What Is Completion Percentage In Football

In football, completion percentage is a statistic used to measure a quarterbacks ability to complete passes. This statistic takes the number of throwing attempts a quarterback has and compares it with the number of those passes that were caught by his receivers.

A percentage is derived by divided the number of attempted passes versus the number of completed passes.

This statistic is often used in grading and evaluating quarterbacks. Many scouts and fans use completion percentage as a metric to determines a quarterbacks accuracy with the football.

What Are Considered Incomplete Passes?

To get a full understanding of how completion percentage works you need to first understand incomplete and complete passes.

First off a completed pass is a pass thrown forwards and caught by a member of the same team. This pass does not have to cross the line of scrimmage. And the player does not have to gain yards on the play.

The only criteria of a completed pass is that it is thrown forward and it is caught by a member of the same team.

When it comes to incomplete passes it is also fairly straightforward. An incomplete pass is a forward pass that is not caught by a teammate. Though there are some interesting situations that result in an incomplete pass.

Interceptions are an interesting factor in this discussion as they are considered an incomplete pass. Despite a forward throw being caught on an interception, it is not considered a completed pass.

In order to complete a pass, it must be caught by a member of the same team.

Additionally passes dropped by a wide receiver are counted as an incomplete pass. This means if a quarterback pass hits a wide receiver in the hands and he drops it, his completion percentage will suffer as a result.

This is also the case with batted passes. If a defensive lineman jumps up and swats a ball before it gets anywhere near the receiver this is still an incomplete pass. The fact the ball never had a chance to make it to the intended receiver does not make a difference.

What Is A Good Completion Percentage

As a prospect coming into the NFL college scouts tend to focus on the 60% completion percentage. If a player has failed to hit this mark at any point in their collegiate career it is often seen as a bad sign for the prospect.

That being said for some prospects like Josh Allen completion percentage can greatly increase once the quarterback themselves develop.

When in the NFL a completion percentage around 65% is considered good. In recent years the top one or two quarterbacks in the league will manage to break a 70% completion percentage.

This is an incredible feat and is something that has only been done seventeen times in the history if the NFL.

To get into the top third of the league at the quarterback position a players completion percentage is going to have to sit somewhere between 65-68%. This would be considered an above average completion percentage.

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