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Guest Post: Adam Steele on Quarterback MVP Shares

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


In this post, I will attempt to estimate how many MVP awards each QB has “deserved” over the course of his career. I wanted to accomplish this task using very basic statistics, so the only inputs are pass attempts, passing yards, and TD passes. I can’t stress enough that this is aimed at providing rough estimates and not definitive answers.

Methodology

The metric I will use for this study is my own creation, Positive Yards Per Attempt (PY/A). I chose this over ANY/A for several reasons:

  • It is available back to the early days of the NFL, whereas ANY/A only goes back to 1969; I prefer to employ a uniform measurement for players of every era.
  • Sacks (invalid) and interceptions (unstable and invalid) are poor measures of QB performance, while Y/A and TD% are both statistically valid. (Proof)
  • If I used ANY/A, a number of unworthy seasons would appear MVP caliber due to fluky INT rates (looking at you, Damon Huard).
  • MVP voters typically focus on yards, TD passes, and wins (shame on them), but largely ignore interceptions and sacks.

With my justifications out of the way, let’s get to the actual formula:

  1. PY/A = (Passing Yards + TD Passes *20) / Attempts.
  2. Each QB season is compared to league average, giving us Relative PY/A (RPY/A). At this juncture, all seasons below +1 RPY/A are discarded, as I consider that the minimum baseline for a great season.
  3. I don’t want anyone receiving MVP Shares for lighting it in limited action (Todd Collins in 2007, for example), so I added a minimum threshold for attempts in a season. From 1978-present, the minimum is 300 attempts, and from 1950-1977 the minimum is 200 attempts. I purposely did not prorate 1982 and 1987 because I don’t think MVP awards in shortened seasons should be worth as much as full seasons.
  4. I excluded the AFL and AAFC because those leagues had watered down competition, and also because I’m lazy. Seasons before 1950 are excluded for the same reasons.
  5. I want to emphasize QB’s who play all or most of a season, which is accomplished by subtracting the minimum baseline from each QB’s attempts in a season. For example, a modern QB who attempts 525 passes in a given year will have his attempts adjusted down to 225 (525-300). This ensures that a QB who plays excellently over 2/3 of a season doesn’t get too much credit, but still gets some (such as Kurt Warner in 2000).
  6. RPY/A is multiplied by adjusted pass attempts to calculate MVP Value.
  7. League MVP Value is summed in each season, and each quarterback’s MVP Value is divided by the league total. This is his MVP Share. The divisor is capped at 500 and floored at 200, which results in some seasons producing more or less than one MVP Share. This last modifier was necessary due to vast discrepancies in yearly MVP Value totals, as I don’t want historically great seasons penalized too much for occurring within a loaded field (such as 2011 or 1976). The 68 seasons from 1950-2017 produced a grand total of 60.2 MVP Shares, which feels quite reasonable (we can pretend the other 7.8 MVP awards went to non-quarterbacks).

Here are the top 100 MVP Share seasons since 1950:

QuarterbackYearTeamAttYardsTDPY/ALgPY/ARPY/AMVPValMVPShare
Steve Young1994SFO46139693510.137.542.59256.01.00
Dan Marino1984MIA56450844810.727.972.75462.00.92
Steve Young1993SFO4624023299.967.402.56252.70.90
Peyton Manning2004IND49745574911.147.943.20433.40.87
Matt Ryan2016ATL53449443810.688.012.67390.80.85
Aaron Rodgers2011GNB50246434511.048.052.99402.00.80
Kurt Warner2001STL54648303610.167.542.62398.50.80
Boomer Esiason1988CIN38835722810.657.702.95171.60.77
Lynn Dickey1983GNB48444583210.538.042.49274.20.76
Y.A. Tittle1963NYG36731453610.538.621.9161.00.31
Tom Brady2007NWE57848065010.047.692.35375.30.75
Earl Morrall1968BAL31729092610.828.032.7930.40.11
Joe Namath1972NYJ3242816199.867.692.1728.10.14
Kurt Warner1999STL49943534110.377.542.83364.20.73
Peyton Manning2013DEN6595477559.988.001.98351.80.70
Brett Favre1995GNB5704413389.087.561.52140.40.70
Johnny Unitas1964BAL30528241910.508.182.326.60.03
Fran Tarkenton1967NYG3773088299.737.911.8263.10.30
Sonny Jurgensen1961PHI41637233210.498.571.92106.70.35
Steve Young1992SFO4023465259.867.632.23125.50.63
Philip Rivers2008SDG4784009349.817.722.09194.00.59
Ken Anderson1975CIN3773169219.527.522.0077.00.25
Bert Jones1976BAL34331042410.457.443.0186.40.17
Craig Morton1969DAL30226192110.067.962.102.20.01
Norm Van Brocklin1954RAM26026371311.148.292.85-74.0-0.37
Dan Fouts1985SDG4303638279.727.861.86111.80.56
Daunte Culpepper2004MIN54847173910.037.942.09270.30.54
Carson Palmer2015ARI53746713510.008.171.83196.70.54
Roger Staubach1973DAL28624282310.107.422.68-23.5-0.09
Ken Stabler1976OAK29127372711.267.443.82-25.4-0.05
Tom Brady2011NWE6115235399.848.051.79245.70.49
Drew Brees2011NOR6575476469.748.051.69246.30.49
Jim Kelly1991BUF4743844339.507.611.89154.90.49
Philip Rivers2010SDG5414710309.827.871.95229.00.48
Joe Montana1989SFO38635212610.477.952.52130.70.48
Boomer Esiason1986CIN4693959249.467.781.68114.90.47
Aaron Rodgers2014GNB5204381389.898.101.79173.80.47
Mark Rypien1991WAS4213564289.807.612.19144.00.45
Drew Brees2009NOR5144388349.867.812.05224.70.45
Peyton Manning2005IND4533747289.517.561.95145.40.45
Warren Moon1990HOU5844689339.167.841.3290.90.45
Terry Bradshaw1977PIT3142523179.127.281.8411.80.05
Johnny Unitas1965BAL28225302310.608.532.07-19.3-0.10
Vinny Testaverde1996BAL5494177338.817.461.3587.20.44
John Brodie1970SFO3782941249.057.561.4938.20.19
Brett Favre1997GNB5133867358.907.461.4493.70.43
Norm Van Brocklin1960PHI28424712410.398.242.15-18.4-0.08
Daunte Culpepper2000MIN4743937339.707.522.18205.30.41
Philip Rivers2009SDG4864254289.917.812.10204.60.41
Randall Cunningham1998MIN42537043410.327.692.63203.80.41
Jim Everett1989RAM5184310299.447.951.49106.80.39
Ken Stabler1974OAK3102469269.647.242.4014.00.03
Peyton Manning2012DEN5834659379.267.921.3496.20.38
Trent Green2002KAN4703690268.967.511.4576.50.38
Peyton Manning2006IND5574397319.017.641.3795.10.36
Tony Romo2014DAL43537053410.088.101.98132.30.36
Otto Graham1953CLE25827221111.407.473.93-123.1-0.26
Tony Romo2007DAL5204211369.487.691.79173.80.35
Milt Plum1960CLE25022972110.878.242.63-81.5-0.35
Drew Brees2008NOR6355069349.057.721.33110.60.34
Don Meredith1966DAL3442805249.557.811.7432.60.10
Johnny Unitas1957BAL30125502410.078.401.670.70.00
Y.A. Tittle1962NYG37532243310.368.981.3828.50.14
Steve Young1998SFO5174170369.467.691.77167.10.33
Dan Marino1986MIA6234746449.037.781.2580.80.33
Steve McNair2003TEN4003215249.247.421.8282.00.32
Terry Bradshaw1978PIT3682915289.447.501.9463.90.32
Ben Roethlisberger2009PIT5064328269.587.811.77158.60.32
Ken Anderson1974CIN3282667189.237.241.9927.70.07
Len Dawson1971KAN3012504159.327.531.790.80.00
Johnny Unitas1959BAL3672899329.648.291.3523.50.12
Greg Landry1971DET2612237169.807.532.27-49.5-0.19
Craig Morton1981DEN3763195219.617.851.7657.80.29
Norm Snead1967PHI4343399299.177.911.2634.80.16
Steve Young1997SFO3563029199.587.462.1262.70.29
Frank Ryan1966CLE3822974299.307.811.4940.20.13
Russell Wilson2015SEA4834024349.748.171.57104.30.28
Aaron Rodgers2012GNB5524295399.197.921.2768.00.27
Terry Bradshaw1979PIT4723724268.997.681.3153.30.27
Vince Ferragamo1980RAM4043199309.407.881.5254.10.27
Drew Brees2006NOR5544418268.917.641.2768.60.26
Steve Beuerlein1999CAR5714436369.037.541.49132.80.27
Norm Van Brocklin1950RAM23320611810.397.792.60-107.2-0.54
Jared Goff2017RAM4773804289.157.851.3053.10.27
Steve Grogan1979NWE4233286289.097.681.4150.40.25
Dan Fouts1978SDG3812999249.137.501.6351.00.26
Otto Graham1951CLE2652205179.607.841.76-26.6-0.13
Boomer Esiason1985CIN4313443279.247.861.3849.80.25
Roger Staubach1978DAL4133190258.937.501.4348.60.24
Bob Griese1977MIA3072252228.777.281.493.40.02
Kurt Warner2000STL34734292111.097.523.57120.80.24
Aaron Rodgers2009GNB5414434309.307.811.49118.10.24
Joe Ferguson1975BUF3212426259.127.521.6012.60.04
Fran Tarkenton1964MIN3062506229.638.181.452.70.01
Billy Wade1958RAM3412875189.498.161.3313.50.07
John Hadl1973RAM2582008229.497.422.07-44.9-0.17
Roger Staubach1979DAL4613586278.957.681.2743.50.22
Norm Van Brocklin1953RAM2862393199.707.472.23-17.2-0.04
Bobby Thomason1953PHI3042462219.487.472.014.00.01
Donovan McNabb2004PHI4693875319.587.941.64108.20.22

And now the MVP Share career list (the Seasons column represents the number of different seasons each QB received more than zero MVP Shares):

QuarterbackMVPShareSeasons
Peyton Manning3.5711
Steve Young3.156
Johnny Unitas2.146
Aaron Rodgers2.005
Drew Brees1.968
Tom Brady1.927
Brett Favre1.808
Kurt Warner1.794
Philip Rivers1.684
Boomer Esiason1.504
Norm Van Brocklin1.506
Dan Fouts1.446
Y.A. Tittle1.354
Ken Stabler1.305
Dan Marino1.293
Daunte Culpepper1.163
Terry Bradshaw1.165
Roger Staubach1.135
Tony Romo1.126
Ken Anderson1.105
Fran Tarkenton1.084
Craig Morton1.024
Carson Palmer0.864
Joe Montana0.853
Matt Ryan0.851
Lynn Dickey0.812
Joe Namath0.782
Jim Kelly0.773
Sonny Jurgensen0.762
Earl Morrall0.742
Trent Green0.744
Otto Graham0.734
Bob Griese0.715
Ben Roethlisberger0.645
John Brodie0.592
Bert Jones0.571
Jim Everett0.562
Vinny Testaverde0.542
Russell Wilson0.523
Don Meredith0.502
Greg Landry0.463
Mark Rypien0.451
Warren Moon0.451
Billy Wade0.432
Randall Cunningham0.411
Steve McNair0.382
Frank Ryan0.362
Milt Plum0.351
Donovan McNabb0.333
Steve Grogan0.313
Len Dawson0.301
Norm Snead0.291
John Hadl0.282
Steve Beuerlein0.282
Chris Chandler0.274
Vince Ferragamo0.271
Jared Goff0.261
Eli Manning0.252
Jeff George0.252
Bart Starr0.242
Joe Ferguson0.241
Bobby Layne0.233
Matt Schaub0.232
Bill Nelson0.222
Bobby Thomason0.221
Chad Pennington0.201
Alex Smith0.181
George Ratterman0.171
Jake Delhomme0.171
Tommy Kramer0.171
Matt Hasselbeck0.162
Bob Berry0.142
Jay Schroeder0.141
Joe Theismann0.141
Neil Lomax0.141
Andy Dalton0.131
Ken O'Brien0.121
Rudy Bukich0.121
Jeff Garcia0.111
Ron Jaworski0.111
Carson Wentz0.101
Charley Johnson0.101
Danny White0.091
Robert Griffin0.091
Steve Bartkowski0.091
Troy Aikman0.091
Mark Brunell0.081
Wade Wilson0.071
Chris Miller0.061
Elvis Grbac0.061
Matthew Stafford0.061
Michael Vick0.061
Mike Livingston0.061
Nick Foles0.061
Billy Kilmer0.052
Brian Griese0.052
Jim Harbaugh0.051
John Elway0.051
Adrian Burk0.041
Bobby Hebert0.041
Brad Johnson0.041
Dave Krieg0.042
Marc Bulger0.041
Richard Todd0.041
Bernie Kosar0.031
Jim Hart0.031
Tommy Maddox0.031
Bob Lee0.021
David Garrard0.011
Doug Flutie0.011
Steve Spurrier0.011
Jeff Hostetler0.001

I’ll leave the commentary up to you guys!

{ 37 comments }
  • WR

    So I take it that the MVP share column is meant to be an estimate of how many awards each player should have won? Peyton should have 3.5, Young 3.1, etc.

    And I know that Bryan Frye recently said on this site that ANYPA is the most reliably predictive QB stat we have. But you’re excluding INTs and sacks, because in this case, you’re not trying to predict future performance. You’re trying to measure the value of past performance. Makes sense.

  • sacramento gold miners

    Lynn Dickey is a good example of one of those lost to history by some fans. Was a dangerous QB at times with Green Bay, overcoming a very severe injury from his days as a Houston Oiler. Was a statue in the pocket, but with Lofton(and a lesser degree Jefferson), and TE Paul Coffman, those Packers teams were fun to watch.

    • Dickey was very fun to watch, but I think his appearance in the top ten shows some limitations of this metric. Interceptions HAVE to count for something. Lynn Dickey threw some of the worst interceptions you’ll ever see, particularly in 1983. Now I know he was a very aggressive player and had to be because the Packers defense was so bad, but his turnovers cost them several games in a year that they barely missed the playoffs. He had 4 INTs in the season finale in Chicago that they lost on a last-second field goal and cost them a playoff birth. In Atlanta in November, they lost a game 47-41 in overtime where Dickey threw two pick-sixes to the same player (Kelly Johnson) on the same play call against the same coverage. One gave Atlanta a fourth quarter lead and the other lost the game in a walk off TD in overtime. That is inexcusable. When Dickey was hot, he was as good as anyone in the NFL. But had he not thrown 29 interceptions, the 1983 Packers probably make the playoffs with 10-11 wins and Dickey IS the MVP of that season. I love Lynn Dickey and I love seeing him get mentioned on these types of lists for all the reasons you mentioned, but to say he was the QB 9th most deserving to win the MVP in history is just flat out wrong and shows that this metric might need some tweaking.

      • Adam

        I don’t think Dickey deserves to be anywhere near the top 10, and his 1983 season is definitely the biggest aberration in this study. But I chose to live with it in order to not overly reward conservative QBs who artificially boost their numbers by avoiding picks.

        It’s worth noting that Kurt Warner threw 22 INT’s in his 2001 MVP season, yet the Rams still scored over 500 points and finished 14-2. In 2009 Peyton Manning had the worst INT% among the MVP candidates that season, yet his Colts went 14-0 in games they were actually trying to win. Point is, in most cases a high Y/A and TD% is enough to render a poor INT rate irrelevant. Dickey is the extreme exception.

        • Thanks for the response. That makes sense. Though I would still contend that INTs need to have some effect, I understand why you think the punishment would be overly harsh. I would certainly rather artificially reward Dickey for his high risk/high reward style rather than say someone like 2016 Sam Bradford was MVP worthy for basically doing nothing but avoiding turnovers.

          • Adam

            I think a nice compromise might be to penalize picks only beyond a certain INT rate (say 3%). This way conservative QBs still wouldn’t be rewarded, but guys who throw a ton of picks (like Dickey) would be appropriately punished.

            • ammek

              It would probably be better to vary the interception rate over time. For instance, Dan Fouts’ 1985 season – which I’m delighted to see high on this list: the Chargers scored something like 35 points on average in the games he started and finished that year, despite a signifcant time of possession deficit – had an interception rate well above 3%, but it was actually lower than Fouts’ career average IIRC. That Coryell/Zampese offense might have been even more fun to watch than the Lynn Dickey Packers (the team that made me a Packer fan). I remember watching highlights of the barnburner against Pittsburgh, and wondering if anything had in fact been edited out. The whole game was a highlight: even one of the (very few) punts was blocked.

              • sacramento gold miners

                That Monday night game against Pittsburgh was indeed a wild one, it was one of the few strong games David Woodley played as a Steeler. Woodley had an offer from the Steelers to return for the 1986 season, but decided to retire. He attempted a comeback with Green Bay in 1987, but was cut in preseason.

            • Wolverine

              “I think a nice compromise might be to penalize picks only beyond a certain INT rate (say 3%)”

              INT rates have been insanely low that past few years. Maybe the penalty should kick in at 0.5-1.0 standard deviations (or some number, I only have a surface understanding of statistical analysis) above league average for that year? That way you don’t penalize guys from pre-1978 too harshly.

              I’m in agreement with not putting too much stock in a very low interception rate, so that flukes like Brian Griese 2000, Damon Huard 2006, Josh Freeman 2010, and Nick Foles 2013 don’t get anywhere near your tables. The problem is that the rare guys like Rodgers and Brady who have proven that they can do it consistently don’t get enough credit for it, but it’s not like they need to much more help to be in the MVP discussion, and they do tend to be outliers.

              The game is more fun to watch when quarterbacks are more aggressive, but turnovers have such a huge effect on win probability, I guess you can’t blame quarterbacks and coaches for being scared of them.

              • Adam

                That’s a good point, but let me make a counter argument in favor of a flat baseline. The super conservative QB with a very low INT% is really a modern phenomenon. Along with that, the so-low-it-hurts-the-team INT% is also a modern phenomenon. Back in the 80’s, even the allegedly conservative QBs played more aggressively than a typical modern QB. Joe Montana’s career INT% would be worse than league average in 2017, and he was considered very safe with the football.

                Long story short, only the modern fraidy cat QBs deserve need to have their INT rates adjusted. With a 3% baseline, nearly all older QBs will be above it and thus their relative INT rates won’t change.

                • Richie

                  It looks like the fraidy cat QB who avoids interceptions but can’t move the offense isn’t that common. From 2008-2017 there were 14 players who were under 2% interceptions and under 6.75 yards/attempt.

                  http://pfref.com/tiny/8F2rL

                  Andrew Luck (2013) and Aaron Rodgers (2015) just barely make that list. Kerry Collins made that list the year the Titans went 13-3

                  Chuck Pagano is responsible for 3 of those performances (Luck, Brissett and Hasselbeck).

                  • Adam

                    That’s surprising, but good research! I do know that a high Y/A+ averages more points and wins than the equivalent INT%+, though.

                  • Wolverine

                    It’s amazing that Aaron Rodgers made that list, but I remember how badly the 2015 Packers offense struggled at times. Davante Adams is good now, but he was definitely not back then, and I feel like he should get a fair share of the blame for that season.

                    On the other hand, Sam Bradford showing up on that list multiple times is definitely not amazing.

                • Wolverine

                  Okay, that makes sense.

              • Richie

                Why do you want to exclude a guy like Huard? He only threw 244 passes and played 8 games, so that’s not enough to be an MVP.

                But it doesn’t look like his interception aversion that season hurt the team. They were 4-4 with Trent Green and 5-3 with Huard. Huard was averaging 7.7 yards/attempt.

                • Adam

                  My language has been unclear on this issue. It’s not so much that a super low INT rate literally hurts the team, as much as it doesn’t help them in a linear fashion. In other words, the difference between a .5% and 1.5% rate is less meaningful than the difference between 2.5% and 3.5%. Huard shouldn’t get any more credit for his .4% than a typical Rodgers season would for 1.8%.

                • Wolverine

                  “Why do you want to exclude a guy like Huard?”

                  It’s more about Huard’s season clearly being a fluke, than it is about him hurting/helping the team.

                  • Richie

                    Just because a season is a fluke, doesn’t mean it isn’t MVP caliber.

                    (No, I’m not saying Huard should have been an MVP that year.)

                    • Wolverine

                      I guess I was making a comment about overall quality, but for the purposes of Adam’s post, you’re probably right.

  • Richie

    I’m still a little stumped on the idea of excluding interceptions. I read the link you provided, but that blog post went over my head.

    I’m also not sure that sacks should be excluded. But since MVP voters probably don’t factor in sacks, I guess it’s OK to exclude them. (Though I do think there is some interplay between sacks and interceptions.)

    In your results, Lynn Dickey’s 1983 season shows up as the 9th most valuable ever. In that season he threw 32 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. (Somehow the Packers were 3-3 in the games where Dickey threw 3+ interceptions.) By excluding interceptions, it looks like your system is giving Dickey significantly more MVP shares that season than Joe Montana (3,910/26/12) and Joe Theismann (3,714/29/11) and Dan Fouts (2,975/20/15 in 10 games).

    That doesn’t feel right to me. But maybe it’s the only outlier.

    • Adam

      I agree that Dickey’s season is ranked too high, but it’s definitely an outlier. Normally 9+ Y/A is not accompanied by such a terrible INT rate. However, it’s the trade off I decided to make in order to avoid giving too much credit to QBs who pumped up their efficiency by avoiding INT’s (whether by luck or conservative play).

      High Y/A, high INT seasons average more points and wins than medium Y/A, low INT seasons.

    • Deacon Drake

      KC Joyner ran a study to counter int rate years ago. Basically, a) not all interceptions are created equal, and b) like fumbles and fumble recoveries, QB interception rate is very noisy and is primarily a product of circumstance and luck for the top 75& QBs (some guys just suck and will throw picks). His “bad throw” metrics, which included a host of other stats like balls thrown into tight/2x coverage, uncatchable balls, dropped recs, dropped ints, showed that these rates stayed pretty constant (unless a drastic scheme change) while pretty much every low int rate was due to regress to the mean.

      Bottom line, almost every one would prefer to have a guy like Rivers or Wilson pushing the ball downfield, even if it results in a pick a game, than whatever Bradford and Flacco are doing.

      • Adam

        Yes, agree 100%.

  • Richie

    I still can’t figure out how you are calculating this. Looking at Steve Young, how does his 2.59 RPY/A convert to a 256.0 MVPVal?

    • Adam

      That’s because you caught a typo! It should be 417 MVP Val. Luckily in this case that doesn’t affect his MVP Share because nobody else in 1994 accrued any value.

      • Richie

        Ah, it’s the “minus 1” part that I didn’t follow. Thanks.

  • eag97a

    I’ve beaten this drum before but as I’ve said before this should be characterized as passer MVP share not quarterback MVP share. It only takes into account passing performance. Doesn’t include rushing performance and drives and drives efficiency. It’s a good idea but as is usual with football stats incomplete. Lack of data doesn’t help but interesting nevertheless.

    • Adam

      I left out rushing for the same reasons I omitted sacks and interceptions: simplicity and the fact that rushing doesn’t usually matter much for QBs in an MVP race. Some exceptions but not very often.

      • eag97a

        More important to my overall point is leading drives and drive efficiency. FG and non-QB rush TD drives are important considerations when evaluating QBs. But as measure of passer MVP share your metric is a good approximation IMO.

        • Wolverine

          I’m with you. I feel like TD passes more often correlates to team style and play-calling than it does to quality of the quarterback. I think 1991-1995 Troy Aikman was very good quarterback, but he never had high counting stats (especially TD passes), because the Cowboys always gave the ball to Emmitt Smith when they got to the red zone.

          • Richie

            Yeah, I’ve never been completely sold on the 20-yard bonus for passing touchdowns and 45-yard penalty for interceptions. Generally, it seems to do a pretty good job of rating QB’s similar to how I view them.

            But, I’m not sure why a QB should get so much credit for a TD pass, when that pass was based on a coach’s decision to pass the ball. Or it was based on the fact that the RB couldn’t score from the 1-yard line on the previous play. Or it was based on the fact that the receiver broke 2 tackles and ran 43 yards for a score.

            • Richie

              Tom Brady led the league with 28 pass attempts and 15 touchdown passes inside the 5-yard line. I guess there is a certain level of skill to be able to complete that touchdown on a short field. But just getting those 28 pass attempts has a lot to do with what the coach chooses.

              (Looks like Aaron Rodgers was on pace for 28 attempts and 19 TD’s inside the 5.)

              If you drop the threshold to the 3-yard line, then Brady and Ryan both have 7 TD passes. (Ryan on 12 attempts and Brady on 14 attempts.)

            • Adam

              I don’t use the 20 yard bonus because TD passes are a special skill (they aren’t). Rather I give as a simplistic way of compensating QBs for the depressed Y/A they experience in the red zone. Since getting into the red zone is a good thing, it’s not fair to penalize QBs for attempting passes there. For reference, red zone Y/A is roughly half of what is over the rest of the field. Adding in the 20 yard TD bonus is a reasonably effective (though imperfect) counterbalance.

  • Personally, I think if you’re going to go through the trouble of creating a formula to assign MVP shares, you should do it more based on what you think is important than on what you think voters vote for. If you’re basing it off voter preferences, then you can’t ignore team record, because that is very clearly a big part of their vote. Cam Newton doesn’t get his MVP without his enormous rushing contribution. Michael Vick probably doesn’t get the Bert Bell award without his 700 yards and 9 touchdowns rushing. Philip Rivers is much more likely to have an award if the Chargers are 11-5 instead of 8-8 in 2008.

    If you think rushing is important, I think you should include it. If you think interceptions and sacks are less important, make the penalty for picks 20 yards instead of 45, and only count a portion of sacks and sack yards.

    Here’s an example:

    Human att yds td int sk sky any any/a py py/a wy wy/a
    Peyton 9380 71940 539 251 303 1953 69472 7.17 82720 8.82 76724 8.05
    Eli 7396 51682 339 228 359 2468 45734 5.90 58462 7.90 52668 6.95

    • Adam

      In retrospect, I agree. I tried to incorporate both my personal preferences and traditional voter preferences, and the result is kind of a kluge. When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one!

      Part of the reason I didn’t go all in with my own criteria is because I’m pretty eccentric and the results would probably be wacky.

      • Make it wacky, put your name on it, and stand by it.

  • someguy

    http://www.footballperspective.com/2014-mvp-odds-and-historical-qb-mvp-performance/

    I would think looking at how the MVP voters value each stat would lead to more interesting measure. Having lots of TD, low amount of INT, and lots of team wins is the most are the most important stats for the voters. Sine this values things completely differently than the voters, it ends up not really telling us who got “screwed” out of or “gifted” MVPs.