Ponder And The Myth Of The YAC

Very nice job by rj-b on this one, and well worth the read. -Chris

EDIT: further research can be found here. -rj-b

... if all you are going to do is snap, turn, throw to the line of scrimmage and hope for YAC you will [have] 0 success.

The dink and dunk stuff isn’t going to work 16 games.

... even I can zip a 7 yarder to Percy or Rudolph, hoping to rack up YAC.

The current approach of tossing short stuff to Harvin is working, but it won’t work all season long ...

... I bet 50% is from what the receivers do AFTER catching the ball. This short pass offense is starting to look like Chilly’s KAO ...

This is but a small glimpse into the mind of several Vikings fans, via the 'Ponder Is Not The Problem' thread.

To oversimplify the response?? YAC is bad.

To dig a little deeper into this perception?? Ponder won't win us games because he doesn't take chances downfield, and his stats are padded because he makes high-percentage short throws and relies on his receivers Percy Harvin to produce yards.

Join me after the jump for story time, kiddies -- and we'll put this myth to rest.

Let's pretend, just for a second, that we don't have an offense based around the WCO, we don't have a legitimate deep threat (which shouldn't be too hard to pretend, at least until Wk 4), and we don't have a consistent OLine (...pretend?? Wuh??). The implication is that Ponder's stats (75.8% completion, 110.6 passer rating, 8.31 yds/avg, 0 INTs) are misleading because all he does is throw short routes. This also leads to the idea that we can't be successful as a team because our offense is becoming more and more predictable.

Pretend time is over. Our offense is based around timed routes, which are inevitably short-to-intermediate; when Jerome Simpson returns, we'll throw more downfield; if Charlie Johnson and Phil Loadholt actually pass-protect worth a damn, Ponder might have the extra second or two to allow a downfield play to develop.

But these are just excuses, right?? It still doesn't disprove that we can't win with a dink-and-dunk YAC-reliant offense.

Allow me to present Exhibit A -- the Top 10 QBs in YAC from 2006-2010:

Player Yards, 2006-2010 YAC, 2006-2010
Drew Brees 22722 10636
Brett Favre 18223 9233
Philip Rivers 19200 8903
Peyton Manning 21375 8577
Donovan McNabb 16817 8094
Tom Brady 16434 7636
Tony Romo 16650 7306
Eli Manning 17598 7240
Ben Roethlisberger 17216 7143
Jason Campbell 13092 6677

How many Hall of Famers can you spot on this list??

My goodness... like, almost 50% of their total yards were YAC -- must mean they weren't successful, right??

Well, during this timeframe, QBs from this list started over half of their respective conference Championship Games (11 times out of 20 possible starts).

And just for fun, let's count Super Bowl appearances and wins during this timeframe:

  • Peyton Manning - 2 (won 1)
  • Ben Roethlisberger - 2 (won 1)
  • Eli Manning - 1 (and won)
  • Drew Brees - 1 (and won)
  • Brady - 1

Oh, Brady, you let me down -- can you make up for it with that 2010 MVP season??

  • 4th - YAC
  • 5th - yds/attempt
  • 17th - air yds/attempt

...wait... you mean, when Brady posted a 65.9% completion rate, 111.0 passer rating, 3900yds, 36 TDs and only 4 INTs, it could possibly be attributed to dinking-and-dunking...?!

Why is it that we fault QBs for YAC produced by the WR, but we don't fault the WR for catching a ball 50-yds downfield?? If a QB is perceived negatively for "relying on YAC" because 'all he had to do is throw it', why isn't a WR viewed the same for catching a long ball because 'all he had to do is catch it'...??

I understand the frustration of a loss to a really bad Colts team -- but let's not look for fault in a QB doing his job, in an offense constructed around the way he's doing it, with personnel who take advantage of the very thing people are faulting the QB for. Certainly there is no direct correlation between the amount of YAC produced and a team's success -- but clearly, it isn't entirely logical to blame it for a team's failure.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.