Regular Season QBGOAT XIII: Cascaded Hard Inflation Adjustment

fran tarkentonWelcome 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 may seem drastic to fans of the modern game, but I think it also reflects more accurately the rankings you would get from a football historian.2 I do think the next post will probably be the best combination of being fair to older players and recognizing the greater talent of today, but I believe this article is an important step toward getting there. Now, on to the results.

Cascaded Hard Adjusted Career Stats

This table lists 406 qualifying quarterbacks since 1932, sorted by career value over average (VAL). Read it thus: Peyton Manning had 9113 plays for 61788 Total Adjusted Yards at 6.78 TAY/P. For his career, he was 1.71 TAY/P above average. He was also 2.98 or 3.13 TAY/P above replacement, depending on your baseline for replacement-level.3 The result is a total value over average of 11666 and replacement values of both 18670 and 19609.

PlayerplytayTAY/PVal/P75Rep/PSDRep/PVal75RepSDRep
Peyton Manning9113617886.781.712.983.13116661867019609
Otto Graham4628309786.692.573.604.80101491395218274
Dan Marino8349505016.051.412.572.8887511490916699
Fran Tarkenton9621490585.101.102.102.9586521423419228
Sammy Baugh6100283024.641.532.313.7784981171318159
Tom Brady7803502356.441.252.542.6482311511915709
Sid Luckman3500188645.392.393.144.7881991029915101
Johnny Unitas8065429315.321.102.153.0081971366918277
Steve Young4843317646.561.893.063.3580781224513265
Joe Montana6159383976.231.662.803.1479221300614560
Drew Brees7899507756.431.202.512.6179201498115596
Ken Anderson6325336315.321.312.313.0074831191815302
Norm Van Brocklin4747274145.771.902.873.9473361075814624
Dan Fouts6715360615.371.152.202.7468441183314277
Sonny Jurgensen5957328445.511.312.363.1966631120314804
Roger Staubach4571248265.431.672.613.4666071004413188
Y.A. Tittle7175362785.060.831.892.8663861122115673
Brett Favre10354562475.430.601.812.0562701311814462
Aaron Rodgers4224297777.051.632.983.0361471086111095
Len Dawson5215278255.341.182.223.065551927312308
John Brodie6336316264.990.811.852.685210965113192
Cecil Isbell2296121215.282.273.024.37489864679334
Philip Rivers5298333496.290.942.282.3447381015010496
Joe Namath4912237454.830.911.892.884519812711889
Daryle Lamonica3480183045.261.352.333.314507735410296
John Hadl6478299574.620.611.612.534473880512925
Tony Romo4295278626.491.172.502.59439990139371
Jim Hart6667293964.410.471.452.224253839612170
Bert Jones3630184645.091.132.122.87423471769614
Kurt Warner4127246305.971.052.282.52420582669065
John Elway7992413305.170.531.692.0041171008011646
Ben Roethlisberger5595343846.150.862.182.27411594669835
Bart Starr4873249595.120.861.932.763951742310139
Roman Gabriel6601295894.480.491.492.353820829012286
Bobby Layne6697287704.300.471.432.513778811213207
Dutch Clark219498634.501.812.483.73375950677544
Donovan McNabb5857327005.580.641.872.10372489459950
Trent Green3893224845.780.952.162.39362974648221
Charlie Conerly4882210054.300.531.472.623621683410851
Jeff Garcia3951230525.830.992.202.42358474878162
Boomer Esiason5617289825.160.521.681.99350180709349
Jim Kelly5092274995.400.741.912.22343178899143
Warren Moon7334369315.040.391.551.853342904310536
Bob Griese4946222384.500.711.662.60323164659882
Earl Morrall4046192364.750.591.632.47309955457815
Rich Gannon4630247365.340.611.792.04309271898041
Bob Waterfield2796118224.231.061.853.35308749068522
Terry Bradshaw5696255704.490.521.512.21304470139865
Craig Morton5299231894.380.421.412.15303463188953
Steve McNair4990271265.440.641.842.07299674838333
Carson Palmer5386312225.800.551.861.97293882078687
Troy Aikman4910258395.260.551.731.99288571058082
Ken Stabler4922209414.260.241.251.92284861648859
Billy Kilmer4436196914.440.551.522.39282058808763
Jim Everett5114265365.190.501.671.97279374118574
Cliff Battles216690234.171.392.093.24278841346391
Johnny Lujack131672395.502.132.974.30274337975472
Steve Grogan4701219764.670.511.552.12271661168297
Milt Plum3740172394.610.261.352.21268858068348
Joe Theismann4636221634.780.531.592.07265965108259
Mark Brunell5032266135.290.511.711.93255470307881
Greg Landry3798161144.240.391.352.13245951877534
Vinny Testaverde6998331814.740.011.191.46236468947915
Arnie Herber2818105963.760.981.682.98236239266912
Matt Ryan4414265756.020.561.931.95231972987408
Matt Schaub3263193655.930.641.972.12231258846350
Randall Cunningham5207258644.970.291.461.76230167998035
Daunte Culpepper3680196795.350.501.711.93228659756655
Mark Rypien2696145895.410.731.902.20222948425538
Tommy Thompson2914113703.900.721.513.05218141207909
Ed Danowski247988563.570.801.492.72209035846368
Matt Hasselbeck5518286605.190.121.391.57197666287405
Frankie Albert2897147885.100.671.783.01196347647825
Bernie Kosar3642184075.050.431.591.93196152436280
Russell Wilson1973131106.651.032.432.28191144824195
Bob Monnett168967333.991.211.903.10191029644830
Frank Ryan3294160564.870.581.652.51190747707086
Chad Pennington2604144415.540.641.862.11184945445096
Billy Wade4141194534.700.351.442.28184153948171
Bernie Masterson110150844.621.692.423.53179124963598
Charley Johnson4846212804.390.281.312.15178454728583
Doug Williams3064155215.070.661.762.16174646485713
Tom Flores2082110085.290.711.852.48174137594875
Norm Snead6142252764.12-0.021.011.84171058909311
Brian Sipe4311195614.540.381.421.98168353127313
Jim McMahon3180161755.090.521.662.02166144135309
Eli Manning6082332445.470.181.501.59158575477954
Joe Ferguson5858237414.05-0.080.961.56157553217897
Brad Johnson4420222995.050.251.451.67157555366302
Phil Simms5251249534.750.221.351.70152357497071
Michael Vick3982213885.370.261.541.69152054275959
Don Meredith3431157944.600.311.382.22144644586812
Neil Lomax3745183734.910.401.521.92144049896243
George Ratterman2301118235.140.601.742.91141136326020
Cam Newton2755167716.090.521.911.81140648724636
Bill Nelsen2677117694.400.331.352.15136335115292
Ray Mallouf57632675.682.463.264.76136118062636
Marc Bulger3288172755.250.321.561.81133147125424
Tobin Rote5408207253.83-0.070.901.86129851829073
Frank Filchock222773313.290.331.072.48126026485380
Doug Flutie2360123365.230.471.661.91122235474051
Steve DeBerg5581250314.490.011.131.51120654346849
Bobby Thomason224691684.080.451.362.45119829415063
George Blanda4685206274.400.041.131.88118448207622
Danny White3319160214.830.341.461.85117843095395
Ron Jaworski5091225094.420.161.231.71117351616999
Dave Krieg5933269974.55-0.061.091.41116750896369
Jim Zorn4174180154.320.201.231.79116545826596
Wade Wilson2738127414.650.031.181.52116033774063
Tony Canadeo103841133.961.021.763.53109918353602
Jeff Hostetler2655134435.060.371.541.80109537374322
Ace Parker226184613.740.471.292.47107826884996
Neil O'Donnell3412169324.960.261.441.70105641714889
Ed Brown3322141024.250.021.071.95103437236022
Bobby Hebert3299159734.840.211.361.70102140854997
Pat Haden178977654.340.401.382.02100725673659
Elvis Grbac2460125215.090.341.531.74100335143975
Bill Kenney2770133414.820.331.451.8599636024549
Jeff George4159199044.790.071.251.5197347275544
Bill Munson2889115974.010.021.021.8994629034762
Chris Chandler4364200244.59-0.141.041.3092843715133
Tuffy Leemans80033694.211.262.003.6692214822746
Glenn Presnell203260162.960.300.972.2583720984476
Tommy Kramer4288192584.490.071.181.5683045335865
David Garrard2618140335.360.281.551.8182136514255
Jake Delhomme3035153845.070.101.351.6281438714569
Virgil Carter122455564.540.591.582.3275618662706
Babe Parilli4664195634.19-0.150.941.7375142276848
Steve Beuerlein3557168184.730.001.191.4473238864599
James Harris174965993.770.081.001.9673020663515
Matthew Stafford3557202005.680.151.531.4869349904838
Jay Cutler4448241015.420.061.401.4768753535662
Jim Harbaugh4494210254.68-0.021.151.4368244045329
Jacky Lee106250214.730.271.382.0563015212075
Jeff Blake3531171654.860.091.291.5062840094622
Andy Dalton2495144845.810.241.631.5462237383527
Bob Berry191877274.030.101.081.8659021523464
Doug Russell85126303.090.551.182.6254510552249
Jake Plummer4624217524.70-0.091.111.3553548695739
Ken O'Brien3938182984.650.051.201.5553442105368
Vince Ferragamo188281424.33-0.101.011.4051823132948
Spec Sanders143776885.350.311.572.7850722283896
Andrew Luck2089121415.810.231.621.5050532342995
Gary Danielson2491112584.520.221.301.7450327073617
Erik Kramer2371111944.720.011.191.4646427823303
Butch Songin82842345.110.551.692.2846313791850
Tony Eason176081594.630.131.261.6245822312809
Jay Schroeder3097143974.650.031.191.5343433234215
Kirk Cousins87953866.130.441.861.6442316231429
Steve Bartkowski4366182934.19-0.041.021.5441540225738
Scott Mitchell2420113344.68-0.051.141.3539828403294
Brian Griese2946140994.79-0.041.171.3838032263756
Paul Christman211266873.170.130.892.5036817744848
George Grosvenor112034153.050.310.992.2136010812399
Colin Kaepernick153789005.790.181.581.4334223222114
Stan Humphries2590124274.800.091.271.5133729943551
Nick Foles119769395.800.181.591.4431518721709
Don Strock95340084.21-0.021.041.5731510051401
Bill Dudley108733433.080.260.962.7731310412938
Aaron Brooks3271159144.870.041.251.4729337084342
Gus Frerotte3196148304.64-0.181.031.2629330813676
Cotton Davidson209395904.58-0.021.131.7326823373405
Drew Bledsoe6901320154.64-0.131.061.2926860287148
Mike Tomczak2482111644.50-0.180.991.3026423442928
Steve Pelluer112753454.740.161.301.7125414361876
Byron Leftwich170484454.960.031.271.5324720982515
Charlie Batch174283024.77-0.051.151.3624718922217
Steve Bono174980644.61-0.101.081.3322218362219
Robert Griffin120668415.670.131.511.4420818101726
Jay Fiedler186189584.810.021.221.4220521602474
Mike Livingston258189243.46-0.250.681.6120320114000
Paul Governali98931923.230.120.892.451919262420
Chris Miller3096143704.64-0.071.111.3918831963954
Jim Plunkett5320205853.87-0.180.831.5217639136713
Charlie O'Rourke86339354.560.101.222.6013710272177
Rob Johnson97646314.74-0.011.181.3710211071275
Don Trull92138694.20-0.080.991.88919731694
Kyle Orton2712139415.14-0.121.201.378031013521
Craig Erickson115153784.67-0.031.141.365612871524
Kordell Stewart2791126474.53-0.230.961.193126183126
George Shaw144357253.97-0.230.821.682112442317
Jeff Kemp104044114.24-0.290.851.24219821337
Johnny Clement143551913.62-0.100.832.251312103093
Kerry Collins6353286524.51-0.350.871.10-649695949
John Friesz139762314.46-0.220.951.24-4012571621
Shaun Hill122362615.12-0.171.151.33-5613301548
Charlie Trippi79024953.16-0.170.671.91-1085331487
Ty Detmer97743744.48-0.260.931.17-1159371155
Brian Hoyer96552765.47-0.181.231.04-1301153979
Lynn Dickey3923158194.03-0.220.841.37-14030324573
M.C. Reynolds77930733.94-0.430.671.51-1416431278
Archie Manning5311195353.68-0.290.701.39-15637146495
Steve Spurrier161355863.46-0.280.651.60-15811212492
Tim Rattay76633734.40-0.450.761.03-158598784
Jack Kemp4061170834.21-0.210.891.66-17533975768
Vince Evans169066093.91-0.610.520.87-19410641470
Jim Finks225777443.43-0.180.731.89-19816103997
Rudy Bukich174559693.42-0.810.251.15-20810382171
Joe Flacco4052214445.29-0.151.211.26-20943344524
Damon Huard100444414.42-0.470.750.99-2148081018
Dwight Sloan78421602.75-0.330.441.49-2193571135
Frank Reich100439373.92-0.790.380.64-223632834
Bob Snyder77621012.71-0.350.421.46-2293141073
Bob Lee103230322.94-0.780.151.09-2325541351
Jason Campbell2661133935.03-0.171.131.33-23527043201
Eddie LeBaron3084114683.72-0.400.631.57-24221634358
Gary Hogeboom145562394.29-0.290.861.20-24811011527
Steve Tensi117641023.49-0.350.611.80-2497612023
Scott Hunter118540603.43-0.300.631.51-2567131650
Seneca Wallace83738514.60-0.540.750.98-280641819
Roy Zimmerman170441742.45-0.550.201.89-2967523262
Benny Friedman100122982.29-0.520.181.27-3013671423
Joe Geri105631753.01-0.360.481.80-3065341865
Rodney Peete2664112074.21-0.510.670.91-31918002285
Jim Miller102744834.36-0.410.780.95-323777934
Teddy Bridgewater86946215.32-0.391.040.79-330881669
Shane Matthews82534764.21-0.550.640.84-332527674
Shaun King82234804.23-0.520.670.88-332580743
Irv Comp160336392.27-0.620.101.88-3337073299
Todd Collins77528583.69-1.110.090.34-334271420
Marty Domres133541783.13-0.620.321.28-3586381710
Bubby Brister2449100824.12-0.580.600.89-36717652359
Pete Liske114939143.41-0.470.501.32-3896271494
Richard Todd3824149903.92-0.350.721.21-39728764426
Derek Anderson157270254.47-0.680.610.82-39811681442
Vince Young153772174.70-0.380.891.11-40313111616
Johnny Green78130713.93-0.640.511.18-420399898
Steve Ramsey139245233.25-0.460.471.43-4486631865
Tarvaris Jackson121055134.56-0.650.650.81-456792964
Parker Hall192151122.66-0.370.391.73-4708583198
Glenn Dobbs182987424.78-0.300.972.19-47717133825
Alex Smith3862196385.09-0.291.061.08-48537163732
Cody Carlson75027893.72-0.940.230.54-489259471
Gary Cuozzo173859603.43-0.570.431.25-5008161946
Al Woodall82025063.06-0.780.181.02-510226876
Matt Moore80534654.30-1.010.310.46-517362466
Josh Freeman2092104545.00-0.400.951.06-52120052222
Tommy Maddox125851954.13-0.680.520.75-5268041050
Harry Newman151933812.23-0.380.271.60-5414142367
Pete Beathard179460823.39-0.550.441.50-5568822504
Don Majkowski222093514.21-0.500.680.98-55816172184
Trent Edwards99243914.42-0.690.590.85-563612863
David Woodley170068134.01-0.460.651.02-59110981656
Patrick Ramsey96138764.03-0.820.400.63-592382595
Jim Hardy151840512.67-0.700.151.54-6134642287
Kent Graham141457914.10-0.620.560.82-6197621081
Derek Carr109555795.10-0.610.820.57-629893630
Kelly Holcomb93335853.84-1.020.200.44-646282466
Steve Walsh135553683.96-0.780.410.66-6527221037
Mike Boryla78520852.65-0.99-0.080.96-653-8747
Kevin Kolb80134814.35-1.020.320.46-659290389
A.J. Feeley77929103.74-1.180.050.28-665119261
Matt Cassel2710127864.72-0.620.720.85-67320832431
Jim Ninowski162157183.53-0.880.221.05-6786111571
Lamar McHan264889973.40-0.680.341.25-68513903270
Mike Pagel185572813.93-0.590.540.91-6929391529
Brandon Weeden93744014.70-0.850.540.46-696493433
David Archer82427943.39-1.080.040.40-69898362
Quincy Carter109144854.11-0.730.480.69-700511728
Frankie Sinkwich132834872.63-0.740.101.78-7033192468
Colt McCoy91340474.43-1.010.350.42-712316378
Steve Dils106937113.47-1.040.090.52-721180583
Harry Gilmer97324362.50-1.05-0.161.01-723-1974
Marc Wilson232291393.94-0.600.530.89-72412541937
Joe Reed84220462.43-1.28-0.350.64-750-80655
Ryan Lindley2545852.30-3.24-1.85-1.92-750-426-442
Danny Wuerffel3979932.50-2.23-1.05-0.81-751-337-254
Ryan Fitzpatrick3595181215.04-0.390.971.00-75531733222
Doug Pederson56114892.65-2.10-0.91-0.68-763-317-229
Chet Wetterlund125-400-3.19-6.18-5.43-3.57-773-680-447
Brady Quinn57121243.72-1.58-0.25-0.07-776-990
Hugh Millen107438913.62-1.030.130.48-780225552
Steve Fuller147953743.63-0.750.350.71-788530981
Terry Hanratty62912431.98-1.95-0.97-0.17-793-307111
Darrell Tully193-217-1.12-4.15-3.39-2.36-800-654-455
Matt Robinson70417012.42-1.56-0.570.00-810-196179
Chuck Ortmann3362660.79-2.53-1.70-0.55-812-545-175
Art Schlichter2683621.35-3.11-1.99-1.64-817-541-451
Bobby Hoying51013762.70-2.02-0.84-0.56-829-289-161
Ray Evans3815431.42-2.17-1.270.22-829-48685
Emmett Mortell87317962.06-1.00-0.240.72-829-204584
Angelo Bertelli2814401.57-3.24-2.04-0.75-831-509-153
Tommy Wade112-415-3.72-7.92-6.87-5.95-840-728-630
George Herring2633301.26-3.23-2.11-1.44-847-553-379
Mark Malone179568493.82-0.700.430.82-8508091411
John Reaves89922112.46-1.35-0.400.40-851-205437
Bob Davis78413471.72-1.94-1.030.13-854-254620
Ted Marchibroda73519102.60-1.31-0.330.49-854-185398
Cotton Price5769531.66-1.64-0.820.66-854-418379
Browning Nagle47811192.34-2.23-1.08-0.72-865-422-281
Pat Sullivan3332590.78-2.91-1.99-0.97-866-585-273
Donald Hollas45211342.51-2.17-1.00-0.68-869-402-270
Chad Hutchinson45712452.72-2.06-0.87-0.66-870-366-279
Cliff Montgomery243-268-1.10-3.59-2.97-1.53-873-722-372
Dick Wood141154963.90-0.770.390.97-8756031339
Jerry Golsteyn2861470.52-3.49-2.49-1.82-883-635-464
Josh McCown208691064.37-0.860.440.51-90211261241
Boley Dancewicz5056711.33-1.88-1.080.42-903-512231
Ryan Tannehill2228114915.16-0.460.950.80-91019871669
Bill Troup4416111.38-2.36-1.42-0.74-911-554-285
Gary Marangi4626511.41-2.21-1.30-0.27-911-529-91
Chris Weinke73224203.31-1.50-0.30-0.14-911-179-74
Bruce Gradkowski78126573.40-1.66-0.39-0.16-914-1510
Jon Kitna4633202224.36-0.500.710.93-91531073873
Bud Schwenk135943613.21-0.770.231.77-9172792273
Blake Bortles110053184.83-0.880.550.30-917618348
Eric Hipple182870213.84-0.640.480.87-9178071434
Mickey Slaughter75324463.25-1.43-0.260.27-919-104270
Sam Vacanti58619793.37-1.75-0.470.72-919-195478
Rex Grossman158667084.23-0.860.410.60-923692953
Dick Shiner111531312.81-1.29-0.260.53-925-88677
Ken Dorsey4159852.37-2.53-1.31-0.99-926-467-349
Harry Hopp250-181-0.72-3.71-2.96-1.10-928-741-276
Paul McDonald96132023.33-1.14-0.020.35-932-3335
Billy Patterson4594050.88-2.15-1.39-0.17-933-600-65
Cliff Stoudt87328223.23-1.27-0.140.29-933-131208
Billy Joe Tolliver180271193.95-0.780.400.67-9387771177
Jack Jacobs108921671.99-1.29-0.471.10-939-1451405
David Whitehurst129040343.13-0.890.120.67-941196871
Mike McMahon59918003.00-1.83-0.62-0.42-947-316-209
Rusty Hilger52112402.38-2.24-1.09-0.65-954-454-267
Manny Rapp350-90-0.26-2.74-2.12-0.68-961-743-240
Bobby Douglass232870003.01-0.770.171.06-9747842508
Frank Patrick240-365-1.52-4.74-3.93-2.97-976-811-608
Randy Hedberg149-460-3.09-6.64-5.75-4.78-989-857-712
Dave Wilson111236143.25-1.22-0.100.28-99013373
Geno Smith90239794.41-1.190.210.05-99018451
Steve Romanik69212161.76-1.69-0.830.41-998-473299
Heath Shuler63919082.99-1.78-0.59-0.39-1000-303-190
David Klingler81825743.15-1.52-0.35-0.11-1001-209-26
Todd Blackledge97030833.18-1.33-0.200.16-1017-114199
Adrian Burk168846822.77-0.800.091.20-10242791896
J.P. Losman108439903.68-1.24-0.010.23-1030123354
Charlie Frye76925623.33-1.58-0.35-0.11-1031-228-54
John Skelton60821683.57-1.85-0.50-0.41-1049-267-213
Joe Pisarcik119732292.70-1.24-0.250.38-1049-147497
Scott Bull325380.12-3.56-2.64-1.84-1063-785-537
Bill Mackrides5927531.27-2.18-1.320.02-1066-62763
Whizzer White112823202.06-1.00-0.240.93-1068-255984
Stan Gelbaugh4496681.49-3.09-1.95-1.56-1070-672-539
Anthony Wright68219972.93-1.93-0.72-0.48-1073-379-233
Stan Heath180-466-2.59-6.00-5.14-3.63-1081-928-654
Jack Thompson97530833.16-1.26-0.160.25-1088-112263
John McCormick62816692.66-1.98-0.82-0.16-1097-443-71
Chris Cagle6806700.99-1.68-1.020.25-1098-651188
John Roach57510921.90-2.44-1.36-0.43-1119-584-74
Jeff Komlo5439731.79-2.40-1.35-0.93-1122-633-438
Chad Henne196191144.65-0.750.600.70-112410801281
Andrew Walter3745921.58-3.30-2.08-1.84-1125-709-627
Christian Ponder110748294.36-1.120.250.24-1129282276
Jimmy Clausen48714112.90-2.56-1.19-1.12-1145-533-502
Jack Concannon178253342.99-1.03-0.030.77-11491431304
Karl Sweetan83720592.46-1.66-0.630.28-1157-406287
Dave Ryan5752990.52-2.18-1.500.26-1160-807155
Akili Smith52911802.23-2.51-1.32-1.12-1165-615-520
Al Dorow185866833.60-0.750.331.03-11786071804
Jack Scarbath4915511.12-2.52-1.61-0.44-1181-755-211
Bob Hoernschemeyer135354154.00-0.980.271.50-12153851979
George Terlep300640.21-4.52-3.34-2.03-1234-911-554
Randy Wright119139873.35-1.18-0.050.36-12358470
Sam Bradford2233108224.85-0.650.720.72-124115211523
Craig Whelihan56613812.44-2.27-1.10-0.81-1248-600-445
Tim Couch181071773.97-0.820.380.57-1249665965
George Izo4342560.59-3.74-2.66-1.81-1256-870-569
Bob Avellini161543052.67-1.07-0.140.70-1265-241256
Tony Banks2552102054.00-0.750.440.68-128410901605
Fred Enke133230062.26-1.25-0.371.03-1295-3211384
Dave Brown180766603.69-1.070.120.32-1297383674
JaMarcus Russell72923273.19-1.94-0.66-0.37-1302-406-203
Zeke Bratkowski226567212.97-1.33-0.250.60-13052041507
Scott Brunner139342413.05-1.44-0.320.09-1320113634
Don Jackson193-807-4.19-6.85-6.18-4.89-1320-1192-942
Danny Kanell96329723.09-1.65-0.47-0.21-1321-330-102
Joe Kapp143242612.98-1.11-0.090.69-1374-181007
Kelly Stouffer4937261.47-3.15-2.00-1.61-1380-864-690
Sam Etcheverry4686901.48-3.15-2.00-1.30-1433-908-586
Don Panciera4144020.97-3.58-2.44-1.17-1439-982-471
Jack Trudeau175459033.37-1.26-0.100.23-1445156611
Trent Dilfer3343128393.84-0.940.260.48-154712551845
Ed Matesic114611951.04-1.50-0.860.56-1581-890666
Dan Darragh423-115-0.27-4.08-3.13-1.99-1595-1224-782
Davey O'Brien123520701.68-1.35-0.590.56-1602-693694
King Hill122930282.46-1.80-0.730.18-1608-628231
Dean McAdams7435140.69-2.28-1.540.22-1610-1093137
Kent Nix92718321.98-2.04-1.04-0.20-1616-813-119
Blaine Gabbert110441443.75-1.78-0.40-0.46-1649-303-368
Randy Johnson194148392.49-1.51-0.510.38-1657-273999
David Carr263599543.78-1.080.130.37-16597241239
Joey Harrington2603106344.09-0.780.440.67-166511011647
Ronnie Cahill375-632-1.68-4.69-3.94-2.17-1758-1477-814
Mike Phipps278072412.60-1.23-0.270.55-1763661817
Rick Norton521-121-0.23-4.14-3.16-1.98-1813-1380-859
Mark Sanchez2285101284.43-0.990.360.44-18428671041
Ryan Leaf69913251.89-2.84-1.65-1.44-1855-1079-939
Dennis Shaw151736302.39-1.45-0.490.29-1883-585496
Kim McQuilken414-756-1.83-5.47-4.56-3.54-1898-1578-1219
Kyle Boller169257913.42-1.52-0.29-0.02-1918-272109
Mike Taliaferro129826402.03-2.01-1.00-0.06-1925-845185
Rick Mirer226781633.60-1.140.040.26-1962237666
Dan Pastorini4340126132.91-0.910.050.86-196310563877
Frank Tripucka225967582.99-1.24-0.180.68-2002-521648
Joe Lillard8632300.27-2.55-1.85-0.74-2097-1509-595
Hugh McCullough702-259-0.37-3.37-2.62-1.41-2151-1686-930
Johnny Gildea634-808-1.27-3.89-3.23-1.87-2279-1901-1104
Ralph Guglielmi125423321.86-2.47-1.39-0.47-2418-1335-381
Gary Huff118914711.24-2.43-1.51-0.51-2509-1559-493
  • joe namathManning is still rated the highest, but his lead is not nearly what it once was. By value over average, which is a measure of career dominance, he isn’t too far ahead of Graham. By replacement value, he is neck and neck with Tarkenton and not substantially ahead of Unitas, Graham, or Baugh.
  • Drew Brees has arguably been the best quarterback in the NFL since 2006, but he didn’t put up nearly enough value prior to that to catch Tom Brady in this metric. The two are still close, as they usually are in stat-based comparisons, but Brady comes out ahead.
  • Steve Young rates as a more dominant player than Joe Montana, but Montana had over a thousand more plays and, consequently, produced more value over replacement. Keep in mind, this does not include the playoffs, where Montana was the far superior of the two San Francisco legends.
  • As usual, Ken Anderson finds himself in elite company, with Hall of Fame quarterbacks occupying the eleven spots above him and the next eight spots below him.
  • Roger Staubach is the greatest Cowboys quarterback. I don’t think this is up for debate. Honestly, it’s so obvious that I feel kind of stupid even typing it.
  • Joe Namath gets a bum rap from fans used to seeing video game numbers today, but he ranks as the 24th greatest quarterback, statistically, by this method. His interceptions are overrated.4

I’m short on time today, so I’ll leave further commentary to you.

 

  1. As always, cascaded means that we give 100% credit to a quarterback’s best season, 96% to his second best, 92% to his third best, and so on. Yes, this is arbitrary. However, the results are pretty intuitive, and none of this is really all that important in the grand scheme of things.
  2. Like me. Hello.
  3. Like before, the two thresholds I use are 75% of average and one full standard deviation below average.
  4. Interceptions were not as costly then as they are now. Today, an interception is expensive because it gives the ball to an opposing offense in the most offense-friendly era in history. Namath played in one of the least friendly environments in history for offenses, so it wasn’t quite as big of a deal. Sure, it was bad to throw a pick, but it wasn’t as bad as it is now. Also, Namath was not Montana or Brady; he did not nickel and dime his way down the field. He ate large chunks at a time and terrified defenses with his deep ball. When he threw those interceptions, he threw them much further downfield than most of the interceptions we see today are thrown. Finally, and this relates to the first point, it is a mistake to assume that what wins football games today is the same as what won football games four decades ago. Ball control and risk management are fairly modern constructs. Teams in Namath’s day won with explosive plays. And Namath was as explosive as they come. He led his league in yard per completion three times. He also finished second, fourth, fifth twice, and sixth. His 14.7 yards per completion for his career ranks eleventh all time. Now, it you still hold his interceptions against him, consider that for his career his interception rate was only ~0.20 standard deviations worse than average. At the same time, his sack rate was about 1.13 better than average. I’d call it a wash. For an even more nuanced articulation of Namath’s career, check out Chase Stuart’s piece on the legendary Jet.