History Shows Michael Vick's Spike In Accuracy Likely Not A Fluke

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 18: Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the preseason game on August 18, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

No one would say that if Michael Vick continues to play like he did last year that he is not worth the 6-year, $100 million deal he just signed. In fact, if he continues to play at or near that level for most of this contract, he'll probably end up being a bit of bargain. However, the one criticism made of the deal was that last year might have been a fluke. It is true that Vick's numbers were dramatically different than they were the rest of his career, so without context I suppose it makes sense for someone to claim it could be an outlier.

However, a quick look at history shows us that's not likely to be true. The one stat that defined the change in Vick's game last year was his completion percentage. He displayed a level of accuracy that he simply never had before. His previous season high as far as completion percentage was 56.4%, while last year it was 62.6%. That is the sixth biggest increase over a previous season's best completion percentage since the merger, with the others being Steve Bartkowski, Jim Hart, David Carr, Archie Manning & Jim Plunkett.

Here's the encouraging thing about what those guys did after their "outlier" season. As ESPN's Chris Sprow found, not only is Vick's increase in accuracy no sign that he will regress, it's more likely that he will improve even further.

Every guy on the list outside of Carr went on to be even more accurate than before. After his breakthrough year, Bartkowski jumped another four percentage points a year later; Plunkett became notably more accurate; and a look at Vick's game logs shows he was consistently more accurate last year -- his highest completion percentage was 71.4. There was no 22-of-24 effort that totally skews the data.

Vick told ESPN that magazine that the scheme is more to thank for his increase than anything.

"It's not me, it's the scheme. In the NFL, schemes make great quarterback. I love Atlanta, but I wish now I would have been drafted by the Eagles."

Given how well every QB seems to play in this system and how a guy like McNabb regressed when he left (he had his lowest completion % in four years last year), there's probably a lot of truth to what Vick says here and would make it even less likely that he would be a due for a regression next year. As shown above, history suggests we haven't even seen the best of Vick yet...

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bleeding Green Nation

You must be a member of Bleeding Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleeding Green Nation. You should read them.

Join Bleeding Green Nation

You must be a member of Bleeding Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleeding Green Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker