Ron Jaworski Overrating Arm Strength Of Joe Flacco & Underrating Accuracy

On Monday, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski revealed his ninth-ranked quarterback entering the 2012 season Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens. And while praising the fifth-year Ravens quarterback, Jaworski said that Flacco has the strongest arm in the league.

“That\’s Flacco\’s No. 1 attribute,” said Jaworski. “I get so tired of hearing how arm strength is overrated. It\’s far more important than people think. He has the strongest arm in the NFL.”

During his breakdown Jaworski said that Flacco gives the Ravens “the ability to attack all areas of the field at any point in the game.”

While Jaworski might be enamored with the arm strength of Flacco and how it is underrated, he failed to note how underrated accuracy is. Just because a quarterback can attack all areas of the field means nothing if he is not completing his passes.

To examine the accuracy of Flacco, or lack of it, I have pulled the passing stats offered up by ESPN of all the top quarterbacks in the league over the last three years. I have excluded Peyton Manning though because of course he sat out the entire 2011 season. The stats are for passes thrown 21 yards or more and they are broken down into three different distance groupings.

As the table shows, Flacco had the second most amount of pass attempts of over 20 yards the last three seasons behind only Eli Manning of the New York Giants. Of his 211 attempts during that time, Flacco completed just 60 of them for a 28% completion percentage. Eli, who threw 8 more passes over that same span of time, completed 85 of his 219 passes for a 39% completion percentage.

While yards per attempt is a hard stat to use in these argument, because it factors in yards after catch, the 9.8 number that Flacco has posted over the last three seasons tops only that of Matt Ryan of the quarterbacks stats I included in this post.

While Flacco does have 24 touchdown passes thrown during that span, his touchdown per attempt ratio of 1 every 8.8 throws does not jump out compared to the other quarterbacks listed. In fact, he his tied with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in that statistic over the last 3 seasons.

Now of course these numbers do not factor in drops and how much separation a receiver might have had on each throw, but none of these raw stats warrant Jaworski saying that he thinks arm strength is underrated.

Of course these stats will differ of those offered up by Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders, but both of those sites would likely come to the same conclusion as I have in this post and tell you that arm strength means nothing when a quarterback is not completing deep passes.

The great KC Joyner even noted that Flacco might very well be the most overrated quarterback in the AFC in his latest piece that you can read in the ESPN Insider section today.

The one thing that Jaworski got right in his analysis of Flacco is that his production does not always match his skill set. Isn\’t that the difference between great quarterbacks and average ones though? Flacco very well might have the strongest arm in the league, but that strength isn\’t everything.

In my opinion Eli, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers have shown over the last three years that they have both the arm strength and the accuracy to go along with it. Roethlisberger is not too far behind either.

Joe Flacco
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds114534524%7.73215.022.5
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds2176312%3.71117.017.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds51623531%14.7208.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds184950337%10.3826.124.5
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds61327146%20.8206.50.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds21011420%11.41010.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds93323427%7.13211.016.5
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds41512927%8.6325.07.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds31317123%13.21213.06.5
Ben Roethlisberger
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds92824532%8.81428.07.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds31516320%10.9207.50.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds41222233%18.5226.06.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds72721026%7.8000.00.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds71326854%20.6216.513.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds2610933%18.2203.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds173354152%16.4418.333.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds41114436%13.1215.511.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds61331146%23.9314.313.0
Tom Brady
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds143247644%14.9605.30.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds0900%0.0000.00.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds164617%7.7000.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds91731253%18.4305.70.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds51322538%17.3304.30.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds0600%0.0020.03.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds103041733%13.9526.015.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds31312323%9.51213.06.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds31716118%9.5325.78.5
Eli Manning
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds266372941%11.6759.012.6
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds62234627%15.72111.022.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds51327838%21.41013.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds173250553%15.8526.416.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds62428225%11.8514.824.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds154620%9.2115.05.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds163843142%11.3537.612.7
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds61623538%14.7208.00.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds2610033%16.7010.06.0
Philip Rivers
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds143943736%11.2439.813.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds51820028%11.1306.00.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds31114127%12.8245.52.8
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds143644539%12.4419.036.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds31013530%13.5225.05.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds51127245%24.7313.711.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds133635036%9.7419.036.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds41716024%9.41117.017.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds71836039%20.0010.018.0
Tony Romo
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds153454844%16.1625.717.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds71430950%22.1403.50.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds2413250%33.0104.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds71423350%16.6207.00.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds0500%0.0000.00.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds0200%0.0000.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds92333439%14.5504.60.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds31512420%8.31115.015.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds0000%0.0000.00.0
Aaron Rodgers
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds193766251%17.9715.337.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds71130864%28.0303.70.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds4921844%24.2303.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds164159539%14.54110.341.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds61528540%19.0423.87.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds299622%10.7020.04.5
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds123646933%13.0517.236.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds51321938%16.8216.513.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds41821822%12.1010.018.0
Drew Brees
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds214060353%15.1924.420.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds81532153%21.4403.80.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds2612133%20.2213.06.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds153451144%15.0615.734.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds71531547%21.0325.07.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds111579%5.2020.05.5
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds223281469%25.4625.316.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds71425650%18.3512.814.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds2117918%7.2215.511.0
Matt Ryan
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds52312322%5.31023.00.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds41716724%9.8208.50.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds279929%14.1117.07.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds62714322%5.32113.527.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds248950%22.3104.00.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds278829%12.6107.00.0
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds62415625%6.5040.06.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds173114%4.4107.00.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds2411050%27.5212.04.0