Defending the Indefensible

| May 9, 2011

In my list of my top 101 players of the 2010 season, the inevitable happened. One pick stood out from the rest, provoking a fury from some fans in Boston.
 
Tom Brady at number 33.
 
The league MVP. The man who led his team to the best record in football. The quarterback who threw only four interceptions to go with his 36 regular season touchdowns and 3900 yards.
 
No. 33?  Really?
 
He landed behind guys like right tackle Kareem McKenzie, safety Quintin Mikell, and left guard Carl Nicks and, on the surface, the ranking seemed to some designed to create controversy and possibly even a tad illogical.
 

The List

Firstly, it’s important to say again what the list was. It was based solely on the 2010 season, including the post season, it was one man’s opinion (mine), and it was tackling the unenviable task of cross-ranking players at different positions, something we usually try and steer clear of.
 
Expanding on that, I was looking at what each player did relative to his position. Only a fool would say Kareem McKenzie had more of an impact, or was more valuable than Tom Brady, which is why he appeared nowhere on our MVP ballots, unlike the Patriot passer. So what I did in this list was look at what you’d expect from a player at any position, and how much better that player was than the expected.
 
Call it one man peeling back the weighting of relative value between positions to see who performed most exceptionally.
 
Still, that doesn’t explain why NFL MVP Tom Brady is so low (this list represented just the top five percent of NFL players, so the gap isn’t that big) and why there are five quarterbacks above him. Those five were guys who between them averaged 12 interceptions more this year than the three time Super Bowl winner – each of whom also threw fewer touchdowns. Plus Brady was the victim of more dropped passes than all of them, bar Peyton Manning.
 
I’ll admit when you look simply at the numbers, it’s hard to look past Brady. It would be safe to say he had (not for the first time) one of the greatest statistical seasons you’ll ever see.
 
But, watching all those other players and recognizing how good they were at their jobs, I genuinely believe 32 others did more at their respective positions than Brady. I’ll show here how and why he slotted where did among the top quarterbacks.
 

Avoiding Mistakes

The Patriot QB did most things exceptionally well, just not as well or with the frequency as others.  In one area, however, he was in a league of his own: not making big mistakes. Which brings us onto the subject of grading. As you may (or may not know) we grade each player on each play on a scale from +2.0 to -2.0 in 0.5 increments.
 
I looked back through our grading for the top six QBs from last year (in my opinion). Looking at how many times they graded negatively for a play and comparing that to how many times they dropped back to pass. This was an area that you’d imagine Brady to excel in, giving his general lack of mistakes.
 

Plays Graded -0.5 to -2.0

Player
Drop Backs
-0.5 to -2.0 Plays
% Negative
Drew Brees7479712.99%
Peyton Manning7249713.40%
Tom Brady5728114.16%
Aaron Rodgers69510114.53%
Matt Ryan6509714.92%
Philip Rivers5919516.07%

 

The interesting thing there is that Brees and Manning finished as the top dogs, largely because they dropped back from center more often. Where it becomes really interesting is looking at the more severely negative plays. A -0.5 is a bad play, but to get a -1.0 or worse you really need to do something extremely wrong. This is where Brady sets himself apart, avoiding the big mistakes that can kill a team.
 

Plays Graded -1.0 to -2.0

Player
Drop Backs
-1.0 to -2.0 Plays
% Negative
Tom Brady57281.40%
Philip Rivers591111.86%
Matt Ryan650132.00%
Peyton Manning724192.62%
Drew Brees747233.08%
Aaron Rodgers695223.17%

 

To make only eight really bad decisions or throws is a quite incredible year, and it was a big part of New England’s success. It also explains that while Brees and Manning made a lower percentage of bad throws than Brady, theirs may stick in the mind more as many were were significantly bad and that leaves an impression on observers. Those also often resulted in interceptions, and interceptions are remembered, recorded and recited in debates, but remain just a hand-full of plays over a season.
 
Maybe this is why we here at Pro Football Focus tend to view Tom Brady’s season a little differently.  We’re watching the same games, and we recognize there isn’t a quarterback who (for the most part) made better decisions. His 2010 tape included far fewer bad plays than any of the other challengers, but now we come to the point where we part ways: the grading of positive plays.
 

Beyond Good

Before we have a look at our numbers, I asked our chief analyst to give a run down on how we grade quarterbacks on the positive side. He prefaced it all by saying this was a very simplified version – summing up a 13-page document on grading quarterbacks in a little over 250 words – but here’s what he had for us:
 

0.0 Base Play – Any throw you expect any player to make. Hitting a guy open on a 1 step slant with off coverage is 0 no matter how many yards it makes. It’s a smart decision but a throw that anyone could and should make.

+0.5 Base Play – Making a throw to beat single coverage to pick up a first down. Leading a receiver to allow him to gain YAC for a first down. Making a play with their feet (scrambling or moving in the pocket) to create an easy throw (the throw in itself may not be difficult, but he made it easy with his movement).

+1.0 Base Play – Beating tight coverage or splitting loose double coverage to pick up significant yardage/first down. Good deep throws will mostly (unless it’s wide open) get this grade, leading the receiver past deep coverage etc. Making space with their feet (see above) and making a “good” throw on the run.

+1.5 Base Play – Beating tight double cover, using your legs to beat tight single cover or loose double cover etc. Splitting double cover to lead a receiver deep etc.

(+0.5 bonus for plays made either at a crunch time or that have a pivotal effect on the game, e.g. touchdown to win the game, crucial 3rd down conversion to run out the clock, etc.)

 

With that in mind, here’s the number of throws made by each quarterback that received positive grades:
 

Plays Graded +0.5 to +2.0

Player
Drop Backs
+0.5 to +2.0 Plays
% Positive
Aaron Rodgers69523133.24%
Philip Rivers59118631.47%
Matt Ryan65020030.77%
Peyton Manning72420928.87%
Drew Brees74720126.91%
Tom Brady57215226.57%

 

This is a large part of why I had Aaron Rodgers at No. 1 (these numbers do include post season play).  Every time you watch him, he’s doing more than making sound decisions, he’s making tremendous play after tremendous play. It’s not that Brady (who isn’t that far off from Brees) isn’t capable of making these plays, or isn’t even making them, he’s just not being asked to do it as regularly as Aaron Rodgers and others were.
 
Consider it a compliment to the New England system that it doesn’t put Brady in a situation where he has to constantly make breathtaking throws. A testament to their ability to create mismatches which has Messrs. Welker, Branch, Woodhead and other running free.
 
In any case, it doesn’t get any better when we start looking at the truly exceptional (+1.0 and beyond) throws made by quarterbacks.
 

Plays Graded +1.0 to +2.0

Player
Drop Backs
+1.0 to +2.0 Plays
% Positive
Aaron Rodgers695578.20%
Philip Rivers591366.09%
Drew Brees747445.89%
Matt Ryan650355.38%
Peyton Manning724375.11%
Tom Brady572213.67%

 

Here, Brady is a long way off the other guys, and it’s a big reason why we just liked the others that bit more. It may not be perfect, but it’s an objective set of rules applied to every NFL player and it’s something we, as a team, trust in. It’s why with a straight face I can say Tom Brady was the 33rd best player in the NFL in 2010 in my opinion (although the gap between 1 and 33 isn’t as big as it would seem).
 

What Really Matters

There’s no anti-Brady conspiracy (he had a tremendous year). It certainly wasn’t designed to provoke controversy (we wouldn’t write a piece that could possibly call into question our credibility if we didn’t believe what we were saying). It was simply an attempt to look at every drop back and every throw objectively. Now you can argue about the limitations of grading the quarterback play from a pre-snap perspective, but then how can anyone say Brady performed better than anyone else in this regard? We’re all in the same boat of not knowing what changed from the huddle to the hike.
 
Nobody, especially not I, is saying Brady isn’t a better quarterback then all these men, or that if you asked me tomorrow to choose a quarterback to build a franchise around, it wouldn’t be Brady. What I am saying, though, is when the ball was snapped, Brady didn’t do as much as the other guys in making plays beyond what’s expected from the average quarterback.
 
Does he flourish in the system, or does the system inhibit? That’s a question it poses to me, because we’ve seen Brady do it all before. Ultimately though, it’s kind of irrelevant. What matters at the end of the day is that Tom Brady in New England works. He makes better decisions than other quarterbacks and is adept at not forcing the ball into bad spots (in part because the team is built in such a way that he doesn’t really need to). To truly appreciate New England’s offense you need to look past Tom Brady, league MVP, and look at what it is they’re able to do.
 
By having players like Danny Woodhead and Aaron Hernandez they can effectively turn a 12 personnel look into a four receiver set and they get linebackers covering somebody they shouldn’t be. It means the Patriots don’t need to make the tricky throws, and can get away with a higher percentage of shorter balls, letting their receivers rack up the YAC.
 

Passes to Targets of Less Than 10 Yards

Player
Total Attempts
Attempts <10 Yds
% of Throws <10 yds
Tom Brady53735966.85%
Drew Brees71845162.81%
Peyton Manning70644162.46%
Matt Ryan60035258.67%
Aaron Rodgers60734657.00%
Philip Rivers54129754.90%

 

So while you may disagree with just how good or great a year Brady had, I think we can all agree that New England’s offense, even after the crushing playoff defeat, was something special in 2010.
 
After all, isn’t that what really matters?
 
 

  • Rai

    Good article. Just wondering though, which Quarterback had the most +2.0 throws?

  • PaulK

    Your system is focused on rating the league average quarterback. Among these six excellent quarterbacks, Brady doesn’t ever get any +0.5 bonus, and probably never received any 2.0 ratings, because the Patriots’ offense never had a pivotal point in any game in the entire last half of the season. They were pretty much all blowouts going into the fourth quarter. Brady followed orders and always took the safest route to the win during these “pivotal point” moments.

  • Rodney Hart

    What else should probably be said is that 2010 was a year in which half of Brady’s -1.0 to -2.0 plays were dropped interceptions…

  • tom

    Thanks for detailing your grading system. The only issues I have with it are that it would be heavily skewed to QB’s that can make big plays with their “legs” whatever that means. Since Brady is slower than Vince Wilfork, he would never get a +1.0 or higher by your system, whereas Vick and Rodgers would clean up. You are very right that the Patriot system, unlike the Moss years does not require deep passes for TD’s, it more based on creating mismatches at the line of scrimmage and Brady and the open receiver realizing that. The last issue I have with your system is it does not seem to include some kind of bonus (positive & negative) for positional players that have the most impact on the games outcome.

    • http://www.profootballfocus.com Sam Monson

      That’s possibly a loose phrase – I don’t think our system disproportionately favors players that can run for plays over QBs that can pass for them, in that any QB making the same play (1st down on a 3rd and whatever, say) with a throw would get the same grade as a QB that scrambled for it, unless for example the guy scrambling had to beat 3 defenders in the backfield, hurdle another at the line of scrimmage on his way to picking up the first down, in which case I’d imagine we can agree he deserves a better grade than a QB hitting a simple 10-yard out, however pretty the pass?

      For example P Manning is routinely at or around the top of our rankings (as is Rivers) and both guys are equally slow as molasses.

  • ryanw180

    Firstly, you said ‘in the last half of last year’… these numbers, like mentioned before are over the entire year and playoffs, not who had the best 8 last games. They lost 2 of the first 8 (won 2 of those games only by 3 points), so we should agree that the 1st half was far from ‘explosive’ offense for the patriots. Secondly, 3 of the final 8 games came against teams ranked worse than half the league in pass defense (DET, IND, BUF), and 4 games against teams ranked in the last half of the league in pass rush. ( again IND, again BUF, NYJ, CHI), And Brady barely beat a Greenbay team QB’d by Matt Flynn.

    I’m not knocking Brady really. He really is one of the most (if not the best), awesome decision makers and team leaders anyone could ever ask for. I’m just agreeing that this past season he wasn’t the best overall player; he had a good schedule to play with. His O-line scored -7.5 in pass protection all season…but also in those final 8 games of the regular season, it was only -.5 (if i did the math right). Obviously you would want a positive number, (only 9 NFL teams had a positive passblock score), but after some of the o-linemen returned it obviously got better for Brady, plus his ability to maneuver the pocket is what makes him good.

  • oldenglandpatriotsfan

    Thanks for this article. Although I think your grading system is logical and defensible, I do have three questions about it:

    1) Does it penalize quarterbacks for field awareness and reading the defense? Here’s what I mean: Imagine that Brady and Rodgers are in the same exact play. Brady recognizes the defense and knows that he can complete a high-percentage pass to his second receiver for a short gain. Rodgers, in the same play, doesn’t see his open receiver but instead forces the ball into tight coverage, but completes the pass. I think by your grading system Rodgers would be graded much higher even though he wasn’t as “smart” as Brady. In fact, I think you would grade Rodgers higher even if he occasionally threw an INT in that situation.

    2) Does your grading system penalize QBs for not having a deep threat? Rodgers had Jennings, Ryan had White, and Manning had Wayne. Completing deep passes to these elite receivers scored high grades for their QBs. Once Moss was traded, however, the Patriots had no WRs who could consistenly stretch the field. So don’t the high grades for Rodgers, Ryan, and Manning reflect somewhat their deep-play receivers?

    3) Do exceptional throws (graded +1.0 to +2.0) have any correlation to scoring points and winning games? Let me put it another way. If you had to choose from a game-planning perspective (rather than a statistical perspective) between the following two scenarios, which would you choose? A. Your QB in one drive throws a long pass to his star receiver to score a quick TD and then on the next drive goes three and out. B. Your QB puts together two long scoring drives consisting mostly of short passes and eats up a lot of the clock. I imagine that your grading system might rate scenario A higher than scenario B, but I don’t know one head coach in the league who wouldn’t rather have scenario B.

    Thanks again for the provocative article (and this coming from a HUGE Brady and Patriots fan).

    • Neil Hornsby

      In answer to the questions:
      1) You are right; because we can’t always tell if there is another receiver open we go by what actually happens. If we are ever in the position to have all 22 film that may well change. Having said that, and this is my guess, I doubt anyone would be able to take that risk (make that mistake?) consistently enough to gain any advantage…….and if they did (consistently that is), wow! They probably deserve the plaudits.
      2) No it doesn’t take that into account. Neither does it take into account injuries or strength of opposition. This is simply another, although markedly different, way of looking at QBs. Do we think it’s better than QB rating? Absolutely, and by some margin, because it contextualizes every throw. Is it perfect? – Obviously not – for many of the reasons above. I would encourage everybody to look at it, keep an open mind and layer on top your individual context based on what you think is important.
      3) Although it’s difficult to say my guess without doing it for real is that scenario B would generally score more highly (providing of course the QB didn’t have a couple of interceptions dropped etc.). In general QBs who have offenses that score points do well. It’s very difficult to score points without doing well in our system.

  • sciz

    It seems awfully silly to give QBs a HIGHER grade for throwing into double coverage.

  • jlswisc

    Your system rewards beating tight coverage and does not reward finding the open man. This is a backwards system, like totally backwards.

    I understand you will not grade any pre-snap decision making, or blitz calls, or hot reads, which is a huge problem in its self, but ill put that aside for the moment.

    Im looking at the scoring you posted and it essentially say this:

    Throwing to the open man: 0
    Throwing to a guy who is singled up: .5
    Making throws into tight coverage, double coverage, etc…+,++,++++

    This is an upside down say to evaluate QB play. It might as well simply just judge ball speed or arm strength.
    QBs should be rewarded for finding the man, if that is read 1, 2, 3, or 4. You simply reward risk taking and ignore the most important aspect of the game.

    If a team in on the 20 (redzone) and the QB sees 2 options on the play. Receiver 1 is in the back corner of the endzone, in between the corner and safety. Receiver 2, is the check down RB about 4 yards in the flat but with the entire left side of the field open.

    If a QB throws to RB he gets 0 points. If he throws and completes to the double up corner endzone WR he gets +++.

    While in the example the result is the same, the better option is the RB option. Every coach in the league would grade the check down sure thing 100% score as a better play by the qb. Yet you grade the inverse.

    I understand that you will say, “Yes, but if you make more of those risky throws, the QB will eventually make a mistake and get a -”

    But thats not good enough because the reward discrepancy is so different. If the situation presents itself 4 times in a same. The guy who scores 4 tds with 4 check downs is at 0. Yet the guy who throws into double coverage 4 times (lets say he completes 2, gets 1 int, and one incomplete) seem like he is going to come out ahead, especially considering by not scoring as many TDs he will get a late game bonus by keeping the game close.

    Yet the guy who has just thrown 4 tds and had his team dominate by finding the open man is scored as a 0.

    Further and this counters your previous comment about how a guy who takes more risks will eventually be penalized, look at the numbers, that is clearly not true. The top qbs only make negative plays around 12-14% of the time, and really negative plays only 1-2% of the time. BUT really positive plays are score 6-8% of the time, and positive plays overall over 30% of the time.

    It is very apparent that plays are scored positivity ALOT more than they are negatively. Thus a QB who takes the safe play and gets a zero, is systematically scored lower than the guy who takes all the risks. I can imagine you will also say “well of course the top qbs have more postive plays than negative plays, they are the top qbs.” But the discrepancy should not be anywhere near what your numbers show.

    Say top qbs complete 65% of their passes (and thats a high number). So 35% are not completed. At the very least positive plays should not occur more than on a 3:2 basis. Yet they are happening essentially over a 2:1 ratio. Which when you consider than any easy throw or open completion is scored a 0, it is very clear that there are not enough negative scores to balance out risk takers.

    I really think it is time that you guys consider all the constructive criticism and advice and work on changing your QB rating system. Most of your other grades are right on point, but here you really miss the ball.

    • palo20

      These are all outstanding points and they also sum up the points I was trying to make in the top 100 player thread where Brady was discussed. He should not get penalized for reading coverage and finding the open man.

    • http://www.profootballfocus.com Sam Monson

      The problem with all of this is that there is no easy way of summing up the grading system in 5 lines or a half-dozen bullet points, and every time we try, we get bogged down in misunderstanding and minutae.

      The pass-grading document alone is 5+ pages long. Thee run-grading document a similar length. It’s a long and ‘complicated’ document and system, and we can’t just give it away to all (much as we’d like to), because it’s valuable intellectual property, as silly as that may seem. But we do our best to try and explain the methods.

      Regarding this bit:
      Throwing to the open man: 0
      Throwing to a guy who is singled up: .5
      Making throws into tight coverage, double coverage, etc…+,++,++++

      That’s not accurate. Throwing to an open man, gaining a first down etc will usually get a +.5 grade, especially if the throw leads the receiver to additional yardage etc. It is rare, but possible, for a throw to an open guy to get 0, if the throw is so utterly wide open that you or I could have made it untroubled. As good as the play was or as bad as the coverage was to screw up, the acutal throw from the QB was 0. It’s also possible that a throw to an open man is flawed enough to get 0, say it is behind him and stops the receiver, preventing a 1st down that an accurately led throw would have resulted in etc. Likewise not every throw into tight/double coverage gets graded as 1+, there are plenty of receptions that owe far more to a receiver doing work than a QB fitting the ball into a window. It’s perfectly possible for a QB to actually get a negative grade while completing a deep pass etc. You can’t simplify things as much as you’re trying to, the whole point about our system is that we add a context to the plays, we’re trying to assign credit or blame where it’s due, regardless (to an extent) of the outcome.

      So the bottom line essentially is that all positive plays (by and large) are being positively graded, but some are more positively graded than others. Now some are complaining that throws into tight coverage etc shouldn’t be rewarded as better throws than dump offs to the open HB on a check down. Firstly – not all throws into tight coverage are passing up an obvious and open alternative, sometimes tight coverage is all there is – should we not reward a tough throw resulting in a positive play? Secondly, if the QB IS passing up open and easy throws for covered and tougher ones, he’ll likely be penalized by throwing interceptions or inaccurate balls that don’t land in the small window he’s aiming at – those will be negatively graded while the guy taking the shorter, open guy gets a positive grade – so where’s the problem?

      It gets messy dicsussing hypotheticals, but in your end zone example the guy throwing the 4 checkdowns likely gets 4x +0.5, so +2 overall. The guy throwing into the bracketed coverage likely gets 2x +1, and 2x -1 (though tbh could be anythinng in between depending on the exact throw and position of everybody etc. So that guy winds up with 0, the conservative thrower wins out.

      As for your assertion that completion percentage related to a 3:2 ratio of good throws to bad throws, that assumes that all completions are good plays and all incompletions are bad ones – both of which are clearly not true, and that’s the point we’re trying to get across.

      The constructive criticism is appreciated, but we’ve put a lot of work, time and thought into the methodology, and much of the criticism is as a result of a) rresults that people simply don’t like, and b) insufficient and misunderstood appreciation of the system itself, which is unfortunately largely unavoidable.

      • jlswisc

        Sam,

        Thanks for responding.

        1. I understand you feel your system is intellectual property and you cant give it away. That is fine. But don’t trivialize your readers intelligence by claiming they wont be able to understand and appreciate it because it is “a long and ‘complicated’ document.” 5 pages is not a long document, and I am sure everyone of your readers loves the game of football and is capable of an adequate level of understanding.

        2. I was taking the open play as 0 because it was said in the opening post: 0.0 Base Play – Any throw you expect any player to make. Hitting a guy open on a 1 step slant with off coverage is 0 no matter how many yards it makes. It’s a smart decision but a throw that anyone could and should make.

        and

        “No matter how many yards it makes, if the guy is open and the throw is one any player could make.” (of course this leaves out the thought that a player has to actually know the guy is open and see him.)

        It seems you guys are contradicting each other as you claim in your post that: throwing to an open man will usually get .5 (or gaining a first down, or stuff like that etc.)

        I am inclined to believe the opening post is a more accurate description on how often a play is scored a zero and it does not seem throwing to the open man will ‘usually’ be scored a .5. Here is the analysis:

        Tom Brady has 152 positive plays, and 81 negative plays. But he completed 353 passes. Even assuming that all of Brady’s positive plays came on completions, the MAJORITY of his completions are scored either negative or 0. Again, this is just completions. To think that less than 50% of Brady’s completions (not attempts) were good plays by him is mind boggling.

        Another way to say it, you guys only scored 28% of Brady’s total throws as positive. Only 2.8/10 of Brady’s throws were of a positive nature and only on 2.5/10 of his drop backs did he do something good. That is a crazy low number. One would think he was the QB of the 0-16 Lions with those type of numbers.

        To show the extreme amount of 0s he must have, I will assume that all 81 negative plays also came on completions. (In other words we can assume he had 0 incompletions)

        In this example, that would leave 91 completed passes that get scored a 0. So 81 negative, 120 zeros, and 152 positive. Thats a ton of zeros and thats the lowest possible number, if 3/4 of the negative plays were on incompletes, Brady will have at least 181 0s on completed passes.

        The point should be clear.

        2. I have no vested interest in seeing Tom Brady ranked higher, he isnt my friend, doesnt play for a team I like, or anything. I like to use your site when I talk football with people though, as most of your grades provide a good way to analyze the game. However, the people I talk with all agree that we cant use your QB system as it currently stands.

        3. I am sure you have put alot of time and work into it and as i said for most positions is has been very good. But for the QB position it is flawed and it is a shame. It appears that regardless of what is said you guys are not willing to look into changing it and that is a shame as well.

        4. The worst part about the flawed QB grading, is not just that it is flawed, or that you guys admit there are flaws like not being able to grade pre-snap (but the admissions are good and we like that), the worst part is then when the grading is done you rely on it to write articles such as this one claiming Tom Brady was only the 33rd best player in the NFL. Essentially saying that if the NFL teams could draft players for 2010 Brady should not go to any team in round 1. Having a flawed system and recognizing it is ok, but then making assertions based on it, takes it up a notch. But again I only point this out because I do enjoy your site and love sending people to it during debates, but usually people are quick to point this problem out and then knock your credibility.

        5.. You said to me:

        “The whole point about our system is that we add a context to the plays, we’re trying to assign credit or blame where it’s due, regardless (to an extent) of the outcome.”

        I agree this should be the goal and I agree that actually grading plays and players is much better than simply looking at the raw numbers. But your method directly contradicts your goal. For the QB position you are actually actively taking context OUT of the numbers. No credit for a pre-snap read. No credit for an audible, hot read, blitz call, etc. These may be difficult but are not impossible to get into your system, but I can go on about pre-play later. You can solve many of those issues by fixing the in play scoring. Throwing to an open guy should be rewarded, that’s a skill and a talent. A 5 yard completion to a wide open player on first down, should be a positive play, even if the throw is slightly behind him and there isn’t a defender within 20 yards. A one to three step drop and hitting a wide open wr on a slant (Defense is playing off) should be a positive play.

        In other words, by rewarding throwing to an open player, you add in the pre-snap element you don’t think you can judge. You are basically accounting for finding the open man/making good reads and hot throws. You could also reward multiple completions on the same drive. (I know you hate examples but ex. 10 short 5 yard completions for a TD, instead of 1 50 yard bomb over double coverage). It is most likely actually much better to go the 10 pass route, so positives should be earned.

        Maybe just reward a basic .25 to all throw that accurately find an open man for positive yards and on 3rd down maybe qualify it with it has to at least give the WR a shot at getting to the sticks.

        I also think you could easily add in pre-play stuff, ex. QB calls an audible at the line. Does the play work? And go from there. If a player calls an 10 audible and 8 times it is a great play, he is doing something better than a guy who only gets 2 of his audible to be positive.

        I say all this to help improve the site, the grading, and future talks about football. I could save it all as my intellectual property but Im giving it out for free lol. In big business corporations pay outsiders to look at what they are doing and rip it apart, because those inside cant see all the troubled spots.

        I hope you guys consider some of this and what other posters and readers have said. You guys have people who care about grades, you should embrace that.

  • tom

    This post shows how subjective any QB rating system is, however any other system is better than that seriously flawed QB rating that was established in the 70′s I believe? That system heavily weighs the ordinary these days that were not ordinary then; %completion. Back then QB’s did not look to move the chains by passing, they looked to create big plays.

    Unfortunately, the best method of determine QB play is the bottom line: wins/losses and super bowls, however much of a role the QB played in the win.