Blog Entry

Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

Posted on: September 29, 2011 5:41 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 10:47 pm
Vick may not have a gripe with the refs, but Flacco and Roethlisberger do. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Mike Pereira, the former NFL VP of Officiating and current analyst, didn't take kindly to Michael Vick's comments earlier this week suggesting that officials were quick to protect some quarterbacks more than others.

Of course, Vick, the Eagles QB, made these observations shortly after getting roughed up by the Giants. A day later, he admitted that "I was kind of out of character and being too candid in that aspect. Ultimately, I have respect for the referees and their decision to make calls. You won't hear me complaining about it no more."

During a radio appearance Monday, Pereira called Vick's initial remarks "ridiculous," adding that "[I]t took me back to my job in New York when I worked for the league, and it was a constant complaint by the Eagles, whether it was McNabb at quarterback or whether it was Vick. They clearly complained more than any other team.”

Well, three days later and Pereira's still smarting -- he devoted an entire column to disproving that officials play favorites.

Regarding the myth that "The NFL protects its big-name quarterbacks," Pereira writes: 

"Well, I guess you are right — if you feel that the top three QBs in the league are Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler and Colt McCoy. Statistics from the 2010 season, combined with the first three weeks of the 2011 season, show that the Raiders’ Campbell ranked No. 1 in drawing roughing the passer penalties, getting 1.46 for every 100 passes. The Bears’ Cutler drew 1.28 and Cleveland's McCoy 1.20. Oh, and by the way, next in line was the PanthersJimmy Clausen at 1.0."

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We don't recall Vick specifically stating that big-name quarterbacks got special treatment, but regarding the list above, the reason Campbell, Cutler and McCoy led the league in drawing rougher-the-passer penalties last season is because they got hit more than most other quarterbacks. Campbell and Cutler are known to hold the ball a long time and McCoy was a rookie trying to decipher NFL defenses on the fly. Oh, and the Raiders, Bears and Browns were among the league's worst pass-blocking teams. According to, Oakland ranked 26th in adjusted sack rate (defined as "sacks per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent"), Chicago was 32nd and Cleveland was 23rd. That's an important distinction Pereira somehow overlooked.

Pereira continues: "What about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning? Let me look down the list, although it might take me a while since they both are way down there. Brady does get more protection than Manning, that’s for sure. Brady has drawn 0.16 roughing the passer calls per 100 attempts compared to 0.15 for Manning. That, for Brady, is one call in every 625 pass attempts, while for Manning it is one call for every 679 attempts."

Pereira's right: Brady and Manning rarely benefit from roughing the passer penalties. There's a simple explanation, too: they're the beneficiaries of good offensive lines and they, along with Drew Brees, get rid of the ball quicker than anybody else in the league. Adjusted sack rate bears this out: In 2010, the Colts were first, the Patriots were sixth. Again, this is probably worth mentioning.

But what about the quarterbacks who play behind atrocious o-lines but also rarely get roughing-the-passer calls? Those are the guys who might have legitimate beefs with the officials, right? 

Joe Flacco
2010 Ravens adjusted sack rate: 25th
Roughing-the-passer-calls per 100 pass attempts: 0.00

David Garrard
2010 Jaguars adjusted sack rate: 24th
Roughing-the-passer-calls per 100 pass attempts: 0.00

Ben Roethlisberger
2010 Steelers adjusted sack rate: 29th
Roughing-the-passer-calls per 100 pass attempts: 0.20

Alex Smith
2010 49ers adjusted sack rate: 30th
Roughing-the-passer-calls per 100 pass attempts: 0.48

While Vick, on average, might get the calls other quarterbacks get, Flacco, Roethlisberger and Smith would be right to wonder why they don't.

Finally, something the Ravens and Steelers can agree on.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:08 am

Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:57 pm

Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 10:35 pm

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Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

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Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 9:38 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 29, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:49 pm

Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

"Pereira is retarded and I don't need statistics to show me what my eyes can see."

Wow - that's just stupid dude.  I'm finding it hard to believe that you have the base IQ to operate a computer and still make a comment like that.  That doesn't add up for me.

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:42 pm

Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

For every questionable hit that Roethlisberger and Flacco take, their defenses put about 10 questionable to blatent dirty hits on opposing qb's. Give me a break if you think the Ravens and Steelers have any gripes about late or dirty hits

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:38 pm

Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

can anyone let me know what this means

;     &


Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 2:53 pm

Vick may not have beef but do Flacco and Big Ben?

That's easy for Jack Lambert to say, he's not standing back in the pocket vulnerable as 11 mostly large men are coming trying to kill the QB.

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