clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

QB Performance Since 2008: Where Does Ryan Rank?

New, comments

Combining the rankings from various football analytic sites to get an idea.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the 2014-15 season has come to a close, I thought it would be a good time to look back and consider the most scrutinized position in sports: Quarterback. However, rather than take a look at a single season or raw stats, I thought it would be worthwhile to consider advanced analytics. I realize there are some who frown upon advanced stats, but I believe these stats paint a better picture than raw yardage, touchdown and interception numbers.

Why start from 2008? The answer is simple: that's when Matt Ryan entered the league. While we'll take a look at 17 QBs overall, we're obviously keenly interested in how Ryan stacks up. I intentionally left off QBs drafted in the last two years and I also left off QBs who haven't had a consistent track record of being a starter - so guys like Josh McCown were left off.

For this exercise, I will be using the regular season rankings from three separate sites: Pro Football Focus (PFF), Football Outsiders (FO) and ESPN Total QBR (ESPN). Each of these sites takes a different approach to grading QB performance, but all three take a deeper look at overall QB play. By combining and averaging these statistics, we should get a good idea of how these QBs have ranked over the last 7 years, as well as determining where Ryan ranks amongst his peers. Additionally, in the interest of fairness, I've removed the worst graded season for each QB for the ranking average. I'd suggest going to each site to have a look at their grading methods if you find yourself interested.

Pro Football Focus

Player 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Avg Avg Minus Outlier 7-year Rank
P. Manning 1 5 3 1 1 10 3.5 2.2 1
Brees 7 3 4 1 4 2 2 3.3 2.7 2
Rodgers 8 4 5 2 3 8 1 4.4 3.8 3
Rivers 6 1 1 5 27 3 7 7.1 3.8 4
Brady 11 8 3 2 6 4 5.7 4.6 5
Wilson 6 4 13 7.7 5.0 6
Ryan 3 20 2 4 5 14 5 7.6 5.5 7
Roethlisberger 26 6 6 7 7 11 3 9.4 6.7 8
Romo 23 16 9 9 10 13 6 12.3 10.5 9
Luck 16 12 9 12.3 10.5 9
Newton 14 11 15 8 12.0 11.0 11
E. Manning 19 10 10 6 8 30 18 14.4 11.8 12
Stafford 40 12 13 7 22 18.8 13.5 13
Cutler 4 27 22 15 17 10 32 18.1 15.8 14
Kaepernick 15 18 28 20.3 16.5 15
Flacco 21 8 14 29 20 37 14 20.4 17.7 16
Dalton 27 25 16 21 22.3 20.7 17

Football Outsiders

Player 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Avg Avg Minus Outlier 7-year Rank
P. Manning 2 3 3 2 1 3 2.3 2.2 1
Brady 1 1 3 1 6 6 3.0 2.4 2
Brees 1 4 6 1 3 3 4 3.1 2.7 3
Rivers 3 2 2 7 22 2 9 6.7 4.2 4
Rodgers 12 9 4 2 4 10 2 6.1 5.2 5
Ryan 7 13 5 6 5 4 7 6.7 5.7 6
Romo 11 7 19 4 7 7 5 8.6 6.8 7
Roethlisberger 26 8 7 9 9 11 1 10.1 7.5 8
Wilson 8 9 14 10.3 8.5 9
Stafford 45 5 6 12 15 16.6 9.5 10
E. Manning 8 10 15 8 10 42 11 14.9 10.3 11
Kaepernick 13 8 28 16.3 10.5 12
Luck 19 14 10 14.3 12 13
Flacco 19 14 11 14 17 40 8 17.6 13.8 14
Newton 15 14 17 36 20.5 15.3 15
Dalton 12 20 16 22 17.5 16 16
Cutler 4 39 30 21 28 18 16 22.3 19.5 17

ESPN

Player 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Avg Avg Minus Outlier 7-year Rank
P. Manning 1 1 2 1 1 3 1.5 1.2 1
Rodgers 8 6 3 1 4 5 2 4.14 3.5 2
Brady 10 1 3 2 10 4 5.00 4.0 3
Brees 9 2 8 2 8 3 6 5.43 4.83 4
Ryan 2 14 4 4 3 9 9 6.43 5.17 5
Rivers 6 3 10 9 27 2 10 9.57 6.67 6
Romo 20 12 5 11 11 1 10.0 8.0 7
Luck 9 8 11 9.33 8.5 8
E. Manning 12 8 9 11 7 27 7 11.57 9.0 9
Wilson 6 12 12 10.0 9.0 9
Roethlisberger 25 11 7 10 12 16 5 12.29 10.17 11
Kaepernick 6 17 11.5 11.5 12
Newton 15 14 13 16 14.5 14.0 13
Stafford 26 8 13 17 20 16.8 14.5 14
Cutler 4 20 22 16 19 7 21 15.57 14.5 14
Flacco 24 16 12 14 22 20 8 16.57 15.33 16
Dalton 19 20 14 19 18.0 17.33 17

Averages

Player PFF FO ESPN Average Rank
P. Manning 1 1 1 1 1
Brees 2 3 4 3 2
Rodgers 3 5 2 3.3 3
Brady 5 2 3 3.3 3
Rivers 3 4 6 4.3 5
Ryan 7 6 5 6 6
Romo 9 7 7 7.7 7
Wilson 6 9 9 8 8
Roethlisberger 8 8 11 9 9
Luck 9 13 8 10 10
E. Manning 12 11 9 10.7 11
Stafford 13 10 14 12.3 12
Newton 11 15 13 13 13
Kaepernick 15 12 12 13 13
Cutler 14 17 14 15 15
Flacco 16 14 16 15.3 16
Dalton 17 16 17 16.7 17

Conclusion

As you can see in the charts above, Matt Ryan has consistently ranked in the top-10 of each advanced stat chart, and in most years he ranked in the top-7. When comparing against his counterparts, Ryan averages out to be the 6th ranked QB league-wide - which sounds about right.

As for the other QBs on the list: it was no surprise to see Peyton Manning at the top. I thought Brady would be ranked a little higher and Philip Rivers probably doesn't get the credit he deserves. Romo has also been a pretty good QB on average. On the flip side, seeing Flacco so low was a little surprising. I'd consider him a better QB than the 3 guys ahead of him at least.

So what do you make of these rankings? Any surprises? Do you think Ryan is where he should be?