If you talked to anyone over at ESPN, you would believe Michael Vick is God's gift to football fans. You would swear he's the greatest athlete and quarterback to ever touch a football. The Vick hype machine is a train going full speed.
So many fans, players and media members seem to be fascinated by Vick. I just don't get it. He's a decent player, but I don't even have him in the top six quarterbacks in the league right now.
That's not elite.
Vick is not an elite quarterback.
I'm not the biggest stat person in the world, but they do give you an idea how good a player is. Let's look at how Vick compares to the six quarterbacks I believe are the elite quarterbacks, ranking ahead of Vick on my list.
These are career numbers:
Do you see the drastic drop-off? All of the "elite" quarterbacks complete more than 63 percent of their passes. Vick is completing just 55.3 percent of his passes. Not only is that not elite, it's dreadful. Now Vick did complete more than 60 percent of his passes last year in Andy Reid's West Coast offense, but so far this preseason he's been unbelievably inaccurate.
That's what Vick is—an inaccurate quarterback.
Yards Per Attempt
Once again there's a big drop-off with Vick compared to the other quarterbacks. Yards per attempt is probably the most underrated statistic when it comes to judging quarterbacks. Completing passes down the field, moving the chains, making big plays, that's what elite quarterbacks do.
You would think Vick's big arm, matched with his amazing athletic ability, would bode well with him in this category.
Vick's 6.9 is very below average and once again causes him to fall short of the elite category.
Aaron Rodgers: 98.4
Philip Rivers: 97.2
Tom Brady: 95.2
Peyton Manning: 94.9
Ben Roethlisberger: 92.5
Drew Brees: 91.7
Michael Vick: 80.2
Are you starting to get the picture?
Vick is just not in the same league as these guys. Vick's career quarterback rating is almost below 80, which would put him in some very terrible company. Vick's not even in the top 50 all time in quarterback rating, yet he's one of the best players in the league?
As Chad Johnson would say, "Child, please."
The quarterback rating system is fairly accurate—unlike Vick—and shows he's just not an elite quarterback in this league.
Not only do these other quarterbacks have superior passing statistics, they all have a Super Bowl victory, with the exception of Rivers.
I'm sure you will give me the "good team" excuse, but if Vick were really the player the media and his fans want us to believe he is, he would make the teams around him better. Elite quarterbacks don't miss the playoffs two seasons in a row.
Speaking of the playoffs, Vick is 2-4 in the postseason. Last year he threw a late game-losing interception against the Green Bay Packers.
As for his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, I believe they're better off with youngMatt Ryan as their franchise quarterback. Ryan, who completes more than 60 percent of his passes, is a much better leader and is more accurate. He also isn't injury prone, which Vick is.
Ryan makes his skill guys better.
Take Roddy White, for example. White caught 50 passes, three for touchdowns, in two seasons with Vick as his quarterback. Since Ryan has been his quarterback, White has caught 85, 85 and 115 passes, scoring 28 touchdowns, in each of the last three seasons with Ryan at the helm.
Maybe that's because Ryan actually plays quarterback. Ryan doesn't look to run all the time, he uses his skill players.
I know that Vick's fans and supporters will say "what about his ability to run?" What about it? Name me one run-first quarterback that has won a Super Bowl, and don't say Steve Young. Young was a running quarterback, but didn't win his one and only Super Bowl until he learned to become an elite passer. Young always retired with the best career quarterback rating at the time.
Bottom of Form
The fact is, running quarterbacks just aren't successful in this league. Teams eventually catch up to it and the quarterback usually gets hurt way too often. Last year was Vick's best year. It's not a coincidence that it was also the fewest rushes in a season by him as well.
Right now there are no more excuses for Vick. He has a Super Bowl-caliber team around him. He is surrounded by as good of skill players as any quarterback in the NFL. His team is being called the "dream team."
Can Vick lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl? Can Vick continue to grow as a quarterback? Was last year an anomaly? Vick did regress in the second half of the season.
Fact is, until Vick puts up elite numbers consistently, plays well in the playoffs and proves he doesn't have to rely on his legs all the time, he can't be called "elite."
And he sure as hell can't be called the best player in the league.
Follow me on Twitter.