Vick and Penalties part two, 2006

According to the 2010 data that I put together earlier, it appeared that Mike Vick might have a slight case in his complaints about not being treated like other quarterbacks. However, this was a small sample size and there were a few different ways that the data could have been interpreted.

In an attempt to create a clearer picture, I went back in time to look at Vick when he was with the Falcons. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find QB hits data prior to 2006, so that was the only year I was able to look at.

Most of the same disclaimers apply, however, after reading some of the replies, I decided to take out sacks from the denominator. The theory behind that is sacks rarely draw penalties, and at the very least, shouldn’t be counted 1 for 1 with QB hits.

So, to cut to the chase, here are some more fun graphs.

Mike Vick and Vince Young both were the beneficiary of an above average number of unnecessary roughness calls on aggregate, but only Vick, when compared to number hittable plays (runs + QB hits) is below average, but still very close.

Vick was the beneficiary of an average amount of roughing the passer calls on aggregate and was once again slightly below average when that total was expressed as a percentage of QB hits.


Overall, Vick drew twice the average number of 15 yard penalties, and when adjusted for the number of times run and hit, it appears as though he may have deserved a few more calls. The last graph compares the number of penalties drawn to just the number of QB hits, which isn’t fair given Vick’s style of play. But I thought I would post it just to show how much opposing defenses must have hated Mark Brunell, (yes, I’m aware his last name is spelled incorrectly in the graph, no, I do not feel like going back and changing it just for you) or how much the referees must have loved him.

This is far from conclusive evidence. Vick is pretty close to average, albeit still below, in many of the measurements. On an aggregate of the number of penalties, he is above average, in some cases, way above, and that is due to his style of play. However, even before looking at the numbers, Vick’s complaints, at least in my opinion, pass the eye ball test. I wish I had the data to do the years before 2006, but this is all I have. Pre-jail Mike Vick appears to have gotten more calls than post-jail Mike Vick, but this is still a small sample size. If this became a constant pattern, then a stronger case could be made in favor of him not being treated the same as other quarterbacks.

This may not be a perfect study but this is clearly a better way of looking at the debate than using straight up penalties drawn or based on per pass attempt. Because Vick runs more often than other quarterbacks the data may never be perfect, even though he is still below average when looking at Roughing the Passer alone.

One thing that I noticed was the similarity between Vick and Vince Young. Maybe referees and the league just don’t know how to handle running quarterbacks. It would be cool to look at the numbers on Randall Cunningham and compare.

Regardless, Vick signed a $100* million dollar contract (more like $80 million) and the Eagles are not playing well. Even if it was frustration speaking, Vick, and the Eagles, should be overly protective of such a large investment taking brutal shots week in and week out.

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