A few weeks back in the never ending jihad, the statement was made that "Couch sucks at home. Period." And that led me to wonder if and to what extent that was true, and, more importantly, how he stacked up against his brethren.
A quick check showed last year that Couch had a 71 quarterback rating at home, and a 78 rating on the road. Neither number is very encouraging, to be sure, but is it unusual for a qb to do better on the road? And does performance home or away any indicator of a qb's relative performance?
First, ratings at home followed by ratings on the road:
HOME QB RATINGS
AWAY QB RATINGS
|B. Johnson TB||208||131||1,402||6||5||82.25||17||3|
A few observations, if not conclusions:
You want suckee at home? Jeff Blake with the Ravens was king. He ranked a mediocre 23rd in his overall qb rating, but that was the result of a dismal 66 rating at home… and a 4th best rating of 91 on the road. And if it isn't Blake, Matt Hasselbeck of the Seahawks deserves consideration with an 81 rating at home and a second best 94 at home.
7 of the top 9 ratings at home were from qb's who also finished in the top 10. So maybe the best quarterbacks do take advantage of home cooking. Those who saved the best for home, but were markedly worse on the road included Jay Fiedler, Brad Johnson, Shane Matthews (in limited action) and Aaron Brooks.
And of the bottom twelve spots for worst rating at home, ten were occupied by quarterbacks already ranked in the bottom 12 overall.
Again, Tim Couch had a better qb rating on the road than at home… by a margin of nearly nine points. One can argue whether that figure is significant, but it is easier to simply compare it to other qb's below. Note that the plus-minus designation is not indicative of a qb's overall quality or ability, but simply a quick indication of the difference at home and on the road.
Qb's are pretty evenly dispersed throughout. Both high and low rated qb's overall do better at home… or on the road.
While Couch was not radically better on the road last year like Jeff Blake, Patrick Ramsey, Matt Hasselbeck or Joey Harrington, he did rank 27th among the 32 quarterbacks in having the widest margin between home and away ratings. That alone would seem significant for comparative purposes. Whether it has significance, however, as an overall indicator of a quarterback's effectiveness is questionable IMO.
That may be a statistic that is less significant to coaches than it would be to an owner and fans. Wouldn't any team like to see their qb save their best work for home games?
On the other hand I would think a coach would appreciate consistency in a qb, someone whose rating doesn't fluctuate wildly depending upon the venue. Yet look at the ten quarterbacks whose ratings home and away vary by fewer than 5 points: they average 18th in overall qb rankings. So there wouldn't appear to be a bonus in having such maddening consistency.
One other item regarding Couch: as so-so as his quarterback rating goes, it would seem it is helped along by his good completion percentage, even if many of those completions are the dink side. The figures might bear that out. Of the 32 qb's in the standings last year….
25th in qb rating (76.8)
12th in completion percentage (61.6%)
22nd in yards per pass attempt (6.42)
28th in yards per pass completion (10.41)
Copyright 2003. Questions? Comments? Post in Gateway Plaza or write Aardvark at AakronAardvark@aol.com.