Does Jay Gruden really judge QBs by wins and losses?

Jay Gruden might have the most simplistic formula in football to determine who should be his starter: Wins and losses.

"That is the No. 1 factor, and that is it," Gruden said Sunday, via "Obviously you look at the production and all that stuff, and what he could've done maybe, but winning football games is the only thing that matters to me for a quarterback. And it doesn't matter if they go 12-for-24 for 80 yards and we win, or if they go 28-for-35 for 400 (yards) and we lose, you'd rather have the 12-for-24. The ability to manage a game, stay away from the big turnovers and get the W is all that counts."

Gruden's comments were naturally devoured by analysts who loathe the archaic-sounding philosophy (if this is really what Gruden meant, we'd take offense to it as well). But we should make something clear: There is no way this is truly Gruden's determining factor. If Robert Griffin III was lighting up the stat sheet on a consistent basis all year, he would have never been benched. So long as his turnovers stayed down and he showed some familiarity with his reads, Gruden could not have justified lifting Griffin with numbers circa 2012 even if Washington was losing on a consistent basis.

In the past, Gruden has been misinterpreted (by yours truly included) and this might be another case of missing the context. Gruden was justifying a year defined by indecision at quarterback, and this is a way for him to boost Griffin heading into his final start of the season.

There's nothing about Gruden that seems conventional, which is why we don't really expect his views on advanced statistics and metrics to conform.

Unless we're proven wrong, it sounds like Gruden is just trying to place some perspective on a huge Saturday win, and motivate his potential franchise quarterback.

"The decisions were made based on the strong feeling I had as far as what was best for our team," Gruden added, "and that's it. No other hidden agenda, so that's the only reason I made the decision I made. When I went back to Colt, I thought Robert needed more time to step back and take a deep breath and sit back and learn more. It was not the end of Griffin's career, and I said he would have a great chance to play, and he has and he's taken advantage of it. Going back, I think I played it the way I thought was right, and the only way I could do it at the time."

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