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My Rant On QB Rating


Falconsfan567
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Here is why QB Rating is a misleading stat. It puts way too much importance on yards per attempt. Why should a QB be with 2 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions be rewarded more because he had a higher yards per attempt than a guy with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions? Doesn't seem fair does it? It's not fair. Look at Matt Ryan's stats this year for example.

I don't know about you but I personally think Matt's best game this year was the game against the Ravens. Here is Ryan's game line against the Ravens - 32 of 50 (64.0%), 316 YDS (6.3), 3 TD 0 INT, 101.8 QB Rating. That's a great game period. It doesn't get much better than that.

But according to QB Rating it's not even Matt Ryan's best game of the season. His best game of the season according to QB Rating is a game in which he threw an interception. It's the game against the Bengals. Here is his line from that game - 24 of 33 (72.7%), 299 YDS (9.1%), 3 TD, 1 INT, 118.1 QB Rating.

Now which game do you like more? I personally would take the Ravens game over the Bengals game. Not a good enough example for you? Let's make up an example.

Line A - 23 of 34 (67.6%), 250 YDS (7.4), 2 TD, 2 INT - 84.2 QB Rating

Line B - 17 of 25 (68%), 250 YDS (10.0), 2 TD, 2 INT - 93.8 QB Rating

So what's the difference? Both have the same amount of yards, touchdowns, interceptions and nearly the exact same completion percentage yet because of a much higher yards per attempt, Line B is nearly 10 points higher on the QB Rating. Is almost 3 yards per attempt worth nearly 10 points of QB Rating? I don't think so.

The formula for QB Rating seriously needs to be reworked to put more importance on total yards, touchdowns and interceptions over yards per attempt.

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The froumla was devised in the early 70's as a means of evaluating QB's. If I remember correctly, it was based on the average passing numbers from the 1970 season - and the various components weighted so that the avergae QB (by 1970 numbers) would have a rating of 66.66.

As the passing game has opened up and impovmed with rule changes, and the evolutionof the WCO and spread offenses, passing numbers have gone through the roof. Completion %'s have grown, as have YPA and touchdown % - and average passer rating is up in the mid-high 80's. Maybe they should rescalibrate and reweight the various components to reflect the modern passing game.

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If you wanted to completely balance it to modern stats(ANd still keep up the pretense that all four categories should be equally weighted) Then the components would need to be:

(CMP%-.4)*5

((yds/att)-2.61)*.25

(Td/att)*25

2.375-((int/att)*34.375)

Which would make the league average in each category come out to a '1' and thus a passer that was average in every category would also come out to a 67, as intended.

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  • 1 year later...

BUMP! I still feel the same way about this. ESPN has come out with their Total QBR which is based on a scale of 0-100 but they don't tell you how they get those numbers. They just say that they judge each play accordingly and doesn't penalize the QB for things out of his control like dropped passes that turn into interceptions and hail marys at the end of halves that turn into interceptions. Here is just a basic summery of how Total QBR works.

Total QBR Basics

A quick primer on the fundamentals of Total Quarterback Rating:

Scoring: 0-100, from low to high. An average QB would be at 50.

Win Probability: All QB plays are scored based on how much they contribute to a win. By determining expected point totals for almost any situation, Total QBR is able to apply points to a quarterback based on every type of play he would be involved in.

Dividing Credit: Total QBR factors in such things as overthrows, underthrows, yards after the catch and more to accurately determine how much a QB contributes to each play.

Clutch Index: How critical a certain play is based on when it happens in a game is factored into the score.

Now let's take a look at Matt Ryan and compare his Total QBR to his actually NFL Passer Rating. Remember a Total QBR is 50.

2011

Total QBR = 67.5 [5th]

Passer Rating = 92.2 [8th]

2010

Total QBR = 68.5 [3rd]

Passer Rating = 91.0 [11th]

2009

Total QBR = 57.7 [12th]

Passer Rating = 80.9 [20th]

2008

Total QBR = 72.6 [2nd]

Passer Rating = 87.7 [11th]

So according to Total QBR Matt Ryan can be considered a top 5 QB in the NFL at least in the regular season but according to NFL passer rating Matt Ryan is only in the top 15.

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I know it is nice to have hard data to confirm or deny what we think our eyes and mind are seeing. Sometimes there just isn't an easy and emphatic answer. The 4 year career of Matt Ryan is not something you can distill down to a couple of sentences, numbers or an equation with a resolution. Good or bad, you have to believe what your own mind is trying to tell you and stick with that.

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I know it is nice to have hard data to confirm or deny what we think our eyes and mind are seeing. Sometimes there just isn't an easy and emphatic answer. The 4 year career of Matt Ryan is not something you can distill down to a couple of sentences, numbers or an equation with a resolution. Good or bad, you have to believe what your own mind is trying to tell you and stick with that.

I think what the ESPN numbers tell us is that while Michael Turner may get all or most of the credit for the Falcons winning the numbers show that Matt Ryan is the most valuable Falcon or else he wouldn't be ranked in the top 5 of all NFL QBs in 3 of 4 years. Basically ESPN is giving Matt Ryan the credit that he justly deserves while this message board doesn't.

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I think what the ESPN numbers tell us is that while Michael Turner may get all or most of the credit for the Falcons winning the numbers show that Matt Ryan is the most valuable Falcon or else he wouldn't be ranked in the top 5 of all NFL QBs in 3 of 4 years. Basically ESPN is giving Matt Ryan the credit that he justly deserves while this message board doesn't.

It just can't be that simple. Too many things go into the success/failure of a football team. The QB will always be the most important position and will always get a disproportionate share of the glory/blame. You watch a lot of football and other sports. You obviously like and respect the player. Isn't that enough?

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It just can't be that simple. Too many things go into the success/failure of a football team. The QB will always be the most important position and will always get a disproportionate share of the glory/blame. You watch a lot of football and other sports. You obviously like and respect the player. Isn't that enough?

Win Probability: All QB plays are scored based on how much they contribute to a win. By determining expected point totals for almost any situation, Total QBR is able to apply points to a quarterback based on every type of play he would be involved in.

Dividing Credit: Total QBR factors in such things as overthrows, underthrows, yards after the catch and more to accurately determine how much a QB contributes to each play.

Clutch Index: How critical a certain play is based on when it happens in a game is factored into the score.

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Win Probability: All QB plays are scored based on how much they contribute to a win. By determining expected point totals for almost any situation, Total QBR is able to apply points to a quarterback based on every type of play he would be involved in.

Dividing Credit: Total QBR factors in such things as overthrows, underthrows, yards after the catch and more to accurately determine how much a QB contributes to each play.

Clutch Index: How critical a certain play is based on when it happens in a game is factored into the score.

Those factors have a significant subjectivity to them.

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YPA is one of the most telling statistics for Quarterbacks. I'd actually argue that YPA is a more important standalone statistic than QB Rating overall. The team with the best offense in the NFL is generally the team with the QB with the highest YPA. Last season, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. The season before, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers. 2009, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. I'm not saying the best TEAMS are the ones with the QB with the best YPA, just the best offenses. ****, YPA could even use an improvement if you ask me, if for no other reason because Sacks should count. Take the QB's total Attempts and add the number of times they were sacked, then take their total Yards and subtract the sack yardage. That is the most accurate depiction of how good a QB is.

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YPA is one of the most telling statistics for Quarterbacks. I'd actually argue that YPA is a more important standalone statistic than QB Rating overall. The team with the best offense in the NFL is generally the team with the QB with the highest YPA. Last season, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. The season before, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers. 2009, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. I'm not saying the best TEAMS are the ones with the QB with the best YPA, just the best offenses. ****, YPA could even use an improvement if you ask me, if for no other reason because Sacks should count. Take the QB's total Attempts and add the number of times they were sacked, then take their total Yards and subtract the sack yardage. That is the most accurate depiction of how good a QB is.

I totally diasgree. I think YPC is way more important than YPA mainly because it takes away things like sacks, throwaways and drops which are all things a QB has basically no control over. It rewards QBs who throw the ball down the field more. Tim Tebow for as much crap as he gets had the 4th highest YPC in 2011 ahead of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Drew Brees who constantly gets praised for all those passes yards has a pretty low YPC compared to other QBs. He broke the passing yards record but was only 19th in the NFL in YPC. That reinforces something I already knew about Brees and that was that Brees and the Saints offense is based on completing a ton of short passes and letting the receivers do the work. The Saints lead the NFL in yards on screen passes in 2011. So when you're throwing all those short passes it's no wonder he can also set the record for completion percentage in a season.

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I totally diasgree. I think YPC is way more important than YPA mainly because it takes away things like sacks, throwaways and drops which are all things a QB has basically no control over. It rewards QBs who throw the ball down the field more. Tim Tebow for as much crap as he gets had the 4th highest YPC in 2011 ahead of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Drew Brees who constantly gets praised for all those passes yards has a pretty low YPC compared to other QBs. He broke the passing yards record but was only 19th in the NFL in YPC. That reinforces something I already knew about Brees and that was that Brees and the Saints offense is based on completing a ton of short passes and letting the receivers do the work. The Saints lead the NFL in yards on screen passes in 2011. So when you're throwing all those short passes it's no wonder he can also set the record for completion percentage in a season.

That's the thing, though. The QB does have control over sacks, throwaways and drops. Not 100% control, but enough control that he can be held reliable. A QB who gets sacked a lot, while not necessarily the ONLY factor, still has to be blamed at least PARTIALLY. Obviously the line takes the blunt of the blame, but to let the QB get off scott free is ignorant in my opinion. Throwaways are better for YPA than sacks are (if sacks are counted in YPA properly) which makes sense. If a QB goes 1/10, but the 1 completion is 75 yards, why would you praise that QB over one who goes 8/10 for 160 yards? QB1's YPC is 75. That is ridiculous. QB2's YPC is 20, significantly lower than QB1. On the other hand, QB1's YPA is 7.5 while QB2's is 16. Obviously QB2's performance is overall significantly better than QB1's and YPA reflects that.

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That's the thing, though. The QB does have control over sacks, throwaways and drops. Not 100% control, but enough control that he can be held reliable. A QB who gets sacked a lot, while not necessarily the ONLY factor, still has to be blamed at least PARTIALLY. Obviously the line takes the blunt of the blame, but to let the QB get off scott free is ignorant in my opinion. Throwaways are better for YPA than sacks are (if sacks are counted in YPA properly) which makes sense. If a QB goes 1/10, but the 1 completion is 75 yards, why would you praise that QB over one who goes 8/10 for 160 yards? QB1's YPC is 75. That is ridiculous. QB2's YPC is 20, significantly lower than QB1. On the other hand, QB1's YPA is 7.5 while QB2's is 16. Obviously QB2's performance is overall significantly better than QB1's and YPA reflects that.

How does a QB have any control over drops?

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How does a QB have any control over drops?

Putting the ball in the range of a receiver has a lot to do with whether or not the receiver catches the ball. QBs have everything to do with whether or not a ball is catchable as well as how much of an adjustment a receiver needs to make. Unless you expect every WR to be TO or Randy Moss in their prime, QBs need to be partially responsible for drops.

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Putting the ball in the range of a receiver has a lot to do with whether or not the receiver catches the ball. QBs have everything to do with whether or not a ball is catchable as well as how much of an adjustment a receiver needs to make. Unless you expect every WR to be TO or Randy Moss in their prime, QBs need to be partially responsible for drops.

I consider a drop anything that hits the receiver right between the numbers and they don't catch it. I'm not talking about throws that are so far off the receiver has to try to make a circus catch on it. I don't consider that a drop. That is what I was talking about. A throw that's right on target and the receiver just flatout drops it is not the QBs fault but that affects his YPA especially if it's a deep down the field for 15-20 yards or more.

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I consider a drop anything that hits the receiver right between the numbers and they don't catch it. I'm not talking about throws that are so far off the receiver has to try to make a circus catch on it. I don't consider that a drop. That is what I was talking about. A throw that's right on target and the receiver just flatout drops it is not the QBs fault but that affects his YPA especially if it's a deep down the field for 15-20 yards or more.

If every (or even a majority) of incomplete passes were due to drops, that would be a valid argument, but a very small percentage of incompletions are due to drops.

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If every (or even a majority) of incomplete passes were due to drops, that would be a valid argument, but a very small percentage of incompletions are due to drops.

Well I guess I just can't but help but think how many more passing yards and how much better Matt Ryan's YPA would have been had the Falcons not gotten a ton of dropped passes from Roddy and Julio. We lost 3 games because of dropped passes alone last season. Had 11 drops in 1 game against the Texans.

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Well I guess I just can't but help but think how many more passing yards and how much better Matt Ryan's YPA would have been had the Falcons not gotten a ton of dropped passes from Roddy and Julio. We lost 3 games because of dropped passes alone last season. Had 11 drops in 1 game against the Texans.

Deceiving to think that way. If a team is not close to a 100% mentally, they usually find a way to lose. If it wasn't the drops, it just would have been something else that day.

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Deceiving to think that way. If a team is not close to a 100% mentally, they usually find a way to lose. If it wasn't the drops, it just would have been something else that day.

I'll admit that the drops that day against the Texans wasn't our only problem that day. It would have been a different story if Ryan doesn't miss those easy throws right at the beginning of the game. But penalties killed us a lot last season.

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Actually, I'd say we were among the least penalized teams.

Well I don't know how the Falcons stack up with the rest of the league but I do have the numbers for the Falcons and how they have fared over the past 4 years.

2008 - 71 for 591

2009 - 78 for 664

2010 - 58 for 598

2011 - 93 for 769

Turns out the Falcons were only the 23rd most penalized team in the NFL in 2011 but there is no comparison between 2010 and 2011. 2011 was horrible. I mean the the reason it felt so much worst than that was because it was. In 2010 the Falcons were by far the least penalized team in the NFL.

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Well I don't know how the Falcons stack up with the rest of the league but I do have the numbers for the Falcons and how they have fared over the past 4 years.

2008 - 71 for 591

2009 - 78 for 664

2010 - 58 for 598

2011 - 93 for 769

Turns out the Falcons were only the 23rd most penalized team in the NFL in 2011 but there is no comparison between 2010 and 2011. 2011 was horrible. I mean the the reason it felt so much worst than that was because it was. In 2010 the Falcons were by far the least penalized team in the NFL.

Actually it was 28th most penalized last year, in terms of yardage and not accounting for the quality of play lost to a penalty call. The difference was significant though, almost 10 yards per game more than 2010. Indy was tops and JAX 3rd, so it's not a defining stat unless you're at the other end of the rankings.

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