The impact that blocking has on offensive performance cannot be overstated. Over a decade of research I’ve done in measuring run blocking indicates that ball carriers are four to five times more productive on plays with good run blocking versus plays with bad run blocking. The passing game also displays a huge disparity, as quarterbacks are roughly three times as productive on a yards-per-dropback basis with a clean pass pocket as they are on dropbacks when pass-rush pressure is impacting the pocket.
Ben Roethlisberger’s third-and-2 pass at his own 49 yard line looked like a sure interception. Instead, it bounced through Phillip Gaines’ hands, off his facemask, and to Antonio Brown.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Cardinals: What a debut! Peterson’s 25.4 fantasy points were an extraordinarily rare feat for a player who switched teams in-season. They were the second-most by such a player in his debut for his new squad since Howard Hopalong Cassady managed 25.3 non-PPR and 33.3 PPR fantasy points in his Philadelphia Eagles debut in 1962 Week 6, and they represented only the second-best non-PPR and fourth-best PPR performance worth at least 20 among running backs in a debut for a new team after changing uniforms in-season. Peterson also received 26 rushing attempts, his most since 2015 Week 12 (29), as the Cardinals made it clear they regard him their featured back. His 22.8 percent start rate this week is sure to soar in Week 7, when he gets a much more cozy matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.