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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
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 11 45 345 24% 7.7 3 2 15.0 22.5
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 2 17 63 12% 3.7 1 1 17.0 17.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 5 16 235 31% 14.7 2 0 8.0 0.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 18 49 503 37% 10.3 8 2 6.1 24.5
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 6 13 271 46% 20.8 2 0 6.5 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 10 114 20% 11.4 1 0 10.0 0.0
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 9 33 234 27% 7.1 3 2 11.0 16.5
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 4 15 129 27% 8.6 3 2 5.0 7.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 3 13 171 23% 13.2 1 2 13.0 6.5
TOTALS 60 211 2065 28% 9.8 24 11 8.8 19.2
Ben Roethlisberger
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 9 28 245 32% 8.8 1 4 28.0 7.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 3 15 163 20% 10.9 2 0 7.5 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 4 12 222 33% 18.5 2 2 6.0 6.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 7 27 210 26% 7.8 0 0 0.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 7 13 268 54% 20.6 2 1 6.5 13.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 6 109 33% 18.2 2 0 3.0 0.0
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 17 33 541 52% 16.4 4 1 8.3 33.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 4 11 144 36% 13.1 2 1 5.5 11.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 6 13 311 46% 23.9 3 1 4.3 13.0
TOTALS 59 158 2213 37% 14.0 18 10 8.8 15.8
Tom Brady
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 14 32 476 44% 14.9 6 0 5.3 0.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 0 9 0 0% 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 1 6 46 17% 7.7 0 0 0.0 0.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 9 17 312 53% 18.4 3 0 5.7 0.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 5 13 225 38% 17.3 3 0 4.3 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 0 6 0 0% 0.0 0 2 0.0 3.0
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 10 30 417 33% 13.9 5 2 6.0 15.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 3 13 123 23% 9.5 1 2 13.0 6.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 3 17 161 18% 9.5 3 2 5.7 8.5
TOTALS 45 143 1760 31% 12.3 21 8 6.8 17.9
Eli Manning
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 26 63 729 41% 11.6 7 5 9.0 12.6
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 6 22 346 27% 15.7 2 1 11.0 22.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 5 13 278 38% 21.4 1 0 13.0 0.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 17 32 505 53% 15.8 5 2 6.4 16.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 6 24 282 25% 11.8 5 1 4.8 24.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 1 5 46 20% 9.2 1 1 5.0 5.0
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 16 38 431 42% 11.3 5 3 7.6 12.7
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 6 16 235 38% 14.7 2 0 8.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 6 100 33% 16.7 0 1 0.0 6.0
TOTALS 85 219 2952 39% 13.5 28 14 7.8 15.6
Philip Rivers
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 14 39 437 36% 11.2 4 3 9.8 13.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 5 18 200 28% 11.1 3 0 6.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 3 11 141 27% 12.8 2 4 5.5 2.8
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 14 36 445 39% 12.4 4 1 9.0 36.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 3 10 135 30% 13.5 2 2 5.0 5.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 5 11 272 45% 24.7 3 1 3.7 11.0
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 13 36 350 36% 9.7 4 1 9.0 36.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 4 17 160 24% 9.4 1 1 17.0 17.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 7 18 360 39% 20.0 0 1 0.0 18.0
TOTALS 68 196 2500 35% 12.8 24 13 8.2 15.1
Tony Romo
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 15 34 548 44% 16.1 6 2 5.7 17.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 7 14 309 50% 22.1 4 0 3.5 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 4 132 50% 33.0 1 0 4.0 0.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 7 14 233 50% 16.6 2 0 7.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 0 5 0 0% 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 0 2 0 0% 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 9 23 334 39% 14.5 5 0 4.6 0.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 3 15 124 20% 8.3 1 1 15.0 15.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 0 0 0 0% 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0
TOTALS 43 111 1680 39% 15.1 19 3 5.8 37.0
Aaron Rodgers
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 19 37 662 51% 17.9 7 1 5.3 37.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 7 11 308 64% 28.0 3 0 3.7 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 4 9 218 44% 24.2 3 0 3.0 0.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 16 41 595 39% 14.5 4 1 10.3 41.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 6 15 285 40% 19.0 4 2 3.8 7.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 9 96 22% 10.7 0 2 0.0 4.5
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 12 36 469 33% 13.0 5 1 7.2 36.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 5 13 219 38% 16.8 2 1 6.5 13.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 4 18 218 22% 12.1 0 1 0.0 18.0
TOTALS 75 189 3070 40% 16.2 28 9 6.8 21.0
Drew Brees
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 21 40 603 53% 15.1 9 2 4.4 20.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 8 15 321 53% 21.4 4 0 3.8 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 6 121 33% 20.2 2 1 3.0 6.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 15 34 511 44% 15.0 6 1 5.7 34.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 7 15 315 47% 21.0 3 2 5.0 7.5
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 1 11 57 9% 5.2 0 2 0.0 5.5
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 22 32 814 69% 25.4 6 2 5.3 16.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 7 14 256 50% 18.3 5 1 2.8 14.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 11 79 18% 7.2 2 1 5.5 11.0
TOTALS 85 178 3077 48% 17.3 37 12 4.8 14.8
Matt Ryan
2011 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 5 23 123 22% 5.3 1 0 23.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 4 17 167 24% 9.8 2 0 8.5 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 7 99 29% 14.1 1 1 7.0 7.0
2010 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 6 27 143 22% 5.3 2 1 13.5 27.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 2 4 89 50% 22.3 1 0 4.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 7 88 29% 12.6 1 0 7.0 0.0
2009 COMP ATT YDS COMP % YPA TD INT TD/ATT INT/ATT
Pass Thrown 21-30 yds 6 24 156 25% 6.5 0 4 0.0 6.0
Pass Thrown 31-40 yds 1 7 31 14% 4.4 1 0 7.0 0.0
Pass Thrown 41+ yds 2 4 110 50% 27.5 2 1 2.0 4.0
TOTALS 30 120 1006 25% 8.4 11 7 10.9 17.1

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7ANSUFA5J3WFAFRLZ7G5TZANA4 Kevin

    Wow, Romo’s numbers are pretty darn good. I had no idea.

  • Clint Martin

    We now have an offensive line for Ben let’s get er done!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UQEXGBMBYZ6SG27SU4PXS6ALKE yardpenalty.com

    Matthew Stafford has a stronger arm!

  • Ahmad

    We all know Big Ben has the best deep ball in the league. However, Flacco is no slouch either. I hate to give a ratbird credit but he does have one of the prettiest deep balls in the league.

  • Itisafineday

    Most people like/prefer what is relative to them. Meaning, Jaws was considered (at the time he played in the NFL) to also have a strong arm… most of the years he played. But, look at his career passing percentage, pretty average. Jaworski has always liked the strong armed quarterback, over the more accurate ones.

    Now, he’ll talk about the QB positioning his feet correctly, or proper throwing motion, or even intelligence. But, Jaws mostly “loves” the big arm… because of all the possible possibilities… yeah right! Give me the QB who knows where to throw the ball (to the correct receiver) most of the time. Who knows how to move “in the pocket” during a passing play. Who will place the ball where a receiver can make a play, so then the receiver can do something positive after the catch. Sorry, but more often than not, this isn’t describing Joe Flacco.

  • Donta B.

    A Steelers site putting Joe Flacco down what a surprise. NOT

  • GhettoBelligerent

    A Ratbird fan trolling a Steelers site and not recognizing the facts laid before him – what a surprise NOT

    As usual, Jaws has no idea what he is talking about, and Dave did a great job of exposing him. I seem to recall the last “great” Ratbird QB Kyle Boller showing off his arm strength by tossing the ball through the goalposts from his knees at the 50… how did that Boller work out for you?

  • Alexia McCarthy

    Flacco’s arm strength looked pretty good to me in BOTH his wins over the Stillers last season.

  • Alexia McCarthy

    How did Flacco’s deep balls work out for your Stillers last year?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=172400144 Chris Thorn

    The Great KC Joyner? Look, I agree with everything else said, but that statement just discredits the whole thing.

  • GhettoBelligerent

    Typical uninformed Ravens fan. Since Flacco’s longest pass against the Steelers was 29 yards, the answer is ‘not as good as delusional Ratbirds fans remember’.

  • GhettoBelligerent

    The point of this post is that arm strength don’t mean jack, but Alexia McCarthy is unable to read and comprehend. I can’t believe Flacco finally shaves his unibrow and the Ravens win a couple games against the Stillers (after starting his career 0-6 against the Steelers, 0-2 when it counts in playoffs) and then Ratbird fans who can’t read start showing up. Just like Lamarr said, as long as Flacco is the Ravens QB, you will never win a Super Bowl.

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