Monday, January 19, 2009

2008 QBs rated by TYA

You might recall that, last year, I came up with a new method of rating quarterbacks (detailed here, here, and here). I feel even more confident in the system now than I did back then, and I'll get into the reasons for my confidence in a later. For now, here are the leaders in Total Yards per Attempt (TYA) for 2008, among QBs with at least 260 attempts:

RankQuarterbackTYAPR Rank
1Philip Rivers6.601
2Drew Brees6.524
3Chad Pennington6.392
4Peyton Manning6.195
5Jake Delhomme5.8618
6Kurt Warner5.823
7Matt Ryan5.8011
8Jay Cutler5.8016
9Jeff Garcia5.559
10Aaron Rodgers5.516
11Matt Schaub5.497
12Donovan McNabb5.4614
13Tony Romo5.238
14Matt Cassel5.1910
15Kerry Collins5.1823
16Seneca Wallace5.1113
17Eli Manning5.1015
18Jason Campbell4.9019
19Trent Edwards4.8317
20Shaun Hill4.7612
21David Garrard4.6620
22Tyler Thigpen4.5727
23Kyle Orton4.5625
24Dan Orlovsky4.2830
25JaMarcus Russell4.2326
26Joe Flacco4.1722
27Ben Roethlisberger4.0324
28Brett Favre3.9121
29Gus Frerotte3.8328
30Marc Bulger3.8131
31Derek Anderson3.2433
32JT O'Sullivan3.1229
33Ryan Fitzpatrick2.9432

"PR Rank" is the quarterback's ranking in passer rating, among the 33 quarterbacks listed.

Remember that TYA is

(Passing Yards + Rushing Yards - Sack Yards + 10*TD passes + 10*Rushing TDs - 45*Interceptions - 30*Fumbles)

divided by

(Pass Attempts + Rush Attempts + Sacks)

In effect, it's (QB yards)/(QB attempts), assigning 10 points per touchdown, -45 per interception, and -30 per fumble. I know the PFR guys like giving out 20 yards for a TD pass, and I've heard somewhere that a lost fumble should be worth -50 yards, making my 2/3 guess closer to -33 than -30, but for now, I'll stick with what I've got.

If you want the rationale for why I assign all these yardages to quarterbacks (and especially if you want to argue with it), I suggest you read the other posts, linked to above. What it boils down to is, if we want to fully credit a quarterback with a 50-yard TD pass, when it's obvious the receiver and blockers had something to do with it, too, why should we be hesitant to fully assign him the blame for a sack, too?

For these 33 quarterbacks, the average TYA is 5.04, making the Eli Manning/Jason Campbell area the cutoff for above or below average. As seems to be a trend, quarterbacks with bad rushing numbers and high fumble totals (Kurt Warner is the poster boy) are hurt more by this system than QBs with good rushing numbers are helped. Again, I'll go more into that on a later date.

A notable big riser in this listing is Jake Delhomme, who vaults up from the #18 spot in passer rating to #5 in TYA. That's no doubt helped by his high raw yards per attempt (7.9, fourth in the league) and no egregiously bad "negative" numbers (12 interceptions, 20 sacks, and 5 fumbles). Also, note how close the 5-8 guys are lumped together. One more pick for Jake and he would drop to a 5.76, or 8th place. Also, other than Warner, who had 18 carries, everyone in the 7-15 spots (yes, even Kerry Collins) had more carries than Jake, and that'll bring down your rating.

The biggest drops from passer rating to TYA belong to Tony Romo -- whose 13 fumbles did him no favors -- and Brett Favre, who led the league in interceptions, had double-digit fumbles (10), and averaged a mere 6.7 raw yards per pass attempt, 22th in the league. My advice: Stay retired.

Then there are the three quarterbacks the Vikings employed this season, only one of which met the minimum requirements for these rankings. "Three?" you say. Well, that's how I see it:

* Tarvaris Jackson (I): 3.74
* Gus Frerotte: 3.83
* Tarvaris Jackson (II): 5.88

"Late-season" Tarvaris Jackson seemed to be a very different player from "early-season" Tarvaris Jackson. Overall, for the season, Jackson had a TYA of 5.02, right around the league average. Perhaps it makes sense that he finished the year with a TYA right next to that of Eli Manning, who was actually worse against the Eagles defense in the playoffs than Jackson was (and nearly a full yard worse than Kurt Warner, who was, shall we say, a tad better against that defense). Gus Frerotte, meanwhile, is still Gus Frerotte.

A few other notable non-qualifying passers and their TYAs:

* Daunte Culpepper: 2.45
* Brady Quinn: 4.84
* Sage Rosenfels: 4.64
* Matt Hasselbeck: 3.08; I've heard a few people say we should go after Matty H. He'll be 34, he's coming off an injury-plagued season, and as for the injuries to his wide receiver corps bringing down his numbers, check out Seneca Wallace, above.

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