Beware of stat Manipulation (shannyism)


I had a project due in class that required me to prove how numbers and stats can be deceptive, so what better way to do this then to use Redskins Qb stats since Theismann. I charted Tds per game/start, Ints per game/start, yards per game, winning percentage, and completion percentage. My teacher is a ‘Skins fan! These were all compiled from information obtained from

This provided that there were 26 starting Qbs for the Redskins since 1986.

I took one Quarterbacks stats and Compared them to other QBs the redskins have had since 1986. I have named this Quarterback QB1

Touchdowns per game QB1 (1.55) ranks 10th. Ahead of Brad Johnson(14), Mark Rypien(12), Jason Campbell(18), etc

10th out of 26 is above average.

Interceptions per game QB1 (1.64) is the 5th worst ahead of only Hostetler, Friesz, Humphries, and Gannon.

22nd out of 26 is terrible

Yards per game QB1 (236.4) is 2nd only behind McNabb (259.8)

2nd out of 26 is excellent

In Winning percentage QB1 (.455) ranks 10th Tied with Mark Brunell.

10th out of 26 is above average.

Completion percentage QB1 (59.1) ranks 7th well above Mark Rypien (56.4) and Doug Williams (55.9)

7th out of 26 is well above average.

Wow we really should have this guy starting and being the QB of the future.

Problem is that QB1 is REX GROSSMAN

Numbers show that Grossman is a good quarterback for the Redskins. Common sense shows that numbers are very deceptive. So if I were to try and convince you to keep Grossman based solely on stats and you didn’t know his history on other teams you would possibly think he is a well above average (not great) Quarterback right?

Well since this is what Shanahan said in a press conference recently, he can use stats however he wants to prove the point he wants to get a crossed. This is one way to look at it the only problem with this you don’t know the whole story. You only have the information given to you.

Now why is Grossman so high in most categories? Well the stats are manipulative.

How is Grossman 10th in TDs per game? The sample size in games(11) is extremely smaller than other Qbs such as Rypien (72) also Recently offenses have been more pass oriented rather than nasty defense and a steady run game. This is also evident in Grossmans rank in Ints. The more attempts will eventually lead to more Tds and Ints. Even Jason Campbell recently had Clinton Portis who was a work house for years. Rex had Torain and now Helu. Not quite a stable backfield yet. Relying on Grossman in a passing league puts up more stats than wins. Even Benched McNabb had more yards but only a .385 winning percentage.

The winning Percentage is a weird stat to explain. Remember Todd Collins? He went 3-0 as starter on the Playoff push the year Campbell went down, so technically his winning percentage is 1.00. Also at 1.00 winning percentage is Ed Rubbert. Who? Remember the movie the replacements? Rubbert was Washington’s replacement Qb. He also went 3-0. Jeff Hostetler went 2-1 as starter. Remember him? Grossman is 5-6 in more starts then the three prior Qbs I mentioned. This just proves that percentages are often used without explanation to prove points. What I Found remarkable is that there have only been 8 Redskins Qbs with winning records since Theismann and if you take out the Qbs with less than 6 starts there have only been 4. Banks 8-6(.571). Schroeder 24-7(.774). Brad Johnson 17-10(.630). Mark Rypien 45-27(.625). Since Snyder how many above .500 QBs have we had? 2. Remember when we let Brad Johnson go because we really didn’t need him or he was getting old or whatever the excuse was? Remember the TAMPA BAY 48 OAKLAND 21 Super Bowl XXXVII score. Who was that QB? Yep, you know. And the other was Tony Banks who threw 0.71 tds per game and 0.71 ints per game. 159.1 Yards per game and a 53.5 completion percentage is pedestrian at best.

I think I Just convinced myself even more that we need a QB drafted next year. Also it wasn’t just a Dan Snyder QB problem. There were just as many winning QBs (2) between Theismann’s last start and Snyder’s purchase of the Redskins (9yrs) as there was from the beginning of Snyder’s ownership to now (13 yrs).

Completion percentage seems sexy and is very misleading. Grossmans 59.1 is not bad but it doesn’t equate to great decisions or wins. Wuerffel leads the group with 63 percent and even John Beck has 60.6 percent completions. We can all agree that these 2 Qbs are not even as good as Grossman. Remember when Mark Brunell had 20+ completions in a row in one game? Now that was a great percentage for the game but his career percentage was below Grossman. Grossman is 4 percentage points out of first but also 4 percentage points out of 19th.

I like numbers and like graphing and charting but at this point my head is about to explode with all the knowledge of how bad our Qb situation has been since Joe. I hope this didn’t bore you to death or wasn’t too hard to read. I decided to turn my school project into a blog post. Just remember don’t be sold something just by words or numbers. Facts can be presented in a way that is looks wonderful when it is really a train wreck. Give me Barkley, RG III, or even Landry Jones. Just don’t manipulate stats and try to sell me someone like REX as the future. Hail to the Redskins!!!! Live on ST21.

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