Commentary

An 'accurate' MVP pick

Michael Vick could be a lock for MVP if his newfound accuracy is real. So ... is it?

Originally Published: August 24, 2011
By Chris Sprow | ESPN Insider
Michael VickAl Bello/Getty ImagesIf Michael Vick can maintain his accuracy from last year, the MVP should be his.

We don't hear much about the most peculiar part of Michael Vick's 2010 season. I mean the football season: the part that took place on the field and didn't have to do with morality, dogs, prison, redemption, humility, life lessons, where the commissioner wanted Vick to play or any entity you can't really measure. No, the most peculiar part of Vick's football 2010 season was how accurately he threw the football. In terms of comparison, given Vick's history, it was a Jose Bautista-like jump.

Vick is a great thrower of the football. He snaps off 40-yard darts effortlessly -- an easy, wrist-fueled fly-cast toward a rising trout -- but he has never, ever been accurate. Before last season's 62.6 completion percentage, Vick had never topped 56.4 percent in a season. To put that in perspective, Donovan McNabb, who was often (and rightly) panned in Philly for poor accuracy, never had a season worse than 57.5 percent, excluding a shortened rookie year. And even if you include last season's odd jump in his career totals, Vick ranks 36th of 38 "active" passers, safely behind the likes of David Carr, Chad Henne and Shaun Hill. Even in college, the realm of inflated totals, Vick wasn't very accurate. He completed just 56.3 percent of his throws at Virginia Tech.

But this was always the trade, right?

Vick is by no means a conventional quarterback -- even at 31, his sprinter's speed transcends the position -- and metrics like Total QBR can now put a better value on what Vick can do. It can measure both sides to the trade. To make it short: The points Vick will create with his feet, all things equal, should blow away even the best scramblers in the league. In 2010, he created about the same number of points with his legs as Aaron Rodgers, maybe the league's most effective traditional scrambler -- but Vick did it in 170 fewer plays.