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Number one in our hearts

Number one in our hearts

Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 3,652 yards and 35 touchdowns on his 416 pass attempts this year. He has throw just three interceptions, although he has taken 26 sacks for 156 yards. Do the math, and Rodgers is averaging 9.19 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt this year. Through 14 weeks, the NFL average is 6.24 ANY/A, which means Rodgers is averaging 2.95 ANY/A better than average. Over the course of his 442 dropbacks, this means Rodgers has produced 1,303 yards of Adjusted Net Yards of Value over average.

ANY/A leaves much to be desired as the end-all, be-all measure of quarterback play, but it’s simple, easy to understand, and works well for historical comparisons. At the end of the year, I will produce an SOS-adjusted version of the statistic, but today, I just wanted to take a quick look at the leaderboard. There are a few surprises, after the very expected result at the top of the list.

RkQuarterbackTmAgeAttYdsTDIntSkYdsANY/AVALUE
1Aaron RodgersGNB314163652353261569.191303
2Peyton ManningDEN384963910361113977.93862
3Andrew LuckIND2554443053613241417.57755
4Ben RoethlisbergerPIT325104055298311597.61741
5Tom BradyNWE37496356030716917.33559
6Tony RomoDAL343502923258251887.67535
7Drew BreesNOR3553839832812201166.97405
8Philip RiversSDG3344134072611271397.04373
9Matt RyanATL2950438022511251706.88336
10Joe FlaccoBAL294393258229161286.96326
11Ryan FitzpatrickHOU32306245317822877.15299
12Carson PalmerARI3522416261139597.09198
13Russell WilsonSEA263722729175331856.57132
14Kirk CousinsWAS2620417101098706.77112
15Drew StantonARI3022016027510586.3424
16Mark SanchezPHI28195150010712756.3318
17Matthew StaffordDET2649436441810392256.253
18Andy DaltonCIN273942891151316876.14-39
19Brian HoyerCLE2942631961112211386.13-51
20Nick FolesPHI25311216313109745.93-98
21Zach MettenbergerTEN23179141287181385.68-110
22Mike GlennonTAM25203141710616915.74-110
23Eli ManningNYG3348233402313261705.99-125
24Jay CutlerCHI3149434462615291755.96-147
25Alex SmithKAN303892657166381985.88-155
26Kyle OrtonBUF323482355147261475.81-161
27Robert Griffin IIIWAS2412390223211384.65-229
28Ryan TannehillMIA264573044219342355.75-240
29Jake LockerTEN261359365714854.27-294
30Austin DavisSTL252842001129291795.29-296
31Teddy BridgewaterMIN223102136108281785.32-311
32Colin KaepernickSFO2740929101610432715.55-311
33Josh McCownTAM352501790911231454.87-373
34Cam NewtonCAR2540128121611362925.37-382
35Michael VickNYJ341216043219853.49-385
36Derek CarrOAK234732676171116964.96-626
37Geno SmithNYJ242871778812221344.09-664
38Blake BortlesJAX2337924661016382414.09-897
  • With the great season that DeMarco Murray is having, it’s easy to overlook Tony Romo. But the Cowboys quarterback ranks third in ANY/A and sixth in value added. Another underrated star might be Drew Brees. Given the Saints 5-8 record, one can understand the desire to avoid heaping praise on New Orleans players. But Brees is having another strong season.
  • As I mentioned in the New York Times this week, Joe Flacco is having his finest year as a pro. He currently ranks 10th in value added, which would be more surprising if he wasn’t slotted next to Ryan Fitzpatrick, who somehow ranks 11th! Fitzpatrick actually ranks 4th in the NFL in plain old yards per attempt. Fitzpatrick! The Texans quarterback who was benched a few weeks ago. The same guy, I swear.
  • Was Brian Hoyer bad enough to be benched for Johnny Manziel? On one hand, he’s played miserably over the last month, but his full season numbers are decidedly average. On the other hand, we know that ANY/A overstates Hoyer’s effectiveness this year: for example, the Browns are 31st in both 3rd down and 4th down conversion rates this year. But here’s the more damning bit of evidence: Hoyer has led Cleveland on 48 drives over the last four weeks: 8 of them have ended in interceptions, while only four have ended in touchdowns.
  • Ryan Tannehill is down at 28th on the list, which is surprising or to be expected, depending on your perspective. While Tannehill may be having a career year — for him — 2014 is likely to be his third straight season of below-average production as measured by ANY/A. This year, the Dolphins offense has basically neutered him: he ranks 31st out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks in average depth of throw (according to NFLGSIS), after ranking 4th in that category last year and 16th as a rookie. He’s not getting much help, either: quarterbacks who throw short passes usually have a lot of YAC, but Tannehill ranks in the bottom five in that category, too.
  1. The PFR Game Finder does not allow you to search for ANY/A, hence the switch to AY/A. []
  • Two thoughts: 1) Kaepernick’s ANY/A in his partial first season was 7.55 (3rd in DVOA). Now he’s 32nd here and 28 by DVOA. If I have time, I want to check out QBs who’ve dropped by around 2 ANY/A. It’s not a full first season, but it’s still remarkable. RG III fits that. Note that Kaepernick does not project well from here: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/any-given-sunday/2014/any-given-sunday-raiders-over-49ers.

    2) Tannehill is an interesting case where it seems the reputation (some people really like him) outstrips the performance. Below the 49ers in YPA on deep throws: OAK, MIN, NYJ, and MIA.

    • The Kaep deal is pretty wild. I use rushing and fumbles and remove kneels for my QB stats (and penalize picks 5 yards more), and he rates even lower for me. Out of 41 QBs with 120+ attempts, I have him ranked 38 (ahead of Cam, Vick, Carr, Geno, and Bortles). However, much of that is a function of his usage rate. I have him with 524 action plays, which is at least 100 more plays than nine quarterbacks with worse per play performances. For instance, Kaep has -.68 marginal AYP, while RG3 has -1.82. But Kaep’s higher usage rate gives him lower overall value added (-.68 * 524 = -356 vs -1.82 * 165 = -300). Kaep is also rated 20th in win contribution rating, which combines EPA/P, DVOA, and AYP.

      Another interesting thing about including rushing and fumbles is how much it shakes up the top 10. We share the top four, but after that my top 10 goes: Romo, Brady, Brees, Flacco, Wilson, Ryan. Our biggest differences are Tannehill, Alex Smith, and Sanchez. I have them rated 19, 18, and 23, respectively.

  • Richie

    I sorted by Sacks, and saw that most of the highly-sacked guys had low VALUEs.

    So I was curious about the correlation for each of the stats. Here’s what I got:
    TD Passes .76 correlation
    Yards .58
    Attempts .39
    Sack Yards -.22
    Interceptions -.21
    Sacks -.18

    Throwing TD passes seems to be the key to getting a high ANY/A. (Not surprising.)

    I still have not been convinced that throwing TD passes is necessarily important in evaluating QBs. It seems to me that TD passes is more just a byproduct of otherwise playing well, and choosing not to run the ball near the goal line.

  • Part of Kaepernick’s statistical problem this season is he didn’t get to PAD HIS STATS like usual against my Packers defense.

    He’s played 3 games against us, and we’ve tried to get the prick enshrined into Canton.
    He’s had the greatest running game ever for a QB in a playoff game.
    He’s had his only OTHER 100-yard rushing game in the other playoff game against us, and in the regular season opener last year, oh by the way, he threw for over FOUR HUNDRED yards in that game.

    Dom Capers has made him look great, when in reality, he’s clueless out there as SEEN ON TV this year.