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John Elway

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Gehrig, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Gehrig

    Gehrig Active Member

    We tend to accept it on faith that he was one of the all-time great QBs. His bulk stats attest to that:
    #6 all-time in passing yards
    #7 in passing TDs
    #6 in completions
    .641 career winning percentage
    #4 in career wins for a QB

    But looking at his efficiency numbers tells a different story. Obviously, comparing him to guys playing today is silly because of how much the game has changed, but even compared to his contemporaries, Elway rarely stood out in terms of efficiency.
    In fact, throughout his career, the only times Elway led the league in any statistical category, it was for bulk totals (twice for attempts, once for completions and once for yards)

    I compared his numbers in five efficiency categories (completion %, TD%, INT%, yards per attempt and passer rating) year-by-year to those of the median (I didn't use mean because it would be affected by outliers) qualifying QBs and found that, especially in the 80s and early 90s, Elway rarely did much better than the median in any of these categories and was frequently worse.
    (Green indicates better than league median; Red indicates worse)


    Elway's efficiency numbers only remain consistently better than the league median only when Denver switches to the West Coast Offense with the arrival of Jim Fassel as the offensive coordinator in 1993 (the team would stick to that offensive system when Mike Shanahan takes over in '95), and as we all know, the WCO can make any quarterback look good. And even under those favorable conditions, Elway's numbers still lagged well behind other notable WCO quarterbacks like Steve Young, Brett Favre, Erik Kramer and Randall Cunningham.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yep, he sucked.
  3. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Someone enjoys cutting and pasting from other message boards.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  4. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    It's only appropriate that Stephen Glass writes a story about Gehrig.
  5. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    If there's a stat for carrying mediocre teams to the Super Bowl, Elway has to be No. 1.
  6. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Per "Gerhig"'s sig:

    "He who is not courageous enough to cut and paste on message boards will accomplish nothing in life. "
  7. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    I'm not accepting on faith that one bit of those stats provided are correct.
  8. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    1. A paranoid, conservative head coach for almost his entire prime? Check.
    2. Garbage ass wide receivers and running backs who disappeared the minute they tried to go elsewhere? Check.
    3. A franchise that thought it was wise to spend a first round pick on Tommy Maddux in his prime? Check.

    Get back to me on how we measure these statistically, please.
  9. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Of people whose NFL careers are over, I think he's the second-best QB of my lifetime, behind only Montana.
  10. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    I would agree with that.
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I was never even an Elway guy. But right on.

    Is this where we get the proliferation of "Who was better, Steve Grogan or John Elway" threads?
  12. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Any mention of Steve Grogan reminds me of watching Patriots-Dolphins on Monday Night Football as a young lad.
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