Regular Season QBGOAT VII: Prorated Career Stats

dan marinoToday 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 so is simple. Simply put 16 in the numerator and the number of schedules games in the denominator. For 12-game seasons, stats get a 1.33 multiplier. For 14 game seasons, they get a 1.14 multiplier. This method is perhaps too generous to players prior to the 12-game era, as well as in the 9-game 1982 season. In the interest in taking a deliberate and methodical approach, we will have to address that at a later time. For now, let’s check out the results.

Prorated Career Stats

This table contains the career Total Adjusted Yards numbers for every qualifying quarterback season, prorated to the 16-game schedule. It is sorted by total value over average, but you can search and sort by any column. Read it thus: prorated to the 16-game era, Peyton Manning had 10114 action plays for 68574 Total Adjusted Yards, good for a 6.78 TAY/P. For his career, his TAY/P was 1.71 better than average, 2.98 better than 75% of average, and 3.13 better than one standard deviation below average.2

PlayerPlyTAYTAY/PVal/P75Rep/PSDRep/PVal75RepSDRep
Peyton Manning10114685746.781.712.983.13172873010931676
Dan Marino8960541966.051.412.572.88126272302225855
Tom Brady8698559956.441.252.542.64108302212122981
Joe Montana6499405216.231.662.803.14106951812820353
Drew Brees8800565646.431.202.512.61105742207123011
Steve Young5236343366.561.893.063.3599341604017547
Otto Graham3880259716.692.573.604.8097681373218375
Fran Tarkenton8625439805.101.102.102.9596241825125564
Ken Anderson5913314425.321.312.313.0080081394218054
Johnny Unitas7023373855.321.102.153.0079801539621365
Dan Fouts6628355935.371.152.202.7478841487718469
Aaron Rodgers4787337427.051.632.983.0377801427014510
Norm Van Brocklin3996230765.771.902.873.9476091147615736
Sammy Baugh4756220694.641.532.313.7773501102818043
Sonny Jurgensen5382296745.511.312.363.1970461270017141
Sid Luckman2745147955.392.393.144.786803885113380
Brett Favre11296613655.430.601.812.0567762042423140
Roger Staubach4061220545.431.672.613.4667021051714005
Len Dawson4866259635.341.182.223.0657121076314861
Tony Romo4817312526.491.172.502.5956461204712483
Philip Rivers5967375626.290.942.282.3456091359713952
Ben Roethlisberger6255384396.150.862.182.2753541362614206
Y.A. Tittle6089307885.060.831.892.8647881118417194
Kurt Warner4503268715.971.052.282.5247311026611343
John Elway8573443335.170.531.692.0046181455817220
John Brodie5659282474.990.811.852.6843781029915003
Daryle Lamonica3226169715.261.352.333.314351750610675
Jeff Garcia4325252355.830.992.202.424287952410462
Joe Namath4552220034.830.911.892.884123859313113
Cecil Isbell180495235.282.273.024.37409354507887
Donovan McNabb6400357295.580.641.872.1040671198213452
Trent Green4242244985.780.952.162.394037915210140
Jim Kelly5438293655.400.741.912.2240221035512053
Bert Jones3365171205.091.132.122.87374870689632
John Hadl5984276744.620.611.612.533651965615114
Bart Starr4303220395.120.861.932.763557813911726
Steve McNair5467297175.440.641.842.0735031005611299
Carson Palmer5994347475.800.551.861.9732841115011812
Bob Griese4497202194.500.711.662.603199745111727
Jim Hart6073267804.410.471.452.223099906813752
Boomer Esiason6005309835.160.521.681.9930981006711925
Rich Gannon5029268705.340.611.792.043070901910248
Warren Moon7852395395.040.391.551.8530401216514519
Troy Aikman5301278955.260.551.731.992936917610571
Roman Gabriel5947266594.480.491.492.352921885613993
Mark Brunell5543293185.290.511.711.932836945710692
Matt Ryan5033302996.020.561.931.95283196989803
Bobby Layne5671243624.300.471.432.512811822014392
Jim Everett5459283305.190.501.671.972718911810726
Bob Waterfield233998904.231.061.853.35258744277975
Terry Bradshaw5219234274.490.521.512.212560774211363
Joe Theismann4610220404.780.531.592.07248973939623
Johnny Lujack114763055.502.132.974.30244334084936
Steve Grogan4561213204.670.511.552.12241871609805
Russell Wilson2310153536.651.032.432.28237956235269
Matt Schaub3636215775.930.641.972.12234171507709
Charlie Conerly4115177024.300.531.472.622244612310852
Billy Kilmer3931174514.440.551.522.39215959829415
Mark Rypien2837153505.410.731.902.20208454016253
Dutch Clark114251364.501.812.483.73201427844202
Daunte Culpepper4011214495.350.501.711.93200668677745
Craig Morton4835211594.380.421.412.151951672010363
Earl Morrall3567169584.750.591.632.47194056558675
Doug Williams3096156825.070.661.762.16188453016546
Chad Pennington2813155985.540.641.862.11178652395928
Arnie Herber170464073.760.981.682.98172129065149
Jim McMahon3357170745.090.521.662.02171655476757
Bernie Kosar3846194405.050.431.591.93171261577472
Frank Ryan3016146984.870.581.652.51165748957500
Cam Newton3202194916.090.521.911.81165561145794
Randall Cunningham5584277324.970.291.461.76159181259824
Tommy Thompson238693093.900.721.513.05154634377115
Frankie Albert2355120225.100.671.783.01150040897000
Cliff Battles111046244.171.392.093.24149522663539
Tom Flores2064109115.290.711.852.48146438265113
Greg Landry3375143184.240.391.352.13139746447304
Ken Stabler4602195824.260.241.251.92132259339071
Neil Lomax3978195194.910.401.521.92128857747354
Charley Johnson4377192214.390.281.312.15124557399430
Brian Sipe4166189014.540.381.421.98123555597902
Bernie Masterson73634004.621.692.423.53123117722581
Doug Flutie2598135835.230.471.661.91122643174973
Billy Wade3543166474.700.351.442.28122650638055
Phil Simms5495261114.750.221.351.70121274429371
Brad Johnson4853244855.050.251.451.67120970288116
Eli Manning6797371525.470.181.501.5911991018710805
Danny White3479167914.830.341.461.85118750886433
Ed Danowski148252963.570.801.492.72118322174016
George Ratterman188796965.140.601.742.91118033015519
Milt Plum3265150504.610.261.352.21116347127562
Michael Vick4406236645.370.261.541.69116367887450
Marc Bulger3543186165.250.321.561.81114655136418
Ray Mallouf46526425.682.463.264.76113615092204
Bob Monnett92837013.991.211.903.10112617742873
Jeff Hostetler2861144885.060.371.541.80104544065142
Neil O'Donnell3703183754.960.261.441.7097053216288
Elvis Grbac2737139305.090.341.531.7492941804767
Don Meredith3177146254.600.311.382.2292943386995
Bobby Thomason192078364.080.451.362.4586426074710
Bill Kenney2928141034.820.331.451.8586341515323
Tony Canadeo78931263.961.021.763.5382914102807
Bill Nelsen2440107294.400.331.352.1581232915251
David Garrard2840152245.360.281.551.8178643955139
Pat Haden166072034.340.401.382.0276623963469
Ace Parker171664193.740.471.292.4775121304151
Matt Hasselbeck6055314495.190.121.391.5774684229522
Bobby Hebert3516170264.840.211.361.7074548215985
Andy Dalton2900168355.810.241.631.5470347364467
Virgil Carter107948974.540.591.582.3263517002505
Matthew Stafford4101232885.680.151.531.4862562916083
Ron Jaworski5076224434.420.161.231.7159259958459
Frank Filchock171256373.290.331.072.4858518524279
Andrew Luck2443142025.810.231.621.5055539673670
Jim Zorn4019173464.320.201.231.7954146836951
Kirk Cousins103263256.130.441.861.6445719241691
Butch Songin81941915.110.551.692.2845413881871
Tommy Kramer4403197764.490.071.181.5639852686959
Jeff Blake3907189934.860.091.291.5036750235852
Spec Sanders109558585.350.311.572.7834317223049
Jake Delhomme3275166015.070.101.351.6234044065300
Jeff George4493215034.790.071.251.5133556276789
Glenn Presnell97528882.960.300.972.253279762217
Colin Kaepernick1801104295.790.181.581.4332628522581
Jay Cutler5001270975.420.061.401.4730570037372
Jacky Lee104949604.730.271.382.0528014502147
Tyrod Taylor58736336.190.461.901.642731113961
Stan Humphries2810134804.800.091.271.5125935654243
Nick Foles140281255.800.181.591.4425622242013
Tony Eason188187184.630.131.261.6224423623044
Jameis Winston61637806.140.381.821.532361122943
Bill Dudley85826393.080.260.962.772208222378
Gary Danielson2506113264.520.221.301.7421029094014
Steve Pelluer120657194.740.161.301.7119915812075
James Harris154958473.770.081.001.9619616273116
Ken O'Brien4161193314.650.051.201.5519449766453
Robert Griffin140879845.670.131.511.4418121322024
Bob Berry168667924.030.101.081.8616618233143
Paul Christman173154793.170.130.892.5016614654276
George Blanda4477197074.400.041.131.8816250118462
Ed Brown2825119944.250.021.071.9516231435620
Aaron Brooks3560173214.870.041.251.4714944425220
Paul Governali79925793.230.120.892.451247431990
Jay Schroeder3279152404.650.031.191.5312339055043
Wade Wilson2906135234.650.031.181.529934614435
Vince Ferragamo194384044.33-0.101.011.409022412996
Byron Leftwich183490904.960.031.271.536423202808
Jay Fiedler205098694.810.021.221.424425002903
Vinny Testaverde7561358494.740.011.191.4632898210996
Sage Rosenfels62931645.030.041.291.5425810968
Erik Kramer2581121844.720.011.191.462530623751
Bill Munson2626105434.010.021.021.891726434935
Steve Beuerlein3885183684.730.001.191.441646045585
Matt Cavanaugh75334224.550.061.191.5538471122
Rob Johnson108651504.74-0.011.181.37-812821487
Cotton Davidson206294494.58-0.021.131.73-4023323572
Craig Erickson125158464.67-0.031.141.36-4114311704
Don Trull90638074.20-0.080.991.88-718991704
Charlie Batch193792324.77-0.051.151.36-10422302637
Johnny Clement116141993.62-0.100.832.25-1129612620
Jim Harbaugh4841226494.68-0.021.151.43-12055716914
Scott Mitchell2673125204.68-0.051.141.35-12830343614
Norm Snead5526227414.12-0.021.011.84-130558810168
Brian Griese3227154464.79-0.041.171.38-13537614465
Steve DeBerg5736257294.490.011.131.51-14062828463
Jake Locker86446335.36-0.171.221.16-14310511003
Don Strock93639394.21-0.021.041.57-1588331330
Billy Volek66730924.64-0.260.971.26-170645843
Steve Bono190887984.61-0.101.081.33-19920492540
Brian Hoyer113061765.47-0.181.231.04-20613891180
George Shaw120247683.97-0.230.821.68-21610432080
Shaun Hill135969585.12-0.171.151.33-23415641801
Chris Miller3286152484.64-0.071.111.39-24836204563
Ty Detmer108548574.48-0.260.931.17-27910051264
Jeff Kemp109646464.24-0.290.851.24-2999401370
Scott Hunter102335053.43-0.300.631.51-3216311533
Joe Geri92127713.01-0.360.481.80-3294461659
John Friesz149166514.46-0.220.951.24-33314131846
Jim Finks196467403.43-0.180.731.89-34514263708
Kyle Orton3003154375.14-0.121.201.37-36035894102
Tim Rattay82236184.40-0.450.761.03-372626851
Steve Bartkowski4308180484.19-0.041.021.54-39141626398
Steve Tensi112939373.49-0.350.611.80-3926902031
Steve Spurrier140848773.46-0.280.651.60-3979212258
Teddy Bridgewater102354405.32-0.391.040.79-3981061808
Tobin Rote4629177393.83-0.070.901.86-42940748569
Pat Ryan77930213.88-0.630.500.89-431447750
Jake Plummer5062238114.70-0.091.111.35-43456276813
Glenn Dobbs140267024.78-0.300.972.19-46213213034
Jim Miller114149784.36-0.410.780.95-4658951085
Shaun King91238614.23-0.520.670.88-472611804
Pete Liske100934393.41-0.470.501.32-4755031327
Johnny Green76630113.93-0.640.511.18-486388902
Mike Tomczak2663119774.50-0.180.991.30-48926253451
Jason Campbell2928147395.03-0.171.131.33-49033173889
Mike Livingston229379293.46-0.250.681.61-49416293781
Seneca Wallace91542114.60-0.540.750.98-494682897
Shane Matthews91638594.21-0.550.640.84-501589766
Gary Hogeboom154666304.29-0.290.861.20-50412651792
Damon Huard109248294.42-0.470.750.99-5128231077
Matt Leinart71830534.25-0.720.520.74-515377533
Parker Hall153140752.66-0.370.391.73-5416152660
Steve Ramsey121639523.25-0.460.471.43-5545721739
Dave Krieg6324287764.55-0.061.091.41-58767058713
Mike Glennon71233864.76-0.830.570.43-589405308
Irv Comp120027252.27-0.620.101.88-5972682410
Roy Zimmerman131532202.45-0.550.201.89-6093692603
Vince Young166978394.70-0.380.891.11-62614901852
Gus Frerotte3509162834.64-0.181.031.26-62935994428
Chris Chandler4756218244.59-0.141.041.30-64949706189
Frankie Sinkwich94724872.63-0.740.101.78-6511281741
Joe Flacco4607243785.29-0.151.211.26-66855935786
Bob Lee90026442.94-0.780.151.09-702134984
Kordell Stewart3088139924.53-0.230.961.19-70529693668
Joe Ferguson5643228694.05-0.080.961.56-71751008546
Marty Domres116336403.13-0.620.321.28-7193711490
Cody Carlson79429523.72-0.940.230.54-746179428
Trent Edwards107647614.42-0.690.590.85-747630917
Tom Hodson38210332.70-1.97-0.80-0.48-753-307-182
Dan McGwire1831100.60-4.13-2.95-2.73-756-539-499
Ted Marchibroda58015072.60-1.31-0.330.49-761-194282
Boley Dancewicz4105451.33-1.88-1.080.42-778-449168
Tony Adams55513642.46-1.40-0.440.39-784-250212
Derek Carr128965685.10-0.610.820.57-7851054737
Rusty Lisch154-102-0.66-5.12-4.01-3.65-789-617-561
Bob Waters2372461.04-3.40-2.29-1.53-790-527-346
David Woodley176070544.01-0.460.651.02-79711731812
Billy Patterson3723290.88-2.15-1.39-0.17-799-517-64
Spergon Wynn186870.47-4.30-3.11-2.95-799-578-548
Sam Vacanti45615373.37-1.75-0.470.72-802-218324
Stoney Case41711712.81-1.94-0.75-0.51-808-313-211
Curtis Painter3309742.95-2.46-1.11-1.03-813-366-342
Terry Nofsinger3616671.85-2.30-1.27-0.34-832-457-123
George Herring2583251.26-3.23-2.11-1.44-833-544-373
Patrick Ramsey103941894.03-0.820.400.63-848411659
Tommy Wade107-400-3.72-7.92-6.87-5.95-851-738-639
Pat Sullivan2932270.78-2.91-1.99-0.97-852-582-285
Randy Hedberg130-402-3.09-6.64-5.75-4.78-865-749-622
Chuck Long71424023.36-1.22-0.080.36-865-46270
Jack Kemp3990167874.21-0.210.891.66-86635416589
Frank Reich109142803.92-0.790.380.64-867420697
Harry Gilmer82920762.50-1.05-0.161.01-869-133838
Quincy Carter119248994.11-0.730.480.69-869573819
Tarvaris Jackson133460784.56-0.650.650.81-8718671078
Whizzer White87618012.06-1.00-0.240.93-877-208813
Bobby Scott65015312.36-1.40-0.460.44-884-276320
Jim Plunkett4980192673.87-0.180.831.52-88541547591
Ed Matesic5906151.04-1.50-0.860.56-890-516323
Gary Cuozzo156853763.43-0.570.431.25-8916761963
Bud Schwenk104933663.21-0.770.231.77-8921191774
Chris Simms59320043.38-1.51-0.29-0.02-896-171-9
Gary Marangi4095761.41-2.21-1.30-0.27-902-533-109
Matt Moore89738604.30-1.010.310.46-910282413
Babe Parilli4428185744.19-0.150.941.73-91238747445
Kevin Kolb90139184.35-1.020.320.46-918291415
Frank Patrick195-296-1.52-4.74-3.93-2.97-919-764-574
Tommy Maddox136256244.13-0.680.520.75-9227141022
Jim Hardy129434532.67-0.700.151.54-9251621974
Art Schlichter2843841.35-3.11-1.99-1.64-927-610-509
Stan Heath155-400-2.59-6.00-5.14-3.63-928-796-561
Pete Beathard169557463.39-0.550.441.50-9297402541
Brandon Weeden109251274.70-0.850.540.46-929585506
Todd Collins85131373.69-1.110.090.34-94179289
Josh Freeman2365118195.00-0.400.951.06-94222492511
Bill Troup3985511.38-2.36-1.42-0.74-946-574-301
Joe Reed74418082.43-1.28-0.350.64-951-262478
Jerry Golsteyn2711400.52-3.49-2.49-1.82-955-684-499
Ryan Lindley2966822.30-3.24-1.85-1.92-959-549-568
Jeff Rutledge64219653.06-1.47-0.340.08-960-23238
David Archer88730073.39-1.080.040.40-96129349
Kent Graham156063914.10-0.620.560.82-9728691276
Danny Wuerffel43810952.50-2.23-1.05-0.81-978-460-354
George Terlep218470.21-4.52-3.34-2.03-987-728-443
A.J. Feeley84331513.74-1.180.050.28-99442232
Brady Quinn63523623.72-1.58-0.25-0.07-1001-160-45
Bob Hoernschemeyer102240904.00-0.980.271.50-10012721528
Dave Ryan4592390.52-2.18-1.500.26-1005-697116
Matt Robinson65615862.42-1.56-0.570.00-1005-35322
Drew Bledsoe7569351154.64-0.131.061.29-100680259739
Joe Lillard3991060.27-2.55-1.85-0.74-1007-726-288
Chad Hutchinson49613512.72-2.06-0.87-0.66-1023-429-328
Scott Bull290340.12-3.56-2.64-1.84-1024-759-525
Kelly Holcomb100738713.84-1.020.200.44-1026198443
Steve Romanik61310771.76-1.69-0.830.41-1037-509253
Lynn Dickey3884156654.03-0.220.841.37-104330805143
Colt McCoy103745964.43-1.010.350.42-1044366435
Donald Hollas48812252.51-2.17-1.00-0.68-1059-488-330
Mickey Slaughter74724263.25-1.43-0.260.27-1069-195201
Mark Herrmann70120612.94-1.55-0.43-0.06-1077-290-29
Dick Wood139454323.90-0.770.390.97-10775501350
Jack Scarbath4294811.12-2.52-1.61-0.44-1081-690-191
Terry Hanratty55510971.98-1.95-0.97-0.17-1081-537-94
John Reaves79219482.46-1.35-0.400.40-1082-330310
Steve Fuller149754403.63-0.750.350.71-11025411089
Browning Nagle49911682.34-2.23-1.08-0.72-1110-541-359
Richard Todd3797148833.92-0.350.721.21-111229404819
Steve Walsh143756933.96-0.780.410.66-1116586952
Bill Mackrides5136531.27-2.18-1.320.02-1118-6759
Jack Jacobs88217541.99-1.29-0.471.10-1121-401988
David Whitehurst121638033.13-0.890.120.67-1124100779
Ken Dorsey44410532.37-2.53-1.31-0.99-1125-581-442
Eddie LeBaron258095943.72-0.400.631.57-112615193981
Bobby Hoying56215172.70-2.02-0.84-0.56-1132-470-313
Blake Bortles129562604.83-0.880.550.30-1134715391
Bob Davis65211201.72-1.94-1.030.13-1140-551233
Don Majkowski234398694.21-0.500.680.98-115116062318
Hugh Millen111940553.62-1.030.130.48-1155147530
Derek Anderson171776734.47-0.680.610.82-115910491411
Paul McDonald101333773.33-1.14-0.020.35-1168-34342
Adrian Burk146940752.77-0.800.091.20-11801341761
Kellen Clemens77329043.76-1.53-0.21-0.14-1182-160-112
John Roach5039561.90-2.44-1.36-0.43-1187-641-170
Ryan Tannehill2609134565.16-0.460.950.80-118824732080
Mike McMahon65219583.00-1.83-0.62-0.42-1191-404-272
Steve Dils112739123.47-1.040.090.52-119278563
Chris Weinke81026793.31-1.50-0.30-0.14-1215-241-111
Vince Evans175268493.91-0.610.520.87-12337461353
Sam Etcheverry3925781.48-3.15-2.00-1.30-1236-783-509
John McCormick62516622.66-1.98-0.82-0.16-1240-515-103
Don Panciera3473370.97-3.58-2.44-1.17-1241-847-404
Rusty Hilger55613252.38-2.24-1.09-0.65-1245-602-361
Heath Shuler70621082.99-1.78-0.59-0.39-1254-413-276
Alex Smith4365221975.09-0.291.061.08-125446094731
Jeff Komlo5239381.79-2.40-1.35-0.93-1255-707-488
Jack Thompson100031623.16-1.26-0.160.25-1264-157249
Geno Smith105946704.41-1.190.210.05-126421956
John Skelton69124643.57-1.85-0.50-0.41-1280-344-281
Ronnie Cahill274-461-1.68-4.69-3.94-2.17-1282-1077-593
Mike Pagel195976903.93-0.590.540.91-13069061637
Doug Pederson62316532.65-2.10-0.91-0.68-1306-567-422
Dick Shiner101528502.81-1.29-0.260.53-1308-268535
Charlie Frye82727543.33-1.58-0.35-0.11-1308-292-88
Karl Sweetan79319512.46-1.66-0.630.28-1313-497219
Dean McAdams5683930.69-2.28-1.540.22-1314-892108
Andrew Walter4036381.58-3.30-2.08-1.84-1330-838-740
Jim Ninowski139949363.53-0.880.221.05-13322091388
Johnny Gildea346-442-1.27-3.89-3.23-1.87-1334-1107-640
David Klingler87927663.15-1.52-0.35-0.11-1338-312-95
Cliff Stoudt91929723.23-1.27-0.140.29-1345-31086
Davey O'Brien99816731.68-1.35-0.590.56-1348-593563
Al Dorow173762483.60-0.750.331.03-13695111738
Todd Blackledge103832973.18-1.33-0.200.16-1382-213166
Mark Malone191973213.82-0.700.430.82-13867821549
Rudy Bukich160054743.42-0.810.251.15-13923001749
Eric Hipple193474283.84-0.640.480.87-13967701521
Joe Pisarcik111930172.70-1.24-0.250.38-1398-302426
Bruce Gradkowski85028933.40-1.66-0.39-0.16-1410-334-135
Jimmy Clausen55216012.90-2.56-1.19-1.12-1411-658-619
Craig Whelihan62415232.44-2.27-1.10-0.81-1419-684-508
Fred Enke114525842.26-1.25-0.371.03-1429-4251183
Anthony Wright74021672.93-1.93-0.72-0.48-1430-530-357
Dave Wilson118538523.25-1.22-0.100.28-1433-109341
Christian Ponder127855764.36-1.120.250.24-1437316307
Stan Gelbaugh4656911.49-3.09-1.95-1.56-1437-905-726
Marc Wilson245596613.94-0.600.530.89-144313412221
J.P. Losman116542873.68-1.24-0.010.23-1444-11270
Rodney Peete2860120304.21-0.510.670.91-144519242615
Joe Kapp131038972.98-1.11-0.090.69-1449-112900
Lamar McHan221175123.40-0.680.341.25-14667822794
George Izo3982350.59-3.74-2.66-1.81-1468-1038-700
Akili Smith59013162.23-2.51-1.32-1.12-1481-782-661
Rex Grossman173573404.23-0.860.410.60-14917171045
Randy Wright127842793.35-1.18-0.050.36-1508-60468
Billy Joe Tolliver193176283.95-0.780.400.67-15097751288
Bubby Brister2597106904.12-0.580.600.89-151515332307
JaMarcus Russell79025213.19-1.94-0.66-0.37-1535-521-292
Bob Avellini145838882.67-1.07-0.140.70-1542-1791052
Bobby Douglass201860693.01-0.770.171.06-15673412144
Ryan Fitzpatrick4083205835.04-0.390.971.00-159339514098
Kelly Stouffer5177621.47-3.15-2.00-1.61-1630-1032-834
Scott Brunner144944123.05-1.44-0.320.09-1630-5571
Tim Couch200479483.97-0.820.380.57-16357601139
Dan Darragh405-110-0.27-4.08-3.13-1.99-1651-1266-803
Chad Henne2219103154.65-0.750.600.70-166613291544
Sam Bradford2562124144.85-0.650.720.72-166818521857
Jack Concannon162148502.99-1.03-0.030.77-1677-451245
Kent Nix84016611.98-2.04-1.04-0.20-1713-870-171
Danny Kanell106332813.09-1.65-0.47-0.21-1756-497-218
Matt Cassel3031143004.72-0.620.720.85-187621682586
Archie Manning4868179083.68-0.290.701.39-187829516352
Dennis Shaw130631262.39-1.45-0.490.29-1889-635382
Hugh McCullough566-208-0.37-3.37-2.62-1.41-1922-1498-816
Kim McQuilken367-670-1.83-5.47-4.56-3.54-2004-1670-1294
Josh McCown2324101454.37-0.860.440.51-200910291179
King Hill110927322.46-1.80-0.730.18-2082-901113
Rick Norton504-117-0.23-4.14-3.16-1.98-2085-1593-997
Tony Banks2829113144.00-0.750.440.68-211212451923
Dave Brown200773973.69-1.070.120.32-2157231637
Joey Harrington2804114554.09-0.780.440.67-218912221886
Ryan Leaf77914761.89-2.84-1.65-1.44-2210-1289-1120
Blaine Gabbert127347803.75-1.78-0.40-0.46-2271-508-581
Jack Trudeau186162653.37-1.26-0.100.23-2321-171437
Kerry Collins6972314434.51-0.350.871.10-242360437650
Mike Taliaferro123125032.03-2.01-1.00-0.06-2474-1230-73
Gary Huff104512931.24-2.43-1.51-0.51-2524-1567-518
Jon Kitna5078221644.36-0.500.710.93-255936224714
Mark Sanchez2590114794.43-0.990.360.44-25689441148
Ralph Guglielmi104419411.86-2.47-1.39-0.47-2587-1459-494
Zeke Bratkowski196358262.97-1.33-0.250.60-2669-5661134
Randy Johnson177444232.49-1.51-0.510.38-2671-897677
Frank Tripucka213863962.99-1.24-0.180.68-2697-4581423
Kyle Boller181862213.42-1.52-0.29-0.02-2767-520-40
Rick Mirer248489463.60-1.140.040.26-2840106651
Mike Phipps246264122.60-1.23-0.270.55-3011-6571408
David Carr2839107263.78-1.080.130.37-30703791053
Trent Dilfer3683141463.84-0.940.260.48-34569451782
Dan Pastorini3863112282.91-0.910.050.86-34981763370

Like I have said before, if a ranking system based solely on stats doesn’t have Peyton Manning at the top, it’s probably a good idea to question the system.3 Because he’s played his entire career in the 16-game era, his numbers are no different here than they were in the last part of the series. The same can be said for Tom Brady and Drew Brees, who also rate highly on both lists. Among notable players whose entire careers were in the the 16-game era, Dan Marino and Steve Young get a very small boost from having their 1987 seasons prorated by one additional game. Joe Montana gets the small boost from 1987 and a huge boost from the 9-game strike season five years prior.4 While Marino kept his second place finish, and Young his sixth place finish, Montana actually used his boost to moved past Brees into the four spot.

When we’re looking at pure dominance (in the VAL column), we see that Otto Graham and Fran Tarkenton have switched places after applying schedule adjustments. However, when we look at value over replacement, Tarkenton still provided more overall value for his teams, regardless of how you measure replacement level.

brett favreLooking at the differences between value over average versus replacement shows us a stark shift in the career values of Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre. The current Packers hero has been statistically dominant since taking over as a starter and has already surpassed his elder in value over average. However, with more plays under his belt than any other quarterback in history, Favre ranks in the top five in replacement value. Which is more important? Ask yourself this: if you were drafting a quarterback and were guaranteed 4787 plays at Rodgers’s level or 11296 plays at Favre’s level, which would you take. How you respond is an indicator of what you value.5

Looking at prorated career stats, we see that the legendary Johnny Unitas ranks inside the top ten in all three measures of value. Before prorating, he was a top twenty guy but didn’t stand out much. By putting him on more level ground with modern players, his stats begin to match his myth. Frankly, that’s the whole point of this series: determining which method of comparing across eras most accurately captures the true era-transcending greatness of a quarterback.

I don’t think we’re there just yet, but I believe we’re one step closer to getting there.

  1. That’s standard TAY/P and Value, Prorated Seasons, Hard Inflation Adjustments, Soft Inflation Adjustments, and Index Scores.
  2. If you haven’t read any other parts in the series, 75% of average and one standard deviation below average are two separate baselines I use as a proxy for replacement-level play. I am not sure which one, if either, is the best measure, but I believe in giving you options and letting you pick your favorite.
  3. Chase Stuart’s quarterback series has Manning in first by a comfortable margin, as does Brad Oremland’s TSP career metrics. Football Outsiders has only published records since 1989, but Manning rates far ahead of any other quarterback in career DYAR and Effective Yards. Brian Burke’s career cumulative Win Probability Added has Manning light years ahead of the competition, although the stat only goes back to 1999. In fact, the only stat-based study I’ve seen without Manning on top was a piece by Neil Paine which factored in steep multipliers for performance in each round of the playoffs.
  4. Marino, Young, Montana, and Fouts are the most notable players who benefit from prorating even during the 16-game era. Dan Fouts, John Elway, Ken Anderson, and Warren Moon are a few other major players who saw a lot of action in the modern schedule but also receive help from prorated strike seasons. Most other quarterbacks of note played their entire careers either before the 1978 schedule expansion or after the last non-16-game season (1987). Thus, they either got no help or nothing but help from prorating schedules.
  5. That’s right, I didn’t answer the question. The answer is in you, friends.