How well did Mike White perform against the Cincinnati Bengals beyond the box score?
Throughout the 2021 season, I will be running a weekly series of breakdowns in which I analyze the performance of the New York Jets’ starting quarterback by grading every single one of his plays on a 0-to-10 scale.
My goal with this grading system is to capture the true quality of the quarterback’s performance. Box score statistics can be misleading, as they do not account for a variety of factors that determine whether a quarterback performed well or poorly on a given play.
After re-watching each play on the All-22 film, I grade them on a 0-to-10 scale and then take the average of all plays to form a 0-to-100 overall score with 50 being approximately league-average (based on my studying of numerous other quarterback performances across the league).
Here are just a handful of the primary factors that are taken into account in the grading of each play, and a basic description of what I’m looking for:
- Decision-making (Did the QB choose the best available option or did he leave a better play on the field?)
- Throw difficulty (Clean pocket or pressured? Wide open or tight window? Stationary or on the move? More difficult throws are more valuable.)
- Accuracy/placement (Even if the pass is completed, was the ball placed in the best possible spot or did the receiver have to make an extra effort to catch it?)
- Game situation – score, time, field position, down and distance (Good decisions based on the clock/situation are crucial. Playing the sticks is also important – it is not a good play to throw a 5-yard out on third-and-10 while a 15-yard dig is open, but a 5-yard out on third-and-2 is good.)
Ultimately, it’s all about context. Not all 40-yard completions are created equal. Not all interceptions are created equal. You need to watch a play to understand whether the quarterback did a good or bad job. The raw result of a play cannot give you that answer.
When we analyze every play on film multiple times and grade the quarterback’s individual effort independent of his surroundings or the on-paper outcome of the play, we get a much better estimation of how well he actually played.
Of course, keep in mind that these grades are subjective. They are but one man’s opinion and are not gospel. Feel free to let me know your takes on my grades for these performances.
Let’s dig into everything that went into my 0-to-100 grade for Mike White‘s historic performance against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Nice breakdown. Out of curiosity, what were your grades for the two interceptions? I’m not sure I agree with your characterization. I would argue that the one intended for Crowder was (a little) more than barely missed, and a (slightly) high pass there is asking for trouble (but it certainly wasn’t an egregious mistake). The one intended for Carter I don’t have much issue with, maybe fired in a bit too hot.
So I gave the Crowder miss a 4.5 out of 10 which is a slightly negative grade (anything below 5 hurts the overall grade) but is about the same as what I would usually give a miss on a tight-window throw like that – I didn’t take anything extra off for the fact that it was picked. He certainly missed the throw but turning into an INT was just bad luck in my opinion. It was tough to get a good look at how close it was on the All-22 angles, it looks like he put it just a bit too much out in front as Crowder got one hand on it (and that’s how it was deflected). Crowder also didn’t do the best job beating his man to the inside, got fronted a bit. That contributed to the incompletion as well.
The Carter one I thought was a finely placed checkdown, there was a lot of traffic in front of White so I honestly think Carter did not see the ball coming so he didn’t get his hands up and allowed it to hit his facemask/helmet. Like you said, maybe a bit too hot, but just another unlucky break.