Just What Is A “Produced” Touchdown?

This drab little note in Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column this week has provided considerable fodder for the likes of Felger of Mazz.

Opposing passers have produced more touchdowns than Tom Brady, 19-18.

This is just a weird sentence. “Produced more touchdowns?” What is the definition he’s using here?  Solely passing TD’s?

If we’re going by strictly “passing” yes, opposing QB’s have thrown 19 TDs, and Tom Brady has thrown 18. Brady also has two rushing touchdowns this season, and Kevin Kolb in week two rushed for a touchdown against the Patriots.

It would seem logical that “produced” by the quarterback would also include TD’s scored personally by the quarterback. So when we get there, we’re at 20-20 on the season.

By using this stat, some (Felger and Mazz) have made the completely inexplicable leap to the conclusion that Brady has or is losing it, and the Patriots have lost the advantage they had of having Tom Brady as quarterback. They’re going by King’s 19-18 stat (Has Dan Shaughnessy jumped on that one yet?) and saying that the QB doesn’t even matter.

Whoa.

Just another example of the surface-deep analysis you get from the likes of these guys.

The Patriots have 14 rushing touchdowns on the season. That’s the most in the NFL, by the way. (By way of comparison, opponents have five.) That’s 32 offensive touchdowns. Again, that’s the most in the NFL. Does the QB only produce the passing ones? He has nothing to do with drives that end in rushing touchdowns?

So what if Tom Brady had thrown for 27 touchdowns at this point and the team had rushed for five? Same 32 touchdowns. Would Peter King and Felger and Mazz be happy with that?

The likes of Felger and Mazz would be bewailing the absence of the running game that could prolong Brady’s career. They’re too reliant on Brady, they don’t have any balance to their offense!

The Patriots have enough problems right now. The quarterback isn’t one of them. Bending stats and not giving the entire picture is just fraudulent muck-raking, something some around here are very proficient in.

  • Michael Gee

    Dear Bruce: I think it is more interesting to contemplate what an “unproduced touchdown” might be. It’s a purely theoretical concept essential to pigskin string theory, I guess.

  • The Y Factor

    This isn’t the only year that New England’s scored plenty of TDs via the ground. BenJarvus was a beneficiary of this — but they’ve been very “productive” in this manner, ranking 6th in 2009, 2nd in 2010, and 3rd in 2011 in rushing TDs. They’ve also been strikingly consistent in the production there, so using that statistic as some type of barometer of Brady’s effectiveness is ridiculous, because there’s no metric to account for Brady’s performance on every drive leading to a 1 yd TD plunge by Steven Ridley. Also, those same people who would point out such a statistic are also part of the same crew that demean the efforts of the defensive secondary in being terrible both in yardage and TDs allowed. When such a secondary also finds itself playing offenses that HAVE to play catch-up, the air is where such renowned performers as Ryan Fitz will go. That’s just a by-product of the success of the New England offense. The position is, at best, specious, if not blatantly absurd.

    • DrakeW

      They why were other QB’s not throwing for as many yards and WR’s weren’t so wide open on every passing play in previous years when the defense was better and the Pats were building big leads?

      Don’t make excuses for the pass D. It stinks and it’s been that way for quite some time now.. There’s no sugar-coating it.

    • Chris_CT

      I had a different point to make, but you made me think of something regarding the Patriots D: Since the secondary makes every opposing QB look like an All Pro, you’d think there would be a much bigger disparity between the opposing QBs TD passes and Brady’s. You could make a case that the 1 TD difference actually makes Brady’s performance this year more impressive.

      My other point is that the Patriots lead the league in points and points per game. They are the only team that’s top 5 in both rushing yds and passing yds per game. To claim that this means the QB is losing it or doesn’t matter is simply trolling for a reaction.

  • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

    Don’t look now but what the Marlins did in the trade just cleared the Sox for a bit on the “oops” ineptitude:

    http://es.pn/RBiIJD

    Great reaction coming:

    https://twitter.com/search?q=Marlins&src=typd

  • sjc6224

    Felger and Mazz did do the whole “there is no running game” nonsense in the second half of the 16-0 2007 season so your supposition of the reaction to a 27-5 passing-running TD split is correct.

    • Ben

      Were they even on the air that year?

      • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

        August 2009 was their first.

        • sjc6224

          They were doing their act separately in the many other venues they had.

  • Yahtzee

    For what it’s worth, my laptop issue was screen-related an not due to the message board icky balooky.

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