Category Archives: Quarterbacks

Statistically Speaking: Bob Waterfield

This is the second installment of the Statistically Speaking series, in which we look at the statistical profile of the NFL’s legendary quarterbacks. The first player covered was Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, the game’s first real superstar passer. Today’s player, Bob Waterfield, was much like Baugh in many respects. Like Baugh, Waterfield was a star passer with box office appeal. Also like Baugh, Waterfield was a gifted kicker and punter, and a respected defender. To top it off, Waterfield, like Baugh, joined a team with limited…

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Statistically Speaking: Sammy Baugh

This is the first in a series I am calling “Statistically Speaking,” in which I will discuss several legendary quarterbacks and what the numbers say about their careers. The plan is to focus on the Hall of Fame players first, and then move on to other players of note if time permits. In an era when most who write about players and numbers do so to predict the future or help subscribers win fantasy football leagues, a series on long-retired and culturally irrelevant players probably…

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New TAYP Quick Update

If you’re familiar with my work, you know I created the metric New TAY/P to measure quarterback play, using only inputs widely available on sites like Pro Football Reference, NFL.com, ESPN, Sporting Charts, etc.1 I wouldn’t put it on par with other advanced stats, such as Total QBR, DVOA, or EPA/P, which are the cream of the quarterback efficiency stat crop. However, it does have the advantage of being completely transparent and easy to calculate on a napkin, in case you’re the sort who likes…

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Positive Yards Per Attempt: Update

If I could only share one thing from my time doing football analytics, it would be the following principle: Positive plays carry more weight than negative plays in determining the winner of a football game. I’ve already written a couple of articles on this subject and hope to further the cause with this update. Overview For those of you who don’t feel like reading the previous two posts, I’ll give you the basic gist. Since passing has a far greater impact on winning than running, I’ve…

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Passing First Downs: Career Rankings

Yesterday I detailed the best and worst QB seasons as measured by first down percentage. Today’s post will reveal how these signal callers stack up over the course of their careers. I chose to exclude any QB who totaled at least 100 dropbacks in any season prior to 1991, because incomplete data can often be worse than no data at all. From there, I’m including QB’s who took a significant numbers of snaps in at least two seasons (a  judgment call). This gives us a…

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Passing First Downs: Best and Worst Seasons

I’m a huge fan of using first downs to measure quarterback performance. Despite ignoring yards, touchdowns, and interceptions, the simple operation of dividing passing 1D by dropbacks does a terrific job of telling us how well a QB has played. Like all statistics, passing 1D% has its flaws, but in my opinion it harbors less distortion than any other simple input passing stat. I place 1D% slightly ahead of NY/A in terms of relevance for making solid evaluations, and miles ahead of everything else. Setting…

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2016 Defense Adjusted Quarterback Stats

With the 2016 regular season in the books, I thought it might be interesting to look at some of our homegrown quarterback stats. Normally, I would present Total Adjusted Yards per Play (TAY/P) and New Total Adjusted Yards per Play (NTAY/P)1 and leave it at that. However, we have made those stats available all year and wouldn’t be giving you anything new by going the traditional route. Instead, I’d like to present those metrics with adjustments to account for the defenses quarterbacks have faced. This way, we…

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Greatest QB of All-Time: Conventional Wisdom

There are countless iterations of the quarterback GOAT ranking scattered all over the internet. As far as I’m aware, every one of these lists has been compiled from the perspective of the person creating it; in other words, it’s just their opinion. In today’s post, I’m going to tackle this from a different angle. Instead of telling you who I believe the greatest quarterbacks of all-time are, I wanted to find a consensus on the beliefs of the entirety of football fandom. Of course this…

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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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