Playoffs Confirm QB Accuracy Is Key To Success


Many times throughout the year, I expressed my concern about the accuracy issues that plagued our franchise QB, “5″.   I tend to be of the belief that accuracy is not a trait that is learned by NFL QB’s but something a QB either has or doesn’t have.

12 teams make the NFL playoffs.  This is the list of the QB completion percentage for all 12 playoffs QB’s.

Drew Brees – 1st
Peyton Manning – 2nd
Brett Favre – 3rd
Kurt Warner – 6th
Tom Brady - 7th
Phillip Rivers – 8th
Aaron Rodgers - 9th
Tony Romo -11th
Joe Flacco – 11th
Carson Palmer – 17th
Donovan McNabb – 20th
Mark Sanchez – 29th
***These league rankings were edited on 2/9 because of errors in the first edition

Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer had the 1st, 3rd and 6th ranked defensives from a points per game perspective.  Donovan McNabb was the only QB not in the top 10 in QB accuracy, whose team wasn’t a top 6 ranked defense who made the playoffs.

For all that information, the number one QB in the league for completion percentage just won the Super Bowl and not surprisingly had an 82.05% completion percentage in their W.

The stats (although our head coach says stats “are for losers”) speak for themselves.

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Tags: Arron Rodgers Brett Favre Carson Palmer Donovan McNabb Drew Brees Joe Flacco Josh Freeman Kurt Warner Mark Sanchez Peyton Manning Phillip Rivers Tom Brady Tony Romo

  • Mike J

    I disagree with this criticism completely (unsure what the defensive rankings have to do with anything). QBs improve with experience & completion percentage almost always gets better as a career progresses. ( Almost always–Favre had FIVE sub-60% completion seasons in the middle of his career, & he sat his first year.)Romo didnt even play his first three years; Warner was in the Arena league & NFL Europe–he didn’t set foot on an NFL field till he was 28.Manning only hit 56.7% his first year.Rodgers threw a total of 59 passes his first THREE years.Brees started no games his first year, & averaged 60.2% over the next two, vs.70.6 in 2009.Brady threw all of three passes his first year; he was barely over 60% his 4th & 5th years.
    Freeman was thrown in as a RS junior, had had few reps in the offseason, was behind a good deal, & still had a slightly better completion percentage than Stafford or Sanchez.I don’t think Josh will ever be a Montana or Starr, but he could be a Terry Bradshaw (51.9% career completion percentage)or a Ben Roethlisberger, to get more current.

  • http://PewterPlank Dustin

    and my point is that unless that % gets better or we have a top 6 defense, there is no way that Josh Freeman will lead us to a Super Bowl. Unless of course he improves that accuracy, which I would bet doesn’t happen, and if it does, its a slight improvement. I hope that I’m wrong.

  • Mike J

    Freeman still has the potential to be a big-play guy even if he never hits 65%. He has the ability to throw deep on the move, & and to escape pressure–the Bucs need to work on WRs’ getting deep when a play breaks down.
    But we knew he was going to struggle at first; young QBs generally do, & Josh was younger than most. I don’t know that he’s going to develop into a franchise quarterback, but I don’t know that he’s not, either.

  • http://PewterPlank Dustin

    I agree with everything you just said, but the general trend of the NFL as a precision offense type league, mainly on the passing end, doesn’t bode well for Freeman or the Bucs in my opinion. The guy is certainly skilled, but for the most part, barring great defenses, inaccurate QB’s will not win Super Bowls. Even the Steelers example you used previously, Ben wasn’t the reason they won, they won because of their D. Great D or accurate QB, not seeing any other way to win a championship in the next 5 to 6 years.

  • Mike J

    You are probably too young to say anything about Bradshaw–Joe Kapp could’ve QBed that team into Super Bowl wins.A more recent example of what you are referring to is Dilfer with Baltimore.But you have to take a chance with a possible franchise QB in today’s game–Romos, Warners, Breeses, & Bradys are more a matter of luck than anything.
    But, I think this club could have a dominant D in a couple years, provided they don’t squander the upcoming draft bonanza.

  • http://PewterPlank Dustin

    Too young to have watched him, but certainly know his merits.

    Problem is, this is 1976 anymore, the game is much different than it was 30 years ago. Just look at the number of 4000 yard passers from now to then, the game is not even comparable. It’s a QB league, and QB’s that succeed, either need to be accurate or have a Jets like defense behind them, point blank.

  • Mike J

    Would the Bucs be better off sitting at #3 waiting to take Clausen or Bradford?? Quarterbacks don’t come five-to-a-pack at Walmart.

  • http://PewterPlank Dustin

    I would have personally rather waited till this season to draft a Qb, but by no means at this point should we be drafting a QB at 3, I think that is taking what I’m saying a bit out of context. I like some of the skills that Freeman possesses, I have said that throughout the year, whether praising him or bashing him.

    All I’m stating is what the stats are stating. That accurate QB’s or teams that have dominating defenses, or some combination are the key to success in today’s league. If he can become a more accurate QB then were fine. If our D can become a top caliber unit again, we would be ok with 5 becoming a Donovan McNabb player.

    That’s the only correlation I was making with the stats, and while Raheem says stats are for losers, I hate to break it to him, they are not.

    I certainly don’t think QB’s come five to a pack at Wal Mart, but if they did, that sure would be nice.

  • Mike J

    OK, fine, but at the risk of being argumentative, you can’t fairly criticize a 21 yr. old rookie for lack of accuracy by comparing him to seasoned vets. If Freeman is still hitting 54.5% in his fourth year, you have a gripe & a legitimate point.

  • http://PewterPlank Dustin Staggers

    Well, since you began the argument…

    All 12 QBs lowest completion % in any season that they started as many games as Josh Freeman, including rookie seasons for crappy teams.

    Tom Brady – 60.2

    Peyton Manning – 56.7 no years under 62 after that

    Carson Palmer – 58.1 in a 4 start 2008 because of injury, never under 60 other than that

    Joe Flacco – 60.0

    Brett Favre – 57.3 with 13 of his 16 years over 60

    Kurt Warner – 62.3

    Phillip Rivers – 60.2

    Tony Romo – 61.3

    Aaron Rodgers – 63.6

    Donovan McNabb – 57

    All have career completion percentages over 60, most well over other than McNabb.

    So I can fairly criticize him as long as I have some statistical clout to do so, and comparing him to the 12 Qb’s who were in the playoffs this year, the closest lowest season completion % to his was 2.5% So as I said, and I think rightfully so, we better have a great defense and a complete team around 5, because more than likely, were looking at best at Donovan McNabb, who has 0 Super Bowls.

    My main point of the whole thing, and I have reiterated this all year, is that accuracy is not learned trait. Not fumbling while running backwards, throwing it out of bounds, when to run, when not to run, better reading of defenses are all learnable traits, being accurate as a thrower is not. He wasn’t accurate in college, showed no signs of being accurate in his first year, and if that’s any indication of things to come int he future, we better be stacked everywhere else.

    Sorry for the diatribe! Do love the back and forth though Mike. Your comments are always appreciated.

  • Mike J

    Well, I didnt “start the argument.” Now you are changing the criteria from your original attack.You are totally ignoring QBs who had zero as the percentage their first year, or threw minimal passes.
    I am done with this topic.

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