The Need for a New Turnover Stat

Imagine this: two out, bottom of the ninth.  Down by one run with a runner on first.  The batter hits a grounder to third.  The third-baseman fields the ball cleanly and fires the ball across the diamond to the first-baseman…..who promptly DROPS THE BALL!!!!  Everyone is safe and the next batter jacks the ball into some stadium bar out in the right field section.

Who is at fault?  Well, baseball statisticians would place the error on the first-baseman, who dropped the ball and not the third-baseman who made an excellent throw.  Also, while the pitcher would take the loss, his ERA would not take a hit.  Baseball gets it right.  It was not the pitcher’s fault, and it was not the third-baseman’s fault.  Baseball understands.

So why has football not figured it out when it comes to receivers not catching the ball?  Granted, baseball is a stat-driven sport.  But football seems to be missing it when it comes to dropped passes.  And this is coming from someone who dropped a sure touchdown!  It was not the quarterback’s fault; he put that ball on my hands.  I was the one who dropped the ball.  Shouldn’t there be a stat that punishes me while NOT punishing the quarterback?

Yes, I know drops are a stat that some sites and whatnot keep up with.  However, it is still an incomplete pass for the quarterback.  Perhaps instead of Derek Anderson going 14 for 37 because Braylon Edwards dropped three passes, maybe he should be 14 for 34.

Maybe that is a bit much.  But what of passes that receivers juggle or tip up in the air and ends up being intercepted by a free safety?  Take for instance last nights Bears-Saints game.  Bears QB Kyle Orton threw a pass to Rashied Davis, who promptly let it bounce up into the air and into Josh Bullocks’s hands.  That’s great…problem is that Bullocks plays for the Saints.  As it was recorded, Orton had an interception on his stat line.  HOWEVER, this was on Davis.  Shouldn’t there be something that indicates that?  Orton did not throw the interception, Davis is the one who did not catch it, even if it was thrown a bit behind him [he is a professional receiver; he should make that catch].  Just like the first-baseman who dropped the ball, Davis made an error that turned the ball over.  He should be charged with a turnover.

But what to call it?  A tip?  An exchange?  Maybe a transfer, since the ball is “transferred” to the defending team.  Yeah, that should do it.  AA transfer…because the ball transferred “hands” from the Bears (Davis) to the Saints (Bullocks).  Bullocks gets credited with his first transfer of the season.  Congratulations!  Meahwhile, Davis is hit with a transfer — a negative in his case.  And Orton is spared an interception…although that one to Fujita was all Kyle!

Hey, I’m trying!


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