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Just The Sports: Why The Bills Will Not Win Anytime Soon

Just The Sports

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Why The Bills Will Not Win Anytime Soon

In true Darwinian evolutionary form, each year the average NFL quarterback becomes a more accurate passer and in so doing, the quarterbacks who continue to struggle with completing a high percentage of their passes will be left behind, victims of the NFL's form of natural selection. Right now, the average starting quarterback is completing around 60% of his passes so it is more than ever important that when teams draft a college quarterback who they plan to play, that he have completed over 60% of his collegiate passes while playing significant time. As I have written multiple times in the past, what a quarterback does in college will be a direct reflection of the percentage at which he completes passes in the pros.

Yet, the Buffalo Bills in drafting J.P. Losman with the 22nd overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft and Trent Edwards with the 92nd overall pick in the 2007 draft have completely eschewed all the logic and data I have laid out. At Tulane, Losman only completed 58.6% of his passes in the games where he either attempted the most passes or passed for the most yards. Not surprisingly, his NFL completion percentage of 58.0% is virtually identical to his NCAA one and is neither statistically significantly worse nor statistically significantly better.

Then there is former Stanford quarterback, Trent Edwards. When he found himself healthy enough to play for the Cardinals, which was not often, Edwards only completed 57.3% of his collegiate passes in significant playing time so if he is given enough quarterbacking chances in the NFL, he will have either a slightly worse or identical career to J.P. Losman with both of them being below-average quarterbacks for their careers. Whatever intangibles Edwards supposedly possesses cannot possibly outweigh the tangibles that say he is not worthy of starting for any NFL team, unless he is planning to time travel back to the 1970s.

Making the two quarterback mistakes the Bills have made is enough to mire any NFL franchise in mediocrity for many years and those who are not Bills fans should consider themselves lucky to be able to watch the mediocrity without caring too much.



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