Let me introduce a new statistic I think could help to better measure quarterback play in the NFL -- Total Accuracy.
What is it? Why's it called "Total Accuracy?"
I'll start with an explanation of what this metric tracks and how it's formed -- it's very simple, actually. I've just never seen it on the Internet or used in any analytic breakdowns. The wonderful football website Pro Football Focus provides two (among many others) tremendously insightful advanced statistics pertaining to quarterbacks -- Accuracy Percentage (AP) and Average Depth of Target (aDOT).
If you're not familiar with AP...it's time you get familiar. It's the older, stronger and smarter big brother of completion percentage. It'll make you forget about completion percentage forever. I'm sure many of you astute readers do know what it is, but for those who don't, here's the quick definition.
Instead of simply dividing completions by attempts, Accuracy Percentage "accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the quarterback was hit while they threw the ball - factors that hurt the quarterback's completion percentage but don't help show how accurate they are."
The AP formula = ((Completions + Drops) / (Attempts - Throw Aways - Spikes - Batted Passes - Hit As Thrown))
Average Depth of Target is much more straight forward. It's the average depth per aimed throw by a quarterback...in yards, obviously.
Total Accuracy combines the two metrics. Only fair, right?
Total Accuracy isn't formed from a tricky, graduate-level formula -- it's elementary addition.
Total Accuracy is found by adding a quarterback's AP rank and aDOT rank. The lowest sum makes for the Total Passing leader. The highest sum makes for the worst Total Passer.
(Actually, I borrowed this idea from the PGA Tour's "Total Driving" statistic. Same exact concept. The Tour adds driving distance rank and driving accuracy rank. The golfer with the lowest sum is first in Total Driving.)
Hopefully I've spelled this out concisely enough. Below you'll find Week 1's Total Passing ranks, and I'll update this table every week throughout the 2014 regular season. Should be pretty telling.
Quarterbacks who've taken at least 25% of their respective team's snaps were counted.
(Editorial Note: Because this stat is in its infancy stages, I wasn't against getting feedback as to how it could be improved. Field Gulls member Cuenca Guy suggested I count AP twice and aDOT once, with the thought that accuracy is more "important" than simply "heaving the ball downfield." Logical. So that's what I've done and what I'll do from here on out. Appreciate the recommendation.)
TOTAL ACCURACY - WEEK 1
|Rank||Name||AP Rank||aDOT Rank||AP Rank 2x||Total Accuracy|
|4||Robert Griffin III||1||29||2||31|
|26||Alex D. Smith||32||4||64||68|