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The Vince Young Files, Vol. III: Just win Baby!
Hypothesis: Vince Young’s play rarely leads directly to
the Titans winning or losing a game. Once again, it’s time to examine
The Titans won a tough road game in
Drive 1 - FG: Young completed a 21 yard pass from the 27 to the 6. It can be argued that while this pass made the ensuing FG easier, it didn’t actually add any points to the Titans' total, as they were in FG range when he completed it.
Drive 2 - FG: Young completed 2 passes for 2 yards on this drive. He added nothing tangible to the Titans offense, though to be fair, the threat of him running the ball may have confused the simpleton Jaguars.
Drive 3 - TD: Young’s main contribution was a TD run of 2 yards on 3rd and 2. He also had another short run that was aided by a 15 yard face mask penalty.
It should be noted that he directly set up a Jags scoring drive by throwing a pick that let the Jags start deep in Titans territory. As you can plainly see, Vince Young did not ‘just win’ this game. He actually had precious little to do with the victory.
The Titans lost to
Drive 1 - FG: Young throws a great deep ball for 48 yards and puts the Titans in range.
Drive 2 - FG: Young is brilliant again, scrambling for 21 yards and completing an 8 yard strike on 3rd and 5.
Drive 3 - TD: The Titans have the ball on an INT and run three times for a score. Young does nothing.
Drive 4 - TD: Young is very efficient on the drive hitting a variety of passes, including a beautiful throw on 3rd and goal.
Young looked like a star in the making here, but once again, he failed to ‘just win’ the game. By far his best game of the year, but his team lost.
On a Monday night (danger! Hype alert!), the Titans demolished the Saints 31-14. With 31 points on the board, surely the Tennessee QB played a great game, leading his team to victory in a hostile environment. VY was 14-22 for 164, 2 TDs and a pick. He also rushed for 21 yards (on 5 attempts).
Drive 1 - FG: Young throws for 52 yards on the drive, leading the Titans into FG range
Drive 2 - TD: Young throws a 35 yard TD pass on 2nd and 10 for his lone, but significant contribution to the drive.
Drive 3 - TD: Young chipped in just 10 yards passing on a long TD drive.
Drive 4 - TD: Young had a nice run, an 18 yard completion on 3rd and 3, as well as a 3 yard TD pass on 2nd down.
He also killed their first drive by fumbling. The Titans other 7 points came on an interception return for a score. Young was solid, though not spectacular in this game. The Titans did not run the ball particularly well, so it would be safe to say that this was a game that VY ‘just won’. Average numbers, but good production and a win qualifies.
The Titans beat the lowly Falcons 20-13, but the buzz after the game was more about how the Falcons lost than how the Titans won. Young was horrible, going 20 of 33, for just 157 with 3 picks; he rushed for 27 yards, but needed 8 carries.
Drive 1 - TD: Young had several throws on this drive and was a direct contributor to the score.
Drive 2 - FG: In the two minute drill, Young throws for 38 yards and does a good job moving his team into range.
Drive 3 - FG: Young threw an 11 yard pass, and was roughed for 15 more. He also scrambled for 20 yards.The Titans other TD was on an interception return. Young’s turnovers led to two Falcon’s field goals. Vince Young did not ‘just win’ this game. The margin of difference was a return score. He contributed to almost as many scoring drives for the Falcons as he did for the Titans. He was terrible, but his team won due to its defense.
Conclusions: Vince’s numbers for the season are not strong. He has improved his completion % to a very respectable 62%. His rating is a pedestrian 67.2, and his YPA (the single most important passing stat) is a poor 5.8. He’s thrown 3 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. Using the Football Outsiders' numbers, which analyze the per play contribution to the team, VY fares worse. Young 34th in DPAR (which means 33 other quarterback have generated more points than Young). He is 32nd in PAR (which doesn’t factor in defense like DPAR), and he’s 33rd in DVOA with a -23.1% which measures his value per play compared to the league average. He’s basically 20% worse than average on a per play basis. All of these numbers do factor in his running ability.
A generous assessment of the Titans offense shows that Young has directly contributed to 50 points in 4 games. This is not good. The Titans are averaging more than 20 points a game, but many of those are due to the defense (2 returns for scores, and a short field vs. the Colts) and the run game. Vince does look like he has improved some to the naked eye, and I’ll be the first to admit it. His completion percentage is reasonable as well. Unfortunately for the Titans, there is no evidence that he is actually more efficient as a QB, however. I’m sure it’s all his receivers’ fault. The Titans are 3-1, but only one of those wins can be attributed to Young in any way. They are 1-1 when he plays well and 2-0 when he plays poorly.
I think we can safely assume that the hypothesis is correct. Young's play is not causing the Titans to win or lose.
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