Quick Reads
The best and worst players of the week according to Football Outsiders stats.

Week 14 Quick Reads

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

There's something fitting about the best game of Drew Brees' career coming in a losing effort.

For 13 weeks the San Francisco 49ers had terrorized the quarterbacks of the NFL, limiting opponents to a 60% completion rate and 5.5 yards per pass, with 45 sacks and nearly as many interceptions (11) as passing touchdowns allowed (12). Then they ran into Brees and the Saints in the Superdome, where Brees completed 29 of 40 passes (a rate of 73%) for 349 yards (an 8.73-yard average) with five touchdown passes (and another on the ground), zero sacks, and zero interceptions. Consider this: Brees has thrown 10% of the passes against San Francisco this year, for 15% of the yards and 29% of the touchdowns, while surrendering 0% of the sacks or interceptions.

With those numbers against that defense, it's no surprise that Brees' performance in Week 14 was the best game of the year. In fact, it's the best quarterback game of the last five years, and one of the best games we've ever analyzed.

Best Quarterback Games, Total DYAR, Regular Season, 1989-2019
Player Team Year Wk CP/AT Yds TD Int Sacks Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 2014 8 40/49 526 6 0 0 385 391 -6 IND
Trent Green KC 2002 4 24/34 328 5 0 0 347 327 20 MIA
Drew Brees* NO 2019 14 29/40 349 5 0 0 314 303 11 SF
Randall Cunningham MIN 1998 5 20/32 442 4 0 0 311 332 -22 GB
Marc Bulger STL 2002 10 36/47 453 4 0 0 309 309 0 SD
Jared Goff LAR 2018 4 26/33 466 5 0 1 303 301 2 MIN
Tom Brady NE 2017 2 30/39 447 3 0 2 303 302 1 NO
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 2009 15 29/46 503 3 0 5 299 300 -1 GB
Scott Mitchell DET 1995 13 30/45 410 4 1 3 298 298 0 MIN
Tom Brady NE 2007 11 32/39 373 5 0 0 298 299 -1 BUF
Drew Brees NO 2009 6 23/30 369 4 0 0 297 294 3 NYG
Tom Brady NE 2009 6 29/34 380 6 0 2 294 294 0 TEN
Philip Rivers LAC 2017 12 27/33 434 3 0 0 294 294 0 DAL
Steve Young SF 1991 17 21/32 338 3 0 0 292 258 34 CHI
Drew Brees NO 2011 15 32/40 412 5 0 0 291 290 1 MIN
Tom Brady NE 2007 7 21/25 354 6 0 1 290 290 0 MIA
Ryan Fitzpatrick TB 2018 1 21/28 417 4 0 0 289 260 28 NO
Mark Rypien WAS 1991 11 16/31 442 6 0 0 287 278 10 ATL
Tom Brady NE 2011 12 24/34 361 3 0 1 283 271 13 PHI
Drew Brees NO 2007 9 35/49 445 3 0 1 283 282 0 JAX
* Subject to fluctuating opponent adjustments

Ben Roethlisberger had the best regular-season game on record; you can read about it here. Trent Green's game, the second-best of all time, was played before Football Outsiders was founded, but I can tell you it came against a Miami defense that finished third in pass defense DVOA.

This is the 21st time since 1950 that a player has thrown five touchdowns in a loss. That's an occasion that is becoming more common -- Matt Ryan and Patrick Mahomes both did it last year, and Deshaun Watson did it in 2017 -- but only two players have done it twice, and they're both old-timers: George Blanda and Dan Marino.

This is not the first time Brees has had an outstanding game in defeat, however -- his entire career has been spent racking up phenomenal passing statistics that often went to waste. Twenty-five times now Brees has lost a game despite throwing at least three touchdowns, four times more than anyone else. Brees has now thrown 19 touchdowns in the second half and 13 in the fourth quarter that put his team ahead only to see his team lose anyway, both the most of any passer since 1920. Of the 100 quarterbacks with the most pass attempts since the AFL-NFL merger since 1970, Brees ranks ninth with an ANY/A+ (Pro Football Reference's adjusted net yards per attempt index -- average yards per passing play, including sacks, with a bonus for touchdowns and a penalty for interceptions, and then adjusted for era) of 116. However, his win percentage of .590 ranks just 27th.

A simple linear regression analysis of this group lets us estimate each quarterback's win-loss percentage based on his ANY/A+. (For those who care, you can do this by dividing ANY/A+ by 118.7, then subtracting 0.350.) For Brees, this results in an expected win-loss percentage of 0.627. At that rate, Brees would have won 170 of his 271 starts. Instead, he has won only 160. That's a 10.0-win deficit between expected and actual wins. This is mostly because Brees has often been saddled with terrible defenses. In his 14 years in New Orleans, the Saints have only ranked in the top ten in DVOA four times (including this year, when they ranked seventh coming into the week). Meanwhile, they have ranked in the bottom ten eight times, including five finishes in last or next-to-last place (subscription required).

Among our 100-quarterback sample, only one active passer has a worse differential than Brees: his old San Diego teammate Philip Rivers, whose 123-98 record is 10.1 wins worse than we would expect for a passer with an ANY/A+ of 113. Historically, however, many quarterbacks have had even worse luck. This has been a particular problem for Saints quarterbacks -- Archie Manning leads the way with 27.3 wins below expectations, and Jim Everett is third with a 19.1-win deficit. In between we find Hall of Famer Dan Fouts at -22.2. Several quarterbacks from this century come out worse than Rivers or Brees -- Jeff George, Daunte Culpepper, Vinny Testaverde, Trent Green, and yet another former New Orleans passer, Jeff Blake.

It shouldn't surprise anyone reading this that the player with the most wins over expectations is Tom Brady, and it's not close. Brady has won 39.0 more games than we would expect based on his passing stats. John Elway is a distant second at +21.1. Only three other players -- Joe Flacco, Ken Stabler, and Terry Bradshaw -- are within even half of Brady's totals. You'll find those Ravens, Raiders, and Steelers teams were loaded with Hall of Fame-caliber defensive players.

If we look at differences in winning percentages instead of win totals, we don't find many differences at the bottom of the tables, but there's a major change at the top -- Jim McMahon, the Punky QB of the Super Bowl Shuffle Chicago Bears. Near the top, we also find Trent Dilfer, who won a championship on one of the most defense-oriented Super Bowl champions we have ever seen, and Randall Cunningham, who benefitted from some ultra-talented defenders in Philadelphia, and whose true value can't be captured in passing stats alone.

The following table shows the 100 quarterbacks studied in this research:

Most Wins Over Expected, Quarterbacks, 1970-2019
Player ANY/A+ W L T Win% ExWin% Win Dif Win% Dif
Tom Brady 117 217 63 0 0.775 0.636 +39.0 +0.139
John Elway 107 148 82 1 0.643 0.552 +21.1 +0.091
Joe Flacco 95 98 73 0 0.573 0.450 +21.0 +0.123
Ken Stabler 103 96 49 1 0.661 0.518 +20.9 +0.143
Terry Bradshaw 107 107 51 0 0.677 0.552 +19.9 +0.126
Brett Favre 108 186 112 0 0.624 0.560 +19.1 +0.064
Ben Roethlisberger 111 144 71 1 0.669 0.585 +18.1 +0.084
Jim McMahon 103 67 30 0 0.691 0.518 +16.8 +0.173
Alex Smith 99 94 66 1 0.587 0.484 +16.6 +0.103
Randall Cunningham 100 82 52 1 0.611 0.493 +16.0 +0.119
Trent Dilfer 88 58 55 0 0.513 0.391 +13.8 +0.122
Phil Simms 103 95 64 0 0.597 0.518 +12.7 +0.080
Danny White 106 62 30 0 0.674 0.543 +12.0 +0.131
Joe Theismann 104 77 47 0 0.621 0.526 +11.7 +0.095
Russell Wilson 112 85 39 1 0.684 0.594 +11.3 +0.090
Donovan McNabb 106 98 62 1 0.612 0.543 +11.1 +0.069
Peyton Manning 120 186 79 0 0.702 0.661 +10.8 +0.041
Jay Schroeder 102 61 38 0 0.616 0.509 +10.6 +0.107
Jim Kelly 109 101 59 0 0.631 0.568 +10.1 +0.063
Dave Krieg 102 98 77 0 0.560 0.509 +8.9 +0.051
Cam Newton 99 68 55 1 0.552 0.484 +8.5 +0.068
Roger Staubach 121 84 29 0 0.743 0.669 +8.3 +0.074
Fran Tarkenton 111 77 41 2 0.650 0.585 +7.8 +0.065
Michael Vick 98 61 51 1 0.544 0.476 +7.7 +0.069
Brad Johnson 103 72 53 0 0.576 0.518 +7.3 +0.058
Dan Pastorini 91 56 61 0 0.479 0.417 +7.2 +0.062
Joe Montana 121 117 47 0 0.713 0.669 +7.2 +0.044
Andrew Luck 105 53 33 0 0.616 0.535 +7.0 +0.082
Steve McNair 107 91 62 0 0.595 0.552 +6.6 +0.043
Jake Delhomme 103 56 40 0 0.583 0.518 +6.3 +0.065
Matt Hasselbeck 100 85 75 0 0.531 0.493 +6.2 +0.039
Andy Dalton 100 69 59 2 0.538 0.493 +6.0 +0.046
Jake Plummer 97 69 67 0 0.507 0.467 +5.4 +0.040
Bobby Hebert 102 56 44 0 0.560 0.509 +5.1 +0.051
Jim Plunkett 97 72 72 0 0.500 0.467 +4.7 +0.033
Drew Bledsoe 99 98 95 0 0.508 0.484 +4.6 +0.024
Ryan Tannehill 96 48 47 0 0.505 0.459 +4.4 +0.046
Troy Aikman 106 94 71 0 0.570 0.543 +4.4 +0.027
Kyle Orton 98 42 40 0 0.512 0.476 +3.0 +0.036
Matt Cassel 90 36 45 0 0.444 0.408 +2.9 +0.036
Brian Griese 101 44 38 0 0.537 0.501 +2.9 +0.036
Neil O'Donnell 104 55 45 0 0.550 0.526 +2.4 +0.024
Rich Gannon 108 76 56 0 0.576 0.560 +2.1 +0.016
Mark Rypien 110 47 31 0 0.603 0.577 +2.0 +0.026
Steve Grogan 106 75 60 0 0.556 0.543 +1.7 +0.012
Ron Jaworski 102 73 69 1 0.514 0.509 +0.7 +0.005
Craig Morton 105 68 58 0 0.540 0.535 +0.6 +0.005
Aaron Rodgers 118 110 60 1 0.646 0.644 +0.3 +0.002
Jay Cutler 99 74 79 0 0.484 0.484 -0.1 0.000
Richard Todd 95 48 59 1 0.449 0.450 -0.1 -0.001
Eli Manning 101 116 116 0 0.500 0.501 -0.2 -0.001
Gus Frerotte 100 45 47 1 0.489 0.493 -0.3 -0.003
Jim Harbaugh 98 66 74 0 0.471 0.476 -0.6 -0.004
Tommy Kramer 101 54 56 0 0.491 0.501 -1.1 -0.010
Matt Ryan 110 106 80 0 0.570 0.577 -1.3 -0.007
Tony Romo 116 78 49 0 0.614 0.627 -1.7 -0.013
Sam Bradford 94 34 48 1 0.416 0.442 -2.2 -0.026
Mark Brunell 105 78 73 0 0.517 0.535 -2.7 -0.018
Joe Ferguson 99 79 92 0 0.462 0.484 -3.8 -0.022
Brian Sipe 106 57 55 0 0.509 0.543 -3.8 -0.034
Steve Young 123 94 49 0 0.657 0.686 -4.1 -0.029
Steve Bartkowski 101 59 68 0 0.465 0.501 -4.6 -0.036
Kerry Collins 98 81 99 0 0.450 0.476 -4.6 -0.026
Steve Beuerlein 102 47 55 0 0.461 0.509 -5.0 -0.049
Matt Schaub 108 47 46 0 0.505 0.560 -5.1 -0.055
Bernie Kosar 106 53 54 1 0.495 0.543 -5.2 -0.048
Blake Bortles 89 24 49 0 0.329 0.400 -5.2 -0.071
Ken O'Brien 102 50 59 1 0.459 0.509 -5.5 -0.050
Kirk Cousins 110 43 41 2 0.512 0.577 -5.6 -0.065
Kurt Warner 116 67 49 0 0.578 0.627 -5.8 -0.050
Carson Palmer 106 92 88 1 0.511 0.543 -5.8 -0.032
Jon Kitna 95 50 74 0 0.403 0.450 -5.9 -0.047
Neil Lomax 105 47 52 2 0.475 0.535 -6.0 -0.059
Chris Chandler 99 67 85 0 0.441 0.484 -6.6 -0.043
Aaron Brooks 101 38 52 0 0.422 0.501 -7.1 -0.079
Marc Bulger 102 41 54 0 0.432 0.509 -7.4 -0.078
Derek Carr 101 38 53 0 0.418 0.501 -7.6 -0.083
Matthew Stafford 103 69 79 1 0.466 0.518 -7.7 -0.051
Ryan Fitzpatrick 95 53 82 1 0.393 0.450 -7.8 -0.057
Josh McCown 90 23 53 0 0.303 0.408 -8.0 -0.106
Lynn Dickey 100 45 63 3 0.419 0.493 -8.2 -0.074
Dan Marino 119 147 93 0 0.613 0.653 -9.6 -0.040
Jim Hart 107 71 75 3 0.487 0.552 -9.7 -0.065
Chris Miller 98 34 58 0 0.370 0.476 -9.8 -0.106
Warren Moon 107 102 101 0 0.502 0.552 -10.0 -0.049
Jim Zorn 102 44 62 0 0.415 0.509 -10.0 -0.094
Drew Brees 116 160 111 0 0.590 0.627 -10.0 -0.037
Philip Rivers 113 123 98 0 0.557 0.602 -10.1 -0.046
Jeff Blake 100 39 61 0 0.390 0.493 -10.3 -0.103
Jeff Garcia 112 58 58 0 0.500 0.594 -10.9 -0.094
Trent Green 112 56 57 0 0.496 0.594 -11.1 -0.098
Ken Anderson 113 91 81 0 0.529 0.602 -12.6 -0.073
Vinny Testaverde 99 90 123 1 0.423 0.484 -13.1 -0.061
Daunte Culpepper 107 41 59 0 0.410 0.552 -14.2 -0.142
Jeff George 101 46 78 0 0.371 0.501 -16.1 -0.130
Steve DeBerg 101 53 86 1 0.382 0.501 -16.6 -0.119
Boomer Esiason 109 80 93 0 0.462 0.568 -18.3 -0.106
Jim Everett 106 64 89 0 0.418 0.543 -19.1 -0.125
Dan Fouts 117 86 84 1 0.506 0.636 -22.2 -0.130
Archie Manning 96 35 101 3 0.263 0.459 -27.3 -0.196

 

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Drew Brees NO
29/40
349
5
0
0
314
303
11
SF
Brees gains 92 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Brees threw 11 passes inside the San Francisco 26-yard line. One was incomplete. One resulted in the 6-yard DPI. The other nine were complete for a total of 82 yards and four touchdowns. Four of Brees' touchdowns came on throws to his left, where he went 14-of-20 for 150 yards.
2.
Drew Lock DEN
22/27
309
3
1
1
155
149
6
HOU
A good week for quarterbacks named Drew, apparently. Brees ripped up the 49ers, Lock had the best game of his young career, and Stanton got a $250,000 bonus for being on the Browns roster without even having to play. Like Brees, Lock spent a lot of time in the red zone, going 9-of-10 for 53 yards and three touchdowns.
3.
Philip Rivers LAC
16/22
314
3
0
1
146
146
0
JAX
Chargers receivers gained an average of 13.1 yards after the catch on Rivers' completions, most of any starter this week.
4.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
21/27
391
3
1
0
145
137
8
OAK
Tannehill had a miserable start to this game, going 4-of-6 for only 19 yards with an interception. And then he became almost unstoppable -- 17 of his last 21 passes were completed for 372 yards (17.7 yards per throw!), and 14 of them produced first downs. Nobody -- not even Brees -- had more DYAR from the second quarter onwards.
5.
Jameis Winston TB
34/45
456
4
3
1
143
135
8
IND
Did you know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were third in the NFL in points scored this season? Did you know Winston leads the NFL in first downs passing? He did it again this week, throwing for a league-high 23 first downs, four more than anyone else. Of course, he also threw a league-high three interceptions (tied with Kyler Murray) and now has 23 this season, most since Eli Manning threw 27 in 2013. Winston is only 25 years old, and if someone can find a way to cut those interceptions in half, he could be an excellent quarterback.
6.
Jared Goff LAR
22/31
293
2
2
0
119
118
1
SEA
Take away everyone's third quarter and Goff would have been second this week behind Brees, but in the third quarter, he was third-worst. In those 15 minutes, Goff went 5-of-11 for 57 yards with both interceptions, one of which was returned for a Seattle touchdown.
7.
Patrick Mahomes KC
26/40
283
1
1
1
106
109
-3
NE
Mahomes gains a league-high 103 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He shredded the Pats up the middle, completing all four of his passes (three of them for first downs) for 67 yards. However, he struggled on throws to his right, going 6-of-12 for 71 yards and an interception.
8.
Jimmy Garoppolo SF
26/35
349
4
1
3
102
100
2
NO
The bad news for Garoppolo is that he was terrible on second down, going 6-of-9 for 15 yards (yes) with two sacks, an interception, and only one first down (a 6-yard touchdown to Kendrick Bourne). The good news is that he cleaned up on third and fourth downs, going 7-of-8 for 96 yards with one sack but six conversions (including a different 6-yard touchdown to Kendrick Bourne).
9.
Matt Ryan ATL
20/34
313
2
0
1
100
97
3
CAR
Ryan's 93-yard touchdown to Olamide Zaccheaus put Atlanta up 27-10 in the third quarter and virtually ended the game -- which is good, because it was his last first down of the day. After that, he went 2-of-7 for 6 yards.
10.
Dak Prescott DAL
28/49
334
1
0
2
95
108
-13
CHI
It was not a good day in the passing game for Dallas' running backs. Ezekiel Elliott had only two catches in five targets for 12 yards. He was the target on incomplete passes on second-and-10, third-and-22, and fourth-and-4. Jamize Olawale also got one target, an incompletion on third-and-4.
11.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
23/31
244
3
1
2
86
59
27
DAL
Trubisky had a big day throwing to his anonymous tight ends. He threw four passes to J.P. Holtz and four more for Jesper Horsted, completing all eight of them for 92 yards.
12.
Jacoby Brissett IND
20/36
251
2
0
1
77
63
14
TB
It was all or nothing for Brissett against Tampa Bay. He only threw for eight first downs, tied with Gardner Minshew and Josh Allen for fewest among starters this week. However, those eight first downs averaged 28.3 yards apiece, most among starters this week.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Derek Carr OAK
25/34
263
2
0
2
68
63
6
TEN
Carr was at his best throwing down the middle against Tennessee, going 10-of-12 for 117 yards; a 13th throw resulted in a DPI for 1 more yard.
14.
Kirk Cousins MIN
24/30
242
1
0
1
56
56
0
DET
Cousins is dinged for opponent adjustments (he loses 32 DYAR for playing Detroit) and for some short-yardage struggles. With 6 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 10-of-13 for 87 yards with one sack and only seven first downs.
15.
Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA
21/37
245
0
1
2
35
20
15
NYJ
Red zone passing: 1-of-8 for 5 yards with no touchdowns and a sack. Keep in mind the Dolphins lost this game by one point.
16.
Devlin Hodges PIT
16/19
152
1
0
3
30
20
10
ARI
Hodges loses 33 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, and 45 more for one play where he fumbled on a first-down sack, although Pittsburgh recovered. He was very efficient in the second half, but not explosive, going 7-of-9 for 63 yards, but picking up six first downs (including a touchdown) in the process. His big plays came on two DPIs that gained 15 and 24 yards.
17.
Lamar Jackson BAL
16/25
145
3
1
1
9
16
-7
BUF
More than 40% of Jackson's passing yardage came on one play, a 61-yard touchdown to Hayden Hurst. He only had two other completions that gained more than 8 yards. He was terrible between the 40s, going 3-of-8 for -1 yard (not a typo) with an interception.
18.
Tom Brady NE
19/36
169
1
1
3
9
-3
12
KC
Brady gains 55 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He had two stretches in this game where he went 10-plus consecutive plays without picking up a first down. The first started in the second quarter and lasted into the fourth, as he went 5-of-11 for 20 yards with two sacks. The second covered the last nine minutes of the game, as he went 4-of-10 for 14 yards.
19.
Andy Dalton CIN
23/36
262
0
1
2
0
-1
1
CLE
Red zone passing: 2-of-6 for 23 yards with no touchdowns, two sacks, and an intentional grounding. The Bengals lost by eight points.
20.
Aaron Rodgers GB
18/28
195
1
0
4
-2
-7
5
WAS
Rodgers made the least of some good situations against Washington. With 5 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 2-of-6 for 13 yards with as many conversions (one) as sacks.
21.
Deshaun Watson HOU
28/49
292
1
2
3
-13
-47
34
DEN
A bad day in scoring range. Inside of the Denver 35-yard line, Watson went 4-of-12 for 26 yards with more interceptions (one) than touchdowns (zero).
22.
Dwayne Haskins WAS
16/26
170
1
1
4
-21
-16
-5
GB
Many of Haskins' best plays came after the game was decided. In the last three minutes of the game, with Washington down 20-9, he went 6-of-7 for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Baker Mayfield CLE
11/24
192
0
2
1
-27
-40
13
CIN
Mayfield loses 44 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He threw three passes within the Cincinnati 28-yard line. One was intercepted; the other two were incomplete. He threw five passes to his right and only one was complete: a 5-yard gain on first-and-10. Both of his interceptions were thrown in the first quarter.
24.
Eli Manning NYG
15/30
203
2
0
2
-29
-29
0
PHI
If the numbers in the following Tweet are true, then Manning went 4-of-11 for 24 yards in the second half.
25.
Carson Wentz PHI
33/50
325
2
0
3
-33
-34
1
NYG
26.
Kyle Allen CAR
28/41
293
1
2
5
-34
-50
17
ATL
Allen loses 52 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He failed to convert any of his third-down plays, completing one of his four passes (a 7-yard gain on third-and-18) and taking two sacks.
27.
Russell Wilson SEA
22/36
245
0
1
5
-40
-34
-7
LAR
Wilson did almost nothing in Rams territory -- or just outside of it. Between the Seattle 47 and the Los Angeles goal line, he went 5-of-13 for 45 yards with one interception and four sacks. On third or fourth down, he went 3-of-8 for 65 yards with more sacks (three) than conversions (two). Those two conversions both came with Seattle down by 16 points or more in the fourth quarter.
28.
Gardner Minshew JAX
24/37
162
1
0
2
-42
-42
-1
LAC
Minshew's first two passes were both completed for first downs. He did not pick up another first down until midway through the third quarter. In between, he went 13-of-19 for 71 yards (3.7 yards per throw) with a sack. While that was going on, the Jaguars went from a scoreless tie to a 31-3 deficit.
29.
Sam Darnold NYJ
20/35
270
2
1
1
-43
-26
-17
MIA
Darnold loses a league-high 79 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His average pass traveled 11.1 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, deepest of any starter this week.
30.
David Blough DET
24/40
205
1
2
5
-59
-59
0
MIN
Since Detroit was playing from behind for virtually the entire game, Blough threw a lot of passes on first down. Only one of those passes, however, moved the chains, as he went 9-of-18 for 73 yards with two interceptions and a sack.
31.
Kyler Murray ARI
20/30
194
2
3
5
-64
-41
-23
PIT
Murray gains 52 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Midway through the second quarter, Arizona had a second-and-5 at the Pittsburgh 26, with a chance to tie the game with a field goal or take the lead with a touchdown. Murray threw an interception on that play, and counting that pass, his last 12 dropbacks included four completions for 76 yards and a touchdown; three incompletions; three interceptions; and two sacks, one ending in a fumble. One of his interceptions was thrown deep downfield on fourth-and-17, and when you include a healthy adjustment for facing Pittsburgh, it actually had positive DYAR. The others were thrown on second-and-5 from the Pittsburgh 26 and fourth-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 6, and those were two of the three worst passes of the week by DYAR. (The other was Ryan Tannehill's tip-drill interception on third-and-8 in the Oakland red zone.)
32.
Josh Allen BUF
17/39
146
1
0
6
-127
-127
0
BAL
Allen gains 46 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He fumbled on two of his sacks, losing one to the Ravens. He was terrible in scoring range -- inside the Baltimore 40, he went 4-of-12 for 2 yards with one touchdown and three sacks. He had 17 dropbacks with less than 10 yards to go for a first down and only converted three of them, going 5-of-15 for 27 yards with one touchdown, two sacks, and a fumble.

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Boston Scott PHI
10
59
1
6/6
69
0
74
31
43
NYG
A sixth-round draft pick out of Louisiana Tech in 2018, Scott had never gained more than 37 yards from scrimmage in a game before Monday night. He ran for three first downs against the Giants, the longest a gain of 25, while being stuffed once. He gained first downs on four of his six catches, the longest of which gained 17 yards.
2.
Aaron Jones GB
16
134
1
6/7
58
0
71
51
21
WAS
Jones ran for seven first downs against Washington, including gains of 10, 12, 16, 23, and 42 yards. He was only stuffed three times. Two of his catches produced first downs: a 15-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 25-yard gain on third-and-14.
3.
Raheem Mostert SF
10
69
1
2/2
40
1
64
36
28
NO
Mostert ran for three first downs against New Orleans -- a 10-yard touchdown, plus gains of 18 and 19 yards -- while only being stuffed once. His biggest catch was a 35-yard touchdown.
4.
Austin Ekeler LAC
8
101
0
4/5
112
1
61
23
38
JAX
Ekeler loses 23 DYAR (9 DYAR rushing, 14 DYAR receiving) due to opponent adjustments. Each of his first four carries resulted in first downs, on gains of 27, 23, 35, and 7 yards. Each of his carries gained at least 1 yard, including three of them in the fourth quarter while leading 45-10. Three of his catches resulted in third-down conversions, including an 84-yard touchdown.
5.
Joe Mixon CIN
23
146
1
3/4
40
0
60
48
12
CLE
Only one of Mixon's carries went for no gain or a loss while ten went for first downs, the longest a 26-yarder. His best catch was a 24-yard gain on first-and-5.

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Aaron Jones GB
16
134
1
6/7
58
0
71
51
21
WAS
2.
Joe Mixon CIN
23
146
1
3/4
40
0
60
48
12
CLE
3.
Chris Carson SEA
15
76
0
3/4
15
0
45
42
4
LAR
Carson gains 14 rushing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. His longest run gained only 13 yards, but all of them gained at least 1 yard, and six went for first downs.

While I'm here, I got questions last week about why Carson had not qualifed for our top running back tables after his 102-yard Monday night performance against Minnesota. The biggest reason was stuffs -- the Vikings hit Carson for no gain or a loss five times, including four plays with 5 yards or less to go for a first down. Short-yardage failures are DYAR-killers.

 

4.
Latavius Murray NO
7
69
0
2/3
25
0
42
39
2
SF
Murray gains 10 DYAR rushing due to opponent adjustments, but he had a remarkably consistent day even without them. ALL of his carries against San Francisco gained at least 6 yards (!) and counted as a successful play, and five of them resulted in first downs.
5.
Raheem Mostert SF
10
69
1
2/2
40
1
64
36
28
NO

 

Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Alvin Kamara NO
13
25
0
4/6
18
0
-38
-41
3
SF
Kamara gains 8 DYAR receiving due to opponent adjustments. Two of his catches gained first downs, but none gained more than 9 yards, and one lost 5 yards on first-and-10.

 

Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Alvin Kamara NO
13
25
0
4/6
18
0
-38
-41
3
SF
Kamara gains 7 DYAR rushing due to opponent adjustments. He only ran for one first down, a 17-yarder, and only had one other carry that gained more than 3 yards. Four of them went for gain or a loss, and one resulted in a lost fumble.

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Robert Woods LAR
7
9
98
14.0
1
72
SEA
Woods' totals include 52 DYAR receiving, 20 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 29 yards. All of his catches resulted in a first down, and six gained at least 12 yards, the longest a 20-yarder.
2.
A.J. Brown TEN
5
7
153
30.6
2
64
OAK
Brown's totals include 54 DYAR receiving, 9 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 13 yards. Each of his catches gained at least 12 yards and a first down, including 16- and 91-yard touchdowns.
3.
Darius Slayton NYG
5
8
154
30.8
2
62
PHI
Slayton's five catches, all in the first half: 35-yard touchdown on third-and-13; 42-yard gain on second-and-7; 10-yard gain on first-and-10; 12-yard gain on first-and-10; 55-yard touchdown on third-and-8.
4.
Noah Fant DEN
4
4
113
28.2
1
59
HOU
Fant's shortest catch was a 14-yard catch on third-and-12. His other three catches gained 23, 28, and 48 yards.
5.
Marcus Johnson IND
3
7
105
35.0
1
48
TB
Remember our comment on Jacoby Brissett's boom-or-bust game? Johnson played a big part in that. He had a 46-yard touchdown, a 50-yard reception, and a 45-yard DPI. His other five targets resulted in one catch for 9 yards.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Greg Ward PHI
4
9
34
8.5
0
-41
NYG
Ward played quarterback at the University of Houston but switched to wide receiver after going undrafted in 2017. He won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Eagles' practice squad that year, then spent time with the San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football before making his NFL debut against Detroit in Week 3. He had four catches against the Giants: a 1-yard gain on first-and-10; a 13-yard gain on first-and-10; a 12-yard gain on first-and-10; and an 8-yard gain on second-and-10. Including this game he has a rather remarkable small-sample statline: His 11 career catches have gained a total of only 79 yards, but five of them have gained first downs.

Comments

63 comments, Last at 12 Dec 2019, 3:25pm

1 Winston's been elite at…

Winston's been elite at getting first downs for several seasons, already. Was sorta hoping Arians would help him cut down on the picks

2 Opponent adjustments

Maybe this suggestion has been made before, but since you so often mention how many DVOA a player gained/lost due to opponent adjustments in the text, it might be worthwhile just to add a column with the effect of opponent adjustments, or just show it next to the number, e.g. 314 (+92).

60 Most mediocre QB in history

If Eli Manning makes the hall of fame it is a travesty.  His all time numbers on the above chart show that he is an average QB, and his all time record is one game under .500 with the loss on Monday.  His team won two super bowls, and he has no playoff wins other than those two years.

62 If Eli and Peyton pool their…

If Eli and Peyton pool their dough, and  buy a team, Eli's definitely getting in. Especially if Eli starts drinking Johnny Walker Blue like Gatorade on a hot day in August, and Peyton lets him make stupid trades and fire good head coaches, and retain bad ones for a decade.

5 Mitch

Mitch Trubisky... Would have thought 60 yards rushing, 5 FD and 1 Rushing TD would have been more than 27 DYAR. 

38 If that's the method it's mistaken

That's like subtracting value from a hard-hit fly ball because hard-hit fly balls are typically valuable. That's illogical. If a batter can create hard-hit fly balls, they should surely be given the full value of doing that.

While quarterback rushes may be more valuable on average, the average quarterback cannot rush frequently. The rush should be compared against the set of all rushes. The position of the player rushing in no way at all influences the value of the rush.

I guess this helps explain DVOA's dubious assertion that Lamar Jackson and his 6.7 yards a rush are less valuable than Mark Ingram and his 4.9 yards a rush. Ingram leads in both DVOA and DYAR but Jackson dwarfs his contributions in rushing EPA and rushing EPA/attempt.

7 Saints vs. Niners

You know it was a crazy good day for receivers when Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas didn't earn enough DYAR to make the top 5. (Sanders--7 catches on 9 targets for 157, 1 TD receiving, one TD passing; Thomas was 11 of 15 for 134 with a TD--but he had a fumble)
Vince, can you post the DYAR for these two and Jared Cook--he was on his way to making the tables before his concussion. (2 catches on 2 targets, 64 yards, 2 TD's of 36 & 28 yds.)

17 Thomas didn't have a fumble.

That was Kamara with the fumble.  Deuce McAllister (Saints radio color commentator) was saying all day that Kamara didn't look right and they should have kept feeding Murray who consistently gashed SF's defense for solid gains.

18 Michael Thomas fumble

Kamara had the lost fumble--that's one of the reasons he is at the bottom of the DYAR table for RB's. However, iirc, Thomas also had a fumble that he recovered himself at the end of one of his receptions. 

Interesting note--according to the Saints' ESPN reporter, that was the first lost fumble of the SEASON for the Saints. Don't know if that's true, but wow--there's obviously some luck, but some skill there too--you can't lose a fumble if you don't fumble at all.

8 So Trubisky had a pretty good, not great game

Which matches up with my perception of what I saw. Hearing some of the Chicago sports media talk, you'd think he played like Mahomes.

Also, it drives me absolutely batty when people I otherwise respect still cite a team's ranking in yards allowed as a relevant metric...it's like thinking RBIs matter in baseball. All I heard on Friday was that Mitch and the offense looked great against a top 10 defense. By DVOA going into Thursday's game, Dallas was ranked 20th.

20 Passing-wise, I agree with…

Passing-wise, I agree with you. In terms of my personal impression, adding in his runs tips it to an excellent performance. (Every run was high-impact and successful, and without those plays it would have been a completely different game.)

But I agree with you that people are wildly overreacting. If you believed fans and media in both Chicago and Dallas, Trubisky should be the one with the all-time great game, not Brees, and Prescott should be below Josh Allen. And I know, DYAR is a counting stat and garbage time and all that, but Dak is sitting there one notch ahead of Mitch.

9 Drew Brees Rush DVAR...What??

Brees rush DVAR is at 11 while Lamar Jackson's is at -7? Bress had 1 carry for 1 yard. Lamar was 9/44 on carries when you exclude the two kneel downs.

16 Brees' one carry was fourth…

Brees' one carry was fourth and goal from the one, so it was about as high-leverage as it gets. 

On the other hand, short-yardage situations are probably more about the defensive and offensive lines than they are about the ball-carrier. So while these are the most important running situations, they're also the situations where the rusher's identity probably matters the least. It's a paradox.

19 Whoops! Thank you. That has…

Whoops! Thank you. That has been fixed. One of them was listed with incorrect opponent adjustments. We erased that one, which left room for another game at the bottom ... another Drew Brees game!

12 Poor Jeff

If you are a QB named Jeff, you are probably doomed to play with bad defenses...

22 It seems weird that Manning…

It seems weird that Manning the Greater has a career positive defensive bump. How does that break down into the Indy years versus the Denver years?

23 At the risk of starting a…

At the risk of starting a 200-comment irrational thread, I was deeply amused when I hit the button to sort the second table by win percentage differential (decreasing). Taken at face value, that statistic is "how much you were carried by a great team while not really playing all that well" or, more succinctly, "overrated index." And looky who's there at #3.

---------------

Most Wins Over Expected, Quarterbacks, 1970-2019
Player ANY/A+ W L T Win% ExWin% Win Dif Win% Dif ▴
Jim McMahon 103 67 30 0 0.691 0.518 +16.8 +0.173
Ken Stabler 103 96 49 1 0.661 0.518 +20.9 +0.143
Tom Brady 117 217 63 0 0.775 0.636 +39.0 +0.139
Danny White 106 62 30 0 0.674 0.543 +12.0 +0.131
Terry Bradshaw 107 107 51 0 0.677 0.552 +19.9 +0.126
Joe Flacco 95 98 73 0 0.573 0.450 +21.0 +0.123
Trent Dilfer 88 58 55 0 0.513 0.391 +13.8 +0.122
Randall Cunningham 100 82 52 1 0.611 0.493 +16.0 +0.119
Jay Schroeder 102 61 38 0 0.616 0.509 +10.6 +0.107
Alex Smith 99 94 66 1 0.587 0.484 +16.6 +0.103

50 I give you... Mike Tomczak

In 1986 Mike Tomczak started 7 games. Completed 49% of his passes, threw 2 Touchdowns and 10 picks. His QB rating was 50.2. His yards per attempt was 4.6.

He went 7-0 as a starter.

Mid-80s Bear defenses were rather good.

53 Using 1984-1988 as the…

Using 1984-1988 as the stretch when they were Da Bears:

McMahon: 39-7
Tomczak: 16-3
Fuller: 6-6
Flutie: 1-1
Landry: 1-0
Hohensee: 2-0
Bradley: 0-1
Harbaugh: 1-1
 

Damn Fuller sucked.

58 Bears QB

You left out Rusty Lisch (0-1), who was so bad Walter Payton played a couple of drives at QB.

27 "Taken at face value, that…

"Taken at face value, that statistic is "how much you were carried by a great team while not really playing all that well" or, more succinctly, "overrated index." And looky who's there at #3."

Is that really surprising? Of course Brady's overrated if you look at winning percentage, because by winning percentage (which is a rate stat, mind you!) he's the greatest QB ever to play the game, by far. Of course he's not that (again, as a rate stat) - by his 'expected winning percentage' he's "only" the 8th best.

42 Very good point. When Bob…

Very good point. When Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I made the claim that he and Tom Brady were the two clearest demonstrations that you can be both great and overrated. 

"by his 'expected winning percentage' he's "only" the 8th best."

And who's 4th best? 

OK, I'll stop now, I swear! 

 

55 I had a longer part of that…

I had a longer part of that post noting that "best" here is actually looking at the quarterback on average over their whole career, not taking into account the length of that career, but I got rid of it.

I certainly don't have a problem rating Manning as a (slightly!) better quarterback on average, and ignoring the length of Brady's career. Obviously if you focus on the "peak" of both quarterbacks it's a lot closer (Brady had a slower ramp up and looks to be having a slower ramp down than Manning did, even considering Brady's longer career length) and if you include longevity in the discussion then it becomes quite a bit clearer. But again all of that is just a question of what you value when you're comparing players.

44 Except it's not an …

Except it's not an "overrated index".  It's not even a "how much were you carried" index.  It's a measure of how good the team around the QB was, on average, over the QB's career.

That Jim McMahon would have won fewer games if he hadn't been blessed with the '85 Bears defense is hardly a shocking proposition to throw out there.  That Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees would have won more games playing for average teams than they've actually won:  that too passes the "smell test" for most football fans.

Nor is it shocking to suggest that Tom Brady playing for most organizations would have won fewer games than he did playing for the Belichick-coached Pats.  It also doesn't invalidate the proposition that the Belichick-coached Pats would have won fewer games than they did if they'd had an average QB instead of Brady (this latter proposition doesn't come from the table, I'm just saying the table also doesn't preclude that it's true).

47 The problem is...the media…

The problem is...the media has universally taken that win percentage and the six sbs as validation of his goat status. It's one of those things that gets said over and over until it's just taken as given.

In the past it used to bother me a lot more because I didn't think he deserved it. Now, while I think it's debatable, he's got enough of a case that's it doesn't offend me.

24 Speaking just as a fan

and setting aside all awareness of football analytics, research, etc.

I am getting so f8cking sick and tired of 12 taking the clock down to zero at the snap, holding the godd8mn ball waiting for the perfect moment and then when he does throw the ball it's off his back foot or with no feet on the ground missing someone downfield by ''Oh, just out of reach!!"

I know, I know. Rodgesr is fine, the receivers or the coach or the line or something else is the issue.

But I am beginning to think deep down that 12 is the issue.

There. Posted it. As the kids say come at me bro'.

33 It's not at all unreasonable…

It's not at all unreasonable to say he has slipped quite a bit. What's good and bad is that it certainly appears to be little more than a case of mental laziness, sometimes known a Cutler's Syndrome. The good news is that there are cases of the syndrome being put in remission by a course of shoe leather forcefully kicked into the colon. Hell, it worked on the last guy to have the job, prior to Rodgers!  The bad news is that La Fluer may not be an expert practicioner of the procedure, and also, what the livin' eff, Rodgers!?

26 Feedback

Maybe this suggestion has been made before, but since you so often mention how many DVOA a player gained/lost due to opponent adjustments in the text, it might be worthwhile just to add a column with the effect of opponent adjustments, or just show it next to the number, e.g. 314 (+92).

At some point we just don't have room to run all the numbers. Every year, more and more readers are viewing the site on mobile devices. We need these to be readable on phones and tablets.

KC at -10 is worth half the adjustment of NE at -42?

Remember, team pass defense DVOA is measured by comparing that defense's performance against pass plays to the average defense's performance against ALL plays, not just pass plays. The average pass defense DVOA coming into the week was about 6.0% or 7.0%, not 0.0%. So yes, taking that into account, NE's pass defense has been roughly twice as good as KC's over the season, not four times.

Mitch Trubisky... Would have thought 60 yards rushing, 5 FD and 1 Rushing TD would have been more than 27 DYAR. 

He averaged 7.1 yards per carry. NFL average for quarterbacks this season is 6.0. His performance was a little better than what we would expect from an average quarterback who ran nine times.

You know it was a crazy good day for receivers when Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas didn't earn enough DYAR to make the top 5. (Sanders--7 catches on 9 targets for 157, 1 TD receiving, one TD passing; Thomas was 11 of 15 for 134 with a TD--but he had a fumble)

Vince, can you post the DYAR for these two and Jared Cook--he was on his way to making the tables before his concussion. (2 catches on 2 targets, 64 yards, 2 TD's of 36 & 28 yds.)

Sanders was ninth with 39 DYAR.

Thomas did not make the top 20. He had 19 DYAR. Only four of his catches produced first downs.

Cook was sixth with 47 DYAR.

Brees rush DVAR is at 11 while Lamar Jackson's is at -7? Bress had 1 carry for 1 yard. Lamar was 9/44 on carries when you exclude the two kneel downs.

Brees had one carry for 1 yard AND A TOUCHDOWN. That's an important detail you're omitting. As for Jackson, see my earlier note about Trubisky. Quarterbacks average 6.0 yards per carry this year. Jackson only averaged 4.8 against Buffalo. Four of his runs gained 1 yard or less, including failures to convert on first-and-4, second-and-6, and third-and-4.

It seems weird that Manning the Greater has a career positive defensive bump. How does that break down into the Indy years versus the Denver years?

Manning's Indy and Denver tenures were, on the whole, nearly equal -- he had an ANY/A+ of 120 with the Colts, 121 with the Broncos. That works out to an expected win percentage of right around 66%, 67%. In reality, he won 68% of his games with the Colts, 3.5 wins more than we would expect. He won 79% of his games in Denver, 6.8 more than expected.

28 Nicely explained answer to a…

In reply to by Vincent Verhei

Nicely explained answer to a very good question.

Remember, team pass defense DVOA is measured by comparing that defense's performance against pass plays to the average defense's performance against ALL plays, not just pass plays. The average pass defense DVOA coming into the week was about 6.0% or 7.0%, not 0.0%. So yes, taking that into account, NE's pass defense has been roughly twice as good as KC's over the season, not four times.

"Twice as far above average" might be more accurate. But we knew what you meant. Well done.

31  Every year, more and more…

In reply to by Vincent Verhei

 Every year, more and more readers are viewing the site on mobile devices. We need these to be readable on phones and tablets.

Incidentally, your comment threads always crash for me on Safari on my iphone. Every time.

 

Thanks for the Manning details.

36 Me too

I cannot read any thread on Safari on my iPhone without the page crashing, usually before I've even scrolled down to the comments. And it only started for me within the past couple of weeks. Earlier this season, I could read/comment without (major) issues.

43 Disable JavaScript in Safari

In reply to by Steve in WI

If you disable JavaScript it will load fast without crashing:

Settings-> Safari-> Advanced -> Toggle off JavaScript 

Of course you have to reenable when done or other sites won’t work. 

63 There is definitely some…

There is definitely some wonky JS that doesn't work right with mobile browsers involved. My favorite is when the comments run out over the footer and straight out of the "page", becoming completely unreadable in older versions of Android...

29 How much of this is playing indoors?

I like the WOE chart.

I do wonder how much of this is where you play? I notice the top of the chart is mostly QBs who had to deal with bad weather, while the indoor/mild weather QBs tend to be lower on the list. You'd expect those indoor/mild weather QB stats to be higher for the same W-L percentage, since their opponents are getting the same boost. That's what it seems that we see here.

I know it's not the only effect going on here. But looking at the indoor/outdoor skew, and knowing what we know about the difficulties of playing in wind, rain, snow, and cold, it's got to be a major effect, right?

46 This is a reasonable take…

This is a reasonable take. However, we don't really have a good measurement of just what kind of weather effects are harmful to offense/defense. For example, snow can actually be a hinderance to the defense due to footing, but rain/ wind can be harmful to the offense. And then when you add the home road split, it gets even more complicated. 

51 We don’t have precise…

We don’t have precise numbers on the size of the effect. But only the most naive think that windy, cold, rainy, or snowy games average higher passing stats than perfect weather games.

Windy/gusty games are probably the worst. Inaccurate pass trajectories never help the QB.

If I recall, a study from more than a decade ago showed about a 5% drop in completion% for outdoors games, comparing December to September, with no drop for indoor games. So the full season effect of playing outdoors at home would be smaller, say 1-2%. That’s probably enough to make this chart an outdoor stadium detector, at least in part.

52 I'm not doubting there is an…

I'm not doubting there is an effect, but much like global warming, the magnitudes are important here. And I haven't seen a good study done that appropriately separates home/ road splits and survivor bias

56 Now you've seen a study

From Football Freakonomics (2012):

Completion percentage
(from 2007-2011)

Month Indoor stadiums Outdoor stadiums

Sept.       62.9%      61.0%

Oct.       63.7%      60.8%

Nov.       62.4%      60.6%

Dec.       63.2%      59.2%

Jan.       61.1%      56.4%

The September - December drop off is less than I remembered, 1.8% rather than the almost 5% drop off from September to January, or the 4.0% difference between indoor and outdoor in December. I think I had seen an earlier study that gave numbers that made the drop off look larger. Perhaps they segregated by climate.

Some of the January drop off is due to playing playoff caliber defenses: see the 1.8% drop off for indoor stadiums. The rest is due to weather, the particular teams that made the playoffs, and some data noise.

The upshot is that the effect is real, not tiny, but probably in the range of 1-2% completion rate over a career (not counting playoffs). Keep in mind, it's not just what your home stadium is, it's what your division's stadiums are, too. Also this chart is for ALL outdoor stadiums including the ones with mild climates. The effect would be larger for QBs in divisions in harsh climates.

59 I'd like to see a longer…

I'd like to see a longer study, too.

I still like the WOE chart. It's just that it cuts two ways: Are Wins over-reporting a QBs skills... because football is a team sport? Are the stats under-reporting those skills... because different QBs play in different conditions, thus getting different stats for the same level of skill?

Everyone gets the first one. But the indoor/outdoor skew in the WOE chart really illustrates the second one. Both effects are real.

61 Still liking the WOE chart…

Still liking the WOE chart.

But the analysis used a linear regression to arrive at the estimated wins values. You'd really expect a logistic function, since win percentage is capped at 0% and 100%. For yucks, I tried a third order polynomial fit - which is closer in shape to a logistic curve, hitting 100% estimated wins at an ANY/A+ of 145.

The resulting numbers look closer to what common sense would tell us. Jim McMahon now heads the chart, as we would have expected, both due to the weather he and his opposing QBs faced, and due to the famously strong defenses that supported him. Brady drops down to 11th, as befits both the weather and the sometimes strong defenses he dealt with. Peyton Manning goes negative, again as we would expect from both his predominantly indoor play and generally so-so defense (until Denver, that is).

Even better would be to fit to a curve with end points at 0 and 100% wins. I expect the part of the curve where real QBs fall would be even steeper.

One moral to this story: naive linear fitting is not always your friend.

34 Smartphone compatibility…

Smartphone compatibility critiques aside, phenomenal post, Vince! It would be quite interesting to see this kind of cumulative career QB Wins Over Expected with other metrics: DVOA, QB rating, QBR. I bet the rankings would look similar.

39 Unforeseen

For the second consecutive week, Devlin Hodge was rated/ranked higher than Tom Brady. If I had found someone to offer me odds and take a wager that such a thing would happen, I'd be negotiating with Jeff Bezos to purchase Amazon about now.