Selective Use of Stats Watch

Kerry Byrne claims that the Falcons can’t win in the playoffs because Matt Ryan only average 6.5 yards per attempt (as opposed to 8+ for others).

OK. Let’s look at the past SB winning QB’s, shall we?

2010 New Orleans – Drew Brees – 8.5
2009 Pittsburgh – Ben Roethlisberger – 7.0
2008 New York – Eli Manning – 6.3
2007 Indianapolis – Payton Manning – 7.9
2006 PIttsburgh – Ben Roethlisberger – 8.9
2005 New England – Tom Brady – 7.8
2004 New England – Tom Brady – 6.7
2003 Tampa Bay – Brad Johnson – 6.8
2002 New England – Tom Brady – 6.9
2001 Baltimore – Trent Dilfer – 6.6

The league leader for the past few years in yard per attempt has been Phillip Rivers, whose Chargers have wheezed out every year.

A good downfield passing game helps win games. But it’s not a requirement.

Byrnes also goes on to note that New England’s pass defense massively improved in their last six games. Maybe. But why don’t we consider the QBs on their schedule? Their first first ten games included Cincinnati, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Indy and the last six included Detroit, a collapsing Jets team and a Rodgers-less Green Bay. That can make a world of difference. This is why Football Outsiders adjusts their stats for the level of competition.

(He does make a good point about Roethlisberger, though.)