Quarterback Ratings

So after years of seeing that the Passer Rating system that was being used to rank quarterbacks was crap, ESPN finally went out and did something about it and made a new system.  The new system is cool because it takes into account a lot of non-passing activities and statistically breaks out different values for different passes (for example, when Brady Quinn was the QB for the Browns and would throw a 3 yard dump pass to a covered receiver on 3rd and 12, it’s worth less than a 3 yard pass on 3rd and 2).  Scrambles, sacks, fumbles, and poor passes all get rated and ranked as well, while the old system essentially called any game where you completed 77.5% of all passes while averaging 12.5 yards per attempt and scoring a touchdown on at least 11.875% of the passing attempts while not being intercepted a perfect game.

The new system is a scale of 1 to 100, which makes a lot more sense to me than the old passer rating system scale of 0 to 158.3, and is almost insanely complex.  One section of the algorithm is described as being over 10,000 lines long.  The new Total Quarterback Rating (QBR for short) will debut this season.  I’d be interested to see how they rate passes in terms of whether a quarterback hits the receiver in the numbers and the receiver drops it versus just a crappy throw by the QB.

I bring this up because we were talking about Kyle Orton over the weekend (I can’t remember whether it was over golf or during dinner at Bazbeaux’s), and a friend was saying that Orton gets a bum rap from everybody while I said that he’s good with talent around him when the plan is going well but doesn’t have what it takes to succeed when everything else isn’t there.  If you check out the bottom of the article, you’ll see that Kyle Orton made it onto the list as an average QB, which I think hits a fair middle ground between what Aaron was saying and what I have been saying.

You’ll also see that Colt McCoy is on the list under Average for having played 8 games in his rookie season.  I consider that to be promising if they can actually get anything resembling talent around him.  While Peyton Manning is listed as a top tier quarterback, part of what has given him the ability to succeed is to have above average weapons to utilize in terms of who he is throwing to.  If your receivers can’t get open, it doesn’t matter how great of a quarterback you are.  Manning has had average to above average weapons (not always great, but definitely talented) on his offense, and combined with his skills has allowed him to reach the top tier.  I think it’d be fascinating to see a statistical mashup of Manning’s success paired up with the receiving corps of various receivers.

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