Condon will point to Smith’s superlative win-loss total over the past three seasons, as both a 49er and Chief. Since 2011 Smith is 30-9-1 as a starter during the regular season, a .763 winning percentage outpaced only by Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Condon is also likely feeling bullish about Smith, knowing (1) he negotiated one of the key comparable deals (Matt Ryan) and (2) while Smith is certainly not Manning, any quarterback with demonstrated success still in his prime presents a precious free-agent commodity in the NFL. To wit, this offseason saw Michael Vick, Matt Cassel and Josh McCown—all of whom finished 2013 as backups and a level below Smith—garner $5 million APY in an open market.
Profootballfocus has been parsing the QB data this off-season for the 2013 performance of all QB's in the NFL
Steve Palazzolo of profootballfocus
As we go through this series, it’s important to understand the relationship between QB Rating (NFL’s version) and PFF Grade.
While QB Rating is obviously supposed to be a QB statistic, it’s actually a better gauge of what the entire offense did in a given situation. This is the type of information that is actually extremely valuable to our NFL team customers as their game planning efforts must go towards stopping an entire passing offense, not just the quarterback.
If the quarterback throws an easy dump off pass to the RB who then weaves through the defense for the touchdown, it’s certainly not a great indicator of quarterbacking skill as it is the running back and defense accounting for the majority of the work on the play. Of course the QB Rating will look quite shiny in that situation.
Lets look at some of the individual QB functions as PFF did.
Success rate of the QB vs Pressure:
|Pressure||Alex Smith Success Percentage||Average NFL QB Success Percentage|
Success rate of the QB on 3rd down:
|Distance||Alex Smith Success Percentage||Average NFL QB Success Percentage|
|Less than 3 yards||54.5||47.8|
Success rate of the QB per Formation:
|QB formation||Alex Smith Success Percentage||Average NFL QB Success Percentage|
Success rate of the QB per Pass Direction:
|Pass Direction||Alex Smith Success Percentage||Average NFL QB Success Percentage|
Obviously, NFL football is a team game and the QB should not bear all the responsibility for why a particular play fails. This seems a systemic failure though in our passing game. We are not even average in most passing game situations. Maybe the new scheme, unfamiliarity with each other, or something else was the issue. Maybe Alex Smith is an average QB?