Hello everyone, thanks for reading my post. AP has really started showing why it is such an awesome community as of late with all the work put in for all the posts analyzing tape and stats on Alex Smith. It is nice seeing that people are willing to put their beliefs on the line and actually see if what they have been told is actually correct. I decided I would join you guys in analyzing something myself, I don't want to be left out after all! This post came about because of a comment made by AP user RememberDelaney37. He stated that we shouldn't stop comparing Alex Smith to Matt Cassel because Smith takes a ton of sacks per game among other reasons. I decided to see if this was true. Now, I didn't use absolute numbers because Alex Smith hasn't played in the same number of games due to injury (which is a valid cause for concern but not the subject of this post.) So, I decided to compare two stats for Alex Smith and Matt Cassel, Sacks per game (self explanatory) and sacks/attempts (the number of sacks divided by his attempts.) I converted this to a percentage to indicate roughly how many of his attempts will lead to a sack. All of my data and graphs are located on my Google Drive. Please feel free to look. The graphs didn't convert over from excel the best so remember that the colors are in order of Alex, Matt, Tom, Aaron, and Joe from top to bottom.
So, since you have access to the data (ALL OF IT as I pulled it from NFL.com so I didn't cherry pick) I won't sit here and go over it. Instead I will focus solely on what it is telling us. Let us look at Alex vs Matt:
Alex Sacks/game: 2.45
Matt Sacks/game: 2.05
Alex Sacks/attempt: 9%
Matt Sacks/attempt: 8%
So, it is true. Alex took more sacks per game than Matt Cassel and more per attempts. Well, I guess that wraps up my post. Matt Cassel > Alex Smith, it was stupid to give up two 2nd round picks for him, and our Front Office is shit. So, since our minds are already made up, let's compare these stats to Tom Brady's, Aaron Rodgers, and Joe Flacco's just for fun.
Tom Brady S/G: 1.71
Aaron Rodgers S/G: 2.48
Joe Flacco S/G: 2.18
Tom Brady S/A: 5%
Aaron Rodgers S/A: 8%
Joe Flacco S/A: 7%
What does this means? Well first off, Tom Brady doesn't get sacked very often per game and per attempts so we should get him. Secondly, Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers almost identical when it comes to sacks per game and sacks per attempt. Well, holy shit. I admit I didn't see that one coming. So, if were to put them in order of least sacks per game to more sacks per game, it would be as follows:
Tom Brady > Matt Cassel > Joe Flacco > Alex Smith > Aaron Rodgers.
Well, apparently Matt Cassel is a stud! Why did we get rid of him? I was again surprised when I looked at this as it was definitely not what I expected to see. So, I looked at their absolute numbers to see if there was anything peculiar about them. What I noticed was that Alex Smith took 44 sacks in 2011, his worst season in that category by far. Now, I didn't run an analysis to see if that was an outlier but with my curiosity spiked, I wanted to see what his stats would look like with that year removed (again, purely out of curiosity.)
Well, that is much better. However, it isn't fair to remove only Alex's worst year so I did the same for everyone else and here is what I got:
Matt Cassel S/G: 1.45
Tom Brady S/G: 1.48
Aaron Rodgers S/G: 1.88
Joe Flacco S/G: 1.68
Matt Cassel S/A: 6%
Tom Brady S/A: 4%
Aaron Rodgers S/A: 6%
Joe Flacco S/A: 5%
And putting that in order of best to worst:
Matt Cassel > Tom Brady > Joe Flacco > Aaron Rodgers > Alex Smith.
Well, Alex Smith suuuucks. Man, Cassel is a stud, we totally should have kept him.
If you haven't noticed by now, while my data is accurate, my tone is sarcastic. Why? Because using sacks as an indicator of successful/elite/good/bad QB play has no grounds in which to stand on. I believe 99% of Chiefs fans will agree that Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are elite QBs yet vary hugely when it comes to sacks. In fact, Smith takes around the same number of sacks per game as Rodgers. The number of sacks a QB takes does not determine whether they are good or not. Rodgers took 51 sacks last year for example. So, while Matt Cassel is in fact better than Smith in the sack category, this means nothing in the overall evaluation of success. If you have questions/comments about my data set/work/etc. let me know in the comments and I will explain it the best I can.
Thanks for reading.