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No, Peyton, you are #1

No, Peyton, you are #1.

While working on a different post, I needed to derive a quick-and-dirty formula to identify the top 100 or so quarterbacks in NFL history. Here is how I went about doing that:

1) Calculate the Relative ANY/A of each quarterback in every season since 1950. ANY/A, of course, is Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, defined as (Gross Pass Yards + 20*Pass_TDs – 45*INTs – Sack Yards Lost) divided by (Pass Attempts + Sacks). For quarterback seasons before 1969, we do not have sack data, so that part of the analysis is ignored (I could have used estimated sack data, but I being lazy).

2) For each quarterback season, multiply each quarterback’s number of dropbacks by his Relative ANY/A to derive a Passing Value over Average metric.

3) Pro-rate non-16 game seasons to 16 games.

4) Calculate a career grade for each quarterback based on the sum of his best five seasons.

Then I realized that this data, while background material for a separate post, was probably interesting to folks in its own right.  Hence today’s post. You should not be surprised to see that Peyton Manning is number one on this list. Here’s how to read his line. His best year came in 2004, when he produced 2113 Adjusted Net Yards over Average. Last year was his second best season — his gross numbers were more impressive, of course, but he produced “only” 2,031 ANY over average. Manning’s other three best years came in ’06, ’05, and ’03. Overall, he produced 8,115 Adjusted Net Yards over Average over his five best seasons, the best of any quarterback in this study (by a large margin). The table below shows the top 100 passers since 1950 (you can change the number of quarterbacks displayed in the dropdown box).

Rk
Name
Best Yr
2nd Best
3rd Best
4th Best
5th Best
Total
1Peyton Manning2113 (2004)2031 (2013)1454 (2006)1265 (2005)1251 (2003)8115
2Tom Brady2014 (2007)1508 (2011)1301 (2010)1025 (2012)1005 (2009)6853
3Drew Brees1590 (2011)1422 (2009)1261 (2006)1196 (2008)1123 (2013)6592
4Dan Marino2271 (1984)1300 (1986)875 (1987)861 (1992)856 (1988)6163
5Steve Young1410 (1994)1394 (1992)1202 (1993)1116 (1998)904 (1991)6026
6Dan Fouts1790 (1982)1425 (1981)1004 (1980)964 (1985)826 (1978)6008
7Norm Van Brocklin1440 (1953)1237 (1950)1096 (1960)1013 (1951)979 (1954)5764
8Johnny Unitas1291 (1964)1255 (1959)1067 (1967)975 (1958)968 (1963)5555
9Philip Rivers1356 (2009)1179 (2010)1174 (2008)1102 (2013)659 (2006)5470
10Ken Anderson1366 (1975)1225 (1981)1035 (1982)984 (1974)815 (1973)5425
11Joe Montana1330 (1984)1286 (1989)979 (1982)927 (1983)869 (1987)5391
12Aaron Rodgers1880 (2011)1075 (2009)893 (2010)844 (2012)663 (2013)5354
13Kurt Warner1652 (1999)1294 (2001)1013 (2000)812 (2008)454 (2007)5225
14Brett Favre1109 (2009)1108 (1995)972 (2001)913 (2007)894 (1997)4995
15Roger Staubach1108 (1977)1100 (1979)1038 (1971)958 (1978)762 (1976)4966
16Sonny Jurgensen1397 (1967)1240 (1961)820 (1966)738 (1970)621 (1964)4817
17Len Dawson1146 (1966)1035 (1962)954 (1968)754 (1964)704 (1971)4593
18Otto Graham1870 (1953)893 (1955)840 (1952)546 (1951)397 (1954)4545
19Fran Tarkenton1078 (1976)959 (1975)933 (1974)822 (1967)746 (1969)4538
20Boomer Esiason1159 (1988)1026 (1986)902 (1985)728 (1989)609 (1997)4424
21Y.A. Tittle1179 (1963)1031 (1962)916 (1953)629 (1954)544 (1961)4299
22Daryle Lamonica1130 (1968)1036 (1969)886 (1967)700 (1970)479 (1972)4230
23Trent Green1024 (2003)831 (2002)827 (2004)820 (2005)639 (2000)4140
24Joe Namath1080 (1967)1021 (1968)818 (1972)741 (1969)460 (1965)4120
25John Brodie1486 (1970)943 (1965)838 (1961)480 (1968)283 (1971)4030
26Tony Romo1103 (2009)900 (2007)835 (2011)648 (2006)534 (2008)4020
27John Hadl1170 (1967)867 (1973)659 (1966)637 (1965)586 (1964)3918
28Roman Gabriel1157 (1973)899 (1967)772 (1969)511 (1971)484 (1970)3823
29Jim Hart1077 (1976)841 (1974)658 (1973)653 (1975)581 (1977)3811
30Ken Stabler1199 (1976)1171 (1974)498 (1977)484 (1973)409 (1979)3760
31John Elway782 (1987)770 (1993)710 (1997)675 (1998)628 (1995)3565
32Warren Moon1232 (1990)651 (1988)578 (1989)516 (1991)496 (1995)3473
33Bert Jones1580 (1976)942 (1977)704 (1975)150 (1978)67 (1981)3442
34Bart Starr1189 (1966)589 (1964)564 (1968)556 (1961)475 (1962)3373
35Milt Plum1367 (1960)830 (1961)584 (1959)309 (1958)264 (1964)3354
36Bobby Layne1004 (1958)740 (1951)564 (1954)503 (1953)464 (1950)3274
37Troy Aikman839 (1993)806 (1995)741 (1992)567 (1998)320 (1994)3274
38Rich Gannon1047 (2002)816 (2001)763 (2000)527 (1999)111 (1991)3264
39Daunte Culpepper1418 (2004)1051 (2000)733 (2003)49 (2001)-66 (2007)3185
40Terry Bradshaw786 (1978)648 (1977)637 (1979)608 (1981)503 (1975)3182
41Jeff Garcia1247 (2000)771 (2001)508 (2007)335 (2006)306 (2008)3168
42Donovan McNabb1121 (2004)784 (2006)579 (2009)344 (2008)310 (2007)3139
43Matt Schaub1092 (2009)610 (2010)594 (2011)445 (2008)303 (2012)3044
44Ben Roethlisberger820 (2009)682 (2010)636 (2005)464 (2007)422 (2004)3024
45Jim Everett1043 (1989)841 (1988)435 (1995)397 (1990)303 (1994)3020
46Jim Kelly894 (1991)810 (1990)564 (1992)397 (1989)346 (1986)3010
47Earl Morrall1074 (1968)595 (1963)538 (1965)513 (1972)247 (1970)2968
48Mark Rypien1351 (1991)936 (1989)276 (1988)222 (1990)150 (1992)2935
49Billy Kilmer631 (1975)596 (1971)575 (1973)571 (1974)531 (1972)2903
50Vinny Testaverde1045 (1998)717 (1996)473 (1995)326 (2003)308 (1993)2868
51Bob Griese792 (1971)672 (1977)500 (1973)481 (1975)361 (1974)2805
52George Blanda1713 (1961)351 (1968)258 (1960)231 (1963)177 (1954)2731
53Craig Morton794 (1970)650 (1969)523 (1977)442 (1981)272 (1971)2681
54Charlie Conerly1080 (1959)544 (1957)430 (1956)397 (1954)224 (1950)2674
55Brian Sipe1078 (1980)698 (1978)397 (1976)204 (1983)172 (1979)2549
56Joe Theismann1093 (1983)574 (1982)371 (1979)318 (1984)170 (1981)2527
57Steve McNair1092 (2003)548 (2001)311 (1996)287 (2002)234 (2000)2473
58Matt Hasselbeck853 (2005)552 (2003)500 (2007)402 (2002)153 (2004)2460
59Bill Nelsen877 (1968)585 (1966)528 (1969)392 (1970)67 (1967)2449
60Joe Ferguson721 (1975)551 (1976)531 (1981)480 (1979)139 (1988)2423
61Carson Palmer1010 (2005)786 (2006)367 (2007)138 (2011)122 (2012)2423
62Don Meredith987 (1966)773 (1968)387 (1962)227 (1965)48 (1967)2421
63Bernie Kosar925 (1987)645 (1986)436 (1991)203 (1989)177 (1988)2387
64Eli Manning954 (2011)671 (2009)363 (2012)198 (2010)167 (2005)2353
65Neil Lomax1029 (1984)530 (1988)428 (1987)322 (1983)5 (1985)2315
66Brad Johnson884 (1999)573 (2002)354 (1996)264 (1997)205 (2003)2281
67Frank Ryan1077 (1966)471 (1963)311 (1962)198 (1964)188 (1968)2245
68Ed Brown761 (1956)396 (1963)395 (1955)393 (1959)290 (1954)2236
69Jeff George673 (1997)658 (1999)611 (1995)187 (1994)93 (2000)2222
70Babe Parilli996 (1962)558 (1964)259 (1961)212 (1966)174 (1968)2199
71Mark Brunell721 (1997)472 (1996)396 (1998)326 (1999)277 (2005)2192
72Chris Chandler856 (1998)549 (1997)372 (1994)178 (1999)167 (2001)2122
73Matt Ryan703 (2012)589 (2008)551 (2011)297 (2010)-21 (2009)2119
74Dave Krieg533 (1986)458 (1994)444 (1988)321 (1983)315 (1984)2071
75Steve Grogan510 (1986)448 (1979)397 (1982)362 (1978)328 (1985)2044
76Chad Pennington903 (2002)745 (2008)299 (2004)52 (2000)30 (2006)2029
77Phil Simms549 (1990)481 (1993)365 (1987)313 (1985)297 (1984)2006
78Norm Snead703 (1972)524 (1967)388 (1965)213 (1962)174 (1974)2003
79Marc Bulger628 (2006)525 (2002)489 (2004)312 (2005)46 (2003)2001
80Danny White615 (1981)535 (1982)362 (1983)266 (1986)221 (1985)1999
81Randall Cunningham1439 (1998)331 (1990)94 (1993)55 (1992)52 (2000)1971
82Bobby Thomason973 (1953)610 (1955)240 (1951)236 (1952)-96 (1954)1963
83Charley Johnson546 (1973)524 (1974)326 (1963)321 (1972)231 (1965)1948
84Tobin Rote779 (1963)633 (1952)593 (1956)-16 (1958)-58 (1957)1931
85Billy Wade700 (1961)455 (1958)319 (1956)303 (1954)96 (1963)1873
86Doug Williams734 (1981)365 (1987)323 (1988)235 (1980)204 (1982)1862
87Jake Plummer722 (2005)620 (2004)450 (2003)302 (2001)-259 (1997)1834
88Tom Flores931 (1966)499 (1963)228 (1960)97 (1965)56 (1969)1811
89Bill Kenney516 (1983)468 (1985)378 (1987)284 (1984)149 (1980)1794
90Steve DeBerg1068 (1990)197 (1987)185 (1979)172 (1993)166 (1991)1787
91Steve Bartkowski697 (1980)620 (1983)258 (1981)91 (1982)82 (1984)1748
92Jake Delhomme493 (2005)443 (2008)357 (2004)255 (2003)191 (2007)1739
93Jacky Lee717 (1961)361 (1960)335 (1965)177 (1968)98 (1962)1689
94Greg Landry687 (1971)420 (1976)294 (1972)178 (1970)57 (1974)1637
95James Harris653 (1974)571 (1976)386 (1975)29 (1973)-18 (1969)1621
96Drew Bledsoe483 (1997)407 (1996)363 (1998)243 (2002)111 (2005)1608
97Steve Beuerlein984 (1999)267 (1993)129 (1991)107 (1998)104 (1989)1591
98Elvis Grbac887 (2000)345 (1995)264 (1999)62 (1994)24 (1997)1582
99Bobby Hebert694 (1992)333 (1987)190 (1988)174 (1989)156 (1993)1548
100Wade Wilson582 (1988)553 (1992)213 (1986)155 (1987)33 (1990)1536

It’s worth remembering that even after adjusting for era, this list is still arguably biased in favor of players like Manning, Brady, and Brees. That’s because today’s quarterbacks pass more often, and passing more often enables a quarterback to amass more above-average value. We can adjust for that by looking at a quarterback’s RANY/A (and not his value over average) in his best five seasons (but only consider seasons where the quarterback had at least 14 pass attempts per team game). If you average each quarterback’s RANY/A in his five best seasons, Manning drops down to number two:

Rk
Name
Best Yr
2nd Best
3rd Best
4th Best
5th Best
Total
1Norm Van Brocklin3.79 (1951)3.79 (1950)3.63 (1953)2.74 (1960)2.68 (1954)3.33
2Peyton Manning4.14 (2004)3 (2013)2.69 (2005)2.55 (2006)2.14 (2003)2.9
3Steve Young3.23 (1992)3.1 (1991)2.87 (1994)2.44 (1993)2.3 (1997)2.79
4Len Dawson3.42 (1968)3.27 (1966)2.59 (1962)1.86 (1971)1.68 (1964)2.57
5Roger Staubach3.88 (1971)2.48 (1977)2.21 (1979)2.15 (1978)2.02 (1973)2.55
6Johnny Unitas3.33 (1964)2.66 (1958)2.42 (1959)2.15 (1957)2.1 (1965)2.53
7Otto Graham4.93 (1953)3.16 (1955)1.59 (1952)1.32 (1951)1.13 (1954)2.43
8Dan Fouts2.94 (1982)2.33 (1983)2.27 (1981)2.15 (1985)2.05 (1978)2.35
9Dan Marino3.94 (1984)2.39 (1983)2.03 (1986)1.81 (1987)1.51 (1996)2.34
10Tom Brady3.36 (2007)2.52 (2010)2.35 (2011)1.73 (2009)1.54 (2012)2.3
11Ken Anderson2.92 (1975)2.43 (1981)2.36 (1974)2.02 (1973)1.74 (1982)2.3
12Drew Brees2.66 (2009)2.33 (2011)2.2 (2006)2.15 (2004)1.85 (2008)2.24
13Joe Montana3.07 (1989)2.93 (1984)1.94 (1987)1.69 (1983)1.5 (1982)2.23
14Aaron Rodgers3.49 (2011)2.13 (2013)1.82 (2009)1.77 (2010)1.4 (2012)2.12
15Kurt Warner3.13 (1999)2.76 (2000)2.22 (2001)1.3 (2008)0.96 (2007)2.07
16Y.A. Tittle2.6 (1963)2.43 (1953)2.31 (1962)1.53 (1961)1.47 (1954)2.07
17Philip Rivers2.65 (2009)2.33 (2008)2.04 (2010)1.92 (2013)1.35 (2006)2.06
18Ken Stabler3.38 (1976)3.12 (1974)1.44 (1973)1.41 (1977)0.77 (1979)2.02
19Fran Tarkenton2.22 (1974)2.16 (1976)2.11 (1973)1.86 (1975)1.75 (1967)2.02
20John Hadl2.76 (1973)2.34 (1967)1.78 (1964)1.5 (1965)1.43 (1966)1.96
21Bart Starr3.78 (1966)1.65 (1964)1.56 (1961)1.39 (1960)1.31 (1962)1.94
22Charlie Conerly4 (1959)1.83 (1956)1.71 (1957)1.35 (1954)0.67 (1955)1.91
23Boomer Esiason2.77 (1988)2.07 (1986)1.95 (1985)1.48 (1989)1.21 (1993)1.9
24Sonny Jurgensen2.45 (1961)2.32 (1967)1.78 (1970)1.55 (1966)1.28 (1964)1.88
25John Brodie3.37 (1970)2.37 (1961)2.03 (1965)0.98 (1968)0.62 (1971)1.87
26Milt Plum3.6 (1960)2.26 (1961)1.53 (1959)1.11 (1958)0.73 (1964)1.85
27Billy Kilmer2.08 (1973)2.02 (1974)1.98 (1972)1.62 (1971)1.5 (1975)1.84
28Joe Namath2.26 (1968)2.14 (1972)1.83 (1967)1.73 (1969)1.14 (1965)1.82
29Daryle Lamonica2.24 (1968)2.07 (1969)1.68 (1967)1.65 (1970)1.42 (1972)1.81
30Brett Favre1.96 (2009)1.84 (1995)1.83 (2001)1.66 (1997)1.66 (2007)1.79
31Trent Green2.42 (2000)1.89 (2003)1.68 (2002)1.52 (2005)1.41 (2004)1.78
32Jim Hart2.33 (1976)1.82 (1974)1.68 (1973)1.63 (1975)1.38 (1977)1.77
33Bobby Layne2.67 (1958)1.65 (1954)1.58 (1951)1.58 (1960)1.3 (1953)1.75
34Bob Griese2.42 (1971)1.91 (1973)1.71 (1977)1.31 (1978)1.13 (1974)1.7
35Craig Morton3.06 (1970)1.71 (1969)1.54 (1977)1.03 (1981)0.67 (1978)1.6
36Tony Romo1.89 (2009)1.81 (2006)1.65 (2007)1.5 (2011)1.14 (2008)1.6
37Terry Bradshaw2.02 (1978)1.67 (1977)1.57 (1981)1.39 (1975)1.28 (1979)1.59
38Troy Aikman2.01 (1993)1.81 (1995)1.75 (1998)1.49 (1992)0.85 (1994)1.58
39Roman Gabriel2.06 (1973)1.99 (1967)1.63 (1969)1.19 (1971)0.99 (1970)1.57
40Ben Roethlisberger2.19 (2005)1.62 (2010)1.47 (2009)1.3 (2004)1.03 (2007)1.52
41Bert Jones3.72 (1976)1.97 (1977)1.61 (1975)0.15 (1981)0.11 (1980)1.51
42Warren Moon2.13 (1988)1.99 (1990)1.29 (1992)1.16 (1989)0.77 (1995)1.47
43John Elway1.81 (1998)1.7 (1987)1.32 (1997)1.3 (1993)1.11 (1995)1.45
44Donovan McNabb2.33 (2006)2.24 (2004)1.21 (2009)0.8 (2005)0.6 (2007)1.44
45Jim Kelly2.21 (1990)1.77 (1991)1.17 (1992)0.94 (1989)0.66 (1986)1.35
46Matt Schaub1.93 (2011)1.8 (2009)1.11 (2008)1.01 (2010)0.68 (2007)1.3
47Don Meredith2.28 (1966)2.02 (1968)1.48 (1962)0.57 (1965)0.15 (1967)1.3
48Babe Parilli3.25 (1962)1.06 (1961)0.97 (1964)0.66 (1952)0.46 (1966)1.28
49Jeff Garcia2.13 (2000)1.47 (2007)1.46 (2001)0.77 (2008)0.56 (2002)1.28
50Vinny Testaverde2.38 (1998)1.25 (1993)1.23 (1996)1.16 (1995)-0.01 (1997)1.2
51Bobby Thomason2.5 (1955)2.23 (1953)0.76 (1951)0.76 (1952)-0.38 (1954)1.17
52Rich Gannon1.6 (2002)1.52 (2000)1.42 (2001)0.93 (1999)0.3 (1991)1.15
53George Blanda4.03 (1961)0.59 (1960)0.45 (1963)0.45 (1954)0.2 (1953)1.14
54Daunte Culpepper2.39 (2004)2.07 (2000)1.49 (2003)0.12 (2001)-0.43 (2002)1.13
55Dave Krieg1.85 (1988)1.3 (1986)1.14 (1983)0.65 (1992)0.61 (1984)1.11
56Jim Everett1.91 (1989)1.54 (1988)0.73 (1995)0.68 (1990)0.6 (1992)1.09
57Steve McNair2.61 (2003)1.17 (2001)0.56 (2002)0.56 (2000)0.54 (1999)1.09
58Charley Johnson1.64 (1974)1.28 (1973)1.12 (1972)0.62 (1963)0.59 (1965)1.05
59Brian Sipe1.87 (1980)1.63 (1978)1.06 (1976)0.39 (1983)0.3 (1979)1.05
60Joe Theismann2.22 (1983)1.15 (1982)0.87 (1979)0.61 (1984)0.32 (1981)1.03
61Bernie Kosar2.11 (1987)1.13 (1986)0.82 (1991)0.62 (1988)0.37 (1989)1.01
62Chris Chandler2.3 (1998)1.44 (1997)0.52 (1999)0.41 (2001)0.36 (1995)1.01
63Phil Simms1.66 (1990)1.1 (1993)1.08 (1987)0.57 (1985)0.51 (1984)0.98
64Matt Hasselbeck1.8 (2005)1 (2003)0.9 (2002)0.84 (2007)0.3 (2004)0.97
65Brad Johnson1.61 (1999)1.21 (2002)1.09 (1996)0.55 (1997)0.37 (2005)0.97
66Mark Brunell1.54 (1997)1.04 (1998)0.79 (2006)0.78 (1996)0.69 (1999)0.97
67Billy Wade2.19 (1961)1.26 (1956)0.92 (1958)0.22 (1963)0.09 (1962)0.94
68Norm Snead1.85 (1972)1.1 (1965)0.95 (1967)0.48 (1962)0.19 (1969)0.91
69Carson Palmer1.91 (2005)1.41 (2006)0.62 (2007)0.4 (2011)0.21 (2012)0.91
70Chad Pennington2.15 (2002)1.49 (2008)0.77 (2004)0.07 (2003)0.06 (2006)0.91
71Jeff George1.84 (1999)1.16 (1997)1.02 (1995)0.34 (1994)0.03 (1993)0.88
72Neil Lomax1.69 (1984)1.08 (1988)0.81 (1983)0.79 (1987)0.01 (1985)0.88
73Frank Ryan2.3 (1966)1.49 (1963)0.48 (1964)0.08 (1967)-0.03 (1965)0.86
74Joe Ferguson1.85 (1975)1.04 (1981)0.96 (1979)0.26 (1978)0.15 (1980)0.85
75Tom Flores2.47 (1966)1.56 (1963)0.74 (1960)0.29 (1965)-0.84 (1961)0.85
76Jake Plummer1.51 (2005)1.42 (2003)1.16 (2004)0.54 (2001)-0.45 (1998)0.84
77Bill Kenney1.28 (1985)1.2 (1987)0.95 (1984)0.8 (1983)-0.09 (1982)0.83
78Steve Grogan0.96 (1979)0.95 (1983)0.95 (1978)0.85 (1977)0.42 (1980)0.82
79Mark Rypien3.16 (1991)1.9 (1989)0.72 (1990)0.3 (1992)-1.96 (1993)0.82
80Danny White1.46 (1981)1.11 (1982)0.64 (1983)0.46 (1985)0.44 (1980)0.82
81Eli Manning1.55 (2011)1.24 (2009)0.65 (2012)0.36 (2010)0.29 (2008)0.82
82Randall Cunningham3.23 (1998)0.64 (1990)0.12 (1992)0.05 (1988)0.02 (1987)0.81
83Steve DeBerg2.29 (1990)0.62 (1987)0.43 (1989)0.37 (1991)0.31 (1979)0.8
84Matt Ryan1.3 (2008)1.09 (2012)0.93 (2011)0.5 (2010)-0.04 (2009)0.76
85Bobby Hebert1.59 (1992)1 (1987)0.46 (1989)0.38 (1988)0.34 (1993)0.75
86Steve Bartkowski1.4 (1980)1.28 (1983)0.45 (1981)0.26 (1984)0.18 (1982)0.72
87Greg Landry2.07 (1971)1.06 (1976)0.88 (1972)-0.14 (1979)-0.4 (1977)0.69
88Jake Delhomme1.07 (2005)1.02 (2008)0.63 (2004)0.54 (2003)0.1 (2006)0.67
89Jim Zorn1.17 (1979)0.9 (1978)0.8 (1981)0.69 (1977)-0.27 (1980)0.66
90Ron Jaworski2.07 (1980)0.82 (1979)0.16 (1985)0.1 (1981)0.07 (1982)0.65
91Tobin Rote2.25 (1963)1.35 (1956)-0.04 (1958)-0.23 (1957)-0.3 (1955)0.61
92Brian Griese2.58 (2000)0.78 (2004)0.19 (2002)0.05 (1999)-0.65 (2007)0.59
93Kerry Collins1.1 (2002)0.66 (1996)0.58 (2000)0.3 (2008)0.22 (2005)0.57
94Gus Frerotte1.09 (1996)1.02 (2000)0.45 (1999)0.33 (1997)-0.08 (1995)0.56
95Drew Bledsoe0.88 (1997)0.7 (1998)0.62 (1996)0.37 (2002)0.2 (2005)0.55
96Neil O'Donnell1.24 (1995)0.79 (1992)0.37 (1998)0.28 (1993)0.05 (1991)0.55
97Jay Schroeder1.95 (1990)0.88 (1986)0.31 (1987)-0.16 (1988)-0.28 (1991)0.54
98Doug Williams1.5 (1981)0.83 (1988)0.43 (1980)0.36 (1982)-0.47 (1979)0.53
99Lynn Dickey1.66 (1983)0.99 (1984)0.2 (1982)-0.02 (1981)-0.22 (1980)0.52
100Ken O'Brien1.74 (1985)0.67 (1986)0.11 (1990)0.05 (1991)0 (1987)0.51

I doubt many would have predicted that Norm Van Brocklin would end up on top of this list! Van Brocklin is no slouch, of course, but he does benefit by focusing just on rate stats. In 1950, Van Brocklin led the league in AY/A while throwing passes to Tom Fears, Elroy Hirsch and Glenn Davis. That year the Rams set the record for points scored in a season, although Van Brocklin shared quarterback duties with fellow HOF-in-waiting Bob Waterfield. In 1951, Van Brocklin matched his incredible AY/A efficiency, but finished second in the league to… Waterfield.  Van Brocklin had excellent seasons in ’53 and ’54, too, and then had a dominant season with the Eagles in 1960. That year, Van Brocklin became the first — and remains the only — quarterback to win NFL championships with two different teams.

Finally, I thought it might be interesting to look at the worst 100 quarterbacks using the same Value over Average statistic from the first table.

Rk
Name
Best Yr
2nd Best
3rd Best
4th Best
5th Best
Total
1Mark Sanchez-186 (2010)-493 (2011)-614 (2009)-766 (2012)0 ()-2059
2Gary Huff-165 (1978)-368 (1975)-376 (1977)-506 (1974)-606 (1973)-2021
3Joey Harrington-266 (2004)-293 (2007)-306 (2005)-483 (2006)-599 (2002)-1947
4Kim McQuilken48 (1977)-51 (1979)-507 (1975)-559 (1974)-783 (1976)-1852
5Blaine Gabbert-366 (2012)-457 (2013)-1007 (2011)0 ()0 ()-1830
6Ryan Leaf-222 (2001)-700 (2000)-904 (1998)0 ()0 ()-1826
7Joe Kapp99 (1969)-441 (1968)-480 (1967)-976 (1970)0 ()-1799
8Rick Norton44 (1970)-186 (1968)-371 (1966)-541 (1967)-713 (1969)-1767
9John McCormick-76 (1968)-97 (1963)-288 (1962)-398 (1965)-780 (1966)-1639
10Dennis Shaw-39 (1975)-96 (1970)-202 (1973)-464 (1972)-783 (1971)-1585
11Tim Couch-31 (2000)-82 (2003)-351 (2002)-541 (2001)-554 (1999)-1560
12Dan Darragh-224 (1970)-291 (1969)-966 (1968)0 ()0 ()-1481
13Randy Wright-54 (1985)-267 (1984)-293 (1986)-364 (1987)-488 (1988)-1467
14Charlie Frye-125 (2007)-134 (2008)-139 (2009)-272 (2005)-718 (2006)-1388
15Rick Mirer31 (2000)-284 (1994)-284 (2003)-371 (1999)-452 (1996)-1360
16Jack Thompson-144 (1981)-212 (1984)-277 (1983)-311 (1980)-377 (1979)-1321
17Christian Ponder-298 (2013)-485 (2012)-530 (2011)0 ()0 ()-1313
18Dick Wood158 (1965)-32 (1962)-168 (1963)-308 (1964)-960 (1966)-1311
19Akili Smith-13 (2001)-144 (2002)-426 (1999)-726 (2000)0 ()-1308
20JaMarcus Russell-163 (2008)-204 (2007)-931 (2009)0 ()0 ()-1298
21Sam Bradford63 (2013)-174 (2012)-553 (2011)-624 (2010)0 ()-1287
22Karl Sweetan59 (1969)27 (1970)-353 (1967)-446 (1966)-547 (1968)-1260
23John Skelton-227 (2010)-417 (2011)-613 (2012)0 ()0 ()-1257
24Craig Whelihan-473 (1997)-782 (1998)0 ()0 ()0 ()-1254
25Scott Brunner326 (1982)-250 (1980)-252 (1985)-479 (1981)-596 (1983)-1251
26Stan Gelbaugh41 (1994)-26 (1996)-44 (1993)-474 (1991)-744 (1992)-1247
27Kelly Stouffer-85 (1991)-128 (1988)-311 (1989)-722 (1992)0 ()-1246
28Chris Weinke15 (2005)-56 (2007)-140 (2006)-225 (2002)-821 (2001)-1228
29Kent Nix-12 (1970)-272 (1971)-296 (1969)-301 (1972)-314 (1968)-1195
30Heath Shuler-255 (1994)-333 (1995)-590 (1997)0 ()0 ()-1178
31Chad Henne-1 (2008)-25 (2011)-354 (2012)-382 (2009)-413 (2010)-1175
32Ken Dorsey-18 (2006)-110 (2005)-494 (2004)-536 (2008)0 ()-1157
33Mike McMahon-70 (2004)-142 (2001)-184 (2003)-340 (2002)-405 (2005)-1142
34Danny Wuerffel-125 (2002)-251 (1999)-315 (1998)-441 (1997)0 ()-1131
35Brady Quinn1 (2007)-54 (2008)-473 (2009)-596 (2012)0 ()-1122
36Andrew Walter-6 (2007)-278 (2008)-836 (2006)0 ()0 ()-1120
37Jeff Komlo-38 (1980)-76 (1983)-180 (1981)-819 (1979)0 ()-1113
38Danny Kanell-5 (1999)-190 (1996)-232 (1997)-313 (2003)-367 (2000)-1107
39Mickey Slaughter-1 (1966)-150 (1963)-257 (1965)-697 (1964)0 ()-1105
40Rusty Hilger16 (1986)-5 (1991)-36 (1985)-212 (1987)-785 (1988)-1022
41Bobby Hoying34 (1997)-10 (2000)-15 (1996)-16 (1999)-1004 (1998)-1012
42Ryan Fitzpatrick-26 (2010)-94 (2013)-176 (2012)-321 (2005)-358 (2011)-975
43Ryan Tannehill-365 (2012)-565 (2013)0 ()0 ()0 ()-930
44Brandon Weeden-401 (2013)-520 (2012)0 ()0 ()0 ()-921
45Jimmy Clausen-913 (2010)0 ()0 ()0 ()0 ()-913
46Scott Bull-169 (1976)-176 (1977)-560 (1978)0 ()0 ()-905
47Stoney Case-37 (1995)-199 (1997)-268 (2000)-397 (1999)0 ()-900
48Charlie Trippi54 (1953)7 (1950)-155 (1954)-235 (1951)-564 (1952)-892
49Gary Marangi56 (1975)-35 (1974)-892 (1976)0 ()0 ()-871
50Art Schlichter-120 (1985)-210 (1982)-539 (1984)0 ()0 ()-869
51David Klingler-34 (1995)-54 (1997)-73 (1996)-212 (1992)-495 (1994)-868
52Colt McCoy7 (2013)-51 (2012)-245 (2010)-576 (2011)0 ()-865
53Browning Nagle0 (1991)-37 (1993)-118 (1994)-118 (1996)-581 (1992)-855
54Mike Boryla104 (1974)-78 (1978)-242 (1975)-635 (1976)0 ()-851
55Donald Hollas8 (1992)-81 (1994)-228 (1991)-544 (1998)0 ()-846
56Chris Simms-20 (2008)-112 (2005)-185 (2009)-191 (2004)-334 (2006)-842
57Geno Smith-828 (2013)0 ()0 ()0 ()0 ()-828
58Jerry Golsteyn-8 (1982)-127 (1983)-143 (1979)-190 (1978)-360 (1977)-828
59Fred Enke-34 (1950)-79 (1951)-155 (1952)-164 (1954)-381 (1953)-812
60George Herring-17 (1960)-794 (1961)0 ()0 ()0 ()-811
61Randy Hedberg-811 (1977)0 ()0 ()0 ()0 ()-811
62Josh Freeman608 (2010)213 (2012)-350 (2013)-608 (2009)-664 (2011)-801
63Chad Hutchinson-2 (2003)-348 (2004)-449 (2002)0 ()0 ()-800
64Spergon Wynn-316 (2000)-458 (2001)0 ()0 ()0 ()-774
65Bill Troup-11 (1976)-60 (1977)-175 (1980)-524 (1978)0 ()-769
66Chuck Long16 (1989)-22 (1990)-110 (1986)-226 (1988)-417 (1987)-760
67Kyle Boller167 (2006)-55 (2010)-176 (2011)-335 (2007)-351 (2003)-750
68Rusty Lisch-111 (1983)-200 (1980)-438 (1984)0 ()0 ()-750
69Chuck Ortmann-59 (1952)-690 (1951)0 ()0 ()0 ()-748
70Ryan Lindley-740 (2012)0 ()0 ()0 ()0 ()-740
71Ted Marchibroda2 (1955)-117 (1953)-268 (1957)-346 (1956)0 ()-728
72Paul McDonald95 (1981)-227 (1983)-236 (1982)-360 (1984)0 ()-728
73Curtis Painter-139 (2013)-198 (2009)-376 (2011)0 ()0 ()-713
74Babe Laufenberg-335 (1988)-376 (1990)0 ()0 ()0 ()-711
75Pat Sullivan77 (1973)-174 (1975)-239 (1972)-373 (1974)0 ()-708
76Tony Adams58 (1976)-37 (1978)-155 (1975)-232 (1987)-332 (1977)-697
77Jack Scarbath-90 (1953)-214 (1956)-391 (1954)0 ()0 ()-695
78Tom Hodson-13 (1995)-153 (1992)-255 (1990)-271 (1991)0 ()-692
79Steve Romanik-10 (1950)-35 (1951)-147 (1953)-237 (1952)-263 (1953)-692
80George Izo-10 (1960)-74 (1962)-107 (1964)-224 (1963)-261 (1965)-676
81Tommy Wade-15 (1964)-650 (1965)0 ()0 ()0 ()-665
82Caleb Hanie-12 (2010)-74 (2009)-579 (2011)0 ()0 ()-664
83Brodie Croyle9 (2009)-30 (2008)-120 (2006)-168 (2010)-353 (2007)-662
84Joe Reed-39 (1979)-41 (1975)-50 (1976)-204 (1973)-327 (1977)-661
85Sam Etcheverry-255 (1961)-398 (1962)0 ()0 ()0 ()-653
86David Whitehurst-61 (1981)-97 (1980)-142 (1983)-156 (1977)-192 (1978)-648
87Jonathan Quinn-55 (2001)-145 (1998)-448 (2004)0 ()0 ()-647
88Anthony Wright15 (2006)-27 (2007)-131 (2003)-161 (2001)-328 (2000)-632
89Ron Vander Kelen44 (1965)-13 (1966)-110 (1964)-117 (1963)-433 (1967)-627
90George Taliaferro99 (1950)-11 (1951)-75 (1954)-312 (1952)-323 (1953)-623
91Matt Kofler-55 (1983)-161 (1985)-404 (1984)0 ()0 ()-621
92Will Furrer-227 (1992)-390 (1995)0 ()0 ()0 ()-616
93Oliver Luck50 (1984)-53 (1985)-258 (1986)-352 (1983)0 ()-614
94Steve Stenstrom6 (1996)-122 (1997)-216 (1998)-280 (1999)0 ()-612
95Mike Taliaferro-27 (1967)-39 (1969)-78 (1966)-227 (1972)-237 (1964)-609
96Keith Null-607 (2009)0 ()0 ()0 ()0 ()-607
97Bill Mackrides-101 (1951)-147 (1953)-170 (1953)-188 (1950)0 ()-606
98Quincy Carter49 (2004)-169 (2002)-175 (2001)-308 (2003)0 ()-604
99Cade McNown-230 (1999)-366 (2000)0 ()0 ()0 ()-596
100Mike Rae142 (1976)-38 (1979)-256 (1977)-442 (1978)0 ()-595

Mark Sanchez comes in as the… well, let’s be careful about what we’re saying. We’re not saying he’s the worst quarterback ever, just that he makes me feel like this. The technical explanation of his place on the list: the five (which were really just four) “best” seasons of his career produced more below-average value than any other quarterback in their five “best” seasons. In other words, he should have been benched a lot earlier.

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