Category Archives: Quarterbacks

Surplus Yards: QB Seasons

Earlier this month, I introduced a new stat called Surplus Yards over at Football Perspective. If you haven’t read that post, please do so before perusing the data I’m presenting today. The intro article looked back at the 2017 season, and this post will cover the 24 years for which I have appropriate data. I calculated and archived every 40+ yard completion since 1994. The chart below shows the league average Surplus % for each of the last 24 seasons: The overall average from 1994-2017…

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Greatest QB of All Time: Consensus (2018)

Last year I attempted to distill the public opinion of quarterback greatness into a mathematical formula, but I left out active players which made the ranking feel incomplete (ok, it was incomplete). In this post I’m going to update the list with a new formula and active QB’s included. I have two main purposes for this exercise: 1) To provide a baseline of the general consensus to measure other ranking systems against, and 2) I love to create rankings and look for any excuse to…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Quarterbacks

The aim of the GridFe Hall of Fame is to recognize the greatest and most important names in NFL history. When it comes to identifying greatness, some positions stand out more than others. The quarterback is the most important player in football and, arguably, the most important single position in major team sports. The value of the position is such that they are the only ones on the field who are assigned wins for their efforts. It should be no surprise, then, that of the…

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Greatest QB of All Time: 10,000 Careers

Imagine if every QB throughout history could play his career out 10,000 times. Each signal caller would be subjected to the full spectrum of circumstances, ranging from the good fortune of being drafted onto a ready-made dynasty, to the rotten luck of being stuck with a talent starved, mismanaged franchise. In some careers he would manage to play 15+ years without a significant injury, in others he’d spend half of his days on IR or watch his career end suddenly with one unlucky hit. The…

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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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