Colin Kaepernick is not the answer for the Kansas City Chiefs
A Statistical Comparison of Matt Moore and Colin Kaepernick
During Matt Moore’s career he has started 30 games in total. For this analysis, I will be comparing his 30 starts with Colin Kaepernick’s last 30 starts. While Moore’s starts came over a longer period of time, this will give us a decent sample size. The bigger the sample size in statistical comparison, the more accurate insights we can draw. I’ll specifically talk about the major statistical categories, but for the entire statistical population you can refer to the end of the article.
As you can see from the game populations for each quarterback, there’s actually a much smaller difference than you might have expected. I’ve heard some say that Matt Moore has been horrible while Colin Kaepernick has been incredible. Neither sentiment is accurate in any sense of the word. Both have been serviceable, if not good, in some categories.
Moore has a better winning percentage, a better completion percentage, a better yards per attempt average, and more passing touchdowns over the same span. Kaepernick has turned the ball over less and is a significantly greater threat to run the ball than Moore. Moore had slightly more touchdowns, but also slightly more total turnovers.
The major takeaway for me in this statistical analysis is that Moore is a better passing quarterback, really across the board, and Kaepernick is a far better running quarterback. In the context of Andy Reid’s offense who do you think will likely be more successful, a prototypical passing quarterback or a dual threat quarterback? I think the answer is pretty obvious here.
These are just numbers and there are likely some people who are still not buying what I’m selling. With that in mind, I thought I’d go a step further and look at the quarterback rating for each quarterback on a game-by-game basis to determine on average which quarterback could be relied on to deliver the same production more frequently.
For reference, this quarterback rating number is a composite statistic provided by NFL.com. Once again, the rating for each game will be provided at the end of the article. For this analysis, I will refer to the following chart.
In the chart above, the blue line coincides with the trend of Colin Kaepernick’s quarterback rating each of his last 30 starts and the orange line coincides with the trend of Matt Moore’s quarterback rating each of his last 30 starts.
There are a couple major takeaways from this. The first is that both these quarterbacks have a large amount of variation from game to game. It’s pretty easy to presume that better quarterbacks, those who usually end up as long time starters have little variation from game to game, whereas most backup quarterbacks over their careers will have a larger amount of variation in their performance.
What’s not so easy to see is that this chart shows that one quarterback in particular has a lower floor in terms of his variation as well as a higher ceiling. If you take a second look, it becomes rather obvious that over the last 30 starts for each quarterback Matt Moore has objectively been a more reliably productive passer—not by a considerable stretch, but enough.
This makes even more sense when you look at the average quarterback rating for both over this 30 game stretch. Moore edges out Kaepernick with an average rating of 85.92 to 83.68. Let’s bring this all together.
When looking at both Matt Moore’s and Colin Kaepernick’s last 30 starts in the NFL, while they are over differing timeframes and for different organizations, they are incredibly similar with a small number of differences. Moore is the more accomplished passer and Kaepernick is the more accomplished runner, but on average Moore is a more reliable producer.
There will be some of you that will still push for Kaepernick. You’ll suggest he has all the right tools for an Andy Reid offense, that at the very least he would provide competition for Moore and might push him to excel. There are a couple reasons, aside from the ones showing Moore is a better fit, why bringing in any outside presence at quarterback at this juncture would be a mistake.