Statistics let us remove emotional stimuli and focus on the hard truth of what happens. But we need to place statistics into their environment to gain context and understand what’s really happening. Bryce Petty having 60% accuracy doesn’t tell you any information, but 60% accuracy throwing against man coverage gives you something to work with. That’s the purpose of this season-long project.
Let’s get this out of the way, these numbers aren’t objective. There’s a lot of subjectivity involved with interceptables, drops, single vs full reads, and even what the coverage faced is. This is still a subjective analysis. It’s just adding numbers to that subjective analysis.
Would you believe it if i told you this was Bryce Petty’s best game so far? Well, it was. Traditional statistics aren’t in his favor, but he produced a better context stats than his first two starts. And it was against the best passing defense he’s seen this season (Miami ranks 12th in pass defense DVOA at time of writing). If it weren’t for the Jets getting blown out on primetime and a bad interception, more people might be open to believing that.
Petty improved noticeably from his previous games. In his last two starts, his reads total YPA were at horrible 4.97 and 5.32 rates. Now it’s up to 7.00 YPA. That’s not efficient, but it’s more efficient. It’s progression. That’s important to realize, even if you weren’t a fan of Petty in pre-season (like me) or during the 2015 draft (also like me).
Zooming out of this game, maybe it’s possible that Petty isn’t actually as bad as we’re seeing and could be better. It might be a tired point to read if you’re used to arguing with Petty’s defenders, but these are still real points.
It’s only Petty’s third start. Petty came from a completely different system and speed of the game. Yes, two years on the bench should’ve improved him- but why would three starts prove it hasn’t? It’s reasonable that three starts after not playing in a real game since 1/1/2014 isn’t enough to be acclimated. I don’t count appearances off the bench in that by the way, since you can’t measure how many reps or practice time depth players are getting during the season. I don’t think Bryce is playing himself into a starter spot right now, but he’s not playing out of a starter spot either. He hasn’t been that level of ineffective yet.