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Which QB Completes the Shortest/Longest Passes? (1 Viewer)

cstu

Footballguy
I did this first out of interest in finding out if the QB's who I thought threw a lot of deep passes really did or if it was what the receivers did after the catch. While it's impossible to separate the two - the QB is the one who puts the ball where the WR can run with it - I thought it was interesting. The final number is average yards before catch (AYBC), or the distance the ball was throw before the receiver caught it. The number next to it is where the player ranked in highest yards per completion (YPC).I used STATS.com for the numbers and my method to calculation: (QB passing yards minus yards after completion by QB) divided by number of completions. Players chosen were the QB's with at least 1799 yards since it looked like a good cut off. Some things that stood out: Bulger, Hasselbeck, Vick and Palmer were only 12th, 14th, 18th and 21st in YPC but 3rd, 4th, 9th and 11th in AYBC, indicating that their receivers didn't gain many yards after the catch. On the other hand, McNabb, Dilfer and Brunell had low AYBC's ranking 20th, 23th, and 24th but were 13th, 15th and 17th in YPC. These seem to be the QB's with the receivers making plays after the catch.I'm not sure how useful this information is because it could just be that some players are poor at putting the ball where receivers can do something after the catch.Player --- AYBCBen Roethlisberger --- 8.3 (1)Kerry Collins --- 7.9 (5)Marc Bulger --- 7.8 (12)Matt Hasselbeck --- 7.7 (14)Byron Leftwich --- 7.7 (9)Eli Manning --- 7.6 (3)Peyton Manning --- 7.6 (7)Drew Bledsoe --- 7.4 (10)Aaron Brooks --- 7.3 (1)Michael Vick --- 7.1 (18)Carson Palmer --- 7.0 (21)Trent Green --- 7.0 (4)Tom Brady --- 6.6 (6)Jake Delhomme --- 6.6 (2)Jake Plummer --- 6.5 (8)Kurt Warner --- 6.5 (20)Gus Frerotte --- 6.5 (16)Josh McCown --- 6.3 (19)Drew Brees --- 6.3 (22)Donovan McNabb --- 6.1 (13)Chris Simms --- 6.1 (25)Kyle Orton --- 6.0 (29)Trent Dilfer --- 6.0 (15)Mark Brunell --- 5.9 (17)Joey Harrington --- 5.8 (24)Steve McNair --- 5.7 (23)Kyle Boller --- 5.7 (26)Brett Favre --- 5.7 (27)David Carr --- 5.4 (30)Brad Johnson --- 5.3 (28)

 
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Chaos Commish

Footballguy
Good stuff. It reminded me of this excellent work by Football Outsiders.Enjoy.

Modern quarterbacks execute sissy throws so they can pump up their rankings in that namby-pamby “efficiency rating” statistic that doesn’t work and nobody believes in. Or so some critics suggest. But just how prevalent are these short completions? Are players like Palmer really building gaudy stats out of useless three-yard gains? And if we isolate the weenie receptions and remove them from the equation, can we separate the men from the boys and the downfield bombers from the dump-off pretenders?
I love the way he wrote this article.Sissy throws and weenie receptions... :lol:
 

pigskinliquors

Dr. Parrothead
Favre sticks out as the most surprising player on the list.
Imagine how low his numbers would be if you had to subtract the yards gained by the opposition when they return his passes the other way ;) .
 

Evilgrin 72

Distributor of Pain
So Roethlisberger was 7th in the NFL in completion percentage while throwing the longest passes on average in the NFL. That's solid.

 

SaintArnold

Footballguy
Is there some way to filter out screen passes from this data? It seems like teams/coaches that frequently call screens would skew this data by a large amount.

 

redman

Footballguy
Favre sticks out as the most surprising player on the list.
Only if you focus on the fact that he's got a strong arm; same thing with McNabb. The WCO offense is built around the idea that you use short passes to keep the chains moving, and the best WCO QB's (e.g. Favre, Montana, Young) were very proficient at throwing passes that were not only catchable, but also generated YAC. Jerry Rice made a career out of that stuff.

As another comment, Brunell's existence on the low part of that chart are why 1) Campbell is going to get a serious look next year, and 2) Saunders was brought in.

 

3nOut

Footballguy
Wow! I am really surprised that the average is not higher. Ben's AYBC is only 8.3, and thats the best in the league? If he threw ONE pass for 25 before the catch, that would mean that his next FIVE passes would have to be an AVERAGE of 5 yards before catch. That would mean, lets say, that one was for 5 yards, two were for more than 5 yards, but then two for under 5 yards.

Thats just for one 25 yarder. If he threw one 30 yarder, he would have to average only four yards on his next five passes. If he threw one 35 yarder, he would have to average only three yards on his next five passes.

What if he throws one bomb for 50 yards? What if he threw two passes of 25 plus yards? Thats A LOT of screens, dump-offs, and short yardage attempts.

 

redman

Footballguy
Wow! I am really surprised that the average is not higher. Ben's AYBC is only 8.3, and thats the best in the league? If he threw ONE pass for 25 before the catch, that would mean that his next FIVE passes would have to be an AVERAGE of 5 yards before catch. That would mean, lets say, that one was for 5 yards, two were for more than 5 yards, but then two for under 5 yards.

Thats just for one 25 yarder. If he threw one 30 yarder, he would have to average only four yards on his next five passes. If he threw one 35 yarder, he would have to average only three yards on his next five passes.

What if he throws one bomb for 50 yards? What if he threw two passes of 25 plus yards? Thats A LOT of screens, dump-offs, and short yardage attempts.
Don't forget that on screen and swing passes the throw would be for negative yardage using this formula as those often are completed behind the line of scrimmage. Also, with 5 and 7 step drops in particular passes can appear deceptively "long" but not in fact be vis-a-vis the line of scrimmage.
 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Is there some way to filter out screen passes from this data? It seems like teams/coaches that frequently call screens would skew this data by a large amount.
Not just screens, but also swing passes to RBs out of the backfield. But your point is a good one--in some cases this statistic may say something about the QB, but it often says more about the offense.
 

cstu

Footballguy
Is there some way to filter out screen passes from this data? It seems like teams/coaches that frequently call screens would skew this data by a large amount.
That would help a lot, but I don't think that statistic is available anywhere and it would be hand looking up the passes caught by RB's for each team.Unless someone had those stats available I might get around to it in a couple days.

 
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cstu

Footballguy
So Roethlisberger was 7th in the NFL in completion percentage while throwing the longest passes on average in the NFL. That's solid.
Solid.
To be honest, before I did this I couldn't believe Roethlistberger's YPC was legit. However, being at the top of YPC and YBC shows that he earned it.
 

msommer

Footballguy
Some things that stood out: Bulger, Hasselbeck, Vick and Palmer were only 12th, 14th, 18th and 21st in YPC but 3rd, 4th, 9th and 11th in AYBC, indicating that their receivers didn't gain many yards after the catch.
Not surprised about Bulger - it seems every pass he throws to Bruce or Holt if there is just one defender in the area they hit the ground...
 

BigRed

Footballguy
Nice work; I've wondered about this....it'd be nice if you could do comparisons from other years somehow, but I doubt such stats are around.McNair was a shocker :rolleyes:

 
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Workhorse

Footballguy
Interesting stuff.Anyone care to check how those numbers relate to overall team running success?It would seem to me that a team that runs the ball successfully might have a better AYBC -- Play-action passing that brings up the safeties would lead to longer pass plays before the catch.Conversely, a team that dinks and dunks in their passing game may do it because they cannot run the ball successfully. Or if they are a modified West Coast offense, it is part of their offensive strategy.

 

dgreen

Footballguy
Interesting stuff.

Anyone care to check how those numbers relate to overall team running success?

It would seem to me that a team that runs the ball successfully might have a better AYBC -- Play-action passing that brings up the safeties would lead to longer pass plays before the catch.

Conversely, a team that dinks and dunks in their passing game may do it because they cannot run the ball successfully. Or if they are a modified West Coast offense, it is part of their offensive strategy.
Just from glancing at the list, it looks like a mixed bag.
 

Cookiemonster

Footballguy
Interesting stuff.

Anyone care to check how those numbers relate to overall team running success?

It would seem to me that a team that runs the ball successfully might have a better AYBC -- Play-action passing that brings up the safeties would lead to longer pass plays before the catch.

Conversely, a team that dinks and dunks in their passing game may do it because they cannot run the ball successfully. Or if they are a modified West Coast offense, it is part of their offensive strategy.
Seems that is mostly true (running game) but you can make a good argument against that by pointing out K.Collins @ #2 and M.Bulger @ #3 though their WRs definately have something to do w/ that.
 

Koya

Footballguy
So Roethlisberger was 7th in the NFL in completion percentage while throwing the longest passes on average in the NFL. That's solid.
I think this is an example of stats may be a bit misleading. Don't get me wrong, Roths has earned an immense amount of praise and deservedly so this year.However, for a team that for the most part (until the playoffs, where Roths has been unleashed a bit and has come through exceptionally well) was run run run, that sets up your play action and other passes in the intermediate range - which are more likely than bombs to be completed.

In their offense, with the profeciency that Roths has shown, this stat is not a surprise. But I believe the stat itself is certainly aided by their emphasis (and success) running the ball.

 

Evilgrin 72

Distributor of Pain
This makes sense theoretically, but if you look at the two guys following Roethlisberger on this list -Collins and Bulger - both of those teams were in the top 4 in the NFL in pass to run ratio (Raiders passed 64% of the time, Rams 63%) Add to that, Pittsburgh had the highest # of rushing attempts in the league. Rounding out the top 4 in run to pass ratio were Denver, Atlanta, and Washington. Their QBs rank 15th, 10th, and 24th respectively on this list.

 

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