Regular Season QBGOAT XIV: Cascaded Soft Inflation Adjustment

peyton manningThis 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 his third best season, and so forth.

The soft inflation adjustment is pretty simple too. First, I find the average number of quarterback plays per game for each season since 1932. Then I find the average of the aggregate of all seasons (34.7). Next comes the hard inflation adjustment, which is simply 34.7 divided by a given season’s average. To convert from hard to soft, I just take the average of the hard number and one. It’s that simple.1

Cascaded Soft Adjusted Career Stats

The following table shows the career cascaded soft inflation-adjusted stats for every qualifying quarterback since 1932. It is initially sorted by value over average (VAL), but you can search and sort to your heart’s delight. Read it thus: Peyton Manning had 9614 plays for 65181 Total Adjusted Yards at 6.78 TAY/P. For his career, he was 1.71 TAY/P better than average. He was also 2.98 better than 75% of average and 3.13 better than one standard deviation below average.2 Overall, Manning produced 12253 Total Adjusted Yards over average. He also produced 19658 and 20612 Total Adjusted Yards above replacement.

PlayerplytayTAY/PVal/P75Rep/PSDRep/PVal75RepSDRep
Peyton Manning9614651816.781.712.983.13122531965820612
Otto Graham4254284756.692.573.604.8092101268316657
Dan Marino8655523486.051.412.572.8890431541317255
Tom Brady8251531156.441.252.542.6486761597116569
Steve Young5039330506.561.893.063.3583831271913776
Drew Brees8350536696.431.202.512.6183701585616472
Fran Tarkenton9123465195.101.102.102.9582161352218264
Joe Montana6329394596.231.662.803.1481421336414960
Johnny Unitas7544401585.321.102.153.0076841281317119
Sammy Baugh5428251854.641.532.313.7776331049616233
Ken Anderson6119325375.321.312.313.0072461156114766
Sid Luckman3123168295.392.393.144.787246911813388
Dan Fouts6671358275.371.152.202.7468861187514256
Norm Van Brocklin4372252455.771.902.873.946846998813567
Brett Favre10825588065.430.601.812.0565711374115140
Aaron Rodgers4506317597.051.632.983.0365581158811819
Sonny Jurgensen5669312595.511.312.363.1963261065614100
Roger Staubach4316234405.431.672.613.466244949812458
Y.A. Tittle6632335335.060.831.892.8659451040814521
Len Dawson5040268945.341.182.223.065477910812053
Philip Rivers5632354566.290.942.282.3449991075611101
John Brodie5997299364.990.811.852.684944915912528
Tony Romo4556295576.491.172.502.59464295419905
Kurt Warner4315257505.971.052.282.52442986799514
Joe Namath4732228744.830.911.892.884389788211526
Daryle Lamonica3353176385.261.352.333.31438371339983
Cecil Isbell2050108225.282.273.024.37436857698333
Ben Roethlisberger5925364116.150.862.182.2743611004910405
John Hadl6231288164.620.611.612.534359854812528
John Elway8283428325.170.531.692.0043011049612114
Bert Jones3497177925.091.132.122.87402168629181
Jim Hart6370280884.410.471.452.223991793311505
Donovan McNabb6129342155.580.641.872.103864932010369
Bart Starr4588234995.120.861.932.76380670859661
Trent Green4068234915.780.952.162.39378477908576
Jeff Garcia4138241445.830.992.202.42377378648572
Roman Gabriel6274281244.480.491.492.353625786311653
Boomer Esiason5811299825.160.521.681.99362483479667
Jim Kelly5265284325.400.741.912.22350381019392
Bobby Layne6184265664.300.471.432.513490748912227
Warren Moon7593382355.040.391.551.853426932010856
Charlie Conerly4498193544.300.531.472.62330862589961
Rich Gannon4830258035.340.611.792.04325775448429
Steve McNair5229284215.440.641.842.07314978518742
Carson Palmer5690329855.800.551.861.97310786779160
Bob Griese4722212294.500.711.662.60304261249394
Troy Aikman5106268675.260.551.731.99300873968403
Earl Morrall3806180974.750.591.632.47297953077447
Terry Bradshaw5458244994.490.521.512.21296367929484
Craig Morton5067221744.380.421.412.15289160398532
Jim Everett5287274335.190.501.671.97287976518848
Dutch Clark166875004.501.812.483.73285538525729
Bob Waterfield2567108564.231.061.853.35283445077811
Joe Theismann4623221014.780.531.592.07270465688296
Mark Brunell5287279665.290.511.711.93268973978292
Steve Grogan4631216484.670.511.552.12266759988085
Billy Kilmer4183185714.440.551.522.39262955128228
Ken Stabler4762202624.260.241.251.92262758218380
Johnny Lujack123267725.502.132.974.30255935455110
Vinny Testaverde7280345154.740.011.191.46249272248284
Matt Ryan4724284376.020.561.931.95247778127910
Matt Schaub3450204715.930.641.972.12242461996685
Milt Plum3503161444.610.261.352.21240253037669
Randall Cunningham5396267984.970.291.461.76239070448322
Daunte Culpepper3846205645.350.501.711.93238662416950
Greg Landry3586152164.240.391.352.13227148447044
Mark Rypien2767149695.410.731.902.20226249395650
Cliff Battles163868244.171.392.093.24208931084818
Russell Wilson2141142326.651.032.432.28207448664554
Matt Hasselbeck5787300555.190.121.391.57204269117716
Bernie Kosar3744189235.050.431.591.93202053946460
Tommy Thompson2650103403.900.721.513.05200837737215
Arnie Herber226185013.760.981.682.98196632195606
Chad Pennington2709150195.540.641.862.11193147345308
Frank Ryan3155153774.870.581.652.51186546166844
Doug Williams3080156015.070.661.762.16177847035769
Frankie Albert2626134055.100.671.783.01176042837050
Tom Flores2073109595.290.711.852.48173237424852
Jim McMahon3269166245.090.521.662.02171245385459
Eli Manning6440351985.470.181.501.59169880288432
Billy Wade3842180504.700.351.442.28168549777551
Charley Johnson4612202504.390.281.312.15168051938160
Brian Sipe4239192314.540.381.421.98165952397176
Brad Johnson4636233925.050.251.451.67165958176620
Ed Danowski198070763.570.801.492.72163728345025
Norm Snead5834240084.12-0.021.011.84162255968859
Michael Vick4194225265.370.261.541.69159957136265
Phil Simms5373255324.750.221.351.70157959197278
Cam Newton2979181316.090.521.911.81151452615001
Joe Ferguson5751233054.05-0.080.961.56150351847657
Neil Lomax3862189464.910.401.521.92149451556450
Bob Monnett130852173.991.211.903.10148723083734
Bernie Masterson91942424.621.692.423.53146720612973
Don Meredith3304152094.600.311.382.22143143326607
Marc Bulger3415179465.250.321.561.81137948915631
Bill Nelsen2558112494.400.331.352.15131933725074
George Ratterman2094107595.140.601.742.91131133195495
Doug Flutie2479129605.230.471.661.91129037364265
Ray Mallouf52129545.682.463.264.76123316362387
Steve DeBerg5659253804.490.011.131.51123255296964
Dave Krieg6128278864.55-0.061.091.41121452646582
Tobin Rote5019192323.83-0.070.901.86120648088417
Danny White3399164064.830.341.461.85120044045515
Wade Wilson2822131324.650.031.181.52119134764185
Ron Jaworski5084224764.420.161.231.71119051957002
George Blanda4581201674.400.041.131.88116247257435
Bobby Thomason208385024.080.451.362.45116027784760
Jeff Hostetler2758139665.060.371.541.80112338664471
Neil O'Donnell3558176534.960.261.441.70110743555099
Jim Zorn4097176804.320.201.231.79110144626406
Frank Filchock197064843.290.331.072.48109923274739
Elvis Grbac2599132255.090.341.531.74106237144201
Jeff George4326207044.790.071.251.51105049705817
Bobby Hebert3407164994.840.211.361.70103841965137
Bill Kenney2849137224.820.331.451.85102737084682
Chris Chandler4560209244.59-0.141.041.3099145965389
Ace Parker198874403.740.471.292.4795823724409
Tony Canadeo91336203.961.021.763.5395716043157
Ed Brown3073130484.250.021.071.9593634285553
Pat Haden172574844.340.401.382.0292124253467
Bill Munson2757110704.010.021.021.8988727484517
Tommy Kramer4346195174.490.071.181.5686346185964
David Garrard2729146285.360.281.551.8184837994428
Jake Delhomme3155159925.070.101.351.6283740124736
Tuffy Leemans70729784.211.262.003.6682713222440
Babe Parilli4546190684.19-0.150.941.7379942116767
Steve Beuerlein3721175934.730.001.191.4476340644808
Matthew Stafford3829217445.680.151.531.4875453845213
Jay Cutler4725255995.420.061.401.4771456715981
Jim Harbaugh4668218374.68-0.021.151.4371045685523
Virgil Carter115152264.540.591.582.3270417492538
James Harris164962233.770.081.001.9668419453313
Andy Dalton2698156605.810.241.631.5467640473816
Jeff Blake3719180794.860.091.291.5066842334878
Jacky Lee105649914.730.271.382.0562815142063
Glenn Presnell150344522.960.300.972.2560015323292
Ken O'Brien4049188144.650.051.201.5555643375529
Andrew Luck2266131725.810.231.621.5055135113252
Bob Berry180272594.030.101.081.8653319973226
Jake Plummer4843227814.70-0.091.111.3553250665975
Gary Danielson2498112924.520.221.301.7451427303632
Vince Ferragamo191282734.33-0.101.011.4051223352980
Erik Kramer2476116894.720.011.191.4650029233465
Steve Bartkowski4337181704.19-0.041.021.5448840955781
Tony Eason182184384.630.131.261.6248023152913
Butch Songin82442125.110.551.692.2846613781846
Kirk Cousins95558566.130.441.861.6446017661554
Jay Schroeder3188148194.650.031.191.5344834234341
Spec Sanders126667735.350.311.572.7844719643433
Scott Mitchell2546119274.68-0.051.141.3541629853462
Brian Griese3086147734.79-0.041.171.3840633893942
Colin Kaepernick166996645.790.181.581.4336825172291
Stan Humphries2700129534.800.091.271.5135331223700
Nick Foles130075325.800.181.591.4434120321854
Paul Christman192260833.170.130.892.5032816094398
Gus Frerotte3352155574.64-0.181.031.2631532453869
Aaron Brooks3415166174.870.041.251.4731038754533
Don Strock94539734.21-0.021.041.573089891374
Drew Bledsoe7235335654.64-0.131.061.2928963337507
Bill Dudley97229913.080.260.962.772769272624
George Grosvenor88326923.050.310.992.212748441879
Mike Tomczak2572115714.50-0.180.991.3027424283030
Cotton Davidson207795204.58-0.021.131.7327423303389
Steve Pelluer116655324.740.161.301.7126214851940
Charlie Batch183987674.77-0.051.151.3625619932335
Byron Leftwich176987684.960.031.271.5325221722604
Steve Bono182884314.61-0.101.081.3322419112310
Jay Fiedler195594144.810.021.221.4222322792610
Robert Griffin130774135.670.131.511.4422019561865
Mike Livingston243784263.46-0.250.681.6119118993778
Jim Plunkett5150199263.87-0.180.831.5218138196469
Chris Miller3191148094.64-0.071.111.3917132674043
Paul Governali89428853.230.120.892.451688332182
Charlie O'Rourke75534424.560.101.222.601289051913
Rob Johnson103148904.74-0.011.181.3710911701347
Kyle Orton2858146895.14-0.121.201.379532813715
Don Trull91438384.20-0.080.991.88909651679
Craig Erickson120156124.67-0.031.141.366313491596
Kordell Stewart2940133204.53-0.230.961.193527603295
Jeff Kemp106845284.24-0.290.851.243210201385
Johnny Clement129846953.62-0.100.832.251010932795
George Shaw132252463.97-0.230.821.68311232106
Kerry Collins6663300484.51-0.350.871.10-852046229
John Friesz144464414.46-0.220.951.24-3013161688
Lynn Dickey3903157424.03-0.220.841.37-4331434662
Shaun Hill129166095.12-0.171.151.33-6114011627
Jake Locker80343085.36-0.171.221.16-82934897
Pat Ryan75729393.88-0.630.500.89-90591847
Ty Detmer103146164.48-0.260.931.17-1219881219
Brian Hoyer104857265.47-0.181.231.04-13912551065
Rudy Bukich167257223.42-0.810.251.15-14610522140
Jack Kemp4025169354.21-0.210.891.66-15233925737
Archie Manning5090187213.68-0.290.701.39-15735626193
Steve Spurrier151052313.46-0.280.651.60-16210352318
Tim Rattay79434954.40-0.450.761.03-163621814
Jim Finks211072423.43-0.180.731.89-17215193759
Vince Evans172167293.91-0.610.520.87-19110881499
Bob Lee96628382.94-0.780.151.09-2235121256
Damon Huard104846354.42-0.470.750.99-2268401059
Joe Flacco4330229115.29-0.151.211.26-22746314815
Scott Hunter110437823.43-0.300.631.51-2326701542
Eddie LeBaron2832105313.72-0.400.631.57-23419703988
Frank Reich104741083.92-0.790.380.64-240652863
Steve Tensi115340203.49-0.350.611.80-2427471986
Gary Hogeboom150164344.29-0.290.861.20-25211401580
Jason Campbell2794140665.03-0.171.131.33-25428323350
Roy Zimmerman151036972.45-0.550.201.89-2656622880
Joe Geri98929733.01-0.360.481.80-2914951741
Seneca Wallace87640314.60-0.540.750.98-296669855
Irv Comp140231822.27-0.620.101.88-3235842846
Jim Miller108447304.36-0.410.780.95-342819985
Rodney Peete2762116194.21-0.510.670.91-34218482347
Shaun King86736714.23-0.520.670.88-346618789
Marty Domres124939093.13-0.620.321.28-3465841587
Shane Matthews87136684.21-0.550.640.84-351554709
Todd Collins81329983.69-1.110.090.34-356279435
Teddy Bridgewater94650305.32-0.391.040.79-359959729
Richard Todd3811149373.92-0.350.721.21-37328994426
Bubby Brister2523103864.12-0.580.600.89-37818172427
Pete Liske107936763.41-0.470.501.32-3785761391
Harry Newman111824892.23-0.380.271.60-4102931731
Parker Hall172645942.66-0.370.391.73-4107832884
Steve Ramsey130442373.25-0.460.471.43-4156261755
Johnny Green77330413.93-0.640.511.18-416395887
Derek Anderson164473494.47-0.680.610.82-41812211507
Vince Young160375284.70-0.380.891.11-41913701688
Glenn Dobbs161677224.78-0.300.972.19-43015063369
Gary Cuozzo165356683.43-0.570.431.25-4667881865
Alex Smith4113209175.09-0.291.061.08-47140234025
Tarvaris Jackson127257954.56-0.650.650.81-4818301010
Al Woodall76623413.06-0.780.181.02-482206813
Cody Carlson77228703.72-0.940.230.54-510259476
Pete Beathard174459143.39-0.550.441.50-5338662445
Tommy Maddox131054104.13-0.680.520.75-5428461101
Matt Moore85136634.30-1.010.310.46-550379487
Josh Freeman2228111365.00-0.400.951.06-55521382367
Jim Hardy140637522.67-0.700.151.54-5764202106
Don Majkowski228296104.21-0.500.680.98-57616592242
Trent Edwards103445764.42-0.690.590.85-589634896
David Woodley173069344.01-0.460.651.02-60111181686
Patrick Ramsey100040324.03-0.820.400.63-615399620
Frankie Sinkwich113829872.63-0.740.101.78-6172602097
Jim Ninowski151053273.53-0.880.221.05-6205791473
Kent Graham148760914.10-0.620.560.82-6468081142
Lamar McHan242982543.40-0.680.341.25-66912272948
Kelly Holcomb97037283.84-1.020.200.44-672294485
Harry Gilmer90122562.50-1.05-0.161.01-677-9897
Derek Carr119260735.10-0.610.820.57-686971685
Steve Walsh139655313.96-0.780.410.66-6887291051
A.J. Feeley81130313.74-1.180.050.28-691126273
Kevin Kolb85137004.35-1.020.320.46-697312416
Joe Reed79319272.43-1.28-0.350.64-701-69623
Mike Pagel190774853.93-0.590.540.91-7099701577
David Archer85529013.39-1.080.040.40-724103377
Matt Cassel2871135434.72-0.620.720.85-72921902553
Quincy Carter114246924.11-0.730.480.69-734532759
Marc Wilson238894003.94-0.600.530.89-74012962000
Steve Dils109838113.47-1.040.090.52-746179593
Chris Simms57419403.38-1.51-0.29-0.02-752-9752
Terry Hanratty59211701.98-1.95-0.97-0.17-753-29597
Brandon Weeden101547644.70-0.850.540.46-753535469
Ray Evans3484951.42-2.17-1.270.22-756-44477
Cotton Price5148501.66-1.64-0.820.66-757-370342
Colt McCoy97543224.43-1.010.350.42-760338403
Chuck Ortmann3152500.79-2.53-1.70-0.55-762-512-164
Ted Marchibroda65817082.60-1.31-0.330.49-770-171352
Ryan Fitzpatrick3839193525.04-0.390.971.00-77634313472
Steve Fuller148854073.63-0.750.350.71-7785521005
Matt Robinson68016432.42-1.56-0.570.00-789-196163
Danny Wuerffel41810442.50-2.23-1.05-0.81-790-355-267
Hugh Millen109639733.62-1.030.130.48-795233565
John Reaves84620792.46-1.35-0.400.40-798-187412
Doug Pederson59215712.65-2.10-0.91-0.68-804-333-241
Chris Cagle4984910.99-1.68-1.020.25-805-478137
Pat Sullivan3132430.78-2.91-1.99-0.97-811-548-254
Ryan Lindley2756332.30-3.24-1.85-1.92-812-461-478
Boley Dancewicz4576081.33-1.88-1.080.42-819-464209
Sam Vacanti52117583.37-1.75-0.470.72-823-180418
Tommy Wade109-408-3.72-7.92-6.87-5.95-824-715-618
Brady Quinn60322433.72-1.58-0.25-0.07-824-109-7
Harry Hopp223-161-0.72-3.71-2.96-1.10-825-659-245
Bud Schwenk120438633.21-0.770.231.77-8272322000
Bob Davis71812331.72-1.94-1.030.13-832-286498
George Herring2603271.26-3.23-2.11-1.44-840-548-376
Art Schlichter2763731.35-3.11-1.99-1.64-840-556-464
Billy Patterson4153670.88-2.15-1.39-0.17-847-545-60
Jerry Golsteyn2791440.52-3.49-2.49-1.82-850-607-442
Gary Marangi4366131.41-2.21-1.30-0.27-857-497-84
Jack Jacobs98619611.99-1.29-0.471.10-863-1441257
Dick Wood140254643.90-0.770.390.97-8686021332
Bill Troup4205811.38-2.36-1.42-0.74-871-532-276
Bobby Hoying53614462.70-2.02-0.84-0.56-873-306-172
Mark Malone185770853.82-0.700.430.82-8778391462
Frank Patrick218-330-1.52-4.74-3.93-2.97-885-735-552
Dick Shiner106529912.81-1.29-0.260.53-888-87644
Browning Nagle48811432.34-2.23-1.08-0.72-890-437-293
Donald Hollas47011792.51-2.17-1.00-0.68-902-417-280
Chad Hutchinson47712982.72-2.06-0.87-0.66-906-382-291
Mickey Slaughter75024363.25-1.43-0.260.27-920-109264
Bobby Douglass217365343.01-0.770.171.06-9237162323
David Whitehurst125339193.13-0.890.120.67-925186835
Randy Hedberg140-431-3.09-6.64-5.75-4.78-927-803-667
Josh McCown220596254.37-0.860.440.51-92912191331
Whizzer White100220602.06-1.00-0.240.93-934-213892
Steve Romanik65311471.76-1.69-0.830.41-943-447281
Eric Hipple188172243.84-0.640.480.87-9458281473
Adrian Burk157943792.77-0.800.091.20-9472711788
Bruce Gradkowski81527753.40-1.66-0.39-0.16-955-1570
Paul McDonald98732903.33-1.14-0.020.35-956-2345
Chris Weinke77125493.31-1.50-0.30-0.14-959-188-78
Ken Dorsey43010192.37-2.53-1.31-0.99-960-485-363
Jon Kitna4856211934.36-0.500.710.93-96132494051
Cliff Stoudt89628973.23-1.27-0.140.29-962-138209
Rex Grossman166070244.23-0.860.410.60-968723994
Billy Joe Tolliver186773733.95-0.780.400.67-9698081222
Ryan Tannehill2418124735.16-0.460.950.80-98621591813
Rusty Hilger53912832.38-2.24-1.09-0.65-986-469-276
Mike McMahon62618793.00-1.83-0.62-0.42-987-328-216
Bill Mackrides5537031.27-2.18-1.320.02-992-58260
Blake Bortles119857894.83-0.880.550.30-999672378
Stan Heath167-433-2.59-6.00-5.14-3.63-1004-862-608
Scott Bull307360.12-3.56-2.64-1.84-1005-742-508
Joe Pisarcik115831232.70-1.24-0.250.38-1010-134484
Dave Wilson114837333.25-1.22-0.100.28-101818389
Don Jackson150-629-4.19-6.85-6.18-4.89-1030-930-735
David Klingler84826703.15-1.52-0.35-0.11-1040-220-30
Dave Ryan5172690.52-2.18-1.500.26-1044-727139
Todd Blackledge100431903.18-1.33-0.200.16-1051-118206
Heath Shuler67220082.99-1.78-0.59-0.39-1052-319-199
John Roach53910241.90-2.44-1.36-0.43-1060-559-84
Charlie Frye79826583.33-1.58-0.35-0.11-1069-236-55
George Terlep259560.21-4.52-3.34-2.03-1071-792-483
J.P. Losman112541393.68-1.24-0.010.23-1071127366
Bob Hoernschemeyer118747524.00-0.980.271.50-10743311727
Geno Smith98143254.41-1.190.210.05-107620055
Stan Gelbaugh4576791.49-3.09-1.95-1.56-1087-682-546
John McCormick62716652.66-1.98-0.82-0.16-1095-442-71
Jack Concannon170150922.99-1.03-0.030.77-10951381247
Jack Thompson98731223.16-1.26-0.160.25-1097-109272
Jack Scarbath4605161.12-2.52-1.61-0.44-1097-699-189
Al Dorow179764663.60-0.750.331.03-10986331784
Jeff Komlo5339561.79-2.40-1.35-0.93-1109-628-437
John Skelton65023163.57-1.85-0.50-0.41-1123-288-231
Anthony Wright71120822.93-1.93-0.72-0.48-1123-399-248
Karl Sweetan81520052.46-1.66-0.630.28-1126-395281
Andrew Walter3896151.58-3.30-2.08-1.84-1168-737-651
Ed Matesic8689051.04-1.50-0.860.56-1201-678499
Chad Henne209097154.65-0.750.600.70-120211471356
George Izo4162460.59-3.74-2.66-1.81-1205-836-548
Zeke Bratkowski211462732.97-1.33-0.250.60-12102021421
Fred Enke123927952.26-1.25-0.371.03-1211-3051275
Christian Ponder119252034.36-1.120.250.24-1217304297
Jimmy Clausen51915062.90-2.56-1.19-1.12-1218-565-533
Bob Avellini153640962.67-1.07-0.140.70-1228-431167
Akili Smith56012482.23-2.51-1.32-1.12-1232-650-549
Randy Wright123441333.35-1.18-0.050.36-127910489
Joe Kapp137140792.98-1.11-0.090.69-1311-12970
Craig Whelihan59514522.44-2.27-1.10-0.81-1312-631-468
Tim Couch190775623.97-0.820.380.57-13177001015
Sam Etcheverry4306341.48-3.15-2.00-1.30-1318-835-539
Don Panciera3803700.97-3.58-2.44-1.17-1318-899-429
Sam Bradford2398116184.85-0.650.720.72-132416441640
Scott Brunner142143273.05-1.44-0.320.09-1346116647
Tony Banks2690107594.00-0.750.440.68-135511471689
JaMarcus Russell76024243.19-1.94-0.66-0.37-1357-424-212
Dave Brown190770293.69-1.070.120.32-1368405712
Danny Kanell101331263.09-1.65-0.47-0.21-1389-347-107
Kelly Stouffer5057441.47-3.15-2.00-1.61-1409-881-702
Dean McAdams6554530.69-2.28-1.540.22-1412-957128
Davey O'Brien111618721.68-1.35-0.590.56-1450-629626
Jack Trudeau180760843.37-1.26-0.100.23-1495153622
King Hill116928802.46-1.80-0.730.18-1501-566253
Ronnie Cahill324-546-1.68-4.69-3.94-2.17-1520-1277-704
Kent Nix88317461.98-2.04-1.04-0.20-1530-764-100
Joe Lillard6311680.27-2.55-1.85-0.74-1532-1103-434
Dan Darragh414-112-0.27-4.08-3.13-1.99-1559-1196-763
Randy Johnson185746312.49-1.51-0.510.38-1608-288924
Trent Dilfer3513134923.84-0.940.260.48-162313201939
Mike Phipps262168272.60-1.23-0.270.55-1672561695
David Carr2737103403.78-1.080.130.37-17297451279
Joey Harrington2704110454.09-0.780.440.67-173211401706
Dennis Shaw141233782.39-1.45-0.490.29-1750-541464
Johnny Gildea490-625-1.27-3.89-3.23-1.87-1750-1456-844
Blaine Gabbert118844623.75-1.78-0.40-0.46-1770-320-391
Rick Norton513-119-0.23-4.14-3.16-1.98-1788-1362-849
Kim McQuilken391-713-1.83-5.47-4.56-3.54-1792-1491-1152
Mike Taliaferro126525722.03-2.01-1.00-0.06-1868-815188
Dan Pastorini4102119212.91-0.910.050.86-18739863643
Hugh McCullough634-234-0.37-3.37-2.62-1.41-1941-1521-839
Frank Tripucka219865772.99-1.24-0.180.68-1942-371603
Ryan Leaf73914001.89-2.84-1.65-1.44-1960-1140-992
Mark Sanchez2438108044.43-0.990.360.44-19639271108
Kyle Boller175560063.42-1.52-0.29-0.02-1997-288106
Rick Mirer237585553.60-1.140.040.26-2057249698
Ralph Guglielmi114921361.86-2.47-1.39-0.47-2227-1233-358
Gary Huff111713821.24-2.43-1.51-0.51-2354-1462-460

First off, let’s talk about the effect of cascading players’ seasonal values and what that actually implies from a practical standpoint. The point is to reward players with higher peaks and penalize players who accumulated a great deal of value by virtue of simply playing for a long time (players you might call compilers). Comparing today’s results with the results from the regular soft inflation adjustment, we can see how cascading value actually changes quarterback rankings.

tom bradyThe modern trio of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees have had extended peaks that have been greater in both duration and amplitude than we are used to seeing. Generally, quarterbacks cement their legacies based on a few great years surrounded by a few more good years. Our 21st Century Quarterback Trinity sort of skewed public perception on what it means to play like a Hall of Famer.3 Because they have had such tremendous success, and sustained that success over a large number of plays, their rankings don’t change much when we cascade their values. Manning remains on top of every list, while Brady and Brees only drop one spot apiece in both “VAL” and “75REP.”

Otto Graham and Dan Marino switch places, with the Browns legend leapfrogging the Dolphin after cascading adjustments are made. This is because, despite having arguably the greatest season in quarterback history (1984), Marino rarely produced anywhere close to that elite level. For the most part, he was just very good for a very long time. Graham, on the other hand, was so far ahead of his peers that calling them peers almost seems like an insult to Otto.

Joe Montana, another regular season stat monster/noted champion, actually drops a few spots on the list. The reason for this is that, aside from two ultra efficient seasons, he didn’t produce at a historically high level. However, he is one of the few quarterbacks in history to have at least a decade worth of above average play (as measured by TAY/P). Further, he is the only quarterback with thirteen above average seasons and zero below average ones.4

Montana’s monkey-ridden successor, Steve Young, actually gains ground here. His case is simple: outside of Tampa Bay, his career was basically nothing but peak years. Cascading his values mitigates the impact of his poor seasons with the Bucs, as well as his forgettable final bout. What’s left is a chunk of seasons comparable to anything Graham, Peyton, or Aaron Rodgers ever gave us. His significant decline in the postseason separates him from his predecessor in the quarterback pantheon of the public consciousness, but when it came to doing the thing to actually get his team to the playoffs, he got the job done.

Brett Favre gets more than his share of grief from the analytics community and stats aficionados. Thus, you’d think that focusing on peak rather than longevity would bring him down significantly. In fact, the opposite is true. He ranked eighteenth in career soft inflated value, but he ranks fifteenth in value in the table above. Favre only had five below average seasons, which sounds like a lot until you realize he offset that with fourteen positive campaigns. The effect of his bad seasons is muffled, while his prime seasons stand out. That’s by value over average, a measure of career dominance. If we use the replacement level rankings, which are more a measure of total actual value added during a career, his fifth place ranking doesn’t change. Stats guys, calm down. Favre was great.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this superfluous series on regular season quarterback statistical dominance. Thanks for following along.

  1. Here are two examples: the average for 1932 was 16.1, so the hard inflation adjustment is 34.7/16.1, or 2.151. For 2015, there were 40.8 quarterback player per game, so the hard inflation adjustment is 34.7/40.8, or 0.851. That means the soft inflation adjustment for 1932 is 1.567 ((2.151 + 1)/2 ), and the adjustment for 2015 is 0.925 ((0.851 +1)/2).
  2. For the uninitiated, those are the two measures of replacement-level play that I have been using throughout this series.
  3. No, none is the first to have this type of career, but the fact that three men did it concurrently is unprecedented at the position.
  4. Otto Graham and Norm Van Brocklin are the only other quarterbacks with ten positive seasons and no negative seasons.