Accuracy has different meaning in the NFL

Updated: December 29, 2003, 3:23 PM ET
By By Ryan Early | NFL Insider
At one point in Peyton Manning's rookie season, he called his father Archie and complained that his receivers were never open. The best young quarterback to enter the NFL in a decade was having trouble adjusting to the pro game.

The difference in the accuracy needed in the NFL as compared to college is dramatic. NFL QBs must be able to thread the ball into a square no bigger than a cereal box or risk having it intercepted.

Even the definition of "open receiver" changes in the NFL. If a receiver has a step on his defender, he has beaten his man. If he has two or more steps, he's wide open. College quarterbacks rarely even attempt a throw unless the receiver has two steps on his defender.

Daunte Culpepper
In the Cardinals' upset of the Vikings, we saw two prime examples of the difference between an accurate pass and an inaccurate pass by NFL standards.