Regular Season QBGOAT X: Career Index Scores and Abstract Value

Welcome to part ten of the measured and methodical series on the greatest regular season quarterbacks in history. Today, we’ll be looking at career Index Scores and Abstract Values. If you’re unfamiliar with Index Scores, you may want to check out Pro Football Reference’s explanation of their advanced passing tables.1 Essentially, we’re just measuring standard scores and scaling them in a more palatable format.2 As for Abstract Values, you can find the original explanation in my article for Football Perspective. Basically, I’m just multiplying a…

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Regular Season QBGOAT IX: Career Soft Inflation Adjustment

Welcome to part nine in the greatest regular season quarterback series, where we will use a career soft inflation adjustment to modify player values. The hope is that, by using the softer adjustment, we will put older players on a level playing field while not giving them too much credit for plays they never actually made. Many low-volume players from the league’s Stone Age showed up shockingly high on our last list, and the softer multiplier should mitigate the effects of a straight one-to-one conversion of…

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Regular Season QBGOAT VIII: Career Hard Inflation Adjustment

In the last post, we looked at the career stats of quarterbacks after prorating their performances to the modern 16-game schedule. Today, I’m going to take it a step further and apply a hard inflation adjustment to those stats in order to account for the increased usage rates the position has seen over time. In the early years of the NFL, quarterbacks ran about twenty plays per game. By the time of the AFL-NFL merger, that number hovered around thirty. For the last five years,…

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Regular Season QBGOAT VII: Prorated Career Stats

Today we’re going to look at the prorated career stats of every qualifying quarterback since 1932. If you’ve been following along, you know we’ve already looked at single-season performance in five different ways.1 As you might have expected, we’re going to do the same thing with total career numbers. We’ve already looked at career values, based on Total Adjusted Yards relative to average and replacement-level, so the next logical step is to adjust for the expansion of season length throughout history. The method for doing…

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Regular Season QBGOAT VI: Career Stats

Welcome. If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m in the middle of a series on the greatest regular season quarterbacks in NFL history.1 The first set of posts explored different ways to look at the top single seasons. Today, I’ll begin my first look at career stats. As always, I’ll be using Total Adjusted Yards per Play, my bread and butter stat, as my performance measure. If you’re not familiar, Total Adjusted Yards is a metric, expressed as yardage, that accounts for a…

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Regular Season QBGOAT V: Index Scores and Abstract Value

I hope you’ve enjoyed following along in the GOAT quarterback series. Today marks the final look (for now) at single season statistics.1 Here, I’ll be discussing Index Scores2 and Abstract Value3, with Total Adjusted Yards per Play as the root metric. For the uninitiated, Index Scores are used by Pro Football Reference to normalize passing stats across eras. If you’re familiar with IQ scores, then Index Scores should make sense to you, as they’re basically the same formula. The metric is based on Z-scores (the number…

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Regular Season QBGOAT IV: Soft Inflation Adjustment

Welcome to part four of my QBGOAT series. In part one, I laid the groundwork with the standard metrics. In part two, I prorated for longer seasons in the modern era. In part three, I adjusted for the increase in quarterback usage in recent years. Today, I’m going to apply to soft inflation adjustment in order to avoid giving too much credit to the quarterbacks of a bygone era. Essentially, I’ll be applying a similar approach to the one from part three, but I’ll be…

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Regular Season QBGOAT III: Hard Inflation Adjustment

Welcome to part three of my series on the greatest regular season quarterbacks of all time. In part one, we looked at the standard metrics, based on Total Adjusted Yards. In part two, we looked at those numbers prorated to the modern 16-game schedule. Today, I’ll be adding a hard inflation adjustment to account for the increase in quarterback usage rate as the league has evolved. After coming up with the numbers from the first two articles, we can then apply our adjustment for inflation.…

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Regular Season QBGOAT II: Prorated Season Stats

Yesterday, I laid the groundwork for the “QBGOAT” series, providing the essentials for following the subsequent posts. Today, I’m going to build off that foundation by looking at the metrics from yesterday prorated to the 16-game season we know today. This should help put the quarterbacks of yesteryear on a level playing field with those of today. To prorate to the modern schedule, I simply multiplied every player’s total values (the last three columns in the table from yesterday) by (16 / scheduled team games).…

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Regular Season QBGOAT I: Single Season Stats

To kick off the series on the greatest regular season quarterbacks of all time, I’ll start with the single season stats highlighting the most productive quarterback campaigns in history. In this post, we’re just going to look at the stats as they are; later on, we’ll deal with the expanded NFL schedule and the evolving nature of the position itself. As usual, I am going to measure quarterback output by efficiency (Total Adjusted Yards per Play) and effectiveness (marginal Total Adjusted Yards over average). I…

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