Quarterback Rating Deconstructed
The ever elusive Quarterback rating. The pristine number of 158.3, sounds beautiful doesn’t it. Ok, maybe it doesn’t. In any case, Mike Sielski of WSJ has an article this morning titled “Rethinking Quarterback Stats” which got me thinking about it. Sielski points out some interesting things. Lets see:
He cites issues with the formula to compute QB rating and how it came about.
“[Passer rating was] Created by a study committee that included Seymour Siwoff, a longtime staffer at the Elias Sports Bureau, the passer-rating equation spits out a value based on four relatively random numbers: completion percentage, average yards gained per passing attempt, touchdown percentage and interception percentage.” (wiki has formula).
His main issue with this is that it doesn’t include rushing yards why? As we all witnessed Monday, Michael Vick had the game of a lifetime. What do you think his rating was? It was 150.7. How wasn’t he perfect? Mike points out that Vick running for 80 yds and 2 Tds have to count for something. The current system only takes into account classic QB stats. He tells us of an alternative.
“Dr. Berri’s system, which he called QB Score, analyzed data to determine which aspects of a game contributed most to a team’s scoring or surrendering points. It places greater value on all the yards a quarterback gains (regardless of how he gains them) and on turnovers (including fumbles).”
Here mobile Qbs get more appreciation for their total skills like the Josh Freemans and Ryan Fitzpatricks of the world. Of course, no matter what system is used the only stat that matters is W-L record and that is the bottom line.
Of course this got me thinking, who are the highest rated QBs this year and all-time. This year the Qb ratings goes as of 11/17 go as so…
Surprise surprise, Mike Vick is number #1. Would have thought he go from running QB to Felon to best passer in the NFL? The second pick is even more shocking. David Garrard is second? Is this the same Garrard that Jags brought in Troy Edwards to possibly replace? Of course this is same Garrard that threw that Hail Mary play. Also another unexpected person, Vince Young is #5 on the list. Really? Where are the Holy Trinity of Quarterbacks(Brees, Manning, and Rodgers) this season? Respectively they are behind Matt Cassel at #9 w/94.5. First is Peyton Manning at #10 w/93.9 rating, Bress #13 w/91.5 rating, and Rodgers at #15 w/90.6 rating. How is this possible???
Lots of factors, the big three have arguably big time problems. Manning and Rodgers have lost safety valves TEs for season(Clark & Finley) and RBs had been hurt(Grant on IR and Addai/Brown/Hart can’t stay healthy). Lack of running game and no safety valves means have to take more chances = more chances to throw picks and make mistakes. Of course Manning is throwing to relative nobodies and still getting it done. As for Brees, he lost one of the biggest weapons in the NFL for a while. Reggie Bush. Saints don’t have versatile players that can stretch field and make defenses worry. Saints offense is limited in what it could do. And their is another thing, the Madden Curse. And another factor that isn’t inlucded is the attempts and total yards. Think about this for a second. Vick and Garrad are ranked #1 and #2 respectively. Together they have thrown for 2790 yards. Phillip Rivers(2,944 yds) and Kyle Orton (2,806) have single handedly throw for more yards then them and others are in the ballpark: Peyton(2, 663 yds), Brees(2, 587). Should they even be included in ratings?
So going on the current ratings I wondered who were the top rated Qbs of all-time. Pro-football-refrence has stats.
In the top 25, 16 players are active. Wow, would have never guessed Phillip Rivers would be #1 but he is. Hmm.I guess it doesn’t say much either that #13 Dante Culpepper & #14 Jeff Garcia on the list are playing in the UFL right now. To think they are rated higher than#20-T Favre, #29 Staubach, #43 Aikman, #51 Eli Manning, #59 John Elway, #67 Phil Simms, etc. Get the picture? Those are Super Bowl Winning QBs. Yea, the guys on top now are probably going to drop as they play more or maybe not, with the way offense is given all the help from league this may be a new trend? Only time with tell…
Main photo credit: AP Photo/Dave Einsel via NFL.com