I've tried to ignore it, but it's real. Terrell is Achilles, Donovan McNabb is Agamemnon; I guess Andy Reid is Nestor or someone. You've got championship-level players, men capable of playing the game at the highest level, deciding not to
because of considerations of personal pride and honor.
As the world lines up pro- and con- (5000+ hits on Google News), a few thougts from an IAYPA perspective. Two kinds of quarterbacks do exceptionally well on IAYPA:
1) Guys with strong running games who know when to throw the ball away. Roethlisberger
is the current IAYPA leader, with 8.3; Neil O'Donnell used to be at the top of the tables when he played for the Steelers, and again when he played for the Jets.
2) Guys throwing to world-class receivers. The all-time IAYPA leaders are Joe Montana and Steve Young (thank you Mr. Rice). This season's #2 (tied w/ Brady) is Kerry Collins, who is unexceptional except for avoiding mistakes and throwing to Randy Moss
. (Roethlisberger can certainly thank the estimable Hines Ward
for some of his success.)
Now Donovan McNabb is clearly in the latter category, throwing to one of the greatest receivers in the game. Yet he ranks as just average on IAYPA (5.8). Some of this is due to the picks - he's thrown 7 this year, too many for Philly's short passing game, which is supposed to emphasize safe throws.
So what I guess I'm saying, is, Owens has a point. What's up with McNabb? You've got Terrell open or drawing double coverage, and you can't out-throw Jake Plummer?
Injuries are part of the story, of course. He's been horribly injured
and in a flak jacket every time I've seen him play. In last year's Super Bowl he was reportedly sick and unable to call a play
at one point.
If you were the greatest wide receiver in the game, and your QB was not able to perform, and your coach was covering for him, don't you think you might say something? And if you were Andy Reid, shouldn't you be looking around for a competent backup, someone who could spell a quarterback you know
might not be able to go the distance? (On the other hand, I would not
go picking fights with defensive ends
My money says McNabb pulls a Culpepper today and the Eagles season falls apart without Owens.Other IAYPA Notes
- The mothballed Culpepper finished the season with an IAYPA of 4.5, about the same as Favre's.
- The worst ratings for the season are held by Joey Harrington (2.8) and Michael Vick (3.4), both of whom are still starting. Detroit is 3-4, while Atlanta has moved up to 5-2. Vick has never rated high on this system, and confounds football statisticians, as discussed here.
- Most underrated Hall-of-Famers: Bart Starr and Roger Staubach are #3 and #4 behind Montana and Young in IAYPA, but don't rank nearly so well on the NFL's Pass Rating system.
- Most overrated Hall-of-Famers: Namath and Bradshaw's career records are unexceptional on both measures (although Bradshaw's 1975 Super Bowl vs. Dallas ranks as one of the very best IAYPA Super Bowl performances). Len Dawson's NFL pass rating puts him far above people like Unitas and Fouts - IAYPA puts him where he belongs, a bit behind them.