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2014 Projected Quarterback Rankings

Below are my 2014 projected quarterback rankings. Let me be very clear at the top of this post as to exactly what these rankings mean: they represent my projections of the order in which these quarterbacks will finish in my preferred measure of quarterback play. Everyone has their own measuring sticks when it comes to quarterbacks; for me, it’s Adjusted Net Yards provided above league-average. As a reminder, here is how we calculate that metric.

First, we start with Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, which is calculated as follows:

(Passing Yards + 20 * PassTDs – 45 * INTs – Sack Yards Lost) / (Pass Attempts + Sacks)

Then, we take each quarterback’s ANY/A average, and subtract from that number the league average ANY/A metric, which should be around 5.9 ANY/A. Then, we multiply that difference by the quarterback’s number of dropbacks.

Last year, Peyton Manning led the league in this category, with 2,037 Adjusted Net Yards of value provided above average. The benefit to this approach to ranking passers is that the results are easy to test. At the end of the season, we can calculate the actual results, and then look back and laugh at this post.

So, ranking 1-32, here is how I project the top quarterback for each team to finish in 2014.

No, Peyton, you're the number one

No, Peyton, you're the number one.

1) Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

There’s a reason Manning is the heavy favorite to repeat as NFL MVP. The Broncos lost Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno, and Wes Welker’s concussion concerns only worsened this preseason. No matter: Manning remains the gold standard. Denver added Emmanuel Sanders in the offseason, and he caught five passes for 128 yards with two touchdowns against Houston in the preseason. Manning has led the NFL in sack rate in three of his last four seasons, and the return of Ryan Clady should make Manning even more difficult to sack in 2014. No need to over think this one: Manning is the clear favorite to again provide the most value of any quarterback in the league.

2) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

3) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Choosing between Brees and Rodgers is tough, but the return of a healthy Randall Cobb and the departure of Darren Sproles is enough to tip the scales towards Rodgers for me. Green Bay tends to forget about the little things — Corey Linsley, a fourth round pick, will be the team’s starting center — but Rodgers has a way of curing all ills. Brees turns 36 in January, which is yet another reason to break ties in favor of Rodgers. Since ’09, Rodgers is the league-leader in ANY/A, while over that period, Brees has thrown the most touchdowns and gained the most yards. If Manning isn’t the king in 2014, it’s a good bet that either Rodgers or Brees took the crown.

4) Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

This might seem a bit high for Kaepernick, but he finished 9th in this metric last year despite:

  • 2013 being just his first full season as a starter;
  • Michael Crabtree playing in only five games;
  • The 49ers coaching staff spending long stretches in the first half of the season seemingly as confused about offense as Kaepernick.

It’s easy to forget that including the playoffs, Kaepernick has started just 29 games in his career; he has room to improve, but I think he’s going to take those steps this year. After a shaky start, Kaepernick finished last season strong, and I expect better numbers with a healthy Crabtree around.  San Francisco also added Steve Johnson and Brandon Lloyd, giving the team one of the most star-studded receiving groups in NFL history. Kaepernick isn’t a top-5 quarterback as of September 2nd, 2014, but I think he will be as of January 3rd, 2015.

This post is the definitive word on the Wilson-Kaepernick rivalry

This post is the definitive word on the Wilson-Kaepernick rivalry.

5) Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Calm down, Seahawks fans. The Seattle defense should be much better than the one in Santa Clara; that will lead to quite a few more attempts for Kaepernick than Wilson.  The hunch here is that Wilson finishes in the top three in ANY/A, but still in the bottom half of the league in dropbacks.

There are reasons to expect 2014 to be Wilson’s best season yet. Remember, Seattle only benefited from eight games of Russell Okung in 2013, and Wilson basically gets two new weapons in Percy Harvin and Colorado speedster Paul Richardson. The loss of Golden Tate hurts, but I think Wilson has the talent around him to make the jump this year from very good in ANY/A (he ranked 8th in 2012 and 7th in 2013) to great.

6) Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

My goodness will the Cowboys defense be bad this year. That will lead to a lot of attempts for Romo, which should be enough to get him into the top six in these rankings as long as he finishes in the top 10 in ANY/A. Dallas may have the best offensive line in the league: add in Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Romo favorite Cole Beasley, and Romo could be in line for another 2011-type of season. That may only get the Cowboys to 8 wins, however.

7) Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Disclaimer: I have Brady ahead of Romo in ANY/A, but the Patriots defense will put a hard ceiling on Brady’s number of pass attempts. New England should have a top ten defense and top ten running game, so I think the Pats might resemble their teams from a decade ago. As for the quarterback himself? If you like to play with multiple end points, consider:

  • In the first eight weeks of the season, Brady ranked 26th in AY/A;
  • In the final nine weeks of the season, Brady ranked 6th in AY/A

Shane Vereen played in week 1, and weeks 11 through 17; Rob Gronkowski was active only in weeks 7 through 14, while Danny Amendola also was in and out of the lineup. At least for now, all three players are healthy entering the first week of the season. Brady isn’t the quarterback he was in 2007 anymore, but a healthier supporting cast should lead to better numbers in 2014. That’s not the case for the next two quarterbacks on the list.

8) Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

I’ve been a big Rivers fan for years: he finished 1st or 2nd in ANY/A in 2008, 2009, and 2010, one of the most under-appreciated three-year runs in NFL history.  After a down 2011 and an even worse 2012, he rebounded with another great year in 2013. That’s great for Rivers, but I’m not betting on a repeat performance this year. He should look more like 2013 Rivers than 2012 Rivers: that’s good for a top-10, but not a top-5 season.

9) Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

If you’re an Eagles fan, this seems absurdly low; after all, Foles ranked 1st in ANY/A last year, and 2nd in the value metric by which we’re projecting passers. But even if you don’t think Foles is a “system quarterback” he’s still the worst quarterback in my top 10. The loss of DeSean Jackson is one reason to expect worse numbers this year, and regression to the mean is another. I’m a big believer in Chip Kelly, but I’m just not prepared to predict another top-five season for Foles, and he doesn’t have the track record of a Romo, Brady, or Rivers to rank in my top eight, either.

All signs point to a better season this year for Ryan

All signs point to a better season this year for Ryan.

10) Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

11) Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

12) Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Stafford ranked 10th in this category last year, and looks primed for a better 2014.

Ryan ranked 9th in 2013 if you perform the same calculation after adjusting for strength of schedule, and he also should be on the rise (not to mention face an easier schedule).

Cutler may have the best supporting cast in the league; combine the numbers produced by him and McCown in 2013, and that player would have ranked 5th in this category in 2013.

All three feel a bit low at 10, much less 12. Still, that just adds to my confusion, and I don’t know how to separate this trio. Stafford has a fantastic supporting cast that I think works beautifully as a whole: Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, rookie Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew, Reggie Bush, and Joique Bell give Stafford more weapons than the team can put on the field on any given play. Ryan may have lost Tony Gonzalez, but he gains Jake Matthews and healthier versions of Julio Jones and Roddy White. And despite what I wrote at the beginning of the paragraph, even Detroit can’t match Chicago’s combination of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, and Matt Forte.  The only thing that can bring the Bears down is Santonio Holmes. So how did I break the ties? Stafford should throw the most passes, and while McCown and Cutler were a top-five quarterback last year, that was more the product of McCown’s numbers than Cutler’s.

13) Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton is not the physical equal of Stafford or Cutler, but the Bengals supporting cast may be as good. I’d take Cincinnati’s set of skill position players (minus the quarterback, of course) — A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Giovani Bernard, Tyler Eifert, Jermaine Gresham, and for the second half of the year, Marvin Jones — over any other group in the AFC. Remember, the Bengals had the youngest set of targets in the NFL last year; considering Dalton’s age, one could easily construct a narrative where the Bengals passing attack looks very good in 2014.

Luck confuses defenders, statisticians

Luck confuses defenders, statisticians.

14) Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

This isn’t a knock on Luck: he’s better than the 14th best quarterback in the NFL, but ANY/A just hasn’t been his stat to date. Even with Hakeem Nicks and a healthy Reggie Wayne, Luck doesn’t have the weapons of a Cutler, Stafford, or Dalton. One reason: he has to count on Hakeem Nicks and Reggie Wayne to stay healthy and produce. Nicks is an inconsistent player who has been trending downwards in recent years. Wayne is coming off ACL surgery and turns 36 in November.

One could envision a scenario where Wayne and Nicks play like it’s 2010, and T.Y. Hilton is still the team’s best receiver. In that scenario, Luck might finish the year as a top three quarterback. But I’m skeptical of it all coming together in Indianapolis, at least right away. The Colts offensive line and Pep Hamilton only bring more question marks, and I can’t pretend that the constant abuse he’s faced doesn’t worry me. I nearly ranked Luck a few spots higher, but Trent Richardson doesn’t give Luck the weapon out of the backfield that Forte, Bush, and Bernard provide their quarterbacks just ahead of Luck on this list.

15) Robert Griffin III, Washington

16) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

I think Griffin is in for a rebound season. Adding DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts to Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed means Griffin’s supporting cast is one of the top ten in the NFL. Griffin ranked near the bottom of the list in this metric last year, but he took the 6th overall spot in 2012. With an infusion of talent around him and no Shanaclan shadow, I think we’ll see a bright year from the former Baylor star.

I hated putting Roethlisberger this low. Is he the 16th best quarterback in the NFL? No, but there are probably 16 quarterbacks that I want to put in my top 12. So why Griffin over Roethlisberger? Well, the Steelers have Antonio Brown, Heath Miller, Antonio Brown, Lance Moore, Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, and Antonio Brown.  Nobody is a bigger Brown fan than me, but Roethlisberger doesn’t have the weapons of most of the quarterbacks ranked above him. As a result, among Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, I’ve got him as only the 6th best of 2014. Of course, there’s still two more to go.

17) Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

Roughly speaking, about half of all starting quarterbacks will sport an Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt average that’s above league-average, and about half will be below-average.  The way this formula works, a quarterback that is exactly average will, by definition, be above a quarterback who was below average, regardless of how many attempts each quarterback has.

Bridgewater will start the season on the bench behind Matt Cassel, but I have a feeling he’ll produce average or slightly above-average numbers this year. The former Louisville passer has an excellent set of weapons around him in Minnesota – you know about Adrian Peterson, but Greg Jennings has more left than you think, Cordarrelle Patterson is ready to break out, and Kyle Rudolph is an above-average tight end.  It may be 200 attempts, and it might be 500, but I think Bridgewater will be at least average from day one.

One of these guys is the best quarterback in New York. I think.

One of these guys is the best quarterback in New York. I think.

18) Geno Smith, New York Jets

19) Eli Manning, New York Giants

20) Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

These were the three quarterbacks who provided the most negative Adjusted Net Yards of value to teams in 2013. But I’m expecting slightly better numbers from each this year, with all approaching league-average.  For Smith, his biggest issue was interceptions, but rookie quarterbacks struggling with interceptions isn’t anything new.  If we assume some progression from Smith — remember, he was the youngest quarterback in the NFL in 2013 — that alone would be enough to move him out of the bottom tier of starters.

Most think Eric Decker isn’t a true number one wide receiver, whatever that means. Well let me tell the more relevant stat: the difference between Eric Decker and Stephen Hill is larger than the difference between the average number one wide receiver and the average wide receiver.  Since Hill ran the most routes of any Jet last year, replacing him with Decker should lead to a significant upgrade for Smith’s numbers.

The Jets also had one of the worst sets of receiving backs in the league last year; the addition of Chris Johnson and rookie tight end Jace Amaro should help Smith when it comes to the short-passing game. Add it all together, and I think Smith goes from one of the worst three starters in the NFL to nearly average in his second season in the league.

The other quarterback in New York also should have a better season. No, he’s not going to complete 70% of his passes (and perhaps shouldn’t even try), but he should benefit from an improved offensive line, the addition of Rashad Jennings, and (starting in late September) Odell Beckham Jr. Prior to 2013, Manning was above-average in ANY/A in every year since ’07; I was willing to bet on that happening again (particularly against an easy schedule) in 2014, but that ugly preseason has me a little more skeptical.

As for Flacco, he was basically a league-average passer his entire career prior to 2013. The addition of Football Perspective HOFer Steve Smith, plus a full season out of Dennis Pitta, should help bring Flacco’s numbers back towards league average.

21) Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Newton and Dalton were both selected in the 2011 draft. Dalton will put up more impressive passing numbers this season, but Newton is the better quarterback. The Panthers experienced more turnover on offense than any team this offseason, and it’s not as though Newton had great numbers last year (he was slightly below-average in ANY/A). Newton struggled with sacks more often in 2013 than during his first two seasons; it’s hard to see that improving now that long-time left tackle Jordan Gross has retired.

22) Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

The Titans have done a nice job surrounding Locker with talent: Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter are a great young set of receiers, Nate Washington is ideal as a third receiver, and Delanie Walker is a versatile tight end. The line could be one of the best in the NFL: from left to right, it’s Michael Roos, Andy Levitre, Brian Schwenke, Chance Warmack, and Michael Oher. And that’s with Taylor Lewan, the 11th overall pick, starting the season on the bench.  If Locker can’t break out this year with above-average numbers, it’s time for the Titans to move on.

23) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans

I’m not sure how long Fitzpatrick will hold off Ryan Mallett (and perhaps Tom Savage) for the starting job. Of course, when we’re talking about below-average quarterbacks, fewer snaps is better, as the quarterbacks who are below average over the most dropbacks are the ones who will rank at the bottom of the list. As a result, don’t take this ranking to mean I prefer Fitzpatrick to some (or any) of the quarterbacks ranked lower. Rather, call it was it is: a hedge. Fitzpatrick either puts up decent numbers slinging it to Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins under Bill O’Brien, or he loses his job after a couple hundred pass attempts and still ranks ahead of the 16-game starters who also struggle.

24) Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

There’s a positive narrative you can build about the Cardinals.  The left side of the line is being rebuilt with Jared Veldheer and Jonathan Cooper. Rookie wide receiver John Brown is turning heads, and that’s impressive on an offense with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and Andre Ellington.

But there’s another way this story could go, too. Palmer turns 35 in December. Can he even make it through six games against the 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams? Will this be the year that wear and tear takes an irreversible toll on Palmer’s career? Like Andrew Healy, I have a bad feeling about this year’s Cardinals.

25) Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

McCown may get a sense of deja vu when he sees Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the field for the Bucs this year. The 2013 Bears didn’t just have the tallest targets in the league, but the third-tallest of any group since 1950. But while McCown was great last year, going from Marc Trestman to Lovie Smith is… well, we’ve already seen what that can mean for someone like McCown. At 35, I’m not ready to predict a late-career breakout for McCown, especially when this Bucs defense makes me think this team will look very much like a Lovie Smith team in every sense of the word.

Not Tim Couch

Not Tim Couch.

26) Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns

We’re in the bottom quarter of the league, so the quarterbacks with the fewest attempts have a built-in advantage over the full-time starters who can accrue below-average value every week.  I expect Manziel to wind up with the most pass attempts of any Browns quarterback, but not by much. Without Josh Gordon, there’s not much hope for Manziel to produce above-average numbers, but his 25th ranking reflects him posting mediocre stats over 10 starts.

27) Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars

Henne is another player who will benefit, at least in this system, from not playing a full season. I expect Blake Bortles to finish the year as the starter, but that change won’t take place until November. Regardless of the passer, the Jaguars still lack the talent on offense to produce an above-average offense even with a good quarterback. But if rookie wide receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson can produce with Henne, that’s a good sign for the offense’s hopes under Bortles in 2015.

As we move to the bottom five quarterbacks, these are all players who I would expect to play the full season, barring injury. Being below average over 16 games is a good way to produce the most negative value in the league. Drumroll, please…

28) Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill provided the fourth most negative value among all quarterbacks in 2013. I guess that makes this projection an improvement? Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, and Charles Clay aren’t the worst set of targets in the league, but they’re not going to strike fear into most defenses.  The offensive line is bound to be much better, but after 32 starts, I’m not projecting a Tannehill breakout season. Last year, Tannehill nearly finished in the AFC cellar in Net Yards per Attempt. Geno Smith had a worse ANY/A due to his interceptions, but edged the Dolphins passer in NY/A.   And Tannehill finished .01 NY/A ahead of the other rookie, EJ Manuel. The additions of Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James should help, but there was a lot of room for improvement based on 2013. Tannehill hasn’t come close to hitting league-average ANY/A numbers in either of his first two seasons, so I’m not betting on it happening in 2014.

29) Shaun Hill, St. Louis Rams

30) Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

The Rams should be one of the most run-heavy teams in the league, which will help Hill finish “ahead” of Smith when it comes to providing less negative value.  Hill is not much of a downgrade from Sam Bradford, but the Rams passing attack already figured to be below-average. The best defensive line in football and a steady dose of Zac Stacy and Tre Mason will be the Rams’ blueprint for victories this year. But don’t expect that to stop Brian Schottenheimer from thinking he can outsmart the Seahawks defense by putting Tavon Austin in at Wildcat QB.

As for Smith… well, you’re not going to find many more pessimistic predictions on Smith than right here. But in addition to Albert heading to Miami, Jon Asamoah went to Atlanta and Geoff Schwartz signed with the Giants. The offensive line goes from a strength to a weakness overnight, and Eric Fisher’s rookie performance doesn’t inspire confidence as he moves to the left side. Dwayne Bowe’s still dealing with an injury to his finger, and he’s not a good WR1 even when he’s healthy.

Smith was well below average in NY/A last year even with a great line and a dominant season out of Jamaal Charles. The former number one overall pick has been great at avoiding interceptions, but if that trend flips, he’ll be one of the three worst quarterbacks in the league. Smith has been fortunate to play on very good teams the past few seasons, but I’m not expecting a return to the playoffs for Kansas City in 2014. As a result, I see him being forced to make more plays, leading to more interceptions and an ugly ANY/A average this season.

31) EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills

32) Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

I want to like Manuel.  He was the top quarterback selected in the 2013 draft, and the Bills seem to have a very clear plan in mind: build the league’s fastest team and then run as many plays as possible. Buffalo is a very fast team. Manuel, Marquise Goodwin, C.J. Spiller, and backup tight end Chris Gragg are among the fastest players in the league at their positions. Oh, and then the Bills drafted Sammy Watkins.

As for tempo, the Bills trailed only the Eagles in offensive pace last year.  I can envision a scenario where it all comes together for Buffalo: Goodwin stretches defenses vertically, Spiller horizontally, Watkins and Robert Woods win one-on-one matchups, and the pace tires defenses. The problem? Manuel has inspired no hope with an ugly preseason, on the back of an underwhelming rookie year. He’s a high-variance player for 2014, but right now, the most likely outcome is the Bills are looking for a quarterback in next year’s draft. Maybe Watkins can do that for them.

Raiders fans shouldn’t be too disappointed to see Carr’s name at the bottom of this list. Hey, he’s not Matt Schaub, and that counts for something. With James Jones, Rod Streater, and Denarius Moore, there’s hope that…. actually, no, even I can’t come up with hope for this outfit. Carr had very good numbers in college, but there’s a reason he fell to the second round of the draft. When non-elite prospects start immediately for bad teams, they get placed at #32 in the quarterback projections.

{ 40 comments… add one }

  • Andrew Healy September 2, 2014, 12:54 am

    I take the over on Geno.

    • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 8:49 am

      Just so we’re all clear, for posterity’s sake, what does the over mean here?

      • Andrew Healy September 2, 2014, 4:34 pm

        The over means Geno will rank worse than 18. That is my stone-cold mega-lock of the year.

        • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 5:10 pm

          Just so we’re clear, your stone-cold mega-lock of the year doesn’t seem like the greatest lock in the world to this guy.

  • Nick Bradley September 2, 2014, 1:15 am

    Agree with everything but Rivers…should be top five. Hes got a bad defense and will be in a lot of shootouts.

    Id also move down Wilson, for opposite reasons. Also, every team that schemes against him either contained him or shut him down. Denver inexplicably decided to *not do what everyone else had been doing for 8 weeks, cuz John Fox is a great coach and all…

    • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 8:51 am

      The SD defense should be better. I also think they keep the trend going of trying to run the ball. But we’ll see — I can’t argue even if you want to put Rivers at #4. The gap between 4 and 9 is tiny.

      I feel more confident in my Wilson pick.

      • Mike Darnell September 2, 2014, 5:42 pm

        I agree with you on Wilson. I think they will score a lot more in 2014 especially with the new rules in 2014. I think he will score more in the first half of games and then hand it off in the middle of the 3rd quarter until the end of the game with a few throws to their TE to close out games and run out the clock. Seattle looks ready to compete from the start (must have been all the contact drills in the OTA’s they got in trouble for). Wilson is in his third year and it is a contract year. He will be looking to get a huge contract so I can see at least 35 Passing and 5 Rushing TD’s.

        Through his 13 exhibition series, Wilson led 11 scoring drives with nine touchdowns while completing 79% of his passes for 437 yards, three scores in the air, three on the ground and no interceptions. I know it’s preseason but if you compare that to others, it further supports my argument that Seattle is ready to play and will score early and often. Not to mention the great field postition they will get with the best defense in the NFL.

    • Willy Istvan September 2, 2014, 12:11 pm

      You’re trying to make an assessment without taking certain facts into consideration. Wilson was playing with an injured shoulder from around Week 9 until the NFCCG. Also, his O-Line was playing through some injuries. Then there’s the fact that from Week 13 through the first 2 playoff games, the Seahawks faced a lot of top defenses. In those 7 games, 6 were against top 8 D’s and 5 were against top 5 D’s. I don’t think any other QB in the NFL faced a stretch like that.

      • Nick Bradley September 2, 2014, 12:52 pm

        I don’t see anything about a shoulder injury other than one article about a little soreness.

        And when you adjust for defense strength (ANY/A allowed), it doesn’t look any better for wilson:

        http://www.ninersnation.com/2014/1/19/5324738/the-precipitous-decline-in-russell-wilsons-performance

        • Willy Istvan September 2, 2014, 2:46 pm

          It’s not like they announced it to the NFL that Wilson was playing hurt, but I heard it from people close to the team. In fact, just check out his number of run attempts per game during that time. I was told that Wilson was told to not run unless he had no other choice, and even then, only if he thought it would be safe. Even Andrew Luck was running more than Wilson during those 10 or so weeks that Russell was injured. Not trying to make excuses here, but that time span was also when Wilson was having marital problems and getting ready to divorce his wife. My point is that I don’t believe for a minute that his performance declined during that span because other teams figured something out.

          Besides, this is a projection for 2014, not a ranking for a 7 week span in 2013. Take a look at Wilson’s numbers for the preseason…I get that preseason games don’t mean a lot, but they give us a plethora of data…current data. Wilson led 13 drives…they ended in 9 TD’s, 2 FG, 1 missed FG, and only one punt. Russell’s passer rating was the highest in the NFL at 133.8 in the preseason. I get that you can dismiss that out of hand, but look at some of the names of QB’s who are right behind him in passer rating: Brady, Rivers, Locker, Ryan, Rodgers, Dalton, Peyton and Roethlisberger. I consider it a real barometer of where Wilson is at to begin this season. Just the addition of Harvin at WR alone changes a lot for this offense. BTW, I have no issue whatsoever with Kap being ranked higher than Wilson. I believe that Wilson and Kap will be running neck and neck for best QB in the league in 10 years from now. I think both will leave Luck behind. I do however believe that your opinion that Wilson should be dropped down is nothing but a homer bias.

          • nick bradley September 2, 2014, 2:59 pm

            you mush rush him and take away the perimeters and sorta leave the middle open; its extremely effective against him — he feeds on scrambling around until a defender slips and a guy gets wide open.

            • Willy Istvan September 2, 2014, 4:15 pm

              Did you check out the links below? Your strategy only works if Wilson is incapable of pocket passing and getting rid of the ball quickly. The Seahawks are capable of adjusting to defensive schemes. Things will change a bit this year anyway. Harvin is really going to create space for the run game and other receivers. I think in a few week from now the O-Line will be much improved from last year’s #31 rating in pass protection. I guess we’ll see.

        • Willy Istvan September 2, 2014, 2:51 pm

          Forgot to mention…check out these pocket stats on Wilson and Kap from a 49er article:

          http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/colin-kaepernick-2013-passing-stats-insideoutside-pocket/

          http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/russell-wilson-2013-passing-stats-insideoutside-pocket/

          I think Wilson has a lot more potential than you or the person on ninersnation who wrote the article fro that link you gave me up above…thick homer glasses.

      • Richie September 2, 2014, 2:33 pm

        Seahawks fan checking in?

        • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 2:55 pm

          What gives you that idea?!

  • GMC September 2, 2014, 2:00 am

    I do not believe that Colin Kaepernick is a good quarterback; I think he’s Vince Young with better preparation and a better defense protecting him. Moreover, I think this year is the year he reveals his inner Vince; he’s never going to throw a lot of interceptions because Harbaugh won’t let him, but he doesn’t make all the plays that are out there on the field.

    Otherwise, I mostly agree. I think maybe the projections are overselling Rivers, Brady and Eli Manning and buying into Foles and Geno Smith and Locker more than they deserve. (The Geno projection is spot on if Vick is starting by Week Three, though.)

    • Nick Bradley September 2, 2014, 8:37 am

      Do you have anything to back up that assessment, at all? Because they’re not even the same type of quarterback. He’s. Got one of the strongest arms in the NFL, if not the strongest arm, and is extremely accurate downfield.

      His current offense does not make him go through 2-3 reads most of the time, and he needs to do a better job of checking down.

      I compare him to Randall Cunningham.

      • Nick Bradley September 2, 2014, 8:38 am

        Correction. More than 2-3 reads

        • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 9:32 am

          I think as he matures — and this will be that year — he will get better at going through his progressions.

          • Nick Bradley September 2, 2014, 10:51 am

            I think he’s going to be a pocket passer when he’s an older quarterback in his 30s

          • andy September 2, 2014, 9:05 pm

            Not to consider the preseason as a barometer for anything but he did not look good at all. Not even his individual play but the lack in command of the offensive unit. We can blame it on the other skill players but the fact of the matter is he looked loss. This guy has the most upside, due to his god-given talents, regarding to any current young qbs but I do question his leadership skills and the mental toughness to heighten his game to another level. You hit it on the head- maturity. We’ll shall see.

            • nick bradley September 3, 2014, 7:19 pm

              they were having him work on reads of the rush route — aka checkdown routes. right now, he’s basically a two-read QB due to his incredible ability to run…and there’s nothing wrong with that. He checks off the primary read based on coverage, checks the secondary read, then checks a running lane.

              I think they want him to go primary, secondary, checkdown, then run. He often attempts a run when a checkdown is available and it fails…but sometimes it succeeds amazingly!

              its a bit of a myth that QBs go past their 3rd read on a regular basis…maybe Manning does it, who knows…usually the elites (Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Brees) order their reads based on the coverage scheme, so the guy we think is the #4 or #5 read is actually the #2 or #3 read based on that scheme.

              …but I think the Roman/Harbaugh (and Pep Hamilton a bit too in Indy) scheme is risk adverse and would rather minimize mistakes with a younger QB and instead just dictate the primary read to the quarterback before the play actually starts.

    • Nick Bradley September 2, 2014, 8:44 am

      Forgot to add that Kaepernicks cognitive processing ability is much higher than the simple minded youngs as well. Wonderlic of 6 by Young, 38 by Kaepernick, which is one of the higher scores we’ve seen.

      • Richie September 2, 2014, 2:40 pm

        Forgot to add that Kaepernicks cognitive processing ability is much higher than the simple minded youngs as well.

        Are you sure about that?

        :)

        • nick bradley September 2, 2014, 3:07 pm

          are you mad about that? I don’t get it.

          Oh, you’re one of those guys who want their quarterbacks to ‘look’ and ‘act’ a certain way.

          • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 3:15 pm

            Richie’s a Dolphins fan.

          • Richie September 2, 2014, 5:53 pm

            I don’t care about it.

            But, I don’t think it’s a smart thing for him to have done. A QB is supposed to be a leader of the team. I just think it’s weird to wear another team’s hat. Maybe it means nothing. But it creates a perception amongst the public (which may not matter) and it may also create a perception amongst teammates that could matter.

            Time will tell. I have no evidence, but I have a feeling that Kaepernick won’t have long-term success in the NFL.

      • andy September 2, 2014, 9:16 pm

        There is no correlation between the IQ test and a qb performance. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a high 40s (I believe it was 48). Here are the list of players who scored 48 or higher- RF, Benjamin Watson, Kevin Curtis, Mike Mamula (workout warrior), and Pat McInally (perfect score of 50). Not a bunch of pro-bowlers aren’t they? Granted, RF is not exactly the athlete in CK but playing the qb position is much more in the next up than running like Usain Bolt or throw the ball through the wall (actually he needs to work on his touch passes). He is an one-speed thrower until he can prove otherwise.

        • nick bradley September 3, 2014, 7:22 pm

          There is a correlation — its just that EXTREMELY HIGH scores don’t correlate to extremely high performance.

          its not a linear relationship — its a logarithmic relationship…past a certain inflection point, you get diminishing marginal returns from higher wonderlic scores.

  • Bryan Frye September 2, 2014, 9:42 am

    Do you subtract each player’s raw numbers from the league gross totals prior to finding the league average? So mOeyton doesn’t get hurt by his own greatness and Eli doesn’t benefit from his lack thereof.

    • Bryan Frye September 2, 2014, 10:44 am

      Man…mOeyton, of course, stands for Peyton.

    • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 11:07 am

      For purposes of this post, I would not; I would just stick to simple league average numbers here.

  • Dale McLerran September 2, 2014, 4:45 pm

    So, just to be clear, your preferred QB metric applies a passing volume correction to a passing relative efficiency metric. At first blush, that looks like a reasonable measure. However, the number of dropbacks may be determined on a “need to throw” basis. Teams that are behind by more than a touchdown typically throw the ball more than teams that are ahead or trail by less than a TD. So, a bad team can up the quarterback’s rating. Also not taken into account (although you are hardly alone in this) is defense-adjusted QB efficiency. Among last year’s Super Bowl contenders, the Broncos played two regular season games against teams with a defense ranked in the top 8 while the Seahawks played 8 regular season games against teams with a top 8 defense. The Broncos played 10 games against defenses ranked in the bottom 16 while the Seahawks played just 4 games against defenses ranked in the bottom 16. This becomes rather difficult to adjust for, but really should be a consideration when evaluating quarterbacks, shouldn’t it?

    The other thing to note is that your metric evaluates QBs only with respect to traditional passer characteristics. Given that a sizeable portion of the quarterbacks entering the NFL are now dual threat QBs (Cam, Kaep, RGIII, Wilson, even Luck from the 2011 and 2012 draft classes), shouldn’t there be some bonus awarded for picking up yards (and TDs) by any means be it with their arm or their legs? Given two QBs with identical volume adjusted relative ANY/A, wouldn’t you consider the QB who gets more production with his legs the better QB?

    While there is some value to what you propose, there are also huge holes in your measure. Just thought these holes should be acknowledged.

    • Chase Stuart September 2, 2014, 4:50 pm

      I would agree with all of your points. I went with a cross between simpler is better and the most advanced formula possible, since my regular readers are pretty familiar with this metric.

      • Bryan Frye September 2, 2014, 8:08 pm

        Have you thought about using a metric similar to the Neft rating, but parsing out kneel downs? This is very similar to uANY/A and TQR but with the added bonus of removing kneels.

      • Dale McLerran September 2, 2014, 8:25 pm

        I support the idea of a reasonable attempt, but do think that it is important to mention the limitations of the approach that you employ. It would be difficult to work in the rushing yards/TDs with ANY/A since the expected YPC rushing is lower than the expected YPA.

        How about junking ANY/A and looking at third and fourth down efficiency (possibly incorporating points/drive as well)? Third and fourth downs are critical junctures in the game. Moving the sticks is what really what matters, regardless of whether you move the sticks via the pass or by running the ball. When you as the QB take it on yourself to do something with the ball (rather than hand off to a RB), are you successful? In my opinion, yards/play is not necessarily as important as keeping ball possession.

        Food for thought?

        • Bryan Frye September 2, 2014, 8:42 pm

          So we should ignore the first two downs altogether? I want to make sure I am understanding you correctly and not putting words in your mouth. Because it seems like you want to neglect 2/3 of QB action plays.

          On another note, I think Chase is going with the best possible passing stat that can be gleaned without having to dive too deeply into PBP data. It’s an accessible stat that anyone can figure out on his/her own. Kinda like the old PBS show Yan Can Cook: Chase can statgeek, and so can you!

          • Chase Stuart September 3, 2014, 12:26 am

            Very true.

  • roger September 2, 2014, 8:30 pm

    Under Cutler, make it McCown, not McNown. If McNown had been there and put up those numbers, Trestman would be heading for Canton.

    • Chase Stuart September 3, 2014, 12:27 am

      Good catch, thanks. Fixed!

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