February 18, 2016
In 2015, Sam Bradford connected on 65 percent of his pass attempts, which set a new Eagles single-season record for completion percentage. Impressive, right?
Bradford's completion percentage is really the only basic stat that he and his camp have to hang their hats on, as his other basic stats ranked near the bottom of the NFL:
As you can see above, being the Eagles' all-time single-season leader in completion percentage was only good for 11th in the NFL.
A high completion percentage is often thought to be the mark of an accurate quarterback. Sometimes that's true. Sometimes, however, other factors can artificially boost completion percentage.
Below is a list of every quarterback in the NFL who attempted at least 350 passes in 2015. We took their completions that traveled at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, and compared that with their total completions. We then ranked them in order of percentage of completions in which the pass itself traveled at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. Here are the results (data via ESPN):
|QB||Completions traveling 10+ yards past LOS||Total completions||% of completions traveling 10+ yards past LOS|
Only 17.3 percent of Bradford's completions traveled 10 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. That tied him with Eli Manning and Alex Smith (shocker) for the lowest percentage in the NFL. To note, drops do not factor in here, as we are talking about passes that were actually completed.
Can Chip Kelly's scheme be a reason for that low percentage? OK, we can call it that. Did the Eagles' lack of a big play threat at receiver factor in? Sure, certainly they would have completed more passes downfield if DeSean Jackson were still on the team.
However, those questions miss the point. Why there were so few completions down the field is a different conversation. We're simply noting here that Bradford's completion percentage was unquestionably helped by the fact that the vast majority of his completions were short throws.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski
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