How We Grade

Our patent-pending approach to rating is thorough, one of a kind, and goes beyond the surface of the game. View details of PFF’s partnership with the Pro Coach Network, which reviews every PFF grade, here.

2009 NFC Championship, tie game, in field goal range. Brett Favre throws across his body. It’s intercepted.
Awful throw that should be or is intercepted
Good short pass
Eli Manning’s incredible throw to Mario Manningham on the game-winning drive of Super Bowl XLVI
Step 1

We grade. An analyst grades every single player and every single play on a scale of -2 to +2.

Step 2

We grade again. A second analyst grades every single player and every single play on a scale of -2 to +2.

Step 3

We grade a third time. A third analyst rules on any differences between the first two.

Step 4

We verify. Our grades are verified by the Pro Coach Network and their 400 years of combined NFL and college coaching experience.

Step 5

Advanced Normalization: The raw grades are normalized to better account for the situation; this ranges from where the player lined up to the drop-back depth of the quarterback, to everything in between.

Step 6

We set the grade. Convert to 1-100 scale.

Grade Breakdown




High Quality


Above Average




Below Average



Going Beyond the Stats

Our grading system is concerned with how a player performed on a particular play, not the outcome of that play.

For example, if a quarterback hits a wide receiver perfectly in stride on a post route in between two defenders, and the receiver drops the ball, it goes down in the box score as an incompletion. But in our system, that quarterback receives a positive grade for making a great throw. His statistics should not be punished based on the fact that his receiver dropped a pass.

Our detailed analysis starts by adding to the base statistics with critical information, including the depth of the drop by the quarterback, the intended and actual point of attack on a run play, and the hang-time of punts and kickoffs on special teams.

We then add to this with a level of detail that surpasses any other data source: the grading of each player on a play-by-play basis to judge how each player has performed on a given play.

This in-depth grading allows us to judge player performance in every facet of the game before compiling individual plays into an overall grade for each player by game, by season, and beyond. As a result, we can show things like how two edge defenders may have the same overall grade, but one is a significantly better run defender while the other is significantly more disruptive as a pass-rusher.

Get access to PFF’s Player Grades now.

Noticed our real-time grades during a game? Learn more.