Monday, September 12, 2011

Looking At Total QBR And QB Passer Rating For Week 1

Bears win. What a load off my heart, mind, and sports ego.

With the 2011 NFL season now truly underway, we have an opportunity to delve into some of the new statistics from the past few months. The most interesting and hooplah-ified stat from the off-season, Total QBR, is a brain child of ESPN and a slew of analysts.

One of my bigger concerns about the stat is its inclusion of sacks as a metric against quarterbacks. Yes, QBs do control the amount of sacks they take, and, yes, scrambling QBs take more sacks than pocket QBs — BUT anyone who's watched the Bears play these past four years knows the sack issue has run much deeper than just the QB position.

And so, as we might expect, early signs from QBR indicated Jay Cutler was one of the worst starting QBs in the league. That obviously didn't correlate with my own perception and the consensus among NFL analysts and insiders alike.

Among it's many and secret complexities, QBR rates events according to their leverage in the game (i.e. a 10 yard pass on 1st and 15 is obviously not as important as a 2 yard pass on 4th and 1), so it should be relatively distinct from Quarterback Passer Rating, the old school stat that ignores sacks and context entirely.

Well, maybe not so much. Here's Week 1 from the NFL, excluding tonight's games:

Yeah, so Cutler's Total QBR and old school QB Rating are pretty much the same — despite his five sacks. That makes me feel a little better, but I am a little surprised at how similar these two systems appear. I wonder how this chart will look after 4 or 5 seasons?

Some of the biggest disparities:
Remember, with QBR, 50 is average, 70 is good, 100 is perfect. With QB Passer Rating, 80ish is averageish, 100ish is goodish, and 138.5 or something is perfect.

I'm not sure why Kolb and Collins got extra hate from QBR, or why Schuab — who was playing against a deer-eyed Colts defense — got so much love, but maybe a closer look at their stats would explain the difference.

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