KC Joyner over at ESPN thinks that Donald Driver is overrated, due to “metrics and statistics”. Which is why, as Lombardi said, statistics are for losers.
Joyner is a smart guy. He does some incredibly nuanced research on the game of football. He came to prominence by writting and publishing a book of his research himself, and then stalked Paul Zimmerman at CNNSI until Dr. Z cited his book in his online mailbag column. Then, ESPN gobbled him up and made him a regular contributor. But knowing numbers and statistics as they pertain to the game of football and knowing the game as it is played on the field are two completely different things. Any observer of the game of football who doesn’t understand Driver’s worth, or labels him ‘overrated’, simply doesn’t know very much about the game.
Just because a receiver does not rack up double digit touchdowns on a season, it does not diminish his value to the team. How many touchdowns did Greg Jennings score because the defense had rolled coverage to Driver’s side? One need look no further than the play at St. Louis where three defenders jumped Drivers shallow crossing route on an all out blitz leaving Jennings so wide open it looked like he was fielding a punt before walking in for a touchdown. That doesn’t happen without Driver. And of course, it doesn’t show up on Joyner’s precious ‘statistics and metrics’. Because it’s a real game of football, not numbers on a page. One could go on and on about Jennings touchdowns, like the one in Kansas City where the defense keyed on Driver’s 15 yard ‘in’, or against Denver where the lone deep safety shaded to Drivers side at the beginning of the play, giving Jennings one-on-one with Dre Bly. And this doesn’t even begin to take into account Driver’s run after the catch ability, where the man runs as though his life depends on it.
No, Mr. Joyner, if there is anyone who is overrated, it’s you and your metrics, not Driver and his game.
Filed Under: Donald Driver