There is a great sports debate going on in the comments today about Texas Tech's redzone rate and I had some free time during my lunch hour and I thought that I would look into the stats because that's what we do. I was going to run with this on Friday in The Huddle, but figured that this was enough to post here and then let you all from from there.
Since all we care about are touchdowns, I was curious as to whether or not the redzone, statistically, was any worse or better than last year. Lucky for us, CFB Stats is a treasure trove of information and we can compare 2014 to 2013. If you don't want to click on over and possibly lose half of your day looking at stats, you'll find that the touchdown rate is actually slightly better than last year. In 2014, the touchdown rate is currently 64.29% and the rate in 2013 was 57.14%. Like a lot of you, I was expecting more, but to say that the redzone percent is worse is actually not true. Now, compared to the rest of the country, sure, that may be true, but in terms of overall percentage, it is better. Not enough, but it is better.
The other thing I was curious about, and one of the reasons I love CFB Stats is that they also have the passer rating for all sorts of things, including the passer rating from 20-1 yards, which is the redzone for quarterbacks and every 20 yards thereafter. Obviously, we're focused on the redzone with this issue, and surprisingly, Davis Webb has a QB Rating of 185.89 in the redzone, with 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Now, I know that some of you aren't big fans of the QB Rating, but at least it is a constant, it's a formula that doesn't vary. Compare that to last year, and Webb has a QB Rating of 155.84. For me, this makes complete sense and the numbers don't lie. In 2014, Webb has 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions and in 2013, Webb had 13 touchdowns and 1 interception. So, he's thrown 2 more interceptions, but halfway through the season, he's been better.
The problem for Webb hasn't been in the redzone, it's been the idea that he hasn't progressed for the other 80 yards that he has to play with. That's actually the problem. When the field is more open and there should be more opportunities, he should be better, but he's not. In 2014, Webb's highest rating is in the Redzone and aside from that 185 QB Rating, his average between the 1 and 80 yard lines is 131. Meanwhile, in 2013, between the 18 and 80 yard lines, Webb had a rating of 136. So at the best, he's regressed slightly from 1 to 80, or remained stagnant.
This is actually more discouraging to me than being marginally the same in the redzone. The problem is that the field is more problematic than having that somewhat tiny space to maneuver. Oh, and the thought that Webb has been better in the first half? Not so much. Webb has had a QB Rating of 136 in the first half and 141 in the second half.