So this morning, ESPN printed an NFL Blog piece about this fancy new QB rating system. The idea for this is simple: the old system is neato, but it ignores too many good things a QB does besides lobbing TDs and having gaudy yards. Here is what goes into it:
The QBR formula takes into account down, distance, field position, time remaining, rushing, passing sacks, fumbles, interceptions, how far each pass travels in the air, from where on the field the ball was thrown, yards after the catch, dropped balls, defensed balls, whether the quarterback was hit, whether he threw away the ball to avoid a sack, whether the pass was thrown accurately, etc. Each play carries "clutch weight" based on its importance to game outcome, as determined by analyzing those 60,000 plays since 2008. The stats adjust for quarterbacks facing an unusually high number of these situations.
Well hey, that's pretty sweet. I love the idea. Now let's see how this list sorted the NFL's best and worst:
Top tier: Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Michael Vick, Rodgers and Drew Brees. Well above average: Josh Freeman, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. Above average: Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, David Garrard and Kerry Collins. Around average: Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Colt McCoy, Kyle Orton and Jon Kitna. Below average: Shaun Hill, Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, Matt Hasselbeck, Chad Henne, Donovan McNabb, Sam Bradford and Alex Smith. Poor: Derek Anderson, Brett Favre and Jimmy Clausen.
Uh oh. Here is where people lost their freaking minds. The comments section and certain Message Boards lost all ability to look at this list from the math incorporated in it and the torches were lit. Said one butt-hurt (probably New Orleans) fan:
These rankings are ridiculous. Matt Ryan, who doesn't even have a playoff win, is in the top tier, ahead of Superbowl-winning QBs Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning? Come on.
But isn't that failing to look at the list objectively? You know...like as if it was a mathematical equation? First off, the rankings are from last season. Regular season at that. Secondly, going by the most decorated is null because a lot of guys ride a great defense to a Lombardi Trophy.
Numbers don't lie. The experts and Ph.D's have spoken: Matt Ryan is a top tier NFL QB. It will be explained August 5th at 8pm on a Sportscenter Special.
What? Who? Trent Dilfer helped create it? Oh then forget I said anything. This list sucks now.