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Jared Goff was the single worst quarterback in the NFL last year. He was Ryan Leaf bad — and that’s no exaggeration. Goff averaged 2.82 ANY/A in 2016, but Goff averaged 7.72 ANY/A in 2017, meaning he just completed the biggest year-over-year increase in NFL history.

Goff actually led the NFL in ANY/A in 2017, a remarkable worst-to-first journey. That’s because, by the narrowest of margins, he eclipsed Drew Brees for the ANY/A lead. The league average was 5.91 ANY/A this year, So Goff is the rare winner who was less than 2.00 ANY/A above league average.

But because he had “only’ 502 dropbacks, Goff didn’t lead the league in Value Added over Average, which is simply ANY/A minus League Average ANY/A (5.91) multiplied by number of dropbacks. The leader there? The likely MVP, Tom Brady.

The table below shows the ANY/A and Value leaders from 2017. Brees narrowly finished second in both metrics, but because Brees was throwing a lot of short passes to his remarkable running backs, and Brady reinvented himself as a deep thrower, Brady is likely your MVP pick.

RkQuarterbackTmCmpAttYdsTDIntSkYdsANY/AValue
1Tom Brady*NWE3855814577328352017.561,018
2Drew Brees*NOR3865364334238201457.711,005
3Philip Rivers*LAC36057545152810181207.601,003
4Alex SmithKAN3415054042265352077.65941
5Jared GoffLAR2964773804287251727.72912
6Carson Wentz*PHI2654403296337281627.43715
7Matthew StaffordDET37156544462910472877.01675
8Ben Roethlisberger*PIT36056142512814211396.95605
9Case KeenumMIN3254813547227221367.03565
10Matt RyanATL34252940952012241566.87533
11Jameis WinstonTAM28244235041911332076.70377
12Russell Wilson*SEA33955339833411433226.45326
13Jimmy GaroppoloSFO1201781560758577.62320
14Deshaun WatsonHOU1262041699198191167.19286
15Kirk CousinsWAS34754040932713413426.38275
16Blake BortlesJAX31552336872113241236.21168
17Derek CarrOAK32351534962213201016.0790
18Ryan FitzpatrickTAM961631103737346.3270
19Josh McCownNYJ2673972926189392646.0042
20Aaron RodgersGNB1542381675166221685.9921
21Carson PalmerARI164267197897221505.86-14
22Dak PrescottDAL30849033242213321855.74-89
23Tyrod TaylorBUF2634202799144462565.67-109
24Nick FolesPHI57101537525444.75-123
25Andy DaltonCIN29749633202512392555.65-135
26Brock OsweilerDEN9617210885510644.94-176
27Marcus MariotaTEN28145332321315271735.51-191
28Matt MooreMIA781278614512954.47-200
29Drew StantonARI79159894657404.51-231
30Mike GlennonCHI93140833458784.12-264
31Brian Hoyer2TM123211128744161124.74-266
32Mitch TrubiskyCHI196330219377311965.05-310
33Cam NewtonCAR29149233022216352425.28-332
34Bryce PettyNYJ55112544138553.12-335
35C.J. BeathardSFO123224143046191414.52-336
36Jacoby BrissettIND2764693098137523055.26-339
37Tom SavageHOU125223141256211594.44-358
38Blaine GabbertARI95171108666231494.06-359
39Jay CutlerMIA26642926661914201545.04-390
40Eli ManningNYG35257134681913311895.11-481
41Trevor SiemianDEN20634922851214332204.38-581
42Joe FlaccoBAL35254931411813272054.71-691
43Brett HundleyGNB1923161836912291973.71-759
44DeShone KizerCLE25547628941122382263.69-1,138

Oh, and yes, that’s DeShone Kizer of 0-15 fame at the very bottom of the list. Kizer averaged an anemic 3.69 ANY/A and started most of the year, making him easily the quarterback who accumulated the most below-average passing value in 2017. Joining him in the bottom five, though, are a pair of former Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.

The last note? The table is fully sortable, and if you sort by ANY/A, you will see that Jimmy Garoppolo ranked 4th in ANY/A (minimum 100 pass attempts).  He also went 5-0 this year, making him now 7-0 for his career.  The 49ers were 1-10 without Garoppolo, making him one of the top 3 quarterbacks ever in with or without you records.

{ 15 comments }
  • Topher Doll

    It has been an odd year for some QB’s. Rivers for example had a career best season in sack %, top 5 in ANY/A and TD % and was top 5 across the NFL this season in ANY/A, Value and DYAR but kind of flew under the radar.

  • Adam

    While Jared Goff’s year-to-year improvement is remarkable, this is the most fraudulent ANY/A crown I can remember. Goff’s receivers broke a ton of big plays, many of which Goff himself had little to do with. He completed passes of 94, 80*, 69, 67, 64*, 53, 53, 52*, 47, 44, 44*, and 43* yards, and the combined yardage from those plays was roughly 70% YAC. The completions marked with an asterisk were designated as short, meaning they traveled fewer than 15 yards in the air.

    These type of big plays are not sustainable and not really indicative of great QB play. I would bet my house that Goff benefits from fewer 40+ yards completions in 2018 even if his overall play improves. Goff’s 2017 is very reminiscent of Eli’s 2011, and Eli hasn’t come close to matching the 8.3 Y/A he put up during his season of fluke big plays. Goff will almost certainly suffer the same fate.

    • I can’t disagree with that, but I think those are the things you need to go from last to first. Even if he went from last to league average it would have been very noteworthy and a great sign for his future.

      • WR

        Has anyone ever gone worst to first in anypa before?

    • Tom

      I’m with you on this, and this wrinkle (YAC vs. air yards, etc.) is worth pointing out. But of course, Goff still deserves praise for the remarkable turn around. Here’s what I’m interested in though: what does this mean going in to the playoffs? If he *doesn’t* get those big YAC passes, does that mean the Rams lose? Can teams scheme this? Can they “force” him to throw deep, etc? Looking forward to the playoffs this weekend big time!

      • Adam

        The Rams are so good on defense that I think they can beat ATL without any big plays from the offense. In fact, since long plays are not predictive, a defense driven victory is probably the most likely outcome. Regardless it should be a fun game, and it’ll be different seeing an NFL playoff game at the Coliseum.

        • Tom

          Yep, pretty stoked to have a playoff game at the Coliseum…just checked PFR, looks like the last playoff game there was the 1985 season, Raiders lost to the would Super Bowl losers Patriots in a Division game, 27-20. Was listening to the PFF podcast, those guys like Atlanta a lot…
          At the beginning of the year, I was suspicious of the Rams because they stunk last year and also because they kept getting def/special teams return TD’s which made them seem more dominant than they were. But as the season progressed, their offense showed itself to be actually really good…anyway, we’ll see what happens, I’m with you it will be fun/good game.

          • Adam

            What is the line? I would imagine the Rams are 4-5 point favorites. Atlanta isn’t the same team they were last year, but people keep acting like they are.

            • Tom

              You’re pretty much right on. Per vegasinsider.com, it looks like the line opened at 5 and is now at 6. My crazy spreadsheet has the Rams winning by 10 (27-17), which doesn’t feel right to me…the Rams *are* the better team (IMO, of course), but the Falcons are better than they appear I think, and also have playoff experience, which is importance (no, I don’t have any numbers to back that up). Imagine you’re Jared Goff…you stunk last year, now you’re “great” and you’ve got a home playoff game against a Super Bowl team…that’s some serious pressure…

              • Adam

                This weekend is going to be interesting with four QB’s starting their first playoff game. I think it’s likely that at least one of them folds under the pressure and torpedoes his team’s chances. But who will it be?

          • Richie
            • Tom

              Sheesh, must have been drunk looking at PFR…yeah, the 1994 game was the last one at the Coliseum, not 1985.

      • Adam

        As far as defenses scheming against the Rams, I think they mostly just need to tackle better. A lot of Goff’s long completions have happened because the defense couldn’t tackle or took poor angles toward being in position to tackle. Like that 52 yard TD on 3rd-&-33…really bad tackling and pursuit by the Giants.

    • Richie

      I think it’s a little bit fluky that he had so many long plays. But I think he has to get some of the credit for those plays. I would agree that Goff will probably not have as many big plays in 2018, but it wouldn’t surprise me if his performance on the shorter plays improves.

      Goff was behind Smith, Stafford, Roethlisberger and Cousins in number of completions of 30+ yards.

      I’m still waiting for Goff to make some plays in the clutch. He only has one 4QC/GWD in his career, and that came in the last game he played (vs Tennessee). And that one barely counted. The Rams were down 23-20 with over 14 minutes left in the game (hardly “do or die”), and he led them on a 68-yard touchdown drive. The key play was a 31-yard pass interference penalty.

  • I have Brees with the league lead in RANY, because I remove spikes before calculating ANY/A, and because I use LMP averages when calculating relative performance.

    Full stats here http://www.thegridfe.com/2017-stats/