As a brief follow-up to Steve’s recent post about Derek Anderson being ready for training camp in terms of having recovered from his calf injury that had him sidelined earlier this off-season, it is important that we put the issue of dropped passes into a wider perspective.
There is no doubt that Braylon Edwards in particular dropped an awful lot of footballs last year – in fact the highest in the League according to most statistics trackers (remember that dropped passes tend to be less reliable stats compared to other more official NFL figures throughout the season). And of course that had an impact on Derek Anderson losing his job.
But a look at the overall team stats on dropped passes compared to the rest of the League proves an interesting point. It is possible for a quarterback to keep his job and perform well, even into the playoffs, in spite of his receivers dropping a lot of passes.
As of December 2008, the Browns were second highest in the NFL in dropped passes. I bet very few will guess the other three teams in the top 4: Eagles, Broncos and the Colts. McNabb and the Eagles made the NFL Championship Game against the Cards a very close contest. Cutler and the Broncos would have made the playoffs barring that pathetic performance against the Chargers at the end of the season. And Manning and the Colts advanced to the AFC Playoffs Wild Card Game against the Bolts.
Anderson could have overcome the dropped passes, pure and simple.