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Michael Vick and the Falcons

Posted by Doug on September 18, 2006

Michael Vick, who I'm a big fan of, had 127 yards rushing this week, which is the tops for a quarterback since 2003 and is third-most in the last decade or so. Here are the top rushing games by quarterbacks since 1995.


Player YR WK RSH YD TD
=========================================
Michael Vick 2002 13 10 173 2
Michael Vick 2003 14 14 141 1
Donovan McNabb 2000 13 11 125 1
Michael Vick 2004 8 12 115 0
Michael Vick 2004 2 12 109 0
Aaron Brooks 2000 15 11 108 0
Donovan McNabb 2002 8 8 107 1
Michael Vick 2004 11 15 104 0
Kordell Stewart 1998 6 7 103 0
Donovan McNabb 2002 5 12 100 1
Steve McNair 1998 10 8 95 1
Michael Vick 2002 8 10 91 2
Michael Vick 2002 7 6 91 1
. . .
Steve Bono 1995 5 5 74 1

For you youngsters who don't remember that Steve Bono game, this link is required viewing. Buddy Ryan and youtube: the ultimate combination.

Speaking of Vick, he led his team to another victory while throwing only 15 passes. Last week a reader, prompted by Philip Rivers' performance against the Raiders, asked how teams fare when they throw very few passes. As was conjectured, teams almost always win when they throw 15 or fewer passes. This list is since 2000.


TM YD WK OPP Passing Result
=======================================
sdg 2004 15 cle 4- 6- 85 W, 21- 0
dal 2000 15 was 5- 8- 89 W, 32-13
hou 2005 7 clt 6- 9- 48 L, 20-38
hou 2002 14 pit 3-10- 33 W, 24- 6
pit 2005 1 oti 9-11-218 W, 34- 7
sdg 2006 1 rai 8-11-108 W, 27- 0
oak 2003 11 min 9-13-195 W, 28-18
chi 2005 10 sfo 8-13- 67 W, 17- 9
jax 2002 6 oti 7-13- 84 L, 14-23
sfo 2005 10 chi 1-13- 28 L, 9-17
oak 2002 17 kan 7-14- 79 W, 24- 0
cin 2000 8 den 2-14- 34 W, 31-21
nyj 2003 11 clt 11-14-219 L, 31-38
pit 2005 7 cin 9-14- 93 W, 27-13
ten 2004 1 mia 9-14- 73 W, 17- 7
jax 2002 14 cle 10-14- 73 L, 20-21
dal 2001 12 was 7-14-130 W, 20-14
jax 2002 4 nyj 10-15-173 W, 28- 3
tam 2000 15 mia 11-15-147 W, 16-13
dal 2000 8 crd 9-15-154 W, 48- 7
tam 2000 14 dal 9-15- 65 W, 27- 7
buf 2003 14 nyj 9-15- 72 W, 17- 6
pit 2005 15 min 10-15-149 W, 18- 3
was 2001 16 nor 9-15- 94 W, 40-10
atl 2003 16 tam 8-15-119 W, 30-28
gnb 2003 12 sfo 10-15-138 W, 20-10

And it provides another example from the correlation-is-not-causation file. If the Texans had just quit throwing the ball in the second quarter of yesterday's game, they surely would have won.

Finally, let's put the Falcons impressive start into historical perspective. Atlanta is one of four teams to start the season with two wins and to hold their opponent to seven or fewer ponts in both games. The others are San Diego, Baltimore, and Chicago. Between 1978 and 2005, only 14 teams started the season this way:


TM YR Week 1 Week 2 Record
=========================================
pit 2005 ten, 34-7 hou, 27-7 11- 5- 0
ind 2005 bal, 24-7 jax, 10-3 14- 2- 0
sea 2004 nor, 21-7 tam, 10-6 9- 7- 0
ind 2003 cle, 9-6 ten, 33-7 12- 4- 0
sdg 2002 cin, 34-6 hou, 24-3 8- 8- 0
car 2002 bal, 10-7 det, 31-7 7- 9- 0
gnb 2001 det, 28-6 was, 37-0 12- 4- 0
jax 2001 pit, 21-3 ten, 13-6 6-10- 0
nwe 1997 sdg, 41-7 ind, 31-6 10- 6- 0
tam 1992 pho, 23-7 gnb, 31-3 5-11- 0
rai 1987 gnb, 20-0 det, 27-7 5-10- 0
nwe 1986 ind, 33-3 nyj, 20-6 11- 5- 0
buf 1981 nyj, 31-0 bal, 35-3 10- 6- 0
phi 1980 den, 27-6 min, 42-7 12- 4- 0

Despite generally high offense over the past few years, these kinds of starts have happened more in the past two years than they did in the entire decade of the 80s. That's a bit strange.

Also, this gives me an idea. What I ought to do is cook up a similarity scoring system for team games. Using that, I could identify the ten (or however many) teams throughout history who have started the season most like this year's Falcons (or whatever team) in terms of points scored, points allowed, and competition faced. Seeing how those teams ended up doing would be interesting. I'll try and get that done sometime later in the week.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 18th, 2006 at 3:31 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.