Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
While I doubt we would have needed numbers to tell us that Michael Vick holds onto the ball too long, considering our eyes can tell us that, is it at least interesting to see to exactly how long Vick takes to throw in relation to the rest of the league. Pro Football focus timed the drop backs of every NFL QB this year and came up with the "time to throw" stat.
"Time to throw" might be more accurately stated as "time it takes to throw" as it measures the time from the snap until the QB either releases the ball or is sacked.
It should come as no surprise that Michael Vick comes in 2nd in the NFL in time to throw at 3.12 seconds per dropback, trailing only rookie Russell Wilson. That Wilson is a rookie is no coincidence. Of the top 6 QBs in terms of time to throw, 3 are rookies and one, Cam Newton, is a second year player.
No top or elite QBs can be found in the top 10. Aaron Rodgers does come in at #11, but even he's closer to 2.7 seconds.
To take it a step further, PFF found that 2.5 seconds to throw the ball was a sort of optimal time for pass protectors. Vick only gets rid of the ball within 2.5 seconds on 39.1% of his dropbacks, 2nd to last in the league. When he does get rid of the ball that quick, his completion percentage rises to 68% and his QB rating is 92.5%. When he holds onto the ball longer than 2.5 seconds, his completion dips to below 51% and his QB rating is 66.5.
And just to put that in some more context, that QB rating is 2nd lowest among the QBs who hold onto the ball for greater than 2.5 seconds on the largest percentage of their dropbacks. Point is, Vick is worse than a lot of QBs when he holds onto the ball.
When Vick holds onto the ball for greater than 2.5 seconds, his completion percentage drops by 17% and his QB rating falls almost 40 points. That's a dramatic difference. As far as QB rating, it's the most in the NFL.
That said, before we think any of this absolves the offensive line, Vick has also been sacked 5 times within 2.5 seconds, which is the 2nd most in the NFL. Still, Vick's average time between the snap and the moment he's sacked is over 4 seconds, or 3rd highest in the leauge. So he's certainly not doing the line any favors either.
Check out the full piece, there's some really interesting info in there.