Realigning the NFL

I’ll begin my tenure at GridFe with a relatively light-hearted topic, but it’s a topic that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about: NFL division alignments and schedules. I am not a fan of the current setup consisting of eight divisions of four teams each. With so few teams in each division, it drastically increases the likelihood of imbalance, and as we’ve witnessed a few times, that imbalance can be extreme. I’m appalled at the yearly occurrence of a mediocre team receiving a…

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History of the Career Rushing Yards Record

Seemingly every offseason for the last half decade, Adrian Peterson has made slow-news-day headlines by reiterating his goal of breaking Emmitt Smith‘s career rushing yards record. Normally, this notion would be dismissed. However, given Peterson’s production to date, in concert with his remarkable physical conditioning and recovery ability, his words hold more weight than those of other backs.1 While Peterson’s goal pops up in the news every now and then, the history of the record itself is rarely covered. We’ll see an offhand remark about…

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Regular Season QBGOAT XIV: Cascaded Soft Inflation Adjustment

This is the fourteenth and final installment in the series on the most statistically dominant regular season quarterbacks in NFL history. If you’ve been following along, I appreciate it; if not, you may want to check it out from the beginning. Today we’ll be looking at career stats with a cascaded soft inflation adjustment. If you’re not familiar, cascaded is the term I use to describe the act of giving 100% credit to a player’s best season, 96% to his second best season, 92% to…

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Regular Season QBGOAT XIII: Cascaded Hard Inflation Adjustment

Welcome to part thirteen in the regular season QB GOAT series. In this post, we’ll look at quarterback careers through the lens of Total Adjusted Yards relative to the rest of the league, given a cascaded hard inflation adjustment.1 With the hard inflation adjustment, you’re going to see some leaps in the rankings from older players that might seem shocking. Otto Graham, Fran Tarkenton, Sammy Baugh, Sid Luckman, and Johnny Unitas all make considerable jumps when we account for the evolution of quarterback usage rates. This…

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Regular Season QBGOAT XII: Cascaded Prorated Career Stats

In my last post, I showed you the cascaded career stats for every qualifying quarterback since 1932.1 Today, we’ll look at cascaded prorated stats for those players. The purpose of cascading, of course, is to give more credit to quarterbacks with higher peaks. And the rationale behind prorating is to put quarterbacks who played before the 16-game schedule on level ground with modern players. Essentially, what we are going to be looking at this list, but adjusting to mitigate the effect of poor seasons and increase…

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Regular Season QBGOAT XI: Cascaded Career Stats

When Pro Football Reference calculates career Approximate Value, they use a method in which they give 100% credit for a player’s best season, 95% for his second best season, 90% for his third season, and so on. Similarly, Chase Stuart utilizes this method when separating the wheat from the chaff in his own quarterback series. I don’t really know of a name for that methodology, so I have taken to calling it cascading the stats. As you may have guessed by the title, this article…

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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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