The growing national perception of Chad Kelly is a hand-me-down of last year's Good Bo, Bad Bo narrative: a capricious gunslinger who's prolific arm talent is handcuffed to his proclivity for throwing interceptions in bunches. A cursory glance at his 2015 stat line tells you why that narrative exists: Swag leads the SEC in touchdowns, yards and completions ... but his 12 interceptions in nine games is also a league-high (which he shares with Vandy's Johnny McCrary).
But here's the problem with that narrative: five of those 12 picks had more to do with bad luck than bad decisions. Three of them bounced off the hands of the intended receiver and the other two were batted into the air on spectacular defensive plays.
Yea, yea, yea, tipped passes are just part of the game and Chad isn't the only QB in the league that's been hit with some bad bounces. But it does seem that he's been disproportionately affected by tough luck picks. If say, three of those balls found their way to the turf instead of an opponent's bread basket, Mr. Swag's interceptions per pass attempt would be ranked 10th out of the 20 SEC quarterbacks with at least 40 attempts.
I'm not saying Chad doesn't struggle with decision-making -- just about every one of the other eight picks were the result of trying to fit the ball into a window that wasn't there -- but I think a handful of bad bounces have led to a significant exaggeration of the problem.
Here's what I'm talking about:
You can ticky-tacky on the ball placement of these last two -- this one is behind the receiver a bit but Markell Pack still got two hands on it.
And this pass sails a bit, though it's probably a pick six if the ball is on the money. I'm chalking this up to a combination of a great read by the defender and a whiffed block by freshman receiver Damarkus Lodge.