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The 2014 Class of Rookie Wide Receivers

In December, I provided a quick look at rookie receiving production, and noted that an unusually large amount of receiving yards had come from first-year players. In that study, I lumped all rookies together, but today, the focus will be on only wide receivers.

And the 2014 season was an incredible one for rookie wide receivers. Odell Beckham was unsurprisingly named the Offensive Rookie of the Year by the AP, with a rookie-high 1,305 receiving yards. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans and Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin each topped 1,000 yards, while Sammy Watkins (982), Jordan Matthews (872), and Jarvis Landry (758) all had seasons that would stand out as special in many other years.

The depth of the class was impressive, too: John Brown (696), Allen Hurns (677), Taylor Gabriel (621), Brandin Cooks (550), Martavis Bryant (549), Allen Robinson (548) all topped 500 yards, while Davante Adams, Donte Moncrief and Marqise Lee all hit the 400-yard mark.

Collectively, rookie wide receivers recorded 12,611 receiving yards last year, the most of any class year in the NFL in 2014. The graph below shows the number of receiving yards from wide receivers from each class (i.e., 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, etc.) in the NFL in 2014: [click to continue…]


Free Agency, and the Most Improved Teams

There are a lot of articles out there that suggests free agency is over-rated (as usual, Neil Paine has one of the better ones). But today I want to look at the question from a different perspective: instead of looking at how teams who are active in free agency have fared, what is we look at what free agent veterans were added by the teams that improved the most?

Last Wednesday, I looked at regression to the mean and team wins. I looked at the team that improved the most in each of the last 10 years, and then examined which free agents they added in that off-season. The results:

2014 Cowboys (12 Actual Wins; 8.0 Expected Wins, +4.0): DE Jeremy Mincey (Denver/Jacksonville), LB Rolando McClain (Baltimore), and DT Henry Melton (Chicago) were the only veteran additions of note. [click to continue…]


I previously looked at points per game by each quarterback in his starts and points per game allowed by each quarterback in his starts. Please check there for the fine print.

Today, we put it all together, for a list of points differential per game in games started by each quarterback.

RkQuarterbackGPFPAPDWLTWin %WinOv.500Last Yr
1Otto Graham8326.7814.4212.36661610.801501955
2Russell Wilson5625.8415.7310.11421400.75282014
3Tom Brady23627.8618.8691815500.7671262014
4Daryle Lamonica9726.6217.898.73702160.753491973
5Roger Staubach13123.8215.318.52963500.733611979
6Aaron Rodgers11428.520.987.52763800.667382014
7Joe Montana18724.6317.357.271335400.711791994
8Terry Bradshaw17722.8515.687.171215600.684651983
9Steve Young15725.7618.846.921025500.65471999
10Bart Starr16722.9916.686.311035860.635451971
10Bob Waterfield2527.9221.846.08151000.651952
11Johnny Unitas19424.3618.535.831246640.649581973
12Len Dawson16723.5117.85.72996080.617391975
13Don Meredith8926.6121.045.56493640.573131968
13Don Strock2324.52195.5216700.69691988
14Danny White10225.2319.735.5673500.657321987
15Peyton Manning28026.9221.535.391909000.6791002014
16Joe Flacco12723.6818.345.34824500.646372014
17Ben Roethlisberger17323.6118.45.211165700.671592014
18Jim McMahon10320.7515.595.16703300.68371994
19Mark Rypien8523.3818.484.89523300.612191995
20Philip Rivers15325.6320.764.86926100.601312014
21Frank Ryan9024.8420.184.67582930.661291968
22Donovan McNabb17722.9218.284.641076910.607382011
23Rich Gannon13824.219.574.63795900.572202004
24Charlie Conerly9221.7817.324.47583310.636251961
25Norm Van Brocklin10526.7422.294.46633840.619251960
26Bob Griese16221.1516.774.38986130.614371980
27Brett Favre32224.0719.754.3219912300.618762010
28Pat Haden6020.2716.054.22372210.625151981
29Kurt Warner12826.6622.464.2755300.586222009
30Ken Stabler15822.5118.424.091035410.655491983
31Jack Kemp11123.319.214.09674130.617261969
32Jim Kelly17723.219.184.031106700.621431996
32Don Heinrich3720.7316.74.03221320.62291962
33Troy Aikman18021.9418.013.941057500.583302000
34Earl Morrall10720.9717.043.93673730.64301975
35Drew Brees21226.6622.763.91238900.58342014
35James Harris4419.0715.23.86261800.59181978
36John Elway25223.2719.433.841628910.645731998
36Rudy Bukich382319.213.79211430.59271966
36Dieter Brock1720.0616.293.7612500.70671985
37David Woodley5821.6717.933.74372010.647171985
37Colin Kaepernick4523.62203.62291600.644132014
37Steve Bono4320.8117.213.6281500.651131998
38Joe Theismann13221.9618.373.59834900.629341985
39Elvis Grbac7322.4118.883.53413200.56292001
40Randall Cunningham14423.0619.563.5855810.594272001
41Bobby Layne13923.7320.243.48835240.612311962
42Jay Fiedler6320.7317.323.41382500.603132004
42Nick Foles252723.683.32151000.652014
43Milt Plum10421.718.523.18564260.567141967
44Tony Romo12925.2822.13.18775200.597252014
45Roman Gabriel15921.318.382.91866670.563201976
46Brad Johnson12521.3818.52.88725300.576192008
46Pat Ryan2123.8120.952.8612900.57131989
46Johnny Lujack2022.5519.72.8513700.6561951
47Andy Dalton6823.1320.512.62402710.596132014
47Tarvaris Jackson3522.2919.692.6171800.486-12011
48Phil Simms16920.317.732.571016800.598331993
49Steve Grogan13822.3819.862.52756300.543121990
49Bobby Thomason4220.3618.052.31192210.464-31957
50Dan Marino25823.0420.752.2915510300.601521999
51Doug Flutie6820.7418.52.24383000.55982004
52Brian Griese8322.0419.862.18453800.54272008
53Y.A. Tittle13924.3922.212.18785650.579221964
54Matt Ryan11524.322.132.17674800.583192014
55George Blanda10725.2323.12.13555110.51941968
56Kordell Stewart8620.1718.052.13503600.581142003
56Bob Lee3217.9715.842.13201200.62581977
57Mike Tomczak7820.7218.672.05453300.577121999
58Steve McNair16321.7219.692.03966700.589292007
59Ken Anderson17821.3119.292.03938500.52281985
59Shaun King2719.5217.522151200.55632004
59Virgil Carter3120.3518.352161500.51611975
60Jake Delhomme10421.7319.781.95614300.587182010
61Craig Morton15419.1417.251.89866710.562191982
61Tommy O'Connell212018.191.8111820.57131961
61Jeff Kemp3020.919.11.8161310.5531991
62Jeff Hostetler8821.0619.311.75553300.625221997
63Ron Jaworski15119.0617.321.74777310.51341989
64Dave Krieg18421.3419.731.61018300.549181996
65Bobby Hebert10321.2619.681.58564700.54491996
66Rex Grossman5121.920.331.57272400.52932011
66Shaun Hill3422.0620.51.56161800.471-22014
67Joe Kapp5219.1517.61.56262330.52931970
68Mark Brunell16121.6120.081.53837800.51652009
69Trent Green11525.0723.581.49565900.487-32008
70John Hadl16921.9620.531.43827890.51241977
71Mark Sanchez7622.2620.921.34413500.53962014
72Jay Schroeder10420.1618.871.3644000.615241994
73Alex Smith10821.2119.941.28584910.54292014
74Andrew Luck5424.823.541.26361800.667182014
75Stan Humphries8721.6220.41.22533400.609191997
76Drew Bledsoe19920.7419.541.21019800.50832006
76Brian Hoyer172220.821.1810700.58832014
76Matt Cavanaugh1920.7919.631.1681100.421-31986
77Eli Manning17823.6222.481.15997900.556202014
77Jim Miller2820.14191.14151300.53622002
78Chad Pennington8720.6419.531.11464100.52952010
79Vince Young5121.5920.491.1312000.608112011
79Gary Cuozzo4118.8517.761.1212000.51211972
79Matt Moore2318.6517.740.91111200.478-12011
79Jim Ninowski3120.0319.190.84151510.501968
80Ed Brown9921.9721.190.78553950.581161964
81Neil O'Donnell10719.8719.120.75584900.54292003
82Dan Fouts17823.7723.030.74898810.50311987
83Gary Danielson6120.4819.750.72283210.467-41988
84Billy Kilmer12120.1719.480.69635710.52561978
85Kyle Orton8220.7320.060.67424000.51222014
86Cam Newton6522.8222.250.57313310.485-22014
87David Garrard7821.6521.090.56403800.51322010
88Bill Nelsen7922.8122.270.54423430.55181972
89Wade Wilson7421.5521.010.54383600.51421998
89John Roach1922.0521.530.5371110.395-41964
90Michael Vick11522.2321.760.47615310.53582014
91Fran Tarkenton25021.420.940.4613011460.532161978
92Warren Moon21321.921.450.4610510800.493-32000
93Billy Wade8622.4722.050.42414320.488-21965
94Bernie Kosar11520.8420.430.42565810.491-21995
95Eric Hipple5820.0519.640.41283000.483-21989
96Matt Schaub9223.6523.240.41474500.51122013
97Jeff Garcia12222.5522.160.39606200.492-22008
98Trent Dilfer11917.8217.520.3635600.52972007
99Bill Kenney7721.7521.490.26344300.442-91988
99Scott Hunter4316.8116.650.16211930.52321977
100Steve Beuerlein10420.2520.10.15485600.462-82003
101Vince Ferragamo5921.5821.460.12302900.50811985
102Charley Johnson12422.2322.190.04595780.50821975
103Jim Plunkett15420.4120.410807400.51961986
103Cody Carlson2019.719.7011900.5521994
104Mark Malone5520.1120.13-0.02243100.436-71988
105Charlie Batch5520.6920.71-0.02253000.455-52012
106Matt Hasselbeck16322.1722.2-0.02857800.52172012
106Steve Ramsey3119.3919.52-0.13141700.452-31976
107Greg Landry9918.9119.18-0.27445230.46-81984
108Bubby Brister7719.3519.66-0.31383900.494-11998
109Bill Munson6618.6819.05-0.36273450.447-71975
110Boomer Esiason17821.8722.25-0.38839500.466-121997
111Babe Parilli10422.1922.59-0.39504770.51431967
111Matt Robinson2022.422.8-0.4101000.501980
112Gus Frerotte9521.3721.8-0.43454910.479-42008
113Steve Bartkowski13120.3820.82-0.44607100.458-111986
114Jim Hart18221.0421.49-0.45879050.492-31983
115Scott Mitchell7322.4122.89-0.48324100.438-92000
115Anthony Wright2017.6518.15-0.581200.4-42005
116Mike Livingston7519.4520.01-0.56314310.42-121979
116Frankie Albert3219.0919.72-0.63141710.453-31952
117Tony Banks7819.1819.83-0.65354300.449-82003
117Tommy Maddox3821.2921.95-0.66162110.434-52005
117Ryan Tannehill4820.6921.35-0.67232500.479-22014
118Joe Namath13222.4223.1-0.67646440.501977
119Matthew Stafford7923.6324.33-0.7354400.443-92014
119Steve Fuller4417.4118.14-0.73202400.455-41986
120Tommy Kramer11420.5521.32-0.77565800.491-21989
121Carson Palmer14522.0122.83-0.82707500.483-52014
122Tony Eason5620.7921.61-0.82312500.55461989
123Marc Wilson6120.3921.25-0.85322900.52531990
124Don Majkowski5719.4420.33-0.89263010.465-41996
124Todd Blackledge3019.8720.77-0.9151500.501989
125John Brodie16421.6322.55-0.91768080.488-41973
126Doug Williams8817.7718.73-0.95424510.483-31989
127Jim Harbaugh14518.6819.68-1687700.469-92000
127Pete Beathard3718.0519.08-1.03181810.501972
128Sonny Jurgensen14921.5422.61-1.07697370.487-41974
129Mike Phipps7317.8219.04-1.22383320.53451980
130Brian Sipe11319.8921.15-1.26575600.50411983
131Ken O'Brien11220.1921.46-1.27506110.451-111993
131Quincy Carter3515.7117-1.29181700.51412004
131George Ratterman2025.2526.55-1.391010.475-11956
131A.J. Feeley1818.8920.22-1.3381000.444-22011
132Bert Jones9921.5622.91-1.35475200.475-51982
133Jay Cutler12122.7424.1-1.36625900.51232014
134Rodney Peete8919.4820.85-1.37464300.51732003
134Kellen Clemens2118.7620.19-1.4381300.381-52013
135Kerry Collins18719.6321.12-1.498410300.449-192011
135Scott Brunner3217.5619.06-1.5131900.406-61983
135Steve Walsh411718.54-1.54212000.51211996
136Joe Ferguson17518.7820.33-1.54809500.457-151989
137Byron Leftwich5117.3118.9-1.59242700.471-32012
138Richard Todd11220.121.69-1.59506110.451-111984
138Damon Huard2717.2218.81-1.59151200.55632008
138Danny Kanell2518.1219.72-1.6101410.42-42003
138Matt Leinart1821.1722.78-1.6181000.444-22011
138Kyle Boller4719.0220.64-1.62202700.426-72011
138Kent Graham3816.9218.61-1.68172100.447-42000
138Kevin Kolb2120.922.71-1.8191200.429-32012
139Jim Everett15820.1922.01-1.82669200.418-261997
139George Shaw2920.5922.41-1.83111620.414-51962
140Chris Chandler15519.7221.68-1.97698600.445-172004
141Bob Avellini511718.98-1.98232800.451-51984
142Tobin Rote11922.8724.87-1.99516440.445-131964
142Vince Evans3918.120.18-2.08142500.359-111995
143Jason Campbell7919.6621.77-2.11324700.405-152013
144Vinny Testaverde21919.521.62-2.119212610.422-342007
145Bob Berry5217.0419.17-2.13202930.413-91974
145Sammy Baugh2219.0521.23-2.18111100.501952
146Jake Plummer14219.7421.94-2.2717100.502006
146Gary Hogeboom3719.3821.59-2.22181900.486-11989
147Tom Flores6722.2824.63-2.34313240.493-11968
147Jack Concannon4516.8219.18-2.36202410.456-41974
147Todd Collins2217.5519.91-2.36111100.502010
148Lynn Dickey11319.722.1-2.4466430.42-181985
148John Friesz3818.7621.18-2.42132500.342-121998
149Neil Lomax10220.6923.12-2.43475320.471-61988
149Johnny Green1922.2124.68-2.4781100.421-31962
150Matt Cassel7220.8223.33-2.51333900.458-62014
150Heath Shuler2217.7320.27-2.5581400.364-61997
151Cotton Davidson5420.3522.94-2.59203310.38-131966
151Adrian Burk4120.122.83-2.73152330.402-81956
151Patrick Ramsey2418.4621.21-2.75101400.417-42005
151Trent Edwards3318.4221.21-2.79141900.424-52010
152Dan Pastorini12218.2721.07-2.8596300.484-41981
153Erik Kramer7019.6922.61-2.93323800.457-61999
153Dave Wilson3116.8419.77-2.94121900.387-71986
154Steve DeBerg14419.622.53-2.94548910.378-351998
154Kelly Holcomb2520.823.76-2.9681700.32-92007
154David Whitehurst3714.8917.95-3.05162010.446-41981
154Cliff Stoudt2120.123.29-3.1991200.429-31988
154Seneca Wallace2217.4120.77-3.3661600.273-102013
154Joe Reed191518.37-3.3791000.474-11979
154Rob Johnson3019.2722.7-3.43121800.4-62002
154Jim Finks4519.5823.04-3.47182700.4-91955
155Jon Kitna12520.8924.46-3.57507500.4-252010
155Mike Boryla1915.5319.11-3.5881100.421-31978
155Christian Ponder3623.527.08-3.58142110.403-72014
156Dave Brown6016.7220.3-3.58263400.433-82000
156Frank Reich2220.1423.73-3.5971500.318-81998
156Dick Wood3420.3223.97-3.65131920.412-61966
156Pete Liske2917.3421-3.66131510.466-21972
157Daunte Culpepper10421.4825.15-3.67436100.413-182009
157Paul McDonald2216.2319.91-3.6881400.364-61984
158Aaron Brooks9220.5324.23-3.7395300.424-142006
158Robert Griffin362326.83-3.83142200.389-82014
158Butch Songin2023.3527.2-3.8581110.425-31962
158Steve Pelluer3017.6321.53-3.992010.317-111989
159Chris Miller9419.4123.34-3.93355900.372-241999
159Josh McCown4918.9822.98-4173200.347-152014
159Zeke Bratkowski4718.5322.6-4.06163010.351-141971
160Ryan Fitzpatrick892024.1-4.1335510.376-222014
161Jim Zorn1062024.12-4.12446200.415-181987
161Charlie Trippi1614.3118.44-4.1351100.313-61952
161Mike Taliaferro3118.122.23-4.13112000.355-91970
161Al Woodall1913.7917.95-4.1651400.263-91973
161Shane Matthews2216.6820.86-4.18111100.502002
161Jake Locker2320.9125.13-4.2291400.391-52014
161Derek Anderson4518.5122.73-4.22202500.444-52014
162Rick Mirer6817.7421.99-4.25244400.353-202003
162Marty Domres3216.4420.72-4.28122000.375-81977
163Josh Freeman6019.7824.08-4.3243600.4-122013
164Norm Snead15819.5923.95-4.35529970.351-471976
165Marc Bulger9821.0825.59-4.51425600.429-142009
166Jack Trudeau5015.4420-4.56193100.38-121994
167Joey Harrington7617.2421.95-4.71265000.342-242007
167Craig Erickson3517.622.34-4.74142100.4-71996
167Billy Joe Tolliver4718.1922.94-4.74153200.319-171999
168Bobby Douglass5317.1921.96-4.77163610.311-201977
169Jeff Blake1002024.82-4.82396100.39-222003
169Don Trull1823.8328.72-4.8941220.278-81969
169Steve Spurrier3816.9221.84-4.92132410.355-111976
169Karl Sweetan1916.8421.79-4.9561030.395-41968
169Sam Bradford4917.5322.55-5.02183010.378-122013
169Ty Detmer2617.7722.81-5.04111500.423-42001
170Tim Couch5916.5921.69-5.1223700.373-152003
170Joe Pisarcik3014.820.17-5.3792100.3-121984
170Steve Dils2717.723.11-5.41101700.37-71988
170Hugh Millen2514.419.92-5.5271800.28-111994
170Chris Simms1714.7620.41-5.6571000.412-32009
170David Archer2317.6523.3-5.6591310.413-41987
170Brandon Weeden2118.2423.95-5.7151600.238-112014
171Lamar McHan7317.8223.73-5.9244720.342-231963
171Tim Tebow1619.8825.81-5.949700.56322011
171Jack Thompson2117.5723.52-5.9541700.19-131984
171Geno Smith2918.6224.59-5.97111800.379-72014
172Jeff George12717.5723.6-6.03478000.37-332001
173Eddie LeBaron8118.1724.31-6.14265230.34-261963
173Dick Shiner2918.7924.93-6.1472110.259-141973
174Mike Pagel5417.0423.24-6.2173610.324-191990
174Al Dorow4421.227.41-6.2192500.432-61962
174Billy Joe Hobert1717.0623.29-6.2441300.235-91999
174Terry Hanratty1815.7222.11-6.3961200.333-61976
174Jacky Lee2316.723.09-6.3971510.326-81969
174John Skelton1717.1223.65-6.538900.471-12012
174Colt McCoy2515.5222.28-6.7671800.28-112014
174Tim Rattay1818.525.28-6.7851300.278-82006
175Chad Henne5318.6225.45-6.83183500.34-172014
175Mike Glennon1819.9426.78-6.8351300.278-82014
175J.P. Losman3315.7922.7-6.91102300.303-132008
175King Hill3020.627.87-7.2772210.25-151968
175Ralph Guglielmi2616.6923.96-7.2771630.327-91963
176David Carr7916.2823.63-7.35235600.291-332007
177Frank Tripucka5020.0627.5-7.44173210.35-151963
177Charlie Frye2314.6122.22-7.6171600.304-92009
177Steve Tensi3419.4727.09-7.62102310.309-131970
177Chuck Long2114.922.67-7.7641700.19-131988
177Kelly Stouffer1612.0620.06-851100.313-61992
178Archie Manning13915.9124.21-8.293510130.263-661984
178Ryan Leaf211523.43-8.4341700.19-132001
178David Klingler2412.6321.42-8.7942000.167-161994
178Bruce Gradkowski2016.0525.05-961400.3-82010
178Jeff Komlo1614.1923.25-9.0621400.125-121981
178Randy Wright3215.0924.34-9.2572500.219-181988
178Blaine Gabbert2715.324.85-9.5652200.185-172013
178John Reaves1713.4123.65-10.2441300.235-91987
178JaMarcus Russell2514.4824.72-10.2471800.28-112009
178Chris Weinke2013.623.95-10.3521800.1-162007
178Dennis Shaw3715.4626.03-10.5782720.243-191972
178Kent Nix1816.527.17-10.6741400.222-101972
178Mickey Slaughter192131.74-10.7421520.158-131966
178Brady Quinn201525.85-10.8541600.2-122012
178Doug Pederson1710.5922.35-11.7631400.176-112000
178Timm Rosenbach2014.626.4-11.851500.25-101992
178Gary Huff289.5721.39-11.8272100.25-141977
178Derek Carr1615.8128.25-12.4431300.188-102014
178Randy Johnson4915.5528.45-12.9103810.214-281976
178Akili Smith1710.7624.76-1431400.176-112002

Again, I’m short on time, so I will leave the commentary to you guys.


Please see yesterday’s post for the fine print. The table below shows the average points per game allowed in games started by each quarterback, minimum 15 games (but the ranks only count for quarterbacks with 50 or more starts).

RkQuarterbackGPAWLTWin %WinOv.500Last Yr
1Otto Graham8314.42661610.801501955
1James Harris4415.2261800.59181978
2Roger Staubach13115.31963500.733611979
3Jim McMahon10315.59703300.68371994
4Terry Bradshaw17715.681215600.684651983
5Russell Wilson5615.73421400.75282014
5Bob Lee3215.84201200.62581977
6Pat Haden6016.05372210.625151981
6Dieter Brock1716.2912500.70671985
6Scott Hunter4316.65211930.52321977
7Bart Starr16716.681035860.635451971
7Don Heinrich3716.7221320.62291962
8Bob Griese16216.77986130.614371980
8Quincy Carter3517181700.51412004
9Earl Morrall10717.04673730.64301975
9Steve Bono4317.21281500.651131998
10Craig Morton15417.25866710.562191982
11Charlie Conerly9217.32583310.636251961
12Jay Fiedler6317.32382500.603132004
13Ron Jaworski15117.32777310.51341989
14Joe Montana18717.351335400.711791994
14Shaun King2717.52151200.55632004
15Trent Dilfer11917.52635600.52972007
16Joe Kapp5217.6262330.52931970
17Phil Simms16917.731016800.598331993
17Matt Moore2317.74111200.478-12011
17Gary Cuozzo4117.76212000.51211972
18Len Dawson16717.8996080.617391975
19Daryle Lamonica9717.89702160.753491973
20David Woodley5817.93372010.647171985
20David Whitehurst3717.95162010.446-41981
20Al Woodall1917.9551400.263-91973
21Troy Aikman18018.011057500.583302000
22Kordell Stewart8618.05503600.581142003
22Bobby Thomason4218.05192210.464-31957
22Steve Fuller4418.14202400.455-41986
22Anthony Wright2018.1581200.4-42005
22Tommy O'Connell2118.1911820.57131961
23Donovan McNabb17718.281076910.607382011
24Joe Flacco12718.34824500.646372014
24Virgil Carter3118.35161500.51611975
24Joe Reed1918.3791000.474-11979
25Joe Theismann13218.37834900.629341985
26Roman Gabriel15918.38866670.563201976
27Ben Roethlisberger17318.41165700.671592014
28Ken Stabler15818.421035410.655491983
28Charlie Trippi1618.4451100.313-61952
29Mark Rypien8518.48523300.612191995
30Doug Flutie6818.5383000.55982004
31Brad Johnson12518.5725300.576192008
32Milt Plum10418.52564260.567141967
33Johnny Unitas19418.531246640.649581973
33Steve Walsh4118.54212000.51211996
33Kent Graham3818.61172100.447-42000
34Mike Tomczak7818.67453300.577121999
35Doug Williams8818.73424510.483-31989
35Damon Huard2718.81151200.55632008
36Steve Young15718.841025500.65471999
37Tom Brady23618.861815500.7671262014
38Jay Schroeder10418.87644000.615241994
39Elvis Grbac7318.88413200.56292001
40Byron Leftwich5118.9242700.471-32012
41Bob Avellini5118.98232800.451-51984
41Don Strock231916700.69691988
41Jim Miller2819151300.53622002
42Mike Phipps7319.04383320.53451980
43Bill Munson6619.05273450.447-71975
43Scott Brunner3219.06131900.406-61983
43Pete Beathard3719.08181810.501972
43Jeff Kemp3019.1161310.5531991
43Mike Boryla1919.1181100.421-31978
44Neil O'Donnell10719.12584900.54292003
45Bob Berry5219.17202930.413-91974
46Jim Kelly17719.181106700.621431996
46Jack Concannon4519.18202410.456-41974
47Greg Landry9919.18445230.46-81984
47Jim Ninowski3119.19151510.501968
48Jack Kemp11119.21674130.617261969
48Rudy Bukich3819.21211430.59271966
49Ken Anderson17819.29938500.52281985
50Jeff Hostetler8819.31553300.625221997
51John Elway25219.431628910.645731998
52Billy Kilmer12119.48635710.52561978
52Steve Ramsey3119.52141700.452-31976
53Chad Pennington8719.53464100.52952010
54Drew Bledsoe19919.541019800.50832006
55Randall Cunningham14419.56855810.594272001
56Rich Gannon13819.57795900.572202004
56Matt Cavanaugh1919.6381100.421-31986
57Eric Hipple5819.64283000.483-21989
58Bubby Brister7719.66383900.494-11998
59Jim Harbaugh14519.68687700.469-92000
60Bobby Hebert10319.68564700.54491996
60Tarvaris Jackson3519.69171800.486-12011
61Steve McNair16319.69966700.589292007
61Johnny Lujack2019.713700.6561951
61Cody Carlson2019.711900.5521994
61Frankie Albert3219.72141710.453-31952
61Danny Kanell2519.72101410.42-42003
62Danny White10219.73673500.657321987
63Dave Krieg18419.731018300.549181996
64Gary Danielson6119.75283210.467-41988
65Brett Favre32219.7519912300.618762010
65Dave Wilson3119.77121900.387-71986
66Jake Delhomme10419.78614300.587182010
67Tony Banks7819.83354300.449-82003
68Brian Griese8319.86453800.54272008
69Steve Grogan13819.86756300.543121990
69Todd Collins2219.91111100.502010
69Paul McDonald2219.9181400.364-61984
69Hugh Millen2519.9271800.28-111994
70Alex Smith10819.94584910.54292014
71Jack Trudeau5020193100.38-121994
71Colin Kaepernick4520291600.644132014
72Mike Livingston7520.01314310.42-121979
73Kyle Orton8220.06424000.51222014
73Kelly Stouffer1620.0651100.313-61992
74Mark Brunell16120.08837800.51652009
75Steve Beuerlein10420.1485600.462-82003
76Mark Malone5520.13243100.436-71988
76Joe Pisarcik3020.1792100.3-121984
77Frank Ryan9020.18582930.661291968
77Vince Evans3920.18142500.359-111995
77Kellen Clemens2120.1981300.381-52013
77A.J. Feeley1820.2281000.444-22011
78Bobby Layne13920.24835240.612311962
78Heath Shuler2220.2781400.364-61997
79Dave Brown6020.3263400.433-82000
80Joe Ferguson17520.33809500.457-151989
81Rex Grossman5120.33272400.52932011
82Don Majkowski5720.33263010.465-41996
83Stan Humphries8720.4533400.609191997
84Jim Plunkett15420.41807400.51961986
84Chris Simms1720.4171000.412-32009
85Bernie Kosar11520.43565810.491-21995
86Vince Young5120.49312000.608112011
86Shaun Hill3420.5161800.471-22014
87Andy Dalton6820.51402710.596132014
88John Hadl16920.53827890.51241977
88Kyle Boller4720.64202700.426-72011
89Charlie Batch5520.71253000.455-52012
89Marty Domres3220.72122000.375-81977
90Dan Marino25820.7515510300.601521999
91Philip Rivers15320.76926100.601312014
91Todd Blackledge3020.77151500.501989
91Seneca Wallace2220.7761600.273-102013
92Steve Bartkowski13120.82607100.458-111986
92Brian Hoyer1720.8210700.58832014
93Rodney Peete8920.85464300.51732003
93Shane Matthews2220.86111100.502002
94Mark Sanchez7620.92413500.53962014
95Fran Tarkenton25020.9413011460.532161978
95Pat Ryan2120.9512900.57131989
96Aaron Rodgers11420.98763800.667382014
96Pete Liske2921131510.466-21972
97Wade Wilson7421.01383600.51421998
98Don Meredith8921.04493640.573131968
99Dan Pastorini12221.07596300.484-41981
100David Garrard7821.09403800.51322010
101Kerry Collins18721.128410300.449-192011
102Brian Sipe11321.15575600.50411983
102John Friesz3821.18132500.342-121998
103Ed Brown9921.19553950.581161964
103Patrick Ramsey2421.21101400.417-42005
103Trent Edwards3321.21141900.424-52010
103Sammy Baugh2221.23111100.501952
104Marc Wilson6121.25322900.52531990
105Tommy Kramer11421.32565800.491-21989
105Ryan Tannehill4821.35232500.479-22014
105Gary Huff2821.3972100.25-141977
105David Klingler2421.4242000.167-161994
106Warren Moon21321.4510510800.493-32000
107Ken O'Brien11221.46506110.451-111993
108Vince Ferragamo5921.46302900.50811985
109Bill Kenney7721.49344300.442-91988
110Jim Hart18221.49879050.492-31983
110John Roach1921.5371110.395-41964
111Peyton Manning28021.531909000.6791002014
111Steve Pelluer3021.5392010.317-111989
111Gary Hogeboom3721.59181900.486-11989
112Tony Eason5621.61312500.55461989
113Vinny Testaverde21921.629212610.422-342007
114Chris Chandler15521.68698600.445-172004
115Richard Todd11221.69506110.451-111984
116Tim Couch5921.69223700.373-152003
117Michael Vick11521.76615310.53582014
118Jason Campbell7921.77324700.405-152013
118Karl Sweetan1921.7961030.395-41968
119Gus Frerotte9521.8454910.479-42008
119Bob Waterfield2521.84151000.651952
119Steve Spurrier3821.84132410.355-111976
120Jake Plummer14221.94717100.502006
121Joey Harrington7621.95265000.342-242007
121Tommy Maddox3821.95162110.434-52005
122Bobby Douglass5321.96163610.311-201977
123Rick Mirer6821.99244400.353-202003
124Jim Everett15822.01669200.418-261997
125Billy Wade8622.05414320.488-21965
126Lynn Dickey11322.1466430.42-181985
127Tony Romo12922.1775200.597252014
127Terry Hanratty1822.1161200.333-61976
128Matt Ryan11522.13674800.583192014
129Jeff Garcia12222.16606200.492-22008
130Charley Johnson12422.19595780.50821975
131Matt Hasselbeck16322.2857800.52172012
132Y.A. Tittle13922.21785650.579221964
132Charlie Frye2322.2271600.304-92009
132Mike Taliaferro3122.23112000.355-91970
133Cam Newton6522.25313310.485-22014
134Boomer Esiason17822.25839500.466-121997
135Bill Nelsen7922.27423430.55181972
135Colt McCoy2522.2871800.28-112014
136Norm Van Brocklin10522.29633840.619251960
136Craig Erickson3522.34142100.4-71996
136Doug Pederson1722.3531400.176-112000
136George Shaw2922.41111620.414-51962
137Kurt Warner12822.46755300.586222009
138Eli Manning17822.48997900.556202014
139Steve DeBerg14422.53548910.378-351998
140John Brodie16422.55768080.488-41973
140Sam Bradford4922.55183010.378-122013
141Babe Parilli10422.59504770.51431967
141Zeke Bratkowski4722.6163010.351-141971
142Sonny Jurgensen14922.61697370.487-41974
143Erik Kramer7022.61323800.457-61999
143Chuck Long2122.6741700.19-131988
143J.P. Losman3322.7102300.303-132008
143Rob Johnson3022.7121800.4-62002
143Kevin Kolb2122.7191200.429-32012
143Derek Anderson4522.73202500.444-52014
144Drew Brees21222.761238900.58342014
144Matt Leinart1822.7881000.444-22011
144Matt Robinson2022.8101000.501980
144Ty Detmer2622.81111500.423-42001
144Adrian Burk4122.83152330.402-81956
145Carson Palmer14522.83707500.483-52014
146Scott Mitchell7322.89324100.438-92000
147Bert Jones9922.91475200.475-51982
147Billy Joe Tolliver4722.94153200.319-171999
148Cotton Davidson5422.94203310.38-131966
148Josh McCown4922.98173200.347-152014
149Dan Fouts17823.03898810.50311987
149Jim Finks4523.04182700.4-91955
149Jacky Lee2323.0971510.326-81969
150Joe Namath13223.1646440.501977
151George Blanda10723.1555110.51941968
151Steve Dils2723.11101700.37-71988
152Neil Lomax10223.12475320.471-61988
153Matt Schaub9223.24474500.51122013
154Mike Pagel5423.24173610.324-191990
154Jeff Komlo1623.2521400.125-121981
154Cliff Stoudt2123.2991200.429-31988
154Billy Joe Hobert1723.2941300.235-91999
154David Archer2323.391310.413-41987
155Matt Cassel7223.33333900.458-62014
156Chris Miller9423.34355900.372-241999
156Ryan Leaf2123.4341700.19-132001
156Jack Thompson2123.5241700.19-131984
157Andrew Luck5423.54361800.667182014
158Trent Green11523.58565900.487-32008
159Jeff George12723.6478000.37-332001
160David Carr7923.63235600.291-332007
160John Skelton1723.658900.471-12012
160John Reaves1723.6541300.235-91987
160Nick Foles2523.68151000.652014
161Lamar McHan7323.73244720.342-231963
161Frank Reich2223.7371500.318-81998
161Kelly Holcomb2523.7681700.32-92007
162Norm Snead15823.95529970.351-471976
162Chris Weinke2023.9521800.1-162007
162Brandon Weeden2123.9551600.238-112014
162Ralph Guglielmi2623.9671630.327-91963
162Dick Wood3423.97131920.412-61966
163Josh Freeman6024.08243600.4-122013
164Jay Cutler12124.1625900.51232014
165Ryan Fitzpatrick8924.1335510.376-222014
166Jim Zorn10624.12446200.415-181987
167Archie Manning13924.213510130.263-661984
168Aaron Brooks9224.23395300.424-142006
169Eddie LeBaron8124.31265230.34-261963
170Matthew Stafford7924.33354400.443-92014
170Randy Wright3224.3472500.219-181988
171Jon Kitna12524.46507500.4-252010
171Geno Smith2924.59111800.379-72014
172Tom Flores6724.63313240.493-11968
172Johnny Green1924.6881100.421-31962
172JaMarcus Russell2524.7271800.28-112009
172Akili Smith1724.7631400.176-112002
173Jeff Blake10024.82396100.39-222003
173Blaine Gabbert2724.8552200.185-172013
174Tobin Rote11924.87516440.445-131964
174Dick Shiner2924.9372110.259-141973
174Bruce Gradkowski2025.0561400.3-82010
174Jake Locker2325.1391400.391-52014
175Daunte Culpepper10425.15436100.413-182009
175Tim Rattay1825.2851300.278-82006
176Chad Henne5325.45183500.34-172014
177Marc Bulger9825.59425600.429-142009
177Tim Tebow1625.819700.56322011
177Brady Quinn2025.8541600.2-122012
177Dennis Shaw3726.0382720.243-191972
177Timm Rosenbach2026.451500.25-101992
177George Ratterman2026.5591010.475-11956
177Mike Glennon1826.7851300.278-82014
177Robert Griffin3626.83142200.389-82014
177Christian Ponder3627.08142110.403-72014
177Steve Tensi3427.09102310.309-131970
177Kent Nix1827.1741400.222-101972
177Butch Songin2027.281110.425-31962
177Al Dorow4427.41192500.432-61962
178Frank Tripucka5027.5173210.35-151963
178King Hill3027.8772210.25-151968
178Derek Carr1628.2531300.188-102014
178Randy Johnson4928.45103810.214-281976
178Don Trull1828.7241220.278-81969
178Mickey Slaughter1931.7421520.158-131966

Again, I will leave the commentary to you guys.


Aaron Rodgers has started 114 games (including playoffs) in his career. In those games, the Packers have averaged 28.5 points per game (including non-offensive scores), the highest average for any quarterback in his team’s starts in NFL history.

The table below shows the PPG average in each quarterback’s starts for all quarterbacks with at least 15 starts. However, since 15 is a pretty low cut-off, I only ranked players with 50 starts; if a player had fewer than 50 starts, I just gave him the same rank as the player above him in the table.

Here’s how to read the table below. Rodgers has started 114 games, his team has scored 28.5 points per game during those games, and he has produced a 76-38-0 record. That translates to a 0.667 winning percentage, and Rodgers is 38 games over 0.500.

RkQuarterbackGPFWLTWin %WinOv.500Last Yr
1Aaron Rodgers11428.5763800.667382014
1Bob Waterfield2527.92151000.651952
2Tom Brady23627.861815500.7671262014
2Nick Foles2527151000.652014
3Peyton Manning28026.921909000.6791002014
4Otto Graham8326.78661610.801501955
5Norm Van Brocklin10526.74633840.619251960
6Kurt Warner12826.66755300.586222009
7Drew Brees21226.661238900.58342014
8Daryle Lamonica9726.62702160.753491973
9Don Meredith8926.61493640.573131968
10Russell Wilson5625.84421400.75282014
11Steve Young15725.761025500.65471999
12Philip Rivers15325.63926100.601312014
13Tony Romo12925.28775200.597252014
13George Ratterman2025.2591010.475-11956
14George Blanda10725.23555110.51941968
15Danny White10225.23673500.657321987
16Trent Green11525.07565900.487-32008
17Frank Ryan9024.84582930.661291968
18Andrew Luck5424.8361800.667182014
19Joe Montana18724.631335400.711791994
19Don Strock2324.5216700.69691988
20Y.A. Tittle13924.39785650.579221964
21Johnny Unitas19424.361246640.649581973
22Matt Ryan11524.3674800.583192014
23Rich Gannon13824.2795900.572202004
24Brett Favre32224.0719912300.618762010
24Don Trull1823.8341220.278-81969
25Roger Staubach13123.82963500.733611979
25Pat Ryan2123.8112900.57131989
26Dan Fouts17823.77898810.50311987
27Bobby Layne13923.73835240.612311962
28Joe Flacco12723.68824500.646372014
29Matt Schaub9223.65474500.51122013
30Matthew Stafford7923.63354400.443-92014
31Eli Manning17823.62997900.556202014
31Colin Kaepernick4523.62291600.644132014
32Ben Roethlisberger17323.611165700.671592014
33Len Dawson16723.51996080.617391975
33Christian Ponder3623.5142110.403-72014
34Mark Rypien8523.38523300.612191995
34Butch Songin2023.3581110.425-31962
35Jack Kemp11123.3674130.617261969
36John Elway25223.271628910.645731998
37Jim Kelly17723.21106700.621431996
38Andy Dalton6823.13402710.596132014
39Randall Cunningham14423.06855810.594272001
40Dan Marino25823.0415510300.601521999
40Rudy Bukich3823211430.59271966
40Robert Griffin3623142200.389-82014
41Bart Starr16722.991035860.635451971
42Donovan McNabb17722.921076910.607382011
43Tobin Rote11922.87516440.445-131964
44Terry Bradshaw17722.851215600.684651983
45Cam Newton6522.82313310.485-22014
46Bill Nelsen7922.81423430.55181972
47Jay Cutler12122.74625900.51232014
47Johnny Lujack2022.5513700.6561951
48Jeff Garcia12222.55606200.492-22008
49Ken Stabler15822.511035410.655491983
50Billy Wade8622.47414320.488-21965
51Joe Namath13222.42646440.501977
52Elvis Grbac7322.41413200.56292001
53Scott Mitchell7322.41324100.438-92000
53Matt Robinson2022.4101000.501980
54Steve Grogan13822.38756300.543121990
54Tarvaris Jackson3522.29171800.486-12011
55Tom Flores6722.28313240.493-11968
56Mark Sanchez7622.26413500.53962014
57Michael Vick11522.23615310.53582014
58Charley Johnson12422.23595780.50821975
58Johnny Green1922.2181100.421-31962
59Babe Parilli10422.19504770.51431967
60Matt Hasselbeck16322.17857800.52172012
60Shaun Hill3422.06161800.471-22014
60John Roach1922.0571110.395-41964
61Brian Griese8322.04453800.54272008
62Carson Palmer14522.01707500.483-52014
62Brian Hoyer172210700.58832014
63Ed Brown9921.97553950.581161964
64John Hadl16921.96827890.51241977
65Joe Theismann13221.96834900.629341985
66Troy Aikman18021.941057500.583302000
67Rex Grossman5121.9272400.52932011
68Warren Moon21321.910510800.493-32000
69Boomer Esiason17821.87839500.466-121997
70Charlie Conerly9221.78583310.636251961
71Bill Kenney7721.75344300.442-91988
72Jake Delhomme10421.73614300.587182010
73Steve McNair16321.72966700.589292007
74Milt Plum10421.7564260.567141967
75David Woodley5821.67372010.647171985
76David Garrard7821.65403800.51322010
77John Brodie16421.63768080.488-41973
78Stan Humphries8721.62533400.609191997
79Mark Brunell16121.61837800.51652009
80Vince Young5121.59312000.608112011
81Vince Ferragamo5921.58302900.50811985
82Bert Jones9921.56475200.475-51982
83Wade Wilson7421.55383600.51421998
84Sonny Jurgensen14921.54697370.487-41974
85Daunte Culpepper10421.48436100.413-182009
86Fran Tarkenton25021.413011460.532161978
87Brad Johnson12521.38725300.576192008
88Gus Frerotte9521.37454910.479-42008
89Dave Krieg18421.341018300.549181996
90Ken Anderson17821.31938500.52281985
91Roman Gabriel15921.3866670.563201976
91Tommy Maddox3821.29162110.434-52005
92Bobby Hebert10321.26564700.54491996
93Alex Smith10821.21584910.54292014
93Al Dorow4421.2192500.432-61962
93Matt Leinart1821.1781000.444-22011
94Bob Griese16221.15986130.614371980
95Marc Bulger9821.08425600.429-142009
96Jeff Hostetler8821.06553300.625221997
97Jim Hart18221.04879050.492-31983
97Mickey Slaughter192121520.158-131966
98Earl Morrall10720.97673730.64301975
98Jake Locker2320.9191400.391-52014
98Kevin Kolb2120.991200.429-32012
98Jeff Kemp3020.9161310.5531991
99Jon Kitna12520.89507500.4-252010
100Bernie Kosar11520.84565810.491-21995
101Matt Cassel7220.82333900.458-62014
101Steve Bono4320.81281500.651131998
101Kelly Holcomb2520.881700.32-92007
101Matt Cavanaugh1920.7981100.421-31986
102Tony Eason5620.79312500.55461989
103Jim McMahon10320.75703300.68371994
104Drew Bledsoe19920.741019800.50832006
105Doug Flutie6820.74383000.55982004
106Kyle Orton8220.73424000.51222014
107Jay Fiedler6320.73382500.603132004
107Don Heinrich3720.73221320.62291962
108Mike Tomczak7820.72453300.577121999
109Charlie Batch5520.69253000.455-52012
109Ryan Tannehill4820.69232500.479-22014
110Neil Lomax10220.69475320.471-61988
111Chad Pennington8720.64464100.52952010
111King Hill3020.672210.25-151968
111George Shaw2920.59111620.414-51962
112Tommy Kramer11420.55565800.491-21989
113Aaron Brooks9220.53395300.424-142006
114Gary Danielson6120.48283210.467-41988
115Jim Plunkett15420.41807400.51961986
116Marc Wilson6120.39322900.52531990
117Steve Bartkowski13120.38607100.458-111986
117Bobby Thomason4220.36192210.464-31957
117Virgil Carter3120.35161500.51611975
118Cotton Davidson5420.35203310.38-131966
118Dick Wood3420.32131920.412-61966
119Phil Simms16920.31016800.598331993
120Pat Haden6020.27372210.625151981
121Steve Beuerlein10420.25485600.462-82003
122Jim Everett15820.19669200.418-261997
123Ken O'Brien11220.19506110.451-111993
124Kordell Stewart8620.17503600.581142003
125Billy Kilmer12120.17635710.52561978
126Jay Schroeder10420.16644000.615241994
126Jim Miller2820.14151300.53622002
126Frank Reich2220.1471500.318-81998
127Mark Malone5520.11243100.436-71988
128Richard Todd11220.1506110.451-111984
128Adrian Burk4120.1152330.402-81956
128Cliff Stoudt2120.191200.429-31988
129Frank Tripucka5020.06173210.35-151963
129Dieter Brock1720.0612500.70671985
130Eric Hipple5820.05283000.483-21989
130Jim Ninowski3120.03151510.501968
131Jim Zorn10620446200.415-181987
132Jeff Blake10020396100.39-222003
133Ryan Fitzpatrick8920335510.376-222014
133Tommy O'Connell212011820.57131961
133Mike Glennon1819.9451300.278-82014
134Brian Sipe11319.89575600.50411983
134Tim Tebow1619.889700.56322011
135Neil O'Donnell10719.87584900.54292003
135Todd Blackledge3019.87151500.501989
136Josh Freeman6019.78243600.4-122013
137Jake Plummer14219.74717100.502006
138Chris Chandler15519.72698600.445-172004
138Cody Carlson2019.711900.5521994
139Lynn Dickey11319.7466430.42-181985
140Erik Kramer7019.69323800.457-61999
141Jason Campbell7919.66324700.405-152013
142Kerry Collins18719.638410300.449-192011
143Steve DeBerg14419.6548910.378-351998
144Norm Snead15819.59529970.351-471976
144Jim Finks4519.58182700.4-91955
144Shaun King2719.52151200.55632004
145Vinny Testaverde21919.59212610.422-342007
146Rodney Peete8919.48464300.51732003
146Steve Tensi3419.47102310.309-131970
147Mike Livingston7519.45314310.42-121979
148Don Majkowski5719.44263010.465-41996
149Chris Miller9419.41355900.372-241999
149Steve Ramsey3119.39141700.452-31976
149Gary Hogeboom3719.38181900.486-11989
150Bubby Brister7719.35383900.494-11998
150Rob Johnson3019.27121800.4-62002
151Tony Banks7819.18354300.449-82003
152Joe Kapp5219.15262330.52931970
153Craig Morton15419.14866710.562191982
153Frankie Albert3219.09141710.453-31952
153James Harris4419.07261800.59181978
154Ron Jaworski15119.06777310.51341989
154Sammy Baugh2219.05111100.501952
154Kyle Boller4719.02202700.426-72011
154Josh McCown4918.98173200.347-152014
155Greg Landry9918.91445230.46-81984
155A.J. Feeley1818.8981000.444-22011
155Gary Cuozzo4118.85212000.51211972
155Dick Shiner2918.7972110.259-141973
156Joe Ferguson17518.78809500.457-151989
156John Friesz3818.76132500.342-121998
156Kellen Clemens2118.7681300.381-52013
157Bill Munson6618.68273450.447-71975
158Jim Harbaugh14518.68687700.469-92000
158Matt Moore2318.65111200.478-12011
159Chad Henne5318.62183500.34-172014
159Geno Smith2918.62111800.379-72014
159Zeke Bratkowski4718.53163010.351-141971
159Derek Anderson4518.51202500.444-52014
159Tim Rattay1818.551300.278-82006
159Patrick Ramsey2418.46101400.417-42005
159Trent Edwards3318.42141900.424-52010
160Dan Pastorini12218.27596300.484-41981
160Brandon Weeden2118.2451600.238-112014
160Billy Joe Tolliver4718.19153200.319-171999
161Eddie LeBaron8118.17265230.34-261963
161Danny Kanell2518.12101410.42-42003
161Vince Evans3918.1142500.359-111995
161Mike Taliaferro3118.1112000.355-91970
161Pete Beathard3718.05181810.501972
161Bob Lee3217.97201200.62581977
162Trent Dilfer11917.82635600.52972007
163Mike Phipps7317.82383320.53451980
164Lamar McHan7317.82244720.342-231963
165Doug Williams8817.77424510.483-31989
165Ty Detmer2617.77111500.423-42001
166Rick Mirer6817.74244400.353-202003
166Heath Shuler2217.7381400.364-61997
166Steve Dils2717.7101700.37-71988
166David Archer2317.6591310.413-41987
166Anthony Wright2017.6581200.4-42005
166Steve Pelluer3017.6392010.317-111989
166Craig Erickson3517.6142100.4-71996
166Jack Thompson2117.5741700.19-131984
167Jeff George12717.57478000.37-332001
167Scott Brunner3217.56131900.406-61983
167Todd Collins2217.55111100.502010
167Sam Bradford4917.53183010.378-122013
167Steve Fuller4417.41202400.455-41986
167Seneca Wallace2217.4161600.273-102013
167Pete Liske2917.34131510.466-21972
168Byron Leftwich5117.31242700.471-32012
169Joey Harrington7617.24265000.342-242007
169Damon Huard2717.22151200.55632008
170Bobby Douglass5317.19163610.311-201977
170John Skelton1717.128900.471-12012
170Billy Joe Hobert1717.0641300.235-91999
171Bob Berry5217.04202930.413-91974
172Mike Pagel5417.04173610.324-191990
173Bob Avellini5117232800.451-51984
173Steve Walsh4117212000.51211996
173Kent Graham3816.92172100.447-42000
173Steve Spurrier3816.92132410.355-111976
173Karl Sweetan1916.8461030.395-41968
173Dave Wilson3116.84121900.387-71986
173Jack Concannon4516.82202410.456-41974
173Scott Hunter4316.81211930.52321977
174Dave Brown6016.72263400.433-82000
174Jacky Lee2316.771510.326-81969
174Ralph Guglielmi2616.6971630.327-91963
174Shane Matthews2216.68111100.502002
175Tim Couch5916.59223700.373-152003
175Kent Nix1816.541400.222-101972
175Marty Domres3216.44122000.375-81977
176David Carr7916.28235600.291-332007
176Paul McDonald2216.2381400.364-61984
176Bruce Gradkowski2016.0561400.3-82010
177Archie Manning13915.913510130.263-661984
177Derek Carr1615.8131300.188-102014
177J.P. Losman3315.79102300.303-132008
177Terry Hanratty1815.7261200.333-61976
177Quincy Carter3515.71181700.51412004
177Randy Johnson4915.55103810.214-281976
177Mike Boryla1915.5381100.421-31978
177Colt McCoy2515.5271800.28-112014
177Dennis Shaw3715.4682720.243-191972
178Jack Trudeau5015.44193100.38-121994
178Blaine Gabbert2715.352200.185-172013
178Randy Wright3215.0972500.219-181988
178Ryan Leaf211541700.19-132001
178Brady Quinn201541600.2-122012
178Joe Reed191591000.474-11979
178Chuck Long2114.941700.19-131988
178David Whitehurst3714.89162010.446-41981
178Joe Pisarcik3014.892100.3-121984
178Chris Simms1714.7671000.412-32009
178Charlie Frye2314.6171600.304-92009
178Timm Rosenbach2014.651500.25-101992
178JaMarcus Russell2514.4871800.28-112009
178Hugh Millen2514.471800.28-111994
178Charlie Trippi1614.3151100.313-61952
178Jeff Komlo1614.1921400.125-121981
178Al Woodall1913.7951400.263-91973
178Chris Weinke2013.621800.1-162007
178John Reaves1713.4141300.235-91987
178David Klingler2412.6342000.167-161994
178Kelly Stouffer1612.0651100.313-61992
178Akili Smith1710.7631400.176-112002
178Doug Pederson1710.5931400.176-112000
178Gary Huff289.5772100.25-141977

I’m again short on time, so I will leave the commentary to you guys, and all the Rams fans out there.


On Tuesday, I looked at quarterback records when their team allows 21 or more points.  Today, a look at records when scoring 21+ points.  I’m short on time, so today’s post will just be a quick data dump.  I leave the comments up to you!

Here’s how to read the table below. Tom Brady has played in 169 games (including playoffs) where his team has scored 21+ points, and he’s posted a 155-14-0 record in those games (translating to a 0.917 winning percentage). On average, teams win about 75% of their games when they score 21 or more points; as a result, we would have expected Brady to win 126.75 games, all else being equal. Since he’s won 155, this means he has won 28.25 more games than expected, the most in NFL history. In general, one might translate this to something like “this quarterback had a good defense.” Among active quarterbacks, Colin Kaepernick, Brady, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, and Jay Cutler have the best five winning percentages when scoring 21+ points. [click to continue…]


Regression to the mean and Team Wins

The two Texas teams had much better seasons in 2014 than they did in 2013. Houston jumps from 2 to 9 wins, while Dallas improved from 8 to 12 wins. Which season was more impressive as far as team improvement?

If you like math, you probably are thinking that improving by 7 wins is more impressive than improving by 4 wins. But if you love math, you are probably thinking about regression to the mean. After all, sure, Houston won only 2 games in 2013, but nobody expected them to be that bad last year. In fact, the Texans were arguably projected to be the best team in the state last year!1

But instead of using Vegas odds, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at the effects of regression to the mean on team wins. I looked at every team season from 2003 to 2014, and noted how many wins each team won in the prior year and in the current year. I then ran a linear regression using prior year (Year N-1) wins to create a best-fit formula for current (Year N) wins. That formula was:

5.51 + 0.31 * Year N-1 Wins

What this means is that to predict future wins, start with a constant for all teams (5.51 wins), and then add only 0.31 wins for every prior win. In other words, three additional wins in Year N-1 aren’t even enough to project one full extra win in Year N! That’s a remarkable amount of regression to the mean, even if not necessarily surprising.2 For those curious, the R^2 was just 0.094, another sign of how not valuable it is to just know how many games a team won in the prior year. [click to continue…]

  1. Just before the season, both Houston and Dallas had Vegas over/under odds of 7.5 wins, but the way the money lines were set up hinted that Vegas wanted to get more action on Dallas and the over. []
  2. Since this has been studied to death. []

Back in November, Cian Fahey tweeted me a simple question: “What is Alex Smith’s record in games where his D gives up 21 or more points?”

I made a note to run the numbers in the off-season, and guess what? It’s the off-season. Smith now holds a career record of 7-38-1 (including a 1-1 mark in the postseason) when his team1 allows 21 or more points. That’s really bad, as it turns out. In fact, among quarterbacks who started such a game last year, only Ryan Fitzpatrick (5-43-0) has a worse career record. [click to continue…]

  1. Yes, that is not the same thing as his defense. []

Career RANY/A Rankings

Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt is my preferred basic measurement of quarterback play. ANY/A is simply yards per attempt, but includes sacks and sack yardage lost, and provides a 20-yard bonus for touchdowns and a 45-yard penalty for interceptions.

RANY/A, or Relative ANY/A, measures a quarterback’s ANY/A average to league average. Let’s use Aaron Rodgers as an example. This past season, he threw 520 passes and gained 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns, while throwing five interceptions and being sacked 28 times for 174 yards. That translates to an 8.65 ANY/A average, best in the NFL in 2014.

The league average rate in 2014 was a record-high 6.14 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt; as a result, this means that Rodgers averaged 2.52 ANY/A above average, or had a RANY/A of +2.52.1 But that is just for one season. To measure Rodgers’ career RANY/A, we need to do that for every season of his career, and weight his RANY/A in each season by his number of dropbacks.

For example, Rodgers had 14.7% of his career dropbacks come in 2014, which means 14.7% of his career RANY/A is based off of the number +2.52. During his other MVP season in 2011, Rodgers had a RANY/A of 3.49 on just 10 fewer dropbacks; as a result, 14.4% of his career RANY/A is based off of +3.49. If you multiply his RANY/A in each year by the percentage of dropbacks he had in that season relative to his entire career, and sum those results, you will get a player’s career RANY/A. Here, take a look: [click to continue…]

  1. Difference due to rounding. []

Last year, I built a trivia question around the leaders in receiving yards per games over a 3-year period. Today, the same thing but for rushing.

Trivia hint 1 Show

Trivia hint 2 Show

Trivia hint 3 Show

The table below shows every player to average at least 75 rushing yards per game over a 3-year period, with a minimum of at least 100 carries in each season. [click to continue…]


On the Grantland NFL Podcast, Bill Barnwell brought up an interesting idea.

The Eagles wound up signing DeMarco Murray to a five-year, $40 million dollar deal. Philadelphia gave Murray a $5M signing bonus, which makes the math pretty simple. A signing bonus is paid at signing, just like the name implies. However, the salary cap hit is spread evenly over the life of the contract: Philadelphia’s cap space has to include $1M in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 as a result of giving Murray five million dollars at signing.

Now, if the Eagles traded Murray tomorrow, that cap hit would be accelerated. And, in fact, the team would have to take a $5M cap hit this year. This would be something of a win for the team that trades for Murray, though, as they would essentially be inheriting a five-year, $35M contract, in terms of both cash and salary cap dollars.

As Barnwell points out, here’s where a potential trade could happen. The Jaguars are flush with salary cap dollars: arguably too many, in fact. Let’s say that once Murray and the Eagles came to an agreement in principle, the parties instead decided that Jacksonville should be the team to sign Murray. And that signing bonus should be bumped up, too, to say, ten million dollars.

So Jacksonville signs Murray to a 5-year, $40M deal, with a $10M signing bonus. Then, the Jaguars turn around and trade Murray to the Eagles for X. What ends up happening is Jacksonville takes a $10M cap hit in 2015 and is out ten million dollars of real cash. The Eagles get Murray on a 5-year deal but now only have to pay him thirty million, in terms of both cash and salary cap dollars. And Philadelphia, depending otherwise on the structure of the contract, could then cut Murray without penalty at any time.

It’s a real win-win-win situation, but the key question is: What is X? If X was a 7th round draft pick, you could be sure that Philadelphia would jump at the chance to do this. If X was a first round pick, then I’m not so sure. It comes down to the question of how much is a draft pick worth in terms of both salary cap and real dollars?

That’s a really complicated question. I have some ideas, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to go about answering this question. And in some ways, your gut may be just as helpful as anything else. If you were the Jaguars, what’s the lowest pick you would take? If you were the Eagles, what’s the highest pick you would give?


Today is a good day. Data collecting is difficult, but Bryan Frye has made life easier for all of us. Bryan, as you may recall, owns and operates his own great site at http://www.thegridfe.com/, where he focuses on NFL stats and history — and you should really check out his work. You can also view all of Bryan’s guest posts at Football Perspective at this link. You can follow him on twitter @LaverneusDingle. [click to continue…]


Guest Posts: Immobile Quarterbacks

Longtime commenter Jason Winter has chimed in with today’s guest post. Jason is a part-time video game journalist and full-time sports fan. You can read more of him at his blog: https://jasonwinter.wordpress.com/, and follow him on twitter at @winterinformal.

As always, we thank Jason for contributing.

A couple months ago, Ryan Lindley had a historically bad postseason game. If he’d thrown just seven more passes in the regular season, he would have made history in another way, too.

Lindley threw 93 passes last season, while recording precisely zero rushes. There was nary a scramble, quarterback sneak, or even a kneeldown on his record for the 2014 season. At 6’3”, 229 lbs., he hardly seems the scrambling type, but he was also only 25 and was, shall we say, far from the best passer in the league. You’d think he might have resorted to using his legs at least once.

Lindley’s 93 passes gives him the second-most passes in a season for a player who recorded zero rushes. The record-holder is a somewhat better-known name: the recently deceased Earl Morrall, who recorded 99 pass attempts with the Colts in 1969 without a carry. On the one hand, Morrall was 10 years older than Lindley, though he was a fairly effective and semi-regular runner throughout his career, averaging 3.7 yards on 235 rushes in 255 career games. Lindley has thus far totaled seven yards on four carries, all coming in 2012. [click to continue…]


Chris Borland and Playing Only One NFL Season

Late Monday night, 49ers linebacker and tackling machine Chris Borland announced that he was retiring due to concerns over the toll a longer career would have on his mind and body. Anyone can give a #hottake on this situation, but not everyone can come up with a list of the top players who played for exactly one season in the NFL.

My initial inclination was that the two best one-season careers came from Dieter Brock and Art Weiner, with former Vikings head coach Bud Grant getting an honorary nomination (you can read why, here). Brock was a great quarterback in Canada for 11 seasons who finally joined the NFL as a 34-year-old rookie in 1985. How did that happen?

The ’84 Rams were quarterbacked by Vince Ferragamo and Jeff Kemp, but they were essentially quarterbacked by Eric Dickerson.1 The team signed Brock in the off-season, and then traded an aging Ferragamo and a third round pick to Buffalo for tight end Tony Hunter.2 Kemp would lose the job in camp to Brock, who produced perfectly average numbers3 while playing with an insanely talented lineup (in addition to Dickerson, those Rams had Henry Ellard and sent four offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl: Kent Hill, Doug Smith, Dennis Harrah, and Jackie Slater. The fifth starter, Irv Pankey, was in the middle of a successful ten year run as the Rams left tackle.) In the playoffs, though, Brock struggled mightily, going 16/53 for 116 yards with 0 TDs and 2 INTs, which culminated in a shutout loss to the Bears in the NFC Championship Game. That would be enough for anyone to call it a career. [click to continue…]

  1. Los Angeles ranked last in pass attempts and second in rushing yards, as Dickerson set the single-season rushing record. []
  2. Who would finish second on the ’85 Rams in both receptions and receiving yards. []
  3. His ANY/A average of 4.9 matched the league average. []

Sam Bradford and Breaking Out At Age 27

Bradford will move from St. Louis to Philadelphia via 195,000 eight-yard passes.

Bradford will be moving from St. Louis to Philadelphia, presumably via 195,000 eight-yard passes.

As a rookie at age 23, Sam Bradford averaged 4.73 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt1 at a time when the league average ANY/A was 5.73; as a result, we could say that Bradford had a Relative ANY/A of -1.00. The next year, he averaged 4.49 ANY/A with a RANY/A of -1.41. In 2012, he was at 5.64  and -0.30, and in seven games in ’13, he averaged 6.10 and +0.23.  In other words, he’s been mostly below-average for his career.

In order to calculate his career RANY/A to-date, we need to weight his production by his number of dropbacks, which were 624 in ’10, 393 in ’11, 586 in 2012 and 277 in his last season of play. Do the math, and Bradford has a career RANY/A of -0.68 entering the 2015 season. But could he have a breakout year playing with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia?

I decided it would be interesting to look at the question from the reverse angle: how many of the quarterbacks that were really good at age 27 were not so good before that? I defined “really good” to mean a RANY/A of +1.00 on at least 224 dropbacks since 1970 (i.e., a quarterback who had an ANY/A average at least one full yard better than league average, had a significant number of dropbacks, and did so since the merger). I also required that such quarterback had at least 500 career dropbacks through age 26 (Bradford has 1,880 career dropbacks prior to the 2015 season.)  There were 24 quarterbacks who met those criteria.

The best RANY/A season since the merger by an age 27 quarterback was Craig Morton; the Dallas quarterback hadn’t played much prior to 1970 (just 615 career dropbacks), but he had been effective in limited time before then (a career RANY/A of +1.58 prior to the ’70 season).

The second best age 27 season came from Boomer Esiason, in his MVP season of 1988. That year, he had 418 dropbacks and averaged 2.77 ANY/A better than the league average; prior to 1988, he had 1,531 career dropbacks, and a career RANY/A of +1.32. The table below shows that data for all 31 quarterbacks: [click to continue…]

  1. Defined as Passing Yards + 20 * PTDs – 45 * INTs – Sack Yards Lost, all divided by total dropbacks (i.e., including sacks). []

Patrick Willis and the Hall of Fame

There are six modern players in the Hall of Fame who primarily played the inside linebacker position.1 Ray Lewis will be number seven. Brian Urlacher, who retired the same year as Lewis, will likely be number eight. And Patrick Willis is now very likely to be number nine.

There is only one knock on Willis’ star-studded career: he played in just 112 games, spanning 8 seasons. But let’s compare Willis to the other six modern HOF inside linebackers (Mike Singletary, Nick Buoniconti, Jack Lambert, Harry Carson, Willie Lanier, and Dick Butkus), Lewis, and Urlacher. The best way I can think of to compare defensive players is through Approximate Value, the all-encompassing metric created by Pro-Football-Reference.com. I’ll leave it to a different writer to debate the merits of whether AV is an appropriate metric by which to measure Willis.

Through seven seasons, Willis accumulated 104 points of AV: he recorded 16 points as a rookie, then 13, 19, 15, 16, 16, and 10 in 2013. Those other eight inside linebackers averaged 83 points through seven seasons, which puts Willis’ remarkable start to his career in the proper light. In fact, other than Willis, just three defensive players have recorded over 100 points of AV through seven seasons: Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, and Alan Page. [click to continue…]

  1. AV goes back to 1960, so I am defining modern as players who entered the league in that season or later. That means we have to exclude Sam Huff, Ray Nitschke, Bill George, Joe Schmidt, Mike McCormack, Les Richter, Chuck Bednarik, and Bill Willis. []

Running Backs are More Desirable than Kickers

These guys like running backs

These guys like running backs

This time last year, the media chorus was signing that the running back position had been severely devalued in the modern NFL. Part of that, no doubt, was true: it is undeniable that less draft capital is being spent on running backs.

When I wrote about the 2014 Running Back Free Agent Market last year and how little they were being paid, I made sure to link to a pretty key point made by Jason Lisk at the Big Lead: the free agent class just wasn’t very good. Last year, the top free agent running backs were Toby Gerhart ($4.5M guaranteed, $7M over the first two years of his contract), Donald Brown ($4, $7), Rashad Jennings ($2.98, $5.25), Maurice Jones-Drew ($1.2, $5.0), Ben Tate ($2.5, $4.35), and Knowshon Moreno ($1.25, $4.25).

In case you forgot, here’s a quick summary of how those backs fared last year:

  • Gerhart averaged 3.2 yards per carry over 101 carries and was benched;
  • Brown averaged 2.6 YPC over 85 carries and was benched;
  • Jennings rushed for 639 yards in 11 games, missing 5 due to injury;
  • Jones-Drew averaged 2.2 YPC over 43 carries and is now retired;
  • Tate was cut after 106 carries and 8 games;and
  • Moreno was limited to 3 games due to injury.

This was an underwhelming class of free agent running backs that somehow fell far, far short of expectations.  Then, Chris Johnson joined the class, and signed a two-year, $8M contract with $4M guaranteed.  The Jets cut him after one season, where he gained 814 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns in 16 games. [click to continue…]


Trivia: Receiving Yards with Multiple Franchises

Last year, I asked you about rushing yards with multiple franchises. In light of the trade of Brandon Marshall to the Jets, I thought it would be fun to look at the same question but for receiving yards.

First, I stumbled upon a bit of trivia that caught me by surprise. Only one player has recorded over 5,000 receiving yards with two teams. Some hints: [click to continue…]


In the comments to this post, Ryan noted that Mike Alstott led the Bucs with 557 receiving yards in 1996, but it was the fewest yards of any player who led his team in receiving yards that season. And in 1997, Karl Williams led Tampa Bay with just 486 receiving yards, also the fewest of any player who led his team in receiving yards that year.

Which made Ryan wonder: why isn’t there a list of the lowest team-leading receiving total across the league for each season? That’s a good question, so I went ahead and generated it for every season since 1950. For example, Jacksonville’s undrafted rookie Allen Hurns led the Jaguars with 677 receiving yards in 2014, but every other team had at least one player with more yards. [click to continue…]


Darrelle Revis Returns

There are legitimate criticisms one could identify, and they aren’t just nits. Darrelle Revis will turn 30 in July, and his contract far outpaces that of every other cornerback in the NFL. He is getting $39M guaranteed at a rate of $7.8M in guaranteed money per season, numbers that are more than 50% higher than every other corner. He will count for $48M against the cap over the next three years. Nobody knows how Revis will age, but he’s had one ACL surgery and he’s never been a player with top notch speed, which means he can’t really afford to lose a step (quick, think how many cornerbacks — as opposed to wide receivers — you can think of that get by on veteran guile).

Revis is all about Revis, which is a crime in some circles. He’s not loyal, and is now switching teams — incredibly — for the third consecutive season. The Jets were one of the worst teams in football by any measure last year, and with no clear answer at quarterback and holes throughout the roster, squarely fall within the definition of a “rebuilding team.” And writing blank checks for 30-year-old cornerbacks is not exactly part of Rebuilding 101. [click to continue…]


1,000 Days

1,000 days ago, Football Perspective opened its doors. There has been a post every day since then.

So while yesterday was the most exciting day in the NFL in a month, we will be taking the rest of the day off.


The contract Miami is willing to give this guy is kind of nuts

The contract Miami is willing to give this guy is kind of nuts

Ndamukong Suh will be signing a 114 million dollar contract with the Dolphins today, with approximately $60M of that money guaranteed. Suh has often been compared to Reggie White, which makes some sense given that each player possessed rare a rare combination of size/strength/agility for any human being, and both were defensive linemen. Recently, Suh has been compared to White in another way, as some have referred to Suh as the best player to hit free agency since White.

Peyton Manning, of course, was a free agent a mere two years ago, but let’s not let facts get in the way of narrative. Suh was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press last year; as it turns out, 25 players were so named between 1992 and 2014, and then switched teams the following offseason.

The table below shows all 25 players. Here’s how to read it. Suh is a defensive tackle, and his last year in Detroit was in 2014 (i.e., Year N). That season, he recorded 17 points of AV according to PFR. As of September 1st of 2015 (i.e., Year N+1), Suh will be 28.7 years old. His new team is Miami, and the final column shows how many points of AV each player produced in his first season with a new team. [click to continue…]


Guest Post: An Argument For HOF Expansion

Bryan Frye is back with another fun guest post. Bryan, as you may recall, owns and operates his own great site at http://www.thegridfe.com/, where he focuses on NFL stats and history. You can view all of Bryan’s guest posts at Football Perspective at this link. You can follow him on twitter @LaverneusDingle.

What makes a Hall of Fame player in your opinion? Is it being in some arbitrary percentile grouping at his position? Perhaps it is a combination of stats and memorable moments. How about playoff performance? Maybe you give extra credit for champions. I certainly don’t know, and my personal Hall likely wouldn’t resemble yours. Any of those criteria you prefer, however, calls for an attendant expansion of the Hall of Fame.1

Arbitrary Percentile

One criterion people use to determine if a player belongs in the Hall of Fame discussion is his place relative to his contemporaries. If a quarterback or halfback is at or near the top of the league for a good portion of his career, he is almost guaranteed a bust in Canton.2 I’ve heard some analysts argue that the Hall should be reserved for the top 3-5% of players. If the top 3-5% (or any arbitrary percentage you choose) is your cutoff, then it follows that induction class sizes should increase to accommodate the increase in players. The 90th percentile of twelve starting quarterbacks includes one quarterback, whereas the 90th percentile of 32 starting quarterbacks includes three quarterbacks. Since the league has nearly thrice the teams it had fifty years ago, it makes sense to have a concomitant increase in class sizes. [click to continue…]

  1. Thanks to Adam Harstad, who was a great sounding board for my ideas and who probably helped keep this from being twice as long. []
  2. The same can’t be said for some positions. I don’t hear many people talking about the legacies of Kevin Williams, Nick Mangold, or Lance Briggs. []

Trivia: St. Louis Rams and Receiver Turnover

From 2000 to 2008, Torry Holt led the Rams in receiving yards in every season. But since then, St. Louis has gone to the other extreme: in 2009, the leading receiver was Donnie Avery, followed by Danny Amendola in ’10, Brandon Lloyd in ’11, Chris Givens in ’12, Jared Cook in ’13, and, believe it or not, Kenny Britt in 2014. That’s seven different leading receivers for St. Louis over the last seven years. If that continues in 2015, the Rams will become just the 4th team since 1950 to have eight different leading receivers in eight seasons.

Now, no team has ever done it in nine straight years. So, today’s trivia question: Can you guess any of the three teams to run this streak for eight seasons? [click to continue…]


Trivia: Cleveland Browns and Quarterback Turnover

In 2002, the Browns leading in passing yards was Tim Couch. It was Kelly Holcomb the next year, Jeff Garcia in ’04, Trent Dilfer the next season, and then Charlie Frye in 2006. Then, Derek Anderson led the team in passing yards in back-to-back years! Brady Quinn led the team in passing yards in ’08, and then Colt McCoy was the top quarterback for two years in a row. But we’re back to musical chairs in Cleveland, with Brandon Weeden leading in ’12, Jason Campbell in ’13, and Brian Hoyer last year. In 2015, it looks like either Johnny Manziel or Josh McCown will hold that honor.

That means over this 14-year period, the Browns will have had 12 different quarterbacks lead the team in passing yards. That, as you might suspect, is freakin’ insane, and will set an NFL record. Since Couch led the team in passing yards in ’01, it means that Cleveland has had 11 different quarterbacks lead the team in passing yards over the last 14 years. That’s tied for the record. Which brings us to today’s trivia question: can you name the only other team(s) to have such quarterback turnover?

Trivia hint 1 Show

Trivia hint 2 Show

Trivia hint 3 Show

Click 'Show' for the Answer Show


The Emmitt Smith Rant

Emmitt Smith was a product of the system, the one where they gave him the ball.

Emmitt Smith was a product of the system, the one where they gave him the ball.

One of Doug Drinen’s first posts at the old PFR Blog was titled, “The Emmitt Smith Rant.” That was now nine years ago, and while not much has changed regarding Smith’s career since 2006, how many people other than me still remember that old post? So I’ve decided to revive Doug’s old post, with his permission, of course.

With greatness comes backlash, and every great player has collected his share of detractors. And while Football Perspective readers don’t underrate him, it feels as though Emmitt Smith has been remembered by a significant number of football fans as a less-than-special running back.  He played with Hall of Famers at quarterback and wide receiver, with Pro Bowlers at fullback, tight end, and several spots on the offensive line. As a result, it’s understandable that some diminish the peak numbers he produced during his prime.

And yes, he did put up some monster numbers during his prime.  From 1991 to 1995, Smith was historically dominant. Consider that among all running backs during their ages 22 through 26 seasons (i.e., Smith from ’91 to ’95), he rushed for 8,019 yards; the next closest player during those ages was LaDainian Tomlinson with 7,361.  Smith also rushed for 85 touchdowns: Tomlinson (72) is the only other player within 20 rushing touchdowns of Smith during those ages.

But let’s say you don’t want to give Smith “full credit” for those years.  What about what he did from 1998 to 2001? During those years, Chan Gailey and Dave Campo coached the team for two seasons each. Dallas went 28-36 during those years, and the passing attack ranked 17th in Net Yards per Attempt. In other words, these weren’t the Troy Aikman/Michael Irvin Cowboys. And while Larry Allen was still around, the offensive line was more name than substance at this point.

At the start of this four-year period, Smith was 29 years old. Through age 28, Smith had recorded 2,595 carries in the regular season,1 the most of any player through age 28 in NFL history. So you’ve got a situation where a running back had been worn down to an absurd degree, stuck on a mediocre team and on a mediocre offense. If Smith was not a special back, how would he do? [click to continue…]

  1. In addition to 318 more in the playoffs. []

Here’s how NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein described Kansas inside linebacker Ben Heeney:

Undersized inside linebacker with a big motor and willingness to take chances. Lacks the athleticism to recover from mistakes in the running game and is too tight to cover in space against the pass.

But at the combine, Heeney didn’t appear out of his athletic class. He ranked a respectable 49th in the 40 yard dash and 58th in the broad jump, while performing at perfectly average levesl in the vertical jump and bench press.

But it’s the 3-cone drill where Heeney starred.   Based on my research from last year, the best-fit formula to project a prospect’s performance in the 3-cone drill is:

Expected 3-Cone = 6.98 – 0.023 * Height + 0.0081 * Weight

For every 12.3 pounds of weight, a player’s expected 3-cone time increases by 0.1 seconds.  Height, meanwhile, is positively correlated: taller players tend to perform better in this drill, which is probably due to stride length/having to take fewer steps.   Heeney, as Zierlein noted, is a bit undersized at inside linebacker: he weighed in at 231 pounds and stood at six feet even (though that combination has worked out well for other inside linebackers).

Given that height/weight combination, we would expect Heeney to complete the 3-cone drill in 7.20 seconds. But Heeney finished it just 6.68 seconds, 0.52 seconds better than expected. According to NFLSavant.com, Heeney is just the 9th inside linebacker in combine history to break 7 seconds in the 3-cone drill; Prior to Heeney, the top two times came in 2012, when undrafted Chris Galippo ran it in 6.90, and Luke Kuechley did it in 6.92.

The table below shows the results of all 207 participants in the 3-cone drill at the combine.  Thanks to NFLSavant.com for the data. [click to continue…]

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Guest Post: Touchdown Pass Vultures

Adam Steele is back for another guest post. And, as always, we thank him for that. You can view all of Adam’s posts here.


During the 2014 season, Chase noted that the league-wide touchdown pass rate was the highest it had been since the NFL merger. The final few weeks of the season dragged down the average a little bit, but 2014 still checks in as the most touchdown pass friendly year in NFL history. In response, a few commenters cited the possibility that teams were tallying more TD passes by sacrificing TD runs, which is a logical conclusion considering the very low rate of rushing touchdowns in 2014 (teams averaged 0.74 per game, the lowest since 1999). Today, I’m going to look into this further and see if teams really are inflating their passing TD numbers at the expense of the run.

First, we have to establish a historical baseline, and I did this by looking at every NFL season since 1950.1 In that time frame, teams averaged 2.26 offensive touchdowns per game, with 1.35 of those coming via the pass and 0.91 via the run. Translated into a ratio, offensive touchdowns have historically been 59.6% passing and 40.4% rushing. That 59.6% is the key number here, as it will be the baseline ratio for expected passing touchdowns. Below is a chart containing relevant information for each year since 1950. The “PaTD %” column represents the percentage of offensive touchdowns in a given year that were scored via the pass, and the “Inflation” column compares that year’s passing TD ratio with the historical average of 59.6%.

YearPassTD/GRushTD/GOffTD/GPaTD %Inflation

As you can see, 2014 really did feature highly inflated passing TD totals, with 68.0% of offensive touchdowns coming through the air. This trend began in 2010, stabilized for four years, then jumped again significantly last season. The most obvious explanation is that teams are now passing more in general, so it would follow that they would also pass more to score touchdowns. But that’s only part of the story, as the rate of passing touchdowns has far outstripped the rate of overall called passes.

The main culprit appears to be goal line play selection, which has heavily favored the pass in recent seasons. Interestingly, from 1997-2009, there was no trend whatsoever, with passing TD ratios jumping around randomly from season to season. From 1980-1994, passing TD ratios were slightly lower, yet still very random. Even during the dead ball era of the 1970s, when the rules made passing far more difficult than it is today, teams still scored more often with passes than they did with runs. In fact, the famous 1956 season was the only time in the last 65 years where teams scored more rushing touchdowns than passing touchdowns.

But here’s what fascinates me the most: Despite the huge increases in total yardage and passing efficiency in recent years, offensive touchdowns have increased very little. In 2014, teams scored only 0.06 more offensive touchdowns than the historical average. In fact, the top 15 seasons for offensive TD production all came before the merger! If the NFL had been playing a 16 game schedule in the ’50s and ’60s, TD pass totals would be very similar to what we see today, and rushing TD totals would be higher.

So how does all this affect touchdown records for various quarterbacks? Since the 16 game schedule began in 1978, there have been 51 teams who scored at least 50 offensive touchdowns in a given season. Of those 51 teams, 33 of them had passing TD ratios above the historical average of 59.6%. In this chart, I list the primary QB, although the numbers represent team totals. The “Adjusted Pass TD” column is calculated by multiplying offensive touchdowns by .596, calculating how many TD passes would have been thrown by sticking with the historical average ratio. The “Change” column represents the difference in adjusted TD passes compared to actual TD passes, basically measuring how many TD pass were vultured from the run game.

YearTeamQBPassTDRushTDOffTDPaTD%Adj PaTDChangeInflation

I have plenty of thoughts about this chart, but I’m more interested to see what the readers think. Does this analysis change your opinion of any of these great QB seasons?

  1. AFL numbers were not included. []

Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones made history at the 2015 combine, with an unbelievable broad jump of 147 inches. And the video was every bit as impressive as it sounds. Keep in mind that no other player in combine history has ever even hit the 140 inch mark, giving Jones a full 8″ lead on every other broad jump ever recorded in Indianapolis.

On the other hand, Alvin “Bud” Dupree did something special, too. Remember, the Kentucky outside linebacker weighed in at 269 pounds, and he managed to jump 138 inches. In combine history, no other player over 260 pounds has jumped more than 129 inches; lower the weight to over 250 pounds, and the best mark after Dupree is 131 inches. So the Wildcats edge rusher was really in a class of his own, too.

There were 249 prospects in Indianapolis who performed in the broad jump. I performed a regression analysis using weight and height as my inputs, since both variables were highly significant in predicting the broad jump. Here is the best-fit formula: [click to continue…]




On February 20th, Football Perspective hosted a “Wisdom of Crowds” election with respect to the question: Who is the Greatest Running Back of All Time?™ Well, Football Perspective guest commenter Adam Steele offered to count the ballots, and I’ll chime in with some commentary.

There were 41 ballots entered, with each person ranking his or her top 20 running backs. The scoring system was simple: 20 points for a 1st place vote, 19 for a 2nd place vote, and so on. As it turns out, the race for the top spot was heated, with three players running away from the pack.

This chart is sortable by total points, points per ballot (using 41 as the denominator), GOAT votes, top 5 votes, and top 10 votes. In the interest of statistical significance, a player needed to appear on at least five ballots in order to be ranked in the table below. [click to continue…]

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