Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Dec 2006

FO Mailbag: Vince-anity!

Jason Scott: I'm a long time Titans fan and was shocked by Vince Young's rushing numbers according to your statistics. (Young comes out with an average value based on DVOA.) From watching the games it seems as though most of his runs are big third down plays, which I assumed would help him in DVOA. Why are his rushing numbers ranked so low, barely above Matt Hasselbeck?

Aaron Schatz: It's all about those first few games where Young wasn't playing as well. Young had to learn how to play quarterback in the NFL -- that includes not just reading coverages, but also knowing when to scramble and when to chuck it away. What's remarkable is not that he had trouble running early, but that he learned so fast.

In the first nine games of the season, Young gained first downs (or touchdowns) on just 8 of 33 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry with four fumbles. That's -5.9 DPAR (Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement). The only quarterback below that for the season is Philip Rivers. (Don't run with the ball, Phil.)

During Tennessee's six-game winning streak, Young has gained first downs (or touchdowns) on 22 of 39 runs, averaging 9.0 yards per carry with no fumbles. That's 11.8 DPAR. The only quarterback above that is Michael Vick.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 27 Dec 2006