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The best (and worst) NFL QBs at everything - ESPN


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As passing numbers continue to inflate across the NFL, it's becoming more and more difficult to correctly assess even basic measurements of pass production. A 65% completion rate sounds exceptional, right? Well, 18 different quarterbacks exceeded that benchmark over 10 or more starts in 2018. And as quarterbacks such as Jared Goff and Ryan Fitzpatrick seem to transform into completely different players with new coaches and in new situations, it's becoming clear that the traditional measurements fall far short in their mission to accurately and comprehensively identify the best and worst quarterbacks.

ESPN Stats & Information offers a different approach to evaluation, calculating the expected points added by every play based on its start and end state in terms of factors such as down and distance, field position and time remaining. Successful and unsuccessful plays come from the combined efforts of every player on offense and defense as well as coaches, but the EPA can be stretched to evaluate quarterbacks by comparing the EPA totals of plays in which they pass or run the ball with the EPA totals of plays without their involvement -- typically runs, defensive plays, and special-teams plays. That creates an imperfect evaluation because quarterbacks do not have full control over the success or failure of their attempts, but it does a much better job of divorcing a quarterback's responsibilities from those of his supporting cast than either basic passing statistics or won-lost records could hope to do.

By comparing the total EPA of each quarterback's attempts to that of his team's running game, defense and special teams, we have identified the top 10 and bottom 10 signal-callers in added value for 2018. Note that this is different from the most valuable quarterbacks by total value. For example, Tom Brady is seventh in QB EPA (+97.6), but he doesn't make our list because the rest of the Patriots' roster also had plenty of value by expected points added.

Read through our various categories of passers, or skip ahead to the metric of your choice here:

Most valuable | Least valuable
Most accurate | Least accurate
Most aggressive | Least aggressive

Note: We included only quarterbacks who made 10 or more starts in 2018, which excluded QBs from three teams (the 49ers, Buccaneers and Ravens).

 

Most valuable

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2. Matt RyanAtlanta Falcons

QB EPA: +123.5 (4th)
Team EPA: -131.9 (28th)
QB-added value: +255.4

Things become much more intriguing in second place, where Ryan takes the nod despite leading a Falcons team to a 7-9 record. His placement illustrates the importance of a relative value ranking. The Falcons were already a bottom-third defense in 2017 that got much worse last season after quickly losing their two best defensive players -- Deion Jones and Keanu Neal -- to foot and knee injuries, respectively, that put them on injured reserve. Without them, the Falcons' defense fell to second worst in football. Meanwhile, Ryan's offense quickly lost one of its best players, with running back Devonta Freeman landing on injured reserve in early October. All the Falcons could do was lean on Ryan, and with defenses imbalanced to stop his passing game, Ryan quietly put up a season with a 69.4% completion rate, 4,924 passing yards and a 5-1 ratio in touchdowns (35) to interceptions (7) that was nearly identical to his production from his 2016 MVP season. Ryan carried a team that otherwise would have competed for the No. 1 draft pick to a respectable finish, and he deserves his silver medal in these rankings.

1. Mahomes

2. Ryan

3. Roethlisberger

4. Rodgers

5. Brees

6. Carr

7. Dalton

8. Manning

9. Rivers

10. Newton

 

Most accurate

atl.png?w=110&h=110&transparent=true

5. Matt RyanAtlanta Falcons

C%+: +3.5%

Here's our first quarterback on the accuracy side who was better on short passes. Ryan completed an above-average number of passes compared to his expected rate on deep balls, but he ranked just 10th in receiving plus-minus. Ryan's short passes created the fourth-most receiving plus-minus value in the NFL. For those worried about the shift back to Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator, Ryan still put up a solid +1.8% C%+ last time Koetter was on staff in 2014. Ryan threw more passes to his left than any other quarterback last season and completed 73.2% of them against an expected rate of 68.3%.

1. Brees

2. Cousins

3. Wilson

4. Watson

5. Ryan

6. Carr

7. Fitzpatrick

8. Goff

9. Wentz

10  Mariota

https://www.espn.com/nfl/insider/story/_/id/27406042/the-best-worst-nfl-qbs-everything#magg

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

“The Falcons were already a bottom-third defense in 2017 that got much worse last season after quickly losing their two best defensive players”

Bottom third in 2017.  I thought the 2017 defense wasn’t as good as people around here would like to think but bottom-third? ****.

Bottom third according to DVOA

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1 hour ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

“The Falcons were already a bottom-third defense in 2017 that got much worse last season after quickly losing their two best defensive players”

Bottom third in 2017.  I thought the 2017 defense wasn’t as good as people around here would like to think but bottom-third? ****.

It was bottom 3rd in DVOA.

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12 hours ago, Sun Tzu 7 said:

“The Falcons were already a bottom-third defense in 2017 that got much worse last season after quickly losing their two best defensive players”

Bottom third in 2017.  I thought the 2017 defense wasn’t as good as people around here would like to think but bottom-third? ****.

Bottom third is correct. 

Now....they played closer to a Top 10 unit over the last ~6 weeks and into the playoffs. But that was after starting the first 2/3 of the season playing like a bottom quartile defense. 

In three consecutive seasons the defense has improved their play significantly over the second half of the season. I have no idea why it keeps happening that way but it does keep happening. 

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1 minute ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Bottom third is correct. 

Now....they played closer to a Top 10 unit over the last ~6 weeks and into the playoffs. But that was after starting the first 2/3 of the season playing like a bottom quartile defense. 

In three consecutive seasons the defense has improved their play significantly over the second half of the season. I have no idea why it keeps happening that way but it does keep happening. 

Defense has always started slowly under Quinn with the Falcons.

At this point we can expect it to happen again.

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