Every year it seems a different quarterback sets the silly goal of completing 70 percent of his passes. Eli Manning took the challenge two years ago, but completed only 63.1 percent, a career high. In 2015, Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater talked up the milestone, but ended at 65.3 percent.
The reality is that a quarterback can dink and dunk his way to a high completion percentage, which is why we at Football Outsiders wanted to find a better way of quantifying accuracy and completion percentage.
The core idea is passing plus-minus, which estimates how many passes a quarterback completed compared to what an average quarterback would have completed, given the location of those passes. It does not consider passes listed as "thrown away," "tipped at line" or "quarterback hit in motion." Player performance is compared to a historical baseline of how often a pass is completed based on the pass distance, the yards needed for a first down, and whether it is on the left, middle or right side of the field.
Because we care only about whether or not the pass was completed with this stat, dropped passes can be accounted for favorably for the quarterback. Once we have the drop-adjusted plus-minus total, it can be divided by the number of passes to get an adjusted rate we denote as C%+.
A quarterback's C%+ is how many percentage points better than average he was at completing passes. Here is a look at the 10 most accurate quarterbacks from the 2015 regular season.
C%+: 7.3 percent
Wilson finished the season on a tear, throwing for 24 touchdowns and just one interception in his final seven games. His passing DVOA during that stretch was 60.8 percent, which over a full year would be the highest season in our database dating back to 1989 (Peyton Manning finished 2004 at 58.9 percent). Always a good vertical passer, Wilson (8.11) is the only quarterback to average more than 8.0 yards per attempt since he joined the NFL in 2012 (including playoffs). Wilson's career C%+ of 6.6 percent is the third highest in the NFL since 2006 behind only Kurt Warner (6.9 percent) and Drew Brees (6.8 percent).