I'm going to keep a watch on this. I'm going to keep tabs on the interception/win, interception/lose ratios because I suspect the impact of interceptions may be overrated; not fumbles, just interceptions.
Here's what I mean:
I took the quarterbacks from the list of passer ratings after week one of the season and put those quarterbacks into four categories: threw an interception and won, threw an interception and lost, threw no interceptions and won, threw no interceptions and lost.
Here's the breakdown:
Seven quarterbacks – Brady, Delhomme, P. Manning, Roethlisberger, Hasselbeck, Palmer and Smith – did not throw an interception and their teams won their games.
Nine quarterbacks – Romo, Kitna, Schaub, Cutler, Jackson, Rivers, Favre, Campbell and Young –threw at least one interception and won their games.
Five quarterbacks – Pennington, Garcia, Garrard, Green and Bulger – did not throw an interception and lost their games.
Ten quarterbacks – E. Manning, McCown,
Anderson, Harrington, McNabb, Brees, Losman, Grossman, Huard and Leinart – threw at least one interception and lost their games.
Here's an extra factoid: Two quarterbacks, Kitna and Campbell, threw more than one interception and won; five quarterbacks threw more than one interception and lost.
Two interceptions would seem to be the break point. When you throw two in a game, your chances of losing would seem to dramatically increase, but a lone mistake wouldn't seem to seal defeat. Hey, it didn't hurt Vince Young, did it?
In my opinion – and I'll keep a watch on this to see if it's possible that I've got this all wrong – the obsession for not throwing an interception is out of line and is unnecessarily crippling a lot of quarterbacks' natural ability to make big plays and do dramatic things.
Tom Brady has long been the perfect blend of technician and gunslinger. Brady's never had a passer rating lower than 85.7, but he's never been afraid to throw interceptions. In other words, despite the mania for the almighty passer rating, Brady would rather risk an interception to make a big play, than throw the ball out of bounds three times and punt.
Brady has five four-interceptions games in his career. He threw three interceptions in last season's dramatic playoff win over the Chargers.
So, what do you want, a quarterback playing to win, or a throw-it-away machine who is judged by the quality of his incompletions? Hey, give me the guy whose eyes are focused downfield.
We've become too stats conscious. The passer ratings have become part of the fantasy football mania. How about a mania for making plays? How about a mania for allowing young quarterbacks to express their talent and fine-tune it as they go along?
I'm not saying turnovers aren't killers. I'm just saying fumbles are bigger killers than interceptions because of the yardage factor, and that expecting mediocrity is no way to develop a quarterback into a champion.