Mighty Mike Vick and CHFF's new 'Real QB Rating'
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 15, 2010
Michael Vick right now is arguably the most awesome dual-threat athlete football has produced since, hell, maybe back in the days of the Pigskin Messiah himself, Sammy Baugh.
Vick passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more in Philadelphia's dynamic 59-28 win over the Redskins Monday night.
His nearly flawless and unstoppable six-TD performance provides us a perfect opportunity to provide a few details about a new Quality Stat that will be a part of our Premium Quality Stats product this year. It's called Real Quarterback Rating. Vick is an ideal case study in Real QB Rating.
His numbers for the season are just awe inspiring. We always knew Vick was an elite offensive weapon when he ran with the football. But it's his incredible passing here in 2010 that has set him apart as a rare and historic dual threat.
Vick opened the Monday night game with an 88-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson on the first play from scrimmage. It was the second longest scoring pass in the NFL this year (Jay Cutler, 89).
Vick awoke Tuesday morning, meanwhile, way atop the league or near the top in every major indicator of passing success.
He's posted a 115.1 passer rating – well ahead of No. 2 David Garrard (104.9), himself an exciting statistical story this year, but easily overshadowed by Vick.
He's thrown 11 TDs without a single pick – easily the best TD-INT ratio among anybody who's attempted more than a few passes this year.
He's averaged an awesome 8.82 YPA – only San Diego's Philip Rivers (8.95) has been more effective.
In his spare time, Vick has rushed 44 times for 341 yards, an incredible average of 7.75 YPA, with 4 TDs (and zero lost fumbles). That's 15 TDs and zero turnovers, by the way, in 212 touches (153 pass attempts, 44 rushes, 15 sacks).
Vick already holds the single-season record for average per attempt (min. 100 carries), when he ran for 8.45 YPA in 2006. He broke Bears rookie Beattie Feathers' 72-year-old record (8.44 YPA) in the process.
If he keeps up his rushing pace this year (and reaches 100 attempts), he'll be on a very elite list of talents comprised mostly of him: only three players in history have carried the ball 100 times and averaged over 7.0 YPA for a season: Feathers in 1934 (8.44), Randall Cunningham in 1990 (7.98), Vick in 2004 (7.52), Vick in 2006 (8.45 YPA) and Vick likely again here in 2010 (7.75)
Granted, quarterbacks have a distinct advantage over running backs: if a QB is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, it counts as a sack, not as a rush attempt. So that's why there's only one running back on this list, and Feathers played three quarters of a century ago.
However, Vick is doing things that no other quarterback has ever done, with the lone exception of Cunningham once at the height of his career. (Cunningham, by the way, posted a nice 91.5 passer rating in that great 1990 season. Solid number. But still 15 points behind Vick's 2010 passer rating.)
All of which brings us around to Real Quarterback Rating. You'll learn more about this indicator if you sign up for our Premium Quality Stats product later this year. But here's a little taste of it.
We love passer rating, as you know. It has a high correlation to success on the scoreboard. But passer rating also has a flaw as a measure of a quarterback's overall performance. Namely, it is what it says it is: a passer rating. It rates only a quarterback's ability to pass ... and nothing else.
There is no "quarterback rating" even though people mistakenly refer to passer rating as QB rating all the time – even "pundits" who should know better.
But our Real Quarterback Rating will measure the overall effectiveness of each team's passing attack (and eventually each individual passer) in a way that accounts for typical passing stats, along with sacks, lost fumbles, rushes and rushing TDs.
The calculation will be the same as passer rating, to provide some consistency as a comparative measure. Generally, Real Quarterback Rating will be quite a bit lower than passer rating, because yards per attempt (a critical component of calculating passer rating) will be lower, and sack yards will be subtracted from total yards. Lost fumbles will be treated much like interceptions – and turnovers have a big impact on the final number.
Given all those issues, Vick's Real Quarterback Rating right now is through the roof. In fact, it's on pace to be among the highest Real Quarterback Ratings in history (if not the highest of all time, but we're still crunching the numbers).
Vick right now has a an awesome 115.1 passer rating
Vick right now has an unbelievable 112.3 Real Quarterback Rating
For the sake of comparison, let's look at passing stat monster Philip Rivers.
Rivers has a great 102.9 passer rating
Rivers has a nice 92.6 Real Quarterback Rating
The first number looks only at his passing ability. The second number is a more accurate representation of Rivers' performance every time he steps back to pass. It includes his 22 sacks, the 140 yards that have been lost with those sacks, and his three lost fumbles, plus his meager rushing production (17 attempts, 26 yards).
The Cold, Hard Football Facts in this instance confirm what we all saw Monday night, that Vick's performance was a true statistical tour de football force:
Vick posted a 151.1 passer rating Monday night. He also posted a 150.7 Real Quarterback Rating Monday night, among the highest numbers in history. (It may in fact be the highest one-game Real Quarterback Rating in history ... we're trying to crunch the numbers now.)
When we introduce Real Quarterback Rating as one of our Premium Quality Stats for members, you'll be amazed at how the Eagles stack up against the rest of the teams in the NFL, thanks largely to what has the potential to go down as one of the great quarterback seasons in history ... and perhaps even the greatest ever ... as measured by Real Quarterback Rating.
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