Most readers are familiar with Adjusted Yards Per Attempt (AYPA) as a very handy number for measuring the success of a QB. It's defined as net passing yards minus a 45-yard penalty for each interception, divided by total drop-backs. It correlates very well with winning.
Quick, without looking it up, rank the following passers in terms of their 2010 AYPA through week 15:
A. Drew Brees
B. Peyton Manning
C. Colt McCoy
D. Matt Ryan
E. Sam Bradford
Answer after the jump.
Peyton Manning 5.6
Drew Brees 5.2
Matt Ryan 5.2
Sam Bradford 4.1
My point in that little exercise is that the Browns' rookie quarterback Colt McCoy might be for real. He's played in 6 games and attempted 152 passes. McCoy has thrown only 3 interceptions so far, good for a 2.0% interception rate, much better than the league average of 3.0%. He's not throwing all dink-and-dunk stuff either, with a 20.4% deep attempt rate, slightly higher than average. His WPA is in solid positive terrirtory at +0.24, and his EPA makes him look even better, with 28.4 worth of net point differential added.
Is he just lucky thanks to a few trash-time deep passes? Nope. He has a solid 46.6% success rate and a 65.8% completion rate. And in case you think he's played against patsy teams, his six opponents have been the Steelers, Saints, Patriots, Jets, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati.
He's just benefiting from solid offensive line play and the break-out performance from Peyton Hillis, you say? Jake Delhomme was also handing off to Peyton Hillis and playing with the same offensive squad. With nearly the same number of attempts as McCoy, Delhomme's AYPA this season is 3.3. His WPA is -1.83 and his EPA is -24.9.
McCoy will be tested the last couple weeks of the season test as Cleveland hosts the Ravens and then the Steelers.