Michael Vick: 5 Reasons Why He's the Second-Best Left-Handed QB Ever

Barrett HansenAnalyst IIJune 20, 2011

Michael Vick: 5 Reasons Why He's the Second-Best Left-Handed QB Ever

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    Michael Vick is making a serious case to be considered among the best left-handed quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL.

    Unlike in baseball, where teams strive to have both righties and lefties, there is no advantage to being left-handed in football.

    Since there aren't very many lefties in the world, and there is no advantage to being one in football, there aren't many lefties in the NFL. There have only been 33 left-handed quarterbacks in the pros since 1943.

    Steve Young has the title of "Greatest Lefty Ever" under wraps. The two-time MVP winner won a Super Bowl with the 49ers, and his career 98.6 passer rating is the highest all-time.   

    He is currently the only left-handed quarterback in the Hall of Fame. 

    Vick has put together quite the career as well though, and still has a ways to go before he retires.

    Here are the top five reasons why Michael Vick is the second best left-handed quarterback of all time.

4 Pro Bowls

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    In eight NFL seasons, Michael Vick already has four Pro Bowl appearances. That puts him only behind Steve Young (six) amongst lefties.

    Boomer Esiason and Ken Stabler both earned four trips to Hawaii as well, but Vick has some years left to pass them.

    Michael Vick is arguably the most dynamic player in the NFL today and is rewarded with regular trips to the Pro Bowl.

Strong Passing Numbers

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    Michael Vick is one of 20 left-handed quarterbacks to have played in more than ten NFL games. His 80.2 passer rating ranks fourth in the group, behind Steve Young (96.8), Mark Brunell (84.2) and Boomer Esiason (81.1). Ken Stabler (75.3) rounds out the top five.

    As noted before, Steve Young is clearly the best lefty of all time. Michael Vick's chief competition as second best lefty would be Esiason, Brunell and Stabler.

    Vick sports a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1.6, good for third best in the group of elite lefties. It is slightly behind Brunell's mark of 1.72 and way ahead of Esiason (1.34) and Stabler (0.87).

    Accuracy is Vick's greatest downfall in relation to these four quarterbacking greats. His career 55.3 completion percentage is almost two full points behind Esiason, and about four points lower than Stabler and Brunell.

    The former Falcon posted a 62.6 completion percentage last year, raising his career number 1.5 points. The dramatic improvement suggests a new-found determination to become a better passer that will assuredly pay dividends in the coming seasons.

Clutch in Fourth Quarter

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    Since 2006, Michael Vick has a 98.6 passer rating in the fourth quarter when the game score is within seven points.

    ESPN only developed the statistic five years ago, so data is not available for any of the other players.

    But through his first eight years in the league, Vick has notched 10 fourth-quarter comebacks and 11 game-winning drives.

    At the same point in their careers, all but Steve Young had more late game heroics. Vick, like Young, couldn't get as many starts as he would have liked earlier in his career—he recorded only two starts as a rookie, missed all but four games in 2003 with a broken leg and saw only a little action in 2009.

    If anyone questions Vick's "clutchness," they should watch tape of Philadelphia's Week 15 matchup against the New York Giants. Vick led the Eagles to 28 unanswered points with 8:09 remaining in the fourth quarter to pull off one of the most incredible upsets in recent memory.

    If that doesn't make you clutch, it's hard to imagine what does. 

Dual Threat

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    Michael Vick more than makes up for his missed throws with his legs.

    In 2006, Vick became the first quarterback ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. He has led the entire NFL five times in yards per attempt, beating out quarterbacks and running backs alike. He has scored a total of 32 touchdowns with his legs.

    In short, he is a linebacker's nightmare. 

    Vick's got his competition slaughtered on this one. He has 1.2 more yards per attempt than Steve Young, and 2.4 more than Brunell.

    None of the other quarterbacks, Steve Young included, were so dynamic with their legs. Michael Vick's unique playmaking ability separates him from the pack, and makes him the second-best lefty of all-time.

Only 30 Years Old

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    The Eagles new star is far from hanging up the cleats.

    At 30 years young, Vick is coming off his best statistical year in the NFL which would have earned him the MVP award if not for Tom Brady and his absurd 340 consecutive passes without an interception.

    In his first year as a starter since 2006, Vick completely obliterated his old career-bests for passer rating and completion percentage. He posted a new career-high 21 touchdowns and a career-low six interceptions.

    Vick shows no signs of slowing down. As he continues to get better, he will surely establish himself as a much better quarterback than Kenny Stabler, Mark Brunell or Boomer Esiason.

    He might even challenge Steve Young.

    Michael Vick clearly committed himself to the art of quarterbacking, and it has paid off. There are several more bright years ahead to further embellish the best comeback story in sports history.