1. Volume/Fantasy Football
People really get caught up in box scores more and more every year. The reason that happens is because fantasy football is so popular now. Let me explain.
Whether you know it or not, you aren’t pulling for the team or the player to do the right thing, you are cheering for numbers on a page. Garbage time QBs like Blake Bortles had fans for way to long because he wasn’t afraid to let the ball fly. Even though that killed the Jacksonville Jaguars year after year, people still thought he “had a chance” because of those numbers.
So what if Marcus Mariota came out and just threw the ball as much as Ben Roethlisberger did last year?
Well, I can figure that out pretty easily. Let me take Marcus Mariota’s per game averages and adjust them to Ben Roethlisberger’s volume.
Adjusted Marcus Mariota statline: 5,040 yards, 29 TDs, 18 INTs
And that is rounding down and not including rushing yards or touchdowns.
If Mariota had that season last year and still missed the playoffs would everyone still be complaining about how he isn’t the guy? No, of course not.
If you want to talk about Mariota’s stats, talk about why he doesn’t have bigger numbers.
Some people will say, “But what if the reason they didn’t pass more was because they didn’t trust Mariota?” my response is: did you not read the stat line above?
That narrative doesn’t work, those are the numbers you would get simply by adjusting for volume, that isn’t me boosting his numbers artificially.
TL;DR: If you put Marcus Mariota in the Pittsburgh Steelers pass-heavy offense he would be a 5,000+ yard passer but instead of recognizing that volume limits Mariota’s numbers people lazily blame the lack of yards on his talent.