to last year is a great example of just how important a line and receiving corps can be.

Jay Cutler went for playing for a team that ranked 4th in pass blocking to a team that now ranks 15th (and I think this is an example where stats can lie b/c I feel Cutler being able to scramble and throws the ball before he gets sacked screws this number because no way in hell the Bears are only middle of the pack in pass blocking). Anyway, Cutler is going from a great line to a shitty one. He's going from a 1.39 TD/INT ratio to a .833 ratio. He took a .56 hit in TD/INT ratio, 11.5 hit in passer rating, a .70 hit in YPA (and to put this into perspective, he has a 7.3, 7.5, and 7.3 YPA in Denver. He's down to 6.6 this year), but only a slight hit in completion percentage. .

Compare this now to Kyle Orton who went from a shitty situation to a better one. Last year the Bears ranked 11th in pass blocking and this year the Broncos rank 7th (again, a slight situation where numbers lie because football outsiders rank pass blocking by sacks and Orton also does a fine job alluding sacks). Trust me, I've actually watched football, Orton is in a much better situation and this shows in his numbers. He has increased his passer rating 8.2 points, his YPA by 0.6, is now completing 3.5% more passes, and has increased his TD/INT ratio by 0.7 percent.

Last year Cutler was sacked only 20 times. This year, he's already been sacked 20. Last year Cutler got sacked 1.79 times for every 100 times he's thrown the ball. This year, he's getting sacked a whooping 5.26 times every times per every 100 pass attempt. Compare this to Orton. Last year Orton was sacked 27 times. This year he's only gotten sacked 14. Orton got sacked 5.81 times per every 100 attempts. This year he's getting sacked 4.4 times per every 100 attempts.

I think this Orton/Cutler trade just goes to show you how important a line can be. So with this in mind, let's look to see how sacks per every 100 attempt has affected each players numbers.

Cassel (+2.66 sacks per 100 attempts)
YPA: -1.2
Completion Percentage: -8.4
Passer Rating: -11.5
TD/INT ratio: +.09

Cutler (+1.79 sacks per game)
YPA: -0.7
Completion Percentage: -0.6
Passer Rating: -11.5
TD/INT ratio: -0.56

Orton (-1.41 sacks per 100 attempts)
YPA: +0.6
Completion Percentage: +3.5
Passer Rating: +8.2
TD/INT ratio: +0.7

Statistically speaking, these numbers are pretty close to each other. The sacks per 100 attempts are vastly different, yet the numbers below seem pretty darn close. The most discernible effect S/100 (sacks per 100 pass attempts) seems to have is on YPA. The more a QB has gotten sacked, the more his YPA is hurt.

Obviously, analyzing three players over 1.5 seasons is absolutely not enough to determine 100% conclusive data. But it certainly just reinforces the point that offensive lines are so important to a team.

So to answer my original question, how are the Chiefs liking this Matt Cassel trade now? Maybe if they put a good team around him Cassel would succeed. And to the point that McDaniels was actively trying to trade for Cassel? He should have kept his big mouth shut because his O-line is good enough for any QB whether it be Cassel or Cutler or Orton. However, as a Bears fan, I'm happy as hell McDaniels is dumb.