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Historical Analysis: Quarterback Play and the Passing Game

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If you've read this space the past several weeks, you know that I've done my fair share of ranting and raving on the poor quarterback play and the lack of the an effective passing game. If you're just now tuning in, long story short I've argued that quarterback play has been terrible and that the passing game has been nothing more than a few dink and dunks with no real threats.

But just how poor are we this year in those departments in a historical sense. That's what I set to find out.

The following graph is a bar chart of the QB Rating of the starting Alabama quarterback -- i.e. the won who saw the bulk of the snaps for the year as a whole, and not necessarily the starter in terms of being number one on the depth chart -- from 1992 through 2007.


click to enlarge

Ouch. As the bar chart shows, Wilson's QB Rating thus far this year (a lowly 111.8) is the third lowest in the past sixteen seasons. The only two seasons that have seen a lower quarterback rating are 2000 (Andrew Zow) and 2004 (Spencer Pennington).

Now moving on...

The following graph is a bar chart of the average yards per attempt of the starting Alabama quarterback from 1992 through 2007.


click to enlarge

Again, ouch.

As you can see, Wilson's yards per attempt is the lowest of any Alabama quarterback since at least 1992.

So what does all of this mean?

All in all, I think it essentially validates what I've been saying thus far. As the historical data indicates, this is one of the worst years we've had in terms of quarterback play, and our yards per attempt -- which is a very telling statistic regarding not just the ability to stretch the field but also the efficiency of the passing game -- is to date one of the worst years we've had in decades.

As I've been saying, you really cannot sugarcoat the situation. It really is that bad, and there is a lot of improvement that needs to happen in a very short period of time.