26 Sep 2009
ESPN Magazine asked me to look at whether there truly is such a thing as a clutch quarterback, i.e. a quarterback who always plays better in the fourth quarter of close games. This article is the (very short) result of some (very short) research: After looking at both passer rating and DVOA, there doesn't seem to be any year-to-year correlation in the difference between a quarterback's performance in the clutch and his performance overall. (There's one surprising exception, but that's probably a fluke.) I certainly could do a more intensive study of this in the future, and perhaps we'll have a different finding, but the results of this simple study seemed pretty clear.
The ESPN folks are doing a good job of getting clicks on this with headlines that say I'm proving that "Tom and Ben are myths," but in reality, I'm just saying that what we think of as a clutch quarterback is generally a guy who is a good quarterback the rest of the time as well. You know, like Tom and Ben.
50 comments, Last at 30 Sep 2009, 12:11pm by RickD
Bill Connelly takes a look at the early-season S&P+ outliers and whether his eyeballs agree or disagree with the stats. Spoiler: Alabama is underrated. Alabama! Underrated!