Does Passer Accuracy Matter?

NFL Passer AccuracyThe Jets new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, made a recent statement that he’s not worried about passer accuracy. For some time now, Packer fans have been proudly pointing out how accurate Aaron Rodgers’ passing is.

So, the question is, does it really matter?

Let’s look at the numbers…

Top Ten Completion Percentage 2012

Completion percentage for the 2012 season is as follows…

  • Atlanta, Matt Ryan 68.6
  • Denver, Peyton Manning 68.6
  • Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers 67.2
  • Washington, Robert Griffin III 65.6
  • Dallas, Tony Romo 65.6
  • Houston, Matt Schaub 64.3
  • San Diego, Phillip Rivers 64.1
  • Seattle, Russell Wilson 64.1
  • Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger 63.3
  • New Orleans Drew Brees 63.0

2012 Season Record

  • Atlanta 13-3
  • Denver 13-3
  • Houston 12-4
  • New England 12-4
  • San Francisco 11-4-1
  • Green Bay 11-5
  • Indianapolis 11-5
  • Seattle 11-5
  • Baltimore 10-6
  • Chicago 10-6
  • Cincinnati 10-6
  • Minnesota 10-6
  • Washington 10-6

Playoff Appearance 2012

  • Atlanta
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • New England
  • San Francisco
  • Green Bay
  • Indianapolis
  • Seattle
  • Baltimore
  • Cincinnati
  • Minnesota
  • Washington


I’ll be the first to point out that a correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. Just because high passer accuracy seems to correlate to high win percentage and playoff appearances doesn’t mean it’s the cause of the win percentage and playoff appearance. Goodness knows it’s more complex than that.

That said, there’s a recurring theme here. The same teams that have high passer accuracy also have great win percentage and are more likely to show up in the playoffs.

There are some anomalies. Tony Romo has a fairly high completion percentage and the Cowboys still find ways to lose games. The Colts made a playoff appearance despite having a QB with the worst completion percentage in the league at 54.0%. And, the Ravens won the Super Bowl behind a highly overrated QB with a completion percentage of just 59.6.

Where were the Jets in all of this?

Behind Sanchez’s 55.2% completion percentage the Jets barely mustered six wins in a 16 game season and said goodbye to the possibility of post-season play long before the season was over.

Mornhinweg might want to rethink his position on how important completion percentage is. Personally, I’ll take Aaron’s 67.2% completion, the Packers’ 11-5 record, and a playoff appearance over Mark Sanchez any season.

Does Passer Accuracy Matter?
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One thought on “Does Passer Accuracy Matter?

  • May 9, 2013 at 1:30 am

    I got a correlation…Mornhinweg’s statement correlates exactly with the end of all those bs predictions Rex Ryan had been making in previous years about the jets winning the super bowl. Good article.


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