Still critical of Matthew Stafford’s throwing mechanics? I’m not. He’s undoubtedly up there in arm strength with Cutler, Newton, Flacco and Rodgers (the names that come to me first). Strength and velocity doesn’t always yield results. And questionable arm strength – Peyton, Alex Smith – doesn’t always preclude you from success.
I’ll concede, accuracy likely above all other traits is the physical skill QB’s most need to succeed.
I lack no confidence is Stafford’s ability to be an elite NFL passer. I’m even willing to accept the sidewinding, sideslingin’ throw that he wildly sails from time to time. Even when they wind up in the hands of defenders. The good plays outweight the bad plays in his right arm.
Now, his decision making and QB IQ (LOS reads, moving secondaries with his eyes)…well, that’s where I’d like to see improvement.
Anyway, you know what I thought of when the topic of Stafford’s throws comes up. His completion percentage. It sits at 61%. Acceptable, but not terrific. That ranks him 19th in the NFL.
Then I reminded myself that Lions drop a lot of passes. A quick Google search turns up this (subjective, in all likelihood) list, which the Lions sit atop. 33 drops.
Allow me to work out some very simple math.
I averaged out the number of drops from that list of all 32 teams. That number is 20. I reasonably (no?) added 20 completions to Stafford’s 296 of 488 passes.
His completion percentage jumps to 65. That would rank him 9th beyond Tom Brady in the completion % standings, and put a nice shine on his stats and performance.
**One could contend that the Lions have more dropped passes than any team, because they throw the most passes. By that, they’re dropping 1 of 14.7 passes. Though the Broncos are in that same range.