Sunday, October 12, 2014

Griffin vs. Cousins: Downfield throws, Touchdowns, and Interceptions

Was just doing some research comparing the two. Here are the results:

Griffin: 30 starts, 30 games played
17 Interceptions to 36 TD throws (as well as 7 rushing)

Cousins: 8 starts, 13 games played
18 interceptions to 18 thrown (none rushing)

I was approached with the theory that it's an unfair comparison because Cousins pushes the ball down field and goes deep vastly more often than Griffin, so I decided to look at that, for the sake of replacing pervasive impressions with accurate information. Here are the actual numbers. To note, this is obviously skewed in Cousins' favor because a great deal of his throws have been with the more-vertically-aggressive Gruden compared to Griffin's throws with Shanahan, as well as because Cousins has had better weapons than Griffin (particularly one of the league's best deep threats in Jackson). Regardless, here are the raw numbers as they stood before today's game vs. Arizona.

Cousins, excluding today's game, has gone more than 10 yards downfield on 123 throws, out of a total of 363 attempts (33.9%). 38 out of his 363 were throws of 20+ yards (10.5%).

Griffin has gone more than 10 yards downfield on 280 throws, out of a total of 907 attempts (30.9%). 80 of Griffin's 907 attempts were 20+ yards (8.9%).

To make those splits more explicit, that means that Cousins throws between 10 and 20 yards 23.4% of the time, compared to Griffin's 22.1% The difference, then, in Cousins' favor is 1.3% on 10-19 yard throws, and 1.6% on 20+.