Why the stats do not tell the whole story for Justin Fields

Chicago Bears (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Justin Fields
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears shouldn’t be overly concerned about Justin Fields’ future

I have always been on the record that stats plus film is the only way that we can look at a player’s performance. You cannot and should not use one and not the other. Context plus stats is very important. There has always been plenty of debate between the film guys and the stat guys and as much as I bash on Pro Football Focus (PFF), they at least make an attempt to put both together. The biggest problem I have with PFF is they try to be the smartest people in the room and their analysis is too subjective.

ESPN created their QBR statistic back in 2005. It is a statistic that is often used, along with a quarterback rating, to try and measure a quarterback’s performance weekly and annually. The problem is that the measurement seems very flawed.

For example, if we travel back in time to Week 5 of the 2011 season, we find two games — one that featured Aaron Rodgers on the road versus the Atlanta Falcons and another that involved a partial game by Tim Tebow in a loss to the Chargers. Tebow completed 4-of-10 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown in the game. His Total QBR was 83.2 while Aaron Rodgers who completed 66.6% of his passes for 396 yards, two touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over had a Total QBR of 82.1. What!?!?

Here’s another example — these were seasonal stats through eight games from 2015:

"Ryan Fitzpatrick: Completions: 154 / Attempts: 249 / Comp%: 61.8 / Yards: 1,790 / TDs: 13 / INTs: 7 / QBR: 76.7 Tom Brady: Completions: 225 / Attempts: 328 / Comp% 68.6 / Yards: 2,709 / TDs: 22 /          INTs: 2 / QBR: 73.9"

Now, someone please tell me how in the world does Ryan Fitzpatrick’s numbers equate to a higher QBR than Tom Brady? I thought maybe it had to do with rushing yards and/or touchdowns, but looking at this further, neither had a rushing touchdown within this timeframe. Fitzpatrick had 53 rushing yards to Brady’s 35. There’s no way that 18 yards are the difference here, right?  To take things further, Fitzpatrick fumbled the ball three times to Brady’s two fumbles.