In the Thursday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mike Vick completed 19 of his 26 pass attempts in the game for 124 yards and a touchdown. While those numbers equate to a completion percentage of 73.1 and an old school passer rating of 95.7, Vick really didn’t have a good game at all outside of not turning the football over.
For starters, 11 of Vick’s 19 completed passes in the game were failed completions.
Wait, what? Failed completions?
Failed completions is a stat that has been around for several years now and it’s based off of whether or not a play was successful. A successful play on 1st down is one that gains at least 45% of the yardage needed for another first down or touchdown. A successful play on 2nd down is one that gains at least 60% of the yards needed. On 3rd and 4th downs, gaining 100% of the needed yards makes the play successful. Got that? You can apply it to every play for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, defenses and on and on.
As previously mentioned, Vick only had 8 successful completions Thursday night against the Ravens and that resulted in a failed completion rate of 57.9%, which is really, really high.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed 60.6% of his passes Thursday night but of his 20 completed passes only 5 (25%) were failed completions. Additionally, Flacco only had 4 failed completions on his 7 third down pass attempts in the game. Vick, on the other hand, had 4 failed completions on his 5 third down pass attempts. The Steelers offense was 2-for-13 on 3rd downs Thursday night and it’s tough to win many games with a stat like that.
In case you’re curious, over the course of the last three seasons, Vick’s failed completion percentage is 24.1%, which is probably about the average for the league for that span of years.
Now, Vick didn’t turn the football over Thursday night so he really needs to be commended for that. It gave the Steelers a good chance to win the game even though the Ravens gained 356 net yards of total offense. Flacco turning the football over twice resulted in 7 points for the Steelers, on the other hand.
Vick was also sacked 4 times Thursday night and that certainly doesn’t show up in an old school quarterback rating. While all four of those sacks weren’t on him, I think you’ll see when Alex Kozora breaks them all down for you in a few days that two of them included Vick holding on to the football for longer than 5 seconds.
Now, Vick only had a few days to prepare as the Steelers starter for Thursday night’s game so we won’t crucify him for his less than stellar showing against the Ravens. He did make several good throws in the game and probably should’ve had another touchdown pass as wide receiver Antonio Brown had one go right through his hands in the end zone.
Moving forward with Vick, we’ll need to see his failed completion rate go down and his third down conversion rate go up. You would also like to see the 5 second sacks come to an end, but we all could probably live with that as long as he improves in those other two aforementioned areas in addition to continuing to not turn the football over.
Vick has more than a week now to prepare for the San Diego Chargers so we really should get a good idea as to what kind of quarterback he really is a week from Monday night.