Welcome to the first installment of Stetz's Statistics. After each weekend this season, I am going to try to put together a post about a statistic that stood out to me about the Bills game the previous weekend. I apologize for posting about the Jets game this late in the week when we should be turning toward the Chiefs, but my new job has kept me very, very busy, and so this is the first chance I've had to put together some numbers.
Before the game I was trying to think of possible topics of statistics that might jump out at me. I was hoping to be able to post about Stevie lighting Revis up once again, but that didn't quite pan out the way I would have liked. Instead, what stood out to me the most was the fact that Mark Sanchez had, yet again, torched the Bills' defense. I didn't actually remember a time in the Nix/Gailey regime in which Sanchez didn't play great against our defense. So I started wondering...is this an anomaly? Does he actually play well against other competition? Is our defense this bad against all quarterbacks?
I wanted to post all of his stats, but the formatting was giving me trouble. So instead, here are the averages (based on year and opponent in the AFC East), along with the standard deviations (STDevs) of the actual stats. So, what do Sanchez's statistics look like over the past two years (and including Week 1's game against the Bills)?
First, let's look at Sanchez's stats by themselves. You start to see why people are unimpressed with him as a player when you look at the stats. His average completion percentage over the past two years is 57%, and while other QBs are averaging almost 300 yards per game, he's down at 219. And that's on a team that had a poor rushing attack last year. His YPA is also actually lower than Fitz's, while his QB rating is a little higher (but that's compared against Fitz's career rating, which is pulled down by poor ratings before coming to Buffalo). However, he protects the football better than Fitz (with a middle-of-the-road 1 INT per game average). His 2011 totals are better than his 2010 totals (which are better than his 2009 totals), which makes sense. Sanchez is still young, despite how many people write him off. But overall, he's proven himself a positively middle-of-the-road QB through the last couple of years. He is not a huge liability for the Jets, but also doesn't take charge and win games on his own without the defense stepping up.
He's kind of all over the place. His Standard Deviation for YPA is 1.6, which seems high to me (though I haven't studied other QBs). His STDev for QBR is also very high, near 30. On average, he swings 30 points in QBR from game to game. That also seems high to me.
But how does he play against the Bills and the rest of the AFC East? Well, against the Bills he's downright Breesian. This analysis includes the last 4 games he played against the Bills. His YPA is a balmy 7.475. That's a full yard more than his average. Against the rest of the division (including the poor Patriots defense, although they do step it up in division games) his YPA is a more manageable 6.8. He averages an entire TD more against the Bills than the rest of the AFC East, and almost half an INT less.
There are some particularly telling statistics. First, he attempts fewer passes against the Bills than the rest of the division. This could be because the Jets are always destroying the Bills, so he doesn't have to throw as much. His attempts per game are also significantly fewer than his average. He actually throws for fewer yards, but that means little when his YPA is so much higher. His QBR skyrockets when he plays the Bills, as well. In fact, he plays better against the division in general, so there might be something to that.
By far the most telling (and unfortunate) number is that the Bills average 0.25 sacks against him per game. We've played him 4 times...for those of you awesome in math, he's been sacked once in four games against us. And it's not like his OL has been amazing, since he gets sacked an average of 2 times per game. It's like he just gets to stand in the backfield and pick which receiver will get the 15 yard completion on 3rd and 8 every series.
But fear not, in 2009 we intercepted him 5 times in one game. Those were the days.
In retrospect, I'm sorry for all of you who are going to read this. But I've already typed it up and done the basic analysis, so I'm going to post it anyway. Next week I hope I have a better statistic to post (and I hope to get it out before Wednesday night). In the mean time, what is your reaction to this (besides "disgusted")? Why does he play so well against the Bills? I honestly have no idea. The offense used to be able to run it down our throats, but they haven't done that really since 2010, so why can't we defend against this offense and Sanchez?