Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Dec 2010

Dome vs. Outdoors on QB performance

I often hear in the Manning vs. Brady discussions the blanket statement that Manning's benefitted from playing indoors his whole career. It's true, he has played indoors, and it's true that his home QB rating (I know, I'ld love to use DVOA or DYAR but I don't know how to access splits like that) is better than his road rating. However, most QB's have better home than road ratings. Here is my question, one that I haven't found any statistical proof for:

Do QB's universally perform better in domes than outside, when all other factors are considered? By "other factors," I mean does a QB on the road perform better on the road in a dome versus on the road outdoors, etc?

It seems like they would, but lots of things "seem" like they should happen, but statistically don't. Anyone have concrete evidence on this? I am hoping to find out if the many blanket statements made by folks in the BvP debate are actually right about this assumption statistically.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Purds on 28 Dec 2010

4 replies , Last at 26 Aug 2011, 1:35pm by Doboaso

Re: Dome vs. Outdoors on QB performance
by TheJoeFlaccoShow (not verified) :: Fri, 01/14/2011 - 3:37am

I would LOVE to know as well. I am doing a comparison of Flacco vs Ryan over the first 3 years and one thing that jumped out at me is how much Ryan has played indoors. Flacco has only played 6 of 55 games indoors, while Ryan has played a mind boggling 29 of 48 games (including the GB one coming up) in perfect conditions inside.

It HAS to make a difference but just how much is the question. Playing in a dome is a far cry from playing outdoors in the weather of the north east. I would guess numbers across the board would be better but again just how much. If anyone can point me to some numbers please do, it would take way more time than I have to compile all the numbers myself.

Re: Dome vs. Outdoors on QB performance
by trill :: Fri, 01/21/2011 - 11:28am

FO ran a study last summer on cold weather vs warm weather QB's, ESPN Insiders only unfortunately: http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/news/story?id=5263911

Not quite dome vs outdoors, but it's a somewhat similar debate.

"The cold-weather quarterbacks are actually closer to the warm-weather guys in games that aren't freezing; in other words, the warm-weather quarterbacks are better than the cold-weather quarterbacks specifically in cold-weather games. Not only is Kelly's theory incorrect, the truth is the exact opposite of what Kelly suggested.

In the long run, Edwards was right: Kelly's theory was naive. Additional research conducted by Football Outsiders in the past also suggests that Kelly's predilection for arm strength in draft quarterbacks is incorrect as well. Kelly may have succeeded where Edwards failed, but it wasn't because of their hometown climate."

Re: Dome vs. Outdoors on QB performance
by football236558 (not verified) :: Mon, 06/27/2011 - 7:25pm

manning is over rated because of his dome stats. just take a look at his outdoor qb rating and his losing playoff record. when the last time you seen him win in bad weather.

Re: Dome vs. Outdoors on QB performance
by Doboaso :: Fri, 08/26/2011 - 1:35pm

He did win a Superbowl in a rain filled game vs a cold-weather Bears team...and between Brady and Manning, Peyton has the last Super Bowl win (while Brady lost indoors if I'm not mistaken...)

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