Passer rating most highly correlated to victory
Joyce Park stashed this in The Sporting Life
SI writer Kerry Byrne says that rushing doesn't matter in the NFL -- and that the current crop of running quarterbacks is exciting but not efficient. The statistic most highly correlated to victory is passer rating, which measures efficiency of passing. Alex Smith is far more efficient than Colin Kaepernick, and Aaron Rodgers is more efficient than either... so SI is predicting the 49ers will regret their quarterback switch in the upcoming playoff game.
Rushing is good for several things:
1. Burning clock. Super important for clock management.
2. Wearing out the defense.
3. Giving your quarterback and receivers a chance to recover from previous plays.
So rushing does matter, it's just not as correlated to victory as passer rating.
and it is a harder metric to track